Advertisements


Giving back

Singing legend, entertainment icon, and multi-awarded artist Imelda Papin, the country’s one and only Jukebox Queen, is celebrating 45 years in show business with a bang, headlining a concert extravaganza dubbed “Imelda Papin: Queen@45” on Oct. 26, at the Philippine Arena......»»

Category: newsSource: tempo tempoOct 10th, 2019

Sykes Cebu gives back with Adopt-a-School campaign

FOR top contact center Sykes Philippines, giving back to the community is one of the noblest forms of service. As part of its annual outreach program, Sykes Philippines served Cebu’s Paknaan Day Care Center through its Adopt-a-School campaign. This program was established to provide better quality of education for the hopeful and brilliant students of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2020

John Riel Casimero meets Naoya Inoue in Las Vegas this April

Reigning WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel "Quadro Alas" Casimero plans to go 'Monster Hunting' this year, as he's set to face reigning WBA (Super) and IBF Bantamweight World Champion Naoya "The Monster" Inoue of Japan in a unification bout on April 25th in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The bout was officially announced in a press conference, Wednesday afternoon at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.  "This fight here, brings together the two best bantamweights in the world," said MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons. "You have the WBO Champion [in Casimero] and the WBA (Super) Champion, IBF Champion, and The Ring Magazine Champion in Mr. Inoue."  The 29-year old Casmiero (29-4, 20 KO) is a three-division world champion, having previously held the IBF Light Flyweight World Championship as well as the IBF Flyweight World Championship. In December of 2019, Casimero recorded arguably the biggest win of his career, needing just three rounds to finish off the heavily-favored Zolani Tete of South Africa and capture the WBO's 118-pound title.  Inoue, meanwhile, is one of the most feared boxers in the division, possessing a spotless 19-0 professional record with 16 wins coming via KO.  The 26-year old Japanese superstar is also a three-division tileholder, with reigns as the WBC Light Flyweight World Champion and the the WBO Super Flyweight World Champion. "The Monster" is coming off a stellar run in the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament, defeating Juan Carlos Payano and Emmanuel Rodriguez to set up a finals date against Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire back in November.  While many expected Inoue to steamroll Donaire, the fight instead turned into a 12-round classic, with the Filipino star giving the Japanese juggernaut all that he could handle.  In the end, Inoue still prevailed via Unanimous Decision, but his aura of invincibility was no longer there.  Casimero is confident that he can push Inoue to the limit and hand the Japanese champion his first loss. "Magaling siya, may knockout punch, may lakas din siya, kailangan pag-handaan talaga."  "Tignan natin yung tibay nitong si Inoue," he added.  Casimero is scheduled to fly to Miami, Florida on Thursday to begin training camp before heading to Las Vegas a month before the fight. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2020

PBA 44 review: Northport grinds out best year

You thought the PBA's 43rd season was a long one?  Yeah, the PBA's 44th season had it beat. The 2019 PBA season started at the Philippine Arena on January 13, 2019. It officially ended January 17, 2020 when Barangay Ginebra won the Governors' Cup Finals. Ironically, the Gin Kings won the first and last games of the 2019 season. Anyway, the point is the PBA's 44th season was a marathon. And before a new one starts, it's time to take a look at how all 12 teams fared in the past year. Today, we look at the Northport Batang Pier.   GRIT 'N GRIND Looks like Northport finally found an identity it can embrace in the PBA. All it took was a litte Puso, a little Pride, and a dash of Palaban. The Batang Pier took after their head coach in Pido Jarencio and proceeded to grind out a rather solid season in 2019. Northport was in the playoffs for all three conferences, and if the Batang Pier had some breaks go on their side, they would have been the legitimate surprise team of the year. The Batang Pier snuck into the playoffs in the Philippine Cup, giving no. 2 Rain or Shine a great fight before bowing out. In the Commissioner's Cup, Northport took over the no. 2 seed with a breakout performance, but a bad draw saw them get eliminated by eventual champion San Miguel in the quarterfinals. The true breakout performance came in the Governors' Cup as the Batang Pier once again snuck into the playoffs and became just the fourth no. 8 team to upset a top-ranked squad in the quarterfinals in PBA history. Northport's magical run ended in the semis however, losing in four games to eventual champion Ginebra.   Northport BATANG PIER in the PBA's 44th season Philippine Cup: 5-6 (7th place, lost in Quarterfinals) Commissioner's Cup: 9-2 (2nd place, lost in Quarterfinals) Governors' Cup: 5-6 (8th place, lost in Semifinals) Overall: 19 wins and 14 losses. Three playoff appearances, one semifinals appearance.   OUTLOOK: Northport has one big piece in Christian Standhardinger. As long as the Batang Pier keep him, they'll be contending in the upper half of the standings. Sean Anthony is Northport's heart and soul while Robert Bolick will be a good wildcard for the team. Bolick was a leading Rookie of the Year candidate last season until he injured his knee in the Governors' Cup. His injury coincided with Standhardinger's first game with Northport and so the Batang Pier never really had a chance to see how that combo played out for the rest of the year. Once Bolick comes back healthy, Northport should just get better.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2020

Pampanga is gift that keeps on giving for Baby Falcons

Adamson High School has continued its contention in the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament. This, even with an essentially brand new team that had lost all of Joem Sabandal, AP Manlapaz, and Doria twins Andrey and Adam. The Baby Falcons have done it thanks to a fresh crop of promising prospects - one of which actually ascended to be the surprise frontrunner in the MVP race after the first round. Jake Figueroa wasted no time standing as a pillar for the San Marcelino-based squad's continued contention, posting per game counts of 12.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks. That has been more than enough for him to nudge ahead of more heralded players such as Nazareth School of National University's Kevin Quiambao and Far Eastern University-Diliman's Penny Estacio in terms of Statistical Points (SPs). Still, that he was tops among players in terms of SPs was a shock for just about everybody - even the 17-year-old himself. "'Di ko akalaing mapupunta ako sa no. 1. Nagtiyaga lang ako, nag-hard work lang ako," he said. That goes as well for Figueroa's mentor. "Hindi ko rin in-expect yun, to be honest. What I expected was maganda ang laro niya kasi wala siyang rookie jitters," head coach Mike Fermin shared. He then continued, "Pero he's not even demanding for the ball. I'm the one saying pa nga na bigyan sa post yung bata. Trabaho lang talaga, trabaho lang talaga yung bata." Behind the 17-year-old surprise MVP frontrunner, as well as fellow rookie John Erolon, Adamson is a force to reckon with - very much like they were a year ago when another breakout player was a key cog in their Final Four run. As it turns out, that's not where the similarities end between Figueroa and Manlapaz. "Ang nagdala kay Jake sa amin, si Rod Tuazon. Siya yung taga-Pampanga na nagdala rin kay AP Manlapaz sa amin," Coach Mike said. Yes, the Baby Falcons' last two breakout players have come courtesy of one province. And for Figueroa, Manlapaz is an inspiration. "Dito na lang kami nagkakilala sa Adamson, pero siyempre, naririnig-rinig ko na siya sa Pampanga. Pwedeng-pwede namang masundan ko sana ang yapak niya," the former said. To follow the footsteps of Manlapaz, Figueroa has to bring back Adamson to the Final Four. Fortunately for the blue and white, their young workhorse is only up to the task - ready and raring to even give up the top individual award if need be. As he put it, "Kung ako mag-MVP, pero nakababa rin team namin, parang wala ring sense makuha yun. Kaya gagawin ko ang lahat para matulungan kaming makapag-Final Four." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 30th, 2020

