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Phelps says he s a matchup problem vs taller imports in Comm s Cup

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net Eugene Phelps made his return to the PBA earlier than expected but a different conference was nothing new to the scoring machine. Sporting a new haircut differe.....»»

Category: newsSource: philippinetimes philippinetimesMay 22nd, 2018

‘Rice tariffication won’t solve Philippines’ inflation problem’

By Ian Nicolas Cigaral/philstar.com – Lifting the more than two-decade-old caps on rice imports would not solve the Philippines’ inflation problem, Deutsche Bank said, adding that the country’s “overheating” economy must lose steam to “stably” tame stubbornly high prices. Households reeling from soaring prices since the beginning of the year Read more ».....»»

Category: newsSource:  thepinoyRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

PBA: Ginebra can t win it all says Justin Brownlee

ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- For the first time in the Justin Brownlee era, Ginebra won't be making the Governors' Cup Finals. However, his team still got a title in Brownlee's third season with the team, a much tougher hill to climb in the Commissioner's Cup, where imports are taller by two inches than this conference. Brownlee was his usual self, tallying 32 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the season-ending 112-108 loss to rivals Magnolia Hotshots at the Ynares Center here. The agreeable import knows they had targets behind their backs this conference, and their opponents had found the key that ended their two-year reign. "You definitely can't win it all. The two championships, the Governors' Cup that we won two in a row was great. A great one. But we understand that trying to win another one, it was going to be very tough," Brownlee shared.   "And like I said, we lost to a really tough team. Magnolia showed why they previously won championships. They showed like they're going to win another one." It was a great season for the 6'5” forward, winning titles in the Asean Basketball League as a member of Alab Pilipinas along with Renaldo Balkman, then defeating his former teammate in the Commissioner's Cup in six games. So what's next? Will he rejoin Balkman and towering 7'2 import PJ Ramos to the fold? "Not sure. Probably just rest and have my body checked out. See if a few nicks and a few pains here and there. Just trying to make sure that my body's healthy and go from there." Brownlee also tipped his hat off to opposing reinforcement Romeo Travis, who scored a career-high 50 points on virtually one leg, carrying himself, and his squad through a Grade 2 hamstring strain. "I had played against him before a couple of years ago in France. He was a great player. He can definitely shoot the ball. His mid-range. Definitely gave us a lot of problems the whole series." "He's an incredible player. He could do many things. He showed why he's an import in this league tonight." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2018

Standhardinger, SMB respond to regular team comments with rout of Phoenix

Phoenix import Eugene Phelps' statements toward San Miguel might have struck a chord with the Beermen prior to the two teams' matchup on Friday in the PBA Governors' Cup.........»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 14th, 2018

Doncic scores 15, Dallas tops 76ers 115-112 at China Games

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 15 points, JJ Barea added 14 and the Dallas Mavericks topped the Philadelphia 76ers 115-112 on Monday night to earn a split of the teams' NBA China Games series. Jalen Brunson had 11 points for Dallas, plus got a steal in the final seconds to help preserve the win. Dennis Smith Jr. and Dwight Powell each scored 10 for the Mavericks. Dallas' Ding Yanyuhang played the final 8:33 of the game, much to the delight of the fans in his native China. He missed the teams' matchup when the China Games began Friday because of knee soreness and finished with one point. Joel Embiid led all scorers with 29 points for Philadelphia, going 11 for 16 from 2-point range — though he did miss all six of his 3-point tries. Robert Covington scored 18 points for the 76ers, who got 10 points apiece from JJ Redick and Ben Simmons. Redick made his first shot Monday, meaning he started 11 for 11 on the China trip. He made all 10 of his shots in Philadelphia's win over Dallas on Friday and finished 4 for 9 on Monday. There were six lead changes and two ties in the fourth quarter alone, and the game went down to the very last moment. Daryl Macon made one of two free throws with 13 seconds left to put Dallas up by two, and Brunson added a free throw following his steal to push the Mavericks' lead to three. Demetrius Jackson missed a 3-pointer at the end that would have tied it for Philadelphia. TIP-INS Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki (ankle surgery rehab) remained sidelined, though he did address the crowd pregame in Shenzhen just as he did on Friday in Shanghai. ... Doncic got called for fouling Amir Johnson on a jump ball in the second quarter. Referee Tony Brothers said Doncic swiped Johnson across the arm as they leaped to control the tap. ... Dallas used 15 players, none of them taking more than nine shots. 76ers: Philadelphia committed 70 fouls in China, 35 in each game. ... Embiid had a beautiful reverse pivot to get loose for a dunk late in the first half. Problem was, he slammed the ball into the front of the rim. ... Simmons got a first-quarter technical for flexing after a dunk. ... Philadelphia started 0 for 9 from 3-point range, before Mike Muscala connected. REDICK JEERED The booing of Redick — "polite booing," he called it earlier in this trip to China — continued every time he touched the ball. Redick appeared to use a derogatory term for Chinese people several months ago while taping part of a video where NBA players were wishing fans Happy New Year. Redick apologized quickly after the video came out and said the usage of the slur was unintentional, insisting that he was tongue-tied. HEADING HOME Both teams were flying back to the U.S. after the game. Philadelphia was hoping for a slightly quicker trip than the one that brought it to China; the 76ers had a scheduled stop for refueling in Calgary, Alberta, on the way over and wound up being on the ground for several hours because of a snowstorm. All told, it took Philadelphia nearly 22 hours to get to China. UP NEXT Mavericks: Preseason finale at home Friday against Charlotte. 76ers: Preseason complete, season opener at Boston on Oct. 16......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2018

