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PBA: Hotshots shut down TNT to break 3-game slide

Magnolia was absolutely in the zone in the second half to crush TNT. The Hotshots were on fire on both ends Wednesday, beating the KaTropa, 111-89, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the MOA Arena. Magnolia exploded for 36 points in the third period to turn the game around and then they just shut down TNT in the fourth, 32-16, to break the game wide open. The win finally got the Hotshots back on the winning track, breaking out of a three-game slump to improve to 4-4 in the standings. TNT dropped to 6-2, giving up its hold of the top-2 spot. "For the last two weeks we had different imports so we have a problem with chemistry," head coach Chito Victolero said. "But I told my players to find ways how to win games and I'm very proud and very happy that they responded to my challenge," he added. Magnolia appeared to be in trouble early as TNT opened up a 12-point lead late in the second quarter, 48-36. The Hotshots managed to close the gap before the first half ended, 43-48, setting up their huge rally in the next two quarters. A 12-0 run for Magnolia in the fourth to take a 99-76 lead pretty much ended things. Paul Lee led the way for the Hotshots with 25 points, 17 in the blistering third period as Magnolia started to take control of the game. Import Justin Jackson played his first game for the Hotshots and added 18 points and 19 rebounds. He also had seven assists. Terrence Romeo paced the KaTropa with 17 points and seven assists.   The Scores:   MAGNOLIA 111 — Lee 25, Jackson 18, Brondial 16, Jalalon 13, Barroca 9, Ramos 9, Melton 7, Dela Rosa 5, Simon 3, Herndon 2, Pascual 2, Reavis 2. TNT 89 — Romeo 17, Pogoy 16, Smith 12, Castro 9, Reyes 9, Semerad 7, Williams 6, Rosario 5, Cruz 4, Taha 2, Trollano 2, Carey 0.   Quarters: 18-25, 43-48, 79-73, 111-89. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 13th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: A Battle of Generations

At long last, perhaps the most anticipated finals match in PVL history has been set. Showing dominance and proving why they are the defending champions despite some minor stumbles, the Creamline Cool Smashers barged their way into the Finals uncontested by dispatching a gritty dark horse in the Petro Gazz Angels. On the other hand, proving that their modern approach to the sport can trump experienced veterans, the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles are proving to be one of the most formidable collegiate teams in the country under the helm of a new head coach. While old and new fans of the Ateneo community will be torn between cheering for the former Queen Eagles Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano and the current Queen Eagles in Bea De Leon, Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston, it is also of particular interest how Creamline head coach Tai Bundit will defend his trophy from his Ateneo successor Oliver Almadro. While Bundit has laid the foundation for a modern approach to the sport during his stint in Ateneo, Almadro on the other hand has taken it a step further in terms of intricacies in attack strategy. The dream finals match couldn’t be more interesting from a technical point of view as it is an arms race of volleyball modernization stemming from similar schools of thought. Creamline Cool Smashers: The OG New School Ever since coach Tai Bundit took the reins for the Ateneo Lady Eagles, the local volleyball scene has been introduced to numerous innovations that inarguably helped ALE seize a pair of crowns in the UAAP. Modern strategies such as the Setter-Open-Middle rotation, libero getting second ball when setter digs, fast pin plays, to name a few. For a good couple of years, the advancements brought about by Bundit have been a bane even for perennial champion coaches in the collegiate scene. As expected, most teams followed suit in order to adapt and challenge the new system introduced. Though the Bundit riddle has been challenged and conquered in the collegiate scene, Tai’s system still holds an iron grip in the professional scene despite everyone else following suit and that is primarily because of his connection with long time apprentices Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado coupled with supplementation of astounding players in Jema Galanza, Kyla Atienza and Melissa Gohing to name a few. Despite a surprising upset to start of their PVL Open Conference journey, the Creamline Cool Smashers continued to defy odds in exerting dominance given a handicapped line-up for the most part of the season. Regardless of key players like Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato, and Pau Soriano missing action for a number of games, the trio of Valdez, Morado and Galanza have been sufficient in holding off the competition as shown by the team’s performance in serve, passing, setting, and attack – skill departments that are highly influenced by the aforementioned trio. On the other hand, the absences of Sato, Gumabao and Soriano have definitely influenced their sub-par blocking performance since these three players have the major responsibility of setting up the net defense. It is of no surprise that in order to compensate the block, the Cool Smashers have intensified their serving to at least disrupt opponents' attack strategy. Coupled with exceptional floor defense by Atienza in transition, Morado had little difficulties in setting up counter attacks throughout the tournament.   With a full force line-up coming from the semis into the finals, the Creamline Cool Smashers are at their deadliest and all set to defend their crown. With few attack options on the right side as both middles rarely prove threatening with a slide attack, it is expected that the Creamline offense would still be heavy from the left pins care of Valdez and Galanza. The Lady Eagles would certainly load up their tallest players Madayag, De Leon, and Kat Tolentino to shut down the left pin. As such, the most crucial performance that could spell the difference in the finals series would be from opposite player Gumabao. Though Morado usually opts for combination x-plays in the middle to ease off some burden from the left, the Lady Eagles have proven disciplined enough with their block that combination plays rarely work against them. Should Gumabao exert significant threats from the right and if Bundit can develop her right back row attack in time, the Cool Smashers can circumvent one of Ateneo’s strongest suit which is their block and capitalize on their sub-par floor defense to eventually defend the crown. Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles: Paving Their Own Path Just when the future of the Ateneo Lady Eagles went uncertain with the exit of Bundit, Almadro’s takeover proved to be a major step in the right direction as witnessed in their remarkable performance for their first major tournament. For a team with a good mix of veterans and rookies, going toe to toe with top club teams in the country bids a bright future for the team as well as making them a significant contender in the upcoming collegiate league. The match-up against their predecessors, the Creamline Cool Smashers, is not just a treat for the fans but for volleyball analysts as well since it will be highly interesting how Almadro has brought about innovations to the framework established by his predecessor and how he will use it to his advantage. Right off the bat, the best change Almadro implemented upon his succession is relegating Kat Tolentino to the opposite position. The right wing couldn’t be a more perfect position for Tolentino since she can maximize her height and power advantage to rack in the points while minimizing burden on her weakness which is floor footwork and defense. While it’s true that we have seen some players shine in the opposite position in the past, Tolentino’s height, power, and ability to be a significant threat even from the back row makes her a cut above the rest. Almadro’s approach of having a tall, dominant, hitter from the right is a step to a modern approach employed even by top foreign teams. Another noticeable shift in Almadro’s system is the lack of reliance on combination x-plays. While some teams employ such strategy as a bread and butter on offense, the Lady Eagles have moved on from the outdated strategy and have only utilized such attack to break monotony. With a tall, dominant hitter from the right and deadly middles given a good pass, setter Deanna Wong is rarely forced to bunch up the attack in the middle in the hopes of confusing the block when she can separate the defense with fast sets to the pins. Almadro’s inclination towards safe and consistent pin play instead of fancy combination plays proves that he is taking the team to a more modernized approach. While the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles have been stellar in both net defense and attack, a glaring limitation too hard not to notice in the sub-par passing and floor defense. No matter how threatening Madayag and De Leon are from the middle, inconsistent passing would severely limit their output and threat imposed from the middle. With Creamline notably deadly from the service line and having a full force line-up that can finally establish a decent wall on the net, it would be of utmost priority for the Lady Eagles to slow down the serve with high passes and consistent distribution of back row and pipe attacks. In a similar way, the Lady Eagles are pressed to be aggressive with the serve as the main advantage of Creamline is consistency in passing care of Gohing. Ateneo-Motolite cannot afford to be lax or careless with the serve as a good pass almost always converts for a point for Morado and company. Though the Lady Eagles have proven formidable with the block, Valdez is still expected to plow and muscle through with her attacks hence Almadro’s ability to quickly adjust the floor defense pattern would spell the outcome of the game for the Lady Eagles. Catch Game One of the PVL Open Conference Finals on December 5, Wednesday, 6 PM on LIGA, LIGA HD, iWant and via livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

