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Bayern Munich s 23-match winning streak ends with Hoffenheim loss

European champions Bayern Munich suffered a first defeat for 10 month when their 23-match winning run was ended by a shock 4-1 Bundesliga loss at Hoffenheim on Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource: thestandard thestandardSep 28th, 2020

Gladbach beats Bayern 2-1 to stay top of Bundesliga

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press MÖNCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) — Surprise Bundesliga leader Borussia Mönchengladbach showed it's a serious title contender by beating Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday with a last-gasp penalty. Left-back Ramy Bensebaini scored both goals for Gladbach, which last won the title in 1977. Bensebaini headed in a corner to draw Gladbach level after Ivan Perisic's volley for Bayern, and then scored the decisive penalty in added time. “That shows why we’re rightly up there," Gladbach coach Marco Rose said. "We tried until the 90th minute to show what's made us stand out in the last few weeks and months, and we got the penalty.” After scoring the opener, it was as if “we forgot how to play football somehow," said Bayern's interim coach Hansi Flick. The seven-time defending champion is now down in seventh after losing back-to-back Bundesliga games for the first time in 14 months. Gladbach leads the league by a point ahead of Leipzig, which beat Hoffenheim 3-1 thanks to two goals from Timo Werner. Jadon Sancho scored twice as Dortmund thrashed Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-0. BAYERN BEATEN AGAIN Another week, another 2-1 defeat and yet more missed opportunities for Bayern. Just as in last week's loss to Bayer Leverkusen by the same score, Bayern had a string of great chances — 15 shots in the first half alone — but a mix of poor finishes and good goalkeeping denied the Munich team. Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer trapped an effort by Joshua Kimmich on the line, and Robert Lewandowski twice flashed shots just wide of the post. After that frustration, Bayern scored with its first shot of the second half, a sweetly hit volley by substitute Ivan Perisic into the top-left corner from the edge of the box. That sparked Gladbach into life. The hosts have been strong at set pieces this season and showed it again when Bensebaini lost his marker to head in the corner in the 60th. Bayern pushed up to chase the win in stoppage time and was caught out by a Gladbach counter. Martinez launched into a desperate slide to stop Marcus Thuram reaching a loose ball and brought him down, giving away a penalty and earning a red card. Bayern's interim coach Hansi Flick started the day with a chance to go within a point of Gladbach, but now finds himself seven points adrift of the top. “The results don’t match" the chances Bayern created, Flick said. Bayern substituted Corentin Tolisso and Jerome Boateng with suspected injuries, which could complicate selection ahead of Wednesday's game against Tottenham in the Champions League. WERNER LEADS LEIPZIG If Leipzig manages to win the Bundesliga title for the first time in its short history, it will be largely thanks to Timo Werner. He's scored 15 goals in 14 league games this season and has nine in his last five Bundesliga matches. Hoffenheim could do nothing to stop Werner giving Leipzig the lead on a counterattack in the 11th minute. Hoffenheim tried fouling Werner, but that just led to the 52nd-minute penalty from which he scored his second goal. Marcel Sabitzer added a third late on. SANCHO'S SCORING RUN Dortmund continued its recovery from a 4-0 loss to Bayern last month, beating Düsseldorf with two goals each from Marco Reus and Sancho. Reus gave Dortmund the lead with a calm finish in the 42nd minute. Thorgan Hazard and Sancho added the second and third goals, before Reus and Sancho each scored again late on. Sancho has now scored in his last four games in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. That makes it three games unbeaten for Dortmund in the Bundesliga since the loss to Bayern, and puts the team third and firmly back into the fight for Champions League places. Freiburg continued its unexpected chase for a Champions League spot, rising to fifth with a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg thanks to Jonathan Schmid's 85th-minute goal. Leverkusen followed up its win over Bayern last week by overtaking the Munich team for sixth place with a 2-1 win over Schalke, which drops to fourth. Lucas Alario scored both of Leverkusen's goals in the win. Augsburg beat Mainz 2-1 to halt Mainz's winning start under new coach Achim Beierlorzer, who had overseen victories in his first two games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2019

Spaniards with little to cheer for in Champions League final

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — It will be an unusual Champions League final for Spain. Madrid will be hosting the final again after nearly a decade, but the country's streak of having at least one team playing for the European title ended this year after five straight seasons, giving home fans little to cheer for when Liverpool faces Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Saturday. The all-English matchup will be the first Champions League final without a Spanish club since 2013, when Bayern Munich defeated Borussia Dortmund in a match between German teams. Since then, Real Madrid made it to the final four times, Atletico Madrid twice and Barcelona once. "We were used to seeing Real Madrid in the final all these years," said Francisco Javier Diaz de Castro, a 55-year-old Real Madrid supporter. "It's a weird feeling to think that this time we won't see it fighting for the Champions League trophy. When we finally get to watch the final in Madrid, the team struggles and can't make it. I guess that's how it goes in soccer." Real Madrid won four titles in its recent streak, beating Atletico in 2014 and 2016, Juventus in 2017 and Liverpool in 2018. Barcelona lifted the trophy in 2015, and it had also won it in 2006, 2009 and 2011. There was at least one Spanish club in seven of the last 10 Champions League finals. This time, tough, as the Spanish capital prepares to host its first final since Inter Milan defeated Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in 2010, Spanish clubs are already starting to plan their offseason. On Saturday, there are only two Spanish players with a chance of playing in the final — Tottenham forward Fernando Llorente and Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno. Here's a look at some of the reasons why there won't be any Spanish clubs in this year's final in Madrid: BARCELONA After dominating in the domestic competitions in recent years, Barcelona turned its focus on trying to win the Champions League again. It last won the competition in 2015, when it defeated Juventus in the final in Berlin. Barcelona cruised through a group that included finalist Tottenham, Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven, winning four matches and drawing two to end six points ahead in first place. It also didn't face major difficulties as it got past Lyon in the round of 16 and Manchester United in the quarterfinals, being able to make it to the semifinals after three straight eliminations in the last eight. The team's dominance continued in the first leg of the semifinals against Liverpool, when it won 3-0 at the Camp Nou and looked set to finally return to the final. But the team collapsed in England, losing 4-0 to see its title hopes vanish. "We are still recovering from what happened in Liverpool. At least I am," Lionel Messi said last week. "Our performance was lamentable. It was a very tough loss for us." REAL MADRID The three-time defending champions never really got close to making it to the final. In a frustrating season that included two coaching changes, Real Madrid couldn't advance past the round of 16 in the European competition, being eliminated after a demoralizing 4-1 loss to Ajax at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. It had won its group against Roma, Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow, but its campaign included consecutive losses to CSKA — 1-0 in Russia and 3-0 at the Bernabeu. The early Champions League elimination led to the return of coach Zinedine Zidane, who was at the helm when the club won its last three European titles. ATLETICO MADRID After four straight seasons reaching at least the quarterfinals, Atletico was coming off a disappointing group-stage elimination and was hopeful of playing in the final again at its own stadium. It qualified from a group that included Borussia Dortmund, Club Brugge and Monaco, but the draw for the round of 16 set up an encounter against Juventus and old foe Cristiano Ronaldo. Things went well in the first leg, with the Spanish team winning 2-0 at home, but Ronaldo thrived in the return match, scoring a hat trick in a 3-0 win that ended Atletico's hopes. VALENCIA Valencia was the only other Spanish club in the Champions League this season, and it couldn't get past a group that included Juventus, Manchester United and Young Boys. It finished third, ahead only of the Swiss club......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 30th, 2019

Pochettino, Guardiola confounding expectations in EPL

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer   LONDON (AP) — In one dugout at Etihad Stadium on Saturday will be a manager enjoying a six-match winning streak with his second-place team. In the other, a manager reeling from the biggest loss of his career and down in fifth place. Few at the start of the English Premier League would have predicted it would be Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino with the edge over struggling Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola. But the top of the standings is confounding expectations in the second half of the season. City hosts Tottenham with Guardiola's side trailing the second-place London club by three points and leader Chelsea by 10 points. Having already ruled City out of the title race, Guardiola is now in a scrap just to secure Champions League qualification by finishing in the top four as he endures a difficult first season in English soccer. It was against Tottenham in early October when Guardiola experienced his first setback at City, with Pochettino ending the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach's winning league start. Last weekend, he was humbled by a 4-0 loss at Everton, a career low for the Champions League-winning coach. Has Guardiola lost the Midas touch? 'The coach has to adapt with the players, the players have to adapt with the coach,' Eric Abidal, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona, told The Associated Press on Thursday. 'Tactically, and the methodology of Pep Guardiola is methodology from Barcelona ... he needs time. They will win trophies. 'I spoke with some players from (City), tactically they learn a lot,' Adibal added at a Barcelona event on Thursday in Singapore. 'But when you have a good coach and good players, a lot of teams want to beat you. So it's not easy, every weekend, and we know the intensity of English football.' City racked up six successive wins in the league before losing 2-0 at Tottenham on Oct. 2. Since then City has dropped 18 points, winning seven of its 14 games as the shortcomings of the brittle defense and shaky goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has been exposed. City's attacking options have been reinforced with Gabriel Jesus completing his move from Palmeiras in time to feature against Tottenham. 'Gabriel is a technically gifted player who was chased by some of Europe's biggest clubs and we are delighted he decided to join City,' director of football Txiki Begiristain said. 'He has the potential to become one of the best attacking players in the game.' And for the 19-year-old Jesus, Guardiola played a big part in deciding his next destination. 'He was the only manager who called me so I was very pleased,' Jesus said. 'One thing I've noticed is that, like me, he is mad about football. He lives football 24 hours a day. I'm like that, too. 'When I'm not playing, I'm watching, or playing a video game, doing something linked to football. This is very important, that I'm the same as him, and I hope to learn.' Tottenham could move six points clear of City by completing the double over Guardiola's side. And for Pochettino it's not just about securing a second successive season in the Champions League but delivering the north London club's first domestic title since 1961. 'We have to try to show that we can be real contenders for the Premier League, that's the real challenge,' Pochettino said. 'It's more important that we can show ourselves, rather than show Manchester City. 'We need to show ourselves we are capable of dealing with that pressure, and to try to win games to achieve big things.' Tottenham has received more positive news on defender Jan Vertonghen's ankle injury. After initial fears the center back could be out for three months, Tottenham now expects him back in six weeks. Here are some other talking points around the Premier League: ___ PAYET PREDICAMENT West Ham travels to Southampton on Saturday with the fate of star player Dimitri Payet still uncertain after the France midfielder told the club more than a week ago he wants to leave to rejoin Marseille. Payet would not play against Crystal Palace last weekend, according to manager Slaven Bilic. 'Is his departure inevitable? I don't know,' Bilic said. 'We are not going to sell our best players on the cheap just because someone wants to sign them or even because they want to go home. 'I left it with the chairman and I'm sure he's going to do the best thing. The ball is in Marseille's court. They are the ones who expressed interest. Now they should act ... like everybody, he has his price.' AT THE BOTTOM Two of the teams in the relegation zone have tricky trips to top-four opposition. Paul Clement takes Swansea to third-place Liverpool on Saturday for a daunting second league game in charge of the bottom-place team. 'It does not look hopeless,' the former Bayern Munich assistant coach said. 'We are one point behind the team outside the relegation zone and not far behind the teams just above that as well.' Sunderland, which is above Swansea on goal difference, is at West Bromwich Albion. Hull is a point further up the standings going into Sunday's game at leader Chelsea. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Leipzig top in Germany at halfway stage, but Bayern revived

