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US clinches worst big-tourney finish, falls 94-89 to Serbia

US clinches worst big-tourney finish, falls 94-89 to Serbia.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 12th, 2019

After 7th place finish, Team USA reflects on what went wrong, next steps

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com BEIJING -- The result of Saturday's seventh-place game didn't really matter. Once the United States Men's National Team beat Brazil in its final pool play game at the FIBA World Cup, it had qualified for the Olympics. Once it lost to France in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, its run of five straight major tournament titles had come to an end with no shot at a medal. And once it lost to Serbia on Thursday, it was doomed to the second worst tournament finish in USA Basketball history, with the only worse result coming when a team of junior college players went 0-4 at the 2001 FIBA Americas tournament. But the U.S. beat Poland 87-74 on Saturday to finish seventh at the World Cup and put an end to its first two-game losing streak since 2002. Only nine Americans played, with Kemba Walker (neck) joining Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart on the sideline. Donovan Mitchell led the way with 16 points and 10 assists. Gregg Popovich said afterward that there's neither shame nor blame to be distributed following the Americans' worst finish in a tournament to which it sent NBA players. "Like we should be ashamed because we didn't win the gold medal?," Popovich said. "That's a ridiculous attitude. It's immature. It's arrogant, and it shows that whoever thinks that doesn't respect all the other teams in the world and doesn't respect that these guys did the best they could." Falling short of their gold-medal goal still comes with pain, something the Americans have had to deal with since losing to France in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, and something that won't go away when they arrive back in the States on Sunday. "That's something," Myles Turner admitted, "that's going to stick with us for the rest of our lives." The sting could ultimately be worse for the players who will never again have the chance to play for the national team. That could be a significant portion of this roster, with higher profile Americans expected to play at next year's Olympics in Tokyo, and with the next World Cup four years away. A lack of top-flight talent is the easy answer for why this was the first American team of NBA players to lose since the 2006 World Championship. And it's not a wrong answer. Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and James Harden would obviously have made a difference. But when asked about his country's failure to win gold this year, Kobe Bryant insisted that, no matter who is wearing the red, white and blue, losses will happen. "It's not a matter of the rest of the world catching up to the U.S.," Bryant said at a FIBA press conference on Friday. "The rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time. It's to the point now where us in the U.S., we're going to win some and we're going to lose some. That's just how it goes." Bryant brought up the 2008 Olympics, when one of the most talented teams ever assembled led Spain by just two points early in the fourth quarter of the gold medal game. At the World Championship two years later, a U.S. Team with four future NBA MVPs escaped with a two-point win over Brazil in pool play. "Put the best players that you think are going to make the best team out there on the floor," Bryant said, "we are still going to have challenges. It's not going to be a cakewalk. The days of the '92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone. They're over." That doesn't mean that the United States couldn't have won this tournament with the players that it had, some of which had disappointing performances on the world stage. In each of the last five major international tournaments, the U.S. ranked No. 1 in offensive efficiency. Through its first six games in this tournament, it ranked ninth offensively. Before breaking with a 12-for-25 performance against Poland on Saturday, the Americans had shot just 33.3 percent from 3-point range, well below the NBA league average (35.5 percent), even though the 3-point distance is shorter on the FIBA floor. The general sentiment among the players was that the loss to France was an "anything can happen on any given night" situation, but Harrison Barnes said that it was "executing on the offensive end" where the team fell short in a general sense. "If you look at a lot of these teams and how they played," Barnes continued, "they're able to fall back on their system. They're able to fall back on things that they know, things that they've run, guys that have been playing together for five, six, seven years. For us, we had to put our hat on defense. That was what we kind of made our calling card. Offensively, we knew we weren't going to ever get to that place where, 'OK, here are two or three quick-hitters.' But we did the best that we could." Though the U.S. was one of the best defensive teams in the tournament, it couldn't turn enough stops into transition opportunities. In each of the five major tournaments that the U.S. won from 2008 to 2016, it ranked first or second in pace. Through its first six games, this U.S. team ranked 13th of 32 World Cup teams in pace (an estimated 75 possessions per 40 minutes). Fewer fast breaks led to more half-court offense, where the execution just wasn't there consistently enough. There's something to be said about ingrained teamwork and the difference between how American and international players are developed. But four weeks of preparation and five pool-play games isn't enough time to build the requisite chemistry when the Americans bring back an almost entirely new roster every time they compete in a major tournament. This team also had less practice time than previous editions of Team USA. From the day before its first game in China to the end of the tournament, the U.S. never practiced on days between games, choosing only to get in the gym for one-hour shootarounds in the morning on game days. Next year's Olympics are earlier in the summer, so that preparation time will likely be shorter than the four weeks that this team was together before the start of the World Cup. And without the same chemistry that their opponents have, more talent -- guys that can get buckets on cue -- is needed. That means more roster turnover. And if some of these players never put on the USA uniform again, they can at least hope that the work that they've put in over the last six weeks will propel them to strong NBA seasons as a silver lining. "Individually, across the board, everybody gets a lot better by playing and going through this entire process," Joe Harris said this week. "You spent 39-plus days with one of the best coaches in the world, one of the best coaches in the game in Pop. "Just being around them, learning their approach to the game, being around all these great players, competing with them night in and night out, whether it's practices or games, and competing at a high level every night against some of the best players in the world, this is the best offseason preparation you can have going into the season." There don't seem to be any misgivings among the players about spending the last four weeks on the other side of the world. "We made that pact that we were going to do whatever we could to win basketball games," Barnes said. "To go out there and try to win gold medals. On the flip side of that is that there's a chance that we may not win. And, I think there are no regrets from our group in terms of what we've given, what we sacrificed, the commitment that everyone has made away from their families, teams, organizations, all of that." They all have an NBA season to prepare for now, and at least some of them would love a shot at redemption next summer. "There's no telling," Walker said about possibly playing next year. "It's not up to me. I would love to. It was really fun to be a part of. I would love to do it again." Hopefully with better results. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. 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 NewsSep 15th, 2019

Serbia humbles USA, gains shot at 5th spot

Team USA is now heading to its worst finish in the FIBA World Cup after suffering an 89-94 loss to Serbia last night in Dongguan, China that relegated the five-time champ to the fight for seventh place at the close of the classifications tomorrow......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 12th, 2019

Guiao: Shooting, quality big men what Gilas Pilipinas needs in future

MANILA, Philippines – The FIBA World Cup revealed the ugly truth of how far Gilas Pilipinas falls behind basketball superpowers.  Winless in 5 games, the Philippines will finish the global hoops showdown dead last out of the 32 participating nations after tallying the worst point differential in the entire tournament ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 10th, 2019

Spain World Cup win, US woes blow Olympic basketball wide open

BEIJING, China – The Tokyo 2020 Olympics basketball suddenly looks wide open after reigning champions the United States suffered their worst FIBA World Cup finish, Spain triumphed, and Argentina surprised. World Cup bronze medallists France and Australia – who were edged out of the medals but pushed eventual winners Spain all ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 16th, 2019

