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Jonas Villanueva to serve as playing coach

Newly minted mentor Jonas Villanueva has hinted at embarking on a playing-coach role for iWalk in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarAug 14th, 2019

PVL: It feels so good to be back -- Santos-Ng

It was a fitting homecoming for legendary hitter Manilla Santos-Ng. A decade after playing her last game as a De La Salle University Lady Spiker in the UAAP at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, Santos-Ng made her return to competitive volleyball on Wednesday but this time donning the ChocoMucho’s purple jersey. The four-time UAAP champion saw action – albeit in a reserve role – in the newcomer Flying Titans’ 25-12, 25-18, 25-18, victory over BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference.   Santos-Ng, a mother of two, was fielded midway in the first set with ChocoMucho holding on to a 15-8 lead as she was subbed in for Shang Berte.   “Same venue 10 years ago. It feels so good to be back,” said Santos-Ng, whose last game in the venue minus the taraflex was back in March 8, 2009 in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 71 Finals when DLSU dethroned the then Rachel Anne Daquis-led Far Eastern University.   “I really can’t believe na makapaglaro ako. I was given this opportunity to play again. Super happy,” added Santos-Ng, the UAAP Season 71 Most Valuable Player. The 34-year old, 5-foot-4 hitter, also known to be a dangerous player at the service line, displayed her vintage form as ChocoMucho scored six straight points including two aces from Santos-Ng with her last service winner giving the Flying Titans their biggest lead, 21-8. “Sa totoo lang super excited ako to play at the same time may kaba kasi it’s been a long time,” she admitted. “Pero kanina nu’ng naka-serve ako pumasok siya medyo nagkaroon ako ng kumpiyansa. Thankful ako na napagbigyan ako ng ganoon chance and I’ll make sure na kung ano yung pinagawa sa akin ni coach ma-execute ko ng maayos.” Santos-Ng finished with two points, playing only in the first and second sets. “Nasa 7 or 8, we’re working on it and hopefully makahabol pa,” rated Santos-Ng on her performance. Head coach Oliver Almadro was all praises on Santos-Ng’s presence inside the court. “For me, hindi ko na kailangan ipakilala si Illa pa kasi we know naman what she can do,” said Almadro, who also worked with Santos-Ng during her college days as head coach Ramil De Jesus’ deputy. “Sabi ko nga medyo yung muscle magde-deteriorate ng konti but yung presence, will, determination will always be there.” Santos-Ng didn’t get a chance to attack during her first stint but remains very patient for that opportunity to display her signature high-flying power hits. “Darating din yun,” she said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

Chargers hand coach first win in D-League

Neophyte iWalk unleashed a strong finishing kick to repel Hazchem, 90-76, and hand ex-pro-turned-mentor Jonas Villanueva his first coaching career win in the PBA Developmental League Foundation Cup yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 13th, 2019

Coach Egay banned for Baste s next game in NCAA 95

Egay Macaraya will not stand on the sidelines when San Sebastian College-Recoletos takes the floor once more in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. "Egay Macaraya shall serve his suspension in (San Sebastian's) next scheduled playing date," league basketball commissioner Tonichi Pujante bared, Tuesday. The Golden Stags' head coach incurred a one-game suspension stemming from unsportsmanlike conduct during one of their timeouts in their matchup opposite Lyceum of the Philippines University two weeks ago. The disciplinary action will take place in Baste's game against Emilio Aguinaldo College on Friday - barring another game day postponement. Aside from the one-game suspension, coach Egay will aalso have to make a public apology as well as commit to community service. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2019

Cousins returns from injury, returns to form and delivers win

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com TORONTO — It was the moment the Warriors waited so long to see, and finally it arrived in the nick of time: The still-recovering former All-Star, out of the starting lineup for more than a minute, returning and dismissing the noise about how the team is better without him by impacting the game in multiple ways and pulling the Warriors to victory. And get this: If the Warriors are truly fortunate, Kevin Durant will recover soon and duplicate what DeMarcus Cousins just did. In the NBA Finals. If he does, it could serve a critical blow to Toronto’s chances of pulling off a late-series surprise. “We know what we’re dealing with here,” said Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. Cousins provided the help that the two-time defending champions needed Sunday (Monday, PHL time) to draw even in the series and snatch momentum with a 109-104 victory at Scotiabank Arena. He played more than anyone thought, rebounded more than anyone imagined, defended and scored more than Toronto bargained for, and gave the Warriors what they missed the last 6 1/2 weeks with him on the shelf. The 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots from Cousins didn’t fully encapsulate how much relief he brought to the Warriors. He had a galvanizing effect on a team that used an 18-0 run to start the second half to seize control of Game 3 and then used Andre Iguodala’s three-point shot to ice it. They haven’t been in one piece since April 15 (April 16, PHL time), in the first round against the Clippers, when Cousins chased a loose ball, stumbled and grabbed his left leg. The torn quad required no surgery but a lengthy rehab period, and this after Cousins went through a 10-month rehab for a torn Achilles' tendon in the spring of 2018. He was feeling beat up. Cousins attacked the process anyway, determined to return from an injury that normally would mean the end to his postseason, for the simple reason that he hadn’t been to the playoffs in his career to this point. There’s also a matter of free agency awaiting in July; a strong return could improve his bottom line. “Once they told me I have a chance, a slight chance, of being able to return, it basically was up to me and the work I put in,” he said. “So I put the work and the time in and with God’s grace I’m able to be out here and play the game I love.” Cousins was clearly out of rhythm from the layoff in Game 1, his timing rusty, his execution unsure. He played just eight minutes without scoring a basket or drawing much attention from Toronto. But Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the surprise decision to start Cousins three nights later, and that faith was repaid handsomely. Cousins was active, his confidence growing stronger by the minute -- 27 of them, actually, and he only asked to be subbed out once. “We came in thinking he can maybe play 20 minutes,” said Kerr. “He was fantastic and we needed everything he gave out there: his rebounding, his toughness, his physical presence, getting the ball in the paint, and just playing big, like he does. We needed all of that.” What the Warriors hoped was for Cousins to be the best big man on the floor. In Game 1, that honor went to Raptors center Marc Gasol, who uncharacteristically became a prime scoring option for the Raptors with 20 points, most on open jumpers. Cousins didn’t give him that amount of breathing space in Game 2, and Gasol (six points) was never a factor. Cousins' teammates offered rave reviews. Steph Curry: “Obviously you get more comfortable with more minutes and playing aggressive. He puts a lot of pressure on their defense. It’s a big lift for us. More to come.” Draymond Green: “The more he plays, the better feel he gets. He was great on both ends. It allowed us to play through him in the post. Toronto knows. They’ve got to honor that, and we know what he’s capable of doing if they don’t.” Cousins had an amusing reaction to learning he was in the starting lineup — “I was like, ‘Cool’” — and feels as though he has more to give. “When I step on the floor, I’m going to leave it out there,” he said. “I want to be on this stage. This is what I’ve worked for my entire career, to have this opportunity to play for something.” Cousins spent seven years in purgatory in Sacramento, where he racked up losses and technicals. It was a frustrating time for him; he had no faith in the franchise's leadership and it soured his attitude. His trade to the Pelicans two years ago was met with enthusiasm; he teamed with Anthony Davis to form an intimidating front line, but the Achilles’ injury cut short his time on the floor and, ultimately, in New Orleans. The team refused to offer him a contract last summer, leading him to join the Warriors at a discount. So his purpose is to salvage what’s left of the season, capture a ring for his troubles and see what it brings this summer. And then there’s the matter of Durant. The two-time Finals MVP hasn’t been cleared for full-contact practice, and the Warriors will hold only one prior to Game 3. Kerr said it’s “feasible” that Durant could play with only one practice under his belt, yet that’s not the ideal scenario. What Cousins does is buy them more time with Durant. With the series tied 1-1, and the next two games in Oakland, and Cousins apparently rounding into form, there’s a bit less urgency to see Durant on the floor. Yet it appears to be a matter of when, not if, Durant will see action in this series. And it might be at the perfect moment, with Klay Thompson suffering a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter that forced him off the court. The All-Star guard later told Kerr he’s fine and that the hamstring tightness is minor, but his status will be determined by MRI. Given what’s happened so far, the Warriors can never be too careful or take the rosy view when it comes to muscle issues. They’ve established a theme that tells the story of their 2019 postseason, and it’s not one they designed or even wanted, but it fits their existence nonetheless: “recovery” and their ability to do so on all front. It's not just injuries. Even in sweeping Portland, Golden State had to recover from deficits of 17, 18 and 17 points in the Western Conference Finals. Trailing 1-0 in these NBA Finals, they recovered from 12 down to win on the road for a 23rd straight series, an NBA record. What the Warriors reminded everyone at Scotiabank Arena, in case folks forgot, is that they’re champions and bring plenty of know-how to this series, and are fully capable of winning games by any means necessary. “It’s big respect for them,” said Kawhi Leonard. “They have been here each of the last four years, won the last two, and you’ve got to take the challenge. They’re a great team.” But the Warriors would rather put a fully-loaded and healthy squad -- one that is clearly the class of the NBA -- on the court and win with that. This NBA Finals might finally get the Warriors at full strength. If not, they still might be more than the Raptors can handle. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsJun 3rd, 2019

