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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

30 Teams in 30 Days: After wholesale makeover, Hawks ready to rebuild

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com What offseason? That's a question many fans ask as the flurry of trades, free agent news and player movement seems to never stop during the summer. Since the Golden State Warriors claimed their third title in four years back on June 8 (June 9, PHL time), NBA teams have undergone a massive number of changes as they prepare for the season ahead. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- from the team with the worst regular-season record in 2017-18 to the team with the best regular-season record -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: Atlanta Hawks 2017-18 Record: (24-58, did not qualify for the playoffs) Who's new: Coach Lloyd Pierce, Trae Young (Draft), Kevin Huerter (Draft), Omari Spellman (Draft), Jeremy Lin (trade), Justin Anderson (trade), Alex Len (free agency), Vince Carter (free agency) Who's gone: Coach Mike Budenholzer, Dennis Schroder, Mike Muscala The lowdown: Three years after winning a conference-best 60 games, the Hawks crash-landed and clearly set their sights on the Draft lottery by the 2018 All-Star break. New GM Travis Schlenk dumped Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilasova at the trade deadline and would’ve shipped off a few more players if he could. Basically, Schlenk attempted to scrub most of the work of Budenholzer, who ran the basketball operation previously. John Collins made the All-Rookie team and Taurean Prince finished strong. However, Kent Bazemore -- the club’s highest-paid player -- sputtered and never felt comfortable being a volume scorer (12.9 points per game). The Hawks couldn’t win or generate much interest in Atlanta, putting the framework for a fresh era in place well before 2017-18 ended. The Hawks held the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 Draft. Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III were off the board. What say you, Mr. Schlenk? He made a gutsy move, bypassing European sensation Luka Doncic in favor of Young and a 2019 protected first from the Mavericks. Schlenk admitted the Hawks’ war room was evenly split on Doncic and Young, but the ’19 first-rounder was the deal-maker. That’s not an overwhelming vote of confidence for Young, and you wonder if Hawks ownership nudged Schlenk into making the deal because of Young’s star potential. The organization dropped millions to give the newly-renamed State Farm Arena some bling over the last year and obviously crave a player with flair to move the needle in Atlanta. Young certainly brings a wow factor. He was the box office star at Oklahoma with his long-range shots and fancy passes. He also became the first collegiate player to lead the nation in scoring and assists in the same season. The Hawks say his ability to make teammates better is vastly unappreciated and will smooth his transition into the NBA. He also had a ragged second half of last season and became a social media punch line. His shot selection and accuracy raised red flags. In a sense, his final year at OU was a tale of two players: Tantalizing Trae and Tragic Trae. NBA scouts say Young's other drawbacks were his lack of size, athletic ability and defense. He was a polarizing Draft pick and the Hawks’ decision received mixed reviews at best among Hawks fans. That additional first-round pick Atlanta got from Dallas could prove beneficial for a rebuilding team that wants to collect as many assets as possible. The idea of Young becoming an Atlanta Basketball Jesus seems like a reach ... until you remember this franchise hasn’t had a ticket-selling sensation in its history. Even Pete Maravich and Dominique Wilkins weren’t basketball magnets in this college football-crazed town. With a new basketball regime in place, it was only a matter of time before Budenholzer, stripped of his basketball operations stripes, would bolt. Schlenk wanted his own people, which is standard operating procedure for a new GM. Once the season ended, Budenholzer began running off copies of his resume with the blessing of the Hawks. He landed in Milwaukee and Schlenk began searching for Budenholzer's successor. Eventually, Schlenk stayed in his comfort zone and hired Pierce. (Years ago, they both worked for the Golden State Warriors.) Pierce came with strong reviews for his work as an assistant coach, most recently with the Sixers. As a player, he rode shotgun in college at Santa Clara with Steve Nash and brings solid people skills to Atlanta. He is, however, a first-time coach and sometimes, it gets tricky when folks slide one seat over on the bench. It was no secret the Hawks wanted to jettison starting point guard and leading scorer Schroder this summer. He had legal issues and didn’t develop solid chemistry with his teammates. When the Thunder agreed to a proposal, the Hawks pounced, sending Schroder to OKC for Carmelo Anthony (who was subsequently bought out), Justin Anderson and a future first-rounder. Of course, this means the Hawks will either go with a rookie as their starting point guard or Lin (who’s should be healthy for training camp after he missed all but one game last season.) With their additional first-round pick this year, the Hawks took Huerter, a sharp-shooter from Maryland. Right now they’re getting nothing special offensively from the swing position and Huerter will get a long look as a rotational player. In order to help a young locker room adjust, the Hawks added 41-year-old Carter (who was a rookie when Young was born). Carter has become a lovable NBA senior citizen, which allows folks to overlook his declining skills. His veteran voice will help when the Hawks endure a losing streak. Still, the summer belonged to the deal the Hawks swung for Young. It’s one of those decisions that could make Schlenk look like a genius, especially if he scores big on the 2019 Dallas pick and Young pans out. The flip side? Doncic becomes the transcendent star in Dallas that the Hawks craved. The final verdict on this deal won’t be delivered for years. By then, will the Hawks be winners? Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

