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PBA: Mark Barroca got a lovely surprise last Father s Day

Magnolia guard Mark Barroca received the most precious gift a man could ever receive last Father’s Day. Though it took a month before the basketball star’s wife, Ruselle, to post the good news on her Youtube channel, it was still a heart-warming video for the now growing Barroca family nonetheless, as they announced that they are expecting a new baby.  “S’yempre sobrang overwhelmed ako,” said a very happy Mark Barroca on Sunday before the Hotshots’ Manila Clasico match against Barangay Ginebra in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Big Dome.    “Noong Father’s Day pa ‘yun, eh maaga pa para magsabi na buntis na siya eh kasi pwede pang mawala ‘yun ‘di ba?” he added. “So hinintay muna namin magkaroon ng heartbeat, nagpa-check up kami and ayun may heartbeat na.” Mark Barroca said that it is blessing that the couple has been praying for years.                View this post on Instagram                   Nung nakaraang Father’s Day, sobra akong natuwa sa regalo na binigay ng asawa ko. Yun na yung pinaka maganda at pinaka masarap na feeling naramdaman ko sa regalo na binigay niya sa akin. Salamat, Panginoon. Thank you mahal????????. Mahal na mahal ko kayo! Kung gusto nyong malaman kung ano yun please click the link in my bio. Blessed Sunday!!!!! A post shared by Andy Mark Barroca (@mark14barroca) on Jul 6, 2019 at 8:37pm PDT “Ang tagal namin hinintay, ang tagal namin nag-try and biniyayaan kami. Worth it para sa amin kasi ang tagal ng inantay namin, ang tagal na pinag-pray namin,” he said. “Ilang breaks na kami sa team na pumunta kami ng ibang bansa para mag try na magka baby pero wala talaga.” After Magnolia’s 2019 Philippine Cup Finals heartbreak to sister-team San Miguel Beer, Mark asked Ruselle for a short vacation in Dubai. A time away from the daily grind of playing professional basketball.   “Noong Dubai nga, biglaan lang. Pagkatapos namin ng Finals pumunta kami,” said Mark. “Sabi ko nga sobrang blessing na hindi man kami nanalo [sa championship] at least ‘yung blessing [na magkaroon ng anak] ‘yung mga hindi mababayaran na moment na narinig ko galing sa asawa ko.” Then came the Father’s Day surprise. Russelle filmed her preparation all the way to handing Mark her gift. Together with their 6-year-old daughter, Natalie Faith, Mark got the best gift that special day. “Tinanong niya kasi ako kung anong gift daw gusto ko para sa Father’s Day, sabi ko sa kanya na kahit ano lang na ibibigay niya. ‘Yun pala pinaghandaan niya, na-surprise talaga ako,” he said. “Kasi noong pagbigay niya ng regalo, nagulat ako, ‘Uy, ano to?’ Pagkakita ko may damit ng bata eh wala nang bata sa amin eh, malaki na si Natalie.” “Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Buntis ka ba?’ And sabi niya nga na four weeks na, sobrang saya ko lang noong time na ‘yun,” he added. Though the couple has yet to know the gender of their baby, Mark said that they already have possible names in mind. “May pangalan na kami, hindi pa namin sasabihin,” he said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJul 7th, 2019

An array of MPBL stars have been drafted in the PBA. Who will shine?

A passel of Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League ballers have been drafted into the PBA. These gifted young Pinoys prove that the MPBL is a worthy proving ground for the pro league. We asked a few observers of the league to give their two cents on who they think will fly in the pros, namely commentators Migs Gomez and Martin Antonio as well as league head of ops, Emmer Oreta. Both Gomez and Oreta think that Manila Frontrow Star Aris Dionisio will make the biggest splash in the pros. “Aris Dionisio is the best MPBL player in the (PBA) draft,” says Gomez. “I think his length and athleticism can translate his defensive abilities to the PBA easily. Offensively, he is also capable of running the floor and shooting threes, so converting him from center to small forward will not be a problem.” The 6 foot 5 Dionisio was nabbed by Magnolia with the 9th choice in the first round. “Aris Dionisio is a versatile player who can play a lot of positions, and can also can play off the ball,” notes Oreta. “And the most important thing is he can play defense, for sure.” “Dionisio is next in line to Marc Pingris,” adds Martin Antonio. Oreta and Gomez also agree that Mike Ayonayon will be an impact player immediately in the PBA. The 6-foot San Juan Knight is “a baller, a lengthy swingman who is very athletic and likes the open floor,” says Gomez. The former PCU Dolphin was selected third by NLEX and is etched in league lore because of his Reggie Miller-esque 12-point, two-minute outburst for San Juan that enabled the Knights to a close comeback win versus Bataan earlier in the season. Antonio believes that Ayonayon will thrive and develop under Road Warriors mentor Yeng Guiao. “Ayanayon + Guiao = Killer,” says Coach Hammer. “Yeng Guiao loves players like Mike,” adds Antonio. Gomez even gives the high-flying Antipoleno the ultimate compliment. “I came up with my signature line “Magic in the Air” because of him.” When it comes to sleeper picks and project players, the experts are split. Oreta and believes that Chris Bitoon, Dionisio's teammate in Manila, could be a surprise package. “A late pick, but for sure coach Nash Racela knows this guy well, and he can really play.” The former Manuel L. Quezon University Stallion had his number called in the third round by Blackwater Elite. Also getting drafted by Elite was Richard Escoto, who played for the Iloilo Royals, where Racela was an assistant before getting the Blackwater head coaching job. Gomez believes that Aaron Black is a worthy project for Meralco. The Zamboanga combo guard who also played for QC early in the season was corralled by the Bolts, who are coached by his father, Norman. “The pressure has always been there for Aaron to live up to his last name, but he has embraced it and blossomed in the MPBL,” explains Gomez. “He has a good relationship with his father, and with the skillset and body that he has now, I can only see him improving more and more. Aaron can play point guard and get triple-doubles.” Gomez also throws another name into the ring when it comes to project players: Yankie Haruna. The former CSB Blazer, currently with the Bacolod Master Sardines club, was drafted 9th in the second round by Magnolia. The 6 foot 2 New Jersey-native is an enticing prospect. “He’s tall enough, very athletic, and likes to penetrate with full authority. I think his body can translate into an explosive scorer in the PBA,” explains Gomez. Oreta on the other hand thinks Cris Dumapig can rise up from obscurity to become a PBA player. “He is a workhorse of a big man, for sure this kind of a player Coach Pido Jarencio really wants. I'm hoping he can sign with the team.” Dumapig was taken by NorthPort in the middle of the third round. The rebounding machine is a vital cog for a Basilan Steel Jumbo Plastic side that is third in the South Division as of the writing of this piece. Oreta also thinks another big man can make waves: Cebu Sharks – Casino Ethyl Alcohol's Will McAloney. “Coach Yeng really loves players from the south, playing physical and all-out every time,” said Oreta. The burly homegrown Cebuano was the first of NLEX's two second round selections. There are so many MPBL stalwarts who are testing the waters in the PBA, like Allyn Bulanadi, the stylish scorer taken by Alaska, and Rey Publico, the Iloilo big man also absorbed by the same PBA team. Rey Suerte of Batangas will don the colors of Blackwater after his early selection (Editor's note: Bulanadi and Suerte were selected as part of the special Gilas Draft and will focus on national team duties before suiting up in the PBA). Big names like Prince Rivero and Arvin Tolentino will also attempt to show their wares at the country's highest stage. Most if not all of these players will remain with their MPBL teams until April. Whether it's in the Liga ng Bawat Pilipino or at the PBA, we can expect tons of fireworks from this bumper crop of young Pinoy hoops talent......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 24th, 2020

