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Cousins returns from injury, returns to form and delivers win

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com TORONTO — It was the moment the Warriors waited so long to see, and finally it arrived in the nick of time: The still-recovering former All-Star, out of the starting lineup for more than a minute, returning and dismissing the noise about how the team is better without him by impacting the game in multiple ways and pulling the Warriors to victory. And get this: If the Warriors are truly fortunate, Kevin Durant will recover soon and duplicate what DeMarcus Cousins just did. In the NBA Finals. If he does, it could serve a critical blow to Toronto’s chances of pulling off a late-series surprise. “We know what we’re dealing with here,” said Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. Cousins provided the help that the two-time defending champions needed Sunday (Monday, PHL time) to draw even in the series and snatch momentum with a 109-104 victory at Scotiabank Arena. He played more than anyone thought, rebounded more than anyone imagined, defended and scored more than Toronto bargained for, and gave the Warriors what they missed the last 6 1/2 weeks with him on the shelf. The 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots from Cousins didn’t fully encapsulate how much relief he brought to the Warriors. He had a galvanizing effect on a team that used an 18-0 run to start the second half to seize control of Game 3 and then used Andre Iguodala’s three-point shot to ice it. They haven’t been in one piece since April 15 (April 16, PHL time), in the first round against the Clippers, when Cousins chased a loose ball, stumbled and grabbed his left leg. The torn quad required no surgery but a lengthy rehab period, and this after Cousins went through a 10-month rehab for a torn Achilles' tendon in the spring of 2018. He was feeling beat up. Cousins attacked the process anyway, determined to return from an injury that normally would mean the end to his postseason, for the simple reason that he hadn’t been to the playoffs in his career to this point. There’s also a matter of free agency awaiting in July; a strong return could improve his bottom line. “Once they told me I have a chance, a slight chance, of being able to return, it basically was up to me and the work I put in,” he said. “So I put the work and the time in and with God’s grace I’m able to be out here and play the game I love.” Cousins was clearly out of rhythm from the layoff in Game 1, his timing rusty, his execution unsure. He played just eight minutes without scoring a basket or drawing much attention from Toronto. But Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the surprise decision to start Cousins three nights later, and that faith was repaid handsomely. Cousins was active, his confidence growing stronger by the minute -- 27 of them, actually, and he only asked to be subbed out once. “We came in thinking he can maybe play 20 minutes,” said Kerr. “He was fantastic and we needed everything he gave out there: his rebounding, his toughness, his physical presence, getting the ball in the paint, and just playing big, like he does. We needed all of that.” What the Warriors hoped was for Cousins to be the best big man on the floor. In Game 1, that honor went to Raptors center Marc Gasol, who uncharacteristically became a prime scoring option for the Raptors with 20 points, most on open jumpers. Cousins didn’t give him that amount of breathing space in Game 2, and Gasol (six points) was never a factor. Cousins' teammates offered rave reviews. Steph Curry: “Obviously you get more comfortable with more minutes and playing aggressive. He puts a lot of pressure on their defense. It’s a big lift for us. More to come.” Draymond Green: “The more he plays, the better feel he gets. He was great on both ends. It allowed us to play through him in the post. Toronto knows. They’ve got to honor that, and we know what he’s capable of doing if they don’t.” Cousins had an amusing reaction to learning he was in the starting lineup — “I was like, ‘Cool’” — and feels as though he has more to give. “When I step on the floor, I’m going to leave it out there,” he said. “I want to be on this stage. This is what I’ve worked for my entire career, to have this opportunity to play for something.” Cousins spent seven years in purgatory in Sacramento, where he racked up losses and technicals. It was a frustrating time for him; he had no faith in the franchise's leadership and it soured his attitude. His trade to the Pelicans two years ago was met with enthusiasm; he teamed with Anthony Davis to form an intimidating front line, but the Achilles’ injury cut short his time on the floor and, ultimately, in New Orleans. The team refused to offer him a contract last summer, leading him to join the Warriors at a discount. So his purpose is to salvage what’s left of the season, capture a ring for his troubles and see what it brings this summer. And then there’s the matter of Durant. The two-time Finals MVP hasn’t been cleared for full-contact practice, and the Warriors will hold only one prior to Game 3. Kerr said it’s “feasible” that Durant could play with only one practice under his belt, yet that’s not the ideal scenario. What Cousins does is buy them more time with Durant. With the series tied 1-1, and the next two games in Oakland, and Cousins apparently rounding into form, there’s a bit less urgency to see Durant on the floor. Yet it appears to be a matter of when, not if, Durant will see action in this series. And it might be at the perfect moment, with Klay Thompson suffering a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter that forced him off the court. The All-Star guard later told Kerr he’s fine and that the hamstring tightness is minor, but his status will be determined by MRI. Given what’s happened so far, the Warriors can never be too careful or take the rosy view when it comes to muscle issues. They’ve established a theme that tells the story of their 2019 postseason, and it’s not one they designed or even wanted, but it fits their existence nonetheless: “recovery” and their ability to do so on all front. It's not just injuries. Even in sweeping Portland, Golden State had to recover from deficits of 17, 18 and 17 points in the Western Conference Finals. Trailing 1-0 in these NBA Finals, they recovered from 12 down to win on the road for a 23rd straight series, an NBA record. What the Warriors reminded everyone at Scotiabank Arena, in case folks forgot, is that they’re champions and bring plenty of know-how to this series, and are fully capable of winning games by any means necessary. “It’s big respect for them,” said Kawhi Leonard. “They have been here each of the last four years, won the last two, and you’ve got to take the challenge. They’re a great team.” But the Warriors would rather put a fully-loaded and healthy squad -- one that is clearly the class of the NBA -- on the court and win with that. This NBA Finals might finally get the Warriors at full strength. If not, they still might be more than the Raptors can handle. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsJun 3rd, 2019

