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Damian Lillard won't be accompanying the U.S. team in Spain for the FIBA World Cup. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- USA Basketball has decided to drop Damian Lillard, Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver and Gordon Hayward from its roster for the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

With the moves not expected to be revealed until later Saturday, USAB decided instead to announce its final 12-man squad for Spain in a 1 a.m. press release, some four hours after completing a 112-86 exhibition rout of Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden.

Toronto's DeMar DeRozan and Detroit's Andre Drummond, widely regarded as prime candidates to be left home at the start of the week, claimed the last two roster spots alongside starters Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Steph Curry (Golden State), James Harden (Houston), Kenneth Faried (Denver) and Anthony Davis (New Orleans) and reserves Derrick Rose (Chicago), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento), Klay Thompson (Golden State), Rudy Gay (Sacramento) and Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn).

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Derrick Rose plays role of distributor in return for Team USA (August 23, 2014)
Ohm Youngmisuk [ Source: ESPN ]

With Team USA cuts looming, Derrick Rose was back on the court Friday night, playing the role of distributor for the World Cup-bound Americans. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- Playing more the role of distributor, Derrick Rose returned to the court Friday night and provided a lift off the bench to help the United States beat Puerto Rico, 112-86, in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski sounded very confident in Rose's ability to help Team USA despite having not played much in the past two NBA seasons due to knee injuries. Rose, who did not start, scored six points and dished four assists in 13 minutes. He shot 2-of-3 from the floor, including one 3-pointer.

Stephen Curry led Team USA in scoring with 20 points. The Americans depart for Spain on Saturday for a final exhibition game before playing in the FIBA World Cup, which starts on Aug. 30.

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Paolo Orbeta’s long and lonely road to redemption (August 23, 2014)
Ricky Olivares [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 Paolo Orbeta during the recent PBA Draft Combine. www.philstar.com

When Paolo Orbeta applied for the 2014 Gatorade PBA Draft, he sighed and waited for the storm that was to come.

You see, he was once infamously nabbed in an entrapment operation by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation allegedly for point shaving. Orbeta, who was in his final year of college eligibility that year in 2007, vehemently denies that. He also said that at the time of the arrest, he was merely walking out of what he felt was a bad situation and had no pay-off money on him.

He remembers several agents drawing their guns on him. How he was handcuffed and tossed in jail along with murderers, pickpockets and other criminals for several hours. How he was only given P15 to make a phone call to his worried father some nine hours after he should have been home.

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Gordon Hayward among final cuts for U.S. basketball team (August 23, 2014)
Marc Stein [ Source: ESPN ]

International Basketball

NEW YORK -- After flirting with taking 13 or even 14 players to Spain for an extra week of evaluation, Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski has announced that only 12 players will be on Saturday afternoon's flight to Europe for the FIBA World Cup.

Following Friday night's 112-86 exhibition cruise past Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden, on Team USA's last night on U.S. soil, Krzyzewski explained: "We feel that it's better to go with 12 because that's really difficult on anybody if they're not going to be on the team to travel that far."

That means Krzyzewski and Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo must release four players Saturday morning before the group boards its charter plane to Spain, with the identity of one of them already known. Sources familiar with USA Basketball's thinking told ESPN.com late Friday that Gordon Hayward has been informed that he won't make the final 12-man roster.

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Paul Lee of Rain or Shine. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Paul Lee has clearly established himself as one of the best point guards – if not the best – in the PBA today.

That’s why Lawrence Chongson, his manager, remains in no rush to sign the maximum contract offered to him by Lee’s mother team, Rain or Shine.

“Hindi naman sa pagmamalaki, eh kasi Paul Lee siya eh,” Chongson told InterAksyon.com in a telephone interview.

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Guiao not buying trade plea of star Lee just yet (August 23, 2014)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

D-League

RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao and management are taking the word of Paul Lee’s manager with a grain of salt.

“Our relationship with Paul is like family. He has been very close to everyone, including the team owners,” Guiao told the Inquirer over the phone yesterday, a couple of hours after news of Lee’s wish to be traded surfaced through a text message coming from the cager’s manager, Lawrence Chongson.

“Unless he tells that to us face-to-face, we will not believe his manager,” Guiao said. “We want to talk to Paul personally and for him to tell us of his wish, if true, because we have been a closely knit group and we are offering him the maximum (salary).

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Anthony Davis. Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Many 21-year-olds are figuring out how to pass one of their final college courses, working to escape their parents' basement or starting to make a living while striking out on their own.

Not Anthony Davis.

Even though the New Orleans Pelicans big man only recently became able to enjoy the full extent of Bourbon Street—and, let's be honest, the rest of NOLA's nightlife scene—he's already an NBA All-Star now functioning as the backbone of Team USA at the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

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Mark Caguioa of Brgy. Ginebra. PBA/Nuki Sabio

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is set to face a visiting South Korean side in an exhibition game in September.

The Gin Kings will collide with Changwon LG Sakers of the Korean Basketball League in the event dubbed as the “Asian Basketball Showdown” organized by Korean electronics maker LG.

The game is slated on September 9 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

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Cone tells Mixers: Winning time isn’t over yet (August 23, 2014)
Jasmine W. Payo [ Source: Inquirer ]

D-League

THERE’S an iconic snapshot of four of the country’s greatest basketball minds right inside Tim Cone’s room.

It’s a picture of him with fellow PBA Grand Slam coaches Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan, Tommy Manotoc and Norman Black.

He’s gone one up on the rest of that group and yet Cone still finds it quite unbelievable to be standing alongside those coaches. And he always speaks of them with awe, even after having surpassed all their achievements.

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D-League

 After failing to show up for the two-day Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) draft combine event, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has underwent measurements at the league office on Friday to officially be included in the draft pool.

Aspiring rookies of the league got their height, weight, and other measurements taken and their skills assessed during the combine. The PBA earlier said that those who fail to attend will be dropped from the list, but they made an exception for Pacquiao.

His official measurements are as follows:

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