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Kyle Kuzma bulks up, thanks Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson for tips

Kyle Kuzma bulks up, thanks Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson for tips.....»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

Report: Rudy Gay to become a free agent

Forward Rudy Gay will decline his player option with the San Antonio Spurs for next season to become a free agent, ESPN.com's Chris Haynes reported. Gay ruptured his left Achilles tendon on January 18, 2017, when he was with the Sacramento Kings, but still managed to sign with the Spurs last offseason. In 57 games with the Spurs, all but six coming off the bench, Gay averaged a career-low 21.6 minutes per game, but still put up 11.5 points (47.1 FG%, 31.4 3FG%), 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. In five postseason games against the eventual champions Golden State Warriors, including four starts, Gay put up 12.2 points (40.0 FG%, 22.2 3FG%), 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.6 steals......»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

Turkey charges father of NBA’s Kanter as terror group member

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish court has accepted an indictment charging the father of NBA player Enes Kanter with “membership in a terror group,” the country’s official news agency reported Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). The indictment followed an investigation of Mehmet Kanter, and prosecutors planned to seek his conviction and a prison term of five to 10 years at trial, Anadolu Agency said. It’s unclear when the trial in western Tekirdag province would begin. Enes Kanter, who plays for the New York Knicks, is a follower of a U.S.-based Turkish cleric who the government accuses of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016. Cleric Fethullah Gulen has denied the allegation, but tens of thousands of people suspected of ties to his network have been arrested or fired. The elder Kanter, a professor, was purged from public service after the coup attempt and detained for five days last summer. Anadolu said the indictment alleges he contacted some 120 suspects with alleged links to Gulen, including dozens who were said to have communicated through an encrypted messaging application. Enes Kanter, a former Oklahoma City Thunder center, has been a vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His Turkish passport was canceled last year. Prosecutors charged him in December with insulting the president in a series of tweets. They want to try him in absentia and have him sentenced to more than four years in prison, if he is convicted. I will continue to keep fighting for Human Rights and Freedom of Speech Justice and Democracy above all.I will stand for what I believe in.All I’m doing is trying to be voice of innocent people Keep my family,innocent people in your prayers 🙏#DictatorErdogan 🇹🇷@RT_Erdogan pic.twitter.com/i7kK3mwKND — Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) June 18, 2018 “Keep my family, innocent people in your prayers,” the basketball player tweeted Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) with the hashtag “DictatorErdogan.” His Twitter account is withheld in Turkey. Under a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the coup, Turkey has arrested more than 50,000 and sacked some 110,000 people alleged to have infiltrated state institutions for Gulen. The government said the crackdown was needed to fight alleged acts of terror......»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

Report: Jamal Crawford to become a free agent

Per Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania, guard Jamal Crawford has declined his player option with the Minnesota Timberwolves and will thus become a free agent this offseason. Minnesota's Jamal Crawford has declined his $4.5M player option for 2018-19 season, league sources tell Yahoo. Crawford averaged 10.3 points in 20.7 minutes for T'Wolves last season. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 18, 2018 Crawford played in 80 regular season games for the Timberwolves, all coming off the bench, and averaged 10.3 points (41.5 FG%, 33.1 3FG%), 1.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. In the team's five playoff games against the Houston Rockets, he normed 11.8 points (44.7 FG%, 41.2 3FG%), 2.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 steals. Crawford is a three-time Sixth Man of the Year, having won the award once with the Atlanta Hawks, and twice with the LA Clippers. The 38-year-old was drafted eighth overall in 2000 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was traded on draft night to the Chicago Bulls. Last offseason, Crawford was targeted by both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, but explained in an interview that "Sometimes it's more gratifying to help teams go from one point to another point," something he achieved when he helped the Timberwolves reach the postseason for the first time since the 2003-04 season. .....»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

Q& A: Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com A year ago, on the night of the 2017 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls switched gears. Jimmy Butler was traded to Minnesota, taking with him any pretense that the Bulls were a legitimate playoff team. In that moment, Chicago committed to a rebuild, which is to say, a dive into the draft lottery where coach Fred Hoiberg and his team presumably would be rewarded not for how many games they won but how many they lost. By whatever means necessary. Soon after Butler was moved to the Timberwolves, veteran point guard Rajon Rondo was waived. A few months later, Dwyane Wade was cut loose (via a handsome buyout) to bounce through Cleveland to Miami. The Bulls moved forward with three young pieces courtesy of the Wolves -- wing Zach LaVine, guard Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick in 2017, rookie forward Lauri Markkanen -- and a general acceptance that getting from there to here was going to bring a lot of pain. Some of that was literal: Bobby Portis slugged teammate Nikola Mirotic in a preseason practice, breaking two facial bones and putting Mirotic on the shelf for 23 games. Some of it was figurative: the frustration of a season that began as a 3-20 mess and ended in a 10-28 slog. In between, though, the Bulls somehow put together a 14-7 stretch that offered a glimpse of what 2018-19 might be. It also cost them precious lottery balls, eventually leaving them with the No. 7 pick (and No. 22, after dealing Mirotic in February to New Orleans) in Thursday’s (Friday, PHL time) Draft. Hoiberg, who went from an alleged coaching “hot seat” during two .500 seasons, wound up with more job security as a coach headed toward 50 defeats and beyond. He spoke with NBA.com about his and the Bulls’, er, challenging season. This is edited from a pair of longer conversations, one at the end of the regular season, the other within the past week. NBA.com: So you go through everything that was 2017-18, dutifully lose 55 games and wind up at No. 7 instead of in the top three for the Draft. The inevitable question is, was it worth it? Fred Hoiberg: Obviously you’re disappointed. You were hoping to move up. But we’re confident we’re going to get a good player with the No. 7 pick and we’re confident we’ll get a good player with the 22nd pick. NBA.com: C’mon, this isn’t our first rodeo. I get that people don’t like to use the word “tanking,” but the Bulls’ marching orders last season were pretty clear. FH: I don’t think you can look at it that way in the midst of your season. The players are competitive, your staff is competitive. You want to play as well as you can and put yourself in a position to win. When you look at the successful stretch that we had in December and January, you think about carrying those things forward and then adding, based on who we get, to the roster. There was some real frustration that we didn’t get a lot of wins at the end. But we developed some younger players and saw what we had with some of our guys. NBA.com: When you guys had that run before the season’s midpoint, winning seven in a row (first team in NBA history with such a long winning streak immediately after a losing streak of 10 in a row) and 10 of 12, did you and the front office ever consider a Plan B? As in, maybe, show potential free agents how good your supporting cast could be, in hopes of luring big-name help this summer? FH: I think we did. What we showed was a really good foundation and a young core that we can build around. When I look back at it, I just wish we could have had more opportunity to work with it and see what it would have looked like. When Zach LaVine came back [Jan. 13 from ACL knee surgery], the plan was for him to play about 20 minutes a night. Then his third game, Kris Dunn fell against Golden State and had that concussion [that cost him 11 games, before missing the final 14 with a toe injury]. It’s too bad we didn’t get the full look. But players like Cam Payne, Denzel [Valentine], Bobby, Robin [Lopez], Justin Holiday all had career years.   NBA.com: You had a lot of injuries down the stretch. Not to suggest that they weren’t all legit, but were you instructed at any point by VP John Paxson or GM Gar Forman to dial it back after that 14-7 success? FH: No, we weren’t. And the big thing from the very beginning of last season, the two things we wanted to see, was competing at a high level every night and the development of our players. I think we accomplished that. NBA.com: What -- in your background as a player, coach, competitor, you name it -- prepared you for this past season? FH: Part of what prepared me for this was, I had been through this as a player. I went from four really competitive teams in Indiana, playing with someone as driven and helpful as Reggie Miller, taking me under his wing. There were other great veteran players who helped me just to survive and taught me a lot. Larry Brown was the coach, then Larry Bird my last two years.   Then when I came to Chicago, I knew it would be an opportunity to play. But it was a rebuild. Eventually I got thrust into the role of captain, as the oldest player on team at 28. It really helped me with what we’re going through now. I learned how important it is to keep guys’ morale up and be positive through the ups and downs. I give our guys all the credit in the world for remaining so positive, keeping up a great work ethic and still being sponges in wanting to learn. NBA.com: What were the takeaways from the best and healthiest part of last season? FH: We got a pretty good feel for what Kris Dunn can be. He really evolved into being a closer for our team. Lauri was closing games for us, taking big shots as a 20-year-old kid. Zach had the game against Minnesota. What people fail to remember about Zach, he averaged over 22 points a game in February and really got into a pretty good rhythm. Then he had some knee soreness and wound up sitting for the rest of the year. But we had some flashes of what this can turn into. NBA.com: Niko paid for his role in sparking that hot streak. FH: Niko was great. He missed those first 23, and I thought our team handled that adverse situation about as well as anybody could, not letting it affect us in a negative way. We were able to move past it. You even saw the chemistry that Niko and Bobby played with when they were out there together. NBA.com: How hard was it personally downshifting from a team that had gone to the playoffs to one that didn’t put a priority