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10 New Teams Added as 2nd Governor’s Cup Opens

If there is one activity that can unite people, that’s sports, said Gov. Hilario P. Davide III during the opening ceremony of the 2nd Governor’s Cup Inter-Cities/Municipalities Basketball Tournament on Sunday, April 15 at the New Cebu Coliseum. Davide was elated by the increase of participants this year, hoping that the tournament would be as […].....»»

Category: newsSource: metrocebu metrocebuApr 16th, 2018

Brazil beats Russia 3-0 in friendly ahead of World Cup

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Brazil cruised to a 3-0 friendly win at World Cup host Russia on Friday without the injured Neymar. In freezing temperatures at Moscow's vast Luzhniki arena, the Brazilians worked hard to break down Russia's deep defense before three goals in 13 minutes early in the second half. Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev parried Thiago Silva's 53rd-minute shot into the path of Miranda, who scored from close range. Philippe Coutinho made it 2-0 from the penalty spot nine minutes later, and Paulinho added Brazil's third in the 66th with a header off Willian's cross. "I think the team is completely ready for the World Cup," said Brazil coach Tite, whose team faces reigning World Cup champion Germany in another friendly in Berlin on Tuesday. "We had our chances and we scored our goals," he said through a translator. "The team achieved the goal I had set for them and that means the team understood what I would like to see from them." Brazil is now unbeaten in eight games since a 1-0 loss to Argentina in September, while the Russians haven't won any of their last four. Tuesday's game against the Germans is the first time those teams will meet since Germany demolished Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup. "We can't change the past, we can't change history," Tite said. "So what can we do against Germany? We've just got to play football. We've got to be strong tactically, we've got to be strong technically." Less than three months before the World Cup opens at Luzhniki, the defeat highlighted Russia's vulnerability at the back. Severe injuries to two central defenders this year forced coach Stanislav Cherchesov to field a makeshift five-man back line which was often able to do little more than stay deep and defend in numbers. The three central defenders had never played together before, so "we are starting from zero once again," Cherchesov said. On a pitch which seemed worn after hosting a giant election rally for President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, Brazil's margin of victory would have been greater if not for some soft shooting by Brazil in the first half and good saves from Akinfeev in the second. The Russian keeper showed quick reactions to keep out shots from Paulinho and Coutinho and stopped what might have been an own goal from Alexander Samedov. Up front, the Russians missed the injured Alexander Kokorin — who is unlikely to return for the World Cup — but still managed to create chances against a sometimes-shaky Brazilian defense. An excellent chance went to waste late on when Anton Miranchuk hit the bar before his fellow substitute Anton Zabolotny missed an open goal on the rebound. Alexander Samedov and Miranchuk's brother, Alexei, both failed to score from good positions in the first half. Overall, Russia was simply outclassed, Cherchesov said. "There's fault and there's misfortune, and this is a case when it's misfortune, because it's difficult to leap from a certain level up and over several steps," he said. "If you look at the technical side, that team is a bit above us.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2018

