Advertisements


PBA: Champion Travis leads impressive list of 'balik imports' for Governors Cup

The resident import trend continues in the PBA. Eight of the 12 imports for the season-ending Governors' Cup have previous PBA experience, with five coming back to the same team they played for last season. Former Best Import Romeo Travis returns to Magnolia as the Hotshots look to defend their title. With Travis last year, the Hotshots dethroned Ginebra in the semifinals and took out Alaska in six games to win their first title in four years. Speaking of Ginebra, the Gin Kings will once again run it back with Justin Brownlee. JB has been a Ginebra fixture since 2016 and has three titles with the team. With Brownlee playing, the Gin Kings are always in the semifinals at the very least. After failing to complete a Governors' Cup three-peat last year and missing out on back-to-back Commissioner's Cup titles this year, you better believe that Brownlee and Ginebra are hungry for another championship. Also coming back for another tour of duty is Eugene Phelps for Phoenix. El Destructor has helped power the Fuel Masters to the upper half of the standings since coming over as a scoring and rebounding machine in 2016. After a suffering an upset last year, missing the semis as a top-2 seed, Phelps and Phoenix have some unfinished business in the Governors' Cup. The same goes for Olu Ashaolu and NLEX. Olu simply fits with the Road Warriors but Ashaolu's untimely injury last year robbed him of all the momentum he's built with NLEX. Now fully healthy with top local help in JP Erram and the returning Kiefer Ravena, Olu and the Road Warriors are a solid sleeper pick for the Governors' Cup. Finally, there's Allen Durham, who has even bigger unfinished business in the PBA with Meralco. Durham, a two-time Best Import, had the Bolts in back-to-back Finals, losing to Ginebra both times. Last year, AD powered Meralco all the way to the semifinals, surviving six straight knockout games. Third time wasn't the charm for Durham and the Bolts, maybe a fourth time can do the trick. Also coming back for return stints in the PBA are Mychal Ammons for Northport (formerly with TNT), Joel Wright for Rain or Shine (formerly with Star). Marqus Blakely (formerly with San Mig and TNT) will suit up for Blackwater in the East Asia Super League's Terrific 12 tournament in Macau and the Elite are also eyeing the two-time champion for a Governors' Cup stint following a release from the KaTropa.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 12th, 2019

ABL Season 10 Preview

With the 10th Season of the ABL officially underway, we’ve been witnesses to one of the more colorful and exciting off seasons in the past few years. This is a testament to the ever-growing level of competition the league has seen year in and year out, as teams are doing their best to make sure that they enter the season with as competitive a lineup as they can muster. After another banner season which saw the CLS Knights defeat perennial contender the Singapore Slingers, everything is up for grabs. Established teams have entered into rebuilding mode, former champions have gone the direction of youth, regular contenders have added more depth both among their imports and locals, while this year’s expansion club boasts of one of the more impressive lineups we’ve seen from an expansion club in recent memory. All of this just makes for an even more exciting tenth season as the ABL continues to rise to greatness. Here is a quick rundown of what to expect from each of the teams: San Miguel Alab Pilipinas  (Regular season record: 18-8, 2nd, lost to HK Eastern in the quarterfinals) Former ABL Champs San Miguel Alab Pilipinas will be fielding a virtually new squad this 2019-2020 season, with Lawrence Domingo and Brandon Rosser as the only holdovers from Coach Jimmy Alapag’s 2018-2019 campaign. Gone are 3-time local MVP Bobby Ray Parks, Jr, former Defensive Player of the Year Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos. Instead, Alab will be relying on Fil-American guards Jason Brickman and Jeremiah Gray to lead their cast of locals. Brickman is no stranger to winning, after having led the Westports Malaysia Dragons to an ABL championship in 2016, and Mono Vampire to a Finals appearance two seasons ago. He remains one of the league’s best passers and has a knack for making winning plays. Jeremiah Gray meanwhile, is arguably Alab’s most touted local addition, and the 6’4” scorer could be one of the most exciting locals to watch out for this season. Since joining the ABL three seasons ago, Alab has finished the regular season no lower than 3rd place, but after last season’s early post season exit against the Hong Kong Eastern, Coach Jimmy Alapag and the rest of the squad are looking to bring the franchise back to the ABL Finals. Formosa Dreamers (Regular season record: 19-7, First, lost to Mono Vampire in the quarterfinals) The Formosa Dreamers shocked the ABL last season when, after finishing with a dismal 1-19 record in their inaugural season, the Dreamers finished at the top of the heap after the regular season with a 19-7 record. It was short-lived however, as the team from Taiwan bowed out in the first round of the post-season to the 8th seeded Mono Vampire of Thailand.  None of the three imports (Will Artino, Malcolm Miller and Tevin Glass) who steered them to a first-place elimination round record will be back this season, and neither will Coach Dean Murray. Instead, the Dreamers will be tapping former Saigon Heat Head Coach Kyle Julius, who steered the Heat to the franchise’s first winning season and playoff victory, to call the shots from the sidelines. They’ve also added two explosive imports in Jerran Young and Marcus Keene. Young, the 6’6” wingman who averaged 19ppg, 7.1rpg, and 2.3 spg to help bring the Slingers back to the ABL Finals last season. Keene meanwhile, suited up for two games for Mono Vampire last season and averaged 32.5ppg before being cut. Look for these two imports to power the Dreamers fast paced offense together with Taiwanese National Team mainstay Jet Chang, and reliable locals Kenny Chien, Lee Hsueh-Lin, and Wu Sung-Wei.   Hong Kong Eastern (Regular Season record: 13-13, 7th, defeated Alab Pilipinas in the quarterfinals, lost to Singapore Slingers in the Semifinals) 2017 ABL Champion Hong Kong Eastern has reset their program, parting ways with 2017 Coach of the Year Edu Torres, as well as former world import MVP, Marcus Elliot. They’ve opted to go with younger imports in Trey Kell (23 years old) and TJ Price (26 years old), while retaining last season’s replacement to Sam Deguara, Michael Holyfield. They’ve also tapped former NBA G-League coach Jordan Brady as Torres’ replacement.  Trey Kell is a talented scorer, standing 6’4”, and averaged 21.6ppg, 7.9rpg, and 4.8apg at the Canadian National Basketball League where he was named Finals MVP. TJ Price meanwhile is another scoring guard who averaged 16.7ppg, 3.3rpg, and 3.2apg in the Hungarian League A Division. Talented as their imports may be however, the success of Eastern’s rebuild will still largely depend on the contributions from the locals.     Kuala Lumpur Dragons (Regular Season record: 8-18, 9th, did not advance to the post season) Key Players: Will Artino, Amir Bell, Cade Davis Now known as the Kuala Lumpur Dragons, the 2016 ABL Champs have long road ahead to retain their past glory. Having not made it to the last three postseasons, Head Coach Jamie Pearlman will be relying heavily on former Creighton Bluejay and Formosa Dreamers center, Will Artino. Artino averaged a double-double in his first season in the ABL, and led the Dreamers to first place at the end of last year’s regular season. He will be partnered up with a solid shooter in Cade Davis, and Amir Bell, a 6’4” guard from Princeton, who averaged 10.4ppg, 4.2rpg, and 3.9apg for Agrigento in the Italian League 2nd Division. It will be interesting to see how this new mix of imports will blend with their locals, especially in a tough bracket that includes San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, Mono Vampire, Singapore Slingers, and the Saigon Heat.   Macau Black Bears (Regular Season Record:14-12, 6th, lost to the Singapore Slingers in the quarterfinals) Key Players: Mikh McKinney, Kenny Manigault, Brandon Edwards, Lai Ka Tong, Jenning Leung When Anthony Tucker went down to injury last season, so did Macau’s hopes of really contending for the ABL crown. Granted, Mikh McKinney was the league’s best scorer and Ryan Watkins, the best rebounder, but without their former World Import MVP and best playmaker, the Black Bears simply could not advance.  This season, gone are Tucker and Watkins. McKinney will have the explosive and athletic Kenny Manigault as his backcourt mate. Manigault averaged 17.1ppg and 5.3rpg playing in Finland. Their third import is 6’6” Brandon Edwards, who will be tasked to mix it up inside with the best big men of the league. It will be tough for this guard-laden Macau squad, and they will rely mostly on a small-ball style, utilizing McKinney’s and Manigault’s athleticism to relentlessly attack defenses and create opportunities for themselves and the rest of their teammates.   Mono Vampire Basketball Club (Regular Season Record: 11-15, 8th, defeated Formosa Dreamers in the quarterfinals, lost to CLS Knights Indonesia in the Semifinals) Key Players: Mike Singletary, Ryan Watkins, Tyler Lamb, Freddie Lish, Moses Morgan Mono Vampire proved that they were dead serious on making it back to the Finals this upcoming ABL Season. Last year, after bucking a slow start, Mono Vampire added Romeo Travis, Malcolm White, and Freddie Lish midseason, and still ended up becoming the hottest team to close the regular season. They also surprised everyone by eliminating the top seeded Formosa Dreamers despite being the 8th seeded team in the post-season.  This year they brought back their solid core of Tyler Lamb, Mike Singletary, Freddie Lish, and Moses Morgan; while also adding the one of last year’s most efficient imports and rebounding leader Ryan Watkins from the Macau Black Bears. 6’1” Preston Knowles, the former Louisville Cardinal, will be manning the point guard spot, as former world import MVP Anthony Tucker, will miss the season due to another foot injury. Regardless of Tucker’s absence however, Mono Vampire looks to possess one of the league’s deepest rosters.    Saigon Heat (Regular Season record: 14-12, 5th, lost to CLS Knights Indonesia in the quarterfinals) Key Players: Chris Charles, Gary Forbes, Sam Thompson, Sang Dinh, Chris Dierker, Tam Dinh Coming from their most successful season thus far where they won their first ever playoff game, the Saigon Heat are poised to make waves this coming ABL season. Their local core of Khoa Tran, Sang Dinh and Chris Dierker, has been further bolstered by VBA MVP and Sang’s older brother, Tam Dinh (24.5ppg, 54.8% FG%), who will look to carry his scoring ways in the ABL. The Heat have also chosen to add length and experience, signing ABL All-time 10 Honoree Chris Charles, NBA veteran Gary Forbes, and former Ohio State Buckeye, Sam Thompson. However, the Heat will no longer be with head coach Kyle Julius -- architect of their playoff runs the past 2 seasons – as he is now with the Formosa Dreamers. In his place, the team has tapped 2-time Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) Coach of the Year Kevin Yurkus, to lead the squad.    Singapore Slingers (Regular Season record: 16-10, 3rd, defeated the Macau Black Bears in the quarterfinals, defeated HK Eastern in the Semifinals, lost to the CLS Knights Indonesia in the Finals) Key Players: Xavier Alexander, Marcus Elliot, Anthony McClain, Delvin Goh, Leon Kwek Arguably the most talked about offseason transfer belonged to the Singapore Slingers with their signing of former World Import MVP Marcus Elliot. Elliot played the last 3 seasons with Hong Kong Eastern where he averaged 23ppg, 7.6rpg, and 6.5apg. He also ranks 3rd in the ABL’s all-time scoring list, and has the second most career triple-doubles next the Slingers’ Xavier Alexander, last season’s Import MVP. With Elliot and Alexander, Singapore would now possess the league’s most potent backcourt, although there will surely be a period of adjustment, as both players are used to having the ball in their hands for most of the game. Further bolstering Coach Neo Beng Siang’s lineup is the addition of 7-foot big man Anthony McClain, a walking double-double, who most recently normed 17.8ppg and 13.6rpg in Taiwan’s Super Basketball League. Providing local support as well are Delvin Goh, who has continuously improved every season, and the returning Leon Kwek, who’s scoring and heads up play was sorely missed last season when he had to sit out due to National Service commitments.   Macau Wolf Warriors  Regular Season record: 2-24, 10th, did not advance to the post season) Key Players: Steven Thomas, Julian Boyd, Douglas Herring, Cai Chen After a dismal inaugural season, record-wise, the Wolf Warriors are looking to follow in the footsteps of the Formosa Dreamers, who rebounded from their 1-19 debut season to top the elimination round of season 2018-2019. They’ve brought in former ABL Champion Coach Todd Purves to mastermind the team’s rebuild, as well as ABL import legend and All-time Ten Honoree Steven Thomas, and ABL Champion Douglas Herring, who led the CLS Knights to their first ever ABL Championship last season. Rounding out their import lineup is Julian Boyd, a prolific scorer who averaged 22.5ppg and 9.9rpg, in his most recent stint in Iceland’s domestic professional league. Cai Chen, their top local last season, will try to prove that his 19.7ppg and 7.4rpg was no fluke, as he will try to lead their cast of locals to a better finish this time around.  Taipei Fubon Braves (new) Key Players: OJ Mayo, Charles Garcia, Joseph Lin, Lin Chih-Chieh, Tseng Wen-Ting One of the most interesting and exciting expansion teams the ABL has seen in a long while, the Taipei Fubon Braves not only bring with them a winning tradition, but a star-studded lineup. Champions of the local Taiwan Super Basketball League, the Braves will be parading arguably the best ex-NBA player to play in the league in OJ Mayo, former NBA D-League player and double-double machine, Charles Garcia, as well as 7’4” behemoth Sim Bhullar, and Taiwanese National Team veterans Lin Chih-Chieh and Tseng Wen-Ting. Another notable name on their lineup is Joseph Lin, younger brother of former NBA star Jeremy Lin.  Coach Roger Hsu’s team will be coming into the ABL with a lot of hype surrounding them; but with their chemistry and championship pedigree, he hopes the transition from their domestic league to the higher level of competition in the ABL will be a smooth one......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

