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Guardiola virtually concedes title after heavy loss for City

Guardiola virtually concedes title after heavy loss for City br /> STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer   MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Premier League season is barely past the halfway point and already Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has virtually given up on winning the title. The world's most coveted coach can't have envisaged his first year in English soccer being this tough. It takes something special to overshadow a match between bitter rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, but City's 4-0 loss at Everton on Sunday did just that. As he slumped to the heaviest loss of his career in a domestic league match, Guardiola — with his arms folded — was seen staring into space while he sat in the Goodison Park dug-out. At other times, he had his face in his hands. City has dropped out of the Champions Leagues positions, into fifth place, and 10 points adrift of leader Chelsea. Asked if the gap to first place was now too great, Guardiola said: '(To) the first one? Yes. Ten points is a lot of points. The second one is three points. We have to see.' A fifth loss of the league season was administered by a team managed by Guardiola's friend and former Barcelona teammate, Ronald Koeman. 'Pep Guardiola knows it is a project at Manchester City,' Koeman said. 'Of course, maybe they expected better results and a defeat like this is really strong but Pep has the experience to turn it around.' Man United kicked off less than an hour after City's drubbing but couldn't get a win that would have put the neighbors tied on points, drawing 1-1 with Liverpool at Old Trafford. After 21 of 38 games, City and United — the two pre-season title favorites — are outside the top four. Two high-profile managers were always going to have their reputation tarnished this season, with six big teams challenging for four Champions League spots. Few would have predicted they'd be Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. Here's a closer look at the top games that pitted Merseyside against Manchester: ___ EVERTON 4, MANCHESTER CITY 0 While there was misery for City at Goodison Park, there was jubilation for Everton after a win that was sealed by goals from two of the club's promising teenagers. Goals either side of halftime by Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas set Everton on its way before 18-year-old midfielder Tom Davies raced into the area and dinked a deft finish over goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, the ball landing just inside the post. It completed an impressive display by Davies, who has now started two straight games and is distinctive with his all-action style and mop of blond hair. The fourth goal was scored by 19-year-old debutant Ademola Lookman, four minutes into injury time. And it summed up City's sloppy performance. John Stones — a former Everton player — tried to clear the ball for a throw-in only to see it ricochet off Everton defender Seamus Coleman to set up Lookman. Signed from Charlton this month and on as a late substitute for his debut, Lookman placed his shot through Bravo's legs. 'How we played in the second half was really perfect,' Koeman said. 'In my opinion, it is impossible to play at a higher level, in every aspect of football. It was a perfect afternoon.' ___ MANCHESTER UNITED 1, LIVERPOOL 1 Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized late for United to bail out teammate Paul Pogba in a frantic, intense match at Old Trafford between the two most decorated teams in English soccer. On the day United rolled out advertising hoardings displaying Paul Pogba's new Twitter emoji, the player himself made a crucial mistake by conceding a penalty for handball while jumping with his back to the ball at a corner. James Milner converted the spot kick but Liverpool was denied a win after Ibrahimovic glanced a header in off the crossbar in the 84th minute, moments after substitute Marouane Fellaini headed against the post. Liverpool ended United's nine-game winning run in all competitions — six of which had come in the league — but dropped seven points behind first-placed Chelsea. Sixth-placed United was 12 points off the leader. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

Sumang slowly finding his niche in the PBA

After starring for the University of the East Red Warriors in the UAAP, Roi Sumang has struggled to find his niche in the PBA. But playing for Blackwater in his second pro season, it looks like Sumang has found a perfect fit with the Elite, making the most of his limited time as a sparkplug off the bench. However, Sumang made a case for himself Sunday after playing his best game of the year against the veteran Alaska Aces. The Tondo baller exploded for 17 points in the second half, spearheading Blackwater's offense that went on to score a 103-100 upset. Most impressive about Sumang's performance was 10 of his 19 total points came in the fourth quarter. Six of those 10 came in the last 1:21 of the game. While he's only been fielded in half of Blackwater's games so far this season, Elite head coach Leo Austria sure knows what he's getting from Sumang. 'He's Roi Sumang. Alam naman natin kung ano pwede niyang gawin,' he said. 'You can backtrack to his collegiate days at UE. Tiyempo-tiyempo lang. We're still stikcing to our rule of whoever performs well gets rewarded with extra minutes and true to his performance, he was able to really showcase his talent again,' he added. As for Roi himself, it was just a matter of repaying his coach. 'Coming off the bench, yun lang naman sina sabi nila coach eh. Kung ano lang yung gusto nila mangyari, yun lang ginagawa namin,' Sumang said. br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

