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PBA: First win offers positive boost for NLEX says Mitchell

It took them a while but the Road Warriors finally got that elusive first win in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. NLEX managed to fight off Meralco Wednesday, improving to 1-6 in the team standings. Enduring through six straight losses was a drag but the Road Warriors just had to stay positive and believe in each other. “It’s not hard, you just gotta have heart,” import Tony Mitchell said of the team’s six-game slump that came before this win. “All these guys have good spirits. Nobody wants to lose so coming into everyday, practicing, sometimes you’re gonna feel down and sometimes you’re not. But at the end of the day, we just wanted change and be positive and that’s what we did today,” he added. NLEX’s first win of the Commissioner’s Cup has been a long time coming. Now that the Road Warriors finally got that first one to go, they’re focused on staying positive moving forward. “I can’t even put it to words pretty much. I feel like it was a team effort... Jericho [Cruz] helps so much, you know what I mean? And with coach Yeng back, it was good to just get that first win and change the momentum, change the morale of our team, just be positive,” Mitchell said. “We’ll take this win and keep going forward, keep building,” he said.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2019

Coach Frankie on leave after Perpetual s 46-point loss in NCAA 95

University of Perpetual Help will not have Frankie Lim at the helm for an indefinite amount of time. The Altas revealed Saturday that, for now, Jrs. head coach Myk Saguiguit will be taking the place of coach Frankie. "Coach Frankie Lim is on leave, as per the decision of the (executive committee) of University of Perpetual Help System-DALTA," athletic director Sammy Acaylar said. Acaylar also added that, with this development, Coach Myk will be now pulling double-duty as mentor of the school's Srs. and Jrs. squads. Now in his second season in Las Pinas, Coach Frankie had been overseeing a campaign which has the Perps at 2-5 in the standings thus far. The development, though, comes a day after the multi-titled mentor suffered one of the worst losses in his storied career, a 46-point beatdown at the hands of San Beda University. Last year, in his first year back in the NCAA, Coach Frankie guided Perpetual's return to the Final Four where they bowed to the eventual champion Red Lions. He also called the shots as Nigerian tower Prince Eze took home the MVP award. With him "on leave," the onus will be on coach Myk to get back on track an Alta side led by Ben Adamos, Edgar Charcos, and Jielo Razon. ABS-CBN Sports has contacted Coach Frankie for comment, but he is yet to respond as of press time. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 17th, 2019

PVL: I have a lot to improve on pa -- Nisperos

Faith Nisperos had an impressive debut for Ateneo de Manila University on Saturday but head coach Oliver Almadro felt that the rookie showed just less than 50 percent of her full potential under his system.    “Wala pa yata sa 50 pero we're getting there,” said Almadro of his rookie who scored a game-high 19 points in the Lady Eagles’ 25-16, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20, win over Letran in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference Group A play.    The National University recruit hammered 17 spikes and landed two aces for the Lady Eagles. Nisperos, a four-time UAAP high school champion and two-time season Most Valuable Player, admitted that she still has a lot to learn.    “Well, as a starter, I have a lot to improve on pa,” she said. “And siyempre, I'm also thrilled and overwhelmed na I'm already here in Ateneo playing.” With the departure of the Lady Eagles championship core, Nisperos is expected to fill in the void especially on offense. The freshsman also shouldered the leadership role inside the court with Ponggay Gaston out (under the weather).    “Yun nga, madami [expectations]. I think he [Almadro] expects me to fill in what the team needs,” she said. “So, I think that is a leader. No matter how young or how old are you, I think everyone can lead so that's what I'm filling in.” Although Almadro felt that Nisperos still has a lot to improve on, the mentor liked the attitude of the lefty hitter to learn. “What's nice with Faith is she really listens and try harder para ma-correct yung details na kino-correct sa kanya,” said Almadro. “She has the talent and she is still growing. Talagang unti-unti.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 17th, 2019

Impact rookies allow Mapua to gun down EAC, go streaking in NCAA 95

All of a sudden, Mapua University has gone streaking in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament, adding Emilio Aguinaldo College to its just recently created list of victims via a 76-66 victory, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Cardinals actually found themselves in a close contest after two quarters and were only up by one, 35-34, early in the third. It was at that point, though, that they unleashed a terrifying 21-0 tear that blew the game wide open in their favor courtesy of a 56-34 lead late in the quarter. The Generals would not be able to threaten the rest of the way. With the double-digit decision, Mapua has now won its last two games. This, after starting the season with five losses in a row. "Hopefully, makatulong itong dalawang sunod na panalo," first lieutenant Yong Garcia said post-game. "Galing kami sa 0-5, down ang mga bata, pero ang focus lang namin is one game at a time." Just like in their breakthrough win just last Saturday, Laurenz Victoria was key in this one, dropping all but three of his 10 points in their massive surge in the third quarter. He was then flanked by prized rookies Cyril Gonzales and Paolo Hernandez with the former finishing with 13 points and three rebounds and the latter ending with 11 markers, three boards, two assists, and two steals. There's bad news for the Cardinals, however, as, with the decision no longer in question, Jasper Salenga incurred a disqualifying foul. That means he will have to serve a one-game suspension in their next outing opposite Jose Rizal University on Friday. "Disappointed si coach Randy sa last part ng game," coach Yong said, also explaining that head coach Randy Alcantara decided to go directly into the locker room to talk to his wards rather than go to the customary post-win interview. " Ginusto niyang bigyan ng chance yung iba para mabigyan ng confidence, pero 'di naging maganda ang resulta." For EAC, JC Luciano topped the scoring column with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds. At the wrong end of that terrifying tear in the third quarter, however, they absorbed their sixth loss in seven games. BOX SCORES MAPUA 76 - Gonzales 13, Hernandez 11, Victoria 10, Bonifacio 8, Serrano 8, Lugo 7, Garcia 5, Gamboa 4, Salenga 4, Bunag 2, Jabel 2, Nieles 2, Aguirre 0, Dela Cruz 0, Nocum 0. EAC 66 - Luciano 12, Maguliano 10, Gonzales 9, Mendoza 7, Dayrit 6, Tampoc 6, Carlos 5, Taywan 4, Martin 3, Cadua 2, Gurtiza 2, Boffa 0, De Guzman 0, Estacio 0. QUARTER SCORES: 15-10, 35-27, 60-39, 76-66. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2019

