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SBP mulls battle plan for Olympic 3x3

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas looks to use Team Phl’s worthy showing in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup as impetus towards its drive in making the Olympics in 2024, if not 2020......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarJun 14th, 2018

Cojuangco mulls case vs Fernandez

MANILA, Philippines -  Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco is not backing off in his legal battle against PSC commissioner and for.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 7th, 2017

PBA: Tim Cone knows lights-out Game 1 will stir up the beehive for SMB

Ginebra head coach Tim Cone says that the Gin Kings did everything on their part to steal the first game against the San Miguel Beermen in Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals. With such a game plan, Ginebra filled the chambers with 61.5-percent shooting, including a scorching 13 out of 25 from downtown. Even he can't help but marvel at his team's shooting display, opening the post-game press conference with a hint of surprise. "We were firing on all cylinders, and we kinda got them on their heels early and just never let up. Those games happen. They happen in the Finals, they happen any time," the winningest coach in PBA history said. Cone added that the team's fiery offense never stopped from the get-go, as the lead ballooned to as large as 39 (119-80), midway through the fourth quarter, merely cascading their strong start. In a dominating Game 1 victory, the American coach expects San Miguel to come out firing for Game 2 on Sunday, and expects their opponents to launch a haymaker from tip-off. "But all we did basically was stir up the bee hive, and they're gonna be coming back, sting us big time in Game 2. But at least we came out, we were aggressive, and we played with confidence." Cone again was quick to shower praise to versatile import Justin Brownlee, who again did a masterful performance with 42 points on 85.7-percent shooting, adding nine assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal.  "Basically you can't stop him one-on-one, so they're gonna have to get another defender, and we'll have to read that, see where it's coming from, and try to figure out how to battle it." As for Game 2 on Sunday, Cone obviously does not expect the team to be that hot again, but he hopes a little bit of luck come again at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. The long-time coach even took one of his former team's mantras to the Ginebra locker room, and it could not be more apt.  "Yesterday ended last night. So, this game ends tonight, tomorrow is a whole new day. So we can't let this success here affect the success going forward. It's too easy to think that, 'oh, we've arrived.'" Calling adversary Leo Austria as an excellent one in terms of adjustments, Cone could only hope how his team can do as he expects his opponents shifting to fifth gear next time around. "If I told you I'd have to kill you. Kidding aside, I think that we'll see ... That's the problem with winning a game in a series rather than losing. When you win a game, the reaction all goes to the other team, they make the adjustments, then you gotta come into the game and be ready to adjust to their adjustments." "...But we're not gonna come in doing exactly the same thing, either. We're gonna try to change some things up and try to keep them unbalanced." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2018

PBA: Clarkson to ROS for Asiad not as easy as it sounds

Jordan Clarkson to Rain or Shine for the 2018 Asian Games? It's a tricky situation. The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has Clarkson's name included in the pool for the Asian Games, where the Philippines is going to be represented by Rain or Shine. However, whether or not Clarkson can actually play still depends on a lot of things. "We plan to submit his name, it's up to OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) whether he's eligible to play in the Asian Games," said SBP President Al Panlilio on Thursday. "Concurrently, we're negotiating with him on the possibility of playing in the Asian Games, and also concurrently, he needs to seek permission from the Cavaliers and the NBA. Lahat yan sabay-sabay nangyayari, from an SBP point of view, I'm hoping everything falls into place kasi maraming mga conditions that have to happen to make Clarkson available. The first thing is whether he'll be allowed to play in the Asian Games," He added. For now, the SBP can only put it Clarkson's name in its pool first and wait for the OCA's decision if he can actually play. The SBP however, is confident that Clarkson is more than happy to serve the country if given the chance. "He wants to play," Panlilio said of Clarkson. "He wants to play for Gilas. It's always been his dream to play for Gilas, eligibility lang ang issue," he added. By FIBA rules, Clarkson should be eligibile after being a Philippine passport holder since he was 12 years old. The only problem is that the Asian Games don't necessarily follow FIBA eligibility rules. The Asian Games requires players to have resided in the country it represents for at least three years.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

ONE: Shinya Aoki says he’d enjoy a rematch with fellow former champ Eduard Folayang