Klinsmann believes US Soccer made progress before his firing

GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer br /> LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurgen Klinsmann is proud of his half-decade in charge of the U.S. national team, and the coach believes he left successor Bruce Arena in a position to make the Americans even better. Klinsmann made his first public remarks since his firing when he spoke Friday at a convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in downtown Los Angeles. Klinsmann agreed to speak at the session before losses in the first two games of the final round of World Cup qualifying led to his dismissal. Klinsmann also was the program's technical director for his final three years in charge, supervising every aspect of the team's development and training. 'The results will tell in the future if it helped Bruce to achieve the goals that are set,' Klinsmann said. 'But I think whenever you have the chance to put your stamp on a program, you do it with everything you have, and that's what I tried to do. I think we achieved a lot within the system of U.S. Soccer, connecting a lot of dots — even though there are so many out there that are disconnected, which we know. But now it's there for the next group of leaders to continue that.' When his team lost at home to Mexico and at Costa Rica late last year, falling into an early hole in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Klinsmann was fired by the U.S. Soccer Federation on Nov. 21 after 5 1/2 years. Klinsmann didn't appear to agree with the decision, but he understands how it was reached. 'You have to be measured against benchmarks,' Klinsmann said. 'You cannot lose to Costa Rica and Mexico (if) that's the benchmark. Then that's the benchmark, and you have to live with that.' Klinsmann took the U.S. job after stints in charge of the German national team and Bayern Munich. The Americans won 16 games in his first year in charge, and they later claimed the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title and a spot in the second round of the 2014 World Cup. But the program encountered several recent setbacks, and criticism grew for Klinsmann's style and strategy. The Americans still reached last year's Copa America semifinals before getting routed 4-0 by Argentina. Klinsmann wryly recalled that loss, saying it was a 'fair question' to ask how U.S. Soccer could accept such a blowout. Hyperbolizing, he said a team led by Lionel Messi 'could have given us eight' against the best American squad. Arena, who coached the U.S. from 1998 to 2006, opened the first training camp of his second stint this week, welcoming roughly 30 Major League Soccer-based players to a month-long camp. The U.S. resumes qualifying at home against Honduras on March 24, then plays four days later at Panama. Arena's roster includes several players ignored by Klinsmann, who at times seemed to preferred those on European clubs. He also engaged in public clashes with popular veterans, most notably leaving Landon Donovan off the 2014 World Cup team. Klinsmann, a World Cup champion player with West Germany in 1990, looks at his relationships with the top American players through the lens of experience now. 'I think as a player, you are kind of in a mindset where you know it always better than the coach, so you go through your career as a player and you never have the perfect coach,' he said. 'Later on, when you become a coach, you realize you were so wrong.' Klinsmann got a standing ovation from the audience of soccer coaches after his hour-long remarks during an interview and question-and-answer session. The coaches in attendance asked Klinsmann extensively about his technique and philosophy around numerous aspects of the job. 'As coaches, it's important to look outside and see, 'How do they do it there?'' Klinsmann said. 'We are always learning. I want to encourage you to understand how a better plan can be built.' As for his unfinished work with the U.S. team, Klinsmann sounded philosophical about that, as well. 'I think we all need to be aware that we're just part of a certain timeline, and then somebody else takes over and takes it to the next level in his own way,' he said. 'But a lot has been done in the last five years which I've been really proud of.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

Man United says Lyon bid for Memphis Depay not reasonable

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United has rejected a bid from Lyon for winger Memphis Depay, saying Friday it was 'far from being reasonable.' br /> The 22-year-old Depay has been unable to secure a regular spot in the team since joining United from PSV Eindhoven in June 2015 for 31 million pounds (then $48 million). Since United manager Jose Mourinho took charge this season, the Netherlands international has only started one game in the League Cup. br /> 'The offer that we had is far from being reasonable for us,' Mourinho said. 'So in this moment he is our player and if in the end of the month nothing happens he is one more option for us.' br /> Both United and Lyon are pushing to break into the Champions League places in their respective domestic competitions. Lyon is fourth in its standings, five points behind Paris Saint-Germain, and determined to push through the deal for Depay. br /> 'It takes time, discussions, because buying a player now isn't easy,' Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said. 'I have made Memphis Depay my priority. He is a powerful player, strong, who is capable of scoring and making goals and good at free kicks.' br />   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Horford returns to Atlanta for first time with his new team

em>By George Henry, Associated Press /em> ATLANTA (AP) — Al Horford knows this won't be just another game today. The four-time All-Star is returning to Philips Arena for the first time with a new team, and many are still adjusting to the fact that he no longer plays for the Atlanta Hawks. After nine seasons as a franchise cornerstone, Horford left for Boston as a free agent last summer, signing a four-year, $113 million contract. But a big part of the big center will always be in the Deep South. He hopes his impact with everyone in Atlanta was positive. 'I always tried to be a guy that plays hard and was committed to giving his all, on and off the court,' Horford said Friday (Saturday, PHL time). 'So that's something I'm really proud of.' Horford led Florida to back-to-back national championships before the Hawks drafted him No. 3 overall in 2007. He helped Atlanta make the playoffs each season he was with the franchise, but the team only got close to the NBA Finals once, in 2015. The Hawks won 60 games and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time. They were swept by Cleveland each of the last two years, and coach Mike Budenholzer has remade the roster. Kyle Korver now plays for Cleveland, Jeff Teague for Indiana and DeMarre Carroll for Toronto. The Hawks have rebuilt around Atlanta native Dwight Howard, an eight-time All-Star center, and point guard Dennis Schroder. The overhaul continues to be a work in process with just four players with double-digit scoring averages and the team lacks consistent perimeter shooting. 'It really has changed fast,' Horford said. 'That just shows us what the NBA business can be like sometimes. That's just the way it is. All you can do is embrace those times that you had here and accept these new challenges that we're in.' In his first game against the Hawks, Horford said he expects some mixed emotions, but hopes to settle down after a pregame video tribute. There's plenty at stake tonight with Boston third and Atlanta fourth in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have won five of six and the Hawks seven in a row. Horford keeps up with some of his former teammates and wishes them well. 'It's a team that's gone through its ups and downs, but I feel like they've found a really good rhythm right now,' he said. 'They're playing really well. Dennis has impressed me a lot, the way that he's been playing and leading the team. Paul [Millsap] being as consistent as he is, and Tim [Hardaway Jr.] is really impressive off the bench.' Horford said many times over the years that he wanted to spend his entire career with the Hawks, but when they wouldn't match Boston's offer, his decision was easy. 'I think for me individually it was the right decision,' Horford said. 'It takes time to adjust to a new team, a new city and everything, but my teammates and coach have made my transition very easy.' Boston guard Isaiah Thomas credits Horford with helping him get off to the best start of his six-year career. Thomas is averaging 28.2 points, tied for fourth-best in the league. Horford is averaging 15.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists. 'He helps me out because he puts me in position,' Thomas said. 'He sets really good screens for me to get me open and he also is a hell of a passer, so when he gets the ball in situations where I'm on the opposite side, he usually finds me. I think that's what making me have a pretty good year as well.' Thomas said the Celtics intend to get Horford a win Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). 'He hasn't brought it up to us,' Thomas said. 'That's just the type of person he is. Everything is the same for him.' Horford likes to keep it that way. He's ready to put this game behind him. 'It's a little different, but I think probably tonight I'm sure it will be more surreal for me,' Horford said. 'Right now it's just a shoot-around and it feels very normal.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Scholar Support

