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PBA: TNT knows it will doubly hard as they face San Miguel on Saturday

For the TNT KaTropa, sporting a 6-2 record is not enough if they want to hold and clinch one of the top two spots in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup playoff race. And if they want to get win #7, they will have to go through a very tough opponent in defending champions San Miguel on Saturday, in their first face-off since the Finals last year, where they lost in six games. Both coming off losses, the two teams will obviously have a chip on their shoulder, but San Miguel will be more motivated, as they aim for a third to sixth spot, holding a 3-4 record. As Roger Pogoy and Terrence Romeo said, their goal is to make the top two in order to enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. However, with their matchup Saturday, it may just have to wait for a game longer. "It all depends on the next three games of course but we really need to focus still on the next one. San Miguel, they lost earlier 'no? Which makes it doubly-hard to play them. But that's a challenge I think for both teams, having to play coming from losses," the former FEU coach said after the game. Even though they were ahead by as much as 12 in the first half, the KaTropa ultimately lost after the Hotshots blew the game wide open in the fourth, leading by as much as 24 points. Racela offered to share his take on the game, and it was not positive. "Actually the whole game hindi maganda. Even when we were leading in the first half hindi rin naman maganda tinatakbo namin. We just felt that the energy was down today, that's why." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 13th, 2018

PVL: Fighting Warays try to stay alive in semis hunt

Tacloban’s semifinals bid now depends on fate. Though needing to pray hard for other teams still in the hunt for the last Final Four spot to drop their remaining assignments, the Fighting Warays, for now, must take care of the things they have control over. Tacloban is in a must-win situation when it clashes with upset-conscious Adamson-Akari Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.   Game time is at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.  The Fighting Warays are in a two-way tie at fifth to sixth spots with idle Pocari Sweat-Air Force, sporting 5-7 win-loss records. PetroGazz, which will face Ateneo-Motolite at 6:00 p.m., currently occupies the fourth spot behind the semis-bound Lady Eagles, Creamline and BanKo. Tacloban needs to sweep its remaining games and hope that Pocari Sweat and PetroGazz drop all of their next assignments to advance to the semis. The Fighting Warays are coming off a week-long  rest after outlasting PetroGazz in five sets. But pressure will be on Tacloban’s side against a team with nothing to lose. The Lady Falcons have yet to capture the elusive victory after bowing down on their last 10 outings.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News11 hr. 27 min. ago

PVL: Malakas pa rin makakatapat mo, wala kang ligtas -- Valdez on semis

Creamline is through to the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. For Cool Smashers top hitter Alyssa Valdez, the next challenge now is for Creamline to build momentum heading into the best-of-three Final Four. Choosing which team to face in the penultimate stage is out of the question. “Kahit pumili ka rin kasi sa kung saang rank ka, makakatapat mo pa rin ay malalakas na teams. Wala kang ligtas,” said Valdez, whose squad sports a 9-2 win-loss record at the second spot and is on a three-game winning tear. The Cool Smashers occupied the third semifinals seat on Wednesday after sweeping Iriga-Navy, 25-12, 25-13, 26-24, to join other Final Four-bound teams Ateneo-Motolite and BanKo. Only one berth remains and for the three teams that are already in the semis cast, the last four playdates of the two-round eliminations will determine their placing in the Final Four.     But the Cool Smashers would rather concentrate on building their morale than worry about their seeding.   “Ang hirap kasi hindi mo rin alam,” she said. “I think ang goal talaga is to really get wins sa mga future games namin. We have three more games medyo delikado pa. More hard work pa, more push pa.” The Cool Smashers still have BanKo, first round tormentor PetroGazz and upset-conscious Adamson-Akari in their list of assignments.   “I think ang pinakaimportante ngayon to get all the confidence na kailangan namin. Lahat malaman namin ngayon kung ano pa ang kailangan naming i-improve as a team para pagdating ng semifinals kahit sino ang makalaban namin medyo mag-perform kami ng maganda,” she said. And to build that momentum, Creamline will need to bring it’s A-game against the Perlas Spikers on Saturday in Cagayan de Oro.   “We all know BanKo, tough team, very hard to beat and they’re my former teammates so kilalang-kilala nila ako,” said Valdez of the squad that the Cool Smashers swept in the first round.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2018

PBA: SMB will be scary in the playoffs with or without 2x-to-beat

BINAN, Laguna --- There's a very slim chance that San Miguel might actually take a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. But even if the Beermen ultimately miss out on the playoff bonus, it's safe to say that no team would want to play San Miguel in the first round of the postseason. "I think we're a tough team to play against even if we don't make the top-4," forward Christian Standhardinger said. "We just gotta keep going and work hard and hope that we get lucky, that luck is on our side," he added. After a 109-97 decision over Rain or Shine Saturday at the Alonte Sports Arena here, the Beermen have won four straight games to improve to 6-4 in the standings. Despite struggling earlier in the conference, losing three straight games, the Beermen have powered through. San Miguel also have four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo back, making them even more formidable. Just like in the Commissioner's Cup, where they endured similar early tournament struggles before eventually still making it to the Finals, the Beermen know the time to pick things up. And the time is now. "Last conference we struggled the same way. This is the San Miguel way I guess. I hope I don't eat my words and I can be wrong but normally we play our best basketball at the end of the season," Standhardinger said. "That's where it counts the most," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2018

