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UAAP 82: Ahanmisi takes Franz’s challenge personal and delivers best game of the year

Jerrick Ahanmisi scored a combined 17 points in Adamson’s first two games of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament. In the win against UE Wednesday however, Ahanmisi exploded for 28 points, connecting on seven triples to power Adamson to victory. As Jerrick has regained his touch, it’s no coincidence that the Falcons are on the first winning streak of the year with their best victory of the season so far. “He wants to make it to the PBA,” head coach Franz Pumaren said of his top guard’s scoring outburst. “I told him the way he’s playing, I don’t think he’ll make the next level. He probably adjusted his level,” he added, before laughing at Ahanmisi who was sitting right next to him. Jerrick agreed with his coach though, saying him stepping up was needed. Coach Franz’s challenge was pretty much answered by Ahanmisi with the win against the Red Warriors. “Before we went out, he kinda told me that I had to step up my game a little bit. I kinda took it a little personal,” Ahanmisi said. “So I went out there and tried to do what I was capable of doing,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 11th, 2019

San Beda, Adamson set up semis date in Filoil Preseason

Three-time NCAA champion San Beda University has forged a 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament semifinals showdown with UAAP powerhouse Adamson University after the two teams won out in their respective games, Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Red Lions had the 1-2 punch of sophomore studs Evan Nelle and James Canlas knock out fighting Far Eastern University, 60-52. Nelle starred with 16 points to go along with four assists, four rebounds, and two assists. He fired six of his output in a four minute spurt that re-increased the three-time NCAA champions' lead from two, 44-42, to eight, 54-46. Canlas shone bright himself with 13 markers, seven boards, two dimes, and one steal that snuffed out the Tamaraws' last try at a comeback inside the last two minutes. "I'm happy about their development," head coach Boyet Fernandez said post-game, nothing but satisfied with his second-year stars. "Sabi ko nga nung sa PBA D-League, bata pa mga players ko, pero yung development nila, you'll see the maturity of these two now." Donald Tankoua also chimed in 12 points and five rebounds for San Beda which remains undefeated after eight games. Earlier, the Soaring Falcons took the seat opposite the Red Lions by routing shorthanded San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 81-61. Congolese center Lenda Douanga posted a 17-point, 15-rebound double-double all while leading four other teammates in double-digit scoring. "Today, we just had to take care of business because we know very well San Sebastian is shorthanded," head coach Franz Pumaren said. That is exactly what Adamson did as Simon Camacho made his presence felt everywhere with 11 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, and one block while the backcourt of Jerom Lastimosa and Jerrick Ahanmisi merged for 24 markers, five boards, and four dimes. That total team effort was more than enough to put away the Golden Stags who were without ailing Allyn Bulanadi and then lost RK Ilagan to an apparent leg injury early in the game. The showdown between Adamson and San Beda is the main event for the preseason tournament's semifinals on Thursday still at the same venue. Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University made headway into the other semifinals pairing after taking the sting out of Centro Escolar University, 76-69. Alvin Baetiong and Reymar Caduyac showed the Pirates the way to the Final Four as the former finished with 13 points and five rebounds and the latter ended with 10 markers, three assists, and two boards. It was also those two who connived to quell the Scorpions' late-game rally and made sure their team overcame an apparent nose injury to top gun Jaycee Marcelino. LPU now await the winner between De La Salle University and Colegio de San Juan de Letran in their ongoing matchup. For nine-man CEU, Senegalese Maodo Malick Diouf fronted the effort with 17 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks, and one steal. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME ADAMSON 81 - Douanga 17, Lastimosa 14, Camacho 11, Manlapaz 11, Ahanmisi 10, Sabandal 9, Zaldivar 4, Yerro 3, Magbuhos 2, Fermin 0, Bernardo 0, Doria 0, Maata 0 SAN SEBASTIAN 61 - Sumoda 12, Desoyo 12, Are 10, Capobres 8, Villapando 7, Calma 7, Altamirano 3, Calahat 2, Loristo 0, Ilagan 0, Tero 0, Dela Cruz 0 QUARTER SCORES: 15-17, 38-31, 62-47, 81-61 SECOND GAME LPU 76 - Baetiong 13, Caduyac 10, Marcelino JC 9, Ibanez 8, Marcelino JV 6, Santos 6, Yong 6, David 4, Remulla 4, Valdez 4, Tansingco 2, Navarro 2, Laurente 2, Gaviola 0 CEU 69 - Diouf 17, Guinitaran 16, Santos 12, Diaz 8, Caballero 5, Sunga 4, Abastillas 4, Bernabe 3, Pamaran 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-21, 47-33, 58-50, 76-69 THIRD GAME SAN BEDA 60 - Nelle 16, Canlas 13, Tankoua 12, Oftana 6, Bahio 4, Cuntapay 4, Doliguez 3, Noah 2, Penuela 0, Alfaro 0, Abuda 0, Soberano 0, Carino 0, Etrata 0 FEU 52 - Ebona 8, Tuffin 7, Comboy 7, Tchuente 5, Bienes 5, Nunag 5, Stockton 3, Gonzales 3, Alforque 3, Celzo 3, Cani 3, Torres 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-12, 25-21, 42-42, 60-52 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

