MANILA, Philippines -- San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo has a slim lead over Barangay Ginebra point guard Scottie Thompson in the first returns of All-Star votes.
The PBA announced on Wednesday that Fajardo leads the selection with 37,915 votes, while Thompson -- the reigning Most Valuable Player of the league -- has accumulated 37,759 votes.
The league will hold its All-Star festivities in Passi City, Iloilo, from March 9-12. Voting for the 24 PBA All-Stars began last January 25, both online and on-site, and fans can keep voting until February 15.
This year's All-Star Game is patterned after the NBA, where the top two vote-getters will serve as captains of the two teams. They will form their teams from the next 22 players in the All-Star voting.
Barangay Ginebra center Japeth Aguilar is currently third in the voting, with 37,322 votes, followed by Ginebra's Jamie Malonzo (32,998) and Magnolia's Calvin Abueva (32,503).
CJ Perez of San Miguel (31,184), Ginebra's Christian Standhardinger (29,821), James Yap of Rain or Shine (28,117), and LA Tenorio (28,027) and Stanley Pringle also of Ginebra (27,441) round out the Top 10.
Completing the Top 24 after the first round of tally were: Terrence Romeo (24,821), Jayson Castro (24,408), Paul Lee (24,126), Robert Bolick (23,468), Roger Pogoy (20,042), Chris Newsome (19,637), Jeremiah Gray (18,875), Mikey Williams (18,826), Marcio Lassiter (18,556), Arvin Tolentino (18,444), Mark Barroca (17,139), Gabe Norwood (15,448), Calvin Oftana (15,427), and Kevin Alas (15,205).
Ginebra's Tim Cone and Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine, meanwhile, lead the voting for the top two coaches.
Cone has compiled a whopping 51,707 votes, with Guiao a distant second with 22,705 votes. PBA rookie head coach Aldin Ayo of Converge is making a strong case too, at No. 3 with 14,763 followed by Norman Black of Meralco with 11,605.
Fans will also select the participants in the Rookies-Sophomores-Juniors game, where Ginebra's Malonzo (41,933) and Gray (35, 248) are leading the voting.
Oftana is at third (33,172), followed by Shaun Ildefonso (32,795), Tolentino (32,527), Tyler Tio (31,083), Aaron Black (30,926), Mikey Williams (30,409). Justin Arana (29,793), and Jerrick Ahanmisi (26,764).
The other half of the RSJ top vote getters were: Gian Mamuyac (25,515), RK Ilagan (23,870), Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser (23,700), Isaac Go (23,139), Jerrick Balanza (22,296), Joshua Munzon (21,584), Matt Nieto (20,779), Encho Serrano (20,720), Anton Asistio (20,659), and Mike Nieto (20615).
PBA Season 47 games can be streamed live and on-demand on iWantTFC with a Premium subscription, available worldwide except PH and US.