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Elite stun Kings for 2nd straight win

MANILA, Philippines — The Blackwater Elite cruised to their second-straight victory in the PBA’s Philippine Cup with a 94-77 whipping of the crowd favorite B.....»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarJan 12th, 2018

Elite stun Kings for 2nd straight win

MANILA, Philippines — The Blackwater Elite cruised to their second-straight victory in the PBA’s Philippine Cup with a 94-77 whipping of the crowd favorite B.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

AZ Reid admits San Miguel took Blackwater lightly

In terms of history, no other team in the PBA can match up to San Miguel but for one night in the 2018 Governors' Cup humble Blackwater was able to write its own footnote. The Elite were able to stun the mighty Beermen, 103-100, for their second straight win and import AZ Reid knows why they lost to a team that bears little history. "We took them lightly, we didn't play the way we normally play, like the way we played in the first game," said Reid Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. "We played around, a lot of smiling, a lot of joking, so we lost." San Miguel was ahead 82-74 heading into the fourth quarter but the Elite chipped away at the margin throughout the peri...Keep on reading: AZ Reid admits San Miguel took Blackwater lightly.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

LeBron s free agency decision could swing NBA s balance of power

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CLEVELAND -- These combo coronation-funerals can be tricky. Imagine the crowning of a new monarch where the royal subjects couldn’t stop chattering about the freshly deposed or deceased predecessor. Where the traditional cry of continuity and succession, “The king is dead! Long live the king!” got flipped, with what was overshadowing what is. That’s pretty much how it went Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) at Quicken Loans Arena, with the Golden State Warriors’ latest NBA championship having to share the stage with speculation, instantly revved up, about LeBron James and the choice he’ll soon make about his next employer. The Warriors are the kings, claiming pro basketball’s throne yet again by completing a sweep of James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Finals. But of course, James is the King, and as so many of us learned in sophomore English – thanks, CliffsNotes! – “Uneasy lies the head (of those who fret and obsess about the future whereabouts of the NBA superstar) that wears a crown.” Long live the kings! The King is ... gone? There was so much energy before, during and after Game 4 Friday (Saturday, PHL time) poured into the last game/next game conjecture about James, the Cavaliers and seismic shifts in the league’s 2018-19 landscape that even the player’s surprise reveal near the end of the night – a bruised and bandaged right hand – couldn’t derail it. Turns out, as James ‘fessed up, the sore shooting paw was an injury he had been playing with ever since Game 1 in Oakland eight days earlier. He had “self-inflicted” it in a fit of pique when he smacked a whiteboard in the visitors’ dressing room at Oracle Arena after Cleveland’s overtime loss in the series-setter, an outcome driven at least in part by some teammates’ mistakes and an arcane wrinkle in the NBA’s replay rules regarding block/charge fouls. Despite the hordes of media people chronicling every waking detail of the Finals, James had kept the injury on the down-low (along with the possibility that J.R. Smith’s nickname amongst his Cavs teammates might be “whiteboard”). The cameras zoomed in and clicked in a paparazzi frenzy of motor drives every time James raised the hand, wrapped in black tape, above the table during his postgame podium remarks. Whether a legit Page-2-the-rest-of-the-story factor in the championship series or a too-late alibi, the contused hand wound up as a sidebar to where James plans to be using it when training camps open in a few months. As of Friday (Saturday, PHL time), it had been 95 months since “The Decision,” the 2010 announcement that James made in a tone-deaf vanity TV production that he was taking his talents from Cleveland to South Beach. Nearly 47 months had passed since he broke the news of his return in a Sports Illustrated ghost-written essay, envisioning much of what actually has unfolded in the four years since. Now savvy insiders and casual observers alike presume James will be on the move again, pushed to leave the franchise he has defined in an urgent search for more and better talent with which he can compete. As in, y’know, some horses, some horses, his kingdom for some horses. James’ free-agency process next month (he can opt out of a $35.6 million deal in the final season of his current contract) is expected to dictate the market of player movement this summer like an oversized domino. It easily could swing the balance of power, if not quite at Golden State’s lofty level then immediately below it. The monster he helped create Dr. Frankenstein eventually was done in by his macabre creation, and it can similarly be argued that James has no one but himself to blame for the predicament in which he again finds himself. He set in motion the machinery of the super team, after all, when he chose to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami eight years ago. Oh sure, the Boston Celtics in 2007-08 got there first by luring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce, but that was about knitting together three stars, all age 30 or older, for what would be their last best chance to win in an extremely limited run. That