The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) All Star Weekend will start today at the Araneta Coliseum with players from different teams displaying their prowess in obstacle challenge, three-point shootout and the slam dunk competition.
“I’m hoping these guys will come out competitively for the fans,” PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa told reporters during the event’s news conference at the Novotel Hotel near Araneta Coliseum. “I’m also hoping the fans will enjoy the All Star Weekend.”
Before proceeding to the Araneta Coliseum, the North All Stars team will visit the Heroes Ward in V. Luna General Hospital at 10 a.m., while the South All Stars squad will have a meet and greet in Ali Mall Cubao, Quezon City.
Testing their mettle in the 4:15 p.m. obstacle challenge are Brian Huruela of San Miguel Beer, Chris Banchero of Alaska, Earl Scottie Thompson of Ginebra, Carlo Lastimosa of Blackwater, Chris Newsome of Meralco, Paolo Taha of Mahindra, Jeric Fortuna of GlobalPort, Mark Cruz of Phoenix, Eman Monfort of Northern Luzon Expressway, Maverick Ahanmisi of Rain or Shine, Mark Barroca of Star Hotshots and Jai Reyes of Talk ‘N Text.
Displaying their long-range shooting capability in three-point shootout will be Alaska’s RJ Jazul, Ginebra’s Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Blackwater’s Almond Vosotoros, GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo, Mahindra’s Nino KG Canaleta, Meralco’s Jared Dillinger, NLEX’s Garvo Lanete, Phoenix’s Simon Enciso, Rain or Shine’s Jeff Chan, San Miguel Beer’s Alex Cabagnot, Star Hotshots’ James Yap and Talk ‘N Text’s Troy Rosario.
Seeing action in the slam dunk competition are Rey Guevarra of Meralco, James Forrester of NLEX, this year’s top overall pick Moala Tautuaa of Talk ‘N Text, Franklin Bonifacio of Ginebra and rookie Chris Newsome of Meralco.
In the 7 p.m. Blitz game, the Greats will battle the Stalwarts team. The Greats team will be composed of Maverick Ahanmisi, Kevin Alas, Anthony Semerad, Ian Sanggalang, Ed Daquioag, Mac Belo, Roger Pogoy, Jonathan Grey, Noli Locsin, playing-coach Bong Ravena, Johnny Abarrientos and Paolo Bugia.
Meanwhile, the Stalwarts will be comprised of Chris Banchero, Manny Pacquiao, David Semerad, Raymond Almazan, Mike Tolomia, Russel Escoto, Raffy Banal, Bryan Cruz, Alvin Patrimonio, Nick Belasco, playing-coach Ronnie Magsanoc and Topex Robinson.
A referees’ clinic will be held on Saturday morning in Pinagkaisahan, Quezon City while in the afternoon, the featured players will attend another meet and greet outside the Araneta Coliseum premises.
On Sunday, the North All Star team under coach Yeng Guiao and the South All Star team under coach Leo Austria will clash in the 7 p.m. game, after the women’s 5-on-5 event at 5 p.m.
The North All Stars are composed of Mark Caguioa, Terrence Romeo, Marc Pingris, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Jayson Castro, Alex Cabagnot, Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Ranidel De Ocampo and Troy Rosario.
The South All Stars, on the other hand, is comprised of James Yap, Earl Scottie Thompson, June Mar Fajardo, Joe Devance, Paul Asi Taulava, Jay-R Quinahan, Jeff Chan, Jericho Cruz, Chris Ross, Mark Barroca, Ryan Roose Garcia and Carlo Lastimosa.