Mahindra Floodbuster electrifies PBA with small ball offense

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

Category: sportsSource: thestandard thestandardJan 12th, 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

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2017

Thomas scores 33, Celtics hold off late push by 76ers

em>By Kyle Hightower, Associated Press /em> BOSTON (AP) -- Isaiah Thomas scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and the surging Boston Celtics held on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 116-108 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). It was the 40th straight 20-point game for Thomas, tying the team record set by John Havlicek during the 1971-72 season. Marcus Smart added 21 points and eight steals for the Celtics. Boston has won four in a row and 11-of-12. Philadelphia's loss ended its three-game winning streak. The Celtics won despite committing a season-high 24 turnovers, though they needed a late run to preserve the victory. Dario Saric led the 76ers with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Robert Covington added 18 points, but left late in the fourth quarter after crashing into the Boston bench while diving for a loose ball. Boston won the first two games of the season series by a combined five points. Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) meeting was nearly as tight, with 10 ties and 11 lead changes. The Celtics were a little erratic on offense to begin the game, turning the ball over five times in less than four minutes and 12 times in all during the first half. Philadelphia took advantage, scoring 21 points off Boston turnovers in the opening 24 minutes. It was tied 61-all at halftime, but Boston used 12-2 run at the start of the third quarter to create some breathing room. Philadelphia didn't go away, and took its first lead of the second half on Nerlens Noel's dunk with just under eight minutes to play. Then it was Thomas time. After struggling in the second and third quarters, he scoring nine straight Celtics points to put them back in front 101-99 with 5:42 left. Noel tied it with a pair of free throws following a flagrant foul on Al Horford. But then Boston surged again, scoring seven straight as part of a 13-2 run. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>76ers: /strong> /em>Gerald Henderson got ejected with 51.8 seconds left after receiving a pair of technicals for arguing a foul call. C Joel Embiid missed his 10th straight game with a bruised left knee. He will make the trip to New Orleans for All-Star weekend, but will not participate in the Skills Challenge or Rising Stars game. Philadelphia center Jahlil Okafor was back in a Sixers uniform after beginning the week expecting to be headed to a new team. He was held out of the 76ers' last two games as trade talk intensified, but rejoined the club in Boston. Okafor played 17 minutes, finishing with four points and four rebounds. em> strong>Celtics: /strong> /em> Thomas has only one game all season in which he failed to reach 20 points. He scored 18 in a 104-88 loss to Golden State on Nov. 18 (Nov. 19, PHL time). Gerald Green played just six minutes before leaving with a bruised left heel. Boston played without G Avery Bradley (sore right Achilles) and rookie forward Jaylen Brown (right hip strain). Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley and Brown will also miss Thursday night's (Friday, PHL time) game in Chicago with the hope of practicing when the team returns from the All-Star break. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>76ers: /strong> /em> Return to action next Friday (next Saturday, PHL time) at home against Washington. em> strong>Celtics: /strong> /em>Head to Chicago for their final game before the break on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2017

