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Reavis experience key vs Fajardo in PBA finals

MANILA, Philippines – It's stages like the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup finals where the experience Rafi Reavis gained from his long career comes in handy. And the 41-year-old proved of great service for Magnolia anew as he played a key role in an 86-82 Game 3 win over San Miguel in ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 5th, 2019

PBA FINALS: The Rematch is on between SMB and Magnolia

All roads lead to The Rematch after all. Magnolia takes another shot at dethroning San Miguel Beer as the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Finals officially tip off Wednesday at the Big Dome. The Hotshots lost last year’s All-Filipino Finals in just five games and despite being the most recent PBA champions, their road in this particular tournament has been tough. Magnolia started the season 0-3 and the Hotshots were down in both their series against Ginebra and Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals and the semifinals respectively. Nevertheless, the Hotshots managed to run it back and they hope for a different result this time. Easier said than done however as San Miguel has since added two key pieces in order to complete as historic 5-peat. After winning a fourth consecutive Philippine Cup last season, the Beermen kept the core and installed Christian Standhardinger and Terrence Romeo to the mix, making an already-formidable unit all the more imposing. Game 1 will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday live at the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2019

PBA: Magnolia silences doubters by dragging its way to Final

After winning the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup, Magnolia’s All-Filipino campaign was trying, to say the least. The Hotshots started the season 0-3. They scrapped their way to make the quarterfinals. Once in the playoffs, Magnolia was down 0-1 to Ginebra in a best-of-3 series. The Hotshots again scrapped their way to advance. In the semifinals, Magnolia was down 0-2 to Rain or Shine before the Hotshots scrapped their way to an overtime win in Game 7. Now, Magnolia is back in the Philippine Cup Finals to have another chance of dethroning the mighty San Miguel Beer. 0-3 to start the season. 0-1 to Ginebra. 0-2 to Rain or Shine. All that and Magnolia still makes the Philippine Cup Finals for a second straight year. The Hotshots keeping the doubters quiet #NSD #PBA2019 | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/nsQ1IRjj2W — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) April 28, 2019 Down 17 in the second half of Game 7, the Hotshots kept their composure and slowly made their way back. In the end, it’s the same composure that allowed them to get some timely baskets to eke out a tough win. “Very proud sa grupo, sa buong team, sa buong coaching staff. Makikita mo kung nandoon ka sa huddle namin, noong down big kami, kahit isang player or coaching staff walang naging negative. So yun yung napag-usapan namin na from the start, bago pumunta dito sa game na ito, kahit anong mangyari kung magiging down tayo or magiging up tayo walang negative muna puro positive muna,” Lee said. “So sa tingin ko yun ang nagdala ng kumpyansa sa amin kaya kami nakabalik,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 28th, 2019

Ginebra posts first winning streak after stopping Elite

It took nine games but it happened, Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel finally took its first winning streak of the new PBA season. The Gin Kings won back-to-back games for the first time in the 2017 Philippine Cup after stopping Blackwater Friday, 99-90, at the Cuneta Astrodome. With the Elite erasing a 15-point lead to tie things upo at 82-all early in the fourth quarter, Ginebra displayed some championship composure and responded with an 11-2 run to re-establish control, 93-84, with less than five minutes to go. It was then cruise control for the Gin Kings to wrap up their fifth win against four defeats, forcing a four-team tie for the 3rd-6th spots in the standings. Blackwater dropped to solo seventh with an even 5-5 card. 'They [Blackwater] just kept hanging in there, they even came back and tied it up,' head coach Tim Cone said. 'I just felt tonight we had more depth than them, especialy after Japeth went out. Dave stepped in, played well, Jervy stepped in and played well. We just had more depth than them and I think that's the difference,' he added. With Japeth Aguilar going down in the first half following a bad fall off a dunk, it took a collective team effort from the Ginebra frontline to make up for his absence. Jervy Cruz came off the bench to lead the Gin Kings in scoring while Dave Marcelo and Joe Devance combined to score 26. LA Tenorio dropped 15 while Scottie Thompson was Scottie Thompson, posting a near triple-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists. Aguilar himself scored 14 points in just 14 and a half minutes of play. He did not return in the second half. For the second straight game, Roi Sumang starred for the Elite as the former UE Red Warrior came away with 20 points on a reserve role while Mac Belo and Raymond Aguilar chipped in 16 apiece for Blackwater.   The scores: GINEBRA 99 - Cruz 16, Tenorio 15, Aguilar 14, Thompson 13, Devance 13, Marcelo 13, Ellis 6, Mercado 5, Ferrer 2, Caguioa 2, Taha 0. BALCKWATER 90 - Sumang 20, Belo 16, Aguilar 16, Sena 14, Dela Cruz 7, Gamalinda 6, Miranda 5, Buenafe 4, Pascual 2, Ababou 0, Pinto 0. Quarterscores: 25-23, 53-40, 80-71, 99-90 br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Sumang's surge gets rewarded with POW citation

Roi Sumang is starting to show his true potential after spending much of his rookie season in obscurity. Selected 27th overall by GlobalPort in 2015, the pint-sized Sumang only played 27 games in 8.4 minutes, producing underwhelming numbers of 3.4 points, 0.7 rebound and 0.7 assist with the GlobalPort Batang Pier and late in his rookie year, with the Blackwater Elite. But the former University of the East star seemed right at home now with Blackwater. Coming off the bench, Sumang provided the big spark, firing 17 of his 19 points in the second half as Blackwater pulled the rug from under fancied Alaska, 103-100 on Sunday for a franchise-best fifth win. The 26-year-old Sumang showed quick hands and feet, attacking Alaska’s defense repeatedly with hard drive to the basket to help Blackwater establish a double-digit spread in the final period. Although the Aces came back strong, Sumang and veteran teammate Denok Miranda sank crucial free throws late in the game to seal the win. But more importantly, the native of Tondo, Manila was a steady defensive presence after finishing the game with 3 steals, while issuing 2 assists to seal the win for Blackwater. Sumang’s sterling effort earned him the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of Jan. 9-15, beating the likes of Mahindra guard Philip Paniamogan, San Miguel Beer slot man June Mar Fajardo, GlobalPort high-scoring guard Terrence Romeo, Barangay Ginebra forward Joe Devance, Star wingman Allen Maliksi and big man Ian Sangalang as well as Calvin Abueva of Alaska. Although Sumang also took home the Best Player of game honors, the diminutive Blackwater playmaker vows to work harder in practice as the Elite shoot for a playoff spot in the All-Filipino conference.  Blackwater clashes with Barangay Ginebra this Friday, before closing its elimination round assignment against Star on January 25. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

Sumang's surge gets reward with POW citation

Roi Sumang is starting to show his true potential after spending much of his rookie season in obscurity. Selected 27th overall by GlobalPort in 2015, the pint-sized Sumang only played 27 games in 8.4 minutes, producing underwhelming numbers of 3.4 points, 0.7 rebound and 0.7 assist with the GlobalPort Batang Pier and late in his rookie year, with the Blackwater Elite. But the former University of the East star seemed right at home now with Blackwater. Coming off the bench, Sumang provided the big spark, firing 17 of his 19 points in the second half as Blackwater pulled the rug from under fancied Alaska, 103-100 on Sunday for a franchise-best fifth win. The 26-year-old Sumang showed quick hands and feet, attacking Alaska’s defense repeatedly with hard drive to the basket to help Blackwater establish a double-digit spread in the final period. Although the Aces came back strong, Sumang and veteran teammate Denok Miranda sank crucial free throws late in the game to seal the win. But more importantly, the native of Tondo, Manila was a steady defensive presence after finishing the game with 3 steals, while issuing 2 assists to seal the win for Blackwater. Sumang’s sterling effort earned him the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of Jan. 9-15, beating the likes of Mahindra guard Philip Paniamogan, San Miguel Beer slot man June Mar Fajardo, GlobalPort high-scoring guard Terrence Romeo, Barangay Ginebra forward Joe Devance, Star wingman Allen Maliksi and big man Ian Sangalang as well as Calvin Abueva of Alaska. Although Sumang also took home the Best Player of game honors, the diminutive Blackwater playmaker vows to work harder in practice as the Elite shoot for a playoff spot in the All-Filipino conference.  Blackwater clashes with Barangay Ginebra this Friday, before closing its elimination round assignment against Star on January 25. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