on winning? FH: When the move was made on draft night, when those three kids came in, right away there was an excitement. Everyone had seen what Zach had done. He was a highlight reel and had those slam dunk championships. He plays the game with ease on the offensive end. His athletic tools and ability to get up and down the floor. Kris, everybody absolutely loved coming out of the draft [in 2016]. Then he had an up-and-down rookie season. Helping him to get that swagger back that he had coming out of Providence took some work, but he was aching to put that work in. Markkanen, I know the guys upstairs knew how good he was but I had no idea. I didn’t study him because we had the 15th pick. He comes over after a grueling summer -- summer league, Eurobasket with all that pressure in front of his home fans -- and he was exhausted. But then you saw every day, “Man, this kid is really good.” You’re thinking, we could probably put the ball in this kid’s hands. Then he goes up and dunks over a whole team and you say, “My God, this kid’s more athletic than we thought. He uses his feet, he’s got anticipation, he’s got toughness.” He showed a little more every day. NBA.com: Was it difficult asking a proud veteran like Robin Lopez to put it in idle over the final 25 games? FH: I think he understood. He’s been a part of a lot of different situations. He was great. He continued to lead. He continued to practice hard. He talked to the bigs as they came off the floor. NBA.com: Was your own health challenged at all by the stress of this season? Your past issues related to your heart are widely known, and coaching an NBA team even in the best of times is a demanding job. FH: After two open-heart surgeries, I do have to sometimes check myself. There are so many things you can over-concern yourself with in this business. Then you look back a week or two later and say, “My God, why did I put so much effort into that one stupid thing that happened?” You have to let go sometimes. My family is so important for me with that. You get some normalcy in your life. [At night, lying in bed, Hoiberg can hear a valve in his heart every time it beats. He let a visitor listen, too, and sure enough... ] If this ever affected me to the point where I had to throttle back, I would move on to something else. When I had my first surgery and they removed the diseased tissue from the aorta that had an aneurysm in it, they got rid of the problem. The valve deteriorated after they put a new valve in and they had to go in again, but the diseased tissue no longer was there. If it was a risk, I’d be doing something else. But it’s a constant reminder. You think you’re going to get used to it, but you never really do. My wife will be lying next to me and she hears it. NBA.com: When you look back on 2017-18, is it like “Casablanca” for you guys? As in, you’ll always have December? FH: It was fun to see how much the work paid off. Everyone was putting so much into it to get out of that slump. You can say, we had something to build on there. But whenever I talked to our team, before or after, it was all about competing on a nightly basis. Being consistent with their effort. I couldn’t be more proud of how they handled it. They were on time. They kept trying to get better. They worried about what they could control. I didn’t have to have even one of those conversations where I sat a guy down and said, “You’re not playing hard enough.” I did have a few conversations where I said, “You need to move the ball more.” [laughs] NBA.com: Big difference, coaching relative kids after the so-called “three alphas” of Butler, Wade and Rondo? Jimmy seemed eager to stay here to win. FH: Jimmy did so many things for this team. He was great to coach. You knew every night you were going to get an unbelievable effort. A guy who never backed down. Who never shied away from the big shot. And was going to defend at a high level every time he stepped on the floor. So Jimmy was missed in a lot of ways. But when you look at the young guys’ abilities, it’s exciting. NBA.com: What do you make of having better job security now that the losses are mounting, compared to those .500 seasons? FH: I don’t think any one of the 30 guys in our position pay attention to that. You can’t do your job if you do. You go in and try to improve as an individual, as a staff, as a team. Our first year, Derrick Rose suffered an orbital fracture in the first workout. We had 10 rotation players who missed double-digit games. Two starters missed 50 or more [Mike Dunleavy, Joakim Noah]. Niko had that botched appendix surgery. The next year was a completely different team. Nobody predicted we’d be a playoff team but we were and had a good chance to beat Boston before Rondo got hurt. NBA.com: When you’re not coaching veterans, is it a purer form, as far as installing “your” system vs. tailoring things to them? FH: You always look for the best system, the best approach. The basics don’t change, but [in 2016-17] we had a lot more isolation players, so we ran more of those types of actions. This [past] year, more ball movement, player movement fit this group better. We had longer, harder practices as opposed to a veteran group as the year went on. NBA.com: Since the end of the season, how much time have you put in on developmental activities and draft preparation? FH: We’ve had a lot of guys in and gotten a lot of work in, in the early part of the offseason. We’re looking forward to working again after the draft with some new young players as part of the roster. It’s all about moving forward. NBA.com: As you look back over the past year, with the script flipping to the point where the Bulls wanted to win by losing and maybe lost -- some draft position, anyway -- by winning, what goes through your mind? FH: What was Donovan Mitchell [the Rookie of the Year finalist chosen by Utah]? The 13th pick? You just never know with the draft. You play hard, you get the culture established the way you want it and things take care of themselves. What really would have been devastating would have been ending the season with negativity, with your team not playing hard, with your team disinterested. That’s something that would be a real cause for concern going into an offseason. But our guys felt good about themselves. Some were sacrificing in a big way and pulling for younger guys. They were playing hard, they were cheering for each other. 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: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