SYKES Cebu Gives Back with Adopt-a-School Campaign

For top contact center SYKES Philippines, giving back to the community is one of the noblest forms of service. As part of its annual outreach program, SYKES Philippines served Cebu’s Paknaan Day Care Center through its Adopt-a-School campaign. This program was established to provide better quality of education for the hopeful and brilliant students of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 27th, 2020

Rahm takes the lead at Torrey Pines with McIlroy lurking

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jon Rahm is playing some of his best golf with two victories and a runner-up in his last four tournaments. He was at his best Saturday at Torrey Pines, holing a chip for birdie and a full gap wedge for eagle to start his round. Even after a 7-under 65 for a one-shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open, Rahm knows as well as anyone that the hard work is still in front of him, mainly because of whoever might be behind him. Three years ago, that was Rahm. He made two eagles over the last six holes for a 66 to capture his first PGA Tour title. This year, it could be Ryan Palmer and Rory McIlroy in the final group, maybe even Tiger Woods from five shots back. “The back nine three years ago? It will do absolutely nothing, really,” Rahm said. “The only thing it's going to do is keep me focused, no matter how good I'm playing, knowing that somebody can come and do the same thing.” After a two-hour fog delay, Rahm had the ideal start. He chipped in from just off the green at No. 1. Then, he hit a gap wedge from 111 yards that landed short of the hole and rolled in for an eagle. Equally important was saving par on No. 5, and then on Nos. 12, 14 and 15, each of them feeling just as good as birdies. It led to the low round of the day. He was at 12-under 204 and had a one-shot lead over Palmer, whose card was a mixture of birdies and bogeys until a 10-foot birdie on the 17th gave him a 71. Rahm and Palmer have good history. They were teammates at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and won. This time they're on their own, with company. McIlroy can go to No. 1 in the world with a victory, and after a poor finish on Friday, he got it right this time. McIlroy hit a 5-iron from a bunker on No. 12 — the third-toughest hole of the day — to 6 feet for birdie. He also powered a 3-wood over the water to 20 feet on the par-5 18th that set up an easy birdie for a 67. That left him three shots behind and in the final group with Rahm, the first time they've played together on Sunday on the PGA Tour. “It was nice to shoot a good third round here and get myself a little bit closer,” McIlroy said. “There's a lot of guys like 6-, 7-, 8-under par. Need to go out and try to replicate what I did today. If I can do that, I'll have a good shot.” Woods finished with a 15-foot putt — his longest of the round — on the par-5 18th and hopes it will give him some momentum going into Sunday. Never mind that the putt was for par. He sent his wedge over the green and into the bunker, and another dropped shot could have been costly. The par salvaged a 69 that got him within five shots. It wasn't a bad score, it just felt like way after the start. Woods opened with two birdies in three holes, chipped in for par, added two more birdies for a 32 and suddenly was within two shots of the lead as he goes for a ninth victory at Torrey Pines, and a record 83rd in his PGA Tour career. But he didn't make another birdie, and didn't even have a chance at one from closer than 20 feet. “It was important to make that putt,” he said. “By the end of the day, there will probably be 10, 11, 12 guys ahead of me. I've still got to go out there and post a low one tomorrow.” Woods was among 16 players within five shots of the lead. Sung Kang (67), PGA Tour rookie Harry Higgs (69) and Cameron Champ (68) joined McIlroy at 9-under 207. The group another shot behind included Tony Finau, Patrick Reed and Brandt Snedeker, a two-time champion at Torrey Pines who birdied his last two holes to salvage a 72. McIlroy is playing for the first time since late November and didn't appear to pick up too much rust during his break. This is his second time playing Torrey Pines, and it feels suited for him, even if he struggles like everyone else on poa greens. “Even if you're not making that many birdies but if you keep giving yourself chances, it's one of these golf courses that you feel like you're playing really well, you might be a couple under,” McIlroy said. "That's OK. No one else is going that low. Keep doing the same thing tomorrow and should be right there."  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2020

ABL: New-look Alab Pilipinas scores much-needed win away from home

San Miguel Alab Pilipinas lost a lead as big as 19, but recovered just in time to silence home team Hong Kong, 77-76, Thursday inside the Southorn Stadium. Up big in the third quarter, the Filipinos found themselves trailing, 71-74, all of a sudden. Still, two minutes remained and the Philippines didn't quit just yet with reinforcements Sam Deguara and Nick King hitting back-to-back short stabs to send their squad back ahead, 77-76. Following yet another defensive stop, new import Prince Williams turned the ball over, though, giving a golden opportunity to Eastern to complete a come-from-behind win. Only, Miah Gray blocked Jon Siu's corner triple try, saving the day for Alab. The gutsy win was much welcome as they had dropped two of the last three. With that, the Filipinos improved to 6-3. BOX SCORES SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 77 - King 24, Williams 14, Deguara 12, Gray 11, Vigil 5, Heading 3, Brickman 2, Domingo 2, Rosser 2, Caracut 0. HONG KONG EASTERN 76 - Raley-Ross 33, Costner 19, Holyfield 13, Siu 8, Guinchard 2, Ng 1, Xu 0. QUARTER SCORES: 23-14, 45-30, 63-60, 77-76. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2020

