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PGT Season 6 off to a good start

MANILA, Philippines — The sixth season of Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) reeled off to a successful start, with the two-night pilot episode readily yiel.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource: philstar philstarJan 11th, 2018

Next Invincibles? Maybe, if rampant City can see off Chelsea

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press They've won at Wembley Stadium and Emirates Stadium. They've ground out a draw at Anfield. They've demolished their fierce local rivals at home. The barriers to Manchester City's players emulating Arsenal's from 2004 and going a full English Premier League unbeaten are gradually being removed. Avoid defeat at Chelsea on Saturday and the chances of City becoming the latest "Invincibles" will be hiked up even further. It would not just be the manner in which the team has been swatting aside most of its opponents in its 15-match undefeated start that would be pointed to. More the fact that City will have played all of its biggest rivals away from home and still kept that clean record intact. Pep Guardiola's team didn't even concede a goal in away games to Arsenal (2-0), Tottenham (1-0) and Liverpool (0-0), taking a total of seven points from those fixtures. After visiting Chelsea, City will have played all of its toughest games and almost half the league campaign will have gone. Unsurprisingly, Guardiola brushed off talk of finishing the season unbeaten. "I don't care about that," Guardiola said on Friday. "Believe me, it is the least important thing. I don't care. It's just the next game." Yet somehow, City is managing to raise the bar after a season when it broke Premier League records for most points (100), most wins (32), most goals (106), biggest goal difference (pus 79) and biggest title-winning margin (19 points). The team is averaging exactly three goals per game and has conceded only seven. All of this with probably its best player — Kevin De Bruyne — missing for the majority of the season because of injury, and playing without a genuine left back for some of it with Benjamin Mendy also having spells out. Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri as good as threw the towel in on Friday when asked if City could be stopped this season. "It's impossible to beat them in a long period, of course, in this moment," said the Italian, who described City as "maybe the best in the world. But in a match, everything can happen." A difference this season is that City has some company at the summit. Liverpool is only two points back in second place and also is unbeaten after its first 15 games. There are doubts over whether Liverpool, which hasn't won a trophy of any kind since 2012 and a league title since 1990, can last the duration of the title race but a defensive improvement in Juergen Klopp's team will make Liverpool hard to beat. An interesting aspect this weekend is that, unlike in recent rounds in the Premier League, Liverpool plays first — in a lunchtime game at Bournemouth on Saturday — so can apply some pressure with a victory at Vitality Stadium. City still has to play away to Manchester United, which it overwhelmed in a 3-1 win at home last month, while a trip to an Everton side rejuvenated under Marco Silva should also be a test. Otherwise, the rest of City's most difficult remaining matches come at Etihad Stadium where the team has won all eight of its games so far, scoring 30 goals in the process. It was a dominant win at Chelsea — albeit by a scoreline of only 1-0 — that first made Guardiola feel City would produce something special last season. In his first season in charge, City struggled in big games away from home. "That, I think, was the first day we believed in ourselves, me included, to say, 'OK, we can go away on the biggest stage and win." The fact that Chelsea has started to stutter in the league, losing two of its last three games, makes City an even bigger favorite this weekend, although Guardiola said Sergio Aguero and De Bruyne would be missing again because of injury. "How are they going to react after losing two games?" Guardiola asked of Chelsea. "I can imagine how intense, how aggressive and how committed they will be. That's why it's a good test for us. I will welcome that.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

UAAP Finals: In showing character, UP earns Ateneo s respect

Ateneo de Manila University left no doubt in claiming back-to-back championships in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Following a convincing nine-point victory in Game 1, the Blue Eagles ran the University of the Philippines out of the Araneta Coliseum in Game 2 on Wednesday by a score of 99-81. That 18-point win was more than enough for them to clinch their seventh title in the last 11 years. Despite the dominant series sweep, the now two-time defending champions had nothing but good words for their fallen foes. “At the end of the day, yes, there’s only one champion, but there are only two teams that play the last game of the season. That means the one that doesn’t win still must’ve done a lot of things pretty well,” head coach Tab Baldwin told reporters post-game. Indeed, while Ateneo was in complete control of the Finals, Fighting Maroons Bright Akhuetie, Paul Desiderio, and Juan Gomez de Liano kept coming at them. In the eyes of coach Tab, that just showed the character they have discovered and then developed throughout the tournament. “When you look at their season, their season had a lot of character to it because they were a struggling team early on and looked out of sorts. It’s really difficult so you scratch your head all the time and say, ‘We got talent, we got some good players, how do we pull this thing together,’” he shared. He then continued, “I don’t know what they did, but they sure got it together and they got these guys playing as a team, playing extremely hard, and they put together a great season.” At the start of the second round, UP found itself at 3-5 and at the outside looking into the playoff picture. From there, though, they went 7-1 to make a run to the Finals which was a pleasant surprise for just about everybody. And though the Fighting Maroons had to settle for a runner-up finish, the Blue Eagles said they deserve nothing but respect for their magical season. “I think that you got to give credit to every single one of them. The coaches obviously did a good job and the players worked with the coaches so they deserve credit for that,” coach Tab said. He then continued, “They were a really tough opponent for us.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: A Battle of Generations

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Vince Carter enjoying his decision to go to Atlanta

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Vince Carter could have gone anywhere. To a contender, to chase a ring. To retirement, because he has nothing left to prove. To television, which seems like it will be his next vocation whenever his playing days end. Instead, he chose Atlanta — a young team, a rebuilding team, a team that probably has minimal chance of making the playoffs. And he’s happy. “I’m with a great bunch of guys,” Carter said. “I enjoy helping young guys who want to learn, who are willing to be coached and let you coach them and ask questions. It’s a small thing, but it’s a major thing — because if you’re asking questions, that means you’re trying to learn and grow. And these guys are all great.” He’s the NBA’s oldest active player, someone who turns 42 next month. When he was drafted in June 1998, neither Trae Young nor Kevin Huerter had been born yet. And they’re the starting backcourt for the Hawks this season, Carter’s 21st in the league, with Atlanta being the eighth team he’s played with. Carter talked with Dwyane Wade during the offseason about their options; Wade was considering retirement, and Carter was deciding where to play next. Wade said Carter doesn’t need a ring to complete any sort of legacy, and applauded the decision to go to Atlanta. “It’s very cool,” Wade said. “I think everybody on the outside has what they think someone should do. I was like, ‘Man, it’d be cool if he went back to Toronto.’ I had my story for him. But he decided to continue to do things the way that he’s done it, and I think it’s him understanding the importance of what he has to offer to the game and young players, and an organization that wanted him to come in and give that.” There are no regrets. Barring a change of address or another season — which is possible — Carter’s career will end with him getting to the conference finals only once, and never appearing in the NBA Finals. The closest he got was with Orlando in 2010, when the Magic lost the Eastern Conference finals to Boston in six games. “It’s easy to go sit on the bench and watch your team win and not really contribute,” Carter said. “Yeah, with my voice, I could contribute. But I want to do both.” So Carter is hanging with the kids. “It’s good for me,” Carter said. “Keeps me young.” RAPTORS RISING Toronto is off to the best start in the NBA at 20-4, four games clear of Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference already (and four games in the loss column ahead of Philadelphia as well). The scary thing is, it could have been better. It’s been forgotten, but the Raptors’ season also includes a three-game losing streak — all in a five-day span last month. They lost by 16 against New Orleans to fall to 12-2, then wasted a 19-point lead and lost to Detroit, then watched Kawhi Leonard miss late in regulation in what became an overtime loss to Boston. They’re 8-0 since, and first-year coach Nick Nurse has his team rolling. “Nick has done a really good job with this team and the way they play,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. THE WEEK AHEAD A game per day to check out this week: Oklahoma City at Detroit, Monday (Tuesday, PHL time): Former teammates Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson seem to like going head-to-head. San Antonio at Utah, Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time): The Spurs struggled with the Jazz last season, and this opens a tough road back-to-back. Philadelphia at Toronto, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): The Raptors have opened up a sizable lead in the East, and face a good test here. New York at Boston, Thursday (Friday, PHL time): After a sluggish start, the Celtics are starting to look like the team many envisioned. Golden State at Milwaukee, Friday (Saturday, PHL time): Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the same floor is must-watch. Miami at L.A. Clippers, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time): Wade is eager for this — his wife and their newborn daughter are currently staying in Los Angeles. Milwaukee at Toronto, Sunday (next Monday, PHL time): A matchup of two of the East’s best teams, and it’s never too early to think about positioning. HISTORIC WARRIORS Not even two months into the season, and the Golden State Warriors have already done something that no team in more than 50 years has accomplished. The Warriors are the second team in NBA history, joining the 1961-62 Los Angeles Lakers, to have three different players with a 50-point game in the same regular season. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have reached 50 already this season. The 1961-62 Lakers’ trio to do so: Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Rudy LaRusso. Could Golden State get a fourth into the 50-point column? Who knows, but remember, DeMarcus Cousins — who hasn’t played yet this season — has a pair of 50-point games in on his career resume......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

