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Meralco's slow and painful All-Filipino growth

After a six-game, mid-conference meltdown almost totally destroyed their playoff hopes, the Meralco Bolts somehow found a way to keep themselves alive in the 2017 Philippine Cup. They did so by upsetting the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Friday, a win that not only let them regain confindence and remain in the playoff race, but also affirmed that the team is on the right track in a slow, painful growing process. 'I think that's what we showed today, a great team effort. It's just great for the morale of the team to finally get a win, finally get that monkey off our back and know we're doing something right,' second-year forward Chris Newsome said following Meralco's 82-72 victory. 'We already got two wins more than our previous Philippine Cup so I think we're slowly improving,' he added, going back to the fact that the Bolts finished with an embarassing 1-10 record in the same tournament last season. Meralco is still limping with a 3-7 mark this year and the team's playoff hopes almost entirely depends on other teams blowing away their own opportunities to advance but Newsome says that's the least of Meralco's concern right now. The reigning Rookie of the Year emphasized growth on the side of the Bolts and just going for what the team can actually control. And part of the things the team can control is their last regular season game against Star which if they win, should at least give them a better chance to sneak into the playoffs. 'It's a long season so we don't just wanna shut down and let everything that we've done go to waste,' Newsome said who finished with a game-high 19 points vs. ROS. 'The mindset is to control what we can control. The only thing that we're in control of right now is winning our last game against Star and everything else is kinda out of our hands. We just gotta hope for the best situation. We just gotta focus on what we can control and that's our effort in practice and attention to detail when it comes to games,' he added. With Jimmy Alapag retired and Jared Dillinger just returning from a hamstring injury he suffered late last season, Meralco has mostly relied on its young core so far in the All-Filipino. This latest victory, despite the string of defeats that came before it, was a nice boost for the squad that has kept things together pretty nicely this year. 'It's really big for us because the mood in the locker room is pretty heavy whenever you're losing, especially six straight games,' Newsome said. 'We try to stay positive and we really have nothing to lose and everything to gain, that's kinda the approach that we took today,' he added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Kerr keeps Warriors winning with yoga, creative approach

em>By Janie McCauley, Associated Press /em> OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Anderson Varejao lowered his 6-foot-11 frame into a runner's lunge and raised one arm high into the air to add a twist, demonstrating after a recent shootaround the new yoga pose he just learned. Then, he took it up a notch and attempted an airplane balancing pose on one leg with his arms spread wide. The Golden State Warriors have become yogis. Coach Steve Kerr is committed to changing things up, and he gave Golden State a day off from the practice floor one day last week so the players could practice yoga instead. In the middle of a prolonged stretch at home with a more regular routine, the schedule allowed for some improvising. 'I really liked it,' Varejao said. 'I'm going to do more.' Doubt you'll see Draymond Green or Klay Thompson doing downward-facing dog again soon — though Green might be talked into another try eventually. 'I'm bad,' Green said. 'Yoga isn't for everybody. I think it's a great thing, I just don't think my body is made for all of those different positions. I did well at a few of them. It's hard, it's tough. My body really isn't cut out for yoga.' The very next night after the group class, during warmups for a home game with the Pistons, player development coach Bruce Fraser pulled his foot to his opposite inner thigh for an impromptu tree pose. He laughed as an amused Shaun Livingston watched from the baseline. Andre Iguodala is an experienced yogi who can really cat-cow and is considered top on the team, often taking classes. Center Zaza Pachulia also can forward fold with the best of them. They took prominent positions in the class led by Lisa Goodwin, Golden State's director of corporate communications and also a yoga teacher, at a Berkeley studio — a first for Kerr taking the team away from team headquarters for a yoga session. No surprise, two-time reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry can bring it on the mat, too. 'We've had some optional yoga sessions at our facility. This is the first time we took everybody and made it mandatory,' Kerr said. 'It was good.' The temperature was about 92 degrees for the hour-long power vinyasa class, so it was steamy. Everybody was drenched in sweat by the end for final resting pose, or savasana. 'My muscles felt good,' forward James Michael McAdoo said, rubbing his stomach where his core got a workout. 'It was fun. It was hot in there, like working in a sauna. I told our strength and conditioning coach, 'You got to step up your game. Lisa embarrassed us.'' 'It's awful, it's pitiful,' Thompson said of his own yoga ability. 'It's something I worked on and it's something I actually enjoy. More than just being physically challenging, it's an incredible mental workout. It tests your pain tolerance and your ability to push yourself mentally. That's why I like it. It was really good. I think it helped a lot of us — everybody, even the coaches.' Along with the experienced yoga veterans, there were some first-timers. A few found it extremely tough. 'I'm not the most flexible,' acknowledged player development coach Chris DeMarco. Assistant coach Mike Brown described his debut as 'terrible.' 'For me, it was really hard, but it was fun,' he said, later adding, 'I nearly passed out.' Ron Adams, another assistant who focuses on preparing Golden State's defense, happened to work out in the hottest corner of the room for his first time practicing in that high temperature. 'It's such a cleansing exercise,' he said. The Warriors aren't the only ones doing it. Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy has scheduled yoga time for the Pistons, saying: 'It's got its value, no question about it. Would I consider doing it with them? Probably not.' Kerr goes whenever he can fit it in, typically taking an hour-long class during the lunch hour on game days when the schedule — and his body — allows. It's a time he can focus on taking some deep breaths, literally, away from the pressure-packed NBA workload and just be just another yoga student for 60 minutes out of his day. This weekend marks one year since Kerr formally returned to the bench last Jan. 22 against Indiana after a lengthy leave of absence to deal with complications from a pair of back surgeries. Current Lakers coach Luke Walton led the way during a record 24-0 start and went 39-4 before Kerr's comeback on the way to winning Coach of the Year after an NBA record 73-9 finish. While the 51-year-old Kerr still has some discouraging, physically challenging moments dealing with pain and headaches, he considers himself fortunate to be on the sideline doing what he loves. 'I guess normal is a good way to say it. He seems like his old self,' Curry said. 'You know he's been through a lot just physically trying to recover from the surgeries he's had. I can't imagine the frustration, how long it took and things he had to do and all the doctors he's met with. His whole story is crazy. We're obviously happy to have him back but not only that, you see him with energy and his presence like he wants. It's been good to see.' Whether Kerr will take his team back to yoga any time soon, time will tell. The Warriors are at the season's midway point and the 'dog days' of January as Kerr has put it. Golden State was home for all but a night from Dec. 26 until leaving for Houston on Thursday for Friday's game against the Rockets, with just a quick bus ride to Sacramento as the lone road trip in a 10-game stretch during that span. Because there was so much time to practice, the yoga day was a nice change of scenery. 'Just to get away and go do something else,' Green said. 'We're still together doing something productive. But, it's not for me.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Lionesses secure semis spot playoff

San Beda College played with fire and almost got itself burned but the Lionesses regrouped just in time to turn back the feisty Mapua Lady Cardinals, 25-16, 25-15, 22-25, 20-25, 15-9, Friday to secure at least a playoff for a semis berth in the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament. The Lionesses dodged an upset at The Arena in San Juan to improve to 6-3 win-loss record which equaled the college’s best finish back in 2014 when San Beda was then led by Frances Molina and Janine Marciano. Francesca Racraquin, who suffered muscle spasms on her left abdomen after the game, finished with 16 points while Satrianni Espiritu had 13 for the Mendiola-based squad. “Masaya kami nakapasok kami sa playoff pero mas masaya kami kung nasa Final Four na kami,” said SBC head coach Nemesio Gavino. The mentor fielded his second stringers in the third set pulling some of his starters with San Beda ahead in the match 2-0. But the Lady Cardinals, hungry for a taste of victory, took advantage of the Lionesses’ gamble with Patricia Pena, Dianne Latayan and Danielle Ramilo leading the way to steal the third frame. Smelling blood, Mapua raced to a 21-17 lead in the fourth set and never looked back to force a decider. San Beda with their season on the line fought back to build an 8-3 lead only to see Mapua close the gap, 11-9, in the fifth set. Racraquin sparked the Lionesses closing rally with an off the block kill to finish off the Lady Cardinals, who closed their season without a win. “Gusto ko rin kasi sana bigyan ang second stringers ko ng kompiyansa kasi hindi naman pwedeng sa first six lang umasa ang team ko eh. Tulad nga nu’ng nangyari kay Cesca kailangan talagang ilabas kasi pagod na,” said Gavino. “Nu’ng dumating ang fifth set sinabi ko sa kanila na kalimutan na ang lahat ng set mag-focus na lang sa last set para mawala lahat ng frustrations kasi nakatanbla sila eh,” he added. Pena had 13 points while Latayan and Ramilo each had 10 markers for the Intramuros-based squad. In men’s play, San Beda completed the Final Four roster by eliminating Mapua, 22-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-13. The Red Lions finished the elims with a 7-2 card and secured at least a playoff for a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage, while sending the Cardinals packing with a 5-4 mark. SBC joined College of St. Benilde (7-1), Arellano University (6-2) and defending champion Perpetual Help (6-1), who is playing also ran Jose Rizal University as of posting time, in the Final Four.           ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles            .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Bullpups shut down Jr. Archers anew for share of first

strong>TEAM STANDINGS /strong> br /> Adamson 8-1 br /> NU 8-1 br /> FEU-Diliman 7-2 br /> Ateneo 5-4 br /> UPIS 3-6 br /> DLSZ 2-7 br /> UST 2-7 br /> UE 1-8 For the second time in a row in the UAAP 79 Juniors Basketball Tournament, John Lloyd Clemente and Rhayyan Amsali were missing their shooting stroke. Also for the second time in a row, however, the Nazareth School of National University’s other guys showed the way to victory. This time around, it was Winderlich Coyoca and Karl Penano who did the heavy lifting as the Bullpups re-asserted their mastery over De La Salle Zobel, 63-52, at the San Juan Arena, Tuesday. With Clemente only making good on one out of his dozen attempts and Amsali falling short in making his presence felt, the defending champions found themselves in a close contest with their runners-up from a year ago. The Junior Archers were only behind by three after three quarters only to see NU tighten the noose on defense and only allow nine points in the final frame. At the other end, Coyoca and Penano scored six points apiece to outscore their opponents by themselves, 12-9. Coyoca, a revelation at the offensive end this season, wound up with 12 points and eight rebounds while Penano added 12 markers of his own off the bench. This more than made up for the continued struggles of Clemente and Amsali who only combined for 14 points and 14 rebounds. Even with their top guns misfiring, the Bullpups had more than enough to register their eighth win in nine games – tying season-long league-leaders Adamson High School atop the leaderboard. On the other hand, DLSZ dropped to 2-7 and finds itself in graver danger of missing the playoffs a year after its runner-up finish. Meanwhile, Far Eastern University-Diliman remained entrenched at third after making quick work of University of the East, 94-51. Seldom-used Karl Baclay topped the scoring column with 15 points as the Baby Tamaraws improved to 7-2. The loss sent the Junior Warriors to 1-8. BOX SCORES THIRD GAME FEU-DILIMAN 94 – Baclay 15, Torres 12, Gonzales 12, Bieren 9, Roman 8, Celzo 8, Gabane 6, Alforque Roy 5, Gloria 4, Sapinit 4, Alforque Ram 3, Boc 2, Sevilla 2, Abarrientos 2, Mariano 2, Jabel 0 UE 51 – Vinte 13, Dulalia 10, Manaug 8, Cruz 7, Acuesta 4, Balundo 4, Gonzales 3, Angeles 2, Ramos 0, Po 0, Domingo 0, Encelan 0, Canton 0 QUARTER SCORES: 18-10, 46-23, 77-38, 94-51 FOURTH GAME NU 63 – Coyoca 13, Penano 12, Clemente 7, Amsali 7, Malonzo 6, Fortea 5, Manalang 4, Sarip 4, Callejo 3, Atienza 2, Tolentino 0, Peralta 0, Dela Cruz 0, Pangilinan 0, Mosqueda 0 DLSZ 52 – Romero 8, Mariano 8, Sobrevega 7, Natividad 6, Vista 5, Chavez 5, Laurente 4, Cosejo 4, Cortez 3, Carlos 2, Diaz 0, Vesagas 0, Umali 0, Terrado 0, Damiles 0 QUARTER SCORES: 17-13, 30-24, 46-43, 63-52 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