Nearly two years removed from losing ONE Championship Lightweight World Title, Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki finds himself back on the path towards championship glory, and the next stop on his journey brings him to Manila at ONE: Reign of Kings, Friday, July 27th at the Mall of Asia Arena. In a battle of top lightweight contenders, Aoki meets Thai MMA star Shannon ’OneShin’ Wiratchai, with the winner moving one step closer to a lightweight world title shot. And while another run at the world title could be on the line, the Evolve MMA star says that his focus in the lead up to the fight will be his own progress and no one else’s. “I approach all my fights the same. I focus on myself, and my game.” Aoki shared with ABS-CBN Sports via email. “I train hard with all my training partners and coaches, whether its in Japan or at Evolve MMA in Singapore, to improve all aspects of my game to prepare myself for the bout ahead. I am confident in my abilities and am looking forward to this bout.” Adding another layer to the upcoming Aoki versus Wiratchai fight will be the fact that the Thai star revealed that he looks up to the Japanese legend. “I have been competing for a long time now so it is interesting that I am competing against someone who used to watch me growing up. When I compete I go out there to do my best as a martial artist, if my performances inspire someone to start martial arts that’s just an extra bonus.” “Shannon is a good strong opponent, I look forward to competing against him.” Aoki added. If Aoki can defeat Wiratchai in Manila, it’ll mark his first string of back-to-back wins since 2015, definitely a step in the right direction. From 2016 to 2017, Aoki went through quite a rough patch that was kickstarted with him dropping his ONE title to Eduard Folayang in Singapore, followed a grappling superfight loss to Garry Tonon and a one-sided beatdown from then-ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren. Momentum shifted to Aoki’s favor in the start of 2018, as he submitted fellow former ONE champion Marat Gafurov in another grappling superfight, before getting back in the win column in MMA, choking out Rasul Yakhyaev in just one round back in May. “As a professional athlete, winning and losing is all a part of the journey.” Aoki said of his struggles and his recent run of success. “As a martial artist, all I focus on is continuing to improve and learn from the past and improve my game in all aspects. Improving a little bit every day is what martial arts is about. This is the mindset I’ve always had.” Speaking of Eduard Folayang, Aoki now is on the same boat as the Filipino MMA star, both former champions looking to regain their place at the top of the division. Folayang will also be fighting on ONE’s Reign of Kings card in Manila, against unbeaten Russian Aziz Pahrudinov. Much like Aoki, a win for Folayang moves him one step closer to another shot at the championship. If everything goes according to plan for these two former champions, their paths could cross once more, and that’s something that Aoki says he wouldn’t mind. “I am open to compete against anyone or rematch anyone. If ONE Championship wants me to face Eduard I would enjoy that. My job is to train hard to improve all aspects of my game for whoever I am facing.” Before anything else however, Aoki and Folayang will have to take care of business come fight night. For Aoki, who is, by all means, a proven legend in MMA, the learning never stops, and it’s this feeling of hunger for more that keeps the former champ motivates. “I never think of my accomplishments as enough. Every bout is a new challenge for me to take on, so I push myself to be able to handle anything that comes my way. I am always training and learning new techniques so my game is constantly improving. The martial arts journey never ends.” said Aoki.   Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki meets top contender Shannon Wiratchai in a lightweight contest with massive title implications at ONE: Reign of Kings on Friday, July 27th at the Mall of Asia Arena. Catch it LIVE starting at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!   *Special thanks to Aliya Anwar of Evolve MMA.        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Tokyo Olympic venues make progress with 2 years to go

TOKYO --- The Japan Sports Council gave a progress report on the new National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, saying the project is 40 percent complete with two years to go before the opening ceremony. Located in central Tokyo, the Olympic Stadium will be the centerpiece of the 2020 Games. The JSC, the government-funded stadium operator, says the 68,000-seat stadium is on schedule to be finished in November 2019. It will host the opening ceremony on July 24, 2020 as well as athletics and the closing ceremony. The construction was more than a year behind schedule when it started in December 2016, as an earlier stadium plan was scrapped because of spiraling cost...Keep on reading: Tokyo Olympic venues make progress with 2 years to go.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 18th, 2018

US Open hopes ultimate test doesn t feature trick questions

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — The U.S. Open wants to be the ultimate test in golf, and sometimes that leads to a series of trick questions. One of them was 14 years ago at Shinnecock Hills. A year after Jim Furyk tied the U.S. Open scoring record at Olympia Fields, the 2004 U.S. Open was so bone dry and lightning fast that only three players broke par on the weekend, none on Sunday. Fans having to move to the side because of a golf ball rolling toward them is not unusual, except when the player hit the shot with his putter from the green. Tee shots that landed on the seventh green rolled off the putting surface and into a bunker. One year after Rory McIlroy broke the U.S. Open scoring record at Congressional, no one broke par at Olympic Club in 2012 when Webb Simpson won. Moments like this lead to criticism that the USGA overreacts. Justin Rose sees it another way. "When everything is in balance, it's kind of boring," he said. "And I think in life, the closer you get to the edges, that's where the excitement is. So I would say the USGA is not reactionary. It's counterbalancing. So if you go too far one way, you've got to come back the other way. You don't want to fall off the edge." That's the question going into the 118th U.S. Open that starts Thursday. Might the USGA lean toward going easy on players because of what happened the last time at Shinnecock Hills? Or will it make it tougher on them because of the record scoring last year at Erin Hills? Brooks Koepka tied the record to par at 16 under, and six other players finished at 10 under or lower. "We're confident this should be a marvelous test," said Mike Davis, the chief executive of the USGA who has been in charge of setting up the courses for the U.S. Open since 2006 at Winged Foot, when the winning score was 5 over. Davis believes Shinnecock Hills is right where the USGA wants it, even with a light, steady rain on the final day of practice. Wednesday is never the measure of how a golf course presents itself. McIlroy is among those who likes what he sees. It's not a U.S. Open if players are not complaining, but it's been a quiet three days ahead of competition. The biggest question is whether the fairways are narrow enough. They are tighter than last year at Erin Hills, for sure, and an average of 15 yards wider than in 2004. "Honestly, I think they've got it right," McIlroy said. "It presents guys with options off the tee. You have to make a decision basically on every tee box what you're going to do. I'm obviously not that old, but when I watched U.S. Opens on TV and saw these long, narrow corridors of fairways and thick rough, that's what I was used to at a U.S. Open. ... If you look at the venues that are coming up, they're very traditional venues like Oakmont, Winged Foot, Pebble Beach. "Maybe you'll see more of what we perceive as a traditional U.S. Open setup." Rain was expected to yield to plenty of sun over the next four days, with the strongest wind on Thursday. Davis said he already has called several audibles on the original plan of where to put the pins on the greens, an example of the USGA not wanting the course to get on the wild side. Davis also said the winning score is not an issue at a major where par tends to be at a premium. "Never since I've been at the USGA — and it's been almost 30 years — I've never heard anybody at the USGA say we're shooting for even par," Davis said. "But we talk incessantly, 'How do we get the course to be really a great test of golf?' As we say, get all 14 clubs dirty to make sure that these players are tested to the nth degree." And what makes a good championship inside the ropes? The quality of the winner? Different players have won the last 15 U.S. Opens, the longest stretch of the four majors. The margin? The last playoff was 10 years ago when Tiger Woods won at Torrey Pines. Three of the last four U.S. Opens have been decided by three shots or more. "You need some great players in the mix," Rose said. "You need some great story lines." This U.S. Open is not lacking for either. Five players have a chance to replace Dustin Johnson at No. 1 in the world this week. Woods is hitting the ball well enough to win any week if he ever gets all parts of his game working together. To win a record-tying fourth U.S. Open would cap off an unlikely comeback following four back surgeries. Phil Mickelson, in the USGA record book with his six runner-up finishes, needs only this trophy to complete the career Grand Slam. "And then just a good test of golf where people think, 'Wow, they've really stepped up and played great golf under pressure,'" Rose added. "I think that's what people would like to see in this tournament is that guys are tested to the ends of the ability, to whether they can cope or not. And I think that's part of the charm ... not charm, but part of the allure of this tournament." The ultimate test starts Thursday. Results won't be available until the end of the week......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

PNP Chief Urges Tighter Scrutiny of Recruits

The Philippine National Police (PNP) mulls publishing the names of would-be policemen as part of its plan to further scrutinize recruits seeking to join its ranks. Speaking to reporters on Monday, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said publishing the names of recruits would allow the general public to report those with pending criminal cases […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJun 12th, 2018

DeAndre Ayton should have immediate impact in the NBA

By Chris Dortch, NBA.com As the only coach who had to game plan for Arizona’s Deandre Ayton three times in the freshman sensation’s only year of college basketball, Colorado’s Tad Boyle is qualified to let the NBA know what’s coming. “He’s a monster,” Boyle said of the 7'1", 260-pounder with the 7'5" reach. “I played [at Kansas] in the ’80s, and he’s the best player since Hakeem Olajuwon. He’s that kind of talent. He’s not as good a low-block player as Hakeem, but the similarity is that, if he catches it eight feet from the basket, he’s gonna score. There’s nothing you can do about it. “He doesn’t have Hakeem’s shimmy moves, but facing the basket, he’s certainly better than Hakeem was at the same stage of his career. This kid’s got good footwork, agility, the ability to run the floor, explosiveness, intelligence and skill. He’s special.” When Boyle shook Ayton’s hand after the third time his Buffaloes played the Wildcats, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament, he told the big man he was happy to see him move on to the NBA, where the Phoenix Suns, having won the lottery, will most likely make him the No. 1 pick in the Draft. Lest the Suns decide they might get better value dealing the pick, well, Boyle can’t imagine that happening. “This kid’s just scary,” Boyle said. “You see him on tape and how he finishes dunks. It’s like he’s playing with a Nerf ball in the basement. Then you see him in person. If you were going to build the perfect basketball player on a computer screen, you’d want someone who’s seven-feet and cut, who can run and jump and make perimeter shots. You’d build Deandre Ayton.” Colorado managed to win one game of the three it played against Arizona. That was the first one, where Ayton scored 26 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots. The Buffs lost the next two, but they whittled down Ayton’s contributions each time. By the third game, Ayton contributed just 10 points, six boards and three blocks. Boyle’s plan was to front Ayton and try to prevent him from catching the ball anywhere close to the basket. A second defender was always nearby to help and try to turn Ayton into a passer, a skill Boyle thinks Ayton hasn’t mastered — yet. “I played with Danny Manning,” Boyle said. “Danny was such a good passer. If you brought [a second defender] at him, he’d find somebody on the floor or skip it. Deandre isn’t at that level yet, but I think he’ll figure it out.” With Ayton, Colorado decided to pick its poison. The consensus first-team All-American, Pac-12 Player of the Year and Karl Malone Award winner shot a solid 34 percent from three-point range, albeit in limited attempts, and, per Hoop-Math.com, he also made 43 percent of his face-up two-pointers during the season, solid considering those made up 44 percent of his total attempts. “We decided if he wanted to pick and pop and beat us with 15-foot jump shots, go right ahead,” Boyle said. “We had to keep him away from the 10- to 15-toot foot area, where if he catches it, he just overpowers you or goes around you. It’s not like he’s not capable of making that 15- to 17-foot jump shot. That’s just what you have to live with.” Colorado’s strategy of containing Ayton led to one of the biggest upsets in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Arizona drew Buffalo in the first round. Bulls coach Nate Oats replaced Bobby Hurley when the latter moved on to Arizona State and spoke to his old boss as soon as the NCAA bracket was announced. Ayton was a primary topic of the conversation. “Bobby didn’t think you could front him,” Oats said. “But I said we’re going to front him. Colorado was the only team in the Pac-12 that I saw that actually fronted him. Everybody else played zone, which I could understand because they had another seven-footer in the lineup [Dusan Ristic]. But Ayton’s got great basketball feel. You can’t keep a body on him in the zone. You can’t pressure the ball in the zone. “We sat Ristic’s man right behind Ayton. Offensively, we didn’t think their spacing was that great. They had two pros, both seven feet, and you’ve gotta play them. But that also limits how you space the floor.” Buffalo’s plan worked. Ayton still managed to deliver 14 points and 13 boards, but Arizona shot 11 percent (2-of-18) from three. The Wildcats couldn’t take advantage when the Bulls sprang the double team on Ayton, who passed for just one assist. “Limiting his touches and keeping it congested around him,” Oats said. “Daring them to skip the ball to a shooter on the back side. That was our plan.” At least Boyle and Oats had some time to prepare for Ayton. When SMU played the Wildcats in the Battle 4 Atlantis last November, coach Tim Jankovich and his staff had just a few hours to get ready. “Our preparation was by the seat of our pants,” Jankovich said. “We went to bed late that night. But we figured out we were going to front him and trap. We double teamed him, but a different way than we’d been doing.” Jankovich wouldn’t elaborate. “It’s kind of a trade secret,” he said, laughing. SMU’s double team worked. The Mustangs won. Ayton still piled up 17 points and 15 rebounds, but he took only 11 shots and six free throws. And the Wildcats shot 25 percent (5-of-20) from three. Boyle, Oats and Jankovich all figured out a way to deal with Ayton, but their message to his future opponents in the NBA was essentially the same. Good luck. “I think he’s going to be a better pro than he was a college player, and he was a great college player,” Oats said. “Sean [Miller] is an unbelievable coach and did a great job with the kid. But in the NBA, the spacing’s better. You can’t double that easily.” “I can’t fathom him not being impactful, and right away, too,” Jankovich said. “He’s one of those rare players that you can’t help but keep your eye on during the game, because he’s so different than most. Your eye always goes to him. That’s all great players. You don’t mean to focus on him, but when you can’t help but do it, you’re always worried, every possession.” Chris Dortch is the editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. You can email him here, follow him on Twitter and listen to the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Hour. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

$500M settlement in Nassar case won t be shared equally

By Ed White and David Eggert, Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — The $500 million settlement between Michigan State University and hundreds of Larry Nassar's victims will be divided up after weighing many factors, including the date and victim's age when the sexual assaults occurred and the impact it had on their lives, lawyers say. The school, where the sports doctor worked for nearly 20 years, announced Wednesday that it would set aside $425 million for 332 women and girls who say Nassar abused them and another $75 million to cover future claims. But it won't have a role in determining how much each victim will receive. That will likely fall to one or two former judges or experienced mediators who will be selected by lawyers to oversee the process, said John Manly, who represents roughly 200 victims in the worst sexual abuse case in sports history. "This can be wrapped up in four or five months," he predicted. Simple math says $425 million divided by 332 people would be $1.28 million each. But it's not "share and share alike," said attorney David Mittleman, whose Lansing-area firm represents 111 victims. Indeed, claims must be evaluated in many ways. Manly said some people could receive "substantially" more than $1.28 million while others get much less. Attorneys will also get a share of any award under agreements they have with clients. "The age of the abuse, the duration of the abuse," Manly said, listing the likely factors. "Treatment in the future and the past. Have you lost earnings? Are there things about a particular case that are aggravating or mitigating." Mittleman said the dates of the assaults will be important. Older abuse probably will be worth less because without the settlement, Michigan State could have been shielded by a statute of limitations. New York attorney Michael Barasch is not involved in the Nassar case but has represented hundreds of victims sexually abused by New York priests. He said a pool of money is "definitely the way to go." "You've got to have a sensible, systematic and transparent solution," Barasch said. "Who better than a fair mediator accepted by everybody? ... Some of these people are going to be disappointed — guaranteed. But I can tell you from my church abuse cases, the vast majority are so appreciative of having finality." Michigan State was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints about Nassar, some as far back as the 1990s. The school had insisted that no one covered up assaults, although Nassar's boss was later charged with failing to properly supervise him and committing his own sexual misconduct. In a statement Thursday, his first since the settlement, Michigan State President John Engler apologized, calling Nassar an "evil doctor" whose assaults "shocked our campus and the nation." The former Michigan governor was hired as interim leader after Lou Anna Simon's sudden resignation in January. Michigan State hasn't disclosed how it will pay for the settlement besides leaning on insurance companies. Engler told reporters in Lansing on Thursday that he doesn't plan to ask state lawmakers for money. Dianne Byrum, a member of the school's governing board, said Michigan State likely would borrow money, tap savings, delay big projects and consider budget cuts. She said a tuition increase tied specifically to the Nassar case is unlikely. Nassar, 54, will be locked up for the rest of his life under three decades-long sentences for molesting athletes with his hands and possessing child pornography. He's at a federal prison in Arizona. In addition to working at Michigan State, Nassar worked with Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains U.S. Olympians. His assaults were mostly committed in Michigan at his Lansing-area home, campus clinic and area gyms, but his accusers also said he molested them at a gymnastics-training ranch in Texas and at national and international competitions. The settlement applies only to Michigan State. Lawsuits are still pending against USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and an elite gymnastics club in the Lansing-area. The deal surpasses the $100 million-plus paid by Penn State University to settle claims by at least 35 people who accused assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse, though the Nassar agreement covers far more victims. ___ Eggert reported from Lansing......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

