By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
REGULAR Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) action takes a break as the growing league holds its All-Star festivities today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Chooks-To-Go-MPBL/Lakan All-Star Day will see top stars of the league compete in the different events lined up as their way of thanking the MPBL’s fans and supporters.
Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with the 3×3 games followed by the side events at 5 p.m.
At 7 p.m., the Executive Game tips off before the All-Star Game proper.
In the All-Star Game, participants from the two league divisions — North and South — will play.
Starting for the Northern team are Jai Reyes from the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, Michael Juico (Pampanga), John Wilson (San Juan-Go for Gold) Aris Dionisio (Manila-Frontrow) and Ryan Batino (1Bataan-Camaya Coast).
They are joined by JR Taganas (Bulacan), Mark Benitez (Rizal-Xentro Mall), Jeric Teng (Pasig-Sta. Lucia), Paulo Hubalde (Valenzuela-Carga Backload Solutions), Marwin Taywan (Navotas-Uni Pak Sardines), Cedric Ablaza (Makati-Super Crunch), Dhon Reverente (Pasay), Paul Sanga (Caloocan-Victory Liner), Clark Derige (Quezon City-WEMSAP) and Jayboy Solis Parañaque). Coach of the North team is Randy Alcantara of San Juan.
The South team, meanwhile, will have Davao Occidental’s Mark Yee, Jeff Viernes (Batangas-Tanduay), Allyn Bulanadi (Basilan-Jumbo Plastic), Gab Banal (Bacoor) and Will McAloney (Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol) as starters.
Completing the team are Rob Celiz (GenSan-Burlington), Pari Llagas (Sarangani), Gerald Anderson (Imus-Luxxe Slim), GJ Ylagan (Muntinlupa-Angelis Resort), Paolo Javelona (Bacolod-Master Sardines), Rodel Vaygan (Mindoro), Allan Mangahas (Biñan-Luxxe White), Ronjay Buenafe (Bicol-LCC Stores), Richard Escoto (Iloilo) and Alvin Pasaol (Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines). Coach of the South team is Don Dulay of Davao Occidental.
In the side events, headlining the Chooks-to-Go Slam Dunk Contest is Makati Super Crunch’s David Carlos. Joining him are Bacoor’s RJ Ramirez and Nick Demusis, Manila-Frontrow’s Gian Abrigo, Marikina’s Ato Ular, and Davao Occidental-Cocolife’s James Forrester.
In the three-point shootout, the participants are composed of Mr. Wilson of San Juan, Anton Asistio and Robin Roño of Zamboanga, Mikee Cabahug of Navotas, Mark Pangilinan and Rocky Acidre of Bacoor, Jerome Garcia of Bicol, Jordan Rios of Rizal, Rhaffy Octobre of Cebu, Lester Alvarez of Bulacan, and James Martinez of Nueva Ecija.