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Barrett falls vs Duke teammate Reddish, and Zion is next

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — RJ Barrett kept misfiring, a rough start to his college reunion week at Madison Square Garden. Barrett did plenty of things well but not shooting, going 4-for-14 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) in the New York Knicks’ 100-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Old teammate Cam Reddish left with a victory, but Barrett gets another chance for bragging rights among Duke rookies Friday (Saturday, PHL time), when Zion Williamson comes to town. Williamson, Barrett and Reddish were freshmen at Duke last season who went on to become top-10 NBA draft picks. Barrett, the No. 3 pick, and Reddish, taken 10th, were guarding each other at the start of the game. “Obviously, competing against him was a ton of fun,” Reddish said. “I mean, obviously in college we were together nonstop and we’re here now, so competing against him was definitely a good experience.” While Williamson has been tearing up the NBA in preseason play to the tune of 23.3 points per game on 71.4% shooting for unbeaten New Orleans, Barrett and Reddish have experienced some of the usual rookie struggles. Reddish entered shooting 28.6% at 6-for-21. He was 4-for-7 when the Hawks lost to the Pelicans in their opener, but then went 1-for-7 in each of the next two games, missing all eight three-point attempts. He bounced back with a 4-for-9 performance and nine points, which was good enough the way Trae Young (23 points, nine assists) and Vince Carter (17 points, five three-pointers) played. Barrett averaged 16 points in his first two games and finished with 12 in this one. He did add seven rebounds and a team-high six assists, but his outside shot just wouldn’t fall and his errant pass in the third quarter was scooped up by Reddish and taken for a three-point play that gave Atlanta a 75-69 lead. “He’s always engaged. He’s always trying to win,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said about Barrett. “These are good learning lessons for him right now to go through that and he still made some plays.” SPURS 128, ROCKETS 114 LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting to help visiting San Antonio get its first preseason win, and spoil James Harden’s near triple-double. Dejounte Murray added 20 points, going 8-of-11, for San Antonio (1-3), which shot 57% from the field. The Spurs, who led 65-51 at the half behind Murray’s 15 points and Aldridge’s 14, had six players score in double figures. Harden powered Houston (3-2) with 40 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon each added 14 points. Harden made 13-of-27 from the field and Westbrook was 5-of-13. HAWKS 100, KNICKS 96 Young beat the third-quarter buzzer with a long three-pointer in transition to give Atlanta an 80-71 lead. Carter sank an open three-pointer from the wing for a 97-95 lead with 1:30 remaining, and Young made two free throws at the 16-second mark to make it 99-96. New York was off on a three-pointer and De’Andre Hunter sealed it with a free throw. Hunter, a rookie from Virginia’s national championship team, had 15 points for Atlanta (1-3). Carter scored 14 of Atlanta’s 16 points with four three-pointers late in the second quarter. Julius Randle paced New York (1-2) with 20 points and eight rebounds. PISTONS 116, HORNETS 110 Andre Drummond and Markieff Morris each scored 17 points and visiting Detroit held off Charlotte. Drummond also had 15 rebounds, and Langston Galloway scored a team-high 18 points, with five three-pointers, off the bench. Tim Frazier added 15 points and 12 assists for Detroit (3-2), which was without Blake Griffin. Drummond had 12 points and nine rebounds in the first half as the Pistons led 61-58. Malik Monk led Charlotte (2-3) with 18 points and seven assists. Cody Zeller was one of four Hornets with 12 points. GRIZZLIES 124, THUNDER 119 Former Oregon standout Dillon Brooks scored 30 points, with five three-pointers, and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis in the road victory. Tyus Jones scored 10 of his 16 points in the first half for Memphis (3-1). Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 17 points, Danilo Gallinari had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Steven Adams added 12 points for Oklahoma City (2-2). Devon Hall scored a team-high 19. TRAIL BLAZERS 126, JAZZ 118 At Salt Lake City, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard combined for 53 points and eight three-pointers as Portland’s backcourt outdueled Mike Conley Jr. and Donovan Mitchell. McCollum made five three's and scored 28 points, and Lillard had 25 points, five rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes. Mitchell led Utah (1-4) with 27 points and four three-pointers. Conley added 20 points and Rudy Gobert had 13 points and 15 boards. Zach Collins was the only other starter for Portland (2-2) in double-figure scoring with 13 points. Hassan Whiteside grabbed 11 rebounds......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports19 hr. 9 min. ago Related News

PBA: Blakely returns as Blackwater upsets import-less Magnolia

ANTIPOLO — Marqus Blakely is back and Blackwater is back in the winning column. The Elite upset defending champion Magnolia Wednesday in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup, picking up a 95-89 decision at the Ynares Center here. Blakely, who was replaced by Aaron Fuller in a Blackwater loss to Columbian, returned for a fourth game for the Elite and finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and five steals. Backing up Blakely was Mac Belo with 20 points and Mike Digregorio with 15. With the win, the Elite improved to 2-3 while the champion Hotshots dropped to 3-3 with back-to-back losses. Magnolia played without import Romeo Travis, who was a gametime decision due to injury. The Hotshots were led by 26 points from Paul Lee. Ian Sangalang contributed 12 points for the champs in a losing effort.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

