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'KillerCrossover: UE Red Warrior Philip Manalang On What It Takes To Be A Team Leader

As he plays his last year with the University of the East, Philip Manalang shares what kind of legacy he wants to leave behind......»»

Category: lifestyleSource: abscbn abscbnSep 11th, 2019

With its arsenal fully loaded, UE s ambush good to go in UAAP 82

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 1-13, eighth YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Chris Conner, Philip Manalang WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: John Apacible, Alex Diakhite, Jed Mendoza, Harvey Pagsanjan, Richie Rodger, Rey Suerte, Neil Tolentino GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Reymark Acuno, Wilson Bartolome, Alvin Pasaol, Jason Varilla WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM UE? UE operated in the shadows in the offseason – begging off the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament and hiding its true form once it played games. Still, the red and white made the loudest noise in the lead-up to UAAP 82 – so much so that it was named ABS-CBN Sports' co-King of Recruiting for 2019. Indeed, the Red Warriors of this year will look definitely different from last year’s iteration as all of 6-foot-9 Senegalese Alex Diakhite, Hope Christian High School standout Harvey Pagsanjan, three-time champion and two-time MVP in CESAFI Rey Suerte, ex-Jose Rizal University super scorer Jed Mendoza, former Ateneo de Manila University forward John Apacible, defensive stopper Neil Tolentino, and Filipino-Kiwi swingman Ritchie Rodger are now flanking team captain Philip Manalang. Without a doubt, that fully loaded lineup is the best Recto has had in recent history – and it is nothing but ready and raring to take everybody by surprise and take the league by storm. Now, the only question is if its coaching staff has what it takes to make it all work. ????? IGMA KADIMA COMING SOON A team of new beginnings, the Red Warriors hit the hardcourt in 8 days ????? #UAAPSeason82 pic.twitter.com/rERUFKrpC2 — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 27, 2019 WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM UE? The early exit of Alvin Pasaol will be a big blow to any team, but UE has full faith it has a ready-made replacement in Suerte. While the 6-foot-3 long-limbed forward does not have the blend of size and speed Pasaol had, he is a scoring machine in his own right and has long terrorized Visayan defenses with his shot-taking and shot-making ability from all over the court. The same can be said for Pagsanjan who has long been college-ready. For now, however, the pride of Hope Christian will only be needed to contribute whatever and whenever he can with the likes of Manalang, Suerte and Jed Mendoza, another one-and-done recruit, carrying the offensive load. Add to that Diakhite, who has all the confidence and the capability to position himself right away alongside Bright Akhuetie and Ange Kouame as one of the best foreign student-athletes, and the Red Warriors are sure to be pushoevers no more. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR UE? The last time UE was in the Final Four and the Finals, Paul Lee was still donning the red and white. It has been a decade since and this fully loaded lineup may very well put an end to that drought – that is if and only if there are no complications when it comes to coaching. Whatever it is, the Red Warriors are overdue for a breakthrough and it will not be farfetched to see our co-King of Recruiting for 2019 coming through. WHERE WOULD UE BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 82? UE will be far, far away from the bottom of the standings it had been languishing in as of late. With Diakhite dominating inside, Suerte and Mendoza scoring in bunches, Pagsanjan doing it all, and Manalang showing the way, the Red Warriors will be battling for a playoff berth. And if they do not get derailed by their own doing, it also will not be a surprise if the red and white will be fighting for the championship itself. WHEN IS UE’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 82? UE finally comes out of the shadows in a matchup with fellow upstart UST on September 4 at Araneta Coliseum Check the dates. Set your alarms. Save as wallpaper. This is UE BASKETBALL! ?????#UAAPSeason82 pic.twitter.com/ZEsKG3ZA3Z — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 27, 2019 Of course, everybody goes All for More and, as always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2019

UP, UE share 2019 s king of recruiting crown

Who was our King of Recruiting in 2018? Find out here. --- Last season, the University of the Philippines, at long last, broke through in the UAAP. Behind the leadership of Paul Desiderio and key contributions from Season MVP Bright Akhuetie and Mythical selection Juan Gomez de Liano, the Fighting Maroons made their first Final Four since 1997 and first Finals in 32 years. Now, even without the iconic Desiderio, State U is nothing but confident it could build on its breakthrough. The reason? Well, because two of the brightest young stars in Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero are now orbiting Diliman. Paras has all the physical tools to take any league by storm and now in maroon and green, he is out to continue the legacy of his father Benjie who delivered the school’s first and only championship. Meanwhile, the Euro-stepping Rivero already knows a thing or two about taking the UAAP by storm, having been chosen for the Mythical Team when he was still playing for De La Salle University in 2017. Add big man J-Boy Gob, another transferee, to that and, indeed, UP is only equipped to keep contending. On the strength of the transfers of Paras and Rivero alone, the Fighting Maroons would have been worthy of the title of 2019 King of Recruiting. Right up there with them, though, in terms of getting a big boost in the offseason is University of the East. Absent from the Final Four in the last decade, the Red Warriors will be heading into the upcoming season with a fully stocked arsenal. Now up front for them – alongside stalwart Philip Manalang, of course – will be 6-foot-9 Senegalese Adama Diakhite, three-time champion and two-time MVP in the CESAFI Rey Suerte, and college-ready Harvey Pagsanjan, the no. 7 high school player in the 2019 NBTC 24. Diakhite is a hulking presence who will prove to be a tough matchup even for the likes of reigning MVP Akhuetie and last year’s Rookie of the year Ange Kouame. Suerte, a gifted scorer from anywhere on the court, fills right into the hole left behind by scoring dynamo Alvin Pasaol while Pagsanjan can continue making all the right plays he had been doing as the longtime beacon of hope for Hope Christian High School. Also flanking them are former Ateneo de Manila University forward John Apacible, defensive stopper Neil Tolentino, Filipino-Kiwi swingman Richie Rodger, and Filipino-Australian point guard Jasper Rentoy. And with that, UP and UE will have joint custody of the crown of the 2019 King of Recruiting. They dethrone National University which claimed the crown a year ago behind a big-time recruiting class that included Ildefonso brothers Dave and Shaun, John Lloyd Clemente, and John Galinato. Just like last year, there remains no doubt that the new Fighting Maroons and Red Warriors will make their respective sides forces to reckon with come UAAP 82. Still, several squads also made it a point to be better in the offseason. In fact, the graduating players in the 2019 NBTC 24 have been spread out among eight different teams. From the 2019 NBTC 24, the annual ranking of the best high school players in the country, 14 are moving on up to the Seniors. Adamson University is the biggest winner in terms of recruits from that ranking, with three of the top 15 players now in San Marcelino. Ninth-ranked Aaron Fermin is a double-double machine in the NCAA Jrs. and is nothing but determined to realize his potential as a two-way force under multi-titled mentor Franz Pumaren. In CESAFI standout Joshua Yerro and UAAP Jrs. Mythical selection Joem Sabandal, coach Franz also has young blood to bolster the backcourt that will no longer have Koko Pingoy. The Soaring Falcons also scored four other former Baby Falcons in big man Lorenz Capulong and wings Adam and Andrey Doria and AP Manlapaz. When it comes to reaping the rewards of its high school program, though, nobody could still touch Mapua University which again got two keep its Jrs. studs in Clint Escamis and Dan Arches, both of whom made it into the top two-thirds of the 2019 NBTC 24. Escamis and Arches are offensive guards who will give much-needed firepower to a promising core comprised of fellow Mapua HS products Warren Bonifacio, Eric Jabel, Noah Lugo, and Laurenz Victoria. Also, the Cardinals are the favorites to land NCAA 94 Jrs. Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez, another Red Robin. Also bagging two prized prospects from the 2019 NBTC 24 is La Salle which is now the place where the talented tandem of Joel Cagulangan and Joshua David get to work. Cagulangan has long been a star in the making and the NCAA 94 Jrs. MVP is, without question, Taft Avenue’s point guard of the future. The even better news is that he will still have wingman David, a tried and tested glue guy, to grow with. Also set to debut for the Green Archers are Filipino-Americans Jordan Bartlett, a speedster guard; Tyrus Hill, a high-flying forward; and Kurt Lojera, a big-bodied swingman. In all, there are six graduates from the top 10 of the 2019 NBTC 24. All of them would be on different teams in the Srs. Two players from 2019 NBTC 24 are yet to commit to any school, but there is no doubt that Red Robin Hernandez and Greenie Inand Fornilos will be able additions to any collegiate team. For the second straight year, Aldin Ayo will be adding a top three recruit out of high school as incoming sophomore CJ Cansino will now join forces with another triple-doubling talent in Mark Nonoy, a rookie who plays way beyond his years. But wait, there’s more as UST also welcomes with open arms its newest foreign student-athlete in Beninese Soulemane Chabi Yo whose speed and skill will make him a problem for the other foreign student-athletes more used to being powerhouses. Sprinkle in stretch four Sherwin Concepcion as well as versatile forwards Rhenz Abando and Brent Paraiso and there’s a reason why the Growling Tigers are now very much a darkhorse contender. L-Jay Gonzales and RJ Abarrientos remain FEU’s backcourt for tomorrow, but in the meantime, the former is poised for a breakout just as the latter is poised to wrap up his K-12 schooling. Yes, Abarrientos is not yet good to go come UAAP 82, but his steady hand is still the perfect pairing for the burst of energy that is Gonzales. Make no mistake, however, the Tamaraws have gotten help in the form of 6-foot-10 Cameroonian Patrick Tchuente as well as former Baby Tams Daniel Celzo and Jack Gloria. Letran is already the biggest it has ever been up front with NCAA 94 Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang alongside Jeo Ambohot, Christian Balagasay, and Christian Fajarito. Now, the Knights have also beefed up at the wings with Allen Mina and Mark Sangalang as well as former Red Warrior and Growling Tiger Jordan Sta. Ana. LPU will have to prove it could continue contending even without NCAA 93 MVP CJ Perez, but the good news is that now backtopping Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee are former San Sebastian College-Recoletos key cogs Alvin Baetiong, Jayson David, and Renzo Navarro. That’s still a pretty solid lineup in our books. Just like last year, the now two-time UAAP champions are mostly intact, only losing team captain Anton Asistio as well as reserve guard Aaron Black. That doesn’t mean, however, that there are no new faces in Ateneo. Geo Chiu, Kai Sotto’s twin tower, decided to stay in Katipunan just as fellow ex-Blue Eaglets RV Berjay and Jason Credo are now seeing minutes in head coach Tab Baldwin’s rotation. And oh, there is a possibility that double-double machine Fornilos, who placed no. 13 in the 2019 NBTC 24, is bound to be a Blue Eaglet. Perps is nothing but determined to build on the triumphant return to the NCAA of head coach Frankie Lim and to do that, they will be leaning on former San Beda University pillar Ben Adamos as well as ex-Adamson HS workhorse Jefner Egan. Count out the Altas at your own risk. JRU is just on the first phase of a grand rebuild, but there is no doubt that things are looking up for Kalentong. In John Amores, they now have an end-to-end force who is all set to make an immediate impact as a rookie. These are the new names to watch for the teams: Baste CSB National U San Beda --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

