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Colleagues divided on Pacquiao career path

It might be time to hang up those gloves, Mr. Senator. After his knockout victory over Lucas Matthysse of Argentina on Sunday, colleagues of Sen. Manny Pacquiao encouraged the boxer to consider quitting while he's ahead. "It is not about having enough money already. I'd say, my advice to my colleague, seat mate and friend is that it is best to leave the stage while the audience is applauding," said Sen. Panfilo Lacson. That, according to Lacson, would be the best kind of exit, "not when they have left because nothing is worth watching." "That would be both sad and tragic," he said in a text message. Sen. JV Ejercito shared Lacson's sentiments. "Manny Pacquiao is already a...Keep on reading: Colleagues divided on Pacquiao career path.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJul 17th, 2018

From G League to GM, 76ers turn franchise over to Brand

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Only two years out of the NBA, Elton Brand is set to return to the league as a 39-year-old general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. For a franchise that underwent the painful “Process” for a few seasons and had its last GM caught up in a Twitter scandal, a youth movement in the front office could be what the Sixers need to take the next step into Eastern Conference contention. Brand is ready to help lead the way. “I’m going to rely on my team,” Brand said. “Not just on the court, but the off-the-court team. I can’t keep saying it enough. In my opinion, we are one of the top groups in the NBA.” Brand was introduced Thursday at the Sixers complex as the new GM, and it was made clear the two-time All-Star will not yield the power to make the final decisions, but rather work in concert with coach Brett Brown and the rest of the front office. “The 76ers are on the cusp of something very special and the next 12 months are really important,” Brand said. “I think that’s why I was the leading candidate, to bring stability to the organization and this group that I know really well.” Brand had worked for the Sixers as vice president of operations and was the general manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ G League affiliate. Sixers owner Josh Harris said Brand emerged from a list of at least 10 candidates as the right choice to steady a franchise rocked by Bryan Colangelo’s sudden departure. Colangelo resigned in June as the 76ers’ president of basketball operations after what an investigation concluded was “careless and in some instances reckless” sharing of sensitive team information on Twitter. “I’ll lead with honesty, integrity,” Brand said. Brown had assumed interim GM duties but wanted no part of holding the job full time. But he will work as Brand’s partner in key decisions the franchise faces coming off a 52-win season. “Coach and I are aligned,” Brand said. “Teams that have won in the NBA, the GM, the coach have to get along. He’s going to have the players. But when it comes to trades, draft process, I’m running that. That’s what I’ve been hired for. Final say? Coach is going to have a voice in it.” Brand played in 1,058 career games over 18 seasons with the Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas, Atlanta and two stints with the Sixers. He posted career averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game. A two-time All-Star and the 2000 co-rookie of the year, Brand was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Joe Dumars Trophy, presented each season to the player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court. “I think we’re at a new point in our team’s development into hopefully an NBA championship,” Harris said. “We need to be attracting talent here. Certainly, Elton’s image and who he is as a person were real positives. But leadership and managerial skills and the things you’ve got to do in the front office that aren’t just about image, he’s got those, too. But certainly, that was a huge positive.” Brand said it’s fair to question his inexperience as he skyrocketed through the organization from the G League to GM. But it’s a job he’s ready to handle. “I’ll take the hits,” he said. “When there’s decisions made on the basketball side, I’m taking the hits.” Alex Rucker was promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations. Ned Cohen will remain assistant general manager and Marc Eversley will stay as senior vice president of player personnel. The Sixers beat Miami in the first round of the playoffs before they were eliminated in the conference semifinals by Boston. Under Brown’s watch, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have blossomed into two of the top young players in the league. Embiid and Markelle Fultz were among the players who attended Brand’s press conference. The Sixers were stunned when an independent review found that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, operated four Twitter accounts. She admitted using private information to criticize the Sixers and rival colleagues. Brand, the fourth black GM in the NBA, is ready for the Sixers to put the offseason mess behind them and make a jump in the East. “This is a special team, an incredible opportunity, and we will lead a disciplined and determined path to building a championship organization,” he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2018

