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Game-changing imports who raised the bar in the PBA

Imports are considered not only crowd drawers that invite national attention to the PBA. They are also game changers who raised the bar of play in the pioneering Asian pro cage league, with their incredible skills, breathtaking court wizardry, huge scoring might, and of course fantastic flights of fancy. Through the years, we’ve anticipated only the best from them, and definitely there are a few of them who really made their mark with their names etched in the annals of the league. One of them is Ginebra import Justin Brownlee, who bagged the PBA Best Import Award recently. Not flashy or flamboyant, Brownlee just gets the job done, leading Ginebra to the 2016 and 2017 Governors Cup, and just recently the 2018 Commissioners Cup. Aside from Brownlee, who were the other imports in PBA history that made a huge impact in the league and in the consciousness of this basketball-crazy nation? Here are some of the greatest imports ever to play in the country. 1. Cyrus Mann Cyrus Mann is remembered as one of the first prolific imports that played in the PBA, donning the Crispa Redmanizers jersey during its Grand Slam year in 1976 up to 1979. He provided that imposing presence in the paint with his 6’10” frame and was a monster off the boards, including those killer moves in the paint scoring at will against opponents. 2. Byron “Snake” Jones Memorable for his versatility and workhorse attitude, Byron “Snake” Jones was a journeyman, playing for three different teams in the PBA and leading two of them to championships. He played for the Toyota Comets in the PBA’s maiden season and won the First and Second Conference crowns and then went on to play for the U-Tex Wranglers and help them in bagging their first-ever title in the PBA Open Conference in 1978. He would then end his PBA journey with the Crispa Redmanizers in 1981. 3. Andy Fields Considered the first “resident import” in the league, Andy Fields has been called back frequently to play for his lone PBA team Toyota in his entire stint in the PBA. A feared shotblocker, midrange shooter, and rebounder, Fields led Toyota to three PBA championships, including the 1979 Invitationals, 1981 and 1982 Open Conference titles. 4. Norman Black Norman Black is simply called the import that gives his all in each game, one who was frequently labeled as “Mr. 100%.” He started his PBA career with the Teflin Polyesters in 1981, then began his connection with the San Miguel franchise in 1982 as its main workhorse and scorer, who would guide the Beermen to its second franchise title in the Invitationals the same year. He would then serve as import for Great Taste the next year, played again for the SMC franchise in 1985 under Magnolia Quench Plus, then suited briefly for Alaska in 1986. After returning to San Miguel in 1987, Black would then become a playing coach and eventually a coach who engineered its first Grand Slam in 1989. 5. Billy Ray Bates Billy Ray Bates is considered by many as the “best ever” who would fascinate everyone with monster dunks from the charity stripe years before Michael Jordan. Not only would he run rings around defenders, Bates would soar up, up away to score, and score without letup, hence the title “The Black Superman.” His debut stint with Crispa in its second Grand Slam year in 1983 was astounding and remarkable, as his unstoppable incursions, aerial shows, and powerful slams made him unforgettable to this day. Three years later, he would bring his greatness to Ginebra San Miguel and bag the 1986 Open Conference crown, which was the then-Palanca franchise’s first title. 6. Michael Hackett Loyal and dedicated, Michael Hackett is the gentle giant opponents feared. He is considered one of the most dominant forces in PBA history, who would just power his way through defenders at the paint and score at will. Playing for Ginebra San Miguel, Hackett is best remembered for being the first PBA player to score over a hundred points, 103 points to be exact, in a match against Great Taste in the 1985 Open Conference, wherein he won Best Import honors. In the next year, Hackett and fellow import great Billy Ray Bates collaborated to lead Ginebra to the 1986 Open Conference title.   7. Bobby Parks For most coaches, the late Bobby Parks was seen as the greatest not only due to the fact that he is the most decorated with seven Best Import awards, but also being the most hard working and coachable import ever. A gallant scoring machine yet a silent operator, Parks showed a wide variety of moves in his lane incursions in his prime that would leave defenders helpless, ending in mind-boggling baskets. Apart from his individual skills, Parks really completes his mission, giving championships to San Miguel Beer in the 1987 Reinforced Conference, and then Shell as its resident import with two titles, the 1990 and 1992 First Conference plums.      8. Tony Harris He might not be that much of an obedient trooper, but Tony Harris and his brand of play was simply breathtaking. As Coach Yeng Guiao decided during his time as coach of the Swift Mighty Meaties that they must let him be and ordered his court lieutenants to just pass the ball to him and make him simply wield his magic. And he did leave everyone in awe with his speed, agility, and power to score over all defenders thrown at him, hence the monicker “The Hurricane.” Proof of his incredible abilities is scoring 105 points, the single game scoring record that holds to this day, against Ginebra in the 1992 Reinforced Conference, wherein he would single-handedly cop the title for Swift. 9. Sean Chambers You could be charmed by his beaming smile when you meet him off the court, but when you meet him on-court, prepare for the worst beating. Though he’s not the heavy scorer type of an import PBA fans are accustomed to, Alaska’s “resident import” shows his class and might as a team player. He worked for the Milkmen in 13 seasons, giving them titles 6 times, yet only won the Best Import plum once—in the Reinforced Conference of Alaska’s Grand Slam year in 1996. The memory of what these imports brought to the league continues to delight true PBA fans through the years. And we see their legacy in such players as Justin Brownlee, who continue to show the example, the standard for other foreign players setting foot in the country to follow.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 13th, 2018

Fil-Am ABL star Jason Brickman sets sights on the PBA

Fil-Am playmaker and former ABL star Jason Brickman is now setting his sights on joining next year's PBA Rookie Draft. Brickman, who was the floor general of last year's ABL finalists Mono Vampire, is looking to find clearance and be able to play in Asia's first pro basketball league. The 27-year-old guard is eligible to forego a PBA D-League stint by the time he gets drafted next year, following in the footsteps of teammate Paul Zamar, Christian Standhardinger, and Stanley Pringle, who had stints in the inter-country league before joining the PBA. "Just I'm hopeful to get into the PBA. Something I've always wanted to do and right now is the best opportunity to do that so that's another reason why I came out here," Brickman said.  The former Long Island University Brooklyn star led the US NCAA Division I with 8.5 assists per game in his junior year, before increasing it to 10 per contest in his senior season.  He also became only the fourth player in men's Division 1 history in handing out 1,000+ assists for their collegiate career. However, before his possible PBA stint, Brickman will be joining Mighty Sports and represent the country in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Tournament in UAE this Feb. 1-9.  He will help coach Charles Tiu in dictating the offense, and will be supported by imports Lamar Odom, Justin Brownlee and Randolph Morris. Also with the team are PBA D-League Finals MVP Gab Banal, former ABL star Fil-Am Jason Brickman, UAAP standouts Juan Gomez de Liano and Santi Santillan, #23for23 member Troy Rike, Jeremiah Gray, Roosevelt Adams, Angelo Wongchuking and CSB high-flyer Justin Gutang, the latter serving as reserve. In his third stint with the Caesar Wongchuking-sponsored squad, he said that he is very happy that he'll be representing 104 million Filipinos once more in an international tournament. "I think it's a great opportunity to represent the Philippines. We have a lot of good local players. Obviously, good imports," shared Brickman.  "There's gonna be some very good teams there. Great competition as well. I'm looking forward to play and do whatever I can to help the team," he added. Known for his playmaking, he assured that he won't be changing his role for the team that drafts him, for he believes a pass-first mentality is his biggest strength. After the tournament, Brickman will solely focus on preparing for the Rookie Draft, and see where it goes from there. __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2019