NCAA Season 95: Lady Altas score back-to-back wins

It wasn’t a pretty win but University of Perpetual Help head coach Macky Carino felt that his squad showed guts in carving out a 25-27, 25-23, 26-24, 14-25, 17-15, victory over Lyceum of the Philippines University for their second straight win in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Down big in a fourth set meltdown, the Lady Altas displayed nerves of steel in the frantic race to the finish in the deciding frame to improve to 2-1 win-loss record.      Jhona Rosal led Perpetual with 20 points anchored on 17 kills including the game-clinching hit while adding 16 excellent receptions and 10 digs. Bianca Tripoli had 19 markers while setter Jenny Gaviola got 10 points and dished out 13 excellent sets for the Lady Altas.   Carino admitted that the Lady Pirates seemed to be their perennial problem in the elimination round. Taking down LPU has never been easy for the Las Pinas-based squad in the past couple of seasons. “Last year din, five sets din kami niyan,” recalled Carino. "So parang, actually third game din namin 'yan against them, five sets din kami. So ngayon, at least ngayon, kahit papaano lumusot kami.” The Lady Altas went down as much as 12 points in the fourth and had to save a match point in the fifth after wasting an 11-9 lead.   “Pangit ng performance ng team ko ngayon, iba pa rin 'yung hindi sanay sa laruan, kulang sa experience,” said Carino, whose squad survived an error-filled outing after giving away 40 points off miscues. “Although majority naman ng nasa lineup ko, doon sa first six ko, naka-experience ng championship. Pero hindi pa rin sapat eh.” The Lady Altas saw their lead in the fifth evaporate and even went down, 14-13, after Shyra Umandal sent her serve wide. Tripoli broke the block in the next play before Hannah Suico gave Perpetual the match point advantage, 15-14. Tripoli sent her serve short for a 15-15 tie but a costly attack error by LPU’s Jacq Acuna off an overreceive by the Lady Altas set up Rosal’s game winner. The Lady Pirates suffered their third loss in as many games despite the efforts of Ciamelle Wanta, Alexandra Rafael and Mary Joy Onofre, who all scored 15 points each. Acuna finished with 15 while Monica Sevilla got 10 for LPU. Meanwhile, the two-time defending champion Altas made short work of the Pirates, 25-22, 33-31, 25-20, for a 3-0 record for the solo top spot in the men's division. Louie Ramirez exploded for 23 points with 22 coming off attacks while Ronniel Rosales had 15 for Perpetual, which won their 14th straight game overall since Season 93. LPU remained winless in three games. In juniors play, five-time defending champion Junior Altas improved to 3-0 after beating the Junior Pirates, 25-17, 25-17, 25-15.              --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2020

Looking for career renaissance, & lsquo;The Rock& rsquo; rolls back to old division

Honorio "The Rock" Banario has hit a wall in the lightweight division – and he is the first person to admit it. But that does not mean he is giving up his ambitions as a professional mixed martial artist. It just means he is shifting weigh classes. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 21st, 2020

In Focus: 5 Ways K-Pop Fans are Giving Back on Behalf of Their Idols

K-pop fans know how to channel their passion to charity work!.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2020

Ball leads Pelicans past Pistons in overtime, 117-100

By Dave Hogg, Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — Lonzo Ball scored five of his 17 points in overtime and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons 117-110 on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in a matchup of injury-depleted teams. The Pistons are still missing starters Blake Griffin (knee), Luke Kennard (knee) and Reggie Jackson (back), while the Pelicans played without their top three scorers — Brandon Ingram (knee), Jrue Holiday (elbow) and JJ Redick (hamstring) — along with Derrick Favors (hamstring) and Zion Williamson (knee). Detroit, which trailed by 16 with 11 minutes to play, tied the game at 100 on Derrick Rose's bank shot with 30 seconds left. E'Twaun Moore missed two short jumpers, giving Detroit the ball with 14 seconds remaining, but Rose missed at the buzzer. The Pelicans opened overtime with a 9-2 run, including five points from Ball, and Rose had two turnovers in the last 90 seconds. New Orleans has won three of four and is now 9-4 after a 6-22 start. Jahlil Okafor had 25 points and 14 rebounds while Nicolo Melli scored 20 points and Moore had 16. The Pistons lost their third straight and their 12th in the last 15 games. Rose had 23 points and eight assists, while Christian Wood added 18 points and nine rebounds. Rookie Sekou Doumbouya scored 16 points. Okafor had 19 points and eight rebounds as the Pelicans took a 63-52 halftime lead. Detroit narrowed the gap to seven at the start of the third, but Melli answered with a 3-pointer. The Pelicans kept the gap in double figures for the rest of the quarter, going into the fourth with an 89-77 lead. Doumbouya's transition dunk cut it to 97-91 with 6:05 left, and Rose followed with a layup in traffic. Josh Hart and Wood traded 3-pointers, and another layup by Rose pulled the Pistons within 100-98. TIP-INS Pelicans: With the Pelicans short-handed, rookie Zylon Cheatham entered the rotation as part of coach Alvin Gentry's second unit. He played 11 minutes, scoring two points in his third NBA game. Pistons: Guard Jordan Bone, who came into the game with six NBA minutes over three games, was inserted into the game in the first quarter as part of a three-guard second unit. Bone finished with no points in eight first-half minutes. UP NEXT Pelicans: Host the Utah Jazz on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). Pistons: Visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2020

PBA Finals: Meralco hopes for the best as Almazan injures knee during Game 3

After their Game 3 loss, the Meralco Bolts are now down 1-2 to Ginebra in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals. To make matters worse, the Bolts could be without top center Raymond Almazan for Game 4 and perhaps the rest of the series. Almazan made his exit halfway through the opening period Sunday after hurting his knee. He was out of the Big Dome by halftime. The initial word is that he has a strained knee and is set to undergo further tests to determine the severity of his injury. “When I talked to him at halftime of the game, he couldn't move his leg. And being a former player myself, that's never a good sign,” Meralco head coach Norman Black said of Almazan. “I'll try to be as positive as possible, and hopefully he'll be okay, but from being a player myself, having a swollen knee in the middle of a championship series is not something you can just bounce back from that easily,” he added. As they hold their breath regarding Almazan’s condition, the Bolts will also try to figure out how to make do if Raymond can’t go. Almazan was seen as Meralco’s biggest missing piece and if he’s not healthy enough to play, that’s a big hole in the middle for the Bolts. “Our biggest concern, obviously, is the fact that when Raymond's not around, you saw what happened with Japeth, right? He pretty much ran wild out there on the court. So what he has done this conference is giving us an opportunity to match up with the big men of the other teams,” Black said. “And without him, we almost got a little bit of a hole in the middle. So we just have to try to find a way to camouflage or at least try to fix it,” coach Norman added. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2020

