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Solon may espiya sa press room

Sino raw itong mambabatas ang nagpakawala ng mga espiya sa working area ng mga reporter?.....»»

Category: newsSource: abante abanteSep 12th, 2019

Flores says it again: Dolphins aren t tanking in 2019

By Steven Wine, Associated Press MIAMI (AP) — First-year coach Brian Flores has been saying it since March and said it again Sunday: The Miami Dolphins are not tanking in 2019. The claim sounded less convincing after Miami parted with three veterans in deals that netted mostly draft picks. Even before the Dolphins swung the two weekend trades, they were widely expected to be among the NFL's worst teams. The departures of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, receiver Kenny Stills and linebacker Kiko Alonso, who made a combined 137 starts in 2016-18 for the Dolphins, increase the likelihood they'll bring up the rear this year. The deals also make it more probable the Dolphins will go first in the 2020 draft, which fits neatly with the need for a franchise quarterback as part of the rebuilding project ordered in January by owner Stephen Ross. So are they tanking? "No, we're not," Flores said. "We're going to try to win every game. It's disheartening to hear people even say that. For a guy who respects the game, as much as the game has done for me, when people say that — they shouldn't say it." To explain the roster purge, the Dolphins made Flores available rather than general manager Chris Grier. Ross has said little publicly in recent months about his team, but Flores said the owner is on board with the direction. "He has been very supportive," Flores said. "This entire organization is on the same page." That includes the players, the coach said, even if they're dismayed that three longtime teammates have been traded. "I understand there are relationships that are built," Flores said. "But the guys in the locker room, I think they're going to band together and play together." Miami completed the trade Sunday that sent Tunsil, Stills, a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Texans for 2020 and 2021 first-round picks, a 2021 second-round pick, tackle Julién Davenport and cornerback Johnson Bademosi. "This was something we couldn't turn down," Flores said. He said the departure of Stills was about football and not politics. Stills recently criticized Ross' support of President Donald Trump, and he has been kneeling during the national anthem for the past four seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Alonso was traded to the Saints for linebacker Vince Biegel, who has yet to start an NFL game. The deals leave the Dolphins with a passel of draft picks in the next two years, and a salary cap situation that will be the envy of the NFL. But that won't help in 2019. They are likely to enter the season with the NFL's youngest team thanks to more than two dozen players under the age of 25. That includes five undrafted rookie free agents heading into the opener next Sunday against Baltimore. In the wake of the recent roster shake-up, Flores and his staff must quickly decide on a replacement for Tunsil, one of the league's best left tackles. The front-runner is Davenport, who started 15 games for the Texans last year and allowed 12 sacks, the second most by a tackle. "He's a good young player," Flores said. "His best football is ahead of him.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2019

Coroner: Angels Tyler Skaggs died of accidental overdose

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of an accidental overdose from a toxic mix of the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone along with alcohol, a Texas medical examiner said in a report released Friday. Skaggs' family issued a statement suggesting a team employee was part of the investigation into the death. "That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League Baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much," the family said less than two hours after the coroner's report was made public. "We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them." The 27-year-old Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1 before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office report said Skaggs died as a result of "mixed ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents." It said simply: "Manner of death: Accident." The coroner's office didn't comment further. The death rocked baseball shortly before the All-Star Game and laid bare the emotions of Angels manager Brad Ausmus, star outfielder Mike Trout and fellow left-hander Andrew Heaney, his best friend on the team, along with the rest of his teammates and LA staff members. The family statement thanked police in the Dallas suburb of Southlake for its investigation and said they "were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels." The family said it had hired Texas attorney Rusty Hardin to try to determine how Skaggs ended up with the drugs. "We are heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol," the family said. Southlake police said the investigation was ongoing and wouldn't release additional information. The Angels said the club was cooperating with the investigation. "We were unaware of the allegation and will investigate," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said. Skaggs wouldn't necessarily have been subject to testing by Major League Baseball for the drugs found in his system. Players on 40-man rosters are tested for drugs of abuse only if the player-management joint treatment board finds reasonable cause, if a player has been found to have used or possessed a drug of abuse, or if a player is subjected to testing under a treatment program. The Southern California native was drafted by the Angels in the first round in 2009 and made his big league debut with Arizona three years later after being traded. Skaggs returned to the Angels in 2014 and missed all of the next season recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left elbow. He also spent more than three months on the disabled list in 2017 with a right oblique muscle strain. Skaggs was 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA in 96 career appearances, all starts. The day before he died, Skaggs posted a picture on Instagram of him and the Angels in cowboy hats and other western clothing outside their plane. Skaggs organized the effort because the club was stopping in both major league cities in Texas. The first game after Skaggs died was played without music or the usual in-game promotions for the Rangers, who painted his number "45" on the back of the mound at Globe Life Park. Ausmus and his players fought back tears talking about the death with reporters. In their first home game after Skaggs died, the Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 on a combined no-hitter from Taylor Cole and Félix Peña. All the LA players were wearing Skaggs' number and covered the mound with their jerseys after the victory. It was a day before what would have been Skaggs' 28th birthday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2019

