PVL: It feels so good to be back -- Santos-Ng

It was a fitting homecoming for legendary hitter Manilla Santos-Ng. A decade after playing her last game as a De La Salle University Lady Spiker in the UAAP at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, Santos-Ng made her return to competitive volleyball on Wednesday but this time donning the ChocoMucho’s purple jersey. The four-time UAAP champion saw action – albeit in a reserve role – in the newcomer Flying Titans’ 25-12, 25-18, 25-18, victory over BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference.   Santos-Ng, a mother of two, was fielded midway in the first set with ChocoMucho holding on to a 15-8 lead as she was subbed in for Shang Berte.   “Same venue 10 years ago. It feels so good to be back,” said Santos-Ng, whose last game in the venue minus the taraflex was back in March 8, 2009 in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 71 Finals when DLSU dethroned the then Rachel Anne Daquis-led Far Eastern University.   “I really can’t believe na makapaglaro ako. I was given this opportunity to play again. Super happy,” added Santos-Ng, the UAAP Season 71 Most Valuable Player. The 34-year old, 5-foot-4 hitter, also known to be a dangerous player at the service line, displayed her vintage form as ChocoMucho scored six straight points including two aces from Santos-Ng with her last service winner giving the Flying Titans their biggest lead, 21-8. “Sa totoo lang super excited ako to play at the same time may kaba kasi it’s been a long time,” she admitted. “Pero kanina nu’ng naka-serve ako pumasok siya medyo nagkaroon ako ng kumpiyansa. Thankful ako na napagbigyan ako ng ganoon chance and I’ll make sure na kung ano yung pinagawa sa akin ni coach ma-execute ko ng maayos.” Santos-Ng finished with two points, playing only in the first and second sets. “Nasa 7 or 8, we’re working on it and hopefully makahabol pa,” rated Santos-Ng on her performance. Head coach Oliver Almadro was all praises on Santos-Ng’s presence inside the court. “For me, hindi ko na kailangan ipakilala si Illa pa kasi we know naman what she can do,” said Almadro, who also worked with Santos-Ng during her college days as head coach Ramil De Jesus’ deputy. “Sabi ko nga medyo yung muscle magde-deteriorate ng konti but yung presence, will, determination will always be there.” Santos-Ng didn’t get a chance to attack during her first stint but remains very patient for that opportunity to display her signature high-flying power hits. “Darating din yun,” she said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 14th, 2019

US Open 19: No. 1 Osaka defends; Serena Williams eyes 24th

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press Women to watch at the U.S. Open, where play begins Monday: ___ NAOMI OSAKA Seeded: 1 Country: Japan Age: 21 2019 Match Record: 26-10 2019 Singles Titles: 1 Career Singles Titles: 3 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — U.S. Open (2018), Australian Open (2019) Last 5 U.S. Opens: 2018-Won Championship, 2017-3rd, 2016-3rd, 2015-Did Not Play, 2014-DNP Aces: Defends Slam title for first time. ... 2 of 3 tour-level titles came at hard-court majors. ... 4th this season in total aces; averages 7.2 per match. Topspin: After winning two major titles in a row, has lost two Grand Slam matches in a row. If her head is in the right place, certainly capable of a deep run, given how good her serve, strokes and movement are. Matchup to Watch For: Could play 15-year-old Coco Gauff in 3rd round. ___ ASH BARTY Seeded: 2 Country: Australia Age: 23 2019 Match Record: 42-8 2019 Singles Titles: 3 Career Singles Titles: 6 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — French Open (2019) Last 5 U.S. Opens: 2018-Lost in 4th Rd, 2017-3rd, 2016-Did Not Play, 2015-DNP, 2014-1st Aces: Made second week of last 4 majors, including first Slam title in Paris. ... 27-5 on hard courts in 2019. ... Played professional cricket while away from the tennis tour for about 1½ years after 1st-round exit at 2014 U.S. Open. Topspin: Really came into her own this season, but renaissance started with fourth-round showing at Flushing Meadows last year. A title threat on all surfaces. Matchup to Watch For: Could play two-time major champ Angelique Kerber in 4th round. ___ KAROLINA PLISKOVA Seeded: 3 Country: Czech Republic Age: 27 2019 Match Record: 42-12 2019 Singles Titles: 3 Career Singles Titles: 14 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: Runner-Up, U.S. Open (2016) Last 5 U.S. Opens: 2018-QF, 2017-QF, 2016-Runner-Up, 2015-1st, 2014-3rd Aces: Might be best server not named Williams — leads tour in total aces (averages 7.4), service games won (80.6. ... Tied with Ash Barty for most match wins this year. Topspin: 14-3 U.S. Open record over past three years shows what she's capable of when her serve is clicking and the rest of her game helps support that skill. Matchup to Watch For: Could play Johanna Konta, Marketa Vondrousova, Daria Kasatkina or 2011 U.S. Open champ Sam Stosur in 4th round. ___ SIMONA HALEP Seeded: 4 Country: Romania Age: 27 2019 Match Record: 39-12 2019 Singles Titles: 1 Career Singles Titles: 19 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — French Open (2018), Wimbledon (2019) Last 5 U.S. Opens: 2018-1st, 2017-1st, 2016-QF, 2015-SF, 2014-3rd Aces: Winning 44.4% of return games, second on tour in 2019. ... Hasn't won a match in New York since 2016. Topspin: Tends to play better with less pressure and outside expectations — see results at French Open vs. Wimbledon this year — so maybe will show her best at Flushing Meadows. Matchup to Watch For: Could play Wimbledon semifinalist Barbora Strycova in 3rd round. ___ SERENA WILLIAMS Seeded: 8 Country: United States Age: 37 2019 Match Record: 19-5 2019 Singles Titles: 0 Career Singles Titles: 72 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 23 — U.S. Open (6: 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014), Australian Open (7: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017), French Open (3: 2002, 2013, 2015), Wimbledon (7: 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016) Last 5 U.S. Opens: 2018-RU, 2017-DNP, 2016-SF, 2015-SF, 2014-W Aces: Winning 74.3% of first-serve points this season, No. 1 on tour. ... Runner-up at 3 of past 5 Slams, including last year in New York. ... Trying for 24th major singles trophy to equal Margaret Court for most in history. Topspin: Ankle, knee, back issues in 2019. Health could be key for her at U.S. Open, where she has been to the final in 7 of last 9 appearances. Matchup to Watch For: Plays five-time major champ Maria Sharapova in 1st round. ___ SLOANE STEPHENS Seeded: 11 Country: United States Age: 26 2019 Match Record: 21-15 2019 Singles Titles: 0 Career Singles Titles: 6 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — U.S. Open (1: 2017) Last 5 U.S. Opens: 2018-QF, 2017-W, 2016-DNP, 2015-1st, 2014-2nd Aces: 11-2 in tiebreakers this season. ... Reunited with coach Kamau Murray after splitting with Sven Groeneveld. Topspin: Will be interesting to see how returning to work with Murray, her coach when she won her title at Flushing Meadows two years ago, sparks Stephens. Matchup to Watch For: Could play two-time major champ Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2nd round. ___ BIANCA ANDREESCU Seeded: 15 Country: Canada Age: 19 2019 Match Record: 38-4 2019 Singles Titles: 2 Career Singles Titles: 2 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: 2nd Round, Australian Open and French Open (2019) Last 5 U.S. Opens: 2018-DNP, 2017-DNP, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP, 2014-DNP Aces: 7-0 against top-10 opponents, including 4-0 against top 5, during breakout season. Topspin: Biggest impediment is injuries, including to her right shoulder, but if she feels well, should be able to make a run in her U.S. Open debut. Matchup to Watch For: Could play 2018 Australian Open champ Caroline Wozniacki in 3rd round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News22 hr. 58 min. ago