Celtics ready to take best charge by Giannis, Bucks

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MILWAUKEE -- Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks teammates are eager to get going in the Eastern Conference semifinals, as bottled up as they’ve felt in waiting six days between playoff games. A perfect offensive start to Game 1 of their best-of-seven series against Boston would look something like Giannis grabbing the basketball, racing downcourt with one of his breathtaking, three-dribble, end-to-end run-outs and attacking the rim with the ferocity and scowl with which he’s played all season. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Perfect, that is, until Jaylen Brown slides over to plant himself between Antetokounmpo and the restricted area. Whoops! Pancaked Jaylen gets the whistle, while chastened Giannis picks up his first foul and turnover of the Sunday matinee (early Monday, PHL time). It's a strategy out of judo or jiu-jitsu, using your opponent’s power and aggression to your advantage, and it’s one the Celtics likely will deploy against the Bucks’ star and Kia MVP candidate. Getting between Antetokounmpo and the rim isn’t the most comfortable way to defend the against the Greek Freak’s drives into the lane, his maddening Euro Step and his ability to reach up, over and beyond with arms fit for a crane. He’s all elbows and knees, muscles and bones, and at 6'11" and 242 pounds, he’s been giving as much physical punishment as he takes this season. A defender has to absorb that and then sell the move, too, falling backward to the floor. No fun. But it might be one of the few effective ways to slow – if not stop – Antetokounmpo on a Bucks possession, with the added benefits of killing momentum, planting some doubt and ticking up his personal fouls count closer toward an all-critical sixth. Brown and Celtics teammate Terry Rozier both suggested Antetokounmpo could be slowed by such a maneuver. Celtics coach Brad Stevens, in a conference call with reporters Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), wasn’t so sure. “The bottom line is, if you go downhill with the force and speed that he does, there are going to be moments where he charges,” Stevens said. “There also are moments where he draws blocking fouls and scores 'and-ones.' He does that a lot more than he charges. “So you’d better not let him get that head of steam very often.” Easier said than done. Antetokounmpo has become one of the most ferocious rim attackers in the league. He was seemingly unstoppable inside this season, shooting 72.6 percent from five feet or less per NBA.com stats. With 583 field goals from that range, Antetokounmpo had nearly 100 more than the league’s No. 2, Detroit center Andre Drummond (486). Oh, and counting the games against the Pistons in the first round, Antetokounmpo has successfully dunked the ball 289 times – 119 of which have come without assists, meaning either put-backs or throwdowns in which he brought the ball in there with him. Here’s where the 24-year-old’s attack mode can be used against him: He also committed 68 offensive fouls this season – tied for most in the NBA with Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. Certainly he got fouled with the ball way more than he fouled – Antetokounmpo shot 686 free throws, second only to James Harden’s 858. Nearly seven of his 27.7 points per game came from the line. But foul trouble can slow Antetokounmpo’s roll, as with anybody. If it’s early enough or severe enough, it can take him off the floor completely, and for long stretches. At the least, it might make him a bit less assertive, a wee more passive the next time he might otherwise barrel downcourt. “I definitely keep it in my mind,” Antetokounmpo said Friday (Saturday, PHL time), asked about the charge/block challenge he might face against the Celtics. “It’s not just them. A lot of teams try to stop me by taking charges. “But that’s the fun part about it. They’re not thinking about how they’re going to defend me; they’re thinking about how they’re going to try to take charges. If I can be under control and be at my own pace and try to be smart with not taking charges, if I get to my spot it’s going to be tough.” Here’s a breakdown of Antetokounmpo’s impact with and without nagging foul concerns: In the 31 games in which he was called for four fouls or more (including two disqualifications with six), the Bucks star averaged 25.7 points and eight times logged fewer than 30 minutes. Milwaukee’s record: 23-8 (.742). In the 41 games Antetokounmpo finished with three fouls or fewer, he averaged 29.2 points. He played at least 30 minutes in 34 of the 41, and the Bucks went 33-8 (.805). Boston has defenders willing to give up their bodies, including three of the NBA’s top 20 in charges drawn: Aron Baynes (18), Marcus Smart (15) and Kyrie Irving (13). Smart, still out with a left oblique tear, won’t play in at least the first two games of the series. But Semi Ojeleye is a physical forward who drew Antetokounmpo as an assignment at times in the three regular season meetings – he started twice – and took three charges this season. In the three games, Antetokounmpo was called for a total of seven fouls, including three charges. (For the record, Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova led the NBA in that defensive category with 50, despite playing only 1,231 minutes in 67 games.) Several Celtics will try standing in or stepping in, depending how the referees call it, against Antetokounmpo. It will take timing, footwork, physical sacrifice … and some good fortune. “It’s one of those things that’s easier said than done,” said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer. “Luckily for us, it’s nothing that he hasn’t seen or nothing new.” Said Stevens: “The No. 1 thing [Giannis] has always been is exceptional downhill, exceptional in transition. And when I say ‘exceptional’ I mean one of very few to ever have played the game. “I just think, ultimately, you have to be able to move your feet. You have to be able to guard with pride. You have to be able to do all that, but nobody can do that by themselves against him.” 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 NewsApr 28th, 2019

UAAP 82: Coach Aldin takes responsibility for UST s collapse vs Adamson

University of Sto. Tomas had a nine-point lead against Adamson University with three minutes remaining in their matchup last Wednesday. Only, the Growling Tigers let their foot off the pedal and allowed the Soaring Falcons to go on a win-stealing 16-0 run. In that run, Val Chauca, Jerrick Ahanmisi, and Jerom Lastimosa all had more than one make - be it from the field or from the line. UST as a team? Zero. Afterwards, head coach Aldin Ayo could only acknowledge that Adamson took that win from them. "Natalo kami kasi mas maganda nilaro sa amin ng Adamson especially sa dulo. Sa parte namin, hindi kami nakapagtapos nang matigas," he said. Of course, the fiery mentor also posted on social media a photo that showed Lastimosa with his arms wrapped around Growling Tiger Renzo Subido who was waiting from an inbound pass from Brent Paraiso in the middle of that Soaring Falcon run. He made it a point to clear, however, that he meant no ill will towards game officials with that post. "Ang purpose lang nun is mapaganda yung tawagan moving forward. Siyempre, gusto nating mas gumanda pa yun sa season," he said. Coach Aldin then furthered that UST's collapse was not because of the referees. "There were bad calls, pero hindi yun dahilan kaya kami natalo. Hindi namain kontrolado yun e, pero yung bagay na kontrolado namin, hindi kasi namin nagawa," he shared. He then continued, "Adamson really outplayed up. No excuses. Adamson really deserved to win." In the end, the one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion coach said the blame, whatever it may be, should fall on him. As he put it, "Kung may sisisihin dyan, ako. Ako yung coach e and I take full responsibility for that loss." He then continued, "Dapat mas maganda yung decision-making ko nung dulo. Siyempre, sumusunod sa akin mga players e kaya kung may dapat sisihin dun, yung coach." Even so, coach Aldin also has no doubt that the sorry loss will only make the Growling Tigers hungrier. "Yung mga ganitong klaseng talo will only make us better. Eto yung talong babalikan namin sa practice and we will make sure na hindi na mauulit," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 23 min. ago

