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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

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

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

TERRFIC 12: Blackwater seeks more growth in return to Macau

Asia League has rebranded to the East Asia Super League (EASL) but it’s still set to hold its crowd favorite tournament coming in the next couple of months. The Terrific 12 will return to Macau on September 17-22 and this time, there’s finally a strong Filipino presence for the week-long joust at the Tap Seac Multi-sports Pavilion. The PBA will send two flagship teams in the San Miguel Beermen and TNT KaTropa. The Blackwater Elite will also make an East Asia Super League return after competing in the Super 8 last year. Blackwater used last year’s Super 8 tournament to prepare for the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup and the Elite immediately saw the fruits of their labor in Macau once they returned to Manila. Falling literally one basket short of a semifinals stint at the Super 8 last year, Blackwater returned to the PBA and got their best finish ever, losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Magnolia. The 2019 Terrific 12 presents a new chance for growth once again for the Elite. While the team is yet to make the PBA semifinals, Blackwater has topped their 2018 Governors’ Cup performance by making the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs as the no. 3 seed. Blackwater came four points away from making a breakthrough semifinals stint in the PBA. Having a strong Terrific 12 stint could help unlock the Elite’s potential. Having a strong Terrific 12 stint is one thing but having a successful one is another. Put in Group A, the Elite sure have some decorated opponents in Macau. Japan’s Chiba Jets will play Blackwater inthe Terrific 12 and they are the very first Asia League champions from two years ago. The Jets were the top regular season team in Japan with an impressive 52-8 record and they are fresh from a Finals run in the B.League, losing only to eventual back-to-back champions Alvark Tokyo. Also in Group A are the SK Knights from Seoul, South Korea. While they didn’t exactly fare well in the previous KBL season, the Knights won it all in 2018 and the Terrific 12 looks like the perfect place for to start a comeback in preparation for the next season. The Terrific 12 is a FIBA-recognized basketball tournament and features three clubs from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), four from the B.LEAGUE (Japan), two from the Korean Basketball League (KBL) and three from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). A Group Stage, Semi-Finals and Finals will play out 16 epic games in total to crown this year’s champion.  In the Group Stage, clubs will be divided into four groups of three, with each team playing two games. The top team from each group will advance to compete in the Semi-Finals following a rest day ?on September 20.? The champion will be awarded USD 150,000, the runner- up will be awarded USD 100,000 and third place will be awarded USD 50,000. Blackwater and the SK Knights start the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 with the very first game on Sept. 17 in Macau.  The Elite then take the court once again the next day when the face the Jets.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2019

Manny Pacquiao receives hero s welcome in ABS-CBN

Eight-division boxing world champion and newly-crowned WBA (Super) Welterweight World Champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao recieved a hero's welcome Sunday at the ABS-CBN compound a week after his impressive victory over Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The 40-year old Pacquiao bested the much-younger Thurman via Split Decision to add yet another title to his already impressive list of accolades.  With the Kapamilya network being the official broadcaster of Pacquiao's bout, it was only fitting that they threw the Champ a victory party of sorts.  LOOK: Preparation for the arrival of People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao inside the ABS-CBN compound. | @ABSCBNNews pic.twitter.com/wL8Kq7qqLY — Ganiel Krishnan (@KrishnanGaniel) July 28, 2019 The Filipino boxing legend was welcomed by fans and members of the media upon his arrival and went on do some media rounds and meet with ABS-CBN executives. WATCH: Senator Manny Pacquiao arrives at ABS-CBN | via @KrishnanGaniel pic.twitter.com/4DhzNMeFYR — ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) July 28, 2019 Welcome home, Kapamilya! After his sensational win over Keith Thurman, the People’s Champ Sen. Manny Pacquiao is here in ABS-CBN! pic.twitter.com/IiYAoFnIII — ABS-CBN PR (@ABSCBNpr) July 28, 2019 8-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao having a friendly chat with ABS-CBN executives Sunday morning. pic.twitter.com/eY6pGTNYAr — Dennis Gasgonia (@dggasgo) July 28, 2019 Interview with the People’s Champ today ? pic.twitter.com/svHq9TkrjQ — Ganiel Krishnan (@KrishnanGaniel) July 28, 2019 So this happened today. Always rooting for the the legend! @MannyPacquiao. Full interview tomorrow on #EarlyEditionOnANC @ANCGametime @ANCALERTS #PambansangKamao pic.twitter.com/N7DJJqGIkx — Migs Bustos (@migsbustos) July 28, 2019 Up next for the boxer-slash-senator was a guesting on ASAP, ABS-CBN's widely popular Sunday noontime variety show, and he sure did make on heck of an entrance!  WATCH: Sen. Manny Pacquiao on his way to make a grand ASAP entrance. Pacquiao visited ABS-CBN for interviews and guesting at ASAP | via @dggasgo pic.twitter.com/oAF9m3t3qC — ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) July 28, 2019 After he was greeted with cheers and confetti in a mini motorcade in ABS-CBN, Sen. Manny Pacquiao took the @ASAPOFFICIAL stage to thank the entire nation for supporting him. Viewers also saw the live performance of #GalingNatinIto, the theme of ABS-CBN’s National Cheer Campaign! pic.twitter.com/8A0RUGbR5q — ABS-CBN PR (@ABSCBNpr) July 28, 2019 Manny also joined some of the biggest stars on stage for a rendition of Galing Natin Ito, the theme of ABS-CBN's National Cheer Campaign.  By the looks of it, Pacquiao is likely done for the year in terms of in-ring action and says he will be focusing on his responsibilities as a statesman. He is however, targeting a return to the ring in January of 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 29th, 2019

Tina Charles, Candice Dupree lead WNBA All-Star 2019 reserves

WNBA press release NEW YORK – The New York Liberty’s Tina Charles and the Indiana Fever’s Candice Dupree lead the list of 12 players – six guards and six frontcourt players from across the WNBA – who will serve as reserves in AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019.   The reserves were selected by the league’s head coaches, who voted for three guards, five frontcourt players and four players at either position regardless of conference. The coaches were not able to vote for their own players. Joining Charles and Dupree as frontcourt reserves are the Phoenix Mercury’s DeWanna Bonner, the Minnesota Lynx’ Sylvia Fowles, the Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike and the Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas. Reserves at the guard position are the Chicago Sky’s Diamond DeShields, Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot, Minnesota’s Odyssey Sims, the Washington Mystics’ Kristi Toliver,  and the Indiana Fever’s Erica Wheeler. The 10 starters for AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, announced on July 11, were selected by fans, current players and media. As the two All-Star starters who finished with the most fan votes during WNBA All-Star Voting 2019 presented by Google, Washington’s Elena Delle Donne and the Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson will serve as team captains and draft the All-Star Game rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves. AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson will be played on Saturday, July 27 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, home of the Aces. The 16th WNBA All-Star Game will be televised live by ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET. Joining Delle Donne and Wilson as starters in the frontcourt are Las Vegas’ Liz Cambage, Phoenix’s Brittney Griner, the Seattle Storm’s Natasha Howard and Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones. The four starting guards are Los Angeles’ Chelsea Gray, Seattle’s Jewell Loyd, Las Vegas’ Kayla McBride and New York’s Kia Nurse. Delle Donne and Wilson will select their respective rosters in the WNBA All-Star Draft by choosing first from the remaining pool of eight starters and then from the pool of 12 reserves.  By virtue of finishing with the most fan votes, Delle Donne will make the first pick in the first round (Starters).  Wilson will have the first pick in the second round (Reserves). Additional details about the All-Star Draft will be announced at a later date. Las Vegas head coach Bill Laimbeer and Washington head coach Mike Thibault have earned spots as the head coaches for AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019. With Las Vegas having clinched the best record in the WNBA through July 12 (10-5, .667), Laimbeer and his staff will coach Team Delle Donne. Thibault, whose Mystics posted the second-best record through July 12 (9-5, .643) will guide Team Wilson. AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Reserves - DeWanna Bonner, Mercury (3rd All-Star selection): The WNBA’s leading scorer (19.4 ppg), Bonner was named to the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season after sitting out the 2017 campaign when she gave birth to twins. A two-time WNBA champion with Phoenix (2009, 2014), Bonner began her career by winning WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year honors three straight seasons (2009-11). - Tina Charles, Liberty (7th All-Star selection): Charles, who this season moved into sixth place in WNBA history with 3,014 rebounds, also ranks 12th with 5,727 points. Earlier this year, she added filmmaker to her resume when the documentary she produced about her father Rawlston Charles and his Brooklyn-based record store and music label debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. - Diamond DeShields, Sky (1st All-Star selection): Chicago’s leading scorer (14.9 ppg), DeShields, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 Draft, is one of three Sky guards named to the All-Star Game along with Quigley and Vandersloot. - Candice Dupree, Fever (7th All-Star selection): Now in her 14th WNBA season, Dupree recently moved past Lisa Leslie and into sixth place in league history with 6,267 points. She also ranks eighth in career rebounds with 2,880. - Sylvia Fowles, Lynx (6th All-Star selection): The WNBA’s MVP in 2017 and Finals MVP in 2015 and 2017, Fowles became the WNBA’s career leader in double-doubles (158) this season. She also ranks fourth in league history with 3,201 career rebounds, behind only Rebekkah Brunson (3,356), Tamika Catchings (3,316) and Lisa Leslie (3,306). - Nneka Ogwumike, Sparks (6th All-Star selection): Ogwumike leads the Sparks with 15.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg. The top pick in the 2012 draft, she is one of five No. 1 overall picks in this year’s All-Star Game, along with Tina Charles (2010), Brittney Griner (2013), Jewell Loyd (2015) and A’ja Wilson (2018). - Allie Quigley, Sky (3rd All-Star selection): A two-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year (2014, 2015), Quigley has earned three consecutive All-Star appearances since becoming a full-time starter for the Sky in 2017. Quigley won the Three-Point Shooting Contest at the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game in Minnesota. - Odyssey Sims, Lynx (1st All-Star selection): After spending the past two seasons with rival Los Angeles, Sims was acquired by Minnesota from the Sparks via a trade in April. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft, she leads the Lynx with 15.7 ppg and a career-high 5.4 apg and is the only player in the league ranking in top 10 in scoring and assists. -  Alyssa Thomas, Sun (2nd All-Star selection): Thomas, who made her All-Star debut in 2017, is the Sun’s No. 2 scorer (11.6 ppg) and rebounder (7.2 rpg) behind Jonquel Jones, an All-Star starter. - Kristi Toliver, Mystics (3rd All-Star): An All-Star for the second consecutive year as a member of the Mystics, whom she helped to the WNBA Finals last season, Toliver also represented the Sparks in the 2013 All-Star Game. - Courtney Vandersloot, Sky (2nd All-Star): Vandersloot leads the league with 8.2 assists per game a year after she set a WNBA single-season records with 8.6 apg and 258 total assists. She returns to the All-Star Game for the first time since her rookie season of 2011. - Erica Wheeler, Fever (1st time All-Star): Wheeler is the only undrafted player among the 22 players selected for AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 and the first undrafted player named to the Game since Erika de Souza in 2014......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2019