Manila North Tollways Corp. president and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco turns over to Angeles University Foundation president Dr. Joseph Emmanuel L. Angeles a check for P100,000 as the tollway company’s support for AUF’s scholarship program. The turnover was held during the halftime of the NLEX Road Warriors game against Talk ‘N Text Katropa at AUF Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga. The MNTC Scholarship Program now has 28 scholars since the program started in 2012. Joining Franco and Angeles are (from right) MNTC senior vice president Romulo S. Quimbo, PBA Commissioner Chito Y. Narvasa, NLEX Road Warriors head coach Yeng M. Guiao, MNTC COO Raul L. Ignacio and NLEX Road Warriors team manager Ronald T. Dulatre......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Romeo in the middle of Globalport's maturation process

Terrence Romeo is in the middle of the ongoing maturity of Globalport as a team in 2017. Since they suffered a 26-point fourth quarter collapse to Phoenix late last year, the Batang Pier have won back-to-back games, playing well enough in crunch time to hold on for victories even if they still have a tendency to let go of big leads. It's a lesson they would probably take for the rest of their careers. 'Tumatak yun, kasi parang isa yata yun sa biggest comeback eh,' said Terrence Romeo and he's absolutely right as the Phoenix rally was the biggest fourth-quarter miracle in a decade. 'Dapat di na mangyari yun,' he added. In order to not let that sort of thing happen again, Romeo is leading by example for Globalport as the dynamic guard out of FEU has slowly learned to pick his spots in games. Sure, he's still scoring an insane amount of points (27.6 points per game after Friday's 32-point effort), but the Bro is timing his scoring explosions effectively. Romeo scored a season-high 22 points in the first half against the Road Warriors, setting the tone early for Globalport. He then took a backseat in the third perid and allowed runningmate Stanley Pringle do his thing. But when NLEX cut a once 21-point lead to eight in the fourth and final quarter, it was Romeo that put the finishing touches for the Batang Pier, scoring another seven points for good measure. 'Natutunan ko yun nung mga last games ko,' Romeo admits. 'Pagka first half okay laro ko, pagdating ng third and fourth pag pinilit ko pa rin na ako pa rin, masyadong nakatutok sakin yung depensa. Ginawa ko nag spot up lang ako, hinayaan ko sila maglaro.' 'Pero pag tingin ko naman na kailangan nila ako, kukunin ko din ang bola at didiskarte din ako,' he added. Aside from managing his scoring opportunities, part of Romeo and Globalport's maturation process is not to get excited over one big win. With a chance to go for the top-2 spots in the All-Filipino and a matchup against the mighty San Miguel Beer on the horizon, the Batang Pier remain all business. 'Kailangan wag namin isipin yung panalo namin dito, hindi naman sa minamaliit namin yung NLEX pero kailangan yung goal namin is mapunta dun sa number one or number two so hindi kami pwede matuwa dahil natalo namin NLEX. Kumbaga after one day celebration, next day back to focus na kami,' Romeo said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Top-2 teams clash as Beermen takes on Elasto Painters

More than halfway through the 2017 Philippine Cup, the no. 1 and no. 2 teams finally meet on the court as the PBA resumes Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Coming in with an incredible six-game winning streak, two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer test the steady Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the main game at 7:00 p.m. Already assured of a quarterfinals berth, the champs continue their chase for a playoff bonus while also trying to improve upon their league-best 7-1 mark. Meanwhile, Rain or Shine looks to also make its case in the quarterfinals but a win might win more for the Elasto Painters as James Yap and co. look to hold off a horde of teams in the middle of the standings. At 5-2, ROS is only currently one game ahead of three teams sitting at third and only 1.5 gameas up of two teams sitting at .500. A victory over the Beermen also means that the Elasto Painters can still make a play for the no. 1 overall seed. In the first game at 4:15 p.m., both Globalport and NLEX hope to build on their respective victories to the new year. The Batang Pier are one of the three teams which are one game behind the Elasto Painters and a win, coupled with the Beermen also emerging victorious, would put Globalport tied for second heading into the weekend. Meanwhile, the Road Warriors push for their first winning streak under the Yeng Guiao era after finally stoppid a five-game slide last week. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