Jr Blu Girls, Taiwanese clash in Asian Softball opener

The Philippine Blu Girls face an uphill battle in the XVI WBSC Women’s World Softball Championship in Chiba, Japan as they found themselves groupmates with five of the Top 10 countries led by defending champion and top-ranked USA in the Aug. 2-12 Olympic-qualifying meet......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 12th, 2018

Long-awaited matchup arrives for Rockets, Warriors

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com James Harden and the Rockets must get past the Warriors to reach their first Finals since 1995. Finally, it’s here. The series the NBA world has been waiting for from the moment Chris Paul requested a trade last summer that sent him to the Houston Rockets to join forces with James Harden has arrived. It's the Rockets vs. the four-time Western Conference and two-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors for West supremacy. The Rockets had a feeling they could see this journey through to this point, even when the teams met on opening night at Oracle Arena. Houston was built to beat the champs, and did it twice in their three regular season encounters. Rockets center Clint Capela voiced his opinions on the matchup after a January win, saying his team was superior to the champs. And he’s just as eager for this match up, in which the Rockets hold home-court advantage. “I’m real excited,” Capela said. “This [Warriors] team is going to be hard, it’s going to be a fight. There’s going to be a lot of adjustments after every game. It’s going to be a chess game. Of course, we’re going to be ready. They’ve been to The Finals three straight years. So we’re just excited. Everybody's excited about it. I’m sure all the NBA fans are excited about it, too.” The Warriors are fired up, too, and have heard all the chirping. “Now you’ve got to play the game,” All-Star forward Draymond Green said. “You wanted us, now you’ve got us.” The Warriors are attempting to conquer the West for a fourth straight season, but this will be their first West finals without home-court advantage. Doing it against a team specifically designed to take them down just adds to a battle wrought with connections. Harden, Paul, Green, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all won gold medals together, be it on the Olympic or World Cup of Basketball stage. Harden and Durant were teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder team that lost The Finals in 2012. Paul’s LA Clippers squad in 2014 was the last West foe to knock the Warriors out of the playoffs before The Finals. And the Rockets were the team the Warriors beat in the 2015 West finals to jump-start their would-be dynasty. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni pioneered the style the Warriors have used to dominate the league while he was coaching in Phoenix, where Warriors coach Steve Kerr was the Suns GM. The three-pointers will fly from all directions. Both teams are capable of defending at a championship level. The personnel on both sides is ideally matched. Perhaps best of all, though, is that both teams are healthy and without any ready-made excuses overshadowing this showdown. It’s best on best, a test of collective wills between the “cream of the Western Conference crop,” as Curry declared after the Warriors and Rockets each won their West semifinal series just hours apart on May 8 (May 9, PHL time). The NBA world has been waiting on this heavyweight showdown. Now, it’s finally here. 3 quick questions and answers 1. Who flinches first, Kerr with his “Hamptons Five” lineup or D’Antoni with his Harden-Paul-Capela trio? Against every other team in the league, the Warriors’ small-ball unit of Durant, Thompson, Curry, Green and Andre Iguodala has a clear advantage. No one else has three shooters like Durant, Curry and Thompson playing alongside the versatile Green and Iguodala. The Rockets come close with Harden, Paul and Capela alongside defensive specialists and three-point marksmen Trevor Ariza and P.J. Tucker. It’ll be a fascinating study in styles watching them matchup against each other. But advantage Warriors ... until we see someone crack the code against the "Hamptons Five." 2. What’s more valuable -- Houston's home-court advantage or Golden State's experience? Home-court advantage is always preferred. The Warriors know that. It’s been good to them in each of the past three seasons grinding through the West playoffs to The Finals. But it’s not infallible (as the Cleveland Cavaliers taught us, rallying from a 3-1 Finals deficit to take Game 7 at Oracle Arena). Which is exactly why the Rockets need to have the threat level turned all the way up for Games 1 and 2. Lose either one of the first two games at Toyota Center and the Warriors will pounce in this series. 3. Who is the biggest wild card for each team? And, are they capable of swinging this series? It’s Eric Gordon for the Rockets and whichever big man (JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, Kevon Looney or perhaps Jordan Bell) that Kerr taps for service for the Warriors. Gordon has to shoot more consistently than he has thus far in the playoffs (34.2 percent overall, 31.4 percent on three-pointers) if the Rockets hope to match the Warriors basket for basket. The Warriors have a big man for basically every season, it’s just a matter of which one will fare best against a much-improved Capela. He has outplayed two more heralded bigs (All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns and the Jazz's Rudy Gobert) in each of the Rockets’ series to date. Overall, though, there's too much star power in this series for any role player to swing the momentum for more than a few minutes. The number to know 100.7 --The two best offensive teams in the regular season have been the two best defensive teams in the playoffs, combining to allow just 100.7 points per 100 possessions on their way to the conference finals. In the first round, the Rockets and Warriors held the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs to 5.6 and 5.2 fewer points per 100 possessions than they scored in the regular season, respectively. And in the conference semifinals, they held the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans to 7.0 and 16.2 fewer points per 100 possessions than they scored in the first round, respectively. The Rockets' starting lineup has allowed just 92 points per 100 possessions in its 153 minutes, having forced more than 21 turnovers per 100 (the best mark among lineups that have played at least 75 minutes). The Warriors' "Hamptons Five" lineup, meanwhile, has allowed less than 87 points per 100 possessions in its 54 minutes, and the champs have allowed just 94 points per 100 possessions in 250 total minutes with Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala on the floor together. These teams aren't just here because of how potent their offenses are, and the team that advances to The Finals will be the one that continues to defend at a high level. -- John Schuhmann Making the pick The Rockets made it their mission to put together a group to avenge their 2015 and 2016 playoff failures, with the Warriors serving as their primary target. They’ve got home-court advantage, an inspired Paul and what appears to be all of the requisite parts needed to interrupt the Warriors’ dynasty plans. But do they have the nerve to snatch it all from Golden State, which took a measured approach to 2017-18 and has seemingly flipped the proverbial with another championship run on the line? Experience over ambition this time. Warriors in 6. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2018

