Donnie Nietes fights for vacant IBF flyweight title at Pinoy Pride 40

ALA Boxing's Pinoy Pride series heads back to the 'Mecca of Philippine Boxing' Cebu and they kick 2017 off with a world title fight, as former long-time light flyweight king Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes targets his third world title when he meets Thailand's Eaktawan Mor Krungthep Thonburi for the vacant IBF world flyweight championship.  Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino boxing world champion, made the move to flyweight in 2016, after years of dominance at the light flyweight division. In his debut at 112-pounds, Nietes, 34, showed that he had the speed and the power to hang with the bigger boys after dismantling former world champion Edgar Sosa at Pinoy Pride 38 in Carson, California.  The native of Murcia, Negros is currently ranked at '3 in the IBF flyweight division.  Nietes' opponent Krungthep on the other hand, is ranked just below at fourth, and will be bringing a massive winning streak with him to Cebu. The 27-year old former Thai flywieght champ has won his last fifteen contests, eleven coming via KO or TKO.  This will be the third time Krungthep he faces a Pinoy, as he's stepped inside the ring with Froilan Saludar, and most notably, Nietes' teammate Albert Pagara.  ALA Boxing also announced via a press release that joining Nietes on the Pinoy Pride 40 card in Cebu will be rising stars Mark 'Magnifico' Magsayo and Jeo 'Santino' Santisima.  The 21-year old Magsayo (15-0, 11 KO) scored his biggest win to date when he last fought in Cebu, knocking out former champion Chris Avalos in the sixth round. The Tagbilaran, Bohol native followed that up with a dominant unanimous decision win over Ramiro Robles in California.  Santisima (12-2, 11 KO) on the other hand, has won his last ten fights, and in dominant fashion, with nine coming via stoppage. In his last outing, the 20-year old Masbatenyo scored a fifth-round TKO win over the very tough Rex Wao in Cebu.  Pinoy Pride 40 is set for April 29th, with a venue yet to be decided.  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports32 min. ago Related News

February 21, 2017

February 21, 2017.....»»

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Wozniacki wins Dubai opener after Doha final

BY SANDRA HARWITT, Associated Press   DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an all-American matchup, Alison Riske upset 11th-seeded Coco Vandeweghe 6-4, 6-4 to move into the second round at the Dubai Championships on Monday. The unseeded Riske, making her Dubai debut, has won four of their last five outings. 'I have no idea of that stat, but I'll happily take it,' Riske said, smiling. 'It's in my favor.' Riske and Vandeweghe, a semifinalist at the Australian Open, were winning teammates on the U.S. Fed Cup team that defeated Germany 4-0 in the first round two weekends ago. They arrived in Dubai straight from Maui on Wednesday. Vandeweghe seemed to have difficulty getting her firepower going, which is the cornerstone of her game. In the second set, four of the last five games were service breaks before Riske served out the match at love. 'She was having a little difficulty with her first serves,' Riske said. 'But she was starting to get back in rhythm in the second set there.' Caroline Wozniacki won her first-round match over Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-2, 7-5. The 10th-seeded Wozniacki reached the Doha final last week before losing to Karolina Pliskova. Wozniacki surrendered her serve twice in the match - in the first game of the first set and the third game of the second set - but otherwise was in control of the court. 'I was really pleased with how I was able to just stay focused out there from the beginning,' said Wozniacki, who won the Dubai title in 2011. 'It's much different conditions here. The ball is flying. The court is faster than in Doha.' American teen Cici Bellis, playing her first official match of 2017, upset 17th seed Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-1, 7-5. Monica Puig, the Olympic gold medalist from Puerto Rico, needed more than two hours to get past Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports1 hr. 59 min. ago Related News