PBA: Terrence Jones new tropa wants to send him back to the NBA

Over the last couple of seasons, the PBA has seen its share of super imports. Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee immediately comes to mind. Meralco’s Allen Durham and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps fit in that mold too. Alaska’s Mike Harris is in that list as well. The uber-talented Glen Rice Jr. could have made it if he just got it together. But for the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, TNT brought not just any other import. Tired of underperforming for the past few conferences, the KaTropa went ahead and signed former Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones for the mid-season joust. With Jones, TNT went the super — SUPER — import route and it has been worth every penny for the KaTropa, at least so far.   ROCKET MAN Many former NBA players have played in the PBA before, that’s not a new thing. But what makes Jones special is that he’s at his peak of his powers now as he plays his first stint in the PBA. Jones is a former first-round pick and was a legitimate NBA contributor. In his best NBA season, in 2013-2014 for Houston, Jones started 71 games and had career-high numbers of 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. This dude is legit. “Oo iba, iba siya talaga,” guard RR Pogoy said of Jones. (Yes, he’s really different). In just one conference, Pogoy and Jones have clicked as teammates. Terrence has admitted that RR is one of his favorite local targets when he’s trying to spot an open teammate when opposing teams double on him. Pogoy admits that Jones is one of the best, if not the best, import he’s ever played with. “Pwedeng-pwede pa siya talaga sa NBA eh. Iba yung skills niya,” he added. (He could still play in the NBA. His skills are just different).   THE DIFFERENCE TNT has ran pretty much the same system for years. Whether you like this team or now, they know what style they want to play andd they identify players that fit that system well. The KaTropa have dominated the PBA without a traditional big man. Ask other teams, they’ve been blindsided and bamboozled by a TNT offense led by diminutive point guards like Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro. However, the KaTropa have hit another rough patch. The team hasn’t made it to the PBA semifinals since 2017. Their 2018 campaign was a lot like the horror 2016 year with the only difference being three seasons ago, they actually made it to the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup as a no. 1 seed. Last year, they won zero playoff games and missed the playoffs altogether once so in essence, 2018 was a worse nightmare for the KaTropa. It didn’t help that in the previous All-Filipino, they were practically a missed 24-second violation away from ending the San Miguel Beer Philippine Cup dynasty. The winning formula no longer works for TNT. Or at the very least, it’s not as effective. Enter Terrence Jones. “Malaking tulong talaga siya sa team namin. Kung ano yung kulang samin, parang fit na fit talaga siya eh. Napa-dali na lang yung mga buhay namin sa basketball,” Pogoy said of Jones. (He’s a big help to our team. What we lack, he fits right in. Our basketball lives are easier with him). “Yung rebounding tsaka yung pagka-shot blocker niya [malaking tulong]. Naiilang din yun kalaban namin eh, sa rebound naman naco-control namin kasi may malaki na kami, yun naman talaga kulang namin,” Pogoy added. (His rebounding and his presence as a shot blocker is a huge help). In 10 games so far, Jones is averaging 14.9 rebounds per game. That may not seem much for an import but he’s never had fewer than 10 in a game and has hit a high 22 rebounds. His shot blocking has helped TNT shore up its overall defense as well with Jones averaging 2.9 rejections a game with his three best performances coming against Columbian (7 blocks), Ginebra (6 blocks), and San Miguel (5 blocks). The last two teams feature perhaps the two best frontlines in the league today by a wide margin. Aside from his defensive presences, Jones is a force on offense as well, averaging 34.5 points on close to 50 percent shooting. He’s hit over 30 points eight times and over 40 points four times. Scoring will be a given for a player of his caliber but what sets him apart is his ability to locate open teammates and willingly pass the ball to them. Jones is good for at least four assists in every game and he’s topped out at 16 dimes so far. In 10 games, he’s rounding up to 7.7 assists per outing which leads all imports, and the whole league actually. “Talagang willing passer siya, hinahanap din niya talaga yung mga kasama niya. Kumbaga di niya inaako lahat yung scoring load,” forward Troy Rosario said of his new frontcourt tandem in Jones. (He’s a willing passer. He really tries to find his teammates and he’s not trying to shoulder all the scoring load). “Kami ready pa rin kami lagi. Syempre yung experience niya sa NBA talagang pinapakita niya dito, natutulungan din niya kami kung saan kami dapat lumugar sa plays kasi advanced na siya eh, kahit di na sabihin ni coach alam na niya dapat gawin,” he added. (We’re just ready as locals. He’s really showing his NBA experience here, he’s helping us to where we need to be on plays because he’s so advanced he knows what to do even before coach tells us).   THE LEADER Aside from putting up big numbers across the board, there’s one underrated factor about Terrence Jones that has led to him making a positive impact on TNT. Jones made an effort to be a leader for the KaTropa and his teammates have rallied behind him for sure. The result is in the way they play and the way they win in the Commissioner’s Cup. “I think it’s come to them [TNT locals] listening and understanding that I have a little experience on what it takes to try to win and be a good teammate,” Jones said of his leadership role with the KaTropa and how it worked out. “They listened and understood that and we’ve been having fun ever since,” he added. TNT is full of alpha-level players but Jones’ NBA resume has certainly helped in making them line up behin their import and provide support. The the KaTropa have been running like a well-oiled machince with that set up. “Leadership pa lang niya ang laking tulong na samin. As locals, ginagawa lang namin kung ano dapat namin gawin para maka-contribute din and para matulungan din siya,” Rosario said. (His leadership alone is a big help for us. As locals, we just try to do what we need to do to contribute and to help him out). “Magaling siya, isa talaga siya mga leader namin ngayon. Talagang nili-lift up niya kami, di lang sa salita pati sa gawa,” Pogoy added. (He’s great, he’s one of our leaders now. He really lifts us up not just with words but with action as well)   THE LONG ROAD BACK TO THE ASSOCIATION It would be incredible if TNT ends up having Terrence Jones as a resident import the same way Ginebra has Justin Brownlee or Phoenix has Eugene Phelps or Meralco having Allen Durham. However, the KaTropa know that their super import still has a good shot of returning to the NBA and they plan on helping him get back there. “Syempre goal namin makapasok sa playoffs, nagawa na namin yun. Ang susunod na step is next round sa playoffs. Malaking tulong din yun sa kanya kasi yung pangalan niya bumabango ulit,” Rosario said. (Our goal is to make the playoffs and we did that. Now the next step is to get to the next round of the playoffs. That’s a big help for him to get his name out there again). “Preparation na rin kasi alam namin na after dito, meron siyang invites sa mga training camps,” he added. (It’s also good preparation because we know after this, he has some invites to camps). With TNT at 9-1 and a top-2 seed in the playoffs, the team is certainly favored to win in the Commissioner’s Cup. And perhaps one of Jones’ best ways to once again get some traction is to put up great numbers for a championship team in a big league like the PBA. There’s a big check mark on the numbers part and while he can’t win a title by his lonesome, Jones has an entire tropa that has his back. “Lalo na kung mag-champion kami, mabango yung pangalan niya di ba?” Pogoy said. (If we win the championship, that’s good for his name, right?). “Marami naman nags-scout diyan, nakikita siya and maganda pinapakita niya. Feel ko [kaya bumalik sa NBA],” he added. (There’s people that scout him, seeing him and how good he’s been performing. I feel [he can make it back to the NBA]). Of course, winning a PBA championship does not directly award Jones and NBA roster spot. However, he appreciates that his team backs him up in that regard. Right now TNT’s super import is just concerned about playing well with his team and winning more games. “I appreciate it, I wish nothing but the best for all my teammates as well,” Jones said. “I hope you guys see that while we’re playing, we’re smiling and enjoying one another when anybody scores. It’s just like a family atmosphere,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2019

