"Star-studded" could just be one word to decribe the recently held Star Magic Games 2019, with the other being "spectacular." Last weekend, the hottest Kapamilya talents let their athletic flags fly as the much-anticipated celebrity sports event shook the Araneta Coliseum, Cubao, Quezon City anew with a series of basketball and volleyball lasting until almost midnight. The ending: Kapamilya viewers being treated to an inimitable showcase of entertainment and sports!
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The first basketball event saw younger male celebs igniting the Games. Jerome Ponce-skippered Team Red burst with a strong start, 11-1 at the end of the first quarter, until Elmo Magalona-captained Team Blue tied it up in the third quarter, 25-25. Team Red eventually rallied in the last few minutes for a victorious comeback, 46-42. Team Blue's Kyle Echarri, Kirst Viray, and Bugoy Cariño; and Team Red's Raven Molina and RA Lewis eventually made it to the Mythical Five.
The Games changed it up with the women's volleyball event taking place next. With UAAP volleyball stars Jia Morado, Gretchen Ho, Eya Laure, and Carly Hernandez assisting, Julia Barretto-led Team Blue and Kim Chiu-powered Team Red battled it out in a best-of-three format. Despite a hardworking leader and scorer for Team Blue in Julia and with historic plays that witnessed teammate and former Ateneo Lady Eagle Gretchen singlehandedly blocking UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year Eya twice, Team Red rose after winning the last two sets. Including both team captains, Team Blue's Vivoree Esclito; and Team Red's Analaine Lim and Gillian Vicencio rounded up the Mythical Five.
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Lastly, in the men's basketball event, Gerald Anderson yet again proved he's a formidable celebrity athlete every year after bolstering Team Star Magic versus Vice Ganda's Team Showtime, 119-109. The former MPBL player and eventual match MVP led the team in a grueling match that ended on double overtime. The first half saw Team Showtime leading by two, until Gerald and co-captain Daniel Padilla worked hand in hand to score back including the latter's three three's in the first half. With two minutes remaining, Vice Ganda would step in only to be fouled by Daniel resulting to a successful free throw. Throughout the game, a motley of comic gimmicks sent everyone to a mix of awe, applause, and laughter: Ryan Bang being undressed after a three that wasn't counted, Jhong Hilario doing backflips, Vice and Ion Perez being flirty, and more. To end the night, Team Showtime's Johannes Rissler, Zeus Collins. and Ion joined the Mythical Five with Gerald and Daniel. —With Kassie Gormley
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Photographs by Vyn Radovan