Sports

Warriors rally to take Game 1 as Spurs lose Leonard

OAKLAND, California— Stephen Curry scored 40 points and hit a tying 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining as the Golden State Warriors rallied from way down after Kawhi Leonard was lost to an ankle injury to beat the San Antonio Spurs 113-111 on Sunday (Monday, Manila) in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals.

Draymond Green gave Golden State the lead for good on a three-point play after the Warriors trailed by as many as 25 points.

Leonard left in the third quarter after he re-injured his left ankle and the Warriors capitalized with an 18-0 run.

Kevin Durant scored 10 straight points during a key fourth-quarter stretch on the way to 34 points, while Zaza Pachulia had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Leonard had 26 points and eight rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge delivered another clutch playoff performance with 28 points and eight boards.

Somehow, these unusually careless, cold-shooting Warriors found a way to keep their unblemished postseason record alive at 9-0.

Game 2 in the series is Tuesday night (Wednesday, Manila) back at Oracle Arena.

Curry scored 19 points in the third quarter and went 7 for 16 on 3s and 14 of 26 overall.

Leonard first went down after stepping on a teammate’s foot along the bench after taking a shot. Pachulia later slid into him as he came down from shooting and Leonard fell into the Spurs bench, grabbing his ankle.

Losing Leonard could be a story of this series. He shot 7 of 13 in 23 minutes to go with eight rebounds and three assists. He made all 11 of his free throws.

He sat out Game 6 of the last round against Houston, a 39-point, series-clinching win on Thursday, after injuring the ankle in a Game 5 overtime victory.

Durant has repeatedly spoken of elevating his game when it matters most — and he did it at the very moment the Warriors needed a huge lift on their home floor.

His 3-pointer with 7:53 to play got Golden State within 94-88, then he drove to his left and right by Kyle Anderson for an emphatic one-handed slam the next possession to ignite a deafening sellout crowd. Durant hit another 3 at the 6:10 mark and a jumper the next time down before Shaun Livingston’s driving dunk.

Gregg Popovich lost to good friend and old pupil Mike Brown, filling in as Warriors acting coach for the ailing Steve Kerr — who played for Popovich.

Yet for much of the afternoon, the Spurs outplayed the Warriors on both ends of the floor. They crashed the offensive glass as they so like to do — something Golden State stressed all week — going right at defenders in the paint and forcing the Warriors into tough shots. Even the open looks weren’t falling.

The Warriors missed their initial five 3-point tries before Curry hit 5:05 before halftime to ignite a stunned-into-silence sellout crowd as Golden State got within 46-32.

The next sequence the Spurs managed three offensive rebounds before scoring.

San Antonio had six steals among the Warriors’ initial nine turnovers and Golden State wasn’t getting the kind of easy shots it was used to going almost untested the first two rounds.

Even when the Warriors did things right the Spurs answered.

Kerr watched the game from behind the scenes in the arena a day after returning to the practice floor for the first time in more than three weeks.

“He’s gone through hell,” Popovich said pregame. “I’m sure most people don’t really know, and I’ll leave that to him to describe as much as he wants to describe. But it’s been very difficult for him. He’s shown a lot of courage getting through what he’s gone through.”

 

Gilas Pilipinas crushes Myanmar, 147-40

The Gilas Pilipinas national team opened the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Cup in style, rolling to a 147-40 victory on Friday before a sparse crowd at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The game turned into a laugher early on, as the home team blazed to a 66-12 halftime lead.
Calvin Abueva led Gilas with 22 points, while Allein Maliksi added 20. Naturalized center Andray Blatche, making his return to the national team, chipped in 11 points in 12 minutes of action. —JST, GMA News

Philippines to host FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2018

The FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2018 will be held in Manila, Philippines.

The Philippines Basketball Federation (SPB) will organise the fifth edition of the most prestigious 3x3 national team competition.

The country has been a pioneer in the development of 3x3, hosting two stages of the professional season - the FIBA 3x3 World Tour - in 2014 and 2015 and bringing stars like Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final.

"We are very proud and honoured to be hosting the FIBA 3x3 World Cup next year," SPB Executive Director Sonny Barrios said. "Our two previous experiences hosting FIBA 3x3 events have been a success and 3x3 has become a centrepiece of our development programme."

All games at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2018 will be played on the same court with 20 men's and 20 women's teams competing in a team event and in three individual contests (men's dunk contest including professional dunkers, women's skills contest and mixed shoot-out contest).

"We are delighted to bring the FIBA 3x3 World Cup to the Philippines," FIBA 3x3 Managing Director Alex Sanchez said. "We are positive SPB and the passionate Filipino fans will make it an unbelievable experience for the best 3x3 players in the world and everyone watching on all platforms."

