Expanded field to showcase hops in All-Star slam-off

PBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--A larger contingent of the PBA's top dunkers will take on each other in the PBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest on April 28 at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.

Unlike last year at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, when only four players participated, the league opened six more slots for this year's slam-off, paving the way for former competitors who missed last year's cut to be back in the fold.

Last year's participants James Forrester (Blackwater), Chris Newsome (Meralco), and Rey Guevarra (Mahindra), the eventual champion, will make a return to this year's event with the latter eyeing a fourth consecutive title.

The rest of the field includes returnees Japeth Aguilar (Ginebra), Calvin Abueva (Alaska), JC Intal (Phoenix), Justin Melton (Star), and Gabe Norwood (Rain Or Shine) and first-timers Arnold Van Opstal (San Miguel) and Mo Tautuaa (TNT).

Unlike the other side events, where each team has a representative, GlobalPort and NLEX did not assign a player to join the dunk contest.

On the other hand, Melton's return to the dunk off caps a busy night for him as he will also participate in the obstacle challenge.

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