Danger matches Tuesday for Djokovic, Williams at Aussie Open

DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Not much room for error: six-time Australian Open champions Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic face tougher-than expected first-round matches on Tuesday. Both are chasing records at Melbourne Park, where Williams is hoping to set an Open-era record by winning her 23rd Grand Slam title and Djokovic is striving to be the first man to win the Australian title seven times. Williams, who lost to Angelique Kerber in last year's final, has drawn Belinda Bencic, who was seeded 12th here last year and who beat her in Toronto in 2015. Their career record is 1-1, with Williams having beaten Bencic on clay at Madrid in 2014. Bencic advanced to the fourth round at Melbourne Park last year. 'I think it will be good for us both,' Williams said. 'She's done well here before. It's never easy for me. I didn't come here to lose in the first round, or the second round, or at all. If I can play the way I've been practicing, it will be fine.' Djokovic, meanwhile, faces veteran Fernando Verdasco, a man he's beaten nine times in 13 career meetings. Verdasco had an upset win over fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal last year in the first round. 'Fernando is a very complete player on any surface. In a given day, if things go right, he can beat really anybody on any surface,' Djokovic said. He's not overwhelmed by the occasion of playing on center court. I'm expecting a tough one, there's no doubt about it.' ___ BENCIC IS PUMPED: Bencic has a 9-2 record in first-round Grand Slam matches. Bencic found out about her first-round opponent when, she admitted, 'my Twitter was blowing up. I was like, What's going on? My first reaction was really happy. So I think I'm super pumped, like excited I get to play on the big court.' She thinks it's anything but back luck that she drew Williams: 'I think we're going to play on the big court. It's a big match ... it's what everyone's working for.' Williams has Bencic's record in first-round majors covered, and then some. She's 64-1 in Grand Slam first-round matches, her lone opening-round loss at a Grand Slam came at 2012 Roland Garros against Virginie Razzano. ______ RAFA READY: Rafael Nadal is coming off two lengthy injury layoffs last year, and his match on Rod Laver Arena against Florian Mayer will be the first between the pair since 2012, when Nadal won on clay at Rome. Mayer beat Nadal on hard courts at Shanghai in 2011. Nadal has reached the second round or better in all but one of his 12 previous trips to Melbourne Park — the one failure coming last year when he lost to Verdasco in the first round. Mayer is hoping to end a seven-match losing streak at the majors and record his first Grand Slam match win since he reached the round of 16 here in 2014. ___ CAN KONTA DO IT AGAIN?: Last year, Sydney-born Johanna Konta was a surprise semifinalist at Melbourne Park, and the British player is now in the top 10 and coming off a victory in the Sydney International last week, where she overwhelmed third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the final. She'll play Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium to open the day session on Margaret Court Arena. 'I played her (Flipkens) last year in Monterrey, she beat me there. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to play her again. She's a great player. She's a Wimbledon semifinalist (2013). She's been around the tour for a long time. That's by no accident.' Konta has won only five of her 12 first-round Grand Slam matches. ___ RAONIC FAVORED: Last year's semifinalist and No. 3-seeded Milos Raonic plays Dustin Brown of Germany in the second match on Margaret Court. Brown has never won a match at Melbourne Park, and he's only beaten a top 10 player once in a Grand Slam. Advantage to the Canadian. They have played once before, when Raonic beat Brown in the first round at last year's U.S. Open. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

Former pro wrestler Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka dies at 73

RON TODT, Associated Press   PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former pro wrestler Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, who earlier this month was found not competent to stand trial in the 1983 death of his girlfriend, has died at his son-in-law's home in Florida. He was 73. Attorney Robert Kirwan II said Snuka was taken Sunday to the home near Pompano Beach so that he could spend his last moments there. The family informed him shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday to say he had died, Kirwan said. Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach on Jan. 3 dismissed the murder case against the retired WWE star after the defense said he had dementia, was in hospice care in Florida and had six months to live. Snuka's daughter, Tamina Snuka, also a WWE wrestler, tweeted Sunday afternoon: 'I LOVE YOU DAD' with a hashtag 'RestWell. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, also a WWE star, called it 'sad news' in a post on his Twitter page. Snuka was charged in 2015 with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Nancy Argentino, whose body was found more than three decades earlier in their Whitehall Township hotel room. Prosecutors allege she was beaten, while Snuka maintained she died from a fall. Authorities reopened the investigation after The Morning Call newspaper raised questions about the case in 2013. Banach had first ruled last summer that Snuka was not competent to stand trial after his attorney argued the ex-athlete suffers from dementia, partly due to the head trauma sustained over a long career in the ring. Prosecutors countered that Snuka's brain shows normal signs of aging and suggested he might be feigning symptoms. At a hearing last month to re-evaluate Snuka's mental fitness, Snuka's wife told the judge that the family struggles to keep him from leaving home during bouts of psychosis in which he thinks he's late for a wrestling match. Banach then took time to review Snuka's medical records before ruling. Kirwan said Snuka died 'due to complications from his ongoing medical problems.' 'The family is simply heartbroken. It's been a long journey,' he said. 'They are grateful to the judge for dismissing the charges against him.' Snuka wrote about Argentino's death in his 2012 autobiography, maintaining his innocence and saying the episode had ruined his life. 'Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true,' he wrote. 'This has been very hard on me and very hard on my family. To this day, I get nasty notes and threats. It hurts. I never hit Nancy or threatened her.' Kirwan said that he believes his client's name will eventually be cleared. Snuka, a native of Fiji who previously lived in Camden County, New Jersey, was known on the wrestling circuit for diving from the ropes and even the top of steel cages in a career that spanned decades. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