Ateneo takes fight out of UST to stay spotless in PCCL

SJ Belangel brought the big guns for the second straight game in the 2020 Philippine Collegiate Champions League NCAA-UAAP Challenge while Ange Kouame brought the finishing kick as Ateneo de Manila University triumphed over University of Sto. Tomas, 82-71, in a tight tiff in the middle of the Filoil Flying V Centre on Sunday. Belangel dropped 26 points built on six triples, all while showing the Blue Eagles the way to yet another convincing victory versus the Growling Tigers whom they downed int eh Finals of last year's UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament. The third-year guard was on-point from the get-go and already had seven points in their 12-3 start that eventually became a 27-10 edge. When UST threatened in the final frame, however, it was Kouame who imposed his will and had four points in Ateneo's 11-0 run that re-increased a three-point lead into an 82-68 advantage inside the last two minutes. "Tough game. Rough game. I think it's two pretty good teams out there who are not in midseason form," Coach Tab Baldwin said as the game became more intense as it went along and in the end, saw a total of 64 fouls called. In the end, the Ivorian tower tallied 15 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks to help lift his team to the first slot in the PCCL Final Four. The Blue Eagles also got much-welcome contributions from Troy Mallillin and Geo Chiu with the former finishing with seven points and six rebounds in just 14 minutes and the latter ending with five markers and seven boards in 11 minutes. On the other hand, the Growling Tigers were fronted by Deo Cuajao and Rhenz Abando who scored 14 points apiece. With UAAP MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo limited to only five points and six rebounds, however, they suffer their first setback in two tries. BOX SCORES ATENEO 82 - Belangel 26, Kouame 15, D. Ramos 8, Daves 7, Mallillin 6, Chiu 5, Tio 4, Navarro 4, E. Ramos 4, Mamuyac 1, P. Maagdenberg 1, E. Maagdenberg 1, Credo 0. UST 71 - Cuajao 14, Abando 14, Cansino 10, Nonoy 9, Concepcion 8, Chabi Yo 5, Manalang 3, Ando 2, Manaytay 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 2, Garing 0. QUARTER SCORES: 29-15, 48-38, 66-65, 82-71. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2020

Tiger Cubs continued contending in UAAP 82 on the back of Bismarck Lina

Bismarck Lina, put simply, dominated in his last seven games for University of Sto. Tomas High School. There, the 6-foot-4 forward posted per game counts of 19.3 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists as the Tiger Cubs stayed alive for the playoffs until the very last game day of elimination. Here are Lina’s last seven games in #UAAPSeason82 (points-rebounds-assists): 13-12-3. 20-11-2. 24-10-1. 14-14-3. 14-12-1. 25-12-4. 25-16-4. His averages in the second round? 1??9??.3?? points, 1??2??.4?? rebounds. 2??.6?? assists. ???? — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) February 5, 2020 Yes, that's definitely a double-double average for the second round - and not only that, he posted a double-double in each and every game. Ultimately, unfortunately, it was all for naught as he and the black and gold fell just one win shy of the playoffs. Of course, Lina would have wanted his last year in high school to have had a different ending - especially as there was a chance, however slim as it may have been, that his very presence could have spelled the difference in their first four games. "Sayang 'di ako nakalaro nung simula kasi kailangan kong i-therapy yung tuhod ko," he said, talking about his bothersome right knee that sidelined him in the earlygoing. He then continued, "'Di ko natulungan agad yung team ko. Bilang captain, iba rin sana yung may leader sila sa loob nun." Once he finally got the green light for a return, however, the 18-year-old wasted no time making his presence felt. That was especially true in Round 2 where, on his back, UST went 4-3 - with all of its losses coming at the hands of the league' last three champions. "Kinailangan ko lang bumawi sa team. Ginusto ko lang makatulong sa team," he said. He then continued, "Na-short lang kami, pero alam ko sa sarili kong binigay ko yung best ko." With that, whatever step he takes next, Lina has full faith he can make something happen. "Sobra-sobrang nagbigay po ng kumpyansa sa akin itong season na 'to," he said. That doesn't man, though, that the cousin of Kevin Ferrer is about to rest on his laurels. "Ngayon po, kailangan kong i-work yung perimeter game ko kasi sa college, mahihirapan na ako kasi mas malalaki at mas malalakas na sa akin yung mga nandun," he shared. Whether or not he keeps at it in Espana remains to be seen, but without a doubt, in his three-year stint there, he has already made the school and the community proud. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2020

