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PBA s top assist man Chris Banchero displays scoring prowess

MANILA, Philippines – PBA's leading assist man Chris Banchero proved he's more that just a passing genius for Alaska.  Banchero displayed his scoring repertoire as he notched a career-high in points to power the Aces to a 116-109 win over Blackwater in the 2018 Governors' Cup on Sunday, October 21. Averaging 15.3 ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerOct 22nd, 2018

PBA: Aces survive Bolts late game scare to tie series, 1-1

Alaska weathered Meralco’s comeback scare to escape with a 100-95 Game 2 win to knot the the best-of-five 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series Tuesday night at the MOA Arena. The Aces leaned on the steady hands of JVee Casio inside the last 18.5 seconds of the match to put the game away while Simon Enciso, who waxed-hot in the first half, sealed the win from the line and snap the Bolts' seven-game winning streak.    Game 3 is on Thursday at the Cuneta Astrodome. Mike Harris was a workhorse for the Aces as the reinforcement poured in 37 points on 13-of-21 field goal shooting while hauling down 19 rebounds. Enciso scored 23 points while Chris Banchero flirted with a triple double with 13 markers, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Alaska, which missed only one free throw of its 21 attempts. "A heck of a win. I'm just happy to win. Now we got a best-of-three," said Aces head coach Alex Compton, whose squad rebounded from a 97-92 Game 1 setback.      Allen Durham brought down a once 20-point Bolts deficit to only seven points, 86-79, with just 3:44 left on a lay-in. Mike Harris brought it back to nine, 90-81, with a floater before Chris Newsome completed a three-point play followed by a dagger three-pointer by Baser Amer to breathe down the Aces’ necks, 90-87, with 1:52 left. Newsome was called for a goaltending on the next play, Amer split his free throws before Durham slammed it home to close the gap, 92-90, with 50 ticks left. Harris sank a jumper to put Alaska up by four but Durham quickly answered with a basket off a timeout for a 94-92 count with 28 seconds remaining.         Meralco was forced to give up a foul and sent Alaska’s steady free throw shooter Casio on the line. But Newsome uncorked a corner pocket triple to cut the Bolts’ deficit to 96-95. Casio added two free throws to put the Aces lead back to three with seven seconds left. Amer heaved a long three before Enciso put the icing on the cake from the line.    Picking up from where they left off in the first 24 minutes of action, the Aces went on a tear to open the third period as they opened a 66-46 gap with 4:31 left off a Vic Manuel split from the stripe. Enciso led Alaska’s locals in the first half, scoring 13 points including a step-back jumper over the outstretched hands of Anjo Caram that gave the Aces a 47-40 cushion at the half. Enciso shot five-of-7 from the field including three from beyond the rainbow arc for the Aces, which in the first half shot 20-of-41 from the field compared and forced Meralco to commit 11 turnovers that Alaska converted to 19 markers. Alaska sparked a 13-4 blitz in the last five minutes of the second quarter after trailing, 34-36, with 5:56 left.   The scores:  Alaska (100) -- Harris 37, Enciso 23, Banchero 13, Manuel 7, Baclao 6, Racal 5, Casio 4, Exciminiano 3, Teng 2, Thoss 0. Meralco (95) -- Durham 24, Salva 20, Amer 14, Hugnatan 12, Tolomia 10, Newsome 6, Caram 4, Canaleta 3, Faundo 2, Dillinger 0, Ballesteros 0. Quarters: 23-21, 47-40, 74-60, 100-95.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 13th, 2018

Dropped Lukaku set for time out of spotlight at Man United

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Romelu Lukaku spends a lot of his spare time watching videos and YouTube clips of some of the world's greatest strikers in a bid to improve his own game. If he watches footage of his own recent performances for Manchester United, the Belgium striker may understand why he was dropped at the weekend as he goes through the toughest period of his time at England's biggest club. The goals have dried up (it's nine games without scoring, his longest drought in the red of United). His touch has deserted him. He might even be trying too hard. So when United manager Jose Mourinho spoke during the week of Lukaku's confidence being drained and his link-up play being off, the writing was on the wall for the player who moved to Old Trafford for $97 million in July 2017. When the team sheet was released for United's game against Everton on Sunday, it was no real surprise to see Lukaku on the bench and Marcus Rashford leading the attack. "Sometimes," Mourinho said, "we decide that the best thing for the players is to not be on the pitch, (but) to be protected and away from the initial pressure." Tellingly, United produced one of its most fluent attacking displays of the season. Rather than having a striker like Lukaku who often drops deep and ends up congesting the middle of the field, United had, in Rashford, one who stretched the opposition defense and allowed space behind him. United winger Anthony Martial reveled in the open spaces and scored his fourth goal in four games. Paul Pogba had more freedom to roam in midfield — he had more touches (88) and passes (67) than any other player — and was also more threatening going forward. Fred, recalled to the team, had room to take the ball to the edge of the penalty area and unleash shots. United had a 2-1 victory but should have won more convincingly. At times, as United's midfielders flooded forward to assist the mobile Rashford, it seemed like the days of Alex Ferguson. Everton was most dangerous in the final quarter of the game — after Lukaku had come on as a 65th-minute substitute. So does this spell the beginning of the end for Lukaku at United? Unlikely. Mourinho cherishes his big targetmen, such as Didier Drogba at Chelsea. He likes the fact that Lukaku never stops working for the team, saying many times that this is as important as the goals he scores. As Lukaku has said himself, Mourinho sees the striker "like his sergeant on the pitch." United had a similar situation when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in the team in the 2016-17 season and often slowed its build-up play by dropping short. When Ibrahimovic got injured toward the end of his only full season at Old Trafford, Rashford played as the lone striker and United looked a different proposition. Still, that following offseason, Mourinho chose to buy Lukaku rather than put his faith in Rashford or Martial as the team's striker. The 20-year-old Rashford remains raw and his finishing is inconsistent. Martial appears to be back to his best but there is no telling how long his run of form will last. Perhaps Lukaku will just spend the next few games out of the spotlight. Maybe he can still adjust his game. "Here I still think my teamwork between myself and my teammates can improve and be much better," the striker said last week before United played against Juventus. "It's something that we're working on. The players need to know me and know my movement. "When that starts clicking, I think the results I have with Belgium will also come here." Lukaku has played 14 games for his national team in 2018 and scored 14 goals. He is Belgium's record scorer with 45 goals in 79 games. He is too valuable an asset for Mourinho and United to give up on. "His moment is not sweet," Mourinho has said "... but he's our striker and a good striker and a striker we believe in." POGBA'S STUTTER Pogba's stuttering run-up for his penalty against Everton — which was saved by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford before sidefooting in the rebound — was the subject of much debate after the game. Pogba said he might need to change his technique, which sees him take marginal steps forward without ever really accelerating toward the ball, as goalkeepers are starting to get used to it. Mourinho also said it might need a rethink. "I think the goalkeepers don't move and they are waiting for his decision," Mourinho said, "so I think he probably has to learn from that." As for Pogba's teammates, they are just making fun of it. Luke Shaw posted a photo on Twitter of him talking to Martial with his hand covering his mouth, and wrote: "Make a comeback in your career and renew your contract. (hashtag)ThingsYouCanDoDuringPogbasPenaltyRunUp." Make a comeback in your career and renew your contract. #ThingsYouCanDoDuringPogbasPenaltyRunUp pic.twitter.com/sxGx6C1i11 — Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw23) October 28, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 29th, 2018

