Barroca bagged Skills Challenge Title; Macapagal earned his fourth title in five years in the Three-Point Shootout Contest of the 2014 PBA All-Star Skills Challenge
The start of the PBA All-Star Week featured the dethroning of the defending champions in both the Obstacle Challenge and the Three-Point Shootout Contest of the Skills Challenge Showcase.
San Mig's rising star Marc Barroca reigned in the Obstacle Challenge while former champion Mark Macapagal of GlobalPort regained his streak shooting form to bag the crown in the three point shootout.
Barroca added another crown to his young career
"The Coffee Prince" Barroca ended the four-year reign of Air21 guard Jonas Villanueva in the contest that will determine who is faster and more precise passer.
Barroca clocked 31.4 seconds in the preliminaries to finish as No. 1 among 10
participants then improved to 29.8 seconds in the finals despite muffing his layup at the start - enough to beat Villanueva who checked in at 36 seconds.
Alaska’s JV Casio finished third at 54.5 seconds.
“Isip lang ang pinagana ko ngayon,” said a beaming Barroca, who also pocketed the P30,000 top prize.
“I feel blessed this year, sabi nga nila kinukuha ko na daw yung mga individual award,” Barroca told InterAksyon.com in an exclusive interview.
“Swerte lang ako dahil naimimintis niya yung tira sa gitna kasi kapag nakadalawang mintis ka sa tira sa gitna, mahihirapan kang makahabol.”
The PBA Press Corp Finals MVP in the recent Philippine Cup Finals, admitted that Villanueva remains a force to reckon with in the Obstacle Challenge, having won the side-event title the last four years.
But the Mixers guard said he just has to approach each attempt with confidence and deep focus.
“Nahirapan lang ako sa layup dahil dun ako nag-mintis, pero dapat lang confident ka sa unang tira mo,” he said.
Macapagal regains old form
Marc Macapagal has been in this situation before and he already knows how to win the title.
The Batang Pier sharpshooter bagged his fourth title over the last five years in the PBA three-point shootout and he might be gunning for more.
He overcame tough challenges from defending champion Chris Tiu of Rain or Shine and JVee Casio of Alaska.
“Inisip ko lang yung pagkakamali ko nung last three-point shootout,” said Macapagal, who lost the title to Tiu last year.
“Last year kasi galing ako sa bakasyon, medyo di ako gaanong nakapag-prepare pero ngayon, nakapag-practice ako everyday kaya nakuha ko na yung rhythm ko,”added the 34-year-old veteran.
Macapagal and Casio ruled the opening round of the contest, scoring 23 points apiece. Tiu, shooting last in the round, joined them in the finals with 22 points.
The sweet-shooting Macapagal, who topped the elimination with 23 points, continued his torrid shooting in the finals, highlighted by a 10-of-11 shooting.
Tiu rallied during the last two racks after knocking down several balls, before winding up with 22 points while Alaska playmaker JV Casio, the third finalist, finished with 20 points.
Casio shot first in the title round, finishing with 20 points. Macapagal caught fire in his final round, scoring 24 points.
Tiu struggled to start his final round, making just one of five shots in his first rack. He recovered in the middle racks, but could only finish with 22 points to give Macapagal back the title.
Mac Cardona of Air 21, Ronjay Buenafe of Barako Bull, LA Tenorio of Ginebra, Gary David of Meralco, Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel Beer, and Larry Fonacier of Talk ‘N Text were the other participants while former two-time MVP James Yap begged off from the contest because he prioritize his bonding moments with his son.
The 6-2 Macapagal, a last-minute pick up from the free agent market by GlobalPort, said he is dedicating his individual title to the Batang Pier fans, who continued to support the team despite a winless campaign through seven games in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
“Dine-dedicate ko itong panalo ko sa mga GlobalPort fans, kasi kahit wala kaming panalo, nasa likod namin sila,” said Macapagal .
Macapagal is the 18th overall pick in the 2005 PBA Draft who owns a PBA career-average of 33.4 percent shooting from the three-point zone.
Barroca bagged Skills Challenge Title; Macapagal earned his fourth title in five years in the Three-Point Shootout Contest of the 2014 PBA All-Star Skills Challenge Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 4/04/2014 Rating: