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Serrano stars in Pampanga s strong start to NBL Season 3

Encho Serrano powered Converge Pampanga Delta to a 100-73 win over Marikina Best Shoemakers last Sunday in the resumption of the National Basketball League (NBL) Season 3 Black Arrow Express-President’s Cup at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando. The La Salle cager from Apalit entertained the home fans with his exploits after he scored 26 points and dished out five assists for the Delta to win their first game of the season in the league for homegrown talents. Jerome Tarucan had 24 points for Marikina but the Best Shoemakers were unable to withstand the Delta attack to fall to 0-2 in Group B of the first conference of Season 3. Meanwhile, Keanu Caballero scored a jumper with 1.8 seconds left to lift reigning champion Taguig Generals to a 73-72 win over the Muntinlupa Emeralds in their first game of their title defense. In games last Saturday at Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex, Joseph Penaredondo had 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Lifenet Corp Caloocan Executives picked up their first win in three games with a 92-88 victory over the Pasig El Pirata in Group A. The El Pirata slipped to 1-2. Shin Manacsa had 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Laguna Pistons improved their record to 2-1 with a 91-87 victory over the Zamboanga Valientes in Group B. The Valientes are still winless in three games......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 8th, 2020

Teng-led Pasig barges into MPBL win column; Steel stay spotless

Jeric Teng did it all for Pasig in their breakthrough win in the MPBL Lakan Cup, coming at the expense of Caloocan, 89-87, Wednesday at Valenzuela Astrodome. Teng, the pride of University of Sto. Tomas who most recently saw action for NorthPort, waxed hot with 24 points on top of seven rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Josan Nimes and Jeric Serrano flanked with 16 and 15 markers, respectively, as the Realtors held on for the bounce back win following a season-opening loss. Almond Vosotros showed the way for the Supremos, still winless in three games, with 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals. Meanwhile, Basilan sustained its strong start to the season with an 83-74 victory versus Pampanga. Jerald Bautista topped the scoring column with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists while Arvie Bringas posted an 11-marker, 11-board double-double. The backcourt of Gab Dagangon and Leo Gabo also did their part in the Steel's back-to-back wins as the former finished with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals and the latter ended with 12 markers, seven dimes, and three boards. For the 1-2 Lanterns, Levi Hernandez was at the vanguard with 25 points......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 26th, 2019

Student-athletes helping out in pandemic emulate UAAP values

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2020

MLB: Players want more games, no more salary cuts

By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players appeared likely to propose increasing the number of regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, people familiar with their deliberations told The Associated Press. A day after Major League Baseball proposed a sliding scale of salary slashing for a pandemic-delayed season in ballparks without fans, the union held a conference call that included its executive board, player representatives and alternate player representatives, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced. One of the people said many players were angered by the proposal teams made Tuesday. It was unclear when the union will respond to MLB's plan, the people said. Stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole would lose the most under MLB's plan, about 77% of the $36 million each they were set to be paid this season. In all, there are 133 players whose contracts call for salaries of $10 million or more, not including shares of signing bonuses. A big leaguer earning $1 million or less would keep at least 43% of his salary under the six-tier scale. That includes a share of $200 million earmarked for players that is contingent on the postseason being completed. About 460 of approximately 900 players on rosters and injured lists when spring training was stopped in mid-March due to the new coronavirus make $1 million or less. Trout and Cole would be cut to about $8 million each. Colorado’s Nolan Arenado would drop from $35 million to $7.84 million. “Interesting strategy of making the best most marketable players potentially look like the bad guys,” Milwaukee pitcher Brett Anderson tweeted. The players’ association called the proposal “extremely disappointing.” The union has argued players already accepted a cut to prorated shares of their salaries in a March 26 agreement and should not have to bargain again. MLB would like to start the season around the Fourth of July in empty ballparks and proposed an 82-game regular-season schedule. It claims teams would lose billions of dollars by playing with no ticket money and gate-related revenue. “This season is not looking promising,” New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted. “Keeping the mind and body ready regardless.” Union head Tony Clark has not commented publicly on MLB’s proposal and has said very little publicly since late March. Agent Scott Boras has repeatedly criticized MLB for proposing more salary reductions and has questioned the accuracy of management’s financial claims. “Hearing a LOT of rumors about a certain player agent meddling in MLBPA affairs,” Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer tweeted Wednesday. “If true — and at this point, these are only rumors — I have one thing to say... Scott Boras, rep your clients however you want to, but keep your damn personal agenda out of union business.” Boras did not respond to a request for comment on Bauer’s remarks. “Working together to manage the public health issue has brought great solidarity among the players,” Boras said earlier in the day. “They are a strong united front and resolute in their support of the MLBPA.” A season with more games would lead to players earning a higher percentage of their original salaries. MLB says that without fans each additional game would result in a $640,000 loss. Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio told the Greater Milwaukee Committee on Tuesday “the be-careful-what-you-wish-for part is hours every day.” “It’s got to come together very quickly or we won’t be able to, we will just run out of time," he said. “To pay players at a full contract rate, pretty much 90% of that would go to pay them and wouldn’t cover any other costs.” Details of the plan have been disclosed to the AP by several people familiar with the proposal. They spoke on condition of anonymity because details had not been announced. MLB’s proposal says that within 48 hours of the ratification of an agreement for player compensation terms and health and safety protocols, the commissioner’s office would announce a proposed timeline for the resumption of the season. The resumption would include a training period of at least 21 days, and each team would be allowed a maximum of three exhibition games, all in the final seven days of the training period. Opening day would be in early July, and the final scheduled regular-season game would be no later than Sept. 27 — the same as in the original 2020 schedule. Issues such as roster size, trade deadlines, series length and treatment of the luxury tax would be delegated to a subcommittee. ___ AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee in Milwaukee contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 28th, 2020