group won one title, went to two Finals in three seasons and was done, Allen leaving to join James & Co. with the Heat while Garnett and Pierce morphed into trade chips for Boston POBO Danny Ainge. When James, Wade and Bosh teamed up, they were in their basketball primes and their initial giddy boasts of “not four, not five, not six” championships turned off fans league-wide as much for its portent as its pretension. That crew went 4-for-4 in Finals, winning two rings before James, nudged by staleness and chafing as well as his grand plan for northeast Ohio, went home. From there, a line can be drawn through the ill-conceived 2012-13 L.A. Lakers of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol all the way to this season’s Houston Rockets of James Harden and Chris Paul and the talent-gorged Golden State roster. James was the centerpiece as Cleveland replicated the Big Three concept around him with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, two younger, playoff-stymied All-Stars. The new-look Cavaliers went to the Finals in their first season together and clambered atop the basketball world to win the franchise’s first NBA title by the end of the second, becoming the first team in league history to do so after digging a 1-3 hole in the best-of-seven series. In that moment, regardless of the two Finals trips that followed, James’ bill was stamped: Paid In Full. Misguided fans might burn his jersey if he leaves again, but James burned the mortgage after that Game 7 in Oakland in 2016 as far as any remaining obligation to fulfill. “I came back because I felt like I had some unfinished business,” he said after elimination Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “To be able to be a part of a championship team two years ago with the team that we had and in the fashion that we had is something I will always remember. Honestly, I think we'll all remember that. It ended a drought for Cleveland of 50-plus years, so I think we'll all remember that in sports history.” James added: “When you have a goal and you're able to accomplish that goal, it actually – for me personally – made me even more hungry to continue to try to win championships. And I still want to be in championship mode. I think I've shown this year why I will still continue to be in championship mode.” In other words, James intends to sustain his high level of performance. He expects to win. And he presumably will do whatever – and go wherever – is necessary to achieve that. There’s no perfect fit So what does that mean for the NBA’s best player (never mind what the annual MVP balloting says in any given season)? It means this: compromise. There is no ideal situation, certainly no easy answer to the guesswork surrounding James’ looming free agency. He could transform any of the 30 teams, but not without some trade-offs for him, for them or for both. Most of them won’t be in play. Teams in markets such as Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Portland, Sacramento, the Twin Cities and so on can’t scratch James’ itches for either championship-worthy depth chart or spotlight. New York and Chicago, among the biggies, are out of synch with his timeline. Toronto? No way James is resettling his brand north of the border, and given his stated desire for teammates who have not just sufficient basketball skills but also mental toughness, well, the Raptors teams he and the Cavs have dominated do not qualify. The Boston club that stretched Cleveland to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals is built for the long haul and would have to surrender much of that to adjust to James’ career calendar. There’s a little Kyrie problem lurking there and, truth be told, the Celtics look to be on their way and are doing just fine without the 33-year-old heading, one of these years, toward decline. At some point in each of the 2018 Finals’ final three days, James spoke admiringly of the Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs title teams that blocked his path whether in Miami or Cleveland. He was at it again even as the Warriors were dousing the opponent’s locker room at The Q with Moet champagne. “I made the move in 2010 to be able to play with talented players, cerebral players that you could see things that happen before they happened on the floor,” James said. “When you feel like you're really good at your craft, I think it's always great to be able to be around other great minds as well and other great ballplayers. “That's never changed. Even when I came here in '14, I wanted to try to surround myself and surround this franchise with great minds and guys that actually think outside the box of the game and not just go out and play it.” Where might James find that now or recruit that swiftly? Hard to say. There are asterisks and “buts” everywhere: * If he were to sign with the Houston Rockets, James would be hitching his star to Chris Paul, a buddy with an injury history that’s about the mirror opposite of his own. He would be teaming up with an elite coach in Mike D’Antoni, something he’s never had (though Miami’s Erik Spoelstra was just young and unproven, on his way to big things). But it also would require another big ask of James Harden, who had to adapt last summer to Paul’s arrival and need for the ball. * If James chooses the Lakers, he has the chance to hit reset with the league’s glitziest franchise, in a market that can meet his every off-court wish and where he and his family already own one or more ultra-comfortable homes. The Lakers have young talent to help James transition into a lower-usage veteran’s role, favored status as a destination team for other top free agents and the salary-cap space to get it done this summer with the likes of Paul George or his pal Paul. But that roster might not be capable of insta-contending, which could burn a season or two when James’ clock most definitely is clicking. * If it’s San Antonio, James could link up with the elite coach in Gregg Popovich, where the winning culture is in the DNA rather than some acquired taste. The Spurs have talent, particularly if Kawhi Leonard finds happiness again there. But they might not have enough to rattle the Warriors’ cage. And for all their professed admiration, James and Popovich might both fare better by keeping their relationship long-distance vs. the 82-game grind. * If it’s Golden State? Perish the thought. The NBA might have to board up itself if competitive balance were capsized to that extent. And as Draymond Green shrewdly noted on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), if James climbed aboard, it likely would require him and several other Golden State teammates to be dispatched to parts unknown. * If James prefers to stay East, where the winning comes easier, he could pick Philadelphia. The Sixers have two foundational young stars at positions that matter most, center Joel Embiid and point guard Ben Simmons. But Simmons is a non-shooter at the moment, the antithesis of what makes a great complementary LeBron teammate. As for Embiid, James never has had to play off of and service a top center. And Philly might feel like a basketball-only move, with the hungriest and most demanding of any new fan base he would embrace. * If it’s Miami – wait, could it be Miami? Could he go second-home again? The Heat always strive to be competitive and offer a talent base deep enough for the East and lots of familiarity. But they also have players such as Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters whose mental approaches don’t seem to fit the model James was cooing about in Golden State and with the Tim Duncan-era Spurs. * That brings us to Cleveland, where it’s possible James might choose to remain. Staying with the Cavaliers, after leading them to four Finals and that heady 2016 title, would be the easiest choice as far as pressure to win. He owes these fans nothing anymore – in fact, had the bargain been offered to them in 2010 (“LeBron will leave and win elsewhere for four years, but will come back and deliver a championship and four Finals trips”), most would have grabbed it. Here, James and the fans who have watched him even through the interruption develop from ridiculously touted high schooler to one of the world’s most famous athletes could grow older together. Then he could partner up and buy the team from owner Dan Gilbert for a long-term future. Certainly, staying has a certain place in his and the rest of the James clan’s hearts. “The one thing that I've always done is considered, obviously, my family,” he said at series end Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “Understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I've got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl that wasn't around as well. So sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I'll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that.” It’s worth noting that as James contemplates his options as a modern pursuer of championship excellence, the prospect of him moving again qualifies at some level as a failure. Not just by the support system in Cleveland, where he and Gilbert have their friction and James gets snidely mentioned as the team’s unofficial GM and head coach, but by him too. He’s the one who went off to seek his “college education” in south Florida in what it takes to win, whether on the court, in the front office or in and around the seams 365 days a year, straight out of the Pat Riley handbook. The teams about which James talks so glowingly in Oakland now and in San Antonio then have cultures he covets, stability up and down the flowchart he craves. In Cleveland, for a variety of reasons, his team has been incapable of establishing and maintaining that to a lasting degree. He is part of that missed opportunity and he has to own it, no matter if he goes or stays. James is inseparable from the dynamic of the Cavaliers’ ever-changing and often melodramatic roster maneuvers. Spending big, swapping out draft picks to import current stars and supporting players, and overvaluing secondary guys like Smith and Tristan Thompson are risks the Warriors and the Spurs largely avoided thanks to shrew drafting and laudable continuity. The Cavs’ scrap heap, by contrast, is high with traded picks, scuttled plans, panic deals, short-term patches and folks such as former coach David Blatt and former GM David Griffin. And maybe James could have nurtured a little better relationship with All-Star point guard and 2016 title sidekick Kyrie Irving, enough to have kept Irving from bailing on them all with his trade demand last summer. Now he’s on the verge of casting about again, prioritizing what matters most for however long he continues to play. James is more at peace with it than he was before, particularly in 2010, and surely can enjoy the leverage he wields and the riches it delivers. But there is a burden there as well, one that could be seen as completing a circle. So many of the NBA’s greatest stars have been stuck playing and living in the Age of LeBron, right? Their paths to the Finals blocked, on one whole side of the league, by him and his? Well, LeBron James is stuck now in the Era of the Warriors, freshly swept and anxious to close the gap. What goes around comes around, though the key more pressing of the big W’s now is, where? 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 NewsJun 11th, 2018

