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US star Pulisic confident in form despite Chelsea benching

By Ben Nuckols, Associated Press FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Christian Pulisic said he won't let his benching with Chelsea affect his play for the U.S. national team as it prepares for a match against Cuba, pronouncing himself in peak form despite scant playing time of late. "I feel the best I ever have. I feel very confident in my game. I'm not going to let any of that affect me," Pulisic said Wednesday before training with the national team at George Mason University. "I feel very strong, and I'm really looking forward to this game Friday." The 21-year-old midfielder has been mostly a spectator in his first season in the Premier League, playing in just one league match since August — a 10-minute stint Sunday during which he contributed an assist. Pulisic arrived at Chelsea in the offseason for $73 million from Borussia Dortmund. Pulisic has previously voiced frustration with his playing time under Chelsea manager Frank Lampard but declined to elaborate on those feelings. "I'm here now to be focused with the U.S. national team, so that's really all that's on my mind right now," Pulisic said. The United States will play Cuba on Friday in Washington and then visit Canada in Toronto on Tuesday, its opening two matches of the CONCACAF Nations League. While he's been a role player with Chelsea, Pulisic is the undisputed star of the rebuilding U.S. team, which is trying to recover from its failure to qualify for last year's World Cup in Russia. He said he's looking forward to seeing what 18-year-old midfielder Brenden Aaronson, who was added to the roster last week, can bring to the squad. "It's fun to play with these younger guys," Pulisic said. "He's younger than me, right? Yeah, he's much younger. ... I don't see myself as young anymore, but whatever.".....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnOct 9th, 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

Davis confident Lakers roster can go up against anybody

    LOS ANGELES, USA – Anthony Davis said the Los Angeles Lakers will be capable of challenging for the NBA championship immediately next season as the six-time All-Star was formally unveiled by the organization on Saturday, July 13 (Sunday, July 14, Philippine time). The 26-year-old superstar is set to form a potent ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 14th, 2019

UP, UE share 2019 s king of recruiting crown

Who was our King of Recruiting in 2018? Find out here. --- Last season, the University of the Philippines, at long last, broke through in the UAAP. Behind the leadership of Paul Desiderio and key contributions from Season MVP Bright Akhuetie and Mythical selection Juan Gomez de Liano, the Fighting Maroons made their first Final Four since 1997 and first Finals in 32 years. Now, even without the iconic Desiderio, State U is nothing but confident it could build on its breakthrough. The reason? Well, because two of the brightest young stars in Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero are now orbiting Diliman. Paras has all the physical tools to take any league by storm and now in maroon and green, he is out to continue the legacy of his father Benjie who delivered the school’s first and only championship. Meanwhile, the Euro-stepping Rivero already knows a thing or two about taking the UAAP by storm, having been chosen for the Mythical Team when he was still playing for De La Salle University in 2017. Add big man J-Boy Gob, another transferee, to that and, indeed, UP is only equipped to keep contending. On the strength of the transfers of Paras and Rivero alone, the Fighting Maroons would have been worthy of the title of 2019 King of Recruiting. Right up there with them, though, in terms of getting a big boost in the offseason is University of the East. Absent from the Final Four in the last decade, the Red Warriors will be heading into the upcoming season with a fully stocked arsenal. Now up front for them – alongside stalwart Philip Manalang, of course – will be 6-foot-9 Senegalese Adama Diakhite, three-time champion and two-time MVP in the CESAFI Rey Suerte, and college-ready Harvey Pagsanjan, the no. 7 high school player in the 2019 NBTC 24. Diakhite is a hulking presence who will prove to be a tough matchup even for the likes of reigning MVP Akhuetie and last year’s Rookie of the year Ange Kouame. Suerte, a gifted scorer from anywhere on the court, fills right into the hole left behind by scoring dynamo Alvin Pasaol while Pagsanjan can continue making all the right plays he had been doing as the longtime beacon of hope for Hope Christian High School. Also flanking them are former Ateneo de Manila University forward John Apacible, defensive stopper Neil Tolentino, Filipino-Kiwi swingman Richie Rodger, and Filipino-Australian point guard Jasper Rentoy. And with that, UP and UE will have joint custody of the crown of the 2019 King of Recruiting. They dethrone National University which claimed the crown a year ago behind a big-time recruiting class that included Ildefonso brothers Dave and Shaun, John Lloyd Clemente, and John Galinato. Just like last year, there remains no doubt that the new Fighting Maroons and Red Warriors will make their respective sides forces to reckon with come UAAP 82. Still, several squads