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Meralco's slow and painful All-Filipino growth

After a six-game, mid-conference meltdown almost totally destroyed their playoff hopes, the Meralco Bolts somehow found a way to keep themselves alive in the 2017 Philippine Cup. They did so by upsetting the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Friday, a win that not only let them regain confindence and remain in the playoff race, but also affirmed that the team is on the right track in a slow, painful growing process. 'I think that's what we showed today, a great team effort. It's just great for the morale of the team to finally get a win, finally get that monkey off our back and know we're doing something right,' second-year forward Chris Newsome said following Meralco's 82-72 victory. 'We already got two wins more than our previous Philippine Cup so I think we're slowly improving,' he added, going back to the fact that the Bolts finished with an embarassing 1-10 record in the same tournament last season. Meralco is still limping with a 3-7 mark this year and the team's playoff hopes almost entirely depends on other teams blowing away their own opportunities to advance but Newsome says that's the least of Meralco's concern right now. The reigning Rookie of the Year emphasized growth on the side of the Bolts and just going for what the team can actually control. And part of the things the team can control is their last regular season game against Star which if they win, should at least give them a better chance to sneak into the playoffs. 'It's a long season so we don't just wanna shut down and let everything that we've done go to waste,' Newsome said who finished with a game-high 19 points vs. ROS. 'The mindset is to control what we can control. The only thing that we're in control of right now is winning our last game against Star and everything else is kinda out of our hands. We just gotta hope for the best situation. We just gotta focus on what we can control and that's our effort in practice and attention to detail when it comes to games,' he added. With Jimmy Alapag retired and Jared Dillinger just returning from a hamstring injury he suffered late last season, Meralco has mostly relied on its young core so far in the All-Filipino. This latest victory, despite the string of defeats that came before it, was a nice boost for the squad that has kept things together pretty nicely this year. 'It's really big for us because the mood in the locker room is pretty heavy whenever you're losing, especially six straight games,' Newsome said. 'We try to stay positive and we really have nothing to lose and everything to gain, that's kinda the approach that we took today,' he added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Guardiola virtually concedes title after heavy loss for City

Guardiola virtually concedes title after heavy loss for City br /> STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer   MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Premier League season is barely past the halfway point and already Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has virtually given up on winning the title. The world's most coveted coach can't have envisaged his first year in English soccer being this tough. It takes something special to overshadow a match between bitter rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, but City's 4-0 loss at Everton on Sunday did just that. As he slumped to the heaviest loss of his career in a domestic league match, Guardiola — with his arms folded — was seen staring into space while he sat in the Goodison Park dug-out. At other times, he had his face in his hands. City has dropped out of the Champions Leagues positions, into fifth place, and 10 points adrift of leader Chelsea. Asked if the gap to first place was now too great, Guardiola said: '(To) the first one? Yes. Ten points is a lot of points. The second one is three points. We have to see.' A fifth loss of the league season was administered by a team managed by Guardiola's friend and former Barcelona teammate, Ronald Koeman. 'Pep Guardiola knows it is a project at Manchester City,' Koeman said. 'Of course, maybe they expected better results and a defeat like this is really strong but Pep has the experience to turn it around.' Man United kicked off less than an hour after City's drubbing but couldn't get a win that would have put the neighbors tied on points, drawing 1-1 with Liverpool at Old Trafford. After 21 of 38 games, City and United — the two pre-season title favorites — are outside the top four. Two high-profile managers were always going to have their reputation tarnished this season, with six big teams challenging for four Champions League spots. Few would have predicted they'd be Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. Here's a closer look at the top games that pitted Merseyside against Manchester: ___ EVERTON 4, MANCHESTER CITY 0 While there was misery for City at Goodison Park, there was jubilation for Everton after a win that was sealed by goals from two of the club's promising teenagers. Goals either side of halftime by Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas set Everton on its way before 18-year-old midfielder Tom Davies raced into the area and dinked a deft finish over goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, the ball landing just inside the post. It completed an impressive display by Davies, who has now started two straight games and is distinctive with his all-action style and mop of blond hair. The fourth goal was scored by 19-year-old debutant Ademola Lookman, four minutes into injury time. And it summed up City's sloppy performance. John Stones — a former Everton player — tried to clear the ball for a throw-in only to see it ricochet off Everton defender Seamus Coleman to set up Lookman. Signed from Charlton this month and on as a late substitute for his debut, Lookman placed his shot through Bravo's legs. 'How we played in the second half was really perfect,' Koeman said. 'In my opinion, it is impossible to play at a higher level, in every aspect of football. It was a perfect afternoon.' ___ MANCHESTER UNITED 1, LIVERPOOL 1 Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized late for United to bail out teammate Paul Pogba in a frantic, intense match at Old Trafford between the two most decorated teams in English soccer. On the day United rolled out advertising hoardings displaying Paul Pogba's new Twitter emoji, the player himself made a crucial mistake by conceding a penalty for handball while jumping with his back to the ball at a corner. James Milner converted the spot kick but Liverpool was denied a win after Ibrahimovic glanced a header in off the crossbar in the 84th minute, moments after substitute Marouane Fellaini headed against the post. Liverpool ended United's nine-game winning run in all competitions — six of which had come in the league — but dropped seven points behind first-placed Chelsea. Sixth-placed United was 12 points off the leader. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

A decade older, Hughes all praises for 23-year-old Parks Jr.

Just like he has done throughout the 2016 Asean Basketball League, Ray Parks Jr. yet again proved last Sunday that he was the star of the show. Stuffing the stat sheet anew with 28 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, Parks Jr. lifted Alab Pilipinas back over .500. The Filipino-American impressed so much that he even had teammate 33-year-old James Hughes, a longtime veteran of basketball, gushing. “He’s a tough guy. I’ve seen a lot of guys throughout my career and he’s one of the tougher guys,” Hughes expressed. He then continued, “Not only is he talented, but he’s also smart. He knows the game at such a young age.” That young age, 23 to be exact, is also what the American reinforcement jokingly hoped to take away from his new teammate. “He’s really young. I wish I could steal some of his youth,” he quipped while chuckling. Still, even with Parks Jr. forming a new bond with Hughes and rekindling his relationship with also new import Sampson Carter, head coach Mac Cuan said it’s far from smooth sailing for Alab. “There’s a concern for us kasi we really can’t gauge kung nasaan kami sa liga kasi dalawa pa lang yung team na nalalaro namin,” he shared. The Filipinos have played five games in the tournament and have gone three-of-three against Kaohsiung and zero-for-two against Singapore. That means that defending champion Malaysia, strong-starting Hong Kong, and dangerous Saigon are yet to come in the schedule. Nonetheless, Cuan was nothing but glad that they already have three wins to show – considering they only held their first-ever practice with one week to go before the season. “Blessing din na we played Kaohsiung kasi nag-aadjust pa lang din sila. So kahit nag-aadjust pa lang kami, nakakuha na kami ng dalawang panalo,” he said. Even the defeats at the hands of the Slingers had a silver lining in the Alab mentor’s eyes. As he put it, “Yung two losses naman, just really mental lapses in the end. We were there in the game and that’s why I believe we can match up with everybody.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

A decade older, Hughes all praises for 23-year-old Parks Jr.

Just like he has done throughout the 2016 Asean Basketball League, Ray Parks Jr. yet again proved last Sunday that he was the star of the show. Stuffing the stat sheet anew with 28 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, Parks Jr. lifted Alab Pilipinas back over .500. The Filipino-American impressed so much that he even had teammate 33-year-old James Hughes, a longtime veteran of basketball, gushing. “He’s a tough guy. I’ve seen a lot of guys throughout my career and he’s one of the tougher guys,” Hughes expressed. He then continued, “Not only is he talented, but he’s also smart. He knows the game at such a young age.” That young age, 23 to be exact, is also what the American reinforcement jokingly hoped to take away from his new teammate. “He’s really young. I wish I could steal some of his youth,” he quipped while chuckling. Still, even with Parks Jr. forming a new bond with Hughes and rekindling his relationship with also new import Sampson Carter, head coach Mac Cuan said it’s far from smooth sailing for Alab. “There’s a concern for us kasi we really can’t gauge kung nasaan kami sa liga kasi dalawa pa lang yung team na nalalaro namin,” he shared. The Filipinos have played five games in the tournament and have gone three-of-three against Kaohsiung and zero-for-two against Singapore. That means that defending champion Malaysia, strong-starting Hong Kong, and dangerous Saigon are yet to come in the schedule. Nonetheless, Cuan was nothing but glad that they already have three wins to show – considering they only held their first-ever practice with one week to go before the season. “Blessing din na we played Kaohsiung kasi nag-aadjust pa lang din sila. So kahit nag-aadjust pa lang kami, nakakuha na kami ng dalawang panalo,” he said. Even the defeats at the hands of the Slingers had a silver lining in the Alab mentor’s eyes. As he put it, “Yung two losses naman, just really mental lapses in the end. We were there in the game and that’s why I believe we can match up with everybody.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Higuain helps Juventus to record 26th straight home win

ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer   ROME (AP) — It's no coincidence that Juventus has won Serie A every season since the Juventus Stadium opened in September 2011. The Bianconeri have been virtually unbeatable in the Italian league's only major club-owned stadium and improved on their own Serie A record with a 26th consecutive home win Sunday. Gonzalo Higuain scored his fourth brace of the season as Juventus beat Bologna 3-0. Juventus held the previous record of 25 straight home wins, established at the stadium between 2013 and 2015. The current streak began against Bologna on Oct. 24, 2015, and Bologna never really had a chance to prevent the latest record. Higuain opened the scoring with a volley from a lobbed pass from Miralem Pjanic seven minutes in, Paulo Dybala added a penalty before the break and then Higuain headed in another early in the second half. Juventus, which still has a game in hand, restored its four-point lead over Roma, which beat Genoa 1-0 earlier. ___ ROMAN VICTORIES Roma finally found a way to win away from home — with an own goal. Armando Izzo redirected a cross from Bruno Peres into his own net in the first half as Roma won 1-0 at Genoa for its first victory away from the Stadio Olimpico since October. Roma has won all nine of its home matches, while its away record now reads four wins, two draws and four losses. 'It's a big win. This is a tough league and we've faced some difficult opponents,' Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. 'If we had won all of our away matches, too, we would be champions of Italy by now.' Roma's last win outside the capital had been a 3-1 victory over Sassuolo on Oct. 26 in Reggio Emilia. The Giallorossi also beat Lazio 2-0 in the Rome derby early last month when they were technically the visitors. Roma forward Edin Dzeko hit the post near the hour mark, the fourth time the Bosnia and Herzegovina striker has found the woodwork this season — more than any other player in the league. Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny preserved the win with a difficult save on a shot from beyond the area by Lucas Ocampos in stoppage time. 'For Genoa, I think in 38 matches they won't play one that's not physical. Because that's the type of football they play — very aggressive, man against man,' De Rossi said. 'We needed to put our work boots on and we did.' Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin tore his ACL early on and will miss the rest of the season. Lazio also won 1-0, over struggling Crotone with a last-minute goal from Ciro Immobile after Lucas Biglia hit the crossbar with a penalty in the first half. Lazio is fourth, one point behind third-placed Napoli, which beat Sampdoria 2-1 on Saturday. ___ MILAN CLUBS WIN Fresh off its Italian Super Cup win over Juventus, fifth-placed AC Milan needed a late goal to beat visiting Cagliari 1-0. Carlos Bacca scored from close range two minutes from the end after being set up by Gianluca Lapadula. Cagliari ended with 10 men when Bruno Alves was sent off for pulling down Bacca just outside the area to prevent a clear scoring opportunity in added time. Earlier, Ivan Perisic scored twice and seventh-placed Inter Milan came from a goal down to beat Udinese 2-1 and win its fourth straight game. Perisic equalized in first-half added time, slotting a shot inside the near post after receiving a pass from Mauro Icardi, then headed in from a free kick three minutes from the end. It was the first brace in Serie A for Perisic, a Croatia international who joined Inter from Wolfsburg in 2015. Jakub Jankto, a 20-year-old Czech midfielder, had put Udinese ahead early in the first half after being set up by French talent Seko Fofana. ___ OTHER MATCHES: Atalanta revived its chances of finishing in the Europa League spots with a convincing 4-1 win at Chievo Verona. Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez scored twice for Atalanta, with Andrea Conti and Remo Freuler also finding the target for the Bergamo club. Sergio Pellissier's goal for Chievo temporarily made it 3-1. Domenico Berardi returned from a long injury layoff for Sassuolo in a 0-0 draw with Torino. The Pescara-Fiorentina match was postponed due to too much snow and ice inside and around the Stadio Adriatico. ___ Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2017

Alab returns to winning form, re-asserts mastery over Truth

Kaohsiung may have gotten on the win column at long last, but they still got nothing on Alab Pilipinas in the 2016 Asean Basketball League. Ray Parks. Jr. stuffed the stat sheet anew, both James Hughes and Sampson Carter wasted no time in delivering what they promised, and the Filipinos handled the hometown-backed Truth all right, 86-77, on Sunday in Taiwan. The convincing victory lifted Alab back onto the winner’s circle now at 3-2. They still stand third behind Singapore and Hong Kong. All of the Philippines’ three wins have come at the expense of the Taiwanese. And this one pretty much looked like the two that came before it. Parks piloted Alab to a strong 9-2 start before Derek Hall rallied Kaohsiung to only 17-22 at the end of the opening salvo. To start the second, the Filipinos rang off seven unanswered points that re-established a 29-17 advantage. The lead would stay in double-digits until Hall along with fellow import Cedric Oliver willed the Truth to 77-81 with under 90 ticks to go. Parks had the answer for Alab, however, and his slash and dish for a Jeric Fortuna triple put the game away for good. The Filipino-American wound up with 28 points, eight rebounds, and six assists and was backstopped by versatile forward Carter who had 23 points, six rebounds, and six assists of his own. Both of the Philippines’ new imports were instant successes in replacing Korean brothers Lee and Dong Seung Jun as six-foot-11 tower Hughes also contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Alab now comes home to try their luck once more against a Singapore side that has handed them both of their losses. On the other hand, coming off its maiden win, Kaohsiung fell short in getting a winning streak going and fell to 1-5. Hall led them in the losing effort with a 31-point, 16-rebound double-double. BOX SCORES ALAB PILIPINAS 86 - Parks 28, Carter 23, Hughes 12, Acuna 10, Celiz 6, Domingo 4, Fortuna 3, Hubalde 0, King 0, Knuttel 0, Thiele 0, Gavieres 0. KAOHSIUNG TRUTH 77 - Hall 31, Oliver 19, Chang 10, Hsu 8, Inigo 6, Jose 2, Wey 1, Lee 0. QUARTER SCORES: 22-17, 43-29, 63-53, 86-77. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2017

NLEX comes "home" to ambush KaTropa

The answer to NLEX's struggles, at least to the team's horrible five-game losing skid, was found at 'home.' Travelling to the home province of head coach Yeng Guiao, the Road Warriors rode a solid second half to pummel sister team TNT, 110-98, Saturday in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Gym in Angeles, Pampanga. In trouble after the KaTropa erased a 12-point deficit to take a 94-93 lead with 6:13 to go, NLEX went on a 17-4 tear the rest of the way to win only its second game of the new season. The Road Warriors lost their previous five games by double digits before taking care of TNT, improving to 2-5 and leaving idle Mahindra at the bottom of the team standings. After fighting to a stalemate in the first half, NLEX came out firing in the third quarter, leading by as much as 12, 74-62, after an Eric Camson basket. However, in typical TNT fashion, the KaTropa would respond and even take the lead back before the period ended courtesy of a Larry Fonacier trey, 80-78. Carlo Lastimosa showed his scoring prowess by dropping a game-high 22 points for the Road Warriors on 72 percent shooting. Sean Anthony added a double-double and ended up with 13 points and 13 rebounds. TNT lost a golden opportunity to move into solo second with the loss and is now tied with idle Phoenix and Globalport for third place with identical 4-3 cards. Jayson Castro, who is also from Pampanga, once again came off the bench to lead the KaTropa with 17 points. TNT actually got 72 points from its reserves with Mo Tautuaa and Kris Rosales adding 15 points apiece. No TNT starter scored in double figures.   br /> The scores:  NLEX 110 - Lastimosa 22, Anthony 13, Alas 12, Camson 12, Guinto 11, J. Villanueva 7, E. Villanueva 7, Rios 6, Baracael 5, Lanete 4, Taulava 3, Monfort 3, Khobuntin 3, Gotladera 2. TNT 98 - Castro 17, Tautuaa 15, Rosales 15, Fonacier 9, Reyes 7, Rosario 7, De Ocampo 7, Williams 6, Rosser 6, Carey 5, Seigle 4, Golla 0, Pogoy 0, Tamsi 0. Quarters: 24-26, 52-52, 85-81, 110-98 br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

