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Stewart, Wilson propel US to 100-88 win over China

By Doug Feinberg, Associated Press SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Spain (AP) — After a quiet first half, Breanna Stewart felt she needed to be more assertive on both ends of the court. She certainly made her presence felt in the final 20 minutes. Stewart scored 21 of her 23 points in the second half and A'ja Wilson added 20 points to help the United States beat China 100-88 on Sunday in the second day of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. "I needed to be more aggressive. There were a few things that I could have done better — defense and rebounding. Focus on that and the offense comes," Stewart said. China trailed only 36-35 midway through the second quarter as the U.S. was still trying to figure out a lineup that worked on offense and defense. The Americans then closed the half on a 12-4 burst. Wilson had six points during the run. Layshia Clarendon, who played a few minutes in the first game, also provided a spark off the bench in the spurt. She had two points, two assists and two rebounds. The Chinese team hung around in the third quarter and trailed 60-54 before Stewart, who played in China the past few winters, took over. She scored nine of the next 11 points and China couldn't get within seven the rest of the way. "She was trailing a lot, and obviously the defense sucked down. The post players did a great job rim running," U.S. coach Dawn Staley said. "That left Stewie wide open at the top of key and she took advantage of them time and again. That's what we come to expect, Stewie like things. We needed her to be that way to give us some separation and widen our lead in the third quarter." The Americans were still missing Brittney Griner, who suffered a slight sprain of her right ankle in practice Friday. Griner said after the win over Senegal she would have played if it was an elimination game. China was able to exploit the lack of Griner with its own 6-foot-9 center Han Xu. Han showed an impressive array of post moves as well as a deft touch from 10 feet. The 18-year-old finished with 20 points and left to a warm ovation from the crowd with 20 seconds left. "Coach encouraged us to play with confidence. The U.S. is a very good team. We just went out and enjoyed ourselves," said China guard Shao Ting, who had 10 points. The Chinese team, which is the youngest in the tournament with the average age 23 years, lost to the U.S. by 43 points in the 2016 Olympics. The U.S. (2-0) hasn't lost to China (1-1) in six meetings in the World Cup. The Americans won the first five meetings by an average of 25.8 points. The victory was the Americans' 18th in a row in the tournament and 43rd in the past 44 games in the World Cup. The only blemish over the past 20 years was a loss to Russia in the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup. Sunday's game came on the 12th anniversary of that loss. CHINA CONNECTION: Many of the U.S. players have competed in China in the offseason. Stewart, Griner, Morgan Tuck, Jewell Loyd and Tina Charles all have spent time there. Wilson will be headed there this year. "You're having some of the top WNBA players going over there to China and showing them the standards of what we put ourselves through," Stewart said. RECOVERING: Elena Delle Donne played only 3 ½ minutes on Sunday. She suffered a bone bruise in the WNBA playoffs and is still recovering. She said that she and Staley would talk before each game to discuss how she was feeling. Delle Donne said after the game the back to back was difficult. SCOREBOARD: It was a great day for Africa with both Senegal and Nigeria winning. It's the first time in the history of the tournament that an African team won a pool play game, let alone two. Senegal beat Latvia 70-69 and Nigeria edged Turkey 74-68. In other games, Canada beat South Korea 82-63; Australia routed Argentina 84-43; Japan edged Belgium 77-75 in OT; France beat Greece 75-71 and Spain topped Puerto Rico 78-53. UP NEXT China: Will face Senegal on Tuesday with second place in the group at stake. U.S.: Will face Latvia on Tuesday looking to continue its dominance......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

‘Meet Jimmy’: Michael Bay to produce Paramount’s latest horror movie

In the wake of the success of "A Quiet Place", Paramount and Michael Bay will join forces to transform a short horror filminto a full-length cinema feature. Christened "Meet Jimmy", the story focuses on a young woman who suffers terrible consequences when she listens to a podcast. Hot on the heels of "A Quiet Place", Paramount is trying to cash in on the trend for horror films with the help of Michael Bay and his production company Platinum Dunes. The producer of "Transformers" is reportedly hard at work on a feature-length adaptation of a short horror movie created by Dutch duo David-Jan Bronsgeest and Tim Koomen. Although the details of the feature remain secret, the short ...Keep on reading: ‘Meet Jimmy’: Michael Bay to produce Paramount’s latest horror movie.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018

