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Venus focused on tennis, not age, in record 73rd Grand Slam

JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — One could never accuse Venus Williams of being sensitive about her age. Not the way she keeps making self-deprecating jokes about it at the Australian Open. Case in point: Asked about the Australian great Margaret Court after her third-round win over China's Duan Yingying at Margaret Court Arena on Friday, Williams said she had a letter from the 24-time major winner hung on the wall in her room as a memento. 'It's a congratulations for me being the oldest person in the draw or something like that,' she dead-panned. The 36-year-old Williams fields more than her fair share of questions about her advanced age in the sport, how often she considers retirement, what keeps her motivated after more than two decades on the court. Indeed, she is appearing in her 73rd Grand Slam singles draw — a record for the Open era. And she is the oldest woman in the draw at Melbourne Park, though it should be noted that male players her age, such as Ivo Karlovic and Roger Federer, aren't continuously peppered with the same questions. But rather than show her annoyance, Williams smiles and patiently responds each time, sometimes with a joke. And she's made clear with her play this week that she's still a serious contender — she's reached the fourth round at the Australian Open for the 10th time in her career, and without dropping a set. Against Duan, a player who admitted she'd never seen the seven-time Grand Slam winner play, the 13th-seeded Williams only lost one game. 'Just like every player here, I have put in a ton of work,' Williams said earlier in the week. 'I'm not coming all the way to Australia for kicks and giggles. I'm here as a competitor.' Williams made clear Friday she doesn't want to get dragged into controversies, either. She declined to comment on a remark by a TV commentator during her second-round match when he described her as moving in and charging with what sounded like a 'gorilla' or 'guerrilla' effect. The commentator, Doug Adler, who maintains he said 'guerrilla' — as in, her choice of tactics — but apologized for his poor word choice, was dropped from ESPN's coverage for the rest of the tournament. 'All I can say is it's been a wonderful, wonderful career for me full of positives. That's what I focus on,' said Williams, who hasn't shied away from addressing issues ranging from racism to gender pay equity throughout her career. 'I pay attention and address situations that are noteworthy,' she added, when pressed on the subject. 'That's been my past record, clearly.' What Williams wants to talk about is her tennis. Especially as she continues to win at Melbourne Park, where she's reached the final just once in her career. Her next opponent is another player many years her junior, 26-year-old Mona Barthel, a No. 181-ranked qualifier from Germany. 'It's never enough,' Williams said. 'I've been in the fourth round before. I've tasted it before and it's always a great feeling because it means, hey, I have an opportunity for the quarterfinals. That's what I'm going to go for.' .....»»

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

Bonds, Clemens making slow gains with changing electorate

NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer The electorate is changing, however, and that could be good news for both. Bonds and Clemens inched past the 50-percent mark for the first time Wednesday, each appearing on about 54 percent of ballots cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. For a fifth straight year, Bonds and Clemens fell short of the 75 percent needed for induction, but their support is slowly climbing. Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to the Hall on Wednesday. Bonds and Clemens remain on the outside looking in because of drug suspicions, but they could continue to gain ground as more new voters are welcomed into the process. 'I think, just generationally, people in their 20s and 30s look at this different than people in their 50s and 60s,' said Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, a first-time voter who supported Bonds and Clemens. 'Maybe we're missing something — I'm not one of these people that thinks, like, I'm right and they're wrong. It's just different viewpoints.' A writer can receive a Hall of Fame vote when he or she has been an active member of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, so newcomers are always on the way. In 2015, the Hall of Fame eliminated voters who had been inactive for more than 10 years — a move that further boosted the influence of newer voters. The closest thing to a Hall of Fame exit poll is Ryan Thibodaux's online vote tracker , which has charted over half the ballots from this year's election. Of the 14 first-time voters identified on the site as of Wednesday night, 13 supported Bonds and Clemens. One of those first-time voters was Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News, who said he supported Bonds after former Commissioner Bud Selig was elected as part of this class by a veterans committee. Selig presided over the era in which drug suspicion became so rampant. 'The last few years in my Sunday column in The Buffalo News, I refused to use Barry Bonds' name. In my column, it became kind of a trademark. I just referred to him as No. 25,' Harrington said. 'So now people see my article in The Buffalo News — 'Wait a minute, how did you vote for Bonds and Clemens?' I explained in my column a couple weeks ago: To me, I felt, the Bud Selig thing was a tipping point.' Bonds and Clemens are back on the ballot next year, along with newcomers such as Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, Johan Santana and Omar Vizquel. Here are a few more things to watch: PUBLIC BALLOTS The BBWAA voted to release each voter's Hall of Fame choices to the public, starting next year. That change will add transparency to the process, although there are some concerns about groupthink and peer pressure. 'I'm very conflicted about this,' Mellinger said. 'I applaud the reasons that they are public. We are a profession that demands transparency in others, so why shouldn't we have the same here? I get all that. I can't argue against any of that. The part that I'm uncomfortable with is: I hope that people still vote their hearts and their minds and don't change based on, you know, 'I don't want to get ripped on Twitter.'' SABERMETRIC FAVORITES Raines had plenty of support in sabermetric circles. 'You've got these new stats. You've got WAR (wins above replacement). You've got all this stuff,' Raines said. 'Back in the day, when you looked at a Hall of Famer, you looked at 500 home runs, 300 wins and 3,000 hits, and a lot of times if you didn't reach those criteria, it was kind of hard for anyone to kind of look at you as a Hall of Famer. But I think the way the game has changed today, the way they look at the stats and everything, it has changed.' The next beneficiary of modern stats could be Mike Mussina, who achieved 51.8-percent approval this year. Mussina never won a Cy Young Award, but according to Baseball-Reference.com, his career WAR is comparable to that of Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson. LOGJAM Nearly half of this year's 442 voters used the maximum 10 slots on their ballots, and although three people were elected, players like Trevor Hoffman (74.0 percent) and Vladimir Guerrero (71.7) fell just short, meaning they'll be back to take up votes again next year. With some credible new candidates eligible in 2018, the 10-player limit could come into play for quite a few voters. Lynn Henning of The Detroit News has abstained from voting at all when he's felt there were more than 10 Hall-worthy players. He didn't have that problem this year, but it could happen again. 'The 10-ballot restriction is silly, it's perverse, it's unjust, it's convoluted. It's a complete affront to players who deserve recognition, when they've earned recognition and are otherwise screened out because of some arbitrary adherence to this number 10,' Henning said. 'I think it's the most outlandishly preposterous restriction I've ever been exposed to in the realm of professional voting.' SPECIALISTS One challenge Hall voters now face is evaluating players who had more specialized roles — like designated hitters and closers. 'It's easy to find context for a Vladimir Guerrero or a Mike Mussina because there are tons of outfielders in the Hall of Fame, there are tons of starting pitchers in the Hall of Fame,' said Ryan Fagan of Sporting News. 'Defining the context for a DH or for a relief pitcher, that's more challenging, because there aren't a lot of guys like that in there.' Fagan supported Edgar Martinez, a DH, but did not vote for closers Hoffman, Billy Wagner and Lee Smith. None of those four made it in. All but Smith will be on the ballot again in 2018. ___ Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2017