USA 7th in worst World Cup stint

USA wrapped up the 2019 FIBA World Cup with an 87-74 win over Poland in Beijing on Saturday but the seventh-place finish in the final standings still marked the worst performance for the five-time world champion. Donovan Mitchell finished up his China trip with a team-high 16 points and also dished off 10 assists. Joe […] The post USA 7th in worst World Cup stint appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 15th, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Days: Nuggets to keep rolling with Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray

Like most summers in the NBA, the 2019 edition was chock full of trades, free agent news and player movement. From the defending-champion Toronto Raptors to just about every other team in the league, change was the most applicable word when it came to describing team rosters for the 2019-20 season. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- in order of regular-season finish from 2018-19 -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: Denver Nuggets 2018-19 Record: 54-28, lost in the second round of the playoffs Key additions: Jerami Grant, forward (trade); Bol Bol, forward (draft). Key subtractions: Trey Lyles, forward; Isaiah Thomas, guard. The lowdown: The steady growth of the Nuggets was evident in a 50-win season and a first-round victory in the playoffs over the more-experienced Spurs, which was clearly a step forward; then the journey ended with a sour taste after Denver lost a Game 7 at home to a lower seed, the Blazers. In all, the Nuggets received almost everything they’d hoped for from a developing contender, especially in the form of Nikola Jokic. The multi-skilled Serb established himself as the league’s most talented big man, if not the best period, with a stellar performance that attracted some MVP notice. He averaged 20 points, almost 11 rebounds and seven assists in an offense that ran through him, rare in today’s spread-the-floor league where centers are being phased out or pegged as role players and pick-setters. Jokic reminded many of Bill Walton or maybe Vlade Divac for his precise and sometimes entertaining passing skills from the high post. His co-star was Jamal Murray, who made generous strides as a leader and shot-maker and fit well with Jokic. The Nuggets also played some of the best defense in the league for much of the season and had solid back-court depth with Monte Morris and Malik Beasley averaging a combined 21 points off the bench. There were mixed reviews, however, from Gary Harris; the starting two-guard didn’t improve and in some areas actually regressed as he struggled with injuries in a 57-game season. Same for Will Barton, who shot 40 percent and played 43 games. But those were nit-picks. The Nuggets finally arrived after going a league-leading 34-7 at home, reaching the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade, and using the draft and trades to remake the roster over the last few years to stay in the attic in the very competitive West, which was no easy task. Summer summary: When an NBA team reaches a critical stage of the developing process and checks all the necessary boxes, it’s time to keep the continuity. Which means, time to pay up, and the Nuggets did just that this summer with two of their important figures: Murray and GM Tim Connelly, and both were easy calls. Murray went from a rookie who played behind Emmanuel Mudiay to a dependable, sometimes clutch-shooting guard in just three seasons. While he’s obviously the starter at the point for the Nuggets, Murray’s value lies in his flexibility; he can play off the ball and be just as valuable whenever Jokic assumes the “point-center” role. He averaged 18.2 points and 4.8 assists and showed growth despite struggling at times in his first postseason. He also doesn’t turn 23 until February. So the Nuggets gave him $170 million over five years, banking on his continued growth, which appears to be a safe investment. Therefore, Denver’s two most important players, Jokic and Murray, are under contract together for the next three seasons. Connelly replaced Masai Ujiri in 2013 and repaid the Nuggets’ faith by overseeing a basketball operation that has run mostly smoothly ever since. He drafted Jokic at No. 41 and hired Mike Malone as coach. The Nuggets have gone from 33 wins in Malone’s first season to 54. Even better, the meat of the roster is trending in the right direction and there’s no dead weight. This summer, the Wizards, after firing Ernie Grunfeld, chased after Connelly, a Baltimore native who attended college in D.C. Connelly broke into the business as an intern for the Wizards and has family ties to the D.C area, so the prospect of leaving Denver was a real threat. Ultimately, Nuggets boss Josh Kroenke was successful in persuading Connelly to stay. Usually that comes with a promise of a significant raise, but more importantly, Connelly saw what he’s building in Denver and couldn’t leave unfinished business. Denver has solid mix of youth and vets and is coming off a season where it was the No. 2 seed in the West. Hard to walk away from that. Paul Millsap also cashed in when the Nuggets agreed to pick up his 2019-20 option year for $30 million. There was some question whether the Nuggets would tie that much into a soon-to-be 35-year-old forward who, statistically anyway, is coming off his worst season since 2009-10 and his fewest minutes since 2008. But Millsap still brings a solid defensive mindset and experience, and anyway, the Nuggets were all about maintaining the flow this summer. Plus, Denver will remain under the luxury tax with with Millsap’s option. Millsap’s minutes could be reduced this season because the Nuggets traded for a more athletic option in Grant. With the Thunder, Grant improved his 3-point shooting last season and became more of a well-rounded forward. If used correctly by Malone, he can thrive in Denver, which badly needs his physical gifts. Of course, there’s also the wild card: Michael Porter Jr. The club’s first-round pick two summers ago sat all last season while recovering from a back issue, then was scratched from summer league play in July because of a minor knee issue which was more of a precautionary move. In a best-case scenario, Porter stays healthy and gives the Nuggets three options at power forward. Connelly didn’t have a first-round pick this summer but swung a deal to fetch a second-rounder once Bol Bol dropped to No. 44 in the draft. The son of former NBA player Manute Bol, he suffered a foot injury last season at Oregon and NBA teams were wary of his potential for recovery. Well, Connelly and the Nuggets will essentially treat Bol as they did Porter; Bol will be an injury red-shirt and prepare for 2020-21. And so, the Nuggets’ summer wasn’t about making wholesale changes, but keeping the pace they’ve set over the last three seasons and rewarding some of the key personnel responsible for it. Patience has allowed the Nuggets to get this far and so there was no reason to panic or rush the process this offseason. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsSep 15th, 2019

‘Worst finish’ nalasap ng USA sa World Cup

HANGGANG seventh o eighth na lang ang pinakamataas na finish ng US sa FIBA World Cup sa China......»»

Category: newsSource:  abanteRelated NewsSep 13th, 2019

A shocker: US beaten by France 89-79 in World Cup quarters

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press DONGGUAN, China (AP) — The U.S. has been ousted from medal contention by France at the World Cup, failing to capture gold at a major international tournament for the first time since the 2006 world championships. Evan Fournier scored 22 points, Rudy Gobert added 21 points and 16 rebounds and France beat the U.S. 89-79 in the World Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday, rallying from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull off the upset. The U.S. had won 58 consecutive tournament games in FIBA and Olympic competition, starting with the bronze-medal game at the 2006 world championships and continuing through every FIBA Americas, World Cup and Olympics event since. It was bidding to become the first nation to win three consecutive World Cups, after winning three straight Olympic golds in that span. But the best the Americans can do now in China is finish fifth. They're going home with a berth in the 2020 Olympics secured, but no medal. "We came here to win gold," Gobert said. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy. A lot of people counted us out, but we got the win." Gobert said beating the Americans wasn't the goal — winning gold is. "It doesn't mean anything if you don't win in the end," Gobert said. Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points for the U.S., all of them coming in the first three quarters. The Americans came up scoreless on six consecutive possessions down the stretch, the drought that allowed the French to take control of a back-and-forth game for the final time. Nando De Colo scored 18 for France. France was up 10 early in the second half. The U.S. went on a 31-14 run over the next 10 minutes to go up by seven. And then the French responded with a 15-2 run over the next five minutes, going up 82-76 on a long jumper by Frank Ntilikina with 2:05 left. Mitchell had a chance to get the U.S. within two with about a minute left, driving against Gobert — but the Jazz center read what the Jazz guard was going to do perfectly, swatting the try away. France had been 0-9 against the U.S. in major international play, most of those outcomes one-sided affairs. But the last meeting between the nations was only a 100-97 U.S. win at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics three years ago, and France returned three players — Gobert, De Colo and Nicolas Batum — who got minutes in that game. None of the U.S. players who played that afternoon in Rio are on this year's World Cup team. France outrebounded the U.S. 21-12 in the first half, Gobert found his way to the line 10 times in the game's first 20 minutes and the Americans went into the break trailing 45-39. The U.S. had trailed for 8:25 in their first five games combined — and trailed for 11:24 in the first half alone on Wednesday. Fournier's layup with 7:33 left in the third gave France a 53-43 lead, and that's when Mitchell got going. He had 14 points in the third quarter alone, and his dunk with 2:40 left pulled the U.S. into a 60-60 tie. Marcus Smart made three free throws after getting fouled by Gobert to put the U.S. back on top, and the Americans took a 66-63 lead into the fourth. But they couldn't finish it off. TIP-INS France: Gobert played the first 12:26. The longest he went before getting his first break in a Jazz game last season was 11:30. ... Ntilikina scored 11 for France. U.S.: Smart scored 11 and Kemba Walker had 10 for the U.S. ... Before Mitchell's offensive outburst Wednesday, the previous single-game scoring high for any U.S. player at this World Cup was Jaylen Brown's 20-point game against Japan in the opening group round. ... Jayson Tatum (sprained left ankle) missed his fourth consecutive game. UP NEXT France: Faces Argentina in semifinals at Beijing on Friday. U.S.: Faces Serbia in consolation round at Dongguan on Thursday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2019

Cohesion keeps building for Team USA at FIBA World Cup

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com SHENZHEN -- Over the last few weeks, members of the United States Men's National Team have often said this about their opponents: "They've been playing together for a long time." Sometimes, it's accurate. Sometimes, it's not. Only four of the nine rotation players for Turkey, the team that almost beat the U.S. in its second game here at the FIBA World Cup, were in the rotation for Turkey at Eurobasket two years ago. In comparison to this version of Team USA, which came together exactly five weeks ago Monday, yes, the opponent typically has more continuity from summer to summer. The "they've been playing together for a long time" thing has also been drilled into American players as they prepare for FIBA play. It comes out of their mouths pretty easily when they're asked about an opponent or why a game was tougher than it should have been in regard to the talent on the floor. Maybe it's an excuse. Maybe it's just reality. USA coach Gregg Popovich, in talking after his team's 89-73 victory over Brazil on Monday, said, "Those guys have been together awhile" about the opponent. But down the hall from where Popovich took the podium, there was something new. It was the opponent saying the following about the Americans: "It looks like they've been playing together for a long time." The opponent was NBA veteran Anderson Varejao, who has seen multiple versions of the U.S. National Team. And after facing this one, he made note of the chemistry. "That's a great complement," Kemba Walker said when told about Varejao's appraisal. "I think we're getting it." If there ever was a U.S. National Team where the whole needed to be greater than the sum of the parts, this is it. This team does not have the offensive superstars that past teams have had. Walker: 'Chemistry is coming along' In the gold medal game of the 2010 World Championship, Kevin Durant scored 28 points against Turkey. In the gold medal game of the 2012 Olympics, he dropped 30 on Spain. In 2014, Kyrie Irving and James Harden combined for 52 points against Serbia in the World Cup final. And in the 2016 Olympics, the U.S. took gold behind another 30 points from Durant against the Serbs. Through five games at this tournament, no U.S. player has scored more than 20 points in a game. And the only 20-point game came from Jaylen Brown against a team (Japan) that went 0-5 with the tournament's third worst defense, statistically. That doesn't mean that the U.S. can't be a good offensive team. It just has to be a more cohesive offensive team than American teams of the past. "We just need each other so bad," Walker said. "And I think we're starting to realize that each and every game. These teams are so good. These teams are so tough. It's just taking everybody and everything we've got to win these games. The chemistry is coming along really well." You could start to see it against Greece on Saturday, though the Americans shot just 36 percent and barely scored a point per possession (69 on 68). The ball movement was sharper than it had been previously and they got a lot of open shots that just didn't fall. Some of those shots started to fall on Monday, and the U.S. had its second-most efficient offensive game of the 10 its played (including exhibitions), scoring 89 points on 75 possessions (1.19 per). The only more efficient game its had was against the aforementioned, 30th-ranked Japan defense. In that Japan game, the U.S. never scored on more than five consecutive possessions. Prior to Monday at the World Cup, its longest stretch of consecutive scores was six straight against the Czech Republic in Game 1. In that ugly win over Greece on Saturday, the U.S. never scored on more than three consecutive possessions, and only twice scored on three straight. But spanning the third and fourth quarters against Brazil on Monday, the U.S. scored 10 straight times. It was a 24-10 run that broke the game open and was fueled by an offense that's gaining more confidence and more cohesion, especially against zone defense, which was a real struggle just six days earlier. "I think we're starting to get more familiar with one another," Joe Harris said. "I think you see it every game where the ball really moves a lot offensively, and then you're sacrificing for one another defensively." Quick decisions critical to success There was some individual excellence in that run, but the final three points came when Myles Turner made a quick flash to the ball and an even quicker pass to Walker for a three from the top of the key against the zone. The U.S. had mostly been winning with a defense that ranks first in the World Cup (84 estimated points allowed per 100 possessions) through pool play. Defense will remain critical, because the offense of their opponent (France) in Wednesday's quarterfinal ranks second (123 estimated points scored per 100), behind only that of the potential opponent in the semifinals (Serbia, 129 per 100). Although this U.S. team doesn't have those elite bucket-getters, it will still need to get buckets -- and it will need to get them via cohesion, quick actions and decisiveness (like Turner displayed on his assist to Walker). Sometimes, you can get by on talent. The U.S. is, once again, the only team in the tournament with 12 NBA players. But this team needs to get more out of its talent than teams of the past. The more games they play, the more the Americans know what they're doing collectively. They've seemingly taken a big step forward over the last week. And in the eyes of Varejao, the U.S. is, for once, one of the teams that "has been playing together for a long time." "Chemistry is built once you hit adversity together and you got to push through it," Jaylen Brown said, "and we've been challenged multiple times on this trip." The toughest challenge to date will come Wednesday against the best opponent the U.S. has faced in the first elimination game its played. But the Americans seem more ready, and more together, than ever. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. 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 NewsSep 10th, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Days: Pelicans could be in for seamless rebuild

