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PVL: High Flyers survive feisty Water Defenders

Tess Rountree plucked 27 points to lead semifinals-bound PayMaya to a hard-earned 13-25, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 15-9, win over BaliPure-National University Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The American import finished with 25 kills and two aces for the High Flyers, who closed the preliminary round with a 5-2 win-loss record. Jorelle Singh added 11 points, Grethcel Soltones had 11 markers while Jamsine Nabor tallied 23 excellent sets against their former team, which they helped win the inaugural Open Conference crown last year. The Final Four no. 2 seed PayMaya won its second straight match to build its momentum heading into the best-of-three semis. The High Flyers will have almost a month-long break and will wait for their semis rival. But head coach Roger Gorayeb was far from satisfied with his team’s performance. “Ang sama ng nilaro ng team ko,” he said. “Ang sama ng nilaro ng team sa first set, masyadong kampante.” “Yung first set worst yun. Kailan kami naglaro ng ganoon? Nagdadasal ako tumawid sana sa 10 (ang score),” he added. The Water Defenders dropped their third straight match for a 3-4 slate tied with Petro Gazz and defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force. American Janisa Johnson had 27 points anchored on 20 spikes, four aces and three kill blocks while Alexis Matthews and Roselyn Doria chipped in with 16 and 12 markers, respectively, in a lost cause for BaliPure. The Water Defenders, Pocari Sweat, Petro Gazz, BanKo, Iriga-Navy and Tacloban will battle in a round robin quarterfinals for the last two Final Four berths.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 6th, 2018

High Flyers escape Water Defenders threat in 5-set thriller

  MANILA, Philippines – The PayMaya High Flyers outlasted  the Balipure Water Defenders in 5 sets, 13-25, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 15-9, to put a lock on the second spot in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference on Wednesday, June 6 at the Filoil Flying V Arena. The High Flyers headed ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 6th, 2018

PVL: High Flyers seek solo lead

PayMaya guns for back-to-back wins to and the solo lead when the High Flyers collide with freefalling BanKo in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Saturday. Opening serve is at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. The High Flyers share the top spot with Creamline and high school standouts-bannered BaliPure-National University with 3-1 win-loss record. PayMaya defeated Iriga-Navy, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, last week in Batangas to bounce back from a straight sets loss to Creamline in Tuguegarao the week before. The Perlas Spikers, on the other hand, are now struggling with their form after an impressive conference opener that saw them beat the crowd favorite Cool Smashers. BanKo is on a four-game losing slump including a 22-25, 22-25, 25-22, 30-32, loss to the Water Defenders last Wednesday.   ---         Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2018

PVL Grand Fans Day draws huge crowd

Fans were treated to a fun-filled afternoon as the Premier Volleyball League held its first-ever Grand Fans Day Friday at the Trinoma Activity Center. A huge crowd of volleyball supporters trooped to the venue to see their volleyball idols in the event that serves as the league's Season 2 kickoff before action in the Reinforced Conference begins on May 6 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. All of the eight participating teams in the women's division and the six squads battling it out in men's play were present for the pre-season promotional event. Alyssa Valdez of the Creamline Cool Smashers and Myla Pablo of defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors led the PVL stars that gathered for the successful staging of the Grand Fans Day. Cool prizes were given away as players and lucky fans participated in fun games. But the highlight of the event was the uniform reveal where each of the teams gave fans a first-look of their respective kits. Fans were able to get autographs and selfies with their favorite players, who gave time to interact with their avid supporters. Also present in the event were players of the Petro Gazz Angels, Tacloban Fighting Warays, Iriga-Navy Lady Oragons, BanKo Perlas Spikers, PayMaya High Flyers and BaliPure Water Defenders. Joining them were men's division teams Cignal, PLDT, Army, Air Force, Vice Cosmetics and Instituto Estetico Manila.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 27th, 2018

