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US posts longest gov& rsquo;t shutdown

US posts longest gov& rsquo;t shutdown.....»»

Category: newsSource: thestandard thestandardJan 12th, 2019

Camp time! Warriors, Wolves prepare to open training camp

em>By Jon Krawczysnki, Associated Press /em> The Golden State Warriors were the last team standing when the NBA season closed in June. Thanks to a preseason trip to China, they are one of the first teams to get going this season as the league gets up and rolling again. The Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves will hold their media days on Friday and open training camps Saturday, a few days ahead of the rest of the league as they prepare for an early October trip to China for games in Shanghai and Shenzhen as part of the league’s ongoing efforts to grow the game in the basketball-crazy nation. Golden State will be the headliner in China, just like it has been in the NBA for the last three seasons. And the Warriors open camp this season with a major advantage over everyone else that goes above and beyond the sheer talent the organization has assembled with Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. While the rest of the league spent the entire summer scrambling to upgrade in a desperate attempt to enter Golden State’s stratosphere, the Warriors return almost the entire roster from the team that won its second championship in three seasons. In fact, Golden State should only be better this year because it will not have to spend part of the early season figuring out how to incorporate Durant’s game with three other All-Stars. Meanwhile, teams like the Rockets, Cavaliers, Thunder, Timberwolves and Celtics will need all of the preseason and then some to get on the same page with the new stars in town. There will be no such orientation process in Golden State. Free agents Nick Young and Omri Casspi will have to acclimate, but that is a lot easier to do when Durant and Curry are showing them around. ___ So as media days and training camps get up and running, here are a few things to watch at the outset: strong>HARD FEELINGS? /strong> It appeared that Durant was on his way to mending some fences in Oklahoma City after he left the organization to join Golden State last season. But the fence posts may have been torn down again when Durant disparaged the Thunder team and coach Billy Donovan as the biggest reasons he left to join the Warriors. Durant has since apologized , but the topic will likely come up again when he speaks to the media on Friday. And it should be interesting to see if Russell Westbrook has anything to say about it when the Thunder open early next week. strong>CP3 ARRIVES: /strong>The most intriguing roster experiment this year may be in Houston, where GM Daryl Morey is teaming James Harden with Chris Paul in a star-studded backcourt. Harden finished second in the MVP voting last season after moving from shooting guard to point guard and now will have to move back to accommodate Paul. Both players are used to having the ball in their hands and orchestrating the offense, so there will likely be some feeling-out that needs to be done in camp. The two have already appeared in a television commercial together, so they’re off to a running start. strong>KYRIE’S MOVE: /strong>The biggest headline in a wild offseason was Kyrie Irving’s request for a trade from the Cavaliers. He landed in Boston in a move that could define his legacy, the All-Star who didn’t want to play with LeBron James. Irving did little to shed light on his motives in an enigmatic interview with ESPN and likely will be bombarded with questions about it at media day. How the Celtics handle the early crush of attention and move past Irving’s exit from Cleveland could play a big role in their ability to truly challenge the Cavs in the Eastern Conference. strong>CRASH COURSE: /strong>The Timberwolves are one of the teams that made significant roster changes this summer after a disappointing 31-win season in Tom Thibodeau’s first year as coach. They added Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford while trading away Ricky Rubio in an offseason overhaul aimed at ending the league’s longest active playoff drought at 13 seasons. Thibodeau asked owner Glen Taylor to allow the team to hold training camp in San Diego before they head out to China to get them away from the distractions of home and allow them to bond in a preseason that only includes three games. That Butler and Gibson played for Thibodeau with the Bulls should help that transition, but it will no doubt be a process worth watching. strong>RULES CHANGES: /strong>When players start taking the court for exhibition games, it will offer an opportunity for them to start to adjust to rules changes and points of emphasis that are new every season. One notable difference this year will be the “James Harden rule,” a change in the way the game is called aimed at reducing the number of instances a player tricks a defender into fouling them and then goes into a shooting motion to try to earn free throw attempts. Harden is the master , though dozens of players do the same thing. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2017

UAAP Season 81: Board approves shift in volleyball individual awards

The UAAP Board has approved the use of the FIVB individual awards format for Season 81. Board member Rod Roque of University of the East confirmed the development in a text message to ABS-CBN Sports Thursday. “We will be following the FIVB on the giving of individual awards, by position already no longer by skills,” said Roque, who added that the decision was unanimous. The UAAP Board held a two-day meeting to tackle about the rules and regulations of second semester sports including volleyball. For the longest time, the UAAP has been feting players by skills: scorer, attacker, blocker, server, setter, digger, receiver and Most Valuable Player. Other local leagues like the NCAA, Philippine Superliga and Premier Volleyball League and UAAP high school have already adapted the FIVB’s by positon individual awards of best two outside hitters, two middle blockers, an opposite hitter, setter, libero and MVP. Schools have until January 28 to submit their team rosters. The Eligibility Committee will conduct screening on February 4 while the final approval of team rosters is set on Feb. 11.          --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: UAAP Board looking to switch to FIVB individual awards format

The UAAP Board is highly considering changing its volleyball individual awards format into the FIVB standards in Season 81. Board member Rod Roque revealed that the change in the awarding format will be one of the main topics that the Board will tackle when they convene on Tuesday and Wednesday. Roque is optimistic that the change will be implemented this season. “Well, isa ‘yan sa napag-usapan naming innovations sa volleyball. Sabi namin susundan namin ‘yung international (standard) kasi by position ang international e,” said the UE athletic director. “So we might do it this year. So depende tomorrow kung ma-approve namin ‘yun then we will implement right away kasi mas marami kang mabibigyan kung position e. Pabor sa players mas maganda,” added Roque, who is also the representative of the UAAP in the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. For the longest time, the UAAP has been feting players by skills: scorer, attacker, blocker, server, setter, digger and receiver as well as the Most Valuable Player. Other local leagues like the NCAA, Philippine Superliga and Premier Volleyball League and UAAP high school have already adapted the FIVB’s by positon individual awards of best two outside hitters, two middle blockers, an opposite hitter, setter, libero and the MVP. “Kami sa eligibility kasi kami ‘yung naga-update ng rules and regulations,” he said. “Sabi namin we follow the international kasi we’re using the international (rules and format) in all sporting events. We might as well do also for the awarding di ba?” Roque is optimistic that the change will be approved as other schools also showed positive response during their previous meetings. “Favorable naman yung response ng walong schools kasi mas maraming mabibigyan ng award e so I think ma-approve ‘yun,” he said. Roque said that it has been on the table years. “Alam mo na ‘yung tradition, tradition we keep on following the tradition, tradition,” sad Roque. “Well hi-tech dapat sumusunod tayo sa panahon, sa trend and that is the trend now we might as well do what is right.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2019

U.S. shutdown sends economy into uncharted waters

WASHINGTON, USA – The United States government shutdown on Saturday, January 12, became the longest in history and is taking a growing bite out of the world's largest economy with each passing day, economists say. While most of the 21 "lapses" in government spending since 1976 left barely a scratch on economic ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

US govt shutdown longest in history | The Manila Times Online

WASHINGTON, DC: Hundreds of thousands of federal employees dont know when theyll see their next paycheck, and low-income people who rely on the federal safety net worry about whether theyllREAD The po.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

Day 22: Gov’t shutdown becomes longest in US history

The US government shutdown that has left 800,000 federal employees without salaries as a result of President Donald Trump’s row with Democrats over building a Mexico border wall entered a record 22nd day Saturday. Day 22: Gov’t shutdown becomes longest in US history Source link: Day 22: Gov’t shutdown becomes longest in US history.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

US visa programs under scrutiny

The US government is now on its third week of a partial shutdown – with indications that this could become the longest shutdown ever – but the impasse continues over the unwavering stance of President Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to build a wall over the US-Mexico border......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 12th, 2019

MVP Ladder: Giannis bolsters case with key win in Houston

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t think he’s quite “there yet” when it comes to the Kia MVP chase. With all due respect, Mr. “Greek Freak,” the basketball world begs to differ. You are definitely there, sir, based on your performance through the midpoint of this NBA season. In fact, if there were hardware to hand out from Kia Race to the MVP Ladder HQ at this point, Antetokounmpo would be the recipient (edging out a crowded field that includes the reigning MVP, James Harden). By the grace of the scheduling gods, the two leading candidates just happened to hook up on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time), the official halfway point of 2018-19. And they put on a show worthy of MVP mention, with Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks knocking off Harden’s Houson Rockets at Toyota Center. Harden continued his torrid scoring streak, collecting his league-leading 14th 40-point game of the season. In doing so, he tied Tracy McGrady for the second-longest 30-point streak since the ABA/NBA merger at 14. (Kobe Bryant has the record at 16 straight.) But Harden didn’t have his most efficient outing (shooting 13-for-30 overall with nine turnovers) as the Bucks took control late. All Antentokounmpo did was shred the Rockets for 27 points on 8-for-16 shooting to go along with a career-high 21 rebounds, five assists and yet another showcase performance for his MVP resume. (The Bucks pounded the Rockets to the tune of a 70-24 advantage in points in the paint and outscored them 19-2 in fast break points.) The Bucks have won seven of their past eight games heading into today’s game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. They’ve stormed the top of the Eastern Conference standings and own a 10-5 record over Western Conference opponents with Antetokounmpo as their undisputed leader and, yes, MVP. Not there yet, huh? Yeah, right. * * * The top five this week in the 2018-19 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder: * * * 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks Last week: No. 2 Season stats: 26.6 points, 12.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.3 steals Antetokounmpo seems to be the only person on the planet who isn’t moved by his consistent brilliance this season. If he doesn’t think he’s "there yet," then the rest of the league should brace themselves for whatever comes next. He’s been an unstoppable force on both ends of the floor, but particularly as an offensive catalyst on one of the most improved teams in the league. Doing it without the aid of a reliable long-distance shot is what has made watching Antetokounmpo crush the competition so intriguing. If there was any skepticism about the Bucks being both a legitimate threat in the East and a title contender, that should be vanishing as the second half of the season begins. As long as Antetokounmpo stays focused and healthy (he’s probable Saturday, PHL time, with right quadriceps soreness and a left hip bruise), the possibilities are endless. 2. James Harden, Houston Rockets Last week: No. 1 Season stats: 33.9 points, 8.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals Harden has moved into hallowed ground with his current scoring barrage, as his 14 straight games of 30-plus points ties Hall of Famer (and fellow Rockets legend) Tracy McGrady for the second-longest streak since the ABA/NBA merger. Those debates about whether or not Harden is the best offensive player ever aren’t out of line, not when you consider the way he generates offense for himself and his teammates. Harden has a chance to obliterate the record with the Rockets’ friendly upcoming schedule (they play seven of their next 10 games at Toyota Center). The only glitch for Harden as he's hit this nuclear level is the one key flaw in his game is rising, too. He’s averaging 5.7 turnovers this season, which ties his career-high from 2016-17. He's up to 7.3 tpg in his last five games, which he, of course, would point out is world-class nit-picking of a guy playing as well as he is. 3. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors Last week: No. 3 Season stats: 28.9 points, 5.5 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals Curry shot a rather un-Splash Brother-ish 5-for-19 in Tuesday’s (Wednesday, PHL time) home win against the New York Knicks, which includes an ugly 3-for-12 showing from three-point range. That was a huge come down from his 42-point outburst (including 10 made three-pointers) Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in a road win against the Sacramento Kings. But as often happens with a rare rough shooting night for the two-time former MVP, Curry displayed a brilliant floor game against the Knicks. He finished with 14 assists (and just one turnover) while grabbing seven rebounds as Klay Thompson went off for 43 points and Kevin Durant dropped 24. Curry’s had just three hiccups since returning from his 11-game, groin-injury induced absence on Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time). Over his last 18 games, Curry has failed to score at least 20 points only once. What should worry the Chicago Bulls, who visit Oracle today, is what Curry has done in those other two games after he struggled (averaged 32.0 points). 4. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors Last week: No. 4 Season stats: 27.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 steals MVP voters must decide if the work Leonard did while he was playing outweighs how good the Raptors were all season whether he was in or out of the lineup. As convenient as it might be to try to diminish what Leonard has done by knocking him for the games he missed, you’d be wise to pay attention to just how good he's been when he plays. The Milwaukee Bucks can certainly attest to his impact after what Leonard did to them Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). He logged 30 points and a season-high five steals, playing his trademark lockdown defense, as the Raptors won the battle between the NBA’s top two teams (in the standings). Leonard has such tight control over his own game that he continues to play as efficiently as anyone on this list. He has notched eight games this season where he’s scored 30 or more points while shooting better than 50 percent, including his last two games (30 on 50 percent shooting in the win against the Bucks and 31 points on 61.1 percent shooting in their recent win against the Hawks). 5. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets Last week: No. 7 Season stats: 19.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.5 steals Jokic continues to deliver for the Nuggets in every category, doing his crafty best to help keep coach Michael Malone’s team at the top of the Western Conference. He notched his 21st career triple-double (18 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and two blocks) in Thursday’s (Friday, PHL time) win over the LA Clippers. It was his second straight triple-double, coming two days after lighting up the Heat in Miami for 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. In doing so, he tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-most career triple-doubles by a center and can now chase Wilt Chamberlain’s big man record of 78. Jokic will probably dig into that deficit considerably the season if he keeps playing the way he has to kick off 2019 (27.2 points on .523 shooting, 12.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.4 steals in his last five games). Jokic and the rest of the Nuggets are focused on team goals first, of course. After missing out on the playoffs on the season's final night in 2017-18, they’re making sure to avoid any such drama this time. * * * The next five 6. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder 7. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers 8. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers 9. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors 10. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans And five more: DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs; Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers;Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers; Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. 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 NewsJan 12th, 2019

