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Tamaraws gun for fourth straight win vs Blazers

Far Eastern University and College of St. Benilde clash in a battle of top teams while Gilas Pilipinas Cadets tries to bounce back against National University in the 12th FilOil Flying V Preseason.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilanews manilanewsMay 15th, 2018

Tamaraws clinch semis berth, boot out Maroons

Far Eastern University earned a semifinals ticket on Monday after booting out University of the Philippines from contention, 25-22, 23-25, 26-24, 25-14, in the men’s division of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. National team member Peter Quiel and John Paul Bugaoan each had 15 points to lead the Tamaraws’ charge and deliver FEU’s fifth straight win in six games. FEU joined unbeaten Ateneo De Manila University (6-0) in the best-of-three semis. Quiel, who donned the national colors in the 29th Kuala Lumpur, Southeast Asian Games, hammered 13 spikes while Bugaoan showcased his all-around offensive prowess with 10 attacks, four kill blocks and a service ace for the Tams, who will close the elims on Monday against San Beda College. Redijohn Paler scored 13 and chipped in eight digs and eight excellent receptions for the Morayta-based squad. The Fighting Maroons dropped their fourth straight match and kissed their semis hopes goodbye after sliding to down to a 1-5 slate. John Millete had 17 points while Wendel Miguel scored 12 for UP. Meanwhile, the Red Spikers swept the also-ran NCAA defending champion College of St. Benilde, 25-23, 25-15, 25-22, and improved their record to 2-3 tied with idle University of Sto. Tomas. Mark Enciso led SBC with 14 points while Limuel Patenio had 10.  The Blazers remained winless in five games despite the 13 points of skipper Isaah Arda and 10 by Ruvince Abrot.   ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2017

Tamaraws book semis ticket

Far Eastern University continued with its winning ways and secured the second semifinals berth with a straight sets victory over the listless College of St. Benilde, 25-22, 27-25, 25-21, Monday in the men’s division of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Team captain Richard Solis led the way for the Tamaraws’ fourth win in a row in five outings with 17 points – all from attacks. FEU joined unbeaten and tournament-leading Ateneo de Manila University (5-0) in the best-of-three semifinals. John Paul Bugaoan scored 13 points while Redijohn Paler added 10 for the Morayta-based squad, who sent the reigning NCAA champion Blazers to their fourth loss in as many games. Mark Orian had 11 markers while Owen Bacani chipped in 10 for CSB, which was shown the exit door in the Final Four race. Meanwhile, National University snapped a two-game slump while adding more woes to University of Sto. Tomas, 25-21, 17-25, 27-25, 25-23, in the curtain-raiser. Fauzi Ismail scattered 19 spikes in the Bulldogs’ 60 attack points to finish with 21 markers. Bryan Bagunas had 15 points while James Natividad and Kim Malabunga scored 14 and 12, respectively, as NU evened its record to 2-2. The Bulldogs pulled the Tigers down to 2-3 slate and handed UST its third loss in a row. Arnold Bautista and Manuel Medina closed the match with 12 points each in a lost cause for the Espana-based squad, which failed to capitalize on NU’s 40 errors.           --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 18th, 2017

PVL: Lady Tams clinch a Final Four berth

Far Eastern University once again went through the proverbial eye of the needle to carve out a come-from-behind 15-25, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23, 15-7 win over University of the Philippines and clinch a semifinals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Tamaraws fought back from five points down in the fourth set to force a decider before unleashing a barrage of hits in early in the fifth frame to silence the Lady Maroons and climb to a share of the second spot with University of Sto. Tomas with 5-1 win-loss record. FEU joined UST and unbeaten Adamson University in the Final Four. Heather Guino-o stepped up on offense for 13 points while Jeannette Villareal had 10 markers for FEU, which survived its third straight five-set game. FEU rallied from a 16-21 deficit in the fourth set to extend the match before opening a 10-3 gap in the deciding frame to cruise to back-to-back victories.    “Ang sabi ko sa kanila hindi pa naman natatapos sa fourth set so may chance pa. Ang importante nandoon pa rin ang willingness nila, yung fighting spirit nila na kaya pa rin nilang talunin. Huwag na lang nilang intindihin ang score, ang intindihin nila ang laro nila,” said FEU coach George Pascua, whose squad played without Czarina Carandang while Celine Domingo sat out the match. Carandang had difficulty in breathing and was hospitalized while Domingo was nursing a sore left knee. UP was hounded by errors, committing 42 including three of the last four points of the match while allowing the Lady Tams to land 10 aces. The Lady Maroons continued to blow hot and cold in the conference. UP has yet to string back-to-back wins. Isa Molde scored 20 points, Marist Layug got 16 while Roselyn Rossier and rookie Nicole Magsarile finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Lady Maroons, who dropped to 3-3 slate.     ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2018

PVL: Green Spikers score upset win over Bulldogs

De La Salle University weathered Bryan Bagunas' scorching scoring display to complete a morale-boosting upset win over National University in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference. The Green Spikers handed the Bulldogs their first loss that snapped NU's five-game romp with a four-set, 27-25, 27-25, 17-25, 25-17, victory Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The trio of Cris Dumago, Geraint Bacon and John David Inocentes led the way for the Taft-based squad's second win in six games that kept DLSU in contention for a Final Four berth. Dumago pounded 15 attacks in his 17-point performance while adding 20 excellent receptions and four digs for the Green Spikers, who snagged the win despite allowing Bagunas to explode with 30 points. Bacon had 15 markers while Inocentes contributed 11 points for DLSU. NU, which gave away 33 points off errors, slid to 5-1 record. Meanwhile, Far Eastern University added more woes to an already eliminated Arellano University, 22-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-20, while University of the Philippines made short work of College of St. Benilde, 25-21, 25-20, 25-23. The Tamaraws evened their record to 3-3 with four players scoring in double figures led by JP Bugaoan’s 18 points. Mark Calado added 13 while skipper Redijohn Paler and Peter Quie added 11 each for FEU, which sent the Chiefs reeling to their sixth straight defeat. John Millete spearheaded the Fighting Maroons with 17 points while Jerry San Pedro had 10 as UP tie Adamson University at 4-2 card. The Blazers dropped to 3-3 slate.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2018

Lady Falcons repel Blazers for 2nd win

Adamson fought off St. Benilde’s furious comeback in the fourth set and hacked out a 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21 victory yesterday to nail its second straight victory in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan on Sunday. The Lady Falcons actually recovered from a second [...] The post Lady Falcons repel Blazers for 2nd win appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJul 29th, 2018

