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Five memorable moments from the 2019 PBA All-Star Weekend

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PBA All-Stars light up the scoreboard (2:36)

The North and South All-Stars put up a record-breaking 355 combined points Sunday in Calasiao, Pangasinan -- the highest-scoring All-Star game in PBA history. (2:36)

Calasiao, Pangasinan hosted an unforgettable PBA All-Star weekend, where a large contingent of PBA players was present to entertain, give thanks, pay tribute, and, yes play a little basketball as well. Appreciative crowds gathered wherever the PBA stars went, and the local community buzzed with excitement all throughout the few days of celebration and fun-filled activities. Let's look back at five memorable moments from the Calasiao conquest.

1. The Tower of Power with The Floss. The All-Star Dance-off has been a standard in recent editions and, as usual, the venerable PBA superstars set aside all inhibitions to battle for bragging rights and a cash prize from the Office of the Commissioner. The Dance-off is not every fan's cup of tea, but prior to the main dance number of the North team, which had PBA legends Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras in its lineup, the crowd got quite a chuckle because of Paras' (who is an actor/comedian nowadays) antics. Showing flexibility and grace, and absolutely zero self-consciousness, Paras started wiggling and shaking, as if being electrified, and then started doing The Floss, a popular dance move usually reserved for children. The man nicknamed The Tower of Power during his playing days set the tone and, once the music began (starting with Yoyoy Villame's "Mag-exercise Tayo"), Calvin Abueva and the rest of the North All-Stars followed Paras' lead and gave it their all, eventually being named the winners of the 2019 PBA All-Star Dance-off after the game.

2. Bolick misses the money-ball; PJ Simon is the Three-point King. The Magnolia Hotshots' Peter June Simon, 38 and in his twilight PBA years, was the eldest participant in the three-point shooting contest. Unheralded for most of his career and always, it seems, playing second or third-fiddle to one teammate or another, hardly anyone, if at all, put their money on this 15-year veteran to emerge as the king of rainbow country. He had a first-place score of 20 points in the first round, tied with Philip Paniamogan of NLEX and just ahead of Northport rookie Robert Bolick, who had 19. In the final round, Simon shot first and scored 17. Paniamogan could only muster 14 points, which eliminated him. Bolick went last and looked to surpass Simon's total. With 11 points and one rack to go, Bolick knocked down the first money-ball to get to 13. He then made the next three one-point balls and was at 16. With one money-ball left worth two points, he aimed, released...and missed! It was a glorious moment for Simon, who, with a dose of good fortune, showed everybody that his shooting prowess has not waned and that his veteran composure (he calmly went through each rack) is still intact.

3. Japeth leapfrogs over June Mar, for the slam. In Sunday's North versus South All-Star Game, Japeth Aguilar made the court his own personal slam-dunk arena as he fielded alley-oop passes from his teammates and created some dunks on the fly en route to 32 points and game MVP honors (which he shared with Arwind Santos).

Already having dunked in various ways, Japeth was still looking to innovate. They had tried it some moments before, but it did not work, so they gave it another go. With the help of SMB giant June Mar Fajardo, the Ginebra leaper provided yet another highlight when with just over three minutes left in the third period, Fajardo encouraged him to go for it again as the latter turned his back towards Aguilar, bent slightly forward, and allowed Japeth to vault over him (yes, Japeth pushed off Fajardo's back for a little more lift) for a crowd-pleasing stuff that brought many to their feet. The two national team mainstays then shared a short embrace, big smiles on their faces.

4. Isaac Go for the 3X3 win! At halftime of the North versus South All-Star Game on Sunday, the PBA featured a 3X3 matchup between Team Codiñera (PBA legend Jerry Codiñera, Columbian rookie CJ Perez, Alaska rookie Jesper Ayaay, and Ateneo standouts Matt Nieto and Go) and Team Patrimonio (PBA legend Alvin Patrimonio, NorthPort Rookie Bolick, Rain or Shine rookie Javee Mocon, and Ateneo's Mike Nieto). It looked like Team Patrimonio, behind Bolick's inside-outside attack, was on its way to victory, as it led 19-12 and needed just one more two-pointer (3X3 counts ones and twos, not twos and threes) to reach a game-ending 21. Perez had other ideas though, as he repeatedly hit twos to give Team Codiñera a 20-19 lead. When Team Patrimonio failed to score, Go, the Ateneo center known for his outside shooting, particularly in the clutch, squared-up for a two-pointer and swished the net for the game winner for Team Codiñera, 22-19. In the presence of legends and rising PBA stars, the soft-spoken Go, who has hit three-pointers to win games a few times in his career, hit another game-winner. Jubilation for Team Codiñera followed. What was supposed to be a mere sidelight turned out to be an entertaining battle. The fans enjoyed the halftime feature and were able to familiarize themselves with 3X3 competition rules.

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North vs South All-Stars highlights

Arwind Santos and Japeth Aguilar led the North to a dominant 185-170 win over the South.

play
2:53

North vs South All-Stars highlights

Arwind Santos and Japeth Aguilar led the North to a dominant 185-170 win over the South.

5 .Rookie Javee Mocon with the last-second tip-in to sink the Juniors. On Friday, the Rookies/Sophomores squad was being out-muscled by the slightly more senior Juniors in the second half. Rookie Perez, however, put on a dazzling display from beyond the three-point line as he converted several almost in a row, to put the R/S team within striking distance. The Juniors looked to put the game away, but committed costly turnovers and could not convert on offense towards the end, giving the opponent a chance to close the gap. When Junior Jio Jalalon fouled Jason Perkins, who was attempting a three, the R/S team would have a chance to take the lead with only 3.3 seconds remaining, the Juniors ahead 140-139. However, Sophomore Perkins missed all three free throws! Fortunately for him, Perez got the offensive rebound and immediately hoisted a shot, which missed, but left enough time for Mocon to, in typical fashion, attack the offensive board and tip the ball in off the window as the ball fell through the hoop at the buzzer, handing the victory to the Rookies/Sophomores, 141-140. It was an exhilarating finish and the perfect way to cap off an All-Star Friday filled with activities.