MANILA---Former champions Gabe Norwood of Rain Or Shine and Kelly Williams of Talk ‘N Text have been installed as favorites in the 2011 PBA All-Star slam dunk contest set Friday at the Boracay Convention Center.
Barangay Ginebra’s JC Intal and Ronald Tubid and San Miguel Beer’s Jay Washington are also highly rated in what has become a wide-open contest in the absence of defending champion Niño KG Canaleta of Derby Ace.
The slam dunk competition, along with the three-point shootout and obstacle course, serves as aperitif to the PBA Blitz Game featuring rookies and sophomores.
The PBA show will be capped by the North-South All-Star selection duel on Sunday.
Rookies Rey Guevarra of San Miguel Beer and Elmer Espiritu of Alaska, who boast collegiate slam dunk titles, are also competing in the event organized by Cre8 Events Asia and backed by Meralco, Coca-Cola, Talk ‘N Text, Puma, Maynilad and Alta Vista Boracay.
Norwood ruled the event on his rookie season in 2009, stunning a field that also included Canaleta, the pre-event favorite.
Williams, who won in 2008, failed to defend his title then due to a blood disorder that sidelined him for the rest of the season.
Powerade’s Mark Macapagal will defend his crown in the three-point shootout and Jonas Villanueva of San Miguel Beer goes for another obtacle course accolade in the festivities also supported by Smart, Accel, Molten, Islander, Rain or Shine and Powerade.