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At least 24 teams to do battle in MPBL’s second conference

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) is just getting started in its aim of giving a bigger stage for players from all over the country the chance to shine. And now, the upstart league will have a 24-strong stable of squads all ready and raring to push it farther. “The vision of the league is to give a chance to homegrown players. Now may 24 teams tayo, we’re still striving to be a place for many more homegrown players,” commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said in the league-wide owners’ meeting on Wednesday at the Raffles Hotel in Makati. Last month, the MPBL closed the curtain on what was a successful first conference with the Batangas Athletics topping nine other teams to win the league’s inaugural championship. Then, the Bataan Defenders (now Risers), Bulacan Kuyas, Caloocan Supremos, Imus Bandera, Muntinlupa Cagers, Navotas Clutch, Paranaque Patriots, Quezon City Capitals, and Valenzuela Classic rounded out the leaderboard. Now, at least 14 new squads will be challenging both Batangas and the already established league hierarchy. Joining the MPBL are the the Cebu Sharks, Davao Occidental Tigers, General Santos Warriors, Laguna Heroes, Makati Skyscrapers, Mandaluyong El Tigre, Manila Stars, Pasay Voyagers, Pampanga Lanterns, Pasig Pirates, San Juan Knights, and Zamboanga Valientes. Rizal and Marikina are also new members of the league, but their monickers are yet to be determined. Meanwhile, Basilan and Sta. Rosa have also signified their intent to compete, but their memberships are yet to be finalized. Whatever the final number of teams is, Duremdes has no doubt that the league will only be bigger and better in its second conference tipping off in June. “You can expect every game to be a full-packed game. Yun yung naging initial success ng liga - yung nakakalaro yung sinasabi nating local heroes,” he said. League owners are still discussing the format, scheduling, and venues of the tournament as of press time. What’s sure is that the games will all be in Luzon. “Big thanks to our teams from the south kasi they all agreed na yung games nila, Luzon muna,” the commissioner said. If and when any from Cebu, Davao Occidental, General Santos, or Zamboanga make the playoffs, though, then the MPBL will have to consider granting them home games. “Kung nakapasok sila ng playoffs, who knows, yun yung chance nila to host home games,” Duremdes remarked. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMay 16th, 2018

Long-awaited matchup arrives for Rockets, Warriors

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com James Harden and the Rockets must get past the Warriors to reach their first Finals since 1995. Finally, it’s here. The series the NBA world has been waiting for from the moment Chris Paul requested a trade last summer that sent him to the Houston Rockets to join forces with James Harden has arrived. It's the Rockets vs. the four-time Western Conference and two-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors for West supremacy. The Rockets had a feeling they could see this journey through to this point, even when the teams met on opening night at Oracle Arena. Houston was built to beat the champs, and did it twice in their three regular season encounters. Rockets center Clint Capela voiced his opinions on the matchup after a January win, saying his team was superior to the champs. And he’s just as eager for this match up, in which the Rockets hold home-court advantage. “I’m real excited,” Capela said. “This [Warriors] team is going to be hard, it’s going to be a fight. There’s going to be a lot of adjustments after every game. It’s going to be a chess game. Of course, we’re going to be ready. They’ve been to The Finals three straight years. So we’re just excited. Everybody's excited about it. I’m sure all the NBA fans are excited about it, too.” The Warriors are fired up, too, and have heard all the chirping. “Now you’ve got to play the game,” All-Star forward Draymond Green said. “You wanted us, now you’ve got us.” The Warriors are attempting to conquer the West for a fourth straight season, but this will be their first West finals without home-court advantage. Doing it against a team specifically designed to take them down just adds to a battle wrought with connections. Harden, Paul, Green, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all won gold medals together, be it on the Olympic or World Cup of Basketball stage. Harden and Durant were teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder team that lost The Finals in 2012. Paul’s LA Clippers squad in 2014 was the last West foe to knock the Warriors out of the playoffs before The Finals. And the Rockets were the team the Warriors beat in the 2015 West finals to jump-start their would-be dynasty. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni pioneered the style the Warriors have used to dominate the league while he was coaching in Phoenix, where Warriors coach Steve Kerr was the Suns GM. The three-pointers will fly from all directions. Both teams are capable of defending at a championship level. The personnel on both sides is ideally matched. Perhaps best of all, though, is that both teams are healthy and without any ready-made excuses overshadowing this showdown. It’s best on best, a test of collective wills between the “cream of the Western Conference crop,” as Curry declared after the Warriors and Rockets each won their West semifinal series just hours apart on May 8 (May 9, PHL time). The NBA world has been waiting on this heavyweight showdown. Now, it’s finally here. 3 quick questions and answers 1. Who flinches first, Kerr with his “Hamptons Five” lineup or D’Antoni with his Harden-Paul-Capela trio? Against every other team in the league, the Warriors’ small-ball unit of Durant, Thompson, Curry, Green and Andre Iguodala has a clear advantage. No one else has three shooters like Durant, Curry and Thompson playing alongside the versatile Green and Iguodala. The Rockets come close with Harden, Paul and Capela alongside defensive specialists and three-point marksmen Trevor Ariza and P.J. Tucker. It’ll be a fascinating study in styles watching them matchup against each other. But advantage Warriors ... until we see someone crack the code against the "Hamptons Five." 2. What’s more valuable -- Houston's home-court advantage or Golden State's experience? Home-court advantage is always preferred. The Warriors know that. It’s been good to them in each of the past three seasons grinding through the West playoffs to The Finals. But it’s not infallible (as the Cleveland Cavaliers taught us, rallying from a 3-1 Finals deficit to take Game 7 at Oracle Arena). Which is exactly why the Rockets need to have the threat level turned all the way up for Games 1 and 2. Lose either one of the first two games at Toyota Center and the Warriors will pounce in this series. 3. Who is the biggest wild card for each team? And, are they capable of swinging this series? It’s Eric Gordon for the Rockets and whichever big man (JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, Kevon Looney or perhaps Jordan Bell) that Kerr taps for service for the Warriors. Gordon has to shoot more consistently than he has thus far in the playoffs (34.2 percent overall, 31.4 percent on three-pointers) if the Rockets hope to match the Warriors basket for basket. The Warriors have a big man for basically every season, it’s just a matter of which one will fare best against a much-improved Capela. He has outplayed two more heralded bigs (All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns and the Jazz's Rudy Gobert) in each of the Rockets’ series to date. Overall, though, there's too much star power in this series for any role player to swing the momentum for more than a few minutes. The number to know 100.7 --The two best offensive teams in the regular season have been the two best defensive teams in the playoffs, combining to allow just 100.7 points per 100 possessions on their way to the conference finals. In the first round, the Rockets and Warriors held the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs to 5.6 and 5.2 fewer points per 100 possessions than they scored in the regular season, respectively. And in the conference semifinals, they held the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans to 7.0 and 16.2 fewer points per 100 possessions than they scored in the first round, respectively. The Rockets' starting lineup has allowed just 92 points per 100 possessions in its 153 minutes, having forced more than 21 turnovers per 100 (the best mark among lineups that have played at least 75 minutes). The Warriors' "Hamptons Five" lineup, meanwhile, has allowed less than 87 points per 100 possessions in its 54 minutes, and the champs have allowed just 94 points per 100 possessions in 250 total minutes with Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala on the floor together. These teams aren't just here because of how potent their offenses are, and the team that advances to The Finals will be the one that continues to defend at a high level. -- John Schuhmann Making the pick The Rockets made it their mission to put together a group to avenge their 2015 and 2016 playoff failures, with the Warriors serving as their primary target. They’ve got home-court advantage, an inspired Paul and what appears to be all of the requisite parts needed to interrupt the Warriors’ dynasty plans. But do they have the nerve to snatch it all from Golden State, which took a measured approach to 2017-18 and has seemingly flipped the proverbial with another championship run on the line? Experience over ambition this time. Warriors in 6. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2018

