Photo from the Twitter page of Gilas Pilipinas

Gilas Pilipinas returned to Manila Tuesday night after their intensive training camp and tune-up matches abroad, which served as their preparation for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament next week.

Gilas coach Tab Baldwin said the team, which arrived at the NAIA Terminal 1 at around 7 p.m., learned valuable lessons from their scrimmages abroad.

“That [loss against Turkey] was a letdown for all of us, but I think we responded pretty well,” said the coach.

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Kevin Durant. ESPN

The Atlanta Hawks' free-agent priorities are re-signing forward Al Horford and swingman Kent Bazemore, but the Hawks are also trying to wedge their way into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, according to league sources.

Sources told that the Hawks, like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, have been working to persuade Durant and his representatives to have a face-to-face recruiting meeting after free agency starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, even though their chances appear dim.

One source of hope for the Hawks, sources say, is the presence of longtime NBA All-Star Grant Hill in the Hawks' ownership group, with Hill expected to lead Atlanta's lobbying efforts.

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International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines – Ramon Fernandez, regarded as the best all-around player ever to grace Philippine basketball, said the final composition of the Gilas Pilipinas team to the forthcoming FIBA Olympic qualifier is a decision hatched on what is needed by the team.

It’s about what the head coach feels is right.

“You have to give it to the coach. He has the game plan. That’s what he feels are the 12 players he will really use for the campaign,” said the 62-year-old Fernandez.

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LeBron James.

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James announced last week that he has no intentions of leaving the Cavaliers this summer after winning the first pro championship for his city in 52 years. Now his likeness, shown on an iconic 10-story-tall Nike banner hanging from the Sherwin-Williams headquarters downtown, isn't going anywhere, either.

Sherwin-Williams announced Tuesday that the James banner, which was originally scheduled to be replaced by a new banner this summer commemorating the company's 150th anniversary, will continue to hang. In addition, Sherwin-Williams will donate $150,000 to the LeBron James Family Foundation.

"For 150 years, Sherwin-Williams has been proud to call Cleveland our home, and we're committed to doing the right thing for the people of this great city," said John Morikis, president and CEO of Sherwin-Williams, in a statement. "For the last year, we've been planning to hang a celebratory banner outside our building during the summer months. But what better way to celebrate our 150th year than with a NBA championship. As a longtime supporter of the Cavs, and the entire community, we want the energy and excitement in this city to continue."

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 Calvin Abueva. Photo courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said he understands the outrage of local basketball fans about the national team’s final line-up, particularly the non-inclusion of fan favorite Calvin Abueva.

Baldwin arrived in Manila on Tuesday night together with the national team, two days after he announced the final 12 players who will represent the Philippines in the coming FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The players who didn’t make it to the list were LA Tenorio and Abueva. But it was Abueva’s exclusion that caused the fans’ uproar.

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Cavs star Thompson in OQT (June 29, 2016)
Jonas Terrado [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

 Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson, a key contributor in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ stunning NBA championship victory over the Golden State Warriors, will play for Canada in the Manila leg of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set next week at the Mall of Asia Arena., citing NBA sources, reported yesterday about Thompson’s intention to play for the Canadians despite possible fatigue that came after helping the Cavaliers erase a 3-1 deficit over the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

The 6-foot-9 Thompson, whose rebounding skills and defensive effort in the paint was evident during the finals, will be one of the notable NBA players that will suit up in the Manila OQT.

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Sixers target Harrison Barnes; Warriors in, too, if Kevin Durant bid fails (June 29, 2016)
Marc Stein and Marc J. Spears [ Source: ESPN ]

The Warriors rate keeping Harrison Barnes as a top priority if they are unable to lure Kevin Durant away from the Thunder, sources said. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers intend to make a serious push for Golden State Warriors restricted free agent Harrison Barnes when the NBA's offseason marketplace opens Friday at 12:01 a.m. ET, according to league sources.

Sources told that the Sixers have Barnes high on their list of potential targets and know the Warriors will not be able to retain him -- despite their right to match any offer Barnes gets -- if Golden State manages to win the Kevin Durant sweepstakes.

If Barnes signs an offer sheet with another team July 8, when the league's annual moratorium on signings and trades is lifted, Golden State would have three days to match the offer or lose Barnes.

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Duterte to watch Gilas games (June 29, 2016)
Waylon Galvez [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

International Basketball

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will attend the games of Gilas Pilipinas to boost the country’s campaign in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament which starts on July 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Incoming Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez confirmed Duterte’s appearance in yesterday’s PSA Forum, although he could not say for sure if the country’s next chief executive will watch both Gilas matches.

“Yes, the President will watch the game, that’s what I was told,” said Ramirez. “I think they’re still finalizing the schedule,” he added.

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Despite previous heartbreaks, Aces upbeat on new conference (June 29, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Alaska Aces. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

After falling short in the last three Finals, Alaska remains driven by hunger and heartaches as it hopes to end its three-year title drought.

And deputy coach Louie Alas could see it from his wards, as the morale in the team’s offseason practices is definitely on a high.

“Kung gagawing basis ang practice, feeling ko hindi napapagod at hindi nagsasawa ang mga players. Yung motivation nilang manalo, nandoon pa rin at hindi nawawala,” he said.

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Frank Kaminsky will not participate in the Pro Summer League in Orlando following a procedure Wednesday to repair a small pocket of air between his lung and chest wall. Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Hornets say forward Frank Kaminsky will undergo a minor procedure on Wednesday to repair a small pocket of air between his lung and chest wall and will not participate in the Pro Summer League in Orlando.

The recovery time is approximately six weeks, the team said Tuesday.

The Hornets say Kaminsky could have played with the issue, but the procedure will relieve some discomfort.

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