Harden has Rockets rolling with visit to Warriors looming

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press James Harden and the Houston Rockets were one half away from the NBA Finals last time they played at Oracle Arena. The way the Rockets are rolling now, they might just get another shot at the champs this postseason. The Rockets try to wrap up a perfect month at home Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against Memphis, then visit Golden State for the first time since the Western Conference finals, having recovered from a rough start thanks to Harden’s torrid stretch. He has scored 40 points in three straight games and 35 or more in seven straight, the longest streak since LeBron James did it in nine in a row in 2006. The NBA scoring leader’s quest to repeat as MVP is clearly on track. And after a poor start, so are the Rockets (20-15). They have won four straight and nine of their last 10 games overall, and are 8-0 at home in December after dropping their first four games at the Toyota Center. Just like Game 6 of the West finals, when they blew a double-digit lead, they will play at Golden State for Thursday’s (Friday, PHL time) nationally televised game without Chris Paul because of a hamstring injury. But instead of what had been a shaky season getting worse, the Rockets have surged in his absence because of Harden. “Somebody said the other day that we can only win if he scores 40. OK, that’s kind of a bad thing, but the good thing is he can score 40 every night, so we’re OK with that,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Tell him to keep going.” NEW YEAR, OLD HOME Kawhi Leonard’s first trip of the new year is to his old home. The Toronto Raptors visit San Antonio on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) for what became one of the most anticipated games of this NBA season this summer when the Spurs gave Leonard the exit he had been seeking, trading him to the Raptors. Leonard was the NBA Finals MVP when the Spurs won their last championship in 2014 and had become one of the league’s most complete players by last season. But he was limited to nine games because of a quadriceps injury and his relationship with the organization became strained. The Spurs dealt him along with mainstay Danny Green to Toronto, getting All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan back. Leonard led Toronto to the best record in the league for most of the season and the two-time Defensive Player of the Year’s absence has shown on the Spurs’ defense, long one of the league’s best but well back in the rankings now. While the game Thursday (Friday, PHL time) is the most newsworthy, it’s not the most important of the week for Toronto. The Raptors follow it Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) by visiting the Milwaukee Bucks, who have inched ahead of them for the NBA’s best record and have won both meetings this season. OTHER GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEK: Orlando at Charlotte, Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). Magic coach Steve Clifford returns to face the team he coached for five seasons. Oklahoma City at Lakers, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Chance for Californians Russell Westbrook and Paul George to put on a show for the fans back home. Atlanta at Milwaukee, Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Mike Budenholzer’s move from Atlanta to Milwaukee couldn’t look much better. Dallas at Philadelphia, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). The reigning Rookie of the Year (Ben Simmons) against the player (Luka Doncic) who could succeed him. AYTON IN ACTION Deandre Ayton will finish his strong December by testing himself against the NBA champions. Then he opens January against a different kind of test — perhaps the toughest in the league at his position. The rookie center squares off for the second time against Joel Embiid on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) when the Phoenix Suns host the Philadelphia 76ers. Luka Doncic might already have too much hype and highlights to be caught in the Rookie of the Year race, but Ayton’s strong play certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. The No. 1 pick scored a season-high 33 points on 16-of-20 shooting and added 14 rebounds Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in a 122-118 loss to Denver, after he came into the game averaging 16 points and nearly 12 boards for the month. “You can feel game-to-game he is getting better,” coach Igor Kokoskov said last week. “He is working on his game. He is a very dedicated player. It was just a matter of time.” That improvement has helped the Suns go 5-4 in their last nine games — one more victory than they had during a brutal 4-24 start. After facing Golden State on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), it’s on to his second matchup with Embiid, one of the league’s biggest talkers who was already chirping about Ayton even before he’d played his first game. After the former Arizona star was compared to him in June, Embiid wrote on Twitter: “Don’t compare Ayton to me either. I play DEFENSE.” He then told ESPN in a preseason interview that Ayton was “about to get his (butt) kicked.” Embiid had 33 points to Ayton’s 17 in the 76ers’ victory in Philadelphia in November......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2018

