PASAY CITY – It was personal redemption for Florencio Serrano as he cemented his status as the best high school player in the country by powering the North All-Stars to a 94-89 triumph over the South All-Stars in the annual SM National Basketball Training Center All-Star Game at the SM Mall of Asia Arena Thursday (March 16). The do-it-all guard out of Adamson University had 17 points and seven rebounds to cop the game’s Most Valuable Player award.
Serrano was pivotal in keeping the Northerners on top entering the final period, 72-67. From there, UAAP MVP Juan Gomez de Liano of UP Integrated School and NCAA MVP Troy Mallillin of La Salle Green Hill put the finishing touches by combining for 16 points to hold off the Southerners’ repeated rallies.
Gomez de Liano and Mallillin both finished with a total of 16 markers each. Also hitting twin figures was John Lloyd Clemente of Nazareth School with 10 and who also went home as the champion of the three-point shootout side event.
The North of Coach Joseph Uichico enjoyed leads as high as 21 points and led comfortably at the half, 53-36. However, a strong South showing in the third led by the quartet of Karl Penano of Nazareth, Romuel Junsay of Malayan Science, SJ Belangel of Ateneo de Manila and 6’9” Filipino-American Kamaka Hepa made the game interesting entering the final period, 67-72.
Malayan’s Sherwin Concepcion paced the South with 19 points and six rebounds. Belangel had 14 of his 18 points in the second half on top of six rebounds and five assists.
Serrano registered the highest rating among all players during the tryouts for the two All-Star teams. He was the runaway choice as this year’s UAAP MVP until an eligibility issue disqualified him from consideration.
The Division II All-Star Game was also played earlier in the day with Team Superstar blasting Team Elite, 106-75. Kevin Baranco of Saint Robert’s International School of Iloilo was named as MVP with 22 points on four triples to go with five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
How They Scored:
NORTH (94) – Serrano 17, Gomez de Liano 16, Mallillin 16, Clemente 10, Edwards 9, de la Torre 4, Pagsanjan 4, Tibayan 4, Maagdenberg 4, Nelle 3, Ildefonso 3, Naboa 2, Fermin 2, Sotto 0, Mahinay 0.
SOUTH (89) – Concepcion 19, Belangel 18, Junsay 10, Hepa 9, Penano 8, Galinato 6, Sunga 6, Santiago 5, Amsali 4, Oczon 2, Cabahug 2, Velasco 0, Cruz 0, Umpad 0, Abuhijleh 0.
Period Scores: 27-12, 53-36, 72-67, 94-89.