Advertisements


We are sorry, the requested page does not exist




Match-fixing back in spotlight on eve of first Grand Slam

JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press   For Rafael Nadal and the other stars of tennis, there's a familiar ring to the questions being raised as the first ball is about to be struck at the Australian Open. Recent match-fixing sanctions and a new case are bringing fresh scrutiny to the integrity of the sport a year after corruption allegations cast a pall over the first Grand Slam of the year. '(It's) obviously negative, always in the first month of the season starts to happen,' Nadal said at the season-opening Brisbane International. 'You get tired about this kind of stuff, but the most important thing is fight against these kinds of things.' The headlines started appearing early in the new year. On Jan. 5, police in Australia charged an 18-year-old player with a match-fixing offense at a lower-tier tournament last October in Traralgon, near Melbourne. Days later, another Australian player, Nick Lindahl, now retired but once ranked in the top 200, was handed a seven-year ban and $35,000 fine from the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) for offering to throw a match at a minor tournament in the city of Toowoomba in 2013. Lindahl had already been fined after a criminal trial. Two other Australian players received lesser punishments in connection with the incident. While Traralgon and Toowoomba are far removed from the glittering lights of Melbourne Park, the timing of the developments was troubling nonetheless. Last season began similarly beneath a cloud of suspicion after a report by BBC and Buzzfeed alleged that tennis authorities had suppressed evidence of match-fixing and failed to investigate possible cases of corruption. The reports went over old ground, but the timing and the headlines overshadowed the tournament. 'I haven't heard anything (about match-fixing) since last year's Australian Open,' German player Mischa Zverev told The Associated Press last week in Brisbane. 'I think it was funny timing. ... Like the day before the Oscars, they're going to bring something up to make somebody not win it, or win it.' Since then, tennis leaders have gone into overdrive to restore confidence in the sport. An independent panel was created to review the TIU, the internal body tasked with combating corruption, and authorities promised to implement all of its recommendations when it is completed this spring. The TIU also took separate steps to strengthen its monitoring and investigation efforts, develop new anti-corruption education programs for players, and improve the transparency of its operations. In an email statement to The AP, the agency said nine players and officials were sanctioned last year for match-fixing — the most for a single year since the unit was established in 2008. Several were banned for life, including a young South African player and four officials from Turkey and Uzbekistan. The unit also expanded its outreach efforts with betting operators and regulators, leading to increased reporting of suspicious wagers. In 2016, the TIU received 292 betting alerts — an 18 percent increase over the previous year. The vast majority of those came from the Challenger and Futures circuits on the men's tour, considered the most at-risk for match-fixing given the lower likelihood of detection and the smaller earnings of the players. However, the TIU said three alerts were generated at Grand Slam events, as well. The agency was quick to note, though, that an alert isn't necessarily proof of match-fixing. Of the more than 114,000 matches played last year on the professional tours, only 0.2 percent triggered a suspicious betting alert. 'Tennis was one of the first major sports to recognize the potential threat of betting-related corruption and do something about it,' the TIU said. 'It will be for the independent review panel to take a view on the conduct and effectiveness of the unit and to put forward recommendations to improve the current structure and approach.' Whatever the investigators recommend, the fact remains the TIU faces an uphill battle. Technology has shifted the gambling landscape in such a way, it's increasingly difficult for monitors to keep up. In tennis, wagers aren't just placed on who wins or loses; bets can be placed during matches in real time on everything from total points won in a game to whether a set goes to a tiebreak. 'We're talking individual player activities here,' said Hans Westerbeek, dean of the College of Sport and Exercise Science at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. 'It's much easier to get into a situation where you approach individual players to do things that can be, if done well, quite well hidden from it being suspicious.' He likens it to the ongoing battle against performance-enhancing drugs. 'You're always struggling to keep up with the innovations that a better-resourced front of gambling operators, legal or illegal, will have available to advance their technology.' Ryan Rodenberg, an associate professor of forensic sports law analytics at Florida State University, says this is one reason a more sophisticated approach is critically needed. He recommends an internal monitoring system that analyzes each match for suspicious activity in real time, rather than relying solely on betting alerts. 'A robust betting data-monitoring operation would have both in-house capabilities and a number of collaborative information sharing agreements with third parties such as sportsbooks, private monitoring firms or academics,' he said. 'Anything less is sub-optimal.' With a limited budget of just $3.23 million for 2017, however, there is only so much the TIU can do. As such, preventative measures such as education have become a priority. More than 25,000 players and officials have completed the TIU's online anti-corruption training program, and a new version will be launched that players will be required to complete every two years. 'Educating players who are up-and-coming and those who support those players is a very good, positive and necessary thing to do,' Westerbeek says. 'Because the root of the problem is ... people not really (understanding) they're engaging in criminal activity.' ___ AP Sports Writer John Pye contributed to this report. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Hopefully may way -- Valdez on joining SEA Games national team

Former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez hopes to get a compromise when Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. conducts its tryouts for the national women’s team that will see action in the 29th Southeast Asian Games. Valdez, who was a part of the PHI Team that participated in the 2015 edition of the biennial meet in Singapore, will be away for four months to play in Thailand and will not be available if the appointed head coach conducts the tryouts within the first quarter of the year. Valdez will fly to Thailand on January 15 to join 3BB Nakornnont and play in the Thai League and Thai-Denmark Super League. LVPI is set to name the national team mentor this week. The sports association is looking to form a 16-woman pool that will train as early as possible for the August 19 to 31 meet. “Ako I think as an athlete as a Filipino athlete, ‘yun din naman ang ultimate goal mo (to be a part of the national team) aside from your dreams na makapaglaro internationally,” who also played for the Nationals that participated in the Asian U-23 Women’s Volleyball Championship held in Pasig two years ago. LVPI acting president Peter Cayco earlier said that this SEA Games team will be a mix of six veterans, six young bloods and four reserves as the country guns for a medal after its last podium finish back in the 2005 Manila edition when the Pinay volleybelles snatched a bronze medal.     He also added that LVPI wants to pick players that are willing to give their full commitment to the squad. With Valdez set to play in Thailand, the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player is looking for a way to get a nod for another tour of duty. “But if 'yung mga circumstances hindi ko rin kayang (bigyan ng time) kasi siyempre may responsibilities ka din. Kasi di ba magi-start na sila ng training? And I’m away din so ayun hopefully magawan din ng paraan,” said the two-time UAAP champion. “I think in both parties naman like Thailand wouldn’t hinder me naman (to play for the national team) for sure kung sa country naman maiintindihan nila ‘yun. Hopefully may way din (na makasali ako sa national team).” The 23-year-old hitter showcased her skills and talents during the country’s first participation in the SEA Games since 2005 and was chosen as the country’s flag-bearer marching aplomb ahead of the 600-strong Team Philippines.   Valdez wants to get another crack of representing the country. “Ultimate dream mo is to represent the country,” she said. “I would really love to do that if given a chance.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

All right, all heart, Kramer eyeing to return in January

Like the franchise he now belongs to, Doug Kramer will soon rise from the ashes of a mild stroke that had forced him out of action since October. “Actually, (I’m doing) really good. Basically, I’m not recovering from what happened and I’m just resting,” Kramer said after one of Phoenix’s matchups in late December. Starting in December, the 33-year-old has been sitting behind the Fuel Masters’ bench during games. This, after suffering a mild stroke last October 10 and undergoing heart surgery that required him to rest for three to six months. Since then, Kramer was nothing but glad to share that he has had no hiccups in getting well again. “The tissue has been healing over the device in my heart. Basically, it will heal no matter what,” he said. Having done exactly what doctors have prescribed, the 10-year veteran feels confident he will be able to get back to action in January. “I’ve been going to training every day. I think, at the end of January, I’ll be joining the team for five-on-five already,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2017

Blue Eagles flying to Greece, Singapore, Australia for UAAP 82 preps

With the 2019 PBA D-League championship all wrapped up and headed to Katipunan, Ateneo de Manila University can now set its sights on its title defense for the upcoming UAAP 82.  For that, the Blue Eagles will finally get to leave their nest and get themselves some overseas training. "We're leaving next week and we'll have a training camp in Greece. That'll be pretty brutal to be honest," head coach Tab Baldwin told reporters not even half an hour after they hoisted their trophy in the developmental league, Tuesday at Ynares Center in Pasig.  He then continued, "Then we'll go to Singapore and play against the Singaproe national team before heading down to Australia. We have a few games in Perth and also in Melbourne."  This is the second year in a row that Ateneo will be flying to Greece in preparation for its title defense. Obviously, the last time they did so worked wonders as they won back-to-back championships.  More than that, though, it's the bond between his boys that coach Tab wants to see get better. As he put it, "It's a great experience, I think, for the boys to understand the difficulties that long tours represent. They got to be away from home and get to bond together as a team."  He then continued, "That's where we learn to help each other through everything that we face. And you know, that's a lot when you go on tour."  Along with that, the overseas training will also be the ideal time for the Blue Eagles' coaching staff to see who are more than capable to fill out the rest of their roster – as two spots were vacated by graduated Anton Asistio and Aaron Black who is now starring in the MPBL and two more may be left open by Raffy Verano and Jolo Mendoza who are both dealing with academic deficiencies.  With that in mind, the two-time collegiate champion coach mentioned former NCAA Jrs. MVP Troy Mallillin, former UAAP Jrs. Champion Jason Credo, and Filipino-Kiwi forward Patrick Maagdenberg as Team B players who will be going along to Greece, Singapore, and Australia.  Coach Tab also said that new recruits Dwight and Eli Ramos will also be joining them there. Dwight had been a 23 for 23 Gilas Pilipinas cadet, but will still have to undergo one year of residency while Eli, who most recently opened eyes with FilAm Sport USA in the 2019 NBTC, will be good to go right away.  Still, no roster spot is assured as Ateneo gets down and dirty in preparation for another title defense. "We've had to expand the pool a little bit so we'll take those guys overseas. There, we'll let them fight it out," their brilliant tactician said.  ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News15 hr. 38 min. ago

Kiefer Ravena’s return highlights Gilas’ ‘best practice so far’

The Philippine Men’s Senior National Basketball team continued their preparations for the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China this August with another training session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. While the highlight of the scrimmage was the return of playmaker Kiefer Ravena, who has been serving an 18-month suspension handed down by FIBA back in 2018, another positive was the number of players who participated in the practice. A total of 13 players were present in practice, and National Team head coach Yeng Guiao was happy to see enough bodies to be able to hold a proper 5-on-5 run. “We had enough people to go 5-on-5, this is our first complete actually, it’s our best practice so far,” Guiao told the media during a post-practice scrum. National Team vets such as Paul Lee, RR Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Poy Erram, and Mark Barroca were on hand to participate in the drills and the 5-on-5 scrimmage, while Raymond Almazan was also in attendance but did not join the practice proper. Apart from Ravena, other new faces for this training camp included PBA rookies Robert Bolick and CJ Perez, and Guiao was delighted to see them come out. “We’re very very appreciative of the guys who came in, si CJ atsaka si Robert, and of course, Kiefer,” the long-time mentor said. “For the first time, he’s able to practice and witness kayo, for the first time after more than one year and six months. Siguro part of the excitement why we had a really good practice today, we’re just excited to play with each other.” Guiao explained that Bolick and Perez, former NCAA stars, were invited because of their initiative to try their luck with the National Team pool. “Actually, in the case of Robert and CJ, sila yung nag-initiate na makapag-practice sila, that’s why we invited them, so nagparamdam sila na gusto nilang mag-try ng luck nila to be in the to be in the pool.” As for Ravena, Guiao was pleased to see that his NLEX playmaker was in tip-top shape, even after the time off. “Si Kiefer, nakakausap ko naman yun, so he’s really excited to be part of the National Team, at least pool, although sabi ko naman his chances of making it are really good,” Guiao stated. “You saw him in practice today, it’s just like he did not miss the last, or he was not suspended, for the last one and a half years. His sharpness is there, his stamina is there, he does not look like he’s heavy, that’s his natural body, so things are looking good at this point.” Guiao also expressed his appreciation for Stanley Pringle, who joined the practice. Pringle and the Gin Kings took on Guiao’s NLEX Road Warriors in Batangas the night before Gilas practice. “Si Stanley, again, he’s one of the guys that volunteered himself, just in case we need an extra body. Galing yan sa Batangas, kalaban namin kahapon, so he’s just offering his services just so we have people who can play roles in practices so mas maganda yung practice natin.” Being designated as a naturalized citizen by FIBA, The newly-acquired Ginebra Gin King is unlikely to crack the lineup with big man Andray Blatche expected to suit up for the National Team. Guiao is, however, looking to add Pringle to the training pool for their training camp in Spain this August. “I’m also thinking of bringing Stanley to Spain, if Ginebra is not playing in the Finals, kasi may dalawang team na maglalaro ng Finals, siguradong may member ng National Team, so when we go to Spain, we can only take the players of the ten teams that are not involved, so may mawawala talaga, so kailangan pag-isipan kung sino ang isasama.” The 2019 FIBA World Cup kicks off on August 31st in China, with the Philippines joining Angola, Italy, and Serbia in Group D. Guiao hopes to be able to release a final lineup by next month. “Pag-dating ni Blatche, I think July 8, siguro by July 15 mayroon nang final lineup.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2019