Tennis champ, trailblazer Althea Gibson honored at US Open

By Melissa Murphy, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Althea Gibson basked in a ticker-tape parade in New York a decade before Arthur Ashe won the 1968 U.S. Open. Gibson won 11 majors in three years from 1956-58, including the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open singles titles. She integrated two sports — tennis and golf — during an era of racial segregation in the United States. "She's our Jackie Robinson of tennis," said Billie Jean King, who at 13 watched Gibson play. "I saw what it meant to be the best." One Love Tennis is an athletic and educational program for youth in Wilmington, North Carolina. During a rainy day in 2017, the girls watched the documentary "Althea and Arthur." They learned Ashe has a stadium named for him at the U.S. Open on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. The mood in the room grew somber afterward, according to program director Lenny Simpson. The girls realized there wasn't even a "dag-gone hot dog stand" named for Gibson. Why wasn't there a monument to the first African American to win a major title (1956 French Open) before winning both the U.S. Nationals (precursor to the U.S. Open) and Wimbledon in 1957-58? Simpson suggested the girls be part of the solution by writing letters to his friend and then-U.S. Tennis Association President Katrina Adams. King and Adams had been working on the Gibson project for years. King's advocacy before the USTA board resulted in a unanimous vote. Adams later read letters to the board from the girls, including Xerra Robinson, to reinforce the importance of a tribute. "I know she would be proud to see the progress that's been made with so many women of color leading the pack in professional tennis," Adams said of Gibson, who died in 2003 at 76. "Her bravery, perseverance and determination paved the way." On Monday, the USTA will unveil a statue in her honor at the U.S. Open. The girls and boys of One Love Tennis will attend the ceremony, along with Gibson's 85-year-old doubles partner, Angela Buxton of Britain. "It's about bloody time," said Buxton, who won the 1956 French and Wimbledon titles with her friend. More things to know about Gibson, who made the covers of Time and Sports Illustrated and was voted AP Female Athlete of the Year in 1957-58: EARLY YEARS Gibson traveled the hard road from Harlem to Wimbledon, but she had a community of support. The oldest of five children, Gibson was born in Silver, South Carolina, before her sharecropper parents relocated to Harlem. At 18, Gibson moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, to live with Dr. Hubert and Celeste Eaton. She honed her tennis and social skills on Dr. Eaton's court at his home, called "the black country club" because African Americans couldn't play at public courts or white country clubs. "Culturally, it was a tough adjustment," said Simpson, who met his coach and mentor on that court at age 5 when Gibson gave him a racket and called him "champ." ''(In Harlem), she didn't see the signs of white and colored water fountains and white and colored bathrooms. The prejudice and discrimination certainly was there, but nothing like the Jim Crow days of the South." She spent summers in Lynchburg, Virginia, training on the court of Dr. Robert Walter Johnson, who later nurtured Ashe, a winner of five Grand Slam titles. Both were forced to play in segregated tournaments early in their careers. Barred by the precursor of the USTA, Gibson won 10 straight American Tennis Association women's titles starting in 1947. After lobbying by the ATA and a withering editorial from four-time champion Alice Marble, Gibson became the first African American to compete in the 1950 U.S. Nationals at Forest Hills on her 23rd birthday. A graduate of Florida A&M, Gibson taught physical education and considered quitting tennis because she couldn't make a living in the low-paying amateur days. But in 1955, she was tapped by the State Department for a goodwill tennis tour of Asia. That's how she met Buxton in India. ALTHEA YEARS Both were looking for a doubles partner in 1956. Buxton was denied membership at the club in London where she practiced after she listed Jewish for religion on the application. She grew up in England and South Africa and understood Gibson's struggle. "No one spoke to her, let alone played with her," Buxton said by phone from London. "(Her playing style) was like a young man. She wore little shorts, a vest and hit the ball hard, even her second serve. She came charging up to the net. She bamboozled people with her attitude." They won at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but the "powers that be" were not thrilled and "you needed a spy glass to see the headline 'Minorities Win,'" Buxton said. Both were denied membership at the All England Club despite being Wimbledon champions. (Buxton is still waiting). Nonetheless, Gibson got the royal treatment with a ticker-tape parade in July in New York after receiving the 1957 Wimbledon trophy from Queen Elizabeth II. Two months later, she won the U.S. Nationals at Forest Hills. "That was an incredible joy for her," Simpson said. She duplicated those feats and retired from tennis at No. 1 in 1958 — a winner of more than 50 singles and doubles titles — because there was no significant prize money until the professional era began in 1968. The men's and women's 2019 U.S. Open winner will each receive a check for $3.8 million. No other African American woman won the U.S. Open until Serena Williams in 1999 or Wimbledon until Venus Williams in 2000. AFTER TENNIS Gibson played exhibition tennis before Harlem Globetrotters games, signing a $100,000 contract, and joined the LPGA full-time in 1964. In 1975, she became state commissioner of athletics in New Jersey. She served on the state athletics control board, and the governor's council on physical fitness until 1992. The twice-divorced Gibson's health failed in her late 60s after a stroke and she struggled to make ends meet. Buxton said Gibson reached out to a handful of tennis friends without much success. Gibson was on the verge of suicide in 1995 when the tennis great called her, she said. Buxton provided financial support and visited her friend in East Orange, New Jersey. "Angela Buxton saved her life, literally," Simpson said. Buxton also wrote a letter to Tennis Week magazine, and donations flooded in from all over the world. The WTA currently has a hardship fund to help former players. Frances Gray, a longtime friend and co-founder of the Althea Gibson Foundation, has kept her legacy alive. A self-described "born athlete," Gibson said she wanted to be remembered as "strong and tough and quick." "If not for Althea Gibson, there would be no Arthur Ashe, no Serena and Venus, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and the list goes on," Simpson said. "She opened it up for all of us.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2019

Press presentation ng Miss Philippines sa Marriot Hotel well attended

Ms. Philippines Press Presentation was held last July 24 at the Garden Room, Marriot Hotel in Resorts World Manila. The 36 lovely ladies from different regions of the country were presented to the media. They will vie for the coveted title Ms. Phils. Foundation Inc., and six other major titles. Present were the Ms. Philippines ........»»

Category: filipinoSource:  hatawtabloidRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2019

PVL: Reyes lauds Army s grit in marathon match win

Head coach Kungfu Reyes added another classic to his already long list of quotable lines. The PacificTown Army mentor amused the media on Wednesday with a humorous analogy to laud his veteran-laden crew’s gritty five-set win in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference against the youthful ChocoMucho squad. Reyes compared the gutsy Lady Troopers to a shellfish deeply embedded in a rock following their hard-fought epic comeback win over the Flying Titans, 39-41, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-12, that needed two hours and 46 minutes to conclude.   “Kumbaga sa talaba, patay na kumakapit pa,” said Reyes as the press room at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan echoed with laughter.   PacificTown Army refused to just go down and surrender after getting buried to a 0-2 hole in the match and rallied to score one of the most memorable comebacks in league history. The Lady Troopers won their second straight game in as many outings and handed ChocoMucho its first loss in two starts. “Ganoon kami. Hindi kami umaayaw. The moment na umaayaw ka lalo ka naming pupukpukin. Patay na kami pero kakapit pa rin kami hanggang dulo, up to the last point, to the last whistle, sa long whistle ng referee na it’s time na tapos na saka lang kami aayaw,” said Reyes.   One for the books The first frame turned out to be one for the books. PacificTown Army and ChocoMucho engaged in a thrilling exchange of points and the winning set score came just nine markers short of doubling a regular set.    It was a 51-minute set that saw the Flying Titans save 11 set points, the Lady Troopers had three saved set points and 17 deadlocks since ChocoMucho came back from a 20-23 deficit. Reyes said that it was the longest set played he experienced in his career both as a player and as a coach. Unfortunately for him and the Lady Troopers, they were on the side of the stinging set loss. “Masakit nga lalo na kung talo,” quipped Reyes The wind-up of that frame was just insane. Kat Tolentino tied the set at 23 to cap 3-0 blast. Honey Royse Tubino put the Lady Troopers at set point before ChocoMucho displayed a gallant stand to save six straight set points. Tolentino put the Flying Titans on top, 30-29. PacificTown Army saved two set points and went back on top, 32-31, off a Jovelyn Gonzaga hit.            The Flying Titans saved two consecutive set points before moving in front, 34-33, after a Shang Berte ace. Jem Gutierrez knotted it at 34 on a hit before Bang Pineda’s down the line kill to put the Flying Titans at set point advantage. Madayag sent her serve long for another deadlock followed by ChocoMucho’s three straight set points saved. The Flying Titans again went ahead, 39-38, off a Gonzaga attack error. A service error by Arianne Angustia locked the score at 39 before Luth Malaluan’s service error and Tolentino’s kill as ChocoMucho emerged on top after a draining set. “Ang masasabi ko lang swerte ng mga fans,” said Reyes. “’Yun lang ang tumakbo sa isip ko, kasi naka-first time sila [na makapanood ng mahabang set].”   Slowing down the pace ChocoMucho’s athleticism and intensity worked to its advantage in the first two frames. But the battle-hardened and grizzled veteran core of Army turned it around by slowing down the pace and making the Flying Titans play on the Lady Troopers tempo. “Pero sabi ko nga play at the present. Tapos na yung first two sets sa kanila na, bawiin na lang natin sa tempong gagawin na namin,” said Reyes. ChocoMucho danced to Army’s tune. Reyes laid an ambush and the Flying Titans just stepped on the Lady Troopers’ kill zone.   “Padamihan kami ng bala, so hanggang sa dulo pumuputok kami. So malaking bagay,” he said. Reyes also gave credit to setter Alina Bicar, the squad’s young playmaker and civilian recruit who had 24 excellent sets that helped Army land 65 attack points. “’Yung setter namin ang nagdala. So takbo ng takbo ang setter namin, deliver ang bola sa mga spikers,” said Reyes. “Tapos ang spikers namin on the right position, on the highest percentage na pwedeng paluin so nakaka-deliver kami.” In the end, Reyes praised the Lady Titans for pushing a more senior team to the limit. “Young team pero promising kaya kailangan mong paghandaan,” he said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2019

METROBANK FOUNDATION’S 2019 OUTSTANDING FILIPINO

Last August 8, the Metrobank Foundation announced the ten Outstanding Filipinos for 2019 during a well-attended press conference in room at the Marquis Events Place in Ta-guig City with quite a cozy ambiance. Cozy because unlike in in the past, this year’s winners were seated in stools atop a stage where they could easily be […] The post METROBANK FOUNDATION’S 2019 OUTSTANDING FILIPINO appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsAug 19th, 2019

