All-Star Week goes back to its roots
SEOUL—Wanting fans to re-affiliate themselves with PBA players, the league’s annual All-Star Week will take a different twist this season as it goes regional in theme and could be playing multiple games in different venues.
As part of new chair Mikee Romero’s efforts to broaden the reach of the league, the All-Star Game will ditch the old North vs South or Rookies, Sophomores and Juniors vs Veterans formats in place of one that celebrates the roots of the players.
“We want the fans to affiliate with the players and vice-versa, to be able to identify with the players,” Romero said during the annual planning session of the board here.
There will be multiple teams, each composed of players speaking the same dialects and coming from the same provinces, and, depending on how many the league can form, will play several games to highlight the annual spectacle.
Games could even be held in gyms in the provinces for a “home and away” feel.
“I would like to see my fellow Cabalens playing together,” Romero, the GlobalPort team owner and 1-Pacman representative, said.
Should that happen, a team featuring Jason Castro, Arwind Santos and Calvin Abueva could be formed with Yeng Guiao as coach. Another squad could feature June Mar Fajardo, JR Quiñahan, Dondon Hontiveros and James Yap with the Visayan region being so big.
Meawnhile, NLEX, Guiao’s new team, and Star, which his former Rain or Shine ace Paul Lee now spearheads, may slug it out at the opening of the 42nd Season on Nov. 20 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The league will finalize the schedule within the week.