EYES ON YOU, KID: NCAA 95 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And with the second round already underway, we’re getting even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: MAC GUADANA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals LPU is on the brink of its first playoff appearance in school history – and throughout its quest to do just that, Mac Guadana has been its constant. For a long time, the 6-foot playmaker has stood as the pillar for the Jr. Pirates, but now, he has taken the leap all the way up there as one of the best players in all of high school. The former Batang Gilas guard has been stuffing the stat sheet and is tops in steals, fourth in scoring, and fifth in assists in the league. Without a doubt, he can and he is doing it all in his fifth and final year in maroon and grey. Most importantly, LPU has only followed his lead all the way to a place well inside the playoff picture. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Jr. Pirates can continue their sail to treasure island. What’s certain, though, is that their 18-year-old homegrown star will keep giving his all for them. RHAYYAN AMSALI – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.7 steals For four years running now, Rhayyan Amsali has been one of the most promising prospects in the Jrs. Now in his last year in high school, he has only brought over all the confidence and capabilities he had honed in National U all the way to San Beda. Now donning red and white, the 6-foot-3 forward has unleashed a more well-rounded game as he is actually the league’s best playmaker while at the same time, its third-best pilferer and fifth-best scorer. And if not for a controversial suspension, he would have also been the frontrunner for MVP as he has been a key cog for the league-leading Red Cubs. Still, what matters most for the now 18-year-old is another championship – and at the end of it all, he may very well be in select company of players who have won two titles in two different high schools in two different leagues. JONNEL POLICARPIO – Mapua High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.1 points, 10.6 rebound, 2.6 assists, 1.3 blocks The biggest reason Mapua has found itself in the bottom third of the standings is the inconsistency of main man Jonnel Policarpio. From missing the first three games due to personal problems to getting irregular playing time due to mental lapses, the 6-foot-4 energizer has only proven he has got much room for improvement when it comes to intangibles. Still, whenever he’s on the floor, Policarpio has always made his presence felt and that is very much evident with him being the MVP leader even after only playing seven games. However, the league’s top rebounder needs to prove he can stay on the court and lead his team to victory if he wants to have a hold of that top individual trophy and, more importantly, extend his team’s title reign. JUSTINE SANCHEZ – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.5 points, 62.8 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds Justine Sanchez is turning in a career year in his last year for San Beda. From coming off the bench a year ago to claiming a starting spot for himself, the long-limbed forward is on pace to be hailed as the league’s Most Improved Player. All the proof he needs for that is already there as he is an automatic finisher of set-ups by his teammates, with an astounding 62.8 shooting clip from the field. At the same time, though, he has also shown flashes of shooting and playmaking – showing that even the favorite for Most Improved Player looks like he can still keep growing. JOHN BARBA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists Mac Guadana does it all, but if and when LPU needs a basket badly, it turns to John Barba. A fearless slasher that boasts of one of the best – if not the best – upper body strengths, the 6-foot-2 swingman can score however he wants once he gets to the paint. That is exactly why he is the league’s second-best scorer. Of course, Barba has to work on his shooting, but as of right now, that hole in his game is only offset by his energy and activity that allow him to haul in offensive rebounds and make good on second chance points. TONY YNOT – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals Tony Ynot missed San Beda’s first five games due to a knee injury, but once he was good to go, he did nothing but make an immediate impact. A defensive specialist who made noise in the preseason with a poster block on Jalen Green, the Filipino-American blue-chip recruit in the US NCAA, he is only proving to be more of a two-way force now in his second season in red and white. The 5-foot-11 wing now has the confidence to let it fly from deep or venture inside the paint for a closer look, but when it all boils down to it, defense is and will always be his calling card. RC CALIMAG – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.7 points, 23-of-60 from three, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals RC Calimag has always been in love with the midrange shot in his time in DLSZ and now in his second season in LSGH. The 6-foot-2 forward knocks those down at a respectable rate, but his transition into taking more threes this year has unlocked his entire offensive arsenal. Calimag is the league’s top scorer, with a bulk of his output coming from deep where he has hit 23 in total. Without a doubt, he has always been a deadly scorer, but with his outside shot now a legitimate threat, he has become an elite offensive player. JOSHUA RAMIREZ – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.1 points, 29-of-90 from three, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists Joshua Ramirez’s game will not blow anybody away at all as he is yet to have a skill that will put him above everybody else. What the 6-foot-3 forward is, however, is an all-around player who will do whatever it takes to help out his team – if Letran needs points, he will be there; if Letran needs playmaking, he will be there; if Letran needs defense, he will be there. No doubt about it, he is the quintessential glue guy that any other team will want to have on their side. EMMAN GALMAN – University of Perpetual Help ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals One word perfectly encapsulates Emman Galman – gunner. The 6-foot-2 swingman is a volume shooter who has the greenest of green lights to take shots for Perpetual. That’s not a bad thing at all, though, because he actually makes good on many of those and finds himself as the third-best scorer in all of the league. SHAWN UMALI – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 9.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals What Joshua Ramirez is from the perimeter, Shawn Umali is inside the paint for Letran. The undersized big man will not wow everybody, but his do-it-all game has been the engine that has kept the Squires running for two years now. And don’t let his 6-foot-4 height and wide frame fool you, he actually has great timing and is the league’s fifth-best shot blocker. HONORABLE MENTIONS Yukien Andrada – San Beda High School Gholam Garcia – Jose Rizal University High School CJ Saure – Colegio de San Juan de Letran Ezdel Galoy – University of Perpetual Help --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2019

UAAP 82: Rookie AP Manlapaz is silver lining in Adamson s sorry loss to UP

Last Sunday, Adamson University was two minutes and 22 seconds away from avenging its semifinals loss to the University of the Philippines a season ago. Much of that was thanks to rookie AP Manlapaz who came out of nowhere to score six points in overtime and seize an 82-75 advantage in favor of the Soaring Falcons. Of course, Bright Akhuetie had other plans and fronted the Fighting Maroons' rally that eventually ended as a comeback win. Afterward, Adamson could only lament at what could have been - especially the first-year forward who had just played the game of his life. "Nagkulang lang ng puso nung huli. Parang nag-break down yung mga veterans namin," he told reporters. He then continued, "Pero sabi nga ni coach, mahaba pa naman yung season kaya pwedeng-pwede pa kaming makabawi." Indeed, despite absorbing their second loss in four games, the Soaring Falcons are moving forward with the knowledge that they can call upon Manlapaz and the youngster will be there. "Kanina po, gusto ko lang bumawi sa mga last games kasi wala akong napapakita. Dahil dun, taalgang parang nagkusa po ako," he shared. He then continued, "Dahil po rito, sana nag-start na talagang ma-boost yung confidence ko sa mga darating na games namin." And moving forward, the 19-year-old energizer only vows to continue returning the trust of head coach Franz Pumaren. "Masaya po akong malaki yung tiwala nila sa akin kaya gustong-gusto ko talagang may maipapakita ako dapat sa kanila," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2019

Antonio Brown faces rape accusations by former trainer

By Jay Cohen, Associated Press New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer. Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. Brown has denied the allegations. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, told The Associated Press his client plans to countersue. "He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations," Heitner said in a statement. Heitner said Brown and Taylor had "a consensual personal relationship." The New York Times first reported about the lawsuit. The AP does not ordinarily name the alleged victims of sex assaults, but Taylor was identified in the federal lawsuit and was quoted in a statement provided by her lawyer, David Haas. "As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision," Taylor said. "I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape." Taylor also said in the statement she will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies. A spokesman for the NFL declined comment, but the Patriots said the league told the team it will launch an investigation. "We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio's representatives," the Patriots said in a statement. "We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place." The 31-year-old Brown, a Miami native, was released by Oakland last week after clashing with the team throughout training camp. He agreed to a contract with New England on Saturday, but has yet to play for the Patriots. Brown and Taylor met through a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at Central Michigan University, according to the suit. Taylor said Brown reached out to her via Facebook in June 2017 and asked the former gymnast for help with improving his strength and flexibility. According to the lawsuit, Taylor was sexually assaulted by Brown on separate training trips to Pittsburgh and Florida that same month. The suit includes what it says are text messages from Brown bragging about the second assault. Taylor says in the suit she then cut off ties with Brown. But she agreed to work with him again after she says he apologized and agreed to provide hotel accommodations for each training trip. According to the lawsuit, Taylor and Brown were in Miami in May 2018 when he raped her in a bedroom at his home. Taylor says she shouted "no" and "stop," but Brown refused. Heitner said in his statement Taylor invited herself to join Brown and his friends on a night out on the town, and then came on to Brown before they engaged in consensual sex at his residence. Brown was approached by Taylor in 2017, according to Heitner, about making a $1.6 million investment in a business project. But he declined. Heitner said Taylor reached out to Brown again last year, and she traveled to his residences on multiple occasions. Heitner said she asked for tickets to a Pittsburgh Steelers game. "Mr. Brown, whose hard work and dedication to his craft has allowed him to rise to the top of his profession, refuses to be the victim of what he believes to be a money grab," Heitner said in his statement. Brown was originally traded from Pittsburgh to Oakland in the offseason. But a bizarre foot injury, fight with the NFL over his helmet, skipped practices, multiple fines, a run-in with general manager Mike Mayock and his social media posts ultimately led to the decision to release him. Brown agreed to a deal with the defending Super Bowl champions hours after the Raiders let him go, granting his request. ___ AP Sports Writers Bob Lentz and Kyle Hightower contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2019