Player of the Week: Assist leader Banchero has best scoring game for Aces

Banchero is leading the league with 9.3 assists per game this conference and his knack to get his teammates involved was on full display against Columbian last Wednesday.........»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2018

Hot-shooting Banchero claims PBA Player of the Week award

Chris Banchero’s scintillating performance in Alaska’s last two games earned him the Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of Oct. 15-21 in the 2018 Governors’ Cup. The stocky Alaska guard stood at the forefront of the Aces’ surge to register back-to-back wins, grabbing a piece of the lead in the team standings with Ginebra and Magnolia, while closing in for twice-to-beat edge in the playoffs. The 29-year-old Banchero averaged 19 points, 7 assists and 5.5 rebounds this past week, leading Alaska to victories over Columbian, 104-94 and Blackwater, 116-109 as the Aces forged a three-way tie at the top spot with similar 7-2 records. Alaska’s fifth overall pick in the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft registered a near triple-double effort of 10 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to serve as a catalyst in their 10-point win over the Dyip. Then last Sunday, Banchero, the third conference’s assist leader, went beast mode on offense, firing a new PBA career-high 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the floor to help Alaska outlast Blackwater. The Fil-Italian guard edged Meralco Fil-American players Cliff Hodge and Chris Newsome, as well as San Miguel stalwart Chris Ross and rookie Christian Standhardinger for the weekky citation. Alaska looks to make a strong finish in the elims and formalize its top 4 finish when it faces NLEX this Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, before taking on NorthPort next Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2018

PBA: Red-hot Aces add to Beermen’s woes in Govs’ Cup

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal —- Alaska continues to make its case as one of the best teams in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup. The Aces rolled to another win Saturday, overwhelming San Miguel Beer, 128-119, at the Ynares Center here. Alaska pushed its record to 5-1 for the conference, which tied Magnolia for second place and is only half a game back of two-time champion Ginebra for pole position. The Aces also added to the Beermen’s woes this conference, sending San Miguel to their third straight loss for a 2-4 mark. "I'm so happy to get a win here. Obviously we made some shots. I thought our ball movement was pretty good, and then we made some shots," head coach Alex Compton said.  "Sometimes you have games where your ball movement is good but you miss shots. Tonight we knocked them down," he added. Import Mike Harris was a beast anew for Alaska, firing 36 points on 58 percent shooting. He also had 23 rebounds. The locals also came through for the Aces with Vic Manuel scoring 20 points and Simon Enciso adding 18. Chris Banchero had another double-double with 15 points and 12 assists. For the Beermen, Kevin Murhpy's explosive PBA stint continued with 45 points. Unfortunately, San Miguel is yet to win with Murphy as import. 2017 top pick Christian Standhardinger scored 23 in the first half and finished with 28 points total to go along with 13 rebounds.   The scores: ALASKA 127 – Harris 36, Manuel 20, Enciso 18, Banchero 15, Teng 12, Exciminiano 11, Casio 7, Racal 7, J. Pascual 1, Baclao 0. SMB 119 – Murphy 45, Standhardinger 28, Santos 20, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 7, Nabong 5, Mamaril 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Ross 0. Quarters: 34-36; 67-64; 93-89; 127-119. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2018

PBA: Aces deal first loss to Abueva s Fuel Masters

Alaska gets the better of the Beast this time. The Aces dealt Phoenix a 108-97 beating Wednesday in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup at the Big Dome, winning the first game against their former star who now plays for the Fuel Masters. For the first time since trading Calvin Abueva to Phoenix, both parties met on the court and Alaska got the win to start, extending its opening streak to three games for first place in the season-ending joust. Down by as many as 11 in the first half, the Aces recovered in the third and put away Phoenix in th fourth, using a 10-0 run to open up a 97-85 lead. The Aces had another run to finish the game off to take over the no. 1 spot in the standings. "I felt like Phoenix dominated us for most of the first half," head coach Alex Compton said. "Honestly, at halftime, I was really not happy with our effort," he added. Fortunately for Compton, his locals came to play in the second half. With import Mike Harris dealing with foul trouble, Chris Banchero, Simon Enciso, and Noy Baclao did the heavy lifting for Alaska. Harris still lead the team in scoring with 23 points but only six came in the second half. Banchero added 19 points while Enciso was good for 18. Baclao scored 15 points in a surprise solid performance. The Fuel Masters got 27 points and 24 rebounds from import Eugene Phelps while rookie Jason Perkins was good for 20. Abueva finished with 18 points and nine rebounds against his former team. Phoenix dropped to 2-1.   The Scores: Alaska 108 - Harris 23, Banchero 19, Enciso 18, Baclao 15, Manuel 9, Racal 8, Exciminiano 5, Casio 5, Teng 4, Pascual 2.  Phoenix 97 - Phelps 27, Perkins 20, Abueva 18, Wright 13, Chua 6, Jazul 6, Intal 5, Revilla 2, Wilson 0.  Quarters: 19-22, 54-49, 83-78, 108-97 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018