Holly Holm aims for another shocking win vs Nunes at UFC 239

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Holly Holm didn't fight in a mixed martial arts cage until she was already a 29-year-old boxing champion of three weight classes. She had both a head start and a huge deficit in her quest to master a second sport in her athletic midlife. Even eight years later, Holm is aware of the unique challenges of her chosen path. She knows she'll probably never face a boxer as good as her in the cage, but she also knows she might never catch up to some of her younger opponents in grappling, jiu-jitsu or the myriad intricacies of the transitions between disciplines. So instead of setting a mundane goal to be the greatest fighter in MMA history, Holm looks at her second career as a chance to do as many unique things as possible. "I always want to do something that hasn't been done before," Holm said Thursday while preparing for her showdown with bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 239 on Saturday night. "No female in the UFC has won the belt, lost it and then come back to get it again," she said. "That's something I can do this week. This is something for my legacy. I want to win no matter what, but I love to have a challenge in front of me like that." Holm (12-4) already had one of the greatest nights in MMA history. She knows her career is likely to be defined by her world-shocking victory over Ronda Rousey in November 2015, making her a UFC champion in her 10th pro fight and transforming her into an international celebrity. Although she lost the bantamweight title in her next bout, her place in the sport was already secure. A victory over Nunes (17-4), arguably the most talented and accomplished woman in MMA history, would be even more impressive than that win over Rousey, whose inadequacies were exposed again by Nunes a year later. But Holm points out an interesting curve in this path: The world was shocked when Holm beat Rousey senseless, but the world now believes Holm can do anything, even after losing four of her past six fights. That's a different kind of expectation, and she is doing her best to bear up under it. "I was the underdog that shocked everybody before," Holm said with a laugh. "But now there's the pressure from having that reputation as somebody who can shock you as an underdog." Holm meets Nunes in the penultimate bout of a stacked card at T-Mobile Arena for the UFC's traditional International Fight Week pay-per-view show. Jon Jones, Holm's teammate in Albuquerque, faces Brazil's Thiago Santos in the main event of a show also featuring veteran stars Luke Rockhold, Jorge Masvidal, Ben Askren, Diego Sanchez, Michael Chiesa, Gilbert Melendez and Claudia Gadelha. Holm and Jones often work out at the same time at Jackson Wink MMA Academy, and Holm pays attention to her tremendously talented, sometimes self-sabotaging co-worker. Even at 37, Holm is still eager to learn new ways to improve. "Jon will come in and spar, but then he'll take somebody aside and just drill one move, one technique over and over and over again," Holm said. "His focus and endurance is inspiring. He can do that for hours, and I've tried to have the same focus." Nunes has held the bantamweight title for three years since she took it from Miesha Tate, who had taken it from Holm. Nunes added the 145-pound featherweight belt last December with her sensational 51-second battering of long-reigning champ Cris "Cyborg" Justino, who beat Holm by decision in December 2017. Holm's loss to Cyborg was her fourth in five fights, but she rebounded with a win last year. Holm is talented enough and famous enough to get this title shot despite her recent setbacks in bouts mostly decided by narrow margins. "I'm a completely different fighter today," Holm said of her progress since beating Rousey. "I've always been on a fast track in this sport. I've had great coaches that are helping me catch up since I left boxing. It's a different feeling now when I go out there." Nunes is a solid favorite in their bout, but the numbers mean nothing to Holm or her fans. Holm is eager to test Nunes' formidable boxing skills — and if she gets another historic knockout and upset victory, Holm will add it to her unique list of accomplishments in this singular fighting life. "It's the high that gets you by," Holm said. "Wanting a victory is like a drug. It keeps you going.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 5th, 2019

