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Suns look to prove mettle after buzz cools down

By Michael C. Wright, NBA.com Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams challenged his squad Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) in the wake of a third consecutive loss, falling 124-121 to the New Orleans Pelicans. “I told our guys, ‘Look, we had a nice run. We got hit in the mouth with injuries. Let’s see what we’re made of,’” he said. Phoenix caught the basketball world by surprise early this season with a 5-2 start, which included wins over the LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, but the Suns have since fallen on hard times. Having lost three consecutive games, in part due to injuries to point guard Ricky Rubio (back) and center Aron Baynes (hip) altering the club’s style of play, the early-season buzz generated by the team is gone. But the truth is we haven’t seen the Suns at full strength since their season-opening 124-95 win over the Sacramento Kings, a game in which Deandre Ayton registered a double-double (18 points and 11 rebounds) along with four blocks in his only game this season. Ayton received a 25-game suspension by the league after that game for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug policy for testing positive for a diuretic. Ayton won’t be eligible to return to action until Dec. 17 (Dec. 18, PHL time), when Phoenix meets the LA Clippers at the Staples Center. So, it’s tough to gauge at this point whether the Suns are indeed the real deal. But Williams isn’t concerned. He prefers that the Suns fly under the radar. “The buzz will die down a bit, and now we can just focus on getting better,” Williams told his team after Thursday’s (Friday, PHL time) loss. “This is the NBA. Our guys are more than able to do what they need to do to get better.” The Suns aren’t sure when Rubio and Baynes will be set to return to action. Rubio has missed two of the team’s last three games, and when he tried to play Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) at Sacramento, the point guard could only will himself through 16 minutes in the first half, shooting 0-for-7 from the field. Baynes has missed two games in a row with Phoenix mired in its first three-game skid of the season. Two of Phoenix’s last three losses came by single-digit margins. “This is kind of our first time hitting adversity, losing three in a row, and now we’re on the road for two tough games back to back, so we’re going to see how we’re going to go out there and play,” said Mikal Bridges, who contributed 12 points to go with six rebounds and three steals in the loss to New Orleans. “I think we’re mentally strong, and we’re together as a team. So, I think we’re going to push through and play hard the next few games, and try to leave out of there with a W. But it’s going to test our mentality to see what we’re going to be right now.” The Suns have struggled defensively over the past two games, most notably at defending the 3-point line. Sacramento knocked down 41.9% from deep on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) against the Suns, while the Pelicans on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) hit on 45.7% from range. Baynes had been filling in during Ayton’s suspension, but Frank Kaminsky has replaced Baynes the last two games as he’s dealt with a strained right hip flexor. Going into the loss to New Orleans, Kaminsky (hip) was listed on the injury report along with Dario Saric (knee) and Cam Johnson (knee). Williams said “you hope” Rubio and Baynes return for the start of Phoenix’s upcoming back-to-back set on the road that starts Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in Minnesota and concludes Sunday (Monday, PHL time) at Denver. But the team has “got to start planning as if they’re not,” Williams said. Those contests wrap up a stretch of five games in seven nights. “It’s next man up mentality,” said guard Devin Booker, who has connected on 50% or better from the field in 11 of the team’s 14 games. “We’re dealing with a couple injuries right now, and for guys to come in who have just been on the practice court the whole season and get an opportunity to perform it’s a very big time. It’s professionalism at its finest. It says a lot about a person’s character.” As for Ayton, who anxiously awaits his return for suspension, the center can only watch and wait. Provisions of the suspension allow Ayton to practice and travel with the team, but he can’t be in an arena -- home or away -- two hours before game. During the down time, Ayton has been working to refine his shot; most notably his 3-point shot with Suns assistant Mark Bryant. After this latest road trek, the Suns come back home to host Washington and Dallas before hitting the road for four consecutive outings over five nights to start the month of December. So surely, there’s more adversity to come for the young, upstart Suns. “We don’t quit. We compete,” Williams said. “That’s one of our values, our core values. We compete every possession. Sometimes, you can’t always dictate whether the ball goes in, but you can compete every night. I always tell the guys if you do the right thing it will come back to you. It may not come back to you in this game, but over the long haul, you’ll be better for it.” Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 24th, 2019

