Gilas Pilipinas takes on the Visayas All-Star in the final leg of the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) All-Star Game on Sunday at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
Multi-titled and former national mentor Tim Cone calls the shots for the Visayas All-Star team, which will be beefed up by former Gilas players LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Dondon Hontiveros and Asi Taulava.
“Our approach is that were there for a purpose. It’s not an All-Star game in our minds but were there for a purpose to get the national team ready. So I expect our guys to go out and play, take it seriously, and really go at it,” said Cone.
“That’s the beauty of this kind of All-Star games. I’ve never been a fan of all-star teams because they kind of just try to fool around. But because you’re doing something for the national interest, it makes this one exciting,” he added. “We’ll have talent and will do our best of using our talent against them.”
Also included the Visayas All-Star team are Joe Devance, James Yap, Chris Ross, Chris Ellis, Ronald Tubid, Jericho Cruz, JR Quinahan and Rabeh Al-Hussaini.
Tenorio and Al-Hussaini replaced Terrence Romeo and June Mar Fajardo, respectively, after the two were named to the final roster of Gilas 5 of head coach Chot Reyes. Quinahan replaced the injured Aldrech Ramos.
This will be Gilas’ first test since Reyes announced the final lineup last Friday for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship, to be held at the Smart Araneta Colisuem from May 12 to 18.
Aside from Fajardo and Romeo, named to the SEABA roster were Jayson Castro, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, Allein Maliksi, Raymond Almazan, Jio Jalalon, RR Pogoy and Matthew Wright.
Gilas was forced to 114-114 draw by the Mindanao All-Stars in the first leg in Cagayan de Oro then rallied to beat the Luzon All-Stars, 122-111, last Friday in Lucena City.