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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

Robins ascend to solo lead as CSB-LSGH is upset by Baste

strong>STANDINGS /strong> br /> Malayan 11-2 br /> CSB-LSGH 10-3 br /> Letran 8-5 br /> San Beda 8-5 br /> San Sebastian 6-6 br /> Arellano 6-7 br /> LPU 6-7 br /> Perpetual 4-8 br /> JRU 4-9 br /> EAC 1-12 Game in and game out, Malayan High School of Science is being challenged in its title defense in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament. On Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, the latest challenge came from their much-improved neighboring rival Colegio de San Juan de Letran. And still, the Red Robins proved to have more than enough for a well-fought 81-76 win against the Squires in overtime. Randy Alcantara’s boys actually found themselves trailing most of the time as Letran showcased all that led it to a six-game winning streak heading into the game. “Good win sa amin kasi kami naman naghahabol from the start e,” the head coach said. Little by little, however, Malayan clawed themselves back into the matchup and by the final frame, the two teams were even. “Credit sa mga bata kasi binigay nila lahat nila,” Alcantara said. With the tally tied after four periods, the two teams needed overtime to settle the score. There, the Robins’ championship experience came through as Will Gozum’s block led to a fastbreak layup for Joaqui Garcia and another defensive stop led to Clint Escamis’ slash-to-score for a 78-74 lead with 36.4 ticks to go. Lakksman Ganapathy kept things interesting for the Squires, but was immediately answered by Gozum’s inside basket. Not long after, Malayan was celebrating its rise to a league-leading 11-2 standing. “Malayo pa ‘to. Ang focus pa rin muna namin, makuha yung twice-to-beat,” Alcantara said. In the end, Gozum had 10 points, 21 rebounds, and seven blocks; Garcia had 11 points and four assists; and Escamis had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Topping the scoring column was Carl Lacap who had 21 markers to his name. Those four were more than enough to put down the Squires. Even with the loss, however, the gallant stand should be a source of pride for a squad that was not even mentioned among contenders a season ago. With an 8-5 record, Letran stays at the third spot. The defending champions are now alone atop the leaderboard after College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills found itself at the wrong end of an upset by San Sebastian College-Recoletos. Damie Cuntapay towered above all for 16 points and 14 rebounds to lift the Staglets over the erstwhile pacesetting Junior Blazers, 71-67. A total of four players were in double-digit scoring in San Sebastian’s fourth win in a row and sixth overall in 12 games. They now stand in solo fifth. Inand Fornilos had eight points and 11 rebounds, but neither he nor his fellow frontcourt players were a match for Cuntapay. Joel Cagulangan had 16 points and six assists to show the way for the Junior Blazers who were forced to take a step back onto a 10-3 standing, still good for solo second. Meanwhile, San Beda High School stayed on the right track after avenging its loss to Jose Rizal High School, 70-69. Evan Nelle topped the scoring column with 19 points to make sure the Red Cubs did not suffer another shocker against the Light Bombers. More importantly, the win pushed San Beda into a streak and onto an 8-5 record. Just right behind them, however, and still fighting for a spot in the Final Four are Arellano High School and Lyceum of the Philippines University following separate wins. The Braves whipped Emilio Aguinaldo College, 81-70, on the back of MVP leader Aaron Fermin who yet again posted monster numbers of 25 points, 23 rebounds, and four blocks. It was a much-needed win for Arellano which had been on a three-game slide, but now improves to 6-7. Tying them for the sixth spot are the Junior Pirates who weathered University of Perpetual Help, 74-72. Vincent Cunanan had 20 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals and teamed up with Mac Guadana who had 12 markers, seven boards, and three pilfers. All of Baste, Arellano, and LPU remain within striking distance of two of the last four spots in the Final Four. Their respective losses dropped the Junior Altas to 4-8, the Light Bombers to 4-9, and the Brigadiers to 1-12. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME, FRIDAY SAN BEDA 70 – Nelle 19, Alfaro 13, Etrata 11, Tagala 6, Abu Hijleh 6, Mahinay 5, Velasquez 3, Garcia 3, Obenza 2, Dela Rosa 2, Lagumen 0, Nayve 0, Sese 0 JRU 69 – Serrano 21, Agustin 19, Camua 10, Tolentino 9, Caballero 8, Buazon 2, Amores 0, Dionisio 0, Buno 0, Delos Santos 0, Vasquez 0 QUARTER SCORES: 27-18, 43-42, 58-55, 70-69 SECOND GAME, FRIDAY ARELLANO 81 – Fermin 25, Bataller 17, Camacho 12, Fornis 10, Tamayo 5, Codinera 4, Domingo 3, Segura 2, Camilosa 2, De Leon 1, Camarillo 0, Rivera 0, Velasco 0, Liangco 0 EAC 70 – Cruz 22, De Quiros 16, Dulatre 10, Castillo 7, Oriondo 7, Boado 4, Mananquil 2, Matilde 2, Tapales 0, Baliquig 0, Ligot 0 QUARTER SCORES: 30-10, 39-34, 65-46, 81-70 THIRD GAME, FRIDAY MALAYAN 81 – Lacap 21, Escamis 19, Garcia 11, Gozum 10, Bonifacio 9, Jabel 6, Enriquez 3, Socias 0, Ramos 0, Sarias 0 LETRAN 76 – Cordero 13, Peralta 13, Valdez 11, Guarino 11, Ganapathy 9, Monje 6, Aniban 6, Reyson 4, Tolentino 3, Tamayo 0, Culanay 0, Fuentes 0 QUARTER SCORES: 17-20, 32-35, 54-54, 70-70, 81-76 (OT) FIRST GAME, THURSDAY LPU 74 – Barba 21, Cunanan 20, Guadana 12, Arenal 6, Ruiz 4, Sandoval 4, Jungco 3, Salazar 3, Umpad 1, Caringal 0, Cuevas 0 PERPETUAL 72 – Razon 20, Cuevas 10, Bongay 10, Umali 10, Gallano 9, Siegue 5, Rocero 4, De Leon 2, Maneze 2, Duka 0, Sta. Teresa 0 QUARTER SCORES: 15-21, 34-35, 57-51, 74-72 SECOND GAME, THURSDAY SAN SEBASTIAN 71 – Cuntapay 16, Villapando 12, Desoyo 11, Calahat 10, Timbancaya 9, Pasamante 9, Rodriguez 3, Pelas 1, Aguilar 0, Sumoda 0, Suico 0, Umayao 0 CSB-LSGH 67 – Cagulangan 16, Bordeos 15, Marcos 9, Fornilos 8, David 7, Perez 5, Lao 3, Dela Cruz 2, Sangco 2, Mosqueda 0, Pedrosa 0, Lepalam 0, Morales 0 QUARTER SCORES: 16-14, 31-30, 54-45, 71-67 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News4 hr. 31 min. ago

Ping on latest career milestone: Sobrang blessed lang

With the game against Kia already in hand, Marc Pingirs admitted to go after his personal milestone of 5,000 career points. If the Hotshots didn't ended up beating the Picanto by 47 Friday and the game was a little closer, Ping would have been perfectly happy too to go after his record another time. But on this particular night in the 2017 Governors' Cup, everything went right for Ping and the Hotshots. He had his record and Star got the 47-point victory. 'Sabi ko importante lang naman manalo eh, kako matagal pa naman ako sa PBA,' Ping said with a laugh when asked if there was already a conscious effort from Star to let him have his milestone. 'Pinaupo na ako eh, tapos nung nalaman nila na 'oh five points na lang, gusto mo pa maglaro?'  'It's up to you coach kung gusto mo' kako. 'Okay, laro ka'. Alam mo yung tiwala na binigay niya rin sa'kin? Nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa kanya,' he added, talking about Chito Victolero who put him back in the game with the Hotshots in cruise control. Pingris ended up making the final basket for Star to close out the win, a breakaway dunk that put him at 5,001 points for his already illustrious career. Ping is the 86th member of the PBA 5,000-point club and is the 82nd local to make it there. Among active players, he's the 24th to accomplish the feat and the 6th player from the Purefoods franchise, joining Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, James Yap, PJ Simon, and Kerby Raymundo. 'Sobrang blessed lang, talagang nag-thank you ako kay Lord kanina,' Ping said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News4 hr. 44 min. ago

NBA referees can rule closeouts as flagrants or technical fouls

em>By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press /em> NEW YORK (AP)  -- NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs. Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure. NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia says Thursday the league has made the play a point of emphasis for referees in the spirit of player safety. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News18 hr. 44 min. ago

Paulinho has silenced his critics at Barcelona

em>By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press /em> MADRID (AP) — Brazil midfielder Paulinho wasn't greeted with the warmest of welcomes when he arrived in Barcelona. Fans made it clear they were not too thrilled to see the club spend 40 million euros ($48 million) on a defensive midfielder who was playing in the Chinese league. They were expecting a blockbuster signing after Neymar's departure and ended up getting a player they knew very little about. Paulinho didn't have any links to the club's youth academy and his style apparently didn't suit the team's traditional ball-possession game. A video of Paulinho struggling to juggle the ball during his presentation at Camp Nou Stadium didn't help, going viral and igniting even more criticism against the player and the club. But things have changed quickly in favor of the low-key, hard-working Brazilian. After five Spanish league games, Paulinho has done enough to mollify the critics. He has two goals, including a late winner against Getafe last weekend, and showed some of the prowess that led him to success in Brazil and made him an indisputable starter for his national team. He thrived after coming off the bench in his first four matches, and eventually earned a start on Tuesday against Eibar. 'I'm happy with how things have gone for me,' Paulinho said. 'I'm glad that I'm playing well, it helps me get adapted to the club. I'm playing alongside some great players and they have all been supporting me a lot.' The 29-year-old Paulinho has added versatility to the midfield. He is solid as a defensive midfielder but also excels with attacking runs that often surprise defenders. That's how he scored the decisive goal in the 2-1 win against Getafe, making a run between defenders and entering the area to fire a firm shot into the far corner. His second goal was a header in a 6-1 rout of Eibar. 'He will end up being a cheap signing,' Brazil teammate and former Barcelona player Dani Alves said. Paulinho has a lot more presence in the area than some of the team's other midfielders, including Ivan Rakitic and even Andres Iniesta. It was this that made Paulinho a key player in the Corinthians team that won Club World Cup in 2012. His success with the Brazilian club prompted a move in 2013 to Tottenham, where he disappointed in his two seasons before moving to Guangzhou Evergrande. Paulinho, who signed a four-year contract with Barcelona, said he had regained his confidence while playing in China. And his good performances with Brazil also helped. 'He gives us a lot of versatility. He can help us in many different ways,' Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. Barcelona's next game is on Saturday at Girona. The Catalan club has won its first five Spanish league games and has a two-point lead over second-place Sevilla. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News18 hr. 44 min. ago

Jett Manuel out to prove he belongs with likes of Kiefer, Jeron

In the 10 months since his last game in the UAAP, all we have heard about Jett Manuel was that he passed the engineering board exam. Now, the one-time leader of the University of the Philippines is out to make an impact on the basketball court once again. Manuel is part of the 12-man team that will represent the Philippines in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup. Backed by Bounty and Chooks-to-Go anew, the Filipinos will go all-out in the tournament commencing on Saturday (Philippine time) in Chenzou, China. And for the licensed engineer-slash-basketball player, getting to don the blue, red, yellow, and white is an honor. “It’s a blessing na I’m here. I’m thankful for the opportunity,” he said. He then continued, “I wanna know what it feels like to represent the country. It’s always been a dream of mine and I’m just really excited that I’m here already.” Without a doubt, Manuel is relishing the opportunity to once again play on the basketball court while also, for the first time, playing for his homeland. On a more personal note, however, he also wants to prove something to everybody and more importantly, himself. “I always knew I had the talent to play at this level. I trust all the work that I put in and all the sacrifices I made,” he said. He then continued, “So I just want to prove that I belong. I’ve always thought that I can.” Just being included in a lineup led by Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng, the pride of State U has already proven his worth. Ravena and Teng were the two biggest names of the just passed generation of the UAAP. And while those two brought Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University, respectively, to glory, Manuel’s goal was simply to put UP in the conversation. That, he did, and the swingman left Diliman with a team with a bright future. Now, Manuel joins forces with the best of the best of his UAAP generation to bring back a championship for the Philippines. “Dati, when you’re up against them, there’s pride involved. Now, we all have a common goal and the same team name in front of us,” he shared. Fortunately for the 24-year-old, he made sure he wasn’t getting left behind even though he hadn’t been involved in a competitive basketball game in 10 months. “Even during my preparations for the board exam, I was training everyday. I didn’t take any days off studying and working out,” he shared. Now with Ravena, Teng and the rest of Chooks-Pilipinas, Manuel believes all of them will only get better after this battle. “The experience na you compete against them everyday in practice pa lang, for sure, you’re gonna get better,” he expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2017