NBA s Christmas lineup headlined by LeBron vs Warriors

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press There’s no NBA Finals rematch this year on Christmas. Not technically, anyway. It’s LeBron James vs. the Golden State Warriors for the fourth consecutive year on Dec. 25 (Dec. 26, PHL time), though James will be wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform this time. It was a predictable matchup. It isn’t, however, a break from tradition. That’s one of the biggest misnomers about the NBA and the schedule. An NBA Finals rematch is not common, not the norm, not a guarantee for the last two teams that were standing the previous season. The league has crowned a champion every year since 1947, and the tradition of Christmas Day games started later that same year. (They’ve been an annual fixture since, with the exception of 1998, when a lockout didn’t allow that season to begin until February.) But there have been only nine NBA Finals rematches on Dec. 25 (Dec. 26, PHL time). The recent Golden State-Cleveland history may make it seem like more. James has been in five Finals rematches on Christmas, all since 2011: Miami vs. Dallas that year, Oklahoma City vs. Miami the following year, and Cleveland vs. Golden State in each of the last three years. The other four rematches on the holiday: Orlando vs. Houston in 1995, Philadelphia vs. the Lakers in 2001, San Antonio vs. Detroit in 2005 and Boston vs. the Lakers in 2008. So instead of a Cavs-Warriors rematch, getting Lakers vs. Warriors — for the first time in the LeBron L.A. era — makes perfect sense. “Bron is Bron,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “They’re going to be tough, a tough matchup on Christmas Day, but we’re looking forward to it.” Inevitably, so will James. Even with the Lakers having lost four of their last six games, they’re off to a 19-14 start — their best since the 2011-12 season. “We’ve got a long way to go to get to Golden State,” James said in September. He’s about to get his first look at how the Lakers measure up with the champs. CHRISTMAS LINEUP Tuesday’s (Wednesday, PHL time) slate starts with Milwaukee at New York, followed by Oklahoma City at Houston, Philadelphia at Boston, the Lakers at the Warriors and then Portland at Utah. It’s Milwaukee’s first Christmas game since 1977, which will end what was by far the league’s longest Dec. 25 (Dec. 26, PHL time) drought. Utah hasn’t played on Christmas since 1997. A look at each of the five games: BUCKS AT KNICKS Congratulations to the schedule-makers, because there’s no way they could have known this Christmas game would be wrapped in animus. Giannis Antetokounmpo was peeved at New York forward Mario Hezonja — who dunked on him, stared at him and then stepped over him when the teams last met on Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time). THUNDER AT ROCKETS A rematch of a game from Christmas 2017, which the Thunder won 112-107. Oklahoma City is 6-2 on Christmas since the team moved there; when the franchise was in Seattle, it was 0-11 on the holiday. Rockets star Chris Paul will miss Christmas for the third straight year — with the Clippers, he had a left hamstring strain and missed their game with the Lakers in 2016, sat out last year’s Houston-OKC game with a groin strain and this year, it’s another left hamstring issue that will keep him out. 76ERS AT CELTICS These are heated, historic rivals, but they’ve met on Christmas only once before — in 1961, when the 76ers were the Syracuse Nationals. Boston, which famously avoided home Christmas games forever (the Celtics played their first 30 such games away from Boston), will be at home on the holiday for the second consecutive season. LAKERS AT WARRIORS It’s the 20th consecutive Christmas appearance for the Lakers, and with LeBron James there now don’t expect that streak to end anytime soon. Warriors star Kevin Durant apparently loves playing on the holiday; he’s averaging 31.1 points in his eight previous Christmas games. TRAIL BLAZERS AT JAZZ Portland is 14-3 all-time on Christmas, and could tie Miami (10-2) for the best winning percentage on the holiday if it tops the Jazz. Meanwhile, for Utah, it’s a chance for Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell to get his first — but almost certainly not his last — look at playing on Christmas. CHRISTMAS HISTORY The NBA’s five-game Christmas lineup is back for an 11th consecutive year, and that may seem like a lot of matchups but has been exceeded plenty of times in the past. There were seven games on the holiday in 1949, 1971 and 1977, as well as six in 1970 and 1976. And there were some years where everybody played on Christmas. In 1952, the league had 10 teams so that meant five Christmas games. In 1956, the league’s eight teams got together for two Christmas doubleheaders — two games at Madison Square Garden, two others at the War Memorial in Rochester, New York. And in 1959, eight teams meant four games on the holiday again. With Milwaukee playing, the league’s longest Christmas drought will belong to the Atlanta Hawks, who haven’t appeared on the holiday since 1989. After the Hawks, the longest droughts will be held by Charlotte (no appearances in 29 seasons), Memphis (no appearances in 24 seasons), Toronto (2001), Sacramento (2003), Indiana (2004) and Detroit (2005). Everyone else has played at least one Christmas game since 2009. YEAR OF THE 3 Houston set the NBA record for three-pointers made in a game with 26, doing that against Washington last week. It cemented that, without question, 2018 in the NBA was the year of the three-pointer. So far this season, 11 franchises — Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Golden State, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Sacramento and Utah — have set or tied team records for three-pointers made in a regular-season game. That doesn’t even take into account Brooklyn, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia also doing it in 2018, albeit last season. Maybe the craze hasn’t caught on in Canada. The longest-standing team record for three's in a game is held by the Toronto Raptors, who made 21 on March 13, 2005. Orlando’s mark of 23 has stuck since Jan. 13, 2009 and Phoenix’s record of 22 came on Nov. 14, 2010. Meanwhile, Zaza Pachulia’s quest for a three continues. Pachulia has the NBA record for most three's attempted in a career without a make — the Detroit backup center is now 0-for-29 in the regular season, 0-for-31 when including playoffs. He’s 0-for-3 in 2018, though all those tries in this calendar year were desperation heaves from midcourt or deeper. And in fairness, only six of his career three-point tries have been shots inside of 30 feet......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018

