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Magnolia bumps Columbian off winning track with 25-point romp

MANILA, Philippines – The Magnolia Hotshots cruised to their second straight win by annihilating the Columbian Dyip, 126-101, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, May 16.  Import Vernon Macklin, who played his penultimate game for the Hotshots after securing a guaranteed contract in China's National Basketball League , churned out 19 ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerMay 16th, 2018

PBA: Mike Harris 'Couldn t care less' about his 44 point, 27 rebound effort

Alaska Aces import Mike Harris shrugged off his 44-point, 27-rebound performance that helped his team get the win over the still winless Columbian Dyip at the Cuneta Astrodome.  The scoring forward did it all, unleashing the full repertoire of slashing lay-ups, controrted shots and a couple of three-pointers. He definitely looked like one of the best reinforcements in the PBA Governors' Cup. For him, the gaudy numbers were never really the story, instead focused on the win that helped them inch closer to a twice-to-beat advantage in the first round of the playoffs. "[I] couldn't care less," Harris said jokingly. "The only thing for me is the win. We played really bad the last game against Magnolia which is I mean credit to them they're a really good team." Just like what his coach Alex Compton said that the team was not playing at the level they were expected to, the swingman echoed the sentiments and was kind of disappointed at some instances of the game. "It happens in the NBA sometimes. Top teams play bottom teams and you play down and instead playing to that level.  Being one of the candidates for Best Import of the Conference, norming 28.50 points, 21.13 rebounds, and 2.13 assists per game in eight outings, the 35-year old said that chasing individual awards is already past him and he is just focused on the ultimate team goal. As an international journeyman, having stops in the NBA and multiple teams abroad, Harris has tallied quite the resume, including the NBA G-League MVP back in 2010, another MVP in Puerto Rico's top league, and a title in China.  "Because ultimately winning a championship, one person can't win a championship. And so, that's not been my focal point. Mine's been to see the guys on the team, see what's their strength and weaknesses are and continue to help them develop their weaknesses and turn them into strengths." When asked if he is already among the long list of great Alaska imports that include Sean Chambers, Diamon Simpson, Devin Davis, and the like, the 6'5 Harris mentioned that he has not proven himself at this part of the world, but would happily want to.  "And like I said, it's one game at a time. That list, I'm pretty sure it's great. Those guys won a championship so we go to the regular season and we lose in the finals, I wouldn't put myself in there." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2018

Magnolia back on winning track after romp past TNT

MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia couldn't have snapped its 3-game skid any better after picking TNT apart, 111-89, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, June 13. Paul Lee waxed hot for 25 points on a 7-of-12 shooting while Justin Jackson messed with a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

PBA: Hotshots shut down TNT to break 3-game slide

Magnolia was absolutely in the zone in the second half to crush TNT. The Hotshots were on fire on both ends Wednesday, beating the KaTropa, 111-89, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the MOA Arena. Magnolia exploded for 36 points in the third period to turn the game around and then they just shut down TNT in the fourth, 32-16, to break the game wide open. The win finally got the Hotshots back on the winning track, breaking out of a three-game slump to improve to 4-4 in the standings. TNT dropped to 6-2, giving up its hold of the top-2 spot. "For the last two weeks we had different imports so we have a problem with chemistry," head coach Chito Victolero said. "But I told my players to find ways how to win games and I'm very proud and very happy that they responded to my challenge," he added. Magnolia appeared to be in trouble early as TNT opened up a 12-point lead late in the second quarter, 48-36. The Hotshots managed to close the gap before the first half ended, 43-48, setting up their huge rally in the next two quarters. A 12-0 run for Magnolia in the fourth to take a 99-76 lead pretty much ended things. Paul Lee led the way for the Hotshots with 25 points, 17 in the blistering third period as Magnolia started to take control of the game. Import Justin Jackson played his first game for the Hotshots and added 18 points and 19 rebounds. He also had seven assists. Terrence Romeo paced the KaTropa with 17 points and seven assists.   The Scores:   MAGNOLIA 111 — Lee 25, Jackson 18, Brondial 16, Jalalon 13, Barroca 9, Ramos 9, Melton 7, Dela Rosa 5, Simon 3, Herndon 2, Pascual 2, Reavis 2. TNT 89 — Romeo 17, Pogoy 16, Smith 12, Castro 9, Reyes 9, Semerad 7, Williams 6, Rosario 5, Cruz 4, Taha 2, Trollano 2, Carey 0.   Quarters: 18-25, 43-48, 79-73, 111-89. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

PBA: Paul Lee bags Player of the Week honors

Paul Lee stood tall in Magnolia's back-to-back wins over Columbian Dyip and Meralco on the way to capturing the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award for the period of May 14-20. Nicknamed the “Leethal Weapon”, the 29-year-old Magnolia combo guard posted averages of 18.5 points, 7 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 steal in the Pambansang Manok’s two-win stretch this past week as they head to the PBA All-Star break in high spirits. Magnolia, which now totes a 3-1 card overall for solo fourth spot, hammered the hapless Columbian side, 126-101 last Wednesday as the “Angas ng Tondo” finished with 17 points, eight assists and two rebounds, while knocking down three triples. Lee then, upped the ante of his game by banging in 20 points, built around four three-point shots, issued six assists and added three boards as Magnolia nosed out Meralco, 81-79.  Import Vernon Macklin, who played his farewell game before heading to China, knocked down the game-winning foul shots in the dying seconds for Magnolia. The sweet-shooting Lee beat Magnolia teammate Mark Barroca, last week’s Player of the Week Vic Manuel of Alaska, TNT guard Ryan Reyes, Rain or Shine’s Chris Tiu and Phoenix gunners Jeff Chan and Matthew Wright for the weekly citation. Magnolia heads to the annual PBA showcase with three straight wins and will be back for action on June 2 when it faces league-leader Rain or Shine (5-1) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

BLOGTABLE: 2018 pre-playoffs predictions

NBA.ph blogtable 1) Which first-round series in the West is most likely to see an upset result (lower seed beating higher seed)? Enzo Flojo: For sure it’s Portland-New Orleans. I love Damian Lillard’s game, but the Pels are a really tough bunch with a lot of weapons, even sans Boogie Cousins. Jusuf Nurkic will have a really tough time containing AD; that’s one reason this has a high potential for an upset! Migs Bustos: The Jazz and Thunder matchup. It's a tale of upward momentum versus inconsistency. The Jazz have won seven out of their last 10 games, and OKC are 5-5 in their last 10. With how the Jazz are playing great team basketball, led by super rookie, Donovan Mitchell, they have a great chance of upsetting the erratic OKC Thunder. If maganda ang gising ng Utah for four games, may tulog ang OKC sa kanila. Marco Benitez: I think the Thunder-Jazz series is the one where most likely we will see an upset. The Thunder experiment of Westbrook-George-Anthony has been up and down all season, while the Jazz are a well-coached team anchored on a great defensive presence in Gobert. The Thunder win if Westbrook dominates the game and Adams is able to neutralize Gobert. But if OKC becomes stagnant on offense and their usual selves defensively, then the Jazz can wreck havoc on this matchup. Favian Pua: Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans: In order for the Pelicans to stun the Blazers, Anthony Davis must cement his status as the best player on both ends of the floor throughout the series. A Playoff Rondo sighting paired with the feisty defense of Jrue Holiday should stymie the backcourt attack of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Adrian Dy: If it turns out Kawhi Leonard was just saving himself for a postseason run, then the Spurs would absolutely wreck the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors. Barring such a comeback though, I'm riding high on the Pelicans. The Blazers don't have the bigs to even slow down Davis, and the Jrue Holiday + Playoffs Rajon Rondo combo could make things really tough for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum 2) Which first-round series in the East is most likely to see an upset result (lower seed beating higher seed)? Enzo Flojo: Don’t look past the veteran-laden Miami Heat. Philadelphia is by far the deeper team, sure, but if Embiid is hampered by his injury and both D-Wade and Goran Dragic have their way, Miami can push the Sixers to the distance and an upset may not be that surprising. Also, coach Spo shines in 7-game series! Migs Bustos: In the East, it's a bit more challenging. We all know about the success of the Sixers this season; no matter what seed Lebron's team is, it will be hard to upset them; the Raptors have been long consistent at the number 1 spot all season. So, the best bet would be the Bucks overthrowing home court advantage. And this is because Kyrie is out of the season. It's just up to Giannis and Co. to take advantage of that disadvantage by the Celtics to pull through. Marco Benitez: The plague of injuries to the Boston Celtics really hurt their chances of contending in the East, much less win a championship this season. Without Kyrie, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics are vulnerable against the Greek Freak-led Bucks, who are long and talented. With that being said, Boston is still an extremely well-coached, albeit young team, and Giannis will have to be the best player on the floor for most of the series for the inconsistent Bucks to pull off the upset. Favian Pua: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat: Though the Sixers are rolling into the playoffs, only J.J. Redick and Marco Belinelli can boast of a legitimate postseason resume. Led by All-Star Goran Dragic, the Heat are an unrelenting unit of two-way veterans who can both muck it up inside and bait opponents into a long-range shootout. Joel Embiid’s uncertain status will force Sixers head coach Brett Brown to find a counter for Hassan Whiteside. Adrian Dy: Though I have the 76ers advancing, it wouldn't surprise me if the Heat shut down Ben Simmons and shut up Joel Embiid. Erik Spoelstra has a knack for getting the best out of his squads, Dwyane Wade could have some clutch moments, and if the aforementioned Embiid doesn't return as soon as expected, South Beach could be singing after round one. 3) Which team that missed the playoffs has the best shot at making it next season? Enzo Flojo: I’d love to say Denver, but their being in the West really makes their window tight. That’s why I’m picking the Detroit Pistons, who have enough talent to make quite a big impact in the East, especially if their big names (e.g. Drummond, Griffin, Jackson) all stay put and stay healthy! Migs Bustos: To be honest, there are not much compelling story lines on teams that barely missed the playoffs this year. There's nothing like one of the most recent examples -- the Heat's 2016-2017 season where they made a late season run but just missed it at .500 (41-41), or how about Phoenix having a winning record at 48-34 in the 2013-2014 season missing out? The 16 teams were more or less 'predicted' to make the postseason this year so there wasn't a big surprise. Marco Benitez: I think a healthy Memphis Grizzlies team, with Conley, Gasol, Parsons and Tyreke Evans (assuming all are still with the Grizzlies next season) will be a lock to make the playoffs after a disappointing 22-60 win-loss record this season that saw a season-ending surgery for Conley happen in late January. Favian Pua: The Denver Nuggets. Nikola Jokic and his ragtag bunch of scorers were an overtime loss away against the Minnesota Timberwolves from getting their first taste of the postseason. To do so, the Nuggets will need to handle their business and take care of bottom-feeders, as it was backbreaking losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks in March that prevented them from securing an outright playoff berth. Adrian Dy: The Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki will likely want to go out with a bang, Rick Carlisle is still a really good coach, Dennis Smith Jr. is a fantastic attacking guard, and if the lotto balls bounce the right way, they could return to the upper echelon of the West. 4) Which team that made these playoffs has the biggest chance of missing it next season? Enzo Flojo: It may sound crazy, but the Spurs are at great risk for next season. Kawhi continues to be a huge question mark and their veterans will get even older in 2018-2019. They nearly didn’t make it this year, and next year could be the tipping point! Migs Bustos: I'd have to go with the San Antonio Spurs. No doubt all of the other teams are on the up-swing, and they all boast of youth. If Kahwi does not play for the Spurs next season, expect younger teams with great potential like the Nuggets and Lakers to overtake SAS. Marco Benitez: Depending on what happens in terms of offseason trades, and assuming that the rest of the Western Conference regains full strength next season, the two teams I feel have the biggest chance of missing the playoffs next season are Miami and New Orleans. For Miami, DWade is not getting any younger, and Hassan Whiteside has not been at a consistent All-Star level all season. With Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond getting a full year under their belt in Detroit and Kristaps Porzingis back at full strength in New York, I see Miami as the most likely team to get bumped off in the East next season. For New Orleans, the Davis-Cousins experiment did not necessarily turn them into a legitimate playoff contender in the West, and when Cousins fell to injury, they've had to rely on AD to carry them almost entirely on his shoulders. With the ultra competitive West getting healthier next season, unless the Pels are able to get better on the wings -- assuming of course Cousins doesn't bolt in the offseason -- they may find themselves out of the playoffs. Favian Pua: Cleveland Cavaliers. Hinging on the premise that LeBron James bolts for the Sixers or Los Angeles Lakers in free agency this offseason, the Cavaliers are headed for a massive nosedive towards the number one pick in the 2019 draft. No other team has more to lose than the Cavaliers this postseason, and it is highly probable that winning the title is the only way The King stays in The Land. Adrian Dy: If we get another round of LeBron James free agency sweepstakes, and he winds up getting the Banana Boat Gang together in Houston, it's hard to see the Cleveland Cavaliers being competitive, let alone back in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Should that happen, I'd expect them to trade guys like Kevin Love, and hope that lotto luck favors them anew. 5) Which team is your early favorite to win it all? Enzo Flojo: Despite all the injuries and all their inconsistencies, the Warriors are still my odds-on fave to win it all. They have four big time playoff performers, and they know this is where their real season begins. Migs Bustos: Don't count out the Warriors. Even though they have been plagued with injuries towards the end of the season, the Dubs will hope that they will be healthy in time and turn 'on' the button with their championship experience Marco Benitez: Still the Warriors. Although they'll be without Steph in the first round, I foresee the same dominant Dubs starting the second round all the way to the Finals. The regular season has been a bit of a drag for them this season, and I believe that's why we haven't seen the same Warriors squad as that of past years. But come playoffs, there's no reason why the defending champs don't get locked in; and when they do, frankly, there's still no better team in the league than Golden State. Favian Pua: The Houston Rockets. The playoffs is all about trimming the fat in the roster and letting star power take over in the biggest moments. In James Harden and Chris Paul, the Rockets will always have at least one elite shot creator and facilitator on the court for all 48 minutes. Flanked by capable three-point shooters and wing defenders acquired specifically to neutralize the Golden State Warriors’ juggernaut, Clutch City is on track for its first Larry O’Brien trophy since 1995. Adrian Dy: Yes the defending champions are banged-up and looked uninterested as the regular season wound down, but now that it's winning time, I expect the Warriors to do their thing, although there's no way it'll be as smooth as their 16-1 romp last season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

