FOLLOWING a successful staging of its Mindanao leg in Davao on Wednesday, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) All-Star Game 2018 moves to Batangas City today.
The second of a three-leg road show, today’s festivities are for the Luzon stretch of the midseason PBA classic and will be held at the Batangas City Coliseum.
The All-Star Game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will see the Luzon All-Stars go up against the national team.
Headlining the Luzon All-Stars of coach Leo Austria of San Miguel are Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra, Calvin Abueva of Alaska, Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang of Magnolia, Jayson Castro of TNT, Stanley Pringle of GlobalPort, Matthew Wright of Phoenix, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos of San Miguel, and Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine.
They are to go up against the national team made up of June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel, Carl Bryan Cruz of Alaska, Troy Rosario of TNT, Mac Belo and Allein Maliksi of Blackwater, Terrence Romeo of TNT, Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, Jio Jalalon of Magnolia and Kiefer Ravena of NLEX.
Coaching the national team in the Batangas All-Star joust is NLEX’s Yeng Guiao.
Also on tap in today’s PBA event are the skills challenges — obstacle challenge, three-point shootout and slam dunk contest.
In the obstacle challenge, the league’s big men are to compete with former league most valuable player Asi Taulava (NLEX) leading the participants.
Others expected to compete in the challenge are Alaska’s Thoss, Rain or Shine’s Almazan and Beau Belga, Blackwater’s JP Erram, GlobalPort’s Kelly Nabong, Magnolia’s Aldrech Ramos, Columbian’s Russell Escoto, San Miguel’s Gabby Espinas and TNT’s Yousef Taha.
In the three-point shootout, defending champion Maliksi of Blackwater tries to defend his crown against Mr. Romeo of TNT, James Yap of Rain or Shine, JVee Casio of Alaska, Mr. Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra, Mr. Pringle of GlobalPort, Ronald Tubid of Columbian, Niño Canaleta of Meralco, Larry Fonacier of NLEX, Mr. Wright of Phoenix, Mr. Lee of Magnolia and Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel.
Chris Newsome of Meralco, meanwhile, goes for back-to-back slam dunk titles when he goes up against former champion Rey Guevarra of Phoenix, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser of San Miguel, Renz Palma of Blackwater and Lervin Flores of GlobalPort.
Meanwhile, the Mindanao All-Stars relied on their speed and quickness to turn back the national team, 144-130, in the All-Star Game held in Digos City on Wednesday.
Meralco’s Baser Amer led the host team with 22 points with Mark Barroca and Peter June Simon of Magnolia adding 20 and 17 points, respectively.
League most valuable player Fajardo paced the national team with 34 points while Barangay Ginebra’s Aguilar added 25.
Also winning was the team of Mr. Romeo and presidential son-in-law Mans Carpio, who combined for 33 points to top the legends three-point shootout event over the teams of legend Kenneth Duremdes and former boxer Bobby Pacquiao (27), Allan Caidic and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go (22), and Mr. Thompson and Major Michael Sabsal (18).
After today’s festivities, the PBA All-Star Game moves to Iloilo City for its final leg on May 27. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo