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Dela Rosa s 2018 call to cops: Let s bring back PNP s good image

MANILA, Philippines – For 2018, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa wishes nothing more than a better police force. So when it was time for his last new year's call before he retires, he called on cops to always strive to be better and to avoid ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerJan 13th, 2018

Renaldo Balkman’s redemption in the Philippines begins with a win

Renaldo Balkman was welcomed with open arms by Filipinos as he helped Alab Pilipinas score their very first winning streak in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League. The Puerto Rican posted a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double in his debut for the Philippine side on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Joining forces with fellow new reinforcement Justin Brownlee, they led their new team to a convincing victory versus Westports Malaysia. For each and every cheer he received, Balkman was nothing but appreciative. “It felt great. Today was a great day to be back in the Philippines,” he said. The win and the warm welcome were more than enough to overcome the grueling day he just had – taking a long flight to Manila where he arrived in the morning, jetlagged and sleepless. “It felt good. I didn’t expect it, but the past is the past,” he said. The six-foot-eight forward was referring to the incident he figured in back in 2013 as a reinforcement for Petron in the PBA. In the dying seconds of the Blaze Boosters’ game against Alaska on March 8, he was livid following what he felt was a non-call by the referees. He wound up shoving game officials, his coaches, and his teammates Ronald Tubid and Arwind Santos. The incident ended with what is the most infamous image he has in the minds of Filipinos – him putting his two hands around the neck of Santos. Not long after the incident, then-PBA commissioner Chito Salud banned Balkman for life and fined him PhP 250, 000. Just like he has done in recent interviews, however, the now 33-year-old said he has moved forward from the incident. “I did lots of things since then and tonight, it wasn’t on my mind, it wasn’t on my head. I just went out there to play basketball,” he shared. All that matters for Balkman now is to help Alab Pilipinas bring back the title to Manila. As he put it, “I’m on a mission to win a championship here,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

PBA: Aces finally on the board after destroying Magnolia in Game 3

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- Alaska is finally on the board. The Aces scored their first win of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup in convincing fashion, dominating the Magnolia Hotshots, 100-71, in Game 3 Sunday at the Ynares Center here. With import Mike Harris at the lead, Alaska reduced the final 12 minutes into mere garbage time and the Aces cut their series deficit in half, 1-2. After a slow first quarter, the Aces got it going in the second, pouring 34 points to take a commanding lead they would never surrender. Behind the shooting of its guard core led by Simon Enciso, Alaska took a 50-36 lead at the break and never looked back. Harris then went to work in the second half, finally having his first great game of these Finals and the Aces held off any possible Magnolia uprising. Harris scored 18 straight points for the Aces in the third period as Alaska took a 73-49 lead over the Hotshots. Alaska led by 33 after three quarters. "I thought we had a great defensice effort and we made some shots," head coach Alex Compton said. "Overall, the story of the game in the first three quarters was we made a bunch of shots, we didn't turn it over, and we defended at the same time," he added Harris was a beast for the Aces, leading the way with 36 points and 18 rebounds. He scored 22 total in the third period as Alaska landed its knockout blow. Vic Manuel added 14 points as the top local for Alaska while Enciso and Carl Bryan Cruz finished with 12 and 10 points respectively. For the Hotshots, everyone struggled as they only shot 33 percent collectively from the field. Romeo Travis was the high man with 18 points while Mark Barroca was good for 13. No other Magnolia player scored in double figures. Game 4 is set for Wednesday at the Big Dome.   The scores: ALASKA 100 - Harris 36, Manuel 14, Enciso 12, Cruz 10, Banchero 6, J. Pascual 4, Teng 4, Galliguez 4, Casio 4, Andrada 2, Baclao 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0, Magat 0, Potts 0. MAGNOLIA 71 - Travis 18, Barroca 13, Herndon 7, Sangalang 7, Mendoza 6, Dela Rosa 5, Abundo 4, Reavis 3, Lee 2, Ramos 2, Melton 2, Jalalon 2, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0, Brondial 0, K. Pascual 0. Quarterscores: 16-22, 50-36, 83-50, 100-71.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

PBA: Hotshots bounce back, keep ROS winless

Magnolia is back on track. The Hotshots frustrated the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters all game long, rolling to an impressive 92-76 win Wednesday at the Big Dome in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. Recovering from a poor effort last week, Magnolia improved to 3-1 in the standings while keeping ROS winless in two outings. "Credit to the players, they executed very well on both ends," head coach Chito Victolero said. "I think lahat ng ginawa namin sa practice nagawa namin. Very happy and proud kasi coming off a loss," he added. In a wire-to-wire win, the Hotshots led by as many as 20 points. Paul Lee led all locals with 22 points, seven assists, and four steals while import Romeo Travis powered through for another 22 points and 16 rebounds. Ian Sangalang scored 13 points for Magnolia for good measure. For the Elasto Painters, four players scored in double figures led by import J'Nathan Bullock with 15.   The Scores: Magnolia 92 - Lee 22, Travis 22, Sangalang 13, Simon 11, Barroca 9, Reavis 7, dela Rosa 4, Brondial 2, Jalalon 2, Ramos 0, Melton 0, Herndon 0. Rain or Shine 76 - Bullock 15, Norwood 12, Ahanmisi 11, Daquioag 10, Belga 8, Torres 8, Maiquez 3, Yap 2, Almazan 2, Nambatac 2, Casino 2, Ponferada 1, Tiu 0, Borboran 0.    Quarters: 21-15, 40-27, 66-56, 92-76.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 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

Daquis returns to old form, Cignal sees bright things ahead

Coming into the 2018 Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference, head coach Edgar Barroga challenged seasoned hitter Rachel Anne Daquis to turn back the hands of time and show that she can still pull the trigger. The open spiker heeded the call and worked doubly hard to bring back the same form that once made Daquis the brightest volleyball star in the country. “Chinallenge ko kasi si Rachel kasi kung titignan niyo medyo pababa na ‘yung laro niya,” Barroga said. “Sabi ko (sa kanya), Chel, sumunod ka lang sa mga gagawin ko, trust ka lang marami akong ipapagawa sayo, icha-challenge ulit kita.” Daquis averaged 15.25 points in the preliminary round and led Cignal to an unbeaten run into the semifinals. A misstep in the knockout Final Four may have spelled doom for the HD Spikers’ back-to-back title journey but it didn’t dampen the fact that Daquis performed well for Cignal.   “Personally syempre nagpakundisyon ako, so talagang ‘yung motivation ko na talagang gustung-gusto ko silang… unang-una syempre mapa-champion. Pero syempre step-by-step ‘yun,” said Daquis, who scored 18 points in Cignal’s 25-15, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18, win over Smart-Army in the battle for third as the HD Spikers salvaged a podium finish. “Patient ako sa process na yun, so ito ibinigay ni Lord ‘yung third place, masayang-masaya kami kasi from seventh nu’ng first time kami hinawakan ni coach naging third,” said Daquis, who gave FEU its last UAAP crown back in 2008 and collected numerous titles in the commercial leagues including five in the PSL. “So happy ako and sobrang cooperative ng teammates ko and ng coaches so yun talaga yung nagdala.” Barroga praised the dedication of Daquis, who, despite her age of 30 and numerous achievements, kept her feet on the ground and was willing to listen and train under his guidance.   “Ayun marami siyang mga ginagawa tapos kung mapapansin niyo puro mabibilis ‘yung play niya tapos tinuturuan ko pa rin siyang mag-dive, mag-roll sa ensayo so sobrang na-challenge siya although may konti siyang nararamdaman,” said Barroga. “Very satisfied (sa performance ni Rachel) lalong lalo na itong (last game),” he added. “Ine-esxpect ko na lalabas ang laro nilang lahat kasi ito na ‘yung pinakahuling laro namin for this season.” Daquis was thankful for the patience and guidance of Barroga. “For coach Edgar kasi, nilabas nya lahat eh. Yung talent mo, lahat ng skills na pwede mo palang gawin. Yung mga nagagawa mo nung college, nagagawa mo ulit ngayon,” she said. “So grabe yung tiwala nya. Ang sarap mag-ensayo kasi magugulat ka, ibabalik nya yung ganitong laro mo, ibabalik nya yung ganitong mga spikes. So sobrang happy ako and thankful kay coach Edgar.” With Daquis back into her dangerous form, Cignal is now looking at a good run come All-Filipino Conference. “Next siguro in preparation para sa All-Filipino, we’ll try to recruit more competitive (players) at saka para makasabay tayo doon sa malalakas na teams,” said Barroga.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

