BLOGTABLE: What are you looking forward to in 2018? blogtable What one thing are you most eager to see in 2018? * * * Steve Aschburner: More competitive playoff series than we got a year ago and, most of all, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers really being pushed to the wall in at least one round each. I think last year’s hunger for The Rubber-Match Finals made us accept without too much grumbling the relative breezes both Golden State and Cleveland had through the April and May portions of the postseason. But seeing some new blood, however unlikely, would be fine, maybe even welcome, this time around. That requires some fine team on either side -- Toronto, Washington, Boston out East, Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City to the West -- mustering a serious challenge. And, allowing for an injury or suspension or whatever, maybe pulling off something more notable than that. We can always find context and storylines for The Finals, if we get a bit of freshness dialed in. Shaun Powell: I'm eager to see the playoffs and if someone can come along and disrupt another Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers matchup in June. Because nobody is creating much doubt as of yet. The team that's coming the closest is the Houston Rockets but they have three people who have underperformed in the playoffs: Mike D'Antoni, Chris Paul and James Harden. There's always the San Antonio Spurs, yet they seem a star shy. And in the East, the Boston Celtics of 2019 stand a better chance and the rest ... meh. Which means, I'm most eager to see Warriors-Cavs in June. John Schuhmann: I want to see what will happen with the Thunder, both on and off the floor. Can they continue to make progress offensively and if they do, will that encourage Sam Presti to keep the group together through the trade deadline? Or will the threat of Paul George leaving in free agency (and the long odds at beating the Warriors) force Presti to see what he can get for George by Feb. 8? Is it a guarantee that Carmelo Anthony will decline his early termination option this summer and stay under contract for another year? Do other stars want to play with Russell Westbrook? Sekou Smith: As much fun as the trade deadline can be in a given year, I have to admit that the free agent summer has me daydreaming about the chaos that a couple of moves could cause. Of course, LeBron James could turn the basketball world upside down if he were to decide to take his talents elsewhere (I'm not suggesting he should or I even think he will, I'm only thinking about the seismic activity it would cause). What happens with Paul George is also another potential game-changer for several teams around the league. That said, it's the great unknown that most intrigues me about 2018. None of us saw the Kyrie Irving trade request coming or the Chris Paul-to-Houston move coming. Things like the Draft and trade deadline offer a season of speculation that usually centers on name players we know will be involved in the process. It's the moves we don't see coming, the things we cannot forecast, that produce the best drama......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 4th, 2018

Che’Lu downs Perpetual Help behind Calisaan

Michael Calisaan was at his best, lifting Che'Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian to an 83-70 victory over Perpetual Help Monday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at Pasig City Sports Center. The senior forward was integral in the Revellers' breakthrough win as he poured in 20 points on top of nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Samboy de Leon added 16 markers and nine boards, while RK Ilagan had 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds. Frontcourt Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo both had 10 markers as Che'Lu survived the onslaught led by Altas big man Prince Eze on both ends. Che'Lu coach Stevenson Tiu attributed the win to his players' talent as he himself adm...Keep on reading: Che’Lu downs Perpetual Help behind Calisaan.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News3 hr. 3 min. ago

Dillinger says Bolts can t panic despite another round of All-Filipino struggles

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- For the third straight year, the ghost of the Philippine Cup haunts Meralco. The Bolts absorbed their third straight loss in the 2018 All-Filipino Sunday at the Ynares center here, putting them at 1-3 to start the season. Meralco is undermanned and struggling right now, however, veteran forward Jared Dillinger says that now is not the time to panic for the Bolts. "We can't point fingers. We have to first blame ourself within, what did I do wrong?" Dillinger said after Meralco took an 18-point beating at the hands of TNT. "It’s a long season, don’t panic but it’s not fun right now," he added. In order to avoid another lost campaign, Dillinger says that Meralco should go back to basics. Also, don't panic. That's the most crucial thing right now for the Bolts. "We’re 1-3 and there’s nothing to be happy about. It’s a long season though. We have to go back, look at the film, get yelled out by our coach, look at all the mistakes that we made," he said. "But more importantly we can’t press the panic button," Dillinger added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News20 hr. 3 min. ago