‘Hereditary’: Brutal meditation on guilt and forgiveness

  Most horror flicks utilize formulaic scare tactics to surprise, startle and shock viewers, but the best ones, like John Krasinski's "A Quiet Place," Michael and Peter Spierig's "Winchester" and Sergio G. Sanchez's "Marrowbone," sustain the doom and gloom by building an atmosphere of disquieting dread and ominous foreboding long before the bogeyman goes in for the kill. Like the aforementioned films, Ari Aster's "Hereditary," a thoughtful but brutal meditation on guilt, culpability and forgiveness, is guaranteed to give viewers the heebie-jeebies as it creepily riffs on relatable themes that are anchored on the tragedy that befalls miniaturist Annie Graham (Toni Collette)...Keep on reading: ‘Hereditary’: Brutal meditation on guilt and forgiveness.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2018

2018 is the Year of the Kid

By Richard Roeper Warning, warning, warning! SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. In the global mega-hit Black Panther, the smartest (and most charming and endearing) person in any room she enters is Shuri, the genius teenage sister of T’Challa. In the breakout horror film A Quiet Place, a girl named Regan ferociously protects her younger brother from killer […] The post 2018 is the Year of the Kid appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018

A Quiet Place to get a sequel

LAS VEGAS — Paramount Pictures said Wednesday that hit horror movie A Quiet Place was getting a sequel and ended mounting speculation over its lucrative Star Trek franchise by confirming two new movies. Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos opened the studio’s segment at the annual CinemaCon film industry convention in Las Vegas with the news, […] The post A Quiet Place to get a sequel appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 27th, 2018

A Quiet Place, Star Trek sequels announced

LAS VEGAS, USA — Paramount Pictures said Wednesday, April 25 (early April 26 in the Philippines), that hit horror movie A Quiet Place was getting a sequel and ended mounting speculation over its lucrative Star Trek franchise by confirming two new movies. Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos opened the studio's segment ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 26th, 2018

A Quiet Place sneaks back to top of the N. American box office

LOS ANGELES — Sci-fi horror film A Quiet Place snuck its way back to the top of the North American box offices over the weekend, beating out noisier action flick Rampage, industry estimates showed Sunday. A Quiet Place, an almost wordless Paramount production, stars actor/director John Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt as a couple […] The post A Quiet Place sneaks back to top of the N. American box office appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2018

Rampage takes box-office lead

LOS ANGELES — Sci-fi action flick Rampage topped North American box offices over the weekend, taking in an estimated $34.5 million to barely beat out horror film A Quiet Place, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said Sunday. Rampage stars hard-working Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson in a plot perhaps better seen than described: He plays a primatologist […] The post Rampage takes box-office lead appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Emily Blunt on working with hubby John Krasinski for 1st time

LOS ANGELES---"Most nights were rounded with a stiff drink of whiskey. The prospect of working together was nerve-wracking," Emily Blunt quipped about working for the first time with her husband, John Krasinski, in "A Quiet Place." Not only did Emily act for the first time with the man she's been married to since 2010; John also directed Emily in his first feature directing gig for a major studio (Paramount). Emily and John must be celebrating with whiskey---and champagne---because their horror-drama topped the US box office last weekend with a whopping $50 million. "A Quiet Place" is also a hit with the critics, who are unanimous in praising John's first directing gig. In ...Keep on reading: Emily Blunt on working with hubby John Krasinski for 1st time.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

‘Black Panther’ pounces past ‘Titanic’ box office record

    "Black Panther" broke more records over the weekend in North America, exceeding revenues from the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic," while horror thriller "A Quiet Place," with barely three minutes of dialogue, made a resounding $50.2 million debut. "A Quiet Place" is built around a simple but chilling premise: flesh-eating creatures have invaded Earth, but they are blind and can track their prey only by sound. So actor/director John Krasinski, his wife (in the film and in real life) Emily Blunt and their children must adapt -- through sign language and ingenious adaptations -- or die. The film has drawn rave reviews, with a 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating...Keep on reading: ‘Black Panther’ pounces past ‘Titanic’ box office record.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