Like most summers in the NBA, the 2019 edition was chock full of trades, free agent news and player movement. From the defending-champion Toronto Raptors to just about every other team in the league, change was the most applicable word when it came to describing team rosters for the 2019-20 season. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- in order of regular-season finish from 2018-19 -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: New Orleans Pelicans 2018-19 Record: 33-49, did not qualify for the playoffs Key additions: Zion Williamson (Draft), Lonzo Ball (trade), Brandon Ingram (trade), JJ Redick (free agency), Derrick Favors (trade), Josh Hart (trade), Jaxson Hayes (Draft), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Draft) Key departures: Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton The lowdown: There were teams with worst records and teams with more drama. But no team had a combination of both quite like the Pelicans. It all swirled around Davis, the best player in franchise history, who pulled a power move by switching agents to Rich Paul, business partner of LeBron James. Everyone saw what was coming next except Dell Demps, the beleaguered GM who refused to be proactive and instead tried to fight a losing battle. Through Paul, Davis made a private trade request in the fall and then went public a week prior to the trade deadline when Demps hesitated. When the deadline passed, Davis was still in New Orleans and that was a problem. The rest of the season was a disaster, as Davis was in an awkward state of limbo and the Pelicans, anxious to preserve their only true asset, managed his minutes. The fallout was severe: Fan backlash toward Davis, a fractured locker room, a state of emergency within a franchise that wasn’t among the league’s healthiest to begin with, and Demps getting the boot. Everything else about the Pelicans was overshadowed, such as Randle’s solid production in his first (and subsequently only) season in New Orleans and Jrue Holiday’s continued splendid play on both ends. In the end, Davis had long checked out, the Pelicans fell back into the lottery a year after reaching the second round of the playoffs, and a housecleaning was ordered by ownership. Summer summary: History might reflect that the Davis fiasco, in hindsight, was the most important moment in franchise history, and in a positive way. That’s because a much-needed series of changes were forced to happen because of it, and just maybe the Pelicans will be better off for it. It created a change in command, with David Griffin replacing Demps and tackling the Davis situation head-on rather than tiptoeing around it. And because Davis was essentially benched the entire second half of the season, that allowed the Pelicans to fall into the lottery, where they got lucky and landed the first overall pick in one of those drafts that contained a potential game-changer. New Orleans flipped almost overnight, getting an impressive haul for Davis in the long-awaited trade with the Lakers, and adding Zion Williamson, an explosive talent with gate appeal. It was a best-case scenario for the Pelicans, who went from laughingstock to landing a game on Christmas Day this season. Griffin played his hand skillfully, unlike Demps. Griffin didn’t create distrust or burn bridges and instead maintained good communication with Davis and all potential trading partners. He created a robust market for Davis and then negotiated with the one team that needed Davis the most: the Lakers with an aging LeBron James. Not only did Griffin get promising young players in Ball, Ingram and Hart, he also acquired the Lakers’ future with a collection of first-round picks and first-round swaps. Essentially, if the Lakers collapse in the post-LeBron era, the Pelicans will be awash in assets similar to the Boston Celtics when those Brooklyn Nets’ first-rounders turned to gold. Williamson should never have to worry about talent around him in New Orleans as Davis did. And unlike Davis, Williamson won’t be in a hurry to leave in a huff. There’s no reason for the Pelicans to tank, knowing that ample picks are coming their way. With that in mind, Griffin seized the moment to ramp up the rotation, adding some much-needed shooting in Redick and a reliable veteran in Favors. It’s very possible that the Pelicans can compete for a playoff spot in 2019-20, and again, this seemed remote when last season ended. There’s plenty of hope for Ball. He’ll have the relief of playing away from L.A. for the first time in his life and the advantage of suiting up next to Holiday, who can play off the ball if necessary. Ingram will be returning from a health scare related to blood clots that cut short his season but the prognosis is good. In addition to Williamson, the draft also produced Alexander-Walker, who brings good size (6-foot-5) to the backcourt, and Hayes, a raw big man who’ll instantly enroll in the Pelicans’ development school. To make the upcoming season as stress-free as possible, Griffin handed coach Alvin Gentry a one-year extension. The pair once worked together in Phoenix, when Gentry led the Suns to the Western Conference finals. For the first time in his tenure with the Pelicans, Gentry has ample talent and a solid plan. Now it’s up to him to put the right pieces in place. Clearly, though, the big prize is Williamson, who comes with robust talent and also a personality that reflects well on him and the franchise. Williamson can be a savior and, once Drew Brees retires, the face of New Orleans sports. It all depends if he makes good on the immense expectations. Given his knack for making crowd-pleasing plays on both ends, the burly forward has star potential -- which is exactly what a small market needs. There’s a reason why the Draft lottery results caused Gentry to curse with joy and team employees to dance on tables. Perhaps never before has a franchise fallen hard, then rose suddenly, quite like the Pelicans did in a matter of weeks. They’re still partying in New Orleans. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsSep 10th, 2019

FIBA World Cup By the Numbers: Gilas’ heart breaks again

The 2019 FIBA World Cup continous to be a punishing tournament for Gilas Pilipinas. After enduring a combined 105-point beatings at the hands of Italy and Serbia, the Philippine national team suffered yet another heartbreaking loss, this time to Angola in overtime. With that, Gilas has been swept out of contention in the World Championships and will head to the classification phase to play two more games. All is not loss for Gilas, but the Angola loss stings, perhaps even more than the 46-point decision to Italy or the 59-point beating suffered against Serbia. 5 Number of years since Gilas Pilipinas’ breakthrough overtime win against Senegal in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Five years to the day, Gilas tried to replicate that success by winning its first World Cup game in overtime against a different African team. Instead, Angola got the victory in extra time and the Philippines’ winning streak against African nations in the World Championships has been snapped. 23 Total points for Andray Blatche in the loss to Angola. After scoring only a combined 20 points in the losses to Italy and Serbia, Blatche came to play, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds against Angola. 17 Total points for CJ Perez against Angola. Perez continues to impress in the World Cup, once again emerging as the top local scorer for Gilas. CJ has increased his scoring in each of the three games in China and while he botched what would have been a game-winning play in regulation, it was also Perez that gave the Philippines a chance to win in the first place, sinking a clutch triple to force a 73-all tie against Angola. 33 percent Total field goal percentage for Gilas. Offense has not been good for the Philippines in the World Cup as the national team struggled to get buckets in Foshan. Against Angola, Gilas played catch up for almost the entire game mostly because they couldn’t put together any decent runs on offense. 10 Total three-pointers for Gilas Pilipinas. Gilas connected on six triples from the fourth quarter onwards but it was still an ugly shooting performance for the national team. The Philippines was only 4/24 from deep at halftime and finished the game at 10/46, which is only 21.7 percent. Gilas is shooting below 20 percent from deep for the whole tournament, and is the second-worst out of all teams in the World Cup.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2019

