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21 active stars who should have their jersey retired someday

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com Tony Parker is the latest all-time great to see his jersey raised to the rafters for his years of service in San Antonio. But he won’t be the last of his generation to be honored that way. Parker’ big night in San Antonio generated some interesting conversation about who, among current NBA players only, would be in line for similar honors someday. Keep in mind that the standards for a retired jersey with one franchise differs from one to another. Winning titles in Los Angeles or Boston -- or even Chicago or Golden State -- is a tougher sell than it is where there aren’t already multiple championship banners. Accomplishments matter … and so does sentiment, too. There are always unique variables at work when it comes to retiring jerseys, which is a much more significant honor than inducting a player into a franchise’s ring of honor. With Parker’s star-studded ceremony still fresh in our minds, here’s a list of other stars who will one day be able to see their jerseys up in the rafters: * * * LeBron James (Cavs and Heat): If there is anyone that’s an absolute lock to see his jersey raised high when he calls it a career, it’s LeBron. He delivered Cleveland a title, ending the city’s 52-year title drought, in his second stint with what is essentially his hometown team. Before that, he was the catalyst for the Heat’s four straight Finals trips (2011-14) and back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. The standard to join the Lakers’ retired-jersey fraternity is tougher, of course. The greatest Lakers get statues -- a fate that might await LeBron in Cleveland one day. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala (Warriors): Also known as the “Hamptons 5”, they will all be immortalized someday by Golden State. All five played a role in the championship fun and excitement they generated during the franchise’s golden era of the past half-decade. You can make case for all five of them to enjoy jersey retirement ceremonies on their own. That, however, would go against everything their “Strength In Numbers” era was about. Rest assured, though, that all five of them will have their day. James Harden (Rockets): Harden started his career as a super sixth man in Oklahoma City before rewriting his legacy after a trade to Houston. He’s already one of the most prolific and creative scorers the league has seen. The Rockets have had their fair share of legendary players and know what it’s like to bask in the championship glow provided by the rise of a transcendent player. Harden’s jersey will be in good company some day, perhaps right next to Hakeem Olajuwon’s No. 34. Russell Westbrook (Thunder): In an era where nearly every other elite superstar of his generation made a move via trade or free agency, Westbrook stuck to his roots in Oklahoma City until he had no choice but to move on. He endeared himself to generations of OKC fans by playing at a fever pitch from start to finish, earning All-Star, All-NBA and Kia MVP honors there. Being a part of a Finals team with Durant and Harden helped cement his legacy. Although he’s now in Houston, he’ll always have a place in the hearts of Thunder fans. Damian Lillard (Blazers): Lillard personifies the values of a basketball-mad fan base in a city that adores its team and stars in a unique way. The Blazers did their homework on the unheralded point guard from Weber State and have enjoyed everything that’s happened since. From his Kia Rookie of the Year campaign in 2013 to today, he has played out better than anyone could have imagined. Lillard, one of the most underappreciated stars of his generation, couldn’t have found a better match in a city and franchise. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks): The rise of the "The Greak Freak" from obscure prospect to Kia MVP in just six seasons gives his story extra dramatic flair. His relentless work ethic helped change the culture in Milwaukee and branded him as a potential successor to James as the face of the league. The fact that he authored the greatest individual season in Bucks history since Kareem-Abdul Jabbar’s days has carved out a permanent space for Antetokounmpo’s jersey in franchise lore. Kemba Walker (Hornets): The face of the franchise in Charlotte for the first eight years of his career, Walker has since moved on to Boston. But he remains the Hornets’ career leader in several categories and was a beloved fan favorite for a team that never achieved any sustained postseason success. Few players of his or any era forged a connection to a city and franchise as Walker did with Charlotte. Derrick Rose (Bulls): Born and raised in Chicago, Rose (at 22) became the youngest player to win the Kia MVP in 2011. He also joined Michael Jordan and Elton Brand as the only Bulls to win Rookie of the Year honors. Even though knee injuries derailed his career in his hometown, he piled up enough early career accolades to one day be honored with a retired jersey. Although he never led the franchise back to championship prominence, he is the the most decorated Bull since MJ. Vince Carter (Raptors): How many players can say they served as the basketball inspiration for an entire nation? Carter can. His time with the Raptors served as the spark for generations of future NBA players, many of whom have gotten the chance to play with their childhood idol in the twilight of his future Hall of Fame career. His five seasons with the New Jersey Nets solidified his status as one of the best players of his generation. But his star was never brighter than it was from 1998-2004 when “Vinsanity” inspired Canada. Marc Gasol and Mike Conley (Grizzlies): These two should grit and grind their way to the rafters in Memphis, on the same night if possible. They helped usher in the greatest run in franchise history, spearheading a feisty and physical style that spoke to the city’s blue-collar ways. The “Grit and Grind” Grizzlies validated their rise to prominence with a West finals run in 2013 steered by Gasol and Conley. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan (Raptors): Lowry and his best buddy DeRozan were separated before they could realize their dreams of winning a title together in Toronto. Lowry realized it last season alongside Kawhi Leonard, thus cementing his legacy as an all-time great Raptor. He’ll always have a place to call home north of the border because of the franchise-altering success that took place on his watch. DeRozan was a fan favorite who wanted to finish his career in Toronto. He, too, will always have a home in the city. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul (Clippers): The LA end for these two was messier than it should have been, especially since they oversaw the “Lob City” era that revitalized the franchise. Time will surely heal all wounds, somewhere down the road. History will be kinder to the Clippers’ climb out of the doldrums than anyone was during their injury-tortured run. Griffin and Paul are locks for the Hall of Fame one day. Plus, a franchise without much history to celebrate could use a couple of jerseys to jazz up their new building. Kawhi Leonard (Raptors): Is a one-year surreal playoff run enough to warrant franchise immortality? Clippers fans are hoping Kawhi and Paul George give them a reason to raise their jerseys to the rafters someday, too. Right now, Leonard is a seeming lock for the honor with the Raptors, where his brief-but-fruitful stay there gave their rabid fan base their first NBA championship. Dwight Howard (Magic): After his first eight seasons in Orlando, Howard had a near slam-dunk case for the Hall of Fame and retired jersey status. Yes, his exit from Orlando was messy. And he has yet to find a way to part ways with any of the other franchises on good terms. Still, you can’t overlook his Magic-era feats: All-Star berths, three Kia Defensive Player of the Year awards, five All-NBA first team nods and a Finals trip in 2009. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. 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......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 13th, 2019

Student-athletes helping out in pandemic emulate UAAP values

UAAP officials lauded the student-athletes of member schools for their initiative to actively extend help to those in need during this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since the start of the community quarantine, athletes in their own capacity organized and joined fundraising drives, distributed personal protective equipment and other essentials to medical and security frontliners, handed out relief goods to affected communities and even served as frontliners. “Allow us to emphasize lang na wala kaming inutusan sa mga ‘yan. Nagugulat na lang kami na it's very voluntary,” said UAAP Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag on Tuesday during the online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum. “These are student-athletes na nag-aaral, naglalaro but at the end of the day when the nation calls for it in a broader spectrum of life they were able to respond,” added Saguisag, who was joined by Season 83 President Em Fernandez of Ateneo in the in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, Go For Gold PH and powered by Smart. Basketball stars including Ricci Rivero of University of the Philippines, Mike and Matt Nieto and Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo, Rhenz Abando and CJ Cansino of University of Sto. Tomas, Encho Serrano and Justine Baltazar of De La Salle University and women’s cager Jack Animam of National University were among those who participated in fundraising drives and donated relief goods to vulnerable communities. Animam’s teammate Ria Nabalan served as a frontliner as a Philippine Navy personnel.   Active volleyball players joined former UAAP volleyball stars in various jersey auctions and fund-raisers while other student-athletes from different sports disciplines, including fencer Maxine Esteban of Ateneo did their part to help.        “We have a lot of student-athletes who have been helping in their own capacity. We have athletes from the tennis community, athletes from the volleyball community and athletes from the fencing community who have been helping everyone. Even internally, we have athletes in the dorm who have been helping out with the relief efforts of Ateneo,” said Fernandez talking about Ateneo athletes’ efforts.   “Just to cite, the athletes of Adamson who are still in the dorm of Adamson are helping out the communities outside,” he added. Despite being affected by the pandemic themselves especially with the cancellation of Season 82 and the possibility of pushing back the opening of Season 83 to early next year, the officials gave praise to the student-athletes for their actions amid this trying time.    “It’s reflective of the values taught by each member institution and I guess the value of the UAAP wants to share. We’re all in this together,” said Saguisag.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2020

