Mahindra Floodbuster electrifies PBA with small ball offense

Mahindra Floodbuster electrifies PBA with small ball offense.....»»

Category: sportsSource: thestandard thestandardJan 12th, 2017

Gary David proving he can still score with the best of them

Gary David landing in Mahindra was supposed to be an opportunity for a career revival of sorts. It didn't work quite well in the All-Filipino for various reasons but in the Commissioner's Cup, things are starting to look better for the former PBA scoring champion. In just the second game of the conference, David flashed some of his old game by dominating the fourth quarter, dropping all 13 of his points and putting Mahindra in a very good position to win late. The Floodbuster still ended up losing to defending champion Rain or Shine in overtime but David's timely explosion was a welcome addition to a team that is still lacking experience after dealing away its top two local scorers from last season. 'Sayang, huli na. May chance na manalo eh,' David said. 'Yung experience talaga nung team medyo kulang, tapos si James [White] bata pa. Pero okay naman, stay positive lang kami.' From playing the role as the first option on offense to a reserve, David is learning to re-adjust his game once again. In Mahindra, him being ready to come in and put up points is something he is working on quite a bit to help his team start winning games again. 'Sakin naman ready lang ako eh. Ready lang naman ako pag binunot ni coach Chris,' he said. 'Alam naman niya na kakabalik ko lang sa injury tapos binibigyan niya rin ng kumpiyansa yung mga bata. Basta ready lang ako pag binunot niya ako,' David added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 20th, 2017

ROS takes solo lead after overtime win against Mahindra

Rain or Shine got its head coach a perfect birthday gift. It was five minutes late but still, a great gift nonetheless. The defending champion Elasto Painters needed overtime Sunday to hold off a pesky Mahindra squad, 99-95, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Big Dome. Following a nice win to start their title defense two days ago, the Elasto Painters moved to 2-0 for an early lead in the mid-season conference. The victory was also a great way to cap head coach Caloy Garcia's day as he celebrated his 42nd birthday. 'It was a good game. Both teams wanted to win,' Garcia said. 'After a good win against NLEX, maybe we went in this game relaxed. Good thing we had the win. I think that's one of the things we have to experience. The chemistry ng matagal na kami magkasama is showing,' he added. After the Floodbuster zoomed to a 93-90 lead in overtime following a booming three from Bong Galanza, Rain or Shine unloaded a 9-2 finishing kick to maintian a clean slate despite a rocky start to its title defense. Jeff Chan, denied of a go-ahead layup in regulation, punched the dagger in the form or a corner triple for a 97-93 Rain or Shine lead with 1:44 left. Still down by four, Mahindra had the chance to tie and even take the lead in one possession but import James White failed to capitalize on a flagrant foul from Raymond Almazan and missed two free throws. The Floodbuster failed to connect from that point on. Shawn Taggart led the defending champions with 29 points, 10 reboundd, anf four assists while Beau Belga and James Yap were the top locals for ROS with 12 points apiece. Chan came off the bench to add 10 markers. Mahindra, who now fell to 0-2, had the golden opportunity for an upset in regulation. With Gary David finding his touch, the Floodbuster took an 86-80 lead with 2:34 to go only to see the Elasto Painters counter with an 8-2 run to force overtime. Even in the final seconds, White had the chance to win the whole thing for Mahindra but he missed a contested jumper. Regardless, the Floodbuster's 23-year-old reinforcement still led the Mahindra offense with 29 points and 21 rebounds. David added 13, all in the fourth period.   The scores: RAIN OR SHINE 99 - Taggart 29, Belga 12, Yap 12, Chan 10, Almazan 9, Ahanmisi 8, Washington 6, Ponferada 5, Tiu 5, Cruz 2, Norwood 1, Tolomia 0, Trollano 0. MAHINDRA 95 - White 29, David 13, Galanza 10, Celda 10, Deutchman 9, Paniamogan 8, Mallari 6, Caperal 4, Revilla 3, Guevarra 2, Salva 1, Teng 0, Yee 0, Arana 0, Salva 0, Ballesteros 0. Quarterscores: 22-24, 45-43, 68-66, 88-88, 99-95.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2017