A Quiet Place makes a lot of noise in North American debut

WASHINGTON — Horror-thriller A Quiet Place, a movie featuring barely three minutes of dialogue, made a resounding debut in North American theaters over the three-day weekend, taking in an estimated $50 million, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said on Sunday. That gave the Paramount film the second highest domestic opening of the year, behind only the […] The post A Quiet Place makes a lot of noise in North American debut appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

John Cena to lead ‘Duke Nukem’ film adaptation, if script is ‘dead-on’

Wise-cracking, alien-slaying badass Duke Nukem could be played on screen by wrestler John Cena, as long as the script is "dead-on." John Cena's association with a "Duke Nukem" movie has been firmed up in a pair of recent interviews. The brawny video game icon was made famous through three games in the early 1990s, his design homaging a number of action movie stars; fourth game, "Duke Nukem Forever", became infamous thanks to a troubled 15-year development, making its 2011 release something of a minor miracle. Speaking to producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, who are promoting John Krasinski's horror movie "A Quiet Place", CinemaBlend asked for more detail about their "Duke ...Keep on reading: John Cena to lead ‘Duke Nukem’ film adaptation, if script is ‘dead-on’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 29th, 2018

PBA: Wright and Phoenix finally showing maturity

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal — Phoenix badly wanted maturity to come with their growth as a team, especially after the Fuel Masters somehow botched a twie-to-beat edge as the no. 2 seed to end last season in teh 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup. Early in the 2019 Philippine Cup, it appears that the Fuel Masters have found some of that maturity and are using that to win close games in the All-Filipino. Two games into the new season, Phoenix already has two overtimes. The Fuel Masters won both, allowing them to take over first place so far. “Phoenix of the past would’ve lost that game,” Wright said of their overtime win against TNT Saturday at the Ynares Center here. “After Pogoy hit that shot to tie the game, we would’ve crumbled by then. But we stuck together, we’re becoming more experience and we’re becoming more of a veteran team,” he added. Another great sign for Phoenix has been the team’s conditioning. Also known as a pressing team, the Fuel Masters have shown great endurance despite playing back-to-back overtime games. Phoenix certainly looked like the fresher team during the extra five minutes in separate wins against Meralco and TNT. “I’m just happy we won, because like you said, back-to-back overtime games. We really have to dig down deep in those kind of situations. I’m happy that we looked like the more conditioned team,” Wright said. “We came off an overtime game so we’re much more experienced in that department than they are. Luckily they’re tired towards the end of the game and they were starting to miss their shots. That’s just credit to our strength and conditioning coaches and how we run our practices. We thought we’re in really good shape today,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2019