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

Jazz pairing improved offense with already tough defense

By John Coon, Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Playing rugged defense has helped Utah become a consistent playoff team. Now the Jazz seek to become a bigger postseason threat with a more versatile offense. Utah made a flurry of offseason moves designed to bolster the team’s outside shooting and give coach Quin Snyder additional shot creators. The Jazz traded for veteran point guard Mike Conley and signed small forward Bojan Bogdanovic, both of whom were leading scorers on their previous teams. Utah also added Jeff Green to give the team another versatile shooter. The roster makeover is designed to take some of the scoring and shot creation burden away from Donovan Mitchell. “It’s no secret we want to pick-and-roll a lot,” Mitchell said. “It honestly makes my life easier trying to find guys. Now (opponents) have a harder decision to make on defense.” If Mitchell takes another step forward in his third season, defensive decisions for opponents will become even more complicated. He averaged a team-high 23.8 points per game a year ago but shot just 43.2% from the field while facing relentless defensive pressure. Utah’s newest additions figure to give Mitchell easier looks at the basket and make the whole offense run smoother. Conley averaged 21.1 points and dished out 6.4 assists per game in his final season with Memphis. Bogdanovic averaged a career-best 18 points per game for Indiana last season while shooting 49.7% from the field. Green tallied 12.3 points per game for Washington on 47.5% shooting. These new additions have the Jazz setting some lofty goals. “Obviously, our ultimate goal is to win the championship,” Conley said. “We’re not fooling ourselves like we’ve been there, done that. We’re gonna come in and work every day and try to maximize each day.” Other things to know about the Jazz heading into the season: CENTER OF ATTENTION Rudy Gobert posted career highs in points (15.9) and rebounds (12.9) per game, as well as field goal percentage (.669), in his sixth NBA season. He capped it off with his second straight defensive player of the year award. Now Gobert has set his sights on reaching his first NBA All-Star game as he enters his seventh year. He believes the Jazz have put him in a position to make an even bigger impact by plugging in players around him and Mitchell who will create more spacing on the floor. “They can build a team around us and around our abilities to put a lot of pressure on the rim,” Gobert said. “It’s on me to be the guy that I’ve been defensively, even better, and offensively keep showing I’m getting better every year.” PERIMETER UPGRADE Getting long-distance shots to fall ended up being a problem for Utah during a first-round playoff exit against Houston. Outside shooting could now be a strength for the Jazz going forward. Five current players ranked in the Top 100 in 3-point shooting percentage a season ago. Bogdanovic leads the way after ranking 10th in the league in 3-point shooting last season. The forward, who signed a four-year, $73 million contract with the Jazz in July, connected on 42.5% of his outside shots with the Pacers last year. Utah will find ways to pair him with Joe Ingles, the team’s top returning perimeter shooter. Ingles made 39.1% of his attempts last season. TRANSITION STOPPERS Defending well in transition was a key component of Utah’s defense last season. The Jazz ranked second in the league when it came to defending transition baskets, allowing opponents to score just 11.4 fastbreak points per game. Utah led the NBA in the same category two years ago, allowing 9.5 fastbreak points per contest. Expect it to be a point of emphasis again. “Doesn’t matter who’s on the floor, we gotta get back,” Snyder said. SECOND CHANCE Former lottery pick Emmanuel Mudiay signed with the Jazz on a one-year, $1.7 million deal in July. He is coming off four mostly disappointing seasons with Denver and New York. He did show some flashes of potential with the Knicks a year ago, averaging a career-best 14.8 points. Mudiay has dealt with an injured hamstring during the preseason, complicating his bid to become the backup point guard behind Conley. EXUM REHABBING Injuries have limited Exum to 56 games over the last two seasons. He continues to rehab from a season-ending knee injury a year ago. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 draft, Exum is in the second year of a three-year, $33 million deal he signed with Utah in 2018......»»

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

Harden and Westbrook back together to chase title in Houston

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden and Russell Westbrook are thrilled to be reunited in Houston and can’t wait to prove they will work just fine together. And Harden knows the rest of the team is excited about the addition of the eight-time All-Star as well. “I enjoy it but I know that everybody else enjoys it, too,” he said. “They get more shot opportunities ... with another guy that gets to the rim and draws so much attention to create opportunities for his teammates. Obviously he plays at a different pace than I do. He plays way faster than I do but we are both trying to accomplish the same thing, making sure our teammates get involved and we share the wealth.” Westbrook joined the Rockets this summer in a stunning trade that sent the longtime face of the Oklahoma City Thunder to Houston in exchange for Chris Paul. The deal brought Harden and Westbrook back together after the guards spent three seasons together with the Thunder at the start of Harden’s career. It was a trade that came with questions about how two players used to handling the ball will be able to work together. Both brushed off the concerns, and insist they’ll make it work to chase an NBA championship in a conference loaded with powerhouse teams. “I impact the game in so many different ways and I’ve proven that for many years and that’s why I’m not worried,” Westbrook said. “I don’t have to have the ball to impact the game. I don’t have to score. I can defend. I can rebound. I can pass. I can lead.” Westbrook, the 2017 MVP who is entering his 12th season, said statistics don’t matter to him. “My main goal and main focus is to win,” he said. “I can go in a game and be scoreless and if we win that’s the best thing that ever happened and that’s all I care about and all I’ve always cared about.” Harden, who led the NBA in scoring last season for the second straight year by averaging 36.1 points, said he welcomes having another player on the team who can lessen his load a bit. And while Harden believes that Westbrook will help the Rockets get to the next level, he’s comfortable with the fact that the team’s success or failure will always be linked to his performance. “If we don’t win I’ll take all the blame for it,” he said. “It comes with it. That’s why we have to go out there and win. That’s why we work extremely hard in the offseason to bring players in and bring whatever is necessary in to give ourselves that chance to win. I know what’s at stake.” The Rockets open the season Oct. 24 (Oct. 25, PHL time) against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. CHINA RELATIONS The Rockets are eager to move on from the distraction caused by a since-deleted tweet by general manager Daryl Morey in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong that angered China and many fans. The Rockets were in Hawaii on Oct. 4 (Oct. 5, PHL time) to play a preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers on the first leg of a trip that included two games in Japan when Morey tweeted an image that said: “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.” His tweet was in reference to pro-democracy demonstrations in the semiautonomous Chinese territory that has been mired in escalating violence between protesters and law enforcement. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta quickly rebuked his GM with a tweet saying that Morey does not speak for the team, but the damage was done. The Chinese Basketball Association, headed by former Rockets star Yao Ming, suspended its ties to the Rockets over the tweet. Events in China promoting a Lakers-Nets series were canceled, NBA media partner Tencent said it was evaluating its plans to cover the league and some Chinese corporations have suspended relationships with the NBA. HOUSE PARTY The Rockets signed G/F Danuel House to a three-year, $11.1 million contract this summer after the 26-year-old split time between Houston and the G-League last season. Coach Mike D’Antoni is glad he’ll have House in Houston all season this year after he averaged 9.4 points in 39 games last year. “Danuel House excites me,” D’Antoni said. “He should have a big year.” HEY OLD FRIEND Power forward Ryan Anderson is back with the Rockets after signing as a free agent just before the start of camp. The 12-year veteran spent two seasons in Houston before being traded before last season. HARDEN’S LEADERSHIP D’Antoni doesn’t believe Harden can do much more statistically this season after putting up gaudy numbers the past several seasons. But he likes the way he’s grown as a leader in the last couple of years and hopes to see him continue to evolve in that area this season. “His leadership is getting better every year,” D’Antoni said. “He understands the importance of being positive. That’s invaluable and it’s invaluable that we keep that attitude all year.”.....»»

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

The NBA s new coach s challenge could be a timely tool for teams to wield

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com Cleveland’s John Beilein, the only new-to-the-league coach this season, actually got a jump on his 29 rivals in one department. To better familiarize himself with the Cavaliers team he was taking over, Beilein broke from the tradition that has assistant coaches working the sideline at NBA Summer League. When the situation arose in a game in Las Vegas for Cleveland to invoke the experimental “coaches’ challenge” rule, Beilein was the one calling for it. And the one getting shot down. “It was an out-of-bounds play,” Beilein recalled during a break at the coaches’ meetings in Chicago last month. “My player came to the bench saying, ‘It’s definitely our ball.’ I thought, ‘Great, this is why we have it now.’ “We came back out. It was their ball.” There will be a lot of dashed hopes in 2019-20, as well as some pivotal reversals, with the NBA’s adoption of the latest replay wrinkle. As in MLB and the NFL, coaches will have the opportunity to appeal, in real time, certain referees’ decisions. All the “triggers” of the existing replay system remain, but now the teams will have a sense of control. One time each game. “I’ve been a proponent of it for many years, just as an additional layer of security,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who also serves as president of the NBA Coaches Association. “If a call’s inaccurate for any reason, it’s just an extra chance -- particularly if the game’s on the line -- to get it right. “The question has always been, how to execute it. Where to start. Sounds like this is going to start with a high level of simplicity. Then we’ll see where it goes.” Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone thought back to 2017-18, when the Nuggets missed the postseason after a loss at Minnesota in the season’s final game. Like every game, there were a handful of what-if moments. “Think about it,” Malone said. “Two years ago, one play could have been the difference for us between the lottery and playoffs. That saves jobs, that gets home/road seeding, there are a lot of things that it can affect.” How the coach’s challenge works For this season, the challenge can be made in three situations: to question a foul called against that team’s player, to dispute an out-of-bounds decision or to question a goaltending/basket interference ruling against that team. The first type applies to the entire game; the others to the first 46 minutes (and first three minutes of overtime), after which the established triggers take over. Challenging a call requires the coach to first call a timeout and then inform the referees he wants a review. There are new court administrators at every game this season to help with the process. Also, fans will notice green “challenge lights” at the scorer’s table -- the one nearest the challenging bench will blink. Beilein said he sought redress a couple of times in Las Vegas, without satisfaction. “They never reversed their decisions,” he said, “but it’s really a good idea to do, to let us have this say in a game. You ask, they review it. If they don’t see it, you just move on with the game. It puts things away, so we’re not grinding away all night on that call. It’s over. It’s done.” If a call is reversed, the challenge is successful and the team’s timeout is restored. If the initial ruling stands, the challenge is deemed unsuccessful and that timeout is gone. Win or lose the appeal, the allotment stays the same: One challenge per team per game. The early chatter among coaches has been, when is the best time to use it? In Sunday’s Hornets-Celtics game, Brad Stevens and James Borrego waited until the final minute. Both challenges failed. “I’ll probably save it till the fourth quarter,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “I’m going to be really excited about it when it helps wins me some games. And I’m going to really hate it when it costs me.” Said Malone: “The funny thing is, we always say, ‘The game never comes down to just the last play. Something that happened in the first quarter was just as important.’ But the reality it, when you get to the last two minutes, if you have the coaches challenge in your pocket, that could come up with a really big play or give you momentum.” The refs’ crew chief will have the final determination of fouls. He or she also will be able to “clean up” the play in question if, for instance, they notice the foul was assessed incorrectly or if a different foul by either side occurred before the one being reviewed. Note: infractions such as 3-second violations or traveling, if uncalled initially, can’t be assessed in a challenge review. The league’s Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J., will adjudicate out-of-bounds and goaltending challenges. Confidence key in using challenge At the NBCA September meetings in Chicago, the feature -- also given a trial run in the G League in recent seasons -- was discussed in a ballroom session with referees and supervisors of the officials. The next day, they all spent time on a basketball court, walking through the particulars. Borrego took advantage of his proximity in Charlotte to talk with Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera about his strategy in using the NFL’s version. Those coaches physically throw a red flag to signal their challenge and have time to hear from assistant coaches in a stadium booth upstairs who have seen video to determine their chances of reversal. The NBA won’t have either flags to throw or helpers checking. The coaches will have to alert the refs by twirling their fingers in the air, the current universal symbol for “replay.” They’ll need to act before an opposing player is handed the ball to shoot free throws or toss it inbounds, or before a jump ball. “We haven’t had this conversation with them yet, but players never think they fouled,” Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Monday. “It’s never out on them. We’re gonna have to say, ‘OK, did you really not foul?’ Somehow figure out, ‘OK, you have to tell the truth.’ “That kind of feedback from them is going to be important in a challenge situation.” The preseason was only a few days old but, in this era of analytics, Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen had his crew gather data on every early challenge. He’s working up a list of situations in which to use it. Late in games? Sure. But not so late that the existing triggers take over for a disputed out-of-bounds play. Then the coach might go home without using it. “You’re always concerned about [burning] the timeout,” Boylen said. “You’d better be sure. Your [viewing] angles better be good.” Not everyone is a fan of the experiment, which will be evaluated after the season by the NBA’s Competition Committee. Some skeptics fret that adding reviews will mean more delays in games that already have replay interruptions. Then there was Monty Williams, the Phoenix Suns’ new coach. Part of his dislike? Genuine empathy for the referees. “I’m not a fan of it at all,” Williams said. “Sometimes it’s to your detriment, but I think human error is part of our game. I know we’re trying to get it right, but sometimes [replay] causes referees to get second-guessed a lot. They already are. “And this is just one more thing for coaches to have to do. Now we’re all going to have to delegate a guy on our bench to monitor things.  “If we’re gonna challenge, I wish it was a segment -- say, the last three minutes of the game. I want to coach. I don’t want to be focused all night on, ‘Should I have challenged [a call made earlier]?’ ” Fans might notice other rules changes and priorities for officials this season: * Coaches will be required to submit their starting lineups earlier now, making them public at least 30 minutes before tipoff. This change is seen largely as a nod to the looming arrival of legal sports betting. Knowing the starters earlier -- and which regulars might be sitting out with injuries or for “load management” -- means more wagers can be made with the most updated information. (A change still can be made if a player gets hurt or aggravates an injury during warm-ups.) * The Replay Center will take over determinations of 2-pointers vs. 3-pointers, operating automatically. * There figures to be a spate of traveling calls early this season. The referees have made that infraction one of their “Points of Education” for 2019-20. That means a “more stringent enforcement” of the existing rule, according to Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s VP, head of referee development and training. The league has gone so far as to include the concept of “the gather” in its rule book now. That -- the moment when a player has full control of the ball and thus the point from which he can take two steps – has been used for years by game officials. But now it has been codified, which helps when discerning variations such as steps taken backward (rather than in forward progress) or in the “Euro-step.” McCutchen noted that, in years past, the NBA game was played through the post at a slower pace. Referees evaluated plays starting with the defenders. Now, with hand-checking long gone and 3-pointers pulling players farther out on the court, the refs’ sequence of viewing plays has shifted to feet, then release, then defender. Other Points of Education for the refs this year have focused on illegal contact initiated by offensive players, “freedom of movement” issues and “respect for the game” moments, which basically are emotional overreactions to calls that exceed allowable guidelines. 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: SportsOct 12th, 2019Related News