also made it a point to be better in the offseason. In fact, the graduating players in the 2019 NBTC 24 have been spread out among eight different teams. From the 2019 NBTC 24, the annual ranking of the best high school players in the country, 14 are moving on up to the Seniors. Adamson University is the biggest winner in terms of recruits from that ranking, with three of the top 15 players now in San Marcelino. Ninth-ranked Aaron Fermin is a double-double machine in the NCAA Jrs. and is nothing but determined to realize his potential as a two-way force under multi-titled mentor Franz Pumaren. In CESAFI standout Joshua Yerro and UAAP Jrs. Mythical selection Joem Sabandal, coach Franz also has young blood to bolster the backcourt that will no longer have Koko Pingoy. The Soaring Falcons also scored four other former Baby Falcons in big man Lorenz Capulong and wings Adam and Andrey Doria and AP Manlapaz. When it comes to reaping the rewards of its high school program, though, nobody could still touch Mapua University which again got two keep its Jrs. studs in Clint Escamis and Dan Arches, both of whom made it into the top two-thirds of the 2019 NBTC 24. Escamis and Arches are offensive guards who will give much-needed firepower to a promising core comprised of fellow Mapua HS products Warren Bonifacio, Eric Jabel, Noah Lugo, and Laurenz Victoria. Also, the Cardinals are the favorites to land NCAA 94 Jrs. Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez, another Red Robin. Also bagging two prized prospects from the 2019 NBTC 24 is La Salle which is now the place where the talented tandem of Joel Cagulangan and Joshua David get to work. Cagulangan has long been a star in the making and the NCAA 94 Jrs. MVP is, without question, Taft Avenue’s point guard of the future. The even better news is that he will still have wingman David, a tried and tested glue guy, to grow with. Also set to debut for the Green Archers are Filipino-Americans Jordan Bartlett, a speedster guard; Tyrus Hill, a high-flying forward; and Kurt Lojera, a big-bodied swingman. In all, there are six graduates from the top 10 of the 2019 NBTC 24. All of them would be on different teams in the Srs. Two players from 2019 NBTC 24 are yet to commit to any school, but there is no doubt that Red Robin Hernandez and Greenie Inand Fornilos will be able additions to any collegiate team. For the second straight year, Aldin Ayo will be adding a top three recruit out of high school as incoming sophomore CJ Cansino will now join forces with another triple-doubling talent in Mark Nonoy, a rookie who plays way beyond his years. But wait, there’s more as UST also welcomes with open arms its newest foreign student-athlete in Beninese Soulemane Chabi Yo whose speed and skill will make him a problem for the other foreign student-athletes more used to being powerhouses. Sprinkle in stretch four Sherwin Concepcion as well as versatile forwards Rhenz Abando and Brent Paraiso and there’s a reason why the Growling Tigers are now very much a darkhorse contender. L-Jay Gonzales and RJ Abarrientos remain FEU’s backcourt for tomorrow, but in the meantime, the former is poised for a breakout just as the latter is poised to wrap up his K-12 schooling. Yes, Abarrientos is not yet good to go come UAAP 82, but his steady hand is still the perfect pairing for the burst of energy that is Gonzales. Make no mistake, however, the Tamaraws have gotten help in the form of 6-foot-10 Cameroonian Patrick Tchuente as well as former Baby Tams Daniel Celzo and Jack Gloria. Letran is already the biggest it has ever been up front with NCAA 94 Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang alongside Jeo Ambohot, Christian Balagasay, and Christian Fajarito. Now, the Knights have also beefed up at the wings with Allen Mina and Mark Sangalang as well as former Red Warrior and Growling Tiger Jordan Sta. Ana. LPU will have to prove it could continue contending even without NCAA 93 MVP CJ Perez, but the good news is that now backtopping Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee are former San Sebastian College-Recoletos key cogs Alvin Baetiong, Jayson David, and Renzo Navarro. That’s still a pretty solid lineup in our books. Just like last year, the now two-time UAAP champions are mostly intact, only losing team captain Anton Asistio as well as reserve guard Aaron Black. That doesn’t mean, however, that there are no new faces in Ateneo. Geo Chiu, Kai Sotto’s twin tower, decided to stay in Katipunan just as fellow ex-Blue Eaglets RV Berjay and Jason Credo are now seeing minutes in head coach Tab Baldwin’s rotation. And oh, there is a possibility that double-double machine Fornilos, who placed no. 13 in the 2019 NBTC 24, is bound to be a Blue Eaglet. Perps is nothing but determined to build on the triumphant return to the NCAA of head coach Frankie Lim and to do that, they will be leaning on former San Beda University pillar Ben Adamos as well as ex-Adamson HS workhorse Jefner Egan. Count out the Altas at your own risk. JRU is just on the first phase of a grand rebuild, but there is no doubt that things are looking up for Kalentong. In John Amores, they now have an end-to-end force who is all set to make an immediate impact as a rookie. These are the new names to watch for the teams: Baste CSB National U San Beda --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

