Advertisements


Prince Caperal feels good to see impressive game translate to Ginebra win

MANILA, Philippines – Prince Caperal finally got the best of both worlds. Caperal has been playing the best basketball of his PBA career in Barangay Ginebra's best-of-7 semifinals series against the San Miguel Beermen. Filling in for injured star center Greg Slaughter, the 24-year-old has provided quality ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerMar 13th, 2018

Caperal on defending June Mar: Sana man lang mahirapan siya

Prince Caperal has been a revelation for Ginebra so far in these PBA semifinals. A a game after he recorded his career-high in points during a loss in Game 2, Caperal once again shined for the Gin Kings in Game 3, playing a starting role in order to help the barangay contain MVP June Mar Fajardo. It sort of worked and Ginebra is on the board, cutting its series deficit to 1-2 following a gutsy victory. "Syempre ang role ko naman kaya nag-first 5 ako is to defend June Mar, kahit papaano may bumangga sa kanya," Caperal said. "Kahit papaano mahirapan siya. June Mar kasi yun eh, four-time MVP so mahirap talaga bantayan. Naka-ilang score din siya kanina di ba? Grabe talaga. Ayun lang, dapat ready ako sa kanya palagi, sana man lang mahirapan siya, yun lang naman talaga yung role ko." he added of Fajardo. While Fajardo still ended up with 23 points, he was only good for five in the opening half. That's when Ginebra took control of the game, setting the tone for the finish which mirrored that of Game 2 except for the fact that Ginebra actually managed to hold on this time around. And the Gin Kings did, thanks to Caperal again, who drilled a booming three with five minutes to go, stopping San Migue's momentum to turn a three-point lead into six points. After 26 points in Game 2, Caperal finished with a solid 12 points for the barangay in Game 3. "Paubos na shot clock eh, all bets are off na. Titira ko talaga yun. Lucky, pumasok. Parang big shot yun, it feels good na crucial. Buti na lang talaga pumasok," he said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 13th, 2018

SMB coach Leo on Prince Caperal: A new star is born for Ginebra

Prince Caperal averaged just 2.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 59 games played spanning four seasons. On Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum, he obliterated those averages in only the first half of Ginebra’s Game 2 tiff up against San Miguel in the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. The six-foot-seven big man already had 17 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes of action. And in the end, his stat line read like this: 26 points, eight rebounds, 31.49 minutes - all career-bests. This, just barely a month after being taken out of the scrap heap by the Gin Kings. Signed to fill in the big shoes left behind by the injured Greg Slaughter, Caperal showed just what he was made of - up against four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, no less. “Lagi lang talagang ready kasi nga, wala si Greg so kailangan naming mag-step up. Ginawa lang namin trabaho namin and nataong pumapasok mga shots ko,” he told reporters post-game. Of course, the Beermen would rally back and ultimately snatch away the win. Still, the breakout game from the center out of Arellano University was nothing but a welcome development. “Masaya ako kasi kahit papaano, nakatulong ako sa team. Although natalo kami, at least may chance (pala) sa team like San Miguel na manalo kami,” he shared. He then continued, “Kumbaga, chance ko na rin ’to dahil wala pa si Greg. Feeling ko, talagang kailangang magpakita ako.” That, he already has and even opposing coach Leo Austria had to take notice. “I have to give credit to Ginebra, especially the coaching staff, because there was a big adjustment on their game. They used players na seldom-used and I respect that player which is Caperal,” the San Miguel mentor said. He then continued, “I think a new star is born for Ginebra.” Even with the breakout, however, Caperal remained modest and credited his teammates for his standout performance. “Nataon lang na pumapasok talaga mga tira ko and yung mga teammates ko, supportive sila. Nakikita nilang pumapasok tira ko so binibigay nila sa akin yung bola,” he said. It didn’t hurt either that most of the jam-packed crowd was behind him - and the crowd favorite Gin Kings, of course. “Ibang klase ang fans ng Ginebra, talagang totoo nga yung sinasabi nilang sixth man ng team yung crowd. Talagang kahit pagod ka na, talagang mabu-boost yung energy mo,” he said. From here, the fourth-year player is nothing but hoping his good run continues. “Malaking bagay yung exposure na ‘to para sa career ko. Sana, magtuloy-tuloy na,” he expressed. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 11th, 2018

PBA Season 43 preview: The Pack

Forget the PBA impasse for a second. Seriously, forget it. Why? There are basketball games to be played. That's right, the PBA will push through with the opening of the 43rd season as originally scheduled and before we start what appears to be another long, exciting, stressful (for the good reasons, of course), and eventful year of basketball, let's look at all 12 teams first. We start with "The Pack" in this preview. Special thanks to Alaska's coach Alex Compton for this idea. Okay here we go.   Rain or Shine Elasto Painters PBA Season 42 results: Philippine Cup - Quarterfinals Commissioner's Cup - Quarterfinals Governors' Cup - Quarterfinals PBA Season 43 opening day line up: Gabe Norwood Ed Daquioag Jericho Cruz Dexter Maiquez Maverick Ahanmisi Jewel Ponferrada Mark Borboran Chris Tiu James Yap Don Trollano Raymond Almazan Rey Nambatac Beau Belga Ronnie Matias Jeremy King Injured/Reserve: Jay Washington Head coach: Caloy Garcia The Elasto Painters, after losing so many key peices from their championship team in the previous offseason, didn't exactly have a bad year in 2017. ROS made it to the playoffs in each of the three conferences. However, the Painters failed to advance to the semifinals in all three as well. Rain or Shine is a champion team but the transition period for this franchise might be extended unless they can actually sustain their strong starts to conferences.   NLEX Road Warriors PBA Season 42 results: Philippine Cup - Missed playoffs Commissioner's Cup - Missed playoffs Governors' Cup - Quarterfinals PBA Season 43 opening day line up: Emman Monfort Michael Miranda Juami Tiongson Jansen Rios Kevin Alas Cyrus Baguio Alex Mallari Larry Fonacier Kiefer Ravena Raul Soyud Kenneth Ighalo Rabeh Al-Hussaini Alfonso Gotladera JR Quinahan Asi Taulava Injured/Reserve: Ronjay Buenafe Head coach: Yeng Guiao It took them a while but the Road Warriors finally figured things out under coach Yeng Guiao. And now with a new star at poing guard plus a another offseason of playing together, this season feels like the actual start of the Yeng Guiao era in NLEX. The Road Warriors have a nice mix of young and veteran talent and they have a champion coach at the helm. The potential is there to make noise in the playoffs.   Phoenix Fuel Masters PBA Season 42 results: Philippine Cup - Quarterfinals Commissioner's Cup - Quarterfinals Governors' Cup - Missed playoffs PBA Season 43 opening day line up: LA Revilla Jason Perkins Gelo Alolino JC Intal Joseph Eriobu Justin Chua Marvin Hayes Jeff Chan Doug Kramer Jam Cortez Karl Dehesa Rey Guevarra William Wilson RJ Jazul Matthew Wright Head coach: Louie Alas Phoenix is in it to win it. The Fuel Masters missed the playoffs once for the first time in four conferences and the team literally changed almost their entire coaching staff. Coach Louie Alas will have an interesting squad to work with in his debut season with the team. If Phoenix can avoid a major slide similar to what happened in the 2017 Governors' Cup, expect the Fuel Masters to be featured in the playoff race.   KIA Picanto PBA Season 42 results: Philippine Cup - Missed playoffs Commissioner's Cup - Missed playoffs Governors' Cup - Missed playoffs PBA Season 43 opening day line up: Reden Celda Jackson Corpuz JR Reyes Jon Gabriel Philip Paniamogan Rashawn McCarthy Prince Caperal Eric Camson Jan Jamon Pedrito Galanza Roldan Sara Glenn Khobuntin Mark Yee Dylan Ababou Ronald Tubid Head coach: Chris Gavina Kia's unconventional ways will be tested this season. After basically trading away Christian Standhardinger, people will most certainly watch the Picanto to lose. But you never know with this team, they have a brilliant coach and maybe Kia manages to pull off an upset or two this season. Maybe it's not so bad after all. We'll see.   Meralco Bolts PBA Season 42 results: Philippine Cup - Missed playoffs Commissioner's Cup - Quarterfinals Governors' Cup - Finals PBA Season 43 opening day line up: Bryan Faundo Mike Tolomia Cliff Hodge Nico Salva Baser Amer Chris Newsome KG Canaleta Garvo Lanete Joseph Sedurifa Anjo Caram Jason Ballesteros Jared Dillinger Reynel Hugnatan Ranidel De Ocampo Mac Baracael Injured/Reserve: Ken Bono Head coach: Norman Black For the past two seasons, Meralco has not performed well in the Philippine Cup. Without an import, the Bolts just shut down for some reason. However, the team can build on a more mature set of locals this time around to make some noise in the All-Filipino. And you already know coach Norman Black is not allowing another All-Filipino collapse from his team.   Blackwater Elite PBA Season 42 results: Philippine Cup - Missed playoffs Commissioner's Cup - Missed playoffs Governors' Cup - Quarterfinals PBA Season 43 opening day line up: Mike Cortez Mike Digregorio Ael Banal Roi Sumang JP Erram Mark Cruz John Pinto Mac Belo James Sena Renz Palma Chris Javier Allein Maliksi Dave Marcelo Raymar Jose Kyle Neypes Head coach: Leo Isaac Blackwater has an interesting team. Just looking at their line up from top to bottom, the Elite have all the tools to make a playoff runs this season. Starting with the All-Filipino, Blackwater can finish the job that they failed to do last season. People forget that the Elite, despite missing the playoffs, had a pretty good Philippine Cup last year.   Globalport Batang Pier PBA Season 42 results: Philippine Cup - Quarterfinals Commissioner's Cup - Quarterfinals Governors' Cup - Missed playoffs PBA Season 43 opening day line up: Yousef Taha Julian Sargent Stanley Pringle Terrence Romeo Nico Elorde Sean Anthony Micahel Juico Jonathan Gray Ryan Arana Kelly Nabong Lervin Flores Joseph Gabayni Bradwyn Guinto Injured/Reserve: Arnold Van Opstal Head coach: Pido Jarencio Regardless if its Pido Jarencio or Franz Pumaren coaching this team, things will be hard for Globalport if Terrence Romeo continues to miss time. But looking at it from another angle, maybe Stanley Pringle shows us another level to his game and takes the Batang Pier to new heights. However, Globalport fans would feel more comfortable if the Bro recovers according to schedule and makes his debut sooner rather than later.   Alaska Aces PBA Season 42 results: Philippine Cup - Quarterfinals Commissioner's Cup - Missed playoffs Governors' Cup - Missed playoffs PBA Season 43 opening day line up: Simon Enciso Chris Banchero Sonny Thoss Calvin Abueva Marion Magat Jake Pascual Jeron Teng Chris Exciminiano Carl Bryan Cruz Abel Galiguez Davon Potts Jvee Casio Kevin Racal Vic Manuel Injured/Reserve: Noy Baclao Head coach: Alex Compton It possibly can't get any worse for Alaska this season. After a down year, the Aces are poised for a bounce back season. If Alaska can re-learn how to finish games, the team can absolutely regain its lofty standing on top of the league. The pieces are there, it's amazing how the Aces lost so many games last season. It cannot get any worse.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Coach Tim angry at himself, real proud of his players