Afril Bernardino is first woman awardee in Collegiate Basketball Awards

Honoring the heroes of season’s past, the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards is set to distinguish three outstanding performers in college basketball on Thursday at The Bayleaf Intramuros, Manila. Alvin Pasaol, the Lyceum Pirates, and Afril Bernardino will be the recipients of special awards in the ceremony organized by the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps and supported by Chooks-to-Go and The Bayleaf Intramuros. The Breakout Player award will be given to Pasaol for his exceptional rise as one of the most prolific scorers in the collegiate ranks for University of the East, highlighted by his 49-point explosion in a single game. The Lyceum Pirates, meanwhile, are set to accept a Special Citation for their record-setting 18-0 run in the NCAA Season 93 eliminations, making the inspiring turnaround from league cellar-dwellers to legitimate title contenders. The Pirates of head coach Topex Robinson also ruled the Philippine Collegiate Champions League earlier this year for the first time in school history, stamping their mark as one of the top college basketball programs in the country. Bernardino, a former member of the National University Lady Bulldogs, will also be recognized as she will be receiving the Award of Excellence for her contributions to women’s college basketball. Already a legend as a three-time UAAP MVP, Bernardino also became a pioneer in her sport, winning the inaugural UAAP 3X3 tournament in Season 80. Now, she will be making history as the event's first-ever woman awardee. Pasaol, LPU, and Bernardino join Isaac Go of Ateneo and Donald Tankoua of San Beda, who are also set to receive the Pivotal Player awards during the awards nights before the collegiate basketball season resumes next month with the NCAA wars......»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

GlobalPort s Pringle named PBA week s best

GlobalPort guard Stanley Pringle chalked up his first Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award following his scintillating performance in the Batang Pier’s king-sized upset of defending champion San Miguel Beer......»»

Source: philstar philstarCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

Foton tipped as favorites in upcoming PSL tourney

With its towering roster, Foton looms as the team to beat in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference that kicks off this Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum......»»

Source: philstar philstarCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

NCAA joins fight vs game-fixing

The NCAA has thrown its full support to the House of Representatives in its fight against “game-fixing” via House Bill 5032 or “Anti-Game Fixing Act.”.....»»

Source: philstar philstarCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

Crawford defends Pacquiao from ducking allegations

If Manny Pacquiao is indeed avoiding a showdown with newly crowned WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, the Filipino icon is well within his rights to do so......»»