Playoff-bound Bullpups stop Jr. Maroons dead in their tracks

STANDINGS Ateneo 11-0 NU 9-2 UST 6-5 FEU-Diliman 6-5 Adamson 5-6 DLSZ 3-8 UPIS 3-8 UE 1-10 After Ateneo de Manila High School, it has been Nazareth School of National University and, surprisingly, University of the Philippines Integrated School, which have been the hottest teams in the second round of the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament. When the two teams faced off, however, the Bullpups left no doubt as to who’s on fire. Winderlich Coyoca turned in his best game of the season and powerhouse NU sent the Junior Maroons crashing back to earth with a 91-60 romp on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Coyoca scored a season-best 16 points and was backstopped by Terrence Fortea and King Vinoya who had 12 points apiece for the Bullpups who never trailed and led by as much as 37 in the third quarter. Those three did their damage off the bench and in all, the NU reserves poured in 56 points to almost match the output of State U. Even with the all-out domination, Rhayyan Amsali was still able to post an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double in just 22 minutes. All of those did nothing but overwhelm UPIS which was coming into the contest with back-to-back shock wins over University of Sto. Tomas and De La Salle Zobel. There wasn’t going to be an upset in this one, though, as the Bullpups took charge from the get-go and retained control all the way to their ninth win in 11 games. Now riding a four-game winning streak, they are assured of a spot in the playoffs and need just one more win to assure themselves of twice-to-beat advantage. Meanwhile, the Tiger Cubs put a stop to their three-game slide by downing University of the East, 88-76. CJ Cansino was at the forefront of the bounce back win with 19 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and two steals while big men Cyril Narvasa and Birmarck Lina merged for 31 markers and 24 boards. UST had dropped three straight games to Ateneo de Manila High School, UP, and NU before getting able to get back on track now at 6-5. They remain tied with defending champion Far Eastern University-Diliman for the third and fourth spots and still have 5-6 Adamson High School breathing down their necks. For the Junior Warriors, Shane Dichoso was a pleasant surprise with 26 points built on five triples. They only have one win to show after 11 games. BOX SCORES THIRD GAME NU 91 – Coyoca 16, Fortea 12, Vinoya 12, Amsali 11, Javilonar 7, Manalang 6, Minerva 6, Oczon 5, Felicida 4, Dayrit 4, Malonzo 3, Pangilinan 3, Gonzales 2, Pradella 0 UPIS 60 – Santiago 19, Tupaz 10, Gregorio 9, Labao Ral 7, Vergeire 7, Labao Raf 6, Estrera 2, Villa-real 0, Lopez 0, Gomez de Liano 0, Dimaculangan 0 QUARTER SCORES: 20-14, 47-26, 69-43, 91-60 FOURTH GAMES UST 88 – Cansino 19, Narvasa 17, Lina 14, Villapando 11, Benzonan 8, Anunciacion 8, Baquial 7, Esplana 4, Manabat 0, Relicio 0, Co 0, Estrella 0, Dela Cruz 0 UE 76 – Dichoso 26, Miranda 18, Tajonera 9, Angeles 8, Dulalia 6, Lopez 4, Almacen 3, Vinte 2, Villarta 0, Policarpio 0, Santos 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-21, 43-39, 70-57, 88-76 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2018