Guardiola sounds tetchy but City exit doesn't seem imminent

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer br /> LONDON (AP) — Only six months into his Manchester City reign, Pep Guardiola has sounded tetchy and strained by the demands of English soccer. And the 45-year-old already seems to be counting down to his departure. Not just from City and the English Premier League but soccer completely. 'Manchester City is three years or maybe longer but I am still approaching at the end of my career like a manager,' Guardiola said in broken English in an interview with American network NBC taped in early December but only broadcast last week. 'I am pretty sure of that.' But the end is not imminent. Before City scrambles to start the search for a successor, Guardiola is clearly not planning an immediate escape from Manchester however chilly he is finding his first English winter. 'I will not be a trainer @ 60 or 65 years old,' Guardiola stated, looking ahead to the 2030s. And within City there is no sense Guardiola is taking his eye off the challenge of bringing the Premier League trophy back to the Etihad for the first time since 2014. Guardiola, who was particularly testy after Monday's league win over Burnley, is quickly discovering just how tough the competition is. City has opened the second half of the season in third place and is seven points behind leader Chelsea, which also has a game in hand, while Manchester United is only three points further back in sixth. Unlike in his previous jobs at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, there's no guarantee of a trophy at the end of Guardiola's first season and the comments to NBC will create uncertainty, if unintended, about his commitment to City. It is curious for anyone to announce so early into any job that they are already thinking about their departure. Even more so when you have been pursued for so long by City, which installed former Barcelona executives to make the club more appealing to Guardiola. But when City managed to land Guardiola, the club knew it was hiring someone not interested in long-term projects. Guardiola won a trio of Spanish titles and two Champions League crowns with Barcelona between 2008 and 2012 before vacating the Camp Nou dugout. Three seasons at Bayern Munich, collecting another trio of domestic titles, were enough for Guardiola before taking up a new challenge in Manchester. Guardiola might be obsessive when in a job, but he is not addicted to soccer or the limelight. Between the Barcelona and Bayern jobs, he was content to take a year's sabbatical living in New York. And in the United States, Guardiola was fascinated by an apparent 'American culture' in the workplace. 'People are not staying in the same place for a long time,' he said. 'They move a lot and I believe in that.' Guardiola's soccer aura has faded in England, with City's four league losses more than any rival in the top six. The latest impediment in the title pursuit was inflicted by Liverpool as former Bundesliga rival Juergen Klopp got the better of Guardiola. In Guardiola's first taste of the packed festive program in English soccer, City was back in action inside 48 hours on Monday. The game against Burnley started badly with Fernandinho being sent off but 10-man City did manage to claim a 2-1 victory. Rather than celebrating, Guardiola gave curt post-match interviews where he sounded irritated with the line of questioning about City's disciplinary problems and the interview about his future. It was far from a meltdown as Guardiola has to operate within the constraints of Football Association rules that restrict how coaches can talk about referees. A frustrated Guardiola talked about 'special rules' in England, reflecting how he is still getting accustomed to how soccer laws are interpreted by Premier League referees, rather than criticizing their quality. 'I have to adapt,' Guardiola said. Perhaps, Guardiola has sensed the glee that seems to greet each setback in England and claims his coaching reputation is reliant on being fortunate to have Lionel Messi among his Barcelona talents. Far from being egotistical, Guardiola accepts he is 'not exceptional.' 'I was lucky to train outstanding players in a big club,' he said. 'If I would have trained lower teams than Barcelona and Bayern Munich I would not have won this amount of incredible titles I have won. For the people who believe Pep comes here and City's going to win. No.' And no, Guardiola isn't already packing his bags and heading for Manchester Airport. Guardiola was quoted across British media on Tuesday as telling NBC that 'the process of my goodbye has already started' — a comment that never featured in the broadcast interview. The headlines, though, will do little to dispel the notion that Guardiola's dedication to City is wavering. ___ Rob Harris is at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2017

Newsweek reporter seeks ID of Twitter user after epileptic seizure

Newsweek reporter seeks ID of Twitter user after epileptic seizure.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 20th, 2016

LOOK: Support your team on Twitter using NBA hashflags

With the NBA kicking off its 2016-17 season in just a few hours, it's time to show the world which team you root for! If you're an avid Twitter user, you can unlock an exclusive emoji by using the matching Twitter hashflag in your Tweet. Check.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 25th, 2016

Asian markets track US losses on Deutsch Bank worries

Asian markets tumbled Friday, tracking a sell-off in New York as worries about the future of German banking giant Deutsche Bank hammered financial stocks......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 29th, 2016

Liza Soberano clarifies issue with a Twitter user

Liza Soberano clarifies issue with a Twitter user.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsAug 5th, 2016

Twitter shares dive after update disappoints

SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Twitter's shares fell hard Tuesday, July 26, after its quarterly update showed more losses for the struggling social media platform , which has seen sluggish growth in revenues and active users. Shares were down nearly 11% at $16......»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 27th, 2016

