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After flaunting hops in RSJ game, Adrian Wong hopes to enter Dunk Contest next year

PASSI CITY – Adrian Wong reaped the benefits of his extra work following an MVP showing to power Team Greats past Team Stalwarts in the 2023 PBA All-Star Weekend’s Rookie-Sophomore-Juniors duel Friday night.

The Magnolia winger starred in their 158-138 victory with 29 points in a performance best known for draining plenty of 4-pointers, a shot that the league implemented for this year’s RSJ and All-Star Game on Sunday.

He actually opened the floodgates from the 27-foot range, firing upon receiving Juan Gomez de Liano’s handoff to give their side a 22-17 lead with 7:04 remaining in the opening period.

“I practice it in case I gotta do it in a game,” said Wong shortly after the match at the City of Passi Arena here.

“But it’s in my bag somewhere,” added the former Ateneo Blue Eagle, who actually finished with a double-double as he also hauled down 10 rebounds on the way being bestowed with the top individual award — and P30,000.

Wong fired 18 of his points in the final frame, including a key 4-pointer with 27.3 seconds left that proved to be the dagger after the Greats saw the Stalwarts come close to nine points inside the closing minutes.

The 27-year-old said that he simply got into the flow early on, and head coach Richard Del Rosario’s reminder further helped him sustain his fine play all the way to the end.

“It was just more in the flow, like, I was feeling it throughout the game. Coach said, ‘Don’t be scared to shoot,’ so I just came out there and shoot,” he said. “Coach just told us to play with the right instincts, so that’s what I did.”

Wong was in the zone so much that he also took it upon himself to end the game in style, slamming the ball with two hands off his own bounce pass in a play that could pass as a card to the Slam Dunk Competition.

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Future participant, perhaps?

“Maybe, we’ll see,” the cager from Texas said, smiling. “We’ll see. Hopefully. I’m down for it, though.”

He could also be a contestant in the 3-Point Shootout, too, given the way he shot the ball. And it would definitely be intriguing to see how it pans out, now that Hotshots teammate Paul Lee is the reigning champion.

“Hopefully,” he said of the idea. “Pretty sure Paul might try to defend it next year.

“But if there’s a Four-Point Shootout, I’ll be down to join that one,” he added with a chuckle.

All in all, it was a remarkable night for Wong and the rest of the young guns in taking part in the RSJ game.

“It feels amazing,” he expressed. “Just knowing that both teams came out to compete. We’re the top rising competitors in the league right now. I’m just happy that we both came out to compete and we got the W today.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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