PHILADELPHIA – The nostalgia swept Damion Lee as he revisited alma mater.He watched part of Drexel’s game against Northeastern. He walked around campus with his wife, Sydel. He stopped by where he ate his first chicken cheesesteak. Hours later, Lee produced more memories that might leave him equally reflective years from now.In the Warriors’ 120-117 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, Lee had 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting on a career-high 4-of-5 mark from 3. He helped the …
Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort UP mounted an 11-0 blast to tie the game at 79 with all the momentum on its side but a controversial call near the four-minute mark turned the tide.READ: Down but not out: Maroons still fighting for Final Four spot The referees missed what should’ve been an 8-second violation on Ateneo guard Jolo Mendoza, who fell just before crossing center court. Instead, a foul was called on UP playmaker Jun Manzo.Juan Gomez de Liaño topscored with 21 points while Paul Desiderio had 16 but went 6-of-18 from the field.ADVERTISEMENT No limbs, no problem for Italy’s fencing firebrand Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “We showed a lot of character in the end. It was a tough game, we were challenged from the start and I’m happy that the players stepped up to the challenge,” said Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga.READ: Perasol welcomes solid support from alumni: ‘It pressure us to deliver’FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMatt Nieto scored a team-high 19 points, including seven inside the last three minutes, while Isaac Go and Gian Mamuyac added 13 points each for Ateneo, which out-rebounded UP, 49-34.Thirdy Ravena struggled from the field but did a little bit of everything to still finish with 10 points, nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ Read Next View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo moved a win away from an elimination round sweep after holding off University of the Philippines, 96-82, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The No. 1 Blue Eagles, who will shoot for a 14-0 record against defending champion De La Salle on Sunday, went on a 17-3 run in the final four minutes and 11 seconds to break away from a 79-deadlock.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa
Qualifying Finals – 9.50amEastern Falcons v Western DodgersCasey Cougars v Melbourne University Northern BlacksSemi Finals – 12.35pmMelbourne City Lions v Qualifying Final winnerBayside Vipers v Qualifying Final winnerGrand Final – 3.30pm Qualifying Finals – 9.00amCasey Cougars v Bayside Vipers 1Bayside Vipers 2 v Eastern FalconsSemi Finals – 11.45amMelbourne University Northern Blacks v Qualifying Final winnerMelbourne City Lions v Qualifying Final winnerGrand Final – 2.30pm Women’s Sunday, 24 February will see a big day of Touch Football action at Elwood Park in Melbourne, with the 2012/13 Victorian Touch (VT) League finals taking place. Qualifying finals, semi finals and grand finals will be played on Sunday across three divisions – Men’s, Women’s and Mixed. Finals day of the VT League starts at 9.00am with the Mixed qualifying finals, followed by the qualifying finals for the Women’s and Men’s divisions at 9.50am and 10.40am respectively. Semi finals then take place at 11.45am for Mixed, followed by 12.35pm for Women’s and 1.25pm for Men’s. Grand finals of all three divisions will round out the day, with the Mixed grand final at 2.30pm, Women’s grand final at 3.30pm and the Men’s grand final at 4.30pm. For the first time this season, the Mixed division has seen six teams compete, with a successful season had by all. The Melbourne University Northern Blacks have been the form team all year and have progressed straight through to the semi finals as have the Melbourne City Lions. The Melbourne City Lions in the Women’s division are reigning champions who are on equal points with rivals the Bayside Vipers heading into the finals. The Lions will see three Australian representatives, Leah Percy (Women’s Open), Kirsten Friend and Mel Woodward (Women’s 30’s) take to the field, while the Vipers have two national representative players in Brooke James (Australian Women’s 30’s) and Jamie Te Pania (New Zealand Women’s 30’s) and if the two sides are to meet in the final it will no doubt be an exciting encounter. The Melbourne City Lions also finished on top of the Men’s ladder following the round games, closely followed by the Western Dodgers. Only four points separates the top three teams, and VT League Finals Day will no doubt entertain!To keep-up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the VT League finals, please visit www.victouch.com.au as well as the Touch Football Victoria social media pages:www.facebook.com/touchfootballvictoriawww.twitter.com/touchfootyvic Mixed Men’s Qualifying Finals – 10.40amMelbourne University Northern Blacks v Casey TigersBayside Vipers v Eastern FalconsSemi Finals – 1.25pmMelbourne City Lions v Qualifying Final winnerWestern Dodgers v Qualifying Final winnerGrand Final – 4.30pmRelated LinksVT League Finals
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Howe: Bournemouth must rise to Man Utd challengeby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournemouth boss Eddie Howe has challenged his players to rise to the test of facing Manchester United.The Dorset club have picked up one point from three games at Old Trafford since being promoted to the top flight. Howe said: “It’s a tough game. Whenever you go to Old Trafford you know you are going to be in for a tough assignment.“We are going to need to rise to that challenge. They have had two really good results and performances. I am sure the atmosphere in the stadium will be good for the players there.“We will look forward to going there as we always have done. We have had some tough encounters and enjoyed our matches in the ground – we will look forward to another tough game.”
TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 15: Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin of the Alabama Crimson Tide converses with Amari Cooper #9 prior to facing the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 15, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Former Alabama star and current Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper will be appearing on a celebrity edition of “Family Feud” this Sunday. Alongside Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and others, Cooper will be representing the “AFC Offense” against an “NFC Defense” squad that includes Arizona Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu, Philadelphia Eagles DB Malcolm Jenkins and Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. In his match-up with Mathieu, Cooper beat the ex-LSU star to the buzzer when asked to name someone people are excited to see once a year. From there though, Cooper got stage fright, and could only manage some awkward laughter. The video of the clip, released in advance of the show, can be found below. The episode featuring Cooper will air at 8 p.m. ET Sunday night on ABC. Hopefully the rest of Cooper’s appearance went more smoothly than that clip did.[ SDS ]
HOULTON, Maine – U.S. border patrol officers have charged three Canadians with unlawful entry after they were seen walking in northern Maine, including one man facing child exploitation charges in Nova Scotia.According to court documents filed June 1 with the U.S. District Court in Bangor, Maine, the three were apprehended May 31 near Houlton, Maine, which is not far from the border crossing at Woodstock, N.B.The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency alleges that Jesse Christopher Leblanc, Chelsey Ann Fitch of Fredericton and Aaron Byron Cumberland of Nova Scotia crossed the border at a spot that is not designated as a port of entry.In an affidavit submitted to the court, border patrol agent Matthew McLellan said the three were seen carrying backpacks on the Canadian side of the border on a road parallel to the international boundary before they were spotted on a road in Maine that leads away from the border.The agent said a fingerprint check later determined Cumberland is facing charges in Nova Scotia, including luring a child and invitation to sexual touching, though he had been released on conditions.McLellan’s affidavit says those conditions include an order that he remain in Nova Scotia and refrain from possessing any electronic device that can access the internet. The affidavit says Cumberland had a cellphone and a laptop with him when he was arrested.McLellan said all three initially offered false identities, saying they had “no claimed countries of citizenship.”The agent said none of them was carrying proper identification.“They also initially claimed to not believe in or recognize international borders or boundaries but believe that travel between countries should be free and uninhibited.”
During the 2015 regular season, the Broncos and Panthers allowed the NFL’s fewest and second-fewest yards per play, respectively, and finished 1-2 defensively in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) ratings. It’s only the eighth time the top two DVOA defenses1Using estimated ratings for seasons prior to 1989. have met in a Super Bowl, and the average defensive index of the teams involved ranks third all-time, trailing only Super Bowls XIV and IV. Everyone is obsessing over the study in contrasts at quarterback — Cam Newton vs. Peyton Manning — but it’s the two defenses that should be taking center stage in the lead-up to Sunday, because by just about any measure, this is one of the best defensive matchups in Super Bowl history. BroncosRunning the ball against the Broncos’ defense is like running into a brick wall erected around another, thicker brick wall. It had the league’s fourth-best defensive DVOA against rushing plays during the regular season and was particularly fearsome up the middle, allowing the league’s fourth-fewest expected points per rush between the tackles. According to ProFootballFocus.com’s player grades, defensive end Derek Wolfe was the eighth-best interior run defender in the NFL; Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall also ranked among the top 11 run defenders at linebacker, with Von Miller ranking ninth against the run among edge rushers. If the Broncos have a weakness against the run, it’s in short-yardage situations — they allowed the league’s second-highest power success rate2Defined as the percentage of runs that achieved a first down or touchdown on third or fourth down with 2 yards or less to go, or on first- or second-and-goal from the 2-yard line or closer. — but they offset that with one of the league’s highest rates of stuffing runners behind the line of scrimmage, and they almost never allowed long runs. Only 7.4 percent of carries against the Broncos went for more than 10 yards, the third-lowest rate in the league.And Denver’s ability to stop the run is by far the weaker aspect