Arsenal facing make-or-break 6 days

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press It's a six-day stretch that could make or break Arsenal's season and prompt renewed scrutiny into the machinations of a club that appears to have issues at every level. A home game against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, soon followed by the visit of Manchester United in the FA Cup. Lose both matches and Arsenal's bid for domestic silverware will be over for another season. Finishing in the top four of the league, and thereby qualifying for the Champions League, would also be highly unrealistic. And it won't even be February. It wasn't so long ago that Unai Emery was making a mockery of any fears he would struggle to oversee a smooth transition from Arsene Wenger's 22-year reign. The team was on a 22-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Emery's high-energy pressing game was working and the goals were flowing, even if there were some slight concerns about the defense. Tottenham, Arsenal's big rival, was trounced 4-2 in the North London derby. "We've got out Arsenal back," chanted gleeful Arsenal fans. Then came the slide. The first worrying signs came in a 3-2 loss at lowly Southampton on Dec. 16 that ended Arsenal's four-month unbeaten run. Then there was the elimination at the hands of Tottenham in the English League Cup quarterfinals, before a 5-1 mauling by Liverpool in the league at Anfield on Dec. 29 which revived memories of the defensive horror shows from the darkest days in the final years of the Wenger era. More recently, there was the timid 1-0 loss at West Ham on Saturday when Arsenal had two shots on target. If Arsenal loses to Chelsea, it will drop nine points adrift of the top four and probably into sixth place — the position it finished in Wenger's last year. Arsenal will be left relying on winning a cup competition — the FA Cup or, perhaps more likely, the Europa League — to salvage anything from its season. The problems won't end there. Mesut Ozil is the club's marquee and highest-earning player — reportedly getting 350,000 pounds a week ($450,000) — yet is regularly left out by Emery, just as he was against West Ham on Saturday. Ozil, a mercurial player with a languid approach, doesn't fit Emery's preferred style and so is proving to be a very expensive commodity. Another midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, has also been in and out of the team this season and is reportedly close to signing for Juventus. "At certain times, you have to provoke friction with footballers," Emery said this week, perhaps with a nod to his relationship with Ozil. "From that friction, you can get something more out of them, something from inside." Without its two most creative attacking midfielders, and with Henrikh Mkhitaryan currently injured, Arsenal lacks any playmaking ability or balance behind the two strikers, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Meanwhile, Emery's team has kept only three clean sheets in 22 league games. "There are times," Emery said, "when defensively we have not been very solid but we have still won because offensively we have created a lot of chances. So, at the moment, I am still leaning toward making sure the team doesn't lose what it has." Emery doesn't have the option of buying his way out of trouble. He said last week that there is no money available for permanent signings, only loans, with Arsenal having spent 70 million pounds on four players in the offseason and a club-record 56 million pounds on Aubameyang last January. In an attempt to formalize a structure to the technical staff above the manager, Arsenal created the positions of head of football relations (Raul Sanllehi joined from Barcelona) and head of recruitment (Sven Mislintat joined from Borussia Dortmund) in 2017. No way was Emery going to have the same power as Wenger. Yet sections of the British media are reporting this week that Mislintat is on his way out as part of a power struggle in the wake of the departure of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who left for AC Milan in October. So, potential upheaval behind the scenes. No money to spend. Apparent rifts with key players. And a defensively suspect team that has lost four of its last eight games. It's a huge week coming up for Arsenal and Emery, for whom the enormity of the task in replacing Wenger might finally be sinking in......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Beautiful! Carole King shows up as herself in Broadway bio

NEW YORK --- Anything can happen in live theater, and audience members seeing "Beautiful," the life story of Carole King, got a surprise when King appeared in the role of herself to celebrate the show's fifth anniversary on Broadway. The packed house at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre erupted into thunderous cheers and applause as King appeared Saturday night, sitting at a baby grand piano and showing all the love in her heart as she sang "Beautiful," the final song. "It's kind of miraculous that this show has lasted for five years because not many do. And it's a testament to, I think, people say the music ... but the book is so good and the direction and the lighting and the sets...Keep on reading: Beautiful! Carole King shows up as herself in Broadway bio.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

‘Black Panther,’ ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ snag PGA nominations

LOS ANGELES --- The producers behind hits "Black Panther," ''Crazy Rich Asians," ''A Star Is Born" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" are among the 10 nominees for the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards. The Producers Guild of America announced its selections Friday for it 30th installment, which also included "BlacKkKlansman," ''The Favourite," ''Green Book, "A Quiet Place," ''Roma" and "Vice." Notably absent from the nominees were "First Man" and "If Beale Street Could Talk." The winner of the PGA award has often gone on to win the best picture prize at the Oscars as happened last year with "The Shape of Water." It diverged, however, in the two previous years. Animated nomine...Keep on reading: ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ snag PGA nominations.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 5th, 2019

