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PBA Finals: Pivotal Game 5 up next for TNT-SMB series

TNT and San Miguel Beer have fought to a 2-2 stalement in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals. As such, Game 5 will be pivotal for the two flagship teams as their titanic showdown for the title nears its conclusion. The top-ranked KaTropa are yet to trail in this series and they would like to keep it that way. TNT has proven to always be a step ahead in these Finals and after two days to contemplate on a Game 4 loss, the KaTropa are certainly in position for a comeback. However, the Beermen have established a dynasty by winning almost all of the late-series games and a crucial Game 5 seems perfect time for San Miguel to show its superior championship composure. If San Miguel is to make a move and truly turn this series around, the time is now. Game 5 will tip off 7:00 p.m. Wednesday live from the Big Dome with the winner one step closer to the championship.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 13th, 2019

KaTropa know full well they can t keep coming from behind in PBA Finals

TNT ran out of gas at the end of Game 4 of the 2019 PBA Commissioners' Cup Finals, Sunday at Araneta Coliseum. Battling back from being down by as much as 15 in the third quarter, the KaTropa could only come as close as two points for the remainder of the game. And in the end, they only saw San Miguel Beer knot up the best-of-seven championship series at 2-2. Of course, TNT could do nothing but lament the fact that it was at the wrong end of another killer run. "Start ng fourth quarter, ang laki na naman ng hinabol namin. For us to win, dapat 'di kami naghahabol," Jayson Castro told reporters post-game. In Game 4, the KaTropa actually had a one-point lead at halftime before the Beermen used a 12-0 run to mount the lead they would never relinquish. In Game 2, also a loss, the KaTropa also had to chase down a 14-point deficit after two quarters. And even in their Game 1 win, the KaTropa fell behind, 35-19, following the opening salvo. That could not keep happening if the flagship team of the MVP group is to win its first championship since 2015. "I feel like we're putting ourselves in a hole then climbing out of it, win or lose. We have to focus on starting the way we finish," Terrence Jones said. He then continued, "I think we're finishing games with desperation on defense and aggressiveness and everybody's trying to win. If we start games how we played in the second half, I think we'll be good." TNT would hope for just that when they re-engage with San Miguel in the pivotal Game 5, Wednesday still at the same venue. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2019

PBA Finals: Second quarter meltdown buries SMB, 1-2, in Finals series

San Miguel Beer for the first time in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals series took control of the game early. The Beermen even held a 17-point lead to start the second quarter. Then everything went south from there. SMB squandered a big lead and allowed TNT KaTropa to mount a pivotal counterattack to turn the tables around as they hand the Beermen a 105-115 beating in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series on Friday at the Big Dome. The KaTropa took a 2-1 series lead. The Beermen actually shot better from the field with a 38-of-81 clip compared to TNT’s 35-of-82 but the KaTropa made an amazing 24-0 run in the second quarter that shifted the momentum on their side and SMB had no answer.    “Well ah, if we look at the stats makikita n’yo almost even. Still mataas pa rin kami sa shooting percentage but napabayaan namin ang lead namin nu’ng first quarter,” said SMB coach Leo Austria. “Although, first time namin na nagkaroon ng good start I think lumamang kami ng 16 (sic) but in the second quarter we allowed them to play their game.” The Beermen built their biggest lead, 36-19, off a Terrence Romeo triple to open the second period only to see TNT ignite a blitz. Terrence Jones sparked the KaTropa’s run with a lay-up. The TNT import scored 11 more points in the run capped by a trey that gave KaTropa a 43-36 advantage with just 4:29 left before the half. TNT entered halftime with a 55-50 lead.   “Nagkaroon kami ng kaunting scramble sa offense and defense,” said Austria. The mentor also felt that his wards veered away from their game plan.   “We’re trying to get the ball to June Mar (Fajardo) but something happened kumbaga the players ay talagang may iniisip din na magpapanalo sa team but hindi nangyari yun,” he said. “We’re not able to get some good breaks and a little bit panic siguro noong nakahabol sila,” Austria added. “In the second half they were able to control the game.” TNT also shot better from the outside with 15 triples compared to SMB’s eight. Jones hit 5-of-9 from the outside, Roger Pogoy also had 5-of-9 while Don Trollano nailed three, causing a SMB a big headache that Austria hope they could address in Game 4. “We were able to recover in the third quarter but they were really focused and hungrier. Then some of our shots hindi pumasok eh especially coming from those players na gumawa before,” said Austria. “Makikita naman natin eh. Eight out of 26 three points against (15) of 38. I think that’s one thing na kailangang ma-solve ulit namin.” Game 4 is on Sunday.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 9th, 2019

Toronto Raptors win Game 3 of NBA Finals

OAKLAND, California  — Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Kyle Lowry kept finding answers for every big shot by Stephen Curry and the beat-up Warriors, and the Toronto Raptors grabbed a pivotal road win in the NBA Finals by beating Golden State 123-109 on Wednesday night (Thursday morning, Philippine time) for a 2-1 series lead. Curry […] The post Toronto Raptors win Game 3 of NBA Finals appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 6th, 2019

