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Jericho& rsquo;s & lsquo;Halik& rsquo; continues to rise in national ratings

Jericho& rsquo;s & lsquo;Halik& rsquo; continues to rise in national ratings.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource: thestandard thestandardOct 10th, 2018

From humble origins in GenSan, Manny Pacquiao s MPBL is now a nation-wide league

With the second season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League kicking things off, Tuesday evening, its steady rise to popularity continues Following a successful inaugural season with ten teams, the playing field has expanded exponentially in the second season, now with 26 teams vying for the title of MPBL National Champion, as well as a very, very valuable piece of hardware. (READ ALSO: MPBL: National Champions to get trophy worth ten million pesos) And as the semi-professional league continues to grow, it’s amazing to think that it all started with a ‘pa-liga’ in General Santos City. The brainchild of eight-division boxing world champion-turned Philippine Senator and avid basketball enthusiast Manny Pacquiao, the MPBL wasn’t always a nation-wide league. “Itong MPBL kasi, the original name is Manny Pacquiao Basketball League, and we piloted it sa GenSan,” Pacquiao explained during the opening day of the 2018-2019 MPBL Anta Datu Cup, Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum. “Nag-pilot kami ng ten seasons, parang pa-liga ko lang doon tapos open siya and maraming sumali. Nagkaroon kami ng 18 teams, hanggang ten seasons yun, ang premyo namin ay 1 million.” After seeing that the league had potential, Senator Manny decided to take it to another level. “Maganda naman yung resulta, tapos pinag-aralan ko ng mabuti kung ano yung mga dapat gawin, yung titignan natin, and then nung na-complete ko yung ten seasons, in-apply ko sa national.” “[Pwede na ‘to] sa national, i-apply ko, ila-live ko sa TV.” Pacquiao added. After two years of brainstorming and preparation, the MPBL as we know it now was born. Pacquiao added that he decided to replace “Manny Pacquiao” with “Maharlika Pilipinas” so as not to stir anything up, given his political status. From a simple league in General Santos to a nation-wide league that features 26 teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, all bannered by former professionals, collegiate hoop stars, and homegrown talents, the MPBL is definitely living up to what Pacquiao envisioned it to be: a platform for even more FIlipinos to showcase their basketball skills at a high level. "Nagsimula lahat sa isang pangarap, na mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mas maraming Pilipino na makapaglaro ng basketball sa professional level..." Sen. @mannypacquiao speaking at the opening of the 2018 MPBL Datu Cup. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/7PjRARV0bU — Santino Honasan🎈 (@honasantino) June 12, 2018   You can catch the exciting MPBL action on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

Comm. Silver, NBPA say competitive imbalance not a problem

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com LAS VEGAS -- First came the backlash. Next, backlash to the backlash. By Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), much of the whipsawing over competitive balance -- or more accurately, imbalance -- as an NBA problem rising to the level of crisis had calmed down. Yet powerful voices from the league’s summer nerve center could not dismiss it entirely as an issue meriting closer inspection. “I'm not here to say we have a problem,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday after the Board of Governors meeting. “And I love where the league is right now. [But] I think we can create a better system.” Neither Silver nor Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, sounded an alarm in their separate news conferences about what many see as a widening gap between the league’s haves and have-nots. Roberts, in fact, seemed to feel that all is well and that talent inequality is in the eye of the beholder. “Competitive balance, it almost depends on what your favorite team is,” said Roberts, who was rehired as head of the players union in another four-year contract announced Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “I don’t hear anybody in the Bay Area worrying about competitive balance. I also don’t hear the people in Philadelphia worrying about competitive balance, or Houston. “We’ve got great teams. And it’s never been the case, as far as I’m concerned, where I was not able most of the time to predict what teams were going to be in the Finals.” The topic came up in precisely that context before the Finals last month when Silver was asked about Golden State and Cleveland meeting in the championship series for the fourth consecutive year, a first in any of the major professional sports leagues. It reared its head again this month soon after free agency opened on July 1, with events conspiring to make insiders wonder about a growing disparity among teams. LeBron James’ signing with the Los Angeles Lakers was the biggest move in what appeared to be a continuing shift of strength into the league’s Western Conference. That was followed by the news that DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans’ All-Star center, had joined the champion Warriors. That signing sparked the initial backlash, a rich-getting-richer cry that pointed not to Cousins’ one-year deal for $5.3 million in 2018-19 salary but the fact that the Warriors will spend in excess of $20 million for it when luxury taxes are counted. Golden State had the NBA’s fattest payroll in 2017-18 of $137.5 million, despite a $99 million salary cap, thanks to various exceptions in the prevailing “soft cap” system. “I don't necessarily think it's per se bad that the Warriors are so dominant,” Silver told reporters, not long after discussing the “competitive landscape” with the owners. “As I've said before, we're not trying to create some sort of forced parity. What we really focus on is parity of opportunity. And a fair point could be made in the tax system, when certain teams are spending significantly more than others, that that's not parity of opportunity.” The counter-backlash came from folks who rushed to the Warriors’ and Cousins’ defense, correctly noting that neither did anything wrong, conducting their business within the rules as specified by the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the players. That CBA is the object of endless study and imagined revision, with amendments possible if negotiated prior to the end of the current deal after the 2023-24 season. Shooting for a “hard cap” likely would be a tough sell to players accustomed to the freedom of movement they currently enjoy. “It's not necessarily [Roberts’] issue,” Silver said in response to the union director’s characterization. “I think it's on me and our Labor Relations Committee, ultimately, to sit with the players and their committee and convince them that there may be a better way of doing things.” Silver mentioned Charlotte owner and legendary NBA superstar Michael Jordan, chairman of that Labor Relations Committee, as a valuable resource in addressing owners’ and players’ competition concerns. Both sides have valid arguments. Interest in the NBA never has been higher by almost any metric chosen, from selected TV ratings and licensing revenues to the game’s growth globally. Attendance at the MGM Resorts Las Vegas Summer League keeps pushing higher, with fans eager to see top rookies, second-year players and relative free-agent unknowns chasing their pro hoops’ dreams. The valuations of the 30 NBA franchises, of course, all have soared beyond $1 billion, according to Forbes.com, with the Knicks, the Lakers and the Warriors all estimated to be worth more than $3 billion. Longtime NBA observers such as TNT’s David Aldridge wrote a column this week that argued on behalf of dominant teams, anyway, saying that they actually drive rather than depress fan interest. As for any inability to win games or titles, he laid the blame for that on poor franchise management. The Knicks and the Clippers have all sorts of big-market advantages but haven’t won any championships lately (or at all in the Clippers' case). For Roberts, whose players reap 51 percent of NBA basketball-related income that tops $7 billion annually, business is good, period. “I’m excited about this new season,” she said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “This free agency, there’s been a lot to write about so we’re all, I think, looking forward to what’s going to happen come October. “To the extent that people are predicting the end of the game, I just don’t think so. I would be surprised if Adam called me to say, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’ I think he’s as happy as I am. ... I think we’re in good shape.” Critics note Golden State’s on-court dominance in winning the last two championships. It only took nine NBA Finals games --one over the minimum -- while facing arguably the league’s best player in LeBron James. But those same critics seem to foget that the Warriors were pushed to the full seven games in the conference finals, and actually faced elimination twice before beating the Rockets. “I recognize what Michele's saying,” Silver said. “But at the same time, if you talk to players in the league, and I've talked to plenty of individual players as well, they want to be in the most competitive league possible too.” For every player on the Warriors' roster -- or the Rockets, the Thunder, the Celtics or the Sixers -- there are five or six on teams that realistically have no chance of chasing a ring or the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Cleveland went to four straight Finals thanks to James; no one envisions the Cavaliers getting back any time soon. “Maybe there are some players who think they’re on a second-class team,” said Sacramento wing Garrett Temple, one of the NBPA vice presidents. “But most players I’ve played with or been around, their thought process is, ‘We’re gonna get our team to become one of those first-class teams.’ It’s more of a challenge. More so than, ‘We need them to disband so we can make everybody equal.’ Because we’re competitors.” That really is the crux of the issue. Silver and some franchises want most of the competition to come on the floor, in games, in full view of fans who believe their teams can sufficiently compete. The league’s current title contenders are fine with a system that allows them to compete all the way to the top, with an owner stroking gargantuan checks to crowd out rivals. “Let me make clear that under the current system we want teams to compete like crazy,” Silver said. “So I think the Warriors within the framework of this deal should be doing everything they can to increase their dominance. That's what you want to see in a league. “You want teams to compete in every way they can within the rules.” Silver addressed a variety of topics that were came from the BOG agenda, including: -- Change is coming on multiple fronts, most notably in the league’s age limit. That seems likely to be re-set back to 18 years old from 19, permitting players to enter the league from high school. It’s a move that the NBA should be better equipped to handle with a near 30-for-30 farm-system affiliation with its G League. It also fits with the findings of an NCAA task force that cites dissatisfaction with “one-and-done” college players. Said Silver: “My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change.” -- The start of free agency, annually triggered at midnight ET on July 1 (12:00pm, July 1, PHL time), will be moved to a daytime or prime time opening bell. It’s one of those traditions that no one thought to change, Silver said. -- The league’s investigation into the Dallas Mavericks’ sexual harassment issues should be completed by the end of the month. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Iriga City poised to become Bicol’s volleyball center next year

