Lob City enlists help from Pinoy fans to send CP3 to '17 ASG

Lob City enlists help from Pinoy fans to send CP3 to '17 ASG.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 12th, 2017

New Orleans' big weekend: NBA All-Star Game meets Mardi Gras

em>By Kevin McGill and Brett Martel, Associated Press /em> NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Floats, marching bands and street parties are about to converge with slam-dunks, three-point plays and buzzer-beaters in New Orleans. Laissez les bons temps rouler! Yes, Mardi Gras revelers and basketball fans alike will 'Let the good times roll!' when New Orleans' famous pre-Lenten Carnival meets NBA All-Star Weekend. Bobby Hjortsberg, a local attorney and captain of the Krewe of Freret parade, said riders are excited about rolling during All-Star Weekend. In addition to the traditional colorful strings of beads, Hjortsberg expects parade krewes to shower people along the route with basketball-themed items. Riders will also be taking longer looks at some of the taller spectators to see if they look familiar. 'We've got a lot of basketball fans that are part of our parade. They're well aware of where the [NBA hotels on the route are] and that a lot of players could be around there,' Hjortsberg said. 'People will definitely have their eye out for any players that might be out and about. We'll try to get their attention and throw something to them. It might be the only opportunity we have where they're looking for something from us.' Mardi Gras is one reason why the NBA's annual showcase is in New Orleans for a third time. When the league pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte because of a North Carolina that limits the protections of LGBT people, New Orleans hurriedly put together a bid to host. That the full weekend of events involving celebrities and the NBA elite would coincide with the first major Mardi Gras parades was pitched as more a selling point than a complication. 'We were in a good position in that we were already prepared for Mardi Gras, and already had our special event operations ongoing — to kind of plug the NBA into that,' Ryan Berni, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, said in an interview with The Associated Press. NBA owners, officials, players and other dignitaries have been invited to parties at prime viewing areas along historic St. Charles Avenue on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) and will have an opportunity to experience Mardi Gras like a local, said Jay Cicero, president of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. 'What a great way to expose Mardi Gras to people who may have never been,' Cicero said. Because of the relatively short notice — the city didn't learn it would host the 2017 All-Star events until mid-August — the NBA is cordially co-existing with Mardi Gras but not really coordinating. 'Most of the work, particularly stuff for that first weekend of parades, would have all been decided by that time,' said Barry Kern, whose family business includes design and construction of floats plus hosting special events at Mardi Gras World. Hjortsberg said his float is pretty much full but would make an exception for the right guest. 'I got an extra spot on my float if Anthony Davis or LeBron [James] want to come ride,' he said wishfully. Hjortsberg might want to give Davis a call. The Pelicans All-Star said he hasn't been available to accept previous invitations. 'I'm thinking about doing it this year since we're going to be in town and just get that whole experience,' Davis said. 'You know, have fun with it.' Tourist-dependent businesses are hoping other party-goers feel the same way Davis does and are looking for a larger-than-normal Mardi Gras boost with the NBA presence. 'We'll put on extra bartenders, extra bar-backs, extra doormen,' said Earl Bernhardt, owner of five Bourbon Street bars and a French Quarter restaurant. 'We'll be ready.' In a city with deep Roman Catholic roots, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a final day of unabashed excess preceding the arrival of Lenten solemnity. Always the day before Ash Wednesday, it falls on Feb. 28 this year. Celebrations, however, begin in January and the city's major parades begin 11 days before the big day. That poses a few welcome challenges, such as finding enough hotel rooms. Normally, the city's hotels do not fill to capacity during the first Mardi Gras weekend. 'I've been trying to get people some rooms and being turned down,' said Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. 'It's good for the suburban hotels and the casino hotels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.' Security is always a concern at major events, but officials are taking steps to keep everyone safe. With the two major events overlapping, there will be no days off and plenty of overtime for the police force of close to 1,200, New Orleans police chief Michael Harrison said. Roughly 170 extra state troopers are coming in to supplement the usual contingent of about 30. And other area law enforcement agencies will also send officers. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2017

Bledsoe's triple-double leads Suns over Lakers, 137-101

em>By Jose M. Romero, Associated Press /em> PHOENIX (AP) -- Eric Bledsoe had his third career triple-double, the first for a Phoenix player since November 2015, and Devin Booker scored 23 points to lead the Suns over the Los Angeles Lakers 137-101 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Bledsoe got his 10th rebound with 6:06 to go and exited shortly after, finishing with 25 points and a season high-tying 13 assists. Marquese Chriss added 15 points and eight rebounds for Phoenix, with all four of his baskets on dunks. Alex Len came off the bench to contribute 15 points and nine boards. The Suns led 102-76 after three quarters and coasted to their second victory in seven games and 11th straight over the Lakers at home. Lou Williams and D'Angelo Russell led Los Angeles with 21 points apiece. The Lakers have lost three of four. The Suns set season-highs for points and field goal shooting (55.7 percent). Phoenix made eight of its first 12 shots, two of those on lobs for dunks by Chriss and Booker. Chriss threw down another alley-oop dunk with 5:13 left in the first quarter, giving the Suns a 23-6 lead, and his putback jam off Booker's miss at the 3:25 mark made it 27-8. Phoenix was up 32-15 at the end of the first quarter after leading by as many as 22 points, with Los Angeles making just five of 19 shots with eight turnovers. The Lakers cut the margin to 11 twice in the second quarter, but the Suns built it back to 20. Bledsoe banked in a 41-foot heave at the buzzer, and Phoenix led 68-48 at halftime behind 21 points from Booker and 10 assists from Bledsoe. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Lakers: /strong> /em> G Jordan Clarkson and F Larry Nance Jr. played despite both dealing with a sprained thumb. Russell played on a sore knee. Williams has scored at least 20 points 25 times this season, tops among NBA reserves. em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em> P.J. Tucker left midway through the second quarter when he tumbled over a photographer along the baseline after a missed transition layup. Tucker limped back to the locker room with a bruised lower back but returned in the third quarter. The 15 points allowed in the first quarter were a season-low for the Suns. Their 68 points in the first half were a season high. strong>HUSTLE PLAY /strong> With the Suns up big late in the third quarter, Booker caught up to Clarkson on a fast break and blocked his layup attempt off the backboard. The play got Booker's teammates and fans on their feet with cheers. strong>WORLD CHAMP /strong> Chicago Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo sat courtside. Rizzo and the Cubs just started spring training in nearby Mesa. strong>WEEKENDERS /strong> Four players in the game will play for the U.S. team in Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) NBA Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend in New Orleans. Booker and Chriss will represent the Suns, while the Lakers will send Russell and Brandon Ingram. Also, Derrick Jones Jr. of the Suns will compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, and the Lakers' Nick Young will take part in the Three-Point Shootout, both on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Lakers: /strong> /em> Return to regular-season action Feb. 24 (Feb. 25, PHL time) at Oklahoma City. em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em>Start a three-game road trip Feb. 24 (Feb. 25, PHL time) at Chicago. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2017

