MANILA, Philippines – It took the Star Hotshots three games before they managed to secure their first win of the 2016 PBA Governors Cup, a hard-fought 105-102 overtime victory over the GlobalPort Batang Pier on Sunday.
Prior to their breakthrough win, the Hotshots have lost two games in heartbreaking fashion – the Blackwater Elite stunned them, 100-98, in the final seconds, and they bowed to Mahindra, 92-100, in overtime in their first game of the conference.
“We wanted to start a little better, but we can’t seem to start the conference right,” Star coach Jason Webb said after Sunday’s win over GlobalPort. “We’ve put ourselves in a pickle.”
“But at the end of the day, these games are not fatal, so we’re still alive even if we started poorly,” he added.
Longtime Star import Marqus Blakely, who had stellar numbers of 23 points, 22 rebounds, six assists and five steals, admitted that they were more relieved than happy to finally barge into the win column.
“We’re definitely happy, but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves,” Blakely said. “We had a great opportunity from the beginning of the conference to start off 3-0 or maybe 2-1. It came down to the little things, which now we understand helps us win.”
“We’re more relieved, I guess, in understanding that now, we know what it is we have to do to win,” he added.
The back-to-back losses to start the conference was an early wake-up call, Blakely acknowledged, but now that they have gotten the victory, he is hopeful that they can put together a winning streak and rise in the league standings.
“I definitely feel this is where we could kind of use this momentum and make a run,” Blakely said.
Marc Pingris shares Blakely’s sentiments.
“‘Yung players ngayon, nada-down dahil sa sitwasyon namin, pero isang panalo lang, aangat na rin ‘yan,” Pingris said. “Kailangan lang talaga, play as a team. Kailangan talaga ibalik ‘yung depensa.”
“Sana madala namin next game,” James Yap, for his part, said after the contest.
Star returns to action on Sunday against San Miguel Beer.
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