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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


North downs South in PBA All-Star classic

By Eddie Alinea
25 Apr 2010

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY -- The PBA All-Star trophy is back to where it belonged in the previous four years since the annual event pitting the South against the North was institutionalized.

The North All Stars, exploiting to the hilt its advantage in speed and firepower, edged out the South, 132-130 before shrieking standing-room-only fanatics at the Puerto Princesa Coliseum here.

Working behind an energy-sapping running game that saw four of their players coming up double digit productions, The Northerners controlled the tempo from the opening buzzer on foiling each and every Southerners game long rallies.
That also broke the even 4-win, 4-loss record fashioned out by the Northerners and the Southerners in their personal duel since the format was established in 1992.
And Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, who lost his slam-dunk title to Nino Canaleta of Be-Meg the night before, consoled himself by stashing away with the prize Handy Fix-Most Valuable trophy edging veteran Talk ‘N Text campaigner.

“I’m grateful for winning the MVP award,” said Norwood, whose first
six points came off dunks on the way to 17 points, five rebounds, four
assists and one block.

“I thought somebody else would get it,” said Norwood, who as top rookie last year had won the slamming contest, also became the first sophomore to be accorded the All-Star best player..

Cardona, whose game-high 20 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, were overshadowed by Norwood’s highlight executions, among them a three-point shot that
shattered a 116-all count with still eight minutes left of the game.
A swooping baseline slam that gave the North a 129-125 five minutes later capped his brilliant performance. His first six points for the night also came through powerful dunks.

In the end, what coach Ryan Gregorio, who, thus collected his second win in three All-Star appearances, had proven is that quickness can win games even against taller a nd heftier opponents.

“We used our quickness to the hilt to offset their height advantage,”
said North coach Ryan Gregorio, who won his second All-Star Game.

The South, led by the 17 points of Sta. Lucia Realty’s Kelly Williams,
dominated the boards, 59-47, but failed to convert the rebound edge
into baskets when it mattered most as Eric Menk, Asi Taulava and Cyrus
Baguio went scoreless and James Yap to a point in the fourth quarter.

The North took the half, 76-69, after hitting 6 of 20 three-point shots and going to speed mode at every opportunity behind fleet-footed Paul Artadi and highlight finisher Gabe Norwood.

With two 6-foot-9 centers and three 6-foot-7 forwards loaded at the frontline, the South was left trailing in the breaks during the free-for-all 24 minutes that was heavy both in slam
dunks and no-look passes.

Both coaches, the North’s Ryan Gregorio, from B-Meg Derby Ace, the South’s Tim Cone, from the Alaska Aces, kept their fingers off the playground stew, allowing their players to regale the packed crowd with an overflow mix of offense and an occasional dash of reaching-in

Meanwhile, NBA commissioner David Stern congratulated the PBA on the celebration of its 35th anniversary, wishing the league a successful All-Star Weekend.

In a letter addressed to PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios, Stern said:
“Our valued relationship with the PBA goes back many years. In that
time, your league has played an important role in basketball’s global
growth, substantially raising its profile in the Philippines and
throughout Asia. We look forward to continuing the game’s growth
through future collaborations between the PBA and the NBA.”

In the Shooting Stars event, the triumvirate of San Miguel Beer’s Jonas Villanueva, who won the Obstacle Challenge last Friday, Solar Sports’ Dominique Uy and hometown boy Junfred Calamba of GMA-Palawan Super Radio bested the challenge of two other three-man teams led by Air21’s Renren Ritualo and Coca-Cola’s Mark Macapagal, the 2010 Three-Point Shootout King.
And in the Legends Shootout, Rain or Shine’s Jeff Chan got a measure of revenge after losing to Macapagal in the Skills Challenge Saturday by leading the Active PBA Players team to a lopsided 51-29 victory over the Legends represented by Alvin Patrimonio, Kenneth Duremdes and former Alaska shooter Roel Gomez.