Fowler returns to Abu Dhabi seeking upturn in form

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rickie Fowler flew home from the 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with more than just the Falcon Trophy. The win over a stellar field last January boosted Fowler's belief that a first major title was within sight. Lifting him to a career-high No. 4 in the rankings, it also sparked talk about whether he should be included in the conversation with golf's so-called 'Big Three,' which comprised Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy at the time. 'It would have been nice to kind of continue that form,' Fowler said Tuesday on his return to Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Instead, that proved to be the only victory of 2016 for Fowler, the United States' triumph in the Ryder Cup notwithstanding. His best finish at a major was a tie for 33rd at the U.S. PGA Championship and he ended the year ranked outside the top 10. U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama and — most recently — Justin Thomas are among those who have accelerated past Fowler, who said his dip in status is pushing him to play better in 2017. 'Golf's so deep right now,' Fowler said, 'and it will be nice if we can get Tiger back for a full season.' Fowler's chances of a successful defense of his Abu Dhabi title improved Monday when McIlroy — at No. 2, the highest-ranked player in the field — withdrew because of a rib injury. Still, the field remains strong, as always in this event which starts Thursday. The third-ranked Johnson is making his debut, while two more current major champions — Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett — are there, too. 'He's obviously one of the best players in the world,' Fowler said about McIlroy. 'It was fun to have him in contention with me last year here. 'Does that make me look at the tournament any differently? No. You know, it's one less top player in the world I'm going to have to beat, but the field here is one of the best fields on the European Tour.' Refreshed after spending time over Christmas and the new year with family and friends, Fowler cannot wait to get back on the course. Particularly after seeing Thomas — one of his best friends — winning back-to-back events in Hawaii. 'It's inspiring and motivating,' said Fowler, currently the world No. 14. Fowler's main focus is tailoring his schedule to give him the best chance at winning a major. He said that will mean playing events in the weeks leading up to the majors, rather than using that time to rest or work on the range. The Masters is already in his sights. He was renowned as a slow starter to seasons until last year, when he won in Abu Dhabi and then lost the Phoenix Open in a playoff to nearly reduce him to tears. That didn't translate to a good performance at Augusta National in April, though, as he opened with an 80 and failed to make the weekend. 'Obviously looking to peak,' Fowler said, 'getting the first few months going, heading the right direction and peak that first week of April.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

92 minutes on court, lifetime of experience for Destanee

DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Destanee Aiava's Australian Open lasted just 92 minutes Monday while making history as the first person born in the 2000s to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament. She took away enough experience from her 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to Mona Barthel to last a lifetime, she said, and received some advice from the biggest name in the women's game several days before she even stepped on court. And she fully expects to be back. 'This isn't the first and the last time I'm going to be here,' said Aiava, a 16-year-old Melbourne high school student who received a wild card to enter the season's first major. 'There's plenty more to come.' Last week, she had a short practice session with Serena Williams, the 22-time Grand Slam champion and the inspiration for Aiava's career. Aiava was 5 when she watched one of the Williams' matches on TV, and told her parents that tennis was going to be her career. Describing it then as 'one of the best days of my life,' Aiava explained Monday that Williams had imparted some good advice. 'She told me to dream big and you'll achieve big,' Aiava said. 'She's quite a nice person. It was a really good experience to get to hit with her.' Aiava played her match Monday before hundreds of vocal fans on Show Court 2 at Melbourne Park. 'It was pretty fun playing out there with all the crowd supporting me,' she said. 'Nothing really surprised me. I think I learned how to be more composed out there, and I didn't rush as much. Obviously it wasn't my day, but I'm looking forward to the rest of the year and what's out there for me.' What was out there for her shortly after her match ended was prize money of $37,500 as a first-round loser. 'I don't like to focus on that, or gloat,' said Aiava, who didn't plan to celebrate a loss. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 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