Ginebra’s campaign in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup has come to a close. With no answers for three-time defending champion San Miguel, the Gin Kings fell in the best-of-seven semifinals, 1-4. Still, the crowd favorites come away from this series with their heads held high – just like head coach Tim Cone told them to. “Sabi niya sa amin, he was proud of us. Sa dami ng pinagdaanan namin this conference, we still fought ‘til the end,” Japeth Aguilar told reporters post-game. He then continued, “’Di naman kami nagkulang. Malakas lang talaga ang San Miguel.” Aguilar mentioned how, throughout the conference, they played with key cogs Joe Devance, Sol Mercado, and Greg Slaughter sidelined for spells. In the eyes of Cone, that kind of fight merits much credit. As he put it, “Japeth really stepped up and we also got great performances from Prince (Caperal) and Raymond (Aguilar). Sol (Mercado) played real well tonight and Scottie (Thompson) was just incredible all series long.” Thompson had his second career triple-double in the series-ending Game 5 while Caperal and the two Aguilars did an admirable job in filling up for the injured Slaughter. Still, San Miguel proved to be too much for majority of the series – and the multi-titled mentor was the first one to take responsibility for letting it happen. “I’m angry that I didn’t do enough for them. I’m angry that I couldn’t win the games for them,” he said. He then continued, “I’ll be angry at myself and I’ll be real proud of our guys.” For now, Ginebra will just lick its wounds and head into the next conference hungrier. “Sana ma-maintain namin iyong health ng bawat isa. We're looking forward to Justin Brownlee coming back and ayun, we'll take a break muna and just look forward for the next conference,” Aguilar remarked. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 17th, 2018

Marcio Lassiter, San Miguel steal semis Game 2 from Ginebra

Just like head coach Time Cone said, Ginebra indeed played better in Game 2 of the semifinals in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. It still wasn’t enough as June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, and Marcio Lassiter had all the answers from San Miguel in a gutsy 104-102 come-from-behind win in overtime on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. Behind the inspired play of Prince Caperal, the Gin Kings got off to a blazing start, using a 14-4 burst to turn a four-point cushion late in the first into a 42-29 edge in the second. They kept giving their faithful many more reasons to cheer as their advantage blew up to as much as 15 in the third. Caperal’s short stab put up the crowd favorites up by nine inside the last five minutes until Fajardo’s free throws and Santos’ big-time three willed the Beermen into tying the tally at 95-all with 13.4 ticks to go in regulation. Joe Devance missed his layup to send the game into overtime and there, Caperal’s short stab fronted a 7-3 run for a 102-98 advantage with 61 seconds remaining. It was at that point that Lassiter was just always at the right place at the right time and got two free throws, an inside basket, and a lucky tip-in that proved to be the game-winner. "I think yung panalo namin is tsamba. We thought from the start na we're losing this game, but maybe because of the pride and the experience of the team, they didn't want to lose because they know the importance of this game," head coach Leo Austria said. Ginebra still had three seconds to make something happen, but Scottie Thompson lost control of the ball to preserve the win and the 2-0 series lead for San Miguel. Lassiter wound up with 25 points, six coming in the last 53 seconds, on top of eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Fajardo was brilliant all throughout with a 33-point, 19-rebound double-double. The win wouldn't have been possible, however, if not for Santos' fearless triple, part of his 11 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. "If not for Arwind, this could have been 1-1 na e," Austria said Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross also added 11 points apiece to help the Beermen win the first two games of the race-to-four semifinals series. Japeth Aguilar paced the Gin Kings with 28 points and was backstopped by Caperal's career-high 26 markers. BOX SCORES SAN MIGUEL 104 – Fajardo 33, Lassiter 25, Ross 13, Cabagnot 13, Santos 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 7, Heruela 2, Pessumal 0, Espinas 0, De Ocampo 0 GINEBRA 102 – Aguilar J. 28, Caperal 26, Devance 11, Thompson 10, Cruz 10, Tenorio 8, Mercado 7, Mariano 2. QUARTER SCORES: 25-30; 42-55; 70-73; 95-95 (Reg); 104-102 (OT). --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 11th, 2018

Prince Caperal always ready to step up for Barangay Ginebra

MANILA, Philippines – Prince Caperal was one of the few bright spots in Barangay Ginebra's 90-102 Game 1 loss to the San Miguel Beermen in their best-of-7 semifinals series Friday, March 9.  Without star center Greg Slaughter, Caperal provided quality minutes for the Gin Kings as he registered 8 points on a 3-of-6 shooting and 5 ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 10th, 2018

Still no timetable for return of Gregzilla

June Mar Fajardo was limited to a season-low nine points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists in Game 1 of the semifinals in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. And yet, San Miguel handily beat Ginebra on Friday with Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, and even Von Pessumal doing the heavy lifting. Japeth Aguilar and little-known Prince Caperal did an admirable job up against the four-time MVP, but they and the rest of the Gin Kings just could not keep up with the rest of the defending champions. As such, the crowd favorites could have really used the difference-maker they have who can bring the same sort of impact as Fajardo. “He would really help out, obviously,” head coach Tim Cone told reporters post-game, referring to sidelined starting center Greg Slaughter. Slaughter, last conference’s Best Player, has been ruled out for over a week due to an ankle injury. And up until now, his return to action is yet to be determined. As Cone put it, “We don’t know yet. He’s day-to-day and we’re hoping to get him back at some point.” As it turns out, the seven-foot big man is has not even taken the court again ever since suffering the injury. “He hasn’t gotten back on the court yet. At this point, it’s still gonna be a couple of days, at least, before we get him back (on the court),” the multi-titled mentor said. Asked about his status, Slaughter himself said he couldn’t put too much pressure on his foot. “The swelling’s going down, but it’s still very painful. I can’t run or jump right now so obviously, I can’t play,” he said. However, the 29-year-old said he will be back out there to help Ginebra the moment doctors clear him to play. “As soon as I can, when they pain is bearable, I’ll be out there. Now is the time to play so I’m trying to get back in there, maybe (even) force it a little bit,” he shared. He then continued, “As soon as I can, I’ll go out there.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 9th, 2018

Despite bad back, Japeth plays big time for Gin Kings in sweep of ROS

Japeth Aguilar has been dealing with a bad back even before the first Ginebra-Rain or Shine game that ultimately went into triple overtime. Despite it though, Aguilar has been the key in the Gin Kings sweeping ROS to advance to the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Japeth averaged 23.6 points in those three games. He scored 30 in the triple-overtime win to avoid a playoff for 8th for Ginebra and he scored 27 in Game 2 against the Elasto Painters to clinch the semis spot. "I take it day-by-day, going to therapy hanggang sa umokay siya at maka-recover ako," Aguilar said of his bad back. "I just want to win talaga kanina. I want to move on to the semifinals and we all know na hindi madali especially against Rain or Shine, but everyone stepped up actually," he added. Fortunately, it appears that Japeth's back is getting better. Which is going to be crucial for Ginebra as they take on the Beermen in the semis, a rematch from last year's Finals. Greg Slaughter is still out for the Gin Kings with a bad ankle. "There's little stiffness after the game, after practice, but once naka-pahinga na ako, naka-recover na ako," Japeth said. "Coach Tim is already trying to prepare us [vs. SMB]. Earlier in the dugout sinabi niya, 'It’s Mount Everest that we’re going to climb.' Even sila Raymond [Aguilar] and sila Prince [Caperal], he told them to be ready. so we’re trying to prepare na talaga," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 7th, 2018

Gin Kings overwhelm TNT for back-to-back wins

Brgy. Ginebra's big 3 was in full effect Sunday against TNT. Behind their stars, the Gin Kings overwhelmed the KaTropa in the fourth quarter, rolling to a 93-78 win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Big Dome. LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, and Greg Slaughter each scored at least 20 points as the barangay registered back-to-back wins to improve to 5-4 in the standings. "We said before the game that it was a huge game so now that we've won it, it's a huge win," head coach Tim Cone said. "It's the time in the conference that everyone's scrambling for wins, we're looking at the scores and checking out quotient. It's a verys tressful time for coaches, but our guys stepped up today. we were playing okay in the first half, and we do that, but we knew it wasn't gonna be enough to win the game so we elevated our play in the second half," he added. Down 65-67 with 10 minutes to go, Ginebra got right back on track after two triples from Kevin Ferrer gave the Gin Kings a 73-67 advantage with 8:22 left. It was all Ginebra from that point on as the Gin Kings slowly pulled away from TNT. Tenorio was the star of the show for Ginebra, finishing with 27 points on top of five rebounds and 11 assists. Meanwhile, Aguilar was good for 25 points while Slaughter added 20 points and 14 rebounds. For TNT, the KaTropa have now lost three straight to drop 4-5 in the standings, definitely a dangerous place for the flagship MVP franchise this late in the All-Filipino. Kelly Williams scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for TNT but it wasn't enough. Jayson Castro also scored 17 to go along with six steals while RR Pogoy finished with 16 points. The Scores: GINEBRA 93 — Tenorio 27, J. Aguilar 25, Slaughter 20, Thompson 9, Cruz 6, Ferrer 6, R. Aguilar 0, Caguioa 0, Caperal 0, Mercado 0, Taha 0. TNT 78 — Castro 17, Williams 17, Pogoy 16, Tautuaa 10, Garcia 8, Paredes 2, Reyes 2, Semerad 2, Tamsi 2, Torres 2, Carey 0, Golla 0. Quarters: 22-18, 44-42, 63-62, 93-78.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2018