Tatum out at least two games at World Cup

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com SHANGHAI -- The United States Men's National Team announced Wednesday that Jayson Tatum will miss at least the next two games with the left ankle injury that he suffered in the final seconds of the team's 93-92, overtime victory over Turkey. Tatum will be reevaluated on Monday, Sept. 9, the day that the U.S. plays its second of two second-round games. After the Turkey win, Tatum lamented that going 2-for-3 at the line to tie (but not win) the game at the end of regulation eventually led to his injury. "I'm still pissed I missed the second one," he said before limping out of the arena. "Then I wouldn't have got hurt." Here's how the U.S. schedule looks going forward... On Thursday, the U.S. will play its final, Group E, first round game against Japan in Shanghai. The Americans have already qualified for the second round, but the result of this game still counts in regard to qualifying for the quarterfinals out of the second round (where Groups E and F become Group K). The U.S. will play two second-round games (in Group K) against the top two teams from Group F on Saturday (Sept. 7) and Monday (Sept. 9) in Shenzhen. With its win over Greece on Tuesday, Brazil has already qualified for Group K. The second team from Group F will be the winner of Thursday's game between Greece and New Zealand. Joining from Group E with the U.S. will be the winner of Thursday's game between the Czech Republic and Turkey. The top two teams from Group K (combining results from the first and second rounds) will make the quarterfinals, playing next Wednesday (Sept. 11). The two Group K teams will be placed on opposite sides of the bracket, but they'll both face teams from Group L, which is already set in stone: Australia, the Dominican Republic, France and Lithuania. That is a very strong group, and one of Australia, France and Lithuania won't even qualify for the quarters. It's possible that the Americans would face a tougher opponent in the quarterfinals than they would in the semifinals. Serbia (silver at both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics) remains the favorite among teams outside the United States. If both Serbia (already qualified for second-round Group J) and the U.S. finish first in their second round groups, they would be placed on opposite sides of the bracket. If one finishes first in its group and the other finishes second in its group, they would be on the same side, with a potential meeting in the semifinals. The U.S. (playing every other day if they keep advancing) will hope to have Tatum back before then. He has shot just 7-for-22 (32 percent) in two games at the World Cup, but has been one of the team's best generators of offense off the dribble, and he came up with a pair of big plays down the stretch of Tuesday's victory. One of Joe Harris or Khris Middleton will likely start in Tatum's place on Thursday. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. 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 NewsSep 4th, 2019

FIBA: Olympics somehow still in play for Gilas after China flames out of World Cup

Despite getting swept out of Group D in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas still has a prize to chase in China. It’s the Olympics, and one could argue if the national team somehow ends up in Tokyo next year, the horror show to start this World Cup will be undone. Host China blew a golden chance to secure its Olympics slot Wednesday, losing its final Group A game against Venezuela, 72-59. The Chinese earlier blew a better chance, losing Group A lead to Poland after folding in overtime. Gilas Pilipinas is 0-3 in the World Cup so far after lopsided losses to Italy, Serbia, and an overtime decision to Angola. Still, the Philippines is still somehow in play for the Olympics after South Korea, Jordan, Iran, Japan, and China also failed to advance to the second round. All teams in the classification phase will play two more games and will be seeded accordingly depending on their group finish. Results from the opening round will be carried over. Gilas Pilipinas will play in Beijing and will take on Iran and Tunisia and games will start Friday. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2019

Rising star: Hachimura proving himself on World Cup stage

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press SHANGHAI (AP) — Rui Hachimura believes his game his grown this summer. He knows his confidence has. It has been a hectic and nonexistent offseason for the soon-to-be Washington Wizards rookie — drafted No. 9 overall in June, played NBA summer league in July and has been with the Japanese national team since. Japan’s 89-76 loss to the Czech Republic on Tuesday meant Hachimura and his team will likely finish no better than 17th at this 32-team World Cup, but he’s still seeing plenty of upside to his summer. “It’s been crazy,” Hachimura said. “I got drafted, went to D.C. and we had like a minicamp, then Summer League and now the World Cup. It’s been a crazy summer but I’ve been having fun with this experience, this process. I’ve played a lot of games this summer, everywhere. I don’t know how much I grew, but I have more confidence.” Japan might be winless in its two World Cup games — and has a matchup against the U.S. looming Thursday — but the stage has not seemed too big for Hachimura. The 6-foot-9 forward has averaged 18 points so far on 50 percent shooting, while adding 6.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard even made the trip to Asia to watch Hachimura in person, going to Japan first for the pre-tourney games and then following the team to China. “He’s going to be a really nice player in the NBA,” Sheppard said. “He’s got a lot — a lot — of upside. He’s got a lot of learning to do, but he’s got excellent skill and excellent will. ... It just takes time, and we have to develop that.” Hachimura’s talent was on obvious display in Las Vegas at Summer League, where he averaged 19.3 points on 50 percent shooting in three games. He scored 31 points in Japan’s pre-World Cup win over Germany — a game attended by nearly 20,000 at the Saitama Super Arena last month — and already has captured his homeland’s attention, as evidenced by the many Japanese fans who made the trip to China. “Rui’s got a lot of talent,” said Nick Fazekas, Japan’s U.S.-born center. “He works hard, but he has a lot of fun.” Basketball is growing in Japan for many reasons. The Tokyo Olympics are less than a year away, and the NBA — in a move that should build Olympic buzz — is sending Toronto and Houston to Japan for a pair of preseason games in October. Those will be the first NBA games in Japan since 2003. And it won’t take much for Hachimura, the West Coast Conference’s player of the year last season at Gonzaga, to become the best Japan-born player in NBA history. He’s the first Japanese player to be a first-round pick and the only two players from the country to appear in an NBA game are Yuta Tabuse in 2004-05 and Hachimura’s World Cup teammate Yuta Watanabe last season. Combined, Tabuse and Watanabe have 46 points in 19 NBA games, all off the bench. “I’m just excited for the season,” Hachimura said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2019