Harden-Westbrook duo ready to do something really special

By Michael C. Wright, NBA.com HOUSTON -- Well-dressed men in the Texas heat scurried, snatching keys and pointing directions to the visitors arriving, car after car. On the third floor, down the hall from a mezzanine overlooking a lobby, sparkling with custom Calcutta marble flooring, they all gathered in a quiet, dim room, just steps away from two Rolls-Royces bathing in the sun gushing through floor-to-ceiling glass. Here in Uptown, at Tilman Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel -- a 38-floor, $350 million property housing a Rolls-Royce showroom and Bentley and Bugatti dealership, below a heliport -- the Houston Rockets' owner has turned the team’s annual media day into a posh, star-studded event. With good reason, too. Houston’s blockbuster July trade that sent Chris Paul off to the Oklahoma City Thunder for picks and pick swaps for Russell Westbrook reunites MVPs and former Thunder stars with James Harden already in the fold for a squad now at the forefront as favorites in a now suddenly wide-open Western Conference. “I think we are a better team,” Fertitta said. “It’s gonna be extremely exciting to have one of the greatest scorers of all time, and one of the most athletic people that has played the game. I know I’m really excited. I hope they don’t let me down.” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey thinks this all-star pairing “could be really special.” “It’s so exciting because James Harden is like the best half-court player I’ve ever seen, honestly,” Morey said. “Then, Russell is maybe the best transition player, one of the best of all time as well. If you put those things together, I think we have a chance. Now, you’ve got something really special.” Searching for same goal The reality is it’s been seven years since Westbrook and Harden last teamed with Oklahoma City in the 2012 NBA Finals, and while both have developed into MVP winners and perennial All-Stars, neither has made it back to The Finals. So, burning hotter than the pomp and glitz at the Post Oak Hotel this hot summer day is the question of whether this will all work for a pair of ball-dominant stars, accustomed to running their own respective shows. They’ve certainly got a believer in former Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins. “They’ve played together in OKC. These two former MVPs still are in their primes. There’s no way that it’s not going to work,” Perkins told NBA.com. “Am I guaranteeing they’re going to win a championship? No, I’m not doing that. But I still believe this might be the most dynamic backcourt we’ve ever seen in NBA history. We probably haven’t seen a point guard and a shooting guard like this on the same team in forever. You can’t really name one going into the season that’s better than these two guys. I just think it’s going to work.” Now retired from the NBA, Perkins joined a 21-year-old Harden and a 22-year-old Westbrook in 2010-11, when he was traded there in the middle of the season from the Boston Celtics to OKC. Perkins describes the childhood friends and former Thunder teammates as “two guys that were still trying to find their identity” back then. Still, both were destined to reach the levels they currently occupy, he says. “When I first got there, those guys were working, man. They turned out to be some beasts, dog,” Perkins told NBA.com. “Gym rats, I’m telling you. It was unreal the amount of work those guys were putting in. Russ was always the heart and soul of the team. There was no debate about it to me. He gave the team swagger. With James, we just knew it was only in due time. People always say they should’ve kept that team together in OKC. But James wouldn’t have been able to be the player he is today if he hadn’t left. Plus, James was deserving of having his own team.” Now that he’s had it since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, Harden welcomes Westbrook, who like himself, began playing the game as a child at the Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles. Interestingly, Westbrook and Harden are the only players over the last five seasons to score more than 10,000 points. Westbrook nodded in agreement with the notion his new uniform provides somewhat of a new lease on life, after spending the first 11 years of his career in Oklahoma City. Harden, meanwhile, pointed out how his new teammate “doesn’t have to stress or worry about the pressure of carrying an entire organization,” because that responsibility now falls on them both. “I think it’s good for both of us because we understand the amount of energy and effort, time and commitment it takes to be able to do that for an entire season,” Westbrook said. “Now, being together on the same team, I think it’s important that we can lean on [one another], sacrifice, and not do as much to still have an impact on the game. I think [what] a lot of people don’t know is we have a friendship first outside of basketball. I think me and him communicate and understand each other. In the games, it’s going to be easy.” 'Sit back and watch the show' Perkins saw signs of maturity from Westbrook last season, when the guard at the detriment of his own stats, deferred to Paul George in crucial situations. But both Westbrook and Harden in 2018-19 ranked in the top 15 in usage rate. So, the phrase uttered most often at media day above the guests clutching cold drinks at the hotel pool was “figure it out.” Everyone, whether Fertitta, Morey, coach Mike D’Antoni or the players, seems confident in the duo’s ability to do so. Harden already said he’s willing to take a backseat to Westbrook. “If Russ has got it going, and Russ is having one of those games that we’ve all seen before, guess what I’m going to do?” Harden asked. “Sit back and watch the show, and vice versa. You can’t sit up here and say, ‘Oh, Russ is going to have the basketball for the first half, and I’m going to have the ball the second half.' No, things happen through the course of the game that you just flow with and go with.” Perkins believes that Harden welcomes the opportunity to defer to someone else, given the physical demands of his playing style. Harden ranked No. 3 last season in minutes per game (36.8), while Westbrook was fourth (36.0). “If you’ve watched James throughout the course of a game, the things he did, he had to do because nobody else was stepping up at the time. James wants somebody else to step up so that he can take a backseat sometimes,” Perkins told NBA.com. “If you watched Russ on the court last year, what a lot of people don’t realize is that he deferred to Paul George a lot. Russ took a backseat. You’ve got to understand, too, that he’s matured, man. He’s starting to show that he can be a better leader. Think about it. When you have kids, man, and you start having a family, sh--, your whole thought process changes. You know what I mean? I just see the maturity in Russ. To me, they have to just get it done. There’s no debate about it. Like, to me, the most pressure is on Mike D’Antoni.” Entering the final year of his contract after extension talks broke down over the summer, D’Antoni will proceed cautiously throughout the preseason implementing Westbrook (who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery). D’Antoni and Morey believe Westbrook, one of the game’s most lethal penetrators, will excel in D'Antoni's wide-open offense (which focuses on keeping shooters posted on the perimeter as guards drive in). Morey mentioned that under D’Antoni, guards have historically produced career years. “You look historically at players that have worked with Mike, guards especially, they always play better,” Morey said. “I think it’s just the way he sets up the team, sets up the offense. He finds ways to get people to do the things they do well more, and again, like he said, we’re not here to change anybody or do anything. Historically like pretty much every guard that’s worked with, Mike has had their career year. That’s gonna be a little tough with Russell, given that he’s had so many.” Wearing a salmon-hued polo shirt, D’Antoni discussed plans to stagger the minutes of Harden and Westbrook throughout the season. The expectation is Harden rests in the neighborhood of 13 minutes per game, while Westbrook sits 16 minutes. In his first preseason game -- a 134-129 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Tokyo -- Westbrook logged 20 minutes, finishing with 13 points, two rebounds and six assists. D’Antoni said the final five minutes of games are “the most important thing” for Westbrook to figure out as the team approaches the regular season. “They both want to do this. So, we’ll just sit down and work it out,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t have to tell someone they have to do this, or they have to do that. We’ll figure it out together. But just the vibe of being able to discuss things, the respect they have [for one another] will translate. We’re in a good spot. Right now, it’s great. All we’re trying right now is to win a title. That’s the only agenda that anybody has, and we’ve just got to figure it out.” When word first spread about Houston’s acquisition of Westbrook, opinions naturally flowed about how he’d fit alongside Harden. Westbrook is a career 30.8% 3-point shooter on a squad that has led the league in 3-point attempts four of the last five seasons. He’s also a ball-dominant, high-usage player just like Harden. Still, everyone, insists they won’t ask Westbrook to change his style of play. That puts the pressure squarely on D’Antoni to tweak what Houston does on the floor. “The system they’ve run, just shooting layups and shooting threes with no in-between game, you have to change that with Russell Westbrook, because one of his main things is his mid-range pull-up,” Perkins explained. “The pressure is on Mike D’Antoni. Does he have to change up his style of play? Yes, he will, in order for Russell Westbrook to be who he is. We all know that Russ is not a three-point shooter. Bottom line is they’ve got two of the top 10 players in the league now, if not top 15. "These guys get it done. Back in the day when they were in OKC, they were trying to find out who they were as players. Now, it’s a whole lot different. Now, they know who they are. They’ve done everything to accomplish all the individual accolades. They only thing they haven’t done is win a championship. It’s not the players. Houston has all the players.” In addition to the glitz, glamour and star power for a franchise starving to add more Larry O'Briens to its trophy case. Michael C. Wright is a senior writer 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 NewsOct 9th, 2019

