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Game-changing imports who raised the bar in the PBA

Imports are considered not only crowd drawers that invite national attention to the PBA. They are also game changers who raised the bar of play in the pioneering Asian pro cage league, with their incredible skills, breathtaking court wizardry, huge scoring might, and of course fantastic flights of fancy. Through the years, we’ve anticipated only the best from them, and definitely there are a few of them who really made their mark with their names etched in the annals of the league. One of them is Ginebra import Justin Brownlee, who bagged the PBA Best Import Award recently. Not flashy or flamboyant, Brownlee just gets the job done, leading Ginebra to the 2016 and 2017 Governors Cup, and just recently the 2018 Commissioners Cup. Aside from Brownlee, who were the other imports in PBA history that made a huge impact in the league and in the consciousness of this basketball-crazy nation? Here are some of the greatest imports ever to play in the country. 1. Cyrus Mann Cyrus Mann is remembered as one of the first prolific imports that played in the PBA, donning the Crispa Redmanizers jersey during its Grand Slam year in 1976 up to 1979. He provided that imposing presence in the paint with his 6’10” frame and was a monster off the boards, including those killer moves in the paint scoring at will against opponents. 2. Byron “Snake” Jones Memorable for his versatility and workhorse attitude, Byron “Snake” Jones was a journeyman, playing for three different teams in the PBA and leading two of them to championships. He played for the Toyota Comets in the PBA’s maiden season and won the First and Second Conference crowns and then went on to play for the U-Tex Wranglers and help them in bagging their first-ever title in the PBA Open Conference in 1978. He would then end his PBA journey with the Crispa Redmanizers in 1981. 3. Andy Fields Considered the first “resident import” in the league, Andy Fields has been called back frequently to play for his lone PBA team Toyota in his entire stint in the PBA. A feared shotblocker, midrange shooter, and rebounder, Fields led Toyota to three PBA championships, including the 1979 Invitationals, 1981 and 1982 Open Conference titles. 4. Norman Black Norman Black is simply called the import that gives his all in each game, one who was frequently labeled as “Mr. 100%.” He started his PBA career with the Teflin Polyesters in 1981, then began his connection with the San Miguel franchise in 1982 as its main workhorse and scorer, who would guide the Beermen to its second franchise title in the Invitationals the same year. He would then serve as import for Great Taste the next year, played again for the SMC franchise in 1985 under Magnolia Quench Plus, then suited briefly for Alaska in 1986. After returning to San Miguel in 1987, Black would then become a playing coach and eventually a coach who engineered its first Grand Slam in 1989. 5. Billy Ray Bates Billy Ray Bates is considered by many as the “best ever” who would fascinate everyone with monster dunks from the charity stripe years before Michael Jordan. Not only would he run rings around defenders, Bates would soar up, up away to score, and score without letup, hence the title “The Black Superman.” His debut stint with Crispa in its second Grand Slam year in 1983 was astounding and remarkable, as his unstoppable incursions, aerial shows, and powerful slams made him unforgettable to this day. Three years later, he would bring his greatness to Ginebra San Miguel and bag the 1986 Open Conference crown, which was the then-Palanca franchise’s first title. 6. Michael Hackett Loyal and dedicated, Michael Hackett is the gentle giant opponents feared. He is considered one of the most dominant forces in PBA history, who would just power his way through defenders at the paint and score at will. Playing for Ginebra San Miguel, Hackett is best remembered for being the first PBA player to score over a hundred points, 103 points to be exact, in a match against Great Taste in the 1985 Open Conference, wherein he won Best Import honors. In the next year, Hackett and fellow import great Billy Ray Bates collaborated to lead Ginebra to the 1986 Open Conference title.   7. Bobby Parks For most coaches, the late Bobby Parks was seen as the greatest not only due to the fact that he is the most decorated with seven Best Import awards, but also being the most hard working and coachable import ever. A gallant scoring machine yet a silent operator, Parks showed a wide variety of moves in his lane incursions in his prime that would leave defenders helpless, ending in mind-boggling baskets. Apart from his individual skills, Parks really completes his mission, giving championships to San Miguel Beer in the 1987 Reinforced Conference, and then Shell as its resident import with two titles, the 1990 and 1992 First Conference plums.      8. Tony Harris He might not be that much of an obedient trooper, but Tony Harris and his brand of play was simply breathtaking. As Coach Yeng Guiao decided during his time as coach of the Swift Mighty Meaties that they must let him be and ordered his court lieutenants to just pass the ball to him and make him simply wield his magic. And he did leave everyone in awe with his speed, agility, and power to score over all defenders thrown at him, hence the monicker “The Hurricane.” Proof of his incredible abilities is scoring 105 points, the single game scoring record that holds to this day, against Ginebra in the 1992 Reinforced Conference, wherein he would single-handedly cop the title for Swift. 9. Sean Chambers You could be charmed by his beaming smile when you meet him off the court, but when you meet him on-court, prepare for the worst beating. Though he’s not the heavy scorer type of an import PBA fans are accustomed to, Alaska’s “resident import” shows his class and might as a team player. He worked for the Milkmen in 13 seasons, giving them titles 6 times, yet only won the Best Import plum once—in the Reinforced Conference of Alaska’s Grand Slam year in 1996. The memory of what these imports brought to the league continues to delight true PBA fans through the years. And we see their legacy in such players as Justin Brownlee, who continue to show the example, the standard for other foreign players setting foot in the country to follow.     .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 13th, 2018Related News