Raptors regain Finals lead, survive Curry flurry in Game 3

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Kyle Lowry kept finding answers for every big shot by Stephen Curry and the beat-up Warriors, and the Toronto Raptors grabbed a pivotal road win in the NBA Finals by beating Golden State 123-109 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for a 2-1 series lead. Curry scored a playoff career-best 47 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists, but couldn't do it all for the two-time defending champions, down starters Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and key backup big man Kevon Looney because of injuries. Leonard scored 30 points, Lowry contributed 23 with five three-pointers and Green had 18 points with six triples after Pascal Siakam got the Raptors rolling early as Toronto shot 52.4% and made 17 from deep. Splash Brother Thompson missed his first career playoff game after straining his left hamstring late in Game 2, while Looney is out the rest of the series after a cartilage fracture on his right side near the collarbone that also happened Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Durant, a two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP, is still out because of a strained right calf. Golden State hopes to get healthier by Game 4 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) back at Oracle Arena. The Warriors trailed 96-83 going into the final quarter then Curry's three free throws at 10:37 made it a seven-point game before back-to-back baskets by Serge Ibaka. Siakam scored 18 points and established the momentum for Toronto from the tip, hitting his first three shots and setting a tone for a defensive effort that stayed solid without the foul problems that plagued the Raptors in Game 2. Golden State greatly missed not only Thompson's touch from outside but also his stifling defense. Raptors coach Nick Nurse challenged his team to produce more defensive stops in order to get out in transition — "make them miss more," he said. Ibaka produced six blocked shots in the effort. "We're at a point in the series we've got to get out and guard these dudes," Nurse said. Curry shot 14-for-31 including 6-of-14 on three's while making 13-of-14 free throws in his sixth career 40-point playoff performance. Nurse pulled out a box-and-one to try to stymie Curry in Golden State's 109-104 Game 2 win, then the Raptors made Curry's short-handed supporting cast try to beat them this time — and it sure worked. TIP-INS Raptors: All five Toronto starters scored in double digits and Fred VanVleet added 11 off the bench. ... The Raptors began 10-for-14 and scored 12 early points in the paint. .. Former Warriors G Patrick McCaw, who departed after last season in contract dispute, drew boos from the crowd when he checked into the game late in the first. Warriors: Curry's 17 first-quarter points matched his most in the period for the postseason. He also did so on April 27, 2014, against the Clippers. ... In the first half, Curry was 4-of-8 from three-point range, the rest of the Warriors just 1-for-11. ... Draymond Green's streak of double-doubles ended at a career-best six games. A 12th overall this postseason would match Denver's Nikola Jokic for most in the 2019 playoffs. ... Tim Hardaway from the Warriors' "Run TMC" era attended the game. WARRIORS INJURIES Durant went through extensive workouts both Tuesday and Wednesday (Wednesday and Thursday, PHL time) at the practice facility with the hope he would do some scrimmaging Thursday (Friday, PHL time). While the Warriors weren't scheduled for a regular practice Thursday (Friday, PHL time), coach Steve Kerr said some of the coaches and younger players might be called upon to give Durant the full-speed court work he still needs before being medically cleared to return. He missed his eighth straight game since the injury May 8 (May 9, PHL time) in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets. Thompson was hurt in Game 2 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) and was to be evaluated by the training staff before tipoff. He didn't end up warming up on the court. Thompson did some running and shooting earlier in the day but Kerr said the Warriors weren't going to play him "if there's risk" of further damage at this stage of the series. Thompson is averaging 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists this postseason, including 23.0 points through the first two finals games. He will have another full day to recover before Game 4. ORACLE OVERDUE The home fans waited 20 days between home playoff games with the long layoff after the Western Conference finals sweep of Portland then Golden State opening the finals in Toronto. It had been since Game 2 against the Trail Blazers on May 16 (May 17, PHL time) that the Warriors hosted — the second-longest lapse between home games since the current 16-game, four-round format was established in 1983. The Warriors hosted a Game 3 in the finals for the first time since winning the 1975 title, having begun at home in each of the previous four......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 6th, 2019

