Team North weathered a late rally by Team South to prevail in the 2016 PBA All-Star Game, 154-151, on Sunday night at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Alex Cabagnot was hailed as the All-Star MVP, scoring 29 points, five rebounds and three assists to lead all scorers in the highlights-packed exhibition game that ended in a tight battle.
Last year’s All-Star MVP Terrence Romeo finished with 25 points. Japeth Aguilar and Troy Rosario provided entertainment with high-flying dunks and both scored 21 points.
North starter Calvin Abueva missed the game due to illness and was replaced by Gabe Norwood.
Reigning back-to-back PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo led the way for South with 25 points while leading a late rally that fell short.
RR Garcia and Carlo Lastimosa had 22 and 21 points, respectively, while Jerico Cruz tallied 20 markers.
Team North led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter, 42-26. Team South however closed the gap to just six, 79-73, at the half as both teams engaged in a close duel for the next two periods.
After playing catch-up the entire game, Team South finally tied things up at 99-all after a Jericho Cruz triple, and took the lead, 115-113, following a Mark Barroca basket.
But Team North still took a 117-115 lead entering the final frame after back-to-back baskets by Romeo and Cabagnot.
The game was still knotted at 132-all when North made a run. Triples by Romeo and Cabagnot and layups by Marc Pingris fueled a quick 18-9 spurt that gave them a 150-141 lead with 2:42 remaining.
But South countered with its own uprising, June Mar Fajardo led a 10-2 run that kept them within just one, 152-151, with still 32 seconds left.
Rosario increased North’s lead to three, 154-151, after scoring a putback on Paul Lee’s miss. But with still 5.7 seconds left, South had a lot of time to bury a game-tying basket.
But Jeff Chan, being bothered by Lee, missed his triple, allowing North to pad its lead in its head-to-head matchup against South, 8-2.
Team South didn’t go home empty-handed as it earlier prevailed in the annual All-Star dance showdown. Strutting an array of dance moves such as “Budots” and “The Running Man”, among others, South, led by twerking expert Joe Devance, edged North to win P150,000.
The Final Score Result :
North All-Stars 154 – Cabagnot 29, Romeo 25, Aguilar 21, Rosario 21, Pongris 16, De Ocampo 13, Caguioa 9, Castro 8, Norwood 7, Pringle 3, Lee 2.
South All-Stars 151 – Fajardo 25, Garcia 22, Lastimosa 21, Cruz 20, Devance 17, Yap 13, Chan 12, Barroca 11, Taulava 4, Quinahan 2, Ross 2, Thompson 2.
Quarters: 42-33, 79-73, 117-115, 154-151