The PBA annually features a showcase of young talent which displays a wide array of athleticism, explosiveness and highlights. This year was no exception, as the rookies clashed against the sophomores in the PBA Blitz game to close out the festivities PBA All-Star Friday held at the Puerto Princesa Arena in Palawan.
The first year players won a scintillating and fast-paced exhibition, 150-131. The game featured a twisted format as the two teams battled on four 10-minute quarters. In addition, the shot clock was lowered to 18 seconds and squads were given six seconds to cross the timeline and avoid having a backcourt violation. Slam dunks were also chalked in for three points for each successful attempt.
The rookies jumped out with a ten point lead, 43-33 to end the opening quarter despite Terrence Romeo and Eric Camson knocking down jumpers in multiple possessions. Stanley Pringle made the first of the three-point dunks with a flashy one-hander off an alley oop during the period. The Semerad twins also did damage for the rookies with their perimeter shooting in display.
The freshman squad maintained their hold of the double-digit separation for the next three periods as dunks from Matt Rosser, Stanley Pringle and Raymond Almazan kept them afloat. Despite hot shooting from the 3-point contest winner Terrence Romeo, who anchored the offense for the second year players, the energy-filled rookies used their transition game to keep distance.
Entering garbage time in the fourth quarter as the final score was the only thing to be determined, the guards were assisted by their taller teammates literally as stalwarts such as Jeric Fortuna, RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo finished off the game with dunks that served as the icing on the cake for the fans in the exhibition match.
Matt Ganuelas-Rosser was named Most Valuable Player of the match as he had 32 points, 4 assists, 2 steals and three rejections. The PBA All Star game between the North and South all-stars will be played on Sunday.