Abueva on Alaska s hot 2018 start: 2017 nilubog na namin yung losing streak namin doon

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- Wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska. 2018 continues to be good for the Aces as the team connected on their third straight win this year, forcing Brgy. Ginebra into submission at the Ynares Center here. Following a forgettable 2017, Alaska is out to rebuild its winning tradition this year. "Siguro yung sa amin, yung 2017 parang nilubog na namin yung losing streak namin doon," star forward Calvin Abueva said. "Ito 2018 na at panibagong destination na naman yung ina-ano namin ngayong 2018 na to," he added. Now with an actual winning streak, the Beast hopes to sustain the team's winning ways first before thinking about regaining their status as contender. "Samin ngayon, sustain muna namin," Abueva said. "Tapos maghahanda muna kami para sa Blackwater sa susunod na game namin. Sana masunod namin to at magtuluy-tuloy yung winning streak namin," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News20 hr. 3 min. ago

Guiao s alleged racial slur sparks confrontation with Ross

Chris Ross was the center of more than a couple incidents Friday during the heated game between San Miguel and NLEX in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Ross got into it with forward Alex Mallari in the third period, causing both to be called for technical fouls for second motion. Then, Ross got kicked in the nether regions by Mike Miranda in the fourth, causing the latter's ejection thanks to a flarant foul penalty 2. And finally, with less than two minutes to go in a sure win by the Beermen, Ross figured in a shouting match against NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao, causing his own ejection for getting another technical foul. Ross denied talking to the media after the game but his head coach, Leo Austria, tried to make do of the situation. Apparently, Guiao allegedly issued a racial slur towards Ross. "That’s the word na he don’t want to hear from any people. According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng [n-word] or ganyan," Austria said. "I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross. He’s one of the most important players in my team especially in the endgame but that’s the thing he don’t want to hear so nag-flare up yung bata so I cannot blame him," he added. Fortunately for San Miguel, Ross' ejection hardly mattered because the Beermen were already up by double digits. However, Austria is just trying to look out for his point guard and for his team in general. "I hope this thing is a lesson for any player especially the key players in the endgame, we cannot afford to lose players. Imagine, nathrown out siya e kung close game ito?" Austria said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2018

