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History’s greatest scandals

The perception is that scandals have become a substantial part of our social media driven world. I was, therefore, intrigued by a book I recently read HISTORY’S GREATEST SCANDALS: Shocking Stories of Powerful People by Ed Wright published by Thunder Bay Press......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMay 6th, 2018

Sooners QB, A s pick Kyler Murray declares for NFL draft

By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press Kyler Murray, the first-round Major League Baseball draft pick and Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterback, declared himself eligible for the NFL draft on Monday. Murray announced his decision in a tweet, ending his brief and storied college career. What's next for the Murray is not yet known. I have declared for the NFL Draft. — Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) January 14, 2019 The Oakland Athletics made the speedy outfielder the ninth overall selection last June and agreed to $4.66 million signing bonus. The A's agreed to let him continue playing football, and he made the most of it by winning the Heisman in his only season as a starter for the Sooners. He passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns and ran for 1,001 yards and another 12 scores, posting the second-best passer efficiency rating in FBS history. As Murray dominated, his draft stock improved. Jim Callis, a senior writer on MLB.com, said the A's couldn't have foreseen that Murray would be a potential first-round NFL draft pick because of his size. Listed at 5-10 and 195 pounds, Murray would be a small quarterback in the NFL by any standard. "The primary risk was, what if he gets hurt on the football field?" Callis said, recalling his conversations with scouts before the season. "I don't think anybody was saying he could be an NFL first-round pick." Once the NFL emerged as a potential option for Murray, the A's took action. Representatives of the A's and Major League Baseball met Sunday with Murray, and the possibility existed that Oakland could offer more money by putting him on the 40-man major league roster. Even with the A's efforts, Murray would have a shot at a bigger payday sooner in football and he wouldn't have to go to the minor leagues. Callis and other observers say it is very unlikely Murray will be able to play both sports because he's a quarterback. Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders pulled it off, but Jackson was an outfielder and a running back and Sanders was an outfielder and cornerback. "This isn't Bo Jackson showing up and here, we'll pitch you the ball and you outrun everybody, or Deion Sanders helicoptering in and his great speed, coverage skills," Callis said. "When you're a quarterback, you have to put in hours and hours of study running an offense. ... You can't play both sports when you're a quarterback. I think if he wants to play quarterback, which appears to be his greatest love, there can't be any question that he's 100 percent football." Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said in November that if anyone could play both sports, it's Murray. "I don't want to put it past him," Riley said. " A lot of people would say he can't do what he's done right now — how well he performed for our baseball group here this spring, and how well he's played here for us. So there's certainly some different dynamics with it. Obviously the fact that he would want to play quarterback, if he chooses the football route, is a little different than Deion or Bo or some of those guys. But he athletically is so gifted and can transition between the two." The NFL scouting combine is in late February and early March and could intersect with his spring training — major league camp starts in mid-February and minor league camp begins in early March. If Murray wanted to participate in the combine, the A's would need to allow it and it would need to be reflected on his contract. Murray's road to his NFL draft choice was a winding one from his prep days in suburban Dallas. After a disappointing freshman season in football at Texas A&M in 2015, he transferred to Oklahoma. He sat out a year because of transfer rules, then was the backup during Baker Mayfield's Heisman-winning 2017 season. Murray then had an impressive enough baseball season in 2018 to draw the A's attention. Callis said Murray is somewhat like a faster version of outfielder Andrew McCutchen. After he was drafted, Murray took batting practice at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, greeted by "WELCOME TO OAKLAND" on the big scoreboard with his photo. A's manager Bob Melvin, executive Billy Beane and general manager David Forst closely followed Oklahoma football this season as the Sooners reached the College Football Playoff, losing to Alabama in a semifinal. As recently as last month, the A's said they expected Murray to pursue baseball. Murray had also said multiple times throughout the football season that he plans to focus strictly on baseball after this season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2019

Sweet, and unsweet, 16 for Harden on a wild night in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — James Harden had a game for the history books. That's good and bad. Harden scored 38 points Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) in Houston's 116-109 loss in Orlando, marking the 16th consecutive time that he's scored at least 30 or more points — matching Kobe Bryant for the league's longest such streak since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77. But Harden also was 1-for-17 from three-point range, tying the league's single-game record for most misses from beyond the arc. "They just didn't go in," Harden shrugged afterward. Damon Stoudamire was 5-for-21 from three-point range for Portland against Golden State on April 15, 2005. Until Sunday (Monday, PHL time), that was the only time a player had missed 16 three's in a game. The NBA's greatest shooters have had awful nights from three-point range — Dennis Scott once went 2-for-17, Ray Allen once went 1-for-14, Stephen Curry has an 0-for-11 game on his resume. Harden went 0-for-11 from deep in Game 5 of last year's Western Conference finals against Golden State, and has been 0-for-10 on three other occasions. Houston coach Mike D'Antoni didn't pin the loss on Harden's shooting. He blamed the Rockets' defense, and Harden concurred. "The problem is, you can't rely on him being superhuman every night," D'Antoni said. "We've got to have some contributions from other guys. I just thought they came in with a lack of focus, particularly on the defensive end." Bryant scored 30 or more in 16 straight games from Jan. 29 through Feb. 28, 2003. If Harden scores at least 30 in his next game — that should be Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against Memphis, assuming he's in the Rockets' lineup — he would top that mark. The last time an NBA player had a longer streak than that was in the 1963-64 season, when Wilt Chamberlain had 20 straight games scoring 30 or more. "He's such a good scorer," Orlando's Nikola Vucevic said of Harden. "You have to stay aggressive but you can't foul him. He's going to score. You're not going to stop him. He has the ball so much and they run everything for him." Even on a night where he got almost nothing from deep to fall, Harden's scoring average rose. Harden is now averaging 34.2 points per game this season, which puts him on a very exclusive pace. In the last 40 seasons, only Michael Jordan (37.1 points in 1986-87 and 35.0 points in 1987-88) and Bryant (35.4 points in 2005-06) have finished with a higher average than Harden has now. Harden was 15-for-16 from the foul line Sunday (Monday, PHL time). He also finished with 12 assists and nine rebounds. "I thought we did a pretty good job on him," said Orlando's Evan Fournier, who shouldered much of the defensive load against Harden on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). "And then I looked at the scoreboard and he had 38. He's just unbelievable.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2019

June Mar Fajardo honored to be in PBA ‘GOAT’ convo but won’t say he’s greatest

MANILA, Philippines---June Mar Fajardo took just seven seasons to become the most decorated individual in the PBA after he won an unprecedented fifth straight MVP plum on top of his seven Best Player of the Conference awards. San Miguel's jolly giant also has six championships under his belt and despite all the hardware he's received he has never thought of placing himself on the pedestal. Fajardo said that even though he has the most MVP and BPC trophies in league history he is nowhere near the "legends" Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio. Before Fajardo became the No.1 in the MVP list, he shared the top spot with Fernandez and Patrimonio with four. "For me, the MVP is...Keep on reading: June Mar Fajardo honored to be in PBA ‘GOAT’ convo but won’t say he’s greatest.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 14th, 2019

June Mar Fajardo becomes first 5-time PBA MVP | Inquirer Sports

BULACAN, Philippines---History has been written once again. June Mar Fajardo cemented his case as one of the greatest players in PBA history when he collected his fifth straight MVP plum in the Leo Aw.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

PBA: Is June Mar the GOAT?

June Mar Fajardo has played six seasons in the PBA. He’s won five straight Most Valuable Player awards. June Mar stands alone as the player with the most MVP awards in history, breaking a three-way tie with legends Mon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio. Which begs the question, has Fajardo established himself as the PBA’s one true GOAT with a record five MVPs and counting? A lot of people may say yes but June Mar gives his own take on the matter. “Syempre honored ako na mapa-sali sa conversation na yun, pero di ko ike-claim yun,” Fajardo said on his status as the possible GOAT of the PBA. “Para sakin, yung MVP hindi basehan kung ikaw na ba yung pinakamagaling sa lahat. Para sakin, kung ano na-contribute mo sa league,” he added. With five straight Most Valuable Player awards, is June Mar Fajardo the Greatest? June Mar himself gives his take #PBA2019 | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/lJRTE2DGP5 — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 13, 2019 Fajardo paid his respects to those that came before him and paved the way. He says he’s still not quite there yet and he’s just striving to keep on improving as he enters his 7th PBA season. “May mga nauna pa sakin, may mga legends na nauna pa sakin, sila yung maituturing na GOAT. Sila yung greatest, kasi mas nauna sila sakin, mas marami sila na-achieve sakin in terms of championships di ba?” Fajardo said. “Hindi ko rin naman sila nakalaban, baka pag nakalaban ko sila hindi ako maka-porma. Para sakin, hindi pa, malayo pa ako,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

PBA: Asi Taulava hints at retirement as he enters 20th season

It's been a wild ride for 45-year old Asi Taulava. From being a PBA standout, a direct hire by the then-Mobiline Phone Pals, the Fil-Tongan center has blossomed to being one of the most dominant players in the history of the first pro hoops league in Asia. But, it seems his 20th season in the PBA may be his last, as he said that he is seriously contemplating hanging his sneakers up for good after the 2019-20 campaign. "I'm thinking that this may be my last year. I wanted to get to 20 [seasons] and see where it goes from here. Let's see after everything if this will be my final year, if it's meant to be, this may be my final year, my swan song. I just want to enjoy it," the NLEX center shared at the PBA Media Day at the Solaire Resort and Casino. .@agelessasi88, who is entering his 20th season in the PBA, is seriously contemplating retirement at the end of the season. #PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/cfTqWWbqVp — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) January 10, 2019 In his illustrious career, he had won a title with a rookie Jimmy Alapag, won the season MVP, Finals MVP, and the Best Player of the Conference in the 2003 All-Filipino Cup, his only title.  The hulking 6'9 center has also been named to the Mythical Team eight times, four each in the first and the second teams, aside from being a 16-time All-Star and being named the MVP of the exhibition game twice. In his sabbatical from the PBA, he represented the country in the ABL as member of coach Leo Austria's San Miguel Beermen, where he won the league's MVP plum at age 40, and won his second pro title. From being a young and spry center, banging bodies with the likes of EJ Feihl and Dennis Espino to becoming one of the elder statesmen of the league, he said that he had seen the style of play change drastically. "When I first entered the PBA, it was slow, deliberate basketball. Nowadays, guys are getting younger, they're playing Warriors type of basketball," Taulava quipped. "Before, everybody had to post up. Now, the first three seconds, five seconds, a three will go up. The game has evolved so much. It's been great to be around during my whole career, playing and seeing how much basketball has grown." As he enters a crossroads in his decorated career as one of the 40 Greatest in the league's history, the slotman says he will just enjoy as he rides into the sunset of professional basketball. "I've enjoyed this ride. Not too many players. I think only four players in the PBA have lasted for 20 years. I can't believe I got here. Especially with my lifestyle in the past." Now a mentor to newly-acquired Poy Erram, he hopes to becoming the Road Warriors' rock in the middle and continue to help coach Yeng Guiao's team into contention, a team which made the semifinals in the opening tournament a year ago.  "Seeing him grow. I'm happy for him and everything what he's got right now, he's earned it. He has worked so hard." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Marvel game coming from ex-‘Hearthstone’ team

A mystery new Marvel game is on its way from a small new studio whose staff used to work together on massive mobile and PC card game "Hearthstone". "They are exactly who we want making Marvel games," said Marvel Games head Jay Ong of former "Hearthstone" game director Ben Brode and former executive producer Hamilton Chu. "They and the team they've assembled at [games studio] Second Dinner have made some of the greatest games in history." Free-to-play digital card game "Hearthstone" was released in 2014 as a spin-off from giant MMO "World of Warcraft" and, in addition to its popularity among players, has become a fixture of the eSports circuit and livestreaming community. Ong...Keep on reading: Marvel game coming from ex-‘Hearthstone’ team.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 6th, 2019

PBA: Complete turnaround as Alapag joins San Miguel Beermen

Now its a complete turnaround for Jimmy Alapag. Alapag, the former PBA MVP and arguably the greatest player in Talk N' Text history, has joined the staff of the San Miguel Beermen. Coach Jimmy attended his first practice Thursday at the Acropolis gym. . @JAlapag3, arguably the greatest TNT player ever, has joined the Beermen staff 👀 #PBA2019 | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/kdYDMQhEt5 — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 3, 2019 Alapag, who holds the record for most 3-point shots made in PBA history and has his jersey retired with the KaTropa, stopped playing for good in 2016 after playing one season with Meralco. He has since coached in the ABL, leading San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas to the title last season. Alab is currently undefeated at 4-0 in the current ABL season.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2019

Federer relishing once in a lifetime Serena clash

    PERTH, Australia – The Hopman Cup might have saved its best for last as excitement builds for the most anticipated tennis match involving a man and woman since the "Battle of the Sexes" in the 1970s.  Roger Federer and Serena Williams, two of the greatest players in history, will face off across ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 31st, 2018