PVL: Flying Titans make good impression in debut

ChocoMucho made its presence felt with an explosive debut on Wednesday after crushing BaliPure, 25-12, 25-18, 25-18, in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Flying Titans played sans Bea De Leon, who was rested by head coach Oliver Almadro, but showed no signs of slowing down with their deep arsenal flexing their muscle to dominate the Water Defenders. Kat Tolentino, Bang Pineda and Maddie Madayag showed the way for ChocoMucho, which came back from four points down in the second frame. Tolentino finished with 14 points off 10 spikes, two kill blocks and two aces with 10 digs for an all-around performance for the Flying Titans, who landed 10 aces. Madayag had 11 markers while Pineda scored eight with four excellent receptions for ChocoMucho. Acy Masangkay tallied 18 excellent sets to help the Flying Titans hammer 33 kills. Legendary Manilla Santos-Ng made her return to competitive volleyball midway in the opening set with the Flying Titans up 15-8. Santos-Ng subbed in for Shang Berte and immediately made an impact as ChocoMucho blasted a 6-0 spurt capped by an ace by the former De La Salle University star, who last played in the UAAP Season 71 back in 2009 where she also won her fourth title and the Most Valuable Player award in her swan song. The Flying Titans went behind, 9-13, in the second set before mounting a rally to tie the frame at 13 off a Madayag kill block on Grazielle Bombita. Pineda gave ChocoMucho the lead as the Flying Titans regained their bearing to control the frame. BaliPure showed signs of resistance in the third but were easily repulsed by ChocoMucho, which got a chance to field in its bench. "We’re happy na we won on our first game. Sabi ko nga sa kanila kanin sa huddle, normally people will say first game jitters, but sabi ko sa kanila, ‘Mawawala yun if you play maturely. So we really have to play maturely and we really have to stick together and be one,’" said Almadro.   The Water Defenders bowed down in their first game in  the tournament and absorbed their 11th straight overall since an empty trip in the Reinforced Conference. No BaliPure player finished in double figures with Menchie Tubiera and Bombita scoring nine each.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

PVL: Flying Titans begin Open Conference quest

All eyes are on ChocoMucho when the much-hyped about newcomer charges into its first battle in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference against BaliPure on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. 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, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. The Flying Titans are considered to be one of the teams to watch in the season-ending conference after making noise with their composition. ChocoMucho parades a very competitive lineup with the trio of Bea De Leon, Kat Tolentino and Maddie Madayag but what made the Flying Titans more interesting is the inclusion of De La Salle University legend Manilla Santos-Ng. Santos-Ng is making a comeback since her last competitive volleyball stint 10 years ago when she led the Lady Spikers to the UAAP Season 71 throne during her swan song. Santos-Ng also won the Most Valuable Player award that season. But the Oliver Alamdro-mentored squad has yet to prove that they are as good as advertised. And the Water Defenders are no pushovers. Though BaliPure finished the Reinforced Conference winless, the Water Defenders gained the much-needed experience in the import-laden tournament. Back for BaliPure are power-hitters Grazielle Bombita, Sandra Delos Santos, Menchie Tubiera, setter Vira Guillema and Satrianni Espiritu.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2019

PBA Finals: Arwind on Jones incident: “Sigawan lang, amoy burger”

Game 4 of the TNT-SMB series was tame compared to the standards set so far in 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. There was still some drama still and if you’re guessing Terrence Jones vs. a member of the Beermen then you are so right on the money. During a dead ball, Jones approached Arwind Santos and gave him a nice scream to the face. Arwind flinched but made sure to give somewhat of an answer to the TNT import. Jones smiled as he turned away. Both were give technical fouls for their respective shenanigans. “Ayun, nag-sigawan lang. Pina-amoy lang niya yung hininga niya sa akin,” Arwind said of the whole incident with Jones. “Amoy Amerikano, amoy burger. Sanay na ako doon. Ganun talaga kapag minsan nagkaka-initan. Gulatan lang naman king sino ang masisindak. Part lang ng game yun eh. Kaya lang mas malakas siyang bumuga kaysa sa akin, in fairness,” he added. Santos and the Beermen certainly didn’t back down from Jones and TNT especially in Game 4. San Miguel had tied the PBA Finals at two games each with a crucial 106-101 victory and that’s the more important thing, even if Arwind feels that the Beermen still have no momentum just yet. The focus now is to not back down until this series is done and won. “Hindi ko pa nafe-feel yung momentum namin kasi sobrang di mo masasabi eh. Kahit sabihin mong lamang ka ng six points with one minute to go or 30 seconds, ang Talk ’N Text kayang makabalik,” Santos said. “Kaya kailangan talaga wag kang kukurap hanggang matapos hanggang may oras,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2019

NCAA 95: Nzeusseu, JVM save day as LPU shoos away Perpetual

Jayson David's assist, Mike Nzeusseu's basket, and Jayvee Marcelino's block all worked wonders as Lyceum of the Philippines University fought off motivated home team University of Perpetual Help, 87-85, in a thrilling tiff, Thursday at the latter's school gym in Las Pinas. The Pirates needed each and every one of those three plays to put a stop to the Altas furious fightback while also powering through to their fourth win in a row and fifth overall in six games in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. "Jayson could have easily taken the shot and been the hero, but that's what's special about this team - everybody's just trying to make everybody look good," a beaming head coach Topex Robinson said post-game. The visitors actually looked like they were on their way to convincing victory, up by 13 at the end of three. Boosted by its home crowd, however, Perps got going in the final frame as Jeff Egan energized it into tying the tally at 85-all with two minutes remaining. "We have to give credit to Perps for showing school pride with the way they played. At the end of the day, it was a really nice game," coach Topex said. The two teams then traded defensive stops until, with under 10 ticks to go, Jaycee Marcelino tossed the ball to David in the baseline who then found Nzeusseu down low. The Cameroonian powerhouse then willed what proved to be the game-winner through Ben Adamos. No panic. Just automatic. This is the game-winner by Mike Nzeusseu as LPU edges out home team Perps! #NCAASeason95 — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) August 8, 2019 Perpetual still had 0.9 seconds left to make something happen, but Edgar Charcos' jumper was rejected by JVM. ????@jvcm19 tells Edgar Charcos! Marcelino seals the deal for LPU! #NCAASeason95 — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) August 8, 2019 In the end, Nzeusseu topped the scoring column for LPU with 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds while JVM also added nine markers, four assists, three boards, and the biggest block of the game. Flanking them were Reymar Caduyac and JCM as the former finished with 14 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals while the latter ended with 13 markers, seven boards, and four dimes. For the Altas, Charcos showed the way with 16 points and six assists while Adamos also added 15 markers and six boards. Jielo Razon and Egan chipped in 13 points apiece which were still far from enough from preventing their fourth loss in the last five games after back-to-back wins to start the season. BOX SCORES LPU 87 - Nzeusseu 18, Caduyac 14, Marcelino JC 14, Marcelino JV 9, Tansingco 8, Valdez 8, David 7, Santos 5, Navarro 3, Guinto 2, Ibanez 0, Yong 0, Pretta 0, Remulla 0 PERPETUAL 85 - Charcos 16, Adamos 155, Razon 13, Egan 13, Aurin 7, Peralta 6, Barasi 4, Tamayo 3, Martel 2, Cuevas 2, Lanoy 2, Sevilla 2, Giussani 0 QUARTER SCORES: 25-16, 43-37, 74-61, 87-85 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