Germany, Netherlands win as Croatia drops points

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press Germany flirted with defeat for a second straight European Championship qualifier before Marcel Halstenberg's first international goal lifted the team to a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Monday. Coming off a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands, Germany's recovery was unconvincing, helped by Northern Ireland wasting good chances. The Dutch delivered another impressive attacking display as Memphis Depay marked his 50th game for the Netherlands by scoring one goal and setting up two more in a 4-0 win over Estonia. Belgium made qualifying seem a pushover by beating Scotland 4-0 to keep a perfect winning record, but other favorites faltered. Croatia and Poland both dropped points but remained top of their increasingly competitive groups. REBUILD CONTINUES Germany's still in rebuild mode. More than a year on from its embarrassing group-stage elimination at the World Cup, Joachim Löw's team still struggles to get what should be routine wins. Just as South Korea ran Germany into the ground at the World Cup, so hard pressing from Northern Ireland nearly earned an upset win in Belfast. The host had the better of the first half. Conor Washington had one good shot saved by Manuel Neuer, and later tripped over the ball in front of goal, missing the best chance of the game. Germany emerged from the break refreshed and needed just three minutes before Halstenberg volleyed the ball into the net after Julian Brandt flicked on a cross. Stuart Dallas then went close for Nothern Ireland, who continued to challenge until deep into stoppage time, when Serge Gnabry grabbed Germany's second goal on a counter. "They pressed us hard in the first half, but at some point they got tired," Halstenberg said. Asked if Germany was getting back to the level of Europe's best, he was diplomatic. "It's hard to say." Ryan Babel was crucial in the Netherlands' come-from-behind win over Germany on Friday and he tore up another defense on Monday, scoring twice against Estonia. It was the first time Babel scored two in an international game and left the Dutch third in Group B, though they've played one game fewer than everyone else. The Netherlands' home-and-away games against Northern Ireland next month and in November will likely decide the automatic qualifying places in Group C. CROATIA CHECKED World Cup finalist Croatia was held by outsider Azerbaijan to 1-1 on Monday, denting its chances of reaching next year's European Championship. Croatia won an early penalty for handball, converted by captain Luka Modric, but Azerbaijan wing back Tamkin Khalilzade cut in from the left in the 72nd minute and beat Dejan Lovren before shooting past goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. For Azerbaijan, a Euro 2020 host, it was the first point of the qualifying campaign after four straight defeats. Croatia leads Group E by a single point from Slovakia and Hungary with two qualifying spots available. Slovakia beat Hungary 2-1 to move up to second. The other team in the hunt for qualification, Wales, was playing a friendly. BELGIUM TAKES IT EASY Scotland's Hampden Park was a walk in the park for Belgium. The visitors were three goals up after just 32 minutes as they kept a perfect record of six wins from six in qualifying. With an 11-point cushion to third-placed Kazakhstan, Belgium could seal qualification in its next game against San Marino. Belgium's goal difference of +18 is the best of any team in the qualifying competition and its gone five competitive games without conceding. Russia kept second place in Group I, but was lackluster in beating Kazakhstan 1-0, needing an 89th-minute headed goal from right back Mario Fernandes. Cyprus beat San Marino 4-0. After a fourth defeat, Scotland was in fifth place. It has never finished a European Championship qualifying campaign below fourth. POLAND SCORELESS AGAIN Poland looked a dead cert to qualify until last week, and now that seems a long time ago. After four straight wins, a 2-0 loss to Slovenia on Friday rattled the Poles. A 0-0 draw with Austria on Monday left Poland with its lead cut to two points. Slovenia earned a second big win in four days, beating Israel 3-2 to snatch second place in Group G. The competition's top scorer, Eran Zahavi, netted his ninth goal in qualifying as Israel turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, but Roman Bezjak drew Slovenia level before winger Benjamin Verdic scored the winner. Fourth-placed North Macedonia kept long-shot qualifying hopes alive by beating Latvia 2-0......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 10th, 2019

UAAP 82: Lady Bulldogs down Lady Falcons even after Prado s 36-point outburst

National University used a strong second half to survive Mar Prado's 36-point explosion and turn back Adamson, 99-78, Saturday in the UAAP Season 82 Women's Basketball tournament at Araneta Coliseum. Rookie Camille Clarin put up a season-best 23 points, to go with five rebounds and four assists as she led the Lady Bulldogs to their second win this year as well as extending their win streak to 82 straight games. Jack Animam also bullied her way in the paint with a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals while Monique del Carmen had 12 points and six assists. Mikka Cacho also did her part with 11 points, Kelli Hayes got 10 points, three boards, and three assists, and Rhena Itesi added eight points and 14 rebounds for NU. As improved of a performance as it was for the Lady Bulldogs, coach Pat Aquino remains unsatisfied as he believes that his team can still perform better as the season goes. "I still can see the real potential of the team. It's not just one girl who can make it happen this year, it takes everyone to make things happen and we're getting there," he said. "I know that we started slow again, but we're just trying to be more aggressive in the coming games." NU took time to warm up before opening the floodgates in the third frame where a 28-point eruption saw it grab a 30-point edge, 71-41, after a Clarin three before ending the quarter up 20, 76-56. The game, however, wasn't easy, especially with the way Prado played as the Lady Falcon ace went 11-of-23 from the field and 14-of-21 from the charity stripe. "She played very aggressively and she really wanted to show us that she has it. That's the kind of player that if they really want it, they could do it," said Aquino in awe of Prado. "I'm so proud of her for playing that good and to coach Ewon (Arayi) for giving her the confidence and making Adamson a well-oiled team." Rose Ann Dampios contributed 14 points, five boards, and four assists for Adamson in its season opener. BOX SCORES NU 99 -- Clarin 23, Animam 14, Del Carmen 12, Cacho 11, Hayes 10, Itesi 8, Pingol 7, Surada 4, Bartolo 4, Fabruada 2, Goto 2, Canuto 1, Cac 1, Harada 0. ADAMSON 78 -- Prado 36, Dampios 14, Anticamara 9, Ornopia 6, Araja 5, Catulong 4, Mendoza 2, Dumelod 1, Ea. Alaba 1, Bilbao 0, Balane 0, Tandaan 0, Flor 0, Dionela 0, Dela Cruz 0, Ei. Alaba 0. QUARTER SCORES: 22-19, 48-37, 76-56, 99-78......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2019

