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Iloilo national invitational cage games kick off today

THE Iloilo National Invitational Basketball Championships will bring quality games on May 17-20, 2018. Organized by the Iloilo Sports Development and Management Office – Center for Sports and Physical Fitness, the event will bring some of the best players in the national arena to Ilonggo enthusiasts. The games will be held in three venues – […] The post Iloilo national invitational cage games kick off today appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource: thedailyguardian thedailyguardianMay 16th, 2018

Sky Cable Iloilo retains Gov’s Cup cage title

TEAM Sky Cable Iloilo retained the crown in the Iloilo Governor’s Cup National Invitational Basketball Championships after eliminating Letran Knights, 92-83, in the second edition of the tournament held at the Pototan Astrodome, May 20, 2018. Aside from the title, Sky Cable also won the P100,000 cash prize while Letran took home P75,000. Both teams […] The post Sky Cable Iloilo retains Gov’s Cup cage title appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

10 pairs to battle for 2018 Paraw Beach Volley crown

TEN powerhouse pairs will aim to become the “Queens of Beach Volley” in the 15th National Invitational Women’s Beach Volleyball Tournament (Mayor Jose Espinosa III Cup) on Feb. 16 to 17, 2018 at Joe III Garden Beach Front, Arevalo, Iloilo City. The two-day games are part of 46th Iloilo Paraw Regatta 2018. The competition is […] The post 10 pairs to battle for 2018 Paraw Beach Volley crown appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2018

Pinoy combat athletes ready to deliver as AIMAG medal hunt starts

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan – The Philippines will officially kick off its medal hunt in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games today with Filipino fighters in ju-jitsu, wrestling and taekwondo expected to deliver. The national track and field team headed by reigning Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Eric Cray and former Asian long-jump queen Marestella Torres will also see action as the country aims to secure medals in 17 out of the 41 events that Filipino athletes have been entered on Monday. Grappler Alvin Lobreguito pocketed the first medal for the Philippines in the men’s freestyle -57kg traditional wrestling a day before last night’s lavish opening ceremony at the ultramodern Ashgabat Olympic Stadium here. Over 6,000 athletes from 62 countries will compete in 21 sports during the 12-day sportsfest considered as the biggest indoor Games in the continent with the inclusion of the Ocenia region led by Australia and New Zealand. Cray, the SEAG 400m hurdles record-holder, will try his luck in the 60m hurdles on Monday and 60m sprint on Tuesday. Also competing here is former Asian long jump queen Marestella Torres-Sunang. A gold medal winner during the 2009 Asian Athletics Championships in Guangdong, China, the 36-year-old Torres-Sunang hopes to get a podium finish, something she’d like to do as she nears retirement. She captured a bronze medal in the last KL SEA Games. Also seeing action at the Indoor Trand and Field Stadium are Mervin Guarte and Marco Vilog, participants in the 800m preliminary round, with Guarte also set to compete in the 1500m preliminaries. The finals of the 800m and 1500m are scheduled Wednesday. Janry Ubas, meanwhile, will aim for a podium finish in the long jump event set Tuesday. Taekwondo jins Jenar Torillos (54kg), Samuel Thomas Morrison (74kg), Karen Celis (46kg) and Levita Ronna Ilao (46kg) are set to see action, all targeting to get a medal in this event organized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). In jiu-jitsu, the Philippines will have Asian champion Apryl Eppinger (62kg), Alexander Lim (69kg), Terrence Hansel Co (77kg), Gilbert Ombao (94kg) and Lou-Ann Jindani (70kg). The grapplers that will vie for medals in the traditional wrestling classic include Michael Vijay Cater (57kg), Jonathan Maquilan (62kg), Jhonny Morte (68kg), Jeff Manatad (75kg), Cristof Hoffman Jr. (90kg), Grace Loberanes (52kg) and Noemi Tener (58kg). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2017

BaliPure guns for lead

Games today: (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4 p.m. – BaliPure vs BanKo-Perlas 6:30 p.m. – Iriga-Navy vs Pocari Sweat-PAF BALIPURE-National University seeks to force a three-way tie in first place as it takes on a skidding BanKo-Perlas squad today in the PVL Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Centre.….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

PBA All-Star ’18 festivities roll out

THE THREE-leg Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) All-Star festivities kick off today in Digos, Davao del Sur, for the Mindanao stretch of the midseason classic. Set for 7:30 p.m. at the Davao Del Sur Coliseum, the headlining match will pit the PBA Mindanao All-Stars against members of the national team. Leading All-Star Mindanao are starters Mac […] The post PBA All-Star ’18 festivities roll out appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

