FOR one day, bitter rivals will turn into teammates as the NCAA holds its fourth annual All-Star Game on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The main game features a new format, replacing the old East vs West showdown with the Heroes vs Saints duel, which will pit some of the best performers on the season in an exhibition match.
Rivals Rey Nambatac of Letran and Robert Bolick San Beda will be joining hand in hand as they banner the Saints All Stars, which also includes players from schools with saint-based names like San Sebastian, College of St. Benilde and Perpetual Help.
Joining them on the squad are fellow San Beda stars JV Mocon and Davon Potts, Letran aces Bong Quinto and JP Calvo, the Altas' Gab Dagangon, Prince Eze, GJ Ylagan, the Stags' Kevin Baytan, Ian Valdez and Alvin Baetiong and Benilde's Edward Dixon, JJ Domingo and Gerard Castor.
The Heroes squad, on the other hand, will be led by the explosive tandem of Lyceum's CJ Perez and Kent Salado of Arellano.
Salado's teammates in Allen Enriquez and Lervin Flores will beef up their frontline together with the Pirates' MJ Ayaay and Mike Nzeusseu.
Jerome Garcia, Francis Munsayac and Sidney Onwubere of Emilio Aguinaldo College, Ervin Grospe, Gio Lasquety and Teytey Teodoro of Jose Rizal University, and Christian Bunag, JB Raflores and Laurenz Victoria of Mapua University complete the cast.
Meanwhile, Arnaud Noah, winner of the slam dunk contest two years ago, will be back in the competition as he looks to regain the crown in the main attraction of the side events.
AC Soberano, on the other hand, will look to defend his crown in the three point shootout contest with San Sebastian's RK Ilagan and Lyceum's Wilson Baltazar coming in as his toughest challengers.
There will be a new champion in the Skills Contest after last year's champion, Darrell Menina jumped ship to National University. Lyceum's JC Marcelino will be the man to watch in the competition.