Led by bench, Clippers hang on to beat Rockets 115-112

By Beth Harris, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Montrezl Harrell led a fourth-quarter charge by the Clippers' reserves with 17 points, and Los Angeles defeated the Houston Rockets 115-112 on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). Harrell and the bench helped the Clippers erase a four-point deficit late in the third, with Luc Mbah a Moute's three-pointer giving them the lead for good. Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 23 points. Danilo Gallinari added 20 and Harrell had 10 rebounds. The Rockets were without Chris Paul against his old team. He began serving a two-game suspension for his involvement in an on-court fight against the Lakers on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). James Harden had 31 points and 14 assists for the Rockets. He got shoved by the Lakers' Brandon Ingram in a move that started the incident a night earlier. Harden scored nine straight points to draw Houston within three with 29 seconds left. But his potential tying three-pointer was short on the left side as time expired. The starless-Clippers earned their second win over one of the NBA's top teams, having beaten the Thunder, who played without Russell Westbrook on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Reserves Lou Williams and rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 12 points each for the Clippers. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer exhorted the crowd to "Get up!" during a timeout with 3:17 remaining in the game, waving his arms with a fierce look on his face. Harden was subjected to some smothering defense by Patrick Beverley in the game's opening minutes. Harden went down after inadvertently getting hit in the head by Beverley and the Rockets called timeout. Another time, Harden was on a drive to the basket when Beverley committed a hard foul that knocked down the Rockets star. Trailing by four, the Clippers closed the third on a 19-6 run to lead 93-83. Mbah a Moute had eight points and Harrell added four. Harrell tipped the ball away from P.J. Tucker on the final play and scored, drawing the foul and shimmying his way into high-fives with two courtside fans. Gallinari scored 11 of the Clippers' first 20 points of the third, countering Eric Gordon, who had 10 points early in the period starting in place of Paul. TIP-INS Rockets: Besides his suspension, Paul was fined a total of $491,782 for his role in the fracas. Paul wasn't at Staples Center on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). ... They lost in the second game of their first back-to-back of the season. The Rockets were 10-3 in such situations last season. Clippers: They ended a two-game skid to the Rockets. UP NEXT Rockets: Host Utah on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Clippers: Visit New Orleans on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) in their first road trip of the season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2018