As preseason winds down, NBA stars are getting some rest

By The Associated Press Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward's preseasons ended early. And they weren't alone around the NBA on Saturday, either. The Boston Celtics left the biggest two stars on their roster — both of whom are coming off serious injuries, and now apparently dealing with far more minor ones — out of the lineup for their preseason finale at Cleveland. The official reasons where lower back pain for Hayward and a rib contusion for Irving. Hayward's last game at Cleveland was opening night of the regular season a year ago, when he suffered a gruesome ankle and leg injury that ended his season. Irving was sidelined for the final month of the regular season and the entirety of Boston's run to the Eastern Conference finals with a knee problem. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers kept Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, George Hill and Kyle Korver out of the matchup. At the Indiana-Memphis game, the Pacers rested their entire projected starting five — Victor Oladipo, Darren Collison, Thad Young, Myles Turner, and Bojan Bogdanovic. And the Grizzlies sat some regulars as well, including Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, with neither move there coming as a surprise given that Memphis was playing a preseason back-to-back and both of those veterans played Friday against Atlanta. And when the Lakers and Clippers met in the last of three preseason contests Saturday, LeBron James was sitting out to rest. The Lakers were also without Lonzo Ball again, though he may play before the preseason ends. All those rest moves Saturday came one day after San Antonio lost rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV for several weeks with a torn meniscus. Walker got hurt in the Spurs' preseason game Friday, and will have surgery on Monday. CAVALIERS 113, CELTICS 102 Ante Zizic scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting and Collin Sexton had 13 points for Cleveland. Sexton made 4 of 6 from the field, including 2 of 2 from 3-point range and Jordan Clarkson added 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in 14 minutes. Larry Nance Jr. had 10 points for Cleveland (2-0). Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier scored 17 points apiece for Boston and Al Horford finished with 10 points and seven assists in 21 minutes. Boston's Marcus Smart was ejected following a dustup that started when his teammate Aron Baynes was pushed by Cleveland's J.R. Smith. "He wants to be so tough in that situation," Smith said of Smart. "He leads the league in flops, easily. You can't flop as much as you do and then be tough. How does that even work?" CAVALIERS: Isaiah Taylor, who signed with the Cavs last month, had eight points, three assists, three steals and a block in 17 minutes. CELTICS: Kyrie Irving announced on Thursday that he intends to re-sign with the Celtics (1-3) after season's end. ... Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each scored eight points while combining to shoot just 7 of 22 from the field, including 0 for 4 from behind the arc. UP NEXT: Boston returns home to play Philadelphia in the season opener on October 16. ... Cleveland continues preseason play at home against Indiana on Monday. GRIZZLIES 109, PACERS 104, OT Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 18 points and Wayne Selden had 16 points, nine assists and two steals for Memphis. Garrett Temple and Yuta Watanabe, who was 5-of-7 shooting, added 11 points apiece. Domantas Sabonis had 17 points, 14 rebounds and four assists for Indiana (1-1). Aaron Holiday, picked 23rd overall in June's draft, hit 4 of 8 from 3-point range and finished with 20 points but committed eight turnovers. GRIZZLIES: Ivan Rabb, a second-round pick in 2017, had seven points, 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks. ... Kyle Anderson did not play. PACERS: Tyreke Evans, who scored 19.4 points per game while playing for Memphis last season, had 12 points on 3-of-11 shooting. ... Alize Johnson, the 50th overall selection in the draft out of Missouri State, had eight points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes. UP NEXT: The Grizzlies (2-1) play the Magic in Orlando on Wednesday. ... Indiana travels to Chicago to play the Bulls on Monday. CLIPPERS 103, LAKERS 87 Lou Williams hit 3 of 4 from 3-point range and finished with 19 points and Tobias Harris had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers. Montrezl Harrell and rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 12 points apiece. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 15 points while Brandon Ingram and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 10 apiece. CLIPPERS: Marcin Gortat, acquired via trade from Washington in June, had 10 points, on 5-of-7 shooting, and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. ... Avery Bradley scored two points and committed five turnovers in 26 minutes. He had made 3 of 16 from the field, including 1 of 10 from 3-point range, in two games this preseason. LAKERS: JaVale McGee had eight points and nine rebounds. ... Rajon Rondo had six rebounds and 10 assists. ... The Lakers made just 3 of 18 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range. UP NEXT: The Lakers (1-3) play Golden State at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday. ... The Clippers (3-0) play host to Denver on Tuesday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 7th, 2018

Boxing: Donnie Nietes not too keen on Palicte rematch or Pinoy-versus-Pinoy title bouts

Following last weekend’s controversial Split Draw decision at the end of the Donnie Nietes-Aston Palicte bout for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Championship, at SuperFly 3 in Los Angeles, California, the WBO’s 115-pound strap remains, well, vacant. Nietes and Palicte battled for twelve rounds, ending with one judge scoring it for the former, 118-110, the other judge scoring it 116-112 for the latter, and the third judge scoring it 114-114 for the Split Draw. Many thought that Nietes had done more than enough to earn a fourth-division world championship, so obviously, the Split Draw left a bitter taste in the mouth of the longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion. As such, the most-likely scenario is that Nietes and Palicte lock horns once again, with the hopes of finally determining a new WBO Super Flyweight king. While no official announcement or decision has been made regarding the matter, Nietes isn’t exactly chomping at the bit to get back in there with his fellow Negrense. For Nietes, who was one scorecard away from joining Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. as the only Filipino four-division world champions, he feels that a rematch isn’t necessary given that many-including himself- believe that he won the 12-round affair. “Para sa akin siguro, sa akin lang ah, siguro wala na yung rematch dapat, kasi alam naman ng mga tao na ako talaga yung panalo,” Nietes told ABS-CBN Sports. “Siguro mas better na maghanap na kami ng ibang makakalaban, rated diyan sa WBO.” Obviously, there’s no shortage in contenders in the WBO’s 115-pound shark tank. Nietes and Palicte are 1 and 2 respectively. Still, Nietes has never been one to back down from any challenge, and the 36-year old Murcia, Negros-native says that he’s down for anyone. “Depende sa WBO tsaka sa manager ko kung sino gusto nila ipa-laban sa akin. Ako, open naman ako kahit sinong lalabanan.” Nietes says he’s targeting a return to the ring in February, but with rumours of a WBO title bout against Japan's Kazuto Ioka also swirling around, the Filipino boxing star says he has no problem coming back earlier. Ioka defeated WBO-ranked McWilliams Arroyo at SuperFly 3. Another name that’s being mentioned is compatriot Jerwin Ancajas, the IBF’s reigning 115-pound king. Ancajas defeated Nietes’ teammate Jonas Sultan earlier this year in what was the first all-Filipino world championship bout in 92 years. With Nietes’ jump to super flyweight, fans and pundits alike all salivated at the prospect of another high-level all-Filipino world championship clash between Nietes and Ancajas. While that would definitely be a must-see matchup, Nietes says he’d rather not have to share the ring against a fellow Pinoy, unless completely necessary. “For me, siguro hindi lang muna ako [lalaban] sa mga Pinoy siguro,” Nietes shared. “Much better kung mga ibang lahi lang muna. Kung sakali namang wala na talagang makakalaban kami na ibang lahi, okay ako mag-unify ng Pinoy against Pinoy.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 14th, 2018

Insufficient water stunting agricultural growth – DA chief

Rice supply in the country is ample, beefed up by imports, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. But water supply is insufficient, impeding the growth of the agriculture sector, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piol said on Monday. Roque reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte's statement that there might be rice traders manipulating the supply by hoarding rice to create an artificial shortage. "The President has said we have ample supply. The problem is those taking advantage by hiding these supplies. The President promised that we will make an example out of them," Roque said. He pointed out that the government had authorized the importation of rice from other ...Keep on reading: Insufficient water stunting agricultural growth – DA chief.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 11th, 2018

Nietes, Pinoy contingent disappointed after SuperFly 3

Saturday's SuperFly 3 card at The Forum in Los Angeles easily could have been a landmark moment for Filipino boxing.  Four Filipino pugs were contending for championships, including Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte, who were vying for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Championship.  In the end however, none of them ended up with with any hardware.  With an all-Filipino matchup for the WBO's 115-pound crown, it was considered a given that a Pinoy would be crowned world champion.  And then, the judges came into play.  After twelve rounds of action from both contenders, many believed that Nietes was well on his way to capturing a fourth world championship in as many weight classes.  Instead, one judge scored the fight in favort of Palicte, one judge scored it in favor of Nietes, and the third judge saw it go to a draw, leading to a Split Draw decision.  "Sa tingin ko panalo talaga ako," Nietes shared with ABS-CBN's Steve Angeles. "Pero 'yun ang nakita talaga ng mga judge, wala na tayong magagawa doon. Judges' decision."  After an early onlsaught from the younger, taller, and rangier Palicte, Nietes used his speed, movement, and experience to outbox his rival for what appeared to be the majority of the twelve-round contest.  As for Palicte, the 27-year old native of Bago City showed that he was a force to be reckoned with in the division, after using hs range and his strength to do some damage on Nietes.  Still, he believes that he's got more work to do.  "Pinakita ko ang best ko, but kulang pa, kulang pa talaga," Palicte shared. Kung 100 percent ako talaga, mananalo. Eh na-draw, so ibig sabihin may kulang pa."  Sharing the ring with arguably one of the best Filipino boxers in history is invaluable experience, and that fact isn't lost on the Roy Jones Jr.-promoted talent.  "Masaya ako, basta nakalaban ko ang best boxers sa mundo. Ayun na si Donnie, hindi basta-basta si Donnie. Three-time world champion siya tska longest-reigning, so proud ako sa sarili ko sa laban, kasi lahat masaya." "Siguro may kulang parin kasi naging draw." Palicte added.  After the matchup, Nietes, Palicte, and their respective teams shared a moment of respect backstage.  Everyone is back to being friends again as Team Nietes and Team Palicte greet eachother after their #Superfly3 draw. pic.twitter.com/ORbu4n9T6J — Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) September 9, 2018 With the WBO Super Flyweight World Championship still vacant, it's highly-likely that Nietes and Palicte get a second go-around for the championship.  "We'll sit down and see what we can do. Right now, it's still vacant." said ALA Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer. "We'll see, I'll try to talk to the WBO and see what happens there, and think of it and maybe what's next."  Aldeguer adds that he too believes a rematch is the likely course of action.  "There's always that way because it's still a vacant title right now, and the usual procedue is they call for a rematch."  The ALA Promotions head honcho however, couldn't hide his disappointment for what transpired.  "With Donnie now, him being 36 and trying to get hid fourth-division title, he won it tonight, it's just sad that he didn't."  In the undercards, a pair of Pinoys also missed out on bringing home belts, both losing via split decision.  Here’s what @ALAPromotions1 Sir Michael Aldeguer had to say after the #PalicteNietes #superfly3 draw and what’s next for Ahas. @abscbnsports @ABSCBNNewsSport 🇵🇭🥊🇵🇭 pic.twitter.com/qpmdGZ2Tpm — Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) September 9, 2018 Bruno Escalante, a Cebuano who's based in the US, fell to Romanian Alexandru Marin for the IBF Intercontinental Super Flyweight championship, while Filipino-Australian Louisa Hawton came up short in her WBC Interim Women's Atomweight Championship against Mexican Brenda Flores.  More from #Superfly3 after her split decision loss to Brenda Flores in their women’s championship match, Fil-Aussie Louisa Hawton catches up with @villainfy and me backstage. She felt she won and wants a rematch. 🥊🥊🥊 pic.twitter.com/YLyPvZQcg7 — Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) September 9, 2018 "I was the aggressor, I feel like I dominated her, and I should have gotten that win. I should be holding that tile over my shoulder right now." a visibly disappointed Hawton said after the bout.  "I want the rematch, simple as that." she added.   H/T: Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 10th, 2018

Tale of the Tape: How does the Philippines stack up against China?

The big day has come. The Philippine national men's basketball team, currently fondly dubbed by fans as the "Gilastopainters," will finally do battle with old rival and tormentor China in Group D of the Asian Games. Can the Philippines beat the mighty Chinese -- the winningest team in Asian Games history? Can the Gilastopainters break a 44-year drought when it comes to defeating the Big Red Machine? Let's see how our boys measure up on paper. Frontline: Advantage China It's easy to give the hulking Chinese the edge here, what with their having two 7-footers and a bevy of guys standing 6'8" or taller. The one to watch is 7'2" Houston Rocket Zhou Qi, who, despite being just 22 years old, could be the best overall big man in the Asian Games when all is said and done. He runs the floor well, can shoot from the perimeter, finishes strong around the cup, and blocks shots like nobody's business. His length, athleticism, and timing will be huge stumbling blocks for a Filipino frontline lacking anyone taller than 6'9. Aside from Zhou, other guys who certainly put the hurt on the Philippines are 7'0" Wang Zhelin and 6'8" Abudushalamu Abudurexiti. Wang was a bona fide NBA draft pick by Memphis in 2016, while Abudurexiti was China's best power forward in both the first and third windows of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, averaging around 16 points and 8 rebounds. Needless to say, Poy Erram, Christian Standhardinger, Asi Taulava, Beau Belga, and Raymond Almazan will all have their hands full tonight. Wings: Advantage Philippines I'll go out on a limb and say that just by having Jordan Clarkson, the Filipinos will have the edge here, and that's despite China's having two-time CBA MVP Ding Yanyuhang. I don't think that, pound-for-pound, anyone on China can stop Clarkson from making his move and penetrating, though scoring on two 7-footers protecting the rim may be too much even for the Cleveland Cavalier guard. Still, Clarkson's scoring ability may be too much to handle for China at this level, and he'll definitely make Ding work extra hard on the defensive end. Gabe Norwood and James Yap will be key for the Philippines here. Defensively Gabe can hold his own against any of the Chinese wingmen, who will feature CBA Slam Dunk champion Zhao Tailong and three-point specialist Liu Zhixuan aside from Dallas Maverick signee Ding, while Yap's outside shooting will be crucial in helping spread China's D. Backcourt: Advantage Philippines As explosive as our wing scoring can be, it's really in the backcourt where the Philippines can flourish against China. Zhao Jiwei, one of China's top two point guards, was supposed to make it to Jakarta, but an injury has sidelined him, effectively handing over playmaking reigns to national team debutante Tian Yuxiang, the unsteady Fang Shuo, youngster Zhao Rui, and natural two-guard Sun Minghui -- another CBA Slam Dunk champion. Their main task will be trying to stop the athletic duo of Stanley Pringle and Maverick Ahanmisi, who combined for 22 points and 4 steals in their lopsided win over Kazakhstan last Thursday. Add prolific scorer Paul Lee to the mix, too, alongside the wily Chris Tiu, and, boy, China's guards may find themselves dancing to the wrong tune tonight. Pringle, of course, is going to be an x-factor. The 31-year-old will need to have another solid showing for the Philippines to really maximize their advantage in the backcourt. His penetration and decision-making will be barometers for the Filipinos' success here, so he needs to be aggressive and sharp. Coaching: Advantage China This is Yeng Guiao's first tour of duty with the national team in nearly ten years, while Li Nan has been coaching at the international level continuously since last year. Though Yeng has been coaching, on aggregate, for a much longer time, Li has been with this particular iteration of China's national team for more than a year now, and that familiarity with his team coupled with his experience in the Asian Qualifiers gives him the slight advantage. Of course, Li has not coached against a player like Jordan Clarkson yet, so he'll be thrown into the fire as well. I don't exactly know who has the tougher task here -- Yeng needs to find a way to limit the effectiveness of China's bigs, while Li needs to devise a scheme to slow Jordan Clarkson down. Neither is easy, but whoever gets to crack his puzzle should give his respective side a big boost. Overall, China can still be considered slight favorites in this matchup, owing to their collective recent international experience and their size, though they're one Jordan Clarkson or Stanley Pringle explosion away from starting their Asiad campaign on a losing note.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2018

REINFORCEMENTS HAVE ARRIVED

Miss the PBA yet? Don't worry as there's more action coming your way starting Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. The 2018 PBA Governors' Cup will tip off this weekend and we have prolific imports in town, 12 of them to be exact. Get to know who they are before we start the third and final conference for this season.   Justin Brownlee --- Ginebra By now, Justin Brownlee needs no introduction but here goes anyway for the benefit of those who don't know him for some reason. Brownlee is a three-time PBA champion for the Gin Kings and a one-time Best Import. His first two titles came in the Governors' Cup. The first one was in 2016 when he hit "The Shot" in Game 6. The second one was last year when he led the barangay to a Game 7 win in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Philippine Arena. He's a Ginebra legend.   Allen Durham --- Meralco The reigning two-time Best Import is back for the Bolts and he's looking to complete some unfinished business. Durham has led Meralco to two Governors' Cup Finals in his previous two stints in the PBA but each time, the Bolts lost to Ginebra for the title. Is third time the charm for Allen Durham and Meralco?   AZ Reid --- San Miguel Arizona Reid won two Best Imports back when he was still with Rain or Shine and he won his first Governors' Cup title when he switched over to San Miguel. Now, the high-scoring import is back for the Beermen after a one-year hiatus. He has some business to finish here and at the top of the list is regaining his lost PBA championship.   Eugene Phelps --- Phoenix El Destructor first made a name for himself in the Governors' Cup. The Commissioner's Cup might not be his best cup of tea but when it comes to the season-ending conference, Eugene Phelps has proven before that he's a force to be reckoned with. With an upgraded local lineup and perhaps better durability this time around, El Destructor might just become extra destructive to the oppposition.   Henry Walker --- Blackwater The Elite made their second playoff appearance last year in the Governors' Cup with Henry Walker. As the no. 8 seed, they were a few minutes away from stunning no. 1 Meralco to go to the semis. Mr. Inspiration has provided nothing but positive stuff for Blackwater and with a longer build up, the Elite might be ready to take the next step in the Governors' Cup in order to salvage what has been a lost season.   Mike Harris --- Alaska The Aces are bringing in Mike Harris as reinforcement in the Governors' Cup. Harris has NBA experience with the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz. He has tremendous international experience and the PBA is only the latest in his long list of stops. He has a career average of 3.4 points in the NBA, playing a total of 54 games spread across five seasons.   Akeem Wright --- Columbian The Dyip will have 33-year-old Akeem Wright for the Governors' Cup. Wright was undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft and since then, he's built an international career with stops in the Middle East and Europe.   Romeo Travis --- Magnolia A close buddy of LeBron James, Romeo Travis is back in the PBA. The first time, he played for Alaska and won Best Import but lost in the Finals to San Miguel Beer  back in 2015. Now, Travis will suit up for the Magnolia Hotshots. Travis of course is part of the LeBron's high school team at St. Vincent-St. Mary.   Olu Ashaolu --- NLEX We've seen Olu in the Commissioner's Cup as he played NLEX's last game of the conference as part of the team's prep for the Governors' Cup. Ashaolu played for Lousiana Tech and Oregon and college and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft.   Rashad Woods --- Northport The Batang Pier will go with Rashad Woods for the Governors' Cup. Woods has had memorable stints in Mexico and in the Middle East, where he's known as the "Arab Ace."   J'Nathan Bullock --- Rain or Shine Bullock is back for a second stint with ROS. Last season, Bullock and the Elasto Painters were eliminated in the quarterfinals but not after erasing TNT's twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs. Bullock will join a ROS team that will be coming off an Asian Games campaign in Indonesia.   Mike Glover --- TNT Glover was Globalport's replacement import for Globalport two years ago but now, he'll start for the KaTropa in the 2018 Governors' Cup. The hulking forward went for 25.6 points and 14.0 rebounds in his first PBA tour.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2018

Gin Kings find their Jordan

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net Justin Brownlee has shown he can thrive in a conference where imports are way taller than him. It surely won't be stunning if Brownlee marshals Barangay Gi.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Thomas takes over at Firestone as Woods fades away

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy have become friends more by location than youth. They live near each other in South Florida and said they spent last weekend practicing together at The Bear's Club. Sunday at Firestone will be the eighth time this year they play together in a tournament, and the number grows next week when they play the opening two rounds with Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship. But this is the first time a trophy is at stake. Thomas pulled away from the pack with five birdies in the middle of his round Saturday for a 3-under 67, giving him a three-shot lead over McIlroy and Ian Poulter going into the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational. "We've played together a lot in tournaments, but never in this kind of situation," Thomas said. McIlroy played bogey-free on a Firestone course that finally started to get firm, atoning for a few missed birdie chances with key par putts. He already has won at Bay Hill this year, though he felt he should have won more. He has been runner-up three times, most recently at the British Open two weeks ago. "I played well enough to win a few times this year and I only got over the line once," McIlroy said. "Tomorrow is a great opportunity to try and win again. I'll need a good round. I'm still a few behind. But yeah, I'm getting a little sick of the second places." McIlroy made up three shots in the final round in 2014 when he rallied to beat Sergio Garcia at Firestone. It might be a taller order to take on Thomas, who already has won twice this season and appears to have found his touch with the putter. Starting with a pitching wedge from 129 yards into the breeze to 6 feet at No. 6, Thomas made birdie on every other hole through the 14th to pull away. No one could keep pace with Thomas, least of all Tiger Woods. Starting the third round Saturday five shots behind, Woods didn't make a birdie until a 12-foot putt on the 12th hole, and he didn't make another. He wound up with a 73, leaving him 11 shots back and ending his streak of 10 straight rounds at par or better dating to the U.S. Open. "It was very similar to the first day," Woods said. "Wasn't very sharp that first day, but I made everything. So today was about the same, and I didn't make anything." That wasn't a problem for Thomas, whose six birdies included a chip-in from 30 feet behind the green on the par-3 12th. He was at 14-under 196. Thomas fell behind early with two bogeys in three holes, and a 10-foot par save in between from behind the fourth green kept him from falling farther behind. Poulter set the pace early and had a three-shot lead at one point until he dropped his shot from the bunker on the par-3 seventh, and then had a mixed bag of birdies and bogeys that kept him from getting closer to the lead. Jason Day, who threw away a chance to win the Bridgestone Invitational two years ago, had a 69 and was four shots behind. Marc Leishman, who played alongside Woods, shot 67 and joined Kyle Stanley (70) five shots behind. The course started to get a little firmer. Poulter had a 62 on Thursday. Tommy Fleetwood shot 63 on Friday. The best anyone could do in the third round was a 65 by Rickie Fowler, which only got him within six shots. Thomas figured that out quickly. He made an unusual birdie on the par-5 second by hitting his tee shot in the first cut of the third fairway. Blocked by threes, he opted for a 5-wood that started out toward the third tee and sliced over the trees to the rough, pin-high about 15 feet away from an up-and-down. After a bogey from the trees at No. 3, Thomas went at a back pin on the tough fourth hole and the ball bounded over the green in thick rough. He chopped at his chip and did well to run it 10 feet by the hole, making it for par. He bogeyed the next from a bunker, and fell three shots behind, but that par save on No. 4 helped by not dropping a shot, and by understanding how the course was playing. Thomas said he told caddie Jimmy Johnson, "We can't see pin, hit pin." Fleetwood went so far long on the fourth hole that it went 30 yards over the green. He chipped 50 feet by the hole and three-putted for a double bogey, the start of what turned out to be a sloppy day and a 74 that dropped him seven shots behind. Poulter already has won at the Houston Open in what has been a big turnaround for the Englishman, who is on the cusp of qualifying for the Ryder Cup. He made a pair of medium-length birdie putts to offset bogeys from the bunkers, but fell out of a chance to be in the last group when he missed a 6-foot par putt on the 17th. "I'm going to have a chance," Poulter said. "So starting this week, tied 13th I think was my best ever result. I'm tied second right now, so huge improvement and a little bit of work left to do. And hopefully, we can do it.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2018

PBA: It’s gonna be a show – Brownlee on matchup with Balkman

From being Alab-Pilipinas’ dynamic duo, Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman will be going at each other’s throats when Barangay Ginebra challenges defending champion San Miguel Beer for the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup title.     Brownlee braces for a tough grind when he and the Gin Kings battle the star-studded Beermen led by Balkman in the best-of-seven title series starting Friday. “Balkman, seeing his talent and his skillset, what he can do for them, he's probably one of the best imports to play in this league as well,” said Brownlee, who had 12 points and 17 rebounds in Ginebra’s Finals seat-clinching 96-94 Game 4 win over Rain or Shine in the best-of-five semifinals on Monday. “I know its gonna be tough, it’s gonna be exciting especially for the fans, just gotta be ready for Friday,” added Brownlee. Brownlee and Balkman played together during the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League. The duo helped Alab-Pilipinas capture the crown at the expense of Mono Vampire-Thailand in a thrilling five-game series.   “Man, just a couple of months ago, me and him, was like Batman and Robin,” Brownlee said. “But... Like I said, its gonna be exciting for the fans, it's gonna be a treat for them, and hopefully, like one of his favorite quotes, it's gonna be a show. I hope it will be just that.” Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone expects fireworks when these two imports collide. “Well, I'm sure in the beginning, there's gonna be a little giggles and laughs between the two of them, maybe a few high fives, privately,” said Cone. “But once the series gets going, I tell you, those guys, they're so competitive, the two of them.” “They're gonna be mortal enemies out there by the time it's done and good,” he added. “They're former teammates, but I think they're really gonna go at each other.” One could just imagine what would be the first conversation between these friends who will try to carry their respective teams in the Finals. “I don't know how the first few minutes is gonna be. I'll probably text him later, I don't know how will I text him but I'll just congratulate him and tell him give it his all and I will do the same,” said Brownlee.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Comm. Silver, NBPA say competitive imbalance not a problem