Front act noon ni Sarah G may concert na rin 

Newbie singer Daren Dyhengco will prove his vocal mettle in his first major concert , “Daren D. Live in Concert” at the Music Museum on Dec. 4.   Daren graduated from Capilano University’s Musical Theatre program in North Vancouver, Canada. Siya ang front act ni Sarah Geronimo when she did a concert sa Canada months ago. […] The post Front act noon ni Sarah G may concert na rin  appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2019

Phoenix raring to defy odds

Hit hard by suspension of key personnel and injury to its starting import, Phoenix sets out to prove its mettle in the face of adversity as it eyes to rebound against Meralco today in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 7th, 2019

PVL: BaliPure: Ready for the challenge

BaliPure will make its return in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference after skipping last year’s season-ending tournament. New head coach Romel Abella welcomes the new challenge of leading a revamped Water Defenders, who won the 2017 Open Conference title.   “Challenge na rin kasi na puro bago ang mga players namin and at the same time yung mga players namin since bago nga it’s their time to prove na yung skills nila at par sa level ng pagplalaruan namin,” said Abella, who steered former team Pocari Sweat to the throne in the inaugural staging of the import-laden conference. “Challenge sa akin, sa coaching staff and sa mga players na rin. Pero masaya ang challenge,” added Abella. The Water Defenders skipped the 2018 Open Conference after a sixth place finish in the Reinforced contest where BaliPure fielded a core of high school and college standouts from National University. This time, BaliPure will lean on the leadership of veteran player Grazielle Bombita, who played for Iriga last year. Helping Bombita are first-time imports Danijela Dzakovic from Montenegro and Slovakian Alexandra Vajdova. Other local stars looking to prove their mettle in the league are Menchie Tubiera, setter Necelle Gual of Perpetual Help, Vira Guillema and Jewelle Bermillo of San Sebastian College, Sandy Delos Santos, Satrianni Espiritu of San Beda College, Carrie Pronuevo, Miracle Mendoza, Patria Pena and Kat Racelis of Mapua University.   “Masaya ngayon since bago ang tuturuan mo, nandoon ang eagerness na ma-prove ang sarili nila,” said Abella. BaliPure will open its campaign on Sunday against newcomer ParificTown Army. “Nilu-look forward ko kung ano ang ilalabas ng mga players natin, na kung hanggang saan ang maipapakita namin as individuals and a team,” Abella said. “Hopefully, mag-translate yung pina-practice namin sa laro namin.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2019

Bucks loathe to adjust gameplan after season-long success

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MILWAUKEE — Just one game removed from one of the most marvelous seasons of basketball in Milwaukee Bucks history – 60 victories in the regular season, a sweep of Detroit in the first round, the debut of a dazzling new arena – the team is loathe to let all that go and overreact to 48 minutes that didn’t go their way in Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) Game 1 loss to the Celtics. But if they underreact in Game 2 Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) at Fiserv Forum, it will be at their own peril. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Adjustments – from game-to-game, at halftime, even on the fly during live action – are as much a part of the NBA postseason as podium interviews. The reason is simple: Strategic mistakes, small failings and tendencies you can get away with facing teams randomly across a six-month canvas are sniffed out and exploited by an opponent you see as many as seven times in a two-week span. You can stubbornly stick with a pat hand, but most coaches and players would rather change things up to minimize what didn’t work last time and might, if repeated, prove fatal again. The Bucks, though, sounded a little clingy Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in the wake of their 112-90 defeat. Wanting to hold on to everything that worked so well from October until, well, noon on April 28 (April 29, PHL time). “No, no. Definitely not,” forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing all year.” You might be inclined to read that quote assuming sarcasm, as in: Oh right, we’re just going to keep doing exactly what got us blown out and stripped of home-court advantage. Sure. After all, Antetokounmpo had one of his worst performances of the season (7-for-21 FGs, a minus-24 rating). But no, the Greek Freak was sincere. “I don’t think there should be no change at all,” he said. “Why should there be a change after a game that we lost, like … we should not be the team that makes the adjustments.” Antetokounmpo was not alone. “The way we’ve been playing all season has been just letting it fly,” center Brook Lopez said. “So even if we miss it 10-out-of-10 times, just keep [shooting].” The Bucks made 13 of their 39 three-point shots Sunday (Monday, PHL time), well off their regular-season rate of 38.2 percent. Lopez was 1-for-4 on three's and 1-for-5 overall, combining with fellow Bucks starters Sterling Brown and Eric Bledsoe to shoot 3-for-17 from the floor. Said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer: “I think adjustments and all those things are sometimes overrated.” So unless the Bucks are trying to snooker the Celtics with some tweaks they weren’t willing to share, we’ll get to see how that pat hand plays out. Milwaukee did get serious mileage out of its formulas prior to Game 1. Offensively, they’ve surrounded Antetokounmpo with potent three-point shooters, relying on his drives into the lane to draw defenders and offer them unobstructed views from the arc. Defensively, they committed to defending the other guys’ three-pointers, protecting the rim and keeping foes off the foul line. What did that leave? Contested two-pointers and mid-range jumpers – so ugly and out-of-style in the NBA of 2019. It all worked tremendously – until the Celtics shot 15-of-27 on mid-range attempts in their rout. Suddenly, the Bucks’ sagging defense against pick-and-rolls looked as gimmicky and ineffective as that tactic deployed late this season of guarding Houston scorer James Harden from behind. Once the prolific Rockets scorer got over his shock at the unusual method, he was able to pick it apart. Ditto for the Celtics' shooters. Kyrie Irving is one of the most dangerous scorers from any place on the floor but particularly inventing ways to put the ball in the hoop in the mid-range. Celtics veteran Al Horford savored his looks inside the arc, as did Gordon Hayward. The Bucks, meanwhile, were 5-of-12 from mid-range. They try to avoid those shots for the same reasons they encourage opponents to take them. Never mind that the same dynamic was in play in the Houston-Golden State opener later in the day: the Rockets took only four mid-range shots, were 14-of-47 on three's and lost, because the Warriors were 10-of-23 on mid-range attempts and 31-of-53 on two-pointers overall. There is one area in which the Bucks believe they can adjust without, y’know, adjusting. They can play harder. A pervasive lack of hustle and urgency was apparent in real time at Fiserv but was undeniable when Budenholzer and his staff went to “the truth machine” before practice Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). That would be the video the Bucks reviewed before Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) workout. “He chewed us out. And like I say, ‘Film don’t lie,’” Bledsoe said. “It was effort, man. We weren’t playing our game.” Antetokounmpo said he got scolded on that front in a postgame phone call from his older brother Thanasis. “No. 1, I play for my family,” he said. “So when he’s like, ‘C’mon man. Giannis! You’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. You’ve got to still be aggressive. You’ve got to make the right pass,’ it stabs you in your heart. But at the end of the day, I know it’s the truth.” The Bucks appeared a step slow on both ends. It showed when they went after loose balls or closed out on Celtics shooters. And it showed when lollygagging, relatively, in getting to their spots on offense. Boston already was sending extra defenders at Antetokounmpo, and the Bucks not being crisp in their execution never made them pay. “We weren’t as quick in transition,” Lopez said. “Our pace wasn’t great … We can be better at getting it out. Everyone running the floor, finding their spots. Keeping the spacing wide.” It should be noted the Bucks only lost two games in a row one time all season (March 2-4 against the Jazz and Suns). They’re proud of that resiliency. Of course, in the regular season, they only played the same opponent in consecutive games one time (New York, Dec. 26-28, PHL time). The Bucks never had to react after losses to specific things the other guys did. They merely had to be themselves, only better. “Even though we lost the first game, we’re just gonna come out and play our hardest and see how Game 2 goes,” Antetokounmpo said. “If it doesn’t go well for us, then you can think about adjusting. But right now, we’re not adjusting nothing.” Fine. But unless someone rattles Boston out of its comfort zone in the mid-range, Milwaukee’s adherence to its style of play could contribute to its undoing. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2019

Global FC tests mettle in C League

MANILA, Philippines - Global FC gets the chance to prove its worth in the international club scene as it vies in the preliminary/ qualifying stage of the 201.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 10th, 2016

