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Meralco's slow and painful All-Filipino growth

After a six-game, mid-conference meltdown almost totally destroyed their playoff hopes, the Meralco Bolts somehow found a way to keep themselves alive in the 2017 Philippine Cup. They did so by upsetting the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Friday, a win that not only let them regain confindence and remain in the playoff race, but also affirmed that the team is on the right track in a slow, painful growing process. 'I think that's what we showed today, a great team effort. It's just great for the morale of the team to finally get a win, finally get that monkey off our back and know we're doing something right,' second-year forward Chris Newsome said following Meralco's 82-72 victory. 'We already got two wins more than our previous Philippine Cup so I think we're slowly improving,' he added, going back to the fact that the Bolts finished with an embarassing 1-10 record in the same tournament last season. Meralco is still limping with a 3-7 mark this year and the team's playoff hopes almost entirely depends on other teams blowing away their own opportunities to advance but Newsome says that's the least of Meralco's concern right now. The reigning Rookie of the Year emphasized growth on the side of the Bolts and just going for what the team can actually control. And part of the things the team can control is their last regular season game against Star which if they win, should at least give them a better chance to sneak into the playoffs. 'It's a long season so we don't just wanna shut down and let everything that we've done go to waste,' Newsome said who finished with a game-high 19 points vs. ROS. 'The mindset is to control what we can control. The only thing that we're in control of right now is winning our last game against Star and everything else is kinda out of our hands. We just gotta hope for the best situation. We just gotta focus on what we can control and that's our effort in practice and attention to detail when it comes to games,' he added. With Jimmy Alapag retired and Jared Dillinger just returning from a hamstring injury he suffered late last season, Meralco has mostly relied on its young core so far in the All-Filipino. This latest victory, despite the string of defeats that came before it, was a nice boost for the squad that has kept things together pretty nicely this year. 'It's really big for us because the mood in the locker room is pretty heavy whenever you're losing, especially six straight games,' Newsome said. 'We try to stay positive and we really have nothing to lose and everything to gain, that's kinda the approach that we took today,' he added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Andy's ankle, Federer's biggest test highlight Friday action

DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — One big question ahead of the start of the third round Friday at the Australian Open is the state of Andy Murray's injured right ankle. And nearly as important, how Roger Federer will perform in his first major test — against Tomas Berdych — since returning from a six-month injury layoff. The top-seeded Murray tumbled to the court at Rod Laver Arena, clutching his ankle and cringing in pain during the third set of his second-round match against No. 156-ranked Andrey Rublev on Wednesday. 'It just a little bit stiff just now,' he said after the match. 'I don't think I've done too much damage.' Murray held a practice session on Court 17 on Thursday afternoon and appeared to be moving freely. He is scheduled to play No. 31-seeded Sam Querrey in a Hisense Arena afternoon match. Something that may have made Murray's ankle feel better later in the day was news that Novak Djokovic was upset in the second round by Denis Istomin. On opposite sides of the draw, they couldn't have met until the final, but Murray has lost five finals at Melbourne Park — four of them to Djokovic. Here is a look at some of the other featured matches Friday: ___ FEDERER'S BIG TEST: Undoubtedly No. 10 Tomas Berdych will be 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer's biggest challenge since returning from his left knee layoff. Federer, a four-time Australian champion, was tested from time to time in wins over qualifiers in his opening two matches. The good news is that he holds a 16-6 career edge over Berdych, including all three times they've met previously at Melbourne Park. Federer is 5-0 in their most recent meetings. 'I did feel like I actually played him quite well in recent times, thanks for reminding me,' Federer said. 'I just got to play on my terms and really be focused on my own service games to make sure I don't have any lapses there. I know I've got to lift my game a little bit.' The pair will play the final night match on Rod Laver Arena. ___ BEATING THE TWINS?: Top-ranked Angelique Kerber beat Karolina Pliskova in the U.S. Open final, and will have a chance to beat the Czech player's twin sister, Kristyna, in the next major when the pair meet in an afternoon match at Rod Laver Arena. Kerber has never played the 58th-ranked Kristyna. Asked if it was 'weird' to play twins, Kerber seemed perplexed by the question. 'I don't know if it's weird. I mean, the one is right and the other one is left-handed.' For the record, Kerber and Kristyna are both left handed. ___ And briefly: No. 4 Stan Wawrinka vs. No. 29 Viktor Troicki: U.S. Open champion and 2014 Australian winner Wawrinka beat Troicki in the second round at the Brisbane International two weeks ago, his seventh consecutive win over the Serbian player. Advantage Stan. _ No. 7 Garbine Muguruza vs. No. 32 Anastasija Sevastova: 2016 French Open champion Muguruza lost to Sevastova in the second round at the U.S. Open last year in straight sets, but returned the favor at Tokyo a few weeks later. _ No. 13 Venus Williams vs. Duan Yingying: Duan beat former top 20 player Vavara Lepchenko in the second round. She and Williams have never played, and both players said they know little about the other. Duan said she had never even seen Williams play. 'I don't really watch that much tennis, so I think my coach will do the job to try to tell me what I need to do on the court,' Duan said through a translator. _ No. 5 Kei Nishikori vs. Lukas Lacko: Nishikori is looking to advance to the fourth round for the sixth year in a row. He's made it to the quarterfinals the past two years. Lacko, a qualifier, has played nine sets in two rounds, including a five-setter in his first-round win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. _ Eugenie Bouchard vs. CoCo Vandeweghe: After a poor second half of 2015 and most of 2016, Bouchard is playing with more confidence. The 22-year-old Canadian, who made the semifinals here and the French Open in 2014 before reaching the final at Wimbledon, beat Vandeweghe the only time they've met at Indian Wells in 2015. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2017