Bulls Carter Jr. undergoing NBA big man s trial by fire

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHICAGO – Every August, the NBA holds its rookie transition program to give its newly minted pros an idea of what life in the league is going to be like, from handling their money and dealing with reporters to fending off assorted unsavory outside forces. And then, every October, the young guys begin their real rookie transition. Consider Wendell Carter Jr. of the Chicago Bulls. In a span of five days, he will have gone through a gauntlet of imposing NBA big men that would have some 10-year veterans flinching and wondering if their tendinitis needed a night off. Carter’s on-the-job rigors began Thursday (Friday, PHL time), when he became only the 10th Bulls rookie to start on opening night and was met in his matchup at center with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid. It continued Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in Chicago’s home opener against Detroit, with Carter banging at various times against both Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Now the 19-year-old will travel to Dallas, where he’ll get his first test against the Mavericks’ salty DeAndre Jordan. And just for the record, in the Bulls’ final preseason game, he had to cope with Denver’s crafty Nikola Jokic. For someone so young, against such a slate of established or eventual All-Stars, Carter’s early lessons have been difficult. There really is no other way. “I’m sure it’s just chaos and confusion right now for him,” Griffin said after leading the Pistons with 33 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in a 118-116 victory at United Center. “He doesn’t look that way, but that’s just how you feel – no matter what – when you’re a rookie. The game is moving so fast.” Carter, the No. 7 pick from Duke in this year's Draft, fell victim to foul trouble early and the Bulls’ need to play catch-up late, which had coach Fred Hoiberg sticking with Jabari Parker at the end. Carter logged less than 18 minutes, finishing with eight points, two rebounds and two blocks. Drummond had foul issues of his own, exiting with his sixth after just 23:33. Still, Drummond and Griffin won the frontcourt battle with 43 points and 25 boards to Carter and Bobby Portis’ combined 14 and 16. It wasn’t the sort of Windy City debut Carter would have scripted. This was, after all, kind of a big deal – he’s the player Chicago landed after an entire 2017-18 season spent gaming the NBA’s Draft lottery system. The Bulls consciously tried to dive deep, won a little too counterproductively in December and January and wound up waiting until after the first six picks were gone. That tortuous process led everyone to Saturday, when 21,289 in the stands got their first official look at the alleged silver lining from last season’s dark cloud. Carter wasn’t happy with either his or his team’s performance afterward, pulling his clothes from the hangers in his locker as he dressed and bemoaning the Bulls’ lack of defensive communication (they’ve given up 245 points in two games). Not to worry, though, Griffin said. “He’s so talented, he’s going to be fine,” the Pistons star said. “It’s just a matter of time for him. I watched him play probably more than any other player in college last year – I really like his game. I’ve known of him since he was in high school. He would be the least of my concerns if I was over there in the front office or on the coaching staff.” Hoiberg and his staff have approached Carter’s trial by fire by starting him in response to the challenges he handled in summer league and in the preseason. He arrived with a maturity, poise and defensive bent some players never achieve – a young Al Horford was a frequent comp – and isn’t about to blow that image, no matter how many lumps he takes. “I appreciate the fact I’m able to play against these very talented bigs early on in my career,” Carter said. “Learn what I’ve got to work on. I’ve got to get stronger, that’s the first thing I recognized. … Just being up against the best, I love the competition. I love going against the best players.” Truth be told, Hoiberg said he talked with Carter on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) about handling the frustrations he’ll surely encounter. He’s a little cranky about the officiating, for example, picking up at least three fouls in all six preseason and regular-season appearances while playing fewer than 23 minutes every time. He’s does the “verticality” thing as if from a textbook and still hears a whistle. “At this point, I just feel like it’s rookie calls. I don’t care what nobody’s saying, that’s how I really feel,” Carter said. “I still have respect for the game, though. I have respect for the referees. If they call it, it’s a foul. I’ve just got to do better, learn from it.” Then there was the chatter from Embiid in Philadelphia, a 19-point Sixers romp. “He was telling me what I should and shouldn’t do,” Carter said. “‘C’mon rookie, you’ve got to do’ something ‘better.’ Carter didn’t chatter back, he said. “Not yet. I’m gonna get there at some point though.” Drummond didn’t pile on, thanks perhaps only to the referees. "If I played more, I think it woulda been more of a schooling,” the Detroit center said. “This is a helluva three games for him.” Drummond, 25, remembers what it was like six years ago, when he was the one absorbing the lessons. His rookie year got dinged 22 games due to a stress fracture in his back, an injury that compounded the basketball education. “I learned my lessons the hard way,” Drummond told NBA.com. “Physically. I started out being hurt. I had to just play and figure it out game by game. Watched films. Learned the guys that I played against. And figured it out.” Drummond wound up averaging 7.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He had nine double-doubles and earned all-rookie status. But he’s glad to be wiser now in the NBA’s ways, given how few the shortcuts were. “It was more of a sponge season for me,” he said. “Learning the NBA. I mean, I was a young kid. Just tried to have fun with it. It was the game I loved and I was playing it at the highest level, so I just tried to enjoy every moment and take it in.” That’s Carter today, way at the front end of his career. He’s got a notebook, he said, that he scribbles in bullet points, tips and lessons from each game after he’s left the arena, his mind clear. Portis said he’ll share more with Carter as the season goes on – there hasn’t been much time and the Bulls haven’t really hit the road yet – but most of this stuff will be hands-on. “It’s as important a thing as you’re going to face in this league,” Hoiberg said. “When you’ve got a 19-year-old kid out there, it’s human nature I think when you’re playing against an opponent like Wendell has gone against, to hang your head a little bit.” The coach added: “It’s something every player goes through in this league. It’s understanding who you’re playing against. We’re showing him a lot of personnel, film on who he’s going to be going up against.” Until the day, and it will come, when young guys are studying film of Carter, going through gauntlets of their own. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 21st, 2018

U.N. treaty cracks down on heated tobacco products

GENEVA, Switzerland – Members of a global tobacco treaty took a hard line Saturday, October 6 on heated tobacco products, agreeing that they should face the same restrictions as cigarettes despite possibly being less deadly. The tobacco industry has argued that the World Health Organization was missing an opportunity to save ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 7th, 2018

Warriors secure now, but face questions on Cousins, Durant

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, Calif. -- All is rather calm at the moment with the defending champs, who are idling until they reach two important checkpoints in their gold-bricked road: What happens when DeMarcus Cousins comes back, and what happens if Kevin Durant doesn’t? One carries implications for this season, the other impacts next season and beyond. It’s really that simple for the Warriors, the heavy NBA favorites who once again are threatening to burst everyone else’s balloon for the next seven months and then pop bottles in June. While his new teammates are busy breaking a sweat in Camp Kerr, Cousins is mostly off to the side of the court, on his own schedule, going through the next phase of his rehabilitation from a torn Achilles suffered last spring. There is no timetable on his debut. Still: He represents a bonus for the defending champs, an ace card that doesn’t need to be played until it’s time, perhaps around the All-Star break in February, before for the playoffs. It’s quite a luxury to have, for a team that has everything: A big man with skills who averaged 25 points, 13 rebounds and 1.6 blocks last season with the Pelicans and is only 28. Assuming a full recovery, which isn’t a slam dunk by any means, Cousins would still be in his prime once he suits up and makes life complicated for teams trying to game plan for Golden State. And then there’s the elephant in the gym. Durant remains on a year-to-year contract. Initially, this was done mainly to ensure the Warriors wiggle room under the salary cap to re-sign Andre Iguodala and keep the core of a three-time champion. Yet Durant chose the same financial strategy this summer during free agency and therefore will be back on the market in 2019. You ask, and he says only: “Just keeping my options open.” It’s a rather sound, if rare, strategy that’s afforded by only few, as in, just Durant and until this summer, LeBron James. For the superstar who has already banked in excess of $100 million on the court and pulls that much and perhaps more in endorsements, there’s no financial incentive or urgency to lock in long-term. LeBron did so with the Lakers last July only because it was finally the right time: He turns 34 this year. Going year-to-year allows Durant, 30, to stay unchained in case something happens that causes him to sour on the Warriors and/or fall in love with another team. He’s an MVP contender in his prime and so a long-term deal will always await, no matter if he stays or goes. The only risk is a career-threatening injury, and in such an unlikely yet worst-case scenario. Durant is already wealthy times ten. Flexibility, right now, is more valuable than long-term money. The bigger issue is how this hovers above the Warriors, and there’s no sign that it’s causing sleepless nights. For one: Durant is in the fold for this season and the Warriors remain loaded; therefore their sights are fixated on June, when the championship will be decided, not July, when free agent starts. And two: The organization seems secure in itself and believes at the moment of truth, Golden State will be his best option. The evidence is pretty compelling. Next season the Warriors move into a state-of-the-art arena in San Francisco; ownership is laughing at the luxury tax, which could approach over $150 million in two seasons depending on the payroll; and in case you haven’t noticed, the Warriors are on a championship roll. Finally: Durant enjoys his surroundings. “We’re selfless, care about each other, that’s what the Warriors do,” he said. “My cup is full here knowing that you can walk in here and be yourself, no judgment, just all love. The championship is just the cherry on top.” It’s hard to imagine Durant going to a more talented team. The Warriors are still in their prime, at least the core. Steph Curry is 30 and Durant joins him on Saturday. Cousins, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are 28. It’s rare for a professional sports team to have three titles in the bag with stars in their prime as they chase No. 4; usually, one or two of the main pieces are old and in decline. Extensions are due for Thompson and Cousins next summer along with Durant, and Green in two years. The conventional thinking is a team can’t pay everyone, and perhaps not. But the Warriors will generate millions in their new building, enough to keep a payroll approaching $300 million (and cope with high luxury taxes) if they chose to do so. The goal is to keep the championship train running, until it can’t, because dynasties are hard to build and trickier to maintain. The Warriors have the opportunity to see this through, and so they’ll try. “We’re not looking at this as the final dance,” said coach Steve Kerr. “Like I said, we want to have some fun and enjoy what we have this year and move on from there. Our focus is to really enjoy it while it lasts. And nothing lasts forever, so we know that. We want to go out this year and enjoy every step of the way." Thompson repeated Thursday how much he “loves” living in the Bay Area and “I’d be crazy not to” think about the amount of in-prime talent he’d leave behind if he signs elsewhere. Green said he imagines himself a Warrior “for a long time.” Durant? We’ll see. In the meantime, the Warriors, like Durant, will take it year-by-year. It’s the only way to do business in the modern NBA. This year promises big returns, once again, on the floor. The last team to reach the Finals five straight years was the Bill Russell Celtics. And the Warriors, who swept the Cavaliers last June, who bring Durant and Curry and Thompson and Green back, finally have a center-piece this time. When Cousins returns, this team will be built to make history. And then, come free agency next summer, when the bill comes due, we’ll find out if they’re built to last. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2018