REWIND RANKINGS: Juan GDL, Mallillin, and 17 NBTC All-Stars

The National Basketball Training Centre 24 is now on its third year and through its run, it has been graced by the likes of Kai Sotto, Joel Cagulangan, SJ Belangel, Carl Tamayo, Rhayyan Amsali, and Kevin Quiambao as top three talents. From 2018 onward, a selection committee made up of scribes from ABS-CBN Sports, ESPN5, Spin, and Tiebreaker Times have reviewed the best of the best in the NCAA, UAAP, MMBL, CESAFI-NBTC, and FCAAF and then ranked them in the definitive list of the most promising prospects in the Philippines. That list of names then became the final roster for the annual NBTC All-Star Game. Even before the NBTC 24, though, the grassroots national tournament has organized All-Star Games with 24 of the most promising prospects in the Philippines. And so, wouldn't it be fun if the All-Stars before 2018 will get the NBTC 24 treatment? In this space, the current selection committee will be retroactively ranking the NBTC All-Stars in their respective years from the game's debut in 2012 all the way to 2017. Now, we'll do the 2017 NBTC All-Stars - the time when the undisputed top talent came from a "two-win" team. --- From out of nowhere in UAAP 79, Adamson High School had the best team in all of high school. And that's because from out of nowhere, the Baby Falcons had the best player in all of high school. Behind first-year player Encho Serrano, the blue and white blasted off to an 11-1 start and looked like a freight train headed towards the school's first championship since 1993. Only, Adamson and Serrano, all of a sudden, ran into a wall - a wall that ultimately forfeited each and every one of their wins. Not only that, the 5-foot-11 ball of energy was deemed supposed-to-be ineligible for the season and had a surefire MVP award - as well as a title they were favored to take home - taken away from him. Still, there was no doubt that in 2017, Serrano was the top talent - what with his non-stop motor that none of his opponents, and even his teammates, could keep up with. Posting per game counts of 19.3 points in 58 percent shooting and 8.1 rebounds, the Kapampangan finally found his game and his home in his third try. And so, he is the rightful no. 1 in our re-rankings despite the fact that he comes from a "two-win" team - and not even the NBTC 24's valuing of wins first and foremost could take that away from him. Behind him in our Rewind Rankings is L-Jay Gonzales of UAAP champion Far Eastern University-Diliman. The primetime playmaker didn't actually play in the All-Star Game after failing to show up for tryouts. Nonetheless, his breakout when it mattered most - the Finals where he stuffed the stat sheet with averages of 9.5 points, 8.0 assists, and 6.5 rebounds - was more than enough to thrust him right into the front of the re-rankings even ahead of MVPs Troy Mallillin of La Salle Green Hills and Juan Gomez de Liano of the University of the Philippines Integrated School. Mallillin was solid if unspectacular for the Greenies who fell short of the Finals in the NCAA while Juan GDL was a one-man show that fell short of contending for the Final Four in the UAAP. The NCAA MVP and the UAAP MVP would have to settle for no. 4 and no. 5, respectively, as the third spot would have to go to Ateneo de Manila High School's SJ Belangel who, in only his second season, already established himself as the best point guard in high school. Belangel's teammate Kai Sotto - the now 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Filipino making noise in the US - was slotted at 15th after his rookie year in the UAAP. Then, he pretty clearly had a long ways to go as the likes of undersized big men Kenji Roman of FEU-Diliman and Karl Penano of Nazareth School of National University had their way with him. As a whole, the UAAP dominated this re-rankings as its players occupied all but one of the top six spots. Mallillin and Arellano High School's Aaron Fermin are the only NCAA players in the top 10 while Jonas Tibayan from Chiang Kai Shek yet again emerged as the best player from other leagues. In all, the 2017 NBTC All-Stars counted 10 players from the NCAA, nine players from the UAAP, four players from other leagues in Manila, and one player from Cebu. This is the final NBTC 24 for 2017 - retroactively, that is: 1. Encho Serrano, F/G, Adamson 2. L-Jay Gonzales, G, FEU-Diliman 3. SJ Belangel, G, Ateneo 4. Troy Mallillin, F, LSGH 5. Juan Gomez de Liano, G, UPIS 6. John Lloyd Clemente, G/F, National U 7. Jonas Tibayan, F, Chiang Kai Shek (blue no. 18) 8. Aaron Fermin, C, Arellano (grey no. 18) 9. Dave Ildefonso, F/G, Ateneo 10. Inand Fornilos, F, UST (leftmost, in yellow top) 11. Rom Junsay, G, Mapua 12. Harvey Pagsanjan, G, Hope (photo courtesy of FIBA) 13. Guillmer Dela Torre, G, Arellano 14. Sam Abu Hijleh, F, San Beda 15. Kai Sotto, C, Ateneo 16. Rhayyan Amsali, F, National U 17. Evan Nelle, G, San Beda 18. John Galinato, G, Chiang Kai Shek 19. Germy Mahinay, C, San Beda 20. Sherwin Concepcion, F, Mapua 21. Migs Oczon, G, Chiang Kai Shek 22. Unique Naboa, G, LSGH 23. Jancork Cabahug, F, UV 24. Lars Sunga, F, Arellano.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2020

LIVE UPDATES - PBA Governors Cup 2019 Finals: Ginebra vs. Meralco Game 2

For the third time in four seasons powerhouse franchises Barangay Ginebra and Meralco square off in the finals of the PBA's season-ending conference, the 2019 Governors' Cup.  Led by super-import Justin Brownlee and local stars such as LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Stanley Pringle, and Japeth Aguilar, the fan-favorite fourth-seeded Gin Kings bested sister-team San Miguel and NorthPort en route to another Governors' Cup Finals berth.  The second-seeded Bolts, powered by two-time Best Import Allen Durham and the likes of Baser Amer, Raymond Almazan, Chris Newsome and rookie sensation Bong Quinto, took down Alaska and Talk N' Text on their way to another Governors' Cup Finals matchup against Ginebra. Ginebra has had Meralco's number in the last two Finals pairings, with the Gin Kings winning 4-2 back in the 2015-2016 season and 4-3 the following year.  After a 91 - 87 victory in Game 1, can the Gin Kings continue to reign over the Bolts, or will Meralco even up the series?  Game 1 tips off on Friday, January 10th at 7:00 PM, LIVE from the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.  Join us as we bring you live updates here!  MERALCO SURVIVES GINEBRA ONSLAUGHT END OF 3: The Gin Kings gain ground with a huge run but Meralco maintains an 82-76 lead in Lucena#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020   TIED BALLGAME! Brownlee! Tied at 70#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ???? Brownlee floats it in, TABLA NA!#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/8ICHY3ZupY — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 STRONG START IN THIRD QUARTER BY GINEBRA ???? STANLEY PRINGLE BANGGGGG! Baba sa dalawa ang hinahabol ng Barangay Ginebra!#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/nXWP8EHL7J — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? Stanley Pringle connects on the open corner bomb!#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/0Qd2KZpfMn — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? LA Tenorio takes it away and lays it in! 8-0 run mula sa Ginebra para simulan ang third quarter!#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/zbSVW6BVjP — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020   BOLTS STILL ELECTRIC Meralco's Chris Newsome beats the buzzer for a 63 - 46 halftime lead. HALFTIME: Newsome beats the buzzer and Meralco will take a 63-46 lead over Ginebra at the break#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ALMAZAN RESTORES ORDER Three straight hits for Almazan and it’s 52-40 Meralco. Timeout on the floor#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020   GINEBRA MOUNTING A RALLY Caguioa jumper! Meralco lead down to five, 41-36#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ???? BROWNLEE WITH SOME SAUCE ????#2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/axvsdF6GpU — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? Justin Brownlee MONEY on the pull up!#2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/KkMHYhD6rz — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 BOLTS WITH 15-POINT BULGE AFTER FIRST Powered by John Pinto's hot shooting off the bench, Meralco posts a 36 - 21 lead over Ginebra after the first period. END OF 1: Bolts unleash a 30-8 run after calling their first timeout of Game 2. Meralco leads Ginebra, 36-21, in Lucena#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 PINTO HITS FOURTH TRIPLE! Pinto hits his third and fourth triples of the opening period in back-to-back possessions. Ginebra calls for time again as the Bolts are now up by 14. 31-17 Meralco with two minutes to go in the first#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020   MERALCO GOES ON 10-0 RUN TO SEIZE UPPER HAND 10-0 Meralco run after Pinto hits the corner three. Ginebra calls for time as the Bolts take over, 16-13#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ???? John Pinto launches and buries his second three of 1Q!#2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/SmBapCUIbC — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020   GINEBRA IN CONTROL EARLY Six straight points for Brownlee plus a Scottie layup on the break. Early “Ginebra” chants as the Gin Kings lead, 13-6. Timeout Meralco#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ???? Justin Brownlee spins and scores against Almazan!#2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/6wlxeLnVGY — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? Thompson wala, Brownlee on the tip-in! #2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/xPPe2HZMl7 — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 8:44 1q Brownlee attacks, gets fouled by Almazan. 2/2 for Justin; 9-6 Ginebra #2019GovsCupFinals — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020   BROWNLEE OPENS GAME WITH A TRIPLE 11:38 1q Unang pukol! Baaaaang 3?? Brownlee! #2019GovsCupFinals — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? Brownlee tres ang panimula sa Game 2! #2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/PA5eU3dCZX — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020   GAME 2 STARTERS Game 2 starters Ginebra ???? - Japeth, Brownlee, Pringle, Thompson, Tenorio Meralco ??- Amer, Newsome, Quinto, Almazan, Durham#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ALL SET FOR GAME 2 IN LUCENA! COMING UP: Game 2 of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals ???? #2 Meralco??vs. #4 Barangay Ginebra ???? Gin Kings lead, 1-0#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/38f80NEieT — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020   Magic up-close ?#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/H34JzBXrSw — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 JDV ????????‍?? #2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/44NQzRuVvj — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 Tabla 1-1 para sa @MeralcoBoltsPH o 2-0 para sa @barangayginebra #2019GovsCupFinals game 2 sa Lucena! pic.twitter.com/Kf9g8TphmX — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2020