New England s Van Noy complimentary of Lions in return

By Noah Trister, Associated Press ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Kyle Van Noy had plenty of nice things to say about his former team. Of course, it's been his own career that has taken off since he left Detroit. "It feels good to come back a winner and say hi to people I haven't seen in a while," the New England linebacker said this week. "There's so many people I could just name — the behind-the-scenes people that have been so good to me and my family that I've got to show them love when I come back. They've been amazing to me, and always have and always will be." The Lions and Patriots have been holding joint practices this week, bringing Van Noy back to the practice facility in Allen Park. A second-round draft pick by Detroit in 2014, Van Noy did little for the Lions before being traded to New England in the middle of the 2016 season. Since then, he's become a regular starter for coach Bill Belichick's team. "Sometimes, some players just fit into one situation and one scheme better than another," Belichick said. "Kyle's done a great job for us. He's smart, he's very instinctive, he does a good job with communication, he can call signals. We have multiple signal callers on our defense, and that's a good thing that helps us with communication and adjustments. He's made a lot of big plays for us since we got him." Van Noy had only one sack in 30 games with Detroit. He has 10 in 36 games — 30 starts — with the Patriots. And all New England had to do to get him was swap a sixth-round pick for a seventh-rounder in the 2017 draft. For his part, Van Noy hopes New England's system isn't the only reason for his emergence. "I don't want to sit here and tailor my skills. That would be kind of like, 'I'm only good because of a certain scheme,'" Van Noy said. "All of these coaches that I've played with in New England have put me in a spot to play to my strengths, and put me in a position to succeed. I respect that and I'm happy to be a part of it, and I would just leave it at that. I just don't want to take away from my talent, my skill and my capabilities if I said that was the reason." One of the coaches Van Noy played for in New England was defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who is now the head coach of the Lions. The Patriots play a preseason game at Detroit on Thursday night. "They're building something. Matty P is running a tight ship and it's good competition," Van Noy said. "They have really good players. (Quarterback Matthew) Stafford has always been good. I think he's one of the most underrated, toughest players in the league. I always have respect for him and what he does, and they have really good up-and-coming players. They've just got to put the pieces together, and I feel like they'll be pretty good." NOTES: The Lions signed free agent CB Johnathan Alston and waived/injured CB Tarvarus McFadden. Detroit also activated WR Tommylee Lewis from the active/physically-unable-to-perform list. Alston signed with Miami as an undrafted free agent after the 2018 draft, but he hasn't played in an NFL game......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2019

Verstappen takes 1st career pole position at Hungarian GP

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Max Verstappen produced a near-perfect lap at the Hungarian Grand Prix to take the first pole position of his Formula One career on Saturday. The Red Bull driver set a track record with 1 minute, 14.958 seconds and then beat it again with 1:14.572. It was another boost for the 21-year-old Verstappen, who has won two of the past three races to creep into outside contention for the title race. "This feels good, this feels really good," said Verstappen, who became the 100th F1 driver to take a pole. "This one was missing. ... It was only a matter of time." Verstappen is the youngest driver to win an F1 race — he was 18 when he won the Spanish GP in 2016 — and is the fourth youngest to take pole. He sits behind Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc and record-holder Sebastian Vettel, who were all also 21. Valtteri Bottas qualified in second place ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, the five-time F1 champion who was chasing a record-extending 88th career pole and record-equaling seventh at the Hungaroring circuit to match F1 great Michael Schumacher. Leclerc, who took his first career pole in Bahrain in March, placed fourth ahead of his Ferrari teammate Vettel. The Ferraris were quickest in the first sector of qualifying but both tailed off. Leclerc recovered well after spinning the car in the first part of qualifying, known as Q1, sliding backward into the barriers and drifting back onto the track as a Williams car came flying past. Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly qualified sixth ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris, who has impressed in his debut season. But Daniel Ricciardo, a winner of seven F1 races, was among the five drivers eliminated from Q1. Ricciardo, who left Red Bull and made a surprising move to join Renault, starts from 18th place. Renault struggled again as German driver Nico Hulkenberg was among the five eliminated from Q2. Earlier, Hamilton had the fastest time in the third and final practice ahead of Verstappen. Hamilton leads the championship by 41 points ahead of Bottas, who is fighting for a new Mercedes contract next year, with Verstappen 63 points behind in third place heading into the mid-season summer break. After Sunday's race, F1 resumes at the Belgian GP on Sept. 1......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2019

NCAA 95: Amores makes sure JRU defends home court vs EAC

Jose Rizal University wielded its young guns and then proceeded to gun down Emilio Aguinaldo College, 64-58, in its home court in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong on Thursday to barge back into the win column of the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. Without Agem Miranda, serving a one-game suspension, it was prized rookie John Amores who took charge for the Heavy Bombers as they got off the ground once more for their third win in seven games. That was hard to see in the earlygoing where the two teams just couldn't buy a basket. The Generals actually had the lead at 1-0 before Amores scored eight points in a row to punctuate the home team's 17-3 rush that boosted them in front, 17-4. The home team would take its foot off the pedal, however, and allowed pint-sized playmaker CJ Cadua energize the Generals back into the game. Cadua even sparked his side to a seven-point edge, 45-38, entering the final frame before JRU unleashed its own energizer off the bench in Chester Jungco who rallied them to a 16-2 surge for a 54-47 lead inside the last five minutes. JP Maguliano yet again pulled the visitors to within six, 54-60, with under two minutes to play before Amores and JL Delos Santos kept them away once and for all by making good on 4-of-6 free throws. Amores wound up with 16 points and six rebounds while Jungco had 12 markers, eight boards, two assists, and two blocks. Delos Santos then chimed in a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double to help the Heavy Bombers already total their win total from a year ago. For EAC, Marwin Taywan topped the scoring column with 14 points, five steals, three rebounds, and two assists. After running out of gas in the endgame, though, they absorbed their fourth loss out of five games. BOX SCORES JRU 64 -- Amores 16, Jungco 12, Delos Santos 10, Dela Rosa 8, Vasquez 6, Steinl 4, Macatangay 4, Dionisio 2, Aguilar 2, Arenal 0, Abaoag 0. EAC 58 -- Taywan 14, Mendoza 11, Cadua 11, Maguliano 9, Gonzales 5, Carlos 4, Gurtiza 2, De Guzman 2, Estacio 0, Luciano 0, Boffa 0, Dayrit 0, Corilla 0, Martin 0, Tampoc 0. QUARTER SCORES: 12-4, 32-25, 38-45, 64-58 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2019

Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris looking forward to playing the LA teams next season

Denver Nuggets' shooting guard Monte Morris is coming off a breakout year during the 2018-2019 NBA season.  The third-year man out of Iowa State averaged career highs of 10.4 points and nearly 4 assists in 24.0 minutes of action per game, helping the Nuggets to surprising second-seed finish and a Western Conference Semifinals appearance.  It was a gigantic leap for the 24-year old who appeared in just 3 games for the Nuggets the previous season. Last year, Morris played in all 82 games.  "Really, I think it was just my hunger to show people that I was playing at this level," Morris said of his rise from a G-Leaguer to a key rotation player on a playoff contender. "I’m not the biggest, I’m not the quickest or the fastest, I just put in the time behind the scenes as much as I could, with film work and working on how I can help the Nuggets all around, staying on the court and making an impact, I think that was the biggest thing for me." Heading into the 2019-2020 season, the Nuggets are once again pegged to be a playoff team, but with the whirlwind of offseason moves, the team from the Mile High City isn't getting too much attention, and Morris says that being slept on is nothing new to the team.  "There’s been a lot of crazy trades in the West, so, not a lot of people are talking about us. It’s nothing new, I know last year we shocked a lot of people. We knew going into training camp - we missed the playoffs by one game the year before - our goal was to make the playoffs, and when we got it rolling real early, the coach was like, ‘Forget making the Playoffs, let’s try to get the 2-seed, let’s try to be a 1-seed!’ and that was our challenge." While other Western Conference teams made noise with their off-season moves, the Nuggets are banking on continuity and chemistry with the core of All-Star Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris all returning to the team next season. Not to mention the addition of forward Jerami Grant, who was acquired from the now-rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder via a trade. "With everybody back and adding Jerami Grant from OKC, it feels like our chemistry is going to be very well and we know what we got to do to get past where we lost last year." With all the new faces and superstar duos in the West, which team is Monte looking forward to playing with the most?  "I’d say both the LA teams. My best friend plays for the Lakers, and I know Paul George and Kawhi have the Clippers," he responded. "I’m looking forward to playing them two the most, but the West is so loaded every single night that we can’t take a game off, because you’ve got Mike Conley, Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, all those guys in the West, every night, it’s going to be a battle." The best friend that Morris is referring to is Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma. Both Morris and Kuzma grew up in the same area in Flint, Michigan.  "Everytime me and him play each other because we try to go at it because we’re from the same part of Michigan, so it’s a good thing to give back to our hometown," Morris shared. "We grew up together, playing on the same AAU teams and everything, going to different camps. Our stories are a little different growing up. Kyle was more of a late bloomer and got his opportunity at Utah, whereas I went and won Mr. Basketball in Michigan an he went Prep, so our stories are a little different, but we always wanted to play in the NBA, and it’s crazy to see it all unfolding now, and when we play against each other, we talk a lot of trash to each other but it’s all love and we know we’re doing it for our bigger cause, and that’s to show that where we’re from, it’s possible." Apart from Kuzma, another Laker that has had an impact on Morris' youth is none other than the team's franchise star LeBron James. Morris shared that LeBron was someone that he looked up to as a kid.  "I would say, growing up, I looked up to LeBron James, for sure. Just the way he grew up with just a single mom and they moved a lot, and he stayed at the top of his game, his mom was his best friend, he didn’t have much of a father figure, like myself in my life, so I took his story and kind of implemented it in my lifestyle and what I stood for, how hard he worked, and I knew that anything was possible." Morris is currently in the Philippines for an NBA 3X event at the SM Mall of Asia on August 3-4, along with NBA legend Muggsy Bogues.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2019

Nick Young tweets encouragement to Jeremy Lin

Nick Young has reached out to Jeremy Lin via Twitter, after the latter guard revealed in a motivational speech for Christian outlet GOOD TV that he has 'hit rock bottom.' Lin, who remains unsigned after winning an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors a few months back, said that he feels "like in some ways the NBA's kind of given up on me." Young, perhaps better known as "Swaggy P," tweeted at Lin, "@JLin7  It’s alot of ppl who feel the same way myself included but stay positive you have so much more to offer... you are the man bro remember that, dnt let nothing take away your joy.. my Chinese homie to many ppl love and look up to you my brotha.. but bring back the dreads" @JLin7 It’s alot of ppl who feel the same way myself included but stay positive you have so much more to offer... you are the man bro remember that, dnt let nothing take away your joy.. my Chinese homie to many ppl love and look up to you my brotha.. but bring back the dreads ???? — Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) July 30, 2019 Swaggy P can perhaps indeed relate. After winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2018, he became a free agent, and was not signed by any team by opening day. He did finally land with the Denver Nuggets in December of last year, but was waived by the end of the month, playing in just four games and averaging 2.3 points. It's been reported that European powerhouse CSKA Moscow had previously had interest in signing Lin, but the Taiwanese-American rejected an offer, as he is dead-set on playing in the NBA. The deal between Jeremy Lin & CSKA Moscow falls apart, I am told. The free agent guard turned down CSKA Moscow's proposal because he is not interested, at least for now, to sign in Europe. Lin awaits for NBA offer to come but if nothing happens, I wouldn't rule out China for him — Emiliano Carchia (@Carchia) July 30, 2019 Like Lin, Young is currently without an NBA team......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2019