PBA: Lee on Magnolia s 0-3 start: 'Alam ng lahat sitwasyon namin ngayon'

Magnolia's rough start to the season continues. After capturing the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup, the Hotshots haven't won since, starting the 2019 Philippine Cup with three straight losses, the latest being a dramatic one-point loss to Rain or Shine Wednesday. Entering the Gilas break, Magnolia remains as the only winless team in the All-Filipino. Still, despite the 0-3 record, the Hotshots are not dwelling on their poor card. "Siguro ano, di na lang namin titingnan na parang negative," guard Paul Lee said. "Kailangan kung ano yung nasa harap namin, doon kami mag-focus kasi baka lalo lang mapasama kapag inisip namin yung 0-3 kami," he added. While that's a great mindset to have, it doesn't change the fact that the Hotshots are 0-3. And if Magnolia is to build on its latest championship and have another strong playoff run, the team will have to turn things around and start winning games. The break to give way for Gilas is the perfect way for the Hotshots to recalibrate. "Laging nire-remind ni Coach Chito na yung sense of urgency, kailangan and yan na talaga. Kasi yun nga, mahirap malubog talaga. Kailangan next game, talagang next game pilitin namin na makuha yung panalo, kasi parang do-or-die na sa amin yun," Lee said. "Siguro alam naman ng lahat kung ano yung sitwasyon namin ngayon, so there's no point na magre-relax pa kami or what," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2019

PBA: Paul Lee has happiest birthday ever despite loss

Even though the Magnolia Hotshots fell to 0-3 after a James Yap game-winner, Paul Lee still thinks there will be something to look forward to on his birthday tomorrow, Valentine's Day. The Best Player of the Conference of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup will be celebrating his 30th birthday  as a member of the Gilas Pilipinas pool in practice tomorrow morning. Lee said he will then have a simple dinner with his family along with a very special guest, the couple's new treasure, daughter Tokyo. Tokyo, who just turned four months old last Feb. 8, will be celebrating her daddy's special day for the first time, which has clearly made the spitfire guard all the more exciting Thursday. "['Y]un ang pinaka-maganda dun, 'yung magbi-birthday ako na may baby. So, wala ng mas okay pa doon. 'Yun na ang pinakamasarap na feeling, na birthday ko na mangyayari," Lee said after the Hotshots' 75-74 loss against red-hot Rain or Shine Wednesday evening. Now talking about the game, the UE alumnus thought that the game was over after he hit a difficult step-back jumper which gave his team the 74-72 lead with 6.1 left. Paul Lee for the lead! 6.1 left in regulation. Magnolia up 74-72. #PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/csRpWZmEW8 — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) February 13, 2019 However, former star James Yap had some other plans, spoling what should have been Magnolia's first win by drilling a classic patented one-hander, which became a three-point play to decide the game. JAMES YAP WITH THE FLOATER FOR THE LEAD! ROS back on top, 75-74, 2.5 left. #PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/hAG0kz9JjE — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) February 13, 2019 "We thought sa amin na 'yung game, then 'yun nga, si James. So... ayun, we have a break after this game so we need to figure out kung ano talaga 'yung problema ng team, or kung ano 'yung dapat naming gawin. So we have time para ma-figure out," shared Lee.  As the whole league heads to a two-week break to give way for Gilas' most important stretch, he did note that his teammates are already in win-now mode and is confident that they could bounce back from their setbacks. "...[N]apag-usapan namin kanina sa dugout, kailangan 'yung sense of urgency andoon na talaga. Siguro alam naman ng lahat kung ano 'yung sitwasyon namin ngayon, so there's no point na magre-relax pa kami or what," Lee mentioned. __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2019

Uncharacteristic losing skid in All-Filipino Cup lights a fire under San Miguel

MANILA, Philippines---San Miguel getting into a two-game slide in the PBA Philippine Cup is practically unheard of. Since Leo Austria took over as the Beermen's head coach at the start of the 2014-15 season, the most successful franchise in PBA history accumulated just eight total losses in the elimination round of league's first conference. And in those four Philippine Cups, none featured the Beermen losing two straight games until the 2019 edition when they started off 2-3. The defeats to Rain or Shine and TNT pushed San Miguel into unfamiliar territory. San Miguel, however, was able to break the slump with a resounding 93-79 win over Blackwater thanks to no small part ...Keep on reading: Uncharacteristic losing skid in All-Filipino Cup lights a fire under San Miguel.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2019

PBA: Castro on alleged travel: “Job ng mga referee yun”

In TNT’s game-defining play Sunday, the KaTropa might have gotten away with an obvious violation. With about 10 seconds to go and needing a basket to stay alive, Jayson Castro faked a three-pointer and ended up finding Troy Rosario for a game-tying floater against the Magnolia Hotshots. The only problem was, Castro may have gotten away with a travel. Replay showed that Castro should have been called for travel. There was no whistle and the KaTropa ended up winning in overtime. Whoops. “Hindi ko na job yun eh,” Castro said on the alleged travel. “Job ng mga referee yun,” he added, shrugging the whole thing off. Going away from that non-call though, Castro was brilliant for TNT in the second half. With the game close all throughout, the Blur carried his team in the second half, pouring 20 of his 24 points after the break. Castro barely had a break and he felt it after the game, as he could barely walked and have to be extensively stretched out by team staff. Still, it was a big win for TNT. “Sobrang malaking panalo na naman para samin yun,” Castro said. “At least before kami mag-break, pampa-dagdag ng confidence namin,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2019

PBA: Big win vs. TNT shows Meralco’s character says Newsome

After taking a beating at the hands of four-time champion San Miguel Beer last week, it looked like Meralco was on its way to another beatdown Wednesday. The Bolts were down early to TNT KaTropa, giving a 13-0 run right off the bat and trailed by 21 in the second quarter, 9-30. Fortunately, Meralco would get close at the break, cutting the deficit to nine points. The Bolts then went to work in the second half, clamping down on defense to frustrate the KaTropa. Meralco comleted a 32-point turnaround to pick up the win, even leading by as many as 19 points in the final period. “Last game we got blown out by SMB and it didn’t look pretty in that first quarter. But you know, that’s big credit to the team for actually coming in at halftime and staying positive,” guard Chris Newsome said. “In those situations, it’s really easy to break apart and start blaming one another and things like that. But we did a very good job of staying positive and encouraging each other. We made halftime adjustments and gave it everything we had,” he added. Newsome says it was a big character win for the Bolts, especially showing resolve an bouncing back after a terrible last game against the Beermen. Down early to the KaTropa, Meralco didn’t shut down and fought back to get the big win. “It’s definitely big, especially the way we lost to San Miguel. It wasn’t pretty at all,” Newsome said. “Of course, after a blow out game, you tend to get down. Teams can kind go their separate ways instead of coming together. It shows a lot of character with the guys in our locker roo,” he added. Now sitting at 2-2 for the season, Newsome says it’s important for the Bolts to stay consistent in order to get some more wins moving forward. Defense has been holding up for the most part for Meralco and it has to stay that way. “For us, it’s just gonna have to be consistency. We all know we’re undersized for the All-Filipino but we still want to be known as a defensive team. For us to be consistent and make it difficult for out opponents, that’s basically Meralco basketball in a nutshell,” Newsome said. “Offensively, we understand  that have to be creative in how to score the ball, and of course we gotta hit shots. Today, a lot of guys came through in the second half. It all comes down to consistency,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 30th, 2019

Arsenal facing make-or-break 6 days

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Halep edges young American at Australian Open; Venus next

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Push Simona Halep to the brink, and she summons her best. The Australian Open's top-seeded woman got all she could handle from 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin in the second round before taking the last four games to emerge with a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4 victory that took 2½ hours Thursday. "Well, I have no idea how I won this tonight," said Halep, the reigning French Open champion. "It's so tough to explain what happened on court." A year ago at Melbourne Park, Halep was a point from being eliminated in two matches but came back each time en route to reaching the final. In the first round this year, she was down a set and a break before turning things around. And this time, against a hard-hitting Kenin, Halep trailed 4-2 in the third set and managed to not cede another game. And that was despite getting what she described as "a little bit injured" in the second set, something that seemed clear from the way she wasn't always able to run with her usual verve. "Hopefully," said Halep, whose No. 1 ranking is up for grabs during the Australian Open, "next round I play better." That third-round matchup will be quite intriguing, because it'll be against seven-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 Venus Williams. And the winner of that could face Williams' younger sister, 23-time major champ Serena, in the fourth round. Venus won a three-setter that finished a little before Halep's did — and in much more emphatic fashion. Pushed to that deciding set by getting broken to end the second, Venus ran away with the win down the stretch, defeating Alize Cornet 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. So what was the difference in the lopsided third set? "She was just putting more intensity than me. She was hitting harder, deeper," Cornet said. "I had a little less energy than in the second set and she took advantage of it and really raised her level." The 38-year-old Venus, unseeded at a major for the first time in five years, was the runner-up in Australia to Serena in 2003 and 2017. Serena advanced to the third round by beating 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday night, reeling off the last five games and 16 of the final 20 points. That match was to be followed in Rod Laver Arena by No. 1 Novak Djokovic against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a rematch of the 2008 final at Melbourne Park. Other winners in the women's draw Thursday included reigning U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka, past U.S. Open runners-up Karolina Pliskova and Madison Keys, No. 27-seeded Camila Giorgi and No. 28 Hsieh Su-Wei. In men's action, Stan Wawrinka was up a set and was just two points away from taking the second against Milos Raonic. Couldn't do it. About an hour later, 2014 champion Wawrinka was a single point from grabbing the third set. Denied again. And another hour after that, Wawrinka was two points from seizing the fourth to force a fifth. Nope, not on this afternoon. Wawrinka kept coming oh-so-close, and Raonic kept hanging in there and toughing out the most important moments along the way to a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (11), 7-6 (5) victory that put the 16th-seeded Canadian into the third round. "I missed a few little points," Wawrinka said, "that could have changed the match." So true. "It feels like 4 hours passed by in about 15 minutes. ... The adrenaline takes over," said Raonic, the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2016. "I was very fortunate to stay alive in that fourth set." They were interrupted for about a half-hour while the roof at Rod Laver Arena was shut because of rain at 4-all in the third set. Raonic thought that helped him quite a bit. "I do a little bit better indoors than outdoors," he said, "so thank you for raining up there." In other men's action on Day 4, 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori withstood 59 aces from 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic en route to a 6-3, 7-6 (6), 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 (7) victory, but No. 7 Dominic Thiem retired from his match in the third set after dropping the first two, and 2018 Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung lost to Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4. Raonic delivered 39 aces, part of an impressive ratio of 84 total winners to only 44 unforced errors. This was a matchup probably better suited to the second week than the second round of a Grand Slam tournament, given both men's credentials. But Wawrinka, a three-time major champion once ranked as high as No. 3, dropped out of the top 250 last season, when he had surgery on his left knee. His signature one-handed backhand is as dangerous as ever — he had a 16-2 edge in winners on that shot Thursday — and he hit 28 aces of his own. But as even as the match was in many respects — Raonic only won two more points overall, 163-161 — Wawrinka couldn't come through when he really needed to. Raonic had plenty to do with that, of course, including in the third-set tiebreaker, when he served his way out of trouble. Wawrinka's three set points there came at 6-5, when Raonic delivered a serve at 129 mph (208 kph) followed by a forehand volley winner; at 8-7, when Raonic's 125 mph (201 kph) serve drew a missed return; and at 10-9, when an ace at 132 mph (213 kph) did the trick. A 123 mph (198 kph) service winner gave Raonic that set. In the last tiebreaker, Wawrinka was up 5-4 before Raonic closed with three consecutive points to avoid heading to a fifth set. "Today, I'm sad and frustrated," Wawrinka said. "But in general, if I take some distance with it, I'm happy to see that I'm able to play again with this level, able to move that well.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

PBA: Patience is a virtue for Calvin, Phoenix

With star forward Calvin Abueva struggling against Meralco, Phoenix head coach Louie Alas could have easily shut down the Beast for the night. In some ways he did, but when Rookie of the Year Jason Perkins fouled out, the Pulse Fuel Masters had no choice but to have Abueva back in the game. It paid off the have the Beast in the end, as Calvin eventually hit the game-winning putback in overtime as Phoenix survived the Bolts in a thriller. Abueva only made two baskets all game, both came in the extra five minutes. Calvin finished wiith nine points on 2/13 shooting. “Really, patience is a virtue. Actually understatement eh, yung masama yung laro. Walang shinoot,” Alas said of Abueva. “Pero good thing yung mga assistant coach ko sabi, ‘coach pagpasensyahan mo, kailangan mo yan sa dulo.’ And it happened, it happened. Sa kanya yung winning basket,” he added. Phoenix looked like it had no business winning the game against Meralco, especially in regulation. The Pulse Fuel Masters lost an early 18-point lead and failed to cash in on multiple attempts to break an 83-all deadlock in the fourth quarter. Come overtime, Phoenix was down one after giving up a clutch three from Chris Newsome with 11 seconds to go. “I have to give credit sa resiliency ng mga players ko,” Alas said. “Siguro isang overtime pa, puro cramps na yan. Sabi nga sa akin ng assistant coach ko, 'coach, tigil na natin yung full court pressure.' But sabi ko, 'doon tayo nagli-live up.' So we just have to finish it. Kahit ilang overtime mangyari,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2019