Anderson tops Isner 26-24 at Wimbledon; other SF suspended

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — To say that Kevin Anderson won this interminable Wimbledon semifinal, and that John Isner lost it, didn't really seem fair. To Anderson, anyway. They had played on and on, through 6 1/2 hours of ho-hum hold after ho-hum hold, during the second-longest match in the history of a tournament that began in 1877, all the way until the never-ending serving marathon did, finally, end at 26-24 in the fifth set Friday, with Anderson claiming the most important of the 569 points — the last. So when Anderson left Centre Court, well aware that his 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 victory earned him the chance to win his first Grand Slam title at age 32, the South African said: "At the end, you feel like this is a draw between the two of us." He continued: "John's such a great guy, and I really feel for him, because if I'd been on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that, playing for so long and coming up short." Only one match at Wimbledon ever lasted longer: Isner's 2010 first-round victory over Nicolas Mahut, the longest match in tennis history. It went more than 11 hours over three days and finished 70-68 in the fifth on Court 18, which now bears a plaque commemorating it. Friday's contest lasted so long, the day's second semifinal didn't finish. Novak Djokovic was leading Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) in a compelling showdown filled with entertaining points that was suspended as soon as the third set concluded at just past 11 p.m., the curfew at the All England Club. Some people in the stands booed the decision to halt the match after a fantastic tiebreaker in which Nadal wasted three set points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7. Djokovic cashed in on his second when Nadal's backhand found the net after an 18-stroke exchange. Because Nadal and Djokovic didn't begin playing until after 8 p.m., the retractable roof above the main stadium was shut between the matches and the arena's artificial lights were turned on. Now they'll come back Saturday to figure out who will face Anderson in the final, resuming at 1 p.m. local time, under the roof. The women's final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will then follow. That creates an unusual situation: Instead of a standard 2 p.m. start, Williams and Kerber won't know exactly when their match will begin. Anderson will certainly appreciate the chance to put his feet up ahead of Sunday's final, while Nadal and Djokovic — who have a combined 29 Grand Slam titles between them, five at Wimbledon — push each other some more. Anderson's fifth set alone lasted nearly 3 hours as his semifinal became a test of endurance more than skill. "He stayed the course incredibly well," said the No. 9 seed Isner, a 33-year-old American playing in his first major semifinal. "Just disappointed to lose. I was pretty close to making a Grand Slam final and it didn't happen." Anderson finally earned the must-have, go-ahead service break with the help of a point in which the right-hander tumbled to his backside, scrambled back to his feet and hit a shot lefty. "That definitely brings a smile to my face," said Anderson, the runner-up to Nadal at last year's U.S. Open. "At that stage, you're just trying to fight in every single moment, and I was like, 'Just get up!'" The No. 8 seed Anderson eliminated eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in a 13-11 fifth set in the quarterfinals Wednesday. Between that and the energy-sapper against Isner, it's hard to imagine how Anderson will have much left for his second Slam final. Wimbledon doesn't use tiebreakers in the fifth set for men, or third set for women, so there's nothing to prevent a match from continuing ad infinitum. Both Isner and Anderson said they'd like to see that change. At one point in the fifth set, a spectator shouted, "Come on, guys! We want to see Rafa!" The 6-foot-8 Anderson and 6-10 Isner go way back, to their college days, Isner at Georgia, Anderson at Illinois. In the pros, Isner had won eight of 11 previous matchups. But this one was as close as can be. There wasn't a whole lot of intrigue, or momentum shifts. The serving, though, was something else. Isner pounded his at up to 142 mph; Anderson reached 136 mph. They combined for 102 aces: 53 by Isner, 49 by Anderson. "The effort they both put in and the performance and the guts, the way they competed — a lot to be proud of," said Justin Gimelstob, one of Isner's coaches. Both failed to seize early opportunities. Isner wasted a set point in the opener. Anderson served for the third at 5-3, got broken, and then had a pair of set points in that tiebreaker, double-faulting one away. By the latter stages, with break chances so rare, murmurs would spread through the Centre Court stands whenever a game's returner got to love-15 or love-30. Could we be about to see the sixth and last break of a match that would end up with 90 holds? Repeatedly, the answer was, of course, "No," even when Anderson held break points at 7-all, 10-all and 17-all. The 10-all game ended with Isner hitting a forehand passing winner on the run to hold, then letting his momentum carry him directly to his sideline chair, where he plopped himself down. By the end, he was looking exhausted, leaning over to rest a hand on a knee between points. "I feel pretty terrible," Isner said afterward. "My left heel is killing me and I have an awful blister on my right foot." He never got a break point in the fifth set. Anderson finally came through on his sixth for a 25-24 lead, when Isner wearily put a backhand into the net. Then Anderson served out the victory, with Isner sailing a forehand wide on match point. Soon, they were meeting for an embrace......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2018

PBA: Magnolia lost on wayward defensive sequences, says Chito Victolero

Magnolia Hotshots Chito Victolero says the game started to turn around for the worst when they failed to capitalize on defensive schemes, leading to easy baskets inside the paint. The Hotshots, who had lost their seventh straight game in the Manila Clasico, 104-84, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum Sunday evening, had fallen to a 4-5 slate, good for seventh, while Ginebra is slowly knocking on Columbian's door for eighth with a 3-5 record. Victolero rued that the defensive-minded team lost their way, along with their identity. With a 4-5 record and teetering towards the seventh seed and a twice-to-beat disadvantage if they don't clean up their act, his team will need to approach every game moving forward as a do-or-die game. However, if they want to treat such games as such, the team would have to make up their minds and make up for the task at hand, with a very long break until their next game, 17 days to be exact. "So 'yung effort naman, and'yan lahat eh. I think 'yung discipline lang namin. Iko-correct namin 'yun. Ang maganda, we have a chance pa naman. It's still in our hands, so we just try to prepare hard for our next game." The mentor brought good news to the table, as Ian Sangalang may return on their next game against the NLEX Road Warriors on July 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena. "Malaking bagay 'yun, kasi nakita niyo naman, we don't have any inside presence with the loss of Ian and Ping eh. But with Ian, at least we have a post presence. Lalaki din kami. Nawala kasi sa amin is 15 points, eight rebounds a game, so talagang mahirap palitan 'yun." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2018

PBA: Black still high on Onuaku despite import missing 16 free throws

Arinze Onuaku scored 23 points against Magnolia Friday but safe to say the hulking reinforcement didn't exactly have a great night. For one, the Bolts lost to the Hotshots, 79-81. A win would have put them in a tie for first heading into the All-Star break but instead, they hold a 3-2 record. Second, the former Best Import missed 16 free throws. Onuaku shot a horrible 5-of-21 from the line and every miss allowed Magnolia to stay in the game. The Hotshots eventually stole the win in the end after import Vernon Macklin drilled two pressure-packed free throws in the final three seconds. Onuaku politely declined to be interviewed following the loss but head coach Norman Black conceded that the missed free throws --- 16 of them --- were the "sour aspect" of the game vs. Magnolia. "Well tonight he had a lot of opportunities to separate us in the game. If he had made a couple of those foul shots, obviously we could've pulled away," Black said. "But everytime he got the ball offensively they started fouling him on purpose. In that situation you just have to step up and make them," he added. Still, Black believes in his import. While the missed free throw and the loss are tough, the veteran mentor is ready to move on to the next one. "But, obviously, he gives us a lot of other things on the court to help us win games," he said. "That was a sour aspect of the game tonight [missed free throws], but that's part of it. You just have to live with it and move on," Black added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 19th, 2018

