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Analysis: USA Basketball s World Cup plan went awry long ago

Analysis: USA Basketball s World Cup plan went awry long ago.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 12th, 2019

Rockets MVP duo not worried after flashy entrance ends in season-opening loss

By Michael C. Wright, NBA.com HOUSTON -- The red carpet beamed in front of a team background emblazoned with Houston’s “One Mission” motto, as the players strutted through sporting high fashion, smiling and swaying to the beats of the tunes spun by a DJ stationed nearby. G A M E ???? O N E#TissotStyleWatch | @TISSOT pic.twitter.com/TFpL3iotLQ — Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 24, 2019 The flashbulbs popped. The beats thumped down the hall, steps from where the Milwaukee Bucks dressed prior to downing the Rockets, 117-111. “It’s sad to say, but we’re not gonna win 82 games this year,” said Houston coach Mike D’Antoni. “We’ve got a chance to win 81.” The truth is all the Rockets’ pre-game glitz gave way to Milwaukee’s grit, partly because of an inconsistent performance from Houston’s new star duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook that led to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks leaving victorious in an opener featuring the MVPs of the last three seasons. Despite the setback, the Rockets viewed the few glimpses of greatness flashed by Harden and Westbrook as signs of what’s to come. “It would’ve been great to come away with a win, but I think a loss is probably just as good,” Harden said. “We did some really good things out there.” Not before doing plenty of bad things, though. While Harden and Westbrook combined to connect on just 9-of-30 shots, they put together a total of 21 assists and 23 rebounds as Houston surrendered a 16-point lead at the half that was built despite Harden making just two field goals in the first two quarters. Then, when Antetokounmpo fouled out with just 5 minutes and 18 seconds remaining after producing a triple-double (30 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists) with the Bucks leading 101-95, Houston failed to capitalize on the reigning MVP’s exit. James Harden shot 0-for-7 from the field in the second half. Harden shot just 2-for-13 for 19 points (0-for-7 in the second half), while Westbrook led Houston with 24 points, including 16 in the final quarter, despite hitting just 7-of-17 to go with 16 rebounds and 7 assists. Harden and Westbrook also became embroiled in an animated discussion in the first half that was caught on cameras near the scorer’s table. Westbrook downplayed the notion that the conversation was contentious, and both have said their friendship is more important than any potential bumps in the road they may encounter. Russ and Harden already going back and forth ???? pic.twitter.com/s2W7d3f4yO — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 25, 2019 “The animation is because we were talking about something, but don’t deep dive too much into it,” Westbrook said. “Like I told you, there’s nothing that nobody around the world, media, anybody [will] be able to [do to] get in between what we had because we’ve had it for so long.” The highlight of the duo’s night came in transition with 7:42 remaining, when Harden dished to Westbrook for a dunk that put Houston ahead 95-91, while conjuring memories of their past together, seven years ago in Oklahoma City. The dunk wrapped up five straight points for Westbrook, while alleviating uncertainty for D’Antoni, who said before the game in front of a sellout crowd of 18,055, he was curious to know “what we’ve got” in the locker room. BEARD X BRODIE ???? pic.twitter.com/NVv7jnjO68 — Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 25, 2019 “I thought Russ was a gamer,” D’Antoni said. “When the lights go on, he’s got that competitive spirit, then his athleticism kicks in. He’s like a Rocket out there, no pun intended. I didn’t know what we had before tonight. We can be really good defensively, we can be athletic as hell, we can push the ball. So there’s a lot of good things. We’ve got to tighten a lot of things up, learn how to use the bench, just a lot of little things like that. There was some good stuff out there.” Some might say it started with the pre-game fashion show that the entire team seemed to enjoy. Harden vowed during the team’s media day in early October that Houston games would feature a red carpet, and the current plan is to keep the tradition alive for the first three games of the season, before turning it into an event for only weekend games the rest of the season. On this night, Harden walked the red carpet wearing an all-white Helmut Lang outfit, while Westbrook hit the scene in an off-white one-piece jumpsuit with small splotches of paint dashed throughout. Now, it’s time to make superstar chemistry fashionable for the Rockets. Harden and Westbrook seem to be ahead of the game. “See, we’re friends, man. We’re boys,” Westbrook said. “That’s the most important part. Basketball’s easy. It’s an easy game. When you care about someone and you want to see them do great…even from a distance [in the past], me and James talked and texted throughout the year. We were both running for MVP. We both were in the MVP room. That’s a blessing man. All the basketball s--- is irrelevant, man. It’s a brotherhood first. It’s most important, and that’s all I care about. So, we never disconnected [over those] seven years [we were apart]. We talked all the time. Right now, it’s just easy. Basketball is the easy part.” Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 25th, 2019

SUPER SHOWDOWN: FEU s L-Jay Gonzales vs San Beda s Evan Nelle

Razzle. Dazzle. Those are the two words the could best describe what Far Eastern University and San Beda University have in their backcourt. In L-Jay Gonzales, the Tamaraws have a speedy playmaker while in Evan Nelle, the Red Lions have a stylish playmaker. While they go about their games in their own different ways, though, what's certain is Gonzales and Nelle make all the plays - and make all the right plays at that - for their teams. Who does the better razzling and dazzling between them, though? We set out to find out just who in this week's Super Showdown where we match up the best young playmakers in Philippine collegiate basketball. To determine the result, we will judge them in five categories (making plays for teammates, making plays for himself, making plays on defense, threat in transition, leadership) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. MAKING PLAYS FOR TEAMMATES Nelle is tops in assists in the NCAA in just his first full season at the controls of San Beda's offensive with 6.7 per game. Gonzales isn't doing too bad either, with 3.8 dimes per game in his first full season in charge of FEU's attack - good for fourth in the UAAP. Both players masterfully orchestrate their teams' game plan while at the same time, also making ways for some highlight plays. In terms of those highlight plays, though, Nelle's stylish setups are more of a treat to watch than Gonzales' deliberate dishes. Just run down the Red Lion point guard's best plays and you will have to ask yourself, just how many no-look passes can anybody make? Advantage, Nelle, 10-9 MAKING PLAYS FOR HIMSELF While both are pass-first point guards, they are also no slouches in terms of scoring. In fact, Gonzales is top scorer for FEU with 10.4 points per game while Nelle is fourth in San Beda in terms of points per game with 10.2 markers. When it comes down to it, though, the Red Lions' playmaker is a threat from all over the floor, with the shooting touch from long-range as well as the finishing capability from up close. The Tamaraws' court general is actually a much better finisher, what with his nifty bag of reverses and hand-switching layups, but his outside shot has a long ways to go. Advantage, Nelle, 10-9 MAKING PLAYS ON DEFENSE Nelle's first and foremost point for improvement has always been his reed-thin frame. He has gotten bigger since his days as a Red Cub, but he also still doesn't present much of a problem for big-bodied guards who can bully him. The opposite is true for Gonzales who not only has the body strength, but also couples it with elite speed and agility to be a frustrating faceoff. Not only that, FEU actually has its point guard at the head of the defensive attack and still, he doesn't seem to run out of energy. Safe to say, nobody would ever say that having Gonzales in front of you will ever be a walk in the park. Advantage, Gonzales, 10-9 THREAT IN TRANSITION Gonzales has all the speed in the world to leave opponents, and even his teammates, in the dust. The transition game is the most dangerous game to play with FEU because it has just the point guard to take advantage of it. When it comes to taking advantage of the whole court, however, Nelle has got it on lock as not only can he set up his teammates for easy transition baskets, he can also pull up for open jumpers or take it straight to the rim. And so, just like he has the advantage in the halfcourt, San Beda's floor leader also has the advantage on his Tamaraw counterpart on the open court. Either of the two is a scary sight charging straight at you, but it's actually easier to defend Gonzales' drive than the threat of Nelle from all over the floor. Advantage, Nelle, 10-9 LEADERSHIP Both of them are at the head of the attack for their contending teams. Neither of them, however, are necessarily the vocal leaders of their contending teams. It must be the youth and it must be the inexperience, but Gonzales and Nelle still defer to other teammates when it comes to leadership. Perhaps, that will come in time, but as of right now, their sophomore seasons, this is the one department they have much room to improve on. Push, 10-10 FINAL SCORE, 49-47 for San Beda's Evan Nelle.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2019

New-look Clippers ready to level up beyond Best Team in L.A.