PVL: Lady Tams gore Lady Red Spikers for back-to-back wins

Far Eastern University recovered from a second set meltdown to capture its second straight win at the expense of debuting San Beda University, 25-16, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22, Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Celine Domingo played her best game so far, stepping up on offense to put up a personal conference-high 22 points in a great display of her scoring prowess. Domingo tallied 15 kills, with four kill blocks and three aces lead the Lady Tamaraws, who kept their hold of the lead with a 2-0 win-loss slate. After dominating the opening set, FEU got into trouble in the second frame with the Lady Red Spikers tightening up on their defense at the net and hitter Nieza Viray finding her range. The Lady Tams adjusted in the third and fourth with Domingo, the UAAP Season 80 Best Blocker, punishing San Beda with her connection with setter Kyle Negrito, who finished with 21 excellent sets.      “Yung middle attack naming (nawala). Kailangan 'yung passing namin, mag-connect between the setter and the middle. Noong huli, noong nag-connect, gumanda 'yung flow ng laro ulit,”said FEU coach George Pascua, who is looking to steer the Lady Tams into the throne after a runner-up finish in the same tournament last year.  Ebon Lycha scored 10 while Jerrili Malabanan had nine markers for the Lady Tams. Viray finished with 17 points while Jiezela Viray got 12 for San Beda, which saw its top hitter and team captain Cesca Racraquin held down to only five markers.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2018

Lady Tamaraws outlast Lady Blazers in PVL thriller

Far Eastern University survived a five-set thriller and beat College of St. Benilde, 25-19, 32-30, 15-25, 24-26, 15-4, in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference women's tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centreon Sunday. Lady Tamaraw Kyle Negrito's drop sealed a 7-0 run in the fifth set that finished off the Lady Blazers. "I told my players before the fifth set that we need to focus on the opponent, not on our errors," FEU head coach George Pascua said in Filipino. An attack error by France Ronquillo and a through-the-block hit from Lady Blazer Chelsea Umali at the end of the fourth canto forced the game into a deciding set. The Lady Tamaraws' points came mostly from th...Keep on reading: Lady Tamaraws outlast Lady Blazers in PVL thriller.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018

NCAA: Escamis, Red Robins exact revenge on Jr. Blazers

STANDINGS PERPETUAL 2-0 ARELLANO 1-0 LPU 2-1 JRU 1-1 LSGH 1-1 MAPUA 1-1 SAN SEBASTIAN 1-1 LETRAN 0-1 SAN BEDA 0-1 EAC 0-2 This early in the NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament, the finalists from a year ago have faced off. It was the same close contest for Mapua High School and College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, but the result was definitely different. Clint Escamis did the heavy lifting while Dan Arches and Jonnel Policarpio provided the backup as the Red Robins avenged their Finals loss to the Junior Blazers with a convincing 95-81 victory on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Escamis, who fouled out in his first game in the season, bounced back big-time with 28 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. “Ginawa lang talaga namin yung gameplan namin. Nagbunga naman yung preparations namin so credit talaga sa mga bata,” head coach Randy Alcantara said post-game. The graduating guard also stepped up when it mattered most, dropping 10 of his output in the final frame. It was Escamis’ highlight layup and triple that capped off a massive 32-11 tidal wave bridging the third and fourth quarters that broke open a tied tally of 59 all and built up a 91-70 advantage in favor of Mapua. Arches and Policarpio did their part during that run and the former finished with 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists while the latter ended with 15 markers and four boards to help the Red Robins get into the win column after experiencing an upset to start the season. Last year, CSB-LSGH bested Mapua in three games to capture its first-ever championship. Now, the Red Robins are nothing but determined to reclaim the crown they were wearing before last season. “Siyempre, may gigil, pero dapat composed. Siyempre, ‘di kami papayag na 0-2 kami,” Alcantara said. For the defending champions, Joshua David fronted the effort with 19 points and eight rebounds while Joel Cagulangan had 14 markers, seven assists, and six boards. They suffer their first setback after a tournament-opening win. Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University is now streaking after John Barba lifted them over Jose Rizal University, 88-87. Barba dropped 30 points, including the basket and bonus in the dying seconds that proved to be the difference for the Junior Pirates. He also had eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals in the Junior Pirates’ second straight win in three games. On the other hand, the Light Bombers lost for the first time in two games despite a career-best effort from John Amores who scored 32 points. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME MAPUA 95 – Escamis 28, Arches 16, Policarpio 15, Hernandez 11, Sarias 10, Mariano 10, Dennison 2, Diaz 2, Quimado 1, Smith 0 CSB-LSGH 81 – David 19, Cagulangan 14, Fornilos 14, Mosqueda 12, Calimag 10, Sangco 4, Morales 4, Cortez 2, Natividad 2, Lao 0, Valenzuela 0, Palencia 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-17, 49-39, 72-61, 95-81 SECOND GAME LPU 88 – Barba 30, Guadana 21, Tulabut 10, De Leon 6, Caringal 6, Jugar 5, Omandac 3, Ragasa 3, De Guia 2, Gudmalin 2, Pagdanganan 0, Nocal 0 JRU 87 – Amores 32, Portales 13, Delos Santos 11, Buno 10, Baluyot 9, Vasquez 5, Dionisio 4, Macatangay 3, Icban 0, Mendoza 0 QUARTER SCORES: 23-24, 42-44, 65-60, 88-87 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2018

FEU finishes 3rd in Filoil, routs College of St. Benilde

Far Eastern University claimed the bronze medal after a dominant victory over College of St. Benilde in the Filoil Preseason Cup Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. After finishing the first quarter down, 17-13, the Tamaraws broke away in the second and outscored the Blazers, 19-7, to build a 32-24 buffer heading in to the break. The Tamaraws then, continued the charge up until the start of the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 21, 61-40, that put the game away. "We wanted exposure for everyone and this was the opportunity for them to get that kind of exposure so we used all of them," said FEU head coach Olsen Racela. Ken Tuffin and Joseph Nunag had nine ...Keep on reading: FEU finishes 3rd in Filoil, routs College of St. Benilde.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

