BATANGAS CITY – The Southern Division All-Stars won the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) All-Star Game after tripping their counterparts from the north with a 109-92 victory in the third edition of the in-season spectacle on Sunday night at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.
The South All-Stars turned things around in the second half, outscoring the North, 66-38, to completely extinguish a 43-54 halftime deficit.
Jaycee Marcelino was named the All-Star Game MVP as he put up 19 points, three rebounds, seven assists, and one steal for the South, which has won all the All-Star Games so far.
Kyt Jimenez and Ced Ablaza each added 17 points.
Damian Lasco led the North with 18 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
In the curtain-raiser, the North and the South battled to a 107-all draw in the Executives Game.
No less than MPBL founder Manny Pacquiao, who joined the South, forced the stalemate after burying a buzzer-beating three-pointer off the glass, which came after Nueva Ecija coach Jerson Cabiltes intentionally missed his second free throw that could have sealed the win for the North.
Both teams agreed not to hold overtime.
The boxing legend, who is also a former Philippine Basketball Association first-round pick, finished with 30 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and one steal to share the Executives Game MVP honors with Makati team owner Paolo Orbeta.
The former College of St. Benilde Blazer turned back time and exploded for 39 points with eight rebounds, six assists, and one steal to lead the North.
In the side events, Dom Matillano dethroned Lester Alvarez as the All-Star 3-Point King, while Garex Puerto ruled the dunk competition. (PNA)