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press Is this the season when Bayern Munich's seven-year hold on the German title ends? A poor start and a humiliating 5-1 loss to Frankfurt cost Niko Kovac his job as Bayern coach and gave teams like Leipzig and surprise title contender Borussia Mönchengladbach hope of victory. Bayern has bounced back under interim coach Hansi Flick, though, and is third in the table, four points behind leader Leipzig. That's earned Flick an extension until at least the end of the season. It's been a tale of dueling goalscorers, with Robert Lewandowski having scored 19 goals in 17 games for Bayern, and Timo Werner one goal behind for Leipzig. For Gladbach, goalkeeper Yann Sommer has been crucial to their title challenge. Borussia Dortmund has been powerful on its day, but the team is also inconsistent and brittle. Losing to Bayern 4-0 last month was a big dent to Dortmund's title belief. Last Sunday's games were the last of 2019 and the Bundesliga returns from its winter break on Jan. 17. PLAYER OF THE SEASON SO FAR He turned 31 in August and Lewandowski shows no sign of slowing down. The Polish forward scored in Bayern's first 11 Bundesliga games and has racked up 30 goals across all competitions. He's taking time off during the winter break to have groin surgery. Werner has been almost as prolific, including a remarkable performance with three goals and three assists in an 8-0 thrashing of Mainz last month. For Dortmund, Jadon Sancho's in hot form with eight goals in his last six Bundesliga games. But perhaps no one's been as vital to their team as Rouwen Hennings. The 32-year-old Hennings doesn't have the star status of Lewandowski or Sancho but his 11 goals for struggling Fortuna are four more than the rest of the team put together. SURPRISE OF THE SEASON Gladbach's golden age was the 1970s, when it won five Bundesligas in eight years. With its run to second, Gladbach has been a feelgood story for German fans of other clubs who dislike Bayern's wealth and see Leipzig as less a soccer club than an advertising board for energy drinks giant Red Bull. Gladbach has nothing like the budget of Bayern or Leipzig, but has built a solid team with attacking firepower from Marcus Thuram, son of former French defender Lilian Thuram, and Swiss forward Breel Embolo. A comeback 2-1 win over Bayern this month showed its a serious contender. Kai Havertz experienced the season's most unwelcome surprise when fans of his own team, Bayer Leverkusen, booed him this month. The attacking midfielder started the season rated as one of Germany's most promising young players, but he's looked listless in recent games and last scored in September. GOAL OF THE SEASON Bayern's 46 goals in the Bundesliga have included some gems. Philippe Coutinho scored with an outrageous flick from the outside of his foot against Werder Bremen last week. Lewandowski's hit some long-range free kicks and shrugged off four defenders to score against Frankfurt, the only bright spot in a heavy loss for Bayern. The highlight of Leipzig's title charge might just be Christopher Nkunku juggling the ball through the Bayer Leverkusen defense and past the goalkeeper in October. For sheer fireworks, no one beats Hertha Berlin's Javairo Dilrosun. The Dutch winger picked up the ball on the left wing and cut inside past four defenders — beating one of them twice — before scoring against Paderborn. WHO'LL BE CHAMPION? If Bayern's recovery under Flick continues, an eighth straight title is definitely possible, if only because of the depth in its squad. The Munich team was packed with individual talent, even if Kovac was defeated by the puzzle of how to make them all play well together. There's also a bench filled with hungry young players such as New Zealand midfielder Sarpreet Singh and the Dutch forward Joshua Zirkzee, who's scored in each of his first two Bundesliga appearances. Leipzig takes a four-point lead into 2020, but depends heavily on core players such as Werner and the in-form Marcel Sabitzer and Patrik Schick. Losing any of them to injury could be a fatal blow. Gladbach has less depth than either of them, but unlike them, it won't be balancing the Bundesliga with any European competitions in the spring. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFICATION The fight for the four Champions League spots is wide open, with at least eight teams making a strong claim. Behind the leading trio of Leipzig, Gladbach, and Bayern, there's a chasing pack of Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, and Freiburg. All have played Champions League football in recent years, with the exception of Freiburg, but they have all been inconsistent this season. WHO'S GOING DOWN? The relegation fight is just as close as the scrap for European places. Promoted Paderborn is last but showed it has claws by beating Frankfurt 2-1 last weekend. The other automatic relegation spot is occupied by Werder Bremen, which is in danger of its first relegation since 1981. Werder ended 2019 with four straight defeats, two of them by five-goal margins, and with club management embroiled in conflict with fans over the sale of their stadium's naming rights. If Werder can climb out of danger, it would likely be at the expense of one of two Rhineland rivals, Cologne or Fortuna Düsseldorf, or else Mainz......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2019

Spurs in Champions League capitulation as Bayern wins 7-2

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press A Champions League finalist for the first time just four months ago, Tottenham is making history again in Europe's top club competition this season. The wrong kind of history. Tottenham was picked off repeatedly by Bayern Munich in a humiliating 7-2 loss on Tuesday, the first time the English team has conceded seven goals in a home match in any competition in its 137-year history. Another team in trouble is Real Madrid, which has failed to win at least one of its first two games in the group stage for the first time in Champions League history. To avoid defeat against Club Brugge on Tuesday, the 13-time European champions had to fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. Tottenham slumped to the biggest margin of defeat by a team from England playing at home in any European competition. Adding insult for Tottenham was the sight of Serge Gnabry, a former player at fierce rival Arsenal, scoring four of the goals for Bayern with clinical finishing. All of them came in a wild second half in the Group B game featuring six goals in total. "Every single touch went in," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. While it was a statement win for Bayern, which hasn't been widely regarded as one of the Champions League favorites amid something of a transitional season for the German club, the manner of the defeat exacerbates the concerns surrounding Tottenham and Pochettino. Tottenham has been far from its best in the Premier League, squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Olympiakos in its opening Champions League game, and was eliminated from the English League Cup by fourth-tier Colchester last week. Pochettino is in his sixth year as manager, leading to fears that Tottenham has gone as far as it can under the Argentine, who has spoken publicly about tensions in the squad since the loss to Liverpool in last season's Champions League final. "We are very disappointed and very upset," Pochettino said, "but we have to stay together." MADRID COMEBACK Barely 40 minutes had elapsed, Real Madrid was losing 2-0 at home to one of the Champions League's supposedly weaker teams, and Club Brugge scorer Emmanuel Bonaventure was taunting fans inside the Santiago Bernabeu by imitating the famous "Si!" goal celebration of Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane would soon be substituting his goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, at halftime. Success in European soccer's biggest club competition has come so easy for Zidane as Madrid coach — he won the Champions League an unprecedented three straight seasons in his first spell at the Spanish club — but he's not finding it so easy early in his second stint in charge. Madrid's players roused themselves and recovered to draw 2-2 against their visitors from Belgium, thanks to headers by Sergio Ramos and Casemiro. But qualification for the last 16 is far from the certainty it seemed when the group-stage draw was made. Having opened the group by being outplayed in a 3-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain, Madrid — like Tottenham — is in last place on one point. The Spanish team hasn't failed to advance past the group stage since the 1989-90 season, which was so long ago the competition was called the European Cup. A loss away to Galatasaray in the third round of games would make things extremely tough for the record 13-time European champions. PSG didn't find its trip to Turkey straightforward on Tuesday, only winning 1-0 win thanks to Mauro Icardi's first goal for the French club. RONALDO SCORES AGAIN It's now a record-extending 127 goals for Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League. The Portugal forward scored the third goal in Juventus' 3-0 win at home to Bayer Leverkusen, adding to strikes by Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi. Juventus opened Group D with a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid, which also responded with a win — 2-0 at Lokomotiv Moscow through goals by João Félix and Thomas Partey. STERLING SPARKS CITY A lively substitute's appearance by Raheem Sterling sparked Manchester City to a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb and a second straight win to open Group C. City's finishing had been wasteful at Etihad Stadium before Sterling came on as a 56th-minute sub and met a cross from Riyad Mahrez with a side-footed finish from close range 10 minutes later. Phil Foden, also on as a substitute but only in the 90th minute, made the points safe by running onto Sterling's pass on a counterattack and shooting low into the corner with virtually the last touch of the game. The English champions are well on their way to qualification, having started with a 3-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk two weeks ago. In its second match, Shakhtar scored with practically the last kick before the final whistle to beat Atalanta 2-1 as the Italian side's first home game in the Champions League ended in disappointment. Manor Solomon scored sin the fifth minute of stoppage time after Junior Moraes canceled out Duvan Zapata's opener for Atalanta in the first half......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2019