PBA: No regrets for Vic Manuel as Alaska ousted from Commissioner s Cup

Vic Manuel's magical Commissioner's Cup run is over. Emerging as one of the top offensive threats for the Alaska Aces, he scored 20 points in 11 straight games, including a career-high 35 markers against the Magnolia Hotshots. His flawless moves on the post have been a revelation, mentored by one of the best centers the league has ever had, Danny Ildefonso. During the eliminations, the 'Muscle Man' normed 24.2 ppg on 58.2 FG%, 6.4 rpg, and 0.9 apg, which made him a frontrunner for the Best Player of the Conference award. However, things started to change in the semis where his 20-point streak was cut short abruptly in Game 1 against San Miguel, where he just tallied 16 points.  Not a bad outing, really.  Unfortunately for Manuel, it became a turning point in the race which counts statistics through the semifinals, thus elevating reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo to the overall leader in the tally, including a 26-point, 12-rebound, two-assist, two-block performance in the series closer. For Manuel, an earlier exit than what he had expected was not a problem for him, as he proved himself to one of being the most feared weapons of coach Alex Compton's balanced attack. "Pero yun nga sabi ko, proud talaga ko sa team namin, sa mga teammates ko, lahat kami nagtulong tulong kasi hindi lang naman ako. Lahat kami nagtulong tulong para makarating dito." "Masaya na ako, naipakita ko. Okay na ako doon. Yun nga sabi ko, nakapasok kami sa semis. Kahit na na-short kami. Ayun lang kuntento na ako. Masaya na ako," the hulking forward added after the game. With key guys like Calvin Abueva (suspension), minutes and assists leader Chris Banchero (family emergency) and original import Antonio Campbell (called up to play in the NBA Summer League), Manuel was proud his team was able to hold the fort and fought tooth-and-nail against the reigning champs. Despite the great performance this conference, the 6'4 forward dispelled questions that his showing has elevated him to the upper echelon, vowing to keep grinding until he proves himself otherwise and avoids injury. Being one of the focal points of the Alaska offense in their rough-and-tumble semis, Manuel was given the go-signal by coaches Compton and Ildefonso to pace the attack, and that has given him a renewed sense of pride for himself. Now that his Commissioner's Cup journey is over, Manuel hopes to be included in the national team's replacement squad for the second window of the FIBA Qualifiers and finally don the 'Pilipinas' jersey for five-on-five, full-court basketball. "Bakit hindi? Syempre tutulong tayo sa bansa natin. Ready lang ako kung tatawagin nila ako. Syempre willing naman ako para maglaro sa Pilipinas. Sa 3x3 nga, ininvite nila ako naglaro ako, doon pa sa Gilas? Syempre, mas masarap maglaro sa 5-on-5, alam natin yun." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018

PBA: Beermen close in on Finals after 16-point comeback win over Alaska

Chalk this one up as another sensational comeback for defending champion San Miguel. The Beermen erased a 16-point lead Monday at the Big Dome, scoring a 105-94 victory over Alaska in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals. With the win, San Miguel has taken a commanding 2-0 lead against the rival Aces. This semis series is only a best-of-3. After losing the series opener, Alaska came out hot, scoring 29 points in the opening period for an 11-point lead. The Aces continued to pound on the Beermen and Alaska eventually took a 16-point lead, 41-25, approaching halftime. However, the Beermen stormed back to start the second half with Renaldo Balkman and Chris Ross combining for 25 points in the third period as the champs took over. Alaska responded in the fourth with Vic Manuel at the lead, keeping things close before San Miguel turned to its usual strong finishing kick to secure the victory. "Nahirapan talaga kami ng first half. Buti na lang nag-step up and we realized na threatening ang kanilang nilalaro," head coach Leo Austria said. "Makikita naman natin na all out sila. We’re lucky na we’re able to come back. In this game, especially the end game, na-miss nila sila Banchero at Abueva, but diskarte nila yun. Wala silang magagawa dahil yun ang mga consequences na beyond their control," he added. Balkman led the Beermen with 31 points, 25 in the second half. June Mar Fajardo added 21 points and 18 rebounds while Chris Ross dropped 16 for San Miguel. For Alaska, Diamon Simpson and Simon Enciso scored 19 each but the no. 2 Aces, who are still missing Calvin Abueva (team-imposed suspension) and Chris Banchero (personal reasons) are officially on the brink. Game 3 is set for Wednesday still at the Big Dome.   The Scores: San Miguel (105): Balkman 31, Fajardo 21, Ross 16, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 8, Santos 5, Nabong 5, Heruela 3, Standhardinger 2 Alaska (94): Simpson 19, Enciso 19, Manuel 15, Teng 13, Casio 12, Thoss 6, Cruz 5, Galliguez 3, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0, Baclao 0 Quarterscores: 18-29, 41-52, 79-74, 105-94 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

PBA: Brownlee, Ginebra turn lights off on Meralco anew

Justin Brownlee continues to be a thorn on the side of Meralco, even now in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Stuffing the stat sheet with 36 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals, Brownlee led Ginebra’s super surge in the third quarter to run away from the Bolts, 104-90, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. Just like he has been in the last two Finals of the Governor’s Cup, the Gin Kings’ American reinforcement was an unsolvable riddle for Meralco. He definitely wasn’t working alone, though, as the crowd darlings had five different players contributing in an 18-2 run bridging the second and third quarters that increased a one-point lead to a 71-56 advantage. “We were able to come out and throw our punch in the third quarter,” a much more gleeful than usual head coach Tim Cone said. Of course, the Bolts didn’t quit and back-to-back threes from Baser Amer and Chris Newsome pulled them to just within 81-87 inside the last five minutes. Yet again, however, Brownlee had the answer for Ginebra and his assist to an LA Tenorio triple followed by a dunk from a Tenorio dish re-established a 92-81 edge for them. “It really came down to that LA shot in the corner. We were on our heels until that big shot,” Cone said. That double-digit lead would stay the rest of the way, cementing the crowd darlings’ sweep of the best-of-three quarterfinals against Meralco. In the end, Tenorio had 11 points and five assists to his name while Greg Slaughter also added a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double. The Gin Kings now await the winner in the do-or-die matchup between Rain or Shine and Globalport on Thursday. For the Bolts, Arinze Onuaku was atop the scoring column with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Newsome and Amer chipped in 17 and 11 points, respectively, in the losing effort. BOX SCORES GINEBRA 104 – Brownlee 36, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 11, Aguilar 10, Mercado 9, Devance 8, Thompson 4, Ferrer 2, Caguioa 2, Mariano 0, Manuel 0. MERALCO 90 – Onuaku 21, Newsome 17, Amer 11, Hugnatan 10, Caram 6, Dillinger 6, De Ocampo 6, Hodge 6, Lanete 3, Baracael 2, Canaleta 2, Ballesteros 0, Bono 0, Salva 0. QUARTER SCORES: 24-28; 56-51; 79-65; 104-90. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

PBA: Manuel hits the winner as Aces spoil Balkman s return

Five years later, Renaldo Balkman still can't beat Alaska. The Aces spoiled Balkman's return to the league as Vic Manuel scored a runner to beat San Miguel at the buzzer, 105-103, Saturday in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. 🎥 Manuel 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 game winner! Aces keep SMB winless, 105-103. #WeArePBA pic.twitter.com/QBHEW8zz3c — PBA (@pbaconnect) May 19, 2018 Down by as many as 22 in Dumaguete City, the defending champion Beermen slowly clawed back, eventually forcing a 103-all tie. However, import Antonio Campbell forced a turnover on Balkman with less than 20 seconds to go, giving Alaska a chance to win. Manuel, who is having a breakout conference for the Aces so far, came through. The Muscle Man finished with a team-high 23 points, guiding Alaska (4-1) to a fourth straight win and a share of first place in thd standings. Four others scored in double figures for the Aces with Jvee Casio finishing with 18 while Chris Banchero got 15. Campbell and Calvin Abueva added 13 points each. Alaska was on a roll heading into this game and dominated right from the start. But San Miguel would storm back with Balkman at the lead. The Beermen though, would ultimately come up short and the champs are now buried in a 0-3 hole in their title defense. Balkman scored 32 points and had 13 rebounds in his first PBA game after five years. Top rookie Christian Standhardinger also continued to up his production, this time scoring 22 points. Marcio Lassiter added another 20 for San Miguel in the loss.   The scores: Alaska (105) - Manuel 23, Casio 18, Banchero 15, Campbell 13, Abueva 13, Racal 7, Magat 5, Thoss 4, Exciminiano 3, Enciso 2, Teng 2, Baclao 0, Pascual 0. San Miguel (103) - Balkman 32, Standhardinger 22, Lassiter 20, Santos 12, Fajardo 7, Lanete 6, Cabagnot 4, Ross Quarters: 28-20, 57-43, 81-72, 105-103.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 19th, 2018

