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Sunday Sneaks Finals edition: Easter shoes are no joke

San Miguel wins so much games sometimes it's hard to find new storylines for the team. Winning has been a routine for the Beermen and you can only have so much especially if it's the same script over and over again. It's the same for such topics as Sunday Sneaks*.   *Sunday Sneaks on a Monday ¯backslash_(ツ)_/¯ You can only write so much especially if the players wear the same shoes all the time. Fortunately, we have Marcio Lassiter. Just like teammate Chris Ross, Super Marcio knows his shoes. He may not bust out fire as often as Chris does but Marcio makes sure to give us a treat every now and then. Sunday was no different as Lassiter was digging deep to make sure his sneaker game was appropriate for at least one half. In Game 3 of the Philippine Cup Finals against Magnolia, Marcio was wearing the Nike Kobe 8 System in the Easter colorway. It was Easter Sunday. Perfect. Featuring pastel colors, the 2013 release has teal on the forefoot of its engineered mesh upper before transitioning to yellow in the midfoot and purple in the heel. Accented by black branding and a black speckled midsole, one of the best, if not the best Kobe 8 colorway, is finished off with a gray outsole. Considering the Kobe 8, a performance beast, pumped out several classic colorways, the Easter rendition is a powerhouse in its own right. A sleeper powerhouse. Bonus:  Chris Ross was rocking the Air Jordan 11 Pantone. Nothing much, just some casual fire.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 2nd, 2018

Sunday Sneaks: Ugly Gilas win, Pretty Gilas shoes

Gilas Pilipinas' win over Japan Sunday was by no means pretty. It was exciting, but it wasn't pretty. What was pretty though, was the shoe that team captain Gabe Norwood wore. And that my friends, is our sole focus for this Gilas Pilipinas edition of Sunday Sneaks*.   *Sunday Sneaks on a Monday ¯backslash_(ツ)_/¯ Norwood's weapon of choice against the Japanese was the Nike Kyrie 4 in the Chinese New Year colorway and the shoe's bright red make up it was a perfect contrast to the Philippines' royal blue uniform. Easily the most recognizable part of the Kyrie 4 CNY is the red suede at the back and the floral detailing. Sneakers with floral embroidery has been the latest in thing for quite a while now and the Swoosh has offered its take with this Kyrie colorway, among other shoes featured in the 2018 CNY lineup. From a performance standpoint, the Kyrie 4 might be the best in the Celtics star's signature line as it addressed one glaring weakness from the previous model and that's actual cushioning. But for real though, these are fire and Gabe Norwood practically won Sunday before the game even started.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 26th, 2018

Sunday Sneaks: Beauty in Chaos

Just because not a lot of shoes really stood out, this latest edition of Sunday Sneaks* will be short and sweet. Short, sweet, and colorful.   *Sunday Sneaks on a Monday ¯backslash_(ツ)_/¯ In a sea of boring white, black, and red shoes, former teammates and now opponents Ryan Reyes and Jared Dillinger chose to zig instead of zag. The hype for multicolor flyknit is dead, but one cannot deny that the latest multicolor flyknit is still beautiful. The Nike KD 10 gets the rainbow treatment this time around and JD went ahead and even laced these pretty pair up with matching laces. Now that's how you go all out on a multicolor setting. Proving that there's beauty in chaos, Ryan Reyes once again went with a favorite in the old Nike Zoom Kobe 6 in the "Chaos" colorway. Reyes has been balling in this classic pair of Kobes for a while now, but never on a Sunday. The Chaos colorway, inspired by the Dark Knight's arch-nemesis, features a purple upper with hints of, white, volt and infrared. One of the more famous series of colorways in the Kobe signature line, there's definitely beauty in Chaos. Am I right or am I super right?     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2018

PVL: FEU, UP start Finals series

Two very hungry teams square off for crown and glory in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference. Far Eastern University hopes to settle an unfinished business when it meets a title-parched University of the Philippines Sunday in Game 1 of the best-of-three series at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Action begins at 6:30 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. The Lady Tamaraws will get another shot at the elusive title after falling short in last year’s edition. FEU is in its third straight title appearance after runner-up finishes in the inaugural PVL Collegiate Conference and in UAAP Season 80. The Morayta-based squad look to cling on its championship experience and veteran crew to take down the Lady Maroons, which the Lady Tams defeated in their elims meeting. “Malaking advantage ang experience namin sa championship and experienced na rin ang mga players ko compared sa kanila,” said FEU coach George Pascua. While the Lady Tams see experience as their edge, UP head coach Godfrey Okumu believes that the thirst of the Lady Maroons for glory will fuel their desire to win it all.    “They have waited for this for a long time,” said Okumu. FEU will bank on seasoned players Jerrili Malabanan, top setter Kyle Negrito, Heather Guino-o, Jeanette Villareal and rookie Lycha Ebon. Isa Molde, Marian Buitre, Rosely Rosier, Marist Layug and Ayel Estranero will banner UP’s fight. The Lady Tams advanced to the Finals after defeating University of Sto. Tomas while the Lady Maroons booted out Adamson University in their semis showdown.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 9th, 2018

