Sunday, December 29, 2013

Japeth Aguilar and Barangay Ginebra beats Meralco at the buzzer

c/o PBA website
Barangay Ginebra was down to Meralco five points with 15.1 seconds left, 82-77. The Bolts were at the cusp of being able to replicate their win over the current league leaders.

Then the following things happened:

Jay-R Reyes, whom Head Coach Ato Agustin inserted in place of Greg Slaughter, nails a corner three with 12.8 seconds remaining. Ginebra down two, 82-80. Reyes, prior to this game, missed his only three pointer he attempted this conference and is a career 26.5% shooter from there (he did shoot 40% in one season, back with Rain or Shine in 08-09).

Mark Caguioa immediately fouls John Wilson, who came into the game shooting 74% from the line and earlier in the game split his charities. He misses both free throws, yet puts out a wry smile. Ball goes out and in the ensuing review, the officiating trio of Mariano, Tankion and Gruta awarded possession to Ginebra.

With 11.8 seconds remaining, this is how it went down.

The Gilas Pilipinas standout finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, an assist, four blocks and a reminder why Barangay Ginebra owns the mantra "Never Say Die."

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Russell Westbrook has arthroscopic knee surgery, out until after All-Star Break
Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports via Poughkeepsie Journal
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that star guard Russell Westbrook underwent surgery on his right knee and is sidelined for at least seven weeks.

Westbrook needed arthroscopic knee surgery to relieve swelling that accumulated. Sam Presti explained that the team already has a medical plan set up during his return from his meniscal tear, one which includes multiple MRI scans and occasional knee drains, they discovered something that necessitated such a scope.

The team released this statement:
“Russell has been playing pain free, but recently had experienced increased swelling. After consultation and consideration by his surgeon in Los Angeles, a plan was established to monitor the swelling that included a series of scheduled MRIs,” said Presti. “On the most recent MRI it was determined by the surgeon that there was an area of concern that had not previously existed, nor was detectable in the previous procedures, and it was necessary to evaluate Russell further. The consulting physician determined that arthroscopic surgery was necessary to address the swelling that was taking place. We know that Russell’s work ethic and commitment will help him return to the level of play that we have all come to appreciate.” 
Russ is averaging 21.3 points, six rebounds and seven assists in 25 games this season, and is just fresh from putting up the eighth triple-double in the history of NBA games held on Christmas Day (14 points, 13 rebounds and ten assists in 29 minutes against the hapless New York Knicks)

He also is currently sixth in the All-Star game balloting for Western Conference guards (and will most definitely would have been a shoo-in for the West All-Star Reserves if healthy).

Looking at the schedule, the Thunder have 27 games until the All-Star break. Breaking that down further, they will face ten Western Conference teams (including three games against their Northwest Division rivals Portland, two games against the man that caused the injury (Houston) and two games against the team that eliminated them in the last postseason (Memphis), as well as one game against Golden State and the reigning conference champions (San Antonio). Among the Eastern Conference teams on its schedule, they would face Miami and Atlanta, which comprise 2/3 of the conference's teams with a win-loss record above .500.  They will also complete their matchups against the New York-based teams (twice against the Nets and a visit from the Knicks).

In the case that he comes back on time, the Thunder's campaign after the break will be a four game homestand against the Heat, the Clippers, the Cavs and the Grizzlies to close out the month of February. Do keep in mind that in the aftermath of his second surgery last October, he only missed two games.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Lebron James named as the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
The King has some additional hardware.

LeBron James was named on Thursday, as the Associated Press' 2013 Male Athlete of the Year. He beat out quarterback Peyton Manning and driver Jimmie Johnson for the nod with 31 out of the 96 votes. This was a day after tennis star Serena Williams was named as the AP's Female Athlete of the Year.

James joins such sporting legends as boxers Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali, Olympians Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and Michael Phelps, and the likes of Joe Montana and Tiger Woods as winners.

He is the third NBA player to be bestown with this honor, following Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

The award caps off a memorable year for LeBron, who took home his fourth MVP and second NBA title, and is on his way to laying the foundation for another possible title run.

Speaking to the AP, LeBron actually spoke of being more than just a basketball player:
"I'm chasing something and it's bigger than me as a basketball player. I believe my calling is much higher than being a basketball player. I can inspire people. Youth is huge to me. If I can get kids to look at me as a role model, as a leader, a superhero ... those things mean so much, and that's what I think I was built for. I was put here for this lovely game of basketball, but I don't think this is the biggest role that I'm going to have."

He adds:
"I don't think I've changed much this year. I've just improved and continued to improve on being more than just as a basketball player. I've matured as a leader, as a father, as a husband, as a friend."
Including their Christmas Day win over the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron appeared in 98 games in 2013 (with three games still to be played), with the Heat winning 78 of them. That, of course, includes their memorable seven-game NBA Finals with the San Antonio Spurs.

NBA releases 2nd set of All-Star Balloting returns

The second set of returns from the 2014 NBA All-Star Balloting were released on Thursday, with LeBron James still maintaining his slim lead over Kevin Durant in the overall vote. The reigning MVP has over 854,000 votes, with an estimated 4,000-vote lead over the Texas alum. Kobe Bryant remains in third place with just over 720,000 votes.

Only two new faces popped up in the balloting in comparison to the first release, as swingmen Lance Stephenson and DeMar DeRozan entered the top ten in the Eastern backcourt at the expense of Evan Turner and Mario Chalmers.

