THE finest players from the North and the South will take center stage as the MPBL stages its first ever All-Star Game on March 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
A total of five events will be played in the said festivities which include the Three-Point Shootout, the Slam Dunk contest, the 2-Ball competition, the Executive Match and the center piece North versus South All-Star game.
Coaching the North All-Star is Jojo Lastimosa of the Bataan Risers-Zetapro while handling the South team is Don Dulay of the Davao Occidental Tigers-Cocolife.
The two coaches will be assisted by mentors whose team will finish no.2 at the end of the elimination round.
Currently in running to assist Lastimosa and Dulay are Philip Cezar of Manila, Cholo Villanueva of Makati and Randy Alcantara of San Juan from the North side while Jack Azcueta of Muntinlupa, Ramon Pido of General Santos City, Mac Tan of the Batangas City Athletics are the candidates for the Southern squad.
Fans have started voting for the North and South starters and so far, Aris Dionisio of Manila, Gary David of Bataan and JR Taganas of Bulacan have made their presence felt in the North All-Stars while Allan Mangahas of the Muntinlupa Cagers and Mark Yee of the Davao Occidental Tigers are the top vote receivers in the South squad.
As of Feb. 15, Mangahas has compiled 1,134 votes and remains to be the top vote receiver among any other All-Star aspirants.
Batangas City guard Jeff Viernes also made his presence felt with 876 votes.
Mark Yee surprisingly moved up in the forward spot and now has a total of 831 votes while running in next is Gab Banal of Bacoor.
At center position, Raffy Octobre has found himself in the mix with 342 votes.
Up north, Dionisio led the way in the forward spot with 890 votes followed by Larry Rodriguez of San Juan with 815.
David moved up among guards with 644 followed by Paolo Hubalde of Valenzuela with 622. JR Taganas of the Bulacan Kuyas remained as the top vote receiver for centers with 634.
Only one player per team will be able to make it to the 13-man roster playing in the North and the South. In case multiple players belonging to one team were voted, only the player with the highest number of votes from the same squad.