Advertisements


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

LPU, Letran outfitter opens first-ever store and showroom

A year after returning to the local market, Team Rebel Sports Pilipinas looks to strengthen its hold with the opening of its first-ever store. Back in 1998, company founder Joel Cu, who was just 21 years old back then, opened a start-up company in Santolan that focused on making sports uniforms. Twenty years later, they are back to where it all began. "We are back in Santolan. We opened our first store here a few blocks from here," recalled Cu. "This showroom is made for our kababayan nating Pilipino. We want to produce good uniforms to our fellow Filipinos. Gumagawa nga tayo ng uniform sa ibang bansa pero ngayon, we are opening ourselves back here," he added. During the 2000s, Rebel decided to shift its model to outsourcing to foreign clients. It proved to be a success as the US and Australian markets embraced the brand. But it felt empty as Cu's main goal was to give Filipinos a local brand they can be proud of. Enter Lyceum Pirates assistant coach Jeff Perlas. "We had this informal chat last year. Sabi ni Joel, 'Jeff, how can we be active in the local sports market?' I was busy in LPU nun," shared Perlas. "For me, one way of promoting a brand is through the athletes. That's the key for this. What I did was we used the players from LPU and other players na kilala natin. From there, we were able to experiment with the power of social media.  "Surprising na last year, umakyat yung sales three-fold. Yung market reacted," added Team Rebel's consultant. PBA club team Northport Batang Pier came knocking a few months later. It was the breakthrough moment they needed. "It's our entry point last year when we rigged the jersey of Globalport," Cu shared. With the local demand growing, Cu and his staff expanded the operations of its factory in Antipolo. Twenty-four hours, seven days a week with a staff of almost 200 people were needed to accomodate the orders. At present, Rebel is the outfitter, not only of Northport, but also of collegiate powerhouses Lyceum and Letran. To cap of Rebel's year, the company opened its first store, a showroom by all accounts, at 290 Santolan Road Corner 5th Street West Crame, San Juan City. And they are hoping that this would help cater to more Filipinos. "The vision for Rebel is to focus on all sports on all levels. Marami pa e. For the public schools, we want to help them out by sponsoring their varsity teams. We are also researching more on how we can give our women's athletes the right uniforms," Cu disclosed. “Hopefully, in 2019, we can offer more to our kababayan.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

With LeBron gone, Eastern Conference set for a new champion

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press The roadblock has been removed. With LeBron James gone, the path to the NBA Finals from the Eastern Conference is open again. Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto and more are hoping to win the race to it. James ruled over the East for eight years, making four straight trips to the finals from Miami and then moving back to Cleveland in 2014 and getting there every year since. From Boston to Indiana, up north in Toronto all the way down to Atlanta, teams would emerge with what they thought was a title contender only to see James send them home for the summer. Now King James has abdicated his throne and moved to Los Angeles, and there should be rejoicing in the land he left behind. “It’s a new lease on life in the Eastern Conference,” said Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Reggie Miller, who faced a similar situation when he played in the East during the era of Michael Jordan’s Bulls. “It’s great that LeBron has taken his talents out West because it opens up the doors for not only a lot of these young players, but these organizations now. Fresh blood, something new to kind of see who can compete for that Eastern crown.” The Celtics nearly won it last year, falling to the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. They were without the injured Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, and now that the two stars are healthy and have rejoined Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and the rest of a deep team that made a valiant run without them, Boston is probably the favorite in the East. But there’s intrigue beyond that, which rarely existed during James’ reign. Philadelphia finished strong in its first season with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons playing together, and now might get a full one with 2017 No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz joining them after his shoulder problems last season. Toronto shook up a 59-win team by firing coach Dwane Casey and shipping DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio in the trade for Kawhi Leonard, and Indiana bolstered a team that took Cleveland to seven games in the first round. Any of them have a chance to get to the place that James wouldn’t let them. “An appearance in the finals is going to be sweet,” Embiid said. A look at the East, in predicted order of finish: PLAYOFF BOUND 1. Boston — Depth of talent is not only tops in the East, but comes closest in the NBA to rivaling Golden State’s. 2. Philadelphia — If either Simmons or Fultz develops a jump shot to open things up more for Embiid, look out. 3. Indiana — Victor Oladipo has emerged as an All-Star and the Pacers are balanced behind him. 4. Toronto — If Leonard is fully healthy and motivated, Raptors added a top-five player to a 59-win team. 5. Milwaukee — Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to make the Bucks fun to watch in their new arena. 6. Washington — John Wall and Bradley Beal will give the Wizards plenty on the perimeter, but they need Dwight Howard provide a boost on the interior. 7. Miami — Heat won’t want to send Dwyane Wade into retirement without one final playoff appearance. 8. Detroit — A full season with Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin together should be enough to get the Pistons back into the postseason. ___ IN THE MIX 9. Cleveland — Kevin Love and the remainder of the Cavaliers that James left behind should still be good enough to fight for a spot in the top eight. 10. Charlotte — The Hornets will host an All-Star Game in February. They’ll try to host playoff games in April. ___ FACING LONG ODDS 11. Orlando — Steve Clifford is the latest coach to try to mix a collection of young players into one that can defend enough to be a decent team. 12. Brooklyn — Nets made a seven-win improvement last season even while being dismal at defending and rebounding. Do either better and they can take another leap. 13. New York — Kristaps Porzingis remains out indefinitely while rehabbing a torn ACL, so new coach David Fizdale will give rookie Kevin Knox an early green light. 14. Atlanta — Trae Young may be exciting to watch, but he won’t be able to stop another long season of losing in Atlanta. 15. Chicago — The Bulls of Tom Thibodeau were veterans who always defended hard. The Bulls of Fred Hoiberg have been none of the above. ___ WHAT TO KNOW CANADA’S CHANCE: The Raptors gambled on acquiring Leonard from San Antonio, and now Toronto has a year to show him it’s worth sticking around when he becomes a free agent next summer. BEST MAN: A popular question after James left was who is the best player now in the East? Irving, Embiid, Antetokounmpo and Leonard are among those who can make compelling cases. HOWARD’S HEALTH: Dwight Howard has sat out his first preseason with the Wizards because of a balky back, the kind of injury that can sometimes linger, and Washington needs a presence in the middle no matter how good its backcourt is. OPENING NIGHT PREVIEW? Cleveland and Boston met in the opening game in the East last season and ended up squaring off in the conference finals. This time, it’s Boston and Philadelphia to open things in the East and they’ll be good candidates to close them......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2018