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES -- It was almost exactly a year ago when the Clippers welcomed the media on the same day the Lakers debuted LeBron James, and Patrick Beverley told the half-dozen or so reporters who must’ve made a wrong turn: “We’re the best team in L.A.” That bit of bravado went unnoticed and unheard, partly because of the Laker noise, partly because few -- if anyone -- bought it. Of course, Beverley was ultimately proven wise when the Clippers scrapped their way to 48 wins and a pair of first-round wins against the Warriors while LeBron and the Lakers almost literally collapsed from a kick to the groin. With a swell of attention now being paid to presumptive title favorites, who added Paul George and Kawhi Leonard while retaining much of the supporting cast, Beverley was given the chance Sunday (Monday, PHL time) to double down on his prophecy. He toned it down. “We’ll see,” he said. Yet his sinister grin was plain to see, and it reflected the swagger and internal expectations of a franchise not known for through-the-roof projections. Such is the new world order in Los Angeles, and perhaps the NBA, in 2019-20. These are unprecedented times for the Clippers, who’ve had winning teams before but none with this much title twinkle headed into the season. “We know what we’re capable of doing,” said Beverley, and so does everyone else. You don’t add the reigning NBA Finals MVP and another who finished third in the regular-season Kia MVP balloting without shaking up the establishment, even if you’ve never won a championship in franchise history. But there’s a long wait between now and next spring's playoffs, and a shorter one to see George on the floor. The 29-year-old swingman is still in the mending stage after off-season surgery on both shoulders. He said “I’m not sure” when he’ll be ready to play, even with opening night against the Lakers a little over three weeks away. George said he hasn’t had any complications or setbacks, but won’t engage in any contact work in camp and coach Doc Rivers said George will not appear in any games until he does. “There’s no problems,” George said. “I’m just going to do light work and drills for now.” The other issue as it relates to health is Leonard’s usage. Last year in Toronto, still smarting from a persistent quad injury that led to his stormy exit from the Spurs, Leonard didn’t play on consecutive nights during back-to-back games. Rivers said there are no such restrictions this season, or demands from the player, although the coach wants to reserve the right to monitor and change the approach if necessary. "Last year, I was going in with an injury that I was dealing with the year before, still was lingering, and we knew that I had to be healthy going throughout the season and making it to the playoffs,” Leonard said. "This time, I'm feeling good. I’m feeling way better than I was at the start of last season. There really was no plan laid out to discuss with everyone." Rivers also noted that the Clippers’ depth will allow for rest periods for George and Leonard; both players are joining a team that prospered without an All-Star last season, a team that will probably once again bring reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell off the bench. In due time, the Clippers will be complete, and that’s the most important takeaway from their first official gathering. The level of enthusiasm is “sky-high,” said Williams. Rivers has flexibility with Leonard and George, widely considered among the most elite two-way players in basketball. On offense, George and Leonard are top-10 league scorers (26.6 points last year for Leonard; 28.0 for George). Playing those two alongside Williams, who averaged 20 points last season in just 26 minutes off the bench, should cause matchup headaches. “We’ll force a lot of defenses to make a lot of hard decisions,” said Williams. And the options afforded to Rivers might even be richer on the other end. Rivers thinks pairing two newcomers plus Beverley -- who guarded Kevin Durant in the playoffs, while giving away seven inches -- can be “special.” Utilizing three players who can legitimately guard multiple positions, the Clippers’ defense could be epic, if not historic. George said: “It’s going to be scary … we’ve really got a chance to do something special on the defensive end. Watching Pat get out there and picking somebody up 94 feet, that's going to get me going. It's going to get Kawhi going. It's just going to become contagious on a nightly basis. I honestly think, for the first time, people are going to be excited to watch the defensive end as opposed to watching the offensive end.” The makings of a unique season, then, is on deck for the Clippers. It became realistic when Leonard, fresh off a title in Toronto, chose George and the Clippers over LeBron James and Anthony Davis and the Lakers — which, in itself, seems un-Clipper-like given the club’s former reputation and history, when superstars were once allergic to L.A.’s "other" basketball team. But these are new times. “We actually wanted to be teammates for a long time,” said George. “This was always in the works to happen at some point.” From the top of the organization to the bottom, everyone knows the potential and just the same, would rather allow a scenario to play itself out than speak it into existence. That’s why Beverley provided the most unexpected news of camp by playing it coy. But you knew where he stood. “Can’t wait to get started,” he said, echoing the thoughts of a locker room thinking big. 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 NewsSep 30th, 2019

Rui Hachimura to sit out final two games of FIBA World Cup

Washington Wizards press release STATEMENT FROM JBA ON RUI HACHIMURA’S STATUS “The Wizards and Japan Basketball have been operating under a carefully created load management plan to protect Rui’s health after a long NCAA season, the NBA draft and the NBA summer league. Rui experienced knee discomfort and general fatigue during the World Cup, which we have jointly monitored with the Wizards. While everyone had hoped for Rui to finish the World Cup with Team Japan, the Wizards and Japan Basketball believe it is best for Rui to not play the final two games and have a short period of rest before he must start NBA training camp with the Wizards which begins only three weeks from now. The Wizards and Japan Basketball will continue to work together on Rui’s long term development throughout the NBA season and leading into Rui’s participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.” STATEMENT FROM RUI HACHIMURA “I love Team Japan. This was a difficult decision for the Wizards, Japan Basketball, and myself to make. I am still learning about my body and trust that the Wizards and Japan Basketball are doing everything they can to help me be the best I can be for the NBA season and the 2020 Olympics.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 6th, 2019

Anthony Davis joins Lakers with championship plans

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Davis' year of uncertainty finally felt finished when he stood in the Los Angeles Lakers' training complex and proudly held up his new gold jersey while LeBron James looked on approvingly. After months of upheaval around his departure from New Orleans, the superstar forward is looking forward to years of success and stability on the West Coast. Sure, Davis knows the Lakers are rarely stable, and championships are the only success this franchise understands. The six-time All-Star can't wait for the challenge of winning big in the Hollywood spotlight. "The most difficult part for me was just not knowing," Davis said Saturday (Sunday, PHl time). "When it was announced that I was being traded, I don't want to say it was a relief, (but) it was something that I'd thought about for a long time. Obviously it was tough to leave the city I'd been playing in for seven years, but I think it was best for me. "When I found out I'd been traded to the Lakers, I realized it was an unbelievable opportunity for me," he added. "To be here with a wonderful organization, and then to be able to play alongside LeBron and the players that we have now ... to get the opportunity to do that and come here and play for an organization that's all about winning, and winning championships, and that's the only goal, I think that was the biggest thing for me." The Lakers formally acquired Davis this month in one of the biggest moves of the NBA's tumultuous offseason, but this courtship has been happening for much longer. Davis became determined to leave New Orleans last season, and Los Angeles made an in-season run at Davis before eagerly blowing up its young core to get a second game-changing star to play alongside James. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka introduced Davis as "the most dominant young basketball player in the world." "There is no more complete basketball player in the game," Pelinka added. "There is nothing he can't do. He can shoot. He can make plays. He can defend 1 to 5. He can protect the rim. He can handle the ball. His dedication to his craft is unparalleled. To sit here next to him and think he's going to be on our team and he's going to be a pillar in this franchise for many years is just something we're incredibly proud of." The Lakers gave up Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and a slew of draft picks to land Davis one year before he could become an unrestricted free agent. While Pelinka clearly expects Davis to sign a long-term deal to stay with the Lakers, Davis didn't make a declaration of his intentions right away. "Right now, my focus is on this year, and trying to help this organization become a championship team," Davis said. Davis' new jersey will bear a No. 3 after his plan to take his usual No. 23 from James fell through thanks to rules involving jersey supplier Nike, who had already begun planning for next season with James in the No. 23 shirt. Davis will go back to the number he wore in elementary and middle school, although he jokingly said the denial of No. 23 "was pretty hurtful." Davis and James have been kept up to speed on Pelinka's machinations to build a strong roster around them. Davis strongly endorsed the signing of DeMarcus Cousins, his former teammate in New Orleans — and not just because Davis prefers to play as a power forward instead of a center. "I like playing the 4," Davis said to a laughing coach Frank Vogel. "I'm not even going to sugarcoat it. I don't like playing the 5, but if it comes down to it, Coach, I'll play the 5." Pelinka said the Lakers signed Cousins and re-signed JaVale McGee precisely so that Davis wouldn't wear down his body guarding centers. Davis was asked about load management, and he dismissed it: "I'm playing. I'm 26-years-old. I love the game of basketball. I'm ready to play." Davis also waived a $4 million trade kicker in his contract so the Lakers would have cap room to take their failed run at Kawhi Leonard, a move that Pelinka praised as selfless. "Anytime you're able to acquire a player like Kawhi, I think you have to do almost everything to get a guy like that," Davis said. "It didn't work out for us, but I wanted to make sure I did whatever I could to help the team." Basketball-loving Los Angeles is still buzzing after its two teams were turned into immediate contenders during free agency, but they're hardly alone in a league that might have achieved a measure of parity after years of Golden State dominance. While Leonard and Paul George landed with the Clippers, Davis and James are confident about the future ahead for the 16-time NBA champions, who are exponentially more beloved in their hometown than their local rivals. Davis has lived in Los Angeles during the offseason for several years, and he loves everything about it but the traffic. "It's going to be fun," Davis said of the new-look league with its new crop of superstar pairings. "I'm excited about it. I think the league has grown. I think it's better. (With) all the players teaming up and spreading that talent throughout the league, it's going to be a fun season. I like our roster. I like every player that we have, from one through 14." The Lakers have been the worst team in the NBA during their team-record six consecutive seasons out of the playoffs, but Davis and James expect to end those struggles and drought in the year ahead. They're aiming for much more, too. "I know we'll talk about it and do whatever we can to definitely make this team a championship team next season," Davis said, before correcting himself: "This season.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2019

Zion Williamson brings rare potential to New Orleans

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Eventually, as with every NBA Draft, there will be a “re-draft” of the Class of 2019. That’s the irresistible exercise in hindsight from media outlets that rank a particular year’s prospects not on their projected value but on actual demonstrated value five, 10 or more seasons into their professional careers. Some players will rise. Others will fall. “Bust” and “sleeper” tags will be dispersed accordingly. This team or GM will be lauded for an especially savvy selection, that one will be razzed for the quality player or players on whom it whiffed. But the through line of the dreams-come-true event Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) at Barclays Center, the lone selection that will not or at least should not change, is Zion Williamson. Williamson is the sure thing, the “can’t miss,” consensus No. 1 pick bound for the New Orleans Pelicans. He’s a 6'7", 285-pound freshman from Duke whose comps aren’t merely established players currently in the NBA but some of the game’s legends. So think Blake Griffin, sure. But also think LeBron James. And Charles Barkley. And, for that matter, every other wide-body who’s ever played with muscles on muscles, above-the-rim explosiveness, balletic body control and an instantly recognizable game that’s as charismatic as it is freakish. Yeah, awfully small subset. “I’m looking forward to playing against everybody,” Williamson said soon after his selection. “I want to be the best. I feel I have to earn everybody’s respect.” It’s not just a matter of Williamson’s game tickling NBA fans’ fancy, either. He managed, in almost his first official pro moment, to capture a lot of their hearts too. No sooner had Williamson – the first No. 1 pick to be born in this millennium (July 6, 2000) – strode to the stage in his cream-white suit, tugged on a Pelicans draft cap and embraced NBA commissioner Adam Silver, he dropped his guard to let the world share his emotions in the moment. His status as college basketball’s best and his draft position had been established months ago. There was no new mystery as to when his name would be called by Silver at the podium. And yet, when the first ESPN microphone was poked in front of him, with his mother Sharonda Sampson at his side, the big guy lost it. He choked up and blinked back tears, not quite winning that battle. “My mom sacrificed a lot for me,” Williamson said. “I wouldn’t be here without my mom. She did everything for me. I just want to thank her.” Several interviews and maybe 20 minutes later, Williamson explained how the horribly kept secret of his No. 1 selection could trigger his response. “Because I love the game of basketball,” he said. “You can hear people say things like, ‘Oh, it was likely I was going to go No. 1.’ But I guess you don’t know until you actually go through it.” What mattered most to Williamson about his mother’s role in his life? “Tough love,” he said. “She was always be the first one to keep it real with me. … She put aside her dreams just so me and my brothers could have a chance at ours.” The love already heading Williamson’s way in New Orleans was less tough and more unconditional at this stage, for the teenager represents a re-birth for a Pelicans franchise rocked by the loss of All-Star forward Anthony Davis. Davis, coincidentally, was the No. 1 pick in 2012 and generally considered the top prospect to hit the Draft before Williamson. But after six-and-a-half seasons and only two trips to the playoffs, Davis asked in December to be traded, despite having more than two-plus seasons left on his contract. David Griffin, the Pelicans' new vice president of basketball operations, had hoped that Williamson’s arrival might convince Davis to stay. When that didn’t happen, Griffin swiftly shifted to Plan B, arranging to trade the discontented big man to the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal that won’t be official until July. Now New Orleans, which has won just two playoff series in its 17 seasons and failed to qualify 10 times, has a new cornerstone. Williamson figures to be under team control contractually for as long or longer than Davis stuck around, with teammates relocated from L.A. such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart to run with him and Pelicans holdovers. “What excites me the most is the fact that they’re young and they’re close to my age,” said Duke’s third No. 1 overall pick (Elton Brand in 1999, Kyrie Irving in 2011). “So they can help me a lot more, like how to deal with this transition. I think we can build something over there.” The essential block is Williamson, who swept college basketball’s major awards with a game that strains credulity. At 285 pounds, his listed weight is greater than almost every big man in the NBA, but he has quick-twitch speed and thrives in the open court. He can stare down into the rim before slamming home dunks with unnerving ferocity, and he is a deft and willing passer. Williamson averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 30 minutes for the Blue Devils, while making 68 percent of his shots. He and fellow Top 10 picks R.J. Barrett (New York, No. 3) and Cam Reddish (Atlanta, No. 10) helped Duke reach the Elite Eight, with Williamson earning ACC Tournament MVP along the way. He’s not a perfect player – his jump shot and range need work – but he already is working to complement his transition and low-post repertoire. Defensively, Williamson has the motor and mobility to switch assignments and quick hands to dislodge the ball without fouling. As a rebounder, his verticality is matched by, well, his horizontality in controlling the air space above and around him. “His size, his athleticism, his power is visible,” former St. John’s coach and Naismith Hall of Famer Chris Mullin said. “But to me his speed is really incredible from end to end. “I would morph Charles Barkley and Shawn Kemp and put them together [as a comparison]. When he gets to the NBA and he plays with that extra space they have in the wide key, he’s going to be a monster.” Williamson arrives with hype – no, make that expectations, because of all he’s shown already on courts around America – that rival what James shouldered when he arrived from high school in 2003. His plan for lugging that responsibility: “Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m willing to do it, because I feel people remember winners.” The selections immediately after Williamson were nearly as predictable, based on intelligence and mock drafts that solidified in the days before the Draft. Murry State guard Ja Morant was chosen by Memphis at No. 2, and Barrett’s ensuing selection by the Knicks delighted their always boisterous fans in the stands at Barclay. The order of the next four choices was jumbled from some predictions. Yet by the time the smoke cleared, sure enough, the seven players projected to come off the board soonest had slotted into the night’s top seven spots. That included Virginia forward De’andre Hunter to Atlanta at No. 4 (via the Lakers, in the aforementioned Davis trade that has yet to be completed), Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland to Cleveland at No. 5, Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver to Minnesota at No. 6 and North Carolina guard Coby White to Chicago at No. 7. Just because there wasn’t a lot of suspense at Barclays didn’t mean there was no intrigue. Much of that came from unusually heavy trade action – all technically unofficial – that had teams moving up, down and all around to snag picks, dump picks or clean up their salary-cap positions in anticipation of free agency that starts June 30. The timing of the Draft, relative to when the NBA’s new business year begins, had players donning caps of teams they’ll never play for, while speaking guardedly about those for whom they really were picked. A reported nine trades impacted draft decisions made in the first round alone. There even was a moment when Morant, in his post-Draft media session, gave a shout-out to veteran Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, whose spot he’ll presumably be taking once Conley’s trade to Utah officially goes through. But there’s no such uncertainty about Williamson, the through line of this year’s class, the true line in his heartfelt reactions Thursday (Friday, PHL time) and broad-shouldered hope of a Big Easy franchise in need. Williamson showed his grasp of the NBA’s and sports’ need for fresh icons, in effect accepting his status as a legend in waiting. “You know, times change,” he said. “That’s why there are so many debates about who people think the greatest players of all time are. If you were in the time of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, you’d probably say one of those two. If you were in the time of Jordan, you’d say Jordan. In our generation, a lot of them say LeBron. “So times changes and I think younger fans like younger players.” You don’t have to be young, though, to have your eye on Zion. 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 NewsJun 21st, 2019