Rookie Ladder: Big performances abound at season s midway point

By Drew Packham, NBA.com Due to a much-needed holiday break on my part, it’s been two weeks since we last checked in on this impressive rookie class, and they didn’t disappoint since then. There have been some monster games in the past 14 days including the following: - Luka Doncic scored a career-high 34 points on Dec. 29 (PHL time) in New Orleans, going 7-for-10 from beyond the arc (10-for-16 overall) in a 114-112 loss to the Pelicans.       - Deandre Ayton scored a career-high 33 points with 14 rebounds (10 offensive) and four steals (also a career high) on Dec. 30 (PHL time) in a 122-118 loss to the Nuggets. Ayton was 16-for-20 from the field.       - Landry Shamet scored a career-high 29 points to lead the Sixers to a 132-115 win over the Wizards on Jan. 9 (PHL time). Shamet was 8-for-14 from three-point land in what was easily his biggest night of his career.       - Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter scored a career-high 22 points on Jan. 1 (PHl time) in a 116-108 loss to the Pacers. Huerter was 8-for-15 from the field, going 6-for-8 from beyond the arc.       - Pelicans rookie Frank Jackson scored a career-high 17 points Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) in 17 minutes in a 114-95 win over the Grizzlies, then topped that two nights later with 19 points -- hitting all four three-point attempts -- in 19 minutes in a 140-124 win over the Cavs.   We’ve just hit the midway point of the season, and big games should start becoming more common as teams falling further out of the playoff race give their youngsters more opportunities. * * * 1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks Last week: No. 1 Doncic dominated his third matchup with No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, notching 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. It was Doncic’s fourth 30-point game of the season, while no other rookie has more than one. It was also his seventh game with 20-5-5. All other rookies have combined for five such games. Over the past two weeks, the Slovenian has averaged 22.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 40 percent from 3-point land. 2. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns Last week: No. 2 While Ayton has had some monster games over the past two weeks -- averaging 16.2 points and 9.7 rebounds over nine games -- he’s also had some clunkers in the New Year. In a 121-111 loss to the LA Clippers, Ayton finished with four points and five rebounds with four turnovers, then struggled mightily in Wednesday’s (Thursday, PHL time) loss to the Mavs. In 20 minutes, the big man had six points and five rebounds while hitting just 1-of-7 shots. "For the first time, I think I ever, went scoreless in the first half and stuff like that just started to get to me a little bit," said Ayton. "It was just me being the bad egg today. I'm going to apologize to them about this, but yeah, it was a bad game for me." 3. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Last week: Not ranked Young has shot more consistently over the last two weeks, shooting 44.7 percent overall and 47.4 percent on three-pointers. I’ve hammered Young repeatedly for his poor shooting numbers, so I have to give him props for his turnaround. Over his last nine games, he’s averaged 15.9 points and 7.6 assists and has generally looked more in control and selective with his shots. Young continues to lead rookies in assists at 7.3 per game, which puts him ninth among all players. 4. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks Last week: No. 3 Knox was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December after averaging 17.1 points and six rebounds. The 6'9" forward out of Kentucky is certainly on the rise, but also admitted he may not even be done growing. “Doctors said I have a half-inch or an inch left in the tank,” Knox told the New York Post recently. “You never know -- hopefully I have an inch [left]. Maybe 6-10, 6-10.5. If not, I’m perfectly fine with where I’m at.” For his part, coach David Fizdale is letting his young prospect grow with more minutes and responsibility. “Right now, he’s gained momentum, and [I want to] keep him rolling. It’s starting to become I need him on the court. That’s pretty good to say about a 19-year-old. We need him out there.” 5. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies Last week: Not ranked Jackson has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 11 games, but his rebounding and foul troubles are areas of concern. Jackson is first (or worst, depending on how you look at it) among all players in fouls per game (3.9) and is just sixth in rebounds per game among rookies. "Because of how long, tall and narrow he is, when guys lock him up he has a hard time escaping or staying on balance," Bickerstaff told The Commercial Appeal last week. "To be honest, with him, with his length and athleticism, he needs to be trying to escape people more and not let them get their hands or body on him where they can wedge him out." These are all things the 19-year-old will figure out, as Bickerstaff says. “The way he works, the way he studies, he's going to figure it out.” * * * Just missed the cut: Rodions Kurucs, Brooklyn Nets Kurucs falls out of the top five, but it was a close call thanks to an impressive night in Boston. Kurucs tied a career high with 24 points. He finished 8-for-15 from the field, hitting a career-high five triples on eight attempts. Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Carter has scored in double-digits in five of his last seven games, with a pair of double-doubles to close out 2018. Most notably, he had a 17-point, 13-rebound, three-block showing in a win over the Wizards on Dec. 28 (Dec. 29, PHL time). Landry Shamet, Philadelphia 76ers Shamet not only scored a career-high 29 on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), but he also set personal bests by making eight three's (one shy of Dana Barros’ team record set in ‘95) on 14 attempts. He scored 15 of his points in the third quarter when he was 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. “It just happens,” Shamet said afterward. “That might not be the answer you’re looking for, but it’s just simple, and it just comes in the flow of everything.” Frank Jackson, New Orleans Pelicans This could be an anomaly and Jackson won’t stick around these parts, but he deserves some love for his work off the bench. With E’Twaun Moore nursing a quad injury, Jackson has stepped up, scoring 17 points in a win on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), followed by 19 in Wednesday’s (Thursday, PHL time) win over the Cavs. Jackson was 11-for 15 overall in the two games, going 7-for-12 from three-point land (7-for-7 from the FT line). Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers Sexton has scored in double figures in his last six games, but the Cavs are mired in an 11-game skid and the rookie is dealing with his own shooting woes. During the slide, Sexton is shooting 32.4 percent from the field, 35.5 percent on three-pointers. * * * (All stats through Jan. 10, PHL time).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

PBA: Hotshots dominate Alaska to win Governors Cup

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- The crown jewel has returned. Magnolia ended a four-year title drought in the PBA Wednesday, beating Alaska in Game 6, 102-86, for the 2018 Governors' Cup at the Ynares Center here. The Hotshots took the series, 4-2, and won their first championship since their magical Grand Slam season in 2014. Magnolia wasted little time establishing its dominance in Game 6, opening with a 12-0 blast behind import Romeo Travis. Alaska would recover in the middle of the second quarter but the Hotshots would pullaway again, taking an 18-point lead at the break. The Aces never truly threatened after that......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 19th, 2018

Lillard scores 24, Blazers hold off NBA-best Raptors 128-122

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 24 points and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a two-game slide with a confidence-boosting 128-122 victory over the NBA-leading Toronto Raptors on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Zach Collins scored 16 points and Seth Curry added a season-high 13, including three key tbhree-pointers at the start of the fourth quarter. Both were part of a Portland bench that outscored Toronto's reserves 58-26. Kawhi Leonard returned after missing two games and had 28 points for the Raptors (23-8), who played without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Danny Green added 19 points and 11 rebounds, matching his season high with five triples. Portland led by 16 in the fourth quarter but Leonard and C.J. Miles made consecutive three's to pull the Raptors to 117-113 with 2:44 left. Lillard hit a three-pointer for Portland before Leonard had another three and Fred VanVleet made a layup to get Toronto to 120-118. CJ McCollum and Al Farouq-Aminu answered with consecutive three's to extend Portland's lead to 126-118 with just under a minute to go. Leonard dunked on the other end, but the Raptors couldn't get any closer. Portland was in first place in the Western Conference after beating Washington on the road back on Nov. 18 (Nov. 19, PHL time) to improve to 11-5. But the team lost eight of 11 going into Friday night's (Saturday, PHL time) game to tumble into ninth in the conference. The Raptors, meanwhile, had lost just three previous games on the road this season. The victory snapped a six-game Portland losing streak to the Raptors. Lowry sat out with a left thigh bruise. VanVleet started in his place and finished with 21 points. Lowry led the Raptors with 23 points in a 113-93 win over Golden State on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). The victory was costly, however. Jonas Valanciunas dislocated his thumb in the game and required surgery. He will be in a cast for the next four weeks. Valanciunas was averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. Portland was coming off a pair of losses on the road to Houston and Memphis. The Blazers went up 42-31 in the first half after Meyers Leonard's alley-oop dunk from Evan Turner. Portland led by as many as 13 and went into the break in front 58-50. Leonard, who was 0-for-5 from the field in the first half, had eight points to open the third quarter and his jumper got the Raptors to 59-64. But Leonard picked up his fourth foul later in the quarter and went to the bench for a while. OG Anunoby's jumper closed the Raptors to 82-80 but Collins answered with a three-pointer for the Blazers. After Portland had a 91-89 edge going into the fourth, Curry made a pair of three-pointers and the Blazers pushed the lead to 101-90. Curry hit another triple to give Portland a 107-93 advantage. TIP-INS Raptors: Former Oregon Ducks forward Chris Boucher was called up from the G-League on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). He will help fill the void created by Valanciunas' absence. ... It was the third of a four-game road trip for Toronto. Trail Blazers: It was Portland's third straight win at home. ... There was a sizable contingent of Raptors fans and several Canadian flags at the Moda Center. One group sang along loudly to the Canadian national anthem before the game. UP NEXT Raptors: Play at Denver on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Trail Blazers: Portland has a one-game road trip to play the Clippers on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

PBA: Lee drills game winner as Hotshots take crucial 3-2 lead

Leethal weapon indeed. Paul Lee drilled the game winner Friday as the Magnolia Hotshots survived the Alaska Aces, 79-78, in Game 5 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals at the Big Dome. Down one with 11 seconds to go, Romeo Travis was blocked by Best Import Mike Harris on his way to the basket. Fortunately for Magnolia, Lee picked up the loose ball and calmly drilled an open baseline jumper for a 79-78 lead with 1.3 seconds to go. Travis then stopped Harris on a fadeaway in Alaska's final possession and the Hotshots moved on to one win away from the title after taking a crucial 3-2 lead. "Aatakihin ako sa puso," head coach Chito Victolero said with a sigh of relief post-game. "It was a great game, one of the classics in terms of the PBA Finals. I want to commend my players for their mental toughness. We are tired but it was all about heart," he added. Magnolia was up eight, 74-66, with less than five minutes to go. However, the Aces would slowly pick up steam and would score 10 straight to take over, 76-74, in the final 1:17. The Hotshtos were in trouble late too but Lee managed to stop a 3-on-1 Alaska break before finding Ian Sangalang for a crucial and-one play with 18 seconds left for a 77-76 Magnolia lead. Alaska would answer back via two Mike Harris free throws, setting up the final Magnolia play that ended with Lee's clutch jumper. Before the wild fourth quarter, Magnolia dominated the first half, leading by as many as 17 points, 51-34, behind a strong second quarter. Alaska would quickly respond to start the second half, firing a 20-2 run for a 60-55 lead in the third period. Sangalang led the Hotshots with 20 points followed by Mark Barroca with 14. Jio Jalalon added 13 in a big bounce back game. Lee finished with 11 points and his game-winner was being his only basket in the second half. For the Aces, Mike Harris led the way with 26 points. Game 6 is set for Wednesday at Ynares Antipolo.   The Scores: MAGNOLIA 79 -- Sangalang 20, Barroca 14, Jalalon 13, Lee 11, Travis 10, Herndon 6, Dela Rosa 4, Reavis 1, Melton 0, Brondial 0, Simon 0. ALASKA 78 -- Harris 28, Enciso 13, Racal 13, Pascual 6, Exciminiano 5, Cruz 4, Banchero 3, Casio 2, Teng 2, Manuel 2, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0. Quarters: 29-28, 53-40, 65-62, 79-78.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

PBA: Clutch Paul Lee shows up on both ends to save Magnolia s title chances

Magnolia was on the brink of an epic Finals collapse. The Hotshots have lost all of their 17-point lead in Game 5 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals and Romeo Travis' strong drive for a go-ahead layup was emphatically denied by Best Import Mike Harris. Alaska's Kevin Racal has dived for the loose ball but somehow, someway, Paul Lee managed to snag the leather and dribble his way to an open baseline. Lee, the newly-awarded PBA Best Player of the Conference, shot a mid-range jumper in rhythm. He swished it and gave the Hotshots a 79-78 lead with 1.3 seconds to go. It was his only score in the second half as he finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Magnolia would go on and win, taking a crucial 3-2 lead in the Finals. "I took the chance eh, kasi wala na eh down kami. Yung small details na ganun, yung mga 50-50 ball, yun yung mga nagpapanalo ng laro. Nakuha and then na-convert ko, so it gave us a win," Lee said on his series-defining save. "Struggle ako buong series offensively, pero yung coaching staff and the whole team, lagi nila sinasabi na next shot, next shot, papasok din yan. Tinira ko lang, luckily yung timing maganda siya. Sobrang bait talaga ni Lord alam mo yun? Sa kanila na eh, tapos ganun yung naging end nung game. Wala na akong hiling, napaka-gandang panalo nun," he added on his version of The Shot. A couple of plays before, Lee had another brilliant save that helped set up Game 5's wild finish. Down two, Lee managed to stop a 3-on-1 Alaska break before finding Ian Sangalang on the other end for a game-turning three-point play. That play gave Magnolia a 77-76 lead with 18 seconds to go. "I won't give up in any play, hanggang walang pito or di stop yung game. Yun naman tinuro samin from the start, hanggang di pumipito or walang deadball, tuluy-tuloy lang," Lee said. "Ayun nag-end up sa magandang play pa ganun lang yung mentality namin," he added. With Game 6 on the horizon, Lee knows it's going to be doubly hard and he wants the Hotshots to try and stay sharp. A title is on the line after all. "It's gonna be hard next game, yun yung pinaka mahirap na game. We need to prepare and of course wag namin kalimutan na mag-enjoy din sa laro," Lee said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

PBA: Sangalang on Game 6: 'Pipilitin na namin makuha'