Things to know about these most-international NBA Finals

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Sometime in the next couple weeks, either the Toronto Raptors or Golden State Warriors will proclaim themselves to be world champions. They won’t be true “world” champions, of course. But these NBA Finals have a very distinct international feel. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Game 1 of the series on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) is in Canada, the first time a finals game will be played outside the U.S. Raptors President Masai Ujiri was born in Nigeria. There are players from eight different countries — the U.S., along with Canada (Chris Boucher), Spain (Marc Gasol), Britain (OG Anunoby), Cameroon (Pascal Siakam), Congo (Serge Ibaka), Australia (Andrew Bogut) and Sweden (Jonas Jerebko). “It says a lot that the first NBA Finals outside of America is being played here,” Ujiri said. “Maybe one day it will be real ‘world champions’ or something, but this is what we dream of.” It’s even a homecoming of sorts for Warriors guard Stephen Curry, again. His first four trips to the finals pitted him against Cleveland, not far from Akron, Ohio — where he and LeBron James both were born. Toronto has even more direct ties than Cleveland does for Curry; his wife Ayesha was born and raised in Toronto until she was 14, and his father Dell Curry played for the Raptors. So Stephen Curry lived in Toronto for a bit, and went to school there. “A lot of family history,” Stephen Curry said. The finals will be aired in 215 countries, three Canadian networks will air the series live (one of them in French), and broadcasters speaking in 50 different languages will work the games. There are a half-dozen networks from Australia, Estonia, Hong Kong and New Zealand airing the finals for the first time. More of what to know going into this series: FAREWELL, ORACLE Game 4 or Game 6 of this series will be the last time the Warriors call Oracle Arena home. The team is moving from Oakland to the new Chase Center in San Francisco next season. The Warriors have played more than 2,000 games at Oracle, and since this run of NBA Finals appearances began when Steve Kerr took over as coach five years ago they are a staggering 218-40 in their soon-to-be-former home building. “You cannot tell the story of professional basketball without including Oracle,” said ESPN analyst Mark Jackson, a former Warriors coach. “Those fans have been incredibly loyal from the beginning to the end. ... As a former coach, as a former player coming into that building, as an analyst, it’s as good as it gets.” STILL WAITING With Toronto now in the finals for the first time, that means there are only six active franchises that still haven’t been to the championship series. The Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies are still waiting for their first trip to the NBA Finals. MONEY MATTERS The Warriors and the Raptors are playing for a little bit of money — $1,295,117, to be exact. That’s the difference between winning the finals and losing the finals, at least in terms of the take from the NBA playoff pool. The Warriors are already guaranteed $4,435,312 from the playoff pool; the Raptors have clinched $4,325,888. This year’s playoff pool was $21,676,510, which all 16 postseason teams shared. No playoff team got less than $323,506. Milwaukee got the most, by far, of any non-finals team — after finishing with the NBA’s best record and reaching the Eastern Conference finals, the Bucks will share $2,516,774. SECOND TO ONE Golden State is in the finals for the fifth consecutive year. That’s the second-longest such streak in NBA history, only to Boston’s run of 10 consecutive appearances from 1957 through 1966. Boston (this time in 1984 through 1987, separate from the 10-straight streak), Miami (2011-2014), Cleveland (2015-2018) and the Los Angeles Lakers (1982-1985) had all reached the finals in four consecutive seasons. FINISHING STRONG Even with the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference locked up, the Raptors finished the regular season with a flourish — winning seven of their last eight games. This was why. A 58-24 record meant the Raptors finished a game ahead of Golden State’s 57-25 mark, and that’s why Game 1 of this series is in Toronto. A good omen for the Raptors: Under the current playoff format, teams with home-court advantage in the NBA Finals have ultimately prevailed 26 out of 35 times. ’NOVA NATION It’s been a long time since a Villanova player won a championship ring, and even longer since a Villanova player actually played in a series where his team won the title. Kyle Lowry is looking to change all that. The Raptors’ point guard — who played for Jay Wright at Villanova — is in the NBA Finals for the first time. He’s looking to be the first Villanova player to win a ring since John Celestand got one with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000; Celestand didn’t appear in any playoff games that season. The last player from Villanova to actually play in a victorious NBA Finals was Chris Ford with Boston in 1981. Lowry spoke on the eve of Game 1 about the lessons he learned from Wright that still apply. “If you make a mistake, apologize, kind of just accept everything,” Lowry said. “Accept everything as a man and bounce back from it. If anything negative, just bounce back, take it and keep going. I think those are the things that stick with me today. I never shy from anything, I never shy from negative criticism, constructive criticism, I take it all, I understand it, learn from it, digest it and move on.” RECORD CHASING Stephen Curry already has the NBA Finals record for most 3-pointers made in a career, with 98. He enters this series with 247 attempted 3s in his finals appearances, four shy of tying LeBron James for the most in NBA history. And while not a record, here is an odd stat: If Shaun Livingston makes his first shot of these finals, he’ll pass Wilt Chamberlain and move into fourth place on the NBA Finals all-time shooting percentage list. STARTING EARLY The May 30 (May 31, PHL time) start date for these finals is the earliest for the NBA’s title series since 1986, when the Houston-Boston matchup began on May 26. So the 2019 finals started earlier than has been the norm. That doesn’t mean they’ll be over early. If they go the distance, they’ll end on June 17 (June 18, PHL time) — nine days later than last season’s final game......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 30th, 2019

Warriors miss Kevin Durant, but do they need him?

