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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

Mighty-Pilipinas exacts revenge on AS Sale to enter Dubai Finals

Mighty Sports-Pilipinas is already assured of its best-ever finish in the Dubai International Tournament after getting the better of AS Sale, 80-76, Saturday (Philippine time) at the Shabab Al-Ahli Club. Still, the Filipinos have their sights set on a historic title in the 2020 iteration of the invitational tourney when they take on either Hoops Lebanon or Al Riyadi Beirut in the Finals on Sunday (Philippine time). This one didn't come easy, though, as the Moroccans, who had downed the Philippines last year, battled back from 11 points down after three quarters. Renaldo Balkman had all the answers, however, and wound up with 29 points. With that, Mighty-Pilipinas already improved upon their third-place finish from a year ago - and there's the championship round still to go. BOX SCORES MIGHTY-PILIPINAS 80 - Balkman 29, Blatche 17, Williams 12, Ravena 7, Malonzo 6, Kendrick 5, Moore 6, Go 0, Ju. Gomez de Liano 0, Belga 0. AS SALE 76 - Kourdou 20, Najah 20, Slimane 14, Arnold 11, Elmasbahi 6, Almahini 5. QUARTER SCORES: 25-15, 44-34, 66-55, 80-76. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 31st, 2020

No promises for Kai Sotto in Mighty-Pilipinas, says coach Charles

Kai Sotto is yet to join Mighty Sports-Pilipinas even as the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament looms larger and larger. The 7-foot-2, 17-year-old remains in Atlanta with The Skills Factory and will head directly to Dubai where the invitational tourney will begin on January 22. "We thought he'd be here last week, but he had some commitments and some tournaments he still had to fulfill there," head coach Charles Tiu said. "It's going to be tough, to be honest." Make no mistake, however, Sotto will see through his commitment in wearing the flag and helping the Filipino representatives improve on their third-place finish from a year ago. "Kai messaged me that he wants to be here. He has already asked me to send over some stuff on game plans," coach Charles said. Still, the Philippine team's youthful mentor said that Sotto will have to earn his spot in the rotation - especially as he is the only player not to have practiced yet. "As much as I want to help him, we still have to win this tournament. That's our first priority," he said. He then continued, "He needs to work his way to be a part of the team." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2020

Russia, Australia, Serbia, Britain into ATP Cup quarters

SYDNEY (AP) — Daniil Medvedev helped Russia to a 3-0 sweep of its pool matches to join Australia, Serbia and Britain in the quarterfinals of the inaugural ATP Cup on Tuesday. Medvedev clinched victory against Norway by beating Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-6 (6) in Perth. Karen Khachanov had already routed Victor Durasovic 6-2, 6-1. The fifth-ranked Medvedev will join Serbia's Novak Djokovic, undefeated Australia and probably Rafael Nadal in Sydney for the knockout stages starting on Thursday. Only an unlikely 3-0 loss to Japan on Wednesday would stop Nadal and his Spanish Davis Cup-winning teammates from making the quarterfinals. Australia will play Britain for a spot in the final four after Britain swept past Moldova 3-0 without dropping a set and then took advantage of Bulgaria losing to Belgium 2-1 to finish first in Group C. After David Goffin beat Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, Belgium rallied from a match and a set down to take the group match in Sydney. The loss was costly for the previously unbeaten Bulgarians, who fell to third in their group and out of contention for a quarterfinal spot as one of the best two group runners-up. Australia, which had already qualified for the quarterfinals by topping Group F, clinched a win over Greece in Brisbane where Nick Kyrgios defeated a hot-tempered Stefanos Tsitsipas. Kyrgios returned from a back injury to claim a 7-6 (7), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5) win at Pat Rafter Arena. After losing the first set, Tsitsipas slammed his racket into the bench, accidentally hitting his father and Greece captain Apostolos Tsitsipas on the forearm. His father walked away briefly before Tsitsipas' mother, Julia, emerged from the crowd to stand behind the bench and criticize her son for his behavior. Earlier, John Millman of Australia beat Michail Pervolarakis 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1). British No. 1 Dan Evans outclassed Radu Albot 6-2 6-2 to clinch their match after Cameron Norrie downed Alexander Cozbinov by the same scoreline. Britain captain Tim Henman said he's looking forward to the quarterfinal against Australia. “I have a lot of history with (Australia captain) Lleyton (Hewitt) and everyone knows the team well. It would be a big challenge, but we would love that opportunity," Henman said. Also in Brisbane, Canada eliminated Germany 2-1. Alexander Zverev made seven double faults in losing to Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-2 after Jan-Lennard Struff put Germany ahead defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-4. But Zverev's loss and a 6-3, 7-6 (4) doubles win for Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime over Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies gave Canada the win. With a 2-1 record in pool play, Canada can still quality for the quarterfinals as one of the best two group runners-up. Zverev has 31 double faults in 31 service games in the tournament. He said an offseason exhibition tour in South America with Roger Federer left him behind in his preparations. “I had like five days less than I normally have ... I didn't practice a lot of tennis," he said. “You can see that on the tennis court. There are a lot of things that I still need to improve.” In the night match at Perth, Italy took a winning 2-0 lead over the United States. Fabio Fognini beat John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (5) and Stefano Travaglia defeated Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 7-6 (1). The six group winners and two best second-place finishers advance. Two quarterfinals are set for Thursday and two more on Friday. The semifinals are on Saturday and the final on Sunday at Ken Rosewall Arena......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020

