Carlos—33, 5-foot-8—slam dunk king


AT 33, Manila Chooks TM’s David Carlos proved that he can still fly.

Carlos returned to the FIBA 3×3 pro circuit after a two-year absence with a bang, defeating Ukraine’s Vadim “Miller” Poddubchenko in the World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters’ Slam Dunk Competition on Sunday at the Kasr Al Amwaj in Abu Dhabi.

This is only the third time a Filipino won a World Tour dunk competition with Carlos reprising his conquest in the 2017 Chengdu Masters. Rey Guevarra topped the 2015 Manila Masters.

And it was a dramatic and thrilling victory for the 5-foot-8 Filipino dunk king.

“I just wanted to put on a show and to prove to myself that I can still compete with the world’s best,” Carlos said.

Already ahead of the 6-foot-6 Miller heading into the third and final dunk, 9.3 to 7.35, Carlos needed just to complete a dunk to win it all.

But Carlos still went for broke as he tried to jump on four people but literally crashed and burned that hurt his back.

Instead of throwing down a simple one-hander and not risk getting a zero if he missed, Carlos decided to just pull out the last standee for an over-three-people dunk. It was the adjustment he needed as he converted on his final attempt for a 7.7.

Miller’s no-look scorpion dunk drew a 9.7 and was not enough to overcome Carlos’s lead.

“I did not want to disappoint our countrymen who are here,” Carlos said. “So I gave my best effort to pull this one off.”

Carlos’s first dunk was an elevated windmill jam that drew a 9.3. His second attempt was his trademark scorpion that also reaped 9.3.

Carlos also took home $3,000 (P151,617.93).

It was Miller’s first loss in the current season after topping the Debrecen and Prague Masters.

Besides his two golds in the World Tour Masters, Carlos was also a two-time runner-up (2018 Penang and 2019 Doha) and a one-time bronze medalist (2019 Jeddah).

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