The impressive play of the Portland Trailblazers has manifested itself on the balloting, with Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge each moving up a couple of spots. Otherwise, not much movement in the results.

Fans can vote via social media (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, et al.), as well as via the NBA GameTime app. Deadline for casting of votes is until January 20.

Number in parenthesis is their ranking in the previous release of ballot returns. NR = Not Ranked.

Eastern Conference:


1. LeBron James (Mia) 854,105 (1)
2. Paul George (Ind) 712,808 (2)
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 580,795 (3)
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 304,829 (4)
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 222,861 (5)
6. Kevin Garnett (BKN) 137,520 (6)
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 101,308 (7)
8. Andre Drummond (Det) 91,132 (11)
9. Jeff Green (Bos) 78,693 (8)
10. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 77,496 (10)
11. Luol Deng (Chi) 73,418 (9)
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 64,861 (12)
13. Paul Pierce (BKN) 60,541 (13)
14. Brook Lopez (BKN) 52,907 (14)
15. Josh Smith (Det) 46,836 (15)


1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 565,455 (1)
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 524,000 (2)
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 299,950 (3)
4. John Wall (Was) 210,988 (4)
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 143,714 (5)
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 111,335 (6)
7. Deron Williams (BKN) 74,047 (7)
8. George Hill (Ind) 66,030 (8)
9. Lance Stephenson (Ind) 50,444 (NR)
10. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 48,744 (NR)

Western Conference:


1. Kevin Durant (OKC) 850,728 (1)
2. Dwight Howard (Hou) 408,623 (2)
3. Blake Griffin (LAC) 399,357 (3)
4. Kevin Love (Min) 377,941 (4)
5. Tim Duncan (SA) 312,809 (5)
6. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 282,613 (8)
7. Anthony Davis (NO) 188,589 (6)
8. Pau Gasol (LAL) 177,883 (7)
9. Andre Iguodala (GS) 145,089 (9)
10. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 126,025 (10)
11. Chandler Parsons (Hou) 106,369 (11)
12. DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 99,903 (12)
13. David Lee (GS) 89,858 (13)
14. Omer Asik (Hou) 79,591 (15)
15. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 76,110 (14)


1. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 723,031 (1)
2. Chris Paul (LAC) 533,647 (2)
3. Stephen Curry (GS) 481,698 (3)
4. Jeremy Lin (Hou) 358,725 (4)
5. James Harden (Hou) 270,476 (5)
6. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 216,070 (6)
7. Tony Parker (SA) 158,329 (7)
8. Damian Lillard (Por) 105,880 (10)
9. Ricky Rubio (Min) 81,829 (8)
10. Steve Nash (LAL) 81,377 (9)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Kobe Bryant injures left knee, out 6 weeks
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images via ESPN

The Los Angeles Lakers announced on their Twitter account (@Lakers) that Kobe Bryant will be sidelined for six weeks due to "a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee." He had just come back from his left Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him this past April.

Where is that? This image might help.

According to ESPNLA's Ramona Shelburne, Kobe played with the fracture in the fourth quarter of their 96-92 victory over Memphis. Bryant had said that he hyperextended his knee during the third quarter of said game, as seen from this clip from Silver Screen & Roll:

According to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, there will not be a need for surgery for that fracture, adding that "the bone will heal."

Six weeks means that he will be back by February at the earliest. Without Kobe, Xavier Henry and Jodie Meeks will comprise the Lakers backcourt in the meantime, starting this weekend against Minnesota at Staples. Henry has been acting as the point guard off the bench for Mike D'Antoni, who won't have his top FOUR point guard options due to injuries.

Bryant has averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds in the six games he has played, leading the Lakers to a 2-4 record.

Jordan Farmar will be the soonest to return from his injury (he suffered that on December 1), but Lakers doctors will re-examine his left hamstring on December 24 (one day before Heat vs Lakers). He had been estimated to be out for at least four weeks.

Steve Blake and his freak elbow injury (he suffered that on December 12) will have him out for six weeks, which puts that timetable to around the end of January.

As for Steve Nash, who has only played in six games this season, he will need four more weeks before being re-evaluated, which also pegs that to be around the end of January as well.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

License to Lillard - again...
c/o USA Today via BasketUSA

The other day, Damian Lillard hits a game-winner against Detroit. Apparently, he was not finished yet.

With an appetizing matchup against fellow young superstar guard Kyrie Irving, the Weber State alum decided to light up the Q, ending it in dramatic fashion.

36 points. 10 assists. And the win.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Joe Johnson erupts in the 3rd
h/t to Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images via ESPN

The Brooklyn Nets and the third quarter have never really been great bedfellows, but on one night against the free-falling Philadelphia 76ers, Joe Johnson reminded everyone of the power of the phrase "He's on Fire" on NBA Jam.

On his way to putting up 29 points in the 3rd quarter, he tied a NBA record for 3-pointers in a quarter with eight. He finished with 37 points (on a league-high ten conversions from deep) as the Nets won for the fourth time in the last five games. It also moves the Nets from once being at the bottom of the Atlantic to just middling in third place in the division, and a game out of eight place in the postseason picture.

Oh, here is his shot chart from that period.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

License to Lillard

The Portland Trailblazers have been the surprise team of the season, relying on their shooting and surprising depth. But when the going gets tough, either the lean on LaMarcus Aldridge and the exploits of Damian Lillard, as seen here rescuing Rip City in OT. 

