NBA VETERANS HUMBLE PBA ALL-STARS AT THE DOME
[PHOTO AT LEFT - NBA legend Robert Horry looks for an open man as he runs into PBA star Dondon Hontiveros during the NBA Asia Challenge at the Big Dome. Jun Mendoza MANILA, Philippines]
MANILA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2009 (PHILIPPINE STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Dominique Wilkins and company came, saw and, as expected, conquered.
Wilkins, at 49, took Manila by storm, leading the NBA Generations team to a 109-86 whipping of the PBA All-Stars in the NBA Asia Challenge at the Araneta Coliseum last night.
With excess poundage and all, the former Atlanta Hawks superstar displayed his vintage form, coming through with a game-high 28 points that went on top of five rebounds, two steals and one assist in 20 minutes of play.
Robert Horry, Tim Hardaway and Vlade Divac showed flashes of brilliance as their contributions in the exhibition match which proved to be a resounding success despite the bad weather.
“We really wanted to focus on pleasing the fans. We really wanted to come out and perform for them,” said NBA Generations coach Rory White.
“I had a fun time. I enjoyed it. It’s been more than 10 years since I played in a game with a real competitive atmosphere,” said Wilkins.
“It was a good experience though I didn’t play. I had as much fun as the players had. I enjoyed the atmosphere,” said Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who helped White call the shots for their team.
The PBA selection faded away but not after putting up a good stand in the first half, fighting the visitors through two deadlocks and 10 lead changes.
Curiously, most of the excitement from the home team came from its own legends in Allan Caidic, Alvin Patrimonio and Ronnie Magsanoc. Caidic paced the PBA selection with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting in the opening quarter with Patrimonio sharing nine points and eight rebounds and Magsanoc adding eight points and three assists.
The PBA starting five of Caidic, Patrimonio, Wynne Arboleda, Arwind Santos and Asi Taulava held their own against Wilkins, Horry, Divac, Hardaway and Billy Thomas in a free-wheeling contest early on, giving the host team a 26-25 edge in the first quarter.
Patrimonio knocked down a trey in his first attempt then Caidic took over, rifling in five straight triples.
The Filipinos kept the game close through the second quarter before the Americans stepped up the tempo and slowly pulled away in the match serving as the Manila leg of their Asian tour which had its initial stop in Korea last week.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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