PVL: Angels go for first round sweep

PetroGazz is out to complete a first round sweep on Saturday when the Angels take on PacificTown Army in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Behind power-hitting imports Wilma Salas of Cuba and American Janisa Johnson, PetroGazz steamrolled past its first four opponents. The Angels will try to add the Lady Troopers to their list of victims in their 2:00 p.m. tussle that will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. Angels head coach Arnold Laniog wants his streaking wards to take this opportunity to further fuel their momentum and strengthen their bid for a spot in the Final Four. “Actually malaking bagay talaga na sa first round mamuhunan kasi like we did last conference sa All-Filipino [Open] doon kami sa last four games kami kumayod na isang talo lang namin, laglag. So napakahirap ng dinaanan namin,” he said. “But this time as much as makakuha kami ng panalo ngayong first round, better, para may puhunan.” Salas and Johnson, who sit at the top two of the scoring list, will have Jeanette Panaga, Cherry Nunag, Jonah Sabete, Jessey De Leon, setter Djanel Cheng and libero Cienne Cruz behind them. On the other hand, the PacificTown Army aims at winning its second straight match after a four-set victory over Motolite a week ago. The Lady Troopers are tied with defending champion Creamline with 2-1 win-loss slate. Ukrainian Lena Lymareva-Flink, American Jenelle Jordan and local stars Jovelyn Gonzaga, Royse Tubino, Nene Bautista and Ging Balse-Pabayo will lead the march of PacificTown Army in its first of back-to-back weekend games.     ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2019

PVL: Creamline: Building a Dynasty

It’s a no-brainer that other squads look at defending champion Creamline as the team to beat in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. But more than its star-studded line-up and veteran core, the Cool Smashers’ success and expected good run comes from the foundation it built that resulted in a winning culture. The team did struggle in its maiden campaign before working its way up to where it is now - both a champion in the import-laden and Open conferences.     After all Rome wasn’t built in a day.   Now with a chance to solidify their claim as PVL’s powerhouse team, the Cool Smashers are relying on their tried and tested core and team chemistry in spite of having a new foreign coach, the addition of new local players and a pair of impressive imports.      “From the last conference marami ang core ng players na ever since nagkaroon ng Creamline Cool Smashers kami-kami na rin ang naroon,” said Creamline’s prized hitter Alyssa Valdez. “So I think it’s a good sign na maganda ang foundation namin as a team.” Back to help Valdez retain the throne are local stars Michele Gumabao, Melissa Gohing, Pau Soriano, Rissa Sato, Jema Galanza, Coleen Bravo, top setter Jia Morado, Rizza Mandapat, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Kyla Atienza and Rose Vargas. Joining the crew are Far Eastern University’s Celine Domingo, Heather Guino-o and playmaker Kyle Negrito.   Creamline re-signed Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and will introduce a new reinforcement in Venezuelan veteran Aleoscar Blanco. “‘Pag may mga pumapasok naman di naman nalalayo ang mantra nila or attitude and character ng mga players kung ano ang gusto namin as a team,” added two-time conference Most Valuable Player Valdez. "I think maganda na mayroong culture na naitayo at na-build ang team namin. Kasi maraming players na nasa Creamline ever since na natayo, kami pa rin ang nandoon,” Valdez said. The Cool Smashers will be under a new coach in former Chinese national team player Huanning Li, who replaced Tai Bundit of Thailand. “We have a new coach, we have a new system so we hope na dahil dun iba rin ang mabibigay namin this conference,” said Valdez. Though the team is stacked with big names in local volleyball, Valdez points out that what’s good about their team is that players know very well their specific role. “My teammates are very humble and down to earth, they’re really taking the roles kung ano ang role nila in our team. Yun talaga ang ginagawa nila,” she said. Creamline will be tested on Sunday against PetroGazz. Catch the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference starting May 26, Sunday LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, iWant and via livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2019

BLOGTABLE: What s most impressive about Bucks?

NBA.com blogtable What impresses you most about Milwaukee’s 8-1 postseason record? * * * Steve Aschburner: The Bucks’ depth. Everyone knows who Giannis Antetokounmpo is. But not everyone notices how frequently this team adds to its leads when Antetokounmpo is on the bench, at least in these playoffs. During the regular season, Milwaukee was 9.7 points better, per 100 possessions, when "The Greek Freak" was on the floor. During this postseason? The Bucks are 10.3 points better when Antetokounmpo sits down. Now, those playoff on/off numbers are 11.4 vs. 21.7, so it’s hard to go wrong either way. Small sample size, but it indicates how well the reserves are playing, how much coach Mike Budenholzer and GM Jon Horst have cultivated this bench and how effectively these guys play in whatever combination they need. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] John Schuhmann: Giannis Antetokounmpo can't not be the most impressive thing about the Bucks, but the most noteworthy aspect of Milwaukee's postseason thus far is the play of their bench. While other teams have been forced to shorten their rotations because some reserves have been disappointing (or downright unplayable) in the playoffs, the Bucks have had some reserves play better than they did in the regular season. George Hill's regular season's contributions were rather minimal, but he was huge in the conference semis, averaging 15.5 points on 62 percent shooting over the Bucks' four wins. Pat Connaughton, meanwhile, has given them some important rebounding and floor spacing. And the Bucks have outscored their opponents by more than 21 points per 100 possessions with Hill and Connaughton on the floor together. Now, they've added more depth with the return of Malcolm Brogdon. Sekou Smith: The most impressive thing about the Bucks' 8-1 postseason run is that, save for Game 1 against the Boston Celtics, they treated each and every other game the same way. They didn't show the Celtics any more respect than they did the Detroit Pistons in that first round sweep. That's the mark of a champion, a team willing to disregard the opposition completely in its quest to win 16 games and bring home a Larry O'Brien Trophy. Like most everyone else, I needed to see if what the Bucks did during the regular season would translate to the postseason. And the overmatched Pistons couldn't provide the evidence needed in the first round. Punishing the Celtics the way they did, though, speaks to me in a completely different manner......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