MMK features female boxer Nesthy Petecio’s life story

World champion Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio’s life story will be featured in this Saturday’s episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya?’. Kapamilya star Jane De Leon portrays female pug Petecio, who brought honor to the country inside the boxing ring by winning the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships gold medal and the 30th Southeast Asian Games gold in the featherweight division last year.   #MMK2020 #MMKPangarapAtKamao BTS: @Imjanedeleon working on a boxing scene for this Saturday's MMK episode featuring the life story of female boxing champion Nesthy Petecio pic.twitter.com/6v3WmWPe21 — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) January 13, 2020 “Makikita po nila rito kung paano po nagsimula ang boxing career ko,” said 27-years old Petecio. “Kung paano po ako nadapa, kung paano po ako natalo, kung paano po ako bumangon para makuha ang gintong medalya.” “At higit sa lahat po kung paano po ang pagpapahalaga ko sa pamilya,” added Petecio. “’Yun po ang pinakamahalagang part doon na kahit anong hirap dun o down ko pero ang pamilya ko and ang communication ko sa pamilya buong-buo po talaga.” Sa laban ng buhay, hindi suntok sa buwan ang mangarap. Abangan ang kwento ng Filipina Boxer World Champion na si Nesthy Petecio na gagampanan ni Jane De Leon! Ngayong Sabado sa #MMKPangarapAtKamao, 8:30PM pagkatapos ng Your Moment! pic.twitter.com/MC0CUdBxLe — MMKOfficial (@MMKOfficial) January 11, 2020 The episode will feature how Petecio developed her interest in boxing through her father, Titing – a frustrated boxer who once dreamt of seeing action in the Olympics, in Davao as well as the sacrifices Petecio made to leave her family to train in Manila as well as the ups and downs of being a national athlete. Petecio said that she consulted her family first before deciding to let her story be told in the country’s longest-running drama anthology.   “Tinanong ko muna sila Mama siyempre. Sabi ko, ‘Ma, if ever totoo man ‘to, nag-offer ang ABS-CBN sa MMK nga.’ Sabi nila, ‘Ikaw ma-decide kasi kami kung ano ang gusto mo yun na lang din ang amin.’” Petecio’s teammates were as excited as her upon learning that she will be on MMK. “Sobrang na-excite po sila and di sila makapaniwala lalo na nung naglabas na ng trailer yung MMK,” said Petecio. In fact, some of the members of the national boxing pool were tapped as extras during the shoot at the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines headquarters inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.       “Kinuha ko nga po sila halos lahat na extra sa MMK kasi kailangan din po talaga. Lalayo pa ba ako eh nandiyan naman ang mga teammates ko and willing silang tumulong. Sobrang excited sila,” said Petecio. The #MMKPangarapAtKamao episode also stars Jana Agoncillo as young Nesthy, Bembol Roco as Titing, Michael Roy Jornales as boxing coach Roel Velasco and Mara Lopez as boxer Annie Albania under the direction of Elfren Vibar. MMK airs every Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on ABS-CBN Channel 2......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2020

In appreciation: David Stern made the NBA what it is today

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press David Stern once predicted that the NBA would have a division in Europe within 10 years. A few years later, he said it again. And a few years after that, he said it yet again. It never happened. That was a rarity in Stern’s life and career. Usually, when he wanted something, he got it. He wanted the league to grow under his watch, and it did. He wanted the game to grow internationally, and it did. He wanted players to dress more professionally, and the pregame show in locker rooms now is akin to a fashion show. He was a basketball tour de force, doing it in suits and wing-tips instead of jerseys and sneakers, and unquestionably is why the league is so successful today. Stern died Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), nearly three weeks after a brain hemorrhage made the end inevitable. He was the NBA’s commissioner for exactly 30 years — from Feb. 1, 1984, through Feb. 1, 2014 — and turned a league that was having its biggest games shown on tape delay into the multibillion-dollar global juggernaut that it is today. “We all sit here and we have these jobs and we all owe a great deal and a great debt to him for making all of our lives better,” Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas said. “He truly was, and is, the father of what the NBA is now.” Thomas said those words on NBA TV — which, without Stern, probably wouldn’t exist. Stern began building the bridge that connected the NBA and China, which has been a mutually beneficial relationship financially and likely will remain that way once the rift that was born this fall over political differences calms down. He took the league from 23 to 30 teams. He championed the birth of the WNBA. “For those of us who have made a life from this league, words don’t do justice to what he meant,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank wrote on his personal Twitter account. “He was unique, brilliant, tough but maybe most importantly he stood by what he believed every time no matter the personal cost.” Stern never sought popularity. He seemed to embrace conflict. When a tough decision had to be made — vetoing the trade of Chris Paul, for example — he welcomed it and accepted the repercussions from whoever was going to complain. He also was the calm in the eye of storms, such as leading the support for Magic Johnson after the Los Angeles Lakers great retired in 1991 after being diagnosed with HIV. “When he first took over, the league was not as popular as it is now,” Hall of Famer Grant Hill said. “There were challenges. There were problems. And I think him coming in ... his vision, his leadership, he fought for the game of basketball. He fought for this league. He had a vision that this league could really transcend, that it could reach all people.” He was right, and his words carried enormous weight. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra remembers when the Portland Trail Blazers — his father, Jon Spoelstra, was a member of that team’s front office — drafted Arvydas Sabonis and Drazen Petrovic, international talents who might not have ever gotten to the NBA if not for Stern. Jon Spoelstra had a million of those stories for his son, telling him that Stern was “a brilliant visionary.” So when Erik Spoelstra became coach of the Heat in 2008, he found himself in a meeting with Stern and still acknowledges being intimidated. “But I went up to him and told him that, and just to let him know that there are a lot of people that really benefited from his vision and his leadership,” Spoelstra said. Stern also had the gift of being simultaneously gruff and gracious. He was acerbic and often acted like the smartest guy in the room, usually because he was the smartest guy in the room. He ruled with an iron fist. If you worked for the NBA, you worked for him and you were going to do things his way. That was his cover, anyway. He tried to hide that he had an enormous heart. When an NBA employee’s family member was diagnosed with brain cancer, Stern got word of it and had that relative in front of experts at renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center within hours after making a couple of calls. When staffers would accompany Stern on business trips, he’d act like a flight attendant, completely ignoring the fact that the private plane actually had a flight attendant. He’d ask his travel companions if they wanted anything, over and over. He morphed from boss to host on those trips. And when he got wind that another league employee desperately wanted to meet country singer Toby Keith, Stern found himself at an event with the recording star. He told Keith someone wanted to meet him, called the employee over and surely enjoyed how tongue-tied she was by the surprise encounter. There are tons of stories like those that will be told in the coming days. Most NBA players towered over him, of course, but Stern is unquestionably one of the league’s — and one of the game’s — absolute giants. “We owe him,” the National Basketball Players Association said. “And we will miss him.” ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2020