Mickelson late to the course after lightning hits hotel

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) — Phil Mickelson had a wild Sunday, and that was before he showed up for the BMW Championship. Mickelson said on Twitter that lightning struck the hotel where he was staying, leading to an evacuation. One problem: He was staying on the top floor, his clubs were in his room and his tee time at Medinah was approaching. How’s this for crazy? My hotel was struck by lighting, I was on top floor,we were evacuated and the place is on fire(only thing of mine on fire this week.) I can’t get back into my room and may miss my tee time because I am without clubs and clothes. — Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) August 18, 2019 "Kind of a funny deal," Mickelson said after ending his season with a 71 to fail to reach the Tour Championship. "The building got struck by lightning right above me and blew out a brick chimney and caught fire a little bit. There were 10 fire trucks. I got in my car and left and couldn't get back. The roads were closed and the hotel was closed." Mickelson didn't sound as though he were overly concerned, saying it would have meant heading home to San Diego that much sooner. "But things cleared up pretty quickly," he said. "I was able to get back in and get my stuff." Mickelson eventually got to the course in time to change shoes in the parking lot, but not after a tweet saying that his clubs served as a fire retardant. He headed to the range to warm up, pausing only to answer the phone when his wife called to check on him. He told her at one point, "I tweeted it." By the end of the day, Mickelson said everything worked out fine "except for my score." After winning at Pebble Beach in February, Mickelson had only one finish inside the top 20 the rest of the year, a tie for 18th at the Masters. His eight missed cuts were the most for him since 1995. He also failed to qualify for the Presidents Cup team and could be left off a U.S. team for the first time since 1993. U.S. captain Tiger Woods makes his four wild-card picks on Nov. 5. Mickelson has only two tournaments on his schedule before then. "If I play well I might try to add a couple in Asia to try to warrant a pick," Mickelson said. "If I'm not playing well, I probably won't." He also wasn't ready to comment on whether he would talk to Woods about being an assistant, saying he was mentally and physically tired and needed time to decompress. "I've had a rough four, five months, probably the worse four, five months stretch of my career," he said. "I'm looking forward to having a couple months off and kind of regrouping and come back fresh.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2019

Popovich faces tough numbers game for FIBA World Cup

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — When Gregg Popovich was cut from the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball roster, those making the decision took the easiest way out. They posted a note. “Clueless people,” Popovich said, 47 years later, grinning to at least try to suggest it doesn’t still bother him too much. It’ll soon be time for Popovich to walk in those same decision-making shoes, when he has to pare USA Basketball’s roster from 13 players to 12 in time for the FIBA World Cup this month. All 13 remaining hopefuls were on the team plane Saturday to Australia. So when the last cut gets made — expect it about Aug. 27, unless injuries happen — a guy will see his gold-medal hopes come to a quick end. And no, Popovich is not looking forward to this. “When you cut people from your regular NBA team, it’s difficult,” said Popovich, USA Basketball’s men’s national coach. “We’re going to have to do that. And it’s going to be even more so. I’m dreading having to do that. But it’s got to get done.” There have been more than 50 NBA players linked to this World Cup team at some point in the last year or so, most of them dropping out of consideration on their own, citing schedule demands or concerns. A few others were eliminated after injuries. Only two to this point — Miami’s Bam Adebayo and Chicago’s Thaddeus Young — were actually cut, those moves coming after the first week of training camp in Las Vegas. It would have been 14 players going to Australia, but Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox decided Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) to leave the team. So there’s one cut left. It will be downright brutal. “It just means that guys are doing their jobs,” Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton said. “We’re making it as tough as it can be on them. I think guys have been great all camp, just being positive, bringing energy and playing as hard as they can, giving their body up for everybody else. So that’s a huge thing for everybody.” It would seem like there are a handful of locks to make the team: Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell, Harrison Barnes, Mason Plumlee, Myles Turner and Middleton. They were starters Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) against Spain — Plumlee started the first half, Turner the second, with the U.S. still mixing and matching. Jayson Tatum played more minutes than nearly everyone Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Joe Harris — the NBA’s best three-point shooter last season — should be on this team based on the importance of shooting from deep in the international game. Brook Lopez should make the team for the same reason since his seven-foot frame and three-point game seem made for the FIBA stage. That’s nine, or four guys left for three spots. Marcus Smart is a bit of a wild card — unable to play in either the Spain game or the intrasquad scrimmage Aug. 9 (Aug. 10, PHL time) because of a calf issue, though the fact that he’s still on the roster strongly suggests the U.S. has him in its plans. Assuming he’s healthy now, pencil him into a spot. (If he’s not healthy, that makes the decision obvious and simple.) Jaylen Brown brings toughness, and he’s played well enough to merit a uniform as well. That, if the U.S. is keeping Smart, makes it 11 players. That would mean two guys remain for one spot. Arguments for both can be made. Kyle Kuzma played very well against Spain on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) and teammates have raved about his effort in camp. Derrick White was a select-teamer before getting called up, and plays for Popovich in San Antonio. It certainly would make sense to have someone in the team room fluent in Popovich’s hows and whys. There is no obvious solution, no easy way out of this conundrum for Popovich, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and the rest of the U.S. coaches. “From top to bottom, everybody is hungry and wants to prove something — that we can get this job done,” Middleton said. If nothing else, Popovich won’t be sending the unlucky-to-be-cut guy a note. The easiest thing he could have done after the Spain game is tap those who didn’t make it on the shoulder, deliver a fond adieu and offer well-wishes for NBA training camp next month. Instead, he’ll bring 13 guys to the other side of the world, spend another 10 days or so squeezing every bit of effort out of them, teach them some more about basketball and wine, and then decide which one to send home. Sounds like how he wishes he was treated in 1972. Asked why he didn’t pick the final roster before Australia, Popovich was succinct. “It seemed like the right thing to do,” he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2019

