All eyes will be on the trio of Beau Belga, James Yap, and Rey Guevarra as they try their best to defend their respective crowns in the side events of the 2019 PBA All-Star Side Events.
The 6-foot-6 Belga looks to retain his stature as the Obstacle Challenge champ, but it won’t be a walk in the park given the field of this year’s competition, which will feature a battle of big men for the second consecutive year.
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters slotman will have to go through TNT KaTropa’s Yousef Taha, Alaska Aces’ Noy Baclao, Justin Chua of Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, NLEX Road Warriors’ Marion Magat, NorthPort Batang Pier’s Mo Tautuaa, Blackwater Elite’s Raymar Jose, Barangay Ginebra’s Prince Caperal, Columbian Dyip’s Russel Escoto, Meralco Bolts’ Brian Faundo, Magnolia Hotshots’ Rafi Reavis, and reigning five-time league Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beermen.
Meanwhile, another RoS star in Yap will gun for his second straight – and third overall – Three-Point Shootout title.
The two-time league MVP was scorching hot in last year’s contest. He scored 24 points each in the qualifying round and in the Finals versus Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle, and he’s heavily expected to do the same this year.
Yap will defend his throne against TNT main scorer RR Pogoy, Alaska’s Simon Enciso, Phoenix Pulse’s Matthew Wright, Philip Paniamogan of NLEX, NorthPort rookie Robert Bolick, Blackwater’s resident shooter Mike DiGregorio, Ginebra’s Kevin Ferrer, Columbian’s Rashawn McCarthy, Meralco’s Baser Amer, San Miguel’s Marcio Lassiter, and Yap’s pal PJ Simon of Magnolia.
Last but not the least is Guevarra, who aims to win his fifth Slam Dunk title to tie dunk legend and current Meralco power forward KG Cañaleta for most number of Slam Dunk championships in PBA All-Star history.
The 6-foot-4 Fuel Master will go up against Meralco swingman and 2017 champion Chris Newsome, and Blackwater sophomore Renz Palma, whom Guevarra faced in last year’s final round and was a favorite to win.
Rounding up the Slam Dunk Contest participants are Batang Pier Lervin Flores and Dyip rookie CJ Perez.
The 2019 PBA All-Star Skills Challenge will be at 4:30 PM, followed by the Rookies-Sophomores versus Juniors clash at 7:00 PM. The festivities will be held at the Calasiao Sports Complex.