MANILA, Philippines – Filipino dunk artist David Carlos will have his work cut out for him as he takes on some of the world's best dunkers in the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha.
And he had an epic three-week stretch to prepare him for the global meet.
It all started back on March 23.
During the NBTC All-Star festivities, the 5-foot-9 Filipino dunk king figured in arguably the greatest dunk competition the country has ever seen, facing off against FIBA Under-17 World Cup MVP Jalen Green – who stands at 6-foot-6.
Exactly 7 days later during the Grand Finals of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup, the product of UST took on the UAAP's best dunker in Kobe Paras, who also stands at 6-foot-6.
To complete his epic stretch, the bronze medalist in the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup was part of a heads-up showdown against Dunk King contestant Chris Staples, who is 6-foot-2, during the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest.
Though ending up with one win and two runner-up finishes, the 30-year-old relishes the experience of being part of such epic contests.
"No pressure for me in the past 3 weeks. This is the profession I am in," expressed Carlos, who is known as 'Air David.' "It's a big honor to face my good friend Kobe, the World's MVP Jalen, and a triple-A dunker like Chris."
"Gusto ko pakita lang na kaya natin makipagsabayan sa high flyers ng buong mundo – na kaya ng Pilipino na umangat sa dakdakan."
(I want to show that we can go head-to-head with the world's high-flyers – that Filipinos can succeed in dunking too.)
Carlos makes it look easy, making it seamless to throw down 360-degree jams or between-the-legs slams. However, each competition takes its toll on each competitor's body, just ask Carlos.
"I'm very tired but I use that as motivation," Carlos disclosed, recalling that stretch. "I'm eating right, extra session in the gym, and then rest. The recovery isn't that quick."
"Imagine, 30 minutes lang yung competition pero yung legs namin after this, patay na patay. It's going to take us two days to recover."
(Imagine, the competition is only 30 minutes but our legs are so dead after this.)
The work though does not stop for Carlos.
Early Saturday morning (12:55 am, Manila time), Carlos will be competing in the dunk event of the World Tour Masters. Standing in his way are Europe's finest in Vadim ‘Miller’ Poddubchenko of Ukraine and Joel Henry of Great Britain.
Asked why he continues to do this, the cager born and raised in Manila wants to inspire the next generation that the 5-on-5 game is not the only way to compete in basketball.
"Sobrang special nito. Alam naman natin na masikip ang scene ng basketball dito sa Pilipinas. Hopefully, ma-inspire ko yung mga bata na there are other avenues to make your mark sa basketball – may it be in 3x3, skills challenge, three-point shootout, or here in slam dunk competitions," he shared.
(This is so special. We all know that the basketball scene in the Philippines is tight. Hopefully, I inspire kids that there are other avenues to make your mark in basketball – may it be in 3x3, skills challenge, three-point shootout, or here in slam dunk competitions.) – Rappler.com