How to be Gee

From dancing to acting, hosting and even cooking, TV and online personality Gee Canlas continues to prove her mettle as a Jane-of-all-trades......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2016

The NBN-ZTE Abalos Acquittal: An Opportunity for Duterte to Prove His Mettle to Filipinos

How can anyone forget the 2007 NBN-ZTE scandal. Where an ill-advised, grossly overpriced broadband network with limited capability was almost rammed down the throats of hapless Filipinos by the Arroyo administration. A foolhardy endeavor that would have c.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philnewsRelated NewsJul 17th, 2016

NBA Roundup: Jazz regain top spot in the West, Reserves help Hawks down Suns

Jordan Clarkson scored a team high of 30 points as the NBA-leading Utah Jazz won their third straight with a 126-94 NBA victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 24 points for the Jazz, who cruised to victory despite being without their one-two guard punch of […] The post NBA Roundup: Jazz regain top spot in the West, Reserves help Hawks down Suns appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 6th, 2021

Jazz back in groove; Pacers give OKC worst home loss in NBA history

The win came as a sigh of relief to the erstwhile league leaders as they remain in step with the Phoenix Suns with identical 45-18 records to top the Western Conference standings......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2021

Prosper to prove himself vs Gilas

Former PBA import Lester Prosper said the other day he’s coming to prove himself against the “new” Gilas and promised to unleash “a different me” when Indonesia plays the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand in the FIBA Asia Cup third qualifying window at the Clark bubble on June 16-20......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2021

Kings edge Lakers in LeBron s return; Suns overtake Jazz in NBA standings

James would miss on a potential game-winner with 2.7 ticks left to cap off a 16-point performance in his first match back......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 1st, 2021

Jazz vent ire on Kings; Suns clinch playoff spot

A second quarter where the Jazz outscored the Kings, 46-17, blew the game wide open after only leading by three points at the end of the first period......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 29th, 2021

Booker, Paul shine as Suns halt Knicks win streak

Devin Booker scored 33 points as the Phoenix Suns snapped the New York Knicks' nine-game winning streak with a come-from-behind 118-110 victory at Madison Square Garden......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 27th, 2021

Tanduay strikes deal with Suns

Just weeks after it sealed agreements with two other teams in the NBA, Tanduay has entered into a partnership with the Phoenix Suns......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 21st, 2021

Tanduay inks deal with Phoenix Suns

Just weeks after it sealed agreements with two other teams from the National Basketball Association, Tanduay has entered into a partnership with another exciting team—the Phoenix Suns. This makes it the first Philippine company to simultaneously sponsor five NBA Teams, making an even more aggressive international marketing push. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 20th, 2021

On community pantries

Community pantries were all the talk across social media this week, with the Maginhawa Community Pantry being the first to generate media buzz. A community pantry is a service that provides food directly to locals suffering from food insecurity. Some rely purely on local donations. Some coordinate with food banks and organizations for steady supplies […] The post On community pantries appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 19th, 2021

Ancajas thanks guys like Chocolatito, Estrada for bringing attention to super fly divison

MANILA, Philippines—Boxing in the current time is littered with stars across its many weight classes. The heavyweights are booming thanks to Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury while Saul “Canelo” Alvarez brought the buzz to the already buzzing middleweight and now talked-about super middleweight divisions. Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence, and Terence Crawford have their draws as […] The post Ancajas thanks guys like Chocolatito, Estrada for bringing attention to super fly divison appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 17th, 2021

Ordinary, or extra-ordinary?

Chat groups and social media were all a-buzz yesterday over a video of a patriarch tycoon and his wife sitting on monobloc chairs in the neighborhood basketball court, waiting for their turn to get COVID-19 vaccines......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 14th, 2021

Palace: No photos needed to prove Duterte is working

The Palace said people know that the president is working even when Duterte is not in the public eye......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 12th, 2021

Ancajas out for respect

IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas is determined to deliver a strong message that he can’t be ignored in lining up the world’s top 115-pound fighters and standing in the way of earning the respect he deserves is Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez who will test his mettle in a scheduled 12-round title bout at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, tonight (tomorrow morning, Manila time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 10th, 2021