Star-studded Luzon vs Smart 5

Star-studded Luzon vs Smart 5

Smart National Team’s June Mar Fajardo tries to retrieve the ball ahead of PBA All Star Rafi Reavis at the Davao del Sur Coliseum Wednesday night. The Mindanaoans won, 144-130. PBA Images

2018 PBA All-Star

BATANGAS CITY, Philippines — The PBA Luzon All Stars, a gathering of franchise players looking more like the national team than the Smart All Stars, take their turn to challenge the national pool in the second leg of the 2018 PBA All-Star festivities at the Batangas City Coliseum here tonight.

San Miguel stars Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter, Ginebra ace guard LA Tenorio, Magnolia lead guns Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang, GlobalPort do-it-all star Stanley Pringle and ROS center Raymond Almazan team up in the powerhouse Luzon selection testing the mettle of June Mar Fajardo and his teammates in their 7 p.m. setto.

Gilas players Japeth Aguilar, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright also strut their stuffs with the regional team since the four players are from Luzon.

To don the Smart All Star jersey in the Batangas game are Fajardo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Troy Rosario, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy, Allein Malicsi, Terrence Romeo, Gabe Norwood, Jio Jalalon and Kiefer Ravena.

Leo Austria calls the shots for the Luzon team while Yeng Guiao holds the rein for the Smart squad in this game presented by Phoenix Fuel with Phoenix Pulse Technology and backed by Peak Sports Apparel, Molten, PBA Rush-Cignal, Nature’s Spring, TAGHeuer, Gatorade, and Rain or Shine.

Smart Team Phl will be short in manpower but could be dangerous with its determination to bounce back from its humbling 130-144 loss to the Mindanao All Stars in Digos City late Wednesday.

“We showed our pride as Mindanaoans playing before fellow Mindanaoans. But?Smart could well be a different team in Batangas,” said Mark Barroca.

Austria and his Luzon team, however, are also raring to give Smart Team Phl a tough challenge.

Notes: Six-foot-10 Bronx native Curtis Kelly is Vernon Macklin’s replacement as the Magnolia Hotshots import. He last played with the Maccabu Kiryat Gat ball club in the Israeli league…. Henry Walker has arrived and has started practicing with the Blackwater Elite. “We got smaller but I think it’s better we’re with Walker now. At least, we have someone to cover our No. 4 spot,” said Mac Belo…. Allen Durham will continue to be Meralco’s import in the Governors Cup.