The British Open returns to the nasty links of Carnoustie

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press Carnoustie is known as much for the calamity it causes as the British Open champions it crowns. Any mention of Carnoustie immediately brings back that image of Jean Van de Velde, equal parts tragedy and comedy, standing in Barry Burn on the 18th hole with water up his shins and rising. He made triple bogey to lose a three-shot lead, and then completed as great a collapse as can be found in a major championship by losing in a three-man playoff in 1999. Just don't get the idea Van de Velde owns all the rights to bad endings at Carnoustie. Jose Jurado was the first victim. He had a three-shot lead going into the final round in 1931 and was still two shots clear late in the round until coming undone in the brutal closing stretch, topping one shot on the 17th hole into the burn. He lost out to Tommy Armour. More recently was Padraig Harrington , only it worked out well for him in 2007. Playing the 18th with a one-shot lead, the Irishman hit his tee shot into the Barry Burn. He took a penalty drop and then hit his next shot into the winding stream. Harrington managed the best double bogey of his life. It got him into a playoff when Sergio Garcia made bogey from the bunker, and Harrington went on to win his first major. Of the six previous Opens on these menacing links, Ben Hogan is the only winner to hold a 54-hole lead. For most everyone else, Carnoustie always seem to dish out its share of carnage. Rod Pampling once opened with a 71 and had the lead. He followed with an 86 and missed the cut. Phil Mickelson still hasn't seen a weekend at Carnoustie. Garcia made his major debut as a professional at Carnoustie. He shot 89. "That's a brutal course," Bernhard Langer said. He speaks from experience in 1999, when Langer had his third-highest score of the 23 Opens he completed. He shot 297, and he tied for 18th that week. The first time Tiger Woods went an entire round without a birdie in a major was in 1999 at Carnoustie. "I think I made one birdie on the weekend and I finished three or four back of the playoff," Woods said. "That was ridiculous how hard it was." One month after Shinnecock Hills was punishing as ever in the U.S. Open, golf's oldest championship doesn't figure to be much of a reprieve. Scotland has been going through a warm, dry patch of weather, which figures to make it firm and bouncy. Mickelson, who played Carnoustie a week before the Open, said it was unlikely he would even carry a driver. "I'm either going to carry a driver or that hot 3-wood, but there's only two or three holes — there's actually only two holes I plan on using it, both par 5s. I have a low 1-iron that I've been putting in the bag and ... it's very low. Gets on the ground quick. I'll hit that on probably the last ten holes, almost every hole." Carnoustie in any conditions is regarded as a beast, with a reputation as the toughest links in the world. Sir Michael Bonallack, the former R&A secretary, might have sized it up the best when he said, "When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest course in Britain. And when it's not blowing, it's probably still the toughest." In recent Opens, it has picked up a nickname: Car-nasty. For so much of the field, it will be a new experience. Only two players from the top 10 in the world have played a British Open at Carnoustie — Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy , who was an 18-year-old amateur in 2007 and immediately showed his potential when he opened with a 68. He tied for 42nd that week. Only 33 players in the 156-man field have played an Open at Carnoustie, and only 12 have played it twice. Defending champion Jordan Spieth only knows it from television. He was 13, just starting to blossom as a junior, and he watched the Open from home as Garcia and Harrington tried to survive the finish. "I remember ... how good of a score par was on that hole and will continue to be for Opens going forward," Spieth said. "It's one of probably the toughest closing holes in the Open Championship anywhere, and that creates some drama when it comes down to Sunday, as we've seen. And I don't think it will be any different this year." Carnoustie gets its mean streak from the way the course was set up in 1999, with narrow fairways and high grass. But its strength comes from the wind, like most links courses, and this course near the North Sea is particularly exposed. It measures 7,402 yards, which is 19 yards shorter — yes, shorter — than it was in 2007, the last time the Open was at Carnoustie. Spieth will try to become the first player in 10 years to repeat as British Open champion, and right now he'd simply settle for a chance. Since his closing 64 at the Masters to finish third, Spieth has finished at least 12 shots out of the lead in four of his seven tournaments. He missed the cut in the other three. Like most majors these days, the Open figures to be wide-open. Dustin Johnson, who lost a four-shot lead over the final two rounds at Shinnecock, is back to No. 1 in the world and eager to pick up another major. He has not played since the U.S. Open. The next three players behind him in the world ranking — PGA champion Justin Thomas, Rose and U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka — all have a chance to replace him at No. 1. Recent history would suggest a young American — the last five majors have been won by Americans in their 20s. "It's definitely been pretty one-sided, and the Americans are dominating," Rose said. "So it would be lovely to turn that around next week." Woods is happy to get another crack at it. Carnoustie was his first experience with links golf in 1995, when he was still at Stanford and came over for the Scottish Open at Carnoustie ahead of the British Open at St. Andrews. He opened with a 69, closed with a 78 finished 48th. "Carnoustie is an unbelievable driving golf course," Woods said. "You have to drive the ball well there, but also it's not your traditional in (and) out golf course. It's a lot of different angles, so a lot of different crosswinds. I have to be able to maneuver the golf ball both ways there efficiently. You just have to hit the golf ball well." There is no faking. Nothing comes easily. No one really conquers Carnoustie. It's more about survival. The highest compliment might have come from Tom Watson, who won his first major at Carnoustie in 1975 in a playoff over Jack Newton. "Carnoustie is like an ugly, old hag who speaks the truth no matter how painful," Watson once said. "But it's only when you add up your score, you hear exactly what she thinks of you.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 13th, 2018

BaliPure ends PVL journey with Tacloban sweep

  MANILA, Philippines - After 3 straight defeats, BaliPure ended its campaign on a high note as the Water Defenders took down the Tacloban Fighting Warays in straight sets, 25-18, 25-16, 25-16, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Season 2 Reinforced Conferenceon Wednesday, June 27 at the Filoil Flying V Centre. American import ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 27th, 2018

I think it’s a very productive season for them -- Castillo on his high school standouts

BaliPure-National University head coach Babes Castillo gave the Water Defenders a passing grade despite missing the bus ride to the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference. The mentor liked what he saw especially from the high school standouts that are set to move up to the college ranks in UAAP Season 81.    “Overall I think it’s a very productive season for them, first time,” said Castillo after the Water Defenders swept Tacloban, 25-18, 25-16, 25-16, Wednesday at the end of the round robin quarterfinals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. BaliPure, which fielded seven high school players, closed the quarters with a 2-3 win-loss record and 5-7 slate overall.     “Sabi ko nga perspective, it’s the first time that majority of high school squad has fielded in, it was a good start but I think we anticipated that they might be, they will be challenged in the midway doon sa liga because syempre mga seasoned and veterans ang mga (kalaban), lumabas nga ang pagkabata nila. That’s what we saw,” added Castillo. However, Castillo knew that the exposure will help his players come UAAP season.     Bannered by incoming Lady Bulldogs setter Joyme Cagande, libero Jennifer Nierva, Ivy Lacsina and Princess Robles and high school stars such as UAAP Season 80 high school Most Valuable Player Mhicaela Belen, Faith Nisperos and Alyssa Solomon with seasoned American imports Janisa Johnson and Alexis Matthews, the Water Defenders gave their opponents a good fight.    “It’s a very good experience for them going back to their high school and sa magka-college going into their next UAAP Season. I think it’s a very good experience for them,” said Castillo. Castillo and NU will be back in the Collegiate Conference with Cagande, Lacsina, Nierva and Robles joining the Lady Bulldogs.   ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2018

PVL: Cool Smashers set eyes on first outright semis seat

Crowd favorite Creamline zeroes in on the first outright semifinals seat when the Cool Smashers meet BaliPure-National University Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Season 2 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Cool Smashers are on a three-game winning streak for a 4-1 win-loss record at solo top spot but taking that fourth straight victory and officially punching a Final Four ticket won’t be a walk in the park. “’Yan ‘yung maraming energy,” said prized Creamline hitter Alyssa Valdez of the youthful Water Defenders squad, which is composed of the core of the four-time UAAP high school champion NU. Game time is at 2:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. Valdez, Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and Serbian Nina Asceric will face off not only with prolific scorer American import Janisa Johnson and imposing compatriot middle blocker Alexis Matthews but also with promising players in Alyssa Solomon, Princess Robles and Faith Nisperos. Creamline’s top setter Jia Morado and veteran libero Mel Gohing will also have their hands full with BaliPure-NU playmaker Joyme Cagande and libero Jennifer Nierva. “Napapanood ko lang sila, siyempre nagi-game viewing din also. Nakikita namin ang potential and the talent of these young kids,” said Valdez, who once donned the Water Defenders colors two years ago. “Excited kami to face the BaliPure Water Defenders, we’re looking forward na maipakita namin and mailabas din namin ang game namin sa kanila,” she added. “Nagtutulungan tayo dito para mas maganda ang game and siyempre hoping for a good match.” The Cool Smashers are coming of a straight sets 25-14, 27-25, 26-24, win over Tacloban in Batangas last week. BaliPure saw its three-game winning streak snapped, 19-25, 25-10, 17-25, 21-25, by defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force last Wednesday. The Water Defenders hold a 3-2 slate tied with PayMaya.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

PVL: Perlas Spikers survive 5-set thriller, snap 4-game skid

BanKo cashed in on Nicole Tiamzon’s heroics in the fifth set to snap a four-game slide to complete a come-from-behind 18-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-11, win over PayMaya Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The former University of the Philippines hitter Tiamzon scored five of her 11 points in the deciding frame to deliver the Perlas Spikers second win in six games. American import Kia Bright finished with 25 points anchored on 23 attacks and two kill blocks while Thai reinforcement Jutarat Montripila had 24 markers including 22 off kills for BanKo, which survived High Flyer American import Tess Rountree’s 39-point explosion. With momentum on their side after stealing the third and fourth sets, the Perlas Spikers built an 11-8 lead. PayMaya rallied to close the gap, 12-11, before Bright scored on a next play followed by back-to-back errors by the High Flyers as BanKo walked away with an upset. “Pahirapan ang panalo naming, pero kahit papaano na-relieve kami kasi emotionally drained ang team dahil sa sunud-sunod na talo,” said a very relieved Banko head coach Dong Dela Cruz. The High Flyers were sharp in the first two frames before slowly fizzling out. Rountree hammered 31 spikes and had five kill blocks and three service aces for PayMaya, which fell to 3-2 card. American Shelby Sullivan had 13 markers while Jerrili Malabanan and Celine Domingo chipped in 11 and nine points, respectively, for the High Flyers.     ---              Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2018

BaliPure brews perfect mix to turn back BanKo-Perlas

  BaliPure-National University is slowly getting the right blend with its young local crew and its foreign players. On Wednesday night it, struck a mix potent enough to thwart veteran-laden BanKo-Perlas, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 32-30, and take a share of the lead in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at FilOil Flying V Center. Senior high school graduate Joyme Cagante was the master brewer, tossing 54 excellent sets as the Water Defenders' solid offense enabled them to stop a late uprising by the Perlas Spikers. Janisa Johnson led BaliPure-NU with 30 points....Keep on reading: BaliPure brews perfect mix to turn back BanKo-Perlas.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

PVL: Cagande making a name for herself in PVL debut

BaliPure-National University may be the youngest team in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference with its core composed of high school standouts but the Water Defenders are already making their presence felt and could give other established squads a run for their money. After falling short in their debut, BaliPure went on a roll, winning their next three matches to climb to a share of the lead with Creamline and PayMaya. American import Janisa Johnson is scoring consistently since she checked in for BaliPure in their second match while young libero Jennifer Nierva is holding the fort on floor defense. But the recent success of the Water Defenders could also be attributed to the steady game and quick adjustments of setter Joyme Cagande. The incoming Lady Bulldog has been lording over the setting department with an average of 9.1 excellent set per frame.     Known for her superb playmaking for the four-peat UAAP high school champion Nazareth School of NU, Cagande continues to dazzle even in the import-laden commercial league. The reigning UAAP high school Best Setter delivered her best performance yet with 54 excellent sets Wednesday in BaliPure’s 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 32-30, win over BanKo at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.    Cagande welcomes the challenge of setting up plays to imports Johnson and Alexis Matthews, who are grizzled veterans in international play.      “Challenging siya kasi especially may imports. Iba kasi yung speed ng import, iba yung height ng import so kailangan talaga nandoon ang dedication mo para makuha ang eksaktong set for them,” said Cagande, daughter of a Philippine Star senior photographer Joven. Cagande is particularly comfortable playing with Johnson, making their tandem one of the most dangerous setter-hitter partnerships in the tournament. “Actually po kay Ate Janisa sobrang walang pressure kasi nandoon lang ang support niya lagi,” she said. “Always kapag ang set ko mali nandoon lagi ang feedback niya po kaya hindi gaanong mahirap makipag-work together with her.” Johnson in her previous interview said that she likes her role as mentor and ‘mother’ for the young BaliPure players. Cagande surely is learning a lot from the hitter, who is just coming off two big tournaments in France.  “‘Yung mga adjustments po sa mga mistakes (ang tinuturo niya). Sinasabi niya na OK lang mag-commit ng mistakes basta yung ibibigay nyong solution kaagad nandoon,” Cagande said of one of the things she learned from Johnson. With a 3-1 win-loss record the Water Defenders are in the thick of the battle for the outright semis seats. Expect Cagande to be one of the BaliPure players leading the way.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

Iriga-Navy sinks BaliPure for opening win in PVL

Iriga-Navy started off its campaign on a high note after turning back BaliPure, 25-23, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Macy Ubben heated up for the Lady Oragons with 27 pointswhile Lauren Whyte added 17 in the team's first game back after a one-year absence from the league. BaliPure, which has eight players from Nazareth School of National University, missed the services of American hitter Janisa Johnson, who had just arrived in the Philippines late Tuesday night. The Water Defenders instead relied on Michaela Belen, the reigning Most Valuable Player of the UAAP girls' division, who had 17 points. ...Keep on reading: Iriga-Navy sinks BaliPure for opening win in PVL.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