Hull's Mason feels lucky to be alive after fracturing skull

HULL, England (AP) — Hull midfielder Ryan Mason feels lucky to be alive after fracturing his skull during a Premier League game. The 25-year-old Mason spent more than a week in a London hospital before being released on Monday and there is no indication yet whether he will play again. 'It has been an emotional roller-coaster and I feel lucky to be alive, but I'm happy to say I'm now at home resting and recovering,' Mason said Tuesday in a statement. Mason required surgery following a clash of heads with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill during Hull's 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge on Jan. 22. 'To have had so many people send messages to me, including from fellow players, clubs (in particular the support shown to me from both Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur) so many fans, as well as the support I have received from the general public around the world has been completely overwhelming,' Mason said. 'Each and every message of support really has given me strength and I cannot tell you how much it means to me.' Mason thanked the medical staff at Hull and Chelsea as well as St. Mary's hospital in London. 'I will now be taking each day as it comes and concentrating on my recovery,' Mason said. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017

Global FC falls to Brisbane Roar in Australia, joins Ceres-Negros in the 2017 AFC Cup

Global FC's AFC Champions's League dreams have come to an end after falling to Australian side Brisbane Roar, 6-0, Tuesday evening at the Brisbane Stadium, Brisban Australia.  The home-side went to work early, with winger Brandon Borello scoring a hat-trick within the first 30 minutes of the match.  Spanish winger Manuel Arana added a conversion of his own in the 37th minute to send the Roar into halftime with a comfortable 4-0 advantage.  The second half wasn't any easier for the visiting Pinoy side, as Arana completed his brace in the 65th minute, while Borello scored his fourth and final goal in with ten minutes left in regulation for a 6-0 final score in favor of the Aussie club. With the big win, Brisbane advances into the playoff round, where they meet Chinese club Shanghai Shenua. The winner will secure a spot in Group E of the 2017 AFC Champions League group stages.  Global FC fans need not fret however, as they'll be heading to the 2017 AFC Cup, along with Bacolod-based club Ceres-Negros FC.  Last year, Ceres-Negros, then known as Ceres-La Salle FC made history by becoming the first Pinoy club to advance into the AFC Cup Round of 16, and they did it in style, finishing the group stages at the top of their group.  Global FC on the other hand, was the first Pinoy club to qualify for the AFC Cup back in 2015.  This year, both Global FC and Ceres-Negros FC will try to make even more history by going for the AFC Cup championship.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 31st, 2017

Pinoy fans team up online to send Jordan Clarkson to the 2017 All-Star Game

Pinoy fans team up online to send Jordan Clarkson to the 2017 All-Star Game.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Reported hermaphrodite Manganang gets love, respect from Pinoy fans

BIÑAN CITY, LAGUNA --- Indonesian ace spiker Aprilia Manganang said that she has already put the controversial protest of the Philippines against her during the 2015 Southeast Asian Games behind. The team captain of Jakarta Electrik-Ind.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2016

WWE Live Manila explodes Sept. 9

WWE superstar Big Show talks to reporters during a news conference on Tuesday at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City. PHOTO BY LANZ MENDOZA Pinoy wrestling fans will be in for a treat when the World Wrestling.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 26th, 2016

Monaco teen star Mbappe doing better than Henry at same age

JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer   PARIS (AP) — Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe, the rising star of French football, is doing better than Thierry Henry was at the same age. Manchester City fans know all about Henry — Arsenal's all-time leading scorer — but are poised to get a glimpse of Mbappe's talent when the team hosts Monaco in the Champions League on Tuesday. Because of his electric speed and style of play, the 18-year-old Mbappe has drawn comparisons with Henry, a world-class finisher and France's record scorer with 51. Henry used to make the same dazzling runs when cutting inside from the left that Mbappe makes now, and the parallel is made stronger by the fact they broke into the Monaco side as teenagers. Mbappe's first professional goal came at the age of 17 years, 62 days, which just happened to beat the Monaco club record held by Henry. 'Every player wants to write their own history. (Henry) has written his and I hope to write mine,' Mbappe said. 'I just hope it's as good or better.' Where Mbappe has the edge is that he can already play at center forward, a quality that Henry developed at a later age. It is testament to Mbappe's maturity that when called upon by Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, he has switched easily from left winger to striker. When Jardim rested Radamel Falcao, his main striker, for a French Cup game and a league game this month, Mbappe scored in both. Then, when paired alongside Falcao against Metz recently, he scored a hat trick. 'All that remains is finding his true position, out wide or through the middle,' said Jean-Claude Giuntini, Mbappe's coach with the France Under-17s. Jardim said on Monday that Mbappe 'can play anywhere across the front three' but also suggested there was the option of playing in a deeper role, too. For the game against City, Jardim said Mbappe was competing with Valere Germain for a starting place. Henry became a striker when he joined Arsenal from Juventus in 1999, by which time he was nearly 22. Coach Arsene Wenger converted him from a winger averaging one goal every five games at his previous clubs into the Premier League's most feared marksman. Mbappe, who joined Monaco at age 14, started drawing attention when still shy of his 17th birthday. It was for the way he set up Monaco's goal in a 4-1 loss to Tottenham in the Europa League, turning right back Kieran Trippier inside out before feeding striker Stephan El Shaarawy. Amid growing interest, Mbappe turned down Real Madrid last summer. He previously visited Madrid's facilities aged 14, greeted in person by Zinedine Zidane. 'I was a kid who had the best player in French history speaking to him,' Mbappe recounted. 'It didn't happen because I wanted to stay in my country. I decided to come to Monaco, and I made the right choice.' Monaco has a gift for finding rare talent. Forward Anthony Martial joined Manchester United from Monaco in January last year, aged 20. But Mbappe is showing even more potential than Martial. Like Martial and Henry, he also grew up in the Paris suburbs. Following in their footsteps, he soon joined France's youth academy at Clairefontaine, nestled in leafy countryside about one hour from Paris. The logical choice would seemingly have been to join Paris Saint-Germain. But Mbappe saw better opportunities with Monaco. It's a side known for developing young players, whereas PSG had a reputation for overlooking local talent, having missed out on Henry and Martial. Last May, Mbappe helped Monaco win the Gambardella Cup — the French Youth Cup — by scoring twice in the final against Lens: An Henry-like finish for his first goal and a brilliant strike for his second. Although Mbappe's signature move is stepping over the ball multiple times when running at speed — a hallmark of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo — he has outrageous trickery of his own. In the Euro Under-19 final against Italy last July, he received the ball down the right flank. Feigning to go one way, he flicked the ball the other way over the Italian player's head and then crossed it. All of this on his weaker foot. He was the tournament's star, scoring five goals as France won. Earlier on, in a 2-0 defeat of Croatia, he scored another Henry-like goal, controlling a long pass perfectly with his right foot, then gliding around the keeper before slotting in with his left. 'He is full of surprises,' Monaco defender Fabinho said on Monday. 'We see this on the training pitch every day. He has amazing ability, he does things that stand out.' That Monaco has managed to keep Mbappe is largely down to a strong family structure. Mbappe does not have a high-profile agent like Mino Raiola, who has Manchester United stars Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among his elite clients. Mbappe, whose mother played professional handball and whose half-brother played striker for first division Rennes, is represented only by his Cameroonian father Wilfried. When Mbappe was on the bench earlier this season, his father gave a newspaper interview bluntly advising Jardim to pick him. The message got through. ___ AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas in Manchester contributed to this report. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News1 hr. 58 min. ago