MMA legend Tito Ortiz says he s been offered a fight with Mike Tyson

Since videos surfaced of former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson working out and getting back into shape for his reported comeback, names of potential opponents have been popping up left and right.  Even former rival Evander Holyfield fanned the flames of a third meeting with Tyson after posting his own comeback training video.  MMA legend Tito Ortiz however, claims that someone actually called him up and offered a fight against "Iron Mike."  (RELATED: Mike Tyson works out with MMA legend Vitor Belfort) Talking to TMZ Sports, the 45-year old Ortiz, a former UFC Light Heavyweight World Champion and UFC Hall of Famer said that he received a call days after seeing Tyson's viral training videos.  “I was watching Mike Tyson hit pads with my old trainer Rafael Cordeiro, and Tyson looked like the old Tyson. Fast, and speed, and powerful, just like, wow. Is Tyson gonna make a comeback?” Ortiz shared.  “All of a sudden, two days later, someone asking me ‘What do you think about fighting Mike Tyson?’ I was like ‘Really? This is an opportunity of my life. I’m in!’" he continued.          View this post on Instagram                   .@MikeTyson - Legend Vs Legend on PPV! When are we doing it? Just so you all know I was called for this fight. What if someone called you , “would you fight Mike”? Me,”YES”! A post shared by Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz1999) on May 21, 2020 at 2:25am PDT Tyson, 53, has been retired since 2005, with his last professional boxing bout ending in a sixth-round retirement loss to Kevin McBride. During his prime however, Tyson was known as 'The Baddest Man on the Planet' and had multiple runs with the IBF, WBA, and WBC Heavyweight World Championships.  Ortiz on the other hand, was one of MMA's earliest stars and captured the UFC Light Heavyweight title in 2000. Ortiz held the title until 2002 and successfully defended it five times.  “I’m not sure if it’s going to be MMA or boxing, it hasn’t even gotten that far, I think we both got to be cleared by athletic commissions, that’s the biggest thing," Ortiz stated.  Either way, the man best known as 'The Huntington Beach Bad Boy' feels confident in his chances, whether the proposed bout be boxing or MMA.  “Either or, I’ve been boxing for 20 years, my boxing skills have gotten better and better. It may not be in the same level as Tyson, but has Tyson been punched in the face in the last 15 years? No he hasn’t, and have, and I’ve been able to subdue everyone I’ve competed against in the last four years.”  Ortiz has remained fairly active in his career, competing four times in the last five years. Since leaving the UFC in 2012, Ortiz has won five of his last six fights.  Ortiz clarified however, that he wasn't in any way trying to disrespect Tyson with his comments.  “First and foremost, before everything, I respect Mike. Mike’s an amazing man, he’s an amazing individual, in general. What he’s gone through and what he’s became, I gotta give him nothing but respect. I’m not trying to disrespect him at all. Anything that I say from this point out on, I really want to let him know, Mike you are the man, you are one of the best in the world, but I was one of the best in the world in my own game too.”  Should a bout with the boxing legend indeed materialize, Ortiz believes that it could draw better numbers than the last big MMA fighter-versus-boxing crossover bout between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr.  “What Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather did, I think we can double that. I just think it would be amazing, it would be fun. I think it would be a great opportunity for both of our brands.” When asked if he really thinks he can beat Tyson in boxing, Ortiz said that it's really just about gameplan. “Well, do you think Evander Holyfield stepped up and said ‘That’s Mike Tyson, I’mma be afraid of him. I’m not gonna be able to tie up with him and tire him out and then knock him out in the seventh or eighth round’? No. It’s all a gameplan, it’s all what you’re going to do to make the fight interesting, and I’m the person to make that happen!”            .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2020

Powell, Doncic lead Mavericks past beat-up Warriors 124-97

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dwight Powell scored 21 points and was perfect from the floor in his return to the Bay Area after starring at Stanford, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors 124-97 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Luka Doncic added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Mavericks won their fourth straight against the Warriors — three in a row on their home floor. Powell shot 9 for 9 and grabbed six rebounds. Jordan Poole came off the bench to score 17 points for Golden State. Fellow reserve Eric Paschall added 16, while D'Angelo Russell and Glenn Robinson III had 13 apiece. The Warriors lost their eighth consecutive game and fourth straight at Chase Center. And injury-plagued Golden State lost another player when guard Jacob Evans III was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for a head injury. He was helped off the court with 4:38 left in the first half after getting hit with an elbow by Powell as they fought for a rebound. The Warriors trailed by as many as 28, then used a 13-0 run in the third quarter to make things interesting. Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis, who had been listed as questionable, sat out an eighth straight game. He has been feeling ill and is still dealing with soreness in his right knee. He could be ready in time to face the Kings in Sacramento on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). “With him being under the weather and the rehab of the knee, it’s just the stars didn’t align for tonight," coach Rick Carlisle said. “Tomorrow night might be a possibility, but he’s going to work out before and we will see where we are tomorrow." Dallas made six of its first 12 shots from 3-point range — three by Maxi Kleber — and built a 28-18 lead while hitting 11 of its initial 20 shots overall. The Warriors started 8 for 20, with four baskets by Russell. TIP-INS Mavericks: Dallas has won the last three meetings by a combined 95 points, including 142-94 on Nov. 20 (Nov. 21, PHL time) at home and 141-121 in San Francisco on Dec. 28 (Dec. 29, PHL time). The Mavericks already had won the season series for the first time since taking two of three in 2011-12, but have now swept the regular-season matchups for the first time since winning all four in 2002-03. ... The Mavericks are 9-2 on the road vs. the Western Conference. Warriors: Golden State is expected to sign F Marquese Chriss as a two-way player Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), just more than a week after he was waived by the team last Tuesday (last Wednesday, PHL time). There was a two-way spot open as Golden State worked to sign Damion Lee to a standard NBA contract after he expired his NBA service time allotment as a two-way player. Chriss will now split time with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League. The 22-year-old Chriss provided a boost for the injury-plagued Warriors after signing as a free agent in late September, averaging 7.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 17.7 minutes over 37 games with three starts. ... The Warriors are 5-9 against the West at home. THOMPSON’S TRIP Klay Thompson will have his No. 1 jersey retired at Washington State on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), traveling on owner Joe Lacob’s private plane to Pullman, Washington, for the halftime ceremony when the Cougars host Oregon State. “I haven't been back in about five years,” Thompson said. “To go back and see the people I really grew up with, the community that really embraced me, it's very nostalgic and it's just really cool because that was a dream of mine leaving Pullman. I didn't think it would ever come true and it did, so it's exciting." Splash Brother Stephen Curry can't wait to go along, as well as Zaza Pachuila and Mike Dunleavy. General manager Bob Myers is scheduled for a surgery and won't make it. “I heard it’s pretty cool there," he said, then later said with a smile, “Go Cougs!” UP NEXT Mavericks: At the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) in a Northern California back-to-back. Warriors: Host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) as part of a three-game, every-other-night homestand. Golden State has won the last three meetings overall and three straight at home vs. Denver......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