Worth a mention: Williams aiming for record 23rd major title

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer   MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams definitely doesn't want to talk about the No. 23. She doesn't really want to think about planning a wedding, either, while she's pursuing a Grand Slam record. Newly engaged Williams brushed off concerns about the 88 unforced errors she had in a loss in New Zealand last week in her only warmup tournament ahead of the Australian Open, which starts Monday and where she's aiming for Open-era record 23rd major title. 'I've moved on,' she said. 'I'm feeling relaxed, calm, ready and poised.' Williams responded to questions about milestone achievements last year when she had 21 Grand Slam titles, and it didn't help — she lost the final here to Angelique Kerber and to Garbine Muguruza at the French Open before winning Wimbledon to equal Steffi Graf's Open era mark of 22. She's being more superstitious this time. 'I'm not talking about that,' Williams, a six-time Australian Open winner, said as she shut down questions during a promotional activity this week. 'I said I'm not talking about that. Move on.' Another Australian title is also high on the agenda for Novak Djokovic, who already has won six. But he isn't thinking much beyond his opening match after drawing Fernando Verdasco. A first is the priority for Andy Murray, recently knighted in Britain after finishing 2016 at No. 1. He is looking at the draw from the top for the first time at a major and is hoping it comes with a change in fortunes at Melbourne Park. He has lost five Australian Open finals — the first to Roger Federer in 2010, the other four to Djokovic. Federer could again stand in his way, only at the quarterfinal stage this time. The 17-time major winner slipped down the rankings during six months off last year recovering from an injured left knee and was seeded No. 17. Williams took time off after the U.S. Open, where she lost in the semifinals for the second year running and lost the top ranking to Kerber. The big news during her break was her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last month, when she posted a poem on the news website to confirm she'd accepted his proposal. After hitting this week with 16-year-old Destanee Aiava, who will be the first person born in the 2000s to play in the main draw of a major when she meets a qualifier in the first round, Williams said her mind was back entirely on business. 'I told (Ohanian) my main goal was to win this title,' she said. 'Yeah, it really doesn't feel like anything different.' No date has been set for the wedding, with Williams' mind on one major thing, so she's not thinking about a dress or a cake, and she's not wearing a ring to practice. 'Oh my God. I don't think about it really,' she said, responding to questions about her marriage plans. 'I'm just ... I don't know I'll have to ask him that. I have a job — I mean, he does too. I kinda gotta focus.' Kerber won the Australian and U.S. Open titles last year, so will be attempting to defend a major for the first time in Melbourne. She may be feeling pressure as the No. 1 seed, having won only one match in two warmup tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney. That doesn't take any pressure off Williams. 'I am No. 2, I guess. I definitely don't feel like anyone's saying that, 'Oh, there's no pressure on Serena,'' she said. 'It's always there, I'm used to it. 'I feel like I've been No. 1 for so long, so many times. I've done things that are amazing. Sometimes that ranking really means a lot, but also I feel like sometimes just winning events ... means just as much.' That's something Djokovic understands. His 122-week streak at No. 1 ended amid Murray's incredible finish to last season, when he won Wimbledon and defended the Olympic gold medal among eight titles he won after reuniting with Ivan Lendl as coach. Before then, Djokovic had beaten Murray in the Australian and French Open finals, his 11th and 12th major titles. Half of those have come in Melbourne, where his victory last year equaled the record six Australian titles Roy Emerson won (1961 and 1963-67). 'I'm feeling phenomenal,' Djokovic said after arriving in Australia following a win over Murray in his season-opening event at Doha. 'Maybe this is the year — 2017 for seven. I'm not a numerologist, but it sounds good.' Murray jumped on a flight almost immediately after last year's final to be with his wife, who was expecting their first child. There have been plenty of changes for him since, becoming a father for the first time, No. 1 in the world for the first time, and reuniting with Lendl. 'Each time I come, I think I've got a chance of winning but it's just never happened,' he said. 'Hopefully, this year will be different. 'I do think the last few months of last year can help me with giving me confidence — other players look at that and see you're playing well and (I) feel physically and mentally strong.' Fourth-seeded Stan Wawrinka, who ended the run of wins by Djokovic and Murray when he won the U.S. Open last September, said the next generation of players such as Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori would be among the contenders for the Australian title. But he thinks it will be difficult for any new champion to emerge against the likes of the in-form Murray and Djokovic, and the returning Federer and Rafael Nadal. 'So far, last 10 years, the 'Big Four' was really strong,' Wawrinka said, 'so it's going to be interesting to see this year how Novak, Andy, Rafa, and Roger will play.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Pelicans, minus Davis, hand Nets eighth straight loss