Gin Kings turn back Bolts to get back on winning track

Going back to the 2016 Governors' Cup Finals, Brgy. Ginebra has now won four straight games against Meralco. The Gin Kings asserted their mastery over the Bolts after taking an 83-72 decision Saturday in the Philippine Cup as the PBA travelled all the way to the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City. Joe Devance led the way for Ginebra, finishing with 19 points and six rebounds while Japeth Aguilar added a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Gin Kings. The win pushed Ginebra back up to .500 with a 4-4 mark, leaving Meralco at the cellar with a 2-7 record after losing a sixth straight game. Reynel Hugnatan paced the Bolts with 18 points. Both teams played their first game since meeting for the last championship of the PBA's 41st season where Ginebra overcome a 1-2 series deficit to win its first championship in eight years after six grueling games.   br /> The scores: GINEBRA 83 - Devance 19, Tenorio 18, Aguilar 17, Mercado 9, Thompson 7, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 4, Ellis 3, Marcelo 2, Cruz 0, Mariano 0, Taha 0. MERALCO 72 - Hugnatan 18, Newsome 14, Amer 11, Caram 6, Yeo 6, Bono 5, Hodge 5, Faundo 4, Daquioag 3, Grey 0, Nabong 0. QUARTERSCORES: 14-23, 39-40, 56-50, 83-72 br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

Ginebra struggling with life without Justin Brownlee

Safe to say, Brgy. Ginebra is missing a familiar figure in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup. A familiar figure that wears jersey no. 32 and goes by the name Justin Brownlee. Struggling to put together a winning streak in the All-Filipino after winning their first championship in eight years during the Governors' Cup, the Gin Kings are longing for their prolific import as they consistently stay inconsistent in the new PBA season. 'Maraming adjustments kasi unang-una, dati si Justin [Brownlee] nandun para sa amin,' Scottie Thompson said after Ginebra lost to San Miguel, dropping its record to 3-4. 'Ngayon wala na si Justin so kailangan namin mag-take over. Siguro yun yung medyo magulo sa team ngayon, yung role namin sa isa't-isa,' he added addressing the locals. Still below .500 with only four games left in the regular season, confidence hasn't left the Ginebra side entirely. Especially with the way they played the champs Sunday night, holding them down to only 72 points and marking three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo to single digits. 'Actually, si coach Tim [Cone], sabi niya sa amin kung ganito lang lagi lalaruin namin, siguro darating din ang mga panalo. Okay naman siya, siguro kailangan lang namin yung finish sa bandang huli,' Thompson said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Cone’s miracle putt

NBA legend Byron Scott played golf during his recent Manila visit and combined with Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone to beat TV5 president/Gilas head coach Ch.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 27th, 2016

Two MVP teammates part ways

MANILA, Philippines - UAAP finals MVP Jeron Teng and season MVP Ben Mbala played beautiful music together in leading La Salle to the senior men’s basketball.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 9th, 2016

PBA: Is it really over for Helterbrand, Alapag?

PBA veterans Jimmy Alapag of Meralco and Jayjay Helterbrand of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – former league MVPs – may have played their last games during Game 6 of the PBA Finals in the Governors’ Cup......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2016

Ginebra needs to solve identity crisis or risk losing title

Head coach Tim Cone had issued a warning to his Ginebra players, the Gin Kings better pick it up or the team's eight-year PBA title drought will continue. Cone didn't like how his team played in their 103-107 loss to Meralco during Game 3 of t.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 13th, 2016

PBA: Ibeh wants more after “decent” debut for Northport

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal — Northport import Prince Ibeh had a solid PBA debut Wednesday at the Ynares Center here. Suiting up for the Batang Pier to start the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup, Ibeh played 40 minutes and shot 64 percent for 19 points to go along with 13 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. More importantly, Ibeh got his first PBA win as Northport cruised past Alaska, 103-81. Still, Ibeh says he has some things to improve on for his maiden PBA stint. “Yeah I wanna see more from myself,” he said. “My expectations are higher than the performance I had today,” Ibeh added. Ibeh is confident he can get it going soon enough but for now, he’s okay with his debut performace. It also not that bad since his locals had a nice outing as well with four others getting into double figures led by Sean Anthony’s 22 points. “My teammates did a good job helping me kinda get the feel for pace and the style of fhe league,” Ibeh said. “I think it was a pretty decent game for our first outing,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News6 hr. 8 min. ago