2017-18 NBA season review

NBA.com staff report The 2017-18 NBA season was full of loops and sharp turns, taking fans and teams on a twisting journey that teased everyone about what might happen next. Only there was no surprise party waiting at the end of the day, just the Golden State Warriors and their brooms. The season gave us a few shakeups in the standings, some players who unexpectedly found themselves on the big stage, no nights off for LeBron James … and the best team rather predictably earned the honor of being crowned, for the third time in four seasons. The Warriors made quick work of James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, winning 4-0 in the fourth straight meeting between the teams on that stage. The sweep further certified the legacy of Kevin Durant -- who became a back-to-back winner of the Finals MVP award -- and Stephen Curry, the central figure of the Warriors’ dynasty. Other than forcing overtime in Game 1, the only silver lining for the Cavs was James scoring 51 points in that game and nearly averaging a triple-double for the series. If the end game between the Warriors and Cavs was widely projected when the season tipped off, the events that preceded it weren’t locked into place. This run from October to June took the NBA on an unexpected trip with pit stops in unexpected places. The Philadelphia 76ers won 52 games and closed with a 16-game winning streak -- two seasons after they went 10-72. The turnaround was a direct result of patience with young players who rapidly became franchise cornerstones after returning from injuries. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, both of whom missed entire seasons, made themselves household names with big performances. Embiid was an All-Star who emerged as one of the game’s best big men, while sharp playmaking skills allowed Simmons to earn Kia Rookie of the Year honors. The Boston Celtics lost newcomer Gordon Hayward for the season after he suffered a leg injury in the season opener ... and then Kyrie Irving missed the final 14 games and the playoffs with a bum knee ... and still Boston flirted with the East's best record and one win from reaching The Finals. After trading their star swingman Paul George to Oklahoma City in the offseason, the Indiana Pacers improved by six wins and pushed the Cavs to a Game 7 in the first round. Victor Oladipo, acquired in the George trade, was the catalyst of a new Pacers era and was named Kia Most Improved Player. Twice a runner-up, James Harden finally won Kia MVP honors after leading the NBA in scoring (30.4) and finishing third in assists (8.8). He teamed with Chris Paul to turn the Houston Rockets into a beast. The Rockets won a franchise-record 65 games and held off the Warriors for the top seed in the West. Paul advanced beyond the semifinals for the first time in his playoff career. Behind steady 3-point shooting and an emerging low-post center in Clint Capela, the Rockets claimed a 3-2 lead on the Warriors in the West finals. But Paul suffered a hamstring injury that benched him the rest of the series as Houston faltered in Games 6 and 7. On the injury front, New Orleans Pelicans All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins tore his Achilles tendon. The Pelicans were forced to scramble in the second half of the season to defy the odds. Anthony Davis responded by playing at MVP level and had help from Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday and the arrival of Nikola Mirotic who infused the Pelicans with outside shooting. New Orleans changed its style in midseason, shocked the Portland Trail Blazers with a first-round sweep and then took a game from the eventual-champion Warriors. The Utah Jazz had an excuse to trigger a rebuilding process once Hayward left via free agency and center Rudy Gobert, the eventual Kia Defensive Player of the Year, was held to 56 games due to knee issues. Instead, the Jazz (48 wins) flourished under coach Quin Snyder mainly because first-round pick Donovan Mitchell played well beyond his years and became Utah's go-to guy. At season's end, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets staged essentially a play-in game on the final night for the right to reach the playoffs (which Minnesota won). Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the second straight season ... but couldn’t help the re-tooled Oklahoma City Thunder (with George and Carmelo Anthony) reach the West semifinals. And the Toronto Raptors took the top seed in the East with 59 wins, only to get swept by the Cavs. In the end, though, it was all about the Warriors. As a champion in their prime, the Warriors therefore gave the NBA plenty, except some suspense in the end. PLAYOFFS Eastern Conference first round Toronto defeated Washington (4-2) Boston defeated Milwaukee (4-3) Philadelphia defeated Miami (4-1) Cleveland defeated Indiana (4-3) Western Conference first round Houston defeated Minnesota (4-1) Golden State defeated San Antonio (4-1) New Orleans defeated Portland (4-0) Utah defeated Oklahoma City (4-2) Eastern Conference semifinals Cleveland defeated Toronto (4-0) Boston defeated Philadelphia (4-1) Western Conference semifinals Houston defeated Utah (4-1) Golden State defeated New Orleans (4-1) Eastern Conference finals Cleveland defeated Boston (4-3) Western Conference finals Golden State defeated Houston (4-3) NBA Finals Golden State defeated Cleveland (4-0) SEASON LEADERS Points -- James Harden, Houston Rockets (30.4) Assists -- Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (10.3) Rebounds -- Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons (16.0) Steals -- Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers (2.4) Blocks -- Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (2.6) FG% -- Cling Capela, Houston Rockets (65.2) FT% -- Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (92.1) 3PT% -- Darren Collison, Indiana Pacers (46.8) AWARD WINNERS Kia Most Valuable Player --  James Harden, Houston Rockets Kia Rookie of the Year -- Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers Kia Defensive Player of the Year -- Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz Kia Most Improved Player --  Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers Kia Sixth Man of the Year --  Lou Williams, LA Clippers Coach of the Year --  Dwane Casey, Toronto Raptors All-Star Game MVP -- LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Finals MVP -- Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2018

Filoil q’final round on

From 19 teams, the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup is down to the final eight as the quarterfinal round gets going this Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre. College of St. Benilde, which topped Group B with a 7-1 record, will take on Group A fourth seed University of the Philippines in the opening match at 1 p.m. The Blazers will have their hands full against the Maroons, who rebounded from three straight losses to win their next six assignments. In the 2:45 p.m. offering, defending champion and reigning NCAA titlist San Beda University will face Adamson. The Red Lions' late charge in the standings saw them pull down the La Salle Archers from the No. 2 spot despite their similar...Keep on reading: Filoil q’final round on.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 27th, 2018

Kai debuts for Gilas cadets, delivers much-needed win

Nothing much was going right for the Gilas cadets in their matchup against University of the East on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. That was until Kai Sotto entered the court. Sotto was a difference-maker on both ends in the last nine minutes while Ricci Rivero and Juan Gomez de Liano came through in the endgame as the national team rallied from 11 points down for a 63-61 triumph over the Red Warriors. The UAAP Juniors Finals MVP just had five points, three rebounds, and two blocks to his name, but it was during his time on the floor when the Gilas cadets went on a 13-0 run that erased an 11-point deficit and eventually ended as a much-needed two-point win in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup. “It’s good to be a seven-footer, no,” head coach Jong Uichico joshed with reporters post-game, referring to their towering teen. UE was up, 61-50, early in the final frame until Uichico sent Sotto and Vince Tolentino back into the game. The two did nothing but stifle the Red Warriors as Sotto protected the paint while Tolentino clamped down on Pasaol. In all, the Gilas cadets only allowed four points in the pivotal period. That, coupled with their scoring burst capped off by short stabs from Rivero and GDL, was more than enough to hike their standing to 2-5. While he was scoreless in the fourth, Pasaol still topped the scoring column for now 1-2 UE with 22 points to go along with seven rebounds. In a heavyweight bout between UAAP powerhouses, Far Eastern University topped Adamson University, 75-64. Prince Orizu showed the way for the Tamaraws with 12 points and he was backstopped by Arvin Tolentino and Barkley Ebona who scored eight points each..  FEU improved to 4-1 with the win while also dealing the first defeat in three games to the Soaring Falcons. Sean Manganti paced Adamson with 20 points. Papi Sarr also had 13 markers to his name. Meanwhile, College of St. Benilde kept its slate spotless after powering through University of Sto. Tomas, 99-87. Clement Leutcheu had 22 points and 15 rebounds while Edward Dixon contributed his own 16 markers in the Blazers’ fifth win in a row to begin the tournament. UST dropped to 1-5 with the loss. Kenenth Zamora and Zachy Huang topped the scoring column for them with 22 and 21 points, respectively. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME CSB 99 – Leutcheu 22, Dixon 16, Domingo 14, Naboa 11, Young 9, Pasturan 7, Haruna 6, Belgica 5, Carlos 3, Velasco 3, Pagulayan 3, Nayve 0 UST 87 – Zamora 22, Huang 21, Lee 19, Agustin 13, Cansino 8, Cosejo 4, Caunan 0, Bataller 0, Marcos 0, Asuncion 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-14, 33-31, 63-55, 99-87 SECOND GAME FEU 75 – Orizu 12, Parker 9, Tolentino 8, Ebona 8, Tuffin 7, Comboy 6, Inigo 6, Escoto 6, Ramirez 5, Cani 3, Stockton 3, Bayquin 2, Bienes 0, Gonzales 0, Tempra 0 ADAMSON 64 – Manganti 20, Sarr 13, Lastimosa 8, Colonia 4, Camacho 4, Espeleta 4, Magbuhos 4, Ahanmisi 3, Orquez 2, Zaldivar 2, Macion 0, Bernardo 0, Maata 0, Magbuhos 0 QUARTER SCORES: 13-12, 34-23, 53-44, 75-64 THIRD GAME GILAS CADETS 63 – Tratter 13, Paras 11, Tolentino V. 8, Rivero 8, Tamayo 8, Gomez de Liano 5, Sotto 5, Alejandro 3, Tolentino A. 2, Gozum 0. UE 61 – Pasaol 22, Starit 8, Manalang 7, Bartolome 6, Varilla 5, Gagate 4, Antiporda 3, Cullar 3, Conner 2, Acuno 1, Gallardo 0, Sobrevega 0, Lacap 0, Maloles 0, Beltran 0. QUARTER SCORES: 21-18, 34-40, 50-57, 63-61. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

Filoil: Blazers pip Chiefs for fourth straight win

College of St. Benilde notched a fourth straight win in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, but not after being taken to the proverbial limit by Arellano University on Friday. The Blazers dropped a telling 15-3 bomb inside the final four minutes to subdue the Chiefs, 74-69, and keep their unblemished record in the tournament serving as gauge for most of NCAA and UAAP coaches at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. "I feel we didn't play to our potential. We played to their tempo," Benilde coach TY Tang said. "They (Chiefs) forced us into a lot of turnovers. But a win is a win, and I saw the heart of wanting to win. We just didn't want to lose." With some of its mainstays strug...Keep on reading: Filoil: Blazers pip Chiefs for fourth straight win.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

The curse of the Western Conference '4 seed

Here's a reminder for the Western Conference teams next season when they start jockeying for playoff seeding: Avoid the fourth seed at all costs. Sure you'll get home court advantage against the fifth seed, but that hasn't meant anything since the 2012 Playoffs. For the past seven years, all fourth seeds have lost to the fifth seeds, with the latest victims being the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were ousted in six games by the Utah Jazz. Is it sheer coincidence? A hardwood hex? A sign of parity? We'll run through the aforementioned seven series and let you decide for yourself. 2012 Playoffs - #5 LA Clippers (40-26) defeat #4 Memphis Grizzlies (41-25) in seven games The setup: It feels appropriate that this "curse" began during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. The Clippers were in year one of Lob City, having acquired Chris Paul during the offseason, while the Grizzlies were looking to build on their epic #8 vs #1 upset of the San Antonio Spurs from the previous postseason. What happened: The Grizzlies began this series in the worst possible way. In game one, they led by as much as 27 points, and were up 95-71 with 9:13 left to play. But then Nick Young happened. Swaggy P came off the Clippers bench and buried three straight triples, helping LA win game one, and build a 3-1 series lead. The Grizzlies won the next two though, sending things back to Bluff City for a game seven. Ultimately though, home court didn't help, as the Clippers broke the game wide open in the fourth, outscoring the Grizzlies 27-16, for an 82-72 victory. "That guy was on the team?": Reggie Evan led the Clippers in rebounding with 8.7 a night, while Gilbert Arenas played in six out of the seven games, totaling 23 minutes and four points for the Grizzlies. What next?: The Spurs swept the Clippers in the semis. 2013 Playoffs - #5 Memphis Grizzlies (56-26) defeat #4 LA Clippers (56-26) in six games The setup: The Clippers won their division for the VERY FIRST TIME in franchise history, while the Grizzlies were in full Grit 'N Grind mode, with Marc Gasol winning Defensive Player of the Year that season. What happened: Things started off well, with the Clippers winning the first two games in LA. However, the Grizzlies stood firm at home, knotting the series at 2-all. Things turned dire for LAC when star forward Blake Griffin suffered an ankle sprain during practice, limiting him to just 19:34 minutes in game five, which they lost. With their season on the line in the City of Angels for game six, Griffin could only play 13:56, and not even a career postseason-best 30 points by Matt Barnes could save the Clips. To add insult to injury, Chris Paul was ejected with 2:29 left, before the game ended with a 118-105 score. "That guy was on the team?": Tayshaun Prince was Memphis' starting small forward, while Grant Hill and Lamar Odom, both with the Clips, played their last NBA seasons. What next?: The Grizzlies dispatched the OKC Thunder in five games in the conference finals, before losing to the Spurs via a sweep in the West Finals. 2014 Playoffs - #5 Portland Trail Blazers (54-28) defeat #4 Houston Rockets (54-28) in six games The setup: The Houston Rockets added Dwight Howard to a roster that already had James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons, making them one of the top teams in the West. The Portland Trail Blazers meanwhile built on Damian Lillard's 2013 Rookie of the Year campaign and snapped a two-year postseason drought. What happened: While things were tightly contested, three of the first four games went to overtime, the Blazers seemingly had the Rockets' number, winning two of those OT games, en route to a 3-1 series lead. The Rockets managed to stave off elimination at home in game five, but in game six, Lillard truly made a name for himself, by canning a series-winning shot, allowing Rip City to advance for the first time in 14 years. "That guy was on the team?": Mo Williams was Portland's sixth man (8.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.8 apg), while Omer Asik teamed up with Howard in the Houston frontcourt. What next?: The Blazers managed to take one game from the Spurs, before bowing out in the conference semifinals. 2015 Playoffs - #5 Memphis Grizzlies (55-27) defeat #4 Portland Trail Blazers (51-31) in five games The setup: The Blazers won the Northwest Division, but the next two teams in the standings, the Grizzlies and the Spurs, both had notched 55 wins, four more than them. Portland's main problem though was swingman Wesley Matthews tearing an achilles tendon early in March, a season-ending injury. What happened: Portland struggled to find someone who could take the starting SG spot on their roster with Matthews out, cycling through CJ McCollum, Allen Crabbe, and Arron Afflalo. That trio, as starters, combined to shoot 4-of-22 for 10 points over five games, allowing the Memphis D to concentrate on Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Grizzlies won the first three games, before picking up the clincher in game five, despite starting point guard Mike Conley suffering a facial fracture in game three and missing the rest of the series. "That guy was on the team?": Nick Calathes wound up assuming the point guard duties for the Grizzlies, in what turned out to be his final NBA stint (he went back to playing in Greece after the season). What next?: The Grizzlies lost in six games in the next round to the Golden State Warriors, after the Dubs made their famous adjustment to use Andrew Bogut to guard Tony Allen. 2016 Playoffs - #5 Portland Trail Blazers (44-38) defeat #4 LA Clippers (53-29) in six games The setup: The LA Clippers came really close to losing center DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks in the offseason, but you all know what happened instead. As for the Portland Trail Blazers, the team rebuilt after losing LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Batum, among others, pairing Lillard with Most Improved Player winner CJ McCollum in the backcourt. What happened: The Paul-Griffin-Jordan trio looked splendid early on, going up 2-0 after games in LA. The Blazers struck back and won game three, but then disaster waylaid LA in game four, with BOTH Paul (broken hand) and Griffin (quad) exiting the game and the series. That paved the way for the Blazers to complete their run and advance. "That guy was on the team?": It was Chris Kaman's final NBA season, and he spent it as a locker room guy for the Blazers. It was also Clippers guard Pablo Prigioni's last stint in the NBA (not counting several preseason games with the Rockets the next season, before he got cut and returned to Europe). What next?: The Blazers advanced to the West semis, where they lost in five games to the Warriors, despite Stephen Curry missing the first three matches. 2017 Playoffs - #5 Utah Jazz (51-31) defeat #4 LA Clippers (51-31) in seven games The setup: It was a battle between two teams looking to go far in the postseason in the hopes of enticing their future free agents to re-up. For the Jazz, Gordon Hayward was the player in question, while for the Clippers, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had the ability to depart in the offseason. What happened: Iso-Joe Johnson did Iso-Joe things, stealing game one for the Jazz on the Clippers' home court. Undeterred, the Clippers proceeded to win the next two, for a 2-1 advantage, but game three turned out to be costly. The team the next day announced that Blake Griffin was out for the rest of the season due to a toe injury. Still, things went to a game seven, in LA, but the Clippers did not have the firepower to win out, and the Jazz were able to get the victory and advance. What next?: The Jazz got swept by the Warriors in the West semis. And ironically, both Hayward and Paul wound up departing their respective teams. In addition, Griffin did sign an extension with the Clippers, but they wound up trading him mid-way through the 2017-18 campaign. 2018 Playoffs - #5 Utah Jazz (48-34) defeat #4 Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34) in six games The setup: The Jazz equaled their postseason rank from last season, thanks to the brilliance of rookie Donovan Mitchell, while the Thunder formed a "Big Three" comprising Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. What happened: Paul George sizzled for 36 points to help the Thunder win game one, but Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell teamed up to help the Jazz win the next three. On the brink of elimination, Russell Westbrook led a dominant third quarter effort in OKC to force a game six, but in Salt Lake City, the Jazz managed to hold on, and earn the series victory. What next?: The Jazz will now test themselves against the top-seeded Houston Rockets. Should be a good one. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 29th, 2018

