All-Star weekend a breather for players | Inquirer Sports

All-Star weekend a breather for players

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 02:25 AM April 09, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — The annual All-Star Week of the PBA is not just for the fans, the players themselves take this time to also have a good time amongst themselves.

Like in All-Star breaks that take the players to the provinces to be billeted in hotels where opponents get the time to mingle, have a few drinks and talk of their college careers and national team duties, this one played in Manila for the first time since 2005 was no different.

They were billeted in style at the Solaire Resorts Hotel and Casino for four nights and laughed it all out during the Skills Challenge before putting on a serious face in the All-Star Game proper Sunday night at Mall of Asia Arena.


A lot of teasing Having sat just beside the bench during the Skills Challenge, the Inquirer heard a lot of teasing from the players who saw action in the Obstacle Challenge, the Three-Point Shootout and the Slam Dunk Contest.


Chris Tiu of Rain or Shine, who came into the Three-Point Shootout looking to repeat as champion, did not get any favors from the other contestants when it was his time to shoot in the final round against Mark Macapagal and JV Casio.

With a P30,000 cash prize for the champion of every event, the other players were heckling Tiu to not shoot in the final round at all and give the title—and the cash prize—to Macapagal, the eventual champion.

Casio had shot 20 points and Macapagal 24, making the Meralco gunslinger the man to beat in the finals.

“Hindi mo na kailangan yan! Ang dami mo nang commercials na ginagawa (You don’t need that anymore! You do a lot of commercials),” screamed Willie Miller of Barako Bull just when Tiu was arranging his racks for the final round. This got everyone on the bench laughing.

Interested observer Niño Canaleta, meanwhile, who was to play for the PBA Selection in the All-Star Game against Gilas Pilipinas, was an interested observer during the Slam Dunk Championship, which was later on shared by Rey Guevarra of Meralco and Justin Melton of San Mig Coffee.

Melton jumped over two San Mig Coffee utility boys for his first attempt in the competition and scored a perfect 40 points.


Canaleta, who pioneered that move during his five-year reign as the Slam Dunk king, couldn’t help but applaud the efforts of the 5-foot-9 Melton.

No itch? After the event, the Inquirer asked Canaleta if the itch to return to that competition ever surfaced after watching, he said: “Kung may mahihiraman lang ako ng sapatos, sasali na ako. Magandang laban din sana kung nandyan ako (If I could have borrowed shoes from anyone, I would have joined. I think it would have been a good fight if I joined),” said Canaleta.

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Canaleta certainly saw a piece of himself during the Slam Dunk competition, and it would not be far-fetched if he decides to go for a sixth title next year and show everyone how it is done.

TAGS: 3-point shootout, All Star, Chris Tiu, Justin Melton, KG Canaleta, Mark Macapagal, PBA, Rey Guevarra, Slam Dunk Contest, Willie Miller

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