Return of the Mac-killer: Nate Diaz ends hiatus at UFC 241

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The mostly empty arena rumbled with outsized excitement when Nate Diaz stepped onto the stage. The fans erupted into cheers while Diaz lit a joint and took a big drag before doing a little shadowboxing for the cameras. Even before he said a word at his open workout four days before UFC 241, Diaz showed he can captivate an audience like no active fighter in the mixed martial arts world. Fighters can train for almost every skill in the game except charisma, and the Diaz brothers are laden with it. The younger Diaz (19-11) returns from a three-year hiatus on Saturday night, taking on Anthony Pettis in his first bout since his two showdowns with Conor McGregor in 2016. A heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic is the main event, but many fans at Honda Center and around the world will be watching mostly to see what Diaz does next. "I'm here as a businessman and a natural born killer," Diaz said. "I'm here to get the job done, and he's the guy to do it on, so there's no problem. It's all good with me. I'm just here to kill and stay alive for the weekend." Diaz and his older brother, Nick, receive a level of adulation in the MMA world that exceeds even their considerable accomplishments. It's difficult to explain the Diaz appeal to observers who don't have a full historical perspective on the pugnacious, thoughtful brothers' omnipresence in their sport's attitudes and images during the past 15 years, even when they weren't competing very often. Their swashbuckling attitude, angry disregard for authority, profane words of wisdom and athletic fighting styles all appeal tremendously to many people who support a young sport that's still seen as repellent counterculture by a big segment of mostly aging sports fans. Put it this way: A 22-year-old Nate Diaz once completed a submission finish with his legs while simultaneously thrusting two middle fingers in the air. You might love that or hate it, but you have an opinion. "That's the way I've been from Day One," Diaz said. "It's going to stay this way, too, until I'm 100 years old. I'm the Don of all this. If anybody is going to step in this room and say they're the (butt)-whipper, I beg to differ." Even Anthony Bourdain, the late traveler and gourmand, famously filmed a segment with Nick and Nate for his CNN show on Los Angeles, not because the Northern California natives knew much about LA and its cuisines — other than the best weed, probably — but simply because Bourdain, a jiu-jitsu practitioner and MMA fan, was fascinated by the brothers' outlaw ethos. Some of the brothers' behavior seems performative, but some of it isn't: Both Nick and Nate have essentially walked away from the UFC for long stretches of their prime, turning down countless millions in prize money because they refused to compromise what they considered to be their principles. Diaz split two tremendously entertaining matchups with McGregor and became one of the UFC's biggest stars in 2016, but he is 34 years old now, and Saturday's fight will be only his fifth since November 2013. Diaz said he felt mistreated by the UFC, although he struggles to explain how its persistent attempts to book one of its most popular fighters constitute disrespect. Diaz turned down matchups worth millions, including a probable shot at Georges St. Pierre, and he lost a chance to return last year when future champ Dustin Poirier was injured before their bout. Diaz also said he doesn't fight for money. He and his brother, Nick, who hasn't fought in nearly five years, are busy with Nick's thriving gym in their native Stockton, California. Nate said they've also got a successful CBD business, to absolutely nobody's surprise. "They've been trying to degrade me the whole time I've been out," Diaz said. "They're trying to put me low on the card against not very big names. They also tried to give me huge names, but those fell through. It don't matter. I believe I'm the main event in any event they've got. They'll do the best they can to keep me from that." Diaz's complaints are more likely a distilled version of that everyone-is-against-me mentality that drives so many athletes. But he was tempted back by a matchup with Pettis, who nurses a grudge against Diaz that apparently isn't mutual. Diaz dismissively refers to Pettis as "this Wheaties box" in reference to Pettis' former endorsement deal with the cereal, but has mostly ignored Pettis' pointed criticisms. Diaz won't say whether he plans to fight again, or whether he would like his first UFC title shot since 2012. He will stick to his own timetable and goals while nursing the same attitude that kept him on top of the UFC star pyramid even during three years away. "No one on the roster for the last three years even read the blueprints," Diaz said. "I'm right there. Why don't you go take it? And nobody did, and tomorrow, if some of these young guys say they're going to step up and take my position, I'm not with that.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2019

AP source: Carter returning to Hawks for 22nd NBA season

By Paul Newberry, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Vince Carter is putting off retirement for at least one more season. With that, he’ll claim the longest career in NBA history all to himself. A person familiar with the situation confirmed that Carter has agreed to terms on a one-year contract to return to the Atlanta Hawks for his record 22nd season. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. The 42-year-old Carter never wavered in his desire to play with someone this season. He is tied with Robert Parish, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis and recently retired Dirk Nowitzki — all of whom played for 21 seasons — for the longest career in NBA history. “Just waiting for the right opportunity,” he said on a recent conference call to discuss the upcoming Jr. NBA Global Championship, when questioned by a reporter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Nothing has changed as far as that goal and that dream of mine.” The deal was first reported by ESPN. Essentially an extra coach during his first season with the Hawks, Carter served as a mentor to some of the NBA’s most promising young talent, including point guard Trae Young and forward John Collins. This year, the Hawks added first-round picks D’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, giving the team two more players who will surely benefit from Carter’s experience and leadership. Carter also showed last season that he’s still got some hoop skills. He was a valuable member of the playing rotation on a rebuilding team, playing in 76 games with nine starts, averaging 17.5 minutes and 7.4 points per contest. While Carter is likely to get less playing time after the additions of Hunter and Reddish, the Hawks wanted him back and finish off what is expected to be a 14-man roster this season. Carter entered the league in 1998 — the same year Young was born — as the fifth overall pick out of North Carolina. He sparked a wave of “Vinsanity” in Toronto, where his high-flying style made him one of the league’s top players. He began a run of 10 straight seasons where he was selected to the All-Star Game appearances and averaged more than 20 points a game. Carter was dealt to New Jersey in a blockbuster trade early in the 2004-05 and spent nearly five seasons with the Nets. Since then, he bounced around to Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis and Sacramento before landing in Atlanta last season. The only blemish on his resume is the lack of an NBA title, which isn’t likely to change in Atlanta. The Hawks, who are in the midst of a total roster makeover focused on young talent, went 29-53 last season and are again pegged as a longshot to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. After reporting for training camp a year ago in Atlanta, Carter said he still feels like a 20-something when a new season rolls around. “This is like I’m in my third, fourth, fifth year,” he said. “I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m excited about playing. I still love playing. I still love competing. I still enjoy the traveling, the ups and downs of the league. That’s what it’s all about. It’s hard to let go.” Coach Lloyd Pierce, who is heading into his second season with the Hawks, loved having Carter around to give players such as Young and Collins an extra shoulder to lean on during their transition to the NBA. Pierce is only eight months older than Carter. “When we have our locker room and on-the-bus debates and conversations, he’s on our side,” Pierce joked. “He can relate a little closer to the coaching staff than he can with the players.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

Halep wins Wimbledon, stops Williams bid for 24th Slam

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Clutching her trophy 20 minutes after becoming Wimbledon's champion, Simona Halep checked out the board inside Centre Court that lists tournament winners. Below all of the mentions of Serena Williams, her opponent in Saturday's final, there already was inscribed: "Miss S. Halep." Halep was not concerned with preventing Williams from winning a 24th Grand Slam title. All Halep cared about was winning her first at the All England Club. And she played pretty much perfectly. On top of her game right from start to finish, Halep overwhelmed Williams 6-2, 6-2 in stunning fashion for her second major championship. The whole thing took less than an hour as Williams lost her third Slam final in a row as she tries to equal Margaret Court's record for most major trophies in tennis history. "She literally played out of her mind. Congratulations, Simona. It was a little bit 'a deer in the headlights' for me," Williams said. "So, I mean, whenever a player plays that amazing, you just kind of have to take your hat off and give them a nod of the head." How good was the No. 7-seeded Halep? She made a mere three unforced errors, a remarkably low total and 23 fewer than Williams. Not bad for someone who has been frank about how jittery she has gotten in past big matches and began the day having lost nine of 10 matchups against Williams. But after losing each of her first three major finals, Halep now has won two straight, including at last year's French Open. "Well, I had nerves. My stomach was not very well before the match," said Halep, a 27-year-old Romanian, "but I knew there is no time for emotions. I just came on court and I gave my best." Couldn't have been any better, really. Williams also lost in straight sets against Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final a year ago, and against Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open last September. The 37-year-old American hasn't won a tournament since the 2017 Australian Open, when she set the professional-era record of 23 Grand Slam championships (Court won 13 of her titles against amateur competition). Williams was pregnant when she won in Australia and then took more than a year off the tour; her daughter, Olympia, was born in September 2017. Since returning to tennis, Williams has dealt with injuries but still managed to remain among the game's elite. In part because of a bad left knee, she only had played 12 matches all season until Wimbledon. "Just got to keep fighting," Williams said, "and just keep trying." Didn't take long on Saturday for Halep to demonstrate this was not going to be easy for Williams. Not by any means. Showing off the talents and traits that once lifted her to No. 1 in the rankings, Halep never really gave Williams a chance to get into the match. Halep tracked down everything, as is her wont. She didn't merely play defense, though, managing to go from retrieving an apparent point-ending stroke by Williams to lashing a winner of her own in a blink. Her returns were exceptional, repeatedly getting back serves that left Williams' racket at 115 mph or more. On this cloudy, cool afternoon, with the temperature in the low 70s (low 20s Celsius), Halep began with a pair of service breaks and even delivered the match's first ace, at 106 mph, which put her out front 4-0 after 11 astonishing minutes. Halep won 14 of the first 18 points, with many in the crowd roaring for each of the rare ones that went Williams' way. Halep produced eight winners before a single unforced error, avoiding a miscue until the seventh game. Williams, in stark contrast, came out looking a bit tight, short-arming shots and accumulating nine unforced errors before conjuring up a single winner. She spoke after her semifinal victory about trying to remain calm on court, and that she did, even in the face of a player who was at her very best. Williams would place a hand on her hip. Or put a palm up and look at her guest box, as if thinking, "What can I do?" Williams' greatest show of emotion came after she stretched for a forehand volley winner on the second set's second point. She leaned forward and yelled, "Come on!" But the comeback never came. Halep broke to lead 3-2 in that set when Williams pushed a backhand long, and there wasn't much left from there. Halep only had been as far as the semifinals once at Wimbledon until now. But she was determined to change that and said she told the locker-room attendants at the beginning of the tournament she wanted to grab a title to earn lifetime membership in the All England Club. "So here I am," she said Saturday, the fortnight done, her trophy won. "It was one of my motivations before this tournament. So now I am happy.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2019