NCAA Season 95: LSGH pounds on already grounded defending champ Mapua

STANDINGS San Beda 3-0 LPU 3-1 Arellano 2-1 San Sebastian 2-1 CSB-LSGH 2-1 JRU 3-2 Perpetual 2-2 Letran 2-3 EAC 0-4 Mapua 0-4 Not only has College of St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills exacted revenge, it also piled onto the woes of Mapua High School in the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament courtesy of a hardfought 95-90 decision, Thursday inside the latter's home gym in Intramuros, Manila. RC Calimag turned in his best game of the season with 26 points and eight rebounds all while leading the Junior Blazers to a bounce back win. "Sinimplify lang namin ngayon compared to last game. We have to focus on ourselves first," first-year head coach Karl Santos said after they improved to 2-1. Still, it didn't come easy as Anthony Fransman kept the Red Robins threatening at 90-93 with 12.8 ticks to go. Calimag was then sent to the line where he made good on the first before muffing on the second. Jan Manansala was in the right place and in the right time, though, and hauled in the offensive rebound - his 10th of the game. The ball ultimately found its way to Kobe Palencia whose split from the stripe sealed the deal. Rookie forward Manansala wound up with a 17-point, 18-rebound double-double while Palencia also added 12 markers. That total team effort was more than enough for last year's runners-up to get back at the defending champions.  "This is very big for us. Mapua right now is winless, but this is the first time they played complete," coach Karl said. He then continued, "Magandang confidence booster for us na nanalo kami sa kanila." The Red Robins remained winless in four games even after welcoming with open arms Jonnel Policarpio who himself made an immediate impact. The long-limbed forward, back from dealing with personal problems, posted a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double before fouling out midway through the final frame. Fransman had 16 markers and 15 boards of his own. BOX SCORES CSB-LSGH 95 - Calimag 26, Manansala 17, Arguelles 15, Palencia 12, Macalalag 7, Quiambao 6, Valenzuela 6, Dimaunahan 2, Arciaga 2, Torrijos 1, Rivera 1, Gagate 0. MAPUA 90 - Galang 23, Policarpio 20, Fransman 16, Parinas 9, Echavia 8, Buenaflor 5, Lugo 4, Mercado 3, Castor 2, Jugo 0, Tadeo 0, Ejercito 0, So 0. QUARTER SCORES: 17-25, 48-45, 71-67, 95-90. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2019

Hamilton denied Brit GP pole by Bottas, takes on negativity

By Rob Harris, Associated Press SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — By only six milliseconds — 0.006 — Lewis Hamilton was left in an unusual position on Saturday: Missing out on pole for the British Grand Prix. The pause was a lot longer when the Formula One leader was later surprised to be asked why "people question your Britishness" in the post-qualifying news conference. Look around Silverstone at the flags and banners and there is little doubt who the home crowd of more than 100,000 wants to win on Sunday. But after being outpaced by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton will not start from the front of the grid at the British GP for the first time since 2014. "It wasn't the best of qualifying sessions," Hamilton said, "but it is a long race tomorrow." It is a race Hamilton is trying to win for a record sixth time, further cementing the racing excellence of Britain's five-time world champion. But Hamilton still has to shake off some negativity. Hamilton was quizzed by a reporter from Britain's Guardian newspaper on why there is a "contention because people say you live in Monaco and your accent isn't maybe as British as others because you spend a lot of time in the U.S." "I don't have a good answer for that," Hamilton replied. "It is crazy because I remember growing up and watching Jenson Button and all the youngsters coming through and everyone migrated to Monaco. Nobody ever said anything about it. But, of course, when I did, they had something to say. "No matter how often that you go abroad or elsewhere in the world you come back to the U.K., see the countryside, and this great history of Formula One and motorsport and I see all my family who are also here and this feels where my heart is. I am fully British." The Silverstone circuit is also bedecked with Hamilton banners and Union Jack flags featuring his name. "Whilst there will be negative views, I feel every day there is an opportunity to turn those who have a negative view," Hamilton said. "I guess over time I will do more and more positive things for the country. I go to all these races and I lift the British flag proudly, and there is no one else in this sport that has raised it so high. At the moment it is not enough. I will keep looking for what else I can do." Having a 31-point lead in the drivers' standings shows Hamilton is on the right track. Escaping the F1 bubble by heading to California last week helped Hamilton. But Nico Rosberg, who had a four-year rivalry with Hamilton as Mercedes teammates, said such an approach wouldn't have worked for him. "Lewis is partying in Los Angeles and is the best driver in the world," Rosberg said at the central England circuit. "If I had been travelling the way he does, I would be 10th on the grid for Mercedes." But the German won the world championship only once, in 2016, before retiring. "I do have five world titles and they didn't come on their own," Hamilton said. "Valtteri parties way more than me. When I started doing the travel and focusing on these other things there was always the issue and comments and the pressure of having to arrive and deliver the same. "It took time to break that mold and I have done it time and time and time again. My preparation comes first and I have felt fantastic all weekend. The pressure is high being that it is a home grand prix and I don't look at that lightly. I prepare the best way I can ... and that is what led me to five world titles." And also victories in six of the nine races this season after shaking off the challenge from Bottas, who won two of the first four events. Bottas is back on pole for the first time since the fifth grand prix in Spain in May. Behind the Mercedes duo on the grid on Sunday will be Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who qualified in third, and Max Verstappen of Red Bull......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2019

Man United manager says Pogba future not concerning for him

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has deflected questions over the future of France midfielder Paul Pogba, saying that Pogba has "never been a concern" for him and that Manchester United doesn't have to sell players. Pogba, who is considering a possible move, with Real Madrid or Juventus mentioned prominently, was among the players who arrived in Perth on Monday for a 10-day, two-match tour in Western Australia. Pogba said last month in Tokyo that he feels ready for a change despite him having two years remaining on his contract. "There has been loads of talk and speculation, of course, about all our players or many of our players, both ins and outs," Solskjaer said Wednesday during his first media conference in two months. "For me, it's business as usual. When you're Man United, you expect all these things to pop up in the summer. "As far as I am aware and up to now, we don't have any bids for any of our players so there's no reason to say other than Paul — or most of our players — have long contracts. We are Man United. We don't have to sell players." Solskjaer said he hasn't noticed any difference in Pogba's demeanor or effort during training. "When he's on the pitch he's working hard, he's a true professional and he's a proud boy," Solskjaer said. "He's been fantastic so far in training. Paul has never been a concern for me." Manchester United finished in sixth place in the Premier League this season, 21 points behind champion Liverpool. "We know last year was disappointing but we know what we have to aim for this year," Solskjaer said. "We have to close the gap in a very competitive league and we have trophies to play for. United is about bouncing back and pre-season has been very encouraging so far." Solskjaer was also speaking for the first time since the arrivals of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James. "We've got some fantastic players and there's loads of players here that will be successful at this club," he said. "We've signed two fantastic players in Daniel and Aaron with speed and quality, and they're hungry to succeed." Man United signed defender Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace in a deal worth around $60 million at the end of June. The 21-year-old Wan-Bissaka, who made 46 appearances in all competitions for Palace, was Solskjaer's second signing following the arrival of winger James from Swansea earlier in the month. The English Premier League team plays its first match on Saturday against the A-League's Perth Glory. On July 17, Leeds United will be the opposition at the same Perth Stadium. Pogba's comments in Tokyo last month suggested the 26-year-old wanted to play elsewhere. "For me, you know I've been here for three years in Manchester, it's been great," Pogba said then. "(But) I think for me it can be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else." On Tuesday, Pogba's agent Mino Raiola said he was hopeful that Pogba would soon be allowed to leave Man United. "The player (Pogba) has done nothing wrong," Raiola said. "He has been respectful and professional in every way. The club has known his feeling for a long time. Hopefully there will be soon a satisfying solution." Solskjaer dismissed those comments. "Agents talk all the time," he said Wednesday. "Paul is a top bloke, a great professional. He has never put himself out of the team. He has always wanted to play and he always gives his best.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 10th, 2019