PBA: Coach Leo thankful as SMB somehow still makes Finals

Despite making yet another PBA Finals, San Miguel Beer’s journey to the title round of the Commissioner’s Cup was far from easy. The Beermen let go of former Best Import and champion Charles Rhodes after they stumbled into a sorry 2-5 start. And while his replacement, Chris McCullough, has been sensational, San Miguel still almost didn’t make the playoffs, barely moving on as the no. 7 seed. In the playoffs, the Beermen had to overcome Northport’s twice-to-beat advantage and had to erase a combined 55-point deficit in their three semifinals wins against Rain or Shine just to make the Finals. “Nagpapa-salamat kami sa Panginoon at dinala na naman kami dito sa Finals,” said head coach Leo Austria said after the Beermen’s close Game 4 win over ROS. “At the start of the conference, we were struggling and we almost didn't make it into the quarterfinals. It was just a matter of one win. But it's a roller-coaster journey to the Finals and we will embrace this,” he added. In the Finals, the Beermen draw top-ranked TNT. The KaTropa ended Ginebra’s title reign in the semifinals and they enter the championship round with just three losses all conference long. San Miguel has little to no time to prepare but the Beermen will certainly be ready by the time Game 1 tips off Sunday. “Talk ‘N Text, after watching their game last night, I think it will be tough to face them kasi alam nating they're really playing at the highest level of basketball. They transformed their team into another high-caliber championship team,” Austria said. “But we will see. We don't have ample time to prepare, but for us to be in the Finals, we're thankful. This is the Finals, let's see what we can do,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2019

PBA: T-Jones on TNT’s Finals opponent: “I like my team vs. anybody“

With another triple-double effort in Game 4 of the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals, Terrence Jones has helped bring back TNT to the PBA Finals. Jones was a man on a mission Thursday, leading the KaTropa with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. With the win to dethrone Ginebra, the KaTropa have made it back to the Finals for the first time in two years and Jones likes their chances against whoever. In the other semis bracket, San Miguel leads Rain or Shine, 2-1. “Man I like my team vs. anybody,” Jones said. “We worked very hard this whole year to create this chemistry and belief in one another. We’re gonna continue on having that same belief in each other,” he added. SMB? ROS? It doesn’t matter as Terrence Jones will take his TNT team over anybody in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals#PBA2019 #PBAFinals #TNT #TNTKaTropa — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) August 1, 2019 The KaTropa enter the Finals as the no. 1 seed and with only three losses all conference long. Still, Jones says they’re not the favorites. With TNT making the Finals for the first time in two years and having not won a title since 2015, the KaTropa certainly have that chip on their collective shoulders. That starts with Jones, who would for sure want to finish the job this conference with a championship. “This is my first time here so I’m just experiencing everything and taking it one game at a time. I don’t feel like we’re the favorites,” Jones said. “I know we haven’t won in a long time so we feel we’re the underdogs, we’re gonna come in excited an trying to get something special done that hasn’t happened for our organization in a long time,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2019

PBA: Big Beau lifts ROS to crucial Game 3 win over SMB

Rain or Shine is on the board in these PBA semifinals. With Beau Belga leading the way in the endgame, the Elasto Painters finally pulled one back in the Commissioner’s Cup semis Wednesday at the Big Dome, scoring a 112-104 Game 3 win over San Miguel. Belga hit two clutch triples and assisted on another one as ROS finally avoided a collapse for once in this series. For the third straight game, the Elasto Painters came out firing, leading by as many as 18 points in the first half. In Game 1, ROS led by 13 and in Game 2, they led by as many as 29. Both were losses. On Wednesday, the Elasto Painters withstood a 51-point effort from SMB import Chris McCullough to cut their series deficit in half, 1-2. Import Carl Montgomery led ROS with 25 points while Rey Nambatac (22 points) and Belga (16) points were the team’s top locals. Rookie Javee Mocon also had 16 points for the Elasto Painters. Game 4 is Friday also at the Big Dome...   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2019

Agem Miranda now at the controls as JRU tries to lift off in NCAA 95

Jose Rizal University is one of the youngest - if not the youngest - teams in all of the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. Now led by second-year players Ry Dela Rosa and Agem Miranda who are then flanked by rookies John Amores, JL Delos Santos, Marwin Dionisio, and Stefan Steinl, there is no doubt that the Heavy Bombers are undergoing a rebuilding process. Still, young, rebuilding JRU needed just a third try to score its first win in the tournament. And at the forefront of it all was Miranda who dropped a career-best 25 points, none bigger than the follow-up basket and then a corner triple in the final minute to lift his team over Arellano University last Friday. Not only that, the sophomore swingman also had to overcome cramps before saving the day for the blue and yellow. "Gustong-gusto ko po kasi talagang manalo sa game na ito. Gusto ko talagang bumalik sa game nun kaya sinabi ko po talaga kay coach," he answered when asked about him getting subbed out of the game in the middle of the final frame. From there, head coach Louie Gonzalez put his full faith on Miranda as the former re-inserted the latter late in the game. And so, when the ball found Miranda in both possessions in the endgame, Coach Louie had no doubt he was going to deliver. This, even though the 19-year-old was in uniform, but not in action in their two previous games. In losses to San Sebastian College-Recoletos and then Colegio de San Juan de Letran, he rode the bench as Coach Louie decided to go somewhere else. Still, Miranda did not lose hope - and instead, the benching only motivated him more. "Sinabi ko po talaga kay coach na babawi po ako ngayon. Bad game po kasi talaga kao nung first game," he said, referring to their debut game in the season, a loss to San Beda University that saw him only contributing two points.. He then continued, "Sinabi ko po talaga na sorry. Mula po nun, ayun, nag-commit lang ako sa sistema niya." Once he did that, the 6-foot promising player was given the controls to the Heavy Bombers' offense. "Halos bago po talaga team namin so I need to step up," he said. He then continued, "Sinabi ko na rin po kay Ry na kailangan nating manalo at sa atin manggagaling yung takbo ng team." And in the end, he did nothing but pilot them off the ground - and hopefully, into greater heights. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2019

