Rookie Survey: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant early favorites to shine in 2019-20

By John Schuhmann, Last season was the first time in 34 years (since 1984-85) that the top five picks of the previous Draft went on to be the five players who comprised the All-Rookie First Team. One year later, the teams that had those top five picks should feel pretty good about their decisions. Time will tell about the five teams that had the top five picks in this year's Draft. But it's clear that fellow rookies approve of the guys selected in the top two. In this year's Rookie Survey, 62 percent of responders picked the New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson or the Memphis Grizzlies' Ja Morant to win the Kia Rookie of the Year award. Williamson made Rookie Survey history with how many votes he got in the "Most athletic" question, while Morant was a clear favorite for "Best playmaker." The two top picks received the most total votes on the survey, but it was No. 7 pick Coby White (of the Chicago Bulls) and No. 33 pick Carsen Edwards (Boston Celtics) who each received votes on a survey-high five questions. In total, 38 different rookies received votes on at least one of the seven questions about their class, a deep one if these guys got it right. For the 11th time in the last 13 years, sat down with the rookie class at the annual Rookie Photo Shoot. In addition to the seven questions about their fellow rookies, this year's group (of 42) answered a few about the current player they most admire and what they're expecting as they make the jump to the NBA. * * * NOTE: Players were asked not to vote for themselves, college teammates or NBA teammates. (Some still did, and those votes were discounted.) * * * Who will be the 2019-20 Kia Rookie of the Year? 1. Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 35% 2. Ja Morant, Memphis -- 27% 3. R.J. Barrett, New York -- 5%     Cam Reddish, Atlanta -- 5% Others receiving votes: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans; Goga Bitadze, Indiana; Brandon Clarke, Memphis; Carsen Edwards, Boston; Darius Garland, Cleveland; Kyle Guy, Sacramento; Rui Hachimura, Washington; Romeo Langford, Boston; Coby White, Chicago; Grant Williams, Boston Last year: DeAndre Ayton and Collin Sexton -- 18% Worth noting: Williamson feels like a strong pick, but in the previous 10 years of the survey, the top vote-getter has gone on to win the Kia Rookie of the Year award just once. That was in 2007 (the first year of the survey), when Kevin Durant received 54 percent of the vote. Williamson is the first player in the last five years to receive at least one third of the vote, and he might have had more if some of his fellow rookies (those that voted for the six guys selected outside the Lottery) had studied their history. Of the 67 Rookie of the Year winners (that weren't territorial picks in the 1950s and early '60s), 61 (or 91 percent) were selected in the top 10 of the Draft, and 52 (or 78 percent) were selected in the top five. Which rookie will have the best career? 1. Cam Reddish, Atlanta -- 19% 2. Ja Morant, Memphis -- 16% 3. De'Andre Hunter, Atlanta -- 11% 4. R.J. Barrett, New York -- 5%     Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans -- 5%     Coby White, Chicago -- 5%     Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 5% Others receiving votes: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans; Jarrett Culver, Minnesota; Carsen Edwards, Boston; Darius Garland, Cleveland; Rui Hachimura, Washington; Keldon Johnson, San Antonio; Mfiondu Kabengele, LA Clippers; Romeo Langford, Boston; Cody Martin, Charlotte; Eric Paschall, Golden State; Tremont Waters, Boston; Dylan Windler, Cleveland Last year: Wendell Carter Jr. -- 13% Worth noting: This is the sixth straight year that a Duke player has earned (or tied for) the most votes on this question, with Reddish joining Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016), Jayson Tatum (2017) and Carter. The seven players who received multiple votes were all selected in the top 10, though there were another eight votes for players selected outside the Lottery. Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft? 1. Bol Bol (44), Denver -- 19%     Kevin Porter Jr. (30), Cleveland -- 19% 3. Carsen Edwards (33), Boston -- 5%     Nassir Little (25), Portland -- 5%     Isaiah Roby (45), Dallas -- 5%     Coby White (7), Chicago -- 5%     Grant Williams (22), Boston -- 5% Others receiving votes: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (17), New Orleans; Brandon Clarke (21), Memphis; Jaxson Hayes (8), New Orleans; Talen Horton-Tucker (46), L.A. Lakers; Keldon Johnson (29), San Antonio; Mfiondu Kabengele (27), LA Clippers; Romeo Langford (14), Boston; Jordan Poole (28), Golden State; Cam Reddish (10), Atlanta; Luka Samanic (19), San Antonio; Admiral Schofield (42), Washington; Quinndary Weatherspoon (49), San Antonio; Dylan Windler (26), Cleveland Last year: Keita Bates-Diop -- 13% Worth noting: As it often does, this question got the biggest range of answers, including each of the last six picks of the first round. But Bol and Porter, two of the six players from the Pac-12 Conference, clearly stood out among the group. Draymond Green is the only one of the previous 16 players to earn (or tie for) the most votes on this question (which was worded "Which rookie is being most overlooked" through 2014) that has ever been an All-Star, though Donovan Mitchell is certainly a potential All-Star in the years to come. Which rookie is the most athletic? 