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Basketball

Newsome edges out Forrester to win Slam Dunk crown

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After being edged out by Rey Guevarra last year, Chris Newsome reversed his fortunes in the finals to win the 2017 PBA Slam Dunk competition, Friday night at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

“I got edged out by a point yeah. The good thing about it is I finally got this championship under my belt and this is something that I will remember for the rest of my life,” the 26-year-old Filipino-American said. “That shows that my athleticism does not go unnoticed and I’m blessed to be given this chance to showcase these talents. It’s for all these fans.”

But his fellow finalist James Forrester gave him a run for his money, though. The Globalport star scored a perfect 50 in the first attempt after a single pump, reverse dunk over Stanley Pringle.

To answer back, Newsome picked up a 43 after a baseline bounce to a one-handed 360 slam. However, he needed three attempts to finish the round.

“We were just talking and told each other to do your best. We want to bring out the best of each other,” Newsome recalled.

The 27-year-old Filipino-Canadian struggled in his second attempt, however, needing multiple attempts before settling for a one-bounce, alley-oop for a 360 throwdown. The dunk only scored 36 points.

Needing just 43 points to win it, Newsome did not hold back. The former Ateneo Blue Eagle juggled three balls before throwing one off the board for the finish. It ended up with a score of 44.

“I tried to be strategic this year. You really have to do something not that difficult to complete the competition,” the 6-foot-2 swingman shared. “So yeah, I started out with two simple dunks that got me to the second round. From that point, I just tried to come out with something the people have not seen that sealed the win.”

Newsome scored a whopping 95 points in the opening around as his first attempt — a single bounce to a one-handed jam — landed him a 45, while he followed it up with a crowd-pleasing single bounce to a windmill jam that scored a perfect 50.

Forrester also advanced after tallying a total of 95 points. His first attempt was the dunk of the first round as he dunk over Matthew Wright, Norbert Torres, Kris Rosales, Maverick Ahanmisi and Simon Enciso that ended up as a 49.

Defending three-time champion Rey Guevarra did not make the cut after tallying just 87 points in the opening round while Marion Magat finished with 69 points.

Jammer Jamito (76 points) provided the laughs. During his second attempt, many expected that he would dunk over Japeth Aguilar. However, he sidestepped past the 6-foot-10 center for the dunk that gave him 37 points.

PBA Press Corps president Gerry Ramos, San Miguel Beermen governor Robert Non, Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach Jimmy Alapag, Alaska Aces governor Dickey Bachmann, and Quezon Governor David Suarez were the judges in the event.

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