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Rockets goal for next season is to get healthy and better, says James Harden

James Harden is coming off yet another MVP-caliber season, leading the Houston Rockets to another post-season berth, after what was a rocky start to the season.  Facing a litany of injuries to key players like Chris Paul and Clint Capela, Harden went on a historic run that saw him score 30-plus points in 32 straight games to pull the Rockets back into the playoff picture from an 11-13 record.  "Just the will, finding the will to win games," Harden said of his stellar streak. The 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player is currently in the Philippines for his two-day adidas Free To Harden Manila 2019 tour, and was able to answer some questions from the media, Wednesday.  "Throughout that 32-games, it was a stretch of scoring, throughout the other course of the games, it was maybe assists, it was maybe defense, a variety of things." "I think every game is it’s own challenge and you have to find ways to impact the games and try to win the games, and so, throughout the course of the season, you might have injuries, you might have guys out of the lineups, you can’t let that sidetrack you, you have to focus on winning that game, and that was kind of my mindset," he continued.  While the Rockets did make it back into the postseason, finishing with another 50-win season and the fourth seed in the tough Western Conference, they again saw their title dreams come to a crashing halt at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, who just a season prior, eliminated them in Game 7 the Western Conference Finals.  With the Warriors' spot at the top of the Western Conference now in question due to the looming free agency as well as injuries to key guys in Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, Harden says that the Rockets just need to get better to put themselves in a position to contend for the title again.  "Just get a little bit better, that’s all we can do, from an individual [standpoint], myself, Chris, Clint, PJ, Eric, all guys get a little bit better, and then for the front office to bring in more skilled, more talented guys that have championship nature and want to win into the locker room. [We need] to continue to put ourselves in that position," he explained. "I think two years ago, we were so successful, we were one game away from the Finals because we had vets, we had guys that’s been through it throughout the course of the league for a long time, they had longevity in the NBA, and then last year we just went through so much adversity as far as injuries and trades, and we fought through it and we still got to a top-4 seed in the west. [We just need to] keep healthy, keep getting better, and just try to put ourselves in a position to be successful," Harden added.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports7 hr. 57 min. ago Related News

Philippines- mid-terms clear way for Duterte to reinstate death penalty

Allies of strongman president score victories in elections, leaving the Senate at his mercy Rodrigo Duterte has won a sweeping victory in mid-term elections in the Philippines, further consolidating h.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsJun 25th, 2019Related News

UP Mindanao’s 1st summa cum laude: Mindanao is home for excellence

MANILA, Philippines – Pete Maverick Nicole Estudillo has made history as the first-ever summa cum laude of the University of the Philippines Mindanao. With a cumulative weighted average of 1.1971, the 22-year-old food technology major obtained the highest score on record in UP Mindanao since it was established in 1995. Speaking ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJun 25th, 2019Related News

Curry in Japan to talk Tokyo Olympics, Rui Hachimura

By Jim Armstrong, Associated Press TOKYO (AP) — Stephen Curry is already looking ahead to the next challenge in his basketball career, including the chance to represent the United States at next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Just over a week since his Golden State Warriors lost a grueling NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors, Curry was in Tokyo on Sunday talking about the Olympics and the opportunity to face Japan’s newest basketball sensation. The U.S. has won the gold medal in the last three Olympics and will be the favorite to top the podium again in Tokyo with a Dream Team that could feature such stars as Curry, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. Curry decided to pull out of the Rio Olympics due to several factors, including ankle and knee injuries. “I know the energy here is going to be amazing,” Curry said. “I haven’t played in the Olympics before. I’ve played in two World Cup teams so I’ve had the experience of representing my country playing for the national team. But the Olympics, from everybody that I’ve talked to that’s played, there’s no comparison to that experience.” Curry was in Tokyo for a youth basketball clinic and was asked about Rui Hachimura, who became the first player from Japan picked in the first round of the NBA draft when he was taken with the No. 9 overall pick by the rebuilding Washington Wizards on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). “It’s exciting for the NBA to have representation from Japan and countries all over the world,” Curry said. “It speaks to how the game of basketball is growing everywhere, especially here. For him to be a trailblazer in terms of doing something that has never been done is good for this country.” The 6'8", 235-pound (2.03 meters, 106 kilogram) Hachimura averaged a team-leading 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds last season as a junior at U.S. college Gonzaga, where he was the West Coast Conference player of the year. The only other Japanese player drafted in NBA history was Yasutaka Okayama, who went 171st overall in 1981. He never appeared in a regular-season game, something just two players from the country have done: Yuta Tabuse for the Phoenix Suns in 2004-05, and Yuta Watanabe for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2018-19. The son of a Japanese mother and father from the Republic of Benin, Hachimura is the latest Japanese of mixed race to make a splash in the sporting world following the likes of Naomi Osaka and Yu Darvish. “Just from watching him play, I know he’s got good size, obviously,” Curry said. “He seems to have a high basketball IQ, good touch around the rim too. I’m sure as he gets into the NBA his game will expand. I think he fits into the direction the NBA is going right now; being able to score and put pressure on the defense no matter what the situation is.” As for the Warriors, Curry said he’s looking forward to winning more championships with the team. “The story is still going,” Curry said. “A lot of people said this is going to be the end but I’m not going to let that happen. It’s going to be fun to come back and chase more championships next year and beyond.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 23rd, 2019Related News

