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NFL wants players to play with a free mind

By Rob Maaddi, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL doesn't want players worrying about getting flagged or fined. "You gotta play," NFL football operations chief Troy Vincent said Tuesday at the league's fall meetings. "You hope that no player is thinking about a rule. We want them to play (with a) free mind where you're just free and you play." Chiefs rookie linebacker Breeland Speaks said he didn't take Tom Brady down because he was concerned about a roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter of Kansas City's 43-40 loss at New England on Sunday night. Brady eluded Speaks and ran 4 yards for a touchdown to give the Patriots the lead. "We watched that video and watched that play and Tom did what we've seen Tom do a thousand times," Vincent said. "He stepped up in the pocket and the defender didn't make a play or didn't create a sack, but you don't want any player thinking about a penalty or being fined but you hope that he would make that adjustment on some of the things we've put in place and that's not just for his opponent's protection but for his as well." Overall, roughing-the-passer calls are down since the competition committee clarified to game officials the techniques used in such hits during a conference call last month. There were 34 roughing calls through the first three weeks and 19 in the three weeks since the call. Vincent said the league didn't advise officials to cut down on the calls, but emphasized to them making sure they see it clearly. "If you don't see the complete play, don't call it," Vincent said. "That was a directive from the competition committee. That was always the point of emphasis but after the (conference) call and after watching the video, the committee and our coaches (said): 'If you don't see the complete play, we ask that you leave the penalty in your pocket.'" Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was penalized three times in the first three weeks for roughing the passer, including two of which that appeared to be normal tackles. Matthews suggested the league has gone soft and argued that defensive players no longer know what constitutes a legal hit. Dolphins defensive end William Hayes tore his right ACL trying to avoid landing on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. "Every time we emphasized a call, you see more calls in the preseason and first (few) weeks and then you see an adjustment, and a leveling out of calls," said Atlanta Falcons CEO Rich McKay, the head of the league's competition committee. "We're not going to apologize for trying to protect players we think are in a vulnerable state." Some other things we learned on the first day of the NFL's fall meetings: MORE FINES THAN FLAGS: There have been only six penalties for illegal use of the helmet, but Vincent said between 10-12 players have been fined for such hits and almost 70 warning letters have been issued to players about using the crown of their helmet to initiate a hit. "We told officials if they don't see all three elements of it, we can fine it on Monday and we'll get the conducted corrected," McKay said. "I think the players have adjusted, the officials have adjusted and I know the coaches have adjusted." CONCUSSIONS DOWN: Concussions in preseason were down from 91 to 79, a 13 percent decline. Concussions on kickoffs were zero in the preseason, down from three. Concussions in practices were down from 23 to 9. Jeff Miller, the league's executive vice president of health and safety initiatives, credits a reduction plan the NFL put into place last year, improvements in helmets in part spurred by the league ratings of helmets and banning of some, rules changes such as the "helmet rule" and the kickoff rules, and the education of players. "We're certainly optimistic about the results," said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's medical director. "We'll continue with more in-depth analyses of concussions." HELMET BAN: Miller said there were some 230 helmets players used in 2017 that ranked in the red area, meaning they were banned for new league players in 2018 and will be banned for every player next season. Through Week 3 of this season, about 40 were still in use that were grandfathered in. He noted "it's sometimes hard to make a change," but added that players won't have a choice after this season regarding those helmets. ADVANTAGE, OFFENSE: Teams are scoring more than ever. The number of points (4,489), touchdowns (504) and touchdown passes (328) are the most in league history through six weeks. McKay credited the performance of young quarterbacks and the emphasis on calling illegal contact and defensive holding penalties. Illegal contact penalties are up from 11 to 36. After six weeks in 2016, there were 30 such calls. "We didn't like the way it was going last year and it led to passing yardage going down," McKay said. "As defenses get more aggressive and grab more, yards go down." Vincent said he expects scoring to "normalize" as teams see more film on the young quarterbacks and he noted weather conditions later in the season could make an impact. "I believe some of the defenses and coordinators will adjust," Vincent said. "Players are adjusting all the time and you just need game footage to see what people can and can't do." PARITY IS GOOD: Games have been closer through the first six weeks. So far, 54 games have been decided by one score, tied for the most in league history at this point. There have been 28 games decided by three points or fewer, second-most at this point. "Those are good stats for us because fans want to watch and attend close games," McKay said. ___ AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner contributed to this report......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports17 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Despite no medals on last day, PH satisfied with Youth Games campaign

MANILA, Philippines – Archer Nicole Tagle closed out the country’s stint in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games without any medal to show on Monday, October 15 (Tuesday, Manila time) along with golfers Yuka Saso and Carl Janno Corpus. The pair of Corpus and Saso assembled together a score ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 16th, 2018Related News

England hands Spain its first home loss in 15 years

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — It was an odd scene at Benito Villamarin Stadium in Seville: The few visiting English fans were chanting "Ole" at every touch of the ball by their squad, while the home Spanish crowd was jeering its own players. It was only halftime on Monday and the Spaniards had already seen their national team concede three goals for the first time ever in a competitive match at home. By the end, they were witnesses to La Roja's first home loss in 15 years. Raheem Sterling scored twice and Marcus Rashford once in a stunning first half for England, which held on to beat Spain 3-2 in the UEFA Nations League to get back in contention for a spot in the final four of Europe's newest competition. In the other match in League A, Iceland lost to Switzerland 2-1 and was relegated to the second-tier League B. Sterling ended his three-year scoring drought with England with goals on each side of Rashford's strike before the break, leading England to its first win in Spain since 1987. "For a young team, they put in an incredibly mature performance, withstood pressure reasonably well and should all be really proud," England coach Gareth Southgate said. Spain suffered its first loss in a competitive match at home since 2003 against Greece. It hadn't lost at home in 38 matches, and had not conceded three goals in a home match since 1991 in a friendly against Hungary. "It shows how tough it is to come here and win and we have done that," England forward Harry Kane said. "We came out of the blocks firing, great pressing." Paco Alcacer scored Spain's first goal early in the second half and Sergio Ramos claimed the second on the final play of the match. "We have to admit we played very badly in the first half," Spain coach Luis Enrique said. "We made a lot of individual mistakes." Despite the loss, Spain stayed ahead in Group 4 of League A with two more points than England after three matches. Croatia, with a game in hand, was five points behind Spain. Spain could have secured a spot in the last four with a win, while a draw would have ended England's chances of advancing. Only the group winner moves on. Spain started well but its high defensive line struggled against the speed of England's young forwards. The visitors were clinical, scoring on all of their attempts on goal. Spain totaled 25 attempts and 70 percent of possession, and blew it. England opened the scoring early in a fast breakaway. Rashford sent a nice ball into space for Sterling, who entered the area with only the goalkeeper to beat and found the top of the net with a superb finish. It was his first goal for England since 2015, and first ever away from Wembley. "It was a beautiful feeling," Sterling said. "I put a lot of pressure on myself to try to get in the box and score. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn't, but it's my position to score goals so I need to keep that going." Rashford added to the lead in the 30th after a perfect through ball by Kane, entering the area and finishing with a shot from near the penalty spot. Sterling got on the board again from close range after Kane's set-up in a move which started with a nice pass by Ross Barkley over the top of the Spanish defenders. Spain got on the board in the 58th through a header by substitute striker Alcacer, who has 10 goals in his last six games with club and country. Ramos' last-minute goal also was a header. RELEGATED ICELAND Iceland needed to beat Switzerland for the first time to avoid relegation but the Swiss got off to a two-goal lead and held on to victory. Switzerland routed Iceland 6-0 at home in the team's opener. It moved into a tie with Belgium for first place in Group 2. The Belgians have a game in hand. LOWER LEAGUES In League B, Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Northern Ireland 2-1 at home to take a six-point lead over Austria atop Group 3. In Group 2 of League C, Finland beat Greece 2-0 at home to remain perfect with four wins and a clean sheet after four matches. Estonia and Hungary drew 3-3 in the group's other match. Luxembourg defeated San Marino 3-0 to take the lead in Group 2 of League D, ahead of Belarus, which was held by Moldova to 0-0......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 16th, 2018Related News

