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Squires and Staglets still in a dead heat for fourth spot

strong>STANDINGS /strong> br /> Malayan 12-2 br /> CSB-LSGH 10-4 br /> San Beda 9-5 br /> Letran 9-6 br /> San Sebastian 8-6 br /> LPU 7-8 br /> Arellano 6-8 br /> Perpetual 4-9 br /> JRU 5-9 br /> EAC 1-14 One team is in and already has twice-to-beat advantage, two teams are knocking on the door of the other playoff incentive, and four teams still have a shot at the fourth and final playoff berth in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Fourth-running Colegio de San Juan de Letran and fifth-running San Sebastian College-Recoletos are still not that far from each other in the playoff race after separate wins on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. The Squires were almost at the wrong end of an upset before digging deep and hacking out an 86-85 overtime victory versus Emilio Aguinaldo College. Neil Tolentino scored 15 points and was backstopped by Enoch Valdez who posted 12 points and nine rebounds. It was the backcourt tandem of Russelle Aniban and Keith Peralta, however, who connived for nine points in the extra period to spark the Squires back into the win column. Standing at 9-6, the Intramuros-based squad remains well within the top four and still within striking distance of the top two. Right behind them are the Staglets who continued their stampede with a 101-91 overtime victory versus Lyceum of the Philippines University. Damie Cuntapay posted monster numbers of 26 points and 19 rebounds as Baste won for the sixth time in a row and for the eighth time in 14 games. The win not only moved San Sebastian forward and closer to the top four, it also dragged down the sixth-running Junior Pirates to 7-8. John Barba led them in the losing effort with 27 points. Yesterday, defending champion Malayan High School of Science re-asserted its mastery over upstart contender College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, 71-62. Carl Lacap and Joaqui Garcia topped the scoring column with 14 and 13, respectively, but it was the Red Robins’ team effort that fueled their ascent to a still league-leading 12-2. Clint Escamis continued to do it all with 11 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists while twin towers Warren Bonifacio and Will Gozum merged for 14 markers and 17 boards. With the elimination round sweep of their closest competitors thus far in the tournament, the defending champions have now clinched twice-to-beat advantage for the next round. On the other hand, the Junior Blazers suffered their second straight setback and now stand at 10-4. They remain at solo second. Hot on their heels is San Beda High School which exacted revenge on Arellano High School with a resounding rout, 94-65. Luke Sese was the high man with 18 points, but all but one of the 14 Red Cubs sent in contributed at least two points in the scoring column. Now at 9-5, third-running San Beda is breathing down the necks of CSB-LSGH for the only playoff incentive left. The outlook is the opposite for the 6-8 Braves who need to win out in their remaining assignments while also hoping the four teams ahead of them take a stumble. In other results, Jose Rizal High School brought a 35-point beatdown to University of Perpetual Help, 86-51. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME, FRIDAY JRU 86 – Tolentino 17, Serrano 16, Caballero 12, Amores 8, Camua 7, Vasquez 7, Dionisio 6, Buno 5, Sicat 4, Buazon 4, Sabado 0 PERPETUAL 51 – Razon 16, Gallano 10, Umali 8, Cuevas 4, Romilla 4, Siegue 3, De Leon 3, Duka 0, Rocero 0, Inliwan 0, Bongay 0, Maneze 0, Sta. Teresa 0, Cajayon 0, Jaucian 0 QUARTER SCORES: 24-12, 47-28, 71-40, 86-51 SECOND GAME, FRIDAY LETRAN 86 – Tolentino 15, Valdez 12, Aniban 11, Peralta 8, Cordero 7, Monje 6, Culanay 6, Montes 5, Ganapathy 4, Tamayo 4, Reyson 2, Guarino 2, Fuentes 2, Tabajen 2, Labrador 0 EAC 85 – Cruz 22, Castillo 19, Satillian 18, Mananquil 8, Boado 6, Oriondo 6, Matilde 3, Ligot 3, Mostoles 0, Tapales 0 QUARTER SCORES: 20-13, 40-27, 56-53, 74-74, 86-85 (OT)   FIRST GAME, THURSDAY SAN BEDA 94 – Sese 18, Nelle 14, Abu Hijleh 12, Tagala 11, Mahinay 9, Alfaro 8, Etrata 4, Nayve 4, Obenza 3, Velasquez 3, Lagumen 3, Oliva 3, Garcia 2, Dela Rosa 0 ARELLANO 65 – Camacho 15, Segura 11, Fornis 10, Codinera 6, Espiritu 5, Bataller 5, Velasco 5, Fermin 4, Camarillo 2, Domingo 1, Tamayo 1, De Leon 0, Rivera 0, Liangco 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-19, 39-33, 68-51, 94-65 SECOND GAME, THURSDAY MALAYAN 71 – Lacap 14, Garcia 13, Escamis 11, Sapinit 9, Bonifacio 8, Gozum 6, Enriquez 4, Jabel 4, Socias 2, Arches 0 CSB-LSGH 62 – Cagulangan 15, Marcos 14, Fornilos 12, Pedrosa 5, Lao 4, David 3, Mosqueda 3, Lepalam 2, Cruz 2, Perez 2, Sangco 0, Bordeos 0, Dela Cruz 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-17, 38-37, 50-52, 71-62 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 29th, 2017

San Sebastian College out to claim third straight win

Games Thursday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 9:30 a.m. –- EAC vs. Mapua (m) 11:00 a.m. –- EAC vs. Mapua (w) 12:30 p.m. –- Letran vs. San Sebastian (w) 2:00 p.m. –- Letran vs. San Sebastian (m) 3:30 p.m. –- Letran vs. San Sebastian (jrs)   Back in dangerous form, the San Sebastian College Lady Stags set their eyes on extending their winning streak to three and boosting their bid for a Final Four berth against Letran in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition on Thursday. The Lady Stags are currently at fourth spot with a 3-2 win-loss record and a win against the Lady Knights in their 12:30 p.m. tussle at the FilOil Flying V Centre will fan SSC-R’s semis hopes. Unbeaten teams repeat-seeking Arellano University and San Beda College share the top spot with 6-0 slates and are assured of at least a playoff for a Final Four seat while University of Perpetual Help is at solo third with a 4-2 mark. Despite playing with only eight available players, the Lady Stags recovered from a two-game skid to score back-to-back victories against College of St. Benilde and Mapua University – both in four sets. SSC-R defeated the Lady Cardinals, 25-20, 25-7, 29-31, 25-14, last Tuesday. Letran, on the other hand, is fresh from a sorry 25-17, 15-25, 16-25, 29-27, 12-15, loss to the Lady Red Spikers despite an 8-2 advantage in the deciding frame. The Intramuros-based squad sports a 2-3 slate. Meanwhile, winless teams Emilio Aguinaldo College and Mapua cross paths at 11:00 a.m. Both squads dropped all of their first five outings. In men’s play, the Generals (2-3) clash with the Cardinals (3-2) at 9:30 a.m. while the Stags (1-4) and Knights (0-5) meet at 2:00 p.m. In the lone juniors match at 3:30 p.m., the Squires (3-1) will take on the Staglets (0-3).   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 24th, 2018

Red Cubs sniffing top seed as Mapua, CSB-LSGH get tripped

strong>STANDINGS /strong> br /> Mapua 13-4 br /> San Beda 12-5 br /> CSB-LSGH 11-6 br /> Letran 10-7 br /> San Sebastian 10-7 br /> Arellano 7-10 br /> LPU 7-9 br /> Perpetual 6-10 br /> JRU 6-11 br /> EAC 2-15 For a while there, it looked like San Beda High School was losing its touch in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament. That has all been put to rest as here come the Red Cubs, once again knocking on the door of the top spot after besting archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 63-60, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Luke Sese top-scored with 13 points, but it was total team effort which fueled San Beda’s ascent to 12-5. Evan Nelle and Ain Obenza were the ones who showed the way in the final frame and had all the answers for the Squires’ charges. The former ended with seven points, five rebounds, and five assists while the latter finished with five markers under his belt. The boys from Taytay started the second round by dropping three games in a row which, in turn, dropped them to as low as fourth-place. With their fifth consecutive victory, however, this one completing an elimination round sweep of their archrivals, they have strengthened their stranglehold on solo second. More than that, they also stand within striking distance of league-leading Mapua University. The Red Robins yet again left a window open for the top spot they’re currently occupying after being at the wrong end of an upset by San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 80-81. Alex Desoyo caught fire in the final frame by scoring 14 of his 25 points to front the Staglets’ comeback from as much as 19 points behind. Baste was down by 16 at the half before flipping the switch and outscoring their opponents, 53-36, in the last two quarters. With the big-time comeback, they entangle themselves for the fourth spot with also 10-7 Letran. San Sebastian ends the eliminations against dangerous University of Perpetual Help (6-10) while the Squires match up with struggling College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (11-6) On the other hand, now 13-4 Mapua needs to take care of business against already eliminated Arellano High School to avoid any complications regarding the top-seed. Last Thursday, the Junior Blazers were the victims of the biggest upset of the season, downed by lowly Emilio Aguinaldo High School, 77-81. Lester Castillo and Maui Cruz fired 29 and 28 points, respectively, to lift the Brigadiers to only their second win in 17 games. Conversely, the upset was CSB-LSGH’s fourth loss in the last five games. Once the frontrunners in the tournament, they now find themselves at third-place at 11-6 and with Letran and Baste both breathing down their necks. In other results, the Junior Altas frustrated the Braves, 88-81. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME, FRIDAY SAN SEBASTIAN 81 – Desoyo 25, Cuntapay 12, Rodriguez 10, Pasamante 9, Timbancaya 8, Villapando 7, Calahat 5, Sumoda 5, Aguilar 0, Are 0, Magbanua 0, Umayao 0, Pelias 0 MAPUA 80 – Escamis 16, Jabel 13, Lacap 11, Garcia 11, Gozum 9, Bonifacio 6, Enriquez 5, Ramos 5, Dennison 2, Socias 2, Sarias 0 QUARTER SCORES:17-22, 28-44, 53-60, 81-80 SECOND GAME, FRIDAY SAN BEDA 63 – Sese 13, Alfaro 10, Nayve 9, Tagala 7, Nelle 7, Etrata 7, Obenza 5, Velasquez 2, Mahinay 2, Abu Hijleh 1, Garcia 0, Lagumen 0 LETRAN 60 – Tolentino 14, Cordero 10, Aniban 8, Tamayo 7, Labrador 7, Peralta 5, Ganapathy 4, Guarino 2, Montes 2, Monje 1, Reyson 0, Fuentes 0, Culanay 0 QUARTER SCORES: 14-14, 29-23, 43-43, 63-60 FIRST GAME, THURSDAY PERPETUAL 88 – Razon 28, Gallano 16, Bongay 15, Inliwan 13, Rocero 10, Umali 6, Siegue 0, Cuevas 0, De Leon 0, Duka 0, Maneze 0 ARELLANO 81 – Segura 24, Fermin 15, Camacho 8, Bataller 7, Tamayo 7, Camarillo 7, Velasco 6, Espiritu 4, Fornis 3, Codinera 0, Domingo 0, Camilosa 0, Liangco 0, De Leon 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-22, 43-38, 65-62, 88-81 SECOND GAME, THURSDAY EAC 81 – Castillo 29, Cruz 28, Satillian 12, Boado 8, Mananquil 2, Matilde 1, Ligot 1, Mostoles 0, Baliquig 0, Oriondo 0, Diaz 0 CSB-LSGH 77 – Marcos 16, Cagulangan 14, David 13, Fornilos 11, Mosqueda 7, Pedrosa 6, Sangco 4, Lao 3, Cruz 2, Lepalam 1, Belgica 0, Perez 0, Dela Cruz 0, Morales 0 QUARTER SCORES: 14-15, 33-34, 57-56, 81-77 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 13th, 2017

