by Ryan Rojo
The highly anticipated rematch between the AirAsia Philippine Patriots and San Miguel Beermen on March 4th was exciting fans across the region but spectators at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan, Metro Manila got a very special treat as AirAsia presented the league’s first ever ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’ Slam Dunk Contest at halftime!
Four local athletes defied gravity and showed off some sick moves for the judges and spectators alike in a bid to win a special prize from AirAsia.
Don’t worry if you didn’t catch all the excitement on TV though, I’ve got you covered.
First on the spot was Sean “Drake” Batilo whose double pump reverse slam got a 25 out of 30 from the judges. The former Dakota State University player’s misses on his 2nd dunk though got him a total of 40 out of 60 at the end of his turn. John Corneh missed his first attempts off an assisted dunk but made up for it in his 2nd try to move his total score to 39. Third on the spot was Jasprit “Shivaker” Sanghera whose driving one handed dunk and misses on the 2nd round was good enough for a 33. Finally, the smallest man in the competition standing at 5’8, Shaun Santos Williams, took the court and dazzled the crowd and judges with a soaring one-handed dunk after a bounce from a toss, earning him perfect 10s from the three judges. His second attempt, a 360 jam, sealed his entry to the final round with another perfect score line.
The final round saw Sean Batilo go head to head against Mr. 5’8, Shaun Santos. Sean Batilo hammered a one hander to the rim for his final dunk and got a score 24. The preliminary round’s star, Shaun Williams, was tested next and didn’t disappoint as he soared and flushed a two-handed windmill off a bounce from a toss to get his straight 10s from the judges and the cheers from the electrified crowd. The high flying former Monterey State California University cager is crowned the league’s first Slam Dunk king and with this title he went home with round trip tickets to Davao, Philippines for two care of AirAsia.
It was an incredible afternoon of competition, with an incredible halftime program to match. Make sure you don’t miss out the next one, join us at our next home game on the 31st of March at the Ynares Sports Arena!
Ryan Rojo is an intern at the AirAsia Philippine Patriots as part of the AirAsia ABL's Internship Program, which serves as a platform for ASEAN youth to gain valuable working experiences in the inner workings of a professional sports industry. As part of his responsibilities with the Patriots, Ryan is involved in the team's marketing activities as well as play an integral role in the team's daily workings.