Amid uproar over All-Star snubs, Marcial says PBA made voting as fair as possible
Members of the Mindanao All-Stars team upon their arrival in Davao. Jerome Ascano

DAVAO – PBA commissioner Willie Marcial reminded league standouts who were left out of three All-Star teams this year that there's always a next time.

With some people questioning why some PBA stars were not included in the annual showcase of the best talents for the year, Marcial explained the voting process behind the makeup of the lineups, saying it’s the fans who vote for the starters and the coaches who vote for the reserves.

“Taon-taon natin ginagawa ‘to. Kung anong procedure – kahit nung una pa, yun pa rin ang ginagawa natin,” Marcial said while waiting for the flight to the Mindanao capital on Tuesday on the eve of the first leg of the All-Star week in Digos City.

“So dun sa mga hindi nakasali, sorry. Baka next time,” he added. “Pero wala tayong binago sa proseso.”

Marcial bared he even made the voting as fair as possible by holding the voting until the semifinals of the Philippine Cup, before resuming in the first week of the Commissioner’s to also get a basis of the players’ performance from the midseason tournament.

 “Nagpaboto tayo, first conference pa, hanggang playoffs. Pagkatapos nun, pinatigil ko, para patas yung labanan, kasi dalawang teams na lang. Tapos inulit natin this conference for a week,” Marcial explained.

The rookie commissioner made sure that all the players in the league were included in the ballot for the fans and coaches to choose from.  

“‘Di bale sana kung hindi namin nilagay sa listahan. Nasa listahan naman sila. So hindi ko alam,” Marcial said. “Wala naman nagre-reklamo sa aming players na hindi sila nakasama. So ganun pa rin tayo, walang papagbabago.”

No negativity, however, can dampen the mood of Marcial in his first time to handle the All-Star week as the league’s chief.

“Excited kasi first time kong maging commissioner ng All-Star. Lagi akong project director lang,” Marcial said.

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“Halos lahat naman dumating. Ang hindi lang makakarating yung may mga injury,” he added.

One of his innovations is the three-point shootout that features PBA legends teaming up with local officials.

Marcial, though, hinted of Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s absence.

“Si Manny, hindi ako sigurado na makakarating, pero si Secretary Bong Go, Attorney Carpo, at si Mr. (major Michael) Sabsal maglalaro,” Marcial said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos