Matter of when Man City wins title and how many records fall

first_imgCayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ City has already reeled off the most consecutive English top-flight wins — a record extended at the weekend to 17 games.Manchester United’s record Premier League title-winning margin of 18 points from 2000 could also be under threat. And England could be looking at its third unbeaten “Invincibles” team after Preston in 1888-89 and Arsenal in 2003-04.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSo it doesn’t bode well for a compelling second half of the Premier League season? Think again.The chase for the other three Champions League spots should be fierce with eight points separating second-place Manchester United and Arsenal in sixth. Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham are in the mix among them. Two leading sides will fall by the wayside and be denied a place among the European elite. The battle to stay in the world’s richest soccer league is also intense. No team is stranded at the bottom, with Swansea in 20th place only six points behind Southampton in 13th.A closer look at the first half of the season:TITLE RACECity leads by 13 points at the halfway stage after winning 18 of its 19 games and drawing one in the best ever start to a Premier League season. The only dropped points came at home to Everton in the second game on Aug. 21, when City played more than a half with 10 men following Kyle Walker’s sending-off.Guardiola won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich in late March in 2014 — aided by a winning streak of 19 games never before seen in a major European league.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Alexis Sanchez is a superstar performing well below expectations this season, perhaps as a result of failing to secure a move to Man City from Arsenal during the summer.That transfer could be revived in January — Guardiola cut an awkward figure recently when asked about making a new bid for the Chile forward — to potentially leave City with an even greater wealth of attacking riches.Sanchez has five league goals. By this stage last season, he had already scored 12 on his way to career-high haul of 24 for a single league campaign.In the dugout, these are testing times for two British managers: Alan Pardew and Mark Hughes.Pardew succeeded Tony Pulis a month ago with a mission to keep West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Then the Baggies were two points above the bottom three. Now they are next-from-bottom after collecting only two points from Pardew’s first five games.Hughes’ future appears on a knife-edge at Stoke despite a pressure-relieving victory over West Brom on Saturday that hauled the team three points from the danger zone. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City View comments LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Beleaguered Mutko steps down as president of Russian Football Union It will be tough for Guardiola to win the title that early in England as he chases a quadruple after finishing his first season at the club without a trophy. City is already through to the League Cup semifinals, into the Champions League last 16 and begins its FA Cup campaign in two weeks.Man United is in second place, with defending champion Chelsea three points further back in third. United manager Jose Mourinho says the title race is still on, but the rest of his peers among the chasing pack don’t see City faltering now.It will be intriguing how Mourinho reacts to be seeing his title ambitions further fade in his second season at United, having already opted to publicly call out his “childish” players after a draw at Leicester on Saturday.PICK OF THE PLAYERSKevin De Bruyne is playing in a deeper role for City this season, virtually as a center midfielder, and it is bringing the best of out the Belgium midfielder.He has provided many of this season’s wow moments, from scoring the winning goal at former club Chelsea in September with a fierce left-footed strike from outside the area to the assists for goals by Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling in the 7-2 win over Stoke in OctoberDovetailing perfectly with fellow playmaker David Silva, De Bruyne has six goals and eight assists but it’s more than just his statistics. His prodigious work rate, range of passing and crossing ability — arguably the best in the Premier League since the days of David Beckham — that make him a strong contender for the player of the season awards.No wonder City is determined to nail down the 26-year-old De Bruyne to an improved, longer contract.EMERGING TALENTAmid an offseason of record spending in English soccer, little was made of Watford signing Richarlison from Brazilian team Fluminense for 13 million pounds ($17 million). Yet the 20-year-old forward is proving a bargain, settling in quickly to the pace and intensity of the Premier League and being one of the key factors in Watford’s impressive start to the season that, at one stage, saw them challenging around the top four.Direct, skilful and quick, Richarlison already has five goals and keeps getting himself in great positions to score more, with his finishing sometimes letting him down. Opponents have cottoned on to his impact, with Richarlison telling ESPN Brazil this month: “Teams are already marking me individually, they are putting two players there on my side.”Chelsea and Tottenham have been linked with the Brazil under-20s player, who has yet to earn a call-up to the senior squad. That appears only a matter of time.Other players to break through this season are Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen, the Danish center back who has ousted David Luiz, and Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, the right back who has ensured long-term injury absentee Nathaniel Clyne hasn’t been missed.SURPRISE TEAMAn unfashionable club is mixing it with the heavyweights of the Premier League against all the odds. We’ve heard this before, right?Two years ago, it was Leicester delivering a soccer fairy tale by somehow winning the league. Now it’s Burnley’s turn to provide the feel-good story of the season.Widely regarded as a relegation candidate at the start of the season, Burnley is currently seventh. Don’t rule Burnley out of staying in the tussle for the Champions League qualification places, with Liverpool only three points better off in fourth. The northwest team hasn’t finished a season higher than sixth place in the top flight since 1974.Burnley, which has conceded just 15 goals in 19 games, has already beaten Chelsea away and drawn at Tottenham and Liverpool. Not bad for a team that returned a profit of about $20 million in summer player sales when most of the rest of the Premier League was spending freely.POINTS TO PROVE Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal, his side’s third, during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Bournemouth at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England. APEnglish soccer has never seen a team so utterly dominant as Manchester City entering the packed Christmas program.There seems little doubt Pep Guardiola will be raising the Premier League trophy for the first time in May. It is just a question of when City will wrap up its third title since 2014, and how many records will tumble on the way.ADVERTISEMENT BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closedlast_img read more

