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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

Awesome Christmas gift ideas for the Pinoy sports fan in your life

Christmas season is here, and along with the cold weather comes the bevy of various NBA games and sporting events that makes any Pinoy sports fan feel the Holidays even more. What better way to make the sports fan in your life happy this Yuletide season than to give them some awesome athletics gear? In this list, we try and offer some great gift ideas for your special someone who happens to be a sports fan.  From your loved one, to your family, friends, and even your inaanak, we've got you covered. Official NBA Apparel No professional sports league celebrates the holiday season better than the NBA.  From its special uniforms, to its yearly tradition of cheery commercials, and its epic slate of Christmas day games, the Association certainly knows how to tickle each and everyone’s holiday soft spot. For the NBA fan in your life, there are lots of choices in officially licensed apparel. Nothing else comes close than wearing your favorite player or team’s threads. Official jerseys and shirts that have licensed logos and designs? This is a classic gift, a no-brainer. NBA Tops  Stephen Curry Nike Statement name and number tee (P1,395) NBA Shorts Cleveland Cavaliers Nike Swingman Shorts (P2,975)   NBA for Youth Los Angeles Lakers Toddler Logo Tee (P1,295)   NBA Caps Golden State WarriorsTwo-tone Wordmark Strapback (P1,790)   Sneakers Nike KD Trey5 V (P4,795) Fresh set of kicks Imagine going to your family Christmas trip with new sneakers on. That’s just the best feeling for any sports fan, and you can help them by trying out any of these fresh kicks. adidas Harden Vol. “1 Driveway” (P8,500) Inspired by Houston Rockets superstar James Harden and his early basketball days, adidas introduces Harden Vol. 1 Driveway. Taking design cues from Harden’s LA home, the latest edition features a cream upper with contrasting Primeknit threads and suede toe shroud.     The Driveway colorway is now available in select adidas retailers and shop.adidas.com.ph. adidas EQT Cushion ADV(P7,500) An evolution of the original EQT Cushion 91 model, the EQT Cushion ADV shoe design features a fluid Primeknit upper with welded synthetic overlays and structural nubuck quarter panels, accented by webbing tape 3-stripes marks, and reflective accents The EQT Cushion ADV will be available in select adidas stores and shop.adidas.com.ph starting 7th December 2017.  adidas Ultraboost ATR (P9,995) Got a runner in the family? Help them shatter their excuses with the latest additions to the UltraBOOST family. The adidas Ultraboost ATR is designed to empower runners and encourage them to embrace any condition whether rain, hail, darkness or cold.  It has features that can help withstand even the most unpredictable weather. The new UltraBOOST All Terrain and UltraBOOST X All Terrain are now available in adidas.com.ph/UltraBOOST and leading adidas stores and retailers.  Merrell Chameleon 7 Stretch in Boulder (Php 5,995.00) The Merrell Chameleon 7 collection is inspired by the adaptable animal itself, and it recently got an upgrade. This core style and fan favorite features an iconic look, style, durability and function. Check out the Chameleon 7 collection in Merrell stores at Glorietta 3, TriNoma, SM North EDSA Annex, Market! Market!, Robinsons Place Manila, Festival Mall, SM Dasmarinas, Marquee Mall, Harbor Point, SM City Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM City Davao, SM Lanang, Abreeza Mall, Gaisano Mall Davao, LimKetKai Mall, and Centrio Mall, select specialty & department stores nationwide and online at merrell.com.ph.   Ultraboost laceless (P10,000) adidas has broken down barriers by working closely with athletes to test and re-work its renowned PrimeKnit upper to create a compression fit which supports and guarantees peak performance from the wearer without the need for laces.  The UltraBOOST Laceless hit stores on 6th December 2017, and retails in shop.adidas.com.ph and leading adidas stores and retailers.   Sports Tech Fitness has become a common interest and lifestyle among many Filipinos as different types of workouts become more accessible and convenient.  These advanced peripherals from Samsung would make anyone drool. Whether your loved one is a fitness nut, or a tech geek, they’ll certainly appreciate the features of each gadget that’s packed into such a luxurious piece of technology. Gear Icon X (P8,490) Listening to music to get that extra pump during your workout is made easier with the Gear IconX.  No more running with your phone in hand and tangled cord because while the Gear IconX are wireless Bluetooth earphones, you can also load them up with your favorite workout playlists. It also boasts up to 7 hours of battery life.   Samsung Gear Sport (P14,990) This device can do everything from tracking your exercise and calorie intake down to replying to notifications and playing music. This smartwatch is packed with functionalities yet comfortable to wear.   Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro (P8,990) Featuring a minimalist, no-nonsense aesthetic, the Gear Fit 2 Pro offers flawless functionality and seamless integration with your smartphone. You have the option to custom design exercises and goals, and let the software do all the heavy lifting when it comes to tracking your progress.  You can get your own Samsung Gear device starting November 17, 2017 in Samsung Experience Stores, partner retailers, Lazada, and Abenson.com.      A piece of history Adidas Telstar 18 (P6,500) Telstar 18, the official 2018 FIFA World Cup™ game ball is the perfect gift for the dedicated football fan.  It pays homage to the first ever adidas World Cup ball, the 1970 Telstar. It’s a reinvention of the classic with a brand new panel design and the latest in ball technology and it will be used by the world’s best players as they seek to claim the biggest prize in football next summer. The Telstar now available at select adidas retail stores and the adidas online shop at shop.adidas.com.ph. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Oladipo, Sabonis helping Pacers move forward