LeBron James posts 35 points, 16 boards, Lakers beat Mavs

By The Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — LeBron James had 35 points and 16 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma scored a season-high 24 points starting in place of injured star Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers went up big early in a 129-114 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). James was dominant from the start to help the Lakers build a 22-point lead in the first half, which ended with Luka Doncic in a ripped jersey on a frustrating night for the 20-year-old Dallas phenom against the player he grew up admiring. Doncic, who had played James just about even while the Lakers took two of first three in the season series, had 25 points and 10 rebounds but ripped his jersey late in the first half after one of his 11 misses (8 of 19). Davis missed the first game of a road back-to-back after taking a nasty fall in a win over the Knicks in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Both leading men — James and Doncic — were without their star sidekicks for the final regular-season meeting as both fell short of a triple-double after both had one in the previous meeting in Dallas. They had seven assists apiece. Tim Hardaway finished with 22 point for Dallas. NETS 117, HEAT 113 NEW YORK (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie scored 26 points and had a career-high 14 assists as Brooklyn beat Miami and snapped a seven-game losing streak. Rodions Kurucs scored 19 points and Taurean Prince added 17 for Brooklyn. Jarrett Allen finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for his team-high 17th double-double of the season. Jimmy Butler scored 33 points and Bam Adebayo added 22 for the Heat. Miami's Duncan Robinson missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 5.7 seconds left. PELICANS 123, KNICKS 111 NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 28 points, Jaxson Hayes had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and New Orleans beat the Knicks. Lonzo Ball had 15 points and 11 assists, and Josh Hart added 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Pelicans won for the seventh time in nine games. Taj Gibson led the Knicks with a season-high 19 points, shooting 8 for 8 from the field. RJ Barrett scored 16 points, and Reggie Bullock and Elfrid Payton finished with 15. The Knicks lost their fifth straight following a season-best three-game winning streak. BUCKS 127, KINGS 106 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Khris Middleton had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Bledsoe scored 24 and Milwaukee beat Sacramento despite an off night for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee improved to an NBA-best 34-6 and extended the best start in franchise history. Antetokounmpo was held to a season-low 13 points and 10 rebounds. The reigning MVP took only nine shots and picked up three of his four fouls in the first half. Donte DiVincenzo had a season-high 18 points and Sterling Brown added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, which is 16-4 on the road. De’Aaron Fox had 19 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for Sacramento. Harrison Barnes scored 19 before limping off the court and into the locker room late in the fourth quarter. CLIPPERS 109, WARRIORS 100 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points, Lou Williams added 21 and the Clippers rallied from a 10-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to defeat Golden State. The Warriors had a 93-83 lead going into the final 12 minutes before Los Angeles went on a 21-6 run the first six-plus minutes of the quarter to take control. Montrezl Harrell keyed the rally with seven of his 11 points as the Clippers went 8 of 12 from the field and forced the Warriors to go 3 of 11. The Clippers defeated the Warriors in two straight games for the first time since 2011. Glenn Robinson III and Omari Spellman scored 17 apiece for Golden State, which has lost its last seven. Alec Burks added 16. WIZARDS 111, HAWKS 101 WASHINGTON (AP) — Jordan McRae scored 29 points, Troy Brown Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington overcame a poor shooting performance to beat Atlanta. Atlanta, which has the worst record in the NBA, lost for the 14th time in 16 games. Trae Young, who had 42 points in a defeat to Houston on Wednesday, led the Hawks with 19 points. John Collins had his second straight double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds for Atlanta, and Alex Len had 10 points and 14 rebounds. PACERS 116, BULLS 105 CHICAGO (AP) — Myles Turner set season highs with 27 points and 14 rebounds, and short-handed Indiana withstood a huge effort by Zach LaVine to beat Chicago. The Pacers overcame 43 points by LaVine and escaped with the victory after Chicago rallied from 16 down to cut the deficit to four in the closing minutes. T.J. Warren scored 17 for Indiana after being fined $25,000 by the NBA for an altercation with Miami's Jimmy Butler on Wednesday night. The Pacers picked up their second win in three games even though they were missing two of their top players, with Malcolm Brogdon out with strep throat and Domantas Sabonis nursing a sore left knee. LaVine finished six points shy of his career high set at Charlotte in November. Coby White scored 23, but the Bulls lost their sixth straight — their worst skid since a 10-game slide in December and January last season. GRIZZLIES 134, SPURS 121 MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 24 points, Ja Morant added 22 points and a season-high 14 assists and Memphis won its fourth-straight game. Dillon Brooks also scored 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 21 as six Memphis players scored in double figures. DeMar DeRozan matched his season-high with 36 points, and added nine assists for the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes each scored 21 points, combining to go 9 of 17 from 3-point range. Rudy Gay added 13 points. JAZZ 109, HORNETS 92 SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 15 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocked shots, leading Utah to a victory over Charlotte. Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 20 points off the bench. Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 points and Georges Niang chipped in 15 while matching his career high with five 3-pointers. Utah has won eight straight games and 13 of 14. Terry Rozier scored 23 points to lead the Hornets. Miles Bridges added 11. Charlotte finished with 21 turnovers, leading to 24 points for the Jazz. The Hornets have lost three straight. The Jazz swept the regular-season series with the Hornets for the second straight season. SUNS 98, MAGIC 94 PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 24 points, including late back-to-back 3-pointers, and Ricky Rubio came up with a steal and a free throw to help Phoenix rally past Orlando. The Suns scored the final eight points of the game after Nikola Vucevic knocked down a 3 from the top of the arc with 59.4 seconds left, giving the Magic a 94-90 lead, Orlando's largest of the game. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 22 points and Rubio added 11 points, 10 assists and three steals. Evan Fournier led Orlando with 28 points, 16 in the second half. Vucevic added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Terrence Ross scored 18 off the bench......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2020