Young Celtics look to stop James, Cavaliers

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com For a few days at least, much of the talk about this rematch of the 2017 Eastern Conference finals will focus on what might have been. In what could have offered some poetic closure to the Eastern Conference portion of this season, former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving would be taking on his old team and, specifically, LeBron James, the superstar “big brother” whom he’d dissed by demanding a trade. Meanwhile, in a more perfect pulp-fiction world, Cleveland would be setting loose point guard Isaiah Thomas on the Boston Celtics, giving him a chance for payback to the team that dealt him away the instant it sniffed the chance to land Irving. Those plotlines are kaput; Irving’s season ended in March with left knee surgery, Thomas got dealt from Cleveland at the February trade deadline. The best we’ll get now are sideline shots of Irving in street clothes on Boston’s bench, reacting to the series’ ebbs and flows. Thomas might be limited to tweeting from afar. That leaves one clear, distinct narrative: The King of the East vs. perhaps the best collection of aspirants to his throne. James is trying to cap one of his most remarkable seasons by advancing to his eighth consecutive Finals, having led the Cavaliers to the past three after four with the Miami Heat. He has coaxed and carried these Cavs along a steep learning curve, finally getting them spiffed up by the end of their sweep of Toronto. “He’s been doing this for a long time,” Boston’s Marcus Smart said after the clincher over Philadelphia. “He’s, if not the greatest, one of the greatest to do it. What better way than to go up and compete against a guy that’s [going to have] statues and things like that.” The Celtics, by contrast, are a team trying to write fresh history. They’re ahead of schedule, too, given Irving’s absence and the loss of prize free agent Gordon Hayward way back on opening night to a gruesome leg injury, coincidentally, in Cleveland. Boston put out a talented Milwaukee Bucks club in the opening round, then dumped the Philadelphia 76ers -- another rising franchise in the East – in five games. And for those who think the West has the sexier conference clash, this one offers a pretty slick matchup: James against Boston coach Brad Stevens. Widely regarded as a master tactician, Stevens -- whose Celtics lost in five games to the Cavaliers in last year’s East finals -- gets another multi-game shot. In last year’s series, James averaged these numbers to beat: 29.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 6.8 apg, 2.2 spg and 1.2 bpg. 3 quick questions and answers 1. Who guards LeBron? This is the first question (or should be) of every preview of every playoff series every year of James’ career since he first started qualifying in 2006. Toronto used the length of OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam on James but neither of the Celtics’ young, long forwards -- Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum -- would be ideal for the duty, because Boston needs their scoring. Brown will take his turn but look for Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart in the crosshairs, counting on their physical force to bother Cleveland’s star. With undoubtedly lots of help and different looks, all the while sticking close to shooters like Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith and Kevin Love. Said center Aron Baynes late Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): “We know where the head of the snake is and we know what we have to focus on but he’s got a lot of great role players around him and some other guys that can really create as well. 2. Will Point Guard Showdown 1A be a letdown? So instead of Irving vs. Thomas, we’ll get Terry Rozier vs. George Hill. That’s not a bad backup plan, because Rozier has had a star-is-born postseason so far and Hill has been a huge help to the Cavs after missing 3.5 games in the first round. Hill has more experience and is a scrappy defender, but Rozier -- who averaged 16.7 points and shot 47.1 percent from three in the regular season vs. Cleveland -- has speed and energy that might swing this matchup in Boston’s favor. 3. Will Love love this matchup with Horford? Kevin Love doesn’t like playing center, but Cavs coach Tyronn Lue likes the effect that has on opposing defenses. Love has an inside-outside game that makes him a tough cover for both the big fives and for more agile power-forward types. The challenge in this round is how Love copes with Al Horford, who has comparable forward’s skills. It won’t be a traditional battle of bigs, for which Love will be grateful after tangling with Toronto’s jumbo Jonas Valanciunas. The number to know 18.5 -- The Cavs scored 121.5 points per 100 possessions in the conference semifinals against Toronto, 18.5 more than they scored in the first round against Indiana (103.0). The Indy series was too close for comfort; The Pacers actually outscored Cleveland by 40 points in the series and Cavs not named James registered an effective field goal percentage of just 47 percent (the league average is 52 percent). But things were much different against the No. 1 seed, with Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith combining to shoot 24-for-38 (63 percent) from 3-point range and Kevin Love recovering from a funk to average 25 points on 54 percent shooting over the final three games. The Cavs' defense remains a question, but they always have the ability to score points in bunches. The Celtics had the No. 1 defense in the regular season and the regular season series was on the ugly side (the teams combined to score just 100 points per 100 possessions), but Boston will have to pick its poison with James surrounded by shooters that have started to shoot well. -- John Schuhmann Making the pick The Cavaliers won two of the three meetings between these teams in the regular season, with their more impressive victory coming mere days after the Cleveland roster makeover at the trade deadline. The Cavs were plus-11 in the season series, James averaged 24.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg and 8.3 apg, Boston shot 30-of-106 from three and ... aw, who are we kidding? Regular season results matter little now. James is determined to win his 24th consecutive Eastern Conference series to reach his eighth straight Finals. He was a maestro vs. the Raptors in drawing out his teammates’ games. The Celtics, allowing for their injuries, already have overachieved. That ends here. Cavaliers in 6......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2018