BLOGTABLE: 2018 pre-playoffs predictions

NBA.ph blogtable 1) Which first-round series in the West is most likely to see an upset result (lower seed beating higher seed)? Enzo Flojo: For sure it’s Portland-New Orleans. I love Damian Lillard’s game, but the Pels are a really tough bunch with a lot of weapons, even sans Boogie Cousins. Jusuf Nurkic will have a really tough time containing AD; that’s one reason this has a high potential for an upset! Migs Bustos: The Jazz and Thunder matchup. It's a tale of upward momentum versus inconsistency. The Jazz have won seven out of their last 10 games, and OKC are 5-5 in their last 10. With how the Jazz are playing great team basketball, led by super rookie, Donovan Mitchell, they have a great chance of upsetting the erratic OKC Thunder. If maganda ang gising ng Utah for four games, may tulog ang OKC sa kanila. Marco Benitez: I think the Thunder-Jazz series is the one where most likely we will see an upset. The Thunder experiment of Westbrook-George-Anthony has been up and down all season, while the Jazz are a well-coached team anchored on a great defensive presence in Gobert. The Thunder win if Westbrook dominates the game and Adams is able to neutralize Gobert. But if OKC becomes stagnant on offense and their usual selves defensively, then the Jazz can wreck havoc on this matchup. Favian Pua: Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans: In order for the Pelicans to stun the Blazers, Anthony Davis must cement his status as the best player on both ends of the floor throughout the series. A Playoff Rondo sighting paired with the feisty defense of Jrue Holiday should stymie the backcourt attack of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Adrian Dy: If it turns out Kawhi Leonard was just saving himself for a postseason run, then the Spurs would absolutely wreck the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors. Barring such a comeback though, I'm riding high on the Pelicans. The Blazers don't have the bigs to even slow down Davis, and the Jrue Holiday + Playoffs Rajon Rondo combo could make things really tough for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum 2) Which first-round series in the East is most likely to see an upset result (lower seed beating higher seed)? Enzo Flojo: Don’t look past the veteran-laden Miami Heat. Philadelphia is by far the deeper team, sure, but if Embiid is hampered by his injury and both D-Wade and Goran Dragic have their way, Miami can push the Sixers to the distance and an upset may not be that surprising. Also, coach Spo shines in 7-game series! Migs Bustos: In the East, it's a bit more challenging. We all know about the success of the Sixers this season; no matter what seed Lebron's team is, it will be hard to upset them; the Raptors have been long consistent at the number 1 spot all season. So, the best bet would be the Bucks overthrowing home court advantage. And this is because Kyrie is out of the season. It's just up to Giannis and Co. to take advantage of that disadvantage by the Celtics to pull through. Marco Benitez: The plague of injuries to the Boston Celtics really hurt their chances of contending in the East, much less win a championship this season. Without Kyrie, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics are vulnerable against the Greek Freak-led Bucks, who are long and talented. With that being said, Boston is still an extremely well-coached, albeit young team, and Giannis will have to be the best player on the floor for most of the series for the inconsistent Bucks to pull off the upset. Favian Pua: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat: Though the Sixers are rolling into the playoffs, only J.J. Redick and Marco Belinelli can boast of a legitimate postseason resume. Led by All-Star Goran Dragic, the Heat are an unrelenting unit of two-way veterans who can both muck it up inside and bait opponents into a long-range shootout. Joel Embiid’s uncertain status will force Sixers head coach Brett Brown to find a counter for Hassan Whiteside. Adrian Dy: Though I have the 76ers advancing, it wouldn't surprise me if the Heat shut down Ben Simmons and shut up Joel Embiid. Erik Spoelstra has a knack for getting the best out of his squads, Dwyane Wade could have some clutch moments, and if the aforementioned Embiid doesn't return as soon as expected, South Beach could be singing after round one. 3) Which team that missed the playoffs has the best shot at making it next season? Enzo Flojo: I’d love to say Denver, but their being in the West really makes their window tight. That’s why I’m picking the Detroit Pistons, who have enough talent to make quite a big impact in the East, especially if their big names (e.g. Drummond, Griffin, Jackson) all stay put and stay healthy! Migs Bustos: To be honest, there are not much compelling story lines on teams that barely missed the playoffs this year. There's nothing like one of the most recent examples -- the Heat's 2016-2017 season where they made a late season run but just missed it at .500 (41-41), or how about Phoenix having a winning record at 48-34 in the 2013-2014 season missing out? The 16 teams were more or less 'predicted' to make the postseason this year so there wasn't a big surprise. Marco Benitez: I think a healthy Memphis Grizzlies team, with Conley, Gasol, Parsons and Tyreke Evans (assuming all are still with the Grizzlies next season) will be a lock to make the playoffs after a disappointing 22-60 win-loss record this season that saw a season-ending surgery for Conley happen in late January. Favian Pua: The Denver Nuggets. Nikola Jokic and his ragtag bunch of scorers were an overtime loss away against the Minnesota Timberwolves from getting their first taste of the postseason. To do so, the Nuggets will need to handle their business and take care of bottom-feeders, as it was backbreaking losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks in March that prevented them from securing an outright playoff berth. Adrian Dy: The Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki will likely want to go out with a bang, Rick Carlisle is still a really good coach, Dennis Smith Jr. is a fantastic attacking guard, and if the lotto balls bounce the right way, they could return to the upper echelon of the West. 4) Which team that made these playoffs has the biggest chance of missing it next season? Enzo Flojo: It may sound crazy, but the Spurs are at great risk for next season. Kawhi continues to be a huge question mark and their veterans will get even older in 2018-2019. They nearly didn’t make it this year, and next year could be the tipping point! Migs Bustos: I'd have to go with the San Antonio Spurs. No doubt all of the other teams are on the up-swing, and they all boast of youth. If Kahwi does not play for the Spurs next season, expect younger teams with great potential like the Nuggets and Lakers to overtake SAS. Marco Benitez: Depending on what happens in terms of offseason trades, and assuming that the rest of the Western Conference regains full strength next season, the two teams I feel have the biggest chance of missing the playoffs next season are Miami and New Orleans. For Miami, DWade is not getting any younger, and Hassan Whiteside has not been at a consistent All-Star level all season. With Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond getting a full year under their belt in Detroit and Kristaps Porzingis back at full strength in New York, I see Miami as the most likely team to get bumped off in the East next season. For New Orleans, the Davis-Cousins experiment did not necessarily turn them into a legitimate playoff contender in the West, and when Cousins fell to injury, they've had to rely on AD to carry them almost entirely on his shoulders. With the ultra competitive West getting healthier next season, unless the Pels are able to get better on the wings -- assuming of course Cousins doesn't bolt in the offseason -- they may find themselves out of the playoffs. Favian Pua: Cleveland Cavaliers. Hinging on the premise that LeBron James bolts for the Sixers or Los Angeles Lakers in free agency this offseason, the Cavaliers are headed for a massive nosedive towards the number one pick in the 2019 draft. No other team has more to lose than the Cavaliers this postseason, and it is highly probable that winning the title is the only way The King stays in The Land. Adrian Dy: If we get another round of LeBron James free agency sweepstakes, and he winds up getting the Banana Boat Gang together in Houston, it's hard to see the Cleveland Cavaliers being competitive, let alone back in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Should that happen, I'd expect them to trade guys like Kevin Love, and hope that lotto luck favors them anew. 5) Which team is your early favorite to win it all? Enzo Flojo: Despite all the injuries and all their inconsistencies, the Warriors are still my odds-on fave to win it all. They have four big time playoff performers, and they know this is where their real season begins. Migs Bustos: Don't count out the Warriors. Even though they have been plagued with injuries towards the end of the season, the Dubs will hope that they will be healthy in time and turn 'on' the button with their championship experience Marco Benitez: Still the Warriors. Although they'll be without Steph in the first round, I foresee the same dominant Dubs starting the second round all the way to the Finals. The regular season has been a bit of a drag for them this season, and I believe that's why we haven't seen the same Warriors squad as that of past years. But come playoffs, there's no reason why the defending champs don't get locked in; and when they do, frankly, there's still no better team in the league than Golden State. Favian Pua: The Houston Rockets. The playoffs is all about trimming the fat in the roster and letting star power take over in the biggest moments. In James Harden and Chris Paul, the Rockets will always have at least one elite shot creator and facilitator on the court for all 48 minutes. Flanked by capable three-point shooters and wing defenders acquired specifically to neutralize the Golden State Warriors’ juggernaut, Clutch City is on track for its first Larry O’Brien trophy since 1995. Adrian Dy: Yes the defending champions are banged-up and looked uninterested as the regular season wound down, but now that it's winning time, I expect the Warriors to do their thing, although there's no way it'll be as smooth as their 16-1 romp last season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

