Mahindra Floodbuster electrifies PBA with small ball offense

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

Category: sportsSource: thestandard thestandardJan 12th, 2017

BLOGTABLE: Early picks for Rookie of the Year?

em> blogtable /em> Name your top three, ridiculously early Kia Rookie of the Year candidates. * * * strong>David Aldridge: /strong>Good Lord. Okay, for purposes of this ridiculously early exercise, I think you have to go Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Dennis Smith Jr. No particular order. strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong> 1. Lonzo Ball br /> 2. Ben Simmons br /> 3. Dennis Smith Jr. Ball grabbed an early lead with his strong showing at the Las Vegas Summer League, and if he’s able to meet or exceed the lofty expectations his team, Lakers fans and the NBA overall have for him, he could win the ROY running away. Ben Simmons figures to be Philadelphia’s latest second-year Rookie candidate, owing to his injury-zapped 2016-17, but like the Sixers’ Joel Embiid and Dario Saric last season, Simmons could wind up splitting votes with teammate Markelle Fultz. Smith Jr. strikes me as a perfect blend of talent, opportunity, drive and need, in that Dallas might basically flip the new point guard the franchise keys and let him drive serious minutes all season long. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong> 1. Lonzo Ball br /> 2. De'Aaron Fox br /> 3. Dennis Smith Jr. And that will likely change week to week. Unlike last season, we'll have a real rookie race. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong> 1. Ben Simmons br /> 2. Lonzo Ball br /> 3. Dennis Smith Jr. But this could be such a great season for rookies that we could go five names and still be leaving out legit candidates. The draft alone was good enough to get excited about the first-year class of 2017-18. And it also includes the guy who would have been the favorite entering last season, Simmons, before getting hurt. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong> 1. Ben Simmons br /> 2. De'Aaron Fox br /> 3. Dennis Smith Jr. They're the three players who are most likely to have the combination of playing time and responsibility, which should translate into statistics. Will they be the three best players five years from now? Perhaps not. But it's hard to see a first-year player being in better situations than Simmons in Philly, Fox on the rebuilding Kings (where there's little competition at point guard) and Smith (ditto). strong>John Schuhmann: /strong> 1. Lonzo Ball br /> 2. Ben Simmons br /> 3. Dennis Smith Jr. All three of those guys will have the ball in their hands for teams looking to build for the future around their skill sets. So the opportunities are there for them to put up strong boxscore numbers. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong> 1. Lonzo Ball br /> 2. Dennis Smith Jr. br /> 3. Josh Jackson It is ridiculously early for Rookie of the Year candidates, but this is the silly season. So why not? Lonzo Ball has to headline anyone's short list. The Lakers' face of the franchise showed us exactly what he can do during summer league. He's joined on my short list by fellow top lottery picks Dennis Smith Jr., who will have the ball in his hands from the first day of training camp in Dallas, and Josh Jackson, who slides into a comfortable role at small forward for the Phoenix Suns. Jayson Tatum would have normally been in my top three, but the competition for playing time at his position in Boston is going to be fierce. It remains to be seen just how many quality minutes are available for the talented wing player in Brad Stevens' rotation. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong> 1. Lonzo Ball br /> 2. Markelle Fultz br /> 3. Dennis Smith Jr. Lonzo Ball enters the year with unmatched hype, the opportunity to make all of the plays for his team, and low expectations for his team -- a ROY perfect storm. Markelle Fultz is sure to put up big numbers for the 76ers, though the success of his team may hinge largely on the health of Joel Embiid. Dennis Smith Jr. will benefit from quarterbacking Rick Carlisle’s offense and Dirk Nowitzki’s leadership. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong> 1. Lonzo Ball br /> 2. Josh Jackson br /> 3. John Collins At the tip top of my list is Lonzo Ball. I didn't see much of him at UCLA but had questions about how his game would translate to the next level. But after seeing Ball last week in Vegas, I'm sold. The word I kept coming back to when watching him play was 'connectability,' as in Ball somehow manages to act as a link between whoever he is on the court alongside. His shooting is still inconsistent, but his touch and feel and timing were, to me, off the charts. I also really liked Josh Jackson, who has the tools to be a terrific athletic big for the Suns. And if you want a darkhorse pick, how about John Collins of the Hawks? John the Baptist made first team all-tournament in Vegas and is going to dunk on a lot of people this season. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2017