Oladipo, Sabonis helping Pacers move forward

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo has a fever and the only prescription is ... no, not more cowbell. Cowbell might make sense, if you factor in Oladipo’s love of and commitment to music (his debut R&B album has been available since Oct. 6). But the fever currently afflicting Oladipo, shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers, has nothing to do with extracurriculars and everything to do with the odes and anthems he’s been performing within the confines of 94 feet by 50 feet. If the fifth-year guard out of Indiana University, by way of the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder, looks comfortable in his new star turn for the Pacers, well, just remember that’s your word. Not his. “You could say I’m comfortable with the people here,” says Oladipo, who spent three seasons with the Hoosiers before becoming the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. “I played in front of these fans, they mean a lot to me and I gave a lot to them just like they gave a lot to me while I was in college. “But I’m never comfortable in any situation I’m in. I will never be comfortable. That’s what kind of makes me get up and work every day. It’s like, never be satisfied. Because for some reason, ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted more.” Oladipo’s eyes just about glow after a weekend practice as he delves into his unflagging intensity. He doesn’t undercut it with a smile or a token laugh. This is real heat. “Maximize my talent and exhaust my potential,” he says. “In order to do that, I’ve got to come to work every day. That’s my thought process. Wake up each day and be great that day.” Each day would include tonight, when Oladipo will share center stage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the more decorated and once-beloved star who preceded him in the Pacers lineup. Paul George, a four-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist during his seven seasons in Indiana, was due to face his old team for the first time since being traded to Oklahoma City in July. It was a parting necessitated by George, who had made clear his desire to sign a maximum-salary contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018. But the trade was orchestrated by Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations, and Chad Buchanan, their general manager, who surprised the NBA by swapping George to OKC for Oladipo and big man Domantas Sabonis. You want intense? The initial reaction to that deal was intensely negative, quickly reaching hysterical proportions. The Pacers immediately were mocked for having traded George for nickels on the dollar. Reports out of Boston characterized Indiana’s POBO as more of a bobo for allegedly spurning a Celtics’ offer of multiple players and draft picks. *Takes a well deserved nap for 3 hours ** Opens Twitter: pic.twitter.com/xWNYaVfKTy — Myl3s Turn3r (@Original_Turner) July 1, 2017 The west is sick!!!! Best conference in the world!!!! — Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) July 1, 2017 Vic to the Pacers?! He might as well run for governor while he's at it! — Cody Zeller (@CodyZeller) July 1, 2017 Former Thunder star Kevin Durant called the move “shocking” and of George said “Indiana just gave him away.” Among much of the media that covers the league, there was a general feeling of “rubes” afoot -- that the Pacers had been snookered in taking back an overpaid ($21 million annually through 2020-21) second-tier talent and an overbilled guy who had disappeared in OKC’s postseason. And now? Not so much on any of those fronts. ‘He knows how good he is’ George’s stats are down in the “OK3” core he’s formed with reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook and aging Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder (12-13) are the NBA’s consensus disappointment, team category, with nearly a third of their season in the books. Sabonis has boosted the Pacers off the bench in a half dozen ways. And Oladipo has all but earned himself a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team while speeding his new team’s fans past their heartbreak over George’s jilting. Generally, the best trades in sports are win-win, but for Indiana right now, a bit of win-lose has made the start of 2017-18 downright sublime. “We happened to really like Sabonis in the draft,” former Pacers president and ongoing consultant Donnie Walsh said last week. “We wanted more of everything in the trade too. But when it came down to it, we had this offer with Oladipo, who we also liked. They’ve come in here and the more they’ve been here, the more we like ‘em. We’re happy.” The Pacers also are 16-11, two weeks ahead in the victory column over their 42-40 finish last season that was good for a playoff berth. Oladipo is the biggest reason why, averaging more points per game (24.5) than George ever has. The 6'4" guard who attended famous DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md., spent much of last season being beaten up for his contract and negligible impact in Oklahoma City. He had taken grief earlier for his status as the second pick in 2013, a lofty status not of his doing. And here he was again in the summer, hearing it all over again for a transaction he didn’t design. “He came in with a chip [on his shoulder],” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “I thought he should come in with a chip.” Some would have flinched from the pressure. A few might have curled up, full blown fetal. Oladipo has gone entirely the other way. “His confidence is at an all-time high,” backup point guard Cory Joseph said. “He knows how good he is.” As Joseph spoke after the Pacers’ upset of Cleveland Friday, a game in which Oladipo scored 20 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter, a lilting voice drifted from behind the scenes in the home dressing room. “Look at it right now, he’s singing in the shower,” Joseph said, tilting his head and laughing. “He’s confident. You guys are all in here, he’s just singing. He’s a confident guy. Everybody in this locker room, everybody in this organization definitely welcomes that.” Trade not driving Oladipo’s breakout season Don’t misunderstand. The critics still are out for Oladipo. “My mom told me yesterday I need to work on my free throws,” he said with an eye roll after practice Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). She had noticed, during her son’s run of big games in December -- 36 points at Toronto, 27 vs. Chicago, 33 against the Cavs the night before her chiding text -- that he had missed 18-of-31 foul shots. This, by a career 80 percent shooter from the line. “I’m over that,” Oladipo said. “I’m not going to miss no more. I’ll make ‘em next time. And if I miss ‘em, I’ll make ‘em the next. If that’s my problem right now, I think I can fix it.” Twenty-four hours later, Oladipo took 13 free throws against Denver and made 11. He scored 47 points in all, hitting 15-of-28 shots and half of his 12 three-pointers. The comeback victory in OT got the Pacers to 4-for-4 on their six-game homestand and continued to shrink whatever chip it was that the 25-year-old was shouldering. “In the beginning of the year, I said, ‘I don’t have a chip. I have a brick house on my back,’” Oladipo said. But not anymore, right, now that some folks are referring to it as “the Victor Oladipo trade” rather than “the Paul George trade?” “That’s what I feel like every morning, no matter what’s going on,” he said. “I don’t even think about the trade, honestly. It’s in the past for me. People’s opinions are going to be there whether you like it or not. From the outside looking in, I guess you could say [then] that was a great trade for OKC. That’s what they believed. But it wasn’t going to change the way I worked. It wasn’t going to change my approach.” This step up in status is considered perhaps the most difficult an NBA player can make. Suddenly, opposing coaches are X&O-ing him to death. The player dogging him up and down the court is the other guys’ best defender. Often, they’ll send double-teams to get the ball into one of his teammates’ hands. “He hadn’t had that,” McMillan said. “When he was in OKC, the game plan was focused on Westbrook. When he was in Orlando, he was just a young player. Now he is seeing the defenders like a LeBron [James], like a [DeMar] DeRozan, what these stars are seeing. He’s seeing the best