Sumang slowly finding his niche in the PBA

After starring for the University of the East Red Warriors in the UAAP, Roi Sumang has struggled to find his niche in the PBA. But playing for Blackwater in his second pro season, it looks like Sumang has found a perfect fit with the Elite, making the most of his limited time as a sparkplug off the bench. However, Sumang made a case for himself Sunday after playing his best game of the year against the veteran Alaska Aces. The Tondo baller exploded for 17 points in the second half, spearheading Blackwater's offense that went on to score a 103-100 upset. Most impressive about Sumang's performance was 10 of his 19 total points came in the fourth quarter. Six of those 10 came in the last 1:21 of the game. While he's only been fielded in half of Blackwater's games so far this season, Elite head coach Leo Austria sure knows what he's getting from Sumang. 'He's Roi Sumang. Alam naman natin kung ano pwede niyang gawin,' he said. 'You can backtrack to his collegiate days at UE. Tiyempo-tiyempo lang. We're still stikcing to our rule of whoever performs well gets rewarded with extra minutes and true to his performance, he was able to really showcase his talent again,' he added. As for Roi himself, it was just a matter of repaying his coach. 'Coming off the bench, yun lang naman sina sabi nila coach eh. Kung ano lang yung gusto nila mangyari, yun lang ginagawa namin,' Sumang said. br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

After sending size 17 shoes, Fajardo willing to work with Ethan Kirkness

With local shops usually only serving up to a size 15, June Mar Fajardo sure knows that it's a struggle trying to scoop up shoes that fit his feet here in the Philippines. So when he found out that Ethan Kirkness was also having trouble with the most basic of his basketball needs, the reigning three-time PBA Most Valuable Player came through with not just one, not two, not three, but four pairs of size 17 kicks for the Batang Gilas prospect to use. 'Wala siyang sapatos eh, nagkataon na same size kami. Madami naman akong extra, wala naman susunod sa akin yung kapatid ko maliit naman yung paa. Mabuti mapakinabangan,' Fajardo said on the reason behind his gesture. Kirkness, the 14-year-old FIl-Australian behemoth who already stands at 6'9', is in the country for a six-week training program with Batang Gilas. He received the shoes on Thursday and was on deck Friday to meet the Kraken and watch San Miguel battle Rain or Shine at the MOA Arena. He was already rocking the blue and red pair of Air Force 1s Fajardo sent him. Seeing himself in young Ethan, Fajardo shares the difficulties Kirkness experiences when it comes to shoes, practically the most essential gear a basketball player needs. Before he was able to buy shoes from the websites of American retailers like Eastbay and Footlocker, the Kraken had to rely to the good hearts of several University of Cebu alumni to send him shoes back in college. 'Dati naman wala akong sapatos, nahihirapan din ako maghanap. Yung mga nagbibigay sakin nung nasa college ako, galing States pinapadala ng mga alumni sa UC. Di ko nga tinatapon yun eh, nasa 30 plus na sapatos nasa bahay,' Fajardo shares. And with him having the opportunity to basically do the same for what many are touting as the future of Philippine basketball, June Mar jumped on the opportunity. 'Pinapahalagahan ko talaga yung mga binibigay sakin tapos ngayon, ako yung may chance na magbigay, bakit hindi di ba, may extra naman ako,' he added. Aside from shoes, Fajardo is also willing to work out with Kirkness if and when the teenager decides to relocate to the Philippines. 'Magpapaturo kaming dalawa, sabay na lang kami. Kailangan ko din mag-improve,' the Kraken said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

Mr. Clutch or Mr. Automatic?

Call him Mr. Clutch or Mr. Automatic, either way, Alex Cabagnot will get it done if San Miguel needs him to make a crucial basket. He's done it many times before and he did again for the Beermen Friday, forcing overtime against Rain or Shine with one second to go in regulation, capping a bizarre sequence that saw the two-time defending Philippine Cup champs forgetting how to call timeout even if they still had two left. 'That's why I'm on the floor so I think that'll be a hindrance if I don't do that for the team,' Cabagnot sait following San Miguel's 107-101 victory over ROS. 'The team trusted me to do [take that crucial shot] and I just have to take full responsibilty for that,' he added. Thanks to Cabagnot's heroics, San Miguel has now won seven games in a row for a league-best 8-1 mark. With a quarterfinal slot already in the bag, the Beermen are not expected to drop to lower than second place especiall with the way they are playing and with two games to go in their schedule. But with those two games spread over the next two weeks, Mr. Clutch, or Mr. Automatic, whichever name you prefer, would like that champs to keep their focus. 'I think there's a 90 percent chance for us making it [as solo No. 1],' Cabagnot said. 'We'll just gonna try not to create bad habits in the last two games. It's a long layover, we'll just continue to play fundamentally,' he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