Lonzo Ball's draft stock stays strong with Lakers watching

Lonzo Ball's draft stock stays strong with Lakers watching br /> GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer   LOS ANGELES (AP) — By now the entire basketball world knows Lonzo Ball is a singular talent with a unique parent. The UCLA product with preternatural court vision is among the most intriguing prospects in the NBA draft this week. In perhaps the greatest testament to his abilities, his father LaVar Ball's bombast and $495 shoes and racially insensitive comments don't appear to be scaring off the Los Angeles Lakers or any other team that believes Lonzo could be the next great point guard. Because of his headline-magnet father, Ball's celebrity has already outpaced his talents before he plays his first professional game. Yet ever since his days leading the Big Ballers AAU team set up by his dad, Lonzo has shown nothing but maturity and calm in the face of LaVar's audacious approaches to hoops, parenting and the business of sports. 'I think it definitely doesn't help,' Ball said of his father's notoriety. 'Definitely makes it a little bit harder. But any good player is going to have attention on him at all times, and I'm pretty used to it by now.' Ball's mental steadiness is another big reason he's almost certain to be a top-three pick on Thursday. Ever since the Lakers got the No. 2 choice in the lottery last month, most draft observers have believed Ball will wear a gold jersey in the fall, completing a serendipitous match of player and team. That's been the dream scenario for the entire Ball family ever since Lonzo showed the first inklings of world-class talent. He was raised in Chino Hills, a suburb about 35 miles east of Staples Center, and LaVar Ball is an ardent fan of the Lakers — and specifically Magic Johnson, the Hall of Fame point guard now running their basketball operations. After Ball worked out for the Lakers last week, he didn't mince words about his hopes to make it permanent: 'Of course. I want to stay home.' Los Angeles and its sprawling suburbs have produced an incredible portion of the NBA's top talent of recent years. All three MVP finalists this season — Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard — are from the area, as are Paul George, Klay Thompson, Tyson Chandler, DeMar DeRozan and many others. Although the Lakers have been his family's team since before he could walk, Ball said he hasn't been to many games in person: 'My dad didn't like the seats, because I guess they were too small for him.' That's understandable, since father and son are both 6-foot-6. Lonzo watched on television and then emulated the stars from Magic to Kobe Bryant while playing with his brothers at home. 'I patterned my game after (Johnson),' Ball said. 'My dad asked me what position I wanted to play. I told him, 'Point guard.' He was like, 'All right, if you're going to play point guard, you've got to get the ball up.'' That's what Ball does better than almost any guard in recent college basketball history. He led the nation in assists (7.7) while turning the Bruins into the highest-scoring team in Division I basketball. The freshman showed astonishing passing ability while orchestrating the UCLA offense, utilizing angles and defensive creases that made him look more like an attacking soccer midfielder than a basketball player. And if any NBA team is worried about having the ultimate sports parent in the front row, UCLA coach Steve Alford has repeatedly said LaVar wasn't a problem for him — and Lonzo's two little brothers are both planning to play in Westwood. Ball admits his father gives him unwanted notoriety. He also promises he can handle any distraction. 'That was said about me in college, said about me in high school,' he said. 'I don't think it affected me.' Just a few days away from the decision, Ball still appears to be a splendid fit with the Lakers, whose up-tempo offense under coach Luke Walton looks tailor-made for Ball's skills. The Lakers just completed the worst four-year stretch in franchise history, but their fans hope that another playmaking superstar will be their reward for the 16-time NBA champions' misery. Ball is one of those fans. 'They need a leader,' Ball said after working out for the Lakers recently. 'They need a point guard, and I feel like I can fill that hole. ... They said they want me to come in — if I get picked — come in and be a leader and play with a lot of pace. So the stuff they were saying was very positive, and it kind of fits my game.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2017