About face: US routs Trinidad 6-0 in Gold Cup

By Tom Withers, Associated Press CLEVELAND (AP) — The only embarrassment and shame was felt on the other side. Two years later, the U.S. soccer team turned the tables on Trinidad and Tobago. Gyasi Zardes scored two goals in a three-minute span, Christian Pulisic added one during a five-goal barrage in the second half and the Americans unloaded on their nemesis in a 6-0 blowout in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday night, earning a small dose of revenge over the team that handed them a nightmarish loss in 2017. Aaron Long scored his first two international goals — one with his head, the other off his chest — and Paul Arriola scored as the U.S. tallied five times in 25 minutes while cruising to its second shutout this week and advancing to the quarterfinals in Philadelphia on June 30. It was the first matchup between the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago since Oct. 10, 2017, when the Americans, needing only a tie to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, lost 2-1 to the Soca Warriors. The embarrassing defeat snapped a streak of seven straight World Cup appearances by the Americans and triggered a top-to-bottom overhaul of the men's program, which has operated in the imposing shadow of the powerful U.S. women, seeking their fourth world title in France. There would be no repeat performance by this revamped U.S. team, which is determined to win back global respect. "Every time we step on the field we want to make a statement," said Zardes, who just missed getting a third goal. "We're trying to change the way the world views American soccer." The Americans posted their most lopsided win since beating Honduras 6-0 in a World Cup qualifier on March 24, 2017, when Pulisic, who took over this game in the second half, also scored and had a pair of assists. But while much of the pre-game talk centered on the U.S. getting payback, the Americans insist they've put the past behind them. "For us, we advance to the next round," coach Gregg Berhalter said. "That's important. Our focus was to prepare for this game knowing that if we'd be able to go to the next round. That was the focus of the group. Trinidad was in our way." Not anymore. With the U.S. leading 1-0 on Long's goal in the 41st minute, Zardes scored from right in front shortly after U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen made a diving save to stop Trinidad from tying a match the Americans dominated. Michael Bradley chipped the ball from the left side to a charging Nick Lima, who headed the ball to Zardes in front. The American striker only had to guide it by Trinidad keeper Marvin Phillip in the 65th minute. Two minutes later, Zardes buried a hard shot from the left side for his 10th international goal and second two-goal game for the Americans. Zardes nearly completed a hat trick, but his low shot from up top in the 70th minute hit the left upright. Next up for the Americans is a matchup with Panama on Wednesday in Kansas City, Kansas. The Panamanians improved to 2-0 in Group D of the 16-team tournament with a 4-2 win over Guyana, also clinching a quarterfinal berth. On a picture-perfect night along the shores of Lake Erie, the American team controlled possession and tempo while thoroughly outplaying T&T, which was blanked 2-0 by Panama in its opening match and was eliminated. The Soca Warriors were content to sit back and let the U.S. attack, hoping to spring counters. They nearly connected in the 61st minute as Cordell Cato eluded three defenders on the right side and hit teammate Levi Garcia in stride. But Garcia's shot was high and wide, a close call that prompted a collective gasp from the U.S. faithful. "Big moment," Trinidad coach Dennis Lawrence said. "When you get in that position, you have to put that away." Lawrence was upset with how his team collapsed following the U.S. team's second goal. "How can you play so good for 65 minutes and then so awful for the last 25?" he said, repeating his postgame message to his players. "We have to learn to stand up and fight. We lost focus and we paid the price." Berhalter stuck with the same starting lineup he used in the opener over Guyana but gave the captain's arm band to Steffen for the first time. Bradley captained the Americans in the opening 4-0 win over Guyana. Long, who plays in the MLS for the New York Red Bulls, put the U.S. ahead off a beautiful feed from the left side by Pulisic. Shortly after the U.S. was awarded a free kick, the Americans kept pressing and maintained possession in Trinidad's half before Pulisic spotted Long inside the 6-yard-box and delivered an arching pass to the forward, who left his feet, connected and drove the ball past a sprawling Phillip. The score touched off a flag-waving celebration behind the goal by red-white-and blue clad U.S. fans, who have been anxiously awaiting their team's chance at some redemption. After a 20-month wait, they got a little......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 23rd, 2019Related News