Federer joins Murray in 4th round at Australian Open

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer showed against 10th-seeded Tomas Berdych that his first two wins against qualifiers at the Australian Open really were warmups. The 17-time Grand Slam champion, seeded a lowly-by-his-standards 17th after spending six months on the sidelines last season, only needed 90 minutes to beat Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in the third round on Friday night. This was against a rival who played the Wimbledon final in 2010 and reached the quarterfinals or better in Australia the previous six years. And he'd beaten Federer in six of their previous 22 matches. Federer hit some vintage backhand winners, one that earned a hearty applause from the great Rod Laver — sitting in the crowd at the stadium named in his honor — in the second set. He had 40 winners and won 95 percent of points when he got his first serve into play. He didn't face a breakpoint. 'Crazy how quick I got out of the blocks — I did surprise myself,' Federer said of his almost flawless performance against Berdych. 'I did feel like I struggled a bit in the first two rounds.' He next plays fifth-ranked Kei Nishikori, who beat Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the fourth round for a sixth straight year at Melbourne Park. Federer leads that matchup 4-2, winning the last three. The winner of that has a potential quarterfinal against top-ranked Andy Murray, who showed no signs of trouble with his sore ankle as he advanced to the Round of 16 for the ninth straight year with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 31 Sam Querrey. It was Querrey who ended then No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic's impressive Grand Slam run in the third round at Wimbledon last year. At that time, Djokovic had won four straight major titles — Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 2015 and Australian Open and French Open in 2016. Murray, who replaced Djokovic at No. 1 last November, said he was surprised at the six-time Australian Open champion's second-round loss to Denis Istomin the previous night. But the five-time Australian Open runner-up didn't think it changed anything for him, unless he reached the final. 'I wasn't scheduled to play Novak today, so my job's to concentrate on Sam and to go into that match with a clear head and a good game plan and try to play well,' said Murray, who lost to Djokovic in four of the five finals he has contested in Melbourne. 'I did that. 'Obviously, if you're to get to the final, then it has an effect.' Murray injured his right ankle in the second round, and said he was hesitant at first but warmed into the match against Querrey. 'I felt better and better as the match went on in terms of my movement,' Murray said. 'I was moving well at the end — it was very positive.' Murray next plays Mischa Zverev. Seven-time major winner Venus Williams routed Duan Yingying 6-1, 6-0 in less than an hour to progress to the fourth round for the 10th time since her Australian Open debut in 1998. 'It's good (but) it's never enough,' she said, looking ahead to her fourth-round match against Mona Barthel. 'I've tasted it before and it's always a great feeling because it means, hey, I have an opportunity for the quarterfinals. That's what I'm going to go for.' The last two Americans in the men's draw lost within an hour of each other. After Querrey's exit, No. 23-seeded Jack Sock lost 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-3 to No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. There are no more Australians in the men's draw, either, after Daniel Evans beat Bernard Tomic 7-5, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3). U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka had 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7) win over Viktor Troicki to move into a fourth-round match against Andreas Seppi. In the last match of day five, French Open champion Garbine Muguruza closed out with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Anastasia Sevastova. Top-ranked Angelique Kerber had a straight-sets win for the first time in her first Australian Open title defense, 6-0, 6-4 against Kristyna Pliskova. She next play 35th-ranked CoCo Vandeweghe, who reached the fourth round in Australia for the first time with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over 2014 semifinalist Eugenie Bouchard. Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova held off former No. 1-ranked Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 5-7, 9-7 in 3 ½ hours. Australian Open organizers were briefed by Victoria state police over an incident in downtown Melbourne where a man deliberately drove into a street crowded with pedestrians, killing three people and injuring 20. Police said the incident, about three kilometers (two miles) from Melbourne Park, had no links to terrorism. 'Be assured there is no threat to the precinct,' Australian Open organizers said in a statement. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Red-hot SMB put winning streak on the line vs. Ginebra

After coming out to a relatively slow start by their own awesome standards, two-time defending Philippine Cup champion San Miguel has put together an impressive run as of late, blowing out everybody for a league-leading 6-1 mark. And with a quarterfinal berth already secured following five straight wins, the Beermen start working on taking one of the two playoff bonuses as the PBA continues Sunday at the Big Dome. Standing in their way is sister team Brgy. Ginebra, the same team that elimated them in the semifinals of the past Governors' Cup. Unlike the Beermen, the Gin Kings have suffered a bit of a championship hangover to start the season, stumbling to a 3-3 record so far. However, a big win last Christmas was a boost for Ginebra as they play their first game of the new year. Gametime is set at 7:00 p.m. In the first game at 4:30 p.m., Rain or Shine and Phoenix duel for solo second place, hoping to create some space between them and a crowded set of teams with four victories each. With TNT losing to NLEX Saturday, the Elasto Painters currently sit alone at the no. 2 spot with a 4-2 mark while the Fuel Masters, winners of back-to-back games, enter with a 4-3 record. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