Monaco teen star Mbappe doing better than Henry at same age

JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer   PARIS (AP) — Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe, the rising star of French football, is doing better than Thierry Henry was at the same age. Manchester City fans know all about Henry — Arsenal's all-time leading scorer — but are poised to get a glimpse of Mbappe's talent when the team hosts Monaco in the Champions League on Tuesday. Because of his electric speed and style of play, the 18-year-old Mbappe has drawn comparisons with Henry, a world-class finisher and France's record scorer with 51. Henry used to make the same dazzling runs when cutting inside from the left that Mbappe makes now, and the parallel is made stronger by the fact they broke into the Monaco side as teenagers. Mbappe's first professional goal came at the age of 17 years, 62 days, which just happened to beat the Monaco club record held by Henry. 'Every player wants to write their own history. (Henry) has written his and I hope to write mine,' Mbappe said. 'I just hope it's as good or better.' Where Mbappe has the edge is that he can already play at center forward, a quality that Henry developed at a later age. It is testament to Mbappe's maturity that when called upon by Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, he has switched easily from left winger to striker. When Jardim rested Radamel Falcao, his main striker, for a French Cup game and a league game this month, Mbappe scored in both. Then, when paired alongside Falcao against Metz recently, he scored a hat trick. 'All that remains is finding his true position, out wide or through the middle,' said Jean-Claude Giuntini, Mbappe's coach with the France Under-17s. Jardim said on Monday that Mbappe 'can play anywhere across the front three' but also suggested there was the option of playing in a deeper role, too. For the game against City, Jardim said Mbappe was competing with Valere Germain for a starting place. Henry became a striker when he joined Arsenal from Juventus in 1999, by which time he was nearly 22. Coach Arsene Wenger converted him from a winger averaging one goal every five games at his previous clubs into the Premier League's most feared marksman. Mbappe, who joined Monaco at age 14, started drawing attention when still shy of his 17th birthday. It was for the way he set up Monaco's goal in a 4-1 loss to Tottenham in the Europa League, turning right back Kieran Trippier inside out before feeding striker Stephan El Shaarawy. Amid growing interest, Mbappe turned down Real Madrid last summer. He previously visited Madrid's facilities aged 14, greeted in person by Zinedine Zidane. 'I was a kid who had the best player in French history speaking to him,' Mbappe recounted. 'It didn't happen because I wanted to stay in my country. I decided to come to Monaco, and I made the right choice.' Monaco has a gift for finding rare talent. Forward Anthony Martial joined Manchester United from Monaco in January last year, aged 20. But Mbappe is showing even more potential than Martial. Like Martial and Henry, he also grew up in the Paris suburbs. Following in their footsteps, he soon joined France's youth academy at Clairefontaine, nestled in leafy countryside about one hour from Paris. The logical choice would seemingly have been to join Paris Saint-Germain. But Mbappe saw better opportunities with Monaco. It's a side known for developing young players, whereas PSG had a reputation for overlooking local talent, having missed out on Henry and Martial. Last May, Mbappe helped Monaco win the Gambardella Cup — the French Youth Cup — by scoring twice in the final against Lens: An Henry-like finish for his first goal and a brilliant strike for his second. Although Mbappe's signature move is stepping over the ball multiple times when running at speed — a hallmark of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo — he has outrageous trickery of his own. In the Euro Under-19 final against Italy last July, he received the ball down the right flank. Feigning to go one way, he flicked the ball the other way over the Italian player's head and then crossed it. All of this on his weaker foot. He was the tournament's star, scoring five goals as France won. Earlier on, in a 2-0 defeat of Croatia, he scored another Henry-like goal, controlling a long pass perfectly with his right foot, then gliding around the keeper before slotting in with his left. 'He is full of surprises,' Monaco defender Fabinho said on Monday. 'We see this on the training pitch every day. He has amazing ability, he does things that stand out.' That Monaco has managed to keep Mbappe is largely down to a strong family structure. Mbappe does not have a high-profile agent like Mino Raiola, who has Manchester United stars Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among his elite clients. Mbappe, whose mother played professional handball and whose half-brother played striker for first division Rennes, is represented only by his Cameroonian father Wilfried. When Mbappe was on the bench earlier this season, his father gave a newspaper interview bluntly advising Jardim to pick him. The message got through. ___ AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas in Manchester contributed to this report. .....»»