Zion Williamson brings rare potential to New Orleans

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Eventually, as with every NBA Draft, there will be a “re-draft” of the Class of 2019. That’s the irresistible exercise in hindsight from media outlets that rank a particular year’s prospects not on their projected value but on actual demonstrated value five, 10 or more seasons into their professional careers. Some players will rise. Others will fall. “Bust” and “sleeper” tags will be dispersed accordingly. This team or GM will be lauded for an especially savvy selection, that one will be razzed for the quality player or players on whom it whiffed. But the through line of the dreams-come-true event Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) at Barclays Center, the lone selection that will not or at least should not change, is Zion Williamson. Williamson is the sure thing, the “can’t miss,” consensus No. 1 pick bound for the New Orleans Pelicans. He’s a 6'7", 285-pound freshman from Duke whose comps aren’t merely established players currently in the NBA but some of the game’s legends. So think Blake Griffin, sure. But also think LeBron James. And Charles Barkley. And, for that matter, every other wide-body who’s ever played with muscles on muscles, above-the-rim explosiveness, balletic body control and an instantly recognizable game that’s as charismatic as it is freakish. Yeah, awfully small subset. “I’m looking forward to playing against everybody,” Williamson said soon after his selection. “I want to be the best. I feel I have to earn everybody’s respect.” It’s not just a matter of Williamson’s game tickling NBA fans’ fancy, either. He managed, in almost his first official pro moment, to capture a lot of their hearts too. No sooner had Williamson – the first No. 1 pick to be born in this millennium (July 6, 2000) – strode to the stage in his cream-white suit, tugged on a Pelicans draft cap and embraced NBA commissioner Adam Silver, he dropped his guard to let the world share his emotions in the moment. His status as college basketball’s best and his draft position had been established months ago. There was no new mystery as to when his name would be called by Silver at the podium. And yet, when the first ESPN microphone was poked in front of him, with his mother Sharonda Sampson at his side, the big guy lost it. He choked up and blinked back tears, not quite winning that battle. “My mom sacrificed a lot for me,” Williamson said. “I wouldn’t be here without my mom. She did everything for me. I just want to thank her.” Several interviews and maybe 20 minutes later, Williamson explained how the horribly kept secret of his No. 1 selection could trigger his response. “Because I love the game of basketball,” he said. “You can hear people say things like, ‘Oh, it was likely I was going to go No. 1.’ But I guess you don’t know until you actually go through it.” What mattered most to Williamson about his mother’s role in his life? “Tough love,” he said. “She was always be the first one to keep it real with me. … She put aside her dreams just so me and my brothers could have a chance at ours.” The love already heading Williamson’s way in New Orleans was less tough and more unconditional at this stage, for the teenager represents a re-birth for a Pelicans franchise rocked by the loss of All-Star forward Anthony Davis. Davis, coincidentally, was the No. 1 pick in 2012 and generally considered the top prospect to hit the Draft before Williamson. But after six-and-a-half seasons and only two trips to the playoffs, Davis asked in December to be traded, despite having more than two-plus seasons left on his contract. David Griffin, the Pelicans' new vice president of basketball operations, had hoped that Williamson’s arrival might convince Davis to stay. When that didn’t happen, Griffin swiftly shifted to Plan B, arranging to trade the discontented big man to the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal that won’t be official until July. Now New Orleans, which has won just two playoff series in its 17 seasons and failed to qualify 10 times, has a new cornerstone. Williamson figures to be under team control contractually for as long or longer than Davis stuck around, with teammates relocated from L.A. such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart to run with him and Pelicans holdovers. “What excites me the most is the fact that they’re young and they’re close to my age,” said Duke’s third No. 1 overall pick (Elton Brand in 1999, Kyrie Irving in 2011). “So they can help me a lot more, like how to deal with this transition. I think we can build something over there.” The essential block is Williamson, who swept college basketball’s major awards with a game that strains credulity. At 285 pounds, his listed weight is greater than almost every big man in the NBA, but he has quick-twitch speed and thrives in the open court. He can stare down into the rim before slamming home dunks with unnerving ferocity, and he is a deft and willing passer. Williamson averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 30 minutes for the Blue Devils, while making 68 percent of his shots. He and fellow Top 10 picks R.J. Barrett (New York, No. 3) and Cam Reddish (Atlanta, No. 10) helped Duke reach the Elite Eight, with Williamson earning ACC Tournament MVP along the way. He’s not a perfect player – his jump shot and range need work – but he already is working to complement his transition and low-post repertoire. Defensively, Williamson has the motor and mobility to switch assignments and quick hands to dislodge the ball without fouling. As a rebounder, his verticality is matched by, well, his horizontality in controlling the air space above and around him. “His size, his athleticism, his power is visible,” former St. John’s coach and Naismith Hall of Famer Chris Mullin said. “But to me his speed is really incredible from end to end. “I would morph Charles Barkley and Shawn Kemp and put them together [as a comparison]. When he gets to the NBA and he plays with that extra space they have in the wide key, he’s going to be a monster.” Williamson arrives with hype – no, make that expectations, because of all he’s shown already on courts around America – that rival what James shouldered when he arrived from high school in 2003. His plan for lugging that responsibility: “Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m willing to do it, because I feel people remember winners.” The selections immediately after Williamson were nearly as predictable, based on intelligence and mock drafts that solidified in the days before the Draft. Murry State guard Ja Morant was chosen by Memphis at No. 2, and Barrett’s ensuing selection by the Knicks delighted their always boisterous fans in the stands at Barclay. The order of the next four choices was jumbled from some predictions. Yet by the time the smoke cleared, sure enough, the seven players projected to come off the board soonest had slotted into the night’s top seven spots. That included Virginia forward De’andre Hunter to Atlanta at No. 4 (via the Lakers, in the aforementioned Davis trade that has yet to be completed), Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland to Cleveland at No. 5, Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver to Minnesota at No. 6 and North Carolina guard Coby White to Chicago at No. 7. Just because there wasn’t a lot of suspense at Barclays didn’t mean there was no intrigue. Much of that came from unusually heavy trade action – all technically unofficial – that had teams moving up, down and all around to snag picks, dump picks or clean up their salary-cap positions in anticipation of free agency that starts June 30. The timing of the Draft, relative to when the NBA’s new business year begins, had players donning caps of teams they’ll never play for, while speaking guardedly about those for whom they really were picked. A reported nine trades impacted draft decisions made in the first round alone. There even was a moment when Morant, in his post-Draft media session, gave a shout-out to veteran Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, whose spot he’ll presumably be taking once Conley’s trade to Utah officially goes through. But there’s no such uncertainty about Williamson, the through line of this year’s class, the true line in his heartfelt reactions Thursday (Friday, PHL time) and broad-shouldered hope of a Big Easy franchise in need. Williamson showed his grasp of the NBA’s and sports’ need for fresh icons, in effect accepting his status as a legend in waiting. “You know, times change,” he said. “That’s why there are so many debates about who people think the greatest players of all time are. If you were in the time of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, you’d probably say one of those two. If you were in the time of Jordan, you’d say Jordan. In our generation, a lot of them say LeBron. “So times changes and I think younger fans like younger players.” You don’t have to be young, though, to have your eye on Zion. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2019

