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Beermen gun for 2-0 lead over Painters (July 04, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer. Inquirer.net photo

CARRYING momentum of a tremendous come-from-behind win two nights ago, San Miguel Beer seeks a commanding 2-0 lead against Rain or Shine today in their best-of-five Final Four series in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. with the Beermen seeking to start out stronger than the last time out and avoid falling into a huge hole.

Rain or Shine enjoyed leads of as large as 24 points in the series opener on Thursday but eventually dropped a 101-95 decision after going scoreless in the final 4:40.

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Free agent Marco Belinelli and the Sacramento Kings have agreed to a three-year deal worth $19 million, a source told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Signed to a two-year deal with San Antonio after the team lost to the Miami Heat in the Finals in 2013, Belinelli proved a bargain for the Spurs as he quickly set career highs in field-goal percentage (48.5), 3-point percentage (43.0) and player efficiency rating (15) in 2013-14.

Those numbers tapered off in Year 2 of the deal as Belinelli, 29, connected on 42.3 percent of his shots from the field and 37.4 percent from 3-point range. Belinelli's scoring also slipped from 11.4 points per game in his first year as a Spur to 9.2 points in 2014-15 as the reserve missed 20 games with injury.

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Becky Hammon is heading to Las Vegas, where she will coach the Spurs' summer league team starting July 11. Matt York/AP Images

Becky Hammon will coach San Antonio's summer league team in Las Vegas, the Spurs announced Friday.

She will be the first female head coach in summer league history. Natalie Nakase served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014.

The San Antonio Express-News earlier reported that Hammon would coach the Vegas summer league team.

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Star Hotshots assistant coach Johnny Abarrientos (center). Sports5 file/Paolo Papa

PBA legend and current Star assistant coach Johnny Abarrientos has been in countless playoff situations and the former PBA MVP knows why his team is lagging behind Alaska, 2-0, in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.

Abarrientos, known to fans as ‘The Flying A’, believes it all comes down to desire.

“It’s obvious Alaska wanted it more,” Abarrientos told InterAksyon,com in an exclusive interview. “Kitang-kita naman. Every player na ipasok, they play as if they’re playing their last game.”

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Forward Corey Brewer, guard Patrick Beverley to re-sign with Rockets (July 04, 2015)
Marc Stein and Calvin Watkins [ Source: ESPN ]

Corey Brewer decided to return to the Rockets on a three-year deal after having serious negotiations with the Kings and Knicks, according to league sources. Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have struck deals to retain swingman Corey Brewer and restricted free-agent point guard Patrick Beverley.

Brewer agreed to a three-year deal worth $23.4 million, sources said. Beverley's agreement is for four years and $23 million, a source told ESPN.com. The first three years and $18 million are guaranteed, with the team holding a $5 million option for the fourth year.

"I think if we can keep our group together and stay healthy, we can win it all," Brewer told ESPN.com. "I'm just happy as can be. So glad to be back for three more years."

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After a flurry of meetings with multiple NBA teams, LaMarcus Aldridge is stepping back to weigh everything he's heard from his suitors. Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images

LaMarcus Aldridge currently has no plans to make out-of-town visits and, at this stage, plans to take "a couple of days" to digest all the pitches he's received after meeting with multiple teams, sources told ESPN.com on Friday.

The Los Angeles Lakers got a second chance to impress Aldridge, their top free-agent target, on Thursday night in a meeting that lasted about 90 minutes and focused entirely on basketball, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

The Lakers had requested the second meeting after being informed that their first presentation to the star power forward had been coolly received because it focused too much on off-the-court business and marketing opportunities in Los Angeles for one of the NBA's glamour franchises and not enough on how the team planned to use Aldridge on the court.

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Calvin Abueva of Alaska. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Hard-nosed players Calvin Abueva and Marc Pingris play their hearts out whenever they are on the floor for their respective teams.

Because of that, the possibility of the two butting heads on the floor really can’t be helped, even when the two maintain a healthy respect off of it.

On Friday’s Game Two of the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals, the two seemed to build some animosity after a particularly rough sequence where they jostled for position. Abueva offered his hand to help Pingris up but the latter refused the gesture and simply walked away.

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International Basketball

The USA U-19 team advanced to the semifinal thanks to a dominating first half against Italy, eventually winning 86-65.

Sean Miller's Americans only outscored Italy by three in the second half, and the entire team seemed frustrated at the end of the game, resulting in a technical called on Miller with just over two minutes left, and also a timeout in the final 30 seconds.

The announcers eluded to some shaky calls going against USA throughout the day.

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The rising consensus around the league, sources tell ESPN, is that David West will land with either the Wizards or the Spurs. Elsa/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards are pushing hard to sign Indiana Pacers free agent David West, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Wizards and San Antonio Spurs are the two teams at the top of West's wish list after he opted out of the final year of his contract with the Pacers.

West bypassed a $12.2 million player option with the Pacers next season to become a free agent and join a contender. Sources say that the newly minted champion Golden State Warriors, originally one of West's target teams, are now an unlikely destination.

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Coaches Alex Compton of Alaska and Tim Cone of Star. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

When Alaska coach Alex Compton was a young coach trying to make his mark following an illustrious playing career, he had the good fortune of receiving some advice from a coaching great who graced a seminar for local coaches at the National Basketball Training Center.

Fast forward to years later and Compton actually has the chance to use those lessons against the very same coach – the Star Hotshots’ mentor Tim Cone – in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.

“I was actually at a clinic about five, six years ago at the NBTC, coach Eric Altamirano started that and we invited Coach Tim to speak. One of the things that he said was defense is really about character. You guys see all the stats and karamihan ng mga stats, they’re offense. Most people would look at the guys who make the points, but never the guy who had zero points, but was awesome defensively. That never happens,” Compton shared.

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