Doc Volleyball: Breaking Down the UE Lady Warriors vs UP Lady Maroons

In what could be considered as their most exciting outing to date, the University of the East Lady Warriors (UE) held their own against the rampaging University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (UP). State U might have prevailed,  25-16, 26-24, 25-19, but UE made them earn the victory. While it can be argued that their previous season’s win over Adamson University (AdU) that ended a 58-game losing streak was a monumental feat for the Recto-based squad, the Lady Warriors going cut throat against no other than the Lady Maroons, highlighted by an intriguing match-up between converted setters, has proven to us that they are no longer the pushover squad from seasons past. strong>Revelation Wall /strong> Coming off from a tough match-up with one of the season contenders in National University (NU), the Lady Warriors had all eyes on the Lady Maroons if they can go beyond their recent performance most especially in the blocking department where they outscored NU. It was quite evident from the first set against UP that these Lady Warriors are the real deal in the blocking department. Boasting of increased height at the net early on, UE was able to disrupt UP’s offense in such a way that their wing attackers rarely hit line shots and had to force their way through with mostly angle shots. UE head coach Francis Vicente has to be credited for his decision to convert middle blocker Roselle Baliton into a setter to bolster their net defense. Raising some eyebrows with such decision in the previous season, Vicente has now shown us the quintessential reason for such conversion. Baliton’s blocking presence in the right wing has proven to be a crucial factor in forcing the UP wings to avoid the lines and primarily go for cross court hits. The Lady Warriors, despite losing the match, out-blocked UP with a staggering 14-3 performance. strong>Mean Maroon Machine /strong> With what could be considered as the best match-up scheduled amongst other teams, UP was expected to come off with an easy 2-0 team standing early on. Basing on performances from the previous season, AdU and UE would have been early pushovers to secure a good standing for UP. Despite winning the match in straight sets, UP had their early share of facing adversity from a surging UE squad. No longer just a final four candidate, but an actual series contender, UP actually benefited from this tight match since it gave them an early opportunity to test not only their synchronicity as a team but their mental fortitude as well. Having a converted rookie setter in Ayel Estranero, the Lady Maroons showcased their attack prowess despite the barrier put up by the Lady Warriors. While UP can be considered to have the most seasoned wings and middles individually, the team’s scoring capability still heavily relies on Estranero. From the get go, the Lady Warriors have put up a solid defense on the net but Estranero’s ball distribution was commendable in circumventing that wall. Like perfectly fitting gears, the UP hitters have found in Estranero an engine to make them run smoothly. Individual Scores strong>Roselle Baliton – C /strong> While Baliton has to be credited for her significant contribution in net defense, she is yet to perform superbly in her primary role which is setting. Despite the commendable block output of UE, they didn’t fare as well in the attack department listing only 18 successful hits for the entire duration of the match. It was pretty evident in the match that Baliton still has some struggles in putting up the ball in an ideal location that maximizes the hitting potential of her spikers. This struggle is best exemplified by Shaya Adorador’s outing of just 5 hits although she is considered the best attacking option of UE. With her commendable build and athleticism, Adorador is expected to be racking up the points especially now that she has been assigned the opposite wing position. It is noticeable though, especially with their transition attack, that Baliton’s setup is still inconsistent with Adorador having to deal with balls either too far from the net or too short from the pins. It can be considered that Baliton has indeed embraced the setter position yet she still needs vital support from her teammates especially from passing and floor defense. One good strategy coach Vicente can utilize is ensuring that the first pass and dig are high enough for Baliton to establish her footing. While UE libero Kath Arado is to be commended for manning the floor, she is yet to establish a stable and consistent connection with Baliton. Throughout the match, Baliton was chasing low balls too much leading to her limited setting range. Although having excessively high first ball can be misunderstood to slow down the offense, it is quite the contrary since Baliton would definitely be able to run faster offense if she can establish her ground. With her built, she has the upper body strength enough to shoot the pins and run fast enough plays with consistency. strong>Ayel Estranero – B /strong> Having a fully loaded team of seasoned hitters, Estranero has all the offensive options at her disposal. Indeed, her ball distribution was the crucial factor for the match yet it should be considered that UE was still able to tally a big number in blocks. It is to be noted also that from here on, UP would be facing taller teams like NU and De La Salle University (DLSU). As such, UP can’t just rely on good ball distribution to mitigate a good blocking team. It was obvious that the UP hitters were avoiding the line on rotations when Baliton is upfront. While her height is definitely an intimidating factor, UP wings could have actually used it to their advantage. Baliton is tall but she is still quite loose at the tape as she is yet to show consistency in her pressing on the block. This would have been the perfect opportunity for UP’s wings to tool her block and go for check balls. Given that they will soon face tall blockers from other teams, UP would benefit in identifying the ability (or lack thereof) of these tall blockers to press in the net. Tooling the block however would be heavily reliant on Estranero setting up a ball high enough to maximize the reach of her hitters. Overall, UP had better floor to setter connection compared to UE. Aside from the occasional shanks on the pass and digs at crucial rallies, UP can definitely benefit from enhancing their technical execution in order to get Estranero in a good position. Estranero did an exemplary job in simplifying UP’s offense and this would be highly beneficial for the team to win their transition defense with ease. Coming up against tougher opponents from here on, the Lady Maroons can definitely utilize faster sets to the pins. Shoot sets would be ideal for UP since their middles are formidable on the attack which can then translate to a lot of single blocks for the wings if Estranero can deliver it fast enough. In line with that, UP can definitely use sharper angle shots like those of Nicole Tiamzon to ease through the block and floor defense. Since most open hitters tend to defend the deep angle, the sharp cross is a reliable option to rack in the points for UP. That is of course possible if Estranero can locate the ball at a good height and with enough space from the net for her hitter to angle adequately.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2017

Study of footballers' brains highlights dementia concerns

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer   LONDON (AP) — The degenerative damage potentially caused by repeated blows to the head in soccer has been highlighted by a rare study of brains of a small number of retired players who developed dementia. Fourteen former players were part of the research that began around 40 years ago and six brains, which underwent post-mortem examinations, had signs of Alzheimer's disease. Four brains were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) pathology, a possible consequence of repeated impacts to the brain, including heading the ball. A previous study of 268 brains from the general population in Britain found a far lower CTE detection rate of 12 percent. The small sample size of former footballers prevented researchers from University College London and Britain's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery from drawing any conclusions about the dangers posed by playing soccer as they released their research. But researchers hope the findings provide the impetus for more substantial studies in conjunction with soccer authorities. The researchers require current or retired players to be willing to take part of investigations that could take decades to produce conclusions. 'Our findings show there is a potential link between repetitive head impacts from playing football and the later development of CTE,' lead author Dr. Helen Ling of the UCL Institute of Neurology told The Associated Press. 'This will support the need for larger scale studies of a larger number of footballers who need to be followed long term, looking at various aspects in terms of their mental functions, imaging of the brain and also markers that might identify neurological damage.' England's Football Association said it is committed to 'independent, robust and thorough' research, which it is jointly funding with the players' union. The Alzheimer's Society maintained that the latest 'results do not provide proof that heading a football, or sustaining a head injury by any other means during the sport, is linked to developing dementia.' 'Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia and it's important to ensure that people playing any kind of sport are able to do so safely,' Dr. James Pickett, research head at the Alzheimer's Society, said. Concerns have grown in Britain about the impact of head injuries after campaigning by the family of former England striker Jeff Astle, whose death at age 59 in 2002 was attributed to repeatedly heading heavy, leather balls. Astle's daughter, Dawn, is urging 'current footballers or families of footballers to pledge the brain' for medical research. 'If we hadn't donated dad's brain, we wouldn't know what we know now — we wouldn't know what had killed him,' Dawn Astle said. 'It's too late for dad. The research is so important for current players and for future players. That's why we need it. 'I think that's what is so very frustrating — the fact that it's nearly 15 years since my dad died. And the fact that nothing from any footballing authorities has been done. It is really indefensible and disgraceful.' At least four members of England's 1966 World Cup-winning squad have developed dementia or memory loss. In the United States, there has been a $1 billion settlement between the NFL and thousands of its former American football players who have been diagnosed with brain injuries linked to repeated concussions. The British soccer research was instigated by consultant psychiatrist Dr. Don Williams, who started to monitor former players who were diagnosed with dementia from 1980. From Swansea in south Wales, Williams monitored the retired players and collected data on their playing and concussion history. 'In 1980 the son of a man with advanced dementia asked me if his father's condition had been caused by heading the ball for many years as a powerful center half,' Williams said. 'As the brain is a very fragile organ, well protected within the skull, this was a constructive suggestion. As a result I looked out for men with dementia and a significant history of playing soccer, followed them up and where possible arranged for post-mortem studies to be carried out. 'The results suggest that heading the ball over many years, a form of repetitive sub-concussive head injury, can result in the development of CTE and dementia. Thus the original suggestion has been shown to be of merit and worthy of further investigation.' ___ Rob Harris is at .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2017

Ross now a thorn to TNT's side after career outing in Game 4

Chris Ross is making a habit of flipping that proverbial switch every time the going gets tough for San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Cup. Last season, his late-series heroics earned him a Finals MVP award as San Miguel completed an epic 'Beeracle' run from 0-3 down to win the Finals against a stunned Alaska team. This season, Ross just saved the Beermen from going down 1-3 against powerhouse TNT KaTropa by exploding for a career-high 31 points in Game 4 Tuesday. Thirty-one points is a lot, and for a guy like Ross whose specialty is defense, 31 points is insane especially since he dropped 18 in one quarter alone. 'I was being aggressive, warmups I was making a lot of shots so I just wanted to come out and be aggressive,' the reigning Defensive Player of the Year said. 'If we went down 3-1 then it would be tough on us, I just wanted to come out, be aggressive and try to lead by example. I'm usually the one leading by being a vocal leader but today I kinda wanted to lead by example, give energy and try to help my teammates. It kinda worked,' Ross added. Despite a career outing, Ross is still in charge of shutting down TNT's Jayson Castro, a job well done so far in this series since the Blur hasn't exploded offensively yet. However, Castro has been burning the Beermen without scoring that much points, tallying double-digit assists in both TNT victories. Game 4 Ross snapped that streak as Castro finished with only 13 points on 29 percent shooting and only had six dimes. A small victory in itself. 'I always look at it on defense, trying to limit Jayson [Castro] but he's been carving us up, averaging a double-double,' Ross said. 'So I just really look at the defense, try to make it tough on Jayson because he's what makes them go. Offense is just a plus, as long as I can try to limit Jayson then I'm happy with that,' he added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2017

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2017

Nuggets trade for Plumlee, center was too good to pass up

em>By Pat Graham, Associated Press /em> DENVER (AP) — This was too good to pass up: Another center who unselfishly shares the ball. That's what sold the Denver Nuggets on Mason Plumlee as they officially traded for the versatile center Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), sending bruising big man Jusuf Nurkic to the Portland Trail Blazers in return. 'Mason is a guy who complements what we have presently in the front court quite well,' Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said. 'His playmaking is something unique and really stands out. Our offense is really humming right now.' That's in large part because of the play of Nikola Jokic, an up-and-coming big man who's equally adept at passing (4.2 assists per game) as he is at scoring (16.3 points) and rebounding (8.6). Like Jokic, Plumlee has a knack for getting everyone involved and should slide right in whenever Jokic needs a breather. The two big men may even take the floor at the same time. Although, that's an experiment the Nuggets tried early in the season with Nurkic and Jokic, leading to mixed results. Then again, Plumlee and Jokic have more similar-style games. 'It will be great to have almost the synergy of playing the same way with two bigs capable of making the same types of plays,' said coach Michael Malone, who doesn't expect Plumlee to play Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) against Golden State but more likely Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) against Minnesota. 'We feel we have two of the better passing bigs in the NBA right now.' Still, it was a difficult decision to send the 22-year-old Nurkic to a division rival, especially one that's right on the Nuggets' heels for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The offer was just too enticing to turn down. 'By no means are we a finished product, but we feel Mason definitely helps us get in the direction where we're headed and may be a playoff team,' Malone said. 'His versatility, his athleticism, his I.Q., his playmaking, his rim presence defensively — he brings a lot of things to the table that will complement the players that we have.' Golden State All-Star forward Kevin Durant thinks this move bolsters Denver. 'Those two are going to play well off each other,' Durant said. 'Having two guys, as big fellas, that can do that, it takes the pressure off your wings, your point guards, allows them to play with their athleticism. ... Adding another guy that can play definitely helps.' As part of the deal, Denver also receives a 2018 second-round pick and cash considerations, while the Blazers get a 2017 protected first-rounder. About that first-rounder the team surrendered: Connelly said that given the Nuggets' youth — they have a half-dozen players 22 and under — the team was already struggling to find enough minutes for everyone. 'It's becoming difficult to continue not just to roster those guys but develop those guys on the court,' Connelly said. 'For us, we have so many interesting young players as is. We weren't overly concerned with another pick in the 20s.' Nurkic is averaging eight points this season. The seven-footer known as the 'Bosnian Beast' simply became expendable with the emergence of Jokic, who turns 22 later this month. Plumlee was a first-round pick by Brooklyn in 2013, before being dealt to Portland two years later. The former Duke standout averaged 11.1 points this season for Portland, along with eight rebounds and four assists. Although he's a restricted free agent this summer, the Nuggets have high hopes they can retain him. 'The deal was not done just for today. It was done for years moving forward,' Connelly said. 'When you look at our free agent board, he was a guy that we had circled early in the process and, quite frankly, we didn't feel confident we could get him without a move like this.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2017

