With the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affecting sports media, ABS-CBN Sports decided to venture into alternative methods in continuing to feed constant sports content to fans. The Score and UPFRONT have continued airing on YouTube and LIGA, while new innovations such as a Mobile Legends tournament and Team Fitfil workouts have also brought a different crop of audience to their channel.
Titled Home Jam: Dunkers Only, ABS-CBN Sports’ latest project was a dunk competition, featuring three of the best slashers from the UAAP in the first edition held last June 27. Former DLSU Green Archer Jamie Malonzo emerged victorious with a score of 59 points, edging his competitors in Juan Gomez de Liaño, who hailed from the UP Fighting Maroons and tallied 58 points, and Thirdy Ravena, representing the ADMU Blue Eagles, as he garnered 57 points. NU Bulldog Shaun Ildefonso served as the host of the event, while Northport point guard Robert Bolick and UP’s high-flyer Kobe Paras were tasked with judging these dunks.
Malonzo intended to put pressure on Gomez de Liaño and Ravena right away, as he dunked over fellow Green Archer Kurt Lojera to earn a score of 19 points in the first round. Gomez de Liaño collected 18 points on a throw off the board and a dunk, while Ravena recorded 19 points with a throw as well but finished with a reverse jam.
In the next round, Malonzo stepped it up a notch by converting a rim-rattling reverse dunk off a pass from Lojera, who was positioned at the second floor of their condominium. It left Paras and Ildefonso speechless, and challenged Gomez de Liaño and Ravena to perform a dunk with a similar degree of difficulty.
After numerous attempts, Gomez de Liaño was successful on a throw then 360-degree finish, increasing his total points to 38. Ravena showed off his sensational athleticism with a throw and completed the attempt with a windmill jam. He similarly was able to obtain a perfect score of 20.
Finishing it off
With the competition down to the final round, Malonzo put on the exclamation point by throwing the ball up high, catching it with his left hand, transferring to it to the right, and finishing on the other side of the ring. Even his opponents were impressed, leaving them with little chance of winning the crown. Gomez de Liaño and Ravena failed to execute magnificent dunks in the third round, but they closed the competition on a pleasant note. The former dunked over his father Bert Gomez de Liaño, while the latter replicated the iconic eurostep dunk of Jammer Jamito, ex-Barangay Ginebra San Miguel forward.
Malonzo was not only the champion of this inaugural contest, but was also recognized for having the “Most Heated Sneakers”, as he was rocking the emblematic black Kobe VII. Meanwhile, Gomez de Liaño collected “Best in Showmanship” honors for incorporating his father in helping him with his final dunk. The side-step finish of Ravena earned him the “Perfect 50 Best Dunk” award. Even with a simpler event like Home Jam: Dunkers Only, Malonzo lived up to his nickname as “The Walking Highlight”, and proved it tricky for other competitors to snatch the trophy from him.