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No abandoning ship: Disappointed Gilas Cadets stay focused on buildup

MANILA, Philippines – After a woeful showing in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, the Gilas Cadets still vie to stay focused on their goal of developing the team’s chemistry.  The Cadets – the young national pool formed for the 2023 FIBA World Cup – absorbed their ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerMay 16th, 2018

Gilas cadets focused on SEAG buildup

TAIPEI – Thanks to the leeway provided by the PBA, Kiefer Ravena and nine other Gilas men here can now fully concentrate on their SEA Games preparation, and.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 21st, 2017

Kobe reinforces Gilas 5 in preseason cup

Kobe Paras is set to play his first meaningful minutes in almost a year when he joins the Gilas Pilipinas cadet squad seeing action in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup which kicks off April 21. Team manager Butch Antonio bared that the popular off-guard will be arriving next week and will join fellow "23-for-2023" members in its early buildup for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup. "Kobe will be basing himself in the Philippines in the meantime, and I'm very thankful and glad that Kobe is very committed to the Gilas program," Antonio said. Paras had an uneventful collegiate stint in the United States, first abandoning his commitment with UCLA and transferring to Creigh...Keep on reading: Kobe reinforces Gilas 5 in preseason cup.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 13th, 2018

Blatche heard the bashers so he bounced back big time for Gilas

MANILA, Philippines --- Andray Blatche has been subject of criticism for his continued struggles in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifers. Well, he heard all of those and responded Sunday with his best game so far for Gilas Pilipinas, leading the Philippines to a pulsating 89-84 win over the visiting Japanese at the MOA Arena here. Blatche submitted his finest performance of these Asian Qualifiers so far, going for a team-high 18 points on top of 16 rebounds and five assists. The naturalized Filipino was emotional after a game, letting out a passionate roar at midcourt as the Philippines defended homecourt anew. Gilas is also through to the next round of the Qualifiers with the win. "It felt great. To advance, and definitely for being bashed the last 36-48 hours, [it felt great] just to get a win and get some of it off my shoulders," he said. "[It felt great] just to know I was able to help us get to the second round," Blatche added. Blatche has been through a tough stretch for the Philippines. In the opening window back in February, an out-of-shape Blatche played his worst game in a Pilipinas jersey against Taipei. This time around, Blatche is in better shape but is coming off an injury. The two games against Australia and Japan were his first pair of acutal in-game action since last year. "It feels great. For me, it actually feels great to get this win and play sort of well," he said. "t's been a long time since I've been playing on the court, just my second game since the first [window]. But this big for us to advance in the second round, I'm about to go back to China and start the [CBA] playoffs," Blatche added. With a better performance this time out, Blatche is not overly concerned about his critics. He says they'll find new ways to bash him. However, he's concerned about getting better for Gilas and the third window plust the second round of the Qualifiers will be the perfect place for him to once again prove that the trust placed on him is worth it. "I feel like I could do a lot better. It's a rhythm thing, I'm starting to get my rhythm back, starting to get my legs back. It was for of me trusting my injury, I left it alone and said forget it, if I hurt mysef I hurt myself. It's about confidence," he said. " I'm sure they're [bashers] going to find something else. But you know, all I can do is to continue getting better, stay focused," Blatce added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 25th, 2018

EYES ON YOU, KID: UAAP 80 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And we can’t wait for the second round to get started just so we could get even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: CJ CANSINO – University of Sto. Tomas (yellow jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 27.6 points, 43.5 percent shooting, 14.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 steals (yellow jersey number 27) CJ Cansino has single-handedly made University of Sto. Tomas matter again – and that’s not an exaggeration. Through his sheer will, the Tiger Cubs find themselves well inside the playoff picture at the end of the first round. The long-limbed forward is an all-around weapon who can get his shots inside the paint, from the perimeter, and even from the charity stripe where he has already scored a mind-boggling 60 points – that’s out of 76 attempts, giving him a 78.9 percent shooting clip from there. It’s not just scoring where he makes an impact, though, as he also can also make plays for teammates like scoring guard Kobe Palencia as well as disrupt plays for opponents. And oh, the six-foot-two graduating player is also tops in the league in rebounding – yes, he has more rebounds than the next kid on our list. The even better news for UST? Cansino wants to stay for college. KAI SOTTO – Ateneo de Manila High School (blue jersey number 11) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.9 points, 52.5 percent shooting, 12.7 rebounds, 4.9 blocks (blue jersey number 11) All eyes have been on Kai Sotto ever since he was discovered in the Jr. NBA. Now in his second season for currently league-leading Ateneo de Manila University, he has given all of us more than enough reason to never take our eyes off of him and all of his now 7-foot 1-inch stature. A legitimate inside presence the likes of which the high school ranks have never seen before, Sotto is unstoppable in getting points near the basket and collaring rebounds from anywhere inside the paint. And yeah, the kid atop our list has more rebounds than him, but nobody in the Juniors can touch the 15-year-old’s rim protecting ability. 34 blocks through seven games? That’s unheard of! The even better news for Ateneo? He’s just in Grade 9, that’s three more seasons of eligibility after this one. SJ BELANGEL – Ateneo de Manila High School (white jersey number 0) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 50.6 percent shooting, 5.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals (blue jersey number 0) Sotto has been getting all the attention, but just like a year ago, Ateneo has been SJ Belangel’s show to run. The kid who famously scored 99 points back in his hometown of Bacolod is now a complete player. The scoring has always been there for Belangel, but it’s his now pinpoint passing that is the more welcome development for the still undefeated Blue Eaglets. It doesn’t hurt either that the 18-year-old is doing nothing but living up to being a floor leader. L-JAY GONZALES – Far Eastern University-Diliman (yellow jersey number 0) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.6 steals (yellow jersey number 0) No doubt, the shots have yet to fall for L-Jay Gonzales as he is only shooting 32.4 percent from the field. Just like what he showed in his starmaking stint in last season’s Finals, however, it has again become clear that he doesn’t have to score to make an impact. In all of the league, Far Eastern University-Diliman’s main man is first in steals, second in assists, and fifth in rebounds. And there’s one thing we all learned last season, it’s never to count out the Baby Tamaraws and their do-it-all guard. DAVE ILDEFONSO – Ateneo de Manila High School (white jersey number 10) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.9 points, 42.7 percent shooting, 8.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals (white jersey number 10) Dave Ildefonso is not top five in the league in anything – he is well inside the top 10 in many things, though. With Sotto, Belangel, and the rest of Ateneo’s stacked lineup, it’s easy to forget that they have a versatile player who can score from all over the floor while also defending the opposing team’s forwards and guards. And among all of high school, the son of Philippine basketball legend Danny Ildefonso has one of the most college-ready bodies – he can bump with the best of them and he can move with the best of them. That is exactly why make no mistake about it, Dave Ildefonso has been a key cog in the Blue Eaglets’ ascent to the top of the leaderboard. RHAYYAN AMSALI – Nazareth School of National University (blue jersey number 13) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.0 points, 43.2 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.1 steals As expected, there has been an adjustment period for Nazareth School of National University and new head coach Goldwyn Monteverde. That hasn’t stopped Rhayyan Amsali from producing as expected, though. Already having proven himself as an all-around offensive weapon, the third-year forward is now displaying the development of his defense to the tune of a third-best steals total. RJ ABARRIENTOS – Far Eastern University-Diliman (green jersey number 17) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals FEU-Diliman is already fortunate to have somebody like L-Jay Gonzales and yet, they actually have two of that kind of player on their roster. RJ Abarrientos can do the very same things his Finals MVP teammate can, but when focused, has proven himself to be an impactful 3-and-D swingman. The nephew of “Flying A” Johnny Abarrientos will never have the ball in his hands all that much, but when he does, good things happen more often than not. JOEM SABANDAL – Adamson High School (blue jersey number 21) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 45.9 percent shooting, 6.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 2.2 steals A new day has dawned upon Adamson High School and serving as the brightest ray of light is Joem Sabandal. The heady guard is best in the league in assists, second in steals, and third in points – doing anything and everything in his power to keep his team afloat. The journey back to the heights they once reached is far and long, but the Baby Falcons are nothing but glad that they already have the person to steer them there. AGEM MIRANDA – University of the East (white jersey number 4) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 17.9 points, 41.1 percent shooting, 8.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.1 steals University of the East remains winless Round 1, but unlike a year ago, there is reason to watch and there is reason to hope. Agem Miranda has made the most out of his opportunities on a talent-lacking squad and has opened eyes on how his all-around game will translate if given more help. The one-and-done guard will have to find that out on some other team, but at the very least, he has energized the Junior Warriors back on track. RAVEN CORTEZ – De La Salle Zobel (green jersey number 6) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 64.2 percent shooting, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 1.1 assists It looks like Boris Aldeguer, the mentor who molded Joshua Webb and Arnold Van Opstal into promising big men, has finally gotten his hands on his next project. There is no doubt that Raven Cortez is raw, even rawer than Ateneo’s Sotto, but his size and skill give him all the potential in the world, much like Ateneo’s Sotto. The Batang Gilas member may not have an outside shot just yet, but he has already put his 6-foot 7-inch frame to good use as the second-best blocker and fourth-best rebounder in the league......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2018

Wozniacki beats Pavlyuchenkova to retain Pan Pacific title

TOKYO (AP) — Caroline Wozniacki overwhelmed Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 7-5 to retain her Pan Pacific Open title on Sunday. The victory gives Wozniacki, also champion in Tokyo in 2010, her first title of the year. The Dane had lost all six of her previous finals in 2017. 'This was my seventh final of the year — it gets harder to get that last win,' said world No. 6 Wozniacki, who has now won at least one title every year since 2008. 'I've been putting myself in a position to win all year. It was really important for me to stay focused and positive.' Wozniacki had crushed world No.1 Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and a similar score looked on the cards here Sunday. 'The court suits my game. She plays powerfully so it was important for me to make her move around early on. In the first set everything was going my way. In the second set she served better, so it was tricky for me to break.' The first set lasted only 20 minutes as Pavlyuchenkova struggled to get a foothold. 'I was really disappointed in the first three games,' said the Russian. 'I felt I was a bit unlucky and really believe if I had turned those points round and won the games, it may have been a different match. I was a little down on myself and missed more than I should.' The Russian fought harder in a second set that went with serve until the 12th and final game. Yet she failed to earn a break point in the match and appeared outclassed in her first Premier-level final since Moscow in 2015. Semifinal opponent Angelique Kerber was the only seed she faced this week before third-seeded Wozniacki. 'It's disappointing to lose no matter which round it is, even more disappointing in the final,' said Pavlyuchenkova, who needed three sets to win all four of her matches en route to the final. 'I felt a little flat due to the previous matches. I didn't have so much energy left.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2017

Mac Belo not returning to FEU, focused on Gilas Cadets program - agent

Mac Belo not returning to FEU, focused on Gilas Cadets program - agent.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 30th, 2016

PBA: Missed go-ahead layup not the main issue, says Japeth

Down 16 at the half, 46-30, Japeth Aguilar could have sealed another comeback win for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.  The power forward got a pass from Scottie Thompson, drove to the hoop for a wide-open shot, and missed a point-blank layup that would have put the Gin Kings up 94-92 with about three seconds left in the first overtime. Instead, Phoenix got the miss, but was not able to win at the buzzer and needed five more minutes to get the much-needed win. Aguilar did not sulk on the missed point-blank shot, instead focused on the bigger picture. "You know, it happens. Nagmintis ako. Pero, it's not even the issue eh. May mga chances kami in the second overtime. I thought we had some good looks but we didn't convert and had some crucial turnovers. We kept falling behind, then we're playing catchup," the Aguilar said after the game. The 6'9 forward revealed that coach Tim Cone had put them through intensive training during the long layoff, which the player called as "hell week" to manage and try to straighten their kinks. In the upcoming week, Aguilar's hands are full since he is part of the Luzon All-Star squad and the Gilas selection for the Visayas and Mindanao match-ups. He also admits that he is still getting used to his new designation as a swingman, as part of the three towers Cone fields in the game, along with import Charles Garcia and Greg Slaughter.  I'm on the post, then the guys will just move around. Gotta cut, so ayun. Yung exciting part, you look, I gotta look at it as a challenge, you know to add something in my game."   __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