UAAP 82: Douanga saves day as Adamson survives scare from NU

Lenda Douanga's improbable three-point shot rescued Adamson University from an upset ax by National University in overtime, 84-83, Saturday at Araneta Coliseum. The two teams were going at it way into overtime and Dave Ildefonso already looked like he had lifted the Bulldogs to the upset by willing a short stab over all of Simon Camacho, Aaron Flowers, and Douanga. Still with 1.4 ticks to go on the clock, however, Douanga threw up a triple that swished through the net and saved the Soaring Falcons from their worst start to the season in their four years under head coach Franz Pumaren. "We needed that win. I guess we're still searching for the right combination because having new guys, we're still searching for chemistry," he said after his young wards bounced back from a loss to open the tournament. It was also the Congolese big man who converted his couple of charities in the dying moments of regulation to force the extra period. Once there, Adamson allowed Dave Ildefonso drop nine of his 29 points, including what was supposed to be the improbable game-winner over three defenders. Only, Douanga had other plans and had his own improbably game-winner, punctuating a 26-point, 19-rebound performance while Simon Camacho had his own 14-marker, 11-board double-double. Valandre Chauca and Jerom Lastimosa did damage as well with the former finishing with 13 points and four rebounds and the latter ending with 10 markers, seven assists, and six boards. Top gun Jerrick Ahanmisi only had 10 points in 4-of-14, but his supporting cast, indeed, proved to be the difference. For NU, Issa Gaye and John Lloyd Clemente backstopped Ildefonso with 16 and 11 points, respectively. At the wrong end of the improbable game-winner, however, they suffered a setback to start the season. BOX SCORES ADAMSON 84 - Douanga 26, Camacho 14, Chauca 13, Lastimosa 10, Ahanmisi 10, Flowers 7, Zaldivar 2, Fermin 2, Bernardo 0, Yerro 0, Mojica 0, Manlapaz 0, Magbuhos 0. NU 83 - Ildefonso 29, Gaye 16, Clemente 11, Oczon 7, Joson 5, S. Ildefonso 5, Mosqueda 3, Minerva 2, Mangayao 2, Diputado 2, Rangel 1, Tibayan 0, Yu 0, Gallego 0. QUARTER SCORES: 15-21, 31-30, 54-58, 74-74, 84-83. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2019

UAAP 82: One more chance for NU to put the pieces of the puzzle together

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 4-10, seventh YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: John Lloyd Clemente, John Galinato, JV Gallego, Issa Gaye, Enzo Joson, Dave Ildefonso, Shaun Ildefonso, Jonas Tibayan WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Robert Minerva, Migs Oczon, Chino Mosqueda (returning from injury) GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Matt Aquino, Rev Diputado, Troy Rike, Dave Wilson Yu WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM NU? NU still has each and every one of its recruits from its big-time offseason a year ago when it was named ABS-CBN Sports’ first-ever King of Recruiting. With Ildefonso brothers Shaun and Dave, John Lloyd Clemente, and John Galinato coming in, the Bulldogs were poised to break out and barge back into the playoffs – only, that wasn’t what happened and they only had four wins to show for that big-time offseason. Still, that young core, now battle-hardened, has remained intact and UAAP 82 may very well they year it lives up to the hype. Hey, better late than never and both Dave I. and JLC are bound to keep moving on up all while Shaun I. takes the reins of leadership. Even better, the bench that already includes the likes of John Galinato and Jonas Tibayan has only been bolstered by the entries of Robert Minerva and Migs Oczon, two promising prospects used to winning. WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM NU? Sophomore slumps will be put to the test when both Dave I. and JLC put a heavier burden on their backs at the forefront of the NU offensive. Dave I. was given all the freedom in the world in his first season in Sampaloc, but at the same time, looked like he was being asked to do too much, too quickly. JLC, meanwhile, proved to be inconsistent in his first go-round trying to prove that he was, indeed, college-ready. Those two rising stars are, more likely than not, going to take the next step, but a shinier spotlight may very well be put on Shaun I. who will have to make sure that all of the Bulldogs push forward with the game plan and play to their strengths. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR NU? NU is young as they come with two sophomores in Dave I. and JLC showing the way. Without a doubt, youth will be served for the Bulldogs and who doesn’t love seeing upstarts stand up to traditional powerhouses? And you just know head coach Jamike Jarin will have his boys running all over the court – the only question is if he will still have his voice to keep yelling in Jamike-like fashion. WHERE WOULD NU BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 82? The playoffs is still a ways away for NU, but there is, indeed, light at the end of the tunnel. What matters more for the Bulldogs this season is for Dave I. and JLC to fulfill their potential as leading men and everybody else to do their best to be the two’s strong supporting cast. WHEN IS NU’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 82? Ildefonso brothers Dave and Shaun join forces with John Lloyd Clemente to shoot NU to an upset victory versus Adamson on September 7 at Araneta Coliseum Of course, everybody goes All for More and, as always, all of the action will be 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 livestream. HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE SEVEN OTHER TEAMS IN UAAP SEASON 82: With its arsenal fully loaded, UE’s ambush good to go in UAAP 82 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2019

With its arsenal fully loaded, UE s ambush good to go in UAAP 82

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 1-13, eighth YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Chris Conner, Philip Manalang WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: John Apacible, Alex Diakhite, Jed Mendoza, Harvey Pagsanjan, Richie Rodger, Rey Suerte, Neil Tolentino GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Reymark Acuno, Wilson Bartolome, Alvin Pasaol, Jason Varilla WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM UE? UE operated in the shadows in the offseason – begging off the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament and hiding its true form once it played games. Still, the red and white made the loudest noise in the lead-up to UAAP 82 – so much so that it was named ABS-CBN Sports' co-King of Recruiting for 2019. Indeed, the Red Warriors of this year will look definitely different from last year’s iteration as all of 6-foot-9 Senegalese Alex Diakhite, Hope Christian High School standout Harvey Pagsanjan, three-time champion and two-time MVP in CESAFI Rey Suerte, ex-Jose Rizal University super scorer Jed Mendoza, former Ateneo de Manila University forward John Apacible, defensive stopper Neil Tolentino, and Filipino-Kiwi swingman Ritchie Rodger are now flanking team captain Philip Manalang. Without a doubt, that fully loaded lineup is the best Recto has had in recent history – and it is nothing but ready and raring to take everybody by surprise and take the league by storm. Now, the only question is if its coaching staff has what it takes to make it all work. ????? IGMA KADIMA COMING SOON A team of new beginnings, the Red Warriors hit the hardcourt in 8 days ????? #UAAPSeason82 pic.twitter.com/rERUFKrpC2 — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 27, 2019 WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM UE? The early exit of Alvin Pasaol will be a big blow to any team, but UE has full faith it has a ready-made replacement in Suerte. While the 6-foot-3 long-limbed forward does not have the blend of size and speed Pasaol had, he is a scoring machine in his own right and has long terrorized Visayan defenses with his shot-taking and shot-making ability from all over the court. The same can be said for Pagsanjan who has long been college-ready. For now, however, the pride of Hope Christian will only be needed to contribute whatever and whenever he can with the likes of Manalang, Suerte and Jed Mendoza, another one-and-done recruit, carrying the offensive load. Add to that Diakhite, who has all the confidence and the capability to position himself right away alongside Bright Akhuetie and Ange Kouame as one of the best foreign student-athletes, and the Red Warriors are sure to be pushoevers no more. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR UE? The last time UE was in the Final Four and the Finals, Paul Lee was still donning the red and white. It has been a decade since and this fully loaded lineup may very well put an end to that drought – that is if and only if there are no complications when it comes to coaching. Whatever it is, the Red Warriors are overdue for a breakthrough and it will not be farfetched to see our co-King of Recruiting for 2019 coming through. WHERE WOULD UE BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 82? UE will be far, far away from the bottom of the standings it had been languishing in as of late. With Diakhite dominating inside, Suerte and Mendoza scoring in bunches, Pagsanjan doing it all, and Manalang showing the way, the Red Warriors will be battling for a playoff berth. And if they do not get derailed by their own doing, it also will not be a surprise if the red and white will be fighting for the championship itself. WHEN IS UE’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 82? UE finally comes out of the shadows in a matchup with fellow upstart UST on September 4 at Araneta Coliseum Check the dates. Set your alarms. Save as wallpaper. This is UE BASKETBALL! ?????#UAAPSeason82 pic.twitter.com/ZEsKG3ZA3Z — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 27, 2019 Of course, everybody goes All for More and, as always, all of the action will be 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 livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2019