Schroder hits go-ahead triple, leads Hawks past Knicks

em>By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press /em> NEW YORK (AP) — Dennis Schroder gave the Hawks the lead and the New York Knicks had three chances to take it back. Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah, whom they hoped would be the backbone of a contending team, all failed from inside a few feet. 'When things are not going your way, sometimes they go all the way left,' Anthony said. 'That's a shot that I think I could hit in my sleep.' Schroder scored 28 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 22 seconds left, to lead the Hawks to a 108-107 victory on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points and Paul Millsap had 17 for the Hawks, who won for the ninth time in 10 games to reach the midpoint of their schedule at 24-17. 'Guys got heart on this team,' said Millsap, who blocked Rose's shot on a drive to the basket before Anthony missed a fairly easy follow. 'Guys compete and when you compete good things happen.' Anthony scored 30 points for the Knicks, who changed their lineup but it wasn't quite good enough. They lost for the 11th time in 13 games. The Hawks rested Dwight Howard, while the Knicks were without Kristaps Porzingis again because of a sore left Achilles tendon. They gave undrafted rookie Ron Baker his first career start and moved Courtney Lee to the bench. Baker helped spark a 10-0 run to start the fourth with a pair of three-pointers, but Schroder kept the Hawks in it all the way while making 13-of-16 shots. 'We knew they were going to make their run,' Hardaway said. 'Their second group does a tremendous job raising the intensity on both ends of the floor. We just had to match that.' It was a much better effort for the Knicks than Sunday (Monday, PHL time), when they reached an embarrassing low by being outscored 27-8 in the third quarter of a 116-101 loss at Toronto. But as usual with the Knicks, the game was only a minor part of the chaos. Anthony responded to questions about a Fanragsports.com piece written by Charley Rosen, a Phil Jackson confidante, that said he had 'outlived his usefulness in New York' by saying that maybe he needed to have a conversation with Jackson if he felt that way. It's unclear if Jackson does, because he has barely spoken publicly this season and not at all to the New York media since preseason, though Rosen posted another piece Monday that his thoughts were his alone. Anthony said he hadn't heard from Jackson and didn't need to. 'My job is to go out there and play ball and I'm not concerned about that,' Anthony said. Anthony made buzzer-beaters to end the second and third quarters, but the Knicks needed one more. 'I was surprised he missed that one,' Millsap said. 'He's made a bunch of tough shots.' strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Hawks: /strong> /em>The Hawks have won five in a row on the road, their longest streak since a 12-game run in the 2014-15 season. Hardaway, a former Knicks guard, had his ninth 20-point game of the season. em> strong>Knicks: /strong> /em>The Knicks were also without forward Lance Thomas because of a fractured left orbital bone. strong>MARTIN KING LUTHER JR. DAY STATS /strong> The Hawks improved to 17-9 on the holiday, with seven straight victories. The Knicks fell to 20-11 with a two-game winning streak snapped. strong>CARMELO CONCERNS /strong> Anthony has a no-trade clause and would need to agree to any deal. Coach Jeff Hornacek, though only in his first season here, says Anthony, like all players, has to deal with trade speculation. 'I think he does a great job of dealing with it and handling that kind of stuff. But does it affect him? I am sure it does in some way,' Hornacek said. 'But hopefully like most players, the trade deadline comes and goes every year.' strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Hawks: /strong> /em>Visit Detroit on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). The teams have split two meetings, with the Pistons winning 121-85 in Atlanta on Dec. 2 (Dec. 3, PHL time). em> strong>Knicks: /strong> /em> Visit Boston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). The Knicks have lost four straight in the series and four in a row in Boston. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

LIST EM: Modern PBA Commissioner s Cup Best Imports

The PBA going back to a three-conference format in the 2011 season meant the return of the Commissioner's Cup and the Governors' Cup. For the first time since 2002, the two conferences returned, paving the way for a number of memorable imports to enter the league as a result. For this latest entry of List 'Em, we focus on the imports that came to play in the Commissioner's Cup. The best ones actually. The PBA typically allows teams to employ imports with a 6'10" height limit for the mid-season joust, but Best Import winners in this conference have come in all shapes and sizes. Let's go through each and every one of them.   2011 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Nate Brumfield, Ginebra < In 2011, Ginebra's Nate Brumfield got the honor of being the first Commissioner's Cup Best Import since Talk 'N Text's Jerald Honeycutt in 2002. Ironically, Brumfield beat a TNT import for the award, outlasting Paul Harris for the win. Brumfield had the Gin Kings in the Finals of the Commissioner's Cup, losing in six games to Harris and the Tropang Texters. 2012 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Denzel Bowles, B-Meg Derby Ace Denzel Bowles winning Best Import in 2012 gets lost in the mix because he actually did greater things during his first time playing in the PBA. With B-Meg trailing by two in Game 7 of the Finals against defending champion Talk 'N Text, Bowles went to the line with 1.2 seconds to go for a chance to tie. He calmly made both to force OT. In extra time, Bowles led the Llamados to the championship, sealing his place in league history with one of the most clutch plays ever. 2013 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Robert Dozier, Alaska Rob Dozier fit right in with the Aces in the 2013 Commissioner's Cup and Alaska went on a tear, finishing as the no. 1 seed with a two-game lead from second place. Dozier was a beast on both ends, proving to be sturdy foundation to Alaska's impressive playoff run. The Aces only lost once in the playoffs, securing the title with a Finals sweep of Barangay Ginebra. 2014 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Richard Howell, Talk 'N Text There was really no doubt on who was the Best Import in the 2014 Commissioner's Cup. Richard Howell put up monster numbers and led the Tropang Texters to an undefeated streak through the semifinals. Unfortunately, Howell's Talk 'N Text became the third victim during San Mig Coffee's Grand Slam run. 2015 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Wayne Chism, Rain or Shine Rain or Shine sure aced its import choices in the early 2010s with Wayne Chism becoming the third Best Import winner for the Elasto Painters since 2011. Chism's versatility allowed ROS to make it to the Commissioner's Finals against Tropang Texters. In Game 7, Chism and the Elasto Painters finally surrendered the title after two overtimes. 2016 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Arinze Onuaku, Meralco Meralco's ascent as a contender in import conferences started in 2016 when the Bolts brought a dominating presence in Arinze Onuaku. Onuaku powered his way to a Best Import win and had Meralco on the verge of its first-ever Finals appearance. Alaska put a stop to those plans as the Aces took out Meralco in the semifinals. 2017 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Charles Rhodes, San Miguel The Beermen finally got an import to stay in the passionate Charles Rhodes. Rhodes delivered a first performance to remember, taking out longtime rival Ricard Ratliffe and the Star Hotshots in the semis before outlasting TNT in the Finals. San Miguel ended a near two-decade title drought in the Commissioner's Cup with Rhodes as Best Import. 2018 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Justin Brownlee, Ginebra Justin Brownlee's lone Best Import win came in the Commissioner's Cup, not even his original conference. Wearing throwback inspired jerseys, Brownlee had the Gin Kings in the Finals to challenge defending champion San Miguel Beer and old pal Renaldo Balkman. Ginebra got its third title with JB with a six-game decision over the Beermen. 2019 Commissioner's Cup Best Import: Terrence Jones, TNT Terrence Jones took the PBA by storm last year and led the TNT juggernaut all the way to the Finals. In the semifinals, Jones and the KaTropa handed Brownlee his second-ever series loss in the league and effectively ended a two-way race for Best Import. However, the former Houston Rocket was grounded in the Finals, with San Miguel Beer frustrating the top-ranked KaTropa to win the title after six games.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 7th, 2020

What if the Tigresses fielded a complete, healthy lineup in Season 81 Finals?

University of Sto. Tomas came close to ending a nine-year title drought in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The Tigresses dominated Ateneo de Manila University in the best-of-three Season 81 Finals series opener in straight sets – their first win over the Lady Eagles after 15 straight head-to-head losses. It was a shocker. UST gave the veteran-laden and battle-tested Ateneo squad a 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, drubbing.    In Game 2, UST started off on a wrong foot but was quick to recover in a lopsided second set win. Then, rookie Eya Laure suffered a left ankle sprain. Although the Season 81 Rookie of the Year returned to finish the game, Laure already lost the same explosiveness she had as the Tigresses yielded the match in four sets. Ateneo finished off UST in straight sets in the series decider for their third title overall. But the question remains for the UST faithful: What if the Tigresses had a healthy roster in the Finals series? Before its fateful Game 2 loss, UST was on a seven-game winning streak. The Tigresses were able to pull off an amazing run despite missing sophomore Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini to a knee injury that abruptly ended her season.           Players like KC Galdones, Caitlin Viray and Ysa Jimenez stepped up to help Rondina and Laure on offense with Alessandrini sidelined. Against Ateneo, which returned to the Finals after falling short of a seventh straight championship stint in Season 80, in the two schools' first-ever title showdown the Tigresses needed the presence of Alessandrini. The Season 80 RoY averaged 15.6 points per game before going down with a torn partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear and grade 3 sprain of the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and LCL (lateral collateral ligament) in the second set of UST’s elimination round clash with Far Eastern University. Alessandrini would’ve given UST an extra scoring option aside from Rondina and Laure. At 6-foot-2, Alessandrini would’ve also been a great help at the net and would've posted as a challenge to Ateneo’s imposing middles in Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag. Another big what if for UST: What if Laure didn’t accidentally land on Kat Tolentino’s foot at the start of the third set in Game 2? In Game 1, Laure finished with 11 points. She had 10 markers in Game 2, but had to bleed for points in the last two sets while playing through pain. Laure also had 10 markers in the series decider, but she was obviously not playing on the same level that she had during the Tigresses' seven-game win streak.    Of course, the Season 81 Finals turned out to be a thrilling and memorable one even with UST bitten by the injury bug. But again, what if the Tigresses came in healthy and in full force?   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 6th, 2020

