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Updated: Mar 12

After a couple of seasons of inactivity, the PBA finally brought back the Veterans versus RSJ format. As mentioned, they bring this back to pit the young guns from the established stars and in this season, it feels like the boys are at par with the men.

For starters, Marlou Aquino is finally in the PBA. The Skyscraper is one of six Ginebra stars in the RSJ squad that unleashed their youth movement in a big way. Aside from Marlou, Noli Locsin, Vince Hizon, Bal David, EJ Feihl, and Wilmer Ong did enough to warrant all-star spots.

Also, this is the first year in which Johnny Abarrientos is on the other side. Speaking of which, the grand slam squad had The Flying A, Bong Hawkins, and Jojo Lastimosa going up against Poch Juinio and Jeffrey Cariaso. While the Veterans squad looks like an array of Hall of Famers, you can’t help but find the team weird with the absence of Allan Caidic (14.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 44 games), Ronnie Magsanoc (11.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 43 games), and Jun Limpot (18.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.9 blocks in 31 games) out of the season party.

Anyway, the RSJ squad got the best of the Vets with a 131 to 115 thrashing. Then-Vergel Meneses understudy Kenneth Duremdes won the All-Star MVP award and it feels as if it’s a future preview of what he can offer when he’s given the playing time.

And yeah, I know Wilmer Ong’s 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds is a weird all-star fit but injuries also forced him to miss the games as he, alongside also-injured Dennis Espino, would cede their jerseys to former UST standout Edmund Reyes and Rommel Santos. Still, though, I think the fans would rather have The Triggerman and The Point Laureate in all-star action.

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