Must-see sports events for 2020

The sports and the action never stop. That will only continue as we usher in a new year. PBA in January The 44th season of the PBA is far from over as Ginebra and new-age rival Meralco are all-set to go at it for all the glory in the Governors’ Cup Finals. The first and oldest professional league in Asia will then take a two-month break before tipping off its next season in March. There, rookies like Roosevelt Adams and Mike Ayonayon will make their much-anticipated debuts during the Philippine Cup Dubai International Basketball Tournament in January Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano. Kai Sotto. Dave Ildefonso. Jamie Malonzo. Andray Blatche. That is the core Mighty Sports-Pilipinas has come up with for the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament. That young and talented lineup is sure to go all-out as it tries to improve on its third-place finish in the invitational tourney a year ago. NCAA volleyball in January Arellano will protect its throne from several oncomers in the brand new season of NCAA women’s volleyball while Perpetual hopes to do the same over at the men’s side. The Lady Chiefs will follow the lead of Regine Arocha, as always, as they set out for a fourth consecutive championship. UAAP volleyball in February Ateneo ended La Salle’s three-year reign last season and now, the archrivals remain in championship contention in UAAP women’s volleyball alongside UST and FEU. National U is also out to extend its rule in the men’s tournament even as the likes of FEU and Ateneo are ready and raring to put up a new challenge. Gilas Pilipinas in February The Olympic dream is yet to turn into reality for Gilas Pilipinas, but the Philippine national team remains primed for more international action in the first-ever FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. There, the Filipinos will fight over the right for an automatic advance into the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup. NBTC in March The best of the best young talent in the Philippines come together anew in the latest National Basketball Training Centre League National Finals. There, NCAA king San Beda and UAAP title favorite National U are poised to wage war with the other champions from all over the country. And of course, the All-Star game is and will always be a must-watch. NCAA basketball in July For the first time in quite a while, it’s not San Beda that has a target on its back in NCAA basketball. Instead, it will be Letran which will have to fend off the hungrier Red Lions as well as determined LPU, San Sebastian, and Mapua. Tokyo Olympics in July The Olympics are upon us once more and this time, it is closer than ever to home as Japan hosts the world meet in Tokyo. Already headed there while wearing the flag are EJ Obiena for men’s pole vault as well as Carlos Yulo for artistic gymnastics. UAAP basketball in September Ateneo remains on top of UAAP men’s basketball, but will now defend its title without the championship core of Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Adrian Wong, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt. In Women’s action, National U is still the standard, but teams such as UST and FEU keep coming closer and closer. ABL is ongoing A new champion will be crowned in ABL 10 and as of right now, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas is at the head of the pack. MPBL is ongoing The Philippines’ only regional league is only getting bigger and better in its third tournament, the Lakan Season, which continues to roll along......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 1)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JANUARY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao opened the year on a high note and retained his WBA welterweight title after a 12-round unanimous decision win over Adrien Broner. The Philippine volleyball community mourned the passing of head coach Nes Pamilar. He was 52. Joshua Pacio lost his One straw weight title belt to Japanese Yosuke Saruta via split decision while Geje Eustaquio also parted ways with his flyweight belt. The 44th season of the PBA opened.   Jett Manuel of Barangay Ginebra announced his retirement in the PBA after one season while Chris Tiu hanged his jersey after six seasons with Rain or Shine. Gilas Pilipinas began its preparation for the sixth and final qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Azkals finished its historic AFC Asian Cup debut winless after bowing to South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan.    FEBRUARY Gilas Pilipinas clinched a golden ticket to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China after back-to-back wins to close out the qualifiers. Aston Palicte beat erstwhile unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Martinez via TKO in their WBO Superflyweight world championship eliminator while Vic Saludar retained his WBO minimum weight world title. Arellano University completed a three-peat in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball while Perpetual Help won back-to-back titles in the men’s division and five straight in the juniors play. Seventeen year-old Filipino wakeboarder Raphael Trinidad clinched a silver medal in the open category of the IWWF World Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships at Pampa Wake Park, Buenos Aires. The Philippine Sportswriters Association feted the finest Filipino athletes  for the year 2018 in its annual awards night.    MARCH Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas announced the composition of the men’s and women’s seniors national team and women’s U-23 squad. Gilas Pilipinas landed in Group D in the FIBA World Cup with Serbia, Italy and Angola after the draw. San Beda University won its second straight NCAA Season 94 beach volleyball title while Emilio Aguinaldo College completed a men’s division repeat. Kevin Belingon lost his One bantwamweight title to Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes to disqualification from illegal blows while Eduard Folayang surrendered his lightweight belt to Shinya Aoki in a submission loss.   APRIL Hidilyn Diaz pocketed three silver medals in the Asian Weightlifting Championship. EJ Obiena ended the country’s decade-long gold medal drought in the Asian Athletics Championships after ruling the men’s pole vault in record fashion in Doha, Qatar. Nonito Donaire Jr. knocked out Stephon Young in the sixth round to retain his WBA superbantamweight belt and advance to the WBSS bantamweight tournament finals wile John Riel Casimero claimed the WBO interim bantamweight title. The San Juan Knights captured the MPBL Datu Cup in a winner-take-all Game 5 over Davao Occidental Tigers. Team Philippines recorded its best gold haul in Arafura Games in Australia. Marathon star Rafael Poliquit died of complications from subdural empyema. He was 30.   MAY Ateneo de Manila University won the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball title while National University bagged its second straight men’s crown. San Miguel Beer captured its fifth straight Philippine Cup championship at the expense of Magnolia. Petron defeated F2 Logistics in three games to retain its Philippine Superliga Grand Prix throne. Jerwin Ancajas scored a 7th round TKO win over Japanese Ryuichi Funai to keep his IBF super flyweight belt. The UAAP and NCAA collegiate press corps feted the best student-athletes in basketball and for the first time in women’s volleyball. Some athletes and sports personalities tried their luck in the 2019 mid-term elections.   JUNE   Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas stepped down from his post after just 18 months in office. Cignal-Ateneo won the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title.   (To be continued).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