NCAA 95: RK Ilagan, Baste just too much for new-look JRU

RK Ilagan torched the nets inside the Filoil Flying V Centre even as Allyn Bulanadi was a pleasant surprise on the floor on Tuesday in San Sebastian College-Recoletos' 82-51 domination of Jose Rizal University. Ilagan waxed hot with 25 points, including five triples, on top of five assists, three rebounds, and two steals while Alvin Capobres also contributed 16 markers and six boards. The Golden Stags stampeded right out of the gates and never looked back all the way to the biggest win thus far in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. With that, they lived up to the hype as one of the championship contenders. "We're flattered na nasasama kami sa Final Four (projections) and that's good for us kasi na-challenge yung mga bata," head coach Egay Macaraya said post-game. By the final frame, the game was so lopsided that coach Egay allowed Bulanadi, expected to be out of the game as he continues to mend his dislocated shoulder, to get his feet wet in the tournament. "I was hoping nga na hindi siya lalaro, pero he was forcing me para maramdaman na raw niya ulit ang NCAA," coach Egay said. And in just two minutes of play, the versatile forward delivered the goods with seven points and a steal. On the other hand, no Heavy Bomber was in double-digits. Marwin Dionisio and Stefan Steinl, recruits from their high school program, topped the scoring column for them with eight points apiece. BOX SCORES SAN SEBASTIAN 82 - Ilagan 25, Capobres 16, Bulanadi 7, Villapando 6, Desoyo 6, Altamirano 6, Calma 5, Calahat 4, Tero 3, Are 2, Loristo 2, Sumoda 0, Dela Cruz 0 JRU 51 - Dionisio 8, Steinl 8, Jungco 7, Dela Virgen 6, Aguilar 4, Delos Santos 4, Dela Rosa 3, Bordon 3, Miranda 2, Amores 2, Vasquez 2, Abaoag 2, Arenal 0, Dulalia 0 QUARTER SCORES: 14-8, 35-22, 61-40, 82-51 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 2019

Holly Holm aims for another shocking win vs Nunes at UFC 239

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Holly Holm didn't fight in a mixed martial arts cage until she was already a 29-year-old boxing champion of three weight classes. She had both a head start and a huge deficit in her quest to master a second sport in her athletic midlife. Even eight years later, Holm is aware of the unique challenges of her chosen path. She knows she'll probably never face a boxer as good as her in the cage, but she also knows she might never catch up to some of her younger opponents in grappling, jiu-jitsu or the myriad intricacies of the transitions between disciplines. So instead of setting a mundane goal to be the greatest fighter in MMA history, Holm looks at her second career as a chance to do as many unique things as possible. "I always want to do something that hasn't been done before," Holm said Thursday while preparing for her showdown with bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 239 on Saturday night. "No female in the UFC has won the belt, lost it and then come back to get it again," she said. "That's something I can do this week. This is something for my legacy. I want to win no matter what, but I love to have a challenge in front of me like that." Holm (12-4) already had one of the greatest nights in MMA history. She knows her career is likely to be defined by her world-shocking victory over Ronda Rousey in November 2015, making her a UFC champion in her 10th pro fight and transforming her into an international celebrity. Although she lost the bantamweight title in her next bout, her place in the sport was already secure. A victory over Nunes (17-4), arguably the most talented and accomplished woman in MMA history, would be even more impressive than that win over Rousey, whose inadequacies were exposed again by Nunes a year later. But Holm points out an interesting curve in this path: The world was shocked when Holm beat Rousey senseless, but the world now believes Holm can do anything, even after losing four of her past six fights. That's a different kind of expectation, and she is doing her best to bear up under it. "I was the underdog that shocked everybody before," Holm said with a laugh. "But now there's the pressure from having that reputation as somebody who can shock you as an underdog." Holm meets Nunes in the penultimate bout of a stacked card at T-Mobile Arena for the UFC's traditional International Fight Week pay-per-view show. Jon Jones, Holm's teammate in Albuquerque, faces Brazil's Thiago Santos in the main event of a show also featuring veteran stars Luke Rockhold, Jorge Masvidal, Ben Askren, Diego Sanchez, Michael Chiesa, Gilbert Melendez and Claudia Gadelha. Holm and Jones often work out at the same time at Jackson Wink MMA Academy, and Holm pays attention to her tremendously talented, sometimes self-sabotaging co-worker. Even at 37, Holm is still eager to learn new ways to improve. "Jon will come in and spar, but then he'll take somebody aside and just drill one move, one technique over and over and over again," Holm said. "His focus and endurance is inspiring. He can do that for hours, and I've tried to have the same focus." Nunes has held the bantamweight title for three years since she took it from Miesha Tate, who had taken it from Holm. Nunes added the 145-pound featherweight belt last December with her sensational 51-second battering of long-reigning champ Cris "Cyborg" Justino, who beat Holm by decision in December 2017. Holm's loss to Cyborg was her fourth in five fights, but she rebounded with a win last year. Holm is talented enough and famous enough to get this title shot despite her recent setbacks in bouts mostly decided by narrow margins. "I'm a completely different fighter today," Holm said of her progress since beating Rousey. "I've always been on a fast track in this sport. I've had great coaches that are helping me catch up since I left boxing. It's a different feeling now when I go out there." Nunes is a solid favorite in their bout, but the numbers mean nothing to Holm or her fans. Holm is eager to test Nunes' formidable boxing skills — and if she gets another historic knockout and upset victory, Holm will add it to her unique list of accomplishments in this singular fighting life. "It's the high that gets you by," Holm said. "Wanting a victory is like a drug. It keeps you going.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 5th, 2019

Coach Tab thankful eight-man CEU taught Ateneo a lesson about heart

Cignal-Ateneo and head coach Tab Baldwin had nothing but good words for CEU, their vanquished Finals foe in the 2019 PBA D-League. "You know, I think Derrick's been around too long for me to say that I'm really proud of him," Coach Tab said, talking about Scorpions' veteran mentor Derrick Pumaren. "But I think I'm proud to have competed against them because they really brought everything despite the adversity they were under." Indeed, CEU, down to just eight players on the lineup and seven players on the regular rotation, gave its all against the heavily favored Blue Eagles. In fact, the Scorpions even pulled off the biggest upset of the season in Game 2. And in the eyes of Coach Tab, that upset loss was just the lesson Cignal-Ateneo needed to learn. As he put it, "I think what we have seen of them is exemplary both individually from the players and from the coaching staff in terms of getting them ready to play. You know, (Game 4) wasn't their best game, but Game 3 was very competitive." He then continued, " And in Game 2, of course, they taught us a lesson. That was great because, you know, we need those lessons." Without a doubt, CEU showed its heart especially in Game 2 which saw little-known Jerome Santos turning in a career game with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists and Senegalese reinforcement Maodo Malick Diouf continuing to be a force with 23 markers, 16 boards, four steals, two dimes, and two blocks. That is exactly why, at the end of it all, the Blue Eagles can only heap praise upon their vanquished Finals foe. "Congratulations to Derrick. I know second-place never feels good. You know, if you don't win the last game of the season, it doesn't feel good, but I'm just very impressed with what they accomplished," their brilliant tactician said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2019