La Salle stays spotless in Filoil Preseason after dropping UE

De La Salle University is yet to falter in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason. Alvin Pasaol and University of the East did their best, but the Green Archers just leaned on total team effort to fend them off for a 71-62 decision on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Returning player Mark Dyke topped the scoring column for the Taft-based team with 18 points on top of nine rebounds and flanking him were twin towers Taane Samuel and Justine Baltazar who had 12 and 11 markers, respectively. The Red Warriors were still in the game to start the final frame only to see Samuel and Baltazar impose their will inside to fuel La Salle to what was ultimately their fifth win in as many games in the tournament. Pasaol paced UE with 20 points. They put up another good fight which eventually ended as their second straight loss in four starts. Meanwhile, Colegio de San Juan de Letran sent a statement to NCAA rival Jose Rizal University with a 23-point beatdown, 94-71. Bong Quinto was unstoppable and finished with 17 points while JP Calvo masterfully orchestrated the attack with 18 markers of his own to go along with seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals to help the Knights improve to 3-2. On the other hand, the Heavy Bombers remained winless through six games despite the best efforts of Darius Estrella who had 17 points to his name. In other results, Adamson University bounced right back into the winners’ circle via a 67-61 victory versus Arellano University while Far Eastern University is still streaking after charging through University of Sto. Tomas, 86-82. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME LETRAN 94- Calvo 18, Quinto 17, Balanza 11, Batiller 10, Ambohot 9, Taladua 8, Fajarito 6, Agbong 5, Balagasay 4, Celis 4, Mandreza 2, Yu 0, Galvelo 0, Pambid 0. JRU 71- Estrella 17, Mendoza 11, Bordon 10, Dela Rosa 8, Esguerra 6, Padua 5, David 4, Ramos 4, Mallari 2, Steinl 2, Silvarez 2, Dela Virgen 0, De Guzman 0. QUARTER SCORES: 20-9; 49-32; 71-61, 94-71 SECOND GAME ADAMSON 67 – Sarr 15, J Espeleta 12, Ahanmisi 11, Lastimosa 9, Mojica 7, Manganti 4, Orquez 4, Zaldivar 2, V Magbuhos 2, Colonia 1, W Magbuhos 0, Camacho 0, Maata 0, Bernardo 0. ARELLANO 61 – de la Torre 16, Concepcion 11, de la Cruz 8, Alcoriza 5, Sera Josef 5, Abdurasad 4, Ongolo Ongolo 2, Meca 2, Abanes 2, Camacho 2, Santos 2, Bayla 1, Dumagan 1, Filart 0, Labarda 0, Chavez 0, Cahigas 0, Alban 0, Codinera 0. QUARTER SCORES: 19-15, 34-28, 50-38, 67-61. THIRD GAME LA SALLE 71 – Dyke 18, Samuel 12, Baltazar 11, Caracut 9, Santillan 6, Melecio 5, Corteza 4, Go 2, Capacio 2, Lim 2, Tolentino 0, Pastor 0, Manaytay 0. UE 62 – Pasaol 20, Varilla 8, Ph Manalang 8, Bartolome 8, Acuno 4, Maloles 3, Lacap 3, Gagate 2, Strait 2, Antiporda 2, Gallardo 2, Conner 0, Dimayuga 0, Cullar 0, Sobrevega 0. QUARTER SCORES: 16-12, 30-30, 52-46, 71-62. FOURTH GAME FEU 86 – Nunag 16, Escoto 15, Comboy 8, Stockton 7, Inigo 6, Ramirez 6, Gonzales 6, Orizu 6, Ebona 4, Cani 4, Tolentino 4, Bayquin 2, Parker 2, Tempra 0, Alas 0, Casino 0, Bienes 0, Jopia 0. UST 82 – Huang 23, Cansino 20, Zamora 16, Lee 8, Marcos 6, Lorenzana 4, Cosejo 2, Agustin 2, Asuncion 1. QUARTER SCORES: 30-18, 49-38, 71-60, 86-82. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2018