Ginebra looking to push SMB on the brink

After an impressive comeback in Game 1, Ginebra is now looking to push defending champion San Miguel on the brink as Game 2 of their PBA Governors' Cup semifinal series continues Wednesday at the Big Dome. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. Fres.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2016

TERRIFIC 12: Blackwater opens group play vs. Seoul SK Knights

MACAU — The East Asia Super League’s The Terrific 12 tournament is finally here and action starts right away Tuesday with all three PBA teams suiting up. Blackwater will be up first as the Elite take on South Korea’s Seoul SK Knights in Group A action. The Elite are coming off a strong campaign in th2 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup where they had their best regular-season finish and made the playoffs as the no. 3 seed. Unfortunately, Blackwater’s playoff run stopped in round one, losing to Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals. In Macau, the Elite look to add to their experience with hopes of making a deeper run in the Governors’ Cup. Last year, Blackwater also suited up in the East Asia Supe League, with its All-Filipino team seeing action in the Summer Super 8. The Elite finished with a 2-1 record in group play but missed the semis after quotients were considered. When they returned to the PBA, Blackwater made the Governors’ Cup playoffs as a top-5 seed. The team is looking to have the same results, if not better, this time around. The Elite will have its local team plus imports Alex Stepheson and Marqus Blakely here and they open the Terrific 2 tournament against the Knights. Seoul was the KBL champions two seasons ago and are using the Terrific 12 to prepare for a rebound campaign in Korea next year following a disappointing title defense in the 2018-2019 season. The Knights will have Jameel Warney as one of their imports. Former KBL MVP Kim Sunhyung and former KBL no. 2 pick Choi Junyong will lead Seoul as its top locals. Tip off for Blackwater-Seoul will be at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Tap Seac Multi-sport Pavilion here.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2019

TERRIFIC 12: SMB’s Grand Slam prep starts in Macau against Shenzhen

MACAU — Before San Miguel tries to complete a Grand Slam in the PBA, the Beermen’s resolve will be tested here in the East Asia Super League’s The Terrific 12 tournament. The Beermen will start Group B play Tuesday as they do battle against the Shenzhen Aviators of the Chinese Basketball Association. San Miguel retains its powerful All-Filipino core that won a fifth straight Philippine Cup title this year as well as regaining the Commissioner’s Cup, setting up a Grand Slam chase for the second time in three seasons. While five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo is doubtful with an ankle injury sustained in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the Beermen still have Terrence Romeo, Alex Cabagnot, and Chris Ross to man the backcourt plus Christian Standhardinger up front. San Miguel also acquired the services of import Lester Prosper to help fortify the team’s frontline. Dez Wells is the team’s main import as he’ll also suit up in the Governors’ Cup once the Beermen return to the PBA. Shenzhen will be on the other side of the court when San Miguel makes its East Asia Super League debut. The Aviators are coming off a semifinal finish from the recent CBA season and are led by former NBA guard Shabazz Muhammad and 2019 CBA Scoring Champion Pierre Jackson. Shenzhen then has 6’9” Shen Zijie and 7’2” Li Muhao patrolling the paint. The San Miguel-Shenzhen showdown will be the third game of a loaded Day 1 slate on Tuesday and will tip off at 7:00 p.m. live from the Tap Seac Multi-sport Pavilion here.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2019

TERRIFIC 12: Loaded Liaoning is TNT’s first test in Macau

MACAU — If TNT is to break its title drought here for the East Asia Super League’s the Terrific 12 tournament, the KaTropa will have to earn it. The deck has been suddenly stacked for the KaTropa as their first opponent has added major pieces ahead of Group D play. China’s Liaoning Flying Leopards have acquired the services of Lance Stephenson and Salah Mejri to complement a loaded local team led by national team star Guo Ailun. Stephenson played with LeBron James for the Lakers last season and Mejri was last seen by Filipino fans in China, leading African champion Tunisia to a sound beatdown of Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The KaTropa are on a collission course against the Flying Leopards Tuesday, with their 9:00 p.m. showdown serving as the main event of a loaded Day 1 slate in The Terrific 12 at the Tap Seac Multi-sport Pavilion. TNT is fresh from a Finals stint in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, the team’s first in two years. However, the KaTropa lost that series in six games and their title drought is now at four years and counting. In Macau, TNT can play for a title if it maintains its high-quality of play that ran amok in the PBA but the KaTropa no longer have Best Import Terrence Jones in the fold. They do have the next best thing in KJ McDaniels, who will also suit up for the team in the Governors’ Cup. TNT also has McKenzie Moore for added import firepower. The KaTropa also sill have their local Big 3 of Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and RR Pogoy to count on scoring.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2019