Source: philstar philstarCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

UE, CEU book BBI women s hoops semis

The University of the East and Centro Escolar University featured in contrasting wins in the quarterfinals of the Breakdown Basketball Invitationals Women’s Under-25 tournament......»»

Source: philstar philstarCategory: sportsJun 19th, 2018Related News

Almost perfect attendance in Gilas practice before flying to Taiwan

Both Gilas Pilipinas and the Gilas cadets were out in numbers as they trained for the last time in Manila before going to Taiwan for the next round of qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Only the injured Mac Belo was not inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas on Monday for the Gilas Pilipinas practice in preparation for the third window of the Asian Qualifiers from late June to early July. Naturalized player Andray Blatche was in action and was joined by skipper Gabe Norwood, Asia’s best point guard Jayson Castro, and four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo. Also there were Calvin Abueva, Baser Amer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Jiovani Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, RR Pogoy, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, and Matthew Wright. The Philippine national team is scheduled to depart for Chinese Taipei a week from now and they will take on the home team on June 29. They will then head home to gear up for a matchup with powerhouse Australia on July 2 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Alongside the Gilas elite, Gilas cadets J-Jay Alejandro, Kobe Paras, Troy Rike, Prince Rivero, Ricci Rivero, and Abu Tratter were also present in practice. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News

Batang Gilas hero RC Calimag moves to Greenhills from Zobel

College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills is not resting on its laurels as it nears the beginning of its title defense in the NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Already with Mythical selections Joel Cagulangan and Inand Fornilos leading the way, the Junior Blazers are now also welcoming Batang Gilas player RC Calimag into the fold. With the move, Calimag will be transferring La Salle campuses – already having played two seasons for De La Salle Zobel. A year ago, the 17-year-old normed 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, and one assist, but the Junior Archers missed out on the Final Four. Now, Calimag will be teaming up with Cagulangan, Fornilos, and Joshua David as CSB-LSGH tries to go back-to-back. The 6-foot-2 swingman will be placed in the spot left behind by now-University of Sto. Tomas player Makoy Marcos. He will be bringing along with him the valuable experience he earned from representing the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Under-16 Tournament. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News

Sweden gets benefit of video review, beats South Korea 1-0

By GERALD IMRAY AP Sports Writer NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Another video review led to a penalty at the World Cup, this time helping Sweden beat South Korea 1-0 Monday. Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist converted from the spot, sliding his shot into the bottom right corner in the 65th minute. Referee Joel Aguilar used the replay technology to decide whether South Korea substitute Kim Min-woo had fouled Viktor Claesson in the area after initially waving play on. Kim had tripped Claesson, though, and the converted penalty was enough to give Sweden its first World Cup victory since 2006. Before the penalty, Sweden controlled the game and showed most of the attacking intent. South Korea had a chance to level in injury time but Hwang Hee-chan put a header wide from in front of goal. Sweden will next play Germany, which lost to Mexico 1-0 in the other Group F match, on Saturday. The South Koreans face Mexico that same day. ___ More AP World Cup coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup  .....»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News

Tamayo, Abadiano complete ‘strongest’ Batang Gilas ever

The Philippine national basketball team is nothing but positive as it heads to Argentina for the FIBA Under-17 World Cup. “Hindi tayo pupunta dun na ‘di tayo tiwala na kaya nating manalo,” Batang Gilas assistant coach Josh Reyes said in their send-off dinner on Monday in Ortigas. The Filipinos booked a ticket to Worlds after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship. That team featured talented tower Kai Sotto, court general Forthsky Padrigao, streaky shooter Terrence Fortea, rim protector Raven Cortez, and scoring guard RC Calimag After that tournament, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas was nothing but proud that the boys have accomplished their mission. Now, Batang Gilas has also added heady guard Gerry Abadiano and versatile big Carl Tamayo. That is exactly why Batang Gilas is nothing but positive even as it has been grouped with eighth-ranked host Argentina, 10th-ranked Croatia, and seventh-ranked France. “This is the strongest U17 team that the country has produced. We’re very excited kasi ‘di na maliit ang Pilipinas,” Ronald Mascarinas, president of team backer Chooks-to-Go shared. Indeed, the country, ranked 34th in the world, now boasts of five players listed at or higher than 6-foot-5. Of course, fronting the effort is UAAP champion and Finals MVP Sotto. And for him, there is no doubt that the Philippines could go far in the Worlds. “Naniniwala ako sa team ko na kahit anong mangyari, nasa likod ko sila. Ako rin, lagi akong nandito para sa kanila,” he said. Rounding out Batang Gilas are Yukien Andrada, King Balaga, Kyle Bautista, Geo Chiu, Mac Guadana, Rafael Go, and Joshua Lazaro. They will be coached by UAAP Juniors champion coach Mike Oliver alongside Reyes and Gilbert Lao. They fly to Argentina on Thursday for the tournament running from June 30 to July 8. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News