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com LAS VEGAS -- First came the backlash. Next, backlash to the backlash. By Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), much of the whipsawing over competitive balance -- or more accurately, imbalance -- as an NBA problem rising to the level of crisis had calmed down. Yet powerful voices from the league’s summer nerve center could not dismiss it entirely as an issue meriting closer inspection. “I'm not here to say we have a problem,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday after the Board of Governors meeting. “And I love where the league is right now. [But] I think we can create a better system.” Neither Silver nor Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, sounded an alarm in their separate news conferences about what many see as a widening gap between the league’s haves and have-nots. Roberts, in fact, seemed to feel that all is well and that talent inequality is in the eye of the beholder. “Competitive balance, it almost depends on what your favorite team is,” said Roberts, who was rehired as head of the players union in another four-year contract announced Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “I don’t hear anybody in the Bay Area worrying about competitive balance. I also don’t hear the people in Philadelphia worrying about competitive balance, or Houston. “We’ve got great teams. And it’s never been the case, as far as I’m concerned, where I was not able most of the time to predict what teams were going to be in the Finals.” The topic came up in precisely that context before the Finals last month when Silver was asked about Golden State and Cleveland meeting in the championship series for the fourth consecutive year, a first in any of the major professional sports leagues. It reared its head again this month soon after free agency opened on July 1, with events conspiring to make insiders wonder about a growing disparity among teams. LeBron James’ signing with the Los Angeles Lakers was the biggest move in what appeared to be a continuing shift of strength into the league’s Western Conference. That was followed by the news that DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans’ All-Star center, had joined the champion Warriors. That signing sparked the initial backlash, a rich-getting-richer cry that pointed not to Cousins’ one-year deal for $5.3 million in 2018-19 salary but the fact that the Warriors will spend in excess of $20 million for it when luxury taxes are counted. Golden State had the NBA’s fattest payroll in 2017-18 of $137.5 million, despite a $99 million salary cap, thanks to various exceptions in the prevailing “soft cap” system. “I don't necessarily think it's per se bad that the Warriors are so dominant,” Silver told reporters, not long after discussing the “competitive landscape” with the owners. “As I've said before, we're not trying to create some sort of forced parity. What we really focus on is parity of opportunity. And a fair point could be made in the tax system, when certain teams are spending significantly more than others, that that's not parity of opportunity.” The counter-backlash came from folks who rushed to the Warriors’ and Cousins’ defense, correctly noting that neither did anything wrong, conducting their business within the rules as specified by the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the players. That CBA is the object of endless study and imagined revision, with amendments possible if negotiated prior to the end of the current deal after the 2023-24 season. Shooting for a “hard cap” likely would be a tough sell to players accustomed to the freedom of movement they currently enjoy. “It's not necessarily [Roberts’] issue,” Silver said in response to the union director’s characterization. “I think it's on me and our Labor Relations Committee, ultimately, to sit with the players and their committee and convince them that there may be a better way of doing things.” Silver mentioned Charlotte owner and legendary NBA superstar Michael Jordan, chairman of that Labor Relations Committee, as a valuable resource in addressing owners’ and players’ competition concerns. Both sides have valid arguments. Interest in the NBA never has been higher by almost any metric chosen, from selected TV ratings and licensing revenues to the game’s growth globally. Attendance at the MGM Resorts Las Vegas Summer League keeps pushing higher, with fans eager to see top rookies, second-year players and relative free-agent unknowns chasing their pro hoops’ dreams. The valuations of the 30 NBA franchises, of course, all have soared beyond $1 billion, according to Forbes.com, with the Knicks, the Lakers and the Warriors all estimated to be worth more than $3 billion. Longtime NBA observers such as TNT’s David Aldridge wrote a column this week that argued on behalf of dominant teams, anyway, saying that they actually drive rather than depress fan interest. As for any inability to win games or titles, he laid the blame for that on poor franchise management. The Knicks and the Clippers have all sorts of big-market advantages but haven’t won any championships lately (or at all in the Clippers' case). For Roberts, whose players reap 51 percent of NBA basketball-related income that tops $7 billion annually, business is good, period. “I’m excited about this new season,” she said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “This free agency, there’s been a lot to write about so we’re all, I think, looking forward to what’s going to happen come October. “To the extent that people are predicting the end of the game, I just don’t think so. I would be surprised if Adam called me to say, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’ I think he’s as happy as I am. ... I think we’re in good shape.” Critics note Golden State’s on-court dominance in winning the last two championships. It only took nine NBA Finals games --one over the minimum -- while facing arguably the league’s best player in LeBron James. But those same critics seem to foget that the Warriors were pushed to the full seven games in the conference finals, and actually faced elimination twice before beating the Rockets. “I recognize what Michele's saying,” Silver said. “But at the same time, if you talk to players in the league, and I've talked to plenty of individual players as well, they want to be in the most competitive league possible too.” For every player on the Warriors' roster -- or the Rockets, the Thunder, the Celtics or the Sixers -- there are five or six on teams that realistically have no chance of chasing a ring or the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Cleveland went to four straight Finals thanks to James; no one envisions the Cavaliers getting back any time soon. “Maybe there are some players who think they’re on a second-class team,” said Sacramento wing Garrett Temple, one of the NBPA vice presidents. “But most players I’ve played with or been around, their thought process is, ‘We’re gonna get our team to become one of those first-class teams.’ It’s more of a challenge. More so than, ‘We need them to disband so we can make everybody equal.’ Because we’re competitors.” That really is the crux of the issue. Silver and some franchises want most of the competition to come on the floor, in games, in full view of fans who believe their teams can sufficiently compete. The league’s current title contenders are fine with a system that allows them to compete all the way to the top, with an owner stroking gargantuan checks to crowd out rivals. “Let me make clear that under the current system we want teams to compete like crazy,” Silver said. “So I think the Warriors within the framework of this deal should be doing everything they can to increase their dominance. That's what you want to see in a league. “You want teams to compete in every way they can within the rules.” Silver addressed a variety of topics that were came from the BOG agenda, including: -- Change is coming on multiple fronts, most notably in the league’s age limit. That seems likely to be re-set back to 18 years old from 19, permitting players to enter the league from high school. It’s a move that the NBA should be better equipped to handle with a near 30-for-30 farm-system affiliation with its G League. It also fits with the findings of an NCAA task force that cites dissatisfaction with “one-and-done” college players. Said Silver: “My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change.” -- The start of free agency, annually triggered at midnight ET on July 1 (12:00pm, July 1, PHL time), will be moved to a daytime or prime time opening bell. It’s one of those traditions that no one thought to change, Silver said. -- The league’s investigation into the Dallas Mavericks’ sexual harassment issues should be completed by the end of the month. 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 NewsJul 12th, 2018