PBA: Shock move to Ginebra has Meralco a little disappointed in Dillinger

One of the big surprises in the PBA Friday was Brgy. Ginebra actually landing the services of now former Meralco forward Jared Dillinger. The Bolts put the injured Dillinger in their unrestricted free agent list and the Gin Kings just signed him up since he was free. However, Meralco says that the whole Dillinger situation could have been handled way better. “I was a little bit surprised because we allowed Jared to go to the States for treatment. Before the season started he came back and he said, ‘I can’t start running for at least two months’ so since we knew he couldn’t play, we had a gentleman’s agreement with him that we can put him in the unrestricted list and as soon as he’s ready to play, we’ll just place him back to the lineup again,” head coach Norman Black said. “Let some of the other guys contribute to the team. Anyway, as soon you’re ready you’re one of our main guys you’ll be back in the mix again,” he added. Coach Norman admits to being shocked by the move but he understands and is ready to move on because Dillinger was actually an unrestricted free agent. He was basically allowed to do anything he wanted anyway. “I was a little bit shocked when I heard today that he has signed with Ginebra,” Black said. “But it’s his prerogative. It’s an unrestricted free agent, he can basically do what he wants to do. It’s just our point of view and the fact the we talked to him and he did not talk to us before he actually signed with Ginebra. That’s where the disappointment comes in,” he added. Dillinger is out of action due to a recurring quad injury. The Gin Kings will be his third team in the PBA after TNT and Meralco. Dillinger was the Tropang Texters’ no. 2 pick in the 2008 Draft behind Gabe Norwood and just before Jason Castro. He was sent to Meralco in 2013 after winning five titles with TNT, including the Perpetual Championship. “It’s his choice,” coach Norman said. “We’ll move one. I’ll just develop some of my younger guys,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 31st, 2019

Pentagon urges & lsquo;collective action& rsquo; to keep sea free

Pentagon urges & lsquo;collective action& rsquo; to keep sea free.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 31st, 2019

PVL: Lady Troopers crush Water Defenders in debut

Newcomer PacificTown Army recovered from a third set meltdown and a scare in the fourth to turn back BaliPure, 25-20, 25-16, 24-26, 25-23, in its debut in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. American import Jenelle Jordan and Lena Lymareva-Flink led the Lady Troopers with 15 points each.       Lymareva-Flink, who played for PetroGazz last year, hammered 12 spikes with three aces while debuting Jordan got 10 kills, three kill blocks and a pair aces for PacificTown.   The Lady Troopers got quite a scare in the fourth set as the Water Defenders, who are making their return to the league after skipping the season-ending Open Conference last year, saved three match points to breathe down the neck of PacificTown Army, 24-23, off a Grazielle Bombita hit. But Menchie Tubiera overcooked her serve as the Lady Troopers breathed a sigh of relief.       “First two sets kotroladong-kontrolado namin but ‘yung third set ‘yung breaks of the game medyo mabigat para sa amin. Once na mag-extend ang set yun yung ano eh, Ging (Balse-Pabayo) was ano na, nauubos na in the fourth set,” said Lady Troopers mentor Kungfu Reyes. “Kailangan na naming imaxi-mize talaga na kung kaya naming tapusin ng hangang third set tatapusin na namin.”     Royse Tubino added nine markers while Jovelyn Gonzaga, who is making her return to volleyball action after recovering from a knee injury she sustained in 2017, finished with eight for PacificTown Army, which got 40 markers off BaliPure’s errors.       The Water Defenders played with just one import after Danijela Dzakovic of Montenegro was unavailable due to some clearance issues.     BaliPure came back from a 21-23 deficit in the third set with a three-point swing to take the set point advantage after a Tubino attack error. Jordan tied the frame with a quick attack but the import gave the set point advantage to the Water Defenders after putting too much power on her serve. Gonzaga yielded the frame after sending her crosscourt attack wide.    Slovakian Alexandra Vajdova fired 20 points off 18 spikes, a kill block and an ace with 11 excellent receptions for BaliPure. Grazielle Bombita finished with 18 markers off 14 kills and four aces for the Water Defenders.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Ilalaban ko na ‘to -- Laure on playing in pain

Rookie Eya Laure showed great heart and dedication to help University of Sto. Tomas’ cause, playing through pain in three sets for a heroic outing on Sunday that helped the Tigresses break an eight-year Finals drought. The freshman highlighted her career-game with an inspiring outing to rally the Tigresses to a dramatic 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, win over dethroned three-time champion De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four at the MOA Arena. Laure, who scored a personal-best 25 points including 21 from attacks, hurt her left knee early in the third set after a bad landing following an attack. She was called for a net touch in the said play and was obviously in pain, dragging her left leg and played with diminished explosiveness.             The Lady Spikers took advantage of UST’s struggles in the next two sets to force a decider. With the chance of advancing to the Finals – their first of two tries as the no. 2 seed in the Final Four – hanging in the balance, the top Rookie of the Year candidate ignored the pain and played her heart out.   “’Yun lang naman ang sinabi ni coach (Kungfu Reyes) eh, ‘Mamaya mo na yan iinda laruin mo muna kung kaya mong laruin,’” said Laure. “Sabi ko sa kanya mamaya ka na umaray,” added Reyes during the postgame interview. Reyes said that he tried to sub out Laure in the third frame but the rookie insisted to remain inside the court and fight alongside the Tigresses.    “Sabi ni coach, ‘Mamaya mo na iaray kung nasa dugout ka na. Ngayon kung kaya mong ilaban…’ Paulit-ulit niya akong tinatanong noon kung ‘kaya mo pa ba?’” continued Laure. “Sa loob-loob ko nandito na ako eh, aalis pa ba ako? Malay mo kailangan din ako ng mga teammates ko. Papaano kung be-babyhin ko itong nararamdaman ko, ano ang parang naitulong ko sa kanila?” Laure will not just sit on the bench, she wanted to be in the thick of the action, even in pain. “’Dun na lang ako sa side na ilaban ko na ‘to kaysa naman na lumaban sila, na nakikita ko sila na sila lang ang lumalaban. Siyempre, gusto ko na nakikita ko sila na kasama ako na lumalaban para sa UST, na kasama sila,” she said. Laure, with all the remaining strength in her in an exhausting match that went the full distance, delivered one of her most memorable shining moments. The young gun scored five points in the fifth set and fueled the Tigresses to one last push when DLSU closed in at 11-10. Setter Alina Bicar scored back-to-back points before Laure asked the veteran setter for the ball.    “Hiningi ko na kay Ate Alina ‘yun,” she recalled. “Kasi may instructions sa akin si coach nun na, ‘Paluin mo pero sa dalawang direksyon lang kung down the line o crosscourt.’ So alin dun eh nakikita ko na nu’ng nagbaligtad na ng place ng court, natsi-check na ako sa crosscourt kaya tinry ko na down the line. Kaya puro down the line.” Laure hammered the match point before ending her magical night with the championship berth-clinching down the line hit.      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2019

Bucks respond, play their game in Game 2 win over Celtics

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MILWAUKEE – The Stonecutter’s Credo is best known around the NBA as the philosophy and culture of the San Antonio Spurs. The shorthand version – “pounding the rock” – has been embraced as the organization’s mantra across 23 seasons under coach Gregg Popovich. The Spurs hold no monopoly, though, on that faith in hammering away a hundred times without results in order, finally, to split open the rock on blow No. 101. It has been in play in both games so far of the Milwaukee-Boston Eastern Conference semifinal series at Fiserv Forum. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] In the opener, the Bucks were relieved to still be within a possession at halftime after bringing none of their usual energy or intensity. Then the Celtics struck their pivotal blow, splitting the stone when they dominated the third quarter 36-21. This time, in Game 2 Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) at Fiserv Forum, the roles were reversed. Milwaukee dialed up everything, threw in a couple of adjustments and still couldn’t get much separation from Boston. Then wham! Again it happened in the third quarter, the Bucks delivering the blow this time, 39-18. One moment, Milwaukee was up 74-71. The next, 98-73. By the end it was 123-102, the best-of-seven series even at 1-1. Games 3 and 4 will be in Boston Friday and Monday (Saturday and next Tuesday, PHL time). Fans watch scoreboards, the equivalent of counting each team’s whacks at the rock. Coaches watch everything else, which is why both Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer and Boston’s Brad Stevens felt Game 2 was won well before it broke open or officially was decided. Stevens wasn’t fooled by the points. He saw how both teams were getting or denying them, and that was enough. “I thought they dominated a lot in the first half and we were lucky to be down by four,” he said. “They owned their space on both ends of the court better than we did. Our reaction to that was to settle on offense, and it led to some run outs. Then it just steamrolled us.” Budenholzer had the all-full perspective. “That’s more what we’re accustomed to seeing," he said. “I liked our spirit, our activity and our competitiveness up and down the roster.” Those things had been absent, or at least in short supply, when Milwaukee lost its homecourt edge in the series on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). That’s why this one turned must-win so swiftly for the East’s No. 1 seed. Mathematically, the Bucks had wiggle room, but going to Boston down 0-2 raised the very real specter of not getting back to Fiserv at all. The Bucks players claimed not to let that bad mojo in, focusing only on the frustration they felt in starting the series with such a clunker. True or not, they fixed what needed fixing. Giannis Antetokounmpo, especially early, tried less often to bust through a wall of Boston defenders. Instead, he gave up the ball to wing Khris Middleton or let guard Eric Bledsoe probe the defense in a more aggressive performance. Antetokounmpo’s teammates did their part in the symbiotic relationship by taking and making the good perimeter looks he earned them by drawing so much defensive attention. With so many dropping – the Bucks were 20-of-47 on three-pointers, outscoring Boston by 30 in that category – there invariably was more space for Antetokounmpo to work. The Greek Freak scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and shot more free throws (18) than the Celtics’ starting lineup combined (11). He wasn’t likely to get the scolding from his older brother Thanasis that he’d gotten in after the first game. Middleton was the one who served notice to the Celtics that their jobs would be tougher, scoring 20 of his 28 points by halftime. Seven of the three-pointers were his, on 10 tries. “We need to get better with that,” Boston’s Al Horford said. Bledsoe forced action and got the better of his matchup with the Celtics’ Kyrie Irving, who, in 48 hours, went from a game worth bronzing to one in need of forgetting. Irving, arguably the NBA’s top shot maestro, scored nine points on 4-of-18 shooting and shouldered a lot of the responsibility after. “I tried to get to my spots but they were really sending guys over every time,” he said. “That’s a sign of respect and I just have to be more efficient in controlling the tempo of the game, the pace, where I want to get to on the floor and making reads better around that mid-range area.” Irving said that Milwaukee’s “frantic” defensive style in Game 2 revved up Boston’s offensive decisions, and not in a good way. When rushed shots missed, the Bucks pounced for run-outs. The Celtics shot 39.5 percent after their 54 percent success in the opener. Budenholzer unleashed that “frantic” defense by having his guys switch their assignments with each screen. That’s not how they played this season, but those who were around in 2017-18 did that sort of stuff under Jason Kidd. It kept the energy level high, even when a pair of Bucks occasionally ran into each other. The Bucks' other adjustment was starting Nikola Mirotic at forward in place of Sterling Brown, the sub who’d been holding injured Malcolm Brogdon’s place. Mirotic scored just nine points, finally hitting a three-pointer after it mattered, but his size was helpful defensively, Budenholzer said. Boston heads home knowing it can advance without winning another game in Milwaukee. The Bucks assured themselves of a Game 5 and have fresher, happier film to study for the weekend games. As a series, this rock feels like it’s going to take a lot more whacks. 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 NewsMay 1st, 2019

