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Coach Tim says Ginebra better off if it lost to Global

Despite completing a classic NSD comeback against Globalport to go 2-0 in the 2018 Philippine Cup, Ginebra head coach Tim Cone was not happy about the way his team played Sunday. While his team won the game, Cone had a problem with the Gin Kings having to come back against a Batang Pier crew that was missing Terrence Romeo. "Well that's what teams coming from championships do. This is the way they do it. They sleepwalk for 3 and a half quarters and try to win a game down the stretch," Cone said on Ginebra's 104-97 victory against Globalport.  "That's what we're trying to avoid. In my experience I've seen it. They don't play until they really have to and I'm very distrubed by that," he added. The Gin Kings were lethargic almost all game long as Globalport took control, leading for 33 and a half minutes on the strength of Sean Anthony's offensive explosion and a near triple-double from Stanley Pringle. Cone was visibly upset at the bench as well as the Gin Kings struggled to erase a nine-point deficit before tha brave fourth-quarter stand in the last six minutes and change of the game. The winningest PBA head coach even went ahead and said that Ginebra might have been better long-term if it lost this one. "Happy, I'm not happy. I'm okay with the win, but I'm not happy about the way we played. We need to be better if we're going to make some noise in the All-Filipino," he said. "We might have been better off losing this basketball game to wake us up and realize that we can't do that. Because now, it's gonna encourage us to do it again. We think we can get away with it, and I've just known through experience, you just don't get away with those things over the long haul," Cone added. Ultimately, the champion mentor says that it all boils down to Ginebra beating the teams they're supposed to. With a loaded lineup, the Gin Kings are certainly more than capable of taking down all PBA teams and do it convincingly. "We need to get ourselves fired up right from the very start of the basketball games and play," Cone said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 7th, 2018

Global stifles Rain or Shine to score first win of the season

In a low-scoring affair, it was one player's offense that stood out the most. Stanley Pringle's early-season tear continued Friday at the MOA Arena, leading the Globaport Batang Pier to a 78-70 win over Rain or Shine in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Pringle fired 29 points, 20 in the first half, to help the Batang Pier scored their first win of the season against two defeats. Losing an early 14-point lead, Globaport's defense held strong in the fourth, limiting the Elasto Painters to only 14 points to hold on for the win. "Lesson learned yung last two games namin," head coach Pido Jarencio said. "We're giving 109 points per game, pinagusapan namin ng nga players na we have to consider na dumepensa kami and tonight we played good defense," he added. Global got off to a fast start behind Pringle, leadin 19-5 in the first quarter before Rain or Shine settled down and made it a game. The Elasto Painter would take over in the second quarter but the Batang Pier recovered quickly, unloading an 8-0 run to take a 38-33 lead and went to on control the game throughout. After Pringle, Kelly Nabong added 12 points and 13 rebounds for Globalport while Bradwyn Guinto was good for 10 points and nine boards. ROS, who now lost back-to-back games for a 1-2 mark, got 15 points and eight rebounds from Gabe Norwood and another 13 from Mark Borboran.   The Scores: GLOBALPORT 78 - Pringle 29, Nabong 12, Guinto 10, Grey 8, Sargent 8, Gabayni 4, Anthony 3, Flores 2, Elorde 2, Arana 0, Juico 0, Taha 0. RAIN OR SHINE 70 - Norwood 15, Borboran 13, Ahanmisi 10, Belga 8, Nambatac 6, Yap 5, Ponferrada 3, Daquioag 3, Trollano 3, Almazan 2, Maiquez 2,  Quarters: 19-18, 41-35, 58-56, 78-70.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

Lack of experience, chemistry doomed GlobalPort in loss to Gins, says Anthony

Charge it to experience. Sean Anthony opted to look at the positives rather than dwell on the negatives following GlobalPort's 97-104 defeat to Ginebra on Sunday. "We're a young team. We're a new team, and we gotta learn to play with each other still. We have five rookies, four new players, and a new coach, so we're gonna just look at the positives," he said. In control for the first three quarters, the Batang Pier lost grip of the game in the fourth frame as the Gin Kings exploded for 36 points. "We had the lead almost the whole game, up until the end, and we had our spots. We just didn't close it down the stretch," he said. "Our lack of team chemistry and our youth s...Keep on reading: Lack of experience, chemistry doomed GlobalPort in loss to Gins, says Anthony.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 7th, 2018