Tiger Woods with 3-shot lead and 1 round away from winning

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Tiger Woods made it look and sound as if he had never been gone. More than turning back time, every hole seemed like the one before Saturday at the Tour Championship. A tee shot striped down the middle of the fairway. The clean strike of an iron as he held his pose. A sonic boom of the cheers from around the green. Another birdie. "I got off to an ideal start," Woods said. "And the next thing you know, I was off and running." With the most dynamic golf he has played all year, Woods built a five-shot lead in seven holes before he cooled from there, settled for a 5-under 65 that gave him a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose and an ideal chance to end this comeback season with a moment that has defined his career. Winning. Woods has the 54-hole lead for the first time since his last victory in 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. He has never lost an official tournament when leading by more than two shots going into the final round, and his closing record with the lead is 42-2 on the PGA Tour. He has never been in better position to show he's all the way back from four back surgeries that once made him fear he might never play again. "I've gone through a lot this year to get myself to this point, and understanding and fighting my way through it," Woods said. "I'm certainly much more equipped than I was in March because of what I've gone through." Wood was at 12-under 198 and will be paired for the first time in final group with McIlroy on the PGA Tour. McIlroy birdied two of his last three holes for a 66. "It's obviously exciting for the golf tournament. It's exciting for golf in general that he's up there," McIlroy said. "But for me, all I can do is concentrate on myself. The game is hard enough without looking at other people. Go out there, take care of my business, and hopefully that's good enough." Rose started the third round tied with Woods, but not for long. Rose opened with two straight bogeys before battling back, but the world's No. 1 player already was four shots behind after four holes. He narrowed the gap with a birdie on the 16th as Woods had to scramble for bogey, a two-shot swing. "In some ways, it felt like a Sunday just with the energy," Rose said after a 68. "But I knew that it was halfway through a Saturday. Just wanted to sort of chisel a few back and give myself a chance going into tomorrow." Rose forgot about Woods and tried to beat East Lake, a game of match play in his mind, in a bid to stay in the game. He wound up with a hard-earned 68. There used to be no chance against Woods when he was atop the leaderboard going into the final round. His only losses with the 54-hole lead were the Quad City Classic in 1996 when he was 20 and making third start as a pro, and the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine against Y.E. Yang. He also lost a two-shot lead to Lee Westwood in Germany at a European Tour event in 2000. Now? Woods has gone more than five years without winning. He also has won enough times — 90 tournaments around the world — to remember how. "It's a little more unknown now," Rose said. "Obviously, his history, his statistics from this point are impeccable. They're incredible. But he's human, and there's a lot on it for him tomorrow, as well as the rest of us." Woods has had four finishes in the top 5, a runner-up by one shot at Innisbrook and by two shots at the PGA Championship. Only once this year, however, has he started the final round within closer than four shots of the lead. Being up by three is a much better view. "Simple math says that if I play a clean card, the guys behind me have to shoot 67 to force it into extra holes," Woods said. "That helps. I don't have to shoot 63 or 64 and hope I get help. This is a spot I'd much rather be in than four or five back." The Saturday start was simply mesmerizing. Woods poured in a 20-foot birdie putt on the first hole. His wedge settled 8 feet below the hole on No. 3. His 20-foot birdie putt on No. 4 tumbled into the center of the cup with perfect pace. Two short birdies followed. And when he finally missed a fairway at No. 7, Woods hit a 9-iron from the bunker that hopped out of the first cut to about 5 feet for a sixth birdie in seven holes. The cheers were endless, and there was no doubting what was going on. "I've heard the roars all day, and it's been phenomenal," Paul Casey said after his 66. "What an atmosphere it is out there this week." Woods, however, made only one birdie over his last 11 holes, a wedge to 7 feet on No. 12. He missed badly on his tee shot at the par-3 ninth, and the shaggy rough to the right of the 16th fairway caused the face of his club to open, missing to the right. His flop shot didn't get up the hill and rolled back toward him, and his next pitch was a bump-and-run played to perfection that kept him from another double bogey. McIlroy also started strong, and being in the group ahead of Woods, he knew exactly what was happening. On Sunday, he get a front-row seat. The only other time they were paired together in the fourth round was at the 2015 Masters, when both were 10 shots behind Jordan Spieth. Rose won't be in the final group, but he has plenty on the line even if he doesn't catch Woods. He likely needs to finish in the top five to be assured of winning the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2018

PBA: Energetic Standhardinger runs away with Player of the Week honors

Tireless San Miguel Beer rookie big man Christian Standhardinger secured his first Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week following his impressive conference debut in the 2018 Governors’ Cup against NLEX. Just a few hours after landing in Manila following his stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the Jakarta Asian Games, the 6-foot-8 Standhardinger suited up the moment he arrived at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. His presence no doubt energized a San Miguel side that missed the services of four-time league Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo. The Cebuano slotman came in with a protective boot due to a right shin fracture he sustained in the Commissioner’s Cup. But the Beermen hardly needed the services of the SMB star center as Standhardinger pumped in a PBA career-high 36 points, to go along with 11 rebounds as the Beermen clobbered the NLEX Road Warriors, 125-112 on Saturday. The hard-banging Standhardinger showed no signs of fatigue though he was just a day removed from registering 27 points and 13 rebounds for Gilas in its 54-point rout of Syria to finish fifth place in the Asian Games. Instead, the former Nebraska and Hawaii standout came out with a lot of energy, making his first six attempts on the way to finishing 14-of-17 from the field in close to 28 minuets of action. Standhardinger won the weekly citation after beating Ginebra forward Japet Aguilar, Magnolia guard Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon and Rome dela Rosa, Phoenix forward Jason Perkins, TNT’s Jayson Castro and NLEX’s Ken Ighalo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