PBA: Ginebra, Blackwater battle for elusive first win

Only one between Brgy. Ginebra and Blackwater will remain winless in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup after Friday. The Gin Kings (0-2) and the Elite (0-4) dispute that elusive first win in the mid-season joust in the main game at the Alonte Sports Arena as the PBA goes for a rare weekday out-of-town game. Blackwater has been free-falling in the Commissioner's Cup, losing four straight, even firing head coach Leo Isaac in the middle of this current losing skid. Meanwhile, Ginebra has failed to get its groove so far as the Gin Kings continue to deal with injuries in their front court. Tip off will be at 7:00 p.m. from Laguna. In the opening game at 4:30 p.m., Phoenix (2-1) goes for back-to-back victories vs. the NLEX Road Warriors (0-3), the third team with no wins so far in the conference.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2018

Ginebra survies ROS in triple OT in early playoff preview

In the wildest game of the season so far, Brgy. Ginebra walked away with a win to remember in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. The Gin Kings needed 63 minutes to dispose Rain or Shine, taking a tough 100-92 decision in triple overtime Friday at the Big Dome. After Ginebra gave up the first three points of the third overtime, the Gin Kings went on a closing run behind the clutch baskets of Sol Mercado and Jervy Cruz to seal the win. Mercado drilled a tough layup to push Ginebra ahead, 94-92, and after ROS missed four straight free throws in the final 90 seconds, Cruz buried a mid-range J for a four-point lead with 34 seconds to go. Rain or Shine could have ended the game in the second overtime but Raymond Almazan failed to complete an alley-oop play in the final 2.2 seconds. Maverick Ahanmisi also missed the follow up. The Elasto Painters also had the final crack at the basket in regulation and in the first overtime but failed to convert each time. Beau Belga missed a mid-range J and Almazan missed the putback in regulation and Belga also missed a wide-open three at the end of the first overtime session. "This is the first good thing that happened to us all whole conference long -- winning tonight's game -- and it took us triple overtime to do it against a team that's really didn't have much to play for," head coach Tim Cone said. Japeth Aguilar was the high man for the Gin Kings, going for 30 points and 17 rebounds in 51 minutes of play. LA Tenorio added 20 in just under 57 minutes of action while Joe Devance dropped 15 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists with 49 and a half minutes. Scottie Thompson had a 10-point, 17-rebound double-double in almost 40 minutes. Mercado ended up with 10 points and Cruz was good for six, four in the third overtime. As for ROS, Belga finished with 17 points while Gabe Norwood, the lone Elasto Painter to break the 50-minute mark, finished with 13 points. The loss didn't do much for the Elasto Painters as they already qualified for the playoffs. However, their loss enabled Ginebra to take over the no. 4 spot. Regardless of the result, Rain or Shine and Ginebra will meet in the best-of-3 quarterfinals anyway as the 4th-5th seeds. The Ginebra win also sealed the playoff for 8th between TNT and Phoenix, eliminating Blackwater in the process. If ROS had won, the playoff for 8th would have been between the Gin Kings and the Elite and it was the KaTropa that be dropped.   The Scores: Ginebra 100 - J. Aguilar 30, Tenorio 20, Devance 15, Mercado 10, Thompson 10, Cruz 6, Mariano 3, Caguioa 3, Ferrer 3, R. Aguilar 0. Rain or Shine 92 - Belga 17, Norwood 13, Ahanmisi 11, Daquioag 11, Washington 9, Almazan 8, Trollano 8, Borboran 6,  Ponferada 4,Nambatac 3, Maiquez 2,Matias 0. Quarter scores: 26-20, 46-34, 67-62, 80-80, 85-85 (OT1), 87-87 (OT2), 100-92 (OT3)   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 2nd, 2018

Hotshots go for solo first against struggling Elite

Before its sister act against San Miguel, Magnolia looks to actually take over first place first as the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup continues Friday at the MOA Arena. At 5-1, the Hotshots are tied with the defending champion Beermen for the lead at the halfway point of the season-opening joust. And in the opening game at 4:30 p.m. against Blackwater (2-4), Magnolia hopes to regain solo first before taking on San Miguel two days later. Meanwhile, the Elite should have none of that as the team is out to finally register its first win since taking down Ginebra a couple of weeks ago. After that signature win over the Gin Kings, Blackwater has lost three straight games. In the second showdown at 7:00 p.m., Meralco (2-4) will do battle against Rain or Shine (3-3).   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 2nd, 2018

Aces pound Gin Kings

Banking on a big third quarter, the Aces bombarded the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings from inside and out to score a 97-83 victory on Sunday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at Ynares Center in Antipolo, signaling the return to form of the traditional powerhouse that lingered in mediocrity the past two conferences. It was the third straight win after two losses for the Aces, who made the most out of the Gin Kings' lack in size to book the most impressive win of their run that coach Alex Compton hopes would open the gates for their return to the list of elite teams. "There's a small person in Greg Slaughter who didn't play and I think he would have had an impact in this game," Compton said...Keep on reading: Aces pound Gin Kings.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 21st, 2018