Robins ascend to solo lead as CSB-LSGH is upset by Baste

strong>STANDINGS /strong> br /> Malayan 11-2 br /> CSB-LSGH 10-3 br /> Letran 8-5 br /> San Beda 8-5 br /> San Sebastian 6-6 br /> Arellano 6-7 br /> LPU 6-7 br /> Perpetual 4-8 br /> JRU 4-9 br /> EAC 1-12 Game in and game out, Malayan High School of Science is being challenged in its title defense in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament. On Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, the latest challenge came from their much-improved neighboring rival Colegio de San Juan de Letran. And still, the Red Robins proved to have more than enough for a well-fought 81-76 win against the Squires in overtime. Randy Alcantara’s boys actually found themselves trailing most of the time as Letran showcased all that led it to a six-game winning streak heading into the game. “Good win sa amin kasi kami naman naghahabol from the start e,” the head coach said. Little by little, however, Malayan clawed themselves back into the matchup and by the final frame, the two teams were even. “Credit sa mga bata kasi binigay nila lahat nila,” Alcantara said. With the tally tied after four periods, the two teams needed overtime to settle the score. There, the Robins’ championship experience came through as Will Gozum’s block led to a fastbreak layup for Joaqui Garcia and another defensive stop led to Clint Escamis’ slash-to-score for a 78-74 lead with 36.4 ticks to go. Lakksman Ganapathy kept things interesting for the Squires, but was immediately answered by Gozum’s inside basket. Not long after, Malayan was celebrating its rise to a league-leading 11-2 standing. “Malayo pa ‘to. Ang focus pa rin muna namin, makuha yung twice-to-beat,” Alcantara said. In the end, Gozum had 10 points, 21 rebounds, and seven blocks; Garcia had 11 points and four assists; and Escamis had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Topping the scoring column was Carl Lacap who had 21 markers to his name. Those four were more than enough to put down the Squires. Even with the loss, however, the gallant stand should be a source of pride for a squad that was not even mentioned among contenders a season ago. With an 8-5 record, Letran stays at the third spot. The defending champions are now alone atop the leaderboard after College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills found itself at the wrong end of an upset by San Sebastian College-Recoletos. Damie Cuntapay towered above all for 16 points and 14 rebounds to lift the Staglets over the erstwhile pacesetting Junior Blazers, 71-67. A total of four players were in double-digit scoring in San Sebastian’s fourth win in a row and sixth overall in 12 games. They now stand in solo fifth. Inand Fornilos had eight points and 11 rebounds, but neither he nor his fellow frontcourt players were a match for Cuntapay. Joel Cagulangan had 16 points and six assists to show the way for the Junior Blazers who were forced to take a step back onto a 10-3 standing, still good for solo second. Meanwhile, San Beda High School stayed on the right track after avenging its loss to Jose Rizal High School, 70-69. Evan Nelle topped the scoring column with 19 points to make sure the Red Cubs did not suffer another shocker against the Light Bombers. More importantly, the win pushed San Beda into a streak and onto an 8-5 record. Just right behind them, however, and still fighting for a spot in the Final Four are Arellano High School and Lyceum of the Philippines University following separate wins. The Braves whipped Emilio Aguinaldo College, 81-70, on the back of MVP leader Aaron Fermin who yet again posted monster numbers of 25 points, 23 rebounds, and four blocks. It was a much-needed win for Arellano which had been on a three-game slide, but now improves to 6-7. Tying them for the sixth spot are the Junior Pirates who weathered University of Perpetual Help, 74-72. Vincent Cunanan had 20 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals and teamed up with Mac Guadana who had 12 markers, seven boards, and three pilfers. All of Baste, Arellano, and LPU remain within striking distance of two of the last four spots in the Final Four. Their respective losses dropped the Junior Altas to 4-8, the Light Bombers to 4-9, and the Brigadiers to 1-12. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME, FRIDAY SAN BEDA 70 – Nelle 19, Alfaro 13, Etrata 11, Tagala 6, Abu Hijleh 6, Mahinay 5, Velasquez 3, Garcia 3, Obenza 2, Dela Rosa 2, Lagumen 0, Nayve 0, Sese 0 JRU 69 – Serrano 21, Agustin 19, Camua 10, Tolentino 9, Caballero 8, Buazon 2, Amores 0, Dionisio 0, Buno 0, Delos Santos 0, Vasquez 0 QUARTER SCORES: 27-18, 43-42, 58-55, 70-69 SECOND GAME, FRIDAY ARELLANO 81 – Fermin 25, Bataller 17, Camacho 12, Fornis 10, Tamayo 5, Codinera 4, Domingo 3, Segura 2, Camilosa 2, De Leon 1, Camarillo 0, Rivera 0, Velasco 0, Liangco 0 EAC 70 – Cruz 22, De Quiros 16, Dulatre 10, Castillo 7, Oriondo 7, Boado 4, Mananquil 2, Matilde 2, Tapales 0, Baliquig 0, Ligot 0 QUARTER SCORES: 30-10, 39-34, 65-46, 81-70 THIRD GAME, FRIDAY MALAYAN 81 – Lacap 21, Escamis 19, Garcia 11, Gozum 10, Bonifacio 9, Jabel 6, Enriquez 3, Socias 0, Ramos 0, Sarias 0 LETRAN 76 – Cordero 13, Peralta 13, Valdez 11, Guarino 11, Ganapathy 9, Monje 6, Aniban 6, Reyson 4, Tolentino 3, Tamayo 0, Culanay 0, Fuentes 0 QUARTER SCORES: 17-20, 32-35, 54-54, 70-70, 81-76 (OT) FIRST GAME, THURSDAY LPU 74 – Barba 21, Cunanan 20, Guadana 12, Arenal 6, Ruiz 4, Sandoval 4, Jungco 3, Salazar 3, Umpad 1, Caringal 0, Cuevas 0 PERPETUAL 72 – Razon 20, Cuevas 10, Bongay 10, Umali 10, Gallano 9, Siegue 5, Rocero 4, De Leon 2, Maneze 2, Duka 0, Sta. Teresa 0 QUARTER SCORES: 15-21, 34-35, 57-51, 74-72 SECOND GAME, THURSDAY SAN SEBASTIAN 71 – Cuntapay 16, Villapando 12, Desoyo 11, Calahat 10, Timbancaya 9, Pasamante 9, Rodriguez 3, Pelas 1, Aguilar 0, Sumoda 0, Suico 0, Umayao 0 CSB-LSGH 67 – Cagulangan 16, Bordeos 15, Marcos 9, Fornilos 8, David 7, Perez 5, Lao 3, Dela Cruz 2, Sangco 2, Mosqueda 0, Pedrosa 0, Lepalam 0, Morales 0 QUARTER SCORES: 16-14, 31-30, 54-45, 71-67 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2017

Red Robins, Jr. Blazers still tied for first; San Beda stops skid

strong>STANDINGS /strong> br /> CSB-LSGH 10-2 br /> Malayan 10-2 br /> Letran 7-4 br /> San Beda 7-5 br /> Arellano 5-6 br /> San Sebastian 5-6 br /> LPU 5-7 br /> Perpetual 4-7 br /> JRU 3-8 br /> EAC 1-10 Defending champion Malayan High School of Science and oncoming College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills still have a score to settle in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament. The two teams remain in each other’s throats for first-place following separate wins on Thursday and Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. The defending champion Red Robins made quick work of the Brigadiers, 82-68, last Thursday. Team captain Warren Bonifacio showed the way with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two blocks while Clint Escamis also contributed 12 markers, seven boards, and one pilfer. They were never threated all throughout and waltzed their way onto a 10-2 standing. Tying them there once more are the Junior Blazers who rode Joshua Marcos’ career-best 22 points to go along with 12 rebounds past University of Perpetual Help, 82-69, on Friday. Marcos was backstopped by three other teammates in double-digits en route to a share of first. Court general Joel Cagulangan orchestrated the offensive with a total of 10 points, eight assists, and four rebounds. Their respective losses dropped the Junior Altas to 4-7 and the Brigadiers to 1-10. Meanwhile, San Beda High School finally got back on track following a gritty overtime victory versus San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 85-78. Evan Nelle was the difference, scoring eight points and assisting on five others in his team’s 13-6 extra period. The Red Cubs lost three in a row before the much-needed win. They now stand at 7-5, still solo fourth. Strengthening their stranglehold of third spot, however, is Colegio de San Juan de Letran which grounded Jose Rizal High School, 91-87. Kurt Reyson had 20 points to lead a total of four Squires in double-digits as they improved to 7-4. Their respective losses dropped the Staglets to 5-6 and the Light Bombers to 3-8. Also still in the running is Lyceum of the Philippines University which added to the woes of Arellano High School, 89-82. Mac Guadana topped the scoring column for the Junior Pirates with 19 points. They rose to 5-7 with the win. At the same time, LPU continued to drag down the Braves who are now 5-6 following back-to-back losses. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME, FRIDAY LPU 89 – Guadana 19, Sandoval 15, Arenal 10, Cunanan 10, De Leon 8, Barba 8, Ruiz 6, Salazar 6, Jungco 4, Caringal 3, Ortiz 0, Cuevas 0, Umpad 0 ARELLANO 82 – Camacho 21, Fermin 18, Bataller 12, Tamayo 7, Segura 5, Espiritu 4, Domingo 4, Fornis 3, Camarillo 3, Rivera 3, Velasco 2, Liangco 0 QUARTER SCORES: 17-18, 53-38, 69-67, 89-82 SECOND GAME, FRIDAY CSB-LSGH 82 – Marcos 22, David 14, Fornilos 12, Cagulangan 10, Lao 6, Pedrosa 5, Mosqueda 2, Bordeos 2, Lepalam 2, Perez 2, Cruz 2, Belgica 2, Dela Cruz 1, Sangco 0, Morales 0 PERPETUAL 69 – Razon 17, Siegue 11, Bongay 8, Inliwan 8, Cuevas 6, De Leon 5, Maneze 5, Romilla 4, Umali 2, Rocero 2, Gallano 1, Duka 0, Sta. Teresa 0, Cajayon 0, Jaucian 0 QUARTER SCORES: 18-13, 34-27, 63-45, 82-69 THIRD GAME, FRIDAY SAN BEDA 85 – Etrata 14, Nelle 14, Tagala 13, Sese 11, Abu Hijleh 7, Alfaro 6, Garcia 5, Mahinay 4, Obenza 4, Lagumen 3, Velasquez 2, Nayve 2, Oliva 0 SAN SEBASTIAN 78 – Villapando 15, Desoyo 14, Calahat 10, Cuntapay 10, Pelias 9, Sumoda 9, Are 4, Pasamante 3, Aguilar 2, Magbanua 2, Umayao 0, Rodriguez 0 QUARTER SCORES: 7019, 22-29, 50-48, 72-72, 85-75 (OT) FIRST GAME, THURSDAY LETRAN 91 – Reyson 20, Tolentino 16, Cordero 13, Tamayo 12, Valdez 8, Monje 7, Aniban 5, Peralta 3, Guarino 3, Ganapathy 2, Labrador 2, Montes 0, Tabajen 0 JRU 87 – Agustin 36, Caballero 17, Tolentino 10, Serrano 9, Camua 5, Delos Santos 4, Dionisio 3, Buazon 2, Sicat 1, Buno 0, Amores 0, Sumabat 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-16, 43-44, 68-63, 91-87 SECOND GAME, THURSDAY MALAYAN 82 – Bonifacio 19, Escamis 12, Garcia 10, Lacap 8, Jabel 8, Gozum 8, Socias 6, Sarias 5, Enriquez 5, Malaluan 1, Ramos 0, Dennison 0, Arches 0, Sarmiento 0 EAC 68 – Cruz 21, De Quiros 12, Castillo 11, Boado 8, Satillian 5, Dulatre 3, Baliquig 2, Oriondo 2, Tapales 2, Diaz 2, Mananquil 0, Matilde 0, Mostoles 0, Suniga 0, Ligot 0 QUARTER SCORES: 25-13, 43-30, 68-51, 82-68 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 15th, 2017

