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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

SEA Games: Amit-Centeno tandem make Finals of 9-ball doubles

MANILA — A second gold medal for both Rubilen Amit and Chezka Centeno in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games is in play. The dynamic Pinay duo advanced to the finals of women’s nine-ball doubles Monday at the Manila Hotel Tent, besting Angeline Ticoalu and Silviana Lu on Indonesia, 7-3. Amit and Centeno raced to a fast start, winning the first four racks for a comfortable lead. Ticoalu and Lu recovered to take two racks back but Amit and Centeno would not be denied and the Pinays won three of the last four racks to claim the victory. It’s the third gold medal game for both Amit and Centeno in these SEA Games. They faced each other in the finals of 10-ball singles and 9-ball singles.  They split the series, with Chezka winning 10-ball and Rubilen taking gold in 9-ball.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2019

Hornets complete home-and-home sweep of Pistons, 110-107

By The Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — Langston Galloway’s shot from near midcourt rimmed out at the buzzer, and the Charlotte Hornets held on for a 110-107 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Charlotte completed a home-and-home sweep of the Pistons this week. Detroit must be wondering what it has to do to beat the Hornets. Charlotte edged the Pistons 109-106 earlier in the month and 102-101 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). This matchup went down to the wire again. The Hornets rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final quarter and led by three with 8.9 seconds left. Detroit inbounded the ball, and Luke Kennard missed a 3-pointer from near the top of the key. Galloway was able to run down the loose ball, and his last-ditch shot looked on line, but it wouldn’t go in. P.J. Washington scored 26 points for Charlotte, and Terry Rozier added 23. The Hornets were without center Cody Zeller because of a left hip injury. Derrick Rose led the Pistons with 23 points. SPURS 107, CLIPPERS 97 SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge and Derrick White each had 17 points, and San Antonio beat Kawhi Leonard and Los Angeles. The Spurs stopped the Clippers’ seven-game win streak in Leonard’s second appearance in San Antonio as an opponent. Leonard finished with 19 points on 8-for-23 shooting. San Antonio had lost two straight and 12 of 14, but found its footing against Los Angeles. Leonard spent his first seven seasons in San Antonio before demanding a trade. He was shipped off to Toronto and won his second NBA Finals MVP last season before joining the Clippers as a free agent. Leonard’s initial return to San Antonio on Jan. 24 (Jan. 25, PHL time) resulted in thunderous boos and a 125-107 loss for the Raptors. BUCKS 119, CAVALIERS 110 CLEVELAND (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 11 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee held off Cleveland for its 10th straight victory. Antetokounmpo grabbed 12 rebounds and has had double-doubles in every game this season for Milwaukee, at 16-3 the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks hadn't won 10 in a row since the 1985-86 season. Hill scored 18 points, and Middleton, playing for the second time since missing seven games with a bruised left thigh, had 12. Cleveland has dropped nine of 10. Rookie Darius Garland scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and Cedi Osman had 20. Tristan Thompson had 11 points and 13 rebounds, including the 5,000th of his career in the first half. Love, who is playing despite dealing with a sore back, had 16 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes. RAPTORS 90, MAGIC 83 ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Norman Powell scored a career-best 33 points as Toronto won its sixth straight game, beating Orlando. Powell was 7-for-9 shooting in the third quarter, including three 3-pointers. Fred Van Fleet added 22 points for the Raptors, who won despite Pascal Siakam's 4-for-22 shooting. Siakam finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Evan Fournier scored 19 points for Orlando, which has lost four of five. Markelle Fultz added 15 points. Aaron Gordon, who played 32 minutes for Orlando after missing three games with a right ankle contusion, had eight points and eight rebounds. NETS 112, CELTICS 107 NEW YORK (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie had 32 points and 11 assists while Kyrie Irving was again unable to face his former team, and Brooklyn beat Boston to split a home-and-home series. Irving missed his eighth straight game with a right shoulder injury but was at the arena to get an evaluation and watch from the bench along with Kevin Durant as Dinwiddie kept up his strong play in his place. The Eastern Conference player of the week last week matched his highest assist total of the season and was two shy of his best scoring performance of the season. Jarrett Allen added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who bounced back from their 121-110 loss in Boston on Wednesday night to win for the fifth time in six games. Jayson Tatum had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. HEAT 122, WARRIORS 105 MIAMI (AP) — Goran Dragic scored 20 points, Tyler Herro added 19 and Miami remained perfect at home this season. Duncan Robinson scored 17 for Miami, which is 8-0 at home for the second time in franchise history — tying the mark set by the 2012-13 Heat. Robinson and Herro were a combined 10 for 13 from 3-point range. Jimmy Butler scored 16, while Kendrick Nunn and Kelly Olynyk each had 15 for the Heat. Jordan Poole scored 20 for injury-ravaged Golden State, which was playing the opener of a five-game road trip. Eric Paschall scored 17 and Alec Burks finished with 16 for the Warriors. The Warriors are one of four teams without back-to-back wins this season, joining Chicago, Detroit and New York. 76ERS 101, KNICKS 95 NEW YORK (AP) — Joel Embiid had 27 points and 17 rebounds, James Ennis III scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, and Philadelphia overcame a sluggish start and beat New York. Tobias Harris scored 19, and Ben Simmons chipped in 16 points, including a game-sealing steal and dunk late in the fourth quarter for the 76ers, who have won two straight and six of seven. Julius Randle had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Marcus Morris Sr. scored 20 points for the Knicks, who have lost a season-high five straight. The 76ers were playing without starters Al Horford (rest) and Josh Richardson (right hamstring injury) and it showed in the first half as their offense struggled. Philadelphia shot 13 for 38 from the field, including 2 for 18 behind the 3-point line. JAZZ 103, GRIZZLIES 94 MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, helping Utah pull away from Memphis. Bogdanovic matched his season-high scoring mark, going 12 of 20 from the field, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range as Utah snapped a two-game losing streak. Donovan Mitchell added 20 points, and Rudy Gobert had 13 points, 13 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Jonas Valanciunas led Memphis with 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Brandon Clarke scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. The Grizzlies have lost six straight. PACERS 105, HAWKS 104, OT INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jeremy Lamb scored 20 points, T.J. Warren hit a go-ahead 3-pointer and Indiana outlasted Trae Young and Atlanta in overtime. Young matched his career high with 49 points in the Hawks’ ninth straight loss. He was 16 of 28 from the field, hitting 8 of 15 from 3-point range. Lamb got the Pacers started in overtime with a 20-foot jumper and he fed Myles Turner for a 3-pointer. Warren made his only 3-pointer of the game with 1:12 remaining to push the Pacers to their fifth consecutive victory. Turner and Domantas Sabonis each scored 17 points, and Warren and Malcomb Brogdon had 16 apiece. DeAndre’ Bembry and Alex Len added 15 points each for Atlanta. THUNDER 109, PELICANS 104 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 25 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and had seven assists to help Oklahoma City beat New Orleans. Abdel Nader scored 19 points and Danilo Gallinari had 17 for Oklahoma City (7-11), which had been 1-4 in its previous five games. Steven Adams added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, including the final four points in the last minute. Brandon Ingram scored 26 points and had eight rebounds to lead New Orleans (6-13), which lost its fourth straight. J.J. Redick added 16 points for the Pelicans but missed two 3-point attempts in the final 10 seconds. New Orleans had seven players score in double digits. MAVERICKS 120, SUNS 113 PHOENIX (AP) — Luka Doncic tied a career high with 42 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 26 and Dallas beat Phoenix. Doncic just missed a triple-double with 11 assists and nine rebounds. Hardaway shot 6 of 9 from 3-point range to help offset a quiet night from Kristaps Porzingis, who finished with two points. The teams entered the final quarter tied at 89. The Mavericks went on an 8-0 run midway through the fourth to take a 104-97 lead and never trailed again. Phoenix has lost six of its last seven games. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the Suns with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio added 21 points and nine assists. LAKERS 125, WIZARDS 103 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and LeBron James had 23 points and 11 assists before both superstars took the fourth quarter off in Los Angeles’ 10th consecutive victory. Quinn Cook scored 17 points and JaVale McGee had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the steamrolling Lakers, who have won 17 of 18 to soar to the top of the overall NBA standings. Los Angeles went 14-1 in November, posting the most victories in a month for this 16-time champion franchise since March 2000. The up-tempo Wizards have been one of the NBA’s worst defensive teams this season, and the Lakers’ dynamic offense was far too much for them. Bradley Beal had 18 points and nine assists for the Wizards, who have lost three of four. Washington got off to a solid start and had several good stretches against the Lakers, but committed 19 turnovers and lost for the second time in three stops on a four-game West Coast road trip. TRAIL BLAZERS 107, BULLS 103 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Portland downed Chicago for its second victory over the Bulls this week. Damian Lillard added 28 points for the Blazers, who have won three straight after four consecutive losses. Hassan Whiteside had eight points, 15 rebounds and a franchise-record 10 blocks for Portland. Zach LaVine finished with 28 for the slumping Bulls, who have lost seven of their last nine games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2019

