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PBA: Paul Lee hailed MVP as Team Japeth survives Team Scottie

PASSI CITY – Team Japeth withstood Team Scottie in a thriller, 140-136, to win the 2023 PBA All-Star Game, Sunday night at the City of Passi Arena here.

Gilas teammates Jamie Malonzo and Roger Pogoy came through in crunchtime. The two connived for the key run that shifted the tides in their favor, on the way to securing bragging rights – and, of course, the Php 150,000 prize money.

The victors will also have a double celebration as they reigned triumphant in the traditional ASG dance-off, netting P150,000 as well.

Crowned as the All-Star Game MVP was Paul Lee as he shot seven 4-pointers en route to 32 points on top of seven rebounds and six assists.

Malonzo finished with a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Pogoy also rifled in 20. The two joined hands for the 7-0 run that gave Team Japeth a 133-127 lead approaching the final two minutes.

It shortly became a 136-129 edge thanks to Oftana, but just as the game appeared out of reach, then came their counterparts.

Kevin Alas nailed a big 4-pointer, and CJ Perez sank a triple – he was stepping on the 27-foot line – moments later. That chopped the deficit to just a field goal, 138-136, with only 21.6 seconds remaining in the game.

Alas, though, had no choice but to foul Malonzo on his way to the rim to prevent an easy bucket. The Ginebra winger made both his charities to extend Team Japeth’s lead to 140-136 with 14.7 ticks left.

It could’ve been easily tied with a 4-point shot, but Team Scottie could no longer find the mark. The opposition then stormed the court in jubilation.

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Chris Newsome also came up big for the Tim Cone-mentored Team Japeth, as he tallied 20 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists.

Team captain Japeth Aguilar did not see action as he continues to recover from an MCL sprain, although he was there with his squad.

Leading Scottie Thompson’s unit, meanwhile, was Alas, who finished with a game-high 35 points as he led their rally from 13 down that fell short.

CJ Perez produced 26 points and eight rebounds. Christian Standhardinger made 22 points and nine boards, while Calvin Abueva had 15 and eight. Robert Bolick chipped in 14 in the runner-up finish that gave them Php 75,000.

Coached by Yeng Guiao, Team Scottie will also be taking home Php 75,000 after bowing to Team Japeth, also in the dance-off.

The Scores:

Team Japeth 140 – Lee 32, Malonzo 20, Pogoy 20, Oftana 16, Newsome 16, Santos 8, Jalalon 8, Mamuyac 7, Pinto 6, Almazan 4, Gray 3, Cabagnot 0.

Team Scottie 136 – Alas 35, Perez 26, Standhardinger 22, Abueva 15, Bolick 14, Tolentino 7, Barroca 7, Pringle 4, Castro 4, Yap 2, Thompson 0, Lassiter 0.

Quarterscores: 37-28, 74-65, 100-104, 140-136.

Written By

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

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