PBA: Asian Games break not a factor in loss, says Rain or Shine s Caloy Garcia

Two games into the 2018 PBA Governor's Cup, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters find themselves 0-2 in their first two games after a 92-76 loss to the Magnolia Hotshots, Wednesday evening at the Araneta Coliseum.  While all the other teams in the league already found their groove with at least four games each, the Elasto Painters had an extended break that carried over until after the Asian Games, with six of their players being called up to represent the Philippines in the month-long Asian tournament.  The ElastoPainters made their debut last Sunday with a loss to Talk N' Text.  While it would be easy to say that the Asian Games could be a reason for Rain or Shine's rocky start, head coach Caloy Garcia doesn't see it that way.  "Wala," Garcia replied when asked if there was an Asian Games hangover of sorts, "Like I said, after the Talk N’ Text game, I feel that we played well against Talk N’ Text despite the loss."  Garcia continued by saying that this was a very different team that challenged the KaTropa.  "But in today’s game, it’s a totally different team, hindi ganun ang laro namin, even in practice, I think our preparation was good, but I think we just have to learn how to play against the pressure ng defense ng kalaban because we couldn’t excute anything today. [Magnolia] did a good job. They did the better job on defense." "We just have to find ways to win." he added.  In fact, Garcia stands by the belief that his six Asiad representatives should even be stepping up more, given the fact that they saw action against some of the best basketball squads in Asia.  "Dapat nga pagbalik nila galing Asian Games, they should be performing better, better than how they’re playing right now." Looking forward, Garcia relishes the fact they they'll be having a free day on Friday to be able to fine tune the things that need to be addressed in practice.  The next assignment for Rain or Shine will be against Alaska, and Garcia knows that they'll be in for another tough night.  "It’s good that we don’t have a game on Friday, at least we have more time prepare, especially since we play against Alaska," he explained, "and we know that Alaska will pressure us the same way that Magnolia pressured us today. I think we just have to prepare for that." The rest of the season doesn't get any easier for Garcia and the ElastoPainters, but Garcia maintains that all they need to do is focusing on what they need to do to get the win.  "Okay lang ‘yun. Makakalaban mo din sila sooner or later so, I think it’s just about us coming into the game and focusing ourselves on what we have to do to win.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2018

PBA: ROS on Asian Games: 'With Yeng, miracles can happen'

To say that Rain or Shine will be rushed in its preparation for the 2018 Asian Games would be a major understatement. As it stands, the only sure thing going on right now is that the Philippine team's core will be made up of the Elasto Painters and Yeng Guiao will handle the team. The rest of the lineup however, will depend on a lot of things. "There's seven ROS members, and then yun nga yung tatlong cadets. We're throwing as many names as we can including some big men from NLEX," SBP President Al Panlilio said on the Asian Games lineup. "I spoke to coach Yeng, he's thinking of including Asi [Taulava] just to help out in guarding the some big guys from the other teams. We also gave feedback to coach Yeng, he's finalizing as of the moment, we're rushing him to really come up with a lineup already," he added. With an incomplete lineup and limited preparation, expectations are naturally limited for Rain or Shine. "We were very candid, baka kulelat tayo diyan," ROS Governor Atty. Mert Mondragon said. However, the Elasto Painters will fight. And stranger things have happened in basketball. With a ROS reunion in place, there's still confidence that the team will deliver in Indonesia. "But with Yeng, miracles can happen," Atty. Mondragon said. "Coach Yeng and ROS proved naman na they can be very competitive. Obviously this is the international stage. We're hoping for the best, for sure they will play hard," Panlilio added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

