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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

PBA Finals: San Miguel s frustrations cost them their final timeout

It was a cruel turn of events for the San Miguel Beermen down the stretch in Game 4, Sunday evening.  After a June Mar Fajardo fastbreak dunk with 3:16 left in the game that put them up 83-78, the defending champions failed to put the ball in the hoop the rest of the way. Ginebra was able to build on a 9-0 run to close out the game and clinch the 3-2 advantage in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals, a run which may spell life or death between the two teams. San Miguel could have been up 3-2, but possible missed calls cost the Beermen some buckets, and may have helped the Gin Kings get on the fast break and score the all-important baskets. The Beermen were visibly frustrated throughout the entire ordeal, even resorting to quarreling and complaining to game officials during the final timeout. Coach Leo Austria carried his bottled-up emotions to the presser, trying to supress anger or frustration from the game partly because of the final ceasefire. "Yeah we tried our best to score, but a lot of banging inside…. and we did not get a good break. Some of the players are complaining because there’s a foul. And even in my last timeout, I wasn’t able to give an instruction because they keep on complaining so the timeout expired." Even though they squandered on their 2-1 series lead and are now down 3-2, hope is not lost for their cause, as the three-time and reigning Coach of the Year looks back on their road to the Finals. "I think the chance is still there. And siguro, the players, they will realize. There’s no time to be out-focused. There’s no time to relax. Our backs are against the wall." Regarding Renaldo Balkman's comments about the last three minutes of the game, he stressed that it was mere opinion, and admitted that the officiating is beyond their control.  "Everyone has his own opinion dahil he’s the one playing there and he feels there’s a lot of non-calls… of non-calls. It’s not a missed call. There’s non-calls, guys, so… They can feel it eh." "I’m not blaming anyone because we still have a chance to win that game if we’re ever to make that last possession." In their do-or-die Game 6 on Wednesday, backs against the wall, Austria assures that the Beermen will do everything to force a Game 7 on Sunday. "You can never know. It might happen that we might get the break of the game. So in the last three possessions, it could get 50-50 on our advantage, but you know, it’s beyond our control." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2018

PBA: El Destructor debuts new clean look in latest Phoenix stint

Eugene Phelps is playing his third PBA season but if you didn't recognize him Sunday against Brgy. Ginebra, well you're not alone. After an injury-plagued 2017, El Destructor completely changed his look. He cut his hair, shaved his beard, and he even changed his diet, resulting in a more lean frame. "Last year I had a foot injury an I had a surgery on my hand so I just had to switch everything up," Phelps said. "Actually, I cut my hair bald and it's just growing back now. I have a new diet [too], salad and everything so I feel pretty good. I lost like 14 pounds," he added. Against the Gin Kings, Phelps led Phoenix with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists. The Fuel Masters won in double overtime to enter the All-Star break with a winning record, 3-2. "They told me last year when I got hurt that they wanted me back," Phelps said. "So I kind of figured that I was going back for the 3rd conference but they wanted me to come a little bit early because it's a new system, you know, and then James [White] got hurt and they have me come in and play so it feels good to be back. It's family here so it feels good," he added. If there's one thing that was a bummer in Phelps' game Sunday was the fact that he cramped up in the fourth. However, his streak of winning his first game back for Phoenix continued. The Fuel Masters are now 4-0 everyting they get Phelps for a fresh conference. "I started cramping up in the 4th quarter and then when double OT came, I tried to push it but I can't even walk or anything," he said. "Thank God my team came through for me and we got the win," Phelps added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