Capsule preview: Warriors vs Cavaliers in 2017 NBA Finals

em>By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press /em> strong>Season series: /strong> Tied, 1-1. The Cavaliers pulled out a 109-108 victory in their heavily hyped Christmas Day matchup in Cleveland when Kyrie Irving made a turnaround jumper with 3.4 seconds remaining to complete a comeback from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit. Golden State answered with a 126-91 rout nearly a month later, leading by as much as 39 points at home against a Cavaliers team that lacked energy in the last game of a six-game road trip. strong>Storyline: /strong>The Warriors and Cavaliers made NBA history by becoming the first teams to meet in three straight NBA Finals. Golden State won in 2015, Cleveland erased a 3-1 deficit to win its first championship last year, and the rubber match that was expected all along was set up easily with the teams combining for just one loss through three rounds. strong>Key Matchup: /strong>Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James. Their second NBA Finals matchup comes five years after their first, when James won his first championship as Miami overpowered Oklahoma City in 2012. Durant has a much better team and has become a much more complete player now in his first season with the Warriors. But this also may be the best all-around version of James, who is averaging 32.5 points on nearly 57 percent shooting, and adding 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. strong>Position-by-position matchups /strong> strong>CENTER: /strong> Zaza Pachulia vs. Tristan Thompson. Pachulia is back and ready to go after missing two games in the Western Conference finals with a heel injury. He may not be out there long if the Warriors decide they need more mobility against Thompson, who is nearly averaging a double-double and shooting 60 percent while creating plenty of extra possessions with his offensive rebounding for the Cavaliers. em> strong>Edge: /strong> /em>Cavaliers. strong>POWER FORWARD: /strong>Draymond Green vs. Kevin Love. Green wanted the matchup with the Cavaliers after Golden State fell short last year despite his brilliant game seven, and now here it comes. On top of his versatility and defense that is so important to Golden State, he's shooting 47 percent from three-point range in the postseason, tops on a team that has some of the best perimeter shooters in the world. Love broke out in a big way in the Eastern Conference finals after opening the playoffs with two quiet rounds, averaging 22.6 points and 12.4 rebounds against Boston. em> strong>Edge: /strong> /em> Warriors. strong>SMALL FORWARD: /strong> Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James. Durant has been terrific in his first postseason with the Warriors, averaging 25.2 points on 55.6 percent shooting. James has been even better, putting up 32.5 points on nearly 57 percent shooting, and adding 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. James won his first NBA title five years ago at Durant's expense, and now Durant tries to get his first playing against James. em> strong>Edge: /strong> /em> Cavaliers. strong>SHOOTING GUARD: /strong>Klay Thompson vs. J.R. Smith. Thompson's shot has been off in the postseason, hitting just about 38 percent from the field, but his defense is probably more important than his offense now anyway as the usual primary defender against Kyrie Irving. Smith has had a quiet postseason, playing more than 30 minutes and taking more than eight shots just once in the Eastern Conference finals. em> strong>Edge: /strong> /em> Warriors. strong>POINT GUARD: /strong>Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving. With his big performance in Game 5 that helped start Cleveland's comeback, his three-pointer in game seven and then his go-ahead basket in their Christmas Day matchup, Irving has repeatedly hurt the Warriors. Now he comes into this series off a sizzling conference finals series, shooting 62 percent against Boston. Curry is averaging 28.6 points in the playoffs and looking like a different player now than heading into last year's NBA Finals after a knee injury earlier in the postseason. em> strong>Edge: /strong> /em> Warriors. strong>RESERVES: /strong>Andre Iguodala, Shawn Livingston, JaVale McGee, Ian Clark, David West, and Patrick McCaw vs. Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Deron Williams and Richard Jefferson. Iguodala has shot the ball poorly in the postseason but the 2015 NBA Finals MVP will be on the floor plenty anyway because of his other contributions. Meanwhile, McGee (74 percent), Livingston (61), West (57) and Clark (52) have shot it great. Frye and Korver had their minutes slashed in the last round but the Cavaliers figure to need their three-point shooting now against the tougher Golden State defense. em> strong>Edge: /strong> /em>Warriors. strong>COACHES: /strong>Steve Kerr or Mike Brown vs. Tyronn Lue. Kerr is still trying to determine if his back is healthy enough to return to the bench. If not, Brown, who replaced him midway through the first round, faces the team he led to the 2007 NBA Finals. Lue tries to build on the terrific start to his coaching career by becoming just the second NBA coach to win titles in his first two seasons. em> strong>Edge: /strong> /em> Even. strong>Prediction: /strong> Warriors in 7. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 31st, 2017

Mahindra floods Blackwater to pick up crucial victory

At this point it its Commissioner's Cup campaign, Mahindra has to be perfect if it wants to have a chance of making the playoffs. Against Blackwater Sunday, the Floodbuster gave themselves a chance to perfect the rest of the way. Mahindra scored a big 96-87 win over the Elite, improving to 2-7 in the mid-season joust to maintain a very small window of opportunity to crash the playoff party. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 7th, 2017

KaTropa make it four straight after surviving Mahindra

TNT hasn't been winning pretty in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup but the team winning is all that matters. The KaTropa endured a strong challenge from a game Mahindra Floodbuster before escaping with a close 86-84 victory Sunday at the MOA Arena. It was the KaTropa's fourth straight win in the mid-season conference, pushing their record to 4-1. 'At least the win today wasn't a come from behind win, I think we were leading all the way,' head coach Nash Racela said, noting TNT's last victory two days ago where the KaTropa had to erase a 29-point deficit to beat NLEX in overtime. 'During the half I was telling the team that this is the time to build, develop good habits. Obviously we weren't able to do that. It's just good that we're getting wins despite playing that way,' he added. Despite controlling the majority of the contest, the KaTropa never managed to pull away from the Floodbuster as the team still needed a strong fourth-quarter effort to avoid an upset. Fortunately, TNT had enough of a lead built during the first half to weather Mahindra's rally. Donte Greene led the TNT offense with 24 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists but the former NBA veteran continues to fire blanks, shooting only 33 percent from the field. Troy Rosario and Jayson Castro were the team's top locals with 11 and 10 points respectively. Keith Wright paced the now 1-5 Floodbuster with 26 points and 13 boards while LA Revilla finally exploded in the new tournament, going for 20 markers in a losing effort.   br /> The Scores: TNT 86 - Greene 24, Rosario 11, Castro 10, Tautuaa 9, Rosales 8, Pogoy 6, Fonacier 5, De Ocampo 5, Williams 4, Reyes 3, Carey 1, Tamsi 0. MAHINDRA 84 - Wright 26, Revilla 20, Mallari 17, Elorde 6, Salva 5, Paniamogan 4, Deutchman 3, Caperal 2, Yee 1, Ballesteros 0, Corpuz 0, Celda 0, Guevarra 0, Galanza 0.  Quarters: 18-17, 47-38, 65-62, 86-84.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 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

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

Pizarro's goal gives Mexico 1-0 win over Honduras

Pizarro's goal gives Mexico 1-0 win over Honduras br /> BOB BAUM, AP Sports Writer   GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A goal by Rodolfo Pizarro just over three minutes into the game was all the offense Mexico could muster but it was enough for a 1-0 victory over Honduras on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. While its offense bogged down, Mexico survived several near-misses by Honduras in the second half. The victory in front of 37,404 at University of Phoenix Stadium moved Mexico into a semifinal match against Jamaica in the Rose Bowl on Sunday. It's a rematch of the championship game of the last Gold Cup, a 3-1 Mexico victory in 2015. Mexico and Jamaica played to a 0-0 draw this year in the Gold Cup group stage. The United States plays Costa Rica on Saturday in Arlington, Texas, in the other semifinal. The Mexican team was without several top players who had played in the recently completed Confederations Cup in Russia. Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said Wednesday that he had planned to bring some of those players to the Gold Cup but was thwarted by 'our bosses and their clubs.' Only one of the 23 players on Mexico's roster played in the Confederations Cup. Osorio again was not on the sideliner Thursday night. He was serving the fourth of a six-game FIFA suspension for using 'insulting words' to an official during a Confederations Cup match July 2. Osorio watched from suite high above the field. His suspension would end with the Gold Cup championship game if Mexico wins its semifinal. Two slick passes inside the penalty area led to Mexico's goal in the fourth minute of the game. Orbelin Pineda got the ball crisply to Jesus Duenas, who passed to the right side to Pizarro, who had nothing but open net in front of him for the shot. Pizarro and Pineda are teammates for Chivas Guadalajara, winner of the Mexican first division (Liga MX) championship in May. It was Pizarro's first goal of the tournament and only the second allowed by Honduras in four Gold Cup matches. After virtually nothing in the first half, Honduras had a handful of solid chances over the span of a couple of minutes in the second half. The first came on a free kick by Romell Quioto, who plays for the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer. Mexico goalkeeper Jesus Corona had to make a lunging stop. Moments later, Ovidio Lanza worked the ball in for a short-range shot that was blocked by Corona. In the 93rd minute, a shot from in front of the net by Alfredo Mejia went just to the right of the goal. It was Honduras' last gasp. Honduras did not score on the field in the tournament but made the quarterfinals thanks to a forfeit by French Guiana. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 21st, 2017

BLOGTABLE: Best free agent signing of 2017?

em> blogtable /em> The best free-agent signing this summer was ... ? * * * strong>David Aldridge: /strong> Paul Millsap with Denver (technically, a sign-and-trade with Atlanta and the Clippers). Just love what I think is going to be a perfect fit between a four-time All-Star who still should have two or three top seasons left in him -- which dovetails perfectly with his contract. Millsap remains one of the most underrated guys in the game, able to impact the game as a scorer, rebounder, defender and passer. I just think he should be a great complement playing off of Nikola Jokic with his ability to space the floor and pass. And the Nuggets needed another veteran voice in what is still a pretty young locker room. strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong> Paul Millsap to Denver struck me as a nice acquisition, one that addresses needs for the Nuggets both on the floor and in the seams. Millsap is a grown-up and repeat All-Star who brings leadership, which only matters if he can play his solid, versatile, ball-optional game up front. His deal -- three years, $90 million -- protects the Nuggets with that final year as a team option. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong>Kevin Durant. The MVP of The Finals took less than the max so the Warriors could keep the core together with Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston and make the defending champs the solid favorites for 2018. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong>The best was the Warriors' package deal of retaining Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. That's a decent outcome for Golden State. But if the conversation is free agents who were in play, then it's Gordon Hayward to Boston. To add a young All-Star without giving up anything in return, to a roster that already has a large window of opportunity, when the player and coach already have a very good relationship, would be tough to top most summers. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong>Easy answer: Gordon Hayward with the Celtics. He wasn't the most economical signing (Jonathon Simmons to Orlando) but in terms of an impact signing, he's right at the top. I look for Hayward to mesh easily with Brad Stevens, his former college coach; and mentally because he's not the savior of the franchise; and have a seamless relationship with Isaiah Thomas because Hayward isn't bringing a massive ego. strong>John Schuhmann: /strong>There's nothing better than re-signing the Finals MVP (and the second best player in the world) for less than 75 percent of the max, even if Kevin Durant's return to Golden State was a foregone conclusion. Gordon Hayward was the best player to change teams via free agency, gives the Celtics a much-needed, secondary playmaker, and makes what was a top-10 offense last season tougher to defend. And my personal favorite was the Clippers bringing the brilliant passing of Milos Teodosic from Europe. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>In a summer when there were trades (Chris Paul to Houston, Paul George to Oklahoma City) that could have more impact than any free agent signing, I have to go with Gordon Hayward to Boston as the best signing of this summer. Hayward chose a path East while it seemed every other star of significance was relocating West. Boston has a well-stocked roster, one ready to challenge Cleveland for the top spot and the chance to represent the Eastern Conference in The Finals next year. While Hayward is not necessarily a 'superstar,' he is in that tier below and more than capable of helping push the Celtics to a higher level. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong>Kevin Durant. By re-signing him to $9.5 million less than the max, the Warriors were able to max-out Steph Curry, retain their key bench players and add Nick Young. No other offseason move will have a greater influence on the championship race. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong>One of the biggest signings this summer was Gordon Hayward to Boston, and certainly the Celtics will once again be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. But I really like the way Hayward's former team, the Utah Jazz, navigated free agency. First they re-signed Joe Ingles, one of the NBA's best glue guys and an ace outside shooter, then following Hayward's departure they signed two terrific, active wing players in Thabo Sefolosha and Jonas Jerebko. Add in the trade for Ricky Rubio, and the Jazz may not be as good as they were a season ago, but I don't think they're going to be appreciably worse, either. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2017