Patriots, Brady top Chiefs for wild 43-40 win

By The Associated Press FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Stephen Gostkowski hit a 28-yard field goal as time expired, and the New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs 43-40 on Sunday night after blowing a big halftime lead. Tom Brady passed for 340 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in his 200th victory as a starting quarterback, tops in NFL history. Brady also passed former teammate Adam Vinatieri for most career wins in the regular season and playoffs combined with 227. It was the first loss of the season for the Chiefs (5-1). New England (4-2) led 24-9 at intermission, but Patrick Mahomes directed an impressive rally by Kansas City in the second half. He finished 23 of 36 for 352 yards in his first loss as a starting quarterback, with three of his four TD passes going to Tyreek Hill. Mahomes threw two interceptions in the first half, but was unflappable down the stretch. He found Hill for a 75-yard touchdown pass that tied it with just over three minutes remaining. STEELERS 28, BENGALS 21 CINCINNATI (AP) — James Conner ran for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the eve of Le'Veon Bell's possible return, and Antonio Brown turned a short pass into a 31-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left as Pittsburgh pulled off another improbable comeback in Cincinnati. The Steelers (3-2-1) have won eight in a row against their AFC North rival, three times rallying in the final minute at Paul Brown Stadium to keep it going. After Joe Mixon's 4-yard touchdown run with 1:18 left got the Bengals (4-2) thinking this might finally be the time they end the streak, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers stunned them again. Brown caught a short pass and outran the secondary for the winning score, leaving thousands of Steelers fans twirling their towels in the stands. The Steelers are 16-2 at Paul Brown Stadium during Marvin Lewis' 16 seasons as Bengals coach, including a pair of playoff wins. Same outcome as usual. This one ended with a brief scuffle after Andy Dalton's final pass fell incomplete, leaving him 3-12 all-time against Pittsburgh. The Steelers have found their stride behind Conner , who became the featured back when Bell decided to hold out. He has run for more than 100 yards in each of the last two games, and his two 1-yard touchdown runs Sunday put him in the company of a pair of Steelers Hall of Famers. Conner has seven rushing touchdowns in six games, joining Franco Harris (1976) and Jerome Bettis (2004) as the only Steelers with that accomplishment. RAVENS 21, TITANS 0 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Ravens piled up a franchise-record 11 sacks in the rain. Za'Darious Smith had three sacks and Patrick Onwuasor had two for the Ravens (4-2), who had six sacks by halftime. They finished a sack off the NFL record for a game, shared by five teams. Dean Pees and the Titans simply couldn't stop his old team as the Ravens outgained Tennessee 361-106 and punted only once against a defense led by their former defensive coordinator. Pees came out of a short retirement to join first-year head coach Mike Vrabel. Joe Flacco threw for 238 yards and a touchdown for Baltimore. Alex Collins scored on TD runs of 13 and 2 yards. The Titans (3-3) lost their second straight and were shut out at home for the first time since moving into Nissan Stadium in 1999. Tennessee has not scored a touchdown in eight straight quarters. The Ravens couldn't have looked much better handing Tennessee its first shutout since Nov. 28, 2010. Marcus Mariota tried playing both with and without the partial glove covering his ring and pinkie fingers on his throwing hand. It didn't' help as Mariota was sacked the most in his four-year NFL career and most allowed by the Titans since giving up seven in a loss at Houston on Nov. 1, 2015. Coach Ken Whisenhunt was fired two days later. RAMS 23, BRONCOS 20 DENVER (AP) — Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries and the Rams celebrated Wade Phillips' homecoming. The Rams, who had surrendered 31 points in back-to-back games, improved to 6-0 in sending the Broncos (2-4) to their fourth straight loss. The Broncos pulled to 23-20 on Case Keenum's 1-yard dart to Demaryius Thomas with 1:22 remaining, capping a 77-yard drive that included three defensive penalties. Rams receiver Robert Woods, however, knocked Brandon McManus' onside kick out of bounds, and the Rams ran out the clock with Jared Goff (14 of 28 for 201 yards) twice taking a knee. Phillips was the Broncos' beloved bandmaster when they were celebrating their Super Bowl 50 triumph, but his contract wasn't renewed after the 2016 season and he joined Sean McVay in sunny Southern California. After an overnight snowstorm, the game-time temperature of 25 degrees marked the second-coldest in Denver prior to November in franchise history. The cold did nothing to slow down Gurley, who scored his 10th and 11th touchdowns of the season. COWBOYS 40, JAGUARS 7 ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Cole Beasley to spark the previously punchless Dallas passing game and rushed for a career-high 82 yards. Perhaps pumped up by some pregame mingling with UFC fighter Conor McGregor, the Cowboys rolled to a 24-0 halftime lead. Beasley got his first two touchdowns of the season for the NFL's 30th-ranked passing offense that was facing the league's No. 1 pass defense. Prescott had 151 of his 183 yards passing in the first half because Dallas didn't need to throw while coasting during a second-half blowout that dropped Jacksonville to 3-3. The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year had already set his personal best in rushing for a game when he spun out of a sack for the longest run of his career, a 28-yarder. He scored Dallas' first touchdown on a 17-yard run. The Cowboys (3-3) won their first three games of the season at 9-year-old AT&T Stadium for the first time. Most of their offensive struggles have been in the three road losses. Blake Bortles, who established a career high in yards passing in consecutive weeks and had a chance to become the fifth NFL quarterback with three straight games of at least 375 yards, was 15 of 26 for 149 yards with a touchdown and an interception. DOLPHINS 31, BEARS 28, OT MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Jason Sanders kicked a 47-yard field goal on the final play of overtime after Cody Parkey missed a 53-yard try for the Chicago Bears, who blew an 11-point lead in the final 16 minutes of regulation. Miami's Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns subbing for Ryan Tannehill, who sat out because of an injured throwing shoulder. Albert Wilson turned two short passes into long touchdowns in the fourth quarter and finished with 155 yards on six receptions. The Dolphins took the kickoff to start overtime, marched 74 yards and were on the verge of victory when Kenyan Drake fumbled just before crossing the goal line. Eddie Goldman recovered for the Bears, who then drove to the Miami 35. But former Dolphin Parkey was wide right on his attempt with 2 minutes left. Miami (4-2) snapped a two-game losing streak and ended a three-game winning streak for Chicago (3-2). The Bears' offense came alive after they trailed 7-0 at halftime. Miami then rallied from a 21-10 deficit in the final 16 minutes of regulation to tie the game twice and force overtime. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 316 yards and three second-half touchdowns, but the Bears were hurt by two turnovers in the red zone. Jordan Howard lost a fumble at the 1, and Trubisky was intercepted in the end zone by T.J. McDonald. FALCONS 34, BUCCANEERS 29 ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay in Jameis Winston's return as Buccaneers starting quarterback. The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. Winston and the Bucs almost pulled off a miracle on the final play of the game after driving to the Atlanta 21. With no timeouts, the quarterback took the snap and tried to surprise the Falcons by taking off up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched toward receiver Adam Humphries, who couldn't hang on. The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson at the 5. Jackson might've had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn't come up with another bouncing ball. It hopped out of bounds to end the game. Jackson ripped off his helmet, kicked the pylon in disgust and headed straight for the locker room. Winston threw for 395 yards and four TDs but also had a pair of interceptions. Ryan's three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list. JETS 42, COLTS 34 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Jason Myers kicked a franchise-record seven field goals, Sam Darnold threw two touchdown passes, and the Jets held on to win consecutive games for the first time in more than a year. Morris Claiborne returned the first of three interceptions thrown by Andrew Luck for a touchdown as the Jets (3-3) moved to .500 by taking advantage of mistakes by the short-handed Colts (1-5), who lost their fourth straight. With Joe Namath and the 1968 Super Bowl-winning team celebrating its 50th anniversary, Darnold was 24 of 30 for 280 yards, with TD throws to Terrelle Pryor and Chris Herndon and an interception to give New York its first back-to-back victories since taking three in a row in Weeks 3-5 last season. Myers hit field goals from 30, 48, 32, 37, 45, 37 and 45 yards to break the Jets record previously held by Jim Turner (1968) — the kicker for the Super Bowl champions — and Bobby Howfield (1972). Luck was 23 of 43 for 301 yards with touchdowns to Marcus Johnson, Eric Ebron, Erik Swoope and Chester Rogers, the last coming with 1:51 left to make the score close. Neal Sterling recovered the Colts' onside kick to seal the win for the Jets. TEXANS 19, BILLS 14 HOUSTON (AP) — Johnathan Joseph's 28-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:23 remaining lifted the Texans. Houston trailed by three when Phillip Gaines was called pass interference on Will Fuller in the end zone with 2 minutes remaining, moving the Texans 41 yards to the 1-yard line. But the Texans (3-3) lost 7 yards on three plays, capped by an incomplete pass intended for Ryan Griffin that Matt Milano knocked down to force Houston to kick. A 27-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn tied it with 1:34 remaining. Two plays later, Joseph stepped in front of a pass from backup Nathan Peterman intended for Kelvin Benjamin and dashed untouched into the end zone to put the Texans on top and help them avoid their third straight overtime game. Kareem Jackson intercepted Peterman with 35 seconds left to secure the victory, dropping Buffalo to 2-4. Joseph's late-game heroics helped Houston to its third straight win on a day that quarterback Deshaun Watson committed three turnovers. VIKINGS 27, CARDINALS 17 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Latavius Murray helped the Minnesota Vikings revive their running attack with 155 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, wearing down the Cardinals. Even Kirk Cousins joined the fun for the Vikings (3-2-1) with an option-style run across the goal line in the third quarter, before throwing to Adam Thielen for a score on the following possession. Thielen had 11 receptions for 123 yards, his sixth straight 100-yard game to become the first player in the NFL since 1961 to start a season with a streak that long. Thielen's 58 catches are the most in league history through six games. Budda Baker returned a fumble off a sack by Chandler Jones for a 36-yard touchdown and Tre Boston had a diving interception later in the second quarter, and the Cardinals (1-5) constantly pressured Cousins with four sacks, seven hits and seven deflected passes. Cousins managed to complete 24 of 34 attempts for 233 yards, thanks mostly to Thielen and his exceptional ability to get open anywhere on the field and turn off-target throws into clutch catches. SEAHAWKS 27, RAIDERS 3 LONDON (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns, including one off a botched snap in the second quarter. Chris Carson rushed for 59 yards and rookie Rashaad Penny gained an additional 43 for the Seahawks (3-3), who played to a vociferously supportive crowd — a London-record 84,922 were in attendance — despite the Raiders (1-5) being the designated home team. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr left with an apparent left arm injury with 8:52 remaining in the fourth quarter after the last of his six sacks and did not have the chance to return before the Seahawks ran out the clock. Carr went 23 for 31 for 142 yards. He was hit by Jarran Reed on third down and immediately grabbed his upper left arm as he sat up before being helped to the sideline for evaluation. Wilson, who completed 17 of 23 attempts for 222 yards with an interception, connected with Jaron Brown for a 5-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter; a 19-yard touchdown pass to David Moore in the second; and a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett in the fourth. After picking up a low snap, Wilson faked a throw and stepped forward, then made a throw to Moore over Daryl Worley. Moore punctuated his touchdown, his third in the Seahawks' past two games, by accidentally crashing into and tumbling over the temporary video advertising boards set up around the field. Sebastian Janikowski, who joined the Seahawks in the offseason after 17 seasons with the Raiders, made two field goals. REDSKINS 23, PANTHERS 17 LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Josh Norman bounced back from his prime-time benching by intercepting former teammate Cam Newton and forcing a fumble. Norman ended his 19-game interception drought by catching a jump ball thrown by Newton on a third-and-long play early in the second quarter, his first pick since Dec. 24, 2016. Norman also popped the ball out of Panthers rookie receiver D.J. Moore's hands in a showcase performance against the team that abruptly cut ties with him after his All-Pro 2015 season. Newton threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns on 27 of 40 passing and rushed for 43 yards in a turnover-marred loss. He engineered a late drive that got the Panthers to the Washington 16-yard line, but threw incomplete on second, third and fourth downs to seal the loss. Carolina (3-2) was long before that doomed by turnovers, including Moore's on a punt return that set up Smith's 22-yard TD pass to Davis. In his second game with the Panthers, safety Eric Reid continued his tradition of kneeling during the national anthem. Reid took a knee just at the corner of the American flag on the field by the Carolina sideline, the only Panthers player to do so. Reid last week became the first Carolina player to kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner." CHARGERS 38, BROWNS 14 CLEVELAND (AP) — Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes to Tyrell Williams — the veteran quarterback threw a block — and Melvin Gordon had three TD runs as the Chargers banged around rookie Baker Mayfield and the Browns. The 36-year-old Rivers continued one of the best starts of his 15-year career, leading the Chargers (4-2) to their third straight win. Rivers finished 11 of 20 for 207 yards and had only one mistake, an interception midway through the fourth quarter. San Diego did most of its damage on the ground, with Gordon running for 132 yards and scoring on runs of 4, 10 and 11 yards. Rivers and Williams connected on scoring plays of 45 and 29 yards in the first half, and Gordon's 11-yard run put the Chargers up 35-6. Mayfield's third start as a pro was a rough one. The No. 1 overall pick was sacked five times, tweaked his ankle when he slid on a sideline marker and threw two interceptions. The Browns (2-3-1) were blown out after playing five tight games — three going to overtime — and showed there's still a long road ahead......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 15th, 2018Related News

