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Impressive Phoenix outing puts NLEX on the ropes

The Philippine Cup woes continue for NLEX. Phoenix caught fire in the second half and simply burned the Road Warriors, 102-91, Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome. Looking to get out of a four-team logjam for the 6th-9th spots in the standings, the Fuel Masters used a big third-quarter effort to blow the game wide open against a struggling NLEX team that has now lost seven out of its last eight games. With the win, Phoenix created a new three-team tie with Blackwater and TNT for the 4th-6th spots, sporting identical 5-4 marks. But the tie is not a cause for celebration though. 'There's nothing to celebrate pa dahil yung mga ka-tie namin tinalo kami,' head coach Ariel Vanguardia said talking about the Elite and the KaTropa. 'Right now, we are victrually tied with them but we are still in seventh or eight place,' he added. After a rough first half, the Fuel Masters exploded in the third quarter behind the efforts of JC Intal and Simon Enciso and went on to outscore the Road Warriors by 13, 28-15. Enciso finished with a team-high 21 points, built around five treys, five rebounds, and four assists for Phoenix while Intal added 12. Cyrus Baguio came off the bench to drop 13. Rookie Matthew Wright almost had his first career triple-double after posting 12 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists, and Willie Wilson returned from sickness to chip in another 12 markers. As for NLEX, who now has lost all seven of its games by double digits, only Sean Anthony served as the bright spot as the forward tallied 23 points and eight boards.   The scores: PHOENIX 102 - Enciso 21, Intal 16, Baguio 13, W. Wilson 12, Wright 12, Borboran 7, Lanete 7, Miranda 5, Torres 5, J.Wilson 2, Caperal 2. NLEX 91 - Anthony 23, J. Villanueva 11, Soyud 10, Guinto 9, Alas 8, Rios 6, Lanete 6, Taulava 4, Khobuntin 3, Lastimosa 3, Monfort 3, Camson 2, E. Villanueva 2, Gotladera 1, Baracael 0. Quarters: 20-22, 53-48, 81-63, 102-91 br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017

Lady Chiefs clinch second Final Four seat

strong>Games Friday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 9:00 a.m. --- San Beda vs. Mapua (m) 10:30 a.m. --- San Beda vs. Mapua(w) 12:00 p.m. --- Perpetual vs JRU (w) 2:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs JRU (m)   Waxing-hot Arellano University occupied the second Final Four seat with its seventh straight win at the expense of the sputtering Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-23, 25-23, 25-20, Wednesday in the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball competition. The Lady Chiefs took advantage of the Lady Pirates’ 26 errors to exit The Arena in San Juan totting a 7-1 win-loss record behind the unbeaten San Sebastian College (7-0). Jovielyn Prado led Season 90 champion Arellano’s balanced scoring with 12 points anchored on 11 kills while adding 11 digs and nine excellent receptions on the defensive end. Team captain Rialen Sante chipped in nine markers while Andrea Marzan got eight points for the Lady Chiefs, who are in their fifth straight semis stint. Erica Calixto and Mary Anne Esguerra combined for 14 points for Arellano U, which also drew closer to a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage. In case SSC-R sweeps its last two games against LPU and defending champion College of St. Benilde, the Lady Chiefs’ next target is the no. 2 spot with its twice-to-beat advantage in a stepladder format. “Papalapit na kami ng papalapit. Basta lagi ko lang sinasabi sa team ko na hayaan n’yo na ang Baste na mag-no. 1 na sila ang importante ay makuha natin ang advantage ng top two,” said Arellano coach Obet Javier, whose squad will close the elims against Perpetual Help on January 25. “Lagi kong sinasabi na kahit nananalo tayo yung pursige natin dapat nandoon pa rin. Di tayo pwedeng mag-relax.” The Lady Pirates dropped their second game in a row as LPU dipped to 5-3 record tied with San Beda College.  Skipper Cherilyn Sindayen and Czarina Orros scored 11 points each while Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla had 10 markers apiece for the Intramuros-based squad, which is now hanging for dear life for the last two semis seats. In men’s play, the Chiefs secured at least a playoff for a semifinals spot with a 25-22, 25-16, 25-27, 25-19, win over the Pirates. Arellano improved to 6-2 tied with San Beda while booting LPU (3-5) out of the semifinals race. In the junior’s division, the Junior Pirates moved a win closer to sweeping the elimination round and jumping straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage after outlasting the Braves, 22-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-19, 15-13. LPU is undefeated in six games while Arellano slid to 4-2 slate.       ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017

Rogers upsets 4th-seeded Halep in 1st round at Aussie Open

br /> JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer   MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Shelby Rogers caused the first upset of the Australian Open on Monday, beating fourth-seeded Simona Halep 6-3, 6-1 in the opening match on the center court. Playing just her second match in the main draw at the season's first Grand Slam tournament, the No. 52-ranked Rogers broke the 2014 French Open finalist's serve four times on Rod Laver Arena. It was the second year in a row that Halep lost in the first round at Melbourne Park, and the fourth time overall. Rogers made a surprising run to the French Open quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Garbine Muguruza last year, when she was ranked No. 108, but only advanced to the second round at one other tournament in 2016. Her only previous win against a top 10 player was in 2014, when she beat then No. 8-ranked Eugenie Bouchard in Montreal. 'There are no easy matches at this level ... so I'm happy to get through and definitely take confidence from what I did today,' Rogers said in her on-court interview. Seventh-seeded Muguruza saved a set point in the first set and needed a medical timeout before advancing with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Marina Erakovic. Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig raced through her opening match, beating Patricia Tig 6-0, 6-1. Duan Yingying was among the early winners with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Rebecca Sramkova. Australian teenager Destanee Aiava's milestone match ended in a 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to German qualifier Mona Barthel. The 16-year-old Melbourne high school student became the first player born in this millennium to play a main draw match at a major. Jeremy Chardy was the first winner on the men's side, and only played four games. He was leading 4-0 when Nicolas Almagro retired from their match with an injured right calf muscle. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

SSC-R coasts to seventh straight win, secures semis berth

strong>Games Friday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- EAC vs. MIT (m) 10:00 a.m. --- EAC vs. MIT (w) 11:30 a.m. --- LPU vs. Perpetual (w) 1:00 p.m. --- LPU vs Perpetual (m) 2:30 p.m. --- LPU vs Perpetual (jrs)   There's no stopping San Sebastian College.  The unbeaten Lady Stags once again flexed their muscles and added Perpetual Help to their list of victims Wednesday in an emphatic 25-22, 25-13, 25-13 victory to clinch the first Final Four berth in the 92nd NCAA women's volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan. Reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones uncorked 18 kills in her total of 18 points for SSC-R, which improved to 7-0 win-loss slate and moved two wins closer for an outright Finals berth with a thrice-to-beat advantage. The win also gave Arellano University (6-1) and reigning champion College of St. Benilde (6-2) at least a playoff for a semis seat.  Joyce Sta. Rita and Katherine Villegas combined for 14 points for SSC-R, which scattered 38 attacks compared to 18 of the Lady Altas. Perpetual slid to 3-3 card and is now in danger of missing the semifinals cut. Lourdes Clemente was the only Lady Altas in double figures with 10. In men’s play, reigning champions Perpetual Help Altas won their third straight match by tripping the Stags, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21, for a 4-1 slate at fourth spot. SSC-R dropped to 3-3 tied with Lyceum of the Philippines University. In the juniors division, defending champion Perpetual (4-1) defeated listless SSC-R (0-5), 25-19, 25-13, 25-15.       ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