With Otto Porter deal done, Wizards keep young core together

em>By Brian McNally, Associated Press /em> WASHINGTON (AP) — Otto Porter is a quiet, complementary piece to the Wizards’ talented young core. He is also now Washington’s highest-paid player. At least temporarily. Guards John Wall and Bradley Beal garner most of the attention as Washington has made it to the second round of the NBA playoffs three of the last four seasons. But for now, Porter makes the most money after the Wizards matched a four-year, $106.5 million max-contract offer sheet the forward signed with the Brooklyn Nets. There might be questions if the 24-year-old Porter is worth that money. But the Wizards believe he is a good fit alongside Wall, 26, a four-time All-Star, and Beal, 24, one of the league’s top shooting guards. “You just use that as motivation just like John and Brad did,” Porter said at a news conference Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). “They set the bar high. I’m going to set my bar, high, too.” Porter entered this offseason as a restricted free agent, and when agent David Falk couldn’t agree to terms with Washington on July 1, he chose to shop his client’s services. The Sacramento Kings showed interest, but the Nets were the most serious and made a run at Porter. “They felt like they wanted to test the market to see if there was something more out there, and they did,” Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. “But it wasn’t a big decision because all along we said we wanted to keep our young core together.” It probably won’t be long before Wall surpasses Porter as the Wizards highest-paid player. Wall was named third-team All-NBA this past season, and the point guard is eligible to sign a $160 million, four-year super max contract any time before the 2017-18 season begins. Wall will not become an unrestricted free agent until 2019. Re-signing Porter was a top priority for Washington this summer. The No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft out of Georgetown, Porter had a breakthrough season. He ranked fourth in field goal percentage among small forwards (51.6 percent) and fifth among all NBA players in three-point percentage (43.4 percent). Porter’s ability to fit seamlessly with Wall and Beal without needing the ball in his hands is a huge plus, too, according to Grunfeld. At 6’8”, Porter’s length also plays a significant role in the Wizards’ defensive concepts. His skillset was so valuable to Washington the Wizards surpassed the NBA’s luxury-tax threshold by matching the offer sheet. “I never look at Otto and judge him by the stat sheet,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “He does so many little things that the stats don’t show. He dives on the floor for a loose ball, he sets screens. He makes the extra pass to the corner, offensive rebounds. “You can never have enough high-character guys that are committed to each and that’s what he is,” Brooks said. “He’s a max person in my mind.” .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2017

