ILOILO - The Visayas selection found little need for its formidable frontline as it cruised past Gilas Pilipinas, 157-141, to cap off the PBA All-Star week on Sunday night.
The Visayas All-Stars leaned on a wing- and guard-oriented attack to outduel the Smart national team at the San Agustin Gym.
Terrence Romeo picked up from where he left off following a 48-point outburst as Jeff Chan and James Yap connected from long distance to lead a Visayas squad anchored by June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter.
“Bihira yung ganyang lineup. Kahit sino gamitin mo, parang staters pa rin,” Visayas coach Chito Victoloero marveled. “Pare-parehas lahat ng talent.”
Chan shone brightest among the stars as the Phoenix gunner registered a team-high 29 points, including three triples, and seven boards in less than 21 minutes of play, firing 11 of his output in the payoff period to spark the breakaway on the way to winning the MVP honor.
Romeo added 27 points, six assists, and five boards, while Yap chipped in 17 points, highlighted by three triples, six rebounds, and two steals.
Jericho Cruz was scattered a triple-double of 20 points, 14 boards, and 11 assists, on top of two steals and just one turnover in less than 26 minutes on the court
Emman Monfort chipped in five points, six assists, five boards, two steals, and zero turnover as a surprise All-Star, punctuating the match with a two-handed slam – with the help of Fajardo, who carried the 5-foot-6 Monfort to the delight of the crowd.
The result spoiled the outstanding effort of Calvin Abueva who pumped in 41 points, 27 caroms, three assists, two steals, and one block in 36 minutes that went for naught.
Matthew Wright led the national team’s comeback that wasn’t enough, firing 18 of his 28 points in the final frame, completing his performance with nine boards and seven assists.
VISAYAS 157 – Chan 29, Romeo 27, Cruz 20, Yap 17, Tubid 15, Fajardo 14, Slaughter 11, Ross 8, Quinahan 7, Monfort 5, Taulava 4
SMART 141 – Abueva 41, Wright 28, Aguilar 20, Pogoy 15, Rosario 13, Belo 12, Castro 8, Norwood 2, Jalalon 2
Quarterscores: 33-36; 80-73; 115-103; 157-141