Clippers extend home winning streak to 9 by beating Suns

By Joe Reedy, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Danilo Gallinari had 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers won their ninth straight home game, defeating the Phoenix Suns 115-99 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Lou Williams scored 20 points while Tobias Harris (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Boban Marjanovic (18 points, 10 rebounds) notched double-doubles for the Clippers (14-6), who have the NBA’s longest active home winning streak and have won 10 of their last 12 overall. The game was tied 49-all at halftime before Los Angeles took control with a 20-4 run over a five-minute stretch in the third quarter to go up 83-63. Gallinari scored 12 of the first 15 points in the run, including a pair of three-pointers. Phoenix, off to the worst start in franchise history at 4-17, pulled to 104-93 on Deandre Ayton’s reverse layup with four minutes remaining but could not get any closer. Devin Booker led Phoenix with 23 points and Elie Okobo added 19. T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson each scored 15. TIP-INS Suns: Ayton, the top pick in this year’s NBA draft, had a season-low four points but led the team in rebounds with nine. ... Richaun Holmes came off the bench to score 10 points. ... G Isaiah Canaan was waived before the game. He appeared in 19 games and averaged 7.5 points and 3.3 assists. Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said it “was a business decision but I feel good about his future.” Canaan began the season as the team’s starting point guard before Kokoskov moved Booker to the point and inserted rookie Mikal Bridges into the starting lineup. Clippers: Los Angeles has won nine straight games against the Suns, dating back to the start of the 2016-17 season. It is the club’s second-longest active winning streak against a single opponent — the Clippers have won 10 straight vs. Orlando. ... Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 13 points. ... F Luc Mbah a Moute (sore left knee) and G Jerome Robinson (strained right foot) were inactive. UP NEXT Suns: Host Orlando on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Clippers: Play at Sacramento on Thursday (Friday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Merry and yummy meals

While the Christmas season abounds with gifts, it is also outpouring with feasts awaiting to reach our palettes and satisfy our hungers. An occasion as grand as Christmas merits a well-prepared Noche Buena consisting of delicious meals. Warm start Soups are a good way to warm up one’s appetite for Christmas dinner. There are many […].....»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

PSG aims to avoid early elimination in Champions League

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain's hopes of breaking through in European soccer could end earlier than usual this season. A loss against Liverpool on Wednesday in Paris, coupled with a home win by Napoli over Red Star, would keep PSG from making it out of the group stage in the Champions League. And that would be a significant setback for the big-spending French team desperately trying to assert itself as a world-class club. It would be the first time PSG failed to reach the tournament's knockout round since 2011-12, after Qatar Sports Investments took over the club with the goal of turning it into a top contender. PSG was eliminated in the round of 16 last season, after reaching the quarterfinals four straight years before that. Failure this time would hurt PSG in its second season since signing Brazil star Neymar for 222 million euros from Barcelona in an attempt to increase its chances of succeeding in Europe. PSG enters the crucial match at Parc des Princes with five points in Group C, one behind leaders Liverpool and Napoli. A victory would put the French club back in position to advance depending on its own results. "It's a decisive match in a very, very complicated group," PSG coach Thomas Tuchel told French broadcaster TF1. The good news for Tuchel is that Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who had been sidelined because of injuries, are expected to be available for the home match against Liverpool. A look at the four Champions League groups on Wednesday: GROUP A Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund lead the group and have a chance to secure places in the knockout round in advance. Dortmund needs a draw at Club Brugge, while Atletico needs a home win against Monaco. Atletico can also advance if Club Brugge loses points against Dortmund, which is coming off a blistering start to the season under new coach Lucien Favre. The only setback for Favre so far was the 2-0 loss at Atletico in the team's previous Champions League appearance. Paco Alcacer, signed on a permanent basis from Barcelona on Friday, scored again on Saturday in a win over Mainz, taking his league tally to nine goals in seven appearances. GROUP B Harry Kane kept Tottenham's Champions League hopes alive with a late double to sink PSV Eindhoven in the last round of games. Now the striker has some back-up as his team tries to complete an unlikely recovery to qualify from Group B. Tottenham has struggled for attacking fluency this season, mainly because attacking midfielders Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli have been missing at times because of injury. They appear to be fully fit now and were superb in Tottenham's win over Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, a 3-1 win that might have been its best display of the season. Spurs need to beat Inter Milan at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday to keep alive ambitions of a top-two finish. That would leave the teams tied on seven points. Tottenham would still likely require a win at already-qualified Barcelona to advance, given that Inter closes group play at home to last-place PSV. Barcelona, without Rafinha, Luis Suarez and Arthur because of injuries, has a three-point advantage at the top and will clinch first place in the group with a win over PSV, or a draw if Inter does not beat Tottenham. GROUP C Victories by Liverpool and Napoli would lock up the group which has proven to be the tightest of the Champions League. Napoli, the group's only unbeaten team with three draws and one win, hosts a Red Star team which still has chances of advancing in its return to the tournament's group stage after 26 years. The Serbian club has four points, one fewer than Paris Saint-Germain and two fewer than Napoli and Liverpool. Red Star held Napoli to a 0-0 draw at home in the first round, but then conceded 10 goals in losses against PSG (6-1) and Liverpool (4-0). Liverpool, which beat PSG at home, lost 2-0 to Red Star in its previous Champions League match, but it is coming off two straight wins in the Premier League. PSG, cruising in the French league, beat Liverpool 3-0 the only other time the teams met in Paris, nearly two decades ago. GROUP D Group leader Porto hosts second-place Schalke in a match in which a draw could be enough for both clubs to advance. They would clinch a spot in the knockout stage with a draw if Galatasaray fails to win its match at already eliminated Lokomotiv Moscow. A victory would secure first place for Porto, which has won eight straight entering the match at its Estadio do Dragao. Porto is trying to make it to the round of 16 for the third straight season. The Portuguese champion has 10 points, two more than Schalke and six more than Galatasaray. Porto and Schalke are the only unbeaten teams in the group. Schalke hasn't made it to the knockout stage since 2014-15. ___ Associated Press writers John Leicester, Ciaran Fahey and Steve Douglas contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2018

Harris, Gallinari help Clippers edge Blazers 104-100

By Erik Garcia Gundersen, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Tobias Harris had 34 points and 11 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-100 on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). Danilo Gallinari made the tie-breaking jumper with 47 seconds left and added 17 points for the Clippers. Damian Lillard scored 30 points for Portland, which led by 13 at halftime but then had to play the second half without starting center Jusuf Nurkic because of a bruised shoulder. With Portland missing its defensive anchor, the Clippers began the half on a 20-4 run. The Clippers kept the momentum going, outscoring the Blazers 38-16 in the third quarter. With the game slipping away, Blazers coach Terry Stotts left Lillard in the game to start the fourth quarter, and the star guard’s personal 7-0 run in a span of 12 seconds tied it at 100 with 1:53 left. But Gallinari made a short pull-up jumper, Portland missed a couple jumpers on the next possession and Patrick Beverley clinched it with a pair of free throws. The loss ruined Maurice Harkless’ first start of the season. He had returned Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) from a knee injury that kept him out since Oct. 29 (Oct. 30, PHL time). TIP-INS Clippers: Los Angeles improved to 13-6, the best record in the Western Conference. The Clippers have done it with a roster absent of household names, but depth is the reason they are where they are. “You have seven or eight guys that can start and they do,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “We move it around. But as long as your group is good with that and the changes and we have good group.” Trail Blazers: After a strong start to the season, the Blazers sputtered in the last two games of their road trip, losing by a combined 71 points. The defense, which was at one point in the top five in the league, has fallen to 16th in defensive efficiency. “We’ve had three relatively poor defensive games, two of them against very good offensive teams,” coach Terry Stotts said before the game. “I am concerned. It’s not a trend I want to continue. Milwaukee was a train wreck.” UP NEXT Clippers: Host Phoenix on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Trail Blazers: Host Orlando on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 26th, 2018

Westbrook scores 30 as Thunder hold off Hornets

By Murray Evans, Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off a late rally by Charlotte to win 109-104 on Friday night, completing a regular-season sweep of the Hornets (Saturday, PHL time). Dennis Schroder — paired with Westbrook in the starting lineup for the first time this season — scored 23 points and Paul George added 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Oklahoma City, which has won 12 of its last 14 games after an 0-4 start. Kemba Walker had 25 points and eight assists for Charlotte, but the NBA’s leader in made 3-pointers went 2 of 10 from behind the arc. With the Hornets down 105-104, he drove and passed to Marvin Williams, who missed a 2-point jumper from the corner. Westbrook rebounded and hit two free throws with 11.2 seconds left. Walker missed a 3-pointer from the right wing with 2.4 seconds left and Westbrook again rebounded and hit two free throws to seal the win for the Thunder. Charlotte rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to close within 93-92 on a put-back by Jeremy Lamb with 5:38 left and was within 97-95 after Walker hit a 3-pointer with 3:49 left. Westbrook answered with a three-point play and Oklahoma City pushed its lead to six points before Williams hit a 3-pointer with 37.1 seconds left to pull Charlotte within 105-104. Westbrook threw ball away with 20.5 seconds left, giving the Hornets a chance to take the lead. Lamb scored 18 points for Charlotte. The Thunder took the lead for good at 53-51 on a three-point play by Burton with 4:49 left in the first half and a 3-pointer by Westbrook in the final minute gave Oklahoma City a 62-57 advantage at halftime. The Thunder led 89-80 entering the fourth quarter. TIP-INS: Hornets: Reserve G Tony Parker missed the game with bruised ribs. Coach James Borrego said Parker was day-to-day . F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed his fifth straight game with a right ankle sprain . Frank Kaminsky recorded a season scoring high for the second straight game, finishing with 12 points after scoring 11 against Indiana on Wednesday . Williams’ 10 points gave him 10,002 for his career . Lamb tied his career high for made free throws, going 8 for 8. hunder: Coach Billy Donovan said G Terrance Ferguson, who sprained his left ankle in a win Wednesday at Golden State, will be reevaluated in 10 to 12 days. The Thunder said Thursday rookie G Hamidou Diallo, who also sprained his left ankle during that game, would be reevaluated in seven to 10 days . Two-way player Deonte Burton scored a career-high 11 points UP NEXT: Hornets: Wrap up a two-game road swing on Sunday at Atlanta. Thunder: Continue a four-game homestand on Saturday against Denver......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2018

McCollum, Lillard help Blazers edge Knicks 118-114

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 31 points, Damian Lillard had 29 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the New York Knicks 118-114 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Portland's star guards provided most of the offense in a game that was close most of the way, and Evan Turner helped the Trail Blazers finally pull it out when he put back a missed shot with Portland clinging to a two-point lead and 9.5 seconds remaining. Jusuf Nurkic finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won two straight after dropping the first two games on their trip that now heads to its difficult conclusion. Portland plays Milwaukee on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) and closes it at Golden State. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 32 points for the Knicks, who dropped their sixth straight. They were a bit better than the previous games of the skid, when they yielded 126.2 points per game, but not good enough to stop the early Western Conference leaders. Hardaway has scored 30 or more points in three straight games. The Knicks changed lineups again, going back to veteran Enes Kanter over rookie Mitchell Robinson at center, and got off to a good start. The Knicks' lead was 35-33 after Nik Stauskas threw in a 40-footer to beat the first-quarter buzzer. New York opened a 10-point lead early in the third, and that seemed to wake up the Blazers, who outscored the Knicks 24-10 to end the period and take an 89-85 lead to the fourth. The Blazers then opened the fourth with a quick 7-2 spurt, and McCollum had eight straight Portland points as the Blazers took their first double-digit lead at 104-93 with 7:45 to play. TIP-INS Trail Blazers: Nurkic had his career-best fifth straight double-double. ... Portland, which came in shooting an NBA-best 85.4 percent on free throws, was just 12-of-17 (70.6 percent). Knicks: Mario Hezonja made his first start of the season, scoring two points. Only Ron Baker and Luke Kornet haven't made at least one start. ... Trey Burke scored 19 points and Emmanual Mudiay, who has supplanted him as the starting point guard, had 16. CHANGING IT UP Knicks coach David Fizdale said he changed back to Kanter because the 20-year-old Robinson was getting in early foul trouble and having to come out of the games too quickly, affecting the rotations. He said that wouldn't be as much of a problem with Robinson in a reserve role. UP NEXT Trail Blazers: Visit Milwaukee on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Knicks: Visit Boston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2018

Drama, the long ball center of early season NBA intrigue

By Kyle Hightower, Associated Press There has been some early tinkering to lineups, a few hiccups and lots of drama to start the NBA season. None of the league’s final four teams from last season — Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Golden State — look like locks to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy this time. The addition of Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets’ roster produced more thorns than fruit, and now he is out. In Boston, the Celtics are having early trouble trying to figure out how best to use their overflowing mix of young and veteran talent following the return of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward from injuries. And Cleveland has gotten off to a predictable slow start to the post-LeBron James’ era, but few expected the total collapse by the Cavaliers. However, there is no drama like championship drama and the defending champion Warriors suddenly look more like the cast of a reality series than a harmonious lineup rolling along and vying for a third straight championship. Draymond’s Green public outburst at Kevin Durant during the Warriors’ overtime loss to the Clippers on Nov. 12 lingers. Now there is tension on a team that has managed to remain mostly drama-free during its run. Durant’s impending free agency, Green’s lack of an apology, and Steph Curry’s injury has opened a window for teams. Some of the NBA’s most recent mini-dynasties have dissipated because of infighting. Squabbling between Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls management at least contributed to their decline after Jordan’s second three-peat and subsequent second retirement in 1999. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal couldn’t coexist long enough to extend the Los Angeles Lakers’ run of three straight titles from 2000 to 2002. Green has vowed the Warriors will still be there in the end. That remains to be seen. 3'S COMPANY Little guys doing work outside and big men camped out close to the basket is an old-school approach to basketball that’s starting to look as old as James Naismith’s original peach baskets. The NBA needs to send out thank-you cards to the ABA. Everyone digs the long ball. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the 3-point shot in the league. Over those four decades it’s gone from being one of the handful of innovations carried over from the ABA to a necessity for any player — from guards to seven-footers — wanting to have longevity in the league. During the 2012-13 season, 33 NBA players listed at 6'8" or taller averaged at least one three-point attempt. That number grew to 124 last season. The 2018-19 season is barely two months old, but two teams (Boston and Golden State) have already logged 24 made three-pointers in a game. The record of 25 was set late last season by Cleveland. And in case anyone needed a reminder of the shot’s increased popularity, look no further than Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez. He became the third seven-footer in NBA history to hit eight three-pointers in a game when he did it against Denver last week. “You see the way the game’s trending, it’s definitely moving in that direction,” Lopez said. “I’m just trying to be professional, do my job, try to get my work in. I want to be as good as I can in every possible area of the game.” Lopez said Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer has been supportive of him stepping out beyond the arc. “Regardless if I miss, if I have off-games where I don’t shoot as well, they just tell me” to keep shooting, Lopez said. Other veteran big men around the league are hearing similar refrains. THE WEEK AHEAD — San Antonio at New Orleans, Monday (Tuesday, PHL time): DeMar DeRozan had 26 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and 12 rebounds during the Spurs’ win in San Antonio earlier this month. The Pelicans look to return the favor after recovering nicely from a six-game losing skid. — Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): In a pre-Turkey Day appetizer, LeBron James returns to face Cleveland for the first time this season following his free agency departure to L.A. — New Orleans at Philadelphia, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): The Pelicans get their first crack at the new-look 76ers following their acquisition of Jimmy Butler. — Portland at Golden State, Friday (Saturday, PHL time): The Warriors get a look at one of their chief challengers in the West when they meet the Blazers for the first time this season. ___ AP Sports Writer Genaro Armas in Milwaukee contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2018

Steelers rally to stun Jaguars in final seconds, 20-16

By The Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger was far from perfect until the fourth quarter, and that was all that mattered for the Pittsburgh Steelers. One week after Roethlisberger had a perfect quarterback rating, he overcame three interceptions and a 16-0 deficit by leading two late scoring drives. He lunged in from the 1 for the winning score with 5 seconds left for a 20-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Steelers (7-2-1) won their sixth straight and likely ended any playoff hopes for the Jaguars, who eliminated Pittsburgh in the divisional round last year. The Jaguars (3-7) dropped their sixth in a row in a game they controlled until the final five minutes. Leonard Fournette ran for 95 yards and caught two passes for 46 yards that led to the Jaguars' only touchdown when he launched himself from the 4 and scored for a 16-0 lead with 2:09 left in the third quarter. Roethlisberger, who now has 10 turnovers in his last three games against Jacksonville, took over from there. He got safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. to bite on a pump fake and found Antonio Brown open deep in the middle of the field for a 78-yard touchdown. Still trailing by 10 points with just under six minutes remaining, Roethlisberger found tight end Vance McDonald in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to 16-13 with 2:28 remaining. The Jaguars went three-and-out, and Roethlisberger led a 68-yard drive. He hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on the left sideline for a 35-yard gain to the 27 that at least got the Steelers in field goal position. James Conner dropped a sure touchdown when he got behind linebacker Telvin Smith Sr., but Roethlisberger hit Brown over the middle to the 2. TEXANS 23, REDSKINS 21 Justin Reid returned an interception 101 yards to help the Texans overcome a mistake-prone Deshaun Watson for their seventh consecutive victory. Washington's loss came at a significant price when quarterback Alex Smith suffered a gruesome ankle injury on a sack in the third quarter. Smith's right ankle turned the wrong way as he was sacked by Kareem Jackson and J.J. Watt on a play eerily similar to Joe Theismann's broken leg that came exactly 33 years ago to the day. Colt McCoy replaced Smith and threw for a touchdown pass and led a long scoring drive for Washington (6-4), which likely will have to rely on the journeyman quarterback the rest of the way. Adrian Peterson's touchdown that put the Redskins up 21-20 early in the fourth quarter was the first lead change in a game involving the Redskins all season. Watson threw for a touchdown and had two interceptions, completing 16 of 24 passes and taking three sacks. Houston (7-3) turned over the ball three times, but kept its winning streak going after Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 63-yard field-goal attempt with 3 seconds left. Peterson ran for two touchdowns to continue climbing the NFL rushing chart, but was bottled up on a lot of his other carries. Peterson's 3- and 7-yard TD runs gave him 105 in his career and moved him past former Redskins star John Riggins into sole possession of sixth, one behind Jim Brown for fifth. Peterson finished with 51 yards on 16 carries. COWBOYS 22, FALCONS 19 ATLANTA (AP) — Brett Maher shook off a missed extra point and kicked a 42-yard field goal on the final play. Matt Ryan threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones for Atlanta's only touchdown with 1:52 remaining to tie the game. But Dallas drove 51 yards in 10 plays, setting up Maher's winning kick as time expired . The Cowboys (5-5), who gained a game on Washington in the NFC East, gave their playoff hopes a boost. Atlanta (4-6) lost its second straight game and now faces long odds to reach the postseason — especially playing in the NFC South, where the Falcons trail New Orleans and Carolina. After a field goal battle between Maher and Atlanta's Matt Bryant left the Falcons with a 9-6 lead heading to the final period, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott scored on a pair of runs to push the Cowboys to a 19-9 lead. Grinding for every yard, Dallas needed 14 plays to cover 75 yards for the game's first TD, Prescott's 4-yard run after faking a handoff to Elliott. Prescott had a couple of 17-yard passes — one to Amari Cooper, another to Cole Beasley — but no other play on the possession went for more than 5 yards. Maher hooked the extra point, however, leaving the Cowboys with a 12-9 lead. They quickly extended the margin. On Atlanta's next possession, Ryan threw a short pass to Calvin Ridley cutting over the middle. The ball was thrown a bit too hard, the rookie couldn't hang on and it ricocheted into the arms of Dallas linebacker Leighton Vander Esch . He returned the interception 28 yards to the Atlanta 31. Two plays later, Elliott darted through a big hole up the middle, shook off an attempted tackle from Damontae Kazee at the 15 and powered in for a 23-yard touchdown . Maher connected on this extra point, giving the Cowboys a 10-point lead with 12:26 remaining. COLTS 38, TITANS 10 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck threw three touchdown passes and Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins both ran for scores. Indy (5-5) has won four straight for the first time since November 2014. Luck remained unbeaten in 10 starts against the Titans. Tennessee (5-5) lost quarterback Marcus Mariota in the final minute of the first half after he reinjured his right elbow. Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees also was taken to a nearby hospital for observation after medical workers were called to the coaches' box during the first quarter. The 69-year-old Pees retired briefly after last season. Luck's mastery over Tennessee did not change. He shredded the league's best scoring defense by going 23 of 29 with 297 yards with two TD passes to T.Y. Hilton. Luck has thrown at least one TD pass in a league-high 33 consecutive games and three or more in seven straight. Adam Vinatieri added another milestone to his growing list by celebrating his 210th career win over a 23-season career with New England and Indy. That's one more than George Blanda won during a 26-year career that spanned four decades. Earlier this season, Vinatieri, the league's oldest active player at age 45, also broke Morten Andersen's career records for field goals and scoring earlier this season. RAVENS 24, BENGALS 21 BALTIMORE (AP) — Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson juked and sprinted for 117 yards in his first NFL start, Gus Edwards ran for 115 and the Ravens ended a three-game losing streak. Flashing the moves that enabled him to win the 2016 Heisman Trophy at Louisville, Jackson zipped in and out of the pocket for 27 carries. Though the Ravens (5-5) relied heavily on the run, Jackson also completed 13 of 19 passes for 150 yards with an interception. Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco did not practice all week and was inactive with a right hip injury. That created an opening for Jackson, the 32nd overall pick in the NFL draft. Before Sunday, the former Louisville star occasionally took snaps in running situations and replaced Flacco in the fourth quarter of two blowouts. Having to carry the load by himself, Jackson responded with a solid performance in a game the Ravens had to win. Down 21-13 in the second half, Baltimore rallied to hand the sinking Bengals (5-5) their fourth loss in five games. Edwards, an undrafted rookie free agent, scored on an 11-yard run and barreled in for the conversion late in the third quarter. Jackson then directed a 55-yard drive that ended with a field goal by Justin Tucker with 8:12 remaining. Cincinnati's Randy Bullock missed a potential tying 52-yard field goal with 3:59 left, and Andy Dalton's fourth-down pass from the Baltimore 37 with 1:42 to go was knocked away by Marlon Humphrey. LIONS 20, PANTHERS 19 DETROIT (AP) — Cam Newton threw an incomplete pass on a 2-point conversion with 1:07 left, letting the Lions hold on. Newton had time and receiver Jarius Wright open in the end zone, but the star quarterback sailed the pass high. Carolina coach Ron Rivera went for the win after Newton threw his third touchdown pass to DJ Moore, perhaps because usually reliable kicker Graham Gano missed an extra point and a field goal earlier in the game. The Lions (4-6) recovered an onside kick to seal the victory and end a season-high three-game losing streak. They were in a position to win after Matthew Stafford threw a go-ahead, 19-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay with 5:19 left. The Panthers (6-4) have lost two straight for the first time this season. Newton was 25 of 37 for 357 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Moore had seven receptions for 157 yards and a score. Stafford was 23 of 37 for 220 yards with a touchdown. Golladay had eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. GIANTS 38, BUCCANEERS 35 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Saquon Barkley ran for a career-high 142 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Giants got consecutive games for the first time since December 2016. Eli Manning also threw two touchdowns and linebacker Alec Ogletree returned one of the Giants' four interceptions 15 yards for another score in New York's biggest point output of the season. The Giants (3-7) never trailed as Manning found a wide-open Barkley on a 6-yard TD pass on the opening series, and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft scored from 5 yards on the second possession to give New York the lead for good. Odell Beckham Jr. had four catches for 74 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. Tampa Bay (3-7) made things interesting after Jameis Winston replaced a turnover-plagued Ryan Fitzpatrick in the third quarter and led four touchdown drives. The last score came on a 41-yard pass to Mike Evans with 2:22 to play and got the Bucs within 38-35. The Bucs got the ball back at their 20 with 23 seconds to play, but B.W. Webb intercepted Winston's long throw down the sideline to ice the win and send Tampa Bay (3-7) to its fourth straight loss......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2018