Ateneo rises

Ateneo-Motolite may have a problem with slow starts, but it certainly doesn't have an issue finishing strong. Ateneo again proved its endgame strength after besting hard-fighting Adamson-Akari, 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 15-12, Sunday night to register its second straight win in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Lady Eagles were expected to cruise against the winless Lady Falcons. Instead the Lady Eagles encountered a team desperate to score its first win, dragging Ateneo to a five-set thriller that lasted for two hours and 45 minutes. "In the end it was all heart," said Kat Tolentino who fired 28 points for Ateneo, including 20 att...Keep on reading: Ateneo rises.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 15th, 2018Related News

Paco Alcacer making most of 2nd chance with Spain

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Close to seeing his career stagnate, Paco Alcacer is making the most of a second chance to become Spain's top striker. Alcacer scored twice in his first appearance for Spain in two-and-a-half years to lead a 4-1 away win at Wales in a friendly last week. On Monday, the former Barcelona player will likely feature again when Spain hosts England in Seville seeking a second win over Gareth Southgate's team in the incipient Nations League. "I'm happy that I was able to help the team by doing what we strikers are supposed to, which is provide goals," Alcacer said after Thursday's match in Cardiff. "I just have to keep this good dynamic going." The 25-year-old Alcacer has been rejuvenated since leaving Barcelona on loan for Borussia Dortmund in August, a turnaround that has ended a hiatus from Spain's national team that was in danger of becoming a permanent adios. Previous to his two goals for Spain against Wales, Alcacer had scored seven times in a four-match scoring run for Dortmund. That streak included netting a spectacular hat trick that he completed on the last kick of the game for a 4-3 win over Augsburg. Ironically, Alcacer's slide toward oblivion at Barcelona began under current Spain coach Luis Enrique when he was condemned to a reserve role behind the superstar trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez in 2016-17. Not even Neymar's departure at the start of last season changed the situation at Camp Nou for Alcacer. Favoring other players, new coach Ernesto Valverde gave him fewer appearances than Luis Enrique. So Alcacer decided that his best option was to leave Spain and try his luck in Germany. And it turned out that Alcacer just needed a chance to play. With his brace against Wales, Alcacer showed his leading quality as a striker. He is not the fastest, the strongest, nor the slickest passer; he is a pure goal scorer who excels at putting one-touch shots in-between the posts. Against Wales, Alcacer fired a rising right-footed shot into the near corner for the lead— and his first goal with Spain since Oct. 2015. He then put the win beyond doubt by poaching a clearance in the area to make it 3-0. "Alcacer is playing superbly because he is on a scoring streak, but overall his attitude has been marvelous," said Luis Enrique, who called Alcacer up to fill the void left by the injured Diego Costa. Alcacer was not supposed to need a comeback story. Four years ago, former Spain manager Vicente del Bosque considered Alcacer, along with Alvaro Morata, as his strikers of the future. The then Valencia player led Spain in qualifying for the 2016 European championship with five goals, but when he struggled to score for his club in the run-up to the tournament Del Bosque dropped him from his squad. Banished to the bench following his move to Barcelona from Valencia, Alcacer was also ignored by Julen Lopetegui in his two-year tenure that took Spain to last summer's World Cup. Circumstances, however, have put Alcacer in good position to now succeed for "La Roja." While competition remains fierce in the positions of midfielder and playmaker for Spain, the striker job is up for grabs. Long gone are the days when David Villa and Fernando Torres flourished up front for the 2010 world champions, as both Costa and Morata have failed to show they can be counted on for goals. Alcacer said that he had been preparing for this return to his best form. "It's about several things," he said, "about getting on a hot streak, about self-confidence, about having playing time, and, above all, about working each day when you are not playing so you can be ready.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 15th, 2018Related News

Ryan throws 3 TD passes, Falcons hold off Bucs 34-29

By Paul Newberry, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle. But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way. Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston's return as the Bucs' starter. The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. The Bucs lost their third in a row. "It was all hands on deck," Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. Especially on the final play . Winston and the Bucs drove to the Atlanta 21 but were out of timeouts. With the Falcons dropping nearly everyone toward the end zone, expecting a pass, Winston took the snap and darted straight up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched the ball toward receiver Adam Humphries, who was so intent on going for the winning score he couldn't hang on. The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson along the sideline at the 5. Jackson might've had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn't come up with another bouncing ball. It rolled harmlessly out of bounds to end the game. Jackson ripped off his helmet and kicked the pylon in disgust on his way to the locker room. "The play is a play you run once," tight end O.J. Howard said. "It was a great call. We almost got it." Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season and came off the bench in Week 4, threw for 395 yards and four TDs. His performance, though, was marred by a pair of interceptions, one a deep ball that was picked off at the Atlanta 1 and a deflected pass in the end zone that ricocheted high in the air and was grabbed by Brian Poole to deny a red-zone scoring chance. Ryan's three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list. "Obviously it's very special any time your name is brought up with Joe's," Ryan said. "But I'm more excited about the win." He also had a big scramble on third-and-9, powering for a 13-yard gain that set up his final scoring pass. Quinn made a gutsy call with just over a minute remaining, sending on Matt Bryant to attempt a 57-yard field goal with Atlanta clinging to a 31-29 lead. Bryant's kick just cleared the crossbar, extending the Falcons' lead. The 43-yard-old Bryant put everything into the kick and immediately grabbed his right hamstring before hobbling off the field. Quinn's decision forced the Bucs to go for a touchdown. "I can't say enough about Matt Bryant and the kick he had," Quinn gushed. "He's definitely one of the most mentally tough players I've had a chance to coach." JULIO'S DAY Julio Jones went another game without a touchdown catch. The Falcons didn't mind a bit. Jones had 10 receptions for 143 yards — his third 100-yard game of the season — and constantly drew attention away from his teammates. That allowed Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman to haul in scoring passes. Jones has gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD since a Nov. 26, 2017, victory over Tampa Bay, when he had two scoring catches. BUC-KLING DOWN The beleaguered Tampa Bay defense, which is guided by former Falcons coach Mike Smith, was shredded in the first half for three touchdowns, a last-second field goal and 275 yards. It showed a bit of improvement after the break, actually forcing Atlanta to punt on three straight possessions. But, with the game on the line, the Bucs surrendered a 75-yard drive capped by Ryan's 6-yard TD pass to Coleman and a 36-yard possession that set up Bryant's long field goal. Tampa Bay came into the game allowing 34.75 points per game, more than any team in the league. INJURY REPORT Atlanta's receiving corps took a beating. Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass. The loss of two receivers forced the Falcons to give more playing time to Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. Hardy had three catches and Gage came up with a big catch on Atlanta's touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Also, cornerback Ryan Smith was evaluated for a possible concussion. UP NEXT Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1). Falcons: Host the struggling New York Giants (1-5) on Monday, Oct. 22, to close out a stretch of five home games in the first seven weeks of the season......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 15th, 2018Related News