LOOK: Basketball, boxing banner 30 sports initially approved for 2019 SEA Games

MANILA, Philippines – The Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) executive committee has approved 30 sports in the Southeast Asian Games in 2019.  The Philippines will host the regional tournament for the first time in 14 years as the nation hopes to see the  Gilas Cadets  clinch the country's 19th men's basketball gold ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

Bulldogs maturing under Jarin s watch

Head coach Jamike Jarin said that National University's (NU) 86-81 stunner over Gilas Pilipinas Cadets in the 12th FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup on Tuesday night at the FilOil Flying V Center.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

NU Bulldogs unleash late rally in FilOil, eliminate Gilas from contention

MANILA, Philippines – New game, same old story. The National University (NU) Bulldogs stole a win from the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 cadets, 86-81, eliminating them from contention in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup in San Juan, Tuesday, May 15. After giving up a 14-2 run, 72-77, on the heels of a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

NU kicks Gilas cadets out of playoff race in Filoil

National University eliminated Gilas Pilipinas from playoff contention with an 86-81 escape in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup Tuesday night at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. John Lloyd Clemente unleashed 23 points, including the dagger basket that gave the Bulldogs an 85-79 cushion with 12.9 seconds left. Clemente also finished with seven rebounds and three assists. Clemente also got ample support with rookie John Galinato adding 20 points and three assists, while Enzo Joson tallying 14 points, seven assists, and four boards. Shaun Ildefonso also contributed 13 points and five rebounds to help NU improve to 2-3 in Group A. "We're maturing right n...Keep on reading: NU kicks Gilas cadets out of playoff race in Filoil.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Struggling Bulldogs, Gilas cadets clash; Tams, Blazers stake spotless records

It will be the turn of National University to test the mettle of the Gilas Cadets in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Bulldogs of coach Jamike Jarin sport.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Tamaraws gun for fourth straight win vs Blazers

Far Eastern University and College of St. Benilde clash in a battle of top teams while Gilas Pilipinas Cadets tries to bounce back against National University in the 12th FilOil Flying V Preseason.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

NU seeks to build momentum, tests reeling Gilas cadets

The Gilas cadets and the young, talented and hungry National University Bulldogs are coming your way in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

Perasol tells UP to draw inspiration from win vs Gilas

Head coach Bo Perasol was impressed by University of the Philippines' (UP) 78-72 come-from-behind victory over Gilas Pilipinas Cadets in the 12th FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup last Tuesday nig.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 10th, 2018

Gilas cadets crash anew in FilOil Cup, give up late rally to UP Maroons

MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons kept rolling in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup, dropping the reeling Gilas Pilipinas 2023 cadets, 78-72, in San Juan, Tuesday, May 8. Although the collegiate all-star squad entered the 4th quarter up 5, 58-53, the gutsy Maroons rode the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