Alyssa has to attend tryouts – PH coach

The Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) made it clear yesterday that players aspiring to wear the country’s colors in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia this August will have to convince the coaching staff they deserve to be there......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

Valdez assures LVPI she will attend national team tryouts

Former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez promised to join the tryouts set by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc, for the national women’s team that will see action in the 29th Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games on August 19 to 31. LVPI vice president Peter Cayco said that Valdez told him Saturday that the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player will undergo the selection process just like other national squad aspirants. The Manila tryout is on January 28, 29 and 31 with legs in Cebu and Davao set next month. Each aspirant must complete the three-day tryout. The names of the players that will make the 20-woman pool will be announced on the last week of February. Valdez, a two-time UAAP champion who bannered the PHI team in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, assured LVPI in a meeting with Cayco in the sports association’s office at Arellano-Taft before she flew to Thailand Sunday to join 3BB Nakornnont in the Thai League, that she will return home during the break to join any of the three tryouts. “Nakapag-usap kami noong Saturday ang sabi niya sa akin uuwi siya para sa tryouts,” Cayco said Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Rizal Memorial Complex Media Center. Valdez will debut in the Thai League on January 29 making her unavailable for the Manila leg. She is expected to show up either in the Cebu or Davao leg.       National team head coach Francis Vicente, who discovered and molded Valdez into a star during her high school days as a University of Sto. Tomas player, pointed out that though Valdez is a cut above the rest with her volleyball skills, leadership and fan base she will still go under the scrutiny of the selection committee. “Alam naman natin na Alyssa Valdez is angat, sikat and sa akin din galing yan pero ayaw ko na kukunin ko na siya na, ‘O halika na rito wag ka na mag-tryout.’ Unfair naman ‘yun sa iba,” said Vicente. “Unfair naman yun kina Myla Pablo kina Grethcel Soltones e magaling din naman sila. Ayokong mabansagan na may kinikilingan. If she really wants to play in the national team kailangan niyang pumunta sa tryouts, no special treatment.”                             LVPI president Joey Romasanta commended the gesture of Valdez, who served as the country’s flag-bearer during the last SEA Games, saying that her willingness to join the tryouts during her break in the Thai League.          “’Yung sinabi ni Alyssa na uuwi siya rito to join the tryout for the national team is very commendable and a manifestation of her being a true athlete and her sincerest desire to serve the country via the national team,” said Roamsanta. “Ako, we are very hopeful that during the breaks in her (Thai League) schedule she will be able to join any of those tryouts.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles             .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

Lewis scores 3 TDS, Pats advance to AFC title game 34-16

KYLE HIGHTOWER, AP Sports Writer br /> FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (AP) — The New England Patriots are headed back to a familiar spot: the AFC championship game. Dion Lewis had a 13-yard touchdown reception, a 98-yard kickoff return for a score, and a late 1-yard touchdown to help the Patriots hold off the Houston Texans 34-16 on Saturday night and advance to an NFL-record sixth straight conference title game. Lewis became the fifth Patriots player to score three touchdowns in a playoff game. He's also the first player in the Super Bowl era to score on a rush, a catch and a kick return in a postseason game. The Patriots survived a gritty effort by the Texans' top-ranked defense, which intercepted Brady twice. Houston's special teams also forced a third turnover. But the Texans couldn't find enough traction on offense to take full advantage of the Patriots' mistakes, settling for field goals on both of Brady's picks. New England led just 17-13 at the half, but pushed its lead to 24-13 early in the third quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Brady to James White. Houston's Brock Osweiler was intercepted three times after that, and the Texans managed only a field goal the rest of game. It was the first breakout game of the season for Lewis, who spent the first eight games of the season on injured reserve recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee. Brady finished 18 of 38 for 287 yards and two touchdowns and was showered with chants of 'MVP! MVP!' and 'Brady! Brady!' late in the game. Julian Edelman was Brady's most dependable target, catching eight passes for 137 yards. Osweiler was just 23 of 40 for 198 yards with the two turnovers. When New England did have the ball in the first half, it gave Houston a steady diet of Lewis early with LeGarrette Blount coming off an illness that limited him during practice this week. Without Blount to contend with, the Texans applied pressure to Brady. A.J. Bouye intercepted a slightly overthrown ball by Brady late in the first quarter on a pass that bounced out of the hands of receiver Michael Floyd. That led to a 27-yard field goal that cut New England's lead to 14-6. On the ensuing kickoff, Lewis coughed up the ball on a hit from Akeem Dent. Eddie Pleasant fell on it at the Patriots 12, and two plays later, Brock Osweiler hit C.J. Fiedorowicz from 8 yards out to cut the deficit to 14-13. Brady only threw two interceptions during the regular season. With his 28 touchdown passes, that was the lowest touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

Yes Sir: Andy Murray confident he can break Aussie drought

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andy Murray has become a father, gained the No. 1 ranking and received a knighthood since he left Melbourne Park 50 weeks ago after losing a fifth Australian Open final. Stress weighed him down at the season-opening Grand Slam in 2016, to the point where he thought about quitting the tournament to head back to Britain to be with his heavily pregnant wife. But even that would have presented problems, considering his father-in-law was in a Melbourne hospital after collapsing with an illness while watching a match at the Australian Open. Clearly, he's in a better place this year as he seeks to end his Australian drought. 'I obviously feel pretty confident after the way that last season finished,' he said. 'I do love it here. I love the conditions. I have played really well here over the years, and just haven't managed to get over the final hurdle. 'But, yeah, I think I'm in a decent position, for sure, to do it. I think I have a chance to win here. I'm playing well. Practice has been good. I feel healthy. I'll give it a good shot.' Rumors circulated last year that Murray would go home before facing Djokovic, his Melbourne nemesis, in the final. As it was, he was on the first flight to Heathrow after losing in straight sets — his fourth Australian Open final defeat to Djokovic and fifth overall dating back to 2010. His wife, Kim Sears, gave birth to their first child, Sophia Olivia, the following week. He confirmed Saturday, two days before he opens the 2017 tournament against Illya Marchenko of Ukraine, that he really had thought about leaving early. 'It was a tough tournament, obviously the situation with Kim and the baby coming was tough,' he said. 'Then with what happened with Nigel during the event made it really kind of awkward because there was times ... it was like 'I want to home for the birth,' but then I'm not just going to leave while my father-in-law is also in hospital. 'It was tough, and certainly not a position I would want to put myself in again, or my wife, or any of my family really.' Murray had a stunning end to 2016 after reuniting with Ivan Lendl as coach in June, winning his second Wimbledon title, defending his Olympic gold medal, and adding titles in Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris to end Djokovic's 122-week stint at No. 1. He then clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking by winning the ATP Finals, beating the players seeded second, third, fourth and fifth. He set a record for most time between gaining the No. 2 and No. 1 rankings — seven years, and 82 days. But he has set a lot of timely records for British tennis in the last three seasons and, in Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's honors list, he received a knighthood from the British monarch for reaching the pinnacle of the sport. Roger Federer was asked if he could remember what it was like back in 2004 when he first became No. 1, and how he'd explain it to Murray. 'It definitely feels different because everybody comes up to you and says, 'You're the best,'' said Federer, who spent a record 302 weeks at No. 1. 'You start walking around a bit differently. Just feel more confident overall in your shots.' Murray said he hasn't really felt a difference yet, but it has only been eight weeks. Considering how hard it was to achieve the top spot, he's hoping it doesn't take twice the energy to hang on to it. 'It is a mindset thing, because I think it could be quite easy that once you get to No. 1 that you think, 'Well, actually, I just need to keep doing what I've been doing,'' he said. 'The reality is that things obviously keep moving on, the game will get better, I'll obviously get older, the young guys will continue to improve, and also Novak and Roger and Stan (Wawrinka) and Rafa (Nadal) and all the guys at the top are still going to be wanting to get there. 'I need to continue to improve. I for sure need to keep working hard.' One thing he doesn't really want to change is how people refer to him now that formally he's recognized as Sir Andy Murray, particularly the broadcasters. 'I'm more than happy just being Andy. That's enough for me,' he said. 'Yeah, if they call me Andy, I'd be happy with that.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

PM Shinzo Abe nasa bansa na

NASA bansa na si Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe para sa kanyang dalawang araw na pagbisita sa Pilipinas na dumating lulan ng Japan Air Self-Defense Force alas-2:40 ng hapon. Mula sa Balagbag Area, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), dumiretso ang prime minister kasama ang kanyang maybahay na si Akie Abe sa Malacañang para sa joint [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

Philippine Cup ghost continues to haunt Meralco

The ghost of the Philippine Cup has come back to haunt Meralco for the second straight season. After faulty effort against Mahindra, the Bolts have now lost five straight games in the All-Filipino, dropping them to last place with a 2-6 mark. This performance comes after Meralco finished 1-10 in the very same conference last season. Naturally, frustration is starting to creep into the franchise. However, the Bolts are not about to be consumed by the dark side just yet. 'Part of the game yun, natalo. Ngayon kailangan namin mag-effort every game lalo on defense,' veteran Reynel Hugnatan said who led the squad with 28 points vs. the Floodbuster. 'Pag natalo ka, lahat ng mali nandun. Try namin mag-focus sa next game,' he added. Fresh from making the Finals in the Governors' Cup, Hugnatan couldn't quite figure out what's wrong every time Meralco plays in a conference featuring only Filipino players. 'Ewan ko, di ko masagot eh. Lahat naman sa practice nakikita ko na parang lahat nagwo-work har. Pagdating sa game ewan ko ano nangyayari,' he said. With three games left in their schedule though, the Bolts' sole focus now is try and sneak into the playoffs as one of the lower seeds. 'I think we have a chance pa. Kaya di namin iniisip kung ano pa mangyayaru basta kami trabaho lang,' Hugnatan said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo wins FIFA best player award for 4th time

GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer br /> ZURICH (AP) — Capping what he called the best year of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth FIFA best player award on Monday. The double European champion with Portugal and Real Madrid beat great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards. 'It was a year that was magnificent at a personal level and at a sporting level,' the 31-year-old Ronaldo said in Portuguese in his acceptance speech, which he began by exclaiming 'Wow, wow, wow.' Ronaldo's fourth career FIFA award closed the gap on five-time winner Messi, who has been the runner-up to each Ronaldo victory. His 34.54 percent of total voting points in a 23-candidate ballot was clearly better than Messi's 26.42 percent. Griezmann got 7.53 percent. Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected media, and fans online. Messi did not attend after being pulled out hours before the ceremony by his club Barcelona to prepare for a cup match on Wednesday. 'Of course, I wish that they (Barcelona players) had been here tonight like in the other years. We have to respect the decision,' Ronaldo said. Yet again, Ronaldo and Messi snubbed each other on ballot papers they got as captains of Portugal and Argentina. Ronaldo selected three Real Madrid teammates headed by Gareth Bale, and Messi picked Luis Suarez atop an all-Barcelona ballot. Ronaldo's 2016 trophy haul included the European Championship, Champions League, and Club World Cup, plus individual best player awards from UEFA and France Football magazine. 'I won a lot trophies, collective and individual, so I am proud,' said Ronaldo, adding he would send the inaugural silver FIFA Best trophy to the museum dedicated to his career on his home island, Madeira. Messi's Barcelona won the Spanish league and cup double in 2016, though Argentina lost another Copa America final. Griezmann's France and Atletico Madrid lost their finals to Ronaldo's teams. Ronaldo's mentors for club and country were beaten to the coaching award by Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who earned the prize for a stunning English Premier League title. 'What happened last year was something strange. The God of football said Leicester must win,' said Ranieri, who was in his first season at the unfashionable provincial club widely tipped for relegation. Ranieri rose from his seat and politely shook hands with his two opponents, Madrid's Zinedine Zidane and Portugal's Fernando Santos, plus their partners before heading to the stage. The 65-year-old Italian collected his trophy from Diego Maradona, who earlier Monday played in an exhibition match with other retired greats at FIFA headquarters. Carli Lloyd of the United States won a FIFA player prize for the second straight year, despite a quarterfinals exit at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. With gold-medal winner Melanie Behringer of Germany in third place, Lloyd got more than 20 percent of the vote and five-time winner Marta of Brazil was runner-up with 16.6 percent. Behringer got 12.34 percent. 'I honestly was not expecting this,' Lloyd said. 'I know Melanie did fantastic in the Olympics.' Germany did win the women's coaching prize as Silvia Neid earned her second FIFA prize, after also winning the 2010 award. Neid beat two previous winners: last year's winner, Jill Ellis of the United States, and Pia Sundhage of Sweden, the Olympic silver medalist. The Puskas Award for best goal was won in an online poll by Mohd Faiz Subri, who scored with a wildly swerving long-range free kick for Malaysian club Penang. A players' vote organized by international union FIFPro gave a World XI of: Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich); Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona/Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid); Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid); Messi, Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona), Ronaldo. The First FIFA fan award was chosen by fans and was made to supporters of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, who joined in singing the English club's anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' before a Europa League quarterfinal. The other nominees were Iceland fans at Euro 2016, and Dutch club ADO Den Haag, whose fans brought soft toys to children supporting rival team Feyenoord. FIFA made its Fair Play Award to Atletico Nacional, the Colombian club which was scheduled to host Chapecoense in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final on Nov. 30. After most of the Brazilian team died in a plane crash flying to the match, Atletico Nacional asked the South American soccer confederation to present the title and trophy to Chapecoense. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

A decade older, Hughes all praises for 23-year-old Parks Jr.

Just like he has done throughout the 2016 Asean Basketball League, Ray Parks Jr. yet again proved last Sunday that he was the star of the show. Stuffing the stat sheet anew with 28 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, Parks Jr. lifted Alab Pilipinas back over .500. The Filipino-American impressed so much that he even had teammate 33-year-old James Hughes, a longtime veteran of basketball, gushing. “He’s a tough guy. I’ve seen a lot of guys throughout my career and he’s one of the tougher guys,” Hughes expressed. He then continued, “Not only is he talented, but he’s also smart. He knows the game at such a young age.” That young age, 23 to be exact, is also what the American reinforcement jokingly hoped to take away from his new teammate. “He’s really young. I wish I could steal some of his youth,” he quipped while chuckling. Still, even with Parks Jr. forming a new bond with Hughes and rekindling his relationship with also new import Sampson Carter, head coach Mac Cuan said it’s far from smooth sailing for Alab. “There’s a concern for us kasi we really can’t gauge kung nasaan kami sa liga kasi dalawa pa lang yung team na nalalaro namin,” he shared. The Filipinos have played five games in the tournament and have gone three-of-three against Kaohsiung and zero-for-two against Singapore. That means that defending champion Malaysia, strong-starting Hong Kong, and dangerous Saigon are yet to come in the schedule. Nonetheless, Cuan was nothing but glad that they already have three wins to show – considering they only held their first-ever practice with one week to go before the season. “Blessing din na we played Kaohsiung kasi nag-aadjust pa lang din sila. So kahit nag-aadjust pa lang kami, nakakuha na kami ng dalawang panalo,” he said. Even the defeats at the hands of the Slingers had a silver lining in the Alab mentor’s eyes. As he put it, “Yung two losses naman, just really mental lapses in the end. We were there in the game and that’s why I believe we can match up with everybody.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

A decade older, Hughes all praises for 23-year-old Parks Jr.

