PH collegiate stars name their favorite NBA high-flyers

Published July 5, 2020, 12:23 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets, Zach LaVine and Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. and Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks. (File photos compiled from AFP, AP and Reuters)

Several Philippine basketball collegiate stars who held the first stay-at-home dunk contest last week revealed their favorite high-flyers in the NBA.

Two-time FIBA 3×3 Under-18 dunk king Kobe Paras of University of the Philippines chose none other than eight-time All-Star Vince Carter, who announced his retirement late June after a 22-season career.

“Hand down,” Paras, one of the contest’s judges, said during the show hosted by Shaun Ildefonso of National University. “Just because siya ‘yung nagpa-uso ng mga between the legs.”

“Kalbo siya parang daddy ko,” Paras jested, referring to PBA legend Benjie. “Angas din.”

Former Ateneo star Thirdy Ravena likewise picked Carter, who ruled the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk contest, when it comes to competitions.

Ravena, who will take his act abroad in Japan’s B.League, though chose Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets in terms of in-game dunking.

“In-game right now si Russell Westbrook just because how powerful his dunks are. ‘Yung talagang feel na feel ng rim. Para siyang si Derrick Rose. Kawawa ‘yung ring kapag [nag-dunk] siya,” the 23-year-old Ravena said.

Former La Salle forward Jamie Malonzo, for his part, chose Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls.

ravena de liano malonzo paras bolick
Former Ateneo star Thirdy Ravena, University of the Philippines guard Juan Gomez de Liaño, ex-La Salle forward Jamie Malonzo, UP’s Kobe Paras and former San Beda ace Robert Bolick. (UAAP / PBA Images)

“He’s from Seattle and I’m from Seattle. And not only he’s a high-flyer, he’s a two-time dunk champion,” Malonzo, who was crowned “Home Jam: Dunkers Only” champion, told of LaVine.

UP guard Juan Gomez de Liaño seconded Malonzo’s choice and picked Lavine as well in terms of in-game dunks.

But competition-wise, the 6-foot-2 UP guard preferred Derrick Jones Jr., who ruled the 2020 edition of the NBA dunk contest.

Judge Robert Bolick, who led the San Beda Red Lions to three NCAA titles, selected no less than the GOAT himself – Michael Jordan.

But he had a different and familiar choice at first.

“Sa akin si ano, Robert ‘Dr. J.’ Bolick. Grabe. Ibang klase dumakdak talagang kita kita ko dati,” quipped Bolick, who’s now with PBA’s NorthPort. “Hindi, hindi. Si Jordan talaga. MJ.”