Underdogs have big day at African Cup

By Gerald Imray, Associated Press Underdogs had a big day at the African Cup of Nations in Egypt as Uganda won on its return to the tournament after 41 years and Madagascar held Guinea to a draw on its debut on Saturday. Burundi, another African Cup first-timer, pushed mighty Nigeria all the way. Uganda beat two-time champion Congo 2-0 in Cairo to start the second day of action. Both goals came through headers from set-pieces, with Patrick Kaddu scoring from a corner in the 14th minute and Emmanuel Okwi heading in a free kick early in the second half. That put Uganda top of Group A on goals scored ahead of Mohamed Salah and Egypt, who won the opening game against Zimbabwe on Friday. Uganda last played at the African Cup in the late 1970s. After winning on Saturday the players probably didn't mind that their long-awaited return came at a near empty Cairo International Stadium, an illustration of the African Cup's perennial problem with fan attendance when the home team isn't playing. In Alexandria, Nigeria needed Odion Ighalo's late winner four minutes after he came on as a substitute to deny Burundi on its debut. Ighalo pounced on his first chance. The forward slipped in behind the Burundi defense after a backheeled pass by Ola Aina and stroked a right foot shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner. Three-time champion Nigeria deserved the win on the second half evidence, but not on the first 45 minutes. Then, Burundi was the more adventurous team on the biggest day in its soccer history. Cedric Amissi controlled a long pass superbly but had his shot blocked by Nigeria keeper Daniel Akpeyi. Akpeyi struggled to keep out a powerful long-range free kick by Gael Bigirimana and Frederic Nsabiyumva hit the crossbar with a header. Nigeria, one of the favorites for the title alongside Egypt and Senegal, ultimately prevailed over the tenacious newcomers after some second-half substitutions injected life into the team. "It was a very difficult game," Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel said. "It was tough. We knew that they are a tough team. They can run and run and run." Nigeria tops Group B ahead of Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi. Madagascar also made its African Cup debut straight after in a double-header at Alexandria Stadium on the Mediterranean coast. Sory Kaba gave Guinea the lead after running onto a long pass, pushing the ball past goalkeeper Melvin Adrien, and swerving past him to score in an empty net. Madagascar responded twice in six minutes in the second half. Anicet Andrianantenaina headed in unmarked from a corner. Guinea's defense stood waiting for the offside flag when Carolus Andriamahitsinoro scored from nothing for 2-1. Guinea won a penalty, converted by Francois Kamano, to get a draw. Midfielder Naby Keita came on in the second half to make his return from injury and couldn't connect with a cross in injury time that would have won it for Guinea. Guinea coach Paul Put said his team gave away two "stupid goals." "I hope it's a lesson for the players," he said. Nigeria clicked in the second half against Burundi after Ahmed Musa and later Oghalo came off the bench to lift a team that had struggled in the buildup with a number of players struck down with illness. Coach Gernot Rohr said "half the team" had a fever this week and couldn't train properly. Nigeria also said winger Samuel Kalu was recovering and had been released from the hospital after he collapsed at training on Friday with dehydration. This African Cup has been switched from its regular January-February slot to June and July so it doesn't clash with any European leagues. But that's landed it in the middle of Egypt's sweltering summer. Organizers warned teams that temperatures will rise to 34-38 degrees Celsius (93-100 F) and games will allow for two water breaks during play, in the 30th and 75th minutes......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 23rd, 2019Related News

Juvic Pagunsan completes back-to-back PGT romp

Multi-titled Juvic Pagunsan capped a week of uncertainties with a resounding victory in the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic yesterday, beating James Ryan Lam by four with a closing 69 to become the first player in two years to score back-to-back victories on the Philippine Golf Tour......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJun 22nd, 2019Related News

Injured Sanchez leads Chile to Copa America quarterfinals

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Despite another ankle injury, Alexis Sanchez led Chile to the quarterfinals of the Copa America. Playing in pain after getting hurt in the first half, Sanchez scored a second-half winner to give Chile a 2-1 victory over Ecuador and a spot in the last eight of the South American competition on Friday. Sanchez stayed in the game after taking pain pills and scored in the 51st minute at the Arena Fonte Nova, securing the two-time defending champions a place in the knockout stage. "I twisted my ankle. I kept playing for the love I have for this national team," he said. "When I play for my country, I'm always playing happy." Sanchez found the far corner with a clever one-timer over Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez after a cross by Charles Aranguiz. It was the second goal of the tournament for the Chilean forward, who was coming off a difficult season with Manchester United and recovered from another ankle injury — on the right leg — just in time for the Copa America. "Fortunately it wasn't the same ankle he injured with Manchester United," said Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda, adding that team doctors considered the 30-year-old Sanchez could continue playing on Friday after undergoing ice treatment. "He is motivated when he is with the national team." It was Sanchez's 43rd goal with Chile, which is seeking its third straight Copa title a year after not making it to the World Cup in Russia. Jose Pedro Fuenzalida put Chile ahead with a strike in the eighth minute and Enner Valencia equalized for Ecuador from the penalty spot in the 26th. Ecuador played the final minutes with a man down after defender Gabriel Achilier was sent off for elbowing Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal. The victory gave Chile the lead in Group C with six points, two more than second-place Uruguay, which on Thursday drew 2-2 with Japan. The Japanese squad has one point and Ecuador stayed with zero. The top two teams in each of the three groups advance, along with the best two third-place finishers. The Chilean win guaranteed Uruguay will finish at least third in the group. In the last round on Monday, Chile faces Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, while Ecuador takes on Japan at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte. Chile had opened with a 4-0 rout of Japan, while Ecuador lost by the same score to Uruguay......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 22nd, 2019Related News