Team Lakay s Gina Iniong and Joshua Pacio: Two paths, one goal

Lakay. It is the Ilocano word for old man.   But when you go up to Baguio, it has an altogether different meaning. You cannot miss that word when you drive down Benguet road, on a nifty sign attached to a normal-looking office building: Team Lakay.   The home of the best Philippine mixed martial arts team in history. Almost all of the big names local fight fans have come to cheer and love as our modern-day heroes trace their roots to the relatively small, packed training room down Benguet road, where mats are soaked with the sweat of the fighters.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Honorio Banario, Rey Docyogen, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva are all hallowed names in the annals of Philippine mixed martial arts, disciples of Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, who established, and groomed Team Lakay to the fearsome fighting factory that it is today.   While all the names above have ensconced themselves on pedestals, Team Lakay’s pipeline includes two more who have been fighting for recognition in recent fights: lone female fighter Gina Iniong, and ONE’s current Strawweight lynchpin and youngest champion, Joshua Pacio.   Both fighters may have started their professional fighting careers for different reasons, but Iniong and Pacio still have a lot to offer and prove for mixed martial arts in the country and in the international stage, such as being prominent fighters in the prestigious cage of ONE Championship.   CHANCE OF A LIFETIME   Gina, the first female Filipino mixed martial artist to fight and win abroad, started boxing back in high school as part of her after-school activities. When she was about to graduate, she actively sought scholarships in order to finish her education. One such opportunity presented itself in the form of an athletic scholarship, concentrating on the martial art of Wushu, which has a huge following in her hometown of Baguio City, with the University of the Cordilleras having a team of its own.   “Our former boxing coach, who was a former student of Coach Mark (Sangiao), approached me one day, telling me to join the upcoming wushu competition then for the college scholarship. So I joined it, and took a chance,” Iniong shared, recounting how she got into the world of combat sports as a young lady.   However, it was too good to be true, as she had to hurdle quite a huge problem if she wants that scholarship: a fight record. Sangiao told the young Iniong it would be difficult to get her a scholarship if she does not have a record to show in active combat in Wushu.   “I was lucky because there was a Wushu National Games here in Manila and we immediately went down and made our way there. Thankfully, I got the gold after the competition, and that paved the way for my scholarship,” said Iniong.   From there, the “Conviction” was born. After competing in numerous Wushu tournaments, Iniong finally caught the eye of Sangiao, who decided to take her under his wings and train her to be his female version inside the MMA cage.   After debuting in the Universal Reality Combat Championship in 2010, Iniong hasn’t looked back in the 12 bouts she has figured in, compiling a professional record of 8-4.  As the lone female representative of the most-successful mixed martial arts team in the Philippines, she has displayed that trademark fearsome striking prowess of fighters coming from the Lakay camp.   When asked about the fact that she is one of the only five Filipinas making the country proud inside the ONE cage, the 29-year old’s face lit up, in disbelief, in honor, in humility, for she cannot believe it herself.   “I’m very proud, and humbled, of the fact that I am the lone female fighter representing Team Lakay in ONE Championship. Many very skilled female fighters dream of being part of ONE Championship, and fight under Team Lakay, yet I am the one that Coach Mark has seen with the most potential to carry the flag inside the cage,” she said.   However, what drives Gina to fight, and it has been a well-known fact, is her mother, diagnosed with a stage 5 chronic kidney disease. In her fight against Jihin Radzuan last February, Iniong dedicated the fight to her mother, who to this day, is scared of seeing her daughter mix it up in the ring.   “To this day, she hasn’t watched me fight live, not even on TV because she is quite the nervous person, and she would only watch if she knew I won, during replays. She is very unlike my dad, who has fully supported my life as an athlete, after being a boxer himself in his younger days,” she shared.   CHALLENGE ACCEPTED   Joshua “The Passion” Pacio never intended to make mixed martial arts fighting a career growing up. The 23-year old fighter deemed it impossible back then, to reach a stage as huge as ONE Championship, due to the excellence of the fighters that he used to watch with his uncle through videos.   Add to the fact that Pacio was overweight. Obese, specifically. It made it all the more difficult for the kid to follow his dream and passion to be a fighter.   It all changed when his uncle started training him in Muay Thai, the art of the eight limbs that originated from Thailand, and considered one of the deadliest forms of combat striking. It started out as training just for fitness, but as if seeing a tiny ray of light in a dark tunnel, Pacio wanted more.   “At first, it was only for fitness, with my uncle training me, and watching videos of various MMA fights, which really inspired me to push myself harder. I really wanted to test myself, compete with the best, and it all seemed impossible when I was out of shape. My uncle really pushed me starting with Muay Thai. I started competing a few months after that, but I suffered defeat after defeat in amateur competitions. I questioned myself why I still trained afterwards. But at the same time, that’s when I realized that this is really my passion, that even if I lost my last fight,” shared the ONE Championship Strawweight king, who has not looked back since then.   “The goal for me has ever been to prove to myself that I have improved in skills, and be the best fighter I can be,” Pacio added.   He made his ONE debut three years ago, finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of professional mixed martial arts, facing a more experienced Filipino fighter in Robin Catalan at the age of 20, one of the youngest to enter ONE’s cage.   “Before I got to represent Team Lakay in ONE Championship, the roster spot was actually up for grabs. Fighters of the team figured in a Team Lakay Championship, a grand-prix style tournament within the team, for the ONE Championship contract. I fought twice victoriously in one night to get it. Two weeks later, with a ONE Championship event in Manila, that’s when I found out I am making my professional debut,” said an astounded Pacio.   Everything about the man they call “The Passion” has been hard earned. He finally tasted gold last 2018 when he decisioned the famed Yoshitaka Naito, a Japanese ground and wrestling master that forced Pacio to tap via a rear-naked choke when they first met. Facing, and losing to Naito, according to Pacio, was a revelation that he has to improve his overall skills, especially his ground game in order to play with the big boys of the cage.   Striking will definitely get you somewhere, as is with Pacio’s base as a martial artist, but one has to have more tricks up his sleeve when they aspire for the pinnacle of the competition. Joshua came back with a vengeance in 2018 to show “Nobita” that “The Passion” is no longer the young kid who will be submitted easily.   However, 2019 did not start of great for Pacio and Team Lakay, after he lost the belt in January to Naito’s contemporary in Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in a questionable split decision. But that did not deter the young man, who has made it his personal goal to continue improving and treat each loss as a lesson, in ONE Championship’s “Roots of Honor” fight card, where he faced Saruta once more.   This time, in front of a racous Filipino crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena, Pacio did not let the judges’ cards decide as he detonated a right knee to the side of Saruta’s head late in the fourth round to reclaim his throne. The dreaded Team Lakay striking power knocked the lights out from the Japanese fighter as Baguio’s young lion let out a furious roar to celebrate his redemption.   TWO PATHS, ONE GOAL   One did it for education, the other for health. Nowadays, however, MMA means more to Iniong and Pacio than just a stepping stone to something else. It is their passion, their advocacy, their bread and butter.   They continue to grind each day, waiting for another opportunity to show what they got and get the win, not just for personal glory, but also for the country and their family.   Inspired by her ailing mother, the “Conviction” promises to keep her current winning streak up despite being up against a formidable foe in her next match. After tasting defeat from Brazilian Istela Nunes, Iniong bounced back with a split decision over Radzuan last February to get herself back on track. Right now, Gina has one thing in mind with their goal: chase that ONE Women’s Atomweight division title, currently held by Angela Lee, and become the Philippines’ very first female ONE world champion.   However, Iniong acknowledges that the path towards the gold may not be easy, as she is currently eyeing a rematch with Japanese tormentor Mei Yamaguchi, the number one-ranked Atomweight fighter whom she has fought with twice, in order to settle who the rightful challenger to Lee’s belt is.   “Everyone has gotten belts. My big brothers in the team have tasted championship. I felt jealous because I do not have a belt, and lost my fight that would have given me a title shot. This time, I will make sure that I will do my best to secure a title fight,” rued Iniong in a previous interview with ONE Championship prior to fighting Radzuan.   While Iniong wants hit paydirt, it’s all about keeping the belt on his waist for Pacio, the reigning ONE Strawweight champion. His most probable foe is his nemesis Yoshitaka Naito who he does not have a problem with facing for the third time.   “I really want to prove I am the champion, and if it’s by facing him (Naito), so be it. I also want to prove that I have greatly improved as well from the last time we fought,” he shared.   While Iniong and Pacio await their next fighting assignment, their teammates are in the thick of training for the upcoming “Dawn of Heroes” megafight card happening on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena. It features Team Lakay members, led by Edward “Landslide” Folayang, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and Danny “The King” Kingad, who will face the best of the world as represented by Eddie Alvarez, Reece McLaren, and Yuya Wakamatsu.   The entire country will be cheering on them as the whole world watches. And maybe somehow, somewhere there will be new blood encouraged and inspired by them to take on the challenge of continuing the legacy of the nation’s best fighting team alongside Iniong and Pacio.   After all, Sangiao did not establish Team Lakay just to be some Bagiuo-based fitness gym down Benguet road. He made Team Lakay to provide a home, a family, for young Filipinos who have the heart to fight for their dream, their family, and the country.     Watch “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, to be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD with livestreaming on iWant for all the Pinoy fight fans to see. For more stories and news one ONE Championship, follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook or visit For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2019