Curry, Lillard battle for NBA supremacy, Oakland s affection

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND — He arrived at the Western Conference finals wearing the jersey of the Oakland A’s, who play right next door at the Coliseum, just a five-minute drive from where he was born. Damian Lillard paused and signed a few autographs before entering Oracle Arena, because he is a man of the people, and these are his people. None of them mention that, in their hearts, they’re rooting for him to lose this playoff series, and so it goes unspoken, a truce in a sense. For this fleeting moment, they’re Lillard fans, until the ball goes up. And then it’s all for Steph Curry, all night long. There is a competition within the competition between the Warriors and Blazers, and it is the battle for the affection of Oakland. There is Lillard, the pride of the Brookfield Village neighborhood, who has blossomed into a bonafide star with the Blazers. And then there’s Curry, the symbol of a basketball renaissance here, who has raised the profile of Oakland the last several years. Now you see why The Town is a bit conflicted. A bit. [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] The conference championship may well hinge on the performance of these All-NBA guards. Game 1 was fairly lopsided, both in terms of the teams — Warriors 116, Blazers 94 — and the two principles. Lillard struggled Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and appeared whipped, physically if not mentally, no doubt from a grueling seven-game second round that just wrapped up 48 hours earlier. He missed 8-of-12 shots, had seven turnovers and, in a rarity for him, he was a non-factor for Portland. He’s a combined 7-for-29 in his last two games. Meanwhile, Curry rolled, dropping 36 points and the Blazers along with them. And so, this is the verdict: Portland cannot hope to stretch this series beyond four games, five tops, without the max from Lillard. He obviously means that much. And Curry, now working without the comforts of his injured co-star Kevin Durant for the second straight game, and maybe without Durant for another two games, needs to keep his skills elevated to prevent suspense from encroaching on the series. The Warriors are well aware of what Lillard has done to them in the past; he has averaged more points against the hometown team (27.0) than any in his career likely because of provincial pride. Yet Golden State is also aware that he has yet to beat them in any game or series of significance. “He’s one of the best guards in this league and carries a chip on his shoulder and it has (worked) well for him in his career,” said Draymond Green. “A special talent. I know he’s excited to be back home playing in the last year at Oracle. So it’s special for him but it don’t mean nothing to us. We’ve got to come out here and try to stop him. A tall task.” While the East Bay has given birth to its share of NBA stars, with Bill Russell, Jason Kidd and Gary Payton among them, Lillard is still freshly active and refreshingly loyal. The connection between him and Oakland remains unwavering despite fame and distance and the fact it’s his job and desire to shock the world in the next few weeks. He played at St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda and then finished at Oakland High, and a thick section of fans at Oracle Wednesday were wrapped in Blazers gear and made their preference clear. Most were either from the old neighborhood or family members. His high school coach, Damon Jones, is a Warriors season ticket holder, and Jones said: “Nobody bought me a drink tonight.” The coach added, playfully: “They gave me a hard time. When the Warriors scored, they wanted to turn around and slap five but then caught themselves at the last minute.” Jones remembers Lillard as being a promising and quick guard who picked up the nuances of the game rapidly. “He was very personable for someone his age, a solid teammate,” Jones said. “He still keeps in touch with all of his former teammates. It’s a brotherhood and he’s the leader. He’s always trying to be a positive influence on everyone around here.” Lillard returns every summer to give away backpacks with school supplies and funded the renovation of the Oakland High gym. He’s a familiar sight around town in the offseason and always approachable, and that loyalty and devotion doesn’t go unnoticed. “People here respect him,” said Raymond Young, Lillard’s AAU coach. “When he comes here to play, people here say they’re going to clap for Damian but cheer for the Warriors. Only he can get that kind of reaction. His loyalty comes from his family. His mother and father were no-problem parents. They let us coach him. He was a joy to be around. Still is.” Lillard is even more endearing because he comes from humble beginnings and is self-made. Both of his youth coaches are admittedly shocked by his impact in the NBA. He wound up at Weber State. He wasn’t highly recruited by the big schools. Even nearby Cal-Berkeley came late. “But if he goes there,” said Young, “does all this happen?” Lillard is revered in another place as well. Portland is also smitten by his loyalty; in an age of transient stars, Lillard has never wanted to play anywhere else. Perhaps this has cost him some visibility, with a majority of his games tipping off at 10:30 ET. It’s a price he’s more than willing to pay. Lillard has never taken a team this deep into the playoffs, where legends and reputations are made, and so being in the conference finals represents some new and deserved shine for him. A layer of that invisibility was peeled off in these playoffs where Lillard has come up massive. His shot from nearly 40 feet that eliminated Oklahoma City in the first round, and the bye-bye wave reaction, became iconic. Then he followed up with a strong second round as well against the Nuggets, although as that series crept to the conclusion, Lillard shot just 3-for-17 in that Game 7, then followed up with a 4-for-12 Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), proof that he might be gassed — and also that the Warriors cooked up a defensive game plan specifically for him. “Obviously it’s a little bit difficult physically and emotionally just because you’re excited about being in the Western Conference finals,” said Lillard. “You come straight here form Denver and get ready for the best team in the league. But once we lace our shoes and put our uniforms on, it’s fair and square. You got to go out there and handle your business. "They did a good job defensively and even when I was trying to find (teammates), they were getting deflections. They were making me play in a crowd. I thought they were successful at that … in this first game.” But his toughest task of all might be upstaging Curry, particularly here in Oakland. While Lillard has flourished through much of the postseason, Curry by comparison has been mild, especially by his standards. The missed layups, a famously flubbed dunk attempt and sporadic three-point shooting was unsightly. And then, after Durant limped off the floor, Curry felt a sense of urgency and a flush of greatness. He buried the Rockets with a pair of epic fourth quarters, then kept the faucet running Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). The Blazers couldn’t limit or at least slow him anywhere on the floor, especially from the three-point line, where Curry was a sizzling 9-for-15. And no missed layups. In his last six quarters of basketball, Curry has scored 69 points with 13-for-24 shooting on 3s. “I know what I’m capable of doing on the floor," Curry said, "and the situation calls for me to be more aggressive and hopefully that will continue. It’s nice to see the ball go in. I want to maintain that. I didn’t shoot well for 4.5 games the last series. Every game is different. You have to reestablish yourself and that’s my perspective no matter how I play.” Curry didn’t arrive wearing the baseball jersey of the home team, and if anything has been spotted at San Franciso Giants games across the Bay, where the Warriors will call home starting next season. But don’t get anything twisted. Curry’s bond with Oakland, developed over time, is genuine and real for someone born and bred a country away in Charlotte, and the feeling is mutual. The tug of war for the heartstrings of Oakland is subtle between the pair of franchise players on the floor in this playoff series. Call it a draw from the standpoint of whom the fans here respect and appreciate. There’s enough love to be shared by both. Yet in the basketball sense, this series is on the verge of being owned by the one wearing the jersey that reps Oakland. Curry has more momentum and better teammates, and Durant is on deck. Oakland, therefore, will indeed cheer for one of its own, for Damian Lillard. But the way this series and these playoffs are going, The Town is anxious to pop bottles with Steph Curry once again, at the usual place and time, for one last time. 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 NewsMay 15th, 2019