Leipzig top in Germany at halfway stage, but Bayern revived

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press Is this the season when Bayern Munich's seven-year hold on the German title ends? A poor start and a humiliating 5-1 loss to Frankfurt cost Niko Kovac his job as Bayern coach and gave teams like Leipzig and surprise title contender Borussia Mönchengladbach hope of victory. Bayern has bounced back under interim coach Hansi Flick, though, and is third in the table, four points behind leader Leipzig. That's earned Flick an extension until at least the end of the season. It's been a tale of dueling goalscorers, with Robert Lewandowski having scored 19 goals in 17 games for Bayern, and Timo Werner one goal behind for Leipzig. For Gladbach, goalkeeper Yann Sommer has been crucial to their title challenge. Borussia Dortmund has been powerful on its day, but the team is also inconsistent and brittle. Losing to Bayern 4-0 last month was a big dent to Dortmund's title belief. Last Sunday's games were the last of 2019 and the Bundesliga returns from its winter break on Jan. 17. PLAYER OF THE SEASON SO FAR He turned 31 in August and Lewandowski shows no sign of slowing down. The Polish forward scored in Bayern's first 11 Bundesliga games and has racked up 30 goals across all competitions. He's taking time off during the winter break to have groin surgery. Werner has been almost as prolific, including a remarkable performance with three goals and three assists in an 8-0 thrashing of Mainz last month. For Dortmund, Jadon Sancho's in hot form with eight goals in his last six Bundesliga games. But perhaps no one's been as vital to their team as Rouwen Hennings. The 32-year-old Hennings doesn't have the star status of Lewandowski or Sancho but his 11 goals for struggling Fortuna are four more than the rest of the team put together. SURPRISE OF THE SEASON Gladbach's golden age was the 1970s, when it won five Bundesligas in eight years. With its run to second, Gladbach has been a feelgood story for German fans of other clubs who dislike Bayern's wealth and see Leipzig as less a soccer club than an advertising board for energy drinks giant Red Bull. Gladbach has nothing like the budget of Bayern or Leipzig, but has built a solid team with attacking firepower from Marcus Thuram, son of former French defender Lilian Thuram, and Swiss forward Breel Embolo. A comeback 2-1 win over Bayern this month showed its a serious contender. Kai Havertz experienced the season's most unwelcome surprise when fans of his own team, Bayer Leverkusen, booed him this month. The attacking midfielder started the season rated as one of Germany's most promising young players, but he's looked listless in recent games and last scored in September. GOAL OF THE SEASON Bayern's 46 goals in the Bundesliga have included some gems. Philippe Coutinho scored with an outrageous flick from the outside of his foot against Werder Bremen last week. Lewandowski's hit some long-range free kicks and shrugged off four defenders to score against Frankfurt, the only bright spot in a heavy loss for Bayern. The highlight of Leipzig's title charge might just be Christopher Nkunku juggling the ball through the Bayer Leverkusen defense and past the goalkeeper in October. For sheer fireworks, no one beats Hertha Berlin's Javairo Dilrosun. The Dutch winger picked up the ball on the left wing and cut inside past four defenders — beating one of them twice — before scoring against Paderborn. WHO'LL BE CHAMPION? If Bayern's recovery under Flick continues, an eighth straight title is definitely possible, if only because of the depth in its squad. The Munich team was packed with individual talent, even if Kovac was defeated by the puzzle of how to make them all play well together. There's also a bench filled with hungry young players such as New Zealand midfielder Sarpreet Singh and the Dutch forward Joshua Zirkzee, who's scored in each of his first two Bundesliga appearances. Leipzig takes a four-point lead into 2020, but depends heavily on core players such as Werner and the in-form Marcel Sabitzer and Patrik Schick. Losing any of them to injury could be a fatal blow. Gladbach has less depth than either of them, but unlike them, it won't be balancing the Bundesliga with any European competitions in the spring. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFICATION The fight for the four Champions League spots is wide open, with at least eight teams making a strong claim. Behind the leading trio of Leipzig, Gladbach, and Bayern, there's a chasing pack of Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, and Freiburg. All have played Champions League football in recent years, with the exception of Freiburg, but they have all been inconsistent this season. WHO'S GOING DOWN? The relegation fight is just as close as the scrap for European places. Promoted Paderborn is last but showed it has claws by beating Frankfurt 2-1 last weekend. The other automatic relegation spot is occupied by Werder Bremen, which is in danger of its first relegation since 1981. Werder ended 2019 with four straight defeats, two of them by five-goal margins, and with club management embroiled in conflict with fans over the sale of their stadium's naming rights. If Werder can climb out of danger, it would likely be at the expense of one of two Rhineland rivals, Cologne or Fortuna Düsseldorf, or else Mainz......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2019

Pasaol shows his class with 24 points as Zamboanga defeats Valenzuela

Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines relied on a terrific night from Alvin Pasaol to subdue Valenzuela City Carga Backload Solution, 85-78, in Tuesday night action of the Chooks To Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season. Val City were playing in their alternate home court, the brand-new Bahayang Pag-asa Basketball gym in Paso de Blas, Valenzuela City. But they could not give a full house of their fans a win, and thus stumble to 9-15. Zamboanga climbs to 15-10 as they continue their campaign for a higher playoff seed. Family's Brand star Pasaol tallied 24 points and 9 rebounds to grab the Chooks to Go Best Player Award. He revealed in his postgame interview that he is relishing the role of team leader. "Tinitignan ako ng Zamboanga team as a leader. Everyday, sa loob ng court at sa practices consistent ang ipapakita ko," said the former UE star. Family's Brand led 45-35 at the half thanks in part to Pasaol's 13 points in that time span. In a high scoring third quarter the Zamboanguenos shredded a porous Carga Backload Solution defense with balanced scoring to open up a 71-55 lead heading into the fourth. In the final quarter the home team could only get going offensively late in the game as Zamboanga secured the win. Pasaol got help on offense from Santy Santillan and Raffy Reyes, who picked up 14 and 12 points, respectively. Leading Val City in scoring was Paolo Hubalde with 16 markers. In the early evening match-up, the Davao Occidental Tigers - Cocolife withstood a strong second half charge from the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors to prevail, 75-71. The Tigers led 41-31 at the half but the Realtors won the third quarter 23-15 with a determined effort from Fonso Gotladera, who collected nine points, to pull to within 2, 56-54. Pasigueños Rob Manalang and Jeric Teng chipped in triples in the fourth, and when Josan Nimes laid in halfway through the fourth period, Sta. Lucia led 67-64. However, Davao roared back with an 8-0 run from Mark Yee, Ivan Ludovice and Billy Robles to seize back the initiative. In the endgame Pasig coach Bong de la Cuz eschewed his established stars and went with second-liners like Richard Velchez, Al Chavenia, and Thurlough Grealey. The shock troopers were unable to step up, and DavOc's vets closed out the game. Mark Yee was a stud for Davao once again, scoring 22 points and hauling down 16 boards. Such was the ex-pro's dominance that he had a triple double even before the third period was over. Manalang topscored for Pasig with 15. Cocolife wins a fourth straight game to climb to 20-3 and open up a 2-game lead atop the South Division over Bacoor. Pasig falls to 14-9. The first game saw the Pampanga Giant Lanterns - ADG Group of Companies lord over the Pasay Voyagers, 75-65. Lanterns guard Mark Cruz conducted a masterclass on how to play the point, dishing out 14 assists, six more than the rest of his team and only two less than the entire Voyagers squad combined. He also contributed 14 points, one less than Levi Hernandez's team-high 15. A stingy Kapampangan defense held Pasay to just 35% shooting as they drop to 13-11. ADG Group of Companies controlled the contest for most of the game but there was a late scare when a Jason Opiso three-bomb pulled Pasay to within five, 64-59, with two and a half minutes remaining. Opiso was Pasay's leading scorer with 12 points. The Giant Lanterns quashed the uprising with a Hernandez three and Dexter Maiquez jumper. Pampanga improves to 15-9 in the North Division......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2019

MPBL: Derige s monster night helps QC secure comeback win against Pampanga

The Quezon City Capitals - WEMSAP stormed back from a 14-point first half deficit to throttle the Pampanga Giant Lanterns - ADG Group of Companies 81-75 to kick off Friday night's games in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season. QC big man Clark Derige achieved a career-best 31 points to go along with 7 rebounds as his team resuscitates their drive for the playoffs. The win at the Pasig Sports Center concludes a three-game losing skid and leaves Quezon City at 9-13. It's also a winning debut for new QC coach Christian Coronel at the expense of the Kapampangans, who drop to 13-9. ADG Group of Companies went to the dressing room at the half up comfortably, 42 to 28. But the Capitals ran roughshod in the third quarter with 29 points, one more than they had scored in the entire first half. Derige hit three triples early in the period as part of a 15-2 streak that pulled them to within one, 44-43. The teams kept it close, with Pampanga's Reil Cervantes and Dexter Maiquez dueling with QC's Ryan Costelo and Derige in the fourth. With just over a minute left Costelo scooped in a soaring finger-roll driving lay-up to give the Capitals a 75-71 lead. Lantern Mark Cruz replied with a three-ball that was instantly negated by a triple from Derige. The former UE Red Warrior would drain two free throws with 32 seconds left to ice the game for the Caps at 80-74. Maiquez's triple-double, 18 points and 12 rebounds, would not be enough for the Kapampangans to get the W. In the featured game the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors gave the massive home crowd in the arena what they wanted: a big win against Muntinlupa Cagers - Angelis Resort. The final score was 98-79 as the Realtors go to 14-8 and solidify their playoff standing. The three-headed offensive monster of coach Bong de la Cruz was in lethal form. Rob Manalang scored 22 points to lead his team, Josan Nimes was not far behind with 20 and Leo Najorda collected 17 markers. The home side raced to a 26-12 lead after one quarter, with Nimes scoring 7 points . By the half the lead had ballooned to 48-33. The Realtors never took their foot off the gas in the second half, even when the result was beyond doubt. Sta. Lucia welcomed back gunner Jeric Teng from sick bay and he contributed 15 points. Edzel Mag-isa's 16 points was tops for the Muntinlupeños, who are now second from bottom in the South Division at 5-17. Pasig hit 13 from 33 attempts from beyond the arc for 39% and were an equally impressive 46% from the field overall. In the middle game of the triple-header Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines prevailed in the battle for canned fish supremacy, defeating Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines 80-65. Anton Asistio was the overall top gun for Zamboanga with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Alvin Pasaol was their leading scorer with 21. Pasaol amassed 13 points as Family's Brand took a 40-35 lead at the half. Zamboanga widened their advantage in the third with 7 points from Asistio, as the Navoteños trailed 63-52 going into the last 10 minutes. There would be no resurgence for Uni-Pak as 7 fourth quarter points from Reggie Morido helped snuff out any hope for Navotas. Defensive intensity was key for the Zamboangueños as Britt Reroma's team stole the ball 11 times as opposed to just 4 by Navotas. Family's Brand puts an end to a two-game losing streak and goes to 13-10 in the South Division, within striking distance of the top four teams. Navotas drops to 5-16 with a fifth straight setback. Kojak Melegrito was their top scorer with 9 points as no Navoteño was able to breach the double-digit mark in scoring......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