Marvel considering an ‘Eternals’ film

  With the battle between Thanos and the Avengers coming to a head in this week's "Avengers: Infinity War", Marvel is in the process of tying up Phase Three of its Marvel Cinematic Universe plan. "Ant-Man", "Captain Marvel", 2019's untitled "Avengers" film, and a sequel to "Spider-Man: Homecoming" are "taking up 90 percent of our time," Feige told TheWrap. The other 10 percent is going towards future projects. "Some of that is you can take cues from everything we've done in the 22 movies before those, which is sequels to existing characters, new interpretation of existing characters and trying whole new swings with stuff that most people never heard of," Feige explai...Keep on reading: Marvel considering an ‘Eternals’ film.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 25th, 2018

Cocolife aims to contain Petron s Bell

Stopping Katherine Bell would be on top of Cocolife’s battle plan when it faces Petron in Game One of their Philippine Superliga Grand Prix best-of-three semifinal series......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2018

Cocolife, Foton book last semis seats

Cocolife weathered a furious late rally by an undermanned Cignal squad to eke out a 25-22, 25-21, 28-26 victory in the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Serbian imports Marta Drpa and Sara Klisura were impressive while Erika Alkuino delivered the match-clinching block that sent the Asset Managers to the semifinals. Cocolife will face Petron in the best-of-three semifinal battle next week. Meanwhile, Channon Thompson made her presence felt as she towed Foton to a 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 victory over Sta. Lucia Realty to grab the last remaining semifinal seat in the second game. Thompson, who starred for Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team in various international tournaments, tallied 24 of the Tornadoes’ 46 total attacks to finish with 26 points in a furious battle that lasted for 80 minutes. Dindin Manabat chipped in 11 hits while Elizabeth Wendel and CJ Rosario combined for 14 markers for Foton, which will face reigning champion F2 Logistics in the best-of-three semifinals. “I told the team that we should want it more than them,” said Foton coach Rommel Abella, who paraded two new players in Diana Carlos and Isa Molde. “I commend the ladies for following our game plan. They showed that they are hungrier than Sta. Lucia.” Ukrainian Bohdana Anisova drilled 11 kills and two blocks for 14 points while MJ Philips had eight for the Lady Realtors, who bombed out of contention after making a strong run in the latter stretch of the tourney. Coming in as a replacement for American Taylor Milton, Drpa delivered 11 digs and four of the Asset Managers’ eight total blocks on top of 15 kills to finish with game-high 19 points. Klisura, on the other hand, chipped in 14 kills and two aces for 16 points while providing the defensive muscle down the stretch together with Alkuino, who came up with a booming block off Rachel Anne Daquis that sealed the victory for the Asset Managers. It was such a sorry loss for the HD Spikers, who marched into the battle without injured import Sonja Milanovic and head coach Edgar Barroga, who is calling the shots for the National University boys’ volleyball squad in the ongoing Palarong Pambansa in Vigan City. They also lost spiker Janine Navarro midway through the third set due to injury. Jeane Horton tallied 17 points while Daquis chipped in 12 markers for Cignal, who still managed to come up with a very good fight despite opening its campaign without a handful of players like Jovelyn Gonzaga and Janine Marciano, who crashed with a knee injury last year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 17th, 2018