Never ko pagsisiksikan ang sarili ko sa team na ayaw sa akin -- Gumabao

“There’s no room for growth anymore in the team.” This was how now ex-team captain Michele Gumabao summed up her decision to leave Pocari Sweat after two seasons. Gumabao, who led the Lady Warriors to back-to-back titles in the V-League last year, opened up Wednesday, just a few hours after she posted on her Instagram account that she’s officially parting ways with the club.     “It's final na talaga I will leave Pocari and join another team. Nagtapos ang contract ko January 7,” said the former De La Salle stalwart in an interview at the Adamson gym after the Lady Falcons' practice where she serves as an assistant coach. The two-time V-League Best Opposite Hitter and Reinforced Conference Finals Most Valuable Player also confirmed that she is now accepting offers from teams in the Philippine Superliga. “I'm looking for a new team, I'm entertaining new offers, I mean something that I denied myself for one year,” she added.   strong>Falling out /strong> Gumabao revealed that she and Pocari Sweat’s management are no longer seeing eye-to-eye, the main reason of her bolting out of the team she served for two years starting in 2015 when the team, then known as Philips Gold Lady Slammers, competed and won a couple of bronze medals in the PSL.         “I've been with Pocari and Philips Gold so ngayon lang talaga nagsi-sink in sa akin na aalis na ako and iba na ang magiging teammates ko sad talaga pero kailangan ko,' she said. The three-time UAAP champion continued that there are issues with her and team manager Eric Ty that they just couldn’t resolve, including compensation of players and expenses in running the team. She added that she even tried to call the attention of the management itself to air the grievances of the team being the skipper, but it all fell on deaf ears, according to Gumabao.    “Ako kasi as a player and as a person, kapag may mali lagi akong gumagawa ng solusyon. As a player ayaw kong mali ang ginagawa ko and as a coach ayaw kong mali ang ginagawa ng player ko and as a team captain ayaw kong mali ang sistema namin sa team,” Gumabao narrated. “So nagkaproblema ako with our team manager and we talked it out and hindi namin na solusyunan.' “Umakyat ako sa mga boss akala ko nasolusyunan and in the end their promises meant nothing for me so I had to leave,” she added. “Ayaw ko ng issue, ayaw ko na ako ang sinisiraan, ayaw kong ako ang masama. When I joined Philips Gold two years ago all I wanted was a happy team, you make the team happy, we make the team win and we did. We made back-to-back championships. Ang sabi ko naman, ang goal namin as a team since I entered, we achieved it together. Naging strong kami, naging maganda ang bond namin and there came to a point na lahat ng problema na minsan kahit gaano ka pa kalakas, kahit gaanon mo pa kagusto magpaka-martir hindi mo na talaga kakayanin and 'yun ang nangyari sa akin just recently.” “Hindi ko na kaya ang issues sa loob ng team with our manager hindi ko na talaga kaya intindihin paulit-ulit ang mali. I tried, I spoke up, I tried correcting, I tried working with them for one more year pero wala talaga eh and I just hope that change will come for the team ngayon na umalis ako,” she continued. “I took a stand for myself, ayaw ko na may naaaping player sa team ko by management because the management's only job is to give the team good conditions, to support the team financially and emotionally which is very important.” With unresolved issues, Gumabao felt that she can’t work with team anymore.  “'Yun lang, nawala na ang relationship ko with management so I cannot play for anybody that I'm not proud of or na hindi ko mahal na hindi ko nirerespeto or ganoon ang treatment sa akin,” she said. “So I voiced out every opinion that I could. Oo, gumawa ako ng gulo between management and me pero wala eh, they chose to keep him and they pushed me away. I'd be happy to leave, never ko namang pagsisiksikan ang sarili ko sa isang team na ayaw na sa akin.” Gumabao clarified that she holds no jealousy on teammate Myla Pablo’s multi-million 5-year contract including a brand new car as part of her signing bonus . “I’m happy for Myla I know she worked hard for whatever she signed on. I love her as a friend, as a teammate and as a sister. So hindi ako magseselos kung ibinigay sa kanya ‘yun,” explained Gumabao.          strong>Pocari Sweat to air its side /strong> With Gumabao making it public about the issues, ABS-CBN Sports tried to get the side of Pocari Sweat but the club declined to comment and will release an official statement. “We will release an official statement. Pinag-uusapan pa namin (ng management),” in a message sent by Ty.           --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

Warriors Zaza Pachulia has Kerr – not critics – in his head

OAKLAND, Calif. — Zaza Pachulia heard all the negative noise from the home crowd, and he began taking it personally......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Sorry, Pop: The Spurs are historically good at three-pointers

em>By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press /em> There was a coaching clinic in Berlin back in 2014, when San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich paced along the sideline for a while and talked about his various philosophies and keys to basketball success. It didn't take him long to mention his disdain for the three-point shot, which is no secret. So imagine this irony: His Spurs, this season, are shooting the triple as well as just about any team in league history. Overlooked, perhaps, in their 30-7 start this season is this. The Spurs are connecting on 41.3 percent of their three's — on pace to be the third-best success rate since the shot was added to the NBA game nearly four decades ago. Only the 1996-97 Charlotte Hornets (42.8 percent) and last season's Golden State Warriors (41.6) shot it better than San Antonio has to this point. 'I hate it,' Popovich said that day in Berlin. 'It's not real basketball.' Ah, but it can be part of smart basketball, as the Spurs keep showing. Houston has missed more triples this season than the Spurs have taken — by a lot, too. Entering Sunday, only Chicago was averaging fewer three-point attempts per game than San Antonio. But the Spurs take good ones. They're making 45 percent of their corner three's, 40 percent of ones taken from above the break. And the Spurs are on pace to be the first team in NBA history to shoot better than .400 from three-point range and .800 from the foul line. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