Young Celtics look to stop James, Cavaliers

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com For a few days at least, much of the talk about this rematch of the 2017 Eastern Conference finals will focus on what might have been. In what could have offered some poetic closure to the Eastern Conference portion of this season, former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving would be taking on his old team and, specifically, LeBron James, the superstar “big brother” whom he’d dissed by demanding a trade. Meanwhile, in a more perfect pulp-fiction world, Cleveland would be setting loose point guard Isaiah Thomas on the Boston Celtics, giving him a chance for payback to the team that dealt him away the instant it sniffed the chance to land Irving. Those plotlines are kaput; Irving’s season ended in March with left knee surgery, Thomas got dealt from Cleveland at the February trade deadline. The best we’ll get now are sideline shots of Irving in street clothes on Boston’s bench, reacting to the series’ ebbs and flows. Thomas might be limited to tweeting from afar. That leaves one clear, distinct narrative: The King of the East vs. perhaps the best collection of aspirants to his throne. James is trying to cap one of his most remarkable seasons by advancing to his eighth consecutive Finals, having led the Cavaliers to the past three after four with the Miami Heat. He has coaxed and carried these Cavs along a steep learning curve, finally getting them spiffed up by the end of their sweep of Toronto. “He’s been doing this for a long time,” Boston’s Marcus Smart said after the clincher over Philadelphia. “He’s, if not the greatest, one of the greatest to do it. What better way than to go up and compete against a guy that’s [going to have] statues and things like that.” The Celtics, by contrast, are a team trying to write fresh history. They’re ahead of schedule, too, given Irving’s absence and the loss of prize free agent Gordon Hayward way back on opening night to a gruesome leg injury, coincidentally, in Cleveland. Boston put out a talented Milwaukee Bucks club in the opening round, then dumped the Philadelphia 76ers -- another rising franchise in the East – in five games. And for those who think the West has the sexier conference clash, this one offers a pretty slick matchup: James against Boston coach Brad Stevens. Widely regarded as a master tactician, Stevens -- whose Celtics lost in five games to the Cavaliers in last year’s East finals -- gets another multi-game shot. In last year’s series, James averaged these numbers to beat: 29.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 6.8 apg, 2.2 spg and 1.2 bpg. 3 quick questions and answers 1. Who guards LeBron? This is the first question (or should be) of every preview of every playoff series every year of James’ career since he first started qualifying in 2006. Toronto used the length of OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam on James but neither of the Celtics’ young, long forwards -- Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum -- would be ideal for the duty, because Boston needs their scoring. Brown will take his turn but look for Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart in the crosshairs, counting on their physical force to bother Cleveland’s star. With undoubtedly lots of help and different looks, all the while sticking close to shooters like Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith and Kevin Love. Said center Aron Baynes late Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): “We know where the head of the snake is and we know what we have to focus on but he’s got a lot of great role players around him and some other guys that can really create as well. 2. Will Point Guard Showdown 1A be a letdown? So instead of Irving vs. Thomas, we’ll get Terry Rozier vs. George Hill. That’s not a bad backup plan, because Rozier has had a star-is-born postseason so far and Hill has been a huge help to the Cavs after missing 3.5 games in the first round. Hill has more experience and is a scrappy defender, but Rozier -- who averaged 16.7 points and shot 47.1 percent from three in the regular season vs. Cleveland -- has speed and energy that might swing this matchup in Boston’s favor. 3. Will Love love this matchup with Horford? Kevin Love doesn’t like playing center, but Cavs coach Tyronn Lue likes the effect that has on opposing defenses. Love has an inside-outside game that makes him a tough cover for both the big fives and for more agile power-forward types. The challenge in this round is how Love copes with Al Horford, who has comparable forward’s skills. It won’t be a traditional battle of bigs, for which Love will be grateful after tangling with Toronto’s jumbo Jonas Valanciunas. The number to know 18.5 -- The Cavs scored 121.5 points per 100 possessions in the conference semifinals against Toronto, 18.5 more than they scored in the first round against Indiana (103.0). The Indy series was too close for comfort; The Pacers actually outscored Cleveland by 40 points in the series and Cavs not named James registered an effective field goal percentage of just 47 percent (the league average is 52 percent). But things were much different against the No. 1 seed, with Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith combining to shoot 24-for-38 (63 percent) from 3-point range and Kevin Love recovering from a funk to average 25 points on 54 percent shooting over the final three games. The Cavs' defense remains a question, but they always have the ability to score points in bunches. The Celtics had the No. 1 defense in the regular season and the regular season series was on the ugly side (the teams combined to score just 100 points per 100 possessions), but Boston will have to pick its poison with James surrounded by shooters that have started to shoot well. -- John Schuhmann Making the pick The Cavaliers won two of the three meetings between these teams in the regular season, with their more impressive victory coming mere days after the Cleveland roster makeover at the trade deadline. The Cavs were plus-11 in the season series, James averaged 24.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg and 8.3 apg, Boston shot 30-of-106 from three and ... aw, who are we kidding? Regular season results matter little now. James is determined to win his 24th consecutive Eastern Conference series to reach his eighth straight Finals. He was a maestro vs. the Raptors in drawing out his teammates’ games. The Celtics, allowing for their injuries, already have overachieved. That ends here. Cavaliers in 6......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2018

