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Meralco eyes Semifinals berth vs. Rain or Shine (April 23, 2014)
Waylon Galvez [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine and Jared Dillinger of Meralco. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The Bolts are eyeing to dispatch the Elasto Painters following a 94-91 win also last Monday.

Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio also understands that eliminating Rain or Shine will be a tough assignment for his Bolts, which is in a similar situation of holding a 1-0 lead in two editions of the Commissioner’s Cup.

“We’ve been in this situation before, we’re not able to close it,” said Gregorio. “But experience is the best teacher, with intelligence and little experience, we don’t really win the series until we get two wins.”

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Flip Saunders begins search for Minnesota Timberwolves coach (April 23, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

MINNEAPOLIS -- Flip Saunders is a former coach himself, so he knows how coveted a head coaching job in the NBA can be.

The Timberwolves' president of basketball operations may also soon find out how difficult filling an opening can be as well.

Saunders started the search for a new coach in earnest on Tuesday, one day after Rick Adelman announced his retirement. It's a move that has been expected for some time, and Saunders has no doubt been kicking around possibilities. As a former coach, and a well-respected basketball mind, Saunders has a vast reservoir of contacts in the coaching fraternity, contacts that he will need to tap during a delicate search for a new leader.

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Alaska goes for clincher vs. San Mig Coffee (April 23, 2014)
Waylon Galvez [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

Alaska's Calvin Abueva against the defesnse of San Mig Coffee's Rafi Reavis. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

In a best-of-three quarterfinal series, a 1-0 advantage is a good thing, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

That’s what Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo told his wards yesterday, saying they have to have the killer instinct when they clash with San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in Game 2 of their quarterfinal showdown in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s a huge win for us, but a 1-0 lead is not a guarantee. Yes, it puts us in a good situation, but it takes two wins to knock them out,” said Trillo, who hopes to lead Alaska back to the finals.

From a tight contest in the first three periods of the game, Alaska unleashed a big fourth quarter run with Cyrus Baguio and JV Casio leading the way in the Aces 86-77 victory in Game 1 Monday night.

The Aces and the Mixers collide at 5:45 p.m.
 
Baguio and Casio combined for 14 points in a torrid fourth quarter run. The Aces’ defense also held as they held San Mig scoreless for six minutes to pad their lead from 72-69 to 84-69 with three minutes left.
 
Alaska import Rob Dozier finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Baguio added 14 points.
 
Sonny Thoss and Calvin Abueva added 12 points each, and Casio finished with eight markers.
 
San Mig import James Mays, who averaged nearly 23 points, 16 rebounds in the elimination round, was held to just 18 and 11, while the locals didn’t do much better. Mark Barroca got 17 points and James Yap finished with 12.
 
“Our defense in the fourth was great, we limited them to 16 points. We had problems in that big lineup of theirs, but we did a good job taking them out of their flow of big lineups,” said Trillo.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/alaska-meralco-go-for-clincher/

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"Well, I guess we have to go play those 10 seconds back," Dwight Howard joked of his incorrectly assessed sixth foul in Game 1. Bob Levey/Getty Images

HOUSTON -- The NBA announced on Monday that the referees incorrectly called Rockets center Dwight Howard for his sixth foul with 10.8 seconds left in overtime in Game 1.

On Tuesday, the Rockets gave feedback on the league's transparency.

"Well, I guess we have to go play those 10 seconds back," Howard joked after the Rockets' practice. "Can't do nothing about it now, it doesn't matter. We just have to win Game 2."

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Brgy. Ginebra import Gabe Freeman. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel booked an early vacation after getting knocked out by top seed Talk ‘N Text in the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

But despite the lowly finish, the Gin Kings’ talent level remains on top of the league, if you ask import Gabe Freeman.

“Ginebra is the best team in the PBA –by far. They just have to put it together,” said the two-time Best Import winner, who played two games for the Gin Kings.

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The Clippers hope Chris Paul's injured hamstring won't keep him sidelined when their series resumes. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul will be limited in practice over the next two days by an injured right hamstring heading into Thursday's Game 3 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

"He won't do much," coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday. "He may do a little tomorrow but nothing today. We're not doing anything today anyway, but I don't need him doing anything."

Paul injured his right hamstring late in the first half of the Clippers' 109-105 Game 1 loss on Saturday and received round-the-clock treatment heading into Game 2, when he played 27 minutes and had 12 points and 10 assists in a 138-98 blowout of the Warriors.

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Talk 'N Text import Richard Howell finished with 41 points and 22 rebounds vs. Greg Slaughter and Brgy. Ginebra. PBA/Nuki Sabio

“They can even win without me.”

Richard Howell is in awe of the talent level of his Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters squad, which won its last two elimination round games in the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup with him nursing an injured shoulder.

With the hulking import back in the lineup, Talk ‘N Text was downright dominant, making quick work of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in their quarterfinals matchup on Tuesday.

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Cavs interim GM David Griffin is confident he'll get the job full-time. "You're either all the way in or you're all the way out," he said. "I'm all the way in." AP Photo/Tony Dejak

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- David Griffin has a plan to get the Cleveland Cavaliers back to the playoffs and among the NBA's elite.

He just doesn't know if he'll get to see it through.

Griffin has been Cleveland's acting general manager since February and expects to have the interim tag removed from his title. He wouldn't say if he has spoken with owner Dan Gilbert, but he insists he isn't fretting.

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Brgy. Ginebra import Gabe Freeman. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Gabe Freeman’s stint for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup came to a crashing halt on Tuesday after the Gin Kings were knocked out by top seed Talk ‘N Text.

But Freeman is hoping to extend his stint in the PBA, with an eye on seeing action in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.

“Hopefully, I make the height limit next conference and I could be here the whole conference with them and develop chemistry. But I’m just thankful being here,” said Freeman, who was Ginebra’s third import in the tournament after Leon Rodgers and Gabe Freeman.

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Kentucky Wildcats freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft (April 23, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Forward Julius Randle will leave Kentucky after one season to enter the NBA draft, where he is expected to be among the top five selections.

With five days left before the deadline for underclassmen to declare, the 6-foot-9 Dallas native announced the decision many expected even before he arrived as part of Kentucky's best-ever recruiting class. Projected as a lottery pick from the outset, Randle solidified his draft stock by leading Kentucky (29-11) to the NCAA final behind a string of double-doubles despite being double- and triple-teamed.

"Kentucky will always have a special place in my heart, but growing up as a kid, there's always been my dream to play in the NBA, and there's no better opportunity for me to achieve that than now," Randle said at a news conference attended by his mother, Carolyn Kyles, and teammates Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein.

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