ILOILO, Philippines – A late Adrian Wong explosion propelled Team Greats to a 158-138 win over Team Stalwarts in the Rookies-Sophomores-Juniors Game of the PBA All-Star Weekend at the City of Passi Arena here on Friday, March 10.
Wong unloaded 18 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as he took advantage of the PBA adding a farther four-point line and rewarding 3 points for dunks in this edition of the mid-season festivities to claim the MVP honors.
The third-year guard from Magnolia lit up the last five minutes, draining three four-pointers and putting the exclamation point on the rout with a late dunk.
Team Stalwarts remained within striking distance with two minutes left as they narrowed the gap to 135-144 off an emphatic jam from Slam Dunk Contest runner-up Tyrus Hill.
But a Javi Gomez de Liaño short stab, an Aaron Black dunk, and a Wong four-pointer in succession propped up a 17-point cushion that paved the way for Team Greats – mentored by Barangay Ginebra assistant coach Richard del Rosario – to the 20-point romp.
Gomez de Liaño topscored for Team Greats with 30 points, while rookie big men Justin Arana of Converge and Ato Ular of Blackwater also breached the 20-point plateau with 23 points each.
While Wong delivered the finishing touches, it was Gomez de Liaño who keyed the Team Greats’ turnaround after they trailed 32-39 at the end of the opening quarter.
Gomez de Liaño, a rookie from Terrafirma, fired 12 points in the second quarter as Team Greats grabbed a 65-63 lead at halftime.
The loss put to waste a masterful 40-point showing from Team Stalwarts’ Encho Serrano, who erupted for 33 points in the second half to give his side a fighting chance.
However, Team Stalwarts – coached by Rain or Shine deputy Caloy Garcia – got outscored, 54-41, in the fourth quarter as they fell short of their comeback.
Meralco’s Black chimed in 18 points in the win, while Rain or Shine’s Andrei Caracut and Blackwater’s RK Ilagan added 11 and 10, points, respectively.
NorthPort’s Joshua Munzon backstopped Serrano in the losing effort with 32 points.
Team Greats 158 — Gomez de Liaño 30, Wong 29, Arana 23, Ular 23, Black 18, Caracut 11, Ilagan 10, Ahanmisi 8, Bulanadi 4, Balanza 2.
Team Stalwarts 138 — Serrano 40, Munzon 32, Ganuelas-Rosser 21, Hill 10, Nieto 8, Salado 8, Ildefonso 6, Dionisio 6, Asistio 5, Tio 2.
Quarters: 32-39, 65-63, 104-97, 158-138.
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.