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Raptors on brink of first Finals berth in franchise history

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com TORONTO -- Twenty-one would be a very cool number for the Toronto Raptors. Before they get it, though, they’ll need to get one. And one would be beyond cool. Off the charts, historic, potentially transformative and largely indescribable. Twenty-one: That’s how many teams in NBA playoff history will have overcome an 0-2 start to win a best-of-seven series, if the Raptors manage to close out the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals. Whether it happens in Game 6 Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) at Scotiabank Arena or in Game 7 back in Milwaukee Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), Toronto would buck outlandish odds -- this is the 289th series to begin with the same team winning the first two games, so we’re talking a seven percent likelihood (20-of-288). [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] One: That’s all that stands between the Raptors and the first NBA Final appearance in Toronto franchise history. One more victory in the next three days would validate the risks and twists of this 2018-19 season for the Raptors, while exorcising nearly a quarter century’s worth of demons. One little win and Toronto finally will break through, capping a stellar six-year run of promising regular seasons and heartbreaking postseasons. They will have earned, in the face of so much uncertainty, their best shot yet at a championship, even if it means going through the mighty Golden State Warriors. When Raptors president Masai Ujiri traded for star forward Kawhi Leonard, he was gambling not just that Leonard could recover from the right quadriceps injury that scuttled his 2017-18. He was guessing that swapping in Leonard for former All-Star wing DeMar DeRozan could push Toronto to, well, right where they’re at. And he was hoping Leonard, a rent-a-player able to leave this summer in free agency, would enjoy the whole experience enough to let Ujiri pay him $220 million over the next five seasons. It’s impossible to know where things stand on that last front, owing to Leonard’s inscrutability and a decision that’s still six weeks away. But the Raptors never have gotten this far, so there is an opportunity here to be savored, with more potentially to come. “It would be a very, very long summer thinking about what could have been or what you could have done,” guard Fred VanVleet said, framing things a bit negatively after raining 7-of-9 three-pointers on Milwaukee in the 105-99 Game 5 victory. “So we've just got to go out there and have no regrets. … One win away from the Finals sounds pretty good to me.” Sounds a little easier, maybe, than it actually will be. The Raptors are at home for Game 6 and the crowd at Scotiabank crowd, already dialed high, will be able to let it rip without any fear -- immediate fear, anyway -- of failure. But Milwaukee will be desperate. Giannis Antetokounmpo has pledged that his team will not “fold.” And the Bucks have zero interest in a knock-knock year, believing all season that they were good enough to reach and win the championship. They wouldn’t be human if they weren’t shaken by the three consecutive defeats Toronto has dealt them. The Raptors have managed to surround and partially stifle Antetokounmpo, while still firing out enough to bother Milwaukee’s three-point shooters into repeated misfires. The Bucks’ defense has been probed and poked like a cut-rate steak. They resorted again to some uncharacteristic switching in Game 5 but had most of their success inside the arc. Late in the pivotal loss, they got beat for five offensive rebounds, when grabbing two or three might have swung the outcome. “It's win or lose,” coach Mike Budenholzer said Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in a conference call with reporters. “When you win, there are things that [still] are concerning and unsettling that you need to work on and improve. I think there's just enough possessions where there's a couple of rebounds that stand out. “Can we do a little bit better job in some of our activity in certain situations. Offensively, I think at times can our spacing be better and our ball movement be better? But I would say it's like a lot of games. We didn't get it done.” One area in which Budenholzer refuses to budge, dire circumstances be darned, is in his use vs. overuse of Antetokounmpo. The load the Greek Freak carries when he’s on the floor, the activity he generates, leads to fatigue and wear-and-tear that requires regular breathers. Extending his star’s minutes, Budenholzer believes, would lead to less “peak Giannis” rather than more, an inevitable tradeoff of quality over quantity. And the Bucks need every bit of Antetokounmpo’s best, or what’s left of it in their 97th game of the season. “Giannis, it's so impressive what he does and how important he is,” Budenholzer said. “I maintain that him getting appropriate rest, appropriate kind of just a chance to catch his breath, refuel… At the end of the day, you need to be able to produce and perform, including in the fourth quarter.” At the possible end of your season, though, you’ll have plenty of time to refuel if the opponent pounces while your star sits. Said Raptors coach Nick Nurse, in his own teleconference: “It's a ‘whatever it takes’ game. It's an unlimited-minutes night. This is just like any other critical must-win game.” 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: Sports11 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