Texans grab AFC South lead with 24-21 victory over Titans

By The Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Houston Texans grabbed control of the AFC South by beating the Tennessee Titans 24-21 Sunday. The defending division champs are looking for Houston's fourth AFC South title in six years under coach Bill O'Brien. The Titans haven't won this division since 2008, and Mike Vrabel is Tennessee's third coach since then. Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked a 29-yard field goal with 3:26 left for the winning points. The Texans (9-5) nearly blew a 14-0 halftime lead. Deshaun Watson threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns, but Tennessee also intercepted him twice inside the Titans 1. The Titans (8-6) snapped a four-game win streak with only their second loss in seven games. Now they will need help in the final two games to earn their second playoff berth in three seasons. When the Titans tied it at 14 early in the fourth quarter, the Texans scored 10 straight points. Carlos Hyde ran for a 10-yard TD, then Fairbairn's field goal finished Houston's scoring. Ryan Tannehill hit Dion Lewis with an 11-yard TD pass with 2:04 left to pull Tennessee within 24-21. But the Titans used backup kicker Ryan Santoso on the onside kick, and the ball only went 7 yards before being smothered by Texans safety Justin Reid. BILLS 17, STEELERS 10 PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Allen threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Kroft with 7:55 to play and Buffalo clinched a playoff spot, beating Pittsburgh. The Bills secured their second playoff berth in three seasons under coach Sean McDermott. Buffalo trailed 10-7, but scored on two possessions in the fourth quarter, as Allen rallied the Bills for a comeback win for the fifth time this season. Consecutive interceptions by Jordan Poyer and Levi Wallace on Pittsburgh’s last two possessions sealed the victory. The surging Steelers had an opportunity to leapfrog the Bills for the top AFC wild card spot, but Buffalo snapped Pittsburgh’s three-game win streak. Buffalo won for the fourth time in five games and recorded its first 10-win season since 1999. The Bills also beat the Steelers for the second time ever in Pittsburgh. Allen completed 13 of 25 passes for 139 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Allen, who also rushed for a score, has only lost consecutive games once in his career. Kroft scored his first touchdown since 2017 when he played for Cincinnati. Devin Singletary rushed for 87 yards and John Brown caught seven passes for 99 yards. He became Buffalo’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 2015. Devlin Hodges completed 23 of 38 passes for 202 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. PACKERS 21, BEARS 13 GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Jones ran for two scores, Davante Adams caught another in the 200th edition of he NFL's oldest rivalry. With the win, the Packers (11-3) clinched a playoff spot and swept the regular-season series between the teams for the 15th time in the last 26 seasons and the seventh time in the last 11 seasons. Green Bay defeated Chicago 10-3 in the season opener. Green Bay now leads the all-time series 99-95-6. The Bears (7-7) saw their three-game win streak end. The Packers improved to 19-5 against their NFC North rival with Rodgers as the starting quarterback. Rodgers completed just 16 of 33 passes for a pedestrian 203 yards but did enough to secure the victory. The two-time MVP entered the day with a 103.2 career passer rating against the Bears, the highest in league history of quarterbacks with at least 250 passes against Chicago. He had a 78.2 rating on Sunday. Mitchell Trubisky completed his first five pass attempts for the Bears but for only 18 yards. Chicago's offense opened the game with three straight punts and a turnover on downs. Trubisky finished 28 of 53 for 321 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. PATRIOTS 34, BENGALS 13 CINCINNATI (AP) — Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes to move within one of the NFL career record, Stephon Gilmore returned one of his two interceptions 64 yards for a score, and the Patriots clinched a playoff berth. A week that started with intrigue — a Patriots crew videotaping the Bengals' sideline in Cleveland — concluded with more New England history. The Patriots have made the playoffs 11 consecutive seasons, extending their NFL record. Brady had touchdown passes of 23 and 7 yards that left him with 538 for his career, one shy of Peyton Manning's record. The Patriots (11-3) haven't been as overwhelming in this playoff push, getting just enough out of the 42-year-old Brady and more than enough out of the league's top-ranked defense. Thousands of Patriots fans filled the stadium and chanted Brady's name as the minutes ran off. Brady was 15 of 29 for 128 yards and a pair of sacks. The Patriots broke a two-game losing streak with four interceptions in the second half. Gilmore picked off Andy Dalton twice in the third quarter, with his second pick-6 of the season putting New England in control. The Patriots pushed their league-leading interception total to 25. The Bengals (1-13) got a touchdown pass from Dalton that ended a streak of 20 straight games without reaching the end zone on their opening drive. All they managed the rest of the way was a pair of field goals. CHIEFS 23, BRONCOS 3 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, and Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were on the receiving end of many of his biggest throws, as the AFC West champions romped to remain in the hunt for the No. 2 playoff seed and a potential first-round bye. Like a bunch of kids getting a snow day from school, the Chiefs enjoyed every minute of it. Hill caught five passes for 67 yards and both scores, and Kelce hauled in 11 catches for 142 yards to become the first tight end in NFL history with four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, helping the Chiefs (10-4) beat the Broncos for the ninth straight time. Denver (5-9) hasn't won in Kansas City since Sept. 17, 2015. The Chiefs outscored their longtime division rival 53-9 this season. Whether it was the snowy weather or the suddenly stout Chiefs defense, the Broncos were so inept offensively that Kelce had more yards receiving at the start of the fourth quarter than they had total offense (139 yards). Phillip Lindsay was bottled up on the ground, and former Missouri standout Drew Lock — who grew up in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Missouri — spent most of the day seeing red jerseys bearing down on him. The rookie quarterback was 18 of 40 for 208 yards and an egregious interception in the end zone. COWBOYS 44, RAMS 21 ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and Ezekiel Elliott ran for two scores. The Cowboys (7-7) ended their second three-game losing streak of the season, and the defending NFC East champions stayed even with Philadelphia atop the division with a showdown looming next week. The defending NFC champion Rams (8-6), who already needed help to get into the playoffs, didn't help themselves with another poor showing a week after their most impressive game of the season in a win over Seattle. Their loss clinched playoff berths for Seattle, San Francisco and Green Bay. After rushing for a franchise playoff-record 273 yards in a 30-22 divisional win over the Cowboys last January, the Rams were held to 22 while Dallas churned out a season-high 263. Todd Gurley had 11 carries for 20 yards. Coming off two of his better games of the season, Rams quarterback Jared Goff had a rough outing that looked better because of his fourth-quarter numbers with the outcome decided. He finished 33 of 51 for 284 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The Cowboys' No. 1-ranked offense kept rolling with a season high in points to go with 475 yards, including scoring drives of 90 and 97 yards. FALCONS 29, 49ERS 20 SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Matt Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on a 5-yard pass that was ruled a touchdown after a replay reversal with 2 seconds left. Jones was called short of the goal line with the Falcons (5-9) trailing 22-17. But a replay showed the ball breaking the plane with the Jones in the air while being tackled by Jimmie Ward. When things couldn't get crazier, they did: On the final kickoff, Atlanta scored another touchdown when Olamide Zaccheaus came up with the ball as the 49ers were tossing it around in desperation. The 49ers (11-3) still clinched their first playoff berth since a 2013 run to the NFC championship game with the Rams' loss at Dallas. In an afternoon when Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense hardly shined, San Francisco's other units did their best to hold off Ryan until the quarterback exhibited the poise of a former MVP in a dramatic final minute — or, make that 12 seconds. Facing his former team and now in his third