Anthony Davis joins Lakers with championship plans

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Davis' year of uncertainty finally felt finished when he stood in the Los Angeles Lakers' training complex and proudly held up his new gold jersey while LeBron James looked on approvingly. After months of upheaval around his departure from New Orleans, the superstar forward is looking forward to years of success and stability on the West Coast. Sure, Davis knows the Lakers are rarely stable, and championships are the only success this franchise understands. The six-time All-Star can't wait for the challenge of winning big in the Hollywood spotlight. "The most difficult part for me was just not knowing," Davis said Saturday (Sunday, PHl time). "When it was announced that I was being traded, I don't want to say it was a relief, (but) it was something that I'd thought about for a long time. Obviously it was tough to leave the city I'd been playing in for seven years, but I think it was best for me. "When I found out I'd been traded to the Lakers, I realized it was an unbelievable opportunity for me," he added. "To be here with a wonderful organization, and then to be able to play alongside LeBron and the players that we have now ... to get the opportunity to do that and come here and play for an organization that's all about winning, and winning championships, and that's the only goal, I think that was the biggest thing for me." The Lakers formally acquired Davis this month in one of the biggest moves of the NBA's tumultuous offseason, but this courtship has been happening for much longer. Davis became determined to leave New Orleans last season, and Los Angeles made an in-season run at Davis before eagerly blowing up its young core to get a second game-changing star to play alongside James. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka introduced Davis as "the most dominant young basketball player in the world." "There is no more complete basketball player in the game," Pelinka added. "There is nothing he can't do. He can shoot. He can make plays. He can defend 1 to 5. He can protect the rim. He can handle the ball. His dedication to his craft is unparalleled. To sit here next to him and think he's going to be on our team and he's going to be a pillar in this franchise for many years is just something we're incredibly proud of." The Lakers gave up Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and a slew of draft picks to land Davis one year before he could become an unrestricted free agent. While Pelinka clearly expects Davis to sign a long-term deal to stay with the Lakers, Davis didn't make a declaration of his intentions right away. "Right now, my focus is on this year, and trying to help this organization become a championship team," Davis said. Davis' new jersey will bear a No. 3 after his plan to take his usual No. 23 from James fell through thanks to rules involving jersey supplier Nike, who had already begun planning for next season with James in the No. 23 shirt. Davis will go back to the number he wore in elementary and middle school, although he jokingly said the denial of No. 23 "was pretty hurtful." Davis and James have been kept up to speed on Pelinka's machinations to build a strong roster around them. Davis strongly endorsed the signing of DeMarcus Cousins, his former teammate in New Orleans — and not just because Davis prefers to play as a power forward instead of a center. "I like playing the 4," Davis said to a laughing coach Frank Vogel. "I'm not even going to sugarcoat it. I don't like playing the 5, but if it comes down to it, Coach, I'll play the 5." Pelinka said the Lakers signed Cousins and re-signed JaVale McGee precisely so that Davis wouldn't wear down his body guarding centers. Davis was asked about load management, and he dismissed it: "I'm playing. I'm 26-years-old. I love the game of basketball. I'm ready to play." Davis also waived a $4 million trade kicker in his contract so the Lakers would have cap room to take their failed run at Kawhi Leonard, a move that Pelinka praised as selfless. "Anytime you're able to acquire a player like Kawhi, I think you have to do almost everything to get a guy like that," Davis said. "It didn't work out for us, but I wanted to make sure I did whatever I could to help the team." Basketball-loving Los Angeles is still buzzing after its two teams were turned into immediate contenders during free agency, but they're hardly alone in a league that might have achieved a measure of parity after years of Golden State dominance. While Leonard and Paul George landed with the Clippers, Davis and James are confident about the future ahead for the 16-time NBA champions, who are exponentially more beloved in their hometown than their local rivals. Davis has lived in Los Angeles during the offseason for several years, and he loves everything about it but the traffic. "It's going to be fun," Davis said of the new-look league with its new crop of superstar pairings. "I'm excited about it. I think the league has grown. I think it's better. (With) all the players teaming up and spreading that talent throughout the league, it's going to be a fun season. I like our roster. I like every player that we have, from one through 14." The Lakers have been the worst team in the NBA during their team-record six consecutive seasons out of the playoffs, but Davis and James expect to end those struggles and drought in the year ahead. They're aiming for much more, too. "I know we'll talk about it and do whatever we can to definitely make this team a championship team next season," Davis said, before correcting himself: "This season.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2019