UAAP: Coach Franz says Adamson now a destination for blue-chip recruits

Adamson University, new-look and all, is doing pretty well in the ongoing 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament. Following the lead of Jerrick Ahanmisi and fanning the flames of the development of Simon Camacho and Jerom Lastimosa, the Soaring Falcons are now one of the league leaders in the preseason tournament. Of course, it's not only those three doing the heavy lifting as rookies Aaron Fermin and Joem Sabandal and first-year foreign reinforcement Lenda Douanga have also delivered much-welcome contributions. "I think we got very good recruits," head coach Franz Pumaren said after they improved to 3-1. "But basically, they still need to work on their individual skills." Aside from Fermin, a double-double machine from his time in Arellano High School, and Sabandal, a steadying force for Adamson HS, also now in San Marcelino are Lorenz Capulong, AP Manlapaz, Joshua Yerro, and Doria twins Adam and Andrey. That has given the blue and white one of the best recruiting classes in 2019. That big-time offseason haul proved coach Franz correct when he said that Adamson could now recruit with the best of the best. "Since I took over, I think we picked up a lot of respectability. We already established that Adamson can be a powerhouse in basketball," he said at the end of their campaign in UAAP 81 last November. He then continued, "Right now, we are a destination for high school kids who want to be developed." Without a doubt, getting the better of other suitors for the likes of blue-chip recruits Fermin, Sabandal, and Yerro is nothing but a welcome development for the Soaring Falcons - upstarts in terms of recruitment compared to the likes of Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, or San Beda University. And the reason for that is pretty simple - in the eyes of their mentor. As he put it, "We thrive on developing and bringing out the best in players. That's why I know that this is now a destination for aspiring players." He then continued, "If you want to be noticed, to be put on the map, of course, the right place to go is with us." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports11 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

Original Duterte Youth nominees unwilling, unready for Congress

Original Duterte Youth nominees unwilling, unready for Congress Philippine Star Duterte Youth fielded people who were either unwilling or unready for work at the House of Representatives, documents o.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: News11 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

Public, Private Agencies Share Resources for Brigada Eskwela 2019

The Filipino spirit of bayanihan surfaced anew at Panan-awan village in this city on Tuesday, May 21 during the kickoff ceremony for 2019 Brigada Eskwela led by the city schools division of the Department of Education (DepEd). “Panan-awan Integrated School was chosen as the jump-off point for the week-long annual schools maintenance work due to […].....»»

Source: Metrocebu MetrocebuCategory: News16 hr. 38 min. ago Related News

Ex-La Salle, Ateneo stars lead Katayama to victory in PBL opener

Former DLSU Green Batter Carlos Munoz and ex-Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Laurel made a triumphant return to the diamond last weekend. Behind the two stalwarts, the Katayama Baseball Academy Stars trashed the young Rizal Technological University Thunder in just five innings, 13-0, during the opening weekend of the 2019 Philippine Baseball League Open Conference. "I made the team because I wanted to give an opportunity to the players who graduated from the UAAP," said KBA head coach Keiji Katayama. In his very first at-bat after a year-long absence from the game, right fielder Munoz slammed a deep home run to right field for a quick 2-0 lead. "I'm happy to have a baseball team with Carlos, Matt, and SJ [San Juan]. I hope they return to the game because they still have a chance to make it to the National Team," added Katayama about having the trio in this tournament organized by the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association with the support of the Philippine Sports Commission. Munoz had three RBIs in the game while ex-UP shortstop Mark Tuballas and former Adamson third baseman Kyle Villafana had three and two RBIs, respectively. UAAP Season 81 Finals MVP Kiko Gesmundo led the pitching staff with three hitless innings while striking out four batters. After their quick game, KBA also played an exhibition contest against South Korean weekend warriors from the Jeju Province. "It's very, very nice because this is a goodwill game," said PABA secretary-general Pepe Munoz. "At first I was unsure about it because we are very busy in trying to fix baseball in the Philippines. Secondly, we don't know them at all. "When they showed up, they were very good. We were hoping to give them a series of games but time would not allow it," he added. Also last Saturday, Jerome Ponce connected on the first home run of the conference that led the way for the Thunder's 8-2 whipping of the Philippine Air Force. National team standout Aids Bernardo pitched all seven innings for Thunder, allowing just seven hits while fanning five Lawins. Air Force bounced back a day later with an 8-3 victory over the UST Golden Sox. In other games, the Adamson Soaring Falcons opened the conference by eking out a 3-1 win over the NU Bulldogs, the IPPC Nationals thrashed the Ateneo Blue Eagles 7-3, and the DLSU Green Batters escaping RTU-Alums 11-6......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 25th, 2019Related News