2018: The year of collegiate champions and people s champions

From Katipunan to Mendiola, from Intramuros to San Marcelino, and from Morayta to Las Pinas, the year 2018 will be tough to top. That goes for both the NCAA and the UAAP as both leagues learned that it all begins here before experiencing unparalleled heights. Now, it’s high time for look back at the year that was in collegiate basketball. New year, new regime Before we can look back, however, we first need to look ahead as several new eras are already underway even before the year has ended. Over at La Salle, American coach Jermaine Byrd has been tapped with the hopes he can do to the Green Archers what American-Kiwi mentor Tab Baldwin has done for Ateneo. The same task of a turnaround is also what’s expected from the new hires of Mapua in Randy Alcantara, EAC in Oliver Bunyi, and Arellano in Cholo Martin. Immediate impact Alongside talented tacticians, however, teams need talented players. Fortunately for a handful of teams, they got just that from their first-year players. Ateneo won back-to-back championships all while featuring a brand new paint presence in Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year Ange Kouame. While being a force is already a given for any 6-foot-11 player like Kouame, both CJ Cansino and Dave Ildefonso also exceeded expectations in their rookie seasons for UST and NU, respectively. Over in the NCAA, Filipino-American high-flyer Justin Gutang propelled CSB just right outside the playoffs while Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang helped re-establish Letran as a powerhouse. The Walls of Intramuros are up again Speaking of Letran, it’s nothing but a welcome development to see them contending once more for the first time since their magical season and championship in 2015. Head coach Jeff Napa, at long last, has a team he can call his own and the Knights look like they will be big, big threats for the foreseeable future. Of course, size was never the advantage for neighboring LPU and rather, they have run-and-gunned their way to back-to-back Finals. With new head coach Randy Alcantara, Mapua is nothing but hoping it can finally catch up with its fellow Intramuros occupants. Started from the bottom, now we’re here Just four years ago, Adamson and UP were cellar-dwellers and were fighting over wins that were meaningless in the standings, but meaningful to their morale. Now, the two teams have just figured in classic semifinals series with both games going down the wire. In the end, it was the Fighting Maroons who advanced to the Finals, but the Soaring Falcons have nothing to be ashamed of, especially as they were one of only two teams that had downed champion Ateneo. Controversy, controversy The on-court action in both the NCAA and the UAAP was, without a doubt, intense. The same can be said, however, for the off-court happenings. The NCAA season started with San Sebastian being forced to forfeit a couple of its wins due to RK Ilagan playing in a commercial league, continued with Perpetual also being questioned about having players who suited up in a different commercial league, and ended with LPU main man CJ Perez getting suspended in Game 1 of the Finals. The UAAP had its share of colorful events with Thirdy Ravena getting suspended and therefore, getting disqualified from individual awards as well as FEU being indirectly helped into the playoffs by the untimely injuries to Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi and Sean Manganti. 2 MVPs, 1 alma mater It’s a universally accepted truth that Prince Eze deserved the NCAA MVP and Bright Akhuetie deserved the UAAP MVP. What’s funny is that, at one point in time, those two were actually teammates over at Perpetual. Yes, the Altas had both Nigerian tower Eze and Nigerian powerhouse Akhuetie seeing action for them for two seasons. Even more, they were also teammates with now Ginebra star Scottie Thompson for one year. Of course, the NCAA MVP and the UAAP MVP agreed that they had to go their separate ways so that both of them can spread their wings and fly. Good thing they did. Good thing they did. Just another season in the office for San Beda So much happened in the NCAA season – LPU’s continued contention, Letran and Perpetual’s resurgence, CSB and San Sebastian being darkhorses. In the end, however, San Beda left no doubt that it was still their kingdom by blanking the Pirates in the Finals. With that, the Red Lions extended their league-leading title total to 22 – with half coming in the last 13 years. We can talk about all the teams and all the players we want, but at the end of the day, the NCAA title will still go through Mendiola. Blue Eagle, still the king At the end of the first round of the UAAP season, Ateneo found itself in a three-way tie for the top spot with FEU and Adamson. By virtue of having lost to both the Tamaraws and the Soaring Falcons, the Blue Eagles were actually in third-place entering the second round. From there, however, Ateneo never lost – and was never even threatened – all the way to back-to-back championships. They did that, with court general Matt Nieto injured for most of the second round and do-it-all forward Thirdy Ravena incurring a suspension as well. Come the Finals, however, Ateneo just unleashed both Nieto and Ravena and ultimately, took the fight out of UP. Her-story for Lady Bulldogs These are the most important numbers for the NU Lady Bulldogs at the end of the UAAP season: five straight championships, 80 wins in a row. Yes, NU has not dropped any of its last 80 games dating back to 2014. With that, they not only eclipsed the 72-game winning streak of the Adamson softball squad, once the longest winning streak in league history, but also ran way past it. Oh, that winning streak – and the five-peat, for that matter – is still ongoing. That’s short of saying that the Lady Bulldogs will only continue to make history next year. Indeed, up was where the Fighting Maroons went From 2007 to 2015, UP only won 13 times out of 126 games. Those days have been self-depreciatingly called “the dark days.” In the recently concluded UAAP season, the Fighting Maroons finally found light at the end of the tunnel. First, at 7-6 with one game to go in the elimination round, they already registered their best showing in 14 seasons. Then, at 8-6 to end the elims, they claimed their first Final Four berth since 1997. Then, in discarding Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage, they won in the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. Then, by doubling down against the Soaring Falcons, they climbed to their first Finals since 1986. In the end, UP’s Cinderella run didn’t get a happy ending at the hands of Ateneo. But maybe, just maybe, the Fighting Maroons actually aren’t Cinderella. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2018

Kamandag ni Donnie Nietes, muling masusubukan!

May bagong susubok sa kamandag ni Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes sa pagharap ng longest-reigning Pinoy boxing champion sa Hapong si Kazuto Ioka sa “Pinoy Pride Presents: Nietes vs Ioka” sa ABS-CBN S+A sa huling araw ng taon (Disyembre 31) ng 9 pm. Halos tatlong buwan ding nagpahinga ang pambato ng Pilipinas nang mag-tabla sila ng katunggali at kapwa-Pinoy na si Aston Palicte sa The Forum sa Inglewood, California, Estados Unidos, noong Setyembre. Haharapin ni Nietes (41-1-5, 23 KOs) si Ioka na may tangang 23-1, 13 KOs na kartada. Pagtatalunan ng dalawa ang bakanteng trono ng World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Flyweight na dibisyon. Ito rin mismo ang nabigong pagsungkit ni Nietes na sintron kontra kay Palicte. Para sa mananaliksik at boxing analyst na si Atty. Ed Tolentino, si Ioka na ang pinakamahirap na makatapat ni Nietes sa puntong ito ng kanyang karera. “Kalaban na ngayon ni Nietes ang pagtanda at isang batang Ioka na mahilig bumira ng mga suntok. Ang maganda kay Nietes, mahusay siya sa depensa at interesanteng makita kung kaya niya pa ang matinding opensiba na tiyak manggagaling kay Ioka. Ang lamang ni Nietes dito, hindi magalaw ang ulo ni Ioka at halos parati itong nabibitag sa isang sapakang parang away-kanto; at dito niya matitikman ang matinding counter ni Nietes,” bahagi ng analyst. Magkakaroon naman ng replay ang buong kartada ng “Pinoy Pride Presents: Nietes vs Ioka” sa S+A sa Enero 1 ng bagong taon ng 12 am at 7:30 pm. Maaaring mapanood ng live ang kanilang laban sa SKY Sports PPV sa halagang P199, tumawag lang sa 418 0000 o puntahan ang pinakamalapit na opisina ng SKY sa inyong lugar.  Abangan ang bakbakang Nietes at Ioka sa “Pinoy Pride Presents: Neites vs Ioka” sa S+A at S+A HD sa huling araw ng 2018, Disyembre 31 ng 9 pm. Bukod pa riyan, mapapanood din ang “Best of Pinoy Pride 2018” sa darating na Pasko (Disyembre 25) ng 6:30 pm at Disyembre 28 ng 9 pm. Nariyan din ang palabas ng S+A at ALA Boxing na pinamagatang “IDOL,” kung saan magpapamalas ang mga batang boksingero ng kanilang galing sa darating na Disyembre 23 sa ganap na 7 pm. Para sa balita sa sports, sundan ang @ABSCBNSports sa Twitter at Facebook o pumunta sa sports.abs-cbn.com. Para sa updates, i-follow ang @ABSCBNPR sa Twitter, Facebook, at Instagram o bisitahin ang www.abscbnpr.com......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 19th, 2018

