JB Amateur Basketball League first all-star game a success

The team owners and coaches that participated in the JB ABL league with Commissioner Jayphet Balbacal in the middle (Leobert Julian A. de la Peña)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The La Paz Gym, Iloilo City was jam-packed with basketball fanatics and enthusiasts as the first all-star game of the JB Amateur Basketball League took place, taking the city by storm.

Hundreds of fans filled the benches in the La Paz gym to watch the JB stars ball it out in the skills challenge, three-point shoot-out, slam-dunk competition, executive all-star game, selection all-star game, and a game between the Asialink/E&C Trucking and Uniwheels Cars Display.

JB shifty guards showed their dribbling and passing prowess in the skills challenge, where Clint Mesias of JKG/CTG Commercial dominated and prevailed over Jofem Badoles of Asialink, Rammel Arcega of Malditos, Telix Jaravilla of Uniwheels, Mickey Dumalag of Filinvest, and Shervic Mañosa of OJNA Crocodiles.

The next part featured JB ABL’s gunners, as they shot the lights out in the three-point shootout, players had three racks each with six balls including one money ball.

Mark Hermano of ODM Sportswear squad went from last in the eliminations to champion after outshooting Jayr Seguia of Uniwheels, Davis Paquingan of Malditos, Jayjay Guanzon of OJNA, Ralph Bajon of Asialink, Donjeff Selguerra of JKG, and Alvin Tolosa of Queen’s Pension House.

The La Paz gym’s ooh’s and aah’s were on loop as the slam dunk portion brought in electrifying dunks from the contestants joined by Frank Tono of Asialink, Jonnas Jose of OJNA, Jovan Pacheco of Malditos, and Mark Ceniza of Uniwheels.

It was Tono and Ceniza who battled out with their power slams in the final round, but the off the backboard one take dunk by Ceniza helped him garner the title as “Slam King” of JB ABL.

It was the team owners and coaches’ turn in the next portion as the executive all-star game started.

Players were composed of a selection under team Rodel Camacho of Asialink and team Vincent Conlu of Queen’s, and it was Conlu’s team who prevailed with a game-winning shot underneath the basket from Michael Supetran that sealed the win.

The next game was an all-star selection among the players of the league, and it was the red team led by Ralph Jay Enojado against the blue team led by Jayjay Guanzon.

Despite being undermanned, the red team fought with enthusiasm but the blue team’s firepower was just too much as Ganzon knocked down 10 consecutive threes in 2 minutes, 14 treys in total that gave them the win.

The last one was the most highly-anticipated matchup between two undefeated teams in the JB ABL, Uniwheels and Asialink. And it was a showcase of youth against experience that ended in dramatic fashion in favor of Asialink, 72-68.

Everybody thought that the mighty Uniwheels team will again run over their opponent, but this time, the resilient and well-composed Asialink team got the better of the heavyweights.

Coming back from a 20-point deficit, the Asialink squad got their momentum back as they increased their defensive intensity, pressuring Uniwheels leading to numerous stops that turned into points on the other end.

Jemar Cepriano won player of the game honors, chalking up 17 points, 6 boards, and 4 dimes.

“Proud gid kami nga ang aton liga nakahimo sang all-star game nga muni magnitude. Gusto ko ni maging testament nga kung ginagamit sang mayo ang registration fees makahatag gid sang quality events and games ang isa nga liga. Kag siguro ini isa ka way maka giveback sa mga bosses nga naginvest sang resources sa kada team,” JB ABL commissioner and founder Mr. Jayphet Balbacal told the Daily Guardian.