SEASON 93 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) takes a break from the regular wars as it holds the annual All-Star Game today at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
Deviating from the usual East versus West format of all-star games past, this year’s edition of the mid-season classic of the NCAA will pit Heroes and Saints against one another.
The Heroes will be composed of players from the league-leading Lyceum Pirates, Arellano Chiefs, Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals, Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers and Mapua Cardinals.
For the Saints it will be those from defending champions San Beda Red Lions, College of St. Benilde Blazers, Letran Knights, Perpetual Help Altas and San Sebastian Stags.
Lyceum’s top man CJ Perez banners the Heroes team along with teammates Jesper Ayaay and Mike Nzeusseu.
They will be joined by Kent Salado, Lervin Flores and Allen Enriquez of Arellano, Teytey Teodoro, Ervin Grospe and Jed Mendoza of JRU, Christian Buñag, JB Raflores and Laurenz Victoria of Mapua and Sidney Onwubere, Francis Musayac and Jerome Garcia of EAC.
Coach of the Heroes is the Pirates’ Topex Robinson.
Team Saints, on the other hand, will be led by San Beda’s Robert Bolick, Jayvee Mocon and Davon Potts.
Joining forces with them are Rey Nambatac, JP Calvo and Bong Quinto of Letran, Alvin Baetiong, Kevin Baytan and Ian Valdez of San Sebastian, JJ Domingo, Edward Dixon and Gerard Castor of St. Benilde, and GJ Ylagan, Gab Dagangon and Prince Eze of Perpetual Help.
Handling them is the Lions’ Boyet Fernandez.
Preceding the All-Star Game is a number of side events, namely the Slam Dunk Contest, Three-point Shootout, Skills Challenge and Shooting Stars.
TV telecast of the festivities begin at 1 p.m.
PEREZ LEADS MVP RACE
Meanwhile, at the halfway mark of the ongoing season of the country’s longest-standing collegiate league, Perez of Lyceum is leading the most valuable player race.
Apart from leading the Pirates to an unblemished record of 9-0, the comebacking NCAA player Perez has been posting solid numbers of 18.6 points (league-high), 5.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals.
Crowding him in the race for the top individual prize are San Beda’s Bolick and Mocon.
The two Lions players have also been steady for their team, which is currently second running with an 8-1 record, with Bolick good for 13.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists (league-high), and Mocon do-it-all with norms of 12 points, 9.9 boards and 3.6 dimes.
Despite leading the MVP race, Perez, who plans to turn professional after the season, said his focus is winning for Lyceum its first-ever NCAA title.
“For me it’s more of helping the team win a championship. If along the way I win the MVP then it would just be a bonus,” said Perez.
Perez and the Pirates hope to sustain their top form when the second round of the classification phase resumes after the All-Star break. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo