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UST, Chadao-FEU rout respective foes

Games Tuesday: (Paco Arena, Manila) 2:00 p.m. - AMA Online Education vs McDavid 4:00 p.m. - CEU vs Diliman College-Gerry's Grill   University of Santo Tomas obliterated Batangas-EAC, 94-70, to kickstart its 2019 PBA D-League campaign on a high Monday at Paco Arena in Manila. Coach Aldin Ayo proudly paraded his new recruits with Beninese forward Soulemane Chabi Yo uncorking 19 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks to lead the charge.  Pangasinense forward Rhanz Abando also had a rousing debut with his 17 points, nine boards, two dimes, while Brent Paraiso collected eight points, six rebounds, and five assists. Meanwhile, Chadao-FEU hardly broke a sweat in its 84-62 victory over SMDC-NU in the second game. Alec Stockton triggered the rout, firing seven of his 15 points in the Tamaraws' scorching 21-8 first quarter as they easily cruised to their first victory in the Foundation Group. Sophomore guard L-Jay Gonzales did his part for Chadao-FEU with 12 points, three boards, and three assists as he slowly eases in to a bigger role with the team. Ken Tuffin and Branrey Bienes combined for 22 points and six rebounds, as Cameroonian slotman Patrick Tchuente impressed with his nine points, four rebounds, and a block. It was all Tamaraws in this game as they limited the Bulldogs to just 27-percent clip from the field and even took a lead as high as 28, 53-28, midway through the third quarter. Dave Ildefonso carried SMDC-NU in the losing cause with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists. The Growling Tigers, on the other hand, also unveiled 18-year-old guard Mark Nonoy, who lived up to the hype to pour 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal as he became the youngest player in PBA D-League history. "Masaya kami kasi nakapaglaro agad ng maayos yung mga bago. Nakapag-adjust sila agad," he said. "Unang liga namin ito na big league. Masaya naman ako na hindi kami masyadong tight and nailabas nila yung laro nila. Yun lang naman, gusto lang namin na mailabas yung pineprepare namin." Abando led the blazing 10-0 start for the Growling Tigers that set the tone for the game, where the boys from Espana annexed the lead to as much as 33, 75-42, late in the third courtesy of Germy Mahinay's free throws. Senior playmaker Renzo Subido chipped in 11 points, five assists, and four rebounds for UST to gain an early headstart in the Aspirants Group. Earvin Mendoza led Batangas-EAC in the loss with 14 points, three steals, and two rebounds off the bench, as Allan Martin scored 10.   The Scores: First Game: UST 94 -- Chabi Yo 19, Abando 17, Nonoy 15, Subido 11, Paraiso 8, Lee 7, Mahinay 6, Pangilinan 5, Ando 4, Caunan 2. BATANGAS-EAC 70 -- E. Mendoza 14, Martin 10, Maguliano 8, Gonzales 8, De Joya 7, Dela Pena 4, Boffa 4, J. Mendoza 3, Tampoc 2, Fuentes 2, Corilla 2, Cadua 2, Taywan 2, Estacio 2. Quarters: 24-11, 45-27, 75-46, 94-70.   Second Game: CHADAO-FEU 84 -- Stockton 15, Gonzales 12, Tuffin 11, Bienes 11, Tchuente 9, Jopia 6, Ebona 5, Comboy 5, Cani 4, Flores 4, Celzo 2, Nunag 0, Bayquin 0, Casino 0, Mantua 0. SMDC-NU 62 -- D. Ildefonso 14, Gaye 12, S. Ildefonso 7, Chatman 7, Clemente 6, Galinato 3, Minerva 3, Sinclair 2, Rangel 2, Diputado 2, Oczon 2, Tibayan 2, Mangayao 0, Gallego 0, Malonzo 0. Quarters: 21-8, 45-23, 68-46, 84-62......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 18th, 2019Related News