World Cup s top teams enter knockout stage on a roll

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press While it may be tempting to look ahead to the quarterfinals and a possible clash with France, the defending champion U.S. has thrived at the Women's World Cup by keeping its focus on the present. The Americans will face Spain in the round of 16 on Monday in Reims as the tournament enters the win-or-go-home phase. Games begin Saturday with Germany facing Nigeria in Grenoble followed by Norway's match against Australia. The U.S. had emphatic wins in the group stage, routing Thailand 13-0 in the opener before more clinical victories over Chile and Sweden. The team had three shutouts while also collecting a World Cup group-stage record 18 goals. Coach Jill Ellis said the three-time World Cup champions accomplished their early-round goals. "When you come out of the group stage, a lot of what we talk about is mentality and being healthy," she said. "I think they're in a really good place." The United States has performed largely as expected in France, though the team faced criticism after the game against Thailand for celebrating every goal. The Americans set World Cup records for most goals and margin of victory in the game. The team toned it down against Chile. Ellis made seven lineup changes to keep her team fresh and Carli Lloyd — the hat trick hero of the World Cup final four years ago in Canada — scored a pair of goals. Facing their toughest challenge of the group in ninth-ranked Sweden, the United States pounced early with Lindsey Horan's goal within the first three minutes and emerged with a 2-0 victory on Thursday night. Spain, ranked No. 13, finished second in its group to reach the knockout stage for the first time. If the top-ranked Americans can defeat La Roja, they could possibly face No. 4 France in Paris next Friday. They could potentially face No. 3 England in the semifinals before getting a shot at defending their title. The United States, France, England, Germany and the Netherlands all won their first three games in France. Like the Americans, Germany did not concede a goal. MAKING A STAND: France, vying to become the first country to simultaneously hold the men's and women's World Cup titles, faces Brazil in Le Havre on Sunday. They'll face determined Brazilian star Marta, who comes into the game with a World Cup record 17 goals but no title in a major tournament. She surpassed Germany's Miroslav Klose for the record on a penalty kick during the team's 1-0 victory over Italy on Tuesday. She celebrated by kissing her cleats, which in France have sported a blue and pink symbol for equality. She is currently without a shoe sponsor because she claims the men's contracts are unequal to the women's. "This record doesn't belong to me, it belongs to all of us," she said after the game. "I share it with anyone fighting for more equality." The World Cup in France comes at a time when female players worldwide are fighting for better playing conditions, treatment and pay. Ada Hegerberg, the first female Ballon d'Or winner, is not playing for Norway. She stepped away from the team over what she has characterized as the federation's lack of respect for the women's team. The U.S. women's team filed a lawsuit back home earlier this year that accuses its federation of gender discrimination and seeks equitable pay to the men's team. GOLDEN BOOT: American Alex Morgan and Australian Sam Kerr both have five goals to lead the tournament field. Morgan matched a U.S. record by scoring five goals in the team's big win over Thailand. Kerr got four in Australia's final group match, a 4-1 victory over Jamaica. It was the most goals for an Australian — male or female — in a World Cup game, and the final goal ensured the Matildas finished second in their group to avoid France in the round of 16. "At the time I didn't know how important it is, but we knew every goal would count," she said, adding with a smile: "I actually wanted more after that, being my selfish self." EDGING CLOSER: Christine Sinclair scored her 182nd career goal for Canada in a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands on Thursday. She also became the second player to score in five straight World Cups, joining Marta. Sinclair is now just two goals away from matching the international record set by former U.S. forward Abby Wambach. Canada plays Sweden on Monday in Paris. The Swedes rested many players in their match against the United States, with an eye toward the next round. THE REST: Looking ahead, England faces Cameroon in Valenciennes on Sunday. Italy and China meet in Montpellier on Tuesday, followed by the Netherlands and Japan in Rennes......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 22nd, 2019Related News