Curry, Warriors lose game of numbers versus Raptors

Stephen Curry had one of those nights that Warriors fans all secretly hope to see. Golden State normally loves to share the ball, spread the wealth, make sure the opponents are bewildered by the buffet of offensive options on the defending champions' side. In Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals though, they didn't have a lot of choices to get points from. In fact, they only had one player who could put the ball into the bucket reliably: the former two-time MVP. It was, as many hoped it would be, spectacular to watch. Curry notched a postseason-best 47 points on 14-of-31 shooting, converting 6-of-14 three-pointers and 13-of-14 free throws. He drove hard into the lane. He broke down defenders with his dribbles. He flung insane shots from far away. The only unanimous pick for Most Valuable Player logged 43 minutes, and made sure the Raptors did not have a comfortable game. "Steph was incredible," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the game. "The stuff he does, he does things that honestly I don't think anybody has ever done before. The way he plays the game, the way he shoots it and the combination of his ball handling and shooting skills, it's incredible to watch. He was amazing." It just wasn't enough. On a night when Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both failed to hit the court, only Curry stepped up to the plate. Draymond Green belatedly canned a few triples, but had as many assists (four) as turnovers. DeMarcus Cousins looked like the complete opposite of his Game 2 self, making just 1-of-7 shots and failing to provide any semblance of playmaking. Quinn Cook had nine points, but didn't hit any three's. But there was Curry, perpetually keeping the Warriors within spitting distance of the Toronto Raptors. Only it wasn't enough. Curry's brilliance was met and exceeded by not one, not two, but all three members of Canada's backcourt: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, and Fred VanVleet. Where Curry had 47 points and six three's, the trio combined for 52 points and 14 triples. Whenever the Warriors seemingly had a comeback lined up, one of them would hit a big three-pointer, or come up with a huge defensive play, or find a Raptors big man for the assist. "I think Danny's [Green's] buckets boosted our whole team's confidence," said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. Green had been a putrid 6-of-32 from downtown in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, but has been heating up, going 7-of-16 over Games 1 and 2. "I think that when he banked a couple there and then he kind of kept it going, I think it was just a huge confidence boost all around." It was a game the Raptors knew they had to win. The Warriors had stolen Game 2 and home court advantage in Toronto, despite Thompson and Kevon Looney exiting mid-way through that one. And with Durant's presence looming over the series like the Falcon ready to tell Curry's Captain America "on your left," the challengers to the NBA throne knew they could ill afford a 2-1 series deficit. "For me it was just coming off being aggressive and not being so passive and trying to get everybody else involved," said Kyle Lowry. The team had been told to "let it rip" by Nurse and the rest of their coaching staff, and answered in kind. They were 17-of-38 on three's in this one (44.7%) compared to 11-of-38 (28.9%) in Game 2. Stretching it back further, the Raptors were 13-of-33 (39.4%) in Game 1, which they had won. The Warriors have scored 109 points in all three games so far; to come out on top, it seems, the Raptors simply have to better that number. "We just kept scoring," Fred VanVleet added. "We knew that they were going to make a run. [We] just tried to keep continuing to put pressure on them and just work the game." "Every time we made a run or got the crowd into it, they either made a tough three or there was tough foul called," Curry pointed out. "They slowed the tempo down, or something went their way. "So it's just how it goes sometimes. You have to tip your cap to all the guys that made pivotal plays in the right times." It would have been one thing if it were just that trio of Raptor guards, but it wasn't. Kawhi Leonard, appropriately enough, had the quietest 30-7-6 outing you'll probably ever see. Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol added 18 and 17, respectively, while Serge Ibaka provided a late jolt with six points and six blocks. And again, the only real Warrior of note was Curry. The question of these Finals for the Warriors has always been whether or not they'd be able to ride out the Kevin Durant injury. On one hand, they could be down 1-3, have Durant come back and go on to win the whole thing. On the other, that's hardly realistic, and the Raptors aren't going to just fold if the Slim Reaper shows up opposite them. "We didn't play well enough and we ran into a team that played an excellent game," admitted Kerr. "So, a long series. We got to bounce back and move on from here." "I mean, we fought, but we lost," added Curry. "So we got to go back to the drawing board and jus recalibrate for Game 4. It's kind of been like a roller coaster type of series these first games, and I like the things that we saw tonight that we can make adjustments on and protect home court on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). "It's the Finals man, an oppotunity for us to get back in the series on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) and take it from there." The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 6th, 2019

