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Aces battle Cone, Hotshots as PBA semis begin (July 01, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Star Hotshots and Alaska Aces begin their Semifinals series. Inquirer.net photo

TIM CONE going up against his former longtime team is always a compelling angle in any series.

What makes this one doubly interesting is the fact that Cone’s Star Hotshots are clinging to the last title they won in a Grand Slam feat last season while his former team, Alaska, is trying to blaze a new trail of success under a new mentor.

And that is what Alaska coach Alex Compton hopes to achieve starting today when the elimination-round topnotcher Aces battle the Hotshots in Game 1 of their best-of-five Final Four series in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

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NBA

Jared Dudley has exercised his $4.25 million option to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks next season, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

Dudley rebounded following a disappointing stint with the Los Angeles Clippers, who dealt the veteran swingman to the Milwaukee Bucks in a cost-cutting move following the 2013 season.

He shot a career-low 43.8 percent from the field in 2013-14, but bounced back to shoot 46.8 percent in his first season with the Bucks, though he averaged just 7.2 points per game.

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Cavs QOs: Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert (July 01, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

CLEVELAND -- Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert all received qualifying offers from Cleveland on Tuesday, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offers those players get from other clubs this summer.

All the moves were expected. The Cavs had indicated they want each to return next season.

Thompson is of particular importance to the Cavaliers, who went to the NBA Finals this past season. He has appeared in 308 consecutive games for Cleveland, has averaged 10.1 points and 8.4 rebounds over his four-year career and saw his stock soar by averaging 9.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in this year's playoffs.

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Harry Giles III. Photo: USA Basketball)

The United States led for 39:48 of the 40 minutes in beating Egypt 92-50 to close out the preliminary round in the FIBA U19 World Championship in Heraklion, Greece.

The Americans will be the top seed in Group A in the quarterfinals Wednesday. Team USA places Argentina at 11:15 am ET.

The U.S. team got 13 points apiece from Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy; Winston-Salem, N.C.), Caleb Swanigan (Homestead; Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep; St. Louis). Giles also had 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 18 minutes. He was 5 of 8 from the field.

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James Yap says Abueva has mellowed down (July 01, 2015)
Richard Dy [ Source: Philippine Star ]

Calvin Abueva of Alaska scores over Greg Slaughter of Brgy. Ginebra. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA, Philippines – A bruising semifinal series between Star and Alaska is in the offing starting Wednesday, with the Aces’ flamboyant forward Calvin Abueva expected to be at the middle of it all.

But Hotshots superstar James Yap believes the “Beast” has mellowed down in his third season a pro.

“Di ko na iniitindi si Calvin, mabait naman iyan. Actually si Abueva, mas mabait na ngayon,” Yap told Philstar.com just before the team’s practice at Ronac gym in San Juan.

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NBA

Free agent LaMarcus Aldridge is scheduled to meet with seven teams as he considers where he will sign, and reports are he is likely to leave the Portland Trail Blazers.

Here’s a statistical look at how Aldridge fits with each of the seven teams, presented in the order he is meeting with them:

Los Angeles Lakers

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Celtics introduce rookies to history (July 01, 2015)
Chris Forsberg [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics' four draft picks had just gone through the introduction wringer -- posing with their new jerseys, answering questions about how excited they are to be in Boston and shuttling around to a variety of local media to answer the same batch of questions a second (or third) time -- when an unexpected visitor dropped by with a friendly reminder.

Celtics legend John Havlicek drew a crowd before he even reached the bottom of the staircase leading from the team's offices above the court. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge quickly herded together all of the rookies -- first-round picks Terry Rozier (16th overall) and R.J. Hunter (28) and second-rounders Jordan Mickey (33) and Marcus Thornton (45) -- and it was determined a photo was necessary.

Clutching their green Celtics jerseys, the rookies smiled wide around Hondo in the middle. The eight-time NBA champion then pointed toward the ceiling of the training facility, where 17 title banners hang. "I think he's pointing at [Havlicek's retired] No. 17," Ainge joked.

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Mavs thinking big with DeAndre Jordan (July 01, 2015)
Tim MacMahon [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

If DeAndre Jordan wants to reach his full potential for a playoff team, he needs to come to Dallas.

The big man will hear some version of that message during his Wednesday morning meeting with the Dallas Mavericks' recruiting contingent of owner Mark Cuban, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, coach Rick Carlisle and small forward Chandler Parsons.

Put simply, the Mavs believe Jordan will be a perennial All-Star and the NBA’s next dominant center if he moves to Dallas. Their mission is to get him to buy into that vision.

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Fajardo a lock to win 2nd straight MVP plum (July 01, 2015)
Nelson Beltran [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 San Miguel's Junemar Fajardo | Philippine Star File photo

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel behemoth Junemar Fajardo now looks cinch to be the first player to win back-to-back MVP crowns since Danny Ildefonso in 2000-2001.

The MVP race is virtually all over with Fajardo on the way to bagging a second BPC plum in the season. Terrence Romeo’s bid for the BPC honors may have fizzled out as Globalport failed to make it to the Final Four.

Curiously, not a single team that opted to play with an Asian import reached the Governors Cup semifinals.

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Stephen Curry tops NBA jersey list for first time in career (July 01, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Stephen Curry has passed LeBron James atop the NBA's most popular jersey list. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry has surpassed LeBron James for the most popular jersey in the NBA.

The Golden State Warriors star and league MVP topped the list of jersey sales in the NBA for the first time Tuesday. With teammates Klay Thompson ranking fifth and Draymond Green at No. 15, the Warriors also led the team merchandise sales list during the playoffs.

James, who held the top spot at the end of the regular season, dropped to second. Derrick Rose is third and Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving is fourth.

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