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James Harden withdraws from 2019 FIBA World Cup

NBA.com staff report All-Star James Harden wants to focus on the Rockets late this summer and fall, specifically on adapting to playing with new teammates such as Russell Westbrook. According to a report by Jonathan Feigen in The Houston Chronicle on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), Harden has informed Team USA coach Gregg Popovich that he is withdrawing from the team that will represent the U.S. in the FIBA World Cup in China. Speaking at an event on Friday to donate shoes and other sporting goods to children from the Greater Houston Police Activities League, Harden said he wanted to spend the remainder of the offseason to focus on preparing for the retooled Rockets. Rockets teammates P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon are both scheduled to participate in practices in Las Vegas Aug. 5 to 9. Harden has previously played for the 2012 USA Basketball Olympic team and 2014 World Cup team. Harden joins Anthony Davis as the second top player to withdraw from Team USA in the past week. Team USA still has All-Star guards Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker and Bradley Beal among those who remain committed. The FIBA World Cup is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China, and doesn't leave much lead time for players to start NBA training camps......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports29 min. ago Related News

Spieth back to playing some good golf at British Open

By Chris Lehourites, Associated Press PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — Jordan Spieth knows he can win the big ones. Perhaps that's why he saves his best golf for them. The three-time major winner, still only 25, moved his name up the leaderboard at the British Open on Friday with a superb four-hole run near the end of the front nine. He birdied the fifth and sixth, made eagle on the seventh and birdie on the eighth to take him to 6 under, briefly tied for the lead. He ended up with a 4-under 67 at Royal Portrush to bring him to 5-under 137 on a mild morning on the Dunluce Links. "I always get pumped up for major championships," Spieth said. "Clearly I try to peak for majors. And then this style of golf I always — I've always found to fit my game pretty well." That game really started to shine in 2015 when Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open. He then finished a stroke out of a playoff in the British Open at St. Andrews. He capped his major season with a second-place finish at the PGA Championship. In 2017, he won the British Open, finishing three strokes ahead of Matt Kuchar at Royal Birkdale. That was his last victory. Spieth had an up-and-down day in the first round this year, but with the improved weather on Day 2 came a better score. "I putted a bit better. Different wind change so certain holes played harder than others and others became easier," said Spieth, who finished his round about an hour before the rain started to fall. "I felt like I played the easy holes well and then I avoided the pot bunkers today more than I did yesterday. But I certainly found the rough more today than I did yesterday. "At some point I hope to be playing off the short grass this week." Although he failed to improve his score late in the round, he did manage to make par on some of the toughest holes on the course. The par-3 16th and par-4 18th are rated as two of the hardest. Spieth landed his tee shot just right of the green on 16, chipped up the sharp slope and nailed a short putt for par. On the 18th, he drove down the middle of the fairway, one of the few he hit Friday, put his approach on the green and just missed his birdie putt. "I'm in contention," Spieth said. "I feel like if I can continue to improve each day, hit the ball better tomorrow than I did today, and better on Sunday than Saturday, then I should have a chance with how I'd feel on and around the greens.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports29 min. ago Related News

WATCH: Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos star in Ben& Ben’s ’Pagtingin’ MV

MANILA, Philippines – The official music video for Ben&Ben’s song "Pagtingin" is out, and it stars reel- and real-life couple Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos.  In the video, which is directed by Jorel Lising, Gabbi and Khalil play a pair who meet at a party and eventually fall in love over ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: News4 hr. 50 min. ago Related News

Mega niregaluhan ng lechon ni Robin bilang peace offering: OK na tayo, di ba?!

ISANG lechon ang naging peace offering ni Robin Padilla sa kanyang ex-girlfriend at dating ka-loveteam na si Sharon Cuneta. Sa pamamagitan ng kanyang Instagram account, ibinalita ng Megastar na okay na uli sila ni Binoe at wala na siyang tampo sa action star. Tuwang-tuwa nga ang singer-actress nang padalhan siya ni Robin ng lechon kamakailan […] The post Mega niregaluhan ng lechon ni Robin bilang peace offering: OK na tayo, di ba?! appeared first on Bandera......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: News6 hr. 16 min. ago Related News

Dr. Vicki Belo, fairy godmother ni Bianca Valerio

ANG bongga naman ng istorya ni Bianca Valerio, social media elite personality, events host, motivational speaker at dating modelo bago niya sinubukan at naging face ng Belo 360° Liposuction. Tila kinalimutan kasi ni Bianca ang sarili nang biglang pumanaw ang nag-iisa niyang kapatid na lalaki niya noong 2017. Dahil sa pagkalungkot, ibinaling niya ang sakit ........»»