Nine things you should know about Ateneo’s Isaac Go(AT)

Ateneo de Manila University’s ninth championship was built on a total team effort. The Blue Eagles drew contributions from all over their roster – from Thirdy Ravena to Gian Mamuyac, from Matt Nieto to Anton Asistio, and from Chibueze Ikeh to Raffy Verano. Among them, though, nobody figured in more memorable moments than Isaac Go. For being a big part of Katipunan’s ninth title, let us give ourselves nine facts we should know about the man they now fondly call Isaac Go(AT). This isn’t the first time he proved his clutch credentials Isaac Go had a hand in Ateneo’s do-or-die semifinals win against Far Eastern University, Finals Game 1 triumph over De La Salle University, and winner-take-all Finals Game 3 conquest over the Green Archers. This wasn’t the first time he has found himself right in the middle of big-time plays, however. In fact, Ateneo’s Finals appearance a year ago was all thanks to Go who made good on a follow-up in the dying seconds of the knockout semifinals versus the Tamaraws. That make lifted the Blue Eagles onto the championship round and should be considered as the origins of their newest folk hero. And oh, just for good measure, he hit that shot with a bloodied nose. But… he prefers if you won’t call him clutch. Time and again, Isaac Go has proven his clutch credentials on the biggest of stages and under the brightest of lights. Still, he has also, time and again, proven his humility by deflecting to his coaches and teammates. His reaction on his championship-sealing triple in Game 3? “Everybody thinks that I’m clutch because I’m making shots at that moment, but without the execution of the coaching staff and the recognition of my teammates, I won’t have the opportunity to take the shot,” he said. He then continued, “If you say I’m clutch, it’s better to say the team is clutch.” He’s taking BS Management of Applied Chemistry – and he’s already putting his studies to good use Isaac Go is in the latter stages of his studies and his course isn’t something you usually associate with student-athletes – Bachelor of Science in Management of Applied Chemistry. And he is already, well, managing applied chemistry with X-Stink Cleaning Spray. According to the product’s Facebook page, it is a “portable toilet cleaning solution.” Go and his groupmates are already going around bazaars with their pride – so who knows, they just may be hitting one near you!   Come and support X-Stink! The portable toilet cleaner! pic.twitter.com/2yS83VJPOv — Isaac Go (@IsaacGo1) Oktubre 22, 2017   At first, coach Tab Baldwin referred to him as “the big, fat kid” When seasoned mentor Tab Baldwin took over Ateneo in 2016, their frontcourt was far from fortified.  “When I joined the organization, I looked around and said, ‘What do we have for big men?’ Everybody pointed at G-Boy (Babilonia) and (Chibueze) Ikeh,” he told reporters in an earlier interview. Babilonia was serviceable at best while Ikeh was yet to develop. There was another big man on their lineup, however. “Nobody said anything about Isaac and I said, ‘What about the big, fat kid over there,’ Baldwin recalled. Yes, Baldwin once referred to Isaac Go as the “big, fat kid.” Little did both know that together, the seasoned mentor and the 250 lbs promise of a player, they will help the Blue Eagles become king once again. He lost all that weight by letting go… of rice Weighing 250 lbs, Isaac Go was once, indeed, the “big, fat kid.” Now, however, he walks around at no more than 235 lbs – just enough to bang with the likes of Ben Mbala while also staying agile for a big man. How did he do it? With the no-rice diet. As coach Tab Baldwin tells it, “I told Isaac, ‘You’re not gonna eat rice anymore.’” It wasn’t easy at first, though, not at all. “ And he said, ‘But my mom will get upset with me if I don’t eat rice.’ And I told him, ‘I’m already upset with you that you’re telling me that,’” Baldwin shared. Good thing Go overcame his fear of his mom getting upset! He… commutes?   Commuting time = thinking time — Isaac Go (@IsaacGo1) Oktubre 27, 2017     Morning cardio: Run from the lrt station to class 😂😭 — Isaac Go (@IsaacGo1) Setyembre 15, 2017   He was once a member of Batang Gilas (technically, it’s earlier iteration) Isaac Go has played for the Philippine national team – the Under-16 basketball team, to be exact. Called Energen Pilipinas, that was the forebearer of what is now known as Batang Gilas. Go teamed up with the likes of J-Jay Alejandro, Andrei Caracut, Kyles Lao, Prince Rivero, and Arvin Tolentino and was coached by Olsen Racela in that squad that competed internationally in 2011. He feels strongly about the environment   ADMU Blue Eagle @IsaacGo1 on climate action: "One person cannot solve climate change alone. We need to band together to solve it." #GCCW2017 pic.twitter.com/Ihwz9IJBzx — Ateneo GCCW 🌏 (@AteneoGCCW) Oktubre 5, 2017   He’s a Xavier Golden Stallion, but his game is not at all like the Tengs’     When you young and 30 years out of style 😂 #thefro 🏀 A post shared by Isaac Go (@isaacgo1) on Aug 27, 2017 at 6:32am PDT   Xavier has produced great guards in Chris Tiu and Joseph Yeo as well as fine forwards in Jeric and Jeron Teng. Apparently, the Golden Stallions can also produce bigs with the size and skill of Isaac Go. With that, Ateneo now has another thing they can thank St. Francis Xavier for.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2017

Magsayo retains WBO Int l Featherweight title

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol --- A world title fight could be in the horizon for undefeated Mark 'Magnifico' Magsayo. The hometown hero did not disappoint in his homecoming in this beautiful province in the Visayas as he successfully defended his WBO International Featherweight belt against Japanese challenger Shota Hayashi in a unanimous decision win Saturday in the sold out Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium here. Magsayo got an identical 116-112 scores from the three judges to wrap up the successful staging of Pinoy Pride 43 'The Battle in Bohol'. "Nahirapan din ako kasi di ko talaga in-expect ang tibay niya saka malakas talaga," said Magsayo, who battled a very game and tough Japanese veteran. "Matibay siya sa bodega saka sa mukha kaya medyo nahirapan ako."  The 22-year old Magsayo spoiled the birthday wish of Hayashi, who turned 30 Friday, with his 18th straight win in his return to this province famous for its majestic Chocolate Hills since his seventh win back in 2014. With an impressive 18-0 (13 KOs) record and a good performance in his fight, Magsayo could be heading into a world title bout against WBO Featherweight champ Oscar Valdez or a eliminator on March 2018. Hayashi dropped to 30-7-1 win-loss-draw record. Meanwhile, 'Prince' Albert Pagara knocked out Mohammed Kambuluta of Tanzania with 2:26 in the second round. Pagara floored Kambuluta early in the second round before finishing off the Tanzanian with a right straight for his 20th KO win in 28 victories against a lone loss. Kambuluta dropped to 17-4 win-loss card. Jeo 'Santino' Santisima pummeled Indonesian Ki Chang Kim to submission just 36 seconds into the opening round to score a magnificent knockout win in their junior featherweight bout. Santisima caught Kim with two body shots that dropped the Indonesian, who never recovered from the Pinoy's devastating body blows. Santisima improved his record to 15 wins, 14 from KOs, with two losses. Kim absorbed his fifth loss against eight wins and a draw. In other undercard results, Christian Bacolod opened the night with a sensational second round TKO win over Ryan Makiputin. Bacolod floored Makiputin twice in the second round before finishing off the fight with a barrage of combinations as the referee stepped in to stop the fight, 2:50 in the round. Roli Gasca made quick work of Boholano Jason Tinampay, knocking out the home crowd bet with a thunderous right uppercut to the jaw with 1:15 in the opening round.  Rocky Fuentes edged Ryan Tampus via unanimous decision (59-55, 60-54, 59-55) while Esneth Domingo dominated the score cards, 39-36, 40-36, 40-35, for a UD win over Lowell Saguisa. Melvin Jerusalem outpointed Jestoni Racoma in a unanimous decision win, 80-72, 80-72, 78-74. Another local bet in Virgel Vitor went home  victorious after getting the identical 97-93 scores from the judges against John Ray Logatiman in their Junior Featherweight bout.   Complete Pinoy Pride 43 Results Mark 'Magnifico' Magsayo def. Shota Hayashi via UD (116-112, 116-112, 116-112) 'Prince' Albert Pagara def. Mohammed Kambuluta via KO, 2:26 in the second round Jeo 'Santino' Santisima def. Ki Chang Kim via KO, 2:24 in the first round Virgel Vitor def. John Ray Logatiman via UD (97-93, 97-93, 97-93) Melvin Jerusalem def. Jestoni Racoma via UD (80-72, 80-72, 78-74) Esneth Domingo def. Lowell Saguisa via UD (39-36, 40-36, 40-35) Roli Gasca def. Jason Tinampay via knockout, 1:15 in the first round Rocky Fuentes def. Ryan Tampus via UD (59-55, 60-54, 59-55) Christian Bacolod def. Ryan Makiputin via TKO, 2:50 in the second round --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2017

