It’s also about having fun | Inquirer Sports

It’s also about having fun

/ 02:12 AM March 29, 2017

PBA All-Star games are not expected to be down-the-wire cardiac finishes like a normal tournament game.

There are exceptions. Robert Jaworski’s pass to an open Ramon Fernandez to engineer a slim Seniors victory over the Rookies and Sophomores in 1989 is perhaps the most prominent example. The winning moment was made even more dramatic no doubt by the supposedly bitter feud between the two former teammates.

As broadcaster Joe Cantada and Andy Jao correctly called it, “the two had connived for the victory … two people who probably had never spoken to each other in years.”


I was on the organizing side back then of that first official and institutionalized All-Star battle. More than the winning basket, I will always remember the one practice the Seniors had where the late Baby Dalupan, who was Seniors coach, whispered to me that he “would always put Jaworski and Fernandez on the floor together.”


And he did. Dalupan even brought the two to shake hands after the win. The “Maestro” had a flair for what the fans wanted which is really the essence of these All-Star games.

All-Star coaches will attempt to give every star a chance to play because the fans want combinations that they may not see in the regular PBA schedule. But when it’s winning time, the best players will be on the floor and they will concoct a way to win.

The 2017 version of the All-Star game is a logistical and endurance challenge for the league but the PBA is committed to bring the game to the fans nationwide. On April 26, a Mindanao-based PBA unit faces the Gilas squad in Cagayan de Oro. Two days later, a Luzon team faces the national pool in Lucena. The All-Star week ends on April 30 with a Visayan squad challenging the nationals in Cebu.

Gilas players who come from a particular region will play for their “home” teams, giving the All-Star week a bit of a home and away competition feel.

Those expecting a similar ending to that of 1989 might be hoping for the best. The All-Star game is really about having fun in the biggest pick-up game of the season.

Gilas will probably attempt to play a little more systematically because coach Chot Reyes would like the selected pool players to get used to his system.


Simply have fun watching the players have a bit of fun. Don’t try too hard to analyze these games.

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TAGS: PBA All-star, Ramon Fernandez, Robert Jaworski

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