PVL: Cool Smashers a step away from grand slam

Defending champion Creamline needed some time to catch its groove before beating PetroGazz, 24-26, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22, Wednesday to draw first blood in the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Cool Smashers exploited their huge advantage in championship experience to silence the Angels for their 12th straight victory and to inch closer to completing a grand slam. Creamline ruled the import-laden and Open Conferences last year Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin finished with 21 points off 18 attacks and three aces while adding 16 digs for the Cool Smashers, who won their second straight over the only team that handed Creamline its lone loss in the elimination round. Venezuelan import Ale Blanco scored 18 points with 15 comin off kills while Alyssa Valdez posted 16 markers for Creamline, which hammered 57 attack points orchestrated by Jia Morado's 21 excellent sets.   Down 3-8 at the onset of the fourth set, the Cool Smashers displayed grace under pressure to tie it at 9. From there the game was fought in a nip and tuck affair to the finish with Creamline showing nerves of steel to seal the win. “Breaks of the game talaga and PetroGazz is very experienced team with two of the best imports right now dito sa PVL,” said Valdez. “Ako masaya ako kasi kahit ganoon ang nangyari we were eyeing for our goal sa team. Hangga’t di pa tapos ang game we kept on pushing each other and ayun maganda naman ang result.” Game 2 is on Saturday.   Creamline engaged PetroGazz in a gunfight in the opening set and pulled away, 21-15, only to see the Angels chip away their lead and move in front, 24-23, off a blistering scoring barrage. Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin extended the set but American Janisa Johnson put the frame away with back-to-back attacks. The next two sets were all Creamline, which in both sets the Cool Smashers were able to lead in double dgits. The Cool Smashers were able to control PetroGazz's vaunted scoring duo of Johnson and Cuban Wilma Salas, whose attack success rate went down to  32% combined. Johnson and Salas bled for their 20 and 18 points, respectively, as they combined for only 32-of-101 attacking clip for PetroGazz, which threw away 31 points off errors.  Jeanette Panaga had 10 markers in a lost cause.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 10th, 2019