NBA heads to London, Mexico City

em>By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press /em> NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has never gone global quite like this. The league will play somewhat of a unique doubleheader Thursday (Friday, PHL time) with games in London and Mexico City, the first time it will stage multiple international games in different countries on the same day in the regular season. Indiana and Denver are the new teams getting to take what's become an annual trip to Britain, while the Phoenix Suns will be hosting the first of a two-game trip south of the border. The NBA has played 165 international games dating to 1978 and during the preseason has had multiple games on the same day from different countries. But this is the first time doing it when the games count. 'We thought having two regular-season global games on the same day for the first time was another great way to celebrate the popularity of our game with fans around the world,' Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said. Tatum said the league likes to return to cities that are passionate about basketball and that their players and teams want to visit, and both of Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) cities have become regular stops. The game at the O2 Arena is the seventh in the regular season dating to 2011, when the NBA wanted to increase its popularity in Britain ahead of the 2012 Olympics. All have been sold out. The previous games have all featured an Eastern team with a shorter trip across the Atlantic. This time it gives the Pacers, who have played exhibition games in China, Philippines, Taiwan, Germany and Spain, their first chance to play overseas in the regular season. 'I think it's a great opportunity to go over and represent the Pacers organization and the NBA and play a regular-season game,' said Indiana coach Nate McMillan, a U.S. men's basketball assistant when it won Olympic gold in London. 'Both teams will be playing their guys. It's not like a preseason game.' Mexico also was a preseason-only stop when the NBA first visited there 25 years ago. Now it not only gets official games but this year two of them, as the Suns will host Dallas on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) and San Antonio on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). 'A new experience, a different culture, different fans, especially all three teams that are going are on the border,' the Suns' P.J. Tucker said. 'So I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of fans down there for each team. Just for us, as a team to go down to another country during the season is pretty cool.' The London game will be played at 3 p.m. EST (4am, PHL time) and the Mexico City contest at 10 p.m. (11am, PHL time) em>AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Phoenix contributed to this report. /em> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

SSC-R targets at least a semis playoff

strong>Games Wednesday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (m) 11:30 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (w) 12:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (w) 2:00 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (m) 3:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (jrs)     Unbeaten San Sebastian College goes for at least a playoff for a semifinals spot on Wednesday when the Lady Stags return to action in the 92 sund /su NCAA women’s volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan. Carrying an immaculate 6-0 win-loss record, SSC-R looks to remain on top of the standings and plant a foot to the next round when it takes on a dangerous Perpetual Help side in the scheduled 12:30 p.m. clash. Behind reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player winner Grethcel Soltones, who is averaging 16.16 points per game, the Lady Stags won its first six games including a straight sets victory over the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals last December 6 before the long holiday break. SSC-R is just three wins away from sweeping the elimination round that will propel them straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. In this scenario, the top three teams after the elims will play in a stepladder semis format with the no. 2 team enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage.    But Lady Stags head coach Roger Gorayeb is concerned with the mentality of his team heading into the crucial stretch of the elims with Perpetual, Lyceum of the Philippines and defending champion College of St. Benilde standing in their way.    “’Yung kasing kilos nila kung oobserbahan ko ngayon, ‘yang kilos nilang ‘yan hindi yan pang-straight (elims sweep) na panalo,” said Gorayeb. “Wala, ang dami pa nilang butas.” The mentor added that facing Perpetual will serve as an acid test for his wards. “Ang iniisip ko ngayon ay yung laro ng team ko at hindi yung laro ng iba,” he said. “Masusubukan kami sa huling tatlong laro namin.” The Lady Altas after a sluggish start won three games in a row for a 3-2 slate with Lourdes Clemente, who is averaging 10.6 points per outing, leading the way. Perpetual is coming off a 29-27, 25-15, 25-21 win over Letran last December 7. Meanwhile, CSB is also gunning for a semis spot playoff against streaking Arellano University at 11:30 a.m. The Lady Blazers sit a solo second with 6-1 slate ahead of the Lady Chiefs and idle LPU, who are tied at third and fourth spots with identical 5-1 cards. In men’s play, the league-leading Blazers (6-1) and Chiefs (5-1) face off at 10:00 a.m. while the Altas (4-1) and Stags’ showdown is slate at 2:00 p.m. In the juniors play, AU (3-2) and CSB (0-4) clash in the 8:00 a.m. opener while Perpetual (3-1) and SSC-R (0-4) collide in the 3:30 p.m. match.     ---       Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Texans look for improvement ahead of rematch with Patriots

KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer br /> HOUSTON (AP) — Despite a decisive win over the Raiders in the wild-card round, the Houston Texans know improvement is necessary if they hope to get the first divisional playoff win in franchise history on Saturday against New England. 'There's always room for improvement,' coach Bill O'Brien said. 'That's what the league is all about — who can improve the fastest to get to where you want to go?' Brock Osweiler returned to the starting lineup on Saturday after being benched two weeks ago after inconsistent play and multiple turnovers. He looked better than he had before he was pulled, throwing a touchdown pass and running for another score. He also took care of the ball in just his fourth start this season where he didn't throw an interception. But he only finished with 168 yards passing, leaving the Texans looking for more from him this week. 'We were more consistent than we have been,' O'Brien said of the offense. 'I think we can still be better. There's always improvement to make.' A key to Osweiler's success on Saturday was his ability to get DeAndre Hopkins involved in the game after struggling to get him the ball this season. 'There's certainly been some ups and downs as far as getting him the football throughout the course of the year,' Osweiler said. 'But I think the one thing that you were really able to see (Saturday) was that Hop and I were on the same page ... (and) anytime I can get the ball to Hop, I'm going to do it.' Hopkins finished with 67 yards receiving and a touchdown, giving the Texans something to build on this week against the Patriots. The offense got a boost by the return of running back Lamar Miller, who missed the last two regular-season games with an ankle injury. He ran for 73 yards and a touchdown, but was disappointed that he averaged just 2.4 yards a carry after averaging 4 per run in the regular season. Despite those numbers, O'Brien was happy with his work. 'I think he looked good ... it was good to have him back in there,' O'Brien said. 'I thought it was the right move for his health, for our football team to do what we did. 'I don't think he was totally 100 percent for the last two weeks of the season and I think he feels better now. He's meant a lot to our team.' The Texans had often been settling for field goals instead of touchdowns when they got in the red zone in recent weeks. But on Saturday they solved that problem when they scored touchdowns in all three trips to the red zone. They know doing that again must be a focus this week. This will be Houston's second game against the Patriots this season after New England got a 27-0 win in Week 3 with third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett running the offense. As the Texans work to improve this week they'll have to listen to chatter about their underdog status entering this game. The Patriots are heavy favorites but O'Brien insists that they aren't worried about the odds against them. 'What does that matter? The only thing that matters is what takes place in between the lines on Saturday night,' he said. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Five NBA teams make cuts to their rosters

em>NBA team press releases /em> strong>Mavericks waive guard Pierre Jackson /strong> DALLAS –The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have requested waivers on guard Pierre Jackson. Jackson (5-11, 176) was originally signed by the Mavericks on December 27 and made his NBA debut that night against the Houston Rockets where he registered 7 points, 2 assists and 1 rebound in 11 minutes of action. Jackson averaged 3.0 points, 1.8 assists and 7.1 minutes in his 4 games with Dallas.  The Texas Legends call-up had appeared in 10 games (all starts) for the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate this season. He averaged 29.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 35.7 minutes per game while in Frisco. Jackson holds career D-League averages of 25.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 36.9 minutes in 49 games (37 starts) with the Idaho Stampede and Texas Legends. On Feb. 4, 2014, he set the D-League single-game scoring record with 58 points against the Legends (Jordan McRae later broke it with a 61-point game in January 2016 and Russ Smith topped that with 65-point night in March 2016). Jackson was named to the Futures All-Star roster for the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game.   +++ strong>Denver Nuggets waive Alonzo Gee /strong> DENVER – The Denver Nuggets have waived forward Alonzo Gee, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today. Gee, 6-6, 225, signed with Denver on Nov. 16, 2016, appearing in 13 games and averaging 1.1 rebounds in 6.9 minutes. The seven-year NBA veteran has appeared in 417 career games (213 starts) for Washington, San Antonio, Cleveland, Portland, New Orleans and Denver posting averages of 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.8 minutes. +++ strong>Suns waive Jenkins /strong> PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns have waived guard John Jenkins. Jenkins has averaged 1.8 points and 3.3 minutes in four appearances this season, and averaged 5.0 points and 13.0 minutes in 22 games with the Suns in 2015-16. A 6’4” guard in his fifth NBA season, Jenkins initially joined the Suns after being claimed off of waivers on Feb. 24, 2016.  The Suns’ roster now stands at 14 players.  +++ strong>Orlando Magic waives Arinze Onuaku /strong> ORLANDO -- The Orlando Magic have waived center Arinze Onuaku, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.  Orlando’s roster now stands at 14 players. In addition, the Magic have recalled guard C.J. Wilcox from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League.  Onuaku (6’9”, 255, 7/13/87) played in eight games this season with the Magic, averaging 0.5 ppg. in 3.5 minpg.  He was originally signed as a free agent by Orlando on September 8. Wilcox (6’5”, 195, 12/30/90) has played in 15 games this season with the Magic, averaging 0.9 ppg. in 5.0 minpg. This was his second assignment to Erie. Wilcox has appeared in four games (one start) with the BayHawks this season, averaging 12.5 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 2.0 apg. and 1.25 stlpg. in 25.3 minpg.  He was previously assigned on December 15. +++ strong>Atlanta Hawks waive forward Ryan Kelly /strong> ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has requested waivers on forward Ryan Kelly, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. Kelly, who signed on October 31, 2016, appeared in nine games with the Hawks. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