PVL: FEU to bank on Finals experience against newbie UP

If there will be one specific advantage in the Finals that Far Eastern University will look to capitalize on when the Lady Tamaraws face University of the Philippines for the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference crown, it’s definitely their championship experience. Head coach George Pascua sees it as a weapon that they could use against the first-time finalists Lady Maroons when their best-of-three title showdown begins Sunday. FEU finished runner-up in last year’s edition and took home silver in UAAP Season 80. The Lady Tamaraws also enjoy the luxury of having a seasoned and battle-tested core.    UP’s best finish in a high level tournament was a Final Four stint in the UAAP three years ago.        “Ah oo, malaking advantage ‘yun kasi ‘yun na nga experienced na ‘yung players namin. ‘Yung UP first time nila so kahit papano (lamang kami doon),” said Pascua, whose squad booted out University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four in a come-from-behind series win for a return stint in the Finals. Pascua will pin his hopes on veterans Jerrili Malabanan, Celine Domingo, Heather Guino-o, setter Kyle Negrito and top rookie Lycha Ebon. Still, the mentor knows that UP isn’t a pushover team especially after the fourth seed Lady Maroons scored a huge upset over Adamson University, which swept the elimination.         “Pero syempre mahirap din magkumpyansa kasi ang labanan ngayon character na lang eh kasi lahat ng teams unpredictable eh,” he said. “Hindi mo alam kung sino ‘yung mananalo that day so depende na lang sa player kung ano ang magiging desire nila.” FEU defeated UP in the elims but the Lady Tams will face a different Lady Maroons side. UP started out shaky but slowly jelled and found their rhythm as the conference progressed. The Lady Maroons’ veterans also stepped up their game with the likes of Marian Buitre, Marist Layug, Aie Gannaban and sophomore Roselyn Rosier helping out prized hitter Isa Molde on offense and in floor defense.  UP head coach Godfrey Okumu also has at his disposal veteran setter Ayel Estranero and a young but steady playmaker Marianne Sotomil. With the Lady Maroons' seemingly diverse rotation despite the absence of injured Tots Carlos and Nicole Magasarile, Pascua and his coaching staff are devicing a good game plan to defeat the Diliman-based squad.   “‘Yung UP very unpredictable din ang laro nila kumbaga hindi mo alam kung sino ang magle-level up sa kanila,” Pascua said. “Every game kasi iba ‘yung ano nila so meron din kaming specific person na binabantayan sina Molde, Buitre.” “Siyempre paplanuhin namin ‘yang game plan for UP,” he closed.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

PVL: Lady Tams down Tigresses, earn championship seat

Far Eastern University came back from a set down to defeat old rival University of Sto. Tomas, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17, and punch a return ticket to the Finals of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Sunday.    The Lady Tamaraws completed a 2-1 series comeback after dropping Game 1 of best-of-three semifinals showdown to set up a championship clash with University of the Philippines. Game 1 of the best-of-three Finals is on Sunday. Jerrili Malabanan led FEU, which finished runner-up in last year’s edition and in UAAP Season 80, with 13 points with 10 coming off attacks while rookie Lycha Ebon and setter Kyle Negrito had 12 markers each. Negrito tallied 22 excellent sets on top of her five attacks, four kill blocks and three aces for the Lady Tamaraws. Heather Guino-o added 11 markers. FEU started out flat before finding its rhythm to turn back the Tigresses for the second straight time in their back-to-back weekend clash. “Oo slow start sila masyado kasing nag-iingat sa first set so sabi ko ‘wag masyado mag-ingat, basta play your game, focus sa kalaban and ‘wag sa error,” said FEU coach George Pascua.   “Kaya sabi ko nga kailangan ang mga beterano ko ‘yung experience nila kailangan i-apply nila ngayong game kasi ‘yun ang pinaka importante, do-or-die game. Na achieve naman namin (ang goal namin),” he added. Eya Laure finished with 15 points while Caitlyn Viray had 11 for UST, which was haunted by 33 errors. Alina Bicar and Milena Alessandrini scored nine each for the Tigresses, who will take on Adamson University in the battle for third.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2018