Defending champion Alexander Zverev reaches Citi Open final

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defending champion Alexander Zverev has reached the final at the Citi Open. The No. 1-seeded Zverev defeated 10th-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals Saturday. Sixteenth-seeded Andrey Rublev beat unseeded Denis Kudla 6-1, 6-4 in one quarterfinal and will face Alex de Minaur in the other semifinal Saturday night. De Minaur reached the semis when former No. 1 Andy Murray withdrew from the hard-court U.S. Open tuneup, citing fatigue. Zheng Saisai beat Allie Kick 6-3, 6-1 in the women's quarterfinals, advancing to face seventh-seeded Donna Vekic in one semifinal Saturday night. Svetlana Kuznetsova faces Andrea Petkovic in the other semifinal Saturday. Rain throughout the week forced de Minaur and Saisai to play two matches Saturday. Murray, a three-time major champion coming back from hip surgery, finished his most recent match at 3 a.m. Friday and decided to withdraw rather than play again so soon afterward......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2018

Defending champ Zverev edges Nishikori in DC QF; Murray out

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defending champion Alexander Zverev returned to the Citi Open semifinals by coming back for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 7 seed Kei Nishikori in a rain-interrupted match Friday. The No. 1-seeded Zverev, who beat his older brother, Mischa, in the third round, also eliminated 2015 Washington champion Nishikori at the hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open a year ago en route to the title. Germany's Zverev, 21, improved to 14-2 in his four appearances at the Citi Open. On Saturday, he'll face 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. The No. 10 seed Tsitsipas beat No. 3 David Goffin 6-3, 6-4. Tsitsipas is coming off his first run to the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament, last month at Wimbledon. On the other half of the draw, three-time major champion Andy Murray pulled out of his quarterfinal after winning a trio of three-setters and lamenting a schedule that had him start his latest victory at midnight. In the women's quarterfinals, Andrea Petkovic got past No. 6 seed Belinda Bencic 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8). Murray cited fatigue when he withdrew Friday, hours before he was supposed to face 19-year-old Alex de Minaur, who was given a walkover into the semifinals. The last quarterfinal was No. 16 Andrey Rublev of Russia against unseeded Denis Kudla, who is from nearby Arlington, Virginia. Murray's third-round victory over Marius Copil ended just past 3 a.m. on Friday. Afterward, Murray told a small group of reporters that he "potentially" could withdrew from the tournament. He also announced Friday that he was going to skip next week's Toronto Masters. Murray is working his way back into form after having surgery on his right hip and being sidelined for 11 months......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 4th, 2018

PBA: Balkman s birthday celebration is postponed for now

Renaldo Balkman has never beaten Alaska until now. As the defending champion Beermen rolled past the Aces Saturday to start the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals, Balkman finally had his breakthrough win. But none of that is important now as Renaldo has some bigger things to look forward to in his comeback PBA stint. More than anything, Balkman wants to win the title he never got five years ago. "Tonight, we won. We’re not looking to the past. We’re looking to the future. We got two more left," Balkman said. "Back in the gym tomorrow and practice, working hard for Game 2 on Monday," he added. Saturday is doubly special for Balk as he celebrated his 34th birthday. He wished that a championship came as a guft but he'll settle for one win for now. "It's always good when you get the win and celebrate your birthday at the same time. I wish it was a championship that we won on my birthday. But we got a long series left. We got two more left. Next game on Monday," he said. The celebration will be postponed as well as Balkman is looking forward to rest up and prepare for the semis grind again. "We just won a game, go back home, get some rest, and get back on Monday. I’m not young anymore so I’ll get my rest," he said. "I’ll save my celebration later this year when I get a couple days off, when I’m not playing basketball. What counts right now is winning a championship. Everybody says happy birthday to me, great win for us and it’s a great day for me," Balkman added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2018

PBA: Magnolia beats SMB but Hotshots still stuck with 7th seed

At least the Hotshots are on a winning streak heading into the playoffs. Magnolia beat defending champion San Miguel Saturday at the Big Dome, 101-97, but the Hotshots are still stuck with the no. 7 seed in the 2018 PBA Commissioner' Cup. In order to avoid a playoff disadvantage, Magnolia needed to win by at least 14 points. They were 10 points short. Thus, Magnolia (6-5) will have Alaska (8-3) for the quarterfinals starting Monday with the Aces holding a twice-to-beat advantage. The Beermen (6-5) are relegated to the no. 6 seed and will face no. 3 TNT (8-3) in a best-of-3 quarterfinals.  SMB-TNT of course, is a rematch from the 2017 Finals. "Very happy pa rin ako because it affords us momentum going to the playoffs," head coach Chito Victolero said. "Pag nanalo ka naman laging masaya eh. Di mo naman pwedeng sabihin na nanalo kami, di pa kami masaya," he added. Magnolia recovered from an early 11-point deficit to frustrate the champs. The Hotshots took an eight-point lead in the middle of the fourth, which was enough of a cushion to hold on for the win in the end. Wayne Chism led the way with 21 points as he moves to 2-0 in his short Magnolia stint so far. Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang added 14 points each for the Hotshots. San Miguel got 31 points from Renaldo Balkman but it was not enough.   The Scores: Magnolia (101): Chism 21, Lee 14, Sangalang 14, Barroca 11, Herndon 10, Jalalon 9, Melton 8, Brondial 5, Dela Rosa 4, Simon 3, Gamalinda 2, Reavis 0, Ramos 0 San Miguel (97): Balkman 31, Fajardo 18, Santos 13, Lassiter 12, Ross 9, Cabagnot 9, Nabong 5, Rosser 0, Heruela 0 Quarter scores: 29-27, 45-44, 78-76, 101-97   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