Iriga City bids to become a sporting mecca in the Bicol Region with the construction of a 5,000-seat gym in this city 400 kilometers southeast of Manila. Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen, owner-manager of the Navy-Iriga City Lady Oragons, said the gym is under construction and will be finished by December.       “Maybe next year the PVL on Tour could go to Iriga now that we will have the facilities to host some of its games,” she said, referring to the league’s program to bring the league's matches to the provinces, which started last year.      Sports Vision president Ricky Palou said Iriga City’s strong partnership with the PVL organizing outfit continues to serve “…our vision of promoting and upgrading volleyball in the country.”  Among others, the Iriga City gym will provide excellent facilities in volleyball as part of the mayor’s vision to restore Bicol’s lofty position in volleyball. “It used to be that Bicolanos were highly regarded in the sport and regularly picked for the national teams,” she said. When the sports arena finally rises six months from now, it will occupy pride of place with Iriga’s new city hall, already transferred to its new home in barangay Sta. Cruz Sur, new library, new public market and new slaughterhouse as part of the more concrete legacy the mayor wants to leave to her constituents.   But it is in sports where the sports-minded chief executive of this multi-awarded city wants to involve her young constituents to develop physical fitness, character and mental toughness, prerequisites, she said, to making the young transform into productive citizens and ideal leaders and followers of the future.   High sports awareness      At no other time has sports awareness in Iriga City been this incredibly high and involving as it is now.  Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen fittingly provides the face to this exciting sports phenomenon happening in her city of birth, where generations from her side of the family have served and continue to serve their people through holding public offices.    The well-loved first and only woman mayor of Iriga said she keeps her balance by finding time to indulge her passion in sports. She is into a lot of sports for recreation or for competition. She still plays volleyball, lawn tennis, table tennis and badminton. At one time in elementary and high school she took up softball as a shortstop and even football. It was her serious intent to lure primarily her youthful constituents into sports that led Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen to form her own club team that proceeded to compete in the 2016 nationally telecast season of the Sports Vision-organized V-League.    After seeing their mayor, her prodigy Grazielle Bombita from Camarines Sur and fellow Bicolanos tangle with the best players in Manila in a big time league on television for the first time ever, parents from even as far as Sorsogon and the Visayas, Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen said, would see her at the city hall or stop her in her tracks to recommend their daughters for training under her volleyball program.      As a result, the city government has tied up with elementary and high schools in Iriga to train kids of all genders not only in volleyball but in basketball, table tennis, lawn tennis and football as well. Scholarships are given to training program participants from San Miguel Elementary School, University of St. Anthony, University of Northeastern Philippines, Ceferino Arroyo High School and Rinconada National Technical and Vocational School.   Multi-awarded city    Daughter of the late Camarines Sur Rep. Ciriaco R. Alfelor, granddaughter of the CamSur Gov. Felix O. Alfelor, and niece of ex-Iriga City Mayor Emmanuel R. Alfelor, Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen became Iriga’s first woman mayor in 2004. She served for three consecutive terms via the biggest margin of votes in Iriga’s political history.    Younger brother Ronald Felix Y. Alfelor, an electrical engineer by profession, was voted into the same position next before she assumed the office again.     Under her leadership anchored on an advocacy on good governance and responsible citizenship, Iriga City has distinguished itself with several awards from national and international organizations.  Among these are the 2009 Award of Excellence in Good Local Governance given by the DILG; 2010 citation as among the Top 10 performing local governments under the component cities category from the DILG; 2010 citation as a Galing Pook Award finalist; 2010 citation for Best Practices given by the Asia Foundation and British Embassy for the city’s programs on people’s participation, revenue generation and environment protection; 2011 Region’s Best Outstanding Local Government Agency award given by the Civil Service Commission; and the 2011 Outstanding Human Resource Management award. Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen finished BA Humanities in the University of the Philippines, BS Biology in Far Eastern University, but instead of proceeding to study medicine, she took up law in the University of Santo Tomas, a course she didn’t get to finish because of she said she was ‘sidetracked’ by marriage.   Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen’s children, all Ateneo students – Maria Cenen, 23; Brendan, 20; and Brian, 18 – may not have inherited her one-of-a-kind passion for sports but they support all her sporting decisions and endeavors.   Her only daughter gets to flex some athletic muscles, though, during university intramurals. Eldest son Brendan is team captain of the popular Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion. Brian, the youngest, helps her mom manage and cheer the Navy-Iriga City Lady Oragons in the PVL if he’s not busy with his commitment as a Star Music talent......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018