defenders and he’s seeing teams game-plan to take him out. “Learning how to play and be consistent every night with that challenge is something he’s going through.” Oladipo’s quick success with the Pacers has kept any crowd critics at bay. They were pre-disposed to like him just as their rebound date after George, but had he underperformed, Oladipo’s service time in Bloomington wouldn’t have protected him for long from criticism. But now, it’s George who likely will get the harsh reception. Oladipo, overtly after each of the recent victories, has made it clear to the home fans via some emphatic pointing and body language that the Fieldhouse happens to be his house. “I don’t say it, they say it,” he said. “I just do the gesture and they do the rest of the work for me. I let them do all the talking. We feed off them -- when they’re into it, we play better. I don’t know why, that’s just how basketball’s always been. They’re our sixth man and we need ‘em every night.” Oladipo’s breakout season has been bolstered, too, by the Pacers’ second-through-15th men. Those who already were in Indy knew how valuable George was at both ends. Those who, like Oladipo and Sabonis, were new this season were within their rights to be as skeptical as the national headlines of the guys coming in trade. Go-to guy emerges for Pacers OKC was a specific challenge, Oladipo having to learn on the fly how to fit his own darting, ball-heavy style to only the second man in NBA history to average a triple-double. Westbrook’s usage was off the charts, rendering the other Thunder players to supporting cast whether suited to that role or not. Just like that, Oladipo had to catch and shoot as someone to get Westbrook into double digits in assists. It wasn’t his nature and it made for an individually forgettable season. “I had a role. I tried to play that role to the best of my ability. And I improved certain areas of my game in that role,” was all he’d say Saturday, stiffly, about the OKC experience. Said Walsh: “I felt like he was going to get a different opportunity here. ... When he got to Oklahoma City, he was playing wih a guy who was averaging a triple-double. And he liked Russell Westbrook. But he comes here, he’s got an opportunity to be ‘our guy.’ “I think he might have been looking for that. I never asked him. He’s a really cool guy. He knows what he wants to be, I think.” Oladipo needed this and the Pacers needed him to need it. With George gone, they were like a smile missing a front tooth. The other teeth weren’t just going to move up in the pecking order -- no matter how good young big man Myles Turner is -- and replace the one they’d lost. If they were going to have any success this season, if McMillan was going to be able to coach and adjust in his second year taking over for Frank Vogel, the players needed to fill their roles and welcome this new addition. That’s why this tale of Oladipo’s growing success is about what the Pacers have done for him, as much as it is what he’s done for them. “We didn’t really present it like that,” McMillan said, “because we were still trying to develop who our ‘go-to guy’ was. He has been slowly taking on that role through the things he’s done. I haven’t had to say anything. He’s making good decisions with the ball. And the guys are getting a feel for what we’re doing down the stretch because we’ve had some success, and we’ve had it with Victor having the ball.” Chemistry change for Pacers There might be NBA teams with chemistry as solid as the Pacers’ right now, but it’s hard to imagine there are any with better. It’s more than mere relief that someone has stepped up, easing their own loads a bit. It is a genuine eagerness for Oladipo to max out, for each of the rest of them to do the same in whatever lane they’re riding. “Vic’s been everything at this point,” Turner said. “He’s done a great job of stepping up and being that guy, being that dude. It’s amazing to have that when you’re going through a situation where it’s a brand-new team. We’re still learning each other and he’s showing that he’s ready.” Did Turner know this would happen and, if so, when? “First couple days he started texting me in the summertime,” the big man said. “I saw what his mindset was, and I loved it from the jump. He carried that right in when we started playing pickup this summer. “Vic’s been traded, what, [two] times? He finally comes back home and he has a team that’s telling him to go, telling him to be him. I don’t think he had that with his former teams. Now that he’s here and he’s doing that, I’m pretty sure he’s [enjoying it].” Said Joseph: “He’s been a beast for us and he’s going to continue to be a beast for us. ... He’s been running with that opportunity and opening eyes around the world.” Even strong-willed, uber-confident Lance Stephenson, has backed up for Oladipo. “There’s no hate, know what I mean?” he said over the weekend. “Some guys get mad about somebody doing good. This team wants its teammates to do good. That’s what’s going to make us even better.” Oladipo keeps referring to the other Pacers in a legit lubricating of the “no I in Indy” process. “Honestly I think it’s the personalities and the men that we have in this locker room,” he said. “My teammates are phenomenal people -- not just basketball players, phenomenal people. When you surround yourself with great people, people who sincerely care about you and your team, the chemistry just comes naturally.” Sabonis shows glimpses of success, too The other guy in the trade, Sabonis, has developed more organically, his maturation seemingly inevitable regardless of locale when you tote up his youth, his work ethic and his bloodlines (son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis). He has gone from that rookie who logged just six minutes in the Thunder’s five 2017 playoff games against Houston to an essential piece in McMillan’s rotation. “Once I got traded, I knew this was a great opportunity for me to show people what I can really do,” said Sabonis, the No. 11 pick in 2016. “I was a rookie last year. Everything was new. Here, I’m being used more at the 5. That’s more the position I’ve been used to playing my whole life.” Sabonis’ minutes are up from 20.1 in OKC to 24.6 off Indiana’s bench. His scoring has doubled from 5.9 ppg to 12.1. And his PIE rating has soared from 4.9 last season to 12.6, a sign of the versatility the skilled big man possesses. “I love Sabonis,” Walsh said. “His father was one of the greatest players in the world, so I don’t like that comparison -- it kills him. He [Domantas] is just more of everything you think he is. He’s stronger than you think. He can shoot the ball better. He’s got good hands, he can catch the ball. I’ve seen him make moves in game that I’ve never seen him make in practice.” Said Turner: “I played against Domas in college -- I knew what kind of player he was. I was excited when we got him. He’s gotten bigger and stronger since then, obviously, and he just didn’t have a chance to show himself last year. But he’s been big for us now, especially when I was out with the concussion. He stepped up huge in that role and we’ve played well since then.” The Pacers are playing faster this season, up from 18th in pace last season to 10th now, part of their improvement from 15th in offensive rating (106.2) to 6th (108.3). They’re doing better, too, in contesting shots and throttling opponents’ field-goal accuracy. The biggest reason why has been Oladipo’s blossoming. Whether due to the sunshine of new, happier surroundings or from that darker, more intense place, to prove cynics wrong. No one can now talk of the Pacers’ bungling of what, after all, was a deal to rent George, not to have him long-term. Fans at Bankers Life figure to boo George on his first visit back, with an inventory they haven’t needed or used on Oladipo. Some might see that as ingratitude, others as respect. It’s a little bit of love lost, too. “Look, they loved Paul when he was here,” Walsh said. “They guy is a great player. One thing I’ve always felt: These guys that play here, they always know more about what they want for their lives than we do. How you gonna argue with that? He treated us good, we treated him good. No bad blood here. I don’t know about fans.” Folks in Indy have a new crush now, one they hope lasts for a while. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. 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 NewsDec 14th, 2017