The unlikely partnership of Alapag and Brownlee

Lost in the return of Renaldo Balkman is the interesting dynamic forged by the unlikely partnership of Justin Brownlee and Alab Pilipinas head coach Jimmy Alapag. You see, both of Brownlee's PBA championships with Ginebra came at the expense of Alapag. In 2016, Alapag was looking to end his magical PBA career by winning a title with the Meralco Bolts. Brownlee's epic "The Shot" moment prevented that from happening. In the highly-anticipated rematch between the two teams, Brownlee and the Gin Kings got the better of the Bolts again where Alapag served as an assistant coach before taking over the Alab job. "Justin and I have personal experience both as a player and a coach," Alapag said of Brownlee after they won their first game together Wednesday, beating Westports Malaysia Dragons, 90-79. "I got burned twice in the [PBA] Finals, really thankful he's playing with Alab," he added. As for Brownlee, whose only coach he's ever known in the PBA is the #GOAT Tim Cone, he's thankful to have the opportunity to learn from Alapag, one of the best point guards to ever play on the PBA. "It was a great opportunity and an honor to be able to play for a guy like him, as intelligent as he is and the type of player he was," Brownlee said on Alapag. "He was a great player in the PBA for many years. Playing for somebody like that with a lot of knowledge in basketball and also a great guy, it's a blessing for me and my career. I'll definitely take advantage of that," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

Beermen pass Meralco test to gain share of lead in the All-Filipino

ANTIPOLO, Rizal --- If Meralco is San Miguel's first major test in the 2018 Philippine Cup, then the Beermen passed that test with flying colors. The three-time defending champions came through for a big 103-97 win Wednesday at the Ynares Arena here to improve to a 2-0 record to end 2017. San Miguel joined NLEX on top of the standings this early in the All-Filipino. Losing a 22-point lead in the second half, the Beermen had to stand tough in the fourth to avoid yet another meltdown against Meralco similar to their last encounter in the 2017 Governors' Cup. Last season, San Miguel lost a 17-point lead to the Bolts. The repercussions of that defeat were crucial for the Beermen as they missed out on a top-2 seed in the playoffs. The next game, San Miguel lost to Ginebra in the quarterfinals and the team's Grand Slam hopes evaporated into thin air. No such collapse happened thos time as the Beermen knew what to do late in the game and that was to feed their reigning four-time league MV June Mar Fajardo. The Kraken dropped 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter as San Miguel managed to hold on despite Meralco's furious rally.  "I'm so thankful that we ended the year with a bang. With this win, I think this will motivate us to play better next time," head coach Leo Austria said. "I told the boys na from the start, we should have a good start ano. I know Meralco, even though they are down 17 or 20 points, I know they will come back ano dahil we lost in our last game against Meralco when we're leading by 17 points that's why I'm very aware of that lead," he added. San Miguel raced to an 18-point lead inthe first half behind the hot shooting of Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter. Cabagnot fired 12 of his 29 points in the second quarter while Marcio started the game with 10 quick points before finishing with 18. However, the Bolts turned to Mike Tolomia to make it a game in the second half as the second-year guard led a Meralco to a 32-22 third-quarter run where he scored 15 points. He ended up wit ha team-high 21 points off the bench. After Tolomia, KG Canaleta once again proved his spot with Meralco by addinf another 17 points while Reynel Hugnatan was good for 16. Meralco dropped to 1-1 after the loss.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 103 — Cabagnot 29, Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Pessumal 11, Ross 9, Santos 8, Mamaril 2, Lanete 0, Heruela 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0. MERALCO 97 — Tolomia 21, Canaleta 17, Hugnatan 16, Newsome 13, Lanete 10, Bono 8, Amer 7, Baracael 2, Ballesteros 2, Caram 1, Faundo 0, Sedurifa 0, Salva 0.  Quarters: 30-18, 59-41, 81-73, 103-97.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2017

Now back with Global, Nabong is truly moving on from Meralco

Kelly Nabong was at the center of controversy towards the end of last season when he got himself suspended indefinitely by the Meralco Bolts. It all started in Game 1 of Meralco's Governors' Cup semifinal series against Star. Towards the end of the game and in the middle of a spirited Bolts rally, Nabong got into a heated argument with assistant coach Jimmy Alapag in the team bench. Long story short, Nabong was suspended by Meralco and he never played for the Bolts again. "It's okay, it's okay. Everything happens for a reason. I don't keep any grudges. It's all my fault. I lost my temper a little bit, but that's my fault," Nabong said on the incident that prompted his exit from Meralco. "I'm trying to learn from my mistake, which I did, and I'm trynig to move on from it," he added. While he has since apologized and has signed with a new team, returning to the Globalport Batang Pier, the journeyman big says the Bolts never actually talked to him since. "They haven't made contact with me ever since. They've never called me or anything. But it's okay, it's all right. I hope they forgave me, I forgave them. So it's all right. It's okay," he said. Now back with the Batang Pier, Nabong says his sole focus now is with Globalport. Signing a fresh two-year deal with the team, he's trying his best to finally move on from Meralco and start anew. His first preseason game with the Batang Pier, he scored 14 points and Globalport beat Magnolia, 83-80, Thursday. "I'm in a great position right now with GBP, they got a great management, great head coach, we  got a lot of good guys on the team, lot of rookies. It's gonna be an exciting  season," he said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2017