Bucks loathe to adjust gameplan after season-long success

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MILWAUKEE — Just one game removed from one of the most marvelous seasons of basketball in Milwaukee Bucks history – 60 victories in the regular season, a sweep of Detroit in the first round, the debut of a dazzling new arena – the team is loathe to let all that go and overreact to 48 minutes that didn’t go their way in Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) Game 1 loss to the Celtics. But if they underreact in Game 2 Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) at Fiserv Forum, it will be at their own peril. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Adjustments – from game-to-game, at halftime, even on the fly during live action – are as much a part of the NBA postseason as podium interviews. The reason is simple: Strategic mistakes, small failings and tendencies you can get away with facing teams randomly across a six-month canvas are sniffed out and exploited by an opponent you see as many as seven times in a two-week span. You can stubbornly stick with a pat hand, but most coaches and players would rather change things up to minimize what didn’t work last time and might, if repeated, prove fatal again. The Bucks, though, sounded a little clingy Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in the wake of their 112-90 defeat. Wanting to hold on to everything that worked so well from October until, well, noon on April 28 (April 29, PHL time). “No, no. Definitely not,” forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing all year.” You might be inclined to read that quote assuming sarcasm, as in: Oh right, we’re just going to keep doing exactly what got us blown out and stripped of home-court advantage. Sure. After all, Antetokounmpo had one of his worst performances of the season (7-for-21 FGs, a minus-24 rating). But no, the Greek Freak was sincere. “I don’t think there should be no change at all,” he said. “Why should there be a change after a game that we lost, like … we should not be the team that makes the adjustments.” Antetokounmpo was not alone. “The way we’ve been playing all season has been just letting it fly,” center Brook Lopez said. “So even if we miss it 10-out-of-10 times, just keep [shooting].” The Bucks made 13 of their 39 three-point shots Sunday (Monday, PHL time), well off their regular-season rate of 38.2 percent. Lopez was 1-for-4 on three's and 1-for-5 overall, combining with fellow Bucks starters Sterling Brown and Eric Bledsoe to shoot 3-for-17 from the floor. Said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer: “I think adjustments and all those things are sometimes overrated.” So unless the Bucks are trying to snooker the Celtics with some tweaks they weren’t willing to share, we’ll get to see how that pat hand plays out. Milwaukee did get serious mileage out of its formulas prior to Game 1. Offensively, they’ve surrounded Antetokounmpo with potent three-point shooters, relying on his drives into the lane to draw defenders and offer them unobstructed views from the arc. Defensively, they committed to defending the other guys’ three-pointers, protecting the rim and keeping foes off the foul line. What did that leave? Contested two-pointers and mid-range jumpers – so ugly and out-of-style in the NBA of 2019. It all worked tremendously – until the Celtics shot 15-of-27 on mid-range attempts in their rout. Suddenly, the Bucks’ sagging defense against pick-and-rolls looked as gimmicky and ineffective as that tactic deployed late this season of guarding Houston scorer James Harden from behind. Once the prolific Rockets scorer got over his shock at the unusual method, he was able to pick it apart. Ditto for the Celtics' shooters. Kyrie Irving is one of the most dangerous scorers from any place on the floor but particularly inventing ways to put the ball in the hoop in the mid-range. Celtics veteran Al Horford savored his looks inside the arc, as did Gordon Hayward. The Bucks, meanwhile, were 5-of-12 from mid-range. They try to avoid those shots for the same reasons they encourage opponents to take them. Never mind that the same dynamic was in play in the Houston-Golden State opener later in the day: the Rockets took only four mid-range shots, were 14-of-47 on three's and lost, because the Warriors were 10-of-23 on mid-range attempts and 31-of-53 on two-pointers overall. There is one area in which the Bucks believe they can adjust without, y’know, adjusting. They can play harder. A pervasive lack of hustle and urgency was apparent in real time at Fiserv but was undeniable when Budenholzer and his staff went to “the truth machine” before practice Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). That would be the video the Bucks reviewed before Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) workout. “He chewed us out. And like I say, ‘Film don’t lie,’” Bledsoe said. “It was effort, man. We weren’t playing our game.” Antetokounmpo said he got scolded on that front in a postgame phone call from his older brother Thanasis. “No. 1, I play for my family,” he said. “So when he’s like, ‘C’mon man. Giannis! You’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. You’ve got to still be aggressive. You’ve got to make the right pass,’ it stabs you in your heart. But at the end of the day, I know it’s the truth.” The Bucks appeared a step slow on both ends. It showed when they went after loose balls or closed out on Celtics shooters. And it showed when lollygagging, relatively, in getting to their spots on offense. Boston already was sending extra defenders at Antetokounmpo, and the Bucks not being crisp in their execution never made them pay. “We weren’t as quick in transition,” Lopez said. “Our pace wasn’t great … We can be better at getting it out. Everyone running the floor, finding their spots. Keeping the spacing wide.” It should be noted the Bucks only lost two games in a row one time all season (March 2-4 against the Jazz and Suns). They’re proud of that resiliency. Of course, in the regular season, they only played the same opponent in consecutive games one time (New York, Dec. 26-28, PHL time). The Bucks never had to react after losses to specific things the other guys did. They merely had to be themselves, only better. “Even though we lost the first game, we’re just gonna come out and play our hardest and see how Game 2 goes,” Antetokounmpo said. “If it doesn’t go well for us, then you can think about adjusting. But right now, we’re not adjusting nothing.” Fine. But unless someone rattles Boston out of its comfort zone in the mid-range, Milwaukee’s adherence to its style of play could contribute to its undoing. 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 NewsApr 30th, 2019