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

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CLEVELAND -- These combo coronation-funerals can be tricky. Imagine the crowning of a new monarch where the royal subjects couldn’t stop chattering about the freshly deposed or deceased predecessor. Where the traditional cry of continuity and succession, “The king is dead! Long live the king!” got flipped, with what was overshadowing what is. That’s pretty much how it went Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) at Quicken Loans Arena, with the Golden State Warriors’ latest NBA championship having to share the stage with speculation, instantly revved up, about LeBron James and the choice he’ll soon make about his next employer. The Warriors are the kings, claiming pro basketball’s throne yet again by completing a sweep of James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Finals. But of course, James is the King, and as so many of us learned in sophomore English – thanks, CliffsNotes! – “Uneasy lies the head (of those who fret and obsess about the future whereabouts of the NBA superstar) that wears a crown.” Long live the kings! The King is ... gone? There was so much energy before, during and after Game 4 Friday (Saturday, PHL time) poured into the last game/next game conjecture about James, the Cavaliers and seismic shifts in the league’s 2018-19 landscape that even the player’s surprise reveal near the end of the night – a bruised and bandaged right hand – couldn’t derail it. Turns out, as James ‘fessed up, the sore shooting paw was an injury he had been playing with ever since Game 1 in Oakland eight days earlier. He had “self-inflicted” it in a fit of pique when he smacked a whiteboard in the visitors’ dressing room at Oracle Arena after Cleveland’s overtime loss in the series-setter, an outcome driven at least in part by some teammates’ mistakes and an arcane wrinkle in the NBA’s replay rules regarding block/charge fouls. Despite the hordes of media people chronicling every waking detail of the Finals, James had kept the injury on the down-low (along with the possibility that J.R. Smith’s nickname amongst his Cavs teammates might be “whiteboard”). The cameras zoomed in and clicked in a paparazzi frenzy of motor drives every time James raised the hand, wrapped in black tape, above the table during his postgame podium remarks. Whether a legit Page-2-the-rest-of-the-story factor in the championship series or a too-late alibi, the contused hand wound up as a sidebar to where James plans to be using it when training camps open in a few months. As of Friday (Saturday, PHL time), it had been 95 months since “The Decision,” the 2010 announcement that James made in a tone-deaf vanity TV production that he was taking his talents from Cleveland to South Beach. Nearly 47 months had passed since he broke the news of his return in a Sports Illustrated ghost-written essay, envisioning much of what actually has unfolded in the four years since. Now savvy insiders and casual observers alike presume James will be on the move again, pushed to leave the franchise he has defined in an urgent search for more and better talent with which he can compete. As in, y’know, some horses, some horses, his kingdom for some horses. James’ free-agency process next month (he can opt out of a $35.6 million deal in the final season of his current contract) is expected to dictate the market of player movement this summer like an oversized domino. It easily could swing the balance of power, if not quite at Golden State’s lofty level then immediately below it. The monster he helped create Dr. Frankenstein eventually was done in by his macabre creation, and it can similarly be argued that James has no one but himself to blame for the predicament in which he again finds himself. He set in motion the machinery of the super team, after all, when he chose to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami eight years ago. Oh sure, the Boston Celtics in 2007-08 got there first by luring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce, but that was about knitting together three stars, all age 30 or older, for what would be their last best chance to win in an extremely limited run. That group won one title, went to two Finals in three seasons and was done, Allen leaving to join James & Co. with the Heat while Garnett and Pierce morphed into trade chips for Boston POBO Danny Ainge. When James, Wade and Bosh teamed up, they were in their basketball primes and their initial giddy boasts of “not four, not five, not six” championships turned off fans league-wide as much for its portent as its pretension. That crew went 4-for-4 in Finals, winning two rings before James, nudged by staleness and chafing as well as his grand plan for northeast Ohio, went home. From there, a line can be drawn through the ill-conceived 2012-13 L.A. Lakers of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol all the way to this season’s Houston Rockets of James Harden and Chris Paul and the talent-gorged Golden State roster. James was the centerpiece as Cleveland replicated the Big Three concept around him with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, two younger, playoff-stymied All-Stars. The new-look Cavaliers went to the Finals in their first season together and clambered atop the basketball world to win the franchise’s first NBA title by the end of the second, becoming the first team in league history to do so after digging a 1-3 hole in the best-of-seven series. In that moment, regardless of the two Finals trips that followed, James’ bill was stamped: Paid In Full. Misguided fans might burn his jersey if he leaves again, but James burned the mortgage after that Game 7 in Oakland in 2016 as far as any remaining obligation to fulfill. “I came back because I felt like I had some unfinished business,” he said after elimination Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “To be able to be a part of a championship team two years ago with the team that we had and in the fashion that we had is something I will always remember. Honestly, I think we'll all remember that. It ended a drought for Cleveland of 50-plus years, so I think we'll all remember that in sports history.” James added: “When you have a goal and you're able to accomplish that goal, it actually – for me personally – made me even more hungry to continue to try to win championships. And I still want to be in championship mode. I think I've shown this year why I will still continue to be in championship mode.” In other words, James intends to sustain his high level of performance. He expects to win. And he presumably will do whatever – and go wherever – is necessary to achieve that. There’s no perfect fit So what does that mean for the NBA’s best player (never mind what the annual MVP balloting says in any given season)? It means this: compromise. There is no ideal situation, certainly no easy answer to the guesswork surrounding James’ looming free agency. He could transform any of the 30 teams, but not without some trade-offs for him, for them or for both. Most of them won’t be in play. Teams in markets such as Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Portland, Sacramento, the Twin Cities and so on can’t scratch James’ itches for either championship-worthy depth chart or spotlight. New York and Chicago, among the biggies, are out of synch with his timeline. Toronto? No way James is resettling his brand north of the border, and given his stated desire for teammates who have not just sufficient basketball skills but also mental toughness, well, the Raptors teams he and the Cavs have dominated do not qualify. The Boston club that stretched Cleveland to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals is built for the long haul and would have to surrender much of that to adjust to James’ career calendar. There’s a little Kyrie problem lurking there and, truth be told, the Celtics look to be on their way and are doing just fine without the 33-year-old heading, one of these years, toward decline. At some point in each of the 2018 Finals’ final three days, James spoke admiringly of the Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs title teams that blocked his path whether in Miami or Cleveland. He was at it again even as the Warriors were dousing the opponent’s locker room at The Q with Moet champagne. “I made the move in 2010 to be able to play with talented players, cerebral players that you could see things that happen before they happened on the floor,” James said. “When you feel like you're really good at your craft, I think it's always great to be able to be around other great minds as well and other great ballplayers. “That's never changed. Even when I came here in '14, I wanted to try to surround myself and surround this franchise with great minds and guys that actually think outside the box of the game and not just go out and play it.” Where might James find that now or recruit that swiftly? Hard to say. There are asterisks and “buts” everywhere: * If he were to sign with the Houston Rockets, James would be hitching his star to Chris Paul, a buddy with an injury history that’s about the mirror opposite of his own. He would be teaming up with an elite coach in Mike D’Antoni, something he’s never had (though Miami’s Erik Spoelstra was just young and unproven, on his way to big things). But it also would require another big ask of James Harden, who had to adapt last summer to Paul’s arrival and need for the ball. * If James chooses the Lakers, he has the chance to hit reset with the league’s glitziest franchise, in a market that can meet his every off-court wish and where he and his family already own one or more ultra-comfortable homes. The Lakers have young talent to help James transition into a lower-usage veteran’s role, favored status as a destination team for other top free agents and the salary-cap space to get it done this summer with the likes of Paul George or his pal Paul. But that roster might not be capable of insta-contending, which could burn a season or two when James’ clock most definitely is clicking. * If it’s San Antonio, James could link up with the elite coach in Gregg Popovich, where the winning culture is in the DNA rather than some acquired taste. The Spurs have talent, particularly if Kawhi Leonard finds happiness again there. But they might not have enough to rattle the Warriors’ cage. And for all their professed admiration, James and Popovich might both fare better by keeping their relationship long-distance vs. the 82-game grind. * If it’s Golden State? Perish the thought. The NBA might have to board up itself if competitive balance were capsized to that extent. And as Draymond Green shrewdly noted on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), if James climbed aboard, it likely would require him and several other Golden State teammates to be dispatched to parts unknown. * If James prefers to stay East, where the winning comes easier, he could pick Philadelphia. The Sixers have two foundational young stars at positions that matter most, center Joel Embiid and point guard Ben Simmons. But Simmons is a non-shooter at the moment, the antithesis of what makes a great complementary LeBron teammate. As for Embiid, James never has had to play off of and service a top center. And Philly might feel like a basketball-only move, with the hungriest and most demanding of any new fan base he would embrace. * If it’s Miami – wait, could it be Miami? Could he go second-home again? The Heat always strive to be competitive and offer a talent base deep enough for the East and lots of familiarity. But they also have players such as Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters whose mental approaches don’t seem to fit the model James was cooing about in Golden State and with the Tim Duncan-era Spurs. * That brings us to Cleveland, where it’s possible James might choose to remain. Staying with the Cavaliers, after leading them to four Finals and that heady 2016 title, would be the easiest choice as far as pressure to win. He owes these fans nothing anymore – in fact, had the bargain been offered to them in 2010 (“LeBron will leave and win elsewhere for four years, but will come back and deliver a championship and four Finals trips”), most would have grabbed it. Here, James and the fans who have watched him even through the interruption develop from ridiculously touted high schooler to one of the world’s most famous athletes could grow older together. Then he could partner up and buy the team from owner Dan Gilbert for a long-term future. Certainly, staying has a certain place in his and the rest of the James clan’s hearts. “The one thing that I've always done is considered, obviously, my family,” he said at series end Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “Understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I've got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl that wasn't around as well. So sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I'll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that.” It’s worth noting that as James contemplates his options as a modern pursuer of championship excellence, the prospect of him moving again qualifies at some level as a failure. Not just by the support system in Cleveland, where he and Gilbert have their friction and James gets snidely mentioned as the team’s unofficial GM and head coach, but by him too. He’s the one who went off to seek his “college education” in south Florida in what it takes to win, whether on the court, in the front office or in and around the seams 365 days a year, straight out of the Pat Riley handbook. The teams about which James talks so glowingly in Oakland now and in San Antonio then have cultures he covets, stability up and down the flowchart he craves. In Cleveland, for a variety of reasons, his team has been incapable of establishing and maintaining that to a lasting degree. He is part of that missed opportunity and he has to own it, no matter if he goes or stays. James is inseparable from the dynamic of the Cavaliers’ ever-changing and often melodramatic roster maneuvers. Spending big, swapping out draft picks to import current stars and supporting players, and overvaluing secondary guys like Smith and Tristan Thompson are risks the Warriors and the Spurs largely avoided thanks to shrew drafting and laudable continuity. The Cavs’ scrap heap, by contrast, is high with traded picks, scuttled plans, panic deals, short-term patches and folks such as former coach David Blatt and former GM David Griffin. And maybe James could have nurtured a little better relationship with All-Star point guard and 2016 title sidekick Kyrie Irving, enough to have kept Irving from bailing on them all with his trade demand last summer. Now he’s on the verge of casting about again, prioritizing what matters most for however long he continues to play. James is more at peace with it than he was before, particularly in 2010, and surely can enjoy the leverage he wields and the riches it delivers. But there is a burden there as well, one that could be seen as completing a circle. So many of the NBA’s greatest stars have been stuck playing and living in the Age of LeBron, right? Their paths to the Finals blocked, on one whole side of the league, by him and his? Well, LeBron James is stuck now in the Era of the Warriors, freshly swept and anxious to close the gap. What goes around comes around, though the key more pressing of the big W’s now is, where? Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

