MANILA, Philippines – Two former national team pool members will look to lead the Luzon All-Stars when they host the Philippine men's team during the PBA All-Star week.
Raymond Almazan and Ian Sangalang will team up with Japeth Aguilar for a dreaded frontcourt trio, who will try to neutralize June Mar Fajardo of Gilas Pilipinas when they play on May 25 in Batangas City.
Calling the shots for the Luzon team will be multi-titled mentor Leo Austria.
Both Almazan and Sangalang were once part of the national team pool of coach Chot Reyes.
Aguilar was voted as a starter for the Luzon All-Stars along with Barangay Ginebra teammate LA Tenorio, Calvin Abueva of Alaska, Paul Lee of Magnolia, and Jason Castro of TNT Katropa, who takes the place of the injured Marc Pingris.
Stanley Pringle of Globalport, Phoenix's Matthew Wright, and the San Miguel trio of Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, and Alex Cabagnot make up the rest of the team.
Meanwhile, joining Fajardo in the national team roster are the TNT Katropa's Terrence Romeo, Roger Pogoy, and Troy Rosario, Carl Bryan Cruz, Mac Belo, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon, and rookie Kiefer Ravena of NLEX.
The Batangas leg of the three-leg spectacle will also host the obstacle challenge, three-point shootout, and slam dunk side events.
Allein Maliksi will be back to defend his three-point shootout title against a cast that includes former champions Terrence Romeo and James Yap, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Matthew Wright, Larry Fonacier, Garvo Lanete, Ronald Tubid, Stanley Pringle, LA Tenorio, and JV Casio.
Chris Newsome, meanwhile, aims for a back-to-back slam dunk crown when he goes up against the likes of Matt Ganuelas Rosser, Renz Palma, Marion Magat, Lervin Flores, Jackson Corpuz, and former winners Gabe Norwood and Rey Guevarra.
The obstacle event is expected to bring the house down as it features big men doing the challenge. Competing are Sonny Thoss, Raymond Aguilar, JP Erram, Kelly Nabong, Russel Escoto, Ken Bono, Asi Taulava, Doug Kramer, Aldrech Ramos, Beau Belga, Yancy de Ocampo, and Yousef Taha.
The All-Star Week will also have stops in Davao del Sur and Iloilo.
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