Valverde questioned after another late collapse by Barcelona

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona had once again played great, led through goals by Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, yet still managed to let it slip away. Barcelona squandered one of its best performances of the season by conceding two late goals to Atlético Madrid, falling 3-2 in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Messi equalized after Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion scored for Atletico, and Griezmann put Barcelona deservedly ahead 2-1. But the goalkeeping of Jan Oblak, Atlético's star this season, kept Barcelona out for the rest of the way while Álvaro Morata leveled with a penalty kick in the 82nd minute and Ángel Correa completed the dramatic turnaround in the 86th. For Barcelona, the chance to add a minor trophy from a mini-tournament played thousands of miles away is not the main worry. The concern is Barcelona’s odd knack of losing control of games that look like a sure victory. Whether it's a question of overconfidence, a lack of fitness or just momentary lapses that cost the team dearly, the pressure is on coach Ernesto Valverde. Messi and other team leaders defended Valverde, whose very good overall record at Barcelona has been blemished by shocking defeats. “It’s normal that when you lose and don’t reach your objectives, and when our fans see that the team is not playing like they would like, that people talk and say things,” Messi said. “We have to be more united than ever, remain a strong group and get through this. “This year we will try to play like we did today (before the late goals) and not commit childish errors like those we committed.” But that didn’t stop the Spanish sports media reporting that Barcelona club officials met with midfield great Xavi Hernández to probe him as a possible replacement for Valverde either now or next season. Xavi left Barcelona in 2015, following 17 trophy-laden seasons, for Qatari club Al-Sadd, where he coaches. The speculation that he could soon be returning home led to Al-Sadd saying no move was imminent. “The issue of Xavi going to Barcelona is normal and expected because he will be at his club and it’s his first home and he must return there in the future, but as of today, Xavi is the coach of Al-Sadd.” Al-Sadd general manager Turki Al-Ali said in a statement on the club website. “Xavi and his team are focusing on tomorrow’s match against Al-Rayyan, and we know that a club with the size and professionalism of Barcelona will take to official channels to speak of such matters,” Al-Ali said. Barcelona’s loss at the King Abdullah Sports City on Thursday came five days after it conceded an 88th-minute equalizer at Espanyol in the Spanish league. The late goal by Wu Lei also came on a desperate counterattack similar to both of Atlético's late attacks that led to goals, when Barcelona’s backline was out of sync and let a pass through to a player with only goalkeeper Neto to beat. Wu’s goal ruined a superb match by Luis Suárez, who had scored with a fine touch and made a difficult pass for an assist. Suárez also backed Valverde on Thursday by taking the blame for the stumble against Atlético. “This loss shows we have room to improve,” the Uruguay striker said. “It shows us that there are mistakes that we can’t make because we were in charge of the game and we let them mount counterattacks … but the coach is not at fault. They were mistakes that we made.” Barcelona has drawn three of its last four league matches, but still lead the competition on goal difference ahead of Real Madrid. The team was leading before finishing 2-2 at Real Sociedad last month; lost 3-1 at Levante after Messi had put them ahead in November; and gave up a goal in the 81st in a 2-2 draw at Osasuna in August. Those setbacks would not be as worrisome for Barcelona if the team had not completely collapsed in the Champions League in recent seasons, most recently a humiliating 4-0 loss at Liverpool after winning the first leg of the semifinals 3-0. Valverde’s job was then in even more jeopardy at the end of last season after Barcelona lost the Copa del Rey final to Valencia, casting a shadow of doubt over the Spanish league champions. Club president Josep Bartomeu, however, has stuck by the former player who is known for his intelligence and unflappable attitude. Valverde is in his third season at Barcelona. He has won back-to-back Spanish league titles and one Copa del Rey final. A European Cup has eluded him. Valverde said he was used to the criticism as part of a job that was never secure. “We coaches always work with the idea of giving it our all to each match,” Valverde said. “We know how soccer is and that there is a permanent instability in teams when you are not getting good results or when you lose. Now that we have lost I suppose people will talk about it, but I remain focused on my job.” Valverde’s next job is to prepare for the visit of Granada on Jan. 19. In the meantime, Atlético will face crosstown rival Real Madrid in the Super Cup final on Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2020

Texans roar past Bills for 22-19 win in OT

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Deshaun Watson’s teammates talked all week about how they never feel as if they’re out of any game when No. 4 is on the field. On Saturday Watson showed why the Houston Texans have so much trust in him, when the quarterback’s dazzling performance late after a tough start led them to a playoff victory. Watson spun out of a would-be sack and coolly completed a pass that set up the winning field goal in overtime as the Texans rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit for a 22-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs. DeAndre Hopkins was asked to describe Watson’s play on Saturday to somebody who might have missed the game. “I hope everyone watched this today, but he's amazing,” Hopkins said. “You can't put too many words on it.” Both teams punted on their first possessions of overtime — the first extra period in an AFC wild-card game since January 2012. On Houston’s next drive, Watson evaded a sack by wriggling away from one defender and bouncing off another before rolling out to find Taiwan Jones for a 34-yard reception to set up first-and-goal. Watson flexed both arms as the crowd at NRG Stadium went wild — knowing their team was in position to pull off another comeback win to Houston's playoff history. “I told myself to stay up. I mean, it's do-or-die now. I just had to make the play,” Watson said. Ka'imi Fairbairn then kicked a 28-yard field goal to lift Houston to the victory. The Texans (11-6) advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs next weekend where they’ll face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Texans got a boost from the return of J.J. Watt, who had a sack that helped spark his team. Houston scored 19 straight points to take the lead before Stephen Hauschka’s 47-yard field goal tied it with 5 seconds left to force overtime. “We never quit, regardless,” Watson said. “Whatever it takes to get the win. I mean, we're going to keep fighting.” Watt was wowed by the play of Watson. “The play he made at the end of the game — nobody makes that play,” he said. “The guy’s unbelievable. I’m very thankful and lucky to have him as my quarterback. That’s why you play the whole game.” It was Watt's first game after sitting out since October with a torn pectoral muscle. “This is why you come back,” Watt said. “I don't know if I meant to come back for these many plays or this much extra time, but these feelings, these emotions, these fans, these players, Deshaun Watson and all the guys on this team, this is why you come back.” The win gives the Texans their first playoff victory since the 2016 season and extends Buffalo’s postseason losing streak to six games, with their most recent playoff win coming in 1995. It’s the first wild-card overtime game since the Broncos beat the Steelers 29-23 in the 2011 season. The game conjured memories of another huge comeback in a wild-card game. The last time teams from Houston and Buffalo met in the playoffs it was in a game that is known as “The Comeback.” The Bills set an NFL record for the largest comeback in NFL history by rallying from a 32-point deficit for a 41-38 overtime win against the Houston Oilers in a wild-card game in 1993. This time Josh Allen and the Bills (10-7) used a dominant first half to build a 13-point lead and were up 16-0 in the third quarter, before Allen began to struggle. “He was just trying to do too much and getting a little bit extreme with what he felt like we needed at the time,” coach Sean McDermott said. “But overall, we just didn’t make enough plays.” Watson had 247 yards passing and ran for 55 yards and Hopkins had 90 yards receiving. Watson led the Texans to the victory despite being sacked seven times, led by three from Jerry Hughes, and hit 12 other times. Allen threw for 264 yards, ran for 92 and caught a touchdown pass on a trick play in the first quarter, but often looked rattled late in his playoff debut. Houston couldn’t get anything going on offense before halftime and had 81 yards in a first half where Hopkins didn’t catch a pass for the first time since Week 16 of the 2017 season. They were finally able to sustain a drive on their second possession of the third quarter when Hopkins had receptions of 14 and 10 yards to help move the ball. The Texans cut the lead to 10 when Watson dragged two defenders into the end zone on a 20-yard touchdown run. Watson then dived into the end zone for a 2-point conversion that got Houston within 16-8 with about two minutes left in the third. The Bills were driving early in the fourth quarter when Allen was sacked by Whitney Mercilus and fumbled, and it was recovered by Jacob Martin at the Buffalo 47. Houston cashed in on the miscue with a 41-yard field goal that cut the lead to 16-11 with about 11 minutes to go. Watson connected with Carlos Hyde on a 5-yard touchdown pass and Hopkins on a 2-point conversion with about five minutes left to put the Texans on top 19-16. Hopkins had a 41-yard reception earlier in that drive. The Bills were in field-goal range on their next drive when Allen got a 14-yard penalty for intentional grounding and Buffalo lost a down to bring up fourth down. They went for it and Allen was sacked by Jacob Martin for a 19-yard loss to give Houston the ball back with 1:41 left. “We didn’t execute how we should have, and we didn’t make as many plays as we should have,” Allen said. “That’s what it really comes down to. They made one more play than us.” The Texans trailed 13-0 at halftime and Hopkins fumbled on their opening drive of the third quarter to give Buffalo the ball at the Houston 32. Watt sacked Allen for a loss of 8 yards on third down and the Bills settled for a 38-yard field goal to extend the lead to 16-0. Allen scrambled 42 yards for a first down on Buffalo’s first possession for its longest rush of the season. Two plays later, the Bills used some trickery to take the lead when John Brown threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Allen to make it 7-0. Brown’s pass was wobbly, but Allen was wide open despite having to slow down to grab it. It was early in the second quarter when Allen appeared to fumble, and it was recovered by Houston. But the play was reviewed and overturned, giving Buffalo the ball at the Houston 32. The Bills were unable to move the ball after that and made a 40-yard field goal to make it 10-0. The Bills added another 40-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter to push the lead to 13-0 at halftime. NOT SO FAST Houston’s DeAndre Carter looked to have made a major mistake when caught the opening kickoff of the second half in the end zone and tossed the ball toward a referee without taking a knee. The Bills scooped it up and thought they had scored a touchdown on the play. But the play was reviewed, and it was determined that Carter “gave himself up” so it was called a touchback and Houston kept the ball. WATT’S HEALTH Watt was pleasantly surprised with how good he felt on Saturday in his return from injury. But there was one moment where he was a bit worried that his surgically repaired pectoral muscle wouldn’t hold up. As he was about to dive to try and grab Allen, he wondered if that could be the moment where he was re-injured. “But I dove and landed right on it, popped up, checked it out and looked over at the doctor who was standing like 10 feet away,” he said. “And I was like: ‘It’s all right.’” UP NEXT Bills: Season over. Texans: Advance to divisional round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2020