Draw of another title lights postseason path of Warriors

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst One of the Golden State Warriors’ people, walking out of Smoothie King Center Sunday (Monday, PHL time), summarized the team’s season so far in detailing Kevin Durant’s 38-point performance against the Pelicans in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. “Sometimes, people forget,” he said, a wry smile on his face -- and, yes, they do. With all that has gone on around the league this season, the Warriors’ storyline hasn’t been quite as eyeballed nationally this season compared with previous years. (Not that they should care. It’s just an observation.) The Cleveland Cavaliers blew things up last summer and reformed in the fall, blew it up again in the winter and reformed again in the spring. The Boston Celtics are displaying amazing resilience through seemingly devastating injuries to put themselves on the brink of another conference finals. The Philadelphia 76ers have their Fun Bunch. There was Paul George’s trade to Oklahoma City (and all that entailed, now and later) and the Toronto Raptors’ dramatic and successful changes throughout the year. And, at the forefront, there was the Houston Rockets’ rise as a legit and serious challenger to the Warriors in the Western Conference. During the regular season, the Warriors’ energy and productivity dropped off ever so slightly, like the planet killer in “The Doomsday Machine,” one of the all-time best original “Star Trek” episodes, after the doomed Commodore Decker drove a Shuttlecraft right down its throat. (Of course, Captain Kirk figured out to destroy it. Dude, come on. This is James Tiberius Kirk we’re talking about.) And at the end of the regular season, they were hit with a series of body shot injuries: Stephen Curry’s MCL strain, Durant’s ribs, Klay Thompson’s thumb injury, Draymond Green’s hip, and on and on. Those all sapped their continuity and made them look mortal down the stretch of the 2017-18 season, and the Warriors went 7-10 as the season waned. But, after dispatching the Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs in five games in the first round, and taking a 3-1 lead on the Pelicans now, they’re again on the precipice of the Western Conference finals. A date with Houston is looming and a chance at a third title in four seasons is still on their racket. “I think as the playoffs go on, every series requires a different intensity level,” Green said last week. “I think we met that standard that it takes to win playoff games at the level we’re at right now, which is the second round. It’s not our first rodeo. We’ve been here a lot of times and we know what it takes.” Steve Kerr rolled the “Hamptons Five” lineup out Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the Lineup Formally Known as Death -- Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Green and Durant. It’s been their trump card for almost two years, the lineup that can’t be solved by the opposition, even as it’s chipped away at most of Golden State’s other conventional units. Durant went for 38, and the Warriors rolled to a 118-92 win and a 3-1 series lead. They didn’t use it much this season -- that quintet only played 127 minutes together this season, after logging 224 minutes last season -- because of all the injuries, because they tried to limit their biggest players’ minutes and because using Iguodala as a starter thins out Golden State’s bench. The Warriors’ most frequently used five-man unit this season featured Zaza Pachulia at center; among five-man units leaguewide that played 200 minutes or more together this season, per NBA.com/Stats, that quintet was third in the league in Offensive Rating, at 118.6. But Pachulia hasn’t played a minute in the playoffs, and if the Rockets are the Warriors’ next opponent, he may not play much then, either, against Clint Capela. Kerr often points out that the Warriors have six centers on the current roster, and most of them have gotten at least a little run at various points. But after JaVale McGee was ineffective in Game 3 against New Orleans Friday (Saturday, PHL time), Kerr pulled his trump card. It’s still a game-changer, and when a season comes down to a best-of-seven series, one game can be the difference. “We all bring the best of each other,” Curry said of the Hamptons unit. “We increase the pace of the game, but the versatility [is] at the defensive end -- Andre, Draymond, KD shoring up the paint, switching a lot of the screens and the action from the offense and Klay doing what he does on the perimeter. I think the biggest thing offensively is that we’re all playmakers, try to look for the best shot, stay within ourselves and just make the right play.” Going back to the old playlist may give the Warriors comfort in what has been another drama-filled season, with the contretemps about being disinvited from the White House by President Trump in September getting things off to a rollicking start. But the end of the season was what raised eyebrows around the league. Curry’s absence down the stretch combined with a teamwide ennui -- “I really don’t like talking about it,” Thompson said -- that gave potential playoff opponents hope they might be able to catch Golden State napping. The Warriors’ boredom showed up most at the defensive end. After being in the top seven in both unadjusted and adjusted Defensive Rating in each of the last four seasons -- including first in the league in both categories in the first championship season of 2014-15 -- Golden State fell to 11th and 12th, respectively, in the regular season. They came out of the All-Star break focused -- they were fifth in the league in Defensive Rating on March 1. But all the injuries blunted their momentum, and the scariest of all -- a serious injury to second-year guard Patrick McCaw in Sacramento March 31 (April 1, PHL time) -- shook the team more than people on the outside realized. “Throughout that time, we had spurts,” Durant said. “We played a great OKC team. We went in there and won. Then we lost to Indiana by 20, and then it’s like, when you’re riding just on emotion a lot, you tend to go up and down. It’s like a roller coaster. I think that’s what it was. We had those spurts where we played well and played a focused game, but then Patty goes out, boom, and there was just so much that went on with that. Then Steph goes out with a freak injury. So much went on with that. I think we were just so up and down emotionally it kind of blinded us from our goal, which was to be good every single night as basketball players.” McCaw’s injury -- a bone bruise suffered when he fell after a dunk attempt against the Kings, which required him to be carried off the court in Sacramento on a stretcher -- hit everyone hard. “When Pat got injured, I think that took a little bit out of us,” Durant said. “It took a little bit out of Steve as well. You could just feel it, when Steph went out, then I went out, then Draymond, then Klay. Our emotions were so up and down. When your emotions are, you have too many emotions in the game of basketball, it can kind of blind you from what you really have to do. This is a technical game. So when you put too many emotions into it, it kind of took us away from what we wanted to do.” McCaw, who played in 57 games this season, was not only a part of Kerr’s rotation. He is also a well-liked person who was getting better on the floor. He was re-evaluated last week and will be checked out again in a month. Though he’s been traveling with the team during the playoffs, his season is almost certainly over. And as his injury came during the Warriors’ many injuries down the stretch, its chilling effect was multiplied. “It definitely got to everybody,” Green said. “Kind of the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going on with him. The rotations. Everybody’s like, ahh, kind of tiptoeing around, trying to make sure you get to the playoffs healthy. A lot of that makes a difference. I mean, that’s our brother. To see him down like that, not be able to walk off the court under his own power, him not being around us for two or three weeks, it was kind of like the unknown. It sucked. And I think it definitely had an effect on everything.” But Durant doesn’t like the metaphor of the proverbial switch being turned on at playoff time explaining the team’s improvement the last couple of weeks. “I don’t like when you call it a switch,” he said. “Because guys come in and get extra work in every single day. They work on their bodies every day, they get treatment. You come in here any time, you see guys in here working on their games. I think when you say ‘a switch turned on,’ if guys went cold turkey on everything as professionals during the season, and just tried to pick it up in the playoffs, I think that’s turning on a switch. Mentally, focus-wise, game plan-wise, I think you can turn on a switch, because you can lock in on an opponent, you know their tendencies, you can just focus in on one group of players instead of one day it’s San Antonio, the next day it’s Phoenix, next day it’s Sacramento. You’re going so up and down. If that makes sense. “So I think everybody’s putting in that work individually all year, and as a team, you know, stuff has to come together. We have to focus in on what we need to do, game plan wise, tendency wise, just try to take away things. I think that’s where you kind of turn it up just a bit.” Golden State has performed in fits and starts in the first two rounds. The Spurs didn’t have enough firepower to be a serious threat, but they played hard and were increasingly effectively on defense as the series went on. The Warriors didn’t really have an answer for LaMarcus Aldridge after Game 1. New Orleans had, until Sunday (Monday, PHL time), been more and more successful at making the Warriors shoot contested shots. That certainly gibes with Curry’s return after five weeks. He’s healthy, but rusty. After his adrenaline-filled return last Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) in Game 2 against the Pelicans, he made just 14-of-33 from the floor in the two games in New Orleans. There was talk afterward about breakthroughs for Curry cardiovascularly. The next few games will tell whether Curry is truly recovered and ready to be two-time Kia MVP Steph … or will he just be on the floor (as he was for long and important stretches in the 2016 playoffs after returning from a Grade 1 knee sprain). The Warriors still made The Finals, but Curry wasn’t Curry against Cleveland, and everyone, starting and ending with LeBron James, knew it. No one in NBA history has changed the geometry of basketball more than Curry, and when he’s on the floor, the ball starts flying around. “Our formula is simple: if we out-pass people, we win,” Warriors forward David West said. “Ball movement. With guys going in and out of the lineup, it causes moments where guys try to carry the load, maybe try to shoulder the load individually. But the strength of the group is the group.” But the Warriors can still throw so many different things and people at you. Iguodala shot a career-worst 28.2 percent on three-pointers in the regular season. He’s at 39.3 percent in the 2018 playoffs. Does anyone doubt he was biding his time until the postseason? No one wearing an NBA uniform is in better shape than the 34-year-old Iguodala, no one is smarter about the game or matchups, and no one is a prouder, fiercer competitor. The 2015 Finals MVP brings his bag of intangibles with him on the road even more than at home, as he did Sunday. In that game, he was making life miserable for the Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotic, creating deflections, making the right reads and impacting the game despite scoring just six points. Kerr likened him to Scottie Pippen after Game 4, but Iggy wasn’t buying it -- “Steve just does that to make sure I don’t get mad ‘cause I don’t shots,” Iguodala quipped. He may be right. But Iguodala and Green have a mind meld defensively that’s at the heart of the Hamptons’ effectiveness. “Andre and I, we’re usually on the same page,” Green said. “Two guys who really think the game, especially on that side of the ball. Sometimes we can talk things out and it works perfect and not say a word, and know what each other’s going to do. It definitely helps our team out defensively kind of having two coaches out there on the floor on that side of the ball.” Whether it’s switching to guard each other’s man, running at an open shooter to close before the ball gets there with the other man rotating, they know what the other guy is going to do. And that second or so the Warriors save defensively keeps them from being broken down. “How fast can you make that decision?,” Green says. “How demonstrative are you going to be about that decision? Are you going to second guess that decision? That’s usually when it doesn’t work; if you’re going to go, just go. That’s kind of the motto that Andre and I go by. If you’re going to go, just go; everybody else fall in line and rotate, and we’ll work it out from there.” And while Green and Rajon Rondo have been exchanging pleasantries throughout this series, Green didn’t pick up his first postseason technical foul until Sunday (Monday, PHL time). He’s been under control, coming up to the edge without going over. Someone without access to the internet asked Kerr if he’d ever played with anyone who instigated or tried to get under the skin of opponents. It’s a testament to Kerr’s comic timing that he actually did wait a beat before answering. “I did play with Dennis Rodman,” he said. Never be fooled by Kerr’s overall pleasant disposition and quick-with-a-quip acuity, though. He is a fierce competitor that wants to win big, the same as his current point guard, who is similarly underrated on the competition scale. Kerr has seven rings as a player and coach, and it’s not a coincidence he’s frequently been around teams that got it done in June. But the Warriors are playing for even bigger stakes than just winning the 2018 title. Legacies are created this time of year. A third title in four seasons, with four straight Finals appearances, would put Golden State in very rarified air in the modern game. San Antonio won three titles from 2002-07. But the Spurs, famously, never have won back-to-back titles. The Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal-led Lakers, which won three straight from 2000-02, are the closest modern-day team to pulling off what the Warriors are trying to accomplish. Before then, you’re talking about the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, with six titles in eight seasons -- the two non-title seasons coinciding with Jordan’s sojourn to the minor leagues of baseball. Moreover, the Warriors are the hub around which the modern NBA now spins. And that is an even bigger legacy. Almost everyone (hi, Thibs!) tries to play the way Golden State does now -- the quick hitters, ball movement, pace. Teams do it in different ways. The 76ers look very different than the Warriors, with Joel Embiid their centerpiece of operations, and with 6'10" Ben Simmons taking up so much space with the ball in the halfcourt. The Rockets look different still as there’s not a ton of ball movement. There’s just an unending series of screen and rolls with Chris Paul and James Harden with the rock, looking for the inevitable open man in the corner or way, way behind the three-point line. A lot of things have happened the last 15 years to lead us where we are now. The league changed almost all the rules regarding zone defense, and got rid of almost all defensive contact on the perimeter. Rockets GM Daryl Morey and others led the burgeoning analytics movement, which championed shooting more and more three-pointers as a primary means of scoring, not as a novelty. Mike D’Antoni’s Phoenix Suns went with Amar’e Stoudemire at center, surrounding him with four smalls that could all shoot it from deep, and scoring came out of its coma leaguewide. Kerr and Pelicans Coach Alvin Gentry have always been quick to credit D’Antoni’s influence on the modern game, starting in Phoenix and working through his current team in Houston. “He’s the guy that just eliminated the center position -- let’s just go small and fast and shoot more threes,” Kerr said of D’Antoni. “I was inspired by Mike, but I was also inspired by Pop (the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich) and Phil Jackson in terms of basic ball movement, screening. But pace is the name of the game these days, and people go about it in different ways. Ironically, Mike’s team (in Houston) is the slowest team in the league now. I didn’t see that coming.” But no one has put all of it together -- pace, small ball, shooting and defense -- like the Warriors have the last four seasons. The Rockets are the closest thing we’ve seen to Golden State, and they’re hungry, and they’re coming. And the Warriors and Rockets are just a win apiece away from seeing the clash of the Western Conference titans. They are in the middle of it, so they can’t stop and think about what it all means. We get that. But everyone wants to put a marker out there that’s hard to catch. LeBron is chasing a ghost. The Warriors have already made their mark on the game. They’re almost in position to do more. History is forever. “It’s important, because it’s what’s right in front of us,” Curry said Sunday. “We don’t think about the historical context of anything. For us, we have an amazing group of guys, amazing coaches sitting behind us. We’re appreciating the moment. That’s really all it is. You have tunnel vision for Game 5 at home, then a new series, hopefully (after that). The historic context doesn’t really seep into the locker room when it comes to what that means. It’s just about this year.” Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Kiefer scores 20 as Road Warriors beat Magnolia to tie series

It looks like were going to have a long series after all. NLEX has tied the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against Magnolia, scoring a masterful 91-79 victory Friday at the MOA Arena to bounce back following back-to-back defeats. This best-of-7 affair will now reach reach at least a Game 6 as the Road Warriors have evened the count at two games each. "After back-to-back wins by Magnolia, we felt that this was a big game for us, do-or-die na nga," head coach Yeng Guiao said. "A 1-3 series deficit would have been a foregone conclusion, mas lalo na pag Magnolia kalaban mo. We had that sense of urgency tonight, paminsan-minsan naman kami ang swertehin. There's a bit of luck for us kasi our shots went in just like how their shots went in nung Game 3," he added. NLEX unleashed a 19-0 run bridging the second and third quarters to take a 55-39 lead and never looked back. The Hotshots were able to cut it down to seven later in the third but Kiefer Ravena took over for the Road Warriors in the fourth, scoring 11 points in the final period, including seven straight, to ice the victory. Ravena finished with a game-high 20 points on top of five assists while JR Quinahan added 14. Kevin Alas was good for 13 points, six rebounds, and five assists. As for Hotshots, Ian Sangalang had another double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds but it wasn;t enough for Magnola to recover from its terrible start to the second half. Game 5 will be on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. The Scores: NLEX 91 — Ravena 20, Quiñahan 14, Alas 13, Fonacier 10, Baguio 9, Soyud 9, Rios 5, Tiongson 5, Mallari 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Miranda 0, Taulava 0. MAGNOLIA 79 — Sangalang 15, Barroca 11, Lee 11, Jalalon 10, Dela Rosa 9, Ramos 9, Simon 6, Reavis 4, Gamalinda 2, Pascual 2, Brondial 0, Herndon 0, Melton 0, Mendoza 0. Quarters: 25-20, 41-39, 69-59, 91-79.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 16th, 2018

Storylines abound after 2018 NBA All-Star draft

NBA.com staff report There is an alternate universe in which LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are once again teammates, where the Warriors' star quartet is divided, and where players who very recently exchanged barbs must now share locker rooms. Welcome to the world of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which sports a very different twist after Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) inaugural draft in which team captains James and Stephen Curry selected their teammates. Here is what we know: James had the first pick, Curry the second, and so on, back and forth until the rosters were set. We do not know in what order the players were picked despite the valiant efforts of TNT's Ernie Johnson. The dust has settled and the rosters are set, with the line between East and West officially dissolved. The focus is squarely on players rather than conference. Here's a look at the most intriguing takeaways after Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) results: Hello Old Friend The offseason parting between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving was dramatically awkward, with the latter leaving the former in order to show his athletic independence. Irving has since proved capable of leading the Celtics to contender status despite the opening-night loss of fellow All-Star swingman Gordon Hayward. James, meanwhile, has been forced to do much of the heavy lifting while the rest of his teammates have either plateaued (Kevin Love), dropped off (J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson) or been unavailable (Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas). The Cavs have suffered as a result, posting one of the worst records in the league since the calendar flipped to 2018. Could it be that James is hoping to recapture some of his old magic by temporarily reuniting with Irving? Or does he just miss/like the guy despite their on-court differences? "To be able to team up back with Kyrie is always special, along with Kevin Love," James said during a post-drat interview with TNT. "Just for us to have another weekend to bring some of the memories we had when we were all together. Kyrie was available on the draft board. He's one of the best point guards we have in our league. So, it was an easy choice for me." Other reunions are scattered among Team LeBron's roster. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will enjoy an encore of their much publicized All-Star get-together last season. The Thunder guard will also play with his old college teammate, Kevin Love, for the first time since they both represented the Western Conference in the 2012 midseason classic.   Bench Mob. #TeamLebron #NBAAllStar A post shared by @ kevinlove on Jan 25, 2018 at 4:23pm PST Don't forget, too, that Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is making his All-Star debut alongside Westbrook, the man many now think held back the former No. 2 overall pick in Oklahoma City. After putting up his worst numbers since his rookie year while playing alongside Westbrook, Oladipo is enjoying a career year while guiding the upstart Pacers to the middle of the playoff pack. I Never Can Say Goodbye Some teammates are just meant to stay together. Curry and James certainly struggled to separate several dynamic duos, including those from the Timberwolves (Butler/Towns), Pelicans (Davis/Cousins), Wizards (Beal/Wall) and Raptors (Lowry/DeRozan). The NBA teammates not sticking together are those from Golden State and Boston. James managed to chip away at the Warriors' dominant quartet, selecting Kevin Durant for his squad before Curry made sure to keep Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on his own team. Curry also selected Al Horford, presumably at some point after James took Irving. What Have You Done For Me Lately? Most All-Stars already come with a bag full of accomplishments under their belts, and this year is no exception. How they are distributed, however, is interesting to note. Everyone who made the team this year and has won an All-Star Most Valuable Player award in the past is on Team LeBron. Good luck guessing which one will make a push for a repeat at that honor (assuming someone new doesn't beat them to the punch). Meanwhile, the majority of most recent Olympic gold medalists resides on Team Stephen: Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Draymond Green, Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson. Team LeBron sports three Olympians from that year: Cousins, Durant and Irving. One skill that surely matters on All-Star weekend is simply putting the ball in the bucket. And wouldn't you know it, Team Stephen sports the top three scorers in the league in Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Of course, Team LeBron carries the next four names from that scoring leaders list. It's Too Late to Apologize Some words you can't take back, and it would be difficult to see Russell Westbrook or Damian Lillard doing so after recent events. Oklahoma City's star guard took exception to teammate Paul George not being voted in as an All-Star, proceeding to call out the Warriors for having four players so honored. Then he targeted another player, and though he didn't use names, it seemed pretty clear that he was talking about  Lillard when he referred to "guys complaining about being snubbed so they can get in." Lillard has been extremely vocal on social media about not making the All-Star teams the last two years despite both those seasons marking career years. That was after making the All-Star team in 2014 and 2015. The Blazers guard seemed to pick up on the hint, and he responded directly to his Western Conference counterpart. "I respect Russ a lot, so it was kind of disappointing to see him say that," Lillard said prior to Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. "Because he's played against me, he's played against our team, he knows what I've accomplished. Not just this year, but over my career." Will the point guards clear the air, or will tension linger heading into the game? Also worth monitoring: does James' All-Star selection of Kevin Love mean all is well between the much-maligned forward and his team? Reports surfaced earlier this week that several Cavaliers expressed frustration with Love's recent illness that caused him to miss most of a game and a practice. Perhaps the King's stamp of approval will silence that once and for all. If it doesn't, Charles Barkley will surely continue to defend Love's case......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2018