1. Zion Williamson, New Orleans -- 87% 2. Brandon Clarke, Memphis -- 8% Others receiving votes: Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans; Kevin Porter Jr., Cleveland Last year: Zhaire Smith -- 24% Worth noting: The 87 percent that Williamson earned here is the greatest percentage of the vote that any player has earned on any question in the history of the Rookie Survey, surpassing the 79 percent that Stephen Curry got for "Best Shooter" in 2009. That's good company. Which rookie is the best shooter? 1. Tyler Herro, Miami -- 33% 2. Kyle Guy, Sacramento -- 29% 3. Cameron Johnson, Phoenix -- 13% 4. Ty Jerome, Phoenix -- 8% 5. Jordan Poole, Golden State -- 4% Others receiving votes: Ignas Brazdeikis, New York; Carsen Edwards, Boston; Darius Garland, Cleveland; Zion Williamson, New Orleans; Dylan Windler, Cleveland Last year: Trae Young -- 47% Worth noting: Guy made twice as many 3-pointers (120 at a 43-percent clip) for Virginia last season than Herro did in his one season for Kentucky (60 at 36 percent). Johnson (47 percent) shot better than both of them and the Suns could benefit from having two of the top four players here. Phoenix ranked 29th or 30th in effective field goal percentage from outside the paint in each of the last three seasons. Which rookie is the best defender? 1. Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia -- 37% 2. De'Andre Hunter, Atlanta -- 29% 3. Brandon Clarke, Memphis -- 8%     Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans -- 8%     Nassir Little, Portland -- 8% Others receiving votes: Bol Bol, Denver; Jarrett Culver, Minnesota; Bruno Fernando, Atlanta; Coby White, Chicago Last year: Jevon Carter -- 29% Worth noting: This is the only question for which Thybulle received any votes, but he received the greatest percentage of the vote on this question since Victor Oladipo (63% in 2013). While Thybulle is joining a team with a handful of guys that have already proven to be impact defenders, Hunter's defense is more critical to the success of the Hawks, who ranked 28th on that end of the floor last season. Which rookie is the best playmaker? 1. Ja Morant, Memphis -- 40% 2. Darius Garland, Cleveland -- 15% 3. Ty Jerome, Phoenix -- 10%     Coby White, Chicago -- 10% 5. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans -- 8% 6. Kevin Porter Jr., Cleveland -- 6%     Tremont Waters, Boston -- 6% Others receiving votes: Carsen Edwards, Boston; Kyle Guy, Sacramento Last year: Trae Young -- 35% Worth noting: Morant led the nation in assists by a pretty wide margin. In Memphis, the latest winner on this question is replacing the first; Mike Conley received 45 percent of the vote for best playmaker in the initial, 2007 survey. The Grizzlies would surely love to see Morant stick around as long as Conley did. Winning this category as a Laker -- as Lonzo Ball and D'Angelo Russell both once did -- apparently means that you're going to be traded less than two years after doing so. What will be the biggest adjustment for you, playing in the NBA? 1. Speed or pace of the game -- 40% 2. Physicality (athleticism, size and strength of opponents) -- 21%     Schedule/Length of season -- 21% 4. Lifestyle/Time management -- 12% Also receiving votes: Longer 3-point distance, Playing NBA defense Last year: Speed or pace of the game -- 31% Worth noting: According to the great Ken Pomeroy, the average pace in NCAA Division I was just 69.0 possessions per 40 minutes last season. When adjusted for a 48-minute game (82.8), that would be almost 18 possessions per 48 slower than the average NBA pace (100.7 per 48). So yeah, speed of the game should be an adjustment. What is the most important skill you need to develop? 1. Shooting -- 32% 2. Ball-handling -- 16% 3. Passing -- 9% 4. Strength -- 7% 5. Decision-making -- 5%     Defense -- 5%     Everything -- 5%     Money management -- 5% Also receiving votes: Leadership, Mindset, Patience, Playmaking, Playing off the ball, Post skills, Time management Last year: Ball-handling and shooting -- 19% Worth noting: Self-improvement is both a physical and mental thing. There are five votes in here for the mental aspects of improvement (even more if you consider "passing" and/or "defense" to be more of a mindset than anything else), and a few more for managing things (time and money) off the court. Who is your favorite player in the league? 1. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 38% 2. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn -- 20% 3. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers -- 8%     Damian Lillard, Portland -- 8% 5. Devin Booker, Phoenix -- 5%     James Harden, Houston -- 5% Others receiving votes: Jamal Crawford; Kevin Garnett; Paul George, LA Clippers; C.J. McCollum, Portland; Steve Nash; Pascal Siakam, Toronto; Russell Westbrook, Houston Last year: LeBron James -- 29% Worth noting: In the 10-year history of this question, only three players have been the top vote-getter. James, named the top guy for the fourth time, separates himself from Durant (3) and Kobe Bryant (3). Interestingly, Bryant wasn't one of the two retired guys -- Garnett and Nash, this time -- to get votes. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for 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: SportsAug 20th, 2019Related News

Rookie Survey: Film study revealing much to this year s class

By John Schuhmann. The incoming rookie class may be done with college, but study time is never over. Preparing for the NBA is about more than just the work on the floor and in the weight room. At the annual Rookie Photo Shoot in early August, asked several rookies about watching film, whether their coaches [or trainers] want them focusing on certain players or certain aspects of the NBA game. A lot of names came up more than once, but the young guys aren't just watching current stars. In fact, you may be surprised by some of the vets that they're studying. Here's what the rookies had to say ... * * * Zion Williamson | New Orleans Pelicans | No. 1 overall pick "They just want me to be myself and play ... [Watches his own film] to see what kind of mistakes I made, where I could have made a better read." R.J. Barrett | New York Knicks | No. 3 overall pick "I like to watch LeBron [James], James Harden and Michael Jordan, because Michael Jordan is just the greatest, and I love the way that LeBron and James Harden play. They can score and pass." De'Andre Hunter | Atlanta Hawks | No. 4 overall pick "One of my coaches told me to watch Kawhi Leonard and focus on how he beats his defender and how he finishes at the rim ... He's really strong with the ball. He doesn't do a lot of moves to get past his defender. He just does what he needs to do and once he gets to the rim, there's no games either. It's a dunk or a strong finish." Darius Garland | Cleveland Cavaliers | No. 5 overall pick Have the coaches asked?: "Not yet." Who do you like to watch?: "D'Angelo Russell, Kyrie [Irving], [Dame] Lillard ... Just to see how they play pick-and-rolls, their reads ... Coming off the pick-and-roll coming toward the middle, you always have the back-side corner, because they always sink in to help the roller ... Opposite corner's always open, especially if you're going downhill like Russell Westbrook." Jarrett Culver | Minnesota Timberwolves | No. 6 overall pick "They talked about Scottie Pippen, players like that ... He can bring the ball up, he defends well ... Versatile for sure ... I go back and watch the games. I'm a big Jordan fan, so I watch Scottie Pippen all the time." Coby White | Chicago Bulls | No. 7 overall pick "They want me studying a little bit of everybody, a little bit of Dame... The way he moves without the ball whenever C.J. [McCollum] has it ... We watch Chris Paul pick-and-rolls, little things." Cam Reddish | Atlanta Hawks | No. 10 overall pick "Not anybody specific, but they want me watching film, definitely ... Players at my position ... So I watch Kevin Huerter, because he was at my position last year ... Just catching up on the [Hawks'] plays." P.J. Washington | Charlotte Hornets | No. 12 overall pick "I'm looking at guys like Draymond Green. I feel like me and him have similar body types, similar games as well. He's been really successful, so that's one of the guys that the coaches want me to embody ... Both [offense and defense] ... The way he pushes the break, gets everything set up at his position is crazy. He pushes the ball and gets everybody involved." Tyler Herro | Miami Heat | No. 13 overall pick "They want me watching Klay Thompson, J.J. Redick, guys that run off screens ... Just the footwork they have, how they run at one level coming off a screen, how quick they get off their shot, and really just how they move without the ball." Romeo Langford | Boston Celtics | No. 14 overall pick "Paul George and Devin Booker ... How they use their bodies to create contact and create shots." Nickeil Alexander-Walker | New Orleans Pelicans | No. 17 overall pick "We watch a lot of Wes Matthews, mainly for defensive purposes, how he guards ball screens ... The valuable things like guarding the ball Wes does really well ... Being a great teammate, things that you can't really teach he wants us to look at." On guarding screens: "It's positioning, knowing who you're going up against, knowing the scouting report, knowing the plays and when the play might happen, and what's going to happen after a pass is made, after a cut is made, stuff like that." Goga Bitadze | Indiana Pacers | No. 18 overall pick "I watch the bigs like Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, most of the European bigs and try to get something ... Playmaking, reading situations and making plays." Matisse Thybulle | Philadelphia 76ers | No. 20 overall pick "My trainers will tell me to watch [Andre] Iguodala on defense and Manu Ginobili off the ball on offense." Brandon Clarke | Memphis Grizzlies | No. 21 overall pick [The coaches haven't asked] "as of right now ... I like to watch some old players, just to see the moves that they used, guys like Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion, Michael Jordan, all of those dudes ... [Watching Garnett] I'm watching his heart, really, how hard he's playing, how much fun he's having, stuff that I would like to mimic." Grant Williams | Boston Celtics | No. 22 overall pick "I love watching guys like Draymond and Kawhi Leonard, how they play on both ends of the court, whether it's Draymond's passing and versatility on the offensive end, and Kawhi playing the mid-range." Ty Jerome | Phoenix Suns | No. 24 overall pick "I asked [about film] and there response was just to be my best self, as far as being focused on really trying to improve my game and master our offense and our principles." "So he sent me clips of Philly [where Suns coach Monty Williams was an assistant last season] ... I'll probably be playing a lot on the ball ... It's about how they move, the different reads off it, and where you can be." Nassir Little | Portland Trail Blazers | No. 25 overall pick "They haven't asked me that yet, but it's probably going to come up soon ... I watch Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, guys like that ... I'm looking at where they get to, where they get their shots off, their different spots." Admiral Schofield | Washington Wizards | No. 42 overall pick "P.J. Tucker, Tony Allen, Shane Battier, Stanley Johnson, Marcus Smart, Kawhi Leonard ... Just how they're able to switch on different guys, be physical, play smart and not foul ... Just their motor on defense, and what they do on the offensive end as well, keeping it simple, especially my first couple of years." John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for 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: SportsAug 20th, 2019Related News