year as 49ers coach, Kyle Shanahan's high-powered offense fizzled much of the day. Shanahan spent two seasons as offensive coordinator in Atlanta coaching Ryan during his 2016 MVP year when the Falcons set a franchise record by scoring 540 points and Ryan had career bests in yards passing (4,944), TD passes (38) and passer rating (117.1). Then the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead on New England in the Super Bowl and Shanahan left for the Bay Area shortly after. VIKINGS 39, CHARGERS 10 CARSON, Calif, (AP) — Dan Bailey kicked four field goals and Ifeadi Odenigbo scored Minnesota's second defensive touchdown in three games. Los Angeles led 10-9 midway through the second quarter before Minnesota scored 30 unanswered points. The Chargers (5-9), who have dropped four of their last five, committed seven turnovers, their most since having seven against the Giants in 1986. The seven turnovers resulted in 20 Minnesota points. Mike Boone ran for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and Kirk Cousins threw for 207 yards and a TD for the Vikings (10-4), who have won four of their last five to remain in possession of the NFC's last playoff spot. Melvin Gordon fumbled twice and Philip Rivers threw three interceptions. Rivers, who threw for 307 yards, has been picked off 10 times in the past five games. LA appeared to be in field goal range at the Vikings 26. But on second-and-2, Rivers fumbled when he was sacked by Danielle Hunter. Austin Ekeler recovered it at the 38 and tried to make a play but also fumbled. Odenigbo then scooped up the loose ball and went 56 yards for a touchdown to give Minnesota a 19-10 lead. Boone, who had 49 yards on 13 attempts, had most of his carries in the second half after Dalvin Cook was injured. He had touchdown runs of 8 and 2 yards in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. SEAHAWKS 30, PANTHERS 24 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, Chris Carson ran for 133 yards and two scores. The Seahawks (11-3) wrapped up a postseason berth for the seventh time in the last eight seasons with a Rams loss at Dallas. They also tied San Francisco for the NFC West lead. It was the 100th regular season win for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Seattle scored on its first three possessions as Wilson completed 8 of 10 passes for 175 yards, with 19-yard touchdown passes to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett for a perfect 153.8 QB rating. Chris Carson added a 16-yard TD run as the Seahawks built a 20-7 lead at halftime. But Seattle had to hold on after nearly surrendering a 30-10 lead with 7:28 left in the game as Carolina (5-9) got two touchdowns. Christian McCaffrey scored on a 15-yard run and Kyle Allen found Curtis Samuel for a 5-yard score to make it a one-possession game with 3:19 left. But the Seahawks overcame two holding penalties and Wilson connected on a 14-yard pass to Lockett on a third-and-11 to help the Seahawks run out the clock. EAGLES 37, REDSKINS 27 LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Carson Wentz recovered from a late fumble by leading a 75-yard, go-ahead scoring drive and throwing his third touchdown pass of the day to keep the Eagles' NFC East hopes on track. Wentz threw TD passes to running back Miles Sanders, tight end Zach Ertz and receiver Greg Ward and was 30 of 43 for 266 yards. The 4-yard pass from Wentz to Ward with 26 seconds left put Philadelphia up for good and electrified a stadium full of green-clad Eagles fans. Wentz's ability to bounce back from some accuracy issues and a turnover means the Eagles (7-7) are tied with Dallas in the division race with a game against the Cowboys coming next week. Of course, Wentz didn't do it by himself. Sanders rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 50 yards. The Eagles defense that struggled to stop Washington's Dwayne Haskins most of the afternoon got him to fumble for a touchdown return by Nigel Bradham on the game's final play. Coming off an overtime victory against Eli Manning and the New York Giants, a loss to Washington (3-11) could've had the Eagles facing elimination next week. CARDINALS 38, BROWNS 24 GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kenyan Drake ran for four touchdowns, Kyler Murray threw for 219 yards and a score and the Cardinals snapped a six-game losing streak. Murray got the best of a much-anticipated showdown with Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield. The two were teammates in college at Oklahoma and both won Heisman Trophies before being selected with the No. 1 overall picks by their respective teams in back-to-back years. Murray completed 19 of 25 passes and also ran for 58 yards. Drake, acquired midseason in a trade with the Dolphins, ran for a season-high 137 yards and scored a touchdown in every quarter. He's the first Cardinals player to score four rushing touchdowns in a game since 1993. Arizona pushed ahead 28-17 late in the third quarter when Drake scored his third touchdown on a 1-yard run, one play after the Cardinals won a pivotal challenge. Cleveland's Damarious Randall was called for defensive pass interference after a review, reversing the no-call on the field. Cleveland's Nick Chubb — who came in as the NFL's leading rusher — finished with 127 yards on the ground. Mayfield completed 30 of 43 passes for 247 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. JAGUARS 20, RAIDERS 16 OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Gardner Minshew threw two TD passes to Chris Conley in the final 5:15 of the game and the Jaguars spoiled the final scheduled game at the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders (6-8) broke out to a 16-3 lead and appeared comfortably ahead before falling apart in the closing minutes to put a damper on an already somber day in Oakland. The Jaguars (5-9) drove 79 yards to draw within 16-13 on Minshew's 6-yard TD pass to Conley. The Raiders tried to run out the clock and got a pair of first-down runs from Josh Jacobs and another from Derek Carr. But Carr was ruled out of bounds with 2:05 to play after sliding down, sparing the Jaguars from using a timeout. Oakland then got a delay of game in the confusion and Tyrell Williams dropped a third-down pass. Daniel Carlson then missed a 50-yard field goal, only to get another chance after Parry Nickerson was called for running into the kicker. Carlson missed again from 45 yards and the Jaguars took over at the 35 with 1:44 to go. Minshew moved them downfield and connected with Conley on the 4-yard score with 31 seconds left. GIANTS 36, DOLPHINS 20 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw two touchdowns in what might have been his final home start for the Giants and New York snapped a franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak. Saquon Barkley ran for 112 yards and scored two walk-in touchdowns and New York's much-maligned defense added a safety as the Giants (3-11) handed the Dolphins (3-11) their second loss in as many weeks at MetLife Stadium. Manning, who lost his starting job to first-round draft pick Daniel Jones in Week 3 and got it back last week when the rookie sprained an ankle, threw a 51-yard scoring pass to Golden Tate in the second quarter. He threw a go-ahead 5-yarder to Darius Slayton on the opening series of the second half. The 38-year-old also threw three interceptions, two of which set up by field goals by Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders. With 1:50 left, Manning (20 of 28 for 283 yards) was taken out by coach Pat Shurmur and replaced by Alex Tanney, drawing his second standing ovation from those left in the crowd. He walked to the sideline and was congratulated by teammates while the crowd chanted "Eli Manning.'' He even smiled. Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose game slipped after taking a big hit on a third-quarter scramble, threw two touchdowns to DaVante Parker, the second one with the game out of reach. BUCCANEERS 38, LIONS 17 DETROIT (AP) — Jameis Winston became the first player in NFL history to throw for 450 yards in consecutive games. Winston threw three touchdowns in the first half — four overall — and a career-high 458 yards one week after throwing for 456 yards. The Buccaneers (7-7) have won four straight and five of six, but their surge started too late for them to get in the playoffs race. Detroit (3-10-1) has dropped seven games in a row and 10 of 11, increasing the scrutiny of embattled coach Matt Patricia. The Lions looked like they were still competing for their coach, and themselves, after falling behind 21-0 in the first half. Running back Wes Hills, signed Saturday, ran for a second TD early in the fourth quarter to cut Tampa Bay's lead to 24-17. The comeback hopes ended with a thud. Sean Murphy-Bunting returned an interception 70 yards for a score and a 14-point lead. Winston followed with his fourth TD pass, connecting with Breshad Perriman for a third time......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2019

