|The South All-Stars are once again the winners of the MPBL All-Star Game. Ivan Saldajeno|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASAY--Jeff Viernes put up the needed free throws late into overtime as the Southern Division All-Stars beat the Northern Division All-Stars, 126-122, in the MPBL All-Star Game at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In the game that finished at exactly midnight of Friday, the South All-Stars prevailed despite losing a comfortable lead early into the extension.
The South All-Stars rallied back from a seven-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to eventually force overtime, where they went on a 10-0 run to open a 122-112 lead with 3:16 left.
The North All-Stars, however, answered with their own 10-0 run to tie the game up, 122-all, with 41.6 seconds to go.
But Jai Reyes fouled Jeff Viernes during a loose ball scramble off a Gab Banal miss from beyond the arc, and Viernes made two free throws to give the South a 124-122 lead with 25 seconds remaining.
The North, with no more timeout left, decided to go for the win, but Michael Juico missed a three-pointer and Viernes made two more from the foul line to ice the game.
Viernes, who was named the MVP of the said game, finished with 28 points, six rebounds, six assists, and two steals to lead the South. Alvin Pasaol added 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Juico put up 23 markers, nine boards, and four dimes for the North, while John Wilson added 18 points, three rebounds, one steal, and one block; and Ato Ular had a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds with one block and two steals.
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