Mananalo na tapos natalo pa -- FEU's Bernadeth Pons

Far Eastern University had to be reminded the hard way that volleyball games are won by taking three sets. The Lady Tamaraws came close to starting a winning streak but they squandered a 2-1 match lead and suddenly found themselves on the losing end of a five-set thriller. Bernadeth Pons’ 18-point performance went down the drain together with the win that could’ve pushed them close to the pacesetters after FEU bowed down to Ateneo de Manila University, 19-25, 26-24, 25-19, 16-25, 11-15, Sunday in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.  “Sobrang sayang sobrang nakaka-disappoint kasi mananalo na tapos natalo pa,” said the fourth year hitter after the Lady Tams slid to 1-2 win-loss card. FEU controlled the match after three sets but had trouble controlling their first ball and struggled on offense to close out the game.  The Morayta-based squad gave 11 aces to the Lady Eagles and threw away 35 points off their errors.   “Nawalan na kami ng receive. ‘Di nakapag-play ng maayos tapos nagkakaroon din ng mga service errors,” added Pons. “Sabi nga nila na killer instinct na nawala, kulang.” Pons said that they were not surprised with the way Ateneo played. They just shot themselves on the foot.   “Wala naman (silang nagawang bago). Lahat naman ng ginagawa namin nu’ng practice namin pinag-aralan namin sila,” said Pons. “’Uun lang talaga kasi parang nu’ng fourth set nauna na kami tapos biglang nawala ‘yung receive namin at nabuhay na sila ulit hanggang sa tuloy tuloy na. “Gumanda din blockings nila, gumanda lahat ng ginawa nila,” she added. “Nawala na rin ‘yung magandang ginawa namin nu’ng second and third set.” FEU can only hope for a bounce back on Saturday against University of the East.     ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2017

Maroons take a piece of the lead

Good distribution of the ball and balanced scoring gave University of the Philippines its second straight win for a piece of the lead Saturday in the 79th UAAP men's volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. The Fighting Maroons had three players in double figures thanks to the superb play of setter Jerahmeal Baldelovar in UP's 25-15, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, win over the listless University of the East Red Warriors. Alfred Valbuena and Gian San Pascual scored 15 points each with the duo combining for 22 of the Diliman-based squad's 41 total attack points in the Maroons' second win in as many outings to tie idle three-peat seeking Ateneo de Manila and Far Eastern University.  Wendel Miguel got 14 markers while Baldelovar dished out 40 excellent sets on top of his three points for   UP, which opened the season with a five-set victory over Adamson. The Red Warriors dropped to 0-2 slate tied with Adamson. UE's woes continued after absorbing its 30th straight defeat overall. Season 77 Rookie of the Year Edward Camposano scored 21 points and had help on offense with Geric Ortega finishing with 12 for UE.  But their efforts were not enough to save a squad that threw away 39 points off their errors.   br /> --- br /> Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2017

Lady Tams pound Lady Falcons in bounce back win

Far Eastern University vented its ire on the hapless Adamson University, 25-12, 25-19, 25-16 , Wednesday to barge in the win column of the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. The Lady Tamaraws were on fire the whole game, easily crushing the Lady Falcons to bounce back from a devastating opening day loss against the defending champion De La Salle University. Veterans Bernadeth Pons, Remy Palma and Toni Basas had a field day peppering their inexperienced foes with attacks and drop balls that Adamson, which was once known for their solid floor defense, just had no answer to. Sophomore setter Angel Cayuna was superb with her ball distribution, making all their available attackers contribute on offense while FEU gave Adamson’s fourth year player Jema Galanza a hard time to get her game going with good net defense. The Lady Falcons, however, had some impressive moments in the second quarter slowly chipping down FEU’s 21-10 lead, igniting a rally to narrow the gap, 23-18, before the Lady Tams doused cold water on their run. Smelling blood, the Lady Tams went for the kill in the third to hand Adamson its second straight loss in as many outings. The win gave FEU the much-needed momentum heading into an acid test on Sunday against Ateneo de Manila, which is playing National University as of posting time. Adamson has NU as its next opponent, also on Sunday.   (to be updated)     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2017

Hornets end losing skid, top Brooklyn 111-107

em>By Jodie Valade, Associated Press /em> CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum and Marco Belinelli each had 17 points as the Charlotte Hornets snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 111-107 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Charlotte (24-28) had not won since a Jan. 21 (Jan. 22, PHL time) triumph over Brooklyn. In this game, the Hornets' balanced offense included double-digit scoring from seven players and an early lead that ballooned to as many as 17 points in the second quarter. Brooklyn lost its 10th straight game with the Nets last victory coming on Jan. 20 (Jan. 21, PHL time) at New Orleans. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 22 points and Brook Lopez added 20 for the Nets (9-43). Jeremy Lamb added 16 points for the Hornets, while center Frank Kaminsky recorded 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.  The Hornets pulled away early, using a 10-0 run in the first quarter to take a 14-4 advantage with 5:28 left in that period. In all, Brooklyn scored just 16 first-quarter points compared to Charlotte's 24. Only the Nets' 14-point first quarter on Jan. 21 (Jan. 22, PHL time) was a smaller opponent output for the Hornets this season. But the Nets continued to attack, and sliced Charlotte's lead to 91-87 with 6:11 remaining when Joe Harris knocked in a 23-foot jumper. Charlotte, however, countered with quick baskets from Marvin Williams and Belinelli to give the needed cushion. Charlotte's All-Star guard Walker caused a small scare when he doubled-over from an elbow to the face by Harris as he drove to the basket with 1:45 left in the first quarter. Walker immediately came out of game and was tended to on the bench by medical staff. He returned to the contest with 7:29 left in the second quarter. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Nets: /strong> /em> Spencer Dinwiddie started at point guard, as rookie Isaiah Whitehead was moved to the bench. It was Dinwiddie's 12th game started in 29 contests with the Nets, and came about because Brooklyn still is searching for cohesive units. 'It's about getting guys in their comfort zone and figuring out which point guard fits with each group,' Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. 'Unfortunately, this late in the season, we're still searching.' Former Hornets guard Jeremy Lin missed a chance to play in front of the crowd he played for last season, sitting out because of a strained left hamstring. Lin has played in just 12 games for the Nets this season. em> strong>Hornets: /strong> /em> Center Cody Zeller missed his eighth straight game with a quad contusion. The seven-foot Frank Kaminsky started at center for Charlotte, shifting from his typical power forward position. Center Miles Plumlee, acquired via trade Feb. 2 (Feb. 3, PHL time), played his first game in Charlotte. He scored four points on 2-for-3 shooting in 15 minutes. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Nets: /strong> /em> Brooklyn returns home Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) to host Washington. em> strong>Hornets: /strong> /em> Charlotte hosts the Houston Rockets on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) in the second game of a four-game homestand. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2017

Tomlinson, Warner, Davis part of 7-man Hall of Fame class

EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer br /> HOUSTON (AP) — LaDainian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis and Kurt Warner earned their spots in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Terrell Owens, though, got turned away in a decision that went viral on social media and led the receiver to blame a 'flawed process' in an after-the-fact tweet. Also making it were sackmaster Jason Taylor — in on his first ballot, the same as Tomlinson — and Morten Andersen, the NFL's all-time leading scorer, who joins Jan Stenerud as the second pure placekicker to make the hall. Seahawks safety Kenny Easley made it as a senior nominee, while Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is in as a contributor. Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue did not get in, with his role in downplaying the severity of the league's concussion problem a factor in the vote. Tomlinson's victory shed a glimmer of light on a dark year for San Diego fans. The city lost its team, but gained a Hall of Famer. 'Those fans there inspired me to run harder, to dig deeper in times when I was tired in the fourth quarter and didn't think I had anything left,' Tomlinson said. In nine years with the Chargers, then two with the Jets, the 5-foot-10 Tomlinson reset the template for what had been known as a scatback, proving someone of his size and speed could be a game changer, not merely a change of pace. As dangerous catching the ball (4,772 career yards) as he was running it (13,684), in 2003, LT became the first player to rush for 1,000 yards and catch 100 passes. His 31 touchdowns scored in 2006 are still the single-season record. He finished his career with 145 TDs, not counting the seven he threw on halfback options. In giving the thumbs-up to Davis and Warner, the 48 Hall of Fame voters answered 'Yes' to the question of whether a few truly dominating years are enough for someone to be enshrined. Getting a big, fat 'No' for the second straight year was Owens, the league's second-leading all-time receiver, but also one of its most divisive players over a career that spanned 1996-2010. 'Unfortunately I DID NOT MAKE IT again this year,' Owens tweeted. 'Thanks to ALL my fans & supporters. 'FlawedProcess.' Warner on Owens: 'When you just look at what he accomplished, everybody looks and says, 'C'mon.' The numbers are there, the impact is there.' Warner's heyday was 1999-2001 with the Rams, whose offense was known as 'The Greatest Show on Turf.' Warner quit his job bagging groceries, and went on to win two overall MVPs and one at the Super Bowl to close the 1999 season, when the Rams captured their only Lombardi Trophy. Davis helped the Denver Broncos to 45 victories and finally pushed John Elway over the top with two Super Bowl titles. In 1998, Davis became the fourth runner to surpass 2,000 yards, with 2008. Andersen lasted 25 seasons, played in 382 games and scored 2,544 points for five teams. He was among the first to make the 50-plus-yard field goal routine. His 40 kicks of 50-yards plus were the most in NFL history at his retirement. Taylor was Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 with 13 1/2 sacks and finished his 15-year career, most of them with the Dolphins, with 139 1/2 sacks, eight interceptions and 29 fumble recoveries. Easley was the hard-hitting Seattle safety who also played only seven seasons, but made them all count. He was Defensive Player of the Year in 1984 and a four-time All-Pro selection. He finished with 32 interceptions. Jones is still very much active in charting the league's course in the 21st century. His $1.2 billion stadium, dubbed 'Jerry World,' set the standard for stadiums to follow it in New Jersey, the Bay Area, Minneapolis, Atlanta and, eventually, Los Angeles. He brokered TV and marketing deals that have helped turn the league into a $13 billion-a-year business, all the while keeping a steady — and some might agree, entertaining — presence in front of the TV cameras. 'His impact on our organization, the National Football League is significant,' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. 'He's changed the league in so many ways.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2017