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo has a fever and the only prescription is ... no, not more cowbell. Cowbell might make sense, if you factor in Oladipo’s love of and commitment to music (his debut R&B album has been available since Oct. 6). But the fever currently afflicting Oladipo, shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers, has nothing to do with extracurriculars and everything to do with the odes and anthems he’s been performing within the confines of 94 feet by 50 feet. If the fifth-year guard out of Indiana University, by way of the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder, looks comfortable in his new star turn for the Pacers, well, just remember that’s your word. Not his. “You could say I’m comfortable with the people here,” says Oladipo, who spent three seasons with the Hoosiers before becoming the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. “I played in front of these fans, they mean a lot to me and I gave a lot to them just like they gave a lot to me while I was in college. “But I’m never comfortable in any situation I’m in. I will never be comfortable. That’s what kind of makes me get up and work every day. It’s like, never be satisfied. Because for some reason, ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted more.” Oladipo’s eyes just about glow after a weekend practice as he delves into his unflagging intensity. He doesn’t undercut it with a smile or a token laugh. This is real heat. “Maximize my talent and exhaust my potential,” he says. “In order to do that, I’ve got to come to work every day. That’s my thought process. Wake up each day and be great that day.” Each day would include tonight, when Oladipo will share center stage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the more decorated and once-beloved star who preceded him in the Pacers lineup. Paul George, a four-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist during his seven seasons in Indiana, was due to face his old team for the first time since being traded to Oklahoma City in July. It was a parting necessitated by George, who had made clear his desire to sign a maximum-salary contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018. But the trade was orchestrated by Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations, and Chad Buchanan, their general manager, who surprised the NBA by swapping George to OKC for Oladipo and big man Domantas Sabonis. You want intense? The initial reaction to that deal was intensely negative, quickly reaching hysterical proportions. The Pacers immediately were mocked for having traded George for nickels on the dollar. Reports out of Boston characterized Indiana’s POBO as more of a bobo for allegedly spurning a Celtics’ offer of multiple players and draft picks. *Takes a well deserved nap for 3 hours ** Opens Twitter: pic.twitter.com/xWNYaVfKTy — Myl3s Turn3r (@Original_Turner) July 1, 2017 The west is sick!!!! Best conference in the world!!!! — Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) July 1, 2017 Vic to the Pacers?! He might as well run for governor while he's at it! — Cody Zeller (@CodyZeller) July 1, 2017 Former Thunder star Kevin Durant called the move “shocking” and of George said “Indiana just gave him away.” Among much of the media that covers the league, there was a general feeling of “rubes” afoot -- that the Pacers had been snookered in taking back an overpaid ($21 million annually through 2020-21) second-tier talent and an overbilled guy who had disappeared in OKC’s postseason. And now? Not so much on any of those fronts. ‘He knows how good he is’ George’s stats are down in the “OK3” core he’s formed with reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook and aging Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder (12-13) are the NBA’s consensus disappointment, team category, with nearly a third of their season in the books. Sabonis has boosted the Pacers off the bench in a half dozen ways. And Oladipo has all but earned himself a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team while speeding his new team’s fans past their heartbreak over George’s jilting. Generally, the best trades in sports are win-win, but for Indiana right now, a bit of win-lose has made the start of 2017-18 downright sublime. “We happened to really like Sabonis in the draft,” former Pacers president and ongoing consultant Donnie Walsh said last week. “We wanted more of everything in the trade too. But when it came down to it, we had this offer with Oladipo, who we also liked. They’ve come in here and the more they’ve been here, the more we like ‘em. We’re happy.” The Pacers also are 16-11, two weeks ahead in the victory column over their 42-40 finish last season that was good for a playoff berth. Oladipo is the biggest reason why, averaging more points per game (24.5) than George ever has. The 6'4" guard who attended famous DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md., spent much of last season being beaten up for his contract and negligible impact in Oklahoma City. He had taken grief earlier for his status as the second pick in 2013, a lofty status not of his doing. And here he was again in the summer, hearing it all over again for a transaction he didn’t design. “He came in with a chip [on his shoulder],” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “I thought he should come in with a chip.” Some would have flinched from the pressure. A few might have curled up, full blown fetal. Oladipo has gone entirely the other way. “His confidence is at an all-time high,” backup point guard Cory Joseph said. “He knows how good he is.” As Joseph spoke after the Pacers’ upset of Cleveland Friday, a game in which Oladipo scored 20 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter, a lilting voice drifted from behind the scenes in the home dressing room. “Look at it right now, he’s singing in the shower,” Joseph said, tilting his head and laughing. “He’s confident. You guys are all in here, he’s just singing. He’s a confident guy. Everybody in this locker room, everybody in this organization definitely welcomes that.” Trade not driving Oladipo’s breakout season Don’t misunderstand. The critics still are out for Oladipo. “My mom told me yesterday I need to work on my free throws,” he said with an eye roll after practice Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). She had noticed, during her son’s run of big games in December -- 36 points at Toronto, 27 vs. Chicago, 33 against the Cavs the night before her chiding text -- that he had missed 18-of-31 foul shots. This, by a career 80 percent shooter from the line. “I’m over that,” Oladipo said. “I’m not going to miss no more. I’ll make ‘em next time. And if I miss ‘em, I’ll make ‘em the next. If that’s my problem right now, I think I can fix it.” Twenty-four hours later, Oladipo took 13 free throws against Denver and made 11. He scored 47 points in all, hitting 15-of-28 shots and half of his 12 three-pointers. The comeback victory in OT got the Pacers to 4-for-4 on their six-game homestand and continued to shrink whatever chip it was that the 25-year-old was shouldering. “In the beginning of the year, I said, ‘I don’t have a chip. I have a brick house on my back,’” Oladipo said. But not anymore, right, now that some folks are referring to it as “the Victor Oladipo trade” rather than “the Paul George trade?” “That’s what I feel like every morning, no matter what’s going on,” he said. “I don’t even think about the trade, honestly. It’s in the past for me. People’s opinions are going to be there whether you like it or not. From the outside looking in, I guess you could say [then] that was a great trade for OKC. That’s what they believed. But it wasn’t going to change the way I worked. It wasn’t going to change my approach.” This step up in status is considered perhaps the most difficult an NBA player can make. Suddenly, opposing coaches are X&O-ing him to death. The player dogging him up and down the court is the other guys’ best defender. Often, they’ll send double-teams to get the ball into one of his teammates’ hands. “He hadn’t had that,” McMillan said. “When he was in OKC, the game plan was focused on Westbrook. When he was in Orlando, he was just a young player. Now he is seeing the defenders like a LeBron [James], like a [DeMar] DeRozan, what these stars are seeing. He’s seeing the