Sports

Abueva slot hangs

Photo:Calvin Abueva showed up at Alaska and Gilas Pilipinas’ practices on Monday but still stands to be fined heavily by his mother PBA ballclub for missing more than a week in practice without informing the coaching staff or management.
Citing “family matters,” Abueva, before working out with the Aces, talked to coach Alex Compton and team manager Dickie Bachmann.
He also apologized to his teammates, whom he left hanging in a game against Star over the weekend.
Alaska is reeling from three straight defeats in the Governors’ Cup elimination round and the Aces don’t need distractions of this sort as they try to end the season on a high note and salvage their tournament with eight games left in their schedule.
But talking to team members will not spare Abueva from being fined heavily as he violated team policy by not informing anyone of his absence.
“We will talk about it,” Bachmann told the Inquirer when asked what kind of penalties Abueva will be facing from the team.
“Definitely, he violated team rules and we are very strict with those at Alaska.”
Bachmann also said “The Beast” will meet with team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu on Tuesday.
“We’re here to guide him and all of our players, actually, with whatever problems they are having—whether that is about basketball or family,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann said Abueva assured them that he was going to attend the practice of Gilas, which is preparing for the Fiba Asia Championship scheduled in Lebanon from Aug. 8 to 20.
Showing up on Monday night would save his spot in the national five and possibly give coach Chot Reyes the benefit of a full roster at practice with just over a week remaining for the regional showcase.
Abueva, who saw action for Gilas in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) championship in Manila three months ago, is seen as a vital cog in the squad because of his versatility. He can play big despite his size and defend against smaller players because of his speed.

On Sunday night, Reyes issued an ultimatum to Abueva that he would be dropped from the team if he fails to show up on Monday for practice.

 

CPA adds women's section

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) announced this week that it has added a women's chapter at the latest meeting of its Board of Directors.

Former Italian pro racer Alessandra Cappellotto, the 1997 road world champion, will lead the section, which will focus on improving business aspects for female racers.

"The women riders need support to see the respect of their essential rights in terms of insurance, security, employment contracts and retirement," Cappellotto said in a CPA press release. "There is so much to do and we believe that through the CPA it will be easier to achieve our goals and give the women's cycling a better future."

There has been talk of the CPA adding a women's section since ex-pro Iris Slappendel was invited to speak at the union's meeting in February.

"The CPA say they want to support a women's cycling union," Slappendel said to Cyclingnews earlier this year. "We are making a plan - women have so many different issues from the men. Legal assistance, good insurance, education about rights and resources. It's more important than minimum wage, I think. [Women] want a really professional team, not some crazy manager/director/mechanic/someone's boyfriend who runs everything."

CPA President Gianni Bugno supported the idea from the beginning, and urged all CPA members to provide women racers with the necessary support in their respective countries.

"I believe that our federative model is the best solution to meet the territorial needs and bring them to an institutional level through the CPA, the same way as for the male athletes," Bugno said. "We realised that even the male professional riders are looking for some better conditions for their female colleagues and we will do everything possible to make this happen."

Fil-Brit boxer John Marvin aiming for SEA Games gold

Fil-Brit boxer John Marvin with the Philippine national boxing team. (Photo courtesy of @johnmarvin9424 on Twitter)
Standing at 6'1, Filipino-Britsh John Marvin looks like he'll fit in quite will among the towers of Gilas Pilipinas.

When the Southeast Asian Games kick off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this coming August however, Marvin won't be putting his sneakers on.

Instead, he'll be lacing up his boots, wrapping his hands, and putting on some boxing gloves.

That's right, the Isle of Wight, England-born Marvin will be flying the Philippine flag inside the squared circle.

“As soon as I heard there's an 81-kg spot for the Southeast Asian Games for the Philippines, it just fell at the right time for me,” Marvin said, via ABS-CBN News' Dennis Gasgonia. “It's something I've always wanted to do, so I jumped into the opportunity for something so big,”

The 24-year old Marvin, who's also ranked as a Lance Corporal in the British Army, began throwing hands at the age of 17, saying that boxing was the only thing he got into as a kid.

And while he's seen his fair share of competition back in Europe, the half-Kapampangan slugger says he's never competed at the SEA Games level before.

“I was a semifinalist in the nationals back in the amateur Boxing Association of England, did a lot of boxing events in Scotland, there's lots of various ones," Marvin said. "But nowhere as big as the Southeast Asian Games,”

National team head coach Boy Velasco had nothing but praise for the SEA Games bet, who'll be competing at light-heavyweight, a division that isn't common to Filipinos.

“Sa tangkad niya, maganda iyong hubog ng katawan niya. Panlaban talaga at mabilis din naman,”

For Marvin, his objective at the upcoming games is clear and simple: win.

“I'm going to aim for the gold . . . nothing less."

The 2017 Southeast Asian Games kick of on August 19th in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Keep it here for more SEA Games news and updates.

H/T: ABS-CBN News

British coach visits Gilas practice, shares tips

Photo: British tactician Tem Lewis who once handled Thailand. | Contributed Photo/Joaqui Flores
MANILA, Philippines — At Gilas’ first practice for the FIBA Asia Cup, the team had a guest—a familiar face, one who has sat on the opposite of the Philippines’ bench.

Tim Lewis, who served as the mentor of the Thailand national team in the SEABA hostilities last May, shared strategies to the team Thursday night at the Upper Deck gym in Pasig City.

“It’s a very loose situation, so there’s no contract. It’s just that I’m glad to help out,” Lewis, a former NBA Development League assistant coach, said.

“It’s a casual basis. I mean, I’ve come over as a guest to Josh (Reyes)—be around him, talk about basketball,” the British tactician said. “[Chot] offered me the opportunity to just—I thought I would come to watch the practices and then you know, they gave me an opportunity to be on the floor.”

“It’s just an opportunity to coach basketball somewhere else in the world. I appreciate them giving me the opportunity,” he furthered.

Lewis is in town for a partnership with TNT KaTropa, according to Reyes.

“So since he asked if he could come to practice. We said sure, on the condition that that there are some stuff that we want to also put into our defense. That’s why he’s here,” he explained.

Lewis picked up the cudgels from Josh midway the night and shared some defensive schemes to the fifth iteration of the Gilas squad.

“Just some different defensive concepts and things like that,” the mentor said when about the tactics. “Then coach will take it away and then decide whether or not that what he wants to do.”

Asked about his assessment of the lineup, Lewis noted that it’s too early to give one. But on the other hand, he is ecstatic over the firepower that this crew flaunts.

“It’s hard to see in just a practice environment. But I mean, you got so many tools here, weapons. So much depth at each spot. And the way that you play is at an up-tempo style of basketball cause you’ve adopted because of the size or the lack of size at times,” he said.

“I think it’s exciting times for PH basketball. And you’re never scared to bring in these younger guys, too,” he offered. “It’s impressive. It’s a well-oiled machine. It’s a really good job done by you guys.”

Gilas Pilipinas will be heading to Beirut, Lebanon for the tournament slated from August 8-20.

Brailsford launches rant against Cyclingnews journalist

'You've been writing shit about me,' says Team Sky principal

Dave Brailsford has made an extraordinary attack on Cyclingnews on the second rest day of the Tour de France by trying to stop reporter Barry Ryan from attending the team’s media event in their hotel outside Le Puy-en-Velay.

Brailsford singled out Ryan, making it clear he was not welcome, saying: “You're not invited. We have invited the people we want to speak to. You've been writing shit about me."

Team Sky had announced they would hold a mixed zone for broadcast media before Chris Froome and his teammate left for a rest-day training ride. However numerous print and digital media from several different countries turned up at the Team Sky hotel, keen to hear what Froome had to say about the Tour de France.

Cyclingnews was initially told by the team that they could listen to the three media ‘grabs’ with Froome but not ask questions. The atmosphere seemed relaxed and conciliatory. However Brailsford then came over to a group of journalists and targeted Ryan, telling him he was not welcome. Other journalists who witnessed Brailsford’s personal attack on Ryan appeared shocked by his tone.

Cyclingnews has always strived to cover Team Sky and Dave Brailsford fairly and accurately. We have reported on the huge success of the team since 2010 and also the British Parliamentary investigation into the mysterious Jiffy Bag that was couriered by Team Sky at the end of the 2011 Criterium d Dauphine. Brailsford has refused to answer questions about that and the on-going investigation into wrongdoing at Team Sky by UK Anti-doping.

Last week Brailsford refused to allowCyclingnews Editor-in-Chief Daniel Benson to participate in an interview he gave after the stage to Chambery, insisting he move away.

This time he appeared angry about a special feature written by Ryan and published on the eve of the Tour de France called “Strong and stable? Dave Brailsford's year of saying nothing”.

When Ryan asked Brailsford what parts of the piece before the Tour de France he considered inaccurate, Brailsford replied: "I'm not getting into that. It was opinion, you write shit.