The journey doesn t end here : former champ Eduard Folayang remains motivated following loss to Martin Nguyen

Eduard Folayang's magical run as ONE Championship lightweight world champion is over.  Friday night at ONE: Legends of the World in Manila, Folayang was on the wrong end of a brutal knockout loss to now-two division world champion Martin Nguyen. It was a painful end to what was an insipiring journey to the top for the Team Lakay superstar, and the image of seeing the Pinoy hero getting seperated from his senses is one that will remain with Pinoy fight fans for a while.  Days after the loss, Folayang released a statement via ONE Championship, reassuring everyone that he's fine after the match's violent end.  "First and foremost, I thank God for His protection. At this point, I assure my followers and the fans of Team Lakay that I am alright and there is nothing to be anxious about. I am still in good physical condition." Folayang said. "I extend my heartfelt gratitude to ONE Championship for seeing that I get the best medical attention after the match. Folayang went on to thank the Filipino fans who came and supported him and Team Lakay, Friday night.  "I take this opportunity to thank my countrymen for their support not only to me but to the entire Team Lakay athletes who competed last November 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena. My heart is overwhelmed with the outpouring of their encouragement. We hope we can pay it forward. As for Nguyen, the Baguio City native congratulated the new champion and added that this isn't the end of the line for 'The Landside." "I tip my hat off to Martin Nguyen. He did his homework well and came very prepared. Because of this, my hunger for improvement remains unsatiated. This is a big lesson learned. I believe challenges inside and outside the cage always bring out the best in us. I assure you that the journey doesn't end here." The former champion has been in the same situation before. Following a devastating KO loss to lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin back in 2014, Folayang went on an amazing run which led him to the top of the lightweight division.  ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong fully believes that the Pinoy warrior can once again rise to the top of the heap. "I expect Eduard to shine again."  Sityodtong said during the post-fight presser.  As for now, Folayang will likely take a break as he and the team prepare for what's set to be an eventful 2018. "The odds were not in my favor last Friday. Nevertheless, Team Lakay and I will exert our best efforts to wave our Philippine flag more triumphantly in 2018."     Eduard Folayang quotes courtesy of ONE Championship.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 13th, 2017

PBA: Lee drills game winner as Hotshots take crucial 3-2 lead

Leethal weapon indeed. Paul Lee drilled the game winner Friday as the Magnolia Hotshots survived the Alaska Aces, 79-78, in Game 5 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals at the Big Dome. Down one with 11 seconds to go, Romeo Travis was blocked by Best Import Mike Harris on his way to the basket. Fortunately for Magnolia, Lee picked up the loose ball and calmly drilled an open baseline jumper for a 79-78 lead with 1.3 seconds to go. Travis then stopped Harris on a fadeaway in Alaska's final possession and the Hotshots moved on to one win away from the title after taking a crucial 3-2 lead. "Aatakihin ako sa puso," head coach Chito Victolero said with a sigh of relief post-game. "It was a great game, one of the classics in terms of the PBA Finals. I want to commend my players for their mental toughness. We are tired but it was all about heart," he added. Magnolia was up eight, 74-66, with less than five minutes to go. However, the Aces would slowly pick up steam and would score 10 straight to take over, 76-74, in the final 1:17. The Hotshtos were in trouble late too but Lee managed to stop a 3-on-1 Alaska break before finding Ian Sangalang for a crucial and-one play with 18 seconds left for a 77-76 Magnolia lead. Alaska would answer back via two Mike Harris free throws, setting up the final Magnolia play that ended with Lee's clutch jumper. Before the wild fourth quarter, Magnolia dominated the first half, leading by as many as 17 points, 51-34, behind a strong second quarter. Alaska would quickly respond to start the second half, firing a 20-2 run for a 60-55 lead in the third period. Sangalang led the Hotshots with 20 points followed by Mark Barroca with 14. Jio Jalalon added 13 in a big bounce back game. Lee finished with 11 points and his game-winner was being his only basket in the second half. For the Aces, Mike Harris led the way with 26 points. Game 6 is set for Wednesday at Ynares Antipolo.   The Scores: MAGNOLIA 79 -- Sangalang 20, Barroca 14, Jalalon 13, Lee 11, Travis 10, Herndon 6, Dela Rosa 4, Reavis 1, Melton 0, Brondial 0, Simon 0. ALASKA 78 -- Harris 28, Enciso 13, Racal 13, Pascual 6, Exciminiano 5, Cruz 4, Banchero 3, Casio 2, Teng 2, Manuel 2, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0. Quarters: 29-28, 53-40, 65-62, 79-78.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

PBA: Alaska dominates Magnolia again to force 2-2 tie

Now we have a series. Alaska has tied the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals after dominating Magnolia once again in Game 4,  scoring a 90-76 win Wednesday at the Big Dome. The Aces have fully recovered from an early 0-2 deficit, forcing a 2-all tie in the best-of-7 showdown for the title. Just like in Game 3, Alaska had another strong second quarter in Game 4 to gain some separation. The Aces then weathered a third-quarter storm from the Hotshots before landing the final haymaker in the fourth, reducing this series to a best-of-3. "I thought our defense was great again," head coach Alex Compton said. "Our guys have been playing great defense. I mean, there's ways that they can beat us and stuff, but I think it's really tough. It's really tough to get good shots for either team, actually. It's really tough to get good shots for either team," he added. True enough, Game 4 was another grinding game but it was th Aces that once again found more than enough offense. Best Import Mike Harris was effective anew, scoring a game-high 34 points to go along with 22 rebounds. Chris Banchero was the top local for Alaska with 17 points. For the Hotshots, Romeo Travis fired 29 points from six three-pointers. Best Player of the Conference Paul Lee added 14 points. Game 5 to break the series tie is set for Friday still at the Araneta Coliseum.   The Scores Alaska 90 - Harris 34, Banchero 17, Pascual 9, Racal 8, Teng 7, Galliguez 5, Manuel 4, Cruz 3, Baclao 3, Enciso 0, Exciminiano 0, Casio 0. Magnolia 76 - Travis 29, Lee 14, Sangalang 11, Barroca 8, Jalalon 7, Reavis 4, Brondial 2, Melton 1, Dela Rosa 0, Herndon 0. Quarters: 19-22, 43-32, 63-50, 90-76.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 12th, 2018

Alab scares off visiting Indonesians for strong start in ABL title defense

STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – In just its first game in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League, Alab Pilipinas is already as good as advertised. Renaldo Balkman picked up where he left off, PJ Ramos powered his way through anything and everything, and the Filipinos pounded on outmatched CLS of Indonesia for a 94-67 decision on Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex here. The Philippines wasted no time in showing off its new and improved firepower as Balkman, their returning reinforcement, did damage from the outside just as Ramos, their new hulking help, had his way inside. Those two merged for 17 points in the opening salvo, by themselves outscoring the Knights who only mustered 14 in the same timeframe. The Alab lead would only balloon to as much as 31. Balkman wound up with 33 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three blocks while Ramos had 20 markers, 13 boards, and five dimes. Back-to-back Ray Parks Jr. Local MVP, with just 10 points and two assists, didn’t even have to do much for the Filipinos to get off its title defense off on the right foot. Maxie Esho topped the scoring column for the Indonesians with 20 points. They fall to 1-4 in the season. The two teams meet again a week from now, only that time, in Surabaya. BOX SCORES ALAB PILIPINAS 94 – Balkman 33, Ramos 20, Parks Jr. 10, Domingo 6, Rosser 6, Alvano 5, Tiongson 4, Javelona 4, Urbiztondo 3, Torres 3, Alabanza 0, Rivero 0 CLS KNIGHTS 67 – Esho 20, Hurt 19, Utomo 12, Brandon 7, Baskoro 3, Jawato 2, Wong 2, Panagan 2, Kurniawan 0, Hidayat 0, Nugroho 0 QUARTER SCORES: 23-14, 46-27, 74-67, 94-67 —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riego.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas Pilipinas absorbs shock upset from Kazakhstan