SUPER 8: Blackwater holds off pesky Samsung Thunders

MACAU --- Pinoy teams hold serve to start the Summer Super 8 tournament. Blackwater managed to hold off a pesky Samsung Thunders squad Tuesday at the East Asian Games Dome here, taking a 78-67 decision in the invitational tournament organized by Asia League. The Elite picked up their first win in group B, joining NLEX as early winners of the Macau joust. The Road Warriors earlier smashed the Formosa Dreamers in group B. Blackwater was in control for most of the game, taking several double digit leads starting in the second period. But the Thunders would simply not go away and the Elite had to rely on a strong fourth-quarter finish to put the game away. A 10-0 run for a 76-62 lead essentially iced the game in favor of Blackwater. JP Erram was a beast for Blackwater, scoring 20 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. For good measure, he also had three blocks and two steals. Rookie Raymar Jose added 14 points for the Elite. The Thunders got 16 points each from Kim Hyun Soo and Kim Dong Uk.   The Scores: BLACKWATER 78 – Erram 20, Jose 14, Zamar 11, Belo 9, Maliksi 8, DiGregorio 7, Banal 3, Javier 2, Palma 2, Pinto 2, Sumang 0. SEOUL SAMSUNG 67 – Kim DU 16, Kim HS 16, Lee 12, Cha 7, Cheon 6, Bae 5, Hong 3, Jang 2, Choi 0. Quarters: 21-16, 41-37, 63-59, 78-67.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 18 min. ago

SUPER 8: Elephants stun Xinjiang Flying Tigers in Day 1

MACAU --- Opening day for the 2018 Summer Super 8 is in the books. Filipino teams went 2-0 Tuesday at the East Asian Games Dome here with NLEX smashing Formosa, 94-68, and Blackwater holding off the pesky Samsung Thunders, 78-67. [Related: SUPER 8: Road Warriors crush Formosa's dreams to start Macau tilt] In the primetime games, KBL's Etland Elephants stunned the Xinjian Flying Tigers from the CBA. [Related: SUPER 8: Blackwater holds off pesky Samsung Thunders] Jeong Hyo Geun led the Elephants with 19 points on 70 percent shooting from the field while Kim Sang Kyu and Jung Young Sam scored 17 apiece. Hong Gyeong Ki added another 11 points for good measure. The Flying Tigers, who sent a strong 9-man contingent to Macau, got 17 points from team captain Sun Tonglin. In the final game of the day, the Guangzhou Long Lions scrapped their way for a 68-62 win over Japan's Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka. Ju Mingxin fired 24 points as the Long Lions got the Chinese on the board in Group B.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 18 min. ago

PBA: Chan on ROS: 'yung Rain or Shine, I love that team'

Well, it finally happened. Jeff Chan's breakout game with Ginebra finally took place and it came against Rain or Shine of all teams. In Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals featuring the no. 1 Elasto Painters and the streaking Gin Kings, Chan had the hot hand, firing 21 points, 10 in the fourth quarter as Ginebra pulled away for the win. Chan shot 60 percent from the field and drilled three three-pointers, marking his best game in a Ginebra uniform so far. It's safe to say that the veteran sniper is getting more and more comfortable with his new team as his role gets better defined with each passing day. "Masasabi ko lang na medyo kumportable na ako, medyo nakukuha ko na pero not fully. The other day nag-usap naman kami ni coach Tim regarding sa role ko, so medyo nabigyan ng ilaw parang ganun," Chan said. "Parang ngayon alam ko na when and when not to shoot," he added. As for facing the Elasto Painters in the playoffs, the team where he won two titles and one Finals MVP, Chan says those are good memories. However, he's with the barangay now and its time to make new memories with his new team. "Basta ako masaya ako with my new team now. Masaya ako na I'm with Brgy. Ginebra," Chan said. "Masasabi ko lang, yung team na yun, yung Rain or Shine, I love that team. Maraming nangyari dun pero syempre kailangan mag move on. Kung saan ako present now, which is Ginebra, may goal kami dito," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

PBA: June Mar after rousing Game 1 win: 'Kailangan pa namin manalo ng dalawa'

The last time San Miguel faced Alaska in the playoffs, the Beermen had to come back from a 0-3 series deficit. You know, the whole Beeracle thing. But as the Beermen and the Aces meet in the playoffs again, this time for the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals, San Miguel will be having none of that. The Beermen would like to handle their business right from the start. After Saturday's Game 1, San Miguel is up 1-0 after a convincing 92-79 win. "Syempre malaking bagay kasi sabi nga ni coach pivotal daw yung first game eh," center June Mar Fajardo. "So yun, malaking bagay so sana makuha ulit namin yung Game 2. Sana tuluy-tuloy na," he added. Fajardo led the reigning champions in scoring in Game 1, posting 17 points. As the attention shifts to Game 2, June Mar says the Beermen should just be locked in on winning. More than other teams, they know that series leads can evaporate just like that. "Alam naman namin na hindi pa tapos yung game, I mean, yung series. Kailangan pa namin manalo ng dalawa. And then, kailangan pa namin i-panalo yung next game para mahirapan sila makabawi," Fajardo said. "Alam naman namin kung gaano kahirap yun kasi next game, for sure, magba-bounce back sila. Ta-try nila mag-bounce back. Dapat ready kami," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2018

PVL: Lady Bulldogs brace for tough title defense

A young National University squad will march into battle hoping to defend its crown when the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference opens shop on July 21. The Lady Bulldogs ruled the inaugural edition of the tournament last year via a clean sweep of the conference behind Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago. But this time, NU will parade a different lineup following the departure of Santiago and Aiko Urdas, while key players Jorelle Singh and Jasmine Nabor are doubtful to see action.        Head coach Babes Castillo will parade the core of his BaliPure squad composed of a mix of veterans, incoming Lady Bulldogs and Nazareth School-NU high school standouts.     Bannering the squad will be incoming rookie setter Joyme Cagande, Ivy Lacsina, libero Jennifer Nierva, Princes Robles and high school star Faith Nisperos. Eight teams will try to dethrone the Lady Bulldogs led by the returning 2017 runnerup Far Eastern University. Also joining the fray are UAAP teams University of Sto. Tomas, Adamson University and University of the Philippines and NCAA squads College of St. Benilde, University of Perpetual Help, San Sebastian College and San Beda University. Taking a leave of absence are Ateneo de Manila University and NCAA champion Arellano University. Playing in the men’s division are FEU, NU, Adamson, San Beda, Perpetual, De La Salle University, UST, UP and CSB. Defending champion Ateneo will skip the tournament.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Golden State Warriors not just good, they re lucky too