Petron reclaims crown after three years

After three years of frustration, Petron finally got the monkey off its back as it hammered a 25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18 victory over F2 Logistics to clinch the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix crown Saturday night at the Big Dome. Imports Katherine Bell and Lindsay Stalzer delivered, spearheading the Blaze Spikers to an impressive win over the Cargo Movers in Game 3 of their best-of-three finals series. Bell tallied 25 kills and three blocks for 28 points while Stalzer had 20 kills, three aces and a block for 24 points for the Blaze Spikers, who hung tough after nearly squandering a huge 10-point edge in the fourth set en route to the victory. More than anything else, it was Stalzer who took home the biggest prize of all – the Most Valuable Player award. But climbing back to the Grand Prix throne wasn’t easy for the Blaze Spikers. Despite posting a commanding 9-1 mark in the classifications, Petron had to make a bold move of changing its import as original choice Hillary Hurley crashed with an ankle injury. Bell, a seasoned international campaigner from University of Texas, came in and turned things around, leading the Blaze Spikers to a pair of impressive wins over Cocolife in the semifinals. In the finals, Petron had to crawl back from two sets down to capture a thrilling five set victory in Game 1 before absorbing a straight-set loss to a well-oiled F2 Logistics squad in Game 2 to set the stage for a kill-or-be killed Game 3. Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos knew that anything could happen. “This is such a sweet victory. Finally, we’re back on top,” said Delos Santos, who was part of the coaching staff of George Pascua when the Blaze Spikers last won the Grand Prix title in 2014. After that 2014 victory, the Blaze Spikers suffered back-to-back heartaches as Foton ruled the import-flavored conference. Then last year, Petron pushed F2 Logistics to the brink before suffering a painful setback in Game 3. Finally, it’s over.  The Blaze Spikers are the queen of the Grand Prix once more. And nothing could be sweeter than finally be reunited with their long lost crown......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2018