REINFORCEMENTS HAVE ARRIVED. The 2017 Commissioner's Cup imports

With the Commissioner's Cup set to open Friday, it means that imports get their time to shine in the PBA. And for this year's mid-season joust, a number of familiar names are back for another tour of duty in the league. br /> strong>BRGY. GINEBRA SAN MIGUEL /strong> Despite the Commissioner's Cup featuring no height limit for imports, the Gin Kings opted to have 6'7' Justin Brownlee back for a second conference. And why not, Brownlee practically handed Ginebra its first PBA title in eight years last season, scoring the winner in Game 6 of the Finals that allowed the Gin Kings to capture the 2016 Governors' Cup.   strong>MAHINDRA FLOODBUSTER /strong> Mahindra also chose to return a reliable reinforcement this year with James White back for another go for the team that is still technically coached by Sen. Manny Pacquiao. Despite still one of the younger imports in the PBA, White is no slouch for the Floodbuster as he led the team to its first-ever playoff appearance in the 2016 Governors' Cup.   strong>PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS /strong> While it's not going to last for the whole conference, the Fuel Masters can expect a good start this conference with 'El Destructor' anchoring the Phoenix attack. Coming in late in the 2016 Governors' Cup to lead the Fuel Masters to their first playoff appearance, Eugene Phelps will provide some much-needed interior presence for Phoenix in the mid-season conference until he has to go and play in Puerto Rico due to an earlier commitment.   strong>NLEX ROAD WARRIORS /strong> Yeng Guiao brought another former Elasto Painter over to NLEX as Wayne Chism is ready to go as the reinforcement for the Road Warriors. Playing his third PBA conference, the former Best Import should serve as a reliable force for Guiao in NLEX especially since the Road Warriors struggled mightily in coach Yeng's first tournament with the team. Chism is Guiao's trump card when things go wrong for the Commissioner's Cup.   strong>RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS /strong> With Chism out, defending champion Rain or Shine will be fielding former Globalport import Shawn Taggart in a bid to win back-to-back titles. The high-scoring 6'10' dynamo should be a nice fit for an Elasto Painters team that is looking to rediscover some of its championship magic.   strong>TNT KATROPA /strong> TNT was originally going to have former rival Denzel Bowles as its reinforcement for the Commissioner's Cup. However, the former Best Import, who denied the franchise of a title in the same conference five years, was dropped one day before the tournament's opening. Whether it was Bowles having 'personal issues' or Denzel actually underperforming and being bad for team chemistry, the KaTropa now scramble to find a replacement for the mid-season tournament.   strong>STAR HOTSHOTS /strong> Opting for a new name, Star will have hotshot Tony Mitchell serving as its import in the Commissioner's Cup. The former Detroit Piston should be ready to come in and score in bunches for the Hotshots, a nice complement to the team considering Star featured one of the league's best defenses in the Philippine Cup. br /> strong>SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN /strong> The Beermen took advantage of the no height limit and have brought it Charles Rhodes, forming a twin tower combination with top local June Mar Fajardo. One of the top shot blockers in the Korean league, Rhodes is expected to anchor San Miguel's defense in is PBA debut, further freeing up space for the Beermen's elite scorers.   strong>ALASKA ACES /strong> The Aces were originally going for Octavius Ellis as their import, however, the cousing of NBA star Monta had to fly back to the United States due to an urgent family matter, causing Alaska to scramble two days before it plays its first game. Fortunately, Alaska found a replacement by the name of Cory Jefferson. With the sudden development, it should be interesting how the last pick of the 2014 NBA Draft fits in the Alaska system.   strong>BLACKWATER ELITE /strong> Looking to make a bigger impact following a nice All-Filipino campaign, Blackwater has enlisted the services of Greg Smith to man the middle. A former Houston Rocket, Smith should provide the interior presence no other Elite could give, allowing Blackwater's wingmen, including top pick Mac Belo, to operate more freely on the outside.   strong>MERALCO BOLTS /strong> Meralco has found success with its last two imports, the Bolts look to contiue that with Alex Stephenson. The hulking reinforcement should also solve Meralco's issues down the middle, allowing the team's plethora of guards to get creative. Norman Black's crew was one win away from making the Commissioner's Cup Finals last year, the hope is to make it all the way to the title now.   strong>GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER /strong> With a ton of local scoring options, Globalport is looking to play address some more glaring needs and have brought in international journeyman Sean Williams to the fold. The former New Jersey Net should be a reliable pick-and-roll partner for Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle and as one of the older imports around, Williams could serve as a stabilizer for the Globalport offense that tends to go wild more often than not. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 17th, 2017

Not so golden Warriors: Curry slumping, team skidding

em>By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press /em> NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Curry screamed, turned and kicked the nearby wall, disgusted by another missed jumper. It was just practice and most of his other shots went in, so there was little reason for concern. But if he keeps misfiring in games and the Golden State Warriors keep losing them, there might be. With Curry in a rare shooting slump and the Warriors on an even rarer losing streak, the NBA leaders are facing adversity — at least by their standards — as they visit the New York Knicks on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Curry is 4-for-31 from three-point range through three games of the Warriors' road trip, with most of the last two games coming after Kevin Durant was injured. The Warriors found a way to win the opener in Philadelphia — when Curry missed all 11 attempts behind the arc — but they then dropped games in Washington and Chicago to end their NBA-record streak of regular-season games without consecutive losses at 146. 'We haven't lost two in row in a long time obviously and we've been in a rut on this trip in general,' coach Steve Kerr said after practice Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) at a court in the Manhattan building where the players' union is headquartered. 'We're not making shots, but we're also well aware that this is just a blip on the radar screen. We'll be fine and I'm not concerned at all. We just have to play better.' Klay Thompson is also struggling, and the Splash Brothers really dried up Thursday (Friday, PHL time), going a combined 3-for-22 on three-pointers in a 94-87 loss in Chicago. But the Warriors don't seem stressed and don't think defenses are crowding the guards more than normal without having to worry about Durant. 'We've had plenty of openings and creating decent shots, just haven't gone in in the last three games,' Curry said. 'But that happens as you go through a long season, you just have to fight through it and not let it affect how you play. Obviously if we make a couple more shots in Chicago the game's a little different. Philly it was a struggle but we found a way to win, so just got to stay on the mission of letting the offense create good things for us and still have confidence to knock down shots.' The Warriors were held to their lowest point total of the season Thursday (Friday, PHL time). Curry and Thompson were a combined 15-of-49 from the field. Those are performances Golden State can't afford without Durant, its leading scorer who is lost for at least four weeks with a knee injury. 'It happens to the best of them, so you just move on,' All-Star Draymond Green said. 'You try to make plays, get them the ball and get them open shots, knowing that more often than not they'll fall. But everybody has shooting struggles. Michael Jordan had shooting struggles and the list goes on.' Curry seemed to rush some shots late in the last loss, and he's trying to be more aggressive in Durant's absence without changing the way the Warriors play. Kerr said Curry and Thompson — who is 7-for-33 behind the arc on the trip — had plenty of space to shoot. 'The only thing that jumps out on tape is that they're taking some quick ones that we could probably move the ball a little bit more and get better shots,' Kerr said. 'We're still getting good shots. I think we can get great shots if we move it a little better.' Perhaps Curry can get untracked in the nationally televised game at Madison Square Garden, where he made 11 three-pointers in a game four years ago. If not, the Warriors know they need to win anyway. Their lead over surging San Antonio for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs is down to 2.5 games. 'We're not far off. Couple plays, couple shots fall and we're winners of two in a row,' Green said. 'But that's the margin for error in the NBA. It's very small and especially with KD being out our margin for error is even smaller, so just got to understand that and adjust.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 5th, 2017

The Dallas Mavericks acquired a centerpiece in Nerlens Noel

em>The trade: The Dallas Mavericks acquire Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers, in exchange for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a protected 2017 first-round pick /em> When the deal that swapped Nerlens Noel for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a first-rounder went down, it was one of the big moves on an otherwise quiet NBA trade deadline.  If you were to break it down, the deal favors the Mavericks. Sure, the 76ers get Anderson, an explosive wing player with a ton of potential. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll get the Dallas first-rounder due to the protections involved, meaning it’ll instead be conveyed as a pair of second round picks, not exactly a good return for a former '6 overall choice. They also bought out Bogut’s contract, a move that helped them reach the salary floor, but again Philly loses out in terms of value.  Now for the Mavericks on the other hand, they get an immediate impact player in Noel. Prior to the move, Dallas’ front court looked like this: Dirk Nowitzki (playing out of position at center), Harrison Barnes (playing power forward in small-ball groups), Dwight Powell, Salah Mejri, and AJ Hammons.  At 38-years-old, Nowitzki can’t afford to take the center position all the time. Given his age, he should be focusing more on his offense, letting younger guys do the dirty work. Now with Noel, he won’t have to. The former 76ers will be the one protecting the rim and fighting for rebounds.  In 29 games with the 76ers this season, Noel was putting up 8.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks in just a bit over 19 minutes a night. Given how he was often sharing the court with guys like Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric back then, you can definitely expect his numbers to sky-rocket with his new club.  Noel is a wrecking ball on the defensive end. His persona screams “hold down the fort.” Plus, he’s just 22-years-old, giving Dallas a much needed shot of youth. He also gives the Mavericks a spark on offense. Noel likes to run down the court for early baskets before the opposing side sets up their D. He could find himself on the receiving ends of lobs too, similar to what the Mavs used to do with Tyson Chandler. As of posting, the Mavericks are 24-35, tied with the Portland Trail Blazers for '11 in the West. At 2.5 games back of the Denver Nuggets, the current eighth seed, they can definitely still make a playoff push. And while it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to get out of the first round, it’ll be good postseason reps for Barnes, Noel, Seth Curry, Yogi Ferrell, and the rest of their young crew.  After several offseasons of failing to land marquee free agents, the future suddenly looks good for Mark Cuban’s franchise. Through a couple of shrewd transactions, they were able to land potential building blocks to their squad, setting themselves up for the inevitable post-Nowitzki era.  With Noel in the center, Dallas has their big man, and the potential for more success down the road. em>The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports. /em> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 1st, 2017

PBA: Maliksi, Star maintain luster

The Star Hotshots flaunted their explosive offense for the third straight game and rolled past the Mahindra Floodbuster, 124-87, as the elimination round of the PBA Philippine Cup drew to a close last night at the Cuneta Astrodome......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017

E-Painters post easy win over Floodbuster

MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine, impressive in its season debut versus TNT KaTropa, put in a more remarkable effort last night, beating the Mahindra ball.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 30th, 2016

Champion ROS dispute first place against surging Bolts

Looking to maintain its solid start, defending champion Rain or Shine go for a fourth straight win in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup as action resumes Wednesday at the MOA Arena. After taking down a pesky Blackwater side for a 3-0 mark, the Elasto Painters are looking to occupy solo first in the mid-season tournament and build a nice head start against the rest of the competition. However, Rain or Shine is in for a tough grind with Meralco out to do same thing as the Bolts likewise hold a perfect 3-0 card following their win over sister team TNT last week. The battle for first place featuring the champion Painters and the Bolts will tip off at 7:00 p.m. In the first game at 4:15 p.m., the Alaska Aces will take on the Mahindra Floodbuster. Alasks is also undefated at 2-0 while the Floodbuster are coming off a win over NLEX that put them to 1-2 for the conference. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News9 hr. 1 min. ago

Painters, Bolts, Aces aim to stay perfect; Floodbuster eye 2nd straight win

Game Wednesday (MOA Arena) 4:15 p.m. – Alaska vs Mahindra 7 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Meralco.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 28th, 2017

Mirotic ties season-high, Bulls pull away from Bucks

em>By Genaro Armas, Associated Press /em> MILWAUKEE -- Nikola Mirotic tied his season-high with 28 points, Jimmy Butler had 20 points and a career-high 14 assists, and the Chicago Bulls pulled away in the second half for a 109-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Butler broke his previous career best for assists (12) by the end of a pivotal third quarter, when Chicago stretched a one-point lead at the half to 91-79 going into the fourth. Butler punctuated the second-half runaway with a backcourt steal off a telegraphed pass by Greg Monroe before strolling the other way for an easy dunk and 17-point lead with 8:55 left. Mirotic hit three three-pointers in the third quarter, while Rajon Rondo scored 14 of his 18 points in that period. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks. Milwaukee failed to secure sole possession of fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race after being tied with Atlanta going into Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The Hawks lost earlier in the day to the Brooklyn Nets. Chicago kept pace in the East after being tied with Detroit coming into the day, 1.5 games behind Miami for the final playoff spot. The Bulls also finished the season series against Milwaukee at 1-3 this season, avoiding a sweep to their Central Division rival. Coach Fred Hoiberg's squad pulled away in impressive fashion in the third quarter after having trouble with long, athletic teams like the Bucks for much of the season. But Butler and his teammates set the tone on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) in the third quarter with good ball movement and solid defense, while capitalizing on the Bucks' offensive struggles in the second half (35 percent shooting). strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Bulls: /strong> /em>Chicago had a 23-10 run over the final 8:29 of the second quarter to take a 56-55 lead at halftime. Playing crisp offense, the Bulls shot 59 percent and assisted on 20 of 25 buckets in the first half. All five starters finished the game scoring in double figures. em> strong>Bucks: /strong> /em> C John Henson (sprained left thumb) could be out another week after getting hurt on Tuesday (last Wednesday, PHL time) in Portland. F Khris Middleton, who went just 1-of-13 from the field in Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) win over Atlanta, was 6-of-17 against Chicago and finished with 14 points. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Bulls: /strong> /em>Try to sweep the season series against Cleveland when they host the Cavaliers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). em> strong>Bucks: /strong> /em> Begin a two-game road trip by visiting the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 26th, 2017