Eric Paschall scores 25 points as Warriors hold off Bulls

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Eric Paschall scored 25 points and the Golden State Warriors emphatically closed out a tight game after their failure two days earlier, holding off the Chicago Bulls 104-90 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for just their second win at new Chase Center. Alec Burks added 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in just the second win in 12 games for Golden State, which squandered a late lead Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) in losing 100-97 to Oklahoma City while allowing the Thunder to score the game’s final 13 points. The Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak. The Warriors had been down to just eight healthy players Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) but welcomed back one key reinforcement in this one: Draymond Green returned from a three-game absence because of a sore right heel and contributed seven points, eight assists and five rebounds in 24 minutes. Zach LaVine had 36 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Bulls, who now will try to avenge a 117-94 home loss to the Trail Blazers on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) when they travel to Portland to play Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Golden State struggled to take care of the ball or make stops down the stretch against Oklahoma City, then worked to be the aggressor in this game. The Warriors jumped in the passing lanes on defense to create transition baskets and plays like Paschall’s timely dunk that put his team ahead 88-83 with 5:17 remaining. Bulls coach Jim Boylen noted before the game Chicago needed to make more shots but the Bulls went 16 for 44 in the first half to trail 53-48 at the break — contributing to Golden State’s 35 rebounds after two quarters, 10 by Omari Spellman in 11.5 minutes. Spellman wound up with 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for his fifth career double-double and first with the Warriors. Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison, sidelined for two games last week with soreness in his shins, was in the starting lineup but played only two minutes, not a great sign one game after he came back to score six points and grab three rebounds in seven minutes late in the loss to Portland. TIP-INS Bulls: F Luke Kornet played 10 minutes in his return from an eight-game absence following sinus surgery. ... G Ryan Arcidiacono played after he was a game-time decision with a sprained right elbow. ... The Bulls are now 1-1 on the road vs. the Western Conference. ... G Otto Porter Jr. missed his 10th consecutive game with a bone bruise in his left foot. ... Chicago has been swept in the past two season series vs. Golden State. Warriors: Paschall had his sixth 20-point performance, third-most among rookies. ... Golden State’s rebounding advantage finished at 54-42. ... D'Angelo Russell missed his sixth game in a row with a sprained right thumb but is expected to travel on the team’s upcoming road trip and will be re-evaluated Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). ... Alen Smailagi?, nursing a sprained right ankle that has kept him out all of the preseason and season so far, is practicing with the G-League Warriors and will play for them Friday (Saturday, PHL time). G Damion Lee also was re-evaluated and was scheduled for an X-ray on his non-displaced right hand fracture that would better determine his status. ... G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain) is scheduled to be re-evaluated Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). ... Golden State has won five straight against the Bulls and five in a row at home in the Bay Area. ... The Warriors are 2-7 at home. SIDELINE KLAY Klay Thompson is sidelined recovering from knee surgery and got to work the sideline. The Splash Brother served as a sideline reporter in the second quarter from a table off the end of Golden State’s bench, a new gig for the All-Star guard. General manager Bob Myers, using the foam roller on a mat in the weight room, inquired to Thompson when he entered the locker room. “Hey Klay, you ready for sideline tonight?” Thompson: “Yeah, I’m dropping knowledge.” Before his stint began, he took time to sign a quick autograph, then sat down and settled in as if in his element — sporting a big grin. Thompson had surgery July 2 for a torn ACL in his left knee that he injured in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, when the Toronto Raptors won to clinch the franchise’s first championship. 3-POINT STAT The Warriors went 11 for 29 from 3-point range to the Bulls’ 10 of 29. QUOTEABLE Boylen on the Warriors: "The names maybe have changed but their spirit, their soul and the way they play, the way they compete I don't think has changed at all. So give them a lot of credit for that." UP NEXT Bulls: At Trail Blazers on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) to conclude the season series spanning just five days. The Bulls have lost the last six meetings, including two in a row at Portland. Warriors: At Miami on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) to begin a five-game East Coast road trip that will wrap up a stretch with nine of 11 games away from Chase Center......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