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LAS VEGAS -- In this town, fates and fortunes can turn drastically any day, hour or minute. A flip of the card, pull of the switch or roll of the dice can make or break souls. Which brings us to NBA Summer League, the Golden State Warriors and the field. The league is holding its annual gathering of executives, coaches and player hopefuls here, and 29 of the 30 NBA teams are wondering about their chances this upcoming season and why the Warriors are the Chosen Ones. Meanwhile, the Warriors, winners of three of the last four championships, are no doubt doing some head-scratching about how a key injury is once again helping their cause and making them stronger. This is about luck, then, and why those chasing the Warriors can’t seem to get a break, and how the Warriors managed to make themselves both good and lucky. There is considerable buzz among the basketball throng in Vegas regarding the Warriors, who are less than a month removed from a convincing sweep of LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals and how they won twice this summer: championship and then free agency. The collective moan from the rest of the NBA seems to say: What the hell? DeMarcus Cousins agreed to a one-year deal with the Warriors for the NBA equivalent of loose change in a sofa: $5.3 million. Just like that, the Warriors added a dominant and versatile center, maybe the best in the game, which made coach Steve Kerr wisecrack about how the Warriors “needed another All-Star.” This was made possible because of a quirky circumstance that caused Cousins a lot of pain, which translated into plenty of gain for Golden State. When Cousins tore his Achilles last spring with the Pelicans, his market value in free agency fell to the floor right along with him. Suddenly, the rest of the league, including the Pelicans, became wary about investing heavily in a hulking center who most certainly would need most of the 2018-19 season to rehab, without any guarantee Cousins would return to form once medically cleared to play. Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks last season, perhaps the best of his career. He turns 28 in late August. Had he avoided injury, he would’ve been far too expensive for the Warriors to afford. They’re well over the luxury tax and are limited to exceptions, which allow them to sign players but only on the cheap. A healthy Cousins was destined to command in excess of $20 million a season, more had he stayed with the Pelicans. “If he’s healthy, he’s the best player at his position in the league,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. Well, when free agency opened, Cousins’ phone didn’t ring, and you probably know the story by now: He personally called the Warriors and signed up on the spot. His reasoning: If my only choice in this league is a short-term deal, might as well be with the team in the midst of a dynasty. The Warriors understandably were shocked, but why would they be? This isn’t the first time an injury went their way. Steph Curry’s chronic ankle sprains once threatened his career. He underwent surgery in the summer of 2011 and played only 26 games the next season. At that time, Curry was a good player, but far from the superstar who’d win a pair of MVPs and destroy three-point shooting records. So the Warriors were understandably worried, especially once Curry was due a contract extension. The two sides made a compromise that protected both parties: Four years, $44 million. The risk the Warriors took is Curry would continue having ankle issues and never see a full season. Curry’s risk: He’d remain healthy and see his production swell and spend most of that contract as a bargain. A bargain, for sure: At the end of that deal, Curry was the fourth-highest-paid player. On his own team. The upside for the Warriors and Curry: That contract helped them extend Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala and more importantly, add Kevin Durant. When you’re good and lucky -- remember, the Warriors won their first title over the Cavs when Cleveland was largely without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and beat the Rockets last spring after Chris Paul suffered a series-ending hamstring injury -- then you get plenty of rings. The beauty of the Cousins situation is the Warriors don’t need him during the regular season. This was mentioned more than a few times by rival general managers and coaches in Vegas. Cousins’ rehab is expected to require another five or six months -- full recovery form Achilles surgery is usually a year -- yet there’s no rush. Golden State won 73 games a few years ago without him and won 58 games last season on cruise control. They can wait until next spring, where Cousins could return, say, in March and use the final few weeks as a warm-up for the playoffs. After using the likes of the plodding Zaza Pachulia and quirky JaVale McGee in the middle, the Warriors are legit at center. Cousins fits the Warriors’ style because he can shoot 3s and is a willing and efficient passer from the high and low post. “That’s really an area where they’ve struggled and been inconsistent,” said Gentry, a former Warriors assistant coach before taking the top job in New Orleans. “It’s going to be a position where they make an upgrade." Meanwhile, Houston lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, a pair of athletic swingmen, this summer from free agency and therefore aren’t a better team on paper than last season, although the Rockets might soon add Carmelo Anthony, for whatever that’s worth. The Lakers welcome LeBron, but they didn’t get Paul George, who stayed in Oklahoma City, and the idea of trading for Kawhi Leonard this season remains a fantasy, at least for now. Which means the Warriors are once again the odds on favorites across town in the Vegas casinos to sip champagne next June. “Hey, that’s the NBA,” said Gentry with a shrug. “It’s supposed to be that way. You’re supposed to put out the best team you can. It’s up to the rest of us to catch them. They’ve put together a great team, drafted great, and guys in free agency wanted to come there. That’s what it’s all about. We have to pick up our game, it’s not that they should say, 'Oh we’re too good, let’s give away players.’ We all have to find a way to catch them, not them coming back to us.” Damian Lillard, the star guard for the Trail Blazers, spoke for the field when he said: “It's just going to get tougher and tougher. It is what it's always been, but just a little tougher. But you know what? Once the season starts, we gotta go. Nobody’s got time to be out there, not having fun and being stressed and all that BS. We gotta find to make it happen.” Twenty-nine teams, and especially the contenders in the West, are at a disadvantage regarding the Warriors because of a lack of All-Stars; not only do the Warriors now have five, but they’re all in their prime years. It’s one thing to try to be as good as the Warriors. Nowadays, you must rise to their level of luck as well. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or 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 NewsJul 12th, 2018