SUPER SHOWDOWN: La Salle s Justine Baltazar v Letran s Larry Muyang

Almost two decades ago, the power of Pinatubo was felt all over the Philippines. Now in 2019, two towers from Pampanga are making their presence felt in the premiere collegiate leagues of the country. De La Salle University's Justine Baltazar and Colegio de San Juan de Letran's Larry Muyang are the undisputed best local big men in the UAAP and in the NCAA, respectively. Baltazar has done a stand up job replacing Cameroonian MVP Ben Mbala while Muyang has made sure the Knights are no longer pushovers in the paint. So what happens when an irresistible force like Baltazar collides with an immovable object like Muyang? That's what we're here to find out in the second edition of the Super Showdown as we pit Philippine collegiate basketball's top Filipino centers against one another - judging them in five categories (post scoring, perimeter scoring, rebounding, defense, and playmaking) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. POST SCORING These two learned from one of the best in the business in so-called big man whisperer Jeff Napa. Napa discovered and then developed Baltazar in Nazareth-NU and then harnessed the potential of Muyang in Letran. When it all boils down to it, though, Muyang's bulk is just perfect for the back to the basket game and he has honed his skills so much that even the likes of Cameroonians Donald Tankoua and Mike Nzeusseu have a tough time bodying him up. Baltazar is no slouch posting up, make no mistake, but his lankier frame is also not that much of a problem for bigger defenders such as Nigerian Bright Akhuetie or Senegalese Alex Diakhite. Letan's big boy has a big body in need of big sustenance - and it just so happens that he can do just that by feasting inside the paint. Advantage, Muyang, 10-9 PERIMETER SCORING Put simply, Baltazar is a threat from outside while Muyang is not - not yet, at the very least. La Salle's versatile center has the touch to take and make shots from long-range as well as mid-range. In fact, he already has five triples to his name in eight games in the season. On the other hand, Letran calls for its hulking center to make a living down low and, as such, he has not had that many chances to show off his shooting. More than that, Baltazar is the prototype for the modern big man - a tall, long-limbed, and agile giant who needs to be defended even when he's standing behind the arc. Advantage, Baltazar, 10-9 REBOUNDING Baltazar just had for himself a 25-point, 25-rebound double-double. In terms of cleaning up the glass in the UAAP, nobody is better aside from the foreign student-athletes, with his norms of 12.5 rebounds the fourth-best in all of the league. Muyang inhales his fair share of rebounds, but also lags behind in terms of cleaning up his teammates' misses. Of course, the simple explanation is that La Salle just has the more athletic big man compared of Letran's more ground-bound behemoth. Advantage, Baltazar, 10-9 DEFENSE Rim protection has always been Baltazar's elite skill - even when he was just a raw prospect as a Bullpup. Now, he has blossomed into a menace patrolling the paint and his mere presence can alter shots, if not swat them away all the way. And because he is more ground-bound, Muyang was never one to host a block party, but he more than holds his own inside thanks to his bulk. Bottom line, though, La Salle can actually boast of having the more well-rounded two-way player. Advantage, Baltazar, 10-9 PLAYMAKING Muyang is such a force down low that he attracts double and triple-teams. As such, he always has a golden opportunity to make plays for his teammates and, more often than not, makes the right plays. After all, it wasn't that long ago that Muyang, along with Jeo Ambohot, Christian Fajarito, and Bong Quinto, all clogged the paint, but still had many, many assists to share among them. This is then the department where Baltazar has the biggest room for improvement as he only has a total of eight assists in the season. Advantage, Muyang 10-9 FINAL SCORE, 48-47 for La Salle's Justine Baltazar.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 10th, 2019Related News

Cebuano Cinema Development Council finally sworn in after 5 years



 CEBU CITY, Philippines – On his 100th day in office on Tuesday, October 8, Mayor Edgar Labella swore in the members of the Cebuano Cinema Development Council (CCDC), a body created in 2014 but had not been constituted since.  The council was created during the term of current Vice Mayor Mike Rama when ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 10th, 2019Related News