Jr. NBA Clinic on-going at San Fernando, Camarines Sur

Jr. NBA Clinic on-going at San Fernando, Camarines Sur Vox Bikol Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:10 San Fernando, Camarines Sur – (Feb 11, 2018) This town, just over 10 kilometers north of Naga City, is host to more than 300 boys and girls with age ranging from 7 to 16 years who were selected as participants of this year's edition of Alaska's Jr. NBA Clinic. The event is on-going, having started yesterday, Feb 10 to run for 2 days at the San Fernando Sports Complex. While the bulk of participants come from San Fernando, young basketball enthusiasts from and other parts of the Bicol region were among the attendees. Alaska launched Jr. NBA Clinic on 2007 and it has has been conducted in more than 100 cities and municipalities in the Philippines. According to Mr. Cyrus James Santelices, overall coordinator of the program, the Jr. NBA’s holistic approach is intended to strengthen the culture of youth basketball, teach life lessons, and empower youth to live a full and healthy life. “Its philosophy is to share the game of basketball with youth across Bicol by teaching skills, values, and wellness in a positive and fun environment,” he added. The aim is to develop complete and well-rounded basketball players and individuals. The municipality of San Fernando, with Mayor Fermin M. Mabulo at the helm, has been host to region-wide sports events and is now making its mark towards becoming a center for regional sports championships, including chess and volleyball......»»

Source: Voxbikol VoxbikolCategory: NewsAug 9th, 2018Related News

Tabi tows Batangas EAC to victory

Cyrus Tabi sank the game-winning layup as Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) pulled off an 87-85 upset against Go For Gold in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League Fo.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsJul 6th, 2018Related News

13 Reasons Why s edgy new kid

Bryce Cass Bryce Cass was cast last year to star in the second season of '13 Reasons Why' as new character Cyrus, 'an edgy, cynical mischief maker who serves as an unexpected champio.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsJun 19th, 2018Related News

‘13 Reasons Why’s’ ‘edgy’ new kid

  Bryce Cass was cast last year to star in the second season of "13 Reasons Why" as new character Cyrus, "an edgy, cynical mischief maker who serves as an unexpected champion of the downtrodden," according to entertainment site Variety. Now that the hit Netflix series is out, Cyrus is shown as a prominent addition, a punk rock-influenced student who leads his own group of rejects and unhesitatingly befriends misfit photographer Tyler (Devin Druid). Cass, 20, is a former child actor whose guest appearances in TV shows include "ER," "Barney & Friends" and, more recently, "The Night Shift." He also had roles in films like "The Guardian" and "Battle: Los Angeles." We...Keep on reading: ‘13 Reasons Why’s’ ‘edgy’ new kid.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Jun 18th, 2018Related News

Gym has four new blackbelts

THE A. Diasnes Taekwondo Gym wrapped up their summer class with four new blackbelters in the team. After more than two months of classes and training at Robinson’s Place-Jaro in Iloilo City from Apr. 1 to June 2, four jins passed the promotional test and earned their blackbelts. Denzel Palonpon, 15, Cyrus Palonpon, 14, Johnniel […] The post Gym has four new blackbelts appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Source: Thedailyguardian ThedailyguardianCategory: NewsJun 7th, 2018Related News