Just like he has done throughout the 2016 Asean Basketball League, Ray Parks Jr. yet again proved last Sunday that he was the star of the show. Stuffing the stat sheet anew with 28 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, Parks Jr. lifted Alab Pilipinas back over .500. The Filipino-American impressed so much that he even had teammate 33-year-old James Hughes, a longtime veteran of basketball, gushing. “He’s a tough guy. I’ve seen a lot of guys throughout my career and he’s one of the tougher guys,” Hughes expressed. He then continued, “Not only is he talented, but he’s also smart. He knows the game at such a young age.” That young age, 23 to be exact, is also what the American reinforcement jokingly hoped to take away from his new teammate. “He’s really young. I wish I could steal some of his youth,” he quipped while chuckling. Still, even with Parks Jr. forming a new bond with Hughes and rekindling his relationship with also new import Sampson Carter, head coach Mac Cuan said it’s far from smooth sailing for Alab. “There’s a concern for us kasi we really can’t gauge kung nasaan kami sa liga kasi dalawa pa lang yung team na nalalaro namin,” he shared. The Filipinos have played five games in the tournament and have gone three-of-three against Kaohsiung and zero-for-two against Singapore. That means that defending champion Malaysia, strong-starting Hong Kong, and dangerous Saigon are yet to come in the schedule. Nonetheless, Cuan was nothing but glad that they already have three wins to show – considering they only held their first-ever practice with one week to go before the season. “Blessing din na we played Kaohsiung kasi nag-aadjust pa lang din sila. So kahit nag-aadjust pa lang kami, nakakuha na kami ng dalawang panalo,” he said. Even the defeats at the hands of the Slingers had a silver lining in the Alab mentor’s eyes. As he put it, “Yung two losses naman, just really mental lapses in the end. We were there in the game and that’s why I believe we can match up with everybody.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Pistons outlast Trail Blazers in double OT

em>By Erik Garcia Gundersen, Associated Press /em> PORTLAND, Ore. -- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a three-pointer with 9.4 seconds left and the Detroit Pistons outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 125-124 in double-overtime Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) in a game postponed a day because of a winter storm. Reggie Jackson led Detroit with 31 points, Andre Drummond had 28 points and 14 rebounds, and Caldwell-Pope finished with 26. The Pistons have won two straight for the first time since Dec. 2 (Dec. 3, PHL time). CJ McCollum had 35 points for Portland in the game with 14 lead changes and 11 ties. He has scored 20 points or more in seven straight games and is averaging 33.8 points in the last five. Allen Crabbe added a career-high 30 points, and Damian Lillard had 20. McCollum's three-pointer with 8.3 seconds left tied it and 106, setting up overtime. Portland led by three in the first overtime, but the Pistons countered with a 6-0 run. McCollum answered once more, hitting a three-pointer with 16.7 seconds left to force a second extra period. The Pistons overcame a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take a four-point lead, after back-to-back baskets from Marcus Morris with 2:31 left. Crabbe brought Portland closer with 48.1 seconds left to cut the Detroit lead to 104-103. Jackson came right back with a step-back jumper to put Detroit up 106-103 with 24 seconds left, only to be answered by McCollum. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Pistons: /strong> /em> Due to the postponement, the Pistons decided to kill time Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Portland. 'Guys were playing pool. Most of them were over there,' coach Stan Van Gundy said. 'There was a lot of other staff there too. I wanted to go over there and not be as anti-social as I usually am.' Backup center Aron Baynes made his return to the floor after missing two games with a left ankle sprain. However, the Pistons did not get out of the game unscathed. Starting power forward Jon Leuer left Sunday's game after just six minutes with a sore right knee. em> strong>Trail Blazers: /strong> /em> Coach Terry Stotts said he likes the progress he's seen from Lillard in his return from a left ankle injury that kept him out two weeks. 'For not playing for two weeks and not really having a practice per se, I thought it was pretty good,' Stotts said. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Pistons: /strong> /em> At Sacramento on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). em> strong>Trail Blazers: /strong> /em> At Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Celtics battle back to dodge upset ax from Sixers

BOSTON (AP) Avery Bradley had 26 points and nine rebounds and the Boston Celtics rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 110-106 on Friday night. Isaiah Thomas added 24 points, and Al Horford scored 14 of his 19 points in the final period. The Celtics have won nine out of their last 11 and four straight at home. Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 23 points, and Ersan Ilyasova added 20. br /> Philadelphia led by as many as 14 in the first half before the Celtics tied it and took the lead back early in the fourth quarter. After sitting out practice Thursday with the flu, Embiid was on a 28-minute limit Friday. He made the most of his time, adding eight rebounds and six assists. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

To bye or not to bye in NFL playoffs? Let's take a look

BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer NFL teams pursue byes like they are precious jewels. Are they really? Or does the road to the Super Bowl not particularly come with a rest stop? History tells us that reaching the Super Bowl, let alone winning it, after playing in a wild-card game is anything but ideal. Not impossible but just ask, in recent years, the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2007 New York Giants and 2010 Green Bay Packers. But it's certainly the most difficult way of doing things, particularly how those three teams managed it, as sixth seeds with no home games. All of them are in this postseason. Not one of them goes into this weekend wishing they didn't own a bye. Yet there are advantages — yes, really — to being active in the wild-card round. For one, the opponent shouldn't be as formidable as either of the top two seeds in each conference who are enjoying a mini-vacation. Secondly, the momentum gathered from an opening win can carry teams a long way. Again, look up what those Pittsburgh, New York, and Green Bay teams above did. 'We're battle tested,' Giants receiver Victor Cruz says, speaking not only of an early season loss at Lambeau Field, but of the team's general psyche. 'We've been through some things after that game that really set the standard and the focus for this team. That's one of the biggest things for us going into the game: Understanding that we've been through some wars and now we're ready to go.' So the Giants go to Green Bay, where in 2008 they won the NFC Championship. And, four years later, they beat a 15-1 Packers squad in the divisional round. Both times, they went on to win a Super Bowl. Eli Manning was the quarterback and offensive fulcrum of those title runs, while the pressure-first defense was masterful in negating big-time passers. The Giants entered those postseasons pretty much as afterthoughts, then got their acts together immediately in wild-card outings. Sure, they might have won it all in those seasons anyway. Yet there's no question those opening victories against Tampa Bay in 2008 and Atlanta in 2012 helped in a big way. 'You like to prove people wrong,' Manning says, knowing the Giants again are long shots to win it all. 'That is always kind of an exciting thing to do.' Under the eight-division format with 12 playoff teams that began in 2002, teams playing in wild-card games have made the Super Bowl eight times: Carolina in 2004, Pittsburgh in '06, Indianapolis in '07, the Giants in '08 and '12, Arizona in 2009, Green Bay in 2011, and Baltimore in 2013. Six of them won the title, with only the Panthers and Cardinals failing, both with last-minute losses. From 1990-92, there were six divisions, with 12 teams still advancing to the playoffs. Yes, three wild cards per conference, meaning one NFC and one AFC division winner didn't receive a bye. In that span, only four teams came out of the wild-card round to make the Super Bowl, all from the AFC. Buffalo (1993) and Tennessee (2000) both lost to the NFC champion. Denver (1998) and Baltimore (2001) won. Indeed, the Titans beat the Bills in January 2000 in the Music City Miracle, and Buffalo hasn't been back to the postseason since. One franchise that has made a habit of earning byes, of course, is New England. This is the sixth straight year the Patriots are idle for the opening weekend. Even Tom Brady gets antsy during the bye, though. 'You always want to feel great on Sunday,' Brady says. 'You'd always like to practice every day, too. Some weeks it's about prioritization. I'd like to do everything all the time, but sometimes that's not possible just based on ... practice is pretty demanding. Sometimes if you practice it might set you back a little more than you would want. 'After 17 years, I've got a pretty good balance for those things. I'm the type of person who likes to practice a lot. I've also been around long enough to know you've got to be smart, too, so it's just trying to find that right balance.' Brady can kick back this weekend while seeking that balance. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Rodgers on a roll and has Packers looking unstoppable

The Associated Press br /> Forget Dak Prescott, Tom Brady, and Matt Ryan. Aaron Rodgers has probably been the NFL's top quarterback since Thanksgiving in late November. He's re-established that dynamic connection with receiver Jordy Nelson for the Green Bay Packers, and Ty Montgomery's emergence as a receiver-turned-running back has been a revelation. Rodgers is on a roll, and when he gets going, the Packers look unstoppable, capable of building big leads and coming back from any deficit. After a 1-2 start in 2014, Rodgers famously admonished fans to R-E-L-A-X. This season, after a 4-6 start, he promised to 'run the table' and led them to another NFC North division title. They feature in the showcase of wild-card playoffs weekend, when they host Eli Manning and the New York Giants on Sunday. The playoff history between the Packers and Giants is rich. For the record, the Packers have a 4-3 edge. The Giants won the first matchup and the NFL title in 1938, beating the Packers 23-17. The Packers won the next four games and NFL championships in 1939, '44, 61 and '62. The Giants won the last two playoff games in 2008 and 2012, both at Lambeau Field, and went on to win the Super Bowls. The Packers' weakness is in defense, where the secondary is depleted. The offense has been on a remarkable run of mistake-free football during their six-match winning streak, but they could be hard-pressed to keep up in high-scoring games like they were during a midseason four-game slump. The Giants are showing elements of the frenzied pass rush and opportunistic defense that won them their last two NFL crowns. Over the last 11 games, opponents have averaged just 16 points against the Giants. They need that stingy defense because of their ineffective offense. The Giants didn't score 30 points in any game, and haven't even reached 20 points since Nov. 27 against the hapless Cleveland Browns. The running game is so-so, and Manning seems comfortable throwing only to Odell Beckham Jr. Not that it's a bad idea. In the other game on Sunday, Pittsburgh hosts the Miami Dolphins, who turned around their season with an Oct. 16 victory over the Steelers. But Miami is yet another team using a backup quarterback, Matt Moore, after starter Ryan Tannehill was ruled out on Thursday because he wasn't ready to practice on a sprained left knee. If Jay Ajayi can run wild again, Miami has a solid chance. However, the Steelers are a tested bunch and got to rest several key players in the regular season finale, including Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. Wild-card weekend begins with the Oakland Raiders, one of the AFC's powers until the past three weeks, traveling to the Houston Texans on Saturday, followed by the Detroit Lions at the Seattle Seahawks. Raiders rookie Connor Cook will become the first quarterback in NFL history to make his first start in a playoff game. Derek Carr and Matt McGloin remain injured. Cook had 150 yards passing and a touchdown in his NFL debut last week. Meanwhile, the Texans are going back to the so-far-underwhelming Brock Osweiler after Tom Savage was concussed last week. Neither the Seahawks nor the Lions have been inspiring in the past month, with Detroit throwing away the NFC North crown with three straight closing defeats, and Seattle kicking away a bye by splitting its final six games. These are two of the worst running teams in American football, but Seattle has gotten back Thomas Rawls, which could make for a distinct edge. The Seahawks also have the better defense, though its been vulnerable against the pass since star safety Earl Thomas broke his left leg a month ago. Detroit's Matthew Stafford is the first quarterback to lead eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since the 1970 merger, but he's been sacked an NFL-most 37 times. The Lions are also down to their third running back. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Woods adds Dubai to complete busy start to the year