Cignal torches Sta. Lucia; PLDT earns first win

BACOOR CITY -- After a sluggish start, Cignal caught fire, torching Sta. Lucia in the second and third sets before going for the kill in the fourth to pull off a 23-25, 25-11, 25-16, 25-23 victory in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Bacoor Strike Gym here Saturday. Import Erica Wilson sustained her fiery form as she led the HD Spikers to a furious rally midway through the match. Wilson, the Arizona State University stalwart who once suited up for the United States in the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship, was impressive, tallying 18 kills, three blocks and four aces for a 23-point performance. Her fellow import, Anastasia Artemeva of Azerbaijan, nailed 17 markers while national team member Mylene Paat drilled in 13 points for HD Spikers coach Edgar Barroga, who gave skipper Rachel Anne Daquis limited minutes that paved the way for the explosion of Wilson and Artemeva. Meanwhile, PLDT Home Fibr flirted with disaster before escaping with a thrilling, 24-26, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 15-8 victory over a crippled Generika-Ayala squad in the second game. American imports Grace Lazard and Kendra Dahlke came through with clutch points for PLDT, which finally barged into the win column after back-to-back setbacks. Lazard delivered 22 points while Dahlke had 21 markers as PLDT took advantage of Lifesavers’ import Nikolle del Rio of Brazil, who crashed with an ankle injury in her debut game. “We needed this win to lift everyone’s spirits,” said Lazard. Generika-Ayala remains winless in three starts. Imports Casey Schoenlein and Molly Lohman combined for 24 points for the Lady Realtors, who slid to 1-3 card......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News9 hr. 50 min. ago

Demand behind 16.29% electronics imports growth

Robust demand for global technologies raised the country’s electronics imports in 2018, with seven out of nine sectors registering double-digit growth, the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc….READ The post Demand behind 16.29% electronics imports growth appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsFeb 22nd, 2019

UAAP: UST coach Kung Fu Reyes livid over late missed call

UST Golden Tigresses head coach Emilio 'Kung Fu' Reyes expressed his displeasure over a missed call that could have changed momentum late in the fourth set. Trailing late in the fourth set, 20-17, UST was on the verge of cutting more of the Lady Eagles' lead. Reyes then called out Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston for allegedly changing positions in the previous possession and thus should have been called for a rotation error.  Instead, what they got was a net touch violation on Janine Balcorta, and confusion ensued, as a timeout was called. Reyes fumed along the sidelines and got a yellow card for arguing with the second referee in the next possession.  "Kitang-kita. Wala na eh. Ewan ko ah. Ang interpretasyon nila parang basketball. Pag di daw nila nakita, di tinawagan. Kino-contest ko na," explained Reyes.  "Sinasabi ko na. Beforehand, nag-drdribble pa lang yung server natin, tapos sila rin nag-tripping. Ang masakit kasi, hindi naman kami ipapanalo kung yun ang tinawag. May chance na nakadikit," he added. The fourth-year coach for the Golden Tigresses however clarified that it was not the game-defining call, but suggested something else could have happened, especially with the way how momentum swung in their favor. UST ultimately lost the game the set and the game, 21-25, 18-25, 25-16, 22-25. "Na-receive na yung bola sa depensa, tapos tatawagan kami ng touch of the net? Lahat ng mali na naitatawag sa amin. Samantalang mali na doon sa harapan nila, di pa nagagawa yung action sa ano sa serve, 'di pa natatawagan hanggang sa matapos yung serve. Kitang-kita, ayaw nila i-correct yung sarili nila," a fuming Reyes exclaimed. He also called on the UAAP to get referees who have had playing experience to get a more personal feel of the game, to see the nuances that a regular spectator might miss. "Ang dapat unang tinatanong dyan kung volleyball player yung referee if they understand the nature of the game. Ganoon lang kasi yun. Biruin mo, nakikita ko yun, nagco-coach ako ng anim na taon, tinitignan mo yung kabila, nakikita ko. Ano ba ang nakikita nila? Yun net, check ball?" "Ang dami yung positioning ng tao, nagpalit lang ng dalawa di na nila alam kung tama o mali yung position? Tao tayo oo, pero they understand the nature of the game. Dapat alam nila ang rotation." He also added that acknowleding the error could have prevented him from blowing his top, but he never got the apology. "Dyan sila kumikita eh. Diba? Ganoon yun. Di yung sasabihin na nagkakamali. Oo nga nagkakamali pero ano yun very basic yung ano. Tapos magdadahilan pa sila? Ano ba naman yung sabihin nila na 'di ko nakita coach'? Yung pag-amin, ma-relieve ka kahit papaano. Pero they keep on denying. That's bullsh*t. Ganoon na yung nangyayari." Talking about his team's performance, he did note how his middle blockers underperformed since the reception was poor. He also praised Ateneo's counterparts for delivering, which was the main factor in the Lady Eagles' first win of the season. With his personal losing streak against Katipunan extending to seven games dating back to Season 78, he wishes that he could now end it in the next round. "Yun yung magandang motivation sana na maka-isa kami pero outstanding ang talo ng Ateneo, lalo na at the net." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Lady Maroons snatch solo lead

University of the Philippines preserved its unblemished card after defeating Far Eastern University, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20, Wednesday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The trio of Isa Molde, Justine Dorog and Tots Carlos displayed another superb showing to pace the Lady Maroons in their second straight win in as many outings. The victory was UP’s first win against FEU since the second round of Season 76. "FEU is a good team, they keep on changing tactics and that gave us a lot of challenge. It was a good win and we hope that we continue with it in the next games to come," said UP coach Godfrey Okumu.   Carlos finished with 15 points anchored on 12 spikes while Dorog got 12 markers for UP. Molde posted 11 points and added 17 digs for an all-around performance for the Lady Maroons, who got a good service game going that translated to 14 aces.   UP was quick to recover after yielding the second set and took control of the fourth set early. The Lady Tamaraws made one final push, saving four match points before Molde finished them off with a powerful hit.     FEU dropped to 1-1 slate tied with University of Sto. Tomas and Ateneo de Manila University. For the second straight game rookie Lycha Ebon fired a game-high 16 points while adding 10 digs and seven excellent receptions for the Lady Tams. Celine Domingo had 11 markers while Heather Guino-o and freshman France Ronquillo combined for 14 points FEU.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2019

3 Steps to Future-Proof Your Career

(NC) Evolving market trends and changing industries make us wonder how we can stay ahead of the game. What can we do to ensure our talents will be needed in the future? Whether you’re looking to future-proof your own career or give advice to your kids in post-secondary school, here are some smart ways to […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2019

