3:00 p.m.- Rain or Shine vs. Barako Bull
5:15 p.m.- Meralco vs. San Miguel
This game was practically over with still two quarters to play.
With their title-retention bid on the line, the Star Hotshots ran roughshod over the hapless GlobalPort Batang Pier, 126-73, last night in the quarterfinal round of the 40th PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 53-point beatdown allowed the Hotshots to force a do-or-die duel against the twice-to-beat Batang Pier.
The fifth-seed Star put the outcome of the game beyond doubt a mammoth 73-35 lead at the half.
“We just came out with the big punch in the beginning of the game, staggered them and I think we just kept on pummeling them,” said Star head coach Tim Cone.
The blowout win was the all-time largest win margin in PBA playoff history, eclipsing the 48-point win (120-72) that Burger King scored over Sta. Lucia in the 2009 Fiesta Conference quarterfinals and the 119-71 victory that Alaska scored against Tanduay in the 2000 Commissioner’s Cup battle for third.
The dominating win also the fourth all-time largest margin of victory in league history. It was also the biggest win for the Purefoods franchise since their 114-73 win over Coca-Cola in the 2007 Philippine Cup.
Marqus Blakely led Star with 23 points, Mark Barroca contributed 16, Alex Mallari and James Yap each had 15, while Justin Melton donated 14.
“Bottomline is we’re not playing a 48-minute game. We’re playing a 96-minute game. We’re only at halftime in our minds and we start at 0-0 again,” he said.
In the main game, the Alaska Aces overhauled a 16-point third quarter deficit to flatten the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 114-108, and became the first semifinalist.
Vic Manuel scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth period to help the twice-to-beat Aces complete the comeback.
Ginebra built a 65-49 lead at the 8:12 mark of the third but Alaska quickly erased the deficit and took a 77-75 lead, heading into the final period.
Alaska import Romeo Travis fired 29 points, while his counterpart Orlando Johnson had 28.
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