Mahindra Floodbuster nahablot ang unang panalo

Mahindra Floodbuster nahablot ang unang panalo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

Floodbuster nail first win, trip Road Warriors

MANILA, Philippines – Mahindra finally came through with the finishing kick it wasn’t able to deliver in its first two games, and the Floodbuster gained the.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

White ready to move on to better things with Mahindra again

With Mahindra having the golden opportunity to upset defending champion Rain or Shine in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, import James White Settled for a heavily-contested jump shot as he tried to win the whole thing for his team. Obviously, it didn't go in and the game went into overtime. Mahindra lost. Five days after the fact, the Floodbuster finally got their first W in the mid-season conference and White has forgotten about his rather questionable late-game decision against the Elasto Painters. 'That's last game, this is a new game. I'm not worried about that. Right now the outcome is we got a win so I'm not worried about that other game,' the 23-year-old White said after leading Mahindra over NLEX Friday. While he didn't exactly say he was making up for the last game, White certainly did his play do the talking as the Floodbuster added to Road Warriors' woes this season. By halftime against NLEX, White was already up to 20 points and 15 rebounds, giving Mahindra a 10-point lead. He finished with 30 points and 23 boards as the Floodbuster took an eight-point decision. 'Every game that we play I want that win but it's always good to get that first one of the season. We know the confidence of winning so it's always good to get that win under your belt,' he said. 'I'm just worried about my game, what I can do to the team to help them win,' White added. More important than finally getting his first win back in the PBA, White snapped a personal seven-game losing skid in the league dating back to last season's Governors' Cup. With that out of the way, the former Georgia Tech product is ready to move on to better things again. 'It feels great, it's a blessing. It's a confidence builder, ready to go on to our next opponent and just have fun again,' he said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

Mahindra breaks through NLEX for first win

Mahindra failed to close out defending champion Rain or Shine the last time out, the Floodbuster didn't have that same problem this time around. Building a good enough lead, the Floodbuster were able to keep frustrating the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, winning their Friday clash, 89-81, at the Big Dome. After taking a lead as high as 15 points, Mahindra was alble to hold on during a dragging homestretch to pick up its first win of the mid-season conference. The Floodbuster joined the winner's circle in the Commissioner's Cup with a 1-2 record and dropped NLEX to 0-3, the worst start to a conference by coach Yeng Guiao since the 2009 Philippine Cup. 'Extremely gritty win tonight. Moving past our previous mistakes, I think we did a great job of really going to our strengths,' top deputy Chris Gavina said of his team's big victory. After two defeats, James White took over for Mahindra, going for 30 points and 23 rebounds to snap a personal seven-game PBA losing skid dating back to last season's Governors' Cup. No other Floodbuster scored in double figures but locals Ryan Arana, Reden Celda, Gary David, and LA Revilla did scored nine points each. As for NLEX, whose struggles this season continue, Wayne Chism was the high man with 28 points and 21 rebounds. Jansen Rios added 15 for the Road  After a nice start to the game by NLEX, Mahindra took over with White leading the charge. By halftime, with their young import already up to 20 points and 15 rebounds, the Floodbuster have opened up a 10-point lead, 44-34, following an 8-0 run.   The scores:  MAHINDRA 89 - White 30, Revilla 9, Celda 9, David 9, Arana 9, Mallari 7, Yee 5, Paniamogan 3, Galanza 3, Deutchman 2, Apinan 2, Salva 1, Ballesteros 0. NLEX 81 - Chism 28, Rios 15, Camson 8, Soyud 7, Lnete 6, Alas 5, Taulava 4, Lastimosa 2, Tiongson 2, Guinto 2, Khobuntin 2, Baracael 0, Monfort 0, J. Villanueva 0. Quarterscores: 24-18, 44-34, 68-62, 89-81.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

Mahindra Floodbuster tinibag ang NLEX Road Warriors

Mahindra Floodbuster tinibag ang NLEX Road Warriors.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