Raptors on brink of first Finals berth in franchise history

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com TORONTO -- Twenty-one would be a very cool number for the Toronto Raptors. Before they get it, though, they’ll need to get one. And one would be beyond cool. Off the charts, historic, potentially transformative and largely indescribable. Twenty-one: That’s how many teams in NBA playoff history will have overcome an 0-2 start to win a best-of-seven series, if the Raptors manage to close out the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals. Whether it happens in Game 6 Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) at Scotiabank Arena or in Game 7 back in Milwaukee Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), Toronto would buck outlandish odds -- this is the 289th series to begin with the same team winning the first two games, so we’re talking a seven percent likelihood (20-of-288). [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] One: That’s all that stands between the Raptors and the first NBA Final appearance in Toronto franchise history. One more victory in the next three days would validate the risks and twists of this 2018-19 season for the Raptors, while exorcising nearly a quarter century’s worth of demons. One little win and Toronto finally will break through, capping a stellar six-year run of promising regular seasons and heartbreaking postseasons. They will have earned, in the face of so much uncertainty, their best shot yet at a championship, even if it means going through the mighty Golden State Warriors. When Raptors president Masai Ujiri traded for star forward Kawhi Leonard, he was gambling not just that Leonard could recover from the right quadriceps injury that scuttled his 2017-18. He was guessing that swapping in Leonard for former All-Star wing DeMar DeRozan could push Toronto to, well, right where they’re at. And he was hoping Leonard, a rent-a-player able to leave this summer in free agency, would enjoy the whole experience enough to let Ujiri pay him $220 million over the next five seasons. It’s impossible to know where things stand on that last front, owing to Leonard’s inscrutability and a decision that’s still six weeks away. But the Raptors never have gotten this far, so there is an opportunity here to be savored, with more potentially to come. “It would be a very, very long summer thinking about what could have been or what you could have done,” guard Fred VanVleet said, framing things a bit negatively after raining 7-of-9 three-pointers on Milwaukee in the 105-99 Game 5 victory. “So we've just got to go out there and have no regrets. … One win away from the Finals sounds pretty good to me.” Sounds a little easier, maybe, than it actually will be. The Raptors are at home for Game 6 and the crowd at Scotiabank crowd, already dialed high, will be able to let it rip without any fear -- immediate fear, anyway -- of failure. But Milwaukee will be desperate. Giannis Antetokounmpo has pledged that his team will not “fold.” And the Bucks have zero interest in a knock-knock year, believing all season that they were good enough to reach and win the championship. They wouldn’t be human if they weren’t shaken by the three consecutive defeats Toronto has dealt them. The Raptors have managed to surround and partially stifle Antetokounmpo, while still firing out enough to bother Milwaukee’s three-point shooters into repeated misfires. The Bucks’ defense has been probed and poked like a cut-rate steak. They resorted again to some uncharacteristic switching in Game 5 but had most of their success inside the arc. Late in the pivotal loss, they got beat for five offensive rebounds, when grabbing two or three might have swung the outcome. “It's win or lose,” coach Mike Budenholzer said Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in a conference call with reporters. “When you win, there are things that [still] are concerning and unsettling that you need to work on and improve. I think there's just enough possessions where there's a couple of rebounds that stand out. “Can we do a little bit better job in some of our activity in certain situations. Offensively, I think at times can our spacing be better and our ball movement be better? But I would say it's like a lot of games. We didn't get it done.” One area in which Budenholzer refuses to budge, dire circumstances be darned, is in his use vs. overuse of Antetokounmpo. The load the Greek Freak carries when he’s on the floor, the activity he generates, leads to fatigue and wear-and-tear that requires regular breathers. Extending his star’s minutes, Budenholzer believes, would lead to less “peak Giannis” rather than more, an inevitable tradeoff of quality over quantity. And the Bucks need every bit of Antetokounmpo’s best, or what’s left of it in their 97th game of the season. “Giannis, it's so impressive what he does and how important he is,” Budenholzer said. “I maintain that him getting appropriate rest, appropriate kind of just a chance to catch his breath, refuel… At the end of the day, you need to be able to produce and perform, including in the fourth quarter.” At the possible end of your season, though, you’ll have plenty of time to refuel if the opponent pounces while your star sits. Said Raptors coach Nick Nurse, in his own teleconference: “It's a ‘whatever it takes’ game. It's an unlimited-minutes night. This is just like any other critical must-win game.” Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Blessed na nag-UST ako -- Rondina

University of Sto. Tomas prized hitter Sisi Rondina was at loss for words for the touching gesture of the UST alumni, community and supporters to fly in her family to watch her play in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals.     Rondina, who is set to receive her Most Valuable Player award on Wednesday before the pivotal Game 2 of the best-of-three championship series against Ateneo de Manila University, welcomed her family who came from Cebu Tuesday afternoon at the NAIA Terminal 4. UST alumni and supporters chipped in to fund the airfare and accommodation expenses of Rondina’s family. In a separate interview, Rondina admitted that due to her priority of buying a 2-storey house in her hometown in Compostella, she won’t be able to fly her family to Manila to watch her in the biggest stage of country’s premier collegiate league in her swan song.       “Blessed na nag-UST ako and syempre to be part of the UST community. For me, masaya ako kasi first time nilang makapanood dito sa Manila, championship pa,” said a very thankful Rondina, who is also set to claim the 2nd Best Open Spiker award. “Masaya ako syempre kasi ma-a-awardan ako bukas na andoon sila.” The Queen Tigress was grateful for her UST family for the special gift not only to her but also for her teammates Alina Bicar and Dimdim Pacres. Bicar's family flew in from Samar Tuesday morning while Pacres' family landed in Manila in the afternoon a few minutes after Rondina's family's arrival.      “Sobrang thankful ako kasi plano ko talaga na makapanood sila ng live and naisip nila [fans] na papuntahin sila [family ko] dito. And hindi lang ako pati sina Dimdim (Pacres) and Alina (Bicar) [family nila andito rin].” “Mapapasabi ka na lang na ‘buti na lang nag-UST kami’ kasi ‘yung support ng community andoon talaga,” she added. “Sobrang sarap ng feeling na ‘yung mga taong tumulong sayo hindi nagdalawang-isip. Hindi ko alam kung paano ako magpapasalamat.” Rondina promised the UST community that she will play her best to deliver the title and end a nine-year wait. “Syempre I will do my best para sa game namin and syempre para worth it lahat ng efforts nila,” she said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 14th, 2019

