MPBL All-Star: South beat North again; Manny Pacquiao hits buzzer-beater in Executives game
MANILA, Philippines — The Southern Division withdrew in the fourth quarter to beat the North, 109-92, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League All-Star Game late Sunday at the Batangas City Coliseum.
After half-time and until the start of the last 10 minutes, 75-76, the South relied on Jaycee Marcelino, Cedric Ablaza, Kyt Jimenez and Mark Yee to turn the tide and reassert control of the game.
Marcelino had 19 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds and was named MVP.
Ablaza and Jimenez each got 17 points. Jimenez capped the game with a treble from quarantine.
Muntinlupa’s Damian Lasco overtook the North with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
The South, mentored by Batangas’ Cholo Villanueva, have beaten Nortth, coached by Jerson Cabiltes of Nueva Ecija, in every All-Star game played so far.
In the opening act, MPBL CEO and founder Manny Pacquiao beat three times as the Southern CEOs salvaged a 107 deadlock with their counterparts from the North.
Pacquiao, the eight-division world champion who also stints at the PBA, was named co-MVP with Paolo Orbeta of the North.
Pacquiao scored 30 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal as the Confederates took back from 29 points down.
Orbeta, an alumnus of the University of St. Benilde Blazer and Makati team owner, won 39 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal for North.
Other side events saw Muntinlupa’s 18-17-year-old Don Matillano nip Ronjay Buenafe in a 3-point shootout and Imus’ Garex Puerto dominating the slam dunk contest.
Matillano and Puerto pocketed 50,000 pesos each.
Pacquiao delivered an inspirational message ahead of the All-Star match.
After expressing his delight that the MPBL was able to make it through this year with 22 teams, Pacquiao stressed the need to maintain the integrity of the games. Pacquiao said the federation will exercise zero tolerance when it comes to fixing the game.
The MPBL resumed its normal schedule on Monday with a triple bill at the Paco Arena. Bataan vs Marikina at 5pm, Pasig vs Bacoor at 7pm and Valenzuela vs Quezon City at 9pm
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