The league’s marquee players headed by the East’s Jiovani Jalalon of Arellano University and the West’s Rey Nambatac of Collegio de San Juan de Letran will highlight tomorrow’s third NCAA Season 92 All-Star Basketball Game to be held at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan.
Jalalon, one of the leading candidates in the MVP statistical derby, will team up with Perpetual Help’s Bright Akhuetie, San Beda’s Davon Potts, Dan Sara and Donald Tankoua and Jose Rizal University’s Teytey Teodoro and Paolo Pontejos in the loaded West squad.
Arellano’s Julius Cadavis, Jose Rizal U’s Ervin Grospe, Perpetual Help’s Gab Dagangon and AJ Coronel, San Sebastian College’s Michael Calisaan, Ryan Costelo and Jerick Fabian will 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 Philippines University’s Ian Alban, MJ Ayaay and Wilson Baltazar, Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Jorem Morada, Francis Munsayac and Sidney Onwubere, and College of St. Benilde’s JJ Domingo, Yankie Haruna and Christian Fajarito.
The West, which was then coached by Aldin Ayo, edged the East, 89-88, with former College of St. Benilde standout Jonathan Grey, while 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 College, who were not enlisted due to various reasons.
Spicing up the one-day festivities are the Three-Point Shootout and Slam Dunk Competition.
SBenilde leaper Yankie Haruna is set 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 Slam Dunk Contest participants are Jose Rizal U’s Kim Aurin, Letran’s Renato Ular, LPU’s Jaycee Marcelino, Perpetual Help’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 Three-Point Shootout.
Baltazar will face Letran’s Nambatac, Arellano’s Zach Nicholls, CSB’s Carlo Young, Mapua’s Exe Biteng, EAC’s Jervin Guzman, Jose Rizal U’s Paolo Evardo, San Sebastian’s RK Ilagan, Perpetual Help’s McKevin Velasquez, and San Beda’s AC Soberano.
To make the event more interesting, the league added the Shooting All-Stars and the Skills Challenge.