PBA: Macklin makes game-winning free throws in final game for Magnolia

What a way for Vernon Macklin to make his way out of the PBA. Macklin gifted Magnolia one last win in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup, draining the crucial free throws that allowed the Hotshots to take a dramatic 81-79 victory over Meralco Friday at the Big Dome. Tied at 79, Paul Lee found Macklin on the break for a possible game-winner. Macklin almost immediately drew a foul after taking the pass and he ended up making two free throws for the lead with 3.1 seconds to go. In the game's final play on the other end, Chris Newsome failed to complete a perfectly-executed alley-oop and Magnolia won its third straight game of the conference for a 3-1 record. "I'm very proud of V-Mack," head coach Chito Victolero said. "Binigay niya par in lahat. I'm very happy. May contracy na siya sa China pero go-hard pa rin," he added. The Bolts had several opportunities to close the game out but several missed free throws from Arinze Onuaku and a questionable long two from Newsome ended up dooming Meralco. Magnolia certainly took advantage of that as a Mark Barroca free throw made it 77-79 for the Bolts. Paul Lee then eventually tied the game from the line and after Newsome's long miss, Macklin finally regained the lead for the Hotshots. Macklin led the way with 21 points and 15 rebounds for Magnolia while Lee added 20 of his own. Barroca finished with 18 points. The Bolts got 23 points from Onuaku but the hulking import missed 16 of his 21 attempts from the line. Meralco dropped to 3-2 with the loss.   The Scores: MAGNOLIA 81 – Macklin 21, Lee 20, Barroca 18, Reavis 6, Jalalon 6, Ramos 3, Herndon 3, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 2, Pascual 0, Sangalang 0, Simon 0, Abundo 0. MERALCO 79 – Onuaku 23, Newsome 15, Amer 14, Dillinger 12, Canaleta 7, Caram 4, Baracael 2, Hugnatan 2, Hodge 0. Quarters: 19-16; 34-31; 56-50; 81-79.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

Clyde hopes to check slide, eyes Masters repeat

Clyde Mondilla sets out for defense of his young career's most memorable victory, hoping to put together in three weeks time a game that had seemed to break up early in the season. A tied for.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

Surging, spry Sixers aim to shut down hard-working Heat

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com This is The Bonus Series, a matchup of two Eastern Conference teams whose success stories for 2017-18 largely have been already written. The Philadelphia 76ers, fully hatched from their "Process" days, have shown themselves to be a contender of the future based on the talent and potential of young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and coach Brett Brown’s chemistry with the group. Finishing with the No. 3 seed in the East and reeling off 16 consecutive victories to end the regular season qualified as overachieving, and even a loss in the first round wouldn’t steal much luster from the promising crew. Similarly, Miami again worked hard to boost itself to the No. 6 spot in the East. And the Heat did so with a whole greater than the sum of its parts. They don't have eye-popping talent, but thrive on cohesiveness, effort and the work of coach Erik Spoelstra exploiting the right matchups and flaws in opponents. The Heat aren’t so much feared as they are respected as a foe unlikely to beat itself. The teams split their four meetings in the regular season and -- with Embiid (orbital fracture) unlikely to be available any time soon -- there’s little reason to think Philadelphia’s higher seed would qualify as much of an upper hand. This could be a gritty, grimy series that shows the strengths of both teams. 3 quick questions and answers 1. Who guards Ben Simmons? The favorite to be named Kia Rookie of the Year, Simmons is a matchup nightmare. He is a 6-foot-10 point guard who probably will draw one of Miami’s frontcourt players like James Johnson as a primary defender, rather than stick any of the Heat guards in that size disadvantage. Simmons has triple-double potential, limited only by a shooting range that keeps him inside the arc. 2. Which attack is more balanced? Led by Wayne Ellington -- who sank more 3-point shots this season than any reserve in NBA history -- Miami had five shooters who each hit at least 100 from downtown. The Heat also have nine players who averaged in double digits this season and eight who led the team in scoring at least once. Then there is Philadelphia, which was the only team in the NBA this season to boast five players who scored at least 1,000 points. 3. Will we get to see the matchup that oozes personality and one-upsmanship, namely, Joel Embiid vs. Hassan Whiteside? This doesn’t depend solely on Embiid’s ability to play with a protective mask, something he figures to try at some point in the series. It also hinges on Whiteside earning time in Spoelstra’s rotation after a disappointing season -- Whiteside’s intensity waned too often, making Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo more satisfying options many nights. That said, it would be fun to see the 7-footers go at it, both in the paint and with verbal salvos before, after and between games. The number to know 113.1 -- The Sixers scored 113.1 points per 100 possessions over their 16-game winning streak to close the season. That was the second best mark in the league over the last four weeks. The Sixers were a good defensive team all season, but it was on offense where they saw the most improvement. Some of that was schedule-aided, but they were the only team that ranked in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency after the All-Star break. They were without Embiid for the final nine games of the streak (including the game in which he was injured), played at the league's fastest pace over that stretch, and managed to cut down on turnovers. The Heat held them to just 101 points per 100 possessions in their four meetings, but the Sixers, who led the league in passes per possession and ranked second in player movement, have since become more difficult to defend. -- John Schuhmann Making the pick Truth be told, these Sixers are a little ahead of schedule -- the playoffs were a legit goal ... but the No. 3 seed? This roster and coaching staff will be learning on the postseason fly. Truth be told, this Miami team isn’t as good as the group that finished the second half of last season with a 30-11 mark. But the Heat’s success was ground out this time around, and that style should make this a fairly lengthy, exhausting series. Sixers in 6. 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 NewsApr 13th, 2018