Now from NBA Stats, here is Lillard's career stats in the extension periods: 45 minutes, 43 points, 15/19 FGAs (*10/10 inside 3PT arc), 8/8 FTAs, +31 on the floor, and the Blazers tote a 7-1 record.

Friday, December 13, 2013

NBA releases 1st set of All-Star Balloting returns

The first set of returns from the 2014 All-Star balloting were released on Thursday, with LeBron James leading in the overall vote count.

James has the most overall with over 609,000 votes, around 2,000 more than Kevin Durant. Kobe Bryant, with just two games under his belt, is a far third with over half a million votes to his name.

If the starters are to be named today, the lineups would be James, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the frontcourt and Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving in the backcourt for the East, while in the West, it would be Durant, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin comprising the front court with Bryant and Chris Paul in the backcourt.

Fans can vote via social media (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, et al.), as well as via the NBA GameTime app. Deadline for casting of votes is until January 20.


Eastern Conference


1. LeBron James (Mia) 609,336
2. Paul George (Ind) 489,335
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 424,211
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 208,369
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 156,364
6. Kevin Garnett (BKN) 102,825
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 75,229
8. Jeff Green (Bos) 55,912
9. Luol Deng (Chi) 54,340
10. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 51,738
11. Andre Drummond (Det) 51,351
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 48,745
13. Paul Pierce (BKN) 45,145
14. Brook Lopez (BKN) 37,153
15. Josh Smith (Det) 32,025


1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 396,279
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 365,712
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 272,410
4. John Wall (Was) 124,851
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 99,464
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 80,889
7. Deron Williams (BKN) 44,282
8. George Hill (Ind) 42,536
9. Evan Turner (Phi) 33,605
10. Mario Chalmers (Mia) 32,996

Western Conference


1. Kevin Durant (OKC) 607,407
2. Dwight Howard (Hou) 295,120
3. Blake Griffin (LAC) 292,925
4. Kevin Love (Min) 275,506
5. Tim Duncan (SA) 217,271
6. Anthony Davis (NO) 149,579
7. Pau Gasol (LAL) 133,199
8. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 132,818
9. Andre Iguodala (GS) 109,745
10. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 89,093
11. Chandler Parsons (Hou) 77,179
12. DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 60,923
13. David Lee (GS) 60,015
14. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 55,023
15. Omer Asik (Hou) 53,827


1. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 501,215
2. Chris Paul (LAC) 393,313
3. Stephen Curry (GS) 327,449
4. Jeremy Lin (Hou) 240,404
5. James Harden (Hou) 198,667
6. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 149,065
7. Tony Parker (SA) 112,423
8. Ricky Rubio (Min) 63,096
9. Steve Nash (LAL) 60,782
10. Damian Lillard (Por) 55,847

Steph Curry cooks up a comeback vs Dallas

c/o Ben Margot / Associated Press via Washington Post
Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors were having a tough time against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs wanted to bounce back after being embarrassed by a shorthanded Sacramento Kings team a few days earlier.

And they did, they even erected an 18-point first half lead.

Curry was held scoreless in the first quarter and was limited to nine points at halftime.

But the Dubs found an answer in the second half, they managed to cut the lead and even take over it for a brief moment in the fourth quarter by Draymond Green.

Former Warrior Monta Ellis tied the game with a split free throw, setting up the drama for this one.

But that YouTube highlight above was a sliver of what he really pulled off in this game...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kobe Returns

c/o Nike Basketball

The buzz from yesterday's action was all about how Kobe will fare in his first game back with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Understandably, there was a lot of hype. They started it with this one on their Facebook page:

Then they had this when introducing him.

And of course, there is the game.

Kobe finished with 9 points on 2/9 shooting with 8 rebounds and 4 assists as the Lakers lost to the Raptors, 106-94.

The road to redemption is set.

Japeth Aguilar saves Ginebra

c/o InterAKTV's Paolo Papa

How did we get here: Barangay Ginebra is down a point after Larry Fonacier nails a baseline jumper with 22.9 seconds left to give Talk 'N Text the lead. Ato Agustin uses a timeout, intending for LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar to work together on a pick or screen and roll situation. It's a familiar thing to see, since they played together for SMART-Gilas Pilipinas, after all.

Let's proceed from there, shall we.

Japeth finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 blocks in a game that left us all awe-struck from Sunday night until now.

Carnival and Miami Heat follow-up on their Yolanda pledge

Carnival Corporation plc and the Miami HEAT announced a week ago that its pledge to support relief efforts in communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines will exceed $1.5 million, more than a $500,000 increase from its original pledge.

They had previously announced that the organization/s will pick and choose which charities the money will be allocated to:

UNICEF is to receive $500,000. Save the Children is to receive $300,000 (that includes a $50,000 donation from P&O Cruises Australia). Direct Relief is to receive $250,000. The International Red Cross is to receive $150,000 (that includes donations from P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises and Cunard), while the International Medical Corps is to receive $50,000 (donation from Princess Cruises).

In addition, nearly $350,000 funds (including $100,000 worth of grants from Carnival Cruise Lines and the Costa Group) have been made available to support Filipino employees (and their families) who were affected by the supertyphoon. This is of course, separate from the other local and independent fundraising initiatives being made.

According to Micky Arison, who owns the Heat and serves as the chairman of Carnival Corporation, plc., "The typhoon in the Philippines caused massive destruction, having a tragic impact on people and families there, including those members of our extended Carnival family who reside in the region. We evaluated a number of worthy organizations that are doing fantastic work in the Philippines and elected to go with these special organizations that are doing extraordinary relief work.”