ABS-CBN, S+A to air the NBA Conference Finals

The NBA Conference Finals are here! The pool of 16 has been whittled down to four.  The squads who were involved in the opening day match-ups last October will meet once again, this time in a pair of best-of-seven series in the NBA's version of the Final Four. As a treat for all Filipino fans, all Conference Finals games will be available on ABS-CBN Channel 2, ABS-CBN HD, ABS-CBN S+A, and S+A HD! The Best of the West  In the Western Conference, the dream battle between the top two seeds will finally come to fruition. The defending champions Golden State Warriors will face a stiff challenge against the top-seeded Houston Rockets, a team designed in order to have a crack at toppling the most dominant team in the league. A key match-up will be of course between two-time MVP Stephen Curry and this season's MVP front-runner James Harden. Not too far in the background are veteran guard Chris Paul and 2017 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. The supporting cast of both teams include All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for the Warriors, and key contributors Eric Gordon and Clint Capela for the Rockets. Every game of the Western Conference Finals will be aired LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD! The East goes through LeBron James Meanwhile, LeBron James will try to take his new-look Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals once again, but standing in their way are the young and gritty Boston Celtics. The Celtics, who lost stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward as well as rookie center Daniel Theis, will be anchored by rising guard Terry Rozier, All-Star Al Horford, and young guns Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Cleveland, on the other hand, led by the ever-reliable four-time MVP in James, will be supported by All-Star Kevin Love. Also at his disposal are guards JR Smith and Kyle Korver, Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson, center Tristan Thompson, and high-flying Larry Nance, Jr! All Eastern Conference Finals battles will be seen on ABS-CBN Channel 2 and ABS-CBN HD! Check out the schedule of the NBA Conference Finals below!.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2018

PVL: Army seeks to bounce back, three other teams make debut

Philippine Army looks to rebound from an opening day loss as three other teams begin their quests in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference men's division on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Troopers face Instituto Estetico Manila at 12:00 noon after the 10:00 a.m. duel of Philippine Air Force and PLDT. The 12 noon game will be available via livestream.   Army crashed early in the season-opening conference, dropping a 13-25, 16-25, 29-27, 21-25 decision at the hands of newcomer Vice Co. on Sunday. Benjaylo Labide and Patrick Rojas were the only Troopers in double figures with 20 and 15 points in their opener. Meanwhile, national team members John Vic De Guzman and Mark Alfafara banner PLDT’s drive to reclaim its place in Philippine men’s club volleyball throne after winning it all in the defunct Spiker’s Turf Open Conference three years ago. But PLDT will face a tough opening day battle in their return in the club scene against a veteran-laden Jet Spikers, who finished runner-up last year.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

PVL: New teams Tacloban, PayMaya clash in debut

Jovielyn Prado and the core of NCAA back-to-back champion Arellano University hopes to bring the same intensity and power when rookie team Tacloban goes into action against the Grethcel Soltones-led PayMaya on Sunday in the 2nd Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference. The battle begins at 2:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA and via livestream. Meanwhile, the men’s division duel between Vice Co. Blockusters and Philippine Army starts at 10:00 a.m. Prado will reunite with college teammates Anne Esguerra, Andrea Marzan, libero Eunice Galang and Regine Arocha to banner the Nes Pamilar-mentored Fighting Warays owned by Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami. Joining the crack crew are NCAA Season 93 Most Valuable Player Shola Alvarez, University of the East’s Judith Abil and Seth Rodriguez and UAAP Season 80 runner-ups Kyle Negrito and Heather Guino-o of Far Eastern University. Tacloban has Thai stars Amporn Hyapha and Sasiwilmol Sangpan as imports. They will face a High Flyers squad that is composed of last year’s Open Conference champion core. Soltones, a three-time NCAA MVP, will have Lizlee Ann Pantone, Jasmine Nabor, Jorelle Singh, Aiko Urdas, Jerrili Malabanan and Alyssa Eroa, all coming from last year’s Open Conference champion BaliPure, as her crew for the Roger Gorayeb-mentored team. Also in the team are Kat Villegas, Joyce Sta. Maria, FEU’s Czarina Carandang, Angel Cayuna and UAAP Season 80 Best Blocker Celine Domingo with imports Nicole Roundtree and Shelby Sullivan providing added firepower and muscles for the High Flyers.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2018

The curse of the Western Conference '4 seed

Here's a reminder for the Western Conference teams next season when they start jockeying for playoff seeding: Avoid the fourth seed at all costs. Sure you'll get home court advantage against the fifth seed, but that hasn't meant anything since the 2012 Playoffs. For the past seven years, all fourth seeds have lost to the fifth seeds, with the latest victims being the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were ousted in six games by the Utah Jazz. Is it sheer coincidence? A hardwood hex? A sign of parity? We'll run through the aforementioned seven series and let you decide for yourself. 2012 Playoffs - #5 LA Clippers (40-26) defeat #4 Memphis Grizzlies (41-25) in seven games The setup: It feels appropriate that this "curse" began during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. The Clippers were in year one of Lob City, having acquired Chris Paul during the offseason, while the Grizzlies were looking to build on their epic #8 vs #1 upset of the San Antonio Spurs from the previous postseason. What happened: The Grizzlies began this series in the worst possible way. In game one, they led by as much as 27 points, and were up 95-71 with 9:13 left to play. But then Nick Young happened. Swaggy P came off the Clippers bench and buried three straight triples, helping LA win game one, and build a 3-1 series lead. The Grizzlies won the next two though, sending things back to Bluff City for a game seven. Ultimately though, home court didn't help, as the Clippers broke the game wide open in the fourth, outscoring the Grizzlies 27-16, for an 82-72 victory. "That guy was on the team?": Reggie Evan led the Clippers in rebounding with 8.7 a night, while Gilbert Arenas played in six out of the seven games, totaling 23 minutes and four points for the Grizzlies. What next?: The Spurs swept the Clippers in the semis. 2013 Playoffs - #5 Memphis Grizzlies (56-26) defeat #4 LA Clippers (56-26) in six games The setup: The Clippers won their division for the VERY FIRST TIME in franchise history, while the Grizzlies were in full Grit 'N Grind mode, with Marc Gasol winning Defensive Player of the Year that season. What happened: Things started off well, with the Clippers winning the first two games in LA. However, the Grizzlies stood firm at home, knotting the series at 2-all. Things turned dire for LAC when star forward Blake Griffin suffered an ankle sprain during practice, limiting him to just 19:34 minutes in game five, which they lost. With their season on the line in the City of Angels for game six, Griffin could only play 13:56, and not even a career postseason-best 30 points by Matt Barnes could save the Clips. To add insult to injury, Chris Paul was ejected with 2:29 left, before the game ended with a 118-105 score. "That guy was on the team?": Tayshaun Prince was Memphis' starting small forward, while Grant Hill and Lamar Odom, both with the Clips, played their last NBA seasons. What next?: The Grizzlies dispatched the OKC Thunder in five games in the conference finals, before losing to the Spurs via a sweep in the West Finals. 2014 Playoffs - #5 Portland Trail Blazers (54-28) defeat #4 Houston Rockets (54-28) in six games The setup: The Houston Rockets added Dwight Howard to a roster that already had James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons, making them one of the top teams in the West. The Portland Trail Blazers meanwhile built on Damian Lillard's 2013 Rookie of the Year campaign and snapped a two-year postseason drought. What happened: While things were tightly contested, three of the first four games went to overtime, the Blazers seemingly had the Rockets' number, winning two of those OT games, en route to a 3-1 series lead. The Rockets managed to stave off elimination at home in game five, but in game six, Lillard truly made a name for himself, by canning a series-winning shot, allowing Rip City to advance for the first time in 14 years. "That guy was on the team?": Mo Williams was Portland's sixth man (8.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.8 apg), while Omer Asik teamed up with Howard in the Houston frontcourt. What next?: The Blazers managed to take one game from the Spurs, before bowing out in the conference semifinals. 2015 Playoffs - #5 Memphis Grizzlies (55-27) defeat #4 Portland Trail Blazers (51-31) in five games The setup: The Blazers won the Northwest Division, but the next two teams in the standings, the Grizzlies and the Spurs, both had notched 55 wins, four more than them. Portland's main problem though was swingman Wesley Matthews tearing an achilles tendon early in March, a season-ending injury. What happened: Portland struggled to find someone who could take the starting SG spot on their roster with Matthews out, cycling through CJ McCollum, Allen Crabbe, and Arron Afflalo. That trio, as starters, combined to shoot 4-of-22 for 10 points over five games, allowing the Memphis D to concentrate on Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Grizzlies won the first three games, before picking up the clincher in game five, despite starting point guard Mike Conley suffering a facial fracture in game three and missing the rest of the series. "That guy was on the team?": Nick Calathes wound up assuming the point guard duties for the Grizzlies, in what turned out to be his final NBA stint (he went back to playing in Greece after the season). What next?: The Grizzlies lost in six games in the next round to the Golden State Warriors, after the Dubs made their famous adjustment to use Andrew Bogut to guard Tony Allen. 2016 Playoffs - #5 Portland Trail Blazers (44-38) defeat #4 LA Clippers (53-29) in six games The setup: The LA Clippers came really close to losing center DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks in the offseason, but you all know what happened instead. As for the Portland Trail Blazers, the team rebuilt after losing LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Batum, among others, pairing Lillard with Most Improved Player winner CJ McCollum in the backcourt. What happened: The Paul-Griffin-Jordan trio looked splendid early on, going up 2-0 after games in LA. The Blazers struck back and won game three, but then disaster waylaid LA in game four, with BOTH Paul (broken hand) and Griffin (quad) exiting the game and the series. That paved the way for the Blazers to complete their run and advance. "That guy was on the team?": It was Chris Kaman's final NBA season, and he spent it as a locker room guy for the Blazers. It was also Clippers guard Pablo Prigioni's last stint in the NBA (not counting several preseason games with the Rockets the next season, before he got cut and returned to Europe). What next?: The Blazers advanced to the West semis, where they lost in five games to the Warriors, despite Stephen Curry missing the first three matches. 2017 Playoffs - #5 Utah Jazz (51-31) defeat #4 LA Clippers (51-31) in seven games The setup: It was a battle between two teams looking to go far in the postseason in the hopes of enticing their future free agents to re-up. For the Jazz, Gordon Hayward was the player in question, while for the Clippers, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had the ability to depart in the offseason. What happened: Iso-Joe Johnson did Iso-Joe things, stealing game one for the Jazz on the Clippers' home court. Undeterred, the Clippers proceeded to win the next two, for a 2-1 advantage, but game three turned out to be costly. The team the next day announced that Blake Griffin was out for the rest of the season due to a toe injury. Still, things went to a game seven, in LA, but the Clippers did not have the firepower to win out, and the Jazz were able to get the victory and advance. What next?: The Jazz got swept by the Warriors in the West semis. And ironically, both Hayward and Paul wound up departing their respective teams. In addition, Griffin did sign an extension with the Clippers, but they wound up trading him mid-way through the 2017-18 campaign. 2018 Playoffs - #5 Utah Jazz (48-34) defeat #4 Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34) in six games The setup: The Jazz equaled their postseason rank from last season, thanks to the brilliance of rookie Donovan Mitchell, while the Thunder formed a "Big Three" comprising Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. What happened: Paul George sizzled for 36 points to help the Thunder win game one, but Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell teamed up to help the Jazz win the next three. On the brink of elimination, Russell Westbrook led a dominant third quarter effort in OKC to force a game six, but in Salt Lake City, the Jazz managed to hold on, and earn the series victory. What next?: The Jazz will now test themselves against the top-seeded Houston Rockets. Should be a good one. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 29th, 2018

10 things to know about the 2018 NBA Playoffs

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press With the NBA playoffs starting Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), here are 10 things to know: LEBRON’S STREAK Pacers fans, avert your eyes. LeBron James hasn’t experienced losing a first-round game in nearly six years. James’ teams have won 21 consecutive opening-round contests, a streak that started in Game 5 of the Miami-New York series in 2012. Combining his Cleveland and Miami years, James’ teams have won 46 of their last 51 first-round games. James and the Cavs play Indiana in the first round this season. MORE LEBRON James could set a slew of NBA records in these playoffs. He’s already the all-time postseason leader in points, is seven steals from passing Scottie Pippen (395) for the playoff record in that department, is four shots from passing Kobe Bryant (4,499) for another career postseason mark. Depending on how long Cleveland’s postseason lasts, James also has a shot at passing Ray Allen (385) for career postseason 3-pointers; he’s 55 shy of taking over the No. 1 spot there. And if the Cavs make a deep run James could also catch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) for most field goals. KERR BATTLE Golden State coach Steve Kerr is estranged from his son. Temporarily. Nick Kerr works for the San Antonio Spurs — the Warriors’ opponent in a Western Conference first round series. This has long been a source of great amusement for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who coached Steve Kerr as a player and remains close with him now. Popovich has said that Nick Kerr is the subject of additional security screenings at work, just to ensure he’s not a spy for the Warriors. (No, Pop wasn’t serious.) Steve Kerr says he and his son are “recusing ourselves” from family interaction during the series. “I think they already confiscated Nick’s phone,” he said. SO CLOSE ... You have to feel for Omri Casspi and DeMarcus Cousins. No active players have appeared in more regular-season games without any getting any postseason run than Casspi and Cousins. Casspi has played in 552 games, Cousins 535. And both were right on the cusp of ending their droughts this year; Casspi was waived by Golden State because it needed a roster spot once he hurt his ankle, and Cousins tore his Achilles’ to end his season with New Orleans. Tom Van Arsdale (929) is the record-holder for most regular-season games without seeing postseason play, followed by Otto Moore (682), Nate Williams (642), Sebastian Telfair (564), then Casspi and Cousins. GLOBAL GAME These NBA playoffs will be more global than ever. A record 62 international players, from a record 33 countries, are headed to the postseason. Every playoff team has at least one international player on its roster, with Utah and Philadelphia both featuring seven and Boston, Toronto and San Antonio six each. France and Australia lead the way in international representation in these playoffs, with seven players from each nation making it to the second season. Canada and Spain both have four. STREAKING SPURS This wasn’t San Antonio’s best season; the Spurs got “only” the seventh seed in the West. But their streak lives. This is the 21st consecutive season the Spurs have made the playoffs, one shy of matching Philadelphia for the longest NBA run. To put their current streak in perspective, the soonest any other NBA club will be able to say that it has a 21-season postseason streak will be 2033. Golden State and Houston have the second-longest active postseason streaks, at six. Portland and Toronto have been to five in a row, and four teams in this postseason — Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia and New Orleans — didn’t qualify for the playoffs a year ago. MONEY MATTERS Portland and Philadelphia have already won a little extra money. By winning on the season’s final night to ensure each finished alone in third in their respective conferences, the Trail Blazers and 76ers picked up another $64,842 from the NBA’s record $20 million playoff pool this season. Playoff teams split payouts from the pool, often toward bonuses for players and staff. Houston is assured $1,380,065 from the pool so far. Toronto is assured $803,222 while Boston and Golden State are up to $704,169. Every playoff team will receive at least $298,485 — and the payouts keep rising as teams keep advancing. The NBA champion will claim at least $4,782,438; the runner-up, at least $3,587,489. START FAST Of the 15 series played in the 2017 postseason, Game 1 winners ultimately won the best-of-seven 12 times. That 80 percent clip is consistent with the league norm. Since the 1983-84 season, winners of Game 1 have gone on to win the series 79 percent of the time. But that guarantees nothing — over the last seven years, four teams have lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals and gone on to win the championship anyway. DEFEND HOME COURT Home-court “advantage” really didn’t exist in the 2017 playoffs. Road teams won 43 percent of the postseason games played last year, and it’s reasonable to think such a success rate might be in play again this year. The 16 teams in these playoffs combined to win 351 games on the road in the regular season, or 54 percent. Ordinarily, road teams win playoff games about 35 percent of the time. FINALLY, MINNESOTA The Timberwolves are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004. During that 14-year drought, the franchise had nine different coaches, used 131 different players, 92 different starters, took 93,776 field-goal attempts and scored 112,664 points. Here might be the best illustration of how long the postseason wait was for Minnesota: Only 12 of the 59 players taken in the 2004 draft were still in the NBA this season. The only player the Timberwolves drafted in the year of their last playoff run was Blake Stepp, who never made the NBA but played at least three times in the World Series of Poker......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

Spurs move past Thunder, 103-99

By Raul Dominguez, Associated Press SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-99 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) to climb back into fourth place in the Western Conference. San Antonio matched Oklahoma City at 44-32 in jumping two spots in the standings. The Thunder are fifth, a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans. Aldridge scored 21 points in the first half, then drove past Steven Adams for a dunk and a three-point lead with 52 seconds left as the Spurs snapped a two-game slide. Paul George led Oklahoma City with 26 points and had six assists. Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 11 assists, but had a pair of three-pointers miss the rim and land out of bounds in the final minutes. Both teams experienced scoring droughts, resulting in 10 lead changes and seven ties. Patty Mills and Davis Bertans hit back-to-back triples to give the Spurs a 94-87 lead with 4 minutes remaining. The Thunder made only two field goals between the 10:34 and 3:17 mark of the fourth but still were within a basket with less than two minutes remaining. George sank three free throws to pull Oklahoma City within 97-96, but Aldridge scored before Westbrook shot an airball on a three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining. Aldridge played despite bruising his left knee following a collision in Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) 116-106 loss to Washington. He was listed as doubtful, but the Spurs couldn't do without him as they battle for a playoff berth. Aldridge was the only Spurs player in double figures through three quarters, while the Thunder had four with at least 10 points. Oklahoma City took advantage of San Antonio's offensive troubles when Aldridge exited, going on a 13-2 run beginning midway through the third quarter in taking a 74-68 lead. The Spurs had 18 turnovers, including three in the first four minutes. The Thunder had 17 points off the turnovers, but Danny Green ensured it wasn't more. Green ran down George from behind following a steal in the third quarter, swatting away a layup attempt near the rim. George had four steals. Mills finished with 14 points and Green had 11. TIP-INS Thunder: George fell to the court after taking an elbow to the back of the head from Green with two minutes remaining. George rose with some assistance but remained in the game following a timeout. ... Oklahoma City's last win in San Antonio was Dec. 25, 2014. ... The Thunder are 18-19 on the road. ... Corey Brewer is averaging 10.5 points since signing with the Thunder on March 3 (Mar. 4, PHL time), more than doubling his previous average of 4.5 points. Brewer has played 12 games with the Thunder after 65 games with the Los Angeles Lakers. Spurs: Manu Ginobili is now the Spurs' career leader in steals, passing David Robinson for the franchise record. Ginobili has 1,389 steals, Robinson has 1,388 and Alvin Robertson is third with 1,128. ... Aldridge has 67 games in double figures this season, the most he has had since joining the Spurs. ... Kyle Anderson had his only two steals of the game in the opening minute. ... The Spurs started Aldridge, Mills, Anderson, Pau Gasol and Dejounte Murray for the fifth time this season. UP NEXT Thunder: Host Denver on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Spurs: Host Houston on Sunday afternoon (Monday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 30th, 2018

Close battle

FOR second straight season, two teams from the San Miguel Corp. group will dispute the PBA Philippine Cup. But that doesn’t mean San Miguel Beer and Magnolia won’t go after each other’s neck in the best-of-seven finals duel for the kickoff conference which starts tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMar 21st, 2018

Petron begins quest for redemption

Games Saturday: (Ynares Sports Center) 2:00 p.m. -- Generika-Ayala vs Foton 4:00 p.m. –- Sta. Lucia vs Petron   Powerhouse Petron takes the first step back to the crown when it clashes with a souped-up Sta. Lucia Realty squad to fire off the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Ynares Center. Battle starts at 4:00 p.m. with the Blaze Spikers looking to come up with a roaring start in a bid to finally reclaim the elusive title. Foton and Generika-Ayala will also gun for their first victory when they clash in the 2:00 p.m. first game. Although the much-anticipated import-flavored conference already gets underway with its first two matches, it will have the formal opening ceremonies at the Sta. Rosa City Sports Complex on Feb. 24 where all eight teams together with their imports, team captains and head coaches featured in the traditional parade of colors. After losing in the finals for three straight years, the Blaze Spikers will be marching in this year’s Grand Prix with fire in their eyes, hoping to finally conquer the title in what is billed as the most prestigious, most competitive women’s volleyball tourney in the country. American spikers Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley and  Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda will be back to power the Blaze Spikers, who will parade the same core of Mika Reyes, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Frances Molina and Rhea Dimaculangan. The only additions, however, are middle blocker Luth Malaluan, setter Angelica Legacion and libero Pia Gaiser, who will be making her PSL debut after a suffering knee injury in her final playing year for University of the Philippines in the UAAP. “We will do our best to step up this year,” said Delos Santos, whose wards were on the verge of winning the title before completely fading against a tough F2 Logistics side in the best-of-three finals showdown of the Grand Prix last year. “Our goal is to finally win the title this year. We haven’t won the Grand Prix crown since 2014 and I can say that we’re all hungry and ready to win.” But emerging victorious in the first game of the season will not be easy for Petron. The Blaze Spikers will be up against the Lady Realtors, who will be bannered by head coach George Pascua, the architect of Petron’s clean sweep of the All-Filipino Conference in 2015. Pascua, who steered Cignal to the Invitational Conference title before joining Sta. Lucia, will be parading a mix of seasoned campaigners and young guns together with proven imports Marisa Field and Kristen Moncks of Canada and Bohdana Anisova of Ukraine. Veterans Rubie de Leon and Michelle Laborte were tapped to serve as mentors to rising stars Rebecca Rivera, MJ Philips, Pamela Lastimosa and Jonah Sabete. “We are a young team searching for identity. So having these two veterans on the team will surely boost the morale of the young players inside and outside the playing court,” said Pascua, who is coming in as Sta. Lucia’s fourth mentor after Sammy Acaylar, Michael Carino and Jerry Yee.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2018

Warriors defuse Rockets in battle of Western Conference powers

LOS ANGELES, USA - Stephen Curry's 29 points and a triple-double from Draymond Green propelled the Golden State Warriors to a 124-114 NBA victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday, January 4 (Friday Manila time). In a clash of the two highest-scoring teams in the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

James Harden criticizes officiating on game-costing flops by Marcus Smart

MANILA, Philippines - Today is just not James Harden’s day. In a battle of two of the league’s top-tier teams, the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics (29-10) overcame a 26-point deficit to topple the West’s second-best Houston Rockets (25-8) by a single point, 99-98, Thursday, December 28 (Friday Manila time)......»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017

5 questions ahead of the NBA s 2017 Christmas Day games

It's already December 25 in the Philippines, but that's still a few hours away in the United States, meaning we have to wait before holiday's best tradition will take place: the NBA's annual slate of Christmas Day games. This year's batch of games sees the 76ers head to MSG to play the Knicks, the Cavaliers go to the Bay to face the Warriors in an NBA Finals rematch, the Wizards tackle the Celtics in an Eastern Conference semis redux, the Rockets battle the Thunder, also a 2017 postseason rematch, and the Timberwolves face off versus the Lakers. While you're unwrapping gifts and munching on Noche Buena leftovers, here are five questions to ponder: 1. Will the injury bug play Grinch to this set of holiday games? The Golden State Warriors officially ruled out Stephen Curry from playing. The LA Lakers just announced that Lonzo Ball is sidelined. Chris Paul is a question mark, while fingers are crossed that Joel Embiid and Kristaps Porzingis will be able to go long when they face off. Injury report for tomorrow's game vs. Cleveland: Shaun Livingston (sore right knee), Kevon Looney (gluteal strain) & Zaza Pachulia (left shoulder soreness) are probable. Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) is out. — Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 25, 2017 Hurt superstars are definitely the coal in an NBA fan's stocking, but let's hope that despite the absence of some of the bigger names, the games will still be able to provide plenty of entertainment. Bonus question: We may not get Curry vs. LeBron this Christmas, but how great of a consolation gift is Durant vs. LeBron? 2. Who will be the Christmas unicorn? Kristaps Porzingis is of course, the OG unicorn, having the tag bestowed upon him by Kevin Durant. The nickname refers to the mythical convergence of height, ball-handling, skill, and three-point shooting, all of which, Porzingis possesses. He's not alone though, as the 76ers' Joel Embiid has all of that in spades too, it's just that, seeing him on court has been more rare, due to an assortment of injuries that have held him back. Imagine, I suppose, if My Little Ponies could draw DNPs. When Porzingis' Knicks and and Embiid's 76ers collide, all eyes will be on the two, as they will inevitably go head-to-head against each other. As of writing, the Knicks are in the eighth seed in the East, while a 1-9 stretch in their last 10 games has the 76ers on the outside looking in at 10th place, three back of the Knicks. Therefore, it's not just pride at stake here; the East is wide open and every game will matter, as both squads harbor postseason dreams. Bonus question: Will 76ers rookie point guard Ben Simmons wind up stealing the show? 3. Who will triumph in the Wall vs. Irving point guard duel? After some strong starts to the season, the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards, the two squads most picked to be potential spoilers to the Cleveland Cavaliers' march to yet another Finals, are going through some rough patches. The Celtics of course, lost Gordon Hayward and started 0-2, but eventually righted the ship through tough defense, only to finish just 5-5 in their latest stretch (though they're still #1 in the conference). Meanwhile, injuries to John Wall and some of their role players have really prevented the Wizards from taking off. They're 18-15, and occupy the seventh spot in the East right now. If someone's going to take charge for either side in this Christmas duel, it'll be each side's respective point guards. Kyrie Irving has embraced being the man for the green and white, while John Wall is an established superstar in the Chocolate City. A Christmas day win for either team could be the foundation for a lengthy run of wins if they can maintain momentum. Bonus question: Who will be the better Morris twin - Boston's Marcus or Washington's Markieff? 4. Which nu-super team will do the most damage, the Rockets or the Thunder? The two most aggressive teams this offseason in revamping their roster to take on the defending champs were without a doubt, the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. H-Town added Chris Paul and a bevy of long-limbed, rangy defenders who can nail open three's, while OKC formed their version of a big three by trading for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. The early returns have looked better for the Rox than the Thunder. Even with Paul sidelined, the team was able to shoot to the top of the West standings, and looked even better when CP3 was healthy alongside the Beard, James Harden. On the other hand, it's been an on-going adjustment for reigning MVP Russell Westbrook to integrate the two other established stars. Their defense has been on-point, but their offense is prone to long, fatal droughts. Chris Paul has been listed as doubtful for this one (among several other Houston players), so we may not get the full experience, but this Western Conference Playoffs rematch from last season should still be interesting, even if it's just in an offense versus defense kind of way. Bonus question: Better odds of happening in this game, Harden scores 50+ for a third straight game or Westbrook adds another triple-double to his season tally? 5. Can Kyle Kuzma carry the Lakers? One can make a pretty convincing argument that Kyle Kuzma should be the Rookie of the Year. Despite not being a lottery pick, Kuz has had a major impact on the court, his scoring prowess adding quite the punch to a Lakers team that needs some (okay, a lot). Originally, this question was going to involve Lonzo Ball too, but with the Lakers announcing that his shoulder will keep him out of this game and the rest of the week, this could be a rare opportunity for Kuzma to steal the LA spotlight. Doubly so if Brandon Ingram remains sidelined too. Sure, he'll likely need to contend with the Timberwolves placing super-stopper Jimmy Butler on him, but wouldn't that be a fun duel to watch? Bonus question: How bummed are you that we won't be having LaVar Ball Christmas shenanigans with Lonzo out? The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2017

Pistons snap Celtics home winning streak

LOS ANGELES — Tobias Harris tallied 31 points as the Detroit Pistons halted the Boston Celtics’ eight-game home win streak with a 118-108 victory in a battle between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference. Andre Drummond posted 26 points, a season-high 22 rebounds and six assists as the Pistons went on a late […] The post Pistons snap Celtics home winning streak appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

Pistons snap Celtics home winning streak

LOS ANGELES: Tobias Harris tallied 31 points as the Detroit Pistons halted the Boston Celtics’ eight-game home win streak with a 118-108 victory in a battle between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference. Andre Drummond posted 26 points, a season-high 22 rebounds and six assists as the Pistons went on a late 13-3 [...] The post Pistons snap Celtics home winning streak appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

Detroit Pistons snap Boston Celtics home winning streak

LOS ANGELES, United States – Tobias Harris tallied 31 points as the Detroit Pistons halted the Boston Celtics' 8-game home win streak with a 118-108 victory in a battle between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference Monday, November 27. Andre Drummond posted 26 points, a season-high 22 rebounds and ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