The scores:

North (133) – Cardona 20, Norwood 17, Santos 17, Mercado 14, Miller
12, De Ocampo 12, Intal 11, Artadi 9, Reyes 7, Pinris 6, Helterbrand
6, Maierhofer 2.

South (130) – Williams 17, Baguio 15, Alapag 14, Thoss 14, Yap, J. 11,
Hugnatan 11, Taulava 10, Tubid 9, Devance 9, Yap, R. 7, Menk 4.

Quarterscores: 38-39; 76-69; 104-101; 133-130.
Since the All-Star Game alternated homecourts starting in 2004 in Cebu City, the home team has always won. There are only four (4) players in this year’s All-Star Game who are making their 1st appearances in the annual classic – 1 from the North (rookie Maierhofer) and 3 from the South (Mercado, Devance and Intal).
Having the most number of appearances in the All-Star Game among this year’s participants are 2 players who are each making their 10th appearances for the South All-Stars – Asi Taulava and Dondon Hontiveros.
Taulava and Hontiveros are 2 of only 6 players to have played in at least 10 All-Star Games in the event’s history. Alvin Patrimonio, who will be sitting in as team manager of the North All-Stars, holds the record for most All-Star Game appearances with 12. The other 3 are Jerry Codinera with 11 and Vergel Meneses and Dindo Pumaren with 10.
6 players in this year’s annual classic have played in every All-Star Game since entering the PBA –Hontiveros, Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, James Yap, Ryan Reyes and Maierhofer.
• B-Meg Derby Ace and Barangay Ginebra have the most no. of players in this year’s All-Star Game with 5 each.
• Air21 and Barako Coffee are the only teams not represented in this year’s All-Star Game.
• Only 4 players have won All-Star Game MVP honors more than once – Vergel Meneses with 4 and Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Benjie Paras and Asi Taulava with 2 apiece (Taulava sharing the award with Alapag in 2004 in Cebu City and Helterbrand with Miller in ‘07 in Baguio City)
• Looking to join this elite group are former All-Star Game MVPs –
• 2004 Alapag (co-MVP)
• 2007 Miller (co-MVP)
• Only twice has a rookie won All-Star Game MVP honors but only once also did the MVP come from the losing team:
• Powerade-RP’s Jared Dillinger in Victorias last year when they won over the North All-Stars.
• In 1989 when Elmer “Boy” Cabahug of the Rookies-Sophomores squad was named MVP even after they lost to the Veterans, 132-130.
• The MVPs of the last 7 seasons are in this All-Star Game:
• KELLY WILLIAMS (2007-08)
• JAMES YAP (2005-06)
• ERIC MENK (2004-05)
• ASI TAULAVA (2003)
• WILLIE MILLER (2002, 2006-07)
• Former Best Player of the Conference winners (6) –
• JAYJAY HELTERBRAND (’09 and ’08 Fiesta)
• WILLIE MILLER (’05 Fiesta)
• ASI TAULAVA (’03 All-Fil. Cup)
• KELLY WILLIAMS (’07-’08 Phil. Cup)
• MAC-MAC CARDONA (’07 Fiesta)
• ERIC MENK (’04 Fiesta, ’04-’05 Phil. Cup)
• Former Rookies of the Year (4) –
• KELLY WILLIAMS (2006-07)
• RYAN REYES (2007-08)
• GABE NORWOOD (2008-09)
• No. 1 draft picks (4) --
• JOE DEVANCE (2007)
• Former Most Improved Players (2) –
• MARC PINGRIS (2005-06)
• CYRUS BAGUIO (2007-08)
• Sportsmanship Awardees (2) –
• RYAN REYES (2008-09)

2008 South 163, 158 OT
2007 North 145, South 142
2006 South 122, North 120
2005 North 131, South 128
2004 South 130, North 128
1994 North 133, South 126
1993 North 149, South 129
1992 South 108, North 105

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