Engineers won’t kneel before Kings

Technological Institute of the Philippines dodged the upset ax against winless Alberei and escaped with a 105-95 win to secure a twice-to-beat playoff bonus in the PBA Developmental League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsAug 19th, 2019Related News

LOOK: San Miguel Beermen lineup for East Asia Super League Terrific 12

Fresh from winning the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, a Grand Slam is officially in play for San Miguel. But before the Beermen go out and chase a triple crown, the PBA’s most dominant dynasty will look to add a different title first to their ever-growing collection. [Related: TERRIFIC 12: San Miguel Beer takes on champion Golden Kings in Macau] San Miguel is set to make a rare appearance outside the Philippines, with the flagship Beermen suiting up in the East Asia Super League’s Terrific 12 tournament in Macau on Sept. 17-22. The Beermen’s championship core are all listed to play. However, it will be interesting how San Miguel will handle the minutes of June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, Terrence Romeo, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, and Marcio Lassiter is he’s healthy to play. San Miguel will also debut import Dez Wells in Macau. Wells is the import tasked of leading the Beermen in the Governors’ Cup as the team looks to complete a Grand Slam. The Beermen will also have Lester Prosper as their other import. The towering Prosper played for Columbian in the Commissioner’s Cup. San Miguel has Japan’s Ryukyu Golden Kings in its group. The Golden Kings are the Terrific 12’s defending champions after sweeping the tournament last year. Also in the Beermen’s path in Macau are China’s Shenzen Aviators.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 19th, 2019Related News