Romeo in the middle of Globalport's maturation process

Terrence Romeo is in the middle of the ongoing maturity of Globalport as a team in 2017. Since they suffered a 26-point fourth quarter collapse to Phoenix late last year, the Batang Pier have won back-to-back games, playing well enough in crunch time to hold on for victories even if they still have a tendency to let go of big leads. It's a lesson they would probably take for the rest of their careers. 'Tumatak yun, kasi parang isa yata yun sa biggest comeback eh,' said Terrence Romeo and he's absolutely right as the Phoenix rally was the biggest fourth-quarter miracle in a decade. 'Dapat di na mangyari yun,' he added. In order to not let that sort of thing happen again, Romeo is leading by example for Globalport as the dynamic guard out of FEU has slowly learned to pick his spots in games. Sure, he's still scoring an insane amount of points (27.6 points per game after Friday's 32-point effort), but the Bro is timing his scoring explosions effectively. Romeo scored a season-high 22 points in the first half against the Road Warriors, setting the tone early for Globalport. He then took a backseat in the third perid and allowed runningmate Stanley Pringle do his thing. But when NLEX cut a once 21-point lead to eight in the fourth and final quarter, it was Romeo that put the finishing touches for the Batang Pier, scoring another seven points for good measure. 'Natutunan ko yun nung mga last games ko,' Romeo admits. 'Pagka first half okay laro ko, pagdating ng third and fourth pag pinilit ko pa rin na ako pa rin, masyadong nakatutok sakin yung depensa. Ginawa ko nag spot up lang ako, hinayaan ko sila maglaro.' 'Pero pag tingin ko naman na kailangan nila ako, kukunin ko din ang bola at didiskarte din ako,' he added. Aside from managing his scoring opportunities, part of Romeo and Globalport's maturation process is not to get excited over one big win. With a chance to go for the top-2 spots in the All-Filipino and a matchup against the mighty San Miguel Beer on the horizon, the Batang Pier remain all business. 'Kailangan wag namin isipin yung panalo namin dito, hindi naman sa minamaliit namin yung NLEX pero kailangan yung goal namin is mapunta dun sa number one or number two so hindi kami pwede matuwa dahil natalo namin NLEX. Kumbaga after one day celebration, next day back to focus na kami,' Romeo said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Philippine Cup ghost continues to haunt Meralco

The ghost of the Philippine Cup has come back to haunt Meralco for the second straight season. After faulty effort against Mahindra, the Bolts have now lost five straight games in the All-Filipino, dropping them to last place with a 2-6 mark. This performance comes after Meralco finished 1-10 in the very same conference last season. Naturally, frustration is starting to creep into the franchise. However, the Bolts are not about to be consumed by the dark side just yet. 'Part of the game yun, natalo. Ngayon kailangan namin mag-effort every game lalo on defense,' veteran Reynel Hugnatan said who led the squad with 28 points vs. the Floodbuster. 'Pag natalo ka, lahat ng mali nandun. Try namin mag-focus sa next game,' he added. Fresh from making the Finals in the Governors' Cup, Hugnatan couldn't quite figure out what's wrong every time Meralco plays in a conference featuring only Filipino players. 'Ewan ko, di ko masagot eh. Lahat naman sa practice nakikita ko na parang lahat nagwo-work har. Pagdating sa game ewan ko ano nangyayari,' he said. With three games left in their schedule though, the Bolts' sole focus now is try and sneak into the playoffs as one of the lower seeds. 'I think we have a chance pa. Kaya di namin iniisip kung ano pa mangyayaru basta kami trabaho lang,' Hugnatan said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

Yee maintains he didn't mean no harm on Amer after Flagrant 2 call

There was an incident in the second quarter of the Mahindra-Meralco game Wednesday and it saw Bolts point guard Baser Amer writhing in pain. On a 2-on-1 fastbreak situation, Amer appeared to land on the foot of Mahindra forward Mark Yee after going for a layup. Yee was later ejected after a flagrant foul penalty 2. As for Amer, it took him a while to get up but he did managed to make his free throws and finish the game. Known for being a bruiser for the duration of his pro basketball career, Yee maintained that he meant no harm towards the young Meralco floor general. 'Wala [bad intentions], kasi hindi ko naman siya nakita eh,' he said after Mahindra's 105-92 victory. 'Pinasa sa kanya ni Reynel [Hugnatan] kaya wala naman ako magagawa dun kundi tatayo, kunin yung bola para i-inbound, kaso nga lang pasugod siya sa akin kaya bumagsak siya sa akin,' he added. Despite the unfortunate incident that would probably mean a fine on his part, Yee did found a silver lining at the end of the day. With the Floodbuster winning, Yee gets to shoulder some of the cost of his penalty thanks to a game bonus most probably. 'Unang-una, nabawasan yung pambayad sa fine, kasi malaki yun eh,' Yee said. 'Sobrang laki ng fine nun, baka wala pa sa one-fourth nung fine yung bonus eh. Maghahanap pa ng pambayad sa fina, bawas sa sahod na naman yun. Walang magagawa kasama sa laro. Ganun talaga ang buhay,' he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

In game and in career, Paniamogan just kept shooting

A high-scoring guard reared in the Jose Rizal University tradition of high-scoring guards, Philip Paniamogan already had the most notable strength to make it into the PBA. Picked up in 2014 by a Globalport team that itself had a glut of high-scoring guards, however, Paniamogan had no space to showcase that most notable strength. And so, the Cagayan de Oro native found himself sailing away from the Batang Pier after only a couple of conferences. Fast forward one year and Paniamogan is back with a vengeance in Asia’s first pay-for-play league. Erupting for a career-best 25 points by making good on all but two of his field goals on Wednesday, he shot Mahindra to only its second win in the season. As it turns out, the now 25-year-old had the green light from coach Chris Gavina. “Sabi kasi ni coach sa amin, kung sino yung mainit, suportahan namin. E nung naka-shoot ako ng three points, sinunod-sunod ko na,” he shared. He then continued, “Sabi nila tumira e so may lisensya na ako. Kaya ayun, tinira ko and sumu-shoot naman.” Gavina was nothing but glad to have given the green light to his surprising star for the game. “He came up big today, but honestly, I really saw it coming from Christmas day. Even during the break, he was one of the guys who was keeping on working,” he said. For Paniamogan, of course, the breakout was made all the more special after all he had gone through. “Siyempre, ang hirap lalo kapag pabalik-balik sa PBA, pero ‘di naman ako nawalan ng pag-asa. Dasal lang talaga panlaban ko,” he expressed. After his time with Globalport, the former Heavy Bomber went back to the PBA D-League with Racal. He then played there for majority of last year before a rebuilding Floodbuster squad came calling in the offseason. Still, nothing was assured to him then. As he put it, “Sabi ko nun, wala namang mawawala pag nagsikap e. Kaya nung tinawagan ako, binigay ko lahat ng best ko, lahat ng maitutulong ko.” He then continued, “Buti naman nagkaroon sila ng tiwala sa akin dahan-dahan. Kaya sobra-sobrang pasasalamat ko sa kanila.” Now he has busted out, Paniamogan still isn’t looking that too far ahead. “Tignan natin kasi ‘di ko naman madikta na sakin na lahat next game. As of now, ako yung nag-init so thankful lang ako dun na nagtiwala sila sa akin,” he expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