FILOIL PRESEASON: Desiderio-less UP rallies past Gilas cadets

The University of the Philippines overcame both the absence of Paul Desiderio and a 16-point deficit to score its first winning streak in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament. Behind Juan Gomez de Liano and Jun Manzo, the Fighting Maroons battled back from 16 points down in the third quarter before charging through in the final frame for a 78-72 comeback win over Gilas cadets on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Juan GDL was brilliant all game long with 22 points, eight rebounds, and four assists while Manzo fronted the fight in the endgame and had a total of 22 markers of his own. Bright Akhuetie also posted a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double while both Javi GDL and Jerson Prado had key contributions as State U won for the second straight game following a 0-3 start. “This is a big win for us, getting one against the best collegiate players,” a beaming head coach Bo Perasol said post-game. Their efforts were more than enough to make up for the absence of team captain Desiderio whom Perasol opted to sit out to get some rest. Arvin Tolentino topped the scoring column for Gilas cadets with 14 points. Now at 1-4, they need to win out in their remaining assignments just to have a chance of advancing to the next round. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME NU 96 – Mosqueda 18, Clemente 17, S Ildefonso 13, D Ildefonso 11, Gaye 10, Galinato 9, Sinclair 6, Menina 4, Salim 3, Diputado 2, Tibayan 2, Mangayaom 1, Gallego 0, Rangel 0, Oczon 0. EAC 84 – Maguliano 16, Garcia 15, Tampoc 13, Mendoza 12, Diego 10, Corilla 8, Cruz 4, Cadua 2, Bugarin 2, Ling 2, Natividad 0, Gonzales 0, Robin 0, Neri 0, Martin 0, Estacio 0, Altamirano 0. QUARTER SCORES: 24-16, 49-37, 74-63, 96-84. SECOND GAME FEU 87 — Bienes 13, Cani 13, Nunag 13, Parker 12, Tuffin 11, Eboña 7, Tolentino 6, Dulatre 2, Escoto 2, Iñigo 2, Jopia 2, Ramirez 2, Tempra 2, Bayquin 0, Orizu 0, Stockton 0. JRU 85 — Dela Rosa 18, Mendoza 17, Dela Virgen 14, Ramos 13, Estrella 11, Bordon 6, Silvarez 4, Dulalia 2, Esguerra 0, Perez 0, Yu 0. QUARTER SCORES: 28-27, 52-53, 72-68, 87-85. THIRD GAME LETRAN 78 — Muyang 20, Quinto 17, Fajarito 10, Ambohot 9, Balanza 9, Calvo 9, Batiller 2, Galvelo 2, Agbong 0, Balagasay 0, Celis 0, Mandreza 0, Taladua 0, Yu 0. LPU 74 — Remulla 18, Yong 15, Tansingco 11, Pericas 10, Ibañez 6, Mahinay 6, Pretta 4, Cunanan 2, Salo 2, Caduyac 0, Serrano 0. QUARTER SCORES: 17-20, 36-38, 62-59, 78-74. FOURTH GAME UP 78 — Ju. Gomez de Liaño 22, Manzo 22, Akhuetie 16, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 6, Vito 3, Lim 2, Murrell 2, Tungcab 2, Gozum 1, Dario 0, Jaboneta 0, Longa 0. GILAS CADETS 72 — A. Tolentino 14, Go 12, R. Rivero 9, Paras 8, Tamayo 7, V. Tolentino 6, Tuffin 5, Mocon 4, P. Rivero 4, Alejandro 3, Ambohot 0. QUARTER SCORES: 16-18, 27-41, 53-58, 78-72. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Maroons take on Cadets in Filoil tilt

FRESH from nailing that elusive first win, University of the Philippines and Gilas Cadets will lock horns and go separate ways in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup today with one team notching its.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Draw of another title lights postseason path of Warriors