Jett Manuel proud of his boys as UP finally makes UAAP Final Four

Although not being able to personally bring the UP Fighting Maroons to the UAAP Final Four, Jett Manuel was just as happy as he learned of his team's feat. The boys from Diliman have made the postseason for the very first time since 1997, when they were led by the late Bryan Gahol, Joseph "Ogie" Gumatay, and Paolo Mendoza.  Since then, the squad has experienced heartbreak for the next two decades, including a few winless seasons. Manuel, who donned the maroon and white from 2010-16 was not spared from UP's mediocrity, compiling an overall 10-60 record in his five-year playing career, including two 0-14 seasons and the infamous UAAP Season 77 bonfire back in 2014, which celebrated their only win of the campaign. The former team captain admitted that he was following the game while his team, Ginebra, was at shootaround at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, trying to keep their season alive, facing archrivals Magnolia in Game 4 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals. "Well, I was secretly following the game throughout my pre-game preparation. Di nga ako nag-pre-game shooting para mapanood ko yung game," Manuel shared. UP was already up by 23 when the opening jump took place for Game 3, so Manuel had a good feeling his alma mater had made it and never knew the actual final results until much later. Despite not leaving the bench the entirety of the game, Manuel went home a happy man as the Fighting Maroons downed the DLSU Green Archers, 97-81, while Ginebra forced a Game 4, 107-103. "I’m sad na I wasn’t there in person, but at least I got the win here today." But before some of his former teammates, now the veterans of the squad entered the hardwood, Manuel relayed a good luck message for the team, who were playing at the Mall of Asia Arena. "I spoke to Paul [Desiderio], I spoke to Diego [Dario], to Gelo [Vito] this morning, just telling them good luck, and yung usual ano, I mean, I’m always there for them. I’m just really happy for them. Yun lang talaga." The licensed engineer also shared how he expected that one day his teammates will bear the fruit of his squad's labor, an accomplishment the UP community has eagerly waited for a very long time. "Me personally, leaving UP with that goal na I wanted to leave something behind, leave a culture behind and try to start something, which will eventually lead to this." However, Manuel felt mixed emotions that UP's victory came at the expense of the Green Archers, where his younger brother, Joaqui plays for as a rookie. "...50-50 yung puso ko eh. I’m Maroon-blooded as well as a Manuel. So at the expense of my brother, yeah, I feel sad, but I’m more happy now that finally, finally [UP made it]." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2018

UAAP: Paul Desiderio, the captain who brought UP back to the Final Four

In University of the Philippines' historic Final Four-clinching victory, Paul Desiderio was lit. Atin ‘To Papasok ‘To pic.twitter.com/LhhwhQGX4M — Mico Halili (@micohalili) November 14, 2018 👀 #AtinToPapasokTo pic.twitter.com/kwwtVFjMce — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 14, 2018 Funny to think that months before UAAP Season 81, UP almost didn't have this man. After Desiderio's spectacular Season 80 filled with buzzer-beaters and iconic mantras, the temptation of foregoing his fifth year and immediately entering the professional ranks was strong. But then, he sacrificed his good numbers and decided to go for his one last #UPFight. "Nag-sacrifice ako noon sa last year ko. Yun nga pinagisipan ko kung babalik ako o hinde. My personal goal, sinakripisyo ko para sa team," he said referring to his lifelong PBA dream. "Pero worth it naman. Kaya sobrang saya," Desiderio said moments after their 97-81 victory over De La Salle University. The road to Final Four of UP was not a smooth ride. Their first round campaign which ended at a 3-4 slate casted doubts on their chances. "Mayroong doubts din noon, pero yun nga, dapat labanan namin ngayon," said the Cebuano standout. But as the season progressed, the Fighting Maroons peaked. It was a spectacular sight for Desiderio. They were crushing a Final Four contender. Their supporters were abounding. The chants were deafening. During the dying moments of the match, Desiderio can't help but rush to his mentor Coach Bo Perasol. With a huge smile on his face, he hugged Perasol so tightly. "Coach Bo parang tatay ko yan. May times nga na nagaaway kami, di naman nag aaway pero di kami nagkakaintindihan tapos may times na kalagitnaan ng season lagi kami nagusap anong gagawin namin so yun, naging successful yung plano namin," he said. From being part of the team as early as the winless days of Season 76, Desiderio is now the captain of the third-seeded team in Season 81. "Syempre napakasarap na start ako ng 0-14, tapos ngayon Final Four may chance pa mag Finals. May chance pang mag champion kung ganun, so buhay pa kami. Buhay pa ang UP," he said. Truly, Desiderio's decision to stay for UP is worth it. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 14th, 2018