Gilas Youth headed to Doha camp on a high after win over FEU

Gilas Youth gutted out a well-earned win over their kuyas from Far Eastern University, 67-66, Thursday at Meralco Gym in Ortigas. The Philippine national youth team rode Kai Sotto and Geo Chiu to build up a 12-point lead, 63-51, inside the last six minutes before holding off a late charge by the Tamaraws. Chiu’s back-to-back inside baskets and Sotto’s couple of charities put the youngsters up by double-digits only to see L-Jay Gonzales and Barkley Ebona set off an uprising. FEU even pulled within one with 11 ticks to go, but from there, Gilas Youth dodged the final bullet as Ken Tuffin muffed on his corner triple. In the end, Sotto had 14 points to his name while Xyrus Torres chipped in 14 markers of his own. AJ Edu and Gerry Abadiano also added nine points to help the national youth team score a morale-boosting win ahead of their training camp in Doha and then the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Greece......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 20th, 2019

PVL: Nasa 60 percent pa lang ako ngayon -- Pablo

Myla Pablo is far from her old, dangerous self, but the Motolite star is just happy to be back in action. The two-time conference Most Valuable Player debuted for Motolite on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference weeks after injuring her lower back. “Happy kasi ilang weeks din ako hindi nakapag-training, almost three weeks din hindi nakapag-practice. Tapos ngayon bumalik ako one week lang ‘yung practice ko so medyo naninibago ako sa loob ng court parang konting galaw mo sasakit pero hindi ko naramdaman kanina, hindi ko naisip,” said Pablo, who missed six games. “Sa sarili ko lang gusto ko maglaro, ‘yun lang para pagdating ko sa court ayoko yung maiilang ako,” she added. Pablo started for Motolite and played only in the first two sets in Motolite’s 15-25, 20-25, 23-25, loss to defending champion and Final Four-bound Creamline.  Pablo scored three points for 2-5 Motolite. The open spiker actually got the green light from her doctors to play days back but was benched by head coach Air Padda in Motlite’s five-set win over PacificTown Army last Sunday as a precautionary measure. “Kinausap naman ako kahapon [ni coach] na mag-ready for today so yun prepared naman ako today,” said Pablo. “Siguro kahit papaano natulungan ko ‘yung team ko at least nabigay ko yung best ko but I think kulang pa.” Pablo said that she’s still working her way back to her old form. “Hindi ko masabi kasi nasa 60 percent pa lang ako ngayon,” she said. “Sinabi naman ni coach sa amin bago mag-game na ‘mag-ready ka, Isa Molde, Tots Carlos. Siyempre ako naman hindi pwedeng laging babad mamaya sumakit yung back ko baka nag-iingat lang si Coach Air,” Pablo said.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2019

Lloyd s tiny golf clap delivers big message from US women

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — Carli Lloyd had just scored on an 18-yard volley to put the United States ahead 11 minutes in against Chile. After leaping, pumping a fist and hugging teammate Lindsey Horan, she raised both hands chin high and made four tiny pitter-patter claps, the type seen more frequently at Pebble Beach than Parc des Princes. A message? You bet. I made a gif of @CarliLloyd’s celebration golf clap after her first goal in #USACHI because I needed this to exist for every time someone tone polices a #USWNT celebration. #USWNT #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/Sw7rUA3ID2 — Phil (@ALazyJellyfish) June 16, 2019 Easy wins and lots of goals are par for the course when it comes to the U.S. women's soccer team. "I can't take credit for it. I'm not sure if Lindsey is taking credit for it," Lloyd said after a 3-0 victory Sunday night advanced the U.S. to the round of 16. "She had told me if we score, that's what we're going to do so I just went along with it after I did my little celebration But it was fun. I think it made a statement on the sideline there. It was cool." A record-setting 13-0 rout of Thailand that opened the tournament for the Americans sparked a debate back home. Celebration had not been discussed this much since Kool & the Gang. Some cried poor sportsmanship. Others argued players shouldn't be asked to let up on soccer's biggest stage. All the harrumphing was heard across the Atlantic. "I guess we could have just passed it around the back for a million times, but that's boring. That's disrespectful to everyone: fans, ourselves" said 33-year-old Megan Rapinoe, the pink-haired veteran famous for running to a corner flag and screaming "Born in the USA" into a television microphone after goal against Colombia in the 2011 World Cup. "The only thing you ask of an athlete really is to put it all out there and do the best you can. It's not in our DNA ever." Coach Jill Ellis speculated Lloyd's inspiration was her spouse, professional golfer Brian Hollins. "I'm guessing it was a shout-out to her husband," Ellis said. Horan said Emily Sonnett, a 25-year-old defender at her first World Cup, suggested responses. Trolling critics was the goal. "We decided to do something different today," Horan said with an impish smile. "Handshakes were part of it. Golf clap was part of it." Only the standout play of goalkeeper Christiane Endler lowered the Americans' offensive output from Wonder Woman levels to the mere mundane. The U.S. peppered Chile with 26 shots to one for the South Americans, raising the U.S. margin to 65-3 over two matches that seemed more training than tests. Alyssa Naeher, the Americans' new World Cup goalkeeper, was noticeable only when an unmarked Carla Guerrero redirected Claudia Soto's free kick past her midway through the first half. Guerrero was called offside. More Americans were in the tournament-high crowd of 45,594 that filled Parc des Princes than walked around Sunday in Paris, Kentucky, or Texas. Quite different from the stands 21 years and one day earlier, when Germany beat the U.S. men 2-0 on the very same field in the Americans' 1998 World Cup opener on goals by Andreas Möller and Jürgen Klinsmann. Fans clad in red, white and blue jammed the Metro hours before kickoff, streaming on the No. 9 line at Trocadero, Republique and Richelieu-Drouot and emerging on at Porte de Saint-Cloud on the sunny afternoon. "We're in France, and yet we felt like we had a home game," said Lloyd, at 36-year-old the oldest woman with a multi-goal World Cup match. Despite their second easy win, the Americans maintained there was no reason to chill: Thailand is ranked 34th in the world and Chile is 39th. The Americans need a win or draw against No. 9 Sweden on Thursday in order to win the group. A victory likely means a second-round matchup against No. 13 Spain or No. 16 China, which would put the U.S. on track for a quarterfinal matchup against fourth-ranked France in Paris. Ellis would not speculate whether her team would be better off finishing second and winding up in the other half of the bracket. "There's a lot of grass to navigate between now and potential matchups," she said. "This game is a crazy game, and you have to bring it every single match." No team has won consecutive Women's World Cups since the event began in 1991, a reason for sangfroid. "We're climbing up a mountain now," Lloyd said, "and it's only going to get harder.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