FEU ends nine-year UAAP Finals drought, ousts Ateneo

Far Eastern University ended a nine-year finals drought after eliminating Ateneo, 25-20, 25-21, 14-25, 25-19, to advance to the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball Finals Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. The Lady Tamaraws, who are in contention for their 30th title, also halted the Lady Eagles' streak of six straight appearances in the championship round. Despite dropping the third set against the rejuvenated Lady Eagles, the Lady Tamaraws charged head on in the fourth and mounted an instrumental 8-1 run with the quiet Toni Rose Basas making her presence felt. Basas managed to change Jhoana Maraguinot's attempt with the Lady Eagle hitting the ball straight to the net for FEU's ...Keep on reading: FEU ends nine-year UAAP Finals drought, ousts Ateneo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Espejo records 55 points, Ateneo forces decider

Marck Espejo is a monster. With the three-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University’s back against the wall, Espejo rose to the occasion with a record-setting display of his offensive prowess, helping the Blue Eagles extend the Final Four series with a hard-earned 18-25, 25-13, 24-26, 25-23, 15-9, win over twice-to-beat Far Eastern University Saturday in the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena.    The graduating four-time Most Valuable Player Espejo scored a jaw-dropping 55 points including 11 in the fifth set to break his previous high of 39 markers in a second round five-set loss to the Tamaraws, who swept the Katipunan-based squad in the elims.    Espejo had 47 attacks, six kill blocks and a pair of aces for Ateneo. John Rivera scored eight, Gian Glorioso got six while Chumason Njigha and Ron Medalla combined for 10 points for the Blue Eagles.  Game 2 is on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Espejo wreaked havoc in the fifth set and gave Ateneo an 8-5 lead. FEU closed the gap 8-9 before the Blue Eagles extended their advantage to 11-8 off an off the block kill by Espejo.  The Ateneo star finished off FEU with a thunderous spike to cap the Blue Eagles' closing 4-1 assault.  Espejo brought the Blue Eagles back into life in the fourth set with his powerful smashes as Ateneo overhauled an early 8-11 deficit. Ateneo went ahead 23-20 before FEU scored two straight to draw close, 23-22.  Espejo put the Blue Eagles at set point off a spike before the Tams saved a point but the Ateneo ace hammered an attack to put the match into a decider.       FEU took a 2-1 match lead after hanging tough late in the third frame. The Tams after a disappointing second set trailed early in the frame before making a run for a 20-20 deadlock. Redijohn Paler broke a 23-23 tie with a hit off a combination play before Espejo forced an extension with a kill of his own. Jude Garcia scored on an attack before Ateneo’s John Rivera sent his attack straight to the net as the Blue Eagles surrendered the third set.                        JP Bugaoan and Garcia each had 15 points while Paler had 12 markers for the Tams.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