Ohtani bids farewell to Japan fans ahead of Angels adventure

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) — Los Angeles Angels-bound Shohei Ohtani bid farewell to fans of his former Japanese club on Monday as he sets off to join his new team. The star pitcher and hitter wore an Angels jersey to his public news conference. He opened with an introduction in English, saying: "Long time, no see. I'm Shohei Ohtani. Welcome to my press conference. Please enjoy." The Sapporo Dome crowd erupted in laughter and applause. For five seasons, Ohtani called Sapporo home, playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He intends to be a starting pitcher and everyday hitter with the Angels. Ohtani, the reigning Pacific League MVP, threw one final ceremonial pitch from the Sapporo Dome mound. He spurned other major league offers to join two-time MVP Mike Trout and slugger Albert Pujols. The Angels are coming off their second consecutive losing season and haven't won a playoff game since 2009. Ohtani was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA while slowed by thigh and ankle injuries. But those numbers don't indicate the potential for a pitcher whose fastball has topped 100 mph. Scouts are more divided on Ohtani's ability to consistently hit big-league pitching. He hit .332 in 65 games with eight homers and 31 RBIs last season, occasionally unleashing the tape-measure blasts that captivated prospective teams. In 2016, Ohtani hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in 104 games. He also was 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA. Ohtani will attempt to chart a rare career path, the majors' first regular two-way player in decades. He has drawn numerous, if unfair, comparisons to Babe Ruth, who excelled as a hitter and a pitcher early in his Hall of Fame career. The Angels plan to use Ohtani as a hitter and a pitcher, and the 23-year-old player said Monday he is confident he can succeed in both in a more challenging environment. Since joining the Angels this month, it was revealed that Ohtani injured the elbow of his pitching arm at the end of this past season. A leaked medical report sent to all MLB clubs showed a Grade 1 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and he received a platelet-rich-plasma injection in October. But the injury is not considered serious and Japanese media reports last week showed Ohtani taking batting practice and throwing long toss. The Angels have said they are not concerned and they expect Ohtani to be ready for spring training......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2017

Pacman: Broner first, Mayweather later

Before ending his career with a megafight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right), Manny Pacquiao will look for a sterling victory against Adrien Broner (left). --AFP Boxing great Manny Pacquiao on We.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

Pacquiao 90% sure he ll face Broner in January 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine boxing idol Manny Pacquiao said a January fight in the United States with American Adrien Broner is almost certain, but he dodged the mounting speculation of a possible rematch with rival Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao, 39, pumped new life into his storied but slowing boxing career in July ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 18th, 2018

In a divided UN, China blazes quiet path to power

UNITED NATIONS: Criticized by the White House for alleged interference in US politics, China has quietly blazed a path at the United Nations where it is, little by little, becoming one of the most influential members. At the Security Council, where China holds one of five permanent seats, its statements remain bland, often recalling fundamentals [...] The post In a divided UN, China blazes quiet path to power appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsOct 6th, 2018

Russia captain Igor Akinfeev calls time on his international career

  MOSCOW, Russia – Russia's World Cup captain and goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev announced Monday, October 1, he was retiring from international football after playing 111 times for his country. The 32-year-old said that after 15 years with the national side, he had decided to give way to his younger colleagues and to ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 1st, 2018

News Briefs

Villar: Pacquiao eyes presidency, but.... Boxer Manny Pacquiao, now a senator, could be setting his sights on the highest position of the land, according to one of his colleagues at the Senate, Cynthia Villar. "I think he's thinking about it," Villar said at the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Tuesday. On whether Pacquiao stood a chance as a candidate for President, Villar said she couldn't be sure because sometimes the thinking of the masses was confusing. "We have what we call the Filipino masses. What the masses would like, I think will happen in this country, right?" Villar said. "They are majority in this country," she added. But Villar added that "you cannot pre...Keep on reading: News Briefs.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018

Worth a thousand words: NBA photographer Andrew Bernstein details his best shots

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com Andrew Bernstein knew he wanted to be a sports photographer or maybe a documentary filmmaker. Trouble was, he recalled recently, his school at the time – the University of Massachusetts Amherst – offered courses in neither photography nor film. Not exactly a well-planned start to his chosen career. So Bernstein transferred to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. And once the native of Brooklyn stepped off the plane into 85-degree sunshine, he was hooked. Thus began a professional path that has taken him around the world, yet kept him Los Angeles-centric as the NBA’s senior photographer. A part-time job as an assistant to Sports Illustrated shooters helped Bernstein score his first NBA gig as a photographer the 1983 All-Star Game at L.A.’s famous Forum. He’d eventually serve as team photographer for the city’s Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers and Kings, but it was in his work for the NBA that Bernstein made his greatest mark. In 1986, Bernstein helped create NBA Photos as the league’s in-house licensing agency, for which he served as senior director until 2011. He chronicled Team USA through its 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic championships, and has worked 36 NBA Finals and All-Star Games. Next month, his hardcover collaboration with Kobe Bryant -- “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play” -- will hit bookshelves everywhere. This week as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, the 60-year-old photographer will be honored as a recipient of the 2018 Curt Gowdy Media Award. To shed light on his craft and share some behind-the-scenes tales, Bernstein -- prior to heading to Springfield, Mass. -- talked with NBA.com about some of his favorite and most famous images. Come fly with him ... Details: Michael Jordan soars with several Lakers in futile pursuit at the 1988 Hall of Fame preseason game between Chicago and Los Angeles at the Springfield Civic Center. Bernstein: “It was one of those crazy moments -- in those days, I could only do one remote camera. Now I can do almost an infinite number because it’s all done by radio. But back then, you had to hard-wire into the strobe [lighting] system for the big flashes, and you could only fire one. I chose the one shooting through the glass, behind the backboard. A lot of things could have gone wrong. His hand could have been in his face. He could have been out of the frame instead of just on the edge. I could only take one shot every four seconds [with the strobe] -- it’s not like I could lean on the motor drive and then pick one frame out of 10. … But it became known as “Come Fly with Me.” It did kind of define him at the time as being able to fly.” Back story: Bernstein added: “If you have a microscope, you can actually see me on the other side of the court, sitting there with a little trigger button. Then there’s the trivia question of all time -- who’s the other guy? That No. 3 happens to be [University of Virginia star and NBA role player] Jeff Lamp.” MJ: Champion, finally Details: Michael Jordan and his father, James, in the visitors’ dressing room at the Forum, after Game 5 of the 1991 Finals. Bulls 108, Lakers 101. Bernstein: “The network would do the trophy presentation in the winning team’s locker room, and the visitors’ side at the Forum was about the size of a closet. There seemed to be a thousand people in there, and all hell was breaking loose. I got up on top of a table in the middle of the room for a vantage point. When they came back live from a commercial, they wanted to have Michael on -- but they couldn’t find Michael. Some sixth sense said, ‘Look to your left,’ and there he was, in the locker, hugging that trophy, crying his eyes out with his dad next to him. I always felt, if he’d had to play that whole season for free to get to the mountain top, he would have. I knew this was a special moment. I banged a couple of frames really quick.” Back story: After James Jordan was murdered in 1993, Bernstein got a phone call from Michael’s office saying he “would love it if I made a print and sent it to him,” Bernstein said. “Which I did. I was very close with my dad and Michael Jordan knew him -- my dad was with me through the entire Dream Team experience [in 1992]. And I knew his dad. So it was a poignant moment in my career to have him request that photo. If I had to pick one photo to put on my tombstone, this would probably be it.” ‘Mamba’ coiled to strike Details: Shot from a camera suspended in the rafters at the Forum, a Hasselblad 120mm with a 350mm lens. “A heavy rig,” Bernstein called it, anchored with multiple clamps and safety cables on the catwalk, aimed straight down. Bernstein: “I love the composition of this photo and how everything just came together. The Forum had that beautiful Laker-gold ‘key.’ This was young Kobe, his first or second year, and he was a dunk machine back then. Look how he’s cocked back like that and flying thorugh the air, the basket right there. All the elements came together. When I saw this the next morning -- I had to take the film to the lab after the game, drop it off, then go back in the morning after sweating it out all night, hoping that I’d see something like this -- I was like, ‘Wow!’ All the preparation, hours and hours, setting the equipment up, and it all paid off.” Back story: It’s not common to see the top of a player’s head and the bottom of his sneakers in the same shot. Bernstein knew he had to share it and, thanks to the large-format film, he knew he could share it big. “As soon as I saw this,” he said, “I immediately made a giant print for Kobe -- I mean, like 50 [inches] by 70. Huge. I framed it and drove it to his house. He was living with his parents in Pacific Palisades at the time. I hope he still has it. I had given players like Magic [Johnson] and whomever 8x10s, but I never had framed something I was super-proud of.” Old Kobe ‘dunking’ again Details: Kobe Bryant, deep in his career, before a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in January 2010. Bernstein: “During a long East Coast trip, the Lakers had played the night before in Cleveland and were at the Garden less than 24 hours later. Kobe was banged up that year. This was an hour and a half to game time, and he was literally willing himself to play that night. Both ankles are in ice. He’s got the finger in a little cup of ice. During my pregame routine, walking from the locker room to the training room, I just saw him there. Other guys were coming and going, but he was in this meditative state. I took one frame -- God forbid the click of the camera disturb or distract him. Phil [Jackson] called this ‘The Thinker,’ like Rodin’s sculpture.” Back story: A skilled photographer learns how quickly how to be unobtrusive, a “fly on the wall.” Said Bernstein: “You have to, to get behind-the-scenes intimate photos of players away from the bright lights, and what goes on in the bowels of the arena or during travel. In 2009-10, Phil and I collaborated on a book called ‘Journey to the Ring,’ which took the Lakers from media day to whenever their season would end. They ended up winning it all that year, which was unbelievable for the project. The photos were in black-and-white, which was a conscious decision Phil and I made.” Photographer, shoot thyself Details: Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bernstein before the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, Western Conference locker room at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Bernstein: “This was his last All-Star Game and it was a true Kobe love-fest. I spent the entire weekend just with him, followed him everywhere he went. I mean, I didn’t cover it like I normally do for the NBA, and NBA Photos was very generous for letting me cover it through him. It was a beautiful weekend. He took it all in and was very appreciative. His humility came out -- a lot of people don’t think Kobe is humble, but I think he was. And he was very grateful, that he had an impact on all these All-Stars who were grateful to him.” Back story: The locker room was closed to the media, but as the league’s guy, Bernstein always has special access. “A couple of people were coming over to get photos with him -- Gregg Popovich, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and a couple others,” the photographer said. “And I just jumped in myself. Very, very rarely -- I mean, four times in our 20 years together -- did I jump in the picture with him. But I couldn’t resist.” Shadowing the superstars Details: Another overhead shot at the Forum, this time during the 1991 Finals, with Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan fighting for what eventually will be a rebound. Bernstein: “With this angle, it’s always a crap shoot what you’re going to get. The rim could be blocking a guy’s face. Somebody could be too far under the basket. The focus point is so critical -- you have to be right on where it’s focused. As for the shadows, if you can imagine lights in each corner of the court, way up high. It just depended on where the players were placed. If one of them is blocking the light on one side, you get a shadow off to the other side. It’s always dramatic with the strobe. But just to get these two icons in the same frame was difficult.” Back story: Just as the famous parquet court at Boston Garden looked so iconic on TV and from afar, the Forum was best viewed from a distance. The paint worn off the top of the rim by balls and hands was something few ever saw. “The Forum was a dump,” Bernstein said. “The walls were caked with dirt. Nobody ever cleaned it. They used to feed us under the stands where the rodents were. It was like a Hollywood impostor, and it’s in Inglewood, which is not your glitzy Hollywood location. But they made it look good on TV. It was a tough place to work, I have to tell you.” Brothers in arms Details: A fisheye lens captures the moments immediately after Game 5 of 2017 Finals, with Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry front and center. Bernstein: “I’ve gotten good at getting out and being the first guy in the scrum. When a championship is won, I sharpen my elbows and just go for it. I try to be right next to the TV guy and well, I guess people know me and I make my way to wherever I have to be. This particular time, I knew there had to be a moment in there where Curry and Durant had an interaction. And it was amazing -- they’re almost like one body. It’s Kevin’s first championship and Steph is so happy for him as his teammate. And the pressure that was on the whole team to win this championship. I love this picture. It shows so much about the way I work and how I think about what I need to do in the moment.” Back story: Bernstein’s camera captured Durant’s mother Wanda to the left, crying and enjoying the moment. But a few seconds earlier, he said, “his mom came up and grabbed him by the front of the jersey. She kept yelling, ‘We did it! We did it!’ That’s a great picture too.” ‘Uncoachable?’ Unforgettable Details: Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson share a moment after beating the Magic in Game 5 and winning the 2009 NBA championship at Orlando’s Amway Arena. Bernstein: “If you remember the 2008-09 season, there was a lot of pressure on Kobe. People had been saying that he couldn’t win without Shaq, Phil had actually written that he was ‘uncoachable.’ But there’s such a paternal father-son thing going on in this picture. … I know I’ve got to go to the star player immediately at the buzzer. So I ran out and found Kobe. Phil and he had just come together and they were hugging, which is a nice picture. But I knew the instant after a hug can be just as special. Something told me to wait till after the hug -- because [with the limitation of the strobe lights] I can’t shoot rapidly -- and bing! They broke the hug and Phil’s looking like, ‘Job well done, son.’ And Kobe has this amazing look of relief and sense of accomplishment and exhaustion.” Back story: Bernstein said this is the only print of his work that his wife, Mariel, allows him to hang in their house. “We have three teenagers [at the time] who basically were the same age, all within a year of each other, and when all hell was breaking loose at our house, we’d stand the kids in front of this photo. My wife would say, ‘Look at that! If those two guys can get along and be respectful, we can do it in this house.’ ” Forever linked Details: The Celtics’ Larry Bird and the Lakers’ Magic Johnson fight for rebounding position along the foul lane at Boston Garden in the 1987 Finals. Bernstein: “This is probably my most well-known image, other than the one of Jordan hugging the trophy. Remember, these guys played different positions. They never really matched up. You’d never see Magic D-ing up Bird like you would with Michael or Isiah Thomas. And you’d never, ever see Bird D-ing Magic. I had to be unbelievably conscious of when they were on the court together, where they were on the court and somehow, if they would end up in my frame. The only times, honestly, I could ever get them in the same frame was the ‘captains’ meeting’ five minutes before tip at center court, shaking hands, and a free-throw situation. When, by the grace of God, they would line up facing me. That’s what this was. Back story: Just as Bird and Johnson were linked literally, arm in arm, in this photograph, their careers were linked figuratively through the NBA of the 1980s. “It kind of defined the era,” Bernstein said. “These two great guys intertwined, neither of them looking superior to the other. Jostling for position, just like the Celtics and the Lakers did. I love this picture, and I know both of those guys love it. This picture is hanging in the Hall of Fame.” 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 NewsSep 4th, 2018

