Because basically, everything did go wrong for the Hotshots
Here are the four main reasons to their demise however
Mark Barroca was the lone starter who scored in double figures. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
If you watched last night's Game 2 of the best-of-5 semifinal series between the Meralco Bolts and the Star Hotshots, then you can just imagine how frustrated Chito Victolero is right now.
To begin with, Victolero was already frustrated with how the referees handled the game which saw 21 fouls called against the Bolts and 18 against the Hotshots. The Bolts on the other hand, were able to regain their dominant selves as they continuously pounded in on the Hotshots' struggles on both ends of the court as they are ONE win away from another Finals appearance after a 98-74 victory last night.
With Game 3 happening tomorrow, with their season on the line, the Star Hotshots have a choice: Improve or, go on an early vacation.
To help you explain the frustrations of Chito Victolero and the rest of the Star coaching staff, this basketball pundit listed down the numbers that doomed the Hotshots against the league-leading Bolts:
0 - Zero Points for Star Guards
Let's start with the simplest reason why Star lost last night. Paul Lee had 0 points. So was Jio Jalalon. So was PJ Simon. Lee, for one, only attempted one field goal that missed and was taken out of the game the rest of the way, playing for barely 4 minutes. Jalalon, another bench trooper who was supposed to be backing up Mark Barroca, went 0 of 6 in the field. The result: the Star Hotshots still have 0 WINS in this series.
1 - Only One from the Rainbow Country
Another reason why the Meralco Bolts were able to run away from the Hotshots early on was the fact that Star, as a team, only made ONE of their 8 three-point attempts in the first half. That player who made that lone long-distance bomb was the journeyman, Aldrich Ramos who finished with 8 points in 15 minutes of action.
By endgame, the Hotshots finished with a horrible outing from beyond the arc, making 7 of their 24 shots from that area. In addition to this, only ONE starter managed to score in double figures and that starter was none other than Mark Barroca who led the Hotshots with 16 points. The result: Star is ONE loss away from another early vacation.
5 - Five Fast-break Points, Not too fast
Unlike in the early stages of Game 1 when Star was able to run and score on the break, the Hotshots only scored 5 fast break points during the entire Game 2, another visible sign that they weren't in sync all game long. In addition to this, Star's defense allowed 5 Meralco players to score in double figures, led by Allen Durham, Jared Dillinger and Ranidel De Ocampo who all scored 18 points apiece. Baser Amer and Chris Newsome provided the spark in the backcourt with their 16 and 10 points respectively.
9 - The horrible performance of Acox
One player who was visibly struggling in both games was none other than Star import, Kris Acox. In Game 2, Acox only managed 9 points on another 4 of 12 field goal shooting. If Star wants to extend this series into a Game 4, they will need Acox to escape that horrible shooting slump that he endured in the first two games of the series and score more because if not, Allen Durham will continue to "eat" Acox alive every time they slug it out in the court.