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Today - 5:15PM - Bian, Laguna
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James Yap of Purefoods Star Hotshots. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The Purefoods Star Hotshots and the Barako Bull Energy seek to push their respective win streaks as they take on separate foes in PBA Philippine Cup action Sunday at Alonte Sports Center in Biñan, Laguna.

The defending champion Hotshots meet the Meralco Bolts at 5:15 p.m. after the opening match between the Energy and the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters at 3 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on TV5.

The eight-placed Purefoods (3-3) and 10th-seed Barako Bull (2-5) are both looking to grab their third straight win. The Hotshots beat the Blackwater Elite, 90-82, last Tuesday to even their record after starting the season slow with a 1-3 slate.

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James and Cavaliers struggle to find winning formula (November 23, 2014)
Larry Fine [ Source: Reuters ]

 Nov 21, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce (34) defends in the fourth quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 91-78. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - The return of the prodigal son to Cleveland is undergoing growing pains as LeBron James and the Cavaliers struggle to fulfill lofty National Basketball Association expectations.

Despite being crowned favorites to win the NBA title by Las Vegas oddsmakers after James announced his return to Cleveland in July, the Cavs slipped to 5-6 after their third loss in a row in falling to the Washington Wizards on Friday.

The season is young, but there is clearly work to be done to turn James, new Cavalier Kevin Love and guard Kyrie Irving into a force under rookie NBA coach David Blatt.

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Barako Bull, Talk ‘N Text collide (November 23, 2014)
[ Source: Interaksyon ]

Mick Pennisi of Barako Bull. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The Barako Bull Energy aims for another upset as it clashes with the Tropang Texters.

After losing its first five games, Barako Bull (2-5) won its last two including an 85-78 victory over previously unbeaten Alaska last Wednesday.

Talk ‘N Text (4-3) hopes to avoid the upset axe this time around after getting stunned by the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 105-97, last Tuesday.

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Dondon Hontiveros of Alaska. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The Alaska Aces avoided suffering another upset loss in a tough, out-of-town victory over GlobalPort, 87-84, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Xavier University Gym in Cagayan De Oro.

Calvin Abueva scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the second half as he helped lead Alaska to a double-digit lead before they held off a late GlobalPort charge to notch their seventh win in eight games.

JVee Casio added 14 points while Sonny Thoss and Cyrus Baguio each added 10.

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Red Cubs roar to PSSBC title (November 23, 2014)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Philippine Star ]

Local Basketball

MANILA, Philippines – San Beda High School mauled Xavier School, 89-59, on Saturday to capture the 3rd Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) at the Chiang Kai Shek College Main Gym in Tondo, Manila.

PSSBC MVP Andrei Caracut led the San Beda pack with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds and spiked with four assists. Chamie Diputado waxed hot from downtown, hitting 3-of-7 triples to finish with 13 markers and six dimes for the Red Cubs.

Norrish Decapia also joined the scoring party with his 12 points, six rebounds and four assists, as Evan Furaque got 10.

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Champ can’t wait to rejoin Kia (November 23, 2014)
Joaquin Henson [ Source: Philippine Star ]


MANILA, Philippines - After WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao battles challenger Chris Algieri in Macau this morning, he hopes to rejoin Kia Sorento in the expansion PBA team’s last three games of the Philippine Cup eliminations. Pacquiao is Kia’s playing coach and because of his focus in training for Algieri, has been able to show up with the Sorento only once this season.

Pacquiao, 35, became the oldest player ever drafted in the PBA when Kia picked him with the 11th slot on the first round last August. He made his PBA debut in Kia’s 80-66 win over Blackwater at the Philippine Arena in the league’s 40th season opener last Oct. 19. Pacquiao started and played cautiously. He made no attempt in 6:46 minutes and could’ve returned on the court with the outcome settled, time down to two minutes, but opted to stay on the sidelines.