PVL: Ebon fuels FEU charge in Game 2

Far Eastern University head coach George Pascua found an unlikely inspiration for his veterans to wake up from an early funk. With their backs against the wall in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference Final Four, the Lady Tamaraws started on the wrong foot Saturday. The Morayta-based squad opened a 9-0 lead in the first set but saw the Tigresses gobble up their advantage before stealing the frame. Amid their chaotic start in Game 2 of the best-of-three series, Pascua saw a spec of hope in rookie Lycha Ebon. Pascua gave his veterans a little pep talk, pointing out the freshman’s effort in both offense and defense – a work he expected to see from his more seasoned players.         “Sabi ko nga kanina china-challenge ko ang mga beterano ko. Sabi ko sa kanila, “‘yung first year na wala pa talagang sungay kumbaga sa FEU baby pa lang ay lumalaban dapat kayong may mga sungay na kapag sinabing charge, charge,’” he said. And it was enough to lit the fire on the core of the FEU squad which finished runner up in the UAAP Season 80 and in the conference’s inaugural edition. The Lady Tams responded with a rousing 22-25, 25-13, 25-14, 25-20, victory that evened the series to one game apiece and forced a decider Sunday. Ebon scored 10 points and her effort boosted the confidence of her seniors. But the rookie downplayed her role in FEU’s crucial win. “Para sa akin po, basta on-game kami, walang angat o walang mababa. Lahat pantay-pantay lang,” she said. “Ako, as a rookie, kailangan magstep up talaga para makasabay sa mga seniors ko.” The victory snapped the Lady Tams consecutive losses to the Tigresses this conference including a four-set defeat in the series opener last Wednesday. Celine Domingo led FEU with 19 points, Jerrili Malaban scored all of her 17 markers from attacks while setter Kyle Negrito dropped 12 points on top of 26 excellent sets. Pascua now hopes his wards will sustain their momentum to advance in the Finals.   “Hopefully, fresh pa rin ang ginawa nila ngayon, na ‘wag silang makalimot para bukas,” he said. “So ‘yun isa sa pampataas ng morale nila ‘yun.” “Bukas kasi labanan ng character na lang yan, lagi ko yang sinasabi sa mga players ko,” Pascua closed.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Cray qualifies for 400m hurdles finals

JAKARTA — Eric Shawn Cray qualified for the finals of the men's 400m hurdles after a third-place finish in the semifinal round of the 2018 Asian Games at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Sunday night. Visibly saving his energy for the big race set at 7 p.m. on Monday (8 p.m. in Manila), Cray submitted a third-best time of 50.54 in the third semifinal heat of the day, behind the scorching 49.34 of long-limbed Samba Abderrahman of Qatar and the 49.55 of India’s Dharun Attasamy. Cray’s teammate Francis Medina was not as lucky, finishing 51.68 seconds in placing fourth during the first semifinal heat topped by Japan’s Abe Takatoshi, who clocked 49.71 Cray will be joined in the finals by Abderrahman, Attasamy, Takatoshi, Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Koblov (50.58), Korea’s Han Sehyun (50.69), Taipei’s Chen Chieh (50.30) and India’s Santosh Kumar (50.46). The two-time 400m hurdles champion of the SEA Games (Myanmar and Singapore), who is coming off a gold medal in the 400M hurdles of the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, has a personal best of 48.98. A silver medalist in the 60m of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Cray placed sixth in the 2014 Incheon edition of the games with a 51.47-second show, which he has already eclipsed here......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Philippines looks to end 24-year medal drought in athletics

JAKARTA — If Eric Shawn Cray can just make a repeat performance of his semifinal running in the 400m hurdles of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, there is a big chance he might win the gold in the 18th Asian Games. Cray, whose pet event was originally set on Monday, will try to qualify first in the re-scheduled 400m hurdles at 11 a.m. on Sunday and hope to take it from there in an effort to win the Philippines’ first medal in the Asian Games in 24 years. The 29-year-old Cray ran the 400m hurdles of the Rio Olympics in a blistering 49.37 seconds, which if he did during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, would have easily dislodged the 49.71 of gold medal winner, Bahrain’s Ali Khamis, who is defending his title here. And from the looks of it, the Filipino-American is in tip-top shape. The two-time 400m hurdles champion of the SEA Games (Myanmar and Singapore) is coming off a gold medal in the 400M hurdles of the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships. He was also the silver medalist in the 60M Run of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. “If everything goes right, many of our athletes can spring some surprises,” said Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Dr. Philip Ella Juico. Cray, who finished sixth with a 51.47 in the Incheon edition of the games, has improved since that performance. He had 50.04 in the World Championships in Beijing, China in 2015, before submitting a 49.07 during the 2016 World Challenge in Kawasaki, Japan, where he earned a silver. In the same World Challenge, this time in Madrid, Spain, also in 2016, Cray ran a scorching 48.98, his personal best, to likewise earn the silver, before his title-clinching 49.57 in the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, only last year. The last time the Philippines bagged an athletics’ medal of any color in the Asian Games was during the 1994 Hiroshima Asiad, courtesy of Elma Muros, whose 6.41-meter leap in the long jump competitions was worth a bronze. Aside from Cray, three more from the athletics’ team here plunge into action as marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, hurdler Clinton Bautista and long jumper Marestella Torres-Sunang get going. Tabal, the marathon queen of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur  SEA Games, starts the PH campaign for the day with the marathon at 6 a.m. “This is a special opportunity for Tabal to prove herself against the North Koreans, Japan, China and some of these middle eastern countries,” said Juico, “I don’t think she will be wanting in spirit. According to the report I got, she’s ready, she’s well-conditioned, she spent most of her time in Tuscany, Italy (training). We are hoping for the best as usual.” After Tabal, Bautista, the bronze medalist in the same Malaysia SEA Games, takes his turn as he tries to qualify in the 110M hurdles at 10 a.m. A four-time SEA Games long jump queen whose reign began in the Manila edition of the meet in 2005, Torres-Sunang makes what could be her last hurrah in these games as attempts to advance in the finals of the long jump competitions starting at 10:30 a.m. Meanwhile, SEA Games decathlon gold medalist Aries Toledo began his bid on a bright note as he placed second in the first event of his discipline, clocking 10.84 in the 100M behind Saudi Arabia’s AL QAREE Mohammed Jasem Al Qaree (10.77). He later ranked 4th in the high jump and eighth in the shotput. Newcomer Kristina Knott was scheduled in the 100M heats later in the day.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2018