Sale reaches 300-strikeout mark in Major League Baseball

BALTIMORE, Maryland (AP) — Chris Sale struck out 13 to become the first AL pitcher in 18 years to reach the 300 mark, and the Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff berth hours after beating the Baltimore Orioles 9-0 on Wednesday night. Boston (88-64) was assured at least a wild card and its second consecutive trip to the postseason when the Los Angeles Angels lost to the Cleveland Indians. Of course, the Red Sox are looking for much more than that. They lead the AL East by three games over the rival New York Yankees with 10 to play as Boston pursues its third division title in five years. Sale (17-7) reached the milestone on his last pitch, a called third strike against Ryan Flaherty to end the eighth inning. The last AL pitcher to fan 300 batters in a season was Boston's Pedro Martinez in 1999, when he set a club record with 313. Mookie Betts and Deven Marrero homered for the Red Sox. After winning two straight 11-inning games over the skidding Orioles, Boston jumped to a 6-0 lead in the fifth and coasted to its 11th win in 14 games. Betts and Marrero hit two-run homers in the fourth against Wade Miley (8-14), and Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the fifth. Sale allowed four hits and walked none in matching his career high for wins. Boston joined AL Central champion Cleveland and AL West champion Houston in the American League playoffs, which begin next month. Two spots are still up for grabs. strong>INDIANS 6, ANGELS 5 /strong> ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Francisco Lindor snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run homer and the remarkable Cleveland Indians held off Los Angeles for their 26th victory in 27 games. It was Lindor's 31st home run of the season, most by a switch-hitting shortstop in major league history. Albert Pujols hit his 614th home run for the Angels, who remained 1½ games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card. The AL Central champion Indians have beaten the Angels 10 consecutive times. Tyler Olson (1-0) won in relief of Josh Tomlin, who allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Bryan Shaw worked two hitless innings for his third save. The game was tied 2-all when Lindor connected off reliever Yusmeiro Petit (5-1). Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single in the seventh and Jose Ramirez added one of his own in the eighth. The Indians are 95-57, only one game back of the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in baseball and home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Cleveland trailed the Dodgers by 20 games on Aug. 25. C.J. Cron homered and hit an RBI single for the Angels. strong>YANKEES 11, TWINS 3 /strong> NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his AL-leading 45th home run and topped 100 RBIs, Didi Gregorius surpassed Derek Jeter for the most home runs by a Yankees shortstop and New York beat Minnesota for a three-game sweep. The game was briefly halted in the fifth inning when a foul ball down the third-base line off the bat of Todd Frazier struck a young girl, who was carried out of the stands, given first aid and taken to a hospital. Frazier knelt down and covered his head, and many other Yankees and Twins watched in stunned silence as the fan was helped. The Yankees, who have won 10 of 12, opened a seven-game advantage over the Twins for the top AL wild card with 10 games remaining. The Twins have lost five of six and were outscored 18-6 in the three-game series. They lead the Angels by 1½ games for the second wild card. Judge's two-run homer down the right-field line came on an 0-2 pitch from Bartolo Colon (4-6 in the AL and 6-14 overall). Chasen Shreve (4-1) pitched three hitless innings in relief of Luis Severino. strong>RAYS 8, CUBS 1 /strong> ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Blake Snell gave up two hits in seven shutout innings, and Tampa Bay ended Chicago's season-best seven-game winning streak. The Cubs, who had not lost since being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series in Chicago on Sept. 8-10, are scheduled to open a four-game series in Milwaukee on Thursday night. They lead the Brewers by 3½ games in the NL Central. Steven Souza Jr. hit his 30th home run in the first inning and the Rays added three more runs in the second off Jon Lester. Wilson Ramos, who had three of Tampa Bay's 10 hits, made it 7-0 with a two-run single in the fifth that knocked Lester (11-8) out of the game. Lester, who had won three starts since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 2, gave up seven runs and eight hits with three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He had no strikeouts. Snell (4-6) gave up singles to John Jay in the third and Addison Russell in the fifth. He walked three and struck out five in seven innings. Snell is 4-0 in 10 starts since July 24. strong>PHILLIES 7, DODGERS 5 /strong> PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaron Altherr hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth after launching a tying, two-run homer an inning earlier, and Philadelphia beat slumping Los Angeles. The Dodgers have lost four straight and 20 of 25 and will have to wait until at least Friday to wrap up the NL West. The Phillies have won eight of 10 and are 32-33 since the All-Star break, climbing out of last place in the majors. Luis Avilan (2-3) walked Cesar Hernandez to start the bottom of the eighth. Freddy Galvis bunted and catcher Austin Barnes made a wild throw to second base for an error that allowed the runners to reach second and third. Odubel Herrera struck out and Rhys Hoskins was intentionally walked. Brandon Morrow entered and Altherr ripped a hit off the right-field fence. Earlier in the series, Altherr became the first major leaguer to hit a grand slam off Clayton Kershaw. Luis Garcia (2-4) got the win despite allowing a run in the eighth. Hector Neris finished for his 23rd save in 26 chances. strong>PIRATES 6, BREWERS 4 /strong> PITTSBURGH (AP) — Adam Frazier hit a two-run homer off Milwaukee closer Corey Knebel with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Pittsburgh to the victory. The Pirates tied it in the eighth on a throwing error by Knebel then ended a seven-game losing streak when Frazier homered into the first row of seats in the right-field stands. Jesus Aguilar and Domingo Santana homered for the Brewers but Milwaukee missed a chance to pull into a tie with Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the National League. Knebel (1-2) had converted 21 straight save opportunities. Milwaukee lost for just the third time in its last 12 games. Felipe Rivero (5-2) earned the victory in relief. Frazier finished 2 for 5 with four RBIs. Starling Marte added two hits for the Pirates. strong>DIAMONDBACKS 13, PADRES 7 /strong> SAN DIEGO (AP) — David Peralta hit a leadoff homer and added a go-ahead double in the seventh for Arizona, which scored 11 runs in the final four innings and overcame Hunter Renfroe's three homers for San Diego. The Padres, who blew a 6-2 lead, hit five home runs and set a team record with 181 this season. Renfroe had his first career three-homer game and tied Nate Colbert's club mark for rookies with 24. Renfroe became the first Padres rookie to hit three home runs, and the seventh San Diego player overall to do it. The Diamondbacks, who have a comfortable lead in the NL wild-card race, hit four homers in avoiding a three-game sweep. They scored four times in the sixth to tie it, including a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez, and went ahead in the seventh. Chris Herrmann singled off Craig Stammen (2-3) and scored the go-ahead run on Peralta's double. A.J. Pollock hit a three-run homer in the four-run ninth. Jake Lamb connected for his 28th home run in the second. Jimmie Sherfy (2-0) pitched one inning for the win. strong>RANGERS 8, MARINERS 6 /strong> SEATTLE (AP) — Rougned Odor's grand slam capped a seven-run fourth inning and Texas beat Seattle to make up ground in the playoff chase. The Rangers moved within 2½ games of Minnesota for the second AL wild card. Seattle dropped its fifth straight and remained four games behind the Twins. Seattle, which trailed 7-1 early, pulled to 8-5 on Robinson Cano's two-run single in the seventh but then left the bases loaded. The Mariners made it 8-6 in the eighth. Andrew Cashner (10-10) allowed three runs in six innings for Texas. Alex Claudio got six outs for his 10th save. Longtime ace Felix Hernandez (5-5), making his second start for Seattle since coming off the disabled list, allowed six runs — five earned — on two hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners. strong>ROYALS 15, BLUE JAYS 5 /strong> TORONTO (AP) — Mike Moustakas hit his 37th home run of the season, breaking Steve Balboni's Royals record, Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield also connected and Kansas City routed Toronto. Rookie right-hander Jakob Junis (8-2) allowed four runs, two earned, in 6 1/3 innings, improving to 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA over his past eight starts. Moustakas went 3 for 4 and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle. He eclipsed Balboni's 1985 record with a solo blast to right off Carlos Ramirez in the sixth. Merrifield also had three hits and drove in a pair of runs as the Royals snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the second time in their past seven. Kansas City came within a run of matching its season high. The Royals scored 16 against Detroit twice within a seven-day span in late July. Leading 1-0, the Royals exploded for eight runs and seven hits in the second. Brett Anderson (3-4) allowed eight runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings. strong>GIANTS 4, ROCKIES 0 /strong> SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tyler Chatwood dug himself an early hole and Colorado lost to last-place San Francisco for its third straight defeat. Joe Panik hit a one-out triple in the first inning off Chatwood (8-13) and immediately scored on Denard Span's sacrifice fly. Panik then doubled in the third and came home on Buster Posey's sacrifice fly. Brandon Crawford hit a solo homer in the third to back Matt Moore (6-14), who earned his first win against Colorado after going 0-2 over his first three outings of the year. After two straight 4-3, walk-off setbacks, the Rockies lost for the fifth time in seven games overall following a six-game winning streak. They lead Milwaukee by one game for the second NL wild card. strong>CARDINALS 9, REDS 2 /strong> CINCINNATI (AP) — Dexter Fowler homered for the third straight game while Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong also homered as St. Louis gained ground in its playoff push with a win over Cincinnati. Tommy Pham finished with two doubles, a single and two RBIs and Yadier Molina added a two-run double as the third-place Cardinals (79-72) gained a game on Colorado in the wild-card race to move within 2½ games. St. Louis sits five games behind the Cubs in the NL Central chase. Rookie right-hander Luke Weaver (7-1) retired 10 straight batters in one stretch on the way to his seventh straight winning start, the major leagues' longest active streak and the longest by a Cardinals pitcher this season. The 24-year-old allowed five hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in five innings. Relievers Zach Duke, Seung Hwan Oh, Sandy Alcantara and Sam Tuivailala teamed up to retire 12 of the final 13 Reds batters. Rookie Davis (1-3) gave up all three homers and five runs on five hits with three strikeouts in three innings. strong>NATIONALS 7, BRAVES 3 /strong> ATLANTA (AP) — Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino issued three bases-loaded walks in the six-run eighth, Gio Gonzalez pitched seven strong innings and Washington beat Atlanta. Gonzalez (15-7) allowed two runs, three hits and one walk to enjoy some rare good luck in the series. The left-hander, who struck out eight, began the night 4-11 with a 5.27 ERA in 20 career starts against the Braves. The NL East champion Nationals rallied from a 2-1 deficit for their third straight win. Pinch-hitter Wilmer Difo singled, Trea Turner doubled and Jayson Werth walked in the eighth against Jose Ramirez (2-3). Braves manager Brian Snitker brought in Vizcaino, and the move quickly backfired. Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon walked, and Vizcaino left without a retiring a batter. Rex Brothers then gave up Adam Lind's two-run single and Michael Taylor's RBI single to make it 7-2. Ramirez allowed three runs, two hits and one walk with one strikeout in 1/3 of an inning. strong>ASTROS 4, WHITE SOX 3 /strong> HOUSTON (AP) — Yuli Gurriel had three hits, including a two-run double, Brad Peacock threw six solid innings and Houston extended its winning streak to six games with a win over Chicago. Peacock (12-2) allowed two runs on one hit with six strikeouts. The right-hander continues to throw well, allowing two runs or fewer in each of his last five starts. After Yoan Moncada put the White Sox up 2-1 in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer, Gurriel answered with his two-run hit in the bottom half of the inning. Jose Altuve upped Houston's lead to 4-2 with an RBI single in the seventh, but Yolmer Sanchez cut the lead to one with an RBI double in the eighth. Joe Musgrove struck out Moncada with the tying run on second to end the eighth and struck out Omar Narvaez with the tying run on second to end the game for his second save. James Shields (4-7) allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. strong>MARLINS 5, METS 4, 10 INNINGS /strong> MIAMI (AP) — J.T. Realmuto homered in the 10th inning, and Miami beat New York after rallying for three runs in the ninth against former teammate A.J. Ramos. With one out, Realmuto hit a 1-1 pitch from Paul Sewald (0-6) into the Mets' bullpen for his 17th homer. Miami trailed 4-1 in the ninth before coming back against Ramos, who faced the Marlins for the first time since they traded the closer to New York on July 28. Justin Bour led off with his 22nd homer and first since a six-week stint on the disabled list. Ramos then gave up four singles, including two-out RBI hits by pinch-hitter A.J. Ellis and Ichiro Suzuki. Sewald replaced Ramos and struck out Christian Yelich on a 3-2 breaking ball with the bases loaded to force extra innings. Ramos' blown save was his first with the Mets. Major league home run leader Giancarlo Stanton walked a season-high four times and struck out in his only at-bat to remain at 55 homers with 11 games to go. strong>ATHLETICS 3, TIGERS 2 /strong> DETROIT (AP) — Daniel Mengden pitched seven scoreless innings, and Marcus Semien homered and drove in three runs, leading Oakland to a 3-2 win and three-game sweep of Detroit. Mengden (2-1) allowed seven hits and struck out four, extending his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings and helping the A's to their fourth consecutive win. The 24-year-old right-hander missed the first two months of the season after undergoing offseason foot surgery and was making his fifth major league start this year. Liam Hendriks got the final two outs in the ninth to earn his first save. Anibal Sanchez (3-5) pitched well in a losing effort, allowing three hits and one run in six innings. He struck out eight and walked three. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2017

Watt dealing with broken finger as Texans prepare for Pats

em>By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press /em> HOUSTON (AP) — J.J. Watt brushed off the fact that he'll be playing against the New England Patriots on Sunday with a broken left ring finger. 'It's not going to bother me too much. It's broken but not bad,' he said wiggling the bandaged digit. 'It's just a finger, if it was anything else it would be a problem.' Some might cringe at the thought of playing football with a broken finger, but after missing 13 games last season following his second back surgery, this injury doesn't seem as if it's a big deal to Houston's star defensive end. He noted that the break hasn't really made that much of a difference because he already had a problem with that finger before he broke it in Houston's season-opening loss to Jacksonville. '(It) actually doesn't bother me a whole lot because I haven't had use of that finger for a long time because I tore a tendon on it a few years back on it,' he said. 'So it wasn't very useful anyway. I don't really need it that much so it doesn't bother me.' Watt and the Texans (1-1) are looking to end a six-game skid against the Patriots and get their first win against New England since 2010 on Sunday. The Patriots beat Houston twice last season with a 27-0 win in the regular season and a 34-16 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs. The regular-season game against the Patriots in 2016 was Watt's last before landing on injured reserve for the first time in his career. He said returning to Gillette Stadium won't mean anything extra even though it was where his season ended last year. 'Until you guys just brought it up I honestly hadn't thought about it ... I'm so far beyond all that stuff,' he said. 'I'm so far beyond the injury and comeback and all of that stuff. I'm just playing football. I'm just enjoying it and loving it and having fun. I just enjoy being an athlete again, not having to worry about any of that.' Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, said his first game this season was a bit of a struggle, but that he felt more like himself in a win over the Bengals on Thursday night. 'I settled in more,' he said. 'In that first game there were a lot of emotions and trying to do so much and trying to win the game on every, single play instead of just settling down and doing my job and executing the way I know how to execute. So I think that's what it was. Like: 'OK take a deep breath, you know how to play this game.'' New England coach Bill Belichick raved about Watt and knows his team will have its hands full dealing with him on Sunday. 'Just a tremendous player,' he said. 'There's a reason why he's been the player of the year in this league multiple times and very deserving of it. He's a force out there. He's one of the best players in the league, one of the best players I've ever coached against.' Watt looks to be returning to form as the Texans prepare for their third game, and coach Bill O'Brien and his teammates have been complimentary of his play. However, there has been something missing for the man who led the NFL in sacks in 2012 and 2015 and has 76 in his career. Watt has seven tackles and two quarterback hits, but has yet to record a sack in 2017. 'It's more important for me to feel like myself than it is to get stats,' he said. 'As long as we win I don't really care. And especially the last game on Thursday night I felt like myself. So as long as I play like that and go out there the sacks will come.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2017

Goals flow for England's top clubs in League Cup

em>By Steve Douglas, Associated Press /em> England's top clubs showcased their strength in depth in the League Cup on Wednesday, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton all advancing to the last 16 despite fielding virtual second-string lineups. Back-up forwards had a particularly fruitful time on an evening when the yawning gap between the Premier League and the lower leagues was highlighted. Michy Batshuayi netted a hat trick for Chelsea in a 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were paired up front for Manchester United and both scored in a 4-1 win over Burton Albion. In other Premier League vs. League Championship matchups, Everton beat Sunderland 3-0 thanks to a double from young striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Arsenal overcame Doncaster 1-0 courtesy of a first-half goal from Theo Walcott. Leroy Sane scored in each half for Manchester City in a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion, with the result soured for the visitors by the sight of Ilkay Gundogan going off injured in the midfielder's first start in nine months after a cruciate knee ligament injury. A closer look at the Wednesday's five third-round games: ___ strong>CHELSEA STROLL /strong> Batshuayi is facing another season as the reserve striker at Chelsea after Alvaro Morata was signed in the offseason as a replacement for Diego Costa, who doesn't figure in coach Antonio Conte's plans. The Belgium international took his chance to impress with Morata having the night off, scoring in the 19th, 53rd and 86th minutes at Stamford Bridge. Kenedy and Charly Musonda also scored for the English champions, for whom Ethan Ampadu became the first Chelsea player born this millennium — a week after his 17th birthday. Eden Hazard impressed on his first start of the season after a broken ankle. ___ strong>UNITED BEGINS TITLE DEFENSE /strong> Two goals in the opening 17 minutes by Rashford set Man United on its way to an easy win in the first game of its title defense. Jesse Lingard and Martial added more goals for Jose Mourinho's side, which has also scored four goals in three of its first five games in the Premier League. 'We look happy playing football in this moment,' said Mourinho, who didn't even include top scorer Romelu Lukaku in the squad for the match. ___ strong>SANE'S DOUBLE /strong> It was a contrasting evening for Man City's two Germany internationals at West Brom. While Sane was scoring in each half — including the winning goal at the end of a rapid counter-attack in the 77th minute — Gundogan lasted just 59 minutes before being substituted with an apparent knee injury following a heavy tackle from Claudio Yacob. Yacob went on to equalize for West Brom. 'He has a small issue with his knee, but not like before,' City manager Pep Guardiola said of Gundogan, 'and I don't think it will be anything serious.' ___ strong>RESPITE FOR KOEMAN /strong> Everton ended a run of four straight losses, when the team didn't score a goal, to provide some relief for manager Ronald Koeman. Without Romelu Lukaku, who was sold to Man United in the offseason, Everton lacks a prolific striker this season but two forwards were on the scoresheet against Sunderland. The 20-year-old Calvert-Lewin scored in the 38th and 51st minutes, while Senegal international Oumar Niasse grabbed the third — his first goal for Everton in his first appearance for the club since May 2016. ___ em> strong>The draw for the last 16: /strong> /em> Tottenham vs. West Ham Bristol City vs. Crystal Palace Swansea vs. Manchester United Arsenal vs. Norwich Chelsea vs. Everton Manchester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers Leicester vs. Leeds Bournemouth vs. Middlesbrough .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2017

Dondon Hontiveros quietly retires from the PBA

ANTIPOLO --- One of the best shooters the Philippines has ever seen is finally calling it quits. After 17 years in the Philippine Basketball Association, Cebuano Hotshot Dondon Hontiveros is calling it a career, playing his final game for the Alaska Aces Wednesday at the Ynares Center here. His final performance? A quiet two points and four rebounds in just over 21 minutes of play. Don't let that fool you though, Hontiveros was a bad, bad man in the PBA and is truly an all-time great. As a direct hire for Tanduay in the year 2000, Hontiveros' PBA career would take off after he joined the San Miguel Beermen two years later. As the premier shooter for the PBA's winningest franchise, Hontiveros would turn into a consistent All-Star in the league and was a member of the national team in 2002 and 2007. Dondon would also win two championships with the Beermen before he was shipped to Air 21 in 2011. He would briefly return to the San Miguel franchise later in the year and would later find himself playing for Alaska by 2012. Hontiveros would play out the rest of his career with the Aces, winning one final championship in 2013. He's also fourth in the all-time list for most 3-point shots made in PBA history behind only Jimmy Alapag, Allan Caidic, and Ronnie Magsanoc. While there's still chances that another team might try to sign him, Hontiveros is perfectly content with his decision now to walk away from the game of basketball. He says his focus now is to be there for his son. 'Right now, ine-enjoy ko muna yung moment with my teammates and reflect on what I have learned, and what I think I can improve on as a leader, as a teammate, or as a friend,' the 40-year-old Hontiveros said. 'Kung ano man natutunan ko ngayon, swerte ako may anak ako na ite-train ko,' he added. With almost two decades spent in the Association. Hontiveros admits that the championships are the ones that he will miss most. Those and playing for the Philippines of course. He was part of the Gilas Pilipinas program and made the team in 2011 and 2015. “There’s too many to mention, pero I guess one of those yung championships, kasi hindi mo talaga ma-ano yun. Other than that, I guess, as a player, being part of the national team,' he said. 'It’s really different to play for the national team, to represent the country. I’m lucky to be able to do that,' Hontiveros added. Asked regarding what's next, Hontiveros says that he'd still like to stay close to basketball althought it might be hard to actually figure out what to do now that's his daily routine will change drastically. 'On a daily basis, iba na yung routine. Pero there’s always something to look forward to,' he said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