Harden-Westbrook duo ready to do something really special

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

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 9th, 2019Related News

UAAP 82: Ravena a force as Ateneo flies higher than Adamson anew

Thirdy Ravena was fearless and peerless, Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum, and showed the way for Ateneo de Manila University as they grounded and pounded Adamson University, 80-74, to remain unscathed in the UAAP 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Ravena spread his wings as wide as they have ever been in the tournament with 23 points on top of five assists and four rebounds as the Blue Eagles swooped onto their ninth win in as many games in their title defense. The graduating forward also accounted for six points in the 19-6 rush bridging the third and fourth quarters that boosted the defending champions from a two-point edge, 48-46, to a 15-point advantage, 67-52. Adamson would battle back, though, as Val Chauca and Jerrick Ahanmisi pulled them to just within three, 74-77 with 10 ticks to go. "Obviously, Adamson came in with a lot of fire. They played 40 minutes of basketball," head coach Tab Baldwin said. Mike Nieto and Adrian Wong’s steady hands were the response from Ateneo, though, as they converted three of four of their charities to finish the job once and for all. "We really survived Adamson in the end. We made a lot of boneheaded plays and there's no excuse for that," coach Tab said. Will Navarro and Matthew Daves also stepped up for them with the former finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks and the latter ended with 10 markers and six boards. Matt Nieto was there as well with 11 points and five assists to help the league-leading Blue Eagles put even more separation between them and the thick of things. Stuck in the thick of things are the Soaring Falcons who suffered a fourth straight setback and sixth overall in nine games. Ahanmisi and Chauca each had 17 points to top the scoring column for them. BOX SCORES ATENEO 80 - Ravena 23, Navarro 11, Nieto Ma 11, Daves 10, Go 7, Kouame 7, Nieto Mi 7, Mamuyac 3, Wong 1, Belangel 0, Maagdenberg 0, Tio 0 ADAMSON 74 - Ahanmisi 17, Chauca 17, Douanga 13, Yerro 12, Camacho 6, Manlapaz 5, Lastimosa 4, Fermin 0, Flowers 0, Magbuhos 0, Mojica 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-18, 34-37, 63-50, 80-74 —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 9th, 2019Related News

NCAA 95: San Sebastian s furious fightback from 19 points down frustrates LPU

An unlikely hero came up big for San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre, as it battled back from 19 points down before breaking the heart Lyceum of the Philippines University, 73-71, for its biggest win in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. Rookie Rommel Calahat hit the inside basket that proved to be the difference between the two teams and also hauled in the steal at the other end that cemented the comeback that improves the Golden Stags' standing to 9-6. "First of all, glory to God. Pangit yung start namin, but the boys showed character," head coach Egay Macaraya said post-game. With the rally, Baste put more separation between it and both fifth-running and 7-8 College of St. Benilde and Mapua University. "Malaking bagay ito sa amin dahil we are fighting for our lives," he said. At the same time, San Sebastian made sure the second-seed - as well as the twice-to-beat advantage it entails - remains up for grabs as a Pirate win would have locked that down for them. Calahat made the big plays in the endgame, but he wouldn't have had the chance to do so if not for Allyn Bulanadi who fronted their fightback and totaled 28 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. It was also Bulanadi who made the no-look inbound pass past an unaware Mike Nzeusseu to their unlikely hero for the game-winner with 21.6 ticks to go on the clock. "Nakita ko kasi, yung attention nila, na kay RK [Ilagan] at Capo [Alvin Capobres] so nag-eye-to-eye contact kami (ni Calahat) na parang sinabihan ko siyang gawan niya ng paraan," the lefty forward said. LPU still had time to tie the tally, or even win the game outright, but JM Calma stood strong in the face of Reymar Caduyac's drive and the former forced the latter into losing the ball. Calahat was at the right place at the right time again and claimed possession for his side and, not long after, they were celebrating back-to-back wins that are nothing but a big boost for their playoff push. In the end, he had seven points and eight rebounds while RK Ilagan had 11 markers of his own. Jaycee Marcelino showed the way for LPU with 21 points and six rebounds while Nzeusseu posted a 16-marker, 12-rebound double-double. Failing to quell the Golden Stags' uprising, though, they fell to 12-4 and have been forced to wait until next game to clinch the second-seed. BOX SCORES SAN SEBASTIAN 73 - Bulanadi 28, Ilagan 11, Capobres 9, Calma 7, Villapando 7, Calahat 7, Tero 2, Loristo 2, Sumoda 0, Desoyo 0, Altamirano 0, Isidro 0. LPU 71 - Jc. Marcelino 21, Nzeusseu 16, Santos 9, Caduyac 7, Jv. Marcelino 5, Tansingco 5, Ibanez 3, Navarro 3, Valdez 2, David 0, Yong 0, Pretta 0, Guinto 0. QUARTER SCORES: 11-26, 33-43, 50-53, 73-71. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 8th, 2019Related News

Pompeo blasts harassment by Congress over impeachment probe

ATHENS, Greece – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, October 5, accused members of Congress of harassing his department to obtain documents linked to an impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump. "There's been a congressional increase that harassed and abused State Department employees by contacting them directly and seeking ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 5th, 2019Related News