Business of Football - Philippines highlights football s growth in the country

MANILA -  The recent success of The Azkals, with their Asian Cup qualification, and their FIFA ranking at its highest at 111, has given football a renewed confidence, and a positive outlook in terms of the growth of the sport in the Philippines.   Football is now tipped to become the fastest growing sport in the country, with the largest potential for success commercially, and in terms of on-pitch success.  The sport which is currently number 3 in the Philippines in terms of popularity and participation, after basketball and boxing, is said to be still further behind compared to other sports, such as volleyball, billiards, etc., in terms of TV coverage. These were among the insights and trends gathered from top-notch executives of organizations such as AFC, PFF, PFL, LaLiga, Dentsu X, SMG Insight, Globe Telecom, RSportz, Toby Sports and Manila Times, at the ‘Business of Football - Philippines’, organized by MMC Sportz.  The sold-out event was attended by more than 185 local and foreign delegates on 18 May 2018 at the New World Makati Hotel.   MMC Sports CEO Eric Gottschalk says, “Research in this market, shows that TV is still the number one platform here in the Philippines, and is the number one medium that advertisers are looking for, to spend their budgets on.  We also learned that live TV coverage actually stimulates stadium attendance, and not vice versa.  If there’s more football on TV, we will see more fans in the stadium.  Currently football is not ranked among the top 100 TV programmers in the Philippines and is only number 3 sport in terms of participation and popularity after basketball and boxing.  Football needs media in order to drive commercial revenues for the clubs.”   “Now is also the perfect time to get involved in football since sponsorship and advertising opportunities are currently very affordable compared for example to basketball, but this is predicted to change within the next 6-12 months, as values are expected to increase sharply.  Football also needs to create more idols and heroes to attract more media coverage overall, other than just covering game scores. Each team has a unique story which just needs to be told,” says Gottschalk. Following the presentation about the Philippines Football League (PFL) it was agreed that the PFL now fills the lack of regular created football content as the leagues matches (87 in 2018/19 season) contribute year-round stories to keep football in the news. In the past, the main talking points were around the Azkals which only play very few home matches each year.      Public education about the game of football is also needed on all levels as many people in the Philippines are still not aware about the rules or aware of programs available like coaching academies, amateur competitions, or how and where to follow the professional league.  Ten thousand (10,000) qualified grassroots coaches are also needed to satisfy the local demand and to trigger strong football development and growths. Investors on the other hand are looking for consistency and credibility of the football product but with the PFL in the second season and foreign sponsors expected to invest in the Philippines, local brands should consider to follow suit.  On the sports retail side, only 1.5% of current retail sales are attributed to football, while basketball enjoys a healthy 46% market share. As a result, only limited line items and stocks are available in stores and entry level boots and replica jerseys are too high priced to be affordable for the average consumer. The national player registration program, MY PFF, has been launched with the objective to collect vital statistics and data about the football community which is urgently needed to support the youth football development strategy of the PFF and to develop a players pathway.  As FIFA has mandated to register the estimated 1.5 million players in the Philippines, the PFF has urged organizers and players to already register online as by next month only registered players will be allowed to participate in sanctioned events. The “Business of Football – Philippines” conference also announced 36 career opportunities related to sports and football, including positions in marketing, legal, competition management and coaching, with all these listing being available online with MMC Sportz or for direct inquiries with the PFF. In his closing remarks, MMC Sportz CEO Eric M. Gottschalk stated that “More importantly, Don’t Break the 12th Man! It is important that all stakeholders don’t forget to engage with the fans. The fans are the most important aspect of the development of football in the Philippines – if there are no fans of football then there is no media, no spectators, no players, no games, no business. Everyone is required to ensure we keep the fans (football consumers) engaged year-long and the first step would be to get the media behind the game. There is a strong football - community out there already and hopefully, we the TV broadcasters will take another look at football and give them at least some consideration on the program schedule.  I believe today’s conference was a great success.  We brought the football community together, stimulated thinking, exchanged ideas and transferred a lot of knowledge. Now it is up to the football stakeholders to continue the progress.  From our end (and with the approval of the PFF) we will stage the 2nd edition of BOF early 2019 and hopefully we will be able to report on some of the changes initiated today.”    Speakers who shared their insights include LaLiga Managing Director for South East Asia, Japan, Korean and Australia Ivan Codina, AFC Head of MA Services Domeka Garamendi, SMG Insight Managing Director Frank Saez, Azkals Team Manager Dan Palami, Globe Director for OIC, Citizenship and Advocacy Marketing Miguel Bermundo, PFL CEO Lazarus Xavier, PFF General Secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes, Ignite Sports Group Managing Director Michael Reyes,  Asian Replica Designs Founder & Owner Jonathan Mallinson, Quorum Group President & COO Jose Claudio, Jr., Mediapro Asia Director of Sales and Sponsorship Salauddin Sinnakandu, and MMC Sportz Marketing CEO Eric Gottschalk.  Organized by MMC Sportz Asia, the event was sanctioned by the Asia Football Confederation (AFC) and the Philippines Football Federation (PFF), and sponsored by La Liga, Dentsu X, SMG Insight, RSportz, Globe Telecom, Toby’s Sports, Manila Times and Platinumlist. - RELEASE  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