Magic survive late free throw woes to beat 76ers

By The Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Evan Fournier scored 20 points and Orlando survived a collapse from the free throw line in the final minute in the Magic’s 98-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Aaron Gordon had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando. Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris each had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Embiid missed a desperation 30-footer at the buzzer. Orlando led 93-83 after Gordon's dunk with 1:49 left in the game, but it was far from over. The Magic were 5 of 11 from the free throw line in the final 1:30. That included four misses in the final 30 seconds. Philadelphia’s last four field goals were 3-pointers that gave the visitor’s a chance at winning. Embiid hit the last of them with 5.1 seconds to play that cut the Sixers' deficit to 98-97. Ben Simmons then stole the inbounds pass at the Magic end of the court and gave it to Embiid, who launched his desperation shot as the buzzer sounded. HEAT 113, PACERS 112 MIAMI (AP) — Goran Dragic scored in the lane with 6.8 seconds remaining to cap a wild finish and Miami beat Indiana to improve to an NBA-best 14-1 at home. Dragic’s shot was the third by Miami on the go-ahead possession, after Jimmy Butler and Kendrick Nunn both missed but the Heat were able to grab offensive rebounds. Aaron Holiday had a chance to win it for Indiana, but his 10-footer with about a second left bounced away. Butler scored 20 points for Miami. Bam Adebayo had 18 points and 15 rebounds, including the offensive rebound that set up Dragic’s shot. Dragic had 14 points. Aaron Holiday scored 17 points for Indiana. BUCKS 112, HAWKS 86 ATLANTA (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 23 points, Ersan Ilyasova had season highs of 18 points and 17 rebounds and NBA-leading Milwaukee overcame Giannis Antetokunmpo's absence to beat Atlanta. Antetokounmpo, the league MVP last season and second-leading scorer this season, sat out because of back soreness. He watched from the bench as his teammates helped Milwaukee improve to 28-5. The Hawks lost their ninth straight to drop to a league-worst 6-26. They lost guard Trae Young, the NBA's fourth-leading scorer, to a right ankle sprain late in the second quarter. CELTICS 129, CAVALIERS 117 BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown matched his career high with 34 points and Boston beat Cleveland for its fifth straight victory. Jayson Tatum had 24 of his 30 points in the first half, Enes Kanter added 14 points, and Kemba Walker had 13 to help Boston improve to 13-1 at home. Kevin Love matched his season high with 30 points and had seven rebounds for Cleveland. THUNDER 104, HORNETS 102, OT CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 27 points, Dennis Schroder added 24 and Oklahoma City beat Charlotte in overtime for its fifth victory in six games. Chris Paul had 10 of his 16 points for the Thunder in the fourth quarter and overtime. Terry Rozier scored 26 points for Charlotte. WARRIORS 106, SUNS 95 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — D’Angelo Russell had 31 points and six assists, and Golden State rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter to beat Phoenix for its fourth straight victory. Damion Lee added 16 points, Alec Burks scored nine of his 13 in the fourth quarter, and Draymond Green had 11 points and seven rebounds. Devin Booker scored 34 points for Phoenix. The Suns have lost eight straight......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2019

