MANILA, Philippines – While Filipino fighters were slugging it out against Latinos in Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the NBA All-Star Saturday Night (Sunday in Manila) took place in Texas.
Nate Robinson, whose maternal great-grandfather is pure Filipino, ruled the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest to become the first-ever three-time Slam Dunk winner.
The 5’9’’ New York Knicks guard stunned the crowd at the American Airlines Center in Dallas with his alley-oop dunks.
His final dunk kicked off with an alley-oop thrown off the board. He caught the ball and turned in the air before nailing a two-handed reverse dunk.
He won 51% of the fan vote in the finals against DeMar DeRozan (49%) of the Toronto Raptors, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
Robinson’s feat of becoming a three-time Slam Dunk champion was not even reached by NBA greats Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins.
The Slam Dunk king, who also won in 2006 and 2009, said that this year’s contest is his last.
Pierce, Nash rule
Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, meantime, ruled the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout.
He made 20 points in the finals to defeat Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors (17 points) and Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets (14 points).
Aside from the Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout, other All-Star Weekend side events include the Haier Shooting Star Competition, H.O.R.S.E Competition and Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns won the Skills Challenge for the second time. He first won the event in 2005.
Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City Thunder successfully defended his H.O.R.S.E. Competition title against Boston’s Rajon Rondo and Omri Casspi of the Sacramento Kings.
Texas, meanwhile, triumphed over Los Angeles, Atlanta and Sacramento in the Shooting Star Competition. The team was composed of Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars and retired cager Kenny Smith of the Houston Rockets.
The All-Star Game will take place on Sunday (Monday in Manila) at the Cowboys Stadium. The venue is where 7-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and Ghanaian Joshua Clottey will clash on March 13. – With reports from NBA.com, Agence France-Presse and TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News