LeBron James keeping Father Time at bay in LA

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The bearded man in a robe who walks with a slight hunch and carries an hourglass always lurks in the shadows, almost out of view. Nobody is paying him much mind or cares what he has to say -- at least not initially. He’s not on anyone’s radar until he appears and applies a gentle tap on the shoulder (or a violent shove in the back) of the unsuspecting. And that’s when they realize they’ve been paid a visit by someone whom Charles Barkley always says is undefeated. Yes, it is “Father Time,” the mythical creation of the ancient Greeks whose clock is more pronounced than any made in Switzerland. He is, by every metric, always on time, although that seems to vary, depending on his mood. He is gracious and respectful in some cases, unforgiving in others. Ultimately, he and only he decides when your time in sports is up. And so, it’s a matter of when, not if, he’ll throw LeBron James in reverse. But where other stars became role players or transformed into shells of their former selves, LeBron is playing at a high level. He turns 35 later this month and because he’s delivering Kia MVP-quality results here in his 17th NBA season, he is winning against time, and therefore, he is … cheating time. He’s almost at 57,000 minutes played in the regular season and playoffs combined, which ranks fourth behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant. He should pass Kobe for No. 3 in career scoring (33,643 points) by the All-Star break. The all-time scoring mark and a high ranking on the all-time assists list are in sight, too. Ask him why and how he’s doing it and LeBron is playfully coy and quick to say “fine wine.” He’ll also often credit the extra motivation he acquired last summer, when he watched the playoffs from his sofa, not far removed from a groin injury and a dreadful first season with the Lakers. Those things caused him grief and fueled his desire to reclaim his place. "I put in the work and I trust everything that I’ve done, especially this offseason," James said. "I’ve come in with a great mindset, with a healthy mindset and a healthy body." Considering his middle age, LeBron is putting together a masterful season (25.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) while excelling as a volume 3-point shooter. His 10.8 apg leads the NBA and his effort defensively -- which was laughable last season -- is laudable now. Nobody at 35 has assembled such numbers in league history. “He’s LeBron James,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. “Until he isn’t.” What’s age got to do with it? Well, nothing right now. LeBron is still capable of unleashing a facial dunk, as he did with a smirk against the Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica, who perhaps wisely never bothered to challenge it. He also covers all the court rather than, as some aging players are wont to do, play between the free throw lines. It’s true that soon enough he will wear longer shorts than anyone in the game -- not from faulty tailoring, but from constant pulling and tugging. And while the ball is in play, he will someday hear squeaking on the court and suddenly notice that sound is coming from his joints. “Nobody knows when it’ll happen to him because he’s still playing in the air,” said Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins. “And even when that goes, his basketball IQ will allow him to stay great on the ground. I mean, who gets triple doubles at his age? Only he knows when his time is up.” When that day arrives -- and assuming he doesn’t first quit while he’s ahead -- how big of a decline will it be for LeBron (and, by extension, for us) to witness? Will he fall prey to nagging injuries, get torched nightly by previously inferior players, or quit playing defense? Here’s how “Father Time” diminished six greats who came before LeBron: 1. Michael Jordan: When he retired for the second time, after his last season with the Bulls, Jordan was still very much a physical marvel and the reigning MVP and Finals MVP (he won five MVPs and six Finals MVPs). He was certifiably great for 13 of his 15 seasons and could’ve been longer if not for three years of college ball, an injury-shortened 1985-86 season and 1.5 missed seasons due to baseball. His body only began to betray him when he un-retired in 2001 to play for the Wizards. At 38, Jordan rarely dunked, wasn’t as sharp defensively and knee issues limited him to 60 games in 2001-02. 2. Jerry West: “The Logo” never had a down year in his 14-year career. He was First-Team All-Defense in 1972-73 as a 34-year-old and was solid in his final season (20.3 ppg, 6.6 apg, 2.6 spg). But he wasn’t at his peak of the late 1960s and opted to quit over pride (and money, when Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke refused to renegotiate his contract). 3. Bill Russell: His career ended mainly because he ran out of psychological fuel. Russell lost his passion to play at 35, even after winning championship No. 11 in his final season (1968-69). That season, he played 46.1 mpg in the playoffs, averaging 10.8 ppg, 20.5 rpg and 5.4 apg. While those numbers are perhaps skewed by the way the game was played back then, they’re still remarkable. 4. Wilt Chamberlain: A man of astonishing stats, Chamberlain averaged a league-leading 18.6 rpg and shot 72.7% overall in his final season (1972-73). Knee issues had long forced Wilt into being a statue in the paint and a third option on offense. After that final NBA season, he jumped from the Lakers to the ABA for money. San Diego offered him $600,000 to be a player-coach, but his Lakers contract prevented him from playing. Wilt coached instead, doing so with disinterest, often not showing up for games or practice. He quit basketball completely after that season. 5. Kobe Bryant: Those roundtrip flights to Germany to get oil for his knees managed to delay the obvious for a few years, but a torn Achilles in 2013 at 35 was the killer. Kobe, much like Jordan and LeBron, was elite into his 30s. And he’ll always have that 60-point send-off. 6. Karl Malone: He won his final MVP at 35 and was built for durability, never suffering a serious injury. He averaged 20.6 ppg in his final season with Utah (2002-03) as he approached 40. By then, he had morphed into a jump shooter and lost his instincts for offensive rebounding. He bowed out as a ring-chasing role player with the Lakers in ‘03-04. Larry Bird was ruined by debilitating back issues at 32. Abdul-Jabbar often only jogged downcourt his last six seasons. Tim Duncan became a secondary option in his last four seasons while Dirk Nowitzki averaged more than 20 ppg once over his final five seasons. Vince Carter is 42 and proudly still playing, but clearly is 10 years beyond his prime. Allen Iverson was the last to know his quickness was gone. “For me, it was Year 12 when it hit me,” said Lakers great James Worthy, who had knee issues. “My patented move was taking off from somewhere inside the free throw line. I found myself halfway there once and I started to descend before I got close to the rim. I had to do a George Gervin flip instead of a dunk. “It’s different now, with this generation of players. I was eating Burger King before games and working out on Nautilus machines. I went to college with Lawrence Taylor and I remember him telling me, ‘I don’t wanna get hit anymore.’ And he’s a reckless guy. LeBron will wake up one day and he won’t have that drive. He’ll be tired and while physically he’s in such great shape, something will go away, either a move or speed.” LeBron seems determined to be the outlier. He spends, by various estimations, more than $1 million on his body for round the clock therapy and a personal trainer. Last summer, he refused to allow the shooting schedule for the movie “Space Jam 2” to interfere with his schedule, rising at 3:30 a.m. to train before heading to the set. He has more than once fantasized about staying in the league long enough to possibly play against or alongside his son, Bronny (now a high school freshman). “LeBron is not only a great player but a physical marvel,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Probably the best athlete to ever walk this planet. I’ve never seen anybody in my lifetime in any sport whom I would consider a better athlete. It’s one of his best attributes and the one that goes the least noticed. You just take it for granted that he’s out there every night and still doing his things.” LeBron exchanged playful tweets with Tom Brady last month, with LeBron saying the two are “one in the same.” Brady is a tame comparison to LeBron. Brady doesn’t run 94 feet and back for nine months (playoffs included) and when tired can simply hand off to the running back. Same for NFL legend Joe Montana, who made the Pro Bowl at 37. MLB legend Nolan Ryan threw once every four or five days. Maybe tennis star Roger Federer, who won Wimbledon at 36 and still reaches finals at 38, comes closest. “It wouldn’t shock me if LeBron played until he was 40,” West said. “He’s such a great athlete and knows enough about his body that he’ll probably leave before he declines.” After watching Robert Parish waste away on the Bulls’ bench, Jordan said he’d never allow himself to stay in the game that long. His pride and unwillingness to be seen as hanging on meant he’d walk away first. LeBron doesn’t think of the twilight and given how he’s playing now, that doesn’t appear to be in the future, anyway. “I was with the Nuggets late in my career and the funny thing is I was leading the league in assists,” said Mark Jackson, fourth on the all-time assists list. “There was a loose ball, a deflection, and it’s right here, and I can go get it. I made the move to go get it, and before I could get anywhere near it, a kid out of nowhere, and in a blur, snatched it. Gets the ball, by the time I get to the spot where the ball is, he’d already dunked it. Young kid by the name of Allen Iverson. I knew it would never be the same.” Jackson says LeBron is so multi-gifted that he can endure decline in one area and still flourish in another. “He also has the knowledge, pace and understanding that he’ll still be able to be effective even when he slows down,” Jackson said. “I don’t think it’ll be drastic. He can average a triple-double for the next five years.” LeBron is taking great satisfaction in fighting age while tweaking skeptics, both real and imagined, who wondered if decline was imminent. He cites that “Washed King” nickname -- did somebody actually call him that? -- as motivation. “It’s the personal pressure I put on myself,” LeBron said. Eventually, like everyone, he’ll take the L from “Father Time.” Until then, LeBron is making us wonder if that mythical man exists. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2019