VOLLEYBALL IS LIFE: A look back at Philippine volleyball in 2018

Glorious victories, dynasties, historic feats, controversies and memorable moments once again highlighted another fruitful year for Philippine volleyball.   Now, let us take a look back in the year that was in volleyball:   DYNASTY Powerhouse teams continued to thrive in the country’s most popular collegiate leagues. Arellano University muscled its way back into the NCAA Season 93 Finals and met a newcomer in San Beda University. The Lady Chiefs did find the Lady Red Spikers as feisty opponents in their first championship meeting, needing five sets to survive San Beda in Game One. But it didn’t take long for Arellano U to stomp its class over the newbies to capture its second straight title and fourth overall crown in five years. De La Salle University painted UAAP Season 80 green after annexing its third straight title handing legendary head coach Ramil De Jesus his third grand slam in the country’s most popular and competitive collegiate league. Second year setter Michelle Cobb stepped up to the challenge of filling the big shoes left by Kim Fajardo and complemented the depth and firepower of DLSU. Far Eastern University, which advanced into the Finals for the first time after a decade, stood no chance against the onslaught of the Lady Spikers, which swept their way onto throne. University of Perpetual Help completed a four-peat in the NCAA juniors after sweeping Letran. Philippine Air Force snatched the Premier Volleyball League men’s Reinforced Conference crown and the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference title. Sisi Rondina cemented her legacy as the UAAP’s queen of the sands after completing a three-peat in women’s beach volleyball. Rondina wrapped her tour of duty with four titles in five years. The Tigers ruled the men’s division.       YEAR OF THE UNDERDOGS San Beda University made great strides in NCAA Season 93 after earning its first-ever Finals appearance behind the efforts of Cesca Racraquin and twins Nieza and Jiezela Viray. The Lady Red Spikers closed the elims with an 8-1 win-loss record and took down Perpetual in the semis. Languishing at the bottom half of the standings since the return of its women’s volleyball program in 2008, Jose Rizal University made history by advancing into the Final Four. Shola Alvarez capped the Lady Bombers’ remarkable season by pocketing the Most Valuable Player award.   Far Eastern University made it to the UAAP women’s volleyball Finals by booting out crowd-favorite Ateneo de Manila University in the semis.  For the first time in five years, the Blue Eagles found themselves in a very difficult position in the Final Four. With a twice-to-win disadvantage, the Marck Espejo-led Ateneo shocked FEU – a team that beat them twice in the elims – to march to its fifth straight championship appearance.      But the real underdog story belonged to NU. After three years of finishing runner-up to the Blue Eagles, the Bulldogs led by Bryan Bagunas finally got their long-awaited revenge as they swept Ateneo off its three-year reign at the throne.     OFF COURT STORIES, CONTROVERSIES University of the East parted ways with head coach Francis Vicente midway in Season 80 after three and a half seasons with the Lady Warriors. Vicente left for ‘personal reasons’ with a UE coaching record of 2-45 (win-loss). Red Warriors head coach Sammy Acaylar also resigned from his post midway in the season. University of Sto. Tomas hitter EJ Laure after months of speculations to the real reason of her sitting out UAAP Season 80 broke her silence by saying that needed time to recover from her right shoulder injury to end all the rumors circulating including an alleged pregnancy.    Sound bites, videos and clips that show collegiate players’ ‘human side’ made its rounds around social media that drew mixed reactions from fans.  Just like in the previous years, controversy filled the formation of the national women’s volleyball team. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. initially named Ramil De Jesus as the national team coach but just two months after his designation, the multi-titled DLSU mentor resigned from his post citing ‘conflict of schedule’. Shaq Delos Santos took over De Jesus’ spot. Netizens went abuzz when the composition of the national team that participated in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games was released as fans give their different views on who should and should not be included in the roster.             LVPI named a new president in Peter Cayco of Arellano U to replace Joey Romasanta during the association’s election.   WRITING HISTORY Smart’s Cuban import Gigi Silva carved a world scoring record in the Philippine Superliga after scoring 56 points in a lost cause against Cocolife in the 2018 Grand Prix. Silva pounded 53 kills and had three aces to land her name in the fourth spot in the women’s world scoring record behind Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan’s 58 points in 2015 while playing in Japan, American Madison Kingdon’s 57 (2017 Korea Volleyball League) and Bulgarian Elitsa Vasileva’s 57 (2013 Korea Volleyball League). Silva also surpassed the 55 points of Americans Nicole Fawcett (2013 KVL) and Alaina Bergsma, who led Petron to the 2014 PSL Grand Prix crown, (2016 KVL).     Not to be outdone, local volleyball star Marck Espejo had a 55-point explosion of his own in the Blue Eagles’ five-set Game 1 UAAP Final Four win over FEU. The five-time MVP pounded 47 attacks, had six kill blocks and two service aces for the Katipunan-based squad. Espejo scored 11 points in the deciding frame including Ateneo’s last four to seal the win in the match that lasted for two hours and 21 minutes. Espejo’s feat fueled Ateneo’s eventual semis series win over the twice-to-beat Tamaraws.  Espejo and DLSU libero Dawn Macandili were named as the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s 2017 Mr. and Miss Volleyball.     The Philippines saw three players make their mark in the international scene this year as Espejo and sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat were tapped as imports in Japan’s V. Premier League. Espejo is now playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler while Jaja and Dindin suit up for Saitama Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.     After 36 long years, the Philippines sent a women’s volleyball team to participate in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. The squad won against Hong Kong in straight sets in pool play in the country’s first Asian Games victory since defeating India in the 1982 New Delhi Games. The PHI advanced in the quarterfinals but went home empty-handed. The Filipinas ended up at ninth place in the AVC Asian Cup. Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio made waves in the country’s hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open after the duo barged in the quarterfinals. The tandem eventually bowed down to eventual champion Japan. The NU Bulldogs brought its bark into the international scene and howled its way to giving honor to country by winning the ASEAN University Games gold medal at the expense of Thailand. Volleyball proved to be the most talked about sport in the country as #UAAPSeason80Volleyball became the most tweeted sports hashtag in 2018.   SMASHING WIN, BLAZING VICTORY Creamline became the most successful club in the Premier Volleyball League this year after winning its breakthrough Reinforced Conference crown before following it up with a title romp in the Open Conference. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought after leading the Cool Smashers to the Reinforced Conference throne.   Creamline’s Michele Gumabao joined Binibining Pilipinas and represented the country im the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania, landing at the top 15.     Petron lorded it over in the PSL after winning the Grand Prix and All-Filipino Conference titles at the expense of archrival F2 Logistics, which ruled the Invitational Conference. University of the Philippines ended a 36-year title drought by claiming the PVL Collegiate Conference championship and followed it up by reigning supreme in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam The SiPons tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron annexed their second straight PSL Challenge Cup beach volleyball title. University of Perpetual Help reclaimed the NCAA men’s title after taking down Arellano University as the Altas bagged it 11th title overall.           National University took back the title it lost last year in the UAAP boys’ tournament while De La Salle-Zobel bagged the girls’ mint. The Beach Volleyball Republic continued its advocacy of propagating the sport throughout the country.   END OF THE ROAD After winning three straight UAAP titles, the Lady Spikers bid goodbye to its Big Three in Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili. Season 80 saw the end of the six-year Ateneo-DLSU Finals rivalry as the Lady Eagles bowed down to FEU in the semis. The Blue Eagles three-year reign ended at the hands of NU as Ateneo gave its farewell to its greatest men’s volleyball star Marck Espejo and prized setter Ish Povorosa.    NU’s four-year domination in the girls’ division was snapped by DLS-Zobel. After a dry 2018 PVL season, Pocari Sweat parted ways with its franchise player Myla Pablo as newcomer Motolite agreed to buyout the hitter’s last three contract years.      Thai coach Tai Bundit after five years and bringing two titles including a rare tournament sweep to the Lady Eagles finally called it quits after Ateneo’s campaign in UAAP Season 80. Creamline gave Bundit a farewell championship trophy in the PVL.      A NEW BEGINNING It was a colorful 2018, indeed, for volleyball but 2019 is another promising year for the sport. Can the Lady Chiefs complete a three-peat in the NCAA? Newcomers are sure to bring more excitement and interest in the UAAP. DLSU will try to extend its reign for another season while NU is looking for a repeat crown in the men’s side. Another season for the PSL and the PVL will open while the national men’s and women’s team will highlight the country’s Southeast Asian Games hosting.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