Culture helping Koreas row in same direction, says coach

Korean culture is helping rowers from the divided North and South to gel in their joint team at the Asian Games, a coach told AFP on Monday. Koreans are taught from a young age to respect their elders, a cultural norm that has smoothed the path since athletes from the North and South were thrown together after just a few weeks' training. The two Koreas marched together at the opening ceremony in Jakarta and they have joined forces in rowing, canoeing and women's basketball at the Games, the latest sign of their thaw in relations. "The younger guys in the team are following their older brothers quite well so the training is going smoothly," said coach Hwang Woo-seok. The joint teams...Keep on reading: Culture helping Koreas row in same direction, says coach.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 20th, 2018

Brandt Snedeker wins Wyndham Championship by 3 strokes

By Joe McCreary, Associated Press GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Brandt Snedeker began the Wyndham Championship with history — and ended it with a victory. Snedeker earned his ninth PGA Tour title Sunday, three days after opening with an 11-under 59. He closed with a 65 for a three-stroke victory in the regular-season finale, breaking a tie with C.T. Pan on the final hole with a birdie and Pan's double bogey in the group ahead. Snedeker finished at 21-under 259 for his first win since 2016 and his second at the tournament, but first at Sedgefield Country Club, to close what he called "the most stressful week I've ever had in professional golf." "Shooting 59 on Thursday, your expectations go through the roof," Snedeker said, also expressing pride that he could "cap it off the way we did today, to play pretty much a flawless round of golf." Pan shot a 66 to tie for second with Webb Simpson. Simpson matched his career-best with a 62. "I feel like it was a round I needed to make a push to the leaderboard," Simpson said. "Brandt's obviously had a great week ... so I knew it was going to take something super low." Snedeker opened the tournament with the 59 that made him the first tour player this year and just the 10th ever to break 60, then on the final day played 29 holes at 5 under to seal it. He's the fifth tour player to shoot in the 50s and then win the tournament. He was never in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in his career, but the victory gave him a huge jump on the points list. He climbed 50 spots to No. 30 on the list, after arriving at 80th — which would have been his lowest finish. "To be perfectly frank, I didn't have any chance at all" to win the FedEx Cup before this week, the 2012 playoff champion said. "After this week, I feel like I have a chance." For a while, it looked like it might come down to a playoff between Pan and Snedeker, who were even at 20 under entering Pan's final hole. But the 26-year-old from Taiwan ran into big trouble: Pan shanked his tee shot out of bounds off a cart path down the right side of the fairway and needed four shots, including the penalty stroke, to reach the green on the par 4. Pan said he heard "a couple noises in my head which caused me to hit a bad shot. "It's my fault. I can learn something from it," he said. "I only played one bad hole, which is fine. You know, I've still got a lot of golf left." With the victory seemingly inevitable at that point, Snedeker sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th to end it, making him the 10th player to win in Greensboro multiple times. His victory here in 2007 was the first of his career, and this time he finished one stroke shy of Henrik Stenson's year-old tournament record. "Wanting so desperately to win this tournament, it was just a lot of emotion this week," he said. Severe weather led organizers to suspend the third round with 30 players still on the course and bring everybody back to Sedgefield on Sunday morning, leaving Snedeker with 29 holes to play on the final day. He wrapped up that round with a one-stroke lead at 16 under before heading back onto the course. Since the tournament moved here in 2008, every third-round leader who was that far under par has gone on to win. The other subplot at Sedgefield is the last-minute push for the playoffs, which begin next week at The Northern Trust in New Jersey with the top 125 players qualifying. With every player who was between Nos. 122-127 missing the cut, there figured to be plenty of movement near the bubble. Sergio Garcia will miss the playoffs for the first time in his career after winding up 131st on the points list. Harris English and Nick Taylor played their way in, with Taylor saying he would "kind of soak it in and realize that we've finally done it. "It's really satisfying to finish it off," he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 20th, 2018

BLOGTABLE: Biggest storylines during first month?

