Canaleta seeks All-Star doubleBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LAOAG—KG Canaleta of Barangay Ginebra has a very rare chance for a sweep in the PBA All-Star Weekend’s side events when he takes part in the Slam Dunk and Three-Point shootout competitions.
Canaleta is highly favored in his pet Slam Dunk event, where he will be gunning to win for the fifth time, and is given an even chance in the Three-Point contest against the league’s best outside shots.
The last time Canaleta won the Slam Dunk was in 2010 in Puerto Princesa in Palawan. His first three victories came consecutively from 2005.
“I am very excited,” Canaleta said prior to departing for this humid Ilocos Norte capital. “This year would be very difficult because of a number of younger guys in the roster.”
The most prominent dunker among the young guys that Canaleta talked about was Talk ’N Text’s Japeth Aguilar, the high-flying 6-foot-10 center who perfected the art of the slam while with Western Kentucky University in the United States.
Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, JC Intal of B-Meg and Elmer Espiritu of Air21 are the others in the compact but talented Slam Dunk field.
Canaleta is also entered in the Three-Point Shootout, but will not be one of the favorites with two-time MVP James Yap of B-Meg, Gary David of Powerade and two-time defending champion Mark Macapagal entered.
Former winner Ren-Ren Ritualo is also in the mix and the darkhorse seems to be Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine.
“I made 21 (points) in one practice,” David, a prime candidate for the season MVP, said in Filipino. Thirty points is the perfect score for the event.