Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Jeff Viernes treats All-Star Games like regular games: ‘I’m a very competitive player’


For most players, an All-Star game is a venue to take a break from the competitiveness of the game and build a bond between the league’s best players.

But that isn’t the case for Batangas-Tanduay’s Jeff Viernes.

“Sabi ko nga, mental focus ko every time na naglalaro ako… All-Star man ‘yan o every game, tini-treat ko siya the same,” Viernes revealed.

“I’m a very competitive player. Ginagawa ko lang [sa] lahat ‘yung best ko.”

And Viernes’ fierce approach to the game definitely showed when his South All-Stars squad were staring at the jaws of defeat against the North All-Stars in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Cup All-Star game at the Mall of Asia Arena, Thursday.

Down by six points with 3:15 remaining in regulation, the pint-sized guard from Isabela pumped in 12 in the South’s last 15 points – including two crucial free throws – which sent the game to overtime.

Viernes then conspired with Gab Banal, opening the extra period with a 10-0 barrage to give the South a comfortable 122-112 advantage with 3:19 ticks left.

The quintet of Renato Ular, Michael Juico, Aris Dionisio, and Jeric Teng were still able to answer with a 10-0 blast for the North, knotting the scores at 122-all. But the product of St. Clare sank 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final 25 seconds of the game to seal the victory.

MPBL-ASG-Viernes-4484 Jeff Viernes treats All-Star Games like regular games: 'I'm a very competitive player' Basketball MPBL News  - philippine sports news

“Siyempre nandoon pa rin ‘yung we’re having fun kasi All-Star pa rin ‘yun. Pero siyempre may sari-sarili kaming pride pa rin. Kahit sabihin mong All-Star, gusto naming ibigay namin ang best namin at bigyan ng magandang show ‘yung fans,” shared Viernes, who also pocketed PHP 50,000 courtesy of Sen. Manny Pacquiao for his efforts.

“I think nagawa naman namin both. Nag-enjoy kami at nabigyan namin ‘yung fans ng sobrang gandang laban, very intense. Siguro wala na kaming hihilingin pa, nakuha namin ‘yung panalo. Very fortunate lang and we’re very thankful.”

When the dust settled, Viernes collected 28 points, six assists, and six rebounds. He also took home his second consecutive All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award.

#ReadMore  June Mar Fajardo laments: 'Kakabalik ko lang tapos na-eliminate kami'

And for the 29-year-old spitfire guard, the team’s desire to win led to their on-court chemistry, which resulted in the victory.

“’Yung back-to-back MVP, bonus na lang din,” said Viernes. “Nag-usap-usap kami sa dugout, and we all want to win. I think kaya din maganda ang chemistry namin kahit second time kami magkakasama, ‘yung una All-Star last year.

“Maganda. Happy kami.”

And South head coach Don Dulay could not agree more, having witnessed the camaraderie first hand.

“One thing I noticed, we had a lot more fun on the bench. Everybody on the bench, the whole second half, we’re cheering who’s on the court.”

Story by Jonash Dannug

Written By


You May Also Like

Basketball

Just days before the opening of the first Filbasket tournament, Davao Occidental made a shock announcement. The Tigers announced on Tuesday evening that Don...

Basketball

Davao Occidental signed nine players for their upcoming campaign in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Mumbaki Cup, Monday evening. Leading the players inked by the...

Basketball

For the past two years, John Wilson has been the face of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.  The 6-foot-2 gunner had been in the...

Basketball

Siquijor’s Joshua Alcober was recently sentenced to a lifetime ban in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup last Thursday. Less than 24 hours later,...

Basketball

At 40 years old, Jerwin Gaco still keeps adding championships to his already-storied basketball career. The 2019-2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan championship was Gaco’s 15th...

Basketball

Mark Yee wanted to change the script of his basketball career when he joined Davao Occidental-Tigers in 2018.  Known as a physical bruiser when...

Basketball

Kenneth Mocon was definitely an x-factor in Davao Occidental-Cocolife’s championship run to Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan National Championship. Appearing on Tiebreaker Vodcast’s Crossover: Inside the...

Basketball

Davao Occidental-Cocolife’s head coach Don Dulay is just 40 years young, with several players almost as old as him.  But what really pushed him...

Advertisement