Heat, Knicks clash in first NBA 2K League Finals

NBA 2K League press release NEW YORK – Heat Check Gaming and Knicks Gaming will make history when they meet in the first NBA 2K League Finals, a best-of-three series that will take place Saturday, Aug. 25 beginning at 4 p.m. ET (4am, Sunday, Aug. 26, PHL time) on Twitch. Below please find numbers related to the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League: NBA 2K League At-A-Glance: 102 – The NBA 2K League, a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., launched in 2018 and features the best 102 NBA 2K players in the world selected from 72,000 hopefuls. 132M – NBA 2K League content has generated more than 132 million video views on social media channels. 1.6M – The NBA 2K League and its teams feature more than 1.6 million likes and followers across all league and team social media platforms. 1M – The NBA 2K League awarded $1 million in prize money over the course of its inaugural season, with the largest prize pool reserved for the end of season champions.  The best-of-three NBA 2K League Finals will see the winning team receive $300,000, and the remainder of the $600,000 total prize pool will be awarded to the remaining seven playoff teams. 186 – The NBA 2K League regular season consisted of 186 games. 17 – The 2018 season ran for 17 weeks, beginning in May and ending in August, and featured 12 weeks of weekly matchups, three weeks of in-season tournaments and two weeks of postseason. 10M – NBA 2K18 has sold approximately 10 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling edition in franchise history. NBA 2K League Teams:      90 – NBA 2K League teams have formed more than 90 corporate and marketing partnerships. 21 – Affiliates of four NBA teams – the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves – will join the NBA 2K League for its second season, bringing the total number of teams from 17 to 21. 8 – Eight teams qualified for the inaugural NBA 2K League playoffs: No. 1 seed Blazer5 Gaming (12-2), No. 2 seed 76ers GC (10-4), No. 3 seed Pistons GT (9-5), No. 4. seed Raptors Uprising GC (8-6), No. 5 seed Cavs Legion GC (8-6), No. 6 seed Heat Check Gaming (8-6), No. 7 seed Wizards District Gaming (8-6), and No. 8 seed and THE TICKET tournament winner Knicks Gaming (5-9). NBA 2K League Players: 677 – Wizards District Gaming’s Austin “Boo Painter” Painter, the league-leader in points scored, tallied 677 points during the regular season. 84 – Grizz Gaming’s Mehyar “AuthenticAfrican” Ahmed-Hassan set the NBA 2K League single-game scoring record with 84 points. 57 – Blazer5 Gaming’s Dayne “OneWildWalnut” Downey, the Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year, recorded 57 blocks during the regular season. 25 – NBA 2K League players compete as unique characters in 5-on-5 gameplay.  Each position can choose between five different archetypes, creating 25 total archetypes* 15 – New York has produced 15 NBA 2K League players, more than any other state. 9 – There were nine international players on 2018 opening-night NBA 2K League rosters: Yusuf “Yusuf_Scarbz” Abdulla (Raptors Uprising GC; Canada), Mehyar “AuthenticAfrican” Ahmed-Hassan (Grizz Gaming; Canada), Jamie “vGooner-” Bull (Pacers Gaming; U.K.), Ryan “Devillon” de Villon (Mavs Gaming; Canada), Thomas “Speedbrook” Genaj (Celtics Crossover Gaming; Canada), Harry “HazzaUK2K” Hurst (Mavs Gaming; U.K.), Jannis “JLB” Neumann (Mavs Gaming; Germany), Basil “24k Dropoff” Rose (Heat Check Gaming; Canada), and Jomar “Jomar12 PR” Varela-Escapa (Blazer5 Gaming; Puerto Rico). 5 – Five players have recorded triple doubles in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League: Heat Check Gaming’s Juan “Hotshot” Gonzalez, Raptors Uprising GC’s Kenneth “Kenny” Hailey, Celtics Crossover Gaming’s Ahmed “Mel East” Kasana, Wizards District Gaming’s Austin “Boo Painter” Painter, and Knicks Gaming’s Idris “Idrisdagoat6” Richardson. *An archetype is a preset combination of attributes and skills. For more information about the NBA 2K League, visit NBA2KLeague.com and follow @NBA2KLeague on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2018