MVP Ladder: Davis shrugs off pain, makes case for MVP

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com You’ll have to forgive New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry for not feeling the need to mount some coordinated public campaign for Anthony Davis for Kia MVP. Gentry figures the voters have eyes, so they've seen the same jaw-dropping things from the superstar big man that he sees every night. “He’s great, man. Just an absolutely great player in every aspect,” Gentry said in a hallway at the Smoothie King Center after Davis and the Pelicans came up short in a critical game against the Portland Trail Blazers. “You want to know what kind of guy he is? He’s in there beating himself up saying he should have done more. What more could he have done? He got 36 and 14 with three guys handing on him all night. Come on, man, he’s just a great, great player.” Davis finished with 36 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and played the final 17 minutes in pain after injuring his left ankle late in the third quarter. He took a minute to shake it off and finished the game favoring the ankle, that required treatment after the game. These are the sorts of performances he’s turned in routinely this season, particularly since the Pelicans’ other All-Star big man, DeMarcus Cousins, went down with a season-ending Achilles injury Jan. 26 (Jan. 27, PHL time). He and Cousins were on pace to become the first pair of teammates in NBA history to each average better than 25 points and 10 rebounds. Davis is averaging 31.1 points, 12.3  rebounds and 3.6 blocks since the All-Star break, after averaging 27.4, 10.7 and 2.1 in the 51 games before the break. So the “M-V-P” chants he heard in those final minutes against the Trail Blazers were well warranted for a player with range and versatility as a two-way performer that might be unrivaled in the league. “I can only think of a couple guys in this league who can impact a game the way he can from end to end. It’s AD and … ” Gentry said, before a reporter blurted out the name of the other player he was thinking of, “yeah, LeBron. I mean, these guys can guard from the three-point line to the rim and can score from those same spaces on anybody. Guys like that, wth that ability and those talents, they are just very rare.” James and Davis (who occupy the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively, in this week’s Kia Race to the MVP Ladder) will square off today at Quicken Loans Arena. It’ll be another chance for Davis to be measured against the league’s standard-bearer in regards to the MVP conversation. James has four MVPs in his war chest, and could (and probably should) have a couple more. Meanwhile, Davis is still searching for his first. At 33, James has shown a durability and staying power that Davis, 25, is also still searching for. If there is a knock on his game, it’s that he’s struggled with injuries, bumps and bruises to a degree that’s greater than you’d expect from a player as physically gifted as the 6'11", 253-pound dynamo. Tuesday night’s (Wednesday, PHL time) spill against the Trail Blazers marked the 11th time this season Davis has had to exit a game because of an injury. The reaction of the crowd, a collective hush as Davis writhed in pain under the basket, was followed by wild cheers when he got to his feet and limped to the bench. Davis refused to go to the locker room, choosing instead to take a moment to gather himself and return to the game, knowing the severity of his injury was overshadowed by the weight of the Pelicans’ current predicament. They need every single game to reach the postseason for just the second time in his career, the same postseason he suggested the Pelicans would have dominated had Cousins not gotten injured. That’s why he’ll play through whatever lingering discomfort he has to against the Cavaliers tonight. The gravity of the Pelicans’ situation demands that he fight through the pain, dust himself off and get back on the floor the same way he did Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). “Just knowing the type of situation we’re in,” Davis told reporters in New Orleans Thursday (Friday, PHL time), “I just wanted to be on the floor. I felt I couldn't leave that game, even though it was bothering me. I just tried to tough it out and just play through it.” * * * The top five in the Week 24 edition of the 2017-18 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder: * * * 1. James Harden, Houston Rockets Last week: No. 1 Season stats: 30.7 points, 8.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds Harden took a rare night off Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and the Rockets still rolled over the Chicago Bulls. The Rockets are good enough to go on auto-pilot the way they’re playing. They’ve already set the franchise record for wins in a season and secured the Western Conference's No. 1 seed ... all with seven games to go in their season. Harden’s work from the start of training camp has been the catalyst for this special season for the Rockets. He worked to integrate the new additions to the lineup, but did so without sacrificing any of the things that made him the strong MVP candidate he was last season. Topping his performance from last season should be more than enough to secure his first Kia MVP. The official word will come on June 25 (June 26, PHL time) at the NBA Awards show. But with the way the Rockets have played down the stretch of this season with Harden leading the way, the suspense in this MVP chase has evaporated. 2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Last week: No. 2 Season stats: 27.6 points, 9.1 assists, 8.6 rebounds You have to appreciate LeBron’s admission that he would indeed vote for himself if he had a say in the race for the Kia MVP. And it’s hard to argue with his logic. Given all that the Cavaliers have endured since Kyrie Irving’s trade request was made public, it’s truly remarkable that he’s been able to compartmentalize the way he has and continue to play at an otherworldly level. If not for James Harden, LeBron would be clearing space on his mantle for his fifth Maurice Podoloff Trophy. Instead, he’ll have to settle for another season of milestones and his continued assault on nearly every career statistic the league has to offer. Not to mention he's still on track to play all 82 games for the first time in his career. And if you were wondering how the old man (relatively speaking, of course) bounces back after tough night (18 points in their Wednesday, PHL time, loss to Miami), catch the highlights from his 41-point, 10-rebound, eight-assist masterpiece in Charlotte on the second night of a back-to-back set. 3. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans Last week: No. 4 Season stats: 28.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.5 blocks Back-to-back losses at Houston and at home to Portland have put Davis and the Pelicans in a familiar position in the Western Conference playoff chase. Every game until the finish is a must-win affair, with today’s tilt against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers serving as the ideal showcase for Davis. He’s been an absolute monster of late (29.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.8 blocks and 2.4 assists in his last 10 games). He knows what it will take to push the Pelicans into the playoff mix without DeMarcus Cousins, as that is something Davis had to do three years ago to secure his lone playoff voyage. It took a home win over San Antonio on the final night of the regular season to clinch a spot and it might take the same this time around -- Davis and the Pelicans finish up the regular season April 11 (April 12, PHL time) with a home game against the Spurs. 4. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors Last week: No. 3 Season stats: 23.3 points, 5.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds Saturday’s trip game in Boston (Sunday, PHL time) couldn't have come at a better time for DeRozan and the Raptors, who still have some work to do secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Their lead over the Celtics is down to three games. Given Toronto's recent losses to the Cavs and LA Clippers, a statement win on the road against the surging Celtics would go a long way towards resetting the Raptors' collective confidence. DeRozan’s continued evolution as a playmaker has remained on full display (15 assists in his last two games) and will be crucial to the Raptors’ offensive effectiveness in the playoffs. That's assuming coach Dwane Casey does indeed plan to keep his rotation as deep in the playoffs as he has all season. But the scoring prowess that has propelled DeRozan to All-Star status the past four seasons will be just as important, if not more so, given the relative inexperience of several of the Raptors’ role players. Both DeRozan and fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry know how vital it will be for them to be in a good rhythm for the postseason. 5. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Last week: No. 5 Season stats: 26.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds Lillard was spectacular in a critical road win in New Orleans Tuesday night, finishing with a game-high 41 points (and nine rebounds, six assists and four steals). He did all that while out-dueling fellow MVP candidate Davis in what was a thrilling, must-see fourth quarter. It didn’t matter who was guarding Lillard -- sometimes it was Davis and other times it was Pelicans defensive wiz Jrue Holiday. Lillard was locked in and on absolute fire in a playoff atmosphere. His importance to the Trail Blazers, though, was even more evident a night later when he was missing from a deflating road loss to in Memphis. Lillard missed the game for a good reason: the birth of his son. But it should be clear by now that these Trail Blazers will go only as far as the mercurial Lillard can take them in the postseason. C.J. McCollum is as good a No. 2 option as you’ll find and Terry Stotts has done Coach of the Year-caliber in developing the roster. It’s Lillard’s scoring and playmaking, however, that takes them from a solid team to a top-three seed in the Western Conference. The next five: 6. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors 7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder 8. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors 9. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics 10. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves And five more ... LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks; Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers; Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets; Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers Next up? An inside look at LaMarcus Aldridge from an Western Conference advance scout: “I would love to know exactly what was said in the conversation he had with [Spurs coach Gregg] Pop[ovich] after last season, from both sides. Because whatever it was, it’s produced the best season I’ve seen from LA since he’s been in the league. And I’m dating that back to his best years in Portland. The Spurs aren't close to the team they are with all of the heavy lifting he’s done this season. He’s been more physical and much more active on the defensive end than he was last season and obviously, with Kawhi Leonard missing from the lineup for basically the entire season, his responsibilities as the No. 1 option for them offensively has been tremendous. He’s always been a skilled, face-up big. Working from the L and on the baseline extended, he’s as tough a cover as you’ll find at that position. "He embraced the other stuff, though, and perhaps at Pop’s urging. He’s made himself a more physical presence around the basket and at the rim. When he’s working in space against opposing [centers], that’s when he really has an advantage, because he’ll abuse guys his size and bigger who aren’t as mobile, guys who cannot match his quickness. He’s not an above the rim guy or a rim protector that causes you any concern, but he’s stronger than he looks and this season, he’s mixed it up more when necessary. He’s been more physical than usual. I’d suggest that’s a direct result of what Pop was trying to convey to him. Without Kawhi out there, someone had to play that role as their offensive catalyst and to do that LaMarcus was going to have to toughen up and show more fire than he did last season. I give him credit for stepping up to that challenge. I’ll admit, I was a bit of a skeptic when he was the hot free agent name a couple summers back. It’s easy to forget that. He was the player everybody wanted and the Spurs got him. And it seems like he’s finally comfortable there now in the role he’s playing leading that team right now. I’ve gained a lot of respect for him and his game with the way he’s played this season.” Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. 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 31st, 2018