Phoenix scores impressive first win to open Governors' Cup

Eugene Phelps didn't score 50+ plus points this time around but 'El Destructor' once again made sure Phoenix is off to a good start with him around. The Fuel Masters scored a convincing 118-105 win over the re-branded Kia Picanto Wednesday at the Big Dome, opening the 2017 PBA Governors' Cup with a nice 1-0 record. Phelps, who is making his third stint for Phoenix since last season, anchored the offense, going for 33 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks. In his previous two debut games for Phoenix, El Destructor dropped 52 and 53 points respectively, both wins. 'Good start for us. We broke our losing streak from last conference which started with a Mahindra loss,' head coach Ariel Vanguardia said. 'We had a chance to be number six and we lost to Mahindra and NLEX. That really derailed us last conference,' he added, talking about how the Fuel Masters missed out on a more favorable seeding in the Commissioner's Cup, settling for seventh place and a date against eventual champion San Miguel instead. In control all game long, Phoenix stepped on the gas in the fourth period, taking a 15-point lead to finally put the game on ice. Aside from Phelps, six locals scored at least eight points for the Fuel Masters led by JC Intal and RJ Jazul who dropped 19 and 18 points respectively. The Picanto, who are once again under the Kia branding after spending time as Mahindra, got 31 points from import Markeith Cummings.   The scores: PHOENIX 118 - Phelps 33, Intal 19, Jazul 18, Eriobu 12, Baguio 11, Dehesa 9, Alolino 8, W. Wilson 4, Kramer 2, J. Wilson 2, Lanete 0, Hayes 0, Borboran 0, Miranda 0. KIA 105 - Cummings 31, Galanza 15, Jaime 11, Revilla 10, Paniamogan 9, Caperal 8, Khobuntin 7, Teng 5, Corpuz 4, Celda 3, Camson 2, Ballesteros 0, Elorde 0, Salva 0. Quarters: 33-24, 57-48, 83-75, 118-105.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 19th, 2017

Lakers showing life with summer league title, KCP signing

em>By Greg Beacham, Associated Press /em> EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers’ impressive run to a Las Vegas summer league championship was still on Magic Johnson’s mind when he returned home to introduce Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, his biggest free agent signing to date. When asked to explain why he was excited about adding the talented two-way guard to the young core that excelled in Vegas, Magic brought out a little Showtime. “If we don’t defend, we can’t run,” Johnson said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), his voice rising with excitement. “And we want to run, run, run, run, run. You can’t do that unless you get stops. So I’m going to love to see him on one wing, B.I. [Brandon Ingram] on the other. [Lonzo] Ball is in the middle. Julius [Randle] trailing, [Brook] Lopez trailing after that — whoooooo! It’s going to be awesome.” As president of basketball operations, Johnson is responsible for creating and executing a plan to return the Lakers to championship contention after the worst four-year stretch in franchise history. Yet he realizes he’s equally responsible for selling that plan to his players, potential free agents and the Lakers’ vast worldwide fan base. Not many people can talk like the Lakers’ loquacious Hall of Famer, and Magic says he’s even better when he really has something to sell. After Johnson’s coup in landing Caldwell-Pope last week was followed by an eye-catching performance in Las Vegas from Summer League MVP Ball and his summertime teammates, this long-struggling franchise is showing signs of life. Magic intends to make sure everybody knows it. “We’re already better,” Johnson said. “I’ll tell you what, I would not want to miss a Laker game this season, because it’s going to be exciting every single night. Just like we saw in summer league, it was exciting every game, and it’s going to happen during the season, too. It’s going to be amazing.” The Lakers entered the offseason at the lowest point in the 16-time NBA champion franchise’s history. Los Angeles won just 91 games in the past four seasons combined, and owner Jeanie Buss blew up her front office last season while the Lakers missed the playoffs in four straight years for the first time ever. When Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took over in February, they mapped out a plan to fix the franchise. They made a list of objectives, ranging from adding a pass-first point guard to preserving enough salary-cap space for two max contracts in 2018 free agency. They traded D’Angelo Russell to create that cap room last month, and they subsequently drafted Ball and Vegas championship game MVP Kyle Kuzma to flesh out a young core that promptly won the summer league. Their loyal fans packed Las Vegas for the past two weeks, producing the league’s first sold-out game against Boston on July 8 (July 9, PHL time) and cheering on the youngsters who represent hope after the Lakers’ steady half-decade decline. “I think what we saw in Vegas is that there is a new energy around the Lakers,” said Pelinka, Johnson’s constant companion from their pre-workout morning phone calls to their entire workdays spent in each other’s offices. “We have to find greatness in the details before we can get another championship trophy, and that’s what everyone is committed to here. I know each of our players that are here today are committed to that, and that’s what KCP is committed to as well.” The Lakers’ team bus from summer league play returned to El Segundo moments before Caldwell-Pope’s introductory news conference, and the summer stars stayed in the gym to welcome their new teammate. Ball sat in the front row next to Ingram, who stuck around in Vegas for the past two weeks to be with his teammates, even though his summer season ended after one game due to injury precautions. Caldwell-Pope agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal to keep open his options next summer, but the mere fact that the longtime Detroit starter would agree to join the rebuilding Lakers left Johnson visibly grateful. Magic’s father back home in Michigan helped to sell him on Caldwell-Pope, who was Earvin Sr.’s favorite Piston. Caldwell-Pope was largely quiet while receiving his new gold No. 1 jersey, but he already sounded excited about his fit in coach Luke Walton’s plan for an up-tempo offense manned by versatile players filling multiple positions. “I think that’s part of my game, just running the wing, defending,” Caldwell-Pope said. “I’m good for running. I run every day. That’s me. I like to run. We get the rebound, I’m already going down the court. When we get a stop, I’m going. I’m just excited.” .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 19th, 2017

