May 24, 2024

'Dun ko nakita si Calvin nagseryoso': CJ Perez, Japeth Aguilar dish on their Bacolod All-Star Dance Showdown

The dance showdown between Team Japeth and Team Mark was declared a draw. | Photos (c) PBA Images

There was a sense of competitiveness which was sparked between Team Japeth and Team Mark for the 2024 PBA All-Star Weekend in Bacolod.

And we're not just talking about that 140-140 draw of the actual All-Star Game.

See, there was no natural dancer like Arwind Santos for Team Japeth.

"Last year, si Arwind 'yung nagdala sa amin," he said. "Kasi talagang kung mabigyan kayo ng chance na makasama si Arwind, sine-seryoso niya talaga 'yung mga ganitong event. Seryoso siya sa sayaw niya pati sa props actually."

The odds were stacked against them. Calvin Abueva and Jio Jalalon, who stole the show in last year's dance-off, was in Team Mark.

So Aguilar got a secret weapon and asked around for a choreographer.

[ALSO READ: PBA: Japeth Aguilar gets secret weapon for All-Star dance showdown

He and his wife eventually connected with Maria Elena Oebanda, who was based in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.

"May post si Japeth and misis niya, tinag ako. A lot of choreographers' name andun. Pero God is great, ako napili nila," she told One Sports. "Sabi niya, ako bahala sa team. Gagawin ko best ko para sumayaw sila. I provided the details, ganito gusto kong mangyari sa dance. Sabi niya, okay."

 Team Japeth only had two nights to practice. | Photo (c) Maria Elena Oebanda

They only had two nights to rehearse for one hour each.

  Oebanda though was impressed with the players' willingness to learn. | Photo (c) Maria Elena Oebanda

And then, it was showtime.

They had plenty of props, with Guy Fawkes masks, water bottles, and MassKara-themed masks to acknowledge the City of Bacolod.

There were plenty of attempts at twerking involved, including Budots-themed dances., too.

  

Oebanda and her team was right in front to help them remember the moves.

"Actually they're really good!" she said as she recalled their very limited rehearsal time.

Terrence Romeo, who flew in on Saturday night, only managed to practice inside the University of St. La Salle just before the event.

"I am so impressed sa kanila. Ang bilis matuto," she added. "Teaching the players choreography and witnessing their commitment to mastering the routine was both rewarding and inspiring. Their willingness to step out of their comfort zones and embrace something new demonstrated their true sportsmanship and determination," Oebanda added in her social media post.

But Team Mark had a surprise of their own.

Abueva and Jalalon were the natural stars of this dance team, and they made sure to show off.

But they got the crowd going when June Mar Fajardo got in the center to shake his hips.

And then they pulled up the huge MassKara props as they danced to the local government's MassKara Festival song.

  

Apparently, Team Mark also secured the services of a choreographer.

"Sa choreo namin, sa kanya galing 'yun. Siya 'rin may idea nun," CJ Perez said of the idea to get the huge props. "Actually, sila nag-usap ni Calvin. Kilala niyo naman si Calvin. Pagdating sa sayaw, gustong-gusto ni Calvin 'yan."

"Para sa amin, malabo na eh!" Japeth Aguilar exclaimed after the game. "Kasi ano talaga, perfect talaga eh. Grabe talaga, wala kaming ganun sa team namin."

But all's well that ends well as PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial ALSO declared that contest to be a draw. They both get P150,000 each.

"Tabla pero masaya naman. Kahit 'di kami marunong sumayaw, pero napasaya namin sila," Perez said. "When the lights were on, pagdating sa stage kanina, for at least a moment, bigay todo na," Aguilar reflected.

Abueva really wanted to win though.

"'Dun ko nga nakitang nag-seryoso si Calvin, sa sayaw. Sa mga basketball, nangungulit siya," Perez shared, laughing. "'Dun [sa sayaw], seryoso siya. Gusto niya talagang manalo 'dun!"

@onesportsphl Calvin Abueva choreographer era?🕺 #OSTimeOut #PBAAllStar2024Bacolod #PBASeason48 #PBAAngatAngLaban ? original sound - OneSportsPHL
(With reports from Mei-Lin Lozada, One Sports Digital)