Atlanta Hawks get in sync at new practice facility

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com ATLANTA -- The pregnant check written by Hawks owner Tony Ressler for the team’s glossy new 90,000 square foot training center didn’t concern him as much as the more numerous, smaller ones. As in: Double practice courts? Check. Outdoor swimming pool? Check. Grilling area and on-site gourmet chefs? Check. Video game consoles and a fleet of flat-screen TVs? Check and double check. Still, Ressler and the folks at Emory Healthcare, which teamed with the Hawks to blueprint the place, wanted more for the $50 million. And so they checked off another amenity: An East Coast hub of a California sports science lab that developed a cult following among a number of players and over half the league’s teams. Peak Performance Project carted computers, high-tech gadgets and cutting edge fitness equipment from its Santa Barbara headquarters to set up shop in Atlanta. The company, or P3, helped the Hawks raise the bar in what’s become a practice facility building boom in the NBA, where the Bulls, Sixers, Nets, Kings and Raptors all recently moved into or building swanky centers that could double as country clubs. Yes, the gourmet meals, hydrotherapy pools and theater seating is quite a refreshing change from the prehistoric places in which teams trained before. The Hawks’ old setup was inside Philips Arena, where ironically players had to climb stairs to reach the Stairmaster machines and had the disadvantage of only one practice court. Perhaps the Ground Zero of practice centers, however, was used by the Nets some 20 years ago in New Jersey. They shared a gym, weight room and a locker room with pot-bellied drivers from the owner’s trucking company. Yes, Derrick Coleman sometimes showered next to Fred from Bayonne. Not only have facilities come a long way — the Nets now train on the Brooklyn waterfront with a panoramic view of Lower Manhattan — so has sports science and how it’s being embraced as a necessary part of the game. Ten years ago nobody in the NBA had their bodies poked by scientists or 'scoped by modern technology to learn more about the way those bodies function. Then P3 came along and quickly became the gold standard of technology and sports and a go-to place in the offseason for players looking for an edge. If the NBA All-Star Game draws the biggest collection of talent around the league during the year, then an athletic science lab in Santa Barbara might be next. Damian Lillard, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, Zach LaVine, Andre Drummond and Kyle Korver are just some of those seduced by science. P3 collects data through assessments of a player’s body and his high velocity movements to identify his physical strengths and weaknesses, raise red flags for areas that could be prone to potential injury, and give him and his team information to help improve performance. There’s also training sessions designed to prevent injuries and enhance the muscles and movements needed to reach potential, an elite athlete optimization that’s suddenly vital to careers. “Their assessments and the data they collect are so valuable to helping you understand what needs to be done,” said Korver. “No question it was so important for my career.” In a section of the Hawks facility used exclusively for P3, there’s a straight running track, some free weights, and hi-tech treadmills. It looks simple, and in a sense, it is, although the science and technology sets it apart and makes it unique. The center can test and train 12 to 15 athletes at a time over a two-hour period. Thousands of athletes from various Olympic, amateur and pro sports have been through the doors in Santa Barbara. No athlete can train without an assessment first. Once the data is received, then a workout conducted by bio-mechanists and performance specialists and tailored specifically for that athlete, based on the results. There’s no one-size-fits-all philosophy at P3. “It’s all individualized,” said Adam Hewitt, the director of operations at P3. “All bodies are different. You can have two guys the same size and have completely different systems. One might have flexibility in his lower, but the other doesn’t. Our thought is, how do we make the athlete better using this technology?” Hewitt said this process is light years ahead of what athletes and teams did just a few years ago, mainly because science and technology is evolving and P3 is trying to stay ahead of the curve. “Others aren’t using bio-technology to assess their athletes,” he said. “We’re showing the value that we can offer. We’ve invested so much and for so long.” P3 looks at the bodies in motion with the help of motion-capture technology similar to those used in video games. The images and information allow P3 to craft workouts to strengthen limbs and also to avoid injury. Just as NBA teams have spent millions building new practice facilities and hiring nutritionists and massage therapists, Elliott thinks it’s wise they make an investment in science. “There’s a revolution going on in sports science and athlete care,” he said. “I think it was overdue in professional sports. Your average sprinter or speed skater has more science data in his physical development and he’s working a part time job at a restaurant to make ends meet. He has more resources going for him than someone you’re paying $20 million a year. That made no sense to me. Contracts are too big and players are too important to take anything to chance. There’s a lot to lose. Even if you don’t understand it all, why wouldn’t you at least want the information on the table? If you don’t have all the information then is hard to play the probability game. You’re making bets on big contracts and on players being able to perform and stay healthy.” The use of force plates to measure explosiveness while jumping is of great use for NBA players and why P3 has growing influence on most of the league. “The NBA is leading our pro sports leagues,” Elliott said. “As a league, they should be proud. The other leagues are trying to copy them. The NFL is trying to catch up, baseball, hockey, teams are starting to hire smarter people and investing more in their performance sports science staffs. A lot has changed. I feel the biggest thing is we’ve been so invested in getting insight into the data. “There’s people in academics asking questions, and people in sport are trying to do the best they can. Rarely do they come together. Our motto is bringing these together. It’s super exciting to see. At the risk of sounding pompous I’d say I’m proud of it. I know the NBA is happy because they can see the bar’s being raised.” The P3 in Atlanta will operate same as usual, with no advertising, just word of mouth and a growing number of clients. The lab anticipates helping NBA players improve their ankle and hip mobility and put them in better position to succeed through science. “It’s about turning it back to advantages to the athlete,” Elliott said. “These guys are super unique.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or 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 NewsDec 16th, 2017