UAAP: Kai calls on Eaglets to fight Bullpups fire with their own fire

Ateneo de Manila High School got swept in the elimination round of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament by modern-day rival Nazareth School of National University. However, the Blue Eaglets got a golden opportunity to get back at the Bullpups as the two teams were pitted against one another for all the glory in the Finals. There, Sotto expected one thing and one thing only – for the challengers to their throne to keep bringing it to them. “Alam naman natin na yung NU, talagang physical maglaro,” he said. And that is exactly why, in the Season 81 MVP’s eyes, the defending champions had to bring it right back. “Dapat kami, ‘di kami mag-back down. Talagang i-aaccept namin yung challenge,” he said. He then continued, “Kung maging physical sila, magiging physical din kami. Lalaban din kami.” In the first half and early third quarter of Game 1, Ateneo did just that. Sotto teamed up with twin tower Geo Chiu to power their side to a five-point lead. Only, the Blue Eaglets took their foot off the pedal the rest of the way and never recovered. And in the end, NU took a well-earned 70-58 win and took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. For the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old, it was clear that they fell short of sustaining the physicality needed to match up with the Bullpups. As he put it, “Nandun yung effort, kaso may times na nawawala. Inconsistent kami.” That is exactly what they will be working on as they head into a must-win Game 2 on Friday. There, Sotto had but one promise. “’Di namin basta-basta ibibigay yung championship,” he said, full of confidence. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 18th, 2019Related News

PBA: Helterbrand gets triple-double in Manila Clasico Legends win

The Fast hasn’t lost a step. Jayjay Helterbrand led Ginebra to yet another Manila Clasico win as the Gin Kings got one over Purefoods Sunday, 97-89, in the PBA Legends Return of the Rivals game at the Big Dome. Helterbrand, who retired in 2017, messed around and finished with a triple-double, going for 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. The Fast also had four steals for good measure.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: Eh dun na kami kilala -- Cheng on DLSU swag

Graduating De La Salle University hitter Des Cheng roared as she walked backwards while staring at Ateneo de Manila University’s Kat Tolentino following a monster block in the second set. It was Cheng’s classic swagger that volleyball fans just love to love or hate depending on which side they're on.      But the open spiker cleared that it just came out naturally, especially in this kind of exciting and intense match between two proud schools.    “’Di ko alam kasi siyempre, hello! It’s Ateneo-La Salle. So parang kahit anong sabihin mo may rivalry talaga kahit sabihin mong wala,” said Cheng, who scored 13 points in the defending three-time champion Lady Spikers’ 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, victory over the Lady Eagles Sunday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena. Cheng was very animated during the match smiling, laughing, doing the finger wag and whatever gesture she could think of to celebrate a point.   OH MY, DES CHENG 😱 #UAAPSeason81Volleyball pic.twitter.com/ePvIxjxREe — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 17, 2019 “Uy, ang hirap kaya kumuha ng puntos kung mapapansin mo. Kaya sabi ko before mag-start ang game sabi ko, ‘Every point ise-celebrate natin. Hindi ‘yung every point makakapuntos ka tapos tatahimik ka tapos parang, ‘Yeheey!’ ganun lang,’” said Cheng, who added 14 receives and nine digs for an all-around performance. The veteran expected that non-DLSU supporters would think that the Lady Spikers went over the top with their on-court reactions but this is what they’re known for and they are not gonna change that. Des Cheng breaks out the finger wag ☝ #UAAPSeason81Volleyball pic.twitter.com/bbVBMIYoGK — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 17, 2019 “Eh dun na kami kilala bakit kailangang (i-hold back),” said Cheng. “’Dun kami kilala eh. Sabihin nyo na mayabang kami, swag kami, whatever kung ano ang pagka-interpret nyo it’s OK. Eh kasi yun na ang pagkakakilala nyo sa amin eh di dun nyo na kami i-ano talaga. Pero hindi kami mayabang. Ayun lang po talaga.” Even head coach Ramil De Jesus got into the celebration during that second set highlight, exchanging high-fives with Cheng.       The mentor, according to Cheng, actually asked her to be the spark plug and energizer of the team. “Kasi kailangan. Sabi ni coach, ‘Hindi gagalaw ang team mo kapag walang mag-spark.’ Meaning, kailangan may gagalaw para magi-spark sa kanila tapos susunod lang sila. Kaya kapag nakapuntos ako parang kahit hindi nga ako nakapuntos naga-ano ako na ‘Yeheey, yeheey!’ ganun-ganun,” she said. “Kasi kailangan nila yun kasi kapag walang isang tao na ganoon sino ang magli-lead sa kanila.” And to end her night, Cheng finished off Ateneo with an ace... and a finger wag as exclamation point.   Des Cheng. FOR THE WIN. #UAAPSeason81Volleyball pic.twitter.com/KHyg6qECPs — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 17, 2019     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: Siguro nasa 60% ang galaw kanina -- De Jesus on rookie Dela Cruz

Rookie Jolina Dela Cruz announced her arrival as part of the defending three-time champion De La Salle University with an impressive debut against the Lady Spikers’ archrival Ateneo de Manila University. The 19-year old, Bulacan-native poured in 11 points in DLSU’s 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, win over the Lady Eagles in an early battle of titans in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the MOA Arena. It was a good outing for a player whose baptism of fire came in the most anticipated match of the season – the first opening day Ateneo-DLSU clash in the Final Four era.     But head coach Ramil De Jesus said that Dela Cruz has yet to show her full potential.   “Well, as rookie siguro nasa 60% ang galaw kanina. Expected ko na ‘yun kasi bago sa kanya ang lahat ng nangyayari. And siguro ‘yung dami ng crowd, tapos ang ingay ng crowd,” said De Jesus of the Palarong Pambansa standout.   “Sabi ko nga kanina after ng second set, ‘Jolina, sobrang confused mo na kasi ang likot na ng mata mo.’ So ni-remind ko lang na kailangan ko lang ng makakatulong sa loob. Kailangan ko ng tulong mo,” the 11-time champion mentor added. “Ganoon talaga sa first game siguro sa susunod hindi na ganoon.”             The Academia de San Lorenzo recruit and member of the Philippine youth team in the 2017 ASEAN Schools Game in Singapore admitted that her first Ateneo-DLSU experience was quite overwhelming.   “As a rookie bago lang po ako sa ganito and ‘yun po nire-remind ako lagi ng mga ates na kahit anong mangyari nandyan sila sa likod may backup ako,” she said. Dela Cruz added that there were times that she just got carried away with the crowd and energy inside the arena.   “Opo, masyado po akong nadala. Nire-remind naman po nila ako parati na, ‘Jolina balik ka, balik ka. Kaya mo yan. Nandyan ang mga ates mo. Di ka naman nila iiawanan. Iko-cover ka nila kahit anong mangyari.’ Yung mga coaches naman lagi akong nire-remind na focus ka, focus, na balik ka lagi. Once na magkamali ka may ibang way pa na pwede kang gawin,” said Dela Cruz.   Asked on how she would address the missing 40% that De Jesus wanted to see for her, Dela Cruz answered,  “Siguro kailangan pa magtiwala sa sarili ang kailangan balik ka kaagad once nagkamali ka.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: DLSU uses element of surprise in dismantling Ateneo

Defending three-time champion De La Salle University kept its team under wraps during the offseason and it worked wonders for the Lady Spikers. Head coach Ramil De Jesus thought that they had the element of surprise when DLSU demolished Ateneo de Manila University, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, Sunday in their UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament opener at the MOA Arena.         The Taft-based squad didn’t join any major pre-season tournament as a team, opting to field just a few of its regular players in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference and in the UniGames. “Mayroon siguro. Malaking advantage ‘yun na wala silang idea sa team namin kung sino ang starter, ano ang position, kung anong klase ng set play ang nangyayari sa team na pina-practice namin,”said De Jesus, whose squad defeated Ateneo for the fifth straight time since Season 79 Finals. DLSU lost three key players in Kim Kianna Dy, former MVP Majoy Baron and libero Dawn Macandili after graduating last season. During the pre-season, Gyra Barroga and Arriane Layug left the team to move up to the semi-pro league. Pundits thought that the Lady Spikers will have a hard time rebuilding but again, De Jesus' battle-tested system that produced 11 titles in two decades proved them wrong.      Graduating player Des Cheng delivered the same numbers that was expected from her but it was rookie Jolina Dela Cruz and fourth year player May Luna that did most of the damage with their production. Dela Cruz and Luna scored 11 points each to back Cheng’s 13 markers and Aduke Ogunsanya’s 10. Luna did the most damage in the fourth set as she helped the Lady Spikers pull away for good midway in the frame with her heady plays that frustrated the Lady Eagles.      As for their archrivals, the Lady Spikers were able to scout the Lady Eagles’ set plays and asses the tendencies of their players based on Ateneo’s performance in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.     De Jesus and his coaching staff devised a good game plan to dismantle Ateneo in front of 17,166-strong crowd.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

PBA: Helterbrand after masterful trip-dub: “I need an ice bath”

Jayjay Helterbrand never lost a step. Playing his first organized game of basketball since his 2017 retirement, the man they call the Fast dazzled Sunday during the PBA Legends Return of the Rivals at the Big Dome. Helterbrand led Brgy. Ginebra to a Manila Clasico win over Purefoods, putting up a 21-point, 10-rebound, 11-assist triple-double. Yep, still got it. “Oh man, it feels good. It’s really an honor to be able to play on the court with all the legends man. Just the stories I’ve heard in practice, getting a chance to be coached by the legend himself and be able to play for a good cause, that was fun,” Helterbrand said of the whole experience. “I was in awe trying to absorb everything. I didn’t really plan on playing that hard, but I didn’t want to let them down. I came out there and I wanted to get that win for them,” he added. Helterbrand’s masterful performance naturally comes with talks that he should have never retired in the first place. But the 42-year-old insists he’s done and he’s not coming back. Sorry, Ginebra fans. “I don’t think so, that was just for fun. Na-ano lang ako sa energy, and I didn’t want to let the team down,” Helterbrand said. “I think I pushed myself a little bit over the limit, ang sakit na ng katawan ko. I need an ice bath now,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

NU, Ateneo reignite rivalry for all the glory in UAAP 81 Jrs.

Game on Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre 3:00 PM – NU vs Ateneo For the second season in a row, it will be Nazareth School of National University and Ateneo de Manila High School disputing the championship. Hostilities between the Bullpups and the Blue Eaglets erupt once more on Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre as the bell rings on the title bout between the two heavyweights in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. NU, last year’s runners-up, and defending champion Ateneo go at it in Game 1 of the best-of-three series tipping off at 3:00 PM. All of the action will be LIVE and EXCLUSIVE over on S+A and S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, iWant as well as on streaming. The Bullpups have had the Blue Eaglets’ number this year. Gerry Abadiano, Terrence Fortea, and Carl Tamayo have all taken turns to make sure the Jocson ballers swept their two meetings thus far. Still, it was just last year when Ateneo took home the title at NU’s expense. This time around, they will have Season MVP Kai Sotto as well as feisty playmakers Forthsky Padrigao and Ian Espinosa leading the way. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

'TheStrongSide: Michelle Cobb On Finding Strength In Fully Accepting Yourself

The Lady Spiker inspires you to embrace every aspect of yourself......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleFeb 17th, 2019Related News

Adam Silver s annual NBA address keys on competitive balance

Adam Silver s annual NBA address keys on competitive balance.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

UAAP 81 Football: UST demolishes DLSU on opening day

Season 80 runners up University of Santo Tomas wasted no time in getting on the board, as the Growling Tigers demolished De La Salle University, 3-1 on opening day of the UAAP Season 81 Men's Football Tournament, Sunday afternoon at the FEU-FERN Football Field in Diliman, Quezon City.  Armed with 13 rookies, the Green Archers were looking to make a statement early in the season, and early in the match, it looked like they were primed for a big win after one of those new faces, John Rey Lagura, connected on his first UAAP goal to put DLSU ahead, 1-0 in the 14th minute.  The Green Archer advantage didn't last too long, as Conrad Dimacali responded in the 17th minute to help the Growling Tigers pull even  UST moved into the driver's seat heading into the midgame break, thanks to a 36th minute conversion from Juan Villanueva to make it 2-1.  Action picked up in the second half, as De La Salle looked to rally back, but instead it was UST who found the back of the net once again, with rookie Glen Ramos also hitting his first UAAP goal to put the Growling Tigers ahead, 3-1.  DLSU attempted once last push, but yielded no results, as UST coasted to a big opening day victory.  "Every tournament, especially sa UAAP, mas maganda talaga na makakuha ka kaagad ng three points, pero nag-start kami kanina na masiyadong mababa yung laro namin, medyo yung fitness namin, hindi kami makahawak ng bola," explained UST head coach Marjo Allado after the match. "La Salle is very dangerous in transitions, and buti na lang, yung dalawang free kicks namin, na-convert namin kanina."  "So far, it's a good result for the UST Men's Team sa opening game," Allado added.  While it was a big win, Allado isn't completely happy with the result, noting that he felt his boys were a bit off.  "Naka-score kami ng three goals, pero my concern is yung laro namin kanina, this is not how we play eh. Siguro first game, parang naninibago lang yung mga players, especially yung ibang rookies."  UST opens the season with a win and three points. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: Tigresses survive Lady Falcons scare

