PBA All-Star

With help from Paul Lee, Raymond Almazan rules inaugural 3-Point Shootout for bigs

Delfin Dioquino

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With help from Paul Lee, Raymond Almazan rules inaugural 3-Point Shootout for bigs

CHAMPION. Raymond Almazan in action in the Big Men Three-Point Shootout during the 2024 PBA All-Star Weekend.

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Raymond Almazan credits former teammate Paul Lee for some valuable tips as he tops the first-ever Big Men Three-Point Shootout during the PBA All-Star Weekend

BACOLOD, Philippines – Raymond Almazan ruled the first-ever Big Men Three-Point Shootout with a little help from his friend.

Almazan credited former teammate Paul Lee for some valuable tips as he bested 11 other participants in the contest that spiced up the PBA All-Star Weekend at the University of St. La Salle gym here on Saturday, March 23.

Lee, who played with Almazan in Rain or Shine and Gilas Pilipinas, is no stranger to the Three-Point Shootout, handily winning the title last year in Passi City, Iloilo, and finishing runner-up to Calvin Oftana this year.

“I want to thank Paul. Because of him, I know the strategy for the Three-Point Shootout that you cannot rush it. You need to get your rhythm and you need to get a good start,” said the Meralco center in a mix of Filipino and English.

Almazan topped the four-man final that also featured NLEX’s Dave Marcelo, Blackwater’s Christian David, and Terrafirma’s Isaac Go with 19 points after hitting his stride in the first three racks.

Missing his first three shots, Almazan sank 9 of the next 10 balls – including 5 money balls – as he turned the tables on his foes after barely making the championship round.

Go and David shared the lead in the elimination round with 20 points, while Almazan wound up in a tie with Marcelo with 17 points.

David and Go, though, fizzled out in the final as they finished third and fourth with 15 and 13 points, respectively, with Marcelo netting 16 points for second place.

“I did not expect the result because there are plenty of bigs who are shooters,” said Almazan.

Winning the contest and bagging the P30,000 prize made the trip to Bacolod worth it for Almazan, who needed to postpone his family vacation after being called up to replace his Bolts teammate Brandon Bates.

Almazan still managed to spend time with his family as his wife and son followed him to Bacolod and he won in front of them in the process.

“I’m so happy that I’m the first winner of this Three-Point Shootout. – Rappler.com

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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.