Saturday, March 7, 2015

STAR Magic Beats Collegiate All-Stars in Charity Basketball Rumble

Wazzup Pilipinas!

STAR Magic talents painstakingly defeated the best players of Philippine collegiate basketball at the Celebrity Slam Jam held last March 1 at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The STAR Magic roster braved the intimidating height and skills of the UAAP’s and NCAA’s best to land a defying win for their fans in the Celebrity Slam Jam, a charity basketball tournament held for Philippine basketball legend Samboy “Skywalker” Lim.

Despite the apparent disadvantage, STAR Magic was able to get the upper hand at the start of the game, with Xian Lim quickly garnering six points before De La Salle’s Jason Perkins finally gave the college all-stars their first point at the third minute.

While the young basketball veterans were still heating up, the surprisingly nimble Matt Evans and Young JV where able to sidestep a seemingly dazed all-star defense and built up quick leads for STAR Magic.

STAR Magic’s time soon came, as the all-stars began to get their offense together. University of the East’s Roi Sumang kicked off the collegiate effort with the game’s first three-pointer, with Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena slowly bridging the gap with daring shots inside STAR Magic’s defense.

Despite their effort, the all-stars lost the first quarter to STAR Magic thanks to Jose Sarasola’s amazing offensives and Gerald Anderson’s surprising three-pointer, ending with a score of 20-23.

The second quarter was a dry spell for both teams. After Ateneo’s Arvin “The A-Train” Tolentino opened with a score for the college all-stars, both teams’ disorganized gameplay robbed them of points for almost a half of the quarter.

Four minutes into the second quarter, Jerome Ponce’s and Arron Villaflor’s consistent assault finally awarded STAR Magic a couple of points. But STAR Magic soon faced a new threat.

Apparently thirsty for a basket, Ateneo’s CJ Perez suddenly blazed through the STAR Magic defense, scoring four points including a slam dunk for the college all-stars. Thanks to Perez’s effort, the college all-stars filled in most of STAR Magic’s leads, albeit still losing the quarter with a score of 34-36

After the half-tie break, both sides showed renewed vigor and strength in the third quarter. STAR Magic, through the efforts of its center-giant Gerard Acad, was able to muster a strong defense, denying even Perez and Perkins from shooting and passing.

JV surprised many with his agility, while Xian Lim became a thorn in the all-stars’ side as the two conjured daring passes, consistent steals and accurate baskets that served to quickly boost the score of their team. Evans, Jerome Ponce and Rayver Cruz also proved a helpful hand in STAR Magic’s great offensives

Faced with a stalwart guard, quick attacks and a big gap to fill, the college all-stars realized they have underestimated the STAR Magic roster. The all-stars amped up their game with vengeance, leaving their nice guy pretentions behind.

Despite the first couple of warning shots outside the three-point line by Sumang, STAR Magic still remained unaware of what was to come.

Ravena, with his team in dire need, unleashed a flurry of three-pointers, garnering a streak of six in total. STAR Magic looked up in dismay as their defense was circumvented by the consistent shots of the Blue Eagle MVP. Coupled with the dizzying passing routine of his teammates, Ravena kept ABS-CBN’s heartthrobs’ eyes glued in the air as his brilliant threes saved his team in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter proved to be extremely tense. STAR Magic tried desperately to keep whatever lead they had, while the all-stars prayed for a three-pointer that could give them the game.

Lim led STAR Magic’s efforts to stay ahead. Having read their passes and shots, Lim was able to make successful steals and disable the all-stars attack formations. JV, assisted by Cruz and Evens continued his daring penetrations, every score he made a defiant answer to the all-stars’ stiffened defences. Team captain Gerald Anderson, with his consistent efforts to shoot beyond the three point line, vindicated himself after scoring the three points that assured his team victory.

The college all-stars made a gallant effort to stay afloat for the last ten minutes. Ravena’s shots and Perkin’s defences served their team well. Perez hammered incessantly on their opponent’s defences

As the last minute loomed, both teams tried their best to keep their game and break the other team’s momentum. A shot from Perez at the final quarter-minute broke STAR Magic’s lead to a precarious two points, making all eyes turn to the collegiate all-stars to dunk the three points that would give them victory.

Ravena, with almost ten three point shots throughout the game, tried his luck as the game slipped into the ending seconds, and failed. Ravena underestimated the distance and his shot merely hit the rim.

With the collegiate all-stars’ failure to bring about the greatest turnaround, loyal fans of the STAR Magic line rejoiced as their idols, with great effort, won the game with a score of 90-92.

Contributed by Lemuel Gomez

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