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com PORTLAND, Ore. — Along with the equipment, uniforms, basketballs and the confidence that comes with being up 2-0 in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors brought along another piece of cargo to Portland and it is the heaviest of them all. It didn’t come packed in luggage or a box; instead, it’s just wrapped in a hunch and tied with a question mark, and it is this: When do the Warriors start missing Kevin Durant? [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] The back-to-back champs are now 3-0 in these playoffs without their superstar and his aching calf. And 4-0 overall in games in which Durant didn’t finish. That probably says something about the Rockets, and so far about the Trail Blazers — two teams unable to exploit his absence. However, while the (bleeping) Giants — Steve Kerr’s description of his undermanned team — are honorably playing with a sense of urgency, they aren’t buying the notion that they don’t need Durant. It’s an easy trap to fall into, to believe the outside chatter that they’re better off without him. The next two games, both at Moda Center, will either feed that belief or destroy it. Yes, because the Blazers must beat the Warriors four out of five to advance, there’s little to no chance of them denying Golden State a fifth trip to the Finals regardless of whether Durant shows up in this series or not. And that’s good for the visitors, since Durant didn’t make the trip for Games 3 and 4. “There's no mental adjustment,” said Kerr. “You just play. You go out there with what you have, and this is our third game, 3 1/2 games, really without him, and so we're just trying to hold down the fort. Hopefully he continues to progress and he has made progress, but it's a little more serious than we thought at the very beginning. So we'll see where it all goes, but he's in there all day long getting treatment. He's done a great job of committing himself to that process.” There’s a thought that, even if Durant was 80 percent, the Warriors will keep him benched to prevent a chance of re-injury, and that’s a wise decision with wide-ranging ramifications. By protecting Durant’s best interest here in this free agent year, the Warriors score big points with him and his camp less than two months before Durant must make a decision on his future. That said, what are the Warriors doing right to remain unharmed by his absence? The easy answer is they won championships without Durant and so this is more of the same-old, same-old. Except it isn’t. This actually might be more impressive. Understand that Golden State's system had to be changed here on the fly and in the middle of the postseason, not only to compensate for Durant’s 37 points per game in these playoffs, but also his defense. Once Durant was lost late in the third quarter of the fifth game of the second round, Kerr had to reach down his bench and rely on players who weren’t thrust into roles of significance and seldom saw fourth-quarter minutes up until this point. Meaning, Jonas Jerebko, Quinn Cook, Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie have either seen their minutes rise and/or their roles inflated in the process. Of course, most of the burden fell on the proven core: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Each of those four, in his own way, is playing at a premium, even if it’s a small sample size. “That’s what it takes in the playoffs," said Kerr. "You have to have guys playing at a really high level.” Curry seems reborn or at least sprung free of a playoff fog where his numbers and production didn’t match his regular season. He finished strong in a pair of fourth quarters while closing out the Rockets and is the most impactful player in this series so far. He’s averaging 35 points on 51 percent shooting in the three games without KD. It wouldn’t be a stretch to suspect Curry is getting a charge out of this, and his ego, which he keeps hidden, is being fed. Thompson is now clearly the second option, whereas before he was often No. 3 and often only if his shot was falling. The green light never turns yellow without Durant around, like Curry, Thompson is working without handcuffs or a leash. After hitting 20 shot attempts once in the playoffs before Durant’s injury, Thompson is now hoisting 22 a game, good for a respectable 25-point average. The Warriors are constantly feeding him and running screens for him and urging him to take the shot, even if it’s contested. For a player who insists he’ll re-sign with Golden State this summer, Thompson is getting a taste of what life must be like if he played for, let’s say, the Clippers and was the focal point of the offense. “This team's been together a long time and they trust each other,” said Kerr. “When the ball starts moving, that's when we're tough to guard.” Green has never been better this season than in the last few weeks. Recharged after losing weight immediately following the All-Star break and no longer feeling pain in his previously-injured shoulder, Green is menacing on the defensive end where once again he’s guarding all positions except point guard and doing it marvelously. In addition, he’s pushing the ball up court to help Curry and Thompson stay as fresh as possible and directing the offense from the high post. He’s averaging 10 rebounds, 6.5 assists and three blocks without KD. “You know, we can't sit and look over our shoulder and say, `Hey, man, when is K going to be back?’ We just got to play with whatever we got,” Green said. “We got to play and give him an opportunity to get back, and I think that's what really falls on our shoulders. We're a very confident group. Hopefully he's back sooner than later, but as a guy who is in the battle every night, we can't sit and look over our shoulder and wonder when he or DeMarcus [Cousins] is coming back. We have to assume they are not coming back and play with what we got. Obviously, we are hoping that they do. But while they are not out there, we just got to play.” Finally, there’s Iguodala. He stayed hibernated all regular season while averaging career lows across the board. At age 35, it appeared time had finally caught up. Instead, this was a case of a crafty veteran preserving himself for springtime, and with the amount of talent on the Warriors, he could afford to do so. Iguodala had solid moments guarding James Harden in the second round and is among those trapping Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum this round. One of the signature plays of the series was Iguodala coming up with a walk-off strip of Lillard as time expired in Game 2. “You're kind of in awe of it because not many guys can make plays like that consistently,” said Curry. So this is where the Warriors are without Durant and also DeMarcus Cousins. They were good enough to stump the Rockets (again), then proved too much for the Blazers in a pair of home games. Nobody would be shocked if they take a game in Portland or maybe finish the sweep. It’s a luxury that few teams have or could pull off even if they did. This comes from a core that’s been together for six years, a coach pulling the proper strings and a bench that isn’t shrinking in the moment. “We feel like we can still win no matter who is out there on the floor, and that's why we're in the position that we’re in and have won championships with all the injuries and all types of stuff,” said Curry. “We know what the mission is, and we're on it right now.” These Warriors are playing flashback basketball to the time before Durant came aboard — and prepping themselves for next season, when and if Durant jumps overboard this summer. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsMay 18th, 2019

