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Raptors aching to buckle down to business

With the regular NBA season expected to resume in July, the Toronto Raptors have returned to practice with most of their players still away from the team and are still in the United States......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsMay 21st, 2020Related News

Home-grown Filipino in the NBA is 'just a matter of time' says Pacers Bill Bayno

Basketball is a world game now, but unfortunately, there’s no home-grown Filipino to make it to the NBA. At least not yet. Still, there are quite a few brilliant basketball minds that believe a full-grown Filipino playing in the NBA is just a matter of time. One of them is Bill Bayno, the former head coach that took the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals to the 2002 Commissioner’s Cup Finals and current Indiana Pacers assistant coach. Coach Bill has established a sort of link to Kai Sotto, the 7’2” teen phenom and the latest Filipino to attempt to make it in the NBA. Kai is currently playing for Atlanta’s The Skills Factory. “I actually have a connection to Kai Sotto because [Mark] Dickel called me about him last year and said, ‘Hey, he maybe coming to the States, keep an eye on him,’” Bayno said during a video conference with Blackwater’s Ariel Vanguardia for Hoops Coaches International. “And then he [Kai] comes to the States and ironically, one of the coaches that’s helping develop him was the high school teammate of Nick Nurse. And Nick Nurse and I are very close friends because we were assistants with the Raptors for two years,” Bayno added. Assessing Kai, Bayno acknowledged his potential but he also went in and what Sotto can do to make it to the big leagues. “The scouting report I get from Kai is that he’s still young, he needs to get tougher. He needs to be a little more aggressive, which is normal for any kid that age,” Bayno said. “But he has the skill set already, he has an NBA skill set in that he can shoot and pass for a 7-foot kid. Hopefully, he’s training on the other stuff and how physical the NBA game is," he added. There are some full-grown Filipino players that have at least tried to make it to the NBA, big-name prospects like Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks Jr., and Kobe Paras all recently made their respective attempts but didn’t make the cut. Kai could be the one. “Kai may be the first Filipino [in the NBA],” Bayno added. “I can remember saying that back in 2001, that eventually, there’s gonna be an NBA player coming from the Philippines. It’s just a matter of time,” he added. Out of all the active PBA players now, Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar probably got the closest to the NBA and Bayno worked with him too when he was coming out of Ateneo. Aguilar transferred to the US and played for Western Kentucky and eventually in the NBA D-League but he too never actually made it to the NBA. “If he were born and raised in the US, playing against the best players every summer in high school, it might have sped up his development,” Bayno said of Japeth. “I know he’s had a good career [in the PBA] but he was the first kid that I saw [with potential to make the NBA]. If there’s some more Japeths coming down the line… and Kai Sotto is similar to Japeth, he’s just bigger. They’re both big guys that play in the perimeter that can shoot. I don’t know Kai personally but I do somewhat of a connection. I’d love to help him out if he ever needed any advice, I’d love to talk to him. I’m not allowed to work with him because he’s a prospect and I’m an NBA coach, but let’s hope he’s the first one,” Coach Bill added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsApr 26th, 2020Related News

Even at home, the work continues for Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton

When the NBA was postponed in mid-March due to a player testing positive for COVID-19, there was immediately an air of uncertainty as to whether the world’s biggest basketball league would resume action later on in the year. Now, over a month later, that uncertainty remains there, even more so now. The playoffs should have started by now, which makes the NBA’s return even more of a question mark, especially in terms of how the league would decide to go about getting the season back on track. For now, there are definitely more questions than answers, but for most of the players and the coaches and the people involved in the league, work continues, even at home. That’s very much the case for Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton, who says he continues to find ways to continue to get things done, even under quarantine. When the season came to an abrupt halt, the Kings were 11th in the Western Conference, but were tied with the tenth and the ninth seeds at 3.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, meaning that they were very much in the running for the last spot in the post-season. With a jump straight into the playoffs being discussed as an option for the league’s return, it would mean that they would once again miss the post-season without having the chance to make one final run in the regular season. Right now however, Walton says that the focus is on the safety of everyone from this dreaded disease. “Normally, I would say that yes, it would feel like [a missed opportunity for a playoff chase]. But again, this is one of those rare circumstances in life where the safety of everyone involved is really what we’re thinking about,” Walton said in an interview with the NBA. “And if that means that were the case then hey, we continue to look forward. We continue to learn from what we did have this year and we take that information and we go full steam ahead into next season.” The Kings were set to take on the tenth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans in an important battle for playoff positioning the day that the league ultimately decided to postpone the games. If the league decides to jump right into the post-season, Walton says that they’d be fully behind the decision if it means finally having the season back. “This is one of those few times where truly the most important thing is that we get past this [pandemic] together. And by together, I mean everybody. Together, we get past this. If that’s what it takes for the NBA to come to a decision, we will be behind it. Normally I would say basketball is more important than most things I’ve gone through in life, but with this the only thing that really matters is that we get through it.” Walton adds that prior to the postponement, there was an excitement within the team because of how they were playing and the position that they were in. “We were excited. Like I said, we were playing high level basketball. As far as a team embracing what it needs to do. What I mean by that is individuals understanding their roles, individuals understand-ing what we need out of them and those individuals making sacrifices for the betterment of the team. I think that’s why we were winning games at a pretty solid rate towards the end.” “As a coach, that is what you’re looking for. As you said, Alex [Len], [Kent Bazemore] coming over to add some tough-ness and physicality that we needed and the defensive level that was being played. A big part of it was having De’Aaron [Fox] get going like that and getting to the free-throw line consistently. In the last few games, I know it’s a small sample size, he was shooting around 90 percent and if you get there eight times a game, that is going to help. Buddy [Hield] was just really dominating his role for us coming off the bench. [Bogdan Bogdanovic] in the starting lineup was making nice basketball plays. We had a lot of good positive things going for us as a team and we were excited. We were looking forward to every matchup that we had, and our guys were giving us everything they had,” he added. On a personal level, Walton says that it doesn’t know if the league will indeed return to finish off the 2019-2020 season. “Honestly, I have no idea. I think everyone wants to play but I think everyone understands top priority is the safety of the fans, the media and everyone that’s involved in this. As much as everyone wants to get back to playing, no one is pressing it and we know what is most important.” For now however, Walton says that he and the players are doing the most that they can during the extended time off. He does admit however, that these past month and a half has been tough. “It’s a challenge. In staying in communication with our guys and what we’ve all come to realize is what is most important and that is the health and safety of everybody; the fans, the players, the families and as much as we want to get out there and play basketball, coach basketball, and compete and be a symbol of strength for our community during this time, we know the most important part of this is the social distancing, staying healthy, and keeping people healthy. To answer your question, there isn’t a lot that the guys can do. We sent out exercise machines, there are workouts online, there [are] option-al Zoom yoga classes. A lot of guys at this point are at home and whether that’s a basketball hoop at home or a treadmill, they are doing what they can under the circumstances.” Walton adds that he has also done some additional coaching at home by homeschooling his children, before doing his work as a coach for the Kings. “We practice social distancing and take it very seriously. My family and I are still up here in the Sacramento area and we have young kids, so the mornings are dedicated to homeschooling and going on walks around the neighborhood.” “When we get done with that, that is when I start checking in with some [players] and some of the coaches and dedicate some time to move our work forward. In the evenings, we’ll either watch some shows or I’ll turn on some of our game film from earlier this year to look at different things and keep trying to grow and learn and understand our team a little more. Then, it’s pretty much like Groundhog Day. We wake up and do the same thing the next day. We are staying busy. We know the top priority, again, is the safety for everyone. I’m trying to use this time to continue to grow and continue to understand our guys more,” he continued. Walton adds that he hopes the players also use this time to get into other things as well and not just spend their free time playing video games. “A big part of what I believe in as a coach, is player development. Especially in today’s NBA, part of that is developing off the court as well. This is a great time for some of those things, whether it is like you said, reading books, listening to podcasts. Meditation is something we encourage our players to do and get into. That’s something that we’re constantly trying to get our players to accept and do. One, because we feel like as coaches, it’s the right thing to do to help people grow. And two, we feel as if you’re helping people grow off the court as people, the quicker they’re going to mature on the court as players. Yeah, this is a time that all those things are available to do. We can’t and we won’t force anyone to do them, but it’s highly encouraged that our players are taking the time to continue to chal-lenge themselves and grow in different areas.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsApr 24th, 2020Related News

Raptors test negative for coronavirus

LOS ANGELES: The majority of the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors tested negative for the new coronavirus, but there is still one result pending from the medical examinations that were done in Canada, the club announced on Friday (Saturday in Manila). The team said they were still waiting on the test results of one person. […].....»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsMar 14th, 2020Related News

Antetokounmpo, Williamson pledge assistance for idled arena workers

LOS ANGELES: NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson pledged on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to provide financial assistance to workers at stadiums who will suffer wage loses during the coronavirus pandemic. Antetokounmpo announced he would give $100,000 for workers at the Milwaukee Bucks’ FiServ Forum and Williamson has promised to […].....»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsMar 14th, 2020Related News

Raptors test negative for coronavirus, one result pending

    LOS ANGELES, USA – The majority of the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors tested negative for the new coronavirus, but there is still one result pending from the medical examinations that were done in Canada, the club announced on Friday, March 13. The team said they were still waiting on the ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsMar 14th, 2020Related News