em>By Jeffrey Bernstein, Associated Press /em> NEW YORK (AP) — Tyreke Evans scored a season-high 29 points and the New Orleans Pelicans, playing without All-Star big man Anthony Davis, defeated the reeling Brooklyn Nets 104-95 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Terrance Jones added 24 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans (16-24), which improved to 6-13 on the road by winning both games during its stay in New York City. Jrue Holiday scored 21 and Solomon Hill had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Davis missed the game with a bruised left hip sustained during Monday night's (Tuesday, PHL time) 110-96 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. He participated in pregame warmups in Brooklyn, but didn't shoot. Davis is second in the NBA in scoring, averaging 29.1 points. He ranks sixth with more than 12 rebounds per game. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points and Sean Kilpatrick had 18, but Brooklyn has dropped eight straight and 13-of-14. Brooklyn led 94-91 after Lopez's basket with 3:35 left, but didn't score again until Joe Harris hit 1-of-2 free throws with 23 seconds remaining for the team's final point. Jones contributed six points in the 13-1 run to end the game, including the go-ahead basket with 2:44 remaining. Trevor Booker gave the Nets their largest lead, 56-48, with 1:51 left in the second quarter. Brooklyn used a 10-2 spurt in the third to open a 77-70 advantage and was ahead 79-73 heading into the fourth. Evans tied it at 84 on a three-point play with 8:29 to go, and the score remained close until the Pelicans' late surge. Harris finished with 15 points, while Caris LeVert and Bojan Bogdanovic each scored 10 for the Nets. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Pelicans: /strong> /em>Buddy Hield is the only New Orleans player to see action in all 40 games this season. He has started exactly half of them. Nets GM Sean Marks played for New Orleans from 2008-10, appearing in 74 games and averaging 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds. em> strong>Nets: /strong> /em>Booker returned to Brooklyn's starting lineup after missing Tuesday's loss to the Hawks with a bruised left hip. Kilpatrick is the second-leading scorer (14.8 points per game) of any current undrafted NBA player. Only Wes Matthews of the Mavericks (15 ppg entering Friday, PHL time) has a higher average. strong>NEW YORK, NEW YORK /strong> The Pelicans spent nearly all week in New York City. 'If we're here any longer, we're going to have to take out a small business meal loan to continue to eat,' coach Alvin Gentry said. 'Obviously, this is a great city. You can do a million things here and have a million left to do.' strong>OH FOR 2017 /strong> The Nets have yet to win since the calendar turned to the new year. Brooklyn has won only once (on Dec. 27, PHL time, 120-118 over Charlotte) in almost a month. The team's previous win was a 107-97 victory over the Lakers on Dec. 14 (Dec. 15, PHL time) strong>EIGHT IS ENOUGH /strong> The Nets' eight-game losing streak ties the Pelicans, 76ers and Lakers for the longest in the NBA this season. However, Philadelphia has won four of five, the Pelicans have won two straight and the Lakers had won two of three entering Thursday night's (Friday, PHL time) game at San Antonio. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Pelicans: /strong> /em>New Orleans visits Chicago on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). The teams meet again in New Orleans on April 2 (April 3, PHL time). The Bulls have won four in a row in the series, sweeping the Pelicans in each of the last two seasons. em> strong>Nets: /strong> /em>Brooklyn visits Toronto on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). The Nets lost 116-104 there on Dec. 20 (Dec. 21, PHL time). The teams play again next week (Jan. 18, PHL time) and next month (Feb. 6, PHL time). The Raptors have won five straight in the series, including all four meetings last season. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

