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PBA: Star eyes win No. 5 vs ROS

Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Star
6:45 p.m. – NLEX vs San Miguel

The Star Hotshots stake their unbeaten mark against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters tonight to kick off a difficult stretch of games in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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Star, the lone team without a loss in the season-ending conference, looks to foil Rain or Shine’s bid for a third consecutive win in their match set at 4:30 p.m.

Including today’s contest, the Hotshots of coach Chito Victolero are facing five teams over the .500 mark in their remaining seven games in the eliminations.

Star is due to take on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next Sunday, Meralco on Sept. 9, TNT KaTropa on Sept. 17 and NLEX on Sept. 24.

Rookie guard Jio Jalalon is set to play for the Hotshots after taking a much-deserved rest in Wednesday’s 100-81 rout of the Phoenix Fuel Masters, while veteran leader Marc Pingris could get more minutes after playing the final two minutes of that game.

Pingris had been out for six months recovering from a hip injury.

Import Malcolm Hill and locals Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca, Allen Maliksi and Aldrech Ramos lead the Hotshots’ quest against the Elasto Painters, coming off a 105-73 demolition of TNT KaTropa the previous week.

Rain or Shine is eyeing its third straight victory and move in the team standings. With a 3-2 mark, the Painters are tied for sixth with the KaTropa.

Elasto Painters coach Caloy Garcia will bank on import J’Nathan Bullock, Jericho Cruz and James Yap in their bid to deal the Hotshots their first defeat.

Meanwhile, San Miguel battles NLEX in the second game at 6:45 p.m., with the Beermen looking to produce a better showing after a scary 115-112 win over the GlobalPort Batang Pier two nights ago.

Beermen coach Leo Austria admitted his team failed to capitalize on the 21-day break even as they gave June Mar Fajardo managed minutes as he is still dealing with a strained right calf and a recurring injury on his left knee.

NLEX seeks to bounce back from a 107-106 defeat to Blackwater last Aug. 18. The Road Warriors carry a 5-2 record.