Trail Blazers cohesiveness helped them to conference finals

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers faced a number of challenges on the journey to their first Western Conference finals in 19 years. But there was one they couldn’t overcome: The Golden State Warriors. Portland’s run in the playoffs, which captured fans’ imaginations after Damian Lillard’s buzzer-beating three-pointer to clinch the opening-round series over the Thunder, ended with a sweep by the defending champions. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] “We put together a great season and we put ourselves in position to go to the Finals,” Lillard said. “I think every other team in the league would wish they could be in our shoes; not only making the playoffs but playing for an opportunity to get a chance to go to the Finals. We just ran up on a team who has been there the last four years.” Portland was coming off two straight seasons that ended with first-round playoff sweeps. The team, which had surprisingly little turnover over those years, came into the season unified and determined to take the next step. But before the first game was played, the Blazers were hit by the death of owner Paul Allen after a battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The co-founder of Microsoft was a hands-on owner and a familiar face at the Moda Center, and Portland dedicated its season to him. Injuries would challenge the Blazers down the stretch. Lillard’s backcourt partner CJ McCollum missed 10 games with a knee injury. But it was center Jusuf Nurkic’s injury that caused the most concern going into the playoffs. Portland’s seven-foot big man broke his left leg after crashing awkwardly in an overtime victory at home over the Brooklyn Nets on March 25 (Mar. 26, PHL time). Nurkic was averaging 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds a game and many considered Portland’s playoff prospects dim without him. Fortunately, the Blazers were able to turn to Enes Kanter, who was waived by the New York Knicks following the trade deadline and signed by Portland for the rest of the season. Kanter averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 23 regular-season games with the Blazers, including eight starts. Portland finished 53-29 and clinched the third seed in the Western Conference, earning home court for the first round — and a series with the Thunder. The Blazers wrapped that series up in five games — capped by Lillard’s walkoff three-pointer. But even in the playoffs the Blazers couldn’t escape misfortune. Kanter separated his left shoulder in the final game against Oklahoma City. He was questionable for the conference semifinals against Denver but played, although he often winced in pain. Jonathan Yim, Portland’s video coordinator and player development coach, was in a serious car accident before the series with the Nuggets. The Blazers coaching staff wore bow ties in his honor in Game 2. That series went to seven games, with the Blazers sealing their date with Golden State on Denver’s home court. The Warriors were simply too much for the Blazers, climbing back from double-digit deficits in each of the final three games. Lillard played with separated ribs in the final two. The team’s on-court leader, Lillard averaged 25.8 points and 6.9 assists and earned his fourth All-Star nod during the regular season. He averaged 33 points in the opening round against the Thunder, but his production fell against Denver and Golden State when he was double-teamed. Lillard said the past few seasons of relative stability — after four of Portland’s five starters moved on to other teams in 2015 — have bonded the team. “Each year we’ve come back with the right attitude,” Lillard said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “We’ve been able to stick together through a lot of adversity and I think just what we’ve hung our hats on, what we’ve believed in, our culture, the togetherness, we’ve been able to truly build on that. And I think we should be encouraged.” Lillard could be in line for a hefty raise in the offseason. If he is named to one of the postseason’s All-NBA teams, he’ll qualify for a supermax contract extension worth $191 million. Lillard has two years remaining on his current contract. Asked about the prospects of a big extension, Lillard laughed and said: “I don’t understand why that’s even a question.” Coach Terry Stotts already benefited from the team’s run in the playoffs, signing a multi-year contract with the team that was announced at exit interviews. Terms of the deal were not released. “The guys in the locker room are special, it’s been a special season,” Stotts said. “Always tough to lose the last game of the year, but I couldn’t be more proud of the group that we’ve had.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News18 hr. 34 min. ago