Richard Gomez buckles down to work as 18th Asian Games Chef de Mission

Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez began his first official activity as the country’s Chef de Mission to the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia this year by sitting down with the joint technical working group of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila on Friday. “We have only four months left before the Asian Games,” said Gomez who immediately buckled down to work upon his appointment as CDM by newly-elected POC President Ricky Vargas. Budget, medical and administrative staffing, delegation size and quotas as well as provisions like luggage, track suits and parade uniforms were among the matters discussed by the 2018 Asian Games Task Force. Gomez imparted that they will not be veering away much from the estimated team size given by previously-tasked 18th AG CDM Julian Camacho.   "We still do not have the final numbers, but there will be not much difference from the previous projection," Gomez clarified, with adjustment seen to be applied for measurable sports. “We are strongly considering the inclusion of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball,” he added.  He also expressed his pleasure in seeing good coordination between Judo and Kurash. PSC Chairman William Ramirez said during the meeting that he shall respect whatever number (delegation size and composition) Gomez will endorse for support of the PSC. “We leave the decision to the POC. The PSC shall support as best we can,” Ramirez remarked. Ramirez also gave orders to assemble a medical team from the PSC’s Philippine Sports Institute to assist Asian Games-bound athletes. This is not the first time Gomez will be leading a delegation to battle in a multi-sporting event.  He was also the Chef de Mission in the 2014 Phuket Asian Beach Games, where the Philippines reached its best finish since the game’s inception in 2008 held in Bali, Indonesia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2018

FEU solves Sisi Rondina puzzle

Far Eastern University had one simple game plan against University of Sto. Tomas. Make Sisi Rondina bleed for her points. The Lady Tamaraws followed their battle plan to a tee as FEU collected its fourth straight win with a 25-16, 25-22, 25-20, demolition of the Tigresses Saturday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena. Rondina, who terrorized their previous six opponents with 23.33 points average per game, was limited to a season-low 11 points on a 11-of-30 spiking clip. “Nu’ng training pa lang namin, nag-usap na kami lahat. Kasi alam naman namin kung ano yung palo ni Sisi. More on crosscourt sya eh,” said FEU skipper Bernadeth Pons. “Mas lalamangan namin yung block namin sa cross, which is naging effective naman sya kanina,” Pons added. “Na-block namin sya kasi minsanan lang talaga sya nagdo-down the line. Kaya mas lamangan namin yung cross pero may tao pa rin kami, basta ready pa rin kami palagi sa likod.” Aside from shackling Rondina, FEU also silenced Dimdim Pacres. The opposite spiker was limited to only five points and sat out the third frame.              “Pinag-aralan namin ‘yun. Sabi ko nga 70% kay Sisi. But di natin pwedeng pabayaan sina Pacres saka yung core ng team nila kasi baka na-check natin ito, yung iba naman (gumawa). So kailangan balansehin lang,” said FEU coach George Pascua. Fortunately for the Lady Tams no other Tigresses aside from Carla Sandoval, who paced UST with 12 points, stepped up.     “Priority si Sisi sa block then itinapat namin si Sisi kay (Celine) Domingo saka kay Kyle (Negrito)," he added. It didn’t help that the Espana-based squad committed 29 errors and had a poor outing on service reception as UST allowed FEU to land 12 service aces. The win came a lot sweeter as the Lady Tams snapped a two-game slide against the Tigresses as FEU climbed to second spot with a 5-2 slate.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 3rd, 2018

Vargas goal: Go beyond disputes and look for the best athletes

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Fresh from ending Peping Cojuangco's 13-year reign as Philippine Olympic Committe (POC) president last February 23, Ricky Vargas is already implementing his plan to unite the National Sports Associations of the Philippines.  Vargas, together with his running mate for POC chairman Bambol Tolentino, will be recognized in their first board meeting on Monday, March 5, where ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 1st, 2018

After Olympics, South Korea mulls reviving bulldozed forest

JEONGSEON, South Korea--- As hundreds of Olympic spectators flocked to a sparkling white ski slope cutting through the rugged mountains of Jeongseon, the marquee venue of this year's Winter Games, Cho Myung-hwan stepped back and looked up. He let out a sad chuckle. "It's dreadful to watch," Cho, 62, a landscape photographer from Seoul, said as he examined the steep downhill course one day during the Olympics. "Under all the cheers and fun, there are the screams of buzzed-off trees." Cho has visited Mount Gariwang 16 times since 2006, including several trips after 2014 to document the construction of the slope, which was finished in late 2016. He pointed to a spot near the s...Keep on reading: After Olympics, South Korea mulls reviving bulldozed forest.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 1st, 2018

Cojuangco, Vargas battle anew for POC presidency

The battle for the Philippine Olympic Committee presidency continues after incumbent leader Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. and Ricky Vargas of Association of Boxing Alliance of the Philippines filed their certificates of candidacy Wednesday. Both parties submitted their certificates of candidacy at the POC office inside the Philsports Complex in Pasig City where an election committee headed by Frank Elizalde will review their eligibility to run in the scheduled election on Friday. Cycling federation president and Tagaytay City representative Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino and table tennis head Ting Ledesma also filed their COCs. The 82-year-old former Tarlac representative Cojuangco won his fourth term as president unopposed during the November 2016 POC election after Vargas was disqualified to run after allegedly failing to meet the qualifications of being active members of the POC general assembly. Tolentino, who ran as POC chairman during the poll two years ago, was also disqualified for the same reason. Vargas, whose attempt for a temporary restraining order on the 2016 poll was denied by the Pasig Regional Trial Court, won an election case his camp filed on the same court December last year.   According to the court decision, the ‘elections of POC last Nov. 25, 2016 for Chairman and President is null and void” and ordered a reelection. An extraordinary POC general assembly was called Monday regarding the election with Vargas again fearing disqualification.   The election will be held 12:00 noon at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2018