BLOGTABLE: Making sense of Derrick Rose's ordeal with Knicks

em>NBA.com blogtable /em> Derrick Rose was fined by the Knicks for what amounts to an unexcused absence. What do you make of this whole ordeal? And what does it say about the state of the Knicks today? strong>David Aldridge: /strong> It's a puzzlement, and they don't deal with puzzlements well in Gotham. Rose had to know that this would have been a total non-story if he'd just texted any of either team president Phil Jackson, GM Steve Mills or coach Jeff Hornacek to let them know he needed the night off. So why wouldn't he? That's what's concerns me; he was indifferent to the fallout that he knew would be coming, not to mention the likely damage to his income-earning potential next summer. Does he not care if he's not playing anymore? I'm not saying that's the case, but that's what you allow people to speculate about by doing stuff like this. I don't think it means much to the Knicks because I don't think Rose is going to be there next year, and I didn't think that before all this happened. strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong> I’m not quite sure of the word, but it’s very Knicksy or Knicksish or Knicksian. Take your pick. If I’m Jeff Hornacek, I tell Phil Jackson that Rose or any other player needs to be suspended for twice as many games as he misses when going AWOL. Just as standard club policy, without pay for the whole bunch. If Jackson doesn’t concur, I sit Rose for two games in the wake of his one-game hiatus. Any self-respecting coach should, because the price paid in losing (if that happened) would be less than the price paid over the long haul from continued dysfunction. Rose -- whatever his reason for disappearing, however personally troubling -- behaved childishly by not taking 20 seconds to call or text Hornacek, Jackson or some other Knicks authority. I think he has been overserved a lot of “do what’s right for Derrick” advice since his career-altering knee injury in April 2012 and this is the latest manifestation. That stuff held the Chicago Bulls hostage for a few years and the Knicks must not enable it. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong> No matter what the family emergency, who wouldn’t pick up the phone and call their employer? Lack of professionalism and responsibility makes for bad leadership. Especially for the guy who was crowing about New York being among the super teams a few months ago. But it fits with the Knicks, who are just a bad team. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong> em> strong> /strong> /em>The most important thing is that he is safe and his family is safe. When someone suddenly disappears like that, it’s natural for people to think worst-case scenarios, and thankfully none of them appear to have happened. So this conversation is in basketball terms. In that context, what he did was deserving of a suspension and the loss of real money, not simply a fine. Alert the team. If you don’t think you have the time during a crisis, have someone you are talking with alert the team. Have someone call your agent and have the agent alert the team. He had 30 seconds somewhere in there to text his agent, “Family emergency. Can’t get into it now. Tell Phil I will not be at the game and will be in contact tomorrow.” What does it say about the state of the Knicks today? Nothing we didn’t already know. The key read is how hard they try to keep him in free agency after this. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong>This was bizarre, which means, this was Knicks-like. You mean in this age of rapid communication Rose couldn't send a text to the front office or have someone else do it? There's more to this than meets the eye, or maybe Rose's judgment is that screwed up. Either way, this won't reflect well on him next summer in free agency. He and Joakim Noah need to have strong second halves or Phil Jackson's big offseason moves from last summer will amount to very little. strong>John Schuhmann: /strong>No matter how serious the family issue was, there's no excuse for Rose not taking the 10 seconds needed to send a text to his coach. Failing to do was a show of disrespect for Jeff Hornacek, for the organization, and for his teammates. His actions say a lot about him. The Knicks' reaction – not a peep from Phil Jackson, no suspension for Rose – says a lot about the state of the Knicks. So far, they've handled the situation almost as poorly as he has. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong> em> strong> /strong> /em>It was certainly a strange ordeal, Rose disappearing after a morning shootaround the way he did without any word to teammates or team officials. The fine works for me. And the need to be with family at a time of need trumps everything, even a Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) home game at the Garden. But there is a way to do it and a way not to do it. And Rose went about this terribly. He put his teammates, coaches and the organization in a horrible position as the rest of the public speculated as to his whereabouts. The Knicks are struggling mightily right now, on the court and beyond. This Rose affair only reveres to emphasize that fact. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong> If there was no valid reason for Rose’s behavior, then it is a dangerous sign that the Knicks have not commanded his respect. Too much is unknown about this situation, but here’s one thing that can be said: It has been an awfully long time since the Knicks franchise was held in high esteem,and this latest incident fits into that mosaic of dysfunctionality. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong> em> strong> /strong> /em>To me this whole saga says more about the state of Derrick Rose than it does about the Knicks. I mean, I'm not sure there's any franchise prepared for their point guard just not showing up an hour before a game starts. Clearly, we still don't know all the details, and there may be extenuating circumstances that totally warranted Rose's reaction. But from what we do understand, it would seem that Rose could/should have gotten word to someone that he was not available to play on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

Wizards move over .500 as Wall lifts team over Bulls

em>By Ian Quillen, Associated Press /em> WASHINGTON (AP) -- John Wall scored 26 points, including a game-winning baseline jumper with 5.9 seconds left, and added 14 assists as the Washington Wizards moved above .500 with a 101-99 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Marcin Gortat had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Washington (19-18). He also set the screen that freed up Wall for his jumper to seal a 10th straight home win. Markieff Morris and Bradley Beal each added 19 points for the Wizards, who completed their biggest comeback victory of the season after trailing by 18 in the second quarter. Washington is above .500 for the first time in more than a year. A season ago, the Wizards were 6-5 after a victory on Nov. 24, 2015. Denzel Valentine set career-highs by scoring 19 points and making five three-pointers for the short-handed Bulls, who despite seeing their lead slip away in the third quarter led by as many as seven in the fourth. Rajon Rondo added 12 points in his first game since Dec. 30 (Dec. 31, PHL time). Chicago was without leading scorers Jimmy Butler (ill) and Dwyane Wade (resting). Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic also sat out with an illness. After both teams led during the final stages, Wall hit a pull-up from near the foul line that tied it at 99 with 47.4 seconds to play. Chicago's Michael Carter-Williams missed a contested shot on the other end with about 30 seconds left. Wall got the ball after Otto Porter's rebound, took Carter-Williams into Gortat's screen on the right wing and hit a 16-footer over Robin Lopez's late-arriving outstretched arm. After a timeout, Doug McDermott missed a long three-pointer for the Bulls, and Wall grabbed the rebound with a second to go. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Bulls: /strong> /em>Shot 8-of-10 on three-pointers in the first half. Valentine surpassed his previous career-high of nine points when his third three-pointer gave him 11 with 2:22 to go before halftime. em> strong>Wizards: /strong> /em> Entered tied for the longest active home winning streak with San Antonio, which hosted Milwaukee later in the evening. Committed 13 turnovers before halftime. Morris fouled out with 3:58 to play after picking up his fifth and sixth fouls 25 seconds apart. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Bulls: /strong> /em> Try to even their season series with the New York Knicks at 1-all when they visit Madison Square Garden on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).  em> strong>Wizards: /strong> /em>Complete their eighth set of back-to-back games Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) at Boston. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Texans look for improvement ahead of rematch with Patriots

KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer br /> HOUSTON (AP) — Despite a decisive win over the Raiders in the wild-card round, the Houston Texans know improvement is necessary if they hope to get the first divisional playoff win in franchise history on Saturday against New England. 'There's always room for improvement,' coach Bill O'Brien said. 'That's what the league is all about — who can improve the fastest to get to where you want to go?' Brock Osweiler returned to the starting lineup on Saturday after being benched two weeks ago after inconsistent play and multiple turnovers. He looked better than he had before he was pulled, throwing a touchdown pass and running for another score. He also took care of the ball in just his fourth start this season where he didn't throw an interception. But he only finished with 168 yards passing, leaving the Texans looking for more from him this week. 'We were more consistent than we have been,' O'Brien said of the offense. 'I think we can still be better. There's always improvement to make.' A key to Osweiler's success on Saturday was his ability to get DeAndre Hopkins involved in the game after struggling to get him the ball this season. 'There's certainly been some ups and downs as far as getting him the football throughout the course of the year,' Osweiler said. 'But I think the one thing that you were really able to see (Saturday) was that Hop and I were on the same page ... (and) anytime I can get the ball to Hop, I'm going to do it.' Hopkins finished with 67 yards receiving and a touchdown, giving the Texans something to build on this week against the Patriots. The offense got a boost by the return of running back Lamar Miller, who missed the last two regular-season games with an ankle injury. He ran for 73 yards and a touchdown, but was disappointed that he averaged just 2.4 yards a carry after averaging 4 per run in the regular season. Despite those numbers, O'Brien was happy with his work. 'I think he looked good ... it was good to have him back in there,' O'Brien said. 'I thought it was the right move for his health, for our football team to do what we did. 'I don't think he was totally 100 percent for the last two weeks of the season and I think he feels better now. He's meant a lot to our team.' The Texans had often been settling for field goals instead of touchdowns when they got in the red zone in recent weeks. But on Saturday they solved that problem when they scored touchdowns in all three trips to the red zone. They know doing that again must be a focus this week. This will be Houston's second game against the Patriots this season after New England got a 27-0 win in Week 3 with third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett running the offense. As the Texans work to improve this week they'll have to listen to chatter about their underdog status entering this game. The Patriots are heavy favorites but O'Brien insists that they aren't worried about the odds against them. 'What does that matter? The only thing that matters is what takes place in between the lines on Saturday night,' he said. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Murray, Djokovic advance to Qatar Open semifinals

SANDRA HARWITT, Associated Press br /> DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Top-seeded Andy Murray struggled to pass Nicolas Almagro of Spain 7-6 (4), 7-5 in the Qatar Open quarterfinals on a windy and chilly Thursday night. The 44th-ranked Almagro dogged the No. 1, making Murray work overtime to secure a semifinal berth. Almagro finally surrendered after 2 hours, 9 minutes, when he shipped a backhand crosscourt wide on a second match point for Murray in the final game. Murray trailed 3-1 in the first set, and squandered a 2-1 advantage with a service break in the second set. The difference for Murray was in the second serve points won percentage in which he was at 61 and Almagro was at only 47. 'It was a very tough match,' Murray said. 'Nico was playing very aggressive and going for his shots. It was hard conditions tonight, very windy, so tough to get into much of a rhythm.' Interestingly, Murray reached the quarterfinals with a nearly similar 7-6 (6), 7-5 result over Gerald Melzer on Wednesday. 'The first week of the year there's a little bit of nerves,' Murray said. 'You want to make sure you get some matches with Australia (Australian Open) just around the corner.' Murray, a two-time Qatar Open winner, is on a 27-match winning streak. In the semifinals, he will play third-seeded Tomas Berdych, who ousted fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-3. Earlier, defending champion Novak Djokovic advanced after beating Czech qualifier Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3. 'It's a soft term saying windy for what it's been today,' Djokovic said. 'It's quite challenging I must say, mentally mostly, to really be able to go through these kind of conditions without losing the focus and the determination on the court. 'There is not much you can do. The force of nature is like that. You have to accept and try to embrace it, really be one with the wind, otherwise it's not going to be a good day for you.' Djokovic holds a 13-1 career record over the 38-year-old Stepanek and has won their last 12 meetings. Djokovic took a 4-2 lead in the first set before Stepanek broke Djokovic's serve when the second seed netted a backhand on a third break point. Djokovic won the next two games, winning the set on an overhead smash to an open court. In the second set, Djokovic established a 3-1 lead and held on. Djokovic will play Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals. Verdasco beat sixth-seeded Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-2, 7-5. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