The curse of the Western Conference '4 seed

Here's a reminder for the Western Conference teams next season when they start jockeying for playoff seeding: Avoid the fourth seed at all costs. Sure you'll get home court advantage against the fifth seed, but that hasn't meant anything since the 2012 Playoffs. For the past seven years, all fourth seeds have lost to the fifth seeds, with the latest victims being the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were ousted in six games by the Utah Jazz. Is it sheer coincidence? A hardwood hex? A sign of parity? We'll run through the aforementioned seven series and let you decide for yourself. 2012 Playoffs - #5 LA Clippers (40-26) defeat #4 Memphis Grizzlies (41-25) in seven games The setup: It feels appropriate that this "curse" began during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. The Clippers were in year one of Lob City, having acquired Chris Paul during the offseason, while the Grizzlies were looking to build on their epic #8 vs #1 upset of the San Antonio Spurs from the previous postseason. What happened: The Grizzlies began this series in the worst possible way. In game one, they led by as much as 27 points, and were up 95-71 with 9:13 left to play. But then Nick Young happened. Swaggy P came off the Clippers bench and buried three straight triples, helping LA win game one, and build a 3-1 series lead. The Grizzlies won the next two though, sending things back to Bluff City for a game seven. Ultimately though, home court didn't help, as the Clippers broke the game wide open in the fourth, outscoring the Grizzlies 27-16, for an 82-72 victory. "That guy was on the team?": Reggie Evan led the Clippers in rebounding with 8.7 a night, while Gilbert Arenas played in six out of the seven games, totaling 23 minutes and four points for the Grizzlies. What next?: The Spurs swept the Clippers in the semis. 2013 Playoffs - #5 Memphis Grizzlies (56-26) defeat #4 LA Clippers (56-26) in six games The setup: The Clippers won their division for the VERY FIRST TIME in franchise history, while the Grizzlies were in full Grit 'N Grind mode, with Marc Gasol winning Defensive Player of the Year that season. What happened: Things started off well, with the Clippers winning the first two games in LA. However, the Grizzlies stood firm at home, knotting the series at 2-all. Things turned dire for LAC when star forward Blake Griffin suffered an ankle sprain during practice, limiting him to just 19:34 minutes in game five, which they lost. With their season on the line in the City of Angels for game six, Griffin could only play 13:56, and not even a career postseason-best 30 points by Matt Barnes could save the Clips. To add insult to injury, Chris Paul was ejected with 2:29 left, before the game ended with a 118-105 score. "That guy was on the team?": Tayshaun Prince was Memphis' starting small forward, while Grant Hill and Lamar Odom, both with the Clips, played their last NBA seasons. What next?: The Grizzlies dispatched the OKC Thunder in five games in the conference finals, before losing to the Spurs via a sweep in the West Finals. 2014 Playoffs - #5 Portland Trail Blazers (54-28) defeat #4 Houston Rockets (54-28) in six games The setup: The Houston Rockets added Dwight Howard to a roster that already had James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons, making them one of the top teams in the West. The Portland Trail Blazers meanwhile built on Damian Lillard's 2013 Rookie of the Year campaign and snapped a two-year postseason drought. What happened: While things were tightly contested, three of the first four games went to overtime, the Blazers seemingly had the Rockets' number, winning two of those OT games, en route to a 3-1 series lead. The Rockets managed to stave off elimination at home in game five, but in game six, Lillard truly made a name for himself, by canning a series-winning shot, allowing Rip City to advance for the first time in 14 years. "That guy was on the team?": Mo Williams was Portland's sixth man (8.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.8 apg), while Omer Asik teamed up with Howard in the Houston frontcourt. What next?: The Blazers managed to take one game from the Spurs, before bowing out in the conference semifinals. 2015 Playoffs - #5 Memphis Grizzlies (55-27) defeat #4 Portland Trail Blazers (51-31) in five games The setup: The Blazers won the Northwest Division, but the next two teams in the standings, the Grizzlies and the Spurs, both had notched 55 wins, four more than them. Portland's main problem though was swingman Wesley Matthews tearing an achilles tendon early in March, a season-ending injury. What happened: Portland struggled to find someone who could take the starting SG spot on their roster with Matthews out, cycling through CJ McCollum, Allen Crabbe, and Arron Afflalo. That trio, as starters, combined to shoot 4-of-22 for 10 points over five games, allowing the Memphis D to concentrate on Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Grizzlies won the first three games, before picking up the clincher in game five, despite starting point guard Mike Conley suffering a facial fracture in game three and missing the rest of the series. "That guy was on the team?": Nick Calathes wound up assuming the point guard duties for the Grizzlies, in what turned out to be his final NBA stint (he went back to playing in Greece after the season). What next?: The Grizzlies lost in six games in the next round to the Golden State Warriors, after the Dubs made their famous adjustment to use Andrew Bogut to guard Tony Allen. 2016 Playoffs - #5 Portland Trail Blazers (44-38) defeat #4 LA Clippers (53-29) in six games The setup: The LA Clippers came really close to losing center DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks in the offseason, but you all know what happened instead. As for the Portland Trail Blazers, the team rebuilt after losing LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Batum, among others, pairing Lillard with Most Improved Player winner CJ McCollum in the backcourt. What happened: The Paul-Griffin-Jordan trio looked splendid early on, going up 2-0 after games in LA. The Blazers struck back and won game three, but then disaster waylaid LA in game four, with BOTH Paul (broken hand) and Griffin (quad) exiting the game and the series. That paved the way for the Blazers to complete their run and advance. "That guy was on the team?": It was Chris Kaman's final NBA season, and he spent it as a locker room guy for the Blazers. It was also Clippers guard Pablo Prigioni's last stint in the NBA (not counting several preseason games with the Rockets the next season, before he got cut and returned to Europe). What next?: The Blazers advanced to the West semis, where they lost in five games to the Warriors, despite Stephen Curry missing the first three matches. 2017 Playoffs - #5 Utah Jazz (51-31) defeat #4 LA Clippers (51-31) in seven games The setup: It was a battle between two teams looking to go far in the postseason in the hopes of enticing their future free agents to re-up. For the Jazz, Gordon Hayward was the player in question, while for the Clippers, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had the ability to depart in the offseason. What happened: Iso-Joe Johnson did Iso-Joe things, stealing game one for the Jazz on the Clippers' home court. Undeterred, the Clippers proceeded to win the next two, for a 2-1 advantage, but game three turned out to be costly. The team the next day announced that Blake Griffin was out for the rest of the season due to a toe injury. Still, things went to a game seven, in LA, but the Clippers did not have the firepower to win out, and the Jazz were able to get the victory and advance. What next?: The Jazz got swept by the Warriors in the West semis. And ironically, both Hayward and Paul wound up departing their respective teams. In addition, Griffin did sign an extension with the Clippers, but they wound up trading him mid-way through the 2017-18 campaign. 2018 Playoffs - #5 Utah Jazz (48-34) defeat #4 Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34) in six games The setup: The Jazz equaled their postseason rank from last season, thanks to the brilliance of rookie Donovan Mitchell, while the Thunder formed a "Big Three" comprising Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. What happened: Paul George sizzled for 36 points to help the Thunder win game one, but Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell teamed up to help the Jazz win the next three. On the brink of elimination, Russell Westbrook led a dominant third quarter effort in OKC to force a game six, but in Salt Lake City, the Jazz managed to hold on, and earn the series victory. What next?: The Jazz will now test themselves against the top-seeded Houston Rockets. Should be a good one. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 29th, 2018

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

UAAP: Manganti wants people to take Adamson seriously after career-high

First it was Jerrick Ahanmisi. This time it was Sean Manganti who took over and flexed his muscles in Adamson University's latest conquest in the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball tournament. From playing sparse minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, a possessed Manganti emerged in the second half to lead the Falcons to a 90 - 76 victory over the University of the East with a career-high performance of 27 points on 63 percent shooting from the field. On top of that, he thrilled the Adamsonians with a fantastic slam in the third quarter.   Sean Manganti TAKES FLIGHT ✈ #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/ZHx2JMTXSu — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 19, 2018   "I was so excited because that was my first dunk since Season 79 because [during] Season 80 I was with injuries the whole season so I was excited for that one. I tried to give something to the crowd," he said. Behind his stellar performance is the desire to make up for what he describes as a "terrible" first game last September 9 versus Ateneo. He only scored four points then. "That's what I have been trying to do this whole year even during the preseason. I came out during the first game really, terrible game so I try to make up for it," Manganti explained. Aside from producing points for the team, Manganti, together with Ahanmisi, is also providing leadership in the squad. This is something that head coach Franz Pumaren has specifically asked from both of them. "Prior to this opening of the UAAP, I sat with them, I talked to them about their roles. I mentioned that the young guys will follow them if they play well," Pumaren explained. However, he has yet to see both players explode at the same time. "I guess I'm still waiting for the time that these two guys can really play like an orchestra at the same time, I think that will be a fun thing to watch, both guys playing well," added the Adamson mentor. Regardless, with both seniors' performance in Season 81 so far, Manganti seems to be embracing the role he is expected to fill. After all, he had a good precendent to emulate. "All I do is fill the spot. Last year it was Rob Manalang so I just try to fill that spot, trying to be a leader," added Manganti. With Ahanmisi and Manganti leading the pack and Pumaren directing the shots, the Falcons carved their best start in the UAAP since 2003 with a 2-0 slate. Manganti thinks that this impressive start will spark a big school-strong school mentality in the Adamson faithful. "I want everybody to look at Adamson as a big school. How many years has it been that it is looked at as a small school," Manganti shared. "Nobody takes it seriously. I just want to be taken seriously showing we are a great team.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

EYES ON YOU, KID: NCAA 94 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And with the second round already underway, we’re getting even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: CLINT ESCAMIS – Mapua High School (yellow jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 23.3 points, 46.9 percent shooting, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.7 steals Clint Escamis has spent his first two seasons under the leadership of the likes of Sherwin Concepcion, Mike Enriquez, Warren Bonifacio, and Will Gozum. Now in his third and last season in Mapua, he is proving that he is no slouch as a leader himself. The league’s top scorer and second-best steal-getter has carried the Red Robins right back up there in the standings – and they are the only team to have downed all f the traditional powerhouses in College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, Arellano High School, and San Beda High School. This version of Mapua may not be as star-studded as it was in the last four years, but they may just have the brightest star in all of the league in their 6-foot-1 swingman. INAND FORNILOS – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (green jersey defending white jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.4 points, 51.8 percent shooting, 10.9 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.0 assist On a team as fully loaded as CSB-LSGH, there has to be a workhorse – and Inand Fornilos has been just that and more. Just like he did in their championship campaign last season, he has been a force to reckon with on both ends of the floor for the league-leading Junior Blazers. The rebounds and defense have always been second nature for Fornilos, but this season, he has become better on offense. In fact, he already has a couple of 20-point games to his name – not bad for an undersized big man at 6-foot-2. Without a doubt, the graduating forward is doing all he can to make his former team regret ever letting him go. JOHN AMORES – Jose Rizal High School (blue jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steal And all of that is because of John Amores, the second-best scorer in all of the league and the undisputed main man of the daring Light Bombers – the only team that will be sweeping contending Mapua in the elimination round. JRU’s rise from the bottom half of the standings to the top four is nothing short of spectacular and that improvement is best personified by Amores who went from role player a year ago to go-to-guy this season. Give the Most Improved Award to the kid already because he’s ready and raring to take much more than that. JOEL CAGULANGAN – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (green jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.3 points, 7.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 steals For the high standards he set a year ago, this season has been a quiet one for Joel Cagulangan. With the likes of Escamis and Amores flying high and CSB-LSGH teammates Fornilos and RC Calimag grabbing more headlines than him, last year’s Finals MVP has been under the radar. Quietly, however, he is actually the Junior Blazers’ leading scorer and the NCAA’s best assistman and fourth-best steal-getter. Yes, that’s just how the 5-foot-9 do-it-all dynamo rolls, making an impact even if everybody else doesn’t feel it. Just don’t forget that he could also choose to make everybody feel his impact, okay? AARON FERMIN – Arellano High School (grey jersey, #18) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.2 points, 53.5 percent shooting, 17.6 rebounds, 1.0 block If not for Arellano’s struggles last season, Aaron Fermin would have been MVP. If not for the Braves’ struggle in the ongoing season, Fermin would have been the league’s most tantalizing talent. Standing at 6-foot-5, graced with a wide frame, having timing on lock, and blessed with a non-stop motor, the graduating big man has all the tools to be a game-changer on both ends of the floor. Indeed, he had a stretch of games of posting a 15-point, 20-rebound double-double. Now, if only he could lift Arellano to much-needed wins and back onto a playoff push. DAN ARCHES – Mapua High School (yellow jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.8 steals Mapua has long been defined by its talented big men, but now, it’s the guys at the wings who have taken center stage. Escamis has been their main man, but he also has a more than capable running mate in Dan Arches. All Escamis could do, Arches could do as well, only without the same sort of consistency. But hey, this is the first time he has been getting time with in his two years as a Red Robins so there’s nothing that all those reps couldn’t improve. And oh, he also has one thing going for him – a fine floater that he could bust out at any time that somehow, some way, has become automatic. JOSHUA DAVID – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (green jersey, with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.9 steals Imagine the dynamic between Escamis and Arches, and then translate that onto Cagulangan and his own partner-in-crime in Joshua David. Like Cagulangan, David could stuff the stat sheet. Like Cagulangan, David could do whatever CSB-LSGH needs for a win. The only difference is that unlike Cagulangan, David already has the size at 6-feet and a big body to make the same sort of noise in the Seniors. Of course, Cagulangan’s clutch genes are also on another level, but who knows? Maybe David is just waiting on the wings to seize those moments for himself? MILO JANAO AND KEAN BACLAAN – San Sebastian College-Recoletos JANAO’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist (yellow jersey with ball in first photo) BACLAAN’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.8 steals (yellow jersey with ball in second photo) It looks like San Sebastian College-Recoletos still wouldn’t be able to get over the hump this year, but the good news is that they remain on the right track. The even better news is that Milo Janao and Kean Baclaan, the two paving the way for them, are here to stay. That backcourt, by themselves, has fueled the Staglets to four wins – and still in the thick of things. While a long-awaited, much-wanted playoff berth is a long shot this year, perhaps it wouldn’t be so when both Janao and Baclaan get a year older and a year more determined to continue doing it all to win. MAC GUADANA AND JOHN BARBA – Lyceum of the Philippines University GUADANA’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists (grey jersey with ball in first photo) BARBA’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 17.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals (grey jersey with ball in second photo) Batang Gilas member Mac Guadana has become the NCAA’s constant – a 6-foot guard who could score at will while also doing his part in rebounding and playmaking. With him showing the way, Lyceum of the Philippines University has proven to be a far from easy out for three seasons now. They are still a ways away from legitimate contention, but the Junior Pirates have reason to believe that would be sooner than later as teaming up with Guadana is John Barba, a 6-foot-2 forward who just has a knack for willing his way to good looks inside. With those two, the boys from Cavite have two of the top six scorers in all of the league. Now, they just have to find the other pieces of the puzzle for their first-ever playoff berth. ROM JUNSAY – Arellano High School (grey jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals Rom Junsay was one of the biggest keys to Mapua’s first-ever championship. That was two years ago, though, and since then, the 5-foot-6 has transferred to Arellano and is now only playing his first and last season there. Nonetheless, in just his first game in blue and grey, he wasted no time in reminding everybody about his talents, dropping a career-high 34 points. He and the Braves have trailed off from there, but just as Arellano is a sleeping giant no team wants to wake, Junsay is an active volcano just waiting for the perfect time to erupt. HONORABLE MENTIONS Jonnel Policarpio – Mapua High School RC Calimag – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Cabagnot after first Gilas win: 'Our journey has begun'

