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Oladipo, Sabonis helping Pacers move forward

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo has a fever and the only prescription is ... no, not more cowbell. Cowbell might make sense, if you factor in Oladipo’s love of and commitment to music (his debut R&B album has been available since Oct. 6). But the fever currently afflicting Oladipo, shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers, has nothing to do with extracurriculars and everything to do with the odes and anthems he’s been performing within the confines of 94 feet by 50 feet. If the fifth-year guard out of Indiana University, by way of the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder, looks comfortable in his new star turn for the Pacers, well, just remember that’s your word. Not his. “You could say I’m comfortable with the people here,” says Oladipo, who spent three seasons with the Hoosiers before becoming the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. “I played in front of these fans, they mean a lot to me and I gave a lot to them just like they gave a lot to me while I was in college. “But I’m never comfortable in any situation I’m in. I will never be comfortable. That’s what kind of makes me get up and work every day. It’s like, never be satisfied. Because for some reason, ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted more.” Oladipo’s eyes just about glow after a weekend practice as he delves into his unflagging intensity. He doesn’t undercut it with a smile or a token laugh. This is real heat. “Maximize my talent and exhaust my potential,” he says. “In order to do that, I’ve got to come to work every day. That’s my thought process. Wake up each day and be great that day.” Each day would include tonight, when Oladipo will share center stage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the more decorated and once-beloved star who preceded him in the Pacers lineup. Paul George, a four-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist during his seven seasons in Indiana, was due to face his old team for the first time since being traded to Oklahoma City in July. It was a parting necessitated by George, who had made clear his desire to sign a maximum-salary contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018. But the trade was orchestrated by Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations, and Chad Buchanan, their general manager, who surprised the NBA by swapping George to OKC for Oladipo and big man Domantas Sabonis. You want intense? The initial reaction to that deal was intensely negative, quickly reaching hysterical proportions. The Pacers immediately were mocked for having traded George for nickels on the dollar. Reports out of Boston characterized Indiana’s POBO as more of a bobo for allegedly spurning a Celtics’ offer of multiple players and draft picks. *Takes a well deserved nap for 3 hours ** Opens Twitter: pic.twitter.com/xWNYaVfKTy — Myl3s Turn3r (@Original_Turner) July 1, 2017 The west is sick!!!! Best conference in the world!!!! — Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) July 1, 2017 Vic to the Pacers?! He might as well run for governor while he's at it! — Cody Zeller (@CodyZeller) July 1, 2017 Former Thunder star Kevin Durant called the move “shocking” and of George said “Indiana just gave him away.” Among much of the media that covers the league, there was a general feeling of “rubes” afoot -- that the Pacers had been snookered in taking back an overpaid ($21 million annually through 2020-21) second-tier talent and an overbilled guy who had disappeared in OKC’s postseason. And now? Not so much on any of those fronts. ‘He knows how good he is’ George’s stats are down in the “OK3” core he’s formed with reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook and aging Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder (12-13) are the NBA’s consensus disappointment, team category, with nearly a third of their season in the books. Sabonis has boosted the Pacers off the bench in a half dozen ways. And Oladipo has all but earned himself a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team while speeding his new team’s fans past their heartbreak over George’s jilting. Generally, the best trades in sports are win-win, but for Indiana right now, a bit of win-lose has made the start of 2017-18 downright sublime. “We happened to really like Sabonis in the draft,” former Pacers president and ongoing consultant Donnie Walsh said last week. “We wanted more of everything in the trade too. But when it came down to it, we had this offer with Oladipo, who we also liked. They’ve come in here and the more they’ve been here, the more we like ‘em. We’re happy.” The Pacers also are 16-11, two weeks ahead in the victory column over their 42-40 finish last season that was good for a playoff berth. Oladipo is the biggest reason why, averaging more points per game (24.5) than George ever has. The 6'4" guard who attended famous DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md., spent much of last season being beaten up for his contract and negligible impact in Oklahoma City. He had taken grief earlier for his status as the second pick in 2013, a lofty status not of his doing. And here he was again in the summer, hearing it all over again for a transaction he didn’t design. “He came in with a chip [on his shoulder],” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “I thought he should come in with a chip.” Some would have flinched from the pressure. A few might have curled up, full blown fetal. Oladipo has gone entirely the other way. “His confidence is at an all-time high,” backup point guard Cory Joseph said. “He knows how good he is.” As Joseph spoke after the Pacers’ upset of Cleveland Friday, a game in which Oladipo scored 20 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter, a lilting voice drifted from behind the scenes in the home dressing room. “Look at it right now, he’s singing in the shower,” Joseph said, tilting his head and laughing. “He’s confident. You guys are all in here, he’s just singing. He’s a confident guy. Everybody in this locker room, everybody in this organization definitely welcomes that.” Trade not driving Oladipo’s breakout season Don’t misunderstand. The critics still are out for Oladipo. “My mom told me yesterday I need to work on my free throws,” he said with an eye roll after practice Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). She had noticed, during her son’s run of big games in December -- 36 points at Toronto, 27 vs. Chicago, 33 against the Cavs the night before her chiding text -- that he had missed 18-of-31 foul shots. This, by a career 80 percent shooter from the line. “I’m over that,” Oladipo said. “I’m not going to miss no more. I’ll make ‘em next time. And if I miss ‘em, I’ll make ‘em the next. If that’s my problem right now, I think I can fix it.” Twenty-four hours later, Oladipo took 13 free throws against Denver and made 11. He scored 47 points in all, hitting 15-of-28 shots and half of his 12 three-pointers. The comeback victory in OT got the Pacers to 4-for-4 on their six-game homestand and continued to shrink whatever chip it was that the 25-year-old was shouldering. “In the beginning of the year, I said, ‘I don’t have a chip. I have a brick house on my back,’” Oladipo said. But not anymore, right, now that some folks are referring to it as “the Victor Oladipo trade” rather than “the Paul George trade?” “That’s what I feel like every morning, no matter what’s going on,” he said. “I don’t even think about the trade, honestly. It’s in the past for me. People’s opinions are going to be there whether you like it or not. From the outside looking in, I guess you could say [then] that was a great trade for OKC. That’s what they believed. But it wasn’t going to change the way I worked. It wasn’t going to change my approach.” This step up in status is considered perhaps the most difficult an NBA player can make. Suddenly, opposing coaches are X&O-ing him to death. The player dogging him up and down the court is the other guys’ best defender. Often, they’ll send double-teams to get the ball into one of his teammates’ hands. “He hadn’t had that,” McMillan said. “When he was in OKC, the game plan was focused on Westbrook. When he was in Orlando, he was just a young player. Now he is seeing the defenders like a LeBron [James], like a [DeMar] DeRozan, what these stars are seeing. He’s seeing the best defenders and he’s seeing teams game-plan to take him out. “Learning how to play and be consistent every night with that challenge is something he’s going through.” Oladipo’s quick success with the Pacers has kept any crowd critics at bay. They were pre-disposed to like him just as their rebound date after George, but had he underperformed, Oladipo’s service time in Bloomington wouldn’t have protected him for long from criticism. But now, it’s George who likely will get the harsh reception. Oladipo, overtly after each of the recent victories, has made it clear to the home fans via some emphatic pointing and body language that the Fieldhouse happens to be his house. “I don’t say it, they say it,” he said. “I just do the gesture and they do the rest of the work for me. I let them do all the talking. We feed off them -- when they’re into it, we play better. I don’t know why, that’s just how basketball’s always been. They’re our sixth man and we need ‘em every night.” Oladipo’s breakout season has been bolstered, too, by the Pacers’ second-through-15th men. Those who already were in Indy knew how valuable George was at both ends. Those who, like Oladipo and Sabonis, were new this season were within their rights to be as skeptical as the national headlines of the guys coming in trade. Go-to guy emerges for Pacers OKC was a specific challenge, Oladipo having to learn on the fly how to fit his own darting, ball-heavy style to only the second man in NBA history to average a triple-double. Westbrook’s usage was off the charts, rendering the other Thunder players to supporting cast whether suited to that role or not. Just like that, Oladipo had to catch and shoot as someone to get Westbrook into double digits in assists. It wasn’t his nature and it made for an individually forgettable season. “I had a role. I tried to play that role to the best of my ability. And I improved certain areas of my game in that role,” was all he’d say Saturday, stiffly, about the OKC experience. Said Walsh: “I felt like he was going to get a different opportunity here. ... When he got to Oklahoma City, he was playing wih a guy who was averaging a triple-double. And he liked Russell Westbrook. But he comes here, he’s got an opportunity to be ‘our guy.’ “I think he might have been looking for that. I never asked him. He’s a really cool guy. He knows what he wants to be, I think.” Oladipo needed this and the Pacers needed him to need it. With George gone, they were like a smile missing a front tooth. The other teeth weren’t just going to move up in the pecking order -- no matter how good young big man Myles Turner is -- and replace the one they’d lost. If they were going to have any success this season, if McMillan was going to be able to coach and adjust in his second year taking over for Frank Vogel, the players needed to fill their roles and welcome this new addition. That’s why this tale of Oladipo’s growing success is about what the Pacers have done for him, as much as it is what he’s done for them. “We didn’t really present it like that,” McMillan said, “because we were still trying to develop who our ‘go-to guy’ was. He has been slowly taking on that role through the things he’s done. I haven’t had to say anything. He’s making good decisions with the ball. And the guys are getting a feel for what we’re doing down the stretch because we’ve had some success, and we’ve had it with Victor having the ball.” Chemistry change for Pacers There might be NBA teams with chemistry as solid as the Pacers’ right now, but it’s hard to imagine there are any with better. It’s more than mere relief that someone has stepped up, easing their own loads a bit. It is a genuine eagerness for Oladipo to max out, for each of the rest of them to do the same in whatever lane they’re riding. “Vic’s been everything at this point,” Turner said. “He’s done a great job of stepping up and being that guy, being that dude. It’s amazing to have that when you’re going through a situation where it’s a brand-new team. We’re still learning each other and he’s showing that he’s ready.” Did Turner know this would happen and, if so, when? “First couple days he started texting me in the summertime,” the big man said. “I saw what his mindset was, and I loved it from the jump. He carried that right in when we started playing pickup this summer. “Vic’s been traded, what, [two] times? He finally comes back home and he has a team that’s telling him to go, telling him to be him. I don’t think he had that with his former teams. Now that he’s here and he’s doing that, I’m pretty sure he’s [enjoying it].” Said Joseph: “He’s been a beast for us and he’s going to continue to be a beast for us. ... He’s been running with that opportunity and opening eyes around the world.” Even strong-willed, uber-confident Lance Stephenson, has backed up for Oladipo. “There’s no hate, know what I mean?” he said over the weekend. “Some guys get mad about somebody doing good. This team wants its teammates to do good. That’s what’s going to make us even better.” Oladipo keeps referring to the other Pacers in a legit lubricating of the “no I in Indy” process. “Honestly I think it’s the personalities and the men that we have in this locker room,” he said. “My teammates are phenomenal people -- not just basketball players, phenomenal people. When you surround yourself with great people, people who sincerely care about you and your team, the chemistry just comes naturally.” Sabonis shows glimpses of success, too The other guy in the trade, Sabonis, has developed more organically, his maturation seemingly inevitable regardless of locale when you tote up his youth, his work ethic and his bloodlines (son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis). He has gone from that rookie who logged just six minutes in the Thunder’s five 2017 playoff games against Houston to an essential piece in McMillan’s rotation. “Once I got traded, I knew this was a great opportunity for me to show people what I can really do,” said Sabonis, the No. 11 pick in 2016. “I was a rookie last year. Everything was new. Here, I’m being used more at the 5. That’s more the position I’ve been used to playing my whole life.” Sabonis’ minutes are up from 20.1 in OKC to 24.6 off Indiana’s bench. His scoring has doubled from 5.9 ppg to 12.1. And his PIE rating has soared from 4.9 last season to 12.6, a sign of the versatility the skilled big man possesses. “I love Sabonis,” Walsh said. “His father was one of the greatest players in the world, so I don’t like that comparison -- it kills him. He [Domantas] is just more of everything you think he is. He’s stronger than you think. He can shoot the ball better. He’s got good hands, he can catch the ball. I’ve seen him make moves in game that I’ve never seen him make in practice.” Said Turner: “I played against Domas in college -- I knew what kind of player he was. I was excited when we got him. He’s gotten bigger and stronger since then, obviously, and he just didn’t have a chance to show himself last year. But he’s been big for us now, especially when I was out with the concussion. He stepped up huge in that role and we’ve played well since then.” The Pacers are playing faster this season, up from 18th in pace last season to 10th now, part of their improvement from 15th in offensive rating (106.2) to 6th (108.3). They’re doing better, too, in contesting shots and throttling opponents’ field-goal accuracy. The biggest reason why has been Oladipo’s blossoming. Whether due to the sunshine of new, happier surroundings or from that darker, more intense place, to prove cynics wrong. No one can now talk of the Pacers’ bungling of what, after all, was a deal to rent George, not to have him long-term. Fans at Bankers Life figure to boo George on his first visit back, with an inventory they haven’t needed or used on Oladipo. Some might see that as ingratitude, others as respect. It’s a little bit of love lost, too. “Look, they loved Paul when he was here,” Walsh said. “They guy is a great player. One thing I’ve always felt: These guys that play here, they always know more about what they want for their lives than we do. How you gonna argue with that? He treated us good, we treated him good. No bad blood here. I don’t know about fans.” Folks in Indy have a new crush now, one they hope lasts for a while. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2017

Pinoy Pride 43 stars work out in front of Boholano fans

Less than a week before the big night, Pinoy Pride 43 main protagonists Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo, “Prince” Albert Pagara, and Jeo “Santino” Santisima wowed fans at the Island City Mall Tagbilaran Saturday afternoon, as they performed some of their workout routines in front of a huge Boholano crowd. Magsayo, Pagara, and Santisima looked sharp as they moved effortlessly from their circuit program to shadow boxing, down to working with the mitts together with coaches Edmund Villamor and Michael Domingo. The members of the crowd were also able to take photos and meet their idols up close after the program, which ran for 30 minutes. The three young prospects will headline ALA Promotions’ The Battle in Bohol this Saturday, November 25, at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium, along with six more bouts. Magsayo (17-0-0, 13KOs), who headlines the card against veteran Shota Hayashi  (30-6-1, 18KOs) of Japan, will be defending his WBO International Featherweight title for the third time. Meanwhile, WBO ranked #11 Featherweight Albert Pagara (28-1-0, 19KOs) and Philippines’ #1 Super bantamweight Jeo Santisima will face Mohammed Kambuluta (16-3-0, 6KOs) of Tanzania and Kichang Kim (8-4-1, 2KOs) from Indonesia in 123-lb. non-title, 10-round bouts respectively. Pinoy Pride 43: The Battle in Bohol tickets are available at all RD Pawnshops in Tagbilaran, Bohol Tropics Resort, Wisdom Gymnasium and Abi’s Seafoods and Grill located in Espuelas Street......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2017