PBA: Back-to-back wins for SMB after pounding Phoenix

Here comes San Miguel Beer. The Beermen extended their mastery of Phoenix Wednesday at the Big Dome, taking a comfortable 128-98 win in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. After a slow start, San Miguel has won back-to-back games in the mid-season joust, improving to 4-5 in the team standings. A spark to the Beermen’s campaign, new import Chris McCullough had another strong outing as he fired 37 points to go along with 13 rebounds. San Miguel is 2-0 with McCullough on deck.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 10th, 2019

PBA: Nawala teamwork namin, natambakan kami -- Dimaunahan

It was a disaster that was bound to happen. Blackwater head coach Aris Dimaunahan knew his squad would have a rough night when he saw his players veering away from what they prepared for against the TNT KaTropa. He was right. After a good first quarter, everything went south. “I thought nagkaniya-kaniya kami,” said Dimaunahan on Sunday after the Elite’s 97-115 loss in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Big Dome. Blackwater kept the game close in the first 12 minutes, breathing down the necks of the KaTropa, 23-25.   But TNT broke the game wide open in the second quarter and Blackwater had no answer.   “Sabi ko nga sa kanila, all of our losses, same story kapag nawala yung teamwork namin, natatambakan kami,” said Dimaunahan. The KaTropa opened a 93-66 gap in the fourth to cruise to its ninth win in 10 games on top of the standings for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. The Elite fell to a 6-4 win-loss record. “We have to correct that para sa next game namin. Hindi talaga pwede kaming maglaro for ourselves,” Dimaunahan stressed. “Kailangan laging may teamwork. Yun ang tingin ko na dahilan kung bakit kami natalo.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

It’s part of the process – Valdez on PHI U-23 team

Despite the stinging losses and less than desirable score lines, the PHI Under-23 women’s volleyball team will always have the support and admiration of established local stars in Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado and Michele Gumabao.   The young squad, which played without most of its vaunted hitters and recognizable names because of various reasons ranging from club commitments to injuries, finished the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships empty-handed save for valuable experience and lessons playing in the international scene. Never mind the bashers, the searing and scarring criticisms and all, they’re volleyball ‘ates’ got their backs. “Ako, for the girls lang, they don’t have to be down,” said Valdez, who was a part of the PHI U-23 team that finished seventh in the 12-team inaugural Asian U-23 Championship that the country hosted in 2015. “I’m not saying na dapat maging masaya but you keep on fighting, you keep on going.” Valdez, who has been a part of the national team since her girls squad stint 11 years ago, admired the determination of the PHI U-23 to represent the country even on short notice.   “Kahit anong mangyari we’re just really proud of the girls. Pinatawag sila to represent our country, pumunta sila ipinaglaban nila yung bansa natin,” said Valdez, who is set to make her third Southeast Asian Games tour of duty in November. “Who knows sila ang future generation natin na magre-represent talaga ng bansa natin at makapagdala ng medal.” Playing with an inexperienced core with a few high school standouts, the Filipinas were easy pickings for their seasoned tormentors. “It’s part of the process. Kung mababa ang score and matalo, it’s part of the learning experience you get internationally,” added Valdez. The PHI U-23 team suffered a humiliating 9-25, 12-25, 6-25, whipping at the hands of one of Japan’s best club teams, the Okayama Seagulls – the same team that will host the country’s senior national team during their international training camp. Looking to save face after their embarrassment, the Filipinas did regain some sense of pride with a better showing albeit it still ended with a 20-25, 12-25, 15-25, loss to 3BB Nakornnont, which fielded a couple of players from the Thai national team.    “Pero 'yung girls we’ve seen them, I’ve seen them. I watched their games also. I see how hard they fight. I’ve seen how they trained also,” said Morado, who was also a former PHI U-23 standout and currently part of the senior squad. “’Yun nga lang lahat ng players talaga na pinapadala sa ganoon lumalaban talaga,” she added. “They’re not there just for nothing, they’re there for the country, so kudos sa kanila.” Gumabao, who represented the country in the 2015 Asian Seniors Championship in China, commended the patriotism of the girls despite overwhelming odds. “Nothing to be ashamed of,” said Gumabao, who also carried the nation’s pride outside of volleyball in the 2018 Miss Globe competition. Gumabao like Morado and Valdez called on the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. to come up with a comprehensive and concrete program for the all of the sport’s national teams for future international competitions.   “You reap what you sow. We in Creamline, we reap what we sow. We sow hard work, we reap wins,” Gumabao said. “Same internationally, if you sow years of training and experience, makikita natin ang score.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

PBA: Triple-double for Jones and TNT blasts ROS for 6th straight win

Terrence Jones dominates and TNT gets the win. That’s been the story in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup so far. The KaTropa moved closer to a playoff bonus Wednesday at the Big Dome, blasting Rain or Shine for a 102-81 strong win. Jones dropped 33 points, 21 rebounds, and 12 assists for his second triple-double this conference, leading TNT to its sixth straight win in the mid-season joust. Improving to 8-1, the KaTropa kept solo first in the team standings.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2019

