MANILA, Philippines – June Mar Fajardo and Scottie Thompson are poised to serve as captains in the PBA All-Star Game in Passi, Iloilo.
The former and current MVPs topped the first return of online and on-site votes for the March 9 to 12 festivities, with six-time MVP Fajardo of San Miguel leading the pack with 37,915 votes.
Reigning MVP Thompson of Barangay Ginebra checked in a close second, amassing 37,759 votes in the early tally.
Abandoning its old North-versus-South setup, the PBA introduced a new format that will have fans vote for the top 24 players – regardless of position – who will be split into two All-Star teams.
The top two vote-getters will be named captains of their respective squads and will alternately draft their teammates from the rest of the field.
Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar is also in the running for captaincy with 37,322 votes for third place followed by his teammate Jamie Malonzo (32,998) and Magnolia forward Calvin Abueva (32,503).
San Miguel’s CJ Perez (31,184), Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger (29,821), Rain or Shine’s James Yap (28,117), and Ginebra guards LA Tenorio (28,027) and Stanley Pringle (27,441) rounded out the top 10.
Completing the top 24 were Terrence Romeo (24,821), Jayson Castro (24,408), Paul Lee (24,126), Robert Bolick (23,468), Roger Pogoy (20,042), Chris Newsome (19,637), Jeremiah Gray (18,875), Mikey Williams (18,826), Marcio Lassiter (18,556), Arvin Tolentino (18,444), Mark Barroca (17,139), Gabe Norwood (15,448), Calvin Oftana (15,427), and Kevin Alas (15,205).
Meanwhile, Ginebra’s Tim Cone claimed the top spot in coaches voting in runaway fashion with 51,707 votes.
Trailing Cone were Rain or Shine’s Yeng Guiao (22,705), Converge’s Aldin Ayo (14,763), and Meralco’s Norman Black (11,605), with the top two coaching the All-Star teams.
With the legion of Ginebra fans behind them, Malonzo and Gray went 1-2 in the voting for the Rookies, Sophomores, and Juniors Game.
Malonzo garnered 41,933 votes, while Gray received 35,248 votes.
Oftana (33,172) landed third followed by Rain or Shine’s Shaun Ildefonso (32,795), Tolentino (32,527), Phoenix’s Tyler Tio (31,083), Meralco’s Aaron Black (30,926), Williams (30,409), Converge’s Justin Arana (29,793), and Magnolia’s Jerrick Ahanmisi (26,764).
The All-Star voting will run until February 15. – Rappler.com
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