Star Hotshots push Ginebra to brink of elimination with Game 5 win

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Rafi Reavis exploded for a double-double as the Star Hotshots hacked an 89-80 victory against Barangay Ginebra in Game 5 of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Friday, February 17 at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

The Hotshots started to pull away in the third quarter, stretching the lead to as much as 17 on 47% shooting from the field. 

Reavis listed a double-double night, anchoring his team with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with 13 boards. He got ample support from Mark Barocca, who chipped in 12 markers coupled with 7 assists. 

Paul Lee and Allein Maliksi likewise put up 10 points apiece for the Hotshots. 

"We just played hard and played to win," said Star head coach Chito Victolero. "This is a very defensive game, I told my players to stay focused." 

"I hope the way we played the game, the way we enjoyed the game, ganun pa rin sa Sunday." 

(I hope the way we played the game, the way we enjoyed the game- will remain the same on Sunday.) 

Ginebra sparked a mini-run with under 2 mins left in the game as Jayjay Helterbrand hit a triple that cut the deficit to 7. However, the Gin Kings, who were outrebounded by their foes 37-47, failed to convert in crunch time.

Japeth Aguilar led all Ginebra scorers with 13 markers and 4 rebounds, while Sol Mercado and Chris Ellis contributed 9 apiece. 

With the win, Star now claims a twice-to-beat advantage in the series after dropping two straight against the Gin Kings. 

Game 6 of the Manila Clasico semis will happen on Sunday, February 19 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. 

Scores: 

Star (89) - Reavis 17, Barroca 12, Lee 10, Maliksi 10, Simon 8, Brondial 8, Melton 7, Pingris 6, Sangalang 5, Jalalon 2, Ramos 2, Dela Rosa 2. 

Ginebra (80) - Aguilar 13, Mercado 9, Ellis 9, Caguioa 9, Helterbrand 6, Cruz 6, Taha 5, Thompson 5, Tenorio 5, Ferrer 4, Mariano 4, Marcelo 3, Devance 2.

Quarter scores: 21-22, 49-45, 71-55, 89-80. – Rappler.com