The journey doesn t end here : former champ Eduard Folayang remains motivated following loss to Martin Nguyen

Eduard Folayang's magical run as ONE Championship lightweight world champion is over.  Friday night at ONE: Legends of the World in Manila, Folayang was on the wrong end of a brutal knockout loss to now-two division world champion Martin Nguyen. It was a painful end to what was an insipiring journey to the top for the Team Lakay superstar, and the image of seeing the Pinoy hero getting seperated from his senses is one that will remain with Pinoy fight fans for a while.  Days after the loss, Folayang released a statement via ONE Championship, reassuring everyone that he's fine after the match's violent end.  "First and foremost, I thank God for His protection. At this point, I assure my followers and the fans of Team Lakay that I am alright and there is nothing to be anxious about. I am still in good physical condition." Folayang said. "I extend my heartfelt gratitude to ONE Championship for seeing that I get the best medical attention after the match. Folayang went on to thank the Filipino fans who came and supported him and Team Lakay, Friday night.  "I take this opportunity to thank my countrymen for their support not only to me but to the entire Team Lakay athletes who competed last November 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena. My heart is overwhelmed with the outpouring of their encouragement. We hope we can pay it forward. As for Nguyen, the Baguio City native congratulated the new champion and added that this isn't the end of the line for 'The Landside." "I tip my hat off to Martin Nguyen. He did his homework well and came very prepared. Because of this, my hunger for improvement remains unsatiated. This is a big lesson learned. I believe challenges inside and outside the cage always bring out the best in us. I assure you that the journey doesn't end here." The former champion has been in the same situation before. Following a devastating KO loss to lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin back in 2014, Folayang went on an amazing run which led him to the top of the lightweight division.  ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong fully believes that the Pinoy warrior can once again rise to the top of the heap. "I expect Eduard to shine again."  Sityodtong said during the post-fight presser.  As for now, Folayang will likely take a break as he and the team prepare for what's set to be an eventful 2018. "The odds were not in my favor last Friday. Nevertheless, Team Lakay and I will exert our best efforts to wave our Philippine flag more triumphantly in 2018."     Eduard Folayang quotes courtesy of ONE Championship.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 13th, 2017

King Arthur gets love from Mexican fans in questionable loss to WBC champ Nery in Tijuana

While Filipino boxer 'King' Arthur Villanueva put on a show, it was reigning WBC bantamweight world champion Luis 'Pantera' Nery that came away with his hand raised in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday evening.  Nery stopped Villanueva via TKO in the sixth round of their non-title contest, in a stoppage that some have deemed early.  The Mexican champion blitzed and stunned the Pinoy, and the referee quickly intervened, calling the fight in favor of Nery.  Villanueva however, says that he wasn't out at all.  "Hindi nawala yung isip ko, focus pa din ako sa laban, ganun. Yung na-feel ko una, parang nawala ng lakas yung paako, pero yung isip ko andun pa din." Villanueva shared with ABS-CBN News' Steve Angeles, who was in Tijuana for fight night.  While Nery eventually took the W, it wasn't without a stellar effort from Villanueva, who had his moments in the match, including a fourth-round knockdown of the champion.  Prior to the fight-ending combination from Nery, the ALA Boxing standout was finding his rythm and scoring.  Villanueva's gutsy performance managed to win over the pro-Nery crowd in Tijuana, an impressive feat in itself.  After the fight, the fans showed the Pinoy warrior some love.  "Ako mismo bilang isang boxer, masaya din ako kasi naipakita ko yung abilidad ko sa laban na yun, tapos yung mga tao, na-appreciate naman yung ginawa ko at maraming nagandahan sa laban." The Bago-City native had his third fight in the last seven months, two of them coming against champions in Zolani Tete and Nery, so 'King Arthur' will be taking some well-deserved time off to let his body get some rest.      H/T: Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 6th, 2017

