Despite not starting at midnight, the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan All-Star still ended up in the dead of the night.
Nevertheless, Jeff Viernes put on a show and lifted the South All-Stars past the North All-Stars, 126-122, Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Gab Banal and Jeff Viernes opened the extended period blazing hot, uncorking a 10-0 blast to give the South a 122-112 advantage over the North with 3:19 left in the game.
However, the men from the North had a few tricks up their sleeves.
Renato Ular, Michael Juico, Aris Dionisio, and Jeric Teng countered with a 10-0 run of their own to shackle the scores at 122-all.
But Viernes carried the South on his back once more. He converted 4-of-4 from the line in the final seconds to ice the game for good.
“I’m happy that the fans got a good game. In games like these, you want it to be thrilling. I enjoyed it, had fun, and the entire bench also,” said South head coach Don Dulay.
Viernes nabbed his second-straight All-Star game Most Valuable Player award after finishing the game with 28 points, six rebounds, and six assists for the South.
Alvin Pasol — who fouled out in the final minutes of the fourth quarter — backstopped Viernes with 19 points and nine boards. Meanwhile, Will McAloney chipped in 16 points and four boards.
On the other hand, Michael Juico top-scored the North with 23 points, nine boards, and four dimes.
John Wilson added 18 points built on three triples. Ato Ular had a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds.
South (126) — Viernes 28, Pasaol 19, McAloney 16, Celiz 12, Banal 11, Yee 10, Bulanadi 8, Anderson 7, Buenafe 3, Vaygan 3, Mangahas 3, Ylagan 2, Llagas 2, Escoto 2, Javelona 0
North (122) — Juico 23, Wilson 18, Dionisio 14, Ular 13, Reyes 12, Teng 11, Hubalde 8, Batino 7, Ablaza 6, Reverente 4, Taganas 2, Benitez 2, Derige 2, Taywan 0, Sanga 0, Solis 0
Quarterscores: 28-23, 51-51, 80-79, 112-112, 126-122
Story by Jonash Dannug