Manny Pacquiao says Floyd Mayweather Jr. rematch is for the benefit of the fans

After his WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship-clinching win over Keith Thurman in Las Vegas last July 20th, it didn't take long for Manny Pacquiao to start getting into it with rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. on social media.  The two welterweight stars crossed paths back in 2015 with Mayweather getting the unanimous decision win, but it left a lot of people with a sour taste in their mouth, believing that the undefeated star played a little too safe.  Since then, a rematch has been teased over and over again, and it looks like it has gotten to the now-retired Mayweather JR.  It was 'Money' who fired the first jab with a post that essentially said that Pacquiao was living off his legacy.  The Filipino boxing icon, while not one for too much trash talk, responded by calling Mayweather out for being at the Thurman bout.  Of course, Mayweather Jr. wasn't going to let Pacquiao have the last word and responded by claiming that he was a bigger draw and higher up on the PBC totem pole.  Pacquiao responded again, with another invitation for a rematch.  The social media back-and-forth, while has slowed down in the recent days, could go on for a bit, as fans continue to clamor for a rematch between the two boxing greats.  Whether or not it comes to fruition remains to be seen, but for Pacquiao, the ball is in Mayweather's court.  In an interview with Migs Bustos of ANC Gametime, the eight-division world champion explains why he believes people continue to call for a sequel to Pacquiao vs. Mayweather.  "Kasi sinasabi niya na ginagamit ko yung pangalan niya para sumikat ako. Iba naman yun, siya nga yung nanonood sa fight ko, so sabi ko para hindi na mag-tanong yung mga fans, makipag-laban siya sa akin ng rematch, kasi ako, nabo-bother din ako sa tanong ng mga fans na kailan kayo mag-rematch ni Mayweather, which is pagkaka-alam ko ay retired na siya, and ang mga fans, hindi sila satisfied sa resulta ng last fight namin with him, so I think the fans need one more, for the benefit of the fans na masagot yun mga tanong nila na paulit-ulit," Pacquiao said.  Pacquiao believes that fans continue to ask for a rematch because they don't believe that Mayweather Jr. won the first match.  "I think hindi naman magtatanong yung mga fans ng ganun kung naniniwala sila na talo ako. For example, do you think the fans will ask the questions kung alam nila na talo ako sa fight? Hindi naman siguro ganun." "The fans are asking over and over [for a rematch] because they don’t believe na natalo ako during the last fight," he continued.  Of course, the fact still remains that Mayweather Jr. maintains that he is retired and has no desire to come back to the ring.  "On my part, I have no problem with that because I’m still active in the sport. That question is for him because he’s retired, so he needs to come back and announce that he will be fighting again with me." Check out the whole interview below: .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 29th, 2019

Curry, Lillard battle for NBA supremacy, Oakland s affection

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND — He arrived at the Western Conference finals wearing the jersey of the Oakland A’s, who play right next door at the Coliseum, just a five-minute drive from where he was born. Damian Lillard paused and signed a few autographs before entering Oracle Arena, because he is a man of the people, and these are his people. None of them mention that, in their hearts, they’re rooting for him to lose this playoff series, and so it goes unspoken, a truce in a sense. For this fleeting moment, they’re Lillard fans, until the ball goes up. And then it’s all for Steph Curry, all night long. There is a competition within the competition between the Warriors and Blazers, and it is the battle for the affection of Oakland. There is Lillard, the pride of the Brookfield Village neighborhood, who has blossomed into a bonafide star with the Blazers. And then there’s Curry, the symbol of a basketball renaissance here, who has raised the profile of Oakland the last several years. Now you see why The Town is a bit conflicted. A bit. [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] The conference championship may well hinge on the performance of these All-NBA guards. Game 1 was fairly lopsided, both in terms of the teams — Warriors 116, Blazers 94 — and the two principles. Lillard struggled Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and appeared whipped, physically if not mentally, no doubt from a grueling seven-game second round that just wrapped up 48 hours earlier. He missed 8-of-12 shots, had seven turnovers and, in a rarity for him, he was a non-factor for Portland. He’s a combined 7-for-29 in his last two games. Meanwhile, Curry rolled, dropping 36 points and the Blazers along with them. And so, this is the verdict: Portland cannot hope to stretch this series beyond four games, five tops, without the max from Lillard. He obviously means that much. And Curry, now working without the comforts of his injured co-star Kevin Durant for the second straight game, and maybe without Durant for another two games, needs to keep his skills elevated to prevent suspense from encroaching on the series. The Warriors are well aware of what Lillard has done to them in the past; he has averaged more points against the hometown team (27.0) than any in his career likely because of provincial pride. Yet Golden State is also aware that he has yet to beat them in any game or series of significance. “He’s one of the best guards in this league and carries a chip on his shoulder and it has (worked) well for him in his career,” said Draymond Green. “A special talent. I know he’s excited to be back home playing in the last year at Oracle. So it’s special for him but it don’t mean nothing to us. We’ve got to come out here and try to stop him. A tall task.” While the East Bay has given birth to its share of NBA stars, with Bill Russell, Jason Kidd and Gary Payton among them, Lillard is still freshly active and refreshingly loyal. The connection between him and Oakland remains unwavering despite fame and distance and the fact it’s his job and desire to shock the world in the next few weeks. He played at St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda and then finished at Oakland High, and a thick section of fans at Oracle Wednesday were wrapped in Blazers gear and made their preference clear. Most were either from the old neighborhood or family members. His high school coach, Damon Jones, is a Warriors season ticket holder, and Jones said: “Nobody bought me a drink tonight.” The coach added, playfully: “They gave me a hard time. When the Warriors scored, they wanted to turn around and slap five but then caught themselves at the last minute.” Jones remembers Lillard as being a promising and quick guard who picked up the nuances of the game rapidly. “He was very personable for someone his age, a solid teammate,” Jones said. “He still keeps in touch with all of his former teammates. It’s a brotherhood and he’s the leader. He’s always trying to be a positive influence on everyone around here.” Lillard returns every summer to give away backpacks with school supplies and funded the renovation of the Oakland High gym. He’s a familiar sight around town in the offseason and always approachable, and that loyalty and devotion doesn’t go unnoticed. “People here respect him,” said Raymond Young, Lillard’s AAU coach. “When he comes here to play, people here say they’re going to clap for Damian but cheer for the Warriors. Only he can get that kind of reaction. His loyalty comes from his family. His mother and father were no-problem parents. They let us coach him. He was a joy to be around. Still is.” Lillard is even more endearing because he comes from humble beginnings and is self-made. Both of his youth coaches are admittedly shocked by his impact in the NBA. He wound up at Weber State. He wasn’t highly recruited by the big schools. Even nearby Cal-Berkeley came late. “But if he goes there,” said Young, “does all this happen?” Lillard is revered in another place as well. Portland is also smitten by his loyalty; in an age of transient stars, Lillard has never wanted to play anywhere else. Perhaps this has cost him some visibility, with a majority of his games tipping off at 10:30 ET. It’s a price he’s more than willing to pay. Lillard has never taken a team this deep into the playoffs, where legends and reputations are made, and so being in the conference finals represents some new and deserved shine for him. A layer of that invisibility was peeled off in these playoffs where Lillard has come up massive. His shot from nearly 40 feet that eliminated Oklahoma City in the first round, and the bye-bye wave reaction, became iconic. Then he followed up with a strong second round as well against the Nuggets, although as that series crept to the conclusion, Lillard shot just 3-for-17 in that Game 7, then followed up with a 4-for-12 Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), proof that he might be gassed — and also that the Warriors cooked up a defensive game plan specifically for him. “Obviously it’s a little bit difficult physically and emotionally just because you’re excited about being in the Western Conference finals,” said Lillard. “You come straight here form Denver and get ready for the best team in the league. But once we lace our shoes and put our uniforms on, it’s fair and square. You got to go out there and handle your business. "They did a good job defensively and even when I was trying to find (teammates), they were getting deflections. They were making me play in a crowd. I thought they were successful at that … in this first game.” But his toughest task of all might be upstaging Curry, particularly here in Oakland. While Lillard has flourished through much of the postseason, Curry by comparison has been mild, especially by his standards. The missed layups, a famously flubbed dunk attempt and sporadic three-point shooting was unsightly. And then, after Durant limped off the floor, Curry felt a sense of urgency and a flush of greatness. He buried the Rockets with a pair of epic fourth quarters, then kept the faucet running Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). The Blazers couldn’t limit or at least slow him anywhere on the floor, especially from the three-point line, where Curry was a sizzling 9-for-15. And no missed layups. In his last six quarters of basketball, Curry has scored 69 points with 13-for-24 shooting on 3s. “I know what I’m capable of doing on the floor," Curry said, "and the situation calls for me to be more aggressive and hopefully that will continue. It’s nice to see the ball go in. I want to maintain that. I didn’t shoot well for 4.5 games the last series. Every game is different. You have to reestablish yourself and that’s my perspective no matter how I play.” Curry didn’t arrive wearing the baseball jersey of the home team, and if anything has been spotted at San Franciso Giants games across the Bay, where the Warriors will call home starting next season. But don’t get anything twisted. Curry’s bond with Oakland, developed over time, is genuine and real for someone born and bred a country away in Charlotte, and the feeling is mutual. The tug of war for the heartstrings of Oakland is subtle between the pair of franchise players on the floor in this playoff series. Call it a draw from the standpoint of whom the fans here respect and appreciate. There’s enough love to be shared by both. Yet in the basketball sense, this series is on the verge of being owned by the one wearing the jersey that reps Oakland. Curry has more momentum and better teammates, and Durant is on deck. Oakland, therefore, will indeed cheer for one of its own, for Damian Lillard. But the way this series and these playoffs are going, The Town is anxious to pop bottles with Steph Curry once again, at the usual place and time, for one last time. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 15th, 2019

Eala cites World No. 2 Halep, retired Sharapova as tennis idols

The ITF Juniors World No. 2 opened up about her admiration of the tennis stars, particularly Halep, during a press conference days after her 2020 French Open Juniors stint......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 15th, 2020

AFP Officers& rsquo; Village residents to face Dito in a referendum

DITO Telecommunity, poised to be the country’s third telecommunications firm, is facing a tough challenge convincing acybersecurity-conscious community of retired and active military officers who are strongly opposing the construction of a number of 5G cellular towers inside their village in Taguig City......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 7th, 2020

Positivity rate of Cebu City goes down to 4.1% — Feliciano

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases continue to go down in the past few weeks with only 1,270 active cases left of its total 9,419 cases. Retired General Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementor of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in the Visayas, said the positivity rate had dropped to a […] The post Positivity rate of Cebu City goes down to 4.1% — Feliciano appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 20th, 2020

HOW NOT TO TREAT A PATIENT

Dr. Tarcisio and Mrs. Reynes, in-laws of my eldest son, wrote me about the harrowing experience the family went through with the confinement of Tarcisio’s brother, Danilo, at the University of Perpetual Help Medical Center in Las Pinas, Metro Manila. Dr. Reynes is a retired physician living with his family in New Jersey, USA.  Upon […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  bicolperyodikoRelated NewsAug 19th, 2020

Taiwan grandparents become Instagram stars modeling abandoned clothes

Taiwan’s trendiest couple these days are neither young celebrities nor teen influencers — they are an octogenarian duo who run a mom-and-pop laundry service and have become an online sensation by modeling abandoned clothes. Chang Wan-ji, 83, and his wife Hsu Sho-er, 84, have racked up nearly 600,000 followers on Instagram over the last month as their attitude-filled fashion portraits went viral (AFP Photo/HSU Tsun-hsu) Chang Wan-ji, 83, and his wife Hsu Sho-er, 84, have racked up nearly 600,000 followers on Instagram over the last month as their attitude-filled fashion portraits went viral. They have even been featured in the Taiwanese edition of Vogue and Marie Claire. The couple have run a laundry for decades in a small town near the central city of Taichung. Over the years, customers have either forgotten or failed to collect reams of clothing that the couple never felt able to throw away. Grandson Reef Chang, 31, hit upon the idea of using the clothes to alleviate the couple’s boredom. “My grandpa and grandma were staring blankly at the streets because business wasn’t good,” he told AFP. “I wanted to find something new they could enjoy doing.” The pair were naturals in front of the camera. “Modelling these clothes makes me feel 30 years younger,” beamed Chang, when AFP paid a visit to the store earlier this week.  “Many people are telling me ‘You are famous now and you look younger’.” Hsu felt so, too. “I am old in age but my heart is not ageing,” she said. “I like to put on pretty clothes and go out to have some fun.” Worldwide fame It was while modelling other people’s garments, Hsu came to remember that she also had many forgotten outfits in her closet which she has since rediscovered. “I even found some clothes I bought 30 years ago and I can still wear them. It’s a happy surprise,” she said. The couple’s Instagram account — @wantshowasyoung — is managed by grandson Reef.  Chang currently only uses the Line messaging app to make free phone calls but Reef says his grandfather is keen to learn how to make the perfect Instagram post. The account first started going viral abroad and around 400,000 new fans have started following in the past week alone after major international media picked up on their success. Reef said he translates and reads out fan mail pouring in from all over the world. “We’re very moved by the messages,” he told AFP, “Many people are saying that ‘Wantshowasyoung’ is the first happy news they’ve seen in this dark year marred by the Covid-19 pandemic and problems in many countries,” he added. The couple’s worldwide fame has also prompted a few forgetful customers to pick up old clothes, while some local fans have started visiting their sleepy town to see the store. The shop is named “Wan Sho” — a combination of the middle character of their Chinese names. Re-use clothes The couple tied the knot in an arranged marriage six decades ago, a practice then common in Taiwan. Chang said he had thought about retiring but decided to stay on as long as he can as the laundry business has become less labour-intensive thanks to machines.  “Elderly people should keep moving and remain active or we will age faster… When I am working and being kept busy, I don’t have time to worry,” he said. Chang says he has lost count of how many garments have gone uncollected in his shop over the decades but he thinks there are at least 400 items at the moment. Many more have been donated to charities and impoverished families over the years. The couple hope to use their new social media clout to promote the concept of “environmental fashion”.  “Instead of following ‘fast fashion’ and keep buying new clothes, we hope people can see that old and second-hand clothes can be fashionable if you arrange and combine them in new ways,” said Reef Chang.  “This would cause less damage to the earth and the environment.” .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says Manny Pacquiao continues to fight because he has to