PBA: Phoenix picks up RR Garcia for Governors’ Cup

With Calvin Abueva still suspended, Phoenix has added a couple of role players to fill the gap left by the Beast. The Fuel Masters have picked up guards RR Garcia and Davon Potts, the team announced the development Monday. OFFICIAL: We’ve signed Davon Potts and RR Garcia. Welcome to the team guys! #FightToThePhoenix pic.twitter.com/ECmv8zL8uR — Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters (@fuelmasters) September 16, 2019 Garcia, a former champion with San Miguel Beer, was last seen playing for TNT before eventually falling out of rotation and out of the team completely. The same can be said of Potts as the former San Beda star was drafted by Alaska but never really found his place with the Aces. In Phoenix, both guards look to prove themselves again as the Fuel Masters out for a bounce back campaign in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup. The Fuel Masters will debut in the season-ending joust on Sept. 21 against NLEX.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2019

Lola Igna, The Panti Sisters leads the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019 List of Winners

BONGGA ang resulta ng nakaraang FDCP Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino dahil both naman ay magagaling sa kani-kanilang mga roles. Wagi si Ms Angie Ferro as Best Actress sa pelikulang Lola Igna kunng saan siya ang … Read More The post Lola Igna, The Panti Sisters leads the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019 List of Winners appeared first on Pinoy Parazzi......»»

Category: newsSource:  pinoyparazziRelated NewsSep 16th, 2019

Germany, Netherlands win as Croatia drops points

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press Germany flirted with defeat for a second straight European Championship qualifier before Marcel Halstenberg's first international goal lifted the team to a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Monday. Coming off a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands, Germany's recovery was unconvincing, helped by Northern Ireland wasting good chances. The Dutch delivered another impressive attacking display as Memphis Depay marked his 50th game for the Netherlands by scoring one goal and setting up two more in a 4-0 win over Estonia. Belgium made qualifying seem a pushover by beating Scotland 4-0 to keep a perfect winning record, but other favorites faltered. Croatia and Poland both dropped points but remained top of their increasingly competitive groups. REBUILD CONTINUES Germany's still in rebuild mode. More than a year on from its embarrassing group-stage elimination at the World Cup, Joachim Löw's team still struggles to get what should be routine wins. Just as South Korea ran Germany into the ground at the World Cup, so hard pressing from Northern Ireland nearly earned an upset win in Belfast. The host had the better of the first half. Conor Washington had one good shot saved by Manuel Neuer, and later tripped over the ball in front of goal, missing the best chance of the game. Germany emerged from the break refreshed and needed just three minutes before Halstenberg volleyed the ball into the net after Julian Brandt flicked on a cross. Stuart Dallas then went close for Nothern Ireland, who continued to challenge until deep into stoppage time, when Serge Gnabry grabbed Germany's second goal on a counter. "They pressed us hard in the first half, but at some point they got tired," Halstenberg said. Asked if Germany was getting back to the level of Europe's best, he was diplomatic. "It's hard to say." Ryan Babel was crucial in the Netherlands' come-from-behind win over Germany on Friday and he tore up another defense on Monday, scoring twice against Estonia. It was the first time Babel scored two in an international game and left the Dutch third in Group B, though they've played one game fewer than everyone else. The Netherlands' home-and-away games against Northern Ireland next month and in November will likely decide the automatic qualifying places in Group C. CROATIA CHECKED World Cup finalist Croatia was held by outsider Azerbaijan to 1-1 on Monday, denting its chances of reaching next year's European Championship. Croatia won an early penalty for handball, converted by captain Luka Modric, but Azerbaijan wing back Tamkin Khalilzade cut in from the left in the 72nd minute and beat Dejan Lovren before shooting past goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. For Azerbaijan, a Euro 2020 host, it was the first point of the qualifying campaign after four straight defeats. Croatia leads Group E by a single point from Slovakia and Hungary with two qualifying spots available. Slovakia beat Hungary 2-1 to move up to second. The other team in the hunt for qualification, Wales, was playing a friendly. BELGIUM TAKES IT EASY Scotland's Hampden Park was a walk in the park for Belgium. The visitors were three goals up after just 32 minutes as they kept a perfect record of six wins from six in qualifying. With an 11-point cushion to third-placed Kazakhstan, Belgium could seal qualification in its next game against San Marino. Belgium's goal difference of +18 is the best of any team in the qualifying competition and its gone five competitive games without conceding. Russia kept second place in Group I, but was lackluster in beating Kazakhstan 1-0, needing an 89th-minute headed goal from right back Mario Fernandes. Cyprus beat San Marino 4-0. After a fourth defeat, Scotland was in fifth place. It has never finished a European Championship qualifying campaign below fourth. POLAND SCORELESS AGAIN Poland looked a dead cert to qualify until last week, and now that seems a long time ago. After four straight wins, a 2-0 loss to Slovenia on Friday rattled the Poles. A 0-0 draw with Austria on Monday left Poland with its lead cut to two points. Slovenia earned a second big win in four days, beating Israel 3-2 to snatch second place in Group G. The competition's top scorer, Eran Zahavi, netted his ninth goal in qualifying as Israel turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, but Roman Bezjak drew Slovenia level before winger Benjamin Verdic scored the winner. Fourth-placed North Macedonia kept long-shot qualifying hopes alive by beating Latvia 2-0......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 10th, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Days: Pelicans could be in for seamless rebuild