San Francisco roars back into playoffs as NFC s top seed

By Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press For the first time since 1997, the San Francisco 49ers are the top seed in the NFC playoffs, a stunning turnaround for a team that owned the second overall pick in the NFL draft just nine months ago. After four straight losing campaigns, including only 10 wins in coach Kyle Shanahan's first two seasons, the 49ers went from 4-12 to 13-3 this season. They emerged as the top team in the NFC thanks a big-play offense and a vastly improved defense sparked by Nick Bosa, whom they chose with that No. 2 draft pick. They earned the top seed with a thrilling finale at Seattle when rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw made a stop inches from the goal line, earning his team a week off and up to two home games in the 49ers' quest to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in seven years. "It feels good to get where we're at," Shanahan said. "Our goal was to get in the playoffs, it feels much better with being the one seed. By now everyone knows there is only one team that is happy at the end of year." The Green Bay Packers secured the other first-round bye. The Seahawks visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and the Minnesota Vikings visit the New Orleans Saints in the other NFC wild-card game. 1. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 3. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 29, 49-26 over San Diego Chargers on Jan. 29, 1995. Last year: 4-12. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2013. YEA: The 49ers have won different ways with the defense dominating early and the offense playing better late. The returns of edge rusher Dee Ford and S Jaquiski Tartt should help the defense return to its early season form. If QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense can maintain its play from the second half when the team ranked second in plays of at least 20 yards, the Niners should be tough to beat. NAY: The Niners will still be missing at least one key defensive piece at the start of the playoffs in LB Kwon Alexander and several depth pass rushers also are out for the year. That could limit the improvement on defense and there is little playoff experience on offense with WR Emmanuel Sanders the only key skill position player who has been in the postseason. Garoppolo has improved the past few weeks but still has a propensity for turnovers, which could prove costly. SAY: "We knew going into the year we had a chance to be pretty good with what we had on paper and watching the guys throughout training camp. We knew that pretty well after the first five games, we could feel it. Then you go through a number of injuries and stuff and you never know how you're going to be able to fully handle that. That's what I have been impressed the most with the guys, no one has wavered." — Shanahan. 2. GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 5. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011. Last year: 6-9-1. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2016. YEA: RB Aaron Jones is the team MVP. The third-year pro is Green Bay's first 1,000-yard rusher since Eddie Lacy in 2014 and his 19 total touchdowns (16 rushing, three receiving) tied Carolina's Christian McCaffrey for the league high. In the Packers' three losses this season, Jones averaged fewer than 42 scrimmage yards. If first-year coach Matt LaFleur gets Jones the ball early and often and QB Aaron Rodgers can add in a splash of his old magic, Green Bay could find itself in Miami in February. NAY: Though Rodgers has had flashes of his old greatness, the 36-year-old two-time MVP has played far below his soaring standards. Rodgers had a passer rating of less than 80.0 in each of his last three starts and had a career-high 16 overthrows against Detroit in the regular-season finale. If the Packers are going to win another Super Bowl, they're going to need the Rodgers of old, not the old Rodgers. SAY: "We haven't always made it easy and we haven't always made it pretty, but for the most part, we've found a way to win every game. You have to say a lot about the resiliency of this team, because we've gotten ourselves into a lot of different scenarios, but we always believe we can go out there and put up a bunch of points in a hurry." -- WR Davante Adams 3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 2. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 44, beat Indianapolis 31-17 on Feb. 7, 2010. Last year: No. 1 seed, beat Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 at home in divisional round, lost to Los Angeles Rams 26-23 (OT) in NFC championship at home. Third consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: QB Drew Brees, who'll turn 41 on Jan. 15, has been in vintage form lately with a big assist from the NFL's top WR Michael Thomas. Brees has passed for 1,188 yards and 15 TDs in the past four games, evidence of his strong comeback from a thumb surgery that sidelined him five games. Thomas racked up a single-season record 149 catches for 1,725 yards and nine TDs. The Saints' eight turnovers are an NFL record low for a season. New Orleans had 51 sacks, third most in the NFL and ranked fourth against the run. NAY: While the Saints don't have many weaknesses, they can be their own worst enemy. Their 120 penalties for 1,036 yards ranked sixth worst in the NFL in both categories and their minus-323 net penalty yards ranked second worst. New Orleans' secondary has been beset with late-season injuries. Both starting safeties and a starting cornerback did not play in Week 17. SAY: "Down the stretch here I think we've been an ascending team. We've been playing a little bit better each and every week, despite the fact that we have had some guys go down." — Brees 4. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-7). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 11. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 52, 41-33 over New England Patriots, Feb. 4, 2018. Last year: No. 6 seed, beat Chicago Bears 16-15 in wild-card game on road, lost to New Orleans Saints 20-14 in divisional round on road. Third consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: The Eagles are hungry and Carson Wentz is determined to do what Nick Foles did in his absence two years ago — win a Super Bowl. If Wentz continues playing at the MVP level he displayed in December, the Eagles are dangerous. They have a strong rushing attack that can control the clock and an experienced defense that shuts down the run and forces teams to be one-dimensional. NAY: Seattle beat the Eagles in Philadelphia 17-9 on Nov. 24. Russell Wilson is 4-0 against Philly. The Eagles have been riddled by injuries and finished the regular season without seven starters on offense. Three of those players could return to face the Seahawks but it's likely two will be game-time decisions. SAY: "In the last couple games, (Wentz) has really put this team on his back and said, 'Hey, follow me.' And I think that's a sign of growth, a sign of maturity. I spent eight years in Green Bay with Brett Favre, and that's what Brett did. Brett just put the team on his back when the chips were against us and just said, 'Follow me.' And that's what Carson can do." — Coach Doug Pederson. 5. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-5). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 6. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014. Last year: No. 5 seed, lost to Dallas Cowboys 24-22 in wild-card game on road. Second consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: Unlike years past, if the Seahawks are going to make a deep playoff run, it's going to be because of QB Russell Wilson. He's coming off the second-best season in terms of passing yards, completion percentage and a career-low five interceptions. Wilson's never been asked to carry Seattle in the playoffs but if he can rediscover the success from when he was in the MVP conversation with Lamar Jackson, Seattle has enough other parts to make some noise. NAY: Injuries have stacked up for Seattle. The Seahawks lost their top three running backs, a starting edge rusher, tight end and center to season-ending injuries. Jadeveon Clowney is playing through a painful core muscle injury. Bobby Wagner has a bad ankle as does safety Quandre Diggs. Left tackle Duane Brown underwent knee surgery after Week 16. Eventually the lack of some key stars is likely to catch up with Seattle. SAY: "We have everything we want in the locker room. We have everything that we could need. We have everything that it takes. So it's been a tremendous season. It's been a battle so far. It's been a long one, but it's been a great one so far. The good thing is it's a refresh button, you get to hit the refresh button, start over, 0-0, see how far we can go." — Wilson. 6. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-6). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 8. No Lombardis. Last year: 8-7-1. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2017. YEA: The Vikings have an experienced, accomplished defense that can pose problems for elite QBs and clever play-callers on the other side. The Vikings were sixth in the NFL with an average of 18.9 points allowed and fourth with 31 takeaways. Their play-action passing attack with Pro Bowl RB Dalvin Cook poses a dual threat and QB Kirk Cousins throwing deep to WR Stefon Diggs, can be awfully dangerous, too. NAY: The downside on defense is the erosion of the pass coverage. After ranking in the top three in passing yards allowed in the league in each of the past three years, the Vikings dropped to 15th in 2019. They also fell to 19th in the NFL in third down conversions allowed after leading the league in 2017 and 18. The offense carries its own reasons to doubt a playoff run, with Cousins never having won a postseason game in the NFL and a recent dud at home against division rival Green Bay. SAY: "I know it's been done before. Why not us?" — coach Mike Zimmer on the prospect of winning three road games to reach the Super Bowl. ___ AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow, Rob Maaddi and Dave Campbell and AP Sports Writers Tim Booth, Brett Martel and Keith Jenkins contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2020

