PBA stars get tough, rally past ShanghaiBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Bruised and battered, the Shanghai Sharks experienced what it feels like to play street basketball in the Philippines.
The PBA All-Stars got physical with the Chinese ballclub last night before pulling off an 80-71 come-from-behind win at the end of the Philippines-China Friendship Games held at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A squad mashed together on the fly, the selection of PBA dribblers showed off individual talent more than team effort to duplicate the victory of Gilas Pilipinas against the Yao Ming-owned team on Monday night.
But unlike the national team’s methodical way of dumping the Sharks, the PBA stars wore down the visitors with force.
Beau Belga provided comic relief with his brutish plays but was efficient with 16 points, nine rebounds and three steals, including a couple of threes late in the first half.
Doug Kramer was also extra physical with the Chinese, locking arms and exchanging elbows with beanpoles Wang Ligang and Wu Yang on several instances.
In one sequence, the 6-foot-4 Kramer sent Wu crashing to the ground and told the Shanghai forward that he was soft like ice cream.
But the Sharks, who had been pummeled countless times on their way to the hoop, refused to be flustered and made the PBA hotshots pay with unstoppable plays in the paint.
Zhang Zhaoxu, the tallest man on the floor, created damage in the shaded area with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said China and Iran are likely to battle for the crown in this year’s Fiba Asia championship, with Lebanon and Jordan crowding the race for the title.
“It’s no secret that these countries are the top four,” said Reyes after the national five downed the Sharks, 80-72, Monday night.
PBA ALL-STARS 80—Belga 16, Santos 15, Canaleta 9, Lee 9, Kramer 8, Tiu 7, Cortez 7, Reyes 5, Hodge 2, Miller 2, Cabagnot 0.
SHANGHAI SHARKS 71—Zhang 23, Lingyuan 15, Sizhang 10, Yuan 7, Ligang 6, Laing 6, Yi 4.
Quarters: 11-17, 36-38, 55-59, 80-71