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst One of the Golden State Warriors’ people, walking out of Smoothie King Center Sunday (Monday, PHL time), summarized the team’s season so far in detailing Kevin Durant’s 38-point performance against the Pelicans in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. “Sometimes, people forget,” he said, a wry smile on his face -- and, yes, they do. With all that has gone on around the league this season, the Warriors’ storyline hasn’t been quite as eyeballed nationally this season compared with previous years. (Not that they should care. It’s just an observation.) The Cleveland Cavaliers blew things up last summer and reformed in the fall, blew it up again in the winter and reformed again in the spring. The Boston Celtics are displaying amazing resilience through seemingly devastating injuries to put themselves on the brink of another conference finals. The Philadelphia 76ers have their Fun Bunch. There was Paul George’s trade to Oklahoma City (and all that entailed, now and later) and the Toronto Raptors’ dramatic and successful changes throughout the year. And, at the forefront, there was the Houston Rockets’ rise as a legit and serious challenger to the Warriors in the Western Conference. During the regular season, the Warriors’ energy and productivity dropped off ever so slightly, like the planet killer in “The Doomsday Machine,” one of the all-time best original “Star Trek” episodes, after the doomed Commodore Decker drove a Shuttlecraft right down its throat. (Of course, Captain Kirk figured out to destroy it. Dude, come on. This is James Tiberius Kirk we’re talking about.) And at the end of the regular season, they were hit with a series of body shot injuries: Stephen Curry’s MCL strain, Durant’s ribs, Klay Thompson’s thumb injury, Draymond Green’s hip, and on and on. Those all sapped their continuity and made them look mortal down the stretch of the 2017-18 season, and the Warriors went 7-10 as the season waned. But, after dispatching the Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs in five games in the first round, and taking a 3-1 lead on the Pelicans now, they’re again on the precipice of the Western Conference finals. A date with Houston is looming and a chance at a third title in four seasons is still on their racket. “I think as the playoffs go on, every series requires a different intensity level,” Green said last week. “I think we met that standard that it takes to win playoff games at the level we’re at right now, which is the second round. It’s not our first rodeo. We’ve been here a lot of times and we know what it takes.” Steve Kerr rolled the “Hamptons Five” lineup out Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the Lineup Formally Known as Death -- Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Green and Durant. It’s been their trump card for almost two years, the lineup that can’t be solved by the opposition, even as it’s chipped away at most of Golden State’s other conventional units. Durant went for 38, and the Warriors rolled to a 118-92 win and a 3-1 series lead. They didn’t use it much this season -- that quintet only played 127 minutes together this season, after logging 224 minutes last season -- because of all the injuries, because they tried to limit their biggest players’ minutes and because using Iguodala as a starter thins out Golden State’s bench. The Warriors’ most frequently used five-man unit this season featured Zaza Pachulia at center; among five-man units leaguewide that played 200 minutes or more together this season, per NBA.com/Stats, that quintet was third in the league in Offensive Rating, at 118.6. But Pachulia hasn’t played a minute in the playoffs, and if the Rockets are the Warriors’ next opponent, he may not play much then, either, against Clint Capela. Kerr often points out that the Warriors have six centers on the current roster, and most of them have gotten at least a little run at various points. But after JaVale McGee was ineffective in Game 3 against New Orleans Friday (Saturday, PHL time), Kerr pulled his trump card. It’s still a game-changer, and when a season comes down to a best-of-seven series, one game can be the difference. “We all bring the best of each other,” Curry said of the Hamptons unit. “We increase the pace of the game, but the versatility [is] at the defensive end -- Andre, Draymond, KD shoring up the paint, switching a lot of the screens and the action from the offense and Klay doing what he does on the perimeter. I think the biggest thing offensively is that we’re all playmakers, try to look for the best shot, stay within ourselves and just make the right play.” Going back to the old playlist may give the Warriors comfort in what has been another drama-filled season, with the contretemps about being disinvited from the White House by President Trump in September getting things off to a rollicking start. But the end of the season was what raised eyebrows around the league. Curry’s absence down the stretch combined with a teamwide ennui -- “I really don’t like talking about it,” Thompson said -- that gave potential playoff opponents hope they might be able to catch Golden State napping. The Warriors’ boredom showed up most at the defensive end. After being in the top seven in both unadjusted and adjusted Defensive Rating in each of the last four seasons -- including first in the league in both categories in the first championship season of 2014-15 -- Golden State fell to 11th and 12th, respectively, in the regular season. They came out of the All-Star break focused -- they were fifth in the league in Defensive Rating on March 1. But all the injuries blunted their momentum, and the scariest of all -- a serious injury to second-year guard Patrick McCaw in Sacramento March 31 (April 1, PHL time) -- shook the team more than people on the outside realized. “Throughout that time, we had spurts,” Durant said. “We played a great OKC team. We went in there and won. Then we lost to Indiana by 20, and then