FA Cup: Arsenal advances impressed by 5th-tier Sutton's grit

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer   SUTTON, England (AP) — Relief for Arsenal, pride for Sutton United. On the plastic patch at tiny Gander Green Lane stadium, the gulf in class between teams separated by 105 places in the English soccer pyramid but pitted against each other in the FA Cup was not always apparent. Arsenal wasn't simply allowed to stroll into the quarterfinals by its fifth-tier hosts playing the biggest game in their 118-year history. Arsenal took 26 minutes to break through the dogged resistance, and then winning only 2-0 on Monday. 'If you are 2-0 down you don't want to get really hurt,' Sutton manager Paul Doswell said. 'The players should feel very proud. The problem in sport is when you have lost, you feel disappointed but they put this club on a worldwide map.' If global viewers tuned in for a cup giant-killing they didn't get it, but neither did they witness a rough humiliation for the south London side. Apart from picking the ball out of his net twice, Sutton goalkeeper Ross Worner, a part-time picture framer for a sports memorabilia company who supports Arsenal, had few saves to make. Worner was beaten only by Lucas Perez, a 20 million-euro signing last year, and Theo Walcott, who turned the ball in from Nacho Monreal's cross 10 minutes into the second half for his 100th Arsenal goal. Far from being in awe of a side of millionaire international players who arrived with personal bodyguards, Sutton constantly harried in the pursuit of a goal, and seized on misplaced passes by Arsenal players on an unfamiliar surface in front of 5,000 mostly standing fans. Defeat would have been unthinkable for Arsene Wenger following a 5-1 loss at Bayern Munich in the Champions League which cast fresh doubt on the Arsenal manager's future. 'It was not an easy game at all — every little mistake we made, technically they took advantage of,' Wenger said. 'I don't really enjoy tonight because we absolutely had to do the job and it is tricky. It is important for the confidence of the players.' Having avoided embarrassment, the 12-time FA Cup winners will face another fifth-tier side in the last eight. There won't be another tricky trip into unfamiliar territory, with 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium staging Lincoln City next month. But Wenger is now more than aware just what a challenge a team from the National League can pose. 'That was astonishing,' Wenger reflected on a night when his players had to squeeze into a cramped, sparse brown-walled concrete dressing room. 'They never stopped going until the end, and compared to 20 years ago these teams are fit now and can play at the pace of the Premier League.' Sutton, placed 17th in the National League, was mobbed by its fans who invaded the field, having completed the game with its dignity more than intact. 'They kept going,' Wenger said. 'We were never really in a position where we could really afford to have a little breather.' Far from sitting camped inside its own half to frustrate Arsenal, Sutton ensured goalkeeper David Ospina would have to remain constantly alert. Only the crossbar denied Roarie Deacon, a former Arsenal youth team player, and captain Jamie Collins, a part-time construction worker, angled his header from a corner just too high. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Sutton's tenacity was Wenger bringing top-scorer Alexis Sanchez on in the second half. 'When I looked at my lads at 70 minutes and Sanchez has come on, it was a wonderful thing,' Doswell said, 'but I knew how tired they were. It was quite a cruel thing to do.' And yet even with Sanchez on the pitch, the Chilean Copa America winner could not net a 21st goal of the season. 'We could not afford a light team selection,' Wenger said, 'and that is why I came with basically all the players who were available because we couldn't afford to go out.' What Sutton can now afford is significant upgrades to its stadium, mostly to assist youth teams. This record-breaking journey deep into the FA Cup has earned the club, where many staff including the manager are volunteers, more than 1 million pounds ($1 million). The only blot on the night was police having to intervene to stop brawling fans on the field at fulltime, and Sutton reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw eating a pie on the bench in a stunt that appeared to be linked to a betting company. 'Wayne has become this global superstar on the back of being 23-stone,' Doswell said. 'He's made that a chance to make some more media coverage off the back of it. I don't think it shows us in the best light.' ___ Rob Harris is at and .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News2 hr. 31 min. ago