Warriors wrap up preseason with a win over Kings

The Associated Press - Stephen Curry had 18 points in 19 minutes as Golden State made a successful return home after its two-game China trip, 117-106. David Stockton had 23 points and eight assists for the Kings (1-5). em> strong>KINGS: /strong> /em> Veteran summer acquisitions Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and George Hill all were sidelined. ... Rookie Frank Mason started and had 10 points. ... Rookies De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic missed the game with injuries. em> strong>WARRIORS: /strong> /em>Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala didn’t play. ... Patrick McCaw scored 17 points and Nick Young made five three-pointers for 15. ... Rookie Jordan Bell started and finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. ___ strong>LAKERS 111, CLIPPERS 104 /strong> Brook Lopez scored 16 points for the Lakers (2-4), and the Los Angeles teams tuned up against each other before they meet in their season openers on Thursday (Wednesday, PHL time). Tyrone Wallace had 23 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Clippers (2-3). em> strong>LAKERS: /strong> /em>Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle each scored 15 points. ... Rookie Kyle Kuzma struggled to a 1-for-8 night, scoring eight points. ... Lonzo Ball sat again after hurting his ankle earlier in the preseason. em> strong>CLIPPERS: /strong> /em>Rookie Jawun Evans had 22 points and eight assists. ... Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Danilo Gallinari, Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic all sat. ___ strong>HORNETS 111, MAVERICKS 96 /strong> Kemba Walker scored 17 points and Johnny O’Bryant III had all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter for Charlotte. O’Bryant was 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from the foul line in the fourth, helping the Hornets (2-3) pull away with a 29-15 spurt. Harrison Barnes scored 24 for visiting Dallas (4-2). em> strong>MAVERICKS: /strong> /em> Dennis Smith Jr. closed his preseason with 10 points and nine assists. ... Dirk Nowitzki had 14 points and J.J. Barea added 13. em> strong>HORNETS: /strong> /em>Dwight Howard grabbed 12 rebounds, helping Charlotte win that battle 50-37. ... Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon each scored 14. ___ strong>CAVALIERS 113, MAGIC 106 /strong> Playing without LeBron James, Cleveland got 18 points from Jose Calderon and 15 from Dwyane Wade to beat Orlando. James missed his fourth preseason game with a bad ankle, and Kevin Love also didn’t play for the visiting Cavaliers (1-4). Aaron Gordon had 21 points for the Magic (3-3). em> strong>CAVALIERS: /strong> /em> Kyle Korver took five two-point attempts, something he did in only six games all last season. ... Wade and Derrick Rose didn’t play in the second half. ... JR Smith came off the bench to further acclimate to his new role, now that Wade is the starting shooting guard. em> strong>MAGIC: /strong> /em>Orlando allowed 36 points in the third quarter. ... Jonathon Simmons started again in place of the injured Terrence Ross (hamstring). ... Simmons had 12 points and Elfrid Payton had 11 on 4-for-4 shooting. ___ strong>WIZARDS 110, KNICKS 103 /strong> Bradley Beal scored 24 points in his best game of the preseason, helping Washington (4-1) send the Knicks to a winless exhibition slate. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 23 points as the host Knicks finished 0-5. em> strong>WIZARDS: /strong> /em> All-Star John Wall sat out the finale. ... Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 21 points. ... Former Knicks forward Jason Smith had 17 points. em> strong>KNICKS: /strong> /em>Kristaps Porzingis (sore right hip) and Frank Ntilikina (bruised right knee) were held out again. Ntilikina, the Knicks’ first-round pick, appeared in just one preseason game. He said he expects to fully practice Saturday. ... Doug McDermott scored 21 points off the bench. He had 12 in his first five minutes. ___ strong>RAPTORS 125, BULLS 104 /strong> Toronto outscored Chicago 38-17 in the fourth quarter to turn what was a tie game into a blowout. CJ Miles scored 27 points for visiting Toronto (3-2), which got 17 from Kyle Lowry and 16 from Norman Powell. Justin Holiday scored 17 for Chicago (3-3). em> strong>RAPTORS: /strong> /em> Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 10 rebounds. ... The Raptors were 19 of 48 from 3-point range. em> strong>BULLS: /strong> /em>Lauri Markkanen scored 13 and Bobby Portis added 12. ... Chicago had 28 assists on 38 field goals. ___ strong>SPURS 106, ROCKETS 97 /strong> LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio (3-2). Rudy Gay scored 14 points and Kyle Anderson added 13 for the Spurs. Eric Gordon led the host Rockets (4-1) with 27 points, and James Harden added 15 points and 11 assists — but shot a mere 5 for 17. em> strong>SPURS: /strong> /em>Danny Green had 11 points and seven assists. ... The Spurs outscored Houston 60-38 in the paint. em> strong>ROCKETS: /strong> /em>Houston took 53 shots from three-point range, making 15. ... Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson combined for 27 points, but shot 5-for-20 from behind the arc. ___ strong>GRIZZLIES 142, PELICANS 101 /strong> New Orleans’ Tony Allen — who will have his jersey retired by the Grizzlies when his career ends — got a huge ovation from fans in Memphis in his first trip back as an opponent. He didn’t play, and the Pelicans got routed. Jarrell Martin scored 20 points and Marc Gasol finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Memphis (3-2). Jordan Crawford scored 19 for New Orleans (1-3). em> strong>PELICANS: /strong> /em>Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins both shot 2 for 5, combining for 16 points. ... New Orleans trailed by as many as 49. strong> em>GRIZZLIES: /em> /strong>Memphis got to the 100-point mark with 4:17 left in the third quarter. ... Mike Conley scored 19. ___ strong>BUCKS 107, PISTONS 103 /strong> Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out six assists as Milwaukee (1-3) avoided a winless preseason. Avery Bradley and Andre Drummond were brilliant for visiting Detroit (2-3). Bradley scored 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting, and Drummond finished with 18 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists. em> strong>PISTONS: /strong> /em>Tobias Harris scored 13 points and Boban Marjanovic added 10. ... Detroit got outscored 48-27 from three-point range. em> strong>BUCKS: /strong> /em> Khris Middleton and Mirza Teletovic each scored 14. ... Milwaukee used 14 players — 13 of them scored (rookie of the year Malcolm Brogdon was the exception) and all 14 got at least one rebound. ___ strong>76ERS 119, HEAT 95 /strong> Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick each scored 19 for Philadelphia (2-3), with Redick going 5 for 6 from 3-point range. Bam Adebayo, James Johnson and Dion Waiters had 13 apiece for Miami (3-3). em> strong>HEAT: /strong> /em>Hassan Whiteside picked up three fouls by the midpoint of the first quarter, with Joel Embiid drawing them all. ... Jordan Mickey had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Justise Winslow scored 10. em> strong>76ERS: /strong> /em>Philadelphia “hosted” the game in Kansas City, Missouri. ... The 76ers shot 14-for-39 from beyond the arc, while holding Miami to a 4-for-30 performance from long range. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 14th, 2017

