Some of the best players in Philippine Basketball Association history, showing they still can ball, had many fans on the edge of their seats.

The Filipino Sports Association of Guam, along with United Airlines and Guam Visitors Bureau, presented PBA Legendary Rivalry on Saturday at the University of Guam Calvo Field House in Mangilao.

“Coming to Guam, for me, is almost a second home,” said Ginebra’s Vince Hizon, who first played on island in 1994. “We’re just so happy that FSAG brought us back, once again.”

Ginebra San Miguel and Purefoods, considered to be the two PBA teams with one of the most prolific rivalries in history, featured rosters loaded with top players from the past 30 years, including four of the league’s 40 best-ever athletes.

Jerry Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa, Marlou Aquino and Allan Caidic, the most recognized players, topped the lineups. Aquino and Caidic, both PBA Hall of Fame inductees, were two of the bigger marquee names.

Hizon, with a 31-point performance, including nine 3-pointers, helped San Miguel defeat Purefoods, 116-91. Pido Jarencio, who delighted the crowd with trick shots from behind the backboard and buckets from beyond the arc, chipped in with 28 points.

“Even though we’re probably a lot slower than we were – not running quite as fast or athletic – the will is there,” Hizon said. “The heart is there to win.”

The multigenerational crowd of around 400, made up of mostly Filipinos, watched the stars of yesteryear reliving their glory days.

“We’ve really transcended generations with our legends crew,” Hizon said. “These classic rivalries, especially Purefoods and Ginebra, have been going on for many decades. People don’t forget.”

Purefoods’ Rodney Santos and Jerry Codinera, in a losing effort, scored 23 and 18 points, respectively.

For Alain Abalde, who was at the game, the legendary classic was a family affair that helped fill in some blanks. Growing up in the Philippines and Guam, he heard many stories of how great of a basketball player his cousin Caidic was, but never got to see him play.

“It’s kind of cool to have a relative that’s a PBA legend,” said Abalde, recalling one of the stories he heard growing up was of Caidic scoring 79 points in a single game. “It was good to see a lot of the old legends get together and have a good time.”

“They’re not moving as quick(ly) as they used to, but some of them still have it.”

FSAG All-Stars kick off event

The FSAG All-Stars, kicking off the night with an exhibition matchup, split into two teams.

With James Stake and Noy Espinosa lighting it up from 3-point land, FSAG White defeated FSAG Red, 115-94. Stake, with 25 points, was White’s high scorer. Espinosa, with 24 points, was the two in the one-two punch.

“As soon as the clock gets a little further in, everybody starts kicking in, and the players start playing a little harder,” said Stake, explaining the mindset of playing in the game. “It’s for fun to start, but once the score gets closer, every person … is playing to win.”

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