With Marc Pingris defending him, rookie guard Stanley Pringle drove hard to the basket, stopped, and hit the dagger jumper to give the Batang Pier a four-point lead with 12 seconds to go in the ball game. The Hotshots actually had a chance to send the game into overtime but the breaks of the game just didn’t go their way this time.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Hotshots (‘coz they led by as much as eight in the second half). But for the Batang Pier, it was a well-deserved one. STAR wasn’t able to stymie Globalport’s league-leading offense, a thing that they should’ve prioritized in this game. It’s either the Hotshots’ defense wasn’t that good or Batang Pier’s offense was really solid. With this win, Globalport improves its record to 3-0, their best start in franchise history. Add to that, it’s the first time they got a win over the STAR (SMCM / PFS) franchise in 10 tries – talk about breaking the streak. By beating the Hotshots, the Batang Pier just showed the league what they’re capable of doing (and that their first two wins weren’t just a fluke). It’s too early to say though that they can be contender but I gotta say, they’re a very exciting team to watch.
Game Breakdown: By the Numbers
|TEAM||3FG (%)||FT (%)||ASTS||REBS||BLKS||TOs|
|1/13 (7.7%)||24/30 (80%)||14||48||8||22|
|14/32 (43.8%)||9/12 (75%)||17||34||2||15|
Looking at the numbers, the Hotshots had the advantage inside the paint. They grabbed more rebounds that resulted into an 18-point advantage in terms of points in the paint. They were also aggressive in getting to the foul line (as usual), resulting into 30 attempts and making 24 of them (a high mark considering they only shot an atrocious 61.5 percent in their first game). However, GlobalPort made it rain! – rain threes that is.
As the best three-point shooting team in the league, GlobalPort took advantage of the defense STAR gave them. It resulted into 14 makes from downtown out of 32 attempts. That’s good for 43.8 percent, a better figure compared to how they shot it from deep in their first 2 games (38.5 percent). In comparison, STAR only made 1 from the arc.
The triple threat of Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle, and Asian import Omar Krayem was largely responsible for the Batang Pier’s uprising. Romeo fired in 17 points on three threes while Pringle added 15 points on three threes as well. On the other hand, after a poor game against Blackwater, Omar Krayem showed everybody why GlobalPort picked them up as their Asian reinforcement. He fired in 20 points (8/12 FG) in under 25 minutes with four three-point shots across his name. He was like Jimmy Alapag out there hitting shots from way beyond the arc and the Hotshots simply had no answer for him.
Aside from GlobalPort’s offense, the Hotshots really had a hard time controlling the ball resulting to 22 turnovers. Although this only resulted into a +3 advantage for the Batang Pier in terms of points off turnovers, the number of errors they’ve committed was simply just too much (league average was only 17.2 TOs per game). Actually, this loss was punctuated by a JDV turnover when he issued a lazy pass to Mark Barroca. If only they were able to avoid that crucial error, they would’ve forced overtime and maybe still be able to win the game.
Marqus Blakely tried his very best to carry the Hotshots to another win as he posted another impressive statline of 19 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 4 blocks. Steven Thomas on the other hand, the Batang Pier’s interim import (replacing Patrick O’Bryant), had a good debut as he finished with 12 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists.
1. “BIG 3” WATCH: After a disappointing first game, James Yap, PJ Simon, and Marc Pingris vowed to bounce back. Yes, they were able to do better than their previous game but it was very far from the performance that would make you say that they’re finally back. James Yap and PJ Simon were able to score in double figures but they were nowhere to be found when STAR needed the much-needed points. Marc Pingris on the other hand only scored 6 points and added 7 rebounds but his lack of shot attempts (only four) makes you think twice of his aggressiveness in this game. Hopefully, these three would find their rhythm soon, and live up to their billing as STAR’s “BIG 3”.
2. THE EXPENDABLES: Alex Mallari continues to perform well on the offensive end finishing with 11 points. Also, Justin Melton was able to chip in eight points in only 15 minutes of action. Curiously, these two were part of “The Expendables” (Hotshots that would possibly be traded as I would like to call them). Maybe they’re letting their game speak for themselves – they don’t want to be traded.
3. STAR JERSEY WATCH: In this game, the Hotshots wore their dark-colored jersey which many people on twitter dubbed as “margarine” yellow with “hotdog” red trim. To be honest, I liked it. It was fresh, simple, and they looked good in yellow actually. It was much better than their light-colored white jerseys they wore in their first game. Although I’m no athletic aesthetics expert, I think it would be better if they have a red one as their dark-colored jersey and have this yellow one as their light-colored one.
Wake up call?
Coach Tim Cone has said that the Hotshots may be a little bit bored after winning four straight championships. Hopefully, losing to a team that has never beaten them since they entered the league (in a close game at that), would wake them up to take every game from here on out with a sense of urgency we’ve never seen from them since their Grand Slam run last season.
Featured Image Credit: Zeke Alonzo, Tie Breaker Times (Edited by: MI.NI Graphics and Design)