Summer of 2020 takes on added importance for Bucks

By Steve Aschburner, As important as the 2019-20 season and postseason are to the Milwaukee Bucks, in proving to themselves and to the basketball world they can take that next step (Finals) or two (championship), they pale next to the significance of the summer of 2020. That’s when Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s newly minted Kia Most Valuable Player, can sign a “supermax” contract extension worth approximately $254 million over five years. Or not. And the “or not” might have gotten a nudge on the first day of 2019 free agency Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The Bucks were in a tough situation as it was, with three free agents among the top five players from last season’s 60-22 team. Keeping all of them – wing Khris Middleton, center Brook Lopez and guard Malcolm Brogdon – was going to be a challenge, financially and realistically, given how much demand was outstripping supply in the marketplace (nearly $500 million in available cap space plus exceptions burning holes in 30 teams’ pockets). Milwaukee started scrambling in the days heading toward June 30 (July 1, PHL time) by moving or trying to move pieces such as Tony Snell, George Hill and Ersan Ilyasova for payroll and roster flexibility. Snell’s contract was traded to Detroit along with the No. 30 pick in the 2019 Draft, Hill was waived and Ilyasova essentially was sitting at the curb with a “Free” sign on him and his $7 million salary. It wasn’t enough. The free agent-palooza started well enough for the Bucks when reports leaked early that Lopez would be retained on a four-year, $52 million deal. Frankly, that’s a bargain -- $55 million over five years – if you add Lopez’s 2019-20 salary of $3.4 million, a ridiculously low rate for what wound up as a career-redefining season for the veteran big man. After taking a mere 0.5 percent of his 6,826 field goal attempts from 3-point range through his first eight seasons, Lopez let fly 65 percent of his shots from beyond the arc in his 11th. In hard numbers, that’s 31 attempts over eight years compared to 512 in 81 appearances for the Bucks. Factor in Lopez’s underrated defense and rim protection, and his free-spirit calm in the locker room, and he ranked arguably as the Bucks’ next most valuable player after Antetokounmpo. Soon thereafter, Milwaukee’s next move was reported: Middleton re-upping on an enormous five-year, $178 deal. The soft-spoken 6-foot-7 was named an East All-Star reserve en route to averaging 18.3 points and shifting even more of his offensive game to 3-point territory. But Middleton’s greatest leverage was being viewed as the Bucks’ No. 2 player overall and Antetokounmpo’s Scottie Pippen (relatively) for the past six seasons. And hey, his contract represents a $12 million discount from the $190 million “max” Middleton could have demanded. As it is, starting at an estimated $30.6 million salary, he’ll be getting about $5 million more than Antetokounmpo both this season and next. So two done and one … not done. Not done at all. Just when it appeared the Bucks would take care of their most pressing free-agency issues, the news came: Brogdon to Indiana on an $85 million deal over four seasons. In a sign-and-trade, which meant Milwaukee facilitated the restricted free agent’s departure, rather than match the Pacers’ offer and keep him. Brogdon’s value last season, to a team that got within two victories of The Finals, was evident analytically and by most eye tests. He became only the eighth shooter in NBA history to hit 50 percent of his shots overall, 40 percent of 3s and 90 percent of his free throws. He also showed an uncanny ability to take over for minutes at a time when the Bucks were desperate to generate offense. Brogdon’s threat as shooter enabled him to attack the rim at a high percentage, stopping opponents’ runs or sparking them for his side. Brogdon’s relationship with the Bucks seemed to get strained two years ago, when his reward for being named an unlikely Kia NBA Rookie of the Year was 20 bench appearances in the team’s first 37 games. Here Brogdon had won the award over the likes of Dario Saric, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray and Jaylen Brown (Joel Embiid only made 31 appearances in 2016-17), yet his role was unclear once Phoenix made Eric Bledsoe available and Milwaukee pounced. Bledsoe pre-empting his own free agency by signing a four-year, $70 million deal with the Bucks raised questions about Brogdon’s spot in their pecking order again. So too, it appears, did Milwaukee nailing down the East’s No. 1 seed, then going 7-1 in the first two playoff rounds while Brogdon nursed a plantar fascia foot injury from mid-March into May. All of a sudden Brogdon’s deal was looking like the one to blame for pushing Milwaukee’s payroll up, up, up into luxury-tax range. And so he was sacrificed to Indiana, an Eastern Conference rival, for a reported first-round draft pick and a couple second-rounders, protections and years still not known. Bucks GM Jon Horst made a nice save in pulling back Hill from the free-agent pool, to the tune of a three-year, $29 million deal. But losing Brogdon was a considerable step backward for a team determined to go forward. Shedding Snell and having Nikola Mirotic head off to the Euroleague to play in Barcelona doesn’t help. As for the draft picks from Indiana and the $12 million trade exception the Bucks might have gained in the trade, the former are out of sync with the team’s life cycle – namely, Antetokounmpo’s ambitions and contract status – and the latter only matters if it’s used smartly. Everything Milwaukee does – has done, actually, since those four staggered defeats against Toronto in the conference finals – has to be about giving Antetokounmpo reasons to stay. That means improving, that means winning, that means at least being in the building when the championship is decided next June. The clock is ticking. The social media vultures will be circling for "The Greek Freak" soon. There is only one way to fend them off, and a part of that now will be playing for the Pacers. Horst, 2019 NBA Executive of the Year, and Mike Budenholzer, NBA Coach of the Year, might need to repeat if they and their team are going to chase the trophies – the Larry and the Giannis – that matter most. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2019

PBA: Arwind on top-6: 'Hindi pa naman sarado yung pinto'

San Miguel Beer is 2-4 in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup after Wednesday's loss. That's only good for 10th place in the team standings now. If the playoffs started tomorrow, the Beermen are out. Two of San Miguel's losses were over 30 points, including Wednesday's 36-point beatdown at the hands of Magnolia. Still, the Beermen are not done just yet and they plan on rising at least four spots to get into a first-round series against whoever. "Tingin ko mayroon pa [chance for top-6]. Pwede pa naman," forward Arwind Santos said. "Hindi pa naman sarado yung pinto doon sa part na yan," he added. The Beermen have failed to get any traction in the Commissioner's Cup so far as every win is immediately followed with a lackluster performance. San Miguel still has some time to fix things up but change will have to come from within. "Tingin ko may mga decisions na medyo minsan nako-confuse kami na akala namin ganito, iba pala," Santos said. "Kailangan namin maayos yun," he added.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2019