UAAP: Ria Nabalan graduates undefeated after 80 games

As the ladies of National University were jumping up and down to celebrate their fifth straight championship in the UAAP Women's Basketball tournament Wednesday morning, Ria Nabalan was fixing all of the five gold medals that she earned in her five playing years around her neck. Ngiting 80-0, ngiting never pa natatalo sa UAAP. Ria Nabalan with her five championship medals! pic.twitter.com/nBBA7VvcyD — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) December 5, 2018 It was a spectacular sight. The bubbly sharp shooter was wearing five medals from different seasons, but all five say the same thing: "CHAMPION". Plus, from Seasons 77 to 81, she has never been on the losing column in all the 80 games she played. All she knows is the taste of victory. Looking back at her beginnings as a rookie from Chiang Kai Shek College in 2014, Nabalan never thought she would end up this successful. "Hindi [ko naisip ito] syempre, may mga times siguro na madodown kami, marami kami struggles and bilog yung bola, pero hindi ngayon," she said. Aside from joining an elite list of UAAP athletes who graduated undefeated, she is also part of another historic group of players who have scored 40-points in a single game. She notched this milestone on October 20, 2018 versus De La Salle University. Anchored on Ria Nabalan's career-high of 40 points, the National University Lady Bulldogs notch their 72nd straight win in the UAAP. They are just one game away from matching the league record for the longest winning streak set by the Adamson Softball team. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/1dh21RB9gP — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) October 20, 2018 She is also a pivotal part of NU's record-breaking run, wherein the Lady Bulldogs snatched the record for the longest winning streak in UAAP history back in October 27, 2018. Still, it was just in her very final game wearing the NU jersey that she considered herself as a history-maker. As she described, "Masaya syempre, at least ngayon masasabi ko na naging part na ako ng history." From her record-setting performances to her spunk on and off the court, Nabalan leaves a lasting impression on the Lady Bulldogs' program. She is one who always expresses confidence in her team. When asked if she remembers any point in her UAAP career that she thought she was going to lose, she had a ready answer. "Wala. Andyan naman mga teammates ko at coaches namin eh. Wala. Hindi kami pwede matakot kasi alam naming nasa likod namin ang isa’t isa," she said with full conviction. "One day siguro matatalo kami pero hindi pa ngayon," she added. After a stellar UAAP career, the Sports and Wellness Management major shared that she plans on serving the nation either through Philippine Navy or the women's national team Perlas Pilipinas next. "Siguro magtatry ako mag Navy kasama yung mga seniors ko. Depende pa kung anong mangyayari sa akin. Hoping din sana for RP team," she said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

Cardinals strike gold, get Goldschmidt from Diamondbacks

By Bob Baum, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals struck gold in their search for a big hitter, getting All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a multiplayer trade Wednesday. Eager to push for the playoffs after a three-year absence, the Cardinals sent pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, minor league infielder Andy Young and a 2019 draft pick to Arizona. A six-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner at 31, Goldschmidt was among the top players available in the trade market. He hit .290 with 33 home runs and 83 RBIs last season and has often finished high in the NL MVP voting. “We’ve been busy this offseason working to upgrade our lineup, and today we are excited to announce the acquisition of one of the game’s premier players,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said in a statement. Goldschmidt has a $14.5 million salary next year, receives a $1 million assignment bonus for the trade and will be eligible for free agency after next season. The Cardinals have a history of acquiring top hitters and then signing them to long-term deals, including Mark McGwire and Matt Holliday. St. Louis went 88-74 and believed it needed a boost in the middle of a lineup that includes Matt Carpenter, Marcell Ozuna and Yadier Molina to compete with the likes of Milwaukee and the Cubs in the NL Central. The Cardinals’ postseason drought is their longest 1997-99. Free agent slugger Bryce Harper has supposedly been on the Cards’ wish list, too, as the winter meetings approach this weekend. Last offseason, the Cardinals had worked out a deal with Miami for NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, but he refused to waive his no-trade clause. Arizona went 82-80 in the NL West and finished behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado, who both made the playoffs. The Diamondbacks, obviously in rebuilding mode, parted ways with a homegrown player who grew to be the face of the franchise but is nearing the end of an extremely team-friendly contract. The quiet slugger, an eighth-round draft pick out of Texas State in 2009, quickly moved through the Arizona minor league system and advanced to the big league club in 2011. In 2013, Goldschmidt hit 36 home runs and drove in 125. In 2017, he matched that home-run high with 36 and drove in 120. He is a career .297 hitter with 209 home runs, and was runnerup in the NL MVP voting in 2013 and 2015. Despite an awful start to last season, he bounced back to once again become a powerful force. Goldschmidt was the Diamondbacks’ franchise leader in slugging percentage and on-base percentage. “This was an extremely difficult decision given how much Paul has meant to our team both on and off the field. He represents everything it means to be a D-back, and we are very thankful to him for all that he has done for our franchise and our fans,” Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said. Weaver, a 25-year-old right-hander, was 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA last season. He was long rated among the top St. Louis prospects. The 24-year-old Kelly has played for the Cardinals in parts of the past three seasons, batting .154. He’s been highly regarded for his defensive ability. Young, 24, hit a combined .289 in Double-A and high-A ball. The draft choice that Arizona got will come after the second round, likely a pick somewhere in the high 70s or low 80s......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

& lsquo;Three Words To Forever& rsquo; posts P6.5 million opening-day gross

& lsquo;Three Words To Forever& rsquo; posts P6.5 million opening-day gross.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Clippers extend home winning streak to 9 by beating Suns