“We make ourselves available, we answer all the questions and you write this shit.”

The heated exchanged continued. Ryan suggested that the only other person to act like this (with the media) was Bruyneel when he barred Sporza at the 2009 Tour de France.

Brailsford replied: “Are you accusing me of running a doping programme as well?”

Ryan said: “Well, UK Anti-Doping are investigating that...”

At that point Brailsford said, “You can stick it up your arse” and walked off.

Team Sky refused to make an official comment on the incident. Brailsford refused to apologise or backtrack on his comments. He joined Froome and the rest of Team Sky on a training ride. The team made it clear to a number British print media that he would not be giving interviews on his return.

Federer crushes suffering Cilic for eighth Wimbledon title

By Reuters


Reuters photo

Behind Roger Federer’s artistry and charm lies a ruthless streak of razor-edged steel which surfaced again on Sunday as he thrashed suffering Marin Cilic 6-3 6-1 6-4 to secure a record eighth men’s Wimbledon singles title.

The incomparable Swiss turned his 11th Wimbledon final into a procession as tearful seventh seed Cilic, battling his nerves and a bloody blister, suffered a torrid afternoon.

Federer described Cilic’s predicament as “cruel” after ending his torment with an ace after one hour 41 minutes — but there was no hint of sympathy as, 23 days before his 36th birthday, he became the oldest Wimbledon men’s singles champion.

That attitude from the third seed, who last triumphed at the All England Club five years ago, was not surprising since Federer’s dream of title number eight had been shattered by Novak Djokovic in the 2014 and 2015 finals.

His take on Cilic’s injury spoke volumes for the killer instinct that has earned him a record-extending 19 majors and taken him past American Pete Sampras’s record of seven men’s singles titles at Wimbledon in the modern era.

“I couldn’t tell what it was,” Federer said. “But if I saw him limping around, or if I saw him pull up hurt, I would start to think, maybe I’ll throw in a dropshot to really check him out, then one more, because that’s what you do.

“You need to hurt him where it hurts already.”

It was not really necessary as Federer enjoyed one of his easiest title victories.

Having reached the final without dropping a set, he was braced for Cilic’s power tools but, apart from the first four games, resistance from the Croat was about as daunting as a man brandishing a stick of celery.

In winning the tournament without the loss of a set, Federer matched the 1976 feat of Swede Bjorn Borg and his own run 10 years ago at the Australian Open.

Latest Milestone

His latest milestone continued a remarkable resurgence for Federer, who took six months off last year before returning to win the Australian Open — ending a five-year wait for an 18th grand slam many thought would remain elusive.

“I’ve got to take more time off, I don’t know!” said Federer, whose family has doubled with the addition of twins Leo and Lennart to go with twin girls Myla Rose and Charlene Riva since his 2012 title — all of whom were watching on Sunday.

“It is very special. Wimbledon was always my favorite tournament, will always be my favorite tournament. My heroes walked the grounds here.”

For Cilic, who beat Federer in the U.S. Open semi-finals before going on to claim his sole major in 2014, his first final at the citadel of tennis, was a living nightmare.

In pain from a blister, his legs appearing tied together and his mind in turmoil, Cilic seemed on the verge of quitting as the tears flowed and the crowd murmured in embarrassment.

“I got a really bad blister,” Cilic said, explaining his mid-match meltdown that had fans nonplussed. “It didn’t hurt so much that it was putting me in tears. It was just that feeling that I wasn’t able to give the best.”

Shaky Start

Nerves were apparent for both men as Cilic opened the 131st men’s final with a shaky service game.

Federer, who lost serve only four times in the fortnight, saved a break point at 1-2 and in the next game.

At 2-2 Cilic took a tumble to the turf trying to reach a Federer dropshot and followed that with two lame backhands to hand master front-runner Federer control.

Scenting blood, Federer polished off the first set before breaking Cilic to lead 3-0 in the second.

Cilic slumped to his chair, sobbing, as the physio and doctor stood by and for a moment it looked as though the final might end in a retirement for the first time since 1911.

Cheered on by the crowd, Cilic returned to the fray but any sense of a real match had vanished as Federer raced through the rest of the second set.

After treatment on his stinging feet, Cilic at least showed some spirit to detain Federer for 40 minutes in the third set.

But the outcome was never in doubt as the Swiss, eyes narrowing for another batch of records, broke in the seventh game before wrapping up the match with his eighth ace.

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