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra adds, "It is vitally important that we do everything possible to help those impacted by this tragedy. My thanks and appreciation to Carnival, Micky Arison and the entire Miami HEAT organization for their generous support and donations along with everything else they are doing to provide the critical relief that is so badly needed for so many people.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Golden State Comeback

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez via ABC7

The Golden State Warriors were down, 75-48 to the Toronto Raptors, with 9:20 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

Then this happened...

From ESPN Stats and Info:

After falling behind by 27 points with 9:20 left in the third quarter, the Warriors outscored the Raptors 64-28 the rest of the way. Here's how the teams compared over the final 21:19.

Inside The Comeback - Final 21:19 of Game

Warriors Raptors
Pts 64 28
FG 21-37 10-28
3-pt FG 10-20 1-9
TO 3 8

To break that 64 points down, 42 of them came in the fourth quarter, with the remaining 22 coming in the third. In comparison, Toronto's fourth quarter meltdown saw them score just 15, one more than Steph Curry in the same stretch.

Here is the NBA's graphic of how they shot in the fourth quarter

Curry finished with 22 points in that final 21+ minutes of the game, with Klay Thompson contributing 15 (all on threes). David Lee added eight, while Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O'Neal each contributed six.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ICYMI: Russell Westbrook will not be denied

Last time the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder played, Russell Westbrook got out-clutched by Andre Iguodala.

This time, Westbrook made sure the Thunder are the victors.

The amazing understated thing about that play is that Westbrook pulled off a couple of neat feats to set up his game-winner.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fastbreak 2 for Yolanda is already tomorrow

Kiefer Ravena and friends organized the first Fastbreak for the victims of Sendong back in January 2012. With the aftermath of Yolanda, they banded together again to set up Fastbreak2, this time for the victims of Yolanda.

Scheduled on November 30 at the Blue Eagle Gym, this will feature a exhibition game features these guys:

In addition, there is a halftime portion, which includes recent UAAP women's volleyball standouts who have just graduated, like Melissa Gohing, Michele Gumabao and Jen Reyes.

For more details, you may proceed to their Facebook page.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Champions for a Cause exhibition basketball match announced

In an effort to raise money for the relief operations, the champions of the two premier collegiate basketball leagues will face each other on the hardcourt.

UAAP champions La Salle and NCAA champions San Beda will play in the Champions for a Cause on December 7. Tip-off is scheduled at 12nn at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum and will be shown LIVE on TV5, with a replay scheduled at 9pm on AksyonTV.

If you are going to watch it at the Big Dome, tickets will cost PhP 1000 for Patron, PhP 500 for Lower Box, PhP 300 for Upper Box A, PhP 150 for Upper Box B and PhP 20 for General Admission.

Sports5 Head and SMART-Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes says, “Sports5 is privileged to be collaborating with the schools and Fil-Oil Flying V in presenting this rare basketball game where the two best collegiate teams will be giving their best for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Basketball fans will surely enjoy this game where everyone wins,”

Both teams are also scheduled to face each other before this game, as they have earned their spot in the PCCL Final Four, which will have a round-robin format once the four teams have been revealed. (Already booking their spot alongside the two is Southwestern University, while ongoing right now is the Luzon-Metro Manila qualifiers)

San Beda just secured its fourth straight title in the NCAA, surviving Letran in a repeat of last year. Led by Boyet Fernandez, he will entrust it to his core, led by Finals MVP Art Dela Cruz, Baser Amer, Rome de la Rosa and Ola Adeogun.

La Salle ended their championship drought by beating the University of Santo Tomas in a dramatic finals. Led by Juno Sauler, he has solid rotation led by their Finals MVP Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, Almond Vosotros and Arnold Van Opstal.

Sports Advisory for PBA and UFL games to be televised today, November 28

Heads up.

The PBA has a doubleheader scheduled later today featuring the matchup of the Alaska Aces and the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters, as well as the GlobalPort Batang Pier against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

If you want to catch these two games LIVE, you can watch them on AksyonTV starting at 530pm.

If you missed out on the games, you can still watch them again, this time on TV5. The Ginebra-GlobalPort game will be shown tonight at 11pm, followed by the Alaska-TNT game at 1am.

If you think that is really late, TV5 will also have a replay of the two games tomorrow, November 29, starting at 8pm. They will show the Alaska-TNT game first, followed by GlobalPort-Ginebra.

For football fans, due to the sudden change of schedule, with the PBA having to temporarily take over AksyonTV's time slot, the UFL will be shown on IBC-13, starting at 5pm, featuring the remaining UFL Cup quarterfinal matches (Air Force vs Union Internacional - Manila & Stallion vs Pachanga Diliman).

The PBA is also scheduled to have a doubleheader on Tuesday, December 3 featuring TNT vs GlobalPort and Meralco vs Ginebra, so they will show that doubleheader on AksyonTV, forcing the UFL to move its telecast of the UFL Cup semifinal matches to IBC-13.

Sixers officially announce Iverson jersey retirement

Photo c/o Clarence Tabb, Jr. from The Detroit News via USA Today
Just before the start of the season, Allen Iverson announced his official retirement from the NBA. The question then was, when are they going to put the 3 on the Wells Fargo Center rafters?

We now have that answer.

The Sixers are going to have their Allen Iverson jersey retirement on March 1, against the Washington Wizards.