Palace saddened by fire that gutted Star City

"We call on government instrumentalities to extend any form of assistance to those hit by the blaze.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2019

Mitchell and Conley pairing could give Jazz offense a lift

By John Coon, Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah changed the entire dynamic of its backcourt after acquiring veteran point guard Mike Conley from the Memphis Grizzlies in July. Will it be enough to turn the Jazz into an NBA championship contender? That’s what Utah is banking on heading into the 2019-20 season. Conley joins rising star Donovan Mitchell to form what could be one of the league’s more potent backcourt duos in the season ahead. Mitchell averaged 23.8 points and 4.2 assists in his second season, but struggled at times with his scoring efficiency. Conley promises to relieve some of the playmaking burden that Mitchell felt at times as an NBA sophomore. “Mike Conley is an elite point guard,” Quin Snyder said at the team’s media day on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). “When I say elite that manifests in a lot of different ways. Certainly on the court, some of the things he does and the feel he has for the game and for players around him is really unique. He impacts the game.” Conley is one of the league’s most efficient point guards in the pick-and-roll and a reliable shooter. He scored a career-best 21.1 points per game in his final season in Memphis while also averaging 6.4 assists per game. Mitchell anticipates seeing Utah’s offense open up thanks to Conley’s patience and court vision. “He’s a guy who goes at his own pace and that’s one of the things I’m really starting to learn,” Mitchell said. “It’s not really always about getting in there and scoring. He’s creating and finding guys who are open.” For his part, Conley is savoring the potential of joining Mitchell in the backcourt and playing with a talent-laden roster that also includes two time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. “We have a team, with our depth and guys who play both sides of the ball, that allows us to get into a lot of different schemes that the other team might not be able to do, which is exciting,” Conley said. “It’s exciting when you have that versatility.” Other things to know about the Utah Jazz heading into the 2019-20 season: INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR Six of the 20 players on Utah’s training camp roster come from outside the United States. Two of those players, Gobert (France) and Joe Ingles (Australia), played key roles in driving their national teams to success in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Gobert credits the NBA with making big strides in growing the game globally with the influx of international players playing for the Jazz and other teams in the league. The league plans to broadcast multiple games during prime time in Europe this season, including three Utah games. “Twenty years ago, it was harder for those kids to think they were going to be NBA players,” Gobert said. “Now, anywhere in the world, you can have that goal and I think it’s great for the game.” VETERAN PRESENCE The Jazz signed multiple veteran free agents to help boost their offense and defense during the offseason. Bojan Bogdanovic was the highest profile free agent to join Utah, signing a four-year, $73.1 million deal in July. Bogdanovic averaged a career-best 18.0 points for Indiana last season and shot 42.5% from 3-point range. Utah also added Jeff Green, Ed Davis, and Emmanuel Mudiay on shorter deals in July. Davis gives the Jazz a defensive specialist who can spell Gobert in the middle when needed. Green adds additional scoring punch on the wing. “We have it all on paper,” Green said. “We have to translate it on court when the season starts.” HEALTHY AGAIN Mitchell was limited in his offseason training last summer when he suffered a foot injury at the end of his rookie season. The third-year guard had no such issues this summer, playing for Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup and getting plenty of time in the gym to workout with teammates like Conley and Royce O’ Neale. “I could go to the gym whenever I wanted to shoot,” Mitchell said. “That’s one of the things you really miss when you get hurt.” PROVING GROUND Green signed a one-year deal with the Jazz in July — his fourth consecutive year on a one-year contract. He is with his sixth team in five seasons after posting 12.3 points per game on 47.5% shooting for Washington last season. Utah views him as a potential starter or sixth man. For Green, joining Utah is equally about playing for a championship contender and proving his value to the rest of the league. “I’m never satisfied,” Green said. “I think when you are, that’s when you have an early exit.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 1st, 2019

Hazard seeks 1st goal for Madrid in derby vs. Atlético

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Eden Hazard is hoping to score his first goal since joining Real Madrid when it visits Atlético Madrid in the Spanish capital derby on Saturday. After the "clásico" between Barcelona and Madrid, the derby is the most highly anticipated league game in Spain. And with Madrid leading La Liga by one point ahead of Atlético, the winner will put itself in early command of the title race. "You know what the vibes are like in these games, the passion, the rivalry between the fans, especially when you've got two teams from the same city, like Real Madrid and Atlético," Hazard said. "I want to score and win in the derby. Your mentality, in a derby that's key and what's even more important is your desire. When you're a football player, you know what derbies are like. You know what you have to do, you just have to win. You don't need your teammates to tell you that." Hazard joined Madrid in June on a club-record transfer of around 100 million euros ($113 million) plus add-ons. He has been considered by fans as a late replacement for star Cristiano Ronaldo, who left over a year ago. The Belgium midfielder has only made three appearances so far for Madrid due to an injury in the preseason. He was on the pitch for most of the humbling 3-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, then helped the team earn a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Sevilla last weekend when his performance stood out more for his defensive work rate than his attacking flair. He did not play in a 2-0 win over Osasuna in midweek as he was rested ahead of the Atlético match. Hazard will likely join Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale to lead Zinedine Zidane's attack. The match at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium will bring Hazard face to face with former Chelsea teammate Diego Costa. Costa scored 20 times for Chelsea both in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 season, when he teamed up with Hazard to guide their side to a pair of English Premier League crowns. But Costa has scored just six goals in the Spanish league since returning to Atlético from Chelsea in the middle of the 2017-18 season. He finally got his first of this season on Wednesday, when he scored in a 2-0 win at Mallorca. "Diego Costa is the opposing player I want to come up against because he's my friend and we played together," Hazard said. With Álvaro Morata suspended, coach Diego Simeone will have no choice but to go with Costa to spearhead his attack alongside the 19-year-old João Félix. Costa scored four goals in a friendly against Madrid this preseason in New Jersey that Atletico won 7-3, but Simeone said that he expects Saturday's match to be a totally different contest. "Bale has taken a step forward, Benzema is playing at his best, and Hazard has incredible skills," Simeone said. "We have to take the game to our territory where we think we can do them damage. These are matches that are very competitive, ones that are decided in key moments and by details that swing the result one way or the other." Madrid leads the league with 14 points from six games. Atlético is one point behind in third place, trailing a surprisingly good Real Sociedad on goal difference. Defending champion Barcelona, which faces a trip to Getafe earlier on Saturday most likely without the injured Lionel Messi, is four points off the pace in sixth place......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 15th, 2019

