PBA not ruling out All-Star festivities this year

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2022 06:44 PM

Japeth Aguilar  Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Japeth Aguilar goes for a slam dunk during the PBA All-Star match between North vs South at the Calasiao Sports Complex. File photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- PBA commissioner Willie Marcial is leaving the door open for a possible All-Star weekend this year, although he admits that there will be plenty of hurdles for the league to clear before the event can be done.

The PBA has not held All-Star festivities for the past two years, with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing the league from putting together its usual midseason classic.

The PBA last held an All-Star Game in 2019, when they traveled to , Calasiao, Pangasinan from March 29-31. Japeth Aguilar and Arwind Santos emerged as co-MVPs of the All-Star Game, which the North won, 185-170.

"Tingnan natin," was Marcial's response to the question of the All-Star weekend during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

Marcial revealed that even amid the pandemic, the league office is still receiving inquiries from provinces about hosting out-of-town games, and even possibly the All-Star festivities.

"Siguro tatlong probinsya na ang tinatanong na tayo kung pwede mag-out of town. Sabi ko, sandali," he said. "Tingnan niyo. One, magfa-follow up sa LGUs. Pangalawa, hindi ba kayo malulugi? Kasi baka mahirapan kayo."

"Sabi nila hindi, sabik na sabik daw 'yung mga fans," he added. "So 'yun ang tinitingnan natin -- probinsiya muna, tapos All-Star."

Marcial acknowledged that the All-Star weekend is crucial, as the revenue generated during the festivities go toward the Players Trust Fund.

"Malaking bagay ang All-Star. Kailangan natin 'yun. Sana, sana this year, maano natin ang All-Star," he said.

The PBA planned to hold an All-Star Weekend in Passi, Iloilo in July 2020 before the pandemic forced plans to be changed.