Cruz’s free throws win NCAA All-Star Game for West
MANILA, Philippines – The NCAA Season 91 All-Star game came down to late free throws after an ill-advised foul of Mark Cruz on a half-court 3-point attempt.
Team East was leading by one when the West’s Cruz was sent to the charity line with 0.3 on the clock after being fouled by Jamil Ortuoste.
The Letran Knights’ 5-foot-5 senior point guard was able convert two of his three free throws to claim the victory for Team West, 89-88, on Friday, August 21 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Jonathan Grey was named All-Star Most Valuable Player, finishing with 20 markers, 3 rebounds and two dimes.
Although Bernabe “Teytey” Teodoro gave an 88-81 cushion to Team East with his fadeaway basket in the last 60 seconds of play, Grey’s back-to-back triples kept the West alive.
Grey cut the deficit to four with a shot from downtown before blasting another beyond-the-arc jumper with 14.9 ticks left in the regulation.
Aldin Ayo’s signature defense was in full effect for Team West as they forced Jiovani Jalalon to lose possession of the ball.
Cruz snatched the ball and dashed up to center court, where he was accidentally fouled by Ortuoste while in the act of shooting the basketball.
Cruz nailed the first two free throws and intentionally fumbled the last one as the game clock expired.
The Jamike Jarin-mentored Team East was led by Jose Rizal University’s Teodoro, who mustered 17 points.
West (89) – Grey 20, Cruz 10, Oraeme 10, Gabayni 8, Mejos 8, Munsayac 7, Nambatac 6, Alanes 4, Ongteco 4, Baltazar 3, Saavedra 3, Racal 2, Onwubere 2, Serrano 2, Nieles 0
East (88) – Teodoro 17, Jalalon 12, Akhuetie 10, Guinto 10, Ylagan 6, Dela Cruz 6, Calisaan 6, Koga 5, Ortuoste 5, Salado 4, Sorela 4, Dela Paz 2, Abdul Wahab 1, Nicholls 0, Dagangon 0
Quarter scores: 19-14, 41-38, 59-63, 89-88