PVL: Cagande making a name for herself in PVL debut

BaliPure-National University may be the youngest team in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference with its core composed of high school standouts but the Water Defenders are already making their presence felt and could give other established squads a run for their money. After falling short in their debut, BaliPure went on a roll, winning their next three matches to climb to a share of the lead with Creamline and PayMaya. American import Janisa Johnson is scoring consistently since she checked in for BaliPure in their second match while young libero Jennifer Nierva is holding the fort on floor defense. But the recent success of the Water Defenders could also be attributed to the steady game and quick adjustments of setter Joyme Cagande. The incoming Lady Bulldog has been lording over the setting department with an average of 9.1 excellent set per frame.     Known for her superb playmaking for the four-peat UAAP high school champion Nazareth School of NU, Cagande continues to dazzle even in the import-laden commercial league. The reigning UAAP high school Best Setter delivered her best performance yet with 54 excellent sets Wednesday in BaliPure’s 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 32-30, win over BanKo at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.    Cagande welcomes the challenge of setting up plays to imports Johnson and Alexis Matthews, who are grizzled veterans in international play.      “Challenging siya kasi especially may imports. Iba kasi yung speed ng import, iba yung height ng import so kailangan talaga nandoon ang dedication mo para makuha ang eksaktong set for them,” said Cagande, daughter of a Philippine Star senior photographer Joven. Cagande is particularly comfortable playing with Johnson, making their tandem one of the most dangerous setter-hitter partnerships in the tournament. “Actually po kay Ate Janisa sobrang walang pressure kasi nandoon lang ang support niya lagi,” she said. “Always kapag ang set ko mali nandoon lagi ang feedback niya po kaya hindi gaanong mahirap makipag-work together with her.” Johnson in her previous interview said that she likes her role as mentor and ‘mother’ for the young BaliPure players. Cagande surely is learning a lot from the hitter, who is just coming off two big tournaments in France.  “‘Yung mga adjustments po sa mga mistakes (ang tinuturo niya). Sinasabi niya na OK lang mag-commit ng mistakes basta yung ibibigay nyong solution kaagad nandoon,” Cagande said of one of the things she learned from Johnson. With a 3-1 win-loss record the Water Defenders are in the thick of the battle for the outright semis seats. Expect Cagande to be one of the BaliPure players leading the way.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

The five Super Moms behind your favorite athletes

The saying goes “For every great man, there is a great woman.” This holds true in the world of sports, where athletes lean on their moms during their development, through their success, and beyond. Remember when NBA superstar Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors received the MVP award for the 2013-2014 season? He offered his award to his mom for her dedication in bringing him up the right way. In the Philippines, our local athletes also cherish their mom as much as they cherish their wins and accolades. Let’s take a look at five super moms who have been caught by S+A’s cameras supporting their children game in and game out.   1.) Mozzy Ravena   But the plan is to show you that i understand. You are appreciated. . . . . . . Happy mother’s day @ravenamozzy ! A post shared by Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena15) on May 12, 2018 at 4:39pm PDT Mozzy Ravena is always there for her kids. Mozzy Ravena is probably the most prominent sporting mom S+A has caught. Not only is she a former star for the UST Golden Tigresses, she is also the mom of the Ravena siblings who have made a mark in their respective UAAP sports. Kiefer, Thirdy, and Dani Ravena surely have one heck of a super mom that never tire from cheering them on and lecturing them about what it takes to be an ultimate athlete. When Ateneo plays, everyone is sure that Tita Mozzy will be there for her kids.   2.) Lydia De Vega-Mercado Former Filipina super sprinter and national track team mainstay Lydia De Vega-Mercado made sure to support daughter Stephanie's volleyball dream. The former national sprinter, who was considered the fastest woman in Asia during her heydays in the ‘80s, is also the mother of former star DLSU Lady Spiker and current Petro Gazz Angel Stephanie Mercado. While her daughter did not follow in her footsteps and pursued volleyball instead of athletics, it did not stop her from showing up in her Paneng’s games and celebrated her championships as if she just won in a World Championship for the 100m dash.   3.) Susan Teng     Congrats @jeronalvinteng for winning your second championship and being the finals mvp! Great way to end your college career! 👍 A post shared by jeric teng (@tengjeric) on Dec 7, 2016 at 4:21am PST Susan Teng is all out when it comes to supporting her sons during their collegiate careers, never mind that they went to different schools.  When it comes to former UAAP stars and brothers, Jeron and Jeric Teng, their father Alvin is mentioned more being a former professional basketball player. However, as much as the Teng brothers credit their dad for their love and development in the sport, they also heap as much love to their mother Susan, who has been with them every step of the way, starting to when they were still small basketeers.   4.) Pablita Valdez Pablita Valdez made a big decision in letting her precious Alyssa travel to Manila and embark on a journey towards volleyball stardom. Before her daughter even became a national sensation, Pablita, who was a teacher in Batangas, believed that Alyssa was in store for great things when she started playing volleyball. It is that belief that made her decide to bring the younger Valdez to Manila where she can hone her talent and play in tougher situations and competition. That decision has paid off in spades as the volleyball phenom was born and her star’s ascent was meteoric. Every step of the way, Mama Pablita was there for her and we couldn’t thank her enough for giving us an excellent and much-loved star.   5.) Marilyn Mollena It took them 13 years to be together, but for every spike and score, Marilyn Mollena was on the mind of the Lady Beast, Grethcel Soltones.  Mommy Marilyn was the reason why Grethcel Soltones became the “Lady Beast.” Young Grethcel decided to play volleyball during her formative years as she searched for her mom. She thought that it was the easiest avenue to meet her mother after 13 years if she played and got broadcast on TV. She soon got her wish for on her last year with the San Sebastian Lady Stags when Marilyn surprised the Lady Beast during the individual awarding ceremonies and the whole nation even got to witness the touching reunion on TV.    Catch more super moms and also super dads on ABS-CBN S+A as it continues to champion Filipino athletes and sports development through the coverage of sports events and the airing of inspiring features on teams and athletes. For more information and stories, visit ABS-CBN’s sports hub sports.abs-cbn.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2018