Magic loosing ground on efforts to end postseason drought

em>By Terrance Harris, Associated Press /em> ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic's lofty preseason goals have morphed into disappointment and possibly more postseason futility. After years of coaching changes and constant re-imagining of the team, this was supposed to be Magic's breakthrough year into playoffs. But with the season more than halfway over and the team sitting at 19-32 and on the outside of the Eastern Playoff race, the outlook appears dismal in Orlando. 'I anticipated being as far over .500 as we are under .500,' said first-year Magic coach Frank Vogel , whose team has won just one game in its last six. 'Overall I'm disappointed in our record and working diligently to turn it around.' Despite Vogel's efforts to turn things around — shifting players in and out of the starting lineup and mixing and matching various combinations — it just hasn't worked and doesn't seem like it's going to anytime soon. The concern isn't lost on the players, either. 'We all did,' veteran small forward Jeff Green said of Vogel's belief the team would be above .500 at this point. 'We all planned, had thoughts about being a better team than we are. Our record shows otherwise.' The franchise is in full scramble mode as it tries to make good on its promise to make the postseason for the first time since Dwight Howard departed following the 2011-12 season. A trade involving either recently acquired power forward Serge Ibaka or long-time center Nikola Vucevic are not impossible ahead of the Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time) NBA trade deadline as the Magic look to find more scoring. Vogel, who joined the Magic last offseason following a successful 5.5-year run with Indiana, declined to discuss what roster moves could be made. 'I can't worry about that,' Vogel said. 'I let [general manager] Rob Hennigan worry about that. I worry about getting this group to win games. 'We'll keep looking at combinations, schemes all that stuff to figure out how to get the best out of them.' The reality is that all that Vogel has tried has ended up with the same results: the Magic not able to win consistently. Currently, Orlando is just ahead of last-place Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference standings but they are just 3.5 games behind Charlotte for the eighth and final playoff spot. The problem is six other teams are ahead of Orlando for that coveted eighth seed and of those teams only Milwaukee's 1-9 record is worse than the Magic's 2-8 record in the last 10 games. Accountability for Orlando's lack of success will almost certainly fall on Hennigan, who has gone through five head coaches and countless roster moves since Howard departed after the 2011-12 season. But Vogel almost certainly has to share blame in this season's disappointment. Last summer, Vogel and Hennigan put together a roster with emphasis on protecting the rim. They acquired center Bismack Biyombo in free agency and then traded scorer Victor Oladipo to Oklahoma City for Ibaka and first round draft pick with the plan of putting Biyombo and Ibaka on the floor together. That approach hasn't worked in part due to Orlando's offensive woes and matchup problems when teams play with four wing players and a center. That was never more obvious than Wednesday night when Vogel's old team — the Indiana Pacers — benefited immensely from the matchup of Ibaka on the quicker and better shooting Thaddeus Young. Vogel was forced to step out of his comfort zone in the second half and play a four-guard lineup but the move couldn't prevent the Magic's third double-digit loss to his former team in as many attempts this season. 'I think the league in general is obviously downsizing so we are trying to downsize within what our roster is set up to be,' Vogel said. 'Certain games you have to upsize. Right now it's a lot about matchups.' But the Magic's issues run deeper than just problematic matchups. They are also a team that lacks offensive identity or a go-to scorer. On a given night the top scoring threat can be Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton, D.J. Augustin, Green or Ibaka. But none are consistent scorers. The experiment of moving Aaron Gordon from power forward to small forward has worked well on the defensive end but offensively has been far less successful. Orlando is 28th in the league in offense (99.9 points per game) and 17th defensively (105.5). Still, some of the players believe they have the right mix and enough time to get into the playoffs. 'You're always a winning streak away until it's technically over,' Vucevic said. 'It's a very tough position for us now, but you never know, crazy things do happen.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 2nd, 2017