Beverley brings defensive mindset to Clippers

em>By Jill Painter Lopez /em> LOS ANGELES (AP) — Patrick Beverley was first in line among all the newest Clippers to walk into an introductory news conference. Then Beverley, who was dealt to the Clippers in a six-player trade that sent Chris Paul to Houston, stopped on a dime and allowed the five others to walk onto the stage first. He will not, however, take a back seat to Paul, a nine-time All-Star. When Beverley was asked about replacing Paul, his response was short and strong. “Let me get this out of the way: I’m not Chris Paul,” Beverley said. “I reiterate, I am not Chris Paul. Understand, he is not me either.” And that was that. Beverley wants the comparison to Paul to end there, but it will follow him as long as he’s the point guard for the Clippers and Paul is with the Rockets. They’re inextricably linked, like it or not. Beverley, no longer playing in the same backcourt with James Harden, is expected to have more freedom in an offense that will feature more ball movement than when Paul ran the system under coach Doc Rivers. He will be counted on to provide the same stingy defense for which he is known. He matches up against opponents’ best guards and has done it well, being selected to the NBA’s first-team all defense last month. In 2016, he proclaimed that he was the best defensive player in the NBA. “We’ve been big fans of Pat for a long time,” said Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ executive vice president of basketball operations. “He’s an instigator [and] agitator but sometimes what gets lost in that [is] extremely talented. It seems like every time the bar is raised, he meets it. Size is irrelevant. You look at the rebounds and assists and his size. He shoots a high percentage from three. He’s first-team all defense, but we think there’s a complete game with it.” Beverley averaged 9.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists and shot 38.2 percent from three-point range last season. He will fit in with former Rockets teammates Sam Dekker, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell just fine. Also introduced Tuesday were rookies Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell. “We have some dog in us, that’s how we play the game,” Dekker said of the recently traded Houston contingent. “We have a chip on our shoulder…The way we got here was playing hard and playing scrappy, getting in scuffles on the court. That’s what we do. Last year, in Houston, with the second unit when they threw Pat with us, Trez and a couple other guys, when we went on the court, we always said: ‘Let’s bring the dog out. Let’s do what we do and do what we do best, that’s making them work and make them hate us.’ That’s what we did. Our second unit was one of the best in the league, we thought. That’s what we’re going to bring to LA.” Beverley could see his offensive numbers increase on a team that re-signed Blake Griffin, already has DeAndre Jordan and added Danilo Gallinari this offseason. He already has built his reputation on the defensive end, having had success guarding Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry and others. But Beverley has said he is looking forward to a new kind of opportunity with the Clippers, one that could showcase more of his offensive skills. “I’m put in a situation where I’m truly blessed to see what the limit is with me,” Beverley said. “I understand coach will push me. It’s going to be fun. My mindset is all about winning. I’m a really black-and-white guy. There’s no grey area. I’m coming to win basketball games. I didn’t come here to look good doing it.” .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2017

Power Smashers end three-game slide

With their Final Four hopes on the line, the Power Smashers arrested a three-game slide with a morale-boosting 25-22, 16-25, 26-24, 23-25, 15-12, win over BanKo-Perlas in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Jovielyn Prado and Regine Arocha teamed up on offense to deliver the Power Smashers’s first win in four games to tie their victim in the standing. The Arellano University duo did most of the damage with a combined 36 attack points. Prado finished with 22 points while Arocha had 18 including 17 coming off spikes for the Power Smashers, who recovered from a four-set upset against Adamson University. But head coach Nes Pamilar still saw some things that the Power Smashers need to improve on going forward. “Nag-aasahan sila masyado. Sabi ko nga kung hindi tayo magtutulong-tulong malabo tayong umabot kung gusto man nating makarating ng Final Four ulit,” he said. The Power Smashers were able to build a 13-10 separation in the fifth set after a see-saw battle in the early going of the frame. A four-touch violation was called against the Power Smashers in the next play but Ella De Jesus overshot her attack that put the Power Smashers at match point, 14-11. De Jesus kept the BanKo-Perlas alive, scoring on a hit but Spikers middle Amy Ahomiro sent the ball long on a quick attack attempt to surrender the battle. Nicole Tiamzon led BanKo-Perlas with 22 points, De Jesus got 20 while Suzanne Roces and Kathy Bersola registered 15 and 13 points, respectively.             --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2017