Black fears de Ocampo out of finals with calf injury

Meralco finally won after dropping Games 1 and 2 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals but lost its starting forward Ranidel de Ocampo in the process. De Ocampo hurt his left calf in the first four minutes of Game 3 and did not return. And by the looks of it, Bolts head coach Norman Black fears de Ocampo could miss the remainder of the series. "We have a little bit of bad news, I think we probably lost Ranidel for the rest of the series with the calf injury," said Black after Meralco beat Barangay Ginebra, 94-81, Wednesday night. "We'll have him checked by a doctor but he doesn't look very good right now," he added. The 35-year-old de Ocampo has been a vital piece to Meralc...Keep on reading: Black fears de Ocampo out of finals with calf injury.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 18th, 2017

Jokic’s big night helps Nuggets hold off Mavericks

DENVER --- Michael Malone wasn't all that thrilled about the lack of composure in the final quarter. Or all the turnovers. Or the shot selection. Or even the defense. Still, he won't quibble with the outcome. "We survived," Denver's coach said. Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and grabbed a season-high 18 rebounds, Gary Harris hit two late free throws and the Nuggets held off the Dallas Mavericks 105-102 on Tuesday night after nearly blowing a 23-point lead. "We lost focus in the fourth quarter and we gave them a chance to come back in the game," Jokic said. "That was bad." The Nuggets led 82-59 with 4:04 left in the third before Dallas staged a massive comeback. The Mave...Keep on reading: Jokic’s big night helps Nuggets hold off Mavericks.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News13 hr. 48 min. ago

Jags ‘threw a tantrum’ when Marrone started making changes

By Mark Long, Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville’s locker room was abuzz late last season. Four guys played table tennis while others crowded around a small table for dominoes. Two 80-inch televisions were tuned to a sports highlight show, and music blared from one corner of the room. Doug Marrone, the team’s offensive line coach at the time, walked through and shook his head. “Can you believe this?” Marrone whispered. The Jaguars were in the middle of a nine-game losing streak that would ultimately cost coach Gus Bradley his job. Marrone had watched from afar for two years, witnessing an atmosphere he felt was too loose, too laid-back and too lenient amid losing. So when Marrone was hired to replace Bradley last January, high on his to-do list was to change the culture in Jacksonville. His success is one reason the Jaguars (12-6) are in the AFC championship game against New England (14-3). The ping pong table was the first to go. Dominoes followed. The locker room stalls were overhauled, too, with Marrone mixing and matching position groups and putting certain players next to veteran leaders and/or NFL role models. “We definitely threw a tantrum,” Pro Bowl defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. “Went in there and talked to him about it. Definitely wasn’t happy. I learned just to be quiet, you know, and go with the flow. He’s been at it longer than I have, and I’m just the football player. He says do this and I go do it. Just learn to follow him, and I’m glad I did.” Marrone saved the most significant changes for the practice fields. Marrone, top executive Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell wanted a much tougher and more physical team. They drafted bruising running back Leonard Fournette and fiery left tackle Cam Robinson to complement a defense that was significantly beefed up in free agency with the addition of All-Pro pass-rusher Calais Campbell, Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye and veteran safety Barry Church. They also designed an offseason program that was more grueling than most players had experienced. Marrone’s message was clear: Go hard or go home. “You remember guys in camp talking about this took a few years off their lives,” Jackson said. “It’s pretty funny just to see us now. I guess he does know what he’s doing.” The Jaguars were in full pads nearly every day during training camp, a tortuous stretch in draining heat and humidity that left rookies and veterans questioning the process and wondering if it would pay off. It was the NFL’s version of boot camp. Break them down, then build them up. It ultimately brought players closer, making them accountable to each other and causing them to care more for each other. Winning was the final piece, and thumping Houston 29-7 in the season opener was all the proof players needed. “It was the toughest training camp I’ve ever been a part of,” said linebacker Paul Posluszny, in his 11th season. “Coach Marrone would talk to us and say, ‘Listen, I have a plan and you have to trust me.’ With that, guys were able to say, ‘OK, we haven’t gotten what we wanted in years past doing things a certain way, so we have to buy in, trust the head man and know that that’ll bring us success when it’s time.’ “It was difficult just because of so many changes from what we were used to. I think the most important thing is we always said, ‘Well, if it helps us win, then it’s all good.’” Jacksonville had lost 63 of 80 games over the previous five seasons — the worst record in the NFL during that span — and had been through two coaching changes. Coughlin’s return was a key part of the team’s revival, and although the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach with the New York Giants gets much of the outside credit for the team’s turnaround, the reality is Marrone was the one pushing all the right buttons. Marrone has been other places where players resisted, prompting personnel moves that would slow progress. That wasn’t the case in Jacksonville, and he credited his players for being open to change. “They gave our staff the opportunity to say, ‘This is what we want to do. This is what we believe in as coaches or as an organization. This is how we want to handle ourselves,’” Marrone said. “We are still working toward that. It is not perfect by any means.” It’s clearly working, though. The Jaguars are in the title game for the third time in franchise history, one victory away from their first Super Bowl appearance. “They say (stuff) rolls downhill,” Jackson said. “Well, the good stuff rolls downhill, too. ... It’s all worth it when you win.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News19 hr. 35 min. ago