Ye Olde Slugfest: Yanks top Red Sox 17-13 in MLB Euro debut

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Rest assured, British fans: Most baseball games are not like this, not even the crazy ones between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Major League Baseball arrived in Europe on Saturday night with Ye Olde Slugfest. Each team scored six runs in a first inning that lasted nearly an hour, with Aaron Hicks hitting the first European homer. Brett Gardner had a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the third, Aaron Judge went deep to cap a six-run fourth and the Yankees outlasted their rivals 17-13 in a game that stretched for 4 hours, 42 minutes — 3 minutes shy of the record for a nine-inning game. "Well, cricket takes like all weekend to play, right? So, I'm sure a lot of people are used to it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We should remind them there's not 30 runs every game." Before a sellout crowd of 59,659 at Olympic Stadium that included supporters from Britain, Beantown and the Big Apple plus royalty, batters behaved like good tourists and minded the gaps — and the fences. As a Union Jack fluttered above center field along with the Stars and Stripes, both teams jacked and jacked and jacked. "I think we're getting as good a reception as football has for the last couple years," Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said. AL batting leader DJ LeMahieu had four hits and five RBIs, including a three-run double in the fourth and a two-run single in the fifth that opened a 17-6 lead. Voit had four hits, including three doubles, before leaving with a left abdominal injury in the fifth. He'll be evaluated before Sunday's series finale. No British reserve with these offenses. Hicks was especially proud to hit the first homer. "That's something they can never take from me," he said. New York set season highs for runs and hits by the fifth inning and outhit Boston 19-18 overall as both teams batted around twice. The 30 runs were the most in a big league game since Boston beat Baltimore 19-12 last Aug. 10, according to STATS. Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis hit a pair of three-run homers, the second in a six-run seventh. "Definitely the biggest crowd I've played in front of. The loudest, as well," Chavis said. "With the overhang, there was kind of an echo." Jackie Bradley Jr. had four hits, including a home run. Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts left in the eighth after calf muscles in both legs cramped, then said he should be available Sunday. Boston starter Rick Porcello and New York's Masahiro Tanaka got hammered — fittingly in the home of the Premier League soccer club West Ham, nicknamed the Hammers. Neither got out of a first inning that lasted 58 minutes and included 20 batters and 94 pitches. It took 1:51 to play the first three innings and 2:58 for 4½, but unlike in cricket, the teams did not break for tea. Zack Britton retired Marco Hernandez on a bases-loaded grounder that ended the eighth, and Sam Travis hit into a game-ending double play against Aroldis Chapman on the 422nd pitch. "The stadium, the atmosphere, just looking up into the outfield and seeing all those people there, it is pretty special to play out there," LeMahieu said. Chad Green (2-2) allowed four hits in two scoreless innings. Steven Wright (0-1) lost in his first decision and second appearance since an 80-game suspension for a positive drug test. New York won for the 12th time in 13 games, maintained a seven-game lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the AL East and reached the halfway mark at 53-28, one fewer win than at last year's midpoint. The defending World Series champion Red Sox dropped a season-high 10 games back at 44-39. The 2,200th regular-season meeting between the teams was a scorcher — the hottest day of the year in London at 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 Celsius), and still 92 when the first pitch was thrown at 6:10 p.m. While Boston was the home team and hit last, both teams wore their white home uniforms. Prince Harry and wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, met with both teams and took part in the ceremonial first pitch ceremony. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was on hand, as he was when the Yankees played Tampa Bay at the Tokyo Dome in 2004. "I got chills from our intros coming out," Judge said. Organizers brought touches of home, such as the grounds crew dancing to the Village People's "YMCA." The sound system played "Sweet Caroline" in the eighth and "New York, New York" after the final out. But there were misfires, too. When Gary Sánchez struck out in the second, music was played that usually follows a New York run being scored at Yankee Stadium. Porcello got just one out in the shortest of his 324 career starts. "I couldn't execute the pitches," he said. "There's no excuse for it. It was an unacceptable performance." Tanaka got two outs as he failed to finish the first inning for the first time in 149 major league starts. It was the first time in the rivalry that both teams scored six or more runs in the opening inning and the first big league game involving any teams in which that occurred since visiting Toronto led Oakland 7-6 on June 23, 1989. Before all the runs, New York gave Prince Harry a Yankees shirt as a gift, and Didi Gregorius said the sixth-in-line to the throne promised to wear it if the Yankees won. "I hope," Gregorius said, "he remembers that." BETWEEN INNINGS Jason Diamond, visiting from New York, won the third-inning race against The Freeze, who came over from Atlanta. ... Freddie Mercury won the racing mascots, beating Winston Churchill, King Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. WEB GEM Yankees RF Mike Tauchman made a diving, backhand grab to rob Travis in the seventh. THE SHINING Outfielders had trouble picking up balls because of white seats and tables of the white press tribune built for soccer, and also because of the late-setting European sun. LONG NIGHT Edwin Encarnación struck out five times. FASCINATING Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman wore a fascinator, more commonly seen at Royal Ascot than a baseball game. TRAINER'S ROOM Yankees: RHP Domingo Germán is scheduled to return from a strained hip flexor and start Wednesday at the New York Mets, a day after LHP J.A. Happ starts the opener of the two-game Subway Series. LHP CC Sabathia will start in the following series at Tampa Bay. ... RHP Luis Severino (lat strain) had another setback and still has not thrown off a mound. Boone said an MRI showed the lat is about 90% healed and Severino probably will resume throwing in 5-7 days. ... RHP Dellin Betances (lat strain) probably will resume throwing next week. Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson was put on the 10-day IL because of an unspecified medical matter not related to baseball. UP NEXT LHP Eduardo Rodriguez starts Sunday's series finale for Boston and lefty reliever Stephen Tarpley for New York......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2019

NBA salary cap for 2019-20 season set at $109.14 million

NBA press release NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association today announced that the Salary Cap has been set at $109.140 million for the 2019-20 season. The tax level for the 2019-20 season is $132.627 million. The Salary Cap and tax level go into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Monday, July 1. As announced by the league in May, this year teams can begin negotiating with free agents at 6:00 p.m. ET on June 30 -- six hours prior to the start of the league’s “moratorium period.” The moratorium period ends at noon ET on Saturday, July 6. The minimum team salary, which is set at 90% of the Salary Cap, is $98.226 million for the 2019-20 season. The Collective Bargaining Agreement provides for three different mid-level exceptions depending on a team’s salary level. The non-taxpayer mid-level for the 2019-20 season is $9.258 million, the taxpayer mid-level is $5.718 million, and the mid-level for a team with room under the Salary Cap is $4.767 million......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2019

Being a male coach limits Neville s team time at World Cup

By Rob Harris, Associated Press VALENCIENNES, France (AP) — Having a male coach spares the England Women's World Cup squad from being subjected to a lengthy verbal barrage in the dressing room. Phil Neville, who was accustomed to receiving the renowned "hairdryer treatment" from Alex Ferguson during his Manchester United career, only has a couple of minutes to dish out halftime instructions to his Lionesses. Immediately after coming off the field, the players have some time without their coach since he limits his time in the dressing room. "It allows me just time to breathe, speak to my three assistants," Neville said ahead of Sunday's round of 16 meeting with Cameroon. "As a player, when you come into the dressing room you are highly charged and highly emotional. Probably that's the optimal time to let them have their room to vent at each other, vent at themselves and when I come up in they have clarity of mind to listen to my team talk." Neville doesn't want to take up too much of the 15-minute break. "I need only two minutes with them," he said Saturday. "If I need longer we're in serious trouble." Half of the managers in the round of 16 are men — including Cameroon's Alain Djeumfa, who will coach against Neville on Sunday in Valenciennes. The post-match routine also varies with having a male manager in charge of a women's team and the new FIFA regulations that have players facing a line of reporters immediately after leaving the field. Neville conducts the post-match debrief in view of the world. In the huddle on the field the emotions can be in full view, and Neville was seen comforting Fran Kirby after the second game against Argentina. "It's difficult at the end of the game," Neville said. "In the women's game a lot of huddles do go on the pitch after the game because of the fact if you're a male manager you don't go back into the dressing room." FIFA said it gives no instructions to Women's World Cup teams regarding access to the dressing room for male managers. "What we decided as group is we had to speak to the players before they speak to the media because they like to know what I'm thinking, they like messages," Neville said. "Normally, you go into the dressing groom and the manager gives a conclusion of the game and they go out probably singing from the same hymn sheet. "Straight from these games they have to go straight down the tunnel. They are emotional, tired, fatigued. So we just like that little three to four minutes of clarity in our thinking.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2019

Uruguay draws with Japan 2-2 in Copa America

By Eric Nunez, Associated Press PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Copa America favorites Uruguay drew 2-2 with Japan on Thursday and delayed until the last round of the group stage its likely qualification to the tournament's knockout phase. Japan, which is playing a young team, was ahead twice in the match at the Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre thanks to midfielder Koji Miyoshi, one of the seven changes the Asian team made after losing 4-0 to Chile in its opening match. Miyoshi netted his first at 25 minutes, hitting the ball hard to the left of goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Luis Suarez leveled at 32 after a penalty kick awarded by video review following a foul by a Japanese defender. Miyoshi added Japan's second at 59 in a rebound after Muslera tried to block a cross from the left. At 66 minutes, Uruguay drew with a header by Jose Gimenez after a corner kick. Uruguay has four points in two matches and leads Group C. Defending Copa America champion Chile can reach six points with a win over Ecuador on Friday. Japan has one point, and Ecuador has none. Uruguay and Chile play on Monday, the same day that Japan plays against Ecuador. "I am not worried," Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. "Do you know how many times I lived this in those 13 years (as Uruguay coach)? Japan was aggressive. They had fewer opportunities and scored twice. They played a great match." Suarez described the result as "bittersweet." "They pressured us and didn't let us play in the way we wanted," the striker said. Despite the result and a poorer performance than in the 4-0 win against Ecuador, Uruguay had the best chances to score. Gimenez, who scored Uruguay's second, said he knew Japan was quick and resilient before the match. "Against Chile they missed some forcefulness, otherwise the match would have been different," the defender said. "We didn't lose, it is a valuable point." Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu made the changes to the team that was hammered by Chile as part of preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Japanese players complained in the first half when the match was 1-1 and Shoya Nakajima fell in the penalty box after contact with Uruguay's Giovanni Gonzalez. Colombian referee Andres Rojas did not award a penalty. "We could have won," said Moriyasu. "When the players returned to the dressing room you could see that frustration on their faces. They felt they missed a little to win." Suarez and Edinson Cavani had other chances near the end, but the 2-2 looked like a fair result to more than 30,000 fans attending the match. "We played head to head, respecting all the history Uruguay has," Moriyasu said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2019