ON THIS DAY: Tigresses end 8-year Finals stint wait

The packed Mall of Asia Arena rocked as University of Sto. Tomas rookie Eya Laure hammered the final blow that toppled the three-year dynasty of De La Salle University.     Supporters of the Tigresses went wild as the referees blew the final whistle signaling the end of the Espana-based squad’s eight long years of waiting to step back into the championship round. Exactly a year ago, UST booked a trip to the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals.    The duel went the full five sets with the Tigresses walking away with a 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, victory behind the duo of Laure and then graduating Queen Tigress Sisi Rondina. That match gave fans a feel of the classic rivalry between the two proud schools. Prior to their Final Four meeting, the Lady Spikers and Tigresses squared off four days before to dispute the twice-to-beat advantage after finishing the elimination round tied at 10-4.      UST defeated DLSU in four sets in the playoff behind Rondina’s 29-point explosion.    The Tigresses, who were looking to avenge their Season 77 semis defeat at the hands of DLSU, came into Final Four riding the crest of their five-game winning streak. The Lady Spikers, on the other hand, were on a two-game slump which started with their stinging five-set loss to Far Eastern University to close the elimination round that dragged DLSU into a playoff for the no. 2 spot in the semis. UST was brimming with confidence in the Final Four match. Laure and Rondina found their mark early, punishing the Lady Spikers defense with their missiles while Caitlin Viray and KC Galdones kept DLSU attackers at bay with great net defense. The first two sets were easy picking for UST. Then the Lady Spikers fought back. DLSU forced a deciding set after pulling away from a close 18-17 lead to a 23-19 advantage capped by a Des Cheng crosscourt hit. Viray scored back-to-back points for UST to trim down its deficit to 23-21 but committed a service error in the next play. Laure saved two set points but the Tigresses were whistled for a net touch to end the fourth set. The Lady Spikers took advantage of UST’s 13 errors in the third set to escape a sweep. DLSU came back from a 11-15 down in the third frame with six unanswered points for a 17-15 advantage. The Lady Spikers widened their cushion to 24-19, Laure saved a set point before Cheng sealed the frame to set up a mad dash to the finish. In the final set, the Tigresses raced to a 10-5 lead before DLSU made a final push to cut its deficit to 11-10 off an Aduke Ogunsanya attack after an overreception by UST. Tigresses setter Alin Bicar scored a kill on the next play followed by a service ace before Laure's back-to-back hits to send UST back in the Finals for the first time since Season 73 when the Espana-based squad finished as bridesmaid to the Lady Spikers. UST ended DLSU’s 10-year Finals run and denied the Lady Spikers a four-peat for the third time in two decades. The Tigresses challenged Ateneo de Manila University in the Finals. UST won the series opener, but came up short in the next two games as the Lady Eagles claimed their third title overall.   ---          Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2020

CAMPEONE: Year of the Tiger (2010)