PVL: Selimovic back for unfinished business

Bosnian Edina Selimovic is back to settle unfinished business. The 6-foot-3 middle blocker makes her return to the Philippines two years after her last stint, this time, for newcomer Motolite in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. Selimovic debuted in 2017 playing for Pocari Sweat, but the towering import saw action in just two games before going down with a torn hamstring that abruptly ended her stint. She was replaced by American Krystak Rivers, who eventually helped the Lady Warriors win the inaugural import-laden conference crown.         “I don’t really want to remember that. It’s really hurtful for me but yes I’m back and I really hope that I’m not gonna have the same issue again. I will finish this season,” said Selimovic, who after recovering from her injury helped her club team in her country win the championship. Selimovic also welcomes the chance of playing with good friend Myla Pablo, whom she played with during her short stint with Pocari Sweat.   “I’m really excited. Myla is a good friend of mine and we became really close here,” she said. “I’m happy that I’m with the same team with her again. I’m excited to play with her.” Selimovic and her partner Cuban Gygy Silva, who is yet to arrive, together with Pablo will lead a relatively young squad composed of the core of University of the Philippines and Adamson University.     “I’m used to play with younger players or even older players so I’m fine, I’m adjusting fine. I don’t have that problem,” said Selimovic, who flew in a few days ago. Looking at the six-team field, Selimovic knows that it won’t be an easy task to bring Motolite to the big stage but it is a goal that the team will try to achieve. “We’re not gonna look at the other teams, we’re gonna look at what’s best for us. Do our work and do our best and play 110% every game. It doesn’t matter who we play against,” she said. Motolite will debut on June 1 against returning BaliPure, which was the last team Selimovic played against in her first foray in the PVL.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Anak ni Mega sa ‘Kuwaresma’ umamin: Grabe yung experience!

ALL praises si Kent Gonzales kay Megastar Sharon Cuneta who played his mom sa “Kuwaresma.” “Sobrang bait niya po talaga lalo na sa aming magkapatid. Of course, sobrang suwerte ko po, sobrang blessed lalo na kasama ko po ang Megastar. “Hindi pa siya nagsi-sink in sa akin kasi baguhan lang po ako. ‘yun po ang […] The post Anak ni Mega sa ‘Kuwaresma’ umamin: Grabe yung experience! appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

PBA- Dynasty continues, as San Miguel edges Magnolia to win all-Filipino title - ABS-CBN News

PBA: Dynasty continues, as San Miguel edges Magnolia to win all-Filipino title ABS-CBN News June Mar Fajardo scored 17 points and pulled down a record 31 rebounds, as San Miguel Beer defeated Magnoli.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

