Rico Santotome, Jr.
Miami and San Antonio will enjoy homecourt advantage in their respective conference finals duel against Indiana and Memphis, respectively, with the Pacers and the Grizzlies deemed hardpressed to turn the tide in their favor what with the Heat and the Spurs’ edge when it comes to the home town crowd.
Today, we won’t be talking much of the reigning National Basketball Association winner Miami or the Western Conference No. 2 seeds San Antonio. In contrast, we will be allocating this corner to both Indiana and Memphis, both considered lightweights when it comes to the NBA Finals.
That is, if both teams go on to defeat and pull the rug from under the Heat and the Spurs in their respective conference finals which started yesterday with the Spurs-Grizzlies Game 1 at the AT & T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Tomorrow, the Heat and the Pacers begin their Eastern Conference titular battle at the American Airlines Arena in Florida.
Indiana upset No.2 seed New York during their best-of-seven conference semifinal meeting, 4-2, highlighted by the Pacers’ Game 6 win over the Knicks last Sunday over at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse to the tune of a 106-99 triumph.
New York kept its flickering hopes alive with a methodical 85-75 triumph over Indiana over at the Madison Square Garden in last Friday’s Game 5 to trim the Knicks’ series deficit to 3-2 in their best-of-seven tussle for a conference finals seat.
Game 6 will be in Indianapolis where the Pacers will be aiming for no less than a victory in order to advance into the Eastern Conference championships against defending National Basketball Association champion and top seeded Miami which scored a 4-1 demolition of Chicago in the other conference semis pairing.
The Knicks behind Carmelo Anthony’s 28 markers subdued the Paul George-led Pacers at their home turf even as New York starters Iman Shumpert (5 points), Pablo Prigioni (3) and Tyson Chandler (2) struggled in Coach Mike Woodson’s rotation.
Despite losing Game 1 of their best-of-seven conference semis series to the Chicago Bulls, Miami is still on track of tying or even bettering the 12-1 playoff record of the 1982-83 National Basketball Association champion Philadelphia with a Game 5 win today against Nate Robinson and company.
The game will be played at the Heat’s home turf-the American Airlines Arena where the Bulls took Game 1. However, the reigning NBA titlists took the next three outings including two straight at the United Center in Illinois to take a 3-1 edge in their conference semis duel.
Earlier, Miami swept No. 8 Milwaukee in the first round of postseason play while the No. 5 seeded Bulls upset No. 4 Brooklyn in their opening round battle for a spot in the Final Four of the tough Eastern Conference.
In the event LeBron James and company eliminate the Bulls, Miami will be facing the winner of the New York-Indiana series with the Pacers up, 2-1, pending the outcome of yesterday’s Game 4 in Indianapolis.
Two teams which experienced some sort of a title drought in the Philippine Basketball Association’s number of latest seasons will clash for the Commissioner’s Cup title beginning with Game 1 this Wednesday over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
This after Alaska repulsed San Mig Coffee in four games while Barangay Ginebra San Miguel upended the gallant stand of Talk ‘N Text in Game 5 of their respective semifinal duels which ended last Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The last time Alaska figured in a championship series was during the 2009-10 Fiesta Conference where the Aces won the title over San Miguel (now known as Petron Blaze) in six games with Tim Cone still calling the shots.
On the other hand, Ginebra lost to Talk ‘N Text during the 2010-11 Commissioner’s Cup finals in six games and a couple of seasons after the Kings won their last PBA diadem during the Fiesta Conference tourney of the 2007-08 campaign.
Reigning Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup champion San Mig Coffee will be fighting for dear life in Game 4 of the Mixers’ best-of-five semifinals series against fancied Alaska over at the Big Dome this Saturday.
With their backs against the wall, James Yap and company need an all-important victory over the Aces in order to extend the series to a winner-take-all Game 5 next week for the right to face the winner of the Talk ‘N Text-Ginebra Final Four duel in the finals.