Jeff Chan Ginebra-bound after getting traded for first round pick

The Barangay just got a bit more stacked.  Monday morning, the PBA announced that Phoenix had traded Gilas sharpshooter Jeff Chan to Ginebra for a 2018 first round draft pick.  🚨 TRADE!!!@phx_fuelmasters TRADES @jeffreichan to @barangayginebra for the Gin Kings’ 2018 1st round draft pick. #WeArePBA pic.twitter.com/7wKf7QI3Yi — PBA (@pbaconnect) June 18, 2018 The 34-year old Chan, a ten-year veteran of the league and a two-time PBA champion and one-time Finals MVP, is averaging nearly 12 points and to go with four boards and four assists in nine games in the on-going PBA Commissioner's Cup. In his last game with the Fuel Masters, Chan put up a solid 26 points to go with seven boards in a 108-106 defeat to league-leading Rain or Shine.  The six-foot-three former FEU Tamaraw joins a talent-loaded Gin Kings roster that features Gilas teammates LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, as well as Scottie Thompson and import Justin Brownlee just to name a few.  The trade comes at an interesting time in the conference, as tenth-seeded Phoenix, who are fighting for a spot in the post-season, decide to give up a ready contributor in Chan.  Ninth-seeded Ginebra on the other hand, sitting at 3-5, is coming off back-to-back wins and will be getting even more help as they too try to make a push for the playoffs. The Gin Kings defeated Magnolia in the most recent edition of the Manila Clasico, just last Sunday. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Philippine 3x3 team to debut LeBron 12 Agimats at World Cup

The mystic powers of the Agimat has long been a part of Filipino fokelore and has captured our strong belief in the supernatural. LeBron James seems to have captured some of its greatness and it is now packed in the limited edition LeBron Soldier 12 Agimat.  Following the successful release of the first edition in 2017, this latest LeBron basketball shoe features a simplified strap, lower collar, and circular knit upper that - according to Nike Senior Footwear designer Jason Petrie - is a “symbol of toughness,” just like the Filipino. King James, now in an amazing 8th straight appearance in the NBA Finals, witnessed the love and dedication that Filipinos from all walks of life have for basketball when he visited Manila last year.  He himself went through one of the toughest and most grueling seasons in his career to make it to the NBA Finals.  With features inspired by local cultural elements, including the line ‘Mula Mandirigma Sa Mandirigma’, the LeBron Soldier 12 Agimat is aimed at inspiring basketball warriors on court.  To celebrate and exemplify the Pinoy spirit ‘from one warrior to another, Nike has incorporated the shoe visually into the Lebron James mural at the Nike Hyper Court in Taguig. Apart from that, Filipino participants in the FIBA 3x3 tournament will wear the new shoes. The Nike LeBron Soldier 12 Agimat will be available in the Philippines starting June 15. Limited pairs will be available at Nike Park Fort, Glorietta 4, Mall of Asia, Trinoma as well as Titan TwoParkade, Vertis, Conrad and on Titan22.com. The shoe retails for 6,745 PHP. For more information, visit nike.com......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

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

Sunday Sneaks: Go Super Saiyan or go home

Sunday Sneaks just received a super upgrade. Rey Nambatac is doing custom shoes justice, choosing to break out a very special adidas Harden Vol. 2 against Globalport in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup. Using the "Imma Be A Star" colorway as base, Nambatac decided to put the legendary Son Goku in his pair, making his shoe truly 1 of 1. Goku, who really needs to introduction to Pinoy fans, is doing his signature kamehameha move in Nambatac's shoe. Turns out Nambatac, pretty much like everyone else, is a huge fan of the iconic Super Saiyan and his super friends. "Mahilig talaga ako sa sapatos dati pa eh, nung di pa ako naka-sign sa adidas nagco-collect na ako ng mga Jordan. Nung nag-sign ako sa adidas, every month may supply, and naisip ko na gumawa ng parang pakulo lang," Nambatac told ABS-CBN Sports. "Bawat sapatos ko gagawan ko ng different design. Pero ito ngayon isa pa lang eh, tinignan ko muna kung maraming makaka-appreciate. Yun nga, marami naman natuwa and nagustuhan nila," he added. The former Letran Knight admitted to being shocked as to how much custom work on shoes cost. It's definitely not cheap to get that kind of work done. Fortunately, Nambatac has a pretty creative friend and that artist gave him a good, friendly deal for this first shoe. "Maraming salamat dun sa artist ko na si Bryan. Hindi niya talaga shop to eh, kumabaga sideline niya lang to," Nambatac said. "Nagwo-work din siya eh. Friend ko naman siya matagal na sa college pa lang ako. Sa ibang shop nag-try ako mag-inquire, medyo expensive eh. So nagtanong ako sa kanya then nagulat ako sa binigay niya na price so sabi ko go na," he added. As for Son Goku, Rey is just a fan. He tries to stay updated with the anime as much as he can but following Dragon Ball Super has been a task so far, especially since he's been working on his craft in the PBA. "Avid fan ako since bata pa ako eh. Talagang wala akong mintis dun. Hanggang ngayon nanonood pa rin ako," Nambatac said. "Kaya ako nag-decide na Goku para balik dun sa pagkabata na alaala," he added. The Son Goku pair is just the beginning Nambatac said. A Supreme-inspired one and a shoe bearing the likeness of Vegeta is coming up next. Those should be worth a look in the future. "Meron ako isa, kasi dalawa Harden ko eh, isang black tsaka isang red. Yung red pinagawa ko na rin, Supreme naman ang design nun. Tapos pag may naglabas ulit na bago or nagbigay ulit adidas, plano ko si Vegeta naman," he said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

