West wallops East in NCAA All-Star Game

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Yankie Haruna of College of Saint Benilde shows his winning form in the slam dunk contest of the NCAA All-Star on Friday at the San Juan Arena. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

Yankie Haruna of College of Saint Benilde shows his winning form in the slam dunk contest of the NCAA All-Star on Friday at the San Juan Arena.
PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

Nigerian Bright Akhuetie posted 16 points and nine rebounds as the West routed the East, 111-77, on Friday in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 All-Star Game at The Arena in San Juan City.

The West erected a commanding 52-38 lead after the first half through the combined 16 points of Akhuetie and Perpetual team­mate Gab Dagangon. The East failed to bridge the gap resulting in the West enjoying an 81-55 lead by the third period.

Dagangon finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Donald Tankoua had a double-double 10 points and 11 rebounds to lead the West. Arellano University’s Kent Salado and Jiovanni Jalalon contributed 10 points each while San Sebastian’s Michael Calisaan had nine points also for the West.

Akhuetie was named Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game.


Jorem Morada of Emilio Aguinaldo College led the East with 13 points and six rebounds.

The West posted more rebounds, 63-36, and assists 30-16, than the East.

Meanwhile, Darrel Menina of Mapua and AC Soberano of San Beda College ruled the Skills Challenge and Three-point Shootout, respectively. Jose Rizal University’s Darius Estrella, Cadell Buño and alumnus Marvin Hayes won the Shooting Stars event.

Menina, the Cardinals’ play­maker, notched 24.6 seconds followed by Flash Sadiwa of Perpetual Help with 24.8, Kraniel Villoria of Arellano University with 27 and MJ Dela Virgen of JRU with 28.

Soberano, 22, hit four of the five money balls in the final round of the three-point shooting contest for a total of 20 points beating San Sebastian RK Ilagan and Mapua’s Exequiel Biteng, who posted 15 and 11 points, respectively.

“I practiced hard everyday. I only finished fourth or fifth last year,” said Soberano. “I used that as a motivation.”

In the Shooting Stars event, JRU’s Estrella, Buño and Hayes posted a time of 43.4 seconds to top the elimination round. JRU registered 27.8 seconds with Buño hitting a buzzer-beating half court shot in the final round to get the title.

In the slam dunk competition, College of Saint Benilde’s Yankie Haruna outclassed San Beda’s Eugene Toba for the crown. Haruna saved the day for the Blazers that were winless in all nine games of the first round.

The 22-year-old Filipino-American jumped and dunked over mixed martial arts fighter and Ultimate Fighting Championship star Brandon Vera to post a top score of 79. Toba, who missed a dunk, notched 76 points.

“It feels really good that we could share something to the school. I’m very thankful about it,” said Haruna during the postgame interview.

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