A little over five years after the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout, people still wonder if there's ever going to be a sequel.  Since that highly-anticipated 2015 bout between arguably two of boxing's biggest stars, Pacquiao and Mayweather's careers have gone in vastly different directions.  Following his 12-round loss to Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley in a trilogy bout, retired for half a year, and then came back to beat Jessie Vargas and capture the WBO Welterweight World Championship. Pacquiao would lose that title to Jeff Horn in a controversial decision in Australia, before bouncing back by beating Lucas Matthysse to become a world champion once again. Just last year, Pacquiao put on two impressive performances in his title defense over Adrien Broner and his WBO (Super) Welterweight World Championship-clinching win over Keith Thurman. Now, at 41 years old, Pacquiao is still in the conversation of top opponents for welterweight stars like Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.  After beating Pacquiao, Mayweather Jr. wrapped his career up with a win over Andre Berto to retire undefeated in 2015. Two years later however, Mayweather Jr. came back and claimed his 50th professional boxing win after defeating UFC star Conor McGregor by tenth-round TKO in a big-money superfight. Save for a three-round exhibition bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan on New Year's Eve of 2018, Mayweather has remained retired.  So whenever Pacquiao earns a big win or whenever Mayweather does anything remotely related to a boxing ring, rumbles of a rematch always begin to appear.  Asked if he was interested in a rematch however, Mayweather sort of shot the idea down.  Asked if a rematch against McGregor was on his radar, Mayweather told rapper Fat Joe that he was more interested in fighting guys who has whole countries behind him.  "I’m a businessman now. I already proved, years and years ago, that I was the best, period. I’m talking pound-for-pound, I already proved all of that," Mayweather Jr. said. "At my age now, I’m a businessman, so I’m not gonna be out there competing and fighting guys that only got a small city behind them. You got a lot of American fighters that are good, but they got little cities behind them. I’mma fight guys that got a whole country behind them. So, I know I can demand and get what I want to get."  "So that's Pacquiao?" Fat Joe responded, looking for clarification.  Mayweather Jr. responded by saying that he made more in the McGregor fight.  (READ: Pac-Mac at super middleweight? Conor McGregor has interesting response to Manny Pacquiao's birthday greeting) "Listen, I made more with McGregor," Mayweather Jr. said. "My faculties and everything that I got comes first. We just talked about “Your health is your wealth”, and that’s why I got this towel on, I was working out today." "Money" followed up by saying that the difference between himself and Pacquiao is that Pacquiao needs to keep fighting.  "Pacquiao fight because he have to. Once again, I fight if I want to, so there’s a difference."  Was that a no? Was it a maybe? What did Mayweather Jr.'s statements mean?  Mayweather Jr. also hit back at those saying that Pacquiao wasn't in his prime when they met back in 2015.  "We keep on saying ‘at our prime’, I’m older than Pacquiao by two years. We keep on saying ‘in your prime’. When I beat Pacquiao, they say he wasn’t in his prime. I’m older than [him]. When I fought Oscar de la Hoya, me and Oscar, we both was in our thirties. They keep on…no matter what happens, it’s never good enough for anyone." Right now, it appears that the 50-0 fighter is happy staying retired, but he did share that he has something cooking alongside Japanese promotion Rizin for this year.         .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2020

Arwind Santos, Enrico Villanueva make cut for coach Franz s UAAP First 5

Franz Pumaren has been calling the shots for Adamson University from 2016 to present.  Before this, the multi-titled was at the helm of De La Salle University from 1998 to 2009.  Through all of that, he has had a hand in the discovery and the development of young talent for his teams as well as the game planning for the opposing rising stars.  Among all of those, who are the best of the best for him? Here is Franz Pumaren UAAP First 5, as he told ABS-CBN Sports:  MIKE CORTEZ  Cortez set the standard for La Salle's point guards during his time in green and white.  Not only cool, but calm and collected as well, he was a big piece behind the Green Archers' two titles in the early 2000s.  Many more primetime playmakers and their patented moves have followed suit in Taft Avenue, but Mike Cortez slicing and dicing through the lane for a fantastic finish remains up there with the best of them.  RENREN RITUALO  No. 4 is a jersey number that may not be used in La Salle.  That's because that jersey number is right up there rafters in the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center and is owned by one man and one man only - Ritualo.  After shooting the Green Archers to their four-peat, "The Rainman" is, without a doubt, a lifetime legend in Taft Avenue.  ARWIND SANTOS  The early-to-mid-2000s in the UAAP saw Far Eastern University come back with a vengeance for its throne.  The driving force behind that? Santos who took the league by storm with his all-around impact.  Behind the back-to-back MVP, the Tamaraws proved to be a thorn on the side of coach Franz and La Salle as the former took home two titles at the latter's expense.  ENRICO VILLANUEVA  Ateneo de Manila University, at long last, came alive once more in the early 2000s.  On the back of homegrown talent Villanueva, the Blue Eagles spread their wings into contention and even swooped onto the mountaintop in 2002.  Not only did the UAAP 65 MVP carry the blue and white back to the promised land, he was also a key reason in the much-welcome revival of the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry.  DON ALLADO  In the same way Cortez set the standard for La Salle's point guards, so did Allado do for their big men.  A post presence who can muscle his way inside, the 6-foot-6 also had respectable range - something surprising in that era of basketball.  Not only that, the two-time MVP was a ravenous rebounder as well and a tried and true leader in the Green Archers' four-peat.  ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2020

LeBron s rookie card sells for the equivalent of over P90 million at auction

LeBron James is a moneymaker through and through. The latest in the crazy amounts of money involving the King himself is LeBron's Upper Deck rookie Patch Parallel card from the 2003-2004 season. In a report by ESPN's Tom VanHaaren, LeBron's card sold for an incredible $1.845 million at Goldin Auctions to Leore Avidar, CEO for Lob.com. In local currency, that particular LeBron card sold for just over P91 million. It's the most money a basketball card has fetched at auction. James' card was part of the Upper Deck Patch Autograph Parallel set that produced only 23 copies to match LeBron's jersey number when he was a rookie with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The one that sold at auction was one of only two to get a grade of 9.5 mint gem from the Beckett grading service. "There are only two of them, one of them is in private hands and the other was up for auction," Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin said in the ESPN report. "So this really was the single best LeBron card that somebody could have hoped to get. It was very active bidding, a lot of bidders, and we're happy with the results," Goldin added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2020

Sumagsaysay distributes food to frontliners, less fortunate

Jayvee Sumagaysay found a way to be productive despite a pause in his volleyball career due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Aside from his online food business, the PLDT star and part of the men’s volleyball team national pool has been helping out frontliners, the less fortunate and stranded individuals. The former University of Sto. Tomas star on his business ‘Sherep’ Facebook page posted a video of their food distribution run in Fort Bonifacio military camp. Sumagaysay like other local volleyball stars has been active in helping out our frontliners and less fortunate kababayans by joining fundraising drives and donating relief goods to vulnerable communities. Kind-hearted individuals through Sumagaysay’s business donate food packs which he himself delivers to its recipients. ‘Sherep’ offers a variety of ‘silog’ meals, chicken wings, fries and desserts......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2020