VOLLEYBALL IS LIFE: A look back at Philippine volleyball in 2018

Glorious victories, dynasties, historic feats, controversies and memorable moments once again highlighted another fruitful year for Philippine volleyball.   Now, let us take a look back in the year that was in volleyball:   DYNASTY Powerhouse teams continued to thrive in the country’s most popular collegiate leagues. Arellano University muscled its way back into the NCAA Season 93 Finals and met a newcomer in San Beda University. The Lady Chiefs did find the Lady Red Spikers as feisty opponents in their first championship meeting, needing five sets to survive San Beda in Game One. But it didn’t take long for Arellano U to stomp its class over the newbies to capture its second straight title and fourth overall crown in five years. De La Salle University painted UAAP Season 80 green after annexing its third straight title handing legendary head coach Ramil De Jesus his third grand slam in the country’s most popular and competitive collegiate league. Second year setter Michelle Cobb stepped up to the challenge of filling the big shoes left by Kim Fajardo and complemented the depth and firepower of DLSU. Far Eastern University, which advanced into the Finals for the first time after a decade, stood no chance against the onslaught of the Lady Spikers, which swept their way onto throne. University of Perpetual Help completed a four-peat in the NCAA juniors after sweeping Letran. Philippine Air Force snatched the Premier Volleyball League men’s Reinforced Conference crown and the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference title. Sisi Rondina cemented her legacy as the UAAP’s queen of the sands after completing a three-peat in women’s beach volleyball. Rondina wrapped her tour of duty with four titles in five years. The Tigers ruled the men’s division.       YEAR OF THE UNDERDOGS San Beda University made great strides in NCAA Season 93 after earning its first-ever Finals appearance behind the efforts of Cesca Racraquin and twins Nieza and Jiezela Viray. The Lady Red Spikers closed the elims with an 8-1 win-loss record and took down Perpetual in the semis. Languishing at the bottom half of the standings since the return of its women’s volleyball program in 2008, Jose Rizal University made history by advancing into the Final Four. Shola Alvarez capped the Lady Bombers’ remarkable season by pocketing the Most Valuable Player award.   Far Eastern University made it to the UAAP women’s volleyball Finals by booting out crowd-favorite Ateneo de Manila University in the semis.  For the first time in five years, the Blue Eagles found themselves in a very difficult position in the Final Four. With a twice-to-win disadvantage, the Marck Espejo-led Ateneo shocked FEU – a team that beat them twice in the elims – to march to its fifth straight championship appearance.      But the real underdog story belonged to NU. After three years of finishing runner-up to the Blue Eagles, the Bulldogs led by Bryan Bagunas finally got their long-awaited revenge as they swept Ateneo off its three-year reign at the throne.     OFF COURT STORIES, CONTROVERSIES University of the East parted ways with head coach Francis Vicente midway in Season 80 after three and a half seasons with the Lady Warriors. Vicente left for ‘personal reasons’ with a UE coaching record of 2-45 (win-loss). Red Warriors head coach Sammy Acaylar also resigned from his post midway in the season. University of Sto. Tomas hitter EJ Laure after months of speculations to the real reason of her sitting out UAAP Season 80 broke her silence by saying that needed time to recover from her right shoulder injury to end all the rumors circulating including an alleged pregnancy.    Sound bites, videos and clips that show collegiate players’ ‘human side’ made its rounds around social media that drew mixed reactions from fans.  Just like in the previous years, controversy filled the formation of the national women’s volleyball team. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. initially named Ramil De Jesus as the national team coach but just two months after his designation, the multi-titled DLSU mentor resigned from his post citing ‘conflict of schedule’. Shaq Delos Santos took over De Jesus’ spot. Netizens went abuzz when the composition of the national team that participated in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games was released as fans give their different views on who should and should not be included in the roster.             LVPI named a new president in Peter Cayco of Arellano U to replace Joey Romasanta during the association’s election.   WRITING HISTORY Smart’s Cuban import Gigi Silva carved a world scoring record in the Philippine Superliga after scoring 56 points in a lost cause against Cocolife in the 2018 Grand Prix. Silva pounded 53 kills and had three aces to land her name in the fourth spot in the women’s world scoring record behind Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan’s 58 points in 2015 while playing in Japan, American Madison Kingdon’s 57 (2017 Korea Volleyball League) and Bulgarian Elitsa Vasileva’s 57 (2013 Korea Volleyball League). Silva also surpassed the 55 points of Americans Nicole Fawcett (2013 KVL) and Alaina Bergsma, who led Petron to the 2014 PSL Grand Prix crown, (2016 KVL).     Not to be outdone, local volleyball star Marck Espejo had a 55-point explosion of his own in the Blue Eagles’ five-set Game 1 UAAP Final Four win over FEU. The five-time MVP pounded 47 attacks, had six kill blocks and two service aces for the Katipunan-based squad. Espejo scored 11 points in the deciding frame including Ateneo’s last four to seal the win in the match that lasted for two hours and 21 minutes. Espejo’s feat fueled Ateneo’s eventual semis series win over the twice-to-beat Tamaraws.  Espejo and DLSU libero Dawn Macandili were named as the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s 2017 Mr. and Miss Volleyball.     The Philippines saw three players make their mark in the international scene this year as Espejo and sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat were tapped as imports in Japan’s V. Premier League. Espejo is now playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler while Jaja and Dindin suit up for Saitama Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.     After 36 long years, the Philippines sent a women’s volleyball team to participate in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. The squad won against Hong Kong in straight sets in pool play in the country’s first Asian Games victory since defeating India in the 1982 New Delhi Games. The PHI advanced in the quarterfinals but went home empty-handed. The Filipinas ended up at ninth place in the AVC Asian Cup. Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio made waves in the country’s hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open after the duo barged in the quarterfinals. The tandem eventually bowed down to eventual champion Japan. The NU Bulldogs brought its bark into the international scene and howled its way to giving honor to country by winning the ASEAN University Games gold medal at the expense of Thailand. Volleyball proved to be the most talked about sport in the country as #UAAPSeason80Volleyball became the most tweeted sports hashtag in 2018.   SMASHING WIN, BLAZING VICTORY Creamline became the most successful club in the Premier Volleyball League this year after winning its breakthrough Reinforced Conference crown before following it up with a title romp in the Open Conference. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought after leading the Cool Smashers to the Reinforced Conference throne.   Creamline’s Michele Gumabao joined Binibining Pilipinas and represented the country im the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania, landing at the top 15.     Petron lorded it over in the PSL after winning the Grand Prix and All-Filipino Conference titles at the expense of archrival F2 Logistics, which ruled the Invitational Conference. University of the Philippines ended a 36-year title drought by claiming the PVL Collegiate Conference championship and followed it up by reigning supreme in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam The SiPons tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron annexed their second straight PSL Challenge Cup beach volleyball title. University of Perpetual Help reclaimed the NCAA men’s title after taking down Arellano University as the Altas bagged it 11th title overall.           National University took back the title it lost last year in the UAAP boys’ tournament while De La Salle-Zobel bagged the girls’ mint. The Beach Volleyball Republic continued its advocacy of propagating the sport throughout the country.   END OF THE ROAD After winning three straight UAAP titles, the Lady Spikers bid goodbye to its Big Three in Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili. Season 80 saw the end of the six-year Ateneo-DLSU Finals rivalry as the Lady Eagles bowed down to FEU in the semis. The Blue Eagles three-year reign ended at the hands of NU as Ateneo gave its farewell to its greatest men’s volleyball star Marck Espejo and prized setter Ish Povorosa.    NU’s four-year domination in the girls’ division was snapped by DLS-Zobel. After a dry 2018 PVL season, Pocari Sweat parted ways with its franchise player Myla Pablo as newcomer Motolite agreed to buyout the hitter’s last three contract years.      Thai coach Tai Bundit after five years and bringing two titles including a rare tournament sweep to the Lady Eagles finally called it quits after Ateneo’s campaign in UAAP Season 80. Creamline gave Bundit a farewell championship trophy in the PVL.      A NEW BEGINNING It was a colorful 2018, indeed, for volleyball but 2019 is another promising year for the sport. Can the Lady Chiefs complete a three-peat in the NCAA? Newcomers are sure to bring more excitement and interest in the UAAP. DLSU will try to extend its reign for another season while NU is looking for a repeat crown in the men’s side. Another season for the PSL and the PVL will open while the national men’s and women’s team will highlight the country’s Southeast Asian Games hosting.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

ONE Championship Chairman Chatri Sityodtong all praise for Filipino champions Vera, Folayang, and Team Lakay

For the fourth time in 2018, ONE Championship came to Manila and delivered another exciting night of martial arts action. ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS, which was held last 23 November at the Mall of Asia Arena was another one for the books as the event saw two Filipino stars walk out with world championship belts. In the co-main event, Team Lakay star Eduard “Landslide” Folayang achieved history by becoming a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion with his win over Singapore’s Amir Khan. The main event saw the triumphant return of ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera as he smashed Italian challenger Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli in just 64 seconds to retain his title. It was one of the biggest nights in Filipino mixed martial arts, and ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong had nothing but praise for the night’s biggest winners. “Congratulations to Eduard Landslide Folayang on becoming the ONE Lightweight World Champion again! You inspire all of us with your courageous journey of overcoming adversity, defeating odds, and chasing dreams,” Sityodtong said on Facebook. Sityodtong has long been one of Folayang’s biggest believers, and was confident that the Filipino hero would reclaim his spot at the top of the division, even after losing to Martin Nguyen a year ago. “It was truly the best Eduard Folayang that I have seen in the almost 10 years we have known each other. You proved all of the doubters, haters, and naysayers wrong. I remember vividly how some idiot journalists were calling for your retirement exactly a year ago after you lost the belt,” Sityodtong continued. ONE Championship’s head honcho also had some kind words to say about Vera and Cerilli as well. “Congratulations to my bro Brandon Vera on another magnificent, flawless performance! Mauro Cerilli is a dangerous champion with monster KO power, and Brandon made it look easy.” “I was equally impressed by how gracious and humble you were to Mauro after your victory. I am proud to call you our ONE Heavyweight World Champion because you embody everything that is beautiful about martial arts,” he added. At the end of the night, the Philippines had control of five of ONE Championship’s eleven mixed martial arts world championships. Of those five, four were held by members of famed Benguet-based stable Team Lakay. Because of this dominance, Sityodtong went as far as calling the Filipino stable the best in the world. “I would also like to congratulate my good friend, Mark Sangiao, for building the greatest team in martial arts in the world! There is no question that Team Lakay is the #1 team in the world,” he proclaimed. “They have achieved so much on the world stage with so little. With a humble little gym in Baguio, Team Lakay has toppled some of the greatest teams and athletes in the world through its passion, tenacity, excellence, and humility.” “Thank you for showing the world that nothing is impossible and for exemplifying the true meaning of martial arts,” he concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2018

