MANILA, Philippines – Add a victory to Team Chris' column in the Master Game Face Challenge.
After coming up short in 2013, Chris Tiu's team obtained a victory in Year 2 of the Master special, beating Team Marc, 135-110, on Saturday, June 21, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Spearheading the Tiu-coached club was Chris Ellis, whose athletic prowess was a perfect fit to the pace played by both teams on Saturday. The Ginebra fan-favorite's teammate, Greg Slaughter, meanwhile, led Team Marc along with son of PBA Hall of Famer Benjie Paras - Andre Paras.
Both teams got off to a sluggish start, as players missed most of their outside shots to start the contest.
Slaughter, who served as the lone non-collegiate starter, woke up the audience with a breakaway slam moments later, getting Team Marc within two, 6-4.
However, Team Chris' young guns responded well, leaning on the brilliance of Chris Newsome. The Ateneo stalwart hit a long-range shot and followed it up with another conversion to cap off a 9-2 run.
Thanks to Slaughter's towering height, Team Marc stayed within striking distance as its big man slammed two more jams - the latter a poster over UST's Kevin Ferrer. Before the PBA players entered the fray, Team Chris' lead was down to two, 19-14.
Tiu's set of pros played better than those of his opponent, giving his club a comfortable advantage after 12 minutes of action. Following a set of Ellis layups, Team Chris took a 32-17 lead entering the second frame.
The onslaught continued in the second canto, as the guys in black extended their lead to as much as 20 before Pingris opted to return his college stars and Slaughter. The latter stepped up to the plate, knocking down three 3-balls to help get his team within 10, 55-45.
At the half, Team Chris was on top, 59-51.
Pingris' boys trimmed the deficit to two early into the third quarter thanks to a tandem of Jared Dillinger threes, 67-65. But due to their lackluster open court defense, Ellis was able to get out on the break often and converted consecutive easy lay-ins.
With 2:42 to go in the third, Tiu's team gathered another double-digit advantage, 85-72, and would have the same amount of lead heading into the final period, which Team Marc couldn't bounce back from.
Team Chris and Team Marc had a three-point shootout prior to the game where NBA All Star Kevin Love participated.
The sweet shooting Timberwolves power forward scored 12 in his first try then fired for 19 on his second try. Team Chris also won the shootout with 58 points over Team Marc's 55. – Rappler.com
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