April 19, 2024

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No slam dunk, but skills challenge a must-see in 2024 PBA All-Star Weekend

3 min read
SKILLS CHALLENGE. Basketball fans will have to watch out for the Skills Challenge in the upcoming 2024 PBA All-Star Weekend in Bacolod City. PBA PHOTO

As the PBA All-Star weekend gears up for its much-anticipated showcase in Bacolod City, fans will witness a shift in the lineup of events. 

While the traditional slam dunk contest takes a hiatus this year, the introduction of a new side event, the Skills Challenge, promises to keep the excitement alive on March 23.

One notable change in the lineup is the inclusion of a three-point shootout, but with a twist – this time featuring the big men of the league. This departure from the norm brings a fresh perspective to the mid-season classic, replacing the dunk contest that has been a regular staple since 1992.

The Skills Challenge, however, remains a highlight of the weekend, featuring the Obstacle Challenge and the three-point shootout among the guards.

Defending champions Dave Marcelo and Paul Lee are set to return, looking to maintain their titles in these skillful showdowns.

In the long-distance shootout for the bigs, a formidable lineup is set to take the stage. 

The participants include Jason Perkins of Phoenix, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser representing TNT, Aris Dionisio from Magnolia, Sean Anthony of NLEX, JM Calma representing Northport, Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel, Isaac Go from Terrafirma, Keith Zaldivar of Converge, and rookies Ralph Cu from Barangay Ginebra, Christian David of Blackwater, Brandon Bates from Meralco, and Keith Datu from Rain or Shine.

The three-point shootout for guards features a star-studded cast, with Maverick Ahanmisi (Rain or Shine), Alex Stockton (Converge), Chris Newsome (Meralco), Robbie Herndon (NLEX), Arvin Tolentino (Northport), Tyler Tio (Phoenix), Andrei Caracut (Rain or Shine), Marcio Lassiter (San Miguel), Javi Gomez de Liano (Terrafirma), Calvin Oftana (TNT), and James Yap (Blackwater).

Paul Lee, the reigning champion in the guard’s three-point shootout, faces stiff competition from a field that includes James Yap, the only other champion of the event, who clinched the title twice in 2009 and 2018.

In the Obstacle Challenge, defending champion Dave Marcelo will be tested by a strong lineup of competitors. 

The field includes Christian Standhardinger (Barangay Ginebra), Justin Arana (Converge), James Laput (Magnolia), JM Calma (Northport), Jason Perkins (Phoenix), Mo Tautuaa (San Miguel), Isaac Go (Terrafirma), Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser (TNT), and rookies Clifford Jopia, Brandon Bates, and Keith Datu.

As the PBA All-Star weekend unfolds with these exciting changes, fans can expect a fusion of skill, competition, and unexpected twists that showcase the versatility and talent of the league’s stars.

The absence of the dunk contest opens the door for new narratives and fresh challenges, ensuring a memorable weekend in Bacolod City.

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