NBA.com blogtable What (or who) will you be watching intently during the first 4-6 weeks of the season? David Aldridge: Like many, I'll be an amateur Kawhiologist all season, looking for any clues -- all non-verbal, as we know Leonard won't be contributing his thoughts on the matter at any point -- of his future intentions. Will he develop a sudden love of poutine? Start telling reporters, "take off, eh, you hoser?" Any other lazy Canadian narratives I can think of? Seriously, the potential fit between Leonard and the Raptors could really change everything, starting with the Lakers' fever dreams of a second superstar to pair with LeBron. If Toronto convinces Leonard it's a place in which he can put down long-term stakes, the Eastern Conference changes dramatically. All of a sudden, the Boston Celtics' assumed rise to the top for the next several years would not be guaranteed. A Leonard-led Toronto franchise, with the young ballers the Raptors have in support, would be formidable. But if it becomes clear he's going to bounce, won't the Raps have to seriously think about moving him before the deadline? His first days/weeks there will be crucial. Tas Melas: Kawhi Leonard in Toronto. He was unanimously a top-five player when his playoffs ended on the foot of Zaza Pachulia in 2017. What is he now? Will he smile ALL THE TIME just to troll us? I’m very intrigued. Darkhorse: Speaking of great players, also very intrigued to see what Giannis Antetokounmpo does in coach Mike Budenholzer’s offense. Giannis needs some help and better synergy around him so he can win a playoff series already. Is a new coach, growth within, and Brook Lopez enough? Dark-Darkhorse:There seems to be something happening very quietly in Indiana. Will Victor Oladipo take it to another level? Is Myles Turner gonna follow Oladipo’s lead by both getting cut like him and producing a career season? Will Pacers fans be chanting: “Doug-ie! Doug-ie!” (McDermott). Shaun Powell: A trick question, right? Well, of course it's the Lakers, not necessarily to see if LeBron James is still great, but to see if the team's transitional path is laced with banana peels. Remember, the first few months of the Big Three in Miami was rocky, and the Oklahoma City Thunder never really meshed last season. New faces often translate into awkward moments. There's no reason to suspect the young pups and LeBron and the wacky supporting cast of Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson won't eventually work out the kinks, but seeing them try to do so initially -- and checking out the social media (over)reaction to that -- will be fascinating. John Schuhmann: The Lakers and Markelle Fultz. The Lakers, because of their youth and because playing with LeBron James is a big adjustment for a lot of players, should be a better team in February and March than they are in October and November. That doesn't mean that they won't be fascinating to watch, especially on offense where it's not clear how the pieces fit together, from Day 1. On an individual basis, Fultz is the player to watch early in the season. If his shot is fixed, if his confidence is restored, and if he can play alongside Ben Simmons, the Sixers will have a better bench (to go along with what was the league's best high-volume lineup last season), a more potent offense and a higher ceiling. Sekou Smith: In addition to keeping an eagle eye on the Los Angeles Lakers from the first whistle of training camp until the final buzzer in their season finale (and that includes the first 4-6 weeks of the season), I am genuinely intrigued by the Boston Celtics. We all assume they'll insert Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back into the mix and elevate above the rest of the Eastern Conference now that LeBron James is with the Lakers. I know that's the way things are supposed to go. But I want to see it. I want to see if Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to thrive with those veterans back in the mix. I want to see how coach Brad Stevens handles the minutes for Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart now that they've had a taste of the spotlight, a real taste. I need to see if their chemistry can survive the gathering storm of all that talent that's been assembled. We didn't get a chance to see it in action last season with Hayward going down five minutes into the season opener. It's a potentially fascinating group that could prove to be a true rival for the Golden State Warriors on the other side of the conference divide......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2018

Matthysse calls it quits

As it turns out, it is Lucas Matthysse who is retiring after his WBA welterweight title bout with Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao last month. The Argentine, who claimed he would beat Pacquiao into retirement, announced in an Instagram post his decision to end his career at the age of 36. "I am proud that I maintained my career for 10 years at a world-class level, where I fought with the best in boxing and fulfilled my dream of being a world champion," he said in a post. The soft-spoken Matthysse also thanked the sport for "changing my life." He rode into the sunset with 39 wins, 36 by way of knockout, and five losses. His career was marked by spectacular KO wins---albei...Keep on reading: Matthysse calls it quits.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018