Ingles 1 assist short of triple-double as Australia rolls

By Stephen Wade, Associated Press Australia showed it can do damage by ending the Americans' 78-game winning streak in a warm-up game just over a week ago. On Tuesday in Group H, the Boomers defeated Senegal 81-68 in Dongguan in the far south of China to improve to 2-0 and qualify for the second round. Senegal is 0-2. Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs led Australia with 22 points, but Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz was the game's top player with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Ingles was one assist away from a triple-double, which a FIBA official told him would have been a first in the World Cup. "I didn't know that, but even though I do know it now it still doesn't bother me," he said. "The only goal today was to win the game and that's all our focus." It was not that easy despite Ingles' big numbers. Australia led 36-33 at the half and struggled with the tall African team. Senegal has nine players at least 2.02 meters (6-foot-8) or taller. And four at 2.08 (6-10) or taller. "That could be the tallest overall team that we've played against in my time as coach," Australia coach Andrej Lemanis said. Added Ingles: "That first half, they kind of had us on our back foot a little bit. We had to come in at halftime and address a few things." Xane Dalmeida led Senegal with 14 points in a game the Africans kept surprisingly close. LITHUANIA 92, CANADA 69 At Dongguan, Lithuania booked its place in the second round. The victory also assured Australia of advancing from Group H. Lithuania, which is 2-0, had six players in double figures, topped by Edgaras Ulanovas and Jonas Valanciunas with 13 each. Kyle Wiltjer led Canada with 24. Canada fell to 0-2. NEW ZEALAND 93, MONTENEGRO 83 At Nanjing, New Zealand downed Montenegro to move to 1-1 in Group F. Montenegro is 0-2. Corey Webster led the Kiwis with 25 points and teammate Isaac Fotu added 20. Nikola Ivanovic had 18 to lead Montenegro, and Nikola Vucevic added 15. BRAZIL 79, GREECE 78 At Nanjing, Brazil improved to 2-0 and moved closer to the second round. Greece fell to 1-1 in Group F and will need a win in its final group game with New Zealand. Anderson Varejao hit a critical jumper for Brazil with 14 seconds left and Leandrinho Barbosa hit a final free throw for the three-point edge. Kostas Sloukas had three free throws with two seconds left that would have tied the score, but he made only two. Varejao led Brazil with 22 points, while Georgios Printezis led Greece with 20. UNITED STATES 93, TURKEY 92 OT At Shanghai, the Americans (2-0) scraped by, and they needed overtime to do it in Group E. The victory moved them into the second round. They face winless Japan in the final group game. Khris Middleton led the Americans with 15 points and Kemba Walker added 14. Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks had 23 points and 15 rebounds for Turkey (1-1). CZECH REPUBLIC 89, JAPAN 76 At Shanghai, Blake Schilb and Jaromira Bohacik each scored 22 points and the Czech Republic kept Japan winless in Group E. Tomas Satoransky had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Czechs (1-1). Rui Hachimura led Japan (0-2) with 21 points, while Nick Fazekas had 12 points and 10 rebounds. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 70, GERMANY 68 At Shenzhen, the Dominican Republic improved to 2-0 and Germany fell to 0-2 in Group G. Victor Liz led the Dominicans with 17 points and Eloy Vargas added 16 as the Caribbean team advanced to the second round. Dennis Schroder was Germany's top scorer with 20, and Daniel Theis added 12. FRANCE 103, JORDAN 64 At Shenzhen, France moved into the second round from Group G along with the Dominican Republic. France (2-0) had five players in double figures, led by Nando De Colo with 19. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz added 16. Dar Tucker led Jordan (0-2) with 20 points. WIN OR ELSE There are a pair of games on Wednesday that are essentially playoff matchups. The China-Venezuela game is for a spot in the second round, as is the Puerto Rico-Tunisia game. Winners of those contests will move on, while the losers will be relegated to the classification round for the remainder of the tournament and unable to finish higher than 17th overall in the 32-team field. Another pair of Wednesday games will decide seeds. The Argentina-Russia winner will be the top seed coming out of Group B, with the loser seeded No. 2. Same goes for the Italy-Serbia game, which will decide the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds out of Group D......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2019

30 Teams in 30 Days: Cavaliers to lean heavily on young roster

Like most summers in the NBA, the 2019 edition was chock full of trades, free agent news and player movement. From the defending-champion Toronto Raptors to just about every other team in the league, change was the most applicable word when it came to describing team rosters for the 2019-20 season. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- in order of regular-season finish from 2018-19 -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: Cleveland Cavaliers 2018-19 Record: 19-63, did not qualify for the playoffs Key additions: Darius Garland (Draft), Kevin Porter Jr. (Draft), Dylan Windler (Draft), John Beilein (coach) Key departures: JR Smith, Cameron Payne, David Nwaba The lowdown: The first season in the post-LeBron James era, Part II, was almost a carbon copy of the first one: He leaves and the team crumbles. This was pretty much expected from a team that was built around LeBron and then suddenly grew old overnight once he left. It didn’t help matters when Kevin Love, given a rich contract the previous summer, played only 22 games because of injury. That ensured the Cavs would be locked into a rebuilding season and rookie point guard Collin Sexton would receive ample playing time as a result, which was not necessarily a bad thing at all. After shaky initially, Sexton finished strong and averaged 20 points the last 2 1/2 months to make the All-Rookie Second Team. Also, swingman Cedi Osman benefited from increased playing time and had moments in his second season. In a mild disappointment, Larry Nance Jr. failed to take a generous step in his development and there’s fear he will be nothing more than a scrappy, hard-working role player who’ll make the occasional highlight dunk. Otherwise, the Cavs’ season served no major purpose. The remaining pieces from the LeBron era either crumbled in various ways or simply disappeared: JR Smith was suspended, essentially for insubordination; Love was hurt; Tristan Thompson plateaued; George Hill and Kyle Korver were traded. The Cavs sunk toward the bottom of the East, fell off radar for the first time in six years, and once again found themselves back in the lottery looking for help. Summer summary: In a summer of surprises around the NBA, one of the more under-rated events happened when the Cavs’ coaching search ended with a 66-year-old grandfatherly type who never spent a day on an NBA bench. John Beilein might well be a revelation, one way or another. He spent much of his college career at Michigan, where he was highly respected for his strategy, composure and character -- three elements he’ll need in Cleveland. Beilein had flirted with the NBA in years past; when nothing materialized, some NBA people thought his time had passed, especially once he reached retirement age. But the Cavs went with an out-of-the-box choice anyway, plucking Beilein even as the college-to-NBA transition comes with inconsistent results and yellow flags. Brad Stevens is the exception, and besides, he was in his mid-30s when he left Butler and took the Celtics job. The one current college coach whose name surfaces the most in NBA conversation is Jay Wright of Villanova, who has served on Team USA and appears NBA-ready (temperament, two-time champ, even wardrobe). Word is Wright will be on the Sixers’ short list if and when that job opens. Because of Beilein's age and the state of the Cavs, he seems a bridge-gap coach; if so, that’s a smart choice. He’s experienced at managing young players, and the Cavs will build their next era through the Draft. Top free agents don’t make Cleveland a destination choice, even when presented with the chance to play alongside LeBron. Given how quiet the Cavs were this summer, the odds are great that they’ll return to the draft lottery in 2020 and give Beilein additional players in their early 20s to nurture. He’ll have five this season, with Sexton and Osman returning, plus Darius Garland, Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. coming on via first-round picks. The prize is Garland, the No. 5 pick who was limited by a meniscus injury to five games in his one and only season at Vanderbilt. This seems eerily similar to years earlier when the Cavs took another guard with a limited (11-game) college career: Kyrie Irving. Garland was a three-time Mr. Basketball in Tennessee and was considered the best recruit ever at Vandy, and that’s about all NBA scouts had to work with this spring. Not only was his college career brief, but he also left the combine early. Apparently, that was enough for the Cavs, smitten by Garland’s instincts. The only question is how he fits with Sexton; both can play off the ball, although each is more comfortable as the lead playmaker. Porter represents a wild card of sorts. Talent-wise, he can be considered a steal with the 30th pick ... after being red-flagged by teams following a suspension at USC for poor conduct that cost him much of that single season. Porter was a workout beast prior to the draft, a swingman who brings great size (6-foot-6) and can create off the dribble. The Cavs had nothing to lose by choosing him at that point. Windler benefited from four years in college, steering underdog Belmont to the NCAA tourney and developing into a prospect by his senior year. The Cavs and Beilein can figure out how it all fits later. Right now, Cleveland is all about stockpiling as many assets as possible and giving that young core plenty of time to make their mistakes now, rather than later. And speaking of assets, they didn’t trade Love this summer. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be on the roster when next season ends, either. If the right price comes along — and that’ll be tricky because of his age, injury history and salary — Love can and will exit. LeBron James will eventually get a statue outside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (formerly Quicken Loans Arena), but he isn’t walking through that door again. The Cavs must take another road to respectability, and it could be a long one. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsSep 3rd, 2019