Raptors go big, earn crucial Game 4 victory to even series

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com PHILADELPHIA — The Eastern Conference semifinals series between the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers has turned into a game of survival. The Raptors prevailed in Game 4, a 101-96 victory that evened the series at 2-2, because Kawhi Leonard continues to play absurd basketball. Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) damage: 39 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, along with the biggest shot of the series so far, a pull-up three-pointer over Joel Embiid at the shot-clock buzzer that put the Raptors up 94-90 with 1:01 to go. Through four games, Leonard is averaging 38 points on a ridiculous effective field goal percentage of 69 percent. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] That effective field goal percentage, with more than half (51-of-89) of his shots having come from outside the paint, is better than anybody in the league shot on at least 300 field goal attempts this season – with the top seven guys being bigs who took almost all of their shots in the paint. "The stuff that he can do to create his own shot," said Sixers coach Brett Brown, "is Kobe-like for me. He's just so gifted in relation to doing that." Nobody else on the Raptors has an effective field goal percentage that even reaches the league average (52.4 percent) in the series. Pascal Siakam (50.0 percent) is the closest, but was clearly suffering from his bruised right calf on Sunday, shooting 2-for-10, including 0-for-7 outside the restricted area. So, with or without a healthy Siakam, Raptors' coach Nick Nurse has been searching for answers – "You're looking for some type of spark," he said pre-game – someone or something he could count on, knowing that Leonard could not beat the Sixers by himself. Patrick McCaw was introduced to the non-garbage-time portion of the series on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), but the big change for Toronto in Game 4 was Toronto playing … big. Since the start of this season, Serge Ibaka has almost exclusively played center. After starting alongside Jonas Valanciunas each of the last two seasons, Ibaka played just 13 total minutes with Valanciunas before the trade deadline. After Valanciunas was dealt to Memphis for Marc Gasol, Ibaka and Gasol played just 31 regular-season minutes together. Through eight playoff games, Ibaka and Gasol were on the floor together for just three total minutes. And through the first three games of this series, they had each shot 6-for-20, with Ibaka registering a minus-17 in his 49 minutes. But with 5:27 to go in the first quarter on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), Ibaka checked in for Siakam instead of Gasol. And it wasn't just about Siakam's injury, because the starting power forward played almost 29 minutes on Sunday, including a couple of minutes in a do-or-die fourth quarter with both Ibaka and Gasol on the floor and Leonard playing the two. When Siakam has sat, the Raptors have typically played Leonard or Norman Powell at the 4. On Sunday (Monday, PHL time), Nurse chose to go big, quite an adjustment to make with the Raptors facing a 3-1 series deficit if it didn't work. "Tonight was one of those nights," Ibaka said, "where we say, 'You know what? Even though we didn't have an opportunity to play together a long time, we're going to just try it out there.' We've been playing basketball for so long. We're just going to try to figure it out and play hard." The two bigs played more than 23 minutes together on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), with almost half of that coming in the fourth quarter, when the Raptors' season was seemingly on the line. The game was tied at 75 entering the fourth and Toronto was down four after the first few Philly possessions. But Nurse stuck with the two bigs and actually played them with Siakam and Leonard for a couple of minutes in that fourth quarter. The risk paid off. Ibaka and Gasol combined to hit three big shots, they spaced the floor well enough to let Leonard do his thing, and the Raptors held Philly to just 5-for-21 shooting in the final period to regain homecourt advantage in the series. "The biggest thing I felt tonight was the rebounding," Nurse said, of the bigs playing together. "It just felt like we were getting pushed around a lot by the glass the last two games. That would happen with our small lineup, they were just throwing it up there and revving their engines and flying to the rim. Tonight we just had more size, that way, and it kind of looked like the rebounds were affected by that." The Raptors' defensive rebounding wasn't any better in the Ibaka-Gasol minutes (when they grabbed 16 defensive rebounds and the Sixers' grabbed five offensive boards) that it was otherwise (19 and six). But it was better than having Siakam on the bench and a smaller power forward on the floor through the first four games (18 18 defensive rebounds, 10 Philadelphia offensive boards). With the rebounding improvement, the Sixers scored just 40 points on 44 possessions with Ibaka and Gasol on the floor together. They scored 56 points on 50 possessions otherwise. On the other end, Gasol (7-for-13) and Ibaka (6-for-12) each made as many shots as they had made through the first three games. It was just enough support for Leonard for the Raptors to get the biggest win of their season. "He's comfortable being a 5," Gasol said of Ibaka. "I'm able to play both positions a little bit. So it's simple. Defensively we mix it up, and the actions that they try to run we just need to figure out, and talk, and communicate and be on the same page, not just the two of us, but the whole team." Philly's output was affected by another ailment befalling Joel Embiid, who felt ill all day and shot just 2-for-7. The Sixers still outscored the Raptors by 17 points in Embiid's 35 minutes, but they were unable to survive the 13 minutes Embiid was on the bench: the Raptors won those handily, 33-11. "We're all going to look at what he shot from the floor, his free throws, whatever," Brown said of his center. "Cut to the chase, go to the bottom line, and look at his plus-minus. Despite him being ill and despite seven shots, or what he shot at the free throw line, and really his free throws were quite good up until the fourth period, he ends up a plus-17. It's just another reminder of how important he is to our team." Maybe that's the big story from this game. But Embiid's plus-17 breaks down to a plus-1 in the 20 minutes he played with both Ibaka and Gasol on the floor, and a plus-16 in fewer than 15 minutes against just one of two. The NBA playoffs are different than the 82-game grind of the regular season. Sometimes, they require something that you've never done before. In Game 4 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the Raptors went big for the first time this season and, as Nurse put it, "did just enough" to get a crucial victory. John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. 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 NewsMay 6th, 2019

Patriots happy to be home for latest trip to AFC title game

KYLE HIGHTOWER, AP Sports Writer br /> FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (AP) — The New England Patriots have had what seems like an annual spot in the AFC championship game over the past decade. But the fact that this year's game is at home could factor into whether they are able to make a return trip to the Super Bowl. The Patriots became the first team since the 1970 merger to advance to the AFC title game in six straight seasons with their win over the Houston Texans last week. The Patriots are 5-1 at home in AFC championship games, with their lone loss coming in 2013 against the Ravens in Ray Lewis' final trip to Foxborough. While being at home doesn't guarantee victory, playing the game at Gillette Stadium is welcomed by a team that has been on the road in two of their past three trips to the AFC title game. Both of those road games ended in losses to Denver, including a 20-18 defeat last season. 'It's the energy. You get out there and everyone is really energetic. The fans are really intense,' receiver Chris Hogan said Tuesday. 'At the end of the day, it's another football game, and I just have to approach it like that, just the way I've been approaching every single game this year. Go out there, play my best, play good football and try to help this team win as much as I can.' Special teams captain Matt Slater acknowledged that New England's performance against the Texans could have been better, but said no one is taking anything for granted about this latest shot at a Super Bowl berth. 'Anytime you win a playoff game, whether you play well or not, if you win the game that's all that matters,' Slater said. 'I think we all appreciate the opportunity that we have. Could we have played better? Certainly. But we could also be at home.' The Steelers — and coach Mike Tomlin specifically — can expect to get an even more hostile reception than usual from the Patriots fans. This comes after Tomlin was broadcast using a derogatory expletive to describe the Patriots during a postgame speech to his team following Pittsburgh's divisional-round win over Kansas City. Unbeknownst to Tomlin, the speech was aired on a social media livestream by Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown. Tomlin apologized for his use of 'regrettable' language on Tuesday. But he said he's not worried about it having an impact on his team's preparations this week. 'We are in the AFC championship. You aren't going to creep in the back door of New England and win a football game, and creep out of there with an AFC championship,' he said. 'I am not worried about our team's ability to deal with the potential distractions.' Slater said he continues to have respect for Tomlin and didn't think his comments would serve as any extra motivation. 'At the end of the day the only thing that is gonna matter is what we do in between those white lines on Sunday,' Slater said. 'What is said or what is done off the football field it really doesn't matter. It's about executing on Sunday.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017

