3-Point Shootout, Obstacle Challenge, and the Slam Dunk Contest
Meralco sharpshooter Mark Macapagal, B-MEG court general Jonas Villanueva, and Ginebras KG Canaleta each won his respective third straight title in separate events in the All-Star Weekend in Laoag City.
Macapagal beat a crack field of the leagues elite three-point shooters for the third straight time. The competition was marked by red-hot shooting in the first round, with Canaleta shooting 19 points and Macapagal, B-MEGs Josh Urbiztondo, and Petrons Marcio Lassiter scoring 16 each to advance to the final round.
Canaleta and Urbiztondo, who was a late replacement for the ailing James Yap, went first in the finals, shooting 13 points each. Macapagal proved his mettle, shooting consistently en route to 15 points. Lassiter had the final say of the competition, but the rookie jump-shooter ran out of gas and finished with just seven points.
Also competing in the three-point shootout were Renren Ritualo of Air 21, Willie Miller of Barako Bull, Gary David of Powerade, Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine, and Cyrus Baguio of Alaska.
Villanueva, meanwhile, nosed out rookie Paul Lee in an exciting final round in the Obstacle Challenge, winning by just two-tenths of a second with a finishing time of 31.1 seconds to Lees 31.3.
Finishing third was Alaskas LA Tenorio, who clocked 43 seconds, 13 slower than the time he posted in the preliminary round.
Lee had the best finish in the opening round, finishing at 27.2 seconds. Villanueva posted 29.1 seconds in round one while Tenorio finished in 30 seconds to complete the final round cast.
Also part of the field were Miller, Air 21s Jojo Duncil, Ginebras Rob Labagala, Meralcos Chris Ross, and Powerades JVee Casio.
Canaleta won his fifth title in the PBA Slam Dunk contest, but not before turning back a tough challenge from B-MEG high-flyer JC Intal in the finals.
Canaleta clinched his title by jumping over three men, including 6-foot-9 Meralco center Asi Taulava, in his final dunk, which judges scored a perfect 50. He also scored a 50 in his first final round dunk, which he made by dunking over a man.
After his dunk, Canaleta said that dunking over Taulava wasnt exactly the plan.
Hindi siya dapat kasali, pero hindi siya umalis kaya tinamaan ko tuloy, said Canaleta. He was supposed to video the dunk, pero nag-stay siya, pero sabi ko bahala na.
The former UE star needed the perfect score to edge out JC Intal, who stepped up his game in the finals of the competition. Intal scored 49 in his first finals dunk, a furious windmill, before nailing a difficult one-handed 360 for his second dunk for a perfect score.
Rain or Shine swingman Gabe Norwood, the 2009 champion of the competition, started out early, scoring two perfect dunks in the preliminary round with a reverse dunk off a bounce and a two-handed jam off the glass. But he seemed to feel the pressure in the finals, scoring 45 points on a two-handed reverse off a bounce and 48 points on a dunk from behind the backboard.
Intal, who opted to join the competition despite nursing an ankle injury, opened his campaign by dunking without shoes, earning him 44 points, before taking an alley-oop from Josh Urbiztondo from the stands, which got 46 points from the judges.
Canaleta, meanwhile, brought the house down with a one-handed dunk off a bounce that earned 50 points with his first attempt, before opting for a safe dunk with his second attempt that earned him 40 points.
Also in the competition were Elmer Espiritu of Air 21, who opened the competition with an impressive two-handed 360 dunk which he completed after three attempts (41 points) before settling for a simple one-hander for his second dunk (35 points); and Petron Blaze superstar Arwind Santos, a late addition, who earned 46 points for a difficult 360 dunk from the baseline and 42 points for a reverse Spider-Man slam.
Canaleta said this will be his last Slam Dunk contest.
PBA Legends Game:
PBA GREATS over PBA STALWARTS, 143-139
PBA stars from yesterday and today engaged in a heated shootout, but it was the Atom Bombs explosion that had the most impact.
Kenneth Duremdes, the 1998 PBA Most Valuable Player, sizzled for 29 points. His teammate, 1996 MVP Johnny Abarrientos, showcased his old form for a triple-double performance, finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists. Allan Caidic, the 1990 MVP, combined with Rain or Shine sharpshooter Jeff Chan for seven triples.