'Agimat' returns with special LeBron 16 low colorway

In its third year, the Agimat story takes center stage with the first footwear collaboration with Titan, a beacon of basketball culture in the Philippines. The latest LeBron 16 Low x Titan “Agimat” was inspired by Filipino folklore, where the greatest of warriors are tasked not only to excel in battle, but also to lead past the field of combat and to the pinnacle of their kingdom.  Evolving LeBron James’ journey from Warrior to King, the new Agimat sets the stage for James’ newest challenge to scale greater heights. Speaking about their first Nike collaboration, Levon Rondina, Chief Brand Officer for Titan said, “We are proud and excited that our partnership with Nike is on the Agimat, with its iconic relevance to the people of the Philippines. Since it first launched in 2017, the Agimat has rooted itself not just in basketball performance but also the culture around the game. We are proud to continue deepening that connection through design and storytelling true to Titan’s heritage, culture and spirit.”           View this post on Instagram                   #TAKETHETHRONE // The Agimat. Struck by Lightning. Made for the Warrior, Fit for a King. The journey continues. The Nike LeBron 16 Low x Titan ‘Agimat’ is coming. #FLOTG #TitanX A post shared by TITAN (@titan_22) on Aug 12, 2019 at 8:00pm PDT   Built to harness the athlete’s power during possession, the LeBron 16 Low x Titan “Agimat” features a combined cushioning system that helps absorb impact and provide responsive energy return. The stretch collar in the new design expands to let athletes easily get their foot in, while the custom lacing will secure the fit as per the athlete’s requirement.  In terms of design, there are 2 new badges appearing for the first time on this Agimat iteration – the ‘shield’ inspired by the Bagobo tribe’s traditional armour and ‘lightning’ that symbolizes power – both reflective of James’ stature as he takes on greater challenges in his journey with those who share the same values and resilience onwards. Jino Ferrer, Country Marketing Manager, Nike Philippines said, “We are thrilled to have worked with Titan on this special collaboration of the LeBron 16 Low x Titan “Agimat”. Titan’s love of the game has helped established them as an authentic and vital lifeline of Manila’s basketball scene. We are confident that the Agimat aptly inspires athletes to raise their game on and off the court; to the next level and beyond.” The Nike LeBron 16 Low x Titan “Agimat” priced at PHP8545 will be available at Titan stores, the Titan App, and TITAN22.COM.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 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 sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2019

NCAA 95: Charcos takes charge as Perpetual takes fight out of Mapua

Ben Adamos walked in the shoes of Prince Eze, but it was Edgar Charcos who made sure University of Perpetual Help didn’t skip a beat in the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament as they warded off very game Mapua University, 80-78, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Adamos proved to be a good fit in place of last year’s MVP Eze with eight points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks in his debut in wine and gold. With the two teams going at it, however, it was Charcos who took matters in his own hands, going on a personal 8-0 run to break a tied tally at 69-all and build a 77-69 edge in favor of the Altas with 4:10 remaining. "It's a show of character para sa amin. I felt na Mapua is stronger than us, pero it was just guts," a satisfied head coach Frankie Lim said post-game. Of course, the Cardinals kept coming and Laurenz Victoria's triple closed them to within one, 78-79, with 8.2 ticks to go. Sent to the line, though, Charcos wrapped up his team's season-opening win for good by going 1-of-2. In the end, Perps' playmaker wound up with 16 points, all but five coming in the last seven minutes, to go along with eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Tonton Peralta topped the scoring column with 20 points while Jielo Razon also added 10 markers, four rebounds, and two assists. "Big game also from Adamos, Jielo, and Tonton. Sabi ko naman sa kanila, wala tayong star, we need team effort," coach Frankie said. For Mapua, Warren Bonifacio showed the way with 15 points and nine rebounds and was backstopped by Cyril Gonzales with 14 markers, five assists, five steals, and three boards. Despite the season-opening loss, the young Cardinals proved they will be no pushovers under new head coach Randy Alcantara. BOX SCORES PERPETUAL 80 - Peralta 20, Charcos 16, Razon 10, Egan 9, Aurin 9, Adamos 8, Giussani 2, Lanoy 2, Cuevas 2, Barasi 2, Lucero 0, Martel 0 MAPUA 78 - Bonifacio 15, Gonzales 14, Garcia 9, Nieles 8, Victoria 6, Salenga 6, Serrano 5, Hernandez 4, Lugo 4, Bunag 3, Aguirre 2, Jabel 2, Gamboa 0, Dela Cruz 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-22, 39-45, 64-63, 80-78 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 2019

NCAA 95: Charcos takes charge as Perpetual takes fight out of Mapua

Ben Adamos walked in the shoes of Prince Eze, but it was Edgar Charcos who made sure University of Perpetual Help didn’t skip a beat in the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament as they warded off very game Mapua University, 80-78, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Adamos proved to be a good fit in place of last year’s MVP Eze with eight points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks in his debut in wine and gold. With the two teams going at it, however, it was Charcos who took matters in his own hands, going on a personal 8-0 run to break a tied tally at 69-all and build a 77-69 edge in favor of the Altas with 4:10 remaining. "It's a show of character para sa amin. I felt na Mapua is stronger than us, pero it was just guts," a satisfied head coach Frankie Lim said post-game. Of course, the Cardinals kept coming and Laurenz Victoria's triple closed them to within one, 78-79, with 8.2 ticks to go. Sent to the line, though, Charcos wrapped up his team's season-opening win for good by going 1-of-2. In the end, Perps' playmaker wound up with 16 points, all but five coming in the last seven minutes, to go along with eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Tonton Peralta topped the scoring column with 20 points while Jielo Razon also added 10 markers, four rebounds, and two assists. "Big game also from Adamos, Jielo, and Tonton. Sabi ko naman sa kanila, wala tayong star, we need team effort," coach Frankie said. For Mapua, Warren Bonifacio showed the way with 15 points and nine rebounds and was backstopped by Cyril Gonzales with 14 markers, five assists, five steals, and three boards. Despite the season-opening loss, the young Cardinals proved they will be no pushovers under new head coach Randy Alcantara. BOX SCORES PERPETUAL 80 - Peralta 20, Charcos 16, Razon 10, Egan 9, Aurin 9, Adamos 8, Giussani 2, Lanoy 2, Cuevas 2, Barasi 2, Lucero 0, Martel 0 MAPUA 78 - Bonifacio 15, Gonzales 14, Garcia 9, Nieles 8, Victoria 6, Salenga 6, Serrano 5, Hernandez 4, Lugo 4, Bunag 3, Aguirre 2, Jabel 2, Gamboa 0, Dela Cruz 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-22, 39-45, 64-63, 80-78 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 2019