Ingram scores 31 as Pelicans surprise Nuggets 112-100

By Pat Graham, Associated Press DENVER (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 31 points, Derrick Favors grabbed 13 rebounds and the New Orleans Pelicans surprised Denver 112-100 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) to halt the Nuggets' seven-game winning streak. The 9-23 Pelicans are now 2-0 against the Nuggets this season. They spoiled the festive mood at the Pepsi Center as the Nuggets played at home on Christmas for the first time in 25 years. New Orleans sprang the upset despite committing 19 turnovers. The Pelicans pulled away late courtesy of the long-range shooting of Lonzo Ball and Ingram. They also out-rebounded the Nuggets, including 14 offensive boards. New Orleans finished a four-game trip with a 3-1 mark, which includes consecutive wins for the first time in a month. Jrue Holiday had 20 points in the last of five Christmas games where the home teams went 2-3. This was the first time the Nuggets have hosted on the holiday since 1994 when they beat Seattle 105-96 in front of a sold-out crowd at McNichols Arena. The fans at Pepsi Center didn't leave in a particularly merry mood. Neither team led by more than eight points until Ball's 3-pointer with 4:07 remaining made it 104-95. That all but sealed the win. Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, while Jerami Grant had 17. The Pelicans also knocked off the Nuggets 122-107 on Halloween (Nov. 1, PHL time). This looked like an entertaining matchup when the NBA schedules were released. But that was before rookie Zion Williamson had surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his right knee on Oct. 21 (Oct. 22, PHL time). On Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), Williamson sat on the bench dressed in a dark suit. The Pelicans have struggled without Williamson, while the Nuggets have soared to one of the top marks in the West. JJ Redick scored 13 of his 15 points in the second quarter, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from near half-court to give the Pelicans a 58-55 lead. Redick now has 1,799 career 3-pointers and moved past Klay Thompson for 16th place on the all-time list. The next name on the list is Kobe Bryant, who finished with 1,827. TIP-INS Pelicans: G Josh Hart finished with 16 points. ... Holiday had six assists. Nuggets: Former Nuggets standout and Denver native Chauncey Billups was part of the broadcast team for the game. ... Broncos pass rusher Von Miller was in attendance. BIG HONOR Nuggets coach Michael Malone appreciates the prestige of playing on Christmas. It shows his team is gaining respect. "The season we had last year, how we performed on the big stage in the playoffs, on top of being a really young, fun, exciting team to watch — with a great player in Nikola — it's an honor," Malone said. EARLY PRESENT On Christmas Eve (Dec. 25, PHL time), Malone agreed to a contract extension that runs through the 2022-23 season. He's fourth in franchise history in wins among head coaches. "The players in there, my coaches, are a big, big part of that," Malone said of having his contract extended for a second time. ZION UPDATE Asked about Williamson, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said: “He is making progress. He is in rehab. He is doing everything that he's supposed to do and he's moving forward toward playing.” UP NEXT Pelicans: Begin a two-game homestand Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) against Indiana. Nuggets: Host Memphis on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

2019: To sweep or not to sweep in collegiate basketball

The 2019 collegiate basketball season will always be remembered as the time when all of NCAA defending champion San Beda, UAAP Men’s defending champion Ateneo, and UAAP Women’s defending champion National U were trying for season sweeps. Two of them did it, one of them didn’t. All in all, though, that storyline that had something to do with history defined NCAA 95 and UAAP 82. A tale of two leagues – when it comes to foreign student-athletes NCAA 95 was the last season wherein the Grand Old League’s 10 member-schools were still able to trot out foreign student-athletes. This, after more than a decade of the likes of Sam Ekwe, Sudan Daniel, Allwell Oraeme, Prince Eze, and Mike Nzeusseu setting the bar higher for big men. Over in UAAP 82, Beninese ball of energy Soulemane Chabi Yo and Ivorian tower Ange Kouame jostled throughout the tournament for the recognition as top individual player. In the end, Chabi Yo followed in the footsteps of Cameroon’s Ben Mbala and Nigeria’s Bright Akhuetie as Season MVPs. The NCAA will go local from here on out while the UAAP will still parade promising prospects from overseas – what’s certain is that both leagues will go all-out to ascertain that the action will never stop. Rising stars become shining stars Robert Bolick left San Beda with a big, big hole at point guard – only for Evan Nelle to waste no time proving the Red Lions remain in good hands. UST’s fast and furious attack needed a fast and furious playmaker – and the Growling Tigers got just that in the form of Mark Nonoy. In his first year as FEU’s lead guard, L-Jay Gonzales showed time and time again why he was always seen as the next one in the Tamaraws’ long, long line of great guards. The story of the season in terms of guards, however, has got to be Fran Yu who came out of nowhere to energize Letran to a pleasant surprise of a championship. UP might 2019 was the first time in a long, long while – or maybe even ever – that UP was considered a shoo-in for the Final Four. The Fighting Maroons had just ended a 32-year Finals absence and a 21-year playoff drought last year and came into this season still with Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan, but also now with Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero. In all, State U lived up to the hype and made it back-to-back Final Four appearances, but at the same time, fell short of fulfilling the promise of its fully loaded line-up. Still, continued contention is nothing but a welcome development for Diliman which had been experiencing dark, dark days for far too long. Gilas Pilipinas calling With Tab Baldwin overseeing the program, Gilas Pilipinas will try once more to take a long-term, big-picture view – especially with the 2023 FIBA World Cup looming large. With that, the American-Kiwi mentor tapped on five collegiate standouts to form the foundation of the national team – Ateneo’s Isaac Go and Nieto twins Mike and Matt, UE’s Rey Suerte, and San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi. And with that, the Philippines is yet again leaning on the best of the best of collegiate basketball to wear the flag and do the country proud. It’s a new day, it’s a new generation The NCAA hit home runs in each and every one of its coaching changes. Bonnie Tan raised banner no. 18 for Letran in his first year. Randy Alcantara has Mapua prepped and primed to take flight. Louie Gonzalez has given JRU an attitude. Oliver Bunyi and Cholo Martin have EAC and Arellano, respectively, headed in the right direction. The same cannot be said for the UAAP as both of its new head coaches found themselves on the outside looking into the playoff picture. Jermaine Byrd had La Salle fighting, but ultimately failed to find a finishing kick. UE also kept coming with the leadership of Lawrence Chongson, but eventually ended eliminated. Teeth out, claws out, all-out UST has a proud program in basketball, but only had nine wins to show in 42 games from 2016 to 2018 That all came to an end in 2019 as Aldin Ayo had the Growling Tigers, well, growling from the get-go. Bombing away at their opponents and forcing them to keep up, Espana made its mark as a legitimate contender that made it all the way to the Finals. There, they were sent away by Ateneo’s championship-winning machine, but the future remains bright for the black and gold with all of Season MVP Chabi Yo, Rookie of the Year Nonoy, captain CJ Cansino, Brent Paraiso, and Sherwin Concepcion, among others, coming back for more. Fitting farewell for Ateneo’s championship core Thirdy Ravena. Isaac Go. Mike Nieto. Matt Nieto. Adrian Wong. Those five left Ateneo on top of the world – having claimed a three-peat as well as completed a historic season sweep. And without a doubt, those five were also the catalysts in this new golden age for the Blue Eagles – a golden age which has seen them set and then raise the standard for team glory time and time again. Katipunan will have a tough time moving forward from those five, but at the same time, having the likes of Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Gian Mamuyac, and SJ Belangel just waiting in the wings makes it easier. Who run the world? National U has not lost a game in 2,270 days. National U has not lost a game in 74 months. National U has not lost a game in six years. The last time head coach Pat Aquino had to lift up the spirits of his Lady Bulldogs was back in October 5, 2013 when they bowed to La Salle in the winner-take-all Finals Game 3. Since then, the blue and gold has been the gold standard of women’s basketball all while giving its opponents the blues. That didn’t change this year as behind Jack Animam and Rhena Itesi as well as welcome additions Kelli Hayes and Camille Clarin, National U continued to have all the answers – even for back-to-back Season MVP Grace Irebu and UST. Shock the system Letran was, in no way, given a chance to deny archrival San Beda’s bid for a perfect season – or much more, win the championship altogether. But the Knights didn’t listen and took that chance themselves, catching just everybody by surprise by taking Game 1 and dealing the Red Lions their first defeat in the season. San Beda bounced back in Game 2, but in the decider, Jerrick Balanza, Bonbon Batiller, Larry Muyang, and Yu just willed Letran to the title. Now, the Knights are kings for the 18th time – and indeed, they had no import, but had no problem. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2019