LeBron James reigns supreme over Eastern Conference yet again

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com BOSTON – For nearly a decade, the general managers of the NBA’s Eastern Conference have had, essentially, one job: Arm, equip and overhaul their teams specifically to get past LeBron James and whatever squad with which he happened to be rolling. They have failed. Miserably and spectacularly. And that’s even spotting them the first couple of summers to get their bearings after the whole “Super Team” genesis in Miami back in 2010-11. James’ domination of the conference continued Sunday (Monday, PHL time) when he and the Cleveland Cavaliers persevered in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Clawing back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in the series, and playing the final seven quarters without their second All-Star, forward Kevin Love (concussion protocol), the Cavaliers hung around in an ugly game. They took advantage of a Boston team on training wheels – 7-of-39 on three-pointers, oh my! – and snagged a ticket to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals. For James, it’s eight in a row and nine overall, these Cleveland four added to the four he reached with the Heat from 2011-14. It’s a run unprecedented since Bill Russell’s Celtics were winning 11 championships in 13 years, a stranglehold on half of all Finals opportunities this decade. He has a 6-2 record in Game 7 situations, with nothing but triumphs after dropping his first two. “I mean, the bigger the stage, the bigger the player, and he's been doing it for us since we've been here,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “The great quote from the great [Clippers coach] Doc Rivers is, ‘You always want to go into the Game 7 with the best player,’ and we have the best player on our team going into a Game 7. I like our chances. And he delivered again.” Next year at this point, maybe by league proxy, James will have one hand tied behind his back. That’s the next logical step in handicapping him against the field. He has made it to The Finals without his most talented sidekicks. He has taken or dragged along an ever-changing cast of teammates. This time, he did with arguably the Cavaliers’ barest cupboard since first dipping their collective toes in The Finals water back in 2007. Two All-Star point guards, Kyrie Irving (with whom James won a ring in 2016) and Isaiah Thomas (from whom James won his freedom after five awkward weeks), already were long gone when Love went down. And now he was facing elimination with a shaky crew and a huge, inflated question mark hovering over his and Cleveland’s offseason, whenever it comes. Then again, the Celtics were facing him. Like the Raptors, the Pacers, the Bulls, the Hawks and several others before them, Boston well understood the player through whom its playoff ambitions had to go. “I think we’ve played now until May 25th and May 27th the last two years and we started on September 25th. That’s every day,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said about his team’s 2017 and 2018 tangles with Cleveland in the East finals. “Every day you’re totally focused on this, and he’s gone past that eight straight times. “It’s ridiculous. And he does it at this level and with the pressure, with the scrutiny – doesn’t matter.” Plenty of the foes chasing James when his Finals streak began have headed into retirement ringless and unfulfilled. Others were in high school or grade school. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, for instance, was 13 years old when James began his streak against Dallas in 2011. There are so many others like Horford, with tire tracks on their backs, no mercy coming their way from James and very little hope on the horizon. At age 33, James played all 82 games in the regular season for the first time in his 15-year career. He made it an even 100 with Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) appearance and he did it with aplomb, staying on the floor for all 48 minutes. “Our goal going into the series was to make him exert as much energy as humanly possible, and try to be as good as we can on everybody else,” Stevens said. “For the most part, I thought we were pretty good at that. Multiple games now in TD Garden, held them under 100, three games in the 80s – but he still scored 35. It’s a joke.” James’ stats line – 35 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists – was enough this time because he got a reasonable amount of help. Three other Cavaliers scored in double figures, including Jeff Green, the journeyman forward who started in Love’s spot. Being one of James’ teammates requires a thick skin for when things don’t go well. It also carries a sense of obligation, to occasionally come through the way Green did in Game 7 (19 points, eight rebounds) given the debt they all owe their resident superstar. “You want to be there for him,” Green said. “You want to be in the trenches, in the battle, helping him achieve the ultimate goal. For me, it’s a no-brainer to go out there and give it all I have.” Green was a part of James’ most tumultuous campaign yet, with so many twists and turns – the shotgun Irving trade, Thomas’ bad fit, a rash of injuries, a desperate reset at the trade deadline and a bumpy learning curve once the new guys arrived – that James and Lue casually referred to it as “five seasons” crammed into one. “It's now six seasons in one,” James said after midnight. “I guess this is the last chapter for our team in this season. It's been a whirlwind. I mean, it's been [a rollercoaster]. It's been good, it's been bad, it's been roses. There have been thorns in the roses. There's been everything that you can ask for.” For eight years, a conference full of rivals has targeted one player, who happens to be the league’s best, the first among alleged equals with the Heat and clearly the leader when he headed back home to Ohio. In that time, the players have worked, the coaches have schemed and the GMs have plotted. No one has found the answer. None have stopped him. Fact is, nobody’s really laid a glove on him. It’s his conference, seemingly for as long as he wants it. “It's been a satisfaction in the fact that I like to be successful,” James said. “But more importantly, just the work that I put into it. I mean, it's an every-single-day work ethic that I have while I'm playing this game, while I have the ability to play this game at this level. I love the competition. “I think about the teams that I've played over this run and the players that I've played over this run, slightly. But more importantly, me just being healthy. I've been healthy throughout this run. I put a lot of work into my body, into my craft. Being available to my teammates and being available to my franchise, the two franchises I've been with, and throughout this run is what's been more important to me than anything. Always being available.” It was late. James was weary. Another Game 7 in less than 24 hours would determine his and the Cavaliers’ next playoff challenge. “I'll be available for at least four more games,” he said. “And we'll see what happens.” Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. 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 28th, 2018

Le Tour de Filipinas: CariƱo brothers top laborious Stage 3

The Cariño brothers proved that excellence runs in the family as Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance’s El Joshua and 7-Eleven Cliqq RoadBike Philippines’ Daniel Ven made a historic 1-2 finish in the arduous Stage 3 of the 2018 Le Tour de Filipinas. The Cariño brothers thrived under sweltering conditions as they made a decisive breakaway in the town of Sta. Barbara, some 30 kilometers from Lingayen, before they engaged themselves in a mad dash to the finish in front of their fellow Pangasinenses near the Pangasinan Provincial Capitol. However, it was El Joshua who crossed the finish line first after the taxing 185.20-km trek that started in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, and ran through the crowded roads of the country’s cycling hotbed in four hours, 28 minutes and 56 seconds for his breakthrough lap win in the annual race. The impressive performance by the Cariños also caused big changes in the general classifications, with El Joshua, 25, jumping from ninth spot to the top of the general classification with an aggregate time of 8:17:23 that enabled him to wrest the coveted yellow jersey from fellow Navyman Ronald Oranza. Oranza, the Stage 2 winner, struggled this time and checked in at 15th overall, causing him to slip down to third spot, a minute and 41 seconds off the pace going to the fourth and final stage on Wednesday, a back-breaking 154.65-km trek to Baguio City made tougher by a Hors Category climb in the treacherous Kennon Road. Meanwhile, Daniel Ven, 19, remained in strong contention as he moved up from 11th spot to second overall, just four seconds behind El Joshua. However, the Cariño brothers, who both hail from Mangaldan, some 22kms away from here, already pulled off an astonishing feat by becoming the first Filipino siblings to make a 1-2 finish in the only International Cycling Union-sanctioned road race in the country. “Gusto namin gumawa ng history sa cycling na magkapatid na nanalo sa UCI,” said El Joshua, savoring the feat in the presence of their father Bienvenido, 78. “Madali sa aming dalawa kasi magkapatid kami. Dream come true kasi history talaga ‘yun.” Philippine national team Mervin Corpuz, one of the country’s promising riders, checked in a minute and 30 seconds behind the Cariños to cap another strong showing by local hopefuls who occupy seven spots in the Top 10 so far. Navyman Jan Paul Morales, still the green jersey holder as the best sprinter, is running at fifth with a clocking of 8:19:11, followed by 2014 champion Mark Galedo (seventh, 8:19:17) and Marcelo Felipe (eighth, 8:19:17) of 7-Eleven Cliqq RoadBike Philippines and Navy’s climbing specialist Junrey Navarra (ninth, 8:19:30). Korean Jung Hajeon of Uijeaongbu Cycling Team continued to be the best foreigner so far after he checked in at sixth in the stage. But he slipped two rungs lower down to fourth in the GC rankings with a total time of 8:19:11. A pair of foreign riders still in the Top 10 are Indonesian Aiman Cahyadi of Team Sapura, who moved a rung lower to sixth with an aggregate time of 8:19:14, and Terengganu’s Eritrean rider Metkel Eyo who slid down from fourth to 10th overall with 8:20:11 clocking. In the team classifications, the irrepressible Navymen continued to show the way with a total time of 25 hours, 56 minutes and four seconds, just three seconds ahead of Team 7-Eleven. Uijeongbu Cycling Team is at third, more than 12 minutes behind. It was the Cariño brothers, however, who put on a show as they pounced on their weary rivals in the homestretch, with the sweltering heat making it tougher on the field which has been split to several groups after repeated attacks early on. “Bago kami umatake, sabi ko, ‘Tara na!’” shared El Joshua. “Hindi naman maghahabol ‘yung 7-11 kasi 7-11 siya, tapos ganun din sa teammates ko. Kaya ‘yung gameplan namin, natuloy talaga. Hinayaan namin ‘yung mga foreigners na maghabol. Nagkataon siguro na pagod talaga ‘yung mga foreigners. Na-tsambahan namin.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

Le Tour de Filipinas: Oranza wins chaos-free Stage 2

Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance skipper Ronald Oranza and his in-form teammates took full advantage of their familiarity of the challenging Stage 2 route as they stamped their class in the 2018 Le Tour de Filipinas under a bright Monday sunshine. Oranza, 26, attacked like a hungry cheetah in the mountainous part of Santa Fe popularly known as Dalton Pass while his fellow Navymen sustained the pressure in the homestretch as they stood at the forefront of the local charge in the 157.9-kilometer journey that started in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, and finished just entering the town proper here. Oranza whopped it up as he crossed the finish line in three hours, 48 minutes and 34 seconds before he looked back at the 15-man chase group that included all of his four fellow Navymen with a big smile, savoring his breakthrough lap victory in the annual bikathon. The Villasis, Pangasinan native became just the fourth Filipino stage winner in the only International Cycling Union-calendared road race in the country after veteran riders Oscar Rendole, Arnel Quirimit and 7-Eleven Cliqq RoadBike star Mark Galedo, the 2014 champion. Oranza admitted that his familiarity of the tricky route, made tougher by Category 4 and 2 climbs in the dreaded Dalton Pass, proved decisive because he and his fellow Namen negotiated the same course with relative ease during their unstoppable run to a domestic tour crown last March. “Malaking tulong na pamilyar kami sa ruta kasi ma-survive lang namin ‘yung Dalton Pass, ‘yung daan papunta dito, rolling na,” said Oranza, who also topped the pair of KOM challenges to claim the red polka dot jersey given to the best climber. But he will still wear the coveted yellow jersey given to the general classification leader for today’s Stage 3, the longest at 185.20 kms from Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, to Lingayen, Pangasinan, in what could be another decisive lap. Not to be outdone was Oranza’s teammate Jan Paul Morales, 32, who seized the green jersey as the best sprinter after sweeping two intermediate sprints inside the first 60 kilometers. He also moved up from fourth spot to third in the individual GC for his six-second time bonus. Galedo’s 7-Eleven teammate, Daniel Ven Carino claimed the white jersey as the best young rider after he finished with the chase group, more than 11 minutes ahead of his Japan-based Interpro Stradalli counterparts Kouki Shinoda and Kouki Mitsuda. A pair of Navymen, climbing specialist Junrey Navarra and El Joshua Cariño, also finished inside the Top 10 at sixth and seventh spots, respectively, while grizzled Bike Xtreme Philippines rider Cris Joven checked in at eighth overall. Korean Jung Hajeon of Uijeongbu Cycling Team and Eritrean Metkel Eyob of Terengganu finished second and third overall respectively while Iranian Reza Hosseini of Pishgaman Cycling Team rounded up the top five finishers. Meanwhile, chief commissaire Louise Jones lauded the organizers and members of the local government units of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya who all did an excellent share in ensuring the smooth flow of the race column this time, unlike in Bulacan and Pampanga where the traffic gridlock proved hellish as it could be due to lack of coordination that led to the stoppage of the opening stage last Sunday. “Yesterday was very much a safety issue, I feared for the riders’ lives. Today, everything was 300-percent better,” said Welsh Jones, a two-time Olympian before she became an International Commissaire. “Everyone did their job properly. The organization looked after us pretty well and I’m pleased with the marshals and everyone who made the racing very safe,” added the first Chief Commissaire of the race also sanctioned by the PhilCycling. It was the Navymen, however, who put on a dominant show of force as they set the tone early behind Morales before Oranza made his big move at the mountainous part of Santa Fe where he formed a three-man breakaway that included 7-11 rider Nelson Martin. However, Martin struggled to sustain the pace under the scorching heat in the town of Bambang and was eventually swallowed by their persistent chasers. But Oranza persevered and dug deep in his tank for one final push in the last three kilometers to complete his impressive lap victory......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

Budding Sixers take control of series in Miami

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com MIAMI — Back in 2014, when the Miami Heat were wrapping up their championship-fueled era, the Philadelphia 76ers began plotting their own. And they did it unconventionally, laughably and by any measure, dreadfully. It was Year One of the most ambitious rebuilding plan before or since, when the Sixers willingly laid down and became a doormat and allowed other teams to wipe their sneakers on them. That season, while LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh cruised to a fourth straight appearance, and their last together, in the NBA Finals, the Sixers lost 63 games. And then they got better at this tanking technique and lost 64 and 72 the next two years. But fast-forward to now, to Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) at American Airlines Arena, and the roles with the Heat and Sixers are threatening to flip. Maybe not so drastically, but it’s clear through four games of this first-round playoff series that the Sixers are going one way and the Heat another. The Sixers have Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, a pair of young bedrocks slowly building something with the potential to be big. The Heat? They have banners in the rafters commemorating what they used to be, not so long ago. Philly also has something else on Miami, namely a 3-1 series lead after Simmons became the first rookie since Magic Johnson to drop a triple-double in a playoff game and Embiid fought through a poor shooting game and an irritating protective mask to spook any Heat player that challenged him at the rim. It was the Sixers who made all the right plays in the final crucial moments in the 106-102 win, getting key stops and buckets and pulling away, a team with a young core turning mature, and doing it rapidly, despite their lack of post-season experience. And having a front-row seat to this new Process was none other than Wade, a proud if aging member of the extinct Big Three who realizes something unique is happening with the Sixers. “This is a very good team,” said Wade. “They’ve got talent at almost every position. This is definitely one of the best first-round opponents I’ve played in my career.” Are the Sixers all that, already? “They’re good,” said Wade. “They’re special. They put the right team together.” Yes, they have. Maybe it wasn’t properly done in the spirit of competition, and perhaps they embarrassed themselves if not the league while doing so, but that’s all behind the Sixers right now. What’s ahead of them is a potential series-clinching Game 5 in Philly and from there, who knows? Yes, the core of the Sixers is Simmons, Embiid and Dario Saric, all under 25, and in the playing rotation only JJ Redick and Marco Belinelli earned any significant playoff money. But if a young team is ever going to reach the NBA Finals, this is the right time, and this is the right team. Just look at the wide-open landscape in the East: LeBron and the Cavaliers, winners of the last three East titles, are down 2-1 to the Pacers and haven’t appeared this fragile since LeBron returned to Cleveland. The Celtics are missing Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Toronto is the No. 1 seed in the East but inspires few outside Canada. Why not the Sixers? Why not now? Simmons is lacking a jump shot and little else, and still manages to score anyway. His direction of the club in the fourth quarter of Game 4 was near-masterful; Simmons stayed poised, found the open man and popped the Heat’s comeback hopes with an uncontested dunk when Miami pulled within a point. Embiid couldn’t hit a shot and yet didn’t fall into a funk; rather he terrorized Miami by being a defensive force, punctuated by his spike of a Goran Dragic late-fourth quarter breakaway layup attempt (followed by an Embiid stare down). “They make you pay every time you make a mistake,” said Wade. Speaking of which, the Sixers had 27 turnovers, certainly the recipe for disaster, and still found a way. In the words of coach Brett Brown: “I’m surprised we won this game. We really didn’t have any right to win this game.” But maybe it’s just additional proof that this is Philly’s time. It’s quite a contrast to the ex-bully on the block. Four years after LeBron made the second biggest decision of his life, the Heat are still searching for the identity they had when the champagne flowed, and the party rolled on South Beach. The only reminder is Wade, and at age 36 he’s only capable of having flashes now, like his 28 points in Game 2 and an impressive 25-point follow up Saturday that was marred only by a missed free throw in the final seconds. Besides that, there’s nothing special. Pat Riley’s latest attempt to recreate a winner is looking dubious right now. Riley decided two summers ago to build the Heat around a seven-foot center with low post-skills, which means Riley gave a $100 million to a dinosaur. And one with a decaying relationship with coach Erik Spoelstra. Hassan Whiteside can’t get on the floor in today’s NBA, where small-ball makes him a liability in certain situations. With no shooting range, and perhaps no incentive to develop one, Whiteside finds himself on the bench in fourth quarters and on the nerves of Spoelstra. “He’s a prisoner of the style of play,” said Brown. Plus: Riley also paid Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Tyler Johnson and Kelly Olynyk. Which means the Heat are almost guaranteed to be a 43-win team fighting for the final playoff spot for the next few years. When the Heat searched for someone to bail them out Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), who did they turn to? An aging All-Star who’s on the downside, which says something about Wade … and the Heat’s roster. “He ended up being our best option,” said Spoelstra. There’s another path the Heat can take, of course. They could follow the current Hawks, Nets, Lakers and Magic, who all took their cues from the 2014 Sixers, and take a few steps back before moving forward. But that’s not a fool-proof plan — have you seen the Magic the last few years? — and besides, losing by any means isn’t in Riley’s DNA. So, mediocrity it is, then. Meanwhile, the Sixers have Embiid and Simmons and if you ask fans in Philly, they’d say it was well worth the steep price, in terms of the misery of tanking, paid for them. “They’re two players that have the chance to be great,” said Brown. “Joel has no right to be doing some of the things he does. Ben’s composure down the stretch is amazing. Those two are exceptional.” What the Sixers just did was win a pair in Miami, under the banners that hung over them, was fly in the face of basketball convention which says youth doesn’t get served in the post-season. They can close out at home and then get the survivor of Celtics-Bucks, and Philly can expect to be the favorite in that conference semifinal. “I can see how much we’ve grown and how much more room we have to grow,” said Brown. “To come here and get a win, in this building, against an organization of winning and culture and history, it’s special.” There’s another story here: If the Sixers eliminate the Heat, then it could be curtains for Wade, who doesn’t have a contract for next season, who hasn’t committed to playing beyond this season, and who paused suspiciously for about three seconds when asked if Saturday was his final game in Miami. “I don’t want to answer that right now,” he said. Whether he sticks around or takes the sunset cruise, Wade must realize that a transformation is taking place in the East. After years of deliberately bad basketball the Sixers are finally bearing fruit, and oh, speaking of food, Wade and the Heat can chew on this for a minute: The Sixers have room under the salary cap to give Embiid and Simmons some help next season. LeBron James, free agent-to-be, might reach the conclusion that the Sixers are his best championship option. for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or 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 NewsApr 22nd, 2018