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio believes teammate Lito Adiwang destined for title run

Reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio gave hope to those who itch to see him trade leather with his red-hot teammate Lito "Thunder Kid" Adiwang. Pacio and Adiwang both train under the watchful eye of Mark Sangiao's Team Lakay in Baguio City. They also compete in the talent-rich strawweight division of ONE Championship, which leads fans to speculate about a fantasy match-up between the two Filipinos. And if fans are truly dying to see them go at it, Pacio says there is actually one way to see them in action – travel to the mountains of Baguio City and watch them go at it in training.  “Lito?” Pacio laughed. “Yeah, we’ll fight…in the gym.” Adiwang's rise to prominence started in Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, where he had an impressive 3-0 run en route to winning a lucrative six-figure contract in the main roster of The Home Of Martial Arts.  His debut was nothing short of electrifying. He won via first-round technical knockout over Japanese veteran Senzo Ikeda at ONE: CENTURY PART I in October. “The Passion” sees his explosive 26-year-old teammate as World Championship material, and it leaves him wondering how he can help "Thunder Kid" realize his dream. “If only we can trade reigns with the World Title. This year I’ll take it, and next year it will be his. We look at each other as brothers, he’s very supportive of me and he has my support as well,” Pacio said.  “It’s me, Danny (Kingad), and him (Adiwang) sparring and rolling in the gym. Lito is very explosive and he’s very strong.” Though that dream match may not take place any time soon, Pacio is confident that one day “Thunder Kid” will realize his dream.  “I cannot defend that belt forever, and that’s why I believe his time will come.” In the meantime, ONE Championship returns to martial arts action on 10 January for ONE: A NEW TOMORROW at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

LeBron James fourth player to reach 33,000 career points

NBA.com staff report Mark yet another notch in LeBron James' belt of career achievements. The Lakers forward became the fourth player in NBA history to surpass 33,000 career points on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). The four-time MVP hit the mark with a 3-pointer over New Orleans rookie Jaxson Hayes -- who was three years old when James began his NBA odyssey in 2003. Back then, James was not known for his 3-point shooting. This season he is hitting better than 35 percent from downtown for the eighth time in his career. The three-time NBA champion also currently leads the league in assists at 11.0 per game and ranks 10th all-time on the NBA assists list. Yet for all his unselfish diversity, James' scoring has seen him climb past the best bucket-getting legends of the game. After passing Michael Jordan last season, James is just over 600 points away from Kobe Bryant, who sits third all-time behind Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

PBA: Parks makes late free throws and TNT ends Magnolia’s title reign in thriller

Bobby Ray Parks Jr. just proved himself at TNT. Parks Jr. hit two clutch free throws with seven seconds to go and TNT completed a wild 98-97 comeback win to eliminate champion Magnolia in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals Monday at the Big Dome. After Romeo Travis split his own free throws to put the Hotshots up one, Parks got the ball off of Jayson Castro’s miss and ended up with a perfect trip to the stripe for a 98-97 TNT lead. With no more timeouts, Magnolia had to rush the length of the courth only to see KJ McDaniels block Travis. With 1.1 seconds to go, the Hotshots failed to convert allowing the KaTropa escape despite being down by as many as 18 points in the second half. TNT was still down by 13 with less than five minutes left when Jayson Castro sparked a KaTropa run, scoring seven of the team's next 10 points. But the play of the game goes to McDaniels and Troy Rosario. Down three in the final minute, Troy blocked Ian Sangalang to force a 24-second violation for Magnolia. In TNT's offensive set, McDaniels missed a good look drom deep but he tracked his own miss before finding Rosario for an open three from the corner which tied the game at 96-all. In second game back from injury, Castro led the KaTropa with 30 points and seven assists. McDaniels added 25 points and 17 rebounds. Rosario scored 12 points while Parks Jr. ended up with seven points and eight rebounds. The Hotshots got a monster effort from Travis, who finished with 32 points and 26 rebounds but that final miss from the line proved costly. Rome dela Rosa was the top local scorer for Magnolia wirh 13 points.   The Scores: TNT 98 - Castro 30, McDaniels 25, Rosario 12, Reyes 10, Pogoy 8, Parks 7, Digregorio 6, Williams 0. Magnolia 97 - Travis 32, Dela Rosa 13, Jalalon 12, Lee 11, Barroca 9, Banchero 8, Sangalang 7, Pingris 4, Melton 1, Reavis 0. Quarters: 22-26, 48-54, 68-80, 98-97.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2019

UAAP 82 Cheerdance: NU Pep Squad went local in latest conquest

Looking to top their previous performances, National University Pep Squad head coach Ghicka Bernabe went local. NU deviated from their well-known and much talked about Pixar concept and showcased Filipino pride with another show-stopping performance to bag back-to-back titles in the UAAP Season 82 Cheerdance Competition at the MOA Arena Sunday.     Bernabe, whose squad performed a routine that was inspired by the animated movie Coco last year, felt that this season was the right time to use the concept that had been in their list of options for quite a while especially with other teams using themes from around the world.     “Our concept, ‘yung Philippines kasi lagi namin siyang nagiging part ng concept, pero hindi pa siguro ‘yun ‘yung time para isalang siya,” said Bernabe. “Marami ng umaalis na concept. Laging nasa ibang bansa, nagtu-tour sa Asia, sa Europe, kung saan-saan.” The NU Pep Squad had three wardrobe changes, transitioning from Barongs to a Philippine flag-inspired outfits and wrapping it up with Sarimanok costumes and used Pinoy music in their routine.    “It’s time na mag-give back para sa Filipinos. Sabi nga namin balik-bayan tayo ngayon,” said Bernabe, whose squad won the six of the last seven titles in one of the crowd-drawing events in the premier collegiate league.   The Sampaloc-based squad performed last but the NU Pep Squad’s electrifying routine highlighted by difficult stunts and impressive pyramids amazed the crowd and was enough to convince the judges.        But more than dominating the competition, NU’s performance was dedicated to its loyal supporters. “Lahat ng mga sumuporta sa amin noon napatunayan namin kung gaano nila kami kamahal so dapat bigyan namin sila ng magandang performance,” said Bernabe. And NU did.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2019

PBA: NLEX completes 26-point comeback to stun Magnolia

NLEX is the PBA’s comeback kings for the 2019 Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors came back from 26 points down to stun defending champion Magnolia Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, 86-85. Tied at 80, the Hotshots went up by two with 11 seconds to go after five straight points from Paul Lee. NLEX looked like a goner after JR Quinahan missed a go-ahead three and a defensive rebound by Hotshots import Romeo Travis. But then Jericho Cruz played hero for the Road Warriors, forcing a jump ball with Travis that eventually led to a pair of free throws for Kiefer Ravena. The Phenom missed the second but Cruz was there to pick up the ball and put NLEX up, 87-86. With one second left, Lee missed a long three and NLEX kept first place with an 8-1 record. The Road Warriors also joined Meralco with playoff bonuses in the quaterfinals. The Hotshots dropped to 5-5 with the loss. Import Mike Harris scored 22 points for NLEX, including a booming triple to tie things up at 83, answering Paul Lee’s own three the possession before. Quinahan added 14 points for the Road Warriors while Cruz finished with 13 points to cap his heroic effort for the win. For Magnolia, it was Lee that paced the offense, dropping 24 points. Ian Sangalang ended up with 19 points for the champs.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 11th, 2019