MPBL: Sta. Lucia hoops tradition lives on in Pasig

"I am a true basketball man. We were 34 years in basketball. We will represent the city we all love." Those are the words of Salvador "Buddy" Encarnado, the boss of the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. For him, this team is more than just a job, it seems to be a calling. The old Sta. Lucia Realtors played for 17 years in the PBA, winning two titles with Encarnado a fixture in the team's leadership. Some of their players are etched into Pinoy hoops lore, like Marlou Aquino, Kelly Williams, Dennis Espino, and MPBL commish Kenneth Duremdes. When SLR departed from the league in 2010, the real estate conglomerate continued to dabble in hoops, fielding teams in amateur leagues. But their takeover of the Pasig franchise in the MPBL represents their biggest hoops project since fleeing the pro league. Sta. Lucia Basketball thus entered a new era. This team is also very close to Encarnado's heart. The GM grew up in Barangay Sumilang, a 13-minute walk away from the Realtors' home court, the Pasig Sports Center. Exequiel "Exy" Robles, the president of Sta. Lucia Realty, is also a native of Pasig. Both were dismayed when the Pasig Pirates finished the Datu Cup in dead last in the table, at 4-21. "As a Pasigueno I could not help but feel bad for the negative image of Pasig with a team that went 4 out of 21," said Encarnado, who has retired as a day-to-day executive of SLR but helps out in their sporting ventures. Sta. Lucia took the reins of the troubled club, rechristened them the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, and quickly moved to upgrade the roster. There wasn't a great deal of time, just two and-a-half weeks before the June start to the season. "We were pressured to make a fighting team in such a short window. It was like being the last in a buffet lunch. We had so few choices," laments Encarnado. Despite the slim pickings Pasig brought in a trio of studs in guard Robbie Manalang, swing man Jeric Teng, and former Mapua standout Josan Nimes. Manalang, a Filipino-American guard from Orange County in California, starred for Adamson but didn't sign with a team in the PBA after being drafted by Rain or Shine in the second round. The Realtors nabbed him on the last day of the preseason transfer period. "The management and team welcomed me with open arms since day one. Playing here has revived my career," says the guard. Manalang is norming just under 14 points per game and is a real weapon from beyond the arc. Encarnado locked down coach Bong De La Paz, who he had worked with in the past. "He knows my standard and my system," says the GM. Richard Velchez and Argel Mendoza were also roped in. In the recent midseason trading period the team strengthened their frontcourt with veteran Leo Najorda and 6'5" former NLEX Road Warrior Fonso Gotladera. "They bring experience and height," says the team chief. Pasig also has a powerful secret weapon: the rabid fans in the Pasig Sports Center. It's a cozy, intimate bandbox of an arena, and Realtors fans regularly fill it to the brim. "Hands down some the best fans in the league, if not the best," says Nimes. "The atmosphere is loud, crazy, and energetic. Almost all our games are jampacked and the fans are always engaged." "I have never seen a whole venue stand up and put three fingers in the air before I shoot a three like the Pasig fans do. I don't think I will ever forget that," says Manalang. "I'm usually the last to leave the dugout after games. And fans will still be there waiting for pictures. It's an amazing feeling," continues the former Soaring Falcon. "The fans relate to people who represent them," explains Encarnado. "Without the fans we are nothing. Basketball is not just basketball. They want to be entertained. The crowds are knowledgeable. They know what they are watching." Pasig is not invincible at home, having dropped games to Batangas and Bacoor. But both were close contests settled in the final seconds. Pasig's home is still one of the league's fortresses. Encarnado is cautiously optimistic about their chances this season. But for the next competition, the expectations will be high. "Next year some of my old players will be free and hopefully they will come back. I expect good things to happen." One thing that will never change is the Sta. Lucia culture, which Encarnado hopes will live on in this team's new iteration. "Ever since it has been about the work ethic of the group. We select people with good values who believe in hard work and have passion." The passion was in full view last Monday when the Realtors tangled with the Iloilo United Royals inn Makati. The Pasigueños battled hard, and Najorda had a superb day including a neat left-handed hook shot in the first quarter. But Pasig once again missed the services of the injured Jeric Teng, and could not neutralize Iloilo's white-hot Al Francis Tamsi, who scattered 26 points. Pasig shot just 34 percent from the field and lost 79-65. Encarnado sat at the end of Pasig bench, dressed in a team-supplied green-and white Sta. Lucia polo jack. He mostly observed the loss with little emotion. But near the end, during a dead ball situation, the boss strolled onto the court, and with glasses in hand, upbraided an official for not calling an elbow on one of his charges. His team falls short but they are still very much in the playoff race. The fire in Encarnado's belly still burns for the game. And it will not be extinguished anytime soon, if his words are to be believed. "I will never retire from basketball.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2019

UAAP 82: Ateneo captain Mike Nieto: 14-0 doesn t mean a thing without a ring

Ateneo de Manila University has dominated the recent history of the UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament - having won seven of the last 11 championships. The Blue Eagles, however, have yet to sweep the season. The three-peat seeking titlists have a golden opportunity to do just that in Season 82 as they just need two more wins at the expense of dangerous University of Sto. Tomas. "Ang sarap. Ang sarap sa feeling," team captain Mike Nieto said right after they completed a clean sweep of the elimination round last October 30. "Actually, ngayon lang namin nalamang (school) history pala. Akala namin, may nakagawa na before." Make no mistake, though, even with a two-week layoff, Ateneo remains determined. "We're just blessed, but the mission isn't done yet. 14-0 doesn't mean a thing without a ring so we're just hungry for more," Nieto said. After all, the Nietos know a thing or two about falling short of a season sweep. "Of course, it's a fact that we lost Game 1 when we were in high school so ayaw naming maulit yun," twin Matt said. "We're more experienced now than we were in high school so we're gonna learn from those mistakes before." Back in their last season as Blue Eaglets in 2015, the Nieto twins, alongside Gian Mamuyac, Jolo Mendoza, and Shaun Ildefonso, won all of their games in the elimination round. Come Game 1 of the Finals, though, they fell victim to a determined Philip Manalang and Nazareth School of National University. Ultimately, Ateneo's Jrs. team still hoisted the trophy, but fell short of a season sweep. Three years later, it was déjà vu - only this time it happened to SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, Dave Ildefonso, Joaqui Manuel, and Kai Sotto. That fearsome five led the Blue Eaglets to another 14-0 run in the elimination round and then proceeded to win the first game of the championship round. Migs Oczon caught fire in Game 2, however, and claimed it for the Bullpups. Again, Ateneo prevailed in Game 3, but again, fell short of a season sweep. Now, Belangel and Credo are part of a Srs. squad trying to make history - and for the former, complacency is the no. 1 enemy. "Yung complacency, iiwasan talaga dapat yun kasi yun nga, nung Jrs., yun yung natutunan namin e," he shared. "Nung natalo kami, nandun pa si Coach Tab [Baldwin] so sabi niya nung practice kinabukasan, hindi kami naglaro as a team at masyadong relaxed. So nung Game 3, talagang nag-bounce back kami." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

