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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

PBA All-Stars back in Bacolod

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BACOLOD—The entire PBA delegation received a warm reception in the City of Smiles in a huge kick off for the All-Star festivities this weekend at the University of St. La Salle gymnasium.

City Mayor Albee Benitez personally welcomed the contingent led by Commissioner Willie Marcial and captains Japeth Aguilar and Mark Barroca, whose teams will battle it out in the All-Star main game.

After 16 years, the All-Star festivities make a return to the province after South beat North in overtime, 161-158, during the 2008 edition.

“Maraming salamat sa mainit na pagtanggap at pag-imbita sa PBA dito, lalo na at nandito si Mayor (Albee) na matalik nating kaibigan,” said Marcial during the formal presser held at the Megaworld The Upper East.

The city mayor said he expects an exciting weekend for the province starting with the Blitz Game and Skills Challenge on Saturday and the featured All-Star game pitting Team Japeth and Team Mark on Sunday.

Team governors Alfrancis Chua (Barangay Ginebra), Atty. Raymond Zorilla (Phoenix), and Eric Arejola (Northport) along with deputy commissioner Eric Castro were also part of the more than 150-plus contingent.

It will be Team Greats facing the Team Stalwarts in the main event.

Top pick Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and the rest of the Greats team are certainly hard-pressed to repeat the act at the PBA All-Star weekend set March 23 and 24.

Last year in Passi, Iloilo, Team Greats blasted Team Stalwarts, 158-138, during the return of the Blitz Game after a seven-year absence featuring rookie, sophomore, and junior players.

Adrian Wong was adjudged back then as MVP of the side event introduced for the first time with the four-point line and three-point dunk shot.

Ganuelas-Rosser was with the losing side the last time, but will definitely be looking for his personal payback this season.

Joining the TNT big man at Team Greats are Juan Gomez de Liano, Ken Tuffin, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Justin Arana, Ralph Cu, Andrei Caracut, RK Ilagan, Alec Stockton, Gian Mamuyac, James Laput, Shaun Ildefonso.

Meanwhile, San Miguel rookie guard Kyt Jimenez emerged as the top pick of Team Stalwarts to be coached by Beermen deputy mentor Peter Martin.

With Jimenez in the team are Stephen Holt, Keith Datu, Fran Yu, Adrian Nocum, Kim Aurin, John Amores, JM Calma, Joshua Munzon, Anton Asistio, Leonard Santillan, and Keith Zaldivar.

The Blitz Game will be played on March 23 at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum at 6:15 p.m.

It will be preceded by the Skills Challenge set at 3 p.m. featuring the Obstacle Challenge and the Long Distance Three-Point shootout among guards and big men.

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