Report: Bagley withdraws from Team USA staff report Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III has withdrawn from Team USA's training camp to prepare for the upcoming NBA season, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Sacramento's Marvin Bagley III, who played well enough in training camp last week to earn a promotion to the @usabasketball senior national team roster, has withdrawn from team activities to focus on the upcoming season, league sources say — Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 11, 2019 Bagley III had played his way into contention for a frontcourt spot on the final 12-man roster that Team USA will field for the @FIBAWC in China but elected to step aside before the team reconvenes Tuesday in Los Angeles to keep the focus on next season with the Kings — Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 11, 2019 Bagley, who averaged 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds last seasons as a rookie, is the latest dropout in what has been a chaotic lead up to the FIBA World Cup for Team USA, winners of the past two competitions. Only five veterans remain from the 35-player pool that participated in Team USA's mini camp in 2018. The World Cup begins Aug. 31 in China and concludes on Sept. 15, just five weeks before the start of the NBA regular season......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 12th, 2019Related News

Crisis in horse racing

Horse racing is called the sport of kings, a heart-pounding, large-scale thrill enjoyed by the masses......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsAug 12th, 2019Related News

KaTropa dethrone Gin Kings

The team that finished first in the elims is the first to make the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsAug 1st, 2019Related News

PBA: No. 1 TNT ends Ginebra’s title defense with rousing Game 4 win

Brgy. Ginebra’s title defense is no more. TNT landed the final haymaker in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals Thursday at the Big Dome, taking Game 4 over the Gin Kings, 103-92. The top-ranked KaTropa unleashed a huge barrage in the second half to completely overwhelm Ginebra, ending the Gin Kings’ title defense in four games, 3-1. TNT also ended a two-year Finals drought with the win as the KaTropa advanced to the title round for the first time since 2017 in the very same conference. Import Terrence Jones shook off a bad shooting night to deliver another triple-double for TNT, scoring 24 points to go along with 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. The Big 3 of locals Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and RR Pogoy also had big games for the KaTropa. Rosario led the pack by dropping 22 points. Castro was good for 20 points while Pogoy contributed 14 points, all in a crucial third-quarter run. Ginebra, sizzling hot with 62 points in the first half, got shut down for just 30 in the final two quarters. Justin Brownlee and Japeth Aguilar tried to carry the Gin Kings with 27 points each but it wasn’t enough for the win. TNT will meet either San Miguel or Rain or Shine in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. The Beermen lead the other series, 2-1.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 1st, 2019Related News

Tenorio on staredown with Jones: I m his favorite

MANILA, Philippines – Playoff basketball at its finest. Tempers flared as Barangay Ginebra and TNT battled it out in Game 3 of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals after Gin Kings guard LA Tenorio and KaTropa import Terrence Jones engaged in a tense staredown. The 5-foot-9 Tenorio stood his ground against the 6-foot-9 Jones ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 31st, 2019Related News

PBA: Ginebra lives as Gin Kings take Game 3 win over TNT

Brgy. Ginebra will live to defend its title another day. The Gin Kings avoided elimination Tuesday, surviving top-ranked TNT, 80-72, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals at the MOA Arena. By winning Game 3, Ginebra cut its series deficit in half, 1-2. Holding on to a two-point lead, 74-72, the Gin Kings got multiple breaks after the KaTropa failed to cash in on some good looks from deep. Ginebra then sealed the victory from the line to set up Thursday’s Game 4 back at the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 30th, 2019Related News

PBA: NSD works as Brownlee pushes Ginebra to Game 4

That signature Never Say Die spirit sure worked Tuesday. Ginebra finally pulled one back in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals, surviving top-ranked TNT in Game 3 at the MOA Arena. By surviving another rough outing, the defending champion Gin Kings saved their title and cut their series deficit in half, 1-2. “Man, it was tough,” said import Justin Brownlee after the win. “Talk ‘N Text is a really good team, they got some weapons. I just think we did a good job of defending the three-point line and just tried our best to limit Castro and Jones and their playmaking abilities,” he added. The key to stopping TNT definitely depended on how the Gin Kings defended the line. In Game 3, the KaTropa made only five treys and shot 14 percent from deep. In Game 2 when TNT scored a masterful win, they shot 36 percent and connected on 16 triples. “Just really focusing on defense. I think we really needed that push defensively,” Brownlee said. Even while the Gin Kings were defending the three pretty well, Game 3 was still tied at 57-all entering the fourth with TNT having momentum after a strong third-quarter run. But what got the Gin Kings over the top was Brownlee’s fourth quarter when the league’s reigning Best Import scored eight points, the difference in the win. He finished with 14 to go along with 11 rebounds and eight assists. “I was just seeing some openings to try and maybe get some switches or I can get to a spot. I was just seeing how they were defending me and just read through it,” Brownlee said of his fourth quarter. “We just try to have the same mentality and approach like we did today, just come out and be aggressive on offense and be solid on defense,” Brownlee added as they move forward to Game 4 for yet another do-or-die outing.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 30th, 2019Related News