Rockets, Warriors look to advance to conference finals

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Chris Paul is a win away from finally reaching the Western Conference finals in his 10th season in the playoffs. But the Houston guard isn't looking ahead to what most expect will be a showdown with the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the next round. After all, he's been in this situation before in 2015 with the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul is normally reticent to discuss his past playoff failures, but the nine-time All-Star was candid about that particular letdown when he was interviewed on TNT moments after Houston took a 3-1 lead over the Utah Jazz with a 100-87 win in Game 5. He was asked if he's allowed himself to think about being in the finals for the first time. "It's the process man," he said. "I've been here before, 3-1. (Expletive) went bad real quick, you know what I mean?" The collapse that Paul is referring to came at the hands of the Rockets. Paul and the Clippers raced out to a 3-1 lead in the conference semifinals. They got blown out in Game 5, wasted a 19-point second-half lead in a loss in Los Angeles in Game 6, then fell in Game 7 at Houston. Paul got prickly later when asked to expand on his comments and share what he learned from that series. He deflected the question with a joke before finally mumbling: 'don't relax,' before James Harden stepped in to save his teammate from the uncomfortable moment. "He's not even thinking about that honestly," Harden said. "We've got a game on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and we're going to do whatever it takes to close it out." Houston's game against Utah is one of two games on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). In the other game, the Warriors also have a chance to finish off their series with the New Orleans Pelicans after taking a 3-1 lead with a 118-92 win on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). This is Paul's fifth appearance in the conference semifinals after losing to the Spurs 4-3 in 2008 while with New Orleans, being swept by San Antonio in 2012 with the Clippers and losing 4-2 to the Thunder with that team before that 2015 debacle against the Rockets. Coach Mike D'Antoni said the most important quality Paul has brought to the Rockets in his first year with the team is his toughness and edge. He doesn't expect to see anything different out of him on Tuesday despite having the opportunity to finally shed the label that he can't get out of the second round. "It's hard to go up another notch. I think he's on full-tilt all the time," D'Antoni said. "You'd have to talk to him a little bit [but] I'm sure it's on his mind." For the Jazz, they're hoping that they can recreate the success they had in Game 2 when they led by as many as 19 points early, and held on for a 116-108 win. "We were on a different level in Game 2 and I think we've just got to get back to that," rookie Donovan Mitchell said. Utah could get a boost in Game 6 with the return of Ricky Rubio. He's missed the entire series with a strained left hamstring, but was listed as questionable before Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) game and could be well enough to play on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). However, they could be without reserve point guard Dante Exum in Game 6 after he left Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) game in the third quarter with soreness in his left hamstring. Here's a closer look at the Pelicans-Warriors game. PELICANS AT WARRIORS Warriors lead series 3-1. Game 5, 10:30 p.m. EDT (10:30am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: The Warriors have been dominant on their home floor for two straight postseasons, having won a franchise-record 14 consecutive playoff games at Oracle Arena and already closed out the Spurs at Oakland in Game 5. With a 15th straight home playoff win, the Warriors would tie Chicago for an NBA record. The Bulls did so from April 27, 1990, to May 21, 1991. "We've got to win one game at Oracle and that's the one that we play next," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "That's as far as we need to look. Obviously it's a monumental task. It's been done before. As I said to the guys, 'We just got to go and play and you're not out until they win four games.'" KEEP ANY EYE ON: Stephen Curry continues to find his groove and this will be his fourth game back from nearly six weeks sidelined with a sprained left knee. His minutes are increasing each game he plays, up to 31 in Game 4. Curry is 22-for-51 with 12 three's so far this series. TOUGH CHALLENGE: The Pelicans never know which Golden State star might be on any given night — or all of them at once. The Warriors led wire to wire in Game 4 following its 19-point embarrassment in Game 3. Kevin Durant is coming off a 38-point performance, but it could be Klay Thompson's turn, or Draymond Green chasing another triple-double. "The bigger the game the better Draymond plays," coach Steve Kerr said, "the more intense he is, the more focus he has. He's going against Anthony Davis night after night and just doing an amazing job in concert with his teammates. Draymond's a rare guy. Every time the moment gets bigger, he gets better and not everybody can say that." Durant has scored 20 or more points in 16 straight postseason games. PRIORITY ON SHOOTING: Gentry gives New Orleans little chance of staying in the series and staving off elimination without a big scoring performance. The Pelicans lost 118-92 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) and shot just 36.4 percent — 32-of-88 and 4-for-26 on three-pointers. "You're not going to beat them if you're not going to score 115 points, I don't care how good your defense is," Gentry said. ___ AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Paul and Harden lead No. 1 seed Rockets against Wolves