Only 3 playoff slots locked up as NFL goes into final week

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL goes into the final week of the season with the Baltimore Ravens knowing exactly what lies ahead of them in the postseason. Coach John Harbaugh can rest Lamar Jackson and any other Ravens (13-2), who have already clinched the AFC North along with home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Minnesota Vikings (10-5) also are locked in as the NFC's sixth seed, while Buffalo (10-5) is set as the AFC's first wild-card spot in the No. 5 seed. But New England and Kansas City are fighting for the AFC's other first-round bye. Houston hopes to improve its seeding from fourth to third, but only one AFC playoff berth remains up for grabs. In the NFC, it's a battle to the finish with both home-field advantage throughout and both first-round byes yet to be decided. The Green Bay Packers, New Orleans, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks all have a chance at a bye and home-field advantage under numerous playoff scenarios released Tuesday by the NFL. Green Bay (12-3) and San Francisco (12-3) need only win Sunday to clinch first-round byes with the 49ers able to clinch home-field advantage throughout by winning in Seattle on Sunday night. Green Bay needs to beat Detroit combined with a 49ers' loss to ensure the Packers don't leave Lambeau Field until the Super Bowl. New Orleans can rest in the first round if either Green Bay or San Francisco loses. The Saints (12-3) need both the Packers and 49ers to lose for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Seattle (11-4) clinches the NFC West by beating San Francisco but also will need a Green Bay loss for a first-round bye. The Seahawks will need a victory and losses by both Green Bay and New Orleans to stay in Seattle until the Super Bowl. Then there's the NFC East with Philadelphia able to win the division with a victory over the Giants or even at 8-8 if Dallas loses to Washington. The Cowboys (7-8) must beat the Redskins with an Eagles' loss to win the East. In the AFC, Kansas City (11-4) must beat the Chargers with the Patriots losing to Miami to clinch a first-round bye. New England (12-3) clinches that bye needing only a victory. The Chiefs can clinch the No. 3 seed with a victory, playing an early game that could lock in Houston (10-5) as the No. 4 seed before the Texans kick off against Tennessee. The Titans (8-7) have the easiest path to the AFC's final playoff spot needing only to beat the Texans in Houston. A loss by Tennessee opens up opportunities for both Pittsburgh and Oakland. Pittsburgh (8-7) must win at Baltimore with the Titans losing to get the AFC's second wild-card berth. Oakland (7-8) has the slimmest of chances after having five results fall the Raiders' way last week. Now the Raiders must win at Denver with losses by Pittsburgh and Tennessee and a win by Indianapolis. That would create a four-way tie between Oakland, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Indianapolis decided by the strength of victory tiebreaker between the Raiders and Steelers, which Oakland would win if any of New England, Chicago, Detroit or the Chargers win their games earlier in the day......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2019

Dave I. the latest addition to Mighty-Pilipinas young core for Dubai

Dave Ildefonso continues the youth movement for Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the oncoming 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament. Ildefonso is the latest young gun to squad up with the Philippine representatives in the invitational tourney tipping off on January 23. "This tournament will give him some good experience against professional players and even imports at his position. I know he has dreams of maybe playing internationally one day so this is a good start for him at such a young age," Mighty-Pilipinas head coach Charles Tiu said. The National University standout joins forces with 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Kai Sotto and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan as well as American reinforcement Andray Blatche for the side, also backed by Go for Gold and Emedsure, that is nothing but determined to improve on its third-place finish from a year ago. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 21st, 2019

Kluber joins hometown Rangers, leaves ace talk to others

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Corey Kluber is returning to Texas to pitch for the Rangers. The two-time Cy Young Award winner will leave it to others to say whether his hometown team has its next ace. “I think having a starting pitcher you can rely on every fifth day to give your team a chance to win, keep you in the ballgame, I think that stuff carries just as much weight,” Kluber said Tuesday, two days after the Rangers acquired him in a trade with Cleveland that sent outfielder Delino DeShields and reliever Emmanuel Clase to the Indians. “As far as expecting myself to be a No. 1 starter, I feel like if you do that stuff in between starts and you prepare yourself and you do the things I talked about, I think that stuff just kind of falls in line. But that’s not what I set out to do.” Kluber missed most of last season after breaking his right forearm when he was struck by a line drive during a start at Miami. The 33-year-old came close to returning to the Indians' rotation but injured an oblique during a minor league rehab appearance that ended his comeback. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels characterized it as a blessing in disguise after Kluber pitched at least 200 innings in five straight seasons, capped by three consecutive trips to the playoffs from 2016-18 for the right-hander. “It was a very trying season for me,” Kluber said. “Looking back on it now, the way I feel now, I guess I kind of buy into that, that it was probably not the worst thing in the world for me as far as the future goes.” Kluber blossomed into one of baseball's best pitchers starting with his first Cy Young season in 2014, when he went 18-9. The second came three years later, with an 18-4 record and AL-leading 2.25 ERA. Kluber was a 20-game winner the year before his injury-shortened season. “We fully believe that he can get back to somewhat what he used to be,” manager Chris Woodward said. “And if he’s anywhere near what he used to be, he’s absolutely an ace.” Kluber joins a rotation with two solid options in All-Star left-hander Mike Minor and hard-throwing righty Lance Lynn. The Rangers had already signed two free agent right-handers in Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson before adding Kluber. While Kluber is joining the team he grew up watching, it won't be in the same ballpark. The Rangers are moving into Globe Life Field, a $1.2 billion retractable-roof stadium across the street from Globe Life Park. Texas' home for 26 seasons also was where Kluber watched the Rangers when he was a high schooler in the Dallas suburb of Coppell, and where he pitched three times for the Indians. “I think it’s excitement in the sense that it’s new,” said Kluber, whose career record is 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA. “It’s a place you’ve never been before, things like that. Once it gets down to it and you’re pitching, you’re in the games, I don’t take that into account much.” Texas moves into the new ballpark coming off three straight losing seasons, the club's longest sub-.500 stretch in 16 years. But expectations are climbing with a rotation led by Kluber, Minor and Lynn and an offense hoping for a full season from young slugger Joey Gallo. The Indians picked up Kluber's $17.5 million contract option for 2020 immediately after last season. Because Kluber was dealt, his $18 million club option for 2021 would become guaranteed if he pitches 160 innings this season. Kluber said he's ahead of schedule with his throwing program simply because he missed so much of last season and wanted to start his regular throwing earlier. He's been on that plan for about a month and a half. “I feel really good,” Kluber said. “I'm excited about where I am physically right now.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2019