High school stars Nisperos, Cagande to banner BaliPure

BaliPure is investing on future volleyball stars after tapping the core of UAAP high school powerhouse Nazareth School of National University for its lineup in the 2nd Premier Volleyball League Reinforced conference slated to begin on May 6. The Water Defenders needed a major overhaul after most of the franchise’s players including head coach Roger Gorayeb bolted out of the team to join new team PayMaya. Hoping to build a new program hinged on young players, BaliPure, which claimed the Open Conference crown last year, decided to bring in the core of young guns and rising stars of four-peat UAAP girls volleyball champion NU who are expected to shine as the future of Philippine volleyball. Two-time UAAP Season Most Valuable Player and two-time Finals MVP Faith Nisperos and three-time Best Setter Joyme Cagande will banner the Water Defenders, who are yet to submit the names of their imports. Helping Nisperos and Cagande are UAAP Season 80 MVP Mhicaela Belen, libero Jennifer Nierva, towering middles Alyssa Solomon and Ivy Lacsina, and Princess Robles, who played for the Babes Castillo-mentored Lady Bulldogs that dominated the inaugural PVL Collegiate Conference last year.    Joining the young bloods is a set of NU seniors team veterans in Rica Diolan, libero Gayle Valdez, Rosleyn Doria, Roma Joy Doromal and Audrey Paran. Despite a very young lineup, BaliPure won’t be a pushover team with its players all looking to show their talents in the eight-team, import-laden team. The Water Defenders could give defending champion Pocari Sweat, Creamline, PayMaya, Iriga-Navy, Petro Gazz, Tacloban and BanKo-Perlas a run for their money.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

La Salle s Macandili proving that defenders can also stand out

MANILA, Philippines — The brightest and most followed volleyball stars in the country are the high flyers and the hard hitters.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 25th, 2017

Fire on the water: Dragon boat racing looks to make its mark

GAINESVILLE, Ga. --- Their paddles slice through the water in perfect rhythm, all 20 of them, guided by a mesmerizing drumbeat and a legendary creature soaring from the bow of their vessel. Welcome to the world of dragon boat racing, an ancient yet neophyte sport that combines strength, teamwork and even a bit of spirituality. It's also a whole lot of fun, which was evident this weekend as the biennial world championships came to North America for the first time on Lake Lanier north of Atlanta, the same spot where rowing and canoeing were held during the 1996 Olympics. "The high intensity of dragon boat is unlike any other paddle sport," said Ethan Palmer, who competed in rowing and...Keep on reading: Fire on the water: Dragon boat racing looks to make its mark.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

NCAA Season 94: Pirates extend win streak to 12

Lyceum of the Philippines University encountered a very game Emilio Aguinaldo College Thursday. The Pirates found the Generals a tough nut to crack as LPU had a hard time shaking off a very clingy EAC squad. But just like in their past conquests, the Pirates came up on top 95-75 to extend their winning streak 12 straight and remain unscathed in the NCAA Season 94 seniors basketball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. LPU, which struggled in the first half, made life miserable for EAC as they forced a season-high 38 turnovers that the Pirates converted into 38 points. The Pirates won their 30th straight elimination round game since their amazing elims sweep last year that gave them an outright ticket to the Finals only to lose via sweep in the championship series against San Beda University.     The Generals kept the game close up until the early part of the fourth quarter before LPU stepped on the gas, forcing turnovers off choking pressure defense and turning them into easy baskets to blow the game wide open. CJ Perez led the Pirates with 19 points and grabbed five rebounds while Mike Nzeusseu posted 18 markers. Jaycee Marcelino played despite coming off a flu and finished with 15 points while Ralph Tansingco and Jayvee Marcelino added 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Intramuros-based squad. Despite EAC taking a six-point lead early in the opening quarter and keeping the game close the whole first half, LPU head coach Topex Robinson knew that his wards will still survive the Generals' challenge. "I think it's not really something that we're surprised with because I know the first half the energy level of the other team is still there. So we know that we're going to make some mistakes and what's important for us is how we sustain it (energy) for 40 minutes," said Robinson. "I think that's very important on the way that we have to be disciplined and the way that we play defense especially on offense," he added. "So it came as no surprise to us that the game's close in the first half."        EAC dropped to 2-9 win-loss record and absorbed its fifth straight defeat. Jerome Garcia flirted with a double-double with 30 points on 12-of-19 field goal shooting and nine rebounds for the Generals. Jess Bautista had 19 markers and 13 boards while Hamadou Laminou finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a lost cause for EAC.    The scores: LPU (95) - Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Marcelino JC. 15, Tansingco 11, Marcelino JV. 10, Pretta 5, Ayaay 4, Valdez 4, Santos 4, Yong 3, Caduyac 2, Ibañez 0, Lumbao 0, Cinco 0, Serrano 0. EAC (75) - Garcia 30, Bautista 19, Hamadou Laminou 10, Maguliano 8, Gonzales 4, Cruz 2, Neri 2, Diego 0, Corilla 0, Natividad 0, Mendoza 0, Cadua 0. Quarterscores: 20-18, 41-40, 61-53, 95-75   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles            .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

Man believed to have died falling down stairs poisoned by wife with eye drops

Over a month after Steven Clayton's funeral was held in his backyard, his wife, Lana Sue Clayton, was arrested for his murder. Steven, 64, was found dead last July 21 on the foyer of his Greek Revival-style house overlooking Lake Wylie in South Carolina, reports the Washington Post. It had been thought that he died from a tumble down the stairs until results of his autopsy arrived. On Aug. 31, Lana Sue, 52, was charged with killing him after his autopsy showed a high amount of tetrahydrozoline, which is found in nasal decongestant sprays and eye drops. The chemical relieves eye redness. Lana admitted that she had poisoned Steven's drinking water with the chemical from July 19 to 21,...Keep on reading: Man believed to have died falling down stairs poisoned by wife with eye drops.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 6th, 2018

10 families flee Zamboanga flash floods

  ZAMBOANGA CITY - Ten families temporarily took shelters at the high ground in Curuan village following the strong river current placing several homes under water. Elmeir Apolinario, the city's Disaster Risk Reduction Management officer, said 10 families had been evacuated due to flash floods at Sitio Basagan in Barangay Curuan late Wednesday afternoon. "I have confirmed with the Barangay Captain Noel Perez who is onsite and according to him, there are 10 families directly affected but said that the number might rise as the possibility of flooding in other areas in Curuan is possible," Apolinario said. Heavy rains in the mountains caused rivers in Curuan area to swell, ...Keep on reading: 10 families flee Zamboanga flash floods.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2018