Lukaku scores 2 as Inter beats Genoa 4-0 to share lead

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press Romelu Lukaku scored two goals and set up another as Inter Milan beat relegation-threatened Genoa 4-0 on Saturday to move level on points with Juventus at the top of the Serie A table heading into the winter break. Lukaku could have had a hat trick but allowed teenage forward Sebastiano Esposito to take a second-half penalty. The 17-year-old Esposito converted for his first goal on his first Serie A start. Esposito was in tears after the match, when he immediately went up to hug his mother. “It’s been a fantastic week, I can't lie, I didn’t sleep a lot thinking about how this game would go,” Esposito said. "I’d like to thank the team, the coach, the club and Romelu, especially for the goal ... He told me to be sure of myself when I stepped up to strike the ball and to score. “They’re all great people before they’re professionals. I found myself in sync with Romelu right away, he’s a fantastic person who’s always looking to help me, he reassured me a lot by saying that everything would go alright and I’m so happy to have scored." Esposito became Inter's second youngest goalscorer after Mario Corso. He stepped up to the senior ranks this season and had an impressive Champions League debut in October, despite having only previously played 17 minutes for Inter’s first team. “He was practically a child when he arrived at the training camp this summer, but he’s grown massively in the last few months and I had said that at some unexpected point I’d be counting on him in times of need,” Inter coach Antonio Conte said. "He had a big chance today and he certainly made the most of it. He’s got a great future ahead of him, both his family and myself will help him, and if he continues like this then he’ll only improve.” Inter needed the win to spend the festive period joint top of the table after Juventus won at Sampdoria midweek. However, Inter was on a three-match winless streak that had seen it slip to second and crash out of the Champions League, and Lukaku’s strike partner, Lautaro Martínez, was suspended. Genoa was second from bottom and had lost its previous six matches at Inter, scoring just once. Inter broke the deadlock with two goals in quick succession. Lukaku headed in Antonio Candreva’s cross in the 31st minute and turned provider two minutes later for Roberto Gagliardini’s deflected strike. Lukaku could have doubled his tally shortly after the hour mark when Inter was awarded a penalty for Kevin Agudelo’s foul on Gagliardini. But the Belgium forward gave the ball to Esposito, who celebrated wildly after converting. Lukaku did get a second in the 71st, taking his tally to 12 in Serie A since his move from Manchester United in the offseason. SURPRISE LOSS Cagliari’s Champions League bid took a hit as it lost 2-1 at struggling Udinese. Cagliari remains fifth but is six points below Roma and the final qualifying position for Europe’s premier club competition. Udinese moved five points above the relegation zone ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures. The home side led from the 39th as Rodrigo De Paul curled in a magnificent opener. Cagliari thought it had secured a point when Joao Pedro leveled with six minutes remaining but Seko Fofana restored Udinese’s lead less than a minute later. Fabio Pisacane was sent off in injury time for a second yellow card to add to Cagliari’s misery. OFF THE BOTTOM Spal picked up its first victory since the beginning of October as it came from behind to win 2-1 at Torino and move off the bottom of the table. Gabriel Strefezza and Andrea Petagna scored to end Spal's nine-match winless run. Tomas Rincon had given Torino the lead in the fourth minute but the home side had to play 35 minutes with 10 men after defender Bremer was sent off following a second yellow card, with the score at 1-1. Spal moved a point above Genoa and three points from safety......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2019