Beermen take control of PBA Finals after another convincing win

San Miguel has taken control of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals. Coming off the Holy Week break, the three-time champion Beermen once again dominated Magnolia, scoring a convincing 111-87 Game 3 win on Easter Sunday at the Big Dome. Flipping the script from the first two games, San Miguel ran amok in the fourth period this time around, shutting down Magnolia to take a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-7. "I think yung one week break works in our favor, and we're able to recharge and to focus and recuperate from minor injuries, especially Marcio and Chris Ross who are suffering a lot of bangaan inside," head coach Leo Austria said. "The key here is we're able to match their energy. Lampas-lampas pa nga, that is because of our second unit. The second unit at the start of the fourth quarter, sila ang nag-trabaho that's why I opted to let them stay until the last few minutes. I think if they keep on stepping up every game, I'm confident na every game pwede kami manalo," he added. Led by Marcio Lassiter and Brian Heruela, San Miguel opened the fourth with a blistering 17-3 run, putting the game out of reach effectively. At one point, the Beermen scored 15 straight for a 92-71 lead, turning the rest of the game into garbage minutes. Marcio Lassiter led the champs with 24 points, 10 in the fourth period, while June Mar Fajardo had 21 points and 17 rebounds. The Kraken didn't play in the final 12 minutes. Chris Ross and Arwind Santos added 14 each while Heruela came off the bench to score 11, eight in the last quarter. Similar to Games 1 and 2, San Miguel got off to a strong start in Game 3. But unlike the first two games of the Finals, Magnolia was able to counter quickly behind Paul Lee and PJ Simon in the first half, trailing by only one at the break. The Hotshots were still in the game in the third, down by only five, before the Beermen waxed hot, dropping a 36-19 bomb in the fourth period. After leading by as many as 20 in Game 1 and 21 in Game 2, the champs led by as many as 24 in Game 3. For the Hotshots, Mark Barroca led the way with 22 markers while Lee was good for 15. PJ Simon scored 10, all in the second quarter. Game 4 will be on Wednesday still at the Big Dome.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 111 — Lassiter 24, Fajardo 21, Ross 14, Santos 14, Heruela 11, Espinas 9, Cabagnot 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 5, Pessumal 4, Semerad 2, Vigil 2, Lanete 0, Mamaril 0. MAGNOLIA 87 — Barroca 22, Lee 15, Ramos 12, Simon 10, Dela Rosa 6, Gamalinda 6, Jalalon 6, Sangalang 6, Brondial 0, Herndon 0, Mendoza 0, Pascual 0. Quarters: 29-22, 50-49, 75-68, 111-87.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

San Miguel now up over Magnolia after taking Game Three

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo Senior Reporter THE defending champions San Miguel Beermen are now up 2-1 in their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup finals series over the Magnolia Hotshots Pambasang Manok after taking Game Three, 111-87, in the resumption of Philippine Basketball Association action after the Holy Week break on Sunday night. Showed steady form […] The post San Miguel now up over Magnolia after taking Game Three appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

San Miguel, Magnolia welcome finals break

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo Senior Reporter HAVING played every other day in the last couple of weeks, PBA Philippine Cup finals protagonists San Miguel Beermen and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok said they welcome the break afforded by the observance of Holy Week. Following Game Two on Sunday where the Beermen pulled even in their […] The post San Miguel, Magnolia welcome finals break appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 27th, 2018

Beermen avoid another collapse to tie Finals vs. Magnolia

No comebacks this time around. San Miguel Beer has tied the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, scoring a convincing 92-77 victory over Magnolia Sunday at the MOA Arena. Game 2 followed the same script as Game 1 just two days ago as the reigning three-time defending champions jumped on a commanding lead in the second half. San Miguel led by as many as 21 in the third period only to see the Hotshots storm back to cut it down to seven early in the fourth. Magnolia held the Beermen scoreless in the first four minutes of the final period. However, unlike in Game 1, San Miguel had an answer, turning to its pair of MVPs to restore order. Arwind Santos first hit a booming three for the champs first score of the fourth then June Mar Fajardo added a fastbreak layup for an 80-68 lead. Magnolia never threatened after that. "We learned our lesson from the last game we lost," head coach Leo Austria said. "Almost the same thing, we're able to lead. Last time lumamang kami ng 20 points hinabol nila, I have to give credit to the players talagang ayaw nila magpatalo," he added. Arwind Santos was sensational all game long for the Beermen, scoring a game-high 24 points on top of eight rebounds. More importantly, he hit six timely three-point shots to help San Miguel hold off Magnolia. Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot scored 16 and 15 points respectively while Fajardo submitted a 12-point, 13-rebound double-double. After the Hotshots got off to a 6-0 start, the Beermen settled down and went to work, taking a double-digit lead at the break, 48-35. The lead ballooned to as many as 21, 71-50, early in the second half. For Magnolia, it was Mark Barroca that led the way with 18 points while Paul Lee added 13. Game 1 hero Ian Sangalang was limited to only 11 points. Game 3 will be on Easter Sunday as the Finals will take a mini-break in observance of Holy Week.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 92 — Santos 24, Lassiter 16, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 12, Heruela 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Ross 5, Mamaril 4, De Ocampo 0, Vigil 0. MAGNOLIA 77 — Barroca 18, Lee 13, Sangalang 11, Dela Rosa 7, Ramos 7, Jalalon 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 3, Herndon 2, Simon 2, Mendoza 0. Quarters: 19-17, 48-35, 75-57, 92-77.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 25th, 2018