Analysis: Anthony Davis trade a win-win for both sides

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press The saga is over. When this trade is done, everybody can say they won. The Lakers, the Pelicans, Rich Paul, LeBron James, they all can take a victory lap. The trade that will be official in the coming weeks sending Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks — first reported by ESPN, later confirmed to The Associated Press by several people with knowledge of the matter — is perfect for both sides. James gets the superstar teammate he wanted. Paul, the agent James and Davis share, pulls off a power move. The Lakers instantly become major players in a suddenly open Western Conference. Davis finally gets his wish to leave New Orleans. The Pelicans don’t begin Zion Williamson’s era with a disgruntled superstar in the locker room. They load up on young players and have tons of draft chips to play around with. For the Pelicans, it’s a new beginning. For the Lakers, it’s about winning now. Draft picks, including No. 4 in this year’s class, smartly were not overvalued by the Lakers — a team with a superstar who is turning 35 in December and should be doing anything necessary to help him win a fourth championship before his window closes. The Lakers have tons of money to spend starting June 30 and the sales pitch to Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving or anyone else changes mightily after this move. Before Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) it would have been Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka saying, “We’re trying to get Anthony Davis.” Now it’ll be Pelinka saying, “We’ve got Davis, we’ve got LeBron and they want you with them.” That’ll be a tough offer for anyone to ignore. James is going to get another Big Three out of this: It was Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and him in Miami; Kevin Love, Irving and him in Cleveland; Davis, him and TBA with the Lakers. Clearly, the focus will be on a guard, which is why the rumor mill will be all about either Walker or Irving going to Los Angeles in free agency. The offseason is already in high gear. Hard to believe it really just got started. This deal got agreed to before the newly crowned NBA champion Toronto Raptors — this is true — hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy on Canadian soil for the first time. They won Thursday night at Oracle Arena to end Golden State’s reign, then stopped for a party in Las Vegas before the parade in Toronto on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). Not even 48 hours after they popped corks, the Lakers were starting their own celebration. Williamson will get drafted No. 1 overall on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time), and he’ll go to New Orleans in the awkward spot of being an 18-year-old (he doesn’t turn 19 until July 6) with a franchise on his shoulders. The Lakers will still be drafting No. 4 overall, though they’ll be doing so on New Orleans’ behalf because the trade cannot be consummated beforehand. The Pelicans need a center, and will likely look at the trade market. The Pelicans have to watch an incredible player, one of the league’s very best, leave. But David Griffin — the man tasked with rebuilding the Pelicans — clearly had concluded that there was no way of convincing Davis to not leave as a free agent next summer anyway. Had Griffin waited to make a deal in-season, there’s almost no way he could have pulled off this kind of haul in return. The longer he waited, the less the value. So they push the reset button and move on, which was the most prudent play. Let the ripple effects begin. The Warriors not only have to figure out what to do if Kevin Durant leaves, but how to contend next year without the Achilles-rehabbing Durant and the ACL-rehabbing Klay Thompson (for at least much of the season). Other contenders in the West — Houston, Denver, Portland — will be viewing the Warriors’ woes as opportunity, so they’ll be looking at ways to get better as well. And Boston will be dealing with the reality that not only are its hopes of landing Davis gone, but that Irving is likely leaving as well. There will be countless big moves in the coming weeks. The Lakers, who have missed the playoffs in the last six seasons and have been stuck in dysfunction mode for the last couple months following the resignation of Magic Johnson and soap opera that followed, got the first one of the offseason to go their way. Welcome to summer. Game on. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2019

With the Raptors, a global game now has a truly global champion

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Canadian flag, soaked in beer and champagne, was waved in the Toronto locker room. Pascal Siakam wore the flag of Cameroon around his shoulders. Marc Gasol was yelling some happy phrase in Spanish. Every team that wins an NBA title calls itself “world champions.” These Toronto Raptors might actually be worthy of such a moniker. The new kings of NBA basketball are the first outside the U.S. to wear the crown. And they come from all corners of the globe. Team President Masai Ujiri was born in England and raised in Nigeria. Serge Ibaka is from the Congo. Gasol will play again for his native Spain this summer in the FIBA World Cup. Coach Nick Nurse won his first championship in Britain, where reserve OG Anunoby comes from. Even the team’s superfan, Nav Bhatia, comes from India. It’s a global game. It’s a global team. They’re the global champions. “It meant a lot, just having guys from different countries and speaking different languages,” Siakam said. “I think it kind of got us closer together. And you kind of have all those little kinds of friendship with guys that you can speak the same language with, and from Spanish to French to English, different cultures. I think kind of it represents Toronto in general, having that diversity.” He doesn’t even have the whole list. Jeremy Lin, an Asian-American, speaks Mandarin. The assistants on Nurse’s staff have backgrounds from stints as players or coaches in France, England, Germany, Italy, Australia, Israel and more. The director of sports science is Scottish. The head trainer is from Ontario. Jamaal Magloire, who has been on the staff since his playing days ended, is a Toronto native. “It means a lot,” Magloire said as he watched champagne spray all over the locker room. “Canada and Toronto especially are very diverse places. And this team, all the diversity that we have, it served us well.” There’s a parade — Ujiri said it was scheduled for Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), though he also wasn’t exactly certain at the time — coming to Toronto. The red and white flag with the giant maple leaf will wave. There will be plenty of other flags there as well. And more than a few proud Americans will be on that route as well, like NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and the longest-tenured Raptors player, Kyle Lowry. “I’m very happy for them,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said, tipping his cap to the Raptors. “Winning a championship is the ultimate in this league, and they have got a lot of guys who have earned this. So congrats to Toronto, to their organization, to their fans. They are a worthy champion.” At NBA headquarters in New York, they truly didn’t care who won the series. That doesn’t mean they don’t realize the Raptors’ title is a good thing for the league’s future. Basketball Without Borders is the vehicle that basically helped Siakam start his journey to the league seven or so years ago. There are NBA academies popping up in Africa and Asia. The league is helping to establish a new pro league in Africa that’s set to begin play early next year. The sport takes every opportunity it gets to promote what it bills as the Jr. NBA Global Championship, a tournament for kids. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said before the series that the league is aware of 700 million cellphones being in use in Africa, more than half of those being smartphones. The NBA wants people watching on those phones, and the infrastructure is such now in many places that it is actually possible. “It’s been revolutionary in terms of the people of Africa’s ability to watch our games in real time on hand-held devices,” Silver said. “So we see enormous growth opportunities both in terms of players and for participation and ultimately an interest for the league.” Having champions from Cameroon and the Congo, having the executive who gets credited for putting it all together being from Nigeria ... it’s not going to hurt the game in Africa one bit. The NBA champions are, indeed, champions of the world. “As a kid, I didn’t have the opportunity to dream about this moment,” Siakam said. “I didn’t think I could make it. I didn’t think this was possible as a kid. And I think a lot of kids don’t think that it’s possible. Just me being able to be here today and telling them that, ’Hey, look at me, I was a little scrawny kid from Cameroon ... but here I am, as a champion.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2019