Hawks win seventh straight, defeat skidding Nets

em>By Jeffrey Bernstein, Associated Press /em> NEW YORK (AP) -- Dennis Schroder had 19 points and 10 assists, Dwight Howard added 14 points and 16 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks won their season-high seventh straight game with a 117-97 victory Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) over the skidding Brooklyn Nets. Paul Millsap added 14 points for Atlanta, which led the entire way. Kris Humphries had 13, Malcolm Delaney scored 12 and Thabo Sefolosha finished with 10. Brook Lopez scored 20 points for the Nets, who have lost seven straight and 12 of 13. Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 and Sean Kilpatrick 14. Caris LeVert (11 points) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (10) also scored in double digits for Brooklyn. Lopez's three-pointer brought the Nets to 89-78 with 9:44 left. But the Hawks responded with a 24-8 run and opened their largest lead of the night, 113-86, on Taurean Prince's two free throws with 2:02 remaining. The Nets began the third quarter on a 15-7 run and pulled to 68-58 on Kilpatrick's bucket with 6:28 left. Atlanta scored the next four points and had an 86-70 lead after three. The Hawks went up 25-15 on Tim Hardaway Jr.'s three-pointer with 5:28 left in the opening quarter. Back-to-back three’s by Bogdanovic sparked an 8-0 run as the Nets pulled within two. That was as close as they got the rest of the way as Atlanta went on to lead 35-29 after the first quarter. The Hawks increased their lead to 61-41 on Kent Bazemore's two free throws with 1:39 left in the second before settling for a 61-43 halftime lead. strong>COACHING ROOTS /strong> Nets coach Kenny Atkinson was a Hawks assistant for four years, the last three (2013-16) under current Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer. 'This is special. Relationships are what make the world go round. I learned a lot from Bud. He always challenged me. He pushed me to be a better coach,' Atkinson said. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Hawks: /strong> /em> Schroder is the only Atlanta player to start all 38 games this season. em> strong>Nets: /strong> /em> Trevor Booker, the team's leading rebounder (nine per game), did not play due to a bruised left hip. Quincy Acy, who signed a 10-day contract, played the final 1:17 and scored four points. 'I'll come out here and prove myself and try to stick around,' he said before the game. Acy took the roster spot of Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft (by Cleveland) who was waived by the Nets on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). strong>OH, WHAT A NIGHT /strong> Dec. 26, 2016 (Dec. 27, PHL time), is a significant date for both teams. On that Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), the Hawks lost to the Timberwolves 104-90 and the Nets defeated the Hornets 120-118. Atlanta has not lost another game since then and the Nets have not won another one. strong>TWO YEARS EARLIER /strong> On the same date in 2014, the Hawks lost to Milwaukee 107-77. Atlanta immediately followed that defeat with a franchise-record 19-game winning streak. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Hawks: /strong> /em> Atlanta hosts Boston on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). The teams have not met yet this season. They will play again on Feb. 27 in Boston and April 6 in Atlanta. The Hawks won the season series 3-1 last year. em> strong>Nets: /strong> /em> Brooklyn hosts New Orleans on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). The teams have not met yet this season. They will play again on Jan. 20 (Jan. 21, PHL time) in New Orleans. The Pelicans have won the last five games in the series. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Dimitrov upsets Raonic, sets up Brisbane final vs Nishikori

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Milos Raonic's title defense ended in a semifinal loss to Grigor Dimitrov at the Brisbane International on Saturday, a day after his come-from-behind win over Rafael Nadal. Top-seeded Raonic beat Roger Federer for the title here last year, avenging a loss to the Swiss star in the 2015 final, and appeared to be on course for a third straight Brisbane final when he had set point in the first-set tiebreaker against Dimitrov. But the 25-year-old Bulgarian held firm, saving that set point, converting his own moments later and then breaking Raonic's serve twice in the second set on the way to a 7-6 (7), 6-2 win. The No. 17-ranked Dimitrov improved his record to 3-1 in career meetings against Raonic and set up a final against Kei Nishikori, who beat U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (3), 6-3 to reach the final for the first time at the season-opening tournament. Nishikori has a 3-0 record against Dimitrov, who lost the 2013 Brisbane final to Andy Murray and was ousted by Federer in his previous two trips to Brisbane. Wawrinka, who won the Chennai tournament in India in the first week of the season for the three previous years, had treatment on his left ankle in the first and second sets but didn't expect it to cause him any trouble at the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 16 in Melbourne. Third-seeded Nishikori took full advantage, converting his first break point in the second set to take a 3-1 lead when Wawrinka missed consecutive backhands. The No. 2-seeded Wawrinka broke back immediately, but dropped his serve again in the next game. Wawrinka beat Nishikori in the semifinals of the U.S. Open last year; his only win in their past four matches. With the result in Brisbane, Nishikori has leveled up his career head-to-head record against the three-time major winner at 4-4. Nishikori was making his seventh trip to Brisbane, and playing a semifinal for the fourth time. The Japanese star is still chasing his first Grand Slam title, with his best run at a major remaining his appearance in the 2014 U.S. Open final. U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova was playing unseeded Alize Cornet in the women's final on Saturday night. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