PBA: Ginebra comeback starts now after tough Game 3 win

Defending champion Barangay Ginebra finally got one over top-ranked TNT but it sure took a lot on the part of the Gin Kings. The champs had to scratch and claw their way to a Game 3 win in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals Tuesday, cutting their series deficit in half, 1-2. It was a tough victory for sure but there was no other way for Ginebra. They had to win by whatever means necessary. “We got one, but one is obviously not good enough. It was a real struggle just to get one,” said head coach Tim Cone. “Mahirap pa nga yang one, pero buhay pa eh. We’re still alive and kicking. We’re still moving forward so that’s good news. The bad news is it was tough just to get one game. It was really tough,” he added. Ginebra has had a tough time figuring out TNT in this conference. Prior to this Game 3 victory, the Gin Kings have lost to the KaTropa in the mid-season joust three straight times. In order to advance to a second straight Commissioner’s Cup Finals, Ginebra has to beat TNT three straight times. The Gin Kings got the first win, now they work on the next two. “We took out everything we had to beat them and they are a team that understands their system and runs their system extremely well. And you know, we’re just trying to find some things that  make them a little uncomfortable. We don’t know if it’s gonna work twice, so we have to think out of the box and continue to try to win,” Cone said. “They beat us three straight, there’s no reason for us to beat them three straight. But I’m just focused on one right now,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 30th, 2019Related News

MPBL: Chad Alonzo finds home with Imus, serves as mentor to younger bigs

Three years ago, Chad Alonzo wasn't even on a basketball team. The former Adamson Soaring Falcon forward was just coming off brief stints with ASEAN Basketball League team MX3 Kings Pilipinas and KIA in the PBA. Now, the grizzled 35-year-old veteran is one of the leaders of the Imus Khaleb Shawarma/GLC franchise in the on-going Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Season. "Thankful lang din ako at tinayo ang liga na ito. Everybody, nagkakaroon pa ng chance talaga," said Alonzo, who returned to high-level basketball in 2017 when the MPBL inaugurated. "Yung for the love of the game, andoon eh. Age is just a number. Marami pang mas beterano nga sa atin eh. Pagdating sa MPBL, lahat nabigyan ng chance e. Yung mga bata naman, nakakapag-PBA. Maganda talaga yung programa." It turned out, Imus had always kept their eyes on the 6-foot-4 bruiser. And when the squad had the chance to secure his services, they did. "After ng Bacoor Strikers, free agent ako, and then sinabihan ako ng coaching staff ng Imus, and sabi nila, Chad, punta ka sa amin," shared Alonzo. Liking what they saw, Imus team manager Lou Abad presented Alonzo his new contract. It has not been an easy route so far for the Khaleb Shawarma/GLC crew, faltering in three of their first four outings. But being among the tested veterans on the line-up, Alonzo has been quite a presence in the locker room and in practice. "Medyo nakaka-adjust na lahat. Nagg-gel na yung team kaya unti-unti, maganda na yung tinatakbo kaya maganda rin yung outcome last game," he said. "Ang pagkakaiba dito sa Imus, talagang bago yung team. Lahat ng players bago, hindi kagaya sa mga previous team ko na talagang magkakasama na. Naging responsibility dito ng mga veterans ay tulungan yung mga teammates ko lalo na't mga bago pa sila." With eight years of PBA experience in the bag, Alonzo has served as a leader to younger front-liners like Gelo Vito and Jay-R Ng Sang, and he says he finds joy being that figure for them. "Dito sa MPBL, gusto ko matulungan lang yung ibang mga players. Yung mga gustong makapag-PBA. Mayroon kaming mga gustong magpa-draft," shared Alonzo. "So pwede kaming makatulong nina Jayjay Helterbrand." Not to be outdone, Alonzo even opened up about going toe-to-toe with the youngsters in practice, keeping up with them as he would receive compliments afterwards. "Sinasabi nila, Chad, para kang college lang ah. Paunahan eh, mabibilis, pero nakakasabay pa," recalled Alonzo. "Nakakatuwa talaga kasi karamihan, mga bata. Naishe-share ko sa kanila yung kung anong na-experience ko before sa PBA." Alonzo's last game with Imus was a testament to that, as he scored a double-double performance of 15 points and 12 rebounds in a decisive 82-70 win over the Soccksargen Marlins-Armor On. Such display that he could still be of significance to an MPBL club not only helped Imus, but inspired the rest of his teammates in general to develop winning attitude. "Yung mga bata, kailangan ipakita mo rin eh kasi ikaw yung veteran. Nakakatuwa naman sila kasi ginagaya nila and nagiging habit na nila sa practice. Lahat naman, sa sipag nadadaan eh. Nage-extra na sila after practice," he said. "Kung anong mga pwedeng maitulong sa kanila, ginagawa ko. Minsan nga, ganado pa sila mag-ensayo kasi nakikita nila na nakikipagsabayan ako sa kanila." Alonzo knows it will still be a long road for them in the Lakan Cup, but finding a niche is what's vital in keeping his career going, and perhaps lead him to another championship. "Kung papalarin talaga, sana makukuha rin ng title. Sana malayo ang marating ng Imus," he remarked. About Imus-Khaleb Shawarma/GLC Bandera: Imus-Khaleb Shawarma/GLC Bandera is one of the 10 pioneering teams of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League playing in the Southern Division of the league playing at the Imus City Sports Complex in Imus, Cavite, a third-class city in the Philippines. Khaleb Shawarma/GLC hold a 2-3 record in the Southern Division of the Lakan Cup and are undefeated at home. They will next play the Paranaque Patriots-F2 Logistics on July 30 at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 30th, 2019Related News