best defenders and he’s seeing teams game-plan to take him out. “Learning how to play and be consistent every night with that challenge is something he’s going through.” Oladipo’s quick success with the Pacers has kept any crowd critics at bay. They were pre-disposed to like him just as their rebound date after George, but had he underperformed, Oladipo’s service time in Bloomington wouldn’t have protected him for long from criticism. But now, it’s George who likely will get the harsh reception. Oladipo, overtly after each of the recent victories, has made it clear to the home fans via some emphatic pointing and body language that the Fieldhouse happens to be his house. “I don’t say it, they say it,” he said. “I just do the gesture and they do the rest of the work for me. I let them do all the talking. We feed off them -- when they’re into it, we play better. I don’t know why, that’s just how basketball’s always been. They’re our sixth man and we need ‘em every night.” Oladipo’s breakout season has been bolstered, too, by the Pacers’ second-through-15th men. Those who already were in Indy knew how valuable George was at both ends. Those who, like Oladipo and Sabonis, were new this season were within their rights to be as skeptical as the national headlines of the guys coming in trade. Go-to guy emerges for Pacers OKC was a specific challenge, Oladipo having to learn on the fly how to fit his own darting, ball-heavy style to only the second man in NBA history to average a triple-double. Westbrook’s usage was off the charts, rendering the other Thunder players to supporting cast whether suited to that role or not. Just like that, Oladipo had to catch and shoot as someone to get Westbrook into double digits in assists. It wasn’t his nature and it made for an individually forgettable season. “I had a role. I tried to play that role to the best of my ability. And I improved certain areas of my game in that role,” was all he’d say Saturday, stiffly, about the OKC experience. Said Walsh: “I felt like he was going to get a different opportunity here. ... When he got to Oklahoma City, he was playing wih a guy who was averaging a triple-double. And he liked Russell Westbrook. But he comes here, he’s got an opportunity to be ‘our guy.’ “I think he might have been looking for that. I never asked him. He’s a really cool guy. He knows what he wants to be, I think.” Oladipo needed this and the Pacers needed him to need it. With George gone, they were like a smile missing a front tooth. The other teeth weren’t just going to move up in the pecking order -- no matter how good young big man Myles Turner is -- and replace the one they’d lost. If they were going to have any success this season, if McMillan was going to be able to coach and adjust in his second year taking over for Frank Vogel, the players needed to fill their roles and welcome this new addition. That’s why this tale of Oladipo’s growing success is about what the Pacers have done for him, as much as it is what he’s done for them. “We didn’t really present it like that,” McMillan said, “because we were still trying to develop who our ‘go-to guy’ was. He has been slowly taking on that role through the things he’s done. I haven’t had to say anything. He’s making good decisions with the ball. And the guys are getting a feel for what we’re doing down the stretch because we’ve had some success, and we’ve had it with Victor having the ball.” Chemistry change for Pacers There might be NBA teams with chemistry as solid as the Pacers’ right now, but it’s hard to imagine there are any with better. It’s more than mere relief that someone has stepped up, easing their own loads a bit. It is a genuine eagerness for Oladipo to max out, for each of the rest of them to do the same in whatever lane they’re riding. “Vic’s been everything at this point,” Turner said. “He’s done a great job of stepping up and being that guy, being that dude. It’s amazing to have that when you’re going through a situation where it’s a brand-new team. We’re still learning each other and he’s showing that he’s ready.” Did Turner know this would happen and, if so, when? “First couple days he started texting me in the summertime,” the big man said. “I saw what his mindset was, and I loved it from the jump. He carried that right in when we started playing pickup this summer. “Vic’s been traded, what, [two] times? He finally comes back home and he has a team that’s telling him to go, telling him to be him. I don’t think he had that with his former teams. Now that he’s here and he’s doing that, I’m pretty sure he’s [enjoying it].” Said Joseph: “He’s been a beast for us and he’s going to continue to be a beast for us. ... He’s been running with that opportunity and opening eyes around the world.” Even strong-willed, uber-confident Lance Stephenson, has backed up for Oladipo. “There’s no hate, know what I mean?” he said over the weekend. “Some guys get mad about somebody doing good. This team wants its teammates to do good. That’s what’s going to make us even better.” Oladipo keeps referring to the other Pacers in a legit lubricating of the “no I in Indy” process. “Honestly I think it’s the personalities and the men that we have in this locker room,” he said. “My teammates are phenomenal people -- not just basketball players, phenomenal people. When you surround yourself with great people, people who sincerely care about you and your team, the chemistry just comes naturally.” Sabonis shows glimpses of success, too The other guy in the trade, Sabonis, has developed more organically, his maturation seemingly inevitable regardless of locale when you tote up his youth, his work ethic and his bloodlines (son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis). He has gone from that rookie who logged just six minutes in the Thunder’s five 2017 playoff games against Houston to an essential piece in McMillan’s rotation. “Once I got traded, I knew this was a great opportunity for me to show people what I can really do,” said Sabonis, the No. 11 pick in 2016. “I was a rookie last year. Everything was new. Here, I’m being used more at the 5. That’s more the position I’ve been used to playing my whole life.” Sabonis’ minutes are up from 20.1 in OKC to 24.6 off Indiana’s bench. His scoring has doubled from 5.9 ppg to 12.1. And his PIE rating has soared from 4.9 last season to 12.6, a sign of the versatility the skilled big man possesses. “I love Sabonis,” Walsh said. “His father was one of the greatest players in the world, so I don’t like that comparison -- it kills him. He [Domantas] is just more of everything you think he is. He’s stronger than you think. He can shoot the ball better. He’s got good hands, he can catch the ball. I’ve seen him make moves in game that I’ve never seen him make in practice.” Said Turner: “I played against Domas in college -- I knew what kind of player he was. I was excited when we got him. He’s gotten bigger and stronger since then, obviously, and he just didn’t have a chance to show himself last year. But he’s been big for us now, especially when I was out with the concussion. He stepped up huge in that role and we’ve played well since then.” The Pacers are playing faster this season, up from 18th in pace last season to 10th now, part of their improvement from 15th in offensive rating (106.2) to 6th (108.3). They’re doing better, too, in contesting shots and throttling opponents’ field-goal accuracy. The biggest reason why has been Oladipo’s blossoming. Whether due to the sunshine of new, happier surroundings or from that darker, more intense place, to prove cynics wrong. No one can now talk of the Pacers’ bungling of what, after all, was a deal to rent George, not to have him long-term. Fans at Bankers Life figure to boo George on his first visit back, with an inventory they haven’t needed or used on Oladipo. Some might see that as ingratitude, others as respect. It’s a little bit of love lost, too. “Look, they loved Paul when he was here,” Walsh said. “They guy is a great player. One thing I’ve always felt: These guys that play here, they always know more about what they want for their lives than we do. How you gonna argue with that? He treated us good, we treated him good. No bad blood here. I don’t know about fans.” Folks in Indy have a new crush now, one they hope lasts for a while. 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 NewsDec 14th, 2017