Joseph s INT return for TD lifts Texans over Bills 20-13

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — On a day Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson wasn't at his best, the defense helped the Texans pull out another win. Johnathan Joseph's 28-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:23 remaining lifted the Texans to their third straight victory, a 20-13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Texans trailed by three when Phillip Gaines was called pass interference on Will Fuller in the end zone with 2 minutes remaining, moving the Texans 41 yards to the 1-yard line. But the Texans (3-3) lost 7 yards on three plays, capped by an incomplete pass intended for Ryan Griffin that Matt Milano knocked down to force Houston to kick. A 27-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn tied it with 1:34 remaining. Two plays later Joseph stepped in front of a pass from backup Nathan Peterman intended for Kelvin Benjamin and dashed untouched into the end zone to put the Texans on top and help them avoid their third straight overtime game. "I kind of thought for a second to just get there and hold the ball so we can the run clock out," Joseph said. "But then I was like: 'A chance like that (doesn't) come by so often. I've got to score this.'" The Bills had a chance to tie after that, but Kareem Jackson intercepted Peterman with 35 seconds left to secure the victory. Joseph's late-game heroics helped Houston to its third straight win on a day Watson committed three turnovers. The Bills hurried and harassed Watson all day, sacking him seven times and hitting him 12 more. Watson, questionable this week with a chest injury, was slow to get up several times and didn't seem to be moving as well as he normally does. Watson brushed off questions about his health, saying he didn't "want to make any excuses," but his teammates acknowledged the injury and said it made them want to do more to help him. "When you've got a guy that sacrifices everything when he's hurt, everybody around him better do the same thing, especially if it's your quarterback," defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said. "I think everybody put that on their shoulders this week and just tried to give it all up for him." Watson was 15 of 25 for 177 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also lost a fumble. Peterman threw for 61 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Bills (2-4) after taking over for rookie Josh Allen, who left with an elbow injury late in the third quarter. Allen threw for 84 yards and ran for 20. Bills coach Sean McDermott said after the game that they were still evaluating Allen's injury. He saw some good things from Peterman but was disappointed with his turnovers. "At the end of the game ... he was probably trying to do too much," McDermott said. "I don't want to paint it all bad, but we've got to protect the football and make sure we're smart." The Bills took their first lead of the game when Peterman found Zay Jones in the corner of the end zone on a 16-yard pass that made it 13-10 early in the fourth quarter. Lorenzo Alexander tipped a pass by Watson at the line and intercepted it on the first drive of the second half. The Bills had a first down at the 8-yard line before their offense stalled and they kicked a 22-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3. Peterman's first pass after taking over was incomplete and his second was short of a first down, and the Bills added a 52-yard field goal to get within 10-6. Watson was sacked on Houston's next drive and Harrison Phillips recovered his fumble at the Houston 32 near the end of the third quarter. The Texans recovered a fumble on a punt return and took advantage of the mistake a few plays later when Watson connected with DeAndre Hopkins on a 13-yard pass to make it 7-0. A 33-yard field goal pushed the lead to 10-0 in the second quarter. INJURIES Bills LG Vladimir Ducasse left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. ... Allen looked to be in quite a bit of pain in the sideline as trainers worked on his elbow. WATT'S WORK Houston's J.J. Watt had a sack to give him at least one in four straight games and leave him tied for the NFL lead with seven this season. Watt has played well in his return after playing just eight games combined in the previous two seasons because of back surgery and a broken leg. "I'm just trying to get better and better," he said. "Everybody told me I was washed-up. Some people didn't think I could get seven sacks on the season. I'm just trying to keep doing what I'm doing." UP NEXT Bills: Visit Indianapolis next Sunday. Texans: Visit Jacksonville next Sunday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 15th, 2018Related News

Umali tops Youth division in 22nd Sletba Open; Alvarez, Tagulinao score

Kenzo Umali after posting a perfect score Saturday night National Youth pool member Kenzo Umali put on an amazing display of power bowling Saturday night to capture the Youth Masters division of th.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsOct 14th, 2018Related News

Beauty queen Michele Gumabao joins & lsquo;The Score& rsquo;

Beauty queen Michele Gumabao joins & lsquo;The Score& rsquo;.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: MoviesOct 14th, 2018Related News

PVL: Lady Eagles weather Lady Falcons upset scare for back-to-back wins

Ateneo-Motolite survived an upset scare from a very game Adamson-Akari, 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 15-12, on Sunday to score back-to-back wins in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Kat Tolentino stepped up big time in the deciding set, scoring six points in the frame to help the Lady Eagles improve to 4-1 win-loss record at second spot behind unbeaten BanKo (5-0). Tolentino scattered 28 points off 20 spikes, five kill blocks and three service aces while Jules Samonte added 11 markers off the bench for Ateneo-Motolite. Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston chipped in nine points each for the Lady Eagles' second win in back-to-back weekend schedule after taking down Iriga-Navy in straight sets Saturday.   The incoming third year hitter scored five of Ateneo-Motolite's first nine points as the Lady Eagles built a 9-3 advantage. Behind Bernadette Flora and Ceasa Pinar's heroics, Adamson-Akari closed the gap, 9-8.  Ateneo-Motolite again went ahead, 13-11, before Krich Macaslang scored a hit to push the Lady Falcons within one, 13-12. Tolentino put the Lady Eagles at match point before Vanessa Gandler sealed the win with a cross court hit.    “Every game this is our problem because siguro new system, we always start slow for the past few games we really start slow and we try to fix that problem,” said Ateneo-Motolite head coach Oliver Almadro, who commended the Lady Falcons’ floor defense. “I thank the Lord that we won today, we won yesterday,” he added. “But I’m not happy with what we’ve shown today. It’s because, I guess, we’re getting used to playing pa sa back-to-back (schedule) so siguro being a student and an athlete hindi pa sanay doon sa big games na magkasunod. But we have to be used to it and this is a learning experience for us and we really just have to maximize our strength and really believing kung ano ang ginagawa namin.” The Lady Falcons, who showed superb floor defense but were plagued with terrible errors, dropped their sixth game in as many outings tied with the Lady Oragons. Adamson was in control of the second set, 10-5, but committed 11 of the frame's 13 errors the rest of the way as the Lady Falcons giave Ateneo-Motolite a chance to steal the set and tie the match.  The Lady Eagles again came back from a 14-15 deficit with a 10-4 run capped by an attack error by Flora for a 24-19 lead. Ateneo-Motolite committed a net touch in the next play before Adamson-Akari surrendered the set on another miscue by Flora.         Flora finished with 25 points on 20 kills, three kill blocks and a pair of aces while adding 24 digs and eight excellent receptions. Chiara Permentilla and Gracelchen Ave scored 15 and 12 markers, respectively, for Adamson.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles      .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 14th, 2018Related News