With Ginebra on verge of exit, Brownlee says never-say-die spirit key

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee has his fingers crossed that Barangay Ginebra will be able to show its "never-say-die" spirit as it teeters on the brink of having its title-retention campaign doomed by TNT. The Gin Kings are a loss away from being dethroned as PBA Commissioner's Cup champions ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 28th, 2019Related News

PBA: Jones, TNT double down on “excellent” defense in dominant Game 2 win

TNT sure got it done on defense Sunday in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals. The KaTropa shut down defending champion Ginebra and only allowed 71 points in a rousing Game 2 win, now taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series. 71 points for the Gin Kings was the lowest for the team in the Justin Brownlee era. “Excellent defense, man,” import Terrence Jones said of TNT’s Game 2 effort. “I think we all came together and really focused on what we wanted to take away and what we wanted to do defensively. That’s what we showed tonight,” he added. The Gin Kings shot 42.5 percent from the field in Game 2, which is actually better than TNT’s 41 percent, but the KaTropa won by 17 in large part because Ginebra only scored 29 points in the second half. Aside from Justin Brownlee, who scored 14 of his 25 points in the last two quarters, all of Ginebra’s weapons were pretty much taken cared of. “We felt like we had a little more leeway this game compared to the last,” Jones said. “So you know, I just wanted to make sure we stepped to our principles defensively to continue on winning,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 28th, 2019Related News

PBA: Ginebra will have to rely on “Never Say Die” spirit to save title

Defending champion Brgy. Ginebra has no other choice but to rely on some good old Never Say Die spirit. After taking another beating Sunday at the hands of top-ranked TNT, the Gin Kings now trail the best-of-5 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals by two games. One more loss and Ginebra loses its championship. “To be honest, just having that Never Say Die type of attitude,” import Justin Brownlee said when asked how Ginebra can turn this series around. “I know coach will definitely go make some adjustments. We just then approach the game with a Never Sy Die attitude,” he added. Moving on to a critical Game 3, Ginebra will need some actual answers to stay alive. After getting burned by the KaTropa from deep, allowing 16 triples, the Gin Kings will try to focus on that the next game. “Definitely just try to guard the three-point line better and hope they miss,” Brownlee said. “We got to make them miss. So I think if we can contain some of the three pointers I think will be will be pretty good,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 28th, 2019Related News