Lazaro, Gumabao to star in a new team

A week after Michele Gumabao left Pocari Sweat, the former De La Salle star is set to banner a team that is expected to break the barrier between two of local volleyball’s most heated rivalry. Gumabao will team up with former Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagle star libero Denden Lazaro as the main stars of new team United VC that will see action in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference. Though sponsorship of the squad is yet to be ironed out, team manager Joshua Ylaya said that the team will definitely play in the tournament.        Gumabao left the V-League two-time champion Lady Warriors after some issues with the management last week while Lazaro last played for BaliPure in the same league.  For the longest time Gumabao and Lazaro has been on rivals starting from their UAAP days. Gumabao won three straight UAAP titles from Season 73 to 75 while Lazaro got two UAAP crowns from Season 76 to 77. The two faced each other in two UAAP Finals series with Gumabao winning both.   “The main reason why we called the team ‘united’ is because we wanted to show that we can play together despite our differences in the past,” said Ylaya, who represented the team in the league’s team owners’ meeting Tuesday. “At the end of the day, it’s just one sport and we can play competitively together.” Angeli Tabaquero, an Adamson co-assistant coach of Gumabao, former DLSU player Wensh Tiu and another ex-Pocari Sweat volleybelle Erika Alkuino are all expected to join the squad while there are reports that Mae Tajima and setter Jem Ferrer will also suit up for the team.           --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

Valdez assures LVPI she will attend national team tryouts

Former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez promised to join the tryouts set by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc, for the national women’s team that will see action in the 29th Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games on August 19 to 31. LVPI vice president Peter Cayco said that Valdez told him Saturday that the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player will undergo the selection process just like other national squad aspirants. The Manila tryout is on January 28, 29 and 31 with legs in Cebu and Davao set next month. Each aspirant must complete the three-day tryout. The names of the players that will make the 20-woman pool will be announced on the last week of February. Valdez, a two-time UAAP champion who bannered the PHI team in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, assured LVPI in a meeting with Cayco in the sports association’s office at Arellano-Taft before she flew to Thailand Sunday to join 3BB Nakornnont in the Thai League, that she will return home during the break to join any of the three tryouts. “Nakapag-usap kami noong Saturday ang sabi niya sa akin uuwi siya para sa tryouts,” Cayco said Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Rizal Memorial Complex Media Center. Valdez will debut in the Thai League on January 29 making her unavailable for the Manila leg. She is expected to show up either in the Cebu or Davao leg.       National team head coach Francis Vicente, who discovered and molded Valdez into a star during her high school days as a University of Sto. Tomas player, pointed out that though Valdez is a cut above the rest with her volleyball skills, leadership and fan base she will still go under the scrutiny of the selection committee. “Alam naman natin na Alyssa Valdez is angat, sikat and sa akin din galing yan pero ayaw ko na kukunin ko na siya na, ‘O halika na rito wag ka na mag-tryout.’ Unfair naman ‘yun sa iba,” said Vicente. “Unfair naman yun kina Myla Pablo kina Grethcel Soltones e magaling din naman sila. Ayokong mabansagan na may kinikilingan. If she really wants to play in the national team kailangan niyang pumunta sa tryouts, no special treatment.”                             LVPI president Joey Romasanta commended the gesture of Valdez, who served as the country’s flag-bearer during the last SEA Games, saying that her willingness to join the tryouts during her break in the Thai League.          “’Yung sinabi ni Alyssa na uuwi siya rito to join the tryout for the national team is very commendable and a manifestation of her being a true athlete and her sincerest desire to serve the country via the national team,” said Roamsanta. “Ako, we are very hopeful that during the breaks in her (Thai League) schedule she will be able to join any of those tryouts.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles             .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

Sunday is funday with ‘People vs. The Stars’