Threeforall: Bucks become latest team to set a 3-point mark

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press The best 3-point shooter who ever lived, at least in terms of volume, is Ray Allen. Boston used to have him. Milwaukee used to have him. And he doesn’t figure into either franchise’s greatest single-game 3-point barrage. With NBA records being set from 3-point range this season — Golden State’s Klay Thompson has already busted the mark for 3s in a game with 14, one more than the standard his fellow Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry established in 2016, the league is well on its way to making more shots from beyond the arc than ever before. The record, set last season, is 25,807. The NBA is on pace this season to make about 27,300 shots from 3-point land. Now, not even three full weeks into this season, five teams have broken their own franchise record for 3s in a game. The most recent entry into that club was Milwaukee, which connected on 22 3s — on 56 tries, as opposed to 39 from inside the arc — in its 144-109 win over Sacramento on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The Bucks used 13 players, with everyone trying at least one shot from 3-point range and 11 connecting on at least one triple. It was the second time this season the Bucks tried more 3s than 2s. Number of times in Bucks history that happened before this season? Zero. “We’ll just hopefully keep pushing that record, whatever it is,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “See if we can get more. ... Good for us to know that we’re pushing that envelope and we want to be great behind that 3-point line.” The Bucks aren’t alone in their quest for 3-point greatness. Boston, which has had 3-point stars like Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker and Allen in its rich history, made a team-record 24 3-pointers last week against the Bucks. The Celtics came into this season with 19 3s in a game being their franchise mark; they’ve made 19 or more twice already this season. “We took what the defense gave us,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the barrage of 24 3s. Fueled by Thompson’s 14 3s in Chicago, the Warriors set a team record that night with 24 makes from deep. Atlanta set a team mark with 22 3-pointers against Cleveland, and Utah connected on its record of 19 in a loss to Golden State. “This is the NBA right now,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. Curry is shooting more 3s per game than ever, making more 3s per game than ever — and doing it more accurately than ever. He’s already made 59 3s through the Warriors’ first 10 games, and is shooting 51 percent from deep. Curry is fifth all-time in 3-pointers made with 2,188. Allen is the record-holder with 2,973, a mark Curry is on pace to get in about two years. MUST GET 100 In this NBA, if a team doesn’t score 100 points, they’re not winning. Then again, getting to 100 doesn’t guarantee anything either. Teams that score 100 points or more are 134-99 this season, meaning they win 57.5 percent of the time. Those who don’t score 100 are 5-40, or winning 11.1 percent of the time. That’s a big change from recent years. Last season, teams over 100 won 62.2 percent of the time, and teams that didn’t score 100 won 20.8 percent of the time. A decade ago, those scoring 100 won at a 69.4 percent clip, and those not reaching the century mark won 30.8 percent of the time. THE WEEK AHEAD A six-pack of games to watch this week ... — Minnesota at L.A. Clippers, Monday (Tuesday, PHL time): Jimmy Butler had the Clippers among those on his radar when this trade saga started. — Philadelphia at Indiana, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): Joel Embiid’s numbers are fantastic, but Myles Turner is another great young big guy. — Milwaukee at Golden State, Thursday (Friday, PHL time): Bucks have been one of the season’s top early stories, and now get the ultimate test. — Boston at Utah, Friday (Saturday, PHL time): This will be Gordon Hayward’s 262nd time playing in Salt Lake City, and his first in a Celtics uniform. — Houston at San Antonio, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time): Spurs are 14-7 in last 21 with Rockets, and the teams play three times before Christmas. — Atlanta at L.A. Lakers, Sunday (next Monday, PHL time): Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter was LeBron James’ scrimmage teammate at a Nike camp in 2015. ON THE MOVE Now that the Tyson Chandler buyout by the Phoenix Suns has been completed, he’s expected to be on the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster later this week once he clears waivers. Portland coach Terry Stotts, who was a Dallas assistant when Chandler was with the Mavericks, said it’ll be a good move for the Lakers. “I like Tyson Chandler,” Stotts said. “Great teammate, obviously that was a few years ago but he impacts the game at the defensive end. He’s a great locker room guy. ... He’s all about winning. So, any team that has Tyson is going to be better for it.” ___ AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson in Portland, Oregon contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2018

FIBA taps Kobe Bryant as Basketball World Cup 2019 global ambassador

FIBA press release BEIJING - Former NBA and USA national team superstar Kobe Bryant on Wednesday was revealed as a FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 global ambassador. Over the course of a stellar 20-year career, Bryant won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and two Olympic gold medals with the USA. He is widely considered to be one of the best players in basketball history and among the world's greatest athletes. His popularity in China is second to none and this is reflected by the fact that he ranks as the most followed NBA player on Chinese social media, where he has some 6.84 million followers. Bryant joins Yao Ming in becoming an ambassador for basketball's biggest competition. As a global ambassador, Bryant will help promote the World Cup and take part in activities on the Road to China 2019 as well as at the first-ever 32-team edition of FIBA's flagship competition. "Growing up in Italy and spending many years visiting China, I have always appreciated the global impact that basketball has had on the positive development of young people," Bryant said. "I'm honored FIBA has invited me to serve as an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. I hope my participation inspires and motivates the best players from the 32 participating teams to represent their respective country on the world's biggest stage. I look forward to seeing who will lift the trophy next year." FIBA President Horacio Muratore welcomed the latest FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 global ambassador. "We're thrilled and honored to have a basketball and sporting legend of Kobe Bryant's caliber join us in building up to next year's World Cup," he said. "This speaks to the impressive stature of our flagship competition. With a record number of participating teams and as the culmination of the ongoing Qualifiers, the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China will be a truly unique event and the sporting fixture of 2019. "Kobe has proudly represented the USA on the world's biggest stages, where he's achieved the highest successes. As such, it's only fitting to have him take on this role ahead of our biggest-ever competition." Announcing Bryant as a global ambassador is the latest in an impressive list of exciting activities taking place ahead of the World Cup. Previous ones have included: unveiling Yao Ming as the first ambassador; revealing the competition's logo and mascot; the start of the World Cup Qualifiers to determine the 31 teams joining hosts China; and marking 100 days to the start of China 2019 with the presentation of Tissot countdown clocks in all eight host cities. Before the competition tips off on August 31, more activities and milestones will take place, including the launch of the Trophy Tour and the competition's draw on March 16, in Shenzhen......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 31st, 2018

Nowitzki says LeBron can catch Kareem

German NBA star Dirk Nowitzki says he sees no reason why LeBron James can't finish up as the greatest scorer in NBA history. "If he stays healthy, the way he's looking and moving, he has a chance at Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar)," Nowitzki told American sports broadcaster ESPN. "His numbers have been unbelievable. He doesn't seem to slow down. The stuff he was doing last year in year 15 was incredible. If he keeps this up, he can pass Kareem." Abdul-Jabbar scored a total of 38,387 points. James finished with 35 points against the San Antonio Spurs to pass Nowitzki for sixth place on the all-time scoring list Saturday and became the game's active overall points leader. He needed 21 points t...Keep on reading: Nowitzki says LeBron can catch Kareem.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 28th, 2018