Gutsy Batangas crowned as first-ever king of MPBL

On the ground for the very first time in the playoffs of the inaugural Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Anta Rajah Cup, Batangas wasted no time in standing back up. And not only did they stand up, the Athletics also marched forward, right through overmatched Muntinlupa, 68-66, to claim the throne as first-ever kings of the new national league. Big guns Bong Quinto and Paul Varilla as well as key reserve Moncrief Rogado all came to play and made sure the visitors didn’t waste another shot at history. Quinto wound up with 12 points, Varilla had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Rogado dropped a season-high 14 points of his own. Two days ago, Batangas suffered its first setback in the playoffs and saw their opponents cut their deficit in the best-of-five series to 1-2. “There’s no safe lead. We were up by 15 tapos nawala diba,” head coach Mac Tan said. Indeed, Pari Llagas and Dave Moralde yet again willed the Cagers in this one, rallying them from as much as 15 points down to up 65-63 inside the last two minutes. Quinto and Jhaymo Eguilos had the answer for the Athletics, however, and connived for five unanswered points and a 68-65 advantage in their favor. With 18.2 ticks to go on the clock, the home team still had several shots to force overtime, or even win the game, but Moralde and Llagas combined to convert only one of their four free throws. The clutch makes of Quinto and Eguilos, along with the crucial misses of Moralde and Llagas, proved to be more than enough for Batangas to take home the title. “Ang adjustment namin, yung willingness ng players na ayaw na nilang bumalik pa ‘to ng Batangas,” Tan said. The well-earned win was just the perfect ending for a maiden campaign which saw them romp through the eliminations and rise as the top-seed of the playoffs and the favorites for the title. The Athletics only lived up to the hype, sweeping both the quarterfinals and the semifinals then ringing off back-to-back wins in the championship round before losing Game 3. Bouncing back big-time in Game 4, they cap off their playoff run with a standout 7-1 record. For Muntinlupa, Llagas topped the scoring column with 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds and two blocks. Moralde chipped in 14 markers, seven boards, and two assists. They will be looking back at their woes from the line as the foremost reason why their conference has come to a close. In all, they muffed on 15 of 31 free throws that, without a doubt, would have changed the complexion of the contest. BOX SCORES BATANGAS 68 – Rogado 14, Quinto 12, Varilla 10, Teodoro 9, Eguilos 7, Santos 6, Acuna 5, Olayon 4, Villamor 1, Grimaldo 0, Alvarez 0, Pasculado 0 MUNTINUPA 66 – Llagas 19, Moralde 14, Reverente 12, Mangahas 11, Ylagan 7, Jaime 3, Apreku 0, Vergara 0, Stevens 0 QUARTER SCORES: 16-12, 43-28, 54-47, 68-66 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

Encantadia continues its strong ratings performance

The grand return of Encantadia, GMA Network’s popular and well-loved telefantasya, has been consistently receiving good reviews. It also continues to increase its TV ratings not only in viewer-rich Urban Luzon but also across National Urban Philippi.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 24th, 2016

ABL: Alab Pilipinas has a dream team in its coaching staff

Alab Pilipinas will now have three Philippine basketball legends in its coaching staff for the upcoming 2018-2019 Asean Basketball League. When “Mighty Mouse” Jimmy Alapag was named head coach a year ago, “Dynamite” Danny Seigle joined him. Now, they will also have “Major Pain” Eric Menk by their side. As it turns out, this is a tale of better late than never. “I almost joined them last year, but I was busy with some things. It was a bit of a tough decision but I can only say no to Jimmy so many times and even more when management joined me as well,” Menk shared in the league’s preseason press conference on Tuesday at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay. And so, the reigning and defending champions in the ABL will now have three coaches with a combined 48 years of experience in the PBA – and, more than that, a combined 18 championships. Just imagine if they were still at the peak of their powers and they were the ones playing? At some point, they themselves already have. “We always used to talk about that. I think the three of us would have worked very, very well on the court,” Menk said. Alapag could only agree. “You know, not a bad team. They would’ve made my job pretty easy because I’d just give the ball to them,” he said. Unfortunately, that may very well be already a long shot as Menk is already 44, Seigle is already 42, and Alapag is already 40. What matters more now, though, is that these three Philippine basketball legends impart their wisdom to Alab Pilipinas. And that is exactly why Alapag never quit on recruiting Menk. As the former put it, “From all our times competing against each other and even our brief time playing for the national team, he was always one of the players whom I had an incredible amount of respect for what he did in the league, his work ethic, and how he carried himself.” He then continued, “But what a lot of people don’t know is he’s a great basketball mind. He’s very, very knowledgeable about the game and I think his ability to not just work with our big guys, but really, our entire team is gonna be big for us.” For his part, Menk just wants to do what they weren’t able to do as players – get together and win a championship now as coaches. “We couldn’t form a ‘dream team’ while we were playing, but hopefully, we can form a ‘dream team’ while coaching,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2018

PVL: Valdez not closing doors on politics

Alyssa Valdez could be looking at running for public position in the future. With the local elections just a few months away and following volleyball legend Leila Barros being elected as a senator in Brazil, Valdez said that she’s ‘not closing her doors’ to politics.      In fact, she and some local volleyball stars are now in the process of conceptualizing a partylist that aim to promote the welfare of Filipino athletes and nation building through sports.     “You know honestly kami talaga nina Ate Cha (Soriano), mga teammates ko from Ateneo, we really wanted to (form) a partylist,” said the Creamline power hitter. “Gusto talaga namin ang ibang tao na mag-support talaga sa sports. ‘Yun pa lang parang may concept na.” A representation in the House of Representatives, according to Valdez, will give athletes a voice in the government.  “We really wanted to help not just volleyball, siyempre we want the support talaga sa lahat ng sports,” added the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player.  “Lalo na ako na nakikita ko whenever I go out of the country like Asian Games grabe talaga ang support ng bawat country na nakakalaban namin. So I wanted also na ganoon ang mangyari sa Philippines,” added the national team member.  However, the possibility of running for a position could take a few more years to materialize as Valdez is still enjoying her peak in the sport.  "We are trying to conceptualize pa lang naman,” explained Valdez. “We’re serious but as of now marami pa rin naman nangyayari sa amin sa volleyball kung na-settle muna lahat, so why not di ba?”     Barros a hero Barros endeared herself among the Filipino fans when the talented Brazilian opposite spiker strutted her wares during the country’s hosting of the FIVB Grand Prix in the late 90s early 2000s. With her charm, beauty and incredible power and skill, the 5-foot-10 hitter received a rock star status among adoring fans and became a hero among local volleyball players including most of the country’s stars today. One of them is Valdez.      “Leila Barros siguro is one of the heroes of Philippine volleyball. Isa siya sa talagan hinangaan ng lahat ng tao that’s why we’re all here,” said Valdez, who was just eight years old when Barros last saw action in the country during the 2000 World Grand Prix. “As a volleyball player I’m just really proud na may someone na very strong and brave enough to face another chapter of her life,” she added. Valdez herself has been actively doing civic works through her clinics and support to other foundations.  And her following Barros’ footsteps in public service is not far-fetched. "Siguro hindi naman sa ayaw kong magsalita ng tapos, mga councilor muna, hindi just kidding,” she said. “I really want to help not just volleyball in general but siguro sa nakukuha kong responsibility ko ay hindi lang din naman nali-limit sa volleyball. “Siyempre kailangan mo rin namang maka-experience ng mas madami, si Leila Barros nga ilang taon na rin naman then dun lang din nya na-realize na she’s ready to serve,” Valdez continued. “Hindi naman sa hinihintay ko siguro darating naman ang point na may mag-snap dyan na ‘you really have to serve (the country) after na lang ng volleyball siguro." “I’m not closing my doors but im really happy to help anyone din naman so who knows,” she said.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 15th, 2018