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Big punching Wilder believes he can save heavyweights

TIM DAHLBERG, AP Sports Columnist   Deontay Wilder was in the Super Bowl media center in Houston a few days before the game when a somewhat familiar face walked by. Wilder and his girlfriend recognized Andrew Zimmern, who stars in the 'Bizarre Foods' show on the Travel Channel. More telling, perhaps, was that Zimmern recognized him. 'I'm a big fan, champ,' Zimmern said before engaging Wilder in a friendly chat and posing for pictures with the heavyweight champion. A small thing, maybe. But to a fighter with a goal of making the heavyweight division must-see once again it was a promising sign of progress. It's no secret the state of the heavyweight division has been abysmal. Hijacked by the Klitschko brothers and in dire need of some punch and personality, it has become a forgotten part of a beleaguered sport. Wilder believes he can change all that. 'We need to see who's the No. 1 guy, who's the baddest man on the planet,' Wilder said. 'That's the title I want, the baddest man on the planet.' That title, of course, used to be held by Mike Tyson, who truly was the baddest man on the planet at one time. But that was more than two decades ago, and in the interim years you'd be hard pressed to find a heavyweight — champion or not — that most boxing fans could identify much less relate to. 'One man having all the belts is going to play a major factor,' Wilder said. 'Even to me as a champion, it's confusing. Who has what belt? And if it's confusing to me I know it's confusing to the average fan.' Wilder won't do much to advance his claim to the heavyweight crown on Saturday when he defends his title against Gerald Washington, a fighter so unknown that even Wilder found it difficult to say much about him. That the fight will take place in Wilder's home state of Alabama, far from boxing's biggest lights, doesn't help the cause much. That's not entirely Wilder's fault, though the 6-foot-7 slugger has been criticized some for taking the slow road to the top since winning a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. Study a list of his opponents, and it's clear that his 37-0 (with 36 knockouts) record wasn't exactly built against the best of what has been a bad division. But he was on his way last year to board a flight to Russia to fight a hometown opponent when Alexander Povetkin tested positive for meldonium. He wants a big fight against England's Anthony Joshua, but that will have to wait, too. So Wilder is defending his title for the fourth time in Birmingham while continuing to dream of bigger things. It's not easy being patient, especially when Joshua is defending his title against Wladimir Klitschko before an expected 90,000 people on April 29 in London in one of the more fascinating heavyweight fights of recent times. Wilder wants the winner for a title unification fight, though it's unlikely to happen until 2018 at the earliest. He hopes it is Joshua, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist for England who is already a big star at home, in a matchup of two fearsome sluggers. 'The fans, they want to see Joshua and Wilder,' Wilder said. 'They're not really worried about Klitschko. We could fight at the end of the year with a big unification bout.' First, Wilder has some work to do against Washington, who is undefeated himself in 19 fights. The big story line figures to be how well Wilder comes back from a broken hand and torn bicep suffered in his knockout win last July against Chris Arreola. Wilder admits he became somewhat depressed after Povetkin tested positive, and he lost a chance to make his name against him in Russia. He's also been frustrated at the pace of his chase for a big fight against one of the other heavyweight champions. 'I'm just staying patient, which is the hardest part of this sport,' he said. 'You can only control so much, so I don't get my hopes up. The world would be perfect if everything went as the way we wanted it to go, but that's not the case.' Wilder did score a big win in a New York courtroom just after the Super Bowl when a judge ruled in his favor in trying to collect his $5 million purse for the aborted Povetkin fight. But the former waiter at Red Lobster insists he is more worried about building a legacy than cashing in. 'I want my name to echo when it comes to boxing,' he said. 'I want all those people to remember me for good  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports2 hr. 32 min. ago Related News