US men also seek soccer title, face Mexico for Gold Cup

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press CHICAGO (AP) — Remember the U.S. men's soccer team? It's also playing for a trophy on Sunday, taking on Mexico at Soldier Field in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Gone from the national sports consciousness since its October 2017 loss at Trinidad and Tobago ended a streak of seven straight World Cup appearances, the men's program is trying to regroup under new coach Gregg Berhalter. The American women play the Netherlands in France at 11 a.m. EDT, chasing their fourth world championship, and they are livid they have to share the spotlight with the Copa America final between host Brazil and Peru at 4 p.m. and the U.S. men seeking their seventh Gold Cup title at 9:15 p.m. "I look at it differently. I think that this is an opportunity to be Soccer Day in America," Berhalter said. "When you think about the opportunity for the women to win the World Cup in the morning and then you get to I think party for half the afternoon, then you get to take a little nap, and then you get up, you go to the game and you enjoy the final of Gold Cup." The men have outscored opponents 15-1 in five matches, while the women have a 24-3 advantage in six. "Our whole focus is on us," forward Jordan Morris said. "We're wishing them all the best, of course, and we want them to win the championship, as well, but we don't think about that too much, just really what we can do to come out and win our game." He would have preferred not to play on the same day. "Ideally I guess that would be great that they get their own focus being in a World Cup final and we'll get our own and Copa America gets their own," Morris said. The U.S. is 6-4 in Gold Cup finals, beating Mexico in 2007 and losing in 1993, '98, '09 and '11. The Americans won their only consecutive regional titles in 2005 under Bruce Arena and 2007 under Bob Bradley. Morris, whose 88th-minute goal lifted the U.S. over Jamaica in the 2017 final, is among six holdovers from that roster, joined by defenders Matt Miazga and Omar Gonzalez, midfielders Michael Bradley and Paul Arriola, and forward Jozy Altidore. Led by 20-year-midfielder Christian Pulisic, the U.S. is mostly a young team with a sprinkling of veterans and is testing 24-year-old goalkeeper Zack Steffen in a tournament for the first time. Pulisic, who reports to Chelsea next week, has enhanced his status as by far the top American player. "When I think about this month for him, it's been a lot of personal development," Berhalter said, "in terms of just him blossoming with his personality within the group, his importance to the team on the field. The skills haven't changed, right, from a month, but in terms of his role, what he's comfortable with, how he's embracing his role within the team and his role on and off the field, it's been really nice to see." The Gold Cup has been Berhalter's first extended time with his full player pool and the only lengthy one before World Cup qualifying starts next year. "I'm obviously super-excited for the challenge," Pulisic said. Neither team is at full strength. The U.S. is missing right-side starters DeAndre Yedlin and Tyler Adams, plus central defender John Brooks, all because of injuries. El Tri, in its first tournament under new coach Tata Martino, is going for its eighth Gold Cup title. It had a more onerous path to the final that included a penalty-kicks victory over Costa Rica and an extra-time win over Haiti. Mexico's roster has just five players who started the round-of-16 loss to Brazil at last year's World Cup: goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Edson Álvarez and Carlos Salcedo, and midfielders Andrés Guardado and Jesús Gallardo. Among the missing are all three forwards who started against the Selecao: Javier Hernández, Carlos Vela and Hirving Lozano. "We do miss these players," Martino said through a translator. "We play with the soccer players that respond to the call." U.S. players hope American fans are celebrating even before the kickoff, savoring a victory by the women over the Dutch. "Let's hope we both win the finals and make it a historical day in the history of American soccer," winger Tyler Boyd said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

Summer of 2020 takes on added importance for Bucks

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com 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

UST’s Nonoy attends graduation then plays in All-Star Game

Mark Nonoy is University of Sto. Tomas' lone representative in the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason All-Star Game. When the showcase tipped off inside the Filoil Flying V Centre on Friday, however, the prized prospect was nowhere to be found. As it turns out, Nonoy was attending his high school graduation inside the UST campus in Espana. Once the program wrapped up at around 4:00 p.m., though, the 19-year-old made his way to the Filoil All-Star Game. "Gusto ko po talaga kasing ma-experience na makasama ko yung mga idol ko sa college at gusto ko rin po talagang makakuha ng experience sa kanila," he shared. And to do so, he booked an Angkas and rode on a motorcycle all the way to San Juan. Moments before the final frame of the game, Nonoy finally arrived at the venue. Not long after, he was sent in by head coach Franz Pumaren to help holding off the NCAA All-Stars. The 5-foot-8 playmaker did that and more, scoring eight points on top of three assists and three rebounds in 10 minutes of action as the UAAP All-Stars got the better of the NCAA All-Stars, 86-83. Of course, he was going to do what he has long been doing - go to work with or without warmups. "Iniisip ko lang na parehas kami pag nasa court ako. Kung anong matutulong ko sa teammates ko, yun ang gagawin ko," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 31st, 2019

Gatecrasher Tottenham takes on storied Liverpool in CL final

By Rob Harris, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Familiar territory for Liverpool. So very unfamiliar for Tottenham. The second all-English Champions League final in history pits one of Europe's most successful clubs against a side unexpectedly gatecrashing the continent's elite. After losing last year's final to Real Madrid, Juergen Klopp's Liverpool has another shot at lifting the European Cup for a sixth time on Saturday. Tottenham doesn't get its hands on trophies often. The north London club is contesting a Champions League final for the first time, the culmination of an improbable run that has shaken the soccer establishment. "It is something that we have changed at the club," Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen said. "How people look at the club. How people think about us players at Spurs." Much has been made of Liverpool's 29-year domestic title drought — that came within a couple of points of ending three weeks ago — but Tottenham's stretches back exactly twice as long to 1961. Despite that, the club has made an unexpected march to the biggest game in club soccer without anything near the kind of lavish spending that clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have thrown — unsuccessfully — toward the same pursuit. Manager Mauricio Pochettino hasn't even been able to sign a single player in the last two transfer windows — a first for a Premier League club — because of a frugal environment brought on by the club's recently completed $1 billion-plus new stadium. And yet he has just celebrated a fourth consecutive top-four finish in the Premier League by seeing off bigger spending rivals Arsenal and Manchester United. Qualifying for the Champions League is seen as an achievement alone for a club which has only reached four second-tier European finals, mostly recently winning the now-defunct UEFA Cup in 1984. Since Pochettino took charge in 2014, Tottenham's net spend on transfers is estimated to be less than 30 million pounds ($38 million). That is around a sixth of Liverpool's net spend over the last five years. "You can either take it that the manager has got full confidence in what he's worked with in the last two years, that he believes in you and doesn't want to bring in anyone to challenge for your position," Tottenham defender Danny Rose said before flying to Madrid. "Or you can take it that nobody wants to join Tottenham, the club hasn't been able to provide the funds to buy anyone." That's not the accusation leveled at Liverpool owner John Henry, who also runs the Boston Red Sox in MLB. Klopp's answer to losing last season's final was jettisoning blundering goalkeeper Loris Karius and — briefly — breaking the goalkeeping transfer record to sign Alisson Becker from Roma for $85 million. That final in Kiev was agony for Mohamed Salah, who was forced off in the opening half hour with a shoulder injury before Liverpool lost 3-1. The striker has struggled to live up to the 44 goals he scored last season, with a haul of 26 in all competitions in a front three alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Now the target is preventing Liverpool falling to a third Champions League final loss since the club's last victory in 2005. "Everything feels better this time around," Salah said, "and we have more experience than the last time." That experience pushed Manchester City to the final day in the Premier League title race and amassed 97 points that would usually be enough to secure the crown. "If there was a prize for the biggest development in the last 12 months then it's going to the Reds, that's how it is," Klopp said. "The boys did a really amazing job, but we get that it's about winning competitions." Pochettino faces the same jibes as Klopp about his inability to land a trophy. Although Klopp did win the Bundesliga twice at Borussia Dortmund before joining Liverpool in 2015 — but also lost a Champions League final with Dortmund and a Europa League final with Liverpool. Pochettino, a former Argentina defender, is now in his third managerial role after Espanyol and Southampton, and still awaiting a winner's medal. Winning the biggest prize in Europe wouldn't be bad place to start for a manager so often linked with moves to bigger clubs. "We can provide our fans and our people and our family, of course, the best happiness in football that you can provide," Pochettino said. "I think today to talk about individual thing is a little bit embarrassing and ashamed because you know I think I am not important." But Pochettino has taken much of the credit for steering Tottenham to the final after collecting only one point from the opening three group stage games. Progress to the round of 16 was only secured thanks to a late equalizer by Lucas Moura at Barcelona in the group finale. Even after Harry Kane limped out of the quarterfinals first leg against Manchester City, Tottenham found a way to cope without its leading striker. Fernando Llorente's goal — and a favorable stoppage-time VAR denial of Raheem Sterling's strike — clinched a frenzied aggregate win at City. In the semifinals, Moura scored with almost the final kick of the second leg to complete a hat trick and overturn a 3-0 aggregate deficit. If Kane recovers from his ankle injury, Moura is likely to return to the bench. "No one expected us to be here at start of competition," Rose said. "No one expected us to be here after the quarters or the semis." Liverpool also pulled off an improbable semifinal result to see off Barcelona by recovering from 3-0 down. And form is on Klopp's side heading into Saturday's game at the Atletico Madrid stadium. Although Tottenham only finished two places below Liverpool in fourth, there was a 26-point gap between the sides and the north London club lost both league encounters 2-1. "It's not that we were five levels above them," Klopp said. "But that's how a final actually should be.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 31st, 2019