ONE Championship: Amid ‘Split’ Judges, Gina Iniong Relieved To Win With Conviction

Gina "Conviction" Iniong is finally back in contention for the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship.   She returned to the World Title picture following a split decision victory over the previously unbeaten Jihin "Shadow Cat" Radzuan at ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS, which took place from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 16 February.   The Benguet native dictated the tempo from the get-go. She continually landed her patented right hand over and over, and then mixed her striking attack with well-executed takedowns.   A late third-round surge from the Malaysian put Iniong at the edge of her seat when the judges’ scorecards were read.   Though confident she did enough to win, the Filipina was surprised to hear that a split decision was to be announced after three grueling rounds.   Fortunately for her, the result went in her favor.   “To be honest, I got nervous when they announced that it was a split decision,” said Iniong, who improved her mixed martial arts record to 8-4.   “I thought it should have been won by unanimous decision. I almost lost my breath when I heard that, but it’s okay. I think I did well. I was able to execute our game plan during the fight.”   After going 1-2 in her last three outings, a close loss is something “Conviction" could not really afford.   Iniong’s hopes of one day becoming the first Filipina World Champion in mixed martial arts is still very much alive, and she certainly needed that win to stay the course.   "It was a big relief,” she admitted.   “I struggled in my last bouts, so it feels really good to get back on track. Hopefully, this is a start of another run for me at the belt.”   "I was confident that I did enough to get my hands raised in the end. [Jihin] Radzuan is a tremendous warrior, and I wasn't expecting this to be an easy fight at all. Thankfully, our game plan worked.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2019

Currys excited for mini family reunion at All-Star weekend

By Steve Reed, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dell Curry looks forward to those nights when he can open a bottle of wine, take a seat on his recliner in front of the fireplace alongside wife Sonya and watch their NBA sons play basketball simultaneously on two large-screen television sets in his living room. Those are the nights he has to pinch himself realizing how blessed his family is. Everyone in the Curry clan has been pinching themselves lately; the family has been downright giddy about NBA All-Star Weekend. “It’s going to be incredible,” said Curry, a former NBA player and color commentator for the Hornets TV network who still lives in Charlotte. “It’s going to be a mini family reunion.” There will be plenty of fellowshipping in Charlotte, including family dinners and group outings. Of course there also will be a little basketball. Stephen and Seth Curry will be returning to their hometown for the festivities. Stephen, a two-time league MVP, will join younger brother Seth in the 3-point shootout Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) at the Spectrum Center and then play in his sixth straight All-Star game Sunday (Monday, PHL time). “This just has the feel of the Curry family All-Star weekend,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. The fact that Seth is involved makes it extra special. Stephen said that the family group text was “buzzing” when everyone learned Seth was invited to compete in the 3-point contest. The Currys have been prepping for this weekend for months. Sonya is taking care of the family’s logistics, including tickets, travel plans and hotel reservations. On top of the invite list are the boys’ grandmothers, who haven’t been to an All-Star weekend since Dell competed in the 3-point shootout in Orlando in 1992. “It was very important to us that they were here to see this,” Dell said. Former coaches including Davidson’s Bob McKillop and other family friends will be there, too. The NBA is accommodating the Currys with extra tickets, knowing how big of a weekend it is for the family. Stephen has his own guest list — separate from the rest of the family — and hopes to limit it to 30 people. “I want you to write that loud and clear so you can help me keep the list small,” Stephen said with a laugh. Most of the out-of-towners will be staying in a downtown Charlotte hotel, and Dell and Sonya are considering bunking there, too, so they can be close to everyone and not miss a minute. “I want to see my grandchildren as much as possible,” Dell said. Stephen and Seth arrived Thursday (Friday, PHL time) together in Charlotte after Seth’s Trail Blazers hosted Stephen’s Warriors on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) in Portland, Oregon. Their families came here, too. Stephen is married to Ayesha and the couple has three children. Seth has a child with Callie Rivers, the daughter of NBA coach Doc Rivers. And the players’ sister, Sydell, who recently married Stephen’s Warriors’ teammate Damion Lee, a two-way player with Golden State, will be in town, too. The Curry family has a community event planned in Charlotte in association with Stephen’s partnership with Under Armour. “We want to give back and remind people, hey, this is where they were raised,” Dell said. “We want to make this a special weekend.” One of the highlights of the Curry family reunion weekend might be the 3-point shootout where the highly competitive brothers will square off against each other on a national stage. Trash talking is almost sure to be part of the event. Dell doesn’t know what to expect once his sons take the floor. He said both are equally competitive, whether it’s on the golf course or at family get-togethers. “At my daughter’s wedding we played Liar’s Dice for about two hours and that was the most competitive thing I have seen in a long time,” Dell said with a laugh. “Anytime there is a game that somebody has to win or lose, you can’t give anyone the edge as to who is more competitive. We all are competitive.” Added Seth: “I’m trying to win it, so I’m going to target everybody. It should be very entertaining to watch us both shoot out there. But I gotta beat everybody, not just him, to win it.” Warriors All-Star guard Klay Thompson said he decided not to participate in the 3-point shootout this year simply so he could just sit back and “be a fan” and watch the Currys go at it. For Stephen, the whole idea of the amped-up circus-like atmosphere that is looming has him excited about the weekend. “It will be a packed house with our family supporting us for sure,” Stephen said. “It’s rare when we are all together during basketball season,” Seth said. “So to have everyone there, it’s always fun. It’ll be a good weekend.” ___ AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco, California, and Anne Peterson in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2019

PBA: Setting career-high doesn t really matter for Jason Perkins

After setting a career-high in points, Phoenix Fuel Master forward Jason Perkins chose to shrug it off after his team got their first loss of the PBA Philippine Cup against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. 'The Hefty Lefty,' as he is known from his collegiate days at De La Salle, had an efficient day from the field, tallying 27 points on a scintillating 13/20 shooting clip, including the game-tying layup that forced overtime. Furthermore, he was big down the stretch, scoring 13 markers in the payoff period and the extra five minutes for coach Louie Alas' squad. "It doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, it's all wins and losses. We lost, and we're going to learn from it," said the reigning PBA Rookie of the Year. He also added that the final play of regulation was not really intended for him, but found its way to his hands after Matthew Wright returned the favor off a handoff pass, which led to the give-and-go. The shot was also spectacular in itself, as he contorted in mid-air over the outstretched arms of Raymond Almazan, and was able to tie things up 87 under 13 seconds left. For Alas, he was very much impressed with the stretch four's efficiency, which netted him a +22 even though he played for almost 41 minutes. "We just have to ano, keep on improving kasi siya naman yung pinakamasipag diyan eh," Alas said. The mentor also furthered that he had long been a fan of the then-Green Archer's game, seeing him in action at the Merlion Cup a couple of years ago, which solidified his decision at picking him up at fourth overall in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft. "...[G]rabe, almost double-double against imports sa Singapore. Kaya wala akong inisip na i-pick nun, i-draft nun kundi siya talaga." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2019

What does Princess Ubolratana s entry mean for Thai politics?

