Terrence Romeo caps memorable PBA All-Stars performance with MVP award in North win over South
GlobalPort sophomore Terrence Romeo hoists his MVP award at the end of North's come-from-behind win over South in the 2015 PBA All-Star Game. Jerome Ascano

PUERTO PRINCESA - Terrence Romeo capped a memorable 2015 PBA All-Stars performance by taking MVP honors in the North squad's 166-161 win over South in an entertaining game played at a jampacked Puerto Princesa Coliseum here.

The flamboyant GlobalPort sophomore led a North fightback from a double-digit deficit in the second half to add the MVP award to the Three-Point Shootout title he won for the first time in the All-Star side events.

The former FEU star scored 30 points including two big three-pointers in the fourth quarter, just two days after scoring 50 points in the Rookies-Sophomores primer which the freshmen won, 131-150.

The Romeo-led North fightback in a game that shattered all All-Star team scoring records put a fitting ending to a memorable weekend that also turned emotional with the official retirement of Jimmy Alapag's No. 3 Talk 'N Text jersey at halftime.

The game  for practically the first 42 minutes before Romeo led North back from as many as 17 points when the match turned serious towards the end.

The diminutive Alapag, who now serves as the Tropang Texters’ team manager, marked his farewell appearance with 12 points and 17 assists, breaking his own All-Star record of 16 he set in the 2006 game in Cagayan de Oro.

Calvin Abueva, who also had a hand in the North’s fourth-quarter rally, banged in a game-high 37 points on top of 16 rebounds and seven assists.

[See Changing of the guard: Romeo and Co. ready to take over PBA, say Cariaso and Austria]

Japeth Aguilar dropped 25 points, Arwind Santos added while Marc Pingris had 19 for the North.

Peter June Simon led the South with 24 points, while Greg Slaughter and Jeff Chan had 22 each.

The exciting All-Star game finish somehow eased the pain for the PBA community, which on Sunday morning was shocked to learn that technical director Ramil Cruz died of a heart attack in his hotel room here.

The scores:
NORTH 166 - Abueva 37, Romeo 30, Aguilar 25, Santos 24, Pingris 19, Norwood 8, Belga 6, Tenorio 6, Castro 5, Lee 5, De Ocampo 2, Melton 0. 
SOUTH 161 - Simon 24, Slaughter 22, Chan 22, Hugnatan 17, Devance 16, Baguio 14, Alapag 12, Taulava 11, Pringle 11, Yap 6, Barroca 6.
Quarterscores: 41-48, 81-88, 125-135, 166-161

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