Beginning tomorrow, GMA Network gives its loyal viewers another one-of-a-kind entertainment. Its a comedy game show entitled People vs. The Stars......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Lady Pirates set sight on at least a semis berth playoff

strong>Games Friday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- EAC vs. MIT (m) 10:00 a.m. --- EAC vs. MIT (w) 11:30 a.m. --- LPU vs. Perpetual (w) 1:00 p.m. --- LPU vs Perpetual (m) 2:30 p.m. --- LPU vs Perpetual (jrs)   With unbeaten San Sebastian College clinching the first Final Four seat, Lyceum of the Philippines University attempts to draw closer to one of the remaining three berths Friday in a showdown with the desperate Perpetual Help Lady Altas in the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball competition. Riding the crest of a three-game winning run, the Lady Pirates face the Lady Altas in the scheduled 11:30 a.m. clash to secure at least a playoff for a semis spot at The Arena in San Juan. Coming off a straight-set, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20, demolition of listless Emilio Aguinaldo College last week, the Intramuros-based squad parades a 5-1 win-loss slate and is on the right track for its bid to advance in the next round for the first time since 2011. LPU is on a high with its winning streak sparked by a huge upset of College of St. Benilde and head coach Emil Lontoc is confident the Lady Pirates can take one against Perpetual. “Sa tingin ko kaya naming silang tapatan gaya nu’ng laro namin sa Benilde kasi halos pareho ang laro ng dalawang ‘yan eh,” he said. “Kapag gumanda ang receive namin, gumanda ang atake lalaban kami sa kanila. Saka ang Perpetual hindi na rin ganoon (kaganda) ang laro.” But the Lady Altas will surely show a different form after sliding to 3-3 slate. The Las Pinas-based squad suffered a 22-25, 13-25, 13-25, beating at the hands of SSC-R last Wednesday, putting Perpetual in a dangerous spot of missing the cut for a Final Four seat. Another loss will eliminate Perpetual from the semis race. In the non-bearing game, tied at 0-7 slates EAC and Mapua collide to barge in the win column in their scheduled 10:00 a.m. match. Meanwhile, the Generals (0-7) faceoff with the Cardinals (4-3) at 8:30 a.m. while LPU (3-3) meets Perpetual (4-1) in the 1:00 p.m. match in the men’s division. The lone juniors play is between unbeaten LPU (4-0) and defending champion Perpetual (4-0) at 2:30 p.m.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Romcom director tries horror in ‘Ilawod’

Dan Villegas who made a name directing romcoms (romantic comedy films) dips his fingers into the gothic genre. He is directing (Quantum Films) the horror flick Ilawod, which  assembles a cast that he thinks can spark fear and terror among the audience......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

Hopefully may way -- Valdez on joining SEA Games national team

Former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez hopes to get a compromise when Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. conducts its tryouts for the national women’s team that will see action in the 29th Southeast Asian Games. Valdez, who was a part of the PHI Team that participated in the 2015 edition of the biennial meet in Singapore, will be away for four months to play in Thailand and will not be available if the appointed head coach conducts the tryouts within the first quarter of the year. Valdez will fly to Thailand on January 15 to join 3BB Nakornnont and play in the Thai League and Thai-Denmark Super League. LVPI is set to name the national team mentor this week. The sports association is looking to form a 16-woman pool that will train as early as possible for the August 19 to 31 meet. “Ako I think as an athlete as a Filipino athlete, ‘yun din naman ang ultimate goal mo (to be a part of the national team) aside from your dreams na makapaglaro internationally,” who also played for the Nationals that participated in the Asian U-23 Women’s Volleyball Championship held in Pasig two years ago. LVPI acting president Peter Cayco earlier said that this SEA Games team will be a mix of six veterans, six young bloods and four reserves as the country guns for a medal after its last podium finish back in the 2005 Manila edition when the Pinay volleybelles snatched a bronze medal.     He also added that LVPI wants to pick players that are willing to give their full commitment to the squad. With Valdez set to play in Thailand, the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player is looking for a way to get a nod for another tour of duty. “But if 'yung mga circumstances hindi ko rin kayang (bigyan ng time) kasi siyempre may responsibilities ka din. Kasi di ba magi-start na sila ng training? And I’m away din so ayun hopefully magawan din ng paraan,” said the two-time UAAP champion. “I think in both parties naman like Thailand wouldn’t hinder me naman (to play for the national team) for sure kung sa country naman maiintindihan nila ‘yun. Hopefully may way din (na makasali ako sa national team).” The 23-year-old hitter showcased her skills and talents during the country’s first participation in the SEA Games since 2005 and was chosen as the country’s flag-bearer marching aplomb ahead of the 600-strong Team Philippines.   Valdez wants to get another crack of representing the country. “Ultimate dream mo is to represent the country,” she said. “I would really love to do that if given a chance.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Valdez promises to return to V-League after Thailand stint

