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Thai ace sustains form, wins Pradera Classic by two

Yupaporn Kawinpakorn kept her good run of form on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, closing out the year the way she kicked off her 2018 campaign – winning......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarDec 6th, 2018

Rickie Fowler shoots 64 for 4-shot lead at Phoenix Open

By John Marshall, Associated Press SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Rickie Fowler had the lead heading into the final round last year at the Phoenix Open, only to see the title slip through his grip for a second time. He will have a big cushion in his third bid to win the championship following a stellar display of golf. Fowler had eight birdies in a 7-under 64 on Saturday at TPC Scottsdale to take a four-shot lead over Matt Kuchar into the final round. Fowler opened with four birdies in six holes and navigated a difficult two-putt on the par-4 18th hole to reach 20-under 193. Now it's time to finish it off. "This one is definitely high on the list, another being Torrey Pines," Fowler said. "I would say between here and there, those would be the two highest on the list other than a major." Kuchar shot a bogey-free 65 to put himself in position for his third victory of the wraparound PGA season. He has been par or better in all 19 rounds this season, winning the Mayakoba Classic and Sony Open. Justin Thomas, who started one behind Fowler, shot 65 and was five back of his friend and desert roommate. Branden Grace and Byeong Hun An were at 13 under on a day golf said goodbye to one of its most distinctive voices. Saturday's third round was the broadcasting finale of NBC lead golf analyst Johnny Miller's career. Miller followed a Hall of Fame playing career with three decades of calling it the way he saw it, regardless of what the players thought of him. Wanting to spend more time with his family, the 71-year-old Miller decided to call it quits after the Phoenix Open, where he won twice to help earn the nickname "Desert Fox." NBC played multiple tributes to Miller during Saturday's coverage and on-course announcer Roger Maltbie's voice cracked as he talked about his friend. "I appreciate the people out there. I do my commentating for you," Miller said. "I'm glad you accepted my form of commentating, which was not normal. It was a little rough at first, but it's just been a pleasure, the friendships I've made." Fowler had the 54-hole lead at last year and fell flat in the final round, shooting 73 to finish six shots behind champion Gary Woodland. He also lost in a playoff in 2016. Fowler put himself in position for a third run at the title with a superb round of golf. He had a one-shot lead over Thomas after closing with four birdies for a 6-under 65 in Friday's second round. Fowler made an eight-foot birdie putt on 18 to reach 13 under and quickly added to it on Saturday, dropping in an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 first hole. Fowler, who shot 64 in the opening round, added birdies on Nos. 3, 5 and 6 to reach 17 under, but had a par putt lip out after he hit into the greenside bunker at the par-3 seventh. He hit his approach to two feet for birdie at No. 9, turning in 4-under 31, and followed a birdie at the difficult 11th with a two-putt birdie on No. 13. Fowler reached 20 under with a birdie on the short par-4 17th for a nice cushion heading into what's expected to be a rainy final round. "I've done a good job of kind of everything this week," he said. "Nothing's standing out as super special, just playing solid golf and when I've gotten into trouble, being able to get up and down most of the time." Playing in the group ahead of Fowler, Thomas and Grace, Kuchar had three birdies for a 3-under 32 on the front nine and rolled in a nine-foot birdie putt on the 167-yard 12th hole. He two-putted for birdie on the par-5 13th and made a five-foot birdie on 15 to reach 16 under. Kuchar missed a good opportunity on No. 17, sliding a six-foot birdie putt past the hole, but finished with a nice save from the greenside bunker on No. 18. "It would be amazing to get three wins this early," Kuchar said. "It had been a number of years since I found the winner's circle, so to have gotten two in this year has been amazing." It may take an amazing round of golf to catch Fowler......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2019

DeChambeau wins by seven shots to set records in Dubai | The Manila Times Online

DUBAI: Bryson DeChambeau showed imperious form as he secured his first title outside American soil, winning the $3.25 million Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday (Monday in Manila) by a recordREAD The post.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJan 29th, 2019

Thai forces 4-way logjam at the top in Pradera Classic

Jhonnel Ababa is at it again, so does Andrew Campbell while Keanu Jahns rescued a late par and Thai Tawit Polthai holed out with a birdie to force a four-way tie in the Pradera Verde Classic in one of the most crowded third round leaderboards in the two-year-old Philippine Golf Tour Asia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 18th, 2019

4-way tie in Pradera

LUBAO, Pampanga — Thai Tawit Polthai birdied the last hole to card a 71 and force a four-way tie for the lead with Aussie Andrew Campbell, Jhonnel Ababa and Keanu Jahns while six others stood just two strokes behind, setting up a wild finish in the ICTSI Pradera Verde Classic here. Polthai checked a shaky […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 18th, 2019

Dutchman shatters mark with 64, grabs lead

Bucking blustery conditions and Pradera’s sleek putting surface, Guido Van der Valk shattered a day-old mark with an eagle-spiked eight-under 64, leap-frogging from joint 35th to the top of the heap, one stroke ahead of Keanu Jahns and Thai Tawit Polthai halfway through the rich ICTSI Pradera Verde Classic here......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Dutchman wrests Pradera lead

LUBAO, Pampanga — Guido Van der Valk charged back from way down at 35th to the top of the heap with a new course record in as many days, churning out an eagle-spiked eight-under 64 to grab a one-stroke lead over Keanu Jahns and Thai Tawit Polthai halfway through the ICTSI Pradera Verde Classic here […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Thai ace roars to 2-shot Pradera win | The Manila Times Online

LUBAO, Pampanga: Yupaporn Kawinpakorn hit two clutch backside birdies to claim the hotly-disputed ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic crown, repelling Dottie Ardina on No. 12 and beating fellow Thai Pi.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

Thai ace buries clutch birdies, zooms to 2-shot Pradera triumph | Inquirer Sports

Yupaporn Kawinpakorn hit two crucial backside birdies to rule the ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic, repelling Dottie Ardina on No. 12 and beating fellow Thai Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro by two with a 69 h.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

Pinay, Thai aces clash as Pradera Ladies begins

Expect an early shootout among the best of the best with the rest, including a slew of talented amateurs, ready to spring a surprise in what promises to be an explosive start in the ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic at the sprawling Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club complex here today......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

Pinay, Thai aces clash as Pradera Ladies begins

Expect an early shootout among the best of the best with the rest, including a slew of talented amateurs, ready to spring a surprise in what promises to be an explosive start in the ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

DA s 2018 NBA Offseason Rankings: The Top 10

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst Wonder what the rental market is like in San Luis Obispo, Calif. San Luis Obispo is, give or take a few miles, one of the closest cities that is near the midway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Given the events of the NBA’s offseason, it’s not hare to imagine national reporters are going to be spending a lot of time in California next season, bouncing back and forth between the Bay and L.A. Catch LeBron James and the Lakers on Wednesday and then, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors on Thursday. The Western Conference only got stronger and deeper with James leaving Cleveland for a second time, this time to go to the Lakers. Add four of the top five Draft picks -- including No. 1 overall selection Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns), No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings) and international phenom Luka Doncic (No. 3 pick, acquired by Dallas Mavericks) -- going to Western Conference teams, and the talent disparity between conferences only seems greater. But did Eastern Conference teams take advantage of Cleveland deflating to make their teams better? And how effective were West teams in making their teams better prepared to at least compete with the Warriors? That’s where this year’s Offseason Rankings come in -- big, bold, definitive. You love them, if the amount of hate tweets and e-mails I get after they’re published are any indication. Every year, we rank how all 30 teams have done since the end of their respective seasons. We look at everything -- how they drafted, what trades they made, what players they signed in free agency, and for how much -- or if they didn’t participate in free agency much at all. We look at if they’ve changed coaches, executives, owners, or if they’re moving into a new building that can generate big revenues. And you have to decide which ones you liked the most. Here's what these rankings ARE NOT: A predicted order of finish for next season. It's an opinion that seeks to answer a question: is the team better now than at the end of last season? The ranking reflects the belief on whether, and how much, that is so. (I liked certain guys who were in the Draft more than others, so if your team took them, I probably weighed it more positively. Doesn't mean I'm right.) I do not expect the Suns, for example, to have a better record than the Celtics, just because they had a better summer. It is not a ranking of the teams in order from 1 through 30 right now; I do not believe the Mavericks are now a better team than Rockets. This is just one person’s opinion about offseason moves -- offseason moves only. Is your team better now than it was before? - If your team is ranked in the top 10, it doesn't mean I love your team.       - If your team is ranked in the bottom 10, it doesn't mean I hate your team. It's an opinion that seeks to answer a question: is the team better now than at the end of last season? The ranking reflects the belief on whether, and how much, that is so. (I liked certain guys who were in the Draft more than others, so if your team took them, I probably weighed it more positively. Doesn't mean I'm right.) What plays into the rankings: - This isn’t science. It’s an educated guess, weighing the impact both of the Draft and free agency, but also assessing whether teams got value in their free-agent signings. Overpaying the right player is as much a sin as signing the wrong player. A good new coach can coax some more wins out of a roster. But if a team’s players don’t believe in the system their team uses, the best Xs and Os on earth don’t matter.       - Teams that are rebuilding obviously have different priorities than teams making a championship push. That's factored in. So Chicago, for example, gets credit for adding young, affordable players as it stockpiles its talent -- but that talent has to fit together, as Wendell Carter Jr. does with Lauri Markannen. And a team like the Warriors that shows it’s willing to go deep into the luxury tax -- which most teams try to avoid -- in order to keep winning has to be commended, and its rankings reflect that commendation.       - Continuity matters here as well. The most successful teams usually not only identify a core group of players, they keep them together for a while, finding that sweet spot: everyone doesn’t get a max contract, but most get paid well enough to keep the train moving down the tracks. That reflects both good roster construction and good financial management -- and, again, is rewarded. The explosion in the cap means everyone has to spend; keeping your powder dry for another day doesn’t have as much cache as it used to. But you still have to manage your money wisely. Salary numbers, with a couple of exceptions, come from Basketball Insiders, whose Eric Pincus does the best job of anyone in the game of keeping track of all the moving financial parts, quickly and accurately -- which is why we use him at NBA TV during the Draft and free agency to tell us what the hell this all means. The Top 10 * * * 1. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 2017-18 RECORD: 48-34; lost in first round ADDED: G/F Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (acquired from Sixers); G Hamidou Diallo (No. 45 pick, 2018 Draft); G Devon Hall (No. 53 pick, 2018 Draft); F Kevin Hervey (No. 57 pick, 2018 Draft); F Abdel Nader (acquired from Celtics); C Nerlens Noel (two years, $3.7 million); G Dennis Schröder (acquired from Hawks) LOST: F Carmelo Anthony (traded to Hawks); F Nick Collison (retired); C Dakari Johnson (traded to Magic); G Rodney Purvis (traded to Celtics) RETAINED: G Raymond Felton (one year, $2.3 million); F Paul George (four years, $136.9 million); F Jerami Grant (three years, $27.3 million) THE KEY MAN: G Andre Roberson. This is real simple: with Roberson on the court last year, OKC’s opponent offensive rating was 99.2; when he was off, it was 110.7. The Thunder was a near-elite defensive unit when Roberson played and was awful when he didn’t. His Real Defensive Plus-Minus, per ESPN.com, was 4.34, second only to Utah’s Rudy Gobert (5.06). So when Roberson ruptured his patellar tendon in late January, the Thunder’s ability to use George as a weakside defender who could freelance and use his length to create deflections and turnovers (because Roberson had the strong side absolutely locked down) went away. Any chance the Thunder has next season to compete at the highest levels in the West will depend on the 26-year-old Roberson’s recovery and return to the lineup. THE SKINNY: None of us -- none -- thought George was going to stay in OKC. And we all thought Sam Presti and the Thunder were crazy for trading for him last year, because it was just going to be a one-year rental and he was going to be off to the Lakers in 12 months, and OKC would have nothing to show for its deal. But George’s presence helped convince Russell Westbrook -- also long rumored to eventually head back to Cali -- to sign a long-term deal with the Thunder. And OKC’s acquisition of Carmelo Anthony helped convince George that the Thunder was all in on competing. And even though OKC went out in the first round of the playoffs to Utah, its year-long courtship of George and his family paid off when PG-13 spurned L.A. once and for all to stay in the 405. Anthony ultimately wasn’t a good fit, but he brought back Schroder, who will give Billy Donovan a dynamic scorer off the bench that can give Westbrook a blow and keep OKC’s offense from immolating when Westbrook is on the bench, a common malady the last two years. The Thunder has been relevant in an incredibly small market now for almost a decade. With George and Westbrook and Steven Adams and, now, Schroder, all signed up through 2021, that remarkable run will continue for some time. 2. LOS ANGELES LAKERS 2017-18 RECORD: 35-47; missed playoffs ADDED: F Michael Beasley (one year, $3.5 million); F Joel Berry II; F Issac Bonga (No. 39 pick, 2018 Draft); G Jeffrey Carroll; F LeBron James (four years, $153 million); C JaVale McGee (one year, $1.4 million); G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (No. 47 pick, 2018 Draft); G Rajon Rondo (one year, $9 million); G Lance Stephenson; F Mo Wagner (No. 25 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: C Thomas Bryant (waived); G Tyler Ennis (waived); F/C Channing Frye (signed with Cavs); C Brook Lopez (signed with Bucks); F Julius Randle (signed with Pelicans); G Isaiah Thomas (signed with Nuggets) RETAINED: G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (one year, $12 million); G Travis Wear THE KEY MAN: F Brandon Ingram. The third-year man should be the major beneficiary of James’ presence going forward. Driving lanes previously clogged with defenders should now be runway clear. Opponents who previously could close out strong on Ingram will now have their attention elsewhere. Ingram need only look at James’ last stop: per NBA.com/Stats, among players leaguewide who appeared in at least 60 games last season, three Cavaliers -- Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith and Cedi Osman -- were among the top 20 in the league in lowest frequency of having their closest defenders within two feet of them, meaning James created many wide open looks for teammates all season. Ingram vastly improved his range last season over his rookie one, shooting 39 percent on 3-pointers. But he only attempted 1.8 threes per game last season. That number will surely skyrocket in 2018. Ingram must ready to take advantage. That will make him that much more deadly as a driver. THE SKINNY: Team president Magic Johnson was tasked with landing a whale in free agency, and he and GM Rob Pelinka bagged Moby Dick in James. Their subsequent free agent moves once Paul George opted to stay in Oklahoma City were all short-term plays with an eye toward the promising 2019 free agent class, which include the likes of All-Stars Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker and DeMarcus Cousins. But that doesn’t mean Lake Show ’18 isn’t going to be the rip-roaringest circus this side of your standard Ozzy Ozbourne tour. What’s the over-under on the first time Rondo cusses out coach Luke Walton, or when we hear of a “spirited practice” that is code for “Lance ‘bowed ‘Bron in the neck and Walton sent everyone home”? The Lakers could be in The Finals or out in the first round, but what they decidedly will not be is boring. 3. DENVER NUGGETS 2017-18 RECORD: 46-36; missed playoffs ADDED: F Michael Porter Jr. (No. 14 pick, 2018 Draft); G Isaiah Thomas (one year, $2 million); F Jarred Vanderbilt (No. 41 pick, 2018 Draft); C Thomas Welsh (No. 58 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: F Darrell Arthur (traded to Nets); F Wilson Chandler (traded to 76ers); F Kenneth Faried (traded to Nets); G Isaiah Whitehead (waived) RETAINED: G Will Barton (four years, $53 million); G/F Torrey Craig (two years, $4 million); C Nikola Jokic (five-year, $147.7 million contract extension) THE KEY MAN: G Jamal Murray. Denver ended all pretense that the full-time point guard job wasn’t his last season and his second-year numbers were very encouraging. Among regularly playing (60+ games) floor generals, per NBA.com/Stats, Murray’s .577 True Shooting Percentage ranked only behind D.J. Augustin, Kyrie Irving, Darren Collison and Kyle Lowry. No one doubts the still-just-21-year-old Murray can fill it up, and that the Nuggets don’t need a classic ball distributor to light up the Pepsi Center scoreboard. But they do need to get more credible defensively. So does he. THE SKINNY: A great offseason for the Nuggets, who did what they said they would -- keep Jokic off the market next summer -- while clearing roster spots and minutes with two trades, and simultaneously reducing their luxury tax bill for 2019. (The Chandler trade to the Sixers also created an enormous $12.8 million trade exception for Denver through August of 2019.) Jokic should anchor one of the most athletic starting quintets in the game -- along with Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, the re-signed Barton (penciled in for now as the starting three) and Paul Millsap. the Nuggets didn’t add much at the defensive end, which was their Achilles’ heel the last couple of seasons and the main reason they didn’t make the playoffs in 2017-18. Denver opted to strengthen a strength by bringing in Thomas, who’ll be in prove-it mode next season on a short deal with a coach that he knows from their Sacramento days in Mike Malone. Look for Malone to unleash Thomas on second units throughout the West. Porter Jr. was worth a flier at 14; he was the consensus likely first pick in the Draft a year ago, before his back injury took him out of all but a couple of games in his one season at Missouri. Denver can give him the entire year to rehab from two surgeries, the latest last week, and reset his clock for 2019-20. 4. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2017-18 RECORD: 58-24; won NBA Finals ADDED: C DeMarcus Cousins (one year, $5.3 million); F Jacob Evans (No. 28 pick, 2018 Draft); F Jonas Jerebko (one year, $2.1 million); G Damion Lee LOST: C JaVale McGee (signed with Lakers); C Zaza Pachulia (signed with Pistons); Head of Physical Performance and Sports Medicine Chelsea Lane (went to Hawks) RETAINED: F Kevin Durant (two years, $61.5 million); F Kevon Looney THE KEY MAN: Brett Yamaguchi, Director of Game Operations/Entertainment, Oracle Arena. One doesn’t envy Yamaguchi, whose tasks will be twofold next season: create lifetime memories for the loudest and most loyal fanbase in the league, as the Warriors play their final season at Oracle Arena (aka Roaracle) -- they’re moving into the Chase Center, their tony new digs across the Bay in downtown San Francisco, come 2019-20. And, provide atmosphere and sizzle that will help coach Steve Kerr keep his veteran core from being bored out of its collective mind during the regular season while it waits for the playoffs and a chance at a three-peat. THE SKINNY: So, sure, the best team in the league adds one of the top two or three big men in the game in Cousins. But that’s the ancillary benefit of having such a dominant organization; everyone wants to figure out a way to get to the Bay. Cousins took less money to do so; now he can take his time rehabbing his torn Achilles tendon. If that means he’s not all the way back until All-Star, who cares? The Warriors will roll Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Jonas Jerebko out at the five in non-Death lineups until Cousins is ready. Meanwhile, Kerr has to keep his vets, but especially Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston, off their feet as much as possible during the regular season so they’ll be good to go from April through June. Losing Iguodala for the bulk of the 2018 Western finals was almost the Warriors’ downfall. 5. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 2017-18 RECORD: 22-60; missed playoffs ADDED: F Kyle Anderson (four years, $37 million); G Jevon Carter (No. 32 pick, 2018 Draft); F Omri Casspi (one year, $2.3 million); F Jaren Jackson Jr. (No. 4 pick, 2018 Draft); C Dakari Johnson (acquired from Magic); G Garrett Temple (acquired from Kings) LOST: C/F Deyonta Davis (traded to Kings); G Tyreke Evans (signed with Pacers); F Jarell Martin (traded to Magic); G Ben McLemore (traded to Kings) RETAINED: Coach J.B. Bickerstaff THE KEY MAN: G Mike Conley. It’s no secret how vital Conley is to the franchise, so a return to form is vital for the veteran point, who’ll be 31 on opening night and who missed 70 games last season with a heel injury. Next season will be the third of Conley’s five-year, $150 million deal signed in 2016; remember when so many people thought the world would end when a small market like Memphis invested so much in him? Well, Conley has already dropped to fifth in the league in salary among point guards, behind Stephen Curry Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Kyle Lowry. He’ll fall even further down the list next season, when John Wall’s massive extension kicks in, and Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker each get new contracts that could leap his. THE SKINNY: Memphis couldn’t have had a worse 2017-18 if it tried, and the Grizzlies compounded their on-court implosion by not trading Evans when everyone in the league -- seemingly, except for them -- knew he was going to walk in the summer if they didn’t. But, the Grizzlies’ front office recovered in a big way, selling the 18-year-old Jackson that he would fit right in despite not working out for the Grizz before the Draft, then doubling up on “Grit And Grind 2.0” by taking Carter, college basketball’s fiercest on-ball defender, in the second. Ownership was willing to let the front office use the full mid-level exception on Anderson, who isn’t the sexiest pickup to many fans but whose defensive numbers in San Antonio were outstanding. Temple is the ultimate good vet and locker room guy who will get a chance to play for Bickerstaff after the Kings opted to go with their young guys and he was likely out of the rotation. GM Chris Wallace was adamant that the Grizzlies could rebuild again around the aging Conley and Marc Gasol and that they wouldn’t trade Gasol after the latter’s difficult relationship with former coach David Fizdale. They did, and they didn’t. 6. PHOENIX SUNS 2017-18 RECORD: 21-61; missed playoffs ADDED: Coach Igor Kokoskov; F Trevor Ariza (one year, $15 million); F Darrell Arthur (acquired from Nets); C Deandre Ayton (No. 1 pick, 2018 Draft); F Mikal Bridges (No. 10 pick, 2018 Draft); F Richaun Holmes (acquired from 76ers); G George King (No. 59 pick, 2018 Draft); G Elie Okobo (No. 31 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: Former interim coach Jay Triano; F Jared Dudley (traded to Nets); C Alex Len (signed with Hawks); G Elfrid Payton (signed with Pelicans); G Tyler Ulis (waived); F/C Alan Williams (waived) RETAINED: G Devin Booker (contract extension) THE KEY MAN: Ayton. Let’s not bury the lead here: he was the first pick overall for a reason, because he has franchise-turning capability. The Suns don’t need singles or the occasional double any more; they need someone to put them back on the map with big, sweaty, nasty four-baggers, night after night. (cc: mixed metaphor police.) It’s been a minute since Amar’e Stoudemire was at his destructive best, and the list of impactful bigs in franchise history is thin: Connie Hawkins, Alvan Adams, Tom Chambers, Charles Barkley, Stoudemire. Ayton has a chance to be as good as any of them, and better, and he’s a potential stash of Kryptonite down the pike to the Warriors dynasty. THE SKINNY: There’s the makings of a Jazz-like reimaging of the franchise in short order. Kokoskov not only comes from Utah’s staff, but has significant coaching chops outside of Salt Lake City. He’s been coaching since he was 24, and that was 22 years ago. He’s coached both around the world and around the NBA as an assistant and development maven, and he’ll be great at bolstering the confidence of the Suns’ young guys -- including Bridges, a mature and solid rook with collegiate titles from Villianova who’ll be able to grow quietly outside the huge media shadow cast on Ayton. Kokoskov will also make things a lot easier for Devin Booker offensively. But GM Ryan McDonough was also smart enough to surround the kids with some solid vets, starting with Ariza, who will help the Suns again become acquainted with a long-honored NBA concept called “defense.” 7. DALLAS MAVERICKS 2017-18 RECORD: 24-58; missed playoffs ADDED: F Kostas Antetokounmpo (No. 60 pick, 2018 Draft); G Jalen Brunson (No. 33 pick, 2018 Draft); G Luka Doncic (No. 3 pick, 2018 Draft); C DeAndre Jordan (one year, $22 million); C Chinanu Onuaku (acquired from Rockets); F Ray Spalding (No. 56 pick, 2018 Draft); F Ding Yanyuhang; LOST: G Kyle Collinsworth (waived); G Seth Curry (signed with Blazers); G Yogi Ferrell (signed with Kings); F Doug McDermott (signed with Pacers); F Jonathan Motley (traded to Clippers); C Nerlens Noel (signed with Thunder) RETAINED: G/F Wesley Matthews (picked up player option); F Dirk Nowitzki (one year, $5 million) THE KEY MAN: CEO Cynthia Marshall. The former AT&T executive was put in charge after Sports Illustrated’s explosive story last February detailing a toxic workplace for female employees on the team’s business side, with sexual harassment rampant and no relief forthcoming from the supervisors who should have provided it. Marshall has been fast at work changing the business side culture, as separate investigations of who was responsible for allowing the previous environment to fester wind down. After their results are made public, it will be Marshall who will have to both enact their recommendations and sell the public that owner Mark Cuban’s organization has been fumigated for good. THE SKINNY: Dallas is banking that the 19-year-old Doncic is not only the real deal, but that he can come out of the gate in the NBA after starring in Europe and immediately give the Mavs a boost. There’s a large body of work suggesting Doncic will do just that, and accelerate the Mavs’ rebuild. Second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr.’s improvements should also speed up, and Jordan’s presence should start to close the sieve that has plagued Dallas’s defense the last couple of years. Losing both Curry and Ferrell will hurt the Mavs’ guard depth, though, and Brunson won’t be able to work in slowly. 8. INDIANA PACERS 2017-18 RECORD: 48-34; lost in first round ADDED: G/F Tyreke Evans (one year, $12 million); G Aaron Holiday (No. 23 pick, 2018 Draft); F Alize Johnson (No. 50 pick, 2018 Draft); F Doug McDermott; C/F Kyle O'Quinn LOST: C Al Jefferson (waived); G/F Glenn Robinson III (signed with Pistons); G Lance Stephenson (signed with Lakers) RETAINED: G Cory Joseph (picked up player option); F Thaddeus Young (picked up player option) THE KEY MAN: Kevin Pritchard, president of basketball operations. He’s been instrumental in putting this team together -- first as Larry Bird’s assistant, but on his own the last year-plus since Bird left. Now Pritchard will have to deal with not just the expectations last season’s surprising turnaround season will create with fans, but with the incessant calls and texts one receives when one has a team in which six players among the team’s core are on one-year deals and free agents next summer. It is extremely difficult for a team so constituted to stay unified and keep pulling on the rope together. Human nature is human nature, and players (and their families, and their agents) need reassurances they’re part of the organization’s future, just like any drone from Sector 7G would. It’s hard to think about sacrificing minutes and shots when almost players are judged by are their numbers. Nate McMillan, meanwhile, is only concerned, as any coach is, with the game in front of him, tonight. Pritchard’s phone will rarely have an hour off next season. THE SKINNY: What does a team that surprised so many last season need? More depth, because there aren’t going to be a lot of nights off going forward. The Pacers filled in nicely with a bunch of under-the-radar players, getting Evans after a bounce-back season in Memphis and O’Quinn after good years in New York. McBuckets is running out of stops to show he can be a key contributor in the NBA, but everything is tailor made for him to succeed here: he’ll have all the space in the world playing alongside Victor Oladipo, Bogdanovic and/or Myles Turner, depending on the lineup. Holiday was very good value at 23 in the first round. And Oladipo is on his grind. The Pacers are as big a threat as anyone to Boston’s assumed ascension in the post-LeBron East. 9. NEW YORK KNICKS 2017-18 RECORD: 29-53; missed playoffs ADDED: Coach David Fizdale; G Mario Hezonja (one year, $6.5 million); G Kevin Knox (No. 9 pick, 2018 Draft); C Mitchell Robinson (No. 36 pick, 2018 Draft); F Noah Vonleh (one year) LOST: Former coach Jeff Hornacek; F Michael Beasley (signed with Lakers); C/F Kyle O'Quinn (signed with Pacers); F Troy Williams (waived) RETAINED: G Ron Baker (picked up player option); F/C Luke Kornet; C Enes Kanter (picked up player option); THE KEY MAN: F Kristaps Porzingis. It’s unlikely Porzingis will play much, if at all, next season, as he rehabs his torn ACL suffered in February. New York will be extremely cautious with a timeline, and in Porzingis’ absence, if more losing brings more figurative ping pong balls the Knicks’ way … well, they won’t complain about that, either. None if it matters if “The Unicorn” doesn’t regain his form, though. So much of the Knicks’ 2018-19 improvement, or regression, will take place off camera. THE SKINNY: Fizdale won’t have a mandate to try and win with a veteran team in his first season in New York, as was the case in his year-plus in Memphis. So he can implement his position-less/fitness regimen with the young Knicks without looking over his shoulder. New York’s planning for 2019, when it hopes to strike in a big way in free agency, but that doesn’t mean next season won’t be important. Knox will have a lot of light on him, especially after playing well during NBA Summer League, but the Knicks truly believe Robinson will make some contributions this season with his significant physical gifts. Both must continue changing the narrative in Gotham that the team’s new braintrust is rebuilding the brand the right way -- slowly, and correctly. Hezonja was a good low-cost flier for New York who’ll give Fizdale some small ball options. Hezonja came on strong the second half of last season for the Magic, who hadn’t picked up his third-year option and were hamstrung in what they could offer him as a result. 10. SAN ANTONIO SPURS 2017-18 RECORD: 47-35; lost in first round ADDED: G Marco Belinelli (two years, $12 million); F Dante Cunningham (one year, $2.5 million); G DeMar DeRozan (acquired from Raptors); C Jakob Poeltl (acquired from Raptors); G Lonnie Walker IV (No. 18 pick, 2018 Draft); F Chimezie Metu (No. 49 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: F Kyle Anderson (signed with Grizzlies); G Danny Green (traded to Raptors); F Kawhi Leonard (traded to Raptors); F Joffrey Lauvergne (signed with Fenerbahce); G Tony Parker (signed with Hornets); G Brandon Paul (waived) RETAINED: C/F Davis Bertans (two years, $14.5 million); G Bryn Forbes (two years, $6 million); F Rudy Gay (one year, $10 million) THE KEY MAN: Coach Gregg Popovich. There is no way to tell, nor is it really anyone’s business, how Pop will cope with the loss of his wife Erin, who died in April during the Spurs’ first-round series with Golden State. But the NBA grind is an unforgiving one, and Popovich is adding Olympic team coach duties to an already taxing schedule. He knows best how he’s doing and you can only hope he listens to himself when or if he needs time away. THE SKINNY: Backed up against it with Leonard’s still-murky insistence for a divorce, the Spurs did as well as could be expected in getting a four-time All-Star who’ll play with a huge chip on his shoulder next season. DeRozan will certainly help San Antonio extinguish the offensive droughts that came when teams loaded up on LaMarcus Aldridge defensively. LA was sensational for long stretches last season, making second team All-NBA for the second time in his career. Belinelli, rookie Walker and Poeltl should lengthen San Antonio’s bench significantly and reduce the Spurs’ dependence on nightly brilliance from 40-year-old Manu Ginobili, if he comes back for a 17th season. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. 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 NewsAug 8th, 2018

Folayang s return; three title fights on deck for ONE: Unstoppable Dreams in Singapore

Three world title fights, plus the highly-anticipated return of former ONE Championship Lightweight world champion Eduard 'The Landslide' Folayang' highlights ONE Championship's Unstoppable Dreams card on Friday, May 18th at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Six months after his stunning KO defeat to Martin Nguyen for the ONE Lightweight World Championship in Manila, Folayang returns to the very place where he won his first world championship to begin his journey back to the top of the division.  The Team Lakay star's first test comes in the form of unbeaten Russian newcomer Kharun Atlangeriev, who's also looking to make a splash in his ONE debut.  A win over Atlangeriev could rocket Folayang back into the ONE Lightweight World Championhship picture, and at 33 years old, the former champ knows that at this point, opportunities won't be coming as often.  For the debuting Atlangeriev, a win over a name as big as Folayang also pushes him into the title picture.  In the main event of the evening, Singaporean superstar and reigning ONE Atomweight World Champion 'Unstoppable' Angela Lee puts her world title on the line against number one contender Mei 'VV' Yamaguchi in a rematch of their 2016 world title bout.  Originally scheduled for ONE's November 2017 card in Singapore, the Lee-Yamaguchi rematch had to be put on hold after Lee was involved in a car accident that kept her sidelined for a bit.  Since their first bout in 2016, Lee has successfully defended the ONE Atomweight World Championship twice, stopping Jenny Huang and Istela Nunes in impressive fashion. Friday in front of a pro-Lee crowd in Singapore, the champion looks to repeat history by once again beating Yamaguchi.  After her title rematch with Lee was put on hold, Yamaguchi put her top contender spot on the line against Team Lakay's Gina Iniong on short notice. Yamaguchi put on a masterful performance, beating Iniong via unanimous decision in Singapore to secure her place as the rightful number one contender to the champ Lee.  In the co-main event, two-division ONE Championship World Champion Martin 'The Situ-Asian' Nguyen puts his featherweight world title on the line against a familiar opponent in Christian 'The Warrior' Lee.  The two featherweight stars have crossed paths before, with Nguyen extending his winning streak to three straight after choking Lee out in Macau, handing the Singaporean the first and only loss in his career so far.  Since then, Nguyen has won three more bouts and capturing two world championships, while Lee has picked up four straight wins to put him in the front of the line to challenge for the featherweight title.  Follwing a tremendous debut in Manila back in April, the ONE Super Series will be crowning their first world champion in Singapore when Muay Thai legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao meets Dutch multi-time Muay Thai world champon Sergio Wielzen for the ONE Super Series Flyweight World Championship.  A two-division Lumpinee champion with an unbelievable 365-46-9 Muay Thai record, Gaiyanghadao introduced himself to ONE fight fans back in January after dismantling Joseph Lasiri in a Muay Thai bout at ONE: Global Superheroes in Manila. He now has a chance to add a ONE Super Series world championship to his long list of accolades.  Amsterdam, Netherlands' Wielzen owns a 46-18-2, 1 No Contest Muay Thai record and has a respectable list of accolades of his own, which includes the Lion Fight Featherweight world championship. Wielzen looks to take down a massive name in Gaiyanghadao on his way to another world championship.    Catch ONE Championship: Unstoppable Dreams LIVE starting at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

