Gilas passes first test with comeback win over Visayas All-Stars
Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo led the new-look Gilas Pilipinas squad to a 125-112 come-from-behind victory over the Visayas All-Stars and escape the 2017 PBA All-Star Week unscathed Sunday at Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
The energetic Alaska forward and GlobalPort spitfire teamed up as they infused the much-needed boost for the Nationals in the fourth quarter, where they unleashed a 36 points to finally charge ahead and snare the win.
Coming off the bench, Abueva topped Gilas with 26 points, 21 of which coming in the second half, on top of seven rebounds, while Romeo, adjudged as the MVP for this leg, finished with 25 markers, four assists, and two rebounds in the team’s first game since coach Chot Reyes announced the roster for the 2017 SEABA Championship two days ago.
June Mar Fajardo got 18 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists, Troy Rosario added 14 markers and four boards, and Cebuano rookie Roger Pogoy had 10 points and six rebounds for Gilas.
Gilas recovered from a listless start that allowed the Visayas All-Stars to build a 15-point lead, 42-27 early in the second quarter.
The national team eventually got its bearings late and caught up in the third quarter behind Romeo before Abueva joined in the party and broke away in the fourth with a 17-4 charge to take a 106-96 lead with 7:24 remaining.
LA Tenorio paced the All-Stars with 19 points, four assists, and two rebounds, while James Yap went 5-of-7 from three-point country to wind up with 18.
It was a perfect run for Gilas Pilipinas in the midseason extravaganza after settling for a 114-all final tally against the Mindanao All-Stars in Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday and a scoring a 122-111 stunner over the Luzon All-Stars in Lucena on Friday.
GILAS PILIPINAS 125 – Abueva 26, Romeo 25, Fajardo 18, Rosario 14, Pogoy 10, Maliksi 9, Castro 7, Jalalon 6, Aguilar 4, Wright 4, Almazan 2.
VISAYAS ALL-STARS 112 – Tenorio 19, Yap 18, Chan 17, Ross 13, Devance 10, Hontiveros 9, Quiñahan 7, Taulava 6, Cruz 6, Ellis 6, Al-Hussaini 1, Tubid 0.
Quarters: 21-34, 59-62, 89-92, 125-112.