Best of collegiate basketball provides summer fireworks
On June 8 at the FilOil Flying V Arena, the best of collegiate basketball took the floor at the first ever Master Game Face All-Star Basketball Challenge.
Drawing from a talent pool that includes nine NCAA teams and eight UAAP teams, the Master Game Face All-Star Challenge was perhaps the most talent-laden collegiate basketball game this summer.
The game saw UAAP and NCAA players play on the same team, and Green Archer Jeron Teng, Blue Eagle Kiefer Ravena and UST Tiger Kevin Ferrer play alongside each other on Team Chris.
But it would be Team Borgie that prevailed, edging Team Chris 89-88.
Bannered by two-time UAAP MVP and NU player Ray Ray Parks, Team Borgie went on a late run with Parks scoring six of his side’s last 11 points.
“It’s basketball, it’s competitive. We really wanted to win. It’s a good thing we stepped up,” said Parks in the post-game interview.
Having been behind for most of the game, Team Borgie rallied back in the second half with a stellar performance by RR Garcia. In the decisive seconds of the fourth quarter, Garcia stole the ball from reigning Rookie of the Year Jeron Teng, and found Parks for a lay-up.
With seconds ticking off the game clock, Ravena inbounded to Teng, who kicked the ball out to Karim Abdul for a midrange jumper.
But at the end, it would be Mbe who saved the game for Team Borgie as he emphatically blocked Abdul, sealing the come-from-behind win for his squad.
For more than five weeks, fans voted for their favorite collegiate players through Master’s Facebook Page to form the All-Star teams divided by the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup’s pools.
Former San Beda Lion and NLEX Road Warrior Borgie Hermida coached Group A, while former Ateneo Blue Eagle and current Rain or Shine Elasto Painter Chris Tiu coached Group B.
After more than 5,000 votes were cast, Team Chris had a starting lineup of Ravena (Admu), Juami Tiongson (Admu), Teng (DLSU), Aljon Mariano (UST) and Abdul (UST).
Team Borgie started with San Beda players Baser Amer, Ola Adeogun and Rome de la Rosa, who were joined by Parks and UP’s Andrei Paras.
“It was my first time to coach, and I’m glad we won,” said Hermida, who has won several titles with the San Beda Red Lions.
“Coaching all these superstars is a joy and a great honor,” said Tiu.
At game’s end, Ravena garnered the most Twitter votes to win the Greenwich Favorite ng Barkada Award, while Garcia got MVP honors for scoring a game-high 22 points.
The first ever Master Game Face All-Star Basketball Challenge was also highlighted by a half-time performance by singer-songwriter Bamboo.
Team Borgie 89—Garcia 22, Parks 14, Mbe 9, Tolomia 9, De la Rosa 8, Semerad D. 6, Pinto 4, Paras 4, Jamon 4, Amer 3, Adeogun 2, Pascual 2, Asilum 2, Marata 0, Neypes 0
Team Chris 88—Ferrer 12, Cabrera 9, Torres 8, Newsome 8, Teng 7, Pingoy 7, Ravena 6, Mariano 5, Cruz M. 5, Almazan 4, Tiongson 3, Perkins 3, Van Opstal 3, Teng 2, Abdul 2, Cruz J. 2, Sumang 2, Montalbo 0
Quarters: 21-22, 43-50, 66-70, 89-88