With no World Cup for US this year, Altidore shifts focus

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press For Jozy Altidore, this was supposed to be the time when the United States was preparing for this summer's World Cup. That changed early in October when the Americans got bounced from the tournament. The stunning failure shifted Altidore's focus. He spent the beginning of 2018 in Grand Cayman, where his foundation is bringing soccer to kids in a region hit by hurricanes last fall. Soon, he'll start the new season with defending MLS Cup champion Toronto FC. As for this summer? Altidore will watch a few of the matches in Russia on television. The 28-year-old forward isn't stewing in the loss, he's looking with hope to the future. "Of course I'll obviously be disappointed not to be there, but at the end of the day, man, we're blessed to do what we do," he said. Apart from the national team loss, Altidore is coming off one of the better years of his career. He scored 18 goals with the Reds and another four with the U.S. national team. Toronto FC won the Supporters' Shield for the best regular-season record before sweeping through the playoffs and defeating Seattle 2-0 for the league title. Altidore scored in the final and earned MLS Cup MVP honors. The victory was a bit of revenge for a loss to the Sounders for the MLS Cup the previous season, but Altidore said Toronto's motivation was part of a season-long journey he took with his teammates and coach Greg Vanney. "I think more than anything we understood how close we were and how it hurt that we had come up short that season," he said. "The focus for us was to do what we did that last year and if we got to the last game, obviously make sure we got the W and make the most of our chances." Toronto teammate and fellow national team player, Michael Bradley, echoed the sentiment after the title match. "When push comes to shove, you want to step into the biggest moments with people that you would do anything for, that you love, that you believe in, that you trust, that you know have your back," Bradley said. But it wasn't all smooth. Altidore got into a confrontation with New York Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan in a tunnel at BMO Field during the conference semifinals. Altidore and Kljestan were handed red cards in the aftermath. Altidore sat out Toronto's next game, while Kljestan was suspended an additional game and won't be able to play the first two games of the upcoming season. Kljestan, who was also fined, was traded in the offseason from the Red Bulls to Orlando. Altidore and Bradley were also jeered — sometimes with profane and personal attacks — by opposing fans over the U.S. team's qualifying performance. "Look, all that stuff I think would have been magnified had we not achieved our objective," Altidore said. "But we did, and we did it in such a convincing manner." Following the 2-1 U.S. loss in Couva, Trinidad, that cost the national team a spot in the World Cup, coach Bruce Arena stepped down and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said he would not run for another term. Interim U.S. coach Dave Sarachan called 30 players into January training camp in advance of an exhibition game against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Jan. 28 in Carson, California. Altidore and many of the team's veterans were not invited. The camp roster includes 15 players who have never played in a match for the senior national team. The most experienced was LA Galaxy midfielder Gyasi Zardes, who is 26. Twenty-one of the players are 24 and younger. Altidore, who has 41 goals in 110 appearances with the national team, understands that developing young talent is important heading into the next World Cup quadrennial. "We have to do a better job of identifying new talent, for sure," he said, suggesting that missing out on the past two Olympics — where under-23 teams compete — has hurt development efforts. For now, Altidore is pouring his energy into charitable endeavors. Altidore, whose parents are from Haiti, launched his foundation in 2011 following the devastating earthquake that hit the country the year before. The foundation built a well to provide water to a town of more than 400 in Haiti, along with other rebuilding efforts. In 2016, he paid to bring the Copa America matches to television in the country. The latest effort in the Cayman Islands focuses on getting youth involved in soccer. "I think the whole region, the Caribbean has a lot of talent and has a lot of kids who want to become players. And I think it helps to see and identify with players who have played in different leagues from around the world," he said. "If I'm able to be one of those guys that can start that whole thing, it's a great opportunity and honor for me."      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Warriors show off firepower, Cavs show off flaws in Finals rematch

By Steve Aschburner, CLEVELAND -- Tyronn Lue’s bathroom break came early in the fourth quarter. No, not literally. But the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers had used the familiar call of duty to describe the suddenness with which a game against the Golden State Warriors can turn. And sure enough, on Monday night at Quicken Loans Arena, it turned on Lue and his team. “They’re the only team,” Lue told reporters before tipoff, “where you can be looking at the game and it’s a two-point game. You go to the bathroom, come back, they’re up 15.” Lue’s “loo” moment, figuratively anyway, came after David West sank two free throws to put the Warriors up 95-93 with 9:07 to play. There it was – the two-point lead – in what had been 39 minutes of mostly entertaining, back-and-forth, you-loved-them-then-you’ll-love-them-again basketball between the familiar adversaries. Draymond Green extends the @warriors lead to 10 on @NBAonTNT! 4:47 to play in Q4 #DubNation — NBA (@NBA) January 16, 2018 Exactly three minutes and 23 seconds later, Draymond Green cut to the basket, took a pass from Shaun Livingston and dropped in a layup that made it 105-95. It was the biggest lead of the night to that point. Lue twice had called timeouts during the run in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Now there was only 5:44 left. The Warriors’ margin would grow to 14. And the Cavaliers, to stick with Lue’s imagery, were circling the bowl. That the defending champions can go into hyperdrive against anybody is a reminder, not a revelation. But there were some things revealed, discovered and learned in the second and final regular-season clash of the respective West and East favorites, including: Isaiah Thomas has a way to go. This was our most extended look yet at Cleveland’s new point guard, their Kyrie Irving replacement, in circumstances most like those he’ll face when the meat of the Cavs’ schedule – the postseason – rolls around. Thomas scored 19 points, matching his high from the four previous games he played. He was on the floor for 32 minutes, nearly eight minutes more than his previous high. Both Thomas, who missed the season’s first 11 weeks recovering from a hip injury left over from last spring in Boston, and the Cavaliers know a) he’s not sharp or in great shape yet, and b) neither he nor the team has gotten familiar enough with the other to achieve the best results. Yet Thomas took 21 shots Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), more than LeBron James (18), more than Dwyane Wade (14) and more than double any other Cleveland player. He made just eight, including just one of his seven 3-point attempts. Lue, though, said he had no problem with Thomas’ gunning, as long as they were good shots. Thomas sounded as if he was seeking out work where he could find it. Granted, it was his hip that kept him out but his elbow, wrist and shooting hand apparently profit from heavy usage now too. “I’ve got to get in shape,” he said later. “I’ve got to get my legs back. Especially when I get a little winded, my legs get even heavier. “The only thing that’s gonna help me is getting reps. Running up and down the floor. Getting my hip, getting my body accustomed to taking a beating. ... Getting in basketball shape.” Kevin Durant didn’t put much stock in Thomas’ play Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) as a sign of how he’ll help Cleveland come springtime. Durant went through a similar enough trial in 2014-15, when surgery in October to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot sidelined him into December, then finally scuttled his season after just 27 games. “Obviously IT is just getting back,” the Warriors forward said. “He hadn’t played in seven months – you’ve got to give him some time. I know exactly how that feels. Especially being thrown in in the middle of the season and starting and playing 30-plus minutes now ... I know it’s gonna take him a while to get into a comfortable groove here.” What we saw is what we’d get. Mostly. It looked at various points as if both coaches were trying lineups, testing young players, tinkering with substitution patterns or probing matchups with an eye on a possible re-re-rematch in June. Likewise, it would be understandable for Lue and Golden State’s Steve Kerr to hold back a few wrinkles, just to have something fresh to try the next time they face each other. ”We don’t hold too much back, to be honest with you,” Kerr said. “I think matchups can dictate some things that you do in the playoffs and sometimes you may make a few different play calls, whatever. But I don’t think there’s a conscious effort to hold anything back for fear of tipping the hand for later.” Kerr started rookie big Jordan Bell again, same as in the Christmas game in Oakland, for more mobility against Cleveland’s small lineup than center Zaza Pachulia would provide. The coach gave Kevon Looney, Nick Young and Patrick McCaw more tastes of the rivalry too. Lue, meanwhile, was asked if he had the Cavaliers target Steph Curry defensively to get him into foul trouble and generally make life difficult. That’s a tactic that has helped when most others have failed against the two-time MVP and it might come in handy down the road. “I can’t remember,” Lue said, pointedly declining to answer. Curry can dunk. And David West still can. It was a rare Curry-in-flight moment early in the second half when the Golden State guard, who usually does his damage from deep, threw down a two-handed dunk. It was his first of the season. Steph Curry throws down the two-handed jam on #PhantomCam! #DubNation — NBA (@NBA) January 16, 2018 “I think he was taking out some anger from the first half,” Kerr said. “Sometimes that will get him going. Steph loves to dunk more than anybody, you know that. Doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it jacks him up.” Said Durant, who fed Curry for the slam: “He surprised me on that one. Hopefully he’s feeling better tomorrow. I know it took a lot for him to get up there.” David West turns back the clock!#DubNation leads #AllForOne 103-95 with 6:16 to play in the 4th. 📺: @NBAonTNT — NBA (@NBA) January 16, 2018 West got his 37-year-old bones up there too, dunking off the dribble during his nine-minute, plus-nine stint in the fourth quarter. The veteran power forward had missed his three shots in the second.   “He was a little short on his jump shot to start the game,” Durant said. “But D. West is such a smart player, he makes adjustments, he doesn’t get discouraged. He made a huge play – his left-handed dunk kind of got us all going. That was definitely surprising when he turned that one over.” But seriously, Cleveland has issues. Besides losing for the eighth time in 10 games, the Cavaliers had their 13-game home winning streak broken in Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) 118-108 loss. And when it was second unit vs. second unit to start the fourth quarter, the Warriors had little trouble switching on defense and crowding away the Cavs’ long-range game. Cleveland shot just 6-of-23 in the fourth quarter, and got outscored 61-44 in what Kerr considered one of his club’s most complete second halves.   The Cavaliers’ defensive leaks have been extensively criticized, and more IT as he gets his game back is not the best way to address those. Even more problematic is the offense now, which over the past few weeks has been grinding, with none of them having much fun with the ball or without. “This is an important time for us,” Wade said, “and we want to see how we respond coming out of this game. ... It’s not about just winning a ball game. It’s about building good habits as a team.” Given James’ record and reputation – seven consecutive trips to the Finals, most in spite of some in-season doldrums for his Heat or Cavs crews – there’s a lot of “In LeBron We Trust,” both inside and outside the Cleveland locker room. Until a rival in the Eastern Conference proves it can knock off the King, no one will believe it. But if the Cavaliers, after so many exposures to their Bay Area nemeses (9-17 in regular- and postseason meetings since the start of 2014-15), can’t come up with solutions, maybe NBA fans should want to see someone else get a crack at them. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