& lsquo;Ang Probinsyano& rsquo; breaks own record, hits all-time high national TV rating

& lsquo;Ang Probinsyano& rsquo; breaks own record, hits all-time high national TV rating.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 8th, 2018

The Future of UST Beach Volleyball Blove Barbon and Jaron Requinton

University of Santo Tomas fielded a super senior-rookie tandem both in the women’s and men’s divisions of the UAAP Season 81 Beach Volleyball Tournament. That decision led to two championships, two MVPs, and two Rookies of the Year. Newbie Blove Barbon partnered up with the graduating Sisi Rondina, who played her fifth and final year on the sands. The rookie was nothing but honored to have partnered up with arguably the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All-Time) of Philippine beach volleyball in her first year playing the sport. She expressed that she was up to the challenge of teaming up with a player as intense as Rondina – an athlete who expects every teammate to go as hard as her. “Tinake ko lang po sya as a motivation kasi yun po yung way ni Ate Si na parang [gumaling] po yung sarili natin. ‘Di naman lahat ng naka-partner ni Ate Si, tumagal sa kanya. Pero para po sa akin, yun po yung ginawa kong motivation para lumaban ng lumaban,” she said after being awarded the Season 81 Rookie of the Year. The bubbly yet shy girl from Bukidnon showed immense improvement from Day 1 to the Finals. Seven game days after, her initial careless errors in the eliminations transformed to mature and smart ball placing. Barbon can’t help but feel regretful that this was her first and last time to play with Rondina. If she were to choose, she would partner with her over and over again. “Syempre, sino ba namang hindi gusto maging ka-partner si Ate Sisi. Diba? Nakita naman natin yung laro niya, di basta basta, siya po yung [pinakamagaling] sa beach volley,” she said with a giddy smile. “Halo halong saya po saka lungkot kasi yun nga po yun na yung last playing year ni Ate Si so next year iba na po makakapartner ko,” she said as she reflected on helping Rondina get the good exit she wanted. As for Rondina, she expressed confidence on leaving UST’s beach volleyball program, an arena she loved so much, to her young yet promising Padawan. “Si Babylove naman sinasabi ko sa kaniya na for her to get these awards, ang naging sangkap sa mga ganito is hard work. Commit kung saan ka naka-commit, wag kang masilaw sa pagiging sikat,” said Rondina. “May potential talaga siya. Sana madala niya 'yung attitude ko towards the game and towards training,” added the four-time MVP. Barbon is shy and still not accustomed to the attention one receives after a championship and a Rookie of the Year award. When reporters got a hold of her, she even joked around asking if someone else can substitute for her. “Pwede bang sub? Sub?” she quipped. With Rondina graduating, Barbon is left with the responsibility of preserving the elite status of UST in beach volleyball. When asked about it, Barbon has this to say. “Sobrang bigat po kasi lahat po kasi baguhan eh. Wala na pong senior na magdadala sa amin. Pero try po namin kung ano yung ginagawa ni Ate Si ngayon,” she said. “Gagawin namin para sa school,” the rookie said. Saying that she will do everything for UST, a sentiment Rondina has always preached, just goes to show that aside from volleyball smarts, she also picked up a rhetoric of her Ate. As for the men’s division, it was Jaron Requinton who had the honor of learning from veteran Krung Arbasto. Just like the women’s, the super senior-rookie tandem brought UST another gold. Requinton’s court presence is beyond his years. For most of the season, opponents always avoid letting the much more experienced Arbasto get the kill. With that, the spiking burden has been mostly on the young Requinton but the rookie was up to the challenge. He held a solid account of himself drilling down balls and blocking attacks as if this was not his first time in the UAAP. To make things more entertaining, he paired his volleyball skills with spunky antics on the sands. This is why no one was surprised when his name was called as the Season 81 Rookie of the Year. “Ito po siguro yung araw na di ko malilimutan as rookie kasi kahit natalo po kami sa eliminations ng FEU, natalo naman po namin sila sa championships. Goal ko po yun. Super salamat po talaga,” said Requinton. In contrast to Barbon’s timidity, Requinton has a confident aura around him. Whether he is playing on the sands or talking to reporters, he always seems to show no hint of intimidation. In his first rivalry game during the eliminations against National University, the lone rookie on the court joined the veterans in the tongue wagging and the arm flexing. Requinton showed all season long that he may be young but he is the real deal. “Siguro po yung hugot ko lang po [para sa confidence ko] ay sa hard training po namin, sa mga pinagdaanan po namin, sa struggles, sa away-bati,” he explained. In the end, just like Barbon, he was able to roll out the red carpet for Arbasto as he exited UAAP beach volleyball.  “Sobrang saya po kasi graduating po si Kuya Krung tapos nabigyan ko po siya ng magandang exit sa beach volley po,” Requinton expressed. Aside from bringing the trophy back to Espana, the rookie is also now responsible of continuing the steady stride of UST’s beach volleyball program. Arbasto expressed full confidence on his apprentice. “Si Jaron, matibay siya. May dedication talaga sya sa beach volley na buong puso naglalaro. Di bumibitaw sa kahit ano mang laban,” said Arbasto who was hailed as the Season 81 MVP. “Kahit na pinapagalitan ko yan, wala, tiyaga pa rin siya,” he added. When asked about the passing of the torch, Requinton embraces the responsibility with open arms. “Ireready ko po sarili ko kasi ayoko po magulat so ready lang po, kasi marami naman po kami. Di ko rin po alam mangyayari sa akin,” he said. This is the inevitable progression of college sports. When great players graduate, programs scramble trying to look for someone to replace them. But as for UST, they can breathe easily knowing that their beach volleyball program is now in the good and promising hands of Barbon and Requinton......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2018

UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball: Tams march to the Finals outright

Far Eastern University capped its dominance in the elimination round with an emphatic win to advance outright in the Finals while University of Sto. Tomas clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semis of the UAAP Season 81 men’s beach volleyball tournament. The Tamaraws pair of Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon manhandled the Ateneo de Manila University duo of Abail Llenos and Kurt Aguilar, 21-3, 21-5, to complete a seven-game sweep of the elims Friday at the Sands SM by the Bay.  “Pinaghirapan namin ‘tong dalawa makuha, kaya pagdating sa championship pag-iigihan pa namin ng mabuti,” said Garcia, who is looking to complete an unfinished business after falling short of winning the crown in Season 79. “Pangalawang pagkakataon na rin po naming makapasok ng championship ito.” FEU will get a one-day rest before the best-of-three Finals on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Tigers duo Jaron Requiton and Krung Arbasto outlasted the defending champion National University pair of Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad in a come-from-behind, 30-32, 21-12, 15-13, victory under the sweltering heat of the midday sun to secure an advantage in the semis that will start Saturday. The Tigers closed the elims with a 6-1 win-loss record and will take on the survivor between the Bulldogs (5-2) and Adamson University’s Paolo Pablico and Jesus Valdez (4-3), which defeated De La Salle University’s Geraint Bacon and Raphael Sumalinog, 21-18, 21-18. UST broke a 7-7 deadlock with a 5-2 blitz for a three-point lead. NU saved two match points to move within one, 14-13, before Bagunas gave the match away with a service error.       In other result, University of the Philippines’ Nico Consuelo and Mark Millete beat Clifford Inoferio and Alven Aljas of University of the East, 21-15, 21-17. Ateneo, UP and UE finished the season with 2-5 marks while DLSU failed to win a single game.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2018

PVL: Nakaka-proud siya -- Myla Pablo on sister Marites

Pocari Sweat-Air Force top hitter Myla Pablo has nothing but praises for her sister PetroGazz new recruit Marites after the siblings’ first encounter in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. “Nakaka-proud, sobra kasi first time ko siya makalaban sa PVL, professional league nga,” said Pablo of her young sister Wednesday night as the Lady Warriors notched its first win in two matches in the season-ending tournament at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here.     “Nakitaan ko siya ng potential sa loob ng court, medyo parang isa siya sa mga senior na din na nagsasalita na napapansin ko,” added Pablo. “Binibigay naman niya ‘yung best niya kaya sobrang happy ako na kahit papaano nakakatulong siya sa team niya.” But it was the two-time conference Most Valuable Player and the Lady Warriors who walked away with a hard-fought 25-20, 29-31, 25-15, 17-25, 15-5 victory. Myla Pablo registered a game-high 22 points to carry her team into the win column after a four-set defeat at the hands of Ateneo de Manila University.  The Pablo sisters last played together back in 2016 in Myla’s last year with National University in the UAAP. The following year Marites transferred to College of St. Benilde and is set to see action wearing the Lady Blazers jersey this NCAA Season 94. While Myla is vocal with her praises for her sister, Marites shares how her ‘ate’ helps her develop into a better volleyball player.  “First of all po, I always look up to her kasi magaling talaga siya tapos sobrang bait niya as a sister,” said the younger Pablo, who scored six markers. “Tapos lagi niya po akong ina-advice and ‘yung mga talagang words of wisdom niya shine-share niya sa akin.” “I’m so proud of her and sobrang exciting yung game kasi first time talaga namin naglaro na magkalaban,” added the 21-year old Marites. Myla is always generous with her advices for her sister.   “Minsan ‘pag may mga tune up games siya sinasabi niya sa akin, ‘Ate ang panget ng laro ko. Anong gagawin ko?’Tinuturuan ko naman siya na parang unang-una ‘wag siyang sisimangot sa loob ng court and then ‘yun nga bigay lang niya ‘yung best niya sa team, alam kong kailangan siya ng coach niya,” she said. “Isa siya sa mga ha-handle ng team niya so ayun sabi ko lang ibigay mo yung best mo na hanggat kaya mo.” The Pablo sisters will again meet at the court in Pocari Sweat and PetroGazz’s elimination round rematch on Nov. 7 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2018

CamSur, Laguna triumph as NBL action resumes

CamSur and Laguna swept its games over the weekend in the continuation of the National Basketball League (NBL)-Philippines at the University of Nueva Caceres Sports Palace in Naga City. The CamSur Express defeated the Nueva Ecija Go Bespren, 98-74, last Saturday and beat the Taguig Generals, 79-63, last Sunday to the delight of the home crowd in Naga City to improve their record to 4-1 in the team standings. The Laguna Pistons also swept their matches in Naga, beating the Generals, 79-73, last Saturday, and the Go Bespren, 103-87, to rise their record to 3-1 in the league for homegrown talents. Jayson Relata had 15 points, while Fredson Hermonio had 14 points and eight assists for the Express in the win over the Go Bespren last Saturday before Jester Olea sparked his team against the Generals when he topscored with 16 points last Sunday. Against Taguig last Saturday, Shinichi Manacsa had 15 points, while Ralph Pantaleon had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons. Aries Santos exploded for 29 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the field in Laguna’s win over Nueva Ecija last Saturday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

PBA: On bad knees and feet, Joe Devance still stood tall against San Miguel

If it weren't for the persistence of Joe Devance, Ginebra would have only Prince Caperal as their only big man. The crowd darlings had a glaring shortage of centers and power forwards. Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, the famed Ginebra twin towers, were missing in action due to injury. Jervy Cruz was also not on the active list as he continues his recovery. Palms sweating, knees weak, Joe Devance provided a huge spark for Ginebra. If it were not for his 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists, things might have gone differently for the defending champions. Devance was not really going to play, but after Aguilar went down, he came at a crossroads. "It was a few days ago, Japeth got hurt in practice. He got hurt so I was like, ‘Oh man we don’t have any bigs, it’s just Prince’ so I just tried in practice and see how I feel. I just told coach that if I can get through it, I’ll do whatever I can to get through it," the burly big man shared after the game. Facing an equally-hobbled team in San Miguel, who were without four-time reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter, Devance stood in awe on how his team managed to score their fourth win of the conference. "It feels good to get a win especially against San Miguel. I know they have some guys that are hurt too but, it’s pretty crazy how many injuries we have right now. I think it’s like six or seven or something like that. It’s pretty amazing with just the things we are able to do right now." Despite not having a very positive assessment of his own knees -- which he said was 60 percent fine -- Devance maintained that he will do everything just to help the team, even at the expense of his own body. At 36 years old, the number 1 pick of the 2007 PBA draft is nearing the twilight of his career, and just elects to savor every moment he can while he's playing. "I don’t know if it’s my age or what it is but, I’m just trying to hang on and just keep up with these young guys, you know. I’m still having fun, it’s just when the pain is really bad, that’s when it gets tough." "Now again, it’s kinda hard but I’m hoping I can get back to just at least playing a little bit better. But I’m just proud of the guys. It’s all about the guys stepping up and they have been."   __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