Film producer Weinstein indicted for rape

NEW YORK — Movie producer Harvey Weinstein was indicted on Wednesday on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said, the first case to emerge from a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against him. The post Film producer Weinstein indicted for rape appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: FinanceMay 31st, 2018Related News

Wrecking Ball : Miley Cyrus tags wrong Chris Hemsworth

Still, the Filipino “Chris Hemsworth” was grateful to be tagged......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsMay 25th, 2018Related News

Emiliano Cyrus | EC一平_Performance Highlight in Manila, Philippines_29Apr2018 – Manila Video

It was such an unforgettable experience to have performed in front of a huge pool of beautiful audience who were so excited! I performed my third single “Wonderful 神奇” and my upcoming 4th Single “The Closest Embrace 最近的拥抱” a new song that I am honored to showcase alongside with my celestial fairy mentor, Zeng Yan… link: Emiliano Cyrus | EC一平_Performance Highlight in Manila, Philippines_29Apr2018 – Manila Video.....»»

Source: Manilainformer ManilainformerCategory: May 12th, 2018Related News

Thompson leads Cone-coached Mindanao squad vs loaded Gilas

Leading vote-getter Scottie Thompson and the rest of the Mindanao All-Stars will have their hands full when it takes on Gilas Pilipinas in the first leg of the 2018 PBA All-Star Week in Digos, Davao del Sur on May 23. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, who was tasked to lead the selection, reunites with former players Mark Barroca, Peter June Simon, and Rafi Reavis. Also part of the Mindanao team are young guns Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Baser Amer, and JP Erram, as well as veterans Cyrus Baguio, Sonny Thoss, RR Garcia, and Carlo Lastimosa. The superstars from the South get the first crack on the Nationals, who arestarting their preparations for the third window of the 2019 Fiba World...Keep on reading: Thompson leads Cone-coached Mindanao squad vs loaded Gilas.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: May 4th, 2018Related News

Pop, country singers reimagine Elton John hits on two new albums

LOS ANGELES — More than two dozen Elton John songs have been reinterpreted by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, and Willie Nelson on two albums of past hits released on Friday. The pop-focused Revamp and country-inspired Restoration highlight the British singer’s long collaboration with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, which includes […] The post Pop, country singers reimagine Elton John hits on two new albums appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: NewsApr 9th, 2018Related News

