Blog: Heroes
By Joey Villar Updated Sunday August 17, 2014 - 9:35pm

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I witnessed history Saturday. I marked the date, August 16, 2014, the place, The Arena in San Juan City, and the event, the NCAA All-Star. It's actually the first ever All-Star event in the 90-year history of the NCAA. So we could all say everything that happened for the whole seven hours is historic.

And I have several thoughts:

1. I'm no stranger to oddity. But this one has got to be up there. A beauty pageant and basketball on the same day and place? Yes, this happened. In the NCAA. This is why it's historic. Congrats by the way to the winners, especially to newly crowned Ms. NCAA 2014 Jian Salazar of Perpetual Help.

2. Two days back, I've called that Jose Rizal's Philip Paniamogan will win the 3-point shootout. Wrote a blog about him for Sportsmaryosep, in fact, and even titled it "Paniamogan Slinger." He almost did though and made me prophetic. Until Fil-Am Travis Jonson of St. Benilde happened. I mean come on. How can you beat someone who drops 21 out of the possible 30 the first time and another 20 in another? Jonson was just in video game mode. He could probably give Steve Kerr and Jeff Hornacek, heck, even Larry Bird, a run for their money with his lights-out shooting.

3. Ola Adeogun's loss is Arnaud Noah's gain. Noah emerged the league's first slam dunk king by beating nine other comers, including San Sebastian's Jaymar Perez. The Cameroonian's best dunk came on his second and final attempt in the elimination round when he dunked over teammate Donald Tankoua. What is more astonishing with that slam was that Noah, who hasn't even played a single NCAA game as he will only be eligible in 2016, is 6-3 and Tankoua 6-5. It reminded me of Super-Nate-ural Robinson's dunk over Dwight Howard. And he is a last minute replacement to Adeogun. Whoah Noah indeed!

4. The East, composed of top players from San Beda, Arellano U, Jose Rizal, Perpetual Help and San Sebastian, beat the West, comprised of St. Benilde, Letran, Lyceum, Emilio Aguinaldo and Mapua, 104-97, in the main offering. Arellano's John Pinto showed why he's pro-bound by emerging the first All-Star MVP. If I were the participants, I will keep the uniform, which is officially the first All-Star uniforms in the NCAA.

5. About 20 orphaned kids of Hospicio de San Jose, one of the beneficiaries of the money that was generated in the event, were at ringside to watch the All-Star. How nice seeing them smile.

6. Guess who are the first ever slam dunk judges in the history of the NCAA? Former PBA slam dunk champion Rey Guevarra, ex-Mapua athletic director Ding Lozano and, ahem, yours truly.

So congratulations winners. The losers too. Even the fans. And you, yes you, who were at The Arena and even those who watched it at TV5 and AksyonTV. Because each one of you lent a helping hand. For that, you all went home as heroes.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014 @ San Juan Arena
12:00 PM - Game 1 - Jrs/Srs
4:00 PM - Game 2 - Srs/Jrs