Lavine, Billups through to semis of NBA HORSE Challenge

Delfin Dioquino
Lavine, Billups through to semis of NBA HORSE Challenge
Bulls guard Zach Lavine sweeps Paul Pierce, while retired NBA player Chauncey Billups scores an upset over Hawks guard Trae Young

MANILA, Philippines – Chicago Bulls guard Zach Lavine reached the semifinals of the NBA HORSE Challenge in dominant fashion with a shutout win over Paul Pierce on Sunday, April 12 (Monday, April 13, Manila time).

Lavine banked on his creativity and range to beat Pierce, who showed rust post-retirement as he failed to sink a single bucket. 

HORSE is a game where two or more players compete, with the first player having to make a shot in a particular way of their choosing and the succeeding players needing to repeat the basket exactly as it was nailed. 

If a player fails to duplicate the shot, they gain a letter starting with “H” and will be declared the loser if they complete the word “HORSE.”

While Pierce was easily swept, fellow retired NBA player Chauncey Billups scored an upset over Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. 

Billups trailed by two letters before beating Young at his own game, racking up 5 straight buckets – mostly from the three-point line – to punch his semifinals ticket. 

Considered as the best pure shooter in the eight-player tournament, WNBA standout Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky stunned Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul. 

Quigley took the driver’s seat with a sitting bank shot before wrapping up her win with a free throw off the backboard. 

Rounding out the semifinals cast was Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley, who made quick work of WNBA legend Tamika Catchings. 

Catchings managed to score a point after being buried by 4 letters, but that only delayed the inevitable as Conley sealed his win with an impressive over-the-backboard right-handed layup. 

The semifinals is scheduled on Thursday, April 16 (Friday, April 17, Manila time), with Billups facing Conley and Quigley going up against Lavine. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.