Meet the 2018 batch of Jr. NBA PH All-Stars

Jr. NBA PH press release PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA – Eight boys and eight girls were named as Jr. NBA Philippines All-Stars from a total of 74 participants during the Jr. NBA Philippines 2018 presented by Alaska National Training Camp to become the eleventh batch of Jr. NBA All-Stars. Headlined by Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein and WNBA Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes, the National Training Camp was held at the Gatorade Hoops Center on May 18, at Don Bosco Technical Institute on May 19 and SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on May 20. The National Training Camp players were the top performers in Regional Selection Camps in Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, Metro Manila and Alaska Power Camp, which were led by Jr. NBA Coaches Carlos Barroca and Rob Newson, together with Alaska coaches led by PBA Legend Jeffrey Cariaso. Jr. NBA alumni were in attendance throughout the camp with Thirdy Ravena and Ricci Rivero visiting the Gatorade Hoops Center and Kai Sotto and Rhayyan Amsali highlighting the participants of the Jr. NBA Alumni All-Star Game in SM Mall of Asia. The Jr. NBA All-Stars showcased skills on the court and exemplified the Jr. NBA core S.T.A.R. Values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect. Prince Ray Alao, 14, of San Beda University; Ethan Rod Alian, 14, of La Salle Greenhills; John Lester Amagan, 14, of St. Robert’s International Academy of Iloilo; Seven Gagate, 14, of Chiang Kai Shek College; Nathan Jan Jundana, 14, of Bacolod Tay Tung; Christian Joi Mesias, 14, of Jose Maria College of Davao; Kim Aaron Tamayo, 13, of National University; and Rhon Khaniel Telles, 13, of St. Anthony de Carmelli Academy of Cavite topped the boys division, while Madelyn Flores, 14, of Bukidnon National High School; Gin Kayla Huelar, 13, of St. La Salle University, Bacolod; Aishe Solis, 13, of Corpus Christi School in Cagayan De Oro; Pauline Angelique Valle, 13, of Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School; Christine Nichole Venterez, 12, Baguio City National High School; Marielle Vingno, 14, of Escuela de Sophia of Caloocan Inc.; Amber Esquivel, 14, and Kyla Marie Mataga, 13, of De La Salle Zobel were the outstanding performers in the girls’ division. Pauline Angelique Valle and Prince Ray Alao were named this year’s Jr. NBA Most Valuable Players while Marielle Vingno and Ethan Rod Alian were selected as Alaska Ambassadors. Hazel Yambot of Baguio and Mark “Tata” Belangel of Bacolod were chosen as the Coaches of the Year. In addition, special awards were handed out to Kayla Marie Mataga and Javier Louis Jugo as Gatorade Hustle awardees, Merylle Cuasay and Czarlo Salvador as Panasonic Rising Stars, and Aishe Solis and Kim Aaron Tamayo, Cloudfone Awesome Players of the Game. “The Jr. NBA program gives us the opportunity to contribute to our goal of getting more kids to play the game of basketball and help them understand how working hard on their craft can open doors and unlock greater opportunities in life,” said Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes.  “I came here to inspire you but your passion and eagerness to learn inspire me and I’m so grateful for that,” shared Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein to the campers. An NBA experience trip in Shanghai, China awaits the All-Stars in October where they will be joined by other Jr. NBA All-Stars from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in training and friendly competitions as they catch the NBA China Games 2018 featuring the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks. Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska, the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls, continues to promote proper nutrition and an active lifestyle, serving as an effective platform in implementing Alaska Milk’s NUTRITION.ACTION.CHAMPION. program that helps address the issue of overweight and undernourished children in the country. AXA, Cloudfone, Gatorade, Globe Telecom and Panasonic serve as Official Partners of the Jr. NBA in the Philippines, while Spalding is a Supporting Partner. ABS-CBN Sports + Action, Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV are the Official NBA Broadcasters of the Jr. NBA in the Philippines. Fans can also follow Jr. NBA at www.jrnba.asia/philippines and on Facebook. For all the latest news and updates on the NBA, visit www.nba.com and follow the league on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about the Alaska Milk Corporation, visit www.alaskamilk.com and follow PlayPH at www.playph.com and on Facebook and Twitter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

