Basketball

The POC received a letter from the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (Iagoc) on Tuesday requesting for proof of residency of the three Philippine team standouts, said the source, who was the same person who told the Inquirer of Blatche’s case more than a week ago.

Norwood and Dillinger are expected to sail through scrutiny since they have been playing in the PBA since the last decade, but Blatche will have some trouble since he was naturalized only a little over two months ago.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, in an earlier interview with the Inquirer, is going with Blatche on the assumption that the former Brooklyn Net in the NBA is cleared to play in the Asian Games after being cleared by the Fiba for the World Cup.

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Basketball

Goree Island, a 20-minute ferry ride off the coast of the Republic of Senegal, is described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as the largest slave-trading center off the African coast from the 15th to the 19th century. Whether you are a U.S. president or a pope or an NBA GM, this site leaves an unforgettable impression.

"You go there and you live it," recalled Ujiri, the first African-born general manager in U.S. sports. "Nothing has changed about the island and they've kept it the way it was, where the slaves were transported, that was the last stop. To see all those unique cells and [slave] houses, it is mind-boggling.

"It is one of those places that you want to experience in your life. I see people that have gone there -- their reaction is life-changing."

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Mark Anthony Dyke of the Philippines slams the ball versus Kazakhstan. Milad Payami / FIBA Asia

The Philippine national youth team could still salvage fifth place in the FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship after defeating Kazakhstan, 86-74, on Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.

University of the Philippines wingman Paul Desiderio waxed hot with 19 points for Batang Gilas, which had to play less than 24 hours after dropping a heartbreaker to Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.

Instead of moping, the Filipino teens started out strong, putting up 28 points in the first quarter. Batang Gilas led comfortably at the half, 54-38.

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7'1" Chinese center Qi Zhou finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds in a win over Chinese Taipei. Milad Payami / FIBA Asia

DOHA, Qatar (23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): China romped their way to the third successive – and 16th overall – Finals in FIBA Asia U18 Championship history with their 30th consecutive win dating way back to the 20th FIBA Asia U18 Championship in Tehran in 2008, after a 92-50 rampage against Chinese Taipei in the Semi-Finals of the 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship on Wednesday.

The comprehensive win which booked China the second of three FIBA Asia berths to the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship to be played at Crete (Greece) also puts them in line for their 11th gold medal of the event when they take on Iran for the second time in a FIBA Asia U18 Championship Finals.

That the last time the two played the Finals at the 2002 edition of the event in Kuwait a Yi Jianlian-led China defeated a Hamed Haddadi-led Iran, also incidentally the last occasion the two giants of Asian basketball met in an U18 game.

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Basketball

Gilas lost to Domincan Republic, 86-79, in Guadalajara in what could go down as the national team’s most balanced stand in its tuneup series for the Fiba World Cup.

Before that, Gilas turned away Egypt, 74-65, on Sunday.

There was quality scoring in the losing game against the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, but national team coach Chot Reyes singled out his team’s muscular defense, as typified by the tall, wide-bodied June Mar Fajardo.

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Iran celebrates after beating Korea, advancing to the FIBA Asia Under-18 Finals and getting a ticket to the World Under-19 Championships next year in Greece.  Milad Payami / FIBA Asia

DOHA, Qatar (23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Iran tightened the screws on Korea just about it in time and booked their third ever entry into a FIBA Asia U18 Championship Finals with a 60-78 win in the first Semi-Finals at the Gharafa on Wednesday, along with booking the first of the three FIBA Asia berths available for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship to be played at Crete (Greece).

Down by 10 points at the end of a scrappy first half, when Iran – in their attempt to match fire with fire – seemed to have played into the hands of Korea, Javan Team Melli came into their own only after a tongue lashing from the normally reticent IRIBF president Mahmoud Mashoun in the locker-room.

An Iran which looked ragged till then suddenly looked robust with Ali Allahverdi leading the 2004 and 2008 FIBA Asia U18 Championship winners’ resurgence.

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Doc Rivers coached the Clippers to a 57-25 record and a Pacific Division title last season -- his first with the team. AP Photo

LOS ANGELES -- Doc Rivers has agreed to a new deal with the Los Angeles Clippers that will keep him there through the end of the 2018-19 season, the team announced Wednesday.

Rivers, who joined the team last year, will continue to serve as its head coach and president of basketball operations during the duration of the deal.

Rivers' new deal will pay him in excess of $10 million annually, according to multiple sources.

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