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Giemel Magramo a win away from title shot

Giemel Magramo is a win away from a crack at the IBF flyweight crown but his obstacle is a Thai veteran with nine Filipino victims in his resume and it won’t be easy hurdling Eaktawan Krungthepthonburi in their 12-round title eliminator at the Jurado Hall of the Philippine Marine Corps, Fort Bonifacio, on Sept. 7......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarAug 14th, 2019

Liverpool extends EPL lead as Leicester draws, Chelsea loses

By Mattias Karen, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Mo Salah and Liverpool are running away with the Premier League. Salah used his blistering pace and a bit of trickery to score both goals in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday — a result that extended the Reds' lead to 10 points in the table as they move closer to a first Premier League title in 30 years. Closest challenger Leicester was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Norwich, while defending champion Manchester City is a full 17 points behind in third place ahead of its game at Arsenal on Sunday. Fourth-place Chelsea, meanwhile, slumped to a fourth loss in five league games with a 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth — giving added hope to the handful of teams chasing the final Champions League spot. No one seems able to keep up with Liverpool, though. Jürgen Klopp's team has won 16 of 17 league games so far, with one draw, and are on course for a record-breaking season. “The most important thing that you have to show in this period of the season is resilience, and that's what we showed again,” Klopp said. SURGING SALAH Salah made it four goals in two games as he followed up his Champions League double with another brace at Anfield. Salah finished off a lightning counterattack to give the host the lead in the 38th minute at Anfield and then made sure of the victory with a cheeky backheel from a tight angle in injury time. It wasn't all so easy for Liverpool, though, even against a Watford that is last in the standings. Only poor finishing prevented the visitors from taking at least a point in Nigel Pearson's first game in charge. Striker Troy Deeney, Will Hughes, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gerard Deulofeu all missed good chances to score for Watford. Salah was as clinical as ever, though, taking his tally to nine league goals this season. The only negative for Liverpool was when Georginio Wijnaldum was forced off with an apparent hamstring problem, meaning he could miss the upcoming Club World Cup in Qatar. LEICESTER FALTERS Leicester saw its eight-game winning streak in the league ended by Norwich. Jamie Vardy's streak of scoring in eight straight league games also ended after his header from a corner was ruled an own-goal by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, who directed the ball into the net with his hand. That goal equalized for Leicester in the 38th minute after Norwich striker Teemu Pukki had given the visitors a surprising lead in the 26th. Vardy had a chance to score early in the second half when he rounded Krul, but rolled the ball onto the outside of the post from a tight angle. “We weren't quite at our level but we managed to get back and get a point,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. “It was probably the right result, we didn't start so well and our passing was slow.” SLUMPING CHELSEA After surging up the table into the top four, Frank Lampard's Chelsea is in the middle of an alarming slump. Dan Gosling's late goal gave Bournemouth the win, with Chelsea's grip on fourth place suddenly looking shaky. “We need more urgency in our play,” Lampard said. “If you're an attacking player, get at people, do things that are positive, don't play safe. We play generally too safe through the game.” Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers both have a chance to pull within two points of Lampard's team on Sunday. Gosling scored an 84th-minute winner when he flicked the ball over Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the net despite standing with his back to goal, ending Bournemouth's run of five successive league losses. SURPRISING SHEFFIELD John Fleck scored twice as Sheffield United climbed provisionally into fifth place by beating fellow promoted side Aston Villa 2-0. Fleck put the hosts ahead in the 50th minute by steering home an assist by John Lundstram, and added the second in the 73rd. Villa had a chance to get back in the game after VAR awarded a penalty for handball by John Egan, but Jack Grealish belted the resulting spot kick against the crossbar. In a game between midtable teams, Chris Wood scored his seventh goal of the season as Burnley ended a run of three successive losses with a 1-0 win against an injury-hit Newcastle. Wood's 58th-minute header was enough to give Sean Dyche's side its fifth league win at home this season, all without conceding. In the late game, West Ham eased the pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini with a 1-0 win at Southampton. Sebastian Haller put West Ham ahead in the 37th minute by slotting a low shot in off the post for his fifth goal of the season, which was enough to give the Hammers only their second win in 11 league games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News7 hr. 39 min. ago

Holloway, Nunes eager to show championship form at UFC 245

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — With a months-long barrage of trash talk and provocative posturing, Colby Covington and champion Kamaru Usman have infused their welterweight title bout at UFC 245 with political, racial and very personal overtones. Before they get in the cage Saturday night, two of the UFC's most durable, likable champions will entertain the mixed martial arts world without pandering or preening. Max Holloway and Amanda Nunes are among the toughest and winningest fighters of their generation, and their latest title defenses against Alex Volkanovski and Germaine De Randamie are both likely to be more entertaining than the main event bout between two wrestlers who sometimes talk better than they punch. Holloway and Nunes aren't complaining, however. They know controversy sells pay-per-views, and they're not mad about being along for the ride on this main event that feels more like a sideshow. “I got to talk a little bit less at the press conferences, which is cool,” Holloway said with a laugh. “Those guys, they've got stuff. I wish I was a little bit lighter and I could have grabbed my popcorn. Things are getting heated up.” The T-Mobile Arena crowd is likely to be strongly behind Holloway, the genial Hawaii native who hasn’t fought in Las Vegas since 2015. His scheduled bout here last year was scrapped at late notice when Holloway exhibited symptoms of a concussion. Holloway went back to work with a renewed focus on recovery and health, citing the examples of LeBron James and other elite athletes who spend millions on recovery and training. “I’ve got some of the greatest minds in MMA behind me, and they make sure I’m good all around,” Holloway said. Holloway was on a 13-bout winning streak against some of the sport’s best fighters until earlier this year, when he moved up to lightweight and lost to Dustin Poirier. Holloway rebounded with a featherweight title defense victory over Frankie Edgar, and his acceptance of another title defense against Volkanovski doesn’t mean he has given up multi-belt championship dreams. “It’s not even the belts that intrigue me,” Holloway said. “It’s being the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world that intrigues me. Being the best in the world is not somebody who stays at a weight and dominates his weight. He’s willing to go to whatever weight. But I'm not overlooking Alex. When you overlook somebody, you lose.” Volkanovski (20-1) has emerged from Australia as a serious contender for the featherweight title with 17 consecutive wins since 2013, including seven straight in the UFC. NUNES RETURNS Nunes already beat De Randamie in 2013, back when Nunes was a prominent contender, but not a champion. After a loss to Cat Zingano in her next bout, Nunes began her current nine-fight winning streak against the greatest women’s fighters in MMA history, from Ronda Rousey and Cris “Cyborg” Justino to Holly Holm and Valentina Shevchenko. De Randamie earned this bantamweight title shot with five straight wins, beating Holm and Aspen Ladd along the way. Nunes has beaten every female fighter who has ever held a UFC belt at 135 or 145 pounds, but she isn't bored. “All the work I've put in has paid off, and I will stay here,” Nunes said. “I'll prove it over and over that I'm the best.” MAIN EVENT Usman and Covington will close the show with the champion’s first fight since he dominated Tyron Woodley to take the belt in March. This meeting between two top-shelf wrestlers seems likely to be a tactical fight leading to a decision, but the fighters’ big personalities have generated ample publicity for two less-than-thrilling combatants. Usman has won 14 straight fights, while Covington has won seven in a row. Both welterweights have striking similarities in their styles, preferring to pin their opponents against the cage or on the mat and gradually grinding out victories. Although Covington is an eager striker, he doesn’t appear to have as much punching power as Usman, who appears to be bigger and stronger. ON THE SHOW The traditional big New Year’s Eve show in the UFC’s hometown has been moved up two weeks in the first year of the promotion’s lucrative deal with ESPN. The UFC still stacked the card, which also includes fights for crowd-pleasers Mike Perry and Urijah Faber, up-and-coming contenders Ketlen Vieira and Petr Yan, and veteran stars Jose Aldo, Matt Brown and Ben Saunders......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News20 hr. 26 min. ago