LeBron James keeping Father Time at bay in LA

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The bearded man in a robe who walks with a slight hunch and carries an hourglass always lurks in the shadows, almost out of view. Nobody is paying him much mind or cares what he has to say -- at least not initially. He’s not on anyone’s radar until he appears and applies a gentle tap on the shoulder (or a violent shove in the back) of the unsuspecting. And that’s when they realize they’ve been paid a visit by someone whom Charles Barkley always says is undefeated. Yes, it is “Father Time,” the mythical creation of the ancient Greeks whose clock is more pronounced than any made in Switzerland. He is, by every metric, always on time, although that seems to vary, depending on his mood. He is gracious and respectful in some cases, unforgiving in others. Ultimately, he and only he decides when your time in sports is up. And so, it’s a matter of when, not if, he’ll throw LeBron James in reverse. But where other stars became role players or transformed into shells of their former selves, LeBron is playing at a high level. He turns 35 later this month and because he’s delivering Kia MVP-quality results here in his 17th NBA season, he is winning against time, and therefore, he is … cheating time. He’s almost at 57,000 minutes played in the regular season and playoffs combined, which ranks fourth behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant. He should pass Kobe for No. 3 in career scoring (33,643 points) by the All-Star break. The all-time scoring mark and a high ranking on the all-time assists list are in sight, too. Ask him why and how he’s doing it and LeBron is playfully coy and quick to say “fine wine.” He’ll also often credit the extra motivation he acquired last summer, when he watched the playoffs from his sofa, not far removed from a groin injury and a dreadful first season with the Lakers. Those things caused him grief and fueled his desire to reclaim his place. "I put in the work and I trust everything that I’ve done, especially this offseason," James said. "I’ve come in with a great mindset, with a healthy mindset and a healthy body." Considering his middle age, LeBron is putting together a masterful season (25.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) while excelling as a volume 3-point shooter. His 10.8 apg leads the NBA and his effort defensively -- which was laughable last season -- is laudable now. Nobody at 35 has assembled such numbers in league history. “He’s LeBron James,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. “Until he isn’t.” What’s age got to do with it? Well, nothing right now. LeBron is still capable of unleashing a facial dunk, as he did with a smirk against the Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica, who perhaps wisely never bothered to challenge it. He also covers all the court rather than, as some aging players are wont to do, play between the free throw lines. It’s true that soon enough he will wear longer shorts than anyone in the game -- not from faulty tailoring, but from constant pulling and tugging. And while the ball is in play, he will someday hear squeaking on the court and suddenly notice that sound is coming from his joints. “Nobody knows when it’ll happen to him because he’s still playing in the air,” said Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins. “And even when that goes, his basketball IQ will allow him to stay great on the ground. I mean, who gets triple doubles at his age? Only he knows when his time is up.” When that day arrives -- and assuming he doesn’t first quit while he’s ahead -- how big of a decline will it be for LeBron (and, by extension, for us) to witness? Will he fall prey to nagging injuries, get torched nightly by previously inferior players, or quit playing defense? Here’s how “Father Time” diminished six greats who came before LeBron: 1. Michael Jordan: When he retired for the second time, after his last season with the Bulls, Jordan was still very much a physical marvel and the reigning MVP and Finals MVP (he won five MVPs and six Finals MVPs). He was certifiably great for 13 of his 15 seasons and could’ve been longer if not for three years of college ball, an injury-shortened 1985-86 season and 1.5 missed seasons due to baseball. His body only began to betray him when he un-retired in 2001 to play for the Wizards. At 38, Jordan rarely dunked, wasn’t as sharp defensively and knee issues limited him to 60 games in 2001-02. 2. Jerry West: “The Logo” never had a down year in his 14-year career. He was First-Team All-Defense in 1972-73 as a 34-year-old and was solid in his final season (20.3 ppg, 6.6 apg, 2.6 spg). But he wasn’t at his peak of the late 1960s and opted to quit over pride (and money, when Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke refused to renegotiate his contract). 3. Bill Russell: His career ended mainly because he ran out of psychological fuel. Russell lost his passion to play at 35, even after winning championship No. 11 in his final season (1968-69). That season, he played 46.1 mpg in the playoffs, averaging 10.8 ppg, 20.5 rpg and 5.4 apg. While those numbers are perhaps skewed by the way the game was played back then, they’re still remarkable. 4. Wilt Chamberlain: A man of astonishing stats, Chamberlain averaged a league-leading 18.6 rpg and shot 72.7% overall in his final season (1972-73). Knee issues had long forced Wilt into being a statue in the paint and a third option on offense. After that final NBA season, he jumped from the Lakers to the ABA for money. San Diego offered him $600,000 to be a player-coach, but his Lakers contract prevented him from playing. Wilt coached instead, doing so with disinterest, often not showing up for games or practice. He quit basketball completely after that season. 5. Kobe Bryant: Those roundtrip flights to Germany to get oil for his knees managed to delay the obvious for a few years, but a torn Achilles in 2013 at 35 was the killer. Kobe, much like Jordan and LeBron, was elite into his 30s. And he’ll always have that 60-point send-off. 6. Karl Malone: He won his final MVP at 35 and was built for durability, never suffering a serious injury. He averaged 20.6 ppg in his final season with Utah (2002-03) as he approached 40. By then, he had morphed into a jump shooter and lost his instincts for offensive rebounding. He bowed out as a ring-chasing role player with the Lakers in ‘03-04. Larry Bird was ruined by debilitating back issues at 32. Abdul-Jabbar often only jogged downcourt his last six seasons. Tim Duncan became a secondary option in his last four seasons while Dirk Nowitzki averaged more than 20 ppg once over his final five seasons. Vince Carter is 42 and proudly still playing, but clearly is 10 years beyond his prime. Allen Iverson was the last to know his quickness was gone. “For me, it was Year 12 when it hit me,” said Lakers great James Worthy, who had knee issues. “My patented move was taking off from somewhere inside the free throw line. I found myself halfway there once and I started to descend before I got close to the rim. I had to do a George Gervin flip instead of a dunk. “It’s different now, with this generation of players. I was eating Burger King before games and working out on Nautilus machines. I went to college with Lawrence Taylor and I remember him telling me, ‘I don’t wanna get hit anymore.’ And he’s a reckless guy. LeBron will wake up one day and he won’t have that drive. He’ll be tired and while physically he’s in such great shape, something will go away, either a move or speed.” LeBron seems determined to be the outlier. He spends, by various estimations, more than $1 million on his body for round the clock therapy and a personal trainer. Last summer, he refused to allow the shooting schedule for the movie “Space Jam 2” to interfere with his schedule, rising at 3:30 a.m. to train before heading to the set. He has more than once fantasized about staying in the league long enough to possibly play against or alongside his son, Bronny (now a high school freshman). “LeBron is not only a great player but a physical marvel,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Probably the best athlete to ever walk this planet. I’ve never seen anybody in my lifetime in any sport whom I would consider a better athlete. It’s one of his best attributes and the one that goes the least noticed. You just take it for granted that he’s out there every night and still doing his things.” LeBron exchanged playful tweets with Tom Brady last month, with LeBron saying the two are “one in the same.” Brady is a tame comparison to LeBron. Brady doesn’t run 94 feet and back for nine months (playoffs included) and when tired can simply hand off to the running back. Same for NFL legend Joe Montana, who made the Pro Bowl at 37. MLB legend Nolan Ryan threw once every four or five days. Maybe tennis star Roger Federer, who won Wimbledon at 36 and still reaches finals at 38, comes closest. “It wouldn’t shock me if LeBron played until he was 40,” West said. “He’s such a great athlete and knows enough about his body that he’ll probably leave before he declines.” After watching Robert Parish waste away on the Bulls’ bench, Jordan said he’d never allow himself to stay in the game that long. His pride and unwillingness to be seen as hanging on meant he’d walk away first. LeBron doesn’t think of the twilight and given how he’s playing now, that doesn’t appear to be in the future, anyway. “I was with the Nuggets late in my career and the funny thing is I was leading the league in assists,” said Mark Jackson, fourth on the all-time assists list. “There was a loose ball, a deflection, and it’s right here, and I can go get it. I made the move to go get it, and before I could get anywhere near it, a kid out of nowhere, and in a blur, snatched it. Gets the ball, by the time I get to the spot where the ball is, he’d already dunked it. Young kid by the name of Allen Iverson. I knew it would never be the same.” Jackson says LeBron is so multi-gifted that he can endure decline in one area and still flourish in another. “He also has the knowledge, pace and understanding that he’ll still be able to be effective even when he slows down,” Jackson said. “I don’t think it’ll be drastic. He can average a triple-double for the next five years.” LeBron is taking great satisfaction in fighting age while tweaking skeptics, both real and imagined, who wondered if decline was imminent. He cites that “Washed King” nickname -- did somebody actually call him that? -- as motivation. “It’s the personal pressure I put on myself,” LeBron said. Eventually, like everyone, he’ll take the L from “Father Time.” Until then, LeBron is making us wonder if that mythical man exists. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2019

Suns look to prove mettle after buzz cools down

By Michael C. Wright, NBA.com Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams challenged his squad Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) in the wake of a third consecutive loss, falling 124-121 to the New Orleans Pelicans. “I told our guys, ‘Look, we had a nice run. We got hit in the mouth with injuries. Let’s see what we’re made of,’” he said. Phoenix caught the basketball world by surprise early this season with a 5-2 start, which included wins over the LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, but the Suns have since fallen on hard times. Having lost three consecutive games, in part due to injuries to point guard Ricky Rubio (back) and center Aron Baynes (hip) altering the club’s style of play, the early-season buzz generated by the team is gone. But the truth is we haven’t seen the Suns at full strength since their season-opening 124-95 win over the Sacramento Kings, a game in which Deandre Ayton registered a double-double (18 points and 11 rebounds) along with four blocks in his only game this season. Ayton received a 25-game suspension by the league after that game for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug policy for testing positive for a diuretic. Ayton won’t be eligible to return to action until Dec. 17 (Dec. 18, PHL time), when Phoenix meets the LA Clippers at the Staples Center. So, it’s tough to gauge at this point whether the Suns are indeed the real deal. But Williams isn’t concerned. He prefers that the Suns fly under the radar. “The buzz will die down a bit, and now we can just focus on getting better,” Williams told his team after Thursday’s (Friday, PHL time) loss. “This is the NBA. Our guys are more than able to do what they need to do to get better.” The Suns aren’t sure when Rubio and Baynes will be set to return to action. Rubio has missed two of the team’s last three games, and when he tried to play Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) at Sacramento, the point guard could only will himself through 16 minutes in the first half, shooting 0-for-7 from the field. Baynes has missed two games in a row with Phoenix mired in its first three-game skid of the season. Two of Phoenix’s last three losses came by single-digit margins. “This is kind of our first time hitting adversity, losing three in a row, and now we’re on the road for two tough games back to back, so we’re going to see how we’re going to go out there and play,” said Mikal Bridges, who contributed 12 points to go with six rebounds and three steals in the loss to New Orleans. “I think we’re mentally strong, and we’re together as a team. So, I think we’re going to push through and play hard the next few games, and try to leave out of there with a W. But it’s going to test our mentality to see what we’re going to be right now.” The Suns have struggled defensively over the past two games, most notably at defending the 3-point line. Sacramento knocked down 41.9% from deep on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) against the Suns, while the Pelicans on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) hit on 45.7% from range. Baynes had been filling in during Ayton’s suspension, but Frank Kaminsky has replaced Baynes the last two games as he’s dealt with a strained right hip flexor. Going into the loss to New Orleans, Kaminsky (hip) was listed on the injury report along with Dario Saric (knee) and Cam Johnson (knee). Williams said “you hope” Rubio and Baynes return for the start of Phoenix’s upcoming back-to-back set on the road that starts Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in Minnesota and concludes Sunday (Monday, PHL time) at Denver. But the team has “got to start planning as if they’re not,” Williams said. Those contests wrap up a stretch of five games in seven nights. “It’s next man up mentality,” said guard Devin Booker, who has connected on 50% or better from the field in 11 of the team’s 14 games. “We’re dealing with a couple injuries right now, and for guys to come in who have just been on the practice court the whole season and get an opportunity to perform it’s a very big time. It’s professionalism at its finest. It says a lot about a person’s character.” As for Ayton, who anxiously awaits his return for suspension, the center can only watch and wait. Provisions of the suspension allow Ayton to practice and travel with the team, but he can’t be in an arena -- home or away -- two hours before game. During the down time, Ayton has been working to refine his shot; most notably his 3-point shot with Suns assistant Mark Bryant. After this latest road trek, the Suns come back home to host Washington and Dallas before hitting the road for four consecutive outings over five nights to start the month of December. So surely, there’s more adversity to come for the young, upstart Suns. “We don’t quit. We compete,” Williams said. “That’s one of our values, our core values. We compete every possession. Sometimes, you can’t always dictate whether the ball goes in, but you can compete every night. I always tell the guys if you do the right thing it will come back to you. It may not come back to you in this game, but over the long haul, you’ll be better for it.” Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. 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 NewsNov 24th, 2019