Morris leads Knicks past Warriors in OT to snap 10-game skid

By Joe Stiglich, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Marcus Morris scored a season-high 36 points and the New York Knicks held off the Golden State Warriors 124-122 in overtime Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) to snap a 10-game losing streak. Julius Randle added 24 points and 13 rebounds as New York (5-20) fought off a furious Warriors comeback and gave Mike Miller his first win as interim coach. Golden State (5-21) trailed by 21 in the second quarter but roared back to take the lead with just more than eight minutes left. The teams with the two worst records in the NBA then staged an entertaining finish, with D’Angelo Russell hitting a 3-pointer for Golden State to tie it at 112 with 3.9 seconds to go in the fourth. That sent the game to overtime, but New York controlled the extra period. Randle’s 3-pointer broke a 114-all tie and put the Knicks in front for good. Russell finished with 32 points, but the injury-depleted Warriors lost for the second consecutive game to start what appeared to be a promising homestand that afforded the chance for a couple of victories. The Knicks had their way inside in the first two quarters, shooting 58% and outscoring the Warriors in the paint 32-18. Morris had 18 points as the Knicks took a 68-50 lead into the break. New York closed the first quarter on an 11-0 run to push its lead into double digits. Golden State’s cold shooting during Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) loss to Memphis carried over. Many of those misses came from close range, too, as the Warriors hit just 17 of their 51 shots (33%) in the first half. TIP-INS Knicks: Miller, three games into his tenure after David Fizdale was fired, said the front office hasn’t given him any indication whether he’ll be leading the team for the rest of the season. “We’re in constant communication. They’ve been really supportive. It’s just been about getting to the next game. I’m fine with that,” he said. Warriors: F Eric Paschall was listed as questionable Wednesday morning (Wednesday evening, PHL time) with a sore left hip, but he was in the starting lineup for the 19th time in Golden State’s 26 games. He scored only five points in just under 17 minutes. UP NEXT Knicks: Visit the Sacramento Kings on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), the third stop on this four-game road trip. Warriors: Play on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Utah, where they hung tough before losing by four in November......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 12th, 2019

Caluag falls short anew

TAGAYTAY CITY — After an underwhelming performance, Daniel Caluag stormed back and plucked the silver medal in the men’s BMX racing moto Tuesday at the Extreme Sports Complex here. Caluag, the Asian Games gold medalist who represented the country in the London Olympics, scored a total of five points through three heats to finish behind […] The post Caluag falls short anew appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 10th, 2019

SEA Games: Really heartbreaking, really frustrating -- Valdez on bronze medal loss

Alyssa Valdez helplessly watched from the sidelines as Indonesia made a last stretch run to steal the bronze medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games women’s volleyball competition. She couldn’t help but feel a sense of regret for not being on court in what could’ve been a chance to end a 14-year medal drought for the Philippines in the biennial meet.     “Nanghihinayang siyempre. When you’re outside, you can’t contribute anything,” said Valdez, who rode the bench in the fourth and fifth set of the Nationals’ 20-25, 26-24, 15-25, 25-20, 14-16, loss to Indonesia on Monday in the battle for bronze at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Monday. But the hitter, who had 14 points, understood the decision of head coach Shaq Delos Santos to stick with the same line-up that forced the fifth set. After all, the Nationals went close to just a point away, 14-12, from claiming a spot in the podium since the 2005 edition of the regional sports meet with a rotation sans Valdez.   “It’s the decision of our coaches naman,” said Valdez. “Feeling ko mas nakikita nila kung ano yung mga kailangan ng team. So yun yung best decision na nangyari.” “Maganda rin naman hanggang dulo, lumaban din naman yung team,” Valdez added. But the bronze wasn’t meant for the Filipinas, who never got a chance to score again after Ces Molina’s match point off the block kill. “It’s heartbreaking. It’s really heartbreaking, really frustrating,” said Valdez. “But I think, sabi nga nila sa loob kanina, if it’s not for us, if it’s not our time, it’s not our time.” Setter Jia Morado just like Valdez played off the bench in the last four sets after starting in the first. She saw limited minutes in the fourth frame and was subbed out in the closing stretch of the deciding set. But she knew Delos Santos had a game plan in mind and those inside the court played their hearts out just like she would if she was there.   “Para sa akin, everyone naman is ready to play. Everyone is ready to step up,” said Morado. “So it's the coaches’ decision talaga kung sino ipapasok nila. Kami, kahit sinong ipasok or di kami gamitin, basta manalo para sa bayan, okay kami.” Meanwhile, Delos Santos stood by his decision. “Actually, yesterday, nag-usap na kami siyempre kung ano ang magiging diskarte ng coaches ire-respect. For us kasi, ako especially ako kasi ako ang naga-ano, di naman totally dahil hindi gagamitin or what pero yung timing, yun diskarte,” justified Delos Santos. “Siguro yung sitwasyon lang din na siyempre may nagi-step up din, merong ibang teammate niya na nagiging OK.” The second year mentor stuck with a rotation with middle Mika Reyes paired with Majoy Baron at the frontline, Ces Molina, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Eya Laure at the wings with veteran playmaker Rhea Dimaculangan and libero Dawn Macandili in the fourth frame that paid dividends. They carried the momentum up until the closing moments of the fifth frame when the Nationals went up, 12-8. But it didn’t end the way the Nationals wanted it to be. The medal drought extended for another year. Compounding the heartbreak was the fact that the Nationals lost all of their four games in the competition to finish fourth in a field of four - the worst finish for the Filipinas since their return in 2015 when the Nationals won one game in the Singapore edition and another one two years ago in Kuala Lumpur.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2019