Westbrook scores 31, OKC keeps rolling with win over Rockets

first_imgOklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook goes up for a shot over Houston Rockets’ Briante Weber in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. Oklahoma City won, 112-107. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City is starting to have the look of a contender.Russell Westbrook had 31 points and 11 assists to help the Thunder stay hot with a 112-107 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday (Tuesday Manila time).ADVERTISEMENT “That wasn’t me out there,” he said. “Honestly I don’t know who that was out there. I swear, I don’t know who that was.”STAT LINESWestbrook, George and Anthony combined to make 16 of 22 field goals in the second half. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Westbrook shot 4 for 14 in the first half but made his last two before the break to help the Thunder lead 58-57 at halftime. Harden had 11 points in the first half but made just 1 of 8 shots.Westbrook broke away for a fast-break dunk to give the Thunder a 65-59 lead early in the third quarter. The Rockets rallied, and the score was tied at 88 heading into the fourth.Houston had the ball down by three in the final minute. Harden missed a wild 3-pointer while trying but failing to draw a foul, and the Thunder got control in a scramble. Westbrook found Andre Roberson for a layup with 21 seconds left to put the Thunder up 112-107.Westbrook scored 11 points in just under nine minutes in the fourth quarter.“I’m coming,” he said. “That’s what I bring to the table. Once I hit the floor, it’s nonstop.”TIP-INSRockets: Capela returned to the starting lineup. He had missed the previous two games with a left heel contusion. … Houston committed just one turnover in the first quarter and 14 overall.Thunder: Roberson left in the first quarter but returned later in the period with fingers taped together on his left hand. … C Steven Adams had 12 points and six rebounds in the first quarter and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds … George and Anthony had three fouls in the first half. George finished with five and Anthony with four.QUOTABLEAnthony played without his shooter arm sleeves early in the game and didn’t feel like himself without them. NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES “Give them credit,” Harden said. “They made big-time shots. We had our chances, though. We had several chances, we just couldn’t convert and we couldn’t get stops when we needed to.”Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon each scored 20 points and Clint Capela added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, which lost its third straight.Houston point guard Chris Paul sat out with a groin strain. The Rockets are 15-1 when he plays and 10-6 when he doesn’t.The Thunder held the Rockets below their league-best average of 115.4 points per game. The Rockets made just 12 of 37 3-pointers.“I thought tonight we made multiple efforts, which we knew we was going to have to do against a fast-paced team like that, a team that likes to move the ball, play fast, put up a lot of shots, put up a lot of 3s,” Anthony said. “We knew that we was going to have to scramble tonight, and I thought we did a great job tonight of not getting frustrated when they did make some tough shots, make some 3s.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Paul George scored 24 points and Carmelo Anthony added 20 for the Thunder, who won their fifth straight game and their 11th in their past 14. Oklahoma City shot 54.4 percent from the field against the Rockets, who entered the day with the best record in the Western Conference.The Thunder started 4-7 after acquiring George and Anthony in the offseason, but they’ve charged back to the center of the West’s playoff picture as they’ve figured out how to distribute the ball among their stars.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over Thunder“Every night, teams guard us differently,” Westbrook said. “Once we figure that out and see how teams are guarding us — find ways to make the game easier for (George and Anthony), and that’s my job.”James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points, but he made just 7 of 18 field goals. The league’s leading scorer was coming off back-to-back 51-point games. Beal’s 25 points carries Wizards by Celtics Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next MOST READ Do not bring these items in SEA Games venueslast_img read more