10 can’t-miss moments in sports for 2019

2018 is already in the books. Now, we look forward to the next chapters we’re all about to read in 2019. Laban Azkals in AFC Asian Cup – January The Azkals will enter historic grounds as early as January as they play for the first time in the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. Their ticket was booked after crushing Tajikistan in a 2-1 home victory early in 2018. With a world-renowned mentored on their side in Sven-Goran Eriksson and veteran national players, the Azkals will travel to the United Arab Emirates for the continental showdown. The Azkals kick off their 2019 AFC Cup Campaign on January 7th against South Korea, followed by a match against China PR on January 11th, before closing out the Group Stage on January 16th against Kyrgyzstan.  Newest season of the oldest professional league in Asia – January After just roughly a month of break from basketball action, the oldest professional league in Asia is back. The PBA will be kicking off its 44th season on January 13 with San Miguel defending its Philippine Cup title. Aside from that, marquee rookies such as CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Paul Desiderio are all set to play their first professional games with their respective teams. Up next on Pacman’s list – January The Filipinos will be treated to quality boxing as early as January 19 when Manny Pacquiao defends his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against challenger American Adrien Broner. After two years of fighting outside the US, Pacquiao will be back in Las Vegas to defend his title against a tough challenger in Broner. Just like old times, Freddie Roach will be back in Pacquiao's corner, this time serving as a consultant. Fanning the flames for a place in FIBA World Cup 2019 – February For the Philippines to be back in the FIBA World Cup, these are the things that need to happen: we must sweep out last two games then Japan must lose at least one of its last two games – giving us the third spot in Group F. Alternatively, we can pin our hopes on China winding up in the top four of its group – giving Groups E and F four berths apiece. Gilas Pilipinas begins its trek through that long and winding road away from home up against Qatar. All teams are teams-to-beat in UAAP 81 Volleyball – February The exciting and highly entertaining collegiate volleyball league is back on February 16. Things to watch out for? La Salle's bid for their fourth consecutive title, Ateneo's face post-Tai Bundit era, UP's confident aura coming off two major preseason championships, and UST's game-changing rookies. Eaglets-Bullpups Finals rematch or not – March Without a doubt, Ateneo and NU, the very same two teams that battled in the Finals last year, are the favorites to go all the way back to the champipnship round in the ongoing season. After all, the Blue Eaglets still have 7-foot-1, 16-year-old Kai Sotto and the Bullpups boast of the deepest roster in all of high school. After the first round of eliminations, however, it’s also clear that RJ Abarrientos-led FEU-Diliman and Joem Sabandal-fronted Adamson have other plans. For sure, something’s gotta give. Alab Pilipinas’ shot at history – April In the almost decade-long history of the Asean Basketball League, no team has won back-to-back championships. Alab Pilipinas is here to change that with the Puerto Rican pair of Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos showing the way alongside two-time Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. No doubt, this is the most talented team in franchise history and as such, nothing but a second straight title will be an acceptable outcome. The NCAA is five years away from its centennial celebration – July The first collegiate league in the country is approaching rarified air. Set to open its milestone mark 95th Season, the same old intensity is to be expected in the NCAA. The protagonists, however, may very well be different as all of last year’s Final Four teams will now be missing their main men – Robert Bolick for San Beda, CJ Perez for LPU, Bong Quinto for Letran, and Prince Eze for Perpetual. Is the UAAP 82 Basketball crown Katipunan’s to keep – September In Season 82, all teams will be seeking to nip the dynasty that the Ateneo Blue Eagles are trying to build. After going for back-two-back last season, all eyes will still be on them as their enter the season with an intact core. However, just like Season 81 it will not be a walk in the park with all contenders striving to match their caliber through massive recruitment, coach changes, and tough training camps. Filipino hospitality in SEA Games 2019 – November For the first time since 2005, the SEA Games will be played in Manila. That means that, at long last, our regional neighbors will yet again experience that world-renowned warmth of the Philippines and its people. Make no mistake, however, the Filipinos are all set to go all-out and dominate the medal tally – whether that be basketball in Manila or athletics and aquatics in Clark......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2018

