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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: James Harden #13 of the USA Basketball Men's National Team dunks against the Dominican Republic National Team on August 20, 2014 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW YORK -- Derrick Rose heard the fans chanting his name, and yes, he would have loved to give them what they wanted.

But after missing most of the past two years and with a long summer of basketball ahead, he's willing to take this return slowly.

"Just trying to protect myself, just knowing that this is a long, long schedule and this is the most basketball I'll be playing in two years," Rose said.

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Adam Silver of NBA says risks indeed high in international play (August 21, 2014)
Ohm Youngmisuk [ Source: ESPN ]

The topic of NBA stars playing in international competition continues to be a hot button issue three weeks after Paul George suffered a two-part compound fracture to his lower right leg. AP Photo/John Locher

NEW YORK -- With nearly three weeks to mull the circumstance and consequences surrounding Paul George's leg injury, NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he fully understands the risk the league's players are taking in playing for their countries this summer leading up to FIBA World Cup.

But Silver reiterated that it's still up to NBA stars to make the personal decision to play for one's country.

"It is a big risk without enormous financial reward," Silver said when asked about a sentiment shared by outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during a "Commitment to Service" news conference to discuss a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense at Madison Square Garden.

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Derrick Rose requested more time to recover from knee soreness he has experienced this week, according to a source. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

NEW YORK -- Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose was a last-minute scratch Wednesday night from Team USA's exhibition game against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden.

Rose was scheduled to play Wednesday despite sitting out practices Monday and Tuesday to rest his sore knees after making his return to a game for the first time in eight months Saturday night in an exhibition victory over Brazil in Chicago.

One source familiar with Team USA's plans told ESPN.com that coach Mike Krzyzewski decided to hold Rose out of the Dominican Republic game to make more minutes available for players vying for one of the squad's last few roster spots as final cuts approach.

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Kevin Durant can't legally choose Under Armour if Nike decides to match UA's 10-year deal worth between $265 million and $285 million for the star forward. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Kevin Durant's representation Roc Nation Sports informed Nike on Wednesday that he has a deal on the table with Under Armour worth between $265 million and $285 million over 10 years, sources told ESPN.com.

The deal includes Under Armour stock and other incentives, such a community center built in his mother's name, whose exact worth will not be known for some time.

Nike, which saw its signature business related to the Oklahoma City Thunder forward grow to roughly $175 million at retail last season, will have the right to match, which is a condition of Durant's current contract with the brand. Durant can still choose Nike if it doesn't match but can't legally choose Under Armour if Nike does.

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Gilas’ last warm-ups slated in Guadalajara (August 21, 2014)
Joaquin Henson [ Source: Philippine Star ]

International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will play two warm-up games against the Dominican Republic and Egypt at the 5,600-seat Palacio Multiusos in Guadalajara, 60 kilometers northeast of Madrid, to cap Gilas’ training schedule before moving to Seville for the start of Group B action at the FIBA World Cup on Aug. 30.

David Perez, a Filipino migrant living in New Zealand, and Spanish player agent Juan Lasso organized friendlies in Guadalajara for the Philippines, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Senegal and Estonia through the Madrid sports promotion company Arior Management. Perez also arranged Gilas’ training camp in New Zealand last year and introduced Tab Baldwin to coach Chot Reyes. Baldwin, an American who piloted New Zealand to the 2002 FIBA World Cup semifinals, is now a consultant with Gilas and working with Reyes in Spain.

The first match in Guadalajara pits Senegal against Estonia tomorrow. Then, it’s Senegal against the Dominican Republic on Saturday, Estonia against Egypt (11 a.m.), Philippines against the Dominican Republic and Estonia against Senegal (7 p.m.) on Sunday and Philippines against Egypt and Estonia against the Dominican Republic on Monday.

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Team USA players await final cuts (August 21, 2014)
Ohm Youngmisuk [ Source: ESPN ]

Will Andre Drummond find himself on Coach K's final cut list? Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- James Harden doesn't envy coach Mike Krzyzewski's position this week. Krzyzewski is expected to trim Team USA's current 16-man roster to 12 or 13 by the end of the week and those tough decisions could come as soon as Thursday, according to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo.

So Wednesday's exhibition against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden could be the final audition for several players vying for a spot on the team.

"Guys that are max players and All-Stars aren't making the team, so it's tough," Harden said after practice at the Brooklyn Nets' practice facility.

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Jayson Castro of Gilas Pilipinas. InterAKTV/Roy Afable

Philippine national men’s basketball team point guard Jayson Castro remains day-to-day after suffering an ankle injury but an MRI on Wednesday night revealed that there was ‘no structural damage’ to his ankle.

Gilas Pilipinas assistant Josh Reyes posted an update about Castro’s status on his Twitter and Instagram accounts early Thursday morning, Manila time.

Castro hurt himself in a tune-up game against Euskadi, the Basque national team, in San Sebastian, Spain.

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Can Gilas Pilipinas really go to war? (August 21, 2014)
Recah Trinidad [ Source: Inquirer ]

International Basketball

They won’t go to Spain without a seven-footer, national basketball team coach Chot Reyes swore at the close of the Fiba Asia championship at Mall of Asia Arena last July.

Reyes has ended up with Andray Blatche, an inch short of seven-feet but, being an NBA veteran, packs enough credentials to pillar for the Gilas Pilipinas national squad in its stint in the Fiba World Cup starting at the end of this month.

Gilas Pilipinas figured miserably in a four-team pocket tournament in Antibes, France, over the weekend.

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Castro injured, FIBA stint in peril (August 21, 2014)
Waylon Galvez [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

International Basketball

With a week left before Gilas Pilipinas opens its campaign in the FIBA World Cup, the national team suffered a big blow after top guard Jayson Castro injured his right ankle in a tune-up game against Euskadi in San Sebastian, Spain.

The national team lost the match, 66-75, against Euskadi, a local professional squad in Spain. It was the Nationals’ fourth straight defeat after a winless stint last week in the Antibes Basketball Tournament in France.

Gilas Pilipinas Team Manager Aboy Castro said yesterday that Castro would undergo MRI Wednesday to know the extent of the ankle injury, which they suspect to be an the Achilles tendon injury.

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 Top prospect Stanley Pringle goes throuh the drills during the final day of the PBA Draft Combine at Gatorade Hoops Gym in Mandaluyong City. Photo courtesy of Gatorade

MANILA, Philippines – It’s no longer a secret that GlobalPort will make Fil-Am standout Stanley Pringle as the top overall pick in Sunday’s PBA Rookie Draft.

The question that is begging for an answer, however, is can Pringle co-exist with the other Batang Pier premier guards Alex Cabagnot and Terrence Romeo?

GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio has a ready answer after seeing Pringle up close.

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