No fans, no work: Arena workers caught in sports shutdown

By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer MIAMI (AP) — David Edelman can usually be found at a Denver Nuggets basketball game or a Colorado Rapids soccer game. As an usher, he interacts with fans in a role he calls a staple of his life. But there are no Nuggets games for at least a month. No Rapids games, either. And Edelman has no idea what he’ll do now. “This is what I do for a living,” Edelman said earlier this week, as the realization hit that sports were going on hiatus because of the coronavirus. “This is my income.” Thousands of workers would have staffed the 450 NBA and NHL games that will not be played over the next month in response to the pandemic. And then there are the more than 300 spring training and regular-season baseball games, 130 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s tournament games, 50 or so Major League Soccer matches, all international golf and tennis tournaments, and who-knows-how-many high school, small college and other entertainment events canceled or postponed because of the global health crisis. The total economic impact of the loss of sports and other events because of the pandemic — assuming only a month shutdown — is impossible to calculate but will reach the billions, easily. Tickets aren’t being sold, so teams and leagues and organizing bodies lose money. Fans aren’t going to events that aren’t happening, so taxi drivers and ride-share operators have no one to ferry to and from those places. Hotel rooms will be empty. Beers and hot dogs aren’t being sold, so concessionaires and vendors lose money. Wait staff and bartenders aren’t getting tips. Without those tips, their babysitters aren’t getting paid. The trickle-down effect sprawls in countless directions. Some teams are trying to help. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, within minutes of the NBA shutdown announcement, said he wanted to find a way to help workers who will lose money because games won’t be played. By Friday, he had his plan: “We will pay them as if the games happened,” he told The Associated Press in an email. Other teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, have made similar commitments to workers at not just NBA events but also the building’s minor-league hockey games. The Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks were among the earliest NBA franchises to reveal they’re working on how they’ll take care of arena staffs. So have the NHL’s Washington Capitals, among others, and the ownership group for Detroit's Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers on Friday said they were setting up a $1 million fund “to cover one month's wages for our part-time staff for games, concerts and events that they would have otherwise worked." “Our teams, our cities and the leagues in which we operate are a family, and we are committed to looking out for one another,” New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris said. There were many more significant gifts revealed later Friday. Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans said he would “cover the salaries” for workers at the team’s arena for the next 30 days. Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons pledged $100,000 for workers there, the San Jose Sharks said part-time arena workers would get paid for all games not played and Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky said he was giving $100,000 to workers in that club’s arena -- a donation matched by his teammates and followed by another pledge from the team’s ownership group. “This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis,” Williamson wrote on Instagram. At Chicago Blackhawks hockey games alone, about 1,500 workers are in or outside the building on event nights: guest services, concessions, parking, security, box office and so on. “The per game payroll is more than $250,000,” said Courtney Greve Hack, a spokeswoman for the United Center. If that’s the NHL norm — no official numbers are available — then workers around the league would stand to lose more than $60 million if hockey does not return this season. “I get it,” said Chris Lee, who owns a coffee and smoothies franchise in Arizona that draws 70% of its annual revenue sales at spring training and Arizona Coyotes hockey games. “But this is going to be really tough.” Lee was packing up cups that won’t be used when baseball announced Thursday that spring training was ending about two weeks early. He and his staff — one full-timer, 14 part-time employees — aren’t sure what comes next. The enormity of the numbers stacks up quickly. The group that owns the Raptors and other pro sports clubs in Toronto, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, says it's trying to help 4,000 workers in that city. Extrapolate that across other Canadian and U.S. pro sports cities, and those teams could be looking at 100,000 workers feeling some sort of pinch — not counting the impact at college and other levels. Cavaliers star Kevin Love pledged $100,000 to help the workers in Cleveland address what he described as their “sudden life shift.” On Friday, reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks made a $100,000 pledge on behalf of his family “It’s bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my teammates lives easier," Antetokounmpo wrote on Twitter. The NCAA men’s Division I tournament generates about $900 million annually through television and marketing rights alone. In Albany, New York, which was scheduled to host men’s tournament games for the first time in 17 years, organizers estimated the economic loss from the three-day event to be about $3 million. Bars and restaurants bought tons of additional stock and perishables to prep for crowds that won't arrive. It’ll probably take a few years before the NCAA can bring the tournament back to many of the cities slated to host games next week. “It’s incredibly disheartening. There’s no question about that,” said Mark Bardack, president of public relations and management firm Ed Lewi and Associates, which had worked for more than a year on the planning of the tournament in Albany. “To have it all disappear, though obviously no one’s fault.” Some arena workers, many not wanting to be identified because of workplace policies about speaking to reporters, said they are living paycheck-to-paycheck. They’re not alone, of course: A study last fall by the American Payroll Association said 74% of workers in the U.S. would “experience financial difficulty” if their usual payday was delayed by as little as one week. In Philadelphia, Rodney Thompson works on commission selling popcorn and beer at 76ers basketball games, Flyers hockey games and Phillies baseball games. They’re all on hold. "The more I sell, the more I make,” the 56-year-old said. “The less I sell, the less I make. It would hurt me, financially. I would have no income coming in. ... I make pretty good money. But if there's no fans, there's no work.” ___ AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno in Washington, AP Sports Writers Tom Withers in Cleveland, David Brandt in Scottsdale, Arizona, Josh Dubow in San Francisco, Stephen Hawkins in Dallas and Dan Gelston in Philadelphia, and Associated Press Writers Matthew Carlson and Tim Cronin in Chicago contributed to this report. ___ The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 14th, 2020Related News