Fitness Inspo: For This 22 Y/O Trainer, It s The Millennials Who Need Fitness The Most In Their Life

Bodybuilding as a passion highly involves discipline, consistency, and the right attitude......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2017

Coach Egay happy that Stags wanna be like Mike (Calisaan)

Head coach Egay Macaraya has long stated that San Sebastian College-Recoletos should aspire to be a lot like Michael Calisaan. Of course, it’s pretty much a tall task to put up their main man’s per game counts of 16.4 points in 42.7 percent shooting on top of 8.7 rebounds. What Macaraya wants to see from all the other Golden Stags, however, is the non-stop effort Calisaan gives game in and game out. “Ang gusto ko magbago sa team na yung buong team, maging Michael Calisaan. Sa nakikita ko, Michael is just doing his job,” he said. He then continued, “Harworker siya and he goes hard all the time.” This, even though there are people who believe he needs to do away with one aspect of his game. After Baste’s loss to San Beda College two months ago, the latter’s head coach Boyet Fernandez reminded the former’s fourth-year forward that he needs to play “physical lang, wag dirty.” Then, the Red Lions’ mentor said that Calisaan played with much extra-curricular activity. Defending his prized ward, Macaraya said that Calisaan is not a “dirty player” and is “just a victim” of questionable calls. After that time of heightened tension, the two teams turned their attention to different things. Now they are all set to collide in a do-or-die game for the remaining Finals berth, however, Calisaan, Macaraya, and the San Sebastian will cross paths anew with Fernandez and San Beda. Again, the Golden Stags’ mentor made it clear that their main man plays the game right. “Para sa akin, that issue is closed already kasi ‘di na naman nag-respond si Boyet,” he said, referring to their exchange of words. He then continued, “He should also understand kasi player din siya e. he should know about hard work and (being) a fighter.” Macaraya was talking about how Fernandez was once a scrappy point guard back when he was playing in the PBA – much like how Calisaan is now a scrappy forward in the NCAA. “It’s not about dirty. Sometimes, (things happen) because that’s part of basketball, when Michael was hit ng elbow (during a previous game), anong sinabi ko kay Michael,” he shared. He then continued, “Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Tanggapin mo yan. Wag kang masira.’” The Baste head coach then went on to say how his team leader only heeded his advice. Now, Calisaan and his team are one win away from an unlikely trip to the Finals. “Para sa akin po, maglalaro lang po ako. Kung ano po yung masasabi nila sa akin, tatanggapin ko naman po,” he shared. He then continued, “Kung mali po sa kanila, wala akong magagawa, pero para sa akin po, ginagawa ko lang yung trabaho ko.” Indeed, that non-stop effort is what Macaraya wants to see – and is already seeing, actually – from all his boys. “I guess, all my players right now, sinasabi ko nang they have changed their attitude. Everybody is like Michael Calisaan na,” he expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 6th, 2017

Atlanta Hawks begin a long, painful rebuilding process

em>By Paul Newberry, Associated Press /em> ATLANTA (AP) — Let the rebuilding begin for the Atlanta Hawks. After an all-too-brief run among the NBA’s elite, the Hawks are starting over with a largely anonymous squad and no hope of challenging the top teams. Four-time All-Star Paul Millsap was allowed to walk. Dwight Howard was dumped after one dismal season with his hometown team. Coach Mike Budenholzer lost much of his immense power after several ill-fated personnel decision. What’s left is a dynamic point guard, Dennis Schroder, and not much else. The roster is filled with the sort of players that generally make up a team more focused on the future than the present: career backups, journeymen, raw prospects and those who never panned out for one reason or another. Hard to believe it was only three years ago that the Hawks led the East with 60 wins and reached the conference final. New general manager Travis Schlenk made it clear that his two immediate priorities were to get younger and gain “financial flexibility” — essentially code for a team that’s not going to be very competitive for several seasons while it clears out overpriced contracts and accumulates draft picks, all in hopes of making a big splash down the road. “Our goal for the season is to see growth in all our guys,” Schlenk said, not mentioning anything about wins and losses. The probably means Hawks fans are in for a bumpy ride this season. “These are scrappy guys, these are competitive guys, these are prideful guys,” Schlenk said, doing his best to sound hopeful. “Now, we’re going to be young. Historically, teams that are young take it on the chin a little bit.” ___ Some other things to keep an eye on for the Atlanta Hawks: strong>SCHRODER GOES IT ALONE: /strong>Heading into his second season as a starter, Schroder is the unquestioned leader of team in flux. He ranked second in scoring behind Millsap at 17.9 points per game and averaged a team-high 6.3 assists. He’ll be counted on to carry even more of the load on a roster that lacks any big-time scorers. More telling will be whether the 24-year-old shows some much-needed maturity. He had several off-the-court issues a year ago, and this season got off to a troubling start with his arrest on misdemeanor charges after a brawl at a late-night club. strong>BAZEMORE BOUNCEBACK: /strong>After signing a huge contract, Kent Bazemore struggled through an injury plagued season and lost his starting job. Insisting he’s fully recovered, the former D-Leaguer needs to start living up to his status as Atlanta’s highest-paid player. He must improve his outside shooting, having connected on less than 41 percent a season ago, while continuing to bring positive energy and effort to a team that figures to endure plenty of long nights. strong>YOUTH MOVEMENT: /strong>Forward Taurean Prince, a first-round pick in 2016, moved into the lineup late in the season and played an integral role in the playoffs, averaging more than 11 points per game. The Hawks will be looking for similar progress out of their year’s top draft choice, John Collins. The 6'10' forward from Wake Forest is a dynamic athlete who has to expand his shooting range. If that improves, he’ll likely take on an increased role as the season goes along. strong>STEPPING UP: /strong>The Hawks take great pride in their player development, and they’ll have plenty of projects to work with this season. Forward Luke Babbitt is someone who could break out in a high-tempo offense that relies heavily on the 3-point shot. In seven NBA seasons, he’s yet to average more than 7.0 points per game, but he’s hit nearly 41 percent of his career attempts beyond the arc. Also figuring to play a much bigger role are fifth-year big man Mike Muscala and forward DeAndre’ Bembry, a first-round pick in 2016 who saw limited time as a rookie. strong>BUDENHOLZER’S ROLE: /strong>He’s back for his fifth season as the Hawks’ coach, but Budenholzer was stripped of his title as president of basketball operations. Enter Schlenk, who was hired as general manager after working in the front office of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Schlenk has the final say on roster moves, and it will be interesting to see how he meshes with the coach he inherited — and how Budenholzer deals with a new boss. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2017

Perfect Pirates, Player of the Week Perez making it look easy

As Lyceum of the Philippines University draws nearer to a historic elimination round sweep in the NCAA Season 93, CJ Perez is starting to make it look easy. Perez was once again at the forefront of the Pirates' attack as they siezed win number 16, 81-69, over Colegio de San Juan de Letran on Friday. Perez scored 10 of his 24 points in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter to repeatedly turn back every rally from the Knights and move his crew two wins away from completing an 18-game elimination round sweep. For his exploits, he once again bagged the Chooks-to-Go NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week Award. Perez' effortless destruction of the Knights earned him the praises of head coach Topex Robinson, but for his longtime mentor it's really the attitude of his prized wingman which truly stands out. 'Conscious siya pag nagkamali siya. He knows na nagkamali siya. One thing I like about him, and I always try to brag about my coaches in Alaska, he will never blame yung kasama,' said Robinson. 'Hindi siya yung, pag hindi pinasahan magagalit. He knows that kumbaga, he knows (he needs) the support of everyone,' he added. It was the second time Perez bagged the weekly award handed out by sports scribes. He was the very first player to be feted the individual recognition this season. To do so, Perez edged out impressive performances from Mapua University's Andoy Estrella, San Beda College's Javee Mocon, Jose Rizal University's Jed Mendoza, and Arellano University's Kent Salado. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2017