PBA: Magnolia takes bittersweet win vs. SMB to the playoffs

Magnolia just beat defending champion San Miguel Beer and yet the Hotshots are stuck as the no. 7 seed in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Cup. It was quite a bittersweet Saturday for Magnolia. However, the sweetness of the win should overcome the bitterness of being a no. 7 seed as the Hotshots just did beat the reigning champions. Head coach Chito Victolero will take that as he now turns to prepare his team for a quarterfinal series against Alaska where the Aces are basically already up 1-0 in a best-of-3 series. "Very happy pa rin ako because it affords us momentum going to the playoffs," Victolero said. "Pag nanalo ka naman laging masaya eh. Di mo naman pwedeng sabihin na nanalo kami, di pa kami masaya," he added. Against the no. 2 Aces, Victolero says the Hotshots will just have to continue with their improving effort as they hope to avoid elimination. A two-game winning streak going to the playoffs should help with their confidence a little bit. "Against Alaska. They’re the No. 2 team. Obviously we’re the underdog. We just have to prepare hard. Good thing we have two days to prepare. Our game’s on Tuesday," Victlero said. "I think it’s going to be a hard game for us. But we will try to give our best effort, our best game sa laro na yon," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

PBA: Mission accomplished for San Miguel Beer

Defending champion San Miguel Beer had a pretty challenging conference so far so despite taking a disappointing loss to Magnolia to end the elimination round, head coach Leo Austria is still fortunate. For one, the Beermen are in a best-of-3 series. Following a nightmare 0-3 start, San Miguel avoiding a playoff disadvantage is a win in the eyes of Austria. "Parang unfortunate to fortunate dahil na-achieve pa rin namin yung mission namin to get in the best of 3. Parang nagpalit lang ng kalaban," coach Leo said. San Miguel was all but locked in a showdown with Meralco but after the dust settled Saturday, the Beermen will have an early Finals rematch against rival TNT starting Monday. That should be good. "It will be hard considering every series of San Miguel against TNT, we always beat them eh. I'm sure they're thinking differently because they know they have to redeem themselves," Austria said of the KaTropa. But San Miguel finding its way to a best-of-3 series is the huge win for the champs. Following a 0-3 start, finishing in the top-6 is a mission accomplished. "That's what I told the team, guys mission accomplished because from 0-3, we were able to get into the best-of-3. Kung swerte siguro naka-tie pa kami sa 2-4. Masaya na rin kami na umabot kami dito," Austria said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

PBA: Beermen move to 5th spot, stop Road Warriors

San Miguel Beer sustained its resurgence after turning back a hard-fighting NLEX side, 125-114, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Saturday night at Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan. June Mar Fajardo, Renaldo Balkman and Marcio Lassiter did the heavy lifting as they combined for 81 points for the Beermen. Fajardo, the reigning four-time MVP, posted 30 points and 13 rebounds, Balkman collected 25 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and four steals while Lassiter fired 26 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the 3-point line. Alex Cabagnot added 17 points, including back-to-back baskets to slam the door shut on the Road Warriors. The Beermen, who started the conference at 0-3, has now wo...Keep on reading: PBA: Beermen move to 5th spot, stop Road Warriors.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2018