PBA: Coach Caloy Garcia happy with Rain or Shine’s heart in loss to Ginebra

Had just one or two of Rain or Shine’s shots dropped in the final few moments of Monday’s 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals Game 4 against Ginebra, we could easily be getting ready for a do-or-die Game 5 on Wednesday. Unfortunately for the Elasto Painters, running it back with Ginebra won’t be in the cards, as they ultimately came up short, 96-94 in Game 4. And while it was a painful end to what was a great conference for Rain or Shine, head coach Caloy Garcia sees nothing to be ashamed of in the conference-ending loss. “It’s a good game for us. Ginebra deserves it. They were able to execute in the end and we missed open three point shots. And yun, LA hit a big three points to get back the lead.” Garcia told the media after the game. “The nice thing about this was our players played their hearts out today. They don’t want  to lose but its’ part of the game and sometimes losing can you make better.” After being down by as much as 14 points, the Elasto Painters came back in the second half end even led by two with less than three minutes to go in the game. Again, had just one or two of those missed shots fallen, the Rain or Shine would still be in the running. And for Garcia, keeping it close against a powerhouse team like Ginebra late is a testament to what the Elasto Painters can do. “It speaks about our character. It’s hard to play Ginebra in a series but it’s also a good learning point of our team. It is always good to play against them because you get to learn a lot of things. Like I said, they got the best tactician right now in Coach Tim [Cone]. We gave them a battle and we were able to at least make our fans proud, and even the management happy.” “We just have to learn how to get over that hump.” Garcia added. Now, as with the six other teams that have fallen short in the playoffs, Garcia and the Elasto Painters set their sights on the upcoming Governor’s Cup, and Coach hopes that his team can sustain their spectacular play, the same play that led them to the top seed after the elimination round. “Wag lang sila mawala sa kundisyon. We performed well. Nobody felt that our team was capable of ending the elimination as number one. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s more of a lesson to be learned. The nice thing in the dugout is we’re happy. We’re happy on how we performed. We just have to get better.” Garcia said.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 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

PBA DRAFT: No pressure for Jackson despite top-5 pick

Trevis Jackson can't wait to get his PBA chance. The scoring guard from Sacramento was taken 5th overall in Sunday's 2018 PBA Draft and Jackson is expected to fight for his slot in a crowded Meralco backcourt filled with other playmaking and scoring guards. Still, Jackson says he's ready, ready to learn and ready to fit in. "First of all, I wanna learn from them, learn the little tricks of the game," Jackson says as he teams up with the likes of Chris Newsome and Baser Amer in Meralco.  "I'll take everything that I can and be ready to play the game I've played my whole life," he added. Landing with the Bolts is also promising for Jackson, saying his workout with the the team before the Draft went pretty well. He's ready to pick up where he left off now that he's part of the team. "I'm ecstatic, I'm so happy. I loved my workout with them and just the atmosphere at that gym, it made me excited to play basketball," he said. "I'm so happy to go there and get ready to work," Jackson added. As a top-5 selection, Jackson says he feels no extra pressure. "No pressure, I just play the game I've loved since day 1, that's the only way I see it. I don't feel pressure, this is what I wanted to do and this is what I've chosen to do and I'm gonna keep going," Jackson said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News13 hr. 3 min. ago

Suns beat Wolves for first 2-game win streak of season

By Bob Baum, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker returned from a six-game absence to score 28 points and Phoenix beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-99 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time), giving the Suns a two-game winning streak for the first time in almost a year. Deandre Ayton had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, including 10 points and five boards in the fourth quarter, when Phoenix pulled away. T.J. Warren added 21 points for Phoenix. The Suns, coming off a victory over Dallas on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), last won two in a row on Dec. 26-29, 2017. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 for the Timberwolves but only seven in the second half. Derrick Rose added 25 for Minnesota, which finished 0-4 on a western road trip and is 2-12 on the road this season. The Suns played without Trevor Ariza after agreeing to trade him to Washington for Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced by either team. Neither team led by more than six points in a tight first half that ended with Minnesota up 58-56. Booker, who had been out with a strained hamstring, scored the first four in a 6-0 spurt that gave the Suns an 85-77 lead with 1:20 left in the third quarter. Josh Jackson's dunk capped the spurt on a fast break after Mikal Bridges' block of Andrew Wiggins' shot. Dario Saric sank a triple and Wiggins hit a 19-footer to cut the Suns' lead to 85-82 entering the final period. After Rose's basket to start the fourth quarter cut it to 85-84, Phoenix scored 11 straight, including Ayton's three-point play, to lead 96-84 on Warren's bank shot with 6:59 left. Rose scored five straight to make it a seven-point game but Ayton and Warren each scored inside and Minnesota never threatened seriously again. TRADE IN PROGRESS While the Suns wouldn't confirm the trade, Ariza was officially "not with the team." The deal is expected to be finalized on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), when the Suns are in New York to face the Knicks. TIP-INS Timberwolves: Taj Gibson was out for personal reasons. He had started every game this season. ... Minnesota is 0-11 on the road against Western Conference teams. ... Minnesota's only road wins are at Brooklyn and at Cleveland. ... Minnesota was 2-of-12 on three-pointers in the first half and finished 7-of-35. Suns: Phoenix's victory over Dallas on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) was its first of the season without Booker. ... Booker made seven of his first eight shots and finished 10-of-16. He had seven assists and seven rebounds. ... Jackson missed his first seven shots and finished 2-of-10 from the field UP NEXT Timberwolves: Host Sacramento on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). Suns: At New York on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2018