Kings eye playoffs vs souped-up Elite

MANILA, Philippines — Barangay Ginebra tries to formalize its entry into the playoff stage of the PBA Governors Cup, gunning for a seventh straight win versu.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 8th, 2017

Ginebra Kings cope with injuries

For Barangay Ginebra, the health issue is a major concern as coach Tim Cone struggles with player injuries in bidding for a third straight PBA Governors Cup crown but despite a decimated lineup, the team known for its Never Say Die mantra manages to string up wins while waiting for Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and Sol Mercado to heal......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated News6 hr. 14 min. ago

Phoenix nears playoffs

Louie Alas has a good memory, and he made sure that his Phoenix Fuel Masters remembered as well. Using their previous loss to Magnolia as their motivating tool, the Fuel Masters got back hard on the Hotshots to win for the third straight time in the PBA Governors' Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night, moving them closer to a first playoff appearance under Alas' watch. "The last time we played them, we were up by 10 in the fourth quarter," Alas said after a 95-82 win that had Phoenix rising to 5-1 overall, good for second spot behind the unbeaten Blackwater Elite. "And my players responded and played their best fourth quarter [of the tournament]." Phoeni...Keep on reading: Phoenix nears playoffs.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2018

PBA: The road gets tougher for Fuel Masters

Phoenix head coach Louie Alas knows the road will get tougher as they go deeper into the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup. With the Fuel Masters looking to secure a top four elimination round finish to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, Alas knows that from here on out they must win as many games as they can in their remaining five assignments. The Fuel Masters climbed to solo second spot after claiming their third straight win over Magnolia, 95-82, Sunday at the Big Dome. Phoenix moved behind unbeaten Blackwater (4-0) with a 5-1 win-loss record.    Still, Alas doesn’t want to take his chances especially with the tournament’s format. “Hindi mo pa rin masasabi kasi dami namin sa taas e,” he said. “Puro one game lang behind sa amin.” “Iba ‘yung format ngayon. One to four is twice-to-beat,” added Alas. “So win as much as you can kahit nasa playoffs ka na.” The Fuel Masters’ difficult road ahead will start Saturday against Barangay Ginebra in Cagayan De Oro.   “Puro malakas (na ang kalaban) starting on Saturday against Ginebra,” he said. The Gin Kings are playing limp with a string of injuries but Alas is wary on Ginebra’s never-say-die spirit. “Ginebra alam mo naman ‘yan next man up ‘yan. Kahit five guys lang si coach Tim (Cone) maglalaro at maglalaro,” said Alas. “One breakdown lang sa depensa kaya natalo (against Blackwater last Friday), meaning kahit depleted sila kailangan A-game namin dalhin pa rin namin.” “So we’ll be tested again on Saturday,” he added. The match is slated to begin at 5:00 p.m.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2018

Elite Ateneo defense holds NU to 46 points in blowout win

      MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles flexed their defensive muscles and muzzled the NU Bulldogs, 72-46, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday, September 22 at the Araneta Coliseum. Thirdy Ravena unloaded 13 points to lead the Blue Eagles, who picked up their second straight win ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2018

PBA: Beermen crush Dyip, Elite stun Ginebra

A reminder at halftime. Two big runs in the third quarter. That was all it took for San Miguel Beer to show it was in a different talent level from Columbian Friday night. Knocking down a record-tying 23 triples, the Beermen reduced the Dyip to a pile of junk with a 143-119 victory in the PBA Governors' Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum. After a defensively lackluster first half where they left themselves open to another upset, the Beermen came up firing in the third, outscoring the Dyip, 43-18, to put the game away. "That's the turning point," said coach Leo Austria of the third quarter. "At the half, I told them that we need to step up our defense." San Miguel manufactured ...Keep on reading: PBA: Beermen crush Dyip, Elite stun Ginebra.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 21st, 2018

Beermen halt Dyip; Elite trip Kings

San Miguel Beer put on an amazing offensive show in a return from an upset loss, equaling the league record of 23 three-pointers in a game as it clobbered Columbian Dyip, 143-119, in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta last night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 21st, 2018

Kings test Elite mettle; Beermen eye rebound

Titleholder Barangay Ginebra and raging Blackwater fight for the solo lead while San Miguel Beer seeks to bounce back from an upset loss the last time out as it tangles with Columbian Dyip in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 20th, 2018

