NCAA: Justin Gutang lives up to hype as Slam Dunk champion

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 31, 2018 05:35 PM
NCAA: Justin Gutang lives up to hype as Slam Dunk champion
Justin Gutang follows in the footsteps of CSB teammate Yankie Haruna as Slam Dunk Contest champion

Inspired by former champion Yankie Haruna, Justin Gutang has brought back the Slam Dunk title to College of St. Benilde.

Bringing out the big guns for his first dunk and then putting it away with power in the Finals, Gutang emphatically earned the win in the NCAA 94 Slam Dunk Contest on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Gutang had for himself the best dunk of the contest in the preliminary round by slamming home an assist off the side of the board from CSB teammate Jimboy Pasturan.

That dunk garnered 46 points for the judges and, without a doubt, booked him a ticket into the Finals. “I saw the guys before me and I told myself I had to start strong,” he told reporters afterwards.

There, both William De Leon of Arellano University and Enoch Valdez and Lyceum of Philippines University failed to convert.

And so, all Gutang had to do was to make good on just a simple dunk.

That, he did and more, hammering a left-handed throwdown for a score of 41.

That left no doubt in making the Blazer forward the new king of the event – something he fell short of doing a year ago when he finished as runner-up.

That also reclaimed the Slam Dunk crown for the Blazers which was last worn by Haruna in Season 92. “He just told me I better win,” Gutang said.

Other participants included Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s Jeric Villanueva, Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Juju Bautista, Mapua University's Jesper Bautista, San Beda University's Eugene Toba, San Sebastian College-Recoletos' Kenneth Villapando, and University of Perpetual Help’s Lean Martel.

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