Antetokounmpo scores 32, Bucks hold off Wolves 106-104

By Andrew Wagner, Associated Press MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 17 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks held off a strong challenge from short-handed Minnesota in a 106-104 victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Antetokounmpo got his 30th double-double in 33 games this season and Khris Middleton added 13 points despite shooting 5 for 18 as Milwaukee hit just 42.6% of its shots overall and only 9 of 36 from 3-point range. Shabazz Napier had 22 points to lead Minnesota, and Gorgui Deng scored 15, Josh Okogie added 12 and Jarrett Culver 10. Napier, starting in place of injured point guard Jeff Teague, scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half, but then had just seven after the break. Milwaukee, which has the league's best record, slumped out of the gate. The Bucks had just four points through the first six minutes and didn't take a lead until Brook Lopez converted a three-point play to make it 31-29 with 8:41 left in the second quarter. They went into halftime with a 52-51 lead despite shooting 34% from the floor. Minnesota connected at a 41.7% clip but made only 3 of 14 3-pointers while the Bucks knocked down 8 of 26 from beyond the arc. A 15-6 run capped off by Antetokounmpo’s 3 out of halftime put the Bucks ahead by 10 and they took a 77-71 lead into the fourth. Culver's driving dunk over Lopez got the Timberwolves within a basket with 9:38 to play but he was called for a technical foul on the play that ultimately set up Kyle Korver’s 3 to put the Bucks back up by six, 87-81 with 8:45 remaining. Minnesota responded with five straight points to pull within one but Antetokounmpo's driving layup and Middleton’s 3 snuffed out the rally. The Timberwolves mounted one last challenge in the closing minute as Dieng hit the first of two free throws to make it 1006-104 with 46.2 seconds left. Robert Covington grabbed Pat Connaughton's missed layup, giving Minnesota the ball with 21 seconds left but after the Timberwolves used their last timeout, Dieng missed a 19-footer with 3 seconds remaining. TIP-INS Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns worked out before the game with a sleeve on his injured left leg but did not play. ... In addition to Teague (sprained right knee), Minnesota was also without Treveon Graham (flu) and Noah Vonleh (bruised left glute). Bucks: SG Wesley Matthews sat out for a second straight game because of a bruised right thigh but Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he expected Matthews to be fine and available possibly as early as this weekend. UP NEXT Timberwolves: Return home to face Golden State on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Bucks: Host San Antonio on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) before heading out on a four-game West Coast swing next week......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2020

Star Magic gives back

Gift-giving started early once again with the brightest Star Magic artists as Star Magic, marked the annual charity event Star Magic Gives Back......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

