TOP rookie pick JV Casio and Petron star big man Arwind Santos show the way in the voting for
starters in this year’s Rookies/Sophomores/Juniors vs Veterans game of the 2012 PBA All-Star
Weekend in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.
Casio, the hot-shooting playmaker of Powerade, had the most number of votes so far among the RSJ
players with 30,544 to pace four other guards, which also include No. 2 overall pick Paul Lee of
Rain or Shine (29,763) and B-Meg’s Mark Barroca (20,067).
Santos, on the other hand, received 28,821 votes from the fans to pace the Veterans’ big men, way ahead of B-Meg’s Marc Pingris (22,771) and Kerby Raymundo of Ginebra (17,621).
Fans still have one week to vote to determine the three frontliners and two guards that will start for both teams in the mid-season classic scheduled on May 13, the final day of the All-Star festivities.
Last day of voting is on March 28.
Powerade coach Bo Perasol will call the shots for RSJ, while Chot Reyes handles the Veterans. The two coaches earned the right to handle the two squads for steering the Tigers and Tropang Texters to the Finals of the Philippine Cup.
Petron’s Chris Lutz, the No. 3 pick behind Casio and Lee, leads the RSJ center/forwards in voting with 29,018, followed by Marcio Lassiter of Powerade (27,347), Japeth Aguilar of Talk `N Text (23,418), and Ginebra’s Dylan Ababou (23,021).
All four, incidentally, are former teammates with the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas team.
Meanwhile, consistent fan favorite James Yap of B-Meg and Mark Caguioa of Ginebra are on top among veteran guards. Yap accumulated 23,430 votes, while Caguioa is next with 18, 635.
Running third behind them is Powerade gunner Gary David (14,293).
Others getting the fans nod are Alaska forward Mac Baracael (14,752) and guards Rob Labagala (9,479) and John Wilson (9,002).
For the Veterans, in contention for a starting job are forwards JC Intal of B-Meg(17, 614) and
Petron’s Dondon Hontiveros (15,753), along with playmakers Jayjay Helterbrand of Ginebra (13,287), and reigning league MVP Jimmy Alapag of Talk `N Text (12,728).
All PBA head coaches will select the seven other players that will complete the RSJ and Veterans