Copa America: Tite expected to make changes to Brazil s team

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press SAO PAULO (AP) — Under pressure after two lackluster performances by Brazil in the Copa America at home, coach Tite is expected to make changes to his squad ahead of its final group game this weekend. Brazil faces Peru on Saturday in Sao Paulo needing at least a draw to guarantee a place in the next round. Few doubt Brazil will make it through, as the Selecao can advance even with a loss, but only a convincing performance will satisfy the demanding Brazilian fans and relieve some of the pressure on Tite. The coach did not say who will start on Saturday but hinted he will not keep the same team from the first two games. "We have several athletes with different characteristics," Tite said on Friday. "Each one can help in different ways depending on the match." The coach's main changes are expected in the attack, which has been the team's primary weakness. David Neres, Richarlison, and Roberto Firmino, the trio that started the first two matches, are yet to score. In the 3-0 opening win against Bolivia a week ago, Brazil had two goals from Philippe Coutinho and one from substitute Everton. The second match was 0-0 against Venezuela on Tuesday. "We need to improve our precision in attack, we acknowledge that," Tite said. "We know that we need to be able to translate our superiority into goals." Brazil entered the tournament without Neymar because of an ankle injury, and none of the other forwards have been able to make up for his absence. Neymar was dropped from the squad before the tournament but showed up at the team's hotel on Friday to visit his teammates and support the team. Tite, who on Thursday completed three years as Brazil coach, said after the team's World Cup elimination last year he regretted taking too long to make changes to the squad, and that this time he would not make the same mistake. Brazil was jeered in both Copa America matches and many of the boos were aimed at Tite when he substituted defensive midfielder Casemiro with another defensive midfielder, Fernandinho, against Venezuela despite the team's inability to create scoring chances. The fans wanted him to use Everton, who played well coming off the bench in both games and is the player most likely to earn a starting spot against Peru. The quick forward helped open up the opponent's defense, allowing Brazil to improve and create more scoring opportunities. The other possible player to get a chance is Gabriel Jesus, who has also come off the bench twice. The Manchester City forward wasn't as effective as Everton, but did help improve the attack. He found the net in the second half against Venezuela, but the goal was disallowed after video review. Neres had decent performances playing in Neymar's position, but it was Coutinho who many felt should have taken over the leading role. Coutinho also had a goal disallowed by video review against Venezuela, but despite his decisive scores against Bolivia his performances have been below expectations. Fernandinho didn't practice with the rest of the squad on Friday because of a right knee ailment and will not play on Saturday. Midfielder Arthur also practiced separately on Thursday because of a foot injury, but he was back with the rest of the team on Friday and is likely to be available against Peru. Brazil and Peru are tied at the top of Group A with four points, two more than third-place Venezuela. Bolivia has no points after two matches. Venezuela and Bolivia meet in Belo Horizonte on Saturday. Peru eliminated Brazil from the 2016 Copa America with a 1-0 win in the final match of their group, handing Brazil its first group-stage elimination in the tournament since 1987......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 22nd, 2019Related News

PBA: TNT keeps first place after 5th straight win

Columbian put up a fight but TNT’s dominance continues in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. The KaTropa were steady in the second half, pulling away late to score a 109-102 win over the Dyip Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome. TNT slowly padded its lead in the fourth period, recovering from a poor stretch in the third where Columbian actually took control of the game. The win was the KaTropa’s fifth straight in the mid-season joust and TNT once again takes over solo first in the Commissioner’s Cup with a strong 7-1 record. Import Terrence Jones once again put up big numbers for TNT, going for 39 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, and seven blocks. Jayson Castro returned from a missed game and dropped 22 points, five rebouds, and six assists off the bench. RR Pogoy was the top local starter with 16 points. TNT had trouble with the Dyip all game long but the KaTropa got a huge run in the fourth, leading by as many as 14 points. For Columbian, Lester Prosper was good for 37 points and CJ Perez added another 22 markers but it wasn’t enough to pick up what would have been a big win. Now losers of back-to-back games, the Dyip dropped to 1-5 in the standings.   The scores:  TNT 109 - Jones 39, Castro 22, Pogoy 16, Rosario 8, Reyes 8, Trollano 5, Taha 4, T. Semerad 3, D. Semerad 2, Heruela 2, Carey 0. Columbian 102 - Prosper 37, Perez 22, Calvo 15, Corpuz 8, McCarthy 5, Celda 5, Khobuntin 4, Cahilig 4, Agovida 0, Reyes 0, Camson 0. Quarterscores: 22-27, 51-50, 73-71, 109-102   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 21st, 2019Related News

Uruguay draws with Japan 2-2 in Copa America

By Eric Nunez, Associated Press PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Copa America favorites Uruguay drew 2-2 with Japan on Thursday and delayed until the last round of the group stage its likely qualification to the tournament's knockout phase. Japan, which is playing a young team, was ahead twice in the match at the Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre thanks to midfielder Koji Miyoshi, one of the seven changes the Asian team made after losing 4-0 to Chile in its opening match. Miyoshi netted his first at 25 minutes, hitting the ball hard to the left of goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Luis Suarez leveled at 32 after a penalty kick awarded by video review following a foul by a Japanese defender. Miyoshi added Japan's second at 59 in a rebound after Muslera tried to block a cross from the left. At 66 minutes, Uruguay drew with a header by Jose Gimenez after a corner kick. Uruguay has four points in two matches and leads Group C. Defending Copa America champion Chile can reach six points with a win over Ecuador on Friday. Japan has one point, and Ecuador has none. Uruguay and Chile play on Monday, the same day that Japan plays against Ecuador. "I am not worried," Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. "Do you know how many times I lived this in those 13 years (as Uruguay coach)? Japan was aggressive. They had fewer opportunities and scored twice. They played a great match." Suarez described the result as "bittersweet." "They pressured us and didn't let us play in the way we wanted," the striker said. Despite the result and a poorer performance than in the 4-0 win against Ecuador, Uruguay had the best chances to score. Gimenez, who scored Uruguay's second, said he knew Japan was quick and resilient before the match. "Against Chile they missed some forcefulness, otherwise the match would have been different," the defender said. "We didn't lose, it is a valuable point." Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu made the changes to the team that was hammered by Chile as part of preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Japanese players complained in the first half when the match was 1-1 and Shoya Nakajima fell in the penalty box after contact with Uruguay's Giovanni Gonzalez. Colombian referee Andres Rojas did not award a penalty. "We could have won," said Moriyasu. "When the players returned to the dressing room you could see that frustration on their faces. They felt they missed a little to win." Suarez and Edinson Cavani had other chances near the end, but the 2-2 looked like a fair result to more than 30,000 fans attending the match. "We played head to head, respecting all the history Uruguay has," Moriyasu said......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 21st, 2019Related News