MPBL: Robles the hero as DavOcc stops Manila in heated game

In a clash of contenders that lived up to its billing, the Davao Occidental Tigers - Cocolife successfully defended their home court in beating the visiting Manila Stars - Frontrow 79-76 in Saturday night's main game of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season. The large crowd at the Rizal Memorial College gym in Davao City witnessed a testy, see-saw encounter that ended with a game-clinching triple from DavOcc's Billy Robles. "Sabi ni coach mag-focus lagi at huwag magpadala sa sinasabi ng kalaban, nagbunga naman," said the Ilonggo gunner afterwards. His stunning triple off the glass with 12 seconds gave the Tigers a two point lead that held up until the end. Cocolife's Emman Calo scored all of his team-high 16 points in the first half, which ended with the Davaoenos up 40-31. Midway through the third period and down 50-40, Manila's Gabby Espinas was whistled for throwing an arm at DavOcc's Chester Saldua while the two battled for a rebound. Espinas also seemed to step on or near Saldua before walking away. The refs gave him an unsportsmanlike foul and then a technical, which equals a disqualifying foul. On the way to the dugout Espinas was seen, with his two hands, making a motion that appeared to be like that of someone stirring a bowl. Then just before the third quarter ended, Frontrow assistant coach Ariel Vanguardia vehemently protested a call against Mac Tallo. He was slapped with two technicals and also sent packing as the period finished with the Tigers up 62-55. The ejections seemed to flip a switch with Manila, with Chris Bitoon stroking in a pair of three-bombs as a devastating 13-0 Manila run gave them a shock 68-62 lead with seven minutes left. But Tiger Bonbon Custodio caught fire and reeled off a series of baskets, including a bucket off the glass with a foul as well. He made the free throw to cut the Manila lead to one, 74-73, with two minutes to go. Then with 38 seconds left Billy Robles coaxed the ball in as Cocolife retook the lead, 75-74. Manila grabbed the advantage back when Ronnie Matias collected a perfect bounce pass from Bitoon and finished off the baseline. Twenty-seven seconds showed on the clock. Robles then sunk his brilliant banked 3-pointer with 12 seconds left for 78-76. Mac Tallo missed, Gian Abrigo rattled the follow-up, and Tallo got an unsportsmanlike foul for barging into rebounder Ivan Ludovice, resulting in his dismissal and a chance for Ludovice to pad the lead just before the game ended. Manila rued a subpar 36% clip from the field including a poor 19%, or 5/26 from outside. Davao Occidental strengthens their position atop the South Division at 18-3 while Manila loses for just the fourth time in 21 Lakan Season games. Chris Bitoon and Aris Dioniso were the best scorers for Frontrow, with 15 points apiece. The undercard saw the Batangas City Athletics Tanduay prevail in the battle for bragging rights across the Verde Island Passage. The Batanguenos, who are now coached by former UP Fighting Maroon Woody Co, outgunned the Mindoro Tamaraws 106-99, with Jason Melano providing 26 points and 8 rebounds for Tanduay, with Jaymo Eguilos just a point behind. Batangas led by as much as 15 in the first half before a late five-point barrage by Mark Doligon helped the Tamaraws pull to within 9, 55-46 at halftime. The lead stayed put at the end of the third at 78-69 despite eight points in the period from Mindoro's Mac Baracael. Athletics big man Eguilos was good for 11 in those 10 minutes. In the fourth quarter Mindoro's Sandy Cenal brought his team to within three possessions of Batangas, 102-93 with a free throw with 2:30 remaining. But hopes of a late surprise were quashed by a Melano split and Jeff Viernes layup for a 12-point lead with 1:49 left. Batangas City were a superb 48% from the field and feasted inside, scoring 66 points in the paint against 48 from their rivals. Baracael led Mindoro with 18 points, Justin Tan's team slides to 8-16 while the Athletics are now sporting a 13-8 card good for 4th in the South Division......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2019

UAAP Season 82 Finals: We worked. We worked hard -- Baldwin

Ateneo de Manila University head coach Tab Baldwin is a firm believer that what you do and how you prepare during a long layoff will dictate how you will perform during the game. For him ‘being rusty’ is a choice not an effect of a long break from action. The Blue Eagles took a 16-day break from playing actual games after sweeping the elimination round but during that lull from action, Baldwin made sure that there will be no time wasted as they prepare for their grand slam bid in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball Finals. “I said at the time, I always thought the big break was an advantage, not a disadvantage,” he said. “I’m a big believer in preparation. I think if you give me as a coach more preparation time, that’s gonna be an advantage for our basketball team.” He stressed that long layoffs should never be an excuse to drop one’s momentum.   “We never bought into the stuff about a long lay-off makes you rusty and things like that,” he said. “Not working makes you rusty. Working makes you not rusty. And we worked. We worked hard.” And what they did gave them the edge to mow down University of Sto. Tomas, 91-77, on Saturday in Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series at the Big Dome. While waiting for their Finals opponent and the league was busy in the stepladder semifinals, Baldwin focused of the conditioning of his wards. They knew that the team that they will face in championship round will be an exhausted squad but will also be a battle-hardened one.   The Blue Eagles had to be fit. “Our preparation was tough. I told the team, after we finished the elimination round, that I didn’t think we were fit enough,” he recalled. Against UST, a running and relentless team led by season Most Valuable Player Soulemane Chabi Yo and energizer Mark Nonoy, Ateneo needed that extra pump. “As it turns out when you play UST, your fitness is gonna be challenged that’s for sure,” said Baldwin. “We might surprise a lot of people. We did a lot of running, a lot of sprints. A lot of work on our fitness.” “We needed it tonight, even though we have a deep bench, even though we have confidence up and down the bench. They pumped those legs, man,” he added. But Baldwin doesn’t want his team to relax at this point. After all, the Blue Eagles still have to win one more game to complete a historic 16-match tournament sweep. “We're not prepared to say that it has won us anything yet because all it’s done is get us to the next game,” he said. Game 2 is on Wednesday at the MOA Arena.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

Dealing With Bitterness

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25 After someone has wronged you, time will either harden your heart, making you bitter and unyielding, or it will soften it, giving you a desire to restore the relationship. […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsOct 28th, 2019