LOOK: Chris Tiu displays piano skills

Rain or Shine guard Chris Tiu, who is also known to teach basic basketball drills in a segment on television, takes us off the court, where he displays his prowess in the piano. The former Blue Eagles skipper showcases his musical playing skills, as he served as background music player to Roadfill and Princess Sevillena's rendition of the Ed Sheeran hit 'Perfect'. The veteran again showed his great musical taste, playing a piano cover of  'Never Enough', a song from the soundtrack of the movie 'The Greatest Showman', a musical starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, among others. See for yourself how he fares as a piano player!   Because you guys requested it... Here's our cover of Perfect with Roadfil and super talented Princess Sevillena. A little late for Valentine's but hope you guys like it 😄😄🎤🎵🎶🎼 @roadfillsparks @wishfulprincessliezl A post shared by Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Feb 16, 2018 at 12:35am PST   Never Enough from The Greatest Showman. Love this movie and the soundtrack ❤️❤️🎶🎶🎼🎼 pic.twitter.com/ovB9ih63M3 — Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu) February 18, 2018 A long-time piano player, Tiu has also played the theme song of Disney classic 'Beauty and the Beast' on the musical instrument.      (1/3) Beauty and the Beast piano cover. Still high from the movie! Brought back childhood memories. Thanks to my brother Christian for patiently helping me record this 😄🎹🎶🎼🎵 A post shared by Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Mar 26, 2017 at 7:38am PDT     (2/3) Beauty and the Beast piano. 🎶🎶🎶 A post shared by Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Mar 26, 2017 at 7:44am PDT     (3/3) Beauty and the Beast piano. 🎵🎵🎵 hope you guys like it 😁😁 A post shared by Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Mar 26, 2017 at 7:47am PDT Maybe when his playing career's all said and done, Tiu can become a successful recording artist of his own.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

Aces force Ginebra into submission to sustain streak

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- What a performance by the Aces. Alaska's pressure defense worked to perfection at the Ynares Center here Sunday, forcing Brgy. Ginebra into submission for a 97-83 win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Using the full court press, the Aces sucked the life of out Ginebra in the third period, outscoring the Gin Kings 37-19 to take control of the ball game. Alaska scored 36 points in the first half. "Hindi kami napagod sa takbuhan. We're in much better shape than that, but we looked tired. The pace of our minds... We weren't playing well in the first half," head coach Alex Compton said. "The second half I thought we settled down and be us," he added With Ginebra missing Greg Slaughter (strained hamstring) in addition to Joe Devance, Alaska just ran the Gin Kings off the floor in the third, unloading a 12-0 run behind Vic Manuel to take a 61-52 lead. Alaska built an 18-point advtage in the fourth, 85-67, and was cool, calm, and collected down the stretch when the Gin Kings tried to make one final rally. Manuel led the way for the now 3-2 Aces, scoring 18 points, 11 in the third, while veteran Sonny Thoss had his best game in a while and finished with 17, 11 in the second half. Chris Banchero and Jvee Casio dropped 14 and 13 points respectively for Alaska and Calvin Abueva finished with nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists. The Gin Kings, absorbing a second straight blowout defeat for a 2-2 mark, got 15 points from Aljon Mariano. Scottie Thompson, Kevin Ferrer, and Japeth Aguilar all finished with 12 points each.   The Scores: ALASKA 97 — Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0. GINEBRA 83 — Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0. Quarters: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2018