NLEX comes "home" to ambush KaTropa

The answer to NLEX's struggles, at least to the team's horrible five-game losing skid, was found at 'home.' Travelling to the home province of head coach Yeng Guiao, the Road Warriors rode a solid second half to pummel sister team TNT, 110-98, Saturday in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Gym in Angeles, Pampanga. In trouble after the KaTropa erased a 12-point deficit to take a 94-93 lead with 6:13 to go, NLEX went on a 17-4 tear the rest of the way to win only its second game of the new season. The Road Warriors lost their previous five games by double digits before taking care of TNT, improving to 2-5 and leaving idle Mahindra at the bottom of the team standings. After fighting to a stalemate in the first half, NLEX came out firing in the third quarter, leading by as much as 12, 74-62, after an Eric Camson basket. However, in typical TNT fashion, the KaTropa would respond and even take the lead back before the period ended courtesy of a Larry Fonacier trey, 80-78. Carlo Lastimosa showed his scoring prowess by dropping a game-high 22 points for the Road Warriors on 72 percent shooting. Sean Anthony added a double-double and ended up with 13 points and 13 rebounds. TNT lost a golden opportunity to move into solo second with the loss and is now tied with idle Phoenix and Globalport for third place with identical 4-3 cards. Jayson Castro, who is also from Pampanga, once again came off the bench to lead the KaTropa with 17 points. TNT actually got 72 points from its reserves with Mo Tautuaa and Kris Rosales adding 15 points apiece. No TNT starter scored in double figures.   br /> The scores:  NLEX 110 - Lastimosa 22, Anthony 13, Alas 12, Camson 12, Guinto 11, J. Villanueva 7, E. Villanueva 7, Rios 6, Baracael 5, Lanete 4, Taulava 3, Monfort 3, Khobuntin 3, Gotladera 2. TNT 98 - Castro 17, Tautuaa 15, Rosales 15, Fonacier 9, Reyes 7, Rosario 7, De Ocampo 7, Williams 6, Rosser 6, Carey 5, Seigle 4, Golla 0, Pogoy 0, Tamsi 0. Quarters: 24-26, 52-52, 85-81, 110-98 br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

NLEX look to ambush TNT in its "home court"

The answer to NLEX's struggles may be found at 'home.' Losers of five straight games by double digits, the Road Warriors are nowhere near the look of contenders in the Philippines Cup. However, Yeng Guiao's boys can start turning things around Saturday as NLEX battles sister team TNT KaTropa in Guiao's home province of Pampanga. Since beating Alaska in overtime to start the season, NLEX has been on a free-fall, a laundry list of disappointments that included injuries and even a trade demand from veteran big man Asi Taulava. But, as the first out of town game of 2017, the Road Warriors can do their coach proud by taking advantage of what should be a home court advantage for NLEX. Standing in their way of redemption is TNT as the flagship MVP franchise look to keep piling up victories to keep in step with Rain or Shine and San Miguel for that twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Winning four of their last five games, the KaTropa have adjusted themselves quite nicely in new head coach Nash Racela's system, making TNT fulfill its tag as preseason favorites. Gametime of the MVP sister act is scheduled at 5:00 p.m. at the Angeles University Foundation in Angeles City, Pampanga. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Group effort helps Clippers rally past Grizzlies

em>By Beth Harris, Associated Press /em> LOS ANGELES (AP) — Austin Rivers scored a season-high 28 points and helped rally the Los Angeles Clippers from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 115-106 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for their second win in a row. Jamal Crawford added 22 points off the bench and DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 20 rebounds for the Clippers, who improved to 4-9 in the regular season without Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Both injured stars watched from the bench; Paul could return from a sore hamstring this week. Marc Gasol scored 23 points and Mike Conley had 17 points and a season-high 12 assists for the Grizzlies. Memphis closed to 97-96 on seven straight points in the fourth. Jordan missed a pair of free throws but got bailed out by Crawford's three-pointer that kept the Clippers ahead, 100-96. The Grizzlies were limited to two field goals in the final 4:19. They have lost four of their last six games. The Clippers snapped a six-game skid Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against Phoenix but they were in a close game early against the Grizzlies and fell into a 13-point hole in the second quarter. Memphis led by 12 early in the third before the Clippers engineered a dramatic turnaround. They ran off 11 consecutive points, including seven by J.J. Redick, to close to 73-70. Redick finished with 19 points. From there, Rivers took over. He scored seven in a row before Jordan's three-point play on a dunk and free throw. Crawford had seven of the Clippers' final nine points to give them an 89-85 lead heading into the fourth. Redick scored 10 points during the spurt, which brought the crowd back into the game. Memphis built a 13-point lead in the second when the Grizzlies closed on a 26-13 run for a 63-53 halftime lead. Four players hit three-pointers in that span. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Grizzlies: /strong> /em>C Deyonta Davis (left foot), F JaMychal Green (maxilla fracture), G Chandler Parsons (rest) and F-C Brandan Wright (left ankle) sat out, leaving the Memphis bench thin. Green sustained his facial injury against the Lakers a night earlier. em> strong>Clippers: /strong> /em>Paul had a full workout and went up and down the court during practice. Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said if Paul doesn't have any soreness on Thursday he could return Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Sacramento. Jordan had 20 rebounds for the second straight game. Rookie F Brice Johnson (acute herniated disk in lower back) also played at practice and was moving well. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Grizzlies: /strong> /em> Visit Golden State on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) to conclude a four-game trip out West. They beat the Warriors 110-89 at home on Dec. 10 (Dec. 11, PHL time). em> strong>Clippers: /strong> /em>Visit Sacramento on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in their only road game during a seven-game home stretch. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