Fun and games, Dimitrov finds a way to break title drought

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Grigor Dimitrov concentrated on fun and games at the season-opening Brisbane International, looking for something a bit different to his regular routine. It turns out, that's what he'd been missing. Dimitrov ended a title drought that dated back to 2014 when he beat third-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the final on Sunday. The 25-year-old Bulgarian attributed some late-night trips to the game arcades in downtown Brisbane for the change of fortunes. 'I played motor bikes, we played cars, basketball, I mean, I went there with my fitness coach and we were — I think we were the biggest kids out there,' he said. 'You know, it's something so childish, if you want to say it. 'Well, every time I was going to bed, I was, like, 'Wow, that feels so good.' It's just something so small.' Dimitrov, dubbed 'Baby Fed' earlier in his career for his style similarities with Roger Federer, lost the Brisbane International final to Andy Murray in 2013. He won three titles and reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2014 as he rose to a career-high ranking of No. 8. But his form faded and he slipped down the rankings to No. 40 by the middle of last year. That's when he had to make some decisions, refocus, set some goals. The first was to win a tournament in 2017 — he's achieved that in the first week of the season. There are other goals, including better runs at the Grand Slams — he hasn't been past the fourth round since a career peak in the Wimbledon semifinals in 2014, when he beat Murray but lost to Novak Djokovic. He entered the season-opening Brisbane event ranked No. 17 and seeded seventh, and could rise to No. 15 for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 16. 'It's been pretty emotional,' Dimitrov said. 'This trophy means a lot.' He didn't elaborate too much on any emotional upheaval, saying it's part and parcel of touring so much as a professional player. But he did say he needed to adjust how he spends his time on the road. 'I'm the kind of guy that I cannot just lock myself in the room and just think tennis for 24 hours. It hasn't helped me,' he said. 'And since I have been here, every night I've been going to the arcades, for example, for an hour and a half, been playing arcades. It's given me tremendous joy. 'That's why I say those, I think, these 10 days that I have been here — I don't remember having so much fun, but in the same time I was very focused, played quite solid all the matches. So I was just — overall, I just felt good.' He beat defending champion Milos Raonic in the semifinals, improving his career record to 3-1 against the big-serving Canadian. He'd never beaten Nishikori in three previous matches, and he had to save break points in the first game and again in the third. After that, he went on a roll. Nishikori, who reached his first Brisbane final after losing three previous semifinals, fended off a breakpoint early in the second set and went on to break Dimitrov's serve twice in an almost reverse of the first set. But the Japanese star lost momentum after a medical timeout for a left hip problem after the second set, and Dimitrov dominated before getting the decisive break in the eighth game and then serving out at love. Nishikori said the hip pain was intense in the second set, and may force him out of a scheduled exhibition match in Sydney on Monday before he heads to Melbourne. 'Well, sort of it was OK, but yeah, a little bit sad to finish (the tournament) like this,' he said. 'But I think it was great week to start of the year. I had good four matches here. Well, I try to stay healthy next week and hope I can be ready for,' for the Australian Open. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Nadal continues comeback with a 1st win in Brisbane

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal was in need of some sleep, so he didn't waste much time against Alexandr Dolgopolov on Tuesday. The 14-time major champion, playing his opening match at the Brisbane International a day after arriving in Australia following a win in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, beat the Ukrainian 6-3, 6-3 after getting on court at almost 10:30 p.m. local time. Returning from a wrist injury which curtailed the end of his 2016 season, Nadal said he's determined to use every match as preparation for a shot at the title in the season-opening Grand Slam event in Melbourne. The 30-year-old Spaniard dropped serve in the third game but recovered to win the last five games of the first set against the 2012 finalist. In all, he converted all four of his break points and fended off three of the four he faced. 'A little bit of jet lag. It's tough, these kinds of things at the beginning,' said Nadal, who added that he was still sleeping in the early afternoon and felt 'destroyed' after the travel. 'There wasn't a lot of time to adapt.' He only made nine unforced errors, and his most glaring miss of the night was when whiffed at a ball as he tried to hit it into the crowd to celebrate his win. In a post-match news conference, he apologized after stifling a yawn, but said he still preferred the late start to help him overcome the jetlag. Nadal has changed his preparation for the Australian Open, arriving two weeks ahead of time to fine tune his game in a bid to make amends for a shocking first-round exit last year. He will next play Mischa Zverev, who opened with a 6-3, 6-3 win over teenage Australian qualifier Alex De Minaur, and has a potential quarterfinal match against defending champion and top-seeded Milos Raonic. Also, sixth-seeded Lucas Pouille lost the first five games before rebounding for a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) win over Gilles Simon, while Viktor Troicki beat Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 7-5 and Diego Schwartzman had a 6-2, 6-4 win over Sam Querrey. In the women's draw, Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina, who all had career-highlight victories over Serena Williams last season, are already through to the quarterfinals. Destanee Aiava, a 16-year-old high school senior who was inspired to take up tennis when she was 5 after watching Williams on TV, also made a mark. Aiava became the first player born in the 2000s to win a main draw match in an elite WTA event when she beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a first-round match that spanned two days. She already has a wild-card entry to the Australian Open but, before then, will face two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round in Brisbane. The third-seeded Pliskova, who beat Williams in the U.S. Open semifinals last year before losing the final to Angelique Kerber, defeated American qualifier Asia Muhammad 6-1, 6-4 to secure the first spot in the quarterfinals. Svitolina, seeded sixth and the only woman to beat both Williams and Kerber when in 2016, advanced with a 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 win over Shelby Rogers. The fourth-seeded Muguruza wasted a match point and saved one before clinching a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7) win over Daria Kasatkina in a three-hour night match. Both players had eight service breaks and Muguruza, who beat Williams in the French Open final last year to claim her first Grand Slam title, dropped her opening serve in all three sets. Her next match will be against either Kuznetsova or Aiava, who was born on May 10, 2000, was No. 386 in the latest rankings and is very new to the tour. 'Pretty crazy,' Aiava said of her first trip to the locker rooms in the main draw. 'I walk in, and there is people I have watched on TV before and it's, like, 'Oh!'' Her mother, Rosie, has been her coach since she showed interest in the game. She keeps the teenager grounded. After her milestone win, Aiava said her mother just said 'good job' and took her back onto the practice courts for 20 minutes to work on her serve. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

PVL: I have a lot to improve on pa -- Nisperos

Faith Nisperos had an impressive debut for Ateneo de Manila University on Saturday but head coach Oliver Almadro felt that the rookie showed just less than 50 percent of her full potential under his system.    “Wala pa yata sa 50 pero we're getting there,” said Almadro of his rookie who scored a game-high 19 points in the Lady Eagles’ 25-16, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20, win over Letran in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference Group A play.    The National University recruit hammered 17 spikes and landed two aces for the Lady Eagles. Nisperos, a four-time UAAP high school champion and two-time season Most Valuable Player, admitted that she still has a lot to learn.    “Well, as a starter, I have a lot to improve on pa,” she said. “And siyempre, I'm also thrilled and overwhelmed na I'm already here in Ateneo playing.” With the departure of the Lady Eagles championship core, Nisperos is expected to fill in the void especially on offense. The freshsman also shouldered the leadership role inside the court with Ponggay Gaston out (under the weather).    “Yun nga, madami [expectations]. I think he [Almadro] expects me to fill in what the team needs,” she said. “So, I think that is a leader. No matter how young or how old are you, I think everyone can lead so that's what I'm filling in.” Although Almadro felt that Nisperos still has a lot to improve on, the mentor liked the attitude of the lefty hitter to learn. “What's nice with Faith is she really listens and try harder para ma-correct yung details na kino-correct sa kanya,” said Almadro. “She has the talent and she is still growing. Talagang unti-unti.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News9 hr. 12 min. ago