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer br /> KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — After playing one tournament in 15 months, Tiger Woods feels good enough to schedule four events in five weeks that cover opposite sides of the country and the world. Woods filled out the rest of his early schedule Thursday by saying he would return to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. He had not played since August 2015 while recovering from two back surgeries, returning last month in the Bahamas at the Hero World Challenge. Woods made 24 birdies in 72 holes, but he finished 15th in a 17-man field. 'I am working hard to sharpen my game for 2017, and my goal is simple: to win,' Woods said in a blog on his website. Woods makes his 2017 debut at Torrey Pines on Jan. 26-29, and then he will cross 12 time zones to play in Dubai. After a week off, he returns to California for the Genesis Open at Riviera, and the following week heads to Florida for the Honda Classic. The last time the 41-year-old Woods played four times in five weeks was early in 2013 — the Match Play in Arizona, followed by three of the four tournaments that made up the Florida swing. What pleased him about his return at the Bahamas, beyond his 24 birdies, was his health. 'The only doubt I had was the physicality of the round — the length and duration — because I hadn't been able to practice or play much golf,' Woods said. Woods said he and his two children were hit with a virus before Thanksgiving, and he ran out of energy toward the end of the tournament. He attributed some of the energy loss to be host of the Hero World Challenge and having other functions to attend. 'I know many people doubted whether I would play competitive golf again, and to be honest, even I wasn't sure,' Woods said. 'My love for the game never left. It's just that the body would not allow me to play. Now my body is allowing me to do it again.' Woods got in one high-profile round after the Bahamas. He played with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Florida. 'What most impressed me was how far he hits the ball at 70 years old,' Woods said. 'He takes a pretty good lash.' He said they didn't have a match, covered a variety of topics and 'enjoyed the bantering, bickering and needling.' Woods said he still was testing equipment because Nike announced last year will no longer be making clubs and golf balls. Woods recently signed a deal with Bridgestone Golf to plays its ball, noting that Bridgestone once make the Nike golf ball he has used since 2000. He said he likely would keep using his Nike irons and his old Scotty Cameron putter. Woods, whose 79 PGA Tour victories are three short of the career mark set by Sam Snead, is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines (including the 2008 U.S. Open). He last played there in 2014 when he missed the 54-hole cut. A week later in Dubai, where he had won twice, Woods tied for 41st. That year was the start of back trouble that led to the first of his three surgeries and caused him to miss the Masters for the first time. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

Group effort helps Clippers rally past Grizzlies

em>By Beth Harris, Associated Press /em> LOS ANGELES (AP) — Austin Rivers scored a season-high 28 points and helped rally the Los Angeles Clippers from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 115-106 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for their second win in a row. Jamal Crawford added 22 points off the bench and DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 20 rebounds for the Clippers, who improved to 4-9 in the regular season without Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Both injured stars watched from the bench; Paul could return from a sore hamstring this week. Marc Gasol scored 23 points and Mike Conley had 17 points and a season-high 12 assists for the Grizzlies. Memphis closed to 97-96 on seven straight points in the fourth. Jordan missed a pair of free throws but got bailed out by Crawford's three-pointer that kept the Clippers ahead, 100-96. The Grizzlies were limited to two field goals in the final 4:19. They have lost four of their last six games. The Clippers snapped a six-game skid Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against Phoenix but they were in a close game early against the Grizzlies and fell into a 13-point hole in the second quarter. Memphis led by 12 early in the third before the Clippers engineered a dramatic turnaround. They ran off 11 consecutive points, including seven by J.J. Redick, to close to 73-70. Redick finished with 19 points. From there, Rivers took over. He scored seven in a row before Jordan's three-point play on a dunk and free throw. Crawford had seven of the Clippers' final nine points to give them an 89-85 lead heading into the fourth. Redick scored 10 points during the spurt, which brought the crowd back into the game. Memphis built a 13-point lead in the second when the Grizzlies closed on a 26-13 run for a 63-53 halftime lead. Four players hit three-pointers in that span. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Grizzlies: /strong> /em>C Deyonta Davis (left foot), F JaMychal Green (maxilla fracture), G Chandler Parsons (rest) and F-C Brandan Wright (left ankle) sat out, leaving the Memphis bench thin. Green sustained his facial injury against the Lakers a night earlier. em> strong>Clippers: /strong> /em>Paul had a full workout and went up and down the court during practice. Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said if Paul doesn't have any soreness on Thursday he could return Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Sacramento. Jordan had 20 rebounds for the second straight game. Rookie F Brice Johnson (acute herniated disk in lower back) also played at practice and was moving well. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Grizzlies: /strong> /em> Visit Golden State on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) to conclude a four-game trip out West. They beat the Warriors 110-89 at home on Dec. 10 (Dec. 11, PHL time). em> strong>Clippers: /strong> /em>Visit Sacramento on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in their only road game during a seven-game home stretch. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

