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Jonathan Uyloan of Rain or Shine beats Alaska's Calvin Abueva to the rebound. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Alaska Aces lock horns once again on a familiar stage as they clash in Game One of their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup semifinals showdown Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Elasto Painters and the Aces face off at 7 p.m. live on TV5.

Rain or Shine and Alaska are meeting in their second straight semifinals series after a memorable encounter in the Governors’ Cup last June. In Game Four, the Aces were up by two in the dying minutes when JVee Casio broke away from the pack, looking poised for an easy layup which would seal the series and a ticket to the championship round.

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Carmelo Anthony says it "won't be right" if he allows himself to rethink his offseason choice to stay in New York, not jump to Chicago. Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- As he heads to Chicago for the first time since picking the New York Knicks over the Bulls in free agency in July, Carmelo Anthony won't allow himself to think what if.

What if he had signed with the Bulls? How good would Chicago be with Anthony and Derrick Rose? How happy would Anthony be winning games -- and presumably winning a lot -- alongside coach Tom Thibodeau?

Anthony won't allow himself to entertain the notion of what could have been.

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Joakim Noah says he's ready to return to the Bulls' lineup after missing the past four games because of lingering issues with his ankle and knee. Rocky Widner/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah says he will play Thursday night against the New York Knicks after missing the past four games because of lingering issues with his ankle and knee.

Noah, who is still recovering from offseason knee surgery, initially sprained his right ankle on Dec. 2 in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks and then re-sprained it in a win over the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 3. He played 33 minutes in a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 5, but has not played since.

"My knee feels good," Noah said. "This is more of my ankle. I think it was good just to get some lifts and just take care of my body during this time, let it heal, and I feel pretty good and I'm excited to be able to play tomorrow."

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Vivek Ranadive is grateful for the discipline and order that Mike Malone restored in the Kings. But he wants Sacramento's next head coach to be an offensive-minded "jazz director."

Ranadive discussed Malone's firing and the Kings' coaching search in an interview Tuesday with ESPN's James Ham, saying he wants a coach who will help showcase the players' offensive talents.

"Defense is great, but we need defense and offense," the Kings owner said. "We need to go from a rules-based organization, which was important when you had chaos, to a values-based organization -- from kind of a programmatic offense to a read-and-respond, free-flowing offense.

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JR Quiñahan of Rain or Shine scores under the basket. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

There’s an old adage: it’s better to be lucky than good.

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao admitted that they caught a bit of luck in their semifinal series against Alaska in last season’s Governors’ Cup, but is of the belief that luck might not always be on his team’s side.

“We were lucky last time, but we might run out of luck next time. Luck could either work for you or against you, so my challenge to the players is we have to beat Alaska convincingly and not rely on luck,” Guiao told in a telephone interview.

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Samboy Lim. Interaksyon File photo

PBA legend Samboy Lim continues to be in the hearts and minds of friends, family and fans alike as he remains in intensive care after falling into a coma late last month.

Norman Black, Lim’s coach in his glory days at San Miguel, reminisced about his old friend and former player, comparing ‘The Skywalker’ to the legendary Robert Jaworski in terms of their popularity and penchant to thrill fans.

Black spoke to about his memories about Lim, whom he believes was one of the most talented players he has seen.

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Tab Baldwin and Chot Reyes. Sports5/Paul Mata

It’s looking like American mentor Tab Baldwin could have the inside track on the Philippine national men’s basketball team’s head coaching job after Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manuel V. Pangilinan confirmed that he was a “prime candidate” for the position on Wednesday.

Pangilinan, the chief backer of the Gilas Pilipinas national squad, said that the decision has not been finalized, though Baldwin appears to be among the favorites for the post at this stage.

“I’m waiting for Pato (Gregorio) and executive director Sonny Barrios to return from Geneva so we can formalize the appointment of the new Gilas coach,” wrote Pangilinan in a text message to

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Cabagnot makes SMB more lethal (December 18, 2014)
Nelson Beltran [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 Alex Cabagnot. Philippine Star File photo

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Beer is a lethal team that has become extra lethal with the addition of Alex Cabagnot.

This is the Talk n Text Tropang Texters’ major concern versus the Beermen in their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals beginning Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“We beat them in the elims as we defended them in a way that we can no longer do now with the presence of Cabagnot,” said Talk n Text ace guard Jayson Castro.

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The 26-year-old sharpshooter Dejan Majstorovic is the new number one 3x3 player in the world.

MIES (3x3) - Following the FIBA 3x3 All Stars where he led his Novi Sad team to victory, Dejan Majstorovic has replaced team-mate Dusan Domovic Bulut at the top of the 3x3 Individual World Ranking with 986,400 points.

The sharp-shooting Serb narrowly edges out fellow countrymen Bulut and Marko Savic, who are second and third respectively.

"The feeling is great. I'm very happy to be number one", the 26-year-old said.

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Tab Baldwin is a current consultant for Talk 'N Text in the PBA. Sports5/Paul Mata

Talk ‘N Text coaching consultant Tab Baldwin said that he was not aware of any official decision regarding the Philippine national men’s basketball team’s head coaching position and that reports of him being set to take over were merely “rumors” at this stage.

“Nothing to confirm at the moment. Just rumors. I’m waiting like everyone else for the decision,” Baldwin told on Wednesday.

A report surfaced on a New Zealand website stating that the American-born Baldwin had made a “full-time commitment” to the Gilas Pilipinas national team and was set to be named head coach in the near future.

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