LA-bound LeBron leaves lasting gift, Akron always home

By Tom Withers, Associated Press AKRON, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James stood on a stage near one of the streets he walked as a troubled kid and looked out at thousands of faces. He felt connected to every one of them. While his three-year-old daughter, Zhuri, played at his feet, James watched as his mother, Gloria, raised a flag in front of a school that is perhaps his greatest triumph. His incredible life. Full circle. Before leaving for Los Angeles, James gave his hometown quite a gift. James, who ended his second stint with Cleveland earlier this month by signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, on Monday opened his I Promise School, a year-around learning center devoted to some of the city’s most challenged youngsters — ones just like him. For James, who recalled missing 82 days of school as a fourth grader while he and his mom “looked for stability,” the opening culminated years of planning by his family foundation. “This means everything,” James told The Associated Press in an interview before the public event. “I think this is the greatest accomplishment for me because it’s not just me. A championship is for a team, that’s for an organization and a city. But these kids, this is for generation after generation after generation and it’s for these kids, so it means everything.” It was an emotional day for James, who also made his first comments since signing the $154 million deal with the Lakers — a move still causing tremors across in the NBA. James recalled beating the odds of his youth when life was a daily struggle for him and his mom. Nothing was easy as the pair constantly moved and it was only with the help of others than James found structure. Now, he’s giving kids with the same problems a path. “There is no way I could have imagined this,” he said. “I remember our foundation having a bike-a-thon, and I never thought a five-mile bike ride would turn into a school. This is something I’m at a loss of words for.” As far as basketball, the 33-year-old superstar said the decision to leave Cleveland again was difficult, but he didn’t rule out a second homecoming with the Cavaliers. “Listen, I don’t close the chapter on anything or close the book on anything,” James said when asked if he would return to Cleveland to end his career. “But hopefully I can sit there one day and watch my jersey go up into the rafters, that’s for sure.” When James announced on July 1 that he was leaving the Cavs, Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, who famously ripped him when he left the first time, said the franchise would retire “the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line.” James was unaware of Gilbert’s pledge. “I didn’t hear that,” he said. “I haven’t been in the news. That’s awesome.” James led the Cavs to an NBA title in 2016, ending Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought, and to four straight Finals — a run he admitted he didn’t think was even possible when he returned in 2011 after four seasons in Miami. James didn’t offer many details about what prompted him to sign with the Lakers, but the lure of playing for one of the most successful franchises in all of sports was more than intriguing. “There’s no reason you should become a Laker, became a Yankee, become part of Man U [Manchester United], become part of some franchise or clubs and you don’t think about winning championships or winning at the highest level,” James said. “That’s what the history is all about.” James has his work cut out for him in Los Angeles. He’ll join a young team that added some interesting pieces — Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee — during the offseason but a squad that has a long way to go before it can challenge the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors. “What my expectations are for the team, we don’t have any right now,” James said. “But we’re definitely going to be better than we were the previous year. I think there’s going to be months where we’re really good, there’s going to be months where we’re not so good and that’s just going to come from familiarity.” Unlike his previous forays into free agency, James didn’t waste any time making a decision. Once his eighth straight appearance in the Finals ended with a sweep against Golden State, James met with his family and agent before agreeing with the Lakers on the first day. “I did my due diligence after the season on the pros and cons of a lot of different teams, including the Cavs, including Philadelphia, including Houston and Los Angeles,” James said. “It wasn’t as quick as it may seem. It just wasn’t as July 9 as it was before. After talking to my family more than anybody, I felt this was the next step in my journey.” This trip will take him thousands of miles from home. But as James reminded students, family and friends in the closing moments of his remarks, he’ll never be far away. “No matter if I’m playing in Los Angles or not, Akron Ohio is always home for me,” he told the crowd......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2018

Team Lakay s Geje Eustaquio would love to see Manny Pacquiao in ONE Championship

During the lead up to ONE Championship: Reign of Kings in Manila, ONE Championship founder and chairman Chatri Sityodtong made a bold invitation to newly-crowned WBA (regular) welterweight world champion and Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.  "Manny, congratulations, I'm amazed by your legendary career, let's join hands, let's give the Filipino fans what they want, let's do an all-Filipino heroes card, a mega, mega-card, blast that to the whole world, Manny Pacquiao, please, I invite you to compete in ONE Championship." Sityodtong said.  This is coming off the heels of ONE's announcement that they were able to lock up reigning WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Srisaket Sor Rungivsai for their October 6 card in Bangkok, Thailand.  The Thai boxing star is set to defend his WBC strap in the main event of the scheduled ONE card at the Impact Arena.  Pacquiao, who's coming off a seven-round destruction of Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, could be rounding out his final days of fighting in Asia, and Sityodtong's dream would be to have Pacquiao defend his WBA championship on a ONE card lined with Filipino world champions and heroes, including former champion Eduard Folayang, and reigning champions Brandon Vera and Geje Eustaquio to name a few.  For reigning ONE Championship Flyweight World Champion Eustaquio, fighting alongside Pacquiao would be an honor.  "When Renzo Gracie fought here in Manila, in front of us, it’s a dream come true." Eustaquio said during the post-fight press conference of ONE: Reign of Kings, Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena. "How much more if a Filipino legend will fight in front of us?" With Manny Pacquiao being a shareholder of ONE Championship, and with the promotion making steps toward boxing promotion with the Srisaket move, it's really not out of the realm of possiblity that a Pacquiao-headlined ONE card could happen in the future.  "This is ONE Championship, it’s where dreams come true." Eustaquio added. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 28th, 2018