Serena, Venus Williams forced out of ASB Classic

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Serena Williams was knocked out of the ASB Tennis Classic on Wednesday, reducing her match practice for the upcoming Australian Open, while sister Venus withdrew due to injury. Top-seeded Serena was frustrated by a swirling wind, her inability to find her A-game, and a tenacious opponent as she went down 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4 to 72nd-ranked American compatriot Madison Brengle. Older sister Venus withdrew from the tournament with an arm injury ahead of her scheduled second-round match. Both players will now head to Melbourne to prepare for the first Grand Slam tournament of the season with less match play than they would have hoped. Serena had shown signs of rustiness in her 6-3, 6-4 first round win over Pauline Parmentier of France, and her power-hitting game was again affected by gusting wind on the open-air center court. She struggled with her ball toss in the windy conditions and made 88 unforced errors, including the double fault that ended the match and caused Brengle to clap her hand over her mouth in surprise. Brengle, a 26-year-old Delaware native, had played Serena only once before, in 2015, losing 6-0, 6-1. Williams, a 22-time Grand Slam tournament winner, played only eight events in 2016 — the most recent at the U.S. Open in August — but still got off to a good start, taking a 4-1 lead before faltering. Brengle rattled off four straight games to lead 5-4, and then served out the set. Williams was down a break in the second set before breaking Brengle and then powering through her service game to lead 5-4. She had four set points in Brengle's next service game but again her accuracy deserted her and she squandered every one. It finally took a fifth set point in the tiebreak for Williams to close out the set in 60 minutes. Games went on serve in the third set, and Brengle's plan of taking the pace off the ball with her returns paid off as she broke Williams in the final game. 'I just tried to concentrate on every point and run down every ball,' Brengle said. 'It was difficult conditions with the wind and I just tried to right for every point. 'I tried to use the slice and get as many balls back as I could and it ended up working out.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

76ers survive late flurry to beat Nuggets

DENVER (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers came up big in the fourth quarter a night after collapsing in the final 12 minutes. Ersan Ilyasova had a career-high 23 points and 13 rebounds and the 76ers survived a flurry in the final seconds to beat the Denver Nuggets 124-122 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). 'I feel like the trip has been rewarded with a win and us having the ability to finally close out a game and finish off the fourth period,' Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. Joel Embiid returned after sitting out Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) loss in Utah to score 23 points and hit key free throws down the stretch. The Sixers ended their four-game trip with just their third win away from home despite having just nine available players. They had a chance to win the other three games on this trip but consistently faltered in the fourth quarter. The Jazz outscored them 30-9 to end Thursday's game, and the Sixers went over the tape of the period Friday morning. The attention to detail paid off. 'Tonight, that was the emphasis at the end of the third quarter, that's what everybody was talking about,' Embiid said. 'We focused, we locked in and got the win.' Nikola Jokic had a game-high 25 points for the Nuggets, and Emmanuel Mudiay scored 22. Denver had won four of its last five home games but a bad start led to another defeat. 'I thought our focus at shootaround [Friday, Saturday PHL time] was not great,' coach Michael Malone said. 'And I think that when you win a few games you start to feel pretty good about yourself and you forget why you have been winning games.' The Nuggets had a chance to tie it during a frantic ending. After Embiid hit two free throws to put the Sixers up four, Jokic was fouled on a three-point attempt. Jokic made the first two free throws and intentionally missed the third. Denver's Gary Harris grabbed the rebound but missed a short bank shot, and Kenneth Faried's tip-in try was off as time expired. 'Jokic did a great job missing, I got a shot up and we had a chance for a tip-in, but it just didn't go our way,' Harris said. The Nuggets pulled within 114-113 with 1:43 left, but Philadelphia's T.J. McConnell hit his third three-pointer of the night — matching his total makes for the season. He finished with 17 points and eight assists. Four straight foul shots by Denver tied it, but Embiid split a pair of free throws to put Philadelphia ahead by one. He then stripped Jokic on the other end as the center went up for a go-ahead layup and drained two more free throws to put the Sixers ahead 120-117 with 15.9 seconds left. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Sixers: /strong> /em> Sergio Rodriguez sprained his left ankle in the loss at Utah on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) and did not play Friday. Richaun Holmes was not with the team and is in concussion protocol. G Gerald Henderson missed his second straight game with left hip soreness. em> strong>Nuggets: /strong> /em> Wilson Chandler (right neck sprain/strain) and Jamal Murray (groin soreness) both played. Jokic has scored in double figures in 12 of his last 14 games. strong>CENTER OF ATTENTION /strong> Nuggets big man Jusuf Nurkic played 18:33 after not playing in four straight games and averaging just 6:16 in three other games. Nurkic expressed his disappointment after practice Thursday (Friday, PHL time), telling The Denver Post, 'I'm not here to sit on the bench; I'm here to play basketball.' Malone said before Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) game he had no problem with Nurkic's sentiments. 'Nurk's been great,' Malone said. 'I understand guys want to be out there. They're competitive. You want them to be competitive. Just make sure you're being a good teammate.' strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Sixers: /strong> /em> Host Minnesota on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). em> strong>Nuggets: /strong> /em>At the Golden State Warriors on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2016

Ricci Rivero snaps selfie with John Lloyd Cruz, channels inner Popoy for 'hugot caption

Ricci Rivero snaps selfie with John Lloyd Cruz, channels inner Popoy for 'hugot caption.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 10th, 2016