NOW it can be told.
A terrible miscalculation cost Ginebra’s Chris Ellis a chance to defend his slam dunk crown, which went to co-champions Rey Guevarra of Meralco and San Mig’s pint-sized rookie guard Justin Melton.
They Said It!
“... the second round, I was thinking of jumping over Greg (Slaughter) and the free-throw line, so I thought it was top three... I would have done it earlier if (I knew) it was (only) the top two (who would advance to the finals)." Dethroned slam-dunk champion Chris Ellis
The high-flying Ellis, who won the title last year in Digos City, Davao del Sur, said he thought the Top 3 at the end of the eliminations would advance to fight for the slam-dunk crown in the finals.
Under this year's format, only the Top 2 reached the finals.
As a result, Ellis didn’t even reach the final round after finishing third with a combined two-round eliminations score of 70 points. Guevarra and Melton tallied 79 points apiece from the four judges.
“I was actually disappointed because I thought it was the top three (that will advance to the finals) so I was taking it easy,” Ellis told Spin.ph after the contest held at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Because of the miscalculation, Ellis never got to pull an ace up his sleeve, which he said would have seen him executing a dunk after jumping over 6-foot-11 Ginebra teammate Greg Slaughter.
Another stunt Ellis was reserving for the finals would have seen him taking off from the free-throw line.
“And then the second round, I was thinking of jumping over (teammate) Greg (Slaughter) and the free-throw line, so I thought it was top three, but whatever though I would have done it earlier if (I knew) it was (only) the top two (who would advance to the finals).”
Nonetheless, Ellis said fatigue also had a lot to do with his failure to retain his crown, owing to the hard practices Ginebra has had in recent weeks after a 2-4 start in the short Commissioner’s Cup elimination round.
“Honestly, I’m glad it’s over, coz we’ve been going hard in practice, trying to get everything down defensively,” explained “Air Force Ellis."
“Fatigue is something you can’t get rid of overnight, but it’s good competition,” who still was happy to see his friend Melton emerge as the new champion, along with Guevarra.
Ellis’ two-round stunts in the eliminations included a dunk over Talk ‘N Text forward Nino Canaleta as well as a baseline dunk, where he switched the ball from right to left before slamming it down hard.