Pasaol shows his class with 24 points as Zamboanga defeats Valenzuela

Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines relied on a terrific night from Alvin Pasaol to subdue Valenzuela City Carga Backload Solution, 85-78, in Tuesday night action of the Chooks To Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season. Val City were playing in their alternate home court, the brand-new Bahayang Pag-asa Basketball gym in Paso de Blas, Valenzuela City. But they could not give a full house of their fans a win, and thus stumble to 9-15. Zamboanga climbs to 15-10 as they continue their campaign for a higher playoff seed. Family's Brand star Pasaol tallied 24 points and 9 rebounds to grab the Chooks to Go Best Player Award. He revealed in his postgame interview that he is relishing the role of team leader. "Tinitignan ako ng Zamboanga team as a leader. Everyday, sa loob ng court at sa practices consistent ang ipapakita ko," said the former UE star. Family's Brand led 45-35 at the half thanks in part to Pasaol's 13 points in that time span. In a high scoring third quarter the Zamboanguenos shredded a porous Carga Backload Solution defense with balanced scoring to open up a 71-55 lead heading into the fourth. In the final quarter the home team could only get going offensively late in the game as Zamboanga secured the win. Pasaol got help on offense from Santy Santillan and Raffy Reyes, who picked up 14 and 12 points, respectively. Leading Val City in scoring was Paolo Hubalde with 16 markers. In the early evening match-up, the Davao Occidental Tigers - Cocolife withstood a strong second half charge from the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors to prevail, 75-71. The Tigers led 41-31 at the half but the Realtors won the third quarter 23-15 with a determined effort from Fonso Gotladera, who collected nine points, to pull to within 2, 56-54. Pasigueños Rob Manalang and Jeric Teng chipped in triples in the fourth, and when Josan Nimes laid in halfway through the fourth period, Sta. Lucia led 67-64. However, Davao roared back with an 8-0 run from Mark Yee, Ivan Ludovice and Billy Robles to seize back the initiative. In the endgame Pasig coach Bong de la Cuz eschewed his established stars and went with second-liners like Richard Velchez, Al Chavenia, and Thurlough Grealey. The shock troopers were unable to step up, and DavOc's vets closed out the game. Mark Yee was a stud for Davao once again, scoring 22 points and hauling down 16 boards. Such was the ex-pro's dominance that he had a triple double even before the third period was over. Manalang topscored for Pasig with 15. Cocolife wins a fourth straight game to climb to 20-3 and open up a 2-game lead atop the South Division over Bacoor. Pasig falls to 14-9. The first game saw the Pampanga Giant Lanterns - ADG Group of Companies lord over the Pasay Voyagers, 75-65. Lanterns guard Mark Cruz conducted a masterclass on how to play the point, dishing out 14 assists, six more than the rest of his team and only two less than the entire Voyagers squad combined. He also contributed 14 points, one less than Levi Hernandez's team-high 15. A stingy Kapampangan defense held Pasay to just 35% shooting as they drop to 13-11. ADG Group of Companies controlled the contest for most of the game but there was a late scare when a Jason Opiso three-bomb pulled Pasay to within five, 64-59, with two and a half minutes remaining. Opiso was Pasay's leading scorer with 12 points. The Giant Lanterns quashed the uprising with a Hernandez three and Dexter Maiquez jumper. Pampanga improves to 15-9 in the North Division......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2019

UAAP 82: Tolentino back for last flight as a Lady Eagle

Kat Tolentino has decided to play her final year for the Ateneo de Manila University. It may have taken the power-hitter some time to think it over but Tolentino will definitely don the blue and white uniform for her fourth and last season as the Lady Eagles bid for back-to-back titles in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament starting February next year. The 6-foot-3 Filipino-Canadian on Thursday officially announced her return for the Oliver Almadro-mentored squad. “As much as I love playing for the commercial league I found that playing for the UAAP is a whole different experience,” said Tolentino, who during the off-season played for ChocoMucho in the Premier Volleyball League. "There is something so unique about the competitiveness of the UAAP that I feel is hard to recreate.  The rivalry between schools is not just about playing for pride but for something bigger than yourself. Its also about playing for your teammates and for all those who’ve supported you." Her return will give the Lady Eagles the much-needed veteran presence along with Ponggay Gaston, playmaker Deanna Wong, Jules Samonte and libero Dani Ravena. “I’ve been following the current Ateneo team especially during the PVL collegiate conference and I am proud to see how strong they are already. There's still a few more months to prepare and I look forward to being back with them and contributing in any way I can,” said Tolentino. Tolentino led Ateneo in a dramatic come-from-behind best-of-three Finals series win over the Sisi Rondina-led University of Sto. Tomas for the Lady Eagles' first title since winning it all in back in 2014 and 2015. After claiming her first crown, Tolentino gave an emotional speech during the team’s thanksgiving Mass at the Church of Gesu inside the Ateneo campus.     She talked about her three ACL injuries and unforgettable championship season before saying, “This is Kat Tolentino, No. 10, signing off” back in May this year. But it's a good thing she changed her mind with the guidance of her management, Virtual Playground. "Well, initially I thought that because I graduated college and won the championship it was time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life. I have been in college for a while and have played volleyball for well over 10 years," Tolentino explained. "So I just felt like I wanted to experience something different and start to play in the commercial league to make the most out of my volleyball career." Tolentino will play a bigger role this season not just as the team’s top scoring option but also the young Lady Eagles’ leader after the departure of Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon. She will pilot a squad that will have promising rising stars in Faith Nisperos and Joan Narit, sophomore setter Jaja Maraguinot and Vannie Gandler.     "Our goal will always be the UAAP championship. But coming into this season I feel like I will try to bring more skills and experience from what I learned in playing for Choco Mucho in PVL," Tolentino said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

Wiggins leads Wolves with 30 points in 129-114 win vs. Spurs

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Wiggins kept up his early season surge with 30 points on 12-for-23 shooting, and the Minnesota Timberwolves handed the San Antonio Spurs their third straight loss, 129-114 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, giving Minnesota’s maximum-contract duo a third consecutive game with 25-plus points apiece. Towns and Wiggins are currently the only teammates in the NBA averaging more than 25 points per game. Wiggins, who added eight rebounds and seven rebounds, drained a pull-up 3-pointer from the left wing in the waning seconds of the third quarter to give the Wolves their biggest lead of the night at 106-95 before they breezed through the final 12 minutes. Wiggins, who has shown a sharp improvement in shot selection under coach Ryan Saunders, received a standing ovation when he was removed late in the game. DeMar DeRozan had 27 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points for San Antonio, with the two stars combining to shoot 22 for 34 from the floor, but the Spurs finished just 3 for 17 from 3-point range. The Spurs, with Tony Parker’s jersey now hanging from their arena rafters next to Tim Duncan’s and Manu Ginobili’s, are well past the glory days of their five NBA championships, but they still, of course, have Gregg Popovich in charge. With the 70-year-old winningest coach in NBA history on the bench and DeRozan and Aldridge in the lineup, though, they’re hardly a pushover, even though Popovich lamented their “really soft” defense after a 135-115 defeat against Boston last week. The Spurs entered this game ranked just 21st in the league in average points against. They weren’t exactly overflowing with intensity on the defensive end in this one, either, squandering a strong start to the second half while watching the Wolves pull away for the third consecutive quarter. Bryn Forbes missed a 3-pointer that would have broken an 83-all tie, and Jake Layman, who was continually slashing to the basket all game, dropped in a finger roll for a lead the Wolves never relinquished. DeRozan picked up a technical foul after arguing a personal foul against him, and the free throws helped the Wolves on their way. TIP-INS Spurs: For the third time in 11 games this season, the Spurs allowed 120-plus points. ... DeRozan and Aldridge each hit the 20-point mark for the second game this season. They did that 24 times during the 2018-19 regular season. Timberwolves: Teague, who missed the last four games because of illness, returned to action in a reserve role, with rookie Jarrett Culver in the starting lineup at point guard for a fourth time in five games. Teague had 18 points and six assists in 23 minutes. ... Backups power forward Jordan Bell (sprained right shoulder) and point guard Shabazz Napier (sprained right hamstring) each had their fifth straight absence. WINNING WITH WIGGINS Towns and Wiggins have 35 games with 25-plus points apiece, the fourth-most in the NBA since Towns was a rookie in 2015-16. Wiggins hit the 30-point mark for the fourth time in five games. LONG RANGE The Timberwolves have been trying to sharpen their 3-point shooting for years, and thanks in part to a 6-for-45 performance from behind the arc on Sunday in an overtime defeat against Denver, they entered this game ranked third-worst in the league at 30.8%. A few minutes after Towns and San Antonio’s Rudy Gay were given double technical fouls for their testy exchange, sparked when Gay fouled Towns while he was shooting, Towns and Wiggins swished 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to break a tie and give the Timberwolves a 57-51 lead. They were 15 for 34 from 3-point range at Detroit in their last game, a season best. ONE-SIDED The Spurs have won the season series in 22 of 30 years since the Timberwolves entered the NBA, with five ties, for an overall record of 89-30. This was the first of four meetings this season. UP NEXT Spurs: Play at Orlando on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). They have a 43-18 lead in the all-time series with the Magic. Timberwolves: Host Washington on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), then Houston on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) to conclude a stretch with five home games, and six total, in eight days......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 14th, 2019