Eze keeps Perpetual s playoff flame flickering

University of Perpetual Help stayed alive in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup while also eliminating AMA Online Education in the process with an 89-81 win on Monday at the JCSGO Gym in Quezon City. Nigerian big man Prince Eze captained the Altas with 22 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks as they halted their three-game losing slide. Rey Anthony Peralta poured 12 of his 17 markers in the telling third quarter, as Perpetual jumped on AMA after the halftime break and built a lead as high as 25, 69-44. John Rey Villanueva also drilled 13 points powered by three triples while Edgar Charcos wound up with 13 markers, eight assists, and six rebounds. It almost looked like an easy win for the Altas after building a sizable lead in the third frame, but James Martinez put AMA on his back and got the Titans within five, 79-84, with 1:57 remaining. Luckily for Perpetual, Villanueva connected with an open three before Eze glided for the easy layup to stave off the uprising and clinch the victory. “Nag-relax eh tsaka nag-iisip ng puntos yung mga players. So we just have to be unselfish pagdating sa ganoon and just try to get the win instead,” said coach Frankie Lim. At 3-5, the Altas still have a remote chance to make a late run to the top six if they sweep their remaining games. For Lim, that’s exactly what he needs as he eyes to continue building his wards in preparation for the collegiate season. “We'll try to come up with a game plan for our next few games and hope we make it. It’s good for the team,” he said. Robbie Manalang paced AMA with 23 points, four rebounds, and four assists while Martinez unfurled 18 markers, 13 coming from the fourth quarter. The Titans join Batangas-EAC and JRU at the bottom of the standings at 1-7. BOX SCORES PERPETUAL 89 — Eze 22, Peralta 17, Charcos 13, Villanueva 13, Precillas 10, Coronel 8, Tiburcio 3, Salvador 2, Mangalino 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Pido 0, Tamayo 0. AMA ONLINE EDUCATION 81 — Manalang 23, Martinez 18, Lao 15, Antonares 10, C. Escalambre 9, Quijano 3, Taganas 2, J. Escalambre 1, Garcia 0, Velasquez 0. QUARTER SCORES: 22-18, 41-36, 70-51, 89-81......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2018

Sangalang s big playoff game proves Marc Pingris right

Ian Sangalang is the Magnolia frontline's present and future. In fact, he's the next Marc Pingris, according to Marc Pingris himself. [Related: Sangalang could be the next Pingris] And with Ping possibly out for the season with an ACL tear, Ian is taking the spotlight for himself, just as expected. In Game 3 of their semifinal series against NLEX, Sangalang went off on the Road Warriors, scoring 24 points, 17 in the second half, to help the Hotshots take a 2-1 series lead. That performance was for Pingris, of course. "Unang-una, binibigay ko game kay kuya Ping," Sangalang said. "Siya lang iniisip ko kapag ganoong situations. Iniisip ko mga tinuro ni kuya Ping, ginagawa ko lang best ko," he added. Moving closer to that elusive Finals appearance, Sangalang says now is not the time for the Hotshots to lose composure. And in order the break though, the team will have to rely on its strengths to finish the Road Warriors off. "Pang-apat na semis na namin to so dapat wag sayangin," Sangalang said. "Very positive kami na kaya talaga namin, especially on defense. Kasi pag dumepensa kami, mananalo talaga kami," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 14th, 2018

'We ll take our chances for a long series' - Yeng Guiao

NLEX Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao says that it will be do-or-die for them as they head in to Game 4 against the Magnolia Hotshots. The Road Warriors, who drop their second straight game after taking Game 1 against Magnolia, will treat Friday's contest as a make-or-break affair, and hope for the best that they could extend the series to at least six games. "Our goal is to prolong the series. On Friday, it's a must win for us, that's a crucial game. Every win for us, it prolongs this series. Siguro, we'll take our chances with a long series," Guiao said after the game. On an up-and-down contest that featured 31 lead changes and 13 ties, the former Rain or Shine coach lamented the team's collapse midway through the fourth quarter, in which they saw the veteran Hotshot squad ride the back of big man Ian Sangalang for a lead that they would not relinquish until the final buzzer. "For this game, we felt we just lost on breaks. There were some crucial moments in the last 4-5 minutes when we could have made some big plays, but actually, the breaks favored the other team." In terms of their defense, Guiao also regretted his team's effort, because they allowed their opponents to 52.4-percent accuracy from downtown on an 11/21 shooting clip. The multi-titled coach added that Ian Sangalang's 24-point performance certainly did not help their cause, which led to Magnolia hitting timely field goals in the final stretch of the game. "We fought hard, but again the breaks did not fall on our side. But we will fight harder on Friday, we know that's a make or break game for us." -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 14th, 2018

Kiefer on missing free throws: I should not be thinking anything else

NLEX Road Warriors rookie guard Kiefer Ravena vows to take his free throw woes against Magnolia against himself, and start focusing more when taking them as they prepare for Game 4 of the PBA Philippine Cup semis against the Magnolia Hotshots on Friday. The two-time UAAP MVP shot 6-of-16 from the field, a dismal 1-of-6 from three, and missed five shots from the line, including some in crunch time. Ravena is not blaming anyone else but himself, and acknowledged that some of the pressure exerted by the semifinals is slowly creeping up to him. "Nawawala ka sa focus, nawawala ka sa moment. Yun ang hindi pwede mawala. Kung free throw, yun lang iisipin mo. You cant be thinking about the scoreboard, thinking about the next play, siguro it comes with the pressure with the semifinals…. I am a rookie," Ravena said after the game. He then added that he will try clearing out his mind once practice rolls along tomorrow before going to battle again the day after. For NLEX, a franchise that has reached the Philippine Cup semis for the first time, the leading Rookie of the Year candidate pointed out the calmness of their veteran opponents in the clutch, lamenting that they controlled that part of the game like many times before. "Naalaagan na nila yung lead. Medyo kahit papano nung nagrrun kami, they would make their free throws or score. Medyo mahirap yung ganung ano pag dating sa dulo," Ravena said. "For a team like Magnoloa, medyo mahirap yun pag lumamang sila, kaya nilang alagaan talaga. So for us, just keep it close." As they are set to joust again for Game 4 on Friday, which his coach Yeng Guiao called a "make-or-break" game for them, Ravena noted that they need to take advantage the situation gives them, much like how the team took the cudgels from from the stunned Magnolia team that had lost veteran Marc Pingris to a season-ending ACL tear. "[We] just have to take care of business come Friday and nothing more important than the game on Friday. We lost our advantage that first game. Period of adjustments. 24 hours. Go back to battle." -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 14th, 2018