5 questions for a new year, starting with Tiger Woods

br /> DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer   KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — The new year in golf is consumed by an old topic, this time with a twist. Instead of wondering when (or if) Tiger Woods will play, the question now is how will he play? And here's another question: Who ever imagined a time when the guys he beat for so many years would be rooting for him to play better? 'I think we've proved that golf does not need Tiger to be successful,' Brandt Snedeker said last month in the Bahamas. 'That being said, golf is better when Tiger is around. I don't think we need Tiger necessarily any more. We all want Tiger. I think golf is a better product, it's better TV and I want to see Tiger play again. It's fun. You see the crowds he brings and he still has an innate ability to do something only a couple of guys can do.' No one commands attention like Woods. The biggest problem for golf might be battling the perception that it matters only when Woods is playing. Compared with last year, that's a nice problem to have. There remains a battle for supremacy, minus any talk about a 'Big Three.' Europe has to face a Midwestern crowd, this time in the Solheim Cup. Two of the majors are going to courses that have never held one — Erin Hills for the U.S. Open, Quail Hollow for the PGA Championship. The first tee shot of the year is Thursday. Answers to a few topics will take months to sort out. TIGER WOODS By most accounts, Woods made a successful return in the Bahamas, except for the one that matters. He finished in 15th place out of 17 players and 14 shots out of the lead. But it was a start, and a healthy one. The best bet is that Woods will return at Torrey Pines at the end of the month, and with each event, the measure will shift form his health to his score. Jack Nicklaus is mostly curious about his motivation, and he speaks from experience. Nicklaus won his 16th and 17th majors at age 40, and he refers to his final major in the 1986 Masters as 'an accident in many ways.' 'It's really difficult when you've had as much success as I had over a long period of time to charge your batteries, day after day, and go back out and say, 'Man, I want to do this again.' That's what he's going to have to do,' Nicklaus said. 'Whether he can do that or not, I don't know. That's going to be the question.' THE BATTLE FOR NO. 1 Jordan Spieth started last year at No. 1, won three times and fell to No. 5. Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy were separated by 0.76 points of their world ranking average going into last year, so some movement was inevitable. Day has been at No. 1 since the end of the March, and while there is slightly more separation at the top, there are a half-dozen players or more who could end 2017 at No. 1. McIlroy came on strong at the end of the year. Dustin Johnson won the U.S. Open and was the PGA Tour player of the year. Henrik Stenson won his first major and became a threat every time he teed it up. Hideki Matsuyama ended last year by winning four of his last five tournaments. A different player has finished No. 1 for the eighth consecutive year. Odds are this will be the ninth. MAJOR MYSTERIES No one knows what to expect at the U.S. Open for the second time in three years. The USGA took golf's second-oldest championship to Chambers Bay in the Pacific Northwest in 2015, and now heads to Erin Hills in the middle of Wisconsin. The last time the U.S. Open went to two courses in a three-year span that had never held a professional major was Hazeltine (1970) and Pebble Beach (1972). Then again, Pebble had been around since 1919 and hosted the U.S. Amateur four times. Erin Hills opened in 2006. The PGA Championship is going to Quail Hollow, the North Carolina club's first time holding a major, though it has held the Wells Fargo Championship since 2003. CUPS RUNNETH OVER The Americans will be going for a third straight victory in the Solheim Cup when it goes to Iowa this summer. Nothing brings out passion in team golf quite like the United States vs. Europe. The Presidents Cup also holds some intrigue. The International team has lost six straight times and has won only once since the Presidents Cup began in 1994. More pressure would seem to be on U.S. captain Steve Stricker, not only because the Americans haven't lost since 1998, but because he is the likely Ryder Cup captain for 2020 at Whistling Straits in his native Wisconsin. Speaking of Ryder Cup captains, expect the next American skipper to be named next week. But those matches are two years away. WHAT WILL PHIL DO NEXT? Phil Mickelson was runner-up at a major for the third straight year since his last victory, which was the 2013 British Open at Muirfield for his fifth major. The focus, as always, will be whether Lefty can complete the career Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. At age 46, and having gone through two hernia operations in the offseason, it would seem a victory anywhere would suffice. Mickelson, however, shouldn't be ruled out after last year. He made 10 birdies in a Ryder Cup singles match against Sergio Garcia. He shot 267 at the British Open, matching the fourth-lowest score in major championship history. Just his luck, he got only a half-point against Garcia, and he was runner-up at the Open. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Mag-isip sila sa laro -- coach Gorayeb on Lady Stags

strong>Games on January 4: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- EAC vs LPU (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- EAC vs. LPU (m) 11:30 a.m. --- EAC vs LPU (w) 1:00 p.m. --- Arellano vs JRU (w) 2:30 p.m. --- Arellano vs JRU (m)     San Sebastian College may be just three games away from completing an eliminations sweep to earn a free ride straight to the Finals but head coach Roger Gorayeb is still doubtful if the Lady Stags can make a repeat of their last year’s feat. The multi-titled mentor said that there’s a lot of things that his team needs to improve on heading into the final stretch of the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.  “’Yung kasing kilos nila kung oobserbahan ko ngayon, ‘yang kilos nilang ‘yan hindi 'yan pang-straight (elims sweep) na panalo,” said Gorayeb, who wants to end a six-year title drought. “Wala, ang dami pa nilang butas.” SSC-R won its first six games to remain the only undefeated team but will next face Perpetual Help, Lyceum of the Philippines University and a championship rematch with defending champion College of St. Benilde to wrap up their elims campaign. Gorayeb said that he’s not thinking about the Lady Stags completing a sweep of the elims, but what he wants to see is for his team to play as a team and his players to do their roles and not rely too much on reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones, who is averaging 16.17 points per game.    “Actually 'di ko na tinitingnan ang sweep. Ang gusto ko lang manalo ng manalo,” said Gorayeb, whose team swept last year’s elims to advance in the Finals outright only to fall at the hands of CSB in four games. “Hindi rin naman pwedeng umasa na lang ng umasa kay Grethcel,” he added.  Gorayeb pointed out that his team should work harder both on offense and defense and must be the side dictating the tempo of the match. He added that he wants his wards to think and adjust inside the court. “At this point in time marunong na silang maglaro,” he said. “Ang problema hindi sila marunong mag-isip during the laro. Nagre-rely sila dun sa sasabihin ko sa kanila. Ayoko na ngang magsalita para kumilos na lang sila ng kumilos.” SSC-R will resume action on January 11 against Perpetual Help (3-2) before taking on LPU on January 23 while the Finals rematch against CSB is scheduled on the 25th. In case of a sweep, SSC-R will advance to be the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. The next three teams after the elims will play in the stepladder semifinals with the no. 2 seed enjoying a twice-to-beat incentive.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 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