Elite eke out win over Batang Pier; Third straight victory

Blackwater charged back from an 18-point deficit late in the first half and found unlikely heroes in Chris Javier and John Pinto at crunch time as the Elite nipped the NorthPort Batang Pier, 113-111, for a third straight win in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

TERRIFIC 12: Golden Kings crush iECO Green Warriors

MACAU --- The Philippines was given a rude welcome in the Terrific 12 tournament here. Japan's Ryukyu Golden Kings gave the iECO Green Warriors a sound beating Tuesday at the Studio City Event Center, scoring a booming win. With the Pinoys firing blanks, Ryukyu started the game with 17 straight points and never looked back. The Golden Kings led by as many as 35 points and cruised to victory in the second half. iECo only scored five points in the opening period as the lone Pinoy team went down by 18 early. To make matters worse for the Green Warriors, top import Richard Howell injured his left knee three and a half minutes into the game. Howell, a former PBA Best Import for Talk 'N Text, was going for a block in transition before he slipped. He had to be stretchered out of the court. He did return to the iECO bench in the second half. Five players scored in double figures for Ryukyu led by 17 points from Josh Scott. Takatoshi Furukawa was the top local for the Golden Kings with 15 points. Yutaro Suda and Ryouma Hashimoto added 14 and 13 points respectively. For the Green Warriors, it was Matt Salem that led the way with 15 points. iECo will return to action Thursday against the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

TERRIFIC 12: Howell doubtful for iECO s next game due to knee injury

MACAU --- Top import Richard Howell will be doubtful for iECO once the Green Warriors return to action in the Terrific 12 Thursday against the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. Howell injured his left knee three and a half minutes into iECO's Tuesday loss to the Ryukyu Golden Kings at the Studio City Event Center here. The former PBA Best Import was going for a block in transition when he slipped and hurt his knee. Howell slipped while going for a block. It appears his left knee is hurt and he’s been stretchered off the court #TheTerrific12 | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/donhu5K4zf — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) September 18, 2018 He was stretchered out of the court but he later returned to the iECO bench in the second half to finish watching the game. Richard Howell is back in the iECO bench after hurting his knee in the first quarter #TheTerrific12 | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/q0pBMNxj4e — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) September 18, 2018 "I pray that he can play but it's not only his knee, it's his knee and his ankle. He can't put any weight on his left foot," iECO head coach Ariel Vanguardia said of Howell. "We hope it's nothing serious, this is a short tournament and he's got a good career ahead of him. He's gonna play for Israel in FIBA so I wish him all the best," he added. The Green Warriors simply fell apart the moment Howell went down early in the opening period. iECo gave up 17 straight points to start the game, trailed by as many as 35, and ended up losing by 28 to Japan's Ryukyu Golden Kings. "We lost our heart and soul whic is really Rich Howell," Vanguardia said. "We pray for him that his injury is not that serious," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