Leonard scores 24 points as Clippers beat Raptors 112-92

By Ian Harrison, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard got his ring, and the Los Angeles Clippers got another win. Leonard scored 23 points in his return to Toronto, Lou Williams had 18 and the Clippers won their third straight game Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), beating the slumping Raptors 112-92. Maurice Harkless scored 14 points and Paul George had 13 as the Clippers evened their road record at 6-6. Before the game, Leonard received his championship ring from the 2018-19 season, when he helped Toronto beat Golden State in six games for the franchise’s first NBA title. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley scored 11 points in 19 minutes before leaving in the third quarter because of a concussion. Beverley collided with Marc Gasol’s shoulder as the Raptors center was setting a screen. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points, Norman Powell had 22 and OG Anunoby 13 as the Raptors lost for the fourth time in five games and dropped their third straight at home. Toronto set a franchise record with nine straight home victories to begin the season. The Raptors shot 8 for 35 from 3-point range, their worst mark of the season. Toronto matched a season low with 31 field goals. They also had 31 in a Nov. 29 (Nov. 30, PHL time) win at Orlando. Following a pregame video tribute, Leonard’s former teammates, along with coaches and team executives, gathered in a circle at center court. As the sold-out crowd roared with approval, Leonard embraced each player in turn before guard Kyle Lowry presented him with his ring. After slipping it on, Leonard raised his arms and waved. Leonard was held to 12 points, a season low at the time, when the Raptors visited the Clippers on Nov. 11 (Nov. 12, PHL time). The three-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP shot 1 for 11 in that game, but Los Angeles won 98-88. Leonard shot 8 for 14 Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), going 2 for 4 from 3-point range and 5 for 5 from the free throw line. He returned after sitting out Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) win at Indiana because of a sore left knee. Leonard has missed seven of the Clippers’ 26 games this season. Anunoby scored nine points in the first and the Raptors went 6 for 6 at the free throw line to lead 32-27 after one. Toronto led 36-34 on a basket by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with 9:21 remaining in the second, but the Clippers outscored the Raptors 30-10 over the rest of the quarter to take a 64-46 halftime lead. Williams scored 13 points in the second, one fewer than the Raptors had as a team. Toronto shot 5 for 22 in the quarter, going 0 for 9 from 3-point range. The only time this season the Raptors have scored fewer points in a quarter was their Nov. 11 road loss to the Clippers, when they scored 10 points in the fourth. Powell scored 12 points in the third, and Toronto cut the gap to 76-71 on a basket by Siakam with 3:43 left in the quarter, but Leonard scored five points as the Clippers used a 12-0 run to take an 88-71 lead into the fourth. TIP-INS Clippers: Coach Doc Rivers said G Rodney McGruder, who has missed six straight games because of a strained right hamstring, might return Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Minnesota. … Williams led the Clippers with eight assists. Raptors: Lowry scored six points in the first quarter but didn’t score again, missing his final six field goal attempts and shooting 0 for 7 from 3-point range. … G Fred VanVleet (right knee) sat for the second straight game. … F Patrick McCaw returned after missing 17 games because of left knee surgery. … Gasol led Toronto with 11 rebounds. UP NEXT Clippers: Visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Raptors: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 12th, 2019

2019 setbacks have made Rene Catalan hungry heading into 2020

Rene "The Challenger" Catalan only had one goal when he decided to answer the call to compete in combat sambo at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines – to win a gold medal. While the ONE strawweight division contender looked unstoppable up until the semifinals, he eventually lost to Fajar in the finals, 11-3.  The 40-year-old felt the effects of the heel-hook that Chatchai Ritthidecha applied on him in the semifinals, affecting his mobility against the Indonesian.  It was an unacceptable outcome according to Catalan, but the loss will add fuel to his fire when he makes his return to The Home Of Martial Arts. “I am not satisfied. My main goal was to get the gold medal and I am disappointed. But it’s done. I know I would have gotten that gold medal, but my foot got in the way,” Catalan said.  Catalan last saw action in the Circle when he challenged ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE last November, losing to the belt holder by submission in round two. But the losses this year keep Catalan hungry heading into 2020, and he promises to turn those frustrations into positive results in ONE Championship. “I’ll do everything to get back to the winning lane. The SEA Games would have started my road to recovery, but I didn’t get it. So now I’m really hungry to get back and I’m excited for my return to ONE Championship,” Catalan said.  “This is an added inspiration. I will work double-time and move my way up for another title shot.” Expecting that things will not get easier moving forward, “The Challenger” promises to stay prepared.  "I am so hungry for that win. I’ll prepare hard for whoever ONE gives to me because I know they will give me someone extraordinary.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 12th, 2019

Gladbach beats Bayern 2-1 to stay top of Bundesliga

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press MÖNCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) — Surprise Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach showed it's a serious title contender by beating Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday with a last-gasp penalty. Left-back Ramy Bensebaini scored both goals for Gladbach, which last won the title in 1977. Bensebaini headed in a corner to draw Gladbach level after Ivan Perisic's volley for Bayern, and then scored the decisive penalty in added time. “That shows why we’re rightly up there," Gladbach coach Marco Rose said. "We tried until the 90th minute to show what's made us stand out in the last few weeks and months, and we got the penalty.” After scoring the opener, it was as if “we forgot how to play football somehow," said Bayern's interim coach Hansi Flick. The seven-time defending champion is now down in seventh after losing back-to-back Bundesliga games for the first time in 14 months. Gladbach leads the league by a point ahead of Leipzig, which beat Hoffenheim 3-1 thanks to two goals from Timo Werner. Jadon Sancho scored twice as Dortmund thrashed Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-0. BAYERN BEATEN AGAIN Another week, another 2-1 defeat and yet more missed opportunities for Bayern. Just as in last week's loss to Bayer Leverkusen by the same score, Bayern had a string of great chances — 15 shots in the first half alone — but a mix of poor finishes and good goalkeeping denied the Munich team. Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer trapped an effort by Joshua Kimmich on the line, and Robert Lewandowski twice flashed shots just wide of the post. After that frustration, Bayern scored with its first shot of the second half, a sweetly hit volley by substitute Ivan Perisic into the top-left corner from the edge of the box. That sparked Gladbach into life. The hosts have been strong at set pieces this season and showed it again when Bensebaini lost his marker to head in the corner in the 60th. Bayern pushed up to chase the win in stoppage time and was caught out by a Gladbach counter. Martinez launched into a desperate slide to stop Marcus Thuram reaching a loose ball and brought him down, giving away a penalty and earning a red card. Bayern's interim coach Hansi Flick started the day with a chance to go within a point of Gladbach, but now finds himself seven points adrift of the top. “The results don’t match" the chances Bayern created, Flick said. Bayern substituted Corentin Tolisso and Jerome Boateng with suspected injuries, which could complicate selection ahead of Wednesday's game against Tottenham in the Champions League. WERNER LEADS LEIPZIG If Leipzig manages to win the Bundesliga title for the first time in its short history, it will be largely thanks to Timo Werner. He's scored 15 goals in 14 league games this season and has nine in his last five Bundesliga matches. Hoffenheim could do nothing to stop Werner giving Leipzig the lead on a counterattack in the 11th minute. Hoffenheim tried fouling Werner, but that just led to the 52nd-minute penalty from which he scored his second goal. Marcel Sabitzer added a third late on. SANCHO'S SCORING RUN Dortmund continued its recovery from a 4-0 loss to Bayern last month, beating Düsseldorf with two goals each from Marco Reus and Sancho. Reus gave Dortmund the lead with a calm finish in the 42nd minute. Thorgan Hazard and Sancho added the second and third goals, before Reus and Sancho each scored again late on. Sancho has now scored in his last four games in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. That makes it three games unbeaten for Dortmund in the Bundesliga since the loss to Bayern, and puts the team third and firmly back into the fight for Champions League places. Freiburg continued its unexpected chase for a Champions League spot, rising to fifth with a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg thanks to Jonathan Schmid's 85th-minute goal. Leverkusen followed up its win over Bayern last week by overtaking the Munich team for sixth place with a 2-1 win over Schalke, which drops to fourth. Lucas Alario scored both of Leverkusen's goals in the win. Augsburg beat Mainz 2-1 to halt Mainz's winning start under new coach Achim Beierlorzer, who had overseen victories in his first two games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2019