Reasons to watch 2018 slate of NBA X mas day games

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com Bucks vs. Knicks (1am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: Two words; Giannis Antetokounmpo. The most dominant force in the league this season resides in Milwaukee. That’s right, the Greek Freak sits atop the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder heading into the Christmas Day showcase games. And with good reason. The Bucks are riding the wave their dynamic superstar forward has created in his first season in Mike Budenholzer’s system. Open it up and enjoy because … The Bucks are more than a one-man show. Antetokounmpo should be joined on the All-Star team this season by Khris Middleton, who is playing at that level, and point guard Eric Bledsoe is shooting better than he ever has in Budenolzer’s aggressive, shooter-friendly system. Watching the Bucks try and set a record for three-pointers taken and made should be entertaining enough. But the Knicks will offer some entertainment value of their own as they attempt to match the Bucks shot-for-shot with Tim Hardaway Jr. leading the way. The gift we’re hoping for is … The Knicks could use a statement win before a global audience to jump start the post-Christmas portion of their season-long grind. The Bucks have spent most of this season frightening the competition, both in the Eastern Conference and beyond. They’ve got the gift that’ll keep on giving for years in Antetokounmpo, who’ll get another chance to show the basketball public that what they’ve hard about a contender rising in the Central Division is real. Thunder vs. Rockets (4am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: Do we really need anyone to remind us to tune in for every Russell Westbrook-James Harden matchup for the foreseeable future? Didn’t think so. The matchup of the last two Kia MVPs winners is enough of an incentive to lock in on this one. And the fact that the Thunder occupy the space in the standings most thought was reserved for the Rockets only adds to the intrigue. Open it up and enjoy because … The real showstopper in this one isn’t either one of the MVP winners. Thunder swingman Paul George is the player you need to lock in on as he continues his dark horse MVP campaign for a much-improved team (the Thunder are light years away from the group that started the season 0-4). There are few soap operas better right now than the Rockets, who are dealing with yet another injury to All-Star point guard Chris Paul (hamstring) and a failure to play up to expectations that threatens to swallow up their season before Santa’s finished off his cookies and milk. The gift we’re hoping for is … What Westbrook and Harden wear into the building is worth a few moments of your time as these two fashion-forward superstars never fail to make an impression. But it’s the competitive fervor on the court that should provide the ultimate viewing pleasure. The Thunder would love to take over the position the Rockets held last season, as the legitimate threat to the Golden State Warriors’ stranglehold on the Western Conference throne. In the absence of a Christmas tilt against the two-time defending champs, the Rockets make an ideal fill in. Sixers vs. Celtics (6:30am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: The Eastern Conference version of Thunder-Rockets, the schedule makers look pretty good slotting the Sixers and Celtics in this spot. No one relishes an opportunity to take down a projected heavyweight the way the Sixers do (what else would you expect with Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid leading the charge?). The suddenly chummy Celtics, however, appear to be the team most eager to prove that they are indeed who we all thought they were in the summer, when they were the consensus pick to ascend to the top of the heap in place of Cleveland. Open it up and enjoy because … Kyrie Irving has embraced his role as the leader of this disjointed Celtics bunch in ways that fans in Cleveland have to be enjoying with an eyebrow raised. Kyrie trying to convince his young teammates to follow his lead is rich, given his reluctance to do exactly that when he was in their shoes. As far as rivalries go, this is perhaps the day’s deepest and most volatile. The Sixers are still smarting from that playoff ouster