With Star’s back against the wall, import Ricardo Ratliffe delivered a performance for the ages and helped the Hotshots live another day.
Ratliffe fired 33 points and hauled down 29 rebounds as eighth-seeded Star stunned San Miguel Beer, 108-99, in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals matchup Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With Ratliffe dominating, Hotshots Allein Maliksi and PJ Simon also caught fire, delivering 23 and 22 points to more than make up for the absence of injured gunner James Yap.
After working hard to get a twice-to-beat advantage, the Beermen were sent back to the drawing board in the hopes of finally disposing of Star in their do-or-die game on Wednesday.
But the Philippine Cup champs would need to stop Ratliffe and draw more from their other locals to enter the Final Four.
June Mar Fajardo had 24 points and 13 rebounds while import Tyler Wilkerson was held to 22 markers and 14 boards in a disheartening loss for San Miguel. — By John Bryan Ulanday