Wright hopes to be in right form in time for Governors’ Cup

Phoenix Pulse star Matthew Wright vowed to be in full strength by the start of the PBA Governors’ Cup next week after an injured right ankle forced him to miss Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the FIBA World Cup in China. Wright sustained the injury a week before the World Cup, his absence eventually took its […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsSep 14th, 2019

Coaching chess match as Ateneo gets it on with UST in UAAP 82

Games on Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum 10:30 a.m. - Ateneo vs UST 12:30 p.m. - La Salle vs NU 4:00 p.m. - Adamson vs UE There will be a duel between undefeated teams in the middle of the Araneta Coliseum floor on Wednesday. Defending champion Ateneo de Manila University's faces its next tough test in the form of confident and capable University of Sto. Tomas - with both teams having gone unbeaten through two tries in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. Tab Baldwin resumes his coaching chess match with Aldin Ayo at 10:30 a.m. As always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. Meanwhile, a first win is up for grabs when De La Salle University meets National University at 12:30 p.m. while Adamson University is out to pile onto the woes of University of the East at 4:00 p.m......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 10th, 2019

For the first time in a long time, UP is all-in for UAAP 82

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 8-6, runner-up YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Bright Akhuetie, Javi Gomez de Liano, Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, Janjan Jaboneta, Jun Manzo, Jerson Prado, Jaydee Tungcab WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: J-Boy Gob, Jaybie Mantilla, Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, Noah Webb (returning from injury) GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Diego Dario, Paul Desiderio, Jarrell Lim, Gelo Vito WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM UP? For sure, UP is no longer an also-ran, no longer a pushover, no longer an afterthought. What the Fighting Maroons have become is a brand new heavyweight that is a legitimate threat to the championship belt Ateneo has held in the last two years. Why is that? Returning for State U is UAAP 81 Season MVP Bright Akhuetie and Mythical Team member Juan Gomez de Liano as well as now-team captain Jun Manzo, Javi Gomez de Liano, Janjan Jaboneta, Jerson Prado, and Jaydee Tungcab. Then, arriving in Diliman are Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero – a couple of generational talents who have all the confidence and capability to turn the tide in favor of their new team. Add all of that together and what you have is the strongest squad to wear the maroon and green in a long, long time. WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM UP? There is no doubt that Paras and Rivero are big gets for UP. What has to be seen if the Fighting Maroons are to live up to the hype, however, is for the likes of Akhuetie, Manzo, and the GDL brothers to do their best to see to it that those two talented transferees buy into the program. Most, if not all, eyes will be trained on how Paras and Rivero resume their careers, but at the same time, Juan GDL also has to take another step forward – this time, most importantly, in terms of leadership. The cupboard of talent is most certainly fully loaded, but the void left behind by school legend Paul Desiderio is yet to be filled – and among all players, its Juan GDL, the homegrown star, who is actually the ready-made replacement. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR UP? UP's climb back to the mountaintop in recent history has been slow and steady, but now, State U has its best shot at ending a more than three decade-long title drought. UP may not be underdogs anymore, but that doesn’t change the fact that what has happened to them in the past years is proof that, indeed, there is nowhere to go but up. WHERE WOULD UP BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 82? Just like Ateneo, UP is returning a mostly intact core that actually improved with additions of prized prospects. And just like the Blue Eagles, the Fighting Maroons may very well be back in the Finals. The questions about chemistry cannot be denied. At the same time, however, there is also too much talent here for State U to be denied entry into level of the elite. WHEN IS UP’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 82? UP’s first tough test in a season overflowing with expectations is FEU in a heavyweight battle on September 4 at Araneta Coliseum. Of course, everybody goes All for More and, as always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE SEVEN OTHER TEAMS IN UAAP SEASON 82: With its arsenal fully loaded, UE’s ambush good to go in UAAP 82 UAAP 82 one more chance for NU to piece the puzzle together Espana’s hope in UAAP 82? Cansino’s return to form, UST’s return to playoffs All-Filipino La Salle all set to cut UAAP 82 rivals down to size Brave FEU not backing down from more heralded UAAP 82 rivals Behind Ahanmisi, Adamson’s youth will be on the march in UAAP 82 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2019