Brazil opens Copa America with spotlight still on Neymar

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil will get the Copa America underway with the Neymar saga still far from over. As the hosts closed their preparations for Friday's opener against Bolivia, Neymar was still attracting most of the attention in the country even though he is not playing in the South American championship. The player, who was ruled out of the tournament last week because of an ankle injury, appeared at a police station amid a media frenzy on Thursday to answer questions related to the allegations of a Brazilian woman who says he raped her when she visited him in Paris. Neymar has denied wrongdoing. The team practiced a few hours later at the Morumbi Stadium, where it will begin its quest for the South American title against Bolivia in Group A. Brazil is trying to quickly get past the Neymar controversy and focus solely on soccer. "There's more talk about Neymar (in the media) than there is talk about him within the squad," Brazil coach Tite said on Thursday. "Within the squad we are focused on our preparations. I would never want to be in this situation of playing without Neymar, a top-three player in the world, but we have to be prepared." Neymar hurt his ankle in Brazil's win over Qatar in a Copa America warm-up last week. He was on crutches on Thursday when he arrived to speak with investigators at the police station, where a crowd of fans cheered him. This will be Brazil's first tournament since the team's loss to Belgium in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Tite kept his job despite that elimination, but only the title will be good enough at the Copa America at home. "We know it's important to win titles, we can't run away from that," Tite said. "But winning that has to be done step by step, it's part of a process." Tite said injured Barcelona midfielder Arthur is back in training but won't start on Friday. Goalkeeper Ederson is also out after hurting a muscle in practice on Wednesday. He is expected to be sidelined for about a week. Brazil has won the Copa America all four previous times it hosted the tournament, though its last South American title was in 2007. Bolivia didn't get past the group stage in the 2016 Copa America, but it made it to the quarterfinals in the 2015 tournament. "Brazil is a favorite in any competition it plays and always has the responsibility to win," Brazil defensive midfielder Casemiro said. "We are without Neymar, our biggest star, but we remain very strong. There's no doubt we are prepared. The work done so far has been very good.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2019

To get me prepared for the SEA Games -- Mau on her transfer

Filipino-American power-hitter Kalei Mau found a new home in F2 Logistics. The 6-foot-2 open spiker chose to join the Cargo Movers not only to help F2 Logistics reclaim the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference crown but also to improve her game in time for the 30th Southeast Asian Games under the system of Ramil de Jesus.      “The reason why I chose F2 was mainly I thought about what team will benefit me as a player,” said Mau on Thursday in Day 2 of the national women’s volleyball team practice at the Arellano University Gym in Taft.   Mau transferred to the Cargo Movers after her former team United VC disbanded just days before the 2019 PSL AFC. F2 Logistics last won the AFC title back in 2016.  [Related story: Cargo Movers sign Kalei Mau] The hitter said that playing under De Jesus will benefit her for her first-ever stint for the tri-colors. “For a long time in UVC we didn’t really have a system that I was used to in playing overseas and playing back home in the States,” she said. “What I wanted to do is to try and find something close to my training level back in the States back to when I was playing in college just to really get me prepared for the SEA Games.” Playing for the F2 Logistics, Mau will be playing alongside national team teammates Aby Marano, libero Dawn Macandili and middle blocker Majoy Baron.   “I asked a lot of people what’s the best environment to put myself in if that’s my end goal. So I chose F2 not only because they have a good coach but also they have most of my teammates here in the national team,” said Mau. “The girls in the gym, they’re really holding me accountable.” The Hawaiian started to train with the Cargo Movers Thursday morning.     “The only thing that I would say is I would really want to spend a little more time connecting with my setters there, just because I know that a lot of Filipina setters they’re smaller,” said Mau. “A lot of the hitters here are also smaller. It might be a little hard to try to adjust but it’s not impossible.” Mau will need to adjust and make a connection with F2 Logistics setters Kim Fajardo, a former member of the national squad,  and Alex Cabanos. “What I like is high and faster sets to the pin. Something that a connection that me and Alohi (Robins-Hardy) like it was natural to,” said Mau. “But definitely, I’m excited to play with the setters that we have in our gym and see where it’s gonna take us.”   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2019