Westbrook, Murray tussle as Nuggets beat Thunder 109-98

By Dennis Georgatos, Associated Press DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 24 points, Jamal Murray had 19 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-98 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) after Murray and Russell Westbrook had a heated exchange. Westbrook and Murray pushed each other and argued after lining up next to each other for a jump ball in the final seconds. Jokic tried to get between them, and Westbrook threatened to beat up Jokic while being restrained. No blows were exchanged, but the final moments played out amid heightened tensions. Jokic also had 15 rebounds and nine assists, just shy of a third triple-double this season. Nick Young, signed as a free agent Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), scored six points in his Nuggets debut, including a key three-pointer in the fourth quarter. Paul George had 32 points to lead the Thunder, who lost their fourth in a row to the Nuggets. Steven Adams added 26 points, and Jerami Grant and Westbrook finished with 13 points apiece. Trailing by 10 points late in the third quarter, Oklahoma City got a layup and a three-pointer from George in the final minute to pull to within 82-76. With a 9-2 burst capped by another layup from George, Oklahoma City pulled within 99-96 with 3:20 remaining. The Nuggets scored 10 of the last 12 points down the stretch, four of them on a jumper and a pair of free throws by Murray. The teams were gathered for a jump ball with 35.7 seconds left when Westbrook, apparently upset over Murray's positioning around the circle, began pushing him. As Murray pushed back, teammates and officials quickly rushed in to separate the two, who exchanged words before the skirmish ended. The Nuggets took a 60-52 lead at halftime, boosted by Torrey Craig's perimeter shooting as he made three of his first four attempts from three-point range. Adams scored 17 of his points in the first half, helping to keep the Thunder within striking distance. TIP-INS Thunder: Andre Roberson remains sidelined by a left patellar tendon injury that has kept him out all season. Nuggets: F Paul Millsap missed a third game since suffering a right big toe fracture. ... G Gary Harris missed a fifth straight game because of a right hip injury. ... F Mason Plumlee fouled out with just over six minutes left to play. UP NEXT Thunder: Complete a back-to-back at home Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) against the Los Angeles Clippers. Nuggets: Continue a four-game homestand Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) against Toronto......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

Rivalry paused as Perez joins Bolick’s trek to pro league

Of all the times that the careers of CJ Perez and Robert Bolick intersected, there is one point that makes the Lyceum star feel like his career is irreversibly linked to that of his NCAA rival from San Beda.   "Personally, I feel like we're motivated to prove the teams who who didn't take enough risk with us [and see] what we're really made of," Perez told the Inquirer on Friday.   "We bounced around schools, right?" he added.   While Bolick spent a lot of minutes on the bench with La Salle before blossoming into a clutch leader with the Lions, Perez jumped from San Sebastian to Ateneo before finding a home with the Pirates.   It is just on...Keep on reading: Rivalry paused as Perez joins Bolick’s trek to pro league.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