Venues to serve Philippine sports beyond SEA Games -- Ramirez

While the economic hubs of Clark and Subic will serve as the main venues for the 30th Southeast Asian Games starting 30 November, Metro Manila will have a fair share of the hosting chores. The historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum, site of many grand sporting battles in the past, will be restored to its old, majestic glory that will treat participants from the 11 SEA Games countries to a feel of the old Philippines, but with all the amenities that the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is introducing to the site for the first time. Fund infusion from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is making this possible, said PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, who is also the Chief of Mission of Team Philippines in the SEA Games. “All government agencies are on the same track to making the SEA Games a successful hosting as directed by President Rodrigo Duterte,” Ramirez said. “The PSC is making sure our guests and the athletes will see the best side of the Philippines when they start to visit our venues. We have the various agencies providing us with support, from the Military and the Police, to the Department of Tourism (DoT), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), the whole of the president's Cabinet through Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea, almost all government offices with stake in the project are being utilized by the President.” No major repairs have been done to the three major government-owned venues since the country last hosted the SEA Games in 2005, when the Filipino athletes won the overall championship for the first and last time. “The recent tripartite agreement among the officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Philippine Sea Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) and the PSC also moved forward the preparations,” Ramirez said. “POC President (Abraham) Bambol Tolentino has also galvanized all national sports associations (NSA) into one direction.” The Pagcor, through Chairperson Andrea Domingo, was among the first to provide support to the Games by helping fund the refurbishing of the Philsports Arena in Pasig, and the Rizal Memorial and Ninoy Aquino Stadia in Manila, according to Ramirez. Ramirez, however, said the Rizal Memorial Stadium will not just undergo repairs. He disclosed that the venue built in 1934 and has hosted the Asian Games in 1954 and the SEA Games on three occassions, will be restored to its original look. “The PSC was mandated by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to preserve the Rizal Memorial Coliseum to its original form. And we are happy with that because this will be the first time that the Filipinos and our foreign guests will see the venue like it was in the 1930s.” But the coliseum will now be fitted with new seats to follow international standards. It will also become fully airconditioned for the first time in its long history. “The canopy will be removed,” according to Ramirez. “It turned out that it was not there when it hosted the Asian Games before. The color will be the same as it was during the golden era of Art Deco construction that was the design of its architect Juan M. Arellano.” The venue will also be fitted with a new flooring. The PSC, Ramirez said, is now receiving inquiries from the country's top collegiate leagues for their schedules next year. “We are looking at the long term. We do not want these government-owned venues to become idle after the SEA Games. We are confident of bringing back the collegiate leagues to where they used to play before the new private coliseums attracted them out of our venues,” Ramirez said. Refurbishing of the Rizal football field will also start next month. New seats will also be installed at the grandstand as required by the International Football Federation (FIFA). Badminton, speed and figure skating, bowling, billiards, taekwondo, weightlifting, men's football, squash, tennis and soft tennis, gymnastics, kickboxing, boxing, basketball, ice hockey, fencing, karatedo, wushu, indoor volleyball, cycling 3x3 basketball and Esports will be held in different venues in Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City and San Juan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2019

Salah double helps Liverpool to 3rd straight win in EPL

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Mohamed Salah was just inside Arsenal's half when he collected the ball, befuddled David Luiz with a nonchalant jink and homed in on goal from the right wing. The Liverpool star made the finish look easy, too, whipping the ball into the bottom corner. With one of the best goals so far this season, Salah capped Liverpool's 3-1 win over Arsenal in a one-sided game between the top two teams in the Premier League. Liverpool will be the only team to end the third round of games with a maximum nine points. The Reds appear well set for another tilt at an English top-flight title they haven't won since 1990. If only Manchester United was in such a strong position. Liverpool's traditional rival got a reality check Saturday with a 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace that exposed the deficiencies that still exist in the team. United is no closer to solving its penalty woes, either, with Marcus Rashford reclaiming spot-kick duties after Paul Pogba's miss against Wolverhampton on Monday but also failing to score. Worse was to come as United conceded a stoppage-time goal to lose for the first time this season and slip five points behind Liverpool. There was also a first win for Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager, and away victories for Leicester, Southampton and West Ham. LUIZ AT FAULT David Luiz has established a reputation as a classy but error-prone defender during his time in English soccer with Chelsea and now Arsenal, and he marred his performance against Liverpool with a big mistake in the second half. The Brazil defender tugged the jersey of Salah as a ball was slipped through to the Liverpool forward, and even had the temerity of complaining when a penalty was inevitably awarded. Salah dispatched the spot kick in style, right in the top corner, giving Liverpool a 2-0 lead after Joel Matip had put the hosts in front with a header from Trent Alexander-Arnold's outswinging corner. Salah's stunning solo effort — his second goal of the game — made the points safe for Liverpool, with Luiz's defending again leaving a lot to be desired. Arsenal, which grabbed a late consolation through substitute Lucas Torreira, was the only other team to win its first two games. PENALTY PROBLEM Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prompted debate this week by saying he has two designated penalty takers in Pogba and Rashford, despite concerns that it might cause confusion. And Rashford followed Pogba in missing from 12 yards (meters) in the surprise loss against Palace. In the end, Solskjaer preferred to focus on penalties that weren't awarded to his team at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Anthony Martial and Rashford both tumbling under challenges in the second half but seeing claims waved away. United was poor, though, conceding a weak goal to go 1-0 down when a goalkeeper clearance was flicked on for Jordan Ayew to run free and slot home in the 32nd minute. Daniel James curled a brilliant equalizer in the 89th minute, seemingly earning United a point, only for Palace left back Patrick van Aanholt to squeeze a shot under the body of goalkeeper David de Gea at the end of a counter-attack in the second minute of stoppage time. WIN FOR LAMPARD At the fourth time of asking, Frank Lampard finally has a win as Chelsea manager. Tammy Abraham scored twice and another young English player, Mason Mount, also netted in the 3-2 win at Norwich. Lampard, Chelsea's all-time scorer who took over from Maurizio Sarri this offseason, has shown faith in youth in his early weeks at the helm and was rewarded with the goals from Abraham and Mount. Chelsea had lost 4-0 at Manchester United and was held 1-1 by Leicester in its opening two league matches, while also losing the UEFA Super Cup to Liverpool in a penalty shootout. Finland striker Teemu Pukki made it five goals in his first three games in the English top flight by scoring Norwich's second goal. AWAY WINS Watford is the early-season crisis club after slipping to a third straight defeat by losing 3-1 at home to West Ham. Watford has lost its last seven matches in all competitions dating back to last season. Harvey Barnes' spectacular second-half strike clinched Leicester a 2-1 win at Sheffield United, while Southampton won 2-0 at 10-man Brighton......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2019