Sky Cable Iloilo survives Letran, 91-85

TEAM Sky Cable Iloilo maintained its unblemished record in the ongoing Iloilo Governor’s Cup National Invitational Basketball Championships after surviving Letran Knights, 91-85, at the Passi City covered gym, May 18, 2018. Negros gunner Mark Yee came through for Sky Cable with a 26-point explosion. Cameroonian import Rodrigue Ebondo had 15 points while former PBA […] The post Sky Cable Iloilo survives Letran, 91-85 appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

Uncertainty shrouds Chelsea despite FA Cup win over United

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Chelsea's players saved their season but maybe not their manager. Collecting the FA Cup, after beating Manchester United 1-0 on Saturday, is looking like Antonio Conte's final act with Chelsea. "After two years, the club knows me very well," Conte said. "And if they continue to want to work with me they know I can't change. My way is always the same." Having won three Serie A titles at Juventus before capturing the English Premier League trophy for Chelsea, Conte reminded the Chelsea hierarchy: "I'm a serial winner." It was a bullish sign-off to a lackluster season that saw the Italian's relationship with Chelsea's leadership become increasingly strained as the team went from champions to fifth in the Premier League. "Our job is not simple," Conte said. "I understand that the club can make a decision." Wembley match-winner Eden Hazard also has a decision to make: Whether to pursue a transfer. After raising doubts about his Chelsea future ahead of the final — demanding "good players" are signed in the offseason — Hazard produced the only goal from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute. On the pitch, amid the celebrations, Hazard said nothing to demonstrate his commitment to the club. "I'm just happy," Hazard said. "You see the fans celebrating with the trophy. We didn't play a great season but at least we finished well." Although not in the style craved by Hazard. "If we want to win a lot of games we have to play better," Hazard said, "because today we played defensively." Such was the focus on the gloomy Premier League campaign and looming offseason of uncertainty in the post-match interviews, it was easy to forget Chelsea had just picked up a trophy. "This was to save our season," Chelsea captain Gary Cahill said. "I'm not saying we've had a magnificent season by any stretch. But we are used to winning, not in an arrogant way, but we have to try to win things." Conte's first cup final victory in coaching meant former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho finished his second season at United empty-handed, paying the price for an insipid first-half display and coming to life only after the break. United took until the 56th minute to register a shot on target when Marcus Rashford struck at goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who later rushed off his line to block the forward. United's deficiencies were encapsulated by another patchy performance from midfielder Paul Pogba, who squandered a late chance to equalize by heading wide. Mourinho, though, couldn't find any faults. "I don't think (Chelsea) deserved to win," said Mourinho, who won the League Cup and Europa League last year. "I am quite curious because if my team played like Chelsea did I can imagine what everyone would be saying." KNOW THE LAW Conte seemed unfamiliar with the 2016 change to the "triple punishment" law, reducing the type of incidents that result in a penalty kick, a red card and suspension. Conte remonstrated to the officials after Phil Jones was only booked, not sent off for bringing down Hazard for the penalty. Referee Michael Oliver was right because a "genuine attempt has been made to play the ball," as football laws state. MAN UNITED: WHAT NEXT? This was only Mourinho's third loss in 15 career cup finals and the first defeat in regulation time. Despite Mourinho being able to spend around 300 million pounds ($404 million) on players, the only progress he can point to is finishing second in the league for the club's highest finish since Alex Ferguson retired as a champion in 2013. More investment is required in the offseason, particularly to acquire fullbacks. Wingers Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia have been deployed there. CHELSEA: WHAT NEXT? The rapid turnover of managers hasn't prevented Chelsea from collecting trophies. It's now 15 in 15 years under Roman Abramovich's ownership. The Russian billionaire could well be searching for his 11th permanent manager if he decides to fire Conte with a year remaining on his contract. Chelsea's priority is finding a new striker, particularly if Hazard leaves, despite lacking the appeal of appearing in the Champions League. Chelsea failed to adequately replace Diego Costa last year, scoring 62 goals in the league compared to 85 in the previous title-winning campaign. MISSING The president of the Football Association wasn't available to present the FA Cup. Prince William had a more pressing engagement, serving as best man for brother Prince Harry in the lunchtime wedding to Meghan Markle at Windsor. Instead, the trophy was presented by Jackie Wilkins, the widow of former Chelsea and United midfielder Ray Wilkins, who died last month at the age of 61......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