GM Pelinka: Lakers landing LeBron is ultimate validation

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Rob Pelinka says the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t trying to beat the Golden State Warriors at their own game. Instead, they’re building a team around LeBron James to do something different. Pelinka spoke publicly Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) for the first time since the Lakers’ remarkable offseason overhaul began, and the irrepressibly optimistic former agent radiated excitement about the future for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in five seasons. “To get the commitment from LeBron James to come to the Lakers for four years was really the culmination of everything we’ve been working towards,” Pelinka said. “When LeBron chose to come here, it was the ultimate validation for the moves we’ve made and what we’ve been building since we started.” The longest postseason drought in franchise history could be finished after James chose the Lakers in free agency. The club also added veterans Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson alongside their young core while parting ways with Julius Randle and Brook Lopez, among others. Pelinka and top executive Magic Johnson hope the result is a sturdy, defense-minded team with enough up-tempo offense to trouble the Warriors, the Houston Rockets and every other contender for the title. “I think to try to play the Warriors at their own game is a trap,” Pelinka said. “No one is going to beat them at their own game, so that is why we wanted to add these elements of defense and toughness and depth and try to look at areas where we will have an advantage.” Pelinka said the Lakers focused their free agency recruitment efforts on versatile, playoff-tested talents who can score and defend, instead of looking for elite players with only one specialty. He hopes the result will be a flexible, dangerous team under coach Luke Walton — and a different look around James, whose Cleveland Cavaliers teams often looked like a collection of perimeter shooters whose deficiencies were exposed by Golden State and others. Pelinka praised Rondo as a gritty guard whose championship pedigree will fill a void on the roster. He also described Stephenson as providing “an extreme toughness and an edge,” comparing his skills to Dennis Rodman’s contributions to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, or Metta World Peace’s work with Kobe Bryant’s late-career Lakers. “The road to the NBA championship has to go through the team that won last year, and we all know the guys up north have a special group,” Pelinka said. “But one of the ways to attack what they have is with defensive toughness. I think we saw that in the Houston series with some of the players that Houston has.” Pelinka’s desire for flexibility extended to the payroll as well. After years of trading away draft picks and acquiring high-priced veterans in an effort to win now with Bryant, the Lakers were overextended until Pelinka and Johnson spent the past 16 months creating enough salary cap space to sign two elite free agents. They only got one, although the Lakers still appear to be in contention for disgruntled San Antonio star Kawhi Leonard, who has a year left on his contract with the Spurs. No matter what happens, Pelinka said the Lakers’ series of one-year contracts around James will put them in position to have ample cap space again next summer, when several stars could be available to join James. Pelinka said the Lakers will have “an open training camp” in September, with only James guaranteed to be a starter. That means Rondo and second-year pro Lonzo Ball will compete to be Los Angeles’ starting point guard, a possibility that was welcomed by Rondo after he signed. Pelinka also said Ball will be fully healthy for training camp. The point guard has a torn meniscus in his left knee. Pelinka’s idiosyncrasies shone through again Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), with the GM beginning his news conference by reading a passage from Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist,” a book recommended to him by former client Bryant and carried by James throughout the playoffs. The passage describes the process of making a decision being “only the beginning of things.” “Hopefully it will lead to things ... happening that are bigger than our dreams could ever imagine,” Pelinka said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

PBA: Brownlee, Ginebra turn lights off on Meralco anew

Justin Brownlee continues to be a thorn on the side of Meralco, even now in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Stuffing the stat sheet with 36 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals, Brownlee led Ginebra’s super surge in the third quarter to run away from the Bolts, 104-90, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. Just like he has been in the last two Finals of the Governor’s Cup, the Gin Kings’ American reinforcement was an unsolvable riddle for Meralco. He definitely wasn’t working alone, though, as the crowd darlings had five different players contributing in an 18-2 run bridging the second and third quarters that increased a one-point lead to a 71-56 advantage. “We were able to come out and throw our punch in the third quarter,” a much more gleeful than usual head coach Tim Cone said. Of course, the Bolts didn’t quit and back-to-back threes from Baser Amer and Chris Newsome pulled them to just within 81-87 inside the last five minutes. Yet again, however, Brownlee had the answer for Ginebra and his assist to an LA Tenorio triple followed by a dunk from a Tenorio dish re-established a 92-81 edge for them. “It really came down to that LA shot in the corner. We were on our heels until that big shot,” Cone said. That double-digit lead would stay the rest of the way, cementing the crowd darlings’ sweep of the best-of-three quarterfinals against Meralco. In the end, Tenorio had 11 points and five assists to his name while Greg Slaughter also added a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double. The Gin Kings now await the winner in the do-or-die matchup between Rain or Shine and Globalport on Thursday. For the Bolts, Arinze Onuaku was atop the scoring column with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Newsome and Amer chipped in 17 and 11 points, respectively, in the losing effort. BOX SCORES GINEBRA 104 – Brownlee 36, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 11, Aguilar 10, Mercado 9, Devance 8, Thompson 4, Ferrer 2, Caguioa 2, Mariano 0, Manuel 0. MERALCO 90 – Onuaku 21, Newsome 17, Amer 11, Hugnatan 10, Caram 6, Dillinger 6, De Ocampo 6, Hodge 6, Lanete 3, Baracael 2, Canaleta 2, Ballesteros 0, Bono 0, Salva 0. QUARTER SCORES: 24-28; 56-51; 79-65; 104-90. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