FIBA: Clarkson has well wishes for Gilas as he misses World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas is moving on from Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson is in the original 19-man Gilas team for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China and naturally, the plan was for him to pair up with Andray Blatche to form a deadly 1-2 combo. However, the Philippines is sticking to Blatche as its guy for the naturalized player spot and Jordan, who is Fil-American but not counted as a local by FIBA, is once again left in the dust. “I have utmost respect for coach Guiao and confident he knows what’s best moving forward,” Jordan’s father Mike Clarkson said in a statement via Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News’ North American bureau. “As you’re aware, Jordan’s worked extremely hard to stay prepared for the ‘call of duty,’” he added. Despite being in the 19-man lineup Clarkson didn’t practice once with Gilas in preparation for the World Cup. Even if he’s somehow cleared to play, inserting him to the final team at the last minute would probably do more harm than good at this point. “He isn’t a selfish player and wouldn’t want to be a disruption to the team,” Mike Clarkson said of his son. “Team chemistry is paramount when competing against the best players in the world.  Unfortunately, without adequate practice time, their rhythm can be adversely affected,” the elder Clarkson added. Gilas starts World Cup play on Aug. 31 against Italy and the Clarksons are looking forward to a great tournament by the national team even of they’re not directly included this time. “The Gilas are a very talented group and play well together. I’m looking forward to watching them go to work. The entire Clarkson family will be there in spirit rooting for them to come out victorious,” Clarkson said.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2019

MPBL: Nimes, Teng and Manalang step upi to give Pasig big road win

The Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors thwarted a determined Quezon City Capitals WEMSAP with a 91-82 victory in Wednesday night's main clash of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season. The crowd at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Seed Dome witnessed the Realtors obtain bragging rights over Corinthian Gardens in a game that saw great offensive performances, but was soured by an ill-tempered ending. The game was played in JCSGO instead of QC's usual home court, the Blue Eagle Gym. Pasig enjoyed big nights from three of their stars, with Robbie Manalang pumping in 22 points, Josan Nimes contributing 18 points and 6 assists, and Jeric Teng providing 17 markers as the club goes to 6-5. Black topscored for the Capitals with 21, followed by Santos with 16. Quezon City's record is now 6-4. "(We won because) we had a sense of urgency. It was the way we practiced after the loss (to Batangas last week). We put in the hard work," said Nimes.  Both offenses were in a rhythm in the first half as Pasig led QC 51-45 after 20 minutes. In the third the Capitals twice got to within two on a pair of Tweety Santos buckets but at the end of the period Pasig still had the advantage, 68-62. Santos and Mark Carongoy began the fourth with triples to tie the game but Teng answered with a triple of his own to spark a 15-3 run that put Sta. Lucia back in the driver's seat, 83-71. Tonino Gonzaga and Aaron Black put up some resistance to get to within 9, 87-78, but another Teng three-bomb in the last 3 minutes was the dagger to give the visitors an unassailable 90-78 lead. Teng was dribbling the ball out with mere seconds to go when QC's Joco Tayongtong rashly hacked at him. The former UST Growling Tiger took exception to the contact, and barked out at Tayongtong. Tayongtong was slapped a regular foul and both players, and members of the staffs of both teams were given offsetting technicals. Since Teng had fouled out, Pasig sent in Tristan Medina for the charities. After missing the first, QC player Jonathan Boholano appeared to chirp aggressively at the Pasig bench, drawing a technical and reigniting the hard feelings. Medina seemed to deliberately miss the next two free throws and Sta Lucia played no defense as QC scored an uncontested lay-up as time ran out. There were no handshakes between the two sets of players after. In the second match-up of the evening Makati Super Crunch stunned the Pampanga Giant Lanterns - ADG Group of Companies with a come-from-behind 96-94 win. The hero for Makati was Kib Montalbo, who produced two nearly-identical 17-foot jumpers, one to knot the game at 94-all with 27 seconds left and another to win it as time expired. The Giant Lanterns controlled the game for much of the second half and with four minutes left in the final quarter led 92-82 thanks to a Reil Cervantes triple and a split from the line from Mark Cruz. But triples from John Rey Villanueva and Josh Torralba, plus a lay-up from Joseph Sedurifa, helped Super Crunch claw to within two at 94-92, setting up Montalbo for his game-winning clutch baskets. The ex-Green Archer contributed only five points for Makati, but Josh Torralba hung up 27 points, a career record, to lead all scorers. Pampanga's John Maiquez led his club with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Pampanga coach Bong Ramos will rue the fact that his side had five players in double digits and still lost. Makati's slate is a gaudy 7-1 while Pampanga goes to 6-4. The match day opened with the Caloocan Supremos - Victory Liner coasting to a 90-75 victory against Paranaque Patriots - Yabo Sports. Almond Vosotros left spectators slack-jawed with a mammoth 35-point outing, shooting 12 for 16 from the field and 6 for 9 from three-point land. It's a new career-high for the former DLSU star. Incredibly he was also able to dish out 7 assists and 4 steals. Caloocan led by as much as 26 in the game and won all three quarters comfortably. Only late garbage time production from the Patriots kept the score respectable. Damian Lasco continued his fine form for Caloocan with 13 points. Yabo Sports did, however enjoy a breakout game from James Abugan, who came up with 23 points, more than quadruple his average for the season. The Supremos level their record at 5-5 while Paranaque go to 3-7......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2019

Italy s president begins talks aiming to solve political crisis

ROME, Italy (UPDATED) – Italy's president began talks with political leaders on Wednesday, August 21, in a bid to form a new coalition, as a proposed alliance between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and opposition center-left Democratic Party appeared to gain traction. President Sergio Mattarella met with Senate speaker Elisabetta Casellati ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 21st, 2019