A guide to FIFA's options for expanding the 2026 World Cup

GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer   FIFA is preparing to decide Tuesday on adding 16 more teams to the 2026 World Cup for a 48-team tournament. President Gianni Infantino's favored format would break with soccer tradition to play in groups of only three teams. Two would advance from each group to a Round of 32 knockout bracket. If agreed by the Infantino-chaired FIFA Council in Zurich, the 2026 hosting contest could formally open in weeks. A co-hosted North American bid is widely seen as the best option. Here are some things to know about overhauling the greatest competition in the world's most popular sport: ___ WHY EXPAND? A bigger World Cup was an Infantino campaign promise before his election last February, when his plan was 40 teams. It might have been key. Infantino's momentum for victory in a second-round poll was a three-vote lead over Sheik Salman of Bahrain in the first. Sheik Salman had promised only to review if more World Cup teams were wanted. Infantino also pledged to give more of FIFA's money to member federations — all 211 are now entitled to $5 million from each World Cup — and send more to continental and regional soccer bodies. So, more teams also had to mean more games, earning more revenue from broadcasters and sponsors. The '16x3' format arguably works better with only group winners advancing. But that would leave total matches unchanged at 64. Infantino also wants to create fervor in the extra countries which would qualify. In the short-term, competing national teams attract more sponsors. The long-term goal is appealing to more young people who are the future players, fans and officials. Expect to hear much FIFA talk of helping the next Costa Rica or Iceland — feelgood stories at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 — by inviting 16 more teams to the party. ___ 48-TEAM OPTIONS A near-consensus is growing around the '16x3' option revealed just one month ago. All 80 games would be played in exclusive time slots. That's more hours of TV exposure for sponsors and sales time for broadcasters in the same 32-day tournament period. By advancing two teams from each group, a Round of 32 ensures most teams still play at least three matches. FIFA's own analysis predicts this format will raise revenue by 20 percent from the equivalent $5.5 billion forecast from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The flaw for purists is planning for penalty shootouts to settle drawn group matches. If each game has a 'winner' that guards against teams colluding on a mutually favorable result in the last group games. Previously, Infantino suggested an opening playoff round of 16 matches to decide who would join 16 seeded teams in a traditional 32-team group phase. That was unacceptable to many FIFA members federations who said 'one-and-done' teams were not part of a real World Cup. It also would stretch the tournament to 39 days. ___ 40-TEAM OPTIONS Infantino's plan from one year ago is now almost friendless. Either of two options, 10 groups of four teams or eight five-team groups, gives lopsided or weak match schedules, FIFA judged. In '10x4,' only 76 matches are played and only six group runners-up advance from a muddled tiebreaker process to a Round of 16. In '8x5,' the 88 matches include meaningless ones in a flabby group phase ripe for collusion. Also, the four semifinalists would play eight matches and that workload is unacceptable to European clubs releasing employees to national-team duty. ___ PROVEN 32-TEAM FORMAT Why fix something that is not broken? Germany, the defending champion, has publicly asked this question. The 32-team format and perfect 64-match bracket has worked well since being introduced at the 1998 World Cup in France (where Europe had 15 teams). FIFA acknowledged that it produces the best soccer — 'the highest absolute quality' of games pitting high-ranked teams against each other. Recall that former winners Italy, England and Uruguay were drawn in the same 2014 World Cup group — and yet Costa Rica finished top. Still, enough of FIFA's 211 members want change and their chance to play. ___ WHO WILL PLAY? A big question is likely not being resolved Tuesday. FIFA has yet to announce exactly how many entry slots each of six confederations would get for their own qualifying program. Quotas for a 40-team World Cup were proposed in December 2015 by a FIFA advisory group that included Infantino, then UEFA's general secretary. Some saw a cynical move to sweeten skeptical FIFA voters who were being asked to vote through modernizing and anti-corruption reforms on the same day they picked a new president. Then, assuming a single host nation would get automatic entry, the proposal for sharing 39 qualifying slots was: Europe 14; Africa 7; Asia 6; South America 5; North, Central America and Caribbean 5; Oceania 1; plus a final slot awarded 'based on sporting merits using a method yet to be defined.' Going from 40 to 48 can add at least one more from each continent. Who could those new teams be? On current form, maybe Wales and Panama, Congo and Burkina Faso, Uzbekistan and Oman, will bring something new to the 2026 World Cup. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Only mommy Girlie knows Nieto twins recipe for success

Mike and Matt Nieto are leaving Ateneo de Manila as three-time Srs. and one-time Jrs. champions. Through all those titles, the twins' each and every day started the same - with a homecooked meal by mommy Girlie for breakfast made, of course, with all the love in the world. "Simula ng first championship sa college, every day breakfast ko, dalawang bangus tsaka extra rice. Hinding-hindi talaga ako nagsawa," Mike shared. "Throughout ng three-peat, every day, 9:00 a.m. sharp, naayos na ni mommy yun." And as it turns out, the game day meals began long before the Nietos were key cogs in the Blue Eagles' three-peat - the last of which was a historic season sweep. "Nung high school, medyo iba. Two-piece chicken, thigh part ng McDo ako nun," Mike, the older of the two narrated through chuckles. "Kaya kami nag-champion dahil dun. Nung isang time na natalo kami, 'di kasi ako kumain ng chicken." Back in their last year in high school, the brothers led the Blue Eaglets to a sweep of the elimination round only to drop Game 1 of the Finals - and apparently, that was when Mike didn’t have his usual game day meal. Ultimately, Ateneo won out and the Nietos would hoist three more trophies in the Srs., but in the mind of Mike, a ritual had been born. That wasn't necessarily the case for Matt. "Si Mike, merong ganun, pero ako kasi, 'di naniniwala sa ganun e," he said with a smile. While he didn't have a set game day meal, he was still only glad to have mommy Girlie beside him each and every step of the way. "Si mommy, she's always been there for us. Siya yung best mom kasi she supports us non-stop," he said. Indeed, both parents have been present for majority of their sons' matchups. And while daddy Jet, himself a multiple-time champion in Ateneo, gives guidance on the court, mommy Girlie takes care of everything else off of it. "Si mommy, behind the scenes siya. Siya nagko-comfort sa amin pag masama yung laro namin at siya rin nagpapakalma kay daddy," Matt said. He then continued, "Si mommy kasi, walang negative e. Lahat ng circumstances, tini-treat niya as positive." Without a doubt, that positivity was nothing but welcome for the Nietos twins who have always set their sights on greater and greater heights. As Mike put it, "Ang laki ng impact niya sa amin. 'Di lang napapansin sa basketball court kasi siyempre, pag basketball, ang napag-uusapan si daddy, pero we won't be here where we are if it weren't for mommy." In the end, Mike and Matt just want the world to know that mommy Girlie is as much a big part of all their success as daddy Jet. "Ako, personally, I'm a proud mommy's boy at kami, kung bakit kami medyo minahal ng mga tao, yung ugali kasi namin, nanggaling kay mommy," the former said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2020

FIBA 3x3 Olympic qualifier to push through despite NCoV outbreak scare

The 3x3 basketball Tokyo Olympics qualifier in India will push through as planned despite the scare of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. FIBA 3x3 Event Manager Ignacio Soriano said on Monday that the world basketball governing body will stick with the scheduled qualifier in Bangalore, India slated on March 18 to 22. “It’s a force majeure, we cannot plan something we don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow and in the next month or in the next couple of months. So for now the first reaction is to keep the Olympic qualifying tournament in India as it is,” said Soriano, who is in the country to meet with Chooks-to-Go 3x3 league owner Ronald Mascarinas to talk about the league’s 2020 calendar as well as the country’s hosting of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters. Twenty teams will compete for slots in the Olympics’ first-ever staging of 3x3 basketball. The Samahang Basketbol sa Pilipinas is set to announce the six-man line-up of the national squad, which will include at least two players in the PHI top 10 3x3 ranking on Tuesday. The deadline of submission of names was on Monday. “As you know this is an important event for FIBA. This is the first-ever qualifying tournament and it’s a 20 teams per gender whereas only three will qualify to the Tokyo Olympics. It’s our first Olympics and we’re doing our debut,” said Soriano. However, the FIBA official added that there could be some changes in the FIBA Asia Cup set on May 13 to 17 in Changsha, China.   “We’re working already in potentially changing the host city for the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup that is happening in May,” said Soriano. “We’re working with different hosts but as of now nothing is official.” Soriano welcomed the possibility of the PHI taking over the hosting duties especially with the country’s growing 3x3 basketball following and successful hosting of international events of the sport in the past.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2020

Ravena, Animam headline PSA basketball honors

Three individuals who played a huge part in completing a season to remember are bound to reap the fruits of their hard work. Jack Danielle Animam and her venerable coach at National University Patrick Aquino, along with Ateneo stalwart Thirdy Ravena will be the recipients of special awards in the coming SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel. Ravena is the year’s Mr. Basketball, while Animam and Aquino are going to be the first awardees of Ms. Basketball and Coach of the Year honors from the country’s oldest media organization established in 1949. The three are part of the long honor roll list headed by 2019 Athlete of the Year Team Philippines which will be feted in a grand March 6 ceremony presented by the Philippine Sports Commission, MILO, Cignal TV, Philippine Basketball Association, Rain or Shine, and AirAsia. Animam and Aquino formed part of the undefeated National University Lady Bulldogs who extended their reign as UAAP women’s basketball champion following yet another perfect season campaign. The team copped a sixth straight UAAP title with another 16-0 record, including a sweep of University of Santo Tomas in the finals. Overall, the Bulldogs have extended their unprecedented winning streak to 96 games in a six-year span. Aquino also served as architect of the Gilas Pilipinas women’s 5-on-5 and 3x3 teams that brought home the breakthrough golds in the last 30th Southeast Asian Games. Working behind the core of the Lady Bulldogs led by Animam, Aquino steered the Filipina cagebelles on top of the podium for the first time ever by toppling long-time rival Thailand in the final game of the tournament, 91-71, ending a long year of agony for Philippine women’s basketball. They did the same thing in the inaugural 3x3 event when they likewise thrashed the Thais, 17-13, for the gold. The same season also saw the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team retaining its spot in Division A of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. And Ravena? The well-built Ateneo guard served as the catalyst of the Blue Eagles completing an unprecedented 16-0 campaign in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament.n The school retained the varsity title undefeated following a two-game sweep of University of Santo Tomas in the finals for their third straight championship. No men’s team in UAAP history has won the crown with a perfect 16-0 record, and was the first unbeaten champion squad since UST (14-0) in 1993. Ravena, who will forever be remembered for that iconic photo showing him standing on the scorer’s table and facing the Ateneo crowd while spreading his arms wide in the din of the championship celebration, were part of that Ateneo three-peat, which he capped by emerging as finals MVP each time, a first in UAAP history. Earlier in the year, Ravena made the final 12-man roster of Gilas Pilipinas in the final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers as the lone collegiate player......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2020