According to Sixers CEO Scott O'Neill, “Allen Iverson is, without question, one of the most iconic players to ever wear the Sixers uniform. Allen left everything out on the court and no one could ever question his heart – he was relentless, fearless and pound-for-pound, was one of the greatest to ever play the game.”

"The Answer" played 722 games for the 76ers (6th best in franchise history), logging in 29,879 minutes (2nd most in franchise history). He averaged 27.6 points, which is tied with the legendary Wilt Chamberlain as the highest in Philly.

Other franchise accolades:

Iverson also ranks among the top players in Sixers history in field goals made (3rd, 6,962), field goals attempted (2nd, 16,543), free throws made (2nd, 5,122), free throws attempted (2nd, 6,576), assists, (3rd, 4,385), steals (2nd, 1,644) and points (2nd, 19,931).

During the course of his career, Iverson would go on to earn the following accolades :

NBA Most Valuable Player (2001)
3× All-NBA First Team (1999, 2001, 2005)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1997)
3× All-NBA Second Team (2000, 2002, 2003)
11× NBA All-Star (2000–2010)
All-NBA Third Team (2006)
2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2001, 2005)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1997)
4× NBA scoring champion (1999, 2001, 2002, 2005)
2× NBA steals leader (2003, 2005)

Of course, there are those lasting images to accompany the feats, from the crossover to the step-over. There is no question he belongs up in the rafters alongside the other Sixers legends.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

UEFA sympathizes with the Philippines

UEFA expressed its solidarity with the Philippines as the nation picks up the pieces in the aftermath of SuperTyphoon Yolanda.

This scene was seen or will be seen in all of the Matchday 5 venues of the UEFA Champions League Group Stages.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Warriors and Blazers fireworks

c/o Sports Illustrated via Ben Margot/AP
While most of us were focused on a boxing match on Sunday, the Roaracle hosted something of that sort at that moment as well.

Three players (Mo Williams, Draymond Green and Wesley Matthews) were ejected (although for Matthews, it was because he incurred his second technical from the incident in question) from the game after further review.

The league just handed out its corresponding sanctions earlier today.

One-game suspensions for Andrew Bogut (to be observed against New Orleans) and Williams (to be observed against New York). Fines were levied for LaMarcus Aldridge, Matthews and Green. 

Kobe = Laker for Life

c/o Lakers' Twitter account
Any questions on Kobe's future in the league have been virtually addressed.

The Los Angeles Lakers officially revealed that they have signed a two-year extension with the Black Mamba that could possibly allow him to become a "Laker for life." Even Kobe himself acknowledged that:

c/o Kobe Bryant's Twitter account

Terms of the deal were not disclosed officially, but multiple media reports have pegged it to be worth $48.5 million. When broken down, the amount per year will ensure Bryant remains the highest-paid player in the league, even when you consider that this is already a pay cut from his current $30 million salary. He also gets to keep certain quirks from his old contract, like his no-trade clause, for instance.

If he completes the extension, Kobe will have spent twenty years wearing the purple and gold, which would be the longest that one player would have spent with one team.

Meanwhile, the comeback trail continues, as he gets closer and closer to being able to play, although he will not play in Washington to open their road trip. 

Derrick Rose is done for the 2013-14 NBA Season

from the Chicago Bulls website. Photo c/o Cameron Browne/NBAE/Getty Images
As what we shared on Sunday, Derrick Rose was announced to have been shelved indefinitely. Earlier today, that length has been defined a little bit.

The Bulls announced that he will be out for the remainder of the season after having surgery to repair the meniscus on his right knee.

The statement reads:

Earlier this morning, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose underwent successful surgery to repair his previously torn medial meniscus in his right knee. The surgery was performed at Rush University Medical Center by Chicago Bulls head team physician Dr. Brian Cole and team physician Dr. Chuck Bush Joseph.

Rose is out for the remainder of the season. He suffered his injury in the third quarter of Chicago’s loss at Portland on Friday night.

The team opted with the reattachment of the torn portion of the knee instead of removing the meniscus. That particular option has a longer recovery time, but since Rose is just 25, it was perceived to be the better thing do career-wise.

Derrick played ten games this season for Chicago, where he averaged 15.9 points (on 35.4% shooting from the field), 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists in over 31 minutes. He has only played 49 games in the last three seasons, in stark contrast to his first three seasons where he only missed a total of five games..

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Derrick Rose injures knee, out indefinitely

Photo c/o the Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Bulls suffered a double whammy yesterday at the Moda Center in Portland.

Not only did they lose, 98-95, while owning a 21-point lead, but also lost Derrick Rose to a knee injury.

Rose injured his right knee with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter, when he lost his footing while trying to change direction to get back on defense after Nicolas Batum stole a pass from Joakim Noah. He could not put any weight on the knee and needed to be helped off to the locker room.

Rose at the time had 20 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

The MRI conducted earlier today revealed that Rose suffered a medial meniscus tear and will need surgery. Reports from multiple media outlets vary the length of time that he will be out from eight weeks to four months. The Bulls officially ruled him out indefinitely.

The official statement is as follows:
Bulls guard Derrick Rose sustained an injury to his right knee against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Subsequent examinations and an MRI confirmed a medial meniscus tear to his right knee, which will require surgery. Rose is out indefinitely, and will not accompany the team on the rest of its current road trip.

This is how he got hurt.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pau Gasol's pledge for Yolanda relief

Pau Gasol has always had a soft spot for children. He is one of the myriad of UNICEF Ambassadors, and has always felt the pulse about the Philippines.

