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All-Stars match ends in neck-and-neck, 109-109

Article by: Lea Ysabel Q. Evangelista
Graphics by: Cassius Klai C. Francisco and Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo

Following the end of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 97 Men’s Basketball Tournament last May, the league hosted an All-Stars Basketball Game with participating players from NCAA schools including Mapúa University (MU) Cardinals' Warren Bonifacio and Paolo Hernandez as well as Kapuso actors last June 5 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Along with Bonifacio and Hernandez, Mac Guadaña and Enoch Valdez from Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates, JL delos Santos and Marwin Dionisio from Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers, Allen Liwag and Ralph Robin from Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals, and Kai Oliva and Gelo Sablan from Arellano University (AU) Chiefs, joined the Team Heroes.

While De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers Will Gozum and Prince Carlo, San Beda University (SBU) Red Lions Ralph Penuela and Yukien Andrada, San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) Golden Stags Ichie Altamirano and Ammar Cosari, University of the Perpetual Help DALTA (UPHSD) Altas Kim Aurin and Jielo Razon, and the Colegio De San Juan De Letran (CSJL) Knights Rhenz Abando and Brent Paraiso made up the opposing team, the Team Saints.

Meanwhile, Mapúa Cardinals Head Coach Randy Alcantara was the coach for the Team Heroes and Letran Knights Head Coach Bonnie Tan paced the Team Saints.

For the first time in NCAA History, the GMA NCAA All-Star Basketball Game invited five Kapuso artists for each team. Jason Abalos, Mavy Legaspi, David Licauco, Mark Herras, Ervic Vijandre, and Luis Hontiveros played for Team Heroes, while Rocco Nacino, Paul Salas, Gil Cuerva, Pancho Magno, Jose Sarasola, and Kirst Viray were in Team Saints.

The battle of the Heroes and Saints went on with flashy offensive plays from both sides as the teams reeled in points in every quarter. With a steady rotation, the players from different teams showed off their chemistry as they performed with synchronized teamwork. With a missed clutch shot in the fourth quarter by Saints’ Rhenz Abando, the match concluded with a tie, 109-109.

Team Heroes' Enoch Valdez was hailed Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game with 16 points and nine rebounds. Team Saints' Jose Sarasola, a celebrity chef and the highest scorer for his team, was the Celebrity MVP as he racked up 14 points in the game.

The NCAA Season 97 continues with the Volleyball Tournament that commenced last Saturday, June 11. After faltering against the Arellano University Lady Chiefs during the opening weekend, the Mapúa Lady Cardinals will attempt to bounce back in their match against the San Sebastian College – Recoletos Lady Stags tomorrow, June 15, at 2:30 PM, at the Paco Arena. The games are aired on GTV with live streaming on the social media pages of GMA Sports PH and NCAA Philippines. 

The Scores:
Heroes 109 – Valdez 16, Liwag 15, Bonifacio 13, Delos Santos 11, Vijandre 10, Robin 8, Dionisio 8, Licauco 6, Legaspi 5, Sablan 5, Hernandez 3, Guadana 3, Villasis 2, Hontiveros 2, Co 2, Abalos 0, Oliva 0
Saints 109 – Sarasola 14, Aurin 13, Penuela 11, Razon 9, Abando 9, Nacino 9, Altamirano 8, Gozum 8, Magno 8, Salas 6, Cosari 4, Viray 4, Carlos 3, Andrada 3, Paraiso 0, Cuerva 0
Quarter Scores: 32-29, 59-56, 85-86, 109-109

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