Source: Hatawtabloid HatawtabloidCategory: Movies7 hr. 16 min. ago Related News

Musical film ng “Cats” inaabangan pero kinatakutan din

Manila, Philippines – Inilabas na ang star-studded na pelikula ng sikat na stage musical “Cats” nitong Huwebes, Hulyo 18. Tampok sa pelikula, ilalabas sa Disyembre, si Taylor Swift para sa kaniyang unang film role kasama sina Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, James Corden at Jason Derulo. Ginamit sa pelikula ang mukha ng […] The post Musical film ng “Cats” inaabangan pero kinatakutan din appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Source: Remate RemateCategory: News10 hr. 3 min. ago Related News

The STAR Cover (July 20, 2019)

The STAR Cover (July 20, 2019).....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: News11 hr. 3 min. ago Related News

Isko-lar

  LIKE a breath of fresh air, May­or Isko Moreno is the new star of the local government scene. US Ambassador Sung Kim called him a rock star. I’d describe him as the media darling of the habagat sea­son. Things are happening so fast the tweets, posts, SMSes and selfies can’t keep up. Isko didn’t […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: News11 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Nadine aprub kay Jane bilang Darna: Happy ako na siya ang bago nating superhero

DISMAYADO ang fans ni Nadine Lustre dahil hindi ang kanilang idolo ang napili bilang kapalit ni Liza Soberano sa “Darna”. In fact, nag-trending pa ang pangalan ni Nadine nitong nakaraang araw matapos ibandera ng ABS-CBN at Star Cinema na si Jane de Leon na ang napili nila bilang bagong Darna. May ilang JaDine supporters kasi ang umasa […] The post Nadine aprub kay Jane bilang Darna: Happy ako na siya ang bago nating superhero appeared first on Bandera......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: News18 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

De Guzman willing to sacrifice playing time if needed

Philippine national men’s volleyball team captain John Vic De Guzman is not bothered by critics as long as he’s doing his part for the cause. The very vocal skipper is even willing to give up some precious playing time if needed. De Guzman, who has been with the national team since 2015, said that the squad is still adjusting and looking for the right combination and all of the members in the 20-man pool are still vying for spots to see action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila in November. “This is a team sport naman kumbaga kung individual sport ito, siguro talagang ipaglalaban ko kung ano ang para sa akin,” said the opposite hitter and the Nationals’ team captain since 2017. “Pero this time kasi ‘yun nga healthy competition, kung sino ang deserving at kung sino ang talagang ipasok ng coach na sa tingin ng coaches siya ang magde-deliver sa ganitong specific na game, sa ganitong specific na sitwasyon, why not? Suporta lang kahit anong mangyari.” The Nationals got a taste of international competition with a fruitful stint in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships in Sisaket a few weeks back. The Filipinos captured the bronze medal to boost their morale as they build up for the biennial meet. However, De Guzman and the rest of the squad know that there are still doubters and non-believers that hurled criticisms on the team’s shortcomings. “Sa mga haters, actually maging specific na tayo sa part na yun, nababasa namin siya. Well sa mga players na kagaya namin, nalulungkot kami kasi kumbaga yung sakripisyo na ibinibigay namin hindi naman ito para sa pansarili naming kagustuhan eh. Di naman kami naglalaro sa national team para may ipagyabang or may patunayan na magaling kami individually,” said De Guzman. “Naglalaro kami para maging proud ang sambayanang Pilipino. [Para] yun sa pride ng country natin na malaman ng ibang bansa na may ganito tayong klase ng sistema,” he added But instead of being down, they are taking these criticisms as a challenge to fuel their desire to bring honor and glory to the country that is slowly building its volleyball program to be at par with those in the region.    “Nagiging thankful kami sa kanila kasi nagdo-double time kami and mas tyinatyaga namin na pagbutihan pa para lang baka sakali na maintindihan nila at maunawaan nila yung pinangagalingan namin,” said De Guzman. The Nationals will fly to Thailand for a training camp from July 28 to August 10 and will set up another camp in Japan from November 5 to 20.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 19th, 2019Related News

Debuting Choco Mucho ready for war in PVL Open Conference

    MANILA, Philippines – The debuting Choco Mucho Flying Titans made sure they won't be a doormat for other teams in the upcoming 2019 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.  The newest Rebisco franchise went all out in forming its new roster as it made a recruiting clean sweep of former Ateneo ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 19th, 2019Related News

PH has most cases of fake medicines in Southeast Asia – UN report

MANILA, Philippines – A United Nations study on transnational crime found the highest incidence of “falsified medicines” in the Philippines among Southeast Asian countries. Of 460 incidents of counterfeiting and illegal distribution of pharmaceutical products recorded within the region from 2013 to 2017, 193 occurred in ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 19th, 2019Related News

Jane De Leon, ang bagong Darna

MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO SA TIWALA!  #Narda #DARNA #SOON.” Ito ang simpleng caption na may picture niya ang naka-post sa Instagram ni Jane De Leon kahapon, ang bagong Darna. Matapos ang ilang buwang paghahanap at panghuhula kung sino nga ba ang papalit at gaganap naDarna matapos mag-back-out ni Liza Soberano dahil sa aksidente, si Jane ang napili ng Star Cinema para gumanap na superhero. Sino nga ........»»

Source: Hatawtabloid HatawtabloidCategory: MoviesJul 18th, 2019Related News

The STAR Cover (July 19, 2019)

The STAR Cover (July 19, 2019).....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Massachusetts prosecutors drop Kevin Spacey sex assault case

BOSTON — Massachusetts prosecutors on Wednesday dropped a criminal case accusing former House of Cards star Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket bar in 2016 after the alleged victim refused to testify......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: NewsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Player Movement: What teams have gained, lost this offseason

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com There's still a lot of work to be done before rosters are set for the 2019-20 season. Some teams (Charlotte, Utah) still have roster spots to fill. Other teams (Memphis, Washington) still have some roster trimming to do. There are about 25 two-way-contract slots that can be filled around the league. And it's certainly possible that players like Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala will be traded a second time before the end of the summer. But it's already been a season of change. At the start of training camp last September, 15 of the league's 30 teams rostered players who played at least 75 percent of the team's minutes in the previous season (2017-18). Right now -- midway through July -- only four teams are set to bring back players who played at least 75 percent of last season's minutes. Continuity Not every team has made big changes. The Denver Nuggets are set to return at least 12 of the 18 guys that played for them last season (the status of two-way, restricted free agent Brandon Goodwin is still in the air), along with Michael Porter Jr., who was with the team all season. The only players that have left the Nuggets -- Tyler Lydon, Trey Lyles and Isaiah Thomas -- played a total of eight minutes in the playoffs. Over the last three years, there has been a correlation between summer continuity and win increase the following season. But the correlation has been small. During that span, 33 teams have brought at least 75 percent of the previous season's minutes back, and only 15 of those 33 increased their win total. The highest individual return percentage of the stretch belonged to last season's Miami Heat, who brought back 97 percent of their minutes from 2017-18 ... and proceeded to win five fewer games. This summer, the two biggest winners in free agency -- the Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers -- rank 24th and 26th, respectively, by this measure (as of Wednesday morning). And while the Nuggets have a young core that can improve on its second-place finish in the West, the Orlando Magic are bringing back an ensemble that won just 42 games in the Eastern Conference, and the San Antonio Spurs have an older group that was ousted by Denver in the first round, albeit in seven games. Gained and lost math Going forward, we'll be talking about totals gained or lost this summer. These were accumulated by non-rookies for any team last season. For example, in calculating the minutes that Indiana lost (and Milwaukee gained) with Wesley Matthews' departure, we're using all 2,091 minutes that Matthews played for Dallas and Indiana last season. That way, it's a more realistic measure of total production coming in and going out. In that regard, most teams have lost more '18-19 minutes than they've gained. In total, there are more than 230 players who were on rosters (with two-way contracts included) at the end of the season and are either on a new team (via free agency or trades) or remain unsigned. More than half of those players (about 120) have been replaced by other non-rookies. About 70 more have been replaced by rookies (including those on two-way contracts). As an example, here's the roster math for the Golden State Warriors: - LOST 11 non-rookies off their end-of-season roster - GAINED six non-rookies - ADDED three rookies - STILL HAVE one main roster spot and one two-way spot they can fill Minutes gained and lost The Warriors are one of 22 teams that have lost a group of players who played more minutes last season than the group of players that they've added. There are a few teams that have added a lot more '18-19 minutes to their roster. That group is led by the New York Knicks, who have added almost 12,000 '18-19 minutes while seeing almost 9,000 minutes exit. The Knicks have lost four guys - Mario Hezonja, DeAndre Jordan, Emmanuel Mudiay and Noah Vonleh - who played at least 1,000 minutes. They added seven, and all seven started at least 28 games last season. Of course, how many of those seven are difference makers is up for debate, as is the idea of whether the Knicks should have used at least some of their cap space to take on bad contracts -- often spiced up with future picks -- from other teams. The Nets lost as many players (6) who played at least 1,000 minutes last season as they gained. But they added four of the 31 2,000-minute players to have changed teams this summer, most notably in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Utah (3) is the only other team with more than two additions that played at least 2,000 minutes last season. The eight guys that Brooklyn brought in started a total of 363 games in '18-19, while the nine guys they lost started just 179. That's the biggest increase, with New York (+100) and Utah (+84) also seeing differentials of more than 82 games. The Sacramento Kings lost two guys that played at least 1,000 minutes last season, and one of those guys -- Alec Burks -- played only 127 minutes for the Kings. They added four 1,000-minute players, including two - Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph -- that played more than 2,000 minutes last season. As noted above, the Nuggets lead the league in continuity, bringing back all 10 guys that played more than 1,120 minutes for them last season. But they've also added Jerami Grant, who played 2,612 minutes for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though they've added more players (11, including four rookies) than they've lost (nine) and need to trim their roster between now and opening night, the Washington Wizards are set to see the biggest discrepancy in regard to '18-19 minutes. They've lost more than 11,000 (with Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green and Tomas Satoransky accounting for more than half of that total) and added less than 5,000. The group of players that the Wizards lost also started 208 more '18-19 games than the players added -- the biggest discrepancy in that regard. The Charlotte Hornets not only lost more than 1,000 '18-19 minutes in their Kemba Walker-Terry Rozier swap, they also lost three other guys - Jeremy Lamb, Shelvin Mack and Tony Parker - who played more than 1,000 minutes last season. There's a general consensus that the Indiana Pacers are in the "winners" category this summer, adding Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb and T.J. Warren. But they also lost five guys (four of their five playoff starters plus Cory Joseph) to have played at least 2,000 minutes last season. The only other teams who lost more than two 2,000-minute players were the the Clippers (3), Oklahoma City Thunder (3) and Wizards (3). Still available Most '18-19 minutes among still-available free agents... - Justin Holiday - 2,607 - Iman Shumpert - 1,481 - Wayne Selden - 1,439 - Jeremy Lin - 1,436 - Shaquille Harrison - 1,430 In regard to minutes played last season, the top 18 available free agents are all perimeter players (unless you want to count Jonas Jerebko as an interior guy). Among available non-perimeter players, Dante Cunningham (928), Cheick Diallo (896) and Zaza Pachulia (878) are the guys who played the most minutes last season. It's all about shooting Putting the ball in the basket is the most important thing in the NBA, and every team is always on the hunt for more shooting. But in regard to '18-19 3-pointers, half of the league (15 teams) has lost more than it's gained. There are a few teams to have seen big increases, however. The Knicks added Reggie Bullock (148-for-393, 37.7 percent), Marcus Morris (146-for-389, 37.5 percent) and Wayne Ellington (138-for-372, 37.1 percent), though creating open shots for those guys might be an issue. None of the six players that the Kings have lost made more than 61 3-pointers last season. Ariza (145) is the big gain in that regard, but they also added Dewayne Dedmon, a big man who shot 38 percent on 217 attempts from beyond the arc. On the other end of the spectrum, it's the Hornets that lost the most 3s, with Walker having ranked fifth in the league in total makes. The Atlanta Hawks ranked fourth in the percentage of their shots that were 3-pointers, but traded Taurean Prince (39 percent on 315 attempts), lost Dedmon, haven't re-signed Vince Carter (39 percent on 316 attempts) and swapped Kent Bazemore (32 percent; 300 attempts) for Evan Turner (21 percent; 52 attempts). The Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, haven't really replaced two of the four guys who made more than 100 threes for them last season. Still available Most '18-19 3-pointers among still-available free agents... - Justin Holiday - 162-for-465 (34.8 percent) - Kyle Korver - 138-for-348 (39.7 percent) - Vince Carter - 123-for-316 (38.9 percent) - Iman Shumpert - 95-for-273 (34.8 percent) - Lance Stephenson - 73-for-197 (37.1 percent) J.R. Smith, waived by the Cavs on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), made 143 threes (shooting 37.5 percent) in 2017-18, but played just 11 games last season. More notes - Eastern Conference - The Boston Celtics are one of three teams (Atlanta and Washington are the others) with a discrepancy of at least 300 between the steals + blocks registered by the non-rookies they've lost (503) and those registered by the non-rookies they've added (194). Swapping Al Horford (145 steals + blocks in 1,973 minutes) for Enes Kanter (58 in 1,639 minutes) obviously hurts. - The Chicago Bulls have seen the second biggest increase in 3-point percentage between the non-rookies they've added (36.9 percent) and the non-rookies they've lost (30.3 percent). Tomas Satoransky (39.5 percent on 162 attempts) was the big add in that regard. - The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team that hasn't added a single player (via free agency or trade) that played last season, though they still have to add at least one player to their main roster. The only players they've added are the three guys they selected in the first round of the Draft and another rookie (Dean Wade) on a two-way contract. - The Detroit Pistons have had eight non-rookies leave (five have found new NBA teams, three haven't been re-signed) and have added only four. But the four they've added -- Tim Frazier, Markieff Morris, Derrick Rose and Tony Snell -- started the same number of games (60) and played just 11 more minutes in '18-19 as the eight that have left. They did add more scoring, with the four new guys having registered 436 more points than the eight guys on their way out. - As noted above, the Miami Heat led the league in continuity last summer, bringing back 97 percent of their minutes from '17-18. This year, with the retirement of Dwyane Wade and trades that sent Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside out, they're in the middle of the pack. In regard to out vs. in (Jimmy Butler and Meyers Leonard), they've lost total production, but have improved in regard to shooting and free throw rate. Only Denver, Brooklyn and Dallas have seen bigger increases in true shooting percentage from the non-rookies they've lost to the non-rookies they've added. - With the departure of Malcolm Brogdon, the Milwaukee Bucks lost some playmaking. Only the Magic (who didn't lose anybody from their playoff rotation) saw a bigger drop in in assist-turnover ratio from the non-rookies they lost (2.47) to the non-rookies they've gained (1.33). Tony Snell (traded to Detroit) had the