MANILA, Philippines --- Obviously, this is not the Asian Games. Kazakhstan scored a big-time upset Friday at the MOA Arena here, beating the Philippines, 92-88, in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Losing by 37 points to Gilas in Jakarta a couple of months back in the 2018 Asiad, Kazakhstan would frustrate the Filipinos on their home floor, making the Group F race all the more interesting. After Marcio Lassiter hit a triple to put the Philippines within two, 88-90, with 26 seconds to go, Rustam Yergali found Anton Bykov down low for a crucial layup, giving Kazakhstan a two-possession lead. With 12.7 seconds to work with, Gilas got LA Tenorio a wide-open three but the Ginebra playmaker missed. Bykov was fouled on the rebound but ended up missing two free throws as well but Kazakhstan's four-point lead was more than enough to hold on. With the shock win Kazakhstan win, Gilas Pilipinas is now tied with the red-hot Japan for third place in Group F with identical 5-4 records. Australia maintains pole position with an 8-1 mark after a win over Iran and the Boomers are through to the World Cup next year. Iran is second with a 6-3 record and will face the Philippines Monday in another crucial clash while Kazakhstan is fifth with a 4-5 mark with the Akatsuki Five up next in Toyama. Tied at 79 with 2:39 to go, Gilas took the lead after Tenorio buried a quick jumper of a timeout. However, it was quickly answered by Yergali with a triple for an 82-81 lead for Kazakhstan. Pringle pushed the Philippines ahead for the last time, 83-82, following a driving layup but Nikolay Bazhin scored four straight for Kazakhstan and the visitors took over for good. "Well of course we're disappointed," Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said. "But we still have one game on Monday and we can't feel too negative about ourselves. I think we can salvage the situation if we're able to play a good game against Iran and learn from this game, the lessons from this game," he added.   STAN THE MAN Stanley Pringle carried the Gilas offense for the first five minutes of the third period, at one point scoring seven straight for a 51-50 lead for the Philippines. Pringle would keep the national team afloat, cashing in on two unsportsmanlike fouls from Kazakhstan to give Gilas a three-point lead before he headed to the bench with a minute and change left in the quarter. In total, Pringle scored 14 points in the third but it was not enough as back-to-back triples from Alexandr Zhigulin and Shaim Kuanov pushed Kazakhstan ahead, 65-62.   WE'RE PLAYING DEFENSE It was a slow start for the two teams, with the defense forcing bad shots on both ends. However, Kazakhstan was getting enough to take a 7-2 lead early before the Gilas responded with a 9-0 run sparked by the San Miguel Beermen. Marcio Lassiter first found June Mar Fajardo for an easy layup before Fajardo returned the favor, setting up his shooter for a booming triple. The Philippines took its first lead of the game after a layup from Lassiter and Fajardo scored on a hook shot to complete the run, forcing Kazakhstan to call a timeout down 7-11. Come the second quarter, the Kazakhstan defense swarmed Gilas, forcing a couple of turnovers in the first minute alone. Anton Bykov cashed in twice, giving the visitors a 23-18 lead and forcing the Filipinos to burn an early timeout. Matthew Wright  would then make things happen for Gilas, and his play was good for eight points as the Philippines forced another tie at 26-all. Still, Kazakhstan would keep its cool and back-to-back triples from Rustam Murzagaliyev from pretty much the same spot capped a 9-2 run for a seven-point lead. The Philippines managed to take over late in the first half, 39-38, with Scottie Thompson and Stanley Pringle sparking a 9-0 blitz. However, Kazakhstan managed to beat the clock for a one-point lead at the break. Pringle was the high man for the Philippines with 29 points while June Mar Fajardo finished with a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double. Marcio Lassiter added 13 points for Gilas Pilipinas. For Kazakhstan, it was Alexandr Zhigulin that led the way with a game-high 30 points while Anton Bykov was good for 20. Rustam Murzagaliyev has 11 points and Rustam Yergali dropped 10 points. The Philippines will next host Iran Monday while Kazakhstan is off to Toyama to take on Japan.   The Scores: KAZAKHSTAN 92 -- Zhigulin 30, Bykov 20, Yergali 12, Murzagaliyev 11, Kuanov 8, Bazhin 7, Marchuk 4, Chsherbak 0, Lapchenko 0, Gavrilov 0. PHILIPPINES 88 -- Pringle 29, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 13, Tenorio 8, Norwood 7, Thompson 6, Wright 5, Aguilar 4, Erram 2, Cabagnot 0, Belga 0, Slaughter 0. Quarters: 17-18, 40-39, 65-62, 92-88.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2018

Gilas Guiao to Jordan s Stiebing: 'I was challenging him to take my ass'

MANILA, Philippines --- One thing about head coach Yeng Guiao is that he's not going take anything from anyone. He will stand up for himself. Seriously, literally anyone familiar with the PBA knows that as a fact. Guiao and his Gilas Pilipinas were tested Wednesday at the Meralco Gym here as the national team's practice game against Jordan unfortunately ended with a commotion. As Jordan was protesting a foul call in the fourth quarter, things escalated to the point that the Jordan national team ended up walking out for good. The final incident was triggered after a Jordan player ended up throwing the ball on Scottie Thompson --- an action that merits automatic ejection in the PBA, much like what happened to Blackwater's Mike Digregorio a couple of weeks back in the 2018 Governors' Cup. While that action seems harmless enough and the penalty actually severe on a first look, the PBA Commissioner's office reasons that those plays can lead to fights. It almost did Wednesday. Guiao and Jordan head coach Joseph Stiebing got into an intense verbal altercation at mid-court and the visitors decided to end the game prematurely at the 6:26 mark of the fourth and with Gilas up, 82-73. "I felt that they were getting too rugged on us. Even in the beginning, even in the first game. Of course, it's also the responsibility of the referees to take control of the game. It's also my responsibility to keep my players safe. There's a lot of second motion happening, they were very rugged," Guiao said, narrating on how the game ended up from being a friendly to a near-brawl. "The coach [Stiebing] said he was ready to take my ass. I was challenging him to take my ass pero hindi naman niya ginawa," he added. Stiebing didn't deny that he had some choice words for Guiao but he said that those came during the heat of the moment. The Jordan coach for his part, was very particular about Guiao allegedly cursing at his players. Stiebing said he asked Guiao to stop but coach Yeng persisted. Stiebing's reasoning is that coaches cursing at opposing players could lead to fights breaking out. Which again, it almost happened Wednesday night. "When an opposing coach curses at your players and calls them names, I think that's crossing the lines, and I think that's what got me upset. I asked the coach earlier, I said, 'Please, don't talk to my players.' And then he did it again. I've had players before, if a coach curses at them, they'll go after them and start a fight. I think that's unprofessional," Stiebing said of Guiao. "And you know, I told the coach [Guiao] something that I shouldn't have said but I didn't curse at him and it was just at the heat of the battle. But I did ask him twice not to curse at my guys and he continued to do it even after that," he added. Guiao naturally defended Gilas and the actions of him and the national team in this tune-up game gone wrong. Coach Yeng insists that they didn't do anything wrong and that the least Jordan could have done was be respectful guests. Countless second motions don't make respectful guests says Guiao. "I don't know if they're really inherently rugged or dirty, they were accusing us of being dirty. I don't know what dirty things we did, hindi ko alam sinasabi nila. But sila, ang dami nilang second motion. Even that incident that triggered the whole thing, their player threw the ball at our player, which was unnecessary," he said. "They're our guest ano, maybe it's a two-way thing. But we did not do anything to them that they did not deserve. Ganun lang yun," Guiao added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2018

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang Wants To Celebrate His Birthday With A World Title Win