BANGKOK, Thailand – Thai Princess Ubolratana was put forward Friday, February 9, as a candidate for prime minister in the March elections, the first time a royal has entered frontline politics – a development the palace later condemned as "highly inappropriate." (READ:  Thai princess's political move raises questions over insult law ) Her game-changing entrance into Thailand's turbulent political ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2019

Rookie Ladder: Deadline deals create some intrigue

By Drew Packham, NBA.com The trade deadline has been interesting for several rookies. In Dallas, the Mavericks made a bold move for the future, landing Kristaps Porzingis from the Knicks in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and a pair of first-round picks. Dallas brought back Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke, but the core of the deal boils down to pairing Porzingis with Luka Doncic. Doncic has proven he’s a franchise-changing player. Porzingis, for his part, proved to be as well, winning over New York fans before suffering a torn ACL in his knee exactly one year ago Wednesday. Now, the two of them will pair up in what could be a dynamic duo that shapes the NBA for years. “Our goal is to keep these two together for the next 20 years,” Cuban said when introducing Porzingis to the Dallas media this week. Doncic and Porzingis already seem to have a bond, and even with Porzingis taking his time to return, it should work out well for Doncic’s future. The other rookie involved in a major trade was Philadelphia sharpshooter Landry Shamet, who has been no stranger to the Kia Rookie Ladder this season. Shamet has been in the Top 5 once and in the Top 10 in six of the 13 editions. Shamet, who had become a key contributor off the bench, was part of the Sixers’ package to bring in Tobias Harris from the Clippers. Shamet had become a key contributor for the Sixers and seemed to becoming more and more valuable as a spread-the-floor shooter as the season progressed. Now, he’ll move to the Clippers and play alongside another rookie, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Clippers, who are clearly looking toward the future. How he fits in with that roster and mindset will be interesting to watch. Will he continue to put up numbers like he has in Philly (8.3 ppg in 20.5 mpg) or will he see his role grow on a team that’s taking a different approach? * * * 1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks Last week: No. 1 Doncic played in just two games this week after missing last Thursday’s (last Friday, PHL time) loss to the Pistons with left ankle soreness. Still, Doncic was impressive in his two games to keep his top rung. He had 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the Mavericks’ 111-98 win against the Cavs. Then, Doncic tallied his third triple-double (first teenager ever with three in a season) with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists as Dallas beat Charlotte 99-93 Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Doncic struggled from the field (5-for-20 FG, 2-for-10 3FG), but had several clutch plays to seal the win. 2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Last week: No. 2 Over three games this week, Young averaged 21.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.0 assists as the Hawks went 2-1 with road wins in Phoenix and Washington. Young was especially clutch in Phoenix, scoring 16 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to spark Atlanta to a 118-112 win. Young was also named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January (he averaged 18.7 points and 7.2 assists) and was named a participant in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend in New Orleans. 3. Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings Last week: No. 3 Another week, another run of double-doubles for Bagley, who is quickly gaining attention as a potential superstar. In three games, Bagley averaged 16 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks in 30.4 minutes per game. His most impressive performance came in a 127-112 win over the Spurs in which he scored a career-high 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had one of the most memorable dunks of his young career. ''It's been fun, man,'' he said. ''I'm a totally different person from Game 1. I just feel different. I'm seeing a lot of things differently out there. The game is slowing down.'' 4. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns Last week: No. 4 Ayton returned to the Suns this week, but it’s hard to bump him back up to his No. 2 rung as I’d hinted to previously when I bumped him down the Ladder. Don’t get me wrong, Ayton has been his usual self since returning from a sprained ankle, but the guys above him have been outstanding. In three games (all losses), Ayton averaged 16.0 points, 10.3 rebounds while shooting 48.9 percent from the floor. 5. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies Last week: No. 5 The Grizzlies appear headed toward trading Marc Gasol, which means more responsibility for "Triple J." The Grizzlies have strung together two wins (the only two games for Jackson this week), and Jackson Jr. was huge in both victories. Sunday (Monday, PHL time) in New York, Jackson put up 16 and seven and followed that up Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) by going for 23 points, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal to help Memphis edge Minnesota 108-106. He finished 4-for-7 from three-point land and his numbers should only increase if Gasol ends up elsewhere Thursday afternoon (early Friday, PHL time). Just missed the cut: Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks The Hawks’ sharpshooter has strung together four double-digits games and proving he’s a big piece to the Hawks’ future. Over that stretch, "Red Velvet" has averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, five assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 51.4 percent overall and 53.8 percent from 3-point range. Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns Bridges is establishing himself as the defensive leader of this rookie class. Over his last three games, he’s had eight steals (2.7 per game) and continues to lead all rookies on the season (1.5 spg). He's also averaged 12 ppg while shooting 53.8 percent (46.7 percent on 3s). Kenrich Williams, New Orleans Pelicans With Anthony Davis still in limbo (at least until the trade deadline), Williams continues to produce while seeing big minutes. In his last three games, the TCU product averaged 10.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists in 33.5 minutes per game. The 6'7" swingman is proving he can shoot from deep, too, going 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) on three-pointers. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks With the changes in New York, Knox has already seen a bump in playing time. In three games this week, Knox played 36.5 minutes, averaging 16.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. He struggled a bit from the field (35.3 percent, 31.8 on 3s), but he should have some big games down the stretch as he learns to play alongside Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan. * * * (All stats through Feb. 7, PHL time) The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2019

