The PBA returns with the All-Star Draft System.

PBA All-Star North

FILE – The 2019 PBA All-Star Game in Calashio, Pangasinan.

MANILA, Philippines — Frozen for three years due to the pandemic, the Philippine Basketball Association’s All-Star Weekend is set to change when it rolls into Pasay City, Iloilo this March.

The league said the two teams will now be assembled through a drafting system with the top two finishers from the fan balloting system opening on Jan. 25.

“What we are trying to do is a new format. We used to have North vs South. Now, fans will have to choose 24 players and the top two finishers will be captained (for each team). ),” Commissioner Willie Marshall said in a brief presser Sunday night during the Northport Converge game at Phil Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The two captains will split the remaining 22 finalists through a draft that will be televised on February 15 as voting ends.

“For the coaches, it’s also going to be the fans who make the picks. The top two finishers (will call the shots),” Marshall said.

Also returning are skills, slam dunk, and three-point contests. A rookie sophomore competition is also set to resume, with teams bolstered by notable third-year players and notables.

According to Marshall, fans can vote through the league’s website and its official social media platforms and nominate any player — once per day per device — regardless of position.

The last time the PBA held the All-Star Weekend was on March 29, 2019 in Calasiao, Pangasinan. It ended with the North All-Stars winning over the South, 185-170. Japheth Aguilar of Barangay Ginebra and Arvind Santos of San Miguel Beer were named the duel’s most valuable players.

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