Congolese Emmanuel Mudiay has opened his All-Star weekend appearance in style as he pushed the World team close to a victory over the US team in the 2016 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday in Toronto, Canada. Team USA won the game 157-154 with Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine crowned the MVP of the game.
LaVine had 30 points and seven rebounds in the United States team’s three point victory over the World team.
Although Mudiay led the World team with 30 points, 3 rebounds and a game-high 10 assists special mention must go to a few of his teammates, New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis added 30 and Toronto native Andrew Wiggins contributed 29 points. The contest belonged to LaVine and Co, who bounced back from last year’s defeat.
Mudiay was on fire in the game as he made 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, got his teammates involved with a number of assists, and, more importantly, he had fun. Houston Rockets centre and fellow African, Clint Capela, added 12 points and 7 rebounds in 15:07 minutes.
LaVine, who will try to defend his dunk contest on Saturday, said: “I’m ready to put on a show.”
The game featured some of the best rookies and sophomores in the league, LaVine made 13 of 20 shots to beat Wiggins, who took home MVP honours last year in Brooklyn.
Wiggins, who claimed last year’s MVP honours in the Rising Challenge game, received a thunderous ovation upon introduction in the starting line-up and was serenaded with chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” late in the game by an adoring Canadian crowd on his homecoming.
With Mudiay replacing the injured defending champion Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets in the Skills Challenge, his weekend amongst the stars isn’t over. Catch that on Saturday night – live on SuperSport,