DE JESUS: Genius, disciplinarian, champion coach

This story was originally published on May 7, 2017 De La Salle University head coach Ramil De Jesus came inside the press room of the Big Dome for a post-game interview wearing the same smile he had in the past nine times the Lady Spikers closed the UAAP season as champions. The only difference in those championship interviews were the players that accompanied him to answer questions from reporters. From Iris Ortega-Patrona, Desiree Hernandez, Maureen Penetrante, the legendary Manilla Santos, the Big Three of Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado and Jacq Alarca, to Michel Gumabao and beast-mode-don’t-care Aby Marano to Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Kim Dy and gem of a setter in Kim Fajaro – all of them stood beside a genius and architect of DLSU’s successful volleyball program. Victory after victory, De Jesus built his reputation as a one of the best women’s volleyball mentors in the country. Last Saturday, De Jesus added another feather to his cap when he steered the Taft-based squad to back-to-back titles in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the expense of archrival Ateneo de Manila. Two decades since his arrival to the school of a different shade of green after playing for Far Eastern University, delivered 10 titles and brought the Lady Spikers to the Finals 17 times.   De Jesus shared the secret of his success. “Siguro, sistema siguro then hard work. And then, well-disciplined ‘yung mga bata. Siguro, ‘yun ‘yung key,” he said. His success earned him the respect of his peers including three-time UAAP men’s volleyball champion Oliver Almadro of Ateneo, who was once one of his lieutenants, and players alike. DLSU embraced him as one of its own. “Natutuwa ako kasi kahit hindi ako alumnus doon niyakap nila ako bilang parang doon na din nag-graduate,” said De Jesus. “Hindi ko naman napapansin ang mga nanyayari sa akin sila lang ang nakakapansin, binigyan nga ako ng award. Happy, very happy (ako).” De Jesus is known to be a no nonsense coach. Strict, straightforward and a disciplinarian – traits he inherited from FEU men’s coach Kid Santos.                He doesn’t like fanfare and as much as possible keeps attention away from him. De Jesus carefully chooses his words but when he gives one, everybody listens. He means business all the time.   Brilliance of De Jesus 246-65. De Jesus knows how to win and his career win-loss record says it all. The main reason why DLSU trusted De Jesus to handle the team for that many years – a rare feat considering that a UAAP coach’s tenure is very volatile.   It was summer 20 years ago when former basketball Olympian and influential DLSU sport personality Ramoncito Campos brought in a young mentor in De Jesus to save the school’s volleyball program, which then had yet to win a title since joining the league in 1986.           He entered the UAAP volleyball scene during the time when powerhouse teams Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas, then mentored by legendary coach August Sta. Maria, were the ones lording over here the competition. Of course the road to glory didn’t come easy but his first tour of duty gave DLSU a chance to feel what it was to be in the Final Four when the Lady Spikers finished fourth a year when after strings of forgettable seasons. Quenching the thirst to salvage some pride in the sport that will eventually be DLSU’s second most valued contest next to basketball, the Lady Spikers began to hunger for the crown – something the school never felt before since winning it all back in 1976 as a member of the NCAA.   De Jesus submitted his team to Spartan-like training and hammering discipline and slowly molded the Lady Spikers to a championship-caliber squad. In Season 61, DLSU challenged FEU for the crown but the Lady Tamaraws’ championship experience prevailed. The loss only fueled De Jesus’ desire to bring the Lady Spikers to the throne even more. With the core of ace hitter Ortega-Patrona, setter Valerie Bautista, Sally Macasaet, Sheryl Magallanes, Demelle Chua, Hollie Reyes and then sophomore Ivy Remulla, De Jesus steered DLSU on the right track for another shot at the crown. Midway in the season Bautista got pregnant. De Jesus, calm and composed, knew what to do. He converted open spiker Reyes into a setter and the gambit worked as DLSU once again punched a ticket to the Finals, this time against UST – a very hungry team looking to reclaim the title. A year removed from the throne, UST was ready for the kill. But the Espana-based squad went against a famished team – DLSU will not leave the sweltering University of the Philippines Human Kinetics Gym without the championship trophy. In front of a crowd - dwarf-sized compared to the multitude of fans that troop bigger venues of today – the Lady Spikers wrote history. DLSU slew a giant in a thrilling five-set game behind the stellar performance of Ortega-Patrona, who won that Season’s Most Valuable Player award – the first of many incredible volleybelles that will bag the highest individual honor under De Jesus’ tutelage.     It was an incredible feat but it won’t see a repeat in the next three years.              Grand Slam After their breakthrough title, the Lady Spikers had three straight bride’s maid finishes behind FEU. Heartbreaks brought by Ortega-Patrona’s falling out with De Jesus over a disciplinary issue in Season 63 and the unstoppable power of FEU's Monica Aleta, who won three straight MVP awards while towing the Lady Tams to a three-peat. Like a chess master, De Jesus learned from his mistakes before pulling off a feat that will cement his name as one of the greatest. With Hernandez, Penetrante and a young Santos as his main pieces, he steered the Lady Spikers to a rare three-peat. DLSU brought into heel FEU, UST and Adamson to complete a grand slam. A four-peat loomed for the celebrated Lady Spikers but fate played a cruel trick on them after UAAP suspended DLSU in Season 69 because the Green Archers' basketball squad fielded two ineligible players the previous year.       When the ban was lifted in Season 70, De Jesus and the Lady Spikers were again under the radar as title contenders together with the defending champion UST, FEU and Adamson. But team was forced to file a leave of absence from the school while the tournament was ongoing because Alarca saw action despite incomplete academic credentials to be eligible to play. All of the team’s won games where Alarca played where forfeited and the Lady Spikers ended up at seventh place. It was a painful setback but it also served as a rallying point for DLSU. With Santos playing her final year and the emergence of enigmatic but then rookie libero Mel Gohing in Season 71, the Lady Spikers denied the then graduating Rachel Anne Daquis and FEU back-to-back crowns. DLSU relinquished the throne to the Angeli Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo-led Tigresses the following year. The Lady Spikers avenged their loss the next season in a rematch with UST behind Alarca, Mercado, Cruz, Gumabao and Gohing in the start of De Jesus’ second three-peat.   DLSU-Ateneo rivalry Nobody really knows when UAAP volleyball picked up the tremendous following it has today. Maybe it needed something for people to get hooked into. A continuous rivalry, perhaps? For six straight years DLSU and Ateneo did just that. The storied rivalry between La Salle and Ateneo spilled from the basketball court to the taraflex mat of volleyball. De Jesus had in his bench the core of veterans Cruz, Gumabao and Marano back and freshmen Galang, Reyes and Demecillo when they met in the Season 74 Finals a young and promising Lady Eagles side – much like the Lady Spikers De Jesus inherited 14 seasons back. Led by Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio and a fresh recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school Alyssa Valdez, Ateneo gave DLSU a tough challenge for two seasons but the Lady Spikers repelled them both times. Then came Lady Eagles Thai mentor Tai Bundit. For three years in a row, De Jesus’ system bested the rest of the field including that of then Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb. However, a coach who barely spoke English or Filipino provided him a challenge in Season 76. DLSU with an intact core led by Marano, swept its way straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. Ateneo crawled its way to the championship round through a series of do-or-die games. De Jesus is an old-school type of coach. His system is hinged on well-planned strategies and tactics. He was pitted against Bundit’s Thai-style of play anchored on a heartstrong mantra and a ‘happy, happy’ approach of the game. Bundit dances on the sideline, an animated fellow during the matches. De Jesus is stoic as always. When the two collided for the title for the first time, Bundit shocked De Jesus and DLSU when Ateneo beat them thrice in a four-game series that went the full distance. Bundit and the Valdez-led Lady Eagles did it again the following year, completing a season sweep at the expense of the Lady Spikers, who struggled to pose any form resistance in the Finals after Galang went down with a season-ending ACL tear in the semis. It was a devastating loss to say the least. But De Jesus, a general who fought many battles for the green and white, stuck with the weapon that brought him success – his ability to adjust. Outdueled by Bundit in their last six matches, De Jesus found a way to stop the rampaging Lady Eagles in their first meeting in Season 78. Ateneo equalized in the second round and even took the top spot after the elimination. The Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles would eventually meet in the Finals for the fifth year in a row. De Jesus was ready for Ateneo. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of the Lady Eagles and used it to his advantage to win the series opener. The then graduating Valdez brought Ateneo back in Game 2 to tie the series, but DLSU completed its long-awaited revenge in the decider and gave Reyes, Demecillo and Galang a fitting sendoff gift.                  Road to back-to-back Losing five veterans including three of their key players heading into Season 79 gave De Jesus one of the toughest challenges he ever faced as a DLSU mentor.  Setter Kim Fajardo returned for her swan song together with fourth year playes Kim Dy, Dawn Macandili and Majoy Baron. Desiree Cheng also came back after a year of absence due to a knee injury, but De Jesus was still left to navigate with a relatively young crew.  “Sa laht nang nai-form kong team, ito yung medyo (up and down) yung performance,” he said. “Sobrang babaw ng bench, wala ka halos (mahugot) pagtingin mo, wala ka makuha.” DLSU struggled early and was on the losing end of two elims matches against Ateneo. “Ateneo nu’ng buong elimination NU lang ang halos tumalo. Sabi ko ano bang meron ang team na ito?” he said. “Pinilit lang naming habulin.” “Kasi alam ko nag-start kami medyo hilaw ang team namin. Early part ng first round natalo kami sa UP sabi ko pukpok pa tayo, habol pa,” De Jesus added. “Ang nakakatuwa sa mga bata, ang determinasyon na humabol nandoon.” When the De Jesus found himself leading the Lady Spikers to a sixth straight title series against Bundit and the Lady Eagles, he knew his squad was ready to defend their crown. And protect it they did in a series sweep capped by a dramatic five-set victory.    “Siguro buong eliminations, nire-review namin ang mga games, nakikita mo yung difference, ‘yung advantage at disadvantage ng team, so siguro doon kami nag-focus, kung saan kami medyo dehado. Concentrate kami sa training,” he said. “Ine-explain ko rin sa players kung ano yung dapat naming gawin, although mahirap. So, tanggapin na lang nila.” In a rare moment, when Ateneo’s Jho Maraguinot sent her attack long that signaled DLSU’s back-to-back championships, De Jesus let his hair down a little. He was jumping, dancing, celebrating the victory and even held his hands up, both his palms wide open as confetti dropped and the deafening roar of the crowd and banging of the drums echoed inside the arena. De Jesus won his tenth title. When the celebration subsided, De Jesus fashioned the same smile he wore in his past nine championships as he was led inside the pressroom of the Big Dome. Only this time around, Fajardo, Cheng and Dy were the ones who followed him from behind.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