it’s like, when you’re riding just on emotion a lot, you tend to go up and down. It’s like a roller coaster. I think that’s what it was. We had those spurts where we played well and played a focused game, but then Patty goes out, boom, and there was just so much that went on with that. Then Steph goes out with a freak injury. So much went on with that. I think we were just so up and down emotionally it kind of blinded us from our goal, which was to be good every single night as basketball players.” McCaw’s injury -- a bone bruise suffered when he fell after a dunk attempt against the Kings, which required him to be carried off the court in Sacramento on a stretcher -- hit everyone hard. “When Pat got injured, I think that took a little bit out of us,” Durant said. “It took a little bit out of Steve as well. You could just feel it, when Steph went out, then I went out, then Draymond, then Klay. Our emotions were so up and down. When your emotions are, you have too many emotions in the game of basketball, it can kind of blind you from what you really have to do. This is a technical game. So when you put too many emotions into it, it kind of took us away from what we wanted to do.” McCaw, who played in 57 games this season, was not only a part of Kerr’s rotation. He is also a well-liked person who was getting better on the floor. He was re-evaluated last week and will be checked out again in a month. Though he’s been traveling with the team during the playoffs, his season is almost certainly over. And as his injury came during the Warriors’ many injuries down the stretch, its chilling effect was multiplied. “It definitely got to everybody,” Green said. “Kind of the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going on with him. The rotations. Everybody’s like, ahh, kind of tiptoeing around, trying to make sure you get to the playoffs healthy. A lot of that makes a difference. I mean, that’s our brother. To see him down like that, not be able to walk off the court under his own power, him not being around us for two or three weeks, it was kind of like the unknown. It sucked. And I think it definitely had an effect on everything.” But Durant doesn’t like the metaphor of the proverbial switch being turned on at playoff time explaining the team’s improvement the last couple of weeks. “I don’t like when you call it a switch,” he said. “Because guys come in and get extra work in every single day. They work on their bodies every day, they get treatment. You come in here any time, you see guys in here working on their games. I think when you say ‘a switch turned on,’ if guys went cold turkey on everything as professionals during the season, and just tried to pick it up in the playoffs, I think that’s turning on a switch. Mentally, focus-wise, game plan-wise, I think you can turn on a switch, because you can lock in on an opponent, you know their tendencies, you can just focus in on one group of players instead of one day it’s San Antonio, the next day it’s Phoenix, next day it’s Sacramento. You’re going so up and down. If that makes sense. “So I think everybody’s putting in that work individually all year, and as a team, you know, stuff has to come together. We have to focus in on what we need to do, game plan wise, tendency wise, just try to take away things. I think that’s where you kind of turn it up just a bit.” Golden State has performed in fits and starts in the first two rounds. The Spurs didn’t have enough firepower to be a serious threat, but they played hard and were increasingly effectively on defense as the series went on. The Warriors didn’t really have an answer for LaMarcus Aldridge after Game 1. New Orleans had, until Sunday (Monday, PHL time), been more and more successful at making the Warriors shoot contested shots. That certainly gibes with Curry’s return after five weeks. He’s healthy, but rusty. After his adrenaline-filled return last Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) in Game 2 against the Pelicans, he made just 14-of-33 from the floor in the two games in New Orleans. There was talk afterward about breakthroughs for Curry cardiovascularly. The next few games will tell whether Curry is truly recovered and ready to be two-time Kia MVP Steph … or will he just be on the floor (as he was for long and important stretches in the 2016 playoffs after returning from a Grade 1 knee sprain). The Warriors still made The Finals, but Curry wasn’t Curry against Cleveland, and everyone, starting and ending with LeBron James, knew it. No one in NBA history has changed the geometry of basketball more than Curry, and when he’s on the floor, the ball starts flying around. “Our formula is simple: if we out-pass people, we win,” Warriors forward David West said. “Ball movement. With guys going in and out of the lineup, it causes moments where guys try to carry the load, maybe try to shoulder the load individually. But the strength of the group is the group.” But the Warriors can still throw so many different things and people at you. Iguodala shot a career-worst 28.2 percent on three-pointers in the regular season. He’s at 39.3 percent in the 2018 playoffs. Does anyone doubt he was biding his time until the postseason? No one wearing an NBA uniform is in better shape than the 34-year-old Iguodala, no one is smarter about the game or matchups, and no one is a prouder, fiercer competitor. The 2015 Finals MVP brings his bag of intangibles with him on the road even more than at home, as he did Sunday. In that game, he was making life miserable for the Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotic, creating deflections, making the right reads and impacting the game despite scoring just six points. Kerr likened him to Scottie Pippen after Game 4, but Iggy wasn’t buying it -- “Steve just does that to make sure I don’t get mad ‘cause I don’t shots,” Iguodala quipped. He may be right. But Iguodala and Green have a mind meld defensively that’s at the heart of the Hamptons’ effectiveness. “Andre and I, we’re usually on the same