(This story was originally published on May 09, 2019) University of Sto. Tomas head coach Shaq delos Santos looked at his squad inside the dugout of The Arena in San Juan one last time. It was a cool Saturday afternoon. He took a glimpse at his graduating hitter Angge Tabaquero, who was all pumped up, but was feeling under the weather and could barely speak because of a sore throat. Delos Santos then shifted his eyes towards fourth-year team captain Aiza Maizo, Maika Ortiz, libero Jessica Curato, then to his prized rookies Dindin Santiago and Maru Banaticla. From their closed locker room, the Tigresses could hear the drums outside and felt the vibration that followed. The weekend crowd packed the venue in a sea of yellow and green. Excitement filled the air. It was electric. Less than an hour before, coach Emil Lontoc celebrated the Tigers’ conquest of Far Eastern University to complete a three-peat in the men's division. With his eyes closed, Delos Santos murmured one last prayer. Then there was a soft tap on their dugout door. It was time to march to the court for the official warm-up for Game 2 of the UAAP Season 72 women’s volleyball tournament.   THE YOUNG AND THE BOLD Delos Santos knew that they’re in for ride in Season 72.   They prided themselves with three pre-season titles, but those conquests meant nothing when it comes to their mother league. “Before mag-start (ang season), for me, hindi ko napi-feel na magtsa-champion agad kami,” said Delos Santos. “Kasi ang adjustment kailangan makita mo muna ang lahat ng naglalaro. So depende pa rin sa nilalaro ng every team na makakalaban mo.” And besides, the mentor will be navigating with a young crew, mostly in their early collegiate careers save for Maizo and returning Tabaquero, two of the remaining heroes of UST’s Season 69 championship run. Maizo was named team captain while Tabaquero, who skipped Season 71 for personal reasons, brought in the needed veteran presence to guide the squad. “Ako personally ang mindset ko sobrang hungry lang rin ako personally and I think si Aiza rin kasi halos pa-exit na rin siya nun,” said Tabaquero. “Ako sobrang gusto ko lang for myself na maka-graduate sa UAAP on a high note.” “On a high lang ako nun kumbaga, ‘Last playing year ko na ‘to wala na akong balikan pa, ibubuhos ko na lahat,’ she added. “Plus the fact na hindi ako nakapaglaro noong Season 71 dagdag gutom sa akin ‘yun.” But then again, the Tigresses remained relatively young. Dimaculangan was just in her third year, her first two saw the bitter memory of losing the title in the semifinals at the hands of the Rachel Anne Daquis-led Far Eastern University and then another Final Four heartache against the same tormentors the following year. Ortiz, Hannah Mance and Curato barely had enough experience on them so did Judy Ann Caballejo.   Then there were the young bloods. UST got a pair of blue-chip recruits in a small but high-flying power-hitter in Banaticla and a lanky 6-footer Santiago.   The Tigresses were parading a decent squad, but not a super team that they had before with Mary Jean Balse and Venus Bernal.       “Nagkaroon kami ng mga rookies noon,” said Dimaculangan. “Nu’ng time na ‘yun kumpiyansa naman ako sa team kasi bakit ka pa maghahanap ng mga wala o bakit ka pa hahanap ng mga naka-graduate na? So kung ano na lang ang meron kami siguro doon na lang.” Delos Santos, himself, was just on his second year as head coach after taking the reins from legendary mentor August Sta. Maria, who suffered a stroke in 2008. Expectations were high from the UST faithful. For the Tigresses, they just have to deliver.   STRUGGLE WITHIN The Tigresses began the season with an early litmus test. Their first game: against the defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers. UST faced a squad assembled to build a dynasty. DLSU was denied of a four-peat three years ago when the league suspended the school in Season 69 because of an eligibility issue with its men’s basketball team. In Season 70, the Lady Spikers were forced to forfeit games because of another eligibility issue with Jacq Alarca. The following year, in Manilla Santos’ final year, DLSU reclaimed the throne. Now, looking to for a repeat, the Lady Spikers just need to break the will of one of their threats. DLSU paraded a formidable team centered on its ‘Big Three’ in Alarca, skipper Paneng Mercado, daughter of Asia’s Sprint Queen Lydia De Vega-Mercado, and versatile hitter Cha Cruz. Then there’s the great wall of Michele Gumabao and rookies Aby Marano and Joanne Siy, who would eventually win the Rookie of the Year and Best Blocker awards. UST was facing a nightmare. But the Tigresses were undaunted. They clung on the confidence of bringing down the same giant they slew in the UniGames championship before the start of the season. With guns blazing and adrenaline in their veins, the Tigresses were able to control the match as they led, 2-1. Then comes their Achilles’ heel. UST was a determined team, but the Lady Spikers had in them the championship experience, the veteran composure of a battle-tested squad. The Tigresses had no answer to that. DLSU walked away with a 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11, victory to start its amazing elimination round winning streak. UST recovered in the next three games, walking past University of the Philippines, a rebuilding FEU, and cellar-dwellers National University. Then came another big challenge. The Tigresses collided with a feisty young team in Ateneo de Manila University bannered by a hyped Fab Five of sophomores Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Fille Cainglet, setter Jem Ferrer and A Nacachi. The result was a shocker: the Lady Eagles upset the Tigresses. It may not show inside the court, but the Tigresses were struggling from the inside.   Delos Santos admitted that being a Tigress under his watch was not for the faint of heart. His relationship with the players was not smooth. He was a blacksmith trying to sharpen a deadly weapon. He needed to put his players into the blazing fire of his Spartan-like training, hammer them into shape and sharpen them into a weapon ready for brutal war.       “Napaka-strict ko kaya medyo ano sila sa akin pero at the end of the day na-realize rin nila na ang lahat ng sinasalihan naming tournament, lahat ng paghihirap namin, kapag naglalaro kami talagang quality,” he said. “’Yung pinaghirapan namin talagang nilalabas namin sa game.” Dimaculangan recalled that that season was marred with conflicts within the team. “’Yung year na 'yun ang dami talagang pinagdaanan. Ang daming naging issues,” she said declining to divulge what the problems were. “Lahat kami takot sa kanya (Delos Santos). Tapos my time din na feeling namin nabe-burnout na kami.” “Baliktad nga eh kasi kung kailan ang dami naming issue doon pa namin nasabi na ‘Ay kailangan nating mag-champion.’ Ganoon ang feeling namin,” Dimaculangan added. Tabaquero would simply describe that Tigresses team as ‘shaky’. “On the rocks ang team and noon may internal issues din,” she revealed. “Medyo magulo siya pero as players, ‘Kung may mangyari man dyan, labas na sa volleyball ‘yan. Kung ano ang pini-perform natin maglaro tayo ng maayos.’ Siguro yun na lang ang tumatakbo sa isip namin.” Whatever the issues were inside their team, the Tigresses were able to put them aside as they made an amazing run to close the eliminations. “Nagulat kami kasi sobrang nakasabay ang mga bata,” said Tabaquero. “Kami ni Aiza halos ang nag-lead sa team na ‘yun pero kasi experienced na ang mga bata na ‘yun kasi coming from UST program sila eh.” “So medyo kumbaga ang pinanggalingan nilang team mataas din so I guess doon na lang din sila humugot from their experience sa high school. Nadala na lang din siguro pagdating nila,” she added.   ENTERING THE END GAME Valentine’s Day. With most of the country looking forward to celebrate that special Sunday, the Tigresses were preparing for something bigger. It was their most-awaited rematch with the Lady Spikers, who heading into that game were already ravaging the league with 13 straight victories. One win and DLSU will enter the Finals outright armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage.   The Tigresses didn’t allow that. UST prevented a Lady Spikers elims sweep by slipping past DLSU in a thrilling five-setter. The Tigresses avoided a stepladder semifinals. UST ended the elims with a nine-game winning streak and second-best 12-2 win-loss record. From there everything changed. “Kasi nakuha nila (ang panalo) sa first round then February 14 tinalo namin sila so dun tumaas ang kumpiyansa namin na ‘Ah kaya namin itong La Salle,’” said Tabaquero. The Tigresses came in the Final Four armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against Ateneo. They split their elims head-to-head but now UST wanted to settle an old score. It was Maizo and Tabaquero who did most of the damage in the Final Four as the Tigresses crushed the Lady Eagles, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20, all while playing without starting libero Curato, who was out because of typhoid fever. “I guess kung ikaw mayroon kang chance na makapasok sa championship siguro ibibigay mo ang lahat. Laban kung laban,” said Tabaquero. “’Yun talaga ang mentalidad namin nu’ng time na yun. ‘Yun ang nag-push sa amin na, ‘For championship ito, ibibigay namin ang lahat 110%.’” Earlier that playdate, the Lady Spikers took the other Finals berth after booting out Adamson University, 16-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.         "EH ANO NGAYON KUNG DEFENDING CHAMPION KAYO?" Maizo and Tabaquero were UST’s contrasting leaders. They're yin and yang. Maizo was a silent operator. She would rather let her work do the talking. Tabaquero was from a different world. She will get under your skin, play with your head and she was just plain nasty. “Season 69 pa lang salbahe na ako maglaro,” she admitted. “Dun lumabas ‘yung moniker ko na ‘Pamewang Queen’. Sobrang intense lang din ng game namin ng FEU nun. Parang sobrang thrashtalkan. Hindi mo man makita on-cam pero doon pa lang talagang may verbal.” She’s no different in Season 72. “Hindi naman sa mayabang ako pero nasa utak ko nu’ng time na yun, ‘Ay kaya namin kayo kasi tinalo namin kayo nu’ng eliminations,’” Tabaquero continued.  “Doon ako humugot ng lakas na, ‘hindi tayo papatalo rito.’ Sobrang inspired lang din siguro akong maglaro noon kasi ang daming tao nun. Grabe puno itong San Juan Arena,” she recalled.    Facing DLSU, Tabaquero knew they can rip the crown off the Lady Spikers’ heads. “Ako personally, ‘Eh ano ngayon kung defending champion kayo?” she said. It was 2010 and UST just needed to look at the Chinese calendar for an inspiration.    “Year of the Tiger yun, sumakto,” said Dimaculangan. “Iba ang kompiyansa namin na parang amin ‘to.” The Tigresses could see the stars aligning for them, the opportunity was there. Then came the best-of-three series opener. Delos Santos was not new to the Finals. He worked as Sta. Maria’s deputy before. But this was his biggest challenge. His shining moment. Looking back, he felt that Sta. Maria molded him for this situation. “Before nakakuha rin kami ng isa pang championship eh. Sina Bernal, Balse pero si Coach August ang head coach pa nun that time,” he said. “Ang ginawa niya that time sobrang gusto niyang mag-grow ako. Noong Finals namin against FEU, umalis siya. Hindi siya nagpunta ng game tapos nung mag-start na ang game hinahanap ko siya,” Delos Santos continued. “Tinawagan ko siya, sabi ko, ‘Boss nasaan ka?’ Nasa norte siya eh parteng norte." "Sabi ko, ‘boss nasaan ka?’ Sabi niya, ‘kayang-kaya mo na ‘yan. Ikaw ng bahala dyan,’” he said. “’Yung time na yun doon ko na-feel na grabe ang tiwala niya sa akin.” Against a taller Lady Spikers side, Delos Santos needed just one key to success: speed. “I think that time sobrang lucky ko rin kasi ang mga players ko. Yun nga sina Rhea na, sina Tabaquero, sina Aiza. So that time yung system na gusto naming mangyari, more on lalo na kailangang maging speedy kami. Mabilis kami, nakuha namin that time. Siguro yun ang naging key,” he said. “Kasi knowing La Salle ang no. 1 weapon nila is blocking eh. Bukod dun sa service nila na napakabigat, yung blocking. Mayroon silang malalaking players and ang ganda lagi ng line-up nila,” Delos Santos said. As the battle ensued, Delos Santos felt that they had the upper hand. “I think nu’ng time na ‘yun medyo na-feel ko na makukuha namin,” he said. “That time na naglaro na kami sabi ko, sa galawan na nangyayari nakuha namin yung magandang diskarte.” And that strategy was to exploit the height disadvantage of DLSU setter Kaye Martinez. For Delos Santos the best way to stop the Lady Spikers’ deadly arrows was to break their bow.  “That time malalaki sila pero meron silang maliit na setter. Maliit ang setter nila so more on dun kami nagsi-set play ng nagsi-set play,” he said. “Nagkaroon din kami ng magandang receive and then si Rhea nabibigay niya ng maayos sa mga spikers.”  It was shocker. UST recovered from a set down to beat DLSU, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21.   For the first time in Season 72, the Taft-based squad got its back against the wall.   SHAQ THE WORLD The Tigresses were on a high as they arrived at the game venue in the last weekend of February just three days after shocking the Lady Spikers in the series opener.     Entering the venue, the Tigresses were greeted by a huge crowd of UST faithful, all hoping for the clincher.  Tabaquero was feeling ill that day. “Naalala ko may sakit ako nu’ng Game 2. Wala akong boses nun,” said the senior, who skipped Thursday’s practice to rest. But Tabaquero was determined to play one last time, give her team the firepower and angst it needed, to finish her collegiate career on top.   “Wala ng sakit-sakit, di pwedeng may sakit. Di ko na siya nararamdaman. Minsan napapagod pero wala kailangang magsakripisyo. Saka yung adrenaline ko sobrang taas nun,” said Tabaquero. As the Tigresses trooped to the court for the warm-up, they were showered by loud cheers from the UST fans. “Go USTe! Go USTe!” echoed inside the arena like a rolling thunder signaling the arrival of a storm. A serenade for conquering heroes. There was a huge banner that read: ‘Kami po ang University of Sto. Tomas.’ It added fuel to the Tigresses’ burning desire to reclaim the throne. The squad came into the venue brimming with confidence but with their supporters egging them on even before the opening serve, the Tigresses felt invincible. They were. UST dismantled the confused Lady Spikers in the first two sets, dominating DLSU with sharp angled attacks and frustrating its blockers. Defensively, the Tigresses were punishing DLSU’s attackers. “Dumipensa lang talaga kami noon saka nagkaroon kami ng first ball. ‘Yun talaga ang edge namin nun,” said Dimaculangan. “Kumbaga parang hindi ako masyadong nahirapang dumiskarte kasi alam kong darating sa akin ang bola.” The Lady Spikers’ defense was also in disarray. Even DLSU’s celebrated libero Mel Gohing, the rookie of the year the season before, was already struggling to keep up with the Lady Spikers’ net defense collapsing. “Yung mga spikers ko ang gagaling din dumiskarte and alam din nila kung ano ang gagawin nila sa bolang ibinibigay ko sa kanila,” added Dimaculangan. The Tigresses were already smelling blood.   But the Lady Spikers regrouped in the third as hitters Cruz and Mercado’s hits found their mark. Gumabao, Siy and Maarano were holding their own. DLSU took the third frame in dominating fashion. It may have turned the tides around for the Lady Spikers. It didn’t.      DLSU built an early five-point cushion in the fourth frame, but the Tigresses raced to a 16-11 lead before Gumabao stopped the bleeding with a crosscourt hit.  Maizo then landed an off speed hit over blockers Siy and Martinez, then the lefty again scored another heady off speed this time over Alarca for an 18-12 lead. Then came the deluge of errors by DLSU. The Lady Spikers crowd went quiet in the pivotal run of the Tigresses. A kill block by Ortiz put UST at championship point, 24-13, as the DLSU faithful froze, seemingly awaiting an inevitable defeat. “Parang pa-last point pa lang ata naiiyak na kaming lahat,” said Dimaculangan. An overexcited Tabaquero sent her serve long then Maizo’s attack was turned back. Two match points saved by DLSU. The Lady Spikers tried to hold on. But it was too late. Nerves got the best of Emeli Zuno as she made contact with the ball at the service line.       It sailed long. Pandemonium broke out. “Nagtatalon na kami nu’ng moment na yun, na ‘Heto na ang pinaghirapan natin.’ Ang sarap sa feeling na mag-champion ulit,” said Tabaquero after the final whistle of the season was called with UST completing the sweep with a 25-18, 25-14, 16-25, 25-15, victory.   For Delos Santos that championship was the fruit of their hard labor. “Sobrang happy kasi siyempre nagkaroon kami ng championship sa UST,” said Delos Santos of his only title for the Tigresses as head coach. “Sobrang memorable. Marami rin kaming pinagdaanan (bago makuha),” he added. UST accomplished a double-crown feat in volleyball that year, its fifth since the 1976-77, 1985-86 at 1987-88 and 1992-1993 seasons. As a reward the Tigresses earned a trip to Hong Kong. But even that trip had some good anecdotes for Delos Santos, Dimaculangan and Tabaquero. “Nag-trip to Hong Kong kami for two to three days sa Disneyland at Ocean Park,” said Delos Santos. “Sila lang mahilig mag-rides eh. Ako may phobia ako sa heights. Nung sumakay kami ng cable car para akong mahuhulog na ewan dun sa cable car.” Dimaculangan remembered vividly their flight. “Nag-Hong Kong kami noon tapos sakto pa na bumabagyo noong umalis kami noon. Buti nga natuloy kami noon eh,” she said. As for Tabaquero, unfortunately, she had to skip the trip. “Nagpunta sila ng Hong Kong pero ako di ako nakasama kasi late yung Hong Kong trip. Di ako nakasama kasi na-ACL (left injury) na ako nun sa Shakey’s V-League, yung sa championship ng San Sebastian,” she said. “Naka-schedule na ako ng surgery nun sa UST hospital kaya di ako nakasama.” “May incentive naman ako nun kahit di ako nakasama nun,” Tabaquero cleared. Ten years ago, UST ruled Season 72. It was the year of the Tiger. The year of the mighty, mighty Tigers.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 26th, 2020