CBCP to tackle new guidelines from Rome in plenary assembly

  The president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged the faithful to pray for their prelates as they meet for their plenary assembly later this month in Cebu City.   Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles is expected to lead the first plenary assembly for 2018 fromJanuary 22 to 29.   In an interview over Radio Veritas, the prelate appealed to the faithful to pray for their bishops as they discuss issues relevant to the Catholic Church.   "We need your prayers so that we will be enlightened and fruitful in our discussions regarding what we would do as we move forward as leaders of the Church," Valles said.   Th...Keep on reading: CBCP to tackle new guidelines from Rome in plenary assembly.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Almond Vosotros to debut in Thai League, but dreams of PBA return

  MANILA, Philippines – Former Gilas Pilipinas cadet Almond Vosotros has joined Mono Thewphaingarm (Mono Thew) Basketball Club in the Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL), which opens its 2018 season on Saturday, January 20.  While he looks forward to playing abroad, Vosotros laments that the lack of opportunities he found ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Report: Thabo Sefolosha to get season-ending surgery on MCL staff report The Utah Jazz will reportedly lose a key component to their perimeter rotation. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweeted on Saturday that Thabo Sefolosha will undergo season-ending surgery on his right MCL, which he injured during Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) loss at Charlotte. Marc Stein of the New York Times also tweeted that the veteran swingman will miss at least six months.'s David Aldridge confirmed the report, adding that a final decision on Sefolosha's surgery would be reached next week. Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha is expected to undergo season-ending surgery on an MCL injury in his right knee, league sources say. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 13, 2018 Preliminary estimates on Utah’s Thabo Sefolosha are that he will miss at least six months, league sources say — Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 13, 2018 Source confirms season-ending knee surgery for Thabo Sefolosha is likely (@ShamsCharania first), but final decision to be made next week. Would be tough blow for Jazz; Sefolosha was shooting 49 from the floor and 38 from three this season. Injured knee vs. Charlotte on Friday. — David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) January 13, 2018 Sefolosha, who signed with the Jazz as a free agent last offseason, is averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals per contest. Utah sports a plus-4.9 net rating with him on the floor and a minus-4.6 net rating without. Utah is currently 17-25, sitting in 10th place in the Western Conference......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Anthony still makes impact for Batang Pier on off shooting night

Fresh from his career third-best 29-point explosion in the GlobalPort's 97-104 defeat against Ginebra last Sunday, the version Sean Anthony who came to play on Friday had a lot of difficulty putting the ball through the hoop. But rather than mope over his offensive struggles, Anthony put his focus on the dirty work for the Batang Pier. The Fil-Am forward collected a unique assists-rebounds double-double in the win, finishing with 13 boards and 12 dimes, a first since Chris Ross did it in 2010. His role as the stabilizing force allowed GlobalPort to claim the 78-70 breakthrough victory over Rain or Shine in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. "Rebounding is always gonna be there ...Keep on reading: Anthony still makes impact for Batang Pier on off shooting night.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