Young guns to be wind beneath JRU s wings for NCAA 95

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 3-15, 10th YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Ry Dela Rosa, MJ Dela Virgen, Agem Miranda WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: John Amores, John Delos Santos, Marwin Dionisio, Thomas Vasquez, Louie Gonzalez (coach) GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Jed Mendoza, Junmark Silvarez, Darius Estrella (injured), Vergel Meneses (coach) WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM JRU? With Jed Mendoza transferring to University of the East, JRU was supposed to be Darius Estrella’s show to run in NCAA Season 95. Unfortunately, Estrella, a former MVP in the NCAA Jrs., suffered another ACL injury and will be out for the year. That makes the Heavy Bombers even more of a young team as the mantle of leadership will now fall on second-year players Ry Dela Rosa and Agem Miranda. “Every day, I talk to Agem and Ry, I give them more responsibility. With their attitude, they're really up to it. Agem is really special. Ry is a team player, he does the small things.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez While those two are solid pieces, the future of Kalentong will fall upon the shoulders of a quartet of recruits from the school’s Juniors program. First and foremost among them is fearless slasher John Amores, the 17th-ranked player in last season’s NBTC 24, but playmaker John Delos Santos, steady forward Marwin Dionisio, and sparkplug Thomas Vasquez are no slouches themselves. “Yung rookies ko from high school, sobrang promising talaga. Sakin, napagandang opportunity ito to show na may connection yung program from Light Bombers to Heavy Bombers.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM JRU? Without a doubt, several players will take turns in doing the heavy lifting for JRU. And so, there is no definitive player to watch from them. “The way things are running, come NCAA, wala naman akong ma-ask sa players ko. They are a young team, pero sobrang promising naman. What's good with the players right now, nag-buy in agad dun sa sistema. Yung commitment at effort na binigay sakin, sobra-sobra.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez What would be must-watch, however, is how new head coach Louie Gonzalez tries to rejigger a program that fell to the back of the pack last season with a 3-15 record. This, after an eight-year run that saw them posting an overall 81-61 record under school legend Vergel Meneses. Fortunately for Coach Louie, he will have championship experience to draw from as he was an assistant for both Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s NCAA Season 91 championship and De La Salle University’s UAAP Season 79 championship. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR JRU? Again, JRU is a young team. Aside from point guard MJ Dela Virgen, nobody from their lineup saw heavy minutes in the last two seasons. That gives all their young talent – such as second-year players Miranda and Dela Rosa and rookies Amores, Delos Santos, Dionisio, and Vasquez – the golden opportunity to break out. Coach Louie also turned La Salle into a team of scrappy upstarts that leaned on third-year studs Justine Baltazar and Aljun Melecio for a run that just fell a win shy of the Final Four in the UAAP a year ago – meaning, he is more than capable of doing the same for the Heavy Bombers. “One thing's for sure, lalaban 'to.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez WHERE WOULD JRU BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 95? No question, JRU will not be in the Final Four next season. “Wala naman kaming pupuntahan kundi pataas. For this one, sana 7th or 8th, medyo okay na ako kasi it’s a rebuilding team. Ang goal namin is mag-improve nang mag-improve.” – head coach Louie Gonzalez Instead, what NCAA Season 95 will mean for the Heavy Bombers is the first step in a grand plan to take flight once more. As such, at the moment, getting experience for their young talent is their primary purpose. WHEN IS JRU’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 95? JRU’s new era commences opposite San Sebastian College-Recoletos on July 9 at Filoil Flying V Centre. As always, the latest season of the first and oldest collegiate league in the country will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2019

Even being injured, Durant leads free-agent pack

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — This was already going to be a summer filled with fireworks in the NBA. Nothing has changed. Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury, the severity of which isn’t yet confirmed, means he probably won’t be able to play much — if any — next season. But this is a testament to how much he overshadows much of the NBA landscape: Durant will still likely dictate how the free-agency dominoes fall this summer. Durant could exercise his $31.5 million player option and stay with the Warriors, and that’s likely going to be his worst-case financial scenario. He could opt out and sign a longer deal to stay in the Bay. Or he could opt out, sign elsewhere and start collecting massive checks from either the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Clippers or someone else. Kyrie Irving’s decision could hinge on what Durant does. Kawhi Leonard’s decision could be affected by what Durant does. How the Knicks, Nets, Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks and all the other teams who have cap space will start spending their money on June 30 ... it all will be determined, at least on some level, by what Durant does. If he stays in Golden State, that’s more money for everyone else. If he hits the open market, it’ll be about what team wants to gamble. Here’s a tip to those teams that wanted Durant before he got hurt again in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. If the opportunity presents itself, sign him. Free agency usually isn’t about just one year. It’s about the long haul. Durant is only 30-years-old. He’s not a high-flyer who plays above the rim all the time. He’s not a plodding big man. He’s not someone with a lot of gray in the goatee. He’s a world-class scorer and jump-shooter in his prime. A year from now, if the recovery from the Achilles injury indeed takes that long, he’ll be far from over the hill. “This is a devastating injury for a basketball player, but Durant can return to be the same or very close,” Dr. David Chao, a longtime NFL team physician, practicing orthopedic surgeon and now a sports medical analyst with a large following wrote Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “This does not mark his downfall as an elite player.” In the short term, it just means Durant’s NBA Finals are over. Game 6 is Thursday night (Friday, PHL time), and the Warriors trail the Toronto Raptors 3-2 in the title series. In the long term, it might mean so much more — including the possibility that his time playing for Golden State is over. Achilles recoveries for basketball players have typically taken about a full year. Even if it turns out to be a partial tear, it’s still a tear. Some team was going to pay Durant a lot of money in 2019-20 and some team still will, probably without the immediate on-court services of perhaps the best player in the world in return. The first decision is the medical course of action. The financial course of action will be decided soon after. All will not be lost next season for the team that has Durant on its roster. That team will apply for, and get, a disabled player exception that will allow them to sign someone else for probably about $9 million and not have that count toward the team’s cap. That player won’t be of Durant’s caliber, because so few players are. But a year or so later, the team would have Durant. There’s risk with any signing. And signing any player that will command so much of a team’s salary cap while facing a grueling rehab would seem particularly risky. “He’s going to come back stronger though,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. “That’s the kind of fighter he is.” The Nets swung a trade earlier this month to clear enough cap space for two max contracts this summer — and there’s no doubt that they would love Durant to take one of those spots, possibly alongside Irving. The Knicks have been mentioned as a hopeful in the Durant sweepstakes for months. The Clippers were expected to make a pitch for him as well. The Warriors surely want to keep him. The chatter about Durant’s injury indicates it’s all a mystery now, although it really shouldn’t be. Players have made comebacks off Achilles surgery, with relative levels of success. DeMarcus Cousins, Kobe Bryant, and Rudy Gay all came back; Cousins hasn’t regained past form yet. Dominique Wilkins had an Achilles tear happen to him at the peak of his career and he arguably was good as ever afterward. Elton Brand, now leading the Philadelphia 76ers’ front office, had it as a player and said he was never the same. Christian Laettner went from a star to a role player when his Achilles ripped. “I’ve been there,” 15-time golf major winner Tiger Woods said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) at the U.S. Open. “I’ve had it to my own Achilles. I’ve had it to my own back. I know what it feels like. It’s an awful feeling. And no one can help you. That’s the hard part.” Woods fought his way back toward the top of his sport, and is the reigning Masters champion. Durant isn’t going to let an Achilles injury end his reign as one of the game’s best. Teams would be foolish to think otherwise. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 12th, 2019