James leads Lakers past struggling Spurs, 114-104

By Raul Dominguez, Associated Press SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LeBron James had 33 points and 13 assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers won in San Antonio for the second time this season with a 114-104 victory Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). The Lakers (15-2) have one game remaining against the Spurs on Feb. 4 (Feb. 5, PHL time) in Los Angeles but have already won the three-game series against their longtime rivals in the Western Conference. Anthony Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers in his final game before returning to New Orleans on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and DeMar DeRozan added 22 for the Spurs. San Antonio fell to 6-12 after its 11th loss in 13 games. Aldridge started the game 3 for 4, including his 10th 3-pointer of the season, while primarily being defended by James. It was one of the few times the Spurs got the best of James. Showered with “MVP! MVP!” chants by a large contingent of Lakers fans at the AT&T Center, James put on a vintage performance against the Spurs. Trey Lyles blocked Davis’ short jumper in the paint with 20 seconds left in the first half. Dejounte Murray collected the block and sprinted downcourt for a layup but James ran down the Spurs’ speedy point guard and blocked his attempt from behind. The play was reminiscent of James’ block of Golden State’s Andre Iguodala with less than 2 minutes remaining in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, which the Cleveland Cavaliers won. James would hit consecutive step-back 3-pointers in the fourth quarter that produced a 93-85 lead and followed it up with a drive and alley-oop pass to JaVale McGee for his 10th assist of the evening. James finished 13 for 24 from the field and 4 for 7 on 3-pointers in 35 minutes. San Antonio remained in the game early by going 7 for 14 on 3-pointers in the first half. Bryn Forbes and Lyles hit back-to-back 3-pointers that gave the Spurs a 44-40 lead. TIP-INS Lakers: Danny Green, who played eight seasons in San Antonio including the 2014 championship season, received a huge ovation during starting lineup introductions. Green is 3-1 against the Spurs since his departure, averaging 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds. … Los Angeles is 83-89 against the Spurs in the series history. … Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is averaging 14 points and shooting 5 for 10 on 3-pointers against the Spurs this season. … Dwight Howard picked up his fifth foul with 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Howard finished with no points and a rebound in 18 minutes. Spurs: San Antonio opted to start Derrick White over Murray. White started at point guard last season after Murray suffered a knee injury during the preseason. Murray started the first 12 games he was active for but was replaced by Patty Mills and White in two games since while battling turnovers and inconsistency. … White joined Willie Anderson and Alvin Robertson as the only players in franchise history with 800 points, 300 rebounds and 300 assists in their first 100 career games with the Spurs. UP NEXT Lakers: At New Orleans on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Spurs: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 26th, 2019

USJ-R claims Cesafi women’s volleyball crown

Cebu City, Philippines—The University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars are the new women’s champions of the Cesafi collegiate volleyball after winning Game 2 against Southwestern University (SWU) Phinma Cobras, 26-24, 25-27, 27-25, 20-25, 15-13, in their best-of-three finals series, Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) gym. The Lady […] The post USJ-R claims Cesafi women’s volleyball crown appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

SWU-Phinma still Cesafi men’s volleyball champion

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras defended their Cesafi men’s volleyball title for the third straight time after sweeping their best-of-three finals series against the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors Saturday, November 23, 2019, at the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) gym. The Cobras won Game 2, 25-27, 25-17, 25-21, […] The post SWU-Phinma still Cesafi men’s volleyball champion appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

NU Lady Bulldogs march to 6th straight UAAP title

MANILA, Philippines – The NU Lady Bulldogs completed another perfect season after capturing their sixth straight UAAP women's basketball championship at the expense of the UST Growling Tigers.  NU swept the best-of-three finals series with a 66-54 win over UST in Game 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena on ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