Doncic has 9th triple-double of season, Mavs rout Warriors

By The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Luka Doncic had 31 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds in his ninth triple-double of the season and the Dallas Mavericks routed the Golden State Warriors 141-121 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points, Kristaps Porzingis had 18 and Seth Curry added 17 off the bench for the Mavericks. They snapped the Warriors' four-game winning streak. D’Angelo Russell had 30 points and eight 3-pointers in the first half but injured his neck after falling and colliding with Dwight Powell during the third quarter. Russell returned for the start of the fourth, but the Warriors were down by 19 at that point. He finished with 35 points and six assists and shot 13 for 21. The Mavericks pulled away when Russell was out, outscoring the Warriors 45-24 in the third quarter. Hardaway made a deep 3 with 6:55 left in the third to give the Mavericks an eight-point lead that would only grow as the game went on. HEAT 117, 76ERS 116, OT MIAMI (AP) — Jimmy Butler made the second of two free throws with 2.3 seconds left in overtime, giving Miami a wild victory over Philadelphia. Butler finished with 25 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to help improved its NBA-best home record to 15-1 and move back into second place in the Eastern Conference. He was fouled by Al Horford as he tried a jumper for the lead, missed the first foul shot and then connected on the second. Tobias Harris had a good look at a 3-pointer as time expired, but his shot from the right corner hit the rim and bounced away. Miami got a one-point win for the second straight night, after topping Indiana at home Friday. Philadelphia lost by one for the second straight night, after falling at Orlando on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) — the first time the 76ers have lost consecutive games by a single point since Jan. 25 and 27, 1995. Joel Embiid had 35 points and 11 rebounds for Philadelphia. RAPTORS 113, CELTICS 97 BOSTON (AP) — Kyle Lowry scored 30 points, Serge Ibaka had 20 and Toronto snapped Boston’s five-game winning streak. Patrick McCaw and Fred VanVleet each added 18 points to help defending champion Toronto avenge a loss on Christmas (Dec. 26, PHL time) and send Boston to its second loss in 15 games at home this season. Kemba Walker led the Celtics with 30 points, and Jaylen Brown had 17. Playing their first game since losing by 16 to the Celtics on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) — the first NBA game in Canada on Christmas — the Raptors never trailed in breaking a two-game losing streak. Toronto was without two of its top four scorers due to injuries — Pascal Siakam (groin) and Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation). The Raptors also were missing center Marc Gasol (left hamstring). All three were injured Dec. 18 (Dec. 19, PHL time) at Detroit. ROCKETS 108, NETS 98 HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had 44 points and 10 rebounds and Houston built a big early lead and withstood a late rally from Brooklyn. Houston has won five of six games, with its only loss coming against Golden State on Christmas (Dec. 26, PHL time). Russell Westbrook and the Nets’Taurean Prince were both ejected with about 20 seconds to go when they started yelling at each other after Prince fouled Westbrook. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 17 points and 11 assists. BUCKS 111, MAGIC 110 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 21 points and NBA-leading Milwaukee overcame Giannis Antetokounmpo's absence for the second straight night. Antetokounmpo, the NBA MVP last season, also missed the Bucks' victory Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in Atlanta because of back soreness. Middleton also had seven assists and five rebounds to help the Bucks improve to 29-5 overall and 16-2 at home. Ersan Ilyasova, starting in place of Antetokounmpo, had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Evan Fournier led Orlando with 23 points. NUGGETS 119, GRIZZLIES 110 DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored a season-high 31 points and had 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season and 35th overall, leading Denver past Memphis. Will Barton added 20 points and Jamal Murray and Mason Plumlee each had 15 to help the Nuggets win for the eighth time in nine games. Jaren Jackson Jr. led Memphis with 20 points. BULLS 116, HAWKS 81 CHICAGO (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 25 points, Zach LaVine added 19 and Chicago nearly led wire-to-wire against short-handed Atlanta. Battling an illness and questionable until a few hours before the game, Markkanen was 8 for 14 from the field, making 4 of 9 3-pointers. The Bulls have has won three of four. John Collins had 34 points for the NBA-worst Hawks. They have dropped 10 straight for the second time this season. PELICANS 120, PACERS 98 NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 24 points, Jrue Holiday added 20 and New Orleans won its third straight. JJ Redick scored 15 points, and Lonzo Ball added 13 for New Orleans. Aaron Holiday scored 25 points for Indiana. KNICKS 107, WIZARDS 100 WASHINGTON (AP) — Julius Randle scored 30 points and equaled a season high with 16 rebounds, Bobby Portis added 17 points and New York. It was the Knicks' second straight victory, just the second time this season they've won two straight. Both wins have come on the road. Isaiah Thomas and Jordan McRae each scored 20 points for Washington. SPURS 136, PISTONS 109 SAN ANTONIO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan had 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 25 points and 12 rebounds and San Antonio hit a season-high 18 3-pointers. San Antonio was 18 for 35 from 3-point range, including a career-high five by Aldridge. San Antonio set a season-high with 42 points in the third quarter, fueled by a 25-9 run. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 18 rebounds for Detroit. SUNS 112, KINGS 110 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Devin Booker had 32 points and 10 assists and Phoenix held off Sacramento to snap an eight-game losing streak. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio had 21 points and eight assists. Buddy Hield scored 23 points for Sacramento. The Kings have lost six straight. CAVALIERS 94, TIMBERWOLVES 88 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Darius Garland and Collin Sexton each scored 18 points and Cleveland overcame an NBA season high-tying 29 turnovers to hold off Minnesota. Tristan Thompson added 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Jeff Teague scored 18 points for Minnesota. LAKERS 128, TRAIL BLAZERS 120 PORTLAND, Ore (AP) — Kyle Kuzma scored 24 points, LeBron James had 21 points and 16 assists, and Los Angeles Lakers snapped a season-long four-game losing streak. Kuzma highlighted a strong performance by the Lakers' reserves, who provided 72 bench points. Portland’s bench scored 36 points. Anthony Davis added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers. Damian Lillard had a game-high 31 points for Portland, which dropped its third straight. Hassan Whiteside had 19 points and 16 rebounds. JAZZ 120, CLIPPERS 107 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points, Jordan Clarkson added 19 points in his second game with his new team, and Utah beat the Clippers. Clarkson, who was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), came off the bench to shoot 7 of 13 from the field. The Jazz shot 48.6% from 3-point range to win for the seventh time in eight games. Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points and Paul George added 19 for the Clippers. The Jazz scored the last 11 points of the game to seal the victory, holding the Clippers scoreless over the final 3:35. The Clippers made just four field goals in the fourth quarter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