Petron braces for tough three-peat bid

Petron is tipped to have a hard time defending its crown when the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino unfurls on June 15 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Head coach Shaq Delos Santos admitted that the battle will be tough following the emergence of Cignal, F2 Logistics, Foton and new team Marinerang Pilipina. Cignal, for one, secured the services of Filipino-American playmaker Alohi Robins-Hardy while the Cargo Movers remain intact, but displayed eagerness to challenge the Blaze Spikers anew. Foton, for its part, secured the services of University of Santo Tomas ace Eya Laure as well as collegiate standouts Laizah Bendong of University of the East (UE) and Arianne Layug, Justine Dorog and Marianne Buitre of University of the Philippines to form a lethal squad that will welcome the return of explosive spiker EJ Laure. Rookie team Marinerang Pilipina is also a threat as young guns Judith Abil, Caitlin Viray, Cesca Racraquin and Dimdim Pacres conspire with veteran Ivy Remulla are all ready to make an immediate impact. Delos Santos, who welcomes the return of Sisi Rondina, Buding Duremdes and Chin Basas, knows that the road back to the title will never be easy. "I think it’s possible for us to be dethroned this conference. All teams are strong and it’s really hard to tell if we can keep our place on top,” said Delos Santos during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp on Tuesday. “We can’t take this conference lightly. We have to work hard because other teams are also out to dethrone us.” PSL ambassadress Rachel Anne Daquis agreed with Delos Santos, saying that this conference is very tough as teams like Generika-Ayala, Sta. Lucia, United VC and PLDT all did their respective home works in the off-season. The Lifesavers will parade former UE star Mary Anne Mendez while the Lady Realtors will have a new libero in Filipino-American Alex Bollier to join the solid crew of Amanda Villanueva, Pamela Lastimosa, MJ Philips and Rebecca Rivera.   United VC is also solid force as Kalei Mau will be back while PLDT will have former Far Eastern University aces Jerili Malabanan, Czarina Carandang and Angel Cayuna to reinforce the core of Gretchel Soltones, Jasmine Nabor and Aiko Urdas. “I’m really looking forward to a high-level competition,” said Daquis, the 2015 All-Filipino Most Valuable Player who will skipper the HD Spikers.  “There’s a lot of changes in the league as most players switched teams while those from college joined their respective mother teams," she added. "This is going to be another exciting conference and we’re looking forward to give Petron a good fight.”  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 4th, 2019

Patrick Cantlay rallies from 4 back to win the Memorial

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Patrick Cantlay got another handshake with Jack Nicklaus, this time as the Memorial winner. Starting four shots behind, Cantlay closed with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot victory Sunday. It was the lowest final round by a winner in tournament history, and it moved the 27-year-old Californian into the top 10 in the world. Martin Kaymer, trying to end five years without a victory, started with a two-shot lead and never recovered from back-to-back bogeys on the back nine. He shot 38 on the back nine and finished with a 72. Adam Scott was the last player with a chance to catch Cantlay when he ran off three straight birdies to get within two shots, but he narrowly missed birdies on the last two holes and had to settle for a 68. Cantlay first met the tournament host in 2011 when he won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the top player in college at UCLA. And he leaned on the advice of Nicklaus going into the final round to relax, enjoy the surroundings and finish it off. "I finished it," Cantlay told Nicklaus as he walked off the 18th green after making an 8-foot par putt that effectively sealed it. Cantlay finished at 19-under 269 and won for the second time in a PGA Tour career that is younger than it seems. A rising star coming out of UCLA — he was low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open and opened with a 60 at the Travelers Championship a week later — he missed two full years with a back injury that nearly cost him his career. He is in his third full year since returning, and a victory over a strong field on a strong course is what long was expected of his skills. And there some atonement at Muirfield Village for Cantlay. A year ago, he took a two-shot lead to the back nine and didn't make a birdie the rest of the way, missing a playoff by two shots. This time, he putted for birdie on every hole on the back nine until the 18th. "Being able to win on this golf course, in front of Jacking, making that putt on the last hole, I can't tell you how good it feels," he said. Scott finished at 17-under 271. Only six other players have had a lower 72-hole score at the Memorial since it began in 1976. One of them is Cantlay, who moves to No. 8 in the world with a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach looming. Cantlay is the only player to finish in the top 10 at both majors this year, leading late at the Masters until two bogeys over the last three holes. Tiger Woods knew he had no chance to win the Memorial from 11 shots behind going into the final round, though he still put on a show and got what he needed out of his final event before the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He went out in 31 and was 7 under for his round through 12 holes until a sloppy bogey on the 14th and a closing bogey for a 67. He wound up in a tie for ninth at 9-under 279. "The goal today was to get to double digits (under par) and get something positive going into the Open," he said. "I got to double digits, I just didn't stay there." Kaymer is five years removed from his last victory at the 2014 U.S. Open and played like he was ready for that drought to end. He stuffed a wedge into a foot for birdie on the third hole, and stretched his lead to four shots by laying up on the par-5 fifth and spinning back a wedge to 6 feet. Cantlay was the only player who looked capable of chasing him and played like he had to. On the fifth, he sent his drive well to the right into the rough. It was on a hill, with a flat enough lie that he had the gallery move beyond the cart path for a route to the green. His 4-iron ran onto the green, setting up a birdie. No matter. For every birdie he made, Kaymer added another. Cantlay rolled in a 15-foot birdie on the par-3 eighth and was walking off the green, while behind him a work was posting another birdie for Kaymer at the seventh. But it all changed. Cantlay closed out the front nine with a 12-foot birdie to get within two, while Kaymer in the group behind chopped his way to a bogey. And then the German blinked twice with bogeys from bunker on No. 12 and with an errant shot from the fairway on No. 13. With two more birdies, Cantlay was on his way. DIVOTS: Nick Price was selected as the Memorial Tournament honoree for 2020. CBS host Jim Nantz was chosen to receive be the Memorial Journalism honoree. ... Matt Minister, the caddie for Cantlay, grew up in the Columbus area and played college golf at Ohio State......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 3rd, 2019