Saunders aims to provide leadership in Phillies clubhouse

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — After moving from the All-Star-laden clubhouse in Dunedin to the young locker room in Clearwater six miles up the road, veteran outfielder Michael Saunders is embracing a leadership role with the Philadelphia Phillies this spring. Saunders, who turned 30 two weeks after filing for free agency this offseason, is an elder statesman in the Phillies' clubhouse and one of just two players, along with fellow newcomer Howie Kendrick, in the team's regular lineup who is not in his 20s. 'I'm not looking to change the way I act or change the way I do things, with my routine or anything like that,' Saunders said. 'There are a few guys in this clubhouse that have been around. If (there's) something that needs to be said, it will be said. But I learned from my first few days in the big leagues that you lead by example.' Saunders signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Phillies last month after spending the last two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. The rebuilding Phillies have an impressionable clubhouse this spring, with more than a half-dozen prospects in major league camp. With mainstays Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz gone, the front office made a point to add veterans on one-year contracts this winter, including Saunders, Kendrick and pitchers Clay Buchholz, Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit. Saunders was once a top prospect himself, coming up through the Seattle Mariners' system, and he understands the path to the big leagues isn't always linear. 'The first part of my career, the first two or three years, honestly, I didn't know how to hit at the major league level,' Saunders said. 'I didn't have much of an approach, I didn't have a game plan. I was young. I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform. And I wore my emotions on my sleeve. 'I think ever since 2012 I've started to learn how to hit in the major leagues. I think the biggest thing I did was more mental than physical. Really, giving myself permission to fail. And not taking my first or my second at-bat and having it ruin my game. Realizing it's one at-bat at a time. I think that's something that just happens when you get older, you mature, you have more of a solid mental approach.' Saunders enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, when he went to his first All-Star Game. He hit .253 with a career-best .815 OPS and 24 home runs in 140 games. The left-handed hitting Saunders will start in right field and likely hit between third baseman Maikel Franco (25 home runs in 2016) and first baseman Tommy Joseph (21 home runs), two of the promising players in the Phillies' youthful lineup. In addition to providing balance to manager Pete Mackanin's regular batting order, Saunders will be a veteran that other position players can lean on for advice, whether it's how to attack an opposing veteran pitcher or come out of lengthy slumps. 'Learning how to win and, for this franchise learning how to take that next step, that's going to be critical,' Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said. 'And Michael has a unique perspective having been a highly touted prospect coming up with Seattle and then certainly a young team when he was there, and then transitioning to a Blue Jays club over the last couple years that was dominated by experience and very talented veterans and seeing it from both sides. 'And I think that, candidly, that perspective that he can bring drew us to Michael Saunders. He can relate to both sides of the coin on that and bring that to our clubhouse and some of our younger players. What does it mean to take that next step and play winning baseball. That's part of the reason he's here.' NOTES: Mackanin said there was a 'good chance' right-handed veteran Jeremy Hellickson would start on opening day for the Phillies for the second straight year. Hellickson went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts in his first season in Philadelphia last season and returned this winter when he accepted the club's $17.2 qualifying offer rather than testing free agency. . Right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin (right knee swelling) threw a bullpen session without issue on Monday morning. Eflin, who had surgery on both his knees since August, had skipped a throwing session last week. . The Phillies will begin their exhibition season schedule on Thursday in Clearwater when they host the University of Tampa at 1:05 p.m. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports2 hr. 32 min. ago Related News

CHED officials wants field trips suspended after Tanay crash - Philippine Star

CHED officials wants field trips suspended after Tanay crash - Philippine Star.....»»

Source: Googlenews GooglenewsCategory: News2 hr. 38 min. ago Related News

PIA to launch 3 Asean info kiosks | SunStar - Sun.Star

PIA to launch 3 Asean info kiosks | SunStar - Sun.Star.....»»

Source: Googlenews GooglenewsCategory: News3 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

