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Beermen take control of PBA Finals after another convincing win

San Miguel has taken control of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals. Coming off the Holy Week break, the three-time champion Beermen once again dominated Magnolia, scoring a convincing 111-87 Game 3 win on Easter Sunday at the Big Dome. Flipping the script from the first two games, San Miguel ran amok in the fourth period this time around, shutting down Magnolia to take a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-7. "I think yung one week break works in our favor, and we're able to recharge and to focus and recuperate from minor injuries, especially Marcio and Chris Ross who are suffering a lot of bangaan inside," head coach Leo Austria said. "The key here is we're able to match their energy. Lampas-lampas pa nga, that is because of our second unit. The second unit at the start of the fourth quarter, sila ang nag-trabaho that's why I opted to let them stay until the last few minutes. I think if they keep on stepping up every game, I'm confident na every game pwede kami manalo," he added. Led by Marcio Lassiter and Brian Heruela, San Miguel opened the fourth with a blistering 17-3 run, putting the game out of reach effectively. At one point, the Beermen scored 15 straight for a 92-71 lead, turning the rest of the game into garbage minutes. Marcio Lassiter led the champs with 24 points, 10 in the fourth period, while June Mar Fajardo had 21 points and 17 rebounds. The Kraken didn't play in the final 12 minutes. Chris Ross and Arwind Santos added 14 each while Heruela came off the bench to score 11, eight in the last quarter. Similar to Games 1 and 2, San Miguel got off to a strong start in Game 3. But unlike the first two games of the Finals, Magnolia was able to counter quickly behind Paul Lee and PJ Simon in the first half, trailing by only one at the break. The Hotshots were still in the game in the third, down by only five, before the Beermen waxed hot, dropping a 36-19 bomb in the fourth period. After leading by as many as 20 in Game 1 and 21 in Game 2, the champs led by as many as 24 in Game 3. For the Hotshots, Mark Barroca led the way with 22 markers while Lee was good for 15. PJ Simon scored 10, all in the second quarter. Game 4 will be on Wednesday still at the Big Dome.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 111 — Lassiter 24, Fajardo 21, Ross 14, Santos 14, Heruela 11, Espinas 9, Cabagnot 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 5, Pessumal 4, Semerad 2, Vigil 2, Lanete 0, Mamaril 0. MAGNOLIA 87 — Barroca 22, Lee 15, Ramos 12, Simon 10, Dela Rosa 6, Gamalinda 6, Jalalon 6, Sangalang 6, Brondial 0, Herndon 0, Mendoza 0, Pascual 0. Quarters: 29-22, 50-49, 75-68, 111-87.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8  .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 1st, 2018

3-1 Finals lead for San Miguel after frustrating Magnolia yet again

Magnolia didn't get embarrassed this time around. It didn't matter though. San Miguel took a commanding 3-1 lead in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, beating the Hotshots, 84-80, Wednesday at the Big Dome. The three-time champion Beermen rolled to their third straight win in this series and are now a victory away from completing an unprecedented four-peat in the All-Filipino. With nine seconds to go to either win the game outright or at least tie the count at 82-all, the Hotshots never even had the chance to take a shot as Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos helped the Beermen force a crucial turnover. Arwind then buried two free throws on the other end with about two seconds left to seal the final tally. "We all know that this game is a do-or-die for Magnolia, credit to their coaching staff, they were able to come up with a good game plan, especially on defense. They shackled us," head coach Leo Austria said. "But my team i really focused on this game, these players have the heart of a champion," he added. With their backs against the wall, the Hotshots came out with intensity, finally avoiding falling into huge deficits. Magnolia was in control in the first half however, San Miguel managed to turn it around in the third as BPC June Mar Fajardo went to work. The Beermen then managed to hold in the fourth to take the crucial victory. Alex Cabagnot led the champs with a brilliant offensive performance, firing a game-high 27 points while Marcio Lassiter added 18. Fajardo finished with 16, nine in the third, and Arwind Santos was good for 13 points. For the Hotshots, Ian Sangalang carried the offense with 22 but it wasnt enough for Magnolia to replicate the result of Game 1. Game 5, the first of three closeout games for the Beermen, is set for Friday at the MOA Arena.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 84 – Cabagnot 27, Lassiter 18, Fajardo 16, Santos 13, Ganuelas-Rosser 5, Ross 4, Espinas 1, Heruela 0, Pessumal 0. MAGNOLIA 80 – Sangalang 22, Dela Rosa 15, Barroca 14, Lee 9, Reavis 6, Simon 5, Jalalon 4, Ramos 3, Pascual 2, Gamalinda 0. Quarters: 14-20; 45-46; 69-64; 84-80. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 4th, 2018

PBA: Heruela and San Miguel s bench starting to roll in these Finals

After an embarrassing one-point performance in Game 1, San Miguel's second unit is starting to come alive in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals. The Beermen's reserve crew submitted their best outing in Game 3 Sunday, sparking a huge fourth-quarter effort as the three-time champs took over the Finals with a convincing 111-87 win over Magnolia. In particular, Gabby Espinas and Brian Heruela were notable for the champs, giving the Beermen more than enough cushion to rest their starters as the win as secured with time to spare. Heruela fired 11 points in 22 minutes and eight of them came in the blistering fourth-quarter performance where San Miguel outscored Magnolia, 36-19. "We're just trying to bring the energy up, the intensity, give our first group a good rest," Heruela said. "Get some stops, that's the most important thing for us is defensively, we have to make stops and execute. Coach has been preaching that over and over again, we have to make stops and then execute our plays to give ourselves a chance," he added. As for Espinas, the veteran forward scored nine points, seven in the second quarter, helping the Beermen not lose ground as Magnolia made a run to end the opening half. As the bench starts to get rolling in these Finals, Gabby says it's just keeping it up all the way to the title. "Pag nakaka-produce kami sa opensa, nakaka-depensa kami, mas humahaba yung pahinga nung first group namin eh. Kailangan ma-maintain lang namin yun. Minsan talaga ang hirap lalo pag championship, ang hirap maka-bwelo eh," he said. Even with sparing minutes, Espinas says it's key to always be ready for when head coach Leo Austria digs deep from his bench. "Yun talaga ang pinakamahirap kasi minsan papawisan ka pa lang, alam mo naman s coach, bigla ka na ilalabas. Pero part of the job na lang siguro kasi gusto namin pare-parehas manalo," Espinas said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

San Miguel pulls away late, downs Magnolia for 2-1 lead in PH Cup finals

MANILA, Philippines (2ND UPDATE) – The San Miguel Beermen reasserted their mastery of the Magnolia Hotshots with a convincing 111-87 victory in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup finals at the Araneta Coliseum Sunday, April 1.  San Miguel, which lost big leads in the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

PBA: June Mar says Beermen in for a long series

While San Miguel has led by 20 points at one point in each of the two games so far in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, the reigning three-time champs still only have one win to show for it. In fact, they were actually down heading into Game 2 back in Palm Sunday. That's because San Miguel is dealing with Magnolia, a team that has so much fight in it you might mistake it for an authentic "Never Say Die" attitude. "Di naman sila aabot sa Finals kung basta-basta lang yung kabila eh," four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo said of the Hotshots after his Beermen tied the Finals at one game each. After losing its 20-point lead in Game 1 and almost losing its 21-point lead in Game 2, San Miguel has definitely learned its lesson. "Wag mag-relax sa game. Kailangan talaga pag nakalamang, kung pwede idiin pa namin," Fajardo said. With Game 3 deciding who takes control in the Finals, Fajardo says his team is getting ready for a long, long series. "Mahaba-habang series din ito, hindi basta-bastan series to," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 30th, 2018

PBA: Quitting will never be an option for Barroca s Hotshots

Magnolia has been bullied by San Miguel Beer so far in the 20018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals. In Game 1, the Beermen jumped on a 20-point lead in the second half. In Game 2, San Miguel jumped on a 21-point lead in the second half. However, showing that they also have a Never Say Die attitude, the Hotshots actually erased that Game 1 deficit to take an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-7. Magnolia was on its way to erasing the Game 2 deficit before ultimately falling short. So while the Hotshots have been bullied so far in the Finals, their persistence has been their one positive that they could take moving forward. "Positive lang na naka-balik kami. Yun lang kasi di kami nag-quit," Mark Barroca said. "Yun lang naman pinanghahawakan namin, na hindi kami nagqu-quit kahit ano mangyari. Matambakan man kami o lumamang kami, o grinding game, di kami magqu-quit," he added. Still, there's still more to actualy improve upon for the Hotshots in their title chase. Most importantly their approach on defense, which is hard considering the Beermen have so many weapons on offense. Teams have been trying to figure out for years how to check all of San Miguel's weapons. Almost nothing has worked so far. "Siguro i-control lang namin both ends, inside and outside nila. Kasi nga nung first game namin masyado kaming nag-focus kay June Mar, yung outside nila gumagana," Barroca said. "So ngayon naman, so sa next game, sobra kaming nag-aral kay June Mar masyado kasi ang ganda ng laro nya nung first game, so ngayon outside nila sobrang daming nakapag-shoot. Hopefully next game, both ends, outside and inside," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 27th, 2018

Beermen avoid another collapse to tie Finals vs. Magnolia

No comebacks this time around. San Miguel Beer has tied the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, scoring a convincing 92-77 victory over Magnolia Sunday at the MOA Arena. Game 2 followed the same script as Game 1 just two days ago as the reigning three-time defending champions jumped on a commanding lead in the second half. San Miguel led by as many as 21 in the third period only to see the Hotshots storm back to cut it down to seven early in the fourth. Magnolia held the Beermen scoreless in the first four minutes of the final period. However, unlike in Game 1, San Miguel had an answer, turning to its pair of MVPs to restore order. Arwind Santos first hit a booming three for the champs first score of the fourth then June Mar Fajardo added a fastbreak layup for an 80-68 lead. Magnolia never threatened after that. "We learned our lesson from the last game we lost," head coach Leo Austria said. "Almost the same thing, we're able to lead. Last time lumamang kami ng 20 points hinabol nila, I have to give credit to the players talagang ayaw nila magpatalo," he added. Arwind Santos was sensational all game long for the Beermen, scoring a game-high 24 points on top of eight rebounds. More importantly, he hit six timely three-point shots to help San Miguel hold off Magnolia. Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot scored 16 and 15 points respectively while Fajardo submitted a 12-point, 13-rebound double-double. After the Hotshots got off to a 6-0 start, the Beermen settled down and went to work, taking a double-digit lead at the break, 48-35. The lead ballooned to as many as 21, 71-50, early in the second half. For Magnolia, it was Mark Barroca that led the way with 18 points while Paul Lee added 13. Game 1 hero Ian Sangalang was limited to only 11 points. Game 3 will be on Easter Sunday as the Finals will take a mini-break in observance of Holy Week.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 92 — Santos 24, Lassiter 16, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 12, Heruela 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Ross 5, Mamaril 4, De Ocampo 0, Vigil 0. MAGNOLIA 77 — Barroca 18, Lee 13, Sangalang 11, Dela Rosa 7, Ramos 7, Jalalon 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 3, Herndon 2, Simon 2, Mendoza 0. Quarters: 19-17, 48-35, 75-57, 92-77.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 25th, 2018

LeBron, Cavs overpower Celtics 116-86 at home in Game 3

By TOM WITHERS,  AP Sports Writer CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James had 27 points and 12 assists, Kevin Love added 14 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked like a different team on their home floor, tightening the Eastern Conference finals with a 116-86 victory in Game 3 over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. Outplayed during two losses in Boston, the Cavs used a three-day break in the series to regroup and re-grip this series. They built a 19-point lead in the first quarter, pushed it to 30 in the second half and overpowered the Celtics, who fell to 1-5 on the road in the postseason. Any discussion of Cleveland's demise is premature. Kyle Korver made four of the Cavs' 17 3-pointers and Cleveland had six players in double figures. Game 4 is Monday night before the series returns to Boston. Jaylen Brown was in foul trouble all night and scored just 10 for the Celtics after averaging 23 in the first two games. Jayson Tatum scored 18 and Terry Rozier 13 for Boston. Only 19 of a possible 300 teams have ever overcome a 2-0 deficit in the playoffs. James and the Cavs, who previously did it in 2007 and again in 2016 while winning the NBA title, took the first step toward a third comeback. To return to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year, the Cavs have to win four of five and re-write Boston's illustrious history. The Celtics are 37-0 when they win the first two games in a series. "That doesn't bother me," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said before Game 3. "The games have to be played. They won two games on their home court, which we know they've been playing well the whole playoffs, but we're not discouraged. "So, 0-2 doesn't really mean anything." Apparently not. The Cavs came in wanting to play faster and be more physical with the younger Celtics, who were the aggressors in Games 1 and 2. Lue also needed more from point guard George Hill after two poor performances (8 points, 1 assist) in Boston. Hill responded with a driving layup to start the game and drained three 3-pointers in the first quarter as Cleveland wasted no time taking control. Hill finished with 13, J.R. Smith 11 and Cleveland's supporting cast played so well that James only had to play 37 minutes. Boston coach Brad Stevens was confident his team would play better on the road than earlier in these playoffs, but the Celtics were shaky early, committing four turnovers and shooting 2 of 10 while the Cavs opened a 27-11 lead. James arrived at 5:45 p.m., greeted by the usual phalanx of cameras waiting to record his walk from the security entrance at Quicken Loans Arena to Cleveland's locker room. Earlier in the day, James said the fact he has twice rallied from 2-0 deficits in the postseason offered no relief. "There's nothing about the playoffs that's comfortable until you either win it all or you lose and go into the summer," he said. Summer might not be as close as it once seemed. FAMILY TIES Stevens has deep Cleveland roots, but he's slowly converting family members to pull for Boston's teams. His parents are from Northeast Ohio and his wife, Tracy, is from suburban Rocky River. Before the game, Stevens was asked what happens to all the Cavs, Browns and Cavaliers gear he gets as gifts. "My 7 1/2-year-old nephew was offered 10 extra-credit points (in school) if he wore anything regarding Cleveland yesterday, and he went all green," Stevens said. "And three years ago, I think he was all Cleveland stuff. So we're making strides with him. But yeah, we have a large contingent. Maybe they'll get some of those (Game 3 giveaway) yellow shirts and pass them around to some people who haven't completely converted to rooting for the Celtics yet." TIP-INS Celtics: Seeking to become the sixth No. 2 seed to win the East in eight years. Boston was a No. 4 seed when it advanced to the finals in 2010. ... Fell to 3-8 in playoff games in Cleveland, the most by a Cavs opponent at the Q. ... Stevens was relieved to learn that Boston legend Bill Russell was recovering after a hospital stay brought on by dehydration. Russell won 11 NBA titles with the Celtics. "He's the ultimate basketball winner," Stevens said. "The way he impacted winning, the unselfishness of a teammate, what he stood for off the floor — everything about him." Cavaliers: James needs six field goals to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) for the most in postseason history. ... Cleveland has won six straight playoff games at home. ... Improved to 14-6 vs. Boston in the playoffs. UP NEXT Game 4 is Monday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

Ceres still needs to fine-tune defense

  BACOLOD CITY---As ruthless as it was on attack, Ceres Negros knows the work on the defensive end has to improve if it wants to retain the AFC Cup Asean zone crown. The Busmen produced an attacking masterclass in a thrilling 4-2 win over Yangon United Wednesday night at Panaad Stadium, moving closer to another Asean zone finals appearance. Spanish striker Bienve Maranon bagged a first half brace while Patrick Reichelt and Super Herrera were also on the scoresheet as Ceres seized control of the two legged semifinal tie. "It was a good performance and we're happy to take this lead, but conceding two goals was a bummer," said Reichelt, one of the longest tenured players in...Keep on reading: Ceres still needs to fine-tune defense.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 10th, 2018

ABL: LA Tenorio had a hand in Alab Pilipinas’ championship

Jimmy Alapag is a champion in his first year as head coach and Alab Pilipinas is a champion in its second season of existence. Overcoming very game Mono Vampire in a Finals series that went the distance, the Filipinos have taken the regional trophy back home for the first time since 2013. That 2013 championship was won by the San Miguel Beermen. And in this 2018 championship, San Miguel played a big part. “Of course, (they came) aboard when things weren’t looking good at the start of the season. Who knows if we would even be here without their support,” Alapag said. The Philippine team’s initial backer withdrew their support after five games, citing differences with Alapag and team owner Charlie Dy. And so, Alab was left without somebody to steer them through the rough seas of the Southeast Asian pay-for-play league. That was until Alapag reached out to a former teammate in the national team – and technically, a former rival. “I could tell you guys now that I reached out to LA Tenorio. He was able to connect (us) to boss Alfrancis [Chua]. It really set off from there,” he shared. As a player, Alapag was a stalwart for both TNT and Meralco. Tenorio, on the other hand, is now Ginebra’s longtime court general. In the end, Tenorio’s assist for Alapag proved to be the turning point for the Filipinos – as the new backer’s entry steadied a rudderless ship. “When you lose your sponsor five games into the season, that’s not ideal. I know Charlie and I looked into each other and said, ‘So now what,’” the latter shared. He then continued, “For them to come on board and support us the way they did, that’s big. All of us deserve (this championship).” Along with that, the always amiable mentor wanted to give thanks to the team’s management and staff for doing what was needed to be done for the title. “I’m just thankful for the guys behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t see,” he said. And for all they have accomplished, especially as it came against all odds, Alapag is nothing but proud. “I’m just really thankful for all our guys. I’m proud of them because there’s nothing like bringing the championship back home,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2018

PBA: Coach Norman says San Miguel still the favorite

Meralco turned out the lights on what was supposed to be a welcome party for Christian Standhardinger in San Miguel. The Bolts had a rude welcome prepared for the Beermen’s first game in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup and the Filipino-German’s league debut. They did nothing but execute it to perfection, dispatching of the defending champions, 93-85. “It’s always a big win if you beat San Miguel,” a satisfied head coach Norman Black told reporters post-game on Wednesday at the MOA Arena. Of course, Black was the first to acknowledge that a lot had to go right for them to do what they just did. “We were hoping to catch them early and catch them rusty because once they get their rhythm and they start finding out their rotations, they’re going to be a very difficult team to beat,” he said. Indeed, it was evident that Meralco was the better team – for tonight, at least – as they outworked San Miguel for majority of the matchup. Even with what could be considered an upset win, though, the multi-titled mentor was the first to admit that the fully-loaded Beermen remain the team to beat in the tournament. As he put it, “They’ll still be the favorites even though they lost tonight.” He then continued, “They were already the best team in the league and now, they’ve gotten even stronger.” Without a doubt, there is nowhere but up for Standhardinger and the core of four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, and Arwind Santos have long proven their worth. The good news for the Bolts is that they could only build on their big-time win – especially as their schedule doesn’t get any easier. “Beating San Miguel is a challenge that’s so, so big so for us to accomplish it, this is a big win for us,” Black said. And the even better news is that returning reinforcement Arinze Onuaku is just getting started. “You can see the difference of having a center like Arinze on our team because he helps us control the middle. Even though he didn’t score a lot of points tonight, he did a very good job of getting his teammates involved at both ends,” the head coach said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

Curry, Durant lead Warriors into Western Conference finals

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry had 28 points, Kevin Durant scored 24 and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference finals by dismantling Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 113-104 in Game 5 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Klay Thompson added 23 points for the Warriors, who with a 15th straight home playoff win tied Chicago for an NBA record. The Bulls did so from April 27, 1990, to May 21, 1991. Davis had 34 points and 19 rebounds for a Pelicans team that overcame the loss of DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending torn Achilles tendon three months ago to make this strong run. The Pelicans shaved the lead to seven points with two minutes left on a basket by Davis before Draymond Green's turnaround fadeaway moments later. The Warriors advance to play the top-seeded Houston Rockets in what has long been an anticipated Western Conference finals matchup — with a Finals feel, perhaps — and one Golden State will start on the road Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). The teams didn't meet during the 2017 postseason, but the Warriors won a five-game series in the first round of the 2016 playoffs. Houston eliminated Utah in its Game 5 earlier Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Curry, who returned for Game 2 after nearly six weeks out with a knee injury, knocked down an open three-pointer midway through the third and raised his hands to get the crowd going, then made another less than two minutes later. He converted three free throws at the 6:25 mark following a hard foul by Jrue Holiday. In the second quarter, Holiday shoved Curry hard into the basket, enraging the two-time MVP who let the officials know how upset he was by the push and no call. Holiday contributed 27 points and 11 assists, but even with better shooting, New Orleans couldn't stay with deep, score-at-will Golden State. The defending champions are serious about a repeat title, and took one step closer to that goal. So far this postseason, with Durant and Green leading the way, the Warriors have admirably defended the slower San Antonio Spurs and now the imposing, push-the-pace Pelicans. Green had another superb all-around night on both ends with 19 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and two blocked shots. The Warriors came out of halftime with a 10-0 run over the opening 1:54, forcing two Pelicans timeouts and taking control for the rest of the game. Thompson hit back-to-back three-pointers midway through the first to put Golden State up 17-10, the second right in front of his own bench as teammates erupted in celebration. He began 6-for-9 and had 14 points by the 4:10 mark of the first. Durant became irate when Nikola Mirotic made a late, hard bump on a three-point try with 5:23 left in the first — a play that was reviewed and Mirotic received just a common foul. As Durant took free throws, Green tried to listen in on the Pelicans' huddle before official Josh Tiven pulled him away. CURRY'S SERIES Curry went 10-for-16 in 37 minutes playing his fourth game back from a sprained left knee he hurt March 23 (Mar. 24, PHL time). His minutes have increased each game he plays, up to 31 in Game 4 and 37 on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). He added eight assists and seven rebounds in Game 5. He was 32-for-67 with 15 three's in the series. On a side note, he went 0-for-5 on his signature tunnel shots before the game. TIP-INS Pelicans: New Orleans made 6-of-9 three's in the first and finished 10-for-24 from long range. ... New Orleans got back in it with an 11-0 run in the second. Warriors: Golden State shot 4-of-14 from deep in the first half. ... Durant scored 20 or more points in a 17th straight postseason game. His first five points moved him past two players — Chris Mullin (685) and Harrison Barnes (687) — into 10th place all-time for the Warriors in postseason scoring. ... Curry (366) passed Paul Arizin (364) for second place on the franchise postseason list for made free throws. ... Curry (19) and Thompson (16) have made all of their free throws this postseason. ... The Warriors are 9-1 in Game 5's since 2015. They also clinched their first-round series with San Antonio at home in Game 5. ... Durant received the Al Attles Community Impact Award in a pregame ceremony. The Warriors Community Foundation will donate $15,000 to the charity Durant chose, Oakland Elizabeth House, which provides residences to women and children who have been homeless or faced violence or addiction. QUOTEABLE Steve Kerr on whether he needed to check in with his players on the urgency of closing out the series: "I dial people on my rotary phone. Nobody seems to answer, though. Nobody answers a home phone anymore. No texts necessary. Our guys know what's at stake.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

Draw of another title lights postseason path of Warriors

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst One of the Golden State Warriors’ people, walking out of Smoothie King Center Sunday (Monday, PHL time), summarized the team’s season so far in detailing Kevin Durant’s 38-point performance against the Pelicans in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. “Sometimes, people forget,” he said, a wry smile on his face -- and, yes, they do. With all that has gone on around the league this season, the Warriors’ storyline hasn’t been quite as eyeballed nationally this season compared with previous years. (Not that they should care. It’s just an observation.) The Cleveland Cavaliers blew things up last summer and reformed in the fall, blew it up again in the winter and reformed again in the spring. The Boston Celtics are displaying amazing resilience through seemingly devastating injuries to put themselves on the brink of another conference finals. The Philadelphia 76ers have their Fun Bunch. There was Paul George’s trade to Oklahoma City (and all that entailed, now and later) and the Toronto Raptors’ dramatic and successful changes throughout the year. And, at the forefront, there was the Houston Rockets’ rise as a legit and serious challenger to the Warriors in the Western Conference. During the regular season, the Warriors’ energy and productivity dropped off ever so slightly, like the planet killer in “The Doomsday Machine,” one of the all-time best original “Star Trek” episodes, after the doomed Commodore Decker drove a Shuttlecraft right down its throat. (Of course, Captain Kirk figured out to destroy it. Dude, come on. This is James Tiberius Kirk we’re talking about.) And at the end of the regular season, they were hit with a series of body shot injuries: Stephen Curry’s MCL strain, Durant’s ribs, Klay Thompson’s thumb injury, Draymond Green’s hip, and on and on. Those all sapped their continuity and made them look mortal down the stretch of the 2017-18 season, and the Warriors went 7-10 as the season waned. But, after dispatching the Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs in five games in the first round, and taking a 3-1 lead on the Pelicans now, they’re again on the precipice of the Western Conference finals. A date with Houston is looming and a chance at a third title in four seasons is still on their racket. “I think as the playoffs go on, every series requires a different intensity level,” Green said last week. “I think we met that standard that it takes to win playoff games at the level we’re at right now, which is the second round. It’s not our first rodeo. We’ve been here a lot of times and we know what it takes.” Steve Kerr rolled the “Hamptons Five” lineup out Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the Lineup Formally Known as Death -- Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Green and Durant. It’s been their trump card for almost two years, the lineup that can’t be solved by the opposition, even as it’s chipped away at most of Golden State’s other conventional units. Durant went for 38, and the Warriors rolled to a 118-92 win and a 3-1 series lead. They didn’t use it much this season -- that quintet only played 127 minutes together this season, after logging 224 minutes last season -- because of all the injuries, because they tried to limit their biggest players’ minutes and because using Iguodala as a starter thins out Golden State’s bench. The Warriors’ most frequently used five-man unit this season featured Zaza Pachulia at center; among five-man units leaguewide that played 200 minutes or more together this season, per NBA.com/Stats, that quintet was third in the league in Offensive Rating, at 118.6. But Pachulia hasn’t played a minute in the playoffs, and if the Rockets are the Warriors’ next opponent, he may not play much then, either, against Clint Capela. Kerr often points out that the Warriors have six centers on the current roster, and most of them have gotten at least a little run at various points. But after JaVale McGee was ineffective in Game 3 against New Orleans Friday (Saturday, PHL time), Kerr pulled his trump card. It’s still a game-changer, and when a season comes down to a best-of-seven series, one game can be the difference. “We all bring the best of each other,” Curry said of the Hamptons unit. “We increase the pace of the game, but the versatility [is] at the defensive end -- Andre, Draymond, KD shoring up the paint, switching a lot of the screens and the action from the offense and Klay doing what he does on the perimeter. I think the biggest thing offensively is that we’re all playmakers, try to look for the best shot, stay within ourselves and just make the right play.” Going back to the old playlist may give the Warriors comfort in what has been another drama-filled season, with the contretemps about being disinvited from the White House by President Trump in September getting things off to a rollicking start. But the end of the season was what raised eyebrows around the league. Curry’s absence down the stretch combined with a teamwide ennui -- “I really don’t like talking about it,” Thompson said -- that gave potential playoff opponents hope they might be able to catch Golden State napping. The Warriors’ boredom showed up most at the defensive end. After being in the top seven in both unadjusted and adjusted Defensive Rating in each of the last four seasons -- including first in the league in both categories in the first championship season of 2014-15 -- Golden State fell to 11th and 12th, respectively, in the regular season. They came out of the All-Star break focused -- they were fifth in the league in Defensive Rating on March 1. But all the injuries blunted their momentum, and the scariest of all -- a serious injury to second-year guard Patrick McCaw in Sacramento March 31 (April 1, PHL time) -- shook the team more than people on the outside realized. “Throughout that time, we had spurts,” Durant said. “We played a great OKC team. We went in there and won. Then we lost to Indiana by 20, and then it’s like, when you’re riding just on emotion a lot, you tend to go up and down. It’s like a roller coaster. I think that’s what it was. We had those spurts where we played well and played a focused game, but then Patty goes out, boom, and there was just so much that went on with that. Then Steph goes out with a freak injury. So much went on with that. I think we were just so up and down emotionally it kind of blinded us from our goal, which was to be good every single night as basketball players.” McCaw’s injury -- a bone bruise suffered when he fell after a dunk attempt against the Kings, which required him to be carried off the court in Sacramento on a stretcher -- hit everyone hard. “When Pat got injured, I think that took a little bit out of us,” Durant said. “It took a little bit out of Steve as well. You could just feel it, when Steph went out, then I went out, then Draymond, then Klay. Our emotions were so up and down. When your emotions are, you have too many emotions in the game of basketball, it can kind of blind you from what you really have to do. This is a technical game. So when you put too many emotions into it, it kind of took us away from what we wanted to do.” McCaw, who played in 57 games this season, was not only a part of Kerr’s rotation. He is also a well-liked person who was getting better on the floor. He was re-evaluated last week and will be checked out again in a month. Though he’s been traveling with the team during the playoffs, his season is almost certainly over. And as his injury came during the Warriors’ many injuries down the stretch, its chilling effect was multiplied. “It definitely got to everybody,” Green said. “Kind of the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going on with him. The rotations. Everybody’s like, ahh, kind of tiptoeing around, trying to make sure you get to the playoffs healthy. A lot of that makes a difference. I mean, that’s our brother. To see him down like that, not be able to walk off the court under his own power, him not being around us for two or three weeks, it was kind of like the unknown. It sucked. And I think it definitely had an effect on everything.” But Durant doesn’t like the metaphor of the proverbial switch being turned on at playoff time explaining the team’s improvement the last couple of weeks. “I don’t like when you call it a switch,” he said. “Because guys come in and get extra work in every single day. They work on their bodies every day, they get treatment. You come in here any time, you see guys in here working on their games. I think when you say ‘a switch turned on,’ if guys went cold turkey on everything as professionals during the season, and just tried to pick it up in the playoffs, I think that’s turning on a switch. Mentally, focus-wise, game plan-wise, I think you can turn on a switch, because you can lock in on an opponent, you know their tendencies, you can just focus in on one group of players instead of one day it’s San Antonio, the next day it’s Phoenix, next day it’s Sacramento. You’re going so up and down. If that makes sense. “So I think everybody’s putting in that work individually all year, and as a team, you know, stuff has to come together. We have to focus in on what we need to do, game plan wise, tendency wise, just try to take away things. I think that’s where you kind of turn it up just a bit.” Golden State has performed in fits and starts in the first two rounds. The Spurs didn’t have enough firepower to be a serious threat, but they played hard and were increasingly effectively on defense as the series went on. The Warriors didn’t really have an answer for LaMarcus Aldridge after Game 1. New Orleans had, until Sunday (Monday, PHL time), been more and more successful at making the Warriors shoot contested shots. That certainly gibes with Curry’s return after five weeks. He’s healthy, but rusty. After his adrenaline-filled return last Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) in Game 2 against the Pelicans, he made just 14-of-33 from the floor in the two games in New Orleans. There was talk afterward about breakthroughs for Curry cardiovascularly. The next few games will tell whether Curry is truly recovered and ready to be two-time Kia MVP Steph … or will he just be on the floor (as he was for long and important stretches in the 2016 playoffs after returning from a Grade 1 knee sprain). The Warriors still made The Finals, but Curry wasn’t Curry against Cleveland, and everyone, starting and ending with LeBron James, knew it. No one in NBA history has changed the geometry of basketball more than Curry, and when he’s on the floor, the ball starts flying around. “Our formula is simple: if we out-pass people, we win,” Warriors forward David West said. “Ball movement. With guys going in and out of the lineup, it causes moments where guys try to carry the load, maybe try to shoulder the load individually. But the strength of the group is the group.” But the Warriors can still throw so many different things and people at you. Iguodala shot a career-worst 28.2 percent on three-pointers in the regular season. He’s at 39.3 percent in the 2018 playoffs. Does anyone doubt he was biding his time until the postseason? No one wearing an NBA uniform is in better shape than the 34-year-old Iguodala, no one is smarter about the game or matchups, and no one is a prouder, fiercer competitor. The 2015 Finals MVP brings his bag of intangibles with him on the road even more than at home, as he did Sunday. In that game, he was making life miserable for the Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotic, creating deflections, making the right reads and impacting the game despite scoring just six points. Kerr likened him to Scottie Pippen after Game 4, but Iggy wasn’t buying it -- “Steve just does that to make sure I don’t get mad ‘cause I don’t shots,” Iguodala quipped. He may be right. But Iguodala and Green have a mind meld defensively that’s at the heart of the Hamptons’ effectiveness. “Andre and I, we’re usually on the same page,” Green said. “Two guys who really think the game, especially on that side of the ball. Sometimes we can talk things out and it works perfect and not say a word, and know what each other’s going to do. It definitely helps our team out defensively kind of having two coaches out there on the floor on that side of the ball.” Whether it’s switching to guard each other’s man, running at an open shooter to close before the ball gets there with the other man rotating, they know what the other guy is going to do. And that second or so the Warriors save defensively keeps them from being broken down. “How fast can you make that decision?,” Green says. “How demonstrative are you going to be about that decision? Are you going to second guess that decision? That’s usually when it doesn’t work; if you’re going to go, just go. That’s kind of the motto that Andre and I go by. If you’re going to go, just go; everybody else fall in line and rotate, and we’ll work it out from there.” And while Green and Rajon Rondo have been exchanging pleasantries throughout this series, Green didn’t pick up his first postseason technical foul until Sunday (Monday, PHL time). He’s been under control, coming up to the edge without going over. Someone without access to the internet asked Kerr if he’d ever played with anyone who instigated or tried to get under the skin of opponents. It’s a testament to Kerr’s comic timing that he actually did wait a beat before answering. “I did play with Dennis Rodman,” he said. Never be fooled by Kerr’s overall pleasant disposition and quick-with-a-quip acuity, though. He is a fierce competitor that wants to win big, the same as his current point guard, who is similarly underrated on the competition scale. Kerr has seven rings as a player and coach, and it’s not a coincidence he’s frequently been around teams that got it done in June. But the Warriors are playing for even bigger stakes than just winning the 2018 title. Legacies are created this time of year. A third title in four seasons, with four straight Finals appearances, would put Golden State in very rarified air in the modern game. San Antonio won three titles from 2002-07. But the Spurs, famously, never have won back-to-back titles. The Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal-led Lakers, which won three straight from 2000-02, are the closest modern-day team to pulling off what the Warriors are trying to accomplish. Before then, you’re talking about the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, with six titles in eight seasons -- the two non-title seasons coinciding with Jordan’s sojourn to the minor leagues of baseball. Moreover, the Warriors are the hub around which the modern NBA now spins. And that is an even bigger legacy. Almost everyone (hi, Thibs!) tries to play the way Golden State does now -- the quick hitters, ball movement, pace. Teams do it in different ways. The 76ers look very different than the Warriors, with Joel Embiid their centerpiece of operations, and with 6'10" Ben Simmons taking up so much space with the ball in the halfcourt. The Rockets look different still as there’s not a ton of ball movement. There’s just an unending series of screen and rolls with Chris Paul and James Harden with the rock, looking for the inevitable open man in the corner or way, way behind the three-point line. A lot of things have happened the last 15 years to lead us where we are now. The league changed almost all the rules regarding zone defense, and got rid of almost all defensive contact on the perimeter. Rockets GM Daryl Morey and others led the burgeoning analytics movement, which championed shooting more and more three-pointers as a primary means of scoring, not as a novelty. Mike D’Antoni’s Phoenix Suns went with Amar’e Stoudemire at center, surrounding him with four smalls that could all shoot it from deep, and scoring came out of its coma leaguewide. Kerr and Pelicans Coach Alvin Gentry have always been quick to credit D’Antoni’s influence on the modern game, starting in Phoenix and working through his current team in Houston. “He’s the guy that just eliminated the center position -- let’s just go small and fast and shoot more threes,” Kerr said of D’Antoni. “I was inspired by Mike, but I was also inspired by Pop (the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich) and Phil Jackson in terms of basic ball movement, screening. But pace is the name of the game these days, and people go about it in different ways. Ironically, Mike’s team (in Houston) is the slowest team in the league now. I didn’t see that coming.” But no one has put all of it together -- pace, small ball, shooting and defense -- like the Warriors have the last four seasons. The Rockets are the closest thing we’ve seen to Golden State, and they’re hungry, and they’re coming. And the Warriors and Rockets are just a win apiece away from seeing the clash of the Western Conference titans. They are in the middle of it, so they can’t stop and think about what it all means. We get that. But everyone wants to put a marker out there that’s hard to catch. LeBron is chasing a ghost. The Warriors have already made their mark on the game. They’re almost in position to do more. History is forever. “It’s important, because it’s what’s right in front of us,” Curry said Sunday. “We don’t think about the historical context of anything. For us, we have an amazing group of guys, amazing coaches sitting behind us. We’re appreciating the moment. That’s really all it is. You have tunnel vision for Game 5 at home, then a new series, hopefully (after that). The historic context doesn’t really seep into the locker room when it comes to what that means. It’s just about this year.” Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. 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 8th, 2018

Sixers avert Celtics sweep

   PHILADELPHIA, United States (UPDATED) – The Philadelphia 76ers came out in full control this time. Days after a Game 3 meltdown, the Sixers took command all night to down the Boston Celtics, 103-92, in Game 4 and stay alive in the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals on May 7, Monday. The Sixers ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Chris Paul, Houston Rockets take dominant step toward ultimate goal

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com SALT LAKE CITY — There is one more game to be played (at the very least) in this series, and it’ll be on the home court Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) when Houston will be in a celebratory mood. But be clear about this: the Jazz are no longer the barrier between the Rockets and the goal. They’re just standing in the way. There’s a difference. Getting rid of the overmatched yet naggingly persistent Jazz is all about keeping pace with the Warriors or perhaps staying one step ahead of the defending champs, nothing more or less. A long-anticipated Western Conference final, and perhaps a classic one, is impatiently waiting, and it’s in the Rockets’ best interest to settle their end of the bargain and if possible on the same night when the Warriors can do the same. And so, just a few hours after the Warriors went up 3-1 on the Pelicans in the other West semifinal, the Rockets did likewise Sunday (Monday, PHL time), using star power to overcome an otherwise blah performance. They only scored 100 points — a level that will certainly rise in the next round. Quite simply, they had James Harden and Chris Paul and Clint Capela when it counted and Utah did not. And speaking of Paul, he’s one win away from advancing beyond the second round for the first time in his otherwise respectable career. His anxiousness to kill that annoying demon was evident in the third quarter of Game 4, when he scored 11 of his 27 points while drilling the Jazz with mid-range jumpers, and the game flipped in Houston’s favor. “I’ve been here before, 3-1,” said Paul on post-game TV, his memory still sharp from blowing that lead while with the Clippers four years ago, coincidentally against Harden and the Rockets. “[Expletive] went bad real quick.” It also happened to be Paul’s birthday, and what more can a 33-year-old do to demonstrate that age is merely a number? “He was really big today," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I understand he has another birthday coming up Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).” It was a surreal night for Paul as well. While he was busy erasing the Jazz, his brother CJ Paul was being momentarily erased from the arena. CJ Paul, who handles much of his brother’s personal affairs, was escorted from his lower-level seat by arena security in the third quarter for shouting at referee James Williams. He was allowed back to his seat moments later and claimed to be a victim of mistaken identity. “They thought I said something that shouldn’t be printed,” said CJ, right after he took a post-game phone call from Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations. “Actually, it was a fan sitting next to me. I addressed the fan who said it. I told security what happened. After they let me back in, the security guy said, `By the way, James said it was definitely you that said that. He didn’t see you, but he heard you.’ What, you mean out of 20,000 people? What’s crazy is James reffed me when I was in college.” CJ Paul, who has never missed any of his brother’s playoff games, didn’t miss much during his brief departure in this one, either. The Rockets stayed in control, save for some teases by the Jazz, and this is where they stand, right on the cusp, right with the Warriors suddenly swelling in their windshield. Remember, the Rockets built their team and their season around overcoming the Warriors; the Jazz never came up in conversation. That’s why they added Paul last summer, and why Harden tweaked his isolation-dominant game to accommodate Paul, and why the rise of Capela is raising the possibility of Houston bringing a new Big Three in Golden State’s direction. That Houston won another game despite a toned-down offense and a vanishing three-point shot — they made just 26 percent Sunday (Monday, PHL time) and in the last three games are at 29 percent — is either an impressive or troublesome trend depending on your hot take. D’Antoni is playing up the former. “We haven’t shot well the whole series,” he said. “But there’s all different ways to win. We’re not strictly a jump-shooting team. Chris has got the midrange. James gets to the hole. You’ve got Clint down there. We’ve got a lot of other stuff we can go to.  The whole plan was to get that so we wouldn’t be a one-dimensional team.” “We’ll get to 100," D'Antoni added. "Anyway, if we do our part defensively, we have a real good shot to win.” Against the Jazz, does it really matter? Utah arrived this far on hard work and solid coaching and an otherworldly rookie, but those teams don’t travel deeper than this in the playoffs. Their lack of star appeal is flaring up and gradually costing them right now. They started a rookie, a guy cut by the Clippers, an undrafted free agent, a Celtics’ castoff and a center who can’t shoot. Also, Derrick Favors isn’t 100 percent and Ricky Rubio missed his third straight game with a bad hamstring. Then, in the third quarter, Dante Exum grabbed his hamstring and was done for the night, perhaps for the series. They’re playing with house money after losing their franchise guy, Gordon Hayward, to free agency last summer. They won 48 games, had winning streaks of 11, nine and six after Jan. 22, grabbed the No. 5 seed and probably sent Paul George plotting an exit strategy from Oklahoma City after beating the Thunder in the first round. Then they stole a game from the No. 1 seed in the West, in Houston no less. What’s not to like? And yet, reality is settling in Utah like the famous bronze sunsets in the Wasatch Valley. Joe Ingles shocked the Rockets with 27 points in the Game 2 win; he totaled 21 points the next two. Exum was a national talking point for 48 hours after becoming a Harden Stopper in Game 2, but his 15 minutes quickly evaporated, and now he has the sore hammy. Mitchell had one insane quarter when the series shifted to Utah — his 13 points in the third quarter Sunday. Otherwise, not much else. Their plight was cruelly spelled out in a few sequences in Game 4. Mitchell stripped Harden and drove for a layup but couldn’t convert. Ingles broke Capela’s ankles on a step-back jumper but missed the three. Rudy Gobert took a pass and drove the lane... and Capela swooped from nowhere and rejected him. That was one of Capela’s six blocks (to go with 15 rebounds), and he influenced roughly a dozen others. “Donovan drove the lane and saw Clint and decided to pass, and that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet,” said Paul. “There was a lot of that.” Harden had issues once again against Utah after opening the series with 41 points. He shot poorly from deep, missing 6-of-7, and coughed up eight turnovers and couldn’t take control of Game 4. That left the savior role to Paul. Such is the luxury the Rockets have this season; when one superstar is handcuffed, the other is released. Paul was the best player on the floor if not the most efficient. In 35 minutes he had just one turnover, and in addition to scoring, he chipped in with 12 rebounds and six assists. “He was extremely aggressive tonight, which is what we needed,” Harden said. And why not? Paul can smell the next round and a chance, once and for all, to change the narrative with regards to his playoff history, which is an awkward fit with the rest of his playing history. When that was brought up to Paul, Harden respectfully interjected, “He’s not thinking about that. We got a game Tuesday and we’ll do whatever we can to close it out.” Paul laughed. “We’re not going to give up,” he confirmed. There’s no reason for that. The Rockets are suddenly on the verge — where they thought they’d be all along. The Western Conference Finals are tapping Paul and the Rockets on the shoulder and reminding them of their season-long mission statement, and the Rockets are very much OK with that. “We didn’t come this far,” said Harden, “just to be up 3-1 in this series.” No, not this one. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018

Emotional Parks remembers father after San Miguel Alab triumph: ‘Dad, we did it’

An emotional Ray Parks fought back tears as the final buzzer sounded last Wednesday night, signaling the completion of San Miguel Alab Pilipinas rise to the Asean Basketball League throne. As he held his own miniature championship trophy at the press conference, Parks' thoughts turned to his late father, Bobby Sr., who had coached the San Miguel Beermen to a second place finish in 2012. "Dad, we did it," said Parks, who was named Finals MVP after Alab overcame Mono Vampire of Thailand in five games including a 102-92 win in the title clincher at Santa Rosa Multi Purpose Complex in Santa Rosa, Laguna. "I got emotional very early. I'm just thankful to Alab for the opportunity....Keep on reading: Emotional Parks remembers father after San Miguel Alab triumph: ‘Dad, we did it’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 5th, 2018

DLSU recognizes FEU ability to bounce back

SEIZED early control of their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament finals series in a “fairly easy” manner, the De La Salle Lady Spikers said they are happy where they stand but are not getting ahead of themselves, recognizing that the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws have it in them […] The post DLSU recognizes FEU ability to bounce back appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 29th, 2018

UAAP FINALS: Hindi madaling kalaban ang FEU –- De Jesus

Two-time defending champion De La Salle University swept past Far Eastern University on Saturday to draw first blood in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball Finals best-of-three series. But it was a deceiving result as the Lady Spikers needed to hang tough in the closing stretch of each set to carve out a 29-27, 25-21, 25-22, win. The Lady Tamaraws gave the Taft-based squad one hell of a fight.   “Well, oo, kasi alam naman natin na, sabi ko nga kanina, noong eliminations, talagang hindi madaling kalaban para sa amin ang FEU,” said DLSU coach Ramil de Jesus, who is looking to steer the Taft-based squad to its 11th title and third grand slam.    The mentor, who nine years ago dethroned the Lady Tams in three games, also pointed out that FEU has a full arsenal of versatile hitters who could defend both at the net and on the floor. “Sila kasi 'yung team na talagang marami ding kayang paikutin na tao eh. So tulad kanina, ginamit nila 'yun. So malaking bagay para sa team nila 'yun,” said De Jesus . The DLSU coach also praised FEU’s heady setter Kyle Negrito for distributing the ball well and keeping his wards guessing on who to defend.   “Kaya nahihirapan din kami dahil magaling din 'yung setter,” he added. “Halos wala kang makitang weak point sa rotation kasi lahat nakaka-block.” The Lady Spikers had to rely on their championship experience and composure in each of the sets just to stave off the rampaging and feisty Lady Tams. Now with three days of preparation, De Jesus is looking to make the necessary adjustments to finish off FEU in Game 2. “Well pipilitin namin na makuha 'yung Game 2, kasi mahirap na pag umabot pa ng Game 3,” he said. “And then kung ano man ang naging performance ng FEU today, pag-aaralan namin kung paano pa namin sila mako-control. Hopefully matapos sa Wednesday.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 28th, 2018

All even

Game Tuesday (Pasig Sports Center) 4 p.m. -- Zark’s vs. Che’Lu PLAYING with a sense of urgency, Zark’s Burgers-Lyceum of the Philippines University took control early and fashioned out a 98-90 Game 2 victory and even the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Finals series to one game apiece yesterday at the….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsApr 26th, 2018