T-texters test elite

BLACKWATER has lately been the talk in the PBA following its conquest of Barangay Ginebra last Friday. The Elite’s morale soared this early in the Philippine Cup because prior to beating the Gin Kings, they had elicited kind words from coach Tim Cone himself. “They (Elite) are truly one of….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Ex-Ginebra players instrumental in Blackwater’s historic win vs Gin Kings

It might be coincidence, but the Blackwater Elite’s victory over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was mainly anchored by former players of the league’s most popular team. From head coach Leo Isaac to assistant mentor Aries Dimaunahan down to their key players like Allein Maliksi and Mike Cortez, these former Gin Kings were able to bring […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Perpetual survives scare from undermanned SSC-R

Games Tuesday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 9:30 a.m. -- AU vs. JRU (m) 11:00 a.m. –- AU vs. JRU (w) 12:30 p.m. –- SBC vs. CSB (w) 2:00 p.m. –- SBC vs. CSB (m) 3:30 p.m. – SBC vs. CSB (jrs)   University of Perpetual Help returned to its winning ways but not after facing a tough resistance against a gritty San Sebastian College side Monday in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Altas needed to fend off the scorching comeback attempt of the Lady Stags to eke out a 25-22, 25-23, 7-25, 18-25, 15-11, victory for a 2-1 win-loss record tied with idle Jose Rizal University.  Ma. Lourdes Clemente fired 15 points anchored on 11 attacks and four of Perpetual’s nine kill blocks while Cindy Imbo and Bianca Tripoli added 14 and 12 markers, respectively. The Las Pinas-based squad were in control of the match in the first two sets only to relax in the next two as the Lady Stags took advantage to force a decider. But just like in their loss to JRU the last time out, the severely depleted squad of head coach Roger Gorayeb lost steam in the end while the troika of Clemente, Imbo and Tripoli took over to claim the win in the one-hour, 51-minute duel. The win also made up for Perpetual’s stinging 26-28, 18-25, 27-29 defeat to the San Beda Lady Red Spikers last Thursday. SSC-R, which had eight players on the bench but only seven were able to see action with Julie Tiangco sidelined with a knee injury, dropped its second straight match in three outings tied with Letran. Daurene Santos scored 22 from 16 kills, five aces and a kill block for SSC-R. Dangie Encarnacion had 16, skipper Joyce Sta. Rita played through a sprained right foot she sustained in the second set when she stepped on Clemente’s foot to score 15 while Nikka Dalisay had 12. Meanwhile, Perpetual Help swept SSC-R, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23, for its third straight win in as many games and a share of the lead with Arellano University in men’s play. The Stags slid to 1-2 card.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Warriors keep evolving in rivalry with Cavs

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CLEVELAND -- You might expect, given the familiarity from what’s gone on for four years now, that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have worked up some serious mutual contempt. They both covet what the other wants -- in fact, the Warriors or the Cavs could make a persuasive case that, if not for the other guys, one already would have notched a three-peat and be chasing Bill Russell’s Celtics in pursuit of a fourth consecutive championship. They both have poured buckets of blood, sweat, tears, money, Gatorade and offseason counter moves into their nouveau NBA rivalry. And they both, well, as Golden State coach Steve Kerr phrased it to the San Jose Mercury News Sunday (Monday, PHL time), “We just want to kick each other’s ass.” And yet the Warriors and the Cavaliers -- who play again Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) at Quicken Loans Arena in the NBA’s prime-time MLK showdown -- have more in common with each other than they do with any of the league’s other 28 teams. Playing 100 games or so every year. Locking in mentally and surviving physically longer than anyone else. Showing up each night targeted as a measuring stick, even a season maker, by the opponents. While trying like heck to keep things fresh. Renew. Find and tap into a new source of energy, because old ones wane over time. “It’s the biggest challenge of this whole season,” Kerr told NBA.com late last week, with the Warriors starting a back-to-back in Milwaukee and Toronto on their way back to The Land. Even if it were possible -- and it realistically is not, given free agency, injuries, trades, the salary cap, luxury taxes, hirings and firings each NBA offseason -- playing a pat hand from one championship-level season to the next isn’t desirable. Voices, locker rooms, relationships get stale. Rivals adjust and escalate in the arms race. Some players ebb in the pecking order, others flow. It’s important to inject new faces, add skills and even find fresh themes to fend off monotony, even boredom, through the 82-game slogs. The Warriors, in winning 20 of 23 games over the past seven weeks, largely have managed to do that. The Cavaliers, at 26-15 after 2-7 stretch that started at Golden State on Christmas (Dec. 26, PHL time)? Not so much. Golden State shifts gears after each season It’s easy to think of Golden State’s success since Kerr’s hiring before the 2014-15 season as one uninterrupted run of excellence. Three-pointers, “death lineups,” and the rest. But the differences from one year to the next have been fairly pronounced. “In Year 1, we were trying to prove ourselves to the world,” Kerr said. “Then we win the championship -- it was all so fresh. There were no letdowns at all that year. It was the most exciting, it was the most energized, it was the most refreshing. It was brand new to all of us. It felt like we were riding this wave all year -- we were all giddy, like, ‘Oh my God, we’re really good!’ We didn’t know we could be like that. And for me, it was my first year coaching.” Steph Curry won his first MVP award. He and Klay Thompson generated considerable conversation about the best shooting backcourts in league history. Draymond Green forever changed the old NBA notion of “’tweeners.” The Warriors finished 67-15, ranked second in the league in offense (111.6) and first in defense (101.4) and beat Cleveland in the Finals in six games. “It was maybe like the first stages when you fall in love,” Kerr said. “You’re just on Cloud 9 and she can’t do anything wrong. There’s infatuation and then you truly fall in love, and it’s amazing. “The second year, we sort of rode that wave of euphoria of being the best team in the league and having won the title. The next thing you know, we’re 24-0 and we’ve got a chance to set an all-time record. That 73-win mark carried us all year. We were going to prove that, not only were we the champs but we were one of the best teams ever.” The Warriors were -- by regular season standards. Curry won his second MVP award. Kerr missed the first 43 games due to health issues but assistant coach Luke Walton steered them to a 39-4 mark. They bought into the chase for 73 victories fairly late, but instead of a 16-5 playoff run like the previous spring’s, the Warriors went 15-9 -- coming up one victory short when the Cavaliers became the first team to claw back from a 3-1 deficit. That led directly to Golden State’s next new wrinkle, a reconfiguration that came close to buckling the league’s knees. “We got KD,” Kerr said. “Now we’re changing our team, right? Last year was about incorporating KD, welcoming this incredible player into our organization and our roster. Figuring how to do it, how we were going to adjust. I felt like there were times last year that were tiring, where our guys were done a little bit. But it was ‘new’ again.” Even the challenges were fresh, like counting Curry’s or Klay Thompson’s touches relative to Durant’s or closing ranks around Golden State’s thin man as his reputation took blows for the first time in his NBA career. Not interested in shooting for 74 victories, the Warriors simply took care of business and stayed coiled for the postseason. Then it was a 16-1 dash to title No. 2, Durant snagging the Finals MVP trophy after the five-game dispatching of the Cavs. All of which just set the Warriors’ bar higher, requiring them to search for something new, somebody borrowed, presumably nothing blue. “This year it’s just survive and advance,” Kerr said. “It’s ‘let’s get to April, May, June in one piece.’ There’s a reason we’ve lost six home games already. We don’t have the driving force that we had the last few years. We’re dealing with what any team in NBA history that’s tried to do this has dealt with. The Lakers (1982-85), the Celtics (1984-87, 1957-66)... It’s just really hard and you need that driving force.” Said Warriors vet Andre Iguodala: “Your body is mindful of it, because it hurts.” A couple of young guys -- Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney -- have taken on bigger roles. Nick Young brings some sort of buzz into any locker room that will have him. Still, as veteran guard Shaun Livingston said: “We’re not chasing any records. We’re not adding another All Star. We’re just trying to make it through the marathon.” Cavs' challenges mount during 2017-18 The Cavaliers are just trying to make it through the marathon, too. But if they could, they might do it like Rosie Ruiz, the 1980 women’s “winner” of the Boston Marathon who perpetrated a hoax by hopping the subway and running only the final mile of Beantown’s famous race. The 2017-18 has been anything but fun for Cleveland so far. It began with the departure of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, a not-so-funhouse mirror image of Durant’s arrival a year earlier in the Bay Area. Irving, for reasons still not quite explained, made it known in the offseason that he wanted out. He wanted to be the man on his own team. Or he didn’t want to be left in the lurch if (when?) LeBron James took his talents elsewhere again. Or both. Or neither. Regardless, once the Cavaliers made his request come true by dealing him to Boston for All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas and Brooklyn’s coveted first-round pick this June, their task got tougher and their season longer. Losing one of the league’s best ball handlers and shot makers doesn’t qualify as “renewal” any more than what went on in Oklahoma City when Durant packed up. There’s been more. Shooting guard J.R. Smith seemingly got old overnight. Jae Crowder, who came from the Celtics in the Irving deal, hasn’t meshed with the Cavs’ style. Kevin Love has been moved to center but hasn’t done anything to satisfy the Cavs’ need for rim protection. Thomas only returned to action from a hip injury as the calendar turned to 2018 and has played only four games in these two weeks. Even with so many new faces -- seven of the top 12 in coach Tyronn Lue’s rotation weren’t here 12 months ago -- it’s a group heavy on veterans, players a little too established or mature to naturally instill raw energy. James said recently that none of this is new, it’s another case of the Cavs biding their time for the “second” season that means everything. But Lue also introduced the topic of “agendas,” suggesting that some of his guys were looking out for their own responsibilities and performances -- particularly on defense -- rather than the group’s. At best, this is another dose of the midseason blahs, the Cavs in their doldrums in need of an All-Star break. At worst, though, they might be honing some bad habits that won’t be so easy to break in May or June. Especially if East rivals such as Toronto, Boston or Washington are emboldened after witnessing or administering some of the Cavs’ more embarrassing beat downs this season. Will any of this matter come spring? It will if the switch each team is minding stubbornly decides not to flip. “That’s the key. You’ve got to find that balance,” Kerr said. “Are you flipping the switch or are you navigating? The idea is, don’t let bad habits slip in. Right now, this moment, we’re into some bad habits. Our defensive efforts  the last five, six games [before the weekend] were awful. We got away with it because Steph was going nuts.” The Cavaliers repeatedly have not gotten away with bad defensive habits, even on nights when James has been dominant. “It’s tough,” Livingston said. “They’re a team that’s built for the playoffs. But our core guys still are in there prime. Their core guys are still good. But we’re talking about ‘prime.’” Most still would pick both Golden State and Cleveland to advance all the way to a “Finals Four” (after last year’s “Rubber Match” series). But one of these years, most will be wrong -- about one or both. That alone might be motivation enough. 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 15th, 2018