With the aftermath of Supertyphoon Yolanda, many institutions have done their share with getting aid into the country. The Spanish big man is also doing his part to raise the necessary funds.

Gasol has pledged to donate $1,000 for every point he scores in their next game, which happens to the Golden State Warriors this Saturday morning, local time. The money will be addressed to the US Fund for UNICEF.

He averaged 14 points last season for the Lakers against the Warriors, and scored 12 in their first meeting this season (a.k.a. the Klay Thompson fireworks escapade).

The bright spot is that Pau's career average against Golden State is 20.3, the highest among the Western Conference teams.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Roach and Ariza et al. feature in altercation

c/o Top Rank Boxing Twitter account

Alright, the buzz from today is the altercation involving Freddie Roach and members of Brandon Rios' camp.

To be fair, Elie Seckbach has provided his version of the narrative here. It is up to you whose side you want to believe and comprehend.

Don't forget, the Pacquiao vs Rios fight is to take place this Sunday locally.

Kobe is back in practice

c/o the Los Angeles Lakers Twitter account

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers revealed that its team doctors have medically cleared Kobe Bryant to do basketball-related activities.

Today, this is what Kobe was doing:

He also did this:

In spite of all of that, there is still no timetable for his return. So be patient, Lakers fans.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brandon Jennings to Andre Drummond lobbing it up at Staples

c/o The Big Lead
The Detroit Pistons got railroaded by the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday, 114-99, especially in the second half. But in the first half, the Motor City was humming and revving like crazy. And this play encapsulated that excitement that moment.

Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin runs with Philippine flag

Taken from the Seattle Seahawks Twitter account
Doug Baldwin caught two balls for 63 yards and a touchdown for the Seattle Seahawks in their 41-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings for their league-leading tenth victory of the season, but the biggest impact he had might have been before the opening kickoff.

The wideout from Stanford ran out on CenturyLink Field with the Philippine flag.

Baldwin, who is 1/4 Filipino through his grandmother, has relatives who are based in Tacloban that bore much of the brunt of Yolanda when it went through the country. According to him, most of his relatives are accounted for and are "apparently okay."

Baldwin led the campaign for relief efforts of the Seattle Seahawks for Yolanda, with the fans and owner Paul Allen combining to donate over $24,000 to the Western Washington Red Cross.

You may be wondering why the red portion of the flag is on top, as per the Seahawks: "We are fighting the devastation of #Haiyan which has been worse than many war-torn regions of the world."

Doug himself adds this statement from his twitter account (because a lot of people technically remain confused with the red aspect of the flag on top):
If I offended anyone of the Philippines, it was not my intent. I only meant to call attention to the plight of the people devastated by typhoon Haiyan. The aftermath of the typhoon can be compared to conditions after a battle during war. Leyte, is battling to overcome the ravages of typhoon Haiyan. My blessings and well wishes are with the families impacted by this disaster.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Statement from Jason Day re: Yolanda

Jason Day is scheduled to play alongside Adam Scott in the World Cup of Golf this weekend at the Royal Melbourne Golf Course. He also is half-Filipino, as his mother moved to Australia 30 years ago.

His roots trace to Tacloban, which had been hit hard by Yolanda. In fact, eight of his relatives have passed away due to the Supertyphoon.

His mom shared that her mom (Jason's grandmother), her brother (Jason's uncle) and six of her nephews (Jason's cousins) perished.

Below is a statement from PGA Golfer Jason Day coursed through the PGA Tour.

"I am deeply saddened to confirm that multiple members of my family lost their lives as the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. My family and I are thankful for all who have reached out with their prayers and concern.

"We feel devastated for all who have been affected by this horrific tragedy. While I understand the media's interest in this matter and hope that any coverage can spread awareness to assist with the relief efforts that continue in the Phillippines, I hope that all will respect my family's privacy during this difficult time. I will have no further public comments at this time. Please pray for all who have suffered loss. Thank you."

Lakers officialy make their Yolanda relief donation

c/o Lakers Twitter account

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Lakers revealed that they are chipping in for the relief effort in the aftermath of Yolanda.

With the Filipino contingent of the Jr. NBA present in Los Angeles as their reward for their excellence in the National Training Camp, it is they who are representing the Philippines, specifically the Philippine Red Cross, as the Lakers presented their donation of $150,000 to the organization.

If you are wondering who comprises this contingent, it's Samuel Abuhijleh of San Beda, Vince Ferrer of UST, Miguel Fortuna and Marco Sario of La Salle Zobel, Gian Mamuyac of Ateneo, Paolo Rivero of La Salle Greenhills, Tyler Tio of Xavier School, Pawandeep Singh from Pampanga, Anthony Sistoza from Gen. Santos City and Mahloney Tarranza from Davao

Friday, November 15, 2013

Late game dramatics at Roaracle

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images via ESPN
The Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder gave fans a lot to be entertained about.

With the Warriors up two, Russell Westbrook provided some late-game dramatics.

But then, Andre Iguodala sent the Roaracle rockin'

Yep, that $48M investment is reaping immediate dividends for Golden State, securing the 116-115 victory, moving them past the Thunder in the Western Conference standings in this the early days of the season.

Update: As it is with the NBA, they decided to go phantom-cam on both plays. Here is how they did it:

Matt Barnes in the past 24 hours

(Stephen Dunn, Getty Images / November 13, 2013) c/o Los Angeles Times
The game-changer for the Clippers' 111-103 victory over the Thunder was this play just before the end of the first half.

