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San Miguel Beermen eye No. 2 slot, battle Air21 Express (April 16, 2014)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

San Miguel Beer guard Chris Ross is trapped by San Mig Coffee's James Mays and Mark Barroca. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Beer battles Air21 in the only PBA Commissioner’s Cup game slated Wednesday, with the Beermen looking for a win that would give them No. 2 spot in the playoffs sta rting next week at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen have a 6-2 record and can avoid complications of a playoff by winning their 8 p.m. clash with the Express, who will fall at either seventh or eighth—and with a twice-to-win disadvantage—regardless of the outcome.

As things stand, Talk ‘N Text already qualified as No. 1 and will play the No. 8 squad needing to win just once in the quarterfinals to advance to the Final Four. Globalport and Barako Bull were the teams that got the boot.

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Aaron Gordon, the Pac-12 freshman of the year, is coming for the NBA. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson are leaving Arizona for the NBA.

One of the top freshmen during the 2013-14 season, Gordon was widely expected to leave after one season in Tucson.

Gordon was named the Pac-12 freshman of the year after averaging 12.4 points and 8 rebounds per game. He is a projected lottery pick, according to ESPN's Chad Ford, and is currently No. 6 on Ford's Big Board.

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NBA

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan sophomores Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas have decided to enter the NBA draft.

They made their announcements Tuesday.

A source close to the situation previously told ESPN that Stauskas would leave for the draft.

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Air21's Eliud Poligrates scores on a fastbreak. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA, Philippines – Despite his team’s 82-87 loss to Rain or Shine on Monday, Air21’s Eliud Poligrates is grateful for being given more playing time against the Elasto Painters.

The 26-year-old guard played a conference-high 24 minutes during his breakout performance against Rain or Shine, while helping Air21 climb back from a 13-point deficit.

“First time ulit dito sa Air21. 'Yun 'yung pinakamahabang playing time ko dito,” said Poligrates in the PBA website.

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Luol Deng of Cleveland Cavaliers wins NBA community service award (April 16, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Luol Deng has never once forgotten home.

He has spent much of his adult life trying to give back to his native South Sudan, the war-torn African nation the Cavaliers forward and his family fled when he was a young boy.

And while Deng's contributions have touched many, he knows the work will never end.

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NBA

John Calipari, who is often linked to NBA coaching jobs and who has been critical of the NCAA for not changing with the times, told ESPN on Tuesday that he is more motivated by helping his players at Kentucky than he would be by building the value of an NBA franchise.

But the former coach of the New Jersey Nets also believes that he would be a better NBA coach the second time around.

"I think I would be [better than my previous NBA stint] if I did it, but that's not the point for me," Calipari said on ESPN's "Numbers Never Lie" on Tuesday. "Can I say this in a humble way -- I don't need the money. If I stop coaching today at Kentucky, my toes are up and I'm eating Cheetos and I'm fine.

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Talk 'N Text's KG Canaleta (9) and Nonoy Baclao (7) challenge Rain or Shine's Wayne Chism (14) in this April 9, 2014 file photo. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao continues to support struggling import Wayne Chism, believing the reinforcement's defensive presence is enough to make up for his lack of scoring.

Chism made only two of his 12 field goal attempts and scored only six points in Rain or Shine’s 87-82 win against Air21 Monday at the Araneta Coliseum.

He came up with a huge defensive play, however, deflecting an inbound pass meant for Air21 import Wesley Witherspoon to help protect their lead.

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Mike Woodson will advise Carmelo Anthony (shoulder injury) to sit out the Knicks' final two games, against the Nets and Raptors. Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson wants injured forward Carmelo Anthony to sit out the team's final game of the season.

"I would probably shut him down," Woodson said. "He doesn't need to play."

Anthony plans to test free agency this summer, so if he does sit out, there's a possibility he played his final game as a Knick on Sunday against Chicago. The Knicks (35-45) were eliminated from playoff contention one day earlier.

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Filoil caging lures Philippine U-18 Youth five (April 16, 2014)
Jasmine W. Payo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Local Basketball

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Under-18 Youth Team looks to work on its chemistry when it takes on some of the country’s best collegiate squads in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup starting April 23.

Led by UAAP juniors MVP Thirdy Ravena, the national youth squad is priming up for two international basketball tournaments.

“We have to find the right chemistry,” said national youth coach Jamike Jarin. “Most of them are stars from their respective schools and they’re used to holding the ball. But in an international game, you have to forget about that.”

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Lamar Odom-to-New York Knicks deal imminent, sources say (April 16, 2014)
Marc Stein [ Source: ESPN ]

NBA

Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are progressing toward a deal to sign veteran free agent Lamar Odom before the NBA regular season ends Wednesday, according to sources briefed on the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Knicks are on course, barring an unforeseen snag, to formally sign Odom this week in a move that would put him on their roster immediately and, more importantly, include an unguaranteed second year for next season.

Structuring the deal this way, after a tumultuous 12 months for one of Jackson's favorite players when they worked together with the Los Angeles Lakers, would give the Knicks two months before free agency begins July 1 to get the 34-year-old into their program and start working with him.

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