Bolts test TNT squad featuring Lou Amundson

Something about import conferences make the Meralco Bolts a completely different team. After yet another disastrous All-Filipino campaign, Meralco has quickly turned things around and is now one of the early leaders in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, winning two quick games so far. With the mid-season tournament continuing Friday at the Big Dome, the Bolts go for three in a row for a very early solo lead. Meralco takes the court at 7:00 p.m. opposite sister team TNT who is making its debut in the Commissioner's Cup with NBA veteran Lou Amundson as import. The teams recent history, with the Bolts winning four straight games over the KaTropa dating back to last season's Governors' Cup playoffs, add a little bit of color in this matchup. In the first game at 4;15 p.m., either one of NLEX or Mahindra will finally get on the board for the conference. Both the Road Warriors and the Floodbuster have stumbled to start the Commissioner's Cup so far, going 0-2 after their first two games. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

BLOGTABLE: Will upcoming HOU vs OKC game decide MVP?

em> blogtable /em> How much sway will Sunday’s Thunder-Rockets game have on the MVP race? strong>David Aldridge: /strong> Some, with some. To me it's one more piece of information, but even though Harden and Westbrook are both point guards and handle the ball for their teams, I'd anticipate some cros- matching by both teams (Pat Beverley will take Westbrook for Houston; Andre Roberson will take Harden for OKC) that will keep them from guarding each other most of the time. Both are having too special a season for one matchup to be determinate, though. Every day, I change my mind (and, yes, that includes Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James as well). strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong>Not a lot. No one game should get undue weight when it comes to a season-long award. If I truly were undecided between James Harden and Russell Westbrook and it was the final game of the regular season, mmm, maybe. But an MVP, especially, is way more nuanced than one head-to-head showdown can capture. I’ve got four guys who will fill, in some order, the top four spots on my ballot (Harden, Westbrook, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard). The OKC-Houston game will toss more evidence on the pile but it hardly will be determinant. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong> Unless James Harden or Russell Westbrook -- or both? -- goes off for 80, I don’t think one more game is going to make a difference in most minds. It’s coming down to whether Westbrook finishes up averaging a triple-double and where the Thunder end up in the West playoff pecking order. And there’s also that Kawhi Leonard fella. Doesn’t defense still count? strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong>Maybe more than it should. If Harden has a big game or Westbrook has a big game, or both, someone may draw a season-long conclusion, especially if the two spend much time guarding each other. That would be a bad conclusion, of course. To have a decision like that come down to one game would be too near-sighted even among the world that lives 140 characters at a time. I can’t believe anyone will reach a bottom line with several weeks to go in the season when the MVP race is this tight. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong>My answer is 'very little.' Even if Russell Westbrook or James Harden has a monster game, these performances have a seven-hour shelf life on talk radio and social media. Then the attention span shifts. If the other player goes nuts the following game, then that's another seven-hour life. It's a back-and-forth volley that won't end until the season's over and the voting begins. The race is that close in the minds of some (not mine; a triple-double or close enough should seal it for Russ no matter what Harden does). strong>John Schuhmann: /strong> One game should never have much influence on the MVP race, and I think a distinction between Harden and Westbrook is fairly easy to make. Harden is carrying a huge load for the league's second-ranked offense, while Westbrook is carrying a huge load for league's 17th-ranked offense. The last guy to average a triple-double? Oscar Robertson. The last guy to average 29 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists (Harden's numbers)? Oscar Robertson. Now, I just need these last three weeks to figure out if the MVP should be Harden or LeBron James. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>A triple-double from either one of or even both of these guys won't really move the needle. Something truly outlandish would have to happen to shake things up, since they're both at the top of most (reasonable) people's list of the league's most valuable players this season. That said, I love that we get this last debate (it was an election year) between what most of us believe to be the top two candidates. And for the record, averaging a triple-double for the season means more to me than Westbrook potentially catching Oscar Robertson for the NBA record for triple-doubles in a season (41). And I still don't know if that trumps what Harden has done for the Rockets all season behind his equally outlandish scoring and assists numbers that we haven't seen sine the days of Oscar. This race goes down to the wire! strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong> Little influence on me. The Rockets have come out of nowhere to earn the league's third-best record and it all revolves around Harden. Westbrook has been terrific, but Harden's team is achieving at a higher level. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong>Very little, at least in regard to my MVP vote. If one game were the deciding factor, it doesn't pay much tribute to the other 81, and for some of these guys, perhaps especially Russell Westbrook, it's the sustained and repeated effort over the entire schedule that is the most remarkable part of their candidacy. It'll be fun to watch them square off, but I'm not going to let one game make up my mind. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2017