PBA: Pringle is latest victim of sound TNT defense

After shutting down Justin Brownlee in the fourth quarter of Game 1, TNT has managed to contain another key Gin King in these PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals. Stanley Pringle was the latest victim of the KaTropa defense as TNT locked up the Gin Kings’ newest star guard, limiting him to just two points in Game 2. Stanley scored Ginebra’s second basket in Game 2 for a 4-3 lead and then he got nothing the rest of the way, shooting 1-of-9 in 44 minutes on top of four rebounds, four assists, and six turnovers. “We’re just glad that he was missing shots, that’s big,” Brian Heruela said of Pringle. “He’s a very tough player. Hopefully, we’ll be able to contain him next game [too],” he added. Despite shutting down two of Ginebra’s greatest weapons in back-to-back games, TNT insists that they’re not trying to focus on a particular player. The KaTropa will continue to focus on their new-found identity on defense and whoever struggles because of it on the other side is just too bad on the part of the opponent. “I say we’re all focused in film and paying attention on what we needed to do defensively as a team. We’re not particularly worried about one player but them as a team,” import Terrence Jones said. “If we can hold them to just to just 71 points no matter who has a lot of points, then that’s just great defense,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 28th, 2019Related News

PBA: TNT goes for 2-0 lead over champion Ginebra

Top-ranked TNT will look to put defending champion Ginebra on the ropes. The KaTropa were steadier in the endgame Friday, pulling off a series-opening win over the Gin Kings in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals. But with this being a best-of-five series, TNT can put a ton of pressure on Ginebra if they can go back-to-back. That’s certainly the target for the KaTropa as they shoot for a commanding 2-0 lead Sunday. Meanwhile, the Gin Kings aim to bounce back especially after letting the Game.  1 win pretty much slip away. Ginebra was up 10 in the second half and was still up eight entering the fourth quarter but failed to close the deal. Tip off for Game 2 will be at 6:15 p.m. live from the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 28th, 2019Related News

Basilan announces arrival as champs of Chooks 3x3 Patriot’s Cup

Newcomers Phenom-Basilan Steel completed their Cinderella run in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Patriot's Cup presented by Coca-Cola, outlasting veteran-laden Wilkins-Balanga Pure, 21-20, in an overtime thriller, last Saturday at SM Megamall Events Center. Not only did Basilan punch their ticket to the 2019 FIBA 3X3 Jeddah Masters on October 18 to, they also brought home PhP 1,000,000 in cash. "Wala akong masabi. It couldn't get more exciting as this," said Basilan team manager Jackson Chua. "Ang hirap ng dinaanan namin. No better way to end it." And Basilan has no one else to thank, but Franky Johnson for this one. In the race-to-two extra time period, Basilan was down one after a Karl Dehesa layup.  Showing his veteran wares in the next possession, Troy Rike made a quick handoff to Johnson who then danced his way to the right corner before heaving a fadeaway deuce over the outstretched arms of Dehesa. Pandemonium ensued afterward. "Everything was just moving so fast," recalled Johnson. "I wasn’t even thinking about that shot, but as soon as my teammate got the rebound and got the ball to me, I was just kinda open a little bit so I just decided to pull it.  "Thank God it went in, so I’m really excited about that," he expressed.  Johnson had four points in the Million Peso Game while Rike had one.  Marcus Hammonds and Roosevelt Adams also added 11 and six points, respectively, for the Steel. For the second straight conference, the Balanga franchise finished in second-place, bringing home PhP 400,000 and a ticket to the 2019 Xiongan Challenger which takes place from August 23-24.  Alvin Pasaol and Travis Franklin paced Balanga with seven points each. Chris De Chavez, who forced overtime with a driving layup with six ticks remaining, and Dehesa added three markers apiece. The Gold’s Gym-Pasig Kings completed the podium, bagging PhP 200,000. In the side events, VetHealth-Delhi's Kiran Shastri completed a five-leg sweep of the Coca-Cola Two-Point Shootout while David Carlos and Brodie Stephens were crowned co-champions in the Coca-Cola Slam Dunk Competition......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 28th, 2019Related News

Franky Johnson sinks million-peso shot in cardiac Chooks 3x3 finals

    MANILA, Philippines – There are new kings in 3x3 basketball. Newcomer Phenom-Basilan Steel completed its Cinderella run in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Patriot's Cup presented by Coca-Cola, outlasting the veteran-laden ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 27th, 2019Related News