Alyssa Valdez to focus on playing for Creamline in 2018

first_imgRead Next MOST READ View comments “Next year, I’m planning to focus on Creamline,” she said. “Just this year, I really travelled a lot and (Creamline) supported me throughout, especially on my national team stint. They really sacrificed a lot for me, and I think I really have to focus on my team.”But Valdez isn’t closing her doors if an opportunity knocks once again.“Still, I’m open to any opportunity that might come my way,” she said. Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ “In Thailand, I honestly didn’t get to play a lot. It’s a different level of play and there were lots of good players there,” she shared.“This time in Taiwan, I was given a chance to play, but it’s a different setup. It’s a really different experience because I needed to do a different adjustment in Taipei. It was more on communicating because of the language barrier, aside from the system of playing in Chinese Taipei. But there are a lot of talented players in Taiwan who can play internationally.”Valdez is also glad to have showcased her talent in Taiwan.“They (Taiwanese) have been telling me that the situation of volleyball in Taiwan and the Philippines are the same in that they are also trying to show people that they have something with volleyball. I hope that volleyball can also be big there like it is here,” she said.For 2018, however, Valdez is committed to staying at home as she is set to return to Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netBOCAUE — Alyssa Valdez may be making a name for herself overseas, but she wouldn’t miss spending Christmas back home for the world.“Christmas in the Philippines is unique. I really would not exchange anything for experiencing Christmas here,” said Valdez, who flew to Manila from Taiwan on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Jarencio vocal on return to Tigers but ‘no response’ from UST yet Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed The volleyball superstar took a short reprieve from her obligations with Attack Line in Taiwan, to spend the holidays at home.She even watched her boyfriend Kiefer Ravena play for NLEX on Monday before she goes back to Taiwan on Tuesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderAlthough it was just quick break, Valdez said her brief stay was worth it.The 24-year-old said she’s thankful for the experience playing overseas after seeing action for 3BB Nakornnont in Thailand and Attack Line in Taiwan. BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraqlast_img read more

Foton parts ways with Serbian coach Moro Branislav

first_imgView comments Chandler’s dunk, Booker’s 32 send Suns past Grizzlies Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Abella steered Pocari Sweat to three titles in the PVL until he was replaced and became team director.Branislav mentored the PSL-team to the Asian Women’s Club Championships in 2016 before being tapped by the Tornadoes for the Grand Prix of that same year.He managed to give the Tornadoes their second Grand Prix title with imports Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher joining hands with  Jaja Santiago. But the Tornadoes dropped their three-peat bid this season, losing to Petron in the semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT READ: Branislav uncertain of future with FotonBranislav led Foton to a Philippine Superliga championship last year but failed to win a title this season despite a solid lineup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over Thunder“We are looking at getting a local coach this time,” said Sytin.Topping the list of possible replacements is former University of Santo Tomas player Rommel Abella, who has had mentoring stints in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL). Read Next PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:53Gov’t, MNLF creating panels to ‘move forward’ in peace talks00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC FILE – Foton coach Moro Brasnilav. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFoton has broken up with Serbian coach Moro Branislav.Foton president Rommel Sytin told the Inquirer they will tap a new coach starting the next season after breaking ties with Branislav, who spent a year and a half with the Tornadoes.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communitieslast_img read more