LeMahieu, Yankees torment Twins again, 10-4 in ALDS opener

By Mike Fitzpatrick, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — New postseason, same old story for the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. DJ LeMahieu homered and drove in four runs, Gleyber Torres broke a tie with a two-run double and the Yankees extended their October mastery of Minnesota with a 10-4 victory Friday night in the AL Division Series opener. Aaron Judge made two diving catches in right field as the AL East champions handed Minnesota its major league-record 14th consecutive playoff defeat — 11 of them to the Yankees since 2004. The second grab thwarted a potential rally and left grateful reliever Zack Britton with both hands on his head to end the top of the seventh, when the Twins were still within striking distance. "That was huge," Judge said. "This is the postseason — you've got to make those plays." Brett Gardner also went deep for the Bronx Bombers in a playoff matchup between teams that finished neck-and-neck for the most home runs in baseball history. Minnesota's Bomba Squad socked 307, one more than New York as both clubs blew away the previous mark of 267 set by the Yankees last year. But in the 14th postseason meeting of 100-win teams, it was more of the same Yankees dominance against the Twins — even though many of Minnesota's players and coaches weren't around for most of it. "We're not out of it by any stretch of the imagination, but we need to show up tomorrow and hopefully turn those solo homers into maybe three-run homers and we'd be in this," first baseman C.J. Cron said. "It's going to be a tough series. We knew that coming in." Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sanó homered for the Twins, who were hurt by eight walks. Minnesota, the AL Central champion, hasn't won a playoff game since Johan Santana beat Hall of Famer Mike Mussina 2-0 in the 2004 Division Series opener at Yankee Stadium. Boston also lost 13 straight postseason games, from 1986-95. "We had some good swings. We had our moments. Just by chance, there was no one on base when we popped a few balls over the fence," manager Rocco Baldelli said after his first playoff game as bench boss. Rookie reliever Zack Littell, a former Yankees farmhand who was traded to the Twins, took the loss after a brief and messy outing. With the score tied in the fifth, he walked Judge, threw a wild pitch and plunked Gardner. Giancarlo Stanton drew the second of his three critical walks to load the bases, bringing up the 22-year-old Torres. He fought back from 0-2 to a full count against Tyler Duffey and pulled a sharp one-hopper that deflected off the glove of a diving Sanó behind third base, giving New York a 5-3 lead. "Big time at-bat against a guy that was really tough on righties," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "That hit I think really, really got us rolling." Sanó sliced a solo homer in the sixth off winner Tommy Kahnle, who retired cleanup batter Eddie Rosario with two on to end the fifth. LeMahieu launched his first postseason home run in the sixth, and Gardner also hit a solo drive off rookie Cody Stashak. LeMahieu, who dropped an easy popup at first base early in the game, made it 10-4 in the seventh when the leadoff man laced a three-run double off Kyle Gibson for his third hit. Fans in the sellout crowd of 49,233 chanted "MVP! MVP!" for the three-time All-Star and 2016 NL batting champ, who left Colorado to sign a $24 million, two-year contract with the Yankees last offseason. "It's like my worst nightmare, dropping a popup like that," LeMahieu said. "I think in the playoffs, you've just got to kind of turn the page real quick, and the next big play is coming up." New York was down 2-0 before scoring three runs in the third against starter José Berríos. Edwin Encarnación knocked in one with his second double of the night, and two more scored when the Twins were unable to turn a potential inning-ending double play on Torres with the bases loaded. With the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Stanton bearing down on him with a hard, clean slide directly into the bag, rookie second baseman Luis Arráez relayed low and wide to first. Cron reached for the throw and could have caught it, but the ball got past him and he was charged with an error that allowed two runs to score. Polanco hit a tying single with two outs in the fifth to chase Yankees starter James Paxton from his postseason debut. It took all of two batters and nine pitches for someone to hit a home run, when Polanco took Paxton deep. Cruz cleared the short right field porch with his 17th postseason homer in the third to make it 2-0. "A lot of guys were on this 2017 team when we went down three to Minnesota (in the wild-card game)," Judge said. "Past experience like that you can feed off." TRAINER'S ROOM Twins: The 22-year-old Arráez returned to the lineup after spraining his right ankle last weekend. He had a tough night on defense and at the plate. Yankees: Back from a strained left oblique, Encarnación batted cleanup and lined a double on the first competitive pitch he saw since Sept. 12. UP NEXT Twins: In an unexpected move, Baldelli announced after the game that undrafted rookie RHP Randy Dobnak (2-1, 1.59 ERA) will start Game 2, with RHP Jake Odorizzi (15-7, 3.51) tabbed for Game 3. Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (11-9, 4.45 ERA) makes his sixth postseason start Saturday, looking to improve a 3-2 record and impressive 1.50 ERA. He is 5-0 with a 2.27 ERA in five career outings against Minnesota......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 5th, 2019Related News

MindanaoArt

Father Harold Rentoria, Commissioner for Cultural Heritage at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, (holding mike), tells a press conference in Davao City on 03 October 2019 that he hopes to see more artists participating in regional art fairs like the 1st Mindanao Art Fair and Exhibit on October 5 to 6, not […].....»»