With his highly-anticipated encounter against Singapore’s Amir Khan for the vacant ONE Lightweight World Championship set to take place a day after his birthday, local hero Eduard “Landslide” Folayang cannot think of a better present for himself than to have a gold-plated belt wrapped around his waist once again. The Filipino superstar will celebrate his 35th birthday on Thursday, 22 November, a day before his scheduled five-round championship bout with Khan in the co-main event of ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS, which emanates from the 20,000-capacity Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila. “There’s no greater gift I can receive on my 35th birthday other than winning the ONE Lightweight Word Title back,’’ he expressed. “And there’s no better place to do it but in front of my countrymen.” After relinquishing his lightweight crown to Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen in November 2017, Folayang immediately went back to the drawing board to check where things went wrong. He amazingly worked his way back to the upper echelon of the talent-filled lightweight division — first dominating Kharun Atlangeriev in three rounds last May, and then edging out Aziz Pahrudinov in a 15-minute thriller two months later. The Baguio City native treats the opportunity of reclaiming the ONE Lightweight World Championship both as a reward and vindication. “There were some who doubted my decision to continue fighting after the knockout loss to Martin Nguyen nearly a year ago. After two wins in ONE Championship, I am back in the title picture,” Folayang stated. “I feel very fulfilled because I made the right decision to compete again. Also, my hard work has paid off. It will be a great birthday present for me to bring home the belt again. It's an added motivation going into the bout against Amir Khan.” Even if he is pegged as the heavy favorite to win the bout against the Singaporean, Folayang stressed that he is not taking his opponent for granted. Khan holds the exceptional records for the most wins (11) and finishes (10) in ONE Championship, scoring impressive victories over the likes of Bashir Ahmad, Jimmy Yabo, Jaroslav Jartim, and Sung Jong Lee. The 24-year-old phenom is coming off the biggest win of his promotional stint yet, submitting Folayang’s Team Lakay stablemate Honorio “The Rock” Banario with a first-round rear-naked choke this past September. “Landslide” knows the Evolve MMA representative poses a dangerous threat, but he is confident of his chances. “He is young and talented. I am also sure that he is hungry,” Folayang said.  “There is no room for complacency in this match. Of course, the momentum is on my side, but I plan to sustain it. I started the year with a win. I followed it up with another big win. The timing speaks for itself.” In his return to the global stage, Folayang boldly predicts that fans in attendance at the Mall Of Asia Arena will witness the coronation of a fifth Filipino mixed martial arts World Champion on Friday. “2018 has been a very good year to me,” he continued. “After November 23, I’m confident that the Philippines and Team Lakay will have another new world champion in the sport.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2018

What MLTR loves about its Filipino fans

My good friend Renen de Guia, whom I fondly call Concert Producer King, is at it again. His Ovation Productions is bringing back Danish pop-rock band Michael Learns to Rock (MLTR) to the Philippines for a series of shows.   The multiplatinum-selling trio of Jascha Richter, Mikkel Lentz, and Kre Wanscher will perform on Dec. 4 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao, Dec. 6 at Santa Rosa Sports Coliseum in Laguna, Dec. 7 at Waterfront Hotel Cebu, and on Dec. 9 at the Big Dome (call 911-5555).   It will definitely be a karaoke-like concert as Pinoys sing along to MLTR's hits, such as "25 Minutes," "That's Why You Go Away," "Paint My Love" and "Out of the Blue." &...Keep on reading: What MLTR loves about its Filipino fans.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 16th, 2018

Jett Manuel proud of his boys as UP finally makes UAAP Final Four

Although not being able to personally bring the UP Fighting Maroons to the UAAP Final Four, Jett Manuel was just as happy as he learned of his team's feat. The boys from Diliman have made the postseason for the very first time since 1997, when they were led by the late Bryan Gahol, Joseph "Ogie" Gumatay, and Paolo Mendoza.  Since then, the squad has experienced heartbreak for the next two decades, including a few winless seasons. Manuel, who donned the maroon and white from 2010-16 was not spared from UP's mediocrity, compiling an overall 10-60 record in his five-year playing career, including two 0-14 seasons and the infamous UAAP Season 77 bonfire back in 2014, which celebrated their only win of the campaign. The former team captain admitted that he was following the game while his team, Ginebra, was at shootaround at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, trying to keep their season alive, facing archrivals Magnolia in Game 4 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals. "Well, I was secretly following the game throughout my pre-game preparation. Di nga ako nag-pre-game shooting para mapanood ko yung game," Manuel shared. UP was already up by 23 when the opening jump took place for Game 3, so Manuel had a good feeling his alma mater had made it and never knew the actual final results until much later. Despite not leaving the bench the entirety of the game, Manuel went home a happy man as the Fighting Maroons downed the DLSU Green Archers, 97-81, while Ginebra forced a Game 4, 107-103. "I’m sad na I wasn’t there in person, but at least I got the win here today." But before some of his former teammates, now the veterans of the squad entered the hardwood, Manuel relayed a good luck message for the team, who were playing at the Mall of Asia Arena. "I spoke to Paul [Desiderio], I spoke to Diego [Dario], to Gelo [Vito] this morning, just telling them good luck, and yung usual ano, I mean, I’m always there for them. I’m just really happy for them. Yun lang talaga." The licensed engineer also shared how he expected that one day his teammates will bear the fruit of his squad's labor, an accomplishment the UP community has eagerly waited for a very long time. "Me personally, leaving UP with that goal na I wanted to leave something behind, leave a culture behind and try to start something, which will eventually lead to this." However, Manuel felt mixed emotions that UP's victory came at the expense of the Green Archers, where his younger brother, Joaqui plays for as a rookie. "...50-50 yung puso ko eh. I’m Maroon-blooded as well as a Manuel. So at the expense of my brother, yeah, I feel sad, but I’m more happy now that finally, finally [UP made it]." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2018

