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Miami Open - TBD
United States Sloane Stephens
Switzerland Belinda Bencic
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Italy (11) Sara Errani 12
Germany (27) Sabine Lisicki 66
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Czech Republic (14) Karolina Pliskova 66
Russian Federation Daria Gavrilova 32
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France (12) Gilles Simon
Colombia Alejandro Falla
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Serbia (1) Novak Djokovic 67
Belgium Steve Darcis 05
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Brazil Thomaz Bellucci 54
Ukraine Alexandr Dolgopolov 76
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Joe Devance of Purefoods vs Calvin Abueva of Alaska. PBA Image by Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines – The Purefoods tandem of Mark Barroca and Joe Devance shared the Player of the Week award for the period of March 23 to 29 after they helped the Hotshots advance to the semi-finals of the PBA Commissioner's Cup.

Barroca and Devance played huge roles in Purefoods' two-game sweep of Alaska in the quarterfinals in the past week.

Devance averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and five assists against Alaska, and was instrumental in giving Purefoods a quick start in both games.

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JR Taganas. PBA Images/INQUIRER.net

Jay-R Taganas made the game-winning basket and AMA University stunned Tanduay Light, 76-74, in the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Monday at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao.

Taganas buried a short jumper despite a foul with 2.2 seconds left to lift the Titans to their second win in three games. He intentionally missed the bonus free throw to let the clock expire with the Rhum Masters out of timeouts.

“Hindi naman sa akin yung play so aksidente lang na napasa sakin,” Taganas said on the final play.

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  LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 27: Jordan Clarkson #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives around Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards at Staples Center on January 27, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images/AFP

Even before hanging up his sneakers, recently retired guard Steve Nash didn’t stop making an influence to his Los Angeles Lakers teammates — including Filipino-American rookie Jordan Clarkson.

“Steve has helped me a lot. With on the court stuff, film work, a lot of it has just been me slowing down, letting plays happen, hit guys in the right spots and stuff like that,” Clarkson told the Toronto Sun.

“Steve’s been a big influence on my game.”

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D-League

Former PBA import Daniel Orton opened up about his short stint in the Philippines while suiting up for the Purefoods Hotshots.

Orton, a former NBA veteran, will mostly be remembered for insulting Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.

In an interview with The Oklahoman, Orton recalled being under heavy fire for his post-game rant last month when he called Pacquiao as a professional basketball player was a “joke.”

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NBA

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said Sunday night he thinks his team can win the NBA title.

Morey's team is currently the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with nine games remaining in the regular season. In order to reach the NBA Finals, the Rockets will have to overcome several health issues.

Forwards Terrence Jones (lung) and Donatas Motiejunas (lower back pain) have been out recently, and Morey expects them to return before the end of the regular season.

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An air of excitement coming out of Diliman (March 31, 2015)
Ricky Olivares [ Source: Philippine Star ]

Local Basketball

During the Filoil Flying V Pre-season Cup coaches meeting Friday at Brothers Burger along Meralco Avenue, new University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons assistant Moriah Joel Gingerich admitted there’s an air of excitement coming out of Diliman.

“I think it’s not just because we’re the hosts for the UAAP’s Season 78 but also because of how team management and the alumni have put together a veteran team with some blue chip additions,” enthused Gingerich. “Right now the goal is to get better every game. Use Filoil as a springboard for the UAAP, and shoot for a Final Four slot.”

“Coach Mo”, as he is now fondly called, has moved from the players’ end of the bench to as an assistant coach.

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Russell Westbrook's 33 help Thunder cap 20-point comeback (March 30, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook gets for the Thunders' NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, March 29, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX -- Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said it was a must-win, and the Oklahoma City Thunder struggled with the Suns' intensity early in Sunday night's game.

"Once they went up 20, we had to make a decision: Defend or go home," guard Russell Westbrook said.

The Thunder chose the latter.

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NBA

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana has already shifted into playoff gear.

Now, the Pacers must prove they belong.

C.J. Miles scored the final five Indiana points and had 28 overall Sunday night to give the Pacers a 104-99 victory over Dallas -- a win that put them in a tie with Boston for the No. 9 spot in the East.

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Kawhi Leonard leads charging Spurs over Grizzlies (March 30, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard, left, looks to pass against Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 29, 2015, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 103-89. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio's emphasis on continuous ball movement was cast aside in the fourth quarter. Even coach Gregg Popovich was content to see the ball stick in Kawhi Leonard's over-sized hands.

Leonard scored San Antonio's first 15 points of the final period on his way to 25 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Spurs to a 103-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

"What Kawhi did today was incredible and it was fun to watch," teammate Manu Ginobili said.

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Dwyane Wade scores 40 to lift Heat a day after knee procedure (March 30, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) drives to the basket ahead of Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 29, 2015, in Miami. At left is Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade was playing a day after having fluid drained from his left knee. Udonis Haslem is dealing with a slew of injuries, including problems with both ankles. An already decimated Miami Heat roster had two more players scratched at halftime.

Somehow, they found a way.

Wade scored 19 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, Haslem set season highs with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and the undermanned Heat enhanced their postseason hopes by beating the Detroit Pistons 109-102 on Sunday night.

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