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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: 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

PBA: Coach Leo on Finals: 'I think it will be a good series against Ginebra'

It's either San Miguel Beer head coach Leo Austria is stressed over the PBA semifinals or he just has a really, really high level of confidence. Or maybe he just thinks in advance. Anyway, it seems like coach Leo is already ready for a Commissioner's Cup Finals against Brgy. Ginebra. After taking a 2-0 semis lead against Alaska Monday, Austria casually mentioned the Gin Kings as their Finals opponents. Take note, San Miguel could still end up losing to the Aces and Ginebra is still only up 1-0 against top seed Rain or Shine in the other series. But asked if he has the championship already in mind with the Beermen one win away from the Finals, Austria is keeping his focus on the present series against Alaska. Can't say the same against the Ginebra-Rain or Shine series. "No, we're not thinking of the championship, dahil kung para sa amin, darating 'yan eh," Austria. "But I think it will be a good series against Ginebra, dahil alam naman natin they are the hottest team in the league right now, eight consecutive wins ano. And makikita mo, nag-beef up sila, so with the addition of Jeff Chan, so probably they are preparing their team for our zone defense against them," he added. It's either San Miguel head coach Leo Austria is stressed over the PBA semifinals or he just has a really, really high level of confidence. Or maybe he just thinks in advance. Anyway, it's funny. That's coach Leo for you. Back to the Alaska series, Austria is still bracing for an Aces comeback. This current rivalry has seen crazier things happen in the recent past. "Well, makikita mo naman talaga, lahat naman sinasabi, sabi nila super team kami against Alaska without Abueva and Banchero. And they keep on fighting back, and in the first half, lagi kaming nalalamangan nila. So I have to admire, 'yung trabaho ng mga coaching staff dahil talagang scouted nila, and alam nila kung anong ginagawa namin, but maybe because of the superior talent we have, 'yun ang nagpe-prevail," Austria said. "But we should not be matuwa dito sa talent na pinapakita namin, dahil come championship game, so it's a different story. And we still have to work hard, especially on defense," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

PBA: Gin Kings destroy no. 1 ROS to start semis

There's still no stopping Ginebra. The Gin Kings rolled past no. 1 Rain or Shine Sunday to start their 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals series, scoring a nice 102-89 victory at the Big Dome. With Jeff Chan firing at will in the fourth, Ginebra finally pulled away to take an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 series. The win was also the eighth straight for the Gin Kings dating back to the elimination round where they had to climb out of a 1-5 hole to make the playoffs as the no. 5 seed. Ginebra got off to a fast start, firing a 22-7 run right out of the gate. Rain or Shine settled down after that initial storm from the Gin Kings, keeping things close until the fourth. However, led by Chan's 10 points in the final 12 minutes, Ginebra managed to break the game wide open again by firing a 16-0 blast to take its largest lead of the night at 24 points, 102-78. "Best part about doing this game tonight was being able to do it without Japeth. He's been out of practice since our last game against Meralco, he got hit in his Achilles so he had some significant swelling in his Achilles tendon area," head coach Tim Cone said. "We don't know exactly how long he'll be out, we're hoping he can suit up in Game 2, but we didn't want to risk him tonight with that swelling. He had an MRI, and the initial reading was a slight tear but after review it was swelling. We're being very cautious. We want to make sure he plays in this series. And also he's a national team player, so we don't want to mess with a national team player as well," he added. Import Justin Brownlee was his usual brilliant self to lead the Gin Kings, scoring 35 points on top of 14 rebounds and nine assists. Chan finished with 21 points for his best game for Ginebra so far while Greg Slaughter added another 20 points in a starting role. For ROS, Reggie Johnson carried the Elasto Painters with 30 points and 13 boards while James Yap scored 15 and had eight rebounds. Game 2 is set for Tuesday also at the Big Dome.   The Scores:  Ginebra (102): Brownlee 35, Chan 21, Slaughter 20, Devance 12, Tenorio 5, Thompson 4, Mercado 3, Aguilar 2, Caperal 0, Manuel 0, Ferrer 0, Mariano 0 Rain or Shine (89): Johnson 30, Yap 15, Daquioag 10, Tiu 7, Washington 6, Ponferada 6, Ahanmisi 6, Belga 4, Nambatac 3, Norwood 2, Almazan 0 Quarterscores: 31-27, 52-45, 76-60, 102-89   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

PBA: Chan on ROS: 'yung Rain or Shine, I love that team'

Well, it finally happened. Jeff Chan's breakout game with Ginebra finally took place and it came against Rain or Shine of all teams. In Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals featuring the no. 1 Elasto Painters and the streaking Gin Kings, Chan had the hot hand, firing 21 points, 10 in the fourth quarter as Ginebra pulled away for the win. Chan shot 60 percent from the field and drilled three three-pointers, marking his best game in a Ginebra uniform so far. It's safe to say that the veteran sniper is getting more and more comfortable with his new team as his role gets better defined with each passing day. "Masasabi ko lang na medyo kumportable na ako, medyo nakukuha ko na pero not fully. The other day nag-usap naman kami ni coach Tim regarding sa role ko, so medyo nabigyan ng ilaw parang ganun," Chan said. "Parang ngayon alam ko na when and when not to shoot," he added. As for facing the Elasto Painters in the playoffs, the team where he won two titles and one Finals MVP, Chan says those are good memories. However, he's with the barangay now and its time to make new memories with his new team. "Basta ako masaya ako with my new team now. Masaya ako na I'm with Brgy. Ginebra," Chan said. "Masasabi ko lang, yung team na yun, yung Rain or Shine, I love that team. Maraming nangyari dun pero syempre kailangan mag move on. Kung saan ako present now, which is Ginebra, may goal kami dito," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

PBA: Standhardinger '100 percent' as SMB gears up for title run

San Miguel's super team is fully operational again. In Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals against Alaska, the Beermen finally had top pick Christian Standhardinger in action. Standhardinger has missed most of his first PBA conference due to nagging knee issues. But Christian's knee is fine now and the Beermen are scarier than ever in the playoffs. Playing his first game back, Standhardinger had instant impact, scoring nine points and grabbing five rebounds in 11 and half minutes. All nine points came in the second quarter as he helped the Beermen gain some cushion over Alaska. "It just felt good to be out there again and yes, it was also excitingm" Standhardinger said, "I felt like we had the game under control the whole time and we have to play like that again to have good chances to get the victory," he added. As for his knee, Christian says it's better than ever. The extra time he took to recover is certainly worth it as the Beermen gear up for their latest title run. "It feels good. I'm 100 percent healthy now and I can go however long they wanna play me. They just let me know and I go," he said. "My knee is good, 100 percent recovered," Standhardinger added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2018

Staying on mountaintops

  Barangay Ginebra won a seventh straight game and barged into the Final Four of the PBA Commissioner's Cup Wednesday night as the Gin Kings continue to be the hottest team in the tournament. Coach Tim Cone, though, believes that it's both a blessing and a curse and knows that his job has just gotten tougher. "We're through (to the semifinals), and that's the good news," Cone said after sweeping Meralco with a 104-90 win in their best-of-three quarterfinal series at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. "But at some point, you have to come down off the mountain. We'll see how we can stay on that mountain." Defending champion San Miguel Beer followed sister team Ginebra in...Keep on reading: Staying on mountaintops.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

Morning Tip Q& A: Mohamed Bamba

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst They have come seemingly all at once -- new, freakish size in the NBA with the ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot from deep and block everything that moves. Kristaps Porzingis begat Joel Embiid, who begat this year’s group of young big men who have grown up facing the basket rather than with their backs to it. Among the most intriguing of the 2018 Draft class is Mo Bamba, the 20-year-old from Texas via Harlem, where he grew up -- fast, as city kids tend to do, learning the game on the hardtops around New York City, while his parents, natives of Ivory Coast, wondered what the increasing fuss was around their son. He, on the other hand, has tended to handle the attention with aplomb and a smile. In a group full of long, tall people, Bamba still stands out, with an insane wingspan of 7'10" that allows for court coverage the likes of which hasn’t been seen. Bamba has been in the spotlight for a while -- the Westtown (Penn.) High School team on which he played featured teammates like Cam Reddish, a blue-chip guard who’ll play for Duke next season -- and played against the likes of the No. 1 pick in 2018, Deandre Ayton. At Texas, he starred for Coach Shaka Smart, himself among the biggest names in the sport. After one season in Austin, where he shattered the school record for blocked shots in a season, Bamba declared for the Draft, assured he’d be a high Lottery pick. But Bamba has also shown a willingness to work on what he doesn’t -- or, at least, didn’t -- do that well. He went to California for weeks with noted player development coach Drew Hanlen, who deconstructed Bamba’s jumper from the ground up. Hanlen lowered Bamba’s shot pocket, adjusted his fingers on the ball and eliminated a hitch Bamba had before shooting. Bamba displayed much improved form before the Draft, but even if he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, he was going high -- and, he did, to the Orlando Magic with the sixth pick overall. Desperate to regain relevance in the East, the Magic hired Steve Clifford after he was fired by Charlotte to try and improve their awful defense. At the least, Clifford inherited ridiculous size on his roster, with Bamba joining 6'10" second-year forward Jonathan Isaac and newly re-signed 6'9" forward Aaron Gordon. Bamba must show he can be a killer on the floor like Embiid, and will work to make that happen. The only significant question about him coming into the Draft was the consistency of his motor at Texas. In Las Vegas this week for Summer League with his new team, Bamba is getting his feet wet while keeping them firmly planted to the ground. David Aldridge: I know you’ve spent a lot of time with Drew on the shot. What feels better now? Mo Bamba: Everything. The mechanics are so much cleaner now than they were in college. I think the difference between college and now is just a matter of just repetition, being able to change my jump shot dramatically because of how much I’ve gone in and worked on it. DA: So with time, you can basically improve anything? MB: Yeah, my jump shot is night and day. DA: He also told me that one thing he wanted to keep working with you on after the Draft was, you have a little jump to your left when you shoot? MB: Yeah, that’s a bad tendency that I have. That’s something Drew didn’t want to change. He changed a lot of things, and that’s one of the best things about working with Drew -- he knows boundaries, and he knows how much is too much. That’s one of the things he didn’t want to change right off the bat. But that’s something I’ve been conscious of and something I’ve been working on since he pointed it out. DA: Given where you played high school, was there more pressure on you playing for Westtown or playing for Texas? MB: I’d say there was more pressure playing -- well, actually, it was both, equal. My sophomore year at Westtown, there was a lot of pressure, because I was at a program that had never won a state championship, and had gotten to the finals three or four years in a row. At Texas, I was coming to a team that hadn’t made the NCAA Tournament the year before. So I’d say it was pretty equal. DA: I would imagine playing on a team like that in high school, with Cam and all the others, maybe prepared you not only for college, but playing in the pros. MB: Yeah, Cam can go. He’s a really good basketball player. And I know for a fact I’ll see him here next year. DA: What was Harlem like to grow up in, day by day? MB: It was, when people ask that, I pretty much tell them that you just grow up fast. You’re making decisions at a very young age that most kids don’t even come close to making. I credit a lot of my success to being from Harlem, growing up there. DA: Harlem’s changed a little the last few years. MB: Yeah, gentrification is real. It’s real. DA: What was it like seeing that demographic shift? MB: Well, I was kind of there before gentrification kind of really hit. Obviously there was a bunch of condos that went up and it was pretty cool to see. It was every time I came back home -- I’d see a new development going up. DA: Best advice your parents ever gave you? MB: I wouldn’t say it was direct advice or a quote. I’d say the best thing my parents passed on to me was to let me make my own mistakes and figure out on my age how to kind of see the world on my own. Growing up as the youngest child, one or two years after your siblings, obviously that’s great. You’re learning without truly making the mistakes on your own. But at some point in your life, you’re gonna have to learn on your own. You’re gonna have to fall to rise. DA: Conversely, then, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made so far? MB: I’d say that the biggest mistake I’ve made so far was not committing to Texas earlier. I think waiting was awesome. I was very methodical about waiting, very strategic about what I wanted in a university. But at the same time, if I could go back, I probably would have committed my junior year, so I could hit the ground running and build the relationships, get to know people. DA: How much freedom did Shaka give you when you were there to try things on the floor that might not necessarily be good for the team, but could be good for you individually down the road? MB: Coach Smart, he’s given me so much freedom to sort of grow into who I was. That’s been a big thing in my life -- my parents and all of my coaches. Coach Smart did a great job of just letting me come to terms with myself, as a basketball player and a person. DA: I saw in one of your interviews before the Draft that you don’t think people really understand you when you say you’re a unicorn. So define that for me as you see it. MB: Well, I mean, people kind of have a concept of what it means. To me, it’s just someone who makes plays that have never been seen before -- a seven-foot big guard, those are all unicorns to me. DA: You played against Ayton and guys like Jarrett Allen (the Nets’ first-round pick in 2017) in high school, and I know how much you’ve looked at Joel Embiid on tape. Are you guys the new normal when it comes to the next generation of bigs? MB: Yeah, I think this is becoming a theme, and you’ll see it more and more with guys coming out of high school. One of the guys you’ll see coming up is James Wiseman (the 6'11" rising senior center currently playing at East High School in Memphis, and who is considered by many to be the top college prospect in the Class of 2019). He’s younger, but he does a lot of the things that I do, that Deandre does, that Jarrett does. It’s refreshing to see so many people that can do what I do. DA: If you were six-feet tall instead of seven, what would you be doing? MB: I’d have to be around the game, like a scout or a GM, something around the game. DA: How did the basketball bug bite you so hard growing up? MB: Honestly, it’s just my competitive nature. It bleeds over into other aspects of my life. But basketball is just something that I really excelled at, and whenever I hit kind of adversity, or whenever I do something that makes me vulnerable enough to get better and to ask for help, I just took this and ran with it. DA: Since you’re a kid, I have to ask you how good you are at Fortnight? MB: I play recreationally. One of my best friends is really good at it, and whenever I play him I get Ws. 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 NewsJul 9th, 2018