Legendary Moments: Jordan eliminates Cavs with iconic shot

NBA.com staff report On May 7, 1989, Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan delivered one of the most legendary moments of his career when he hit "The Shot" to eliminate the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the 1989 first-round NBA playoffs series. With the series tied 2-2, the Bulls needed to win Game 5 to advance in the best-of-five series. The pivotal game was tight throughout, with six lead changes in the final minutes of regulation. Cavaliers guard Craig Ehlo gave his squad the lead 100-99 with 3.0 seconds left. That was just enough time for Jordan, though, who created space over Ehlo to hit the iconic foul-line jumper at the buzzer. Jordan finished the game with 44 points on 17-for-32 shooting. [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] After the game, Bulls coach Doug Collins said of the last play, "that was get the ball to Michael and everybody get the [expletive] out of the way!" The Bulls went on to reach the East finals where they were eliminated by the Detroit Pistons in six games. During the 1989 playoffs, Jordan averaged 34.8 points, 7.6 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals in 17 games. Box Score.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2019

Bucks stars sit down, supporting cast steps up

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com BOSTON – Giannis Antetokounmpo sat down. Khris Middleton sat down. And the Milwaukee Bucks’ chance of beating the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series seemed to sit down with them. In a hostile arena, against an opponent that by all rights should have been desperate (though the emotion never did quite translate to the Celtics’ performance), losing your best two players to foul trouble at a crucial point in the second half should have been too much for Milwaukee. [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] Antetokounmpo got whistled for his fourth personal foul with 8:18 left in the third quarter, the teams tied at 59-59. Before the score ever budged, 61 seconds later, Middleton got his fourth. It was automatic for Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer to yank both his All-Stars, with so much game left and the risk of one or both fouling out so great. This should have been the opportunity the Celtics needed. They had misfired their way to that point, shooting 37 percent overall in the first half and 4-of-19 on three-pointers. But they had their full complement of starters available. Boston should have pounced. Boston should have cracked open the game right there and earned itself a 2-2 series tie. Instead, the Bucks stiffened, then pushed back. They might even have ended the series, turning that stretch of resiliency to end the third quarter into a 113-101 victory. They hold a 3-1 lead now with a chance to close it out at home in Game 5 Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) and advance to the conference finals. That’s how pivotal the Bucks’ plucky response to adversity was. They not only fended off the Celtics during that star-starved stretch, they took the lead: Milwaukee went on a little 13-9 run to the 2:31 mark of the third, triggering a timeout by Boston coach Brad Stevens. Then play resumed, and the Bucks outscored them again 8-4 to close the quarter. It was the exact opposite of what should have happened, Milwaukee opening up an 80-72 lead while playing shorthanded, and Boston squandering such a ripe chance to seize the game. Yet there wasn’t much surprise showing in the visitors’ dressing room. “We were just playing the same way,” said center Brook Lopez. “We always say, ‘Same way. Same way,’ and just keep grinding. We did a great job these past two games just grinding for the first 30, 35 minutes or whatever, and then just taking advantage whenever the moment comes.” This should have been Boston’s moment, though. It’s true that the Bucks’ depth has been a weapon all season and that their role players have prided themselves on maintaining -- or adding to -- leads. But c’mon, they were working without a net this time. Antetokounmpo and Middleton had to sit for a while at least, if not the balance of the quarter. The worst thing that could happen if they came back too soon would be picking up their fifth fouls. The second-worst thing would be playing overly cautious to avoid doing that. Didn’t the players who stepped into the breach feel the burden? “We didn’t really feel that way,” Lopez said. “We had that trust and belief in one another. We were just trying not to have any sort of letdown.” Budenholzer dealt with the fragile situation by reminding himself that he typically subs out his stars in that general vicinity of the game. Keeping them fresh for the fourth quarter is a priority, particularly with Antetokounmpo. It’s just that this time, the terms were dictated to the Bucks coach. “It’s always hard to take out Giannis, let’s just start there,” Budenholzer said. But he added, “Because of our normal subs rotation, it wasn’t as tough to take him out.” Lopez, George Hill, Ersan Ilyasova, Eric Bledsoe, Nikola Mirotic, Pat Connaughton and Sterling Brown all played during Antetokounmpo’s and Middleton’s absences. (Middleton returned for an uneventful final 20 seconds in the period.) Bledsoe got it going offensively, then Hill – not unlike his super-sub showing in Game 3 – scored nine of Milwaukee’s final 11 points in the quarter. And they all locked in defensively, making life miserable for a Celtics team that never recovered. “Absolutely. We’re always defense first,” Lopez said. “I think we even stepped up our intensity in that moment.” The Greek Freak, while all this was going on, sat between deep reserves D.J. Wilson and inactive rookie Donte DiVincenzo with a concerned look on his face and nervous energy bouncing through one leg. Tough benchmate? “I mean, he’s one of those guys who wants to play all 48,” Wilson said. “He hates when he comes out. He’s kind of like that every game.” Said Antetokounmpo: “It’s amazing to see that the bench can keep playing hard, keep defending hard and set the tone for us.” The past two games, the Bucks’ bench has outscored Boston’s 74-23. So Milwaukee didn’t just survive, it thrived. It started the fourth with its top guys more rested than usual. And oh, did it show. Antetokounmpo scored 17 points in that quarter, but, playing all 12 minutes during which he scored half of the Bucks’ 12 field goals and grabbed seven rebounds. Middleton was scoreless but was a plus-seven the rest of the way, second only to Connaughton’s plus-11. Boston wound up trading baskets for much of the fourth. Al Horford’s layup at 7:25 got his team within 91-86, only to see Lopez and Antetokounmpo score all of the Bucks’ points in a 14-6 stretch that ate up five minutes. The home team seemed to be fraying, bringing an air of inevitability to the night. Speculation that it might have been All-Star guard Kyrie Irving’s final game as a Celtic in Boston – he’ll be a free agent this summer and never has seemed particularly happy here – began immediately. Irving, after a golden Game 1, has played haphazardly in the past three while shooting a combined 19-of-62. “Who cares?” he said. “It’s a little different when your rhythm is challenged every play down. You’re being picked up full court. They’re doing things to test you. The expectations on me are going to be sky high. I try to utilize their aggression against them and still put my teammates in great positions, while still being aggressive and trying to do it all. “For me, the 22 shots? I should have shot 30.” The Bucks, boasting strong chemistry since training camp, never has looked tighter. In fact, when Lopez was asked if he felt a sense of relief that they reached the fourth quarter without getting pummeled, he wouldn’t go there. “I don’t think it’s a sense of relief,” he said. “I don’t want to say that, because one through 15 we have trust in everyone in this locker room. Whoever we have out on the floor, we’re never like, ‘Oh damn, we’re stuck with these guys.’” Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 7th, 2019

