• Cabagnot powers North to 8th All-Star title

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    Terence Romeo drives on Junmar Fajardo during the PBA All Stars Nourth vs South at the Araneta Coliseum. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

    Terence Romeo drives on Junmar Fajardo during the PBA All Stars Nourth vs South at the Araneta Coliseum. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

    San Miguel Beer’s point guard Alex Cabagnot notched 29 points, five rebounds and three assists as the North All-Star beat the South All-Star team, 154-151, late Sunday in the 2016 Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 All-Star Game at the Araneta Coliseum.

    The left-handed Cabagnot, who was also the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player, shot 13-of-21 in the field including his 11 points in the payoff period.

    After trailing by nine points, San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Farado, Rain or Shine’s Jericho Cruz and Star Hotshots’ Ryan Roose Garcia delivered the needed baskets for the South to close the gap, 128-130, midway through the fourth period.

    But Cabagnot, Star Hotshots’ Jean Marc Pingris and Talk ‘N Text’s Ranidel De Ocampo retaliated to keep a 152-143 lead for the North before the last two-minute of the match. Fajardo did his part to trim the deficit further, 152-151, in the last 33.7 seconds.

    Talk ‘N Text’s rookie Jeth Troy Rosario, who posted 21 points plus eight rebounds, scored on a tip-in to erect a three-point lead for the North with 5.7 ticks remaining in the game.

    Jeff Chan’s potential game-tying three-pointer missed, assuring the North of victory as the buzzer sounded.

    “I’m not yet 100 percent but I did my best during the game,” said the former National University standout Rosario who just recovered from injury. “I’m very thankful that there are many people who watched the All-Star. This game is really for the fans and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

    Rosario thrilled the fans with explosive dunks during the entire game.

    “It is an honor to be here,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao of the North team, told reporters after the game. “It was also an enjoyable experience coaching a team in the All-Star and it wasn’t hard coaching them because there’s natural chemistry already.”

    “It’s a good mix and balance of entertaining the crowd but at the same time everybody wanted to win.”

    GlobalPort’s guard Terrence Romeo had 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Ginebra’s forward Japeth Aguilar posted 15 of his 21 points in the third period. Pingris added 16 points while De Ocampo finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds also for the North team.

    Fajardo posted 17 of his 25 points in the second half along with nine rebounds for the South. Garcia had 22 points, Blackwater’s Carlo Lastimosa 21 points, Cruz 20 points, Ginebra’s Joe Devance 17 points and Star Hotshots’ James Yap 13 points.

    Chan and Mark Anthony Barroca contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively, also for the South under coach Leo Austria of San Miguel Beer.

    The North team is leading over the South team, 8-4, in 12 games since the All-Star Game was introduced in 1989.

    Calvin Abueva of Alaska skipped the All-Star game after he was rushed to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center because of tonsillitis and dehydration.

    Meanwhile, former collegiate standouts Ewon Arayi and Analyn Almazan led the Light team to a 43-35 win over the Dark team in the women’s 5×5 basketball event.

    Almazan finished with 14 points and seven rebounds while Arayi contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

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