ONE Championship: Aung La N Sang stops Alexandre Machado to become two-divison champion

23 February 2018 – Yangon, Myanmar: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), had another memorable and historic evening in Yangon as the capacity crowd at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium witnessed an amazing display of heart-pounding martial arts action. ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD featured a series of compelling bouts, punctuated by an unforgettable championship clash that left fans on the edge of their seats. In the main event, hometown hero “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang scored a quick knockout victory over Alexandre Machado to win the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship and the GoDaddy Knockout of the Night. In the main event of ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD, “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang added yet another accolade to his glowing repertoire of awards as a global martial arts superstar, copping the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship with a knockout victory over Brazil’s Alexandre Machado. Aung La N Sang got the job done in just 56 seconds, knocking out Machado with a thunderous high kick. With his remarkable conquest of Machado, Aung La N Sang now has both the ONE Middleweight World Championship and ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship titles in his possession. Aung La N Sang, newly-minted ONE Light Heavyweight Champion, stated: “Life is short, we have to make it count. One thing is for sure Myanmar, when we’re united, nothing can stop us. That head kick is what we’ve been working on. I want to thank everyone that helped me out to get here. I’m in here by myself, but this is a team sport. If we’re united and we’re together, we can do anything. I want to be the best and I want to defend these two belts. I’m not just going to hold them and leave.” In the co-main event of the evening, former world title challenger Ev “E.T.” Ting turned in an outstanding performance by routing Costa Rican martial artist Ariel Sexton, solidifying his position once again as a top contender in ONE Championship’s stacked lightweight division. Opening up the three-round contest by taking the action right to Sexton, Ting connected on a series of fast and powerful strikes, pushing his opponent back up against the cage. In the second round, Ting continued to blast Sexton with serious firepower, featuring his best striking combinations. Sexton tried to change the complexion of the bout in the third round, fishing for a finish with a flying knee and a submission attempt. Ting did just enough to pull away slightly in the third after a gruelling match, and came out victorious via split decision. Local martial arts superstar Phoe “Bushido” Thaw turned in a spectacular performance, stopping Cambodian opponent Sor Sey with an emphatic push kick to the face in the very first round. Thaw, a lethwei practitioner, traded explosive strikes with Sor, a khun khmer specialist, right at the center of the cage. When a left hand staggered Sor along the fence, Thaw capitalized on the opening and abruptly ended matters with his next kick. The official finish came at 1:53 minutes of round one, sending the packed Yangon crowd at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium into a frenzy. In a much-awaited encounter of ONE Championship’s highly-skilled knockout artists, Timofey Nastyukhin emerged triumphant, claiming a unanimous decision victory over Singaporean Muay Thai champion Amir Khan. Nastyukhin exhibited stellar form from the get-go, bombarding Khan with strong overhand rights while looking for the opening to deliver his lethal left hook. Leaning on his heavy hands to overwhelm Khan’s precision striking, Nastykuhin gallantly pushed forward as he threatened to end matters with a flying knee and stifled his opponent with harrowing punches. Nastyukhin punctuated the marquee match-up by outstriking Khan in the third frame, earning an undivided nod from all three judges at cageside. The highly-anticipated bantamweight contest between Japan’s Daichi Takenaka and South Korea’s Dae Hwan Kim ended in a disqualification. After Takenaka took Kim’s back in a standing body triangle, securing a rear naked choke, Kim reacted by spiking Takenaka on his head, which is a prohibited maneuver. The match resulted in a victory for Takenaka, who wins by disqualification. In an intense striking showcase, Myanmar’s Ye Thway Ne and Saw Min Min, two former lethwei practitioners, battled each other in a tremendous three-round war to the delight of a raucous crowd enjoying all the action. The two traded their best offense at the center of the ONE Championship cage for 15 minutes in one of the most exciting striking battles of the evening. In the end, it was two-time Gold Belt Champion Ye Thway Ne who scored the hard-earned victory, winning by split decision by keeping Saw Min Min on the defensive for the majority of the contest. Chinese martial arts ace Li Kai Wen placed himself back on the winning track in emphatic fashion, submitting promotional newcomer Roel Rosauro of the Philippines in just 43 seconds. In an impressive display of ferociousness, Li tagged Rosauro repeatedly with thudding strikes, which eventually sent Rosauro crashing to the canvas. As Rosauro struggled to return to his feet, Li quickly secured dominant top position to wrench his Filipino foe’s neck with a guillotine choke, snaring his first submission victory inside the ONE Championship cage. Indonesian wushu champion Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol impressed the crowd with a modified armbar submission of Krisna Limbaga in a female atomweight contest. After taking Limbaga down to the ground and keeping her opponent ineffective on the mat, Lumban Gaol used her legs to execute a straight armbar that forced the tap with less than a minute to go in the first round. Kicking off ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD were female atomweights from Myanmar. Former two-time Myanmar National Boxing Champion Bozhena Antoniyar made quick work of opponent Shwe Sin in a great performance to start her ONE Championship career. At the opening bell, Antoniyar wasted no time in bringing Sin down to the mat swiftly and finished things off with ground-and-pound to score the fastest knockout in ONE women’s atomweight history. Official results for ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship bout: Aung La N Sang defeats Alexandre Machado by Knockout (KO) at 0:56 minutes of round 1 Lightweight bout: Ev Ting defeats Ariel Sexton by Split Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Featherweight bout: Phoe Thaw defeats Sor Sey by TKO (Strikes) at 1:53 minutes of round 1 Lightweight bout: Timofey Nastyukhin defeats Amir Khan by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Bantamweight bout: Daichi Takenaka defeats Dae Hwan Kim by Disqualification (DQ) Flyweight bout: Ye Thway Ne defeats Saw Min Min by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds Featherweight bout: Li Kai Wen defeats Roel Rosauro by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:43 minutes of round 1 Women’s atomweight bout: Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol defeats Krisna Limbaga by Submission (Armbar) at 4:05 minutes of round 1 Women’s atomweight bout: Bozhena Antoniyar defeats Shwe Sin by TKO (Strikes) at 0:24 minutes of round 1.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2018