Vikings RB Cook has torn ACL as feared, ending rookie year

em>By Dave Campbell, Associated Press /em> EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Dalvin Cook became the latest integral offensive player lost by the bad-luck-trodden Minnesota Vikings. The team’s fear of a torn ACL in the rookie running back’s left knee was realized Monday, sealing the end of a promising rookie season. Coach Mike Zimmer confirmed the diagnosis, signaling the switch to Latavius Murray as the primary ball carrier. Cook will have reconstructive surgery once the swelling subsides. Some additional cartilage damage was discovered, Zimmer said, but no additional ligaments were injured beyond the ACL. “He’s a great kid,” Zimmer said. “I’m extremely impressed with everything he’s done to this point. It’s obviously a terrible thing for him, and for us, but we’ll move forward and go on from there. He’s a great worker, and I have no doubt that he’ll come back from this.” Cook was injured trying to cut for more yards near the end of a run in the third quarter of Minnesota’s defeat by Detroit on Sunday . He lost a fumble on the play and needed help off the field. Afterward, he was on crutches, wearing a bulky brace. “I’m praying for him,” Murray said. “I told him I care about him, more than anything, that he’s all right.” Cook endured some shoulder trouble in college at Florida State, but this will be a new challenge. Not so for the Vikings, who are essentially still recovering from the dislocated left knee suffered by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater last year and the domino effect it had on the roster. Bridgewater remains on the physically unable to perform list. His replacement, Sam Bradford, has missed three straight games because of a sore left knee. Several other starters on the offense in 2016 went down with season-ending injuries that left scars on the team psyche. They haven’t completely faded. As much as the stay-the-course mindset is preached around the league, necessitated by the injury-dominated sport with a 16-game schedule, Vikings players and even Zimmer acknowledged to feeling some frustration about the latest setback since the end of the 14-7 loss to the Lions. “It shows what kind of team you are when you just fight through that and keep playing,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said, “and hopefully we can get things together and start winning games.” Just when the Vikings offense was showing some balance and potency that wasn’t there last year, with a vastly improved offensive line run blocking and pass protecting with a command and consistency largely unseen in 2016, the most dynamic player has been cruelly removed from action . “Dalvin had unbelievable big-play ability in a lot of different ways,” Zimmer said. With 354 yards, Cook is third in the NFL in rushing. He has two touchdowns, plus 11 receptions for 90 yards for the Vikings (2-2), who play at Chicago next Monday. Jerick McKinnon will likely have his role expand along with Murray, but the Vikings might have to sign another veteran running back, too. “We’re looking at everything,” Zimmer said. Murray, in his first season with the team after leaving the Oakland Raiders, was limited through training camp as he worked his way back from surgery on his right ankle. Murray, who had seven carries for 21 yards after Cook left, said on Monday he still doesn’t think he’s 100 percent recovered. “But I feel good enough to be out there and I’m confident in myself that I can play at a high level,” Murray said. While the Vikings start work on keeping their season afloat, Cook will turn his attention to recovery and rehabilitation. He’ll have the benefit of Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman and his staff, a group that has helped steer many a player back from significant injuries. Adrian Peterson, Cook’s predecessor at running back, is the most famous of the comeback stories. He was carrying the ball in the 2012 opener less than nine months after tearing his left ACL. Zimmer made sure to point this out to Cook in their conversations after the injury. “I expect him to come back,” Zimmer said, “and be the same as he was.” As for Bradford, well, his status is officially still in the nebulous day-to-day category. Whether Bradford or Case Keenum plays against the Bears is still unclear. “Everything he is doing is feeling better,” Zimmer said. “But obviously, we don’t know.” Though he’s not going to replace Cook, the Vikings at least can add another potential big-play piece to the offense this week with the return of wide receiver Michael Floyd from his four-game suspension. He’s more than ready to be done watching. “It’s kind of nerve-wracking. Obviously you want to be out there and play,” Floyd said. “But you just sit back, let the time fly. I’m excited to be back.” .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2017

Austin vows Garnett-like intensity for Chooks-Pilipinas

Isaiah Austin is a nice guy, he gives nice answers during interviews and overall, he's just a pretty good person. However, the moment he steps on the basketball, Isaiah Austin is a changed man. Unless you are his teammate, he's coming after you. Actually, even if you're his teammate but he feels like you're not playing on a level that's necessary for winning, Austin is going after you too. 'It's not gonna be a lot of smiles from me except for my teammates when we're playing well,' he said. 'But other than that, I'm trying to go at people's heads, I'm trying to dunk everything, I'm trying to block every shot, get every rebound. I try to be a monster, a beast,' Austin added. Isaiah's incredible passion for the sport is reminiscent of former NBA MVP Kevin Garnett, his favorite player. And KG, who won the NBA title for with the Boston Celtics back in 2008, is a pretty intense dude. 'My whole life, Kevin Garnett has been my favorite player. I feel like I have the same passion that he has, I have the same attitude on the court,' Austin said. 'You guys are gonna see how mean I am on the court, that's just because I'm so competitive and I wanna win,' he added. Despite being only 23 years old, the 7'1' Austin is relied upon to be the leader for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas in the upcoming FIBA Asia Champions Cup. Isaiah is all for it. It's a challenge he's taking head on. 'That's completely fine with me [leadership role]. My whole career, I've been a leader on any team that I have been on judt because I'm very vocal and I'm very passionate about winning,' he said. 'I have a lot of passion for this game, it's given me so much. I feel like everybody needs to give back to it 100 percent. If I see a guy who's slacking, I'm gonna call them out and tell them to pick it up. You can't hang your head if you're missing shots, you can't hang your head if things don't go your way. You can always control your attitude and how hard you're playing,' Austin added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2017

Ravena flies high as season's first Player of the Week

The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles are off to an impressive start in UAAP Season 80 after imposing victories over Adamson University, University of the Philippines, and just the other day, Far Eastern University  One of the catalysts of the Eagles’ hot start is third-year forward Thirdy Ravena who was named the Chooks-to-Go UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week for all his effort. The versatile swingman is averaging an all-around 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game to lead his team in their pristine 3-0 start. Ravena edged out runners-up Paul Desiderio of UP and Aljun Melecio of De La Salle University who both notched career-highs in scoring Part of last season’s Mythical Five, Ravena shared that he has learned to be a constant force for the Katipunan-based squad this year. “I need to stay more consistent than last season. Last season, I’ll have a good game then polar opposite (the next),” Ravena said. “I’m just mentally focused coming into the season that I need to stay consistent.” Ateneo has won over their opponents by a margin of 17.6 points per game with a variety of Eagles contributing in each outing. Ravena has made headlines with his numbers, but his teammates have been just as valuable - an indication of the team’s unselfishness and versatility. “The players have been terrific, their attitude has been that it doesn't matter how many minutes they play, they come in and they do their job. We'd like to keep it that way,” coach Sandy Arespacochaga said about their depth. “I have to trust my teammates because everyone’s been doing a really good job,” echoed Ravena. “We’ve been winning cause everyone’s staying together and we followed whatever coach Tab (Baldwin) told us.” Ravena and the rest of the Blue Eagles will look to maintain their record unblemished as they take on the University of the East on September 24. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 18th, 2017