Warriors center Zaza Pachulia sidelined at least a week

em>By Janie McCauley, Associated Press /em> OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia has a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder and will be sidelined for at least a week. He underwent an MRI exam Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and expressed his relief a day later that the injury wasn't more serious. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated after a week. Pachulia made a diving play to secure a steal in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's (Monday, PHL time) 113-111 victory at Portland, and his outstretched right arm landed awkwardly and his shoulder made contact with the ball. Two-time reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry was set to play Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) against his hometown Hornets at Oracle Arena. Curry missed the game at Portland after waking up with the stomach flu — something he believes he picked up from his two young daughters who are both now in preschool. 'I heard when you start your kids in school that first year or two, you're pretty much susceptible to any and everything,' Curry said. 'So far it's been OK, we just had a little rough go last week. Everything's good.' Pachulia said he knew he had hurt his shoulder on the play but finished the game and once he cooled down, he noticed the pain. He has made big strides since mid-December, so this is a minor setback — though Pachulia is determined to make it a positive and use the time while receiving treatment to stay in shape and work to get stronger. 'Right now there's progress,' he said. 'It definitely feels better every day. ... At the end of the day, we need healthy bodies. That's the beauty of this team, we have so many weapons and options. I wish everybody was available but injuries are a part of the game. I'm just glad it's not more serious than what it is.' Curry was surprised he didn't lose much weight and feels his 'energy is good, ready to go.' 'Probably a smart decision to not try to one, get anybody else sick, two, push my body past the limits it was already at and try to play that night,' Curry said after Wednesday morning's (Thursday, PHL time) shootaround. 'It was a really boring night at the hotel watching the game. Couldn't even watch our own broadcast, which sucked. No offense to the Portland people.' Already down big man David West, Golden State's frontcourt is short-handed. 'Nothing easy,' Curry groaned, rubbing his eyes several times when told of Pachulia's status . 'Next man up. Obviously those two guys are important parts of what we do. ... Just like when I was out, we found a way to get it done. We need to do that and have obviously a physical presence and continue to rebound at a high level while he's out.' West was scheduled to have a follow-up X-ray later Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) on a non-displaced fracture of his left thumb suffered Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City. James Michael McAdoo had eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes of last Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) 10-point win at Charlotte and could be an option, along with JaVale McGee, Damian Jones and Anderson Varejao. Warriors coach Steve Kerr was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for January after Golden State went an NBA-best 12-2 for the month. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017

World Sports: Star boosts top-2 push with romp of Mahindra

THE Star Hotshots padded their push for a top-two finish at the end of the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round, beating the Mahindra Floodbuster, 124-87, yesterday in the final play date of the classification phase......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017

Meet Star's new Mr. Hotshot

After missing not one, not two, but three go-ahead buckets in Star's overtime loss to Alaska three weeks ago, Allein Maliksi has been on an absolute tear for the Hotshots. Over the last four games, all of which were Star victories by an average of 27.8 points, Maliksi has bounced back quite nicely, going for 24.3 points per outing. His latest scoring masterpiece Wednesday against Mahindra was his best though as the former UST Growling Tiger once again came off the bench and scored a career-high 33 points. What's more impressive is that Maliksi was near-perfect from the field, shooting 78 percent and was 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. 'Yung sa Alaska game, yung last shot na nag-miss at yung dalawang potential game-winner na nag-miss din, nasa isip ko nun, it will either make you or break you,' Maliksi said, recalling that fateful Wednesday night when he turn from hero to goat in a matter of minutes. 'Chinallenge ko yung sarili ko na i-improve pa yung shooting ko at finocus ko yung mindset ko na lahat ng proper technique para magawa ko para mataas yung percentage ko. Gusto ko din itaas yung level ng basketball ko. Ito na yung chance to grab the break yung opportunity na binibigay sa kin,' he added, taking advantage of an obvious hole left in the Star lineup since a certain super scorer left the team. Playing limited minutes as the Hotshots' sixth man hasn't stopped Maliksi from dropping big numbers. However, the Hotshots dominating opponets has robbed him of chances to try and break his previous career-high of 29 points. He finally did it against the Floodbuster, still while only playing a little over 22 minutes. 'Last two games ko pa gusto makuha yun [career high] kaso medyo mga blowout na yun kaya hindi na kami pinasok ni coach,' Maliksi said. 'Thankful ako ngayon na nakuha ko na yung career high ko,' he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017