Harden s 50-point triple-double leads Rockets over Lakers

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had 50 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, scoring 11 points during a big fourth-quarter run to lead the Houston Rockets to a 126-111 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Harden grabbed his 10th rebound with less than 90 seconds left to give him his second triple-double this season and the 37th of his career. LeBron James finished with 29 points for the Lakers, who had won their previous two games. Houston's lead was three after Kyle Kuzma's soaring dunk, but Harden was fouled on a three-pointer and made all three free throws to make it 112-106. Harden then made three-pointers on consecutive possessions to push the lead to 12 and cause Lakers coach Luke Walton to call a timeout. James was in Harden's face on the second one and Harden fell to the court as the ball rolled around the rim for a couple of seconds before dropping in. James added a dunk before Clint Capela and Harden made consecutive baskets to compete the 13-2 run and make it 122-108 to put the game out of reach. It was the first meeting between these teams since Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo got into a fight on Oct. 20 (Oct. 21, PHL time) that led to suspensions for both players and Brandon Ingram. There wasn't an altercation this time around in a game where Rondo sat out as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken right hand. But there was a spate of technical fouls late in the third quarter that led to the ejection of Nene. The Lakers scored six straight points, highlighted by a dunk from James, to get within 74-72 midway through the third quarter. Los Angeles ran off six in a row later in the period to tie it up before Harden ended the run with a jump shot. Nene then received a foul after being knocked to the ground trying to defend Kuzma as he drove to the lane. He yelled at officials and received a technical foul. Kuzma made his free throws but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed the technical shot. Nene made a hook shot before fouling Kuzma again on the next possession. He continued to scream at officials and was hit with a second technical foul and was ejected. Harden attempted to calm him down, but Nene continued to be agitated until he was escorted to the locker room. Kuzma made all three foul shots and added a three-pointer with Harden in his face after a triple by Harden to leave the Lakers up 88-87 with 9.9 seconds left in the quarter. Kuzma was called for a foul after that and Walton got a technical for arguing about that call. Harden made the technical shot and Paul added two more free throws to leave Houston up 90-88 after three. TIP-INS Lakers: Kuzma received a technical foul in the first quarter for arguing about a foul call. ... Brandon Ingram missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. ... Kuzma had 24 points to give him 20 or more points in a career-best six straight games. Rockets: Brandon Knight played in his first game since Feb. 15, 2017, after recovering from surgery to repair a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. He came in with about four minutes left in the first quarter and played about four minutes with one assist and one rebound. ... James Ennis sat out with a strained right hamstring. UP NEXT Lakers: Visit Charlotte on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Rockets: Visit Memphis on Saturday night  (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

Governors say ‘Play On’

Magnolia governor Rene Pardo and Alaska governor Dickie Bachmann said playing the way their teams should in executing on both ends is the priority as they part ways from a 2-2 series in Game 5 of the PBA Governors Cup best-of-seven Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

Conley leads late rally as Grizzlies defeat Portland 92-83

By Clay Bailey, Associated Press MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Conley scored 23 points and keyed a fourth-quarter outburst as the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away for a 92-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 14 points, and MarShon Brooks added 13 as the Grizzlies snapped a two-game losing streak. C.J. McCollum matched his season high with 40 points, while Damian Lillard was held to a season-low 14 points, connecting on only 4-of-18 shots. The Trail Blazers' 83 points were a season low. Portland had pulled within 79-78 on a reverse layup by Lillard with 5:27 left. But Memphis rattled off 13 straight points, including eight by Conley, stretching the lead to a game-high 14 points at 92-78, and the Grizzlies coasted home. Neither team shot particularly well, but Lillard's misfires contributed to the Trail Blazers shooting 38 percent. Memphis led 42-40 after a spirited first half that included jawing between players and coaches complaining to officials. Portland held an early 11-point lead, but a strong second quarter from Memphis that included a 17-2 rally erased the advantage. Neither team was shooting well - both at 36 percent - and that included three-point range, where the teams were a combined 6-of-27. TIP-INS Trail Blazers: Maurice Harkless did not play, sitting out the game for rest. ... Portland is in the midst of playing three games in four nights. ... McCollum missed all five of his three-pointers in Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) loss to Houston. And he missed two more before connecting from long range late in the second quarter. That was only the second three-pointer in the half for Portland. ... Lillard, the league's fourth-leading scorer, has reached double figures in every game this season. Grizzlies: Coach J.B. Bickerstaff drew a technical in the first quarter when he complained about a no-call he believed was goaltending. ... Marc Gasol started 2-of-11 from the field, and ended the game 4-of-15. ... The Grizzlies have held all but three opponents this season under their scoring average, including the Trail Blazers, who entered the game averaging 112 points a game. UP NEXT Trail Blazers: Host Toronto on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Grizzlies: Host the Miami Heat on Friday (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