Q& A: Hornets Walker starts season in scoring groove

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com With the new season underway, and with his game as hot as almost anyone to start, Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker was asked what impressed or surprised him about the first 10 days or so of 2018-19. “Nothing besides my own play,” Walker said, laughing after a shootaround Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “Nothing besides seeing my name near the top of the NBA scoring, which is pretty weird.” Eh, maybe not so weird. Walker, a two-time All-Star, is the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer. At 28, the former ninth overall pick in the 2011 Draft is in his prime as a player. The 41 points he dropped on Milwaukee on opening night and the fact he’s gone for at least 23 every game since (with three more games of 30 or more) seems like the next logical step. It earned him the season’s first Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor and as Week 2 ended, his 31.7 ppg trailed only Golden State’s Stephen Curry (33.9) and Portland’s Damian Lillard (33.8). “It was [gratifying]. Who wouldn’t want it to keep going?” Walker told NBA.com. “I know teams will be gearing up on me and double-teaming me. But I just want to win, man. I want to get back to the playoffs any way possible. I don’t care what I average the rest of the year.” Walker, in the final year of a four-year, $48 million deal he signed in 2014, never has shot the ball so well -- 40.5 percent from the arc, 46.6 percent overall. Neither has he shot it so often and from such range. Walker is averaging 23 shots, including more than 11 3-point attempts. His usage rate of 33.5 trails only Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (35.1) and his 29.4 PER puts him ahead of Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Is it sustainable? That was one of multiple topics Walker talked about with NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner: *** Steve Aschburner: On Media Day, you made it sound as if you would hit this season hard from the start, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen. How do you explain it? Kemba Walker: I knew I had a good summer. I put in the work and the time and the effort to get better. And I’m healthy -- I haven’t felt healthy like this in a long time. Over the last three summers, I wasn’t healthy, having knee surgeries and ‘scopes. So I was rehabbing. This summer, I had a chance to work on my game. Being able to work on my shooting over a long period of time really helped as well. SA: You took as many 3FGAs last season as you shot your first two seasons combined. Now you’re launching them at a pace (11.3 per game) to break Steph Curry’s single season record (886). Is this a conscious change by you or a reaction to the league’s preferred style? KW: Both. The league definitely has changed from the time I first came in. Everybody’s shooting more threes, no matter their position. Me, I’ve just become more confident. I worked on my shot tremendously to get to this point. I’m comfortable now shooting it, whenever I can get to my spots. SA: What’s your preference -- pull-up threes, spot-up threes or those halfcourt threes like Steph takes? KW: Not at all [laughing]. Steph is a different type of shooter, maybe the best to ever shoot the basketball. But I’m comfortable shooting them however. It doesn’t matter. If I can get ‘em up, I try to make ‘em. But I do love for my teammates to create for me and get me some easy ones. It does take some stress, some pressure, off of me. SA: Your coach, James Borrego, has talked of using you more off the ball. Does that suit you? KW: It really helps. It gets me a little bit of rest, and it opens up a different dynamic in my game. As well as giving other guys a chance to have the ball in their hands and create for others. But the main thing is, it just keeps me fresher, which is huge for me. SA: What’s your take on the Charlotte rookies? KW: Oh, I’m a huge fan. Devonte’ [Graham] really hasn’t gotten a chance to play yet, but I’ve always been a huge fan, even when he was at Kansas. Just love his game, love his poise. And that’s skill -- I don’t think people understand how much of a skill it is to be poised, especially at a young age. It’s something that I didn’t have, something that took me a very long time to get. Miles [Bridges], he’s a hard-playing kid. Smart, always in the right spot on both ends of the floor. I can see him getting more minutes as the season progresses. SA: Malik Monk is a second-year guy who didn’t have the most satisfying rookie season. What do you see from him, and can he become a reliable backcourt mate? KW: Oh yeah, he’s growing. Every single day. His efficiency will come. He needs time to learn, needs time to develop, to figure out where his shots are going to come. He’s getting better already. He’s passing the ball really well, getting other guys involved. He needs to know we need him every night, with him coming off the bench for us. SA: Your rookie season was about as challenging as could be -- delayed by a lockout, rushed through training camp and a quickie preseason, and then a 7-59 experience. Did that set you back as a player? KW: Nah, it wasn’t a setback. It was humbling. I took it as a point in my career where I was going through adversity. It was tough -- nobody likes to lose -- and through my basketball career I felt I had been a winner. But I just stuck to it, just kept working hard. SA: You said you don’t want to talk anymore about your free agency next summer -- and your general manager, Mitch Kupchak, is on record saying, “Our intention is for him to end his career in a Hornet uniform.” Some people wonder what the market might be, though, given how many terrific point guards are out there. So let’s address that another way: what is it like competing with all those rivals? KW: It’s unbelievable, man. Every night. Every single night, somebody is there to … I can’t even explain it. Every team, there’s so many great point guards out there who are just ready to showcase their talents. There are young guys ready to show how good they are. Yeah, it’s a point guard league. SA: We’re seeing more and more teams switching everything defensively. How hard is that on a 6-foot-1 point guard? KW: It’s … tough sometimes. Some matchups, you don’t want to get. But I rely on my teammates to help out as much as possible. The most challenging part probably is boxing guys out. But I’m always up for the challenge. SA: Some players talk or at least play like defense is optional. Your thoughts? KW: Not at all. I’m paid to do it all. It’s not even about being paid -- I’m just competitive. I want to play defense. I want to score. I want to do it all. SA: I’ve often wondered what it’s like to play for the team that Michael Jordan owns. Other teams, the owners aren’t basketball experts. But that’s not the case for the Hornets. Is it intimidating? KW: I wouldn’t say intimidating. I love it. I want my owner to have played. He knows what’s going on, he knows how it feels after losses, after wins. Traveling. Being tired. He’s been through it. He knows what it takes to win games in this league. Even though basketball’s a bit different now from when he played, but still, he knows. I feel like I’m at an advantage because I can go to him, I can ask him things. Or he can just come to me, or text me or call me to let me know things. And let me know how to get past things. No, it’s an honor for us, it’s an honor for me to have him as an owner. SA: How is basketball different from when Jordan played? KW: For me, just the threes. A lot of bigs shooting threes. The bigs are different in general, you know? Back with MJ, I feel like the shooting guards and the forwards were dominant, and it was more of a post-up league. Now it’s a point guard’s league for the most part. And it’s not a post-up league much anymore. There are so many threes up in the air. SA: Do you little guys resent the stretch-fours and stretch-fives coming out onto your turf these days? KW: Yeah, man, it’s crazy. But it’s fun. Just seeing the development and the change. Even from when I first got in the league it wasn’t like that. But guys are so talented nowadays, it’s unbelievable. SA: Tell me about the Big Brothers Big Sisters work you do, mentoring four kids -- two boys and two girls -- in the Charlotte area. KW: Just to be in their lives. I take ‘em out to eat, take ‘em to Dave & Buster’s every now and then. It’s fun. I try to avoid the cameras. It’s not for social media. It’s not for anything but them. The kids are doing great in school. That’s the biggest progress, that’s what you want. They’ve really started to love basketball now -- they come to games sometimes. It’s been fun to see them grow, each and every time I see them. One of the kids, his mom passed away. I know it’s been a struggle for him. For me to be able to help get his mind off of that for a time, just be there for him, that’s definitely rewarding for me but I hope it’s more rewarding for him. SA: You’re in your eighth season, and you’ve played a total of 11 playoff games. What stands out for you about the postseason? KW: I remember every game. We played Miami twice. The first year [2014] was when they had LeBron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. They swept us, but I thought we played really well. Obviously it wasn’t enough -- they had three Hall of Famers. I remember the level of intensity those guys played with. I remember telling myself, the next time I get to the playoffs, I’m going to try my best to play like that. The next time [2016], that’s what I did. People thought we might get swept again, but we went to seven games. It was really fun. The whole atmosphere was so intense. I loved it. You have to take your game to a whole ‘nother level. You have to play hard every possession, every second of those games. The competitiveness, the toughness, everything goes up. SA: A problem that team had, it still has -- you’re carrying such a big load offensively. Do you need a second reliable scorer, and is that guy on the roster now? KW: Of course. We need it. I’m not going to have huge games every night. It’s on one of these guys to step up. I think guys are still searching for their roles at this point, especially with a new coach, new system. We’re still learning. But as the season progresses, I think they will. We have guys who are capable of putting points up for us. SA: The All-Star Game this season is in Charlotte. You’ve been selected twice. What would you think of playing in that game in your market? KW: That’d be amazing. To be in Charlotte, the team that drafted me, the team I’ve played with for eight years now, it would be a really special moment. Hopefully I can get there. It’d be fun. A really important and fun moment in my career. 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 NewsOct 30th, 2018

PBA: Hotshots clinch 2x-to-beat after dominating TNT

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal — Magnolia gets its playoff bonus. The Hotshots are the first to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs after a sensational 116-103 win over TNT Friday at the Ynares Center here. Breaking away from a triple-time with Ginebra and Alaska, Magnolia took over solo first with an 8-2 mark. More importantly, win no. 8 formally clinched the coveted playoff bonus for the Hotshots. "Thankful because we’re commited to our game plan, we’re commited to our defense and we are committed to our execution on offense," head coach Chito Victolero said. "I just told to my players that we need to surpass the energy and aggresiveness of TNT. We know that they will go hard for this game. Kailangan din nila itong game na ito, itong panalo na ito. Yun lang, siguro medyo sinuwerte kami," he added. Magnolia started to pull away in the second period, turning to its signature defense after allowing 30 points in a high-scoring first quarter. While the KaTropa would recover to start the second half, the Hotshots landed the finishing blow in the fourth, leading by as many as 18 points to knock out TNT. Ian Sangalang led the way with 28 points while Mark Barroca added 21. Paul Lee flirted with a triple-double with 19 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Import Romeo Travis also had a solid all-around performance, going for 18 points, 15 rebounds, and seven dimes. For the KaTropa, Terrence Romeo fired 23 points anD Troy Rosario added 21. Import Marqus Blakely had 17 points, 18 rebounds, and 11 assists in losing effort. TNT dropped to 4-6 with their back-to-back losses and are officially on the brink of elimination.   The scores: Magnolia 116 – Sangalang 28, Barroca 21, Lee 19, Travis 18, Melton 9, Jalalon 9, Reavis 4, Brondial 4, Dela Rosa 2, Herndon 2. TNT 103 – Romeo 23, Rosario 21, Blakely 17, Castro 13, Cruz 8, Trollano 7, Pogoy 6, Carey 4, Williams 4, Golla 0, Garcia 0, Reyes 0. Quarters: 33-30; 62-48; 89-78; 116-103.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 26th, 2018