PBA: LA being LA is reason why Ginebra is in the semis

Already having figured in two Finals series that went the full seven-game distance, Ginebra and Meralco were once again pitted against one another in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Quarterfinals. The Bolts registered a record of 7-4 in the elimination round and claimed the fourth-seed while the Gin Kings weren’t that far behind with a 6-5 standing and clinched the fifth-seed. Safe to say, just like their meetings in the last two championship rounds of the Governor’s Cup, not much separated the two teams. Ginebra floor leader LA Tenorio had to admit as much. “Talagang we expected that this series is not going to be easy especially against Meralco,” he told reporters on Wednesday. Indeed, Tenorio and company lost an 18-point lead early in the final frame and saw their new-age rivals come as close as 81-87 inside the last five minutes of the second game of their best-of-three quarterfinals series. Justin Brownlee and Tenorio connived for the answer for the crowd darlings, though, as Brownlee’s assist to a Tenorio triple followed by a Tenorio dish to a Brownlee dunk re-established the double-digit lead they would protect for the remainder of the game. “When they were making that run, LA made the shot in the corner for three and got the steal to toss it back to Justin for the dunk,” a much more gleeful than usual head coach Tim Cone said post-game. “That was the game for me.” That is exactly why, for the nth time, the multi-titled mentor had nothing but high praise for his court general. “(That’s) LA just being LA. He’s such a big moment guy and that was a big moment shot,” he said. For his part, though, Tenorio said he was just doing his job. As he put it, “Siguro, pamatay-sunog lang talaga after their big run. Sa akin, sana nga ‘di na umabot sa ganun e.” He then continued, “Pero actually, to be honest, during the game, ‘di ako kumportable e kasi alam kong babalik sila. They did.” Yes, the Bolts did battle back, but at the same time, Tenorio was there to meet them and turn them back. And in the end, the Gin Kings swept the series up against their new-day rivals. The player who made it happen is only hoping that, unlike their previous conquests of Meralco, this is not yet the end for Ginebra. “We still have best-of-five semis na lalaruin and hopefully, we still have Finals to play. Hopefully, ang peak talaga namin is more pa,” he shared. He then continued, “Medyo nagka-climb pa kami (ngayon) ang hopefully, makuha namin in the right timing.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

PBA: Nash says Castro asked for extra rest after infamous Gilas-Boomers brawl

Jayson Castro was DNP-rest Saturday for TNT against Rain or Shine. Head coach Nash Racela says his star point guard asked for a day off to help recover from the now infamous Gilas-Boomers brawl earlier this week in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. "Well, he needed time to recover. He talked to me before the game, he was asking for some rest," Racela said. "We were able to give it to Roger [Pogoy] in a way by lessening his minutes but just give him time to recover. Hopefully, he'll be ready for next round," he added. Castro for his part, says it was perfect timing to rest and recover considering the TNT-ROS game was pretty much no bearing. The Elasto Painters were no. 1 anyway and the KaTropa were set to a best-of-3 series in the quarterfinals. "Kinausap ko lang din si coach. Ready to play ako pero since nakita ko yung situation na kaya naman and at the same time the way Rain or Shine played parang relaxed sila," Castro said. "So might as well magrest na lang ako para makapagpahinga for the playoffs," he added. After barely making the Philippine Cup playoffs, Castro likewise mentioned that there's a collective sigh of relief for TNT now after locking up the no. 3 seed. "Nananalangin pa kami na manalo yung mga ibang teams. Parang twice-to-beat yung kalaban namin. This time number three kami, which is yun naman yung gusto namin, nasa Top 4 kami," he said. "Kung sinong makalaban namin okay lang naman, parehong top team naman sa PBA yun eh. At least best-of-three, may chance kaming makabawi just in case maunahan," Castro added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

Diver dies in race to get Thai boys, coach out of flooded cave

CHIANG RAI, Thailand---A former Thai navy diver died working to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave, highlighting the risks for rescue teams trying to find a safe way to bring the group out after 13 days underground.   Dwindling oxygen levels in the cave complex and weather forecasts predicting more heavy rain added to the pressure on authorities to work out a rescue plan.   Samarn Poonan, 38, a former member of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit, died on Thursday night as he worked underwater in the cave complex, laying oxygen tanks along a potential exit route, the SEAL commander said.   "We won't let his life be in vain. We w...Keep on reading: Diver dies in race to get Thai boys, coach out of flooded cave.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

PBA: Simpson says 2018 Aces better than 2010 Fiesta Cup champs

The first time Diamon Simpson was in the PBA, he led Alaska past Ginebra, Talk 'N Text, and San Miguel to win the 2010 Fiesta Conference. Eight years later, Simpson is back to help the Aces seal the no. 2 seed in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup. The Alaska that Diamon used to know is no longer here. However, with a new batch of Aces, Simpson is confident that the 2018 version is better than the 2010 group that won a title. "This team is really talented. I would say that our team is better than when we won it a few years ago," Simpson said Friday after his first PBA game in eight years. "Talent-wise, there's a lot of players like tonight I didn't have to work as hard because a lot of players are good so that's a plus," he added. Simpson played 34 minutes and scored 18 points on top of 19 rebounds. Top local Vic Manuel led the Aces with 28 points. While Diamon acknowledges Alaska's current talent, a new title is not in his mind just yet. His focus is to have the Aces playing up to their potential as the playoffs are literally just a couple of days away. "If we win that's a plus but I think we should focus on playing hard, playing as hard as we can," he said. "There's some pretty good teams here and we are in second place, which is easier that when I was here the last time so we'll see," Simpson added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 6th, 2018