5 questions ahead of the NBA s 2017 Christmas Day games

It's already December 25 in the Philippines, but that's still a few hours away in the United States, meaning we have to wait before holiday's best tradition will take place: the NBA's annual slate of Christmas Day games. This year's batch of games sees the 76ers head to MSG to play the Knicks, the Cavaliers go to the Bay to face the Warriors in an NBA Finals rematch, the Wizards tackle the Celtics in an Eastern Conference semis redux, the Rockets battle the Thunder, also a 2017 postseason rematch, and the Timberwolves face off versus the Lakers. While you're unwrapping gifts and munching on Noche Buena leftovers, here are five questions to ponder: 1. Will the injury bug play Grinch to this set of holiday games? The Golden State Warriors officially ruled out Stephen Curry from playing. The LA Lakers just announced that Lonzo Ball is sidelined. Chris Paul is a question mark, while fingers are crossed that Joel Embiid and Kristaps Porzingis will be able to go long when they face off. Injury report for tomorrow's game vs. Cleveland: Shaun Livingston (sore right knee), Kevon Looney (gluteal strain) & Zaza Pachulia (left shoulder soreness) are probable. Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) is out. — Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 25, 2017 Hurt superstars are definitely the coal in an NBA fan's stocking, but let's hope that despite the absence of some of the bigger names, the games will still be able to provide plenty of entertainment. Bonus question: We may not get Curry vs. LeBron this Christmas, but how great of a consolation gift is Durant vs. LeBron? 2. Who will be the Christmas unicorn? Kristaps Porzingis is of course, the OG unicorn, having the tag bestowed upon him by Kevin Durant. The nickname refers to the mythical convergence of height, ball-handling, skill, and three-point shooting, all of which, Porzingis possesses. He's not alone though, as the 76ers' Joel Embiid has all of that in spades too, it's just that, seeing him on court has been more rare, due to an assortment of injuries that have held him back. Imagine, I suppose, if My Little Ponies could draw DNPs. When Porzingis' Knicks and and Embiid's 76ers collide, all eyes will be on the two, as they will inevitably go head-to-head against each other. As of writing, the Knicks are in the eighth seed in the East, while a 1-9 stretch in their last 10 games has the 76ers on the outside looking in at 10th place, three back of the Knicks. Therefore, it's not just pride at stake here; the East is wide open and every game will matter, as both squads harbor postseason dreams. Bonus question: Will 76ers rookie point guard Ben Simmons wind up stealing the show? 3. Who will triumph in the Wall vs. Irving point guard duel? After some strong starts to the season, the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards, the two squads most picked to be potential spoilers to the Cleveland Cavaliers' march to yet another Finals, are going through some rough patches. The Celtics of course, lost Gordon Hayward and started 0-2, but eventually righted the ship through tough defense, only to finish just 5-5 in their latest stretch (though they're still #1 in the conference). Meanwhile, injuries to John Wall and some of their role players have really prevented the Wizards from taking off. They're 18-15, and occupy the seventh spot in the East right now. If someone's going to take charge for either side in this Christmas duel, it'll be each side's respective point guards. Kyrie Irving has embraced being the man for the green and white, while John Wall is an established superstar in the Chocolate City. A Christmas day win for either team could be the foundation for a lengthy run of wins if they can maintain momentum. Bonus question: Who will be the better Morris twin - Boston's Marcus or Washington's Markieff? 4. Which nu-super team will do the most damage, the Rockets or the Thunder? The two most aggressive teams this offseason in revamping their roster to take on the defending champs were without a doubt, the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. H-Town added Chris Paul and a bevy of long-limbed, rangy defenders who can nail open three's, while OKC formed their version of a big three by trading for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. The early returns have looked better for the Rox than the Thunder. Even with Paul sidelined, the team was able to shoot to the top of the West standings, and looked even better when CP3 was healthy alongside the Beard, James Harden. On the other hand, it's been an on-going adjustment for reigning MVP Russell Westbrook to integrate the two other established stars. Their defense has been on-point, but their offense is prone to long, fatal droughts. Chris Paul has been listed as doubtful for this one (among several other Houston players), so we may not get the full experience, but this Western Conference Playoffs rematch from last season should still be interesting, even if it's just in an offense versus defense kind of way. Bonus question: Better odds of happening in this game, Harden scores 50+ for a third straight game or Westbrook adds another triple-double to his season tally? 5. Can Kyle Kuzma carry the Lakers? One can make a pretty convincing argument that Kyle Kuzma should be the Rookie of the Year. Despite not being a lottery pick, Kuz has had a major impact on the court, his scoring prowess adding quite the punch to a Lakers team that needs some (okay, a lot). Originally, this question was going to involve Lonzo Ball too, but with the Lakers announcing that his shoulder will keep him out of this game and the rest of the week, this could be a rare opportunity for Kuzma to steal the LA spotlight. Doubly so if Brandon Ingram remains sidelined too. Sure, he'll likely need to contend with the Timberwolves placing super-stopper Jimmy Butler on him, but wouldn't that be a fun duel to watch? Bonus question: How bummed are you that we won't be having LaVar Ball Christmas shenanigans with Lonzo out? The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2017

Dragic, Davis named NBA Players of the Week

Miami Heat press release MIAMI – The NBA announced today that Miami HEAT guard Goran Dragić was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, November 20 through Sunday, November 26 (Nov. 21-27, PHL time). It is the third time Dragić has been named Player of the Week, the first time in the Eastern Conference, in his career and the 56th time in franchise history a HEAT player has earned the honors. Dragić led the HEAT to a perfect 3-0 record for the week, averaging 23.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.00 steals while shooting 52.4 percent (22-of-42) from the field, 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from three-point range and 84.2 percent (16-of-19) from the foul line. He led the team in points and steals twice and in assists and minutes once each. He scored at least 20 points in each contest, including a game-high 27 points in a victory against Boston, snapping their 16-game win streak. He also moved into the HEAT’s all-time top 10 assist leaders list with his 1,063rd dish as a member of the HEAT this week after previously recording his 1,000th assist in just his 176th game with Miami, the fifth-fewest number of games needed to achieve the feat in team history. Dragić started the season scoring at least 17 points in the first eight games of the season, the third-longest such streak in franchise history to begin a campaign as he also connected on at least one three-point field goal in each of the season’s first 14 games, a new career-best mark. Additionally, he has led the team in scoring and assists a team-high eight times each this season. Dragić led off the week with a game-high 27 points as he paired with Dion Waiters (26 points) to become the first pair of HEAT starting backcourt teammates to each post at least 26 points in the same game since 2009, helping Miami end Boston’s 16-game win streak with a, 104-98, victory. He then added 20 points while dishing out six assists, including shooting 5-of-8 from three-point range, in a, 109-97, win at Minnesota. In that game, Dragić, along with Wayne Ellington (6-of-9), became just the 14th pair of Miami teammates to each connect on at least five treys in the same game. He ended the week with a game-high 24 points in a, 100-93, victory at Chicago to help give the HEAT a season-long three-game win streak. New Orleans Pelicans press release NEW ORLEANS – The NBA announced earlier today that Anthony Davis was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from November 20-26 (Nov. 21-27, PHL time). Davis led the Pelicans to a 3-1 week behind averages of 29.5 points on .586 shooting from the floor, 12.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 blocks. During the week, Davis led the Western Conference in total points scored (118), total field goals made (41) and highest field goal percentage for any player that attempted at least 50 field goals during the week. Additionally, Davis ranked fourth in rebounds (50) and blocks (five). Davis was the only player in the NBA during the week that recorded a 35-point, 15-rebound game, which he had two of (11/20 vs. OKC; 11/25 at GSW). During New Orleans’ win over Oklahoma City, Davis set new franchise records for both free throws made and attempted, going 18-of-22 from the charity stripe. This marks the third time Davis has earned Player of the Week honors during his career, and the first time during the 2017-18 season. Earlier this season, teammate DeMarcus Cousins took home Player of the Week honors, marking the first time that two different New Orleans players have won the award in the same season since Chris Paul and David West during the 2008-09 campaign. Davis is currently averaging 26.0 points (ranked fifth in the NBA) on .571 shooting from the floor (ranked 10th in the NBA), 11.3 rebounds (ranked eighth in the NBA) and 1.8 blocks (ranked third in the NBA) on the season for the Pelicans. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