Last Friday, the Tropang Texters and the Kings were to meet in Game 4 of their own semis series with the Tropang Texters up, 2-1. Should Ginebra take Game 4, a deciding match will be scheduled next week to determine the winner.
Portland’s Damian Lillard was the National Basketball Association’s sixth overall selection by the Trailblazers during the 2012 Rookie Draft and at age 22, the Weber State alumnus has been named the Rookie of the Year winner for the 2012-13 season.
The 6-3 Oakland, California-born Lillard averaged 19 points per game in 82 regular season outings for Portland, all as a starter for the Northwest Division ballclub in the West. He also won the NBA All-Stars Skills Challenge Competition this season.
Lillard bested the likes of 2012 top rookie pick Anthony Davis of New Orleans and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Charlotte after co-leading the Trailblazers in scoring with LaMarcus Aldridge (21.1 ppg) while shooting well from the field (46.7%) as well as from the three-point zone (40.9%) and the foul line (88.7%).
While Oklahoma City was anticipated to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals over Memphis despite the absence of Russell Westbrook, New York’s setback suffered at the hands of Indiana at the Madison Square Garden wasn’t.
The Pacers, third seeds in the East, surprised everyone inside the Knicks’ home arena as Indiana won Game 1 over New York, 102-95, to take an early 1-0 edge in their best-of-seven duel for a seat in the conference finals.
The 2013 All-Star Weekend of the Philippine Basketball Association was held from May 1 to 6 with Digos City, Davao Del Sur as host. Last Friday, the festivities opened with the Three-point Shootout Contest.
The protagonists were KG Canaleta of Air21, Jayvee Casio of Alaska, Marcio Lassiter of Petron Blaze, last year’s winner Mark Macapagal of Barako Bull, Willie Miller of Globalport, Chris Tiu of Rain or Shine, Josh Urbiztondo of Ginebra and James Yap of San Mig Coffee.
Last year at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena, Macapagal, then playing for Meralco, bested Urbiztondo and Canaleta in the Three-point Shootout finals for his third title in the history of the PBA All-Star. But in Digos City, Tiu (21 points) emerged as the new winner by repulsing the challenge of both Canaleta (18 points) and Casio (13 points).
With less than two weeks left before the May 13 elections, personnel from the Commission on Elections, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army attended yesterday’s Provincial Joint Security Control Center Meeting held at the Social Hall of th Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.
JOINT SECURITY CONTROL CENTER MEETING IN NEGROS OCCIDENTAL. Police Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr, regional director of Police Regional Office-6, Atty Renato Magbutay, COMELEC regional director in Western Visayas, and Col John Aying, who represented Major General Jose Mabanta Jr, division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, deliver their respective message to those who attended the Provincial Joint Security Control Center Meeting in preparation for the May 13, 2013 polls held at the Social hall of the Provincial Capitol last May 1. (Photos by NUP Yvon Mejica)
According to Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office spokesperson Police Chief Inspector Rico Santotome Jr, the PJSCC meeting at the Provincial Capitol building was attended by the 31 city and municipal police station chiefs in Negros Occidental with their respective election officers ditto with that from Bacolod City.
After the Los Angeles Lakers, the ‘other’ LA-the Clippers, seem to be on the verge of elimination following ‘Lob City’s’ Game 5 setback suffered at the hands of the visiting Memphis Grizzlies yesterday at the Staples Center.
The Grizzlies won Games 3 and 4 in Tennessee after the Clippers took the first two games of the best-of-seven playoff series in the opening round of postseason play for a 2-all standoff going into Game 5 which was eventually won by Memphis, 103-93.
It was big man Zach Randolph who spearheaded th Grizzlies charge in yesterday’s ballgame as he scored 25 points while grabbing 11 rebounds including his two steals in 38 minutes for Coach Lionell Hollins.
Randolph was ably supported by teammates Marc Gasol and Mike Conley who combined for 41 markers for Memphis with the duo grabbing a combined 11 caroms and a total of 10 assists between them for the Grizzlies.