Here s why Chris Webber should be in the Hall of Fame

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst C-Webb needs to be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. My Turner colleague Chris Webber has always brought out polarizing opinions -- first as a player, and now as a broadcaster. And I’m not objective when it comes to him, either. I love the guy. He’s a true student of the game, not afraid to speak his mind on and off the court, and is someone whose love for the game knows no equal. It’s just a matter of time before he gets his chance to run a team, either in the front office or as a part-owner. But it will and should happen. And, after his impactful career as a player, he should be enshrined in Springfield. Everyone’s criteria for the Hall is different. To me, getting in the Hall as a player requires a yes answer to two questions: 1) were you among the very best at your position for a substantial period of time during your career, and 2) did your presence and/or play change the game in a meaningful way while you played? (This is why a guy like Sixers guard Andrew Toney, in my view, is HOF-worthy, even though “The Boston Strangler” played from 1980-88 and was limited significantly by injury in two of those seasons.) Webber is a “yes” to both of those questions. In the NBA, Webber was a five-time All-Star, four times with the Kings, and was Rookie of the Year in 1993. He was first- or second-team All NBA four times. His career PER of 20.9 is the highest of any non-retired and Hall of Fame eligible player that isn’t currently in the Hall. (Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett each have higher PERs than Webber, and each is an obvious HOF lock, but they aren’t Hall of Fame eligible until 2020.) Webber’s career PER is better than those of Hall of Famers including Allen Iverson, Bob McAdoo, Ed McCauley, George McGinnis, Billy Cunningham, Steve Nash, David Thompson, Connie Hawkins, Alex English, Walt Bellamy, Cliff Hagan and many others. Yet in his fifth year of eligibility, Webber was again passed over by the Hall of Fame voters this year. That needs to change. His impact on the game, from high school to being a member of the “Fab Five” at Michigan in college and during his 15 NBA seasons, is undeniable. The Hall encompasses all of a person’s basketball achievements, and Webber’s career is Hall-worthy. At Country Day High School in Michigan, he led his team to three state championships, averaging 29 points and 13 rebounds per game his senior season, when he was a consensus national player of the year. He then decided to cap an incredible recruiting class, which had three of the top 10 players in the country, among a group of freshmen that came to be known as “The Fab Five.” (Also on that Michigan team was a junior guard who averaged 2.9 points per game, who had no future as pro player, but who carved out a place for himself nonetheless in the NBA -- Rob Pelinka, who became a high-powered agent representing the likes of Kobe Bryant before becoming the Lakers’ General Manager in 2017.) “The Fab Five”, like it or not -- and, I liked it very much -- changed basketball forever. And Webber was the lynchpin of those Michigan teams that reached consecutive NCAA championship games in 1992 and ‘93. Across the board, the Fab Five had long-lasting impact. Aesthetically, they were vanguards, wearing long, loooong shorts that became all the rage throughout basketball.  And while trash talking has been at the heart of hoops for generations, Michigan raised it to a team-wide art form. It drove traditionalists crazy, while kids watching at home loved it. They were the accelerant to the “one-and-done” era, even though none of them left Michigan after their freshman season. But seeing five freshmen start games and play the lion’s share of minutes rippled throughout the college game. Going forward, teams didn’t just recruit blue-chippers, they put them on the floor immediately. What John Calipari does annually at Kentucky now is but the logical conclusion to what Michigan started, and every Power 5 team in college basketball has had to follow suit or get left behind. Of course, “The Fab Five” era wound up being star-crossed. I’m well aware of the penalties assessed to the Michigan program because of the money that Ed Martin gave to players, including Webber. The university vacated the ‘92-93 season, including all of its NCAA Tournament games that year, and took down the banners commemorating “The Fab Five” and their two Final Four runs. (Michigan also vacated all of its games from 1995-96 because of Martin’s associations with other players on teams during those seasons, and its ‘93, ‘96 and ‘98 NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as its ‘97 NIT title and ‘98 Big 10 Tournament championship.) It’s obvious to me that if not for his involvement with Martin, Webber would have been on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, which won the gold medal in Australia, as well -- another potential feather in his cap that would bolster his Hall of Fame credentials. I will say, as delicately as I can, that there are coaches and players in the Hall that have been accused of doing some of the very things that got Michigan and Webber in so much trouble. That, in and of itself, should not be disqualifying. Webber’s NBA career also did not include a championship. But he was just as impactful on the pro game. Beginning in Golden State and Washington, C-Webb was a category all his own -- a big man with catcher’s mitts for hands who could pulverize in transition, yet was also an incredibly deft passer, both from the post or out front. As a rookie, Webber elevated Golden State from a 34-48 record in 1992-93 to 50-32 the next season. Traded to Washington after that one season with the Warriors, having conflicted mightily with Coach Don Nelson, Webber helped get the then-Bullets to the postseason for the first time in nine years. Once there, the Bullets went toe-to-toe with the defending-champion Bulls in a tough, three-game first-round series in ’97. But it wasn’t until Webber was sent to what was then the equivalent of Siberia in the NBA -- Sacramento -- that his game reached full flower. Playing with another excellent passing big man in Vlade Divac, and a flashy savant of a point guard in Jason Williams, Webber and the Kings were the vanguard of the modern NBA game, coming to fruition years before the Suns’ Seven Seconds or Less attack led by one of last week’s Hall of Fame inductees, Steve Nash. The Kings moved the ball with flair and purpose. The Warriors have changed the game forever by stretching the floor to the breaking point for opposing defenses with their 3-point proficiency, but even they didn’t have what Sacramento possessed -- two bigs who could initiate and finish from anywhere inside the 3-point line. No one could do what the Kings could do, and with Webber, Sacramento changed almost overnight from perennial joke to perennial championship contender. The Kings made the playoffs six straight seasons, reaching the Western Conference finals in 2002 before losing in controversial fashion to the Lakers in seven games. Webber’s knee injury during the Kings’ semifinal playoff series with Dallas in 2003 marked the beginning of the end for him and the Kings. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, Sacramento probably would have beaten the Mavericks and played San Antonio in the West finals. And while San Antonio would have been favored in that series, the Kings would have had a chance, with the winner facing the Nets in The Finals that year. And a championship would also have made C-Webb’s pro career look much different. But, that didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter, though. Webb’s career stands on its own merits. At all levels, he has had impact and changed the game, and he deserves to have his moment in the sun in Springfield. Sometimes it takes players of merit a little longer, for various reasons -- think Spencer Haywood, or, this year, Mo Cheeks. Chris Webber is a Hall of Famer, and it isn’t a close call. 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 NewsSep 11th, 2018