fifth lowest turnover ratio (4.9 per 100 possessions) among 299 players that averaged at least 15 minutes in 40 games or more last season. - The Orlando Magic rank second in continuity, one of two teams (Dallas is the other) with nobody on their end-of-season roster having signed with (or been traded to) another team. But they've added one rotation piece by signing Al-Farouq Aminu, who represents the biggest jump in '18-19 rebounds between the non-rookies a team has added (610) and those they've lost or remain unsigned (195). The Magic were already a good rebounding team, ranking 11th in total rebounding percentage and third in defensive rebounding percentage last season. - The Philadelphia 76ers have seen the biggest discrepancy in '18-19 games played between the players they've lost (478) and the players they've added (223), though most of those lost games came from guys who weren't in their playoff rotation. More notes - Western Conference - The Dallas Mavericks have seen the second-biggest jump in effective field goal percentage (lower than only that of Denver) between the players they added (54.4 percent) and the players they've lost (47.3 percent) this summer. Swapping Trey Burke (48.2 percent) for Seth Curry (57.7 percent) goes a long way in that regard. The Mavs are also one of two teams (Orlando is the other) with nobody on their end-of-season roster having signed with (or been traded to) another team. - It remains to be seen how well James Harden and Russell Westbrook fit together and how much the Westbrook-for-Chris Paul swap hurts the Houston Rockets' defense. But we can say for certain that the Rockets got better in the rebounding department. - After ranking 28th in rebounding percentage (and 29th in defensive rebounding percentage) last season, they swapped Paul (who grabbed 7.0 percent of available boards while he was on the floor) for Westbrook (14.1 percent - highest among guards) and also added Tyson Chandler, who had a higher rebounding percentage (15.4 percent) than Nene (10.5 percent). - Good news for the team that ranked 29th in 3-point percentage last season: The non-rookies the Los Angeles Lakers have lost attempted 75 more 3-pointers than those they've gained. But the non-rookies they've gained made 34 more 3s than those they've lost. Among players that attempted at least 200 3-pointers last season and changed teams this season, Danny Green (45.5 percent) ranked first in 3-point percentage, while Quinn Cook (40.5 percent) ranked seventh. - The Memphis Grizzlies had a pretty motley rotation after making multiple trades at the deadline in February. And now they've seen the biggest roster more than any other team this summer, with 11 non-rookies leaving and nine coming in. They currently have guys that played for the Hawks, Warriors, Wolves, Pelicans, Suns, Raptors, Jazz and Wizards last season. - The six non-rookies that the Minnesota Timberwolves have added -- Jordan Bell, Treveon Graham, Jake Layman, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh and Tyrone Wallance -- averaged just 6.3 points per game last season. That's the lowest mark for players added among the 29 teams that have added at least one non-rookie this summer. - In regard to vets, the New Orleans Pelicans have swapped interior players for perimeter players. The (five) non-rookies that they've added had 360 fewer '18-19 field goals, but 127 more 3-pointers than the (10) non-rookies that they've lost. Chicago is the other team with a loss in '18-19 field goals (-38) and a gain in '18-19 3-pointers (+47). - The Oklahoma City Thunder have seen the most '18-19 points walk out the door, with the six guys they've lost having scored 5,619 points last season. One thing they definitely gained in the Westbrook-Paul trade (if they keep Paul) was mid-range shooting. Paul has shot 48.9 percent from mid-range the last five seasons, the second best mark (behind only that of Kevin Durant) among 55 players with at least 1,000 mid-range attempts over that time. Westbrook (37.5 percent) ranks 52nd among the 55. - The 10 non-rookies that have left the Phoenix Suns (five that have found new NBA teams and five that haven't) racked up a cumulative plus-minus of minus-1,709 last season. None of the 10 had a positive plus-minus. The five non-rookies that they've added -- Aron Baynes, Jevon Carter, Frank Kaminsky, Ricky Rubio and Dario Saric -- had a cumulative plus-minus of plus-257. That's the league's biggest differential between players in vs. players out. - The Portland Trail Blazers improved their shooting by swapping Turner for Bazemore and Aminu (34.3 percent on 280 3-point attempts) for Anthony Tolliver (37.7 percent on 215), but are one of four teams - Brooklyn, Indiana and the Lakers are the others - that have lost six players who played at least 1,000 minutes in '18-19. They've added four. - As noted above, the San Antonio Spurs are near the top of the league in regard to continuity. But they've seen the biggest increase in free throw rate (FTA/FGA) between the non-rookies that they've gained (0.335) and the players they've lost (0.181). The pair of vets that they've added (having ranked 24th in free throw rate last season) includes DeMarre Carroll (0.421), who ranked eighth in free throw rate among non-bigs with at least 500 field goal attempts last season. - The Utah Jazz rank 13th in the percentage of '18-19 minutes they're set to bring back, but are one of five teams that have added at least 9,000 '18-19 minutes and lost at least 9,000 '18-19 minutes (when we include unsigned free agents). They parted ways with four of the eight guys that played at least 1,000 minutes for them last season, but all five of their additions - Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley Jr., Ed Davis, Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay - played at least 1,400 minutes. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. 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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Meet the BAE of Philippine volleyball