DEAR KOBE: I didn t know you, but thank you

In a simple and straightforward fashion, my first words today were, "What the hell." That's because my brother, who was preparing to go to work, told me Kobe Bryant died. Knowing how untimely deaths feel, we never joke about this kind of stuff. And so I knew it was true, but I didn't want to believe it anyway. Checking my phone to see the first credible source I could find, I knew. Mindlessly scrolling through countless of tributes for him online, I finally knew. It was real, Kobe was dead. And it hurts so much. Like most people mourning his untimely passing today, I didn't know Kobe personally. Not at all. I only knew him as the basketball player, one that happened to play two whole decades for the Los Angeles Lakers. I appreciated his unrelenting will to win, his stubborness to be the greatest, and his drive to continue to make himself better. None of us will probaly wake up at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow to put up 100 made shots, but all of us can wake up tomorrow and apply Kobe's work ethic to get our own set of wins. Kobe the basketball player was my GOAT, you cannot tell me otherwise. A lot of my fellow fans most probably feel the same way. Since retiring from basketball, Kobe turned his attention to his other passions in life. It's been a joy to see everything about him and his family. It's empowering to know how he's helping women's play, the often under-appreciated side of the sport we all love most. His continued quest for knowledge was admirable. Many won't share trade secrets, but his personal mission to instill his learnings to the younger generation, from children's books to training with other basketball players, is pretty amazing. None of us will probably win an Academy Award, or end up putting a world-class sporting facility, or estbalish an up-and-coming empire all on our own. But through his fabled "Mamba Mentality," many of us can keep learning, keep training, and keep getting better at our own pace. All of us can always choose to spend more time with our families too. People can do all of that without having nothing to do with Kobe. But for us to see him be like that, it hits a little different. Kobe the human being was and is an inspiration. Kobe showed there is a path to your dreams if you work hard enough. Realizing Kobe is gone from this world is pretty surreal. It wasn't that too long ago when we were all watching him play. Like most people mourning his death today, I didn't know Kobe personally. Not at all. But I know enough to be grateful for what he has done for me. As much as it's a pain to write something like this, my words probably won't even do you justice, I hope my thoughts reach you up there. Thank you for everything, Kobe. Rest in Peace......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2020

PSA honors Bata Reyes with Lifetime Achievement Award

The magic may have waned, but the legend lives on. Efren "Bata" Reyes remains one of the top draws in Philippine sports even at the age of 65 as shown in the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games. The iconic pool player with the charismatic smile still packed them in, and was easily the most sought after member of the men’s billiards and snooker team. Reyes, with his deteriorating eyesight, only settled for a bronze in the men’s carom (1 cushion) – not exactly his pet event – during the biennial meet, but nonetheless, was an inspiring presence in the team winning a total of 12 medals, four of them were golds. For all his greatness, "The Magician" has yet to conquer the SEA Games where his highest finish was a bronze, five times to be exact, and all of them in men’s carom. Yet, that doesn’t diminish a bit what the Mexico, Pampanga pride has achieved in the pool table, where he’s been universally acknowledged as the greatest player of all-time. For that, Reyes is set to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) during the traditional SMC-PSA Awards Night on March 6 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel. At the same time, "Bata" will serve as special guest speaker during the gala night in a rare function for a man known for his few words. He became the second straight athlete to become guest speaker in the event presented by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), MILO, Cignal TV, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), and Rain or Shine after Olympian Bea Lucero last year. Team Philippines is the recipient of the coveted Athlete of the Year award from the country’s oldest media organization for defying the odds and winning the overall championship of the SEA Games. Reyes incidentally, was a three-time winner of the Athlete of the Year plum solely given by the PSA in 1999, 2001, and 2006. For the Lifetime Achievement Award, Reyes, whose humble beginnings and simple demeanor endeared him to the Filipino masses, was the hands-down choice following the massive success he achieved both in the local and world stage. The long list of honors include being the best player to win world championships in two different pool disciplines, having reigned as both world eight-ball and world nine-ball champion, was the first non-American to win the US Open 9-Ball Championship, became the inaugural winner of the World Cup of Pool in tandem with good friend Francisco "Django" Bustamante, acknowledged as the winningest player in the history of the Annual Derby City Classic with five titles, and won the largest prize money in the history of pocket billiards after topping the IPT World Open 8-Ball Championship worth $500K. Known for his legendary ability to "kick safe" the ball, Reyes topped the billiards money list five times, including a record earnings of $646K in 2006. While still active, he was already inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame in 2003. Last year, the PSA honored bowling great Bong Coo and cycling champion Paquito Rivas with the Lifetime Achievement Award......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2020

Louis Vuitton and NBA announce global partnership

PARIS AND NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2020 – Louis Vuitton and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a multiyear partnership that makes the French fashion house the first official Trophy Travel Case provider of the NBA.  The partnership marks Louis Vuitton’s first and only partnership with a North American sports league. Expertly hand-crafted in Louis Vuitton’s historic Asnières workshop on the outskirts of Paris, the trunk is coated in the House’s emblematic Monogram canvas and fitted with traditional brass fixtures.  The bespoke case will house and display The Larry O’Brien Trophy that is presented annually in June to the NBA team that wins The Finals. “Louis Vuitton and the NBA are both icons and leaders in their respective fields, and the joining of the two promises exciting and surprising moments, forging historic memories together,” said Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO Michael Burke.  “Louis Vuitton has long been associated with the world’s most coveted trophies, and with this iconic partnership the legacy continues – victory does indeed travel in Louis Vuitton!” “The NBA Finals is defined by iconic players and memorable performances, culminating with the presentation of The Larry O’Brien Trophy,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum.  “The tradition, heritage and identity of Louis Vuitton create a natural synergy with the NBA, and this partnership provides a unique and befitting way to showcase our championship trophy to our fans around the world.” The NBA and Louis Vuitton will also work together to co-author compelling stories regarding one of sport’s most symbolic trophies and its unique travel companion.  As part of the expansive partnership with the NBA, Louis Vuitton will create an annual limited-edition capsule collection, with details to be announced at a later date. The announcement was made ahead of The NBA Paris Game 2020 Presented by beIN SPORTS, which will feature the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks playing the first-ever regular-season NBA game in France on Friday, Jan. 24 at the AccorHotels Arena. About the NBA The NBA is a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League.  The NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in nearly 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.  NBA rosters at the start of the 2019-20 season featured 108 international players from 38 countries and territories.  NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass.  The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 1.6 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms.  Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes. About Louis Vuitton Since 1854, Louis Vuitton has brought unique designs to the world, combining innovation with style, always aiming for the finest quality. Today, the House remains faithful to the spirit of its founder, Louis Vuitton, who invented a genuine “Art of Travel” through luggage, bags and accessories which were as creative as they were elegant and practical.  Since then, audacity has shaped the story of Louis Vuitton. Faithful to its heritage, Louis Vuitton has opened its doors to architects, artists and designers across the years, all the while developing disciplines such as ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, watches, jewelry and fragrance. These carefully created products are testament to Louis Vuitton’s commitment to fine craftsmanship......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2020

ONE: Filipino Roel Rosauro feels like a World Champion after first win

Filipino striker Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro is on cloud nine after getting his first victory in The Home of Martial Arts. The Yaw-Yan Ardigma Cebu representative used every facet of his striking to emerge victorious over Yohan "The Ice Man" Mulia Legowo at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW this past Friday, 10 January, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. He went home with a winner’s medal for the first time in his ONE Championship career, but he feels like a World-Title winner already.  “I’m really, really happy. I feel like I’ve won the belt even though it’s only a medal,” Rosauro said after the bout.  “Now I plan to train harder and if there’s a chance to compete again, I’ll jump on it.” Rosauro opened the bout guns blazing as he launched a wide array of strikes that targeted Legowo’s head and body. "The Ice Man" was persistent and pressed forward the whole time, but it was the Cebuano who got the better of the exchanges. He dominated for fifteen minutes and managed to stuff the Indonesian’s takedown attempts. After the final bell, all three judges saw the contest in favor of Rosauro. “He did not do anything [that] surprised me. I really studied his game,” Rosauro said.  It was a win like no other for Rosauro after he started with consecutive losses in the world's largest martial arts organization. After all, he had to muster every ounce of his warrior spirit to live up to his believers' expectations. “That was big. What brought me to victory was the belief of my countrymen, my family, my manager, and my master.” Rosauro realizes he has a long way to go before he gets a sniff of his dream of vying for a ONE World Title. For now, he gives himself a pat on the back for making the Philippines proud, though he believes there is still a lot to work on.  “I’ll give my performance a grade of nine or eight out of ten,” Rosauro said. “I still have a lot to work on, particularly my cardio.” Meanwhile, ONE Championship returns to Rosauro’s home country for ONE: FIRE & FURY on 31 January at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.  Six of the Philippines’ local heroes will battle foes from all over the world in ONE’s first offering in the country.    Catch ONE: FIRE & FURY on Friday, January 31st LIVE at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2020

