Romeo sizzles as Smart All-Stars bounce back vs Luzon

Terrence Romeo erupted for 48 points and gave out the needed dimes en route to All-Star Game MVP honors. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

BATANGAS CITY--Terrence Romeo put on a show at the Batangas City Sports Center to lead the Smart All-Star National Team to a 152-149 win in the second leg of the PBA All-Star Week on Friday night.

The TNT guard dropped 48 points, but he dished out two crucial assists to Junemar Fajardo that helped the national pool hold off the cream of the crop from the north down the stretch.

The Smart All-Stars gradually pulled away from the Luzon All-Stars, eventually opening a 20-point lead, 90-70, in the third quarter, and they seemed to be en route to a huge bounce back win.

However, the Luzon All-Stars, led by Arwind Santos, went on a roll late in the fourth quarter--right after he had an altercation with Romeo, an unusual event in an All-Star game--as his huge triples helped them draw to within four, 144-148.

Romeo, however, found Fajardo underneath twice for back-to-back lay-ins that put the Smart squad back up by eight, 152-144.

Luzon still put up a scare as the team scored five straight points and LA Tenorio forced a steal in the end. Tenorio, however, missed a wide-open three that could have forced the draw, and Japeth Aguilar ran out of time to put up the follow-up trey.

Romeo, the eventual All-Star Game MVP for the Luzon leg, dished out 11 assists in total and six rebounds as well.

Fajardo finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal.

Jio Jalalon, despite playing with an sprained ankle the rest of the way, finished with a triple-double of 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Allein Maliksi's own ankle injury, however, sidelined him for the rest of the game.

Aguilar put up 43 points, 15 rebounds, and two assists for the Luzon All-Stars.

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