“May bago ng boyband.” Philippine men’s volleyball team star Marck Espejo drew good laugh from his buddies Ranran Abdilla and Bryan Bagunas when asked about their reactions when fans tagged the trio with a playful name. The Nationals made the headlines after their breakthrough podium finish in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships in Sisaket a couple of weeks back. But it was the trio of Bagunas, Abdilla and Espejo who took the spotlight. The trio logged in incredible numbers in the tournament and capped it off with a grander performance in the PHI’s come-from-behind five-set win over Saraburi-Thai Denmark in the battle for third. Espejo had 35 points, Bagunas fired 24 while Abdilla, who was converted into a utility, got 19 markers. Some witty fans tagged them as #BAE on social media, taking the first letter of their surnames to create a trend-worthy name for the Nationals’ big three.    “’Yung una kong naisip dun parang nagagawan na kami ng kalokohan so yung men’s team pala nabibigyan na ng pansin ng mga tao,” said Espejo, who was named 2nd Best Wing spiker in the tournament in his return to the national squad since making his debut in 2015. “Hindi lang pala yung eyes ng mga tao sa women’s team yung suporta rin pala meron na sa men’s team,” added the five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player, who played in the Japanese club league last year. Bagunas recalled that it all started when the explosive trio took a picture after their game. “Nag-picture tayong tatlo nun eh na ako, ikaw [Abdilla] saka si Marck, siguro kaya lumabas yung BAE na yun,” said Bagunas, the reigning UAAP MVP who is in his second stint with the national team. Abdilla, who like Bagunas is on his second tour of duty for the Nationals after donning the tricolors in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, at first didn’t get what the acronym meant.     “Nu’ng una akala ko kung ano ‘yung BAE tapos nung binasa ko siya, nung inisip ko siya, ‘Ay oo nga ano’” he said. “Alam mo naman mga Filipino matatalino ‘pag dating sa mga ganyan. Diyan tayo magagaling hindi nawawalan ng kalokohan ‘yan.” Though the tag may bring some sort of pressure on the trio to perform as the face of the team, they also treat it as a morale boost.   “Pampa-good vibes siya, sa amin naman lahat ng mga wingers namin pwede talaga eh,” said Abdilla. Bagunas thought of it as an indication that they are slowly gaining a fan base after being overshadowed by the more popular women’s division.    “Nakikita na ng mga fans ang men’s volleyball team na parang umu-OK na rin yung sitwasyon ngayon. Yung mga players talagang nagkakaisa na, nagsasama-sama lalo na ngayong SEA Games na dito gagawin,” he said. “Sana suportahan talaga ng maraming mga fans ng volleyball. Sana hanggang sa dulo nandoon ang suporta nila. Sana suportahan na lang nila kung anong meron kami ngayon.” Espejo saw their bronze medal finish as a stepping stone not only to earn the respect and support of the fans but to also give the nation something to believe in come the 2019 SEA Games that the country will host on November. “Masarap sa feeling, tho yun nga kahit sabihin pa natin nung natalo kami nung first game nagsilabasan yung mga bashers pinapansin yung mga laro namin,” said Espejo. “Magandang lesson din sa kanila and sa amin na nakapag bronze kami at kung ano muna yung meron ang national team doon muna mag-focus wag muna hanapin yung wala.” As for BAE, they’ll try to live up to the hype. “Papanindigan na yan! Nandyan na yan eh!” said Bagunas.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Team Lakay s Gina Iniong and Joshua Pacio: Two paths, one goal

