Feb 18, 2019

'Return of Rivals' sequel in the works

IT'S one special event that deserves an encore.

Cage great Allan Caidic disclosed the likelihood of holding another edition involving the PBA Legends in the wake of the successful staging of the 'Return of Rivals' benefit games at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

'Part 2' of the exhibition matches could pit this time Ginebra against San Miguel and Alaska versus Purefoods, whatever the Dating Propesyonal na Basektbolista ng Pilipinas Foundation Inc. deemed it best for the basketball public.

"May mga plano, And mataas ang clamor na magkaroon ulit," said Caidic, one of the leading movers to hold the event for the benefit of former PBA players.

"Initially gusto namin talaga magkaroon ng mix naman, next time puwedeng San Miguel at Ginebra naman, Purefoods-Alaska or vice-versa. Maraming plano."

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But the 1990 PBA MVP would rather cherished this inaugural staging first which drew a crowd of 16,939 at the Big Dome with the help of partner UNTV, which donated P3 million for the worthy cause.

Caidic exploded for six three-pointers on the way to a game-high 26 points as he steered the San Miguel Beermen to a come-from-behind 96-83 win over rival Alaska Aces.

It took a while before 'Triggerman' finally found his range, going 0-for-4 from three-point range in the opening half before he got going in the final two quarters including back-to-back treys in the fourth that broke a 75-all contest and put the Beermen on top for good.

Caidic, 55, admitted he had to change his playing sneakers in the second to settle on his game.

"Nagpalit pa ako ng sapatos. Bago yung sapatos ko kanina," said the league's all-time record holder for most points scored in a game among locals with 79 points. "Talagang nahirapan siguro kumuha ng second wind. Hindi kami sanay ng man-to-man, tapos 12 minutes per quarter pa. Medy naka-recover nung second half."

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Two-time MVP Danny Ildefonso registered a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Beermen.

Willie Miller, also a two-time MVP, finished with 20 points to lead the way for the Aces, who drew a double-double effort of 11 points and 10 rebounds from premier point guard Johnny Abarrientos.

The main game of the doubleheader saw Ginebra dominating Purefoods, 97-89, behind the heroics of JayJay Helterbrand and Vince Hizon.

Helterbrand, just two seasons removed from playing his last game with the Kings, had a triple double of 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Hizon pumped in 16 of his 19 points in the third quarter to help the league's most popular ballclub kept the gritty Hotdogs at bay.

The Hotdogs drew 27 points from Roger Yao and 14 each from guards Tonyboy Espinosa and Paul Artadi.

Both the winning teams received P100,000 each.

In the side events, Edward Joseph Feihl edged Ervin Sotto in the Skills Challenge involving the league's former big men, while Dondon Hontiveros and son Isiah topped the 2-ball contest over Danny and Dave Ildefonso and Kenneth and Kenjie Duremdes. (RG)