Fil-Am UFC veteran Mark Muñoz shares his thoughts on the state of Filipino MMA

Apart from basketball and, as of recent years, volleyball, combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts have been quite popular among Filipino sports fans.  A lot of credit for that goes to the likes of eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao, four-division boxing champion Nonito Donaire Jr., Donnie Nietes, and those who came before them like Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Pancho Villa, and Gerry Peñalosa, all of whom made it big on the world stage.  In recent years, a number of Filipinos are have also made a name for themselves in the global mixed martial arts arena, and one of the early big stars was none other than former UFC veteran Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz.  From 2009 to 2015, Muñoz was one of the UFC’s top middleweight contenders and proudly carried the Filipino flag with him each time he stepped inside the Octagon.  In May of 2015, on the UFC’s inaugural fight card in Manila, Muñoz retired in front of his kababayans after a unanimous decision win over Luke Barnatt.  (READ ALSO: Filipino-American MMA star Mark Muñoz recalls retirement bout in Manila) Muñoz’s run in the UFC came at a time when the North American promotion was easily accessible to fans in the Philippines, and he became a household name in terms of Filipino MMA.  Now, five years after Muñoz’s retirement, MMA in the Philippines has never been more popular, thanks in large part to promotions like the Asia-based ONE Championship, which holds around four events in Manila every year, and of course, the URCC, the Philippines’ first-ever MMA promotion.  Today, homegrown Filipino talents like Eduard Folayang, Joshua Pacio, Kevin Belingon, Denice Zamboanga, Chris Hoffman, an many others have also gotten their time to shine on the world stage, and Muñoz believes that it’s because Filipinos are natural fighters.  “I just feel Filipinos in general have that combat mentality. That’s already inside of them,” Muñoz said on The Hitlist vodcast. “I feel that Filipinos, from the days that we have to get our independence from the Spanish, Jose Rizal, he’s a hero in the nation, it’s just embedded in our culture, in our blood, so I just feel like Filipinos in general would be amazing fighters.” Munoz made special mention of guys like former ONE world champions Folayang and Belingon, as well as URCC champions Hoffman, and Ernesto Montilla Jr.  “I mean you just look at the…Filipinos now, it’s growing and getting better. I’ve been following Eduard Folayang. He’s an amazing representative of the Philippines, Kevin Belingon, he’s the man. I think there’s another one that was on the card when I fought, Mark Eddiva is good. I know I’m leaving out a lot of fighters, there’s Ernesto Montilla Jr., when I was there in training, a guy caught my eyes, Chris Hoffman trained with me and helped me out. I know he’s doing big things in the Philippines. I think he’s URCC champion.”  “There’s a lot of good fighters in the Philippines. I know I’m leaving out a lot and I don’t want to do that but there’s a lot of good talents in the Philippines and I wanna come, I wanna be there and help them in wrestling, in MMA wresting, in ground and pound, in everything that was my specialty in MMA,” he added.  While Filipinos have indeed excelled in mixed martial arts, one aspect continues to be perceived as the Filipino fighter’s weakness is the ground game, whether it be wrestling or grappling.  (READ ALSO: Mark Muñoz not ruling out MMA return) Today’s young stars, guys like Team Lakay’s Pacio and Danny Kingad have displayed some exceptional grappling in their past performances, but Muñoz, a former collegiate wrestler and current wrestling coach, made a living off taking guys down and keeping them grounded.  “I think the common thing that everyone says with MMA is wrestling. Wrestling is the ultimate neutralizer. If you don’t have a good understanding of wrestling, you’re gonna have a really hard time becoming one of the, being ranked in the world or even be a champion,” Muñoz explained. “If you look at all the champions now, or the ones that are ranked in the world. A lot of them have background in wrestling. I feel that that’s something that the Philippines needs.” Muñoz has always said that one of the things he would most like to do is to help develop wrestling in the Philippines and hopes to one day be able to finally fulfill that mission.  “I’m the guy to do that for them. I need to make sure I spend time in the Philippines to be able to help that,” he continued......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2020

Marano on beast mode in delivering relief goods to affected volleyball game personnel

Aby Marano once again unleashed her beast mode. Not on court, of course, because we’re still under community quarantine and volleyball action is still far from its resumption with the current situation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This time, the national team skipper strapped on her seatbelt and went on a three-day relief run in cities within Metro Manila and nearby provinces to deliver relief goods for volleyball match-day personnel affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The F2 Logistics star brought the food packs, groceries and essentials bought from the funds collected in the fundraising event organized by the Volleyball Community Gives Back PH to the homes of volleyball personnel whose source of income was halted after the cancellation of volleyball leagues including the NCAA, UAAP, the Philippine Superliga and the Premier Volleyball League. Marano posted a video of her delivering the goods on her YouTube Channel. She drove to Sta. Maria and Bocaue in Bulacan, Cavite and around Metro Manila, bringing help to technical officials, referees and court assistants.   The VCGBPH over the weekend held a fund-raising event where volleyball stars showcased their off-court talents online in the SERVE AS ONE Variety Show. The organization has been very active in its relief efforts since the outbreak of the contagion as they donated personal protective equipment (PPEs), face masks, alcohol, disinfectants and goods to frontliners as well as extended help to families in vulnerable communities.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2020

Muzzle Mr. Met? Mascots wonder why they re banned from MLB

By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillie Phanatic had stories of his favorite adventures -- from the Galapagos Islands to the cobblestone streets of Philadelphia -- read to him most weeks from his very best buds. The Philly furball was tucked in with a bedtime story from Bryce Harper. Andrew McCutchen and manager Joe Girardi stopped by as guest readers to entertain fans and unite the Phillies community. But should the Phillies play ball this year, well, the book will close on the Phanatic. MLB wants to ban the birds -- sorry, Pirate Parrot -- and Bernie Brewer, Blooper, Bernie the Marlin, heck, all costumed creatures great and small from the ballpark this season. Firebird, Paws, the Oriole Bird, all face extinction -- at least this season, should baseball resume. Not even a muzzle on Mr. Met or a mask on Mariner Moose would help the cause. Gasp! Baseball’s furriest and funniest fans are forbidden from entering a ballpark. And that’s not cool. “Every mascot should be essential because of its ability to connect and distract with fun,” mascot guru Dave Raymond said. Raymond should know as well as any performer, as the first person to take on the 6-foot-6, 300-pound, 90-inch waist frame of the Phanatic. He’s since become a mascot consultant to the stars and helped create, brand and train the next generation of hundreds of stadium characters. Mascots are as much a ballpark staple as hot dogs and the long ball, and each fuzzy fist bump or chance concourse encounter hooks the youngest fans on the game. As baseball prepares for a summer slate without fans, Raymond wonders: What’s a game without a mascot? “You don’t have to convince me of that,” Raymond said. “It’s the powers that be that don’t understand that simple truth.” There’s already a blueprint MLB could follow that explains why mascots fit in barren ballparks. Take a look across the globe. Mascots remained a staple of baseball games in Taiwan and the KBO League in South Korea. American fans who stayed up late (or is it, woke up early?) to watch KBO games on ESPN were mesmerized by mascots gone wild in empty stadiums. The LG Twins mascots -- twin robot boys named Lucky and Star -- wore masks. So did cheerleaders and a drum section that provided the soundtrack for an otherwise dreary atmosphere. The Chinese Professional Baseball League barred spectators over concerns of spreading the new coronavirus in a crowded space, but the league decided it was safe to let in cheerleaders and costumed mascots. “This is the most important time to leverage fun, when people are sick and dying and dealing with the brutality of life,” Raymond said. “That is the time that you find a way to distract people and entertain them.” Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Rob Tornoe drew the Phanatic (wearing a mask) sitting atop the dugout with his phone and on hold with the unemployment office. “This is life or death now for a lot of characters, a lot of performers,” former Timberwolves mascot Jon Cudo said. It’s not that dire for most MLB performers who often have other duties within the organization or remained active in the community with food drives, firetruck parades or other feel-good efforts during the pandemic. Raymond had former and current mascots, including Cudo, join this week on his webinar, “What The Heck Should My Mascot Do Now?” The best suggestion to stay connected with fans -- with the ATV temporarily parked -- is engaging through social content. Mascot Mania has gone wild on Instagram and TikTok. Mr. Met cleans windows. D. Baxter the Bobcat taught crosswalk safety. Wally the Green Monster records virtual messages for charity. Then again, mascots have problems just like us: Who gives the Phanatic a trim during quarantine? “The Phanatic doesn’t need to get his hair cut,” Raymond said. “It’s actually a positive when it gets unkempt and long.” The Phanatic already underwent one makeover this year — his new look features flightless feathers rather than fur-colored arms, stars outlining the eyes, a larger posterior and a powder blue tail, blue socks with red shoes, plus a set of scales under the arms — because of a lawsuit filed against the team by the creators of the original Phanatic. The creators threatened to terminate the Phillies’ rights to the Phanatic as of June 15 and “make the Phanatic a free agent” unless the team renegotiated its 1984 agreement to acquire the mascot’s rights. Mascots were lumped in with other baseball traditions that would be weeded out under a 2020 proposal. The traditional exchange of lineup cards would be eliminated, along with high-fives, fist bumps and bat boys and girls. “I don’t know of anybody who bought season tickets to watch the bat boy,” Raymond said. “But you can say that in spades for the mascots. We’d be losing one of the draws that brings in people beyond the statistic nerds.” Plus, any fan who attended a Phillies game in the late 1990s at Veterans Stadium knows the Phanatic can play in an empty ballpark. Mascots just want to honk, honk, honk for the home team and they do care if they ever get back. “I’m just imploring them to value the character brands,” Raymond said. “There is a safe way for you to have fun, and frankly, fun is the most important thing you can invest in right now.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 31st, 2020

