The Visayas All-Stars held its fort and turned back the Smart All-Stars, 157-141, at the end of the PBA’s All-Star Week Sunday at University of San Agustin Gym in Iloilo.
The loss to the Visayans marked a losing record for the Nationals as they ended the midseason exhibition with a 1-2 card with their only win of the event coming off against Luzon 152-149 behind Terrence Romeo’s All-Star record of 48 points.
But Romeo was with the other team this time, together with four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, in the final leg.
Romeo finished with 27 points, five rebounds, and six assists to help the Visayans repulse the Nationals.
The Visayans established its buffer midway through the game when they went on a 13-4 run to take an 80-73 lead heading into the break.
Visayas then, put the game in a methodical pace when its timely baskets and defensive stops fended off the Nationals throughout the second half.
After Troy Rosario’s 3-pointer trimmed the lead to 86-82 at the 9:20 mark of the third, James Yap and Romeo exchanged baskets to restore order and put Visayas, 91-82, 34 seconds later.
The lead ballooned to 16 points, 131-115, after Romeo’s layup midway through the fourth.
Jeff Chan was named All-Star MVP after finishing with 27 points to go along seven rebounds while Jericho Cruz filled the stat sheet with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Fajardo led Visayas’ gigantic center rotation, that included 7-footer Greg Slaughter and 6-foot-9 Asi Taulava, with 14 points and 18 boards.
The loss spoiled Calvin Abueva’s preposterous double-double of 41 points and 27 rebounds to lead the Nationals while Matthew Wright and Japeth Aguilar finished with 28 and 20 points, respectively.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.