Woods comeback at Masters named AP Sports Story of the Year

By Eddie Pells, Associated Press A green jacket. A heart-melting embrace. A stirring return to the top of golf by one of the sport’s all-time greats. In choosing Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters as The Associated Press sports story of the year, voters went with the uplifting escape of a great comeback over options that were as much about sports as the issues that enveloped them in 2019: politics, money and the growing push for equal pay and equal rights for women. The balloters, a mix of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, elevated Woods’ rousing victory at Augusta National over the runner-up entry: the U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory at the World Cup. That monthlong competition was punctuated by star Megan Rapinoe’s push for pay equality for the women’s team and an ongoing war of words with President Donald Trump. Rapinoe’s efforts to use sports as a platform to discuss bigger issues was hardly a one-off in 2019. Of the top 12 stories in the balloting, only three — titles won by the Toronto Raptors, Washington Nationals and University of Virginia basketball team — stuck mainly to what happened between the lines. All the rest — including the blown call that cost the Saints a chance at the Super Bowl, a California law that threatens to upend the NCAA and Simone Biles’ dominance at gymnastics' world championships, set against the backdrop of the sex-abuse crisis consuming the sport in the U.S. — were long-running sagas that went beyond a single day or event. They painted sports not as an escape from the world’s problems but merely another window into them. It’s no stretch to say that the whole of the Woods saga — namely, the sordid, pain-riddled, decadelong prelude to his victory at Augusta National in April — would fit into that category, as well. His downfall began in the wee hours the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, when he ran over a fire hydrant outside his house in Florida, triggering an avalanche of stories about infidelity that would lead to the breakup of his marriage and play into the near-destruction of his career. Part 2 was the injuries. Woods came close but did not return to his dominant form after his return to golf following his breakup with his wife. And as time went on, his physical condition deteriorated. He didn’t play in 2016 or 2017, and at the end of '17, he conceded his back was so bad that his days of competitive golf might be behind him. There were four risky back surgeries. Woods also required a good deal of inner healing after a mortifying DUI arrest in 2017 that exposed his reliance on painkillers. Through it all, Woods somehow kept nurturing his love for golf. And eventually, he found his game again. He climbed his way back to the top. He had close calls at two majors in 2018 — the British Open and PGA Championship — and then won the season-ending Tour Championship, as good a sign as any that, at 43, he could take on the best and win. But regular tournaments are not the majors, and no major is the Masters. It was on those hallowed grounds at Augusta National where Woods set the marker, starting a decade of dominance that would redefine the game. He blew away the field by 12 strokes in 1997 to win the first of what has become five green jackets and 15 major titles. On that day, Woods came off the 18th green and wrapped himself in a warm embrace with his father, Earl, whose death in 2006 left an undeniable void in the player's life. Though there had been a handful of close calls between his U.S. Open victory in 2008 and the start of 2019, it was clear that if there was a single course where Woods could conjure the old magic and end a major drought, it would be Augusta National. As a four-time champion, Woods built a career on studying every inch of the layout, knowing every fault line and every sneaky twist and turn of the slickest greens on earth. But where, at one time, he might have overpowered the course and intimidated the competition, in 2019, he simply outlasted them both. He avoided mistakes while everyone else was making them. Instead of taking a lead into the last day, then never giving anyone a whiff of hope, this was a comeback. He started the day two shots behind. As AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson wrote in his wrapup of the final day: “Woods never missed a shot that mattered over the final seven holes, taking the lead with a 5-iron to the fat of the green on the par-5 15th for a two-putt birdie, delivering the knockout with an 8-iron that rode down the ridge by the cup and settled 2 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th.” When it was over, Woods came to the same spot where he’d met Earl 22 years before. He scooped up his son, Charlie, and held him in a long embrace, then did the same with his 11-year-old daughter, Sam, and mother, Tilda. “For them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that’s something they will never forget,” Woods said. Very few golf fans will. And in a sports year dominated by weightier topics, Woods at the Masters stood out — a comeback story that left people smiling at the end......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

Pinoy Basketball in 2019: High, low, and then High again

Another year, another time when basketball literally did not stop in the Philippines. There was a lot to see when it came to Pinoy hoops in 2019, as if everyone was trying to make sure to end the decade on a bang. It was definitely a pretty hectic year for Philippine basketball, proving time and again that ball truly is life.   SPIDER-MEN, GRAND SLAMS, AND EPIC TRILOGIES The PBA is technically still not over, with the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup stretching all the way to mid January 2020. The country’s top league for sure had a lot happening, perhaps most infamously being in the 2019 Philippine Cup Finals when a random fan dressed as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man stormed the court late in Game 5 between San Miguel Beer and Magnolia. Safe to say, things got crazy. The other PBA Spider-Man, Arwind Santos, saw his signature dunk banned by the league. He also got fined P200k for hurling racial gestures against an opposing import and is now indefinitely suspended by his own team for fighting against his own import. All that with Peter Parker having his identity revealed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (*spoiler alert*) and it’s just been a pretty wacky year for Spider-Men. San Miguel also tried to win a Grand Slam this year, it looked great too as the Beermen won their second title despite being a no. 7 seed and were undefeated almost halfway through the third conference. But just like this current batch of Beermen’s first Grand Slam attempt, they never really got close as Barangay Ginebra ended the bid in round 1 of the Governors’ Cup. Oh and speaking of the Gin Kings, they’re back in the Governors’ Cup Finals... against Meralco. Oh yes, we’re getting a Trilogy. If that’s not the way to start a whole new decade then we don’t know what is.   HIGH, LOW, AND THEN HIGH AGAIN Switching over to Gilas Pilipinas, the national team was pretty busy this year, which is one of the way reasons why the current PBA season is getting dragged all the way to the next decade. After a gloomy ending in 2018, Gilas showed us where the lights shine brightest by booking a trip to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Gilas overcome freezing weather in Kazakhstan to advance, making sure that the Philippines will be stringing together three straight World Cup appearances. Once Gilas got to China though, it appeared that the national team got blinded by said bright lights. Loss after loss after loss after loss after loss, the Philippines ended up finishing in 32nd place out of 32 teams, setting the Gilas program back a couple of notches. But 2019 will not be a lost year though, as Gilas put together an incredible loaded team to put on a show in the Southeast Asian Games in Manila. Win after win after win after win after win, the Philippines ended up with a 13th straight gold medal in the SEA Games.   FLAMING OUT Fresh from a first ABL title in 2018, San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas was off to a sizzling start for the 2019 season, opening with eight straight wins. The team returned most of its title-winning core from the season prior and added behemoth PJ Ramos as a second import. Even with losses here and there, Alab maintained its number one ranking for most of the year... that is until injuries caught up to the team. Alab flamed out it its title defense, first losing the no. 1 seed to Formosa and then getting swept out of the opening round of the playoffs by Hong Kong Eastern, the team they swept in the semis the year before. Ultimately, Alab lost six straight games on its way to giving up its title. Fortunately, Alab has ended the decade with a four-game run and Jimmy Alapag’s crew is currently tied for first place in the new 2019-2020 season.   BRAND NEW KNIGHTS After a banner first conference, the MPBL quickly expanded to an incredible 26 teams. Following a crazy season with 364 games played, and old MBA dynasty in the San Juan Knights emerged as champions, taking down Davao Occidental in a classic five-game series for the title. The Knights’ title conquest came in the middle of the year and the MPBL is back in action, with 31 teams battling it out in the ongoing Lakan Cup. 2019 saw a ton of basketball games to be played, and 2020 looks like there’s no slowing down in terms of hoops action. Let’s get to it.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019