Longer, harder practices for Gilas beginning next week

With just a little over two weeks to go before the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas is all set to enter its final phase of preparations. Just two days removed from landing in Manila from a training camp in Spain, the Philippine national team was in practice for the second straight time inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas on Thursday. And still, head coach Yeng Guiao was nothing but satisfied with their preparations. "Okay naman. At least, we have 11 or 12 guys coming in already and we're still waiting for the three guys playing in the Finals," he told reporters. Indeed, 12 of the 15-man pool were present in the latest training session - and only June Mar Fajardo, RR Pogoy, and Troy Rosario were missing as all of them still had business to take care of in the ongoing 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals. Whatever happens in the PBA Finals, whether San Miguel wraps up the championship on Friday or TNT forces a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday, coach Yeng said Gilas' daily practices will continue. And starting next week, they will be undergoing longer and harder training sessions. "We're just going to wind up this week with regular practices, but next week, meron na kaming extra hour for the shooting drills and another extra hour for video watching every other day siguro," the fiery mentor shared. He then continued, "We're going to add more hours next week so were hoping by that time, ready na rin yung tatlo na galing sa Finals." Along with the extra work starting next week, Gilas is also looking forward to a two-game series against Australian club Adelaide 36ers. "We're hoping to see some improvement once we play the Australian team. After that, final adjustments na lang," coach Yeng said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

FIBA: PBA Finals trio shoo-ins to World Cup team says Yeng

Gilas Pilipinas is in the most critical stage of its 2019 FIBA World Cup preparations and yet it is still missing three key players. The national team is still without June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, and RR Pogoy as they’re still playing in the ongoing 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. The earliest the trio will be without mother team commitments will be Saturday and the latest will be Monday next week. When Fajardo, Rosario, and Pogoy rejoin Gilas, there’s no doubt about their conditioning. However, it’s going to take a couple of days at least to mentally transition from the PBA Finals to the FIBA World Cup. “The mere fact na yung isip nila ay wala pa sa Gilas ngayon and they’re focused on what they’re doing, meron ding adjustment yon. To refocus their minds and their attention to what we do in the Gilas team,” Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said. “That’s going to take a few days din, so syempre, lalo na kung nag champion ka or hindi, there’s going to be emotional toll on you,” he added. There’s no doubt about the three’s willingness to play for the national team. Coach Yeng just hopes that they can catch up in time with the rest of the Gilas crew. “I hope di sila matagalan sa adjustment nila. But we all know what they’re going through. It’s a difficult time, but at the same time it’s exciting. All of those will have a toll on their focus and concentration,” Guiao said. “We’re just hoping na in a short time, makaadjust sila agad, makapag pahinga sila agad—makarecover sila agad from the Finals,” he added. As for the matter of coach Yeng naming his Final 12 to China, June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, and RR Pogoy are pretty much shoo-ins he said. It’s just a matter of fitting them back to the lineup after the Commissioner’s Cup playoffs. “More or less they have slots. They’re shoo-ins. My problem is not making the decision on whether they’re in or not,” Guiao said. “My problem is trying to jell them with only a week to go after that. That’s really the problem,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

Impact rookies allow Mapua to gun down EAC, go streaking in NCAA 95

All of a sudden, Mapua University has gone streaking in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament, adding Emilio Aguinaldo College to its just recently created list of victims via a 76-66 victory, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Cardinals actually found themselves in a close contest after two quarters and were only up by one, 35-34, early in the third. It was at that point, though, that they unleashed a terrifying 21-0 tear that blew the game wide open in their favor courtesy of a 56-34 lead late in the quarter. The Generals would not be able to threaten the rest of the way. With the double-digit decision, Mapua has now won its last two games. This, after starting the season with five losses in a row. "Hopefully, makatulong itong dalawang sunod na panalo," first lieutenant Yong Garcia said post-game. "Galing kami sa 0-5, down ang mga bata, pero ang focus lang namin is one game at a time." Just like in their breakthrough win just last Saturday, Laurenz Victoria was key in this one, dropping all but three of his 10 points in their massive surge in the third quarter. He was then flanked by prized rookies Cyril Gonzales and Paolo Hernandez with the former finishing with 13 points and three rebounds and the latter ending with 11 markers, three boards, two assists, and two steals. There's bad news for the Cardinals, however, as, with the decision no longer in question, Jasper Salenga incurred a disqualifying foul. That means he will have to serve a one-game suspension in their next outing opposite Jose Rizal University on Friday. "Disappointed si coach Randy sa last part ng game," coach Yong said, also explaining that head coach Randy Alcantara decided to go directly into the locker room to talk to his wards rather than go to the customary post-win interview. " Ginusto niyang bigyan ng chance yung iba para mabigyan ng confidence, pero 'di naging maganda ang resulta." For EAC, JC Luciano topped the scoring column with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds. At the wrong end of that terrifying tear in the third quarter, however, they absorbed their sixth loss in seven games. BOX SCORES MAPUA 76 - Gonzales 13, Hernandez 11, Victoria 10, Bonifacio 8, Serrano 8, Lugo 7, Garcia 5, Gamboa 4, Salenga 4, Bunag 2, Jabel 2, Nieles 2, Aguirre 0, Dela Cruz 0, Nocum 0. EAC 66 - Luciano 12, Maguliano 10, Gonzales 9, Mendoza 7, Dayrit 6, Tampoc 6, Carlos 5, Taywan 4, Martin 3, Cadua 2, Gurtiza 2, Boffa 0, De Guzman 0, Estacio 0. QUARTER SCORES: 15-10, 35-27, 60-39, 76-66. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2019

NCAA 95: Coach Aldin: Hindi mawawala yung pagiging Letranista

Colegio de San Juan de Letran last won against archrival San Beda University in Game 3 of the NCAA 91 Men's Basketball Tournament Finals - when the former got the championship at the expense of the latter. Fast forward almost five years and that title-winning team made its presence felt for the blue and red anew. Letran's core from 2015 pulled off almost perfect attendance on Saturday with head coach Aldin Ayo, JP Calvo, Mark Cruz, Mcjour Luib, Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto, and Kevin Racal all present inside the Cuneta Astrodome. From then to now, coach Aldin sees nothing but the same sort of charge by the Knights. "Iba na ang mga players except for Jerrick [Balanza], pero if there's one thing that's constant, yung community. Nandoon pa rin yung suporta, nandoon pa rin yung 'Arriba,'" he said, referring to Jerrick Balanza who was then a rookie in their championship run and is now playing out his fifth and final year. He then continued, "In terms of how they play, it's different, pero sa ugali ng players, I think it didn't change. Magpalit man ng sistema at ng coaches, yung tradition, nandun na yun. Hindi mawawala yung magiging Letranista." And that fight, even though it ended up in a loss, will be all the Intramuros-based team needs for another breakthrough. After all, that was all that Coach Aldin's agents of "Mayhem" counted on in their Cinderella story four years ago. "Of course, masarap sa pakiramdam na babalik sa ganito. Before ka umalis, you were successful and the players, they take pride in what they were able to accomplish," the fiery mentor said. He then continued, "Siyempre, we are hoping na maulit and that's why we're here to support them." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2019

