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Guevarra is still ‘Slam’ king

  • Written by Elmer N. Manuel
  • Published in Basketball
  • Read: 199

MERALCO’s Rey Guevarra is still Slam Dunk King.

The explosive Bolts stalwart retained his crown after a masterful showing in the 2016 PBA All-Star Week side events at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Boiling down to Guevarra and teammate Chris Newsome in the final round, Guevarra pulled off an amazing dunk over two players – one was the tall Raymund Almazan – to clinch his third straight Slam Dunk title.

Guevarra scored a total of 97 points, leading by two points in the all-Bolts final against Newsome who, like the defending champion, also displayed an array of amazing jams.

“Masaya siyempre,” said Guevarra after the event.

Guevarra bested Newsome and the other participants composed of NLEX’s James Forrester and Ginebra’s Franklin Bonifacio.
   
Globalport’s Terrence Romeo, on the other hand, raced on to his second straight Three-Point shootout.
   
Romeo bested Alaska’s RJ Jazul and Mahindra’s KG Canaleta in the finals, as Romeo dished out 20 points to seal the title.
   
Jazul began the finals with 17 points, a far cry from his 22-point showing in the first round.
   
After sizzling in the first round with 24 points, Romeo followed it with a 20-point performance in the final and would only need Canaleta, who waxed hot in the first round with 25 points, to score less to keep the championship.
   
Unlike his first round performance, Canaleta struggled in the final, only getting his rhythm in the third rack, which he went perfect.
   
That was enough for Romeo to capture the trophy again, becoming the fifth player to be crowned back-to-back Three-Point Shootout king.
   
Meantime, Rain or Shine’s Maverick Ahanmisi clinched his first-ever title in the Obstacle Challenge.
   
Ahanmisi clocked 32.95 seconds in the finals after going through an obstacle course that tested the players’ speed, agility and skills in dribbling, passing and shooting.
   
Ahanmisi turned back the campaign of  Scottie Thompson, Carlo Lastimosa, Paolo Taha, Mark Cruz and Mark Barroca.
   
The six players were given the chance to vie for the title after edging out their respective opponents in the first round which grouped the 12 competing players into six pairs.
   
Other participants were Chris Banchero, Chris Newsome, Eman Monfort, Brian Heruela, Jai Reyes and Jeric Fortuna, the erstwhile champion dethroned by Lastimosa in the first round.
   
Meanwhile, the anticipated dance-off between the North and South teams in the PBA All-Star game could get a little more intense when the showdown commences before the tip-off in Sunday’s centerpiece event also at the Big Dome.
   
Last year, the North side won the competition in Puerto Princesa City behind the choreography of big man Arwind Santos to bring home the P100,00 prize money.
   
For this season, the league upped the ante by raising the cash prize to P150,000 for one reason: Coaches of both teams, namely Yeng Guiao and Leo Austria, are also going to join the players in the pre-game showdown.
   
“They say it’s going to be a new format this time. And that’s both coaches will have to dance as well,” said Joe Devance, leading dancer of the South.
   
“They’re both gonna dance as well. If they don’t cooperate in the dance routine, it’s a must, or else it’s a fine.”
   
Asked if he’s amenable to it, Austria curtly replied, “Mahal (ang talent fee) ko.”
   
And so to make it happen, North veteran forward Marc Pingris suggested for the cash prize to be raised.