The selection of teams for the tournament is based on the FIBA 3x3 Federation Ranking at the cut-off date of 1 November 2017. The Ranking includes sport and development criteria, allowing both the strongest teams on the field as well as the most active countries to participate in the event, which fulfills a key aim of 3x3 - diversity. At least 30 different countries and territories will be represented at the event.

Serbia's men and Czech Republic's women are the reigning FIBA 3x3 World Champions following their success at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2016 in Guangzhou, China.

The 2017 edition of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup will be staged in Nantes, France on 17-21 June.

More information regarding the exact location and dates will be communicated at a later stage.

By ABS-CBN Sports 

Singapore looks to compete and build for the future

MANILA, Philippines — The Singapore Men’s National Basketball Team flew into Manila with a quiet confidence in their abilities and firm goals in mind.

Singapore’s Australian head coach Franco Arsego summed it up, “We didn’t just come here to participate but to compete. We might not have the materials of other teams like the Philippines but to expose our youth and to lay a foundation for the SEA (Southeast Asian) Games is good for the program that we are undertaking.”

Team captain Hanbin Ng understands the enormity of the task: “We have a lot of young players so we will try to soak in as much experience as we can.”

Basketball has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade in the Lion State. “It has been growing quite a bit from a decade ago,” shared Ng. “Six years we managed to win our first bronze medal after 34 years of drought. That galvanized a lot of support for Singapore basketball. Now there are more sponsors and support from the crowd.”

“In the past if you come to a basketball game, over the years we have grown so much we have achieved in Sea Games and the Asean Basketball League. With this tournament in SEABA, we hope to continue to build on our gains,” Arsego added,

“I had an opportunity to work in Singapore from 2008-10 and have seen the massive growth and the interest and support. Our pro team Singapore Slingers has had success and that has spurred great interest. But for me as a basketball coach, it is also gratifying to see the locals come out and watch. And this is football country. So the growth of the game of basketball has been fascinating," he offered.

The fact that the Philippines is favored to win the Friday tournament has not dimmed Singapore’s outlook.

“You can say it is the same for the Philippines in football, a rising power that has had its success and setbacks. For us, it is the same in basketball. It is good that the competition is growing. At the end of the day, we hope to make Singapore proud," Arsego said.

By Rick Olivares, contributor (philstar.com)

Kim Chiu’s newfound love: Duathlon

Last Feb. 18 in Subic, I ran into Kim Chiu who was so focused on her duathlon training.

 

Kim has always been a consistent gym goer starting one year after her PBB Teen Edition.  But these past few months, I started noticing her cycling and running activities. She still trains at the gym with fitness couple Boyet and Susan Trinidad and also runs with them outside the gym.

This week, her new ABS-CBN teleserye Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin started to unfold the story of two triathletes who will strive to reach for their dreams and fight for their true love.

This is the most-awaited television reunion of Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson. Kim and Gerald will play Bianca and Gabriel, childhood friends determined to give their families a better future. The sport triathlon became their chosen means to uplift their plight, and also brought them together as a couple. 

Jake Cuenca, who plays Carlos, the top triathlete in the country, will also fall in love with Bianca. The stellar cast includes Coleen Garcia, Bing Loyzaga, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Gina Pareño, Michael de Mesa, among many others.

Kim Chiu had to prepare well to play the role of an elite athlete. Thankfully, she enjoyed the process. “Kim really enjoys training and she is very committed,” says her fitness coach Susan Trinidad. 

Susan adds, “She is disciplined to train even by herself. For example, for a recent 21k run, though she was abroad for work, we constantly messaged each other regarding how to continue her training. In short, her program, designed by Boyet, was remotely supervised.”

She joined her first duathlon at the Pilipinas Duathlon Series last March 5. She was invited to join by her good friend Jake Cuenca. She only had one month to prepare for the competition, but she pulled through and finished strong. Just recently she finished her first 21k in the NatGeo 2017 run.

Kim holding her first 21k medal with fitness couple and coaches Boyet and Susan Trinidad

Kim’s personal trainers share some interesting facts. Coach Susan says, “Kim’s interest in duathlon began when she started shooting for her teleserye as a triathlete.  Before the actual shoot, they trained her to swim and ride a bike. She already runs fast because of her previous training with coach Boyet. She enjoys collecting medals from all the runs.”

Susan continues, “When she has free time, she makes it a point to work out or train. Because of her training, she tries to sleep early unlike before. Her gym training is now more sport-specific. If she has races, Boyet makes a program for her, then I just incorporate it with our training in the gym.”

Boyet adds, “She has not yet joined a full marathon, but she aims to run a full 42k next year. She finished 16k, 21k, a couple of 10k, and a duathlon. In the gym, we simulate outdoor runs with an incline trainer, focusing on split intervals and tempo runs using treadmills. We also do cross training sometimes with spinning class. Indoor training is effective for those who don’t have time to run outside.”