31 Manobos flee Haran, are back home

KAPALONG, Davao del Norte (PIA) -- Thirty-one members of the Ata-Manobo tribe who reportedly ran away from the Haran compound in Davao City last Saturday (May 18) have returned home, arriving on Tu.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsMay 25th, 2019Related News

Taiwan to Expand Joint Rescue Operations in Disputed Sea

TAIPEI - Taiwan said Tuesday it will continue doing 'humanitarian' search and rescue work in the South China Sea, where it holds the largest of about 500 tiny islets.In a statement, the Coas.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsMay 25th, 2019Related News

Indonesian escapes drug smuggling conviction in the Philippines

AN INDONESIAN convicted in the Philippines in 2012 for drug trafficking has returned home after years of ensuing court hearings, […].....»»

Source: Mindanaoexaminer MindanaoexaminerCategory: NewsMay 25th, 2019Related News

31 Manobos flee Haran, are back home

KAPALONG, Davao del Norte (PIA) -- Thirty-one members of the Ata-Manobo tribe who reportedly ran away from the Haran compound in Davao City last Saturday (May 18) have returned home, arriving on Tu.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsMay 24th, 2019Related News

Taiwan to Expand Joint Rescue Operations in Disputed Sea

TAIPEI - Taiwan said Tuesday it will continue doing 'humanitarian' search and rescue work in the South China Sea, where it holds the largest of about 500 tiny islets.In a statement, the Coas.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsMay 24th, 2019Related News

Barbie Imperial rejects JM de Guzman

  BARBIE Imperial does not want to work with JM de Guzman. Not yet anyway. She just turned down a project pairing her with the actor noting she’d rather keep her distance from the latter until both of them were “completely healed.” “Sa tingin ko magiging kumplikado sa cast tsaka sa production kung sakali kasi […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsMay 24th, 2019Related News

Accidental blast hurts 2 fishermen in Cotabato

Two fishermen were injured Thursday in an accidental explosion of a home-made dynamite they were to use for fishing......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsMay 24th, 2019Related News

Intellicare: Providing a holistic way of managing the clients’ health

By Adrian Paul B. Conoza, Special Features Writer Founded in 1995 with only 10 employees working together to attend to the health care needs of its clients, Intellicare has grown to be one of the country’s leading names in the health care industry today. Now, it has around 2,000 work force catering to over one million […].....»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: NewsMay 24th, 2019Related News