Federer survives Nadal thriller to win 18th Grand Slam title

Roger Federer defied age and his Grand Slam nemesis Rafael Nadal to win a record 18th Grand Slam title in a thrilling, five-set final at the Australian Open on Sunday. Federer, 35, won a classic encounter 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to become the oldest major-winner in 45 years and move four titles clear of Nadal and Pete Sampras on the all-time list. The veteran Swiss jumped for joy and cried tears of happiness as he sealed the win on his second championship point, ending a five-year wait for a big victory after Wimbledon in 2012. Neither Federer nor Nadal, 30, was expected to reach the final but both players grabbed their chance after the early demise of top seeds Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. And it was a final for the ages as momentum shifted from one side to the other before Federer finally seized control in the deciding set. 'That is a milestone in my career, they are always epic matches against Rafa,' said Federer, adding: 'Rafa has caused me the most problems in my career.' For Federer, it sealed an astonishing comeback from six months out with injury. His fifth Australian title came seven long years after his last, against Murray in 2010. 'Tennis is a tough sport, there's no draws. But if there was going to be one I would have been very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa, really,' Federer said. 'Keep playing please, Rafa. Tennis needs you.' Federer becomes the oldest major champion since Ken Rosewall won the Australian Open in 1972 at the age of 37. His ranking has dipped to 17 after a knee problem ended last season following Wimbledon, but he will now rise to 10 when the new rankings are released this week. It was the 35th meeting between the two long-time rivals with Nadal now leading 23-12 and 6-3 in major finals, including his five-set win over Federer in the 2009 Australian final. 'Just fight' 'I would have said a great event would be making the quarters,' Federer said of his pre-tournament expectations. 'Today I just drove myself forward, I said, 'Believe in it, run for the ball. Serve and run, serve and run. Just fight and see if you get lucky. 'I did, really got lucky tonight.' Nadal, who has also come back to form and fitness after an injury-ravaged 2016, has held the edge over Federer in major finals, winning their last four. 'It's amazing how well he's playing after being away for so long. For sure, you have been working a lot to make that happen. I am very happy for you,' Nadal told the crowd. 'It was a good month for me, amazing month for me, really enjoyed it. I worked very hard to be where I am today. Probably Roger deserved it a little bit more than me.' 'I'm just going to keep on trying. Feel like I'm back to a very high level. I'll keep fighting this season.' Federer, playing aggressively and with a flatter backhand than normal, took the match to Nadal and got the only service break to take the opening set. Nadal fought back with two breaks to level before Federer got the bit between his teeth with a double break in the third set. The Spaniard hit back in the fourth set with a service break in the fourth game to take the final into a fifth set. He again broke the Swiss early in the final set but Federer stirred himself and broke Nadal twice before serving out for a brilliant and emotional victory. Federer, considered by many as the finest player in tennis history, is now the first man to win five or more titles at three different Grand Slam events. He has collected five Australian Opens, seven Wimbledons, five US Opens and one French Open in a span of victories which now stretches across 14 years. AFP    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 29th, 2017

SJ Belangel joins Ateneo teammate Kai Sotto in top three of NBTC 24

Ateneo de Manila High School's towering teen Kai Sotto and La Salle Greenhills' court general Joel Cagulangan remained the top two high school players in the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24, but there was a lot of movement this week, including the rise of SJ Belangel. The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is a weekly ranking of high school players taking part in the UAAP, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments as well as the recently concluded NCAA competition. Belangel, the Blue Eaglets' graduating floor leader had a sensational week, helping steer his squad to an unblemished 10-0 record. With his exploits, he was the consensus third-ranked player of the week, leapfrogging NCAA MVP Will Gozum of Mapua University. Far Eastern University-Diliman do-it-all guard L-Jay Gonzales and Katipunan swingman Dave Ildefonso also moved up the ladder while University of Sto. Tomas ace CJ Cansino dropped to eighth after finishing fourth last week. Besides movement at the top, there were also a lot of debutatants in this week's list. Ateneo double-double machine Joaqui Manuel's workhorse type of game paid off as he was ranked 21st this week. After firing 51 markers last weekend, Bacolod Tay Tung High School's Harold Alarcon was named as the 22nd top prospect. Joshua Yerro of University of Visayas then rounded out the list. NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 End of Week 2 1. Kai Sotto, Ateneo Last wk rank: 1 2. Joel Cagulangan, CSB-LSGH Last wk rank: 2 3. SJ Belangel, Ateneo Last wk rank: 5 4. Will Gozum, Mapua Last wk rank: 3 5. L-Jay Gonzales, FEU-Diliman Last wk rank: 6 6. Dave Ildefonso, Ateneo Last wk rank: 8 7. Rhayann Amsali, NU Last wk rank: 7 8. CJ Cansino, UST Last wk rank: 4 9. Clint Escamis, Mapua Last wk rank: 9 10. Aaron Fermin, Arellano Last wk rank: 9 11. Terrence Fortea, NU Last wk rank: 16 12. RJ Abarientos, FEU-Diliman Last wk rank: 15 13. Inand Fornilos, CSB-LSGH Last wk rank: 11 14. Evan Nelle, San Beda Last wk rank: 12 15. Warren Bonifacio, Mapua Last wk rank: 13 16. John Galinato, CKSC Last wk rank: 14 17. Mac Guadana, LPU Last wk rank: 18 18. Raven Cortez, DLSZ Last wk rank: 19 19. Harvey Pagsanjan, Hope Christian Last wk rank: 20 20. Maui Cruz, EAC Last wk rank: 23 21. Joaqui Manuel, Ateneo Last wk rank: N/A 22. Harold Alarcon, Bacolod Tay Tung Last wk rank: N/A 23. Jancork Cabahug, UV Last wk rank: 17 24. Joshua Yerro, UV Last wk rank: N/A The Juniors stars were ranked using the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition. These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the MOA Arena......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News3 hr. 41 min. ago

