Imagine seeing today’s hottest celebrities all in one place. Not acting, but instead, teaming up for a fun and competitive game of basketball. This is exactly what the annual All-Star Games is offering Kapamilyas this August 25 at the Araneta Coliseum. And this year is bound to be extra special because of a few new surprises!
For the first time Team Daniel and Team Gerald will be combining forces to go up against team It’s Showtime. Joining the two captains will be Zanjoe Marudo, Donny Pangilinan, Ronnie Alonte, Joseph Marco, Ejay Falcon, JC De Vera, Joe Vargas, Axel Torres, Gerhard Acao, Patrick Sugui, Young JV Kapunan and Kyle Velino. But before you cheer for them at the All-Star Games, get to know the players more in this exclusive interview!
Holding a basketball for the first time
All of them started playing basketball at a young age. Some as early as four years old. For Co Team Captain Daniel Padilla, it all began when his father Rommel Padilla bought him a basketball ring for kids. From that point on, one of his cousins inspired him to further fall in love with the sport. They often played one-on-one. Donny, Patrick and Joseph also grew interested because it served as a bonding experience for their families.
In the case of Ronnie and Patrick, this was not their first sport. The Hashtag member initially played baseball, but watching his brother encouraged him to give shooting hoops a try. Meanwhile, although Patrick prefers football, basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines, which is why he decided to adapt.
Lessons learned and opportunities earned
Aside from the fun, basketball has benefited each of them in different ways. “Pinag-aral ako ng basketball,” Ronnie stated. He has earned full scholarships in high school because of his talent. Axel also received the chance to study in a prestigious university, thanks to his abilities.
The others’ attitude today was shaped by the game. JC acquired social skills because of teamwork. Joseph was disciplined on and off the court. Knowing how to discipline himself helped his career, especially when preparing for a role. On the other hand, Daniel considers this as his exercise, since he does not go to the gym.
Preparing for the All-Star Games
Coaching the Star Magic Warriors will be Lou Abad, Imus Bandera’s team manager for the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL). This will be his third year participating in the All-Star Games. “I really appreciate that ABS-CBN and Star Magic have been consistently calling me para sa mga ibang Star Magic events,” he expressed his gratitude.
Over the years, he has witnessed the celebrities grow. He praised them for being fast learners and being genuinely talented. More importantly, however, they have all become friends with the goal of having fun. “Walang angasan, walang pataasan. Naglalaro lang kami ng basketball at enjoy namin ‘yung company ng isa’t isa,” Daniel described their camaraderie. In fact, some of his friends now he initially met as a teammate rather than as a co-star.
Team Captain Gerald Anderson is confident that this will lead them to victory. “Alam ko ‘yung pinagsamahan ng team,” he stated. They have competed in and out of the country as well as bond before and after games, “Kita mo na lumaki kami together.”
Facing Team It’s Showtime All-Stars
Coach Lou believes that their match up will be exciting. He has mentored Hashtag Jimboy in the past. Not to mention, Vhong Navarro is one of his friends and can vouch for the Streetboys member’s skills. Co-captains Gerald and Daniel feel that Vice Ganda is the one to watch out for. Donny thinks Zeus will be his opponent because of their similar heights. But there is no doubt that everyone will be expecting Eric “Eruption” Tai to be their toughest obstacle.
“Let’s do it for the fans,” Coach Lou reminded his players of the spirit of this annual competition.
This year’s All-Star Games will also offer a volleyball game between Team Julia Barretto and Team Kim Chiu! So, do not miss the big day on August 25 at the Araneta Coliseum.