North and South teams will battle for supremacy at 6 p.m. tonight in the centerpiece event of the Philippine Basketball Association All-Star Weekend at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan.
The North squad from Luzon is under Phoenix coach Louie Alas while the South team from the Visayas and Mindanao will be mentored by Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
North is comprised of Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, Paul Lee, Marcio Lassiter, Jason Perkins, Stanley Pringle, Jayson Castro, Chris Banchero, Mark Caguioa plus PBA legends Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc.
“As much as possible, I want to give everybody the same minutes and of course we are the bigger team so we’ll try to get our points inside or dunk the ball. This is for all the fans. This is a good experience for me too,”said Garcia.
South is composed of five-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Paul Asi Taulava, James Yap, Terrence Romeo and Baser Amer, Scottie Thompson, Mark Barroca, RR Pogoy, Chris Ross, PJ Simon, Jio Jalalon, JP Erram, Mac Belo plus PBA luminaries Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codiñera.
South beat North, 108-105, in the first All-Star game in 1992 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. But North bounced back winning eight of the next 11 All-Star games.
Meanwhile, the Rookies and Sophomore narrowly beat the Junior team, 141-140, on Friday. Perez was declared MVP after the game.
Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga won the big man obstacles tilt for the second consecutive year while Peter June Simon of Magnolia snared his first ever three-point shootout crown.
Phoenix’s Rey Guevarra won his fifth straight slam dunk plum while Guevarra equaled KG Canaleta’s five slam dunk titles.