Towns, Timberwolves return home in big hole against Rockets

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The first taste of the NBA playoffs for Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns has been rather bitter, thanks to the three-point-happy Houston Rockets. The two-game totals tell a frustrating story for the 22-year-old: just 13 points, 5-for-18 shooting and a 2-0 deficit in the series against the Rockets. Towns has found himself the subject of pointed criticism from analysts, fans and even his own team. The switch-heavy Rockets have double-teamed Towns to a stifling effect, and the Timberwolves sure haven’t helped their seven-footer out by getting him the ball in favorable situations in the post. “They’re coming to double. He knows that. He has to face up, be strong with the ball, make quick moves,” point guard Jeff Teague said. “But we have to figure out how to get him running, get him some easy buckets.” The team’s struggles have taken a little luster off Minnesota’s first postseason home game in 14 years, but the fans who remember the Timberwolves reaching the Western Conference finals in 2004 will surely be eager to witness the playoffs in person no matter the daunting challenge in this first round. “This organization, all of our fans, they deserve this moment,” Towns said. And they want a win. The Timberwolves host the Rockets on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) in Game 3. Earlier in the day, Miami takes on Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference and New Orleans hosts Portland, both in Game 4. Later, Utah visits Oklahoma City in Game 3. Towns tried his best to shrug off the bad vibes and stinging rebukes when speaking with reporters on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “You dwell too much on the past, you forget that you’ve got to take care of the present,” Towns said. The chatter on TV and Twitter, he said, has escaped him. “I live my life very Amish-like,” Towns said. “Other than video games, I don’t think I have a reason for electronics. It’s a life that I’ve always loved.” ___ 76ERS AT HEAT 76ers lead 2-1. Game 4, 2:30 p.m. EDT (2:30am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: It’s simple: The team that has imposed its will is 3-0 in this series. Philadelphia took the pace where it wanted it in Games 1 and 3. Miami out-toughed the 76ers in Game 2. The Heat have to find a way to keep Philadelphia’s 3-point shooting in check; the 76ers made 18 shots from beyond the arc in Game 3. Joel Embiid is back from a concussion and a broken bone around his eye, and an already-confident Philadelphia bunch seems to have even more swagger now. KEEP AN EYE ON: 76ers guard Marco Belinelli. The 76ers are 25-6 when he plays and 14-1 when he scores at least 15 points. In this series, he’s 13-for-27 on shots from 20 feet and deeper, and many of those makes have been daggers for Miami. PRESSURE IS ON: Heat center Hassan Whiteside . Backups Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo have played a combined 145 minutes in this series, while Whiteside has played only 41, with 11 points, nine fouls, seven turnovers and three field goals in the three games. There’s no room for error now for Miami, so either Whiteside will figure it out fast in Game 4 or the Heat will get someone else into his spot. HISTORY LESSON: This is the fourth time in Dwyane Wade’s career that the Heat have trailed an Eastern Conference opponent 2-1. In the three previous Game 4s in that scenario, Miami has won all three with Wade averaging 26.7 points in those second-round games against Indiana (2004 and 2012) and Toronto (2016). ___ TRAIL BLAZERS AT PELICANS Pelicans lead 3-0. Game 4, 5 p.m. EDT (5am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: The sixth-seeded Pelicans are on the cusp of a surprising sweep of the third-seeded Blazers, and their margin of victory has grown in each game. They dominated Game 3, leading by as many as 20 points in the first half and 33 in the second. Veteran guard Rajon Rondo has masterfully run the offense, and the Pelicans have played unselfishly with a different scoring leader in each game: Anthony Davis with 35 in Game 1, Jrue Holiday with 33 in Game 2 and Nikola Mirotic with 30 in Game 3. KEEP AN EYE ON: Portland’s body language, intensity and aggressiveness. Guard Damian Lillard challenged the Blazers to ramp up those aspects of their game, stressing that the Pelicans were “a lot more aggressive than we were and we didn’t dish it back out. I think in the playoffs and in a situation like this, when a team is coming for you like that, you’ve got to maybe go out of your way to do it back, even if that means foul trouble or some altercations happen out there.” PRESSURE IS ON: Lillard. The Pelicans have sold out to stop the Portland star, who missed 9-of-14 shots in Game 3. “It’s either going to be a tough shot, or I’ve got to give the ball up,” Lillard said. “I’ve got to trust making the right play, and when it comes time I’ve got to take my chances and I’ve got to take those tough shots.” INJURY UPDATE: Blazers starting forward Evan Turner missed Game 3 because of a toe injury in Game 2. The team did not update his status on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). ___ ROCKETS AT TIMBERWOLVES Rockets lead 2-0. Game 3, 7:30 p.m. EDT (7:30am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: The Rockets cruised to a 20-point victory in Game 2 despite only 12 points on a staggering 2-for-18 shooting performance by James Harden. After squandering their chance to steal Game 1 on the road in a three-point loss, the Wolves are back home in a big hole against the team with the best record in the NBA. They’ll need a big boost from a home crowd celebrating the team’s return to the postseason to send the series back to Houston for a Game 5. KEEP AN EYE ON: Gerald Green. The 32-year-old journeyman, once acquired by the Wolves in the franchise-altering 2007 trade that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston, made five three-pointers in Game 2 for postseason career-high 21 points. PRESSURE IS ON: Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau. Though cornerstones Towns and Andrew Wiggins are getting their first taste of postseason, Thibodeau and veterans Jimmy Butler, Jamal Crawford, Taj Gibson and Teague he brought in last summer have plenty of playoff experience. The Wolves have been largely directionless on offense against the Rockets and their underrated defense. INJURY UPDATE: Rockets forward Ryan Anderson, who has sat out the first two games with a sprained ankle, is likely to play in Game 3. Forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who dislocated his shoulder in the second-to-last game of the regular season, said this week he wouldn’t rule out a return in this series. ___ THUNDER AT JAZZ Series tied 1-1. Game 3, 10 p.m. EDT (10:00am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: In the first two games, the higher-rebounding team has been the winning team, with Game 1 going to Oklahoma City and Utah taking Game 2. A critical part of this trend will be Thunder center Steven Adams and his presence on the floor. He played just 22 minutes in Game 2 before fouling out. The Thunder will have to do better against Utah center Rudy Gobert and forward Derrick Favors, who combined for 31 rebounds in Game 2. KEEP AN EYE ON: Russell Westbrook. He has taken a secondary role at times in this series, but that might change. With Oklahoma City’s inability to close in Game 2 after leading in the fourth quarter, Westbrook could look to be more of a scorer in Game 3. He’ll need more help from Carmelo Anthony, who has made just 11 of 31 field goals in the series. PRESSURE IS ON: George. The man who called himself “Playoff P” before the series began came out with 36 points and eight three-pointers in the opener. He followed that with a dud, just 18 points on 6-for-21 shooting. INTRIGUING MATCHUP: Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell vs. Thunder guard Corey Brewer. Mitchell used his speed to slice through the Thunder defense for 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter of Game 2 . He was essentially unstoppable once he decided to stop shooting three-pointers. The Thunder could be forced to put George on him more if Brewer struggles defensively again. ___ AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami and AP Sports Writers Cliff Brunt in Oklahoma City and Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

Spurs, Pelicans, Thunder all in; 1 spot left in West race

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press A look at the NBA playoff picture, with two days remaining in the regular season and now only one berth left to be decided: WEST UPDATE The playoffs start Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Officially, that’s not true. But the Denver at Minnesota game on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) may as well be considered a play-in game: Winner moves on, loser goes home. Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) started with four spots available out West, and ended with only one still unclaimed. New Orleans, San Antonio and Oklahoma City all won to clinch their playoff berths — the Spurs doing so for the 21st consecutive year, tying Portland for the second-longest run in NBA history and moving one shy of tying Philadelphia’s league record (which started when the 76ers were the Syracuse Nationals). The funny part about Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) triple-clinchings is that nothing changed in the standings. The order of the top eight remains the same, going into the next-to-last day of the regular season. It won’t stay that way. Get ready for craziness. Portland and Utah can still get to No. 3. The Blazers, Jazz, Pelicans, Thunder and Spurs are in the mix for No. 4. The Spurs could also fall as far as No. 8. The Thunder, who are in seventh, cannot finish seventh. There’s at least a dozen more scenarios. Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) will be great fun. EAST UPDATE Cleveland won the Central Division and locked Indiana into the No. 5 seed with a win at New York. Milwaukee is now up to No. 6 in the East, flip-flopping spots with now-No. 7 Miami. The Bucks beat Orlando, while the Heat could get nothing going and got routed in the fourth quarter on the way to losing to the Thunder. The Bucks wrap up No. 6 with a win at Philadelphia on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). But the 76ers will go into the final day with a chance at the No. 3 spot, regardless of whether they win in Atlanta on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). WEDNESDAY’S (PHL TIME) GAMES — Charlotte at Indiana: No playoff impact, Pacers will be the No. 5 seed. — Philadelphia at Atlanta: Philadelphia can be No. 3 seed by winning last two, and stretching its winning streak to 16. — Boston at Washington: A potential first-round matchup if Wizards finish seventh. Washington can also be No. 6 or No. 8. — Golden State at Utah: Jazz could get to No. 3 seed with a 2-0 finish. Warriors could be first NBA team with 30 road wins in three straight seasons. — Phoenix at Dallas: No playoff impact, Suns have clinched NBA’s worst record. — Houston at L.A. Lakers: No playoff impact, Lakers aiming for winning home record. CURRENT BRACKET First-round matchups if the season ended Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) ... East: 1-Toronto vs. 8-Washington, 2-Boston vs. 7-Miami, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Milwaukee, 4-Cleveland vs. 5-Indiana. West: 1-Houston vs. 8-Minnesota, 2-Golden State vs. 7-Oklahoma City, 3-Portland vs. 6-San Antonio, 4-Utah vs. 5-New Orleans. NOTE OF THE DAY Neither Denver nor Minnesota has ever missed the playoffs in a 46-win season. One will this year. QUOTE OF THE DAY “We know we can beat anybody when we’re playing our best.” — Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, after the Thunder clinched their spot......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