Higuain helps Juventus to record 26th straight home win

ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer   ROME (AP) — It's no coincidence that Juventus has won Serie A every season since the Juventus Stadium opened in September 2011. The Bianconeri have been virtually unbeatable in the Italian league's only major club-owned stadium and improved on their own Serie A record with a 26th consecutive home win Sunday. Gonzalo Higuain scored his fourth brace of the season as Juventus beat Bologna 3-0. Juventus held the previous record of 25 straight home wins, established at the stadium between 2013 and 2015. The current streak began against Bologna on Oct. 24, 2015, and Bologna never really had a chance to prevent the latest record. Higuain opened the scoring with a volley from a lobbed pass from Miralem Pjanic seven minutes in, Paulo Dybala added a penalty before the break and then Higuain headed in another early in the second half. Juventus, which still has a game in hand, restored its four-point lead over Roma, which beat Genoa 1-0 earlier. ___ ROMAN VICTORIES Roma finally found a way to win away from home — with an own goal. Armando Izzo redirected a cross from Bruno Peres into his own net in the first half as Roma won 1-0 at Genoa for its first victory away from the Stadio Olimpico since October. Roma has won all nine of its home matches, while its away record now reads four wins, two draws and four losses. 'It's a big win. This is a tough league and we've faced some difficult opponents,' Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. 'If we had won all of our away matches, too, we would be champions of Italy by now.' Roma's last win outside the capital had been a 3-1 victory over Sassuolo on Oct. 26 in Reggio Emilia. The Giallorossi also beat Lazio 2-0 in the Rome derby early last month when they were technically the visitors. Roma forward Edin Dzeko hit the post near the hour mark, the fourth time the Bosnia and Herzegovina striker has found the woodwork this season — more than any other player in the league. Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny preserved the win with a difficult save on a shot from beyond the area by Lucas Ocampos in stoppage time. 'For Genoa, I think in 38 matches they won't play one that's not physical. Because that's the type of football they play — very aggressive, man against man,' De Rossi said. 'We needed to put our work boots on and we did.' Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin tore his ACL early on and will miss the rest of the season. Lazio also won 1-0, over struggling Crotone with a last-minute goal from Ciro Immobile after Lucas Biglia hit the crossbar with a penalty in the first half. Lazio is fourth, one point behind third-placed Napoli, which beat Sampdoria 2-1 on Saturday. ___ MILAN CLUBS WIN Fresh off its Italian Super Cup win over Juventus, fifth-placed AC Milan needed a late goal to beat visiting Cagliari 1-0. Carlos Bacca scored from close range two minutes from the end after being set up by Gianluca Lapadula. Cagliari ended with 10 men when Bruno Alves was sent off for pulling down Bacca just outside the area to prevent a clear scoring opportunity in added time. Earlier, Ivan Perisic scored twice and seventh-placed Inter Milan came from a goal down to beat Udinese 2-1 and win its fourth straight game. Perisic equalized in first-half added time, slotting a shot inside the near post after receiving a pass from Mauro Icardi, then headed in from a free kick three minutes from the end. It was the first brace in Serie A for Perisic, a Croatia international who joined Inter from Wolfsburg in 2015. Jakub Jankto, a 20-year-old Czech midfielder, had put Udinese ahead early in the first half after being set up by French talent Seko Fofana. ___ OTHER MATCHES: Atalanta revived its chances of finishing in the Europa League spots with a convincing 4-1 win at Chievo Verona. Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez scored twice for Atalanta, with Andrea Conti and Remo Freuler also finding the target for the Bergamo club. Sergio Pellissier's goal for Chievo temporarily made it 3-1. Domenico Berardi returned from a long injury layoff for Sassuolo in a 0-0 draw with Torino. The Pescara-Fiorentina match was postponed due to too much snow and ice inside and around the Stadio Adriatico. ___ Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2017