FIBA: June Mar key part of Gilas despite Asia Cup pool snub

The initial 24-man lineup for Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers is out and it has a mix of amateur and PBA players. Counting the five players taken during the special Gilas Draft last December, there are 13 amateurs in the new Gilas pool. The rest are made up of PBA players, including the returning Marc Pingris. Curiously enough, many-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo is not in the initial pool. Accoring to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio, Gilas is looking at fielding the younger players of the pool first. “As we said in the recent past, this is a development plan for the national team in preparation for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup,” Panlilio said in a statement first relayed by sportscaster Paolo Del Rosario. “It’s the early days in our program so we wanted to test youngsters who may be deserving of a shot in future big tournaments,” Panlilio added. Panlilio also believes that June Mar deserves an extended break after following his previous national team stints and brutal PBA schedule with San Miguel Beer. Still, the SBP says that the Kraken is an integral part of the Gilas program. “Fajardo remains a big part of the future for the Gilas program,” Panlilio said. “He will in fact be at his peak form when the WC2023 comes along. We will need his dominance and international experience and we assure all his supporters that they will see Fajardo wearing a Gilas jersey in the near future,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2020

Former Astro Will Harris joins Nats after losing Game 7

By Jake Seiner, Associated Press Relief pitcher Will Harris is joining the Washington Nationals after they beat him and the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series. Harris and the Nationals have agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract, the team announced Friday. The 35-year-old right-hander dominated with Houston for much of the postseason, starting October with nine consecutive scoreless innings. The Nationals finally got to him late in the World Series, and Harris allowed Howie Kendrick's go-ahead home run in Game 7. Washington went on to win its first World Series. Harris was stuck with the loss. “There’s no bitterness or anything like that from my end other than: Would I have liked it to go a different way? I mean, of course,” Harris said. “But there’s a lot of moments in my career I wish had gone a different way.” Harris acknowledged feeling uneasy when the Nationals first approached him. “That’s the first Game 7 World Series homer I’ve ever given up and I plan on it being the last,” he said. “So didn’t really know how to feel about it and how I felt about the Nationals. “It didn’t take me very long,” he added. “It took me a little while, thinking about it. I was like, ‘Look, man, there’s a lot of baseball left to play.’ And I’m looking forward to doing it in an organization that I feel really comfortable being a part of.” The right-handed Harris had a 1.50 ERA in 68 games for the Astros last season. He had been with Houston since 2015 and was an All-Star in 2016. Harris will try to bolster a bullpen that was among the worst in baseball last season. Nationals relievers blew 29 saves and had a 5.68 ERA, both worst in the NL. Harris is likely to slot behind closer Sean Doolittle as the team's top setup man. Harris filled a number of roles during his time in Houston, including as a specialist against left-handed hitters — unusual for a right-handed pitcher, but a crucial strength as Major League Baseball adopts a three-batter minimum for pitchers heading into the 2020 season. He has no preference regarding his place in the pecking order. He was more concerned with joining another title contender. “A team that’s coming off a World Series championship is definitely going to check all those boxes," he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2020

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 1)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JANUARY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao opened the year on a high note and retained his WBA welterweight title after a 12-round unanimous decision win over Adrien Broner. The Philippine volleyball community mourned the passing of head coach Nes Pamilar. He was 52. Joshua Pacio lost his One straw weight title belt to Japanese Yosuke Saruta via split decision while Geje Eustaquio also parted ways with his flyweight belt. The 44th season of the PBA opened.   Jett Manuel of Barangay Ginebra announced his retirement in the PBA after one season while Chris Tiu hanged his jersey after six seasons with Rain or Shine. Gilas Pilipinas began its preparation for the sixth and final qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Azkals finished its historic AFC Asian Cup debut winless after bowing to South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan.    FEBRUARY Gilas Pilipinas clinched a golden ticket to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China after back-to-back wins to close out the qualifiers. Aston Palicte beat erstwhile unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Martinez via TKO in their WBO Superflyweight world championship eliminator while Vic Saludar retained his WBO minimum weight world title. Arellano University completed a three-peat in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball while Perpetual Help won back-to-back titles in the men’s division and five straight in the juniors play. Seventeen year-old Filipino wakeboarder Raphael Trinidad clinched a silver medal in the open category of the IWWF World Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships at Pampa Wake Park, Buenos Aires. The Philippine Sportswriters Association feted the finest Filipino athletes  for the year 2018 in its annual awards night.    MARCH Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas announced the composition of the men’s and women’s seniors national team and women’s U-23 squad. Gilas Pilipinas landed in Group D in the FIBA World Cup with Serbia, Italy and Angola after the draw. San Beda University won its second straight NCAA Season 94 beach volleyball title while Emilio Aguinaldo College completed a men’s division repeat. Kevin Belingon lost his One bantwamweight title to Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes to disqualification from illegal blows while Eduard Folayang surrendered his lightweight belt to Shinya Aoki in a submission loss.   APRIL Hidilyn Diaz pocketed three silver medals in the Asian Weightlifting Championship. EJ Obiena ended the country’s decade-long gold medal drought in the Asian Athletics Championships after ruling the men’s pole vault in record fashion in Doha, Qatar. Nonito Donaire Jr. knocked out Stephon Young in the sixth round to retain his WBA superbantamweight belt and advance to the WBSS bantamweight tournament finals wile John Riel Casimero claimed the WBO interim bantamweight title. The San Juan Knights captured the MPBL Datu Cup in a winner-take-all Game 5 over Davao Occidental Tigers. Team Philippines recorded its best gold haul in Arafura Games in Australia. Marathon star Rafael Poliquit died of complications from subdural empyema. He was 30.   MAY Ateneo de Manila University won the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball title while National University bagged its second straight men’s crown. San Miguel Beer captured its fifth straight Philippine Cup championship at the expense of Magnolia. Petron defeated F2 Logistics in three games to retain its Philippine Superliga Grand Prix throne. Jerwin Ancajas scored a 7th round TKO win over Japanese Ryuichi Funai to keep his IBF super flyweight belt. The UAAP and NCAA collegiate press corps feted the best student-athletes in basketball and for the first time in women’s volleyball. Some athletes and sports personalities tried their luck in the 2019 mid-term elections.   JUNE   Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas stepped down from his post after just 18 months in office. Cignal-Ateneo won the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title.   (To be continued).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

