Durham powers Meralco a share of the top spot, Star demolishes Kia to stay in running for the top 4

Star 128 – Kia 81

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The Star Hotshots stayed within striking distance of a top four seed as they demolished the Kia Picanto by 47 points. The Hotshots used a dominant second quarter run to break the game wide open.

Leading only by seven points early in the second quarter, the Hotshots unleashed a 28-6 blast in the second quarter to fully take control of the game. It was a total team effort from Star as almost everyone got in on the scoring act. The run was started by Mark Barroca and PJ Simon using their outside shooting. It was then finished by Kristofer Acox and Aldrech Ramos who teamed up to form an inside-outside force. At that point, the floodgates opened and Star just outright dominated Kia. The Hotshots put up an offensive display hitting 60% from the field and assisting on 34 of their 48 made field goals. They hit nine three-pointers at a 40% clip and scored 32 fast break points.

Six players scored in double figures as Acox led the way with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Jio Jalalon has 15 points and seven assists. Mark Pingris scored 12 points en route to joining the 5,000-point club of the PBA. Star is now at 6-4 with an outside shot at a top four finish.

Merlaco 100 – GlobalPort 93

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Allen Durham continues to make a strong case for Best import of the Conference. He dropped a massive triple-double to lead the Meralco Bolts to a win over the GlobalPort Batang Pier. Durham scored 22 points, grabbed 22 rebounds and dished out 10 assists in a monster effort.

Durham started the game strong and because of his aggressiveness, the Batang Pier had to continuously send help defenders his way. This allowed Durham to find his open teammates and balance his playmaking with his scoring. The Bolts built a nine-point lead heading into the half. In the third quarter, Merlaco unleashed 32 points behind 18 points combined from Durham, Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge. That run gave the Bolts a 19-point lead. GlobalPort tried to make a comeback in the fourth quarter behind Sean Anthony’s stellar performance but it was too little too late for the Batang Pier as Merlaco held on for the win.

Newsome led the Bolts with 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Hodge added 10 points while Reynel Hugnatan scored 13 off the bench. Sean Anthony scored 23 points to lead GlobalPort who was missing Murphey Holloway and Terrence Romeo. Meralco is now tied with Ginebra at the top with an 8-2 record.

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