Team Saints bested Team Heroes, 113-111, last night in the NCAA All-Star Game Tuesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
With the Saints down by as much as 23 points, Letran’s two-time champion Jerrick Balanza went 3-of-4 from the stripe to give Team Saints a 111-108 cushion with 28.8 seconds remaining.
Arellano University alumni Jiovani Jalalon scored off his old teammate Kent Salado assist to cut Team Heroes deficit to 110-111.
Both teams split their charities in the next three possessions before Salado bungled in Team Heroes’ last play.
Earlier, San Sebastian legend Grethcel Soltones powered Team Saints to a 25-17, 24-26, 21-25, 25-17, 17-15 win over Team Heroes in the league’s first-ever volleyball All-Star match.
University of Perpetual Help System Dalta’s Ben Adamos led Team Saints with 18 points and nine rebounds while Balanza had 14 points, four rebounds and two assists to become the All-Star MVP.
“Ngayon lang ako ulit nag-basketball since Game 3,” said Balanza.
Soltones was named as the All-Star Game, as the Saints of coach Macky Cariño unveiled their loaded offensive firepower which featured Southeast Asian Games-bound hitter and San Beda alumni Ces Molina.
Molina scored an off-speed attack to put the Saints at match point before Arellano’s Jovie Prado committed an attack error on her down-the-line hit sailed that closed out the two-hour, six-minute match.
Soltones, who also hammered down the key hits in the deciding frame, was solid all-game long, a throwback performance that made her a three-time league MVP.
In all, each competitor in the exhibition game had a good time regardless of the result.
“Sobrang happy kasi sa bench pa lang wala kaming ibang ginawa kund hindi magkwentuhan. All in all sa game namin today is enjoyment lang talaga. As in makita lang ng mga fans, makita ng mga bata, ng mga bagong henerasyon ngayon sa NCAA yung mga dating henerasyon,” said Saints and Perpetual Help coach Macky Cariño.
“‘Yung collaboration between old and new sobrang maganda ang naging result,” he added.