The league’s marquee players headed by the East’s Jio Jalalon of Arellano and the West’s Rey Nambatac of Letran will highlight tomorrow’s third NCAA All-Star Game at The Arena in San Juan City.
Jalalon, one of the leading candidates in the MVP statistical derby, will be joined by teammate Kent Salado, Perpetual Help’s Bright Akhuetie, San Beda’s Davon Potts, Dan Sara and Donald Tankoua and Jose Rizal’s Teytey Teodoro and Paolo Pontejos in the loaded West squad.
Arellano’s Julius Cadavis, Jose Rizal’s Ervin Grospe, Perpetual Help’s Gab Dagangon and AJ Coronel, San Sebastian’s Michael Calisaan, Ryan Costelo and Jerick Fabian complete the West team.
Nambatac, for his part, will team up with fellow Knights McJour Luib and Jomari Sollano, Mapua’s Darell Menina, Andrew Estrella and Exe Biteng, Lyceum of the Phl U’s Ian Alban, MJ Ayaay and Wilson Baltazar, Emilio Aguinaldo’s Jorem Morada, Francis Munsayac and Sidney Onwubere, and St. Benilde’s JJ Domingo, Yankie Haruna and Christian Fajarito.
The West, then coached by Aldin Ayo, edged the East, 89-88, with former St. Benilde standout Jonathan Grey and ex-Letran star Mark Cruz delivering the clutchest of plays to even up their series at one game apiece.
“It will be more exciting this year,” said NCAA Management Committee chair Jose Mari Lacson of Season 92 host San Beda.
The East will come in as the prohibitive favorite after the West missed reigning MVP Allwell Oraeme and CJ Isit of Mapua, Mike Nzeusseu of LPU and Hamadou Laminou of Emilio Aguinaldo, who were not enlisted due to various reasons.
Spicing up the one-day festivities are the three-point shootout and slam dunk competition.
St. Benilde leaper Yankie Haruna is out to win what slipped in his hands last year when he lost to eventual titlist Jebb Bulawan of LPU in a dunk off since the latter will not be around to defend his crown due to an injury.
The biggest barriers to Haruna’s title bid will come from Arellano U’s Lervin Flores and EAC’s Sydney Onwubere.
The other dunk contest participants are Jose Rizal’s Kim Aurin, Letran’s Renato Ular, LPU’s Jaycee Marcelino, Perpetual’s Rommel Mangalino, San Beda’s Eugene Toba and San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi.
Like Haruna, LPU’s Wilson Baltazar will hope to do what he couldn’t accomplish a season ago when he was beaten by Letran’s Mark Cruz in the finals.
Baltazar will face Nambatac, Arellano’s Zach Nicholls, St. Benilde’s Carlo Young, Mapua’s Exe Biteng, EAC’s Jervin Guzman, Jose Rizal’s Paolo Evardo, San Sebastian’s RK Ilagan, Perpetual Help’s McKevin Velasquez and San Beda’s AC Soberano.