Holiday has 33 and Pelicans beat the Blazers to go up 2-0

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jrue Holiday had a career playoff-high 33 points and the New Orleans Pelicans took a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 111-102 victory on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Rajon Rondo had 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Pelicans, who host the Blazers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) as the series shifts to New Orleans. Anthony Davis added 22 points and 13 rebounds. CJ McCollum, who struggled with backcourt teammate Damian Lillard in the opener, rebounded with 22 points to lead the Blazers. Portland trailed by as many as 11 points in the third quarter but Lillard hit a three-pointer and added a free throw to tie the game at 93 with 7:31 left. Holiday’s pull-up jumper and Rondo’s driving layup kept the Blazers from pulling ahead. Maurice Harkless dunked and Al-Farouq Aminu had a layup to re-tie the game at 97. After Holiday’s hook shot, Harkless made a three-pointer to give Portland a 100-99 lead. Nikola Mirotic and Holiday each hit three-pointers to put the Pelicans back in front 105-100 with 1:35 remaining and Portland couldn’t catch up. Fans at the Moda Center booed at the final buzzer. Lillard finished with 17 points for the Blazers, who were hurt in the third quarter when starters Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) and Evan Turner (right toe) left the game. The third-seeded Blazers, in the playoffs for the fifth straight year, dropped the first game against the Pelicans 97-95, becoming the highest seed to lose at the start of the opening round. Davis had 35 points and Rondo had 17 assists to tie the franchise record. Lillard and McCollum combined to shoot just 13 for 41 in the opener. Portland got a boost in Game 2 with the return of Harkless for first time since he had a minor procedure on his left knee in late March. He missed 11 games. But the Blazers again struggled to stop New Orleans. Davis’ long jumper gave the Pelicans a 9-2 lead at the start. McCollum dunked to close within 11-10, but Holiday answered with a vicious second-chance dunk on his own. McCollum shook off the Game 1 struggles, hitting four of eight from the floor in the opening quarter. His layup tied the game at 21 and then he dished to Harkless for the dunk to give the Blazers the short-lived lead. Portland led 35-30 after rookie Zach Collin’s bank shot and the Blazers led by as many as nine points before taking a 59-54 lead into halftime. Holiday led all scorers with 14 points. Aminu had four three-pointers and nine rebounds for the Blazers in the opening half. Davis made a short jumper from out front to give the Pelicans a 65-64 lead. Portland was hurt a short time later when Nurkic limped off the court and into the locker room. When he returned to the bench, he was flexing his left leg. He iced his leg the rest of the game. Later in the quarter forward Turner left the court with what Portland said was a right toe contusion. Davis’ three-pointer pushed the Pelicans lead to 75-68 midway through the third quarter. New Orleans, which led by as many as 11 points, was up 87-78 going into the fourth. The two teams split the regular-season series. TIP-INS Pelicans: Holiday had 12 points in the first quarter alone. ... Davis had scored 25 or more in his first five postseason games. He came up a game shy tying LeBron James for the second-longest streak to begin a career, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 14 straight, according to Elias. Trail Blazers: The third seed in the West has won its first-round series for the past four seasons. ... Portland had home-court advantage in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. ... Fans at the Moda Center were clearly upset with the officiating, taunting the refs with a chant in the final quarter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bernadeth Pons of FEU

Bernadeth Pons is making the most out of her final year with the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The graduating hitter towed the Morayta-based squad to a second spot finish after the eliminations and helped the Lady Tamaraws clinch the much-needed twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. Her heroics in the last two matches of FEU gave her the thumbs up to claim her second straight UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week honor. Like what she promised last week, Pons was at the helm of FEU’s successful run to bag the semis incentive – the Lady Tams’ first since Season 71. The 21-year old spiker, who hails from Talisay, Negros Occidental, stepped up when it mattered most as FEU closed the elims with a 10-4 win-loss record and most importantly the Lady Tams armed themselves with a twice-to-beat edge over third running Ateneo de Manila University in the semis next week. The do-it-all outside hitter delivered 13 points and added 13 digs and as many as excellent receptions in making a quick work of University of the East, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, last Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City. She followed it up with a 17-point, 16-reception performance in beating National University, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20, to clinch the No.2 spot on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena. “Masaya kami na natapos namin yung second round, na naipanalo namin ang last three games namin,” said Pons. “Ang pressure palagi namang nand'yan, palagi naman naming nire-remind ang bawat isa na hindi namin siya dapat i-take as pressure, kasi lalo lang kaming mawawala sa kung ano ang dapat naming gawin.” “So tsina-challenge namin palagi nag sarili namin, kung ano 'yung mga dapat naming gawin, kung ano ang role namin sa team, 'yun,” she added. Pons bested De La Salle’s Kianna Dy and Michelle Cobb, Adamson’s graduating players Mylene Paat and Jema Galanza as well as Tots Carlos of University of the Philippines for the last weekly honor given by sportswriters from broadsheets, tabloids and online websites covering the beat. Pons’ performance in the elims also gave her a good chance to vie for the coveted Most Valuable Player plum. She finished fourth in the scoring race with a total of 215 points, eighth in attacjs with 198 kills on 30.6 percent success rate and third both in digs (208 digs) and receptions (170 receptions on 45.2 % efficiency rate. But Pons is looking at the bigger picture than individual accolades. “‘Yung mga individual awards naman bonus na lang ‘yun. Ako palagi lang akong nagfofocus kung ano ‘yung dapat kong ibigay na maitutulong ko sa team, kung ano ‘yung kailangan ko ma-perform as a team captain and as a senior,” said Pons, who is hoping help end a decade-long title drought of FEU and deliver the school’s 30th crown. “‘Yung target naman namin is ‘yung trophy ng champion. ‘Yun ang pinakagusto naming makuha.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

