|Jamie Malonzo took flight for the Batang Pier. PBA Images|
MANILA--Jamie Malonzo turned NorthPort's PBA Philippine Cup game against Terrafirma on Saturday into his "audition" for the league's Slam Dunk Contest.
In an uncommon feat at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga, the six-foot-seven winger made not just one but five slams in total, all within the first three quarters.
The first made field goal of the match was actually a Malonzo dunk exactly a minute into it.
But it was in the second quarter where Malonzo took off, starting with a windmill dunk with 3:41 left in the first half and the Batang Pier's blowout against the Dyip already shaping up.
He then slammed the ball from a baseline drive off a Kevin Ferrer assist to swell NorthPort's lead further.
Malonzo later skied high for an off-the-bounce jam, which is oftentimes a dunk event piece to end the first half.
He then capped his slam dunk exhibition by finishing a Robert Bolick alley-oop feed early into the third quarter.
For Malonzo, who finished with 14 points, he just wanted to step up especially with Greg Slaughter getting ejected early on.
"We just went out there and had fun. We knew with Greg Slaughter out, we were all gonna step up a little bit," Malonzo said after NorthPort's win.
Those three dunks he did in the second quarter, according to him, were testaments to how we wanted to help his team finish the first half on a high note.
"After that first quarter, that's what we did, and we decided to end the first half strong. And we got it done," Malonzo added.
Just like what Bolick said after the team's Thursday night win against Blackwater, Malonzo dedicated this victory over Terrafirma to the coaching staff who remained at their hotel after catching COVID-19 and to Team Manager Bonnie Tan, who is currently coaching NorthPort in an interim basis.
"We got our coaches back home watching us, so just coming out there getting the wins for them, a second win for Coach Bonnie and for the team, that's what we wanted to do. And we got it done today," Malonzo further said.
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