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Fajardo, Thompson banner All-Star voting

The past and current Most Valuable Players showed the way in the initial tally of voting for the coming Philippine Basketball Association All-Star game.

June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson emerged the top two players selected by the fans to spearhead the spectacle set from 9 to 12 March in Passi City, Iloilo.

The 6-foot-10 Fajardo, the league’s only six-time MVP, leads the selection with 37,915 votes cast, followed closely by the 29-year-old Thompson, the reigning MVP, with 37,759.
All-Star voting began 25 January through online and on-site and will end on 15 February.

This year’s All-Star game, making a return after a three-year absence due to the pandemic, took a page from the same format being used by the National Basketball Association where the top two vote getters will serve as captains of the two competing teams, and form their respective lineups out of the next 22 players who receive the highest votes.

Thompson’s Ginebra teammate Japeth Aguilar is also making a strong case as he occupies third place with 37,322 votes.

Sophomore Jamie Malonzo, also of Ginebra, cracked the All-Star list with 32,998, followed by Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva with 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) made it to the Top 10 list.

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.

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.

As expected, Malonzo and Gray lead the fans’ choices for the Rookies, Sophomores, and Juniors side event since the two made it to the main voting.

Malonzo tallied 41,933, while Gray had 35, 248.

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 (20,615).

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