Warriors lose Stephen Curry to broken hand, look for answers

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — D’Angelo Russell has done this before, forced to take on a far bigger role just last season because of injuries in Brooklyn. And now the new Golden State guard must do it again with the absence of both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in a suddenly short-handed backcourt. Curry broke his left hand in a 121-110 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) and it remained unclear a day later how long he might be sidelined, while Splash Brother Thompson could miss the entire season recovering from July 2 surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee that he hurt in a Game 6 loss in the NBA Finals that gave Toronto its first title. Curry underwent a CT scan Thursday (Friday, PHL time) but the team said it would have specialists evaluate the results before providing an update on his status. However long he is out, it hurts for far more than what he brings on the court. Curry’s presence in the locker room provides an example for the young Warriors, and he is their longest-tenured player and their oldest at age 31. It will be up to players like Russell and Draymond Green to help keep things afloat for the time being. Curry posted a smiling photo of himself, with the hand heavily wrapped, Thursday (Friday, PHL time) on his Instagram account with the message: “Appreciate all the love/texts/support all that ... Be back soon!”         View this post on Instagram                   Why him ????‍?? he’s like the truest & realist leader of this team always will be the heart & soul of the Dubs gonna be different without you @stephencurry30 ???????????? #GetWellSoon A post shared by GSWReign (@goldenstatewarriorsreign) on Oct 31, 2019 at 3:17pm PDT The two-time MVP drove to his left defended by Kelly Oubre Jr. and with Aron Baynes standing solidly in the paint trying to draw a charge. Curry leapt with the ball then came down head first landing awkwardly on his hands to brace himself from the court, with Baynes crashing onto Curry’s left hand. Curry grimaced in pain grabbing his hand then walked to the locker room with 8:31 left in the third quarter. Russell understands he faces a tall task. “Definitely trying to take on that leadership role and continue to get better every year with being able to lead guys on what I see and what I’ve been through,” he said. “It’s definitely a similar situation, but it’s going to be tougher. We’ve got a lot of young guys that are going to be forced to mature and step up, so I’m looking forward to it as well. ... It’s an opportunity. Go back to the drawing board with the team and the coaching staff, and see what we can do to prepare for each game day in and day out. The big thing I see is just opportunity for a lot of people.” In fact, Warriors coach Steve Kerr planned to gather his staff Thursday (Friday, PHL time) — the player development coaches have already been working on overload — for a serious meeting of the minds to figure out how to push ahead and what combinations might work going forward with so many men down. Golden State already was missing key big man Kevon Looney, who is dealing with a hamstring injury and scheduled to see specialists next week because of an “on-going presence of a neuropathic condition in his body.” Green tweaked his back Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), too. “It’s been a tough start for us on many levels, so we’re just trying to find our footing,” Kerr said. “This puts us in a tough spot, so we’ll assess it and go from there.” The challenge of putting a winning team on the court now seems daunting. What so recently featured five All-Stars in the same starting five is now a cast of mostly rookies thrown into action right away out of necessity — not the norm with these Warriors in recent years. They are 1-3 with two ugly losses — the Suns led 43-14 after the first quarter — at home in new Chase Center, where they are winless and hardly have that overwhelming home-court advantage that Oracle Arena provided night after night across the bay in Oakland. Many already consider it a lost season, with playoff hopes in the powerful Western Conference grim at best. “We just got to make up for it by playing hard and playing together, and making sure we’re together the time he’s out,” said rookie Eric Paschall, who made his first career start and scored a team-high 20 points against the Suns. Two players returned from injuries Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) to make their debuts with Golden State: center Willie Cauley-Stein and guard Alec Burks. General manager Bob Myers mentioned months ago this would be a rebuilding season for the Warriors in many ways. Now, Golden State might be lining itself up for a lottery pick in next year’s NBA draft. The Warriors’ recent fortunes also shed light on just how much must go right to win a championship, let alone reach five straight NBA Finals and capture three titles in four years. There are nine players age 23 or younger. “I don’t know how long it’ll take. It’ll take as long as it takes, I guess,” Myers said at media day. ”... I do know this: We believe that things take time to evolve, and we’re prepared especially with a younger roster to allow that to happen, and that’s the mindset that we have from a coaching staff, from a front office staff, is ‘let’s see how things are going before we make any blanket decisions or judgment on any of it.’ But we’re excited. I mean, look, we’re excited about the youth. We’re excited about the unknown. In years past we’ve had a lot of known, which has been fantastic, but this is different.” Notes: The Warriors on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) announced they have exercised the third-year contract options for the 2020-21 season on guard Jacob Evans III and forward Omari Spellman......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 1st, 2019

Markelle Fultz slowly regaining confidence with Magic

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com ATLANTA -- You can see glimpses of it, flashes even, of the bounce and instincts that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft. It’s still there. The lift off the floor to battle with players four and five inches taller for rebounds, the behind-the-back, no-look pass on a dead sprint that a teammate couldn’t finish. It’s not as consistent as he might like it to be, not yet. And there are still those awkward moments, those times when he looks like he’s leaning back as he rises to shoot a jump shot or that hitch he’s worked so hard to eliminate from his form causes a momentary pause in his motion. He’s working through the process every moment and every minute on the floor. This is how it’s going to be for Markelle Fultz, at least for the foreseeable future. The restoration process the Orlando Magic guard is immersed in right now won’t be completed overnight, no matter how badly Fultz or the Magic want it to turn out that way. Patience is the key right now for Fultz because he still doesn’t play with the freedom his mercurial talent suggested he would when the Philadelphia 76ers made him the top pick. If it takes moments to rebuild the confidence lost throughout his struggles in his first two seasons in the league, so be it. There’s no added pressure from a Magic team that returns the core of a roster that won the Southeast Division last season and battled the Toronto Raptors in a first-round playoff series. “It’s like that, yeah, 100 percent,” Fultz said of the moments he’s experiencing now after having played in just 33 games in his two seasons with the Sixers. “But I put in a lot of work for this moment and I’m just glad to be on the court. But I’ve always had confidence, growing up where I grew up you always had to have confidence. You just got to have an edge to you and every time I step on that court I believe in myself and I believe in my teammates and I just go out there and play.” He acknowledged that playing off the bench for a team and organization that won’t pressure him to skips any steps in the rehabilitation process is the best place for him to continue plotting his course. And so far, so good, Fultz is the Magic’s third-leading scorer (12.0) behind Evan Fournier and All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic after two games. He wasn’t shy in the Magic’s 103-99 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) at State Farm Arena. He took seven shots in his first 11 minutes on the floor, going 3-for-7 overall and 2-for-5 from beyond the three-point line. “I shot all my shots with confidence,” Fultz said after finishing with 12 points (4-for-11), three assists, three rebounds and no turnovers. “And it’s only a matter of time before they start falling. A few fell tonight and I’m just going to keep shooting.” Watching Fultz and second-year Hawks point guard Trae Young work against one another for the final four minutes at State Farm Arena Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) was an interesting contrast of how things can work when the circumstances are optimal, and when they are something far less than that. Young is already the undeniable leader of a young team in the foundational stage of their process. He’s in complete command of what Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce wants done, while still needing to smooth out the rough edges of his game as he continues to mature physically. Young's belief in his own abilities and what he can do on the floor, however, shines through in the way he plays. (Two games into this season he’s averaging 38.5 points and shooting 58 percent from the floor and 55 percent from beyond the 3-point line to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists). He put the game away for the Hawks in the final minute, driving past Fultz for a layup and then banking a three-pointer over Fultz’s outstretched arm with 25.1 seconds to play, back-to-back plays that had the crowd roaring and punctuated Young’s masterful 39-point, nine-assist, seven-rebound night. “We made two big mistakes on him in the last two minutes, things we had done the whole second half,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “We let him get away from a screen once and we went under once and he hit both shots. And those are mistakes you shouldn’t make." Fultz, of course, is still working on that part of his game. Clifford’s decision to go with him, instead of starter D.J. Augustin or former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, speaks volumes about the confidence being placed in Fultz this season. And if what he’s shown early on, both in training camp and the preseason as well as the Magic’s first two games, is any indication, those flashes, those bursts of the breathtaking play he’s capable of might stretch into something much more significant. “It shows the trust and it shows the work I put in,” Fultz said of Clifford's decision to go with him for those final four, crunch-time minutes. “And for me, it’s learning experiences. Every time I can step on the floor and learn and just be the best player I can be. And down the stretch, that’s one of the best times to be on the court, when all the pressure’s on you. I definitely learned a lot out there tonight being out there in that time. But again, it just shows the trust and shows that I have to keep working." Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2019