PVL: I have to prove myself – Manilla Santos-Ng

Returning Manilla Santos-Ng has to reintroduce herself. The volleyball legend may have an impressive résumé under her belt but after a decade removed from competitive play, Santos-Ng will have to start from scratch. It’s like her rookie year with De La Salle University all over again. Santos-Ng is staging a comeback since her last stint in the UAAP in 2009 after signing up with newcomer ChocoMucho in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference. “It’s 10 years ago [since I last played]. Sa totoo lang, I consider myself a rookie in this pro-league, bago lang ako,” said the four-time UAAP champion. Just like other newbies, Santos-Ng, who during her time in the UAAP was known for her high-leaping exploits, high-octane offense and solid floor defense, has to vie for playing time under head coach Oliver Almadro. “I really have to prove myself also kung talagang karapa’t dapat kang makalaro,” said Santos-Ng. “Kung maglalaro ka go, if you can contribute go. If not, maybe in some other ways like inspiring the kids.” Santos-Ng has to compete against her younger and taller teammates to convince Alamdro for minutes. And earning her playing time won’t be easy for the 34-year old, 5-foot-4 hitter in a Flying Titans team stacked with young and very talented wing spikers in Kat Tolentino, Shang Berte, Carla Sandoval, Bang Pineda, Cindy Imbo, Shannen Palec and Gyra Barroga.    It’s a big challenge that Santos-Ng knows she has to face. “One thing I like about Coach Oliver is that he’s very honest with us,” said the UAAP Season 71 Most Valuable Player, who played under Almadro back when the mentor worked as deputy to DLSU head coach Ramil De Jesus.   “Kilala ko rin siya na, 'Hindi porke’t kilala kita bibigyan kita ng spot,'” she added. Santos-Ng also acknowledges that she has to work double time to adapt to this generation’s level of play and try to bring back if not exceed her vintage form.    “Honestly speaking may pressure because people are expecting a lot,” said Santos-Ng, who knows very well the hype that was built in her return. “But as I said, I consider myself a rookie here. Naga-adjust pa ako.” The three-time UAAP Best Receiver decided to come back to fulfill her son Kenzi's wish of seeing her in action. “When I decided to come back, I started losing weight muna, low impact. Adaptive phase kasi matagal akong di nakapaglaro tapos nagdyi-gym ako,” she said. Santos-Ng then trained with ChocoMucho’s sister-team Creamline for a few months. “I told my husband I need court skills also so he said since affiliated naman siya sa Rebisco, he asked the management and the management is gracious enough to accept me to train with them,” Santos-Ng said. “And then during training, there was a new team being formed under Coach Oliver. Sinabi ko naman if I could join sa ChocoMucho because Coach Oliver’s there,” she continued. The former Queen Lady Spiker, who had her jersey no. 14 retired by DLSU, is now working on bringing back her hops and hang time that wowed fans a decade ago when the sport’s following was limited only to Filipino volleyball purists.   “Ngayon lang ulit ako tumalon, nitong June. Nu’ng nag-start ako mag-training with Creamline noong February hanggang May more on floor defense lang ako, hindi pa ako kaagad tumatalon,” she said. “Again it’s been 10 years, it’s been a long time baka if nabigla ako ma-injury lang. So noong June pa lang ako nag-start, sakto noong nasa ChocoMucho ako.”         When asked if this generation will have a chance to see the vintage Illa Santos operate inside the court, Santos-Ng answered. “Let’s just say na my teammates nagsasabi na may talon pa rin naman,” she said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2019

Playing small, big decisions loom for Team USA

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com LAS VEGAS -- Day 3 of training camp for the US men's senior national team brought more scrimmaging against the Select Team. And the media was able to see more of it than on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Both of the quarters that the media witnessed ended in ties. At the end of the first of those two, Khris Middleton got Jonathan Isaac to bite on a pump fake and then made three free throws with 0.7 seconds on the clock to tie it at 23. And with the score tied 24-24 at the end of the last 10-minute scrimmage, Derrick White missed a pull-up three that would have given the Select Team the win. Playing Small The Senior Team had a solid lead midway through that last period, but they lost it when coach Steve Kerr went small with a lineup of De'Aaron Fox, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Middleton and Kyle Kuzma. The Select Team, playing with a frontline of Jonathan Isaac, Marvin Bagley Jr. and Mitchell Robinson for the last few minutes, scored too easily inside against the smaller Senior lineup. Kuzma said afterward that he wasn't surprised when Middleton checked in for one of the Senior Team centers and told Kuzma that he was now playing the 5 and guarding Jarrett Allen (before Robinson checked in). "[Coach Gregg Popovich] and the rest of staff said that they like my defensive versatility, how I can guard multiple positions," he explained. "With the Euro game, there's not too many people posting up. So, it's going to bring guys out who have to guard me. That will open penetration for our elite guards." Even better today. #USABMNT training camp scenes from day three ???? pic.twitter.com/pumT8PFq4d — USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 7, 2019 Kerr, meanwhile, made it clear that experimenting with the small lineup was just part of the process. "We're just trying stuff," he said. "We're looking at different players at different positions to see how they fit. [Playing small] is something that we will definitely consider, but it's Day 3 of training camp. Who knows if it's something we're going to do?" Previous versions of the national team haven't played small (without a 4 or 5 at "center") very often in international competitions. But it will be interesting to see which centers make the final roster. They're all very different players. "You've got an offensive guy in [Brook] Lopez," said US team managing director Jerry Colangelo. "Fundamentally, [Mason] Plumlee is excellent in everything he does. Bam [Adebayo] is young. And [Myles] Turner, who was slow to start in the first couple of days, came to life today, I thought." One observation from the scrimmaging that the media has seen: The bouncy Adebayo seems to rebound everything. Neither team has been able to run much in the scrimmages -- transition defense, FTW -- but Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) highlight was a fast-break alley-oop from Kemba Walker to Donovan Mitchell. KEMBA to DONOVAN ???? #USABMNT pic.twitter.com/xPX83OYD1C — NBA (@NBA) August 7, 2019 Brown tried to top that, but he couldn't finish a dunk attempt over Allen. From what the media has seen, Mitchell has been playing the 2, alongside Walker or Fox. In those last couple of quarters, Mitchell shot well, both off the dribble and off the catch. In fact, in a role-reversal situation, he hit two three-pointers off of nice drive-and-kick feeds from Joe Harris. Smart Shelved, Roster Decisions Loom Marcus Smart sat out of practice on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), dealing with a sore left calf. He's out for the rest of this week and will be re-evaluated when the team reconvenes in Los Angeles next week. Kyle Lowry, recovering from thumb surgery, is also on the shelf and is set to be reevaluated next week. Colangelo said Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) that the preliminary plan is to bring 15 players to Los Angeles for three practices and an exhibition game against Spain, but that 15 number is "a moving target," meaning that it's not set in stone. It's safe to assume that two of those 15 (or so) are Lowry and Smart. So we may see two healthy players cut from the roster between Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) intrasquad scrimmage and next Tuesday (next Wednesday, PHL time). That will be a difficult process, both in distinguishing a group of players that seem to be on the same level and telling guys that they're no longer needed. "They're all tough decisions, because you have a whole roster full of really good players," Kerr said. "Cutting players is always hard, even in [NBA] training camp every year. We bring in guys for camp who we know aren't going to make the team, they know they're not going to make the team, and yet to sit down with them and say, 'This is it,' it's brutal. "We're going to have to do that with a handful of players here, and it's going to be even more difficult, because they've all cut time out of their summers to come here and try to play for their country. Everybody's excited to be here and wants to be part of it, but we can only take 12. So it's going to be tough." Colangelo said that the staff meets at the hotel after practice and evaluates every player, even those on the Select Team, every day. Select-Team Standouts Colangelo cited Bagley and White as two Select Team players who have stood out over the last couple of days. Bagley shined in the portion of practice that the media saw. He's big, he's skilled, and he's athletic. Trae Young remains a dangerous offensive player (he had one nifty dish off a baseline drive on Wednesday, Thursday PHL time) and a liability defensively. Jalen Brunson seemed to be holding his own. Isaac said afterward that he's played almost entirely at small forward for the Select Team, with the 12-man roster (coached by Jeff Van Gundy) including five guys -- Allen, Bagley, John Collins, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Robinson -- that are power forwards or centers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