DeMarcus Cousins trade to New Orleans Pelicans official

em>New Orleans Pelicans press release /em> NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans have completed a trade with the Sacramento Kings, acquiring center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Omri Casspi in exchange for guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and two future draft picks. 'We’re thrilled to welcome DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans family,” stated Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps. “This is an exciting time for Pelicans fans as we continue our quest for long-term success. I know our fans are equally excited to welcome DeMarcus and Omri to our great city. “I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Benson, Dennis Lauscha and Mickey Loomis for their continued support and providing the resources for us to be successful. I’d also like to thank Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and Buddy Hield for their professionalism and hard work on the court and in the community during their tenure in New Orleans.” Cousins, 6’11”, 270, has appeared in 55 games this season, averaging 27.8 points (ranked fourth in the NBA), 10.7 rebounds (ranked 11th in the NBA), 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks. Drafted fifth overall by Sacramento in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky, Cousins has appeared in 470 career games, averaging 21.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks. Cousins is a three-time NBA All-Star (2015, 2016, 2017), named to the All-NBA Second Team twice (2015, 2016), was a member of the All-Rookie First Team in 2011, and has won gold medals with Team USA at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Casspi, 6’9”, 225, has appeared in 22 games this season with the Kings, averaging 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists. Drafted by Sacramento with 23rd overall pick in 2011, Casspi has appeared in 485 regular season games with Sacramento, Cleveland and Houston. Drafted sixth overall in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma, Buddy Hield, 6’4”, 214, is averaging 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. Tyreke Evans, 6’6”, 220, who was originally acquired from Sacramento on July 10, 2013, has appeared in 202 career regular season games with New Orleans, averaging 14.8 points, 5.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 29.5 minutes. Evans, who was selected fourth overall by Sacramento in the 2009 draft out of the University of Memphis, the 2010 Rookie of the Year holds career averages of 16.3 points, 5.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 459 regular season games with Sacramento and New Orleans. Langston Galloway, 6’2”, 200, was originally signed by New Orleans as an unrestricted free agent on July 21, 2016, has appeared in 55 games this season, averaging 8.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. Undrafted in 2014 out of St. Joseph’s (PA), Galloway holds career averages of 9.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 25.3 minutes per game with New York and New Orleans. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News6 hr. 1 min. ago

Takes a village: 'Greek Freak' got many assists growing up

em>By Demetris Nellas and Theodora Tongas, Associated Press /em> ATHENS, Greece (AP) — He was just a scrawny, hungry kid, the son of migrants from Nigeria, trying to survive in Sepolia, a modest Athens neighborhood. The club coach who spotted 13-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother kicking a soccer ball around a neighborhood field says the NBA All-Star grew up in constant fear of the police, and of being deported. At that time, Antetokounmpo had only dabbled in basketball and was mostly interested in soccer. 'He could not make a layup and he could not dribble,' says Spiros Velliniatis. But the teenager's character impressed Velliniatis, with a determination and toughness that showed through. 'He was a champion before he was a basketball player,' Velliniatis said. Now the young man born in Athens is known to basketball fans as the 'Greek Freak,' and he credits Velliniatis for putting him on the road to stardom. 'He was the one that gave us the opportunity to look at basketball, because me and my brothers were more focused on playing soccer because my dad was a soccer player,' Antetokounmpo said. Many still can't pronounce his name, but they are familiar with the athletic 6-foot-11, 22-year-old Milwaukee Bucks forward's ability to play above the rim. But as a youngster, Antetokounmpo and his older brother, Thanasis, had to be enticed to attend basketball practices. 'I asked him about his parents and [I said] if I found a job for his parents would he [join] my club? He said yes,' Velliniatis said. Even with that, getting the Antetokounmpos to show up to practice with the club, Filathlitikos, which was in another neighborhood, was still a challenge. 'We said, 'We must find a way to keep the kid on the court,' This would be a success for all of us,' recalls Panagiotis Zivas, the Filathlitikos coach. 'They were children, they did not understand they had to be consistently committed.' The family didn't have much, but neighbors would help. People like Giannis Tzikas, a cafe owner, who sometimes prepared sandwiches for Giannis and his brothers so they would not go to practice hungry. 'Some people said to me 'why are you feeding the black kids?'' Tzikas said, adding the reactions made him even more determined to help. 'He helped us a lot,' Antetokounmpo said. 'I would see him every day. He was a big fan of the national team and he helped my little brothers, too, a lot.' Tzikas remembers times when the Antetokounmpo brothers were not welcome on the neighborhood courts. Most of the time, Tzikas said, the boys' father took them to the courts and the kids were protected from violence. Besides helping find the boys' parents jobs, Zivas said the general manager for Filathlitikos gave the family money to underscore the club's commitment. The family eventually moved into a better neighborhood, closer to where the club was located. Once settled, Giannis prospered. 'He was a leader in the youth team and quickly made it to the seniors,' Zivas recalls. 'He was the team worker. The team expected him to rebound, block. (Scoring) points did not interest him.' In one of Giannis' last games with the junior team, he scored 50 points, and that drew the attention of several senior clubs. Filathlitikos officials made sure the tape was circulated near and far. Interest soared, including from the NBA. One of the people who made the trip to Greece to watch Giannis play was Boston Celtics' president and former star, Danny Ainge. 'I remember that game; it was in the city of Volos and Ainge sat at the end of our bench and the opposing team's fans thought he was a Filathlitikos executive and started calling him names. Maybe they threw something, as well,' Zivas said. Interest in a player not even playing in a country's top division was unusual, but not unprecedented. Future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki took the same route to the U.S., from second division Wurzburg. The Spanish club, Zaragoza, was the first to make an offer to Antetokounmpo. Tzikas remembers how excited Giannis was at the prospect of going to Spain. 'He came to me and said, 'Mr. Giannis, I signed a contract with Zaragoza, they are giving me 400,000 euros a year. I'll bring my family along with me and I'll buy a car.'' Antetokounmpo never played for Zaragoza because the Bucks made him a first-round draft pick in 2013 and his contract with the Spanish club included an NBA 'escape clause.' He moved to Milwaukee that year and his family has since joined him. Thanasis, a 6'7' small forward who played for the Knicks and in the NBA's D-League, now plays in the Spanish Liga, although he has not given up on his NBA dream. Their coach at Filathlitikos said their two younger brothers, Constantinos and Alex, also have NBA potential. The brothers' basketball careers may have taken them around the world, but they continue to make an impact in Greece. Once in constant dread of being deported, Giannis now has his citizenship papers. Giannis also has become the mainstay of the Greek national team. 'What Giannis has accomplished at his young age is simply amazing,' Greece national teammate Kostas Papanikolaou. 'He is an example for every kid.' Zivas continues to see Giannis in the offseason. 'He comes here every summer, he trains and lifts weights,' his former coach said. In May 2016, Giannis and Thanasis, along with another little-known foreigner who has made his presence felt in the NBA — the Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis — came to Athens to play a game with assorted Greek players and veterans. An enthusiastic crowd of 5,000 crammed into the stands of a gym next to Athens' largest public high school to watch them play to a 123-123 tie. Thanasis overshadowed the two NBA stars, scoring 69 points, 5 more than his brother. Porzingis finished with 21. 'If he had no idea how big he is in Greece,' Tzikas said of Giannis, 'he sure found out that day.' The scrawny youngster has come a long way. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2017