Source: Mindanews MindanewsCategory: NewsOct 4th, 2019Related News

Diaz hits 2 homers, Rays beat A’s 5-1 in AL wild-card game

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — When he got to second base, Yandy Diaz stole a glance back toward the dugout and saw all his teammates going crazy. He gleefully kept running. Out for two months, no matter. Diaz slugged baseball's lowest spender into a playoff matchup with mighty Houston, Charlie Morton silenced the powerful Athletics on the mound, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Oakland at its own game with a 5-1 win in the AL wild-card round Wednesday night. After playing only one game since late July because of a foot injury, Diaz hit a leadoff homer and went deep again in the third inning. “When I looked to the bench and saw the guys super excited, it pumped me up to go around the bases,” Diaz said through a translator. “I thought we had to carry that momentum throughout the game.” Avisail Garcia hit a two-run drive in the second, and Morton had all the support he needed as Tampa Bay advanced to face the AL West champion Astros in a best-of-five Division Series. Game 1 is Friday at Houston, which piled up a major league-best 107 wins this season. “We have a tough road ahead of us, Houston’s a great team, but we played them well this year. It’s going to be a dogfight,” Tommy Pham said. Pham homered in the fifth for the 96-win Rays, who had the smallest payroll in the majors at $66.4 million. And in a playoff meeting between creative, small-budget teams that make the most of limited resources, it was Tampa Bay that came out on top. The Rays were unfazed by a towel-swirling Oakland crowd of 54,005 that established a wild-card record, having recently played at Dodger Stadium and on the road against the Yankees and Red Sox during the season's final two weeks. “I really feed off the energy of this situation. I that helped us,” Morton said. “It helped us to come in here and be in a high-pressure situation. The stadium was pretty rowdy but I think that helped us focus.” And when Marcus Semien struck out to end it, Tampa Bay players raced out of their dugout to celebrate and put on fresh playoff T-shirts and caps. Once in the clubhouse, the Rays drenched Morton with booze. "It's a beautiful thing having the lowest payroll in baseball and having the success we did," center fielder Kevin Kiermaier said before the game. "It always feels good to stick it to the man any time you're able to in this game, and that's something to be very proud of." The A's have lost nine straight winner-take-all games since 2000, going 1-15 with a chance to advance to the next postseason round. Their only win came in 2006 against the Twins before being swept in the AL Championship Series by the Tigers. A year ago in the wild-card game, Oakland's first time back in the playoffs since 2014, the A's fell behind fast and lost 7-2 at Yankee Stadium. They won 97 games again to earn a wild card. This game had a far different feel in the familiar, friendly confines of the Coliseum, but the A's dug themselves another quick hole. And the visitors were the ones putting on a happy home run show this time. Oakland, which hit a franchise-record 257 homers, is 0-6 in winner-take-all playoff games at home since 2000. Even a day earlier, Rays manager Kevin Cash wasn't sure Diaz would play given how much time he missed during the season’s second half. Diaz returned for the finale last Sunday at Toronto after being sidelined since July 23. He played in just 79 games this season, 22 of those at first base with 17 starts. "He probably caught us off guard a little bit with how quickly he turned around over the last five, six days," Cash said. Never one to shy from the unorthodox _ the Rays used four outfielders against Matt Olson _ Cash started Diaz at first to make sure his best bat against lefties was in the lineup. Kiermaier noted Diaz is "just one of those guys, he just wakes up out of bed and rakes. Everyone knows him for his muscles and what he can do in the weight room and stuff like that, but the guy finds the barrel so much throughout this whole season, and any time we're able to have him available, we're happy." Morton, with a career-high 16 wins and his best ERA yet of 3.05 this season, counted on his playoff experience giving him an edge. He won Game 7 of the ALCS and World Series for the Astros in 2017. Morton gave up five hits without an earned run over five innings. He struck out four and walked three in his seventh postseason start and eighth appearance, having spent the last two seasons with Houston. The right-hander walked Mark Canha to load the bases with two outs in the first before retiring Jurickson Profar on a flyball and had already thrown 32 pitches. Morton quickly settled in and once his turn was done, the Rays’ shutdown bullpen did the rest. “When the first inning ended, I kind of said to myself, we were fortunate to have Charlie Morton on the mound. We get the 1-0 lead. A young pitcher in that situation, that environment, you just wonder how he's going to be able to handle that,” Cash said. “But Charlie, been there, done that, his veteran, his experience, I think allowed that. And I would still say, I don't think Charlie was at his best today, but he certainly made his best pitches when they counted the most.” Semien reached third on a three-base error by third baseman Mike Brosseau in the third and scored on Ramon Laureano's sacrifice fly. Oakland did little else. Diaz hit the fifth pitch of the night from Sean Manaea over the wall in right-center. Manaea then struck out the side after Diaz's drive, but was done after two innings. “That’s kind of our game. They kind of beat us with our game. We’re normally a home run-hitting team,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. Melvin handed Manaea the ball based on his triumphant September return after missing nearly a year following shoulder surgery. Manaea went 4-0 with 1.21 ERA in five starts last month. Manaea earned his first career playoff start over 15-game winner Mike Fiers, who pitched a no-hitter May 7 against the Reds to begin a 21-start unbeaten stretch in which he went 12-0. “That’s the tough part about a one-game playoff. Those nights where it’s not happening are going to be your last game,” Semien said. “That’s what happened.” ALL OVER THE INFIELD Brosseau started at second then moved to third and first, becoming the first to play three infield spots in one wild-card game. TRAINER'S ROOM Rays: INF Eric Sogard, who played for the A's from 2010-15, could be on the ALDS roster as he is close to healthy from a bone bruise in his right foot, Cash said. Sogard hasn't played since Sept. 15 at the Angels. "He's getting closer," Cash said. Athletics: RF Stephen Piscotty, out with a sprained right ankle since Aug. 25, wasn't on the roster. Piscotty, who batted .249 with 13 homers and 44 RBIs, also missed extended time with a sprained right knee from June 30 to Aug. 2. "The hard part is getting him at-bats against live pitching. That was part of the thinking leading up is he just didn't have enough at-bats,” Melvin said. UP NEXT RHP Tyler Glasnow is a strong candidate to start Friday for the Rays at Houston, with 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell following in Game 2. Tampa Bay had success against the Astros this year, winning four of seven meetings. Three of those victories came in a season-opening series at Tropicana Field......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 3rd, 2019Related News

Malaysia to hand over SEA Games flame to Philippines

KUALA LUMPUR -- The Philippines will formally receive the Southeast Asian Games flame from 2017 host Malaysia in a handover ceremony that will kick off the country’s hosting preparations into high gear. Philippine Olympic Committee board member Cynthia Carrion is scheduled to accept the flame from Malaysia Olympic Committee president Norza Zakaria on Thursday in a ceremonial lighting of the lantern set at the world-renowned Bukit Jalil National Stadium in the Malaysian capital.  Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee Chief Operating Officer Ramon Suzara and Commissioner Celia Kiram of the Philippine Sports Commission will grace the event which signals the countdown to the opening of the 11-nation meet on Nov. 30 at the Philippine Arena in Marilao, Bulacan.  The PHISGOC ceremonies and cultural events department is organizing the ceremony as part of a series of events highlighting the symbolism of the SEA Games torch and flame.  “The flame handover is an important symbolic ceremony showing the turnover of responsibilities from past host to present,” said Phisgoc ceremonies director Mike Aguilar. Malaysian hosting mascot Rimau will likewise meet Pami, the official mascot of the 30th South East Asian Games, during the ceremony.  Filipino boxer Ian Clark Bautista and taekwondo jin Pauline Lopez also joined the Philippine delagation that arrived from Manila, including Capas, Tarlac Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan. New Clark City, the hub of the Games, is located in Capas, Tarlac.  From Kuala Lumpur, the lantern will be brought to the Philippines, kicking off the torch run activities to be held in various parts of the country, namely in Davao City, Cebu City and Clark. It will also be brought to the Senate, House of Representatives and Malacanang.  The official torch for the 30th SEA Games portrays the national symbols of the Philippines.  The torch, symbolizing unity and celebrating a common message of sportsmanship, athletic superiority and artistic achievements, was designed by the country’s foremost metal sculptor, Daniel dela Cruz.  His torch design for the 30TH SEA Games is inspired by and is a stylized interpretation of our Philippine national flower - the sampaguita, symbolizing purity, simplicity, humility and strength......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 2nd, 2019Related News

Trump denounces impeachment inquiry as a coup

WASHINGTON, DC, USA –  Donald Trump on Tuesday, October 1, denounced the impeachment inquiry threatening his presidency as a "coup," as his administration pushed back hard against the investigation. Trump's comments came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed to prevent or delay five State Department officials from testifying ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 2nd, 2019Related News