NLEX comes "home" to ambush KaTropa

The answer to NLEX's struggles, at least to the team's horrible five-game losing skid, was found at 'home.' Travelling to the home province of head coach Yeng Guiao, the Road Warriors rode a solid second half to pummel sister team TNT, 110-98, Saturday in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Gym in Angeles, Pampanga. In trouble after the KaTropa erased a 12-point deficit to take a 94-93 lead with 6:13 to go, NLEX went on a 17-4 tear the rest of the way to win only its second game of the new season. The Road Warriors lost their previous five games by double digits before taking care of TNT, improving to 2-5 and leaving idle Mahindra at the bottom of the team standings. After fighting to a stalemate in the first half, NLEX came out firing in the third quarter, leading by as much as 12, 74-62, after an Eric Camson basket. However, in typical TNT fashion, the KaTropa would respond and even take the lead back before the period ended courtesy of a Larry Fonacier trey, 80-78. Carlo Lastimosa showed his scoring prowess by dropping a game-high 22 points for the Road Warriors on 72 percent shooting. Sean Anthony added a double-double and ended up with 13 points and 13 rebounds. TNT lost a golden opportunity to move into solo second with the loss and is now tied with idle Phoenix and Globalport for third place with identical 4-3 cards. Jayson Castro, who is also from Pampanga, once again came off the bench to lead the KaTropa with 17 points. TNT actually got 72 points from its reserves with Mo Tautuaa and Kris Rosales adding 15 points apiece. No TNT starter scored in double figures.   br /> The scores:  NLEX 110 - Lastimosa 22, Anthony 13, Alas 12, Camson 12, Guinto 11, J. Villanueva 7, E. Villanueva 7, Rios 6, Baracael 5, Lanete 4, Taulava 3, Monfort 3, Khobuntin 3, Gotladera 2. TNT 98 - Castro 17, Tautuaa 15, Rosales 15, Fonacier 9, Reyes 7, Rosario 7, De Ocampo 7, Williams 6, Rosser 6, Carey 5, Seigle 4, Golla 0, Pogoy 0, Tamsi 0. Quarters: 24-26, 52-52, 85-81, 110-98 br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

Lady Blazers take solo second, near semis spot

strong>Games Wednesday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (m) 11:30 a.m. --- CSB vs. CSB (w) 12:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. CSB (w) 2:00 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. CSB (m) 3:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. CSB (jrs)   Defending champion College of St. Benilde recovered from a sluggish start to take down the San Beda Lionesses, 12-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19, Thursday to move to solo second spot in the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan. The Lady Blazers improved to 6-1 win-loss record and inched one step closer for a semifinals seat. Rachel Anne Austerio exploded for 13 points while team captain Jeannette Panaga and Jan Daguil scored all their points from kills for the Taft-based squad. Ranya Musa also had 11 markers for CSB, which won their second straight match after a painful five-set loss to Lyceum of the Philippines University a month ago.  Lady Blazers head coach Macky Carino admitted that his team played too tight and was out of sync in the opening set.  “Sobrang bagal ng first set naming,” he said. “Sa sobran focus ng team ko nakatingin na lang sila sa kabila (San Beda). ‘Yung team namin, ‘yung iginagalaw namin ‘di na namin pinansin.” “So ‘yun ang ni-remind ko sa kanila, na alam natin ang gagalawin ng kabila pero dapat laruin din natin ang laro natin,” Carino added. “So ayun pagdating ng second set buti nagbago.” The Lady Blazers will wrap their elimination round campaign against Arellano University on Wednesday before the Finals rematch against unbeaten San Sebastian College (6-0) on January 25. Francesca Racraquin had 17 points while Nieza Viray scored 14 for the Lionesses, who dropped their third match in eight outings and are in danger of missing the cut in the semifinals race. In the men’s division, the Blazers climbed to solo top spot with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-17, victory over the Red Lions. CSB improved to 6-1 slate to secure at least a playoff for a Final Four ticket behind skipper John Vic De Guzman’s 11 points. Isaah Arda and Francis Basilan scored 10 markers each for the Blazers, who handed San Beda its second loss in eight games. The Red Lions despite the loss are also assured of a semis seat playoff. In the junior’s match, San Beda avoided a shutout after the Red Cubs clawed the Junior Blazers, 25-16, 25-20, 25-15, for a 3-4 card. CSB-La Salle Greenhills remained winless after five games.         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

Tottenham beats Chelsea 2-0 to end 13-match EPL winning run

br /> ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer   LONDON (AP) — Dele Alli underlined his growing reputation by single-handedly ending Chelsea's 13-match winning run Wednesday, scoring two headed goals to give Tottenham a 2-0 victory over the Premier League leaders. The defense has been the bedrock of Chelsea's three-month hot streak but Alli was gifted space to score carbon copy goals in each half at White Hart Lane after meeting crosses from Christian Eriksen. By taking his tally to seven goals in four games, the 20-year-old Alli inflicted Chelsea's first loss since its last trip to north London at Arsenal in September and prevented the Blues from earning a league record 14th successive win in a single season. 'This league is very tough,' Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said. 'Now it's important to restart. After 13 wins in a row it's difficult to accept defeat.' Chelsea still leads Liverpool by five points but Tottenham is now only seven points behind in third after a fifth successive victory. 'It's a big statement for us but we are happy to stay under the radar,' said Alli, whose team's hopes of a first title since 1961 were ended by Chelsea last season. Conte established the winning run that sent Chelsea to the summit after switching to a three-man defense to stem the tide of goals in a 3-0 first half collapse at Arsenal. But the defense is now leaking goals, conceding four in the last two matches after only letting in two in the previous 12 fixtures. Tottenham matched Chelsea's formation and restricted Conte's side to few chances, while proving more cohesive and solid at the back to frustrate the visitors' forward line. 'I didn't get on the ball as much as I would have liked to,' Alli said. The midfielder didn't need to. Alli was described on the eve of the game by manager Mauricio Pochettino as the 'most important player to emerge in English football in recent years.' Signed from third-tier club MK Dons two years ago for 5 million pounds (then $8 million), Alli lived up to his manager's exalted praise with his mastery of the attacking spaces. While Chelsea was looking more likely to score on the counterattack in the first half, Tottenham used a break to devastating effect on the stroke of halftime with Alli making the breakthrough. Kyle Walker teed up Eriksen and as the cross was floated into the penalty area, Alli was left unmarked between Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta to coolly nod past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. It was an assertive start to the second half by Chelsea, but Tottenham preserved its lead. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris blocked a low shot from Diego Costa, Eden Hazard's low header was off target and Moses' penalty appeals were dismissed when he was clipped by Mousa Dembele. Spurs then punished Chelsea's porous defending again in the 54th minute with a replica of the opener. Walker did the running down the right flank before laying the ball off for Eriksen. The Danish international picked out Alli between Moses and Azpilicueta, and the midfielder found the target with this header. 'We were short of the levels we set ourselves, for whatever reason that may be, a few misplaced passes and not moving the ball as quick as we have been,' Chelsea defender Gary Cahill said. 'They are a top quality opposition and we got punished for being short.' Chelsea's plight in the derby was summed up in the first half by the team's top scorer, Costa, engaging in an on-pitch row with Pedro Rodriguez for several minutes. It followed Pedro's failure to run into space in front of goal to meet a pass from Costa when the score was still 0-0. 'It is normal disappointment,' Conte said. 'It was a good chance for us and we wasted it.' ___ Rob Harris is at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Retire or fight back? MMA stars offer advice to Ronda Rousey