Commissioner Narvasa: Let s be a league of rules, not of men

Things in the PBA just got a bit more complicated. Just hours after Rickie Santos was appointed as the league's officer-in-charge, it appears that Chito Narvasa will still end up as Commissioner for the time being. And in a separate press conference Thursday afternoon, Narvasa maintains his position and will not resign from his post. "I'm willing to resign, wala namang problema. But if it's for principle, then I must stay," the Commissioner said. Narvasa says that as long as he's in position, he will fight for the PBA and the Commissioner's office, noting that the Commissioner will not be bullied into submission by those who have power. "I was talking to some of my advisers also, a close friend of mine said I should stay," Narvasa said Monday at the PBA office in Libis. "Why? Tama na to, I can always leave, I'll be okay. Ayaw ko may kaaway, ayaw ko makipagaway. Gusto ko masaya ang tao sa PBA," Narvasa answered. "Sabi nila 'Chito that's not it.' If they can bully the a Commissioner, force him to resign at something they do not like, then the office of the Commissioner will weaken and will always be subject to whoever is most powerful among the team owners. "Yun lang ang pakiusap ko. I hope the people will understand. I hope they understand the principle behind it, I'm fighting for the Office of the Commissioner. Nobody, no matter how powerful, should be able to frighten it, scare it, or threaten it," Narvasa added. After what has been a rather stressful day for the league, status quo remains in the fact that Narvasa is still Commissioner. However, clear battle lines have been drawn with regards to the PBA board. On one side, seven teams have made it known that they want Narvasa out, with their board of representatives filing a resolution not to extend Narvasa's term as Commissioner. Those teams include TNT, Meralco, NLEX, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Blackwater and Phoenix. On the other side, there's the five teams that urged Narvasa to stay put. The teams are San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Globalport, and Kia. In order for Narvasa's term to not be extended, the PBA Board needs 2/3 of the majority to vote for it. That accounts for eight teams. Ultimately, Narvasa says that he will accept his fate at the hands of the PBA Board. However, he just hopes that the proper procedure will be followed before arriving at such decision. "I'm just doing a job here. I know who my bosses are, if 8 of the 12 tell me to leave, then I will leave. No problem, I will follow eh. But who will I follow?" Narvasa said. "Just follow the procedures and stick to the rules. Let's be a league of rules and not of men," the Commissioner added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2017

Blue Eagles, Tams begin Finals showdown

Ateneo de Manila University head coach Oliver Almadro stresses the importance of the Blue Eagles keeping their intensity up to match with the energy of Far Eastern University when the two teams collide in Game 1 of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate League men's division Finals Wednesday. “We really have to be prepared for them,” said Almadro, as the Katipunan-based squad braces for the best-of-three championship series opener starting 10:00 a.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “’Yung energy ng FEU ‘yun ang nagdadala sa kanila eh,” he added. “What’s important is malamangan namin ang energy ng FEU, I guess papatas kami sa laban.” Game 2 of the championship series is on Saturday. If necessary, Game 3 is on Monday. The Blue Eagles, winners of the last two Collegiate Conference of the defunct V-League, defeated University of Sto. Tomas, 22-25, 25-22, 31-29, 25-13, Monday in the deciding match of their best-of-three semifinals series. They will take on the Tamaraws, who are coming off a semis series sweep of National University.        Ateneo turned back FEU, 20-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-20, in their elimination round meeting last September 3. Despite their psychological advantage, Almadro is not taking the Morayta-based squad lightly.   “FEU since last year is an intact team, high intensity team and may winning tradition din,” he said. Almadro will bank on Marck Espejo, Ishmael Rivera, Gian Carlo Glorioso and Chumason Njigha to lead the Blue Eagles’ march into battle against the Tams’ John Paul Bugaoan, Redijohn Paler, Richard Solis and national team member Peter Quiel. Meanwhile, NU and UST begin their best-of-three battle for third at 8:00 a.m.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 10th, 2017

Quiet confidence for Norwood and ROS as Painters force do-or-die against TNT

Rain or Shine might as well be the strongest no. 7 seed this season. Record-wise, the Elasto Painters are in fact, the strongest no. 7 seed this season. That's why it's hardly a surprise Rain or Shine managed to force a sudden death against no. 2 TNT in the 2017 Governors' Cup quarterfinals, the gap is just not that wide between these two teams. So hold on with all those 'upset' talks. 'They're the bigger upset [Blackwater on Meralco]. That's 8 to 1. I mean it's basketball at the end of the day,' forward Gabe Norwood said after his team beat TNT, 106-102, Wednesday. Norwood was the top local for ROS in the win, firing 15 points on top of nine rebounds and six assists. 'We did beat them [KaTropa] in the regular season. I guess there might be a sense of confidence in that, at the same time, every game's different. But we've done nothing but to extend it to another day,' he added. In Rain or Shine and TNT's earlier meeting in the Governors' Cup, the Elasto Painters dominated with a 105-73 victory. Despite being 2-0 against the flasgship MVP franchise in the season-ending conference, Norwood says it would be unwise for the Elasto Painters to be that confident. 'It’s gonna be a battle. There’s  a lot of champions from that squad—from the coaches to the coaching staff to the players,' he said. 'It’s just gonna be both sides doing what they can to get to the semis,' Norwood added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 27th, 2017

TNT battles Star in crucial Governors' Cup tiff

As the race for the Governors' Cup playoffs heats up, teams are starting to battle for position with a four twice-to-beat advantages hanging in the balance. TNT and Star make their respective cases Sunday in Antipolo as both PBA powers dispute a much-needed victory late in the season-ending joust. Tied for fourth place with rival San Miguel at 6-3, the KaTropa look to gain a share of third plae with a victory over the Hotshots. Following a rocky start to the conference, TNT has won four of its last five games and are coming in with a two-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Hotshots are out to start a new winning run and improve their current 5-3 slate. Gametime is at 6:45 p.m. in Antipolo. In the first game at 4:30 p.m., Blackwater (4-5) takes on Globalport (3-6). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2017