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — So far the trade for Chris Paul to give the Houston Rockets another superstar to help James Harden has worked famously. Now the two, who have both had their fair share of playoff disappointments, will try to carry their regular-season success into the postseason when the Rockets open a first-round series with Minnesota on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). The guards have been effusive in their praise for one another, with Harden recently joking that his relationship with the nine-time All-Star was "love at first sight." Paul didn't go quite that far, but a huge smile crossed his often serious face when asked how their pairing has worked. "Unbelievable," he said. "You just [don't] get this opportunity too often in a career to play with somebody like James ... you get a chance to appreciate greatness. "What he's doing on a nightly basis and stuff like that, it's crazy and I'm in awe," Paul continued. "I'm grateful I get to play alongside him." When told of what Paul said about him, Harden was quick to answer. "You can tell," he said. "It feels like it's been forever but it's not even been a year yet." Their work in the regular season led the Rockets to a franchise-record 65 wins, their first No. 1 seed and sixth straight playoff appearance. They are looking to win the title for the first time capturing back-to-back championships in 1994-95. For the 32-year-old Paul, it's a chance for him to finally shake off years off playoff woes after making nine playoff trips without advancing past the second round. But if he is haunted by the ghosts of playoffs past, he wouldn't acknowledge it and was dismissive when asked if he thought this was his best chance to win it all. "I don't know," he said. "I don't think about all that." What he and the Rockets do know is that they're facing a talented team in the eighth-seeded Timberwolves, who had to win their last regular-season game to get into the postseason. They ended the NBA's longest active playoff drought with their berth, putting them back in the postseason for the first time since 2004 when they lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Getting the Timberwolves into the playoffs is a huge accomplishment for the entire team, but might mean just a little more to star Karl-Anthony Towns, who made a vow the night Minnesota selected him with the top overall pick in the 2015 draft. "It means more than I think words can express honestly," he said. "I made a promise to ... Flip Saunders and it meant a lot to me that I was able to keep my word." Some things to know as the Timberwolves and Rockets open their series: BACK HOME The series is a homecoming for Minnesota's Jimmy Butler, who grew up in Tomball, a suburb about 35 miles from downtown Houston. But he insists he won't have any time to get back out there this week. "Nope," he said. "Zero [time]. I ain't even going home. I'm here to work." But he did spend a little time on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) reminiscing about his high school days when he idolized a former Rockets star. "I used to walk around the hallways and in the gym thinking I was Tracy McGrady," he said. "I remember it like it was yesterday. He was my favorite player. I wanted to wear his number, wear his tennis shoes, all of that good stuff." Butler, who returned on April 6 (April 7, PHL time) after missing 17 games with a knee injury, said he's fully recovered from his injury and is "well-rested" entering the playoffs. PLAYOFF HISTORY This is the second time these teams have met in the playoffs. Their other meeting came in Minnesota's first trip in 1997, when the Timberwolves were swept in three games. That Houston team was led by Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Charles Barkley, and the Wolves featured Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury and Tom Gugliotta. LIMIT KAT FROM LONG RANGE The Rockets are resigned to the fact that Towns, who led the NBA in double-doubles, will get his points under the basket and plenty of rebounds. "He's going to get a double-double," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said. "That's who he is." However, they are not OK with letting him shoot three-pointers. The seven-foot Towns ranked 14th in the league with a 42 percent average from three-point range and knocked down a career-high 120 three-pointers this season. "We [can't] leave him open or let him walk into a 3 because we're not guarding him," D'Antoni said. "We have to be aware of that. You can't take away his post-ups and his moves in there. He's going to score on anybody, but you can do a really good job on the three's." HARDEN'S MOTIVATION Despite finishing as the runner-up for MVP last season and being a front-runner for this year's award, Harden still faces plenty of criticism for some of his past performances in the playoffs, notably, a terrible performance in an embarrassing 114-75 elimination loss to San Antonio in the conference semifinals last season. But he has never been motivated by criticism, and he finds his drive in a far different place. "Just going out there and being the best that I can be," he said. "There's no negativity that someone can say that can motivate me. Some people can get motivated by that. I don't really care.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