2018 MLB preview: AL East

By The Associated Press Capsules of American League East teams, listed in order of finish last year: ___ Boston Red Sox 2017: 93-69, first place, lost to Houston in ALDS. Manager: Alex Cora (first season). He's Here: DH J.D. Martinez. He's Outta Here: Manager John Farrell, RHP Doug Fister, OF Chris Young, RHP Addison Reed, OF Rajai Davis, LHP Henry Owens, LHP Fernando Abad. Projected Lineup: RF Mookie Betts (.264, 24 HRs, 102 RBIs), LF Andrew Benintendi (.271, 20, 90), 1B Hanley Ramirez (.242, 23, 62) or Mitch Moreland (.246, 22, 79), DH J.D. Martinez (.303, 45, 104 with Tigers and Diamondbacks), 3B Rafael Devers (.284, 10, 30 in 58 games), SS Xander Bogaerts (.273, 10, 62), CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (.245, 17, 63), C Christian Vazquez (.290, 5, 32) or Sandy Leon (.225, 7, 39), 2B Eduardo Nunez (.313, 12, 58, 24 SBs with Giants and Red Sox) or Dustin Pedroia (.293, 7, 62, .369 OBP in 105 games, expected to be out until late May following knee surgery). Rotation: LH Chris Sale (17-8, 2.90 ERA, MLB-best 308 Ks, MLB-high 214 1/3 IP), LH David Price (6-3, 3.38, 11 starts, 5 relief appearances), RH Rick Porcello (11-17, 4.65), LH Drew Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32, expected to begin season on disabled list with strained left forearm), RH Hector Velazquez (3-1, 2.92) or RH Steven Wright (1-3, 8.25 in 5 starts) or LH Eduardo Rodriguez (6-7, 4.19). Key Relievers: RH Craig Kimbrel (5-0, 1.43, 35/39 saves), RH Carson Smith (0-0, 1.35, 1 save in 8 games), RH Matt Barnes (7-3, 3.88), RH Joe Kelly (4-1, 2.79), RH Tyler Thornburg (injured in 2017, expected to begin season on DL). Hot Spot: Starting Rotation. This group has the potential to be the strength of the team, with two Cy Young Award winners and four All-Stars to choose from. But other than Sale, it has been spotty. And in the four-game playoff loss to the eventual World Series champion Astros last year, the Red Sox didn't get a single quality start as the rotation totaled just 11 1/3 innings. The first four spots are spoken for, aside from the injury to Pomeranz. Among those competing with Velazquez for the fifth spot are Wright, Rodriguez and Brian Johnson. Wright, a knuckleballer and 2016 All-Star, had left knee surgery in May and missed the rest of the 2017 season. Rodriguez had major right knee surgery in October. It's possible neither will be ready for opening day, but both could be back by mid-April. Outlook: The Red Sox won 93 games last year for the second straight season and claimed the franchise's first back-to-back AL East titles. But Farrell was fired after they failed to advance in the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. The key — and really only — addition is Martinez, who gives them someone to replace longtime slugger David Ortiz after finishing last in the AL in homers without Big Papi in 2017. The theory behind Boston keeping up with the reloaded New York Yankees goes something like this: A full season of a healthy Price will bolster a rotation that already has a quality ace in Sale, plus 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner Porcello and All-Stars Pomeranz and Wright. The Red Sox also are staking their chances on the hope that Ramirez can be more like the player he was in 2016 (.286, 30, 111); that Pedroia will return quickly and be healthy and productive; that 20-year-old third baseman Devers will be able to stay up for a full season; and that Bradley won't have another second-half slump. The bullpen, anchored by Kimbrel, remains strong. ___ New York Yankees 2017: 91-71, second place, wild card, lost to Houston in ALCS. Manager: Aaron Boone (first season). He's Here: OF Giancarlo Stanton, 2B Neil Walker, 3B Brandon Drury. He's Outta Here: Manager Joe Girardi, 2B Starlin Castro, 3B-1B Chase Headley, 3B Todd Frazier, DH Matt Holliday, LHP Jaime Garcia. Projected Lineup: LF Brett Gardner (.264, 21 HRs, 63 RBIs, 96 runs, 23 SBs), RF Aaron Judge (.284, AL-leading 52, 114, MLB-high 208 Ks), 1B Greg Bird (.190, 9, 28 in 48 games), DH Giancarlo Stanton (.281, MLB-leading 59, MLB-best 132, 163 Ks with Marlins), C Gary Sanchez (.278, 33, 90, 120 Ks in 122 games), SS Didi Gregorius (.287, 25, 87), CF Aaron Hicks (.266, 15, 52 in 88 games), 2B Neil Walker (.265, 14, 49 with Mets and Brewers), 3B Brandon Drury (.267, 13, 63 with Diamondbacks). Rotation: RH Luis Severino (14-8, 2.98 ERA, 230 Ks in 193 1/3 IP), RH Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74, 194 Ks), LH CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69), RH Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 with Athletics and Yankees), LH Jordan Montgomery (9-7, 3.88 in 29 starts). Key Relievers: LH Aroldis Chapman (4-3, 3.22, 22/26 saves, 69 Ks, 50 1/3 IP in 52 games), RH David Robertson (9-2, 1.48, 14/16 saves in 61 games with White Sox and Yankees), RH Dellin Betances (3-6, 2.87, 10/13 saves, 100 Ks, 50 2/3 IP in 66 games), RH Tommy Kahnle (2-4, 2.59, 96 Ks in 62 2/3 IP with White Sox and Yankees), RH Chad Green (5-0, 1.83, 103 Ks in 69 IP), RH Adam Warren (3-2, 2.35 in 44 games), LH Chasen Shreve (4-1, 3.77 in 44 games). Hot Spot: Starting Rotation. There is little