At 0-2, Americans understand stakes in World Cup qualifying

JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer   SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Michael Bradley sees no reason to keep harping on that 4-0 loss at Costa Rica four months ago. Yes, it's still fresh in the Americans' minds, a night every mistake snowballed into another. 'There is zero point in continuing to look back on that at the moment,' Bradley said. 'We are where we are. Now it's about on Friday night beginning this process of moving ourselves back up the table and stepping on the field from the first minute and playing a really aggressive way that ultimately leaves no doubt as to who's stepping off the field, win or lose.' Bruce Arena's U.S. squad gets a fresh start in World Cup qualifying Friday against Honduras, and the pressure is on following the home country's first 0-2 start in the North and Central American and Caribbean region's final round. 'We understand the position we're in,' Bradley said. 'There's no need for anybody on the outside to put any more pressure on us than we've already put on ourselves, because we didn't start the hex in the right way. We put ourselves behind the eight ball. We're honest and real enough with ourselves to understand that. Friday night is the beginning of our chance to put things right and get ourselves back in a good position. ... We need guys to step on the field and understand the moment, not be fazed by it, go for it in a fearless way and have a big group of guys play really well/' Forward Jordan Morris' status for Friday appears in question after he missed a third straight day of practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury sustained Sunday with the Seattle Sounders. Morris rehabbed in the gym, the U.S. Soccer Federation said. 'Have you followed our team at all the last month? You think that's going to be something that's going to bother me?' Arena said at the start of the week when asked about health concerns. 'We're fine. We're going to have 11 good players on the field on Friday.' For those who do play, Bradley said it is paramount everybody brings his best game. Same goes for the Americans' next match in Panama on Tuesday. While the man in charge has changed — Arena replaced the fired Jurgen Klinsmann in November for a second stint as U.S. coach — and more Major League Soccer players were called upon this time than in November, Bradley insists the approach remains simple: Find a way to win. 'We stepped on the field in Costa Rica wanting to win. That desire to win is obviously still there, so in terms of the basic idea of stepping on the field and trying to play well and go for it in the right way and come away with a positive result, that part's still the same obviously,' the longtime captain said. 'There's no two ways about it, we let ourselves down in Costa Rica. We didn't play well enough. Mistakes turned into bigger mistakes, which turned into bigger mistakes, and so it all comes together in a way that you can lose a game in a bad way.' And, there are many faces who have been on the big stage — Bradley, included. Goalkeeper Tim Howard started the past two World Cups. Howard, four-time World Cup participant defender DaMarcus Beasley and Clint Dempsey played for Arena leading into the coach's last World Cup qualifying, in 2005. Jozy Altidore brings experience up front. 'It's a huge game for us,' Howard said. 'It's helpful that we have guys who have been through the hex before, who understand what that takes and the pressures that are on us. Yeah, it's a big game.' Bradley isn't getting fancy when it comes to what the U.S. group must do. 'Winning. Three points,' Bradley said. 'That's it.' 'For us the reality is simple: We let ourselves down in the first two games,' he said. 'It means that our margin for error is very, very small, but nothing's changed in that we still feel good about the team that we have, the group that we are. I think that Bruce has come in and done an excellent job in terms of re-establishing certain things, getting at a few things. The mentality, the spirit in training and around the group both in January and now this week has been excellent, so we're getting a little excited about the chance to step on the field in a big-time qualifier.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2017

