Rain or Shine’s coach Yeng Guiao aims to stretch the North All-Star team’s winning streak to eight when his wards take on the South All-Star squad today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 All-Star Weekend Festival at the Araneta Coliseum.
The North team is composed of Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa and Japeth Aguilar, GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle, Star Hotshots’ Jean Marc Pingris, Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, Talk ‘N Text’s Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo and Troy Rosario, San Miguel Beer’s Alex Cabagnot and Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood and Paul Lee.
“Coaching for 25 years in the PBA, it’s always a treat to be in this occasion and the fun doesn’t die out,” Guiao told reporters during the All Star Weekend news conference. “It’s good to be back in the All-Star Game. It’s an honor to coach these talents.”
Comprising the South team under San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria are Star Hotshots’ James Yap, Mark Barroca and Ryan Roose Garcia, Ginebra’s Earl Scottie Thompson and Joe Devance, NLEX’s Paul Asi Taulava, Rain or Shine’s Jay-R Quinahan, Jeff Chan and Jericho Cruz, San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross and June Mar Fajardo and Blackwater’s Carlo Lastimosa.
“This is my second year to coach an All-Star team. Last time, I coached the North team in Palawan and we won. I’m hoping to win again,” said Austria. “Aside from enjoying the game, I would like to tell my players that we need to win this game.”
The North team won over the South team, 166-161, in the last edition of the tilt in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The last time the South team won over the North team was in 2008 in Bacolod, 163-158.
The North Team is leading over the South Team 7-4 in total number of wins.
“We’ll take it seriously for the fans,” said Yap. “We are going to give them a good game.”
On Friday, the Stalwarts team of Manny Pacquiao defeated the Greats team 99-94. Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine and Mike Tolomia of Far Eastern University led the Stalwarts with 23 points and 14 points respectively.
“It is an honor to play with these PBA veterans especially against Johnny Abarrientos and alongside the Captain Alvin Patrimonio. Before, I just watched them in the television. Now, I’m playing with them,” said Pacquiao, who finished with nine points.
Meanwhile, Rey Guevarra of Meralco, a former Letran Knights, emerged as the slam dunk champion for the third straight time.
The slam dunk competition was judged by PBA four-time Most Valuable Player Alvin Patriomonio, Nic Belasco, Johnny Abarrientos, Bong Ravena, and Canaleta.
In the three-point shooting contest, Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort bested Nino Canaleta of Mahindra and RJ Jazul of Alaska. The former Far Eastern University standout scored 20 points in the finals to beat the 17 points each of Canaleta and Jazul.
Maverick Ahanmisi ruled the obstacle challenge competition with 32.95 seconds. Carlo Lastimosa of Blackwater finished second with 34 seconds and Mark Cruz of Phoenix finished third with 36.9 seconds.