“Strength training is also very important in her sport since duathlon involves multiple movements. We do lots of functional and core training to improve her cardio and muscular strength and endurance while doing her sport,” Boyet concludes.

Like Kim Chiu, you, too, can enjoy the benefits of duathlon training. “Participating in sports and recreational activities, such as triathlons or duathlons, validates hard work inside the gym,” enthuses running coach Edsel Vengco. “Duathlon focuses a lot on the lower body, from cycling to running, then back to cycling. A duathlete needs to have good lower body strength and endurance to fulfill this event,” he explains. 

Coach Edsel has three tips for starters. “Tip 1: Run the first half with your head and the last half with your heart. Runners tend to get carried over at the start of the run, which could potentially deplete their energy stores faster. So, run the first half just sticking to your pace and watch yourself overtake other runners during the latter half.

“Tip 2: Know your pace. There are free apps available that can track your run and calculate your average pace in minutes per kilometer. This would allow you to train better by allowing your body to get used to that pace and eventually beat it.

“Tip 3: Arrive early. Arriving early would allow you to have enough time to warm up and adjust your bladder. Being late in a run would mean that you would have to snake through so many people. So, being relatively somewhere in the front would translate to a better, more enjoyable run experience.”

(The Philippine Star)

History shows Seaba should be walk in the park for Gilas Pilipinas

Jio Jalalon was part of the last Philippines team that saw action in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship held 2 years ago in Singapore.

That team annihilated the competition by an average margin of 68.4 points. And it did so by fielding a roster of Marcus Douthit mixed with collegiate players, including Arellano University's Jalalon.

 

On Friday, Gilas Pilipinas begins the 12th edition of the regional tournament boasting a hyper-loaded lineup, one that’s composed of June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro and other big guns of the PBA.

“Kailangan overkill ito,” said Robbie Puno, vice chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the sport’s national governing body.

“Remember this is a tournament that’s going to be held in the Philippines. I think it’ll be a lot of fun if we blow out all of our opponents every single game in front of the home crowd.”

Gilas Pilipinas Seaba schedule (All games 7 p.m.)
May 12 (Friday) -- Myanmar
May 13 (Saturday) -- Singapore
May 14 (Sunday) -- Malaysia
May 15 (Monday) break
May 16 (Tuesday) -- Thailand
May 17 (Wednesday) -- Malaysia
May 18 (Thursday) -- Indonesia

Judging by Gilas’ history in Seaba, expect the hosts to inflict a bloodbath.

Consider these previous results:

  • In 2011, the Philippines saw withdrawals by national team mainstays Jimmy Alapag, Asi Taulava and Kelly Williams and still pulverized the opposition by an average margin of 40.3 points.
  • In 2009, Yeng Guiao, the team’s coach at the time, considered Malaysia to be the Philippines’ toughest opponent. The Filipinos won their game by 27 points, and the tournament by an average of 38.
  • In 2007, the Philippines used a squad of amateurs, PBA newbies and journeymen. The Filipinos thumped the field by an average of 38.5 points.

Gilas’ lineup for the 7-day Seaba competition to be held at Araneta Coliseum is so strong it’s as if it’s preparing to face a team in the top 50 in FIBA’s rankings. In reality, Gilas’ highest-ranked opponent in Seaba is No. 72 Indonesia, followed by Thailand at No. 81. The Philippines is No. 27 in the world.

It's the job of Chot Reyes and the Gilas coaches to err on the side of caution. The last thing they want to happen is for Gilas, a versatile mix of veterans and young blood such as Jalalon, to take its opponents lightly because disaster — as unfathomable as it seems — can strike if the team relaxes.

One issue keeping Gilas assistant coach Jong Uichico and the rest of the staff on their toes is the possibility that other federations would use naturalized players. Uichico calls the opponents' recruitment plans “a big question mark.” 

Another concern is the lack of sufficient intel on the competition.

“We’ve done the best we can in terms of scouting,” Uichico said. “It’s kind of difficult to scout them because they’re not on TV. They can easily scout us. We’re all over (the place).”

Still, it would take a major letdown, perhaps an off-game by all players, for the 7-time Seaba champions to lose one game.

Even if the other teams call up a naturalized reinforcement, they don't have a squad that's 1-to-12 strong like Gilas. And even if they have the X's and O's down pat, knowing the game plan is one thing but executing them against a country that lives and breathes basketball is another.

On top of every physical advantage that Gilas has, Reyes and co. are more focused than ever because of what's at stake — winning Seaba is a mere stepping stone for its longer-term objective of reaching the FIBA World Cup.

So add the might of its personnel and the resoluteness of its purpose, it's difficult to envision a realistic scenario in which this Gilas team, in front of a home crowd no less, can lose.

 

Dominic Menor, ABS-CBN News
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