Kerber pulls through a surprising challenge, faces Keys next

By John Pye, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Angelique Kerber remains the only Grand Slam singles winner in the Australian Open women's draw after surviving a frustrating fourth-round match. For a while, though, it appeared Kerber's progression may have unraveled against No. 88 Hsieh Su-wei, a former top-ranked doubles player with a double-handed grip on both sides. With a mix of slice and chips, lobs and bunts, whippy half-volleys and wristy crosscourt ground strokes off both wings, Hsieh pushed Kerber to the extremes and unsettled her rhythm. Former No. 1-ranked Kerber finally got a succession of breaks to take the second set and dominate the third in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory on Monday afternoon. "Credit to her. She played an unbelievable match," said Kerber, who won the Australian and U.S. Open titles and reached No. 1 in 2016. "I was feeling I was running everywhere. She was playing a lot of corners and drop shots. I was bringing a lot of balls back." After holding it together to improve her 2018 winning streak to 13, Kerber faces U.S. Open quarterfinalist Madison Keys in the quarterfinals. Keys returned to the quarterfinals here for the first time in three years with a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 8-seeded Caroline Garcia. She has yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park and is averaging a brisk 62.5 minutes on court through her first four rounds. Going into the fourth round, Keys had only dropped 14 games — the second fewest among the women through three rounds, just behind Kerber's 13 games. Keys, the only American woman to reach the fourth round, said she feels like she's playing without pressure since returning from her wrist injury that forced her out of last year's Australian Open. "I definitely realize how much l love it and how much pressure I put on myself," in the past, she said. "Just being really happy to be back out here and not at home in a cast." Hsieh certainly made the most of her time back in the spotlight, returning to the fourth round at a major for the first round in a decade. She took out one major winner — Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza — in the second round, and took a set off an almost dumbfounded Kerber to open the fourth. Kerber, returning from a form slump that saw her ranking drop into the 20s in 2017, had to produce some of her best tennis. She finished a 14-shot rally early in the second set by racing to the net and reaching at full stretch to track down a drop shot and send a forehand winner over the net post. The 30-year-old German player had to serve to stay in the match in the ninth game of the second set. Then, after winning four straight points and converting a break-point chance with a sliding forehand winner down the line, Kerber crouched and screamed to celebrate the point. She served out the set at love and then got critical service breaks in the first and fifth games of the final set as Hseih began to tire and started to miss the lines. Hsieh has won two Grand Slam doubles titles, and was ranked No. 1 in doubles in 2014 but had a career-high singles ranking of 23. At age 32, she was oldest woman still in the singles draw. Recent work with former doubles champion — and Australian Open tournament director — Paul McNamee paid off with her singles ranking expected to rise again. She'll likely also attract more attention from sponsors after going through the singles in an unadorned white tank top and black skirt. On the men's side, Tomas Berdych returned to the Australian Open quarterfinals for the seventh time after a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Fabio Fognini. Berdych has been this far at Melbourne Park for seven of the last eight years. The only time he's failed to reach at least the quarters was last year when he lost in the third round to Roger Federer. He could meet Federer again in the next round, if second-ranked Federer wins his fourth-round match against Marton Fucsovics later Monday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 28 min. ago

Nadal, Dimitrov advance to Australian Open quarterfinals

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — If Rafael Nadal wanted a fitness test in the first week of the Australian Open, he got one in his almost four-hour, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 win over Diego Schwartzman. No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov did it tough, too, before advancing to the quarterfinals at the expense of the last Aussie in the draw. Dimitrov avenged a loss two weeks ago to Nick Kyrgios with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4) win over Nick Kyrgios on Sunday night. He'll next face Kyle Edmund, who reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win over Andreas Seppi earlier in the afternoon and could relax and watch the night-time entertainment. Nadal, with his spot in a 10th Australian Open quarterfinal secure, draped an arm around his Argentine friend Schwartzman and patted him on top of the head after they met at the net. "A great battle ... he's a good friend of mine," Nadal said. "This is the first big match that I played in 2018. That's confidence for myself ... confidence I can resist for four hours on court at a good intensity." Nadal lost last year's Australian Open final to Roger Federer, but went on to regain the No. 1 ranking and win the French and U.S. Open titles before bringing his season to a premature end because of an injured right knee. He didn't play a competitive match before the season-opening major, and advanced through three rounds without dropping a set. That streak finished when Schwartzman took the second set, rebounding three times after dropping serve to break back against Nadal and level the match. Nadal lifted to win the third, but Schwatzman didn't relent. The second game of the fourth set lasted almost 13 minutes and 20 points, with Nadal finally holding after saving five break points. The 16-time major winner broke again in the next game and withstood more break points — seven in all in the last set and 15 of 18 in the match — before clinching it in 3 hours, 51 minutes. "It was a good test for me. It was a lot of hours on court. Moments under pressure," Nadal said. "So, yeah, a lot of positive things that I managed well." Nadal will next play 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, who collected his 100th Grand Slam match win with a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3) victory over No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta. "I had the 300th win of my career at the U.S. Open in 2014, so this is also beautiful one," Cilic said of his latest major milestone. "I hope I'm going to continue and gather three more here." Caroline Wozniacki continued to cash in on her second chance, reaching the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2012 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybarikova. After saving match points and coming back from 5-1 down in the third set of her second-round win, No. 2-ranked Wozniacki said she was "playing with the house money" and had nothing to lose. "I played really well from being down 5-1 ... since then I've just kept that going," she said. After a tight tussle in the opening four games against No. 19-seeded Rybarikova, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, Wozniacki dominated the fourth-round match and conceded only six points in the second set. She tried a between-the-legs shot for the first time in a tour-level match. "I think you can tell my confidence is high," Wozniacki said in an on-court TV interview. "I tried a tweener today and it went in." Wozniacki next plays Carla Suarez Navarro, who came back from a set and 4-1 down to beat No. 32 Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6. Elise Mertens reached the quarterfinals in her Australian Open debut, beating Petra Martic 7-6 (5), 7-5 to extend her winning streak to nine matches including a title run at the Hobart International. _____ More AP coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/AustralianOpen.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2018

