CELEBRITY personalities will be suiting up in the 2023 PBA All-Star festivities to add spice and color to the March 9-12 event in Passi City, Iloilo.
The guest celebrities are seeing action in the Rookie-Sophomore versus Juniors side event, whose composition will be made through fan voting.
"Baka dalawa or tatlong celebrities (per team), pero depende pa sa schedule nila. Pero nag-usap na kami ng TV5 na maglalaan sila ng celebrities," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.
Aside from the celebrities, 10 players will make up both the teams of Rookies/Sophomore and Juniors, with the top four rookies voted by fans to be split on both squads.
Voting can be made through online or in game venues starting Jan. 25 to Feb. 15.
The regular featured side events will remain a staple of this year's All-Star weekend such as the Obstacle Challenge featuring some of the league's big men in action, Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Shootout, and the Shooting Stars, where PBA players will team up with a local player from the host province, and possibly influencers from the Esports community.
A 3x3 competition among local teams is also in the works in what would be a truly busy four-day All-Stars, according to Marcial.
"Kausap din namin ang Passi City and gusto rin nilang maglaro ng 3x3 pero mga local teams. PBA lang ang magsu-supervise at magpapalaro, pero mga taga Iloilo teams ang sasali," added the commissioner.
The return of the All-Star after a three-year absence will see the spectacle adopting the same format the NBA uses in determining the players suiting up for the exhibition game.
The top 24 players seeing action will be voted by fans regardless of position, with the two receiving the highest votes serving as captain of each team.
A draft system will then be held in which the two captains alternately choose the players joining them in their respective teams.
The coaches calling the shots for the two teams will likewise be known through fan voting. (RG)