24 NBA questions before 17-18 tips off

By David Aldridge, TNT analyst The season starts on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). You’ve been waiting patiently all summer with your questions. Fire away.     1. So … what’s the point of playing this season? The Golden State Warriors are still the prohibitive favorites to repeat this season, next season and into the foreseeable future. But it was good to see a good chunk of the Western Conference -- the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets, to name three teams -- not fold before the first card is dealt. That fact alone is incredibly important. The Warriors are still the best team in the West, without question. But if teams don’t even try to get better, or spend money to compete, the whole rationale for playing fades away. The Thunder could have rode Russell Westbrook alone to another first-round playoff loss, watched him walk out the door in free agency next summer and thrown up its hands, plead ‘woe is us and all small-market teams,’ and enjoyed a luxury tax-free life for the next few years. The Rockets could have just kept selling tickets to fans to watch James Harden and his pals shoot 50 threes a game for the next two or three years. It’s an appealing brand of basketball. Denver could have just kept building through the Draft, climbing a few more wins here or there for a while, and snuck into the eighth seed, choosing to be comfortable rather than bold. But they didn’t. They’ve called and raised. In all likelihood, it won’t be enough to beat Golden State. But those teams can sleep well at night. They’re not cheating their players, or fans. 2. So, is OKC now a legit threat to the Warriors? The short answer: no. But it’s closer. Carmelo Anthony will be as good a third option as anyone in the league has, though; he will eat regularly on the weak side as defenses scramble to handle Westbrook-Paul George pick and rolls; a quick seal and ‘Melo will be off to the races. If coach Billy Donovan goes small ball with Patrick Patterson at the five, there will be many nights when OKC drops a 130 spot. Yes, the Thunder’s defense is going to be an issue; while Enes Kanter was a sieve off the bench, he was coming off the bench, playing behind Steven Adams. Anthony will be starting and playing big minutes, many at the four. But it won’t matter most nights when the Thunder is up 20 to start the fourth quarter, after 36 minutes of Westbrook sorties, George 3-pointers and transition dunks, and Carmelo post-ups and spot-ups (he shot 44.8 percent last season on catch and shoot shots. Among forwards who played 30 or more minutes last season, per NBA.com/Stats, only Kevin Durant, Otto Porter and Kawhi Leonard shot better). The Thunder can guard you with George, Andre Roberson and Adams and they can outscore you with Westbrook and George and ‘Melo. They have a solid bench (Patterson, Ray Felton, Jerami Grant, Alex Abrines) and Westbrook won’t be physically spent by the end of the 2018 playoffs. Wait; what am I saying? Of course he’ll be spent. But he’ll also be playing way deeper into May. 3. Did not getting Anthony hurt Houston or nah? The Rockets -- okay, Chris Paul -- wanted this done bad. It won’t hurt Houston in the regular season, when Paul and James Harden will dominate. And while Harden didn’t like Kevin McHale’s critique of his leadership, Mac was spot on. That doesn’t make “The Beard” a bad guy or teammate -- people gravitate to their comfortable roles in life, and CP3 is a natural-born leader. Harden will, one thinks, be more comfortable with slightly less light on him. They’ll do fine playing together and off one another. But the shadow of the Rockets’ implosion from deep -- 29 of 88 on three-pointers the last two games against the Spurs in their Western Conference semifinals series -- still hangs over them. Ryan Anderson was negated in the postseason. There’s a reason CP3 pushed for ‘Melo so hard. The Rockets will need unexpected consistent offense from a P.J. Tucker or Luc Mbah a Moute in May if they have any hopes of playing in June. 4. Can we just start the Cleveland-Boston East finals now? Maybe Toronto, with C.J. Miles shooting 40 percent on 3-pointers to complement Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, will break up what seems inevitable. Maybe Washington, with its super-solid starting five intact, now has the mental toughness to bust past the second round, where it’s been beached three of the last four postseasons. But it doesn’t feel like that. Boston, ultimately, should be a lot better this season than last. It will take a while for coach Brad Stevens to figure out the rotation and whether Jaylen Brown can really stick at the two, but ultimately, the Celtics have two dynamic playmakers/scorers in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, and with Al Horford providing the glue at both ends, they’re going to be a load by the end of the season. And while Cleveland will have to wait a while for Isaiah Thomas, the Cavs have more than enough firepower until Thomas can make his debut. Whatever Dwyane Wade has left will be accentuated playing with James, and Kevin Love (holy moly, is he underrated) will feast drawing slower, bigger centers out to him on the perimeter. J.R. Smith doesn’t like losing his starting job to Wade, and he should be ticked. But he nonetheless will help Cleveland’s bench, which will be incredibly difficult in its own right with Tristan Thompson and Kyle Korver complementing Smith. And that’s before Thomas returns, which will put Derrick Rose on that second unit. There won’t be any rest for defenses who’ll then have to contend with a rested James, et al, coming back. It says here that not only will the Cavs not miss Irving offensively, they could be even more diverse and difficult to guard this season. Not to mention that James is supremely motivated to make an eighth straight Finals. 5. Could Curry break his record of 402 3-pointers in a season? At first glance, with Durant and Klay and Draymond (and, now, Nick Young) all needing to get fed as well, it would seem impossible for Curry to best the mark he set two years ago, on the 73-9 regular season team. But consider: coach Steve Kerr thinks a new guy always blossoms in his second year with the Warriors, which means Durant should be even more lethal offensively this year, as the Warriors’ offense reaches an even higher level of efficiency. And the way they move the ball, it’s not a stretch to think that with defenses tripping over themselves to get to Durant, Curry could get into one of those ridiculous grooves that could leave him within striking distance of 402 by the end of the season. 6. Could the last one in the Eastern Conference turn out the lights? The New York Knicks were hardly a power in the East before trading Anthony, but his departure creates one more team that will struggle to win 35 games this season. With the paucity of talent there should be at least four 50-win teams in the East -- Cleveland, Boston, Toronto and Washington -- with the Milwaukee Bucks knocking on the door. 7. Who’s going to regret their offseason? The Bucks were fine off the court -- their new arena is already more than halfway constructed and looks like it’s going to be a gem -- although the surrounding mall that is supposed to be part of the complex is not going up as quickly. But the Bucks didn’t address their bigs-heavy roster and move some of the surplus -- how can coach Jason Kidd keep all of Greg Monroe, Jabari Parker and John Henson happy with Thon Maker scarfing up more and more frontcourt minutes? -- for the shooting Milwaukee still needs. The East is so open, and Milwaukee is so close to breaking through into elite status with Giannis Antetokounmpo an elite performer. 8. Rudy Gay -- sneaky good pickup? Gay says he’s cool starting or coming off the bench for the Spurs, but he’d best as San Antonio’s sixth man, at least to start things. Bringing Pau Gasol off the bench didn’t work so well, so if he’s starting at center, coach Gregg Popovich can’t go small ball with “Cousin” LaMarcus Aldridge at the five and Gay at the four alongside Kawhi Leonard. (Current state of Spurs fans’ cuticles here and here as they consider a season with an extended Klaw absence if this quad injury doesn’t improve soon.) The Spurs could have some serious firepower in reserve if Gay and Patty Mills come off the bench, but Mills or Dejounte Murray will likely have to start at the point until Tony Parker comes back. 9. Speaking of Popovich … Should he and Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy stick to sports? No. 10. Who’s gonna be Kia Rookie of the Year? I say Markelle Fultz. What, you thought I was gonna pick against a DeMatha Catholic man? (Actual unretouched photo of me as a sophomore at the most successful high school in the history of the United States may or may not be here). Playing off of Joel Embiid, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington … it’s hard to see Fultz not looking really good when he should have all kinds of room to operate. Lonzo Ball will put up bigger numbers, and Tatum will be on a better team. But Boston was good last year, and Jayson Tatum will likely not play as much as the others. The Sixers are poised for a big jump up in the standings, and that’s always a narrative that voters like and get behind -- which is what will hurt Dennis Smith Jr.'s chances in Dallas. 11. What does Dwyane Wade really have left? Now that the inevitable buyout of Wade’s $24 million deal by the Bulls has led to the equally inevitable trek to Cleveland to play with James, can the 35-year-old Wade still be a significant contributor on a title contender? Given the general dysfunction in Chicago last season, you can dismiss most of the good and bad numbers Wade put up, with two exceptions: he still averaged almost five free throw attempts per game, and he shot 31 percent on 3-pointers -- not great, but more than double his anemic 15.9 percent behind the arc in 2015-16, his last with the Miami Heat. Wade obviously knows the cheat code for how to most effectively play off of James, so he’ll use the regular season to learn his teammates and be ready for the playoffs. But can Wade hold up over seven games defensively if he has to chase, say, Bradley Beal around, or try to deny DeRozan his preferred mid-range spots, and still be productive offensively? 12. Back to the Sixers -- how good will they be? My guess is they’ll pretty good in the 60 or so games I anticipate Embiid will play this season -- I’m assuming several designated off days for him during the season, not another injury. The mix of young talent (Fultz, Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Covington) and crafty vets (Redick, Amir Johnson) should mesh to make the 76ers a very tough team to defend. But Philly has to resolve the Jahlil Okafor situation, and in fairness to him, give him a fresh start somewhere else with a trade as soon as possible. If I were a good team that would be hard-pressed to add a free agent any time soon and feels a player short of true contention -- I’m looking at you, Memphis Grizzlies and Wizards -- I’d work hard to get the new, slimmed-down Okafor on my squad while he’s still on his rookie contract and make him the focal point of a kick-ass second unit. 13. Should we feel some kind of way about the Trail Blazers? I’m picking up what you’re putting down. A full season of the “Bosnian Beast” in the middle, it says here, will vault Portland into the top four in the West. Note I said “full season.” That means Jusuf Nurkic has to give coach Terry Stotts between 65-70 starts for the above premonition to be, as they say in the legal world, actionable. If so, Nurkic’s underrated scoring and passing out of the post will only make Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum that much more deadly out front, along with improving Portland’s defense. Per Basketball-Reference.com, the Blazers were 11.6 points per game better than the opposition with those three on the floor together and a +5 when their regular five-man lineup with Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu joined the guards and Nurkic. And that’s pronounced, “Noor-kitch,” accent on Noor. 13. A little movie break ... Kevin Costner’s accent in “Robin Hood” -- worst ever, right? Yes, but Natalie Wood’s in “West Side Story” was painful, too. 14. Many have written the post-CP3 Clippers off. Should they? The Clippers are my darkhorse this season -- if they do the right thing and go small more often. They’re doing it more in practice so far than in games because Danilo Gallinari is working through a foot injury, but Blake Griffin at the five and Gallinari at the four could be spicy during the regular season. That would mean Sam Dekker and/or Wes Johnson would have to become credible and dependable at the three, allowing coach Doc Rivers to play a Pat Beverly-Milos Teodosic backcourt more often, which will just be fun. This would, of course, mean less DeAndre Jordan, and … that may not be the worst thing. Nothing against DJ, who is the best defensive big in the league, bar none. Unfortunately, the NBA isn’t about defense any more -- at least not in the traditional sense. Even someone like Jordan who doesn’t just block shots, but also helps snuff out opposing pick and rolls, becomes less valued by the league’s advanced stats crowd if he doesn’t contribute more offensively. The three has gone a long way to tyrannizing the defense-dominant big man out of the game. (Zach Lowe recommends the Wizards try to get Jordan via trade, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard that name mentioned in connection with Washington, the idea being the only chance the Wizards have of beating Cleveland or Boston is to slow them down enough defensively that Wall-Beal-Porter can try and keep up offensively. Washington is definitely a load when Wall gets locked in on D and creates turnovers, and the idea of Jordan inhaling lobs from Wall is enticing to think about. But the Wizards are not -- not -- going to take on a fourth big contract, and Jordan’s surely going to opt out after this season; he’s rightly expecting a massive payday in 2018, and the Clippers certainly now have motive and means to retain him.) Anyway, some Lou Williams, Austin Rivers and/or Teodosic and Willie Reed off the bench isn’t bad, either. 15. Could Kyle Kuzma be the best rookie on the Lakers this season? Don’t @me, LaVar. Kuzma has followed up a very strong Vegas Summer League with high notes in preseason, averaging better than 19 points per game for the Lakers. He’s been dazzling at times, displaying in-between skills that intrigue, and showing why so many teams were trying to trade back into the first round to get the Utah forward before L.A. snagged him with its second and much less heralded first-round pick last June. And there will be minutes available at the four this season. So far, Kuzma has displayed unusual strength for a rookie and confidence in his ability to score. Of course, he’s inexperienced, and like all rookies, has to differentiate between an open shot and a good shot. The other, more famous first-rounder, Lonzo Ball, will almost certainly be the better all-around player in time. For this year, though … hmmm. 16. What does a Hawks fan have to look forward to this season? Honestly, not much. But they’ll always be well-coached and get better. I’d pick one of the young players, like rookie John Collins or second-year small forward Taurean Prince, and concentrate on them during the season. See what they do with their minutes on the floor, and watch how they gradually expand their games at both ends. Seeing a young guy get better as he gains experience and accepts coaching is one of the great joys of watching the NBA every night. 17. Orlando? What gives there? The team’s new braintrust of Jeff Weltman and John Hammond will need some time to fix the roster -- a mélange of athletic wings that have trouble defending and guards that have trouble shooting. The former is addressed somewhat with the signing of Jonathon Simmons from San Antonio, but I don’t see a solution to the latter with any of the existing backcourt contributors. Unless coach Frank Vogel figures out some way to get more turnovers/runouts from his group, they just can’t get in transition enough for their length and legs to make a difference. 18. New Orleans? What gives there? The short answer is, I have no idea. All of NBA Earth has DeMarcus Cousins out of there one way or another (he’s an unrestricted free agent in ’18 and wants to be on a contender/the Pelicans will never pay him what he wants and will have to trade him by the deadline/no way he and Anthony Davis fit together/Wall agitates for a reunion with his former Kentucky big man in D.C./your departure theory here) by this time next year, but we’ll see what coach Alvin Gentry has come up with for “Boogie” and “the Brow” after a summer to think it over. Rajon Rondo being out hurts their depth, but I have to be honest -- I don’t see how he and Jrue Holiday can possibly work together in a backcourt, and Holiday’s the guy the Pelicans just gave $125 million to, so he should probably have the ball in his hands every night, shouldn’t he? I like Ian Clark and Frank Jackson down there, but that untethered three spot burns a hole in the New Orleans sun. Well, at any rate, should be more fun than watching reruns of My Life on the D-List. 19. Favorite D-List Muppet? Beaker. 20. LeBron is leaving Cleveland again after this season, isn’t he? Everything points to yes, and a relocation to Los Angeles to play with the Lakers or Clippers next year – except … what if the Cavs win it all again this year? That’s not an impossible scenario -- in fact, it’s a pretty simple one to lay out: Cavs run roughshod through the Eastern Conference in the playoffs again, get through a good but hardly great Boston team in the conference Finals and set up a fourth straight encounter with Golden State. It’s easy now to say the Warriors dominated the Cavs in last season’s Finals -- but only if you ignore the fact that Cleveland led by six with just more than three minutes remaining in Game 3, only to see the Warriors score the game’s last 11 points to take a 3-0 lead instead of 2-1. And given that Cleveland vaporized the Warriors in Game 4, a 2-2 series would have meant the Cavs just needed to win once in Oracle -- which they’d done twice in the 2016 Finals -- to have a real shot at repeating. The point is, the difference between the teams isn’t as big as Draymond Green would have you believe; the Cavs have no fear of the Warriors, and Jae Crowder gives coach Tyronn Lue a viable on-ball defender for Kevin Durant, leaving LeBron free to play off of Green. And: that unprotected Nets pick, whether one or three or five or seven, is Cleveland’s best recruiting tool. LeBron knows everyone in college basketball and he can literally pick whoever he’d like to finish his career with in Cleveland before handing over the reins. I’m not saying he’s definitely staying, either -- only that his departure isn’t the lead pipe cinch some would have you believe. The season to come will have a lot to do with his next decision. 21. So, how will the playoffs go this season? Eastern Conference (seeds No. 1-8): Cleveland, Boston, Washington, Toronto, Milwaukee, Miami, Detroit, Philadelphia Western Conference (seeds No. 1-8): Golden State, Houston, Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio, Memphis, Utah, Minnesota Eastern Conference semifinalists: Cleveland, Boston, Washington, Milwaukee Western Conference semifinalists: Golden State, Houston, OKC, San Antonio Eastern Conference finals: Cleveland over Boston Western Conference finals: Golden State over OKC (you heard me) NBA Finals: Golden State over Cleveland (in seven games) 22. Tell me something crazy that’s going to happen this season that no one’s predicting! Giannis Antetokounmpo. NBA MVP, 2017-18. 23. Are you high? No, ma’am. 24. So, why 24 questions? As always, we start the season with 24 questions (or predictions, or issues, whatever) in honor of Danny Biasone, the late owner of the Syracuse Nationals, whose discovery in 1954 helped save the league. At that time, the NBA was in the midst of a literal slowdown, in large part by teams that were desperate to figure out some kind of way to stay competitive with George Mikan, the league’s first superstar big man, and his team, the Minneapolis Lakers. Teams would hold the ball for minutes at a time without shooting in an effort to shorten the game and give them a chance to beat Minneapolis late. But the end result was boring -- very boring -- basketball. At the owners’ meetings that year, Biasone came up with an idea. NBA games were 48 minutes long. Biasone figured out that in a normal game, one not waylaid by the slowdown tactics, about 120 shots -- 60 per team -- were taken. So, why not just divide the number of minutes in every game -- 2,880 -- by the number of shots in an average game -- 120 -- to come up with some kind of a time limit in which a team had to shoot. And thus, the 24-second shot clock (2,800/120) was born. With the implementation of the shot clock in the 1954-55 season, scoring went way up, as did the quality of play. Teams were now running up and down the floor in order to try and beat the shot clock, complementing the “fast break” game that many colleges had played for years. But the new style in the pros was immensely popular with fans. And it still is. Plus, there’s just something iconic about that clock counting down every 24 seconds. It’s unique to the NBA. Thus, we ask 24 questions, in honor of the guy who owned a bowling alley as well as the Nationals for much of his adult life, and probably enjoyed the bowling more. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2017