Walker scores 29, leads Hornets to 113-102 win over Hawks

By Richard Walker, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker had 29 points and seven assists, extending his strong start to the season as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-102 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Marvin Williams added 20 points for the Hornets (6-5), who won for the third time on a four-game homestand. Walker has scored 25 or more seven times in 11 games. Jeremy Lamb and Malik Monk each had 13 points for Charlotte. Nic Batum scored 10. Playing against his former team, Jeremy Lin had 19 points off the bench to lead the Hawks (3-7), who led by seven late in the first half. The young Hawks started 2018 first-round draft picks Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman for the first time this season and pushed Charlotte before losing for the eighth time in the last nine meetings. Young finished with 18 points and 10 assists. Kent Bazemore added 16 points. Even after falling behind 81-77 entering the fourth quarter, the Hawks forged an 84-83 advantage with 10:04 to play before the Hornets went on a 19-4 surge to give them a comfortable lead down the stretch. Charlotte eventually led by as many as 15. Neither team led by more than seven until the fourth quarter. Atlanta was up 54-51 at halftime. TIP-INS Hawks: Count first-year Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce among those who consider Walker one of the NBA's top players. "I'm a huge fan of Kemba. I've known Kemba for a long time. You're seeing a confident and elite scorer," he said. Pierce first met Walker at Nike Elite camps years ago and in August 2017 was a part of the NBA Africa trip with the Hornets' two-time All-Star guard. Hornets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist dislocated his right pinkie in the first half but returned to play in the second. ... Charlotte coach James Borrego thinks the 20-year-old Young fits the league perfectly. "He fits today's NBA for sure. The minute he crosses halfcourt, he's a threat. He's a guy that can play-make, get to the rim, pass, finish, shoot the ball. The Hawks have a very good point guard for years to come," Borrego said. UP NEXT Hawks: Host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Hornets: At the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2018

PVL: Hard work in training pays off, I guess -- Ateneo s Gandler

Ateneo-Motolite rookie Vanessa Gandler is embracing her role with the Lady Eagles despite the challenge of playing in a different position. The De La Salle-Zobel recruit slid to open spiker from playing in the middle during her high school days, but the 17-year old volleybelle is still delivering the goods for the Lady Eagles in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. “Feels good, hard work in training pays off, I guess,” said Gandler, who is fitting in perfectly under head coach Oliver Almadros’ system. Gandler is averaging 7.8 points per game and is the fourth leading scorer for league-leading Ateneo-Motolite behind veterans Kat Tolentino, Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag. “In high school, I kinda played all positions kasi I just kept going around. Open is not really a new thing to me,” said Gandler, who scored 12 points in the Lady Eagles’ 25-17, 25-19, 25-22, win over Iriga-Navy on Sunday as Ateneo-Motolite secured at least a playoff for a semifinal berth with a 9-2 win-loss slate. “I just trust whatever position Coach O gives me.” Playing for one of the country’s most popular collegiate teams, Gandler admitted that expectations will be high especially for newcomers like her.      “Well, I felt the pressure ever since the start because being the only rookie on the court always is kinda pressuring,” she said. “But, I guess we always train and Coach O trains us to always be mentally tough. I don't want to let my team down.” With the Lady Eagles now in the final stretch of the elimination round, Gandler looks to take the opportunity to improve her game especially in reception. “I didn't really receive much back in high school,” she said. “Coach O would always make sure that we do the right thing in every training. He just tells us to put the ball up. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be good.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2018

Trae Young scores 24 as Hawks beat Heat 123-118

By CHARLES ODUM,  AP Sports Writer ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young had 24 points and a career-high 15 assists, and the Atlanta Hawks beat Josh Richardson and the Miami Heat 123-118 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Taurean Prince and Dewayne Dedmon each scored 15 points for the Hawks, who had dropped four in a row. Young also had six rebounds in his ninth NBA game. Richardson scored 32 points, setting a career high for the second time this week, but Miami lost its third straight game. The Heat trailed by 15 in the third quarter before rallying to a 111-110 lead in the fourth. The game was tied at 118 when Vince Carter's jumper gave Atlanta the lead for good. Carter had 12 points. Players on each team were quick to launch 3-pointers in the fast-paced game. The Hawks made 13 of 32 3s, and the Heat connected on 16 of 40, including 6 of 10 by Richardson. Before Miami allowed more than 120 points for the third straight game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made a pregame appeal for better defense. "We're coming off two poor defensive efforts," Spoelstra said. "We just need to commit better, harder, for 48 minutes." Spoelstra may have repeated his plea at halftime. The Hawks led 74-68 at the break after making 60 percent of their shots from the field. The Hawks shot 52.3 percent for the game. A 12-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer and pullup jumper by Young, gave Atlanta its biggest lead at 86-71. Young dribbled through traffic and made a short floater at the buzzer to give Atlanta a 102-93 lead entering the final period. Richardson's jumper tied it at 116. Following a flagrant foul against Justise Winslow, Young's two free throws got the lead back for Atlanta. Miami held out point guard Goran Dragic due to persistent pain in his right foot. Dragic, second on the team with 17.7 points per game, had a cortisone shot earlier in the week. Dwyane Wade had 19 points for the Heat. TIP-INS Heat: Wayne Ellington made his season debut after returning from a left ankle injury. He finished with five points. ... Winslow had 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his first start of the season. ... Richardson had 31 points against Sacramento on Monday. Hawks: Rookie F Omari Spellman had seven points in his first start. ... G Kevin Huerter had 12 points after spraining his right ankle in Thursday night's loss to Sacramento. UP NEXT Heat: At Detroit on Monday night. Hawks: At Charlotte on Tuesday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2018