Joma’s crystal ball: Opposition to pull upset in midterm polls

LUCENA CITY---As the 2019 elections draw near, exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison has expressed bold optimism that the still fragmented political opposition could score a substantial victory against administration candidates.   "We can expect that the Duterte regime will lose heavily in the Senate," he said in an online interview.   Sison said there would be fewer pro-Duterte members of the House of Representatives too.   The mainstream political opposition has yet to finalize a lineup, though.   Survey says otherwise   Based on early survey results, aspirants known as allies of President ...Keep on reading: Joma’s crystal ball: Opposition to pull upset in midterm polls.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 14th, 2018Related News

Dutch humiliate Germany in Nations League, Gibraltar wins

By The Associated Press Germany's UEFA Nations League campaign took a humiliating blow after a 3-0 loss at old rival Netherlands on Saturday. Germany remains without a win in the top-tier League A and has yet to score a goal. In the second-tier League B, the Czech Republic got its first win in the new competition — beating host Slovakia 2-1 — and Ireland and Denmark drew 0-0. In League D, Gibraltar won its first competitive game on a memorable night for the tiny territory. Here's a look at Saturday's games. NO GOALS FOR GERMANY Following its disastrous World Cup defense in Russia, Germany has been under pressure to show some progress but it didn't come at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday night. The Germans failed to score for the third straight competitive game, including a humiliating 2-0 loss to South Korea in Russia and a 0-0 draw with France at home in the Nations League. Captain Virgil van Dijk scored only his second international goal before Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum added two more as the Dutch ran riot late in the game. The comprehensive defeat left Germany at the bottom of Group 1 with a single point, days before it heads to Paris to take on group leader and World Cup champion France. France leads the Dutch by a point at the top of the standings. The result also heaped more pressure on Germany coach Joachim Loew, who opted to stay in the job after the 2014 world champion crashed out of the summer's World Cup in Russia at the group stage. "Why are we not scoring? That's difficult to answer, we have clear chances," Loew said. "Had we lost 1-0, it would have been acceptable but breaking apart like this in the last 10 minutes is not good." Germany's scoring woes were personified by Loew's decision to play Mark Uth as a lone striker despite the 27-year-old Schalke player failing to score a goal this season. Uth didn't impress and was substituted in the second half. A corner from the right by Depay exposed German defensive frailties in the 30th. Ryan Babel rose between Jonas Hector and Mats Hummels to head against the underside of the bar and the ball bounced up invitingly for the unmarked Van Dijk to head in. Depay doubled the lead in the 87th, calmly finishing after a quick break down the right by substitute Quincy Promes. The Olympique Lyon striker then hit the crossbar in extra time before Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum made it 3-0 with virtually the last kick of the match as Germany crumbled. CZECHS WIN Substitute striker Patrik Schick scored the winning goal for the visiting Czech Republic to beat Slovakia 2-1 in Trnava. All the goals were in the second half. Three minutes after coming off the bench, Schick rose in the area in the 76th minute to head in a cross from captain Borek Dockal for his second goal in two matches. It was the first win for the Czechs in the competition after losing to Ukraine. Ukraine leads Group 1 in second-tier League B, with three more points than the Czechs. Slovakia remains pointless. Playmaker Marek Hamsik marked his record 108th appearance for Slovakia with his 22nd goal, a rebound after a corner, after Czech striker Michael Krmencik scored the opener following a through ball from Dockal. Ireland drew with Denmark in Group 4 in the only other game in League B later Saturday. Denmark tops the group with four points, one more than Wales in second. Ireland has one point. BULGARIA LEADS Ole Selnaes scored the only goal for Norway to beat Slovenia 1-0 in Group 3 of League C for its second win and trail leader Bulgaria by three points. Bulgaria rallied from a goal down to beat Cyprus 2-1. Cyprus has three points while Slovenia is on zero. GIBRALTAR ENDS LOSING STREAK Gibraltar's national team has recorded its first victory in a competitive match, a 1-0 win at Armenia, after losing its previous 22 competitive games. Joseph Chipolina got the historic winner from the penalty spot in the Group 4 game in League D. Gibraltar players had to listen to the national anthem of Liechtenstein before the match, a mistake for which Armenia FA apologized. Gibraltar hosts Liechtenstein on Tuesday. Macedonia kept a perfect record in the same group with a 4-1 victory over Lichtenstein to lead with nine points. The other three teams are tied on three points. In Group 1 of League D, Georgia made it three wins in three by beating Andorra 3-0 to dominate the standings with nine points. Andorra, Latvia and Kazakhstan all have two points after Latvia and Kazakhstan drew 1-1......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 14th, 2018Related News

PVL: Ateneo-Motolite back in win column

Ateneo-Motolite took the fight out of Iriga-Navy with a devastating rally in the second set before sustaining its momentum in the third to complete a bounce back 25-19, 29-27, 25-14, win Sunday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Down by 12 points in the second set, the Lady Eagles once again clung to their heartstrong mantra to fuel an impressive fight back that highlighted Ateneo-Motolite’s third win in four games tied with Creamline and Pocari-Air Force. The Lady Eagles rebounded from a straight sets loss to BanKo last week by downing a revamped but still winless Lady Oragons. “Unang-una I just told them that you have to have pride and be responsible on everything you do. So I guess ‘yun ang dapat na number one na matutunan ng mga bata. Most of them know how to play but sometimes they forget how to win so I just told them to be responsible,” said Atenei-Motolite coach Oliver Almadro. “I guess ‘yung responsibility inako talaga nila and nag-make way para maka recover kami pero unfortunately, 24-20, inabutan pa rin kami. Pero siguro they just refused to lose na kasi nandoon na eh,” he added. Kat Tolentino finished with 14 points off 10 attacks, three kill blocks and an ace for the Lady Eagles. Middles Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon had seven each while Ponggay Gaston posted eight markers for Ateneo-Motolite, which received 31 free points off Iriga-Navy’s errors. After taking the opening set, Ateneo-Motolite stared at a 17-5 deficit in the second frame. The Lady Oragons were still up, 20-12, before the Lady Eagles unleashed a 12-0 barrage to move at set point, 24-20. Iriga-Navy came back to life and moved at set point, 25-24. Ateneo-Motolite answered with two straight points before the Lady Oragons forced another deuce.   Tolentino gave the Lady Eagles back the lead but Hezzymie Acuna was quick to counter for knot the score at 27. Ponggay Gaston pushed Ateneo-Motolite on its third set point advantage before Nene Bautista committed an attack error to surrender the frame to the Lady Eagles.     With momentum on their side, Ateneo-Motolite created an early separation and never looked back in the third. The Lady Oragons, who inserted three Army players in Bautista, Joanne Bunag and libero Tin Agno to beef up their lineup, absorbed their sixth straight defeat in as many outings. Bunag had 11 points while Grazielle Bombita and Divine Eguia scored eight each for Iriga-Navy.     ---           Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