Ian Sangalang sure knows how to time his big performances. In a game where import Romeo Travis had perhaps his worst showing of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals, Sangalang had his best, leading the Magnolia Hotshots in scoring with 20 points on 61 percent shooting to go on top of six rebounds. More importantly, Sangalang was clutch too as his crucial three-point play inside the last 20 seconds gave Magnolia, 77-76 lead. "Unang-una, nung nandun kami sa court akala mo talo ne eh, pero thankful ako sa mga teammates ko kasi sila yung nagtrabaho dun sa kabilang court eh," Sangalang said, describing the play where Paul Lee had to stop a 3-on-1 Alaska break before he connected on the and-one play on the other end. "Hindi sila nag-give up. Sila yun eh, hindi na ako yun," he added. A win away from clinching the title, Sangalang knows it's going to be harder than ever and so Magnolia has to maintain its level of focus and concentration. The Finals has been marked with intense and physical action on both ends and it's going to take another hearculean effort from the Hotshots to close this one out. "Next game kailangan mag-focus talaga kami, kasi kita niyo naman yung game na yun hindi ganun kadali," Sangalang said. "Tulungan lang kami. Alam kong hindi ganun ka-easy, lalo na kalaban mo Alaska. Hindi ganun kadali pero pipilitin na namin makuha," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

PBA: Alaska dominates Magnolia again to force 2-2 tie

Now we have a series. Alaska has tied the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals after dominating Magnolia once again in Game 4,  scoring a 90-76 win Wednesday at the Big Dome. The Aces have fully recovered from an early 0-2 deficit, forcing a 2-all tie in the best-of-7 showdown for the title. Just like in Game 3, Alaska had another strong second quarter in Game 4 to gain some separation. The Aces then weathered a third-quarter storm from the Hotshots before landing the final haymaker in the fourth, reducing this series to a best-of-3. "I thought our defense was great again," head coach Alex Compton said. "Our guys have been playing great defense. I mean, there's ways that they can beat us and stuff, but I think it's really tough. It's really tough to get good shots for either team, actually. It's really tough to get good shots for either team," he added. True enough, Game 4 was another grinding game but it was th Aces that once again found more than enough offense. Best Import Mike Harris was effective anew, scoring a game-high 34 points to go along with 22 rebounds. Chris Banchero was the top local for Alaska with 17 points. For the Hotshots, Romeo Travis fired 29 points from six three-pointers. Best Player of the Conference Paul Lee added 14 points. Game 5 to break the series tie is set for Friday still at the Araneta Coliseum.   The Scores Alaska 90 - Harris 34, Banchero 17, Pascual 9, Racal 8, Teng 7, Galliguez 5, Manuel 4, Cruz 3, Baclao 3, Enciso 0, Exciminiano 0, Casio 0. Magnolia 76 - Travis 29, Lee 14, Sangalang 11, Barroca 8, Jalalon 7, Reavis 4, Brondial 2, Melton 1, Dela Rosa 0, Herndon 0. Quarters: 19-22, 43-32, 63-50, 90-76.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 12th, 2018

PBA: Aces finally on the board after destroying Magnolia in Game 3

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- Alaska is finally on the board. The Aces scored their first win of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup in convincing fashion, dominating the Magnolia Hotshots, 100-71, in Game 3 Sunday at the Ynares Center here. With import Mike Harris at the lead, Alaska reduced the final 12 minutes into mere garbage time and the Aces cut their series deficit in half, 1-2. After a slow first quarter, the Aces got it going in the second, pouring 34 points to take a commanding lead they would never surrender. Behind the shooting of its guard core led by Simon Enciso, Alaska took a 50-36 lead at the break and never looked back. Harris then went to work in the second half, finally having his first great game of these Finals and the Aces held off any possible Magnolia uprising. Harris scored 18 straight points for the Aces in the third period as Alaska took a 73-49 lead over the Hotshots. Alaska led by 33 after three quarters. "I thought we had a great defensice effort and we made some shots," head coach Alex Compton said. "Overall, the story of the game in the first three quarters was we made a bunch of shots, we didn't turn it over, and we defended at the same time," he added Harris was a beast for the Aces, leading the way with 36 points and 18 rebounds. He scored 22 total in the third period as Alaska landed its knockout blow. Vic Manuel added 14 points as the top local for Alaska while Enciso and Carl Bryan Cruz finished with 12 and 10 points respectively. For the Hotshots, everyone struggled as they only shot 33 percent collectively from the field. Romeo Travis was the high man with 18 points while Mark Barroca was good for 13. No other Magnolia player scored in double figures. Game 4 is set for Wednesday at the Big Dome.   The scores: ALASKA 100 - Harris 36, Manuel 14, Enciso 12, Cruz 10, Banchero 6, J. Pascual 4, Teng 4, Galliguez 4, Casio 4, Andrada 2, Baclao 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0, Magat 0, Potts 0. MAGNOLIA 71 - Travis 18, Barroca 13, Herndon 7, Sangalang 7, Mendoza 6, Dela Rosa 5, Abundo 4, Reavis 3, Lee 2, Ramos 2, Melton 2, Jalalon 2, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0, Brondial 0, K. Pascual 0. Quarterscores: 16-22, 50-36, 83-50, 100-71.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