seasoned depth if injuries develop, with Luis Cessa the first candidate to step up, and Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield needing more time in the minors. Sabathia turns 38 in July and while he is coming off his best and most durable season in five years, his surgically repaired right knee requires periodic injections of painkiller. Severino must maintain his consistency of 2017 after going 3-8 the previous year, when he was demoted to the minors. Montgomery is expected to increase his innings from 155 1/3. The back end of New York's rotation puts pressure on its bullpen: While Severino averaged 99 pitches per start, Gray 98 and Tanaka 94, Sabathia and Montgomery were at 87 each. Outlook: New York figures to score a lot and strike out a lot, a reason the Yankees signed the switch-hitting, high-contact Walker during spring training. Drury also was a late addition, enabling New York to start prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar in the minors. Betances faded in the second half last season, struggling with his mechanics and control and diminishing from a four-time All-Star to a mop-up man. After a pair of injury-decimated seasons, Bird is being counted on as a left-handed power bat in the middle of the batting order who can prevent opponents from bringing in right-handed relievers to attack Judge, Stanton and Sanchez. Hicks missed nearly half of last season with oblique injuries but has displaced Jacoby Ellsbury as the regular center fielder. Having never managed or coached at any level, Boone succeeded Girardi and must establish with players and the public that he knows what he is doing. ___ Tampa Bay Rays 2017: 80-82, third place. Manager: Kevin Cash (fourth season). He's Here: OF Denard Span, 1B C.J. Cron, RHP Nathan Eovaldi, OF Jake Bauers. He's Outta Here: 3B Evan Longoria, RHP Alex Cobb, RHP Jake Odorizzi, OF-DH Corey Dickerson, OF Steven Souza Jr., 1B Logan Morrison, 1B-DH Lucas Duda, RHP Brad Boxberger, RHP Steve Cishek, RHP Tommy Hunter, OF Peter Bourjos, INF Trever Plouffe, RHP Chase Whitley. Projected Lineup: LF Denard Span (.272, 12 HRs, 43 RBIs, 31 2Bs, 12 SBs in 129 games with Giants), CF Kevin Kiermaier (.276, 15, 39 in 98 games), C Wilson Ramos (.260, 11, 35 in 64 games), RF Carlos Gomez (.255, 17, 51 with Rangers), 1B C.J. Cron (.248, 16, 56 with Angels), DH Brad Miller (.201, 9, 40), 3B Matt Duffy (sidelined by Achilles tendon injury), 2B Daniel Robertson (.206, 5, 19) or Joey Wendle (.285, 8, 54 in 118 games with Triple-A Nashville), SS Adeiny Hechavarria (.261, 8, 30 with Marlins and Rays). Rotation: RH Chris Archer (10-12, 4.07 ERA, 249 Ks in 34 starts), LH Blake Snell (5-7, 4.04 in 24 starts), RH Nathan Eovaldi (missed season following Tommy John surgery), RH Jake Faria (5-4, 3.43 in 16 games, 14 starts). Key Relievers: RH Alex Colome (2-3, 3.24, 47/53 saves), RH Matt Andriese (5-5, 4.50), RH Sergio Romo (3-1, 3.56 in 55 appearances with Dodgers and Rays; 2-0, 1.47 in 25 games with Rays), LH Dan Jennings (3-1, 3.45 in 77 games with White Sox and Rays), RH Andrew Kittredge (0-1, 1.76 in 15 games), RH Chaz Roe (0-0, 9.00 in 3 games with Braves), RH Austin Pruitt (7-5, 5.31), LH Joe Alvarado (0-3, 3.64). Hot Spot: Starting Rotation. Normally, the Rays are built around good, young starting pitching and solid defense, a formula that will be tested after losing Cobb to free agency, trading Odorizzi and settling on a plan to use a four-man rotation, instead of the customary five. Cash intends to use multiple relievers on floating "bullpen days" slotted to allow the four starters to pitch on regular rest. It may not be a conventional setup, but the Rays are confident they have enough good arms to make it work. Outlook: The Rays sport a new look after a winter of trimming payroll. In addition to the departures of Cobb and Odorizzi, the heart of a batting order that hit a club-record 228 homers — Longoria, Dickerson, Souza and Morrison — is gone, too. Archer, a two-time All-Star, is set to make his franchise-record fourth opening day start, and Colome is back at closer, too. The question that remains unanswered is, for how long? Cash and general manager Erik Neander aren't making any bold predictions but they insist that despite all the changes, the Rays have a chance to be a lot more competitive than it appears on paper. ___ Toronto Blue Jays 2017: 76-86, fourth place. Manager: John Gibbons (sixth season of second stint, 11th overall with Blue Jays). He's Here: LHP Jaime Garcia, OF Randal Grichuk, OF Curtis Granderson, RHP Seung-hwan Oh, INF Yangervis Solarte, INF Aledmys Diaz, RHP John Axford, RHP Tyler Clippard, INF Danny Espinosa, RHP Taylor Guerrieri, INF Gift Ngoepe, LHP Sam Moll, RHP Sam Gaviglio. He's Outta Here: OF Jose Bautista, OF Ezequiel Carrera, RHP Dominic Leone, LHP Brett Anderson, INF Darwin Barney, RHP Leonel Campos, OF Darrell Ceciliani, RHP Taylor Cole, INF Ryan Goins, C Raffy Lopez, RHP Tom Koehler, RHP Dominic Leone, C Miguel Montero, INF Rob Refsnyder, OF Michael Saunders, RHP Bo Schultz, RHP Cesar Valdez. Projected Lineup: 2B Devon Travis (.259, 5 HRs, 24 RBIs in 50 games), 3B Josh Donaldson (.270, 33, 78), 1B Justin Smoak (.270, 38, 90), DH