MANILA, Philippines – Barako Bull’s Mark Macapagal is expecting tough competition when he aims for an unprecedented fourth straight Three-Point Shootout championship in the PBA All-Star Extravaganza on Friday in Digos, Davao del Sur.
Macapagal has already won the Three-Point Shootout event for three consecutive years, but is confident he has a strong chance of clinching a “four-peat” on Friday.
“Isang magandang tulog at magandang gising, baka makuha pa rin,” Macapagal said in an interview with the PBA website.
He will be up against an elite field of shooters: KG Canaleta, Josh Urbiztondo, Marcio Lassiter, James Yap, Willie Miller, JV Casio and Chris Tiu.
“Puro magagaling ang kasali,” Macapagal said. “Ang problema pa nito, matagal akong di nakakahawak ng bola, dahil matagal na kaming pahinga.”
Barako Bull did not make the Commissioner’s Cup playoffs, meaning Macapagal last played a game on April 14.
Macapagal hopes that as reigning champion, he gets to be the last player to shoot.
“Mas maliit ang pressure pag huli ka,” he said. “Kasi alam mo ang hahabulin mo to make the finals.”
Canaleta, Urbiztondo and Lassiter were all semi-finalists in last year’s event, which was held in Laoag.
Meanwhile, the rookie Tiu is considered a dark horse in the event.
“Wala rin akong practice, kasi pahinga na ang team namin simula noong ma-eliminate kami. Ang sigurado ie-enjoy ko ang competition,” Tiu said.
“Kung sino ang maganda ang feel at makakuha ng rhythm, yun ang mananalo,” he added.
The Three-Point Shootout is part of the skills events of the PBA All-Star Extravaganza, which also features a slam dunk contest.