In a time when the NBA just had their all-star in which Jayson Tatum broke a lot of records, Mac McClung went from G-Leaguer to slam dunk king to Puma endorser, and the buzz surrounding Russell Westbrook's entry to the other Los Angeles team, the PBA just made their own All-Star thing.
Also, while I hate doing current things, I am going to post a couple of stats that involve the averages of PBA all-stars of that season. Maybe it's time for the fans to decide whether or not they have the right people participating in such events.
For my personal use, I have been trying to insert all-star participation into my all-time PBA list. Yes, work is the shits at the moment which is why I haven't started my project.
Nonetheless, the list will be uploaded this year.
Anyway, Maverick Ahanmisi unleashed choice words on the league's all-star practice. Of course, the all-star game is a popularity contest and the snubs will always be salty but for a league that rarely has 18-point players in a season, I can't believe that Ahanmisi is missing out on the festivities.
Yeng Guiao seconded this - as he was also named into the game despite a so-so season with the Rain or Shine Elastopainters. In some ways, the same can also be said of his inclusion with the likes of Jojo Lastimosa, Jorge Gallent, and Frankie Lim posing better records at this conference. Guiao singled out Ahanmisi, Don Trollano, and Juami Tiongson as top snubs.
Mimicking the current NBA all-star format, Team Scottie Thompson will face off against Team Japeth Aguilar. The reigning PBA MVP will have Christian Standhardinger, CJ Perez, Calvin Abueva, Robert Bolick, Arvin Tolentino, Kevin Alas, Jayson Castro, Stanley Pringle, Marcio Lassiter, Mark Barroca, and James Yap in his corner. Meanwhile, the former Western Kentucky Wildcat will have June Mar Fajardo, Jamie Malonzo, Chris Newsome, RR Pogoy, LA Tenorio, Mikey Williams, Paul Lee, Jeremiah Grey, Gian Mamuyac, Nards Pinto, and Terrence Romeo.
Both players are playing for the same team and to no surprise, seven of the 22 players in the pool are former and current Ginebra players. If you would combine all of the big market teams (Ginebra, San Miguel, Magnolia, TNT, Meralco, and NLEX), this would leave Bolick, Tolentino, Yap, and Mamuyac as part of the "minority teams" and this is a problem considering that Tolentino and Yap were also once upon a time part of the SMC.
Apart from Trollano, Tiongson, and Ahanmisi, we can also Ato Ular as a snub alongside Jeron Teng, Jio Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, Aaron Black, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Javee Mocon, Jason Perkins, Rey Nambatac, Santi Santillan, and Jericho Cruz. These players are currently averaging in double figures and while some of these names are part of the SMC and the MVP teams, maybe the other names on the list can be looked at as potential replacements.
Because here's the thing. Inasmuch as it's good to heed the call of the fans, it's also better for the league to make the PBA as equal as possible. Yes, fans know better, but they can diffuse the situation if they want. Looking at the 90s all-stars, there are a lot of odd picks from that era. Jun Limpot, Bong Hawkins, Bong Alvarez, Vic Pablo, and Pido Jarencio were among the frequent snubs. However, with a 24-man pool, the league gave the eight teams a somewhat equal representation in the proceedings. Pepsi, a team that rarely made the PBA Finals, once upon a time had Dwight Lago as a starter. Lago may have been a three-point specialist in the league at best but once upon a time, he was good enough to be traded for both Jeffrey Cariaso and Kenneth Duremdes.
If a player is a perennial all-star, then he could be a good one-for-one in case a team like San Miguel wants to pad youth on their roster.
I know the league wants to have an excessive number of Ginebra players at the event so that their fans would troop to the venue but they can also just give these players a prime spot in the side events. I guess the farm teams get a bit "farm-ier" in the PBA and there's nothing we can do about it.