Manuel hoping 2018 is finally Alaska s year

2017 was terrible year for Alaska. Terrible might not be a strong enough word. That's why the Aces' very first game for 2018 was a big deal not only because the team is already 0-2 in the Philippine Cup but more so because it's a chance to start fresh. Fortunately, Alaska did just that as the Aces shut down Meralco to barge into the win column of the All-Filipino. "Syempre masaya naka-panalo eh. Yun naman talaga goal namin this 2018," Vic Manuel, who finished witha team-high 19 points, said. "Maganda kasi nanalo kami sa first game namin this 2018. Sana magsunud-sunod na sa mga next game pa namin," he added. Following a big win where they got of to a strong start and a solid finish, Manuel hopes that this is a good sign moving forward for the Aces. After all, last year was really bad for the franchise as Alaska suffered a long losing skid and missed the playoffs twice in three conferences. "Sana, sana [good sign for 2018] kasi 2017 talagang nag-struggle yung team namin eh. Tsaka puro injury din. Sana ngayon, taon na ulit namin," Manuel said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

This is not your kuya s Gilas Pilipinas

Basketball continues to evolve and the Philippine brand is not exempted from it. With the release of the initial #23for23 pool for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, one thing is for sure: Gilas Pilipinas will look a whole lot different in 2023 compared to the one that's currently trying to qualify for the 2019 World Cup. The future Gilas will still have a ton of shooters since that's one of the national team's greatest strengths but the future Gilas will also have a higher ceiling than any other Philippine team ever assembled ever. Seriously, one quick look at the initial #23for23 list and you'll see 10 players listed at least 6'6". Five of them are listed at least 6'8". Kai Sotto is already a legit seven footer at 15 while AJ Edu is an ultra-athletic forward that stands 6'11". The wings and guard spots are also filled with guys who are listed at 6'4". Guys like Kobe Paras, Thirdy Ravena, and even CJ Perez all have decent size to play at those positions. In the current #23for23 list, the shortest player is Ateneo's Matt Nieto at 5'10". Oh and almost all of the players in that list, including the supposed towers and anchors of the team, can shoot from the outside. It's the time of the basketball unicorn and it's about time the Philippines caught up. "We have to start somewhere," head coach Chot Reyes on putting up his list of players for 2023. "That's our dream for Philippine basketball for the longest time. Now we're starting that with that vision in mind, to have tall players who can still play, run, and shoot at the same time," he added. Following Gilas' first practice for 2018 Monday, it appears that the future can live up to potential. The room for development is there of course but the foundation seems solid for now. "Somebody was mentioning in the shooting drills na lahat nakaka-shoot ah. That's the reason why they're here," Reyes said. "They were all chosen for their shooting ability and that's what we're looking for. The ones that can shoot the long ball and still have the height," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Kobe Paras upbeat about the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 squad he ll eventually lead