Manny Pacquiao is welcome to defend his WBA title under ONE Championship, says chairman

In the presence of some of the Philippines' best mixed martial artists, ONE Championship chairman and founder Chatri Sityodtong kicked off Tuesday's Reign of Kings press launch by congratulating arguably the most popular Filipino warrior, eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao.  Two weekends ago in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Pacquiao became an eleven-time world champion by stopping Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in seven rounds to become the new WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Champion.  Aside from giving Pacquiao props, Sityodtong outright invited Pacquiao to fight under the ONE Championship banner, even suggesting that the Filipino boxing legend be the on the main event of a massive ONE card in the Philppines.  "Manny, congratulations, I'm amazed by your legendary career," Sityodtong said. "Let's join hands, let's give the Filipino fans what they want, let's do an all-Filipino heroes card, a mega, mega-card, blast that to the whole world, Manny Pacquiao, please, I invite you to compete in ONE Championship."  Boxing is just the latest step that ONE Championship has taken to becoming a complete, global martial arts promotion.  In 2017, ONE put on grappling superfights as well as exhibition bouts featuring regional martial arts such as Lethwei in Myanmar and Muay Thai in Thailand.  Earlier this year, ONE went all out with their inclusion of striking-based martial arts such as Muay Thai and Kickboxing with the launch of the ONE Super Series, which has already featured some big-name strikers such as world champion Giorgio Petrosyan and Lumpinee Stadium legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao.  "What we want to do is showcase all the combat sports, all the flavors, and hopefully we'll get multi-division champions across the different platforms to really celebrate Asia's greatest cultural treasure, martial arts." For Sityodtong, getting Pacquiao, arguably the most influential Asian combat sports icon, to compete under the ONE banner would definitely be a monumental milestone. "Me inviting Manny Pacquiao, I'm dead serious. If he says yes, let's do it. I'd love for him to defend his belt here in the Philippines, and give the Filipino fans what they want, a mega-card." The card, Sityodtong added, would feature other Pinoy combat sports heroes such as reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio just to name a few.  Having Pacquiao defend his WBA strap on a ONE card isn't completely out of the realm of possibility, especially since the promotion announced earlier this month that they've managed to get Thai boxing star and reigning WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Srisaker Sor Rungvisai to defend his titles on ONE Championship's Bangkok card in October.  The 31-year old Rungvisai is considered by many as among the top-ten best pound-for-pound boxers in the game today.  With Pacquiao aiming for an in-ring return later this year, could ONE actually snag one of the biggest names in combat sports history?    Catch ONE Championship: Reign of Kings LIVE on Friday, July 27th, 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2018

Pacquiao gets record 12th world title in 8 weight divisions

KUALA LUMPUR --- Manny Pacquiao made the Filipinos feel like champions once again. In a performance that he hoped brought honor and pride to the country, Pacquiao on Sunday cut down a hard-punching Lucas Matthysse to win the WBA welterweight championship via technical knockout in the 7th round. (More stories in Sports, Pages A2-1 to A2-3) It was his 12th world title in record eight weight divisions and something that proved that he still got gas on his tank as his phenomenal career considerably declined through the years. "I hope I brought a convincing victory and honor to the country," said Pacquiao, who decked Matthysse for a third time with a left uppercut that forced ref...Keep on reading: Pacquiao gets record 12th world title in 8 weight divisions.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

Pacquiao Wins 60th Career Bout With 7th-Round Knockout

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Manny Pacquiao clinched his 60th victory with a seventh-round knockout Sunday of Argentinian Lucas Matthysse, his first stoppage in nine years.Pacquiao said he worke.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

Pacquiao, the Philippines hero still king of the ring...

Manny Pacquiao (L) has successfully parlayed his boxing fame into a political career Emmanuel 'Manny' Pacquiao, who won back the welterweight world title in stunning fashion on Sunday, is.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

Pacquiao, the Philippines hero still king of the ring…

Manny Pacquiao (L) has successfully parlayed his boxing fame into a political career Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao, who won back the welterweight world title in stunning fashion on Sunday, is Source link link: Pacquiao, the Philippines hero still king of the ring….....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

Pacquiao TKOs Matthysse to steal WBA title

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)  – Manny Pacquiao may have just extended his boxing career by snatching the World Boxing Association (WBA) regular welterweight title from Lucas Matthysse.  Although called on by friends, family and critics to hang up the gloves, the 39-year-old proved he can still pack a punch by defeating ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018