at the hands of the Celtics. And they won’t have ant sympathy for the Celtics as they continue their search for good health and better chemistry. The gift we’re hoping for is … A Ben Simmons-Kyrie point guard duel will make this game shine even brighter than usual. And they’re both more than capable of going off on the big stage. But the real treat here is going to be watching Jimmy Butler and Jayson Tatum match wits in what could be a preview of fireworks to come in a potential playoff matchup. Tatum’s sophomore season has been a bit choppier than expected. And Butler, whose shown a penchant for schooling youngsters (teammates and opponents) is surely betting on himself in this game within the game. Lakers vs. Warriors (9am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: With all of the recent history dripping off of this LeBron James-Warriors rivalry, the inclusion of the Los Angeles Lakers into the mix only serves to take this spectacle to the next level. LeBron insists this isn’t a measuring stick game for the upstart Lakers, not against a Warriors juggernaut that has won three of the last four Larry O’Brien trophies. Yeah, whatever you say big fella. Folks who haven’t watched a minute of NBA basketball season will be tuned into this one. Count on it. Open it up and enjoy because … Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant have moved into that cosmic zone that only the all-time greats are capable of locating (see their work in their Monday, PHL time win over the Los Angeles Clippers for proof). We already know how the superstars respond in a matchup of this nature. The great unknown is how the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball will react to the marquee spotlight at Oracle Arena. The Lakers’ youngsters have thrived at times and struggled at others in their first season inside the LeBron bubble. But they haven’t seen anything like what they’ll experience in Oakland on this night. The gift we’re hoping for is … Draymond Green hasn’t had a true breakout game since returning from his extended injury absence. With Lance Stephenson in uniform on the other side, the opportunity for fireworks would appear to be extremely high. We’d settle for some Finals-level intensity from both of the world class agitators in the building. That and vintage performances from LeBron, Steph, KD and Klay Thompson are expected. Anything else beyond that is really gravy on the best basketball meal of the day. Trail Blazers vs. Jazz (11:30am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: We’re dubbing the nightcap of the Christmas Day showcase the “Respect Bowl.” The Trail Blazers are always on the hunt for more respect and the Jazz, one of the trendy summer picks as a team poised to become a contender in the Western Conference this season, could stand to show a little self-respect in the way they tackle the remainder of this season. Open it up and enjoy because … Second-year Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is suffering from the same sophomore spell that has plagued Jayson Tatum in Boston. It’s one thing to surprise the basketball world as a rookie and another to come back better and even more dangerous the second time around. We’re betting on Spider showing up and showing out for the Christmas Day crowd. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Damian Lillard will not allow someone else to steal the spotlight from him. He warmed up for Mitchell and the Jazz by finishing off Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks Sunday night. You know his swagger travels, so expect to see his competitive best against Mitchell and the Jazz. The gift we’re hoping for is … Joe Ingles stealing the show would make for an ideal end to a day full of some the league’s biggest and brightest superstars. And the sweet-shooting Jazz swingman is one of the league’s criminally underrated stars. It would also be nice to see the rest of that Jazz team we expected to make things interesting this season make an appearance. Christmas Day games have always served as a launching pad/turning point for teams willing to dive in. And the Blazers and Jazz both seem like prime candidates to take advantage of the opportunity. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. 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 NewsDec 25th, 2018