Matt Barnes shoves Serge Ibaka, then Ibaka cocks his fist while pushing back. Both get ejected. Barnes would then send this tweet in the locker room (which was later deleted).

Earlier today, he released a statement in a series of tweets, which when assembled and edited, goes like this:
I'd like to take a second to apologize to the #LACorganization, my #Teammates & #CoachingStaff & the #ClipFans for my actions not only on the court, but (also) off (the court). I was completely wrong for pushing Ibaka, & then for what I tweeted following the altercation. I've been doing this for too long to let my emotions get the best of me. My poor choice of words & timing do not reflect who or what I am about. It was very selfish on my part to make this situation about me instead of my teammates that fought their hearts out & earned a big win against a tough OKC team. Now, I could have took the easy way out & said, "My twitter was hacked," but that's not what I'm about. I accept full responsibility for all my inappropriate actions last night & I am truly sorry!
Tweeting during games is not allowed, in the aftermath of the Charlie Villanueva halftime tweeting controversy in 2009.

The League has announced that he has been fined $25,000 the inappropriate language used on the tweet.

The Los Angeles Lakers providing Yolanda relief assistance

The Los Angeles Lakers have always been one of the most recognized teams for Filipino fans. And they have dug in into the relief effort for Yolanda.

Earlier today, the team released a statement on their website, which goes as follows:
The Los Angeles Lakers will make a donation to the Philippine Red Cross to assist in the relief efforts for victims of the devastating typhoon that ravaged the eastern and central parts of the country last week.

The Lakers will donate $150,000, as well as give all proceeds from the Lakers Youth Foundation In-Arena Auctions at all Lakers home games between November 12-24, to the Philippine Red Cross.

This is after the NBA and its players made donations to UNICEF and World Vision, and after the Miami Heat (in conjunction with its sister company Carnival Corporation) pledged $1 million.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Erik Spoelstra's UNICEF PSA

Here is Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra asking everyone to do their share and donate to UNICEF.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Xavier Henry punctuates Lakers win

The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from their blowout loss to Minnesota with a 116-95 domination over the New Orleans Pelicans.

c/o Getty Images by Andrew D. Bernstein

Highlighting that blowout is this poster from Xavier Henry to Jeff Withey.

Xavier finished with 15 points in the win.

Interestingly, both players were teammates in Kansas as freshmen in 2009-10. Henry would then bolt for the draft, while Withey matriculated for four years in Lawrence, developing his niche as solid big man for Bill Self. Coincidentally, today's NBA games pretty much were the background to the main event of the day in the American basketball world, the Champions Classic.That event featured four of the top 5 teams in the AP Top 25, with almost 70 NBA scouts checking possibly 14 future first round picks, including one Kansas Jayhawk.

Miami Heat to donate $1M for Yolanda relief

It is very clear that Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) made a major impact in the Visayas. Words could never express how much it has affected those who went through it.

It entails a massive relief effort to be able to address the damage that Haiyan / Yolanda made, and many nations / organizations have stepped up to the plate to help.

That includes those who dabble in sport, of which the NBA is leading the way.

The league, through NBA Cares, has set up a website specific for Haiyan relief. They, along with the players (NBPA) have made a couple of $250,000 donations, one to UNICEF, the other to World Vision.

In addition, the defending NBA champions Miami Heat, in conjunction with sister company Carnival Corporation, Plc (a conglomerate of cruise brands which is owned by Micky Arison, who also owns the Heat) have made a pledge to donate $1 million.

Here is what Mickey Arison said in a statement:
"All of us at Carnival and the Miami HEAT extend our deepest sympathy to the Philippines and its people,” Arison said. “The typhoon in the Philippines has caused massive destruction, and is having a tragic impact on people and families, including those members of our extended Carnival family who reside in the region. We are in the process of evaluating a variety of worthy organizations that are doing fantastic work in the Philippines. In addition to providing financial support for relief efforts, our collective thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been impacted."

From head coach Erik Spoelstra, who is of Filipino heritage:
"We would like to extend our condolences to the victims in the Philippines, an area I hold close to my heart and have visited four times in the last five years. It is vitally important that we do everything possible to help those impacted by this tragedy. My thanks and appreciation to Carnival, Micky Arison and the entire Miami HEAT organization. We value the many fans that we have over there, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers."
On the local sporting end, The Philippine Basketball Association has donated PhP1 million to the Alagang Kapatid Foundation, while the NCAA has donated PhP 100,000, which is the same amount that the Gilas Pilipinas players have collated. Also, the United Football League's ticket sales from the rest of the UFL Cup will be sent towards the relief operation.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Derrick Rose & Kyrie Irving, finally.

from the AP via the Stamford Advocate c/o Charles Rex Arbogast, AP

The Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 96-81 at the United Center on Monday, but all the attention coming into the game went to the first-ever meeting between their star point guards, Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving.

Both players went #1 overall. Both won the Rookie of the Year Award. Both are asked to carry their franchises to great heights.

However, the actual mano-a-mano between the two didn't exactly meet the hype that preceded it.

Kyrie scored 39 points in that double-OT thriller against Philadelphia, but struggled against the defensive schemes of Tom Thibodeau, netting just 16 points on 5/19 shooting. He also missed all six of his attempts from the field in the first half, managing just a couple of free throws with 96 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

As for Derrick, he also finished with 16 points, but all the attention is focused on his right hamstring, which he tweaked with just over 3.5 minutes remaining in the game. He will be re-evaluated on Tuesday, but fortunately for him, their next game isn't until Friday against Toronto.

