PBA All-Star show on
Led by the most decorated coach in league history and a superstar hoping to make a memorable homecoming, the PBA Mindanao All-Stars take the first crack at the Smart PBA All-Stars on Wednesday night in the first of three legs of the annual mid-season showcase at Davao del Sur Sports Complex in Digos City.
Coach Tim Cone will call the shots for the Mindanao All Stars led by Digos-born Scottie Thompson as they test the Smart All-Stars whose members make up the national team seeing action in the Fiba World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.
The Barangay Ginebra coach is looking forward to giving the national team the warm up it needs as Gilas prepares for the Qualifiers next month.
“We’ll look like Gilas than Gilas themselves,” said Cone of the 7:30 p.m. match.
“We’ll be the small team playing a team like the Australians. We’ll play Gilas style.”
The national team is preparing for their June 29 match-up against Chinese Taipei in Taiwan and July 2 against Australia at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Gilas veterans Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Mac Belo, Carl Bryan Cruz and Allein Maliksi attended practice on Monday.
The Smart All-Stars will be handled by Meralco’s Norman Black, who is in his fifth All Star appearance but will be coaching in the annual spectacle for the first time in 21 years.
Cone, a winner of two Grand Slams with Alaska and San Mig Coffee (now Magnolia), will handle a team that also includes his former players from those teams—Mark Barroca, PJ Simon, Rafi Reavis, Sonny Thoss and Cyrus Baguio.
Mac Belo, Baser Amer, Poy Erram, RR Garcia and Carlo Lastimosa complete the regional All Stars that will try to duplicate, if not better, a 114-114 standoff the Mindanao squad scored versus Gilas in Cagayan de Oro City last year.
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