PJ Simon exploded for 20 points off the bench as the Star Hotshots routed the Blackwater Elite, 103-86, to open their campaign in the 2017 PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
It was a slow start for the Hotshots, as they trailed 0-6 early in the game, but they recovered quickly and surged to a 28-22 advantage at the end of the opening frame.
Star settled for a 75-68 lead at the end of the third period, but the Hotshots went out to outscore the Elite, 28-18, to completely break the game open.
“We just tried to limit them to under 90 points. ‘Yun ang goal namin, and na-achieve naman namin,” said Star coach Chito Victolero. “We tightened our defense in the second half. Good thing na pag maganda depensa namin, maganda rin ang nagyayari sa opensa namin.”
Aside from Simon, four other Star players scored in double-digits, with import Cinmeon Bowers tallying 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in just under 30 minutes of action.
Allein Maliksi also scored 15 points, and Ian Sangalang had 14 points and five boards off the bench.
The Elite had a massive 51-37 edge in rebounding, but also committed 28 turnovers that led to 27 points for Star.
Import Trevis Simpson led Blackwater with 24 points and eight boards, while JP Erram had 11 points, 15 boards, and seven blocks in a losing effort.
Blackwater dropped to 0-2 in the conference, after losing their first game to Meralco last week.
STAR 103 – Simon 20, Maliksi 15, Bowers 15, Sangalang 14, Reavis 11, Lee 7, Ramos 7, Barroca 6, Dela Rosa 6, Mendoza 2, Melton 0, Javier 0, Brondial 0, Abundo 0.
BLACKWATER 86 – Simpson 24, Erram 11, Digregorio 11, Cruz 10, Banal 8, Cervantes 5, Sumang 4, Buenafe 3, Sena 2, Canaleta 2, Pinto 2, Gamalinda 2, Aguilar 2, Pascual 0.
Quarter scores: 28-22, 49-40, 75-68, 103-86.
News Source: ABS-CBN NEWS