Liverpool goes 6 points clear after Man City slips again

By Tony Jimenez, Associated Press Rafael Benitez has little doubt Liverpool is ready to end a 28-year wait to win the English title. While Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp refused to get carried away after his team surged six points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-0 win over Newcastle on Wednesday, Benitez was certain his former club had the quality to stay in first place for the rest of the season. "They showed they are good enough to win the title," Benitez said after watching his Newcastle side being dismantled at Anfield. "They have a very good team but a very good squad. When you want to win a league title you need to be consistent and they can do it." Defending champion Manchester City, which started the day in second position, suffered its second surprise loss in four days when it was beaten at Leicester 2-1. Tottenham followed up a 6-2 romp at Everton on Sunday with another big win as a 5-0 thrashing of Bournemouth took the London club one point ahead of Manchester City in the standings after 19 rounds, the midway point of the season. Paul Pogba grabbed two goals to help interim coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrate his first home match in charge of sixth-placed Manchester United with a 3-1 victory against bottom club Huddersfield. Eden Hazard scored his 100th and 101st goals for the club as Chelsea won at Watford 2-1, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted his 13th league goal in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Brighton. Fulham climbed off the foot of the standings by drawing with Wolverhampton 1-1. A double from Lucas Digne led Everton to win at Burnley 5-1 and Crystal Palace, which beat Manchester City on Saturday, drew with Cardiff 0-0. LOW-KEY KLOPP Newcastle last won in the league at Liverpool in 1994, and its latest chance was damaged as early as the 11th minute thanks to a striker's finish from defender Dejan Lovren. Three minutes after the break, Paul Dummett hauled down Mohamed Salah in the box and Liverpool's top scorer bagged his sixth goal in five matches by converting the penalty. Xherdan Shaqiri made it 3-0 with 11 minutes to go, then substitute Fabinho bundled home a corner as the home team kept its 12th clean sheet of the campaign, the same number it achieved when last winning the title in 1990. Klopp, however, played down the significance of Liverpool's six-point lead. "That means nothing," he said. "I had no idea how any other teams were playing. Afterwards I got the results and I can say it didn't do a lot for me. It is just information. It's good we have six more points, but that is pretty much all." GUARDIOLA GLOOM Manchester City recalled Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne after Saturday's shock defeat at home to Crystal Palace but it had little effect as Pep Guardiola's men lost again at Leicester. Bernardo Silva gave the visitors a 14th-minute lead before Leicester, which caused an upset of its own at the weekend by winning at Chelsea 1-0, rallied with goals from Marc Albrighton and Roberto Pereira. To add to City's troubles, defender Fabian Delph was sent off for a bad tackle near the end. "The reality is we have lost three in four," Guardiola said. "We have made an incredible amount of points at this stage and if we can get the same, or more, in the second half of the season then we are fighting to win the championship. But at the moment, the reality is two teams are better than us." SON SHINES Two goals by Son Heung-min and one apiece from Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura, and Harry Kane helped Tottenham outclass Bournemouth 5-0 and record an eighth win in nine league games. Just like Klopp, however, Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino refused to get overly excited: "It doesn't mean too much to us to be second or third, or first, I think the most important thing is where you finish in May.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

UAAP Season 81 athletics: UP male tracksters end 36-year title drought

University of the Philippines needed a strong showing in the past two days to end a 36-year title drought in the men's division of the UAAP Season 81 athletics championships Sunday at the Philsports oval.        Trailing by 39 points entering the midway point of the five-day competition, the Fighting Maroons banked on a 1-2-3 finish in the 400-meter hurdles, a podium sweep in the 800-meter run, and gold medals in the 4x100-meter relay and in the discus throw to seize the upperhand Saturday and never looked back.         With 426 points, UP ended Far Eastern University's eight-year reign.  The Morayta-based squad had 262 points in second place, while University of the East finished third with 185 points.        The Maroons thus claimed their 19th championship overall - and the first since 1981-82 season.                In his fourth year with UP, coach Rio dela Cruz fulfilled the school's mission to become the kings of track and field once more.        "Well, bago ako pumasok, yung pagpili ng head coach, eh isa ito sa ibinigay kong goal sa kanila na after siguro three to four years, yung ina-achieve namin, gusto namin maging champion," said dela Cruz, who is instrumental in reviving the once-dormant Maroons' athletics program. "We are very happy na natupad namin. Hindi ko ma-explain yung pakiramdam. Talagang iba itong achievement na ito."        University of Santo Tomas ruled the women's division for the fifth straight year with 338 points to defeat FEU by only 11 points in a hotly-contested duel for the crown. UP tallied 203 points in third spot.      University of the East's young long distance specialist James Darrel Orduna, who won golds in the 10,000-meter run, 3,000-meter steeplechase and 5,000-meter run to go with a 1,500-run bronze, was the men's rookie-MVP.      UST's Louielyn Palmatian claimed the women's MVP honors for the third straight season after emerging victorious in the 800-meter and 400-meter run and in the 4×400-meter relay.  She bagged silver medals in 200-meter and 5,000-meter runs.        In the juniors division, UE completed another championship double.        UE had 383 points to achieve a six-peat in the boys side, besting UST and Adamson University in the process. Edgar Carrado of the Baby Falcons, who took the boys MVP plum after winning four golds and a silver.        With 465 points, UE defeated National Uniand UST to annex the girls title for the fourth straight year. Abegail Manzano of the Bullpups was named the girls MVP after a four-gold, one-bronze haul. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2018

PBA: Brownlee after saving Ginebra again: 'We ll be all right'

Justin Brownlee was the personification of the "Never Say Die" attitude Wednesday for Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals. Ginebra's super import scored a career-high tying 46 points, 18 in a pivotal third quarter run, to will the two-time champion Gin Kings back from the dead in Manila Clasico. Brownlee almost single-handedly brought Ginebra back from an 18-point second half deficit and the Gin Kings' bid for a three-peat is still going. "I don't know man," Brownlee said, almost in disbelief of his own superhuman effort to save the series for Ginebra. "That's Never Say Die attitude. The fans, they got into the game and they gave us a boost of energy. We just wanted to keep it going, it's fortunate that we got the win, that's the most important thing," he added. Thins were not looking pretty for Ginebra at halftime. Mark Barroca scored 12 points to spark a late rally for Magnolia late in the second period and the Hotshots took full control of the game. Brownlee was the only one keeping Ginebra at that point, scoring 19 at the break. At the end of the third period and another 18 points later, he brought Ginebra back. To cap it all off, it appeared that Brownlee had a hand in Paul Lee's game-winning triple for the Hotshots. "We just find out if we stick together and stay positive," Brownlee said. "I think, we'll be all right. We'll overcome any adversity we have," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 14th, 2018

Tenorio, Brownlee push Ginebra past Magnolia to avoid PBA semis sweep

LA Tenorio made the game-winning basket while Justin Brownlee matched his career-high and reigning two-time champion Barangay Ginebra escaped Magnolia, 107-103, in Game 3 to stay alive in their 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals series Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tenorio hit a floater that put the Gin Kings in front for good, 105-103, with 14.9 seconds left before the Hotshots failed to score on the other end after Paul Lee's deep 3-pointer hardly hit the front of the rim. Brownlee led the Kings' comeback from 18 points down in the third quarter en route to a 46-point night on top of 19 rebounds and three blocks while Tenorio unleashed 11 of his 14 points in the four...Keep on reading: Tenorio, Brownlee push Ginebra past Magnolia to avoid PBA semis sweep.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 14th, 2018

PBA: Just like old pal LeBron, Travis thankful for second chance after botched clutch free throws