Maliksi leads Star to another impressive win

Allein Maliksi is still on fire and it appears there's no end yet to his scoring explosions. The former UST star poured a career-high 33 points in just 22 minutes as the Star Hotshots manhandled also-ran Mahindra in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup, 124-87, Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome. Despite Star already up 28 points at the break, Maliksi dropped 20 points in the second half, leading the Hotshots to their second straight blowout victory. Maliksi added three rebounds and one assists to his stat line but more impressive is him shooting 78 percent from the field, including 7-of-8 from deep, and was a team-high plus 34 off the bench. The victory was Star's fourth straight and now head to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 mark. The Hotshots are assured of at least the third seed in the playoffs but they get to keep second place if Alaska drops its final game to Rain or Shine. Star was all business to start the game, ending the first 12 minutes up by 22 points, 41-19. It was all Hotshots the rest of the way naturally, with the biggest lead standing at 46 points, 124-78, before the Floodbuster scored the game's last nine points for the final tally. 'Again, it's all about our defense. We prepared hard for this game kasi chinallenge ko yung mga players ko na I know we are in the quarterfinals but we need to gain momentum. I'm thankful to the players para ma-solidify yung chance namin for the second spot,' head coach Chito Victolero said as Star held Mahindra to only 37 percent shooting. Aside from Maliksi, five other Star players scored in double figures led by Paul Lee's 16 points. Jio Jalalon, Justin Melton, and Aldrech Ramos all chipped in 11 each. Alex Mallari and Nico Salva paced the Floodbuster with 15 points apiece. Mahindra wrapped up its Philippine Cup campaign with a 3-8 record.   The scores: STAR 124 - Maliksi 33, Lee 16, Melton 11, Ramos 11, Jalalon 11, Sangalang 10, Abundo 8, Barroca 7, Brondial 6, Reavis 5, Pingris 2, Javier 2, Dela Rosa 2, De Leon 0. MAHINDRA 87 - Salva 15, Mallari 15, Yee 14, Paniamogan 9, Revilla 7, Ballesteros 6, Teng 6, Celda 5, Apinan 4, Elorde 2, Eriobu 2, Galanza 2, Nimes 0. Quarterscores: 41-19, 68-40, 93-65, 124-87   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017

Raptors outlast Pelicans 108-106 in OT

em>By Paul Attfield, Associated Press /em> TORONTO (AP) — Kyle Lowry had 33 points and 10 assists, and made the tie-breaking jumper with 4.3 seconds left in overtime as the Toronto Raptors outlasted the New Orleans Pelicans 108-106 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Jonas Valanciunas added 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Lowry matched his season high from three-point range, going 6-of-14. It was the Raptors' third straight win over the Pelicans, and their ninth in the last 11 meetings. Jrue Holiday scored 30 points and Anthony Davis had 18 points and 17 rebounds for his 30th double-double as the Pelicans lost their second straight. Down 106-102 with just over a minute to play in OT, New Orleans tied the game on Davis' floating jump shot with 29 seconds to go. But Lowry worked the shot clock at the other end, finally putting the Raptors in front for good on his step-back jumper. E'Twaun Moore, who tied a career high with five three-pointers, had a chance to win it from beyond the arc for the Pelicans with 1.9 seconds to go, but his shot missed. The Raptors limited Davis to four points in the first quarter, but New Orleans got plenty of offense from beyond the arc, as Buddy Hield and Holiday had two three-pointers apiece and each finished with eight points as the Pelicans took a 25-23 edge. The Pelicans shot 8-of-16 from beyond the arc in the first half, compared to 2-of-12 for the Raptors. The Pelicans closed the half on a 7-0 run for a 60-46 lead. But the Raptors started the third quarter on a 12-1 run to get right back into the contest. They took their first lead since the 3:32 mark of the second on DeMarre Carroll's jump shot with 5:01 remaining in the period, ultimately taking a 77-75 lead into the fourth. In a game with 19 lead changes, Davis a chance to put the Pelicans back in front with 49 seconds to play, but could only hit the backboard, giving possession back to the Raptors. Holiday then stole the ball from Lowry with 23 seconds left and had a chance to win it with 0.9 seconds remaining in regulation, but he missed with his jump shot. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Pelicans: /strong> /em>After playing 18 consecutive games, G-F Tyreke Evans was given the night off for rest. G-F Quincy Pondexter (left knee) did not play. F Dante Cunningham (right wrist) left the game with six minutes remaining in the first quarter and did not return. em> strong>Raptors: /strong> /em>G DeMar DeRozan (right ankle) was sidelined for both Tuesday and Wednesday's games (Wednesday and Thursday, PHL time), the team announced, after swelling reappeared in the ankle he sprained last week, keeping him out of three games. Toronto has swept the season series with New Orleans in four out of the last five years. For the sixth time in their last nine games, the Raptors trailed at halftime. C Lucas Nogueira has now had at least one blocked shot in 33 of his last 34 games. strong>NEW LOOK FOR THE NEW YEAR /strong> For the second and last time this season, the Raptors wore their red Chinese New Year uniforms to pay tribute to Chinese culture. One of four NBA teams to sport the alternate uniforms, alongside Golden State, Houston and Washington, the Raptors had a number of themed events during the game, such as rooster toy giveaways and dance recitals. strong>RISING HIGH /strong> Toronto guard Norman Powell, 6’4”, brought the home crowd to its feet 4:12 into the second half, driving at the 6’10” Davis, before rising above him to throw down a one-handed dunk. strong>PAYING RESPECT /strong> Before the game, both teams and the rest of the Air Canada Centre observed a moment of silence in memory of the six victims of Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) shooting at a Quebec City mosque. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Pelicans: /strong> /em> Visit Detroit on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) aiming to extend an eight-game winning streak over the Pistons. em> strong>Raptors: /strong> /em>Visit Boston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), looking for a third straight victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics this season. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017