We played bad the whole game -- Meralco coach Black

Meralco coach Norman Black described the Bolts’ performance in the pivotal Game 5 of the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-seven Finals series as bad. As simple as that. Just bad.     “It.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2016

PBA: Alapag feels for TNT after old tropa takes Finals loss

Like he said before this series, it’s just all business. Now an assistant coach for San Miguel Beer, Jimmy Alapag has won a second title as a Beerman, capturing the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup after six games in the Finals. They beat TNT, Jimmy’s old team where he won seven championships, six as a player. Going up against his former KaTropa, Alapag feels for their loss but that’s the way it goes in the PBA. He’s with San Miguel now and he has to help this team win. For this particular series, the Beermen got the job done. “Those guys will always be family.” Coach Jimmy has helped SMB win a second title this season, with the latest one at the expense of his old tropa in TNT.#PBA2019 #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/zyjuC0SZ5e — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) August 17, 2019 “My relationship with Jayson [Castro] and Harvey [Carey] goes much deeper than basketball, those guys will always be family. You hate to compete against them because I know the type of will and the type of heart that they have when they play,” Alapag said. “But I’m here [with San Miguel] and it’s my job to help this team to continue to win. Coach Leo [Austria] and all the players, they deserve all the credit. They came in and they got the job done,” he added. San Miguel is the league’s current dynasty and that incredible championship experience gathered through the last four years prevailed in the series against TNT. The Beermen overcame a 1-2 deficit to win the title, handing the KaTropa their first three-game losing skid all season with wins in Games 4-6. “I’m happy for the guys. It was a competitive series, really could have gone other way,” Alapag said. “But I think these guys’ championship experience really came through in the endgame and in a lot of the games in this series. I think that made the difference,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News9 hr. 12 min. ago

Longer, harder practices for Gilas beginning next week

With just a little over two weeks to go before the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas is all set to enter its final phase of preparations. Just two days removed from landing in Manila from a training camp in Spain, the Philippine national team was in practice for the second straight time inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas on Thursday. And still, head coach Yeng Guiao was nothing but satisfied with their preparations. "Okay naman. At least, we have 11 or 12 guys coming in already and we're still waiting for the three guys playing in the Finals," he told reporters. Indeed, 12 of the 15-man pool were present in the latest training session - and only June Mar Fajardo, RR Pogoy, and Troy Rosario were missing as all of them still had business to take care of in the ongoing 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals. Whatever happens in the PBA Finals, whether San Miguel wraps up the championship on Friday or TNT forces a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday, coach Yeng said Gilas' daily practices will continue. And starting next week, they will be undergoing longer and harder training sessions. "We're just going to wind up this week with regular practices, but next week, meron na kaming extra hour for the shooting drills and another extra hour for video watching every other day siguro," the fiery mentor shared. He then continued, "We're going to add more hours next week so were hoping by that time, ready na rin yung tatlo na galing sa Finals." Along with the extra work starting next week, Gilas is also looking forward to a two-game series against Australian club Adelaide 36ers. "We're hoping to see some improvement once we play the Australian team. After that, final adjustments na lang," coach Yeng said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