Late in the Lakers' home game against the Atlanta Hawks Monday morning in Manila, LeBron James found himself at the foul line to shoot two clutch free throws. If the King makes two, the Lakers take the lead. If he makes one, game is tied. James missed both. Fortunately, Kyle Kuzma ended up with the offensive rebound and while the second-year forward also ended up missing his go-ahead floater, LeBron slammed the follow up to finally put the Lakers up one. [Related: James' dunk lifts Lakers to 107-106 win over Hawks] Los Angeles ended up winning the game to be above .500 for the first time in the current NBA season. Later that day in Manila, LeBron's old buddy Romeo Travis found himself at the foul line late in Game 2 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals against Ginebra. Romeo makes two and the Magnolia Hotshots take a five-point lead to ice the game. If he makes one, his team is still up by two possessions with four seconds to go. Travis missed both. Fortunately, the former Best Import somehow found himself grabbing the offensive rebound and he was fouled again. Travis missed the first free throw anew but made sure to make the second one. Magnolia ended up winning the game and the Hotshots are now up 2-0 in the best-of-5 semis against the reigning two-time champions. "Yeah, I actually watched the game. I may have jinxed myself. He [LeBron] had a second chance, I had a second chance. He made the most of it and I made the second free throw and we ended up winning the game," Travis said of his trips to the foul line. "I just missed them you know? I thank God for second chances. I missed three and luckily they came in pairs and I'm thankful to make the last one to seal the game. I'm just thankful for second chances. Everybody don't get them so I'm thankful for the second opportunity to seal the game," he added. Save for some spotty moments late in Game 2, Magnolia's composure has been incredible so far in this series. The Hotshots have weathered multiple storms from the Gin Kings and now they find themselves on the brink of the Finals. As long as Magnolia keeps playing to win, there should be no reason why they can't advance, especially after putting up back-to-back masterful performances against Ginebra. "They're just a resilient team and they have great players so they'll always make a run. We just have to stay composed," Travis said of the Gin Kings. "Late in the game we got out of our sets, I believe we were trying to not lose instead of winning the game. When you start playing to not lose, you get a little tight. We didn't run our offense the way we should and so that's how they were able to make a run," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2018

Lee leads Hotshots to semis after gaining Gilas pool berth

Tuesday night couldn't have ended on a better note for Paul Lee. Magnolia, after some gritty moments, is in the semifinals of the PBA Governors' Cup and the gutsy point guard, who put away Blackwater with two game-cementing free throws, earned another shot at the national team. Romeo Travis' triple-double was the fuel in the Hotshots' 103-99 victory over the Elite but Lee had a hand in the victory as well: He led all scorers with 22 points and plucked a rebound off a missed game-winning triple attempt by Blackwater's Nards Pinto before knocking down the two free throws that put the game beyond reach. Magnolia will have its hands full in the semifinals, with No. 1 Barangay Ginebra, ...Keep on reading: Lee leads Hotshots to semis after gaining Gilas pool berth.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 6th, 2018

PBA: Blackwater s Walker lets offense carve for himself in perfect shooting night

CITY OF BIÑAN -- The Blackwater Elite are back to their winning ways after dropping two straight games. Now at a 7-3 record, a chance for a top four spot and a twice-to-beat advantage is very much alive for one of the surprise teams of the PBA Governors' Cup. At the thick of it all, the powerful Elite offense went full throttle throughout the game, dropping 120 points on 53.2-percent shooting against the hapless Columbian Dyip. Import Henry Walker benefitted the most from the great offensive display, scoring 26 points on a lights-out display of 9 for 9 shooting from the field, including a perfect 3 for 3 clip from downtown. The former Boston Celtic and New York Knick credited the great offensive sets, and of course his teammates for helping him get the wide-open looks. "I just had some good looks and I was just able to capitalize on, you know, just playing within the offense and basically, today, using my teammates to get myself open instead of me trying to be the hammer at that point. I just let other guys take over and I just found ways to score within the offense," the 6'5" forward said of his shooting display. The longtime import also said that returning to the defensive intensity the team showed in their 4-0 start this Governors' Cup is pretty much his desire down the stretch. Facing the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Sunday, Nov. 4, for their final eliminations game, Walker added that defense will be their mantra in order to have a crack at his former coach Louie Alas, who he accompanied in the Alaska bench a few years back. "He's always ready and he doesn't shy away from competition and neither do his guys. We've got a tough challenge ahead of us." Walker also downplayed his spat with Dyip player Dan Sara midway through a blowout fourth quarter. The reinforcement claimed that the dimunitive San Beda product slapped the back of his head and that caused him to lose his cool.  "I mean, it is what it is. I shouldn't have been in the game at that point. It was over with and he's in there just playing hard. I don't blame him for that. No malice or anything like that but it is what it is. We got through, nobody got injured and everybody straight."   __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2018

Hot-shooting Banchero claims PBA Player of the Week award

Chris Banchero’s scintillating performance in Alaska’s last two games earned him the Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of Oct. 15-21 in the 2018 Governors’ Cup. The stocky Alaska guard stood at the forefront of the Aces’ surge to register back-to-back wins, grabbing a piece of the lead in the team standings with Ginebra and Magnolia, while closing in for twice-to-beat edge in the playoffs. The 29-year-old Banchero averaged 19 points, 7 assists and 5.5 rebounds this past week, leading Alaska to victories over Columbian, 104-94 and Blackwater, 116-109 as the Aces forged a three-way tie at the top spot with similar 7-2 records. Alaska’s fifth overall pick in the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft registered a near triple-double effort of 10 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to serve as a catalyst in their 10-point win over the Dyip. Then last Sunday, Banchero, the third conference’s assist leader, went beast mode on offense, firing a new PBA career-high 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the floor to help Alaska outlast Blackwater. The Fil-Italian guard edged Meralco Fil-American players Cliff Hodge and Chris Newsome, as well as San Miguel stalwart Chris Ross and rookie Christian Standhardinger for the weekky citation. Alaska looks to make a strong finish in the elims and formalize its top 4 finish when it faces NLEX this Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, before taking on NorthPort next Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2018

PBA: Banchero after big game: 'I think it was my turn tonight'

After Alaska beat Columbian in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup, head coach Alex Compton wasn't particularly too happy about his locals. After Alaska beat Blackwater in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup, safe to say Compton can smile about the way his locals performed. No other Alaska local shined brighter than Chris Banchero against the Elite, as the point guard put up the points in the win over Blackwater. Seriously, a lot of points. Banchero only missed four times and drilled 28 points for the Aces, finishing just behind import Mike Harris who had 38. "We needed to play better basketball than we did against Columbian, I thought we did tonight," Banchero said. "I got it going a little big tonight. I was good. I'm glad I played well, I think it was my turn tonight to score the basketball. I was not realy trying to score, it was just that I kinda got it going," he added. With the win, Alaska has forced a three-way tie for first place in the Governors' Cup with Ginebra and Magnolia as all three have identical 7-2 records. Still, Banchero says the Aces have room to take things to a higher level. "We knew we needed to get that win because top-4 is our goal and we'll make the push from there. Being top-4 is a huge advantage," he said. "I think we still have room to grow," Banchero added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 21st, 2018