Cocolife, Foton book last semis seats

Cocolife weathered a furious late rally by an undermanned Cignal squad to eke out a 25-22, 25-21, 28-26 victory in the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Serbian imports Marta Drpa and Sara Klisura were impressive while Erika Alkuino delivered the match-clinching block that sent the Asset Managers to the semifinals. Cocolife will face Petron in the best-of-three semifinal battle next week. Meanwhile, Channon Thompson made her presence felt as she towed Foton to a 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 victory over Sta. Lucia Realty to grab the last remaining semifinal seat in the second game. Thompson, who starred for Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team in various international tournaments, tallied 24 of the Tornadoes’ 46 total attacks to finish with 26 points in a furious battle that lasted for 80 minutes. Dindin Manabat chipped in 11 hits while Elizabeth Wendel and CJ Rosario combined for 14 markers for Foton, which will face reigning champion F2 Logistics in the best-of-three semifinals. “I told the team that we should want it more than them,” said Foton coach Rommel Abella, who paraded two new players in Diana Carlos and Isa Molde. “I commend the ladies for following our game plan. They showed that they are hungrier than Sta. Lucia.” Ukrainian Bohdana Anisova drilled 11 kills and two blocks for 14 points while MJ Philips had eight for the Lady Realtors, who bombed out of contention after making a strong run in the latter stretch of the tourney. Coming in as a replacement for American Taylor Milton, Drpa delivered 11 digs and four of the Asset Managers’ eight total blocks on top of 15 kills to finish with game-high 19 points. Klisura, on the other hand, chipped in 14 kills and two aces for 16 points while providing the defensive muscle down the stretch together with Alkuino, who came up with a booming block off Rachel Anne Daquis that sealed the victory for the Asset Managers. It was such a sorry loss for the HD Spikers, who marched into the battle without injured import Sonja Milanovic and head coach Edgar Barroga, who is calling the shots for the National University boys’ volleyball squad in the ongoing Palarong Pambansa in Vigan City. They also lost spiker Janine Navarro midway through the third set due to injury. Jeane Horton tallied 17 points while Daquis chipped in 12 markers for Cignal, who still managed to come up with a very good fight despite opening its campaign without a handful of players like Jovelyn Gonzaga and Janine Marciano, who crashed with a knee injury last year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 17th, 2018