of this defense. According to DVOA,3Again, indexed relative to the league’s distribution of pass defenses. the 2015 Broncos’ pass D ranks as the 11th-best of the Super Bowl era after blowing away the competition this season. The Panthers’ DVOA against the pass ranked second in the league but was about two-thirds of a standard deviation worse than Denver’s. 2012Chicago140130136 What makes the Broncos so great at defending the pass? For one thing, they led the league in adjusted sack rate, with coordinator Wade Phillips dialing up five or more pass-rushers on 42 percent of opposing pass plays, fourth-most in football. Those plays are statistically graded as blitzes, but in a Denver 3-4 alignment featuring some of the game’s top pass-rushing linebackers, the lines between a blitz and a D-line that simply creates pressure on its own start to blur. According to PFF, Miller was the top pass-rushing edge defender in the game, and his partner on the opposite side, DeMarcus Ware, ranked sixth. Meanwhile, Wolfe and Malik Jackson also finished among the top 11 pass-rushing interior linemen. And when the Broncos do need to blitz from unusual places, safety T.J. Ward can create havoc; he tied for sixth among DBs with a pair of sacks this season.But the front four is only part of the equation — a blitz-heavy scheme falls apart quickly without the ability to cover receivers. This Denver D doesn’t necessarily rely on its secondary as ball hawks; Aqib Talib’s modest total of three interceptions led the roster, and the team’s interception rate was merely average. Instead, all of the Broncos’ primary defensive backs (Talib, Ward, Chris Harris Jr., Darian Stewart and Bradley Roby) and linebackers (Trevathan and Marshall) ranked among the upper quartile at their positions in PFF’s coverage grades, sticking to receivers so effectively that only St. Louis allowed fewer air yards per completion. (“Grading” players is often a fool’s errand, since you can never be sure about coverages and assignments, but when pretty much the entire secondary grades out in the upper crust, those problems are minimized.) And no team allowed fewer overall passing yards per attempt or yards per completion than the Broncos did.PanthersFor all the lofty achievement and outright dominance by the Denver squad, the Panthers’ defense might actually have the edge in star power: Not only will it have arguably the best player on the field Sunday in LB Luke Kuechly, but Carolina’s D also outearned Denver’s in first-team All-Pro selections (3 to 1) and tied it for Pro Bowl nods (4 apiece).It’s indicative of the way these defenses stack up: Carolina’s top defensive players — Kuechly, CB Josh Norman, LB Thomas Davis (playing Sunday with “a plate and probably around 11 or 12 screws” in his arm, which he broke during the NFC championship), DT Kawann Short — can hold their own with anybody on Denver’s roster. But the lesser Panthers defenders aren’t quite as good, which makes Carolina’s statistical profile sort of “Broncos Lite.” Their strengths are similar, but the Panthers are slightly inferior to Denver whether they’re defending the pass or the run.Stylistically, however, the Panthers do operate differently in some important ways. At the most elemental level, they run a 4-3 scheme that relies less on creative blitz packages and pressure from the edges, instead using Short to generate a pass rush from the middle of the defense, and fellow DT Star Lotulelei to occupy blockers and eat up space. The end result was fewer sacks and less pressure overall, but that only makes Carolina’s performance in coverage even more impressive. Despite giving opposing passers the league’s sixth-most seconds in the pocket per drop-back, the Panthers allowed the 11th-fewest air yards per attempt and seventh-lowest completion percentage.It all starts with Norman, who has few peers when it comes to blanketing receivers. Alongside him, the Carolina secondary is littered with such solid cover DBs as Kurt Coleman, Roman Harper, Cortland Finnegan and Tre Boston, all of whom PFF rated among the top half of their respective positions in terms of pass coverage. This depth proved important because Carolina used five or more defensive backs on 463 pass plays this season (26 percent more than the NFL average), more than any other team despite a banged-up secondary that suffered a number of key losses.Speaking of which: The only glaring hole in the DB corps might be Robert McClain, whom PFF rated as one of the worst cover corners in football since signing with Carolina at midseason after a rash of injuries befell the team. But coverage ratings for individual players often don’t tell the whole story, and the rest of Carolina’s roster rates well in pass coverage — Kuechly was graded by PFF as the game’s best cover LB. The all-around cover skills of Carolina’s entire D helped them yield the league’s second-lowest rates of yards per attempt and yards after the catch.Against the rush, Carolina profiled a lot like Denver: It was poor at stopping runners in power situations (worst in