Pompeo accuses Democrats of bullying in impeachment probe

WASHINGTON DC, USA – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, October 1, accused Democrats of intimidation in their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and refused to let State Department employees comply with orders to appear in coming days. In a letter to Congress, Pompeo said the subpoenas "can ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 1st, 2019Related News

Blame it on the juice: Pitchers set for homer-filled October

By Jake Seiner, Associated Press Justin Verlander didn't intend to alter his pitching strategy, not after 14 seasons as a major league ace. But then the home runs stopped making sense. A long drive by Yankees slugger Aaron Judge? The Houston Astros ace can live with that. This season, though, was full of surprises. Like when spindly utility man Ehire Adrianza drove a fastball into the right field party deck in Minnesota. Or the time light-hitting Angels infielder David Fletcher nearly put one into a parking lot beyond left field during a series in Monterrey, Mexico. Routine fly balls had become wall-scraping homers, and every hitter was suddenly strong enough to reach the second deck. "The game has changed completely," Verlander said. Expect more of the same this October. Hitters smashed a record 6,776 home runs in 2019, soaring past the previous high of 6,105 from two years earlier. It's a rise of over 60% from 2014, a year before a seismic home run spike attributed to tweaks in the baseballs. Major League Baseball commissioned a study in 2018 that concluded there was less drag on the ball causing all those extra homers, but Commissioner Rob Manfred has insisted MLB doesn't know why. He has also denied accusations from Verlander and other pitchers that the balls have been deliberately altered. Manfred told Forbes last week he has reconvened the scientists from the 2018 study and expects to issue another report after the World Series. His goal: "predictable, consistent performance from the baseball." First, though, may come the juiciest postseason yet. Across the 10 playoff rosters, only three qualified hitters connected for fewer than 15 home runs this season — St. Louis' Kolten Wong (11), Milwaukee's Lorenzo Cain (11) and Houston's Josh Reddick (14). There were 21 such hitters on postseason teams in 2014. Verlander has been critical of structural changes to the baseball since 2017, when pitchers and coaches from the Astros and Dodgers complained that World Series balls were slicker than ones used in the regular season. They moaned and groaned while the clubs combined for a Series-record 25 homers, but fans largely oohed and awed — especially during Game 5, a topsy-turvy classic featuring seven home runs. Verlander has called this year's balls a "joke." He's given up a career-most 36 homers, yet he's neck-and-neck with teammate Gerrit Cole for the AL Cy Young Award. How'd he do that? "I used to pitch to weak contact," he said. "I no longer try to miss barrels. I try to miss bats." After years of seeking quick outs to keep his pitch count low, Verlander has gone whole hog on punchouts. The 36-year-old totaled 300 of them in a season for the first time and surpassed 3,000 for his career in his final start. He avoided the middle of the plate at all costs, especially with runners on base — 28 of his homers were solo shots. Of course, strikeouts have surged everywhere — the majors set a record for the 12th consecutive season with 42,823 of them in 2019. There are varied reasons for that, including stronger arms and aggressive bullpen management, but pitchers say distrust in the baseball is a factor. "There's been an adaptation in the way I pitch that correlates with the ball, I just didn't necessarily realize I was doing it because of the ball," Verlander said. "You can no longer give in to a fastball away because 99% of players in Major League Baseball now can take an away fastball and hit a homer opposite field. "So what's my defense to that? My defense is I have to have you swing and miss." In the clubhouse of the NL East-champion Braves, every pitcher seems to remember at least one home run this year that looked like a pop fly off the bat. "(Christian) Yelich, he went straight-center off me," starter Mike Foltynewicz said. "(Pete) Alonso, on a changeup," added rotation-mate Mike Soroka. "You just know sometimes you might make your pitch and it's not going to matter," All-Star reliever Shane Greene said. Those pitchers aren't as concerned about strategizing around the homers as they are with steeling themselves against the frustration of it all. Soroka had the lowest home run rate of any qualified NL starter, and he credits that to an effective sinker and a willingness to be "stubborn." "The way guys are hitting them out now, every time the ball goes in the air you think it has a chance," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They experience all that on a daily basis over the course of the season. The ones that are successful are the ones who can handle that adversity." The postseason is a different game though, and not just because of the extra scrutiny and pressure. There are 26 hitters on postseason rosters who hit at least 30 home runs this season — not including Yelich, the Brewers' NL MVP contender who will miss the postseason with a broken kneecap. Four teams bypassed the previous season record for homers, with the Twins (307) and Yankees (306) becoming the first clubs to reach 300. "There's certain ballparks and certain times that you have to be patient," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Because you know there are going to be a few more runs scored and balls are going to leave the ballpark." Stressful stuff for pitchers and managers, no doubt, but if the 2017 World Series is an indication, it could be wild fun for fans, too. This year's postseason participants combined to win 73 times in the regular season when trailing after seven innings. When no lead is safe, no game can be boring, right? Maybe. Some are concerned that this year's big fly bonanza might have been too much even for the thrill-seekers in the seats. "Before, it was like the big wreck at a NASCAR race," Greene said. "You might see one, and everybody showed up to see that one homer. Now, you're going to see six." Managers have learned to live with all that carnage. Snitker maintained the baseball won't affect his decision-making, a sentiment echoed by Astros manager AJ Hinch. Yankees skipper Aaron Boone isn't sure what to anticipate, except he's pretty sure hitters will keep finding ways to connect. "The team that ends up winning the World Series," Boone said, "will do a good job of holding offenses down and will probably hit a lot of balls in the seats when they have traffic to create some big innings off of elite pitchers. "What it ends up looking like, I don't know how to predict that." ___ AP freelancer Chris Talbott contributed from Seattle......»»

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

Mitchell and Conley pairing could give Jazz offense a lift

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

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

Pompeo subpoenaed as Democrats press Trump impeachment

WASHINGTON, DC, USA – Democrats charged aggressively into an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump on Friday, September 28, ordering Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to turn over Ukraine-related documents and scheduling testimony for witnesses to alleged abuse of power by the US leader. Three House committees gave Pompeo one week to produce the documents, ........»»

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