Filipina volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez will be away for four months to play overseas but promised to still see action in the next season of the V-League. Valdez is set to leave for Thailand on January 15 to join 3BB Nakornnont for the second round of the Thai League and for the Thai-Denmark Super League which will run until the second week of April. But the former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle said that she’ll return after her stint in Thailand to play in the 14th season of the V-League.    “Yun nga din. Well I think naiintindihan din naman nila (V-League) ang schedule so I guess if aabot or may team din na willing tanggapin ako kahit may mga ganoong circumstances OK naman ‘yun sa akin. Pero then again if wala naman Ok lang din sa akin,” said the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player. The V-League will open in March with the staging of the Reinforced Conference. If a V-League team taps Valdez, the open hitter won’t be available until midway in the conference. “Basta no matter what kung aabot ako o hindi ako aabot. Kung may willing magpalaro sa akin, basta kung kaya lalaro naman talaga ako here,” added the 23-year-old two-time UAAP champion. Valdez last played for Bureau of Customs in the V-League Reinforced Conference, leading the young team to a runner-up finish after absorbing a Finals series sweep against powerhouse Pocari Sweat in the import-laden season-ending tournament.   But the pride of San Juan, Batangas’ contract with BoC has expired after the conference and she is open to entertain other interested clubs. Valdez played for BaliPure in the Open Conference before transferring to BoC. “Wala akong (contract sa BoC) kasi di ba new season, new year na din? So I think it’s a brand new discussion and brand new (contract) na rin,” said Valdez. Valdez debuts for 3BB Nakornnont, where she will be reunited with BoC teammates Kanjana Kuthaisong and Nattanicha Jaisaen, on January 29.         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

SSC-R targets at least a semis playoff

strong>Games Wednesday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (m) 11:30 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (w) 12:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (w) 2:00 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (m) 3:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (jrs)     Unbeaten San Sebastian College goes for at least a playoff for a semifinals spot on Wednesday when the Lady Stags return to action in the 92 sund /su NCAA women’s volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan. Carrying an immaculate 6-0 win-loss record, SSC-R looks to remain on top of the standings and plant a foot to the next round when it takes on a dangerous Perpetual Help side in the scheduled 12:30 p.m. clash. Behind reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player winner Grethcel Soltones, who is averaging 16.16 points per game, the Lady Stags won its first six games including a straight sets victory over the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals last December 6 before the long holiday break. SSC-R is just three wins away from sweeping the elimination round that will propel them straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. In this scenario, the top three teams after the elims will play in a stepladder semis format with the no. 2 team enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage.    But Lady Stags head coach Roger Gorayeb is concerned with the mentality of his team heading into the crucial stretch of the elims with Perpetual, Lyceum of the Philippines and defending champion College of St. Benilde standing in their way.    “’Yung kasing kilos nila kung oobserbahan ko ngayon, ‘yang kilos nilang ‘yan hindi yan pang-straight (elims sweep) na panalo,” said Gorayeb. “Wala, ang dami pa nilang butas.” The mentor added that facing Perpetual will serve as an acid test for his wards. “Ang iniisip ko ngayon ay yung laro ng team ko at hindi yung laro ng iba,” he said. “Masusubukan kami sa huling tatlong laro namin.” The Lady Altas after a sluggish start won three games in a row for a 3-2 slate with Lourdes Clemente, who is averaging 10.6 points per outing, leading the way. Perpetual is coming off a 29-27, 25-15, 25-21 win over Letran last December 7. Meanwhile, CSB is also gunning for a semis spot playoff against streaking Arellano University at 11:30 a.m. The Lady Blazers sit a solo second with 6-1 slate ahead of the Lady Chiefs and idle LPU, who are tied at third and fourth spots with identical 5-1 cards. In men’s play, the league-leading Blazers (6-1) and Chiefs (5-1) face off at 10:00 a.m. while the Altas (4-1) and Stags’ showdown is slate at 2:00 p.m. In the juniors play, AU (3-2) and CSB (0-4) clash in the 8:00 a.m. opener while Perpetual (3-1) and SSC-R (0-4) collide in the 3:30 p.m. match.     ---       Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Almadro, Vicente, Acaylar lead nat'l team coach list

Ateneo de Manila University coach Oliver Almadro, University of the East’s Francis Vicente and Perpetual Help tactician Sammy Acaylar lead the shortlist of mentors Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. is looking into to call the shots for the national women’s team that will see action in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. The association has in its list 23 names limited to the members of the LVPI coaches commission. LVPI acting president Peter Cayco said that they will narrow down the list to 8 to 6 coaches for interview and in a week’s time he will recommend one to the board who will take the position. Among the names in the list, Almadro and Acaylar stood out as possible national team coaches as they led their respective collegiate teams to the throne. Almadro steered the Blue Eagles to back-to-back UAAP men’s volleyball titles and was the head coach of the men’s U-23 team and Singapore Southeast Asian Games two years ago while Acaylar led Altas back on top of the NCAA in Season 91 and was part of the coaching staff of the national squad that won gold in the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore. Acaylar also coached the national team in the 2015 AVC Asian Senior Women's Championship in China.  Vicente, meanwhile, handled the national youth team in a couple of international stints last year. Macky Carino of defending NCAA women’s volleyball champion College of St. Benilde and Obet Javier of NCAA Season 90 titlist Arellano University are some of the other prominent names on the list. Other big names like multi-titled mentor Ramil de Jesus of reigning UAAP champion De La Salle and University of Sto. Tomas’ Kungfu Reyes all begged off for various reasons but are willing to offer their help and support.                 San Sebastian College and National University mentor Roger Gorayeb, who called the shots for the national team in the 2015 SEA Games, is not included in the list “Ang kailangan natin ay ‘yung may oras,” said Cayco. “Meron d’yan magagaling pero wala naman silang oras.” LVPI is also looking to tap Serbian mentor Moro Branislav, who handled the PSL-F2 Logistics Manila in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship and the Philippine Superliga back-to-back Grand Prix champion Foton, as team consultant.  The chosen head coach will be tasked to form a 16-woman pool. As part of the preparation the national team will play in the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship from August 9 to 17 before heading to Malaysia for the SEA Games from August 19 to 31.   “We have all time to prepare and that’s the best part,” Cayco said. Also included in the list are Lerma Giron, Mac Gepuela, Marcelo Joaquin, Jason Gabales, Michael Inoferio, Bryan Esquibel, Raymund Castillo, Jeremiah Barrica, Raplh Dablo, Leovimo Rivera, Michael Santos, Roberto Javier, Carl Bryan Vitus, Richard Estacio, Ruel Pascual, Leonardo Toyco, Benjamin Mape, Michael Carino, Dexter Clamor and Alvin Dumalaog. The participation of the men’s team in the SEA Games is yet to be discussed.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