Radamel Falcao scores again as Monaco advances in French Cup

MONACO (AP) — Radamel Falcao scored his seventh goal in the past five games as Monaco beat second-division Ajaccio 2-1 to reach the fourth round of the French Cup on Friday. The Colombia striker made a sharp run to the near post to turn in an excellent cross from 18-year-old French winger Kylian Mbappe in the 19th minute. The 30-year-old Falcao has netted 16 times in all competitions this season, continuing his strong return to form following a career-threatening knee injury. It was while playing in the early rounds of the French Cup three years ago that Falcao sustained the injury, ruling him out of the 2014 World Cup. He is thriving now after two complicated seasons on loan in the English Premier League at Manchester United and Chelsea, where his scoring deserted him as he tried to recover the strength and mobility that once made him among the world's most feared strikers. Falcao, with a header, and Mbappe, with a curling shot, hit the crossbar within quick succession early in the second half. Ajaccio punished Monaco for those misses when veteran midfielder Johan Cavalli equalized from the penalty spot in the 65th. But the lead lasted little more than one minute as substitute striker Valere Germain headed in from a free kick. Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain is in action on Saturday when it hosts another Corsican side, Bastia. French League leader Nice, Marseille and Lyon all play on Sunday. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Pascua replaces Acaylar as Cignal coach

A day after the resignation of long-time mentor Sammy Acaylar, Cignal tapped the services of two-time champion coach George Pascua for the coming fifth season of the Philippine Superliga. Pascua, who steered Petron to the 2014 Grand Prix and 2015 All-Filipino Conference crowns, accepted the deal Wednesday. The mentor will try to revive the HD Spikers, who in recent conferences dipped in performance after their runner up finishes in the Inaugural Conference and in the 2013 Grand Prix.   “Bagong challenge sa akin ito and siyempre excited na rin ako,” said Pascua, who was replaced by Shaq Delos Santos in Petron heading into the 2016 Grand Prix. Pascua will inherit a powerhouse roster bannered by veterans Paneng Mercado, Cherry Vivas, Jheck Dionela, Mylene Paat and Janine Marciano with Michelle Laborte now serving as assistant coach. In the 2014 Grand Prix, Pascua piloted Petron to its first-ever title behind American reinforcement Alaina Bergsma and Brazilian Erica Adachi.  Petron followed it up with a historic 13-0 sweep of the 2015 All-Filipino Conference with a solid roster led by Aby Marano, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Most Valuable Player Rachel Anne Daquis. But the Tri-Activ Spikers failed to defend its Grand Prix crown against the emerging power Foton led by 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago and American import Lindsay Stalzer. Petron missed a spot in the Finals of the 2016 All-Filipino Conference. Acaylar resigned Tuesday after Cignal finished sixth in last year’s All-Filipino and last in the Grand Prix.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles           .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