Man City defense implodes with Liverpool on title charge

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City’s title defense is imploding in a way Pep Guardiola has never experienced before. Losing 2-1 to Manchester United left City with 32 points in the Premier League — Guardiola’s lowest haul after 16 matches in 11 years in top-flight management. Any fading prospect of a hat trick of titles looks to have been extinguished by City’s fiercest foe in a game marred by United players being targeted with racist abuse and objects thrown by home fans. The derby defeat left City 14 points behind Liverpool after the leaders won 3-0 at Bournemouth to nudge toward ending a 30-year championship drought. “It is not realistic to think about catching up,” Guardiola said. Second-place Leicester is now the team to catch for City, but the 2016 champions can move six points ahead with a victory at Aston Villa on Sunday. Chelsea’s grip on fourth place weakened with a 3-1 loss at struggling Everton as Duncan Ferguson started his caretaker command with a signature success. But the goal of the day came at Tottenham where Son Heung-min ran scored a dazzling solo goal after running from one of the field to the other in a 5-0 victory over Burnley for Jose Mourinho’s sixth-place team. UNITED TURNAROUND Chelsea’s collapse helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cap a transformative week with United up to fifth place and only five points from the Champions League spots. Being held at home by Aston Villa last Sunday raised further doubts about Solskjaer’s job prospects, especially with Mauricio Pochettino on the market after being fired by Tottenham. But since then Solskjaer has masterminded victories over two of the biggest names in management: Mourinho — Pochettino’s successor at Tottenham — and Guardiola. "There's more hard times for the doubters out there,” Solskjaer said, “because we'll keep on working the way we're doing and we believe in what we're doing.” United tore apart City in the first half at the Etihad Stadium. Marcus Rashford put United ahead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute after being bundled over by Bernardo Silva. The second goal inside six minutes was created by a slick exchange of passes between Daniel James and Anthony Martial, who applied the final touch past goalkeeper Ederson. City didn’t even manage a shot on target until the 34th when United goalkeeper David de Gea denied David Silva. Although Nicolas Otamendi’s header reduced the deficit in the 85th, City couldn’t prevent United from claiming only a second away win of the season. City’s priority after the game was working with police to identity the fans who racially abused United duo Fred and Jesse Lingard and hurled objects at them as a corner was able to be taken during the second half. “Thank God I have a lot of friends here in the locker room who hugged me, like Lingard,” Fred told ESPN. "I don't want to think about it. I just want to move on.” LIVERPOOL ON MARCH Liverpool’s goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah came in a devastating 19-minute spell either side of halftime to make it 33 league games unbeaten for Juergen Klopp’s side stretching back into last season. “The team performance was just really mature and professional,” Klopp said. “Just what we needed." ‘SONALDO’ Son’s mazy run before scoring Tottenham’s third goal against Burnley reminded Mourinho of a goal scored by Brazil great Ronaldo. "Even before this goal my son calls him ‘Sonaldo,’ and today he was Sonaldo Nazario," Mourinho said. “The only thing that came to my mind was a goal where I had the honor to be sat next to Sir Bobby Robson, in 1996, and Ronaldo Nazario scored a goal against Compostela from behind the halfway line and scored a very similar goal." Harry Kane also scored twice and Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko were on target as Tottenham recovered from losing to United on Wednesday. FERGUSON’S EMOTIONS Ferguson, a former Everton striker, already has the team out of the relegation zone after Marco Silva’s firing. Ferguson was charging down the touchline at Goodison Park celebrating with ball boys after Richarlison's header after five minutes against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. "It was just relief, excitement,” Ferguson said. “But you still know there is a long way to go in the game so you're not getting too carried away, although it didn't feel like that at the time. I'd have hugged the linesman if he was there. It is just emotion. Dominic Calvert-Lewin extended Everton’s lead four minutes into the second half but Mateo Kovacic's first Premier League goal reduced the deficit. Those early wild celebrations by Ferguson were replicated in the 84th when Calvert-Lewin found the target again. WATFORD HALTS SLUMP New manager Nigel Pearson watched from the stands as Watford halted a three-game losing run by drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace. Watford has won only once in the league this season and sits at the bottom of the standings, while Palace is in eighth place......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2019

UFC s toughest Cowboy set for career fight vs. McGregor

By Dan Gelston, Associated Press Donald Cerrone posted a booze-fueled photo to hype his anticipated fight against Conor McGregor: A bottle of Cerrone's preferred cheap American-style beer vs. the Irish fighter's own whiskey. Cerrone has eschewed McGregor's Proper No. Twelve whiskey, but the winningest fighter in UFC history finally takes his shot at the hard liquor's founder in a January fight at least five years in the making. UFC fans have buzzed for years about the potential brouhaha between McGregor, the biggest star in the sport, and the hard-living fighter better known as "Cowboy." Once the fight was announced last week, the prospect of some four-letter-word trash talking between two of the biggest mouths in the sport was dimmed — at least for now — when McGregor went on social media and wished Cerrone's family a happy holiday. McGregor's friendly acknowledgment came with a steely caveat, " See you in 20/20 with bullseye vision."         View this post on Instagram                   Let this Soak in! This will be my 51st MMA fight and I plan to add new numbers to all these list come January 18. I hold the all-time UFC record for wins with 23. I hold the all-time UFC record for finishes with 16. I hold the all-time UFC record for post-fight bonus awards with 18. I hold the all-time UFC record in knockdowns with 20. I hold the all-time UFC record with seven knockouts via kicks. A post shared by Donald Cerrone (@cowboycerrone) on Nov 29, 2019 at 3:27pm PST "This is the fight that everyone wants to see," Cerrone said. "I don't even know why we have to have a media tour. This fight is going to sell itself. He's done a great job of promoting himself and becoming Conor McGregor." The 170-pound bout is set to headline UFC 246 on Jan. 18 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. McGregor will fight inside the octagon for only the second time in 38 months and the first time since he was choked out by Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018. Cerrone will continue to add to his legacy as MMA's busiest fighter — he fought four times in 2019 (2-2) and holds the UFC career record for wins (23) and most finishes (16) in company history. Cerrone doesn't necessarily believe his grind-it-out schedule holds an advantage over McGregor's elongated rest period. "I don't know if I believe in all that ring rust stuff," Cerrone said. "I don't know if that's an actual thing. He's very talented, won two world titles, went in there with Floyd Mayweather. I don't think a year or a couple of years off is going to matter. Who the (heck) knows? I'm coming in full guns a blazing, man. My camp's excited about this fight." His cowboy hat always on, Cerrone has grown into one of the more popular fighters in UFC with his fight anyone, any time style and who always seems up for a good time. The 36-year-old Cerrone (a +190 underdog) has done it all, except win a UFC championship. His method of cramming as many fights as he can into the shortest window has perhaps at times prevented the patience necessary needed to wait for a major title shot. Cerrone's losses this year were to Tony Ferguson (on a 12-fight winning streak and set to fight Nurmagomedov) and Justin Gaethje (three straight wins and a regular fight of the night winner). "I'm like my own worst enemy, for sure," Cerrone said. "My coaches say all the time, don't take that fight. I definitely could have had better opportunities if I was sitting and waiting. But I love it. I love chasing this crazy feeling." He waited out McGregor for what is expected to be the richest payday of his career. The seeds were planted when Cerrone first called out McGregor when they shared the UFC Fight Night card in January 2015. They shared a dais in 2015 to promote upcoming UFC cards and promptly took aim at each other. Cerrone continued through the years to pressure McGregor to kickstart his comeback and fight him. "This fight was going to happen three or four times," Cerrone said. "Everyone would get their hopes up and then it wouldn't go through. It was like, yeah, right, it's not going to happen. Then the contract came sliding across, and I was like, oh (wow), here it is." Cerrone is ready for a "fun as hell" fight night in a matchup that might have been more enticing two or three years ago. The fight has already seemingly become more about how McGregor will look in his return than what a win would mean for Cerrone’s career. But while McGregor has been caught up in a string of legal woes during his time off, Cerrone has remained in about an endless cycle of training. "My wrestling is far superior," Cerrone said Monday by phone on his way to a swim workout outside his training camp home of Albuquerque, New Mexico. "My pace, my cardio, I plan on really putting on the pressure." Cerrone signed a new mutli-fight deal as part of the McGregor bout and has no plans to slow down, no matter the outcome. He's dabbled in acting and says he wants to put his UFC records far out of reach for the next generation of stars. He trains at the BMF Ranch, part of another nickname that's made him one of the more respected fighters inside the cage. Up next, the fight of a lifetime. "What I want to do is get all of America to back me like Ireland does him," Cerrone said, laughing. "That's what I want. If there's a guy for America to stand behind, it's the blue-collar, beer-drinking Cowboy. I think I'm the man.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2019