Mau out of SEA Games roster, Maizo-Pontillas gets spot

The Philippine national women’s volleyball team’s podium finish bid suffered a major blow after power-hitting Filipino-American Kalei Mau was ruled ineligible to see action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. In a shocking development, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) president Joey Romasanta revealed Friday that the 6-foot-2 open spiker was scratched from the lineup after falling short of the required minimum two-year residency. Mau, a University of Arizona standout in the US NCAA Division 1, came to the Philippines late last year and played for Cocolife in the Philippine Superliga before transferring to F2 Logistics where she won the All-Filipino Conference Most Valuable Player award and led the Cargo Movers to the throne. She was called up for the national team and made a big impact for the squad. Mau helped the Nationals finish third in the ASEAN Grand Prix first leg, as the Filipinas shocked a then-complete Vietnam squad, forced Indonesia to a five-setter, and stole a set from powerhouse Thailand – the same teams that will vie for medals in the SEA Games. Mau sat out the second leg in Sta. Rosa, Laguna because of an Achilles’ heel injury but was able to join the team in its 12-day Japan training recently. Although Mau has been campaigning in the country, she remains affiliated under the United States Volleyball Association (USVA). Based on the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and the Asian Volleyball Confederation, a player who wishes to represent her country in an international competition such as the SEA Games, Asian Games and the Olympics must be under her mother federation for at least two years. LVPI had no other choice but to cut Mau from the roster to abide the Asian and world body’s rule.      “We don’t want to jeopardize whatever problem she may encounter along the way. She could get suspended if she plays without securing transfer papers from the federation,” said Romasanta. “I don’t know why she failed to submit the papers, but it really has to be her submitting it because she is a member. It's not the LVPI.” The Nationals actually learned about this issue weeks back during their Japan training camp and tried to look for solutions in case Mau won’t get the greenlight to play.   Bite the bullet The news of Mau ineligible to play added to the heartbreak that the Nationals have faced during the course of their build up for the SEA Games, which will open its volleyball competition on Dec. 2 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. “Malaking pagsubok na naman sa amin kasi adjustment na naman dun sa team,” said head coach Shaq Delos Santos. The Nationals already lost towering sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat as well as Filipino-American playmaker Alohi Robins-Hardy. The Six-foot-5 Santiago and 6-foot-2 Manabat failed to secure their release from their respective clubs in the Japan Premier League while Robins-Hardy had trouble securing a Philippine passport on time. Some players suffered injuries including hitter Alyssa Valdez (foot), who skipped the team’s Thailand training camp and the ASEAN Grand Prix opening leg while Mika Reyes is still recovering from a knee injury. The squad had to continue their Japan training camp without Valdez and setter Jia Morado, who had to return to Manila after just five days into the camp because of their club commitment with Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League.    “Simula ng mag-start kami ng [training] camp nandyan siya [Mau] tapos nagkaroon na naman ng conflict,” said Delos Santos, who is in his second year as mentor of the squad. “Siguro best thing na magagawa ng buong team, coaches, players, ng management, ng LVPI, kami kailangan din naming ma-accept na, na matanggap namin sa sarili namin na kakayanin namin kahit na maraming dumadating na problema o conflict kasi yun na rin naman ang goal natin dito kung paano buuin ang team.”   Maizo-Pontillas returns, Paat in dual role With Mau out, Delos Santos has elevated reserve Aiza Maizo-Pontillas into the team. The lefty Maizo-Pontillas, who played for the national team in the 2017 edition of the SEA Games in Malaysia, will be Mau’s replacement. She was with the team in its Thailand and Japan training camps.  Delos Santos is also looking at putting Mylene Paat in a dual role as opposite and open spiker with Maizo-Pontillas taking the main position at opposite. “Si Aiza na ang ilalagay namin [for Mau]. Si Mylene kasi inaano namin, pero kasi sa Pilipinas nagagawa niyang maging outside hitter,” said Delos Santos. “Pero kailangan mas maaral pa niya o maibigay namin yung mga role n’ya as an outside hitter pero kasi siyempre iba pa rin ang galaw dun”. “Pero I think konting adjustment na lang so ibibigay namin yung kailangan niyang i-improve at i-develop,” he added. Anticipating the worst, Delos Santos during their Japan training was already giving Paat some extra workouts in both wing positions as well as working on her floor defense.  “Magiging dalawa ang puwesto n’ya in case na kailanganin namin siya sa outside. Pero may tatlo pa naman tayong outside hitters. Depende yan sa ilalaro at sa diskarte naming gagawin, dun na lang yun tatakbo,” said Delos Santos. Even without Mau, the Nationals remain competitive with a solid core bannered by team captain Aby Maraño, Valdez, Morado, Reyes, Paat, Maizo-Pontillas, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maddie Madayag, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Kath Arado. Eya Laure and Ces Molina.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2019