Beermen take control of PBA Finals after another convincing win

San Miguel has taken control of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals. Coming off the Holy Week break, the three-time champion Beermen once again dominated Magnolia, scoring a convincing 111-87 Game 3 win on Easter Sunday at the Big Dome. Flipping the script from the first two games, San Miguel ran amok in the fourth period this time around, shutting down Magnolia to take a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-7. "I think yung one week break works in our favor, and we're able to recharge and to focus and recuperate from minor injuries, especially Marcio and Chris Ross who are suffering a lot of bangaan inside," head coach Leo Austria said. "The key here is we're able to match their energy. Lampas-lampas pa nga, that is because of our second unit. The second unit at the start of the fourth quarter, sila ang nag-trabaho that's why I opted to let them stay until the last few minutes. I think if they keep on stepping up every game, I'm confident na every game pwede kami manalo," he added. Led by Marcio Lassiter and Brian Heruela, San Miguel opened the fourth with a blistering 17-3 run, putting the game out of reach effectively. At one point, the Beermen scored 15 straight for a 92-71 lead, turning the rest of the game into garbage minutes. Marcio Lassiter led the champs with 24 points, 10 in the fourth period, while June Mar Fajardo had 21 points and 17 rebounds. The Kraken didn't play in the final 12 minutes. Chris Ross and Arwind Santos added 14 each while Heruela came off the bench to score 11, eight in the last quarter. Similar to Games 1 and 2, San Miguel got off to a strong start in Game 3. But unlike the first two games of the Finals, Magnolia was able to counter quickly behind Paul Lee and PJ Simon in the first half, trailing by only one at the break. The Hotshots were still in the game in the third, down by only five, before the Beermen waxed hot, dropping a 36-19 bomb in the fourth period. After leading by as many as 20 in Game 1 and 21 in Game 2, the champs led by as many as 24 in Game 3. For the Hotshots, Mark Barroca led the way with 22 markers while Lee was good for 15. PJ Simon scored 10, all in the second quarter. Game 4 will be on Wednesday still at the Big Dome.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 111 — Lassiter 24, Fajardo 21, Ross 14, Santos 14, Heruela 11, Espinas 9, Cabagnot 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 5, Pessumal 4, Semerad 2, Vigil 2, Lanete 0, Mamaril 0. MAGNOLIA 87 — Barroca 22, Lee 15, Ramos 12, Simon 10, Dela Rosa 6, Gamalinda 6, Jalalon 6, Sangalang 6, Brondial 0, Herndon 0, Mendoza 0, Pascual 0. Quarters: 29-22, 50-49, 75-68, 111-87.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

SMB blasts Magnolia, takes 2-1 lead

San Miguel Beer banked on a strong second half to rout Magnolia, 111-87, in the resumption of the best-of-seven finals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Philippine Cup on Easter Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. Marcio Lassiter notched 24 points while four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo scored 12 of his 21 points [...] The post SMB blasts Magnolia, takes 2-1 lead appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines: Essence of Easter no April Fool’s joke

MANILA, Philippines — With this year’s Easter Sunday falling on April Fool’s Day, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has reminded the.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

Determined to keep momentum, Lady Eagles skip Holy Week break

For the better part of the decade, Ateneo has aligned itself with the elites in the UAAP volleyball landscape. The Lady Eagles have appeared in six finals, all against De La Salle, winning two titles and part of that success was a relentless work ethic especially when Tai Bundit took over the team in Season 76. And the current Lady Eagles are planning to continue that tradition. Captain Maddie Madayag said they decided to train during the Holy Week instead of the enjoying mandatory break they were given from Holy Wednesday until Easter Sunday. "We're going to train, we won't be taking a break," said Madayag in Filipino in a chat with Inquirer. "We were actually given a br...Keep on reading: Determined to keep momentum, Lady Eagles skip Holy Week break.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 29th, 2018

Beermen avoid another collapse to tie Finals vs. Magnolia

No comebacks this time around. San Miguel Beer has tied the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, scoring a convincing 92-77 victory over Magnolia Sunday at the MOA Arena. Game 2 followed the same script as Game 1 just two days ago as the reigning three-time defending champions jumped on a commanding lead in the second half. San Miguel led by as many as 21 in the third period only to see the Hotshots storm back to cut it down to seven early in the fourth. Magnolia held the Beermen scoreless in the first four minutes of the final period. However, unlike in Game 1, San Miguel had an answer, turning to its pair of MVPs to restore order. Arwind Santos first hit a booming three for the champs first score of the fourth then June Mar Fajardo added a fastbreak layup for an 80-68 lead. Magnolia never threatened after that. "We learned our lesson from the last game we lost," head coach Leo Austria said. "Almost the same thing, we're able to lead. Last time lumamang kami ng 20 points hinabol nila, I have to give credit to the players talagang ayaw nila magpatalo," he added. Arwind Santos was sensational all game long for the Beermen, scoring a game-high 24 points on top of eight rebounds. More importantly, he hit six timely three-point shots to help San Miguel hold off Magnolia. Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot scored 16 and 15 points respectively while Fajardo submitted a 12-point, 13-rebound double-double. After the Hotshots got off to a 6-0 start, the Beermen settled down and went to work, taking a double-digit lead at the break, 48-35. The lead ballooned to as many as 21, 71-50, early in the second half. For Magnolia, it was Mark Barroca that led the way with 18 points while Paul Lee added 13. Game 1 hero Ian Sangalang was limited to only 11 points. Game 3 will be on Easter Sunday as the Finals will take a mini-break in observance of Holy Week.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 92 — Santos 24, Lassiter 16, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 12, Heruela 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Ross 5, Mamaril 4, De Ocampo 0, Vigil 0. MAGNOLIA 77 — Barroca 18, Lee 13, Sangalang 11, Dela Rosa 7, Ramos 7, Jalalon 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 3, Herndon 2, Simon 2, Mendoza 0. Quarters: 19-17, 48-35, 75-57, 92-77.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 25th, 2018