FROM the looks of it, the Visayas All-Stars appear to have the materials to give Gilas Pilipinas a run for its money with a high-powered starting unit in the coming 2017 PBA All-Star spectacle.
Three-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo joins two-time MVP winner James Yap as part of coach Tim Cone’s starters in the Cebu leg of the annual All-Star game on April 30 at the Hoops Dome.
Joining Fajardo and Yap in the starting five voted by fans are Terrence Romeo, Joe Devance, and Jeff Chan.
The Luzon team meanwhile, will have energetic forwards Calvin Abueva and Marc Pingrins reinforcing its frontcourt along with Japeth Aguilar, while its backcourt unveils the explosive tandem of Paul Lee and Jayson Castro.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria calls the shot for the team in its outing against the national team on April 28 at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.
In the absence of height, the Mindanao team of coach Chito Victolero will lean on quickness as voted part of its starting unit are guards Marc Barroca, Scottie Thompson, Peter June Simon, Cyrus Baguio, and big man Rafi Reavis.
The Mindanao All-Stars take on Gilas April 26 at Xavier university in Cagayan de Oro.
The non-starters for the Visayas selection – this time picked by the coaches – is just as formidable.
Asi Taulava, appearing in his 15th All-Star, will be Fajardo’s back up at center, while the forward positions will be filled up by Aldrech Ramos, and Chris Ellis, and the guard spots among Chris Ross, Ronald Tubid, Jericho Cruz, and Dondon Hontiveros.
Opposing them as part of the Gilas team are Castro, Abueva, Aguilar, Mac Belo, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Raymund Almazan, Roger Pogoy, Allein Maliksi, LA Revilla, and Von Pessumal.
Completing the Luzon All-Stars are Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Stanley Pringle. They will go up against the Gilas pool of Maliksi, Almazan, Mike Tolomia, Matthe Wright, Kevin Ferrer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Bradwyn Guinto, Almond Vosotros, Ed Daquioag, Jonathan Grey, Norbert Torres, and Arnold Van Opstal.
Barroca, the top surprise top vote-getter in this year’s All-Star, will have as support cast the likes of RR Garcia, Carlo Lastimosa, Baser Amer, and Glenn Khobuntin in a heavy-guard roster. Owing to this, the league allowed big men Sonny Thoss (Cebu) and Troy Rosario (Cagayan Valley) to beef up the team.
Opposing them in the Gilas side are Fajardo, Romeo, Revilla, Tolomia, Pogoy, Wright, Ferrer, Cruz, Guinto, Torres, and Fonzo Gotladera.