F1 eyes may have opened after Alonso s Indy 500 flop

By Dave Skretta, Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Alexander Rossi had no idea what he was getting into when he moved from Formula One to IndyCar. Turning left the whole race? Looks easy. But as Rossi soon found out — and as two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and his McLaren team learned in failing to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 last weekend — getting around Indianapolis Motor Speedway at speeds eclipsing 230 mph is a lot tougher than it looks. "I didn't understand what oval racing was. I didn't understand what IndyCar racing was, because there is no exposure to it in Europe," said Rossi, an American who moved to Europe as a teenager and made his F1 dreams come true with seven starts during the 2014 and '15 seasons. "So when guys haven't been a part of it," Rossi said, "they don't understand how difficult it is, how unique it is to everything they've done. On TV, let's be honest, it doesn't look that challenging, so being a European driver, in your mind you're at the pinnacle of the sport. You think, 'Of course I can go over there and do that and it wouldn't be a problem.'" That inherent arrogance was underscored two years ago, when Alonso showed up at the Indy 500 for the first time. He ran near the front all race, only for his Honda engine to let him down. Naturally, many F1 drivers were quick to pounce on their rival open-wheel series, claiming it must not be too difficult to win in IndyCar if Alonso could be competitive right out of the gate. "I looked at the times and, frankly, for his first-ever qualifying for Fernando to be fifth — what does that say about Indy?" five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton mused to L'Equipe shortly afterward. "A great driver," he said, "if he cannot win in Formula 1, will look for other races to win." In other words, Hamilton was calling IndyCar second-rate. That's part of why so many eyebrows jumped at McLaren's spectacular disappointment. "Fernando may have done well in 2017, so there may have been a feeling like all he has to do is show up and take it over," said Mark Miles, the chairman of Hulman & Co., which owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I think this causes that sense of, 'Hey, this is harder than we thought.'" The team that bumped the well-funded, England-based team with the rich racing heritage from this year's field? None other than Juncos Racing, the tiny team founded by Argentina-born Ricardo Juncos and to this day run on such a shoestring budget that it was still signing up sponsors on Wednesday. The moment Kyle Kaiser put their car in the field last Sunday was the moment McLaren's world collapsed, leading to the firing of Bob Fernley, who headed its IndyCar operation. "We got it wrong," the team's boss, Zak Brown, said Thursday ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, the showcase race on the F1 calendar. "There are little stories behind each of those individual issues and how they transpired, but you know, we didn't execute and therefore we didn't qualify for the Indy 500." In doing so, they showed just how difficult it is to win the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," and perhaps earned IndyCar drivers a certain measure of respect from their F1 counterparts. "You've got to be a good driver, but setup and all those things at those margins is so important," said F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, who has never driven an Indy car or raced on an oval. "I don't know the ins and outs, but everything needs to work right and that's the thing with race cars. It's a love-hate relationship. Obviously, this year for (Alonso) was more of a hate one. "It's sad to see," Ricciardo added. "Obviously as part of the F1 family, we want him to do well." One of the reasons the Indy 500 is so difficult is it tests the machines — and how they are tuned — just as much as the drivers. Manufacturers such as Mercedes and Ferrari can pump $300 million into their teams and essentially buy the crucial tenths of a second they need to win races, but IndyCar teams work with a relatively stock setup that puts the onus on crew and driver. "A big team like McLaren, and you see a small team like Juncos, it just shows this competition, it's not easy no matter who you are," three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves said. "It is one of the toughest places on Earth to get in, and you've seen big teams like Penske have failed." Rossi has so far bucked the trend, winning the 100th running of the Indy 500 in his 2016 debut. He was second the following year and fourth last year, each time benefiting from the experience, equipment and resources that his Andretti Autosport team has poured into its efforts over the years. "Fernando is a world champion. You expect him to do a good job," Rossi said. "But at Indianapolis, to find speed, it's experience, kind of the tricks of the trade that money can't buy, and I think that gets lost on a lot of people, and I think that was on full display this past week." ___ AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer and AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire contributed......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 24th, 2019Related News

Leonard scores 35, Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 for 3-2 lead

By Andrew Seligman, Associated Press MILWAUKEE (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-99 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Leonard showed no obvious signs of the leg soreness that bothered him in Toronto's victories in the previous two games, hitting the 30-point mark for the fourth time in the series. He made five three-pointers and had seven rebounds and nine assists. Fred VanVleet scored 21 points, hitting seven three's. Kyle Lowry added 17 as the Raptors put themselves in position to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time. A victory at home Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) would set up a matchup with two-time defending champion Golden State. The Raptors battled out of an early 14-point hole, then got 15 points from Leonard in the fourth quarter to send the top-seeded Bucks to their first three-game losing streak of the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points for Milwaukee hours after being announced as a unanimous first-team, All-NBA selection. Eric Bledsoe scored 20 and Malcolm Brogdon added 18 points and 11 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup. The Raptors were clinging to a two-point lead in the closing minute after Khris Middleton drove around Leonard on the baseline for a layup. Toronto was initially called for a shot-clock violation when Leonard missed a fadeaway jumper with 35 seconds left. That got overturned by a replay review, and Brook Lopez was called for a foul, instead, for bumping Marc Gasol after he retrieved the loose ball. Gasol hit both free throws to make it 100-97. Another replay review went in Toronto's favor when officials determined a ball went out of bounds off Brogdon with 26.8 seconds left. Brogdon pulled his hand away, thinking his dribble had gone off Pascal Siakam's foot. Siakam then drove for a dunk, making it 102-97, and the Raptors hung on from there. Milwaukee was leading 81-79 with about 8.5 minutes left when Leonard nailed back-to-back three-pointers. He hit two free throws before Siakam threw down a put-back dunk to make it 89-81. The Bucks tied it at 93-all with 2:44 left on a three-pointer by Lopez. VanVleet answered with one of his own before Antetokounmpo threw down an alley-oop dunk to cut it to 96-95 with just over two minutes remaining. The Bucks set a fast pace early on and led by 10 after the first quarter, delighting the towel-waving fans chanting "Fear The Deer! Fear the Deer!" They withstood a 16-2 run by Toronto to start the second, with Antetokounmpo nailing a triple to stop it. The Bucks also went on a 14-2 run early in the third, with the Greek Freak throwing down a hard dunk off a feed by Middleton for a 63-51 lead. But the Raptors got right back into it. TIP-INS Raptors: Lowry now has 1,126 points in 66 playoff games for Toronto, surpassing DeMar DeRozan (1,117) as the franchise's postseason scoring leader. Bucks: Brogdon started all 64 games he played in during the regular season, before missing basically all of the first two rounds because of a heel injury. With Brogdon back in the lineup, Nikola Mirotic came off the bench. UP NEXT Game 6 is at Toronto on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 24th, 2019Related News

