Gilas rally to beat PBA Visayas All Stars

By Jonas N. Panerio April 30,2017
Cebuano June Mar Fajardo of Gilas Pilipinas posts up against Asi Taulava of the PBA All Stars during their PBA All Stars-Visayas leg at the  Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City. CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON

Cebuano June Mar Fajardo of Gilas Pilipinas posts up against Asi Taulava of the PBA All Stars during their PBA All Stars-Visayas leg at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.
CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON

THE latest version of the Gilas Pilipinas debuted in style as they rallied from an early 15-point deficit and routed the PBA Visayas All Stars, 125-112, in the last game of the three-part PBA All Stars yesterday at the Hoopsdome in Lapu-Lapu City.

The SEABA-bound Gilas looked out of sorts at the onset and trailed, 15-30, no thanks to the outside marksmanship of a rejuvenated James Yap, who fired in three three-pointers to spot the Visayas All Stars 34-21 lead after the opening quarter.

But the Gilas finally got going in the fourth and uncorked a 17-4 run behind the energized play of Calvin Abueva, who scored 10 during that stretch, to quickly turn an 89-92 deficit into a 106-96 lead.

Terrence Romeo, whose father hails from Boljoon, was named the game’s MVP as he tallied 25 points and dished out four assists including a couple to Cebuano June Mar Fajardo to put the game away.

Abueva led the Gilas with 26 points, seven boards and four assists while Fajardo added 18 markers. Troy Rosario pitched in 14 while Talisay’s pride, Roger Pogoy, finished with 10.

LA Tenorio paced the Visayas All Stars with 19 points while Yap had 18. Jeff Chan contributed 17 while Chris Ross and Joe Devance added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

After the slow start, the Gilas turned to Romeo for a spark and the flashy guard delivered with nine straight points including two straight triples that pulled them to 42-43.

The Visayas All Stars quickly regrouped and led, 62-59, at halftime and even pushed their lead back to 10, 92-82, after a three-pointer by Chan, with 1:16 to go.

However, Abueva found his form and scored seven straight to close out the third and bring the Gilas to within three, 89-92, heading to the final canto.

The fourth quarter was all-Gilas as Abueva and Fajardo continued to find seams in the Visayas All Stars’ interior defense with newcomer Jio Jalalon injecting more energy to the quintet — at one time, skying over the rest of the towering big men to grab an offensive rebound and put it back in for a 106-96 lead.

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