Leonard stars in Raptors Game 3 adjustments

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com TORONTO -- Kawhi Leonard has grown into one of the best offensive players in the world, a machine that ranks second in this postseason in scoring (32.0 points per game), with an ultra-efficient true shooting percentage of 65.5 percent (third-best among players with at least 50 postseason field goal attempts). But what makes Leonard truly special is how good he can be on both ends of the floor ... in the playoffs ... having played more than 50 minutes ... while hobbled by a leg injury ... and with his team's season on the line. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] The Toronto Raptors are still alive in the Eastern Conference finals, having escaped with a 118-112, double-overtime victory in Game 3 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). They're still alive because Marc Gasol finally made the shots the Milwaukee Bucks have been daring him to shoot all along, because Pascal Siakam had his best game of the series, and because Fred VanVleet and Danny Green picked timely moments for their only buckets on a night in which they combined to shoot 2-for-20. But mostly, the Raptors have a chance to even this series in Game 4 because Leonard was the better of the two superstars on the floor. And he was just that, in part, because he was defending the other one. Through the first two games of the series, Pascal Siakam has been the primary defender on Giannis Antetokounmpo, with Leonard defending Khris Middleton. Antetokounmpo hadn't exactly gone wild in the first two games (totaling 54 points and 11 assists), but the Raptors needed to change something. And the primary adjustments in Game 3 were in the matchups. On the first possession, Leonard was guarding Antetokounmpo, Siakam had shifted over to Eric Bledsoe, and Kyle Lowry had taken the Middleton assignment. Things didn't stay that way all game long. The Raptors switched often and couldn't worry about matchups when defending the Bucks in transition. And no matter who the initial defender is, guarding Antetokounmpo is always a five-man job, with the other four needing to be ready to help on Antetokounmpo's relentless attacks of the basket. "One man can't guard him," Leonard acknowledged. "It takes the whole team." But in regard to 1-on-1 defense, Leonard is the best that the Raptors have. And the adjustment worked. The Bucks scored just seven points on their first 13 possessions of Game 3 and only three of their 26 first-quarter shots came in the restricted area. "We wanted to take a look at it early to see how it looked," Nurse said of the Antetokounmpo-Leonard matchup. "It looked pretty good, so we stuck with it." Leonard played Antetokounmpo tighter than the MVP favorite had been defended in the first two games. "He was up and not giving him quite as much runway to get flying off of," Nurse said. "But so were the other guys that ended up on him in a switch or in different parts of the game. They were all a little bit more locked in. We took steps forward to get physical. The other night we were backing away from everything." The Bucks punished the Raptors with a few transition three's and eventually got to the basket. But their 112 points on 120 possessions was their second-worst offensive output of the postseason. Antetokounmpo, who entered Game 3 averaging a postseason-best 15.1 points in the paint per game, finished with just 10 points in the paint on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). It wasn't his lowest total of the postseason, but it was a low mark considering the season-high 45 minutes that he played before fouling out on the Raptors' first possession of the second overtime. The 8.1 points in the paint per 36 minutes were Antetokounmpo's third-lowest output in his 84 games this season. Leonard, meanwhile, scored a game-high 36 points despite suffering an apparent left leg injury less than three minutes in, either on the take-off or the landing of a fast-break bucket after one of Milwaukee's 20 turnovers. He looked hobbled for the rest of the night, but a hobbled Kawhi Leonard is still the best that the Raptors have. "Obviously, he wasn't moving very fast," VanVleet said. "But if he's out there, he's good enough." And he was, seemingly, all the Raptors had offensively late in the game. When they couldn't get him the ball in the post against Malcolm Brogdon, he had to go out to the perimeter to get it. Most of the iso-ball stuff didn't work, but all the work the Raptors' did defensively eventually allowed them to break through in the second overtime. With the Raptors up one and a little more than three minutes to go, Bledsoe got a switch onto Gasol and attacked. Danny Green came from the weak side to help, leaving Brogdon wide-open in the corner. That's where Bledsoe was looking to go with it, but Green got his hand on the pass, Leonard picked up the loose ball, and raced down the floor for a lefty dunk over Nikola Mirotic. Three possessions later, Toronto's lead was back to one point when Middleton got a switch onto VanVleet. Leonard came over to double and deflected the pass. Brogdon was the first to get to the loose ball, but Leonard snatched it away from him and took it the other way for another dunk. "His defense was probably the biggest key of the game," Nurse said of Leonard. "Offense was hard to come by there for both teams for a while, and any time you can get a steal and a breakout, it's a huge momentum play." In 568 career games prior to Sunday (Monday, PHL time), Leonard had never played more than 46 minutes. He played 52 minutes and eight seconds in Game 3, and the Raptors needed every last bit of it. They'll need more in Game 4 on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), and they'll have to hope that Leonard can recover in the next 48 hours. "Fifty-two minutes and it's in the playoffs," Leonard said, "so you definitely feel it. When you play 30 minutes, you feel it still. You just got to not worry about it, get my treatment and move on to the next one." There was always going to be a next one. But Leonard and the Raptors have made sure that Game 4 won't be the last one. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