USA opens basketball World Cup quest, undaunted by doubters

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press SHANGHAI (AP) — Kemba Walker sees an irony in the notion that USA Basketball is vulnerable going into the World Cup. It might be new for the U.S. program. It isn’t that new for these U.S. players. The 12-man squad that makes its World Cup debut Sunday isn’t overpowering on paper. There’s a couple second-round picks in Joe Harris and Khris Middleton, a guard in Derrick White who had zero scholarship offers out of high school, and many who made the team weren’t prominent — or in many cases, even included — on USA Basketball’s wish list of players when the roster-building process started last year. Walker tried to say none of that matters. And then he explained why it probably should matter. “I think a lot of us have grown up with doubt coming into our careers,” Walker said. “It’s nothing new to us. That’s unnecessary at this point. Nobody really cares what people think. At the end of the day, we want to win. We have one goal: We want to win the gold medal. And we want to be here.” The quest begins for the U.S. with its group-play opener against the Czech Republic. If they make the medal round the Americans — looking for an unprecedented third consecutive men’s World Cup title — will play eight games in four cities over the next 15 days. The U.S. went 3-1 in its warmups for the World Cup, beating Spain by nine, Australia by 16 and Canada by 16. The Americans also lost to the Australians by four in Melbourne, the outcome in that stretch that obviously got the most attention and the first loss for a U.S. roster stocked with NBA players since Sept. 1, 2006. The loss doesn’t mean anything in terms of World Cup standings. But it was a very big wake-up call. “This is do-or-die now,” Harris said. “There is no more exhibitions, no more mulligans at it. We’ve talked about how important every single possession is in the FIBA game. You have 40 minutes of can’t turn the ball over, can’t make mental mistakes. Now it is 40 minutes of being locked in ... and we have enough depth on this team, on the roster, to play maximum effort whenever you’re on the court.” The FIBA world rankings still list the Americans as the No. 1 team in the world, by a fairly significant margin. But FIBA has also published an unofficial World Cup “power ranking” in recent weeks, one that has Serbia — which has made little secret of its belief that it can win the tourney — listed ahead of the U.S. going into the tournament. It apparently hasn’t been bulletin-board material for the Americans. “I don’t think about things like that,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. “I didn’t know that, but it doesn’t really mean much.” For the record, the Serbians still want the U.S. considered the favorite. “I’m not thinking about the USA team,” Serbia coach Sasha Djordjevic said. “I do respect them. I do think they’re the biggest favorite. Nevertheless, they don’t have some of their players but they still have a great, great team with great players and a great coach.” The last World Cup was in 2014, when the Americans outscored opponents by 116 points in four warm-up games — as opposed to the 37-point margin in this year’s four friendlies. The closest game the U.S. played in that World Cup was 21 points, and the Americans beat Serbia by 37 in the gold medal game. There was no doubt from the outside five years ago. “The outside might have not given that to us in ’14, but I think as a competitor you always have a realistic respect for your opponent and you know that in a one-and-done tournament anything can happen,” said Mason Plumlee, the only returnee from that 2014 World Cup-winning squad. “So I felt that in ’14, I feel that now and that’s just what competition is.” The 2016 Olympics was the last competition for the national team, though there was some doubt at times in that run to gold in Rio de Janeiro. Half of the eight U.S. games in the Olympics were decided by 10 points or less. The U.S. won them all, including a pair of three-point decisions — one of them against Serbia. The Americans saw Serbia again in the gold-medal game and it was a rout, the U.S. winning by 30. “We obviously hear the noise,” said Harrison Barnes, the only member of that Olympic team who is on this World Cup roster. “But at the end of the day, we’re the ones that’s putting in the time, we’re the ones that have to live with the results and we’re the ones who have to come together as a team. I think that’s what’s most important.” Walker said the easiest way to silence doubters is simple — to win. “We’re the ones who took on this opportunity to play for our country and represent our country,” Walker said. “So who cares about the outside noise at this point?”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2019

Blaze Spikers escape HD Spikers in five

Sisi Rondina came up big to power Petron to a come-from-behind 17-25, 21-25, 25-11, 25-17, 15-10 win over Cignal in the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. After missing their previous game against Generika-Ayala, Rondina went full blast as she lit the scoreboard with 23 kills, two blocks and ace off the bench to lift Petron to its eighth win in nine games. Remy Palma chipped in 12 points while Bernadeth Pons put up 10 markers and 22 digs as the Blaze Spikers avoided the upset ax of the HD Spikers after losing the first two sets. Petron stepped on the gas late in the fifth set for a 13-9 lead before Rondina delivered back-to-back hits to finish off the HD Spikers. Mylene Paat and Jovelyn Gonzaga tallied 17 points apiece while Rachel Anne Daquis had 12 markers for Cignal, which fell to 3-5 win-loss card. Meanwhile, F2 Logistics brushed off a rusty start before catching fire in the second set to massacre Sta. Lucia Realty, 25-22, 25-3, 25-12. With Kalei Mau anchoring the offense, the Cargo Movers turned a 10-19 deficit in the first set into a rout to remain flawless in eight games. Mau finished with 13 points while Ara Galang had 11 points and 15 digs and Majoy Baron asserted her might at the defensive end with five blocks for nine markers for the Cargo Movers. Dawn Macandili was also instrumental with 24 digs and seven excellent receptions for F2 Logistics, which committed only four errors in the entire ballgame. After trailing by nine, 10-19, F2 Logistics stepped on the gas and captured the first set at 25-22. Then, it was all Cargo Movers from there as they destroyed the sluggish Lady Realtors on both ends to finish the second set with 25-3 count – the biggest margin ever tallied in the six-year history of this tourney. Sta. Lucia’s three points in the second set came from an ace by Andrea Marzan, a successful challenge by head coach Babes Castillo and an attack from skipper Pam Lastimosa. Andrea Marzan and Roselle Baliton came through with eight and seven points, respectively,  for the Lady Realtors, whose lone win in nine matches came from rookie team Marinerang Pilipina.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2019