Rescuers consider ‘alternative’ routes to save Thailand’s trapped boys

CHIANG RAI — Rescuers in Thailand are trying to find alternative ways to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a cave complex for 13 days, as teams brace for heavy rain which could further delay the operation. “We are trying to find alternative techniques to reach the 13,” Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsJul 6th, 2018

FIBA: LOOK: Joint statement of SBP and Basketball Australia after Gilas-Boomers brawl

MANILA, Philippines --- In a joint statement, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Basketball Australia are continuing to apologize for the unfortunate brawl between Gilas and the Boomers on July 2 at the Philippine Arena. The brawl left 13 players ejected and has dominated the news all week. "We wish to apologize to the entire basketball community worldwide - and in particular to our fantastic fans in the Philippines and Australia - for the behavior displayed by both teams and for bringing the game of basketball into disrepute," the statement, undersigned by SBP President Al Panlilio and BA President Ned Coten, read. "We fully accep our responsibility and are collaborating in the ongoing proceedings to investigate the incidents," the statement added. While both basketball federations are doing their own investigations, FIBA is yet to come out with a final ruling. Read the full statement below. JOINT STATEMENT OF SBP & BA pic.twitter.com/VWVYe50aIz — SBP (@officialSBPinc) July 5, 2018     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

San Beda, Lyceum still title favorites for NCAA Season 94

Reigning champion San Beda and finalist Lyceum were the consensus favorites to no one's surprise ahead of NCAA Season 94, which opens on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. The Red Lions remain the heavyweights and will be gunning for their third straight title while the Pirates are coming off a historic season where they went 18-0 in the elimination round before getting swept in the finals. "I think the teams that figured in the finals before and that's San Beda and Lyceum [are the teams to beat]," said University of Perpetual Help coach Frankie Lim, who is making his NCAA comeback six years after stepping down as San Beda's coach following his involvement in a brawl that got him ...Keep on reading: San Beda, Lyceum still title favorites for NCAA Season 94.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018

FIBA: Chot takes responsibility for ugly Gilas-Boomers brawl

MANILA, Philippines --- There's a saying that when teams win, it's on the players. When teams lose, it's on the coach. And after Gilas Pilipinas figured in an ugly brawl against Australia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the incident is definitely on head coach Chot Reyes. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas-Australia match ends in ugly brawl] Reyes knows. "As a head coach ultimately, I take accountability and responsibility," Reyes said on SportsCenter Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the free for all at the Philippine Arena. Reyes also addressed the video that surfaced that showed him supposedly giving instructions to take down the Australian players by force. Chot denied such claims and downplayed the whole thing, saying the words were taken out of context. [Related: FIBA: Gilas boys starting to issue apologies for infamous brawl against Boomers] "Anyone who understands basketball, if you take offense with that statement, you don't know basketball," Reyes said. "That's number one. But number two, take a look at the statement, they're beating us on transition so foul early, don't give a layup, foul early, hit somebody, put him down so that the referees will call a foul. It's basketball, for me I'm not even bothered by all the bashers and all the negative feedback I'm getting on that. Every coach that you ask will tell you that's basketball," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

FIBA WC Qualifiers: Palace chimes in on Gilas-Boomers brouhaha: 'Height of being unsportsmanlike'

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called yesterday's free-for-all at the Philippine Arena between Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian national team as "the height of being unsportsmanlike", as the two teams figured in a brawl that led to 13 ejections. In this morning's daily briefing at Malacañan Palace, Roque said that the Palace understands the feelings of our cagers, however the ends did not justify the means, and the previous incidents that had led to the violent confrontation should not have been a reason to warrant the melee.  Despite Gilas and Australian players coming to their defense for their respective sides, Roque also clarified that the incident was 'regretful and should not have happened'. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Chot stands his ground with Gilas, basically names Kickert as trigger] "It should never have happened, that’s why it’s called sports. But at the same time we’re saying that we emphatize that they have to act as a team which will not justify their conduct. I think we would have to say it was a truly regretful incident." "And in the 52 years that I’ve spent in this existence, that’s the worst I’ve seen at least in the Philippines. We see that in other countries, but really not in the Philippines." Roque added that the game should have been stopped then and there when Daniel Kickert elbowed Roger Pogoy, in retaliation for the offensive foul on Chris Goulding, however, as seen in the replay, referees had already called the unsportsmanlike foul before all hell broke loose. The spokesperson also lamented that better officiating could have quelled tensions leading up to the fight.  Regarding the penalties to be handed out by FIBA, the world's governing body for basketball, the Palace hopes that as the true sportsmen the Philippines' players are, they should honor the decision gracefully.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Unapologetic Romeo will defend Gilas to the very bitter end

BOCAUE, BULACAN --- Terrence Romeo was defiant and unaplogetic after Gilas Pilipinas figured in an ugly brawl against Austrlia Monday at the Philippine Arena here for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. With four minutes to go in the third period and the Boomers up by 31, an incident involving RR Pogoy and Chris Goulding sparked an ugly free for fall. Gilas' benched was cleared as Pinoys started to go after the visiting Australians. When the dust settled, a total of 13 players were ejected, four on the part of the Boomers and nine from the Philippines. The game ended via default in favor of the Australians. Both teams declined to give statements and FIBA will review the situation for possible penalties but as Gilas was stuck in its locker, star guard Terrence Romeo sent a tweet out, saying that the Gilas boys were ready to defend one another. Romeo also had none of the people calling them an embarrassment. "Dun sa mga kapwa namin players na nag sasabing embarrassing kami wala kaming paki alam sa inyo," the fiery Romeo said. "Kami magka-teammate sa loob kailangan namin mag-tulungan," he added. Here's the full set of tweets. FIBA should have an official response in the coming days regarding the incident.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018