PVL: Pagod na pagod -- Gonzaga on back-to-back 5-setters

PacificTown Army star Jovelyn Gonzaga is living up to her moniker as the ‘Bionic Ilongga’. Less than 24 hours after a grueling five-set match in a different tournament, Gonzaga’s endurance and heart went to the test once again, this time with the Lady Troopers coming back from two sets down including a record-setting opening frame to down ChocoMucho on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference. Gonzaga led PacificTown Army to a 39-41, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-12, win to remain unscathed in two outings. The lefty Guimaras native displayed an all-around game and played her heart out despite seeing action in a draining five-set decider with Cignal in the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference semifinals against Petron. “Pagod na pagod pero wala, high morale ako kasi puro panalo,” said Gonzaga, who just came back from a two-year hiatus following a knee injury. “Yun na lang ang attitude ko. High morale talaga ako, wala akong iniisip na iba.” Gonzaga displayed her vintage form as she finished with 24 points with all but one coming off attacks. The 27-year old former national team standout also contributed well on floor defense with 26 digs and 16 excellent receptions in the two-hour, 46-minute duel. Army allowed the opposite spiker to play in both leagues and as a way of giving back, Gonzaga vowed to give her 100% effort every game for the Lady Troopers. “Ang lagi ko ngang sinasabi gusto kong mag-give back sa coaches na nag-iintindi sa akin,” said Gonzaga, who in the Reinforced Conference helped PacificTown Army capture the bronze in the squad’s first stint in the league. “Kasi siya (coach Kungfu Reyes) grabe yung pag-intindi niya sa akin, hindi niya ako binubugbog sa training,” said Gonzaga. “Ito naman yung way ko paano ako makabalik ng tiwala.” Gonzaga will rest tonight, knowing that she accomplished her task for the day for the Lady Troopers. On Thursday, she’ll be back in action for her other club team.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2019

PVL: Nandito na ulit ako -- EJ Laure

EJ Laure cherished her return on the volleyball court after a two-year absence. The University of Sto. Tomas star may still be a long way from her ideal form years back, but the UAAP Season 77 Rookie of Year was just glad to once again don the Tigresses’ jersey.       “Siyempre sobrang happy kasi nasabi ko noong (UAAP Season 81) Finals nila na babalik [ako],” said Laure. “Sobrang happy ako na nandito na ulit ako kasama sila coach.” The wing spiker made her comeback on Sunday as UST opened its Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference Group B campaign on a winning note after taking down Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-18, 25-13, 25-21, Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     Laure last played in the Philippine Superliga late 2017 under the Foton banner where she sustained a shoulder injury that prevented her from suiting up for the Tigresses in UAAP Season 80 and in UST’s Season 81 championship stint, where the Espana-based squad led by Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure finished runner-up to Ateneo de Manila University.    EJ Laure admitted that it felt like her rookie debut all over again being back on the floor. “Nanibago lang ako sa court kasi, ewan ko? Di ako nagko-court, di pa ako nagba-ball masyado kasi pinapalakas ko pa shoulders ko,” she said. Laure played two sets where she started in the first and third frames. “Sabi ko nga kay EJ para sa kanya yung PVL and UniGames namin kasi for two years [siya] sit out,” said UST head coach Kungfu Reyes. “Familiarization ng laro nandyan pero yung actual game, yung energy, yung power wala pa rin,” added Reyes of Laure. “Ieensayo ulit namin kaya lang ano muna yung systematic talaga tapos holistic yung gagawin namin. Siyempre itetreasure ulit namin nandito na si EJ.” Laure finished with two points off an ace and the game-clinching cross court hit. She also had five digs and a pair of excellent receptions. Laure ace. UST up, 3-1, in the 3rd set pic.twitter.com/TjQ8xorWQ0 — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) August 18, 2019 Laure ends the match! pic.twitter.com/8qwTCYDfXJ — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) August 18, 2019 For now, Laure doesn’t want to rush things but to slowly take her time to regain her old form. “Siyempre gagawin ko lahat. Kahit hindi ako sa points, at least, tutulong ako sa kanila sa mga receive at tsaka sa pagsasalita sa kanila sa kung anong kaiangan nilang gawin para umayos yung laro nila,” said Laure. The Laure sisters’ most-awaited tandem on court might not happen this tournament but EJ just wants to be ready when that time comes. “Siyempre abangan natin sa UniGames or sa UAAP yung pagbabalik naming dalawa,” she said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2019

PVL: Unusual -- Valdez on limited attack attempts

Creamline star Alyssa Valdez has always been known for her amazing attacking prowess and powerful spikes. A scoring machine since her high school days, Valdez on Sunday experienced an uncharacteristic performance in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference. The three-time Most Valuable Player only had 12 spike attempts. But it’s not because of her having a bad night, in fact she finished with an impressive 66 % in attacking efficiency. It’s just that newcomer Chef’s Classics reception was so horrible Valdez only had a few chances to rotate from the backline as she spent a total of 35 trips from the service line. “Unusual, definitely” said a very surprised Valdez of her spike attempts in the Cool Smashers’ 25-12, 25-5, 25-15, victory over the Red Spikers for their third win as many games at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.   Valdez finished with 16 points highlighted by an 8-of-12 attacking clip with seven aces and a kill block.  “First time na mangyayari na 12 attempts ako, promise. Uy! Ang galing baka ito ang record ko?” said Valdez, who had 10 digs. The two-time PVL champion spent more time at the service line than Chef’s Classics trips combined. Valdez had 35 service attempts, 28 going in perfectly while landing seven aces and without committing a single error.   “’Yung goal ko kasi talaga syempre more than na hindi ako mag-errors sa service line is to get points para may points din sa likod,” she said. “Kasi sa training din ni Coach Tai [Bundit] every day we train the very important skill which is service so the fact na tine-train namin ‘yun dapat lumabas siya sa game.” Valdez had a long stay at the service line as Creamline built a 16-1 separation before Jingay Bangad stopped the Red Spikers’ bleeding with a hit.       Valdez continued her long stay at the service line in the second frame, this time serving 20 times in a row as the Cool Smashers opened a 19-1 gap before Nieza Viray gave the Red Spikers a respite with a tip. She had a few more attempts in the third. “I’m happy na di ako nagka-errors sa service line,” said Valdez. “Kasi it’s frustrating to get errors from the service line but I’m really confident kasi na kahit nasa likod ako may tumutulong kagaya sila Jema [Galanza] sa front to kill the ball. Kahit lakasan ko bola laging may bawi so you just do what you have to do kasi everyone naman will do their part.” The Cool Smashers will face BanKo on Wednesday.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2019