North survives South; Romeo All-Star MVP
MANILA, Philippines—It was an All-Star game that was poignant as it was entertaining. Along the way, a few All-Star records were surpassed.
Jimmy Alapag was given an emotional retirement tribute at halftime and then the North All-Stars buckled down to work, hammering out a 166-161 triumph over the South All-Stars last night at Puerto Princesa Coliseum in Palawan.
READ: Jimmy Alapag gets tearful, plays last PBA game
Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva and Marc Pingris carried the fight in a blistering second half for the North All-Stars, who rallied from 16 points down.
Romeo, the Globalport rookie who won the Three-Point shootout last Friday, was named MVP of the All-Star game after finishing with 30 points, including 15 in the final period.
READ: Globalport’s Romeo claims PBA 3-point shootout crown
Abueva, who flew in later than the other players due to pressing family matters, notched a game-high 37 points.
The Northerners seized control in the fourth quarter, where they dropped an 18-2 bomb to take a 143-137 advantage, with nine minutes left in the game.
And while Alapag, Peter June Simon and Cyrus Baguio combined to trim the gap, 161-165, Romeo finished off the South with a split from the free throw line.
Japeth Aguilar also had 25 points for the North All-Stars, delighting the crowd with an array of dunks.
Records were set in the back-and-forth free-wheeling game as both teams combined for the highest scoring quarter (89 points in the first quarter), highest scoring half (169 points), highest combined scores through three quarters (260 points), and highest combined points in an All-Star Game (327 points).
Alapag, who retired last month, also established an All-Star record of 17 assists after having his Talk ’N Text No. 3 jersey retired at halftime.
PBA official dies
The All-Star weekend, however, was marred by tragedy as PBA technical director Ramil Cruz died yesterday due to cardiac arrest at the league’s official hotel in Puerto Princesa.
Cruz, a former coach of UP as well as a member of the Maroons team that won the UAAP title in 1986, is survived by wife Monette and their four children.
READ: PBA technical director Ramil Cruz passes away
NORTH ALL-STARS 166—Abueva 37, Romeo 30, Aguilar 25, Santos 24, Pingris 19, Norwood 8, Belga 6, Tenorio 6, Castro 5, Lee 4, De Ocampo 2, Melton 0.
SOUTH ALL-STARS 161—Simon 24, Chan 22, Slaughter 22, Hugnatan 17, Devance 16, Baguio 14, Alapag 12, Pringle 11, Taulava 11, Yap 6, Barroca 6.
Quarters: 41-48, 81-88, 125-135, 166-161
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