Bucks stars sit down, supporting cast steps up

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com BOSTON – Giannis Antetokounmpo sat down. Khris Middleton sat down. And the Milwaukee Bucks’ chance of beating the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series seemed to sit down with them. In a hostile arena, against an opponent that by all rights should have been desperate (though the emotion never did quite translate to the Celtics’ performance), losing your best two players to foul trouble at a crucial point in the second half should have been too much for Milwaukee. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Antetokounmpo got whistled for his fourth personal foul with 8:18 left in the third quarter, the teams tied at 59-59. Before the score ever budged, 61 seconds later, Middleton got his fourth. It was automatic for Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer to yank both his All-Stars, with so much game left and the risk of one or both fouling out so great. This should have been the opportunity the Celtics needed. They had misfired their way to that point, shooting 37 percent overall in the first half and 4-of-19 on three-pointers. But they had their full complement of starters available. Boston should have pounced. Boston should have cracked open the game right there and earned itself a 2-2 series tie. Instead, the Bucks stiffened, then pushed back. They might even have ended the series, turning that stretch of resiliency to end the third quarter into a 113-101 victory. They hold a 3-1 lead now with a chance to close it out at home in Game 5 Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) and advance to the conference finals. That’s how pivotal the Bucks’ plucky response to adversity was. They not only fended off the Celtics during that star-starved stretch, they took the lead: Milwaukee went on a little 13-9 run to the 2:31 mark of the third, triggering a timeout by Boston coach Brad Stevens. Then play resumed, and the Bucks outscored them again 8-4 to close the quarter. It was the exact opposite of what should have happened, Milwaukee opening up an 80-72 lead while playing shorthanded, and Boston squandering such a ripe chance to seize the game. Yet there wasn’t much surprise showing in the visitors’ dressing room. “We were just playing the same way,” said center Brook Lopez. “We always say, ‘Same way. Same way,’ and just keep grinding. We did a great job these past two games just grinding for the first 30, 35 minutes or whatever, and then just taking advantage whenever the moment comes.” This should have been Boston’s moment, though. It’s true that the Bucks’ depth has been a weapon all season and that their role players have prided themselves on maintaining -- or adding to -- leads. But c’mon, they were working without a net this time. Antetokounmpo and Middleton had to sit for a while at least, if not the balance of the quarter. The worst thing that could happen if they came back too soon would be picking up their fifth fouls. The second-worst thing would be playing overly cautious to avoid doing that. Didn’t the players who stepped into the breach feel the burden? “We didn’t really feel that way,” Lopez said. “We had that trust and belief in one another. We were just trying not to have any sort of letdown.” Budenholzer dealt with the fragile situation by reminding himself that he typically subs out his stars in that general vicinity of the game. Keeping them fresh for the fourth quarter is a priority, particularly with Antetokounmpo. It’s just that this time, the terms were dictated to the Bucks coach. “It’s always hard to take out Giannis, let’s just start there,” Budenholzer said. But he added, “Because of our normal subs rotation, it wasn’t as tough to take him out.” Lopez, George Hill, Ersan Ilyasova, Eric Bledsoe, Nikola Mirotic, Pat Connaughton and Sterling Brown all played during Antetokounmpo’s and Middleton’s absences. (Middleton returned for an uneventful final 20 seconds in the period.) Bledsoe got it going offensively, then Hill – not unlike his super-sub showing in Game 3 – scored nine of Milwaukee’s final 11 points in the quarter. And they all locked in defensively, making life miserable for a Celtics team that never recovered. “Absolutely. We’re always defense first,” Lopez said. “I think we even stepped up our intensity in that moment.” The Greek Freak, while all this was going on, sat between deep reserves D.J. Wilson and inactive rookie Donte DiVincenzo with a concerned look on his face and nervous energy bouncing through one leg. Tough benchmate? “I mean, he’s one of those guys who wants to play all 48,” Wilson said. “He hates when he comes out. He’s kind of like that every game.” Said Antetokounmpo: “It’s amazing to see that the bench can keep playing hard, keep defending hard and set the tone for us.” The past two games, the Bucks’ bench has outscored Boston’s 74-23. So Milwaukee didn’t just survive, it thrived. It started the fourth with its top guys more rested than usual. And oh, did it show. Antetokounmpo scored 17 points in that quarter, but, playing all 12 minutes during which he scored half of the Bucks’ 12 field goals and grabbed seven rebounds. Middleton was scoreless but was a plus-seven the rest of the way, second only to Connaughton’s plus-11. Boston wound up trading baskets for much of the fourth. Al Horford’s layup at 7:25 got his team within 91-86, only to see Lopez and Antetokounmpo score all of the Bucks’ points in a 14-6 stretch that ate up five minutes. The home team seemed to be fraying, bringing an air of inevitability to the night. Speculation that it might have been All-Star guard Kyrie Irving’s final game as a Celtic in Boston – he’ll be a free agent this summer and never has seemed particularly happy here – began immediately. Irving, after a golden Game 1, has played haphazardly in the past three while shooting a combined 19-of-62. “Who cares?” he said. “It’s a little different when your rhythm is challenged every play down. You’re being picked up full court. They’re doing things to test you. The expectations on me are going to be sky high. I try to utilize their aggression against them and still put my teammates in great positions, while still being aggressive and trying to do it all. “For me, the 22 shots? I should have shot 30.” The Bucks, boasting strong chemistry since training camp, never has looked tighter. In fact, when Lopez was asked if he felt a sense of relief that they reached the fourth quarter without getting pummeled, he wouldn’t go there. “I don’t think it’s a sense of relief,” he said. “I don’t want to say that, because one through 15 we have trust in everyone in this locker room. Whoever we have out on the floor, we’re never like, ‘Oh damn, we’re stuck with these guys.’” Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 7th, 2019

All-Stars LeBron, Irving lead Cavs past Suns

em>By Tom Withers, Associated Press /em> CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, All-Star teammate LeBron James had 21 points and 15 assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked more like themselves at home in a 118-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). The Cavs were back in Quicken Loans Arena following a six-game road trip (their longest of the season) that concluded with an embarrassing 35-point loss at Golden State. But on their home floor, they had better offensive balance and ball movement while improving to 30-11 -- the same record Cleveland had at the halfway point of its 2016 NBA championship season. Channing Frye scored 18, Iman Shumpert 17 and James Jones 14 while filling in for star forward Kevin Love, still bothered by back spasms. Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 16 rebounds, but the Suns lost for the fourth time in five games. Already thin on their front line with Love out, the Cavs lost forward Tristan Thompson in the second quarter with a dislocated left index finger. However, Thompson returned after halftime. And Cleveland's offense was in a much better rhythm from the start after a trip that wasn't always pleasing to the eye. While trying to integrate newly acquired Kyle Korver into their rotation on the road, the Cavs got into some bad habits as they forced passes to one of the league's best shooters. A couple of practices seem to have helped as Korver made a pair of three-pointers in the second quarter of his home debut to help Cleveland open a 21-point lead. The Suns made a brief run in the third and got within 12 before Shumpert hit a pair of three’s and Jones hit one from long range. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em> Chandler has at least 15 rebounds in six straight games, matching the club record set by Jim Fox in 1969. Phoenix coach Earl Watson has known Korver for years. When he joined the Jazz in 2010, Watson leased Korver's condominium in Utah. 'We go back. I sent him a lot of money every month,' Watson said with a smile. 'I'm glad I don't do that anymore.' On a serious note, Watson said Korver is a perfect addition for Cleveland, especially while J.R. Smith recovers from thumb surgery. 'He's a deadly knock-down shooter. He knows how to win,' Watson said. 'They're looking more long term instead of immediate. You get into the playoffs and you need a big three to stretch the floor. He's obviously the best shooter on their team. It's an impressive move.' em> strong>Cavaliers: /strong> /em>James, who missed his 46th career triple-double by one rebound, will be making his 13th consecutive All-Star Game appearance next month. He said the honor never gets old. 'Just means I've been doing something right in this league,' he said. 'Means I'm consistent and taking pride in my individual ability to go out and produce for the team every night, and whatever team I've been on in my career. It's always great to see my name up there with the best guys in the league, so it's a pretty cool thing.' Smith has had the hard cast removed from his right hand. He's expected back in late March. Jones made his first start since April 2, 2015. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em> At the New York Knicks on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Phoenix won the first meeting this season in overtime. em> strong>Cavaliers: /strong> /em>Host the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in a matchup between two of the NBA's best teams. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Jordan Clarkson and this Basketball Crazy Nation