Mbala lives up to expectations with 32-10 double-double in return

Ben Mbala, the reigning and defending UAAP MVP, is now an even better version of himself after a starmaking stint in the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket. And so, when the Cameroonian powerhouse made his way back to the collegiate ranks, he looked much, much more like a man among boys. He dropped a UAAP-best 32 points on top of 10 rebounds, four blocks, and one steal in his first game since the regional meet. This, coming against an Adamson University frontline that had the likes of Papi Sarr, Kristian Bernardo, and Keith Zaldivar. After the game, Green Archers mentor Aldin Ayo was not at all surprised with the monster numbers by Mbala. “Well, as expected. Us, his coaches and his teammates, we were expecting na ganito ang ilalaro niya,” he said. He then continued, “Kahit naman kayo, alam niyong ganun gagawin ni Ben.” That is especially true as the 22-year-old displayed all of his wares up against the best Africa had to offer and averaged 21.8 points and 9.3 rebounds through his home country’s quarterfinals finish. “We know that when Ben was away, we have gained a lot as a team and Ben also gained a lot as an individual,” Ayo expressed. Indeed, Mbala said he only improved in international play. As he put it, “The guy there are pros, some of them are ex-NBA players. They’re smart, they’re skilled, and their basketball IQ is really high.” He then continued, “You gotta find a way to match up and compete and I’d like to say that I was able to learn a lot from them.” Specifically, the six-foot-seven player pointed to his much-improved shooting stroke. “I also added a lot to my game, not only my inside game, but also my outside game. Actually, I was really working on it even during offseason,” he shared. He then continued, “I just feel like I needed the confidence to be able to take them and make them.” Without a doubt, Mbala now seems to have the confidence as he took four triples against the Soaring Falcons and made two of them. It also didn’t hurt that Ayo prepared his team well for the inevitable return of their main man. “Ako, as much as possible, hindi ko ginalaw yung team noong nawala siya. If you noticed, right away we put him back in the starting five para dire-diretso,” he said. He then continued, “I told the boys to act as if nothing happened, act as if Ben never left, act as if we played with Ben.” And now they’re complete, DLSU is nothing but determined to re-assert their mastery over the rest of the league. “What’s good is that Ben is here and we can start moving forward, we can start working on our team chemistry,” the head coach expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

Klopp angry as Liverpool eliminated from League Cup

em>By Steve Douglas, Associated Press /em> Liverpool failed to finish off a slew of chances and conceded a sloppy goal in a 2-0 loss at Leicester in the English League Cup, arousing the ire of its frustrated manager Juergen Klopp on Tuesday. It is becoming a familiar narrative for the Reds in a disappointing month when they haven't won any of their four matches. Questions are now being asked the team's efficiency at both ends of the field. Liverpool over-ran Leicester in a dominant first-half display, with Philippe Coutinho orchestrating the attacks from midfield. But the visitors struggled after the Brazil playmaker was substituted at halftime of the third-round match in a pre-planned move from Klopp. In another game-changing substitution, Shinji Okazaki came on in the 53rd minute for Leicester, scored 12 minutes later with a deflected shot after Liverpool's defense was beaten to two headers, and then laid the ball on for Islam Slimani to drive home a stunning second goal at King Power stadium. 'Second ball from a corner and a goal from a throw-in — I'm sick of goals like this, to be honest. Unbelievable,' Klopp said. Referring to the first goal, Klopp added: 'We didn't push up together — I say it one time, I say it a thousand times. It's not nice to concede these goals.' Since beating Arsenal 4-0 in the Premier League before the international break, Liverpool has been thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City and drawn 1-1 at home to Burnley in the league, conceded late to draw 2-2 with Sevilla in the Champions League, and has now been eliminated from the League Cup. Klopp is easing Coutinho back to full match sharpness after the midfielder missed Liverpool's first six games of the season — officially because of injury and illness — while he was the subject of three transfer bids from Barcelona. Leicester couldn't handle Coutinho's passing and movement in the first half, and only came into the game when he was off the field. 'They've got a world-class player in Coutinho,' Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare said. 'I was very relieved when he went off.' Liverpool finished the game having had 21 shots, but only three on target. Against Burnley on Saturday, the Reds only scored once from 35 shots. Tottenham was among the other Premier League teams to win on a night when top-flight sides mostly fielded fringe players for what is regarded as the inferior cup competition on the English calendar, compared to the FA Cup. ___ strong>SPURS EDGE THROUGH /strong> In another unconvincing domestic display at its temporary home of Wembley Stadium, Tottenham beat second-tier Barnsley 1-0 thanks to Dele Alli's close-range goal in the 65th minute. Tottenham hasn't won any of its three Premier League games at Wembley this season, but has beaten Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. ___ strong>HODGSON'S FIRST WIN /strong> Crystal Palace scored its first goal since Aug. 22 to earn a 1-0 win over Huddersfield and a first victory under new manager Roy Hodgson. Bakary Sako was the scorer from a corner. Palace has started the Premier League season with five straight losses and no goals, the first time that has happened in the history of England's top flight. Hodgson replaced the fired Frank de Boer last week. Defender Pape Souare came on as a substitute for Palace for his first appearance since breaking his jaw and thigh, and picking up other injuries, in a car crash a year ago. ___ strong>STOKE, BURNLEY ELIMINATED /strong> Stoke lost 2-0 at Bristol City and Burnley was eliminated on penalties by Leeds after a 2-2 draw, as two second-tier League Championship teams got the better of Premier League sides. Bristol City also knocked out a Premier League team in Watford in the second round. Bournemouth, West Ham and Swansea were Premier League teams to advance to Round 4.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