ABL: 'Balkmania' coming to a basketball court near you

Renaldo Balkman's redemption is more or less complete. Playing for San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League, the formerly-controversial Balkman has reinvented himself in more ways than one. In his rather colorful stint for Alab --- which includes game-winners, in-game shimmies, and record-setting scoring performances --- Balkman has re-introduced himself to Filipino fans and Pinoy hoop junkies were reminded why they loved Renaldo in the first place. As the cherry on top, Balkman  has been forgiven by the PBA for his previous controversies. Looking for the cherry on top of the cherry, Renaldo now wants a title for Alab. "I know how good we prepared for these games and in the semifinals, I think we had an edge on them," Balkman said, talking about Hong Kong Eastern, the defending ABL champions Alab just swept in the semifinals. In taking down Hong Kong, Balkman feels like Alab is in the best position to win the title. After all, they just beat the supposedly best team in the ABL. That makes them the best now, right? "I told coach Jim [Alapag] and the guys tonight, I said they [Hong Kong] was the best last year. You know, that's the whole thing about it, they got the championship last year but we got to [beat the best] to be the best, right?" Renaldo said. In making the Finals, Balkman was just really hyped about the whole thing. His whole post-game talk, which was amazingly anmated, was just pure happiness. "Balkmania" has taken over once again. And Renaldo has the shirt to match... soon to be on sale according to Renaldo himself. "This shirt right here? For the Finals, it will be on sale. I'll let you all know when, where, where to get it from. This shirt will be on sale," Balkman said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Paul and Harden lead No. 1 seed Rockets against Wolves

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — So far the trade for Chris Paul to give the Houston Rockets another superstar to help James Harden has worked famously. Now the two, who have both had their fair share of playoff disappointments, will try to carry their regular-season success into the postseason when the Rockets open a first-round series with Minnesota on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). The guards have been effusive in their praise for one another, with Harden recently joking that his relationship with the nine-time All-Star was "love at first sight." Paul didn't go quite that far, but a huge smile crossed his often serious face when asked how their pairing has worked. "Unbelievable," he said. "You just [don't] get this opportunity too often in a career to play with somebody like James ... you get a chance to appreciate greatness. "What he's doing on a nightly basis and stuff like that, it's crazy and I'm in awe," Paul continued. "I'm grateful I get to play alongside him." When told of what Paul said about him, Harden was quick to answer. "You can tell," he said. "It feels like it's been forever but it's not even been a year yet." Their work in the regular season led the Rockets to a franchise-record 65 wins, their first No. 1 seed and sixth straight playoff appearance. They are looking to win the title for the first time capturing back-to-back championships in 1994-95. For the 32-year-old Paul, it's a chance for him to finally shake off years off playoff woes after making nine playoff trips without advancing past the second round. But if he is haunted by the ghosts of playoffs past, he wouldn't acknowledge it and was dismissive when asked if he thought this was his best chance to win it all. "I don't know," he said. "I don't think about all that." What he and the Rockets do know is that they're facing a talented team in the eighth-seeded Timberwolves, who had to win their last regular-season game to get into the postseason. They ended the NBA's longest active playoff drought with their berth, putting them back in the postseason for the first time since 2004 when they lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Getting the Timberwolves into the playoffs is a huge accomplishment for the entire team, but might mean just a little more to star Karl-Anthony Towns, who made a vow the night Minnesota selected him with the top overall pick in the 2015 draft. "It means more than I think words can express honestly," he said. "I made a promise to ... Flip Saunders and it meant a lot to me that I was able to keep my word." Some things to know as the Timberwolves and Rockets open their series: BACK HOME The series is a homecoming for Minnesota's Jimmy Butler, who grew up in Tomball, a suburb about 35 miles from downtown Houston. But he insists he won't have any time to get back out there this week. "Nope," he said. "Zero [time]. I ain't even going home. I'm here to work." But he did spend a little time on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) reminiscing about his high school days when he idolized a former Rockets star. "I used to walk around the hallways and in the gym thinking I was Tracy McGrady," he said. "I remember it like it was yesterday. He was my favorite player. I wanted to wear his number, wear his tennis shoes, all of that good stuff." Butler, who returned on April 6 (April 7, PHL time) after missing 17 games with a knee injury, said he's fully recovered from his injury and is "well-rested" entering the playoffs. PLAYOFF HISTORY This is the second time these teams have met in the playoffs. Their other meeting came in Minnesota's first trip in 1997, when the Timberwolves were swept in three games. That Houston team was led by Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Charles Barkley, and the Wolves featured Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury and Tom Gugliotta. LIMIT KAT FROM LONG RANGE The Rockets are resigned to the fact that Towns, who led the NBA in double-doubles, will get his points under the basket and plenty of rebounds. "He's going to get a double-double," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said. "That's who he is." However, they are not OK with letting him shoot three-pointers. The seven-foot Towns ranked 14th in the league with a 42 percent average from three-point range and knocked down a career-high 120 three-pointers this season. "We [can't] leave him open or let him walk into a 3 because we're not guarding him," D'Antoni said. "We have to be aware of that. You can't take away his post-ups and his moves in there. He's going to score on anybody, but you can do a really good job on the three's." HARDEN'S MOTIVATION Despite finishing as the runner-up for MVP last season and being a front-runner for this year's award, Harden still faces plenty of criticism for some of his past performances in the playoffs, notably, a terrible performance in an embarrassing 114-75 elimination loss to San Antonio in the conference semifinals last season. But he has never been motivated by criticism, and he finds his drive in a far different place. "Just going out there and being the best that I can be," he said. "There's no negativity that someone can say that can motivate me. Some people can get motivated by that. I don't really care.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

UAAP Volleyball: Bernadeth Pons: Probinsyana with a Superstar Soul

In a time where gadgets have pretty much taken over the lives of majority of the world’s population, Bernadeth Pons prefers to keep things simple. Instead of swiping her phone for the latest news on Twitter or organizing her feed on Instagram, FEU’s Team Captain and graduate of Financial Management would rather spend time inside the athlete’s dormitory to sleep. While that sounds boring, the 21-year old Pons reasons that she needs all the energy she can get to complete her Master’s degree in Business Administration and perform at the highest level in her final season in the UAAP. The 5’7” open spiker is currently the fourth best scorer in the league averaging 15.2 points per match. She is also ranked third in both digging and receiving. Because of her all-around brilliance, there is a fairly good amount of fans on social media who have been campaigning for Pons to be named MVP of Season 80. But, of course, Pons is oblivious to that. In fact, she didn’t even know that she was included in the 34-player wish list of new National Team Head Coach Ramil de Jesus. It took a text message from her younger sister, Melody, who lives in their hometown of Talisay, Negros Occidental for Pons to learn about the development. “Ha? Saan galing yan?” was her honest reply. To Pons, playing for the national team goes beyond her wildest dreams. And while she feels very much honored to have her name considered for a spot, Pons says her current focus is with FEU. After all, it was the school that provided her with a means to fulfill her goals and make her parents proud. From Softball to Volleyball Pons was born in Malolos, Bulacan where her father, Roberto and mother, Maryjen met. A year after her birth, the family moved to Talisay where Roberto started playing baseball recreationally. When his eldest daughter grew big enough to play, she also took a liking to the sport. Pons would even join the boys play catch during her elementary days at Efigenio-Enrica Lizares Memorial School. Unfortunately, there was no softball team for Pons to try-out for. That’s when her classmate, Allen Joy Esponilia invited her to try-out for the volleyball team. “Nung una, sobrang hirap kasi wala talaga akong alam eh. Kahit dig, dig lang, kung saan-saan pumupunta. Nahihiya ako sa ka-partner ko kasi syempre, alam na niya yung basics ng volleyball. Naiiyak na nga ako kasi palagi nalang tumatalsik,” recalled Pons, who was 10 years old at the time. But, the challenge of excelling at a sport where she had no background in challenged the young Pons. Eventually, she learned how to dig up powerful spikes and became a libero. In the fifth grade, she experienced her first major competition by participating in the Palarong Pambansa held in Palawan and representing Region 6 – Western Visayas where she teamed up with Kim Gequillana and Ayel Estraňero. It was the first of five Palarong Pambansa events she would participate in. In those competitions, Pons played against numerous future UAAP stars like Jia Morado, Desiree Cheng, Majoy Baron, Jhoana Maraguinot and a powerhouse Region 7 – Central Visayas squad that featured Sisi Rondina, Dimdim Pacres, Rica Rivera and CJ Saga. Leap of Faith As she got older, Pons began developing her spiking prowess and caught the eye of the legendary Roger Gorayeb, who wanted to bring her to San Sebastian College-Recoletos. But, she was reluctant to leave home. “Wala akong idea about life dito sa Manila. So, hindi ko alam kung tutuloy ba ako or hindi. Dumating sa point na nag-decide kami ng Papa ko na doon nalang sa amin ako mag college,” explained Pons. During her final year in high school in 2013, then FEU Head Coach Shaq delos Santos went to the Regional Meet in Roxas City, Capiz to recruit the reluctant Pons. Delos Santos was persistent in convincing her to come and be a part of his plan to revive the volleyball program of the university. The free education, food and accessibility to the training facilities finally convinced Pons to take a leap of faith.   “Naisip ko, pag doon ako sa probinsya, mamamasahe ako every day, mabigat din sa parents ko. So, yun talaga yung sabi ko, ‘O-oo na ako’. Nag-decide ako na mag go-go na ako sa Maynila,” recalled Pons. For someone who never imagined leaving her hometown, Pons didn’t have any trouble making her mark in the UAAP as she immediately led the Lady Tamaraws in scoring (11.8 points per match) as a rookie. She would become FEU’s leading scorer in each of her UAAP stints which includes Final Four appearances in the past three seasons. Last Stretch Now that Pons is approaching the last stretch of her collegiate career and with FEU in a good position to attain a twice-to-beat advantage in the post-season for the first time since 2009, she is more focused than ever on the task at hand. Should the Lady Tamaraws beat NU in their last elimination round game on Sunday and if Ateneo loses to La Salle, FEU will enter the Final Four as the number two ranked team. But, Pons knows it won’t be easy as the Lady Bulldogs will be out for redemption. “Kami kasi yung unang tumalo sa kanila sa first round. So, palagi namin rine-remind yung bawat isa na yung NU, pipilitin nilang bumawi sa atin. Tapos sila, nothing to lose kasi kahit ano mangyari, number four na sila. Eh tayo, may hinahabol tayo na number two. Hindi puwedeng magpabaya tayo kasi NU pa rin yan. Lalaban at lalaban yan,” shared Pons. It’s been a decade since FEU last won the UAAP Women’s Volleyball title. While Pons has already achieved her initial goal of earning a college degree, she still has that burning desire to give back to the school that gave her the opportunity to help her family and leave a lasting legacy in the process. “Gusto ko maalala nila ako bilang isa sa mga nakapagbalik ng crown sa FEU. Sobrang tagal nang nawala ang FEU sa championship. Yun yung gusto namin ibalik ulit,” declared Pons. All Pons ever wanted was to ease the burden on her parents by graduating from school. The game of volleyball has given her a means to accomplish that and so much more. She’s become one of the UAAP’s brightest stars and may wear the colors of the Philippine flag one day. But, no matter what happens, she will always be that same humble girl from Talisay, inspiring countless others like her to be brave and go for great. Catch Bernadeth Pons and the FEU Tamaraws take on the NU Bulldogs on April 15, Sunday, 12 noon LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, Liga, Liga HD and via livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