PBA: Durham, Bolts await their next opponent after big win over SMB

The Meralco Bolts get to celebrate for one night. Meralco assured themselves of at least a playoff for 8th place Saturday after destroying San Miguel Beer in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. Following a win over the Beermen, the Bolts have wrapped up the elimination round with a four-game run, finishing with a 5-6 record. That means that regardless of the result between TNT and Ginebra Sunday, Meralco will play at least one more game. That one game could be a playoff for 8th, if the KaTropa win, or that one game can be in the quarterfinals as the no. 7 seed if TNT loses. "It's always nice to beat a good team like San Miguel. We'll celebrate tonight but we know our work has just started," import Allen Durham said. "Once we come back on Monday, we'll start all over again," he added. Durham led a furious second half for the Bolts, scoring 18 points in a pivotal third quarter that helped Meralco save its season. Durham finished with 35 points, 26 rebounds, and seven assists in the win and the Bolts now officially wait. "It feels good, I don't know who we're playing yet so we can't talk about our next opponent yet," he said. "But we will enjoy tonight and we'll go from there," Durham added. Meralco has been to back-to-back Finals in the Governors' Cup but a mid-conference slump almost eliminated the team. A six-game losing skid put the Bolts on the brink of elimination. A trip to Thailand for the 2018 FIBA-Asia Cup made a trying conference all the more challenging for the Bolts. And while the Thailand stint had its own set of difficulties, it did help Meralco set itself up for a huge run late in the Governors' Cup. "It was a lot of the same players from last year but some of the key guys were out and stuff so we were just trying to find our chemistry and everything," Durham said of Meralco's early-conference struggles. "The games in Thailand gave us more games and that did help us with getting our chemistry up. It was good, it was some of the best teams in Asia. There was a lot of good competition and you always want to play the best, you always try to beat the best. I think it helped my game individually and the team as well," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2018

MVP Ladder: Hot start pushes Curry to forefront

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com When Kevin Durant raised the Finals MVP trophy in the air in June -- his second straight, mind you -- it was supposed to be over for Stephen Curry. The prevailing wisdom said there was no way the former two-time Kia MVP winner Curry would be able to contend for a third Maurice Podoloff Trophy playing alongside Durant (a former Kia MVP himself). Their individual brilliance would be muted by the collective strength of their partnership as the two best players on the best team in the league. This notion they would continue to split Kia MVP votes made sense given their super team required all of its stars to sacrifice personal glory for the greater team good. That was the thinking before the first nine games of this season ... and then Curry decided to attack things as he did in 2015-16. That season, he went nuclear -- averaging 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 50.4 percent overall and 45.4 percent on three-pointers -- becoming the NBA's first unanimous MVP winner as the Warriors won an NBA-record 73 games. Durant was still toiling for the rival Oklahoma City Thunder then, sharing the spotlight with another eventual Kia MVP in Russell Westbrook. Curry’s opening salvo this season, though, has been nothing short of staggering. His pace right now -- leading the league in scoring while shooting nearly 55 percent overall and 53 percent on three-pointers  -- could top that 2015-16 season. Doing all this with teammates who could make their own compelling cases for Kia MVP honors makes Curry’s start even more mind-boggling. Both Durant (check out his 25-point fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden) and Klay Thompson (who topped Curry’s three-pointers made record in Chicago) are taking turns showing out, all of which speaks to the Warriors' mastery of a situation that easily could have overloaded these three stars. Curry’s consistent brilliance sticks out in a sea of transcendent scoring performances in the early stages of this season. He was the one who dropped 51 points in 32 minutes in a win over Washington, making 11 of his 16 three-pointers. He went 6-for-11 on three-pointers en route to 29 points when Durant worked the Knicks for 41 points at MSG. When Thompson was in the zone against the Bulls, Curry scored 23 points (on 7-for-9 shooting) in just 25 minutes. And when the New Orleans Pelicans showed up to Oracle Arena Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time), Curry lit them up for 37 on 12-for-20 shooting and a 7-for-11 night on three-pointers. That's all why Curry sits atop the first Kia Race to the MVP Ladder this season. And if he keeps this up, there’s no reason Curry won't be in the thick of this season's MVP conversation when the dust settles. The top five in the Week 1 edition of the 2018-19 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder: * * * 1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors Season stats: 33 points, 5.9 assists, 5.0 rebounds Here's the kind of damage Curry is doing so far: he’s not only leading the league in scoring, but doing so while shooting a preposterous 54.9 percent overall and an equally bonkers 52.9 percent on three-pointers. Scoring around the league is on the rise this season, and perhaps no one is taking more advantage of the freedom of movement rule the way Curry has. He’s scoring from everywhere, against any and everyone whenever he wants in a system built around his skills. He’s got one of the league’s early 50-point games (51 points, vs. Washington), and, given the way he’s shooting now, could go for another 50-spot at any time. That’s a warning for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will see Curry today. 2. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors Season stats: 27.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists Leonard is off to a monstrous start with Toronto, shattering that pesky myth that he was a product of a system in San Antonio. Anyone who forgot just how devastating a two-way player he could be after his nine-game run with the Spurs last season should have a clearer understanding of what he can do when healthy. Just ask Philadelphia 76ers stud Ben Simmons, who couldn't praise Leonard enough after matching wits with the two-time Kia Defensive Player of the Year. “He’s a freak,” Simmons said after turning the ball over 11 times while being guarded by Leonard on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “His hands are huge. He’s got long arms. He’s a great defender.” The scary part for the rest of the league? Leonard is shooting as good or better than ever on three-pointers (44.4 percent) while logging a career-high 34.7 minutes. And, technically, he is still undefeated in a Raptors uniform (he got a rest day for Bucks-Raptors). 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks Season stats: 26.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists It took a franchise-record 24 made three-pointers for the Boston Celtics to hold off Antetokounmpo and the Bucks Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) at TD Garden. It was the Bucks’ first loss this season, but it wasn’t because the "Greek Freak" didn’t show up. He roasted the Celtics for 33 points (on just 22 shots), 11 rebounds, three steals and two assists. The increased floor spacing that comes with the arrival of coach Mike Budenholzer has allowed Antetokounmpo to put opposing defenders in compromising positions. His three-point shot is still in the development stage, but if Budenholzer can help transform that part of his game (as he did for Al Horford and Paul Millsap in Atlanta), the rest of the league will be on notice. As for Antetokounmpo's groove elsewhere on the court, it has made him virtually unstoppable when he’s in attack mode. 4. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans Season stats: 25.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 3.2 blocks Had there been a top five after the first four games of this season, Davis would have been a runaway pick for the No. 1 spot. He was that good in powering New Orleans' 4-0 start. But the Pelicans have lost four straight and three to the four games since as Davis deals with nagging right elbow pain. Davis missed back-to-back games against Utah and Denver, then played Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) against the Warriors. It was clear he wasn’t at his best, as he had 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. (Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry held him out in a road loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.) Davis hasn’t been shy about proclaiming that he’s chasing both Kia MVP and Kia Defensive Player of the Year honors, a double-dip that only half a handful of players could realistically set as a goal. The talent and high ceiling have never been in question. His availability to chase such lofty goals, however, remains a question at times. 5. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Season stats: 29.1 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds Lillard entered this season as determined to prove his team’s early 2018 playoff exit wasn't a true measure of Portland's status. Still, getting swept by the Pelicans sent the Blazers into the offseason with tons of questions and skeptics. Since the first whistle of training camp, Lillard has gone about the business of answering those questions. He’s averaging career-highs in points (29.1), field goal percentage (49.7 percent), three-point percentage (40 percent) and free throw percentage (94 percent). The Blazers finished their recent four-game road trip at 3-1, which included wins against Orlando, Indiana and the struggling Houston Rockets. Thursday night’s (Friday, PHL time) win over the Anthony David-less Pelicans was fueled by Lillard’s team-high 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Saturday night’s home game against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers could be another opportunity for Lillard and Co. to show they aren’t stepping aside for anyone. * * * The next five 6.  Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets 7.  Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors 8.  Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz 9.  LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers 10.  Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers And five more: Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves; DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs; Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons; Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics; Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers 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 NewsNov 3rd, 2018

