Basketball

‘White Chocolate’ stars as ex-NBAers defeat PBA legends

InterAKTV/Justin Gener

The Scottie Pippen-led US All-Stars defeated the Filipino contingent led by Kenneth Duremdes, 112-93, in the PLDT All-Star Challenge at the SM Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday.

Though Pippen was the main draw in the game, it was Jason Williams who stole the show, scoring 28 points to lead the NBA legends team and showcasing the ball-handling and passing skills that defined his early career.

His crossovers and between-the-legs, behind-the-back passes were in full display as the man they call “White Chocolate” attempted to thrill the fans — even trying to bounce the ball off the shot clock for an alley-oop in transition in the third quarter.

But the biggest cheers were reserved for Dennis Rodman, who got the fans going even on his very first touch of the game. He would later amuse the fans as he frequently attempted several long jumpers even when they stopped falling for him.

But the Philippine team wouldn’t let their American guests have all of the fun.

Kenneth Duremdes also scored 28 for the Philippine All-Stars on a variety of vintage signature moves while Nelson Asaytono, who finished with eight points, got a big reaction when he decided to shoot a free throw with his feet turned backwards and his torso twisting to face the basket.

The fans had a ball, doing waves during timeouts and even bringing out an EJ Feihl chant with two minutes left. Philippines playing coach Jerry Codinera instantly put the 7-footer back into the game.

Though the US team led by double-figures most of the game, the PBA legends made a push midway in the fourth that cut the lead down to just six points. But Pippen would lead a run that would bring the lead back up to 15, 96-81, on a big dunk in transition.

The US team was comprised of Pippen, Rodman, Williams, Horace Grant, Mitch Richmond, Cliff Robinson, Jeff Trepagnier, Chris Campbell, Victor Alexander and Charoy Bentley. They were coached by Oscar ‘The Big O’ Robertson.

The Philippines were led by Duremdes, Asaytono, Feihl, Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa, Bong Hawkins, Bal David, Vince Hizon and Marlou Aquino.

“Thank you guys for being so kind,” Pippen said in an address to the crowd during a late timeout. “Thank you guys for all your support.”

Pippen scored the final basket, but in the Philippines’ hoop, to seal the final score.

The game will be broadcast on Monday, 8 p.m. over AKTV on IBC.

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