Williams Rules Slam Dunk Contest

On: 29 April 2008

With three-time defending champion KG Canaleta of Air21 pulling out as a result of a knee injury in the last minute, Sta. Lucia’s high-flying forward Kelly Wiliams, as expected, ruled the Slam Dunk Contest in the Skills Competitions of the 2008 PBA Smart All-Star Week at the West Negros University Gym here.

Williams, who barely made it to the three-man Finals, scored 98 points on his two dunks in the Finals to beat by a mile Barangay Ginebra’s Ronald Tubid who totalled 88 and Air21’s Arwind Santos, who tallied 86, in their respective last pairs of dunks.

“I would like to say this isn’t complete with KG not there but I’ll take it and just look forward to defending my title next year against him, “ said Williams who also won a beautifully crafted trophy, P20,000 and another trophy and winner’s jacket from event sponsor Pigrolac.

The right-handed Williams had a windmill slam using his left in his first dunk in the Finals which scored 48 among the judges headed by City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and PBA Press Corps President Nelson Beltran of the Philippine Star. He then netted a perfect 50 in his between-the-legs dunk, again using his left hand at the finish, in his second which turned out to be the clincher.

“I was kinda worried when I missed on my first dunks in the eliminations but once I got heated up, there’s was no stopping me,” also noted Williams, who added a few tips from Sta. Lucia rookie teammate Ryan Reyes also helped.

”I was cramming out there. I really didn’t prepare any repertoire of dunks but thanks to Ryan’s ideas, we came out with some stuff out there,” said Williams, whose mother is from Cebu City.

Williams, who only had 25 points on his first dunk which he missed, only totalled 124 on his three dunks in the elimination round which was topped by the 126 of Tubid and which was followed by the 125 of Santos.

A disappointment was 2001 slam dunk king Joey Mente of Welcoat who could only come up with 117 in the elims.

Despite missing the event, Canaleta still gave in to the crowd who was wooing him to show his stuff after Williams was awarded his trophy. The Air21 forward, after a couple of misses, did a windmill slam despite a hurting left knee.

Aside from Canaleta, also backing out at the last minute because of a sore knee was 2004 Slam Dunk contest runner-up and hometown boy Reynel Hugnatan of Alaska, leaving this year's dunking event just a four-man show.

(Note: the video on this article was provided by jepoy311)

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