Mavs extend home streak, end skid vs. Hawks in 114-107 win

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Harrison Barnes scored 25 points, Luka Doncic added 24 and the Dallas Mavericks extended their home winning streak to 11 games while ending a 10-game skid against Atlanta in a 114-107 victory over the Hawks on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). J.J. Barea had 18 points before leaving with a sprained left ankle as the Mavericks finally beat the Hawks after blowing a 26-point lead in October, when rookie Trae Young had a strong fourth quarter in his home debut to help the Hawks rally to a 111-104 win. Instead of wilting in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks took control with a 7-0 opening run for a 10-point lead and eventually went up by as many as 15 before the Hawks made it closer with an 11-1 run late. It was Dallas' first win over Atlanta since Oct. 30, 2013, and the home winning streak is the longest since a 12-game run in 2007-08. Young had 24 points and 10 assists, but the rematch reiterated the opposite directions both teams are headed after ending the first meeting at 2-2. The Mavericks are 13-9 since then and among the current playoff teams in the rough Western Conference. The Hawks have gone 4-19. Kent Bazemore scored 22 for Atlanta, and John Collins had 20 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Role players got the fourth moving for Dallas rather than Barnes and the rookie sensation Doncic, who was drafted third overall by Atlanta and traded to Dallas while the Mavericks selected Young fifth for the Hawks. Maxi Kleber opened the fourth with a dunk and scored all seven of his points in the final quarter, and Dorian Finney-Smith's free throw gave Dallas its first 10-point lead. Finney-Smith scored 11. Doncic had 10 rebounds and a team-high six assists, and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 11 rebounds. NO DIRK YET Dirk Nowitzki was inactive after being listed as questionable for the first time as the longer-than-expected recovery from left ankle surgery delays him from officially becoming the first NBA player with 21 seasons for one franchise. Coach Rick Carlisle said the designation meant the 40-year-old Nowitzki was getting closer to returning, but didn't want to discuss his status further before the game. TIP-INS Hawks: Vince Carter, Nowitzki's former teammate also in his 21st season, got a nice ovation when he entered the game in the first quarter. The 41-year-old scored his only points on a triple in the first quarter. ... Collins had nine offensive rebounds, most by a Dallas opponent this season. Mavericks: Carlisle was ejected after two quick technicals in the third quarter when he thought Barnes got fouled without a call. Assistant Stephen Silas took over. ... PG Dennis Smith Jr. missed his fourth straight game with a sprained right wrist. ... Doncic was 12-of-15 from the line as Dallas attempted a season-high 43 free throws. UP NEXT Hawks: At Boston on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Mavericks: At Phoenix on Thursday (Friday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

Bledsoe has 20 points, 12 boards as Bucks beat Cavs 108-92

By Genaro C. Armas, Associated Press MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Bledsoe had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks shot 52 percent from three-point range in the first half of a 108-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Malcolm Brogdon scored 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while Sterling Brown had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks, who rested Giannis Antetokounmpo on the second night of back-to-back games. He was ruled out about an hour before the game with neck soreness. Leading by 18 points at the half and by as much as 26 in the third quarter, the Bucks hardly needed their All-Star forward against one of the NBA's worst teams. Cleveland's Tristan Thompson had 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and added six rebounds, but left in the third quarter with a left foot injury. Jaron Blossomgame had 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Larry Nance Jr. scored a team-high 16 points. The Cavaliers did manage to cut the deficit in half, to 13, with 5:40 left and the Bucks playing mostly backups. It was close enough that coach Mike Budenholzer put most of his starters back in the game until the closing minutes. Otherwise, the game was decided in the first half, when the Bucks — one of the top three-point shooting teams in the league — hit 11-of-21 from beyond the arc. Bledsoe was 4-of-5 from three-point territory, with all his attempts before halftime. Brown came off the bench to provide a spark in the first half, hustling all over the court to grab boards and defend. His transition dunk after a turnover with 2:08 left in the second quarter gave Milwaukee a 57-36 lead. It didn't matter much when the 6'10" Thompson was in the game, anyway. The Cavs were outscored 50-40 in the paint and out-rebounded 58-46, even with the high-flying Antetokounmpo missing the game for Milwaukee. The Bucks finished 15-of-36 (42 percent) from three-point range for the night. TIP-INS Cavaliers: G Matthew Dellavedova scored 11 points in 16 minutes in making his debut in second stint with Cleveland. A fan favorite in Cleveland, Dellavedova was acquired from the Bucks on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in a three-team deal that sent George Hill to Milwaukee. He played sporadic minutes this season for the Bucks. Bucks: Hill scored two points in 13 minutes in making his Bucks debut, often matched up defensively against Dellavedova. C Jason Smith, who was acquired from the Wizards in the same deal, went scoreless in four minutes in his first game with Milwaukee. ... G Pat Connaughton was inactive. UP NEXT Cavaliers: Host the New York Knicks on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Bucks: Visit Indiana Pacers on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2018

UAAP Season 81 volleyball: Mag-La Salle na sila all the way -– Macandili on DLS-Z volleybelles