By Joe Reedy, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Danilo Gallinari had 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers won their ninth straight home game, defeating the Phoenix Suns 115-99 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Lou Williams scored 20 points while Tobias Harris (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Boban Marjanovic (18 points, 10 rebounds) notched double-doubles for the Clippers (14-6), who have the NBA’s longest active home winning streak and have won 10 of their last 12 overall. The game was tied 49-all at halftime before Los Angeles took control with a 20-4 run over a five-minute stretch in the third quarter to go up 83-63. Gallinari scored 12 of the first 15 points in the run, including a pair of three-pointers. Phoenix, off to the worst start in franchise history at 4-17, pulled to 104-93 on Deandre Ayton’s reverse layup with four minutes remaining but could not get any closer. Devin Booker led Phoenix with 23 points and Elie Okobo added 19. T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson each scored 15. TIP-INS Suns: Ayton, the top pick in this year’s NBA draft, had a season-low four points but led the team in rebounds with nine. ... Richaun Holmes came off the bench to score 10 points. ... G Isaiah Canaan was waived before the game. He appeared in 19 games and averaged 7.5 points and 3.3 assists. Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said it “was a business decision but I feel good about his future.” Canaan began the season as the team’s starting point guard before Kokoskov moved Booker to the point and inserted rookie Mikal Bridges into the starting lineup. Clippers: Los Angeles has won nine straight games against the Suns, dating back to the start of the 2016-17 season. It is the club’s second-longest active winning streak against a single opponent — the Clippers have won 10 straight vs. Orlando. ... Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 13 points. ... F Luc Mbah a Moute (sore left knee) and G Jerome Robinson (strained right foot) were inactive. UP NEXT Suns: Host Orlando on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Clippers: Play at Sacramento on Thursday (Friday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

SMC& rsquo;s tollway unit posts P2.3-b profit

SMC& rsquo;s tollway unit posts P2.3-b profit.....»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 25th, 2018

Fil-Am Hernando Plannels named New Zealand U-17 Women s Basketball coach

Basketball New Zealand announced that they have hired Fil-Am Hernando Planells as the head coach of the Women's U-17 National Basketball squad. Planells, an associate head coach and recuiting coordinator for the Duke Blue Devils women's basketball team, was a consultant for the UE Red Warriors program a few years ago.  His mother, Carmen, is a Filipina from Cagayan de Oro, while his father, Hernando, Sr., is from Spain. "We are extremely fortunate to attract these high-quality coaches to New Zealand for our junior national team program. Not only will we tap into the knowledge of these well credentialed, well-connected and experienced coaches, but more importantly they will also be fantastic mentors for a group of aspiring coaches who have been eager for more development opportunities," says High Performance director Leonard King.   "We are going to be strategic in our approach, and target some up-and-coming Kiwi coaches and place them beside Aaron and Hernando. The plan is to have those assistants taking that knowledge into their own head-coach roles down the track." Planells has an extensive resume in basketball, and has coached in the sport for two decades. He has handled players in both the women's and men's scene, including Elizabeth Williams, Lexie Brown, and Chelsea Gray of the WNBA, and Avery Bradley of the L.A. Clippers. Hailing from Los Angeles, Planells has also dabbed with work in Hollywood, serving as choreographer in some of the big sports movies of the past decades. Unforgettable scenes which involved basketball in movies such as The Longest Yard, Spider-Man 3, Semi Pro, and Coach Carter's were overseen by Plannels himself. "I’d like to thank Basketball New Zealand, Leonard King, Coach Guy Molloy and Coach Paul Henare, for giving me this amazing opportunity. And many thanks to Duke and my head coach Joanne P McCallie and staff for supporting me in this exciting venture," shared Planells......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2018

UAAP: David Murrell didn t mean to be disrespectful with that late-game dunk

ANTIPOLO – Both the University of the Philippines and National University acknowledged that something wrong happened late in their game on Saturday at the Ynares Center here. Fighting Maroon David Murrell went up for a highlight two-handed dunk with his team way ahead, the Bulldogs no longer doing anything to keep the contest close, and just nine seconds remained on the clock.   This is David Murrell’s two-handed throwdown that NU did not appreciate - and neither did UP head coach Bo Perasol. #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/d3i8roZ2Cn — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) November 3, 2018   It is an unwritten rule of sportsmanship in basketball that when one team is already way ahead, the opposing team is no longer doing anything to keep the contest close, and less than 24 seconds remain on the clock, there are no more baskets to be made. And so, NU was clearly not happy with what happened. For his part, Murrell said that he was just looking for a spread his wings. “To be honest, I just saw an opening and wanted to dunk it. I didn’t mean to (be) disrespectful. I just wanted to dunk the ball to be honest,” he said. He then continued, “I usually do that back home. It’s kinda normal back home, but I guess here, they thought it was disrespectful.” Without a doubt, the Bulldogs didn’t appreciate what he did. “They gave me bad looks,” the Filipino-Canadian rookie said. Afterward, State U head coach Bo Perasol made it a point to point out to his high-flying forward what he did wrong. “We have to understand that he wanted to get into his groove. For the longest time, he wants to show his stuff, but regardless of the reason, that was wrong,” he said. He then continued, “He’s a young guy. He’s got so much potential and he only needs to respect the game and his opponents.” The good news is that Murrell was nothing but accepting of what his mentor told him. As he put it, “Coach Bo said I shouldn’t have done that because that was disrespectful. In the long run, we got the win and I’m happy about that.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2018