Philippines is home to illicit funding for human trafficking, kidnapping - AMLC - ABS-CBN News

Philippines is home to illicit funding for human trafficking, kidnapping - AMLC ABS-CBN News The Philippines has become a destination of illicit funding from various crimes, including human trafficki.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsMay 24th, 2019Related News

American Call Center Workers Rally for Their Filipino Counterparts

American Call Center Workers Rally for Their Filipino Counterparts The American Prospect While American call center jobs are offshored to the labor-hostile Philippines, some American call center work.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsMay 24th, 2019Related News

Filipinos Munzon, Statham break into top 100 of world 3x3 rankings

Though Pasig Chooks-to-Go was not able to come home with a win during the main draw of the 2019 FIBA 3x3 Kunshan Challenger last weekend, the club and its players continued to rise in the world rankings. Filipino-Americans Joshua Munzon (374,440 points) and Taylor Statham (372,360) cracked the top 100 players in the world ranking, placing 93rd and 95th, respectively. Munzon averaged 8.0 points per game in the tournament while Statham normed 6.0 points per contest. For its part, Pasig Chooks jumped three places from being the no. 27 club in the world to 24 because of their participation in the level nine-tourney. "We lost to the better teams in Kunshan, but it's a learning experience for our players," said Chook Pilipinas 3x3 owner Ronald Mascariñas. The Philippines, however, dropped to 34th in the world in the men's category. Hoping to reverse that trend, the Filipinos will have two teams in the Tinkoff Moscow Challenger on June 7 and 8. Joining Pasig Chooks in Russia is Balanga Chooks which will enter the tournament as a wildcard entry in the qualifier for the Prague Masters......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 23rd, 2019Related News

PBA: One game at a time for Anthony, Northport

With a strong opening win, things are looking up for Northport in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. However, the Batang Pier are not too high on this one, even if they just blasted a team like the Alaska Aces. Northport also had a strong opening win in the Philippine Cup — the team had two in fact — and then went on to lose six straight, eventually missing out on the playoffs. And so while a 22-point victory against the Aces was nice, the Batang Pier are keeping things grounded. “We just want to take games one game at a time. We don't want to get too up or too down,” forward Sean Anthony said. “We just go back to the drawing board tomorrow and we'll scout this NLEX game on the way home and we'll get ready for them and try to do more of the same stuff,” he added. This early in the new conference, Northport does have some key stuff to capitalize on to avoid a mid-tournament collapse like last time. The Batang Pier were impressive against Alaska even without top star Stanley Pringle and a “decent” game from import Prince Ibeh. Northport’s defense was a bright spot as well. “You saw the ball move to open guys and guys hitting big shots. A lot of assists, a lot of ball movement. But more than that, great defense. I think last conference, we had one of the worst defenses in the league and here, we held Alaska to 81,” Anthony said. “We held a great team like Alaska to that and we made sure we brought in Prince [Ibeh], who stepped up huge and is a great rim protector,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 23rd, 2019Related News

How learning French cooking techniques will benefit Filipino cuisine - Inquirer Lifestyle

How learning French cooking techniques will benefit Filipino cuisine INQUIRER.net The 1991 book Le Cordon Bleu at Home, which I bought because it was interesting, came to mind when I received an invi.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsMay 23rd, 2019Related News