Towns, Wiggins step up for Timberwolves in win vs Warriors

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MINNEAPOLIS – Certain games count more than others over the course of an NBA team’s 82-game schedule, and the one the Timberwolves played – and won 109-103 – against the Golden State Warriors Sunday afternoon (early Monday, PHL time) at Target Center was one of those. Did it count double what some ordinary contest might have? Triple? Keep going. More like exponential. It’s too early to claim that Minnesota’s resiliency in the comeback from 12 points down, against the defending champ, saved their season. But the dueling scenarios, win vs. lose, were rather stark for a team facing a rigorous and largely uncharted final month. Fail Sunday (Monday, PHL time), and the Wolves would be lugging a four-game skid on the road to face Washington Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and San Antonio Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). By the time they got home to face Houston Sunday night (next Monday, PHL time), the losing streak could be six, going on seven. The Timberwolves at the All-Star break was a surprising third seed in the West. However, since Jimmy Butler’s absence from the lineup after a right meniscus tear on Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time), the Wolves have gone 2-4. Now the Wolves, whether they admit it publicly or not, are driven simply to qualify. Period. Ending up seventh or eighth is no prize, given a likely first-round ordeal against either the Rockets or the Warriors. But for a franchise that hasn’t reached the postseason since 2004, either would be far better than landing ninth. By beating the Warriors, though, the Wolves bought themselves time and opened a smidgen of breathing room over the next few days. More than that, they responded to a serious challenge the way a playoff wannabe is supposed to. They didn’t unravel, they stuck to what was working and they had players slide into Butler’s roles as primary defender, go-to scorer and late-game closer. That is essential until the All-Star wing and obvious team leader returns, ideally, for playoffs that his teammates can deliver. Center Karl-Anthony Towns scored 14 of his team-high 31 points in the fourth quarter. Wing Andrew Wiggins scored 22 of his 23 in the first three quarters to help Minnesota claw back to an 84-84 tie. Those two stepping into the void of Butler’s injury suggested the sort of growth that, frankly, coach Tom Thibodeau and the team’s followers might look back on after this season (and postseason?) as a turning point. “This is a great opportunity for everybody, and certainly those two, in that whenever you have someone like Jimmy go out, it’s an opportunity to grow and get experience in different situations,” Thibodeau said. “We’ve talked about it a lot. We have good veterans on the team. But this is an opportunity for them to step up and lead.” Sure, Golden State was playing without team MVP Steph Curry (ankle) and ace reserve Andre Iguodala (wrist). But the visitors still had three All-Stars and the motivation of Friday’s (Saturday, PHL time) loss in Portland to propel them through the matinee. So, the Wolves did well to start with what Towns admitted was both “urgency” and “desperation.” They did even better to close with aplomb. Towns and Wiggins, both still 22-years-old, stayed cool in reacting and thwarting Golden State double-teams. Wiggins, who still needs to attack and earn his way to the foul line more often, wound up with a team-high plus-21. Towns shot 6-of-10 in the final quarter, while Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were combining to go 3-for-13 and 11 points. Butler’s presence this season often has taken the ball out of the two younger stars’ hands late in games. But Towns is so skilled, inside and out, he should get more opportunities when games are on the line – and will in Butler’s absence. He came in averaging just 3.2 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter this season, with 1.8 buckets and 5.1 points. Compare that to his 5.7 makes, 10.6 shots and 15.4 scoring averages through the first three quarters of games so far this season. His usage rate drops from 22.4 to 20.9 when it ought to go up. You’d believe that too if you saw his work in the final three minutes, from bulling through Draymond Green for a layup that made it 101-96 to stepping in for a left baseline jumper two possessions later. At 104-103, Towns posted up Green near the end line again, banged a bit, then spun for a fadeaway jumper. Next time down, he followed up a shot against Durant to all but clinch it. The play of Towns, Wiggins and the other three Minnesota starters took any onus off Derrick Rose. Newly signed by his old Chicago coach, Rose had a rusty, regrettable debut with the Wolves, missing five of his six shots with two turnovers and a minus-17 in just 6:36. But his presence, if nothing else, ought to remind Towns and Wiggins that 22 is plenty old enough to grab a pack of Wolves by the scruff of their necks and take responsibility. Rose was 22 when he became the youngest MVP in NBA history, leading the Bulls all the way to the Eastern Conference finals that season. Minnesota basically is in the playoffs now – every outcome matters, bolstering or damaging its run to the postseason. There’s no running away now, no hiding either. “I think we’re more prepared because we’ve had most of the season to go through experiences,” Towns said. “Now that we’re at this point, we have the chance to do something great. It’s for us as a group to take all the experiences we’ve had – of losing close games, winning big, winning games offensively, winning games defensively – and putting them to [use].” It is vital that the Wolves’ young stars stay focused on the opportunities before them, rather than succumbing to the pressure. Said Towns: “The thing is, you don’t ever want to have pressure turn to stress. We have to make sure we keep our composure. Obviously, the situation we’re in, it’s a lot of pressure on us. But we can’t turn that into stress, because that’s when we start becoming undisciplined and start making errors that are more mental.” The proof now is in the playing, said Thibodeau. “The best leadership you can have is your actions,” the coach said. “What are you doing? It’s not what you say. Oftentimes people say things and never do what they say. It’s what you do.” 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 NewsMar 12th, 2018

Kiefer, Mallari make winning plays as NLEX takes 1-0 lead over Magnolia

Alex Mallari, a former Grand Slam champion with San Mig Coffee, just burned his former team. Taking a pass from Kiefer Ravena, Mallari drilled a wide-open triple in the final 14.4 seconds and NLEX dropped Magnolia, 88-87, in Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Saturday at the Big Dome. Down one, 83-84, Ravena collapsed the Magnolia defense and then found Mallari for the booming go-ahead triple. In the ensuing possession, Paul Lee missed the answer for the Hotshots and Kiefer secured the rebound, making an additional two free throws for insurance. Lee then made up for his earlier miss, connecting on a corner triple with 4.5 seconds to go to cut the deficit to one, 87-88. Magnolia then actually forced a turnover for a chance to win but Ravena saved NLEX, making a counter steal and forcing the Hotshots to foul. JR Quinahan missed two free throws with less than a second left and the Road Warriors managed to hold on, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7. "We knew coming into this game that it would be a defensive matchup so had to finetune our execution," head coach Yeng Guiao said. "So we really worked hard on our execution and at the same time, sinubukan naming humanap ng paraan para ma-control si Paul [Lee] and we actually succeeded at least partly and we won the game," he added. The first half was an ugly defensive struggle for both teams as NLEX only took a 32-27 lead at the break. However, action picked up in the third period as Mark Barroca sparked the Magnolia offense. Both teams then traded blows in the fourth, setting up the wild finish. Cyrus Baguio put up a vintage performance for NLEX, scoring a team-high 17 points, eight in the fourth quarter. Ravena and Mallari scored 16 and 14 respectively for NLEX while Raul Soyud added another 10. For the Hotshots, it was Ian Sangalang that led the way with 21 points while PJ Simon turned back the clock to finish with 20. A cause of concern for Magnolia, more than being down 0-1, is Marc Pingris as the veteran forward left the game left in the final quarter due to an apparent knee injury. Game 2 is set for Monday at the MOA Arena.     The scores: NLEX 88 - Baguio 17, Ravena 16, Mallari 14, Soyud 10, Miranda 7, Fonacier 7, Al-Hussaini 6, Alas 5, Quiñahan 4, Tiongson 2, Ighalo 0, Taulava 0, Gotladera 0. MAGNOLIA 87 - Sangalang 21, Simon 20, Barroca 9, Lee 8, Ramos 8, Reavis 6, Herndon 5, Pingris 5, Dela Rosa 5, Melton 0, Jalalon 0, Brondial 0. Quarters: 14-12, 32-27, 60-61, 88-87.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 10th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: Halfway to Greatness

UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball continues to prove itself as the most unpredictable season in recent history. With a good mix of key losses as well as additions across the board for all competitors, the league is at an all out rock-paper-scissors slugfest. Though the current standings clearly represent a quintessential Bell Curve, Season 80 maintains its unpredictability as evidenced by teams upsetting each other. In addition, the sheer number of five-set matches so far is an indication how tight the competition is this season. UE Lady Warriors: 1 - 6 Despite initial concerns about the leave of head coach Francis Vicente, the UE Lady Warriors surprised the league with their maiden win at the expense of the season’s Dark Horse, the Adamson Lady Falcons. Under the mentorship of multi-awarded UE High School coach Rod Roque, the Lady Warriors were able to play their best game so far this season. For that particular win against the Lady Falcons, Coach Roque’s game plan was just to encourage the team to play carefree and enjoy as he is just taking over a team he has never handled. It is a given that UE is a team brimming with potential. They have decent size as well as a good number of seasoned veterans in Shaya Adorador and Kat Arado, who have not been maximized unfortunately. The handover to Coach Roque might just be the much-needed break for UE as they have found new confidence moving on to the second round making them more threatening to upset more teams. UST Golden Tigresses: 2 - 5 Considered to be one of the main contenders based on their pre-season performance, the UST Golden Tigresses have fallen short of expectations as a series of early key injuries has prevented the team from playing to full capability. Ending the first round with two successive disheartening losses against the UP Lady Maroons and old time rivals FEU Lady Tamaraws, UST is pressed to turn around their performance to keep their Final Four dreams alive. UST’s offensive threat from the wings cannot be underestimated as they have league top scorer Cherry Rondina from the left and power player Dim Pacres from the right. However, what the team still lacks is the offensive and defensive threats from the middle reminiscent of the days of Mary Jean Balse and Maika Ortiz. As long as the middles are not generating enough points off the quick or slide attack, the team is expected to continue struggling against better blocking teams through the second round as Rondina continues to be in the spotlight. UP Lady Maroons: 2 - 5 All hopes were high for the UP Lady Maroons to finally break in once again to the Final Four this season under new foreign coach Godfrey Okumu. The squad however kicked off season 80 disappointingly far from their stellar 4-0 run last season. Despite setter Ayel Estranero showing more mastery over shoot sets to the wings and Tots Carlos sporting more power in her attacks, the team has struggled with their floor passing to severely limit their offense set up. Much like UST, UP has yet to show breakout performances from the middles as they continue to struggle getting the first pass consistently to the setter. Much to their credit though, Coach Okumu has adjusted to their struggles by utilizing different patterns for their passing system as well as even going for a 6-2 set-up just to tap into Estranero’s floor play. The gamble proved successful with their win over UST and this system might be their solution to bounce back this second round. Adamson Lady Falcons: 3 - 4 The return of veterans Mylene Paat and Fhem Emnas as well as the addition of transferee Eli Soyud were clear indications that the Lady Falcons this season won't be their former pushover status. True enough, the team started the season strong with massive victories against top seeded teams such as FEU and DLSU as well as trouncing UP in straight sets. Given that head coach Air Padda has much more utility with addition of new seasoned players, the team still lacks consistency as evidenced by their poor passing performance in their game against UST and the error-laden upset by UE to end the first round. Technically, Padda’s passing and transition defense patterns are the most efficient but a lack of more aggressive serving (i.e. fast, flat, well-placed floaters) as well as their tendency to commit individual unforced errors limit the team from winning more games they are undeniably capable of. Ateneo Lady Eagles: 4 - 3 After a concerning opening for the second-seeded team, the Ateneo Lady Eagles managed to go on a four-game win streak midway to still maintain a spot in the top four so far. The team’s three losses were notably against the three tough-serving teams: FEU, DLSU, and NU. The glaring inefficiency in the passing department has been the Lady Eagles’ exploited weakness as evidenced by the barrage of aces DLSU let out in their recent match. Relative to other teams, Ateneo’s offense is not composed of power hitters. As such, the team runs fast and well-placed attacks that heavily rely on efficient first ball to circumvent the opposing block and floor defense. Unless the team manages to remedy their passing and defense patterns, setter Deanna Wong would continue to be forced to do bump sets that are not ideal for non-power hitters making it harder for the team to run the offense. FEU Lady Tamaraws: 5 - 2 The FEU Lady Tamaraws continue to live up to pre-season expectations as one of the top contenders this season. Despite early expectations that Queen Tamaraw Bernadette Pons will have the spotlight in the scoring department, the squad has proven that it's not a one- woman show through commendable ball distribution by setter Kyle Negrito. The team has also proven to be dominant in the serving department as evidenced by their dismantling of weaker passing teams NU, Ateneo, and UST. The combination X-play continues to be the team’s bread and butter offense but its reliance on consistent excellent passing might be a concern against better serving teams like La Salle moving forward to the second round. De La Salle Lady Spikers: 5 - 2 The Lady Spikers continue to prove their defending champion status despite the loss to current top seed NU and the upset by league dark horse Adamson. Despite not being considered as crafty as her predecessor Kim Fajardo, setter Michelle Cobb does her job well in running the offensive set-up for basic plays. Perhaps where the setting falls short is the lack of maximization of Queen Spiker Majoy Baron as she has yet to produce outputs comparable to last season. In line with that, the defending champions have yet to be seen utilizing more back row attacks as added offensive options on transition defense since the left wing is almost always their option on a sub-optimal first ball. NU Lady Bulldogs: 6 - 1 The long developmental process of the Lady Bulldogs is coming into fruition under the new mentorship of coach Babes Castillo. With a roster of seasoned veterans and decent size, the Lady Bulldogs have all the artillery to finally claim the crown. Their lone loss under the hands of the Lady Tamaraws could be well attributed to the fact that Queen Bulldog Jaja Santiago could be mitigated in the middle with well placed aggressive serves. The challenge then for NU moving on to the second round is how to be able to still maximize Santiago in the frontline in the onset that she is relegated to mere decoy status due to a sub-optimal first ball.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 6th, 2018