Gilas Youth headed to Doha camp on a high after win over FEU

Gilas Youth gutted out a well-earned win over their kuyas from Far Eastern University, 67-66, Thursday at Meralco Gym in Ortigas. The Philippine national youth team rode Kai Sotto and Geo Chiu to build up a 12-point lead, 63-51, inside the last six minutes before holding off a late charge by the Tamaraws. Chiu’s back-to-back inside baskets and Sotto’s couple of charities put the youngsters up by double-digits only to see L-Jay Gonzales and Barkley Ebona set off an uprising. FEU even pulled within one with 11 ticks to go, but from there, Gilas Youth dodged the final bullet as Ken Tuffin muffed on his corner triple. In the end, Sotto had 14 points to his name while Xyrus Torres chipped in 14 markers of his own. AJ Edu and Gerry Abadiano also added nine points to help the national youth team score a morale-boosting win ahead of their training camp in Doha and then the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Greece......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 20th, 2019Related News

Great comeback propels Batang Pier to the top

Wanting in manpower but not in fighting spirit, depleted NorthPort bravely clawed back from a 25-point deficit to score a pulsating 107-105 overtime squeaker over Rain or Shine and grab a share of the lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last night at the MOA Arena......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJun 20th, 2019Related News

PH downs Indonesia in handball

With the score tied at 13-all, Baccay scored two baskets for the Jana Franquelli-mentored squad – each basket worth a point – in the final moments of the first 10-minute period to give the PH side the momentum it needed......»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsJun 20th, 2019Related News

Guerrero leads Peru over Bolivia in key Copa America match

By Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Striker Paolo Guerrero led Peru to a key 3-1 win against Bolivia on Tuesday that improved the team's chances of advancing to the knockout stage of Copa America. Guerrero scored a goal and had an assist that allowed Peru to recover against a week Bolivia side. Nearly 25,000 noisy fans at the Maracana Stadium, mostly Peruvian, watched a low-quality match in an arena that was only one-third filled. Bolivia opened the scoring at 28 minutes after a penalty awarded after video review, with striker Marcelo Martins scoring to the right of Peru's Pedro Gallese. Despite holding 60% of ball possession until the break, Peru only leveled the score at 45 minutes with the team's most recognizable player. Christian Cueva found target man Guerrero in the middle of the Bolivian defense. The veteran ran to the right past goalkeeper Carlos Lampe and gently pulled the ball past the goal line. Peru didn't change much after the break, playing with a slow flow that created few opportunities. Still, the Peruvians quickly found a second goal, once again thanks to Guerrero. At 55 minutes, the striker assisted Jefferson Farfan with a cross from the left that ended in a close-range header finding the back of the net. Bolivia squandered other chances in front of Gallese, but the goalkeeper himself did not have to make any difficult saves. At 96 minutes, when the match already seemed settled, substitute striker Edison Flores added a third from the edge of the box after a counter-attack. Peru will play hosts Brazil on Saturday at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo. On the same day Bolivia and Venezuela will play at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, in a match organizers expect to have one of the smallest crowds of the tournament......»»