Stalzer saves Petron in close match against Cocolife

Lindsay Stalzer used her experience to deliver the crucial blows that lifted Petron to a 25-14, 23-25, 15-25, 25-14, 15-13 victory over Cocolife Tuesday night in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Stalzer shattered the 13-all deadlock with back-to-back hits in the deciding set en route to this impressive win in the penultimate day of the classification round. Petron shut down the classification round with a 9-1 win-loss mark and captured a handsome chance of regaining the top spot. The Blaze Spikers, however, have to wait for the result of another crucial battle between erstwhile leader F2 Logistics and Foton. The Cargo Movers and the Tornadoes are still playing at press time. “We’re not concerned if we end up No. 1 or No. 2,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos, noting that they have to be at their best either against eighth-seed Smart or seventh-seed Generika-Ayala in the quarterfinals where they will be coming in with a twice-to-beat advantage. “We can’t be complacent, especially with what happened in our last game (against Sta. Lucia). It was a lesson learned and we would carry that as we go along (in our journey),” he said. Stalzer, the former Most Valuable Player who is on her fifth year of duty, delivered 21 kills for 22 points while Hillary Hurley chipped in 13 attacks to finish with 15 points for the Blaze Spikers, who spoiled the debut of FIVB World Grand Prix veteran Marta Drpa for Cocolife. Also shining for the Blaze Spikers were Mika Reyes and Frances Molina as well as Aiza Maizo-Pontillas. Reyes had three blocks and two aces to finish with 13 points while Molina and Maizo-Pontillas added 12 and five points, respectively. But Delos Santos stressed that it was Stalzer’s veteran presence that helped them capture the win. Powered by the Serbian tandem of Drpa and Sara Klisura, the Asset Managers threatened to pull off a massive upset as they erected a 2-1 set lead. Petron restored order in the fourth set, setting the stage for the deciding set where Delos Santos instructed setter Rhea Dimaculangan to give Stalzer a lot of open looks so she would heat up and unleash her might in the crucial stretch. With Cocolife tying the count at 13, Stalzer unloaded a sharp kill from the open spot for the set point followed by another kill for the win in the match that lasted for a little more than two hours. Klisura finished with 23 hits while Drpa added 20 for the Asset Managers, who closed their classification round assignment with six wins in 10 outings......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

Thunder clinch: Oklahoma City runs past Miami

MIAMI --- Paul George scored 27 points, Russell Westbrook got his 25th triple-double of the season and the Oklahoma City Thunder clinched a playoff spot with a 115-93 win over the Miami Heat on Monday night. Westbrook finished with 23 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists for the Thunder, who were down 18 in the opening minutes before outscoring the Heat 39-12 in the fourth. The 27-point margin was the third-worst for any quarter in Heat history, and the worst ever in a game at Miami. Jerami Grant scored 17 points and Carmelo Anthony added 11 for Oklahoma City, which made 14 3-pointers. Josh Richardson scored 18 points and Hassan Whiteside added 16 for the Heat, whose play...Keep on reading: Thunder clinch: Oklahoma City runs past Miami.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

Clamping down: Wade, Heat stymie Cavaliers, 98-79

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press MIAMI (AP) — Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points, Dwyane Wade blocked a pair of shots by LeBron James as part of a stifling defensive effort by Miami, and the Heat had little trouble on the way to beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-79 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Josh Richardson and James Johnson each scored 15 points for Miami, which led 54-34 at halftime and has won 10 of its last 11 home games. Wade finished with 12 against the team he spent part of this season with before getting traded back to Miami. Goran Dragic added 10 for the Heat, who could clinch an Eastern Conference playoff spot by week's end. James finished with 18 points for the Cavaliers, whose previous season-low for points was 88. The Cavs are 1-13 this season when held under 100; they're 43-17 when scoring more than 100. It was the 865th consecutive regular-season game in which James scored at least 10 points, putting him one shy of tying Michael Jordan for the longest such streak in NBA history. James can tie the mark in Charlotte — against the Jordan-owned Hornets — on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Rodney Hood added 15 for Cleveland, which lost Kevin Love at halftime to a loose tooth. He finished with only one point in seven minutes. It was Miami's 14th consecutive home win over the Cavaliers, including a 4-0 mark when James plays in Miami since leaving the Heat after the 2014 NBA Finals. Wade blocked his close friend once in the second quarter, once more in the fourth, both times from behind — and finished with four of Miami's nine blocks in the game. Cleveland came in averaging 31 points per quarter over its last five games, then managed only 34 in the first half against the Heat. They shot 30 percent in the half, just nine percent — 1-for-11 — from the three-point line and were an awful 9-for-22 inside the paint. James had 13 points, four assists and three rebounds by the break; the other four Cavs starters combined for seven points, two assists and four rebounds. It was great for Miami, ghastly for Cleveland. Love got hurt while committing a foul 1:22 into the game, taking an elbow from Heat center Jordan Mickey and getting a loose tooth in the process. Love returned to start the second quarter, then was ruled out after being evaluated again at halftime. Cleveland showed life in the third, getting within 13 late in the quarter and then having three shots to cut even more off Miami's lead. But Miami was still up 75-59 going into the fourth, after Wade — moments after checking in for the first time in about an hour of real time — connected on a step-back jumper with 17 seconds left in the third. TIP-INS Cavaliers: James has played in all 74 Cavs games, matching his total from last season. It was his first time playing at Miami since March 19, 2016. ... Cleveland changed its starting lineup, with Jeff Green in for Larry Nance Jr. ... Kyle Korver remained away from the team, one day after the funeral for his brother. Interim coach Larry Drew said Korver is expected back soon, though the team has not revealed if an exact comeback date has been determined. Heat: Coach Erik Spoelstra was back with the team, two days after he and his wife Nikki's first child — Santiago Ray Spoelstra — was born. ... Miami was down two centers — Hassan Whiteside (left hip) remains out, and Bam Adebayo missed the game with a sprained ankle that the Heat think will be better in a few days. LONG BENCH In three games against Miami this season, the Cavaliers used a total of 20 players. The only Cavs to play in all three meetings were James, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson. GO TIME Miami's next five games are all against teams well out of the playoff picture, with the next three of those games — against Chicago, Brooklyn and Atlanta — all at home. After road games at Atlanta and New York, the Heat then finish at home against Oklahoma City and Toronto. UP NEXT Cavaliers: Visit Charlotte on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Heat: Host Chicago on Thursday (Friday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 28th, 2018

Blazers beat Heat 115-99 for 10th straight victory

By Erik Garcia Gundersen, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 32 points and 10 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Miami Heat 115-99 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) for their 10th straight victory. Jusuf Nurkic added 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Blazers, who have the longest current winning streak in the NBA and a two-game lead over Oklahoma City for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. The Heat used an 18-2 run to start the fourth quarter to trim a 19-point deficit to three, but Lillard took charge for the Blazers, just as he has throughout the winning streak. The All-Star guard broke Portland's drought of over five minutes with a three-pointer midway through the period to put Portland back in front by six, and the Blazers stayed safely ahead from there. Lillard scored 21 points after halftime. He leads the league in second-half scoring. Goran Dragic scored 23 points for the Heat, who were without two key players in starting center Hassan Whiteside and sixth man Dwyane Wade. The Blazers closed the first quarter on a 14-4 lead to take a 34-25 lead, capped by a buzzer-beating three-pointer from rookie Zach Collins. Another three-pointer by Collins with 7:03 left in the second quarter put Portland up 45-33, forcing the Heat to call time. TIP-INS Heat: Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) was the deadline for the Heat to use a $5.5 million trade exception they were granted after shooting guard Dion Waiters underwent season-ending surgery on his ankle. The Heat would have had to release a player already on their roster to open up a roster spot to use the sizable exception. Trail Blazers: Lillard came in averaging nearly 33 points during the streak, which includes two victories over the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. "I think this might be the best level that he's played," coach Terry Stotts said. "I thought what he did last year after the All-Star break was amazing. He carried us to the playoffs last year, showing great leadership and a high quality of play. It might be better this year, but we still have 16 games to go." UP NEXT Heat: Miami continues its three-game road trip in Sacramento on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Trail Blazers: Welcome LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 13th, 2018

Wizards hold off LeBron, new-look Cavaliers 110-103

By Tom Withers, Associated Press CLEVELAND (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 18 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 and tried to untie the sneakers of one of Cleveland's new players, and the Washington Wizards withstood a late assault by LeBron James to beat the new-look Cavaliers 110-103 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). The Wizards nearly blew a late 11-point lead as James scored 14 straight points to pull the Cavs within 106-103. But Beal hit a driving layup and James missed a free throw and committed a lane violation while intentionally missing the second one and the Wizards held on. Washington is 8-2 since star guard John Wall went down with a knee injury. Tomas Satoransky, who has been starting in Wall's spot, added 17 points and eight assists. James, back from winning MVP honors at the All-Star Game, scored 32 — 14 in the fourth — for the Cavs, who dropped to 2-1 since acquiring four new players before the trade deadline. J.R. Smith added 15 for Cleveland. The Wizards spoiled the home debuts for Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson, four new faces the Cavs are hoping can get them back to the NBA Finals. But there are more obstacles in the Eastern Conference than ever and the Wizards could be a much tougher out in the postseason — with or without Wall. Washington overcame an early 12-point deficit and matched Cleveland's intensity. Oubre tried to give the Wizards an extra advantage when he reached over during a dead-ball situation and tried to untie one of Hood's shoes. The four newest Cavs received warm ovations when introduced, with Nance getting the biggest roar from fans who remember his shot-blocking, dunking dad. Larry Nance Sr. was a two-time All-Star during eight seasons with Cleveland. Before the game, Nance Jr. announced that the NBA will allow him to wear his dad's retired No. 22 jersey, which will remain hanging from the rafters in Quicken Loans Arena. "I'm ecstatic about it," said the younger Nance, who will switch from 24 to 22 next week. After making just one three-pointer in the first quarter, the Wizards dropped four deep shots in a span of 2:24 of the second quarter. Oubre and Markieff Morris each made two triples during Washington's barrage, which enabled the Wizards to take a 57-54 lead at halftime. TIP-INS Wizards: Coach Scott Brooks would not confirm reports Washington will sign veteran G Ramon Sessions to a 10-day contract. He was released by New York last month. Washington has been playing without Wall, who had surgery on his left knee in late January and could be out until the playoffs. The 31-year-old Sessions served as Wall's backup from 2014-16. ... Brooks said the All-Star break helped several players rest injuries. G Tim Frazier returned after missing the final game before the All-Star break after sustaining a nasal fracture on Feb. 10 (Feb. 11, PHL time). Cavaliers: Smith's recent fast starts have been a key to Cleveland's success. Smith is shooting 18-of-21 — 14-of-15 from the three-point range — in the first quarter of the past six games. "When he's making shots," said coach Tyronn Lue, "we're a different team." ... James became the seventh player with 11,000 career field goals. ... The trades brought an infusion of youth to what was the league's oldest roster. "It's not an old team anymore," Lue said. "We've definitely gotten younger." ... Signed G Marcus Thornton to a 10-day contract. UP NEXT Wizards: Host Charlotte on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Cavaliers: At Memphis on Friday (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2018