ONE Championship s G.O.A.Ts: Joshua Pacio rises above the strawweight division

Nearly nine years since ONE Championship's first-ever event back in September of 2011, the Singapore-based promotion has grown into a powerhouse when it comes to martial arts and mixed martial arts in Asia, and a true force on the global stage.  As the company continues to grow, so do the stars, and so do their legacies.  ONE Championship crowned their first batch of champions in October of 2012, with Kotetsu Boku becoming the inaugural ONE Lightweight World Champion and Soo Chul Kim becoming the inaugural ONE Bantamweight World Champion on the same night.  Since then many champions have come and gone, and some have strengthened their places as the Greatest of All Time in their respective divisions, so far.    Today, we take a look at the men's strawweight division's G.O.A.T. so far, Team Lakay's Joshua "The Passion" Pacio.  Name: Joshua Pacio Moniker: The Passion Age: 24 Height: 5'3" Weight: 52-KG Professional Record: 19-3 (6 KO/TKO, 9 SUB)   The New Kid on The Block Possibly the youngest of the G.O.A.T.s so far, Team Lakay strawweight star Joshua Pacio's resume is undeniable.  After an undefeated run in the regional and local circuits, Pacio made his debut on the ONE Championship stage in 2016, following in the footsteps of established Team Lakay stars such as Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Geje Eustaquio, and Kevin Belingon.  Pacio's debut bout was against compatriot Rabin Catalan, and immediately, he made quite the splash, scoring a second-round TKO victory. In his second ONE assignment, the young up-and-comer made his international debut in historic fashion, choking out Thailand's Kritsada Kongsrichai in just the first round in the first-ever ONE Championship bout in Macau, China.  The two impressive victories were enough, ONE Championship deemed, for Pacio to earn a world title shot against then-champion Yoshitaka "Nobita" Naito of Japan.    Too Much, Too Soon? Many believed that Pacio was pushed into that situation too fast. After all, Naito, who had just dethroned former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, was already a champion during his time in Shooto.  A precursor of things to come however, Pacio proved that he deserved to be in there with the champion, holding his own for three rounds before committing one single mistake and getting submitted by Naito. While Pacio's performance was impressive, it was clear that Naito's experience was still the difference-maker.    Comeback Kid Still very young and with so much promise ahead of him, Pacio continued to improve. Following the loss to Naito, Pacio compiled a 4-1 record with wins over the likes of former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, Roy Doliguez, Lan Ming Qian, and Pongsiri Mitsatit in the bout that introduced the iconic "Passion Lock."  A three-fight winning streak capped off by the impressive win over Mitsatit earned Pacio another shot at Naito and the ONE Strawweight World Championship.   A New King In this second encounter. Pacio showcased his exponential growth in skills and in confidence, as he stifled the submission specialist at his own game to become the new ONE Strawweight World Championship. Pacio would be one of four Team Lakay members capture ONE World Championship gold in 2018.  Winning the title was impressive, but keeping the title was another thing, and for his first defense, Pacio was getting ready to defend his title against a familiar opponent in Hayato Suzuki. It was a chance at revenge for Pacio since Suzuki had dealt the Pinoy his second career loss in 2017.  The rematch would not materialize however, and Pacio would be matched with another Japanese standout in Yosuke Saruta.  The short-notice opponent seemingly, as well as admitted confidence issues, took Pacio off his game, and Saruta stunned world by beating the Pinoy champion by Split Decision.    Pacio 2.0 Because the match was as close as close can be, ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong decided that the only next step would be an immediate rematch. With a renewed sense of confidence and a hunger to regain his place at the top, Joshua Pacio exacted revenge in explosive fashion, knocking Saruta clean out in the fourth round. The Champ was back.  Once again, Pacio had to prove that he was indeed the champion by successfully defending his title, and his first challenger was a Pinoy buzzsaw by the name of Rene Catalan.  Catalan was the obvious choice for top contender after racking up six straight victories, including a TKO win over former champion Naito (something that, in two attempts, Pacio was unable to do). When the cage doors closed on this Pinoy versus Pinoy world title bout however, Pacio showed that he was simply on another level, picking Catalan apart in the striking department before ultimately finishing things off with an arm-triangle in the second round.  If it wasn't clear then, it was clear now, who the top guy in the division was.  With the win over Catalan, Pacio was already nearing G.O.A.T. status in the strawweight division, having already defeated two former champions and the most dangerous contender there is. To finally acheive that status however, Pacio needed to turn back just one more former champion in Brazilian submission specialist Alex Silva and fittingly enough, ONE Championship booked that very match to kick off 2020.  Silva's resumé was stacked, with wins over the likes of Naito, Suzuki, Rene and Robin Catalan, and even Pacio's teammate Eustaquio. No doubt, the Brazlilan was going to be a tough challenge for "The Passion".  Throughout the five-round bout, Pacio was able to control the pace in the standup while also doing well in defending and scoring on the ground to grind out a Split Decision victory.  With the win over Silva, Pacio cemented his status as the best strawweight in the promotion today, and likely the best strawweight the promotion has seen so far.    WHY HE'S THE G.O.A.T. SO FAR: While of course there's an arguement for Yoshitaka Naito, Joshua Pacio is the best strawweight in ONE history because of the pedigree of opponents that he's defeated, which includes all former champions (Dejdamrong, Naito, Saruta, Silva), as well as having the most successful defenses in ONE strawweight history (2). What's even more impressive is that at 24 years old, it's likely that Pacio hasn't even reached his peak and could be at the top of the division for years to come.  The lone defeat that Pacio hasn't avenged, and may never get to, is the loss to Suzuki. Unfortunately, Suzuki has parted ways with ONE, and a rematch with "The Passion" grows more and more unlikely.  If you ask Pacio however, his legacy isn't something that he's thinking about just yet. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 2nd, 2020

NCAA Season 95: AU, Perpetual rekindle rivalry in finals rematch

Three-time defending champion Arellano University faces another tough test on Wednesday in an early finals rematch against University of Perpetual Help in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The duel that promises thrilling action between two of the top title contenders is set at 12:00 noon and will air via iWant. The Lady Chiefs share the lead with College of St. Benilde after going unbeaten in five games. Arellano U is looking to capitalize on its straight sets demolition of San Beda University to re-assert its mastery over the Lady Altas, who the Lady Chiefs beat in last year’s championship series that went the full distance. All eyes are on reigning Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen, graduating veteran Regine Arocha, Carla Donato and Mikaela Juanich as they try to preserve Arellano U’s unblemished slate and move closer to clinching a spot in the Final Four. But it won’t be an easy task with Perpetual also eyeing to sustain its current winning streak. The Lady Altas sport a 4-1 win-loss card and are coming off a sweep of Jose Rizal University last Monday. “Rematch ng finals yan. Pride din yan, siyempre ayaw namin na magpatalo sa bawat isa. Yun ang mentality namin,” said Perpetual head coach Macky Carino. The trio of Jhona Rosal, Bianca Tripoli and Shyra Umandal will lead the charge of the Lady Altas. Meanwhile, Mapua University (1-2) and Letran (1-2) cross paths at 2:00 p.m. The men’s match between three-peat-seeking Altas (5-0) and Chiefs (4-1) is set at 10:00 while at 3:30 is the Knights (0-3) and Cardinals (0-3) pairing. Reigning five-time juniors champion Perpetual (5-0) will see action at 8:30 a.m. against AU (5-0) while the Letran (2-1)-Mapua (0-3) encounter is at 5:00 p.m.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2020