Interesting footnote to this affair is that Mike Krzyzewski was attending the game. The head coach of both Duke and USA senior men's basketball took in the game since the Blue Devils are in town for the Champions Classic matchup against Kansas at the same venue the next day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Nonito issues KO victory

c/o the Associated Press via the Sydney Morning Herald
Nonito Donaire made sure that the Philippines had something good to look forward to in light of Haiyan / Yolanda.

Donaire needed nine rounds to dispatch old nemesis Vic Darchinyan in Corpus Christi, Texas. A left hook sent the Armenian down, but he bounced back up and Nonito would not let up, getting off a couple of uppercuts before referee Laurence Cole intervened with 2:06 remaining in the round.

The KO can be seen below. See for yourself how the Filipino Flash earned and worked his way to victory.

Uncle Drew gets it done against Philly

c/o David Richard of USA Today

Kyrie Irving scoring 39 points in a myriad of ways, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 127-125 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Q yesterday.

Included in that 39 is a layup with .6 seconds remaining that pegged the final score above and ensure the home-and-home is split.

This is how Kyrie took it to Philly.

Jeff Green bails out the Boston Celtics.

Found this on Truth on Causeway

.6 seconds on the clock. What can you do? Not much. But Gerald Wallace and Jeff Green found a way...

First things first, great job by Gerald Wallace on the inbound. He was calm enough to check out the available options AND then throwing it to Green, who made such a ridiculous shot, so ridiculous it sort of eerily reminds people of Ray Allen in Game 6 versus San Antonio.

Green finished with 24 points, 5/8 from beyond the arc, in the 111-110 victory by the Celtics.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Stephan Schröck on your local television sets

c/o Eintracht Frankfurt's official team website
The Azkals winger is the third Filipino International to play in the Europa League, after Neil Etheridge for Fulham and Paul Mulders then for ADO Den Haag

Although Eintracht Frankfurt lost, 3-0 to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, they are still on top of their Group with 9 points.

ABS-CBN Sports has the television rights to show both the Champions League and Europa League matches. They have specifically targeted all of Eintracht's matches so far, just to get the chance to see Stephan in action, and they finally got their chance early Friday morning.

Steve Blake: the Hero

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip) c/o ESPN
  The Los Angeles Lakers were down two points with 3.4 seconds remaining. And then, this happened.

Steve Blake makes his 4th triple to give the Lakers their 3rd win of the season. With Kobe out, he has temporarily taken hold of the other starting guard spot alongside soon-to-be Hall of Famer Steve Nash. But if you are a true Laker fan, you might know that he has done this kind of heroism before. In fact, it was against the same team.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The struggles of Anthony Bennett

Anthony Bennett was a surprise number 1 overall pick by Cleveland in the 2013 NBA Draft. It elicited this reaction from ESPN's Bill Simmons during the coverage.

To say that he is having a rough start is an understatement. This is his current shot chart for the season, c/o the NBA's Stats Page.

In addition, his minutes have dropped the past four games, just playing 10 minutes in their 93-92 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. In contrast, Andrew Bynum's minutes have increased (although he did not play in their game against Indiana because it was a second game of a back-to-back).

Could Anthony be pressing? Maybe. He is averaging 3.3 rebs and a steal, so he is doing the little things. He even got his first block as a Cav against the Wolves. It's just that he cannot make a basket.

Considering the injury history of both Bynum and Anderson Varejao, Bennett will be needed on that Cleveland front line, eventually. At least right now, his fellow Canadian, Tristan Thompson, has been holding down the fort, and both Bynum and Varejao are currently healthy, with Earl Clark able to play the power forward position in case of small ball lineups.

Up next for the Cavs is Milwaukee. Hopefully he gets this duck out of his system quickly.

Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers end Houston's unbeaten run

c/o AP and Jae C. Hong via ESPN

The Houston Rockets came into their match against the Los Angeles Clippers looking good and on a high. They were one of four unbeaten teams at the start of the day. Their offense was humming.

Then Chris Paul brought them back to down to earth, scoring 23 points, dishing out 17 assists as they beat the Rockets, 137-118.

With no Patrick Beverley to harass him effectively, the superstar guard took advantage of whomever guarded him, particularly against Jeremy Lin. (h/t to Larry Brown Sports)

c/o SB Nation
Here is the matching audio:

Houston can seek revenge soon enough. They play again this weekend, but this time in the Toyota Center. Both teams play two games until then (Clippers go on the road for their Florida swing, while Rockets play against the Blazers before their date with the Lakers in Houston)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Andre Iguodala dazzles at Wells Fargo

c/o & Jesse D. Garrabrant

Andre Iguodala was a major offseason acquisition by the Golden State Warriors, coming from the Denver Nuggets via trade.

However, AI9 struggled offensively, scoring 26 points TOTAL in his first three games.

But things might have gone for the better, as they faced the then-undefeated Philadelphia 76ers. The Arizona alum and former Sixer draft pick torched his old team for 32 points in an easy 110-90 victory.

27 of those 32 came in the first half, making 6/9 from beyond the arc.

c/o ESPN Stats & Info

He also issued this ridiculous behind-the-back assist to David Lee.

c/o CBS Sports
Andre's offensive explosion actually got the spotlight away from Stephen Curry's 2nd triple-double of his career.

UPDATE: if you want some audio along with the GIF

Curry finished with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. He also added 5 steals.