Three-point king Mark Macapagal sees Jimmy Alapag as main threat in title defense
Mark Macapagal, who won three shootout titles straight from 2010 and claimed his fourth title last year, has been taking 200 shots in practice to prepare for this year's event. Jerome Ascano

MARK Macapagal is eyeing a record five titles in the Three-Point Shootout, but the deadliest shooter in the PBA All-Star festivities of the past five years is actually wary of a player who last won the crown a decade ago.

Jimmy Alapag, winner in 2003 and 2005, has been penciled in to see action in Friday’s event, and Macapagal feels everybody will be rooting for the Talk ’N Text skipper-turned-manager to win in his final All-Star stint.

“Sabi nila malaki ang chance ko kasi naka-tatlong straight at isang champion ako last year, pero di pa rin, kasi malakas yung maglalaro sa Three-Point shootout,” said Macapagal, who won three straight titles from 2010-2012. 

“Siyempre, si Jimmy nandyan pa, galing sa bakasyon iyan kaya fresh pa siya,” he added.

Jimmy Alapag could end his career with a hat-trick of 3-point shootout titles. Jerome Ascano
Jimmy Alapag could end his career with a hat-trick of 3-point shootout titles. Jerome Ascano

Two-time champion Alapag is among the top career three-point shooters in the league although he recently retired after 11 seasons with Talk ’N Text.

Also in the lineup are Purefoods Star’s James Yap, the 2009 champion, along with NLEX’s Nino Canaleta, runner-up in the 2012 and 2013 editions.

The 35-year-old Macapagal regained the Three-Point Shootout title in 2014, his fourth overall, after dethroning Rain or Shine’s Chris Tiu, the 2013 edition champion.

Tiu, the third-year pro, is doubtful for the three-point shooting contest after hurting his nose during Rain or Shine’s practice on Tuesday.

The sweet-shooting Macapagal, who owns a PBA career 33-percent accuracy from beyond the arc, said he has been taking 200 shots after every practice to keep himself sharp and ready.

Meanwhile, Barako Bull wingman JC Intal, a first-time participant in the shooting contest, has been watching the games of Golden State Warriors’ 'Splash Bros.' shooters Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, who recently became the 2015 NBA Three-Point shooting king.

“Sobrang idol ko talaga si Klay Thompson saka Step Curry, I always watch their games saka pinapanood ko rin ang videos nila sa last All-Star at sobrang calm lang nila,” said the 31-year-old Intal.

“Siguro ita-try ko gawin yung set shots sa three-points kasi siguro may advantage.”

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