Lakay. It is the Ilocano word for old man.   But when you go up to Baguio, it has an altogether different meaning. You cannot miss that word when you drive down Benguet road, on a nifty sign attached to a normal-looking office building: Team Lakay.   The home of the best Philippine mixed martial arts team in history. Almost all of the big names local fight fans have come to cheer and love as our modern-day heroes trace their roots to the relatively small, packed training room down Benguet road, where mats are soaked with the sweat of the fighters.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Honorio Banario, Rey Docyogen, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva are all hallowed names in the annals of Philippine mixed martial arts, disciples of Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, who established, and groomed Team Lakay to the fearsome fighting factory that it is today.   While all the names above have ensconced themselves on pedestals, Team Lakay’s pipeline includes two more who have been fighting for recognition in recent fights: lone female fighter Gina Iniong, and ONE’s current Strawweight lynchpin and youngest champion, Joshua Pacio.   Both fighters may have started their professional fighting careers for different reasons, but Iniong and Pacio still have a lot to offer and prove for mixed martial arts in the country and in the international stage, such as being prominent fighters in the prestigious cage of ONE Championship.   CHANCE OF A LIFETIME   Gina, the first female Filipino mixed martial artist to fight and win abroad, started boxing back in high school as part of her after-school activities. When she was about to graduate, she actively sought scholarships in order to finish her education. One such opportunity presented itself in the form of an athletic scholarship, concentrating on the martial art of Wushu, which has a huge following in her hometown of Baguio City, with the University of the Cordilleras having a team of its own.   “Our former boxing coach, who was a former student of Coach Mark (Sangiao), approached me one day, telling me to join the upcoming wushu competition then for the college scholarship. So I joined it, and took a chance,” Iniong shared, recounting how she got into the world of combat sports as a young lady.   However, it was too good to be true, as she had to hurdle quite a huge problem if she wants that scholarship: a fight record. Sangiao told the young Iniong it would be difficult to get her a scholarship if she does not have a record to show in active combat in Wushu.   “I was lucky because there was a Wushu National Games here in Manila and we immediately went down and made our way there. Thankfully, I got the gold after the competition, and that paved the way for my scholarship,” said Iniong.   From there, the “Conviction” was born. After competing in numerous Wushu tournaments, Iniong finally caught the eye of Sangiao, who decided to take her under his wings and train her to be his female version inside the MMA cage.   After debuting in the Universal Reality Combat Championship in 2010, Iniong hasn’t looked back in the 12 bouts she has figured in, compiling a professional record of 8-4.  As the lone female representative of the most-successful mixed martial arts team in the Philippines, she has displayed that trademark fearsome striking prowess of fighters coming from the Lakay camp.   When asked about the fact that she is one of the only five Filipinas making the country proud inside the ONE cage, the 29-year old’s face lit up, in disbelief, in honor, in humility, for she cannot believe it herself.   “I’m very proud, and humbled, of the fact that I am the lone female fighter representing Team Lakay in ONE Championship. Many very skilled female fighters dream of being part of ONE Championship, and fight under Team Lakay, yet I am the one that Coach Mark has seen with the most potential to carry the flag inside the cage,” she said.   However, what drives Gina to fight, and it has been a well-known fact, is her mother, diagnosed with a stage 5 chronic kidney disease. In her fight against Jihin Radzuan last February, Iniong dedicated the fight to her mother, who to this day, is scared of seeing her daughter mix it up in the ring.   “To this day, she hasn’t watched me fight live, not even on TV because she is quite the nervous person, and she would only watch if she knew I won, during replays. She is very unlike my dad, who has fully supported my life as an athlete, after being a boxer himself in his younger days,” she shared.   CHALLENGE ACCEPTED   Joshua “The Passion” Pacio never intended to make mixed martial arts fighting a career growing up. The 23-year old fighter deemed it impossible back then, to reach a stage as huge as ONE Championship, due to the excellence of the fighters that he used to watch with his uncle through videos.   Add to the fact that Pacio was overweight. Obese, specifically. It made it all the more difficult for the kid to follow his dream and passion to be a fighter.   It all changed when his uncle started training him in Muay Thai, the art of the eight limbs that originated from Thailand, and considered one of the deadliest forms of combat striking. It started out as training just for fitness, but as if seeing a tiny ray of light in a dark tunnel, Pacio wanted more.   “At first, it was only for fitness, with my uncle training me, and watching videos of various MMA fights, which really inspired me to push myself harder. I really wanted to test myself, compete with the best, and it all seemed impossible when I was out of shape. My uncle really pushed me starting with Muay Thai. I started competing a few months after that, but I suffered defeat after defeat in amateur competitions. I questioned myself why I still trained afterwards. But at the same time, that’s when I realized that this is really my passion, that even if I lost my last fight,” shared the ONE Championship Strawweight king, who has not looked back since then.   “The goal for me has ever been to prove to myself that I have improved in skills, and be the best fighter I can be,” Pacio added.   He made his ONE debut three years ago, finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of professional mixed martial arts, facing a more experienced Filipino fighter in Robin Catalan at the age of 20, one of the youngest to enter ONE’s cage.   “Before I got to represent Team Lakay in ONE Championship, the roster spot was actually up for grabs. Fighters of the team figured in a Team Lakay Championship, a grand-prix style tournament within the team, for the ONE Championship contract. I fought twice victoriously in one night to get it. Two weeks later, with a ONE Championship event in Manila, that’s when I found out I am making my professional debut,” said an astounded Pacio.   Everything about the man they call “The Passion” has been hard earned. He finally tasted gold last 2018 when he decisioned the famed Yoshitaka Naito, a Japanese ground and wrestling master that forced Pacio to tap via a rear-naked choke when they first met. Facing, and losing to Naito, according to Pacio, was a revelation that he has to improve his overall skills, especially his ground game in order to play with the big boys of the cage.   Striking will definitely get you somewhere, as is with Pacio’s base as a martial artist, but one has to have more tricks up his sleeve when they aspire for the pinnacle of the competition. Joshua came back with a vengeance in 2018 to show “Nobita” that “The Passion” is no longer the young kid who will be submitted easily.   However, 2019 did not start of great for Pacio and Team Lakay, after he lost the belt in January to Naito’s contemporary in Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in a questionable split decision. But that did not deter the young man, who has made it his personal goal to continue improving and treat each loss as a lesson, in ONE Championship’s “Roots of Honor” fight card, where he faced Saruta once more.   This time, in front of a racous Filipino crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena, Pacio did not let the judges’ cards decide as he detonated a right knee to the side of Saruta’s head late in the fourth round to reclaim his throne. The dreaded Team Lakay striking power knocked the lights out from the Japanese fighter as Baguio’s young lion let out a furious roar to celebrate his redemption.   TWO PATHS, ONE GOAL   One did it for education, the other for health. Nowadays, however, MMA means more to Iniong and Pacio than just a stepping stone to something else. It is their passion, their advocacy, their bread and butter.   They continue to grind each day, waiting for another opportunity to show what they got and get the win, not just for personal glory, but also for the country and their family.   Inspired by her ailing mother, the “Conviction” promises to keep her current winning streak up despite being up against a formidable foe in her next match. After tasting defeat from Brazilian Istela Nunes, Iniong bounced back with a split decision over Radzuan last February to get herself back on track. Right now, Gina has one thing in mind with their goal: chase that ONE Women’s Atomweight division title, currently held by Angela Lee, and become the Philippines’ very first female ONE world champion.   However, Iniong acknowledges that the path towards the gold may not be easy, as she is currently eyeing a rematch with Japanese tormentor Mei Yamaguchi, the number one-ranked Atomweight fighter whom she has fought with twice, in order to settle who the rightful challenger to Lee’s belt is.   “Everyone has gotten belts. My big brothers in the team have tasted championship. I felt jealous because I do not have a belt, and lost my fight that would have given me a title shot. This time, I will make sure that I will do my best to secure a title fight,” rued Iniong in a previous interview with ONE Championship prior to fighting Radzuan.   While Iniong wants hit paydirt, it’s all about keeping the belt on his waist for Pacio, the reigning ONE Strawweight champion. His most probable foe is his nemesis Yoshitaka Naito who he does not have a problem with facing for the third time.   “I really want to prove I am the champion, and if it’s by facing him (Naito), so be it. I also want to prove that I have greatly improved as well from the last time we fought,” he shared.   While Iniong and Pacio await their next fighting assignment, their teammates are in the thick of training for the upcoming “Dawn of Heroes” megafight card happening on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena. It features Team Lakay members, led by Edward “Landslide” Folayang, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and Danny “The King” Kingad, who will face the best of the world as represented by Eddie Alvarez, Reece McLaren, and Yuya Wakamatsu.   The entire country will be cheering on them as the whole world watches. And maybe somehow, somewhere there will be new blood encouraged and inspired by them to take on the challenge of continuing the legacy of the nation’s best fighting team alongside Iniong and Pacio.   After all, Sangiao did not establish Team Lakay just to be some Bagiuo-based fitness gym down Benguet road. He made Team Lakay to provide a home, a family, for young Filipinos who have the heart to fight for their dream, their family, and the country.     Watch “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, to be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD with livestreaming on iWant for all the Pinoy fight fans to see. For more stories and news one ONE Championship, follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Crowds flock to see Tiger, Rory as British Open returns to N. Ireland

A local and former champion Darren Clarke will hit the first tee shot of the 148th Open at 6:35 a.m. local time with the star attraction of Tiger Woods and home favorite Rory McIlroy to come later in the day for record crowds......»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsJul 18th, 2019Related News

Bato ni Darna ipinagkatiwala sa member ng Girltrends: Handa kong gawin lahat!

MAY napili ng Darna and she’s none other than Jane de Leon as confirmed by Star Cinema executive Olivia Lamasan. Super agree naman ang “Darna” director na si Jerrold Tarog who said, “Pinresent na si Jane sa amin a couple of years ago, and among all the 13 noon na Mr. M (Johnny Manahan) presented […] The post Bato ni Darna ipinagkatiwala sa member ng Girltrends: Handa kong gawin lahat! appeared first on Bandera......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: NewsJul 17th, 2019Related News