Philippine team dominates Super Cup opening day rival

The national women’s volleyball team flexed its muscles, pulling off a 25-14, 25-18, 25-16 win over PSL Shine in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Super Cup Tuesday night at the Filoil Flying V Centre Arena in San Juan City Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado didn’t see action, but it hardly mattered as the Nationals uncorked a well-balanced assault to register a win in the pocket tournament that serves as a warm-up for the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the country will host from 30 November to 11 December. Mylene Paat finished with eight points to lead the way while Ces Molina and Majoy Baron tallied seven markers apiece for the Nationals, who got some help from middle blocker Maddie Madayag. "Syempre kung ano man yung nabigay namin kanina, gusto pa namin madagdagan yun, ma-improve pa namin nang ma-improve kasi syempre may gusto pa rin kaming gawin para sa team namin,” said national team coach Shaq Delos Santos. Delos Santos was pleased to see that his wards stepped up despite the absence of Valdez and Morado, who missed the first match of this three-game pocket tourney as they need to prepare for their finals game for Creamline against PetroGazz in the Premier Volleyball League. Jovelyn Gonzaga and Eya Laure had six points apiece while Madayag contributed three attacks, one block and one service ace and Rhea Dimaculangan had 13 excellent sets and three aces in the match that took an hour and 13 minutes to finish. “Kasi yun din naman yung isa sa mga pinag-uusapan namin na kailangan naming ma-cover up din yung mga pagkukulang,” said Delos Santos. “So yun din ang goal namin, syempre lahat naman nagkakaroon ng mga conflict or mga challenges,” he added. “Ginagawan lang namin ng solusyon para hindi siya maging mabigat and at the same time mas nakakapag-isip kami ng ito pala ang magandang way para maging OK ang lahat.” MJ Philips scored seven attacks and one block for Team Shine......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2019

Philippines named as one of the 20 nations that will compete in the 2020 FIBA 3X3 Men s Olympic Qualifying Tournament

The Philippines was named as one of the 20 nations that will compete in the 2020 FIBA 3X3 Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament that will take place on March 2020 in India. The announcement was made Friday evening in Utsunomiya, Japan. "We’re very happy that the Philippines will be competing in the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament for a shot at making it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio. "3x3 is an area where Filipino basketball players can really excel and we’re delighted that a Filipino basketball team will get to test their skills against the world’s best. "The SBP thanks all the private promoters that held 3x3 events especially Chooks-To-Go led by Ronald Mascariñas." "We are extremely happy with this development," added Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league owner Mascariñas. "But we could not have done it without the combined efforts of everyone. "We would like to thank the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas headed by chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan and president Al, the numerous private promoters, all the players from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3, and, of course, the Filipino people who supported us for the last nine months." The Philippines will be slotted in Pool C in the OQT that will has three tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at stake. It will be joined by Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic. Composing Pool A are Mongolia, Poland, Brazil, Turkey, and Spain while Pool B will have USA, Lithuania, Belgium, South Korea, and New Zealand. Pool D, on the other hand, has the Netherlands, Latvia, Canada, Croatia, and host India. Gaining automatic berths in the Olympics are Serbia, Russia, China, and Japan. And it was a long road to India for the country. Back in February, the men’s side of the Philippines was ranked at a lowly 59. But ever since the league opened its curtains last February 16, the country’s rankings have steadily risen. The first-ever season of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 had three conferences, namely the President’s Cup, the Patriot’s Cup, and the Magiting Cup. All had level-seven tournament ratings, with level-10 as the highest possible rating. The country also hosted the world’s first-ever Super Quest last April, a level eight tourney; and the country’s first-ever Challenger tournament last September 7, a level nine event. Moreover, the club teams from the league competed in a World Tour Masters and multiple Challenger tourneys — including the Doha and Jeddah Masters and Challenger tournaments in Moscow, Haining, Poitiers, Xiongan, Sukhbaatar, and Kaohsiung. To sustain the country's push to the OQT, the league put up a 14-leg invitational tourney, the MelMac Cup to close out the season. The national team will be composed of twp players from the top 10 and two players within the top 50 or have the minimum number of ranking points. As a tune-up for the national team, the 2020 season of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 will open this January. "The journey is far from over as the goal is to not just make it to the OQT. The endgame is to make it to Tokyo. We are going all out to prepare our national team for this and we hope that everyone joins us in this journey to Tokyo," bared Mascariñas......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 1st, 2019

