FILIPINO pro dunker and Manok ng Bayan David Carlos roared his way to winning the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters 2023 Dunk Contest on Sunday at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati.
The high-flying 34-year-old veteran showcased his repertoire of creative dunks, beating Australia’s Brodie Stephens and fellow local dunker Daniel Marcelo to win a $4,000 prize in front of a packed crowd.
Carlos’ emphatic triumph capped Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas’ world-class hosting of the Manila Masters as a prelude to the Cebu Masters set in September.
For his first dunk in the final round, Carlos leaped over four individuals and slammed home a thunderous one-hand jam which earned a 28 from the three judges.
Afterwards, Carlos had to overcome two missed attempts and leaped over two people stacked on each other— otherwise known as the “Tetris Dunk”— just as time expired for a 27 on his second dunk.
“‘Yung second dunk ko, ‘yan ‘yung mga moments sa gym na kahit mag-isa ka, paulit-ulit mong ginagawa,” Carlos said of his successful dunk. “Against the time, with two missed attempts, I didn’t lose hope.”
In contrast, Stephens barely made his first two dunks and settled for 47 points combined, having to adjust his execution after several missed attempts.
Stephens then muffed all tries for his final dunk, paving the way for Carlos to pull off a one-handed 360-degree slam to cap his performance.
“This is the one dunk contest I wanted to win before I retire as a professional dunker. Lahat nang kinakailangan kong gawin, ibinuhos ko na para manalo,” Carlos said.
Carlos said he had to battle flu-like symptoms a few days before the competition, as he wanted to deliver on winning major dunk contest silverware at home.
“This is for the fans. I thank my Chooks-to-Go family for their unwavering support.”
UB HUISHAN NE REPEATS AS MANILA MASTERS TITLISTS
In the Manila Masters’ culminating game, Serbian powerhouse and world no. 1 Ub Huishan NE once again proved that they are FIBA 3×3’s team to beat, towering past China’s Futian, 21-17 in a pulsating finale.
Marko Brankovic topscored with eight points while Strahinja “Doctor Strange” Stojacic, the world’s top 3×3 player, and Dejan “The Maestro” Majstorovic, both chipped in six points.
Ub would not have an easy path to victory, having to edge Amsterdam HiPRO of the Netherlands, 21-20 in the quarterfinals before ousting China’s Beijing, 21-16 in the semifinals.
Stojacic would be named Most Valuable Player of the Manila Masters.
“In my opinion, we really played well and we deserved the championship. Every team wants to beat us because we are the number one team in the world, so we have to stay focused,” Stojacic said.
Ub bagged the top prize of $40,000, while Futian took home $30,000. Semifinalist and third placer Beijing walked away with $22,000.