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| Canaleta set to defend PBA slam dunk titleBy Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) Updated May 10, 2012 12:00 AM|
LAOAG, Philippines – Four-time dunk champion KG Canaleta comes back to take on the challenge of another returning ex-titlist Gabe Norwood and crack first-time participant Japeth Aguilar while three-point king Mark Macapagal goes for a “three-peat” against a stellar cast of challengers to highlight the skills events in the 2012 PBA All-Star festivities firing off today here.
Current league scoring leader Gary David, rising star Jeff Chan and former winners James Yap and Renren Ritualo are among gunners challenging Macapagal in his bid to become the league’s first Three-Point shootout three-peat winner tomorrow at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena.
Canaleta, Marcio Lassiter, Ranidel de Ocampo, Willie Miller, Cyrus
Baguio are the others taking part in the event serving as appetizer to
the Legends Game featuring Alvin Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, Johnny
Abarrientos, Kenneth Duremdes and Olsen Racela among others.
Macapagal poured in 17 points, beating Ronald Tubid by one and Jimmy Alapag by two as he became the league’s fourth back-to-back winner of the three-point contest last year in Boracay.
Allan Caidic, Jasper Ocampo and Boyet Fernandez were the others who had ruled the three-point shootout in two successive years.
Already a record holder with four titles in the dunking contest, Canaleta, meanwhile, will be out to reaffirm his claim as the sultan of slams during the All-Star Sunday.
Also showing their aerial stuffs are Norwood, Aguilar, JC Intal and Elmer Espiritu.
Kelly Williams, the slam dunk winner in 2008 and 2011, will not be
able to defend his title as he’s to undergo a procedure on his injury
back in Manila.
The super athletic Talk n Text center/forward reclaimed the crown
last year, topping the field that included runner-up Rey Guevarra,
Ronald Tubid, Josh Vanlandingham, Espiritu and Intal.
That made him only the third player after Vergel Meneses and Canaleta to win the slam dunk contest more than once.
Other side events slated in the mid-season spectacle are the obstacle challenge and the shooting stars.
Jonas Villanueva also goes for a three-peat in obstacle challenge
versus Jayvee Casio, Paul Lee, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, LA Tenorio, Miller, Jojo Duncil and Rob Labagala.
Casio, Lee, Miller, Joseph Yeo and Jojo Lastimosa participate
in the shooting stars, joined in by local executives and personalities.
The bulk of the 130-strong PBA delegation arrived in the Ilocandia
heartland yesterday afternoon. The festivities begin today with the
players holding various outreach programs in and around Laoag right
after a courtesy call on Laoag Mayor Michael Fariñas.
The Veterans and the RSJs (Rookies-Sophomores-Juniors) clash in the centerpiece All-Star game Sunday.
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