Iran women attend FIFA soccer game for first time in decades

By Amir Vahda and Mehdi Fattahi, Associated Press TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — They had to sit well apart from the men, and the stadium was practically empty, but thousands of Iranian women in merry jester hats and face paint blew horns and cheered Thursday at the first FIFA soccer match they were allowed to freely attend in decades. In what many considered a victory in a decades-long fight by women in Iran to attend sporting events, they wrapped themselves in the country's vibrant red, green and white colors and watched with excitement as Iran thrashed Cambodia 14-0 in a 2022 World Cup qualifier at Tehran's Azadi, or Freedom, Stadium. "We are so happy that finally we got the chance to go to the stadium. It's an extraordinary feeling," said Zahra Pashaei, a 29-year-old nurse who has only known soccer games from television. "At least for me, 22 or 23 years of longing and regret lies behind this." As one woman shouted from a passing minibus before the match: "We are here finally!" So far, Iran's hard-line Islamic theocracy is not willing to go as far some women would like. Authorities announced they will allow women to attend only international soccer matches. Women have been banned from many sporting events in Iran since 1981, during the early years of the country's Islamic Revolution. Iran is the world's last nation to bar women from soccer matches. Saudi Arabia recently began letting women see games. Under pressure from FIFA, Iran let a carefully controlled number of women into the stadium, allocating them 4,000 tickets in a venue that seats about 80,000 people, and arranged for 150 female security personnel in black chadors to watch them. They sat at least 200 meters (yards) from the few thousand men at the match. Iranian state television, which long has been controlled by hard-liners, aired footage of women cheering, and commentators even acknowledged their presence. "There can be no stopping or turning back now," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement. "History teaches us that progress comes in stages, and this is just the beginning of a journey." Iran faced a potential ban from FIFA international matches if it didn't allow women into the game. The pressure from FIFA and Iran's soccer-loving public has grown since September, when an Iranian woman detained for dressing as a man to sneak into a match set herself on fire and died upon learning she could get six months in prison. The self-immolation of 29-year-old Sahar Khodayari, who became known as the "Blue Girl" for her love of the Iranian team Esteghlal, whose uniforms are blue, shocked Iranian officials and the public. At the match Thursday, a reporter with Iran's state-run IRNA news agency posted a video online of chador-wearing officers trying to grab a woman she said had a sign in Khodayari's honor. The crowd could be heard chanting, "Let her go!" The reporter wrote on Twitter that the woman slipped away from officers and ran off. Hard-liners and traditional Shiite clerics, citing their interpretation of Islamic law, believe in segregating men and women at public events, as well as keeping women out of men's sporting events. The effort to allow women back into stadiums has gone through fits and starts. In 2006, then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he wanted women to attend matches to "improve soccer-watching manners and promote a healthy atmosphere." However, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state, opposed the decision. Then, last year, Iranian authorities allowed a select group of women into Azadi Stadium by invitation only to watch the Asian Champion League final. Infantino said that "FIFA now looks more than ever toward a future when ALL girls and women wishing to attend football matches in Iran will be free to do so, and in a safe environment." Activist groups outside of Iran remain suspicious of Tehran. Amnesty International called the latest decision "a cynical publicity stunt by the authorities intended to whitewash their image." "Instead of taking half-hearted steps to address their discriminatory treatment of women who want to watch football, the Iranian authorities should lift all restrictions on women attending football matches, including domestic league games, across the country," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director. Still, many in Iran embraced the move, like shopkeeper Amir Ali Bagheri, who sold Pashaei a Team Melli jersey ahead of the match. Women "are so excited they are going to the stadium," he said. "God willing, there will be freedom sooner so that they can attend all matches, not just the national team matches. That will be much better." After the match, Pashaei said she hoped authorities would open up more matches to women so she could attend them with her family. "The 'Blue Girl' and her stories did help. Of course, efforts by women activists and feminists were very effective," she said. "We are happy anyway and hope this will continue, not just in national team matches." ___ Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2019

Harden-Westbrook duo ready to do something really special

By Michael C. Wright, NBA.com HOUSTON -- Well-dressed men in the Texas heat scurried, snatching keys and pointing directions to the visitors arriving, car after car. On the third floor, down the hall from a mezzanine overlooking a lobby, sparkling with custom Calcutta marble flooring, they all gathered in a quiet, dim room, just steps away from two Rolls-Royces bathing in the sun gushing through floor-to-ceiling glass. Here in Uptown, at Tilman Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel -- a 38-floor, $350 million property housing a Rolls-Royce showroom and Bentley and Bugatti dealership, below a heliport -- the Houston Rockets' owner has turned the team’s annual media day into a posh, star-studded event. With good reason, too. Houston’s blockbuster July trade that sent Chris Paul off to the Oklahoma City Thunder for picks and pick swaps for Russell Westbrook reunites MVPs and former Thunder stars with James Harden already in the fold for a squad now at the forefront as favorites in a now suddenly wide-open Western Conference. “I think we are a better team,” Fertitta said. “It’s gonna be extremely exciting to have one of the greatest scorers of all time, and one of the most athletic people that has played the game. I know I’m really excited. I hope they don’t let me down.” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey thinks this all-star pairing “could be really special.” “It’s so exciting because James Harden is like the best half-court player I’ve ever seen, honestly,” Morey said. “Then, Russell is maybe the best transition player, one of the best of all time as well. If you put those things together, I think we have a chance. Now, you’ve got something really special.” Searching for same goal The reality is it’s been seven years since Westbrook and Harden last teamed with Oklahoma City in the 2012 NBA Finals, and while both have developed into MVP winners and perennial All-Stars, neither has made it back to The Finals. So, burning hotter than the pomp and glitz at the Post Oak Hotel this hot summer day is the question of whether this will all work for a pair of ball-dominant stars, accustomed to running their own respective shows. They’ve certainly got a believer in former Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins. “They’ve played together in OKC. These two former MVPs still are in their primes. There’s no way that it’s not going to work,” Perkins told NBA.com. “Am I guaranteeing they’re going to win a championship? No, I’m not doing that. But I still believe this might be the most dynamic backcourt we’ve ever seen in NBA history. We probably haven’t seen a point guard and a shooting guard like this on the same team in forever. You can’t really name one going into the season that’s better than these two guys. I just think it’s going to work.” Now retired from the NBA, Perkins joined a 21-year-old Harden and a 22-year-old Westbrook in 2010-11, when he was traded there in the middle of the season from the Boston Celtics to OKC. Perkins describes the childhood friends and former Thunder teammates as “two guys that were still trying to find their identity” back then. Still, both were destined to reach the levels they currently occupy, he says. “When I first got there, those guys were working, man. They turned out to be some beasts, dog,” Perkins told NBA.com. “Gym rats, I’m telling you. It was unreal the amount of work those guys were putting in. Russ was always the heart and soul of the team. There was no debate about it to me. He gave the team swagger. With James, we just knew it was only in due time. People always say they should’ve kept that team together in OKC. But James wouldn’t have been able to be the player he is today if he hadn’t left. Plus, James was deserving of having his own team.” Now that he’s had it since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, Harden welcomes Westbrook, who like himself, began playing the game as a child at the Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles. Interestingly, Westbrook and Harden are the only players over the last five seasons to score more than 10,000 points. Westbrook nodded in agreement with the notion his new uniform provides somewhat of a new lease on life, after spending the first 11 years of his career in Oklahoma City. Harden, meanwhile, pointed out how his new teammate “doesn’t have to stress or worry about the pressure of carrying an entire organization,” because that responsibility now falls on them both. “I think it’s good for both of us because we understand the amount of energy and effort, time and commitment it takes to be able to do that for an entire season,” Westbrook said. “Now, being together on the same team, I think it’s important that we can lean on [one another], sacrifice, and not do as much to still have an impact on the game. I think [what] a lot of people don’t know is we have a friendship first outside of basketball. I think me and him communicate and understand each other. In the games, it’s going to be easy.” 'Sit back and watch the show' Perkins saw signs of maturity from Westbrook last season, when the guard at the detriment of his own stats, deferred to Paul George in crucial situations. But both Westbrook and Harden in 2018-19 ranked in the top 15 in usage rate. So, the phrase uttered most often at media day above the guests clutching cold drinks at the hotel pool was “figure it out.” Everyone, whether Fertitta, Morey, coach Mike D’Antoni or the players, seems confident in the duo’s ability to do so. Harden already said he’s willing to take a backseat to Westbrook. “If Russ has got it going, and Russ is having one of those games that we’ve all seen before, guess what I’m going to do?” Harden asked. “Sit back and watch the show, and vice versa. You can’t sit up here and say, ‘Oh, Russ is going to have the basketball for the first half, and I’m going to have the ball the second half.' No, things happen through the course of the game that you just flow with and go with.” Perkins believes that Harden welcomes the opportunity to defer to someone else, given the physical demands of his playing style. Harden ranked No. 3 last season in minutes per game (36.8), while Westbrook was fourth (36.0). “If you’ve watched James throughout the course of a game, the things he did, he had to do because nobody else was stepping up at the time. James wants somebody else to step up so that he can take a backseat sometimes,” Perkins told NBA.com. “If you watched Russ on the court last year, what a lot of people don’t realize is that he deferred to Paul George a lot. Russ took a backseat. You’ve got to understand, too, that he’s matured, man. He’s starting to show that he can be a better leader. Think about it. When you have kids, man, and you start having a family, sh--, your whole thought process changes. You know what I mean? I just see the maturity in Russ. To me, they have to just get it done. There’s no debate about it. Like, to me, the most pressure is on Mike D’Antoni.” Entering the final year of his contract after extension talks broke down over the summer, D’Antoni will proceed cautiously throughout the preseason implementing Westbrook (who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery). D’Antoni and Morey believe Westbrook, one of the game’s most lethal penetrators, will excel in D'Antoni's wide-open offense (which focuses on keeping shooters posted on the perimeter as guards drive in). Morey mentioned that under D’Antoni, guards have historically produced career years. “You look historically at players that have worked with Mike, guards especially, they always play better,” Morey said. “I think it’s just the way he sets up the team, sets up the offense. He finds ways to get people to do the things they do well more, and again, like he said, we’re not here to change anybody or do anything. Historically like pretty much every guard that’s worked with, Mike has had their career year. That’s gonna be a little tough with Russell, given that he’s had so many.” Wearing a salmon-hued polo shirt, D’Antoni discussed plans to stagger the minutes of Harden and Westbrook throughout the season. The expectation is Harden rests in the neighborhood of 13 minutes per game, while Westbrook sits 16 minutes. In his first preseason game -- a 134-129 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Tokyo -- Westbrook logged 20 minutes, finishing with 13 points, two rebounds and six assists. D’Antoni said the final five minutes of games are “the most important thing” for Westbrook to figure out as the team approaches the regular season. “They both want to do this. So, we’ll just sit down and work it out,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t have to tell someone they have to do this, or they have to do that. We’ll figure it out together. But just the vibe of being able to discuss things, the respect they have [for one another] will translate. We’re in a good spot. Right now, it’s great. All we’re trying right now is to win a title. That’s the only agenda that anybody has, and we’ve just got to figure it out.” When word first spread about Houston’s acquisition of Westbrook, opinions naturally flowed about how he’d fit alongside Harden. Westbrook is a career 30.8% 3-point shooter on a squad that has led the league in 3-point attempts four of the last five seasons. He’s also a ball-dominant, high-usage player just like Harden. Still, everyone, insists they won’t ask Westbrook to change his style of play. That puts the pressure squarely on D’Antoni to tweak what Houston does on the floor. “The system they’ve run, just shooting layups and shooting threes with no in-between game, you have to change that with Russell Westbrook, because one of his main things is his mid-range pull-up,” Perkins explained. “The pressure is on Mike D’Antoni. Does he have to change up his style of play? Yes, he will, in order for Russell Westbrook to be who he is. We all know that Russ is not a three-point shooter. Bottom line is they’ve got two of the top 10 players in the league now, if not top 15. "These guys get it done. Back in the day when they were in OKC, they were trying to find out who they were as players. Now, it’s a whole lot different. Now, they know who they are. They’ve done everything to accomplish all the individual accolades. They only thing they haven’t done is win a championship. It’s not the players. Houston has all the players.” In addition to the glitz, glamour and star power for a franchise starving to add more Larry O'Briens to its trophy case. Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 9th, 2019