MVP Ladder: No topping Harden in award chase

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com Stump speeches aren’t necessary. Not when your campaign drives itself on performance alone, when you elevate the conversation with each and every outing, the way James Harden did from the opening tip of this regular season until the final buzzer. So if it seems like Harden has skillfully avoided getting caught up in this reporter-crafted Kia MVP pickles that often drive the rest of our NBA dialogue on a daily basis, it’s by design. Besides, who needs to dive in on the debate when you have unsolicited celebrity endorsements from the likes of Kobe Bryant, who made clear to USA Today Sports that Harden’s time is now. “It’s got to be James,” Bryant said. “I really don’t understand the debate about picking somebody else. I don’t get it. Like, what the hell does this guy have to do? I mean for the last three years, the guy has been absolutely lights out, and now you still want to sit here and debate who should be MVP when he leads the league in scoring (30.4 points per game), his assists numbers (8.8 apg) are off the charts, they have the best record in the league (65-16). “If he doesn’t win MVP this year, what the hell is he supposed to do to win MVP, average 40 [points], 15 [assists] and 15 [rebounds]? I mean, come on now. Enough is enough.” After coming up short twice in the past three seasons, Harden is poised to capture the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. It is something he felt he earned last season, when his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, Russell Westbrook, used a triple-double season to claim the hardware. Stephen Curry won the award in 2015 and 2016, his star rising in concert with the Golden State Warriors' surge from lottery team, to contender to championship-winner in two of the last three seasons. While Curry claimed those awards, Harden won MVP honors in a vote of his peers at the NBPA’s first Players Awards in July 2015. There will be no dispute this time around. There is no other narrative that trumps Harden’s.   No other player's performance rises above what he’s done for the Rockets this season, the first with he and fellow superstar point guard  Chris Paul sharing the leadership load of the league’s best team. Not even four-time Kia MVP LeBron James, who turned in one of the finest seasons of his 15 year career in Cleveland, could catch Harden on the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder or in the minds of most voters. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni coached Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and two-time Kia MVP Steve Nash. Yet it was Harden who received D'Anton's greatest compliment after a win in Portland last month when called Harden the “best offensive player I’ve ever seen.” “He’s a hell of a player, first off,” D’Antoni told USA Today Sports when asked to explain his declaration. “It’s a combination of everything. There are other players who might be better at this, or a little bit better at that. But when you put everything together, and the way he passes, the way he sees teammates, the way he can lob, the way he can fight through a foul. I mean even on an off night, he’s probably getting 30, 40 points, and I mean efficiently. And he doesn’t even have anything going. But he’s so efficient, and he gets other guys involved.” If the strength of Harden’s MVP case this season was just his own individual offensive brilliance, he’d still have a rock-solid case. He did record the first 60-point triple-double in NBA history this season and won the scoring title a season after leading the league in assists. But, as D’Antoni noted, Harden's ability to raise the level of play from teammates like Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza and others is what stands out. “I don't think there's a player that's had to create as much as I've had to in these last three years," Harden said in a GQ profile that came out this week. "I don't know if there's a guy in NBA history.” That comment can be interpreted in a number of ways, and it’s sure to spark yet another debate as the conversation continues deep into this postseason about who is most deserving of Kia MVP honors. But we’re done here. “It’s James Harden, no doubt about it,” a Western Conference executive told me when asked if there was any dispute about this season’s most valuable player. “Harden in a landslide.” * * * The top five in the Final Edition of the 2017-18 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder: 1. James Harden, Houston Rockets Last week: No. 1 2017-18 season stats: 30.4 points, 8.8 assists, 5.4 rebounds Harden declared early on that this was the Rockets’ season. He felt they finally had the pieces to challenge the Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the Western Conference standings, and, therefore, the entire league. He served notice on opening night, when he and the Rockets spoiled the Warriors' championship banner and rings celebration at Oracle Arena by claiming a win. Harden’s 27 points, 11 assists and six rebounds was the opening salvo in what turned into the best season in Rockets history. Harden’s ability to blend his point guard responsibilities with his role as the most lethal scorer in the league fueled one brilliant performance after another. As well, Harden also silenced the critics who suggested he and Paul would not be able to play well off of each other. The Rockets enter the postseason with the No. 1 overall seed and with all the confidence needed for a championship run. 2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Last week: No. 2 2017-18 season stats: 27.5 points, 9.1 assists, 8.6 rebounds LeBron put the final touches on his outstanding 15th NBA regular season by capturing Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors for March/April, the fourth time this season he took those honors (October/November, December and February). In addition to the parade of milestones LeBron reached this season, he also piled up a career-high 18 triple-doubles, led the Cavaliers through a tumultuous year that ended with 50 or more wins for the fourth straight season. He shot better than 54 percent from the floor (.542) and also had his best shooting from beyond the 3-point line (.367) since returning to Cleveland from Miami before the 2014-15 season. The true test of his super powers, though, will be on display in this postseason. The Cavaliers finished as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference but go into the playoffs as the favorite, in the eyes of most, to survive the gauntlet due in large part to LeBron’s work the past seven seasons guiding his teams to The Finals. 3. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans Last week: No. 3 2017-18 season stats: 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks Davis turned it on when the Pelicans needed it most, after DeMarcus Cousins went down with a season-ending Achilles injury. He powered the Pelicans with 50 double-doubles, one triple-double and, when the Pelicans needed grind their way into the postseason as 2017-18 waned, he picked his game up even more. He averaged 29 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.8 blocks, 2.4 assists and 2.2 blocks during the Pelicans’ season-ending five-game win streak that helped them secure the No. 6 seed. That sealed up Davis' second career playoff run and he’s still looking for his first playoff win. His ability to carry the load for the Pelicans the way he did, though, is easily the most impressive part of his season. There was no guarantee the Pelicans would make the playoffs in a rugged Western Conference even with Cousins healthy. To do it without him speaks volumes about the impact Davis had on his team. 4. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Last week: No. 4 2017-18 season stats: 26.9 points, 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds Lillard has done what few thought possible after the Portland team he joined as a rookie was taken apart and rebuilt around him. The catalyst for a Blazers team that finished third in the West, Lillard forced his way onto that short list of names in the best-point-guard-in-the-game discussion. He lacks the championship and/or Kia MVP hardware guys like Curry, Kyrie Irving and Westbrook all have. But his body of work as the face of Portland's franchise makes it difficult to leave him out of the discussion. The Blazers wouldn't have come anywhere close to that No. 3 seed without Lillard going nuclear in February (31.4 points, six assists and nearly five rebounds in 10 games). This has been a transformative year on and off the court for Lillard, who is not only had a career-best season, but also celebrated the birth of his son late last month. 5. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors Last week: No. 5 2017-18 season stats: 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists Durant followed up his 2017 Finals MVP honors with a steady season, by his lofty standard, but not one that pushed him closer to the top of this list. His understanding of the way the regular season connects to the postseason no doubt played a role in the way he paced himself. That’s not to say that Durant didn't have an outstanding regular season, because he did. But just like James and to an extent his All-Star teammate, Curry, Durant’s seasons are now measured against the high standard he’s set in past ones. He actually averaged more points and assists this season compared to his first with the Warriors. And he set a career-high with 1.8 blocks per game, showing off his improved awareness and effectiveness on defense. With Curry out for the first round of the playoffs due to injury, Durant will get a chance to remind the San Antonio Spurs and the rest of the league just how dangerous he can be with everything on the line. The next five 6. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder 7. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors 8. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors 9. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks 10. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers And five more: LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs; Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics; Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets; Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers; Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. 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Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018