Top libero Dawn Macandili watched intensely as De La Salle-Zobel inched closer to ending a long high school girls’ volleyball title drought. When the Junior Lady Spikers nailed the last point to topple the four-year reign National University and rule the UAAP Season 81 tournament, Macandili together with the DLS-Z supporters inside the FilOil Flying V Centre on a breezy Sunday afternoon celebrated the triumph that took the Alabang-based squad six years to achieve. From her red leather seat in the courtside section, Macandili, with a big smile on her face cheered loudly for the new generation of Junior Lady Spikers.           “Sobrang nakaka-proud kasi siyempre part din ako ng alumni ng Zobel and nakita ko na gusto ring manalo ng girls and nagawa nila yun,” said Macandili after DLS-Z completed a best-of-three finals series sweep of the Bullpups with a hard-earned, 25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 16-25, 15-8, Game 2 win. Macandili together with F2 Logistics teammate Kim Kianna Dy and Ateneo de Manila University’s Jules Samonte were part of the DLS-Z squad that ruled UAAP Season 75 before the school’s five-year title drought. The defense specialist, who was named 2nd Best Libero in the 2017 Asian Women’s Senior Championship, couldn’t help but admire the Junior Lady Spikers’ composure and determination in the series.   “Sobrang nakaka-stress pala na nanonood lang instead of playing inside the court. Pero bilb na bilib ako sa kanila kasi nandoon ‘yung composure although sobrang bata pa nila. Pero iba na talaga ang level ng volleyball (sa Pilipinas) kahit sa high school pa lang,” she said. Macandili added that if given a chance she’d like to see the core of the squad play together up until college for a team known for its championship culture. “Sobrang prospects sila ng mga college teams. Ngayon pa lang ang gagaling na nila and I look forward to when they’re playing in college na… for La Salle, yes!” she said. “Ituloy na nila, mag-La Salle na sila all the way,” exclaimed Macandili, who joined the DLSU Lady Spikers together with Dy after graduating in high school. The duo helped the Lady Spikers’ complete a three-peat from Season 78 to 80.     Macandili was impressed with skills of towering Alleiah Malaluan and season MVP Angel Canino. She also saw a lot of potential with DLS-Z starting libero Lyka De Leon. “Lahat naman tayo nagi-start somewhere and I can see myself in her na nag-start na ganoon ang level pero nandoon naman yung talent niya and I can see that’s she’s gonna go far,” said Macandili.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 10th, 2018

PBA: Harris after big Alaska win: 'We just prevented a sweep'

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- Now we have a series. Despite taking a dominant 29-point win in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals Sunday, the Alaska Aces are still actually down in the series, 1-2. Alaska's 100-71 victory over the Magnolia Hotshots at the Ynares Center here only counts as one and the Aces only did enough to avoid a possible sweep. And so Alaska is not going to celebrate this game much, despite finally breaking out following back-to-back bad outings. "I think they knew we weren't gonna quit. I think this is one of those games that we needed to win, if they won this game they go into Game 4 trying to close it. Now both teams are able to refocus," Harris said of Game 3. "We haven't done anything, we just prevented a sweep. I think now we got their attention a little bit more but they have our attention as well, they're leading 2-1," he added. Harris has mirrored Alaska's performance as a whole so far in this series. The leading Best Import candidate struggled in the first two games before dominating Game 3. Harris scored 36 points in Game 3, 22 in the third period. At one point in the third quarter, Harris scored 18 straight for Alaska and the Aces pulled away for good. "I got a couple of shots to go in, very fortunate to finally hit some outside shots. Good thing my teammates, they know what I'm capable of and they just told me to keep shooting," Harris said. "Today was just one of those days," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

