PBA ALL-Star skills events:Miller, Ritualo, Williams face tougher challenge

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PBA ALL-Star skills events:Miller, Ritualo, Williams face tougher challenge

Willie Miller, Renren Ritualo and Kelly Williams

MANILA, Philippines - Electrifying Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shines soars for an aerial combat with defending slam-dunk champion Kelly Williams of Sta. Lucia Realty, while obstacle course ruler Willie Miller of Alaska and three-point king Renren Ritualo of Talk ‘N Text face a slew of new challengers when the PBA All-Star Skills Competition reels off April 26 at the Araneta Coliseum.

Miller claimed the obstacle crown a third straight time last year by zapping championship opponents Dondon Hontiveros of San Miguel Beer (35.6 sec.) and Ronjay Buenafe of Coca-Cola (41.7) in blistering 25.5 seconds – the fastest time ever recorded in the event.

Both Hontiveros and Buenafe are gone, and Miller is up against younger and lightning-quick competition this time, notably Jason Castro of Talk ‘N Text, Paul Artadi of Barangay Ginebra, and Sol Mercado of Rain or Shine.

Also in the hunt for Miller’s head are Warren Ybañez of Barako Bull, Celino Cruz of Burger King, Aces teammate LA Tenorio, Denok Miranda of Sta. Lucia, Bonbon Custodio of San Miguel, Alex Cabagnot of Coke, and Topex Robinson of Purefoods.

Ritualo captured the three-point shootout at the West Negros University gym in Bacolod a year ago by nipping Hontiveros, 19-18, in the final, and the SMB sharpshooter is back to challenge the TNT hotshot.

Also returning to redeem himself after getting bumped off right in the first round is James Yap of Purefoods.

Other assassins who have Ritualo in their crosshairs are Jeff Chan of Barako Bull, Gary David of Burger King, Larry Fonacier of Alaska, Sunday Salvacion of Ginebra, Joseph Yeo of Sta. Lucia, TNT teammate Jimmy Alapag, Ronjay Buenafe of Coke, and Fiesta Cup 3-point leader Don Dulay of Rain or Shine.

Next follows the exciting slam-dunk competition, with the obstacle course winner and the three-point shootout champion, like the rest of the All-Star participants, enjoying front seat view to what promises to be the most spectacular rim-rattling battle ever.

Williams easily smoked the competition in 2008, scoring 98 points in dominating Ronald Tubid of Ginebra (88) and Arwind Santos (86) of Air21 (now Burger King).

But the faces of those out to defy gravity with him two Sundays from now are breathtakingly impressive – Jared Dillinger of Talk ‘N Text, Jay Washington of San Miguel, Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, and two-time slam-dunk champion KG Canaleta of Purefoods, making for a truly gripping human highlight film event.

To add international flavor to the jamming competition, a special dunk-off has been arranged among current imports James Penny of Coke, Anthony Johnson of Sta. Lucia, Gabe Freeman of San Miguel, and Jhamar Thorpe of Purefoods, with the winner facing the local champion in a much-awaited above-the-rim duel.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=457195&publicationSubCategoryId=69
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