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Tired of losing ROS hopes its time has come (May 03, 2016)
Waylon Galvez [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

Yeng Guiao. PBA Media Bureau

From import Pierre Henderson-Niles, to the local mainstays that absorbed a heartbreaking defeat in the finals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last season, there is one thing in common to all of them – they are hungry to win a championship.

Rain or Shine booked the first finals berth in the Oppo Commissioner’s Cup following a dominant 124-99 win in Game 4 to eliminate San Miguel Beer in their best-of-five semifinal series Sunday night.

“I have two reasons to win it,” the burly 6-foot-8 Henderson-Niles told reporters after the game. “First is, I didn’t win in the NCAA finals. Second, I have to win it for my homeboy Wayne Chism.”

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Rubio in action for the Timberwolves

Spain's point guard Ricky Rubio has strongly criticised the world basketball governing body FIBA for its decision to exclude Spain from the Olympic Games.

FIBA announced in April that Spain was among several countries that have been suspended from the 2016 Games as a result of a conflict between FIBA and the EuroLeague, which the former wants to replace with a different competition, reports Xinhua.

The decision will deprive Rio of some of the best teams in the world, while the Spanish, who are reigning European champions, will be denied the chance to compete for a medal after winning silver in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games.

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Henderson-Niles growing increasingly confident with ROS (May 03, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Rain or Shine import Pierre Henderson-Niles makes a move against SMB's June Mar Fajardo. Photo courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine import Pierre Henderson-Niles was the picture of confidence after he helped the Elasto Painters overwhelm San Miguel Beer, 124-99, in their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal game on Sunday to clinch a Finals seat.

The burly Henderson-Niles, who replaced Mo Charlo late in the elimination round, contributed a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds, while again helping to limit SMB center June Mar Fajardo in the series clincher.

Rain or Shine will now play either Meralco and Alaska in the Finals, but Henderson-Niles is unconcerned about who their opponent will be.

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Paul George averaged 27.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 39.3 minutes over seven games against Toronto. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

TORONTO -- Twenty minutes after earning the biggest win of his coaching career, Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey uttered a declaration that will reverberate in the NBA after the excitement of the Raptors' 89-84 Game 7 win over the Indiana Pacers fades.

"Paul George is back," Casey said.

Out of all the takeaways from this up-and-down series -- one which culminated in dramatic fashion as the Raptors will play in the second round for the first time in 15 years -- the biggest storyline is that George regained his place amongst the game's elite on the league's biggest stage. Over the past two weeks, George averaged 27.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 39.3 minutes a game, almost single-handedly leading his team to a series triumph over the Eastern Conference's second-ranked team.

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Austria admits Beermen were 'drained, depleted' (May 03, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 San Miguel head coach Leo Austria. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Beer's hopes of winning a Grand Slam this season went up in smoke on Sunday, when they were routed by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game 4 of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semi-finals series.

The E-Painters broke the game open in the second quarter and kept their foot on the gas all the way through, en route to a 124-99 victory to claim the first seat in the Finals, and send the Beermen to an early vacation.

For San Miguel head coach Leo Austria, a Grand Slam had always been a "long shot" and the format of the tournament made it even more difficult to accomplish.

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DeMar DeRozan's 30 points helped the Raptors get by the Pacers in Game 7. Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

TORONTO -- This time, Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri saved his best one-liner, which of course featured an expletive, for the end of the series.

“Where’s that f---ing monkey?” a euphoric Ujiri exclaimed repeatedly outside the team’s locker room.

After nearly 15 years, the monkey is finally off of the organization’s back. For the first time since May 4, 2001 -- a span of 5,476 days -- the Raptors have advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

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Draymond Green is not a superstar -- or is he? (May 02, 2016)
Ethan Sherwood Strauss [ Source: ESPN ]

Draymond Green recorded a triple-double in the Warriors' Game 1 win over the Trail Blazers. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Draymond Green set the record for plus-minus in a season, with the Golden State Warriors outscoring opponents by a mere 1,070 points in 2015-16. Draymond Green is not a superstar.

Draymond Green led all players in real plus-minus this season, after finishing in the top 8 last season. Draymond Green is not a superstar.

Through six playoff games, with Stephen Curry only assisting in four total quarters of action, Draymond Green is +120, averaging 14.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.3 assists. Draymond Green is not a superstar.

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DeMar DeRozan scores 30 points to help the Raptors defeat the Pacers 89-84 in Game 7 of their playoff series. It's Toronto's first playoff series victory since 2001 and gives them a matchup with Miami in the next round.TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan pushed the Toronto Raptors into the second round -- finally.

DeRozan scored 30 points and Toronto beat the Indiana Pacers 89-84 on Sunday night in Game 7 to advance to face Miami in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Raptors won a best-of-seven series for the first time in franchise history.

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Warriors are back to dominating, Klay Thompson a key reason why (May 02, 2016)
ESPN Stats & Information [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

The Golden State Warriors have figured out this playing-without-Stephen Curry thing.

In the past three games, the Warriors have outscored their opponents by 72 points with Curry off the floor. They’re shooting 52 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range.

They’re back to dominating.

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Klay Thompson scores 37 points and Draymond Green adds a triple-double as the Warriors defeat the Trail Blazers 118-106 to take Game 1 of their playoff series.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- From the opening tip, Klay Thompson shot lights-out and even heaved one in from way out in Stephen Curry territory. Draymond Green began yapping from the start while doing his thing to make plays every which way, calling on his teammates to bring an edge on defense.

With Curry sidelined because of a sprained right knee, Green and Thompson took charge again. Their supporting cast came through in the clutch, too.

Thompson scored 37 points in another brilliant performance as his fellow "Splash Brother" watched injured, and the Golden State Warriors dominated once more without their MVP to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-106 Sunday in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.

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