LPU demolishes EAC in NCAA volley

strong>Games Thursday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- CSB vs SBC (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- CSB vs. SBC (m) 11:30 a.m. --- CSB vs SBC (w) 1:00 p.m. --- Mapua vs Letran (w) 2:30 p.m. --- Mapua vs Letran (m)   Lyceum of the Philippines University opened the new year with a sweet sweep of the 92nd NCAA volleyball competition playdate against Emilio Aguinaldo College Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan. The Intramuros-based squad emerged victorious on all fronts highlighted by a shocker dealt by the Junior Pirates to the erstwhile unbeaten Brigadiers in the high school play to start the day. The Junior Pirates banked on the 20-point production of Valeriano Sasis to put a dent on the Brigadiers' record with a 25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22, victory for its fourth straight win in as many outings. LPU snapped EAC’s five-game winning run. The Lady Pirates, on the other hand, rolled to their third straight victory for a share of the second spot with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-20, demolition of the listless Lady Generals. Picking up from where they left off last month before the holiday break, LPU improved to 5-1 win-loss record tied with idle defending champion College of St. Benilde. Skipper Cherilyn Sindayen, Czarina Orros and Christine Miralles logged in 12 points each for LPU. La Rainne Fabay added 10 markers for the Lady Pirates, who uncorked 40 attack points with Sindayen and Orros hitting 10 each. Despite their easy win, head coach Emil Lontoc was far from satisfied with the way his players’ performance. “Kailangan pa naming mag-step up pa kasi yung nakikita namin sa ensayo hindi namin nagagawa rito. Kanina ang pangit ng receive namin,” said Lontoc, whose squad is on the right track to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2011. “Siguro kanina masyadong kumpiyansa sila na alam nilang hindi gaanong malakas ang kalaban,” he added. The Lady Pirates will have another long break before their crucial matches against other semifinal contenders Perpetual Help on January 13, Arellano University on January 18 before closing the eliminations on a collision course with San Sebastian College on January 23. The Lady Generals dropped to 0-7 record with only Jaylene Lumbo scoring in double figures with 11. In men’s play, the Pirates evened their record at 3-3 with a 27-25, 25-20, 25-18, victory over the freefalling Generals. Jhonel Badua and Joeward Presnede scored 14 points each for the LPU, which tied Mapua and San Sebastian College at the middle of the pack heading into the closing stretch of the elims. EAC absorbed its seventh loss in as many outings.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Patriots clinch home-field advantage

