Japeth Aguilar will dethrone Chris Ellis in the 2014 Slamdunk Contest

Japeth Aguilar has been pulling the fans out of their sits with his highlight reel dunks that earned him praises from the crowd and has enabled him to be one of the most popular PBA player in the league right now.

The Gilas mainstay from Ginebra however admitted that he is pressured from the fans' expectations and is being pressed for time as he tries to think out of the box and come up witn new dunk ideas in a bid to upstage teammate Chris Ellis in Friday’s PBA Slam Dunk contest at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Ellis and Melton as the biggest treat

The 6-9 Aguilar picked Ellis and San Mig Super Coffee’s diminutive rookie guard Justin Melton as two of the toughest dunkers he’ll be facing this year in the most anticipated side event of the All-Star Weekend.

Ellis ruled last year’s edition after replicating former NBA champion Vince Carter’s arm-in-the-ring dunk in the finals before wildly-cheering fans in Digos City, Davao del Sur - incidentally the same dunk Aguilar pulled off in 2006 when he won the Slam Dunk contest in Western Kentucky University’s Midnight Madness.

Now the Ginebra star is in search of new dunks to pull off.

“The thing is, dahil sa dunk niya (Ellis) last year, yung ibang mga dunks niya dun, ginagawa ko rin, so nauubusan din ako ng tricks because he already did it (arm-in-the-ring dunk) and the fans already saw it from him. So ayoko naman ulitin na yun,” Aguilar shared to Spin.ph.

The 26-year-old Gilas Pilipinas mainstay said he also sees Melton as another strong contender. At 5-9, the San Mig rookie is the shortest participant in the contest but has already proved his high jumping ability courtesy of great alley oop dunks for the Mixers.

The contest will also feature Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, San Miguel Beer’s Arwind Santos, and Meralco’s Cliff Hodge and Rey Guevarra.

Seeking Advice from Powell
Aguilar also disclosed that he intends to ask new Ginebra import Josh Powell for some ideas he may have learned from Kobe Bryant during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bryant is the NBA Slamdunk Champion in his rookie year with the Lakers in 1997.

The 31-year-old Powell had a so-so performance in his debut with the Gin Kings on Wednesday but still Ginebra manhandled Meralco.

Powell had just a day off after arriving straight from Los Angeles and managed
a quiet 16-point performance.

“Oo nga, I’ll probably ask him (Powell on dunk ideas),” said Aguilar.

With this development, expect the other participants to also showcase their leaping ability and come out with gimmicks.

--- with reports from Spin.ph

Japeth Aguilar will dethrone Chris Ellis in the 2014 Slamdunk Contest Japeth Aguilar will dethrone Chris Ellis in the 2014 Slamdunk Contest Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 4/04/2014 Rating: 5

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