T-wolves' Rubio to miss Nuggets game for personal reasons

em>By Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press /em> MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio will miss the game on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) against the Denver Nuggets, but it has nothing to do with the trade rumors that have surrounded him of late. Rubio left the team on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) for personal reasons and will not rejoin the Wolves until late Sunday or Monday, coach Tom Thibodeau said Saturday after practice. Rubio had to return home to Spain, and his brother posted on Instagram that their grandmother had passed away. Rubio did not play in the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) because of tightness in his left hip, but Thibodeau said Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) that was not a concern going forward. Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones filled in admirably, helping the Wolves defeat the Clippers, 104-101. Rubio said after the game he was not concerned about the injury, though it did interrupt an impressive run for the pass-first point guard. In his previous five full games, Rubio was averaging 13.2 points and 14.0 assists, looking more like the playmaker he was earlier in his career. 'I'm playing better, feeling better and the results are there,' Rubio said last week after a win over Oklahoma City. 'But I don't want it to be just a four-game stand. I want to be all season long like that. It's hard. We have a lot of games, but my expectations are high and I keep them high because I work hard to do it.' It has taken time for Rubio to acclimate to a new system in Thibodeau's first year as coach, leading many across the league to believe that the sixth-year pro could be traded to make room for Dunn, the fifth overall pick in last summer's draft. Thibodeau has historically preferred a point guard who is more of a scorer than Rubio, a career 37 percent shooter and a 31 percent shooter from 3-point range. But shooting has never been Rubio's strong suit. He excels at getting others involved, playing good defense and controlling the tempo of the game. With the trade deadline less than a month away, and Rubio on a hot streak, trade chatter has expectedly picked up. The Wolves are just 15-28, though they are 9-10 since a 6-18 start. Still, it's clear that they have a lot of improving to do to become a factor in the Western Conference, and Rubio appears to be one of the few assets they are willing to part with that could fetch a decent player in return. ESPN reported that the Wolves and Detroit Pistons had discussions about a Rubio-for-Reggie Jackson trade, but Pistons coach and team president Stan Van Gundy shot that down on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Van Gundy told reporters in Detroit that he texted Jackson to tell him 'this is the crazy season. We're not trading you for Ricky Rubio.' Dunn hasn't been any better as a shooter in his rookie season, making 37.6 percent from the field and shooting a ghastly 27 percent from three-point range. But he had played more than 20 minutes in a game just three times in the previous two months before Rubio's injury on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). 'When you have shorter minutes, you have to try to be more ready,' Dunn said Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). 'Try to go out there and impact the game right away. You can get the feel when you have more minutes, but I understand. Ricky's a great player. I'm just trying to learn off him.' Dunn likely will start against the Nuggets, with Jones serving as the backup point guard. Dunn said he has been getting more and more comfortable in his first season and will be ready when Thibodeau calls on him. 'I'm starting to understand who I am as a player (and) what's my role on the team,' Dunn said. 'Just figuring out guys, what's their tendencies and trying to understand coach's philosophy.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

Philippines, Hong Kong fight over solo second in ABL

Already with victories versus the league-leaders and the defending champions, Alab Pilipinas are casting their line for another big fish in the 2016 Asean Basketball League. Ray Parks Jr. and company are in Hong Kong for their first meeting with the Eastern Long Lions scheduled on Sunday. The Philippines pits its three-game winning streak against a Hong Kong side determined to get back on track at 8:00 PM. All of the action will be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23 as well as streamed LIVE on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/abl. Since the arrival of American reinforcements Sampson Carter and James Hughes, the Filipinos have yet to taste defeat. Ringing off win after win after win, they have improved their record to 5-2 and their standing to a share of second. Holding the same card is Hong Kong which wants nothing more than to separate itself once more from its fellow league newcomer. Stinging off another loss at the hands of Singapore, they are banking on homecourt advantage to help them avoid a losing slide. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

Nice striker Balotelli says Bastia fans racially abused him

PARIS (AP) — Nice striker Mario Balotelli says he was racially abused by Bastia fans who made monkey noises during Friday night's French league match. The Italian forward wrote a message on his Instagram and Twitter pages on Saturday describing the abuse he heard during the 1-1 draw at the 20,000-capacity Armand Cesari stadium in Corsica. 'Is it normal that Bastia supporters make monkey noise (and) 'uh' 'uh' for the whole game and no one of the 'commissions discipline' say nothing?' Balotelli wrote, referencing the French league's disciplinary committee. 'So is racism legal in France? Or only in Bastia? Football is an amazing sport. Those people like Bastia supporters make it horrible!' Balotelli, 26, the son of Ghanaian immigrants to Italy, concluded his post by writing in French that what happened was 'une vrai honte,' or a total disgrace. Nice's official Twitter account shared Balotelli's message. The French league has yet to comment on the matter. Balotelli joined from Liverpool on a free transfer in August and has scored eight league goals in 10 games to help Nice challenge for the title. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

