Paras says defending his FIBA 3x3 Slam Dunk crown was tougher

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Kobe Paras emerged as the FIBA 3x3 Slam Dunk champ anew by jumping over teammate Ricci Rivero for an emphatic two-handed reverse dunk that earned a perfect 30 points from the three judges.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — From the outside looking in, Kobe Paras looked more relaxed when he defended his Slam Dunk crown in the FIBA 3x3 in Budapest, Hungary on Monday (June 8 PHT).

Read: Kobe Paras retains FIBA 3x3 Slam Dunk crown

But that was not how Paras saw it from his vantage point.

“I was shocked before the start of the contest because I saw that I’m going up against taller opponents,” said Paras during a press conference Thursday (June 11) in Ortigas.

In fact, there was more pressure this time around.

“It’s crazy because the last time I was the youngest so I felt the pressure. But this time out, I was the defending champion so there’s more pressure,” the former Cathedral High School standout said.

Still, the Filipino basketball prodigy managed to retain the title by besting American counterpart Jalek Felton.

Felton wowed hundreds of spectators with his between-the-legs throwdown in the final match. But Paras emerged as champ anew by jumping over teammate Ricci Rivero for an emphatic two-handed reverse dunk that earned a perfect 30 points from the three judges.

His victory served as consolation for the Philippine team, which got the boot in the competition with a 2-3 win-loss record.

Related: Philippines bows out with loss to Uruguay

“I really wanted the team to advance to the next round. We could have made it to the final 16 and it would have been awesome,” he said.