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All-Star festivities – 3 legs in 6 days

A comprehensive six-day schedule spread over the country’s three regions awaits players, officials and fans when the 2009 Motolite PBA All-Star Week kicks off April 21 at Victorias City in Negros Occidental.

From Negros at the heart of the Visayas, the PBA delegation flies south to Mindanao in Panabo City in Davao del Norte on April 23 before wrapping up the annual classic with a spectacular show on April 26 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Arriving at the Bacolod-Silay Airport Tuesday after taking the 8:50 a.m. Cebu Pacific flight from Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the contingent, including members of Powerade Team Pilipinas and the North All-Stars, motorcades to Victorias City for a courtesy call on Mayor Severio Palanca.

A visit at the pediatrics ward of the Silay General Hospital is set for Chot Reyes’ North squad before lunch, with team practice at the Victorias gym and a referees clinic conducted by league supervisor Ramil Cruz and technical consultant Romy Guevarra at the Bacolod Training Center slated in the afternoon.

The following day, ex-pro Bong Ravena and Grand Slam coach Norman Black hold separate coaches and kids (9-12 years old) clinics at the Don Bosco Institute, while Yeng Guiao’s national team joins telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, at the residence of Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella at noon.

Game time for the RP Team and the import-reinforced North All-Stars is 7 p.m. at the Victorias gym right after the Shooting Stars event.

On April 23, the North All-Stars fly back to Manila while the Nationals bound for the SEABA competition in Medan, Indonesia in June, the William Jones Cup in Taipei in July and the FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship in China in August take the flight to Davao City for its date with Tim Cone’s South All Stars.

A courtesy call by the South All-Stars on Mayor Jose Silvosa Sr. after lunch precedes a medical/dental outreach mission at the ARF covered court, a coaching clinic by Cone and Alaska assistant coach Dickie Bachmann at the Panabo City Hall function room, and a referees clinic by Cruz and Guevarra at the Panabo gym.

The national team will then host a “Dinner for a Cause” at Maria Clara Restaurant, with the proceeds going to the San Agustin Church.

Powerade Team Pilipinas takes on the import-powered South All-Stars at the Panabo gym at 6 p.m., leaving just enough time for dinner, cocktails and a few hours of sleep before the PBA delegation departs for Manila at noon on April 25.

Highlighting the final day of the All-Star classic on April 26 at the Big Dome are the Skills Competitions, featuring the Obstacle Challenge with defending champion Willie Miller, the 3-Point Shootout (Renren Ritualo), and the Slam Dunk contest (Kelly Williams).

The combined power of the North and South All-Star selections, again fueled by imports, puts to the final test in the All-Star Week the mettle of Powerade Team Pilipinas at 6 p.m.


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