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La Salle eyes 10th straight vs NU

Games Today (The Arena, San Juan) 12 noon – UE vs Ateneo 4 p.m. – La Salle vs NU The La Salle Green Archers, whose coach has rated them like a torrent movie that is taking too long to download, look to formalize their entry into the Final Four when they play the skidding National University Bulldogs today in the UAAP basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. La Salle is bracing for another difficult encounter set at 4 p.m. after two close wins to start the second round and facing a team that Archers coach Aldin Ayo admitted was the one that gave the talent-laden squad its toughest victory this season. Ayo said after beating the University of the Philippines Maroons, 78-72, for its ninth win last Saturday that he still is not satisfied …

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Reyes named Gilas coach

Chot Reyes is back as coach of the men’s basketball team. His appointment was announced yesterday by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio after meeting with other officials. “Back in the hot seat. God bless us  #LabanPilipinas #PUSO,” said Reyes on his Twitter account account@coachot. Reyes, also president of TV5, will be take over from Tab Baldwin. Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said that Baldwin will serve as Gilas consultant. Under Reyes, the Philippines earned a trip to the FIBA World Cup in Spain following a runner up finish in the FIBA Asia championship. Antonio said the SBP would soon meet with Reyes to discuss the details of the SBP’s plans for a team that will made up of former and current collegiate standouts such as  Kiefer Ravena, Mark Belo, Roger Pogoy, …

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Helterbrand dismisses praise about his game

Jayjay Helterbrand, the second oldest player in the PBA, said there’s nothing special about his vintage performance in the last two games of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals, His heroics have helped Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to move within one game of capturing its first title since 2008. Helterbrand scored 11 points on 4-of-4 from the field as Ginebra came back from a 16-point deficit to win Game 4, 88-86. He then hit two triples for six points in Sunday’s 92-81 victory for a 3-2 series lead. The 40-year-old guard, at the twilight of a 16-year career and who is three years younger than Asi Taulava (the league’s oldest), said the confidence given to him by Ginebra coach Tim Cone gave him renewed vigor. “I’ve been doing the same things I’ve been doing for …

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Trade shocks, saddens Yap

James Yap said he was shocked, then saddened when news arrived that he had been traded to Rain or Shine. He did not believe Star (formerly Purefoods) would trade him after practically being the face of the franchise, helped it win several championships including a grand slam, where he won two league MVPs while playing for the team for 12 years.  “Sobrang nagulat ako, syempre nalungkot,” said Yap as he finally opened up while attending his first practice session with the Elasto Painters yesterday at the North East Green Hills gym in San Juan City. “Kala ko talaga doon (Star) na ako magre-retire e. Masakit din naman kasi yung nangyari kasi 12 years.  Hindi ko kasi in-expect na mangyayari sa akin e, kasi nga ang tagal ko na sa team.” “Pero ok lang …

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Hold the balloons, please – Cone

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone is aware of the dangers of celebrating too early after his team beat Meralco the other night and moved a win shy of capturing its first PBA championship since 2008. Ginebra took a 3-2 series lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup finals following back-to-back victories that included a 92-81 victory over Meralco last Sunday before a predominantly Ginebra crowd of 22,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. While Ginebra’s legion of fans is expecting a grand party tomorrow night at the Big Dome, Cone warned of a Meralco fightback. “All it has done was give us the lead for the first time,” said Cone. “We haven’t been good in leads. It’s still very close and it could go either way. The onus is on us to close …

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Kings, Bolts play Game 5

Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum) 6:30 p.m. – Ginebra vs Meralco After figuring in four matches that were settled by an average of 3.5 points, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco surely need an extra day of rest to regroup and recharge their batteries. The Kings and the Bolts held separate practices yesterday, bracing for the pivotal Game 5 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The game, however, is in danger of being cancelled because of an approaching typhoon. Typhoon Karen is set to make landfall in Luzon today, bringing rains and winds of up to 180 kilometers per hour. The PBA Commissioner’s Office is monitoring the situation, but has yet to make a decision at press time. “Sunday’s game can and will be cancelled in the event typhoon Karen intensifies,” PBA …

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DLSU races to 9-0

La Salle coach Aldin Ayo celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday with a victory after the Green Archers staved off repeated rallies of the University of the Philippines Maroons, 78-72, in the UAAP basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Jeron Teng returned after missing two games because of a foot injury and scored 21 points but the Green Archers had to work themselves doubly hard against an underdog Maroons’ team that entered the game with back-to-back victories against fancied opponents. The Green Archers once took a 16-point advantage which came in the first quarter, then kept the Maroons at bay after their lead dwindled to four twice in the second half to hike their unbeaten run to nine games and moved within a win shy of securing a Final Four berth. Even if …

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Yap is no Fernandez

Ramon Fernandez advised James Yap to just suck it up and accept the reality of being traded. Trade is normal, he said, and it happened to him twice in the PBA. Instead of sulking, he accepted the challenge. Fernandez, a four-time PBA MVP winner (last one in 1988 after being traded) said Yap should not feel rejected and instead grab the opportunity to prove that his old team was wrong by showing that he still has the stamina and skill to compete at the highest level. Well, that’s easy for Fernandez to say, though. For one, Yap is no Fernandez. When Fernandez was traded, he was still on top of his game while Yap, well, he’s on top of many things but not his game. Yap, 34, has reason to fulminate. It is …

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Curry, Warriors top Nuggets in extra period

Golden State’s Stephen Curry scored 22 points in 27 minutes and new addition Kevin Durant added 19 as the Warriors edged Denver 129-128 in overtime in their preseason game on Friday. Patrick McCaw hit the tying shot that sent the game to overtime, and the winning shot on the buzzer as last season’s NBA runners-up showed they remain a cohesive unit, even with the addition of Durant. “We have the same system, the same identity as a team when it comes to how we play,’’ Curry said. “(Durant) fits right into that. But there’s a transition period and a learning curve of terminology and different principles.’’ Denver was led by Danilo Gallinari, who finished with 19 points. Rookie Jamal Murray hit a go-ahead, step-back 3-pointer with 11.5 seconds left in regulation, only to …

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Fernandez to Yap: Don’t sulk

From one royalty to another, El Presidente has some sage words for King James. Twice traded during his PBA career, four-time MVP Ramon Fernandez says moving from one team to another isn’t such a bad thing. “End of the world? Di naman siguro,” says Fernandez on the phone from his home in Cebu. “It’s part of the life of a professional player. For sure, Star and Rain or Shine have their own reasons why they did it; we’re not privy to that, of course. But for one, baka gusto nilang palakasin yung teams nila, and they feel these are the players they needed to do that.” Fernandez’s thoughts were sought in the aftermath of a blockbuster trade that sent two-time MVP James Yap from the Star Hotshots to Rain or Shine for Paul …

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