UAAP Finals: UP got farther because the seniors went the extra mile

Doing extra work beyond regular team practices is a common thing all athletes do - extra skills training over here, extra shooting drills over there. It is always part of the trade. But for a team with a deep-rooted losing culture like the University of the Philippines had six years ago, extra work was not normal. At one point, it was even made fun of. The losing tradition was so deep that going beyond what was required was so foreign to the players. The mindset then was, "You're going to lose anyway, why even try?" It was something that the rookies then - Diego Dario, Gelo Vito, Jarrell Lim, and Paul Desiderio - had trouble understanding. "Before, nung rookies kami, since fresh from high school, masipag kami. Kunwari after training, extra work, shooting-shooting. Pero ang problema namin, tinatago na yung bola [after practice]. Ayaw na kami pag shootingin. Hihiritan pa kami ng seniors namin, 'Oh, baka mag-PBA ka na nyan, itigil mo na yan.' Hindi namin yun ma-gets," Lim shared. "Noon, after ng final huddle, may sisigaw na diyan ng 'Mga bola!!!' So kaming mga bata, wala naman kaming choice, parang ito na, sige na nga," Vito said. But just like any rookie with big dreams, they pressed on and brushed off the jokes of their seniors.  "Nung 'dark days,' after training, wala ng tao sa court, kami na lang! Mga rookies - ako, Jarrell, Gelo. Nagsho-shooting kami, extra work kami," chipped in Dario. In addition to staying after team practices, Dario, Lim, Vito, together with a few older Fighting Maroons created a 6 a.m. workout habit. From the self-initiated morning sessions to the team practices scheduled from the afternoon to the evening, they made sure that they put some extra work in to better their games and to ultimately transform the losing mentality of their team. It all started with a bunch of rookies who were fed up with the nightmare of losing seasons and were hungry for the dream of contention. "Pinromise namin sa isa't isa na ito yung culture na papalitan namin sa UP kasi walang nag-eextra work. Bawal mag-extra work," said Vito. "Even when Coach Bo [Perasol] wasn't here [yet], our batch ni Gelo, Jarrell, all our batchmates made a decision na I think we should change the culture off the court. We should be humble, we haven't reached anything yet, we have to do the work. We made sure even with the younger ones who were coming in, we lead by example," added Dario. During the time they were rookies, UP was a bottom-feeder in the standings and the butt of jokes of other teams. They barely had any financial support and they trained in faulty facilities, but that did not stop them from trusting the process.  After one late night extra work session back in 2014, Dario's father, Edwin, said something that was a vision of the future. It was something that Dario and Vito held on to. "Andun kami sa Old Gym sa labas, may tulo tulo pa yung court," Vito said as he described the lowly state of their only basketball facility then. "Late night, Team A na kami nun, finally. This was few weeks before my dad passed away. Nung nag-eextra work kami, papa told me, 'Yung batch niyo yung magfa-Finals, yung batch niyo ang magdadala sa team sa championship,'" Dario narrated. At that point, it was a vision that sounded so preposterous. From 0-14 to the Finals? What a joke. But for some reason that could only be described by faith, these rookies believed. As Dario put it, "Sa old UP, hindi mo maririnig yung mga ganung pangarap. Pero kaming batch yung nagsimula nung, 'Oh ano, Final Four?' Pinagtatawanan na kami ng mga tao." Despite the faith, the laughs never really went away. From Season 76's 0-14, UP's record in the next years improved, but it was still far from Final Four material, let alone the Finals. UP was still one of the league's whipping boys. They still didn't make it to the Final Four and they were still inconsistent. So much so that it casted doubts on whether Dario, Vito, Lim, and Desiderio should still play their fifth and final years. Dario was mulling over sitting out Season 81 just so he can improve his game on his own. Vito, given all the bigger names entering the team, was considering retiring from playing basketball altogether. Lim was so heartbroken from Season 80's finish that he avoided touching a ball for months. Desiderio was thinking of leaving college basketball early to try getting into the PBA. But they just couldn't let go of the vision they had when they were still rookies - that their batch will reach the Finals, that their batch will change the culture of UP. Fast forward to Season 81, with the help of new recruits, support from management, and a rabid fanbase, their vision turned into reality. "After our Game 2 [versus Adamson in the semifinals], na-realize namin before 'UP Naming Mahal,' ito na yun! Ito na yung sinasabi ni papa! Magfa-Finals na tayo! It's true!" Dario narrated. "May nagtanong sa akin after the semifinals, 'Fifth year ka na, hindi ba parang masakit sayo na you're not playing in those kinds of moments na crucial?' Sabi ko sa kanya, I would never exchange this moment na pumasok kami sa Finals after 32 years for playing time. It's not about yung moment lang na yun eh. Yung process na pinagdaanan namin, para marating yun, naghirap kami nun, it was part of it," Vito added. 'Trust the process' may be one of the most overused phrases of athletes nowadays, but graduating seniors Desiderio, Vito, Lim, and Dario proved that they are the ones who truly know what it means. From being shamed for doing extra work, now, they are proudly wearing a silver medal around their necks. Coming from 0-14, who would have thought and believed? They did. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

PVL: Perlas Spikers seal third place finish

BATANGAS CITY --- BanKo banked on the veteran trio of Dzi Gervacio and middle blockers Joy Dacoron and Kathy Bersola Saturday to formally claim the bronze medal in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the Batangas City Coliseum here. Gervacio unleashed 11 attacks in her 16-point output to lead the Perlas Spikers to a cakewalk, 25-18, 26-24, 25-21, win over PetroGazz to complete a sweep of the best-of-three battle for third series. The former Ateneo de Manila University star, who had seven excellent receptions, was backed by Conference 2nd Best Blocker Bersola and Dacoron. Dacoron finished with 15 points built on eight attacks, four kill blocks and three aces for the Perlas Spikers, who duplicated their podium finish in the Reinforced Conference months back. “Deserve namin 'tong bronze gawa nga noong standing namin,” said BanKo head coach Dong Dela Cruz, whose squad finished second in the elimination round but fell short of making it in the Finals after bowing down to Ateneo-Motolite.   “Siguro, 'yung frustration namin na hindi nakapasok ng Finals, nagamit namin as motivation dito. Magandang bawi. Although very frustrating and heartbreaking 'yung nangyari sa amin nitong conference, hindi pa naman doon natatapos 'yun. May pinaglaban kaming bronze. Very proud ako sa team kasi tinalo naman lahat ng teams,” he added. The Angels, who suffered a 14-25, 26-28, 25-10, 19-25 loss in Game 1, finished its campaign at fourth spot. Cherry Nunag had 10 points, Jonah Sabete had nine while Paneng Mercado and Cai Baloaloa posted eight each for the PetroGazz.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018