2018: The year of collegiate champions and people s champions

From Katipunan to Mendiola, from Intramuros to San Marcelino, and from Morayta to Las Pinas, the year 2018 will be tough to top. That goes for both the NCAA and the UAAP as both leagues learned that it all begins here before experiencing unparalleled heights. Now, it’s high time for look back at the year that was in collegiate basketball. New year, new regime Before we can look back, however, we first need to look ahead as several new eras are already underway even before the year has ended. Over at La Salle, American coach Jermaine Byrd has been tapped with the hopes he can do to the Green Archers what American-Kiwi mentor Tab Baldwin has done for Ateneo. The same task of a turnaround is also what’s expected from the new hires of Mapua in Randy Alcantara, EAC in Oliver Bunyi, and Arellano in Cholo Martin. Immediate impact Alongside talented tacticians, however, teams need talented players. Fortunately for a handful of teams, they got just that from their first-year players. Ateneo won back-to-back championships all while featuring a brand new paint presence in Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year Ange Kouame. While being a force is already a given for any 6-foot-11 player like Kouame, both CJ Cansino and Dave Ildefonso also exceeded expectations in their rookie seasons for UST and NU, respectively. Over in the NCAA, Filipino-American high-flyer Justin Gutang propelled CSB just right outside the playoffs while Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang helped re-establish Letran as a powerhouse. The Walls of Intramuros are up again Speaking of Letran, it’s nothing but a welcome development to see them contending once more for the first time since their magical season and championship in 2015. Head coach Jeff Napa, at long last, has a team he can call his own and the Knights look like they will be big, big threats for the foreseeable future. Of course, size was never the advantage for neighboring LPU and rather, they have run-and-gunned their way to back-to-back Finals. With new head coach Randy Alcantara, Mapua is nothing but hoping it can finally catch up with its fellow Intramuros occupants. Started from the bottom, now we’re here Just four years ago, Adamson and UP were cellar-dwellers and were fighting over wins that were meaningless in the standings, but meaningful to their morale. Now, the two teams have just figured in classic semifinals series with both games going down the wire. In the end, it was the Fighting Maroons who advanced to the Finals, but the Soaring Falcons have nothing to be ashamed of, especially as they were one of only two teams that had downed champion Ateneo. Controversy, controversy The on-court action in both the NCAA and the UAAP was, without a doubt, intense. The same can be said, however, for the off-court happenings. The NCAA season started with San Sebastian being forced to forfeit a couple of its wins due to RK Ilagan playing in a commercial league, continued with Perpetual also being questioned about having players who suited up in a different commercial league, and ended with LPU main man CJ Perez getting suspended in Game 1 of the Finals. The UAAP had its share of colorful events with Thirdy Ravena getting suspended and therefore, getting disqualified from individual awards as well as FEU being indirectly helped into the playoffs by the untimely injuries to Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi and Sean Manganti. 2 MVPs, 1 alma mater It’s a universally accepted truth that Prince Eze deserved the NCAA MVP and Bright Akhuetie deserved the UAAP MVP. What’s funny is that, at one point in time, those two were actually teammates over at Perpetual. Yes, the Altas had both Nigerian tower Eze and Nigerian powerhouse Akhuetie seeing action for them for two seasons. Even more, they were also teammates with now Ginebra star Scottie Thompson for one year. Of course, the NCAA MVP and the UAAP MVP agreed that they had to go their separate ways so that both of them can spread their wings and fly. Good thing they did. Good thing they did. Just another season in the office for San Beda So much happened in the NCAA season – LPU’s continued contention, Letran and Perpetual’s resurgence, CSB and San Sebastian being darkhorses. In the end, however, San Beda left no doubt that it was still their kingdom by blanking the Pirates in the Finals. With that, the Red Lions extended their league-leading title total to 22 – with half coming in the last 13 years. We can talk about all the teams and all the players we want, but at the end of the day, the NCAA title will still go through Mendiola. Blue Eagle, still the king At the end of the first round of the UAAP season, Ateneo found itself in a three-way tie for the top spot with FEU and Adamson. By virtue of having lost to both the Tamaraws and the Soaring Falcons, the Blue Eagles were actually in third-place entering the second round. From there, however, Ateneo never lost – and was never even threatened – all the way to back-to-back championships. They did that, with court general Matt Nieto injured for most of the second round and do-it-all forward Thirdy Ravena incurring a suspension as well. Come the Finals, however, Ateneo just unleashed both Nieto and Ravena and ultimately, took the fight out of UP. Her-story for Lady Bulldogs These are the most important numbers for the NU Lady Bulldogs at the end of the UAAP season: five straight championships, 80 wins in a row. Yes, NU has not dropped any of its last 80 games dating back to 2014. With that, they not only eclipsed the 72-game winning streak of the Adamson softball squad, once the longest winning streak in league history, but also ran way past it. Oh, that winning streak – and the five-peat, for that matter – is still ongoing. That’s short of saying that the Lady Bulldogs will only continue to make history next year. Indeed, up was where the Fighting Maroons went From 2007 to 2015, UP only won 13 times out of 126 games. Those days have been self-depreciatingly called “the dark days.” In the recently concluded UAAP season, the Fighting Maroons finally found light at the end of the tunnel. First, at 7-6 with one game to go in the elimination round, they already registered their best showing in 14 seasons. Then, at 8-6 to end the elims, they claimed their first Final Four berth since 1997. Then, in discarding Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage, they won in the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. Then, by doubling down against the Soaring Falcons, they climbed to their first Finals since 1986. In the end, UP’s Cinderella run didn’t get a happy ending at the hands of Ateneo. But maybe, just maybe, the Fighting Maroons actually aren’t Cinderella. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2018

Ateneo student’s guardian reports bullying to QCPD

MANILA, Philippines --- The guardian of an Ateneo junior high school student who was mauled by his schoolmate has already asked that the incident be blottered at the Anonas Police Station, or Station 9, of the Quezon City Police District. The student was with his guardian who reported the incident on Thursday, according to the Women and Children's Protection Desk (WCPD) of the QCPD Station 9. The filing took place two days after a video showing a taekwondo blackbelter punching and kicking his schoolmate at the Ateneo de Manila went viral on social media. Ateneo has launched an investigation on the incident. READ:Ateneo probes bullying incident in junior high school The WCPD of...Keep on reading: Ateneo student’s guardian reports bullying to QCPD.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 21st, 2018