Holiday, Cousins, Davis lead Pelicans past Memphis 111-104

BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jrue Holiday scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-104 on Saturday night. Anthony Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds but did not score his first points of the second half until he dunked with 1:15 to go in the game, giving the Pelicans a 108-102 lead. Darius Miller added 12 points in a reserve role for New Orleans, which never trailed but very nearly blew a 21-point lead. Trailing by 15 at halftime, Memphis scored the first 13 points of the third quarter, part of a 16-2 run to open the half that trimmed New Orleans' lead to a single point with most of the third quarter remaining. The Pelicans briefly rebuilt their lead to 12, but it was back to a single possession by the end of the third quarter after Wayne Selden, who scored a career-high 31 points, hit a 3 to make it 83-81. New Orleans didn't lead by double digits again, and Cousins had to briefly leave the game after committing his fifth foul with nearly seven minutes to go, but Holiday's big quarter preserved the victory. Marc Gasol scored 16 points for Memphis, which lost for just the second time in six games. Guard Tyreke Evans scored 12 points against his former team and former LSU player Jarell Martin had 11. In their first game after being named All-Star starters, Davis and Cousins helped the Pelicans build their largest lead in a first half by dominating the interior. Cousins reached 11 points with a crowd-pleasing spinning dribble away from a converging double-team, setting up his scoop off the glass as he was fouled. That made it 51-30 with 4:23 to go in the second quarter. Davis reached 19 points when his stealth baseline cut was rewarded by Cousins' crisp chest pass from the top of the key, setting up an easy dunk. Pounding the ball into the paint helped the Pelicans build a glaring 22-4 advantage in first-half free-throw attempts. Davis scored seven of his points from the free-throw line and Cousins six during that stretch. While that disparity was growing, Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff was assessed a technical foul for his words with an official. Memphis starters combined for just 23 points in the first half, and the Grizzlies' deficit could have been a lot worse if not for Selden, who played in three games for the Pelicans earlier this season. Selden scored 18 points in the first half, including a pair of 3s late in the second quarter that helped Memphis trim the lead to 59-44 at halftime. TIP-INS Grizzlies: Starting forward JaMychal Green left with a right ankle injury with 9:05 left in the third quarter. He had 16 rebounds and eight points before leaving the game. ... Rookie Dillon Brooks had 10 points before fouling out in the final minute. Ben McLemore also scored 10. ... Guards Mario Chalmers (right shoulder) and Andrew Harrison (left shoulder), who were listed as questionable following Friday night's victory over Sacramento, did not play against the Pelicans. ... Went 15 of 16 on free throws. ... Fell to 5-16 on the road. Pelicans: The game marked the eighth time this season Cousins, Davis and Holiday each had at least 20 points in the same game. ... Finished 26 of 32 on free throws. ... Went just 7 of 27 from 3-point range. ... Improved to 12-9 at home. UP NEXT Grizzlies: Hosts Philadelphia on Monday night. Pelicans: Host Chicago on Monday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2018

Ross: Racism is never justifiable

"Racism is never justifiable." That was the message of Chris Ross hours after the heated duel between San Miguel and NLEX on Friday. The reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year refused to talk to the media after the Beermen's 109-98 victory over the Road Warriors but posted the message on his Instagram stories. According to San Miguel coach Leo Austria, Ross was reportedly on the receiving end of a racial slur from NLEX coach Yeng Guiao when the two but heads late in the game. Heblew a gasket and was ejected with 1:46 left to play. Guiao, though, denied that he used the derogatory word n****r on Ross, but admitted to flashing the dirty finger. READ:Austria s...Keep on reading: Ross: Racism is never justifiable.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 20th, 2018

James, Curry to captain teams

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - LeBron James and Stephen Curry led the voting for NBA All-Star Game starters announced Thursday and will serve as team captains in the league’s new-look mid-season exhibition on February 18. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, was the top vote-getter among fans….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJan 19th, 2018

'I m not here to make any friends' --- Von after shove on Kiefer

In an interesting turn of events, former teammates and suppossedly good friends Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal got into it a little bit Friday during San Miguel and NLEX's matchup in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Things got heated early in the fourth quarter after Pessumal was called for a flagrant foul penalty 1 for shoving Kiefer to the floor. It's unclear what Kiefer did to trigger Von but the push definitely happened. Pessumal also basically offered nothing to clear the situation. "It's part of the game. It's part of the game," Pessumal said post-game. Pressed for answers, Pessumal declined again, questioning why the entire thing is a big deal in the first place. "I don't wanna say anything, I'm sorry. It's part of the game. Whatever, move on. Not a big deal," the second-year guard said. "It's part of the game, I don't see any reason why it's a big deal. It's part of the game," he added. Asked if there was trash talked involved and if his history with Kiefer offered any factors, Pessumal declined to give anything again. He also says he didn't talk to Kiefer after the game was over. "I wouldn't say anything. I don't know, after the game? I'm a professional basketball player, I'm not here to make any friends," Pessumal said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2018

Guiao s alleged racial slur sparks confrontation with Ross

Chris Ross was the center of more than a couple incidents Friday during the heated game between San Miguel and NLEX in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Ross got into it with forward Alex Mallari in the third period, causing both to be called for technical fouls for second motion. Then, Ross got kicked in the nether regions by Mike Miranda in the fourth, causing the latter's ejection thanks to a flarant foul penalty 2. And finally, with less than two minutes to go in a sure win by the Beermen, Ross figured in a shouting match against NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao, causing his own ejection for getting another technical foul. Ross denied talking to the media after the game but his head coach, Leo Austria, tried to make do of the situation. Apparently, Guiao allegedly issued a racial slur towards Ross. "That’s the word na he don’t want to hear from any people. According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng [n-word] or ganyan," Austria said. "I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross. He’s one of the most important players in my team especially in the endgame but that’s the thing he don’t want to hear so nag-flare up yung bata so I cannot blame him," he added. Fortunately for San Miguel, Ross' ejection hardly mattered because the Beermen were already up by double digits. However, Austria is just trying to look out for his point guard and for his team in general. "I hope this thing is a lesson for any player especially the key players in the endgame, we cannot afford to lose players. Imagine, nathrown out siya e kung close game ito?" Austria said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2018

Guiao denies racial slur but admits to dirty finger during Ross incident

In a not-so-surprising admission, NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao absolutely denied issuing a racial slur to San Miguel point guard Chris Ross. Late in Friday's Philippine Cup game featuring both squads, Guiao and Ross got into shouting match causing the latter's ejection from the game. Ross never talked to the media after the game and San Miguel coach Leo Austria was the one that tried to clear to air for his player. For his part, Guiao basically says that it was just normal trash talk. Whatever that means. "Wala. Nandoon siya [Ross] sa tapat namin. Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo," Guiao said. "I just felt that... I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about. Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya. But he was right in front of our bench. And the game was a foregone conclusion at that time, siguro magrespetuhan nalang kapag ganoon. Mananalo naman na kayo. So, manahimik ka lang," he added. Asked about the alleged "n-word" that apparently triggered Ross, Guiao denied everything. "Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi," he said. What Guiao did admit though, is flashing the dirty finger. He can't really deny that since it was caught on live television. "Oo. Kasama na rin yun. Pero ano naman eh. It’s part of siguro psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar," he said. "Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes. He also knows what he’s capable of," Guiao added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2018