Leclerc takes 4th straight pole at Russian GP, Hamilton 2nd

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Charles Leclerc clinched his fourth straight pole position and championship leader Lewis Hamilton was second in qualifying at Formula One's Russian Grand Prix on Saturday. Leclerc finished 0.402 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Leclerc's Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel third fastest at the Sochi Autodrome. Hamilton is bidding for his first win since the summer break and his Mercedes team is often the dominant force in Russia, having won all of the five races staged here. Hamilton is 65 points ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas in his quest for a sixth world title, but looks to have his work cut out against Leclerc. Alex Albon crashed out of qualifying. The London-born Thai spun at the slow-speed Turn 13 before slamming into the barriers. The driver was unhurt. Vettel finished ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen but the Dutch driver will be bumped back five places following a grid penalty for changes to his engine. Ferrari, winless in the opening half of the season, is now the team to beat as it seeks a fourth consecutive victory. While Vettel ended his 13-month losing streak in Singapore last weekend, it is Leclerc who continues to impress in his opening season with the Scuderia. This marked his sixth pole this season and it is also the 10th straight round Leclerc has out-qualified Vettel, the four-time world champion, who was 0.425 slower in qualifying. "It definitely feels great to be back on pole," said Leclerc, who became the first Ferrari driver since Michael Schumacher to claim four straight poles. Leclerc is 96 points behind Hamilton in the championship, with a total of only 156 to play for in the remaining six races. Hamilton has not been on pole since the German Grand Prix in July, a streak of five races, but was delighted to have split the Ferraris with his final effort. "I gave it everything I could in the end and I am so glad it came together," Hamilton said. "I wasn't expecting to be on the front row so I am really happy." Bottas finished fifth in qualifying. The Finn will join Vettel on the second row following Verstappen's penalty. Earlier Saturday, McLaren said the team will be powered by Mercedes from 2021, ending its association with Renault at the end of the 2020 campaign. The long-term agreement will run until at least 2024......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 29th, 2019

'KillerCrossover: Growling Tiger Renzo Subido On What Being A Team Leader Means

The graduating player of University of Santo Tomas, Renzo Subido, talks about the legacy he wants to leave his team with......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2019

EYES ON YOU, KID: NCAA 95 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And with the second round already underway, we’re getting even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: MAC GUADANA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals LPU is on the brink of its first playoff appearance in school history – and throughout its quest to do just that, Mac Guadana has been its constant. For a long time, the 6-foot playmaker has stood as the pillar for the Jr. Pirates, but now, he has taken the leap all the way up there as one of the best players in all of high school. The former Batang Gilas guard has been stuffing the stat sheet and is tops in steals, fourth in scoring, and fifth in assists in the league. Without a doubt, he can and he is doing it all in his fifth and final year in maroon and grey. Most importantly, LPU has only followed his lead all the way to a place well inside the playoff picture. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Jr. Pirates can continue their sail to treasure island. What’s certain, though, is that their 18-year-old homegrown star will keep giving his all for them. RHAYYAN AMSALI – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.7 steals For four years running now, Rhayyan Amsali has been one of the most promising prospects in the Jrs. Now in his last year in high school, he has only brought over all the confidence and capabilities he had honed in National U all the way to San Beda. Now donning red and white, the 6-foot-3 forward has unleashed a more well-rounded game as he is actually the league’s best playmaker while at the same time, its third-best pilferer and fifth-best scorer. And if not for a controversial suspension, he would have also been the frontrunner for MVP as he has been a key cog for the league-leading Red Cubs. Still, what matters most for the now 18-year-old is another championship – and at the end of it all, he may very well be in select company of players who have won two titles in two different high schools in two different leagues. JONNEL POLICARPIO – Mapua High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.1 points, 10.6 rebound, 2.6 assists, 1.3 blocks The biggest reason Mapua has found itself in the bottom third of the standings is the inconsistency of main man Jonnel Policarpio. From missing the first three games due to personal problems to getting irregular playing time due to mental lapses, the 6-foot-4 energizer has only proven he has got much room for improvement when it comes to intangibles. Still, whenever he’s on the floor, Policarpio has always made his presence felt and that is very much evident with him being the MVP leader even after only playing seven games. However, the league’s top rebounder needs to prove he can stay on the court and lead his team to victory if he wants to have a hold of that top individual trophy and, more importantly, extend his team’s title reign. JUSTINE SANCHEZ – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.5 points, 62.8 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds Justine Sanchez is turning in a career year in his last year for San Beda. From coming off the bench a year ago to claiming a starting spot for himself, the long-limbed forward is on pace to be hailed as the league’s Most Improved Player. All the proof he needs for that is already there as he is an automatic finisher of set-ups by his teammates, with an astounding 62.8 shooting clip from the field. At the same time, though, he has also shown flashes of shooting and playmaking – showing that even the favorite for Most Improved Player looks like he can still keep growing. JOHN BARBA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists Mac Guadana does it all, but if and when LPU needs a basket badly, it turns to John Barba. A fearless slasher that boasts of one of the best – if not the best – upper body strengths, the 6-foot-2 swingman can score however he wants once he gets to the paint. That is exactly why he is the league’s second-best scorer. Of course, Barba has to work on his shooting, but as of right now, that hole in his game is only offset by his energy and activity that allow him to haul in offensive rebounds and make good on second chance points. TONY YNOT – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals Tony Ynot missed San Beda’s first five games due to a knee injury, but once he was good to go, he did nothing but make an immediate impact. A defensive specialist who made noise in the preseason with a poster block on Jalen Green, the Filipino-American blue-chip recruit in the US NCAA, he is only proving to be more of a two-way force now in his second season in red and white. The 5-foot-11 wing now has the confidence to let it fly from deep or venture inside the paint for a closer look, but when it all boils down to it, defense is and will always be his calling card. RC CALIMAG – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.7 points, 23-of-60 from three, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals RC Calimag has always been in love with the midrange shot in his time in DLSZ and now in his second season in LSGH. The 6-foot-2 forward knocks those down at a respectable rate, but his transition into taking more threes this year has unlocked his entire offensive arsenal. Calimag is the league’s top scorer, with a bulk of his output coming from deep where he has hit 23 in total. Without a doubt, he has always been a deadly scorer, but with his outside shot now a legitimate threat, he has become an elite offensive player. JOSHUA RAMIREZ – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.1 points, 29-of-90 from three, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists Joshua Ramirez’s game will not blow anybody away at all as he is yet to have a skill that will put him above everybody else. What the 6-foot-3 forward is, however, is an all-around player who will do whatever it takes to help out his team – if Letran needs points, he will be there; if Letran needs playmaking, he will be there; if Letran needs defense, he will be there. No doubt about it, he is the quintessential glue guy that any other team will want to have on their side. EMMAN GALMAN – University of Perpetual Help ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals One word perfectly encapsulates Emman Galman – gunner. The 6-foot-2 swingman is a volume shooter who has the greenest of green lights to take shots for Perpetual. That’s not a bad thing at all, though, because he actually makes good on many of those and finds himself as the third-best scorer in all of the league. SHAWN UMALI – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 9.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals What Joshua Ramirez is from the perimeter, Shawn Umali is inside the paint for Letran. The undersized big man will not wow everybody, but his do-it-all game has been the engine that has kept the Squires running for two years now. And don’t let his 6-foot-4 height and wide frame fool you, he actually has great timing and is the league’s fifth-best shot blocker. HONORABLE MENTIONS Yukien Andrada – San Beda High School Gholam Garcia – Jose Rizal University High School CJ Saure – Colegio de San Juan de Letran Ezdel Galoy – University of Perpetual Help --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2019

