The PBA will once again be having multi-leg All-Star festivities this year. After the success of the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao All-Star events last year, the PBA will once again hold the event in three venues across the country this year.
The PBA All-Star Week kicks off on May 23 in Davao Del Sur. They move on to Batangas on May 25 and Iloilo on May 27.
First up will be Davao Del Sur native Scottie Thompson (Ginebra) leading the Mindanao All-Stars. Joining him in the starting five are a trio of Magnolia guards in Mark Barroca, Peter June Simon and Jio Jalalon. Mac Belo (Blackwater) is the final member of the starting five.
The rest of the Mindanao All-Stars are point guards Baser Amer (Meralco) and RR Garcia (TNT). Shooting guards Cyrus Baguio (NLEX) and Carlo Lastimosa (Columbian) will bring firepower off the bench. Sonny Thoss (Alaska), Rafi Reavis (Magnolia), Poy Erram (Blackwater) will man the front line of the squad. Tim Cone who coached the Visayas All-Stars last year will lead the Mindanao crew this year.
Batangas kid LA Tenorio leads the Luzon All-Star starters in the main event of the second leg of PBA All-Star Week. Joining him in the starting five will be Ginebra teammate Japeth Aguilar. Also voted into the starting five are Alaska’s Calvin Abueva and Magnolia’s Paul Lee. The other front court player voted to the starting five was Marc Pingris. But since he is still recovering from injury, Jayson Castro will be taking his place.
The Luzon team’s front line is bolstered by twin towers Ian Sangalang (Magnolia) and Raymond Almazan (Rain or Shine). San Miguel’s trio of Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot also made the team. Rounding out the roster are GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle and Phoenix’s Matthew Wright. The Luzon team will be coached by Leo Austria.
June Mar Fajardo (San Miguel), the most successful product of Visayas basketball, leads the region’s All-Star teams. James Yap (Rain or Shine) and Terrence Romeo (TNT) join Fajardo in the team’s starting line-up. Voted as a starter as well is Ginebra big man, Greg Slaughter. Kiefer Ravena, who proudly reps Iloilo rounds out the starters for the Visayas team.
Ravena’s NLEX teammates JR Quinahan and Asi Taulava will lead the big men off the bench for the Visayas All-Stars. Emman Monfort is the fourth Road Warrior to make the All-Star team. Joe Devance (Ginebra), Jericho Cruz (TNT), Jeff Chan (Phoenix) and Chris Ross (San Miguel) round out the squad. Coach Chito Victolero will handle the coaching duties for this squad.
Facing the PBA All-Stars will be a select team made up of Gilas pool members coached by Coach Chot Reyes. Fajardo, Romeo and Gabe Norwood lead the Gilas team against the Luzon squad. Aguilar, Castro and Abueva will banner the National Team versus the big men of Visayas. Fajardo is back in national team colors against the Mindanao squad. Joining him are Ravena and Wright.
The second leg will be where the All-Star side events will be held. The Batangas crowd will get to watch the Obstacle Event, Three-Point Shootout and Slam Dunk Contest live.
The Skill Challenge will feature the big men running an obstacle course showing off their various basketball skills. The field is made up of Sonny Thoss, Raymond Aguilar, JP Erram, Kelly Nabong, Russel Escoto, Ken Bono, Asi Taulava, Doug Kramer, Aldrech Ramos, Beau Belga, Yancy de Ocampo, and Yousef Taha.
Maliksi will try to make it back-to-back Shootout crowns as he defends his title against a strong shooting group. Former champions Terrence Romeo and James Yap lead the field that includes the best hot shots in the league. Trying to win the crown as well are Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Matthew Wright, Larry Fonacier, Garvo Lanete, Ronald Tubid, Stanley Pringle, LA Tenorio, and JV Casio.
Chris Newsome is also aiming to defend his Slam Dunk crown. He will face off against a high flying field made up of Matt Ganuelas Rosser, Renz Palma, Marion Magat, Lervin Flores, Jackson Corpuz, and former winners Gabe Norwood and Rey Guevarra.