LOOK: Gretchen Ho meets Lakers legend Magic Johnson in Las Vegas

Our very own Gretchen Ho got the opportunity of a lifetime as she met five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Johnson, of course, was one-half of the storied Bird-Magic rivalry of the 1980's where his Los Angeles Lakers and Larry Bird's Boston Celtics rejuvenated the NBA and brought it to better heights in three NBA Finals match-ups in the decade. The 6'9" point guard, who played from 1979 to 1991 and a brief period in 1996 won the NBA MVP three times in 1987, 89, and 90. He was also crowned NBA Finals MVP in 1980, 1982, and 1987. One of the most illustrious point guards in basketball history, the 59-year old Johnson dished out 10,141 assists in 906 regular-season games, good for fifth all-time. After announcing his sudden retirement in 1991, he was named to the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history. For her part, the former Ateneo Lady Eagle expressed her happiness in meeting one of the best hoopers ever. "Can I just say that Magic Johnson is really nice???  He says hi to all the Filipinos out there!" Ho said on her Instagram post.         View this post on Instagram                   Can I just say that Magic Johnson is really nice??? 🏀 He says hi to all the Filipinos out there! Will get a chance to interview him and Kevin Garnett tomorrow 😎 What do you guys want me to ask??? 😋 #JBLFest #MagicJohnson #LakeShow #LasVegasShow @jblph @jblaudio A post shared by Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) on Oct 18, 2018 at 5:42pm PDT Johnson also said his greetings to his adoring Filipino fans. Catch Gretchen's interview with Magic Johnson SOON on ABS-CBN! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang gets ONE Lightweight World Championship shot in Manila this November

Team Lakay lightweight star Eduard Folayang will have the opportunity to become a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion when meets Singaporean Amir Khan for the vacant world title on ONE Championship's November card in Manila.  ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong took to Facebook to make the massive announcement regarding lightweight crown.  "I am excited to announce that Eduard Landslide Folayang and Amir Khanwill face each other for the ONE Lightweight World Championship on November 23 in Manila!" Sityodtong's post read. "The stakes could not be any higher for both warriors in what will be the biggest fight of their careers. Eduard wants to reclaim his title and go down as the greatest Filipino martial artist in history. Amir wants to become Singapore's first homegrown World Champion in history, and stamp his legacy as the greatest Singaporean martial artist the world has ever seen." The announcment comes just days after it was revealed that two-division champion Martin Nguyen was forced to relinquish the title after an injury left him unable to defend the title.  (READ: Martin Nguyen relinquishes ONE Lightweight World Championship) The 33-year old Folayang first captured the ONE title back in 2016 with a third-round destruction of long-time champion and Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki in Singapore. Folayang would lose the title to Nguyen a year later.  The Team Lakay star is currently riding a two-fight winning streak with back-to-back unanimous decision wins over a pair of gritty Russian grapplers.  The 23-year old Khan on the other hand, is coming of an impressive first-round submisison win over Folayang's Team Lakay teammate Honorio Banario in Shanghai, China back in early-September. Khan is also currently riding a two-fight winning streak and will be challenging for the world title for the first time in his career.  Sityodtong also clarified the decision to have Folayang and Khan battle for the title instead of putting it up for grabs during the upcoming lightweight title-eliminator bout between former champion Aoki and former world title challenger Ev Ting set for October 6th in Bangkok, Thailand.  "On a related note, we did debate making the October 6 bout between Ev Ting and Shinya Aoki a world title bout, but decided against it. They have both spent months preparing for a 3 round non-title fight, and it would have been unfair to ask them to do a 5 round title fight on such short notice." He would go on to announce that the winner of the Folayang-Khan contest will face the winner of the Aoki-Ting with the world title on the line in Japan in 2019.  "Barring any injuries or unforeseen circumstances, I fully expect the winner between Ev and Shinya to face the winner between Eduard and Amir in Tokyo." A win for Folayang on November could mean Team Lakay's fourth undisputed world championship in 2018. Geje Eustaquio is the current reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion, while Joshua Pacio captured the ONE Strawweight World Championshp just last September in Jakarta.  ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon will have the chance to unify the titles when he takes on Bibiano Fernandes in Singapore on November 9th.  By the end of 2018, Team Lakay's trophy case could very well be laden with ONE world championship gold. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 1st, 2018

Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders enjoying new role with Lions

By LARRY LAGE,  AP Sports Writer DETROIT (AP) — Barry Sanders shook hands with fans, posed for pictures and engaged in small talk outside a suite at Ford Field before the Detroit Lions opened the season against the New York Jets. At halftime, the Hall of Fame running back was on the field to turn a huge key, and the stadium's speakers blared with the sounds of an engine revving. Sanders is in his second season as an ambassador for the team, a paid role that is sending him on the road for Detroit's game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. "It's definitely nice to be back after the first few years of being retired and there not being much communication," Sanders said in an interview with The Associated Press. "So, certainly just being able to be involved with certain things that the team is doing from a community outreach standpoint and that sort of thing, for me, it's great. "And, just being able to be around the game a little more and certainly around the Lions family a little more for me is meaningful so I do appreciate that." The Lions like the arrangement, too. Sanders visits suite holders during games and attends meet-and-greet sessions along with going to other team functions such as its draft party. "It's great having him around and back in the fold, interacting with fans and corporate sponsors," Lions president Rod Wood told The AP. "He's probably if not the best player in Lions history, he's in the handful of the best. "And, he's definitely the most remembered by our fans." While it may seem like a logical connection between the former star player and the only NFL team he played for, their relationship was not smooth in the years following his sudden and surprising retirement just before training camp began 1999. Sanders is always showered with cheers in the Motor City these days. But he was booed in public at times back in the day by fans who were still unhappy he walked away from the game after 10 spectacular seasons when he was on the verge of becoming the NFL's all-time leading rusher. "I hated that it came to the point where he was getting booed," said Lomas Brown, one of Sanders' former teammates. "He's one of the greatest ever and he did it all here in Detroit. There are still some people holding a grudge today, but that's been gone for a while." Brown hopes the Lions take another step in their relationship with Sanders by honoring him with a statue at Ford Field. "It's hard to believe there's not one," Brown said. Wood declined to say if there are plans to erect a Sanders statue. "We've talked about things we haven't announced," Wood said. When Calvin Johnson announced his retirement two years ago, it reminded people of Sanders' decision to walk away from the game. Like Sanders, the former star receiver chose to leave the Lions and the league with years left on his contract and seemingly some solid seasons left in his career. Johnson retired two years ago and the team has tried and failed, so far, to rekindle its relationship with him. As Sanders was the honored guest in Wood's suite for a game earlier this month, Johnson was in a nearby luxury box on the same floor. "I know Lions fans appreciate Barry's role with the team because he's the greatest Lion and one of the greatest running backs — if not the greatest — to play the game," said Johnson, who declined to talk about his relationship with the team. Brown believes time will take care of whatever issues are keeping Johnson from being a part of the organization in some way. "If the Lions continue to reaching out to him and being warm to him, I think it'll happen," Brown said. Wood is working on it. "It's still goal of the organization, and me in particular, to get Calvin back in the fold," Wood said. "It was good to see him at the (Jets) game.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2018