Lady Chiefs defuse Lady Bombers for a share of second spot

strong>Games Thursday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- CSB vs SBC (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- CSB vs. SBC (m) 11:30 a.m. --- CSB vs SBC (w) 1:00 p.m. --- Mapua vs Letran (w) 2:30 p.m. --- Mapua vs Letran (m)   Arellano University flirted with disaster in its return to action after the holiday break before regrouping just in time to stave off the upset-conscious Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 26-28, 25-6, 25-15, 25-20, Wednesday at the resumption of the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan. The Lady Chiefs, looking to return to the throne after losing the crown last year, notched their fifth straight win in six games to move closer to clinching a semifinals spot but needed a huge bounce back in the second frame to recover from a sluggish start. Arellano moved to a three-way tie at second with Lyceum of the Philippines University and defending champion College of St. Benilde behind unbeaten San Sebastian College (6-0). Jovielyn Prado finished with 18 points with 16 coming off kills while skipper Rialen Saet and Mary Anne Esguerra got 15 and 13 markers, respectively, for the Lady Chiefs, who will take on CSB, LPU and Perpetual Help to wrap up their eliminations campaign.       “Ang target namin na kailangang manalo nangyayari. ‘Yun nga lang ang game kanina, ‘yung mga player ko masyadong in-underestimate ang kalaban which is mali naman talaga,” said Arellano coach Obet Javier. “’Yun ang no. 1 kong itata-tackle sa kanila.” The mentor added that he gave his team a quick tongue-lashing after the opening set to get their heads in the game. “Ipina-realize ko sa kanila na kapag ganyan ang mangyayari ay pwede tayong bumaba sa rankings at pwede pa kaming malaglag kung saka-sakali,” said Javier. “Eh buti naman nag-response ng maayos.” JRU formally bowed out of contention in the semifinals race after absorbing its fifth loss in seven outings. Shola Alvarez had 17 points while Rosalie Pepito chipped in 14 for the Lady Bombers, who still have Letran and Perpetual in their list of assignments to close their season.       ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Mag-isip sila sa laro -- coach Gorayeb on Lady Stags

strong>Games on January 4: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- EAC vs LPU (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- EAC vs. LPU (m) 11:30 a.m. --- EAC vs LPU (w) 1:00 p.m. --- Arellano vs JRU (w) 2:30 p.m. --- Arellano vs JRU (m)     San Sebastian College may be just three games away from completing an eliminations sweep to earn a free ride straight to the Finals but head coach Roger Gorayeb is still doubtful if the Lady Stags can make a repeat of their last year’s feat. The multi-titled mentor said that there’s a lot of things that his team needs to improve on heading into the final stretch of the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.  “’Yung kasing kilos nila kung oobserbahan ko ngayon, ‘yang kilos nilang ‘yan hindi 'yan pang-straight (elims sweep) na panalo,” said Gorayeb, who wants to end a six-year title drought. “Wala, ang dami pa nilang butas.” SSC-R won its first six games to remain the only undefeated team but will next face Perpetual Help, Lyceum of the Philippines University and a championship rematch with defending champion College of St. Benilde to wrap up their elims campaign. Gorayeb said that he’s not thinking about the Lady Stags completing a sweep of the elims, but what he wants to see is for his team to play as a team and his players to do their roles and not rely too much on reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones, who is averaging 16.17 points per game.    “Actually 'di ko na tinitingnan ang sweep. Ang gusto ko lang manalo ng manalo,” said Gorayeb, whose team swept last year’s elims to advance in the Finals outright only to fall at the hands of CSB in four games. “Hindi rin naman pwedeng umasa na lang ng umasa kay Grethcel,” he added.  Gorayeb pointed out that his team should work harder both on offense and defense and must be the side dictating the tempo of the match. He added that he wants his wards to think and adjust inside the court. “At this point in time marunong na silang maglaro,” he said. “Ang problema hindi sila marunong mag-isip during the laro. Nagre-rely sila dun sa sasabihin ko sa kanila. Ayoko na ngang magsalita para kumilos na lang sila ng kumilos.” SSC-R will resume action on January 11 against Perpetual Help (3-2) before taking on LPU on January 23 while the Finals rematch against CSB is scheduled on the 25th. In case of a sweep, SSC-R will advance to be the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. The next three teams after the elims will play in the stepladder semifinals with the no. 2 seed enjoying a twice-to-beat incentive.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2017

Tribute to Philippine comedy icons in ‘Bubble Gang’

For them, the laughter never stops......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 24th, 2016

Double dose of comedy in ‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’

Double dose of comedy in ‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 16th, 2016