If you ask Filipino forward Kobe Paras to describe what all the early developments for the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the 2023 FIBA World Cup make him feel, you'll get one word: Happy. Paras, who was one of the more prominent names among 23 young players listed by the Philippine national basketball team head coach Chot Reyes to be part of the early training pool, expressed his approval of the group of guys, even if some are visibly left off of the list because of their commitment to other squads. "I’m happy with the group of guys. I know there are a lot of guys that aren’t on the list," Paras said in an interview with Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News North America during the Los Angeles Clippers' Filipino Heritage Night. "It makes sense if they’re not on the list because of their teams or whatever rules but I’m happy with it."  One player who fit that bill was De La Salle University's flashy forward Ricci Rivero, who was left off the list after his school urged its players to focus on their rebuild next UAAP season. Even then, the 6'6" Paras, who's more or less baptized by Coach Chot to be destined to be the face of the nationa team sounded both honored and excited about his inclusion to the squad, who'll represent the Filipino tricolor five years from now, as the Philippines co-hosts the international basketball meet with Indonesia and Japan. "I’m happy that coach picked me as well. I love representing my country so I’m just really happy that he chose me for that," said the U.S.-based Paras. "I saw the other day they practiced." Aside from local, homegrown talents included in the "#23for23" pool like Thirdy Ravena, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Isaac Go, a couple of Filipino-Americans also made the list. Remy Martin, a rookie point guard for the Arizona State Sun Devils, and Dwight Ramos from the California State-Fullerton Titans, were names present in the preliminary pool. As a fellow Pinoy cager in a foreign land, Kobe is nothing but eager to meet, and eventually play his contemporaries. "I haven’t talked to Remy [Martin] or what’s his name from Fullerton...Dwight [Ramos]," Kobe said. "I think I’m going to play him too. I gotta talk to Dwight but I’ve seen Remy play. I need to talk to them though. Because we’re representing L.A. and the Philippines so it’s going to be cool."  Here's the full video interview of Kobe Paras:  .@_kokoparas enjoyed being at .@LAClippers Filipino Heritage Night and he also expressed his happiness about being on SBP #23for23 He hopes to also speak to .@3wight and .@1Remy_Martin1 soon 🇵🇭🏀🌊 .@abscbnsports .@ABSCBNNewsSport .@ABSCBNNews — Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) January 9, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Santos wants Balkman back in PBA: ‘Everyone deserves a second chance’

Five years removed from the infamous choking incident, Arwind Santos wishes nothing but the best for his former teammate Renaldo Balkman in his stint with Tanduay Alab Pilipinas in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League. "We know how good Balkman is. I can't say anything more because he's really good ever since," Santos said in Filipino. READ: Balkman returns to Philippine basketball as Alab import Balkman made headlines in 2013 when he strangled Santos during a PBA game that merited the Puerto Rican forward, who was the import of Petron back then, a lifetime ban in the league. But it's now water under the bridge now for Santos, reiterating that they had already made amends the...Keep on reading: Santos wants Balkman back in PBA: ‘Everyone deserves a second chance’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Former champion Azarenka withdraws from the Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from the Australian Open, with her wildcard entry to the season's first major reallocated to Ajla Tomljanovic. Australian Open organizers announced Azarenka's withdrawal in a social media post Monday, a week before the tournament begins. Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from the AO. “It’s unfortunate that @vika7 is unable to travel to Australia this year. The #AusOpen is her favourite tournament and she’s looking forward to returning to Melbourne next year,” - @CraigTiley — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 8, 2018 "It's unfortunate that (Azarenka) is unable to travel to Australia this year," organizers posted on Twitter, quoting tournament director Craig Tiley. The Australian Open, "is her favorite tournament and she's looking forward to returning to Melbourne next year." Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19. She hasn't competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. Azarenka played only six matches in 2017 and her year-ending ranking plummeted to No. 208. Australian Open organizers last month granted her a wildcard entry, with Tiley saying at the time "Vika's current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can." The Australian Open starts next Monday at Melbourne Park. Defending champion Serena Williams has already withdrawn, saying her game wasn't back to a level where she believed she could contend for the title just four months after giving birth to her first child......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2018