Sloppy Gilas drops Jones Cup opener to Canada

Gilas Pilipinas looked really good for half a quarter.  That was it. The Philippines dropped its opener in the 39th William Jones Cup in Taipei, losing a sorry 77-90 decision to Canada Saturday at the Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall. After a slow start, Gilas recovered well enough to take a slim 20-19 lead after the first quarter. However, things fell apart in the second as turnovers and fouls doomed the national team allowing the Canadians to pull away and open up a 10-point lead at the break, 44-34. Gilas tried to fight back in the second half but even a mini explosion from Fil-Canadian gunner Matthew Wright wasn't enough to overcome the opposition as the Philippines never broke the eight-point barrier. Canada, represented in the Jones Cup by 3d Global Sports, got 15 points from Garret Williamson. Joey Haywood, Deigo Kapelan, and Michael Kyser each scored 12 points for the Great White North. Giving up 26 fouls and turning the ball over 22 times, Gilas never got its offense flowing as this particular version of the national team played its first official game as a group. Kiefer Ravena came off the bench to lead the Philippines with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals while Ray Parks was good for 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, and three steals. Carl Bryan Cruz was the other Filipino in double figures after finishing with 10 in a starting role. Gilas Pilipinas will take on Chinese-Taipei A next on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2017

BLOGTABLE: How much did Thunder improve this offseason?

em> blogtable /em> The Oklahoma City Thunder made a big splash by trading for Paul George. Are you convinced OKC will be significantly better next season? * * * strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong> I’ll skip any quibbling over what we mean by “significant” and just say yes. For this season, sure, adding a Paul George who’s ready for his close-up is a big, impact-y move because he’ll be eager to show how well he can play with his MVP peer Russell Westbrook and because he’ll have a brighter spotlight on him than he ever did in Indy. Also, the players the Thunder gave up won’t nag at that team in their absence -- George covers whatever Victor Oladipo did and Domantas Sabonis wasn’t ready to change the front line’s dynamic in a pace-and-space league. I’d still rather see George with the Lakers right now, rather than having player and team moon over each other from afar for a year. But this will be entertaining, and OKC should see a nice bump in victories. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong>You have to define significantly better. The combination of Russell Westbrook and Paul George does not let OKC crack top three in West of Golden State, San Antonio, Houston. I can see them going from last year’s 47 wins to the 50-51 range that puts them in the 4-5 holes that were occupied by the Clippers and Jazz. Where the effect could be felt is in the playoffs were the new 1-2 punch makes them a much tougher out. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong> The Thunder will be better. It's tough to attach a subjective term because improving by, say, five games, could be considered significant to some but not to others. But reaching the 50s in wins and at the very least playing a competitive first-round series after a 4-1 elimination last time, maybe even winning, would be a step forward. All of which sets OKC up for the truly significant moment: Paul George's decision. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong> I think we should define 'significantly' first. Will they have a cleaner look and an additional weapon besides Westbrook? Or course. Will this put them in the mix with the Spurs and Rockets? Perhaps. Do they have a shot at the Warriors? (Cue the James Harden side-eye video clip.) strong>John Schuhmann: /strong> They will be better, and it's not just about Paul George, because Patrick Patterson is another addition that can make an impact on both ends of the floor. With the two teams in front of them in the '16-17 standings -- the LA Clippers and Utah Jazz -- both losing their best players this summer, the Thunder can move up in the standings. But it remains to be seen if OKC can climb into Tier 2 (Houston and San Antonio) in the West. Even with the additions of George and Patterson, their ability to improve on offense (where they were below average last season) will depend on Russell Westbrook's willingness to cede some of the playmaking burden. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>If by 'significantly' you mean better than the sixth seed in a rugged Western Conference, I believe that to be a reasonable expectation. The addition of Paul George (and some of the other moves Thunder GM Sam Presti has made this summer) put reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook in a position to have much more fuel in his tank heading into a postseason. I don't care that acquiring George could amount to nothing more than a one-season rental -- I love that Presti made his play and snagged him before someone else did. It sends a strong message around the league about the way the franchise is approaching things going forward. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong>They are significantly better, as are the Rockets. But neither team has enough firepower to knock off the Warriors (and maybe not the Spurs either). What OKC has done is to create an opportunity to take advantage if Golden State is weakened by injuries or other issues next year. As always, the question for the Thunder is whether the stars can share the ball, elevate their teammates and get away from the isolation offense that isn’t likely to hold up against the ball movement of Golden State (or San Antonio, if the Spurs are healthy). strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong> Yes. And it's not only because of George, although to me George gets underrated a bit. His Indiana Pacers teams may not have been wildly successful the last few seasons, but at his best PG-13 is an elite two-way wing player, able to score, create and defend at a level few of his peers can reach. I also love the Thunder adding Patrick Patterson, who will provide an ability to stretch the floor that Sabonis never possessed and will help make up for Andre Roberson's inability to shoot. I also like the signing of Raymond Felton as a solid veteran backup. The Thunder last season were held together mostly by Russell Westbrook's attitude and grit. This season, he will have some much-needed help. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 13th, 2017