Showdown set: Battle-tested Patriots vs. fresh-faced Jaguars

By Dennis Waszak Jr., Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Watch out, New England. Here comes Sacksonville. Tom Brady and the big game-tested Patriots square off against the sack-happy Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday in the AFC championship game in Foxborough, Massachusetts — with the winner headed to the Super Bowl. That's nothing new for New England, of course, which has been there three of the past six seasons. For fresh-faced Jacksonville, however, this is all rare territory. The Jaguars are playing in the conference title game for just the third time in franchise history, and first since losing to Tennessee during the 1999 season. Jacksonville is also one of four franchises to never play in the Super Bowl. "I'm sure there will still be tons of people that are going to disapprove or talk negative or hate or do whatever they want," quarterback Blake Bortles said. "But we get to keep playing. We get an opportunity to go play in Foxborough for another week, so I'm just honored to be able to do this and especially with this group of guys." And, it has all come full circle for Tom Coughlin, who was Jacksonville's coach the previous time the franchise got this far in the postseason. He went on to win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants — both against Bill Belichick's Patriots — but is now the Jaguars' executive vice president of football operations. He helped assemble a squad with coach Doug Marrone that has been powered by a tenacious defense that ranked second in the NFL during the regular season in sacks. After a few ho-hum games, Bortles, running back Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars offense showed it isn't too shabby, either, outslugging Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in a stunning 45-42 victory Sunday . "Obviously, with what they have on their side of the ball, it's a good team and we know they've got a good offense," Bortles said. "We knew we had to keep scoring." There's also this neat nugget: Jacksonville's first AFC championship game appearance came during the 1996 season — against New England, which went on to play in the Super Bowl under then-coach Bill Parcells and lost to the Brett Favre-led Green Bay Packers. "It's been an awesome year," Bortles said, "and we want to keep it going." The Patriots have made it to the AFC championship game for seven straight seasons, clinching this trip with a 35-14 drubbing of the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night . New England has advanced to the Super Bowl in three of the past six seasons. "The reality of the NFL is what we did this week will have nothing to do with what happens next week," Brady said. "We're going to have to go repeat it, so you've got to get right back to work, right back to the process of trying to figure out how to break down our opponent. "Everyone's got to feel good physically and mentally and go out there and try to cut it loose one more time in a huge game." The Patriots know how to do that, and they're masters of tuning out distractions. Despite a published report during the week that raised questions about the relationships between Brady, Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft, New England was all business on the field against the Titans. "It's pretty incredible to be a part of that," Brady said. "I think the thing is that we don't really take it for granted around here. I know how hard it is to get to this game. We're very blessed to do it." Meanwhile, Philadelphia awaits the winner of the New Orleans-Minnesota game later Sunday to find out who it will face in the NFC title game. The Eagles used steady play by Nick Foles and a late goal-line stand to beat the Atlanta Falcons 15-10 on Saturday. "We'll be ready for next week," defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Teng still has Alaska s best interest despite big game