Lillard has Portland-record 10 3s in 115-112 win over Magic

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 41 points, including a franchise-record 10 3-pointers, and the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Orlando Magic 115-112 on Wednesday night. Jusuf Nurkic added 16 points and 13 rebounds as the Blazers stopped a season-high three-game slide. Lillard surpassed the previous Portland record of nine 3s that he shared with Nicolas Batum. Nikola Vucevic had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Magic, who have lost four of their last five games. Portland pushed its lead to 108-98 on Evan Turner's layup with just over five minutes to go, but Evan Fournier hit a pair of 3-pointers and Jonathan Isaac added a layup to close the gap to 108-106. Jonathan Simmons made two free throws to tie it, but CJ McCollum responded with a 3-pointer for the Blazers. Fournier had a step-back jumper to get Orlando within a point before McCollum missed a pair of free throws with about two minutes to go. Lillard's floater with 55 seconds gave Portland a 113-110 lead. There was some confusion at the end of the game after what was described as a game-clock malfunction prompted a video review. Officials put 0.9 seconds on the clock but Orlando's inbounds was off and time ran out. Orlando, playing the fourth of a six-game trip, was without Aaron Gordon, who was sidelined by a sore lower back. Gordon is averaging 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds this season. He left Monday's 116-110 loss at Golden State in the third quarter with back spasms. Isaac replaced Gordon in the starting lineup against Portland. Vucevic scored 15 in the first half to help Orlando to a 63-55 lead at the break. Nik Stauskas had 15 early points for the Blazers. Trailing 82-79, Portland went on a 16-2 run, capped by Lillard's record-breaking 10th 3-pointer, to go up 95-84 going into the fourth quarter. Portland was coming off a 104-100 loss at home to the Clippers on Sunday night. TIP INS Magic: Ross is from Portland and played at Jefferson High School before going to Washington. ... The Magic have dropped five straight to Portland. ... Vucevic fouled out with 13.7 seconds left. Trail Blazers: It was coach Terry Stotts' 400th career win. ... Lillard's seven 3-pointers in the third were a franchise record for a quarter. UP NEXT Magic: Play Friday night at the Phoenix Suns. Trail Blazers: Host the Denver Nuggets on Friday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Zverev s ATP Finals win vs. Federer tainted by ball boy flub

By Sam Johnston, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — After pulling off one of the biggest wins of his career, Alexander Zverev was left apologizing for an unforced error he didn't make. Zverev denied Roger Federer a shot at a 100th career title by beating the Swiss great 7-5, 7-6 (5) at the ATP Finals on Saturday to advance to the championship match against Novak Djokovic. Federer was leading the second-set tiebreaker 4-3 and in the ascendancy of a rally on a Zverev service point when a ball boy at the back of the court dropped a ball. Zverev immediately signaled for the point to be stopped and the umpire ordered the point to be replayed. Zverev served an ace before going on to close out the match moments later. "I want to apologize for the situation in the tiebreak," said Zverev, who was booed by some of the crowd during his on-court interview. "The ball boy dropped the ball so it's in the rules that we have to replay the point. "I'm a little bit upset about the whole situation because this is not how I wanted it to end." Zverev is the youngest player at 21 to reach the final since 2009 and the first from Germany since 1996. He will face five-time champion Djokovic, who defeated Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2 to extend his semifinal win-loss record at the tournament to 7-1. Federer, 37, was seeking a record-extending seventh title, but was unable to cope with the pressure created by Zverev's power and precision at the O2 Arena. "He (Zverev) apologized to me at the net," Federer said. "I was like, 'Buddy, shut up. You don't need to apologize to me here. Congratulations on a great match and a great tournament so far. All the best for the finals.' And you move on." An inspired series of shots earned Zverev the first break points of the match in the 12th game and Federer sent a forehand wide to fall behind. Federer willed himself to a break for 2-1 in the second set, but Zverev quickly composed himself to hit straight back in the following game. Zverev overcame the freak interruption to establish a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker, and Federer netted the simplest of forehand volleys to bring up match point. He saved the first, but Zverev confidently put away a backhand drive volley to set up a shot at the biggest title of his career and leave Federer waiting until next season for his 100th title. "Overall, I'm happy how the season went," said Federer, who picked up his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. "There's many positives. So I'm excited for next season." Despite having reached only one Grand Slam quarterfinal this year, Zverev is the only active player outside the Big Four of Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray to have won three Masters titles. But victory at the tour's flagship event would exceed those achievements. "Novak right now is the best player in the world," said Zverev, who lost to Djokovic in the round robin. "You have to play your best game to even have a chance. I hope I'll be able to do that tomorrow." The Serb maintained his record of having not lost a set — or service game — at the tournament as he thrashed debutant Anderson to give himself the chance to join Federer on six titles. "I played very well in the group stage against Sascha (Zverev)," Djokovic said. "But I don't think he was close to his best." Djokovic won 20 out of 27 points on Anderson's second serve as he broke the South African twice in each set. "It was the best match I've played so far this week," Djokovic said. Having ended a two-year Grand Slam title drought by defeating Anderson in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic went on to win his 14th major trophy at the U.S. Open and has already sealed the year-end No. 1 ranking. The victory extended Djokovic's record to 35-2 since the start of Wimbledon, a tournament he began ranked 21st after a right elbow injury interrupted his first half of the season. "It's remarkable what he's done since Wimbledon," Anderson said. "It seems like he's definitely right back playing some of the best tennis of his career.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 18th, 2018

PBA: Brownlee after saving Ginebra again: 'We ll be all right'

Justin Brownlee was the personification of the "Never Say Die" attitude Wednesday for Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals. Ginebra's super import scored a career-high tying 46 points, 18 in a pivotal third quarter run, to will the two-time champion Gin Kings back from the dead in Manila Clasico. Brownlee almost single-handedly brought Ginebra back from an 18-point second half deficit and the Gin Kings' bid for a three-peat is still going. "I don't know man," Brownlee said, almost in disbelief of his own superhuman effort to save the series for Ginebra. "That's Never Say Die attitude. The fans, they got into the game and they gave us a boost of energy. We just wanted to keep it going, it's fortunate that we got the win, that's the most important thing," he added. Thins were not looking pretty for Ginebra at halftime. Mark Barroca scored 12 points to spark a late rally for Magnolia late in the second period and the Hotshots took full control of the game. Brownlee was the only one keeping Ginebra at that point, scoring 19 at the break. At the end of the third period and another 18 points later, he brought Ginebra back. To cap it all off, it appeared that Brownlee had a hand in Paul Lee's game-winning triple for the Hotshots. "We just find out if we stick together and stay positive," Brownlee said. "I think, we'll be all right. We'll overcome any adversity we have," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 14th, 2018