PBA: Balkman s 43 points lift Beermen to crucial win over TNT

Crucial victory for the reigning champions. San Miguel had superior composure in the end, taking a big 99-94 win over rival TNT Saturday in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the MOA Arena. The Beermen got 43 points from import Renaldo Balkman and the defending champions avoided back-to-back defeats, improving to a 4-4 record to maintain its playoff spot. San Miguel actually forced a three-way tie with Magnolia and Globalport for the 5th-7th spots. "This a badly needed win," head coach Leo Austria said. "Thankful kami na we were able to survive TNT. They [Beermen] know the importance of this game," he added. [Related: PBA: Romeo, Lassiter ejected from TNT-SMB game for getting into each other's face] The Beermen opened up a 15-point lead in the first half, 42-27, but that evaporated in the fourth as things got heated between both teams. Terrence Romeo and Marcio Lassiter were ejected in the first half for a pair of technical fouls while Arwind Santos and Anthony Semerad were also thrown out in the fourth for getting flagrant 2 fouls. [Related: PBA: Arwind ejected from SMB-TNT game for flagrant 2] Tied at 83 with 7:36 to go, the Beermen mounted an 11-3 run behind Balkman, taking some much-needed cushion to hold on for the win in the end. Balkman led the way with 43 points, 26 in the first half. He also had 15 rebounds and six blocks. Four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo added 19 points for the Beermen. The KaTropa, who took their second straight loss for a 6-3 record, got 26 points and 18 rebounds from import Joshua Smith.   The Scores: San Miguel (99): Balkman 43, Fajardo 19, Cabagnot 12, Ross 7, Lassiter 7, Santos 7, Pessumal 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Lanete 0 TNT (94): Smith 26, Pogoy 13, Trollano 13, Rosario 8, Williams 8, Castro 7, Semerad 6, Reyes 6, Cruz 3, Romeo 2, Garcia 2, Taha 0    Quarter scores: 33-22, 55-46, 79-72, 99-94   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintg8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

PBA: Smith not too worried about latest loss to San Miguel

By virtue of their classic Finals in the Commissioner's Cup last year, San Miguel and TNT will always have some history in the mid-season conference. However, KaTropa import Joshua Smith has moved on from the loss one year ago. After TNT got frustrated by the Beermen once again on Saturday, taking a 94-99 loss, Smith says he's not worried about any playoff implications or whatever. For one, it's not the playoffs. Not yet anyway. "My thing is... everyone wants to talk about the Finals last year. We're not playing them in the Finals, it's the regular season," Smith said. "The playoffs is a whole new ball game. It's regular season, I'm not worried. They won, credit to them," he added. Against the imposing San Miguel frontline, Smith played  just a shade under 45 minutes, his most since returning to TNT a couple of weeks ago. He scored 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. The hulking import doesn't mind the workload, saying he'll play heavy minutes if that's what it takes for the KaTropa to pile up wins. "If I have to play 45 minutes for us to win, I will. I'm all about the team. Whatever they need I'll do it," he said. "It's one of those times that I didn't realize it until I got to the locker room and read the stats. I'm just trying whatever I can to help the team out," Smith added. With a two-game slide, TNT has lost control of the no. 1 spot, going down to solo fourth as the elimination round nears its end. Regardless, Smith says the KaTropa's approach remains the same. Right now TNT is moving on to a crucial showdown with sister team Meralco. "We play hard every game and we're trying to win. We'll focus on what we can control," Smith said. "We're on a two-game slide right now we just gotta lock in and bounce back," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

Maghihintay lang ako dito [for Marck] -- Kianna Dy

We've heard Marck Espejo's side of the question. Now it's Kianna Dy's turn. It's never easy once a couple goes into a long-distance relationship. May it be due to work, travel, immigration, or any other cause, not being physically there for your special someone will take a lot of courage, determination, and of course, love. The UAAP Season 78 women's volleyball Finals MVP said that she is willing to wait for the five-time UAAP MVP as he makes history by joining Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, one of the teams of the V1 League, Japan's premier volleyball circuit. "Napag-usapan naman na," Espejo then said about the couple's talk about the move. "Syempre supportive naman siya and alam niya naman na ito talaga yung gusto ko. And alam ko naman na pupuntahan niya ako dun," he added. While we won't be seeing Espejo until a good chunk of 2019 had passed, Dy, who was in the DLSU Lady Spikers' meet-and-greet at the Henry Sy Sr. Hall of the DLSU Taft Campus last Saturday, she said a special message that brought kilig for you and me. "I'm super proud of him, because I think it's the first time that a Filipino is going to play [in the Japanese league], and is considered to be an import. Super proud of him. He's making his mark internationally, so I'll support him and maghihintay lang ako dito," KKD said with a big smile on her face. KKD on Marck Espejo's Japan stint: "I'm super proud." Also: "Maghihintay lang ako dito."@abscbnsports — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) June 9, 2018 Leaving Taft as a three-time champion, Dy also left a message for the incoming and aspiring Lady Spikers, who eventually will be part of the hunt in pursuing the team's 12th title. "Mag-tiyaga lang kayo and you know that it won't be easy. But you have to work hard. Patience lang. Patience sa teammates, patience kay Coach. Makuha nyo rin ang championship." Dy, who came in late due to graduation practice also thanked the hundreds of supporters, who braved the unpleasant weather and came to the campus to show support for their beloved team. KKD gets greeted by rousing greeting from fans who braved terrible weather. Kianna came in late from grad practice. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/bWOz4mCHry — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) June 9, 2018 "Sobrang thankful ako kasi pumunta sila [sa Grand Fans' day'] ang sama pa naman ng weather. Ang lakas ng hangin, ang lakas ng ulan, so nag-effort pa talaga noong pumunta sila dito."   __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018