PBA: Stanley Pringle awarded first POW for Comm s Cup

Fil-American guard Stanley Pringle chalked up his first Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award following his scintillating performance in GlobalPort’s king-sized upset of defending champion San Miguel Beer. The shifty guard out of Penn State churned out all-around numbers of 22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, leading the Batang Pier to a 98-94 win over the Beermen last Wednesday. Pringle, fresh from representing the Philippines in the recent 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, saved his best in the final period when he scored eight points, grabbed two rebounds and made a crucial steal that led to a Mo Tautuaa basket in the dying seconds to seal GlobalPort’s fourth win in eight matches. GlobalPort is currently tied for fifth to sixth spots with SMB with the PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round heading to its last three weeks. Pringle's sterling effort enabled him to seal his first weekly citation this conference, beating Meralco’s Jared Dillinger and KG Canaleta, Rain or Shine’s James Yap and Beau Belga and Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio. GlobalPort will have two big games coming up this week, starting with Phoenix on Wednesday, before facing Columbian Dyip two days later—the results of which could determine their playoff fate in the mid-season conference. .....»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News

DOC VOLLEYBALL: A Dilemma on Loop?

Flashback to March 2017, the whole volleyball community was abuzz about a newly formed national team set to compete in the Southeast Asian Games of that year as tryouts were held, but certain players, particularly from the Ateneo de Manila University, were allegedly not invited. An apology was then issued and special tryouts were held to accommodate the aforementioned athletes. Flashback to 2015, with a newly formed organization in Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) taking the reins from the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) as the volleyball authority in the country, the future looked bright as for the first time in recent history, both the men’s and women’s teams were being sent to the Singapore SEA Games as representation of the sport’s resurgence. As with any newly formed roster, the composition was mired in controversy especially with the men’s team, which was composed of predominantly of young players. Flashback to 2014, with the power struggle between the aforementioned LVPI and PVF, the latter formed the infamous Amihan and Bagwis squads as the women’s and men’s national teams, respectively. Backed by then sponsor PLDT, the rosters boasted of the some of the country’s best talents from both divisions with the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Mark Espejo, Ara Galang, Tatan Pantone, Ran Ran Abdilla and Mark Alfafara to name a few. Both teams never saw the light of day outside the country as the PVF eventually lost its accreditation leading to the teams’ eventual disbandment. And the theme went on as the previous years are revisited. Fast forward to present time, 2018, and once again the volley community is abuzz with the formation of yet again a new national team with a familiar scenario in which local favorites did not make the cut. With the volleyball scene at an all time high in local following, it is quite inevitable for varying opinions on who should have been included in the line-up given the wide pool of talents especially in the women’s division. Coupled with a sudden change in coaching staff, the new roster is once again under scrutiny given the process the team as a whole was structured from the beginning. Another New Beginning Without taking anything from the players and coaches of the new women’s national team, the composition is relatively deserving of the spots for the roster. While expected shoe-ins who have performed tremendously well in the local leagues like Myla Pablo, Maika Ortiz, and Tatan Pantone were not afforded a slot in the team, the new line-up is still pretty much capable of representing the country. Middles – Aby Marano is the best fit amongst the middles who made the final cut. With exceptional timing and good lateral movement, Marano is expected to perform in the position well offensively and defensively despite the lack of height for a middle blocker internationally. Her agility and aggressiveness with her net play more than justifies her inclusion and assignment as the team captain. Her DLSU successor Majoy Baron would add much needed support as the second middle as she has proven to have the power and timing of Aby though much work can still be done for her agility in the net. Baron’s aggressive floaters will also be of much benefit on the service line. Lastly, Mika Reyes would provide the height should the need arise especially against foreign teams with bigger size. Left Wing – Alyssa Valdez’ inclusion as left wing hitter is of no question as she continues to prove that she is one of the best open hitters in the local scene. Perhaps working more on her bulk and power is something the coaching staff must consider to ensure that she can carry over her local performance to the international scene. Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Ces Molina likewise have proven themselves much capable of being offensive threats from the left and their decent size will be of much benefit in blocking against slides and opposite attacks from foreign counterparts. It would be beneficial as well if Santiago-Manabat develops mastery of passing and if Molina becomes a significant threat with the pipe in order for both athletes to really excel in the position. Although Cha Cruz is not much of a power hitter as compared to the aforementioned left hitters, she would serve a special position as the service and defense specialist for the team. If in scenarios in which she will serve in for a middle, her floor defense is of much benefit in Zone 5 and with her background as a former setter, she is still capable of setting up a decent play should the setter get the first contact. Right Wing – Though much of her collegiate season has been utilized hitting from the middle, Jaja Santiago is undeniably more fit for the opposite position. Despite her height and power, which could be considered an automatic criteria for the middle, Santiago has much work to be done with lateral motion which is also a crucial component for middle hitters. With her vertical reach and power, she is better off racking up points from the right wing and right back row as the main offensive option for the team. Likewise, Kim Dy is also a shoo-in for the opposite position as evidenced by her consistency in scoring and blocking from the right. With Kim Fajardo calling the plays, Kim Dy would be beneficial in running faster or creative plays should the need arise. Setters – The selection of Fajardo and Jia Morado is not to be questioned as both have proven and continue to prove that they are top-notch setters in the country. Both setters are a shoo-in for the national team as both are equal in consistency with Fajardo showing mastery in working the middles and Morado displaying her skill in making the wings work for her. Not much can be argued really about the selection of the two athletes. A reserve setter in Rhea Dimaculangan would be also beneficial as she has the consistency and creativity as the aforementioned setters as well as the height, which would be important in blocking. Libero – Currently hailed as one of Southeast Asia’s finest, Dawn Macandili is undeniably a good choice for the main libero position. With her agility and speed to pop up digs and impossible saves, her presence on the floor is highly beneficial for the team on transition defense. On the other hand, her counterpart Denise Lazaro has proven to be highly consistent from the receiving end of services making her inclusion as part of the regular roster and not just a reserve undeniably essential. With Lazaro setting up the passing formation and Macandili guarding on transition, their combined specialized efforts will ensure the first step in letting the setters run the play for the team. A Shift in View Given the fact that the talent pool in the women’s division is deep, player selection will always be put on debate as not all favored athletes will be included. Perhaps a good way of viewing the matter is that given the yet again short preparation time for the next international tournament, the coaching staff would best select players who they have already established a good working relationship for a more seamless adaptation of a new system. Rather than put into scrutiny the individual players, handpicked or not, the focus should be put on the system as a whole and how it can be further developed for the improvement of the sport. Yet again, the 2018 roster is proving to be another promising one as it has been almost every year when a new line-up is formed. More than bringing back pride to the country internationally in the tournaments immediately at hand, the bigger challenge for the national team is to prove itself not as yet another band aid solution in the attempt to have a continuous program. How the 2018 Team will prove itself different from its predecessors in past Asian/SEA Games would be the more important matter that should be put under the lens. With the sport currently a major source of livelihood for many athletes, the players are no longer the ones getting the short end of the stick but rather volleyball and its development as a whole should the loop continues. The country has much individual talent deserving of a spot in the team, but for as long as vested interests continue to rear their head in the Philippine Volleyball System, the level of the sport will continue to fall short in justifying its current local popularity.    .....»»

Source: abscbn abscbnCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News

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Source: philstar philstarCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News

Limited practice stunts Gilas

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes said yesterday the national team will begin daily practice only when it arrives in Taipei on Monday while the Taiwan squad has been busy playing tune-ups in South Korea since last week......»»

Source: philstar philstarCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News

Donovan Mitchell a hit in Manila

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Source: philstar philstarCategory: sportsJun 18th, 2018Related News