Kia came back from a 13-point deficit to beat the Elite. The Sorento trailed by nine at the half and in the lockeroom, Pacquiao reminded the players not to be intimidated, that this is their time to shine. The words of inspiration propelled Kia to victory. Since that win, Kia has lost seven in a row as it awaits Pacquiao’s return.

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Choosing a Gilas coach (November 23, 2014)
Ronnie Nathanielsz [ Source: Manila Standard Today ]

FIBA Asia Championships

WE have consistently been against the idea of creating a committee to select the next Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team coach and to name the players to the national pool for a number of reasons. But now that it has been done, I guess we have no choice but to live with what the basketball gods in our country have ordained.

The first negative result of the choice by committee was the emergence of various names, whose candidacy was pushed by PR men, in pursuance of this effort others interviewed players like Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc about the possibility of the “Living Legend” Robert Jaworski being a contender for the coaching job as though Benjie and Ronnie, in their right mind, would thumb down the choice of Jaworski as coach. After all, Jaworski is a  charismatic motivator and coached the Philippine team that won a silver medal in the 1990 Asian Games, but who, in all honesty, isn’t up-to-date with the modern approach to coaching at the international level and hasn’t been active as a coach, which is why he was not among the roster of candidates considered by the Search Committee.

What bothers us is the initial revelation of the chairman of the Search Committee, Ricky Vargas, that among those being considered was Tab Baldwin, the Talk N’ Text team consultant. We said  then – and we say it again – to consider a foreign coach when there are so many talented coaches in our country, including Jong Uichico, Yeng Guiao and the likes of Norman Black and Tim Cone, who may be American by birth but can be considered Filipinos in many respects, is an unacceptable affront .

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Sa panayam ng GMA's "Startalk" nitong Sabado, hindi nahihiyang inihayag ng dating basketball star na si Willie Miller na handa siyang magpasada ng taxi na kaniyang naipundar kapag tuluyang kinapos sa pinansiyal na pangangailangan makaraan siyang mawala sa Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).  

Sa ngayon, sinabi sa ulat na naglalaro ang 37-anyos na si Willie, sa isang minor basketball league  sa Marikina. Wala na kasing koponan sa PBA na kumuha ngayon kay Willie matapos ang 13 taon niyang paglalaro sa naturang "big" league.

Ayon sa two time MVP, nakapagpundar naman siya mula sa kinita niya sa PBA kabilang ang ilang unit ng taxi at kaniyang bahay.

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David Arnold of Saigon Heat.

In his first season in the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League, David Arnold has taken the ABL world in storm, leading the Saigon Heat to their first ever playoff appearance and winning over fans across the region.

“My first year in the ABL was so much fun. It was good to get back on the court and play,” said Arnold who averaged 14 points per game and shot 43% from behind the arc during the regular season.

Everything was new to Arnold when he landed in Vietnam last January but he embraced the opportunity and enjoyed every moment. He has never been this far away from his home town Highland Ranch, Colorado, before. “It was great living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Great weather, food and friends made my transition so much easier. Before this, the furthest I’ve ever lived from home was Montana,” he said.

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Blazers rout short-handed Bulls 105-87 (November 22, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 21: Wesley Matthews #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots against the Chicago Bulls on November 21, 2014 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Injuries and a scuffle overshadowed another strong effort by Portland's Damian Lillard.

Lillard had 21 points and nine assists to help th Trail Blazers beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 105-87 on Friday night.

However, Mike Dunleavy's flagrant foul on Lillard in the third quarter, followed by Taj Gibson's painful left ankle injury, marred Portland's sixth straight win.

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Will Pacquiao go for KO vs. Algieri?
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'Prince' Albert Pagara targets world title
Nietes slightly disappointed at how fight ended
Loss to Barako Bull a wakeup call for Alaska, says JVee Casio
Well-rested Warriors roll past Jazz, 101-88
For Khan, beating Floyd more meaningful than Pacquiao
Lowly Barako Bull deals mighty Alaska first loss
Arellano beats San Beda in straight sets in volleyball
Serena: WTA Player Of The Year