But the star among the stars was Ato Agustin, the playing coach of the PBA Greats, who led his team to a 143-139 triumph over the PBA Stalwarts at the Centennial Arena here.
Agustin, the 1992 MVP and current coach of the Petron Blaze Boosters, finished with 19 points all in the first half, built around five triples.
Two-time MVP Willie Miller scored 29 points and issued six assists, taking over for the Greats, who trailed by 13 points, 126-113, in the fourth period. He had eight of his teams last 16 points while the rest of the team shackled their Stalwarts counterparts, who were held to just three points in the final 3:40 of the match to seal the win.
KG Canaleta and Danny Seigle provided several highlight reels with their rim-rattling slams while contributing 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Retired players like Duremdes and Abarrientos, however, were able to put on a show of their own.
Duremdes, who officially retired only last month after last seeing action in 2008, was consistent all game long. He displayed his awesome firepower, hitting jumpers and making nifty drives to the basket.
Abarrientos, an assistant coach of Tim Cone at B-MEG, showed his brilliant quarterbacking, shaking off his defenders with his trademark killer crossover several times. In one play, the Flying A breezed by two defenders before scoring on a nifty reverse layup that gave the Stalwarts a 99-93 lead with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
PBA Greats 143 Miller 29, Canaleta 21, Seigle 20, Mercado 19, Agustin 19, Cortez 10, Yeo 8, Lastimosa 7, Racela 6, Patrimonio 4.
PBA Stalwarts 139 Duremdes 29, Chan 18, Cardona 17, Taulava 16, Caidic 15, Simon 14, Baguio 11, Abarrientos 10, Anthony 9, Isaac 0.
QS: 33-29; 74-75; 104-112; 143-139.
PBA All-Star Game:
VETERANS over ROOKIS-SOPHS-JUNIORS, 176-144
James Yap scored 44 points on seven three-pointers and presided over the Veterans record-setting 176-144 beat down of the Rookies, Sophomores and Juniors squad at
the Centennial Arena.
Big Game James won Most Valuable Player honors, marking his second such award in eight days after winning the top plum last Sunday in the Commissioners Cup Finals.
Yap also tied with Ginebra rookie Dylan Ababou to break Samboy Lims All-Star Game scoring record, which was previously set at 42 points. Lim posted the high mark in the 1990 game a 146-118 rout for the Vets curiously the first time the league used the Veterans versus RSJ format. (The 1989 All-Star Game involved Veterans versus Rookies and Sophomores.)
The 32-point margin also marked the most lopsided in PBA history. The Veterans also set an all-time record in points scored, breaking the 163-point mark posted by the South team in an overtime win over the North.
The game was over early, with the much bigger Veterans torching the hoops to take a 53-30 lead in the first quarter. The Vets lead at the half ballooned to 95-64, turning the second half into an entertaining game of extended garbage time.
The game turned exciting late in the game as Yap and Ababou both tried to chase Lims mark. Ababou got to the record first, but Yap hit his last three-pointer in the dying seconds to get his name into the books as well.
There were also plenty of highlight plays. Sol Mercado connected with former Rain or Shine teammate Gabe Norwood for a thunderous alley-oop dunk that looked straight out of a video game. Arwind Santos, who scored 31 points, had several monster slams, the biggest off a pass from Petron Blaze teammate Alex Cabagnot.
Perhaps among the biggest highlights of the match were the respective dance entrances of the teams. RSJ came out rocking the shades, and danced to the LMFAO hit Party Rock Anthem. Not to be outdone, the Veterans came out with hoods over their heads, before revealing their zombie makeup to dance to Michael Jacksons Thriller.
Veterans 176 Yap 44, Santos 31, David 16, Cabagbot 16, Intal 15, Mercado 14, Tenorio 13, Norwood 13, Taulava 6, Thoss 5, Pingris 3
RSJ 144 Ababou 44, Urbiztondo 21, Casio 18, Maierhofer 12, Baracael 11, Barroca 10, Al-Hussaini 9, Ross 8, Lee 8, Lassiter 3
QS: 53-31; 95-64; 132-105; 176-144