UAAP: NU s Dave I: I think I made the right decision, Coach Tab

After averaging 17.5 points in his first two games in the UAAP Seniors, Dave Ildefonso was shackled down to just four points on Saturday. “Lakas ng katawan ni Thirdy [Ravena] e. Maganda yung game plan talaga nila,” he told reporters post-game after National University succumbed to Ateneo de Manila University, 46-72. Of course, Ildefonso’s worst game thus far in the Seniors had to come against Ateneo, the very same school he left. As it turns out, the Blue Eagles really saw to that. “I think that we wanted Dave to rethink that decision,” head coach Tab Baldwin in an earlier interview. For the past three years, Ildefonso had worn the blue and white as a Blue Eaglet and in his last season there, won a championship. And so, Katipunan’s Seniors squad did its all to keep the graduating players from that championship core – Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, Joaqui Manuel – together. Only Belangel and Credo stayed in Ateneo, however, while Ildefonso and Manuel transferred to NU and De La Salle University, respectively. Even so, Ildefonso said he has no regrets about his transfer. “I don’t think I made the wrong decision in switching schools. Whatever statement they were sending me, I didn’t get it,” he said after being told about Coach Tab’s words. The super rookie went on to re-emphasize that he wanted to make an immediate impact for whichever team he was joining – and he wouldn’t have been able to do that with the fully loaded defending champion Blue Eagles. “Isipin mo, si SJ, limited minutes. Kung nag-stay ako dun, mas lalo na ako, mas limited,” he shared. He then continued, “I think I made the right decision, Coach Tab, and I’ll see you soon.” Looking at the stat sheet, Belangel, the top senior of the most recent graduating class, only played 12 minutes for Ateneo. Still, Ildefonso made it clear that he harbors no ill will towards his former school. Asked if he’s looking forward to the next NU-Ateneo matchup, he answered, “I’m not thinking about that. I’m just thinking about Adamson next and trying to bounce back.” Indeed, all that’s on the mind of the 18-year-old is moving forward from his four-point performance. “Part din naman ‘to ng (buhay) ng athletes, ups and downs. Babawi naman talaga ako,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Cabagnot after first Gilas win: 'Our journey has begun'

MANILA, Philippines --- Alex Cabagnot finally got his win with Team Pilipinas and it feels oh so good. Cabagnot scored a team-high 16 points for Gilas Pilipinas Monday, helping the national team beat Qatar in a closed-door game in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas gets home win behind closed-doors] Part of the new-look national team, Cabagnot is glad he finally got that first win, a win that symbolizes his own journey with the national team. Scratch that, the start of a new journey for the new national team. "It felt good," Cabagnot said on the win, which pushed Gilas to 5-3 in Group F, still enough for third place and a spot in the World Cup if the Asian Qualifiers ended today. "I’m not really into the destination, but our journey has begun. That’s not the only game. And hopefully I could be there for the next window. You know how it is naman, pero, I can’t control that. I could only control what happened and I’m glad. and I’m fortunate to be with these guys and to be under coach Yeng Guiao," he added. The next FIBA window is about two months away and Cabagnot is hopeful Team Pilipinas can build on this win. Whether or not he makes it back, the veteran guard for San Miguel Beer has the national team's best interest in mind. "I’m glad we won. Masarap ‘yung panalo namin," Cabagnot said. "And hopefully we could build this in the next window --— if I’m still here, if I’m still invited by coach Yeng, the SBP community, and the federation," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2018

PHI rowers pocket four golds in ICF World Championships

GAINESVILLE, Georgia—The Philippines claimed two more gold medals in the 2018 ICF World Dragon Boat Championships here by winning the 10-seater and 20-seater senior mixed 200-meter races held at the Lake Lanier Olympic Park. Led by veteran paddlers Hermie Macaranas and Mark Jhon Frias, the Filipinos sprinted to the finish with a sudden burst of speed in the final 50 meters for a 50.46-second clocking in the small boat that drew admiration from their world-class rivals. France settled for the silver medal in 53.056 seconds and towed third-placer Hungary (53.158), host United States (53.463), Italy (53.9) and Germany (54.437). "On a shorter course such as the 200m, you need produce faster and powerful strokes to become successful,’’ said coach Diomedes Manalo after the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation paddlers surpassed their medal tally in 2016 Moscow, Russia. The Pinoy paddlers followed exactly the game plan in capturing their fourth gold in the big boat, clocking 43.481 seconds to subdue Czech Republic (46.082) and United States (46.146).  Hungary placed fourth (46.791) followed by Germany (48.040) and Canada (50.242). Besides the four gold medals, the national team supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and Go For Gold has also pocketed two silvers in the small boat senior men’s 500m and big boat senior mixed 2000m race, respectively. "Congratulations to our dragon boat athletes for improving on their medal tally from their last world championship,’’ said Go For Gold top honcho Jeremy Go. "Despite all the struggle and adversity, our team has come out on top and continues to impress.’’ They defended the 20-seater senior mixed 500m title with aplomb after kicking off their world championship campaign with a convincing win in the 10-seater senior mixed 500m event. The Pinoy paddlers remain on track to secure another gold medal in the 10-seater senior men 200m on Sunday (Monday in Manila). Jordan De Guia, John Paul Selencio, Lee Robin Santos, Jonathan Ruz, Daniel Ortega, Reymart Nevado, John Lester Delos Santos will join hands with Christine Mae Talledo, Sharmaine Mangilit, Apple Jane Abitona, Raquel Almencion and Lealyn Baligasa in the big boat senior mixed 200m. Maribeth Caranto has been designated steersman and Patricia Ann Bustamante as drummer. During their world championship campaign two years ago, the Filipinos brought home three gold medals, one silver and a pair of bronzes. In the master division, the Philippines pocketed a pair of bronze medals in the small boat men’s and mixed 200m races.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

