PBA All-Star: Brilliant Melton, Guevarra hailed Slam Dunk kingsBy Celest R. Flores |INQUIRER.net
Basketball fans had non-stop fun on Friday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena where the 2014 PBA All-Star Weekend festivities were held. Mark Barroca ended Jonas Villanueva’s five-year reign as Obstacle Challenge king while three-time champion Mark Macapagal waxed hot all night to reclaim the three-point shootout crown and Meralco’s Rey Guevarra and San Mig Coffee’s Justin Melton shared the distinction as 2014 PBA All-Star Slam Dunk kings. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Celest Flores/edited by Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines — There couldn’t be just one champion.
After a brilliant display of jaw-dropping dunks on Friday night, Meralco’s Rey Guevarra and San Mig Coffee’s Justin Melton shared the distinction as 2014 PBA All-Star Slam Dunk kings.
Guevarra repeatedly showcased his freakish athleticism, opening the night with a between-the-legs slam from the baseline which earned him 40 points, then another from underneath for 39 points.
“During practice, I really couldn’t execute those between the legs dunks. But I felt an adrenaline rush during the warm ups and that helped me,” said Guevarra.
The six-foot-two forward garnered a perfect score in both rounds of the finals, where he threw down a two-handed reverse pump then a single-handed dunk off a spin.
“I was really pressured competing against these guys. I was really nervous. It was a good thing I was able to think of what dunks to do,” he said.
He topped off the elimination round by hanging off the rim with his left hand then swinging for the slam off his right, which earned him 39 points.
For the finale, Melton channeled his inner Spud Webb by nailing a two-handed strawberry jam from a lob bounce off the floor, which was good for 40 points then pulled off another slam off a lob bounce.
Webb is a five-foot-seven NBA great who defeated Dominique Wilkins for the Slam Dunk championship in 1986.
“I wasn’t intimidated even if I was the smallest, it’s just about having fun. It’s not about the height, it’s what you do,” he added.
It was the first time in Slam Dunk history of the league that there were co-champions.
Melton and Guevarra dethroned Ginebra’s Chris Ellis, who failed to impress with his slam over Talk N’ Text KG Canaleta, and a reverse jam after switching hands mid-air which got him just 70 points.
Lanky center Japeth Aguilar also failed to make the cut after missing a between-the-legs slam off an assist from teammate LA Tenorio, who was taking a video with a “selfie” pod.