University of Sto. Tomas flirted with disaster before eking out a 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 24-26, 15-6, win over Adamson University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the MOA Arena. The Tigresses opened a five-point lead in the fifth set after yielding the third and fourth frames that forced the decider to set up the tempo before finishing off the hard-fighting Lady Falcons. “The last three years lagi kaming talo sa first game namin and this is historic for us,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes of the Tigresses' opening day losing streak under his watch.  Sisi Rondina and Milena Alessandrini delivered the goods while sophomore Eya Laure lived up to the pre-season hype to help the Espana-based squad, which snapped a seven-year opening day losing slump. Laure made her presence felt with 17 points of 13 attacks, three kill blocks and an ace while graduating hitter Rondina poured 17 markers and tallied 17 digs to start her final season with the Tigresses, who rained down 50 attacks and landed 11 aces.    Alessandrini, last year's rookie of year, got 15 points while freshman Kecelyn Galdones had eigt markers for UST. The Tigresses started the fifth set with a 5-0 lead before breaking the set wide open with a 13-4 advantage as Adamson's confidence crumbled.  UST started the game firing on all cylinders to grab a 2-0 match lead but allowed the Lady Falcons to mount a comeback. The Tigresses squandered a 19-16 lead in the third set as Adamson blasted a 5-1 counterattack for a 21-20 advantage.   Adamson moved at set point, 24-21, before Rondina sparked UST's comeback to force a deuce. Eli Soyud took matters on her own hands in the next plays, scoring  the last two points of the Lady Falcons. Adamson controlled the early goings of the fourth frame and built a 15-6 lead. The Tigresses clawed their way back in the game and overtook Adamson, 23-19. UST moved at match point, 24-21, but a couple of attack errors and Joy Dacoron's back-to-back hits gave the Lady Falcons a 25-24 advantage. UST yielded the set after getting whistled with a net touch.          Bernadette Flora paced Adamson with 14 points while Eli Soyud and Chiara Permentilla chipped in with 13 and 12 markers, respectively. Dacoron posted 10 points while rookie setter Nikka Yandoc tallied 34 excellent sets for the Lady Falcons.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

UAAP 81 Football: Four Tamaraws score as FEU drops UE, 4-1

Far Eastern University picked up a massive opening day win as they trounced University of the East, 4-1, Sunday afternoon at the FEU-FERN Football Field in Diliman, Quezon City. Coming off their worst campaign in years, finishing seventh in UAAP Season 80, FEU looked every bit like the program that once won back-to-back titles as they dominated a contender in UE. Early on however, it looked like the Red Warriors were primed to get on the board first after a foul inside the box from FEU resulted in a penalty attempt from for UE. Red Warriors striker Mar Diano flubbed the penalty attempt however, as his shot hit the cross bar and bounced out. Immediately on the other end, it was FEU who drew first blood, with rookie Jermi Darapan scoring in the 29th minute. Three minutes into the second half, former Baby Tamaraws star Chester Gio Pabualan announced his arrival into the men’s tournament with a header to give the Tamaraws a 2-0 advantage. Opening day was a good one for tournament rookies, as the Red Warriors managed to pull one back in the 51st minute courtesy of first year-wingback Champ Marin, who became the fourth rookie to score a goal in the first matchday. The Tamaraws regained momentum as they widened their advantage to 3-1, courtesy of a free kick conversion from Nicky Canonigo in the 60th minute. FEU continued to pull away in the 66th minute, with Alex Rayos blasting one from way outside the box to make it a three-goal advantage for the Tamaraws. "Winning the first game of the season is the most important," said head coach Bobae Park. "Our players, I know they're also a little bit nervous, but they just tried their best, and their spirit is together."  With the win, FEU joins UST at the top of the early leaderboard with a win and three points each. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