MANILA, Philippines --- Alex Cabagnot finally got his win with Team Pilipinas and it feels oh so good. Cabagnot scored a team-high 16 points for Gilas Pilipinas Monday, helping the national team beat Qatar in a closed-door game in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas gets home win behind closed-doors] Part of the new-look national team, Cabagnot is glad he finally got that first win, a win that symbolizes his own journey with the national team. Scratch that, the start of a new journey for the new national team. "It felt good," Cabagnot said on the win, which pushed Gilas to 5-3 in Group F, still enough for third place and a spot in the World Cup if the Asian Qualifiers ended today. "I’m not really into the destination, but our journey has begun. That’s not the only game. And hopefully I could be there for the next window. You know how it is naman, pero, I can’t control that. I could only control what happened and I’m glad. and I’m fortunate to be with these guys and to be under coach Yeng Guiao," he added. The next FIBA window is about two months away and Cabagnot is hopeful Team Pilipinas can build on this win. Whether or not he makes it back, the veteran guard for San Miguel Beer has the national team's best interest in mind. "I’m glad we won. Masarap ‘yung panalo namin," Cabagnot said. "And hopefully we could build this in the next window --— if I’m still here, if I’m still invited by coach Yeng, the SBP community, and the federation," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2018

Tom Brady loses for 1st time in 9 games vs Jaguars, 31-20

By Mark Long, Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady trudged off the field with his helmet in one hand, grass stains on his jersey and a look of frustration on his face. This was a different feeling for the New England Patriots quarterback — at least against Jacksonville. Brady lost for the first time in nine starts against the Jaguars, a 31-20 setback Sunday in which Blake Bortles outshined the three-time league MVP and five-time Super Bowl champion. Jacksonville had been the only remaining AFC team to never beat Brady. The Jags (2-0) finally got it done in a rematch of last season's AFC championship game. It shouldn't take long for Brady and the Patriots (1-1) to bounce back. They play winless Detroit next week. "It's a long year," Brady said. "I think you have a bad day against a good team, it's a recipe for losing." Brady completed 24 of 35 passes for 234 yards, with two touchdowns and a turnover. He was sacked twice, including once by Dante Fowler in the fourth quarter that caused a fumble. He said New England's offensive execution has room for improvement. "I don't think it's anywhere near where we're capable of or what we've done at different points through a season," Brady said. "We've got to make improvements, and I think September and October, that's what they're for. I think there's a lot of practices we need and a lot of time that we need to figure out what we do well and what we don't do so well. But you have to try to win in the meantime. And today obviously wasn't enough." The Jaguars, who can get to 3-0 for the first time since 2004 next week against Tennessee, did just about everything right. They held tight end Rob Gronkowski to two catches for 15 yards. They slowed New England's running game to 3.4 yards a carry. They allowed just two plays longer than 25 yards. And Bortles delivered the best game of his five-year career. Bortles threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns. He tossed perfect passes in the end zone to Donte Moncrief, Keelan Cole and Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the first half, and then connected with Dede Westbrook on a short crossing route in the fourth quarter that Westbrook turned into a 61-yard score . "We go against Blake in practice," Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell said. "He has some days where he is just lights out and gets us. If he can get us, he can get anybody because we feel pretty good about ourselves. I know what's going to happen. If he keeps getting opportunities, he's going to be a big-time player. "I was just grabbing popcorn every time the ball was in Bortles' hands. I say, 'He's going to do something great', and then he's running and spinning and, man, it was impressive." Here are some other things we learned from the game: COLE STEPS UP Cole had the key block on Westbrook's big play that sealed the victory and is proving to be the team's go-to receiver. He finished with seven catches for 116 yards and a score. He made a spectacular, one-handed catch on Jacksonville's second drive and beat Eric Rowe for a 24-yard touchdown three plays later that got Rowe benched. "Keelan made an unbelievable play on the sideline," coach Doug Marrone said. "Everybody saw that. He's a guy that has been really steady for us, really worked his butt off. ... The first year is tough. You're trying to find your way. That second year you kind of get set in a way, and he's been good right from the beginning, very focused and has done a nice job for us." HOME STREAKING The Jaguars can set a franchise record next week by winning their eighth consecutive game at home. They host Tennessee next Sunday. Jacksonville hasn't lost at home since falling to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6 of last season. RECORD HEAT The teams played in the hottest game in Jaguars history. Temperature at kickoff was 97 degrees, with a heat index of 107 degrees. According to the NFL, it was the warmest game since Green Bay played at Arizona in 2003. KEY INJURIES The Patriots lost two of their best defenders to concussions. Defensive end Trey Flowers left the game in the first quarter, and safety Patrick Chung was hurt injured in the second half. Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson injured his left knee in the first quarter and was helped off the field. UP NEXT The Patriots play at Detroit, where former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is now the head coach. The Jaguars host AFC South rival Tennessee in the second of three straight home games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2018

