KUALA LUMPUR: There was no Jason Williams but it mattered not to the fans as Dennis Rodman and company duly charmed the crowd with their bigger than life persona.
Williams was a last minute absentee for the Professional Basketball Alumni Association (PBAA) All Stars against the Asian All Stars selection at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, on Saturday night.
The 7,500 strong crowd were however still treated to a highly entertaining match in which the Asian selection, led by several regional stars came up tops 84-82.
There was much excitement for the crowd in cheering for their basketball icons with former New York Knicks star Latrell Sprewell wowing the fans with his shooting.
Doug Christie and Jerry Stackhouse also received their fair share of support and even PBAA chief executive officer Charles Smith got into the act by playing for several minutes.
The biggest cheer however was reserved for Dennis Rodman, who was making his second appearance in Malaysia.
Fondly known as the Worm, Rodman entered the arena with his face painted akin to the Joker from Batman.
The 52-year-old Rodman was also a charming personality, regularly interacting with the fans, and once again showing off his softer side by giving away his jersey to a little girl in the crowd.
Personalities aside, it was also an exciting match, with the group of over 40-year-olds pushing the Asian selection all the way.
The American team led 30-24 in the first quarter only for the Asian selection to turn it around 44-41 at half-time.
With Westport Malaysia Dragons pair B. Guganeswaran and Kuek Tian Yuan also playing a part in the match, the “home” team went up 64-51 in the third quarter before holding off for a nervy win.
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