MPBL: Makati hopes team ethos and a balanced roster leads them to glory

The Makati Super Crunch have certainly established themselves as one of the elite squads in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. They have consistently hung with the league's best. Not bad for a nomadic team that only played on their home court two weeks ago. According to Cholo Villanueva, the team's head coach, there is no one player who has contributed to this promising season. "In every game there would be different players pulling through. It's just evident anybody can step up any given night from our rookies to our veterans,” remarked the former DLSU Green Archer.  There's no particular player that stands out at this point but whoever can provide the good, better or best shot will shoot the open shot. Villanueva identifies Rudy Lingganay, Jeckster Apinan and Cedric Ablaza as his most consistent players this season. The last two were on point in crunch time a recent joust with San Juan but Super Crunch fell just short, 88-86. San Juan's former La Salle standout, Justin Baltazar, blocked Apinan's potential game-winner from behind in the last seconds. Despite that loss against the champs, Makati is still upbeat and hopeful that they can take anything dished out to them. Remember, this is the team that hacked out a wild triple overtime win against Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines two weeks ago. The side won 111-106 after three extensions. They bucked the absence in the end of Simon Atkins, who got thrown out of the game, and Apinan, who fouled out. If you listen to the coach, the backbone of the team can be found much deeper than the starters and the second unit. "People don't see the players who prepare our rotational players in practices for the game. Mostly these are composed of our homegrown and amateur players like Babap Sta. Maria, Ace Lacsamana, Rhoy Cayanan, Kako Morales, Edwin Asoro and Carlo Lloren. They simulate our opponents in practice to execute our game plans and adjustments for the game. They make it tough in practices for the guys who have many minutes during the game to create the right habits integrated in our game plans," shared Villanueva.  Makati hopes to lean on a strong home crowd. The team and its sponsor have also been clever about how to build an atmosphere. In their first home game against the Muntinlupa Cagers two weeks ago, fans had the choice of wearing white to watch for free at the newly-renovated Makati Coliseum, or buying a P20 bag of Super Crunch chips. Judging from the large crowd in white, most opted to support the team with their choice of attire. The scheme needs some work, though. In both of their first two home games, Makati fans wore white only to see their opponents wear that color. In the two games Makati sported dark jerseys. Whatever the color scheme, the newly spriced-up Makati Coliseum is a boon to the squad. "Definitely, having your own home court provides you a different kind of energy especially playing infront of the Makatizens who waited so long for the opportunity to cheer for their home team. Having a new floor, rims and comfortably big locker rooms for each teams provides us the space for pre-game talks, muscle activation and proper mind setting for the games," said Villanueva. The coach is also grateful for the brand's support. Super Crunch is a snack from Prifood Corporation, a Filipino snack food manufacturer based in Laguna that was founded in 1990. "Super Crunch has been a big boost for us. Stability in maintaining a semi-pro team is very financially taxing but they have been consistent in providing the needs of the team which provides our confidence in just thinking about playing and representing the brand," added Villanueva.  The sponsor could have splashed some cash for new cogs in the recent transfer period. But instead the team management expressed their confidence in the current squad by staying put. "I think we are one of the most boring teams during trading period," admitted Cholo. "We haven't acquired or traded for players since the start of the conference. That's how much confidence I have in this group to go all the way. They have good chemistry and treat each one like family. We have each others back and trust that why you don't want to disrupt the bond that these guys have formed throughout the course of the year." The camaraderie was evident last Thursday when Makati endured yet another triple overtime game, this time against the Batangas City Athletics - Tanduay. Makati watched in horror as the Batanguenos hit the last six points of regulation to force overtime. Then one more extension and then yet another. But in the end it was one of Villanueva's shock troopers, Joseph Sedurifa, who knocked in the dagger three with 30 seconds left in the third OT to finally secure the win. "It as all heart and collective competitiveness of each and every player on the team to not lose the game," said a frazzled coach Cholo afterwards. Makati are now sporting a gaudy 19-4 record and have the top teams like DavOcc, Manila, and San Juan in their crosshairs. Villanueva knows it's not the time to slack off. "We will take it one game at a time and learn from the mistakes along the way. Yes, I'm optimistic of going all the way with this group, but we are still far away. We need to put in more work to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the title.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2019

Filipinos still out for floorball bronze after putting up a fight vs Singapore

The Philippines drew first blood and then put up a fight all match long, Wednesday at UP CHK Gym in Quezon City, but ultimately bowed to powerhouse Singapore, 2-5, in the preliminary round of men’s floorball in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Ryan Hallder Cater fired the first shot in the Filipinos’ ambush as his completion of a Henrik Dahmen setup in the just the third minute put them ahead, 1-0. “I’m proud of the team,” he said post-match. “We really fought hard and dueled out there. Each guy deserves a medal.” The home team would hold the lead for 12 minutes before Suria equalized for the Singaporeans at the 15th minute. Syazni Ramlee (20’) and Jeremy Chia (22’) restored order for the visitors with back-to-back goals, but the Philippines just kept coming. With six minutes having gone in the second period, Christian Schoultze blasted one through for the Filipinos. Not long after, however, Suria made his presence felt anew, this time fresh off the bench, with an interception all the way to a conversion at the 33rd minute. Juen Jie Ng would be the last player to hit the mark after seven minutes in the third period, cementing Singapore’s margin of victory. Despite the defeat, their second straight following a tournament-opening win, the Filipinos proved they can hang with the squad that won gold the last time the competition was held in the regional meet back in 2015. Then, they just fell short of the podium. Now, while the hosts have been booted out of the gold medal match, they still have a shot to win bronze. To do so, the Philippines will have to find a way through Malaysia. The two teams, both with 1-2 records, will first meet on Friday still at the same venue to end the preliminary round. “We’re gonna go to that game with the same attitude as this one,” Cater said. “We’re gonna bring it home.” They will then go at it once more on Sunday, that time for third-place. On the other hand, the title defense continues for the Singaporeans who are now assured of a top two finish. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

Clippers ease past Mavs 114-99 in matchup of 5-win streaks

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Paul George scored 17 of his 26 points in the first quarter, Kawhi Leonard finished with 28 and the Los Angeles Clippers took control early in a meeting of teams with matching five-game winning streaks, beating the Dallas Mavericks 114-99 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). The Clippers used several defenders to end Luka Doncic’s franchise-record streak of four games with at least 30 points and 10 assists. George had a career-high six steals as Los Angeles held the Mavericks under 100 points for the first time this season. The Clippers limited the 20-year-old phenom to 4-of-13 shooting, including 0 for 7 from 3-point range. The Slovenian star made 14 of 16 free throws and finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Patrick Beverley got in foul trouble as one of the defenders assigned to Doncic, but getting his fourth early in the second half just brought back Lou Williams sooner. The high-scoring reserve finished with 21 points, going 4 of 7 on 3-pointers. The Mavericks had taken the Southwest Division lead with a win at Houston for their fifth straight victory, but the expected title contenders from LA offered a dose of reality for a team looking to end a three-season run without reaching the playoffs. Dallas was trailing by three when Doncic joined the rest of the starters on the bench in the final minute of the first quarter. By the time those five came back together in the second quarter, the Los Angeles lead was 48-32. The LA bench scored 16 of the 20 points during the run, with Leonard getting the other four. The NBA’s highest-scoring bench finished with 44 points. Dallas, fourth on that list, scored 37 bench points, most with the outcome no longer in doubt. Kristaps Porzingis drained a 28-footer 22 seconds into the game, then missed five straight shots before making one from the Mavericks logo at center court, measured at 35 feet, for the final bucket of the first half. Still, LA led 62-46. The 7-foot-3 Latvian finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds as the first meeting of Dallas’ young European pairing against the LA duo tilted heavily in favor of George and Leonard. The LA stars combined to go 19 of 42 from the field, and 5 of 13 from 3. TIP-INS Clippers: Montrezl Harrell scored 12 points two nights after tying his career high with 34 against New Orleans to help finish a sweep of a five-game homestand. ... Leonard had a team high-tying eight rebounds, and Williams had six rebounds and six assists. Mavericks: Doncic had a third straight game without a triple-double, the longest run without one this season for the NBA’s leader in triple-doubles (seven). ... Dallas shot a season-low 38 percent. ... Seth Curry scored 13 off the bench, and J.J. Barea had 12. UP NEXT Clippers: At Memphis to finish their fourth back-to-back of the season. It’s the second road game in a stretch with seven of nine away from home. Mavericks: At Phoenix on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) to start their second three-game road trip of the season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2019