Persistent Popovich, Spurs negate coaching-change ways in NBA

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The first coach in the Gregg Popovich era to get axed was Brian Winters on Jan. 24, 1997. He lost 100 games faster than anyone in history, a byproduct of overseeing the Vancouver Grizzlies in their expansion season (1995-96) and into 43 games of ’96-97. The most recent to lose his job was Tyronn Lue on Oct. 28, 2018 after Cleveland’s 0-6 start. This was more of a head scratcher as he’s the only coach to win a title with the Cavs. Perhaps his biggest crime was failing to give LeBron James the wrong directions to Cleveland Hopkins Airport last summer. In that span, 245 NBA coaching changes were made in Popovich’s time in San Antonio. Some of them have been understandable, others questionable, in all a spinning wheel that managed to eject all from the first seat on the bench … except one. In the wake of yet another coaching switch, it’s fair to wonder: how and when will it end for Popovich in San Antonio? He’s closer to the finish line than the starting line, but the finish line keeps moving. Any notion of Popovich vanishing once Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili left the organization died when training camp began. Any thought of Popovich turning sour from the organization’s lethal relationship last year with Kawhi Leonard was dismissed when Popovich enthusiastically prepared himself for his 23rd NBA season. And all ideas of Popovich permanently drifting to one of San Antonio’s relaxing 18-hole courses as he approaches his seventh decade on the planet should be shattered with a Big Bertha driver. “I don’t golf,” he said. “What a waste of time. I’d rather read a book. You could be doing a lot of other things.” Like, keep coaching. “I still enjoy this,” he said, before deadpanning, “but I don’t know how to do anything else.” He has survived this long because he wins. With 1,201 victories and counting, he’s climbing toward Don Nelson’s career record of 1,335. With a straight face, Popovich says “my ass would’ve been gone a long time ago” if not for great success that he constantly credits to Duncan, among others. But there’s another factor in play that keeps Popovich in control of his destiny and fate. He has rarely, if ever, had to answer to anyone in the Spurs’ organization, now controlled by Julianna Holt, who keeps away from the basketball operation. Almost from the jump, Popovich ruled the empire, and that has separated him from others who’ve won just as many, or more, than his five championships. It’s a unique setup enjoyed by almost no one in professional sports, which are often controlled by owners who act on a whim. Phil Jackson (11 titles) left two organizations, including the Los Angeles Lakers twice, not totally on his own. Pat Riley had a prickly departure from the Lakers after winning four of his five career titles there. In both cases, the lines were clearly drawn: neither Jackson nor Riley, despite steering their teams to historical runs, carried the strongest voice in the building. Neither had tenure or were immune from the type of sports diseases that can fracture even dynasties and shove great coaches out the door. When he greased the “Showtime” era in Los Angeles, Riley had the biggest coaching profile since Red Auerbach and his signature victory cigars. Riley was charismatic, cool and changed the coaching culture. But inside was a gym rat and a clipboard scribbler. He released the leash on the fast break and made the Lakers intoxicating. He smooth-talked Kareem Abdul-Jabbar into taking a reduced role as age began to weather the Hall of Famer. However, the core Lakers eventually grew weary of Riley’s techniques and motivational tricks. When the Lakers were upset by the Phoenix Suns in the 1990 Western Conference semifinals, Riley heard the increased volume and split. Jackson’s relationship with Bulls GM Jerry Krause showed decay early in the Bulls’ run for a sixth and final championship in 1997-98. Theirs was a clash of egos and ideas. That, and a demand by Jackson for more money, led to a Bulls breakup. In the early 2000s, Jackson restored the Lakers’ franchise as they became the biggest rival for Popovich’s Spurs in that decade. But the chore of coaxing two high-maintenance young stars, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, beat up Jackson and lead to his first LA exit. His second stint with the Lakers ended mainly over money, among other issues. That’s all foreign to Popovich, who had the benefit of taking over a team with David Robinson, the gentlemanly All-Star who gave no gruff. And then, blessed by the basketball gods, Popovich landed Duncan, the most no-frills superstar the game has ever seen. Duncan set the tone in the locker room for professionalism, conduct and work ethic. Everyone followed, something that’s lasted for almost two decades, all while making Popovich’s life easier (for which Popovich is forever grateful). Duncan also drastically changed the lives of two men. When Popovich stepped down from his GM role on Dec. 10, 1996 – taking the coaching job from Bob Hill after a 3-15 start -- he went 17-47. That is his only losing season to date, and the Spurs fell into the Draft lottery. There were whispers at the time -- blasphemy nowadays -- that he might not see another season in San Antonio. In 1997, the Boston Celtics had better odds of winning Draft lottery and its grand prize: a bank-shot-shooting center from Wake Forest (via the Virgin Islands) who could transform a franchise. Had the Celtics gotten the No. 1 pick, perhaps Rick Pitino would still be coaching in the NBA instead of lobbying for a return. As much as Popovich heaps praise on Duncan, there’s no denying Popovich’s role in 21 straight years of playoff trips and his own coaching immortality. The way he runs an organization envied by many, helps find talent with low Draft picks (Ginobili was taken 57th overall; Parker at No. 28), generates respect from players and rivals (LeBron James, among others) and is a San Antonio landmark (along with the Alamo) is no accident. If Popovich can’t control his fate, then no one in his profession ever will. Besides, under what circumstances would Popovich be forced out? Even if it’s his call, how will this end? He turns 70 in January, although the only time he ages is when a referee’s whistle doesn’t blow his way. He survived Leonard, the only documented sign of rebellion by a Spurs’ star. And the Spurs, despite losing Dejounte Murray for the season to a knee injury, might keep their playoff streak alive with DeMar DeRozan blending well with new teammates. “It’s San Antonio, OK? The faces have changed but the standards are the same and the way do things are the same,” Popovich said. “We’re going to expect the guys to do their jobs on and off the court. None of that’s going to change. The way we want to approach the game and have the respect for the game is all the same, just with different people.” Asked about the Murray injury and other non-Spurs-like issues, he adds: “Maybe we deserve a little bad luck. We got to draft Tim Duncan 20 years ago. So, a little misfortune. We deserve it.” Coaching changes since Dec. 1996 Gregg Popovich was named coach of the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 10, 1996. Since then, there have been 245 coaching changes league-wide. Here's a look at how many changes each team has gone through in the Popovich era. In two years, Popovich assumes control of the US Olympic basketball team. That could satisfy his urge to coach without the 82-game grind and free up time to pursue other stuff. But who knows? “Being a wine consultant going from vineyard to vineyard, or a restaurant critic going from restaurant to restaurant, that would be more fun, for sure,” Popovich said. The 1996-97 season was bloody for the profession. Seven teams, including the Spurs, changed coaches in season. The Washington Bullets (now Wizards) had three coaches that season. And, in fact, Bernie Bickerstaff held two jobs that season, resigning as Denver’s coach in November and was later hired by Washington in February. Cotton Fitzsimmons lasted eight games with the Phoenix Suns. Only one new coach that season lasted more than two decades. Since Popovich’s debut, the Utah Jazz have had the fewest coaching changes (two), while the Grizzlies and Wizards have been on the other extreme (13 each). The Dallas Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle and the Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra own the longest tenure after Popovich (10 years each). We’ll never see another like him in our lifetime. He’s a coach who gets results on the court, respect in the locker room and no orders from above. Good luck finding another combination like that. The 245 coaching changes are not a number Popovich particularly likes (because he sticks up for the profession) and it’s not a number that he’ll add to anytime soon -- if he has any say. Which he does. “I’m a simple untalented man,” he said. “This is all I can do. I’d better stick with it.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or 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 NewsOct 31st, 2018