by Jonas Terrado
Game Today (Calasiao Sports Complex)
6:30 p.m. – North vs South
CALASIAO, Pangasinan – Expectations are probably high for the league’s premier players as they look to upstage the thrilling finish between their young counterparts in the PBA All-Star Game’s revival of the North against South here.
The game is set at 6:30 p.m. at the Calasiao Sports Complex as the PBA returns to the format last implemented in the 2016 edition held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A down-the-wire encounter will probably be in the mind of most fans in this city, especially after Friday’s duel between the winning Rookies-Sophomores and the Juniors ended with a buzzer-beating tip by Javee Mocon.
The Northerners hold a four-game winning streak against the Southerners, having won in 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2016.
Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Arwind Santos, LA Tenorio, Paul Lee, Marcio Lassiter, Stanley Pringle, Alex Cabagnot, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Mark Caguioa, Chris Banchero, Gabe Norwood and Jason Perkins comprise the North team coached by Phoenix Pulse’s Louie Alas.
Marc Pingris of nearby Pozzorubio was also included in the roster but is still recovering from an ACL injury suffered last season.
The South, with Rain or Shine’s Caloy Garcia calling the shots, will try to win its first All-Star since 2008 with June Mar Fajardo, James Yap, Scottie Thompson, Greg Slaughter, Mark Barroca, RR Pogoy, Chris Ross, Terrence Romeo, Jio Jalalon, Baser Amer, new Three-Point king PJ Simon, Poy Erram and Mac Belo.
Asi Taulava was included as a late replacement for the injured Joe Devance, thus keeping his status as the player with the most All-Star Game appearances with 17.