THE PBA's finest marksmen gather together in an expected shootout for the title Three-Point King of this year's All-Star weekend.
The three-point shootout side event will be held alongside the slam dunk contest and the obstacle course on May 25 in Batangas City during the second leg of the All-Star week that has Phoenix Fuel with Phoenix Pulse Technology as major sponsor.
Two former champions in TnT Katropa's Terrence Romeo and James Yap of Rain or Shine, along with some of the league's deadliest gunners are entered in the contest with the primary aim of toppling defending champion Allein Maliksi of Blackwater.
Maliksi won the crown last year in Lucena City following a thrilling shootout that saw the former University of Santo Tomas stalwart edged out LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra and Romeo by sinking the last money ball during the finals.
This year's competition is expected to be as tough and interesting as last season with the entry of Marcio Lassiter (San Miguel), Matthew Wright (Phoenix), Paul Lee (Magnolia), JVee Casio (Alaska), Larry Fonacier (NLEX), Stanley Pringle (Globalport), Ronald Tubid (Columbian Dyip), and Tenorio.
KG Canaleta of Meralco completes the lineup as a late replacement for the injured Garvo Lanete.
Considered as one of the league's top gunners today, Lassiter is wary of the star-studded field as he bids once again for his first ever three-point title in the league.
"We'll see. There's a lot of great competitors (out there). Hopefully, I could bag one in," said the San Miguel wingman as he looks forward to the event also supported by Peak Sports Apparel, Molten, Nature's Spring, PBA RUSH-Cignal, TAGHeuer, Gatorade, and Rain or Shine.
"Definitely, it's going to be a fun weekend."
Romeo meanwhile, is out to reclaim his title after winning the shootout two years in a row (2015 and 2016) before being dethroned by Maliksi.
The former UAAP MVP out of Far Eastern University however, is just one of five players to win the crown twice or more. Among the two-time champions - or more - were Mark Macapagal (2010-2012 and 2014), Jimmy Alapag (2003 and 2005), Boyet Fernandez (2000 and 2001), Jasper Ocampo (1998 and 1999), and the late RicRic Marata (1994 and 1996).
Yap for his part, won the title in 2009.