UAAP: For a change, La Salle is actually the darkhorse

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 12-2 after eliminations, 1-0 in Final Four, 1-2 in Finals, runner-up YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Justine Baltazar, Andrei Caracut, Jollo Go, Aljun Melecio, Kib Montalbo, Santi Santillan WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Brandon Bates, Taane Samuel, Encho Serrano, Mark Dyke (returning), Louie Gonzalez (coach) GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Ben Mbala, Prince Rivero, Ricci Rivero, Abu Tratter, Aldin Ayo (coach) WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM LA SALLE? Bar none, De La Salle University took the biggest losses among all teams from a year ago. Let’s all count those subtractions, shall we? Two-time MVP Ben Mbala, Mythical selection Ricci Rivero, veteran bigs Prince Rivero and Abu Tratter, and champion coach Aldin Ayo. “We’ve missed big-time players, but I always reminded them it’s not about having the best players. In order for us to be successful, we just need to be consistent in working hard and doing what’s for the greater good.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez Still, that doesn’t mean that the Green Archers are no longer here – especially not if the guard troika of Andrei Caracut Aljun Melecio, and Kib Montalbo has anything to do with it. “Ngayon pa lang, sinasabi ko na sa kanilang tatlo na whatever mari-reach namin this season, malaki magiging role nila. They have to know where to put everybody na magiging successful sila.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez And with Mbala gone, we can just expect Justine Baltazar to rise – as he was always meant to do after graduating high school when he was the most terrifying tower. Also, Santi Santillan is right there by his side as well as young guns Brandon Bates and Taane Samuel. All told, La Salle’s losses were huge, but that won’t be enough to keep them out of contention for the Final Four. WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM LA SALLE? Of course, the Cerberus in the backcourt will dictate the tempo for this team – Caracut will make plays, Melecio will score, and Montalbo will be a force on both ends. Up front, Baltazar is out to fulfill his potential as a two-way nightmare for opponents – and you can just look back to his time as center for Nazareth School of National University to have an idea of what that is. The real game-changer for La Salle, however, is Encho Serrano who once took the country by storm in his rookie season in the UAAP Juniors. Since then, he has gone missing and then gotten found, but the talent that made him the top high school player in the country – yes, over even Kai Sotto – is still here. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR LA SALLE? For the first time in years, everybody is doubting La Salle – meaning for the first time in years, they are the underdogs. “Yung pagiging underdog namin, okay lang yun kasi we’re still in the rebuilding stage. The mantra right now is to be the best at getting better.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez This early, the new-look Green Archers are already priding themselves on having no glitz and glamour and just being all business. That underdog mentality and that workmanlike attitude may just be enough for them to be the pleasant surprises of the season. “Coming to this season, at least, yung pressure, nandun sa iba. Pero I know if you’re playing for La Salle, you’re 100 percent motivated as well.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez WHERE WOULD LA SALLE BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 81? La Salle will be fighting with its all for a Final Four berth. “Basta ang expectations ko lang sa kanila is ibigay lang nila effort palagi. Wala naman akong hinihinging imposible. Very clear naman ako sa kanila na as you give that effort, we will be fine.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez That’s far from sure for them, but what’s certain is that the Green Archers have both the talent and the determination to get there. The championship, or even the Finals, may be an even farther reach, but this new-look team may very well be satisfied with just a playoff berth. “What we’re doing is we’re really going through the process. It’s long-term.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez WHEN IS LA SALLE’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 81? La Salle sets out to prove everybody wrong when they take on fellow playoff hopeful Far Eastern University on September 9. Of course, It All Begins Here on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 6th, 2018