In the PBA All-Star Game, RSJ defeated Veterans both times

Mar 30, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – This reporter inquired on X/Twitter during this year’s All-Star Weekend what the players’ best moments from the midseason spectacle were. Two instances, mentioned by a handful who replied, were the sole occasions during the All-Star Game when the Rookies, Sophomores, and Juniors distinguished themselves from the Veterans.

For the record, the Veterans have won seven of the nine All-Star Games versus RSJ since the format was introduced, demonstrating their dominance over the team. Let’s remember the two occasions when the PBA youth team won. One of RSJ’s most unforgettable moments came from Marlou Aquino.

The Rookies, Sophomores, and Juniors defeated the Veterans, 131-115, in the Cuneta Astrodome on July 28, 1996, to win the All-Star Game for the first time. The Sunkist player Kenneth Duremdes was named MVP of the RSJ team, which was a very talented group that would eventually shape the PBA’s future. The third quarter saw 12 of Duremdes’ 16 points, which converted the game into a blowout.

With starters Johnny Abarrientos of Alaska, Bong Alvarez of San Miguel, Vergel Meneses of Sunkist, Samboy Lim of San Miguel, and Jerry Codinera of Purefoods, the Veterans squad wasn’t a poor team at all.

But this was RSJ’s big moment. Marlou Aquino scored 22 points to lead the RSJ team in the victory. Along with Vince Hizon, Noli Locsin, and Bal David from Ginebra, Aquino was a member of the RSJ starting five. Additionally, none other than Robert Jaworski served as the team’s coach.

In a tight game on July 25, 1997, at the Cuneta Astrodome, the Rookies, Sophomores, and Juniors defeated the Veterans 126-123 to make it two in a row for the mid-1990s.

Bal David’s late-game theft of the ball from Dindo Pumaren cemented the victory. David went on to win MVP of the All-Star Game.

Norman Black’s RSJ squad still included Jeff Cariaso, Marlou Aquino, and 1996 MVP Kenneth Duremdes.

With Vergel Meneses leading the way, the Veterans were able to maintain a competitive score despite Duremdes’ early 21-7 advantage.

David made key plays for RSJ, including a deflection against Pumaren that resulted in an easy deuce to seal the victory and two clutch free throws with 26.5 seconds remaining to give RSJ a 124-123 lead.

In shocking related news, “Hacker” alleges he manipulated the PBA All-Star online voting results.

Was a fraudulent online voting process used to choose the lineups for the most recent PBA All-Stars? After the All-Star Weekend, which is expected to be a huge success, a cyber specialist has come forth to say that he had altered the voting results. This could seriously jeopardize the integrity of the PBA’s fan balloting system.

The unidentified cyber expert claimed he was going public to alert the PBA to the need to upgrade its system in order to stop the manipulation from happening again. He claimed to have been tinkering with the PBA system for years, affecting the voting outcomes.

He said that while he had no intention of destroying the PBA, the league needed to give the situation more careful thought. In addition, he expressed his curiosity as to why the PBA was taking no action in light of the significant disparities revealed by the voting results.

He declared that the PBA should examine its system immediately.

Saldivar, a former Adamson player recruited by Magnolia before switching to Converge, led the fan vote for the Rookies-Sophomores-Juniors game during the All-Star Weekend in Bacolod, which raised eyebrows.

Along with Barangay Ginebra star Japeth, guard Mark Barroca of Magnolia was the highest vote-getter for the All-Star Game.

In the video, the computer expert said nothing about Barroca or the votes he received.

Strangely, the PBA never made public the outcome of the fan polls that were conducted on its website and in person during league games.

The person, posing as a cyber security specialist with thirty years of experience working for various governments and corporations worldwide, clarified that he began manipulating the votes between January 20 and January 24.

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