MPBL All-Star: South beats North anew; Manny Pacquiao hits buzzer-beater in Executives game
MANILA, Philippines—The South division pulled away in the fourth quarter to trounce the North, 109-92, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League All-Star Game late Sunday at Batangas City Coliseum.
Trailing at halftime and up to the start of the last 10 minutes, 75-76, the South leaned on Jaycee Marcelino, Cedric Ablaza, Kyt Jimenez and Mark Yee to turn the game around and reassert its mastery in the event.
Marcelino put up 19 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds and was named MVP.
Ablaza and Jimenez tallied 17 points each. Jimenez capped the game with a triple from way out.
Muntinlupa’s Damian Lasco paced the North with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
The South, mentored by Batangas’ Cholo Villanueva, has beaten the Nortth, coached by Nueva Ecija’s Jerson Cabiltes, in every All-Star game played so far.
In the curtain-raiser, MPBL CEO and founder Manny Pacquiao banked in a buzzer-beating triple as the South Executives salvaged a 107-deadlock with their counterparts from the North.
Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion who also had a stint in the PBA, was named co-MVP with Paolo Orbeta of the North.
Pacquiao tallied 30 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal as the South clawed back from 29 points down.
Orbeta, a former College of St. Benilde Blazer and team owner of Makati, wound up with 39 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal for the North.
Other side events saw Muntinlupa’s Don Matillano nip Ronjay Buenafe, 18-17, in the 3-point shootout and Garex Puerto of Imus rule the slam dunk competition.
Matillano and Puerto pocketed P50,000 each.
Pacquiao gave an inspirational message before the All-Star game.
After expressing his delight that the MPBL was able to push through this year with 22 teams, Pacquiao emphasized the need to preserve the integrity of the games. Pacquiao said the league will exercise zero-tolerance as far as game-fixing is concerned.
The MPBL resumes its regular schedule on Monday with a triple-bill at the Paco Arena. The games pit Bataan against Marikina at 5 p.m., Pasig against Bacoor at 7 p.m. and Valenzuela against Quezon City at 9 p.m.
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