Q& A: Hall of Fame Bob Lanier

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com Bob Lanier turned 70 Monday, a big number for a big man. In fact, that number can be linked to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer in several ways. It was in 1970 that Lanier was the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, selected out of St. Bonaventure by the Detroit Pistons. And it was the 70s as the decade in which Lanier excelled, earning seven of his eight All-Star appearances while averaging 22.7 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Pistons. Dinosaurs ruled the NBA landscape back then, with Lanier achieving his success against the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Dave Cowens, Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, Elvin Hayes, Artis Gilmore and other legendary big men. Yet it was Lanier who was the MVP of the 1974 All-Star Game, who won the one-off, 32-contestant 1-on-1 championship tournament run by ABC in 1973 as part of its national broadcast schedule and who (with Walton) got name-dropped by Abdul-Jabbar in the 1980 Hollywood comedy “Airplane!” [“I'm out there busting my buns every night!” he tells a kid as “co-pilot Roger Murdock.” “Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!”] Lanier’s Detroit teams never got beyond the conference semifinals, though, so in 1979-80 he asked to be traded. In February 1980, the Pistons dealt him to Milwaukee for Kent Benson and a future draft pick. With the Bucks, who averaged 59 victories in Lanier’s four full seasons there, Lanier flirted with his greatest team success, yet never reached The Finals. He was 36 when bad knees and other injuries forced him to retire. Those knees still are trouble, preventing Lanier from attending this year’s Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony -- he was elected in 1992 -- and limiting his ability to travel from his home in Arizona to catch his daughter Khalia’s volleyball games at USC. But the man nicknamed “The Dobber” was as chatty and opinionated as ever in a phone conversation last week with NBA.com: NBA.com: The league still keeps you busy, doesn’t it? Bob Lanier: Well, it did. But about 15 months ago, I had knee replacement surgery on my right leg and that is not going very well. It still aches and it gets me unbalanced. That’s what I was trying to get away from. The surgeon said mine was the most difficult one he’d ever done. I was supposed to get the left one done but I couldn’t, because the right one was bothering me so much. I can’t even stand to hit a golf ball. NBA.com: You were part of the original Stay In School initiative, if I recall correctly. BL: I was involved with a little bit of everything from the time David [Stern, longtime NBA commissioner] first called me in 1988. It started off with wanting me to do something for kids who stayed in school. We did “P-R-I-D-E,” with P for positive mental attitude, R for respect, I for intelligent choice-making, D for dreaming and setting goals, and E for effort and education. It was really amazing. The first year, we were talking about giving out 25,000 Starter jackets for kids who came to the rally. Shoot, we needed double that amount, the numbers we got. Everything is kind of under the same umbrella now with NBA Cares. Kathy Behrens [president, social responsibility and player programs] has done a wonderful job of taking this to a whole ‘nother level, her and Adam [Silver, NBA commissioner]. NBA.com: Have you ever had one of those kids whose lives you touched reach out to you years later? BL: [Laughs]. You know what, I’m laughing because you don’t expect to hear from anybody. The only time that somebody really validated something we were doing was when I wrote those books. (The “Hey, Li’l D!” series of kids books, loosely based on Lanier’s childhood adventures. Co-authored with Heather Goodyear in 2003, the Scholastic Paperbacks books still are available.) I was on a plane and one of the passengers asked me to sign the book for her, for her child. I was so taken aback by that, I was shaking while I was signing the autograph. That was really good -- I thought, maybe I did something right. NBA.com: But none of the Stay In School kids? BL: Look, in our business, in community relations and social responsibility areas, you don’t really … when you’re building houses for people, the folks who work with you side by side give you a thumbs up and say thank you before it’s over. When we do the playgrounds, we use kids in the neighborhood who are going to enjoy playing in it and having dreams -- they’re thankful. But there’s so much need out here. When you’re traveling around to different cities and different countries, you see there are so many people in dire straits that the NBA can only do so much. We make a vast, vast difference, but there’s always so much more to do. NBA.com: I know you’re not in it for the thank yous. BL: No. The only thing that stands out to me is from when I was still playing in Milwaukee and I was getting gas at a station on, I think it was Center St. A guy came up to me and said, “My dad is sick. And you’re his favorite player. Could you come up to the house and say hello to him? The house is right next door.” So I went over, I went upstairs. The guy was laying there in his bed. His son said, “This is Bob,” and he was like, “I know.” And he just had a little smile, a twinkle in his eye. And he grabbed my hand and squeezed it. And we said a little prayer. About two weeks later, his dad had died. And he left a card at the Bucks office, just saying “Thank you for making one of my dad’s final days into a good day.” NBA.com: It probably wasn’t, and isn’t, uncommon for you to be spotted out in public like that. At your size (6-foot-11, 250 pounds as a player). BL: As time passes on, people know you at first because you’re a player. Then you stop playing. And 10 years after, when a player like Shaquille O’Neal comes along, they know him and figure you must be Shaq’s dad. “You’re wearing them big shoes.” I just go along with it. “Yeah, I’m Shaq’s dad!” NBA.com: That has to sting, seeing as how Shaq took your title for the NBA’s biggest sneakers. You were famous for your size-22s. BL: Yeah, he sent me a pair one time and I think they were 23s. For some reason, I recall he would wear 23s and three pairs of socks or something instead of the 22s. NBA.com: Isn’t it sobering how quickly sports fans forget even distinctive-looking players such as yourself? BL: Absolutely correct. But that’s why we in the NBA and at the players association have to do a better job of passing down the history of our game. In a way that they’ll absorb it. Not necessarily that they’ll have to read it – it could be in a video game form, because that seems to hold interest a lot. NBA.com: You have been as busy in your post-playing career for the NBA as you ever were while playing, right? BL: I’ve really been blessed. You know this story: I started serving people with my mother [Nattie Mae] at church. Getting food to people who were sick or needy, taking it to the hospital, taking it to people’s houses or feeding them right after church. My mother was a Seventh Day Adventist and she was in the church all the time. She had me and my sister and a bunch of kids, we would all be there every Saturday. You start off doing it not only because your mother tells you to, but the food was good. Then David asked me to come help with the Stay In School, which was the start of it all. If I hadn’t graduated from college, I probably would never have gotten an opportunity to do that with the NBA. Plus, the amazing number of young people I’ve met around the country, around the world, that I think I’ve touched … some lives. I can’t say I touched everybody, but some. I always had a knack of selecting -- when I’d call up kids to help me with the presentation -- a girl or a boy who needed it. It’s amazing how many times a teacher has said to me, “You picked Joe” or “You picked Dorothy, and that’s a really difficult kid. You made them feel good.” You never let a kid fail. NBA.com: You never were a shy and retiring type. What do you think of the NBA these days? BL: I’ll tell you what, I wish that I were playing now. It’s not as physical a sport. You can do stuff anywhere in the world. You can make tons of money off the court -- I can’t imagine how much I’d make with a speaker deal and those big-ass sneakers of mine. The only thing I would not like about this era is that you’ve got to be so conscious of social media. And people taking photos of you when you don’t know they’re taking them. And having those things that zoom over your home and take pictures of your house. That part I wouldn’t like at all. NBA.com: It’s hard enough to avoid the public eye at your size. By the way, are you as tall as you used to be? BL: No, no. I remember standing next to Magic [Johnson] last year at some function we had, and I was looking at him eye-to-eye. I said, “Damn, I thought I was 6-11 and you were 6-9. You look like you’re taller than me now.” NBA.com: You might have fared well today, with the range you had on your jump shot. A big man like you or Bob McAdoo would fit right in. BL: But Mac was a true forward and I was a true center. With the game the way it is now, I think guys like he or I -- Dave Cowens, too -- could shoot from outside, inside, open up the lanes, make good passes. I say that gingerly with Mac, because every time it touched his hands it was going up. He’s my boy but that’s the truth. NBA.com: Wayne Embry, the NBA lifer as a player and executive, recently said to me about the current style of play, “C’mon, the big man likes to play too.” The game has gotten so much smaller. BL: I kind of like this game a little bit. If you’re a big who has skills, it helps to