Even being injured, Durant leads free-agent pack

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — This was already going to be a summer filled with fireworks in the NBA. Nothing has changed. Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury, the severity of which isn’t yet confirmed, means he probably won’t be able to play much — if any — next season. But this is a testament to how much he overshadows much of the NBA landscape: Durant will still likely dictate how the free-agency dominoes fall this summer. Durant could exercise his $31.5 million player option and stay with the Warriors, and that’s likely going to be his worst-case financial scenario. He could opt out and sign a longer deal to stay in the Bay. Or he could opt out, sign elsewhere and start collecting massive checks from either the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Clippers or someone else. Kyrie Irving’s decision could hinge on what Durant does. Kawhi Leonard’s decision could be affected by what Durant does. How the Knicks, Nets, Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks and all the other teams who have cap space will start spending their money on June 30 ... it all will be determined, at least on some level, by what Durant does. If he stays in Golden State, that’s more money for everyone else. If he hits the open market, it’ll be about what team wants to gamble. Here’s a tip to those teams that wanted Durant before he got hurt again in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. If the opportunity presents itself, sign him. Free agency usually isn’t about just one year. It’s about the long haul. Durant is only 30-years-old. He’s not a high-flyer who plays above the rim all the time. He’s not a plodding big man. He’s not someone with a lot of gray in the goatee. He’s a world-class scorer and jump-shooter in his prime. A year from now, if the recovery from the Achilles injury indeed takes that long, he’ll be far from over the hill. “This is a devastating injury for a basketball player, but Durant can return to be the same or very close,” Dr. David Chao, a longtime NFL team physician, practicing orthopedic surgeon and now a sports medical analyst with a large following wrote Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “This does not mark his downfall as an elite player.” In the short term, it just means Durant’s NBA Finals are over. Game 6 is Thursday night (Friday, PHL time), and the Warriors trail the Toronto Raptors 3-2 in the title series. In the long term, it might mean so much more — including the possibility that his time playing for Golden State is over. Achilles recoveries for basketball players have typically taken about a full year. Even if it turns out to be a partial tear, it’s still a tear. Some team was going to pay Durant a lot of money in 2019-20 and some team still will, probably without the immediate on-court services of perhaps the best player in the world in return. The first decision is the medical course of action. The financial course of action will be decided soon after. All will not be lost next season for the team that has Durant on its roster. That team will apply for, and get, a disabled player exception that will allow them to sign someone else for probably about $9 million and not have that count toward the team’s cap. That player won’t be of Durant’s caliber, because so few players are. But a year or so later, the team would have Durant. There’s risk with any signing. And signing any player that will command so much of a team’s salary cap while facing a grueling rehab would seem particularly risky. “He’s going to come back stronger though,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. “That’s the kind of fighter he is.” The Nets swung a trade earlier this month to clear enough cap space for two max contracts this summer — and there’s no doubt that they would love Durant to take one of those spots, possibly alongside Irving. The Knicks have been mentioned as a hopeful in the Durant sweepstakes for months. The Clippers were expected to make a pitch for him as well. The Warriors surely want to keep him. The chatter about Durant’s injury indicates it’s all a mystery now, although it really shouldn’t be. Players have made comebacks off Achilles surgery, with relative levels of success. DeMarcus Cousins, Kobe Bryant, and Rudy Gay all came back; Cousins hasn’t regained past form yet. Dominique Wilkins had an Achilles tear happen to him at the peak of his career and he arguably was good as ever afterward. Elton Brand, now leading the Philadelphia 76ers’ front office, had it as a player and said he was never the same. Christian Laettner went from a star to a role player when his Achilles ripped. “I’ve been there,” 15-time golf major winner Tiger Woods said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) at the U.S. Open. “I’ve had it to my own Achilles. I’ve had it to my own back. I know what it feels like. It’s an awful feeling. And no one can help you. That’s the hard part.” Woods fought his way back toward the top of his sport, and is the reigning Masters champion. Durant isn’t going to let an Achilles injury end his reign as one of the game’s best. Teams would be foolish to think otherwise. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 12th, 2019

Kai Sotto already bigger, better after two months of overseas training

Watch out, world - the Philippines' basketball prodigy is only getting bigger and better. Just two months since flying to the US for overseas training, Kai Sotto is nothing but glad to report that he is already feeling a positive change for him. "Talagang kakaiba yung training doon, pero tingin ko, magandang-maganda naman para sa akin," he told reporters in his third day back in the Philippines, training with Gilas Youth at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. He then continued, "Nandun kami para magpalakas, magpabilis, mas maging explosive and tingin ko, gumagana naman dahil after two months, nung nag-gain ako ng weight, imbes na mabigatan ako sa sarili ko, parang mas gumaan pa yung pakiramdam ko." This is only a welcome development as when the Sottos announced that they were going abroad, they said their primary purpose is to improve Kai's body. "Ang unang stop namin is US para mag-training dahil alam naman natin na kailangang lumakas yung katawan niya," dad Ervin said then. Indeed, since flying out of the country in late March and returning last Saturday, the 7-foot-2, 17-year-old has increased his weight from 210 to 223 lbs. More than the much-needed added bulk, though, Sotto said his strengthening his mind matters much more. "Nagge-gain talaga ako ng confidence na bumilis at mas naging explosive ako. Kung naiisip ko naman kasing halos every day ako nagwo-work out, talagang maiisip kong kaya kong gawin anuman ang naiisip ko," he shared. And that positive change is nothing but apparent in the eyes of no less than Gilas Youth head coach Sandy Arespacochaga. As he put it, "Kai was already agile before and he's got good coordination, but now, we see some spurts of even more quickness. I guess, also toughness inside added bulk." He then continued, "So these things, might be small things, but for someone who is very skilled to begin with and is very tall, you add those small things, that's going to be big for him." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 12th, 2019

Shania Mae Mendoza, Marie Antoinette San Diego win Round 4 matches

Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza and Woman International Master Marie Antoinette San Diego turned back Chinese Yan Tianqi and Zhang Xiao, respectively, to jump back into the top 20 after four rounds of the Asian Continental Chess Championships in Xingtai, China Monday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 11th, 2019

ONE Championship: Motivated Honorio Banario grateful for second chance in Grand Prix

Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario will be getting a second chance at glory when he returns to the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix to face Russian striker Timofey Nastyukhin in the tournament semifinals at ONE: Dawn of Heroes this coming August 2nd in Manila.   It was announced earlier this week that Banario would be stepping in for Hawaiian wrestler Lowen Tynanes, who had to pull out because of a back injury suffered in training, as per ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.     It was actually Banario who Tynanes defeated in the tournament’s quarterfinals earlier this year to advance.   Now, the Team Lakay star gets another chance in the Grand Prix, and he’s nothing but grateful for the opportunity.   “I would like to thank ONE Championship for giving me another chance,” Banario told ABS-CBN Sports. “To sir Chatri, sir Matt Hume, sir Victor Cui, and the rest of the ONE staff. I am happy and I think I am luck to be back in the Grand Prix.”   It’s not often that second chances come by in tournaments like this, and Banario is making sure that he won’t be wasting the opportunity that is in front of him.   “My last performance was not good,” Banario admitted. “I was lacking explosiveness, speed, and power, so I am trying to improve on those areas for this second chance.”   Banario will be facing a proven lightweight contender in Nastyukhin, who earned his spot in the semifinals after a stunning first-round TKO against the heavily-favored Eddie Alvarez at ONE: A New Era in Tokyo back in March.   The heavy-handed Russian’s resumé reads like a who’s who in the lightweight division and among those he has wins over is none other than Banario’s stablemate and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang.   “Timofey is a warrior,” Banario stated. “He has power in both his hands and he is a legit striker.”   “He is powerful and explosive, but I am looking for a way to exploit those traits,” he added.   This will be Banario’s first time back since his loss to Tynanes back in January. Since then, a lot has changed for “The Rock”, including getting married and now, he has a baby on the way.   With a family to provide for, Banario is now motivated and more determined than ever to succeed.   “Ngayon, it’s a very big motivation for me that I have my own family and that a baby is coming,” said Banario. “It is a source of my strength, unlike when I was single na sometimes tinatamad ay pwedeng huminto, pero ngayon, hangga’t kaya pa, I’m going to go forward.”   A win against Nastyukhin will send Banario into the Finals against Turkish knockout artist Saygid Guseyn Aralanaliev.   The winner of the tournament will be crowned the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix champion and will get a shot at the ONE Lightweight World Championship.   ONE: Dawn of Heroes will also feature a number of massive matchups, including a big-time lightweight bout between former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines and multiple-time lightweight world champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez of the US, as well as Americian flyweight great Demetrious Johnson versus Japan’s Tatsumitsu Wada and Filipino up-and-comer Danny Kingad vs. former champion Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan in the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix Semifinal matches.   The main event will be a ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship bout between champion Jonathan Haggerty of the United Kingdom and challenger Rodtang Jitmuangnon of Thailand.   ONE: Dawn of Heroes takes place on Friday, August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2019

