MANILA, Philippines -- For the first time since 2019, the PBA will hold an All-Star weekend -- with the league making changes to the format of the showcase.
The 2023 PBA All-Star Weekend will take place in Passi, Iloilo from March 9-12. It marks the return of the showcase event, which was last held in 2019 in Calasiao, Pangasinan. The league did not hold All-Star festivities in the next three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of the traditional North vs. South All-Stars format, the league will follow the set-up of the NBA where the leading vote-getters get to draft their teammates for the game.
"Mamimili ang fans ng 24 [players]," PBA commissioner Willie Marcial explained on Sunday night. "May balota tayo, mamimili sila ng 24 [players], kahit anong posisyon."
"Doon sa top 24, 'yung dalawa, gagawin nating captain ball. Tapos, mamimili sila doon sa 22 [ng teammates nila]," he added. "Palitan ang gagawin nila para makabuo ng team."
Fans will also select the coaches of the two All-Star teams.
Voting starts on January 25, both online and in game venues. Fans can vote until February 15, after which the PBA will hold a special event for the All-Star draft.
There will also be a rookies-sophomores-juniors game, with each team featuring two first-year players. The game may also feature celebrities, according to Marcial.
The league will still hold a blitz challenge, a three-point shootout, and the slam dunk contest. They are also planning a 3x3 competition featuring local basketball stars of Passi.