Unlike the his game against TNT late last year, Jeron Teng finally got his big performance and big win Sunday against the overmatched Kia Picanto in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. However, the rookie out of La Salle knows that team accomplishments matter over anything so he'll take an Alaska win even if he doesn't put up 23 points and nine rebounds as well as outscoring the opposing team by himseld in one whole quarter. "A win is a win, and we’ll take this one. It’s a good start for us this 2018 dahil we’re 2-0 this year. Sana ma-build up kami from there," Jeron said following the Aces' 102-65 demolition of Kia. In the third period, Teng poured 13 of his total points, which was eight more that the Picanto's output as a team. Alaska outscored Kia, 36-5, in the third to turn the game around. "[Coach Alex Compton] just told us to bring out more energy and outhustle Kia. Nung first half medyo so-so yung nilaro namin. He told us to respect the team and play better," he said. "I think we all played good in this game. We picked it up nung second half. We all kew we had to step up nung halftime to get this win and we needed this win for our next game," Teng added. Speaking of the next game, Alaska has a date against Ginebra up next and Jeron says the Aces are ready for the Gin Kings. "I think were ready for the challenge, we’re up to it. Were practicing really really hard and I think we’ll be ready by that game," he said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2018

More jeers for Real Madrid after home loss to Villarreal

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Another poor result, another round of jeers for Real Madrid. Madrid's struggles in the Spanish league continued when it lost to Villarreal 1-0 on Saturday, infuriating fans at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and increasing pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane. Pablo Fornals netted Villarreal's winner in the 87th minute, prompting loud boos by the home crowd which three days ago saw their team draw with second-division club Numancia 2-2 in the Copa del Rey. "There is no explanation for this," Zidane said. "We did everything we could, we had plenty of chances, but the ball just didn't go in. It's a difficult moment for us. It's tough for the players, they gave their best. We didn't deserve this result." Madrid also drew at Celta Vigo 2-2 a week ago, and lost to Barcelona 3-0 at the Bernabeu in its last match last year. It has gone four matches without a win. "We have endured negative results recently, but we know that we can change this situation by winning again," Zidane said. "We have to start winning, and winning convincingly, then things will change." The defending champion was 16 points behind league leader Barcelona at the competition's halfway point. The Catalan club can increase the gap when it plays at Real Sociedad on Sunday. Madrid, which has a game in hand, is only fourth in the standings, behind Valencia and Atletico Madrid. Villarreal moved to fifth place with the victory, its first ever at the Bernabeu. "We knew we could make history," Villarreal coach Javier Calleja said. "We played a very smart match." The host had most of the chances under steady rain, but Villarreal also threatened a few times before Fornals found the net. Cristiano Ronaldo, who was also jeered, hit the crossbar from a free kick in the first half after the ball deflected off the wall. Ronaldo nearly scored from close range just before halftime, but his shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo. Gareth Bale had a goal disallowed for offside early in the first half. Fornals' goal came after a great save by Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas following a counterattack. Fornals picked up the loose ball just outside the area and chipped it over the goalkeeper for the stunning winner. It was Madrid's third home loss this season. It has won only half of its games at the Bernabeu. ATLETICO STAYS CLOSE Second-place Atletico Madrid overcame Diego Costa's absence to beat Eibar 1-0 and move within six points of leader Barcelona. Kevin Gameiro, Costa's substitute, scored in the first half and Jan Oblak played solidly in goal for the rest of the match to secure Atletico its fourth straight win in all competitions. "We played the type of match we needed," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. Costa was suspended because of a red card for celebrating too close to the fans in the previous game. GIRONA ROUT Kenyan forward Michael Olunga scored a hat trick to lead promoted Girona to a 6-0 trouncing of last-place Las Palmas. Las Palmas could have left the bottom of the standings with a draw but it never challenged the Catalan host at Montilivi Stadium, seeing its winless streak reach seven matches in all competitions. Las Palmas has only 11 points from 19 matches. Christian Stuani opened the scoring for Girona from a penalty kick midway through the first half, and the other five came in a 22-minute span in the second period. Girona reached ninth place in the 20-team standings......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Spanish club Malaga fires Gonzalez after 4th straight loss

MADRID (AP) — Malaga picked former player Jose Gonzalez on Saturday to replace fired coach Michel Gonzalez, who was let go after the team's fourth straight loss in the Spanish league. The moves came a day after a 1-0 loss at Getafe that kept Malaga 19th in the 20-team standings. Malaga has lost every game since early December, earning only 11 points from 19 league matches. Jose Gonzalez helped Granada escape relegation in 2016 after taking over the team in last place with 13 rounds to go. He coached in Chinese football last season. Michel Gonzalez had been in charge since last season, when he helped the club from southern Spain move away from the bottom of the standings and finish near mid-table. "Since the beginning of the season the team wasn't able to put together a series of good results to be able to leave the relegation zone so a shakeup was needed to help the team react," Malaga said. Malaga's next match is on Jan. 22 at Eibar......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Clippers get to .500 with 126-105 win over lowly Kings

