The Purefoods Star Hotshots (4-0) stayed perfect after beating the NLEX Road Warriors (0-3), 87-62. This 25-point win by Purefoods marked their best start in a conference under Coach Tim Cone. It was Daniel Orton’s first game for the Hotshots but it hardly looked like it was. Orton played well in his debut in a Purefoods uniform, thanks to Marqus Blakely who made Orton’s adjustment to the league a lot easier. Orton finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and a game-high 3 blocks.
But it wasn’t only Daniel Orton’s solid game that propelled Purefoods to their fourth-straight win. The locals also played a huge role in this win, most especially the guys off the bench, outscoring their NLEX counterparts, 42-19.
The Hotshots really dominated the Road Warriors in this game, leading in almost all statistical categories. Let’s look at the numbers from this game.
|TEAM||FG (%)||REBS||ASTS||PTS IN THE PAINT|
Looking at the stats from this game, Purefoods’ offense was solid as they were able to limit NLEX into a horrendous 28.6% shooting. The Hotshots were able to limit NLEX’s prolific import in Al Thornton in this game. After erupting with 39 points in their last game, Thornton was held down to 11 points (3 of 14 shooting from the field), making only 1 of 5 from the arc. Thornton also struggled on the defensive end, committing 6 personal fouls in this game.
Daniel Orton (12 rebounds) was a huge lift to the Purefoods’ front line as they were able to dominate the battle of the boards once more, 60-44. Mark Barroca also chipped in 9 rebounds as all players (except one) fielded in by Coach Tim Cone were able to grab at least 1 rebound.
Purefoods once more centered their offense inside shaded lane. Their offense was fluid, finding the open man and the higher percentage shots inside. They were able to outscore the Road Warriors inside, 30-18 anchored on a 13-assist advantage (23-10). This led into a balanced scoring for the Hotshots. 4 players were able to finish in double figures: Barroca with 16, Maliksi and Orton with 16 each, and Devance had 11.
On the Rise: Allein Maliksi
In their first four games (all resulted into wins), Purefoods’ bench was clearly a huge factor. And one of the players off the bench that has been consistent and providing solid offense for the team is Allein Maliksi.
Since he was acquired by Purefoods (then San Mig Coffee) in the 2012-2013 season, Maliksi is now enjoying his best production so far in this year’s Commissioner’s Cup. Right now, Allein is having a career-best 11 points per game (55.6% from deep) on only 18.6 minutes off the bench.
He has been shooting pretty well for the Hotshots providing the team instant offense when their starters take a rest. He’s been a dead-eye from deep especially on the corners. So far, he’s been shooting at an impressive 69.3 TS% and 66.7 eFG%.
With PJ Simon still out and James Yap still consistently inconsistent, Purefoods can count on Allein Maliksi to fill the void. It would be exiciting if Maliksi continues this type of play and PJ and James get their bearings going. It would be a fun team to watch for sure.
Up next for Purefoods is an out-of-town match-up against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Daniel Orton will be tested as the Hotshots will be going up against one of the more physical teams in the league in Rain or Shine. Hopefully, Marqus Blakely has taught Orton a thing or two on how to deal with the Extra Rice boys of Rain or Shine. But one thing’s for sure, it will be a fun, physical, and a thrilling match-up.
Featured Image Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA; Sherwin Vardeleon, SportsDesk.PH (Edited by MI.NI for HumbleBola)