The Philippine Basketball Association’s best and brightest fly to Davao City today for a week of fun, charity work and a lot of show time for the fans as the Annual All-Star Week gets off the ground in Digos, Davao Del Sur.
Led by members of the Gilas-Pilipinas pool that is tasked to take the country back to the world basketball scene, the league’s finest talents will take part in several events like the Three-Point Shootout, the Slam Dunk and the centerpiece All-Star Game pitting the Nationals against a PBA Selection.
The game between the national team and the PBA selection will be the first game for the new group of Gilas-Pilipinas players, who will plunge into serious training after the Commissioner’s Cup is concluded sometime in the third week this month.
Mark Macapagal will try to win the Three-Point Shootout an unprecedented fourth straight time, but he will be up against arguably one of the most talented fields in the event in a very long time with such gunners as KG Canaleta, JV Casio, Josh Urbiztondo and Chris Tiu entered.
A slam-bang affair is also in the offing in the Slam Dunk championship with high-flying Barangay Ginebra rookie Chris Ellis leading a compact roster that also has Alaska neophyte Calvin Abueva and Petron Blaze veteran Arwind Santos.
Jonas Villanueva of Barako Bull will also gun to win the Obstacle Challenge for the fourth straight year and write a little piece of history for himself in the annual classic.
Gilas-Pilipinas will be led by Marcus Douthit, the country’s naturalized 6-foot-10 center, and reigning Jones Cup MVP LA Tenorio of the Gin Kings.
The Nationals are overwhelming favorites to run over the PBA Selection, which will be composed of former two-time MVP James Yap of San Mig Coffee, Mark Caguioa, Santos, Jay Washington and Alex Cabagnot of Petron, Cyrus Baguio, Casio and Abueva of Alaska, Ellis and Canaleta of Air21.
The Slam Dunk, Obstacle Challenge and Three-Point Shootout will be held on Friday starting at 5 p.m. before the PBA Greats clash with the PBA Stalwarts in a game featuring past and present stars.