With trade talks heating up, young Lakers want answers

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com If it was LeBron James’ intention to change the mood in the Lakers’ locker room here in his first season in L.A., consider it a resounding success. The morale for a team that went 35-47 last season and missed the playoffs is indeed different. It’s more somber. After speaking with a number of players, their agents and other sources, the general consensus paint a picture of little joy, plenty of confusion and uncertainty, along with some anger and sense of betrayal. It’s all caused by the Lakers’ obvious and public pursuit of Anthony Davis and the players who unquestionably will be shipped out to New Orleans in exchange for the All-NBA forward if a trade happens before Thursday’s (early Friday, PHL time) deadline. None will speak on the record but it’s obvious the Davis issue is sensitive and weighing on most of the roster, especially the young core of Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. They wonder if their days in L.A. are numbered and also wonder what, if any, role LeBron has in determining who goes and who stays. Various reports have the Lakers offering up virtually everyone on the roster for Davis, along with multiple No. 1 picks. Clearly, the pace has changed for the Lakers. After saying last summer the Lakers are intent on building a team that will be a contender for years and not just in the short term, team president Magic Johnson’s timeline has accelerated if the proposed packages for Davis are true. And how can they not be? New Orleans wants a combination of young players and picks for a game-changing player such as Davis. The Lakers own no other assets. In the meantime, the Lakers, currently on a road trip, are dealing with turbulence and not necessarily while thousands of feet in the air. Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee had a verbal post-game exchange with coach Luke Walton two nights ago in Oakland after a loss to the Warriors, and although it wasn’t sparked by the Davis issue directly, the trade rumors are causing stress and perhaps pushing tempers as well. In the center of it all is LeBron. Davis has been represented since last fall by Klutch Sports, the agency created by LeBron and run by his business partner and close friend, Rich Paul. The LeBron link to a player agency has caused a degree of concern among other NBA general managers, who wonder if there’s a conflict of interest and if it’s a good look for the league. It also has rival agents suspecting that LeBron is involved in talks for Davis and at the very least serving as a sounding board for Magic and Laker executive Rob Pelinka. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for the Lakers to get LeBron’s hot take on this or any major decision involving personnel; that’s a perk enjoyed by a number of star players throughout the NBA, and has been for years. But: Following the Lakers’ victory over the Clippers last week when LeBron made his return after missing 17 games with a groin injury, he repeatedly expressed how thrilled he was to be back on the floor with "my guys” and that didn’t sit well with some of his teammates, according to their agents. Essentially, they’re not sure where they stand with LeBron in the Davis situation. And the young players appear too intimidated to confront LeBron and get clarity. There’s another issue at play here: Are the Lakers planning to surrender too much for Davis by gutting the team? If the Lakers are willing to part with their young core and at least two veterans to make the salaries match, who’s left to make them competitive with Davis and LeBron? The Pelicans, according to league sources, are insisting that any team wanting Davis must also take guard E’Twaun Moore and his contract in return. This will allow the Pelicans to get young players, multiple picks and salary cap flexibility in a single transaction. In a sense, Davis is indeed a franchise player — trading him might allow the Pelicans to remake their entire franchise. Davis reportedly gave the Pelicans other teams on a wish-list, yet those teams’ options appear limited. One is the Bucks, who lack promising young players, and given that Milwaukee is leading the East, their first-round pick won’t be attractive. Another is the Knicks, who won’t have defined assets until after the draft lottery in May when their place in the June draft will be revealed. If the Pelicans decide to wait until summer, that means they believe there’s a better deal waiting after the draft and free agency. That places urgency on the Lakers to get something done before Thursday. One way or another, whether he comes to the Lakers or stays in New Orleans at least for the next five months, Davis will bring some relief and help clear the air to a Lakers team that desperately needs it. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2019

PBA: Sweeper JP Erram already proving worth for NLEX

Clinging on to a two-point lead still with 11 ticks to go on the clock, Saturday in Antipolo’s Ynares Center, NLEX was not out of the woods against Meralco. Poy Erram delivered exactly what the Road Warriors needed, closing the door on Ranidel de Ocampo’s shot at the rim and, ultimately, claiming for them back-to-back wins following a 0-3 start to the season. “Sabi ko nga, that’s the key play. That’s the winning play,” head coach Yeng Guiao told after their 87-83 triumph over the Bolts. He then continued, “It’s as good as a winning shot for us.” The fact that Erram came through with a win-sealing block was, apparently, already a given for the fiery mentor. In fact, game-changing plays like that is why they traded for the long-limbed big man in the first place. “That’s really the role that Poy Erram plays for us. Alam natin kaya niyang umiskor, but I don’t know if people notice that he’s averaging three to four blocks a game,” coach Yeng Said. He then continued, “I’m not surprised that he did that because that’s been his role sa team. We call him ‘The Sweeper.’” Indeed, in his first five games for NLEX, Erram has already totaled 20 blocks. And for them, that number will only keep climbing throughout the tournament. So feel free to call the Road Warriors’ new tower by his new nickname – just make sure you know how it came to be. “’The Sweeper’ dahil winawalis niya yung mga tira ha, ‘di yung nagwawalis sa kalye,” coach Yeng, always playful, said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 2nd, 2019

Her knees broken beyond repair, Vonn retiring after worlds

By Pat Graham and Andrew Dampf, Associated Press Lindsey Vonn transcended her sport in a way only a handful of Olympic athletes could even imagine. She was about more than skiing. She was about more than medals. She was about more than winning. She was often in the spotlight, appearing in the pages of mainstream and sports magazines, walking the red carpets, mingling with A-list celebrities and dating high-profile sports figures. The record-setting racer who grew up in Minnesota, then relocated to Colorado, became a household name in mountain towns and big cities — to people who knew a lot about racing and those who only tuned in every four years. But now, conceding her body is "broken beyond repair," Vonn is nearing the finish line for the final time. The woman who won more World Cup races than any other female is calling it quits at 34. On Friday, she said she'll retire after the world championships this month. "She's accomplished so many things and has overcome so much adversity in her life, with her injuries, and comebacks, and setbacks and comebacks," U.S. Ski and Snowboard CEO Tiger Shaw said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Very few people can focus and train as hard as she does. We're all in awe of what she's accomplished in her career." Vonn's original plan was to step away in December, after one final charge down the course in Lake Louise, Alberta — a course she won on so often it's now named in her honor. She was forced to move up her retirement due to persistent pain in both knees, which she fully realized after failing to finish a race in Cortina d'Ampezzo , Italy, last month. Now, she's down to two races: The women's super-G on Tuesday in the Swedish resort of Are, and the downhill scheduled for Feb. 10. That's it. That's all her knees have left. "My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of," Vonn wrote on Instagram . "My body is screaming at me to STOP and it's time for me to listen. "It's been an emotional 2 weeks making the hardest decision of my life," she wrote, "but I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing." Vonn's impressive resume: three Olympic medals, including downhill gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Four overall World Cup titles. And 82 World Cup wins, leaving her four behind the all-time mark held by Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden. Her off-the-slopes portfolio includes: Appearing in the pages of everything from Vogue to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, earning sponsorship deals with companies such as Red Bull, meeting actors like Dwayne Johnson and even being an extra on one of her favorite shows, "Law & Order." The spotlight only increased when she dated golfer Tiger Woods. She's now seeing Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban . She's big on social media, with 1.6 million Instagram followers. A recent post from Vonn was cryptic in nature and yet all-too-insightful as she quoted the French philosopher Voltaire: "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." Translation: She simply had no more cards to play. Her aching knees and beat-up body finally applied the brakes to her hard-charging ways. Vonn's right knee is permanently damaged from previous crashes. She has torn ACLs, suffered fractures near her left knee, broke her ankle, sliced her right thumb and had several concussions — to name a few. She's limited to about three runs per day, and her body just can't handle the workload of other skiers. "Honestly, retiring isn't what upsets me. Retiring without reaching my goal is what will stay with me forever," Vonn said. "However, I can look back at 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, 3 Olympic medals, 7 World Championship medals and say that I have accomplished something that no other woman in HISTORY has ever done, and that is something that I will be proud of FOREVER!" Her first World Cup start was Nov. 18, 2000, in a slalom race in Park City, Utah, and she didn't qualify for the second run. She was Lindsey Kildow then, before changing her name to Vonn after marrying her now ex-husband and ex-coach, Thomas. Her first World Cup win came four years later, in a downhill event at Lake Louise. Retiring in Sweden brings Vonn full circle. She won her first two major championship medals — two silvers — at the 2007 worlds in Are. As for how she will be remembered, that's simple for U.S. coach Paul Kristofic: Her comebacks. "That never-give-up attitude is something that everyone can take away from," Kristofic said. "She has created that character and lived it. Those are life lessons that everybody can take. Give it your all and never give up. That's a very strong legacy." ___ Associated Press writer Eric Willemsen in Maribor, Slovenia, contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 2nd, 2019

