JV Casio, the former national team mainstay picked first overall in the last Rookie Draft, is the leading vote-getter for the annual PBA All-Star Game scheduled in Laoag next month.
The Powerade guard amassed 45,038 votes and led the most established stars in the league to earn a starting guard’s spot for the Rookies-Sophomores-Juniors (RSJ) squad that will battle the Veterans in the main All-Star attraction.
Another rookie, Marcio Lassiter, was second with 43,067 votes and will form, together with Casio, the fearsome guard spot for the RSJ in the annual classic.
Arwind Santos of Petron Blaze, a perennial MVP contender, was the biggest vote-getter for the Veterans with 42,996 for one of the starting forward spots.
James Yap and Mark Caguioa, gunslingers for their respective teams and usual crowd favorites, tallied 37,893 and 29,157, respectively, earning just enough nods to take the starting guard spots for the Veterans.
Joining Santos in the frontline for the Veterans are Marc Pingris of B-Meg with 41,192 votes, and teammate JC Intal with 29,503.
Chot Reyes of Talk ‘N Text will call the shots for the Veterans. The remaining members of which, like the RSJ squad, will be determined by the coaches of the other PBA teams not calling the shots in the All-Star Game.
Bo Perasol of Powerade will mentor the RSJ side, which also has Josh Urbiztondo of B-Meg (39,963), Chris Lutz of Petron (42,757) and Dylan Ababou (38,621) as the side’s first five.
The May 10-13 mid-season spectacle will be jointly hosted by the City of Laoag led by Mayor Michael V. Farinas, and the province of Ilocos Norte under Gov. Imee Marcos. This marks the second time the province is hosting the All-Star weekend after staging the 2005 edition.