The Associated Press br /> MIAMI GARDENS, Florida (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 276 yards and three scores Sunday as the Patriots clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs by beating the Dolphins 35-14. New England took a 20-0 lead in the first half, and turned away Miami's comeback bid with the help of a 77-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Julian Edelman and a 69-yard fumble return by linebacker Shea McClellin. The Patriots (14-2), already assured of a first-round bye, became the ninth team since 1972 to go undefeated on the road during the regular season. The Dolphins (10-6), beaten for only the second time in the past 11 games, had already earned an AFC wild-card berth. They play their first postseason game since 2008 next weekend at Pittsburgh. STEELERS 27, BROWNS 24 PITTSBURGH (AP) — Steelers backups assured the Browns of the top pick in the 2017 draft. Landry Jones hit Cobi Hamilton with a 26-yard touchdown with 2:57 left in overtime. The Browns took a lead on Cody Parkey's 34-yard field goal with 7:17 remaining in the extra session. Jones, who started while the playoff-bound Steelers rested Ben Roethlisberger, took the Steelers 75 yards in nine plays. The last was a pretty lob to the end zone that Hamilton hauled in to give Pittsburgh (11-5) its seventh straight victory. Jones finished with 277 yards passing and three touchdowns and one interception. Isaiah Crowell ran for a career-high 152 yards for the Browns (1-15), who finished with the worst record in franchise history. JETS 30, BILLS 10 EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes in what was likely his final game for the Jets. Despite a 5-11 record, the Jets are making no changes in leadership, meaning both coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan will remain with the team next season. Bowles is 15-17 in his two-year tenure with New York, which hired him in January 2015 after firing Rex Ryan. Maccagnan is also in his second season with the Jets, and had also been criticized for the team's roster, which likely faces an overhaul this offseason. The Bills (7-9) also face some uncertainty this offseason after firing Ryan earlier in the week and elevating offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn to the interim role. Two other people with direct knowledge of the situation told the AP before the game that Lynn is the clear favorite to take over the job permanently. TITANS 24, TEXANS 17 NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — A concussion that sidelined quarterback Tom Savage could have the biggest impact coming out of the Texans' loss. Savage started for the AFC South champions, left in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion and was cleared. He took a snap to kneel down on the final play of the first half and was diagnosed with a concussion after being re-evaluated at halftime. That left Brock Osweiler, benched for Savage last month, running the offense. He threw for 253 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a 1-yard TD on fourth-and-goal in the fourth quarter. Houston (9-7) will host Oakland next weekend, possibly with uncertainty at quarterback. DaQuan Jones recovered a fumble for a touchdown in the first quarter and the Titans never trailed to finish with their first winning season since 2011. EAGLES 27, COWBOYS 13 PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tony Romo threw his first touchdown pass in nearly 14 months as the playoff-bound Cowboys played it safe. The Cowboys (13-3) had already locked up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs so Dak Prescott played only two series and Ezekiel Elliott watched from the sideline. Carson Wentz tossed two TD passes to Zach Ertz to help Philadelphia finish with a two-game winning streak. Prescott was 4 for 8 for 37 yards before giving way to Romo, who hadn't played in a regular-season game since Thanksgiving 2015 when he broke his left collarbone for the second time in less than three months. Romo broke a bone in his back in the third preseason game against Seattle this season, paving the way for Prescott to have one of the best years by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. BUCCANEERS 17, PANTHERS 16 TAMPA, Florida (AP) — Jameis Winston threw for 202 yards and one touchdown as the Buccaneers broke up Cam Newton's 2-point conversion throw in the closing seconds for their first winning season in six years. Winston threw a 10-yard pass to Mike Evans to snap a fourth-quarter tie and became the first player in NFL history to start his career with consecutive 4,000-yard seasons. But the Bucs (9-7) were eliminated from playoff contention, not getting the help they needed in other games for their first berth since 2007. Winston's franchise record-setting 28th TD pass put the Bucs ahead 17-10 with 3:10 remaining. Newton, however, moved the Panthers (6-10) right down the field, with help of a 47-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin and two fourth-down completions to set up a 5-yard scoring pass to trim Carolina's deficit to one with 17 seconds left. VIKINGS 38, BEARS 10 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sam Bradford concluded his first season with Minnesota with three first-half touchdown passes. Bradford went 25 for 33 for 250 yards and one interception, finishing with a 71.6 percent completion rate to set an NFL single-season record. Kyle Rudolph caught 11 passes for 117 yards and a score for the Vikings (8-8), who started 5-0 before stumbling out of their bye week and never recovering. The Bears (3-13) wound up with their fewest wins in a non-strike year since 1973 after turning the ball over five times. Everson Griffen returned one of their three lost fumbles for a touchdown. Jordan Howard, the lone bright spot, rushed for 135 yards on 23 carries to break Matt Forte's franchise rookie record and finish with 1,313 yards for the season for Chicago. COLTS 24, JAGUARS 20 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 9 seconds left. Indy (8-8) went 75 yards in 84 seconds with no timeouts to avoid its first losing season since 2011, sending retiring linebacker Robert Mathis out with a win in his final NFL game. Jacksonville (3-13) matched the second-worst record in franchise history after blocking a punt with 1:54 to go and breaking a 17-17 tie with 1:33 left. Instead, Luck took the Colts right downfield for the score. Mathis extended his league record of strip-sacks to 41 in the fourth quarter, two days after announcing he would retire. BENGALS 27, RAVENS 10 CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton completed his first 10 passes, one for a touchdown, and Rex Burkhead ran for a pair of scores in the Bengals' fifth straight win at home over the Ravens. The Bengals (6-9-1) missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. Coach Marvin Lewis says he'll return in 2017. Baltimore (8-8) failed to reach the playoffs for the third time in four years. The Ravens played their final game as if they were emotionally hung over from a last-minute loss at Pittsburgh last Sunday that eliminated them. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2017

