Mikkel Bolante, InterAKTV · Saturday, November 30, 2013 · 9:05 pm
Two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Ray Parks dunked the ball in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter to make sure that his Red Team and the Kiefer Ravena-led Blue Team closed their charity match with a 71-71 draw on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym inside the Ateneo de Manila campus.
The uncontested slam from Parks perfectly capped the charity game that was highlighted by celebrity appearances, athletic dunks, and comedic hijinks that entertained the crowd to no end.
Ravena, who organized the event for the benefit of the survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda” particularly in Concepcion Island in Iloilo, led a mix of athletes and comedians like his brother Thirdy, his Ateneo teammate Chris Newsome and the trio of Jose Manalo, Vhong Navarro, and Billy Crawford on the Blue Team.
On the other side, Parks’ Red Team featured some steady play from Blue Eagle Von Pessumal, Gilas cadet Matt Ganuelas and entertainers Gerald Anderson, Rocco Nacino and Young JV.
It was announced during the game that the organizers have raised over P800,000 for their beneficiaries, not counting ticket sales from the event.
Ateneo high school star Thirdy top-scored with a game-high 18 points for the Blue Team while the Red Team’s Pessumal was the only other player to hit double figures with 11.
The game was halted almost as soon as it began when Ganuelas, with only four minutes into the opening period, slammed home a nasty, two-handed dunk that broke the Blue Eagle Gym’s rim and caused a delay.
Luckily for the fans in attendance, they were serenaded by a one-night only band featuring Kiefer on guitar and Newsome on drums while officials replaced the ring.
The Red Team, riding the momentum of Ganuelas’ show-stopping dunk, built a solid first quarter lead. But the Blue Team turned it around following the antics of Manalo, who after getting fed up with the refereeing, commandeered a whistle of his own and started making favorable calls for his Blue squad.
It also featured a puzzling sequence when twins James and Jim Salas, who were playing on opposing teams, traded jerseys and confused teammates, opponents, fans and sometimes even each other about which team they actually belonged to.
In the fourth quarter, the Red Team again put some distance between them and their opponents behind the outside sniping of Pessumal. But the Blue side refused to go away, relying on their running game to inch closer.
A three-pointer from Kiefer, his only basket of the night, tied the game at 67-all.
Despite the competitive scoreline, the teams then opted to put on a show instead of going for the win.
The Blue Team completed a rare double alley-oop with Kiefer lobbing the ball to Newsome and Newsome finding Thirdy while he was still in the air.
The Red Team then made a highlight-reel play of their own, with Young JV going between the legs on a backboard pass back to a trailing Parks, who flushed it home.
Other celebrities who participated in the game include Derek Ramsey, Xian Lim, Cesar Montano, Marco Alcaraz and Luis Alandy. Kiefer’s teammates in both the national team and in Ateneo also lent a hand with Kevin Alas, Garvo Lanete, Jake Pascual and Nico Elorde also suiting up.
PBA stars Willie Miller and Chris Tiu also participated with Miller acting as the in-game barker and Tiu taking the role of head coach of the Red Team.
During halftime, volleyball stars Michelle Gumabao, Rachel Anne Daquis, Alyssa Valdez, Gretchen Ho, Melissa Gohing, Jheck Dionela and Jen Reyes were paired up with a male partner to compete in a shooting contest.
The team of Ramsey and Daquis and Navarro and Ho both finished tied for first place in the side event.
The juniors division MVPs of both the UAAP and NCAA were involved in the event with Ateneo’s Thirdy playing in the main game and La Salle Greenhills’ Prince Rivero joining the halftime game.