MANILA, Philippines – The Mindanao All-Stars fired on all cylinders and buried 18 triples to topple Gilas Pilipinas, 144-130, in the first leg of the 2018 PBA All-Star Week at the Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City on Wednesday, May 23.
Eight players breached double figures for the Mindanao All-Stars, who shot a stellar 57% from the field and a respectable 45% from long range.
Baser Amer, who won MVP honors, dazzled in front of his townsmen as he delivered 22 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in the win that saw Mindanao break the game wide open in the payoff period after a nip-and-tuck battle in the first 3 quarters.
Leading by a measly 3 points, 106-103, the Mindanao-All Stars rode on a blistering 18-0 run, sparked by back-to-back Carlo Lastimosa triples, to pull away for good.
Mark Barroca chalked up 20 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 assists while PJ Simon chipped in 17 points and 3 rebounds in barely 17 minutes of action as Mindanao gave head coach Tim Cone his first All-Star Game since 1999.
Cone had lost 5 straight All-Star games dating back to 2007, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon.
The triumph was also a first for a PBA All-Star team to beat a national team selection since the combined North and South PBA All-Stars nipped the Powerade RP squad in 2009.
Lastimosa added 16 points while Jio Jalalon posted an all-around outing of 12 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds in the win.
June Mar Fajardo finished with 34 points and 14 rebounds for Gilas, which played with only 9 players.
Japeth Aguilar had 25 points and Terrence Romeo submitted a double-double of 16 points and 10 assists in the loss. Jayson Castro and Kiefer Ravena combined for 31 points and 11 assists.
Mindanao All-Stars (144): Amer 22, Barroca 20, Simon 17, Lastimosa 16, Garcia 13, Belo 13, Jalalon 12, Baguio 11, Erram 9, Thoss 5, Thompson 4, Reavis 2
Gilas Pilipinas (130): Fajardo 34, Aguilar 25, Castro 16, Romeo 16, Ravena 15, Abueva 10, Wright 9, Norwood 3, Maliksi 2
Quarter scores: 32-28, 65-63, 104-99, 144-130
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.