MPBL: Makati demolishes Caloocan in 42-point rout; Davao bounces back

Makati-Super Crunch ended its two-game skid in emphatic fashion, romping Caloocan-Victory Liner by 42 points, 119-77, in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila, Wednesday. Joshua Torralba powered the romp with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting including six treys, helping Makati to a 21-6 win-loss record, still at third spot in the Northern division. Josrph Sedurifa chipped in 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists while Cedric Ablaza added 15 markers and nine boards. John Rey Villanueva and Rudy Lingganay also finished in double figures in points with 13 and 11, respectively. "We are still in the adjustment phase pero sobrang happy ako kasi inaccept ng players yung challenge. The win should be really credited to the players because they played very well," said coach Beaujing Acot, who earned his first win as Makati's head tactician. The Super Crunch-backed squad opened the game scorching, zooming to a 14-2 advantage, punctuated by back-to-back triples by Torralba, and never looked back. Joseph Manlangit's rim-rattling jam in the waning seconds of the game gave Makati its biggest lead of the game at 42, 119-77. Makati's bench did the heavy lifting with 64 points against Caloocan's 34. Paul Sanga paced Caloocan with 17 points and six rebounds while Damian Lasco had 14 markers. The loss allowed the Supremos to drop their fourth-straight game and slip to the ninth spot in the North behind a 14-13 card, half-a-game behind Pasay at 14-12 in the same division. In the earlier game, Nueva Ecija broke away late, thwarting Bulacan, 85-78. Leading by just a point, 72-71, Jai Reyes took over for the Rice Vanguards. He scored the next 10 points for his team - a floater, an and-one, and five freebies - to restore order with 2:09 left, 82-73. However, the Kuyas wouldn't go without a fight as Dennis Santos and Jovit Dela Cruz cut Nueva Ecija's lead to five, 82-77 with 37.89 ticks left. But they could not buy a basket in the waning seconds to give their foes the victory. "Our pick and roll today was good, marami kaming nakuha out of that. We just slowly chipped away even though Bulacan was in control most of the game," said Rice Vanguards assistant coach Carlo Tan. Reyes registered 20 points and 15 assists as the also-ran Nueva Ecija improved to 9-18 in the Northern division. Tonino Gonzaga also delivered 20 markers of his own with seven rebounds while Justin Arana beasted in the paint, tallying 19 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocked shots. The Rice Vanguards flexed their muscles on the defensive end, limiting Bulacan to a measly 25-of-78 clip, good for just 32.1 percent, while they buried 43.5 percent of their attempts. Dela Cruz led the Kuyas with 14 points and six rebounds while JR Taganas contributed 13 markers, eight boards, and four dimes. With the loss, Bulacan halted its six-game winning streak and fell to 18-9, tied with 1Bataan-Camaya Coast for the fourth and fifth spots in the North. In the first contest, Davao Occidental-Cocolife got back on the winning track after topping Parañaque-Yabo Sports, 78-70. The Tigers raised their win-loss card to 22-4, three days after absorbing a humiliating 84-65 defeat at the hands of San Juan -- their Datu Cup finals tormentor. "Parañaque played tough. This is another learning experience for us. It is good playing against those hungry and young teams," said Davao coach Don Dulay. Trailing, 63-76 with 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, Parañaque made one last run, launching seven unanswered points, capped by Keith Pido's jumper, 70-76, with 45 ticks left. But it was too little, too late as Bogs Raymundo answered with a deuce on the other end before the Patriots missed their shots to end the match. With Parañaque ahead 27-21 in the second period, the Tigers unleashed a 16-1 surge, capped by Mark Yee's layup to gain control, 37-28, with 3:28 left. Yee came through with a big double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds alongside six assists, Emman Calo had 13 markers built on three treys. Chester Saldua added 11 points, five steals, and four boards. James Abugan's 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block could not stop Parañaque from dropping its seventh-straight loss as they slipped to 8-20, 13th in the Northern division. The Scores: FIRST GAME Davao Occidental-Cocolife 78 - Yee 17, Calo 13, Balagtas 12, Saldua 11, Robles 10, Raymundo 10, Ludovice 3, Bonleon 2, Gaco 0, Mocon 0, Forrester 0, Adormeo 0. Paranaque-Yabo Sports 70 - Abugan 14, Pido 12, Sunga 11, Solis 10, Mangalino 10, Saguiguit 7, Banzali 4, Begaso 2, Larotin 0, Antonares 0, Lucente 0, Menguez 0. Quarterscores: 18-23, 43-34, 64-52, 78-70. SECOND GAME Nueva Ecija 85 - Reyes 20, Gonzaga 20, Arana 19, Sarao 7, Sabellina 6, Monte 6, Martinez 3, Garcia 2, Dela Cruz L. 2, Celada 0, De Leon 0. Bulacan 78 - Dela Cruz J. 14, Taganas 13, Escosio 11, Diputado 9, Alabanza 9, Nermal 8, Alvarez 5, Santos 5, Capacio 2, Arim 2, Siruma 0. Quarterscores: 11-21, 36-39, 56-61, 85-78. THIRD GAME Makati-Super Crunch 119 - Torralba 24, Sedurifa 16, Apinan 16, Ablaza 15, Villanueva 13, Lingganay 11, Baloria 8, Asoro 8, Cruz 2, Manlangit 2, Importante 2, Morales 2, Cayanan 0, Sta. Maria 0. Caloocan-Victory Liner 77 - Sanga 17, Lasco 14, Escalambre 11, Labing-isa 9, Tongco 7, Ambulodto 5, Cervantes 5, Marilao 4, Sarangay 2, Gonzales 2, Cayson 1, Garcia 0. Quarterscores: 29-16, 60-42, 89-59, 119-77......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2020

Real Madrid to face Manchester City in Champions League

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Thirteen-time European champion Real Madrid will face a Manchester City team seeking its first title when the teams meet in the last 16 of the Champions League. The match, drawn Monday at UEFA headquarters, pits Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane against City manager Pep Guardiola. Zidane won three Champions League titles in three attempts with Madrid, while Guardiola has been seeking his third title for almost a decade after winning twice with Barcelona. Also, Liverpool was sent back to the stadium where it won the title last season, with a first leg at Atletico Madrid, while Barcelona will face Napoli with the first leg in Italy. In other matches: Chelsea will face Bayern Munich; Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel was paired with his former club, Borussia Dortmund; Lyon will take on Juventus; Tottenham will play Leipzig; and Atalanta will meet Valencia. All 16 teams play in the five wealthiest European leagues. The first legs will be played between Feb. 18 and 26, with the return games from March 10-18. The final on May 30 will be in Istanbul. ___ First Leg Feb. 18-19 or 25-26 Borussia Dortmund (Germany) vs. Paris Saint-Germain (France) Real Madrid (Spain) vs. Manchester City (England) Atalanta (Italy) vs. Valencia (Spain) Atlético Madrid (Spain) vs. Liverpool (England) Chelsea (England) vs. Bayern Munich (Germany) Lyon (France) vs. Juventus (Italy) Tottenham (England) vs. Leipzig (Germany) Napoli (Italy) vs. Barcelona (Spain) Second Leg March 10-11 or 17-18 Paris Saint-Germain (France) vs. Borussia Dortmund (Germany) Manchester City (England) vs. Real Madrid (Spain) Valencia (Spain) vs. Atalanta (Italy) Liverpool (England) vs. Atlético Madrid (Spain) Bayern Munich (Germany) vs. Chelsea (England) Juventus (Italy) vs. Lyon (France) Leipzig (Germany) vs. Tottenham (England) Barcelona (Spain) vs. Napoli (Italy).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2019

Doncic s triple-double lifts Mavs past Pistons in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 41 points and posted his eighth triple-double of the season, Seth Curry added a season-high 30 points off the bench and the Dallas Mavericks topped the Detroit Pistons 122-111 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) in the opener of this year’s NBA Mexico Games. Doncic finished with 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the Mavericks, who at 17-7 are off to their best 24-game start since posting the same mark at this point of the 2014-15 season. Curry scored 18 points in the second quarter alone for Dallas. The Mavericks trailed by seven late in the first half, then went on a 14-0 run before intermission and eventually led by as many as 24. Doncic’s eight triple-doubles already match his total from last season. Kristaps Porzingis added 20 points for the Mavericks, who outrebounded Detroit 52-34. Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Derrick Rose scored 19 points and Markieff Morris added 16 for Detroit, which got 12 from Tony Snell and 10 apiece from Christian Wood and Blake Griffin. It was the 29th game in Mexico since 1992, the most of any country other than the U.S. or Canada in that span and came on a night where the NBA announced that Capitanes — a Mexico City-based team in that country’s top pro league — will be joining the G League starting next season. Doncic addressed the crowd pregame in flawless Spanish, before turning the microphone over to Griffin. “Hola,” was the extent of Griffin’s Spanish offering, as a very amused Doncic looked on standing a few feet away. Griffin shot just 3 for 16, and 1 for 10 from 3-point range. Doncic, meanwhile, went on to post his second 40-point triple-double of the season. He’s the first player in NBA history to have multiple 40-point triple-doubles before turning 21; he doesn’t celebrate that birthday until Feb. 28. TIP-INS Mavericks: It was the third time Dallas played a regular-season game outside of the U.S. or Canada — the Mavs played Houston in 1997-98 and Phoenix in 2016-17, both in Mexico City. ... NBA Commissioner Adam Silver misspoke before the game at a news conference, introducing deputy commissioner Mark Tatum as “Mark Cuban” — the Mavs’ owner. Pistons: Before Thursday (Friday, PHL time), Detroit’s only other regular-season game outside of the U.S. or Canada was Jan. 17, 2013 — a loss to New York in London. ... This was only Detroit’s second chance at a three-game winning streak so far this season. The Pistons had won two straight before losing to Milwaukee on Dec. 4 (Dec. 5, PHL time), and had won two straight again before Thursday (Friday, PHL time). AVOCADO WOES Drummond was a game-time decision because the Pistons said he had an allergic reaction to an avocado. He had swelling around his eyes Wednesday, (Thursday, PHL time) but played as planned. SECOND GAME San Antonio plays Phoenix in Mexico City on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). It’ll count as a home game for the Suns. This is the first time that the NBA has brought four teams to the Mexico games. UP NEXT Mavericks: Host Miami on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Pistons: Visit Houston on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2019

Mourinho loses in Old Trafford return; Liverpool wins derby

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Jose Mourinho was standing on the edge of his technical area near the halfway line when Manchester United midfielder Daniel James came sliding off the field and clattered head-first into the right knee of the Portuguese coach. Mourinho just about stayed on his feet but grimaced as he clutched his knee before hobbling away. It was a rough return to Old Trafford for the former United manager on Wednesday. Two weeks into his time at Tottenham and Mourinho has finally lost a game — and it just had to be against the club that fired him a year ago. United won 2-1 to end Tottenham’s run of three wins since the arrival of Mourinho, with Marcus Rashford scoring both of the home team’s goals and celebrating them maybe with a little dig at his old manager. “Doubters just spur me on,” Rashford wrote on Twitter after the match, potentially a reference to Mourinho who, in one standout incident during his time at United, turned his back to Rashford and folded his arms in disgust after the striker missed an easy chance in a Champions League match against Young Boys in November last year. Less than a month later, Mourinho was fired. Tottenham, which slipped to eighth place and behind United in the standings, has now conceded two goals in each of the four games Mourinho has been in charge — a statistic that must concern a coach who usually sets his teams up to defend resolutely. If Tottenham can't stop allowing goals, Liverpool can't stop scoring them. The unbeaten leaders netted four goals in the first half and added a fifth late on in a 5-2 thrashing of Everton in the Merseyside derby to stay eight points clear of Leicester, which beat last-place Watford 2-0. Liverpool scored five in a league game against Everton at home for the first time since 1965, despite leaving out two of the team’s formidable attacking trio — Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino — as well as captain Jordan Henderson. Everton couldn’t take advantage and slipped into the relegation zone on another dark day for its under-pressure manager Marco Silva, who might not stay in the job after this latest loss given the manner of his team’s defending at Anfield. There were also wins for Chelsea and Wolves — the teams in fourth and fifth place, respectively — while Southampton beat Norwich in a match between relegation contenders. KLOPP'S ROTATION Jürgen Klopp claimed his 100th Premier League win in style on a night his decision to rotate his team was utterly vindicated. The first three goals were scored by Divock Origi (2) and Xherdan Shaqiri, the players who replaced Firmino and Salah in the starting lineup. Sadio Mane added the fourth just before halftime and Georginio Wijnaldum scored the fifth in the 90th minute to pile more pressure on Silva, whose Everton team has lost nine of its 15 league games. “The type of mistakes we are making is because the players are playing under big pressure because of the position in the table,” Silva said. “They are making some mistakes that are not normal for the level we are.” VARDY'S STREAK Leicester striker Jamie Vardy scored for the seventh straight game in the Premier League and is closing in on his record of netting in 11 in a row, set in the team's improbable title-winning season in 2015-16. He set Leicester on its way against Watford by converting a 55th-minute penalty before James Maddison added the second goal in injury time. With a club record-tying seventh straight league win, Leicester climbed back in front of Manchester City, which briefly moved into second with a 4-1 win at Burnley on Tuesday. ABRAHAM' SCORING RETURN Tammy Abraham scored one goal and set up another for Chelsea in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on his return to the team after a hip injury. Without Abraham, Chelsea surprisingly lost 1-0 to home to West Ham at the weekend but it looked a more dangerous team with the England striker. Having headed Chelsea in front with his 11th goal of the season, Abraham laid the ball off for Mason Mount to power home a finish high into the net from the edge of the area to give the hosts the lead again after Villa equalized through Trezeguet. Chelsea is fourth, three points behind Man City. WINS FOR WOLVES, SOUTHAMPTON Wolverhampton Wanderers consolidated fifth place and extended its unbeaten run in the Premier League to 10 matches with a 2-0 win over West Ham, whose manager Manuel Pellegrini is back under pressure for his job. Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone were the scorers for Wolves. Southampton moved out of the relegation zone by beating next-to-last Norwich 2-1. Danny Ings gave Southampton the lead with his eighth goal of the season and Ryan Bertrand also scored before Teemu Pukki's second-half reply for Norwich......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2019

