By REYNALD MAGALLON
It will be Team Aguilar versus Team Thompson in the PBA All-Star.
Ginebra San Miguel duo Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson find themselves at the opposing sides as they serve as captains of the two teams that will take the center stage in the main event of the PBA All-Star Weekend in Passi City, Iloilo on Mar. 12.
Aguilar held the pole position in the final balloting of the All-Star poll, amassing a total of 1,239,665 votes while Thompson came in second with 1,217,226.
The All-Star draft is set on Monday, Feb. 20 with the two taking turns in selecting their players from the other members of the top 24 vote getters to compose their team in the season-ending showcase that is coming back after a three-year hiatus.
Among the choices for the two captains are June Mar Fajardo and fellow Ginebra players Jamie Malonzo and Christian Standhardinger who finished within Top 5. Fajardo, after leading the poll in the initial returns, landed at the third spot with 1,207,592 votes while Malonzo and Standhardinger ended up with 1,196,423 and 1,191,379 respectively.
Ginebra head coach Tim Cone will be joining the festivities as well after topping the coaches’ poll with 1,291,785 votes followed by Rain or Shine mentor Yeng Guiao with 1,231,538.
Rain or Shine’s James Yap, Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva and Mark Barroca and Ginebra’s Stanley Pringle completed the top 10 in the list.
CJ Perez, Paul Lee, Jayson Castro, Gian Mamuyac, Jeremiah Gray, Terrence Romeo, Robert Bolick, Marcio Lassiter, Arvin Tolentino and RR Pogoy also made it to the top 20 while Mikey Williams, Kevin Alas, Chris Newsome and Nardz Pinto rounded up the selection pool.
Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan, Calvin Oftana, and Jio Jalalon all finished just outside the Top 24 but will become the reserves in case any of the players won’t make it due to injuries.
In the Rookie-Sophomore-Juniors game, Shaun Ildefonso topped the balloting with 1,190,719 votes, while Calvin Oftana finished a strong second with 1,190,448.
Tyler Tio, Aaron Black, Justin Arana, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Jerrick Balanza, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser finished within the top 10.
Others who made it were RK Ilagan, Allyn Bulanadi, Ato Ular, Isaac Go, Anton Asistio, Joshua Munzon, Aris Dionisio, Encho Serrano, Adrian Wong, and Javi Gomez de Liano while Alec Stockton, Andrei Caracut, Aljun Melecio, and Kent Salado will be the reserves.