Pulisic scores 3 for Chelsea; City wins in Premier League

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press Christian Pulisic seemed to surprise himself with his hat trick for Chelsea. As he left the field after the 4-2 defeat of Burnley on Saturday, the young American needed reminding by his teammates that scoring three goals means you get to keep the ball. "I didn't realize that was the tradition," he said. "My teammates helped me out." Pulisic hadn't scored for Chelsea before but seized his chance on his first English Premier League start since August, extending Chelsea's unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions. Manchester City took back second place with rather less flair. Just closing to within three points of leader Liverpool, which plays on Sunday, wasn't good enough for manager Pep Guardiola, though, who accused his team of playing "just 45" minutes in its 3-0 win over Aston Villa. Brighton beat Everton 3-2 in stoppage time, while Bournemouth lost more of its early momentum in a draw with Watford. THE PULISIC SHOW There have been U.S. stars in the Premier League before, but none quite like Pulisic. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder arrived in the summer with his star status already confirmed with dazzling performances for Germany's Borussia Dortmund. Still, it took him months to make his mark in the Premier League. There were some slightly hesitant substitute appearances and intense competition for places with other young players such as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount. On Saturday, none of that seemed to matter. Pulisic showed off his versatility with his first goal in the 21st minute, stealing the ball from defender Matt Lowton, sprinting forward, beating the experienced James Tarkowski, and shooting precisely inside the far post. The second goal saw Pulisic beat Tarkowski again before hitting a deflected shot, and the third was a fine header off Mount's cross, again showcasing Pulisic's versatility. Scoring a Premier League hat trick was something only one American had done before, Clint Dempsey in 2012. Even with Pulisic's standout play in attack, Chelsea looked fragile. Burnley had good chances to score in the first half, and briefly looked capable of a shock comeback following goals in the 86th and 89th minutes. PART-TIME MAN CITY Guardiola was left unimpressed with his team despite their three-goal winning margin. Villa put up stern resistance in the first half, but City seized control of the game when Raheem Sterling scored on a rapid, direct move 20 seconds into the second half. "The second (half) we play in the way we normally are but we have to try and play 90 minutes," Guardiola said. "We played just 45." Guardiola was full of praise for Sterling, who scored his fourth goal this week after a hat trick against Atalanta on Tuesday. "Normally the next game you play a bit like, 'How good I am,' and he was completely opposite," he said. Sterling's role in City's second goal was more controversial. Officially, the goal was direct from a cross-shot by Kevin de Bruyne, but Villa manager Dean Smith said he believed David Silva touched the ball when Sterling was obstructing the goalkeeper. Ilkay Gundogan added City's third off a corner. OWN GOAL DRAMA Brighton staged the comeback of the day, winning 3-2 thanks to a stoppage-time own goal from Everton's Lucas Digne. Everton had been leading 2-1 before a hotly disputed penalty call against Michael Keane, who trod on the foot of Brighton's Aaron Connolly. The spot kick was awarded after a video assistant referee check and converted by Neal Maupay. Four minutes into added time, Digne knocked a cross into his own net to hand Brighton the three points. Lys Mousset was the key man again for Sheffield United. On Monday, the Frenchman scored the winning goal against Arsenal, and on Saturday he scored to salvage a 1-1 draw against rival West Ham. It was the first time the teams met in the league since the 2006-07 season left bad blood between them. That year, West Ham signed Argentine stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano on third-party ownership deals which broke Premier League rules. Tevez's goals helped West Ham avoid relegation while Sheffield went down. Bournemouth and Watford played out a 0-0 draw which disappointed both teams. Bournemouth had been seeking to cement its place in the top half, while Watford was desperate to end its winless start to the season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2019

Neymar set to mark 100th game with Brazil

By Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press SAO PAULO (AP) — Ahead of his 100th game with Brazil, Neymar is adamant that he still deserves special treatment in the national team despite never having won a major title in his nine years wearing the famous yellow shirt. The 27-year-old forward will reach the century mark in a friendly against Senegal in Singapore on Thursday, and defended his status as the team's biggest star even though Brazil won this summer's Copa America without him. "I was always one of the main figures and one of those carrying it all on my back," Neymar said at a news conference Wednesday when asked about getting special treatment. "I never ran away from that. I always played my role in the national team very well. When a player reaches that level it is normal that there is a different treatment." "I was in places that had players with more history than me and I had to respect what coaches did for them," the Paris Saint-Germain striker added. "Messi has a different treatment at Barcelona. Is it because he is better looking? No. It is because he is decisive. He earned it. I don't say that only about myself, but I say it about everyone that has performances at that level. That is normal in soccer." Neymar's comments come at a time when some Brazil fans have accused coach Tite and the Brazilian soccer confederation of being too lenient with the striker over his problems off the pitch. Those include his altercation with a fan after the French Cup final in April; his insistence that his father-agent was allowed into Brazil's dressing room during a pre-Copa America friendly; and a rape allegation that was recently closed by police. Neymar is currently at odds with PSG's fans as well after trying to force a return to Barcelona during the offseason. And in Brazil, he remains the country's most polarizing player. His statistics with the national team are impressive: 61 goals and 42 assists in 99 games so far. That puts him one goal behind two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo, who is in second place on Brazil's all-time list of top scorers with 62. Pele tops the list with 77. With Neymar in the team, Brazil has 70 victories, 19 draws and 10 defeats. But aside from the 2013 Confederations Cup, no titles. At the 2014 World Cup at home, Neymar injured his back in the quarterfinal win over Colombia and the team was humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the semifinals without him. At least year's World Cup in Brazil he was far from his best after recovering from a foot injury, and made little impact as Brazil lost 2-1 to Belgium in the quarterfinals. And this summer he had to miss the Copa America because of an injury he sustained shortly before the tournament. Asked about his best memories with the national team, Neymar picked his debut, his World Cup debut in 2014 and the goal he scored in the opening game of the tournament against Croatia. "There is a positive balance, but it isn't all about victories in the life of an athlete," Neymar said. "There are many disappointments, defeats and mistakes. But if you fight for it, in the end, you make up for your mistakes. I am very happy to reach that mark of 100 matches. Not even in my best dreams I thought this could happen.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 9th, 2019

PBA: Finals rematch goes to Magnolia as Aces’ woes pile up

Much like last year’s Finals, Magnolia-Alaska goes the way of the Hotshots. The defending champions piled on the woes of the Aces, taking a close 95-90 win Sunday in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Big Dome. It ended up being close but Magnolia was in control for almost the whole game, leading by as many as 15 points. To secure the win, their third straight for a 3-1 mark, the Hotshots got much-needed stops late as Alaska dropped further down the standings with a 0-5 record. Four players scored double figures for the champs led by Ian Sangalang with 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Import Romeo Travis added 17 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists. Mark Barroca and Paul Lee contributed 13 and 11 points respectively. The Aces got top-heavy production with Vic Manuel going for 22 points and Franko House finishing with 20. Chris Banchero was good for 17 points in the loss.   The Scores: Magnolia (95) -- Sangalang 19, Travis 17, Barroca 13, Lee 11, Herndon 8, Dela Rosa 8, Jalalon 7, Pingris 7, Melton 3, Reavis 2, Simon 0, Pascual 0. Alaska (90) -- Manuel 22, House 20, Banchero 17, Casio 9, Enciso 6, Tratter 6, Thoss 6, Ayaay 4, Pascual 0, Galliguez 0, Andrada 0. Quarters: 20-20, 49-40, 71-70, 95-90.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2019

