By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA – Team Japeth won the PBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, edging Team Scottie, 140-136, at the City of Passi Arena.
RR Pogoy scored two clutch free throws with 14.3 seconds left to give the Japeth Aguilar-skippered team enough cushion to hold off the Scottie Thompson-led squad.
Thompson had a chance to force a draw, but his four-point shot from the right wing didn’t even hit the rim as Paul Lee successfully challenged the buzzer-beater.
Lee was named the Most Valuable Player of the traditional mid-season classic as he led Team Japeth with 32 points on 7-of-13 shooting from four-point range, seven rebounds, and six assists.
Pogoy and Jamie Malonzo each added 20 points with the latter finishing with a double-double after also tallying 11 rebounds.
Calvin Oftana and Chris Newsome each chipped in 16 markers as the latter came close to a triple-double with 12 boards and nine dimes.
Kevin Alas fired 35 for Team Scottie, while CJ Perez added 26 points and eight rebounds, Christian Standhardinger contributed 22 points and nine rebounds, and Calvin Abueva put up 15 points and eight rebounds.
Thompson only had two points, but he grabbed nine rebounds.
This is the first PBA All-Star Game held after four years as the event was scrapped momentarily due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
This is also the first time the top vote-getters during the All-Star balloting, in this case, Aguilar and Thompson, drafted the rest of the chosen All-Stars into their teams. (PNA)