Kendrys Morales (.250, 28, 85), LF Steve Pearce (.252, 13, 37) or Curtis Granderson (.212, 26, 64 with Mets and Dodgers), C Russell Martin (.221, 13, 35), SS Troy Tulowitzki (.249, 7, 26 in 66 games), RF Randal Grichuk (.238, 22, 59 with Cardinals), CF Kevin Pillar (.256, 16, 42). Rotation: LH J.A. Happ (10-11, 3.53 ERA), RH Aaron Sanchez (1-3, 4.25 in 8 games), RH Marco Estrada (10-9, 4.98), RH Marcus Stroman (13-9, 3.09), LH Jaime Garcia (5-10, 4.41 with Braves, Twins and Yankees). Key Relievers: RH Roberto Osuna (3-4, 3.39, 39/49 saves), RH Ryan Tepera (7-1, 3.59, 2 saves), RH Danny Barnes (3-6, 3.55), RH Seung Hwan Oh (1-6, 4.10, 20 saves with Cardinals), LH Aaron Loup (2-3, 3.75), RH John Axford (0-1, 6.43 with Athletics), RH Tyler Clippard (2-8, 4.77, 5 saves with White Sox, Yankees and Astros). Hot Spot: Shortstop. Tulowitzki is owed $20 million in each of 2018 and 2019, and $14 million in 2020, the final season of a 10-year contract he received from Colorado. Tulo has missed at least 30 games in six straight seasons, and will begin 2018 on the disabled list because of a bone spur in his right heel. Although the Blue Jays have multiple backup options, they could be waiting at least a month, if not longer, for the five-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner to return. Tulowitzki sustained a season-ending injury to his right ankle in late July last year. Outlook: The powerful Yankees and reigning division champion Red Sox are considered playoff favorites in the AL East, so the expectation is the Blue Jays will be left to compete for the second wild card. If Donaldson and Smoak help the offense rebound from last season's injury-induced stumble, when Toronto scored an AL-low 693 runs, and the starting pitching stays strong and healthy, the Blue Jays might be able to mount a playoff push. Health concerns remain plentiful, however. Besides Tulowitzki's troublesome heel, Travis will need scheduled downtime to rest his surgically repaired right knee. Stroman was slowed by a sore shoulder in spring training, and Sanchez will be closely monitored after making just eight starts last year because of blister issues. ___ Baltimore Orioles 2017: 75-87, fifth place. Manager: Buck Showalter (ninth season). He's Here: RHP Alex Cobb, RHP Andrew Cashner, OF Colby Rasmus, LHP Nestor Cortes Jr., C Andrew Susac, INF Engelb Vielma, OF Austin Hays. He's Outta Here: C Welington Castillo, SS J.J. Hardy, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, LHP Wade Miley, RHP Jeremy Hellickson. Projected Lineup: LF Trey Mancini (.293, 24 HRs, 78 RBIs), 2B Jonathan Schoop (.293, 32, 105, 35 2Bs), SS Manny Machado (.259, 33, 95, 33 2Bs), CF Adam Jones (.285, 26, 73), 1B Chris Davis (.215, 26, 61, 61 BBs, 195 Ks), 3B Tim Beckham (.259, 12, 36 in 87 games with Rays; .306, 10, 26 in 50 games with Orioles), DH Mark Trumbo (.234, 23, 65, 149 Ks), RF Colby Rasmus (.281, 9, 23 with Rays), C Caleb Joseph (.256, 8, 28). Rotation: RH Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.24 ERA, 152 Ks), RH Kevin Gausman (11-12, 4.68, 179 Ks), RH Alex Cobb (12-10, 3.66 with Rays), RH Andrew Cashner (11-11, 3.40 with Rangers), RH Chris Tillman (1-7, 7.84) or RH Miguel Castro (3-3, 3.53 in 39 games, 1 start). Key Relievers: RH Brad Brach (4-5, 3.18, 18/24 saves), RH Darren O'Day (2-3, 3.43, 2 saves), LH Richard Bleier (2-1, 1.99), RH Mychal Givens (8-1, 2.75). Hot Spot: Starting Rotation. The late addition of Cobb fills out a previously shaky unit, but depth and experience are still an issue. Bundy and Gausman were decent last season, but the young right-handers must take another step forward. Jimenez and Hellickson have been replaced by Cashner, on his third team in four years, and Castro, a converted reliever with one career start. Tillman, re-signed as a free agent, has to prove that his miserable 2017 season was merely a fluke rather than the beginning of the end of a career that two years ago appeared to be blooming. Should any of the starters get injured, the team has very few options on the staff and in the minors beyond right-hander Mike Wright, who's got a lifetime ERA of 5.86. Outlook: The Orioles were 25-16 and in first place last year before fading to their first losing season since 2011. The prospect for improvement will rest on a power-laden lineup that needs Davis and Trumbo to rebound from poor performances, but both sluggers fought through injuries this spring and Trumbo will be on the disabled list on opening day. With a shaky rotation and a bullpen that is without injured closer Zach Britton, the Orioles must score plenty of runs to make some noise in the AL East. Baltimore's defense, usually a strong point, was not particularly efficient in 2017. The team addressed the problem by switching Machado to shortstop and working hard on fundamentals this spring. Most important, this could be the last season in Baltimore for Jones and Machado, whose contracts expire after 2018. If the Orioles are sputtering in July, the most intriguing aspect of the team might be whether one or both stars get jettisoned before the July 31 trade deadline......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 29th, 2018Related News