TNT's chances against SMB were blurred the moment Castro got hurt

No matter how you look at it, TNT was doomed even before Game 7 started against San Miguel Beer. In fact, the KaTropa were doomed even before Game 6 ended. That's because against the two-time defending champion Beermen in a do-or-die situation, TNT went to work without top star Jayson Castro. And with one day preparation against San Miguel, it was simply a losing proposition for the flagship MVP franchise. The Blur is such a big factor of the TNT system it's hard to imagine the team functioning right with his sudden absence. 'It's hard to sustain. It could have been a different story if Jayson played,' head coach Nash Racela said after TNT's elimination from the All-Filipino. 'We just tried to play our cards correctly but it did not work. Obviously we missed Jayson but of course we don't want to take anything from the San Miguel win,' he added. Castro, who ran the KaTropa offense to near perfection in this series, missed Game 7 due to a hamstring injury. He was in street clothes as his teammates tried to take the the Beermen dynasty Monday night. For one half, the KaTropa looked like they could manage to beat San Miguel. However, the Beermen practically won the series with a huge third-quarter effort, outscoring TNT by 15, 36-21. The champs shot 79 percent from the field in that stretch. 'I was hard. Again, if you play a team like San Miguel na nakaka-shoot ng ganun, mahirap talaga,' Racela said. 'We tried to force them to miss but mahirap. And we had our open shots na hindi rin namin na-shoot,' he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports4 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

No honeymoon plans (yet) and no regrets for Troy Rosario

Having a lot more time on his hands right now after TNT's unfortunate elimination from the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup, you'd think Troy Rosario would have some immediate plans for vacation. After all, he just got married two days ago. A honeymoon should be in order right? Well apparently, that's not on his mind yet. At least he doesn't want to talk about it right after his team lost a Game 7. 'Wala pa naman plano. Yun lang,' Rosario said with a laugh Monday night after the KaTropa failed to take down San Miguel's All-Filipino dynasty, losing the semifinal decider, 83-96. The former NU Bulldog's wedding picked up steam over the weekend after it coincided with Game 6 of TNT-San Miguel. With the KaTropa up, 3-2, he could have played a role or two in trying to help send TNT back to the Finals. Instead, Rosario pushed through with his wedding which was scheduled two hours before tipoff. He has no regrets. 'Wala naman. Nangyari na yun at nagkaroon pa kami ng chance,' he said. 'Talagang nasa kamay pa rin namin pero hindi lang namin nakuha.' Despite an unfortunate end to their Philippine Cup, Rosario remains positive of what they achieved. They did push San Miguel to seven games after all. 'Thankful lang kami na nakarating kami dito. Una pa lang, counted out na kami. Thankful kami na umabot ng Game 7 kasi di lang namin nakuha,' he said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports4 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

On the verge of history, Beermen know job is not done yet

San Miguel is on the verge of history. After beating TNT in Game 7 of the Philippine Cup semifinals Monday, the Beermen are now four wins away from being the second team to win three straight All-Filipino championships. The champs know where they are right now and they realize where they could end up by winning those four games. They are totally locked in and ready to go to chase the Perpetual trophy. 'It's a good thought, man, but there's still a lot of work to be done,' reigning Finals MVP Chris Ross said. 'We haven't done nothing yet. We're back in the FInals but it still takes four more wins. We gotta go take it, just like today,' he added. With an all-SMC showdown already set, Ross is falling for that trap of choosing between Star and Ginebra as an opponent in the Finals. He, together with the rest of the Beermen, know that it's going to be a dog fight either way. 'We know the other side, whoever we face, they're not gonna lay down just because we're back-to-back champions,' Ross said. 'Whatever opponent we face, it's not gonna be easy. The road gets tougher the further you get along in a conference. We'll be ready,' he added. But before worrying about securing their three-peat, the Beermen will celebrate beating TNT for now, they did just complete another series comeback. 'It's a great feeling. It feels like it's been a while for us, but this is one of our goals coming into this conference,' Ross said. 'And now we're here. It's our chance to kind of finish it up. We're happy, we're gonna celebrate it tonight, but tomorrow, we're gonna forget about it,' he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports4 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

Epic finish for Manila Clasico set with Game 7

Manila Clasico Game 7. If you're trying to think of four better words, then don't. You really can't. Star and Brgy. Ginebra duel for the last time in the 2017 Philippine Cup Tuesday with the winner moving on to the Finals to challenge two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer. If you need anything else to get hyped up for this final showdown, there's something wrong with you. Game 7 was made possible after the Gin Kings scored an emphatic Game 6 win to tie the series at three games each. Naturally, Ginebra should have some major confidence coming in. However, the Hotshots have controlled this entire series from the get-go and Star seemed to be always one step ahead of the Gin Kings. It would be a bummer if the Hotshots would let this one go after they never really trailed in this race to four. Tipoff for Manila Clasico Game 7 is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. live from the MOA Arena. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports4 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