Antetokounmpo learning how to deal with playoff disappointment

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com TORONTO – Whenever LeBron James struggled through the sort of playoff performance Giannis Antetokounmpo had Sunday (Monday, PHL time), he seemed to want to put it behind him as swiftly as he could. His routine – assuming it wasn’t The Finals, where he got summoned to the podium, win or lose – typically went like this: the door to the Cleveland or Miami dressing room would swing open and there James would be, ready to face the questions, antsy to move on ASAP. Once he ‘fessed up to the shots he’d missed or the plays he’d botched, that was it. Oh, you knew he’d be looking plenty at video of that game in the hours before he played again, as a way to find and fix the flaws. But for public consumption at least, he shed it fast, like an ill-fitting suit. Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks’ young star, is still learning this face-of-the-franchise and cutthroat competitor stuff. He took his time afterward in the spartan visitors’ room at Scotiabank Arena. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] There he sat, with his knees wrapped and his feet plunged into an ice bath. The Kia MVP candidate stared at the score sheet that had been handed to him, the one bearing all sorts of dreary news from the double-overtime setback that cut Milwaukee’s lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1. Antetokounmpo barely looked up as the semicircle of cameras, microphones and reporters around him grew with media people tip-toeing that fine line between giving him some space and blocking out for position whenever he’d finally take their questions. (“Talk,” as we say in the trade). Heck, Antetokounmpo barely looked up when Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer strode through the dressing room and tapped him on his left knee, a little atta-boy bonding near the end of a long, disappointing night. While teammates poked habitually at their phones in the aftermath of Milwaukee’s 118-112 loss, Antetokounmpo mostly let his lie there on the seat next to him. By the standards he set this year as an MVP favorite, he knew he’d had a lousy night. The reporters standing there, like fans everywhere, knew he’d struggled, of course, in ways rarely seen since his first taste of the postseason four years ago. And he knew that they knew, so… “Obviously it wasn’t my best game,” Antetokounmpo said eventually. “I’ve got to be more aggressive… I’ve got to make the right play.” Defensively, Antetokounmpo was pretty much his usual self, grabbing 23 rebounds for the Bucks, challenging Toronto’s players out on the floor and close to the rim, and blocking four shots. Offensively, though, Antetokounmpo was a mess. He scored only 12 points, his fewest in a playoff game since he was first dipping his toe into postseason waters as a 20-year-old back in 2015. Through three quarters, Antetokounmpo had only six points on 3-for-8 shooting. Seven Milwaukee players and five Raptors had outscored him to that point, and he hadn’t earned his way to the foul line even once. What made it all worse was that the game was sitting there, aching to be taken by someone, anyone. Antetokounmpo got himself going a bit in the fourth quarter, making a couple of shots and earning five free throws. But he missed three. Then he went scoreless while playing the entire first overtime. And then he fouled out just 36 seconds into the second OT. He didn’t object, either, when that sixth foul for stepping in front of Toronto’s Pascal Siakam sent him to the side. Antetokounmpo just took it and exited, sealing it as one of those “not your night, kid” hard lessons. Asked about the frustration that Antetokounmpo might have shown to teammates, if not the public, Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe said: “If you don’t feel bad when you play bad, you don’t need to be playing this game. That’s the feeling that drives you to success. I’m happy he’s feeling like that.” Antetokounmpo’s game didn’t just spin sideways on its own. Raptors coach Nick Nurse switched some defensive duties around and assigned Kawhi Leonard – a two-time Defensive Player of the Year with the wingspan, instincts and reflexes to confound any open-court player – as the tip of Toronto’s spear against the Greek Freak. Then, as expected, Toronto sent second defenders at him, the surest way to get the ball out of Antetokounmpo’s hands or force him into difficult shots. So he tried to make the right basketball plays, as they say, and sometimes he did – he dished a team-high seven assists. Sometimes, though, he did not, turning over the ball eight times. For the record, Antetokounmpo has played 31 postseason games in his young career. In the games in which he has scored fewer than 19 points, his team’s record is 3-6. When he scores 19 or more, the Bucks are 14-8. Not to lay it all at Antetokounmpo’s feet. Fellow All-Star Khris Middleton was way off his usual offensive form, missing 13 of his 16 shots. And Bledsoe matched that. Together, those three starters were a combined 11-of-48. The rest of the team shot 50 percent (27 of 54). “We have the utmost respect and belief that the next game is not going to be as bad as [this] was,” said guard George Hill, who scored 24 points off the bench. “But I know it's sitting in their head that they go for a combined 11-of-48 or something like that. We're not worried about it.” Right. Who’s even counting? Budenholzer and his staff are going to have to figure out ways to get scoring opportunities without being stymied by all the defensive traffic. Teammates are going to have to shoot better, to keep those diggers honest in their matchups. And Antetokounmpo is going to need to play more aggressively and take what happened in Game 3 very personally. He wasn’t quite there yet, Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). “Obviously I want to stay aggressive. But we stick to our game plan,” Antetokounmpo said. “Some days I’m going to have a bad night. But my team has to focus on doing their job and I’ll do mine.” Said Brook Lopez, after watching the throng swallow Antetokounmpo on the opposite side of the room: “We know he’s not going to quit or stop playing. He’s going to continue to be him.” As he talked, Lopez’s phone began vibrating next to him. He said it was Bucks GM Jon Horst calling and, in a bit of gallows humor after a stinging loss, joked that maybe he shouldn’t answer. “I don’t know if I should pick up or not,” the Milwaukee center said, “’cause I want to be here tomorrow.” Antetokounmpo has a call to answer now, too. In Game 4, Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. 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Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

Libyan leader Khalifa Haftar helps free 3 seized Filipinos

Libyan military strongman Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, played a key role in the release of three Filipino engineers who were abducted in western Libya 10 months ago. This surfaced as the government denied paying ransom for the release of the three Filipinos and their Korean co-worker. “No money passed. Not […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019