Persistent Popovich, Spurs negate coaching-change ways in NBA

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The first coach in the Gregg Popovich era to get axed was Brian Winters on Jan. 24, 1997. He lost 100 games faster than anyone in history, a byproduct of overseeing the Vancouver Grizzlies in their expansion season (1995-96) and into 43 games of ’96-97. The most recent to lose his job was Tyronn Lue on Oct. 28, 2018 after Cleveland’s 0-6 start. This was more of a head scratcher as he’s the only coach to win a title with the Cavs. Perhaps his biggest crime was failing to give LeBron James the wrong directions to Cleveland Hopkins Airport last summer. In that span, 245 NBA coaching changes were made in Popovich’s time in San Antonio. Some of them have been understandable, others questionable, in all a spinning wheel that managed to eject all from the first seat on the bench … except one. In the wake of yet another coaching switch, it’s fair to wonder: how and when will it end for Popovich in San Antonio? He’s closer to the finish line than the starting line, but the finish line keeps moving. Any notion of Popovich vanishing once Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili left the organization died when training camp began. Any thought of Popovich turning sour from the organization’s lethal relationship last year with Kawhi Leonard was dismissed when Popovich enthusiastically prepared himself for his 23rd NBA season. And all ideas of Popovich permanently drifting to one of San Antonio’s relaxing 18-hole courses as he approaches his seventh decade on the planet should be shattered with a Big Bertha driver. “I don’t golf,” he said. “What a waste of time. I’d rather read a book. You could be doing a lot of other things.” Like, keep coaching. “I still enjoy this,” he said, before deadpanning, “but I don’t know how to do anything else.” He has survived this long because he wins. With 1,201 victories and counting, he’s climbing toward Don Nelson’s career record of 1,335. With a straight face, Popovich says “my ass would’ve been gone a long time ago” if not for great success that he constantly credits to Duncan, among others. But there’s another factor in play that keeps Popovich in control of his destiny and fate. He has rarely, if ever, had to answer to anyone in the Spurs’ organization, now controlled by Julianna Holt, who keeps away from the basketball operation. Almost from the jump, Popovich ruled the empire, and that has separated him from others who’ve won just as many, or more, than his five championships. It’s a unique setup enjoyed by almost no one in professional sports, which are often controlled by owners who act on a whim. Phil Jackson (11 titles) left two organizations, including the Los Angeles Lakers twice, not totally on his own. Pat Riley had a prickly departure from the Lakers after winning four of his five career titles there. In both cases, the lines were clearly drawn: neither Jackson nor Riley, despite steering their teams to historical runs, carried the strongest voice in the building. Neither had tenure or were immune from the type of sports diseases that can fracture even dynasties and shove great coaches out the door. When he greased the “Showtime” era in Los Angeles, Riley had the biggest coaching profile since Red Auerbach and his signature victory cigars. Riley was charismatic, cool and changed the coaching culture. But inside was a gym rat and a clipboard scribbler. He released the leash on the fast break and made the Lakers intoxicating. He smooth-talked Kareem Abdul-Jabbar into taking a reduced role as age began to weather the Hall of Famer. However, the core Lakers eventually grew weary of Riley’s techniques and motivational tricks. When the Lakers were upset by the Phoenix Suns in the 1990 Western Conference semifinals, Riley heard the increased volume and split. Jackson’s relationship with Bulls GM Jerry Krause showed decay early in the Bulls’ run for a sixth and final championship in 1997-98. Theirs was a clash of egos and ideas. That, and a demand by Jackson for more money, led to a Bulls breakup. In the early 2000s, Jackson restored the Lakers’ franchise as they became the biggest rival for Popovich’s Spurs in that decade. But the chore of coaxing two high-maintenance young stars, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, beat up Jackson and lead to his first LA exit. His second stint with the Lakers ended mainly over money, among other issues. That’s all foreign to Popovich, who had the benefit of taking over a team with David Robinson, the gentlemanly All-Star who gave no gruff. And then, blessed by the basketball gods, Popovich landed Duncan, the most no-frills superstar the game has ever seen. Duncan set the tone in the locker room for professionalism, conduct and work ethic. Everyone followed, something that’s lasted for almost two decades, all while making Popovich’s life easier (for which Popovich is forever grateful). Duncan also drastically changed the lives of two men. When Popovich stepped down from his GM role on Dec. 10, 1996 – taking the coaching job from Bob Hill after a 3-15 start -- he went 17-47. That is his only losing season to date, and the Spurs fell into the Draft lottery. There were whispers at the time -- blasphemy nowadays -- that he might not see another season in San Antonio. In 1997, the Boston Celtics had better odds of winning Draft lottery and its grand prize: a bank-shot-shooting center from Wake Forest (via the Virgin Islands) who could transform a franchise. Had the Celtics gotten the No. 1 pick, perhaps Rick Pitino would still be coaching in the NBA instead of lobbying for a return. As much as Popovich heaps praise on Duncan, there’s no denying Popovich’s role in 21 straight years of playoff trips and his own coaching immortality. The way he runs an organization envied by many, helps find talent with low Draft picks (Ginobili was taken 57th overall; Parker at No. 28), generates respect from players and rivals (LeBron James, among others) and is a San Antonio landmark (along with the Alamo) is no accident. If Popovich can’t control his fate, then no one in his profession ever will. Besides, under what circumstances would Popovich be forced out? Even if it’s his call, how will this end? He turns 70 in January, although the only time he ages is when a referee’s whistle doesn’t blow his way. He survived Leonard, the only documented sign of rebellion by a Spurs’ star. And the Spurs, despite losing Dejounte Murray for the season to a knee injury, might keep their playoff streak alive with DeMar DeRozan blending well with new teammates. “It’s San Antonio, OK? The faces have changed but the standards are the same and the way do things are the same,” Popovich said. “We’re going to expect the guys to do their jobs on and off the court. None of that’s going to change. The way we want to approach the game and have the respect for the game is all the same, just with different people.” Asked about the Murray injury and other non-Spurs-like issues, he adds: “Maybe we deserve a little bad luck. We got to draft Tim Duncan 20 years ago. So, a little misfortune. We deserve it.” Coaching changes since Dec. 1996 Gregg Popovich was named coach of the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 10, 1996. Since then, there have been 245 coaching changes league-wide. Here's a look at how many changes each team has gone through in the Popovich era. In two years, Popovich assumes control of the US Olympic basketball team. That could satisfy his urge to coach without the 82-game grind and free up time to pursue other stuff. But who knows? “Being a wine consultant going from vineyard to vineyard, or a restaurant critic going from restaurant to restaurant, that would be more fun, for sure,” Popovich said. The 1996-97 season was bloody for the profession. Seven teams, including the Spurs, changed coaches in season. The Washington Bullets (now Wizards) had three coaches that season. And, in fact, Bernie Bickerstaff held two jobs that season, resigning as Denver’s coach in November and was later hired by Washington in February. Cotton Fitzsimmons lasted eight games with the Phoenix Suns. Only one new coach that season lasted more than two decades. Since Popovich’s debut, the Utah Jazz have had the fewest coaching changes (two), while the Grizzlies and Wizards have been on the other extreme (13 each). The Dallas Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle and the Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra own the longest tenure after Popovich (10 years each). We’ll never see another like him in our lifetime. He’s a coach who gets results on the court, respect in the locker room and no orders from above. Good luck finding another combination like that. The 245 coaching changes are not a number Popovich particularly likes (because he sticks up for the profession) and it’s not a number that he’ll add to anytime soon -- if he has any say. Which he does. “I’m a simple untalented man,” he said. “This is all I can do. I’d better stick with it.” 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 NewsOct 31st, 2018