Q& A: Hall of Fame Bob Lanier

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2018

Here s why Chris Webber should be in the Hall of Fame

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst C-Webb needs to be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. My Turner colleague Chris Webber has always brought out polarizing opinions -- first as a player, and now as a broadcaster. And I’m not objective when it comes to him, either. I love the guy. He’s a true student of the game, not afraid to speak his mind on and off the court, and is someone whose love for the game knows no equal. It’s just a matter of time before he gets his chance to run a team, either in the front office or as a part-owner. But it will and should happen. And, after his impactful career as a player, he should be enshrined in Springfield. Everyone’s criteria for the Hall is different. To me, getting in the Hall as a player requires a yes answer to two questions: 1) were you among the very best at your position for a substantial period of time during your career, and 2) did your presence and/or play change the game in a meaningful way while you played? (This is why a guy like Sixers guard Andrew Toney, in my view, is HOF-worthy, even though “The Boston Strangler” played from 1980-88 and was limited significantly by injury in two of those seasons.) Webber is a “yes” to both of those questions. In the NBA, Webber was a five-time All-Star, four times with the Kings, and was Rookie of the Year in 1993. He was first- or second-team All NBA four times. His career PER of 20.9 is the highest of any non-retired and Hall of Fame eligible player that isn’t currently in the Hall. (Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett each have higher PERs than Webber, and each is an obvious HOF lock, but they aren’t Hall of Fame eligible until 2020.) Webber’s career PER is better than those of Hall of Famers including Allen Iverson, Bob McAdoo, Ed McCauley, George McGinnis, Billy Cunningham, Steve Nash, David Thompson, Connie Hawkins, Alex English, Walt Bellamy, Cliff Hagan and many others. Yet in his fifth year of eligibility, Webber was again passed over by the Hall of Fame voters this year. That needs to change. His impact on the game, from high school to being a member of the “Fab Five” at Michigan in college and during his 15 NBA seasons, is undeniable. The Hall encompasses all of a person’s basketball achievements, and Webber’s career is Hall-worthy. At Country Day High School in Michigan, he led his team to three state championships, averaging 29 points and 13 rebounds per game his senior season, when he was a consensus national player of the year. He then decided to cap an incredible recruiting class, which had three of the top 10 players in the country, among a group of freshmen that came to be known as “The Fab Five.” (Also on that Michigan team was a junior guard who averaged 2.9 points per game, who had no future as pro player, but who carved out a place for himself nonetheless in the NBA -- Rob Pelinka, who became a high-powered agent representing the likes of Kobe Bryant before becoming the Lakers’ General Manager in 2017.) “The Fab Five”, like it or not -- and, I liked it very much -- changed basketball forever. And Webber was the lynchpin of those Michigan teams that reached consecutive NCAA championship games in 1992 and ‘93. Across the board, the Fab Five had long-lasting impact. Aesthetically, they were vanguards, wearing long, loooong shorts that became all the rage throughout basketball.  And while trash talking has been at the heart of hoops for generations, Michigan raised it to a team-wide art form. It drove traditionalists crazy, while kids watching at home loved it. They were the accelerant to the “one-and-done” era, even though none of them left Michigan after their freshman season. But seeing five freshmen start games and play the lion’s share of minutes rippled throughout the college game. Going forward, teams didn’t just recruit blue-chippers, they put them on the floor immediately. What John Calipari does annually at Kentucky now is but the logical conclusion to what Michigan started, and every Power 5 team in college basketball has had to follow suit or get left behind. Of course, “The Fab Five” era wound up being star-crossed. I’m well aware of the penalties assessed to the Michigan program because of the money that Ed Martin gave to players, including Webber. The university vacated the ‘92-93 season, including all of its NCAA Tournament games that year, and took down the banners commemorating “The Fab Five” and their two Final Four runs. (Michigan also vacated all of its games from 1995-96 because of Martin’s associations with other players on teams during those seasons, and its ‘93, ‘96 and ‘98 NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as its ‘97 NIT title and ‘98 Big 10 Tournament championship.) It’s obvious to me that if not for his involvement with Martin, Webber would have been on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, which won the gold medal in Australia, as well -- another potential feather in his cap that would bolster his Hall of Fame credentials. I will say, as delicately as I can, that there are coaches and players in the Hall that have been accused of doing some of the very things that got Michigan and Webber in so much trouble. That, in and of itself, should not be disqualifying. Webber’s NBA career also did not include a championship. But he was just as impactful on the pro game. Beginning in Golden State and Washington, C-Webb was a category all his own -- a big man with catcher’s mitts for hands who could pulverize in transition, yet was also an incredibly deft passer, both from the post or out front. As a rookie, Webber elevated Golden State from a 34-48 record in 1992-93 to 50-32 the next season. Traded to Washington after that one season with the Warriors, having conflicted mightily with Coach Don Nelson, Webber helped get the then-Bullets to the postseason for the first time in nine years. Once there, the Bullets went toe-to-toe with the defending-champion Bulls in a tough, three-game first-round series in ’97. But it wasn’t until Webber was sent to what was then the equivalent of Siberia in the NBA -- Sacramento -- that his game reached full flower. Playing with another excellent passing big man in Vlade Divac, and a flashy savant of a point guard in Jason Williams, Webber and the Kings were the vanguard of the modern NBA game, coming to fruition years before the Suns’ Seven Seconds or Less attack led by one of last week’s Hall of Fame inductees, Steve Nash. The Kings moved the ball with flair and purpose. The Warriors have changed the game forever by stretching the floor to the breaking point for opposing defenses with their 3-point proficiency, but even they didn’t have what Sacramento possessed -- two bigs who could initiate and finish from anywhere inside the 3-point line. No one could do what the Kings could do, and with Webber, Sacramento changed almost overnight from perennial joke to perennial championship contender. The Kings made the playoffs six straight seasons, reaching the Western Conference finals in 2002 before losing in controversial fashion to the Lakers in seven games. Webber’s knee injury during the Kings’ semifinal playoff series with Dallas in 2003 marked the beginning of the end for him and the Kings. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, Sacramento probably would have beaten the Mavericks and played San Antonio in the West finals. And while San Antonio would have been favored in that series, the Kings would have had a chance, with the winner facing the Nets in The Finals that year. And a championship would also have made C-Webb’s pro career look much different. But, that didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter, though. Webb’s career stands on its own merits. At all levels, he has had impact and changed the game, and he deserves to have his moment in the sun in Springfield. Sometimes it takes players of merit a little longer, for various reasons -- think Spencer Haywood, or, this year, Mo Cheeks. Chris Webber is a Hall of Famer, and it isn’t a close call. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2018