Azkals draw in Guangzhou, U-22 team misses out on bronze in Merlion Cup

The Philippine Men's Senior National Football Team ended their training camp in Guangzhou, China with a 0-0 draw against Chinese League powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande in a friendly practice match, Sunday afternoon.  The Azkals are coming off a 0-2 loss to the Chinese Men's National Team last Friday.  The match against Guangzhou Evergrande was played in three 30-minute periods and gave opportunity to training camp invitees to showcase their skills on the pitch against top-flight competition. The training camp in Guangzhou marked the start of the Azkals' preparations for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, which begins in September.  The draw for the Asian qualifiers will be held in July.  Over in Singapore, the Philippine Under-22 selection missed out on taking home the Bronze Medal after suffering a 0-5 defeat at the hands of the Indonesian Under-23 squad at the Jalan Besar Stadium.  Muhammad Rafli was on fire for the Garuda Muda as he recorded a hat trick, with his first goal coming in the 6th minute.  It was in the second half that the Indonesian side really dominated, sparked by Rizky Dwi Febrianto's 47th-minute penalty conversion.  Rafli piled on as he found goals number two and three of his trifecta in the 60th and 67th minutes to make it a commanding 4-0 advantage.  Ansawi Bahar added the finishing touch in the 73rd minute to send the Indonesian side to a podium finish.  The Philippine side meanwhile will head home and head back to the drawing board as they prepare for their Southeast Asian Games bid this coming November. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 9th, 2019

Championship in sight, Raptors control Oracle Arena endgame

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, Calif. — What once began as a fantasy, then progressed as hope and then grew to a reasonable wish has now evolved and crystalized once again. And this time, everyone south of Saskatoon can begin to see it and maybe even buy in. The Toronto Raptors have the scent of a champion. This may come as a surprise to the nostrils of anyone who saw them crumble in past postseasons or figured their chances of getting out of the East this season were dicey … but Toronto just took a pair of NBA Finals games at Oracle Arena — and maybe closed it down in the process. The Raptors are headed home with one game to win and history on their side. Thirty-four times in The Finals have teams taken 3-1 leads, and they sipped champagne all but once. (Let’s not discuss that lone team to lose; the Warriors are suffering enough.) This latest Raptors victory was impressively convincing, especially considering the circumstances. They stared at a desperate home team, one that welcomed back Klay Thompson after a one-game injury absence … a two-time defending champion known for rising to the occasion … and the Raptors dusted them anyway. You understand exactly what the Raptors did Friday (Saturday, PHL time) and how it was done? They emerged from the halftime locker room with fire and outclassed a team known for championship pedigree and owning third quarters in the postseason. Kawhi Leonard, who’s uplifting a team and a country, began the onslaught with a pair of three-point jumpers. The Toronto defense, relentless most of the night and throughout the series as well, squeezed the Warriors and especially Steph Curry. Time after time, Serge Ibaka delivered a counter punch with a key jumper off the pick and roll or a defensive stop. Ibaka had 20 points in 21 minutes in what was his first strong outing from jump to buzzer. Fred VanVleet, felled by a stray Shaun Livingston elbow to the chops in the third quarter, was left bloodied and missing a tooth in a scene that embodied Toronto's grit. The Raptors simply wore down the more experienced Warriors and Golden State never came up with an answer. Toronto stole the atmosphere — a smattering of red-garbed Raptors fans suddenly cheered louder and stomped harder and stayed buzzed long after the buzzer — and sent the Warriors off the court with heads bowed and egos deflated. Oh, something else: Nick Nurse, the first-year Toronto coach, kept pressing the right buttons with his various defensive schemes and substitutions as Golden State failed to break 100 for the first time this postseason. And the Raptors seized control of the series, ensuring that Scotiabank Arena will be a mixture of tense and hysterical Monday for Game 5 (Tuesday, PHL time). And that’s just from Drake. The crowd will be hyped, too. This is the moment that the basketball population in Toronto has long awaited, to get a sense something special is about to happen, or at least could. And this was made possible by a former Finals MVP who, this time last summer, was in exile with his reputation, at least in San Antonio, in tatters. By November, in Toronto, none of that mattered. “Once we saw him early in the year, your team’s vision of who they can become changes,” said Nurse. Leonard is a victory away from another Finals MVP and trophy, and mostly a sense of redemption. His passion and championship drive was evident Friday in two stages, both influential to his team. He set an example early by showing pep from the opening tip, carrying the Raptors with 14 of their 17 points over the first 12 minutes. And then, coming out of halftime, Leonard went scorched Earth once again. He posted 17 points and five rebounds in the third, and this time the Raptors lent support. Toronto outscored the Warriors, 37-21, and spent the rest of the game keeping a sneaker pressed on the Warriors’ throat. Kawhi tore through the Warriors constantly, totaling 36 points and 12 rebounds. Yet it was his tone that influenced the game just as much, if not more. “He imposed his will on the game and his team followed him,” said Draymond Green. “He gets the job done.” This is why Kawhi’s value to the Raptors is priceless. Until now, Toronto lacked a player with his presence, someone who forced other teams to gameplan differently, someone who seems to thrive when the stakes are highest and is driven in these situations. They didn’t have that with DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry, the leaders and best players of those teams that flourished in the regular season and failed in the postseason. Leonard clearly has the Warriors rattled and their defense stressed whenever he’s in isolation or bracing to attack. “He hit every big shot, every big momentum shot,” said Curry. Just the same, the Kawhi-inspired defense weighed heavily not only in this game but for much of the series. With the exception of Curry’s monstrous 47-point outburst in Game 3, Toronto hasn’t yielded much from the Warriors — surely, Kevin Durant’s absence and Thompson’s missed game contributed. Yet the Raptors are floating Leonard around the floor, sneaking in doubles on Thompson and Curry, leaving Green open and encouraging him to shoot, and essentially making it tough for the Warriors to go on a big scoring spree. Toronto has outscored the Warriors in 13 of the 16 quarters of this series. Hounded by the Raptors’ perimeter defense, and maybe gassed from two nights earlier, Curry made only a pair of three-pointers Friday (Saturday, PHL time) and never developed a rhythm. And while Thompson returned from his injury with 28 points, he was harmless in the fourth quarter and his team quiet. “They’ve been aggressive all series in trying to take space away from me and Klay,” Curry said. As the Warriors and the crowd disappeared from the arena, there was a sense of finality in the air inside Oracle. If the Warriors don’t win Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), then the last memory of their home of nearly six decades will be a deflating one. Instead of dreamy visions of Curry and Thompson and Durant spraying jumpers, it will be Leonard punishing the Warriors and the home team powerless to stop him or from being pushed to the brink. And speaking of Durant: Coach Steve Kerr has now gone radio silent about his superstar’s availability for Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) or beyond. The subject has become tiresome because there’s no resolution regarding someone who hasn’t played in a month. And so the Warriors have twin motivations for Monday (Tuesday, PHL time): Win to stay alive and also to play once more at Oracle for a Game 6. Yet at this point, with the dynasty showing cracks, that might be a lost cause. “I know we’re capable,” said Kerr. “We’ve got a lot of talent and got a lot of pride and these guys have been to The Finals five straight years for a reason. They’re going to fight the whole way.” Green added: “I’ve been on the wrong side of 3-1 before, so why not make our own history?” Well, that now-or-never talk is fine. Yet it’s all about the Raptors making history now, and stopping the Warriors’ streak in the process. It’s all there for the taking for Toronto: One win, a chance to celebrate on the home floor, and a marvelous and striking professional rebound for Kawhi Leonard, who surely will be named Finals MVP should all of the above happen. Dare we say, it’s the Raptors title to lose now. A title anointed to the Warriors even before the season began. Well, plenty has happened in the last seven months. And especially the last seven days. 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 NewsJun 8th, 2019