Pelicans enter final 12 games with continuity in question

em>By Brett Martel, Associated Press /em> METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Pelicans forward Solomon Hill hopes New Orleans can sell its fan base on the benefits of patience and continuity — tough as that may be for a team on the brink of missing the playoffs for a second straight season. Recently, though, the Pelicans have begun seeing more of the results they expected when they traded for 6’11” All-Star DeMarcus Cousins and put him in their front court alongside fellow All-Star Anthony Davis. The Pelicans have won four of five — with three of those victories coming by double-digits. With 12 games left, the Pelicans might not be able to make up the 4.5 games in the standings separating them from the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. But they might be able to show the type of promise ownership needs to see to justify allowing the current regime of general manager Dell Demps and affable head coach Alvin Gentry more time to get it right. 'Hopefully we can just try to save this framework, whether we make the playoffs or not,' said Hill, who has averaged around 20 points in the Pelicans' past two games while getting increased ball-handling opportunities in Gentry's up-tempo offense. Hill added that he 'most definitely would like to' see Gentry and his staff back next season, along with the current core of the roster, which includes free-agent-to-be Jrue Holiday. 'Everybody says coach's offense is a players' dream, and now he has the certain pieces to implement it,' Hill asserted after Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) practice. 'We really have a good framework to sustain this.' The Pelicans traded three guards and this summer's first- and second-round draft picks to Sacramento for Cousins. Gentry warned that it normally takes time for a team to play efficiently after making such a significant lineup change during the season. That was the case for New Orleans, which lost six of its first seven games with Cousins in the lineup. For Gentry, New Orleans' recent success has stemmed not just from improved chemistry, but also a concerted effort to involve more players on offense. The Pelicans had six players score in double-digits in a victory over Minnesota on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Cousins scored 15 points, well below his season average of 26.5 points, but New Orleans scored 123 and won by 14. In each of their past five games, the Pelicans have scored at least 100 points, eclipsing 120 three times, albeit once in overtime. Gentry said the Pelicans must understand that Cousins and Davis might not get as many shots as they did before the Feb. 19 (Feb. 20, PHL time) trade, and that 'when we get other guys involved in the game, that's when we're really better as a team.' Another challenge has been figuring out how to fit Cousins, 270-pound, post-up player, into the run-and-gun style Gentry prefers. What the Pelicans have done recently is have Davis defend more near the perimeter so he can get out quickly in transition. If an early scoring opportunity doesn't develop, New Orleans can pull up while Cousins, who often trails the play after defending down low, works his way into a half-court set. 'We've been playing with a lot of good pace. We've been getting the ball out quick and pushing it down the floor, getting some easy looks,' Davis said. 'When we don't have that, we try to play inside-out.' What Cousins, who is under contract for more season, makes of the team's recent form is unclear. The mercurial big man has avoided meeting with media since the middle of last week. Gentry agreed with Davis that the Pelicans are 'back to playing at a pretty good pace ... and we're figuring out ways that we can keep that pace.' Gentry also has been pleased by his team's resolve to make a late-season run, no matter how improbable its playoff chances are. One thing the Pelicans have going for them is they have three games left against Denver, which currently holds the West's final playoff seed. They also have one game each against Dallas and Portland, who are between them and Denver in the standings. 'With this group, they've all continued to have confidence and feel like ... we can be a playoff team,' Gentry said. 'Until we're mathematically eliminated, we're going to still have that goal.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 20th, 2017

JI-AMAZING: Morado is ABS-CBN Sports' Player of the Week

Many thought Ateneo de Manila University would have a hard time adjusting its offense in the post-Alyssa Valdez era. Fourth year setter Jia Morado proved that the Lady Eagles are still as dangerous as before. Morado’s superb playmaking helped Ateneo stay on the right track in its attempt to reclaim the crown in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. With the season already in its crucial stretch, the Lady Eagles secured the first Final Four berth sporting a 9-1 win-loss record to stay on top of the heap. All of it thanks to Morado’s leadership, maturity and playmaking skills. The team captain averaged 8.25 excellent sets per frame and 4.5 points per game in the Katipunan-based squad’s last two outings, an impressive performance that earned her ABS-CBN Sports’ Player of the Week recognition. Morado tallied 27 excellent sets last Wednesday when the Lady Eagles swept University of Sto. Tomas, 25-10, 26-24, 28-26. Her composure during that match kept Ateneo together as the Lady Eagles weathered the repeated comeback attempts of the feisty Tigresses.   “I think it's more of experience talaga, na I know how to handle well ‘yung mga ibang situations,” said Morado. The Lady Eagles again banked on Morado last Saturday to outlast Far Eastern University, 25-20, 25-22, 17-25, 21-25, 15-8, for their eight straight win. Three players ended up in double-figure scoring as Morado distributed the ball well to keep the Lady Tamaraws’ defense guessing. She registered 39 excellent sets in Ateneo’s 55 attack points. “Very, very important (si Jia sa amin). Like regardless of the power of each spiker kung walang diskarte setter mo walang mangyayari and we’ve seen how effective Jia is,” said Ateneo middle Bea De Leon. “I’m just really happy I’m not against her because when in training when that happens I don’t know where to go.” “Jia is really good, her composure in the court, her being the captain, her being the number 1 decision-maker. It helps us a lot because she really keeps us calm and her plays galing eh,” added De Leon, who averaged 12 points last week. “Basta mabigay mo bola sa kanya basta hindi pa over, she really finds a way to make something out of it and I’m really happy she’s my setter.” But the setter refused to take all the credit for the Lady Eagles’ success.   “Nakikita ko rin ‘yung mga teammates ko, they help me out,” she said. “It's not just me, it's everyone inside the court talaga na nakakatulong sa mga pressure moments.” With a spot in the Final Four already secured, Ateneo is now looking to clinch a semis twice-to-beat advantage.           .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 20th, 2017