Disappointing Nats trade Murphy to Cubs, Adams to Cards

WASHINGTON (AP) — Essentially throwing in the towel on a disappointing season, the Washington Nationals traded second baseman Daniel Murphy to the Chicago Cubs and first baseman Matt Adams to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday. Despite a roster that boasts such stars as Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper, Washington went into a three-game series at home against Philadelphia with a losing record of 62-63, 7½ games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. General manager Mike Rizzo and ownership gambled at the July trade deadline, standing pat and expressing faith in the roster as constituted. The Nationals trounced the New York Mets 25-4 that night, but are 9-10 since, including a 2-5 road trip through Chicago and St. Louis that featured a 4-3 loss at Wrigley Field on a two-out, walk-off grand slam. "We felt that coming off that road trip and into this most recent homestand was a time that was a litmus test for us ... and we felt that the timing was right to make the vital decisions that we had to make," Rizzo said. The deals came three weeks after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and the Nationals aren't getting much in return. For Murphy, who was hitting .300 since his return from knee surgery, the Cubs are swapping Class A infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named or cash. For Adams, the Cardinals are sending $50,000 to Washington. "These are tough decisions, to trade a ultimate professionals like Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams is never easy," Rizzo said. "We felt this was the best way to facilitate what we are trying to do not only in 2018 but beyond." The 33-year-old Murphy was a big hitter during his time in Washington. A postseason star in 2015 with the Mets, he signed with the Nationals that winter and was an All-Star the next two years. Murphy missed the first 64 games this season but hit in 11 straight before being stymied by Miami's Jose Urena on Sunday. "My thoughts are it's really bittersweet," Murphy said. "I sat at this podium probably 2 1/2 years ago. The Washington Nationals were the only offer I had. They took a chance on me three years ago and I feel very disappointed in myself that it kind of came to this point, I guess would be the easiest way to describe it." Asked how close the team came to including Harper — a free agent after the season — in the Tuesday deals, Rizzo said: "You have to get a deal that makes sense to trade one of the elite players in the game." Harper, who struggled for much of the first half, won the Home Run Derby during the All-Star festivities at Nationals Park. Since the break he is hitting .350 with seven home runs, 25 RBIs and 21 runs scored in 28 games. "I've been part of this organization for seven years and I look forward to coming in and doing my job every single day and I had no fear of being traded or let go on waivers or anything like that," Harper said. The Nationals were coming off two consecutive division titles under manager Dusty Baker, who was fired after last season and replaced by rookie skipper Dave Martinez. Murphy expressed support for Martinez, without even being asked about him. "Right man for the job here in DC," Murphy said. The Nationals' high-water mark came on May 30 when they defeated the Orioles for their sixth straight win to improve to 33-22. They haven't won more than three straight games since. "We're definitely not in an ideal spot," veteran first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "We had a chance a couple of times to gain some ground and couldn't really string together many wins in a row." Given the moves, Martinez was asked how he convinces his team that the three games against the contending Phillies are still big. "What's funny is that I've had guys already come in the office and I don't think I need to convince them," he said. "They know what we are playing for and they're all in." To fill the spots created by the departure of Murphy and Adams, the Nationals recalled infielder Adrian Sanchez and outfielder Andrew Stevenson from Triple-A Syracuse......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2018

Atletico Madrid and Valencia open Spanish season with draw

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid and Valencia couldn't manage more than a 1-1 draw in the opening match of the season for potential contenders for the Spanish league title on Monday. Both teams debuted new signings and came boosted by great seasons a year ago, but it was an even match from the start at Valencia's Mestalla Stadium, with neither finding an edge to earn the victory. The hosts came closer to winning and squandered a few great chances in the final minutes. Angel Correa gave Atletico the lead in the 25th minute with a shot from close range after a great set up by Antoine Griezmann, who cleared a few defenders before sending a perfect ball to the forward behind the defense. Correa had only goalkeeper Neto to beat and easily found the corner. Atletico held on for the rest of the first half but Valencia equalized shortly after halftime with a great goal by striker Rodrigo, who controlled the ball with his chest after a cross into the area and fired a left-footed shot into the top of the net. "We can't say it was unfair, but if we had won the match it wouldn't be a crazy result," Rodrigo said. "We faced a great rival and showed that we are playing on a high level. That's what we want to keep doing the whole season." Gabriel Paulista nearly scored again for Valencia less than 10 minutes after Rodrigo's goal, but his header off a corner struck the post. Daniel Wass had a chance on a breakaway with a few minutes left, but his shot was saved by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Kevin Gameiro also missed a clear opportunity just before the final whistle. "We lacked organization in the end and I didn't like that," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. "But I'll stick to what we did well. These teams are very similar and we had our chances to win the match." Atletico finished runner-up to Barcelona in the league last season, while Valencia was fourth and secured a Champions League berth. Atletico was coming off a victory over city rival Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup. Simeone started Monday's match with one of the team's top signings in the offseason, France forward Thomas Lemar, playing up front with Griezmann and Diego Costa. Other recently arrived players began on the bench, including Gelson Martins, Nikola Kalinic and Rodri. Martins came in as a substitute in the second half, replacing Griezmann. Wass, one of Valencia's new signings, was in the starting lineup, while Gameiro, Denis Cheryshev and Michy Batshuayi began on the bench. Gameiro and Batshuayi entered in the second half. Defending champion Barcelona made its league debut on Saturday with a 3-0 win against Alaves with a pair of goals by Lionel Messi at Camp Nou Stadium. Real Madrid opened with a 2-0 win over Getafe with Gareth Bale scoring and setting up Dani Carvajal's goal at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. In the match that closed out the first round, Athletic Bilbao defeated Leganes 2-1 at home thanks to an injury-time winner by Iker Muniain......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2018