Bohol slides to fourth From 3rd place in 2016

TAGBILARAN CITY, February 18 (PIA)—Bohol lost steam and sizzled as it slid to fourth among 13 sports delegations towards the closing days of the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVRAA) meet held February 12-17, 2017 at the Teodoro Mendiola Sr Oval in Naga City. On the second day of competitions, Bohol took a commanding second [&'].....»»

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Philippines leaps 12 ranks to No. 58 in Economic Freedom Index 2017

Now in the top-third of the ranking Philippines leaps 12 ranks to No. 58 in Economic Freedom Index 2017 &'160; The National Competitiveness Council is pleased to announce that the country has advanced twelve notches to rank no. 58 out of 180 countries in the latest release of the Economic Freedom Index 2017, making it [&'].....»»

Source: Boholnewsdaily BoholnewsdailyCategory: News4 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

Kings cut ties with Cousins, giving Pelicans dominant duo

em>By Josh Dubow, Associated Press /em> Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac headed into All-Star weekend convinced it was finally time to part ways with ultra-talented center DeMarcus Cousins. Befitting a franchise that appears headed to a 11th straight season without a playoff berth, the Kings even seemed to botch that. Sacramento dealt Cousins and forward Omri Casspi to New Orleans in exchange for Tyreke Evans, 2016 first-round draft pick Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks this summer. When asked Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) why he didn't wait for a better offer closer to Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) trade deadline, Divac gave a curious response that raised more questions than it answered. 'Most likely we would get less because I had a better deal two days ago,' Divac said. 'I don't want to go into details. I don't want to discuss the process.' Cousins will now team with another former Kentucky big man who has developed into an NBA All-Star in New Orleans' Anthony Davis. Cousins is averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds this season and can become a free agent in 2018 unless the Pelicans can sign him to an All-Star caliber extension. The Kings have not won more than 33 games in a season since drafting Cousins fifth overall in 2010 and grew tired of his antics that included frequent run-ins with coaches, media members and officials. He leads the NBA with 17 technical fouls this season, leading to a one-game suspension earlier this month. He will be suspended again after his next technical foul and every two beyond that for the rest of the regular season. Divac frequently mentioned culture and character when explaining the thought behind the deal, saying the franchise needed a change despite being only 1.5 games behind Denver for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. 'I really love DeMarcus,' Divac said. 'I think he's a great kid. It just wasn't a fit right now with what we're trying to do. I wish him all the best. I hope this will have a positive effect on his career.' The deal to pair Cousins with Davis sends a message that the Pelicans are more concerned with making a 25-game push for the playoffs this spring then where they'll be drafting next offseason. Pelicans general manager Dell Demps previous' attempts to provide Davis a requisite supporting cast has been under increasing scrutiny as losses have mounted — New Orleans is 23-34, 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the West with 25 games left. When the deal was made official Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), Demps thanked Pelicans owner Tom Benson and top executives Mickey Loomis and Dennis Lauscha for their 'continued support and providing the resources for us to be successful.' 'This is an exciting time for Pelicans fans as we continue our quest for long-term success,' Demps said. The Kings, who are a game ahead of the Pelicans in the standings, will now enter rebuilding mode without Cousins. They could deal other veterans for prospects or picks before Thursday's deadline but even the rebuilding plan has issues. The Kings could be forced to swap first-round picks with Philadelphia this year and also owe the 76ers an unprotected 2019 pick as part of a trade in July 15 made to create salary cap room to sign Rajon Rondo, Kosta Koufos and Marco Belinelli. Only Koufos is still in Sacramento. This trade does increase Sacramento's chances at two first-round picks this year because they only have to give up their top pick to Chicago if it falls outside the top 10. The pick from New Orleans is top-three protected. 'We feel very strong about this draft this year,' Divac said. 'It's very strong, stronger than the past few years. It's time to start fresh.' The Kings also get the 23-year-old Hield, who won the Wooden Award at Oklahoma last year before being drafted sixth overall by the Pelicans. Hield has struggled as a rookie, averaging 8.6 points per game in 20.4 minutes per contest, while shooting 39.2 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from three-point range. 'He's talented guy,' Divac said. 'His work ethic is exactly what we want here.' Evans, who can play point guard, shooting guard or small forward, will be entering a second stint in Sacramento, where he was drafted in 2009 and went on to be Rookie of the Year. Galloway has been a solid reserve, providing scoring punch from the perimeter. Casspi has been playing about 19 minutes a game for the Kings this season, averaging 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds. ___ em>AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans and freelancer Antonio Harvey in Sacramento, California, contributed to this report /em> .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports4 hr. 59 min. ago Related News

