By: Ohmer Bautista
Champion versus champion
Finalists Soulemane Chabi Yo from UST and Daniel Chatman III from NU were relegated to mere spectators as David Carlos and Kobe Paras proved to be classes ahead of the competition.
The two seasoned dunkers were so good that they both forced two dunk-offs between each other.
In the second dunk-off, the competition was so stiff that a first-attempt blunder was considered a surefire deafeat.
With Carlos being the first-man up, he calmly created a two-man barricade, all in a position which resembles a big japanese bow. Defying all odds, Carlos attempted an off-the-bounce one-handed hammer, that unfortunately, bounced off the back off the rim. Trying for the second time, he pulled it off and received a 48 points from the judges.
Paras being the next man up, he called out Rasheed Rivero to serve as his hurdle. Attempting a between the legs dunk while jumping over Rivero, he missed, not just once, but in back-to-back attempts.
In his third try, he called out Brent Paraiso to fortify the obstacle and intensify pressure, and with a roaring crowd in his back, he slammed the rock home — a dunk that garnered a perfect 50.
A Carlos throwdown over a six-man barricade and a Paras two-handed reverse hammer over a four-man wall, which both amassed a 48-point decision in the first dunk-off catalyzed a decider.
Meanwhile, a 96-point decision given to both Carlos and Paras in their two explosive dunks in the finale ignited all the extended dunk showdown.
Prior to the final dance, the fancied leaper in DLSU’s Tyrus Hill was upended by fresh faces who upped the ante. These youthful talents were Chabi Yo and Chatman, the smallest participant in the contest, who both raised the curtains of the riveting contest.
Adamson’s Ivan Maata and Soaring Falcon-turned-Green Archer Hill, who copped third and fourth seeds in the qualifiers, were also booted out of contention. Ateneo’s Matthew Daves and Tamaraws’ Aaron Davis also received the same fate.