WITH countless stars in the PBA and only a handful of All-Star picks available, some are bound to be left out.
Spin.ph listed a dozen standouts who were excluded from the North and South All-Stars but are arguably worthy to be part of the midseason showcase next month in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Here is the 2015 All-Star Snubs team (Commissioner’s Cup averages as of Tuesday):
12. Sol Mercado (13.5 points, five assists, and four rebounds in 32.5 minutes in two games)
Love him or hate him, but the journeyman guard has always produced when he’s on the floor. Despite getting moved from one team to another, the 30-year-old Filipino-American playmaker hardly complained and proved it with his latest team, leaving an imprint in Barako Bull’s first two wins, before going down with an injury.
11. Alex Cabagnot (six assists, five points, 3.7 rebounds, one steal, and .7 turnover in 28 minutes)
The 32-year-old court general was the final piece of the puzzle in San Miguel Beer’s Philippine Cup conquest last month, hardly needing adjustment in his return to SMB in the semifinals before becoming more aggressive in the Finals. The Beermen may be the only winless team in the Commissioner’s Cup, but the lefty point guard has continued to run the team’s offense to the best of his ability, being a facilitator this time by leading the league in assists.
10. Brian Heruela (9.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 31 minutes)
Blackwater has zero representative in the All-Star Game, but the burly Filipino-American point guard could’ve been one. The 25-year-old cager may be a rookie, but coach Leo Isaac has already entrusted him the keys to the offense, and in the process has put up all-around numbers, including rebounding, solid norms for his 5-10 frame.
9. LA Tenorio (eight points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.8 steals in 29.8 minutes)
There’s a lot of pressure when you run the offense of the league’s most popular team. But the 30-year-old Barangay Ginebra playmaker has calmly delivered enough to merit consideration to what could’ve been another All-Star appearance.
8. Chico Lanete (12.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, two assists, and 1.8 steals in 29 minutes)
The 35-year-old shooting guard from Ormoc, Leyte has been a vital cog in Barako Bull’s surprising start in the Commissioner’s Cup, rewarding kick-out passes from the Energy’s penetrators with long-range bombs that either stop the bleeding or prove crucial to victories. Once just a three-point shooter, the Lyceum product has added to his repertoire by also taking it closer to the rim.
7. Bryan Faundo (15.2 points on 52.2-percent shooting and 6.4 rebounds in 30.6 minutes)
There’s another Bryan (It's spelled different, though) who could’ve represented Blackwater in the midseason extravaganza. You saw it right: the journeyman from Letran, who went undrafted in 2009, has finally found a home in the Elite and has become the expansion team’s most consistent performer. Faundo, who turned 31 on Wednesday, has scored in double figures in all their games in the land of imports in the Commissioner’s Cup.
6. Vic Manuel (10 points on 68.2-percent shooting, 5.7 rebounds, and .7 turnover in just 17 minutes in three games)
Alaska already has three representatives in the All-Star Game, but could’ve had another in the 27-year-old power forward. Like Calvin Abueva, 'The Muscle Man' has provided the strength and energy that were crucial in the Aces’ improbable finals run in the Philippine Cup and have now helped the Aces stay afloat without star slotman Sonny Thoss in the early juncture of the import-loaded Commissioner’s Cup.
5. Matt Ganuelas-Rosser (10 points on 50-percent shooting, 3.8 rebounds, one assist, .8 block, .8 steal, and .4 turnover in 26.8 minutes)
If there’s another rookie who should’ve joined Stanley Pringle in the All-Star Game, it’s the scrawny but versatile 24-year-old wingman for Talk ‘N Text. The 6-foot-5 former Gilas Pilipinas cadet member has proven to be a match-up problem for opponents as he can post up smaller guards and can blow by bigger forwards. Tropang Texters coach Jong Uichico has trusted him enough to give him plenty of playing time as a greenhorn.
4. Cliff Hodge (6.8 rebounds, 6.2 points, 1.4 blocks, one assist, .8 steal, and .4 turnover in 32 minutes)
Meralco’s emergence in the Commissioner’s Cup wouldn’t have been possible without the 27-year-old power forward. Among the top performers in the league last conference, his numbers went a bit down as he has deferred to import Josh Davis in the Commissioner’s Cup, but has always lived up to being the Bolts’ energizer bunny, the 6-foot-5 cager standing tall against imports as he ranks second among locals in blocks per game.
3. Mike Cortez (11.2 points, four assists, 2.8 rebounds, and one steal in 31 minutes)
No team can be No. 1 and undefeated without a steady point guard orchestrating the offense. The 'Cool Cat' has been that for Meralco, knowing when to dish — a kick-out to a hot-shooting Gary David or a drop pass to import Josh Davis — and when to shoot.
2. JC Intal (13 points, 46.7-percent three-point shooting, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals in 28.5 minutes)
The high-flying athletic forward has been one of the main reasons for Barako Bull’s surprising start in the Commissioner’s Cup. In a team of castaways, the 31-year-old Ateneo product has emerged as the bona-fide star and the future looks brighter. Is it a coincidence he has been playing inspired ball since marrying girlfriend Bianca Gonzalez?
1. Gary David (19.2 points on 48.5-percent shooting from the field, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 27.6 minutes)
Probably the biggest snub in this year’s All-Star Game. At the time of the Bolts’ rise, the 36-year-old Gilas Pilipinas shooting guard has had his own resurgence, ranking third in the league among locals in scoring, behind All-Stars Terrence Romeo (21.2) and Jayson Castro (20.4). When the chips are down, it’s no question where the Bolts go to.
If the Atlanta Hawks had four NBA All-Stars, the league-leading Meralco Bolts could also have four participants.