Stars affected by violence join students gun-reform rallies

LOS ANGELES  — Paul McCartney, Common, Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer and other stars played supporting roles at nationwide gun-reform rallies dominated by teenage.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: MoviesMar 25th, 2018Related News

Stars affected by violence join students’ gun-reform rallies in US

LOS ANGELES --- Paul McCartney, Common, Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer and other stars played supporting roles at nationwide gun-reform rallies dominated by teenage survivors' emotional speeches. Still, the protests were deeply personal for some of the celebrities involved. Jennifer Hudson, who performed "The Times They Are A Changin'" to cap Saturday's March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC, alluded to the shooting deaths of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in 2008. "We've all lost somebody. ... We've all got a purpose. And we want what? We want change," she said, encouraging the vast crowd to join her in song. McCartney said his decision to take part in the New ...Keep on reading: Stars affected by violence join students’ gun-reform rallies in US.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Mar 25th, 2018Related News

Super Marcio s clutch performance wins him PBA PoW

Marcio Lassiter highlighted his explosive performance in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals by making the game-winning putback to give San Miguel a 2-0 series lead over Barangay Ginebra. Lassiter’s back-to-back hot-shooting performances earned him the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of March 6-11. The 30-year-old Lassiter kicked off the All-Filipino conference Final Four by knocking down five triples as San Miguel administered a 102-90 beating of a weary Ginebra side last Friday. The former Smart-Gilas shooter finished that game with 17 points, five rebounds and the same number of assists in 30 minutes as he more than made up for four-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo’s quiet offense in Game 1. Two days later, the PBA’s fourth overall pick in 2011 completed SMB’s comeback from a 15-point deficit by scoring a putback off Fajardo’s missed layup to seal the Beermen’s heart-stopping 104-102 overtime win. The Beermen are now up, 2-0 in the best-of-seven semifinal series against the crowd darlings. Lassiter was on target in Game 2 after firing 25 points, laced with four three-pointers, to go along with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in 46 minutes of action. “Super Marcio” averaged 21 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the Beermen’s semifinal victories to beat teammates Fajardo and Arwind Santos, along with NLEX’s Cyrus Baguio and Kiefer Ravena for the weekly citation. The Beermen will be gunning for a commanding 3-0 series bulge come Tuesday when they take on the Gin Kings anew at the Mall of Asia Arena......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 12th, 2018Related News

