The All-Star Game is for the fans and will always be for the fans.
That’s why it’s only natural that the fans will root for the players they wanted to see in the season-ending spectacle in the Passi City, Iloilo on March 12, according to Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
“I think the thing that we forget about is the fans. It's for fans, it is for nobody else but the fans. It is for the fans totally. Yeah, you want to reward those guys who are deserving but basically it's a fans' game so I don't have anything at all with fans picking the team,” said Cone.
Cone's statements came after the results of the All-Star voting received some backlash online with some players, who are having a season for themselves, were curiously left out of the selection.
Guys like NLEX guard Don Trollano, who finished within the top 5 of the BPC race in the Commissioner’s Cup, Converge guard Maverick Ahanmisi and Terrafirma playmaker Juami Tiongson, both playing splendid basketball so far in the conference were just some of the players that fans felt should have been included in the All-Star pool.
In contrast, the addition of two-time MVP James Yap, who only started playing for Rain or Shine in the Governors’ Cup, rookie guard Gian Mamuyac, and Ginebra’s backup guard Nards Pinto raised some eyebrows
“There will always be guys deserving and don't make it. It happens in the NBA all the time, in all sports, whether be football, baseball, basketball, it doesn't matter, All-Star teams always leave deserving players off. That's the nature of the All-Star, not enough spots for everybody,” added Cone.
In fact, Cone shared that he, himself, voted three to four players that didn't make it in the list, the two being Trollano and Ahanmisi.
Still, the stir online brought by the debate on "who’s deserving, and who’s not" should not take away the reason why the exhibition is being brought back to life after a three-year absence, stressed to Cone.
“I think it's kind of an exciting format. It'd be fun to see guys who are in the same team and pick players against each other in Japeth (Aguilar) and Scottie (Thompson). I think it's an exciting format. I think it's gonna be fun for the fans, the fans are seeing the players that they want to see,” said the veteran mentor.