Duterte opens Philippine National Games; 43 golds up today

President Duterte officially declared the Phl National Games open last night while encouraging participants to serve the country by inspiring younger generations to excel in their respective sporting fields......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 19th, 2018

Letran, Sky Cable Iloilo win Gov’s Cup openers

LETRAN Knights and Sky Cable Iloilo made emphatic debuts in the opening day of the Iloilo Governor’s Cup National Invitational Basketball Championships as they blasted their respective opponents at the Mina covered gym, May 17, 2018. The visiting Letran Knights easily disposed of Mapua Cardinals in the first game, 91-74. Jerrick Balanza provided the sparks […] The post Letran, Sky Cable Iloilo win Gov’s Cup openers appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

‘Moment of a lifetime’ in Cebu

CEBU City -- A spectacular opening ceremony patterned after the world-class Sinulog Festival awaits guests and participants in the 2018 Philippine National Games which kick.off this weekend. With no less President Duterte in attendance, the Sinulog-inspired opening ceremony will be participated in by close to 700 performers from all over….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

Duterte opens National Games in Cebu

President Duterte will officially usher in the ninth edition of the Philippine National Games today at the Cebu City Sports Center here with over 5,000 athletes, coaches and officials in attendance......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

UAAP: NU to make sweeeping changes in schedule for Season 81

UAAP Season 81 hosts National University has announced that there will be major changes in the upcoming season, in particular with the schedule of some sports.  According to Teodoro Ocampo, the incoming President of the Board of Trustees of the UAAP, the eight schools have decided to move some events, particularly Track and Field, Fencing, and Chess, and will see an earlier start, as they are scheduled to be moved to the first semester. Ocampo cited balance in the schedule of the league, which is divided in two semesters, with the first semester running from September to December, while the second semester runs from February to May.  While both semesters carry nine events, the board will look to move the shorter-length events like Track and Field and Fencing, which only lasts a few days. "May request ang other board members kung puwede i-move sa first semester," Teodoro said after the UAAP Season 80 closing ceremony at the FEU Auditorium in Manila.  As for Opening Day, NU's highest representative meanwhile said that the school is looking at a tentative September 8 date at the Mall of Asia Arena.  While FEU introduced 3x3 basketball and retained streetdance as exhibition events, the Bulldogs will be trying to bring back ballroom dancing, which was introduced in Season 79 by hosts University of Santo Tomas, but was temporarily scrapped by the Tamaraws.  In terms of the basketball tournament, the Bulldogs will introduce a rulebook, which was approved today by the Board, and its contents will be announced in the near future.  With the looming biennial SEA Games to be held in our country November 2019, and the Asian Games in Jakarta from late August to early September this year, Ocampo says the Board is yet to discuss possible conflict of schedules with the student-athletes.  Contrary to FEU announcing the theme "Go For Great" last year at the conclusion of Season 79 at UST's Plaza Mayor, the Bulldogs are still unsure of the theme, as they are still checking whether if their proposed theme will not be facing plagiarism issues like what FEU faced this season.  "Kasi mukhang ang Go For Great, some said it had been used na eh. But buti na lang they were able to justify it, yung FEU." When asked if the UAAP would follow suit with the NCAA on Tour introduced by NCAA Season 93 hosts San Sebastian last year, where schools would play in a home-and-away format in a school every Thursday, Ocampo answered on the negative, citing the Board's adamant stand on the topic, citing scheduling issues. "No, no, no. Not in the plans eh. It would be nice ano? Mukhang mahirap eh, because of their schedules in school. Mahirap eh." __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