Saudi Arabia hosts world chess games, testing reform limits

first_imgDo not bring these items in SEA Games venues In this Monday, Dec. 25, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press Agency, two Saudi officials play chess during the opening the first ever chess tournament in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia is hosting a world chess tournament for the first time on Tuesday nearly two years after the country’s top cleric issued a religious edict against playing the board game. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia is hosting a world chess tournament for the first time on Tuesday nearly two years after the country’s top cleric issued a religious edict against playing the board game. Politics have also interfered, with players from Israel and Qatar missing the tournament due to regional tensions.Saudi Arabia’s top cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, said in early 2016 that chess is “forbidden” in Islam because it wastes time and can lead to rivalry among players. Similarly, top Iranian clerics have also decried the game, saying it can lead to gambling, which is not permissible in Islam.ADVERTISEMENT BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Suns’ Booker returns vs Grizzlies Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ A statement issued by the World Chess Federation said that visas for players from Iran and Qatar were secured. It made no mention of Israeli players.“The fact that players from Iran and Qatar may decide not to participate, after consulting their own authorities, is clearly their own individual decision,” the statement said.The statement added that Saudi authorities had proposed that for security reasons the Qatari players should play under the organization’s flag, but that the issue was resolved and the Qatar Chess Association was informed that their players would play under their own flag.The tournament, called the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, runs until Saturday. It includes around 240 players — both men and women — from 70 countries. There are 16 players from Saudi Arabia. The world’s top three chess players from Norway, Armenia and Azerbaijan are participating in the tournament. There is also a women’s chess tournament taking place alongside the open championship.ADVERTISEMENT Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Women are reportedly being allowed to wear dark blue or black formal trousers and high-necked blouses, avoiding Saudi rules of dress that require female residents and most visitors to wear loose-fitting, long robes known as “abayas.” Most Saudi women also cover their hair and face with veils.James Dorsey, a Mideast scholar and senior fellow at the University of Singapore, said the kingdom was granted hosting rights by the World Chess Federation with a $1.5 million check that amounts to four times the federation’s standard annual fee.“Literally everything involving Saudi Arabia’s hosting of a chess tournament is political,” he wrote in an analysis of the tournament. “Saudi Arabia’s visa policy is political as is the kingdom’s willingness to concede on women’s dress.” 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities LATEST STORIES The mufti’s comments at the time led to an outcry on social media by young Saudis who defended the game as intellectually stimulating. Muslims, who introduced chess to Europe, have been playing the game since the 7th century in Persia.Despite the mufti’s past criticism, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed for greater social openings, including lifting a ban on women driving that goes into effect next year, allowing concerts and movies, and easing rules on gender segregation.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderThe chess tournament, however, has also been hit by regional politics. Israelis say Saudi Arabia ignored requests by Israeli players to obtain visas to participate in the tournament. Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations.Meanwhile, players from Qatar and Iran, which have strained ties with Saudi Arabia, have been granted visas to participate in the tournament. However, Qatari players will not compete in the championship because Qatar’s chess federation said organizers demanded that the players not display the Qatari flag during the competition. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:05Amir Khan claims Manny Pacquiao has agreed to Saudi Arabia bout00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City View commentslast_img read more

Ajun Melecio sets record straight: ‘I am not leaving DLSU’

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAljun Melecio isn’t going anywhere.The explosive guard assured the La Salle community that he will stick with the team.ADVERTISEMENT Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed “I am not leaving DLSU. The tiger emojis tweet had no meaning behind it,” Melecio, the UAAP Season 79 Rookie of the Year, posted.Melecio caused confusion over social media after tweeting tiger emojis Wednesday morning. He has since deleted the tweet.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderReports said Aldin Ayo, who is transferring from La Salle to University of Santo Tomas, is looking to bring some of his players to España.READ: Aldin Ayo leaves La Salle for UST Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Melecio, though, quickly ended speculations on Twitter.“I wish Coach Aldin all the best, but I love La Salle and I love being a Green Archer,” said Melecio, a former UAAP juniors MVP.Melecio’s pronouncement is a welcome news for the Green Archers following Ayo’s departure and two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala, who opted to turn pro in Mexico.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Harrell, Williams key Clippers bench in rout of Kings 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