the league, in fact), but it also stuffed a lot of runs behind the line of scrimmage. The biggest difference is that, unlike the Broncos, the Panthers did yield some long runs; they ranked 15th at preventing what Football Outsiders calls “open field” yards — i.e., rushing gains starting more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage — per carry (Denver ranked second). That’s one reason why this is a good run defense but not a great one.All told, this is the 15th-most evenly matched defensive matchup in Super Bowl history according to DVOA. And the quality of offensive competition each defense will face ought to help level the playing field even more. Denver’s historically great D is facing a very good Carolina offense led by the suddenly amazing Newton at QB; Carolina’s great-but-not-historically-so defense is facing one of the worst offenses to take the field in a Super Bowl — particularly when it comes to passing.The Super Bowl is all about pomp and spectacle, razzle and dazzle, offensive fireworks and star quarterbacks booking FastPass times at the tea cups. Sometimes that leaves little room for an appreciation of subtler things, like defense. But in this case, all eyes should be on that rougher side of the football — it will be a long time before you see another defensive clash of this caliber on Super Bowl Sunday.Check out our live coverage of Super Bowl 50. 2004Buffalo135129135 Source: Football Outsiders, FootballPerspective 2008Pittsburgh133125133 DEFENSIVE DVOA INDEX 1974Pittsburgh139130138 1982Miami12785143 1980Washington11886132 1998Miami133114137 2002Tampa Bay146114148 YEARTEAMOVERALLVS. RUNVS. PASS 2013Seattle137114140 1970Minnesota135118136 Best pass defenses of the Super Bowl era (1966-2015) 1988Minnesota144121146 1999Tampa Bay12791134 1994Pittsburgh131114132 2015Denver135120135 1977Atlanta127115132 1969Minnesota134123132 1991Philadelphia150147142 1985Chicago135119137 2009N.Y. Jets136114134 2003Baltimore135125132
Thursday night marks the return of NBA hoops, with teams entering the homestretch of their season. A few are fighting for their playoff lives, while others will try to avoid a late-season collapse. And for a handful of others, just playing basketball again figures to be a good thing, if only to shift the conversation from off-court turmoil that could bubble over.With that in mind, we analyzed five of the league’s most interesting storylines as we prepare to dive into season’s second half.What’s going to happen with the Celtics?Even after the Raptors got Kawhi Leonard and the Sixers got Jimmy Butler, the Celtics carried great expectations this season. As a club that made it to Game 7 of the conference finals without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, getting back at least to that stage with both of them healthy seemed like almost a given.Fast-forward to now, though, and it’s clear that there’s no guarantee they’ll get that far. The Bucks have joined the league’s elite. The Sixers have gone all in. And the Raptors are solid on both ends.Complicating matters, too, is the fact that Irving, a free-agent-to-be, is no longer willing to commit long-term to the idea of being a Celtic — a situation that has reporters and fans alike parsing his every word in interviews. (Irving’s exit would make it more difficult for the team to entice star big man Anthony Davis into staying in Boston for the long haul if the Celtics rolled the dice and traded for him.)No, Jaylen Brown hasn’t been as impressive as he was in his second year. And Al Horford, a defensive stalwart in years past, hasn’t been as consistently good on that end this season.Still, Hayward, whose mental blocks this season had left him struggling to look like himself, has shown positive signs as of late.1Although he sprained his right ankle (not the one he had surgery on back in 2017) earlier this week and is questionable for Thursday’s showdown with the Bucks. And more importantly, the Celtics — for all their early season struggles — remain in the top 10 in both offense and defense, which generally signifies a true contender.Whether they can make good on that level of promise is key because of how drastically their roster could change this summer, for better or worse.Can the Bulls’ rebuild be a blueprint for a team like the Hawks?It’s been far from a stellar season for the Bulls, who fired their coach early on, then saw players take issue initially with their hard-charging replacement. But the club has shown progress the past couple of weeks since trading for wingman Otto Porter, who looks to be a great fit on both ends with shoot-first players like Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen.Some fans didn’t like the move, as Porter’s hefty contract all but took the Bulls out of the running for a max-level free agent this summer. But there’s value in acquiring solid players who can complement your young core. The best evidence of that so far: The Bulls have logged a net rating of 14 — meaning they outscore opponents by 14 points per 100 possessions — in the 110 minutes that