PSC-Philspada National Para Games unwraps

Malaysian Asean Para Games gold medalists Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta and Josephine Medina banner the field in the sixth PSC-Philspada National Paralympic Games which gets going today at the Marikina Sports Park......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

BaliPure favored vs Iriga-Navy

Games today: (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4 p.m. -- Iriga-Navy vs. BaliPure 6:30 p.m. -- Petro Gazz vs. Tacloban PARADING a young, energetic crew from UAAP girls volleyball champion National University, BaliPure hopes to spring a surprise against Iriga-Navy, while Petro Gazz and Tacloban seek to bounce back from their….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Chris Paul, Houston Rockets take dominant step toward ultimate goal

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com SALT LAKE CITY — There is one more game to be played (at the very least) in this series, and it’ll be on the home court Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) when Houston will be in a celebratory mood. But be clear about this: the Jazz are no longer the barrier between the Rockets and the goal. They’re just standing in the way. There’s a difference. Getting rid of the overmatched yet naggingly persistent Jazz is all about keeping pace with the Warriors or perhaps staying one step ahead of the defending champs, nothing more or less. A long-anticipated Western Conference final, and perhaps a classic one, is impatiently waiting, and it’s in the Rockets’ best interest to settle their end of the bargain and if possible on the same night when the Warriors can do the same. And so, just a few hours after the Warriors went up 3-1 on the Pelicans in the other West semifinal, the Rockets did likewise Sunday (Monday, PHL time), using star power to overcome an otherwise blah performance. They only scored 100 points — a level that will certainly rise in the next round. Quite simply, they had James Harden and Chris Paul and Clint Capela when it counted and Utah did not. And speaking of Paul, he’s one win away from advancing beyond the second round for the first time in his otherwise respectable career. His anxiousness to kill that annoying demon was evident in the third quarter of Game 4, when he scored 11 of his 27 points while drilling the Jazz with mid-range jumpers, and the game flipped in Houston’s favor. “I’ve been here before, 3-1,” said Paul on post-game TV, his memory still sharp from blowing that lead while with the Clippers four years ago, coincidentally against Harden and the Rockets. “[Expletive] went bad real quick.” It also happened to be Paul’s birthday, and what more can a 33-year-old do to demonstrate that age is merely a number? “He was really big today," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I understand he has another birthday coming up Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).” It was a surreal night for Paul as well. While he was busy erasing the Jazz, his brother CJ Paul was being momentarily erased from the arena. CJ Paul, who handles much of his brother’s personal affairs, was escorted from his lower-level seat by arena security in the third quarter for shouting at referee James Williams. He was allowed back to his seat moments later and claimed to be a victim of mistaken identity. “They thought I said something that shouldn’t be printed,” said CJ, right after he took a post-game phone call from Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations. “Actually, it was a fan sitting next to me. I addressed the fan who said it. I told security what happened. After they let me back in, the security guy said, `By the way, James said it was definitely you that said that. He didn’t see you, but he heard you.’ What, you mean out of 20,000 people? What’s crazy is James reffed me when I was in college.” CJ Paul, who has never missed any of his brother’s playoff games, didn’t miss much during his brief departure in this one, either. The Rockets stayed in control, save for some teases by the Jazz, and this is where they stand, right on the cusp, right with the Warriors suddenly swelling in their windshield. Remember, the Rockets built their team and their season around overcoming the Warriors; the Jazz never came up in conversation. That’s why they added Paul last summer, and why Harden tweaked his isolation-dominant game to accommodate Paul, and why the rise of Capela is raising the possibility of Houston bringing a new Big Three in Golden State’s direction. That Houston won another game despite a toned-down offense and a vanishing three-point shot — they made just 26 percent Sunday (Monday, PHL time) and in the last three games are at 29 percent — is either an impressive or troublesome trend depending on your hot take. D’Antoni is playing up the former. “We haven’t shot well the whole series,” he said. “But there’s all different ways to win. We’re not strictly a jump-shooting team. Chris has got the midrange. James gets to the hole. You’ve got Clint down there. We’ve got a lot of other stuff we can go to.  The whole plan was to get that so we wouldn’t be a one-dimensional team.” “We’ll get to 100," D'Antoni added. "Anyway, if we do our part defensively, we have a real good shot to win.” Against the Jazz, does it really matter? Utah arrived this far on hard work and solid coaching and an otherworldly rookie, but those teams don’t travel deeper than this in the playoffs. Their lack of star appeal is flaring up and gradually costing them right now. They started a rookie, a guy cut by the Clippers, an undrafted free agent, a Celtics’ castoff and a center who can’t shoot. Also, Derrick Favors isn’t 100 percent and Ricky Rubio missed his third straight game with a bad hamstring. Then, in the third quarter, Dante Exum grabbed his hamstring and was done for the night, perhaps for the series. They’re playing with house money after losing their franchise guy, Gordon Hayward, to free agency last summer. They won 48 games, had winning streaks of 11, nine and six after Jan. 22, grabbed the No. 5 seed and probably sent Paul George plotting an exit strategy from Oklahoma City after beating the Thunder in the first round. Then they stole a game from the No. 1 seed in the West, in Houston no less. What’s not to like? And yet, reality is settling in Utah like the famous bronze sunsets in the Wasatch Valley. Joe Ingles shocked the Rockets with 27 points in the Game 2 win; he totaled 21 points the next two. Exum was a national talking point for 48 hours after becoming a Harden Stopper in Game 2, but his 15 minutes quickly evaporated, and now he has the sore hammy. Mitchell had one insane quarter when the series shifted to Utah — his 13 points in the third quarter Sunday. Otherwise, not much else. Their plight was cruelly spelled out in a few sequences in Game 4. Mitchell stripped Harden and drove for a layup but couldn’t convert. Ingles broke Capela’s ankles on a step-back jumper but missed the three. Rudy Gobert took a pass and drove the lane... and Capela swooped from nowhere and rejected him. That was one of Capela’s six blocks (to go with 15 rebounds), and he influenced roughly a dozen others. “Donovan drove the lane and saw Clint and decided to pass, and that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet,” said Paul. “There was a lot of that.” Harden had issues once again against Utah after opening the series with 41 points. He shot poorly from deep, missing 6-of-7, and coughed up eight turnovers and couldn’t take control of Game 4. That left the savior role to Paul. Such is the luxury the Rockets have this season; when one superstar is handcuffed, the other is released. Paul was the best player on the floor if not the most efficient. In 35 minutes he had just one turnover, and in addition to scoring, he chipped in with 12 rebounds and six assists. “He was extremely aggressive tonight, which is what we needed,” Harden said. And why not? Paul can smell the next round and a chance, once and for all, to change the narrative with regards to his playoff history, which is an awkward fit with the rest of his playing history. When that was brought up to Paul, Harden respectfully interjected, “He’s not thinking about that. We got a game Tuesday and we’ll do whatever we can to close it out.” Paul laughed. “We’re not going to give up,” he confirmed. There’s no reason for that. The Rockets are suddenly on the verge — where they thought they’d be all along. The Western Conference Finals are tapping Paul and the Rockets on the shoulder and reminding them of their season-long mission statement, and the Rockets are very much OK with that. “We didn’t come this far,” said Harden, “just to be up 3-1 in this series.” No, not this one. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018