Wilder stops Ortiz in heavyweight title rematch

By Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Deontay Wilder landed a vicious right hand to stop Luis Ortiz in the seventh round Saturday night to retain his heavyweight title and set up a lucrative rematch with Tyson Fury in February. Wilder’s punch came out of nowhere in a fight he had done little in up until that time. It landed flush on the face of Ortiz, who crumpled to the canvas and was unable to get up at the count of 10. The sudden ending came after a lackluster first six rounds in which Wilder did little. But the devastating power that has gotten him knockouts in all but two of his fights came through again. “I finally found my measurement and I took the shot,”’ Wilder said. “`I had to play around with him. I had to calculate certain moves.’” The fight was a rematch of a bout last year when Wilder stopped Ortiz on the 10th round. It set up a Feb. 23 fight against Fury that has already been signed. Wilder fought cautiously for the first six rounds, which The Associated Press gave to Ortiz. Wilder began to pick up the pace in the seventh round, then caught Ortiz with the right hand that brought the fight to an end at 2:51 of the round. Ortiz (31-2) didn’t protest the ending, but said he thought he beat the count. “I was up at seven, I wanted to continue,” he said. Wilder (42-0-1, 41 knockouts) displayed the massive power that has made him a force in the heavyweight division, but won no style points in winning the fight. He did little until the big punch that ended the fight, wary of the power that Ortiz showed when he hurt him in their first fight in March 2018. Wilder made at least $3 million for the fight, but figures to make much more when he and Fury meet in a rematch of their fight a year ago that ended in a disputed draw. His win helped clarify the top of the heavyweight division, though, which will be sorted out further when Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. meet Dec. 7 in their title rematch in Saudi Arabia. Wilder said before the fight that he would end it with a knockout, and he was a 4-1 favorite going in. Oddsmakers had made the over/under for the fight at seven full rounds, and Wilder’s right hand made winners of the under with just nine seconds to spare. The 40-year-old Ortiz, who left Cuba to pursue a pro career, seemed to baffle Wilder with his southpaw style. He was also able to get off combinations quickly when Wilder punched first. "Ortiz is one of the best in the world," Wilder said. "You have to give him that.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2019

Bayern cuts gap behind Bundesliga leader Gladbach to 1 point

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — For once, Robert Lewandowski didn’t score. But it didn’t matter as Bayern Munich stayed perfect under interim coach Hansi Flick and cut the gap behind Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach to just one point on Saturday. Bayern routed Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-0 away, while Gladbach lost at promoted Union Berlin 2-0. Lewandowski had scored in every Bundesliga game so far, but the Polish forward couldn’t stretch his league record to 12 games against Fortuna — still the only side remaining in the 18-team division against which he hasn’t scored. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Lewandowski sent one shot narrowly wide of the post and his powerful header was saved well by goalkeeper Zack Steffen. He even tried a scissor kick, without success. Goals from Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, Serge Gnabry, and Philippe Coutinho gave Bayern its second straight 4-0 win in the Bundesliga after routing Borussia Dortmund before the international break. It stretched Bayern’s winning run to three games under Flick, Germany coach Joachim Löw's former assistant. Flick is filling in for the fired Niko Kovac and has yet to see his side concede. Bayern became the first visiting team since April to leave Düsseldorf with a clean sheet. UNION ENJOYING BUNDESLIGA LIFE Union players celebrated with fans long after the side’s fifth win from 12 games, its third straight in the league. Anthony Ujah’s 15th-minute header and another in injury time from Sebastian Andersson were enough for Union to end Gladbach’s three-game winning run across all competitions, and stretch the promoted team’s own run to five straight victories, including a friendly win over Holstein Kiel. Gladbach made a fine start with Denis Zakaria and Patrick Herrmann going close before Herrmann hit the post in the 12th. But Marcus Ingvartsen produced a fine cross for Ujah to score with Union’s first real chance. Buoyed by the goal, Union pushed on and almost made it 2-0 when Ingvartsen struck the post. Union fans rose to salute goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz for denying Alassane Plea in a one-on-one before the break. It was the visitors’ best chance before Andersson sealed Union’s win. LEIPZIG CLOSES IN Emil Forsberg scored twice as Leipzig stayed second, ahead of Bayern on goal difference, with a 4-1 rout of visiting Cologne. Cologne was hoping for a change of fortune under new coach Markus Gisdol, who replaced the fired Achim Beierlorzer during the international break, but Timo Werner got Leipzig underway in the 22nd and the home side powered on for its seventh win. Leipzig, which was formed only in 2009, looks a good prospect to take advantage of rivals’ travails and mark its 10th anniversary with its first major title. Also, Wolfsburg won 2-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt, where the home side wore jerseys with a message against racism. Schalke won at Werder Bremen 2-1, and Freiburg grabbed a draw at Bayer Leverkusen 1-1. ___ James Ellingworth contributed from Düsseldorf......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2019

‘People cannot wish that I fail’: Reboot for Spurs, Mourinho

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — When it comes to tactics, José Mourinho knows he is typecast. The new Tottenham coach tries to make light of it. “You are not going to see Harry Kane playing left back,” he says. “That’s for sure.” Kane can breathe easily. He’s still leading the strike force for a manager who has drawn scorn for shackling players in “parking the bus” ultra-defensive systems. But after five years of intense pressing and high energy football under Mauricio Pochettino, perhaps the Spurs squad should be prepared for a more soporific style at times. “The fans, they must be happy,” Mourinho says, perched on a sofa at the Tottenham training ground. “The players, they must be happy. And I must be also happy.” One player Mourinho has already targeted with improving is midfielder Dele Alli to “bring the real Dele back.” “I have already spoken with him and I asked him if he was Dele or Dele’s brother,” Mourinho says. “He told me he was Dele. ‘OK,’ I said. ‘Play like Dele.’ “He is potentially a fantastic player. Now I have to create a tactical situation he is happy with, give him the right dynamics.” When taking charge of a team enduring an alarming slump to 14th place, something must clearly give, tempering attacking abandon with greater defensive resilience. A clean sheet has been achieved only once in 12 English Premier League games. They have leaked 18 goals after boasting one of the best defenses in the competition during four years of top-four finishes and a run to the Champions League final last season. “I’m going to try to make some tactical ticks,” Mourinho says. “Not incredible changes. I’m not going now to try to be Einstein, but I’m going to try to make the players player the way I want them to play. “Offensive football, yes, but winning matches, not offensive football and don’t win a match for 10 or 11 months.” That has been the case in the league for Tottenham, which plays at West Ham on Saturday chasing a first away win since last season in January. Mourinho has had 11 months of introspection since an abrupt end to his Manchester United career amid spats and sullenness. This is Mourinho’s third shot at an English club, after two title-winning spells with Chelsea, and a platform to reassert his credentials as a manager. After so many feuds, Mourinho seemed taken aback by the notion rival fans are yearning for him to come unstuck again. “I'm a good guy. Come on,” Mourinho says. “People cannot wish that I fail. If you are a fan of another club, I understand that but general people? I'm a good guy. Come on! Give me a break.” Success at Tottenham could be defined by the partnership between Mourinho and chairman Daniel Levy — a bond that fractured with Pochettino as spending was restricted to challenge for trophies. Now a manager renowned for even more forceful demands for investment has been paired with the executive who notoriously drives a hard deal. “I used to be in clubs that fear him,” Mourinho says of Levy. “He’s powerful. He’s a businessman but he’s a football man ... and it’s great to have him on my side.” There are fewer than six weeks until the January transfer window opens. “I don't need to spend a huge amount of money,” Mourinho says. “I don’t need transfers.” This does not sound like the Mourinho in his final offseason as United manager who grew irritated with the dearth of expenditure on the defense — an area now in need of reinforcements at Tottenham. Is Mourinho really no longer dependent on spending sprees? “Maybe it's my fault,” he says. “Maybe it's also the profile of club that I normally get. It’s like you people say, I always need money to spend with players. It’s not me it’s my clubs. “It’s the profile of the club. It’s the profile of the owner, the profile of, let's say, Real Madrid. Certain profile of players.” Retaining players is important for Mourinho, particularly Kane. Now, of course, England’s World Cup Golden Boot winner knows he won’t be shunted back into defense at Mourinho’s Tottenham. “It was part of (Levy’s) explanation about his vision for the club, without being specific about the players,” Mourinho says. “He told me he does not sell players when the manager doesn’t want to sell.” Spurs can fend off clubs chasing their talent, which was elevated during Pochettino’s five-year reign. A club without a league championship since 1961 is now among the top 10 biggest moneymakers in world football. “We can have the same ambitions as they have at clubs that are bigger than us,” Mourinho says. “I don’t want my players to fear anything. We go for everything against everybody and we can win.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio breaks down masterful performance against Rene Catalan at ONE: Masters of Fate

ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio cemented his status as ONE Championship’s top strawweight after successfully defending his title against compatriot Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan in the main event of ONE: Masters of Fate in Manila last November 8th.  In Catalan, Pacio was facing a challenger that was riding a six-fight winning streak that included an impressive demolition of former two-time titleholder Yoshitaka Naito.  Still, the 23-year old Team Lakay star imposed his will against Catalan, dominating the striking aspect before getting the Arm-Triangle submission in the second round. It was a performance that further solidified Pacio’s status as the division’s top dog.  While Pacio was nothing short of dominant against Catalan, he believed that the Pinoy veteran was indeed deserving of a title shot, especially after coming in with an impressive winning streak.  “Para sa akin, oo naman. Siyempre, nakita ko yung improvements niya. Six-fight winning streak, lalo na nung tinalo niya si Naito, dun talaga ako na-impress,” Pacio stated after the fight. “Naimpress ako dun sa pagka-panalo niya kay Naito, masasabi ko worthy talaga siya na challenger.” To his credit, Catalan came prepared to test Pacio - arguably one of Team Lakay’s most talented grapplers - on the mats, as he threatened the defending champion with a couple of submission attempts.  “Nasurprise ako nung nag-heel hook siya,” Pacio admitted. “Sabi niya lumagatok yung paa ko, oo pero baka dahil lang kulang sa stretching, pero hindi talaga ako nakuha doon. Medyo tight yung kneebar, pero sa training, nirereview na namin yun eh. Kunyari nakuha ka sa ganitong posisyon, anong gagawin mo? Wag kang mag-papanic, maghanap ka kung paano ka aalis, so ganun yung ginawa ko, hindi ako nag-panic.” Pacio tried to counter with a submission of his own, but decided to abandon the attempt after deciding that he would not be able to execute it completely. “Mali kasi yung posisyon ko eh. Hindi ko din yun makukuha, kaya ako yung unang bumitaw, tapos roll, roll, roll hanggang matanggal,” Pacio explained. “The Passion” did end up getting the submission later on, which he says was the game plan all along. It was Pacio’s striking however, that got everything going.  “Submission talaga, pero hindi ko ine-expect na siya yung mag-aattempt ng takedown, kasi nung nag-back kick ako nung round one, nginitian ako, tapos biglang nag-takedown,” Pacio detailed.  “Ay, alam ko na 'to. Wrestler ka na ngayon. Na-feel ko eh. 'Yes, dito na.' sabi ko, siya yung nag-takedown, nag-initiate, mas gusto ko yun, kasi dun pupunta yung gameplan ko.” It was indeed a masterful performance on the young Lakay’s part, as he successfully defends his title for the first time, something that he wasn’t able to do during his first run as champion.  “Siyempre, napaka-saya kasi gaya nga nung sabi ko nung sa unang interview, you're not a champion until you defend your belt, so napaka-saya ko kasi na-defend ko successfully.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2019

ONE: Continuous improvement is what Joshua Pacio aspires for

After successfully defending his ONE Strawweight World Championship against Rene Catalan at ONE: Masters of Fate back in November 8th, Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio is no doubt the top guy in ONE’s strawweight division.  At just 23 years old, Pacio is already a two-time titleholder and owns victories over Catalan, Yoshitaka Naito, Yosuke Saruta, and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke just to name a few. To add to that, he’s also finished his opponent in five of his last six wins.  It can be argued that Pacio is at the peak of his powers, but the young star believes that he still has even more to show and aspires for constant and continuous improvement.  (READ ALSO: 'Tataas pa 'yan at gagaling pa 'yan'- Mark Sangiao on Joshua Pacio) While there isn’t anything on deck for the reigning strawweight king at the moment, he won’t be taking too much time off from training anytime soon, and that’s because he wants to present an even better version of himself when he does step inside the Circle again. Pacio hopes to be on ONE Championship’s first card in Manila for 2020.  “Sa akin, yung tinatawag niyong break is magte-training pa din ako, kasi sa January 31, kung sakali,” he said with a chuckle. “Kung sino man yung iharap nila, hindi ako namimili ng kalaban.” “Basta gusto ko lang na makita na every fight, nag-iimprove ako, yung hindi the same yung Joshua Pacio na lumaban ngayon, iba ulit sa next. Yun yung gusto kong makitang improvement,” he continued.  At this stage, Pacio is already arguably one of the most well-rounded members of Team Lakay, and that was on full display in the Catalan fight. So what kind of improvement does Pacio want to see in himself?  The young star aspires to be as skilled and as fluid inside the ring as Demetrious Johnson, the reigning ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion.   “Siyempre isa sa mga idolo natin si DJ, magaling mag-mix eh. Yung gusto ko talagang i-improve yung talgang comfortable ka sa lahat, may striking, may wrestling, tapos striking ulit, tapos wrestling, tapos control sa ground,” Pacio explained. “Yun yung gusto kong maabot na improvement na makita ko, yung kahit na five rounds na ganun, okay pa din.” A former long-time world champion in the UFC, Johnson was at one point regarded as the pound-for-pound best mixed martial artist in the world. Now with ONE Championship, Johnson continues to remain dominant, winning his first three ONE bouts - the third being against Pacio’s teammate and training partner Danny Kingad - en route to the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix title and a shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship. Speaking of flyweights, is a move up to that division in the future for the reigning strawweight king? According to the Pacio himself, there isn’t any motivation for him to do so, especially with teammates Kingad and Geje Eustaquio residing in that weight class.  “Para sa akin, wala eh, kasi I am a champion, pero para sa akin, kung wala sana akong teammates sa ibang weight class.” “Siyempre, sa kanila na din yun, they deserve also to become a champion. Nagwowork-hard kaming lahat, so deserve din nilang lahat maging champion, so sa kanila na yun,” Pacio concluded. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2019

ONE Championship: Mark Sangiao lauds Eduard Folayang s mental toughness after recent win

Team Lakay pulled off a 3-0 sweep at ONE: Masters of Fate in Manila last November 8th, with ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio successfully defending his title against fellow Pinoy Rene Catalan in the main event, and former champs Eduard Folayang and Geje Eustaquio both getting big wins as well.  It was a good way to close out the year for Team Lakay, who had absorbed quite a number of consecutive setbacks prior to ONE’s final card in Manila for 2019.  Pacio was dominant in his title defense, while Eustaquio successfully avenged a 2016 loss to Finland’s Toni Tauru with a spectacular third-round body-kick KO.  Folayang’s win however, didn’t come in the way that they would have hoped, earning a Technical Decision win after being ruled unable to continue due to a cut caused by an accidental headbutt from Mongolian opponent Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu.  Folayang was dominating the opening round with his superior striking, and was well on his way to doing the same in the second round, right before the accidental clash of heads which opened up a nasty gash on the former lightweight king’s right cheek.  With the cut too big to allow Folayang to continue, the match went to the judges’ scorecards, giving the Filipino MMA hero the decision win.  While it was the result they wanted, it was definitely not how they would have wanted to get there.  “Oo siyempre, kasi dino-dominate na niya eh, pero ang lakas nung impact nung sumalubong yung headbutt, pero knowing Eduard kasi, kahit sabihin mong nahilo yun, 'Hindi' ang sasabihin niya pa din,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. “Kilala ko na 'yan, ever since nung bata pa 'yan, nakita ko yung mental toughness nun, kaya sinabi kong hindi na pwede 'yan.” “Mabuti nakita nung doctor. Magaling yung doctor ng ONE, nakita naman nila na talagang hindi pwede, so inistop nila,” Sangiao continued.  The Team Lakay mentor states that he agrees with the decision to stop the fight because the former champion was clearly rocked from the accidental headbutt.  “Agree, kasi nakita ko na rin na nahilo si Eduard,” Sangiao explained. “Nung pumunta na sa gilid, hilo na siya, pero siya, napaka-lakas pa nung isip niya, sabi niya 'Okay pa ako.' pero yung paa niya, wobbly na. Dun mo makikita kung gaano kalakas yung isip ni Eduard. He's really a champion.” Sangiao believes that if it were up to Folayang, the fight would have continued on.  “Yung sa kanya, gusto pa niya eh, pero sabi ko no. Buti si Kevin [Belingon] andun din, pina-upo siya, kasi nakikita niya na wobbly na yung paa niya,” he explained.  Perhaps what exacerbated the situation was that the official didn’t immediately see that it was indeed an accidental headbutt that stunned Folayang. As a result, Tsogookhuu was able to pounce on Folayang and land a few more punches before being halted.  Sanguiao says that he understands the situation, given that the official did not have the perfect vantage point to make a call at the moment.  “Professional naman yung referee, nakita kasi sa video na nasa blind side siya. Nung nakita niya lang yun, doon lang niya sinabi, tapos sinisigaw namin, tapos nung brineak niya, sabi niya sa akin, sinenyas niya na headbutt. Doon niya na-realize siguro.” “Bakit ang laki ng cut? Hindi naman ma-ccut ng ganun kung sa suntok, sobrang laki nung cut,” Sangiao added.  Folayang’s drive to continue fighting, Sangiao explained, comes from a sense of urgency in that, coming off back-to-back losses, a third straight loss would have been a serious setback to his dreams of regaining his spot atop the division.  “Alam na niya yun, at alam ko rin na kapag natalo pa siya dito, bababa yung career niya, I mean lalayo siya sa title shot,” Sangiao detailed. “Siya na mismo, sabi niya, kaya doon sa mga interviews niya, very hungry siya para bumalik. Kaya nga kanina, isa yun, yung isang motivation niya kaya kanina, kahit nag-wowobble na yung paa niya, hindi pa raw siya hilo." “Ako na yung nagsabi na upo ka muna, mag-rest ka, kasi kita mo, pero yung isip niya, ang lakas,” Sangiao concluded. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019