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

7-man CEU takes down Cignal-Ateneo to tie PBA D-League Finals

Centro Escolar University stunned Cignal-Ateneo, 77-74, to level the 2019 PBA D-League Finals at one game apiece on Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. Jerome Santos uncorked 28 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists to be the difference-maker for the seven-man Scorpions. Senegalese big man Maodo Malick Diouf remained solid upfront with 23 points, 16 boards, four steals, two dimes, and two blocks, as Rich Guinitaran chipped in 13 points, two assists, and two blocks. "I think we're able to redeem ourselves today. We're able to show up in the championship game," said coach Derrick Pumaren. "What I told my players is more on motivation. I told them to believe in themselves, that we can be in the same league in Ateneo. I'm just happy to see the fight and us competing in this game." It was a different CEU team from that of Game 1, grabbing a 65-55 lead midway through the fourth. Cignal-Ateneo, though, would stage a 14-4 response to knot the score at 69 with exactly two minutes remaining. The game was then ultimately decided on the charity stripe as the Scorpions converted six of their eight freebies in the endgame, with Franz Diaz burying the crucial shots in the last 10.1 ticks as it held a 77-74 lead. Guinitaran almost squandered the game with a turnover on his inbounds play, but Adrian Wong was whistled for a travelling violation that gave CEU the ball back. Wong and SJ Belangel still had their shots to force overtime, but their triples rattled out of the basket as the buzzer horned. Wong carried the Blue Eagles with 17 points on a 4-of-7 clip from beyond the arc. Ivorian slotman Ange Kouame nabbed a double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks, as Belangel got 13 off the bench in the loss. Cignal-Ateneo played without senior forward Isaac Go who was under the weather. The crucial Game 3 is on Thursday, still at Ynares Sports Arena. BOX SCORES CEU 77 -- Santos 28, Diouf 23, Guinitaran 13, Diaz 8, Bernabe 2, Abastillas 2, Sunga 1. CIGNAL-ATENEO 74 -- Wong 17, Kouame 14, Belangel 13, Ravena 10, Andrade 6, Daves 4, Mi. Nieto 4, Mamuyac 4, Ma. Nieto 2, Tio 0, Navarro 0, Credo 0, Berjay 0. QUARTER SCORES: 16-13, 34-39, 53-52, 77-74......»»

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

Record-breaking Lloyd propels USA into FIFA World Cup last 16

PARIS, France – Carli Lloyd became the first player to score in 6 consecutive women's FIFA World Cup matches as the United States brushed aside Chile, 3-0, to secure their passage to the last 16 on Sunday, June 16.  The winning margin might not have been near to their record-breaking 13-0 ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJun 17th, 2019Related News

Lloyd, a World Cup starter again, scores 2 as US beats Chile

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — Carli Lloyd wasn't thrilled to open the Women's World Cup on the bench for the United States. She accepted the role, but made no secret she wanted to start. When the call came Sunday, Lloyd made it count with a pair of goals to lead the defending champions to a 3-0 victory over Chile. The win pushed the United States into the round of 16. Lloyd was the hero of the World Cup in Canada four years ago when she scored three goals in the final against Japan that gave the Americans their third World Cup title. But she was on the bench when the U.S. opened the tournament, even though she scored later as a substitute in the 13-0 victory over Thailand. "I know that my ability is there, I know this is my best version of me. I've just got to go out there and prove it," she said. "Whether that's coming off the bench and making an impact, whether that's starting and getting the opportunity, which I'm grateful for, I'm just trying to make the most of it. I want to win." Lloyd became the first player to score in six straight World Cup matches with her goal in the 11th minute. She added another on a header off a corner in the 35th for her 10th career World Cup goal, which moved her into third on the U.S. list behind Abby Wambach (14) and Michelle Akers (12). At 36, she became the oldest player to have a multi-goal game in the tournament. She nearly got another hat trick — which would have made her the first player with two in the World Cup — but her penalty kick in the 81st minute went wide left. "It's haunting me right now," Lloyd said. "Wasn't good enough." The score could have been worse for Chile without unshakable goalkeeper Christiane Endler, who finished with six saves and fended off a flurry of U.S. shots in the second half. Endler was named player of the match. "I love the balls coming towards me and being able to showcase my skills," she said through a translator. "Obviously it's difficult to maintain concentration. I think in the first half it was difficult for me to get into the game. I think the second half went better for me and in general for the team." The victory over Chile was more subdued than the U.S. team's record-breaking rout of Thailand. The Americans celebrated every goal even after the win was well in hand, and the display offended many who thought the champions should have shown more class. The controversy clouded the run-up to the match against Chile. Several of the American players reached out to their Thai counterparts following the match. Lloyd exchanged encouraging words and tweets with goalkeeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying, and FIFA posted an interview with Thailand's coach thanking the U.S. players for being professional and playing well. After such a rout, Jill Ellis made sweeping changes to the starting lineup against Chile, including a new front line with Lloyd, Christen Press and Mallory Pugh. Alex Morgan was moved to the bench along with Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath. Becky Sauerbrunn, who sat out the match against Thailand because of a minor quad injury, returned and anchored a backline that included 20-year-old Tierna Davidson, who was making her World Cup debut. Davidson is the youngest player to start for the United States in a World Cup since Tiffany Roberts against Norway in 1995. Chile made just one lineup change, starting midfielder Claudia Soto in place of Yanara Aedo. Chile lost its opener to Sweden 2-0, but Endler was solid in that game, too, keeping the Swedes out of the goal until 83rd minute. The second goal got past the 6-footer in stoppage time. Julie Ertz scored in the 26th minute with a header off a corner kick from Davidson that Endler got her hands on but couldn't stop. It was Ertz's first World Cup goal and came with her husband Zach Ertz, a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, looking on. Endler denied Lloyd another chance at the hat trick when she tipped the U.S. captain's shot over the net in the 72nd minute. Sweden also advanced out of Group F with a victory 5-1 victory over Thailand earlier Sunday in Nice. Japan, playing in Group D with England, also went through to the knockout stage because both the United States and Sweden won. Former Vice President Joe Biden was among the U.S. team's well-wishers before the sold-out game at Parc des Princes stadium. Biden, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, referenced the team's lawsuit against U.S. Soccer alleging gender discrimination and seeking equitable pay. "As we cheer them on in the World Cup, we must support their fight off the field for equal pay. In 2019, it's past time we close the pay gap and ensure women get paid as much as men," Biden tweeted. U.S. soccer maintains the two teams have different pay structures because of separate collective bargaining agreements. But for now, the players are concentrating on France and bringing home a fourth World Cup championship. The United States plays Sweden on Thursday to wrap up the group stage. It is the first meeting between the two teams since Sweden ousted the Americans from the quarterfinals at the 2016 Olympics. Chile wraps up the group with a match against Thailand on Thursday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 17th, 2019Related News