PBA: Reloaded Hotshots take down Phoenix to near playoffs

Defending champion Magnolia is keeping its place in the playoff race. The Hotshots pulled away late Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome, clipping Phoenix, 97-81, in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup. Now winners of back-to-back games, the Hotshots are at solo 6th place with a 5-4 record. More importantly, Magnolia still has an outside shot to crash the top-4 party and enter the quarters with a playoff bonus. Import Romeo Travis is slowly regaining his game after dealing with injury, leading the champs with 20 points, 16 rebounds, and eight assists for a near triple-double. Ian Sangalang was the top local for the Hotshots with 17 points while Paul Lee addded 15 points. Chris Banchero debuted for Magnolia with 10 points. Phoenix got 24 points from Alonzo Gee but he only shot 29 percent from the field. Matthew Wright finished with 19 points for the now 2-7 Fuel Masters.   The Scores:  Magnolia 97 - Travis 20, Sangalang 17, Lee 15, Banchero 10, Jalalon 9, Dela Rosa 8, Barroca 7, Melton 6, Pingris 4, Reavis 1. Phoenix 81 - Gee 24, Wright 19, Mallari 13, Perkins 8, Napoles 7, Jazul 4, Garcia 3, Chua 2, Marcelo 1, Intal 0, Dennison 0, Kramer 0. Quarterscores: 21-12, 41-31, 69-60, 97-81   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 6th, 2019

Travis balik ang bangis, Magnolia pinara Dyip

SINANDIGAN ng ­defending champion ­Magnolia ang pagbabalik ng angas ni Romeo Travis upang putulin ang tatlong sunod na kamalasan sa pagbundol sa Columbian, 118-103, sa 44th Philippine Basketball Association Governor’s Cup 2019-2020 eliminations ­Linggo nang gabi sa Smart Araneta Coliseum......»»

Category: newsSource:  abanteRelated NewsOct 27th, 2019

Lionel Messi and Liverpool shine in the Champions League

By Andrew Dampf, Associated Press ROME (AP) — Lionel Messi and titleholder Liverpool were in top form in the Champions League on Wednesday. Messi scored one goal and set up another as Barcelona beat Slavia Prague 2-1 to take control of Group F at the group stage's midpoint. Liverpool overwhelmed Genk 4-1 to end a four-game losing streak away from home in the group phase. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made the most of a rare start to score twice and Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah also got on the scoresheet for last season's champion. Still, Liverpool remained one point behind Napoli in Group E after the Italian club won 3-2 at Salzburg with a brace from Dries Mertens, who surpassed Diego Maradona for second spot on the team's all-time scoring list. Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund trail Barcelona by three points in a group where three heavyweights are vying for two spots in the knockout stage. Inter beat Dortmund 2-0 in the other Group F game with goals from Lautaro Martinez and Antonio Candreva. Messi floated a free kick to Luis Suárez at the far post and the Uruguayan's shot was deflected in by Slavia forward Peter Olayinka for Barcelona's winner. Earlier, Messi finished off a fast move he had started. It was the first goal for the Argentine in the campaign, taking his overall tally in Europe's top club competition to 113. TREMENDOUS TEENAGER Salzburg's 19-year-old forward Erling Haaland scored twice in the loss to Napoli, giving him six goals in three matches. That makes him only the second teenager in Champions League history to score in each of his first three appearances in the competition, after current Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema achieved the feat with Lyon. And he's the first player to score six goals in his first three Champions League appearances. Haaland now has 20 goals in all competitions for the Austrian club this season. Haaland's first goal came with a penalty, then he made it 2-2 by taking advantage of his 6-foot-4 (1.94 meter) frame for a precise header. He also had a score disallowed early on by the VAR for offside. SUPER SUBS Michy Batshuayi came off the bench and scored a late winner as Chelsea rode its luck to beat Ajax 1-0 and throw Group H wide open. The Belgium striker fired in off the underside of the bar from close range in the 86th, 15 minutes after coming on. United States international Christian Pulisic, another of coach Frank Lampard's subs, provided the cross. "It's what you want from subs," Lampard said. "Sometimes the toughest part of management is leaving out players that really want to play week in, week out, and you rely on them being positive, coming on and making an impact and they both did. Delighted for them both." The result left both teams on six points after three matches. Valencia, which drew 1-1 with Lille, is next with four points. It was another late Champions League stinger at the hands of a London team for Ajax, which lost the semifinal last season to Tottenham thanks to a Lucas Moura goal deep in stoppage time. LEIPZIG LEADS Leipzig leads Group G following a 2-1 comeback win over Zenit St. Petersburg and is in position to advance to the knockout rounds for the first time. Marcel Sabitzer scored with a sublime volley for the winner near the hour mark "It's without doubt one of the best goals of my career," Sabitzer said. Sabitzer also set up the equalizer for Konrad Laimer after Ukrainian defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy opened the scoring for Zenit. Leipzig has six points, two more than Zenit and Lyon, which lost 2-1 at last-place Benfica......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2019

PBA: Gin Kings bury Hotshots in Manila Clasico blowout

That’s back-to-back big wins now for Barangay Ginebra. The Gin Kings dominated Manila Clasico Sunday at the Big Dome, burying defending champion Magnolia, 105-83, in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup. Thanks to a huge scoring outburst in the second half, Ginebra turned a close game into a blowout, earning consecutive wins in the conference for the first time to improve to 3-2. Magnolia dropped to 3-4 with three straight losses. Justin Brownlee submitted yet another sensational all-around effort, finishing with 27 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds, and four steals. Local support was great for the Gin Kings again with four other players in double figures led by Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson with 14 points each. Rome Dela Rosa was the high man for Magnolia with 18 points. Import Romeo Travis returned from injury for the Hotshots and added 17 points and 17 rebounds.   The Scores: Ginebra 105 - Brownlee 27, Thompson 14, Aguilar 14, Pringle 11, Dela Cruz 10, Tenorio 9, Chan 9, Slaughter 7, Mariano 4, Sargent 0, Aguilar R. 0, Teodoro 0. Magnolia 83 - Dela Rosa 18, Travis 17, Lee 14, Sangalang 10, Jalalon 6, Barroca 5, Ramos 5, Reavis 2, Pingris 2, Pascual 2, Herndon 2, Melton 0, Abundo 0. Quarters: 24-29, 45-44, 79-65, 105-83.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2019

PBA: Blakely returns as Blackwater upsets import-less Magnolia

ANTIPOLO — Marqus Blakely is back and Blackwater is back in the winning column. The Elite upset defending champion Magnolia Wednesday in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup, picking up a 95-89 decision at the Ynares Center here. Blakely, who was replaced by Aaron Fuller in a Blackwater loss to Columbian, returned for a fourth game for the Elite and finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and five steals. Backing up Blakely was Mac Belo with 20 points and Mike Digregorio with 15. With the win, the Elite improved to 2-3 while the champion Hotshots dropped to 3-3 with back-to-back losses. Magnolia played without import Romeo Travis, who was a gametime decision due to injury. The Hotshots were led by 26 points from Paul Lee. Ian Sangalang contributed 12 points for the champs in a losing effort.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2019

Lito Adiwang happy and honored to receive praise from boss after ONE: Century debut

Filipino strawweight prospect Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang of Team Lakay made his official ONE Championship debut on the preliminary card of ONE: Century Part 1, Sunday morning at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, and immediately, he made an impact.    The 26-year old Adiwang, who earned a ONE contract after three straight victories in ONE Warrior Series, was primarily seen as a striker, but showcased a different facet of his game in his first foray into the big stage.    Matched up against a crafty veteran grappler and former Pancrase champion in Japan’s Senzo Ikeda, Adiwang proved that he can grapple as well, executing a beautiful judo throw straight into a keylock that ultimately spelled the end.    Ikeda ended up suffering an arm injury, leading to the TKO win for Adiwang.    It was the lone bright spot for an otherwise rough night for the Pinoy contingent in Tokyo that night, and Adiwang’s spectacular debut earned praise from ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.    “I was blown away by Lito’s performance. He had a very very tough opponent, Senzo Ikeda is obviously a Pancrase champion, a very very tough warrior,” Sityodtong said during the post-event press conference. “I thought that fight was going to go three full rounds of both guys going all out, so I was shocked by that Judo throw immediately to a keylock, I was blown away. Incredible performance, so I think that’s the perfect debut you could ever ask for, especially coming off ONE Warrior Series.”  #ONECentury | @yodchatri says he was “blown away” by Lito Adiwang’s #ONEChampionship debut pic.twitter.com/KIJNJ42uh4 — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) October 13, 2019   Adiwang joins a growing list of ONE Warrior Series graduates who are looking to do big things in their ONE careers, bannered by none other than two-sport world champion Stamp Fairtex of Thailand.    Adiwang’s impressive debut, Sityodtong believes, is just the beginning of what could be a very good ONE career.    “That’s why we have ONE Warrior Series, right? Rich Franklin scouring the entire world for the next and best prospects that could make it up to ONE Championship. Lito has a Cinderella fairy tale story, so let’s see how far he can go, but definitely, with Team Lakay and Mark Sangiao, I think the sky is the limit for Lito.”   For his part, Adiwang was happy to hear that his hard work and his efforts have not gone unnoticed.   "I feel very happy and honored na, at least they notice the hard work that I’ve put in through all the training and all the performances I’ve delivered, so I’m very thankful and honored," he expressed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 15th, 2019

PBA: Last Manila Clasico for 2019?