Garcia shoots 66 to share clubhouse lead at Singapore Open

SINGAPORE (AP) — Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open. Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club. He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning. Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather. Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron. The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33. "I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly," said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par-5s and one of the par-3s on the second nine. "But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round." Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season. He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead. Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later. Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last. "I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course," Kitayama said. "I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2018

Jolo Magcalayo cruises to record romp; Junia Gabasa wins

Jolo Magcalayo groped for form in windy conditions but still coasted to a record 11-stroke victory with a third straight 71 while Junia Gabasa survived a late meltdown and Rianne Malixi’s charge to clinch the women’s title in the W Express RVF Cup Amateur Golf Championship at Cangolf’s North course here yesterday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

10 things to know about NBA All-Star 2019

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — With All-Star festivities set to officially begin Friday (Saturday, PHL time), here are 10 things to know going into the weekend: BACK TO CHARLOTTE Charlotte hosted NBA All-Star weekend in 1991, and now gets it back a second time to join 14 other cities that can say it hosted the league’s showcase midseason event on multiple occasions. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, Los Angeles and the L.A. suburb of Inglewood, California, are the other previous multi-hosting All-Star cities. The Bay Area, the Detroit area and the Dallas area are also two-time hosts, though never technically twice in the same city. LEBRON’S RECORDS LeBron James now has the record for most All-Star captaincies: Two. He and Stephen Curry had the jobs last year when the captain’s format was first introduced to the All-Star weekend, and he and Giannis Antetokounmpo have the jobs this year. But James’ records revolving around this game hardly stop there. By starting on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), James will tie Kobe Bryant with 15 starts in the All-Star Game. James will also extend his record of consecutive starts, which will also rise to 15. Some of the other All-Star records James already holds include total points (343), field goals (141) and three-pointers (35). And by playing two minutes, James will increase his All-Star total in that stat to 416 — one more than Bryant for No. 2 on the all-time list. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has played the most All-Star minutes, 449. FOULING OUT Bold prediction: No one will foul out on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The last player to foul out of an All-Star Game was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1987. Chris Paul was the most recent to come close, when he was whistled for five fouls in the 2008 game. There have been only 14 instances of someone fouling out of an All-Star Game. Rick Barry and Bob Cousy each fouled out twice; 10 others, including Olajuwon, have done so once. MVPs AT HOME Kemba Walker, the lone Charlotte player in this year’s All-Star Game, has suggested that he’s hoping he can wow the home crowd with an MVP-worthy performance. There’s a history of that sort of thing happening. There have been 14 players who have won All-Star MVP honors in their home cities, spanning a total of 15 games. The list of hometown All-Star MVPs: Anthony Davis (New Orleans, 2017), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles, 2011), Shaquille O’Neal (Phoenix, 2009 and Los Angeles, 2004), Karl Malone and John Stockton (Utah, 1993), Michael Jordan (Chicago, 1988), Tom Chambers (Seattle, 1987), Jerry West (Los Angeles, 1972), Rick Barry (the San Francisco area, 1967), Adrian Smith (Cincinnati, 1966), Bob Pettit (St. Louis, 1958 and 1962), Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia, 1960), Bob Cousy (Boston, 1957) and Ed Macauley (Boston, 1951). AGE MARK Assuming he plays, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki — one of the special additions to the rosters by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who also added Miami’s Dwyane Wade to the list — will become the second 40-something to appear in the All-Star Game. Nowitzki is 40; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in the game when he was 40 and 41. Michael Jordan almost pulled off the feat; he was eight days shy of turning 40 when he last played in the All-Star Game in 2003. Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and the unofficial host of the weekend, will turn 56 on Sunday. Wade, also assuming he gets into the game, will become the 12th player to be an All-Star at 37 or older. Wade turned 37 last month. HEROES Jason Weinmann and James Shaw Jr. might not be “celebrities,” at least not in the classic sense. But the NBA rightly believes they should be celebrated. Weinmann and Shaw were invited to play in Friday’s All-Star Celebrity Game to commemorate heroic acts. Weinmann, a retired Marine, used a military transport vehicle — which he bought at a government auction years ago — during Hurricane Florence last September to help rescue flood victims in North Carolina and bring them to safety. Shaw disarmed a man who had opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville last April and has been heralded as a life-saving hero since for wrestling the AR-15 out of the alleged shooter’s hands by the barrel. G LEAGUE FIRST Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks is the first member of a new club. He’s the first G League alum to become an NBA All-Star. Middleton spent a short time during the 2012-13 season in the G League, before blossoming into one of the league’s best players and a key to Milwaukee going into the break with an NBA-best 43-14 record. There will be plenty of G League graduates participating on All-Star Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) as well — Middleton, Seth Curry, Danny Green and Joe Harris are all slated to be in the 3-point contest. CASH MATTERS There is some money at stake during All-Star Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) events, and everybody gets something. Everyone in the dunk contest will receive at least $20,000, everyone in the skills challenge gets at least $15,000 and all participants in the 3-point shootout take home at least $10,000. From there, prize money varies by finish — the skills challenge winner gets $55,000, the 3-point shootout champion wins $60,000 and the dunk contest winner takes home $105,000. In all, the Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) participants will split $610,000. EASTBOUND This All-Star weekend is the first of four straight in Eastern Conference cities. Chicago gets it next year, Indianapolis in 2021 and Cleveland in 2022. The site for the 2023 game remains unknown; Salt Lake City and Sacramento are two sites often mentioned as candidates for that year, and Orlando is a likely suitor for the 2024 game. THE REFS Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) All-Star Game will be officiated by Scott Foster, Curtis Blair and David Guthrie. It’s a home game of sorts for Guthrie, who resides in Charlotte. Foster worked the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas. It’s the first All-Star Game for Blair and Guthrie. The Friday and Saturday (Saturday and Sunday, PHL time) events will be worked by a crew of newer refs — third-year official Aaron Smith and fourth-year officials Mitchell Ervin and Gediminas Petraitis......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2019

