Star takes Game 1 of PBA Semis

Paul Lee sinked a clutch basket to lift the Star Hotshots, 78-74, over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to snatch Game 1 in their best-of-seven Manila Clasico semifinals series of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last February 9 (Manila time).

Paul Lee droves past Chris Ellis during the Manila Clasico semis. (Photo courtesy of:

The former Rain or Shine Elasto Painter, Lee hit a floter with the shotclock running down to give the Hotshots a four-point cushion after scoring a three-pointer to give the team the lead for good a few possessions back.

Star stretched their winning run to seven games dating back the elimination round catapulting them from the near-bottom of the standings to the third seed in the playoffs.

Lee led the victors with 18 points, five rebounds, one assist and a steal in 38 minutes of play

Guard Mark Barroca added 17 markers, four rebounds and two dishes for the Hotshots while forward Marc Pingris registered nine points, 12 boards, three blocks and three steals.

Chris Ellis paced the Kings with 12 points in a losing effort with Japeth Aguilar adding 11 markers.

Diminutive guard LA Tenorio was limited to eight points after a career high 31 during the do-or-die match against the Alaska Aces to secure the remaining semifinal seat.

In the other semifinal match up, the San Miguel Beermen cruised to a 111-98 win against the TNT Katropa to lead their own best-of-seven series, 1-0, last February 8.


The scores:

Star (78) – Lee 18, Barroca 17, Pingris 9, Sangalang 8, Maliksi 7, Jalalon 6, Reavis 5, Melton 5, Dela Rosa 2, Ramos 1, Brondial 0.

Ginebra (74) – Ellis 12, Aguilar 11, Cruz 10, Mercado 10, Tenorio 8, Thompson 7, Ferrer 7, Marcelo 5, Mariano 4.

Quarterscores: 14-19, 37-38, 60-58, 78-74.


Game highlights:



Aris Ignacio is from the Philippines and has always been a big fan of Philippine basketball. Aris’ follows the Philippine Basketball Association since the late 80’s and has learned the history and personalities of the PBA. He also has interest with other basketball tournaments in the Philippines and beyond most specifically college basketball (UAAP, NCAA), the Asian Basketball League (ABL), FIBA Asia and World Cup tournaments. Global Basketball is Aris’ second writing assignment besides Follow Aris Ignacio on Twitter at aris_ignacio.

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