There's still a lot going on in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup but at least for this upcoming week, all eyes will be on defending champion Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra. Oh yes, it's Manila Clasico time. 2019 has spoiled us with Clasico games and this upcoming one might be our last for the year. This might be the best one too. The Hotshots famously ended Ginebra's two-year title reign last year, with Romeo Travis scoring an even 50 in the decisive Game 4 of the semifinals. Safe to say Justin Brownlee and the rest of the Gin Kings still remember that game. Here's the rest of the PBA schedule to look forward to this week:    Oct. 16 @ Ynares Antipolo 4:30 p.m. Columbian vs. NLEX 7: 00 p.m. Blackwater vs. Magnolia Oct. 18 @ Ynares Antipolo 4:30 p.m. Meralco vs. Blackwater 7:00 p.m. TNT vs. Alaska Oct. 20 @ the Big Dome 4:30 p.m. Columbian vs. San Miguel 6:45 p.m. Magnolia vs. Ginebra     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 14th, 2019

PBA: Almazan plays clutch as Meralco downs Magnolia

Raymond Almazan delivered at crunch time to tow Meralco to a 98-92 win over reigning champion Magnolia on Saturday in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Big Dome. The Bolts forward played the hero’s role in the last two and a half minutes of the ballgame, sinking the go-ahead triple and pouring 12 of his 19 points in the fourth period. Almazan broke a 92-92 deadlock with a trey with 2:27 remaining and added a split from the foul line to spark Meralco’s closing 6-0 run.  “It's a good start to the conference for us. It's a very, very satisfying win because we know we're going up against the defending champions,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “We also knew they're a very good defensive team and we had to play good defense to be able to beat them.” Chris Newsome finished with a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds while import Allen Durham flirted with a triple-double with 21 markers, 14 boards and eight assists for Meralco. Almazan had 19 points, 13 rebounds and a crucial block on Mark Barroca’s layup in the last 17 seconds to crush the Hotshots’ desperate attempt to salvage the game. Meralco stated off slow and trailed, 33-49, in the second quarter before coming back in the second half. Ian Sangalang gave Magnolia its last taste of the lead 92-86, off a jumper with 4:40 left before Meralco answered with a 12-point swing. “I thought our defense really kicked in in the fourth quarter,” said Black. “We were able to slow them down and stop them on a lot of plays that made a lot of difference in the game.” Romeo Travis had 22 markers and nine rebounds while Paul Lee had 20 for the Hotshots. Barroca finished with 18 and Peter June Simon got 12 for Magnolia.   The scores:  Meralco (98) -- Newsome 22, Durham 11; Almazan 19, Pinto 9, Faundo 8, Amer 7, Salva 4, Quinto 3, Hugnatan 3, Caram 2. Magnolia (92) -- Travis 22, Lee 20, Barroca 18, Simon 12, Sangalang 11, Pingris 4, Melton 3, Jalalon 2, Reavis 0, Dela Rosa 0. Quarters: 27-30, 48-57, 73-75, 98-92.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2019

Yankees beat Angels 9-1, claim 1st AL East title since 2012

By The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — The resilient New York Yankees powered their way to the club's first AL East title since 2012, routing the Los Angeles Angels 9-1 Thursday night behind three RBIs each from old mainstay Brett Gardner and newcomer DJ LeMahieu. A day after wasting a chance to clinch first place, the homer-happy Yankees went ahead when LeMahieu hit a three-run drive in the second inning and breezed to their 100th win. Gardner added a solo shot in the fourth and then hit a two-run double in the sixth. Cameron Maybin and Clint Frazier homered for good measure in the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman struck out Albert Pujols to end it. Despite putting 30 players on the injured list this season, New York (100-54) wrapped up first place with eight games to spare and made Aaron Boone the first manager to win 100 games in each of his first two major league seasons. The Yankees open the playoffs on Oct. 4, likely against Minnesota, which leads the AL Central, or the wild-card winner. Masahiro Tanaka (11-8) allowed Kole Calhoun's homer leading off the fourth. The Angels had just four hits in seven innings off Tanaka, who struck out six and walked one. But the Yankees may go to the postseason without their winningest pitcher, Domingo Germán. The 27-year-old right-hander, who is 18-4, was placed on administrative leave under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy earlier in the day. New York's 19th AL East title was its first following a run of 13 in 17 years that started in Derek Jeter's rookie season. Andrew Heaney (4-6) gave up six runs and five hits in five-plus innings. BRAVES 5, PHILLIES 4 ATLANTA (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. became the second-youngest player in baseball history to hit 40 homers in a season, Freddie Freeman also drove in two runs and Atlanta clinched at least a tie for first place in the NL East with a win over Philadelphia. The Braves hold a 9 1/2-game lead over the Washington Nationals, who have played three fewer games and were off Thursday. Atlanta can officially celebrate as soon as Friday with either a victory over the San Francisco Giants or if Washington loses at Miami. The Phillies trail Milwaukee by four games in the race for the NL's second wild-card spot. Mel Ott, who was 20 when he hit 42 homers for the New York Giants in 1940, is the only player younger than Acuña to post a 40-homer season. Aaron Nola (12-6) worked five-plus innings, giving up nine hits, two hits and all five Atlanta runs. Mark Melancon worked perfect ninth for his 11th save with Atlanta and 12th overall this season. CARDINALS 5, CUBS 4, 10 INNINGS CHICAGO (AP) — Matt Carpenter homered in the 10th inning against Craig Kimbrel in the All-Star closer's return, and St. Louis regrouped after blowing a late lead to beat Chicago. Emerging ace Jack Flaherty shut down Chicago over eight innings, and despite a tying three-run rally in the ninth, the Cubs dropped a game behind Milwaukee for the second NL wild card and four games behind St. Louis for first place in the NL Central. Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo provided a jolt in his unexpected return from a sprained right ankle, homering in the third inning to tie the game at 1. But Flaherty was spectacular otherwise, pitching three-hit ball while allowing just the one run and striking out eight. Carpenter homered to deep center field off Kimbrel (0-3), who was activated from the injured list prior to the game after dealing with right elbow inflammation. Giovanny Gallegos pitched a perfect 10th for his first save in two chances. Andrew Miller (5-5) recorded the final two outs in the ninth for the victory. BREWERS 5, PADRES 1 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Lorenzo Cain homered before exiting with a sore ankle, Milwaukee pitchers combined to strike out 16 and the Brewers improved their playoff position by beating San Diego. Milwaukee moved within one game of Washington for the top NL wild-card spot. The Brewers are in the second wild-card slot and three games behind Central-leading St. Louis. Ryan Braun put Milwaukee ahead with an RBI double in the first inning off Joey Lucchesi (10-9). The Brewers added a run in the third when Keston Huira doubled and later scored on Lucchesi's wild pitch. Eric Hosmer' homered for San Diego. Freddy Peralta (7-3) struck out three of the four batters he faced for the win. Josh Hader picked up his 34th save in 40 tries, breaking a franchise record for left-handers previously held by Dan Plesac. TWINS 8, ROYALS 5 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit two of Minnesota's four home runs and matched his season high with five RBIs, igniting another impressive power display by the first-place Twins. The win over Kansas City kept the Twins' American League Central lead at four games — with nine games to go. Miguel Sanó homered and hit the tiebreaking RBI double in the fifth following the ejection of Royals starter Mike Montgomery, who started that inning by giving up a home run to Mitch Garver. The Twins trimmed their magic number for clinching the division to six. Lewis Thorpe (4-2) worked four innings for the win. Taylor Rogers recorded his 28th save. INDIANS 7, TIGERS 0 CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Clevinger pitched six shutdown innings, Franmil Reyes homered in his return to the lineup and Cleveland moved into a tie for the second AL wild card with a win over Detroit. Francisco Lindor added three hits, and Cleveland matched idle Tampa Bay at 90-63. Both teams trail Oakland by two games for the top spot. The Indians trail Minnesota by four games in the AL Central. The Indians defeated the Tigers for the 17th straight time this season to match a franchise record set against Baltimore in 1954. Cleveland won 18 of 19 in the season series and outscored Detroit 116-38 Clevinger (12-3) allowed seven hits and struck out six. Starter Daniel Norris (3-13) allowed one run in three innings for the Tigers, who have the worst record in baseball at 45-107. The shutout was the 15th by Cleveland this season, and Detroit was blanked for the 14th time. RED SOX 5, GIANTS 4 BOSTON (AP) — Eduardo Rodriguez struck out 10 over six innings of two-hit ball, and Xander Bogaerts had a pair of RBI singles to lead Boston over San Francisco. Brandon Workman picked up his 15th save. Rodriguez (18-6) walked two and allowed one unearned run. Madison Bumgarner (9-9) lost in his first career start at Fenway Park, giving up five runs on nine hits and two walks in five innings while striking out seven. He allowed the first four Boston batters to reach safely and fell behind 2-1 after one inning. MARINERS 6, PIRATES 5, 11 INNINGS PITTSBURGH (AP) — Shed Long had three hits, two RBIs and scored the go-ahead run in the 11th on an unusual inning-ending double play as Seattle beat Pittsburgh. The Mariners swept the three-game series between last-place teams and sent the Pirates to their sixth straight loss. Long reached base on first baseman Jose Osuna's error to start the 11th and Omar Narvaez singled with one out to put runners on the corners. Austin Nola then hit a chopper to second baseman Kevin Kramer — rather than flip the ball to second, he ran at Narvaez, who alertly stopped and began to retreat. Kramer then threw to first, and Narvaez was eventually tagged in a 4-3-6-2 rundown as Long scored. Kramer likely would've had no chance to throw home at the start to get Long. Pittsburgh's Jake Elmore had three hits and two RBIs. Brandon Brennan (3-6) pitched one scoreless inning and rookie Erik Swanson worked around a walk in the 11th for his first career save. Clay Holmes (1-2) took the loss. BLUE JAYS 8, ORIOLES 4 BALTIMORE (AP) — Cavan Biggio homered and had three RBIs to offset a spectacular, homer-robbing catch by Austin Hays, and Toronto used a six-run seventh inning to beat Baltimore for a three-game sweep. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also went deep for the Blue Jays, who earned their first sweep at Camden Yards since July 2010. After Biggio and Gurriel homered off Gabriel Ynoa (1-9) within a span of three pitches in the fourth inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sent a drive to center. Hays ran to the warning track, leaped to reach over the 7-foot wall and snagged the ball in the middle of his glove. Upon returning to the ground, Hays pounded his chest three times in succession and yelled with delight. Anthony Kay (1-0) earned his first major league victory. Trey Mancini had four hits for the Orioles, who have lost four straight and 15 of 19......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2019

