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South wins 1st MPBL All-Stars

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The Southern Division All-Stars took home the inaugural MPBL All-Star Game after drubbing the Northern Division All-Stars, 109-84, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay early Sunday.

The South broke away from the North in the third quarter, dropping 38 points to overturn a 41-44 halftime deficit to a 79-64 lead after 30 minutes.

The lead further ballooned to 26 points come the fourth quarter before the South finished the game with a 25-point rout.

Jeff Viernes made 19 points, three rebounds, and one assist off the bench to lead the South en route to All-Star Most Valuable Player honors.

Gab Banal, Jaymo Eguilos, and Reed Juntilla each added 11 points with Banal flirting with a triple-double after he also grabbed 10 rebounds and seven assists along with two steals.

Gerald Anderson, who was on fire on Friday during the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3, still had the shooting touch despite having to play basketball at midnight, dropping two buzzer-beating triples to end the second and the third quarters and finishing with nine points, two rebounds, two assists, and five steals.

Cris Bitoon put up 11 markers, three rebounds, three assists, and one steal off the bench for the North.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno