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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

PBA: Compton after 29-point win: 'I d rather be up 2-1'

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- From a casual fan's point of view, the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals hasn't necessarily delivered some quality games just yet. Two games have ended in blowouts and the other one only had scores in the 70s. Still, as the Finals get more heated and games become more crucial, Alaska head coach Alex Compton guarantees that it's just going to get better down the stretch. Well not really better per se, but the games will get harder and harder to win for sure. No more 29-point blowouts. "I can almost guarantee you that there won't be another game like this," Compton said after his Aces scored a convincing 100-71 win Sunday at the Ynares Center here. Alaska's 29-point win allowed them to cut the series deficit in half, 1-2. "They're too good, too well-coached, too talented. We just made some shots. I expect Game 4 to be a lot like Game 2," Compton added. The Aces' 29-point win probably won't mean much in the grand scheme of things if they can't follow it up come Game 4. It's the Hotshots that still control the Finals despite taking a beating in Antipolo after all. "If you asked me, would I rather won this game by that score or be up 2-1? I'd rather be up 2-1," Compton said. "Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we won, it's better to win, it's a great coaching strategy, but we're still down 2-1," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

UAAP Finals: In showing character, UP earns Ateneo s respect

Ateneo de Manila University left no doubt in claiming back-to-back championships in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Following a convincing nine-point victory in Game 1, the Blue Eagles ran the University of the Philippines out of the Araneta Coliseum in Game 2 on Wednesday by a score of 99-81. That 18-point win was more than enough for them to clinch their seventh title in the last 11 years. Despite the dominant series sweep, the now two-time defending champions had nothing but good words for their fallen foes. “At the end of the day, yes, there’s only one champion, but there are only two teams that play the last game of the season. That means the one that doesn’t win still must’ve done a lot of things pretty well,” head coach Tab Baldwin told reporters post-game. Indeed, while Ateneo was in complete control of the Finals, Fighting Maroons Bright Akhuetie, Paul Desiderio, and Juan Gomez de Liano kept coming at them. In the eyes of coach Tab, that just showed the character they have discovered and then developed throughout the tournament. “When you look at their season, their season had a lot of character to it because they were a struggling team early on and looked out of sorts. It’s really difficult so you scratch your head all the time and say, ‘We got talent, we got some good players, how do we pull this thing together,’” he shared. He then continued, “I don’t know what they did, but they sure got it together and they got these guys playing as a team, playing extremely hard, and they put together a great season.” At the start of the second round, UP found itself at 3-5 and at the outside looking into the playoff picture. From there, though, they went 7-1 to make a run to the Finals which was a pleasant surprise for just about everybody. And though the Fighting Maroons had to settle for a runner-up finish, the Blue Eagles said they deserve nothing but respect for their magical season. “I think that you got to give credit to every single one of them. The coaches obviously did a good job and the players worked with the coaches so they deserve credit for that,” coach Tab said. He then continued, “They were a really tough opponent for us.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

PBA Finals: San Miguel s frustrations cost them their final timeout

It was a cruel turn of events for the San Miguel Beermen down the stretch in Game 4, Sunday evening.  After a June Mar Fajardo fastbreak dunk with 3:16 left in the game that put them up 83-78, the defending champions failed to put the ball in the hoop the rest of the way. Ginebra was able to build on a 9-0 run to close out the game and clinch the 3-2 advantage in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals, a run which may spell life or death between the two teams. San Miguel could have been up 3-2, but possible missed calls cost the Beermen some buckets, and may have helped the Gin Kings get on the fast break and score the all-important baskets. The Beermen were visibly frustrated throughout the entire ordeal, even resorting to quarreling and complaining to game officials during the final timeout. Coach Leo Austria carried his bottled-up emotions to the presser, trying to supress anger or frustration from the game partly because of the final ceasefire. "Yeah we tried our best to score, but a lot of banging inside…. and we did not get a good break. Some of the players are complaining because there’s a foul. And even in my last timeout, I wasn’t able to give an instruction because they keep on complaining so the timeout expired." Even though they squandered on their 2-1 series lead and are now down 3-2, hope is not lost for their cause, as the three-time and reigning Coach of the Year looks back on their road to the Finals. "I think the chance is still there. And siguro, the players, they will realize. There’s no time to be out-focused. There’s no time to relax. Our backs are against the wall." Regarding Renaldo Balkman's comments about the last three minutes of the game, he stressed that it was mere opinion, and admitted that the officiating is beyond their control.  "Everyone has his own opinion dahil he’s the one playing there and he feels there’s a lot of non-calls… of non-calls. It’s not a missed call. There’s non-calls, guys, so… They can feel it eh." "I’m not blaming anyone because we still have a chance to win that game if we’re ever to make that last possession." In their do-or-die Game 6 on Wednesday, backs against the wall, Austria assures that the Beermen will do everything to force a Game 7 on Sunday. "You can never know. It might happen that we might get the break of the game. So in the last three possessions, it could get 50-50 on our advantage, but you know, it’s beyond our control." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2018

PBA: Beermen close in on Finals after 16-point comeback win over Alaska

Chalk this one up as another sensational comeback for defending champion San Miguel. The Beermen erased a 16-point lead Monday at the Big Dome, scoring a 105-94 victory over Alaska in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals. With the win, San Miguel has taken a commanding 2-0 lead against the rival Aces. This semis series is only a best-of-3. After losing the series opener, Alaska came out hot, scoring 29 points in the opening period for an 11-point lead. The Aces continued to pound on the Beermen and Alaska eventually took a 16-point lead, 41-25, approaching halftime. However, the Beermen stormed back to start the second half with Renaldo Balkman and Chris Ross combining for 25 points in the third period as the champs took over. Alaska responded in the fourth with Vic Manuel at the lead, keeping things close before San Miguel turned to its usual strong finishing kick to secure the victory. "Nahirapan talaga kami ng first half. Buti na lang nag-step up and we realized na threatening ang kanilang nilalaro," head coach Leo Austria said. "Makikita naman natin na all out sila. We’re lucky na we’re able to come back. In this game, especially the end game, na-miss nila sila Banchero at Abueva, but diskarte nila yun. Wala silang magagawa dahil yun ang mga consequences na beyond their control," he added. Balkman led the Beermen with 31 points, 25 in the second half. June Mar Fajardo added 21 points and 18 rebounds while Chris Ross dropped 16 for San Miguel. For Alaska, Diamon Simpson and Simon Enciso scored 19 each but the no. 2 Aces, who are still missing Calvin Abueva (team-imposed suspension) and Chris Banchero (personal reasons) are officially on the brink. Game 3 is set for Wednesday still at the Big Dome.   The Scores: San Miguel (105): Balkman 31, Fajardo 21, Ross 16, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 8, Santos 5, Nabong 5, Heruela 3, Standhardinger 2 Alaska (94): Simpson 19, Enciso 19, Manuel 15, Teng 13, Casio 12, Thoss 6, Cruz 5, Galliguez 3, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0, Baclao 0 Quarterscores: 18-29, 41-52, 79-74, 105-94 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

Golden State Warriors not just good, they re lucky too

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LAS VEGAS -- In this town, fates and fortunes can turn drastically any day, hour or minute. A flip of the card, pull of the switch or roll of the dice can make or break souls. Which brings us to NBA Summer League, the Golden State Warriors and the field. The league is holding its annual gathering of executives, coaches and player hopefuls here, and 29 of the 30 NBA teams are wondering about their chances this upcoming season and why the Warriors are the Chosen Ones. Meanwhile, the Warriors, winners of three of the last four championships, are no doubt doing some head-scratching about how a key injury is once again helping their cause and making them stronger. This is about luck, then, and why those chasing the Warriors can’t seem to get a break, and how the Warriors managed to make themselves both good and lucky. There is considerable buzz among the basketball throng in Vegas regarding the Warriors, who are less than a month removed from a convincing sweep of LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals and how they won twice this summer: championship and then free agency. The collective moan from the rest of the NBA seems to say: What the hell? DeMarcus Cousins agreed to a one-year deal with the Warriors for the NBA equivalent of loose change in a sofa: $5.3 million. Just like that, the Warriors added a dominant and versatile center, maybe the best in the game, which made coach Steve Kerr wisecrack about how the Warriors “needed another All-Star.” This was made possible because of a quirky circumstance that caused Cousins a lot of pain, which translated into plenty of gain for Golden State. When Cousins tore his Achilles last spring with the Pelicans, his market value in free agency fell to the floor right along with him. Suddenly, the rest of the league, including the Pelicans, became wary about investing heavily in a hulking center who most certainly would need most of the 2018-19 season to rehab, without any guarantee Cousins would return to form once medically cleared to play. Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks last season, perhaps the best of his career. He turns 28 in late August. Had he avoided injury, he would’ve been far too expensive for the Warriors to afford. They’re well over the luxury tax and are limited to exceptions, which allow them to sign players but only on the cheap. A healthy Cousins was destined to command in excess of $20 million a season, more had he stayed with the Pelicans. “If he’s healthy, he’s the best player at his position in the league,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. Well, when free agency opened, Cousins’ phone didn’t ring, and you probably know the story by now: He personally called the Warriors and signed up on the spot. His reasoning: If my only choice in this league is a short-term deal, might as well be with the team in the midst of a dynasty. The Warriors understandably were shocked, but why would they be? This isn’t the first time an injury went their way. Steph Curry’s chronic ankle sprains once threatened his career. He underwent surgery in the summer of 2011 and played only 26 games the next season. At that time, Curry was a good player, but far from the superstar who’d win a pair of MVPs and destroy three-point shooting records. So the Warriors were understandably worried, especially once Curry was due a contract extension. The two sides made a compromise that protected both parties: Four years, $44 million. The risk the Warriors took is Curry would continue having ankle issues and never see a full season. Curry’s risk: He’d remain healthy and see his production swell and spend most of that contract as a bargain. A bargain, for sure: At the end of that deal, Curry was the fourth-highest-paid player. On his own team. The upside for the Warriors and Curry: That contract helped them extend Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala and more importantly, add Kevin Durant. When you’re good and lucky -- remember, the Warriors won their first title over the Cavs when Cleveland was largely without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and beat the Rockets last spring after Chris Paul suffered a series-ending hamstring injury -- then you get plenty of rings. The beauty of the Cousins situation is the Warriors don’t need him during the regular season. This was mentioned more than a few times by rival general managers and coaches in Vegas. Cousins’ rehab is expected to require another five or six months -- full recovery form Achilles surgery is usually a year -- yet there’s no rush. Golden State won 73 games a few years ago without him and won 58 games last season on cruise control. They can wait until next spring, where Cousins could return, say, in March and use the final few weeks as a warm-up for the playoffs. After using the likes of the plodding Zaza Pachulia and quirky JaVale McGee in the middle, the Warriors are legit at center. Cousins fits the Warriors’ style because he can shoot 3s and is a willing and efficient passer from the high and low post. “That’s really an area where they’ve struggled and been inconsistent,” said Gentry, a former Warriors assistant coach before taking the top job in New Orleans. “It’s going to be a position where they make an upgrade." Meanwhile, Houston lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, a pair of athletic swingmen, this summer from free agency and therefore aren’t a better team on paper than last season, although the Rockets might soon add Carmelo Anthony, for whatever that’s worth. The Lakers welcome LeBron, but they didn’t get Paul George, who stayed in Oklahoma City, and the idea of trading for Kawhi Leonard this season remains a fantasy, at least for now. Which means the Warriors are once again the odds on favorites across town in the Vegas casinos to sip champagne next June. “Hey, that’s the NBA,” said Gentry with a shrug. “It’s supposed to be that way. You’re supposed to put out the best team you can. It’s up to the rest of us to catch them. They’ve put together a great team, drafted great, and guys in free agency wanted to come there. That’s what it’s all about. We have to pick up our game, it’s not that they should say, 'Oh we’re too good, let’s give away players.’ We all have to find a way to catch them, not them coming back to us.” Damian Lillard, the star guard for the Trail Blazers, spoke for the field when he said: “It's just going to get tougher and tougher. It is what it's always been, but just a little tougher. But you know what? Once the season starts, we gotta go. Nobody’s got time to be out there, not having fun and being stressed and all that BS. We gotta find to make it happen.” Twenty-nine teams, and especially the contenders in the West, are at a disadvantage regarding the Warriors because of a lack of All-Stars; not only do the Warriors now have five, but they’re all in their prime years. It’s one thing to try to be as good as the Warriors. Nowadays, you must rise to their level of luck as well. 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 NewsJul 12th, 2018

Ateneo tops San Beda to take Filoil Preseason crown

For the third year in a row, there has been a clean sweep of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament. And just like in 2017, the 2018 edition of the tournament has seen one sweeping squad get replaced by another. Claiming control from the get-go on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, Ateneo de Manila University didn’t give any chances to now dethroned champion San Beda University for a convincing 76-62 victory. The Blue Eagles scored the first basket and seized the lead right from tip-off. “We gotta give credit to the players. We didn’t really have practices so it was all verbal,” coach Sandy Arespacochaga said post-game. Still, the Red Lions were only behind by four after the opening salvo until Ivorian reinforcement Angelo Kouame imposed his will down low and fueled Ateneo’s 26-11 rush that mounted a 45-26 lead. San Beda would not be able to threaten from that point. With that, the UAAP champions proved that they were the top team in the tournament. Kouame finished with 15 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks en route to being hailed as the Tournament MVP. “We’re very happy for him individually. We’d like to see him continue to improve,” Arespacochaga said. Fellow Mythical team member Thirdy Ravena contributed seven points, two rebounds, and two assists while Jolo Mendoza and Raffy Verano also added nine markers each. Ateneo’s sweep of the 2018 Filoil Preseason follows San Beda’s sweep of the 2017 Filoil Preseason which itself followed De La Salle University’s sweep of the 2016 Filoil Preseason. Last year, the Red Lions dethroned the Green Archers en route to a clean sweep. San Beda got a taste of its own medicine this time around, falling victim to a Blue Eagle side that did not lose in 11 games. Javee Mocon showed the way for them with a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double. Donald Tankoua also had 13 markers and five boards. Robert Bolick was scoreless in 10 minutes of play, but did not play much of the second half after suffering an apparent ankle injury in the second quarter. In the battle for third, Far Eastern University made quick work of College of St. Benilde, 78-58. No Tamaraw was in double-digits, but they counted seven players who contributed somewhere between six to nine points in the scoring column. For the Blazers, Kendrix Belgica and Robbie Nayve topped the scoring column with 12 points apiece. However, they elected not to play top guns Justin Gutang and Clement Leutcheu to rest them for the looming NCAA season. BOX SCORES FINALS ATENEO 76 – Kouame 15, Mendoza 9, Verano 9, Ravena 7, Belangel 7, Nieto Mi 6, Asistio 6, Go 6, Mamuyac 5, Navarro 3, Maagdenberg 3, Nieto Ma 0, Tio 0, Wong 0, Black 0, Andrade 0 SAN BEDA 62 – Mocon 14, Tankoua 13, Abuda 9, Canlas 7, Doliguez 6, Nelle 5, Cabanag 4, Oftana 2, Carino 2, Tongco 0, Bolick 0, Eugene 0, Cuntapay 0, Burri 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-15, 45-26, 56-42, 76-62 BATTLE FOR THIRD FEU 78 – Tuffin 9, Nunag 9, Tolentino 8, Inigo 7, Comboy 6, Jopia 6, Ramirez 6, Orizu 5, Ebona 4, Gonzales 4, Parker 4, Escoto 4, Casino 4, Bienes 2, Stockton 0, Cani 0 CSB 58 – Belgica 12, Nayve 12, Pagulayan 11, Barnes 10, Carlos 6, Naboa 3, Young 2, Dixon 2, Velasco 0, Pasturan 0, Haruna 0 QUARTER SCORES: 13-17, 32-24, 56-40, 78-58 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

PBA: Smith not too worried about latest loss to San Miguel

By virtue of their classic Finals in the Commissioner's Cup last year, San Miguel and TNT will always have some history in the mid-season conference. However, KaTropa import Joshua Smith has moved on from the loss one year ago. After TNT got frustrated by the Beermen once again on Saturday, taking a 94-99 loss, Smith says he's not worried about any playoff implications or whatever. For one, it's not the playoffs. Not yet anyway. "My thing is... everyone wants to talk about the Finals last year. We're not playing them in the Finals, it's the regular season," Smith said. "The playoffs is a whole new ball game. It's regular season, I'm not worried. They won, credit to them," he added. Against the imposing San Miguel frontline, Smith played  just a shade under 45 minutes, his most since returning to TNT a couple of weeks ago. He scored 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. The hulking import doesn't mind the workload, saying he'll play heavy minutes if that's what it takes for the KaTropa to pile up wins. "If I have to play 45 minutes for us to win, I will. I'm all about the team. Whatever they need I'll do it," he said. "It's one of those times that I didn't realize it until I got to the locker room and read the stats. I'm just trying whatever I can to help the team out," Smith added. With a two-game slide, TNT has lost control of the no. 1 spot, going down to solo fourth as the elimination round nears its end. Regardless, Smith says the KaTropa's approach remains the same. Right now TNT is moving on to a crucial showdown with sister team Meralco. "We play hard every game and we're trying to win. We'll focus on what we can control," Smith said. "We're on a two-game slide right now we just gotta lock in and bounce back," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 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

San Miguel calls out Alaska’s Alex Compton for ‘kawawa ang liga’ remark

MANILA, Philippines---San Miguel cried foul over what it called "unnecessary remarks" by Alaska Aces head coach Alex Compton regarding the Beermen's recruits over the past years. Compton, whose Aces lost three championship series to the Beermen since 2014, said San Miguel's acquisition of three-time scoring champion Terrence Romeo put all the other teams at a disadvantage. "There was San Miguel for three finals, and June Mar Fajardo was always an issue," said Compton in a previous Inquirer report. "Then they added Christian [Standhardinger] and now they added Terrence [Romeo]. Kawawa ang liga." San Miguel rebutted Compton saying that the Aces also traded away "competent play...Keep on reading: San Miguel calls out Alaska’s Alex Compton for ‘kawawa ang liga’ remark.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 18th, 2019

PBA: June Mar Fajardo thankful for winning San Miguel as he is set to bag 5th MVP

San Miguel Beermen star center June Mar Fajardo shares that he is in a gratified mood as he is set to be awarded his fifth straight PBA MVP at the Leo Awards this Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. No other person in the 43-year history of the first professional basketball league in Asia has won the prestigious award five straight times, as the 6'10 center is set to make history once more, besting the previous record shared with Alvin Patrimonio and Ramon Fernandez.  Fajardo credited his success to the smashing performance of his team, which added another title to their hardware, their 25th overall, also a PBA record. "Hindi ko talaga akalain na mananalo ako ng MVP. Ang ine-expect ko na mag-i-improve lang ako pero yung mga awards, hindi talaga, hindi ko inisip. And kung maipanalao ko yun, lima na. Sobrang blessed," the Pinamungajan, Cebu native said. June Mar Fajardo, who is expected to run away with his 5th straight MVP is thankful for a winning culture in the San Miguel Beermen. "Sobrang suwerte ko na nandito ako sa San Miguel, suwerte ako na magagaling yung teammates ko."#PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/EREsOd0F60 — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) January 10, 2019 The #1 overall pick of the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft had another stellar season in the books, posting averages of 20.6 ppg, 12.4 rpg, and 1.2 bpg in 47 outings. He also had a career-high 42 points, which went along with a cool 20 rebounds in San Miguel's championship clincher over Magnolia in Game 5 of the Philippine Cup Finals at the MOA Arena last May, earning him his second Finals MVP overall. The amiable center won two Best Player of the Conference awards in the recently-concluded season, and possibly could have swept it, if he had not gone down with a stress fracture after the Commissioner's Cup Finals series loss against Ginebra last August. Despite all that, his figures were dominant enough to earn him another individual award, which reflected to another successful campaign for the Beermen the past season.  "Sobrang swerte talaga na nasa San Miguel ako kasi malakas yung San Miguel, lagi kami nasa playoffs so malaki yung chance na manalo ako kasi nasa playoffs," shared Fajardo.  "Siguro kung nasa ibang team ako, siguro hindi ako mananalo ng MVP. Sobrang swerte ko na nandito ako sa San Miguel, swerte ako na magagaling yung teammates ko." He also showered praise to runner-up Stanley Pringle, who had dazzled the league with his stellar play as one of the most, if not the most skilled guard in the 12-team association. With targets in their backs, especially with the way how the team retooled themselves as they gear up for another season, Fajardo hopes they could ward off every major challenge and win another Philippine Cup title. "Yun yung goal namin pero alam naman namin na hndi ganoon kadali maipanalo yung championshio kasi yung ibang teams, palakas na ng palakas. Naghahanda sila before Christmas, nag-start na sila sa practice," bared the beanpole.  "Kailangan lang namin na pagbutihin one game at a time. Goal namin muna makapasok sa playoffs hanggang sa umabot kami sa finals." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

PBA: Asi Taulava hints at retirement as he enters 20th season

It's been a wild ride for 45-year old Asi Taulava. From being a PBA standout, a direct hire by the then-Mobiline Phone Pals, the Fil-Tongan center has blossomed to being one of the most dominant players in the history of the first pro hoops league in Asia. But, it seems his 20th season in the PBA may be his last, as he said that he is seriously contemplating hanging his sneakers up for good after the 2019-20 campaign. "I'm thinking that this may be my last year. I wanted to get to 20 [seasons] and see where it goes from here. Let's see after everything if this will be my final year, if it's meant to be, this may be my final year, my swan song. I just want to enjoy it," the NLEX center shared at the PBA Media Day at the Solaire Resort and Casino. .@agelessasi88, who is entering his 20th season in the PBA, is seriously contemplating retirement at the end of the season. #PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/cfTqWWbqVp — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) January 10, 2019 In his illustrious career, he had won a title with a rookie Jimmy Alapag, won the season MVP, Finals MVP, and the Best Player of the Conference in the 2003 All-Filipino Cup, his only title.  The hulking 6'9 center has also been named to the Mythical Team eight times, four each in the first and the second teams, aside from being a 16-time All-Star and being named the MVP of the exhibition game twice. In his sabbatical from the PBA, he represented the country in the ABL as member of coach Leo Austria's San Miguel Beermen, where he won the league's MVP plum at age 40, and won his second pro title. From being a young and spry center, banging bodies with the likes of EJ Feihl and Dennis Espino to becoming one of the elder statesmen of the league, he said that he had seen the style of play change drastically. "When I first entered the PBA, it was slow, deliberate basketball. Nowadays, guys are getting younger, they're playing Warriors type of basketball," Taulava quipped. "Before, everybody had to post up. Now, the first three seconds, five seconds, a three will go up. The game has evolved so much. It's been great to be around during my whole career, playing and seeing how much basketball has grown." As he enters a crossroads in his decorated career as one of the 40 Greatest in the league's history, the slotman says he will just enjoy as he rides into the sunset of professional basketball. "I've enjoyed this ride. Not too many players. I think only four players in the PBA have lasted for 20 years. I can't believe I got here. Especially with my lifestyle in the past." Now a mentor to newly-acquired Poy Erram, he hopes to becoming the Road Warriors' rock in the middle and continue to help coach Yeng Guiao's team into contention, a team which made the semifinals in the opening tournament a year ago.  "Seeing him grow. I'm happy for him and everything what he's got right now, he's earned it. He has worked so hard." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

Basketball in 2018: The San Miguel takeover

It was another good year for basketball in 2018. In the case of the Philippine Basketball Association, they literally took one full year to complete. One year and two days actually. That's a lot of basketball. And that's just one league. Basketball die-hards were truly blessed in 2018. To be honest, some of the things that happened literally only about five months ago, seem like a long time ago. That's how crazy this year has been. In order to try and fit everything together in this year-end review, let's do things by category. Let's play ball.   SAN MIGUEL TAKEOVER Just to be clear here, by San Miguel, we mean San Miguel Corp. SMC teams continued to lord it over in basketball in 2018, at least on this part of the world. The flagship Beermen extended their dynasty in the Philippine Cup, beating Magnolia for a record four straight All-Filipino titles. [Related: June Mar scores 42 as Beermen complete Philippine Cup four-peat] Considering how easy they won this year and with significant upgrades present, it looks like there's still no stopping the San Miguel Beermen in the most prestigious tournament the Philippines has to offer. One team that did stop the Beermen this year were the Gin Kings of Brgy. Ginebra. With super import Justin Brownlee saving the day once again, Ginebra stopped San Miguel's Grand Slam drive for the second straight season, capturing the Commissioner's Cup in six games at the expense of the Beermen. [Related: Gin Kings dethrone San Miguel after sensational Game 6 win] The Gin Kings stay winning with Brownlee, if the guys makes the Finals, he's pretty much right on the money. Ginebra is a perfect three-fo-three in the Finals with Brownlee as import and in five conferences with the super scorer, the Gin Kings have made at least the semifinals each time. In the Governors' Cup, we got Manila Clasico in the semifinals and for a change, it was Magnolia that came out on top in an absolute classic of a series. [Related: Hotshots dominate Alaska to win Governors' Cup] The Hotshots used that momentum to win their first title since their Grand Slam season, completing an SMC Grand Slam in 2018. It's the first time in history all three San Miguel teams won a title in the same year. That alone makes 2018 special.   SAN MIGUEL TAKEOVER PART 2 After Gilas Pilipinas pretty much imploded on its own (more on that later), the San Miguel takeover has finally extended to the national team. [Related: Pressure mounts for Guiao with "best Philippine team ever"] The SMC stars were finally full force with Gilas and while the wins have not come just yet, it's pretty cool to see guys like Marcio Lassiter, Scottie Thompson, Greg Slaughter, and the rest of them play with the Gilas regulars of the yesteryears.   SAN MIGUEL TAKE OVER PART 3 Going away from the PBA a little bit, San Miguel stays winning as Alab Pilipinas brought the Asean Basketball League title back to the Philippine. Alab, with Jimmy Alapag coaching and Renaldo Balkman and Justim Brownlee as lead import, beat Thailand's Mono Vampire in five games for the title. [Related: Alab Pilipinas lights it up for country’s first title since 2013] It's the first ABL title for the Philippines since you guess it, San Miguel Beer's 2013 title with head coach Leo Austria and Asi Taulava.   BASKETBRAWLS Now we're getting to the good stuff. In a year where commotions were a little more common than usual, one very specific commotion managed to stand out. Actually, it was no mere commotion. It was a full-on fight. Back in July, Gilas Pilipinas engaged the Boomers of Australia in a massive brawl that resulted in ejections, suspensions, and fines that cost millions of pesos. [Related: 10 Gilas players suspended for brawl with Boomers] It also led to a national team coaching change and the San Miguel takeover in Gilas that we talked about before. In between, we actually finally saw Jordan Clarkson in Gilas Pilipinas so that counts as a win even though we only placed 5th in the Asian Games. [Related: ASIAN GAMES: Is Clarkson actually worth all that trouble for Gilas?] Ultimately, the sad and unfortunate event that was the Gilas-Boomers brawl casted a bad reputation on the Philippine national team, one that Gilas might take a while to recover from.   DUST-ED Another rather unfortunate event this year was Kiefer Ravena's FIBA suspension. [Related: Kiefer banned 18 months for using PEDs] We all know the story so let's not dwell to much about such a tragic event. Let's just patiently wait for the Phenom's comeback. August 2019 can't come soon enough.   LOOKING AHEAD If you thought 2018 was hectic, wait until we get to 2019. The ABL is already in full swing and Alab's title defense should get into high gear as the new year starts. The PBA opens a new season in January. Also, Gilas still has some stuff on the way with the national team's FIBA World Cup chase. We also host the Southeast Asian Games so that's another two weeks of basketball. Other opportunities include the Asia League, NLEX and Blackwater did well in their Super 8 stints in Macau and it's interesting to find out who's going to represent the country in the emerging power in Asia. [Related: Asia League boss wants more PBA teams in his tournaments] If you thought 2018 was filled with great basketball, you're right. 2019 should be no different.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018

New chapter awaits LeBron-Warriors rivalry

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com Oakland, Calif. — You cannot engage in a meaningful discussion or debate about the greatest player who ever lived without mentioning a team. They are the gate-crashers of this exclusive party and the shot-callers, the wedge that nudges the verdict away from one player and in the direction of another. They are, quite simply, a better sidekick for Michael Jordan than Scottie Pippen ever was. They are the Golden State Warriors, who ruin it for LeBron James. Or at least, so far anyway. If not for the Warriors, talk show hosts and sports bars and folks at the water cooler who discuss these things would be forced to get their neck hairs up over another touchy subject. Anything but the GOAT. That would be settled. Without the Warriors, LeBron would own more than three championships — everyone would most likely agree to that — and less competition from the immortalized player who went 6-0 in the NBA Finals. Even now, here in his first year with a new team, and astonishingly playing at MVP level just a week away from his 34th birthday, LeBron must deal with a persistent problem. For The King, the Warriors are this recurring kryptonite-mare. Christmas Day will provide LeBron and the Lakers their first shot this season at the winners of the last two NBA titles and three of the last four, all done at the expense of James when he carried the Cavaliers. New team brings the same challenge and a clear sense of reality. LeBron knows he’s up against a wall that’s bigger than the one holding up Congress right now. “We can’t measure ourselves against them,” he said, repeating the same thoughts he held on his first day as a Laker, when he said back in October: “We’ve got a long way to go to get to Golden State.” That “long way” might require the Lakers to put someone else in the shotgun seat for the journey, and that mystery player — Anthony Davis? Kawhi Leonard? Kevin Durant? — is at least a year away, if that. The future, both near and far, involves too many issues and complications and factors, and all of those revolve around LeBron’s stare-down with Father Time. A championship with a third team would weigh in LeBron’s favor against Jordan mainly because it would be accomplished in his mid-30s, at a time when the bodies of even great players begin to squeak. Such high-level consistency is juicing LeBron in the GOAT talk; right now he shows no slow-down with the exception of the occasional defense lapse, and is dropping 27.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists nightly. He’s a considerable factor, for the first time in his career, beyond the 3-point line, and he still attacks the rim with the intensity of annoyed Draymond Green. Understandably, LeBron has lost three times to two other teams before in the championship round, although one comes with a disclaimer. It was to the peak-time Spurs in 2007 when LeBron was the definition of a one-man show. The next loss to the Spurs was somewhat understandable because San Antonio was solid that season against the Heat; the hiccup against Dirk-led Dallas was less forgiving. It is the Warriors who’ve squirted mustard on the legacy, not because LeBron’s teams were better, but because they’ve beaten him three times. That puts LeBron’s Finals record at 5-6, though not totally his fault, but still cannot compete with MJ’s 6-0. There’s the argument that Jordan never won a championship against anyone on the Warriors’ level; although it’s always tricky to compare eras and teams because of different rules (hand-checking, for one) and trends (three-point shooting, for another), LeBron faced Steph Curry and Kevin Durant the last two summers. Jordan had John Stockton-Karl Malone twice, Gary Payton-Shawn Kemp and Charles Barkley-Kevin Johnson once each. For what it’s worth. That’s all in the past, which is beyond LeBron’s control. Now the discussion will be fixated on the next few years and what he can or cannot do to win a sixth title, which may once again be determined by the Warriors to some degree. “He’s still LeBron James,” said Green. “He’ll boost any team he’s on and he’ll make them a contender. It’s a different look for him, more than what he’s used to, because of the makeup of the team, but they have him and so they’ll be a tough test. Any team with LeBron is a tough test for anyone.” LeBron is bringing Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and also a batch of veterans to the Warriors challenge. It’s a bit daunting, especially since the Lakers have suffered some bad losses lately, to the Wizards, Nets and Grizzlies. Yes, Ingram and Rajon Rondo just returned from injuries. That’s all in the Lakers’ favor. Also consider that the Lakers you see after the All-Star break could be a more accurate version should the young players keep developing and trending up. “We're a team that's trying to get better every week, better every month,” LeBron said. “We want to have championship habits.” But will that make them better than, say, the Oklahoma City Thunder in a playoff series? The Nuggets? Trail Blazers? No one has stepped forth as a solid No. 2 team in the West, assuming the Warriors, despite their record at the moment, remain the clear No. 1. That’s why LeBron’s best chance to repel the Warriors will happen with his next team, not this one. The Warriors haven’t exactly stormed through the season’s first 30 or so games; Curry was hurt, Durant and Green had a spat and even wins against the likes of Dallas, Utah, Sacramento and Orlando were a grind. But for a team like the Warriors, the regular season just gets in the way. Also, at some point they’ll welcome All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to the mix. Coach Steve Kerr said: “I really like where we are. I don’t think we’ve played great basketball for a while. I think we started out really well, 10-1, and the last five or six weeks we’ve been through an awful lot with injuries and with just trying to find a rhythm, a chemistry and a groove with the new groups that we put on the floor. So to not be there yet, but to still have the record that we do, I think we are in a good position. I think we are going to get a lot better.” It’s a good time to get a first look at the player who only figured them out once in The Finals. "We've seen him a lot over the last four years," Curry said. Another championship for LeBron would match Jordan’s win total and would liven up the debate. Surely the Warriors will factor in one way or another: their demise at some point, or continued choke-hold. 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 NewsDec 25th, 2018

Movie Review: ‘One Great Love’

It is more than possible to realize that the love of your life has been there all along. Perhaps the one you have been looking for to complete you has been around for so long and much closer to you than you had thought. "One Great Love" from Regal Entertainment, Inc. has to be the most emotionally driven performance Kim Chiu has done yet in some time. There is no question in my mind that Kim Chiu is an effective, convincing, and believable dramatic actress as she shows here in "One Great Love." There is a depth to her acting that feels very real that it will get you to empathize with her character. And when her character's emotions spin out of control you will know why rather than...Keep on reading: Movie Review: ‘One Great Love’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018