Fil-Am Remy Martin 'honored' by '23for23 inclusion

Fil-Am Remy Martin of the Arizona State University Sun Devils was very much honored when he learned that he was among seen by Gilas head coach Chot Reyes in the projected roster in the FIBA World Cup in 2023, in which the Philippines was named the host, along with Japan and Indonesia. In an interview by ABS-CBN News' Steve Angeles after the Sun Devils' pulsating 80-77 win over fellow Fil-Am Sedrick Barefield and the University of Utah Utes on Monday (PHL time), Martin was more than pleased with his inclusion on the list.  "It’s a blessing. It’s an honor for me even being mentioned. I thank the people that chose me but I think it’s a complete blessing," Martin said after the game. Martin, who scored 11 points in 28 minutes off the bench against the Utes, applied for a Philippine passport before reaching the age of 16, making him eligible once the country taps him in future international competitions. The 6'0 guard, who has drawn comparisons to Russell Westbrook due to his freakish athleticism, first heard of the news after a loss against the University of Colorado. "I'm humbled by it. I’m just looking forward to the Philippines and hopefully we have big things coming." After a thrilling win in Utah .@SunDevilHoops Freshman point guard .@1Remy_Martin1 reacts to seeing his name on .@coachot #23for23 🇵🇭🏀list .@ABSCBNNewsSport .@abscbnsports — Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) January 8, 2018  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2018

Kiefer looks forward to possibility of playing with Thirdy at Gilas

The 2023 Fiba World Cup is still five years away but Kiefer Ravena is already looking forward to the possibility of playing with his younger brother Thirdy in the international stage. Kiefer is already a member of the senior team of Gilas while Thirdy was chosen to be part of the pool wherein the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will choose the roster for 2023. "Of course I want to play with him," said Kiefer Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum after NLEX lost to Phoenix, 102-95, in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. "If the body is willing why not? I'll be 29 or 30 by that time." Kiefer has been a staple in the Philippine national team, having won five gold medals in the Southeast As...Keep on reading: Kiefer looks forward to possibility of playing with Thirdy at Gilas.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 7th, 2018

Celebrities bare lessons learned from 2017

Before we can look forward to what 2018 has in store for us, we must first look back at what 2017 has taught us. We are the sum total of all the lessons and the memories. So, I cornered some celebs to share with us what they learned in the past year. May we always see fireworks in everything we do, long after the new year is over.   Aiko Melendez Never lose hope. In the first quarter of 2017, I was getting depressed because nothing was going right. I kept praying that finally my time would come again. I learned to be patient with God's promise that He would never leave me empty, and all was right after that stage. I was blessed with a show, "Wildflower," and some awa...Keep on reading: Celebrities bare lessons learned from 2017.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

LOOK: Collegiate LaVar Ball was pretty jacked!

Days after somehow convicing Google that he was the founder of the NBA, LaVar Ball is viral once again, but it isn't so much something that he did or said, but rather a blast from the past.  As it turns out, the Big Baller Brand CEO was pretty jacked back in college.    Damn @Lavar Was Huge In College😂😂 • Follow Our New Jersey Page @bbfjerseys To Get REAL Jerseys For Only $40😱 • Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel And Add Our Snapchat If You Wanna See Extra Videos Of The Ball Family: BigBallerFeed❣️ A post shared by BigBallerFeed™️ (@bigballerfeed) on Jan 4, 2018 at 9:26am PST It really shouldn't come as a surprise though, as the Ball Family patriarch was an all-around athlete during his younger years.  Before becoming known as a polarizing media personality and father of the Ball brothers, LaVar was an american football quarterback in high school and a power forward in basketball during college. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Ball stood at 6'4'' and weighed at around 225-pounds by the time he was in college.  After his collegiate basketball career, Ball played a year of college football before signing with the New York Jets in the NFL. Like him or not, you can't deny that LaVar was quite the physical specimen during his younger days.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

Where to travel in 2018 if you’re on a budget

The rise of ultra-low-budget airlines and new flight classes like basic coach herald an even more affordable year for air travel in 2018, says online travel agent Hipmunk, and they have the fares to prove it. After comparing the average price for flight bookings departing the United States in 2017 and 2018, Hipmunk estimates that international booking prices have dropped 6 percent in 2018 compared to last year. Likewise, the average price of domestic flights have dropped up to 18 percent for U.S. travelers. For budget-conscious travelers already looking forward to planning out their escapades for 2018, here's a look at some of the cheapest international and domestic destinat...Keep on reading: Where to travel in 2018 if you’re on a budget.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 4th, 2018