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Akhuetie leads as West blows out East


The third NCAA All-Star game was nothing like its first two incarnations.

After close games in the past two years, the Western All-Stars of the Grand Old League blasted their Eastern counterparts, 111-73, to end the NCAA’s All-Star festivities on Friday evening.

Due to a jersey misprint, the All Stars wore the wrong jerseys, resulting in the two teams having to switch sides.

Nonetheless, it did not hinder the free-flowing game as the fans, the players, and the coaches enjoyed 40 minutes of pure basketball.

“It’s All-Star. The main thing here is chance to play together and for them to have fun,” said winning head coach Jamike Jarin, who is making his second straight all-star coaching stint.

Bright Akhuetie was named the MVP of the game, posting a statline of 16 points on 8-for-9 shooting and nine rebounds. He also played the most minutes in the game, with 16 minutes of game time.

“It was fun. We were just joking almost all the time,” the first foreign NCAA ASG MVP said. “I really enjoyed it.”

Too much offensive firepower by the victors and little defense in the game resulted in the lambasting, as Jeff Napa’s team never had a taste of the lead.

“The players on our team, alam mo naman yung what they can do. You just let them enjoy,” added Jarin, who had lost last season’s all star game.

Unlike the victors, Napa’s squad did not have a foreign student-athlete in its line-up, as reigning MVP Allwell Oraeme is recuperating from a nagging injury. Napa resorted to playing Letran’s Jom Sollano, Benilde’s Yankie Haruna, and Christian Fajarito, and, later on, Lyceum’s Reymar Caduyac at the five spot.

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The West, though, still out-rebounded the East 62-34.

Four other “West” players scored double-digits, including Donald Tankoua, who notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards. Gab Dagangon, who paced Jarin’s team in the first half with eight points, finished with 14 markers.

“The goal is to spread the minutes of everybody. It’s basketball and their all stars. They know what they should be doing,” the San Beda mentor shared.

Playing in what could be his final All-Star game, Jio Jalalon finished the game with 10 points, five rebounds, and six assists.

“I wish he was wearing Red. He is a proven winner,” Jarin said about Jalalon.

For the East, Jorem Morada was the high-point man with 13 points. Rey Nambatac added nine markers.

“We had fun that’s the bottomline,” Jarin closed.

The Scores:

WEST (111) – Akhuetie 16, Dagangon 14, Jalalon 10, Salado 10, Tankoua 10, Calisaan 9, Grospe 7, Pontejos 7, Fabian 7, Potts 6, Sara 5, Teodoro 4, Cadavis 2, Coronel 2, Costelo 2.

EAST (77) – Morada 13, Fajarito 8, Nambatac 8, Haruna 7, Munsayac 6, Onwubere 6, Ayaay 6, Baltazar 6, Domingo 4, Estrella 3, Luib 2, Sollano 2, Biteng 2, Menina 2, Caduyac 2.

Quarterscores: 35-17, 52-38, 81-55, 111-77.

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