The PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup hostilities take a break this week as the PBA All Star Week gets underway from the Mall of Asia Arena starting April 3. This year also marks the first time after a decade that the All Star game will be played in the nation’s capital.
Fans will get to see a reunited Gilas Pilipinas that took the silver medal at last year’s FIBA Asia Championship held here in Manila. The 12-man team of coach Chot Reyes will be led by Jimmy Alapag, Marcus Douthit, Larry Fonacier, Jayson Castro, Ranidel Ocampo, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Junemar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Gary David, LA Tenorio and Marc Pingris.
Coach Chot Reyes has bolstered the pool with Paul Lee, Jarred Dillinger and Beau Belga as key additions to the national team pool.
The national squad will duel on Sunday afternoon against the PBA All Star players named by fans with top vote-getter rookie Greg Slaughter of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and fan favorite James Yap of the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers. The selection also includes reigning MVP Arwind Santos, Calvin Abueva, Mark Barroca, Marcio Lassiter, Mac Baracael, Chris Ellis, Sonny Thoss, Joe Davance, Niño Cañaleta and PJ Simon. The league’s winningest coach Tim Cone will call the shots for the All Stars.
Friday will also be a fun day for the players they get to pit their skills in the Skills Challenge competition starting at 5:30PM. The event will be aired live on AksyonTV on Friday and will be replayed on TV5 before the All-Star clash.
Diminutive rookie guard Justin Melton of the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers will test his leaping ability against Japeth Aguilar and reigning dunk king Chris Ellis. At the 3-pt shootout, Chris Tiu will try to defend his crown against a slew of gunners like Lassiter, Yap and Fonacier. Jonas Villanueva will be defending for the second his Obstacle Course title against some of the fastest guards of the league.
The main feature last Friday evening were the Greats vs Stalwarts game that had PBA Legends showing their wares. Freddie Abuda, Vergel Meneses, Jason Webb, Jondel Cardel and Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren were playing for the Greats squad. Stalwarts paraded Noli Locsin, Jeffrey Cariaso, Dickie Bachmann, Richard del Rosario and Bal David.