PBA: Back-to-back wins for Meralco after stopping no. 1 Magnolia

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- Power has been fully restored over at Meralco. The Bolts took down no. 1 Magnolia Friday at the Ynares Center here, scoring a 94-88 win in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. Winners of back-to-back games, the Bolts improved to 3-6 for the conference and Meralco is still pretty much alive in the playoff race where only three spots remain up for grabs. Five players scored in double figures for the Bolts led by two-time Best Import Allen Durham with 20 points, 17 rebounds, and 8 assists. Four other locals chipped in at least points led by 16 from Baser Amer. It was a tough outing from the start with no team leading by more than eight points. In the end however, the was Meralco's signature defense that allowed them to secure this victory. For Magnolia, their reign as solo no. 1 ends as the Hotshots drop to 7-2, now tied with two-time champion Brgy. Ginebra for first place. The loss also snapped the Hotshots' five-game winning streak. Former Best Import Romeo Travis led the way with a 25-point, 19-rebound double-double but local support wasn't abundant in this one. Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang were the only other Hotshots in double digits with 12 points each.   The Scores: Meralco 94 - Newsome 20, Amer 16, Hugnatan 15, Newsome 13, Hodge 12, Salva 8, Jamito 5, Caram 3, Tolomia 2, Lanete 0, Faundo 0, Ballesteros 0. Magnolia 88 - Travis 25, Lee 12, Sangalang 12, Jalalon 9, Barroca 8, Reavis 8, Brondial 7, Herndon 3, Simon 2, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 0, Ramos 0. Quarters: 24-19, 43-43, 70-66, 94-88.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

MAJOR POINT: Has the PBA Solved Its Draft Problem?

Late last week on October 12th, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) made an announcement that the PBA Board of Governors voted and agreed unanimously that starting 2019, the number 1 overall draft pick can no longer be traded and is exclusively for the worst team in the league to pick who they choose. At first glance, the PBA’s announcement looks like a solution to the draft problem that has gone on for over a decade. If you just read the headline or skimmed through the press release or an article written on the subject maybe you think the PBA has found its solution to the draft problem that caused division in the PBA Board and led to the hiring of a new commissioner after another draft debacle last year. Ever the skeptic, I read more than the headlines. Instead of skimming through the press release and articles, I read the fine print. After my readings and a few discussions with basketball people, do I feel the PBA has found a solution to its draft problem? I’m skeptical. I have questions. But before we get to my questions, lets take a look at how the PBA got itself in a situation where they had to make an actual rule that the worst team in the league CAN’T trade the number one overall pick: 2005: Anthony “Jay” Washington gets drafted number one overall by Air21 Express. Washington gets traded on draft day to the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals. Talk ’N Text was second in wins in the PBA in the three conferences leading up to the 2005 draft. 2008: The Talk ’N Text Phone Pals have picks 2 and 4 in the first round of the draft despite being tied for the most number of wins in the 2006-2007 season. They draft Jared Dillinger and Rob Reyes with those picks. TNT trades Jay Washington to the San Miguel Beermen and acquires the third overall pick, which turns out to be Jayson Castro. 2009: Japeth Aguilar is selected number one overall by the Burger King Whoppers. Aguilar plays one game for the Whoppers, before he is shipped to the Talk N Text Tropang Texters in a three-way trade also involving Barako Bull. Burger King was able to get Barako Bull’s 2010 (previously acquired by Talk ‘N Text) and 2012 first-round picks along with Talk ‘N Text’s 2013 and 2014 first-round picks. 2010: Noy Baclao and Rabeh Al-Hussaini are selected first and second overall by Air21 Express. Midway through their rookie season both Baclao and Al-Hussaini along with Rey Guevarra are traded to Petron Blaze in exchange for Danny Seigle, Dondon Hontiveros, Dorian Peña and Paul Artadi. Baclao and Al-Hussaini help the Petron Blaze win the 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup. Al-Hussaini wins Rookie of the Year. 2012: The Petron Blaze Boosters (from Barako Bull via Air21) select June Mar Fajardo number one overall. 2013: Barangay Ginebra (from Air21) selects Greg Slaughter number one overall. Barako Bull had the fourth, fifth and sixth picks in the first round. Barako Bull decides to trade away all three first round picks. The fifth pick turns out to be Terrence Romeo. 2014: Despite winning the Philippine Cup in a 4-0 sweep, Talk ’N Text lands the second and fourth picks overall and selects Kevin Alas and Matthew Ganuelas-Rosser before the 2014-2015 PBA season begins. Alas & Ganuelas-Rosser help Talk ’N Text win the 2015 Commisioner’s Cup. Kia Sorento with their first pick in franchise history selects Manny Pacquiao 11th overall. 2015: Despite winning the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup, Talk ’N Text has the number one overall pick (from Blackwater). Talk ’N Text selects Moala Tautuaa number one and then two days later trade for the number two overall pick, Troy Rosario (Mahindra). 2016: The “Special” Draft. Gilas players are selected behind closed doors. One Gilas cadet per team, not to be traded for two years. Draft order was never released to the PBA fans/public. 2017: The San Miguel Beerman, despite winning two championships, having the most wins and the best win percentage, select Christian Standhardinger number one overall after a trade from Kia. Losing out on the Standhardinger sweepstakes, TNT blasts Commissioner Narvasa for approving the trade. The PBA divides where seven teams declare they have a “loss of confidence” in Commissioner Narvasa. Five teams support Commissioner Narvasa. After a three-month stalemate, Commissioner Narvasa steps down and the PBA Board appoints a new commissioner, Willie Marcial. As you can see, it is a little more complicated than having the number one overall pick protected from a trade. While the number one overall pick has been traded seven times in the last 13 years, which has to be some kind of record, there have been other issues as well. And that is where my long list of questions begins: -    What’s to stop an already winning team from stacking up multiple first round picks other than the number one overall pick, like in 2008 and 2014? -    This "no trading of the top pick rule" becomes effective in 2019. Why the wait? Why can’t it apply this year? Columbian Dyip has the first pick this season. History says they could likely trade that pick to a championship team. Why do we have to go through this make-believe world another year? -    Hypothetically, how would the PBA handle this situation: Phoenix trades an active player to Rain or Shine for ROS’s 2021 1st round pick. Unfortunately, in 2020, ROS has a variety of injuries and acquires the number one overall pick. What happens then? Who gets the first pick? ROS or Phoenix? -    After the first pick is drafted, when does that player selected first become tradeable? Can it be traded after the draft? If not, for how long? Looking at the draft history of the last 13 years, you have to wonder, what were the objectives of teams like Air21, Barako Bull & Kia? Were those teams in the league to form competitive teams? Were they attempting to build championship teams? Why were those teams trading so many of their top picks? Columbian justified its trading of the number pick last year by saying they were going to play in an “unconventional” way. Their unconventional way has led them to five wins in 31 games so far this season. It has also earned them the number one overall pick for the second year in a row. The PBA Draft is supposed to be fun. It used to be fun. Before 2005, the PBA Draft was a legitimate event. It was something to look forward to. The idea of the draft is still special in theory. It’s a day where dreams come true. Drafted players lives change that day. Many times, the lives of a player's family change forever when their son or husband or father is drafted in the PBA. It's an opportunity for teams who have struggled to get better. It's supposed to give hope to teams drafting high and a challenge to teams drafting low. That is how the draft system is supposed to work. Unfortunately, in the PBA that system has been broke for a long time. I like the idea and the spirit of the draft. However, last year on my podcast, Staying MAJOR, I argued that the PBA should scrap its draft. That made me sad. It made me sad because I feel like the spirit of the PBA Draft has been lost. It's been lost by teams manipulating the system for the improvement of their individual team or their team's objective, but not for the betterment of the league. I’m tired of the PBA Draft getting hijacked every year. And now we have to likely go through it again this year. Even after what happened last year. Not being able to trade the number one pick sounds good. It’s a nice blanket statement. I even think it might be a step in the right direction. But, sometimes when you're bleeding, you need more than a band-aid. Fans aren’t naive. They can figure out what’s going on when year after year the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. Maybe some of my questions will get answered here as the draft approaches? Maybe Columbian Dyip won’t trade their pick again? Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part? If there is a silver lining, it is at least the PBA and its Board have acknowledged that there is a problem. At least there was an attempt to fix it. I’d say vetting of new potential franchises, so the PBA doesn’t have members who want to trade their draft picks to already successful teams is the bigger issue, but hopefully this is a start of trying to level the playing field. Wouldn’t it be fun to have teams that haven’t won in a while, keep their picks and build contending teams? Or at least not give them to the already strong teams? Wouldn’t that be fun? Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate the draft spirit of hope on draft day without trying to figure out how the best teams ended up with the top picks again? The PBA is a professional, competitive, sports league. That’s what it’s supposed to be. The PBA is supposed to be fun too. However, it’s NOT fun or competitive when the top teams keep picking high every year. That’s not real competition to me. So will the PBA’s new rule regarding the number one overall pick change anything? This year, no. Starting next year, maybe. I’d like to be optimistic that there will be change or that this rule will initiate an on-going conversation of how to make the draft better. Unfortunately, we still have a full year of waiting before we find out. Eric Menk played in the PBA from 1999 to 2016. Menk is a four-time PBA champion, three-time PBA Finals MVP and one-time PBA MVP (2005). He will be writing for ABS-CBN Sports weekly. Menk also has his podcast Staying MAJOR as welll as his own YouTube channel ......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