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

Cagers add spice to new & lsquo;The Score& rsquo; on S + A

Cagers add spice to new & lsquo;The Score& rsquo; on S + A.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsOct 12th, 2018Related News

No surprise, the West title still runs through the Warriors

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Golden State coach Steve Kerr is a happy man these days. He’s got a new contract. He’s got his son Nick, who was helping out in San Antonio, working in the Warriors’ video room now. He’s leading a team that has won three of the last four NBA championships and is the overwhelming favorite to win it again this season. Staying happy will be the challenge for Kerr and the Warriors this season, when Western Conference rivals resume their attempts to take down the champs. “Our place in the history of the league is pretty secure,” Kerr said. “I don’t think our guys should feel a ton of pressure. I think they should feel the importance of trying to do it again, because this may be the last time we have this current iteration of the Warriors, just given all the free agents and the money crunch and everything else.” LeBron James took his talents to Los Angeles, signing with the Lakers and moving out of the East for the first time in his career. Houston had the NBA’s best regular-season record a year ago and has reigning MVP James Harden. Utah has a budding superstar in Donovan Mitchell, and certainly got the league’s attention with its playoff run last season. But in the West, until further notice, it’s still the Warriors and then everybody else. “It’s a marathon,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “There’s a lot of time between now and April and May and June, but if we go about it the right way to start the season, it can feed on itself in terms of the expectation we have night in, night out.” A look at the West, in predicted order of finish: PLAYOFF BOUND 1. GOLDEN STATE — Warriors aiming for their third consecutive NBA championship, something only the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls franchises have done. 2. UTAH — Donovan Mitchell is a legitimate star, coach Quin Snyder has been underrated for far too long, and the Jazz went 29-6 to finish last season. 3. HOUSTON — The Rockets have the MVP in James Harden, a leader in Chris Paul and added Carmelo Anthony, but expecting another 67-15 season is a lot. 4. L.A. LAKERS — LeBron James is still the best player in the game and shows no signs of slowing down, so doubting his chances seems less than brilliant. 5. OKLAHOMA CITY — This is a sign of how loaded the West remains: The Thunder are really good, and that won’t assure them home-court for Round 1. 6. DENVER — Losing Game 82 last season to Minnesota and missing the playoffs because of that outcome should serve as a massive motivator for Denver. 7. NEW ORLEANS — DeMarcus Cousins is gone, Rajon Rondo is gone, but Anthony Davis is still there and that should be enough for a Pelicans playoff run. 8. SAN ANTONIO — Dejounte Murray’s ACL tear is a disaster, but any team with LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan and Gregg Popovich still has a lot. IN THE MIX 9. PORTLAND — The West’s No. 3 seed last season, the Blazers were only three games ahead of No. 9 and will face a serious battle in a very loaded West. 10. DALLAS — Luka Doncic is NBA-ready, DeAndre Jordan will make the Mavs better and Dirk Nowitzki deserves to see his franchise trending up again. 11. L.A. CLIPPERS — A possible transitional year for the Clippers, who should be major players in free agency next summer and could add a lottery pick. FACING LONG ODDS 12. MINNESOTA — The Jimmy Butler debacle shows that some big changes in direction are probably going to happen in Minnesota, and sooner than later. 13. PHOENIX — Devin Booker got his max deal and the Suns got No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, but firing GM Ryan McDonough so close to the season was odd. 14. MEMPHIS — Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are savvy vets, but they are going to need a lot of help if Memphis is going to seriously improve this season. 15. SACRAMENTO — Kings had a league-high 44 games last season where they didn’t score 100 points, and a very young team might not change that much. WHAT TO KNOW L.A. BRON: If he has even an average-for-him season, new Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will rise to No. 4 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list this season. He’s currently No. 7, with No. 6 Dirk Nowitzki, No. 5 Wilt Chamberlain and No. 4 Michael Jordan well within reach. Add 2,000 or so points to James’ total of 31,038, and only No. 3 Kobe Bryant, No. 2 Karl Malone and No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — all former Lakers — would still be ahead of him. STEPH RISING: Speaking of rising up career charts, Golden State’s Stephen Curry could easily be No. 3 on the all-time list for 3-pointers made by the end of this season. Curry has 2,129 3s in 625 career games, a rate of 3.4 made per game. The six players ahead of him — Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Jason Terry, Kyle Korver, Jamal Crawford and Paul Pierce — averaged 1.8 made 3s per game. BIG NUMBERS: The only players in the last 30 seasons to average 30 points and eight assists were Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook in 2016-17 and Houston’s James Harden last season. Probably not coincidentally, Westbrook and Harden won MVP awards for those seasons. There are seven active players with at least one MVP award in the NBA right now, and all seven play in the West. GREAT COACHES: San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich enters the season with 1,197 wins, fifth-most in NBA history — 13 behind Pat Riley and 24 behind Jerry Sloan. Meanwhile, Golden State’s Steve Kerr comes into the year with the highest winning percentages during both the regular season (265-63, .808) and the postseason (63-20, .759) in NBA history. Here’s how far ahead Kerr is on the NBA’s all-time regular season winning percentage list: If the Warriors go 24-58 this season, which seems less than likely, he would still be above Phil Jackson for the No. 1 spot. VERSUS EAST: The West beat the East for the ninth consecutive season in head-to-head matchups, winning nearly 53 percent of the cross-conference matchups in the regular season (and 100 percent of them in the NBA Finals). Over the last nine seasons, West teams have beaten East teams nearly 57 percent of the time......»»