Klay Thompson adds meditation to his mental preparation

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson craved a little calm. The Golden State guard needed something more to balance out his basketball routine, so he added meditation to help him get centered before games and better deal with the pressures of NBA life. Flip on some classical music or nature sounds and he’s ready to relax his mind. It takes consistent practice, just like that pretty jumper. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] “I try to go 30 minutes,” said Thompson, who is joined for some sessions by bulldog bestie, Rocco. “It’s hard. It’s very hard. An hour would be nice, but you’ve got to work up to that.” Thompson is in a good place right now, going to a fifth straight NBA Finals and chasing a three-peat with the Golden State Warriors. Two-time reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant sat out injured for the entire Western Conference finals, leaving Thompson and Splash Brother Stephen Curry to take on an even greater load on both ends. Thompson heads into Game 1 at Toronto on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) averaging 19.1 points these playoffs, having scored 22.6 points per game in the five contests without Durant. Mental preparation off the court is a major reason Thompson no longer lets things fester or bring him down, such as a tough loss or bad outing. He has said that earlier in his career it was hard to let go after games. Now, he instead shrugs off a poor shooting performance with the simple notion of, “That’s the way the basketball gods can be.” Then, it’s back to work. Left off the All-NBA team? “Oh, I didn’t?” he replied when told he hadn’t made the cut. Thompson did allow himself a little eye roll in disbelief, before adding: “It is what it is. I can’t control it. Do I think there’s that many guards better than me in the league? No, but that’s the reason why we’re still playing. So, I don’t even want to get into it, honestly.” The more media shy, under-the-radar of Golden State’s sensational backcourt — Curry is a two-time MVP — a slumping Thompson once held his hand up near his face and uttered “I missed you” when he finally got on a roll again at Portland on Dec. 29 (Dec. 30, PHL time). He credits meditation in part for how far he has come in handling everything as he wraps up his eighth NBA season. Thompson added meditation and visualization into his routine the last couple of years. This is the typically stoic guard who plunged into the Pacific Ocean in Southern California before Game 4 of the first round against the Clippers following a performance that wasn’t up to his “standards.” He went out and scored 32 after that with six three-pointers, hitting his first seven shots. “The mind’s so powerful. Just try to train the mind to deal with adversity in situations that are unpleasant but make you better in the long run, that’s what I try to do,” Thompson said when asked how he got involved meditation. “Just a lot of reading on the internet and learning from coach (Steve) Kerr. Learned from Tony Robbins, too. It was cool talking to him last year. He had a great outlook on things. Just from veteran players. David West taught me a lot about that side of the game, the mental part.” Teammate Shaun Livingston can picture Thompson in a moment of complete serenity and peace — “100 percent, nothing would surprise me.” Dr. Michael Gervais, a high-performance psychologist who has worked closely with the Seattle Seahawks, NBA players, USA Volleyball and other Olympic athletes, applauds Thompson taking up meditation on his own. “So often we hold up world-leading athletes on a pedestal for their physical abilities, missing the deeper and extraordinary commitment they make toward pursuing their potential,” Gervais said. “There are only three things we can train as humans: our craft, our bodies, and our mind. World-class athletes don’t leave any of those up to chance — why should the rest of us?” When he had a couple of days off after the Warriors wrapped up the Western Conference finals, Thompson noted, “I wish it was sunny” before adding, “A little overcast, but it’s all good.” Sure is. Thompson found out in April he will have his college jersey retired by Washington State, too. “Klay is always someone who everybody sort of marvels at his life, the simplicity of his life. He just needs a basketball and his dog, and that’s it. And we all laugh about it,” Kerr said. “But Klay is a lot deeper than people realize, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s meditating and he’s found ways to calm himself before games and keep himself going during the season.” The 29-year-old Thompson takes time the night before a game to think ahead. It doesn’t matter if he’s in the driveway or hanging out in his backyard with beloved Rocco — “just random,” he said. Sometimes he envisions each shot from a given spot on the floor that could present itself over the course of a game. “Andre Iguodala told me that Tiger Woods visualizes every single shot he shoots on 18 holes on the golf course, so if he can do that, that’s incredible,” Thompson said. “That’s so many golf swings. I try to do the same approach to basketball. I just try to visualize, get in my spots, what my opponent is going to do. Yeah, so when you come to the game, you’ve kind of seen it before.” He might go with some Mozart or Beethoven. “Try to put on classical Pandora or some nature sounds. Can’t listen to rap or hip-hop when I do it because then I just get distracted. Something pleasant in the background, it’s nice,” Thompson explained. “It’s a challenge. It’s much harder than working out. Especially for me, I’ve got like my mind racing. So it’s a good practice for me.” Kerr considers Thompson one of the most down-to-earth NBA superstars. “He’s a dream to coach. He’s zero maintenance,” Kerr said. “But he’ll surprise you with his depth. You may not think there’s a whole lot there, but there’s plenty there, he just sort of doesn’t let you in on it very often.” Thompson knows it’s not a perfect science to get his shot back on track after a poor outing. The meditation provides a focus. “I still will have bad days once in a while, but that’s just being human,” Thompson said. “It’s something I’ve incorporated in my routine for at least the past season, especially when I was going through that shooting slump. That really helped me. It’s just nice to manifest things. Kind of like speak into existence, just kind of think it into existence.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 28th, 2019