76ers survive late flurry to beat Nuggets

DENVER (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers came up big in the fourth quarter a night after collapsing in the final 12 minutes. Ersan Ilyasova had a career-high 23 points and 13 rebounds and the 76ers survived a flurry in the final seconds to beat the Denver Nuggets 124-122 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). 'I feel like the trip has been rewarded with a win and us having the ability to finally close out a game and finish off the fourth period,' Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. Joel Embiid returned after sitting out Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) loss in Utah to score 23 points and hit key free throws down the stretch. The Sixers ended their four-game trip with just their third win away from home despite having just nine available players. They had a chance to win the other three games on this trip but consistently faltered in the fourth quarter. The Jazz outscored them 30-9 to end Thursday's game, and the Sixers went over the tape of the period Friday morning. The attention to detail paid off. 'Tonight, that was the emphasis at the end of the third quarter, that's what everybody was talking about,' Embiid said. 'We focused, we locked in and got the win.' Nikola Jokic had a game-high 25 points for the Nuggets, and Emmanuel Mudiay scored 22. Denver had won four of its last five home games but a bad start led to another defeat. 'I thought our focus at shootaround [Friday, Saturday PHL time] was not great,' coach Michael Malone said. 'And I think that when you win a few games you start to feel pretty good about yourself and you forget why you have been winning games.' The Nuggets had a chance to tie it during a frantic ending. After Embiid hit two free throws to put the Sixers up four, Jokic was fouled on a three-point attempt. Jokic made the first two free throws and intentionally missed the third. Denver's Gary Harris grabbed the rebound but missed a short bank shot, and Kenneth Faried's tip-in try was off as time expired. 'Jokic did a great job missing, I got a shot up and we had a chance for a tip-in, but it just didn't go our way,' Harris said. The Nuggets pulled within 114-113 with 1:43 left, but Philadelphia's T.J. McConnell hit his third three-pointer of the night — matching his total makes for the season. He finished with 17 points and eight assists. Four straight foul shots by Denver tied it, but Embiid split a pair of free throws to put Philadelphia ahead by one. He then stripped Jokic on the other end as the center went up for a go-ahead layup and drained two more free throws to put the Sixers ahead 120-117 with 15.9 seconds left. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Sixers: /strong> /em> Sergio Rodriguez sprained his left ankle in the loss at Utah on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) and did not play Friday. Richaun Holmes was not with the team and is in concussion protocol. G Gerald Henderson missed his second straight game with left hip soreness. em> strong>Nuggets: /strong> /em> Wilson Chandler (right neck sprain/strain) and Jamal Murray (groin soreness) both played. Jokic has scored in double figures in 12 of his last 14 games. strong>CENTER OF ATTENTION /strong> Nuggets big man Jusuf Nurkic played 18:33 after not playing in four straight games and averaging just 6:16 in three other games. Nurkic expressed his disappointment after practice Thursday (Friday, PHL time), telling The Denver Post, 'I'm not here to sit on the bench; I'm here to play basketball.' Malone said before Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) game he had no problem with Nurkic's sentiments. 'Nurk's been great,' Malone said. 'I understand guys want to be out there. They're competitive. You want them to be competitive. Just make sure you're being a good teammate.' strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Sixers: /strong> /em> Host Minnesota on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). em> strong>Nuggets: /strong> /em>At the Golden State Warriors on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2016

2 Cebuano cagers to play key roles in FEU-Ateneo sudden-death duel

2 Cebuano cagers to play key roles in FEU-Ateneo sudden-death duel.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 29th, 2016

IN PHOTOS: Celebs don Halloween costumes

MANILA, Philippines – Celebrities did not miss the opportunity to play their favored roles or the chance to scare other people through their Halloween costum.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 31st, 2016

Maui Taylor wants to play challenging roles for a change

Maui Taylor wants to play challenging roles for a change.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsOct 12th, 2016

Direk Olive: Chemistry, focus at pagsabak sa mapanghamong roles ang susi sa tagumpay ng isang love team

Direk Olive: Chemistry, focus at pagsabak sa mapanghamong roles ang susi sa tagumpay ng isang love team.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2016