Martin Nguyen 'excited' to fight in front of Filipino fans again

On November 10th, Martin Nguyen walks into enemy territory as he tries to dethrone reigning and defending ONE Lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.  Aside from a size and weight advantage, the champ Folayang will also have the hometown crowd behind him as he tries to defend his title for a second time.  For the challenger, who also happens to be ONE Championship's newly-crowned featherweight world champion, he isn't sweating the Pinoy crowd, and is in fact eager to perform for them.  em>'I’m very excited, I’m returning to the Philippines, it’s a massive deal.' /em>Nguyen said during the media faceoffs in Manila.  Nguyen was all praise for Filipino fight fans, whom he called 'well-educated' in terms of MMA appreciation.  em>'You guys are very very well-educated when it comes to combat sports. My last fight [here in Manila] with Li Kai Wen, it was potentially a Fight of the Night, and experiencing those three to four minutes, I was in awe.' /em> The last time that Nguyen fought in Manila was back in April of 2016, a first-round TKO win over Li Kai Wen. Come November 10th, Nguyen will look to recreate the result, but he likely won't get any standing ovation if he manages to do so.  em>'The Filipinos, they love their combat sports and I’m here to put on a show for you guys, regardless of being the underdog or being hated because I’m fighting one of their heroes.' /em> The 28-year old Australian is riding a five-fight winning streak heading into arguably the biggest challenge of his career.    strong>Eduard Folayang defends his ONE Championship lightweight world title against reignign ONE Championship featherweight world champion Martin Nguyen in the main event of ONE: Legends of the World on Friday, November 10th at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.  /strong> strong>Catch the action LIVE on S+A channel 23!  /strong> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 13th, 2017

World champ Milan Melindo relishes cheers from hometown crowd

When Milan 'El Metodico' Melindo captured the IBF light-flyweight world championship in Japan, the ALA Boxing product was met with stunned silence.  He had just knocked out one of Japan's most popular champions in Akira Yaegashi, after all, so the reaction from the hometown crowd wasn't surprising.  Prior to the knockout however, all that the Pinoy could hear was the the fans, chanting Yaegashi's name.  Fast-forward five months later, Melindo was inside the ring once again, but this time, it was his name being chanted, as he defended his title for the first time. 'MELINDO! MELINDO!'  From the opening bell right up to the official decision, the packed Waterfront Hotel and Casino crowd in Cebu City made it clear who they were rooting for.  'Masayang-masaya po ako, dahil yung mga boxing fans, hindi nila ako pinabayaan, gustong-gusto talaga nila akong manalo dahil sinisigaw nila yung pangalan ko.' Melindo shared with ABS-CBN Sports after the grueling 12-round war against South African challenger Hekkie Budler. 'Yung pagkatapos ng laban, pagka-taas ko ng kamay, cheering pa din sila kahit hindi pa na-dedeclare yung panalo.' Overcoming two massive cuts above both eyebrows, Melindo eked out a Split Decision win to retain his IBF title, much to the delight of the Cebuano crowd.  'Pagka-panalo, ayun nagsisigawan na silang lahat, so napaka-happy ko, na-appreciate nila yung ginawa ko at yung resulta ng laban.' While Melindo is a native of Cagayan de Oro, the champ now resides in Cebu, where he trains in the famed ALA Boxing Gym. Over the year's 'El Metodico' has become a household name in the so-called Boxing Mecca of the Philippines, along with guys like Donnie Nietes and Mark Magsayo.  More than anything however, Melindo says that it's knowing that all his hard work paid off at the end. 'Napaka-happy ko dahil hindi nabale-wala yung lahat ng sakripisyo ko, na lumaban ako hanggang sa huli, kahit marami na akong sugat sa mata.' Saturday night, Melindo shared one of his career's biggest moments with the fans in Cebu.  They chanted his name and cheered for him every step of the way.  A far cry from the stunned silence he recieved in Japan.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 18th, 2017

'I want na mag-enjoy yung crowd...para sa kanila yung laban' - Milan Melindo on upcoming fight