Stanton needs one last surge to match Maris' 61 homers

em>By Steve Wine, Associated Press /em> MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton asked to sit out a game — not so much because he was tired of playing, but because he was tired of making outs. Swinging a weary bat and stalled for a week at 54 homers, Stanton requested a day off Sunday and was held out of the Miami Marlins' starting lineup. 'I don't like doing that, but also you've got to be smart,' he said. 'It's just that time of the year.' The pause in his pursuit of 61 homers, or even more, seemed to help. On Monday, the Marlins slugger hit a three-run homer, an RBI single and a 118-mph lineout against the New York Mets. With 55 homers, he needs six in the final 12 games to match Roger Maris' hallowed 1961 total of 61, meaning he needs one more power surge. What is Stanton thinking about those numbers? 'Don't play like I have been,' he said. 'We'll worry about it when we're done. I haven't had the greatest at-bats lately, so just have better at-bats and good things will happen.' The most prodigious, prolific home run hitter in the major leagues might also be the streakiest. His latest homer snapped a 9-for-62 slump (.145). Before that, he hit 18 homers in a 25-game span with a batting average of .387 and an OPS of 1.489. Some consider Stanton the front-runner in the National League race for most valuable player. But Marlins manager Don Mattingly doesn't even consider him the team MVP, giving the edge to All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna because he has been more consistent. Ozuna has hit at least .295 with at least 18 RBIs in every full month this season. Stanton's monthly average has ranged from .242 in June to .349 in August. He entered Tuesday's game against the Mets hitting .190 in September. He is chasing bad pitches and missing a lot, which is what happens when Stanton slumps. 'I haven't felt too well,' he said. 'But I've had more comfortable at-bats the past couple of days. I've just got to turn it around.' There's time. He homered in six consecutive games in August. But in a sport with no clock, he's racing one. Stanton acknowledged last month that 61 homers is a goal because Maris' record stood for 37 years before Mark McGwire broke it during the era tainted by steroids. Others agree 61 looms large. 'I'm interested to see if he's able to tie or break that record,' Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price said. 'It's significant for people that held that number holy, sacred, which might be my generation and those before me. I think it's a huge deal.' That sentiment is shared even in the American League, where the breakout season by New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge has become overshadowed by Stanton's pursuit of another Yankee — Maris. 'What he's doing is pretty remarkable, to be able to even talk about getting there,' Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner said. 'It's going to be fun to watch down the stretch.' Mets manager Terry Collins grew up a Yankees fan and remembers Maris' 1961 season. 'It was pretty cool to think someone could hit more than 60 home runs in a season,' Collins said. 'And Stanton is doing it when times are different. Pitchers are different, parks are different. It's truly a tremendous feat what he's doing.' Stanton's homer total is the highest since Ryan Howard hit 58 in 2006. He has a chance to become the first player to reach 60 since steroids-fueled 2001, when Barry Bonds hit 73 and Sammy Sosa hit 64. The Marlins' remaining schedule includes three dates at hitter-friendly Colorado, where Stanton has 10 homers in 20 career games. Along with the Mets, he'll also face Arizona and Atlanta. Monday's homer off Matt Harvey gave Stanton hope, as did that 118-mph lineout to left field. 'Those are good outs,' Stanton said. 'I haven't had even too many good outs lately. Even if it doesn't look as pretty, it's how you feel. Hopefully I get some games like this, and it leads to something better.' One last surge might be enough for 61. ___ em>AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York and freelancer Nate Latsch in Cincinnati contributed to this report. /em> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

A cup winner in soccer, Rio Ferdinand now eyes boxing belts

em>By Rob Harris, Associated Press /em> LONDON (AP) — When Rio Ferdinand hung up his boots two years ago, a career competing in sports appeared over. Coaching jobs weren't considered. Only television punditry kept the former Manchester United and England captain in soccer. There was still something missing for Ferdinand in retirement. Leaving the field, didn't dim his competitive streak. The former defender was missing an outlet to channel the aggression that helped him win every major honor with United. Ferdinand has found it. At 38, he is planning an unlikely transition to become a professional boxer. 'It's a chance to really get my competitive juices flowing again,' Ferdinand told The Associated Press. 'I really do miss that.' There are financial benefits, too. Ferdinand is being bankrolled by a bookmaker whose branding was plastered over the backdrops at Tuesday's announcement. 'I don't look at this as a circus,' Ferdinand told the media inside York Hall, a shabby but renowned east London boxing venue. 'I'm not trying to disrespect anyone. I'm taking it seriously.' It is no stunt, Ferdinand maintained, despite the links to a betting company renowned for often tasteless stunts. There is, however, no prospect of Ferdinand entering the ring soon. A professional license is yet to be granted by the British Boxing Board. 'I've got the utmost respect for the boxing fraternity and I'm not saying I'm going to be a world champion,' Ferdinand said. 'I'm saying there are loads of hurdles to get over and I'm going to meet them head on.' Since his wife Rebecca died of breast cancer in 2015, Ferdinand has three children to bring up. 'They just said, 'Dad, don't get knocked out,'' Ferdinand said in an interview. 'I've got to maintain that respect once I walk through the front door. So I'll be doing everything I can do not to get knocked out.' That was the concern raised by Curtis Woodhouse, a former Sheffield United midfielder who went on to win the British light-welterweight title. 'My advice to Rio would be show the game the respect it deserves,' Woodhouse tweeted, flagging up the dangers of boxing. 'This is no joke, you can die 'playing' boxing.' Ferdinand, who is aiming to fight at cruiserweight, realizes that. 'I've accepted the challenge based on many nights thinking about what the potential downfalls are,' he said in response to Woodhouse's comments. 'But I want to go in there and give it a real good shot.' For now, there is a three-month training regime to get there. Ferdinand will be working on his technique and conditioning with former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall, who has been involved with Britain's Olympic team. 'I wasn't that interested (in being the trainer), when they said it was going to be a retired footballer, in their 30s,' Woodhall said. 'But then when they said it was Rio, that changed my mind. I've always admired his attitude and his healthy living. 'He'll be a fairly small cruiser, in terms of the weight. He's tall and rangy.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

Johnson joins, Domingo returns for Alab Pilipinas

Alab Pilipinas will be getting back one of its key cogs while also welcoming a big-time boost for the looming 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League. Versatile Lo Domingo will be returning for another tour of duty for the Philippines. Introducing himself to everybody a year ago, the 23-year-old emerged as the perfect complement to fellow Filipino-American Ray Parks Jr. He served as the squad’s hustle player as well as defensive specialist. And now, Domingo will have a more imposing frontcourt partner in American Ivan Johnson. The six-foot-eight, 255-pound center is a menacing inside presence who will also bring much-needed attitude to a squad which fell a notch below top two Hong Kong and Singapore last season. Johnson was last seen by the Filipinos reinforcing TNT all the way to the championship in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. He also played two seasons for the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA. Domingo and Johnson will flank reigning and defending Local MVP Parks Jr. for reloaded Alab.. The Alapag-guided and Parks Jr.-bannered Filipinos will once again see action in the ABL commencing later in the year. All of the action will still be on S+A, S+A HD, and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/abl. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2017

Ayaay keeps Player of the Week plum in LPU

MJ Ayaay has pretty much taken a backseat to CJ Perez the whole season, but when he was given the opportunity to take responsibility, the veteran forward definitely made it count. His heroics in Lyceum of the Philippines University's 94-92 victory over Arellano University was enough for him to be named the Chooks-to-Go NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week. With the Pirates’ unbeaten slate in peril after trailing the Chiefs by 13 late in the game,  Ayaay conspired with Perez and JC Marcelino to lead a stunning comeback and set-up a thrilling finish. And with Perez fouling up with two minutes left in the game and the match in the balance, the versatile skipper stepped up to the plate. Ayaay scored five straight points, including the go-ahead basket with 7.3 seconds left as the Pirates remained unbeaten after 12 games. For Ayaay, it’s all about belief. “Nakikinig kami sa isa’t isa. Gusto lang talaga namin manalo. Tambak kami, we just stayed positive parin,” said Ayaay after the match. “Kahit natatambakan kami lagi ko lang sila mino-motivate. 'Di kami nawawalan ng pag-asa naniniwala kami na sa atin 'to, kaya natin 'to,,” he added. The development was obviously a welcome development for coach Topex Robinson as it validated his previous statements that there’s more to this squad than the highly-touted Perez. “As much as we love having CJ around, this team is more than just a CJ Perez squad,” said Robinson. “Of course CJ is a very big part of our team, but even he knows that he’s just a part of the team and that we can without him,” he added. With Ayaay snagging the weekly individual plum, it marks the second straight week that a Pirate won the award after Perez took it last week. Fellow Pirate Jaycee Marcelino, San Beda College’s Javee Mocon, College of St. Benilde’s Edward Dixon, and Jose Rizal University’s Teytey Teodoro were the close runners-up for the award. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2017