Like most summers in the NBA, the 2019 edition was chock full of trades, free agent news and player movement. From the defending-champion Toronto Raptors to just about every other team in the league, change was the most applicable word when it came to describing team rosters for the 2019-20 season. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- in order of regular-season finish from 2018-19 -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: New Orleans Pelicans 2018-19 Record: 33-49, did not qualify for the playoffs Key additions: Zion Williamson (Draft), Lonzo Ball (trade), Brandon Ingram (trade), JJ Redick (free agency), Derrick Favors (trade), Josh Hart (trade), Jaxson Hayes (Draft), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Draft) Key departures: Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton The lowdown: There were teams with worst records and teams with more drama. But no team had a combination of both quite like the Pelicans. It all swirled around Davis, the best player in franchise history, who pulled a power move by switching agents to Rich Paul, business partner of LeBron James. Everyone saw what was coming next except Dell Demps, the beleaguered GM who refused to be proactive and instead tried to fight a losing battle. Through Paul, Davis made a private trade request in the fall and then went public a week prior to the trade deadline when Demps hesitated. When the deadline passed, Davis was still in New Orleans and that was a problem. The rest of the season was a disaster, as Davis was in an awkward state of limbo and the Pelicans, anxious to preserve their only true asset, managed his minutes. The fallout was severe: Fan backlash toward Davis, a fractured locker room, a state of emergency within a franchise that wasn’t among the league’s healthiest to begin with, and Demps getting the boot. Everything else about the Pelicans was overshadowed, such as Randle’s solid production in his first (and subsequently only) season in New Orleans and Jrue Holiday’s continued splendid play on both ends. In the end, Davis had long checked out, the Pelicans fell back into the lottery a year after reaching the second round of the playoffs, and a housecleaning was ordered by ownership. Summer summary: History might reflect that the Davis fiasco, in hindsight, was the most important moment in franchise history, and in a positive way. That’s because a much-needed series of changes were forced to happen because of it, and just maybe the Pelicans will be better off for it. It created a change in command, with David Griffin replacing Demps and tackling the Davis situation head-on rather than tiptoeing around it. And because Davis was essentially benched the entire second half of the season, that allowed the Pelicans to fall into the lottery, where they got lucky and landed the first overall pick in one of those drafts that contained a potential game-changer. New Orleans flipped almost overnight, getting an impressive haul for Davis in the long-awaited trade with the Lakers, and adding Zion Williamson, an explosive talent with gate appeal. It was a best-case scenario for the Pelicans, who went from laughingstock to landing a game on Christmas Day this season. Griffin played his hand skillfully, unlike Demps. Griffin didn’t create distrust or burn bridges and instead maintained good communication with Davis and all potential trading partners. He created a robust market for Davis and then negotiated with the one team that needed Davis the most: the Lakers with an aging LeBron James. Not only did Griffin get promising young players in Ball, Ingram and Hart, he also acquired the Lakers’ future with a collection of first-round picks and first-round swaps. Essentially, if the Lakers collapse in the post-LeBron era, the Pelicans will be awash in assets similar to the Boston Celtics when those Brooklyn Nets’ first-rounders turned to gold. Williamson should never have to worry about talent around him in New Orleans as Davis did. And unlike Davis, Williamson won’t be in a hurry to leave in a huff. There’s no reason for the Pelicans to tank, knowing that ample picks are coming their way. With that in mind, Griffin seized the moment to ramp up the rotation, adding some much-needed shooting in Redick and a reliable veteran in Favors. It’s very possible that the Pelicans can compete for a playoff spot in 2019-20, and again, this seemed remote when last season ended. There’s plenty of hope for Ball. He’ll have the relief of playing away from L.A. for the first time in his life and the advantage of suiting up next to Holiday, who can play off the ball if necessary. Ingram will be returning from a health scare related to blood clots that cut short his season but the prognosis is good. In addition to Williamson, the draft also produced Alexander-Walker, who brings good size (6-foot-5) to the backcourt, and Hayes, a raw big man who’ll instantly enroll in the Pelicans’ development school. To make the upcoming season as stress-free as possible, Griffin handed coach Alvin Gentry a one-year extension. The pair once worked together in Phoenix, when Gentry led the Suns to the Western Conference finals. For the first time in his tenure with the Pelicans, Gentry has ample talent and a solid plan. Now it’s up to him to put the right pieces in place. Clearly, though, the big prize is Williamson, who comes with robust talent and also a personality that reflects well on him and the franchise. Williamson can be a savior and, once Drew Brees retires, the face of New Orleans sports. It all depends if he makes good on the immense expectations. Given his knack for making crowd-pleasing plays on both ends, the burly forward has star potential -- which is exactly what a small market needs. There’s a reason why the Draft lottery results caused Gentry to curse with joy and team employees to dance on tables. Perhaps never before has a franchise fallen hard, then rose suddenly, quite like the Pelicans did in a matter of weeks. They’re still partying in New Orleans. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsSep 10th, 2019