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Grey 3s, Cruz foul shots help West steal All-Star Game at the buzzer



Jonathan Grey knocked down back to back triples while Mark Cruz hit two clutch free throws with 0.2 seconds left as the West All Stars completed an improbable comeback in the final seconds to stun the East All Stars, 89-88 in the NCAA Season 91 All Star Game Friday at the San Juan Arena.

With the East side up comfortably, 88-81, Grey nailed back to back three-point baskets — one during a set play and one coming off a steal — to pull the West within 87-88 with only 14.9 seconds left.

Coming off a timeout, the East inbounded the leather and were able to waste a lot of time before fouls from the West forced the East to inbound from the sidelines.

But the squad had a difficult time finding an open man, as Jio Jalalon threw it away after catching the inbounds pass, leading to a Cruz steal with only four seconds left.

Cruz brought the ball to their frontcourt and was able to attempt a heave from halfcourt, and was fouled in the process by Jamil Ortuoste with only 0.2 seconds to go. Cruz nailed the first two free throws and missed the last one intentionally, allowing the West All Stars to escape with the shocker.

Grey topscored for the West with 20 points on 8-for-11 field goal shooting, and added 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. Cruz added 10 points in the win while Allwell Oraeme had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Teams fought neck and neck throughout the first 25 minutes of the match, before five straight points from Tey Tey Teodoro broke a 50-all deadlock and gave the East a 55-50 lead. A layup by Bradwyn Guinto in transition made it 59-54.

The East continued to add to the cushion in the final quarter, with an Ortuoste long range shot making it 80-72.

A triple by Cruz followed by a Rey Nambatac basket pulled the West to within 79-82 before back to back fastbreak hits by Jio Jalalon made it 86-79 under the final two minutes.

The East side however, failed to protect the lead as the West shattered the deficit using solid defense towards the end of the exciting encounter.

Teodoro paced the losing team with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists even as Jalalon chipped in 12 markers.

Coach Aldin Ayo told the members of the press after that he did not know what to expect in the NCAA’s All Star festivities. He admitted that he enjoyed the day. Moreover, he told his players to play defense even if offense was the usual highlight of the All-Star Game. “Guluhin natin ang laro,” he told his players before the game started.

The Scores:

West (89) – Grey 20, Cruz 10, Oraeme 10, Mejos 8, Gabayni 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, Guinto 10, Akhuetie 10, Dela Cruz 6, Ylagan 6, Calisaan 6, Koga 5, Ortuoste 5, Salado 4, Sorela 4, Dela Paz 2, Abdul Wahab 1, Dagangon 0

Quarters: 14-19, 41-38, 59-63, 89-88.

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