stretch the floor. You can always post up, if you’ve got a big can post up. But now you’ve got these bigs who are elongated forwards. Boogie Cousins is probably our last post-up big that I’m aware of. I think I just saw him on TV somewhere making about 10 3-pointers in a row. NBA.com: Any team or individuals to whom you pay particular attention? BL: I like watching ‘Bron [LeBron James], obviously. I like this Golden State team, too, because they play so well together. I like the kid [Anthony] Davis. With Boogie, my concern is whether he’ll be healthy this season. NBA.com: What’s your take on the “super team” approach of the past few years? BL: I think both of ‘em have their sides. Back in the day, we would never do that. There wasn’t a lot of huggin’ and kissin’, all that stuff, when you were competing. You were out there to kick each other’s butt. But with AAU ball, it’s become guys playing together on these premier teams at all these tournaments around the country. So they get to know each before they ever go to college. NBA.com: Do you think today’s players appreciate the work you and other alumni did to build the league? BL: I think everything evolves. The best thing I could say as a player is, you want to leave the game in better shape than when you came into it. You want to leave a legacy, a better brand. You want players to be making more money. You want the league to be stronger. And since we’re partner in this, it’s important that those kinds of things happen. NBA.com: The 1970s seems to be pretty neglected, as far as NBA memories and highlights. At times it’s as if the league went from Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics dynasty to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird carrying the NBA into the 80s. The league had some popularity and PR issues back then, but eight different franchises won championships that decade. BL: Back in the 70s, a lot of people were feeling that the NBA was drug-infested. Too black. That’s one of the reasons the league came up with its substance abuse program, one of the first in sports to do that. The point was not to punish guys but to help guys who needed it to get clean. As that passed, then Larry and Magic came in. The media money started going up, and then Michael [Jordan] came in in ’84 and everything took off from there. So I can see how you could kind of forget about the 70s. NBA.com: And yet now folks complain that each season starts with only three or four teams seen as capable of winning the title. Why was it different then? BL: I think everybody competed a lot. And guys didn’t change teams as much, so when you were facing the Bulls or the Bucks or New York, you had all these rivalries. Lanier against Jabbar! Jabbar against Willis Reed! And then [Wilt] Chamberlain, and Artis Gilmore, and Bill Walton! You had all these great big men and the game was played from inside out. It was a rougher game, a much more physical game that we played in the 70s. You could steer people with elbows. They started cutting down on the number of fights by fining people more. Oh, it was a rough ‘n’ tumble game. NBA.com: There were, of course, fewer teams. Seventeen when you arrived, for instance. BL: There was so much talent on every team. Every night you were playing against somebody really damn good, and if you didn’t come to play, they’d whip your behind. NBA.com: You know, I’m surprised I never heard about you being the target of a bidding war with the old ABA? Did they ever come after you? BL: Got approached at the end of my junior year at St. Bonaventure. They offered me a nice contract. But I wanted to stay in school because I thought we had a real chance at winning the NCAA title. NBA.com: Gee, that almost sounds quaint by today’s get-the-money standards. BL: Yeah. Well, I trusted them as a league -- it was the New York Nets, a guy named Roy Boe -- but I knew we had a really good team. And we did. We got to the Final Four. Then I got hurt. NBA.com: You went down against Villanova, your tournament ended by a torn ligament. I’m surprised, looking back, you were considered healthy enough to get drafted No. 1 and have a pretty strong rookie season. BL: I wasn’t healthy when I got to the league. I shouldn’t have played my first year. But there was so much pressure from them to play, I would have been much better off -- and our team would have been much better served -- if I had just sat out that year and worked on my knee. NBA.com: From the Final Four to the start of the NBA season isn’t much time to rehab a knee injury. Then you played 82 games, averaging 15.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in 24.6 minutes. BL: That was stupid. My knee was so sore every single day that it was ludicrous to be doing what I was doing. I wanted to play, but I was smart and the team was smart, everybody would have benefited. NBA.com: Did you ever fully recover? I know your later years were hampered by knee pain. BL: Oh, I fully recovered. Going into my third year, I think I had my legs underneath me a lot. NBA.com: Your coach as a rookie was Butch van Breda Kolff, who had butted heads with Wilt Chamberlain in Los Angeles. Did you have any issues with him? BL: He was a pretty tough coach, but he was a good-hearted person. As a matter of fact, he had a place down on the Jersey shore where he invited me to come and run on the beach to help strengthen my leg. I went there for about 2 1/2 weeks. I liked Butch a lot. NBA.com: Your Detroit teams had you as an All-Star nearly every season and of course Hall of Fame guard Dave Bing. Did you think you’d achieve more? BL: I think ’73-74 was our best team [52-30]. We had Dave, Stu Lantz, John Mengelt, Chris Ford, Don Adams, Curtis Rowe, George Trapp. But then for some reason, they traded six guys off that team before the following year. I just didn’t feel we ever had the leadership. I think we had [seven] head coaches in my 10 years there. That was a rough time, because at the end of every year, you’d be so despondent. NBA.com: So by the time you were traded to Milwaukee, you were ready to go? BL: I wanted the trade. But until you start getting on that plane and leaving your family and start crying, you don’t realize it’s a part of your life you’re leaving. I got to Milwaukee and it was freezing outside. But the people gave me a standing ovation and really made me feel welcome. It was the start of a positive change. I just wish I had played with that kind of talent around me when I was young. The only time I thought I had it was that ’73-74 team they messed up. But if I had had Marques [Johnson] and Sidney [Moncrief] and all of them around me? Damn. NBA.com: I got my start around those Bucks teams, and feel I often have to remind people how good they were deep into the ‘80s. You just couldn’t get past the Celtics and the Sixers in the same year, in a loaded Eastern Conference. BL: They were always a man better than us. We had to play our best to beat them and they didn’t have to play their best to beat us. It haunts me to this day. NBA.com: How did you like playing for Bucks coach Don Nelson? BL: Loved him. It was just like playing for your big brother. He was a player’s coach, for sure. He’d been through it, won championships. Knew what it was like to be a role player, knew what it took to be a prime-time player. Didn’t get upset over pressure. He was just a stand-up guy. NBA.com: As we talk, I’m looking at my office wall and I have that famous All-Star poster from 1977, painted by Leroy Neiman. That game was notable, too, because it was the first one after the NBA/ABA merger. So you had Julius Erving, George Gervin, Dan Issel and those other ABA stars flooding their talent into the league. BL: You know what? I think you could put 10 players from the 70s into the league today and be as competitive as anybody. Think of the guys who could really play and were athletic. And with the rule changes, that would make us even more effective. “Ice’ [Gervin]. Julius. David Thompson, a huge athlete. I don’t know who could mess with Kareem at all. NBA.com: What about Nate Archibald? BL: You took the words right out of my mouth. Tiny! He could scoot up and down and do what he needed to do. These guys knew the game, they played the basics of it so well. NBA.com: No one disputes the advances in training, nutrition, travel and rest. But in raw ability, you think it was close to today? BL: One thing I will say about this group of young men, they seem to be more athletic than we were. They seem to be able to cover so much more ground. Whatever that new step is, the Eurostep? And another thing they do differently know is, they brush-pick. They brush and then they pop. You rarely see a guy do a solid pick and then roll with the guy on his back to cause a mismatch. Everybody’s looking to open the floor to shoot 3’s. This has become the weapon of choice now. NBA.com: No rings for that Milwaukee team from which you retired has meant, so far, no Hall of Fame for Marques Johnson or Sidney Moncrief, the two stars.   BL: That’s what rings hollow in your ears. You hear people saying, “Where’s the ring? The ring!” And we don’t have any rings. That’s what we play for. NBA.com: Didn’t stop your enshrinement though. BL: They must have been blind, crippled and crazy, huh? It’s a short crop of brotherhood that gets in there. I just wish there was more time on those weekends where we could spend time just talking with one another. You rarely see each other, and it would be nice to have a quiet room where you could just re-hash old times and plays, and maybe have your family so your grandkids could listen to Earl the Pearl tell about this or [Bill] Walton tell about that. Just rehashing stuff that brought people a lot of joy. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2018

