Ageless Agustin tows Greats past Stalwarts
- Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran () - May 12, 2012 - 12:00am

LAOAG, Philippines  – Ato Agustin proved he’s still got the touch, raining down five three-pointers and a total of 19 points just in the first half then Willie Miller ran his own show as Team Greats bested Team Stalwarts, 143-139, in the PBA Legends Game at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena here last night.

Active stars KG Canaleta, Danny Seigle and Sol Mercado also shone for the victorious team, stepping up in the closing minutes to prevail over the squad featuring Kenneth Duremdes, Allan Caidic and Johnny Abarrientos.

Miller, Mercado and Canaleta combined for 26 points in the fourth period with a fade-away jumper by Miller sealing their win with 30 seconds left in the game ushering in the centerpiece All-Star Game set tomorrow in the same venue.

Miller sizzled with 29 points while Canaleta, Seigle and Mercado contributed at least 19 apiece.

Being the best performer among the legends in the winning team, Agustin won the MVP award and the P20,000 prize that went with it.

Overshadowed were Abarrientos’ triple-double effort and Duremdes’ 29-point output for the Greats.  

Abarrientos, the 1996 PBA MVP, collected 15 assists, 10 points and the same number of rebounds.

Caidic, serving as Team Stalwarts’ playing coach, added 15 points with 3-of-9 three-point shooting.

Team Stalwarts, also featuring Asi Taulava, Macmac Cardona, PJ Simon, Jeff Chan, Cyrus Baguio, Sean Anthony and Leo Isaac, held a 75-74 edge at the half and opened a 112-104 cushion going into the payoff quarter.

But as Miller, Seigle, Canaleta and Mercado went to serious business in the stretch, Team Greats overcame double-digit deficits to steal the game.

Earlier, Meralco gunner Mark Macapagal and B-Meg guard Jonas Villanueva carved out amazing three-peat feats in the Three-Point Shootout and the Obstacle Challenge, respectively.

Macapagal made history as the first player to win the three-point shooting contest thrice, and Villanueva won’t be outdone, extending his reign in his own event for the third straight year.

In the finals, Macapagal sank in the “money ball” in the fourth rack and didn’t need to make a single conversion in the fifth and last rack to pull through.

The former San Sebastian College stalwart piled up 15 points as against the similar 13-point productions of KG Canaleta and Josh Urbiztondo. Marcio Lassiter floundered for only seven markers in the final round.

Canaleta top-scored in the eliminations with 19 while Macapagal, Urbiztondo and Lassiter each made 16.

Failing to make it past the elims were Renren Ritualo and Jeff Chan with 15 apiece, Gary David with 14, Willie Miller 13 and Cyrus Baguio six.

Villanueva had his triumphant moment earlier, matching the three-year reign of Miller from 2006 to 2008.

The Far Eastern U alum beat Paul Lee in the final round by a heartbeat with the former clocking 31.3 as against the latter’s 31.3. LA Tenorio finished second runner-up at 43 seconds.

Miller (30.1), Alex Cabagnot (32.2), Rob Labagala (33.8), Jojo Duncil (36.3) and Jayvee Casio (36.5) were out after the elims in this competition where the players went through an obstacle course where they had to make a layup, a chest pass, a bounce pass, shoot a trey, a long pass and a final layup in the shortest possible time.

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