By Beth Harris, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lou Williams scored 26 points and the injury-depleted Los Angeles Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings 126-105 on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) to get to .500 at the season's halfway mark. Willie Reed added 14 points and 13 rebounds starting in place of DeAndre Jordan, who has a sprained left ankle. Blake Griffin had 11 points and nine assists as one of eight Clippers in double figures. Their second game in three days against the last-place Kings was just what the doctor ordered for the Clippers. Besides Jordan, they were without Austin Rivers and Danilo Gallinari. Patrick Beverley had season-ending knee surgery while C.J. Wilson is out indefinitely. After the Kings scored the game's first four points, it was all Clippers. They shot 55 percent in building a 21-point lead in the first half, and were up 64-45 at the break. Willie Cauley-Stein had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings in their fourth straight loss. De'Aaron Fox added 17 points and 10 assists. The Kings picked up their scoring in the third, losing the quarter 28-23, but they still trailed 91-68 going into the fourth. Reed and Griffin rested in the fourth, when the Clippers were outscored 37-35. Los Angeles shot 56 percent from the floor for the game and outscored the Kings 60-50 in the paint. TIP-INS Kings: They've lost five in a row to the Clippers and eight of the last nine. ... The Kings lost 121-115 when the teams played Thursday (Friday, PHL time). Clippers: Coach Doc Rivers said he didn't think Jordan will be out long, but added, "I can't guarantee it." ... Williams has scored 20 or more points off the bench in nine straight games, moving ahead of New Orleans' Jrue Holiday for the longest such streak among active players. ... Jordan's next game will tie him with Randy Smith for most played in franchise history at 715. ... Jordan is already the first player in franchise history to be with the team for 10 seasons. UP NEXT Kings: At Oklahoma City on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). Clippers: Host the Rockets on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in Chris Paul's return to Staples Center after being traded in June......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Without Harden again, Paul leads Rockets to rout of Suns

PHOENIX -- Chris Paul scored 25 points to lead six Houston players in the double figures and the Rockets, still without injured James Harden, rolled past the Phoenix Suns 112-95 on Friday night. Houston, in its sixth straight game with Harden sidelined by a hamstring injury, led by 18 in the second quarter, 22 at the end of the third and 27 in the fourth in its sixth consecutive victory over Phoenix. Clint Capela scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who dominated the boards 53-38. Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza added 18 points apiece and Eric Gordon 14. Devin Booker scored 27 and T.J. Warren 21 for the Suns, who were coming off a home win over Oklahoma City four days earlier. Phoenix got off to a fast start, scoring 10 straight points, capped by Dragan Bender's 3-pointer, to lead 21-10. Then things turned sour for the home team. The Rockets outscored the Suns 37-8 over the final 5:05 of the first quarter and first 6:47 of the second, when Anderson's two free throws put Houston on top 47-29 with 5:13 left in the first half. The Rockets led 57-44 at the break, despite Booker's 18 points. Houston scored the first four points of the second half and Phoenix never got closer than 15 after that. TIP-INS Rockets: At 30-11, the Rockets have their fourth-best record at a season's midpoint in franchise history. ... Houston is 4-2 since Harden was injured. ... The Rockets have won in Phoenix nine straight times and have beaten Suns 13 of last 15 overall. ... Capela's career high in rebounds is 20. ... Houston won its 15th road game, third-most in NBA behind Boston (16) and Golden State (18). Suns: Forwards Marquese Chriss and Josh Jackson missed the game, both with hip injuries. ... Chriss ended a streak of 124 consecutive games to begin his career. It was longest streak by a Sun since Kyle Macy played in the first 329 games of his pro career from 1980-84. ... Tyson Chandler grabbed 11 rebounds and needs 11 more to be the 40th player in NBA history with 10,000. MEMORIES The Suns, who haven't made the playoffs in six seasons, commemorated the 25th anniversary of their 1992-93 Western Conference champion team at halftime. Charles Barkley, Tom Chambers, Dan Majerle, Kevin Johnson, coach Paul Westphal, and then-CEO and general manager Jerry Colangelo were among the participants. That team lost to the Bulls and Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals. Barkley, of course, got the biggest cheers. UP NEXT Rockets: Visit Clippers on Monday night. Suns: Host Pacers on Sunday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Kings seek no. 3

Games today (Mall of Asia Arena) 4:30 p.m. -- Rain or Shine vs. Globalport 7 p.m. -- Ginebra vs. Blackwater BARANGAY Ginebra is facing a team coach Tim Cone said they are ‘leery’ of because his Gin Kings were beaten by that team during a practice game prior to the….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJan 11th, 2018

‘Tired’ Dandan on another Kia loss: ‘We have to suck it up, move forward’

Even new Kia coach Ricky Dandan couldn't exactly tell how the Picanto quickly lost control of their game against the Magnolia Hotshots on Wednesday. Kia led 49-47 at the end of the first half but it was all Magnolia after as the Hotshots, led by Paul Lee, left the Picanto in the dust thanks to a blistering 34-11 run. "I don't know what happened. I can't explain it I have to review tape, watch the third quarter and see what happened, but from my recollection we played according to plan in the first two quarters only to play, suddenly, differently in the third," said Dandan. It was a tale of two halves for Kia, which got outscored 77-28 in the last two quarters. Dandan made...Keep on reading: ‘Tired’ Dandan on another Kia loss: ‘We have to suck it up, move forward’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018