US OPEN 18: Federer tries to end decade drought in New York

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Even with all the times Roger Federer held the U.S. Open trophy, he still can't forget the time it slipped through his fingers. He had won five titles in a row in Flushing Meadows and was a game away from a sixth in 2009 when Juan Martin del Potro pulled out a fourth-set tiebreaker, then won the fifth set. "I still wish I could have played that match again," Federer said Friday. He's never been that close to winning the U.S. Open since, just once reaching the final. That would have been hard to imagine then, when Federer would steamroll into New York at the tail end of some of the greatest seasons in tennis history. He was 247-15 from 2004-06, and knew he'd figure things out across seven matches on the hard courts in a city where he is so comfortable. "For a long period I think I was not losing much," Federer said, "and when I came to the Open, I had all the answers for all the guys, all my opponents, all conditions, wind, you know, night, day. I really embraced everything about New York." Still does, which is why — at age 37, and a full decade removed from his last title at the place — Federer believes he can succeed again at the year's final Grand Slam tournament and collect a male-record 21st major when main-draw play begins Monday. A sixth U.S. Open title would break a tie with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras for the most in the professional era. "Well, I mean, it would mean the world to me," he said. Novak Djokovic just beat Federer in the final in Cincinnati, and the Wimbledon champion might be the favorite in New York. Defending champion Rafael Nadal is the top seed after taking back the No. 1 ranking that Federer had regained earlier this season for the first time in five years. And del Potro is up to a career-best No. 3 in the world and proved again he could handle Federer at the U.S. Open when he stopped him last year in the quarterfinals. Yet few would count out No. 2 seed Federer, even as erratic as his gifted game looked against Djokovic on Sunday in Ohio. "If you are playing well before, is easier to play well in the Grand Slam, no? No doubt of that," Nadal said. "At the same time it's true that especially a few players are able to increase the level of concentration, the level of tennis, level of intensity in some places. If you have to do it, this is one of the places." Federer hasn't done it in the biggest moments in New York over the last decade. The loss to del Potro was followed by semifinal defeats against Djokovic in both 2010 and 2011, blowing two match points in both. He finally got back to the final again in 2015 but was beaten by Djokovic, then had to miss the 2016 event because of a knee injury. He won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in a resurgent 2017 but tweaked his back while reaching the Montreal final and knew his body and his game weren't in shape by the time he got to New York. "I knew from the get-go it was not going to be possible for me to win," Federer said. "Everything would have had to fall into place." So he was even more cautious in monitoring his schedule this year, sitting out the clay-court season again and pulling out of Toronto, making Cincinnati his only hard-court warmup. That's left him only four tournaments in five months, perhaps explaining some of the shots that once were winners but were sprayed around the court against Djokovic. "It's a fine line of how fit do you need to be and how much tennis can you play to be competitive?" Hall of Famer Rod Laver said. "And if you're not able to go get the match practice, then you've got to rely on being competitive on the other side of the coin, which is how fit can you be. He certainly is fit enough but mentally in the final, I could tell he was sort of down. You could tell he was just frustrated with some of the shots that he played." Federer won't second-guess his scheduling, believing he's made the right decisions for his preparation. Nor will he kick himself over the U.S. Opens lost over the last decade. "I won the U.S. Open five times. So I stand here pretty happy, to be quite honest," Federer said. "It's not like, 'God, the U.S. Open never worked out for me.' It hasn't the last couple years, but it's all good.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2018

US OPEN 18: On the clock! 25-second countdown s Slam debut

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press Any discussion of the serve clocks that will make their Grand Slam debut during the U.S. Open's main draw starting Monday, and could become a regular part of tennis as soon as next year, inevitably turns to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They are two of the greatest players in history — and two of the slowest between points. For one thing, Djokovic's incessant bouncing of the ball before a service toss delays things. So do Nadal's habitual mannerisms: the touching of the nose, the tucking of the hair, the grabbing at the shorts, and on it goes. And while neither was a big fan of introducing digital readouts on court to show the 25-second countdown before each first serve, the two men with a combined 30 Grand Slam singles titles seem ready to accept that they must abide by a change intended to add uniformity to their sport. "I just need to go faster," Nadal said, matter-of-factly. Djokovic's take: "I'm pretty comfortable with it." Both got a chance to see what this new, stricter world will look like during a test run at a handful of hard-court tuneup tournaments over the past month. "Some of the guys might think this is targeted to them," said Gayle Bradshaw, the executive vice president for rules and competition on the men's tour. Referring to Nadal and Djokovic, specifically, Bradshaw added: "They'll adjust. And I think for Rafa, it's going to be a benefit: Him wearing down the other guy." The U.S. Tennis Association, ATP and WTA are tracking what competitors, spectators and TV broadcasters make of the new system. Reviews from players so far have mostly been positive or indifferent, although Serena Williams said she's "not a fan of it at all." "You're aware of it. You certainly look at it and notice it. I do think it's a good thing," said Andy Murray, a three-time major champion. "It's one of those things in tennis that is so stupid: The players were sort of expected to sort of be counting to 25 in their head. ... How are you supposed to know how much time you're actually taking?" Wimbledon semifinalist John Isner and others noted they would step to the line to serve and still have plenty of time — sometimes 10 seconds or more — left, enabling them to catch their breath or think about how to approach the next point. "I didn't feel rushed at all, by any means," Isner said. "Maybe it can slow you down." That might have contributed to one unintended consequence during the three men's tournaments where clocks were used for qualifying and main draws: longer matches. It's a small sample size, and, of course, it's dependent on the particulars of individual contests — nearly 30 percent more matches went to 7-5 or a tiebreaker in the third set in 2018 than 2017 at those events. But third sets lasted an average of 5 minutes longer this year than last year. First sets were nearly 1 1/2 minutes longer this year while second sets were a minute shorter. Servers were warned 74 times and returners received nine warnings at the ATP and WTA tournaments with the clocks. It's possible this setup will become more widespread as soon as 2019; the ATP Board could consider that for the men's tour during its U.S. Open meeting. The amount of time taken between points has been a subject of discussion in tennis for quite a while now, just as other sports are concerned about whether events that take too long are losing viewers in this age of short attention spans and competition for eyeballs (take Major League Baseball's limits on mound visits, time between innings and movement toward a pitch clock). "This just makes it a little more transparent, a little more visible," U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer said. "North American fans are used to shot clocks. They actually expect this sort of thing." There already was a time limit in tennis, but it was entirely up to a chair umpire's discretion, because no one — most importantly players, but also folks in the stands and TV viewers — knew exactly how many seconds had elapsed. Now it will be apparent to everyone, much like a shot clock in the NBA and college basketball or a play clock in the NFL and college football. The serve clocks — along with a strict 7-minute period from when players enter a court until a match begins, also shown on digital readouts — were tested during 2017 U.S. Open qualifying. The basics of the serve clock: After announcing the score, chair umpires start the countdown (they have leeway to wait if a particularly long point merits an extra pause). If the 25 seconds expire before the service motion begins on a first serve, the server will receive a warning, then be assessed a fault for each subsequent violation (second serves are supposed to happen without delay, so clocks won't be used). If the returner isn't ready at the end of 25 seconds, first comes a warning, then the loss of a point with every other violation. The basics of the pre-match period: Clocks will count a minute from when players step on court until the coin toss, 5 minutes for the warmup, then another minute until the opening point. Delays can result in fines of up to $20,000, according to USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier. He said players already have been docked as much as $1,500 during recent tournaments. "The intent is not to fine players. The intent is to get players used to this new procedure and also to truly build consistency," Widmaier said, "so the matches start when they're supposed to start for television and for fans.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2018