Manny Pacquiao’s return to glory highlights Boxing in 2019

Apart from basketball and football, arguably no other sport dominates the global headlines quite like ‘The Sweet Science’. Such was the case once again in 2019, as the sport provided some pretty big stories, including a couple of returns to glory, some continued dominance, and even a pretty epic upset. Here are some of boxing’s biggest hits in 2019:   Manny’s Back! Well, okay, maybe it wouldn’t be right to say that he’s in his prime, but Manny Pacquiao definitely showed that in 2019, he can still hang with the best. The 41-year old eight-division world champion showed just that at the start of the year when he dominated Adrien Broner in Las Vegas to defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship. Then, just six months later, Pacquiao did even better by dethroning the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman for the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship. With Pacquiao’s recent resurgence, so to speak, more and more possible big money bouts are being discussed, but the whispers that continue to be prevalent are those of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. While ‘Money’ remains retired, he’s done more than enough to continuously fan the flames of a potential rematch, and 2020 could finally be the year that it becomes a reality. As always, we’ll just have to wait and see.   Donnie Nietes vacates WBO title From one Filipino boxing great, we jump to another, as Donnie Nietes made headlines early in the year, and then was pretty much never heard from for the rest of 2019. After defeating Kazuto Ioka to become the WBO Super Flyweight World Champion in the very final day of 2018, Nietes was once again a world champion and seemed to be in for another dominant year as one of the division’s top dogs. In a surprise move however, Nietes decided to vacate the title in March, without even defending it, citing his desire for bouts against big-name opponents in the division. With Nietes vacating the title, it set up a title bout against then-mandatory challenger Aston Palicte and Kazuto Ioka, with Ioka ultimately winning and taking the WBO title. As for Nietes, the longest-reining Filipino boxing, who last fought on December 31, 2018, he will go more than a year without competing for the first time in his storied career. Hopefully, 2020 features the long-awaited return of “Ahas”.   The dominance continues for Lomachenko, Crawford, Canelo, and Ancajas Some won titles, others vacated, and others just remained on top. This was the case for the likes of Vasily Lomachenko, Terrence Crawford, Canelo Alvarez, and our very own Jerwin Ancajas. 2019 was a relatively quiet year for Loma, who only had two bouts to his name. The Ukrainian boxing machine KOd Anthony Crolla in April to retain the WBA super and WBO World Lightweight World Championships. In August, Lomachencko defeated Luke Campbell via Unanimous Decision to retain his titles and win the vacant WBC World Lightweight Championship. “Bud” Crawford also had himself a two-fight year in 2019. In April, Crawford faced Amir Khan in a highly-anticipated bout, and ended up scoring a sixth-round TKO to retain his WBO World Welterweight crown. In mid-December, Crawford scored another TKO win to defend his title, this time against Egidijus Kavaliauskas Canelo Alvarez meanwhile, became a four-division world champion in 2019 after going up to light heavyweight and dispatching Sergey Kovalev in 11 rounds to capture the WBO title. This was after he opened the year with an impressive 12-round win over Daniel Jacobs to retain the WBC, WBA super and IBF Middleweight World Championships. Our very own IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas also had a good year, defeating Ryuichi Funai and Miguel Gonzales en route to eight successful world title defenses.   Andy Ruiz Jr. shocks the world In recent years, boxing’s heavyweight division belonged to the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua. That all changed when Joshua saw himself fall victim to the biggest boxing upset of the year. Following a failed drug test from his initial challenger Jared Miller, Joshua was matched up with Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr, who many didn’t take seriously due to his less than impressive physique. Ruiz quickly silenced the naysayers by using his speed and power to drop Joshua four times, twice in what would be the final seventh round, to shock the world and capture the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight World Championships. Ruiz also became the first Mexican heavyweight world champion in boxing history. In the rematch however, Joshua bounced right back and dominated Ruiz across 12 rounds to reclaim the titles. Part 3 could be something to watch out for this 2020.   Nonito Doniare Jr. and Naoya Inoue put on a war Many expected it to be a quick affair, but the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Finale between Nonito Donaire Jr. and Naoya Inoue ended up becoming a 12-round classic, worth of Fight of the Year honors. Donaire Jr. and Inoue both earned their spots in the tournament finale, but judging from their prior performances, it looked like ‘The Monster’ Inoue was set to make quick work of an aging, presumed-to-be-past-his-prime Donaire Jr. “The Filipino Flash” instead gave Inoue the fight of his life, putting the pressure on the Japanese star like no one else before has been able to do. Unfortunately for Donaire, the younger Inoue simply had more in the tank left, as he was able to grind out a Unanimous Decision win, but it was clearly the hardest win he had ever had. For Donaire’s part, his impressive performance in the loss earned him a mandatory challenger spot against WBC Bantamweight World Champion Nordine Oubaali in 2020.   Amatuer stars Eumir Marcial and Nesthy Petecio shine on the world stage and in the SEA Games It wasn’t just the Pinoy pros that had their time in the spotlight, as a pair of amateur pugs also made headlines in 2019. Filipino middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial finished with silver in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Russia and then finished the year with a dominant run in the 2019 SEA Games, stopping both his opponents en route to a gold medal. Nesthy Petecio meanwhile, became a world champion after capturing gold in the 2019 AIBA Women’s Boxing World Championships, also in Russia. Petecio’s win earned her a spot as the torchbearer in the 2019 SEA Games, lighting the cauldron alongside Pinoy boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Petecio also captured gold in the SEA Games tournaments.   Quadro Alas becomes a three-division champion For a while, it looked like Johnriel “Quadro Alas” Casimero was done. After an uninspired loss to Jonas Sultan in a super flyweight title eliminator, Casimero steadily got back on track and picked up win after win until he was suddenly a titleholder again, winning the WBO Interim Bantamweight World Championship in April. After a successful defense of the interim belt, Casimero became the mandatory challenger to reigning WBO World Champion Zolani Tete. Tete was coming into that fight as the heavy favorite, riding a 12-fight winning streak which included three successful title defenses. Casimero halted the Tete hype train with a third-round TKO win to once again become a world champion, his third in as many weight divisions. With the win, Casimero now sets his sights on a possible super-fight against Naoya Inoue in 2020......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2019

Woods comeback at Masters named AP Sports Story of the Year

By Eddie Pells, Associated Press A green jacket. A heart-melting embrace. A stirring return to the top of golf by one of the sport’s all-time greats. In choosing Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters as The Associated Press sports story of the year, voters went with the uplifting escape of a great comeback over options that were as much about sports as the issues that enveloped them in 2019: politics, money and the growing push for equal pay and equal rights for women. The balloters, a mix of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, elevated Woods’ rousing victory at Augusta National over the runner-up entry: the U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory at the World Cup. That monthlong competition was punctuated by star Megan Rapinoe’s push for pay equality for the women’s team and an ongoing war of words with President Donald Trump. Rapinoe’s efforts to use sports as a platform to discuss bigger issues was hardly a one-off in 2019. Of the top 12 stories in the balloting, only three — titles won by the Toronto Raptors, Washington Nationals and University of Virginia basketball team — stuck mainly to what happened between the lines. All the rest — including the blown call that cost the Saints a chance at the Super Bowl, a California law that threatens to upend the NCAA and Simone Biles’ dominance at gymnastics' world championships, set against the backdrop of the sex-abuse crisis consuming the sport in the U.S. — were long-running sagas that went beyond a single day or event. They painted sports not as an escape from the world’s problems but merely another window into them. It’s no stretch to say that the whole of the Woods saga — namely, the sordid, pain-riddled, decadelong prelude to his victory at Augusta National in April — would fit into that category, as well. His downfall began in the wee hours the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, when he ran over a fire hydrant outside his house in Florida, triggering an avalanche of stories about infidelity that would lead to the breakup of his marriage and play into the near-destruction of his career. Part 2 was the injuries. Woods came close but did not return to his dominant form after his return to golf following his breakup with his wife. And as time went on, his physical condition deteriorated. He didn’t play in 2016 or 2017, and at the end of '17, he conceded his back was so bad that his days of competitive golf might be behind him. There were four risky back surgeries. Woods also required a good deal of inner healing after a mortifying DUI arrest in 2017 that exposed his reliance on painkillers. Through it all, Woods somehow kept nurturing his love for golf. And eventually, he found his game again. He climbed his way back to the top. He had close calls at two majors in 2018 — the British Open and PGA Championship — and then won the season-ending Tour Championship, as good a sign as any that, at 43, he could take on the best and win. But regular tournaments are not the majors, and no major is the Masters. It was on those hallowed grounds at Augusta National where Woods set the marker, starting a decade of dominance that would redefine the game. He blew away the field by 12 strokes in 1997 to win the first of what has become five green jackets and 15 major titles. On that day, Woods came off the 18th green and wrapped himself in a warm embrace with his father, Earl, whose death in 2006 left an undeniable void in the player's life. Though there had been a handful of close calls between his U.S. Open victory in 2008 and the start of 2019, it was clear that if there was a single course where Woods could conjure the old magic and end a major drought, it would be Augusta National. As a four-time champion, Woods built a career on studying every inch of the layout, knowing every fault line and every sneaky twist and turn of the slickest greens on earth. But where, at one time, he might have overpowered the course and intimidated the competition, in 2019, he simply outlasted them both. He avoided mistakes while everyone else was making them. Instead of taking a lead into the last day, then never giving anyone a whiff of hope, this was a comeback. He started the day two shots behind. As AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson wrote in his wrapup of the final day: “Woods never missed a shot that mattered over the final seven holes, taking the lead with a 5-iron to the fat of the green on the par-5 15th for a two-putt birdie, delivering the knockout with an 8-iron that rode down the ridge by the cup and settled 2 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th.” When it was over, Woods came to the same spot where he’d met Earl 22 years before. He scooped up his son, Charlie, and held him in a long embrace, then did the same with his 11-year-old daughter, Sam, and mother, Tilda. “For them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that’s something they will never forget,” Woods said. Very few golf fans will. And in a sports year dominated by weightier topics, Woods at the Masters stood out — a comeback story that left people smiling at the end......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019