Alas sets sight on NLEX, son Kevin with 1st Phoenix win out of way

first_imgLATEST STORIES MOST READ Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Read Next Solid second half spurs Phoenix past pesky Kia “They’re going to be a big problem for us because before, when you trap Kevin, you don’t have to think much of the others. But now, they have lots of weapons especially with Kief and Larry Fonacier, so you really have to put a lot of defensive schemes against them,” he said.But this early, the elder Alas is playing mindgames with his son, baring what he feels as Kevin’s weaknesses going to the tussle.“Kevin really has a difficulty with the trap. I’m really saying this out loud so they have to think about it,” he said. “Half-court, full-court, we will trap. Now, even up to the parking lot, we will trap him.”ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraqcenter_img Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “It’s been a long time. I know I’m younger then,” he said with a chuckle as he nabbed his first conquest in the pro league since steering Talk ’N Text to an 86-76 win over Tanduay at Cuneta Astrodome.The feeling of responsibility, though, hasn’t changed for Alas as he couldn’t really savor his victory as he has his eyes set on the team’s next game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over Thunder“All I’m thinking of is NLEX,” he said of the Fuel Masters’ next assignment on January 7. “You can’t relax here because every team is a strong team. [NLEX] has a deep lineup and we almost have the same system offensively, run-and-gun. So we just have to play non-stop defense against them.”It also puts Alas in a tight spot as he has to devise a plan to stop his son and Road Warriors star Kevin Alas, as well as super rookie Kiefer Ravena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netANTIPOLO — It has been 16 years since Louie Alas tasted a victory as a head coach in the PBA.Winning in his second game at the helm for the Fuel Masters on Wednesday, a 125-102 triumph over Kia at Ynares Center, the congenial mentor couldn’t help but reminisce on the old days.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Blown leads cause for concern for SMB coach Austria

first_imgBI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netANTIPOLO — Knowing how strong San Miguel is, it’s almost a given that the defending three-time Philippine Cup champion will race up the scoreboard and gain a large lead, as evidenced by its first two games this conference.Preserving that lead, however, is another story.ADVERTISEMENT Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch PLAY LIST 01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Fajardo admits having a hard time vs Bono Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img And that’s the reason why Austria specifically pointed out the game against the Bolts as a “tough test” for his team, knowing how good Meralco is especially with coach Norman Black calling the shots.“If you remember their first game against Blackwater, they were down by 14 points and all of a sudden in the second half, they were able to come back. It almost happened tonight too,” he said moments after San Miguel’s 103-97 win over Meralco at Ynares Center here.“It’s a good lesson for us and it’s a good test because if you’re up against a team with a great coach in coach Norman, you cannot rest until the buzzer sounds at the end of the game.”Austria is hopeful that these tests would serve as valuable lessons for his team in the long run as they continue their quest for a fourth straight all-Filipino title.“Right now, I’m trying to maximize our potential and with our first two games, we keep on learning. We know our strengths and our weaknesses and in tonight’s game, we saw what our weaknesses are which was exploited by coach Norman. Fortunately, the players really wanted to win,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES That’s what coach Leo Austria is trying to figure out as he hopes that there won’t be any more letups for the Beermen once the new year rings.“I’m so very curious about this. That’s the tendency of the players usually. It’s human nature. Sometimes, you’re leading and you’re playing well in the first half and they think that it’s going to be an easy ride going to the last minute of the fourth quarter. But that’s not always going to be the case,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSan Miguel erected double-digit leads in their first two games this conference, taking a 19-point lead in its opener against Phoenix last week and this time, grabbing a 22-point advantage against Meralco on Wednesday.Both times, however, the Beermen blew those leads before holding on to win in the end.last_img read more

