CHITO Victolero is out to savor his first ever PBA All-Star appearance. By his own admission, he’s never been to the mid-season spectacle, be it as player and as coach.
Victolero will be calling the shots for the All-Star Mindanao team that will be the first to challenge Gilas Pilipinas in this year’s All-Star spectacle. The game is set on Wednesday at the Xavier University gym in Cagayan de Oro City.
The opportunity to help the national team prepare for a number of major international tournaments this year is also an occasion he’s looking forward to during the event other than the thrill of being involved in his first All-Star appearance.
“I’m very happy kasi first time ko as coach and first time din (sa All-Star), kasi nung player ako hindi ko naman na-experience ito,” he said.
“Kailangan din namin bigyan ng magandang laban yung Gilas para matulungan din namin sila.”
The Star Hotshots mentor, though, will have to settle playing small-ball in his initial All-Star appearance with a starting five made up of Marc Barroca, Scottie Thompson, Peter June Simon, and Cyrus Baguio, with only veteran Rafi Reavis providing the ceiling.
Owing to a heavy-guard roster, the league deemed it wise to reinforce the All-Star Mindanao with big men Sonny Thoss and Troy del Rosario.
“May security agency yata kami,” he said smiling in obvious reference to the small unit at his disposal.
Other members of the team include RR Garcia, Baser Amer, Carlo Lastimosa, and Glenn Khobuntin.
“Tingnan natin kung paano natin sila ma-utlize at ma-maximize yung talent ng team. They are all scorers, Lastimosa, Baser, Jio (Jalalon), PJ. Sana maging maganda yung chemistry nung team na yun,” he said.
Despite lacking in size, Victolero vowed to give the national team a good fight.
He’s not about to spoil his first-ever PBA All-Star.