page,” Green said. “Two guys who really think the game, especially on that side of the ball. Sometimes we can talk things out and it works perfect and not say a word, and know what each other’s going to do. It definitely helps our team out defensively kind of having two coaches out there on the floor on that side of the ball.” Whether it’s switching to guard each other’s man, running at an open shooter to close before the ball gets there with the other man rotating, they know what the other guy is going to do. And that second or so the Warriors save defensively keeps them from being broken down. “How fast can you make that decision?,” Green says. “How demonstrative are you going to be about that decision? Are you going to second guess that decision? That’s usually when it doesn’t work; if you’re going to go, just go. That’s kind of the motto that Andre and I go by. If you’re going to go, just go; everybody else fall in line and rotate, and we’ll work it out from there.” And while Green and Rajon Rondo have been exchanging pleasantries throughout this series, Green didn’t pick up his first postseason technical foul until Sunday (Monday, PHL time). He’s been under control, coming up to the edge without going over. Someone without access to the internet asked Kerr if he’d ever played with anyone who instigated or tried to get under the skin of opponents. It’s a testament to Kerr’s comic timing that he actually did wait a beat before answering. “I did play with Dennis Rodman,” he said. Never be fooled by Kerr’s overall pleasant disposition and quick-with-a-quip acuity, though. He is a fierce competitor that wants to win big, the same as his current point guard, who is similarly underrated on the competition scale. Kerr has seven rings as a player and coach, and it’s not a coincidence he’s frequently been around teams that got it done in June. But the Warriors are playing for even bigger stakes than just winning the 2018 title. Legacies are created this time of year. A third title in four seasons, with four straight Finals appearances, would put Golden State in very rarified air in the modern game. San Antonio won three titles from 2002-07. But the Spurs, famously, never have won back-to-back titles. The Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal-led Lakers, which won three straight from 2000-02, are the closest modern-day team to pulling off what the Warriors are trying to accomplish. Before then, you’re talking about the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, with six titles in eight seasons -- the two non-title seasons coinciding with Jordan’s sojourn to the minor leagues of baseball. Moreover, the Warriors are the hub around which the modern NBA now spins. And that is an even bigger legacy. Almost everyone (hi, Thibs!) tries to play the way Golden State does now -- the quick hitters, ball movement, pace. Teams do it in different ways. The 76ers look very different than the Warriors, with Joel Embiid their centerpiece of operations, and with 6'10" Ben Simmons taking up so much space with the ball in the halfcourt. The Rockets look different still as there’s not a ton of ball movement. There’s just an unending series of screen and rolls with Chris Paul and James Harden with the rock, looking for the inevitable open man in the corner or way, way behind the three-point line. A lot of things have happened the last 15 years to lead us where we are now. The league changed almost all the rules regarding zone defense, and got rid of almost all defensive contact on the perimeter. Rockets GM Daryl Morey and others led the burgeoning analytics movement, which championed shooting more and more three-pointers as a primary means of scoring, not as a novelty. Mike D’Antoni’s Phoenix Suns went with Amar’e Stoudemire at center, surrounding him with four smalls that could all shoot it from deep, and scoring came out of its coma leaguewide. Kerr and Pelicans Coach Alvin Gentry have always been quick to credit D’Antoni’s influence on the modern game, starting in Phoenix and working through his current team in Houston. “He’s the guy that just eliminated the center position -- let’s just go small and fast and shoot more threes,” Kerr said of D’Antoni. “I was inspired by Mike, but I was also inspired by Pop (the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich) and Phil Jackson in terms of basic ball movement, screening. But pace is the name of the game these days, and people go about it in different ways. Ironically, Mike’s team (in Houston) is the slowest team in the league now. I didn’t see that coming.” But no one has put all of it together -- pace, small ball, shooting and defense -- like the Warriors have the last four seasons. The Rockets are the closest thing we’ve seen to Golden State, and they’re hungry, and they’re coming. And the Warriors and Rockets are just a win apiece away from seeing the clash of the Western Conference titans. They are in the middle of it, so they can’t stop and think about what it all means. We get that. But everyone wants to put a marker out there that’s hard to catch. LeBron is chasing a ghost. The Warriors have already made their mark on the game. They’re almost in position to do more. History is forever. “It’s important, because it’s what’s right in front of us,” Curry said Sunday. “We don’t think about the historical context of anything. For us, we have an amazing group of guys, amazing coaches sitting behind us. We’re appreciating the moment. That’s really all it is. You have tunnel vision for Game 5 at home, then a new series, hopefully (after that). The historic context doesn’t really seep into the locker room when it comes to what that means. It’s just about this year.” Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

UP battles Gilas; LPU-Letran in Filoil cagefest

Fresh from nailing that elusive first win, both the University of the Philippines and the Gilas Cadets will lock horns and go separate ways when they clash at the 12th Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018