Scottie leads all PBA All-Stars in first return of votes

Rising star Scottie Thompson emerged as the leading choice of fans in the initial tally of voting for this year’s PBA All-Star week. The Barangay Ginebra third-year guard has so far amassed a total of 17,851 votes from the combined online and in-venue ballots to show the way for the Mindanao selection that will play Gilas Pilipinas on May 23 in Digos, Davao del Sur. Thompson also topped the voting on both online (17,573) and in-venue games (278). Four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo meanwhile, comes a close second behind Thompson with 17,498 as the top vote getter of the Visayas selection which sees action on May 27 in Iloilo also opposite the national team. The 6-foot-10 center of San Miguel Beer is also second to Thompson in online (17,250) and venue (248) voting. Also breaching the 17,000 mark are Magnolia Pambansang Manok’s Mark Barroca and two-time MVP James Yap of Rain or Shine. Barroca, who had the most number of fan votes in last year’s All-Star, tallied 17,377 for third place and second in Mindanao, while Yap totaled 17,006 for fourth place overall and second in Visayas. Meanwhile, Japeth Aguilar also of Barangay Ginebra was the no. 1 vote getter for the Luzon squad with 11,692 followed by Alaska’s Calvin Abueva at second with 10,083. The Luzon selection plays Gilas in Batangas City on May 25. Kiefer Ravena on the other hand, is the only rookie to make it in the Top 10 of all three All-Star teams by emerging no. 3 in the Visayas voting behind Fajardo and Yap. The NLEX freshman guard had 14,550 votes. Voting for this year’s All-Star began simultaneously on social media and the different playing venues last Feb. 16 and ended last March 9 for the initial cutoff. It resumes shortly during the eliminations of the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup. Also getting huge votes from the fans are Magnolia sophomore Jio Jalalon (14,368) and veteran teammate Peter June Simon (13,596), as well as Blackwater sophomore big man Mac Belo (12,192). The three completes the top five choices in the Mindanao team. Greg Slaughter (11,665) of Barangay Ginebra and Globalport’s Terrence Romeo (11,052) are the two other players from Visayas who already surpassed the 10,000 vote barrier. The rest of the Top 10 players in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao who made it to the initial cutoff are as follows. Luzon – Marc Pingris (8,553), LA Tenorio (7,051), Paul Lee (6,880), Jayson Castro (6,566), Mark Caguioa (5,550), Alex Cabagnot (5,129), Marcio Lassiter (5,093), and Arwind Santos (4,972). Visayas – Joe Devance (8,341), Roger Pogoy (7,467), Jeff Chan (7,386), Chris Ross (6,413), and Aldrech Ramos (4,352). Mindanao – Jaypee Erram (8,342), Baser Amer (7,526), Rafi Reavis (7,331), Cyrus Baguio (7,269), and Sonny Thoss (6,395).  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 11th, 2018Related News

‘Vintage’ Cyrus Baguio shows up in NLEX win

Cyrus Baguio wiggled his way out against two defenders and just took off about a foot away from the restricted area before switching the ball to his left hand past the shot-blocking Rafi Reavis, up gently off the glass, and into the net. Six teams and 15 years later, Baguio is still adding highlights to his mixtape. Baguio is far removed from his best years and has a lot of mileage on his 37-year-old body, but somehow, he showed that he still has something left in his gas tank. The dazzling and-1 drive was just part of Baguio's team-high 17 points that helped NLEX stun Magnolia in Game 1 of their best-of-seven semifinals series Saturday night. READ: NLEX outlasts Magnolia i...Keep on reading: ‘Vintage’ Cyrus Baguio shows up in NLEX win.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Mar 10th, 2018Related News

NLEX escapes Magnolia to bag Game 1

Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) survived Magnolia, 88-87, on Saturday in Game 1 of their best-of-seven semifinal series in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum. Down 83-84 in the remaining seconds, Kiefer Ravena, Alex Mallari and Cyrus Baguio joined forces to save the day for the Road Warriors. “This is [...] The post NLEX escapes Magnolia to bag Game 1 appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Source: Manilatimes ManilatimesCategory: Mar 10th, 2018Related News

Skyrus shows up as Baguio leads NLEX in semis win vs Magnolia

MANILA, Philippines – At 37 years old, Cyrus Baguio's role at NLEX is primarily to provide leadership and mentoring. But during the Road Warriors' maiden semifinal game, the man famously known as "Skyrus" showed up.  Baguio flashed his vintage form by scoring a team-high 17 points ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsMar 10th, 2018Related News

Baguio turns back time in leading NLEX to thrilling Game 1 win over Magnolia

MANILA, Philippines — Yeng Guiao expects Cyrus Baguio to just be a leader, a glue guy and the perfect mentor to his young wards......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsMar 10th, 2018Related News