British rider Whitehouse owns Le Tour Stage 1

SORSOGON City --- Daniel Whitehouse made Great Britain and his Malaysia-based Terengganu Cycling Team look good on Saturday by winning the Le Tour de Filipinas Stage One that surprisingly sapped the best out of the pre-race favorites including former champions Mark Galedo of the Philippines and Thomas Lebas of France. Whitehouse was a reflection of the vaunted British cycling program in the 164.50-kilometer stage that started with a warm and festive send off at Legaspi City’s Embarcadero seaside park, rolled past enthusiastic crowds in all of Sorsogon province that has never played host to elite bike action in decades and finished to a well-managed finish in this city located at the southernmost tip of Luzon. The 22-year-old clocked three hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds not only to rule the stage and snatch the yellow jersey symbolic of the general classification (GC) leader of the race presented by Air21, but also won Sprint, King of the Mountain and Best Young Rider (Under-23) honors for the day. The Sprint came as a bonus for the youngster whose best asset is seen in the climb though. “'I'm not good at sprints, so I waited for the climb and made my move,' said Whitehouse, who crossed the finish by his lonesome in day one of the race which has Petron and UPS as principal sponsors and Philippine Airlines as official airline partner. Whitehouse will bring into Tuesday’s 177.35-km Sorsogon to Naga City Stage Two a one minute and 51 seconds lead over Australia’s Benjamin Hill (Attaque Team Gusto), who won a sprint finish over riders from countries which also owns rich winning tradition in cycling—Japan’s  Ryu Suzuki (Bridgestone Cycling Team) and Spain’s Salvador Guardiola (Team Ukyo). Another Australian, Jai Crawford of Kinan Cycling Team, was fifth in the stage. Lebas, who failed to defend his 2015 title last year after figuring in a crash, made his presence felt by sticking with a big second group that tried to catch Whitehouse in the final 50 kms. But the Frenchman had to give way to his Kinan Cycling Team mate, Aussie Jai Crawford, and settled for sixth place. Galedo, the 2014 champion, failed to finish in the top 10, but his 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines teammate Edgar Nohales was able to, winding up in eighth place ahead of fellow Spaniard Fernando Grihalba. The first stage featured a relatively light climb, a Category One 280-meter KOM point on mystical Mount Bulusan, but gave the surviving 68 cyclists a lesson on how to race on a technical course. “The route was technical and that tested many of us,” said Galedo, the best Filipino finisher in the stage. “But for me, it was some sort of a warm-up. There are three more stages to go.” Galedo could not pedal the way he did in winning gold in the individual time trial of the 2013 Southeast Asian Games and the Le Tour de Filipinas three years ago and finished 13th alongside Japanese Yasuharu Nakajima (Kinan). They were a riding duo in the last 60 or so kilometers and crossed 9:12 behind Whitehouse. The peloton became active immediately after the first 10 kilometers resulted to splinter groups over a 10-km stretch, shoving the other Filipino cyclists further behind. 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines’ Rey Peralta was 17th (10:19 behind) with Philippine National Team’s Melvin Corpuz (24:01) winding up 43rd, George Oconer (24:09) 52nd, Boots Ryan Cayubit (24:09) 54th and Jerry Aquino Jr. (24:34) 55th. The other Filipino, Mark Julius Bonzo of CNN Cycling Team, was also with Aquino’s group at the finish.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2017

PSG playing its best soccer since Qatari takeover in 2011

JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer   PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain is dreaming big, just like its motto says. The French club, desperate to join Europe's elite since Qatari owners QSI took over six years ago, made an eye-catching breakthrough in the Champions League on Tuesday, routing Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of the last 16. 'This was the best performance I've been part of since coming to PSG,' said midfielder Blaise Matuidi, one of QSI's first signings after its takeover in June 2011. In the years since the new ownership came in, PSG has pumped hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) into acquiring big-name coaches and big-name players, including Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler. QSI also launched an advertising campaign with the motto 'Revons Plus Grand,' French for 'Let's Dream Bigger.' It hasn't always worked out, though. In the past four seasons, PSG has dominated in France but has failed to reach even the semifinals of the Champions League. Twice the team lost to Barcelona, in 2013 and '15, in the quarterfinals and then again last year to Manchester City. The result of European frustration has led to swift and ruthless change, with coach Laurent Blanc fired in the offseason despite winning back-to-back domestic trebles. His successor, Unai Emery, was hand-picked by PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who liked what he saw in the Sevilla side that Emery guided to three straight Europa League titles. That team played with passion, total commitment and relentless energy, and the Spanish coach has allied those qualities to a PSG team with considerably more individual talent than Sevilla. After a difficult start, his methods are working well. ___ NO IBRA, MORE TEAMWORK Zlatan Ibrahimovic's departure to Manchester United before the season left a huge void — one that PSG has filled with more teamwork. When Ibrahimovic played, everything revolved around him. He was given such freedom by then-coach Carlo Ancelotti and by Blanc that he roamed wherever he wanted. While the Swede was a prolific scorer, the loose way he played often unbalanced PSG and made the side predictable against better European opposition. With the unselfish Edinson Cavani as the main striker, PSG is much harder working. And Cavani has stepped up with 34 goals this season. Ibrahimovic also hardly ever defended, while Cavani tracks back to support his teammates. ___ EMERY'S TACTICS The team Emery picked against Barcelona was brave and innovative. He dropped Brazilian winger Lucas, one of his best players, and recalled the inconsistent Angel Di Maria — who scored twice. But it was Emery's midfield formation that really caught the eye and earmarked him as a clever strategist. Switching from the 4-3-3 formation he usually deploys, Emery went for a 4-2-3-1 with Adrien Rabiot and Marco Verratti as the holding pair and with Blaise Matuidi pushing up almost as a playmaker. Matuidi is usually either a holding or a wide midfielder, but Emery used him as a thrusting spearhead where his relentless energy and ability to time late runs behind the defense caused havoc. ___ HOMEGROWN TALENT As the final whistle blew at Parc des Princes, three homegrown PSG players joined in the celebrations. Center back Presnel Kimpembe had marked Barcelona star Lionel Messi out of the game and Adrien Rabiot had won his midfield battle against Sergio Busquets. Midfielder Christopher Nkunku came on for the last 20 minutes. Kempembe and Rabiot are both 21, while Nkunku is 19. All three grew up in the Paris region and came through the club's youth ranks. While Ancelotti and Blanc rarely trusted homegrown players, offloading central defender Mamadou Sakho to Liverpool and winger Kingsley Coman to Juventus, Emery has great faith in them. Kimpembe is an athletic defender who reads the game well and is strong in the air. The graceful Rabiot has great composure on the ball, a dangerous shot from outside the box and is a perceptive passer. Homegrown players also give the club a stronger local identity because fans feel like they're watching one of their own, rather than only imported stars. ___ KEEPING VERRATTI The diminutive Marco Verratti is the heartbeat of the side and PSG has done well to keep him, despite interest from Real Madrid. The 24-year-old Italy midfielder is a great organizer and sets the tempo for PSG's game with quick-thinking and crisp passing. He has an excellent passing range, whether short or long, and he regularly creates chances with his defense-splitting passes. All he needs to add now is goals, with only five in 185 games since joining from Italian side Pescara five years ago. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2017