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu icon Tom DeBlass explains reasons for signing with ONE Championship

It’s been nearly seven years since New Jersey native Tom “T-Bone” DeBlass set foot inside a mixed martial arts arena.  Back in November of 2013, DeBlass competed in last MMA bout, knocking out Jason Lambert in just under two minutes at Bellator 108.  Since then, the 38 year old has continuously been active in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu circuit, competing in tournaments such as the ADCC, and the No Gi World Championships.  Last week however, DeBlass confirmed that he will be making a return to mixed martial arts after signing with Asian powerhouse ONE Championship.  For the third-degree BJJ Black Belt, the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus was a factor in getting him to return to the cage.  “This pandemic has really changed my way of thinking and my thought process. It’s very hard for me to just sit in my home, and I started developing a fire, a drive, and a motivation that I didn’t have before, but I put all my faith in God,” DeBlass told ONE Championship.    DeBlass believes that ONE Championship reaching out to him was the Lord’s will.  “A few days after I had a long prayer, Chatri [Sityodtong] messaged me and asked me what I thought about fighting. If it wasn’t him who messaged me, I wouldn’t have even thought about it.” “I truly admire what he has done with ONE, and I admire him. I said this must be God’s plan,” DeBlass continued.  DeBlass is a former Ring of Combat Heavyweight World Champion, apart from being a Bellator and UFC veteran.  Now, the Ricardo Almeida black belt will be taking his talents to the world’s biggest martial arts stage, and it’s because he has been quite impressed with what he’s seen with ONE.  “If I did come back to competition, it’s with ONE and no one else. I love what ONE Championship stands for and I’ve been to the shows multiple times,” DeBlass stated.  “I love the Samurai spirit. I love the Asian culture. Whether ONE is fighting in Asia or the United States, the culture they have represents much more than mixed martial arts,” he added.  DeBlass sees his return to competition with ONE as a chance to once again display what he can do and have fun while doing it.  “I look at ONE as a way of life and not fighting. I don’t look at ONE as fighting at all. I look at ONE as a chance to showcase my skills once again, have fun and push myself, and hopefully inspire other people.” Coming into the promotion as a heavyweight, DeBlass will be able to test himself against the likes of Alain Ngalani, Mauro Cerrilli, Arjan Bhullar, Vitor Belfort, and reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera.  DeBlass won’t be making any bold predictions as to how far he’ll go in the division however.  “I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I don’t want to disrespect anyone that has been in ONE or any titleholders or anybody who has been putting their time in. I’m just going to say my goal is to inspire everyone, fight by fight.” “Every fight I have, I look to win. Every competition I have, I look to win. Whatever path God takes me on, whether that be a World Title or defeat, I accept my fate. Let’s see what happens. It’s going to be phenomenal,” he concluded. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2020

Out of the Woods: Tiger emerges for TV match with Lefty, QBs

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer The purpose is to raise $10 million or more for COVID-19 relief efforts, and provide entertainment with four of the biggest stars from the PGA Tour and NFL. Another appeal to the Sunday made-for-TV exhibition, “The Match: Champions for Charity,” is a chance to see Tiger Woods swing a golf club for the first time in 98 days. Live golf is on television for the second straight Sunday, this one with the game's biggest headliner. Woods was last seen on television Feb. 16 at the Genesis Invitational, where he moved cautiously in California's chilly late winter weather and posted weekend rounds of 76-77 to finish last among the 68 players who made the cut at Riviera. He skipped a World Golf Championship in Mexico City, and said his surgically repaired back wasn't quite ready in sitting out the opening three weeks of the Florida swing. And then the pandemic took over, and there has been no place to play. This is a reasonable start. Woods and retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning will face Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, who won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and signed this year with Tampa Bay. The match will be at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. It is Woods' home course and about 20 minutes from Seminole, where last week Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff ushered golf's return to live television. What to make of Woods? His only interviews were with GolfTV, the Discovery-owned channel with whom Woods has a financial deal, and a playful Zoom call with the other match participants hosted by Ernie Johnson of Turner Sports, which is televising the match. He described his health in the April 9 interview with GolfTV as “night and day.” “I feel a lot better than I did then,” Woods said. “I've been able to turn a negative into a positive and been able to train a lot and get my body to where I think it should be.” Mickelson has missed the cut in four of his five tournaments this year — the exception was third place at Pebble Beach, where he started the final round one shot behind Nick Taylor and closed with a 75. Just like last week, rust is to be expected for players who haven't competed in two months — three, in the case of Woods. Manning, meanwhile, is retired and is a golf junkie. Brady remains employed, and this week got in some informal work with his new teammates in Tampa Bay. No fans will be allowed, just like last week at Seminole. One difference is the players will be in their own carts, whereas the four PGA Tour players last week carried their bags. But this is as much about entertainment as competition. It's the second edition of a match between Woods and Mickelson, the dominant players of their generation and rivals by name, but not necessarily by record. Woods has 82 career victories to 44 for Mickelson, leads 15-5 in major championships and 11-0 in winning PGA Tour player of the year. Mickelson won their first made-for-TV match over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018, a pay-per-view event that ran into technical problems and was free for all. Lefty won in a playoff under the lights for $9 million in a winner-take-all match. He also has a 5-3-1 advantage over Woods in the nine times they have played in the final round on the PGA Tour, most recently in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2012 when Mickelson shot 64 to a 75 for Woods. He also stopped two streaks. Woods was going for his seventh straight PGA Tour victory when Mickelson beat him at Torrey Pines in 2000. Later that year, Woods had won 19 consecutive times on the PGA Tour when he had at least a share of the 54-hole lead until Mickelson beat him at the Tour Championship. Woods, however, captured the streak that mattered, holding off Mickelson in the final group at the Masters in 2001 to hold all four professional majors at the same time. The banter was lacking in Las Vegas, and perhaps having Manning and Brady will change the dynamics. The broadcast includes Charles Barkley providing commentary and Justin Thomas, whom Woods has embraced, on the course as a reporter in his television debut. After this exhibition, golf has two weeks before the PGA Tour is set to return at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. Mickelson plans to play. Woods has not said when he will return......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2020