LUCENA - Chris Newsome survived a strong performance from James Forrester to narrowly claim the PBA All Star Slam Dunk title before a big crowd at the Quezon Convention Center.
Consistency was the key for the Meralco Bolts star guard as he converted a nifty 360-degree dunk from the baseline in his first attempt, before capping off his high-wire by juggling three balls and sending home a dunk off the backboard for a total score of 87.
He beat sentimental favorite Forrester by a point to end the three-year reign of Rey Guevarra, who narrowly beat Newsome in last year's event.
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The dunk of the night, though, may have come from Forrester, who jumped over Stanley Pringle, received the ball up top, and slammed home a powerful two-handed reverse dunk.
However, Forrester ran out of steam when he tried to go for a home run as he failed to covert in his partnership with Matthew Wright, settling for an underwhelming dunk for a score of 36, resulting in a combined score of 86.
"It feels great to finally walk away with the title. It's something I'm gonna remember for the rest of my life," Newsome said.
Guevarra got dethroned after the first round as he finished with just 87 following two dunks.
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Dunk contest newcomers Jammer Jamito and Marion Magat also got eliminated early, but not without Jamito providing some comic moments for the crowd.
Jamito brought Japeth Aguilar into the court, with everyone expecting the rookie to jump over his 6'10 teammate. However, Jamito opted to sidestep Aguilar, drawing laughter from everyone in attendance.
Jamito finished with 76 after the first round while Magat settled for 67.