The Pistons are 10-3, and might be the surprise of the NBA

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press The Detroit Pistons are heading on the road for a few days, so maybe someone will see them play. They’ve certainly been worth watching. Detroit’s 10-3 start, good for No. 2 in the Eastern Conference standings, is one of the biggest good surprises in the NBA through the season’s first month. The Pistons already have a road win at Golden State, swept a five-game homestand — possibly to the delight of all those unoccupied red seats at Little Caesars Arena, more on that in a moment — and are off to their best start in 12 years. “I know that we’re playing as a team right now,” Detroit’s Luke Kennard said. “We’re really locked in. We’re really playing together and we play hard. When you have a team that does that together, you win.” Now comes the test. Starting Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), the Pistons play five of their next six games on the road — visiting Milwaukee, Indiana and Minnesota before returning home to face Cleveland, then heading right back out for a trip to Oklahoma City and Boston. After topping Miami to finish off a 5-0 homestand Sunday (Monday, PHL time), Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy made no effort to hide how pleased he is right now. “We did a great job here, and now you just move on to the next challenge,” Van Gundy said. “Now 9-of-11 on the road, the next three games on the road against teams you beat at home so you know they want back at you. The challenges just keep mounting, but you put wins in the bank.” Maybe at some point, there will be fans in the seats. The brand-new Detroit arena has a listed capacity for basketball at 20,491, which was the announced crowd for opening night. In seven games since, the Pistons have announced crowds between 13,709 and 17,683 — and those numbers may be generous, given how empty the building looks on television. Officially, Detroit sold 76 percent of its tickets in those seven games. ___ GIANNIS WATCH Technically, no foreign player has ever won an NBA scoring title. Dominique Wilkins has one and he was born in Paris, but only because his father was in the U.S. Air Force. Giannis Antetokounmpo may change that in a few months. And if not this season, then probably soon enough. The Milwaukee star who hails from Greece went into this week averaging just over 31 points per game and leading the league in that department. He was the Most Improved Player last season and don’t be surprised if he gets more votes for that trophy this season — along with MVP ballots as well. “He plays now to destroy you,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters last week before Antetokounmpo scored 28 in Milwaukee’s road win over San Antonio. “In the beginning he was pretty darn good and he would do this and he would do that. But now he knows he can do it to you every time. He’s for real.” Antetokounmpo turns 23 on Dec. 6. The only other players in the last 50 years with 5,000 points, 2,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists before celebrating their 23rd birthdays — Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, and future Hall of Famer LeBron James. ___ ANNIVERSARIES A couple of significant milestone dates are nearing. Sunday (Monday, PHL time) marks the 13th anniversary since the so-called “Malice at The Palace,” the infamous brawl involving Indiana and Detroit after Metta World Peace (then Ron Artest) went into the stands after a fan hit him with a drink. The aftermath included nine players being suspended, and security in NBA arenas has been different ever since. And Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) is the 16th anniversary of the first call-up from what is now called the NBA G League — the Denver Nuggets brought eventual NBA champion Chris Andersen up from the Fayetteville Patriots, a move that paved the way for hundreds of players to truly view the development league as a springboard to the NBA. ___ THE WEEK AHEAD Some games to keep an eye on over the coming days: — Philadelphia at L.A. Lakers, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): Ben Simmons and Lonzo Ball, a matchup of future NBA assist leaders. — Golden State at Boston, Thursday (Friday, PHL time): An NBA Finals preview? The road team has won five straight in this series. — Oklahoma City at San Antonio, Friday (Saturday, PHL time): Russell Westbrook has triple-doubles in his last two games vs. the Spurs. — Houston at Memphis, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time): The Rockets’ wide-open offense goes up against the Grizzlies’ airtight defense. — Washington at Toronto, Sunday: John Wall vs. Kyle Lowry might get overlooked on an NFL Sunday, but shouldn’t. ___ STAT LINE OF THE WEEK Paul George, Oklahoma City: His 37-point, eight-rebound, five-assist game against Dallas on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) wasn’t even his best game of the week (he had 42, 9 and 7 two nights earlier against the Clippers). But the Sunday (Monday, PHL time) game gets the nod since it came on Russell Westbrook’s birthday and when asked what he got his teammate, George said “I got him 37.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2017

Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 3 and 4

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com It was bound to happen, right? The King was never, ever going to give up his throne to anyone else. Period. Because of that, we had to separate him from the rest of the field and give out a new ranking: ATHO (All To His Own). So unless something crazy happens during the season -- or an injury -- No. 1 will have an asterisk of sorts. Now that the chase has opened up for everyone else, it should make for an interesting and intriguing run to the finish line, asterisk be damned. Notes: - Statistics are through games of Nov. 15 (Nov. 16, PHL time) - Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings. - Check out previous rankings - Send comments to my email. If it's good -- and clean -- it may appear in a future column. Be sure to include your first name and city. ATHO. LeBron James (33), Los Angeles Lakers Previous rank: 1 Latest stats: 6 games, 27.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 6.2 apg Season stats: 27.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 7.2 apg Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) 44-point performance against the Trail Blazers was the one. That was the one that pushed the King into his own tier, his own neighborhood, his own ranking. He just refuses to make it fair for everyone else. That's how good he is. In addition to Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) superior effort, James has gone for 25 or more in eight of the last 10. _______________________________________________________________ 1. Marc Gasol (33), Memphis Grizzlies Previous rank: 4 Latest stats: 7 games, 16.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 4.6 apg Season stats: 15.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 4.1 apg After eclipsing 15 points in just three of the first six, Gasol has surpassed the mark in four straight, which included Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) effort in which he tied a career high with six three's. Of course the splits over the last seven left us puzzled. In four wins, Gasol went for 21.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 52.2 3PT%. In three losses: 10.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 0-for-8 from deep. 2. Chris Paul (33), Houston Rockets Previous rank: 3 Latest stats: 8 games, 16.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 7.1 apg Season stats: 17.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 7.5 apg We were ready to move Paul to the top of the list until Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) effort: 10 points (4-for-10 shooting) and seven assists against the Warriors. In two previous games, Paul managed 21 and 26 on 15-for-25 shooting. Of course four previous contests saw him combine for just 39 points on 15-for-47 (31.9) shooting. It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride in November. 3. LaMarcus Aldridge (33), San Antonio Spurs Previous rank: 2 Latest stats: 7 games, 14.1 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 1.6 apg Season stats: 17.4 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 2.4 apg He's scoring at home while rebounding on the road. In three home games, Aldridge went for 21.0 ppg and 9.3 rpg. In four road games, he averaged 9.0 ppg and 15.5 rpg. Aldridge has been hot and cold this month, failing to score in double figures in two of seven and scoring 20 or more just twice. One consistent has been the board work, grabbing 10 or more in five straight. 4. JJ Redick (34), Philadelphia 76ers Previous rank: 7 Latest stats: 7 games, 17.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 3.7 apg Season stats: 18.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.5 apg Redick is feeling it of late, pouring in 20 or more points and hitting at least three three-pointers in three consecutive games. Coincidentally, he's started the last three games after beginning the season on the bench. We've also taken notice of Redick's volume of long-range shots, making 3.0 treys a game and attempting 8.3 -- both career highs. 5. Lou Williams (32), LA Clippers Previous rank: Just missed Latest stats: 6 games, 21.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.7 apg Season stats: 19.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.1 apg Hello there, newbie. Williams, who just turned 32 on Oct. 27, sprints up the list on the strength of five games with 20 or more points -- all while averaging less than 30 minutes (29.4) per game. In fact, the only game he didn't go for 20, he added 10 assists. Digging deeper, the last time Williams failed to break double-figure scoring was Nov. 20, 2017. 6. Kyle Lowry (32), Toronto Raptors Previous rank: 5 Latest stats: 6 games, 13.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 10.0 apg Season stats: 16.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 10.7 apg Lowry, who finally saw his streak of games with 10-plus assists end at nine, has been a bit of a road warrior over the last handful of games. In his last three home games, he averaged 9.3 points, 8.7 assists and 40.0 FG%. In three road games, Lowry managed 18.0 points, 11.3 assists and 46.3 FG%. 7.  Wesley Matthews (32), Dallas Mavericks Previous rank: 6 Latest stats: 5 games, 12.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 apg Season stats: 16.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 apg After starting the season with six straight double-figure scoring games, Matthews has gone for 10 or more in just three of the last seven. He missed one game with a hamstring injury and had to leave Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) game after just 21 minutes with the same injury, so that'll skew the numbers a bit, which is why he only fell one spot. 8.  Taj Gibson (33), Minnesota Timberwolves Previous rank: NA Latest stats: 7 games, 12.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.9 apg Season stats: 11.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.4 apg Gibson started the season sluggishly, failing to score more than 13 points in any of the first 10 games. Since then, the gritty veteran has gone for 15 or more in three of the last five. Also in those first 10 games, Gibson managed to snag nine or more boards just once. He's done that three times in the last five contests. 9.  Dwight Howard (32), Washington Wizards Previous rank: NA Latest stats: 7 games, 12.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.4 apg Season stats: 12.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.4 apg After missing the first seven games of the season with a back injury, Howard is starting to get into a groove. In addition to scoring in double figures in four straight, he has snatched eight or more rebounds in five of the last six. His return to the lineup might also be a reason the Wizards have started to turn things around, winning four of their last six. 10. Goran Dragic (32), Miami Heat Previous rank: 9 Latest stats: 4 games, 16.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.5 apg Season stats: 17.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.8 apg The theme song from Facts of Life keeps running through my head: "You take the good, you take the bad ..." That rings very true with Dragic, who in his four games had three with 20 or more points and one with a goose egg on 0-for-7 shooting. Now, we won't pile on since we realize he missed a pair of games with a knee injury. Just missed the cut: Paul Millsap, JJ Barea, Dwyane Wade, Al Horford, Jeff Green The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 18th, 2018

Irving’s 43 ignites Celtics run

Kyrie Irving had a season-high 43 points, scoring 17 points in the last 8:06 of the fourth quarter to force overtime and then making or recording an assist on every basket in the extra period in the Boston Celtics’ 123-116 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 17th, 2018

PBA: Romeo Travis wants redemption in return to Finals

The first time Romeo Travis came to the PBA, he won Best Import and took his team to the Governors' Cup Finals. Once he got there though, he got swept.  It wa a terrible way to end his maiden voyage to the Philipppines. It took Travis three years to make it back to the PBA and while he might not win Best Import this time, he still has his team in the Finals of the Governors' Cup. He wants to win it this time. "Last time I was here I laid an eg,, I played very bad in the Finals," Travis said after scoring a career-high 50 points for Magnolia in Game 4 to lead the Hotshots past two-time champion Brgy. Ginebra in the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. "I want redemption, that's why I came back," he added. The last time Romeo Travis was in the PBA Finals, he was with the Alaska Aces. Three years later, he's with the Hotshots. He's pretty good with his new team. "I looked at the roster and I seen they had good veterans and hungry young guys. It was a great mix. With me it was just an opportunity to gel with the team. I didn't want to take over, I just wanted to be part of the team," Travis said. "These guys have allowed me to be part of the team and that's what makes this team special, it's the chemistry. They know I'm not a guy that's going to demand the ball and curse at somebody if I don't get the ball. That's not who am I as a person and as a player. We're one unit right now, we're really clicking," he added. The Aces that Travis used to play with are one win away from the Finals as well and are on the verge of setting up a pretty interesting championship round. While Travis wishes his old teammates good luck, he couldn't care less if it's Alaska that moves on or if it's Meralco. "Whoever wins, we're happy to see them. Good luck to both teams," he said. "I don't have a preference. Good luck to Banchero, Vic Manuel... these are my guys. I hope they do well but I don't care who wins. Either way we're going to have to play them," Travis added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2018

Banchero promises Alaska fightback in Game 2

ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – Expect Alaska to play with a lot more firepower as it tries to even its best-of-five semifinals duel in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup against Meralco.  That's what Chris Banchero promised after the Aces absorbed a 92-97 loss to the Bolts in Game 1 on ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 12th, 2018