Randle stars, Ball returns in Lakers 124-102 win over Mavs

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Julius Randle had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and rookie Lonzo Ball made a triumphant return to the lineup as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 124-102 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Ball, who was sidelined for 15 games with a knee injury, had nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in 17 minutes. Isaiah Thomas had 17 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brandon Ingram scored 15 apiece to help Los Angeles stop a three-game slide. It was Randle's second triple-double this season and No. 5 for his career. Josh Hart added 12 points and 10 boards as the Lakers enjoyed a 61-29 advantage on the glass. Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes each scored 19 points for the Mavericks (18-41), who have dropped five of six. The Lakers jumped out to 23-5 lead and had a 63-41 advantage at the break. TIP-INS Mavericks: Rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. was one of the players identified in the Yahoo Sports story on federal documents obtained in the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption. It alleged Smith received $43,500 and was loaned another $73,500. Said Smith at the morning shootaround: "I'm a firm believer in God and everything happens for a reason. Whether it's going to strengthen you or destroy you, you make that decision. But since I've been here, it's been a class organization from top to bottom, starting with Mark Cuban and all the way down to players like myself. It's been great, fantastic. I'm here to play basketball. Everything else to me is just noise and I have to block all that out." Lakers: The Yahoo Sports report also said rookie forward Kyle Kuzma received $3,000 and $6,500 in loans. Kuzma would not say prior to the game whether the story was accurate. "Hmm, I'm not going to say anything really," he said. "Just gathering information about it and whatnot." He called it a legal matter, though he did not believe he was in jeopardy. "I don't know. I don't think so," he said. "That's why we're trying to gather information about everything. It is a federal investigation the NCAA is dealing with." Kuzma did say the story was a distraction. "Yeah, for sure," he said. "It's the NBA right now and we're focusing on trying to win games, and things like this come about, it's definitely a little distraction." UP NEXT Mavericks: Play on back-to-back nights when they travel to Utah on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Lakers: Also play on consecutive nights, traveling to Sacramento on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 24th, 2018

When NBA returns, will Warriors’ dominance come back, too?

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press The Golden State Warriors have never lost more than 15 games in a season under Steve Kerr. They could reach that total in the first night after the All-Star break. The Warriors who return Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) aren’t the same ones who dominated the NBA for the last three seasons. The defending champions sputtered into their week off with four losses in their final eight games, falling into second place in the Western Conference behind Houston — ending a three-year run of taking the league’s best record into the break. At 44-14 and loaded with four All-Stars, the Warriors are still very good, but not as good they’ve been. “This year we’ve had a pretty solid season, but feel that we can play a lot better,” Stephen Curry said. “So that’s what we’re trying to do this next 20 games before another championship run.” Their performances against their first two opponents out of the break show how different things have been for these Warriors. The Los Angeles Clippers, who visit Golden State on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), won in Oakland last month after losing the previous 12 meetings in the series. And the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State’s opponent Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in a nationally televised game, have defeated the Warriors by 17 and 20 points already this season. They can become the first team to beat Golden State three times in a season since San Antonio went 4-0 against the Warriors in 2013-14 — the season before Kerr’s arrival. Their spotty play thus far makes Curry appreciate their time at the top even more. “We’ve kind of set a standard of excellence in the league,” he said. “That’s pretty cool to think about sustaining that high level of play for so long.” ___ Some other things to watch when play resumes Thursday with six games: RACE TO THE BOTTOM: While the NBA fined Dallas owner Mark Cuban $600,000 on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) for his public comments about tanking, the Mavericks have plenty of company near the bottom of the standings. Phoenix has lost seven straight to share the worst record in the league with Atlanta at 18-41, and six other teams, including the Mavs, have 20 or fewer victories. The team who finishes last has the best chance to win the draft lottery, though if it’s Brooklyn (19-40), that makes a winner out of Cleveland, which has the Nets’ pick that belonged to Boston after acquiring it in the Kyrie Irving trade. DOMINANT DAVIS: Anthony Davis scored 44, 38 and 42 points in his last three games before the All-Star break, leading New Orleans to victories in all of them. He leads the league with 22 games of 30 points or more and the Pelicans might need him to keep it up, as they are just a half-game ahead of the Clippers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. MEN OF MYSTERY: Two of the NBA’s strange absences could be cleared up after the break — or could last through the rest of the season. Spurs star Kawhi Leonard continues to rehabilitate a right thigh injury — the team lists his reason for not playing as “return from injury management” — after he was shut down after appearing in just nine games. Philadelphia guard Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 draft pick, remains sidelined with a right shoulder injury after playing in just four games. Neither player has been ruled out for the season, though there’s not much time left if they’re going to come back. RISING ROOKIES: Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, who won the Slam Dunk contest at the All-Star Game, and Ben Simmons of Philadelphia could be locked in tight race for Rookie of the Year. Both have their teams on the rise, as the Jazz have won 11 straight games to pull within 1 ½ games of eighth place in the West, while the 76ers have won five in a row and are seventh in the East. LONZO AND THE LAKERS: Lonzo Ball is set to return to the Lakers after missing the last 15 games with a sore left knee. While the No. 2 pick was out, the Lakers have used Brandon Ingram in the point guard role and also acquired Isaiah Thomas from Cleveland, so coach Luke Walton will have to figure out how to fit in his prized rookie......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 22nd, 2018