PBA Finals By the Numbers: One more to go

San Miguel Beer is pretty much inevitable, right? After Game 5, the Beermen are all of a sudden on the brink of yet another PBA title and they now lead the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against TNT, 3-2. TNT will now need some Tony Stark level of switcheroo to pull this one off or the Beermen will continue to pad their lead against all PBA teams with an incredible 27 championships. But before that, one last By the Numbers look for San Miguel’s amazing Game 5 win.   19 Total points for San Miguel import Chris McCullough in that incredible fourth-quarter run. C-Mac outscored TNT by himself in the last 12 minutes, 19-14, as he willed the Beermen to victory in the final quarter. His basket over the defense of Terrence Jones late finally pushed San Miguel ahead, 95-94, which would later turn into a 99-94 win.   16 Largest lead of the night for the KaTropa. After scoring the first five points in the fourth quarter, TNT was up by 16, 85-69. It went downhill after that. Chris McCullough scored 19 points and the Beermen went on a 30-9 run to end the game for the win.   96 Combined minutes for imports Terrence Jones and Chris McCullough. The two imports did not rest in the pivotal Game 5 for TNT and San Miguel respectively however, the younger McCullough got the upper hand late as he just had the extra bounce in his step during crunch time. They both scored 35 points each in Game 5.   22 Total points for Terrence Romeo. Bro fired 15 points in the opening period as he kept San Miguel within striking distance of TNT. If the Beermen are to win this championship, Romeo is a darkhorse candidate for Finals MVP, he’s been that impactful off the bench for San Miguel Beer.   14 Total three-pointers for TNT. Despite the monumental collapse, the KaTropa were still on target from deep, connecting 14 treys on 34 percent shooting.  Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy had four triples each while Terrence Jones was good for another three. TNT is still playing well in these Finals, they just have to finish. Game 6 is Friday at the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

PBA Finals: Can San Miguel Beer finish off TNT in Game 6?

With Wednesday’s Game 5 win, San Miguel Beer was the first team to get back-to-back victories in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. Now looking for a trifecta, the Beermen are out to finish off top-ranked TNT KaTropa. The series between the league’s two flagship teams move on to a Game 6 with San Miguel holding a crucial 3-2 lead. If the Beermen complete the job, it will be the team’s 27th overall title and another shot at a Grand Slam is very much in play. However, TNT is a tough out and the KaTropa should be raring to force a deciding Game 7. TNT is yet to lose three straight games all season and they don’t really plan to do that now especially with a championship hanging in the balance. Game 6 will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Frida live from the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

PBA Finals: Beermen close in on title after Game 5 win

San Miguel Beer is closing in on another title. The Beermen erased a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take a big 99-94 Game 5 win over TNT in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Wednesday at the Big Dome. Chris McCullough made things happen in the fourth as his tough lay-up over Terrence Jones finally pushed the Beermen up, 95-94. San Miguel then got a couple of stops and handled business from the line to take a 3-2 series lead. The Beermen can win the title with Game 6 Friday also at the Big Dome. TNT’s momentum in the third carried over into the early parts of the fourth as the KaTropa established a 16-point lead after a booming RR Pogoy triple, 85-69. But then McCullough went to work, outscoring TNT by himself and San Miguel is now on top in this series for the first time. C-Mac poured 19 of his total of 35 points in the final 12 minutes. For good measure, McCullough also had 22 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks. Terrence Romeo was the top local for San Miguel, finishing with 22 points. TR scored 15 in the opening half to keep the Beermen in the game. For TNT, Terrence Jones scored 35 points to go along with 17 rebounds and eight assists. Jayson Castro added 18 but unfortunately, the pair combined for just six points in the fourth.   The Scores: San Miguel 99 - McCullough 35, Romeo 22, Fajardo 16, Pessumal 9, Ross 7, Cabagnot 4, Standhardinger 4, Santos 2. TNT 94 - Jones 35, Castro 18, Rosario 16, Pogoy 12, Trollano 7, D. Semerad 6, Taha 0, Reyes 0, Heruela 0, Magat 0. Quarters: 22-28, 45-49, 69-80, 99-94.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

PBA Finals: McCullough on title: “We’re gonna win this s***”

Chris McCullough willled San Miguel Beer to victory in Game 5 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. McCullough outscored TNT KaTropa by himself in the final 12 minutes, 19-14, and San Miguel Beer completed a comeback from 16 points down to take a crucial 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series for the title. The man was simply on a mission and he wants this title bad. “We’re going to win this s***,” McCullough said repeatedly after they pulled through in Game 5. The young San Miguel import finished the win with 35 points and 22 rebounds. His clutch basket inside the last 30 seconds over Terrence Jones finally pushed the Beermen ahead, 95-94. “I don’t remember it to be honest,” McCullough said of his go-ahead layup. “But coach drew a play and I got a bucket. You do those things in practice and we got the win,” he added. One win away from the title, McCullough is determined to win it all Friday in Game 6. “We'll come ready to play and mentally locked in to get this win, and not let it go to Game 7,” he said.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