Ayton thriving with competition, schedule at NBA Summer League

LAS VEGAS --- Deandre Ayton is having no problem with the competition or the schedule at the NBA level. Ayton outplayed a fellow top rookie big man for the second time, keeping the Phoenix Suns undefeated in preliminary play in Las Vegas. Another full day of basketball Monday, highlighted by Ayton against Orlando's Mo Bamba in a matchup of unbeaten teams, was the third game in four days for the 20 teams in action at the NBA Summer League. The games are shorter than a regular NBA game --- 40 minutes instead of 48 --- and there's no travel, but it's still a lot of action in a short amount of time. Some teams even gave players a rest day during the stretch of games, knowing the...Keep on reading: Ayton thriving with competition, schedule at NBA Summer League.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 10th, 2018

PBA: Hotshots shut down TNT to break 3-game slide

Magnolia was absolutely in the zone in the second half to crush TNT. The Hotshots were on fire on both ends Wednesday, beating the KaTropa, 111-89, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the MOA Arena. Magnolia exploded for 36 points in the third period to turn the game around and then they just shut down TNT in the fourth, 32-16, to break the game wide open. The win finally got the Hotshots back on the winning track, breaking out of a three-game slump to improve to 4-4 in the standings. TNT dropped to 6-2, giving up its hold of the top-2 spot. "For the last two weeks we had different imports so we have a problem with chemistry," head coach Chito Victolero said. "But I told my players to find ways how to win games and I'm very proud and very happy that they responded to my challenge," he added. Magnolia appeared to be in trouble early as TNT opened up a 12-point lead late in the second quarter, 48-36. The Hotshots managed to close the gap before the first half ended, 43-48, setting up their huge rally in the next two quarters. A 12-0 run for Magnolia in the fourth to take a 99-76 lead pretty much ended things. Paul Lee led the way for the Hotshots with 25 points, 17 in the blistering third period as Magnolia started to take control of the game. Import Justin Jackson played his first game for the Hotshots and added 18 points and 19 rebounds. He also had seven assists. Terrence Romeo paced the KaTropa with 17 points and seven assists.   The Scores:   MAGNOLIA 111 — Lee 25, Jackson 18, Brondial 16, Jalalon 13, Barroca 9, Ramos 9, Melton 7, Dela Rosa 5, Simon 3, Herndon 2, Pascual 2, Reavis 2. TNT 89 — Romeo 17, Pogoy 16, Smith 12, Castro 9, Reyes 9, Semerad 7, Williams 6, Rosario 5, Cruz 4, Taha 2, Trollano 2, Carey 0.   Quarters: 18-25, 43-48, 79-73, 111-89. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

PBA: James White is still here for Phoenix

Phoenix won its first game with Eugene Phelps back as its reinforcement. The American had 25 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals to spur the Fuel Masters past Ginebra on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. This, just a day after he officially replaced James White who was placed on the injured reserve. According to Gerry Ramos of spin.ph, Phelps has been in Manila for two weeks and has been practicing with Phoenix for a week. As of right now, though, it’s still unknown who between the two imports will be suiting up for the Fuel Masters when they return to action two weeks from now against defending champion San Miguel. What’s certain is that White, suffering through a foot injury, will only continue to get back at full health and then get ready. “Right now, I’m just recovering. I gotta stay ready for whenever my name is called,” he told reporters post-game. He then continued, “Hopefully, God willing, I’ll be healed soon. I feel great, I feel blessed, I feel thankful.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