Daniel Chatman, National U pound on five-man UP in Got Skills

2019 HARD TO GUARD STANDINGS NU 3-1 TRINITY 3-1 UST 3-1 LYCEUM 3-2 TIP 3-3 UP 2-3 STI BALAGTAS 2-4 UCC 0-4 Daniel Chatman and National U did nothing but take advantage of severely shorthanded UP for an 82-59 win in the 2019 Milcu Sports Basketball presented by Got Skills Hard to Guard Tournament a week ago at the Trinity Gym in Quezon City. Chatman, a high-flying Filipino-American guard, scored 18 points and collected five rebounds, three assists, and two steals while hardworking forward Karl Penano contributed 13 markers and five boards. The contest was close for the first six minutes until Chapman and the Bulldogs outscored the Fighting Maroons, 32-18, up until halftime. National U would not be threatened from there en route to a bounce back win that improves its standing to 3-1. UP had four players in double-digits led by scoring guard Jaggie Gregorio with 20 points. Without substitutes in this game, however, they quickly ran out of gas for their third loss in five games. Meanwhile, UST also barged back into the win column after venting its ire on STI-Balagtas, 74-60. Versatile forward Makoy Marcos topped the scoring column for the now 3-1 Growling Tigers with 13 points. In other results, Trinity University downed UCC, 75-32, before defaulting to TIP six days later. Trinity University now stands at 3-1 while TIP is at 3-3 and UCC is at 0-4......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

UAAP: Salamat sa pagdala ah -- Sisi Rondina on rookie Eya Laure

UST Golden Tigresses team captain Sisi Rondina can finally breathe a sigh of relief as she can already count on rookie Eya Laure as one of the members of her supporting cast in UAAP Season 81. Laure had an impressive debut for coach Emilio 'Kung Fu' Reyes' squad, scoring 17 points, including some impressive hits that solidified the hype surrounding her in UST's 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 24-26, 15-6 win against Adamson at the Mall of Asia Arena Sunday afternoon. "Thank you ah. Patuloy niya lang ang ginagagwa niya. Malaking bagay talaga. Salamat sa pagdala ah," the graduating Rondina jokingly said on Laure's performance.  "Oo, sobra. Ano na eh. Mabilis na silang utusan, ganito, ganyan. Command pa lang sumusunod na. So walang problema. Ako lang talaga," the skipper added when talking about easing her burden as UST's main woman.  Adamson's net defense certainly made Rondina bleed for her game-high 17-point effort, as Coach Air Padda's girls made her a marked hitter, especially in the third and fourth sets, where Adamson was able to force a deciding fifth set.  But unlike last year, where Rondina had a herculean effort as the top scorer of the UAAP with 21.8 points but just resulted to three wins, she can finally take a back seat and rely on some of the young ones like rookies Laure, KC Galdones and sophomore Milena Alessandrini. "Pero ngayon kasi, makikita naman, makikita natin na andyan si Eya, may bagong pumasok. Then skills, kita naman. Yun. Okay naman, okay lang ako sa likod. Ang sarap magdepensa," shared Rondina. Even Reyes was relieved about the new support for his senior. "Alone, si Sisi nagi-iskor ng 30 points pero hindi nananalo. Di ko alam kung ano iniskor niya ngayon. Definitely double-digits. Pero may mga katulong na siya, kailangan maging balanse yung team. Ano lang, tao lang naman na nagkakamali, kailangan ng suporta." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