NBA party over there, where? Not in Charlotte this weekend

em>By Steve Reed, Associated Press /em> CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Hornets season ticket holder Doug Doggett was planning on ponying up several hundred dollars for tickets to the NBA All-Star game this weekend in Charlotte. But since the league has moved its annual showcase to New Orleans, Doggett now has no plans to watch the game on TV. Charlotte won't be a ghost town this weekend, but it sure won't be buzzing like many had hoped when the NBA awarded the city the 2017 All-Star game. The league moved the event last summer after North Carolina politicians failed to repeal House Bill 2, a law that passed last March that limits the protections of LGBT people. As a result, Doggett — like other Charlotte residents and businesses — have been left out in the cold, looking for ways to enjoy this weekend. There is an Equestrian Trade Show in town, though it's not generating the same level of excitement. Vernon Jackson, also a season ticket holder, said he was looking forward to seeing the All-Star game in person but now only plans to watch when Charlotte's Kemba Walker participates in the three-point contest. 'I'll watch Kemba, but as for the game itself — probably not much,' Jackson said. Walker — Charlotte's first All-Star since Gerald Wallace seven years ago — shares the fans' pain. He won't be showing off his skills in front of his home crowd. 'I have been here a long time, and it would have been really cool for the city, the organization, the fans and even me,' Walker said. But Walker and the fans aren't the only ones disappointed. Charlotte area hotels, restaurants and other entertainment-based businesses stand to lose out on the $100 million impact of the game, according to Hornets COO and president Fred Whitfield. Before the league moved the game, it was almost impossible to find a hotel in downtown Charlotte near the arena for this coming weekend. Now, the Westin is offering rooms starting as low as $90 per night. Hickory Tavern, a sports bar/restaurant where fans regularly gather for Hornets 'viewing parties,' and other local bars have mostly cancelled All-Star themed events and aren't expecting nearly as big crowds. The Charlotte Convention Center was going to host many of the events, including the interactive NBA All-Star Experience. Now the biggest event on the center's calendar this weekend is the International Equestrian Trade Show. 'There are a lot of business leaders that would like to see a resolution to HB2 and there are a lot business leaders who have had ongoing discussions with leaders of the Senate and the House, asking them to work together to get a resolution,' Whitfield said. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in October that returning the All-Star Game to Charlotte in 2019 is 'a high priority,' provided there's a resolution to the so-called bathroom bill, which limits which restrooms transgender people can use in government buildings and schools. But that's no guarantee. Newly elected Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper wants to repeal the law, but so far attempts to do so with the GOP-controlled legislature have failed. A federal trial to decide the legality of HB2 is scheduled to begin later this summer. Hornets owner and former NBA great Michael Jordan declined comment, but has spoken out against any form of discrimination in the past. 'We are extremely disappointed we lost the game because we worked so hard as a community to get it,' Whitfield said. 'But we did support commissioner Silver's decision to move the game. We, like the NBA, don't believe in any form of discrimination but we felt like it was incumbent upon us to move the game as long as the HB2 situation lingered over our city and state.' Along with the All-Star game, North Carolina has had major music headliners like Bruce Springsteen cancel concerts dates and the Atlantic Coast Conference pull its neutral site championship games out of state, including football which featured national champion Clemson. And now NBA stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant and hometown hero Stephen Curry — and their big, revenue-generating corporate sponsors — won't be coming here either. Forbes estimated in November that HB2 has cost North Carolina $630 million in lost revenue since it was passed in March of 2016. They stand to lose millions more if the NCAA pulls the state's tournament bids for the next six years. 'HB2 has cost North Carolina every single day with businesses and events leaving a state that has written discrimination into law,' Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro said in an email. '... The economic damage already experienced because of HB2 is only the beginning.' Charlotte's loss is New Orleans' gain. The Big Easy has paired the four days of All-Star game festivities with Mardi Gras, merging two giant parties. Meanwhile, Charlotte is left wondering what could have been. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2017

Hawks prevail 109-104 over Blazers in overtime

em>By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press /em> PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points, Dennis Schroder added 22 and the Atlanta Hawks scored the final 12 points of overtime to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-104 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Dwight Howard added 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Hawks, who won their fifth straight against the Blazers. Paul Millsap made the tying basket as time expired in regulation. CJ McCollum had 26 points for the Blazers, who traded starting center Mason Plumlee to Denver a day earlier. Damian Lillard added 21. Lillard's three-pointer and McCollum's floater gave Portland a 104-97 lead in overtime. Atlanta made free throws to stay close and Schroder's layup pulled the Hawks to 104-103. Kent Bazemore's layup gave Atlanta the lead with 40.3 seconds left. Portland got the ball with 12 seconds left, but Lillard appeared to slip on a drive to the basket. Millsap and Taurean Prince made free throws for the final margin. Hardaway, who was averaging 22.0 points in Atlanta's last five games, hit a three-pointer with 1:40 left in regulation that closed Atlanta within 95-94. Maurice Harkless' tip after Ed Davis missed a pair of free throws kept Portland in front 97-94 with 34.6 seconds left. After Howard missed the second of a pair of free throws, Atlanta got the ball with 2.2 seconds left and Millsap made the layup to send the game into overtime. Atlanta was coming off a 108-107 loss at Sacramento on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), squandering a 22-point, second-half lead. Portland fell 120-111 at home to the Boston Celtics last Thursday (last Friday, PHL time). The game came just a day after Portland sent center Mason Plumlee to Denver in exchange for center Nurkic. Plumlee averaged 11.1 points and four assists as a starter this season for Portland. Nurkic, who was on the bench in street clothes, was not available for the game against the Hawks. The Blazers started Meyers Leonard at center. Pat Connaughton's three-pointer capped a 10-0 run to end the first quarter with the Blazers up 28-21. Al-Farouq Aminu's triple stretched the lead to 34-21. The Hawks pulled within 39-34 on Schroder's running layup. But the Blazers led 48-42 at the break. The teams traded the lead into the fourth. After Portland forward Noah Vonleh fouled out with 8:13 left in the game, Harkless gave the Blazers an 84-79 lead with a three-pointer. Aminu finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Blazers. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Hawks: /strong> /em> The Hawks continued to play without Thabo Sefolosha (left groin injury) and Tiago Splitter (right calf strain). Sefolosha missed his eighth game with the injury, but coach Mike Budenholzer suggested he may play Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) against the Clippers. em> strong>Trail Blazers: /strong> /em> Portland recalled forward Jake Layman and guard Tim Quarterman from the Windy City Bulls of the NBA D-League on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). Layman averaged 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists over eight games with the Bulls, while Quarterman averaged 9.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 7.2 assists in nine games over two stints with the team. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Hawks: /strong> /em> Atlanta plays one more on the road, against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), before the All-Star break. em> strong>Trail Blazers: /strong> /em>The Blazers could have Nurkic available for Wednesday night's (Thursday, PHL time) game at Utah. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2017

