DON’T be surprised if the North team suddenly runs a familiar Gilas Pilipinas play as national team standouts are set to be reunited in the squad during the PBA All-Star game on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
All but one of the starters—Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Marc Pingris—are members of the Gilas 4.0 side that played in the recent Olympic Qualifiers, while four more from the bench—Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Troy Rosario—were also part of the Tab Baldwin-coached team.
Make it nine players if you add Gilas pool member Paul Lee, leaving starter Mark Caguioa, Alex Cabagnot and Stanley Pringle as the only ones who didn’t play for Gilas.
“Alam namin yung play ng Gilas, yun yung gagawin namin sa All-Star,” Pingris joked.
The South team, on the other hand, only has two national standouts in June Mar Fajardo and Jeff Chan.
Aguilar can’t wait to team up once again with his Gilas brothers.
“Excited na ako to play alongside them lalo na si Ping kasi sila yung madalas ko nakakasama sa Europe,” the Ginebra star said.
But Aguilar said he hopes to run Gin Kings coach Tim Cone’s Triangle Offense plays with Pingris, who also knows a thing or two about the renowned offensive system.
"Siguro Triangle na lang ni coach Tim (ang i-ru-run namin) kasi engraved na sa kanya yun at the back of his head,” Aguilar said with a smile.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa fans kasi sila talaga yung bumoto sa akin,” he added. “Malaking opportunity sa akin. I’m honored.”