Lakers’ 10-game win streak ends with loss to Mavs

LOS ANGELES — Luka Doncic scored 21 of his 27 points in a dynamic second half, Kristaps Porzingis added 15 points and the Dallas Mavericks snapped the Los Angeles Lakers’ 10-game winning streak with a 114-100 victory Sunday (Monday morning, December 2, 2019, Philippine time). Doncic also had 10 assists and nine rebounds, and Delon […] The post Lakers’ 10-game win streak ends with loss to Mavs appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2019

Mourinho back in Champs League, on charm offensive at Spurs

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Jose Mourinho’s charm offensive has been in overdrive during his whirlwind first few days at Tottenham. He has lauded Tottenham’s training complex as being “second to none” and without comparison across Europe “at any level.” He says he has slept in the club’s pajamas at its on-site hotel which he rates as “six star,” with its “soft pillows, amazing duvet.” Now it’s time for a first taste of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — “the best stadium in the world,” he has purred — as Mourinho continues his quest to win over fans who might still be skeptical about his appointment. Getting the team through to the knockout stage of the Champions League wouldn’t do him any harm in the ingratiation process. Three days after guiding Spurs to a Premier League victory at West Ham in his first match since replacing Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho will take charge of them in a home match for the first time when Olympiakos visits Tuesday in the Champions League. A victory guarantees progress out of Group B alongside Bayern Munich with a game to spare. It would complete a decent week’s work for Mourinho as he attempts to rebuild his coaching reputation after a fractious, and ultimately disappointing, 2½ year spell at Manchester United that ended almost 12 months ago. The Portuguese coach hugged his players and kept a respectful distance from the traveling Spurs fans while he celebrated the 3-2 win against West Ham on Saturday. It might take some time for them to accept Mourinho and take him to their hearts, especially considering the work Pochettino did in raising standards at Tottenham — even getting the team to a Champions League final last season when it lost to Liverpool. Mourinho has done that with Porto and Inter Milan, winning the title match on both occasions, so is seeking to become the first manager to win European club soccer’s biggest prize with three different clubs — all from different countries. None of them could be classed as modern-day continental heavyweights, either, making that achievement all the more impressive. The closest he has come to winning the Champions League since that 2010 triumph with Inter was a trio of semifinal appearances — all with Real Madrid — in 2011, ’12 and ’13. He got Manchester United out of its group last season, only to get fired before the knockout stages even began. If he was happy to be back in the Premier League — his “natural habitat,” he called it — at the weekend, imagine how he will feel making a return to the Champions League arena. Three teams have already qualified after four of the six rounds of games: Bayern, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. RESTED RONALDO Seeking a win to advance along with Juventus in Group D, Atletico Madrid is well aware of the dangers of a rested Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo took some time off before the second leg of the last 16 in the Champions League last season and responded with a hat trick against the Spanish team as Juventus overturned a 2-0 deficit. Ronaldo was rested again at the weekend, for Juve’s 3-1 win at Atalanta, as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Ronaldo showed little sign of any problem while playing for Portugal in the recent European Championship qualifiers, scoring a hat trick in one match and also netting in another. Juventus is looking to secure top spot in the group with a win on Tuesday. FAVRE UNDER PRESSURE Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has little room for error ahead of the side’s trip to Barcelona on Wednesday. A win would put the German side, which is a point behind first-place Barca in Group F, through to the knockout stage, but the manner of Dortmund’s performance will have a big say in Favre’s future. Dortmund fans reacted with fury after a 3-3 draw with last-place Paderborn in the Bundesliga on Friday, berating the players after their latest lackluster performance in a signal that their patience is wearing thin. Barcelona can seal first place in the group with a win. REAL REVENGE Real Madrid can qualify from Group A — and gain a measure of revenge — by beating PSG on Tuesday. PSG overwhelmed Madrid 3-0 in Paris in September, a result that left Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane under some pressure. “We’re in better shape,” said Zidane, whose team is only behind Barcelona in the Spanish league on goal difference. “We had a tough game in Paris, but that's in the past.” Group C leader Manchester City will advance by beating Shakhtar Donetsk at home on Tuesday. Liverpool has a one-point lead over Napoli heading into their meeting Wednesday in Group E, in which Salzburg is a further four points back before its game against out-of-contention Genk. In Group H, Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia are all on seven points. Valencia hosts Chelsea on Wednesday, when Ajax travels to Lille. In Group G, Leipzig and Lyon can advance by beating Benfica and Zenit St. Petersburg, respectively, on Wednesday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2019

ONE Championship: No excuses for Pinoy Ramon Gonzales in his transition to strawweight

Ramon "The Bicolano" Gonzales may have come up short in his latest outing, but the loss allowed him to gauge how he would fare in the talent-rich strawweight division of The Home of Martial Arts.   The Filipino Karateka dropped a unanimous decision loss to "Wolf of the Grasslands" Hexigetu at ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS last Saturday, 16 November at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China.   It was the first time that "The Bicolano" went the full three rounds in his professional mixed martial arts career, and it was not much to remember as he saw his three-match winning streak snapped.    Still, Gonzales remains optimistic about his future.    “This is my first time in strawweight and the first time I went all three rounds. In my first few matches, all of them ended in the first round,” Gonzales said.    “Even though I got dominated, I saw that I can hang in all three rounds. I know I can end a match, so now it’s all about improving and I’ll get used to it.”   Gonzales never found his rhythm the entire evening as Hexigetu’s ground game proved to be too much for the 32-year-old.    Though overmatched, the Albay City native kept going, but in the end there was no question about the result.    “I was always staying positive. It never crossed my mind that I’m going to lose and I’m going to give up. I know every second, every minute, there’s always a chance,” the three-time Philippine Karate National Champion said.    “I knew I was getting close, but I don’t question the decision. No excuses, I have no excuses in that loss.”    In the end, Gonzales discovered that it will take time to get used to his new weight-class. But now that he was able to test the waters, he finally knows the adjustments that he needs to get done as he treks through the loaded strawweight division.    “There may be an effect but that’s no excuse. I lost, so now I have to get used to competing in this division next time.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019

Federer braced for another next-gen challenge in 2020

By Mattias Karen, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — After dominating the tennis world for so long, Roger Federer thinks the sport’s Big Three could face their toughest challenge yet from a new generation in 2020. Federer’s 2019 season ended with a semifinal loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday at the ATP Finals, having seen Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal eliminated in the group stage of the tournament this week. Tsitsipas, a 21-year-old Greek who is playing at the ATP Finals for the first time, is among a handful of up-and-coming talents looking to finally end the unprecedented era of dominance by that trio. Other youngsters at the season-ending tournament include defending champion Alexander Zverev at 22 and U.S. Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev at 23. However, it’s not the first time that the 38-year-old Federer has faced talk about a talented crop of youngsters, even though none of them have so far been able to break the Big Three’s iron grip on the sport. ”It's the same question every year at the end of the year,” Federer said about the new generation. “But does it feel like this year might be the best year yet? Possibly. … But then I look at the list of who finished World No. 1, who has been World No. 1 all these years, and it's just crazy that it's always one of us. But we are not getting any younger. So chances increase not because we are getting worse but because they are getting better.” Nadal clinched his fifth year-end No. 1 title this week, putting him level with both Federer and Djokovic. Since 2004, the only other person to finish the year atop the rankings was Andy Murray in 2016. In addition, the Big Three have won the last 12 Grand Slam titles between them. And until one of the youngsters ends that streak, any talk of a generation shift is premature. ”Definitely it's that next step they need,” Federer said. ”The only issue is that it seems like me, Novak, and Rafa are healthy, healthier than maybe in previous years, as well.” The third-ranked Federer ends the year with four ATP titles, but failed to add to his record haul of 20 Grand Slams when he lost an epic Wimbledon final to Djokovic, despite holding two match points in the fifth set. He also fell short of a record-extending seventh ATP Finals title after converting just one of 12 break points against Tsitsipas, losing 6-3, 6-4. As long as he stays healthy, though, Federer is confident he’s still good enough to compete for more majors next season. “I've got to keep on playing at the level like I have this year, and then I will create some chances,” he said. “Then when the matches come, it's not maybe as easy as it was maybe 10, 15 years ago where you're just going to play very good, day in, day out. … (Opportunities) were there today ... They were there in other moments as well this season, maybe Indian Wells or Wimbledon or whatever. That can change an entire season around, the confidence around, the flow of things. But I'm happy how I played this season, and I'm extremely excited for next season.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2019