Thielen it: Vikings star on record-setting receiving pace

By Dave Campbell, Associated PRess EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Last week during team drills with the Minnesota Vikings, Adam Thielen stretched out his body and dived to try to catch an off-target pass. Thielen immediately questioned aloud the wisdom of his decision to risk pain when ultimately the completion didn't matter. Thielen, though, couldn't resist. There's hardly a ball in the air he doesn't believe he can grab, and this is anything but blind faith. Through six games, Thielen leads the NFL with 58 receptions and 712 yards. He is on a staggering pace to reach 155 catches and 1,899 yards over a full season, which would break the record for receptions (Marvin Harrison, 143 in 2002) and fall 66 yards short of the best for yards (Calvin Johnson, 1,964 in 2012). "Adam has a great heart. He's really a tough kid," said coach Mike Zimmer, who revealed the anecdote about Thielen's ill-advised practice dive. "He comes over to me and talks to me during the game about stuff that's going on, and it's always about, 'These guys can't guard me.'" That's a brash declaration, decidedly un-Minnesotan, but this lifelong native of the state isn't deluding himself. He's not the biggest or the fastest of his peers around the league, the biggest reason he went undrafted as an NCAA Division II prospect at Minnesota State, but his route-running ability is just about unparalleled. "That dog mindset, as far as how he approaches the game and how he wants to win each and every rep, that's something we have in common and that's something that goes far with me especially because I know how he feels," said fellow Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who is on pace for 107 catches and 1,160 yards himself. "I know if there's anything bothering him or anything like that, he still never makes an excuse and he makes the plays. At the end of the day, we all only care about making the play." Thielen has the most receptions through six games in NFL history, and he is the first player since 1961 to start a season with at least 100 receiving yards in each of the first six games. The 28-year-old is on track to set all kinds of Vikings records, no small feats with a franchise that has featured Pro Football Hall of Fame members Cris Carter and Randy Moss. This is not where Thielen's motivation originates, though. He is noticeably uncomfortable when asked by reporters about such statistical accomplishments. "I'm just trying to help my team win games," Thielen said. "Honestly, if you lead the league in receiving but you're not winning games, it's not a fun business to be in, so it doesn't really matter what your stats are." His take was no different on Sunday after he had 11 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown that helped the Vikings beat Arizona 27-17. "I feel like I sound like a broken record, but it's such a team stat," Thielen said . "When you have great players around you, that's the only way you can do those things. We have so many great players and great guys that are selfless." There was no better example of Thielen's impact on the success of the Vikings' offense than early in the third quarter against the Cardinals as they clung to a 13-10 lead. Latavius Murray had just taken a 4-yard loss on a smothered toss sweep on second down, bringing up third-and-13 from the Vikings 42. Kirk Cousins was hit by Chandler Jones as he released the pass, one of 15 times he sent the ball Thielen's way in a tight space in the zone coverage. With outstretched arms and dragging toes, Thielen secured the catch right in front of the first-down marker before tumbling out of bounds. Cardinals coach Steve Wilks challenged the call from the opposite sideline, perhaps assuming the difficulty of the task would reveal a bobble on the replay, but there was none to be seen. Five plays later, Thielen hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cousins for a 10-point lead. "It's kind of a hidden play because it's not the one that scored the points or the one that people will talk about," Cousins said, "but that is a big, big play.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2018

PBA: Blakely looking at brighter signal with TNT

Looks like brighter signal is ahead for TNT in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. New import Marqus Blakely says that chemistry is a bit of a problem for the KaTropa with him being the team's third import in the season-ending conference. That, coupled with the KaTropa having a new head coach in Bong Ravena and a new consultant in Mark Dickel, is making adjustments aplenty for TNT. Still, the KaTropa are 2-0 with Blakely, including 23-point comeback vs. Northport Sunday. "I wouldn’t say it’s too different. I’d just say it's chemistry," Blakely said on the difference between TNT and Magnolia, the previous team he played for in the PBA. "We’ve been together 2, 3 weeks now? In Magnolia,  as soon as you step in the gym, we’d still have the chemistry from 2, 3 conferences ago. That’s something we still have to build on [with TNT] every practice to get better. You could see it. There are ups and downs, there are more so because were not all on the same page. Chemistry is something we could fix over this next three weeks," he added. Despite adjusting on the fly, Blakely and the KaTropa did more than enough to steal a win from the Batang Pier to maintain their now three-game winning streak in the Governors' Cup. Blakely scored 15 points in the fourth quarter against Northport, including the go-ahead layup for the final tally. "I mean we saw two tales for two different teams today. First half, we didn’t play as well as we wanted to," Blakely said. "But what we saw is defense. Defense is gonna get us out of any situation. I think we were down 20, 25 at one point. Coach told us that we weren’t getting stops in transition, and get us more points, easy points, easy buckets in transition—open shots We just focused in on that, we played a hell of a game," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 30th, 2018