UV forces winner-take-all Game 3

Cebu City, Philippines—The University of the Visayas (UV) showed the heart of a champion as the Green Lancers downed the Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras, 73-59, in Game 2 of the Cesafi men’s basketball finals on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at the Cebu Coliseum. The defending champions tied the best-of-three series at 1-1 to force a […] The post UV forces winner-take-all Game 3 appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019

UAAP Season 82 Finals: Blue Eagles complete ‘dream season’

Heading into UAAP Season 82, Ateneo de Manila University head coach Tab Baldwin knew that he still had the same materials that brought the Blue Eagles success in the last two years. Then they started piling up victory after victory in the elimination round. Then came the elimination round sweep. Fourteen straight wins that propelled Ateneo straight to the best-of-three Finals. Then the prospect of completing a rare tournament sweep – a feat that would surpass the 14-game domination of University of Sto. Tomas back in 1993 – for a three-peat was within reach. But Baldwin as much as possible tried to prevent his team from talking about a sweep. “Sixteen and 0 season. It really is something that we dreamed about,” said Baldwin. “We didn’t talk a lot about it because we never wanted to set that as a goal.”   At least until they completed the feat Wednesday as Ateneo finished off the Growling Tigers, 86-79, for a perfect 16-0 finish in the men’s basketball tournament in Game 2 of the series at the Mall of Asia Arena.              “But I know that the players particularly dreamed about it and it is a dream season to go through,” Baldwin said. “Unblemished and to be able to say that each one of those 16 games no team was better than us.” “You have to guard against arrogance. You have to guard against overstating what is something that is pretty exceptional,” he added. The Blue Eagles tactician credited his team for all the hard work they put up the whole season.    “Working with these guys everyday make me a better person because of the quality of their character, because of the work rate that they have that humbles me,” he said. "Believe me there’s a lot of nights that I go home and feel bad about the demands I put on these guys and sometimes the way I do it.” “I know I’m not always the nicest guy in the room. It’s very humbling when these men sacrifice their egos, sacrifice their time,” Baldwin added. “They lay it out there everyday and I think it is the result of that.” Sweeping the season was not easy. It may look like it was but Baldwin would attest that it wasn’t.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019

UAAP Season 82 Finals: Ito yung sakit na for sure na matututo kami -- Ayo

University of Sto. Tomas head coach Aldin Ayo believed that his Growling Tigers could measure up against the mighty Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball Finals. For some it was a longshot or UST may have just overachieved but Ayo held on to his faith that they had what it takes to give Ateneo a run for its money. That’s why the Growling Tigers’ defeat hurt even more.    “In a way [overachieve] pero I told the kids na it is more painful to lose in the Finals than not making it to the Final Four,” said Ayo on Wednesday after UST absorbed a 79-86 loss to three-peat champion Blue Eagles on Wednesday at the MOA Arena. The fourth-seeded Tigers’ journey to the championship – their first since a runner-up finish in 2015 – toughened UST up when they won against Far Eastern University in the first semis stepladder phase and pulled off an upset over twice-to-beat University of the Philippines. But reality hit them hard against an unbeaten and well-experienced foe. “I told them that na dumating kami dito, we need to make sure that we are up to it,” said Ayo. “Mas masakit ito. Pero ito yung sakit na for sure na matututo kami.” The series opener showed the dominance of the Blue Eagles. The Tigers gave Ateneo a scare midway in the fourth quarter of Game 2 only to falter in the end. “Siguro, ngayong Game Two. Pero yung Game One, it was a learning experience for us especially dun sa mga rookies. I'm sure, they were able to learn a lot, especially playing in a Finals atmosphere. Dun kami nagkaproblema nung Game One,” said Ayo. “’Yung Game Two naman, there were stretches na I was really disappointed. There were things na hindi namin nagawa especially sa depensa,” he added. “But I told the boys that I may look like disappointed but actually, I was disappointed with myself and sa coaching staff. Yun yung mga bagay na tinrabaho namin nung preseason na lumabas dito sa Finals na in-exploit ng Ateneo.” The Tigers may be licking their wounds right now but what they learned this season gave UST the much needed fuel for next year. “Next season madadala namin ‘yung experience namin this season especially sa nine rookies namin,” said Ayo.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019