2017 All-Star game draws best ratings since 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA All-Star game drew an average audience of 7.8 million viewers, making it the most-viewed All-Star broadcast since 2013. Turner Sports announced the numbers on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). The number of viewers peaked at 8.5 million and the total audience was up three percent from last year's game. The hype surrounding the game centered on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook playing on the Western Conference team together. Durant left Oklahoma City last summer to join Golden State, leaving his longtime teammate Westbrook behind with the Thunder. Westbrook did not hide his dissatisfaction with Durant, which ratcheted up the intrigue heading into the game on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The two shared the court for just 81 seconds and Oklahoma City posted the highest local market rating with a 10.9. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Welcome to NBA trade season, already underway in earnest

em>By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press /em> NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jahlil Okafor viewed New Orleans during All-Star weekend with a different lens than usual, since he thought there was a chance it may have been his next home. That's life in the rumor mill. Welcome to trade season, already underway in earnest and will remain so until Thursday afternoon's (Friday, PHL time) deadline. All-Star DeMarcus Cousins is changing his address from Sacramento to New Orleans, Serge Ibaka was sent last week from Orlando to Toronto — and the next few days will likely see Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Reggie Jackson and many more all discussed by various teams. 'Here we go again,' said Okafor, the Philadelphia 76ers forward who missed two games before the break amid looming trade speculation. The motivations are many, and obvious in most cases. Some teams will look to add pieces with hopes of enhancing their postseason hopes; others are looking to build toward the future by shedding expiring contracts or collecting draft picks. The jostling is already well underway, and the Cousins move would be huge for New Orleans — if they can convince him to sign an extension this summer. Ibaka figures to bolster the Raptors' chances in the East, and Cleveland moved the injured Chris Andersen to Charlotte to open up a roster spot just in case the Cavs have a chance to add a piece that might help LeBron James when it's time to defend last season's title. Even the Cavs are looking to get better. And of course, teams are looking for ways to improve enough to beat the defending champs as well. 'To know that everyone is trying to build their team or wanting to get their team to try to get to where you are and try to knock you off, it's a motivating factor,' said Cleveland star LeBron James, who's vying to make a seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. 'It's also a humbling factor that to know that I've been in this position for so long.' With Cousins now moved, the next huge domino to fall may be Anthony, who has a no-trade clause — but is going through times trying enough with the New York Knicks that he may be persuaded to drop that clause. The Knicks were tied for fourth in the East in mid-December; they're now 12th, having lost 21 of their last 28 games and if that wasn't enough also dealing with fallout related to cryptic tweets by team president Phil Jackson and the Charles Oakley incident where he was dragged from Madison Square Garden and arrested. Anthony, at All-Star weekend, said he was bolstered by support from fellow stars. 'For me, it's good to see the support from my peers despite everything I have been having to deal with,' Anthony said. 'When you have your peers who understand it, they're the ones who are actually going through similar situations and can relate to those types of situations because they're in it. So to have my peers speak up and talk about that, it means a lot to me.' But does he expect to move this week? 'I did not come here to talk about no-trade talk,' Anthony said. Others have no choice. The Bulls might lose Gibson in free agency this summer, and Boston — which could easily have the No. 1 pick in this year's draft thanks to a past deal with the Brooklyn Nets — is believed to be a potential landing spot for Butler if Chicago elects to go into a full rebuilding mode. If that happens, the Bulls probably wouldn't be expecting Dwyane Wade to stay this summer either. 'There's nothing I can do about it,' Butler said. 'Control what you can control. Why talk about it? Why worry about it? If you here you're here. If you're not, you're not. ... Do I deserve to be traded? I don't know. It's not my job. It's not in my job description. I'm just supposed to play basketball to the best of my ability. If I'm here, I'm here.' Orlando, with an eye on the future, is considering a deal where it would take Jackson from Detroit and essentially make him the Magic point guard of the future since three full seasons remain on what was a five-year, $80 million contract. Not everyone gets frenzied at trade-deadline time. San Antonio, for example, hasn't made a deadline deal of any real significance since acquiring Kurt Thomas in 2008. 'It's all about team chemistry,' Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard said. 'You've always got to figure out the best way for you and your team, but I think we're doing a good job right now. You can talk to the front office and see what they're doing, but right now I feel like we're doing good.' .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

