Gilas Pilipinas top fare in PBA All-Star tiff
MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas will play as a team again for the first time since its dramatic and historic silver-medal finish in the Fiba Asia last year when the Nationals take part in the PBA’s Annual All Star Game in April.
The annual classic will be held in Manila again for the first time in years as the league aims to ride the popularity of the Nationals, who will go to Spain in August for the World Championship and to South Korea in September for the Asian Games.
Last year in Digos, Davao del Sur, the Nationals clashed with a PBA Selection in a game that ended in a 124-all count on a Jeff Chan triple with six-tenths of a second remaining.
That game, witnessed by a sellout crowd, was also the first time the Nationals played together as a team, and their resiliency in coming back from six points down with just over 42 seconds left certainly was a good sign of things to come.
Gilas will also play without a naturalized player in the All-Star Game, slated April 6 at Mall of Asia Arena, also the venue where the Filipinos finally beat South Korea in the Final Four of the Fiba Asia Championship to punch a ticket back to the World Championship.
The Nationals are also being primed up to play in the Asian Games in Inchon in September with a new naturalized player in tow—either JaVale McGee of the Denver Nuggets or Andray Blatche of the Brooklyn Nets (See related story on A13).
Meanwhile, San Mig Coffee point guard Mark Barroca won the PBA Press Corps-Accel Player of the Week for the third straight time after stepping up big in a 97-89 win over Barangay Ginebra on Sunday night. The 5-foot-10 Barroca finished with a career-high 25 points—nine of them coming in the fourth period—as the Mixers took a 2-1 series edge over the Gin Kings.
Barroca beat out Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee for the honor after Lee managed just four points in a 33-point loss to Petron Blaze on Saturday.
Rain or Shine, though, still holds a 2-1 edge over the Boosters with Game 4 being played at press time.
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