Guevarra dunk king; Romeo tops shootout
MANILA, Philippines—Rey Guevarra, Meralco’s flashy, high-leaping swingman, left no doubt as to who is the PBA’s best dunker.
A year after sharing the dunk crown with Justin Melton, Guevarra got the title all to himself, besting Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar in the finals Friday at the start of the PBA All-Star Weekend at a jampacked Puerto Princesa City Sports Center.
Hardly bothered by a hamstring injury, Guevarra cleanly pulled off an overused yet difficult dunk, putting the ball between his legs in mid-air before stuffing it in the rim to the delight of the crowd.
Aguilar did his best copying Michael Jordan’s trademark dunk, jumping from near the free-throw line, only to be overshadowed by Guevarra’s graceful execution, which merited 49 points from the judges.
Melton’s title-retention bid turned out to be a dud, failing to even get past the first round, just like Talk ‘N Text rookie Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Barako Bull’s JC Intal.
While Guevarra clinched his second dunk title, Globalport gunner Terrence Romeo and San Miguel playmaker Jerick Fortuna captured their first titles in the skills challenges.
Romeo reigned supreme in the three-point shootout, after beating Purefoods Star’s James Yap and JC Intal of Barako Bull in the finals.
Finding his rhythm early, the Globalport guard notched 18 points, putting pressure on Yap, who managed just 14 as the last shooter in the finals.
Later, the Rookies squad overpowered the Sophomores, 150-131.
Ganuelas led the winning team with 32 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Seeking a record sixth three-point shootout crown, Mark Macapagal of Meralco failed to even reach the finals, shooting 15 points in the first round.
Pitted against some of the quickest and most skillful guards in the league, Fortuna came out on top in the obstacle challenge.
The San Miguel guard buried the all-important three-pointer on his first try in the course on his way to clocking 32.1 seconds in the finals.