DeMarcus Cousins trade to New Orleans Pelicans official

em>New Orleans Pelicans press release /em> NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans have completed a trade with the Sacramento Kings, acquiring center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Omri Casspi in exchange for guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and two future draft picks. 'We’re thrilled to welcome DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans family,” stated Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps. “This is an exciting time for Pelicans fans as we continue our quest for long-term success. I know our fans are equally excited to welcome DeMarcus and Omri to our great city. “I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Benson, Dennis Lauscha and Mickey Loomis for their continued support and providing the resources for us to be successful. I’d also like to thank Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and Buddy Hield for their professionalism and hard work on the court and in the community during their tenure in New Orleans.” Cousins, 6’11”, 270, has appeared in 55 games this season, averaging 27.8 points (ranked fourth in the NBA), 10.7 rebounds (ranked 11th in the NBA), 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks. Drafted fifth overall by Sacramento in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky, Cousins has appeared in 470 career games, averaging 21.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks. Cousins is a three-time NBA All-Star (2015, 2016, 2017), named to the All-NBA Second Team twice (2015, 2016), was a member of the All-Rookie First Team in 2011, and has won gold medals with Team USA at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Casspi, 6’9”, 225, has appeared in 22 games this season with the Kings, averaging 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists. Drafted by Sacramento with 23rd overall pick in 2011, Casspi has appeared in 485 regular season games with Sacramento, Cleveland and Houston. Drafted sixth overall in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma, Buddy Hield, 6’4”, 214, is averaging 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. Tyreke Evans, 6’6”, 220, who was originally acquired from Sacramento on July 10, 2013, has appeared in 202 career regular season games with New Orleans, averaging 14.8 points, 5.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 29.5 minutes. Evans, who was selected fourth overall by Sacramento in the 2009 draft out of the University of Memphis, the 2010 Rookie of the Year holds career averages of 16.3 points, 5.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 459 regular season games with Sacramento and New Orleans. Langston Galloway, 6’2”, 200, was originally signed by New Orleans as an unrestricted free agent on July 21, 2016, has appeared in 55 games this season, averaging 8.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. Undrafted in 2014 out of St. Joseph’s (PA), Galloway holds career averages of 9.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 25.3 minutes per game with New York and New Orleans. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports6 hr. 2 min. ago Related News

James Yap graces STI sportsfest

Two-time PBA Most Valuable Player James Yap of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters received a rock star treatment from the STI Academic Center Las Piñas community during the institution’s annual sportsfest held for the first time at its newly-established gymnasium in Alabang-Zapote just recently......»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: News6 hr. 23 min. ago Related News

Sophomore steals thunder

Unheralded Roel Quitoy of Mindanao came through with best performance in his young cycling career as he topped Stage 10 of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2017 that started and ended at the Tagaytay Convention Center here yesterday......»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: News7 hr. 32 min. ago Related News