SOUTHEAST Asian Games veteran Jiovani Jalalon of Arellano University and Kevin Racal of Letran College lead a cast of big stars who will display their wares in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) All-Stars Game today at The Arena in San Juan City.
Jalalon will spearhead the East Team in the absence of reigning Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson of Perpetual Help, who withdrew from the competition at the last minute due to back injury.
The East squad will also be composed of Jose Rizal University’s Tey Teodoro, San Beda’s Arthur de la Cruz, San Sebastian’s Bradwyn Guinto and Nigerian behemoth Bright Akhuetie also of the Altas. Incidentally, Jalalon, De la Cruz, Akhuetie and Thompson are closely battling for this year’s MVP plum.
Completing East team are Arella¬no’s Zach Nicholls and Kent Salado, San Beda’s Ryusei Koga and Michole Sorela, San Sebastian’s Jamil Ort¬uoste and Michael Calisaan, Jose Rizal’s Abdul Razal Abdul Wahab and Jordan de la Paz and John Yla¬gan, a replacement for Thompson.
They will be pitted against the West Team composed of Letran’s triumvirate Racal, Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac, who will be sup¬¬port¬ed by St. Benilde’s Jonathan Grey, Emilio Aguinaldo’s Sydney Onwu¬bere, Lyceum’s Joseph Gabayni and Mapua’s Allwell Oraeme.
Also playing for the West are Lyceum’s Wilson Baltazar and Shaq Alanes, Mapua’s JP Nieles and Justin Serrano, St. Benilde’s Pons Saavedra and Jeffrey Ongteco and Emilio Aguinaldo’s Francis Munsayac and Christ Mejos.
Also adding fire to the All-Star Games is the announcement of the Miss NCAA winners, which will be preceded by the three-point shootout and slam dunk competition at 2 p.m. The East vs. West games will be at 4 p.m.