Nope, Ahanmisi not changing PBA All-Star views even as votes pile in | Inquirer Sports
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Nope, Ahanmisi not changing PBA All-Star views even as votes pile in

/ 05:02 AM December 29, 2023

Maverick Ahanmisi Ginebra

Maverick Ahanmisi, now among top PBA All-Star vote-getters, still thinks the event is about popularity. —MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

You would think that seeing his name among the top players in the initial results of the voting for the PBA All-Star Game in Bacolod City would convince Maverick Ahanmisi to have a change of heart regarding how he sees the midseason classic.

“Nope, same views from this side,” Ahanmisi, however, said on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.

Ahanmisi was reacting to an Inquirer story recently about his inclusion in the list of 24 players with an inside track of being tapped to play in the annual exhibition classic, where the pros’ participation is fully determined by fans.

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Ahanmisi garnered 13,216 in the initial tally, which many see as a result of his transfer to crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra. He was one of nine Gin Kings that were in the early running for the game.

READ: Maverick Ahanmisi turns into Tiktok star after needing an ‘outlet’ amid hard times

The voting boost was a stark contrast to last season when fans snubbed Ahanmisi, who was having a career season and even went on to capture the Most Improved Player award as a member of Converge.

Last season, he said the All-Star game had devolved into a “popularity contest,” an opinion he still holds on to now and can back up with Ginebra role-players like Nards Pinto and Von Pessumal in the top 24 ahead of more deserving names. Outside of the current top 24, Gin Kings benchwarmer Raymond Aguilar is also among the players with the highest amount of votes.

The PBA will try to remedy that situation by adding four more spots to the All-Star game, this time with the players to be selected by coaches and members of the media.

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Ahanmisi picked up where he left off the previous campaign as a FiberXer, averaging 14.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists in nine games for the Gin Kings.

He had four games of at least 20 points, two double-double outputs and one near triple-double.Ginebra has a 6-3 record for joint fourth with San Miguel Beer, and is assured of a quarterfinals berth.

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