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PBA: Justin Arana’s stellar performance propels Team Greats to win

BACOLOD – Team Greats finished strong to beat Team Stalwarts 142-133, in the Rookies-Sophomores-Juniors Game of the 2024 PBA All-Star Bacolod, Saturday night at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum here.

Jerrick Ahanmisi and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser applied the finishing touches to make sure that the Greats would emerge victorious in the exhibition featuring the league’s young, up-and-coming stars for the second year in a row.

Their efforts, furthermore, preserved the contributions of Justin Arana and Alec Stockton. The Converge duo spearheaded the fourth-quarter assault that saw them turn a slim lead into a 12-point advantage inside the final two minutes.

Arana was adjudged the Blitz Game MVP as he finished with 36 points and eight rebounds in the victory that also netted Team Greats P100,000.

His output is the most points in a Greats-Stalwarts game since Encho Serrano’s 40 in the Stalwarts’ 138-158 defeat to the Greats in last year’s festivities in Passi City, Iloilo, according to PBA stats chief Fidel Mangonon III.

“Team effort lang talaga kami. Nagsusuportahan lang kami ng teammates ko kanina,” said Arana, who already had 24 points in the first half.

“Chini-cheer lang namin bawa’t isa , nag-enjoy lang kami,” added the Arellano product, who also bagged home P30,000 for winning MVP honors. “And siyempre nag-stick lang kami sa game plan ng coaches namin.”

Ganuelas-Rosser produced 23 points in the triumph while Ahanmisi supplied 21 points, 13 of which he manufactured in the second half.

Still, the win didn’t come easy for the crew. The opposition issued a late-game threat and came within four, 137-133, with 1:21 left following back-to-back hits from the four-point area courtesy of Christian David and Kim Aurin.

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But the Greats were quick to respond, with Ahanmisi calmly sinking both of his free throws before Ganuelas-Rosser’s clean-up jam — dunks are counted as three points in the RSJ and All-Star Games — all but sealed the W.

Aurin led the Stalwarts with 23 points. New Obstacle Challenge champion JM Calma made 22 points, while Joshua Munzon had 16 points.

David supplied 15 points, while Fran Yu and Leonard Santillan chipped in 12 markers apiece in the loss.

The Scores:

Team Greats 142 – Arana 36, Ganuelas-Rosser 23, Ahanmisi 21, Stockton 9, Tuffin 8, Ildefonso 8, Laput 8, Caracut 8, Ilagan 8, Mamuyac 6, Cu 5, Gomez de Liano 2.

Team Stalwarts 133 – Aurin 23, Calma 22, Munzon 16, David 15, Yu 12, Santillan 12, Asistio 8, Zaldivar 7, Holt 7, Nocum 6, Amores 5.

Quarterscores: 39-45, 78-73, 109-106, 142-133.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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