F2 Logistics, Petron clinch semis seats

Games Tuesday: (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4:15 p.m. --- Cocolife vs Cignal 7:00 p.m. --- Foton vs Sta. Lucia    GEN. TRIAS CITY --- F2 Logistics survived some scary moments down the stretch to complete a masterful 25-18, 25-18, 27-25 victory over Smart in the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Gen Trias Sports Center here.  Despite playing in a humid venue, imports Maria Jose Perez and Kennedy Bryan were still impressive as they delivered the crucial blows that broke the hearts of the Giga Hitters. With the win, F2 Logistics would face the survivor between Foton and Sta. Lucia Realty in a best-of-three semifinal series starting next week.  In the second game, Petron clobbered Generika-Ayala, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22, to punch the second semifinal ticket.  American imports Hillary Hurley and Lindsay Stalzer were again impressive as they carried bulk of the offensive load for the Blaze Spikers, who will march to the next round beaming with confidence.  Petron will face the winner between Cocolife and Cignal in the best-of-three semifinals. Hurley talloed 18 hits while Stalzer chipped in 17 markers for Petron, which is gunning for its first Grand Prix crown since winning it in 2014.  Darlene Ramdin delivered 12 points, but she drew very limited support from the rest of the Lifesavers, who kissed the tournament goodbye with three wins in 11 outings. Perez, the reigning Most Valuable Player, delivered 17 hits while Bryan notched 15 kills and a block to finish with 16 points for the Cargo Movers, who effectively stopped Cuban sensation Gyselle Silva despite the absence of ace blocker Aby Marano. Silva, who erupted for a record-breaking 56 points last week, was held to only 25 points while drawing very limited support from Serbian spiker Sanja Trivunovic as well as local hitters like Genie Sabas and LaRainne Fabay. Trivunovic, Sabas and Fabay combined for only 16 hits for the Giga Hitters, who committed 20 turnovers in this match that lasted for one hour and 20 minutes. But it wasn’t an easy victory for the Cargo Movers. Despite erecting an 8-1 lead after the first technical timeout of the third set, the Giga Hitters caught fire to steal the lead, 18-17, thanks to a powerful backrow attack from Silva. Smart managed to hang on in the crucial stretch, 25-25, before veteran Cha Cruz delivered a sharp kill from the open position followed by a service ace that sealed the victory for the defending champion. “The most challenging part of this win was the weather. I find it too hot so I have to save energy all throughout the game. Every time we have an intense rally, we have to breathe and save our energy because it was too hot here,” said Perez, referring to the hot weather that soared up to 36 to 37 degrees. She added that Smart pushed them to the limit, especially in the third set where Silva waxed hot and single-handedly towed the Giga Hitters back in the thick of things. "Smart never gave up,” she said. “They always pushed us whenever we try to take the game away. And I think that’s a good thing for us.” F2 Logistics coach Arnold Laniog, however, said the job isn’t done.  “It’s still far from over,” said Laniog, who will be part of the coaching staff of the national team under the leadership of multi-titled head coach Ramil de Jesus. “We still have to work hard to improve our performance because things will get tougher in the semifinals.” Smart, which was formed only two weeks before the opening ceremonies, closed its campaign without a win in 11 matches......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

Are the Sixers too young for playoff success?

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The learning curve of the Philadelphia 76ers has taken on a new, more direct and simpler geometric shape. It’s now a straight line, pulled and yanked that way by an impatient team determined to take the expressway from now on. And so this is where The Process has led them, to the NBA playoffs, a place exclusively reserved for Big Boy Basketball, where we get to see if the Sixers will skip another floor in their rapid developmental rise or if youth is about to get served a lesson. Hey, if nothing else, it beats wiping away the stench of losing, which is what coach Brett Brown was doing this time the last few years before this club finally grew up and as we now see, blew up. "This year we exceeded 50 wins and when you do that, you get into NBA elite territory which is something different for us,” he said. “But what’s interesting is we want more. We have more room to grow and we want to do that now.” Yes, the Sixers, finally sprung free of the dark ages, have crashed the annual spring show and are doing so rather emphatically in addition to surprisingly. Surely you saw this coming this quickly, no? On Christmas Eve they were 14-18. Their sensational big man, Joel Embiid, was getting the kid glove treatment, rarely playing extended minutes or consecutive games because of his brittle injury history. Their top draft pick, Markelle Fultz, was out with a bad shoulder and a broken jumper. Obviously, they’d just emerged from their four years of Tankapalooza with the trepidation of a chick stumbling from the nest. And quite simply, four months ago they just weren’t good enough to be lumped with the lead pack. Yet. But since then, what the hell just happened? “This group has come together from a toughness standpoint, a spirit standpoint,” Brown said. To say the least. The Sixers are 50-game winners, with a strong Kia Rookie of the Year candidate in Ben Simmons and a top-10 talent in Embiid, whose orbital injury that cost him the final eight regular season games should be healed for the playoffs at some point. Everything has fallen into place to make Philly a basketball destination once again, and these Sixers find themselves in a unique situation heading into the weekend. That’s because the playoff landscape in the East is favorable for someone like Philly to pull a surprise or two. Can they last a round? Of course; they’ll be a favorite initially. How about reaching the Eastern Conference finals? That’s trickier, and it’ll come down to matchups, but stranger things have happened. And, the NBA Finals? Well. Consider that there’s no true beast taking up space in the East and sending shivers everywhere. All of the contenders are showing a scratch or two: Toronto brings a blah playoff history; some of LeBron James’ supporting cast in Cleveland is untested; the Celtics are without Kyrie Irving, not to mention Gordon Hayward. The Sixers are the wild card in the playoff picture. Their wart is their inexperience in these matters. And so: Are they too young to be taken seriously? “I understand why people might think that, but I think we’ll be fine,” said JJ Redick, the resident senior citizen at age 33. “I don’t expect any of us to play differently than we have lately. These young guys are all gamers.” The Sixers are uniquely built; their twin core of Simmons and Embiid has played a combined three NBA seasons. Redick is the only starter with playoff experience and is also the only player in the rotation who ever played a major role in the playoffs. The Sixers are cubs compared to most of the East, even those teams below them. Essentially, the veterans on the Sixers orbit around the youngsters, instead of vice versa. Brown regularly takes the temperature of his players and has yet to pause at the results he’s seeing. For the most part, this has worked out better than he and they expected. “At this stage you figure how you deliver a team to the playoffs, how do you arrive at the playoffs,” Brown said. “Well, you can check three boxes: Their health, their spirit and their form. And finally: Are they playing good basketball? They’re all very interconnected, they’re all closely intertwined. Those things rule my day when I watch film and see how hard and long we’re going to go in practice. These guys have embraced and improved in those areas. Our defense has been excellent and we’re regularly getting 30 assists as a team, another example of a team enjoying each other’s company.” This makes for an interesting postseason baptism. There’s hope in Philly that Simmons and Embiid and Robert Covington and Dario Saric won’t know the difference between March basketball and May basketball. “We’ll just come and play the same way we’ve been doing,” Simmons said. The other advantage for Philly is Simmons appears well beyond his years. His expression is stoic, no matter the game circumstances, and his poise has yet to shatter memorably and cost the Sixers when it counts. He’s giving 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists a night and had at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in 58 games, second only to Russell Westbrook and LeBron James. He is the first rookie in NBA history to average eight assists on a 50-win team. It remains to be seen how a 56-percent free throw shooter will respond if he’s put in that situation with the game on the line. Otherwise, his court direction and ability to reach the rim should not suffer from springtime stage fright. “Ben sits behind a glass wall and watches everyone else on the other side,” Redick said. “There’s nothing that affects him. He plays with the same demeanor and purpose no matter what’s going on around him. He brings a calm presence, and the maturity he plays with is beyond his years. Impressive.” Brown said: “He’s the stone cold Rookie of the Year and to me it’s not even close.” Philly’s best player is Embiid, though, and he’ll play with a mask once he does return, perhaps sometime in the first round. If he doesn’t suffer any lasting effects from the facial injury (vision, lack of balance), he’ll be the premier big man on the floor in the East. This allows the Sixers to exploit their low-post advantage over the Celtics, Raptors and Cavs should Philly meet any of those contenders along the way. The Sixers are also working with a pair of bonuses in Fultz and Ersan Ilyasova, two players they didn’t anticipate being in the playoff mix just a few months ago. Fultz is finally free of his shoulder woes and his shooting is starting to come around, to the point where Brown says he’ll find a role for Fultz in the rotation. Basically, the Sixers feel safe enough to put him on the floor, something that would’ve been a reach before he was activated, when he showed a nasty mechanical hitch in a jumper that somehow went south on him. “We don’t feel we’re going to be caught off guard with him,” Brown said. Ilyasova was gift-wrapped to Philly by the Hawks at midseason and has since been a solid source of scoring (17 points in a two-point win over Cleveland last week) and deepened the Sixers’ bench, allowing Brown to use a variety of different lineups and strategies. In all, the manner in which the season has come together is paying off at the right time for Philly. “We didn’t have this level of maturity in November and December,” Redick said. “If you look at some of our losses early in the season I felt they were immature losses. We’re more focused, more together, developed a mental toughness. Sometimes in life and in this league you have to go through things and experience things to grasp how to do them. There’s no better learning tool than the actual experience. So blowing a lead or coming back from a large halftime deficit, you have to do those things to understand that you can do it. Having those lessons early in the season has prepared us to have a great run since Christmas; we have the second best record in the league since then. This is better than what I expected or even hoped for. It’s been a long sustained growth period.” What does it all mean? Well, even though they’re entering the playoffs with the force of a hurricane, this isn’t the NCAA tournament. This is best-of-seven basketball, which means a team must prove itself worthy of moving on, instead of hoping to get lucky or hot. In the case of Philly and others in the East, that means beating LeBron four times in a series, and that hasn’t happened since 2010. You could also make the case the Sixers are playing with house money at this point, no matter what happens; after enduring The Process and painful progress, this is a blessing, a reward. The Sixers aren’t seeing it that way, though, not after growing up in a hurry. They want to seize the opportunity now, and any playoff success will largely depend on how they handle this as first-timers. Your guess is as good as Brown’s. “You really don’t know what to expect,” Brown said. “There’s no body of work. I will give our guys the benefit of the doubt. The poise they have shown in the regular season, the poise they’ve shown in big games and key moments, gives me tremendous confidence that we will handle this stage with a greater level of poise than what I might have guessed in October, or what I might have guessed not so long ago if you asked me questions about how will rookies and young guys handle this very different part of the season.” 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 NewsApr 11th, 2018