Butler’s 39 points lift Wolves past Nuggets

first_imgKris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ LATEST STORIES After the Nuggets missed on the other end, Butler skied for the defensive rebound, brought the ball down the court and drew a foul. He hit one of two free throws, and Denver’s Trey Lyles missed a desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help Minnesota hang on after blowing a 19-point lead.“That’s an All-Star. He showed his worth right there,” said Lyles, who finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. “He done it to us in the earlier game, too, and when a guy gets going like that it’s tough to stop him, and kudos to him. We kind of threw everything we had at him, and he was able to take it and still finish.”Will Barton scored 28 points and Nikola Jokic had 22 for the Nuggets, whose three-game winning streak ended.Andrew Wiggins made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points for Minnesota, which won its fifth straight. Taj Gibson added 20 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points and 13 rebounds.The Wolves played the overtime period without Towns, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, and point guard Jeff Teague, who limped off the court in the final 20 seconds with what appeared to be a left leg injury. Gibson fouled out on Denver’s first possession in overtime, leaving the Wolves without three starters for the game’s most crucial stretch. But as long as one of them was Butler, they were in fine shape.ADVERTISEMENT View comments “I hope everyone’s recognizing how special he is,” Thibodeau said. “He’s changed everything for us. Big play after big play. Guards everyone. Hustle plays. Tough rebounds. In traffic. Passes, shots, free throws. Everything.”Minnesota led by as many as 19 points and was ahead 109-100 after Wiggins’ four-point player with just under three minutes to play in regulation. But Denver stormed back and Barton hit a pair of free throws to send the game to overtime tied at 114.“Down 19 points, second half, second night of a back-to-back, we could’ve very easily have folded and just rolled over,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “I loved the fact that our guys never did that. We competed.”The Timberwolves came into the game 29th in the NBA in 3-pointers made per game at 8.1, but they already had nine (on 18 attempts) by halftime and finished the night 12 for 29 from beyond the arc. They made their first five 3-pointers on consecutive shots by Towns, Teague, Wiggins (twice) and Butler to build an early lead.That included a 4-for-4 start by Wiggins, a 30 percent 3-point shooter on the season who had made just 13 of 50 3-pointers in December going into Wednesday’s game. His five on the night were the most for any Timberwolf this season. Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler, center, shoots over Denver Nuggets’ Torrey Craig, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota—Jimmy Butler played the type of game Tom Thibodeau was thinking about when he brought the veteran guard to Minnesota in the offseason.Butler scored 12 of Minnesota’s 14 points in overtime and finished with a season-high 39 to lift the Timberwolves to a 128-125 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Bulls rally in victory over Knicks Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Thibodeau, Minnesota’s coach and president of basketball operations, gave up a first-round draft pick and two players—both former first-round picks—to acquire the Olympian and three-time All-Star from Chicago, where Thibodeau coached him from 2011-15.“He’s got an unbelievable will to win, and that’s what makes him so special,” Thibodeau said. “When his best is needed, he’s always at his best. Always been that way, and that’s not going to change.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderButler scored Minnesota’s first 11 points in overtime. Then with the game tied 125-all and 50 seconds to go, he drove to the basket again before kicking it out to Jamal Crawford, who drained the go-ahead 18-foot jump shot.“I really was going to shoot the ball, I won’t lie to you,” Butler said. “But if Jamal screams ‘Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!’ three times, that means pass it to him, he’s open. He did what he’s done for us all year: make some shots.” MOST READ Read Next 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communitieslast_img read more

Evans’ 32 points lead Grizzlies past Lakers

first_imgAsian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed But Evans is finding his game again with Memphis, which the Lakers could attest to after he scored 32 points Wednesday night to lead the Grizzlies to a 109-99 victory over Los Angeles.“He’s really good,” said Grizzlies interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “He’s been given an opportunity here that he hasn’t been given in a while, probably not since his rookie year in Sacramento.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over Thunder“We’re depending on him to do everything. We all know he has the ability to score but his playmaking is huge because it gives his teammates confidence.”Evans has taken over the starting point guard spot for the injured Mike Conley, and Wednesday he added seven assists and seven rebounds. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues “It’s just the way it is, you have no choice,” Gasol said. “You kind of lick your wounds and move on to the next game.”Rookie Kyle Kuzma had been on an offensive roll. He scored 31 points on Christmas against the Timberwolves, connecting on 6 of 11 3-pointers.But against the Grizzlies, he was just 4 of 24 from the field, going 1 of 11 from 3-point range.“He shot short some of the threes,” Gasol said. “Most of them were good looks for him, I guess. It happens. It’s part of the NBA. You have better shooting nights, worse shooting nights, and you just have to be OK with the shots you’ve taken.” Jarell Martin added 20 points for the Grizzlies, who had lost four of five and were coming off their loss in Phoenix a night earlier on Tyson Chandler’s dunk with 0.4 seconds left. Andrew Harrison scored 15 and Deyonta Davis had 14.The Lakers, who were again playing without rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, lost their fourth straight.Brandon Ingram scored 23 points, but the Lakers shot only 37.6 from the field and were just 21 of 33 from the free throw line.“I just didn’t feel like we were making the extra pass consistently and Memphis did a really good job of being physical with us and they clogged up the paint,” said Lakers coach Luke Walton.The Grizzlies blocked nine shots. Marc Gasol had three alone with his 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists as Memphis bounced back from the loss in Phoenix.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games02:02Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES View comments Read Next 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Warriors bury Jazz with big third quarter Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Memphis Grizzlies’ Kobi Simmons, left, gets a rebound against Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)LOS ANGELES, California—Tyreke Evans started his career by being voted the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2010 after averaging 20.1 points for Sacramento.The next six years were difficult. He battled knee problems and missed games, and his scoring average plummeted to 10.3 points per game last season.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more