The Philippines was not always a basketball nation. After World War II, all Filipino boys would get out in the fields and play baseball. In fact, we hosted the World Baseball Championships once. It was only in the 70’s when PBA came along and when the country became the basketball crazy country that it is. Now, the Philippines is at the epicenter of the basketball diaspora. It hosted the FIBA World Basketball Championships. Almost every boy grew up playing pickup basketball and anyone and everyone had their own signature ‘bali’ move. There was a time that fathers and sons (and of course, daughters) watched games together, either cheering for the same teams or making jabs at each other because they rooted for rivals. It has the oldest basketball league in the Asia and now, it has a player of Filipino descent playing for one of the greatest basketball franchises in the world – Jordan Clarkson, playing a vital role as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Clarkson was raised aware of his Filipino heritage. Annette, Clarkson’s mother, hails from Pampanga but moved to America with her mother Marcelina Tullao at a very young age. Annette then met Jordan’s father, Mike Clarkson, while serving as a reservist in the Air Force. Jordan, like many young Filipino-Americans, professes a love for lumpia and chicken adobo. As a high school student at Metzger Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, he wore an ornate Barong Tagalog, the Philippines' national costume, while posing in front of the Philippine exhibit. He has been to the Philippines multiple times, even playing some pickup basketball in one of the courts that dot the landscape of the Philippines.   And as of this writing, a little more than a day and a half a way, Filipinos are trying to get Jordan into the biggest event of the basketball world – the NBA All-Stars. It all started from a call on the internet to start voting and using the hashtag 'NBAVOTE Jordan Clarkson on posts and tweets and the Filipinos heard that call. 'NBAVOTE Jordan Clarkson began circulating around the internet, snowballing into a call not just for Jordan Clarkson, but a call for unity in a country that is also known as a social media powerhouse – and the world is starting to take notice. Jordan Clarkson has also taken notice of the efforts, posting on his Facebook account a short video saying, “Hey Facebook fans just want to say thank so much for all your votes. I am so humbled. Please keep posting 'NBAVOTE Jordan Clarkson. Salamat salamat po. Mahal ko kayo.” As of the latest NBA All-Star Voting Returns, Jordan still has not cracked the top 10 of Western Conference guards. Last year’s unanimous MVP, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, leads with 990,390 votes. Close behind are Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma’s Russell Westbrook with 961,185 and 899,024, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 are Golden State’s Klay Thompson with 555,430, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul with 379,076, Portland’s Damian Lillard with 208,171, Houston’s Eric Gordon with 191,407, Golden State’s Andre Igoudala with 130,224, San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili with 122,333 and Minnesota’s Zach Levine with 94,867. However, signs are looking good for Jordan as Scott notes the strong push coming from social media. “There is a significant increase from Jan. 9 when fans launched the campaign and Jordan’s mentions are much higher than the bottom three players,” she said. “On Jan. 12, Jordan had 53,020 posts while Ginobili had 10,078, Lavine 781 and Igoudala 731. Jordan’s volume shows a spiked upward trend.” The call right now is for every Filipino with access to the internet to vote at least once in the next two days (Monday all day and Tuesday early morning before lunch) and to make every vote count for Clarkson. Fans can vote through the NBA.com and the NBA App wherein fans can submit a ballot of two guards and three frontcourt players, once per day. On social media, using the hashtag 'NBAVOTE Jordan Clarkson also counts as votes, whether as personal posts or comments on another post on Facebook (just as long as the post is public) or tweeting and retweeting the same on Twitter. On Google, fans may also use the search team “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Los Angeles Lakers” to select Jordan Clarkson. The Philippines, a basketball crazy nation, is at the cusp of history. The challenge is now being sent to every Filipino all over the world to make a difference. Every vote counts to bring Clarkson into the NBA All-Stars. And maybe, just maybe, basketball will unite Filipinos again. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

UAAP stars can’t wait for season

UP’s Ricci Rivero, La Salle’s Aljun Melecio and Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi are committed to play their last year of eligibility in the UAAP seniors even as there’s no clear signal when the next season will start......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 16th, 2020

Palay prices dip to P11/kg in some areas

Palay prices continued to go down, even dipping to as low as P11 per kilogram (/kg) as farmers approach the tail-end of the harvest season with a series of strong typhoons. Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the average farm-gate price of palay continued its downward movement, falling by 4.1 percent to P15.79/kg from the price level of P16.47/kg in the previous week. Year-on-year, the price increased by 0.2 percent from its average price of P15.76/kg in the same week of the previous year. Unfortunately, prices went down to as low as P11/kg in areas like Surigao del Sur and Cavite, which means some farmers were forced to sell their produce at a loss. In other areas like Agusan del Sur and Bulacan, farmers barely made money, with palay sold at exactly or just slightly above P12/kg. In the Philippines, the average production cost of rice farmers stood around P12.72/kg, which is higher or nearly double than what rice farmers in Vietnam and Thailand spend to produce the staple. This means that if prices fell below that amount, farmers would receive earnings that are lower than what they spent for. Some said that with the current production cost, the breakeven farmgate price of fresh harvest should be around P14.50/kg.  Meanwhile, highest palay prices were recorded in areas like Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Rizal, and Palawan wherein the commodity were sold at P18/kg to P21/kg, the same PSA data showed. Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) National Manager Raul Montemayor said that in the next few weeks, as farmers approach the tail-end of the harvest season, palay prices will definitely go down further. This, as palay, when damaged by storms, could yield to poor quality rice, which, among other reasons like the continuous entry of imported rice, could result in traders deciding not to buy at all.  “Rainy weather is also to blame since traders have to discount for grain deterioration due to lack of drying facilities,” he said. A data from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed that as of October 29, Typhoon Quinta already destroyed 79,239 metric tons (MT) of palay worth P1.13 billion within 62,880 hectares of farms. Then there’s the threat of Typhoon Rolly, which is expected to make landfall in Quezon and Aurora provinces on Saturday (October 31) and become a super typhoon. Montemayor also thinks that the continuous decline in palay prices is already “not surprising” since government intervention is doing very little for farmers. According to him, the National Food Authority’s (NFA) palay procurement has had minimal impact despite pronouncements of DA, while the planned suspension of  sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPS-ICs) on rice “came in too late, as in last year, to influence farmgate prices.” “Too little too late [actions] again by the DA,” Montemayor said. “At this time, [DA can do] very little. Damage was already done and most farmers have already harvested. Some typhoon-affected farmers (like those in Occidental Mindoro and Isabela) are asking NFA to buy storm-damaged palay but I doubt if they will do that since the agency itself doesn’t have dryers,” he added. Montemayor was particularly referring to Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s previous order for NFA to intensify its palay procurement in order to address decline in palay prices.  To recall, NFA, whose sole mandate now is to secure the government’s buffer stock, buys palay at P19/kg and is given P7 billion every year to do this. Also, more than a week ago, Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the senate agriculture committee, asked the DA to stop issuing SPS-ICs to rice importers during harvest time, which would probably take effect after the next planting season. Business Bulletin sought the reaction of DA Spokesperson Noel Reyes regarding the decline in palay prices, but he is yet to respond......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Belga stars in OT as Rain or Shine continues good run inside bubble

