Thirty years since it was first institutionalized, the PBA All-Star game will feature once again the same formula that made it a hit back in 1989 when the annual spectacle is held in Calasiao, Pangasinan at the end of the month.
The league holds a Rookie/Sophomore versus Juniors showdown as part of this year’s festivities set March 29 to 31 apart from the main game featuring the North vs. South All-Stars.
The same format was first adopted three decades ago to officially establish the All-Star game as an annual feature of the league.
Pitting the combined Rookies/Sophomores/Juniors team against the Veterans, it was best remembered for the iconic game-winning play executed by then fierce rivals Robert Jaworski Sr. and Ramon Fernandez to power the old-timers against the young ones, 132-130.
This year’s edition has been altered a bit pitting the Rookies/Sophomores team of top draft pick CJ Perez of Columbian Dyip against the Juniors squad led by another no. 1 overall selection Mac Belo.
Joining Perez as part of the Rookies/Sophomores unit are last year’s Rookie of the Year Jason Perkins, Jeron Teng, Robert Bolick, Reymar Jose, Abu Tratter, Paul Desiderio, Mark Tallo, Trevis Jackson, Rey Nambatac, Javee Mocon, and Robbie Herndon.
With Belo in the Juniors team are Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Jio Jalalon, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Ferrer, Rashawn McCarthy, Russel Escoto, Mike Tolomia, Ed Daquioag, Von Pessumal, and Rafael Banal.
Also as part of the 30th anniversary of the All-Star game becoming an official annual event of the league, four members of the original Rookies/Sophomores/Juniors team are going to see action in the North versus South game.
Four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio joins forces with long-time Purefoods frontcourt partner Jerry Codinera as they suit up for the South All-Stars.
Bosom buddies Ronnie Magsanoc and two-time MVP Benjie Paras on the other hand, will take their acts playing for the North All-Stars.
With Patrmonio and Codinera in the South team are June Mar Fajardo, James Yap, Scottie Thompson, Greg Slaughter, Mark Barroca, Chris Ross, Baser Amer, Terrence Romeo, John Paul Erram, PJ Simon, Joe Devance, Jalalon, Pogoy, and Belo.
Magsanoc and Paras meanwhile, teams up with Calvn Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, Pau Lee, Marcio Lassiter, Stanley Pringle, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, Gabe Norwood, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Chris Banchero, Mark Caguioa, Perkins, and Marc Pingris (injured) with the North team.