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Terrence Romeo of Globalport Batang Pier. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The GlobalPort Batang Pier target their second straight win as they take on the Purefoods Star Hotshots in PBA Commissioner’s Cup action Friday at Cuneta Astrodome.

GlobalPort and defending champion Purefoods collide at 7 p.m. after the opening game between the Meralco Bolts and Kia Carnival at 4:15 p.m. Both games will be aired live on TV5.

Behind import CJ Leslie who scored 31 points and 14 rebounds, the Batang Pier opened their conference with a 100-89 win over Kia last Tuesday.

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NBA

NEW ORLEANS -- Pelicans coach Monty Williams says All-Star forward Anthony Davis has a mild groin strain and could play again as soon as Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Davis, who was hurt in the third quarter of Wednesday night's 93-85 loss to Denver, had an MRI on Thursday morning. The scan revealed a "grade 1" adductor strain, an injury that causes soreness from being over-stretched but which does not necessarily limit muscle function.

"He's walking around, doing some stuff -- nothing to break a sweat -- but he's walking around normally, so we'll see how he feels [on Friday]," Williams said. "If he feels up to it, we're going to play him his normal minutes."

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Meralco to battle Pacquiao's KIA (January 30, 2015)
[ Source: ABS CBN News ]

Kia Carnival's 7'3" import Peter John Ramos. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA – Meralco is scheduled to test KIA on Friday at the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Following an 85-74 victory over Barangay Ginebra, the Bolts seek to get at least a share of the lead in the team standings.

“We just looked like we’re in better shape this time around, and of course, once we blend in with our import, we’ll continue to get better,” said Meralco coach Norman Black in PBA.ph.

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Kobe Bryant is expected to need nine months to recover from his third straight season-ending injury, a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Stacy Revere/Getty Images

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said he fully expects Kobe Bryant to play next season after the Lakers star suffered a recent season-ending shoulder injury.

"I don't think he's retiring," Kupchak said Thursday after the Lakers' shootaround. "He said he's looking forward to training camp. That's what we expect."

Bryant is expected to need nine months to recover from his third straight season-ending injury, a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder suffered last week that he had surgically repaired Wednesday. If Bryant meets that timetable, he could return to basketball shortly before the start of the 2015-16 season, the final year of his contract with the Lakers.

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Dwyane Wade of Miami Heat sidelined with hamstring strain (January 30, 2015)
Tom Haberstoh [ Source: ESPN ]

The Heat will be without star Dwyane Wade as he suffered a strained hamstring. Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

MIAMI -- A strained right hamstring will force Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade to miss Friday night's game against the Dallas Mavericks, and perhaps several more.

After sitting out Wednesday's practice, Wade spoke to reporters and closed the session by telling them, "I won't be seeing you for a little while."

The Heat have listed him as day-to-day, but teammate Chris Bosh hinted that Wade's absence may last weeks.

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Blackwater taps Douthit to replace injured Charles (January 30, 2015)
Nelson Beltran [ Source: Philippine Star ]

Marcus Douthit. Photo from Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -- Marcus Douthit will be back in action in the local pro league as the Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player has agreed to take over from the injury-stricken Chris Charles as import of the Blackwater Elite in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer has found a replacement for Arinze Onuaku on American-Dominican 6-foot-8 player Ronald Roberts Jr.

“He’s not a pure post player as he can play from the perimeter with a good midrange shots. But we can still start both Junemar Fajardo and Arwind Santos with him,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria of the St. Joseph’s U alumnus with a recent stint with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA D-League.

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Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin

MANILA – Coach Tab Baldwin is inclined to retain the dribble-drive system for the next batch of Gilas Pilipinas who will compete in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.

Baldwin believes that it fits the playing style of Filipino players especially with their lack of height.

“At this point, I’m committed to use the dribble-drive offense, but it won’t constitute the entirety of our offense. But I do believe that it suits the style of Filipino players,” the national team coach said in the PBA website.

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Local Basketball

MANILA - The ex-wife of Samboy Lim has clarified the status of her relationship with the basketball legend, who is currently recovering after a heart attack.

In an interview on "Aquino & Abunda Tonight" that aired Thursday, Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Darlene Berberabe said that she and Lim got married in 1995 and separated 10 years later.

Their marriage was annulled in 2008, the lawyer said.

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Willie Miller of Talk 'N Text guarded by Rain or Shine's Chris Tiu. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

After being left without a PBA team at the beginning of the season, former Most Valuable Player Willie Miller showed that he still has what it takes to play in the professional league with an impressive showing for Talk 'n Text on Wednesday night.

Miller finished with 10 points and three assists off the bench for the Tropang Texters in 20 minutes of playing time, filling in the hole left by Jimmy Alapag in the back court.

"Parang nainjury ka lang ng one conference e," the guard said on his return. The team gave him a welcome gift as Talk 'n Text won 89-86 over Rain or Shine.

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Tony Parker named FIBA Men’s Player of the Year (January 30, 2015)
Benjamin Bornstein [ Source: ProjectSpurs ]

Tony Parker.

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker is a pretty good player, but you already knew that. Well, now he’s being recognized for that and for the second in a row I might add.

He was just announced as the FIBA Men’s Player of the Year, which is voted on by fans and a panel of experts.

He was given the award after helping the Spurs to the NBA Finals and title in 2014 making it the most by an European in the NBA. A few other ballers to win the award twice? Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, and Andrei Kirilenko. Sounds like some good company to be in.

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