THE first-ever GMA-NCAA All-Star Basketball Game held June 5 saw Kapuso stars and NCAA basketball players battling it out on the court in a friendly but hotly contested exhibition game, which resulted in a 109-all final score.

Aired live on GTV from the FilOil Flying V Center, the star-studded game between Team Heroes and Team Saints featured top student-athletes from the ten-member schools of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and some of GMA’s Sparkle artists. Team Heroes’ Enoch Valdez of Lyceum of the Philippines University and Team Saints’ celebrity chef Jose Sarasola were named as All-Star Game MVP and Celebrity MVP, respectively.

Valdez fired 16 points and recorded nine rebounds while Sarasola tallied 14 points.

Team Saints was bannered by NCAA Season 97’s MVP-Rookie of the Year Rhenz Abando of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and fellow Letran Knight cager Brent Paraiso; San Beda University Red Lions Ralph Penuela and Yukien Andrada; University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas Kim Aurin and Jielo Razon; De La Salle-College of St. Benilde Blazers Will Gozum and Prince Carlos; and San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags Ichie Altamirano and Ammar Cosari.

Aside from Sarasola, also showcasing their basketball skills for Team Saints were Kapuso celebrities Rocco Nacino, Paul Salas, Gil Cuerva, Pancho Magno, and Kirst Viray.

Enoch, on the other hand, was supported by his peers in Team Heroes which included Arellano University Chiefs Kai Oliva and Gelo Sablan; Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals Allen Liwag and Ralph Robin; Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates Mac Guadaña; Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers JL delos Santos and Marwin Dionisio; and Mapua University Cardinals Warren Bonifacio and Paolo Hernandez.

Kapuso actors Jason Abalos, Mavy Legaspi, David Licauco, Nikki Co, Ervic Vijandre and Luis Hontiveros also provided solid contributions throughout the game.

Randy Alcantara of Mapua University was the coach for Team Heroes while Letran’s Bonnie Tan called the shots for Team Saints. Sparkle artists Arra San Agustin and Kyline Alcantara served as the muse for Team Saints and Team Heroes, respectively.

In between the tight battle between team Heroes and Saints were fun games the audience enjoyed. Kapuso singers Hannah Precillas, Jessica Villarubin, Mariane Osabel, and Zephanie Dimaranan kept viewers entertained with their powerful song performances. Kapuso comedians Pekto and John Feir served as courtside reporters for Team Heroes and Team Saints, respectively. Kapuso stars Cassy Legaspi and Lexi Gonzales were also present during the event.

The GMA-NCAA All-Star Basketball Game is just one of the many things collegiate sports fans can look forward to from the partnership between GMA Network and NCAA.

“We’ve been preparing for the All-Star Basketball Game since Season 96 but the pandemic prevented us from carrying out our plans,” shared GMA Regional TV and Synergy first vice president and head Oliver Victor Amoroso.

“Finally, we were able to do it this season. We are happy with the partnership between GMA and NCAA. Following the success of the NCAA Season 97 men’s basketball, I’m sure volleyball fans can’t wait to catch the women’s volleyball tournament which begins on June 11 and airing live on GTV. We’re also excited for the coming season as GMA Synergy level’s up the multimedia production of the upcoming NCAA games.”

The “GMA NCAA All-Star Basketball Game” was anchored by Synergy Sports host Martin Javier. He was joined by sports analyst Martin Antonio and guest analyst Jerry Codiñera. Hosting the program were Synergy Sports host Anton Roxas and Game On! host Sophia Senoron with the Season 97 courtside reporters delivering courtside updates and fun games for the audience. (PR)