LUCENA - James Forrester had Vince Carter on his mind when he tried to go for the home run in his final attempt in the PBA Slam Dunk Contest.
Unfortunately, his grandiose attempt in a banger of a finish may have cost him the title.
The GlobalPort high flyer fell just a point short behind eventual champion Chris Newsome in the final round of the contest, 87-86, despite starting off with a perfect 50.
Asking help from fellow Fil-Canadian Matthew Wright, the two failed to connect as the former fourth overall pick settled for an underwhelming dunk, having exhausted himself in pulling off what could have been the winner. He ended up with 36 for his safe effort just to beat the clock.
Newsome, who had 43 with his baseline jam, captured the crown with a 44 after juggling three balls and sending home the slam off the backboard.
"Since we're both from Toronto, the plan was to do was the famous Vince Carter dunk over Tracy McGrady, through the legs," said Forrester, paying tribute to Carter's dunks in the much heralded 2001 NBA Slam Dunk contest.
"The thing about that dunk, I'm very much dependent on the pass so after a couple of tries, I said not to do it anymore. It was hard to recover after a few attempts," he added.
Despite falling short, Forrester left with his head held high, after giving the fans in Lucena one hell of a show.
This includes two memorable dunks, one over a huddle composed of Calvin Abueva, Simon Enciso, Norbert Torres, Maverick Ahanmisi, Kris Rosales and Wright. The other, a reverse two-handed pump slam over Stanley Pringle.
"I know it was a better showing since last year. Ayun lang, that's all I'm proud about. Nothing to be ashamed about, Chris Newsome is an amazing dunker and we know what we're both capable off," said the former Arellano University star.
"We really pushed each other to the finals. Overall, sayang talaga pero like I said, I'm proud that we put on a show," he added.
Asked if he's going to return for another try next year, Forrester responded that it’s all up to some divine intervention if the third time’s the charm.
"Di ko pa alam. It's all God's doing. If the Lord wants me back, back in the finals, that's what's gonna happen," he said.