'MiRome' steals spotlight in PSA Annual Awards

Kapamilya star Jerome Ponce was the luckiest man Monday night holding the hand of the very stunning Mika Reyes as the former De La Salle star accepted her award as the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s 2016 Miss Volleyball. Arriving together at the Le Pavillon in Pasay City for the formal gala night of the PSA’s Annual Awards, the couple turned heads with the statuesque Reyes looking very elegant in her long maroon gown. The 22-year-old Reyes was feted by the country’s oldest media organization for her feat in the year that was after leading the Lady Spikers to reclaiming the UAAP crown, helping F2 Logistics win its breakthrough Philippine Superliga title and participating in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship. Reyes took spotlight in a night of celebration and honoring the country’s best athletes. Ponce, who rose to stardom as Luke in the hit noon-time soap 'Be Careful With My Heart', was very proud of the achievements of his girlfriend, who was given a red carpet, movie star treatment as photographers flashed their cameras on the 5-foot-11 Petron volleybelle, getting interviewed on TV and some fans asking for selfies.  'Well syempre she deserves it, she deserves kung ano man ang pinaghirapan niya,' said the very supportive Ponce. 'No one knows kung anong pinaghirapan niya except her, siya lang. For me kinuwento niya sa akin ang some and that’s so much for me. Para sa akin kung anuman 'yung some na 'yun na naging efforts niya at hirap niya sa industriya nila eh sobra na sa akin. Kaya para sa akin she deserves it.” Being in the showbiz for quite some time, Ponce knows that some bashers will try to pull her down especially with the recognition and successes she is now receiving.    'Para sa akin wala naman magbabago, mabasa mo man o hindi (ang nasa social media), wala namang magbabago. Siguro 'yung nga taong may pakialam lang sa mga bashers (ang maaapektuhan). Ano ba makukuha ng mga bashers wala naman? Siya rin naman ang nagturo sa akin na baliwalain na lang,' said Ponce, who is to star in the upcoming Star Cinema movie Ghost Bride with Kim Chiu and Matteo Guidicceli. Asked by ABS-CBN Sports if his girlfriend, a Virtual Playground talent and could be the next showbiz star of the management after volleyball player turned actor Johnvic De Guzman of the hit movie Seklusyon, is open to enter his field, Ponce said that showbiz is not Reyes’ thing. 'Hindi naman kami nag-uusap regarding that (Mika entering showbiz) and mukhang hindi naman siya interesado, hindi naman niya nasasabi sa akin. minsan pa-joke joke pero hindi talaga,' he said. We just hope Reyes will change her mind because the “MiRome” tandem do have that kilig-factor as seen on the eve of Valentine’s Day.       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2017

Curry on sharing stardom with KD: 'We just let it happen'

em>By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press /em> Stephen Curry had no preconceived notion on how being Kevin Durant's teammate was supposed to work. He just knew it would. It was a fair question when the season began: How were superstars like Curry and Durant going to mesh with the Golden State Warriors? No one need ask anymore, not with the Warriors holding the best record in the NBA and the team about to send four players — Curry and Durant included, of course — to New Orleans for next Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) All-Star Game. 'I kind of went into it with a fresh perspective, just understanding what KD's game is like and what he's like as a person,' Curry said. 'I knew some things from playing with him, on Team USA and stuff. From there, we had a certain identity to how we play. I knew that he would blend right in and bring his skill set to the table. 'Didn't want to put too much pressure on the transition,' Curry added. 'We just let it happen.' He makes it sound so simple. Those who have been there before know it's not. Paul Pierce went through it in Boston when the Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and Dwyane Wade did in Miami when the Heat landed LeBron James and Chris Bosh. 'It's very challenging. It's like being a bachelor and then you get married,' Wade said. 'You aren't going to have as much bathroom time, you aren't going to have as much of the bed. You have to figure out how to get comfortable.' Curry apparently has. His scoring is down from a league-best 30.1 per game last season to 25.2 this season. He's shooting less and doesn't have the ball in his hands as often. There's other parts to the formula. Harrison Barnes took 10 shots per game last season for Golden State; he's now in Dallas. Draymond Green has given up some of his shots, and Durant himself is shooting a tad less often than he did in Oklahoma City. But when Durant signed with the Warriors last summer Curry immediately knew his role would change, even coming off consecutive MVP seasons. He hasn't complained. 'When you have an opportunity to get a piece who isn't just a good piece but a great piece, a future Hall of Fame piece, it's easier to take a little bit of a side step,' former NBA star Jerry Stackhouse said. 'It's not a backstep at all. You still need Steph Curry to be Steph Curry for them to have a chance to win a championship.' A play in Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) game that had Durant back in Oklahoma City might illustrate how well he and Curry are clicking. It was midway through the first quarter, Warriors down by seven and Durant having missed his last three jumpers. Curry dribbled across midcourt with his left hand, and pointed at Durant with his right. Pass. Catch. Shoot. Score. Curry let the whole arena know what was coming, and it still worked. The Warriors had the lead not long afterward, and won going away. 'All these guys are great guys,' Durant said. 'They're easy to get along with. A lot of guys know how to just play the game. I knew if I came here, not think about myself and just play within the offense, I'd figure out how to be aggressive and score.' Curry and Durant also said there are times when they can read the other without needing words — a look here or a nod there is sometimes enough to tell the one exactly what the other is thinking. The numbers are showing that Curry is finding his rhythm now, too: A month ago, he was below 40 percent for the season from three-point range. In his last 10 games going into Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), he's shot 50 percent from beyond the arc. If all that wasn't enough, there's also this: Curry and Durant both say they're only going to get better. 'At the end of the day we are about winning,' Curry said. 'The spotlight will come and I'll be able to do what I need to do on the floor and push my game to the next level regardless. That's the mentality we both had going into this. And we're getting better at it.' ___ em>Associated Press Writer Terrance Harris in Orlando, Florida contributed. /em> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2017