PBA: Hotshots survive ROS in defensive slugfest

It wasn't pretty but Magnolia will take the win that's for sure. The Hotshots once again figured in a defensive showdown against Rain or Shine and the champs escaped with a narrow 69-68 win Friday at the MOA Arena in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup. Holding on to a one-point lead, Magnolia stood firm in its final defensive possession, forcing Gabe Norwood to shoot a forced jumper for the win. Norwood missed and the Hotshots improved to 2-1 for their title defense following back-to-back victories. Magnolia shut down Rain or Shine to just six points in the opening period, allowing exactly zero field goals on the part of the Elasto Painters. However, the Hotshots likewise struggled from the fiel and eventually lost a 68-58 lead inside the final five minutes of regulation. Still, Magnolia dodged multiple bullets from the Elasto Painters in the endgame and a Mark Barroca free throw with 58 seconds to go served as the marginal basket. Import Romeo Travis was the only double-digit scorer for the defending champions, finishing with 26 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Barroca and Ian Sangalang scored eight points each as the top locals for the Hotshots. ROS got 14 points from rookie Javee Mocon and another 13 points from debuting import Kayel Locke. The Elasto Painters dropped to 1-3 after back-to-back losses.   The Scores Magnolia (69) -- Travis 26, Sangalang 8, Barroca 8, Lee 7, Reavis 6, Dela Rosa 5, Jalalon 4, Melton 3, Pingris 2, Herndon 0, Brondial 0. Rain or Shine (68) -- Mocon 14, Locke 13, Belga 9, Borboran 7, Yap 6, Daquioag 5, Exciminano 5, Ponferada 3, Norwood 2, Nambatac 2, Torres 2, Onwubere 0, Rosales 0. Quarters: 11-6, 32-25, 47-52, 69-68.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 4th, 2019

It takes time: La Salle teases, UST learns important lesson

  MANILA, Philippines – Encho Serrano rose nearly 5 feet in the air, got hit in the face by Mark Nonoy, and made the daredevil layup. It was no surprise, because he was having the game of his life. When he landed, the product of Apalit, Pampanga fed off ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 28th, 2019

Trigger-happy UST outguns FEU to regain winning form

      ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – The UST Growling Tigers again leaned on the three-pointer to great effect as they outgunned the FEU Tamaraws, 82-74, in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament at the Ynares Center on Sunday, September 22.  Young guns Mark Nonoy and Rhenz Abando along with surprise performer Sherwin ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2019

PBA: Almazan plays clutch as Meralco downs Magnolia

Raymond Almazan delivered at crunch time to tow Meralco to a 98-92 win over reigning champion Magnolia on Saturday in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Big Dome. The Bolts forward played the hero’s role in the last two and a half minutes of the ballgame, sinking the go-ahead triple and pouring 12 of his 19 points in the fourth period. Almazan broke a 92-92 deadlock with a trey with 2:27 remaining and added a split from the foul line to spark Meralco’s closing 6-0 run.  “It's a good start to the conference for us. It's a very, very satisfying win because we know we're going up against the defending champions,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “We also knew they're a very good defensive team and we had to play good defense to be able to beat them.” Chris Newsome finished with a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds while import Allen Durham flirted with a triple-double with 21 markers, 14 boards and eight assists for Meralco. Almazan had 19 points, 13 rebounds and a crucial block on Mark Barroca’s layup in the last 17 seconds to crush the Hotshots’ desperate attempt to salvage the game. Meralco stated off slow and trailed, 33-49, in the second quarter before coming back in the second half. Ian Sangalang gave Magnolia its last taste of the lead 92-86, off a jumper with 4:40 left before Meralco answered with a 12-point swing. “I thought our defense really kicked in in the fourth quarter,” said Black. “We were able to slow them down and stop them on a lot of plays that made a lot of difference in the game.” Romeo Travis had 22 markers and nine rebounds while Paul Lee had 20 for the Hotshots. Barroca finished with 18 and Peter June Simon got 12 for Magnolia.   The scores:  Meralco (98) -- Newsome 22, Durham 11; Almazan 19, Pinto 9, Faundo 8, Amer 7, Salva 4, Quinto 3, Hugnatan 3, Caram 2. Magnolia (92) -- Travis 22, Lee 20, Barroca 18, Simon 12, Sangalang 11, Pingris 4, Melton 3, Jalalon 2, Reavis 0, Dela Rosa 0. Quarters: 27-30, 48-57, 73-75, 98-92.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2019

PBA: Black lauds Almazan’s ‘best game’ since joining Meralco

Meralco head coach Norman Black had nothing but praise for big man Raymond Almazan’s game on Saturday. The mentor felt that Almazan delivered his breakout game since joining the Bolts back in May of this year with clutch plays in Meralco’s 98-92 opening day victory over defending champion Magnolia in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Big Dome.    ”This is probably the best game of Raymond Almazan since he joined our team,” said Black of his ward, whose fourth quarter explosion spelled the difference in the duel. Almazan broke a 92-92 deadlock with a trey in the last 2:27 of the match and added a split from the foul line to fuel Meralco’s late game barrage. He capped his night with a crucial defensive stop, swatting away Mark Barroca’s layup attempt with 17 ticks left that crushed the comeback hopes of the Hotshots.    “Kasi pinaghandaan ko din eh. 100% na (dapat) ready physically and mentally, so kailangan eh. Di na rin tayo pa-bata eh,” said Almazan, who is fresh from a tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. "May mga bagong batang pumapasok—mas malakas, mas bata, mas athletic. So kailangang i-rise up natin yung game natin." Almazan finished with 19 points -- 12 coming in the payoff period -- in 7-of-11 field goal shooting.   “I'm happy for Raymond, I'm happy that he came out and really came up with some big plays for us tonight,” said Black. Almazan also grabbed 13 boards, had two assists and a block for Meralco. Black just hopes that Almazan would stay healthy throughout the conference. “Last conference he joined us after he was out with an injury for 10 weeks. Everybody expected him to come back and play well immediately, but a lot of people didn't know that about a week after, he re-injured his calf in practice, which set him back,” said Black. “Then when he finally recovered from that, he got sick and was out for another four days. He really could not get his bearings in the last conference, but I wasn't really concerned about that 'cause I knew he was new to the team and he really didn't know the system that well,” added Black. “But we've had a chance now to get him comfortable with the team.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2019

FIBA: Near-perfect Italy crushes Gilas Pilipinas by 46 in crucial World Cup opener

Gilas Pilipinas certaily shocked the everyone to start the 2019 FIBA World Cup, just not the good kind. The Philippines folded in record time as Italy completely overwhelmed the national team, taking a convincing 108-62 win Saturday to start Group D play at the Foshan International Sports & Cultural Arena in China. After Mark Barroca scored the first points for Gilas in this World Cup to force a 2-all tie, the Philippines completely fell apart as the Italians put up an absolute basketball clinic, punishing the Filipinos with crisp ball movement and near-perfect shooting. The world no. 13 Italians shot 6/8 from deep in the opening period, zooming to a 37-8 advantage. Team Azzurri then added another five triples in the second quarter for a 38-point lead at the break. Italy’s assault didn’t stop in the second half, never giving Gilas a chance for any sort of comeback. Luigi Datome shot a perfect 7/7 from the field to lead Italy with 17 points. Danilo Gallinari only missed once and added 16 points. Amedeo Della Valle came off the bench to also score 17 for the Italians. Before the World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas estimated to make 10-12 triples in order to have a shot against Italy. The national team went 0/17 from deep through three quarters and the “chance” evaporated after 10 minutes of game time. The Philippines didn’t make a three until 6:43 to go in the fourth courtesy of Kiefer Ravena. CJ Perez and Andray Blatche added another two triples late and Gilas finished 3/23 from beyond the arc. Blatche led the Philippines with 15 points and 10 rebounds but he also had nine turnovers. Perez, the PBA’s no. 1 rookie, was Gilas’ top local with 15 points on 7/12 shooting. Gilas Pilipinas will next take on world no. 4 Serbia on Monday. The Serbians demolished Angola, 105-59, to start group play.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2019