PVL: We re down but we re not letting it defeat us – Johnson

For the first time in eight games PetroGazz found itself on the losing end of a hard-fought battle in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. The Angels suffered an 18-25, 25-21, 19-25, 24-26, loss at the hands of defending champion Creamline on Saturday that ended PetroGazz’s seven game winning streak. But the Angels are not losing sleep from their first setback. “It was quiet [in the locker room],” said American import Janisa Johnson. “But I mean, I think everyone was reflecting on what happened.” The semis-bound Angels and Cool Smashers are tied at the top spot with 7-1 win-loss slates. “We're bummed out but we still have a good record in the season. So I mean, we're down but we're not letting it defeat us,” said Johnson, who scored 22 points with 20 coming off kills. The Angels had a chance to force a deciding set after taking a 24-21 lead in the fourth frame but the breaks of the game didn’t go their way as Creamline escaped with its seventh straight win since bowing down to PetroGazz in the conference opener. “It happens. We put up a fight, but I guess we know we could have done more,” said Johnson. “But the next game now we know what to do. I mean, losses happen. It sucks when it happens, but they're part of the game,” she added. “Of course, it hits home when you have your first loss but the season's not over yet. So this is a push for us that we needed.” The Angels will try to get back on the win column on Sunday against PacificTown Army at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2019

The ten most intriguing NBA free agents for 2019

By John Schuhmann, We knew that the postseason would affect free agency. But the idea was that the success or failure of certain teams would affect what their free agents' thoughts about staying or leaving. Unfortunately, the last two games of The Finals brought devastating injuries to two of the three most coveted free agents on the market. Kevin Durant, arguably the best player in the world, tore his Achilles in Game 5, just 12 minutes into his return from a calf injury. And Klay Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6. The two injuries will certainly have repercussions beyond the two players and the Golden State Warriors. Maybe they already have. With the Western Conference seemingly wide open next season, the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly made a deal for Anthony Davis, sending a bevy of young players and future picks to New Orleans so they can team the 26-year-old star with 34-year-old LeBron James ... and maybe another star added in free agency. As always, the free agent market and the trade market are tied together. The pending Davis trade could affect the decisions of players and teams come July 1. And if teams miss out on the free agents they're seeking, they could always fill their cap space by making a trade. With all that in mind, the players listed below aren't necessarily the 10 best free agents (or potential free agents). They're the 10 (actually 12) most interesting in regard to where they're going and what kind of contract they get. For players to be on this list, there needs to be some intrigue regarding their (and/or their team's) decision this summer. That's why Thompson isn't included. 1. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto (Player option) Whether he leaves or not, trading for Leonard last summer was well worth it for the Raptors, who won their first championship, with Leonard averaging 30.5 points per game in the postseason. The Raptors' "load management" program (which limited Leonard to just 60 games in the regular season) clearly worked, and director of sports science Alex McKechnie should be seen as a major asset in the quest to keep Leonard in Toronto. There should be a "run-it-back" sentiment for the new champs, with Danny Green also a free agent and Marc Gasol holding a player option this summer. A short-term deal would make sense, unless Leonard is looking for long-term security, having missed almost all of the 2017-18 season with a leg injury. It's all up to Leonard, maybe the toughest player in the league to read. If he takes his two-way talent elsewhere, the Raptors may have to go in a new direction. Number to know: In the postseason, Leonard had a true shooting percentage of 69.1 percent, the highest mark for a player that averaged at least 30 points per game in the playoffs and won the championship. 2. Kevin Durant, Golden State (Player option) Durant's torn Achilles probably won't scare any team, including the Warriors, from paying him as much as possible. As deep and talented as this free agent class is, the top two guys on this list are in a class by themselves. Rumors have long had Durant ready to leave Golden State and even with his injury, he seems more likely than Thompson to find a new home. But an ESPN report had Thompson's father talking about "unfinished business" after overhearing a conversation between the two injured Warriors. Durant could always put free agency off for a year by exercising his player option and remaining on the Warriors' payroll through his rehab. Number to know: Durant was the first player in NBA history to average 30 points per game in at least 10 playoff games while shooting at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line. 3. Kyrie Irving, Boston The disappointment of the Celtics' season, along with Irving's questionable leadership with a group that underachieved, has taken some of the shine off his star. Irving's injury history also must be taken into consideration. But talent is the most important thing in this league and Irving is one of its most talented players. He's still just 27-years-old and he can still get buckets when buckets are needed. A return to Boston appears far less likely than it did six months ago (especially with Davis being traded elsewhere) and there have been a lot of signals that Irving is bound for Brooklyn. Number to know: In the regular season, Irving had an effective field goal percentage of 56.1 percent with the score within five points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, the second-best mark among player with at least 50 clutch field goal attempts. 4. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, Philadelphia The Sixers lost to the eventual NBA champions on a Game 7 buzzer-beater that bounced on the rim four times before falling through. They're right there. But their starting lineup, which outscored its opponents by more than 21 points per 100 possessions in 334 total minutes (regular season and playoffs), includes three free agents. In regard to future assets, the Sixers didn't give up as much for Butler as they did for Harris. And of course, Butler has more baggage in regard to accepting his role. But, with his defense and his ability to get his own shot, he's is the most important of the three. Harris struggled a bit in the conference semifinals against Toronto and is the least important of the Sixers' three free-agent starters; J.J. Redick's shooting was clearly more critical in the postseason. But Harris isn't easily replaceable and he appears to be the most likely to leave, with a lot of teams looking for versatile forwards. Number to know: In the regular season, Harris shot 41.3 percent on pull-up three-pointers, the second-best mark among 69 players who attempted at least 100. 5. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Walker has expressed some level of loyalty to the Hornets. But immediately after the Davis trade was agreed to, there was a report that Walker would be a "top target" of the Lakers with their cap space. Walker would be an ideal offensive complement to James and Davis, in that he can play off the ball (though he shot less than 35 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers last season) and take some of the playmaking burden off of James' shoulders. The Hornets, meanwhile, would likely have a tough time upgrading their roster around Walker, with Nicolas Batum, Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller all under contract next season for a total of $85 million. Number to know: Walker led the league with 126 field goal attempts with the score within five points in the last five minutes. That was 43 percent of the Hornets' total (295). His effective field goal percentage on those shots (49.6 percent) ranked 15th among 45 players with at least 50 clutch field goal attempts. 6. D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn (Restricted) A finalist for the Most Improved award, Russell took a big step forward this season, both in regard to his production and his maturity. He earned himself an All-Star appearance and helped the Nets reach the playoffs with a 14-win increase from last season. He's only 23-years-old and is one of the league's most flammable shooters. But because he doesn't get to the basket or the free throw line very often, Russell is neither all that efficient (his true shooting percentage of 53.3 percent ranked 66th among 94 guards with at least 500 field goal attempts) nor consistent, and he struggled (shooting 36 percent) in Brooklyn's first-round loss to Philadelphia. If the Nets are targeting another ball-handler in free agency (with Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie already under contract), they'll probably let Russell head elsewhere. Number to know: In the regular season, Russell ranked second with 11.4 pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions per game. He scored 0.89 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, the 26th best mark among 44 players that averaged at least five ball-handler possessions. 7. DeMarcus Cousins and Kevon Looney, Golden State Cousins hadn't made it back to 100 percent from his Achilles tear before he suffered a torn quad in his second career playoff game. He made it back for The Finals from that injury and showed flashes of his old self with 14 important points in the Warriors' Game 5 win and a big bucket in the final minute of Game 6. But he also struggled on both ends of the floor at times, and the Warriors were outscored with him on the floor in seven of his eight playoff games. Now he goes back on the free agent market with teams still not sure of what they're getting. Looney is an unrestricted free agent at 23-years-old, and he was the Warriors' most important center this season. The Western Conference champs have Looney's Bird rights, but they could also be spending a lot of money to retain Durant and Thompson (and possibly extend Draymond Green). Another team might have a larger role and more money for an improving young big. Number to know: In the regular season, the Warriors' lineup of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Looney scored 121.5 points per 100 possessions and outscored opponents by 18.7 per 100. Those were the best marks for points scored and point differential per 100 possessions among 40 league-wide lineups that played at least 200 minutes together. 8. Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee (Restricted) The Milwaukee Bucks were the best team in the league through the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals. But, with four of their top eight players being free agents (or potential free agents) this summer, they have a lot of work to do if they want to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo surrounded by players who can get it done on both ends of the floor. Brogdon, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez are the three key pieces. They're all due a pay raise and they all belong on this list. Brogdon is the restricted free agent, but he's also the youngest of the three (he'll be 27 in December) and the one that could be projected into a larger role on another team. Number to know: Brogdon shot 47.5 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers, the third-best mark among 223 players who attempted at least 100. 9. Julius Randle, New Orleans (Player option) After five years in the league, Randle is still just 24-years-old. So he's not necessarily a bad fit for David Griffin's plans for the future in New Orleans. But the Pelicans might not be ready to commit the money Randle is seeking (should he opt out of the final year of his contract) after averaging a career-high 21.4 points per game. Defense remains an issue, but Randle has expanded his offensive skill set; he was a respectable 34.4 percent from three-point range this season, taking 18 percent of his shots from beyond the arc (up from six percent over his three previous full seasons). Number to know: Randle averaged 13.2 points in the paint per game, seventh most in the league, and he made more three-pointers (67) than all but one of the six players in front of him. 10. Ricky Rubio, Utah According to Rubio himself, he's not Utah's top priority in free agency. He remains a good defender and one of the league's best passers, but the Jazz need to get more potent offensively if they're going to take the next step. At 31.1 percent, Rubio ranked 153rd in three-point percentage among 163 players with at least 200 attempts. There could be as many as 10 teams (not including the Jazz) in need of a starting point guard this summer, and Rubio could have more value on a team more in need of a distributor. Number to know: The Jazz were 5.8 points per 100 possessions better offensively with both Rubio and Donovan Mitchell on the floor (scoring 110.4 per 100) than they were with Mitchell on the floor without Rubio (104.6). John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for 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 NewsJun 17th, 2019