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

NCAA: Bolick doesn t score 50, San Beda still downs Arellano

San Beda University will have a twice-to-beat advantage against whoever it will face in the Final Four of the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Red Lions scored the much-welcome playoff incentive after making quick work of also-ran Arellano University, 90-52, on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Robert Bolick didn’t have a historic 50-point performance like he did the last time the two teams met, but he still made waves all over with 11 points, nine assists, and five rebounds. As always, Javee Mocon was right there with him and posted a 24-point, 11-rebound double-double. “Springboard sa amin ‘to going into the Lyceum game – especially for our bench players,” he told reporters post-game. It was also Mocon who fronted the 16-8 second quarter that broke the game wide open for the defending champions. The Chiefs would never recover from there and only saw their opponents mount a lead of as much as 38. With the win, San Beda has secured a top two finish in the elimination rounds still with two games left on its schedule. “At least, ngayong twice-to-beat na kami, we will have to consider the rest of our elimination round games as playoff games,” coach Boyet said, referring to their last two assignments against Lyceum of the Philippines University and University of Perpetual Help, both already in the Final Four. On the other hand, already-eliminated Arellano saw its standing fall to 5-12. Dariel Bayla topped the scoring column with 12 points and six rebounds while Ian Alban chipped in 10 markers of his own. BOX SCORES SAN BEDA 90 – Mocon 24, Bolick 11, Oftana 9, Tankoua 8, Doliguez 8, Canlas 6, Carino 5, Nelle 5, Soberano 5, Cuntapay 4, Presbitero 3, Eugene 2, Tongco 0, Abuda 0, Cabanag 0 ARELLANO 52 – Bayla 12, Alban 10, Canete 7, Alcoriza 6, Dela Torre 5, Concepcion 4, Dela Cruz 2, Segura 2, Sera Josef 2, Sacramento 2, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Codinera 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-15, 38-23, 60-37, 90-52 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

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

NCAA Season 94: Knights secure Final Four berth

Letran fought off the third quarter outburst of San Sebastian College - Recoletos with a scoring barrage in the payoff period for a 79-61 win to clinch a spot in the Final Four of the NCAA Season 94 men's seniors basketball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. After squandering a 17-point lead at the half when the Stags cut down their deficit to seven heading into the fourth quarter, the Knights dropped a 13-2 blitz to widen the gap to 72-54 with just four minutes left in the game. From there Letran cruised to its 12th win in 16 games and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since winning it all back in Season 91. "Thankful kami kasi umabot kami sa ganitong sitwasyon pero di pa rin naman ito ang gusto naming mangyari. Mayroon pa kaming last two games na kailangang trabahuhin before we look forward doon sa Final Four," said Letran coach Jeff Napa, whose squad will wrap the elimination round against University of Perpetual Help and College of St. Benilde. Larry Muyang finished with a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds while Bonbon Batiller and Nico Galvelo added 15 and 14 markers, respectively, for the Knights. Chris Fajarito got 11 markers in Letran's fifth straight win. A sweep by the Intramuros-based squad in its last two outings coupled by either Lyceum of the Philippines University (14-2) or San Beda University (14-1) not reaching 15 wins will force a playoff for a semis twice-to-beat bonus.   Letran built a 42-25 lead after the first half but SSC-R poured 27 points in the third period to cut down its deficit to 59-52 heading into the payoff period.  The Knights were able to counter at the start of the fourth to build enough cushion for the win. Letran limited the Stags to only nine points in the final 10 minutes of the ballgame. SSC-R dropped to 4-12 win-loss record. Michael Calisaan had 19 points, Regile Ilagan added 12 markers while Jesse Sumoda chipped in 12 in a lost cause for the Stags.   Box score: Letran (79) --- Muyang 15, Batiller 15, Galvelo 14, Fajarito 11, Ambohot 8, Calvo 7, Quinto 4, Celis 3, Yu 2, Taladua 0, Balagasay 0, Banez 0, Agbong 0, Mandreza 0. SSC-R (61) --- Calisaan 16, Ilagan 13, Sumoda 12, Bulanadi 7, Capobres 7, Dela Cruz 4, Valdez 2, Calma 0, Desoyo 0, Villapando 0, Are 0, Baytan 0. Quarterscores: 19-10, 42-25, 59-52, 79-61.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 9th, 2018Related News

PBA: So what s wrong with San Miguel?

So what's wrong with San Miguel? Aside from missing reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo of course. After losing to Alaska Saturday, their third straight defeat, the Beermen are now 2-4 in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. This is despite having a super scorer in import Kevin Murphy and top pick Christian Standhardinger leading all locals in points and rebounds. So what's wrong with the Beermen anyway? Aside from missing MVP June Mar Fajardo of course. "Honestly our losses are winnable games. They're just really high scoring," guard Marcio Lassiter said. "It's fun for the fans. Definitely fun for the fans. But I don't think we're gonna D'Antoni every team where the goal is to score more than your opponent, but we gotta put a benchmark at a certain point like hey we gotta give up less than 25 in a quarter or something. We gotta figure it out on defense," he added. Currently in 8th place, the goal now for San Miguel is to somehow figure out how to make the playoffs. But the Beermen are not exactly in an unfamiliar territory here. Just last conference, they started 0-3 and still made the Finals as a no. 6 seed. For the Governors' Cup, San Miguel just has to tweak some things to get the ball rolling again. It starts on defense. "We have to really come together and we have to solve something with our team. We know we're capable of doing it but we have to know that these upcoming games are really make or break for our playoffs -- just to get in the playoffs. Now we're talking about seeding. We know what we have to do," Lassiter said. "You know, obviously, a hundred and twenty-plus points, you're not gonna win. So I think if we can cut that number down, we can definitely get some games," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 9th, 2018Related News

NCAA Season 94: Altas near last semis seat

University of Perpetual Help secured at least a playoff for the last Final Four berth in the NCAA Season 94 seniors basketball competition after an 81–67 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Altas won their sixth straight win to improve to 11-5 win-loss record and tighten their grip at the fourth spot. The victory also gave Perpetual some cushion against fifth running College of St. Benilde (8-7). Kim Aurin finished with a personal-best 26 points, Prince Eze got 14 markers and pulled down 16 rebounds while Jelo Razon got 11 points for the Las Pinas-based squad. Perpetual broke open the game with a huge third quarter push after heading into halftime with just a 37-35 lead. “We struggled a bit nu’ng the first half. Medyo tight ang mga bata, gusto tambakan agad. Pero normally sa mga games na ganito, yun ang inaasahan mong mangyari,” said Altas coach Frankie Lim. “Buti na lang nag-settle down.” “We had a strong third. We outscored them by 10 points in the third. Mas maganda ang flow ng opensa namin (sa second half),” he added. The Altas opened the third with a 15-2 start and outscored the Generals, 24-14, in the canto to control the game. The Generals lost its center Hamadou Laminou with just 22.6 seconds remaining and EAC trailing, 61-47, with a cut on his left eye. The center slammed his head on the floor after losing his balance on a turnaround and Perpetual’s Jerome Pasia landing on the back of Laminou’s head. Without their leading scorer and main man inside the paint, the Generals struggled and fell to 4-13 card. Laminou finished with 17 points, Jethro Mendoza also had 17 markers while JP Magullano got 10 points and 10 boards in a lost cause for the Generals.   Box score: Perpetual (81) --- Aurin 26, Eze 14, Razon 11, Coronel 8, Jimenez 8, Peralta 5, Charcos 4, Mangalino 3, Pasia 2, Cuevas 0, Sese 0, Tamayo 0. EAC (67) --- Laminou 17, Mendoza 17, Cadua 6, Corilla 4, Diego 4, Natividad 4, Gonzales 3, Tampoc 0, Garcia 0, Bautista 0, Bugarin 0, Neri 0, Fuentes 0. Quarterscores: 19-17, 37-35, 61-49, 81-67.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 9th, 2018Related News