PBA: Terrence Jones carries TNT to big win over San Miguel Beer

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal — TNT keeps San Miguel Beer down. The KaTopra were hot right from the jump and had just enough in the end to frustrate San Miguel Beer in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, scoring a 110-97 win Saturday at the Ynares Center here. Import Terrence Jones was once again a force on the offensive end, scoring 30 points to lead the KaTropa to another victory. He was also a force on the defensive end, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking five shots. At 4-1 following back-to-back wins, TNT grabbed a share of second place with idle Northport, just behind leader Blackwater in the team standings.   The scores:  TNT 110 - Jones 30, Rosario 17, Pogoy 15, Trollano 13, A. Semerad 11, Castro 9, Reyes 8, Taha 4, Heruela 3, D. Semerad 0, Golla 0, Casino 0. San Miguel 97 - Pessumal 24, Rhodes 20, Lassiter 16, Fajardo 13, Ross 9, Santos 6, Cabagnot 5, Rosser 2, Standhardinger 2. Quarterscores: 35-20, 57-41, 87-64, 110-97. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2019

Football: Philippine Azkals, U-22 squad suffer losses abroad

The Philippine Men's Senior National Team and the Under-22 Men's National Team both suffered defeats in respective matches overseas, Friday evening.  The Philippine Azkals, who are gearing up for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Tournament, suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of the China PR National Team at the Guangzhou Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou, China.  Wu Xi was the first to score for the home side in the 13th minute, while Zhang Xizhe doubled the lead for China in the 53-minute mark.  The match against the Chinese National Team is the first of two matches for the Azkals in this training camp in China. They have a chance to bounce back in a practice match against a local club team on Sunday, June 9th in Guangdong.  The FIFA Qualifiers begin this coming September.  Over at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, the Philippine U-22 selection absorbed a 3-0 beating at the hands of host nation Singapore in their 2019 Merlion Cup opening matchup.  Amiruldin Asraf opened the scoring for the Young Lions in the 26th minute, while Irfan Fandi doubled the lead in the 61st minute.  Substitute Ikhsan Fandi put the match on ice with a 66th-minute strike for the opening day win.  The U-22 squad will now meet Indonesia in the Bronze Medal match also on Sunday, June 9th. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2019

ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio hopes to see teammate Danny Kingad become a champion

It wasn’t too long ago that Team Lakay’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio was on top of the ONE Championship flyweight  landscape.   In 2018, the Filipino striker defeated Kairat Akhmetov and Adriano Moraes - the division’s only other titleholders - on his way to becoming the ONE Flyweight World Champion.   Eustaquio’s reign came to a halt at the start of 2019 however, when he dropped the title back to Moraes in a trilogy match in Manila that saw the Brazilian grappler score a unanimous decision win after five rounds.   While many believed that Eustaquio deserved to win the bout, himself and his Team Lakay stablemate included, as the saying goes, “it is what it is.”   Now, Eustaquio is on the comeback trail and has bounced back with a unanimous decision win over South Korean newcomer Kim Kyu Sung at ONE: Enter The Dragon in Singapore and is hoping to once again regain his spot at the pinnacle of the division.   While the 30-year old is working his way back up, he is also helping his teammate and fellow flyweight contender Danny “The King” Kingad make it to the top as well.   The 22-year old Kingad is currently in the semifinals of fhe ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix and is set to face a familiar opponent in Akhmetov.   Eustaquio hopes that young stablemate can mirror what he did to defeat the Kazakh wrestler.   “For now, yung bata is hungry, and the skills we are working on, we are working with his distance right now, para if we can duplicate the things I did the last time that we fought for the interim title,” Eustaquio shared. “Hopefully magagawa din niya yun and we will have the same result.”   “So basically, ang ginagawa namin now, in terms of kay Danny is the distance and the timing,” Eustaquio added.   Kingad is two wins away from becoming the Flyweight World Grand Prix champion and is two wins away from once again challenging Moraes for the title, and fully behind him is Eustaquio and the rest of Team Lakay. Eustaquio is hopeful to see his teammate also become a champion in the in the biggest martial arts promotion in the world.   “We talk about it as a family here, and we encourage each and every one. We motivate him na don’t stop training, you have to keep grinding, you’re close to your goals or your dream to become a world champion, because I believe they’re going to give a belt to the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Champion has a belt.”   “It’s a title, and it’s every athlete’s dream to become a World Champion, and he’s almost there. Two wins, and he’ll also be considered as a titleholder or a World Champion. Hopefully, he will work his ass off and he will have the right attitude in this competition,” Eustaquio continued.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2019