Game 4s: Jazz look for 3-1 lead, Wolves aim to tie Rockets

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double, so he gets plenty of attention. Ricky Rubio just had a triple-double, earning him some time in the headlines. Donovan Mitchell has been great in his first three playoff games, so the fascination with the rookie star is only growing. It’s easy to notice those guys. Rudy Gobert should be getting noticed as well. Utah is taking a 2-1 lead into their Western Conference first-round series against Oklahoma City on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), and Gobert is probably as responsible for the Jazz being in that position than anyone. He’s controlling the backboards, he’s changing shots, he’s thwarting Westbrook and he’s showing why he’s the likely Defensive Player of the Year. “It makes the guards’ jobs a lot easier,” Mitchell said of the French safety net with the 7'9" wingspan who protects the rim for the Jazz. “You feel more secure on the wing. ... The whole season, I’ve been saying if somebody gets by me, it’s like, ’All right, go ahead, try it. Because I’ve tried it. And it doesn’t work.” Westbrook probably would agree: He’s 1-for-7 in this series with Gobert waiting at the rim for him. There’s two Game 4s on the schedule Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), with Houston at Minnesota leading off before the Oklahoma City-Utah game. The Rockets fell in Game 3 to the Timberwolves on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), but still lead that series 2-1. Westbrook is not happy, and the reigning NBA MVP wasted little time in vowing that things will be different in Game 4. He was talking about slowing down Rubio, but he might be better served getting himself going again. Going back to the regular season, Westbrook hasn’t shot better than 40 percent in any of his last six games — the worst such streak of his career. ___ Here’s a look at Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) games: ROCKETS AT TIMBERWOLVES Rockets lead 2-1. Game 4, 8 p.m. EDT (8am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: The Timberwolves bounced back from a 20-point loss in Game 2 with a sellout-crowd-inspired 16-point victory over the Rockets in Game 3 that was the franchise’s first win in the playoffs since 2004. Jimmy Butler had 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were more aggressive than they were in Games 1 and 2. “I felt like they outworked us, and that should never happen,” Rockets guard Gerald Green said. KEEP AN EYE ON: The Rockets shooting three-pointers. They needed 41 attempts to make 15 behind the arc in Game 3, as many as the Wolves swished in 27 tries. Harden was just 3-for-8, his rainbows often drifting to the left, as the Wolves kept up what has been a better-than-usual defensive performance in this series. “We’re just making it harder on them, making them take tough shots and just trying to find ways to stop a high-powered offense,” Towns said. PRESSURE IS ON: Rockets center Clint Capela. After a 24-point, 12-rebound production in Game 1, Capela had only seven points on six shots in Game 3. On the other end of the court, Towns finally got going after two bad games thanks in part to Capela’s defense. The Rockets could use a strong response from the Swiss standout in the attempt to keep the Wolves from tying the series. INJURY UPDATE: Butler, who missed a total of 21 games this season due to trouble with his right knee, clutched his left ankle in pain after twisting it late in the first half of Game 3. He didn’t miss any time, though, and didn’t even acknowledge the injury when asked about it in his postgame interview. “At the end of the day if you tell your mind it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t,” Butler said. ___ THUNDER AT JAZZ Jazz leas 2-1. Game 4, 10:30 p.m. EDT (10:30am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: Utah has won each of its last five first-round series as the No. 5 seed, and the Jazz are halfway to extending that streak. The crowd in Salt Lake City was extremely loud on Saturday and will likely be again on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). The Thunder are 5-6 in their last 11 games, and no one needs to remind them of how low the success rate is for teams that go down 3-1 in a series. KEEP AN EYE ON: Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook from deep. Paul George has been great from three-point range (15-for-31) in the three games, but Westbrook and Anthony are a combined 9-for-31. The Thunder need to get something going consistently from the perimeter to soften up Utah’s stout interior defense. PRESSURE IS ON: Utah. Most would think it’s the team trailing that would feel the most pressure, but Utah has a chance to take total command of the series. A loss would be doubly deflating; not only would the Jazz lose home-court, but they would go back to Oklahoma City for Game 5 with the Thunder thinking they have control of the matchup. INJURY UPDATE: Westbrook was getting treatment on some sort of upper-body issue in Game 3 and was coy about it afterward, pointing out that most players are ailing at this time of year. But if he’s limited in any way, that’s obviously a huge problem for the Thunder. ___ AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2018

PBA: Beermen excited to welcome Christian Standhardinger

Perhaps more than talent, San Miguel's current dynasty is built around chemistry. "Samahang walang katulad" as they say. And with the arrival of no. 1 pick Christian Standhardinger to boost an already-powerful team, the Beermen will have a problem to deal with as they integrate the Fil-German forward into the group. A good problem. "I think sabi ng iba, it will become a problem for our team," head coach Leo Austria said on Standhardinger. "Sabi ko, probably, but it is a good problem for us dail sabi nga niyo, there's a lot of criticism before na I'm only using seven or eight players, especially in a very important game. Now we have two imports, from Hong Kong and US... yung rotation namin, biglang hahaba. Kung gumagamit ako ng walo, pwedeng maging sampu na," he added. As for Standhardinger's teammates, they can't wait to welcome him on board. Everyone, including Christian, appear to be ready to build a strong relationship. "Welcome si Christian sa amin," team captain Arwind Santos said. "Sana ma-adopt namin ang magandang combination na nandyan na si Christian. May tiwala naman tayo kay coach Leo at sa staff namin na sila na bahala diyan," he added. While Standhardinger is still playing in the ABL, the Hong Kong Eastern standout is keeping tabs on his PBA team, says coach Leo. "Si Christian Standhardinger, talagang nakikipag-communicate to some of the players and our managers," Austria said. "And he's also excited with the team," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

Jayson Castro likes TNT s chances as underdog vs San Miguel

TNT Katropa guard Jayson Castro says that he likes the chances of his team as the underdog as they go against three-time defending Philippine Cup Champions San Miguel Beermen in a do-or-die 8-versus-1 matchup for the KaTropa Tuesday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena. San Miguel will be a very familiar foe for TNT as they faced them in a seven-game semifinals series which saw the Beermen win en route to their third straight crown. However, the circumstances will be very much different as the flagship franchise is down as the number eight seed, facing a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the most dominant All-Filipino team in years. Although holding that disadvantage, the veteran is very much optimistic of their chances against the deep and talented roster of coach Leo Austria. "I think may chance kami. Kasi lagi namin sila nakakalaban sa semis, kailangan lang namin ma-execute yung offense, and defensively maganda naman yung rotation namin, at the same time, yun nga, na-didisrupt namin sila so sana maging maganda ulit yung game namin," Castro said. The point guard, who came off the bench for the second straight time delivered a great all-around performance, posting a near-triple-double of 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists in almost 24 minutes of action in their win against the Phoenix Fuel Masters. Despite his sixth-man role this time around, Castro does not mind getting less minutes, as long as his team reaps the Ws. "Basta nananalo kami, walang problema sa akin kahit off the bench ako basta panalo. Yun naman ang sa akin. Syempre diskarte ng mga coaches namin. Support ako sa kanila." With their crunch-time loss against SMB in Iloilo, where Castro and his team gave away a late lead, he hopes that the team had already learned their lesson with Phoenix's drubbing, and use it against San Miguel. "Pagdating ng fourth quarter, yun yung nagiging problem namin eh. This time, sana yun nga, pagdating namin ng fourth quarter, nafi-finish namin yung game." -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 4th, 2018