Clippers outlast Celtics in OT in successful debut of Kawhi, George combo

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES -- It took three weeks and 15 games into the season, but better late than never for the Clippers to finally hold their real Opening Night. They were finally whole on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George shared the floor together, suiting up against the Celtics. Before that, the only significant time spent in each others company in uniform was last summer when they were introduced as the newest and most important members of the franchise. It was an event that shook the league and made the Clippers the title favorites; given the club’s zero championships, that glowing projection had never been written or spoken by anyone before. And, predictably, the league will not be conquered in a day or more accurately, a night where the Clippers defeated a Boston team holding the best record in the East but did so haphazardly at times before showing enough spunk in the fourth quarter and overtime to confirm their arrival as a team to be believed. Perhaps these sketchy performances will be expected from the Clippers here in the early season because George missed the first 11 games and Leonard six. Therefore, the Clippers will reek of training camp smell until their stars develop better harmony and the rotation gets in sync. Because at times in the 107-104 win over the Celtics, the Clippers passed up shots and were careless with their decision making and also their passing, perhaps in an effort to please one another. George and Leonard are the clear alpha dogs and not only were they too deferential to each other during stretches, so were their teammates, mostly to a fault. “Twenty-three turnovers,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, with a sense of resignation. “We were so sloppy. We were trying not to get in each others’ way. We need a lot of work. We’re trying to get the ball to guys instead of trying to score.” It’ll take more practice sessions to clean that up and gain a clearer understanding of roles and situations and flow. Because of injuries, the Clippers, George and Leonard simply haven’t had that chance. “We were thinking in the office earlier today if we ever had two (stars) getting ready to play in a game, and they never had one practice together,” said Rivers. “We couldn’t come up with one.” Well, don’t be misled; the Clippers’ glass is not exactly half empty. There was another aspect to the Clippers in their sneak preview “opener” that left much to be admired. They turn scrappy when cornered and fight when threatened. This was apparent when the Celtics snatched a 10-point lead late in the fourth and were rolling. In these situations, teams tend to discover what’s in their DNA and whether their desire level belongs in elite company, even here in mid-November. Here’s the results, then: George is at the very least Leonard’s equal as a scorer; Lou Williams can take over games even from Leonard and George when necessary; Pat Beverley never runs empty on energy or fire; and Leonard as he showed last spring always seems to deliver in the clutch with a decisive play. “Once we got started,” said Williams, “we saw how special this team can be.” Williams helped erase the Celtics’ lead by scoring 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and caused major problems in the final few moments of regulation. Remember, he’s a lethal scorer in his own right and in last year’s playoffs, without George or Leonard, he carried the Clippers late in games. George finished with 25 points and drew double teams, which created open shots for teammates. It has been a torrid start for him this season since returning from shoulder surgery and rehab; he has 123 points in 110 minutes and hit the game-winner a few days ago against the Thunder. One of those who benefited from the extra attention given to George and Leonard was Beverley. The Celtics picked their poison and their scouting report, no surprise, told them to let Beverley beat them. Ordinarily that’s the proper strategy; Beverley isn’t a scorer nor does the ball usually find him in tense moments. But Beverley punished Boston with four three-pointers (in seven tries) and was an all-around menace, with a career-high 16 rebounds, seven assists and two steals with his 14 points. His feisty tenor set the tone for the Clippers defensively late in the game; the Celtics have the best offensive efficiency in the league yet managed a rather tame 30 points in the fourth quarter and five-minute OT. “They were trying to leave guys open,” said Rivers. “They left Pat open. They took the risk. He single-handedly willed that game for us.” Finally: At the OT buzzer, Leonard reached and deflected Kemba Walker’s potential game-tying shot. The development of the Leonard-George combo obviously will play huge in whatever success the Clippers have this season. It seems a match made in basketball heaven. Both bring similar styles and are unselfish. They can shoot the mid-range or three. They can attack the rim -- see Kawhi’s poster dunk Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) that set social media ablaze -- and besides averaging over 25 per game, they obviously bring the goods defensively. George is a four-time member of the All-Defensive Team while Kawhi is twice the Defensive Player of the Year. Kawhi and George are no longer assigned the toughest assignment every night. They can take turns guarding the other team’s big scorer; George didn’t have this luxury in Indiana and Oklahoma City, and Leonard for much of his time in San Antonio and all last season with the Raptors. And they can switch on and off in the same game. For example, expect to see this happen Friday when league scoring leader James Harden comes to town. Last week, Harden torched the Clippers for 47 points. This time, he’ll see Kawhi in his grill for stretches and then get George, with a little Pat Bev thrown in for irritant’s sake. The elephant in the room is Kawhi’s health. Nobody expects him to play every game the remainder of the season, but he’s already on pace to miss 30. Last year in Toronto he missed 22. The good news is the Clippers can win without him provided George remains healthy. The better news is the Clippers are finally intact and complete right now, even though there are kinks to straighten and flaws to correct and a system that needs to be reset. “We want to figure out how to win games and then become a good team,” said Rivers. “We’re a work in progress.” Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsNov 21st, 2019

UAAP Finals: Animam-less Lady Bulldogs close in on another season sweep

For the sixth straight season, National University is on the verge of rewriting history anew, topping University of Santo Tomas, 70-65, in a hardfought Game One of the UAAP Season 82 women's basketball Finals Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena and move on the cusp of a historic sixth straight championship. Kelli Hayes got things done for the Lady Bulldogs with her 16 points, four rebounds, two steals, an assist, and a block as they had to scratch and claw for this 95th straight win to extend this historic win streak. Her efforts couldn't have come at a better time with Mythical Team member Jack Animam missing the tiff. Animam hurt her right eye after getting elbowed in Gilas Womens' game against Korea last Saturday in the 2019 Fiba Women's Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament that kept her in New Zealand. "Everyone has big shoes to fill with Jack, not just Kelli," said coach Pat Aquino, relieved from the efforts that his girls showed. "I'm just happy. What can I say? I'm sad that Jack was not here with us, but happy that everyone stepped up." With NU holding on to a close 67-65 lead, Kaye Pingol buried the crucial three with 1:32 left to make it a five-point affair, before Hayes snuffed Jeorge Panti's drive in the final 37 seconds to quash UST's hopes for an upset. "I know they were going to come back. I just told the girls to keep on playing and don't mind the score and they were able to do so," he said. "I know that UST is going to come back, they've been great this season, but we always have to play NU basketball all 40 minutes." Pingol got her share of 12 points, six rebounds, five assists, and four steals, as Rhena Itesi topscored for the Lady Bulldogs with her 17 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks. Mikka Cacho also added 11 points and six rebounds as she had two of the three three-pointers for NU as it only shot 3-of-24 from deep. History is once again on the hands of the Lady Bulldogs, with a chance to lock up this sixth straight title in Game Two on Saturday, still at the same venue. Season MVP Grace Irebu bannered the Golden Tigresses with 17 points, 18 rebounds, and five blocks, as Tacky Tacatac collected 10 points, two boards, and two steals in the loss. The Scores: NU 70 -- Itesi 17, Hayes 16, Pingol 12, Cacho 11, Canuto 4, Del Carmen 4, Surada 4, Clarin 2, Bartolo 0, Cac 0, Fabruada 0, Harada 0. UST 65 -- Irebu 17, Tacatac 10, Ferrer 9, Soriano 8, Callangan 7, Gandalla 5, Portillo 4, Rivera 4, Panti 1, Gonzales 0, Javier 0. Quarters: 21-22, 41-38, 57-53, 70-65......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 20th, 2019