Budding Sixers take control of series in Miami

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com MIAMI — Back in 2014, when the Miami Heat were wrapping up their championship-fueled era, the Philadelphia 76ers began plotting their own. And they did it unconventionally, laughably and by any measure, dreadfully. It was Year One of the most ambitious rebuilding plan before or since, when the Sixers willingly laid down and became a doormat and allowed other teams to wipe their sneakers on them. That season, while LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh cruised to a fourth straight appearance, and their last together, in the NBA Finals, the Sixers lost 63 games. And then they got better at this tanking technique and lost 64 and 72 the next two years. But fast-forward to now, to Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) at American Airlines Arena, and the roles with the Heat and Sixers are threatening to flip. Maybe not so drastically, but it’s clear through four games of this first-round playoff series that the Sixers are going one way and the Heat another. The Sixers have Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, a pair of young bedrocks slowly building something with the potential to be big. The Heat? They have banners in the rafters commemorating what they used to be, not so long ago. Philly also has something else on Miami, namely a 3-1 series lead after Simmons became the first rookie since Magic Johnson to drop a triple-double in a playoff game and Embiid fought through a poor shooting game and an irritating protective mask to spook any Heat player that challenged him at the rim. It was the Sixers who made all the right plays in the final crucial moments in the 106-102 win, getting key stops and buckets and pulling away, a team with a young core turning mature, and doing it rapidly, despite their lack of post-season experience. And having a front-row seat to this new Process was none other than Wade, a proud if aging member of the extinct Big Three who realizes something unique is happening with the Sixers. “This is a very good team,” said Wade. “They’ve got talent at almost every position. This is definitely one of the best first-round opponents I’ve played in my career.” Are the Sixers all that, already? “They’re good,” said Wade. “They’re special. They put the right team together.” Yes, they have. Maybe it wasn’t properly done in the spirit of competition, and perhaps they embarrassed themselves if not the league while doing so, but that’s all behind the Sixers right now. What’s ahead of them is a potential series-clinching Game 5 in Philly and from there, who knows? Yes, the core of the Sixers is Simmons, Embiid and Dario Saric, all under 25, and in the playing rotation only JJ Redick and Marco Belinelli earned any significant playoff money. But if a young team is ever going to reach the NBA Finals, this is the right time, and this is the right team. Just look at the wide-open landscape in the East: LeBron and the Cavaliers, winners of the last three East titles, are down 2-1 to the Pacers and haven’t appeared this fragile since LeBron returned to Cleveland. The Celtics are missing Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Toronto is the No. 1 seed in the East but inspires few outside Canada. Why not the Sixers? Why not now? Simmons is lacking a jump shot and little else, and still manages to score anyway. His direction of the club in the fourth quarter of Game 4 was near-masterful; Simmons stayed poised, found the open man and popped the Heat’s comeback hopes with an uncontested dunk when Miami pulled within a point. Embiid couldn’t hit a shot and yet didn’t fall into a funk; rather he terrorized Miami by being a defensive force, punctuated by his spike of a Goran Dragic late-fourth quarter breakaway layup attempt (followed by an Embiid stare down). “They make you pay every time you make a mistake,” said Wade. Speaking of which, the Sixers had 27 turnovers, certainly the recipe for disaster, and still found a way. In the words of coach Brett Brown: “I’m surprised we won this game. We really didn’t have any right to win this game.” But maybe it’s just additional proof that this is Philly’s time. It’s quite a contrast to the ex-bully on the block. Four years after LeBron made the second biggest decision of his life, the Heat are still searching for the identity they had when the champagne flowed, and the party rolled on South Beach. The only reminder is Wade, and at age 36 he’s only capable of having flashes now, like his 28 points in Game 2 and an impressive 25-point follow up Saturday that was marred only by a missed free throw in the final seconds. Besides that, there’s nothing special. Pat Riley’s latest attempt to recreate a winner is looking dubious right now. Riley decided two summers ago to build the Heat around a seven-foot center with low post-skills, which means Riley gave a $100 million to a dinosaur. And one with a decaying relationship with coach Erik Spoelstra. Hassan Whiteside can’t get on the floor in today’s NBA, where small-ball makes him a liability in certain situations. With no shooting range, and perhaps no incentive to develop one, Whiteside finds himself on the bench in fourth quarters and on the nerves of Spoelstra. “He’s a prisoner of the style of play,” said Brown. Plus: Riley also paid Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Tyler Johnson and Kelly Olynyk. Which means the Heat are almost guaranteed to be a 43-win team fighting for the final playoff spot for the next few years. When the Heat searched for someone to bail them out Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), who did they turn to? An aging All-Star who’s on the downside, which says something about Wade … and the Heat’s roster. “He ended up being our best option,” said Spoelstra. There’s another path the Heat can take, of course. They could follow the current Hawks, Nets, Lakers and Magic, who all took their cues from the 2014 Sixers, and take a few steps back before moving forward. But that’s not a fool-proof plan — have you seen the Magic the last few years? — and besides, losing by any means isn’t in Riley’s DNA. So, mediocrity it is, then. Meanwhile, the Sixers have Embiid and Simmons and if you ask fans in Philly, they’d say it was well worth the steep price, in terms of the misery of tanking, paid for them. “They’re two players that have the chance to be great,” said Brown. “Joel has no right to be doing some of the things he does. Ben’s composure down the stretch is amazing. Those two are exceptional.” What the Sixers just did was win a pair in Miami, under the banners that hung over them, was fly in the face of basketball convention which says youth doesn’t get served in the post-season. They can close out at home and then get the survivor of Celtics-Bucks, and Philly can expect to be the favorite in that conference semifinal. “I can see how much we’ve grown and how much more room we have to grow,” said Brown. “To come here and get a win, in this building, against an organization of winning and culture and history, it’s special.” There’s another story here: If the Sixers eliminate the Heat, then it could be curtains for Wade, who doesn’t have a contract for next season, who hasn’t committed to playing beyond this season, and who paused suspiciously for about three seconds when asked if Saturday was his final game in Miami. “I don’t want to answer that right now,” he said. Whether he sticks around or takes the sunset cruise, Wade must realize that a transformation is taking place in the East. After years of deliberately bad basketball the Sixers are finally bearing fruit, and oh, speaking of food, Wade and the Heat can chew on this for a minute: The Sixers have room under the salary cap to give Embiid and Simmons some help next season. LeBron James, free agent-to-be, might reach the conclusion that the Sixers are his best championship option. for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter.   The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2018

Muntinlupa stays alive in MPBL Finals after escaping Batangas in Game 3

Of course, a change of scenery was all Muntinlupa needed to come to life in the Finals of the inaugural Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Anta Rajah Cup. Buoyed by their loud and proud faithful inside the Muntinlupa Sports Complex, the Cagers held on for a much-needed 82-77 triumph over heavily favored Batangas on Tuesday. Allan Mangahas fronted the all-out attack with 23 points on top of eight assists and was flanked by Pari Llagas who had 19 markers, six rebounds, five dimes, and two steals. It was also Llagas, along with Dave Moralde, who stood strong in the last 49 seconds to tame their opponents’ uprising and tow the home team to cutting their series deficit to just 1-2 in the best-of-five championship round. At the wrong end of convincing victories by the Athletics in Games 1 and 2, the determination was very much evident for Muntinlupa from the get-go as they scored 12 unanswered points to start this matchup and saw it balloon to a 19-3 lead. Mangahas stayed hot from that point and they looked like they were breezing towards a season-saving win as they were still up by 11, 77-66, with four minutes remaining. Bong Quinto and Paul Varilla weren’t going away that easy, though, and shot the visitors to just down by two, 75-77, with under a minute left. They wouldn’t be able to come any closer, however, as Llagas and Moralde hit back-to-back difficult shots to put the game away for good. Moralde wound up with 10 points and Chito Jaime chipped in 10 markers of his own for the Cagers who may now boast of being the only team to have downed Batangas in the playoffs. They try, and need to, do it once more in Game 4 on Thursday still at the same venue. For the Athletics, Quinto topped the scoring column with 14 points while Lester Alvarez and Varilla also added 13 and 11 markers, respectively. Despite the loss, they remain in the lead in the Finals series and remain the favorites to take home the first-ever MPBL championship......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 17th, 2018