Beermen clinch no. 1 behind Arwind's MVP outing

Looks like Arwind Santos is truly serious about challenging teammate June Mar Fajardo for this season's PBA Most Valuable Player award. The 2013 PBA MVP came away with his biggest performance of the 2017 Philippine Cup so far and led two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer past Globalport, 106-100, Saturday at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. Santos finished with a season-high 31 points on an efficient 58 percent shooting from the field. The Spider-Man also added 10 rebounds and two dimes as the Beermen won an eight straight game to officially clinch no. 1 with a near-perfect 9-1 record. With the Batang Pier keeping things close, Arwind scored seven points in the last three minutes that helped turn a 95-93 San Miguel lead into a 105-100 advantage with eight seconds left. Aside from Santos, Marcio Lassiter came through for the champs, finishing with 22 points, while Fajardo dropped a 19-point, 15-rebound double-double in front of his hometown crowd. Stanley Pringle led Globalport with 21 points but running mate Terrence Romeo, who came into the game averaging a league-best 27.6 points per game, struggled for only 16 on 4-of-14 shooting. The loss also put a damper in the Batang Pier's quest for a top-2 spot as they are now stuck in a five-way tie behind the Beermen with a 5-4 mark.   br /> The scores: SAN MIGUEL 106 - Santos 31, Lassiter 22, Fajardo 19, Heruela 10, Garcia 8, Tubid 8, Espinas 5, Ross 2, De Ocampo 1, McCarthy 0. GLOBALPORT 100 - Pringle 21, Romeo 16, Canaleta 14, Cortez 11, Aban 10, Quinahan 9, Pessumal 8, Mamaril 6, Urbiztondo 3, Andrada 2, Maierhofer 0. Quarters: 22-21, 51-50, 81-81, 106-100   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

Local Westbrook?

Scottie Thompson never ceases to amaze even the great Tim Cone. On Friday, the sophomore guard was at it again for Ginebra, flashing his usual brilliance that made the greatest PBA coach of all time once again mention him like he's already one of the greats. 'He's a few runs below Sonny Jaworski but I think rebounding they're at par,' Cone said, putting the great Scottie in the same sentence with the Living Legend himself. Cone already once mentioned Thompson in the same sentence as Johnny Abbarientos, another all-time PBA great he had the chance to coach back when he was winning a Grand Slam with the Alaska Aces. With Thompson finishing the Ginebra victory over Blackwater with what has been a usual 13 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists, Cone took his praise to the next level, implying that his prized catch from the 2015 Draft might be the local counterpart of a certain triple-double machine from Oklahoma City. 'I haven't seen a rebounding guard like hime even in the NBA [except maybe] the kid from Oklahoma City, [Russell] Westbrook,' Cone said. While averaging a triple-double at this stage of his career and with a loaded Ginebra lineup might be a stretch for now even for Scottie, Cone believes his young guard might be on the way. It's just a matter of him finding his inner aggressive self to take over the floor more on the offensive side of the ball. 'I don't want to put pressure on Scottie but I think eventually he could end up putting up Westbrook numbers once he learns how to score and he can score,' the 19-time PBA champion mentor said. 'I think that will open up the gate for him [being aggressive],' he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

