PBA All-Stars set for grand return with new drafting format
The PBA All-Star Weekend is set for a grand return in Passi, Iloilo on March 9 to 12 with new flavors in store.
Left frozen for the past two years during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Commissioner Willie Marcial formally announced the return of the annual festivities and laid out the initial plans during the halftime of the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup opening game between Rain or Shine and Meralco.
Marcial bared that the league is veering away from its usual North vs South All-Stars and is now adapting an All-Star draft where the fans get the chance to vote the 24 players that will comprise the team.
Similar to what has been done in the NBA, the two players with the highest votes from the fans will become the captains of the team and will get the chance to pick their players to compose their respective teams through a draft.
“Mamimili ang fans ng 24, kahit anong position top 24 na players na pipiliin nila. Duon sa 24 yung dalawa gagawin nating captain ball. Tapos mamimili sila dun sa 22, palitan para makabuo ng team,” said Marcial.
Coaches of the two teams will also be determined through the poll from fans who can start casting their votes for the players and coaches through social media and in the game venues starting Wednesday and up until Feb. 15.
The same format will also be applied in the Rookies, Sophomores and Juniors game with at least two neophytes are assured to be picked for each team. Inviting celebrities and influencers are also being eyed to join the games.
The PBA technical group is still ironing things out regarding the actual scoring format of the games which could also adapt the per quarter points and a target total score just like in the NBA.
Aside from the two All-star games, the usual contests such as the Slam Dunk contest, Three-point Shootout and Shooting Stars are also set while other activities such as 3×3 games in partnership with the Passi LGU are also being discussed.
The PBA All-Stars last played in 2019 in Calasiao, Pangasinan with the North beating the South, 180-175.