Sugar leaders decry Diokno plan to liberalize sugar importation

BACOLOD CITY - Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno does not have a comprehensive view of the sugar industry. This was the reaction of sugar leaders to Diokno's statement on Wednesday, January 30, that while the planned liberalization of sugar imports would negatively affect local producers, this would benefit a greater number of consumers. "There are more consumers than sugar producers," Diokno was reported by the Philippine News Agency as saying. Diokno had said that sugar is next on the government's list of agricultural products that would see a relaxation in import restrictions. This has raised an outcry from sugar industry stakeholders. "That is a very unfortunate statem...Keep on reading: Sugar leaders decry Diokno plan to liberalize sugar importation.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 31st, 2019

Nantes fans chant non-stop in emotional tribute to Sala

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press Nantes fans showed their devotion to missing Argentine striker Emiliano Sala, chanting his name non-stop during an emotional home game against Saint-Etienne on Wednesday. In the first match for Nantes since Sala's disappearance on Jan. 21, the referee also halted play after nine minutes so the crowd could applaud him and chant his name over and over again. "It was a very special night, we played more for him than for us," Nantes defender Diego Carlos said after the 1-1 draw. "We gave everything for him." Fans broke out into long and sustained chants of "Emiliano Sala, Emiliano Sala, Emiliano, Emiliano, Emiliano Sala" around the stadium when the referee paused the match for more than one minute. The former Nantes striker, who wore the No. 9 shirt, has been missing since a plane transporting him to the Welsh city of Cardiff went off the radar. Sala had just been signed by Premier League club Cardiff for a club-record fee. The fans repeated his name, loud and unrelenting, after the break. This time it was a slower, more poignant refrain of "La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, Em-il-ia-no Sa-la" as Nantes fans showed they will never forget him. Nor will the players. Moments after he equalized for Nantes in the 70th minute, Nantes striker Majeed Waris dropped to his knees in front of the home fans and raised his shirt over his head to show Sala's name on the t-shirt underneath. Remy Cabella put Saint-Etienne ahead in the 58th, but modestly celebrated his goal by raising his arm before lowering it quickly. "It would have been disrespectful to celebrate," Cabella said. "No one would have." Both sides had a player sent off at the end of the first half. Emotions ran high beforehand, with players warming up wearing t-shirts with "On T'aime Emi" (We Love You Emi) written on the back and the player's photo on the front. A giant picture of Sala was projected onto the center circle and a huge Argentine flag was unfurled in the crowd. The whole Nantes squad formed a circle moments before the match started as coach Vahid Halilhodzic spoke to the players. Nantes players wore Sala's name on the back of their shirts when the game kicked off at Stade de la Beaujoire. Saint-Etienne also paid their tributes. Sala's former Nantes teammate Yacine Bammou, who now plays for Caen and was close to Sala, was present in the stadium and television images showed him in tears before the game started. Earlier Wednesday, accident investigators said two seat cushions have been found which are likely to have come from the plane carrying him and the pilot. They are the first traces of the plane to be found since it disappeared over the English Channel. Sala and had gone back to France to say goodbye to his former Nantes teammates and then took a flight back in the evening. Sala had been in the best form of his career , netting 12 league goals in 19 games for Nantes this season. He had a strong working relationship with Halilhodzic, one of the best strikers in Nantes history. The search for Sala and the pilot was called off after a three-day air-and-sea operation near the Channel Islands failed to locate the aircraft, leading to criticism — including from Halilhodzic — and prompting Sala's family to raise money for a private search. Now, British authorities say French counterparts found parts of two seat cushions on a beach near Surtainville in northwest France and a vessel has been commissioned to conduct a search of the seabed starting this weekend. In Wednesday's other match, South Africa striker Lebo Mothiba scored twice as Strasbourg beat Bordeaux 3-2 at home to reach the League Cup final. Strasbourg will play Guingamp on March 30......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 31st, 2019

Philam Vitality powers up Philippine Spartan Race 2019

Philam Vitality, the game-changing wellness program of Philam Life, boosts its efforts to encourage Filipinos to live a better and healthier lifestyle in 2019......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 26th, 2019

PBA: Uytengsu slams point that Aces will be “winning with integrity”

Alaska remains as one the strongest “indie” teams in the PBA and Wilfred Uytengsu remains as the single strongest, most defiant “indie” team owner in the league. Monday during the 25th PBA Press Corps awards night, Uytengsu delivered a strong message on the supposed problems that PBA has dealt with over the past couple of seasons. In particular, the Alaska team owner has singled out the PBA’s parity, or supreme lack thereof. “Over the years, we and the PBA have been challenged with circumstances and controversies and that could and should have been mitigated. Circumstances that led to an unleveled playing field. This started with the Fil-sham debacle, where players with Filipino-like surnames were playing in the PBA with fake birth certificates and passports. Unfortunately, the league was slow to respond to this,” Uytengsu said in his speech right after he received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement award from the Press Corps. “In more recent years, we've seen dubious trades that created an even more unleveled playing field, creating further disparity in the league,” he added. While he never went into specifics, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that one of the “dubious trades” referred to by Uytengsu was the San Miguel-Columbian swap for the no. 1 pick of the 2017 PBA Draft. That no. 1 pick turned out to be Christian Standhardinger and the Beermen added another star to an already loaded lineup for pretty much nothing. The trade led to the PBA changing Commissioners and it caused a clear divide among the PBA Board. Fortunately, the Board has since reunited and the PBA is now under the management of one of the more likeable Commissioner’s in recent years in Willie Marcial. Still, that doesn’t stop Uytengsu on hitting out on supposedly unfair tactics and he insists that the Aces have always done it the right way and are very much proud of winning numerous titles with honor and integrity. “I can tell you that we always respected the league and honored the game by not participating in these tactics. I believe we have a greater responsibility than just winning games, and that is to set an example and show the next generation how to do things the right way,” he said. “As I look back now of more than 3 decades in the league, of course I'm proud of our 14 titles and more than 30 finals appearances, but I'm more proud of how we honored the game,” Uytengsu added. The Alaska owner maitains his stance that his Aces will continue to chase more championships with the two things his team holds dear: honor and integrity.   “Don't get me wrong, I'm still looking for that 15th championship, and the 16th and the 17th and so on. But it will always be about winning with integrity,” Uytengsu said.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2019