Top teams to compete in Bingawan cage tourney

A TOTAL of 12 teams across the country will join the 2nd Season of Bingawan’s Foundation Cup-National Preseason High School Basketball Premier Tournament in Bingawan, Iloilo in June 2018. The week-long sporting event is in line with the celebration of Bingawan Foundation Day and Pagnahi-an Festival. Among the teams to see action in the second […] The post Top teams to compete in Bingawan cage tourney appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2018

NOFA U-13 Cup kicks off today

FOOTBALL teams across the country are set to compete in the week-long 3rd Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) Under 13 Invitational Cup which starts today, May 2, 2018, at the Sta. Maria Football Field in Talisay City. The football games, which will run until May 5, will feature powerhouse football teams from Luzon, Visayas, and […] The post NOFA U-13 Cup kicks off today appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsMay 1st, 2018

BIRON CUP 2018: Sara, San Dionisio enjoy spotless record in cage tilt

THE men’s basketball teams of Sara and San Dionisio, Iloilo continue to pace Group A the ongoing 2018 Biron Cup Inter-municipality basketball tournament with six wins in as much games. Defending champion Sara Warriors blasted Barotac Viejo, 79-75, at the latter’s covered court on April 28. If it’s any consolation for Barotac Viejo, the four-point […] The post BIRON CUP 2018: Sara, San Dionisio enjoy spotless record in cage tilt appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018