LSGH-A seeks finals

La Salle Greenhills (LSGH)-A aims to march into the finals with an unbeaten record when it takes on sister team LSGH-B in the semifinals of the Small Basketeers Philippines on Sunday at the Xavier School gym. Group A elimination round leader LSGH-A, which has a clean 4-0 win-loss record, plays LSGH-B, which placed second in […] The post LSGH-A seeks finals appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 5th, 2019

ONE Championship: Team Lakay s Lito Adiwang ready for the big stage at ONE: CENTURY

  ?Lito "Thunder Kid" Adiwang is nothing short of grateful to make his ONE Championship main roster debut in the biggest event that the promotion has ever put up.   The ONE Warrior Series contract winner will battle Pancrase Flyweight World Champion Senzo Ikeda in ONE: CENTURY on 13 October at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.   That is the perfect way to make an entry.   “I was wowed when I first heard that I got the match,” Adiwang shared.   “This is the perfect timing for me. It’s my debut in the big league and it happens to be in the biggest event of ONE. I’m really happy.”   “Thunder Kid" bagged a lucrative six-figure contract after he defeated Anthony "The Antidote" Do by unanimous decision at OWS 7 in August.   Though excited and eager for his debut, the Team Lakay representative cannot help but feel some kind of pressure, especially since he is taking on a hometown favorite.   “Of course there’s pressure. It’s ONE’s biggest event, and it’s my opponent’s hometown so there’s definitely pressure,” the Filipino athlete admitted.   “But as days go by, it slowly dissipates. I’m beginning to focus on what I need to do, and I definitely won’t be affected with his hometown advantage.”   Ikeda will not only enjoy familiarity when he takes on Adiwang, he will also come in bigger than him.   Adiwang is also wary of Ikeda’s punching power - the Japanese athlete was a former professional boxer - but he says that his entire focus is on getting better.   “We’re not really fixated on that. Our focus is on how I’ll be putting pressure on my opponent and how I’ll impose my game,” Adiwang said.   “We expect his power. He’s heavier, so the strategy is putting as much pressure on him in the fight.”   They say first impression lasts, and that is exactly what “Thunder Kid" will be thinking of when he makes his main roster debut on 13 October.   "Fans can expect an explosive and thunderous Adiwang," he promised.   "I’ll give everything because it’s my debut. I will give my best and impress them. I want to give back to the fans by putting on a good show.”   ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events in one day. But The Home Of Martial Arts breaks new ground as 28 World Champions compete in multiple World Title bouts, three World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches at the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan on 13 October in Tokyo, Japan.   In the meantime, watch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH, on ABS-CBN S+A at 9:30pm PHT.   To catch the prelims, go to ONE’s Facebook and Twitter pages at 6:30pm PHT.   Read More from ONE Championship:   Latest ONE Warrior Series Contract Awarded To Team Lakay’s Lito Adiwang Top Five Highlights From ONE Warrior Series 7 How Lito Adiwang’s Homecoming Set Him For Breakout Success    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2019

ONE Championship: Edward Kelly takes blame for letdown against Xie Bin

Hard-hitting Filipino featherweight Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly admitted that he only has himself to blame for losing to "The Stalker" Xie Bin at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES. It was a back and forth affair between the Team Lakay stalwart and the Chinese athlete, but it was the latter who got the better of the exchanges as he nullified Kelly's striking with his takedowns. The bout came to a halt when Xie landed a series of unintentional elbows to the back of the head, prompting the referee to give Kelly time to recover. Moments later, after Kelly could not continue, the match went to the judges, who all awarded the Xie his eighth straight win in ONE Championship. “I was 100 percent confident that I was gonna win, but that happened. I went there knowing how ready I am but again, there are still a lot of holes in my game that I can’t quite fill,” Kelly admitted. “I know my weakness. In the gym, we always work on that and I know that I’ve improved. But come fight night, it still happens.” Kelly’s latest loss was his second in four bouts. More than sharpening his skillset, “The Ferocious” believes that it is his mind that needs to be stronger. “Maybe I need to work on my mentality and reactions,” Kelly said. “We have the same way of training, that’s why I’m confident with my conditioning, but I guess it’s still in my mentality cause after grappling for a bit, I lose wind.” Nonetheless, Kelly remained in high spirits. All he knows is that he needs to have a bulletproof mentality as he looks to work his way back up the rankings and maybe get a rematch with his latest conqueror. “It’s all mental now. If there are any problems, then I’ll adjust,” Kelly said. “Of course I want the rematch. I’m not satisfied with how I lost.” Tune in to watch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD, by downloading the ONE Super App. The action starts Friday, 16 August at 6:30pm local time.     More from ONE Championship: Xie Bin Picks Up Technical Decision Win In Kelly’s Backyard Top 5 Highlight From ONE Warrior Series 7 Danny Kingad Admits ‘Bittersweet’ Feeling, But Ready For Demetrious Johnson    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

Wayne Rooney returning to England from DC to play for Derby

DERBY, England (AP) — Wayne Rooney will be leaving Major League Soccer after less than two seasons to return to play in England and be closer to his family. The 33-year-old former England captain will remain at D.C. United until the end of the season before joining second-tier Championship team Derby County as player-coach from January. Rooney has signed an 18-month contract that can be extended until the end of the 2021-22 season. "I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with," Rooney said. "I am sure I can make a big contribution and can't wait to meet everyone, especially the supporters. I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County working with both the first team and academy." Rooney, who is the record goal scorer for Manchester United and England, had another two years remaining on the contract he signed with D.C. United after joining from Everton in 2018. "After speaking to Wayne and understanding his difficult situation of being so far away from his family, we have accepted that this is the best decision for all parties," said D.C. United co-chairmen Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien. "Wayne is an exceptional leader and one of the most iconic players to play the game, so we look forward to his continued contributions to the team this season." The Washington-based team remains in contention for the MLS playoffs, so the striker's stay in the United States could end in November. "I must also take this opportunity to thank D.C. United, their owners, executives and supporters who have been superb to work with," Rooney said. "I want them to know that I will give my all in support of our push for the playoffs." Derby has been out of the Premier League since 2008 and lost a playoff final in May to return to the top division. Rooney's former England teammate, Frank Lampard, was in charge of Derby last season before moving to manage Chelsea. "Wayne Rooney is an extremely talented and top-class footballer," said Phillip Cocu, who succeeded Lampard as Derby manager. "He has enjoyed a wonderful career, both in club football and for England, and he still has so much to give as well. "His credentials speak for themselves. But to have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us. He knows what it takes to succeed as a player and I have no doubt he will have a positive impact right across the club. The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players from the first team right through to the youngsters in the Academy. It is entirely in keeping with, and in support of, the club's philosophy and approach.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2019