Aside from holding on to his championship this Saturday at Pinoy Pride 42, reigning IBF Light-Flyweight king Milan 'El Metodico' Melindo has one more objective come fight night.  'I just want na mag-enjoy yung crowd,' Melindo told ABS-CBN Sports during Friday's official weigh-ins. 'Kasi sila yung nagbabayad,sila yung nanonood.'  If fans enjoy what they see on fight night, Milan believes that it will be step towards getting more and more fans to support Filipino boxing.  Even more than that, the 29-year old ALA Boxing product simply wants to give back to the fans who took time out of their schedules to see some of the best Filipino boxers do what they do best.  'Gusto kong ipakita sa kanila na hindi sayang yung pera nila sa pagbili ng ticket at pag-nood, yung effort nila and yung time nila.' 'Para sa kanila yung laban.' Melindo added. 'Dapat ibubuhos ko kung anong meron akong abilidad na binigay ng Panginoon.' Saturday night, Melindo will walk into the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City with a hometown crowd behind him. The Cebu-based champion will defend his title for the first time, at home.  A far cry from the reception he recieved in Japan, where he won the title from Akira Yaegashi.  'Hindi ko iniisip na hometown ko ito, ang importante sa akin ay may mag-chicheer sa akin, not like sa Japan.' Melindo said.      em> strong>Catch Pinoy Pride 42: Clash For Glory on Sunday, September 17, 3:30 PM on ABS-CBN channel 2 and 6:30 PM on S+A channel 23.  /strong> /em> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 15th, 2017

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

Cavaliers blow big lead, hang on to beat Magic 104-103

By Tom Withers, Associated Press CLEVELAND (AP) — Isaiah Thomas made two free throws with 11 seconds left and the Cleveland Cavaliers came up with a defensive stop in the frantic final seconds after blowing a 23-point lead to beat the Orlando Magic 104-103 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). After Thomas made his shots, Orlando’s Elfrid Payton missed a contested layup with three seconds left. The officials ruled there was an inadvertent whistle and held a jump ball at midcourt. Magic forward Aaron Gordon grabbed the toss and sank an apparent game-winning 45-footer as the horn sounded and Cleveland’s crowds shrieked in disbelief. But Gordon committed a jump-ball violation with the move and Cleveland then only had to inbound the ball to come away with a win that shouldn’t have been so difficult. LeBron James closed in on 30,000 career points, Thomas scored 21 and the Cavs snapped a four-game losing skid — but not out of a January funk. James scored 16 and now needs 25 to become the seventh player in NBA history to reach 30,000. He’ll likely reach the plateau on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) when Cleveland hosts Oklahoma City. The Cavs were rolling to a rare, easy win before they went cold from the outside and were outscored 33-17 in the third quarter by the Magic, who have dropped 17-of-19. Cleveland went 1-for-17 on three-pointers in the second half. Payton scored 19 and Gordon 17 for Orlando, which didn’t get any breaks down the stretch. With guard Derrick Rose back after missing more than two months with ankle injuries, the Cavs were closer to full strength and for a while they put together a solid performance after dropping nine of 12, a slide that raised questions about their legitimacy to contend for another title. But some of the same problems that have plagued the Cavs — defensive lapses, stagnant offense — resurfaced in the second half. Rose deepens Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue’s rotation to 10, for now, and he pulled all five reserves in the second quarter for his starters. Lue remains confident the Cavs will work through their struggles, and the Magic were the perfect opponent to fix some issues. Orlando coach Frank Vogel was worried the Cavs would play better. “As the season goes on they’ll figure it out and they’ll get their stuff together and be as good as they’ve always been,” he said. Cleveland made nine three-pointers — more than they had in its previous three games — while building a 23-point lead in the first half. CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN Before the game, James was chosen as one of the captains for this year’s All-Star game after receiving the most votes in balloting by fans, players and media. James will have first choice from a pool of selected players, which will include former Cavs teammate Kyrie Irving and players from Western Conference teams. Golden State’s Stephen Curry is the other captain. SITTING OUT The Magic played without guard Aaron Afflalo, who was suspended two games without pay by the NBA for fighting with Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). TIP-INS Magic: Afflalo took a wild swing at Bjelica, a punch Vogel knew would result in league punishment. “We’ll respect their decision,” he said. ... Earlier this season, Orlando snapped a 17-game losing streak against Cleveland. ... Vogel burned some early timeouts to scold his players after they gave up six three-pointers in the opening minutes. ... Cavaliers: James will make his 14th straight All-Star start, one behind Kobe Bryant’s record. ... James set a goal to play 82 games, and Lue said that’s a possibility although it’s expected the four-time MVP will be rested for the playoffs. “He has to understand that his health is most important and without that we can’t go very far,” Lue said. “We just have to be smart about it.” ... With James on the cusp of scoring history, Lue, who played 11 seasons, appreciates the accomplishment. “When he came into the league they talked about he was a pass-first guy,” Lue said. “But to make guys better and still score 30,000 points, that’s a great achievement.” ... G Iman Shumpert remains sidelined with a knee injury, but is close to returning. UP NEXT Magic: At Boston on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Cavaliers: Host Oklahoma City on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2018

‘Citizen Pinoy’ wins media award for serving overseas Filipinos

DALY CITY, California --- "Citizen Pinoy," a weekly program dubbed as TFC's "passport to immigration information," won the Television Journalism Award -- Best Regular TV Program Category in the 2017 Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards last month. Attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel, a U.S. immigration attorney and host of "Citizen Pinoy," received the award at a ceremony held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila during International Migrants Day, December 18. Gurfinkel said that he was "really humbled and honored about the award because it represents the recognition of the Filipino Overseas Worker and the sacrifices they have made, especially those in Ame...Keep on reading: ‘Citizen Pinoy’ wins media award for serving overseas Filipinos.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Ginebra-NLEX game moved from Legazpi to Cuneta Astrodome

MANILA, Philippines – Bicolano fans would have to wait a little longer before they see their favorite PBA players in action as the league was forced to transfer the venue of the February 3 game from Legazpi City in Albay to the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City. Barangay Ginebra and ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Vote for Katarina Rodriguez in Miss Intercontinental 2017!