Desiderio drops 28 points as UP shows its might against UE

Aside from his game-winning triple for their first win, University of the Philippines main man Paul Desiderio has been missing the mark in the 80th Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament. That all came to an end on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum as Desiderio finally caught fire to shoot the Fighting Maroons over University of the East, 84-71. State U’s team captain averaged 13 points in 26.3 percent shooting through the first two games and in the first half of this one, he had seven points in 1-for-4 shooting from the field. The switch turned on for Desiderio in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in his squad’s scintillating 21-3 surge that erased a three-point deficit and erected a 64-49 advantage entering the final frame. UP would not let go of the double-digit advantage until the final buzzer as its main man only stayed online en route to a total of 28 points on top of nine rebounds. Desiderio’s partner-in-crime Jun Manzo chipped in 10 points of his own while Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan merged for 13 markers. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2017

Griezmann gives Atletico win in first match at new home

em>By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press /em> MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid debuted its new stadium and beat Malaga 1-0 in the Spanish league on Saturday. Antoine Griezmann scored the first goal at the state-of-the-art Wanda Metropolitano. The nearly 68,000 fans at the inaugural match in the stadium on the outskirts of the Spanish capital erupted when Griezmann converted a low cross by Angel Correa from the right an hour in. 'I'm proud to have written my name in the history of the stadium and in the history of the club,' Griezmann said. 'Hopefully there will be many more goals like this in this stadium.' The victory capped a day of festivities celebrating the stadium's opening game, attended by King Felipe VI. Afterward, players went around the field greeting the fans in the stands. A show with fireworks and music ensued. 'I've never seen anything like this as a player or a coach,' Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. 'With all the flags flying at the same time, the fans were really into it, as if they wanted to be playing. It was moving.' Atletico moved to within four points of Barcelona, which came from behind to defeat Getafe 2-1 and stay perfect after four matches. Second-place Real Sociedad, the only other team which entered the weekend with a perfect record, hosts defending champion Real Madrid on Sunday. Madrid is in 11th place, seven points behind Barcelona. Malaga, which has lost all of its matches, dropped to last in the 20-team standings. Atletico played its first three games away so there was enough time to get everything ready for the inaugural match. 'It had the feeling of a final,' Atletico striker Fernando Torres said. 'As we started hearing the fans chanting our songs, we started seeing the stadium as our own. Everything is better when you win. We started with the right foot.' It moved into its new home after more than 50 years at Vicente Calderon Stadium, which was beloved by its fans and produced one of the greatest atmospheres in soccer. The crowd was still loud at Wanda Metropolitano, which offered lot more comfort and luxury. The stadium is named after the team's old Estadio Metropolitano and the Chinese company which has a stake in the club. It is the club's fifth stadium in its 114-year history. The 240 million euro ($286 million) venue is filled with references to the team's rich history, including its past stadiums and great players. strong>DECISIVE PAULINHO /strong> Paulinho scored his first goal for Barcelona late in the second half to keep alive the side's perfect record. He fought off a defender inside the area before firing into the far corner in the 84th minute. 'I'm very happy to have scored the winning goal, it was very special,' Paulinho said. A former Tottenham player who was playing in China last season, Paulinho was one of the few players signed by Barcelona in the offseason. The club paid 40 million euros to attract the Brazil midfielder and was criticized by many for spending so much on him. Getafe, which has won only one of its four games to start the season, led through Japanese midfielder Gaku Shibasaki just before halftime. Denis Suarez equalized in the second half. 'We had the game under control,' Getafe coach Jose Bordalas said. 'The players are disappointed. We put in a great effort and the result was not what we expected. It doesn't seem like it was a fair result. We were unlucky but we put on a challenge against a great team.' Barcelona won the match but lost Ousmane Dembele, its biggest offseason signing, midway through the first half because of an apparent muscle injury. strong>EVEN DERBY /strong> The Valencia derby between Levante and Valencia ended 1-1. The result left both teams also even in the standings. strong>WINLESS DEPORTIVO /strong> Midfielder Joaquin Sanchez scored in each half to give Real Betis a 2-1 victory over Deportivo La Coruna, keeping the rival winless. Deportivo has lost all of its matches except for a 2-2 draw at Levante in the second round. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2017

Perfectly healthy Isaiah Austin appreciates love from Pinoys

Isaiah Austin is yet to play one game for the Philippines but Filipino fans have already embraced him as one of their own. Maybe because Austin is practically 'Puso personified. After news broke out that the former Baylor star will reinforce Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas in the upcoming FIBA Asia Champions Cup with the possibility of him being a naturalized player for the Gilas program for good, the reception has been entirely positive. After all, Isaiah Austin is young at just 23 years old, he's big at 7'1' and a standing reach of almost 10 feet, and he's pretty good as well being a projected top-10 pick in the NBA three years ago before he was unfortunately diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. Speaking of Marfan Syndrome, the genetic disorder basically ended his basketball career in 2014, but he's back at it now three years later because Isaiah is 100 percent healthy. Not 99 percent. 100 percent. One Benjamin. He's good as new. He is practically 'Puso personified. And that's why Pinoys already love him. And he knows that. 'I read a lot of the comments,' Austin said, referring to the flood of messages he has recieved on social media over the past week. 'It's hard for me to get back on everybody just because of the fact that there's thousands of people reaching out to me right now,' he added. Even if he's not able to answer all the messages of love he has received from his now legions of adoring Pinoy fans, Isaiah says he's taking everything in and he is thankful for all of it. 'I appreciate all the love and support and if I don't get back to you, don't take it as me ignoring you. Just know that I really do appreciate the support and I do read all your comments. It definitely means a lot to me,' Austin said. Barely a year since he's been cleared to play after dealing with Marfan Syndrome, one can't help but think just how healthy Isaiah Austin is really. Just to be clear. He's is perfectly healthy. Good as new. 'I'm 100 percent healthy that's why I'm out here playing basketball on the court. If there's any reason for me not to play, if the doctor said I was 99 percent healthy, I won't come out here,' he said. 'Basketball isn't worth my life,' Austin added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2017