Beau Belga delivered when it mattered most in the overtime period. (PBA Images) Beau Belga had the last laugh with a stirring performance Tuesday night as Rain or Shine grinded out an 85-82 overtime win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center. Belga scored five of his 20 points in the five-minute extension, a follow-up after missing a layup and a three-pointer that gave the Elasto Painters an 83-78 lead, and added 10 rebounds and four assists as the Elasto Painters pulled out a win while handing the Kings a second straight loss following a 4-0 start. But Rain or Shine needed one lucky break to secure its fourth win in five games inside the bubble known as Smart Clark Giga City after Ginebra cut the deficit to 83-80. Jewel Ponferada retrieved the ball after Rey Nambatac slipped before hitting a running one-hander for his only points with five seconds to go to make it an 85-80 lead for the Elasto Painters. Rain or Shine bounced back after falling short against Alaska, 89-88, last week while needing an extra day of rest when Sunday’s game with Blackwater was cancelled due after one of the Elite’s players initially tested positive for COVID-19. No one motivated coming into the game more than Belga, who was out to prove something after seeing a social media comment earlier in the day. “May isang hater na binatikos ako sa social media na puro pananakit lang daw ginagawa ko sa PBA and I just to prove him wrong,” Belga said during a postgame interview on One Sports. Coach Caloy Garcia was also glad that Belga was not the only player to step up for the Elasto Painters. Mark Borboran scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds while James Yap earned a starting role and produced a season-high 13 points. Nambatac only had eight points, but produced one of the game’s biggest shot with a three-pointer that tied the knot at 76-all with 2.1 seconds to go in regulation. Kris Rosales also scored all of his eight points in the first quarter that saw Rain or Shine take a 24-15 lead and forced Ginebra to play catch up throughout. Ginebra had to slowly inch its way back from being down 39-24 in the second behind Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson. Pringle’s jumper put the Kings ahead, 74-73, with over two minutes remaining in the fourth before Borboran missed two free throws and Gabe Norwood muffing a medium-range jumper. LA Tenorio got fouled and made a pair of charities for a three-point Ginebra lead before Nambatac continued his knack to have the ball in the clutch with the game-tying triple on the next play. Thompson finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks and Pringle had 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists but Ginebra couldn’t recover from Sunday’s loss to sibling rival Magnolia. The scores: RAIN OR SHINE 85 — Belga 20, Borboran 13, Yap 12, Nambatac 8, Rosales 8, Onwubere 3, Norwood 3, Ponferada 2, Wong 0, Torres 0. GINEBRA 82 — Thompson 21, Pringle 20, Aguilar J. 13, Tenorio 10, Devance 6, Caperal 5, Mariano 3, Chan 2, Dillinger 2, Tolentino 0. Quarters: 24-15, 45-36, 61-57, 76-76 (Reg), 85-82 (OT)......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 27th, 2020

‘Muscle Man’ powers Alaska over Rain or Shine

PBA Images Streaking Alaska handed Rain or Shine its first loss Thursday night after escaping with an 89-88 win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga. Vic Manuel flashed his pre-pandemic form when it mattered, hitting 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Aces rallied from being down 75-68 midway in the period before enduring excruciating moments in the end to pick up their third straight victory after a 0-2 start. Jeron Teng had 13 points and eight assists while Abu Tratter and rookie Barkley Ebona added 10 points apiece for Alaska, which has been playing sound basketball following losses to TNT and Meralco. “When things didn’t go our way, we went back to just doing things we know we could do well that is defending and improving that aspect. We felt that would make it easy on the offensive end,” said Aces coach Jeffrey Cariaso. Alaska has limited its opponents to 83.7 points during the three wins, including against Rain or Shine. Manuel’s jumper and a running one-hander gave the Aces leads of 85-80 and 87-83 under the last two minutes, but his clutch shots nearly went for naught when the Elasto Painters gave them a scare. Beau Belga cut the gap to a point 89-88 with 7.3 seconds left, then forced Alaska guard Jvee Casio to lose the ball out of bounds off Teng’s inbound, giving Rain or Shine a chance to steal the game. Rey Nambatac, who came through in the clutch against San Miguel Beer and NorthPort, tried to do it again when he used a Belga pick to go for a driving layup. But Nambatac missed a finger roll against two defenders before time expired. The loss denied Rain or Shine a 4-0 start and a share of second place with idle Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. It also spoiled a career game from Sidney Onwubere, who topscored for the Elasto Painters with 16 points. The former Emilio Aguinaldo College standout was averaging 1.4 points in 20 games last season. Javee Mocon and Adrian Wong, the first Rookie of the Week winner of the PBA Press Corps, added 14 and 12 points for Rain or Shine. The scores: ALASKA 89 — Manuel 18, Teng 13, Tratter 10, Ebona 10, Herndon 9, DiGregorio 7, Brondial 7, Casio 5, Ahanmisi 5, Galliguez 3, Ayaay 2, Marcelino 0. RAIN OR SHINE 88 — Onwubere 16, Mocon 14, Wong 12, Torres 10, Belga 10, Nambatac 7, Norwood 5, Yap 5, Doliguez 3, Rosales 2, Ponferada 2, Rivero 2, Tolentino 0. Quarters: 22-18, 38-41, 61-63, 89-88......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

PBA picks Clark as host for possible resumption next month

        By JONAS TERRADO   Clark, Pampanga was chosen as host of the possible resumption of the PBA season next month under a bubble concept. The PBA Board of Governors made the decision after Thursday’s meeting where other arrangements were finalized for the planned bubble start on Oct. 9, provided the league […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsSep 17th, 2020

PBA: Kiefer already high on coach Yeng s player list

Coach Yeng Guiao hasn't even gotten to coach Kiefer Ravena for a full PBA season, and yet, the Phenom is already high on the champion mentor's list. Guiao is pretty sold on Kiefer, saying that his NLEX Road Warriors were lucky to draft Ravena no. 2 in the 2017 PBA Draft. Coach Yeng says that NLEX is also lucky now that Kiefer is back after the guard had to go through his 18-month FIBA suspension. "We were very lucky to have Kiefer, even if the price was not having him for a year and half," Guiao said on Coaches Unfiltered. "We've waited a long time for him and he also wants to show what he can do," he added. For Guiao, Kiefer possesses rare leadership qualities for a player. True enough, as a rookie, Ravena drove the Road Warriors all the way to the 2018 Philippine Cup semifinals. In his first full conference back from suspension, his second overall in the PBA, he had NLEX as the no. 1 seed in the 2019 Governors' Cup. "Kiefer is a natural leader," Guiao said. "Just his leadership qualities, his ability to think through a game, the way he's able to gain the respect of his teammates, those are qualities that are very rare when you combine them in one person," coach Yeng added. Of course, Kiefer is no slouch on the basketball court. He's one of the most gifted young stars in the PBA today and while his sample size of success in the pros is relatively small so far, there's no mistaking about his abilities. Ravena shining on a loaded NLEX backcourt says a lot about his abilities as well. "The good thing about Kiefer is he does not need to dominate the ball, not like when he was in college. I think one strong reason why we have a better team now is because he does not have to carry the load by himself, especially at the guard position," coach Yeng said. "I would rank him very high," Guiao added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2020