Lloyd s tiny golf clap delivers big message from US women

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — Carli Lloyd had just scored on an 18-yard volley to put the United States ahead 11 minutes in against Chile. After leaping, pumping a fist and hugging teammate Lindsey Horan, she raised both hands chin high and made four tiny pitter-patter claps, the type seen more frequently at Pebble Beach than Parc des Princes. A message? You bet. I made a gif of @CarliLloyd’s celebration golf clap after her first goal in #USACHI because I needed this to exist for every time someone tone polices a #USWNT celebration. #USWNT #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/Sw7rUA3ID2 — Phil (@ALazyJellyfish) June 16, 2019 Easy wins and lots of goals are par for the course when it comes to the U.S. women's soccer team. "I can't take credit for it. I'm not sure if Lindsey is taking credit for it," Lloyd said after a 3-0 victory Sunday night advanced the U.S. to the round of 16. "She had told me if we score, that's what we're going to do so I just went along with it after I did my little celebration But it was fun. I think it made a statement on the sideline there. It was cool." A record-setting 13-0 rout of Thailand that opened the tournament for the Americans sparked a debate back home. Celebration had not been discussed this much since Kool & the Gang. Some cried poor sportsmanship. Others argued players shouldn't be asked to let up on soccer's biggest stage. All the harrumphing was heard across the Atlantic. "I guess we could have just passed it around the back for a million times, but that's boring. That's disrespectful to everyone: fans, ourselves" said 33-year-old Megan Rapinoe, the pink-haired veteran famous for running to a corner flag and screaming "Born in the USA" into a television microphone after goal against Colombia in the 2011 World Cup. "The only thing you ask of an athlete really is to put it all out there and do the best you can. It's not in our DNA ever." Coach Jill Ellis speculated Lloyd's inspiration was her spouse, professional golfer Brian Hollins. "I'm guessing it was a shout-out to her husband," Ellis said. Horan said Emily Sonnett, a 25-year-old defender at her first World Cup, suggested responses. Trolling critics was the goal. "We decided to do something different today," Horan said with an impish smile. "Handshakes were part of it. Golf clap was part of it." Only the standout play of goalkeeper Christiane Endler lowered the Americans' offensive output from Wonder Woman levels to the mere mundane. The U.S. peppered Chile with 26 shots to one for the South Americans, raising the U.S. margin to 65-3 over two matches that seemed more training than tests. Alyssa Naeher, the Americans' new World Cup goalkeeper, was noticeable only when an unmarked Carla Guerrero redirected Claudia Soto's free kick past her midway through the first half. Guerrero was called offside. More Americans were in the tournament-high crowd of 45,594 that filled Parc des Princes than walked around Sunday in Paris, Kentucky, or Texas. Quite different from the stands 21 years and one day earlier, when Germany beat the U.S. men 2-0 on the very same field in the Americans' 1998 World Cup opener on goals by Andreas Möller and Jürgen Klinsmann. Fans clad in red, white and blue jammed the Metro hours before kickoff, streaming on the No. 9 line at Trocadero, Republique and Richelieu-Drouot and emerging on at Porte de Saint-Cloud on the sunny afternoon. "We're in France, and yet we felt like we had a home game," said Lloyd, at 36-year-old the oldest woman with a multi-goal World Cup match. Despite their second easy win, the Americans maintained there was no reason to chill: Thailand is ranked 34th in the world and Chile is 39th. The Americans need a win or draw against No. 9 Sweden on Thursday in order to win the group. A victory likely means a second-round matchup against No. 13 Spain or No. 16 China, which would put the U.S. on track for a quarterfinal matchup against fourth-ranked France in Paris. Ellis would not speculate whether her team would be better off finishing second and winding up in the other half of the bracket. "There's a lot of grass to navigate between now and potential matchups," she said. "This game is a crazy game, and you have to bring it every single match." No team has won consecutive Women's World Cups since the event began in 1991, a reason for sangfroid. "We're climbing up a mountain now," Lloyd said, "and it's only going to get harder.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 17th, 2019Related News