All-Star weekends have become boring as of late, at times by no fault of their own, but more so due to the lack of innovation. The NBA’s All-Star Weekend has had its moments, but there have mostly been calls to enhance it, with the All-Star Game and the Slam Dunk Contest receiving much of the flak. The NFL’s Pro Bowl and the MLB’s own All-Star showcase weren’t spared and have seen some modifications, although these haven’t really moved the needle.

The same can also be said for the PBA’s All-Star Weekend.

The PBA All-Star Weekend has its parallels with that of the NBA and has its own unique gimmicks. Introducing the 4-pointer to the All-Star Game certainly helped in increasing the competitiveness in a game where defense tends to be optional. After all, the 2024 PBA All-Star Game ended in a tie, with Japeth Aguilar and Robert Bolick being named Co-MVPs.

Something else that is distinct with the PBA’s All-Star festivities is the dance-off between both teams, which certainly endears to Filipinos, who love entertainment more than anything.


However, these don’t mask the issues surrounding the event itself.

For one, the PBA did not have a Slam Dunk contest this year, as potential participants opted out because of injuries. Filipinos are generally physically challenged compared to their American counterparts, but last season’s dunk contest still had its moments.

So it was quite unfortunate that there wasn’t any contest this year. The Slam Dunk contest still has some value and we could have had surprises this year.

Like the NBA, All-Star snubs can also be a concern in the PBA. Unlike the NBA, though, the PBA’s problem lies in the imbalance with team popularity. The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings are by and large the league’s most popular team and it’s not uncommon to see their bench players earn more All-Star votes than the stars of some PBA teams.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the recognition, but the format will clearly favor some over the others, somewhat negating the effect of letting the on-court results speak for themselves. We can’t blame fans for voting the players they like so putting more emphasis on the votes of the coaches could be a good place to start. Player stats could also be considered, especially since we want the best of the best to be on the court.

The 2024 PBA All-Star Weekend just happened this last weekend, but it seemed to have just flown over our heads. That came partly due to the many sporting events having this weekend both here and abroad, but also because it has been an event that needs to keep up with the times.

To their credit, the PBA has come up with things that have catered to the fan base, but they have ways to go if they want to shed the boring label that has hounded All-Star weekends in sports.