Aftershocks send Surigao residents to higher ground

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Feb) – Residents here are worried over the numerous aftershocks following the magnitude 6.7 earthquake late Friday evening that many of them have sought higher ground. Around 500 people have already set up camp at the Provincial Convention Center near the provincial capitol compound, which is on an elevated part [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2017

Gruesome injuries mar victories by Madrid & Barcelona

JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press br /> BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Gruesome injuries marred victories by Real Madrid and Barcelona on Saturday, as both powerhouses won on the road to stay atop the Spanish league. Madrid needed goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Francisco 'Isco' Alarcon to beat bottom-side Osasuna by a hard-fought 3-1. Two players were carried off on stretchers. Osasuna's Cayetano Bonnin was the more serious. He broke both the tibia and the fibula of his right leg when he knocked legs with Isco. Madrid defender Danilo was also taken to a hospital in Pamplona after he couldn't continue in the second half when an Osasuna player stomped on his left ankle. Barcelona's big three of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Neymar led a 6-0 rout at Alaves that included another nasty injury to teammate Aleix Vidal, and a violent clash between rival fans. Vidal was carried off near the end of the game and taken to a hospital after a sliding challenge from Theo Hernandez. Barcelona said Vidal would be sidelined for five months with a displaced right ankle. 'We feel horrible for him and for the team,' Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. After barely playing in the first half of the season, Vidal earned a spot in Luis Enrique's rotation in recent weeks. Before the game, fans from both teams fought near Mendizorroza Stadium in the Basque city of Vitoria. Both clubs condemned the violence. Alaves said it would take action against any of its club members if they were involved. ___ OSASUNA 1, REAL MADRID 3 Ronaldo scored his 14th league goal past goalie Salvatore Sirigu, but Osasuna forward Sergio Leon coolly chipped goalie Keylor Navas on the break to level in the 33rd minute. Isco restored Madrid's lead in the 62nd after a mistake by Osasuna's defense allowed Karim Benzema into the box. Leon was twice denied by Navas in the second half in a dignified performance by an Osasuna side that saw its winless streak reach 14 rounds. Substitute Lucas Vazquez added a third goal for Madrid just before the whistle. 'I said we would have difficulties here, and that was so,' Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. 'There isn't such a big difference between the leader and the last-place team. We know we can't relax and have to keep this going until the end.' Madrid, which has two games in hand, remained one point ahead of Barcelona. ALAVES 0, BARCELONA 6 Suarez struck twice to continue his excellent scoring form with 10 goals in his last nine appearances across all competitions. He is on pace to repeat as La Liga's leading scorer with 18, followed closely by Messi with 17. Suarez also played a part in two more goals, while defender Alexis Ruano added an own goal on a dismal day for the hosts. Alaves will have more than three months to prepare for its next meeting with Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final on May 27. At least Alaves can count on Suarez not playing in that final due to a one-game suspension. The Basque club had no answer for Suarez on Saturday. Suarez opened the scoring in the 37th minute when he completed a beautiful team buildup that quickly moved the ball from left to right of the attack before Suarez was left to fire in Vidal's low cross. Suarez's hustle helped double the advantage in the 40th when goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco swatted a ball off Suarez's head. The ball bounced right to Neymar to tap in. Messi drilled a left-footed shot between Pacheco's legs after he stole the ball from Carlos Vigaray near Alaves' goal in the second half. Alaves wilted when Ruano knocked in an own goal trying to stop Messi after Suarez set him up. Suarez started a counterattack that produced a goal by Ivan Rakitic, and Suarez took his second goal two minutes later when he blasted in a rebound. ATHLETIC BILBAO 2, DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 1 Veteran striker Aritz Aduriz scored with a minute remaining to complete Athletic Bilbao's comeback. REAL BETIS 0, VALENCIA 0 The scoreless stalemate that increased the winless streaks of both teams. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2017

Thunder fans fired up for Kevin Durant's return

em>By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press /em> OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Hours before Kevin Durant was to play in Oklahoma City for the first time as a visitor Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), some Thunder fans were already gathered around Chesapeake Energy Arena, showing their contempt for the man who left as a free agent last summer and joined the rival Golden State Warriors. Brady Cox of Newcastle, Oklahoma, stood outside the arena wearing a blue Durant jersey that had the word 'Traitor' duct-taped under the No. 35 on the front. He held a sign with 'Mr. Unreliable' at the top, referencing a headline that The Oklahoman ran above a photo of Durant during the 2014 playoffs and later apologized for. 'When they first came out with Mr. Unreliable, I was very upset,' he said. 'I thought, 'That's nothing like KD.' A few years later, I'm upset again. I'm like, 'How could he do this to us?'' Durant said before the game he didn't expect a warm reception. He knows how passionate the fans are, and they are part of why he has such fond memories of Oklahoma City. 'You plan for the worst,' he said. 'Obviously, I know how it is. I know fans are loud, especially here. Just try not to think about it and go out there and play. Once the ball is tipped up, just go out there and play the game.' Durant felt strange going to the visitor's locker room for the first time. 'There's definitely emotion,' he said. 'I played here for eight years. There's no getting around that.' Another Thunder fan wearing an orange Russell Westbrook shirt held a sign that said 'KOWARD' with the K and the D in orange and the rest of the letters in blue. Still, many fans have fond memories of Durant's time in Oklahoma City. He won the 2014 MVP award, was a four-time scoring champion, led the team to the NBA Finals in 2012 and is a member of the state's Hall of Fame. 'He did do a lot of good stuff for the city,' Chris Cordova of Edmond, Oklahoma, said. 'I'm not going to discount that at all.' The fact that Durant led the Thunder to a 3-1 lead over the Warriors in the Western Conference finals last season before losing the final three games made the fact that he went to Golden State that much more difficult to accept for some fans. 'Definitely mixed emotions,' Cordova said. 'A lot of angry people, a lot of bitter people. And just the team that he went to. He went to Golden State, the team that eliminated them. It makes you wonder if they [the Thunder] had won Games 5, 6 or 7, if he would have even gone.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2017