Hotshots nip Beermen in semis opener
(Mall of Asia Arena)
6:30 p.m. – Barangay Ginebra vs TNT KaTropa
ALDRECH Ramos put order in Star’s tentative finish on Saturday night, draining the dagger triple with 12.8 seconds remaining as the Hotshots held off San Miguel Beer, 109-105, in Game 1 of their Final Four series which could easily pass as the title showdown for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Hotshots almost blew a 13-point lead going into the final two minutes as they lapsed into miscues and needed Ramos to convert that triple from top of the key off a Paul Lee set-up as Star drew first blood in this interesting best-of-five series at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
“That’s why he’s there,” Star coach Chito Victolero said with pride when asked to comment on the game-sealing bucket. “That’s what I keep telling my players, for them to shoot when they’re open.”
“They (Beermen) will keep fighting, they’re a champion team,” he said as he guns for the first Finals appearance of his young coaching career after falling just a win short against Barangay Ginebra in this season’s Philippine Cup.
Ricardo Ratliffe scored 26 points and grabbed 22 rebounds before fouling out in the dying seconds and Allein Maliksi also fired 26 as the duo carried the scoring load with Lee struggling against the San Miguel defense to shoot just four.
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