With LA as backdrop, NBA opens latest ASG chapter

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES — There’s a very real chance of seeing it all at the NBA All-Star Game from the world’s greatest players and athletes, who are trained to entertain. And they deliver on that, every year, for the most part. Which brings us to this year’s showpiece: Will we finally see the All-Stars play defense, or not? Simple question. Over the last three years, they game morphed into a blob of uncontested shots and layups with the pace of a NASCAR event and the intensity level of a turtle race. Last year Steph Curry comically dropped to the floor rather than putting his body between Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rim (maybe wisely, but still). That was a flash-point moment. Perhaps because of fear of getting injured, or maybe the body just needs a break after a half-season, players rarely spent much energy trying to stop anyone. That led to wild and repetitious scoring sprees, where the losing team averaged 170 points, and ultimately, new changes designed to encourage players to at least simulate a real game and turn it up two notches. And so, Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) game at Staples Center will serve as the laboratory rat and perhaps usher a new era for the midseason game. If today’s players treat it the way the old-timers did, then this could be special. If not, this could be 194-187. “I think it’ll be different,” said Curry. The rules committee was alarmed enough by the public backlash of the last two games, where the winning West team came a combined 12 points from hitting the 200-point mark, that the traditional format was scrapped. No longer is it East vs. West, now it’s the leading vote-getter in both conferences choosing their own squad, regardless of conference. Therefore, Team Stephen will tip against Team LeBron with the mixed squads lending some intrigue and could cure the defense and intensity issues. As an added bonus, each member of the winning team will receive $100,000 vs. $25,000 for the losers, although it must be mentioned that the only player in an All-Star uniform making below eight figures is Karl-Anthony Towns. Still, the idea was to raise the incentive level and hoping it raises the fourth-quarter heat. The coach of the LeBron team, Dwane Casey of the Raptors, said he plans to do his part by shuffling the minutes based on who’s trying the hardest. “I went to our players individually and asked two questions: ‘Do you want to put on a show, or do you want to win? Let me know.’ I’d like them to go and compete. I want to win. We owe it to the league and the fans to let them know that the NBA isn’t about rolling the ball out there. There are a lot of fundamental things we can do on the court, and it starts with the All-Star Game, with everyone watching.” It helps that the game will feature a few subplots designed to make it interesting. Such as: LeBron and Kyrie Irving, together again. They had a mysterious split last summer after Irving, two years removed from a championship in Cleveland and with the chance of additional chances to win another, demanded and received a trade. He’s in Boston now, creating a rivalry with Cleveland whereas none existed before the deal. But apparently there was no acrimony generated by the split and the two have remained on decent terms, based on the chatter between them. Nothing personal, in other words. And anyway, LeBron chose Irving for this team. The reunion, says Irving, will be “pretty awesome.” LeBron: “Listen, anytime I get an opportunity to be with a fellow teammate of mine on the same court, and then you add on the fact of what we were able to accomplish in the three years, they just make it special. You automatically start thinking about the moments. There was a time when I was in Miami when I thought about if there was a chance for me to be Kyrie's teammate at All-Star Weekend. I thought about that. I didn't think it would be possible, and then we became teammates. We were on the same All-Star court together as teammates. Those thoughts still go into my head of how great it was to break the drought in our city, over 50-plus years, when the both of us had magical, magical Finals runs. So, it's always special. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, together again. Well, the two ex-Thunder ‘mates did play for the West squad last season, yet kept their distance, both on and off the court, the entire weekend. Also, they had testy exchanges this season, evidence that if nothing else, the competitive spirit between them remains high. Yet, all seems civil regarding the split two years later, maybe because Westbrook gained a half-measure of revenge when Paul George arrived this season. Curry and James Harden, together. As team captain, Curry selected Harden, and at least for one weekend, the two will put aside some natural conflict. One: They’re among the leading candidates for the MVP award, and those in the Harden camp believe he was robbed of the second MVP won by Curry. Two: The Warriors and Rockets are engaged in a thermal race for top spot in the West, with the Rockets beating Golden State twice this season so far. (Side note: Curry responded “Ha” the other day when asked who should win the MVP this year, him or Harden. Just “ha.”) Joel Embiid. The fun-loving big man makes his All-Star debut and promises to bring his infectious personality to the game and also his astonishing skills, rare for a seven-footer. Look for Embiid to make a strong big for game MVP and doing so apologetically. His competition could come from Antetokounmpo and either winner would signal a victory for a league looking for yet another superstar. But, the game itself. Will it be taken seriously? “We've talked about it.” said Irving. “Like I said, I think it's more individually based in terms of the competitive fire. But I know that we're pretty excited to be out there and compete and go at one another for a little bit and have a little fun.” Last year, Antetokounmpo was playfully chastised by his teammates for going full-tilt and challenging shots and essentially treating it like a playoff game. It was his first All-Star appearance and he was surprised by the mild tone of the pace. Victor Oladipo, a first-timer this year, doesn’t believe that’ll happen to him. “My competitive nature is going to get the best of me,” he said. The unspoken concern, of course, is injury, although there’s no documented case of a player ever pulling up lame in the game. Imagine the outcry, for example, if the intensity soars and someone grabs a body part. The fallout will be steep, and with that in mind, many coaches tell their players to ease off the gas pedal. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” said Casey, “but we want to change the narrative about this game and how it’s played. I find that when players do things half-way or go through the motions, that’s when they’re more liable to get hurt.” And so, with that in mind, with a revamped format and a bit more pocket change for the winner and an audience that would like to see some floor burn for a change, the All-Stars just could make this game interesting. That starts with defense. “The challenge is, if you’re going to play to win, you’re going to compete on the defensive end, especially in transition,” said Casey. “That’s where the all-star game kind of deteriorates. You got to start your transition defense, our one on one defense, and put defense in the game because if you don’t, it will be 160, 170 points. I don’t know if we’re going to change it all in one game, but that’s our goal is to try to be more serious on defense, and not trick passes and trick shots and circus mentality. “These guys can entertain and also play defense and give a more competitive game. They are good enough to pull it off. That’s what I hope to see and what fans hope to see.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or 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 NewsFeb 19th, 2018

With LA as backdrop, NBA opens latest ASG chapter

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES — There’s a very real chance of seeing it all at the NBA All-Star Game from the world’s greatest players and athletes, who are trained to entertain. And they deliver on that, every year, for the most part. Which brings us to this year’s showpiece: Will we finally see the All-Stars play defense, or not? Simple question. Over the last three years, they game morphed into a blob of uncontested shots and layups with the pace of a NASCAR event and the intensity level of a turtle race. Last year Steph Curry comically dropped to the floor rather than putting his body between Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rim (maybe wisely, but still). That was a flash-point moment. Perhaps because of fear of getting injured, or maybe the body just needs a break after a half-season, players rarely spent much energy trying to stop anyone. That led to wild and repetitious scoring sprees, where the losing team averaged 170 points, and ultimately, new changes designed to encourage players to at least simulate a real game and turn it up two notches. And so, Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) game at Staples Center will serve as the laboratory rat and perhaps usher a new era for the midseason game. If today’s players treat it the way the old-timers did, then this could be special. If not, this could be 194-187. “I think it’ll be different,” said Curry. The rules committee was alarmed enough by the public backlash of the last two games, where the winning West team came a combined 12 points from hitting the 200-point mark, that the traditional format was scrapped. No longer is it East vs. West, now it’s the leading vote-getter in both conferences choosing their own squad, regardless of conference. Therefore, Team Stephen will tip against Team LeBron with the mixed squads lending some intrigue and could cure the defense and intensity issues. As an added bonus, each member of the winning team will receive $100,000 vs. $25,000 for the losers, although it must be mentioned that the only player in an All-Star uniform making below eight figures is Karl-Anthony Towns. Still, the idea was to raise the incentive level and hoping it raises the fourth-quarter heat. The coach of the LeBron team, Dwane Casey of the Raptors, said he plans to do his part by shuffling the minutes based on who’s trying the hardest. “I went to our players individually and asked two questions: ‘Do you want to put on a show, or do you want to win? Let me know.’ I’d like them to go and compete. I want to win. We owe it to the league and the fans to let them know that the NBA isn’t about rolling the ball out there. There are a lot of fundamental things we can do on the court, and it starts with the All-Star Game, with everyone watching.” It helps that the game will feature a few subplots designed to make it interesting. Such as: LeBron and Kyrie Irving, together again. They had a mysterious split last summer after Irving, two years removed from a championship in Cleveland and with the chance of additional chances to win another, demanded and received a trade. He’s in Boston now, creating a rivalry with Cleveland whereas none existed before the deal. But apparently there was no acrimony generated by the split and the two have remained on decent terms, based on the chatter between them. Nothing personal, in other words. And anyway, LeBron chose Irving for this team. The reunion, says Irving, will be “pretty awesome.” LeBron: “Listen, anytime I get an opportunity to be with a fellow teammate of mine on the same court, and then you add on the fact of what we were able to accomplish in the three years, they just make it special. You automatically start thinking about the moments. There was a time when I was in Miami when I thought about if there was a chance for me to be Kyrie's teammate at All-Star Weekend. I thought about that. I didn't think it would be possible, and then we became teammates. We were on the same All-Star court together as teammates. Those thoughts still go into my head of how great it was to break the drought in our city, over 50-plus years, when the both of us had magical, magical Finals runs. So, it's always special. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, together again. Well, the two ex-Thunder ‘mates did play for the West squad last season, yet kept their distance, both on and off the court, the entire weekend. Also, they had testy exchanges this season, evidence that if nothing else, the competitive spirit between them remains high. Yet, all seems civil regarding the split two years later, maybe because Westbrook gained a half-measure of revenge when Paul George arrived this season. Curry and James Harden, together. As team captain, Curry selected Harden, and at least for one weekend, the two will put aside some natural conflict. One: They’re among the leading candidates for the MVP award, and those in the Harden camp believe he was robbed of the second MVP won by Curry. Two: The Warriors and Rockets are engaged in a thermal race for top spot in the West, with the Rockets beating Golden State twice this season so far. (Side note: Curry responded “Ha” the other day when asked who should win the MVP this year, him or Harden. Just “ha.”) Joel Embiid. The fun-loving big man makes his All-Star debut and promises to bring his infectious personality to the game and also his astonishing skills, rare for a seven-footer. Look for Embiid to make a strong big for game MVP and doing so apologetically. His competition could come from Antetokounmpo and either winner would signal a victory for a league looking for yet another superstar. But, the game itself. Will it be taken seriously? “We've talked about it.” said Irving. “Like I said, I think it's more individually based in terms of the competitive fire. But I know that we're pretty excited to be out there and compete and go at one another for a little bit and have a little fun.” Last year, Antetokounmpo was playfully chastised by his teammates for going full-tilt and challenging shots and essentially treating it like a playoff game. It was his first All-Star appearance and he was surprised by the mild tone of the pace. Victor Oladipo, a first-timer this year, doesn’t believe that’ll happen to him. “My competitive nature is going to get the best of me,” he said. The unspoken concern, of course, is injury, although there’s no documented case of a player ever pulling up lame in the game. Imagine the outcry, for example, if the intensity soars and someone grabs a body part. The fallout will be steep, and with that in mind, many coaches tell their players to ease off the gas pedal. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” said Casey, “but we want to change the narrative about this game and how it’s played. I find that when players do things half-way or go through the motions, that’s when they’re more liable to get hurt.” And so, with that in mind, with a revamped format and a bit more pocket change for the winner and an audience that would like to see some floor burn for a change, the All-Stars just could make this game interesting. That starts with defense. “The challenge is, if you’re going to play to win, you’re going to compete on the defensive end, especially in transition,” said Casey. “That’s where the all-star game kind of deteriorates. You got to start your transition defense, our one on one defense, and put defense in the game because if you don’t, it will be 160, 170 points. I don’t know if we’re going to change it all in one game, but that’s our goal is to try to be more serious on defense, and not trick passes and trick shots and circus mentality. “These guys can entertain and also play defense and give a more competitive game. They are good enough to pull it off. That’s what I hope to see and what fans hope to see.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or 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 NewsFeb 18th, 2018

