LAOAG CITY — James Yap scored 44 points on seven three-pointers and presided over the Veterans’ record-setting 176-144 beatdown of the Rookies, Sophomores and Juniors squad Sunday at the Centennial Arena.
Big Game James won Most Valuable Player honors, marking his second such award in eight days after winning the top plum last Sunday in the Commissioner’s Cup finals.
Yap also tied with Ginebra rookie Dylan Ababou to break Samboy Lim’s All-Star Game scoring record, which was previously set at 42 points. Lim posted the high mark in the 1990 game — a 146-118 rout for the Vets — curiously the first time the league used the Veterans versus RSJ format. (The 1989 All-Star Game involved Veterans versus Rookies and Sophomores.)
The 32-point margin also marked the most lopsided in PBA history. The Veterans also set an all-time record in points scored, breaking the 163-point mark posted by the South team in an overtime win over the North.
“It’s always nice to coach the Veterans because you can go to cruise control,” said Veterans coach Ryan Gregorio, who improved his All-Star game record to 3-1. “For most part of the game, I was just like everybody else, an interesting spectator. But towards the end, we wanted not only to win the game, but also to set some records.”
The game was over early, with the much bigger Veterans torching the hoops to take a 53-30 lead in the first quarter. The Vets’ lead at the half ballooned to 95-64, turning the second half into an entertaining game of extended garbage time.
The game turned exciting late in the game as Yap and Ababou both tried to chase Lim’s mark. Ababou got to the record first, but Yap hit his last three-pointer in the dying seconds to get his name into the books as well.
There were also plenty of highlight plays. Sol Mercado connected with former Rain or Shine teammate Gabe Norwood for a thunderous alleyoop dunk that looked straight out of a video game. Arwind Santos, who scored 31 points, had several monster slams, the biggest off a pass from Petron Blaze teammate Alex Cabagnot.
Perhaps among the biggest highlights of the match were the respective dance entrances of the teams. RSJ came out rocking the shades, and danced to the LMFAO hit “Party Rock Anthem”. Not to be outdone, the Veterans came out with hoods over their heads, before revealing their zombie makeup to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
Veterans (176) – Yap 44, Santos 31, David 16, Cabagbot 16, Intal 15, Mercado 14, Tenorio 13, Norwood 13, Taulava 6, Thoss 5, Pingris 3
RSJ (144) – Ababou 44, Urbiztondo 21, Casio 18, Maierhofer 12, Baracael 11, Barroca 10, Al-Hussaini 9, Ross 8, Lee 8, Lassiter 3
Quarters: 53-31; 95-64; 132-105; 176-144
Even at the sidelines of the San Miguel Pure Foods Co. Inc. annual stockholders meeting, Game Seven of the Commissioner’s Cup finals was the hot topic, with San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang taking thinly veiled shots at the management of the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.
When asked by reporters about the conglomerate’s interest in the Metrorails project, Ang brought up the subject of basketball.
“Oo. Maswerte tayo, most likely. Eh lagi naman tayong maswerte, maka-Diyos kasi tayo eh. Ultimong 1.2 seconds to go, nananalo pa kami,” Ang said, referring to the B-MEG Llamados’ remarkable comeback in the final game to win the Commissioner’s Cup. B-MEG is a brand under the San Miguel Pure Foods umbrella.
Without naming names directly, Ang then spoke about how losing parties should deal with defeat.
“Kailangan sport lang. Pag nagbadminton ka at natalo ka, wag ka na magreklamo. Bakit pag nananalo ka, tuwang-tuwa ka, sinasabi mo sa mga natatalo, ‘Tanggapin niyo nang maayos yan kasi nanalo kami,’” he said
“Pag natatalo ka, dapat ganun din. Pag natatalo kami sa badminton, di kami kumikibo.
“Meron ka bang naririnig na masama kaming magsalita? Never, ‘di ba?”
Ang’s comments were most likely an allusion to corporate rivals at the PLDT group, which owns Talk ‘N Text, headed by Manuel V. Pangilinan. Earlier, Pangilinan expressed his frustration over the late foul called on Tropang Texters forward Kelly Williams that allowed Denzel Bowles to make two free throws to send the game into overtime, which allowed B-MEG to win, 90-84.
“May karapatan kang magsalita kung feeling mo agrabyado ka. Ano, tatahimik na lang kami? Hindi naman tama yun,” Pangilinan told News5 earlier.
(InterAKTV is part of InterAksyon.com, the online news site of TV5, which is chaired by Pangilinan.)
Meralco sharpshooter Mark Macapagal and B-MEG court general Jonas Villanueva each won their third straight titles in separate events Friday at the All-Star Weekend in Laoag City.
Macapagal beat a crack field of the league’s elite three-point shooters for the third straight time. The competition was marked red-hot shooting in the first round, with Barangay Ginebra’s KG Canaleta shooting 19 points and Macapagal, B-MEG’s Josh Urbiztondo, and Petron’s Marcio Lassiter scoring 16 each to advance to the final round.
Canaleta and Urbiztondo, who was a late replacement for the ailing James Yap, went first in the finals, shooting 13 points each. Macapagal proved his mettle, shooting consistently en route to 15 points. Lassiter had the final say of the competition, but the rookie jump-shooter ran out of gas and finished with just seven points.
Also competing in the three-point shootout were Renren Ritualo of Air 21, Willie Miller of Barako Bull, Gary David of Powerade, Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine, and Cyrus Baguio of Alaska.
Villanueva, meanwhile, nosed out rookie Paul Lee in an exciting final round in the Obstacle Challenge, winning by just two-tenths of a second with a finishing time of 31.1 seconds to Lee’s 31.3.
Finishing third was Alaska’s LA Tenorio, who clocked 43 seconds, 13 slower than the time he posted in the preliminary round.
Lee had the best finish in the opening round, finishing at 27.2 seconds. Villanueva posted 29.1 seconds in round one while Tenorio finished in 30 seconds to complete the final round cast.
Also part of the field were Miller, Air 21′s Jojo Duncil, Ginebra’s Rob Labagala, Meralco’s Chris Ross, and Powerade’s JVee Casio to annex his third straight title in the Obstacle Challenge.
ALvin Patrimonio and Peter June Simon
PBA on controversial Game Seven play: ‘It was a foul’