I believe we would be in the Final Four -- Okumu

The University of the Philippines showed what it could do during the pre-season after collecting titles in the Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga. It is but natural for Lady Maroons fans to expect more from the Godfrey Okumu-mentored squad come UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. Their pre-season romp, according to Okumu, is a morale boost, but at the same time it created pressure for his wards to live up to expectations. “The excitement is there but also the stress, the pressure. We cannot count that out,” said Okumu, who has done wonders to the squad in just his second year as mentor. “The fans are excited, we are excited, the players are excited as well because most of them believe that it's a time for them to show themselves to the UAAP community.” Okumu’s first year with the squad was a period of adjustment and the Lady Maroons struggled to adapt to the new system and ended up at fifth to sixth spot tied with Adamson University, tallying six wins in 14 games. For the second straight year UP missed the Final Four.     “The last season was quite challenging, Season 80. I barely had enough time to prepare the team the way I wanted,” he said. During the offseason, the Lady Maroons were able to fully grasp Okumu’s system and it paid dividends.       UP made history by capturing the PVL Collegiate Conference award, the Diliman-based team’s first major women’s volleyball crown since winning it all in UAAP Season 45 back in 1982, despite playing without injured spiker Tots Carlos. The Lady Maroons followed it up with another championship run in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam without Isa Molde, who was rested following her stint in the UAAP beach volleyball tournament. UP’s PSL win also earned them an all-expense paid training camp in Thailand, where they got a chance to play against club team Supreme Chonburi led by Thai national team stars Pleumjit Thinkaow and Wilavan Apinyapong.   “They never had a pre-season like this. Playing together as a team. This was a good opportunity for them to test themselves. They were tested well and they've land their position but this were just preseason tournament,” said Okumu. But for Okumu, the real battle will start come February 16 in the UAAP wars. “I expect them to give their best, I expect them to play like this is their last tournament of their lives,” said the mentor, who will parade a battle-tested core led by Molde, Carlos and graduating setter Ayel Estranero. “That's what I say every time they play, ‘Make it look like it's your last. Don't play thinking that oh we still have another game. Don't serve that ball thinking that oh I still have another serve to six rotations. Always make it look like it's your last so give it your best everything you do and also have disciplining, know your court, respect your opponents and respect the game that you're playing and you'll get your returns.’” Also back in the fold are veterans Marist Layug, Justine Dorog, Jessma Ramos and Marian Buitre, giving UP a mature and experienced core.     “What I expect is for them to go hard, they came from far, some of them four years ago, some of them five, like Ayel, she's coming, five years, playing and training to win. I think some of them in their first years that was when they were in the Final Four,” said Okumu. “Last season they thought they were gonna be in the Final Four but it was bad luck that that we didn't make it. I think this time we should start strong, and finish strong.” With the Lady Maroons pre-season showing, Okumu is confident that his team will make it to the Final Four this time and even beyond if they stick to their game plan, focus and work hard to achieve their goals. “This season, 81, I think I believe we would be in the Final Four based on how we played. That is my strong belief,” he said. “Like every other team, we have a chance of winning like all the strong teams. We have a chance and we wanna go out there and take that chance because as I said before, it's not gonna be easy.” “We have to go there hard, nobody is gonna give it to us. We have to go out and take it so that's what we are trying to do. Go out there and take it because everybody else is trying to take the same so we tread carefully, very politely, and with a lot of discipline towards our goal,” Okumu added. “As I said before, it's not gonna be easy because everybody wants the same thing.”   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

Espejo to join nat’l team tryout after Japan stint

Even with his credentials, Marck Espejo signified his intentions to join the tryouts for a spot in the men’s national volleyball team. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. president Peter Cayco said that the five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player, who is currently playing in the Japan V. Premier League, has communicated with head coach Dante Alinsunurin regarding his interest to don the tri-colors. “Si Marck Espejo nakipag-communicate kay coach Dante, na he is willing to undergo tryouts pagbalik niya,” Cayco told reporters Sunday. Espejo, who last played for the national team back in 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games and Asian men’s U-23 in Myanmar, has been one of Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler’s go-to-guy. However, despite the efforts of Espejo, Oita Miyoshi continues to struggle and is currently ranked ninth in the 10-team field with only four wins and 19 losses. The Weisse Adler will close their elimination round on February 24 against FC Tokyo.   “Ngayon kung hindi raw sila pumasok sa semis, mukhang hindi eh, baka pauwiin siya ng maaga. Same case with the Santiago sisters (Jaja and Dindin),” said Cayco. Espjeo is one of the many hopefuls looking to land a spot in the national team that will compete in the AVC Men’s Club Championship, Asian Men’s Senior Championship in Iran and in the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the Philippines will host in November.     Almost 90 players joined the two-day national pool tryouts last weekend at the University of the East gym in Recto supervised by Alinsunurin, who steered National University to the UAAP throne last year and the country’s breakthrough gold medal in the ASEAN University Games. Alinsunurin was tapped by LVPI selection committee composed of the association’s vice president Joey Romasanta, treasurer Jeff Tamayo and chaired by Rod Roque as replacement for Sammy Acaylar.   The composition of the 20-man pool will be announced this week. “Next week ipo-forward na nila sa akin. Ang dami kasing nag-tryout. First was around 72 tapos kanina may nadagdag pang 15. ‘Yung Ateneo six of them nag-tryout together with their assistant coach,” said Cayco. LVPI is also finalizing an arrangement with a sponsor to form an U-23 team as well as forming a pool for the national beach volleyball team.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

Column: A Super stinker, Patriots prevail but ugliness wins

ATLANTA --- The NFL should've ended the season two weeks ago. This Super Bowl was a hot mess, really no better than a sloppy preseason game. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots captured their sixth championship Sunday night, an amazing accomplishment that was overshadowed by the ugly way they won it against the stunningly inept Los Angeles Rams. An instant classic? No, this was instantly forgettable. The only touchdown finally came when the game was 53 minutes old, the Patriots reaching the end zone onSony Michel's 2-yard runafter one of the few offensive highlights --- Brady's niftily threaded ball toRob Gronkowskiwith three defenders around, resulting in a 29-yard...Keep on reading: Column: A Super stinker, Patriots prevail but ugliness wins.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2019

3-way fight up at Splendido as Chonlada Chayanun, Princess Superal rally

Thai Chonlada Chayanun overcame an early slip and a backside slide with clutch birdies to shoot a 69, forcing a tie with Hwang Min-jeong even as Princess Superal made it a three-way battle for the title with a 68 in the ICTSI Splendido Ladies Classic here yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 30th, 2019