Arellano U dethrones CSB, sets up Finals showdown against Perpetual

Arellano University clinched the a championship berth after dethroning College of St. Benilde, 25-22, 28-26, 25-23, Tuesday in the 93rd NCAA men’s volleyball stepladder semifinals at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Chiefs set up a best-of-three championship showdown against unbeaten University of Perpetual Help starting Friday. Christian dela Paz and Kevin Liberato combined for 27 points to help lift the Arellano U. Meanwhile, reigning titlist Perpetual Help downed Arellano U, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17, to clinch the first finals berth in juniors’ play. Noel Michael Kampton led the way with 20 points including 15 on kills to help power the Junior Altas back into the best-of-three finale against the winner of the other Final Four match pitting Emilio Aguinaldo and Letran. The Las Pinas-based school is gunning a fourth straight crown and 11th overall, which would put it the second most titled team in NCAA high school volleyball behind Letran, which has a league-best 14 championships. The Squires, seeded fourth, spoiled a Perpetual-EAC title showdown, after it pulled off a shock 21-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-13 win over the top-seeded Brigadiers to force a knockout duel for the last championship berth scheduled Friday. It was the second straight win of a do-or-die game for Letran, which also edged San Beda, 25-16, 24-26, 25-19, 20-25, 20-18, Friday to clinch the last spot to the Final Four. Christian Wilsan dela Cruz led a balanced attack with 15 hits while Mark Denver Omega, John Paulo Lorenzo and Mhel Gabuyo chipped in 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively, to help the Squires to snatch the win. EAC, which clinched the top seeding entering the Final Four, will have another chance to make a return trip to the finals as it hopes to stop Letran......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

Denver Nuggets face tough test in fight for playoff spot

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com The Denver Nuggets seem to be a big beneficiary of the Blake Griffin trade this week. At the time of the deal, the LA Clippers were just one game behind the Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the West. And if the Clippers were going to fade after trading their best player, the Nuggets' chances of ending a four-year playoff drought were going to increase dramatically. But the Clips are still hanging around, the Nuggets still have some work to do, and the work will be tough in February. Denver has one of the league's toughest February schedules, with seven of their 10 games against teams that are currently at or above .500. That includes six games against the Warriors, Rockets (x 2), Spurs (x 2) and Thunder. Denver has the league's toughest February schedule in regard to both opposing offenses and opposing defenses. Through January, the Nuggets are 8-16 against the other 15 teams that are currently at or above .500, having allowed more than 110 points per 100 possessions over those 24 games. Ten of those 16 losses (including two to Boston and San Antonio in the last three days) were games that were within five points in the last five minutes, though. And there is good news with the Nuggets' February schedule. Seven of their 10 games are at home, where they're 19-7 (6-5 against other teams that are currently at or above .500) and where they've been 10.9 possessions better than they've been on the road. Only Utah (13.4) and New York (11.9) have bigger home-road NetRtg differentials. The Nuggets also have just one February back-to-back, and the second game is in Phoenix. They have three games this month with a rest advantage (where their opponent played the night before but they did not). The Utah Jazz, coming off wins over Toronto and Golden State, could be Denver's biggest threat in regard to that last playoff spot. The Nuggets and Jazz have already finished their season series, with each team winning its two home games. But if the Clippers are still hanging around in a few weeks, the Nuggets' most important February game could be their last, when they host LA on Feb. 27 (Feb. 28, PHL time). Note: Every team has at least seven full days off for the All-Star break. Two teams - Dallas and San Antonio - have the longest All-Star breaks: nine days off between games. Rest advantage / Rest disadvantage: Games in which one team (at a disadvantage) played the day before and the other (at an advantage) did not. Teams are currently 120-82 (.594) with a rest advantage, 98-49 (.667) at home and 22-33 (.400) on the road. Here's a breakdown of every Western Conference team's February schedule... More Western Conference notes... - James Harden just scored 60 points against the league's 27th ranked defense and will get more bad defenses to pick on in February. The Rockets visit the second-ranked defense (San Antonio) on Thursday and will spend most of the month on the road, but they play a league-high seven February games against bottom-10 defenses. - With the All-Star Game in L.A., the Clippers and Lakers have the league's most road-heavy February schedules. Both will play seven of their 10 February games away from Staples Center. - The Timberwolves, with the league's third-ranked offense, are the only team that doesn't have any February games against teams that currently rank in the top 10 defensively. - The Thunder are one of four teams that doesn't play any February games against opponents on the second game of a back-to-back. But they have five games (only the Lakers have more) against the eight teams that are currently 14 or more games below .500. - The Spurs will play a league-low nine games this month, but that includes a league-high six games against the league's top 10 offenses, as well as the annual rodeo road trip, which is split by the All-Star break. After hosting the Rockets and Jazz this week, the Spurs will have a three-game trip going into the break and then another three-game trip coming out of it. But no team has a longer All-Star break (nine full days off between games). Their last game before their break and their first game before the break are both in Denver. - After visiting the Raptors and Celtics this weekend, the Blazers will play seven of their final eight February games against teams that are currently under .500. But their road trip concludes with a visit to Detroit on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) and they'll have two important games against the 10th-place (and improving) Jazz. - The Jazz are coming off wins over the Raptors and Warriors, and have a chance to climb back into the playoff picture, with three games against two teams - New Orleans and Portland (x 2) - they're chasing in the West. Two of those games are on the road, where the Jazz will be for five of their first six February games. Utah won in Toronto last week, but as noted above, the Jazz have the league's biggest home-road NetRtg differential. They've been 13.4 points per 100 possessions better at home than on the road. They will play their last two pre-break games at Vivint Smart Home Arena, and they'll begin their post-break schedule with a four-game homestand.     Eastern Conference The Washington Wizards have not lived up to expectations this season, unable build off a trip to Game 7 of the conference semifinals last May. They're in fifth place in the East, but their bad losses (11 to teams that are currently at least six games under .500) have overshadowed their quality wins (they're 5-5 against teams with the league's eight best records). Now, the Wizards are dealing with an extended absence for John Wall, who had knee surgery on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Things could certainly come together for the Wizards if Wall returns healthier and stronger in April and May (they won't have to play the Nets or Mavs in the playoffs), but as they look to stay in the mix for a top four seed in the East, they'll have a difficult schedule to navigate without one of their All-Stars. Seven of the Wizards' 12 February games are against the other seven teams in playoff position in the East. That includes four games against the three teams - Indiana, Milwaukee and Philadelphia (x 2) - behind them and within two games in the loss column in the standings. Three of the Wizards' other five games are on the road. And they'll finish the month of February by hosting the Warriors on the second night of a road-home back-to-back (with the Warriors not playing the day before). But it doesn't end there. That Golden State game will be only the second game of 12 straight against teams that are currently over .500. The Wizards' March might be tougher than their February, and just staying in playoff position at all could be a challenge. More Eastern Conference notes ... - It's a big month for the Celtics and Sixers in regard to the Lakers' pick in this year's Draft. The Sixers get the pick if it lands at No. 1 or at No. 6 or higher, while the Celtics get it if it lands at Nos. 2-5. The Lakers currently have the league's ninth worst record, but the team with the fifth worst record (Phoenix) has just one fewer win. And L.A. will play six of its 10 February games against the eight teams currently below them in the combined standings. A bad month could have them slide into that range where the Celtics get the pick (while also increasing the Sixers' chances of getting the No. 1 pick). - After hosting the Hawks on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), the Celtics will go into the All-Star break with six straight games against teams that are currently at or above .500. That includes big games against Toronto and Cleveland. And then they'll come out of the break with four straight games against teams with losing records, though that includes a visit to Detroit. - The Hornets are the only team with four back-to-backs in February. - The Pistons, with Blake Griffin set to make his debut on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), have the most home-heavy February schedule, with nine of their 12 games at Little Caesars Arena. And they'll have a rest advantage (with their opponent playing the second game of a back-to-back) in six of the nine home games, including each of their first four games this month. - Entering the month, only two games in the loss column separate the fourth-place Heat from the eighth-place Sixers, and Philadelphia actually has the stronger point differential. To settle the record vs. point differential debate, those two teams will play each other three times in February. Two of those meetings (including a matchup on Friday) will be in Philadelphia, and the second of those (Feb. 14) will be a rest-advantage game for the Sixers. In total, the Sixers have five February games against opponents playing the second game of a back-to-back, with three of those being rest advantage games. - The Bucks are one of four teams that doesn't play any February games against opponents on the second game of a back-to-back. John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. 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 NewsFeb 2nd, 2018

San Sebastian College wraps 4th straight win in 61 minutes

Games Monday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 8:00 a.m. –- Letran vs EAC (jrs) 9:30 a.m. –- Letran vs. EAC (m) 11:00 a.m. –- Letran vs. EAC (w) 12:30 p.m. –- CSB vs. AU (w) 2:00 p.m. –- CSB vs. AU (m) 3:30 p.m. –- CSB-LSGH vs. AU (jrs)   San Sebastian College needed only 61 minutes to claim its fourth straight win at the expense of the hapless Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-23, 25-6, 25-14, Sunday to move up to solo third spot in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition. Nika Dalisay had a game-high 16 points for the Lady Stags’ walk in the park win at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. SSC-R improved to a 5-2 win-loss slate behind unbeaten Final Four-bound defending champion Arellano University (7-0) and San Beda College (6-1).       The victory also pushed the Lady Stags closer to one of the last three remaining Final Four berths. Dalisay smacked 12 spikes and scored four from the service line while Dangie Encarnacion and skipper Joyce Sta. Rita finished with 10 markers each for the Recto-based squad, which will close their elims campaign with games against the Lady Red Spikers on Tuesday and a Finals rematch with the Lady Chiefs on Thursday. Julie Tiangco added nine markers with eight coming off service aces for the Lady Stags, who had 18 service winners while pounding the Lady Pirates with 33 attack points. LPU gave SSC-R a scare in the opening set, saving five set points to cut their 18-24 deficit to just a single point before Encarnacion foiled the Lady Pirates comeback with a closing hit. But it proved to be the Intramuros-based squad’s last hurrah in the match as LPU absorbed their fourth straight defeat for a 1-6 mark. Bien Juanillo had eight points while Christine Miralles finished with six for LPU. Meanwhile, the Pirates outlasted the Stags in a come-from-behind 24-26, 20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 15-13, win to tie their victim at 2-5 slate in men’s division.  In juniors play, the Junior Pirates scored their second in six outings with a 25-15, 20-25, 25-14, 25-20, win over the winless Staglets.     ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2018