Baby Tamaraws send out statement, stomp on Bullpups

strong>TEAM STANDINGS /strong> br /> Adamson 8-1 br /> FEU-Diliman 8-2 br /> NU 8-2 br /> Ateneo 5-4 br /> UPIS 3-6 br /> DLSZ 3-7 br /> UST 2-7 br /> UE 1-9 Don’t look now, but coming out of the shadows in the UAAP 79 Juniors Basketball Tournament is Far Eastern University-Diliman. A week after dealing the first defeat of erstwhile Adamson High School, the Baby Tamaraws downed defending champion Nazareth School of National University. Xyrus Torres scored 20 points and the FEU-Diliman defense suffocated the Bullpups to ghastly 27 percent shooting from the field for a 61-46 decision on Saturday at the San Juan Arena. Torres caught fire from the get-go and had eight points to match NU’s entire first quarter output. In all, the Baby Tams dug a 25-8 hole for their opponents after only the opening salvo. The defending champions would be unable to recover as FEU-Diliman dared John Lloyd Clemente to beat them by his lonesome and the versatile forward fell way short in doing so. The wire-to-wire win is the Baby Tamaraws’ fourth in a row and eighth overall in 10 games, charging them onto a share of second with their vanquished foes. They may even find themselves with a share of first depending on the Baby Falcons’ result later. The Bullpups slipped out of first-place and onto an 8-2 standing. Clemente was their lone player in double-digits with 14 points. Meanwhile, De La Salle Zobel finally barged back onto the win column after shooting down University of the East, 81-59. Five Junior Archers scored in double-digits as they improved to 3-7. The loss dropped the Junior Warriors to 1-9. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME DLSZ 81 – Vesagas 13, Romero 12, Mariano 12, Terrado 12, Cortez 10, Sobrevega 8, Vista 4, Laurente 4, Carlos 2, Chavez 2, Natividad 2, Diaz 0, Santos 0, Cosejo 0, Umali 0, Damiles 0 UE 59 – Manaug 13, Gonzales 12, Angeles 11, Vinte 8, Dulalia 8, Balundo 4, Encelan 2, Canton 1, Po 0, Acuesta 0, Palanas 0, Ramos 0, Cruz 0, Morelos 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-15, 36-29, 61-44, 81-59 SECOND GAME FEU-DILIMAN 61 – Torres 20, Roman 12, Gloria 9, Sapinit 7, Jabel 7, Alforque Roy 2, Celzo 2, Gabane 1, Gonzales 1, Baclay 0, Bieren 0, Boc NU 46 – Clemente 14, Malonzo 9, Amsali 6, Manalang 5, Penano 4, Callejo 3, Sarip 3, Coyoca 2, Atienza 0, Tolentino 0, Peralta 0, Fortea 0 QUARTER SCORES: 25-8, 31-24, 47-36, 61-46 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

Willett struggling to rediscover game before Masters defense

STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Danny Willett has 2½ months to rediscover his game before making a pressure-filled return to Augusta National as the defending Masters champion. br /> Odds are that won't be long enough. Willett finished 2016 in a rut after dealing with fresh levels of attention for being a major winner as well as a mid-season swing change. Following a short off-season when he sacrificed practice to enjoy a break from golf and his first Christmas as a father, his start to 2017 is hardly encouraging. br /> Rounds of 74 and 76 saw Willett become the biggest name to miss the cut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Friday. He was 121st in a 126-man field, with his second round marred by a quadruple bogey 9 at the 10th when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. br /> Next comes the defense of his Dubai Desert Classic title in two weeks. Then all roads lead to Augusta for the Masters starting April 6. br /> 'I think if I'm playing bad, the attention will die down quite nicely, to be honest,' Willett said, when asked if the build-up to the Masters will be a hindrance. br /> Initially, the green jacket weighed heavily on the shoulders of Willett. Everyone wanted a piece of him after he capitalized on Jordan Spieth's back-nine collapse to be a surprise winner of the Masters. He popped up inside Wimbledon's Royal Box, and was a guest at the World Snooker Championship in his home city of Sheffield. br /> The attention died down, allowing him to return his focus to golf. But he is without a win since Augusta and has only three top-10 finishes in that eight-month period. br /> 'At the end of last year, I was working hard and doing the right things, but it was like I was knocking my head against a brick wall,' Willett said. 'I wasn't analyzing it properly. It was all just bad. It wasn't, but that's how I analyzed it.' br /> Willett is trying not to get too down about his play in Abu Dhabi. Finishing with two birdies — and two more decent birdie chances — in his final four holes helped, but couldn't disguise his problems in the previous 32. br /> His main issue was pulling lots of shots as he tried to hit a cut. That led to a triple-bogey 7 on Thursday and a quadruple-bogey 9 at the 10th hole on Friday, when he drove left into the desert, went out of bounds with his third shot, found a bunker with his fifth, and then three-putted. br /> Willett said he was 'slightly shocked' at the contrast between his form on the range and his form on the course. br /> 'Christmas golf-course rust,' Willett said. 'All joking aside, I know there were a few horrendous scores in there, but there was some better stuff in there, too.' br /> ___ br /> Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80 br />   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017