Porter, LaVine and Markkanen have shared on the court thus far. Not too shabby for a club that’s been beaten by 8.5 points per 100 plays on the year to this point.The early Chicago returns could serve as a blueprint for the rebuilding Hawks, who have young, budding talents of their own in John Collins, Trae Young and Kevin Huerter. The youngsters have each had their moments of offensive brilliance,2And Young, who struggled early on, has improved considerably — both in his passing and his perimeter shooting. He’s logged almost a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in February, and he’s up to nearly 40 percent this month from the 3-point line. but the trio, defensively challenged to put it kindly, has been outscored by 5.6 points per 100 possessions.Finding veterans who can consistently defend at a high level to play next to them, and developing those three on D, will go a long way in determining when and whether Atlanta can turn it around.The MVP race could come down to the wireMaking sense of this year’s MVP race has been a challenge. Just when Giannis Antetokounmpo seemed to be the clear leader for the award, given his eye-popping numbers for the team with the best record in the sport, James Harden came bursting through like the Kool-Aid Man, forcing himself into the conversation with a historic scoring streak.There are a couple of other players, like Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid3Who, as a precaution, will miss at least the next week with left-knee soreness. and Oklahoma City’s Paul George, whose outstanding play deserves consideration, too. But this will more than likely end up being a two-man race.Harden’s offensive domination over the past two months has shifted a narrative that was shaping up to be a runaway for Antetokounmpo. Yet it’s worth watching whether some level of voter fatigue (Harden won the award last year, whereas Antetokounmpo has never been a front-runner before) comes into play. And there are those who dislike Harden’s iso-heavy style, even though he’s had little choice but to rely on that, given the injuries his team has suffered.So it wouldn’t be surprising if Antetokounmpo eventually gets the nod here, particularly if the Bucks end up finishing in first place.Can LeBron will the Lakers into the playoffs?It would be jarring to watch all-time great LeBron James go from making the NBA Finals eight straight years to not even making the playoffs in his first season out West. But it’s more than a mere possibility at this point: FiveThirtyEight’s projection model currently has the Lakers with just a 26 percent probability of reaching the postseason.We wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if James can get the Lakers over the playoff line. Aside from his own individual greatness, the Lakers are in the process of wrapping up a difficult stretch in their schedule this month, with seven of their nine games as road tilts. Their fortunes figure to improve when the calendar turns to March.The bigger question is whether it’s ultimately worth it for James to go into overdrive simply to earn a No. 8 seed and a first-round date with the two-time defending champion Warriors.4Of course, if the Lakers really turn it on and end up with a No. 7 seed or better, there’s no telling what might happen in a seven-game series. As his five-week injury5The first one we’ve seen sideline him for that long. earlier in the season illustrated, James isn’t getting any younger. And while it’s nearly certain that he won’t take his foot off the pedal because of where the Lakers are in the standings, there’s an argument to be made that his energy would be better spent next season, once L.A. has another top-flight player to pair with him.Will Denver emerge as the top challenger to Golden State out West?Denver has been near the top of the standings all year, while clubs like the Thunder and the Rockets started slow before getting back on track to contend for home-court advantage in the first round.The Nuggets seemingly deserve the benefit of the doubt in this discussion. Aside from having led the conference standings earlier in the season, they still own the West’s best record against quality competition — even slightly better than the Warriors’ mark against teams .500 or better. Their defense hasn’t been as good as it was to start the season, but they still have enough balance — in both their first and second units — to get the job done. And after Golden State, Denver is basically neck-and-neck with Oklahoma City in net rating in the West.If anything gives us pause about the Nuggets, it’s their lack of playoff experience. It’s uncommon for a team that hasn’t been in the playoffs to suddenly make a deep run upon getting there, which might explain our model feeling better about a team like Houston, Oklahoma City or even Utah.But the beauty of all this, of course, is that Denver — after being eliminated in the last game of the regular season in 2018 — will get a chance to set itself apart over these final 25 games.Check out our latest NBA predictions.