div>GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer /div> div>  /div> div>LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ronda Rousey is taking time off to ponder her future after her 48-second loss in her comeback fight at UFC 207. /div> div>  /div> div>Amanda Nunes thinks Rousey must retire. /div> div>Jon Jones believes Rousey should fight again. /div> div>  /div> div>The UFC's biggest names offered strong opinions about Rousey's future Saturday, a day after Nunes punched Rousey into submission in less than a minute. Rousey (12-2), once the most dominant fighter in the sport, has now lost two straight boutss 13 months apart, looking unprepared and overmatched against both Holly Holm and Nunes. /div> div>  /div> div>After Nunes easily defended the bantamweight belt once held by Rousey, the champion encouraged Rousey to move on. /div> div>  /div> div>'That's it for her,' Nunes said Friday night. 'For sure, she's going to retire. She can't take it anymore. If she wants the rematch, I'm going to do the same thing, because she can't take my punches.' /div> div>  /div> div>Other major figures in mixed martial arts disagree. /div> div>Jones was arguably the most feared fighter in the sport before failing a drug test last summer. The suspended former light heavyweight champion took to Twitter on Saturday to encourage Rousey. /div> div>  /div> div>'My advice to Ronda would be to pick yourself up and try again,' Jones wrote. 'I think it's important for Ronda to show her fans how great she truly is by displaying her courage and giving it another try.' /div> div>  /div> div>Rousey declined to promote her comeback bout, and she refused to discuss her loss with fans or reporters after making a guaranteed $3 million along with undisclosed millions in bonuses and pay-per-view revenue from the UFC's year-end show. She issued a statement to ESPN on Saturday. /div> div>  /div> div>'Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year,' Rousey wrote. /div> div>  /div> div>'However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn't work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women's division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda. /div> div>  /div> div>'I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.' /div> div>  /div> div>Nunes acknowledged feeling sorry for Rousey after landing 27 punches on the former champion in just 48 seconds. Nunes believes the cumulative stress of Rousey's first loss, her acting career and numerous outside-the-cage responsibilities combined to 'pressure her too much.' /div> div>  /div> div>Nunes spoke directly to a bloodied Rousey in the cage after the loss. /div> div>  /div> div>'I told her, 'You did a lot for this sport,'' Nunes said. ''Thank you so much. Now, take some time to rest and maybe do something else.' Why should she keep doing this? She's a millionaire already. Why would she want to keep doing this? She'll hurt herself.' /div> div>  /div> div>But Jones sees a ferocious competitor in Rousey behind the acting jobs and modeling gigs. /div> div>  /div> div>'What she does next will truly determine her legacy,' Jones wrote. 'I really hope she chooses to be ... unbroken. Her story doesn't have to be over here. I also still believe she beats 90 (percent) of the division. Lots of ass kicking still to be done, lots of money to be made. /div> div>  /div> div>Jones also joined Nunes and innumerable MMA figures in questioning the effectiveness of Rousey's coaching. /div> div>  /div> div>Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey's coach, was widely criticized for his uneven, unusual coaching methods even before Rousey's career faltered. /div> div>  /div> div>Even Rousey's mother, AnnMaria De Mars, has ripped Tarverdyan, but Rousey has remained fiercely loyal to her longtime guru. /div> div>  /div> div>Jones is based at the Albuquerque gym of respected trainer Greg Jackson, the mastermind behind several UFC champions. Rousey's striking has long been a weak spot for the Olympic judo medalist, and she was utterly unable to cope with Nunes' punching ability, showing little growth in the past year from the weaknesses exposed by Holm. /div> div>  /div> div>'Maybe she just needs to complement her coach with an MMA family,' Jones wrote. 'Maybe she should join one of the bigger MMA teams. ... Being around other bad asses and constantly sharing your spotlight could be good for you (in) so many ways. They can improve on your humility.' /div> div>  /div> div>Rousey turns 30 years old in February, with several years of her ostensible athletic prime before her. While she has circled several major acting jobs after playing three supporting roles in recent years, she doesn't appear to have any major film commitments. /div> div>  /div> div>But Rousey took several months off after her first defeat, and she seems likely to be deliberate again. De Mars, who cradled Rousey as the fighter left the T-Mobile Arena cage, took to her blog Saturday to offer support. /div> div>  /div> div>'She cares DEEPLY about winning to an extent that I don't believe the average person can wrap his/her head around,' De Mars wrote. 'I am very proud of my daughter.' /div>.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2017

Pokémon Go For Old(Er) Players

For the past two weeks, the Internet has been hijacked by a new game for smartphones. Everyone is talking about it. Jokes and memes can be found on every corner of the web. Even more impressive, local news and tech sites can’t seem to stop talking abou.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJul 26th, 2016

FOCUS Social media a curse and a blessing in Munich shooting

MUNICH, Germany: Social networks were both a curse and a blessing in the deadly shopping mall shooting in Munich, as police sometimes found themselves chasing fictitious leads and false alarms. The 18-year-old gunman, a German-Iranian named David Ali Sonb.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJul 24th, 2016