PBA: Hotshots get first win over NLEX

Magnolia is the 11th team to join the winner’s circle in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. The Hotshots used a late flurry to frustrate NLEX Friday at the MOA Arena, taking a 98-88 victory in the mid-season joust. After two early losses, Magnolia avoided starting 0-3 for the second straight conference with a gritty decision against the Road Warriors.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 15th, 2019

PVL: Cool Smashers out to end out-of-town skid vs. Perlas Spikers

Streaking defending champion Creamline will have an extra motivation when the Cool Smashers face BanKo in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference’s out-of-town game on Saturday at the University of San Agustin gym in Iloilo City. “Alam niyo, statistics wise, 0-2 kami sa BanKo whenever we play out of town,” said Creamline star player Alyssa Valdez. That losing head-to-head record is enough to fuel the Cool Smashers when they march into the 4:00 p.m. duel that is set to air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. Creamline finished the first round with a straight sets win over listless BaliPure for a 4-1 win-loss record at solo second spot behind unbeaten league-leading PetroGazz (6-0). The Cool Smashers defeated the Perlas Spikers in their first meeting, 23-25, 25-12, 25-17, 25-23, but Valdez and the rest of Creamline know that when it comes to out-of-town games, BanKo has the psychological advantage.        The Perlas Spikers defeated Creamline in Tuguegarao in the import-laden conference and in Cagayan de Oro City in the Open Conference last year – both in five sets. “So this time, siyempre andoon pa rin 'yung nerves namin, if it's against BanKo, all the time, it's gonna be a great game talaga kasi we're really fighting to win,” said Valdez. “Knowing that at the back of our minds, siyempre magpu-push kami talaga to win this time and to play better as a team din.” Meanwhile, BanKo is down with back-to-back losses for a 2-4 slate. The Perlas Spikers bowed down to the Angels 23-25, 11-25, 25-22, 20-25, last Wednesday in a match that saw American import Kia Bright and Turkish reinforcement Yasemin Yildirim play limited minutes. BanKo head coach Apichat Kongsawat decided to utilize his locals for most of the match with Nicole Tiamzon, Dzi Gervacio, Kathy Bersola and Sue Roces playing well on both offense and defense albeit in a losing cause. The Perlas Spikers locals and imports are expected to play better this time against the star-studded Cool Smashers lead by Valdez, Thai import Kuttika Kaepwin, Ale Blanco of Venezuela, Risa Sato, Michele Gumabao and setter Jia Morado.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 15th, 2019