PBA: Terrence Jones pinpoints defense as main issue in TNT collapse

Talk N' Text was essentially 12 minutes away from holding a 3-2 lead in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals.  The KaTropa had a commanding 16-point advantage in the opening moments of fourth quarter and appeared primed to regain the advantage in the conference-ending series.  Instead, Talk N' Text saw that advantage disappear, allowing the San Miguel Beermen to steal Game 5, 99-94, and move one win away from yet another championship.  In the final stretch of the game, with the Beermen breathing down their necks, the KaTropa had a number of chances to create a bit of separation but just couldn't convert on their chances.  What's more is that they could not stop the SMB onslaught on the defensive end, which was the main concern for KaTropa import Terrence Jones.  "We just didn’t get stops when we needed to," Jones said following the loss. "We needed two more stops and we didn’t, so that’s what happens. We lost." Jones, the newly-crowned Best Import of the conference, was his usual dominant self, putting up 35 points, pulling down 17 rebounds, and dishing out eight assists.  In crunch time however, Jones was unable to finish on a couple of chances that could have swung the game in their favor.  "It was a well-fought game. They made their runs and we made ours, we just got to try to make sure we take care of business next game," he added.  When the question of fatigue was brought up, Jones maintained that it was simply all about getting the necessary stops to close out the game.  "I’m not a person that makes excuses, so, it just comes down to stops to win the game, and they scored and we didn’t." "We just didn’t score, man. I mean, I got to where I wanted to, where I’ve been shooting my lay-ups from, on the left side, most of the series, it just didn’t go in, and we didn’t get stops. Winning championships is about defense. We had the lead, and we gave it up by not getting stops. I think that’s what it boils down to, and we got to make sure we take care of that in the entire fourth quarter so it doesn’t come down to that," he continued. In the final period, Jones was held to just three points, and while he did credit the Beermen for their defense, it was the KaTropa's defense, or lack thereof, during the closing sequences that Jones feels needs to be addressed.  "Mainly, importantly to me is our defense. We were up with a double-digit lead in the fourth and gave that away, which even caused us to be in that situation, which is more of the bigger standpoint to me, and hopefully we can take care of that." Now down in a 3-2 hole, the KaTropa are in do-or-die mode from here on out, and the former Houston Rocket made it clear that he wasn't ready to go down.  "Exactly like you said, either win or be done, and I’m not ready to be done. I hope my teammates aren’t ready to be done, and we come in and we play with that attitude," Game 6 will be on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

After shoving match, Nabong says Jones flops all the time

MANILA, Philippines – Add Kelly Nabong to the list of San Miguel players whom TNT import Terrence Jones had a physical encounter with in the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals. Nabong and Jones were involved in a brief shoving match late in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series that saw ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 12th, 2019

PBA Finals: June Mar helps carry SMB in huge Game 4 win

We have a series. San Miguel Beer was tough in Game 4 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’ Cup Sunday, scoring an all-important 106-101 win at the Big Dome. Led by June Mar Fajardo, the Beermen got a strong second-half effort to force a 2-2 tie in the best-of-7 series. After the KaTropa once again unloaded in the second period, San Miguel turned around in the third and pulled away led by June Mar after he scored on five straight baskets. In the fourth, the Beermen hit timely baskets to hold off a comeback attempt by TNT. Three players finished with at least 20 points for the Beermen led by import Chris McCullough with 27 points and 22 rebounds. Alex Cabagnot had 25 while Fajardo finished with 22, 16 in the second half. TNT got 32 points and 16 rebounds from Best Import Terrence Jones and another 24 from Troy Rosario. Best Player of the Conference Jayson Castro scored 17 points to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists. Game 5 is on Wednesday back at the Big Dome.   The Scores: SMB (106) -- McCullough 27, Cabagnot, 25, Fajardo 22, Pessumal 14, Ross 7, Standhardinger 5, Romeo 4, Santos 2 TNT (101) -- Jones 32, Rosario 24, Castro 17, Trollano 16, Pogoy 9, Heruela 3, Carey 0, Casino 0, Magat 0. Quarter Scores: 31-22, 51-52, 82-69, 106-101   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2019

PBA Finals: Arwind on Jones incident: “Sigawan lang, amoy burger”

Game 4 of the TNT-SMB series was tame compared to the standards set so far in 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. There was still some drama still and if you’re guessing Terrence Jones vs. a member of the Beermen then you are so right on the money. During a dead ball, Jones approached Arwind Santos and gave him a nice scream to the face. Arwind flinched but made sure to give somewhat of an answer to the TNT import. Jones smiled as he turned away. Both were give technical fouls for their respective shenanigans. “Ayun, nag-sigawan lang. Pina-amoy lang niya yung hininga niya sa akin,” Arwind said of the whole incident with Jones. “Amoy Amerikano, amoy burger. Sanay na ako doon. Ganun talaga kapag minsan nagkaka-initan. Gulatan lang naman king sino ang masisindak. Part lang ng game yun eh. Kaya lang mas malakas siyang bumuga kaysa sa akin, in fairness,” he added. Santos and the Beermen certainly didn’t back down from Jones and TNT especially in Game 4. San Miguel had tied the PBA Finals at two games each with a crucial 106-101 victory and that’s the more important thing, even if Arwind feels that the Beermen still have no momentum just yet. The focus now is to not back down until this series is done and won. “Hindi ko pa nafe-feel yung momentum namin kasi sobrang di mo masasabi eh. Kahit sabihin mong lamang ka ng six points with one minute to go or 30 seconds, ang Talk ’N Text kayang makabalik,” Santos said. “Kaya kailangan talaga wag kang kukurap hanggang matapos hanggang may oras,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2019