Always About the People

“Solid!” That was the only reaction, or lack thereof, that I could muster after that first breakaway slam of Kiefer Ravena’s UAAP collegiate basketball career over the outstretched arms of UST’s foreign center, Karim Abdul. Moments before, you could see Kiefer was going to go hard, as it was a one-on-one breakaway and he had the speed advantage over Abdul, who was hot on his heels. Little did I know that he was going to go for that highlight that would announce his entry into college basketball. That reaction, that loss for words, can pretty much sum up my past 10 years of covering college basketball for ABS-CBN Sports.  They first asked me to write about my most memorable UAAP game coverage; but I must confess, I was never really good at remembering exact details of games, unlike some of my fellow sportscasters, or even coaches I know, who remember almost detail for detail, or play by play. My memories come in highlights, or sometimes even just flashes of good or memorable plays.  I remember a 6’8”, 18-year old Ben Mbala, whom we first saw a glimpse of while Anton Roxas and I were covering the CESAFI league in the hot and humid Cebu Coliseum, sometime around 2012. He was playing for the Southwestern University Cobras, wasn’t as built and polished as when he was with DLSU, but you could already see the raw talent and athleticism. Fast forward a few years, I remember well how he took the UAAP by storm, with his monster dunks, and how he piloted La Salle to a championship while winning league MVP in Season 79.  I remember the heralded rookie season of Kiefer Ravena in the men’s division, after a storied juniors career. Kiefer won Rookie of the Year honors and helped lead Ateneo to two more titles to round up their 5-peat, before it was Jeron Teng’s turn to lead the Green Archers to a championship over his elder brother Jeric and the UST Growling Tigers.  I remember Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and his back-to-back MVP seasons. He was arguably the most complete college player during that time. It was painful to see his team fall short especially during his second MVP year. The Bulldogs made history the year after though, with Alfred Aroga, Troy Rosario, and Gelo Alolino now at the helm, winning the school’s first ever championship after more than forty years. I would argue that the past decade saw some of the brightest UAAP college basketball stars, both local and foreign, take to the hard court. It would almost be unfair to start naming them because I’ll surely end up leaving some names worthy enough to be mentioned. But we all remember Greg Slaughter, Ryan Buenafe, RR Garcia, Terence Romeo, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy, Roi Sumang, Charles Mamie, Alex Nuyles, Jericho Cruz, Papi Sarr, Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, Aljun Melecio, Kiefer and Thirdy, Bobby Ray, Alfred Aroga, Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abul, Jeric Teng, Ange Kuoame, Matt and Mike Nieto, Paul Desiderio, Juan GDL, and the list goes on and on… all of them making their mark in the UAAP the past ten years. Aside from the highlights, there were the more mundane, behind-the-scenes memories, especially covering out-of-town games when we used to do the CESAFI and the PCCL. That was basketball coverage at its purest. There was a time we traveled to Lanao Del Sur to cover the Mindanao regional selection of the PCCL. Lanao was about another two to three hour drive from Cagayan de Oro along a dark highway with trees and mountains all around; and where there was only one mall in the entire town. Or when we traveled by van to La Union to cover the north regional selection of the PCCL… or even staying a whole week at the Cebu Grand Hotel, for the VisMin regional selection. Coverages then were bare bones: no real-time stats or live graphics, and I would even sometimes have to tally the points and rebounds of each player in-game on my notebook just so that I’d have some semblance of stats to mention on the coverage. Still, those games were so much fun because the players, getting their first shot at national TV coverage, would leave everything out on the floor.  In a year or so, both the UAAP and the NCAA will announce their respective new homes, and new broadcast teams will have the privilege of covering the best collegiate basketball players in the country. That’s how the ball bounces. I’m a firm believer that in life there are seasons, and a perfect time for everything. I’m just thankful for the opportunities thrown my way. If you were to ask me why the coverage of the UAAP helped build the league into what it is today, my answer would be simple: it was always about the people. At the end of the day, what makes the UAAP and its coverage great are the stories of the people that play, coach, officiate, cover, and run the games. It’s not really about the championships or the awards, but rather the challenges, hardships, and journeys of each of the individuals that brought them there.  And it is also about the directors, producers, cameramen, reporters and make-up artists that make sure that the audience sees what is supposed to be seen – the winning basket, a fan’s priceless reaction, the agony in defeat, and the glory of victory. It’s what Boom Gonzalez or Mico Halili would always say, that our job as anchors and analysts is to tell the people watching at home the story of what is happening in the game in the best way possible.  I just want to tip my hat to all the people that allowed us to do our jobs the best way possible. From our directors, producers, cameramen, floor directors, fellow panelists, courtside reporters, league officials, statisticians, make-up artists, and all those people behind the scenes whom we worked with, know that we were able to give our best because of you; and the UAAP coverage will not be what it is if not for all of your hard work and dedication.  It was, is, and will always be about the people. Marco Benitez was the team captain for the Ateneo Blue Eagles when they won the UAAP Season 65 men's seniors basketball title in 2002. Marco eventually covered collegiate basketball as analyst for ABS-CBN Sports starting in 2010. He is presently the President of the Philippine Women's University (PWU)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2020

Morikawa quickly goes from college grad to major champion

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Collin Morikawa couldn't help but break into a smile, and not just because the shiny Wanamaker Trophy he won at Harding Park was positioned on a stand next to him. Just over 14 months ago, Morikawa went through commencement after his All-American career — on the golf course and in the classroom — across the Bay Bridge and up the road at Cal-Berkeley. Since then, he has played 28 tournaments around the world and already has three victories on the PGA Tour, one of them a major championship. In the last 50 years, only four other players won their first major before age 23 or younger — Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Seve Ballesteros. He already is No. 5 in the world. That alone puts him among the elite, except that Morikawa didn't need to win the PGA Championship to feel that way. “When I woke up today, I was like, ‘This is meant to be.’ This is where I feel very comfortable,” Morikawa said. “This is where I want to be, and I'm not scared from it. I think if I was scared from it, the last few holes would have been a little different. But you want to be in this position.” Harding Park was not a place for the meek. Rare is Sunday at a major with so many possibilities at the beginning, at the turn and down the stretch. The drama was relentless. Nine players at one point could claim a share of the lead. There was Dustin Johnson, who started with a one-shot lead. The power of Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Champ was on full display. Jason Day brought the experience of winning majors and being No. 1 in the world. Morikawa embraced the moment and delivered the signature shot that allowed him to win a thriller. Actually, there were two moments. After catching a good break — even the most tested major champions need those — with a tee shot off a tree and into play on the 14th, he was short of the green and chipped in for birdie to take the lead. Two holes later, Paul Casey tied him with a nifty up-and-down for birdie on the 16th, where the tees were moved forward to 294 yards to entice players to go for the green. Morikawa thought back to the 14th hole at Muirfield Village during the Workday Charity Open, where he fearlessly hit driver in a similar situation — big trouble left, water right — and drilled it to 12 feet. His shot was the signature moment of this major, a driver that bounced just right and onto the green and rolled up to 7 feet below the cup. He made the eagle putt and was on his way to a two-shot victory with a 6-under 64, matching the lowest final round by a PGA champion. There were no spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Casey must have felt like one. He was still on the 17th tee when he looked back and saw Morikawa's shot. “Nothing you can do but tip your cap to that,” Casey said. “Collin has taken on that challenge and pulled it off. That's what champions do.” He won at Muirfield Village last month not from that bold play on the 14th hole, but after Justin Thomas made a 50-foot birdie putt in the playoff. Morikawa answered with a 25-foot birdie of his own and won two holes later. He is comfortable in the most uncomfortable situations. It was Thomas who gave Morikawa more confidence than he needed. They got together for dinner at the Canadian Open last summer, Morikawa's first start since graduating from Cal. Thomas told him he was good enough, he would make it. Thomas knew from experience. He spent a year in the minor leagues before getting his PGA Tour card, went through a year of learning without winning and now has 13 wins, a major and twice has been No. 1 in the world. Morikawa didn't wait that long. He won the Barracuda Championship to earn a PGA Tour card. He won against a strong field for validation. Now he's a major champion. Young stars are emerging every year, and it was easy to overlook Morikawa. He was a runner-up two years in a row for the Hogan Award, given to the nation's best college player. Doug Ghim won in 2018, Matthew Wolff a year later. And it was Wolff who denied Morikawa a victory last year in Minnesota by making a long eagle putt on the last hole. Players know best. “There’s always a bunch of guys that rock up on the scene, and he didn’t necessarily get the most publicity out of the group he was in,” Casey said. “I know talent when I see it. I don't like the term ‘talent,’ but you know when somebody is good. And Collin was good. We could just tell. ... And we weren't wrong.” Morikawa grew up in Southern California with Wolff. He considers the Bay Area a second home from his time at Cal and the dozen times the Golden Bears played or had qualifiers at Harding Park, a public course that never was this tough. In just over a year — it feels less than that because of the three months golf was shut down because of the pandemic — he has emerged as a star without ever being surprised. He thought back to his debut 14 months ago and recalled being comfortable then. He tied for 14th. “There's a different sense of comfort now,” Morikawa said. Another big smile. A bright future......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020