NBA greats became fans of PBA's 'Triggerman'
These stars along with the up-and-coming players from the NBA D-League, were turned to believers and watched in awe Allan Caidic's superb marksmanship.
Caidic unloaded 54 points, built around 14 triples, and was definitely the star of the show in the Red Team's 177-167 triumph over the White Squad in the NBA Asia Challenge 2010 on Friday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-2 lefty shooter provided the highlight reels by sinking one triple after another and put on a clinical show in front of some of the past and present players from the two oldest professional leagues – the NBA and the PBA – as well as the rising stars from the D-League.
"Trigger, trigger, trigger," said Rice, who himself was beaten by Caidic in their short, three-point shootout battle during a break. "Watching guys like The Triggerman putting on a show, I can’t wait to come back here."
Rice was one of the NBA legends who teamed up with Caidic along with Payton.
But even some of the world's best players emulated by local cagers were simply amazed on how this gunner from University of the East sank basket after basket from beyond the arc with consistency.
Caidic scored the first seven points of the Red Team, then hit three-pointers in succession. He had three straight triples that gave the Red Team a 62-60 lead, 7:06 left in the second period.
In the third, the former UE Warrior buried four treys before his teammates, led by Rico Maierhofer and Vergel Meneses, started to get their rhythm as the Red Team established their first sizeable lead, 147-136, with still 8:03 left.
Caidic's final trey of the night with 1:31 left, gave Red Team a 173-157 spread for their biggest lead.
"They gave me the ball a lot, so there’s no other choice but to shoot it," said Caidic. "The pressure is there to make the shot and luckily I made them. I’ve really prepared for this because I want to give my best and show it to the legends."
Rice contributed 19 points, including five triples, mostly against his counterpart from the White Team, Webber.
Former PBA import Ritchie Frahm led the White squad with 24 points, the same output made by Webber.
"It didn't matter what I did today, but this night belongs to The Triggerman," said Frahm, who played for the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals as import in the PBA 2002 Governors Cup when the team was still coached by Bill Bayno.
Webber, a 6-foot-10 forward who played for the Sacramento Kings, wasn't surprised with the Filipinos’ brand of play.
"Basketball is universal and the PBA is the second oldest league in the world next to the NBA," said Webber. “But the Triggerman was incredible. He still makes shot even if I put my hand on his face."
Webber also heaped praises on Atoy Co, the 60-year-old cager, who was an instant fan favorite in this match.
Co, a former member of the Crispa Redmanizers, tallied 10 points.
"This is my first time to play in two years," said Webber. “But to see a 60-year-old guy to play at the level is really incredible. I wonder how we would look like playing basketball when we reach 60. That’s what really difficult to imagine." – JVP, GMANews.TV
Red 177 – Caidic 54, Lazare 22, Rice 19, Santos 16, Meneses 16, Maierhofer 15, McCray 11, Co 10, Tenorio 7, Payton 7.
White 167 – Frahm 24, Webber 24, Tyndale 22, Hontiveros 20, Paras 18, Magsanoc 16, Patrimonio 16, Richmond 16, Tubid 13.
Quarter scores: 38-44, 92-94, 124-124, 177-167.