Fowler, Spieth make Reed earn his 1st major championship

By Paul Newberry, Associated Press AUGUSTA, Georgia (AP) — After the final putt disappeared into the cup, Rickie Fowler waited outside the scoring room at Augusta National. Once again, he was congratulating someone else on winning their first major championship. For Fowler, the wait goes on. "I was ready to go win," he said. "Unfortunately, I was one shot short." This has become a familiar lament for Fowler, who lugs around the unwanted baggage as the best player without a title in one of golf's biggest events. He had his best chance yet on a stirring on Sunday at the Masters, making six birdies over the final 11 holes — including an 8-footer at the 72nd hole that finished off a 14-under 274. It's a score that would've been good enough to win most years. But Patrick Reed had one less stroke on his card, claiming the green jacket by sinking a short but testy par putt at No. 18 . "Glad I at least made the last one to make him earn it," Fowler said. Jordan Spieth did his part, too, to make Reed earn it. The Texan turned in one of the greatest closing rounds in Masters history, shooting an 8-under 64 that pushed him into the mix after he started the day with a daunting nine-shot deficit. Spieth thought it would be a nice, stress-free day out on the course. Instead, he horned his way into one of the greatest duels this place has ever seen, actually grabbing a share of the lead by sinking a 35-foot birdie putt at the 16th hole. "Are you kidding me?" Spieth mouthed to his caddie. Reed, playing in the final group, answered with a birdie at the 14th. Spieth's hopes ended at the 18th hole after his tee shot clipped a tree, falling to the ground just 177 yards away. He pulled off two dazzling shots to give himself a shot at saving par. But an 8-foot putt slid by the edge of the hole — his only bogey of the day. "I was pretty gutted at the finish," Spieth said. "I hit a tee shot that wasn't that bad. It just caught the last little branch of that tree. Obviously, I want to go back to that tee shot right now. But it was a phenomenal day." Spieth sure knows his way around Augusta National, where he won in 2015, finished second two other times, and now has a third-place showing on his resume. His worst performance in five appearances was a tie for 11th last year. Fowler couldn't resist a little jab at his good friend. "Solo second feels and sounds better than tied for second, so it was nice to edge out Jordan," Fowler said with a smile. But Spieth already has three major titles on his resume. Fowler is still chasing the first. He's certainly had plenty of opportunities, most notably finishing in the top five of all four majors in 2014. Fowler now has eight top-five finishes in 31 majors over his career. This one felt different than all the others. Fowler played like a champion on the final day. He went to the last hole with a real shot to win. "I am ready to go win a major, but this was kind of the first major week that I understood that and knew that and felt that," he said. "I'm ready to go. I'm really looking forward to this year and the three majors that are left. "It should be," he added confidently, "a very good major season." Fowler will need to get off to a better start than he did in Augusta, where he was just 2 under through the first two rounds. He really turned it on over the weekend, surging into contention with a 65 on Saturday before matching the best closing round of his Masters career. He showed his mettle by battling through a tough start on Sunday — his first seven holes resulted in six pars and a bogey — but got things going with back-to-back birdies before making the turn. Fowler added four more birdies on the back side, the best he's ever played with a major title hanging in the balance. It wasn't quite good enough, but it left no doubt that he's got the game to break through some day. "I gave it my all. I left everything out there on the golf course," Fowler said. "Patrick went out there and outplayed all of us this week, and he earned it. So, you've got to give it to him. He's your Masters champion." Someone asked Fowler about his goals going forward. "My next goal?" he said. "Win a major. We're close. That's the No. 1 priority.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

Arwind and his best 'Swakwords of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup

Arwind Santos is a lot of things. Champion basketball star, most valuable player, fashion icon, recording artist, Feng Shui believer, and self-proclaimed DJ, Arwind is a pretty impressive fellow. Arwind is also pretty articulate. His #Swakwords have become legendary on Twitter. His #Swakwords in person are just as great, if not even better. When scribes ask for "two minutes" from a certain player, it's for one specific topic most of the time. If you're lucky, you get two topics. But when it comes to Arwind, a two-minute interview can give birth to five separate stories. Sometimes you don't even have to ask. He'll tell you himself Whether it's funny, controversial, or both, Arwind will give you something. Sometimes they make perfect sense, sometimes you'll ask yourself, "Ano daw?" That's Arwind Santos for you. He's the gift that keeps on giving. And in the Philippine Cup, Santos was on fire all conference long. These are the very best of Arwind's #Swakwords in the 2018 All-Filipino.   "San Miguel Beermen, ang pinaka-masarap sa lahat." In an explanation that only begged for more questions instead of giving out answers, Arwind uttered this brilliant line after the San Miguel Beermen won a fourth straight Philippine Cup title. Clarifying his earlier statements regarding rubbing alcohol, Arwind just... he didn't exactly make sense here. "Siguro yung alcohol na yun, walang iba kundi San Miguel Beermen, ang pinaka-masarap sa lahat," he said. Speaking of that rubbing alcohol...   "Ang tagal na naming di nakakatikim ng alcohol. Rubbing alcohol." Up 3-1 in the Finals, Arwind really, really wanted to celebrate already that's why he wanted to finish things off by Game 5. He might have slipped in his comment, probably he wanted a more PG answer. However, rubbing alcohol? Really? He didn't exactly make sense here again. But it's Arwind, this counts as gold.   "Gusto na naming mag-puyat." In the most childish motivation ever, Arwind uttered this line before the rubbing alcohol comment. By the way, all of this happened in the same interview. Again, up 3-1 in the Finals, Santos really, really, wanted to finish things off by Game 5. Why? Because he wants to stay up all night already, that's why. "Kami, gusto na namin mag-celebrate ng Friday. Gusto na naming mag-puyat," Arwind said as the Beermen took a commanding 3-1 lead in the Finals against Magnolia.   "May mga shadow eh. Parang yung lima nagiging walo." Frustrated after losing a game to Ginebra in the semifinals, Arwind Santos post-game rant was equal parts creative and hilarious. Implying that the Gin Kings once again got the better of the calls.... actually, the only thing he didn't actually say was the the referees favored Ginebra. That's what he was trying to say and he got fined P25,000 for it. "May mga shadow eh. Parang may mga shadow yung mga players kanina eh. Parang yung lima nagiging walo," Arwind said, obviously referring to the officiating. "Parang ganun eh, kaya nahihirapan kami bantayan kasi lima yung kalaban pero nagiging walo. Ewan ko kung sobrang bilis kaya may shadow?" he added, wondering on the mysteries of life.   "Siguro yung brief ko na lang ang magiging green, at least hindi na bawal yun kasi hindi nakikita." Technically, he said this last season but this line came from Arwind's undying love for anything green. However, the San Miguel Beermen's uniform don't match with the color green so if the PBA, for some reason, implemented a rule regarding acceptable color combinations, Santos says he's going to follow it for sure. Well... "Kung sakaling mangyari yun, susunod ako sa rules. Siguro yung brief ko na lang ang magiging green, at least hindi na bawal yun kasi hindi nakikita. May mga paraan naman sa mga ganung bagay," Arwind said. Feng Shui says green is Arwind's lucky color so...   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018