Nakuha namin suporta ng tao -- Alinsurin

The Philippine men’s national team captured a much bigger prize than the breakthrough bronze medal in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships. The squad earned the respect and support of the Filipino fans and a chance to gauge its level of play against the region’s powerhouse. Overshadowed by the more popular women’s volleyball team, the Nationals put themselves on the spotlight this time after their podium finish in the tough tournament that served as the team’s first international foray heading into the Southeast Asian Games in November. “Sobrang natuwa nga kami sa nangyari na halos ang mga tao sumusuporta na sa amin. Yun naman ang gusto naming makuha,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin on Wednesday during the team’s appreciation dinner set by its corporate sponsor Rebisco at Joy Nostalg Hotel in Pasig City. The men’s squad was joined by the members of the women’s U-23 team which also participated in the Thai tourney with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. board member and national volleyball team program head Peter Cayco and Rebisco top brass Jonathan Ng. The Nationals bannered by the tournament’s 2nd Best Wing Spiker Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla, skipper John Vic De Guzman, Kim Malabunga and veteran setter Jessie Lopez proved their doubters wrong by snatching a podium finish after a hard-fought 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24, win over Saraburi-Thai Denmark in the battle for third in Sisaket, Thailand. The Filipinos suffered an early setback after bowing down to Thai Air Force in four sets. Bagunas paced the Nationals a four-set bounce back victory over Fine Chef Phitsanulok to advance in the semifinals. The Nationals came up short the Final Four at the hands of Thai Army but redeemed themselves for the consolation with Espejo dropping 35 and Bagunas posting 24 markers in the match that saw the Filipinos display their blocking prowess with 22 kill blocks. “Kaya ‘yang team na ‘yan, napag-usapan namin na, ‘Kailangan nating makuha yung tiwala ng mga tao sa team. Kasi kung gusto nating magsimula [lumaki] ang men’s [volleyball] kailangan maging maganda ang performance natin at umanga’t ng umangat ang mga ginagawa natin and yung sakripisyo natin magbubunga naman yan kapag nakita nila na maayos ang team,’” said Alinsunurin, who was also a former national team player. “Sana lang magtuluy-tuloy ang programa.” The four-time UAAP champion mentor also stressed the importance of seeing where the squad is right now as they prep up for the biennial meet that the country will host from Nov. 30 to December 10. “Siyempre sobrang importante ‘yung naging sitwasyon namin sa Thailand. Hindi tayo nanghuhula. Nakita namin ang kalaban namin and kung anong ginagawa nilang play or ginagawa pagdating sa laro,” he said. “Sinasabi namin na kahit paano mayroon tayong pagkukunan hindi yung pagdating ng SEA Games mahirapan tayong mag-adjust kung ano ang laro nila. Nagpapasalamat kami sa nangyari sa Thailand na nanalo kami.” The Nationals will fly to Thailand for a training camp from July 28 to August 10. “Sa Thailand mas makikita namin ang mga players, marami kaming makakalaban. Sa China kasi di namin alam kung ano ang programa, kung pupunta kami doon at magti-training lang ba kami doon. Di ata maayos ang naging usapan so magta-Thailand na lang kami,” said Alinsunurin. The Nationals will also fly to Japan to train from November 5 to 20.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2019

Nakuha namin suporta ng tao -- Alinsurin

The Philippine men’s national team captured a much bigger prize than the breakthrough bronze medal in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships. The squad earned the respect and support of the Filipino fans and a chance to gauge its level of play against the region’s powerhouse. Overshadowed by the more popular women’s volleyball team, the Nationals put themselves on the spotlight this time after their podium finish in the tough tournament that served as the team’s first international foray heading into the Southeast Asian Games in November. “Sobrang natuwa nga kami sa nangyari na halos ang mga tao sumusuporta na sa amin. Yun naman ang gusto naming makuha,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin on Wednesday during the team’s appreciation dinner set by its corporate sponsor Rebisco at Joy Nostalg Hotel in Pasig City. The men’s squad was joined by the members of the women’s U-23 team which also participated in the Thai tourney with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. board member and national volleyball team program head Peter Cayco and Rebisco top brass Jonathan Ng. The Nationals bannered by the tournament’s 2nd Best Wing Spiker Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla, skipper John Vic De Guzman, Kim Malabunga and veteran setter Jessie Lopez proved their doubters wrong by snatching a podium finish after a hard-fought 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24, win over Saraburi-Thai Denmark in the battle for third in Sisaket, Thailand. The Filipinos suffered an early setback after bowing down to Thai Air Force in four sets. Bagunas paced the Nationals a four-set bounce back victory over Fine Chef Phitsanulok to advance in the semifinals. The Nationals came up short the Final Four at the hands of Thai Army but redeemed themselves for the consolation with Espejo dropping 35 and Bagunas posting 24 markers in the match that saw the Filipinos display their blocking prowess with 22 kill blocks. “Kaya ‘yang team na ‘yan, napag-usapan namin na, ‘Kailangan nating makuha yung tiwala ng mga tao sa team. Kasi kung gusto nating magsimula [lumaki] ang men’s [volleyball] kailangan maging maganda ang performance natin at umanga’t ng umangat ang mga ginagawa natin and yung sakripisyo natin magbubunga naman yan kapag nakita nila na maayos ang team,’” said Alinsunurin, who was also a former national team player. “Sana lang magtuluy-tuloy ang programa.” The four-time UAAP champion mentor also stressed the importance of seeing where the squad is right now as they prep up for the biennial meet that the country will host from Nov. 30 to December 10. “Siyempre sobrang importante ‘yung naging sitwasyon namin sa Thailand. Hindi tayo nanghuhula. Nakita namin ang kalaban namin and kung anong ginagawa nilang play or ginagawa pagdating sa laro,” he said. “Sinasabi namin na kahit paano mayroon tayong pagkukunan hindi yung pagdating ng SEA Games mahirapan tayong mag-adjust kung ano ang laro nila. Nagpapasalamat kami sa nangyari sa Thailand na nanalo kami.” The Nationals will fly to Thailand for a training camp from July 28 to August 10. “Sa Thailand mas makikita namin ang mga players, marami kaming makakalaban. Sa China kasi di namin alam kung ano ang programa, kung pupunta kami doon at magti-training lang ba kami doon. Di ata maayos ang naging usapan so magta-Thailand na lang kami,” said Alinsunurin. The Nationals will also fly to Japan to train from November 5 to 20.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2019