NCAA 95: Grateful Jerrick Balanza repays Letran community with championship

Letran Knights sharpshooter Jerrick Balanza had himself the perfect ending to his collegiate career as he dropped a game-high 27 points to lead his Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights to an 81-79 Game 3 win in the NCAA Season 95 Men's Basketball Finals over rivals San Beda University Red Lions, Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, to return to the summit of the NCAA men's basketball summit.  The graduating Balanza was on fire all-game long as he drained big bucket after big bucket, none bigger than a crucial three to put the Knights up 79-73 with a minute and 29 seconds left. While San Beda would get it down to a one possession game with 5.4 ticks left, there would be no miracles for the would-have-been four-peat champs as the underdog Knights came up with a couple of crucial defensive stops, the last being a block from Balanza to secure the title.  "As a captain, kailangan kong patunayan sa team, and sa Letran community, tsaka, katulad nung sinabi ko nakaraan, kung sinong mas gusto manalo eh, so ako ginusto ko talaga, lahat ng takot ko sa tira, hindi. Inalis ko yun, talagang nilabanan ko,so yun," said Balanza, who added seven rebounds and three assists. "Maganda yung outcome, so nag-tuloy tuloy siya."  BIG SHOT JERRICK ???? #NCAASeason95 pic.twitter.com/GUJnfFi7kb — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 19, 2019 For Balanza, bringing an NCAA Men's Basketball Championship back to Intramuros was also the perfect way to repay the Letran community for everything that they've done.  Balanza was, of course, this season's most inspiring story, making a triumphant return after being sidelined midway through Season 94 due to a brain tumor from an ear infection. Balanza successfully underwent surgery in September of 2018. By July of 2019, Balanza was back in uniform for the Knights in Season 95.  Behind him every step of the way, Balanza says, was the whole Letran community, and winning a title was a way of showing gratitude.  "Sobrang bait ni God, talaga, sobra, dahil talagang lugmok na lugmok na ako nung time na yun eh," said Balanza during the post-game press conference. "Wala akong ginawa kung hindi maniwala lang sa Kanya at maging positibo, so ayun, sobrang sarap lang ng pakiramdam na napasalamatan ko yung Letran community and sa lahat ng naniwala sa amin sa pamamagitan ng [championship]." "Ito na, ito na yung ginawang way para mapasalamatan ko sila. Hindi ko man sila mapasalamatan isa-isa, ito na siguro yung ginawang way ni God." the 23-year old added.  Letran, you were always behind Jerrick. This is all for YOU! #NCAASeason95 pic.twitter.com/1MWpfL7qFJ — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 19, 2019 Coming into the season, the tall and talented Letran squad was indeed considered as contenders, but the favorites remained the defending champion Red Lions, and that standing was only reinforced by San Beda sweeping the eliminations and gaining an outright berth into the Finals.  Letran on the other hand, finished as the 3-seed and found themselves going through two do-or-die games against San Sebastian and Lyceum, before finally setting up a rematch of the NCAA Season 91 Men's Basktball Finals against the Red Lions.  Through all the adversity, there was never any doubt in Balanza that they would be able to topple the red and white giants and claim their 18th title.  "Sa amin naman kasi talaga ito eh," Balanza said with confidence. "Ako, vision ko na, na pag balik ko, magcha-champion kami kasi yun ang pinaka-magandang plano ni God para sa akin and sa team, so 'yun, tignan mo ngayon, ilang [buwan] lang, nangyari na."  After taking Game 1, Letran only proved that they were indeed a real threat to the impending San Beda dynasty, but a heartbreakingly-close loss in Game 2 nearly crushed the Knights' resolve. The graduating team captain Balanza however, would not allow that to happen.  "After ng Game 2, talagang sobrang down, yung iba akala nila hindi na kami mananalo sa Game 3, pero hindi, ako as a captain, kailangan ko silang dalhin para maglaro kami sa Game 3, and sinimulan namin sa ensayo, na parang kami na yung champion, so yun, maganda yung kinalabasan." Indeed, Balanza, as well as fellow senior Bonbon Batiller and Finals MVP Fran Yu stepped up in a big way to lead Letran to another title, their second against San Beda in the last five seasons.  "Sobra, sobra, sobra, sobra talaga, alam mo yun? Speechless ka na lang talaga, masasabi ko na lang talaga is Thank you, Lord, napaka-buti niyo sa akin," Balanza said.  With Balanza's tenure in Letran over and done with, the two-time NCAA champ hopes to have left a culture of caring within the team. He hopes to see the Knights keep the title in Intramuros next season.  "Siyempre, ako, lagi ko sinasabi sa mga teammates ko eh, kasi ako lagi talaga akong nagke-care sa mga teammates ko kasi sila na yung pangalawa kong pamilya eh, kasi mas matagal ko silang kasama kaysa sa pamilya ko, so yun, sinasabi ko sa kanila na kung ano yung iiwan namin ni Bon dito, ganun parin yung dalhin niyo next year, kasi kung paano namin kayo binuo, kung paano tayo nag-buobuo dito, mas tibayan niyo next year, balik natin sa Letran community yung back-to-back." Next for Balanza will be the professional ranks, as he and fellow senior Batiller revealed that they will be declaring for the upcoming PBA draft.  "Finished business na eh," Balanza said with a smile. "Para sa family namin, mag-aapply na na kami.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2019

NCAA 95 Finals: ‘Unli donut’ reward awaits Letran

The Letran Knights can now feast on J.Co donuts all they want. Head coach Bonnie Tan promised his wards that they can stuff themselves with the sinfully sweet treat after hitting 19-of-19 free throws in the Knights 81-79 win over San Beda University to claim the NCAA Season 95 seniors’ basketball crown Tuesday at the MOA Arena. Letran went perfect from the line the whole game – the first flawless free throw shooting for the Knights this season. And it came in the most important game of the tournament. “First time,” said Tan, who like his wards Jerrick Balanza, Bonbon Batiller and Fran Yun was surprised when asked for a reaction about their foul line stats. “Sa practice lang kami minsan nakakapag-perfect sila but there’s always a reward pag nape-perfect nila ang free throw.” Here’s where the donuts - the J.Co brand - come in. Apparently, it has been a practice for the Knights to receive a reward of donuts for those who will make all their free throws during drills.     “Unang-una mayroon kaming reward sa kanila kapag napi-perfect nila ang free throw. We never stop practicing na hindi namin nata-top ang free throws namin,” said Tan. “Ang reward nila ay mayroon silang donut na pam-bonding nila sa dorm,” added Tan. “Every time na nakaka-perfect shot sila sa free throw drill namin, always may reward parati.” That’s around eight dozens of donuts the team partakes every time they perfect their free throw drills, according to Balanza, who himself shot 8-of-8 from the line.   Batiller ad King Carilipio chipped in 4-of-4 each, Yu had 2-of-2 while Ato Ular sank his lone charity for Letran. Yu and Ular, actually, nailed the most important of all the free throws. With the Red Lions making a run in the fourth, Ular completed a three-point play with 2:06 remaining for a 76-70 lead for the Knights. Yu made his in the last 15.9 seconds of the game, calmly sinking two to give Letran an 81-76 cushion which proved to be enough for the Knights to stave off the Red Lions to claim their 18th title overall and first since 2015. “Sa ngayon nag-champion sila, perfect [free throws], kahit na unlimited donuts sila,” Tan promised.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2019