PVL: Jewelle Bermillo set to do double-duty to end PVL season

Rookie libero Jewelle Bermillo had quite the eventful first conference in the Premier Volleyball League.  In her maiden run with the BaliPure Purest Water Defenders in the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference, Bermillo was on the receiving end of a hard-hitting facial courtesy of PetroGazz import Wilma Salas, and then made the news again after an incident with teammate and import Danijela Dzakovic.  As eventful as the Reinforced Conference was for Bermillo, it was largely a forgettable one as they finished last in the standings, failing to get a win in ten matches played.  It was indeed tough, but it was also a huge learning lesson for the 19-year old as she gears up for her second PVL conference.  "Yung experience ko, andami kong na-gain, naging mature ako last conference and madadala ko yun sa Open Conference," Bermillo told ABS-CBN Sports. "Sobrang nag-grow ako sa lahat ng nagyari last conference. Naging mas matured ako, naging mas matapang ako sa loob ng court ngayon." While being the youngest on the team, Bermillo is positioned as one of the Water Defenders' leaders and anchors, and the responsibility is something that she welcomes with open arms.  "Pag sinasabi ni Coach na ako yung mag-handle sa loob ng court kasi ako na yung libero, hindi ko nafi-feel na bata ako kasi may tiwala sila sa akin, na kaya ko i-handle sila sa loob ng court, lalo na sa floor defense. Hindi ko nafi-feel na bata ako sa loob ng court." An incoming sophomore for San Sebastian College-Recoletos in the NCAA, being able to compete in the PVL, alongside some of the best talents in the country is definitely a goldmine of experience for the young libero, and she is nothing short of eager to be able to bring that experience back to her collegiate team once the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament begins next year.  "Siguro sa akin, kay Coach Roger [Gorayeb], marami siyang ineexpect sa akin na itong experience ko dito sa BaliPure, na madadala ko sa kanila para maging leader din ako sa kanila sa team namin." Bermillo will get even more training in becoming a leader in the closing leg of the PVL season, as she shared that she will not be suiting up for the Lady Stags in the Collegiate Conference, but will instead serve as an assistant coach, alongside legendary San Sebastian mentor Roger Gorayeb.  The young libero could hardly keep her excitment as she spoke about the massive opportunity.  "Sobrang excited ko, sobrang unexpected, parang, yung dream ko agad na, eto, sa age kong ‘to na naging Assistant Coach na ako ni Coach Roger, si Coach Roger pa," Bermillo said, excitement.  Bermillo adds that rather than having her play in the Collegiate Conference as well, Gorayeb saw fit to let her focus on her experience with BaliPure as a way to grow and develop as a player.  "Sabi nga ni coach sa akin, hindi ko kailangan i-pressure ka na maglaro. Yang experience na natutunan mo sa BaliPure, ilalaan natin yan para sa NCAA." Bermillo sees the job offer, so to speak, as a sign of trust from Gorayeb's side, and it should prove to be an invaluable experience, especially for someone who still has years to go in the collegiate ranks.  "Ito, yung pagiging Assistant Coach ko sa kanila, sa mother team ko, ituturo ko lang sa kanila, iga-guide ko sila kung ano yung mga natutunan at na-experience ko last conference. Sobrang laking bagay, kasi para sa akin, malaki yung tiwala sa akin ni Coach Roger, kaya binigay niya yung ganung responsibility, parang sa kanya, alam niya na kaya ko na agad yung ganung responsibility, kaya sobrang thankful ako na nagkaroon siya ng tiwala na ibigay sa akin yung position na maging Assistant Coach itong collegiate conference." she added.  Bermillo admits that she did try to convince Coach Roger to let her suit up for San Sebastian as well, but with the Collegiate Conference and the Open Conference set to overlap, the schedule would be a problem and it would put too much on the young libero's shoulders.  "Sobrang pinilit ko talaga si Coach na mag-laro ako, pero sabi niya mahihirapan daw ako kasi nga sabay po yung games namin ng BaliPure tapos may sched pa po na parehas may game yung collegiate tapos kami, kaya naisipan na lang niya na gawin akong Assistant Coach para mapag-sabihan ko rin yung mga bata. May mga mas bata pa sa akin na maglalaro sa akin, mga first year, sabi niya ikaw na mag-guide sa kanila," she explained. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

NCAA suspends Baste coach Macaraya for unsportsmanlike behavior

MANILA, Philippines – The NCAA Management Committee (Mancom) has suspended San Sebastian Golden Stags head coach Egay Macaraya for one game due to "unsportsmanlike conduct." Per the statement, the Mancom has also asked the veteran tactician to make a public apology and serve community service. While it did not mention the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 6th, 2019

ABL official is new UAAP basketball commissioner

The UAAP has tapped the technical director of the ABL as commissioner for its basketball tournaments. Jensen Ilagan will now serve as the chief administrator for the basketball tournaments of the UAAP, with the Men's and Women's tourneys beginning on September 4. "I'm humbled to be the new UAAP commissioner. I will do my best to uphold the league's integrity through fair competition," said Ilagan. Though just 37 years young, Ilagan already has a wealth of experience under his belt. Besides being the technical director of the ABL for the last four years, the Asia Pacific College graduate is also a FIBA-certified table official. "His experience working in the ABL made us decide to tap him as our commissioner," said UAAP Season 82 president Emmanuel Fernandez. "His youth will bring more technological advancements to our league this season." "I commend the UAAP's choice, spearheaded by this season's host, as we continue to open our doors to candidates other than the traditional names in basketball," added UAAP executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag. One of the innovations Ilagan plans to introduce for this season is the "Video Review Initiative." With this, every member of the officiating pool will be mandated to review the games that were played after every game day. "If it's a good game, it will be the standard. If it's a bad game, then it will serve as a lesson for the officials as well," shared the youthful commissioner. The league, though, has yet to finalize the pool of game officials for the season. Ilagan held a tryout last July 22 and 23 where 174 referees from 12 officiating groups attended. The pool was then trimmed down to 73 referees who will all undergo intensive training next week. "We have very high expectations and we will continue to watch him. I wish Mr. Ilagan luck in leading his office with pride and honor - his success is our success," expressed Saguisag. Assisting Ilagan as tournament director is a former Ateneo Blue Eagle and ex-Lyceum Jrs. head coach in LA Mumar......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2019