Foton downs UVC in Grand Prix opener

Foton flirted with disaster before eking out a 26-24, 25-20, 15-25, 25-21 victory over United VC in the opening salvo of the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. American import Courtney Felinski provided the firepower, towing the two-time champion Tornadoes to a sizzling start. Felinski was on fire as she delivered 19 attacks for a total of 23 points while former Turkish national team member Selime Ilyasoglu chipped in 19 markers and 14 digs for Foton, which is looking to bring back its old glory. Tornadoes coach Aaron Velez said he was surprised with how well they played, especially in the crucial stretch where they were managed to stop Filipino-American spiker Kalei Mau and import Yasmeen Bedart-Ghani from doing damage. “I’m very happy on how the girls played. Also, the imports were able to step up, especially down the stretch,” said the youthful Velez, who is entering his second season with the Tornadoes. Already ahead, 2-0, Foton looked disoriented in the third set, allowing United VC to pull away, 11-4, all the way to extend the match. The Tornadoes were again behind, 4-10, in the fourth set but they countered with a 6-0 spurt, capped off a Ilyasoglu attack, to tie the contest, 10-10. UVC refused to give up and pushed Foton to its limits, 18-18, but Ilyasoglu and Felinski were on fire down the stretch to hand the Tornadoes their first win of the season. “I’m surprised because in training we don’t normally talk, we just train hard, and today the imports were able to jell properly with the team,” said Velez. Bedart-Ghani delivered 23 points and 14 digs while Mau registered 17 markers for UVC, which also committed 30 unforced errors.        .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

UAAP 81 Football: UST faces DLSU in opening day matchup

UAAP 81 Football: UST faces DLSU in opening day matchup.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: DLSU, Ateneo in early clash of titans

Three-time defending champion De La Salle University takes on archrival Ateneo de Manila University in an early clash of titans on Sunday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena. The four-peat-seeking Lady Spikers gets their first acid test at 4:00 p.m. in the duel that will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, iWant and via livestream. “Sabi nga nila na sa proverbial statement na ‘go to the ring of fire.’ Sabi nga ni coach (Ramil De Jesus) whoever we play in the first game ready kami,” said Tin Tiamzon, one of the remaining veterans left to lead DLSU. The Lady Spikers won their third grand slam in the past 20 years at the expense of Far Eastern University last year in the final eligibility year of Kim Kianna Dy, former Most Valuable Player Majoy Baron and libero Dawn Macandili. DLSU also lost two more veterans during the offseason after Gyra Barroga and Arianne Layug decided to move up to the semi-pro league. De Jesus will now lean on his remaining grizzled soldiers in Tiamzon, Des Cheng, Aduke Ogunsanya and May Luna. The Taft-based squad will parade transferee Lourdes Clemente and rookie Jolina Dela Cruz. Meanwhile, Ateneo will begin its post-coach Tai Bundit era under new mentor former Blue Eagles tactician Oliver Almadro. “Siyempre may halong pressure, may halong excitement, may accepting the blessing. Pero siyempre di natin matatawaran na La Salle kaagad. Ang masasabi ko lang ay my team is on track sa conditioning and sa program namin,” said Almadro, who was once an assistant coach of De Jesus at DLSU back in 2007. “But of course we’re looking at it na ang first game mo ay bakbakan agad.” Leading the charge of Ateneo are graduating players Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag, Kat Tolentino, Ponggay Gaston and last year’s Best Setter winner Deanna Wong with promising rookie Vanessa Gandler.     ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Gina Iniong decisions Malaysian opponent

Filipina women's atomweight contender Gina "Conviction" Iniong proved to be too much for Malaysian Jihin "Shadowcat" Radzuan as she earned a split-decision victory at ONE: Clash of Legends, Saturday evening at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.  Iniong, a six-time national Wushu champion dictated the pace in the striking as she was quicker to the punch, connecting on the more significant strikes.  Radzuan, a Wushu world champion in her own right, also had no answer for Iniong in the mats, as the Filipina simply overpowered her Malaysian opponent at every turn.  Radzuan's final push in the final minutes of the third round proved to a crucial one, as it was enough to nearly sway the decision in her favor.  After fifteen minutes of action, it was Iniong who was declared the victor via split decision and handing Radzuan the first loss of her career.  With the win, Iniong improves to 8-4 in her professional career, and gives Team Lakay a much-needed win for 2018.  More importantly, it possibly puts Iniong back in the ONE Women's Atomweight title picture. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. 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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News