BLOGTABLE: Will Warriors make another push for 73 wins?

em>NBA.com blogtable /em> Through 35 games, the Warriors are just three games off their 73-win pace from 2015-16. Do you think they will finish below last season’s win total, match last season’s win total or exceed it … and why? strong>David Aldridge: /strong> em> strong>Below. Likely well below /strong> /em>. I get the sense that Steve Kerr believes the pursuit of 73 last season, while understandable and perhaps even correct given the unique circumstances, cost his team a lot of emotional energy going into the playoffs. So I suspect he'll rest a lot of his starters down the stretch in April to make sure they're ready for a long postseason run. I am absolutely sure they will not 'go for it' again just for the sake of chasing the record. strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong> em> strong>Golden State doesn’t want to win 73 games or more /strong> /em>. That 73-9 record – a tremendous achievement last season – wound up getting them mocked as much as anything when they didn’t finish off with the NBA championship. Steve Kerr & Co. don’t need that sort of attention or pressure again, and even the players who pushed last spring to eclipse the 1996 Bulls’ 72-10 mark will want to be smarter and embrace this trendy NBA notion of “rest” as a way to better prep for the postseason. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong> em> strong>The Warriors will not reach last season’s record of 73 wins because they won’t try. /strong> /em> They saw what the pursuit of history did to them a year ago, wore them down and out and had them physically unprepared to go the distance to win a championship. A year ago Stephen Curry and Draymond Green pushed at Steve Kerr to let them go for the record. This time sanity prevails and will give the key members of his lineup plenty of rest coming down the stretch of the regular season. It’s all about Larry O’Brien Trophy or bust this time around, not chasing records. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong> em> strong>Below /strong> /em>. I’m saying massive tailspin all the way to 68 or 69 wins. The Warriors went for it last season because Steve Kerr could see his locker room really wanted the record, but that won’t happen again. Kerr made it clear from the first day of training camp that rest would be much more of a priority than a year earlier, and the same locker room is on board. Maybe that changes if they get into the final few weeks and 74 gets the heart pounding, but I doubt it. June would have been the only thing that matters anyway. But after the way the Dubs went down in flames, it matters in a special way for them. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong> em> strong>They'll finish below because Steve Kerr will begin resting players on a rotational basis come late March or early April /strong> /em>. He's already on record saying 73 or more wins means nothing to him and, I suspect, the players as well. It's championship or bust for this team, so expect to see Curry, KD, Draymond and Klay logging heavy bench time in the spring. strong>John Schuhmann: /strong> em> strong>They're not getting to 73 (and they'd probably prefer not to), but I wouldn't say that 70 is out of the question /strong> /em>. The Warriors have four of the 20 best players in the league and could rest one of those four guys every game from here on out and still have more talent their opponent most nights. So, more than any other team we've ever seen, they can make their health and energy in April, May and June their No. 1 priority and still win a lot of games in January, February and March. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>I'm convinced the Warriors learned a lesson from last season in regards to chasing numbers during the regular season. As fun as it might have seemed at the time, that 73-win chase didn't produce the desired results in the playoffs. em> strong>So I say they finish below last season's win total. Why bother with an attempt at breaking your own record when you can keep your focus on the real prize? /strong> /em> They don't hand out Larry O'Brien trophies for the best team in the regular season. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong> em> strong>They're going to finish short because winning 73 isn't their goal. /strong> /em>And it should not be. The only thing that matters for this group – and for Kevin Durant in particular – is prevailing in the playoffs. The regular season is very simply a means to that end. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong> em> strong>Below. And if they accidentally mess around and start winning even more games and look like they’re on track to get near 73, I suspect they might self-sacrifice the effort and start sitting guys down the stretch. /strong> /em> Because if we learned anything from last season, as great as it was for the Warriors to finish with 73 wins, the only numbers anyone cares about is 3-1. And for Golden State, getting back to the Finals as healthy and rested as possible should be the goal. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Dwane Casey, Mike D'Antoni named NBA Coaches of the Month

em>NBA press release /em> NEW YORK -- The Toronto Raptors’ Dwane Casey and the Houston Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in December, 2016.  Casey guided the Raptors to a 10-4 record in December, highlighted by two four-game winning streaks that started during the month. Toronto had identical 5-2 records at home and on the road, including a 101-94 victory at the Boston Celtics on Dec. 9 (Dec. 10, PHL time) and a 104-98 win at the Utah Jazz on Dec. 23 (Dec. 24, PHL time). The Raptors led the Eastern Conference in scoring (112.1 ppg) and point differential (11.1 per game).  In December, Toronto set franchise records for largest margin of victory (a 44-point win, 128-84, over the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 4, PHL time) and consecutive road wins (seven, with the first two victories coming in November). D’Antoni led the Rockets to an NBA-best 15-2 record in December as Houston tied a franchise record for wins in a month. Behind Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month James Harden, the Rockets paced the league in scoring (120.9 ppg) and point differential (12.9). They also made an NBA-high 16.4 three-pointers per game, hitting 111 more than their opponents for the month. Houston opened the month with a 132-127 double-overtime road victory over the league-leading Golden State Warriors on Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time).       Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Cleveland’s Tyronn Lue, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, Memphis’ David Fizdale, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, Utah’s Quin Snyder and Washington’s Scott Brooks. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017