Pirates fire manager Clint Hurdle after 2nd half collapse

By Will Graves, Associated Press PITTSBURGH (AP) — Clint Hurdle's booming voice and unrelenting optimism helped shake the Pittsburgh Pirates out of two decades of misery. His charisma gave the moribund franchise an identity, one that reconnected the franchise with a fan base worn down by years of losing. Yet over the years, as the core that led the team to three straight playoff berths from 2013-15 vanished with trades, retirement and the pursuit of financial riches elsewhere, that optimism started to fly in the face of reality. Pittsburgh fell off the pace after winning 98 games in 2015, and as players shuffled in and out, the giddiness of those three intoxicating years of contention faded. When Hurdle arrived for work on Sunday for Pittsburgh's regular season finale against Cincinnati, the Pirates were assured of their worst record since 2011, his first season on the job. By the time Trevor Williams threw the first pitch to José Peraza, Hurdle already was headed home, his nine seasons in Pittsburgh over following a stunning second-half collapse marred by embarrassing off-the-field issues that indicated a clubhouse in disarray. Calling it "an extremely difficult decision," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington fired Hurdle in the final hours of a disappointing year, putting an abrupt end to a partnership that guided Pittsburgh back to relevance. Huntington stressed the club wasn't making Hurdle a scapegoat for failings that stretched far beyond the manager's reach. The Pirates finished 69-93, including 25-48 since the All-Star break. "There is no one thing that led us to this decision," Huntington said. "It's easily summed in new voice, new leadership, new direction in the clubhouse but I'm not saying it's his fault. I'm sitting here wearing it. We are wearing it as an organization, and we're going to work our tails off to never be in this spot again." Hurdle went 735-720 in Pittsburgh, the fourth-winningest manager in the franchise's 132-year history in the National League. He took over a team coming off a 105-loss season the year before his arrival and with the help of a group that included star centerfielder Andrew McCutchen, orchestrated a revival that saw Pittsburgh become contenders in the NL Central. Yet the Pirates never made it past the Division Series over the course of three consecutive playoff appearances, The team slid back to mediocrity as A.J. Burnett retired in 2015, McCutchen and pitcher Gerrit Cole were traded in January 2018, and catcher Russell Martin and pitcher J.A. Happ both landed lucrative deals as free agents. Pittsburgh averaged just 76 victories over Hurdle's final four seasons. He leaves with two years remaining on a contract extension he signed in 2017. Bench coach Tom Prince filled during a 3-1 loss after Hurdle declined the option of working one last day. Huntington said he will explore both internal and external options. Prince and special assistant Jeff Banister — who took the Texas Rangers to the playoffs in 2013-14 before returning to Pittsburgh — both have deep ties to the team. Pirates chairman Bob Nutting said in a statement that he had "a great deal of appreciation" for Hurdle's contributions to the organization. Nutting called 2019 "easily the most difficult season" of a tenure that dates to 2007. While Hurdle is moving on, Huntington, whose contract runs through 2021, is not. "I strongly believe that Neal Huntington and the leadership team that he has assembled are the right people to continue to lead our baseball operations department," Nutting said. Hurdle is the fifth departing major league manager. San Francisco's Bruce Bochy and Kansas City's Ned Yost announced their retirements, San Diego's Andy Green was fired on Sept. 21, and the Cubs' Joe Maddon and Chicago announced Sunday he will not return. Oakland's Bob Melvin, hired in June 2011, became the longest-tenured manager in the major leagues. Hours before his departure, Hurdle said he had guarded optimism about the direction of the team despite its post All-Star break funk. Pittsburgh entered the break at 44-45 but promptly lost 24 of its next 28 games. He told The Athletic last week he had received assurances he would return in 2020. On Sunday morning he allowed that it's a manager's job to sell tickets. Attendance at PNC Park has dropped in lock step with Pittsburgh receding from contention in recent years. Pittsburgh entered Sunday averaging just 18,348 fans, down from 30,847 when the club won 98 games in 2015. "When you don't play well, the responsibility falls upon the manager of the team," Hurdle said. "Then the people that make those decisions on whether the manager stays or the manager goes, coaching staff goes, coaching staff stays, players go, players stay, that's what front office does. . I've always felt I have a really good grasp on what my accountability and responsibility is. I've never shirked away from it or never not owned up to it. So, absolutely not winning enough games falls right here." Off the field, pitcher Felipe Vázquez was charged with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16 years old. Reliever Keone Kela was suspended for an argument with a team official, and Vazquez and reliever Kyle Crick got into a fight that resulted in Crick needing season-ending surgery on his right index finger. "(There are) players that have come through our system that talked about, 'This is not what the Pirates do. This is not who we are,'" Huntington said. "I'm not going to sit here and say that it's Clint Hurdle's fault. It's all of us. It's all of us in this.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 30th, 2019

Mbappé returns, sets up Neymar as PSG beats Bordeaux 1-0

PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappé made his return from injury as a substitute and set up Neymar's goal as Paris Saint-Germain beat Bordeaux 1-0 away in the French league on Saturday. Mbappé, who had been out for a month with a thigh injury, came on with half an hour remaining and the France star gave Neymar a simple finish from close range in the 70th. Idrissa Gueye had capitalized on a mistake from Bordeaux defender Pablo to send Mbappé through. The 20-year-old Mbappé missed a great chance shortly after coming on but failed to get the better of Bordeaux keeper Benoit Costil in their one-on-one. Costil had an outstanding game. It was a game of missed chances for the defending champions, who wanted to bounce back from Wednesday's surprise 2-0 loss to Reims, the side's first league defeat at home for 16 months. PSG coach Thomas Tuchel responded with six changes for Bordeaux, which only threatened Keylor Navas' goal after Neymar scored. After eight games, PSG leads by two points from Nantes and Angers, which was held to a 1-1 draw by Amiens. PSG next faces a trip to Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday before hosting Angers four days later. LYON MISERY CONTINUES Lyon's miserable form continued with a 1-0 defeat at home to Nantes, an own-goal from Brazilian defender Marcal being enough for the visitors. It left Lyon seven games without a win across all competitions, including the 1-1 draw at home to Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League. It is the side's worst streak since it went eight games without a victory in 1996. OTHER MATCHES Lille prepared for Wednesday's home Champions League game against Chelsea with a 1-1 draw at Nice. It was Lille's eighth successive away match without a win and left the side fourth, four points behind PSG. Monaco hadn't won a match until Tuesday but crushed Brest 4-1 on Saturday to record a second straight win. Islam Slimani scored a penalty and set up the other three goals. Metz drew 2-2 with Toulouse and Dijon won 2-1 at Reims to claim its first victory of the season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 29th, 2019