NBA: Raptors say all of travel party tested negative

Associated Press The Toronto Raptors say all members of their travel party — players, coaches, staff — have tested negative for the coronavirus, with one result still pending. The Raptors were tested in Toronto on Wednesday night, two nights after they played the Utah Jazz. A pair of Jazz players, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, have tested positive for COVID-19. Gobert and Mitchell both played in that game against Toronto. The Raptors said they’ll continue to be vigilant even after the test results came back negative. The team says “those asked to self-isolate by Toronto Public Health will continue to do so. We will all practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, and — most importantly — carefully monitor our health.” Toronto officials also have sought ongoing guidance from Canadian health officials and infectious disease experts......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 14th, 2020Related News

NBA players pledge assistance for idled arena workers

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson pledged on Friday to provide financial assistance to workers at stadiums who will suffer wage loses during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Antetokounmpo announced he would give $100,000 for workers at the Milwaukee Bucks’ FiServ Forum and Williamson has promised to cover the […] The post NBA players pledge assistance for idled arena workers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsMar 14th, 2020Related News

Curry scores 23 in return, but Raptors clinch playoff spot

Curry scores 23 in return, but Raptors clinch playoff spot.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 6th, 2020Related News

Doncic sets Mavs& rsquo; triple-double record

Los Angeles--Luka Doncic had a record-setting 30-point triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks held off Zion Williamson’s New Orleans Pelicans 127-123 in overtime on Wednesday......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsMar 6th, 2020Related News

Luka Doncic sets Mavs triple-double record

    LOS ANGELES, USA – Luka Doncic had a record-setting 30-point triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks held off Zion Williamson's New Orleans Pelicans, 127-123, in overtime on Wednesday, March 4 (Thursday, March 5, Philippine time). The score was tied 3 times in the extra session before Doncic drained a clutch three-pointer with ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsMar 5th, 2020Related News

Steph Back : Warriors Curry to make return vs Raptors

Curry had only played four games in the season before breaking his left hand and needing surgery to recover......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsMar 5th, 2020Related News

Beasley, Russell lead Timberwolves past Pelicans, 139-134

Beasley, Russell lead Timberwolves past Pelicans, 139-134.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 4th, 2020Related News

James’ triple-double lifts Lakers past Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS — LeBron James keeps finding ways to assert his supremacy over the upstart New Orleans Pelicans and rookie sensation Zion Williamson — with or without the help of fellow Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis. James had 34 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds, and Los Angeles overcame both Davis’ absence and Williamson’s highest-scoring game […] The post James’ triple-double lifts Lakers past Pelicans appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: NewsMar 2nd, 2020Related News

LeBron outduels Zion, lifts Lakers past Pelicans with triple-double

MANILA, Philippines – LeBron James got the last laugh against Zion Williamson after powering the Los Angeles Lakers to a 122-114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, March 1 (Monday, March 2, Manila time). James churned out 34 points, 13 assists, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals as the ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsMar 2nd, 2020Related News

Zion Williamson posts 10th-straight 20-point game for Pelicans

Williamson, who has played only 14 games this season since returning from a knee injury, became the youngest player in NBA history to ever accomplish the feat......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsFeb 29th, 2020Related News

Hornets sting defending champ Raptors in wild finish

    LOS ANGELES, USA – Terry Rozier made a clutch free throw for the go-ahead basket with two seconds left as the Charlotte Hornets stunned the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors, 99-96, on the road on Friday, February 28 (Saturday, February 29, Philippine time). Rozier finished with 18 points ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 29th, 2020Related News

LeBron s 40 bests Zion, sends Lakers past Pelicans 118-109

LeBron s 40 bests Zion, sends Lakers past Pelicans 118-109.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 26th, 2020Related News

Holiday, Williamson keep Pelicans rolling in 115-101 win

Holiday, Williamson keep Pelicans rolling in 115-101 win.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 24th, 2020Related News