Leclerc hopes to convert 3rd pole position into 1st GP win

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) — Charles Leclerc hopes to make it third time lucky from pole position and finally give Ferrari its first win of a difficult Formula One season in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday. He qualified comfortably ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel on Saturday in a dominant weekend so far for Ferrari. Leclerc beat his own leading time to finish .748 seconds clear of Vettel and .763 ahead of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. "It obviously feels amazing," Leclerc said. "The gap is quite big today, but it doesn't mean it will be like that tomorrow." Still, it was another impressive performance from Leclerc, adding to his poles in Bahrain and Austria. He won neither race, hit by a sudden engine failure when seemingly coasting to victory in Bahrain, and then out-muscled late on at Spielberg by a rampaging Max Verstappen. Although Leclerc is in his first season with Ferrari, and only his second in F1, he leads four-time champion Vettel 3-1 in pole positions this year and has out-qualified his senior colleague in six straight races since Vettel's pole in Canada. "I have made some changes in qualifying," Leclerc said. "I definitely feel the difference and feel it's going the right way." Hamilton, F1's record holder with 87 poles, rates Leclerc highly. "Charles did an exceptional job," Hamilton said. "He's been so quick all weekend." Ferrari has looked significantly faster than Mercedes in terms of straight-line speed on F1's longest track at 7 kilometers (4.3 miles), placing 1-2 in all three practice sessions and all three sections of qualifying. Leclerc beat Vettel in five of those, although cooler conditions expected for Sunday's race could negate some of Ferrari's speed advantage. The most famed team in motorsport desperately needs a win. Ferrari's last was by former driver Kimi Raikkonen's at the United States GP last October; while Vettel's last was on this track last year. There have been 20 GPs without one since for the German driver, who has led and lost the past two F1 championships to Hamilton following clumsy errors. This time it was Hamilton making a surprisingly sloppy mistake, mangling his Mercedes when crashing under no pressure in the third and final practice earlier Saturday. Hamilton almost had another incident in qualifying when he narrowly avoided bumping into his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who starts the race from fourth on the grid. Hamilton felt he needed to apologize to his team after his rare crash. The runaway championship leader lost control coming out of the Fanges chicane, veering left at full speed into the protective tire barriers and crumpling the nose of his car. "It was a terrible session for me when you know how hard these guys work to build a car," said Hamilton, who leads second-place Bottas by 62 points in the standings. "I was just trying to pay them back with a good qualifying session." Hamilton later played down the mistake, saying, "You're looking at it way too deeply ... I'm only human." But for a driver who rarely makes mistakes on any track — let alone one that was bone-dry — it was nonetheless a glaring error. That session was interrupted as Hamilton's car was taken away. The British driver walked slowly back to the team garage and Mercedes mechanics faced a race against the clock to get the car ready for qualifying. "There's so much pressure on these guys," Hamilton said. "They relish the challenge (and) did an exceptional job." The front corners — the suspension and wheel assemblies — the nose and floor all needed fixing in a little more than two hours. "When I looked at the car, I thought, 'Oh no!'" Hamilton said, feeling guilty at the damage he had caused. Mechanics were still working on the bashed-up Silver Arrow when qualifying started. They got a bit more time than expected after the first part of qualifying — Q1 — was held up after the back of Robert Kubica's car caught fire following an engine combustion failure, sending a cloak of smoke around his Racing Point car. Q1 was halted a second time with seconds remaining when Italian Antonio Giovinazzi pulled up with a power failure. In third and final practice, Leclerc was .451 seconds quicker than Vettel in warm and sunny conditions in the Ardennes Forest. It set the tone for another impressive display of speed, and now he must convert that into a victory on race day......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2019

US Open 28th seed Suarez Navarro fined $40K after quitting

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — In the latest example of a player fined thousands of dollars at a Grand Slam tournament for what tennis officials deem a lack of effort, 28th-seeded Carla Suárez Navarro of Spain was docked $40,000 at the U.S. Open on Thursday, two days after retiring from her first-round match with a lower-back injury. She was due to collect $58,000 as a first-round loser in singles at Flushing Meadows. But tournament referee Soeren Friemel said Suárez Navarro, who can appeal the decision, "did not perform to the required professional standards" and so was punished for violating the first-round performance rule. She stopped playing after losing the first set of her match against Timea Babos by a 6-2 score. The Grand Slam Board introduced the rule before the 2018 season to deter players who enter tournaments while injured from retiring during first-round matches. Suárez Navarro also retired from a match at the hard-court tournament in Toronto earlier this month. "Not the easiest weeks for me dealing with some back pain," she tweeted Thursday. "We made our best effort to be ready and play our heart out, but it got really worse during my opening match in New York." In July, American player Anna Tatishvili was awarded her French Open prize money when the Grand Slam Board reversed her fine of about $50,000 for a 6-0, 6-1 loss at the French Open. That was her first tournament since October 2017. Bernard Tomic was fined his full prize money of about $55,000 at Wimbledon last month after a three-set loss in the first round that lasted only 58 minutes. ___ DOUBLE TROUBLE Naomi Osaka would be happy to play mixed doubles with Kei Nishikori for Japan at the 2020 Toyko Olympics. Just one problem: The reigning U.S. Open singles champion apparently isn't much of a doubles player. After Osaka's victory in singles Thursday — with Colin Kaepernick and Kobe Bryant watching from her courtside box — she said that "anyone that knows my doubles track record" knows she's not exactly an expert. She hasn't played a tour-level women's doubles match since 2017 ... and she went 0-5 that season. Nishikori said last week he was planning to play singles and men's doubles in Tokyo but wasn't sure about mixed, because it might mean too much tennis in the hot and humid weather. But, he added he would talk to Osaka at some point. They are friends, and Osaka said their pairing in Tokyo would be "historic." "I would definitely play with him," Osaka said. "I just would actually need to practice doubles for the first time in my life. Because you cannot play mixed doubles with Kei Nishikori and lose in the first round of the Olympics in Tokyo. That would be the biggest — like, I would cry. I would actually cry for losing a doubles match." ___ SET-DOWN SERENA That Serena Williams came back to beat 17-year-old Caty McNally at the U.S. Open after dropping their opening set shouldn't have come as a surprise: No one in the history of professional tennis has been as good as Williams at that sort of turnaround. Turns out Williams actually wins more Grand Slam matches than she loses after trailing by a set. Her 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 victory over McNally in the second round at Flushing Meadows improved Williams' career record at major tournaments to 42-40 after being down a set — the only woman in the 50-year Open era who can boast of a winning record in such situations, according to the WTA. The only other active player with more than 25 such victories is her older sister, Venus, who has 28. In all tour-level main-draw matches, Williams is 97-107 after ceding the opening set, a .475 winning percentage that leads active players. Next on the list? Maria Sharapova at .390, 83-130. ___ AP Sports Writer Brian Mahoney contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2019