Chelsea gets 13th straight win, Liverpool maintains pursuit

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer br /> LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Chelsea fought off a dogged Stoke for a record-equaling 13th successive Premier League win as Liverpool maintained its pursuit of the leaders with a victory over Manchester City. Thanks to Saturday's 4-2 win, Chelsea will enter the second half of the season holding a six-point advantage over Liverpool in Antonio Conte's first season in charge of the London club. Juergen Klopp is also satisfied with Liverpool's progress as he looks to deliver the club's first title since 1990 by chasing down Chelsea over the next 19 games. 'Can you imagine how annoying it is when you have won 13 games in a row and another team is only six points behind,' Klopp said after Liverpool's 1-0 win over City. 'It is unbelievably difficult this league.' It was Pep Guardiola with little to celebrate on New Year's Eve as City slipped 10 points behind leader Chelsea. ___ CHELSEA 4, STOKE 2 Chelsea has emulated Arsenal's 2002 side by reeling off 13 wins in a row in the same season and it's thanks to Willian's double. Goals from Gary Cahill and Willian were canceled out by Stoke duo Bruno Martins Indi and Peter Crouch. When Willian put Chelsea in front for a third time in the 65th minute, Stoke could find no way back this time and Diego Costa added a fourth. 'When you win a lot there is a great danger to be satisfied, to be relaxed, to think, 'OK, but we won a lot in the past, now if arrive the draw, if we don't lose, if we don't win it's not important,'' Conte said. 'No. My players showed me great will, great will to fight, great will to win, great will to take this great achievement for us. I'm pleased for them and they deserved this. I'm their coach, but they deserved this.' ___ LIVERPOOL 1, MAN CITY 0 Georginio Wijnaldum's eighth-minute header secured Liverpool's fourth successive league win. Wijnaldum will take the plaudits for providing his second goal of the season, but Adam Lallana's contribution underscored how the midfielder is an essential ingredient in the title bid. It was Lallana's seventh assist of the season — he has also scored seven — that set up Wijnaldum. The Dutch midfielder climbed above City defender Aleksandar Kolarov to meet Lallana's well-placed cross from the left flank before planting a header beyond goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. 'It was kind of a wild game,' Klopp said. 'It was intense. It's not about having a philosophy, it's about adapting to the quality of the opponent and in this case we needed to defend from a compact formation.' ___ MAN UNITED 2, MIDDDLESBROUGH 1 Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba scored late goals in the 85th and 86th minutes to rescue a fifth successive win for Jose Mourinho's United. Grant Leadbitter had given Middlesbrough the lead but United gave the watching former manager Alex Ferguson the perfect 75th birthday gift. 'If the fans remember this not just for Sir Alex's birthday but for the kind of performance we had, I think it's a great tribute,' Mourinho said. United's in-house television channel received a shock after the game when nine-time Olympic Usain Bolt called in with his analysis. ___ LEICESTER 1, WEST HAM 0 Leicester moved six points clear of the relegation zone on Saturday after the struggling champions ended a three-game winless streak courtesy of Islam Slimani's header. Leicester moved up one spot to 15th. ___ SWANSEA 0, BOURNEMOUTH 3 Swansea's miserable form continued in the first game following Bob Bradley's firing. Benik Afobe and Ryan Fraser scored first-half goals and substitute Josh King completed a comfortable win for Bournemouth in the 88th minute. ___ SOUTHAMPTON 1, WEST BROM 2 In the final five minutes of the first half, Shane Long put Southampton ahead and Matt Phillips equalized. But Hal Robson-Kanu struck a second-half winner for West Bromwich Albion before Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk was sent off in the 88th for bringing down striker Salomon Rondon. ___ BURNLEY 4, SUNDERLAND 1 Burnley moved closer to mid-table safety powered by Andre Gray's hat trick against relegation-threatened Sunderland. ___ SUNDAY'S GAMES Fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham are both in action on New Year's Day. Tottenham is at Watford before Arsenal hosts Crystal Palace. .....»»

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