Warriors hopes hinge on Durant coming back

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — When Game 4 was over, while Toronto fans were waving Canadian flags in celebration inside an otherwise-stunned Oracle Arena, a glum-faced Kevin Durant was outside the Golden State locker room to greet equally glum teammates as they sauntered off the floor. That’s been his only visible role on game nights in the NBA Finals. If that doesn’t change Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), this series is probably going to end. With it, in that case, so would Golden State’s reign as NBA champions. And then it’s possible that Durant, a free-agent-in-waiting, has played for the Warriors for the last time. Durant limped off the floor at Oracle Arena a month ago — Game 5 of the second round — with what the team called a mild calf strain. It’s apparently the most severe “mild” calf strain in the history of injuries, because he hasn’t played since and there’s no way of knowing if that’s going to change on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). And the Warriors clearly need him if they’re going to pull off a comeback against the Raptors in these NBA Finals. “Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us at all,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “It’s just a matter of can we get it done or not, and we’re going to leave it all out there starting on Monday.” That’ll be the case, with Durant or not. Here’s reality: Any Durant is better than no Durant for the Warriors right now. His mere presence might throw the Raptors off just enough to create more chances for the rest of the Warriors. It’s really the only card the Warriors have left to play at this point. Toronto took full control of the series Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), winning 105-92 for a 3-1 finals lead. Durant wasn’t on the bench for Game 4, and hasn’t been since getting hurt. He’ll be on the plane Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) headed to Ontario, and his uniform will be packed inside the Warriors’ equipment bags. If it goes unworn again, the Warriors are in big trouble. “There’s been hope that he will come back the whole series,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “So that’s not going to change now. Obviously we hope to have him, but we’ll see what happens. We don’t make that final call ... he don’t really even make that final call. His body will tell him if he can get out there or not. And if he can, great. And if not, you still got to try to find a way.” They’ve been trying, with limited success. Even with Durant. The Raptors are 5-1 against the Warriors this season, even going 2-0 in the regular season when Durant scored 51 in one game and 30 in another. The Warriors just looked tired on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), weary against a Toronto team that has had every answer in this series. They haven’t been able to muster the offense they need against Toronto. With Durant, that story could be different. But even if he plays on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), after not playing for a month, how good could he be anyway? Even someone as talented as Durant, who is in the conversation of “best player in the world” right now, can’t fake rhythm. Throwing him into an elimination game in the NBA Finals, after not playing for a month, is an unbelievably daunting ask. It might be what’s required. “We’re hoping he can play Game 5 or 6,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “And everything in between I’ve decided I’m not sharing because it’s just gone haywire. There’s so much going on, and so it doesn’t make sense to continue to talk about it. He’s either going to play or he’s not.” The Warriors will practice on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). With so much at stake, unless his calf muscle just won’t allow it, Durant will probably try to do something that day. It’s hard to believe that he doesn’t want to play, and the fact that he hasn’t been seen yet in this series just reiterates how not mild this “mild” strain was. A shot at a third straight ring is slipping away. Maybe it was gone the second Durant got hurt. When the Warriors swept Portland in the Western Conference finals, there was silly talk about how the team might be better without Durant. That talk is nonexistent now. Any team is better — a lot better — with Durant. And if he finds a way back to the court, the Warriors might just get a lot better in a hurry. Or else, this era could end Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). “We’ve got to win one game,” Green said. “We win one, then we’ll build on that.” Without Durant, winning that one game on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) might be too tough an ask, even for the Warriors......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2019

Raptors a win away from first-ever championship

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kawhi Leonard’s hot hand is sending the Raptors home to Toronto on the cusp of a startling upset for Canada. Leonard out-dueled the Splash Brothers for 36 points and 12 rebounds, and the Raptors moved within one victory of the franchise’s first championship by winning a second straight game on Golden State’s home floor, beating the Warriors 105-92 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) for a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. Klay Thompson made a strong return after missing Game 3 with a strained left hamstring and scored 28 points with six three-pointers in what might have been the final game after 47 seasons at Oracle Arena before the team’s move to new Chase Center in San Francisco next season. Stephen Curry added 27 points but shot just 9-for-22 and 2-of-9 from three-point range on the heels of his postseason career-best 47-point outing in a 123-109 Game 3 defeat. Serge Ibaka scored 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench for the composed and confident Raptors, who for a second straight game found an answer to every Warriors threat at raucous Oracle — where home fans were stunned and silenced when the final buzzer sounded. A huge section of Toronto fans over, repeatedly singing “O Canada!” The two-time defending champions’ quest for a three-peat is suddenly in serious jeopardy. Toronto will take its first try at the title in Game 5 on Monday night (next Tuesday, PHL time) back at Scotiabank Arena. Golden State, still hopeful of injured star Kevin Durant’s return, must stave off elimination to guarantee one more game at Oracle. It would be next Thursday (next Friday, PHL time). Leonard’s 2017 postseason with San Antonio got cut short against the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals after he re-injured his troublesome left ankle when Zaza Pachulia’s foot slid under his. He’s picked up where he left off in that game. Leonard’s two jumpers in the final 42 seconds of the third put the Raptors up 79-64 heading into the final 12 minutes. Fred VanVleet then dealt another dagger on the first possession of the fourth with a 30-footer. A bloodied VanVleet then went to the locker room with 9:35 left after being hit in the face by Shaun Livingston’s left elbow when the Warriors guard went up for a shot and VanVleet was just behind him. Replays showed a tooth in the middle of the key even after play resumed. These poised Raptors kept level heads again after falling behind by 11 points in the first half. Pascal Siakam scored 19 for Toronto. Two days earlier, Kyle Lowry was praised for staying calm when shoved on the sideline by Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens, who received a one-year ban by the team and NBA along with a $500,000 fine for the incident. Now, the Raptors as first-time finalists and in their 24th year of existence can bring Canada its first NBA championship. Toronto outscored Golden State 37-21 in the decisive third, a complete reverse of the Warriors’ dominance after halftime with an 18-0 run in the Game 2 victory. Draymond Green delivered another impressive all-around performance with 10 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Warriors coach Steve Kerr challenged his team to do a better job defensively and Golden State did so early but couldn’t handle Toronto’s depth. Kevon Looney, a key backup big man, scored 10 points for the Warriors after it was initially believed he would be out the remainder of the series because of fractured cartilage near his right collarbone. He was hurt in the first half of Game 2. Looney drew huge applause as he checked into the game at the 6:45 mark of the first. Danny Green, who hit six three's in Game 3, began 0-for-6 with five missed three's before finally connecting from deep midway through the fourth. His 48th three-pointer in the finals tied him with Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher for seventh place on the NBA list. TIP-INS Raptors: Toronto overcame being outrebounded 29-18 in the first half and a 42-38 deficit overall. ... The Raptors were 10-of-32 from deep after making 17 three's in Game 3, but converted 23-of-24 free throws Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Warriors: The Warriors’ streak this year of 19 straight postseason games scoring 100 points ended. It was 25 dating to last season’s run. ... Golden State fell to 4-2 this postseason in games following a loss. ... Livingston played in his 100th career playoff game with the Warriors, the fifth in team history to reach the mark. ... The Warriors held a closed pregame shootaround 2.5 hours before game time. ATTLES’ PRESENCE Hall of Famer Al Attles, the Warriors’ former general manager, coach and player, attended Game 4. It was the first game in approximately eight months for the 82-year-old Attles, who has had health issues. DURANT’S STATUS Durant missed his ninth straight game since the injury May 8 (May 9, PHL time) in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets. Kerr is done providing every detail and step of Durant’s rehab progress. “We’re hoping he can play Game 5 or 6. And everything in between I’ve decided I’m not sharing because it’s just gone haywire,” Kerr said. “There’s so much going on, and so it doesn’t make sense to continue to talk about it. He’s either going to play or he’s not. So tonight he’s not playing.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2019