MANILA, Philippines –  Katarina Rodriguez  is now in Hurghada, Egypt to compete in the Miss Intercontinental 2017 beauty pageant and she's asking once again for the support of the Filipinos. The Miss Intercontinental organization announced that fans have the chance to send their favorite candidate to the Top 6, by voting for them ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Government to wreck luxury cars to send strong message vs smuggling

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine government is set to wreck at least 100 sports cars at the Cagayan freeport to send a "strong message" of its efforts to crack down on smuggling. In a phone interview on Tuesday, January 16, lawyer Raul Lambino, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) administrator, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Uncollected garbage

THE contract of IPM to collect Bacolod’s garbage has been renewed practically without question or opposition. The circumstances of this renewal send the message to the citizens that the performance of IPM is exemplary and without any doubt of its efficiency and compliance with the provisions of the original contract to clean up the city. […] The post Uncollected garbage appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Wolves complete perfect homestand, beat Blazers

MINNEAPOLIS --- Jimmy Butler scored 24 points, Jeff Teague added 22 and the Minnesota Timberwolves wrapped up a perfect homestand with a 120-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night. Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points and 11 rebounds for his NBA-leading 37th double-double of the season. The Wolves had their first 5-0 homestand since 2001, winning each game by double figures against the likes of New Orleans, Cleveland, Oklahoma City and New York. They led by as many as 26 against Portland to send the Trail Blazers to their third loss in a row. Damian Lillard scored 21 points, and C.J. McCollum and Pat Connaughton each had 18 for Portland. The Blazers had scored 110 p...Keep on reading: Wolves complete perfect homestand, beat Blazers.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

San Miguel downs TNT in Iloilo, moves to 3-0 in the Philippine Cup

  MANILA, Philippines - In a good, old-fashioned slugfest, the San Miguel Beermen silenced the TNT KaTropa, 88-76, at the University of San Agustin Gym, Iloilo City, Saturday, January 13. As a treat for the Iloilo fans in the new season’s first out-of-town ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

‘Marcial law’: Belga, Brondial first to swap fines for community service

  PBA stars Beau Belga and Rodney Brondial made surprise visits to three barangays around Metro Manila as part of the league's new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.   Belga, Brondial and PBA legend Benjie Paras, who volunteered for the event, made rounds in basketball courts at Barangay Marilag, Project 4, in Quezon City and Barangays Jesus dela Pea and Taong in Marikina with the help of league officials and staff led by Officer-In-Charge Willie Marcial.   Under Marcial's initiative, players can pay off minor fines with community work.   "It's a great feeling making the fans, especially the kids, happy," said Belga, who was game i...Keep on reading: ‘Marcial law’: Belga, Brondial first to swap fines for community service.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

The Emperor’s new class

Many of my students are fans of the “Humans of (insert city name here)” series of pages on Facebook, which........»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Papa Bear Benjie Paras leads first PBA 'Homecourt' visit

PBA fans in three Metro Manila barangays got the surprise of their lives Thursday following the unannounced visit made by Hall of Famer Benjie Paras, Beau Belga of Rain or Shine, and Magnolia’s Rodney Brondial. The three players were accompanied by officials and staff of the PBA led by Officer-In-Charge Willie Marcial during their personal appearances in Barangay Marilag, Project 4 in Quezon City, and Barangays Jesus dela Pena and Tanong in Marikina as part of the new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program of the league dubbed ‘PBA Homecourt.’ Belga and Brondial went along with the group as part of their community work after being fined by the Commissioner’s Office for various infractions just before the holiday break. Under the league’s new CSR setting, players are given the chance to write off minor fines through appearances in basketball courts within the metropolis. On the other hand, Paras, the only player to become Rookie-MVP in a season (1989), volunteered to go doing the rounds of barangays as a way of giving back to PBA fans. “Masarap at magaan sa pakiramdam na makita mong napapasaya yung mga fans, especially yung mga bata,” said Belga, who did his share of taking selfies, photos, and autograph signings during the event. A shoot around was held in all three barangay courts, with fans who made the basket receiving gift items, basketball, and select tickets from the PBA. League stickers were also attached to the barangay courts visited by the group. Marcial said the event will be held every other Thursday, or on Saturdays when no out of town games are scheduled. And like in its initial staging, the tour will be held unannounced. “Mas maganda yung ma-surprise mo sila,” said the league OIC.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018