TIM Cone again tests the mettle of the Philippine men’s basketball team when he calls the shots for the Mindanao selection during the kickoff leg of the PBA All-Star week later this month.
The All-Star team battles the national squad in Digos, Davao del Sur on May 23 to open the mid-season classic that will also have stops at the cities of Batangas on May 25 and Iloilo on May 27.
In last year’s All-Star edition, Cone handled the Visayas selection against a scrappy national team that rallied from a 15-point deficit to pull off a 125-112 win.
Ginebra player Scottie Thompson, the Magnolia trio of Mark Barroca, Peter June Simon, and Jio Jalalon, and Blackwater big man Mac Belo have been voted starters for Cone’s team during the event sponsored by Phoenix Fuel with Phoenix Pulse Technology and backed by Peak Sports Apparel and PBA RUSH-Cignal.
Baser Amer, Cyrus Baguio, Sonny Thoss, Rafi Reavis, Poy Erram, RR Garcia and Carlo Lastimosa are also in Cone’s squad.
The Philippine team will be led by June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Troy Rosario, Calvin Abueva, and Terrence Romeo.
Completing the lineup for coach Chot Reyes are Carl Bryan Cruz, Gabe Norwood, Allein Maliksi, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Jayson Castro and rookie Kiefer Ravena.
It was Abueva and Romeo who sparked the national team’s comeback against Visayas in last year’s All-Star, finishing with 26 and 25 points, respectively.
Fans in Davao will also get an added treat as the league holds a special three-point shootout featuring three personalities from Mindanao in tandem with three PBA Legends.
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go teams up with inaugural three-point champion Allan Caidic, lawyer and presidential son-in-law Mans Carpio will join forces with Simon, while Senator and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao shoots alongside Kenneth Duremdes.