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SPORTS NEWS THE PAST WEEKS
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

LeBRON  BEING LeBRON: ONE OF THE GREATEST OF ALL TIMES


JUNE 19 -LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after making a shot during his team’s game against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. AFP  Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James delivered one of the greatest must-win performances in NBA Finals history late Thursday, leading his Cleveland Cavaliers in a victorious late charge against the Golden State Warriors. James scored 41 points to power the Cavaliers over Golden State 115-101 and force a one-game showdown for the NBA title. “Special, very special,” Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving said of James. “You try not to sit back and watch because you’re trying to make sure that you create space for him and able to give him outlets when he needs it,” Irving said. But “when a guy’s got it going like that ... it’s just unbelievable.”  James scored 18 consecutive Cavaliers points from late in the third quarter to midway into the fourth, part of a run where he scored or assisted on 35 of 36 Cleveland points. “That fourth quarter was unbelievable when he’s playing that mid-range, and outside, and driving to the rim and creating opportunities for all of us,” Irving said. READ MORE...

ALSO: IN PHOTOS - Cavs make history, win first ever NBA crown


JUNE 20 - It's one of the best things in basketball lore. And boy, did it deliver. Game 7 was more everything we asked for: cardiac. Relive the top photos from the cardiac culmination of Cleveland Cavaliers' campaign of the 2016 season in this gallery: Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, warms up next to forward Kevin Love before Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) WATCH PHOTOS...

ALSO: By Joaquin Henson - Bringing it home


JUNE 25 -Off the plane but still sky-high, LeBron brings title home Cleveland Cavaliers Welcomed Home After NBA Championship The newly crowned NBA champion Cavaliers were welcomed back to Cleveland with thousands of people cheering as they walked off their flight to the hometown. The biggest cheer was for LeBron James, who carried the Larry O¿Brien championship trophy over his head. Following Sunday night¿s game in Oakland the team flew to Las Vegas for an evening of partying. The Cavaliers beat out the Warriors last night, claiming their very first NBA Championship title. FROM MCALL.COM It was estimated that anywhere between 800,000 to 1.3 million fans jammed the streets of downtown Cleveland for the parade that celebrated the crowning of the Cavaliers as the new NBA champions the other day. City Mayor Frank Jackson was in one of the convertibles that lined the procession so he must have declared it a special non-working holiday. You can understand why the euphoria spilled onto the streets and gripped the city. For 52 years, Cleveland languished without a championship in any pro sport. There were close calls but no team could clinch. It took the James Gang to reverse the Cleveland curse. LeBron James was perched in a Rolls Royce convertible with his wife Savannah and their three children. He wore a gold cap, sunglasses, a Nike T-shirt and a Nike pair of shorts. Somewhere in the parade was Cavs teammate J. R. Smith as shirtless as he was when emerging from a private jet to land in Cleveland the morning after the NBA championship was settled at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Also in a convertible was Kyrie Irving who hit a triple and broke an 89-all deadlock after nearly a four-minute drought with 53 seconds left to pave the way for the Game 7 win over Golden State, 93-89, in the NBA Finals. READ MORE...

ALSO: FIBA OLYMPIC QUALIFIER - Abueva, Tenorio out of Gilas 'Final 12'


JUNE 26 -Photo from Sports5  The final 12-man lineup of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament has been bared Sunday night, with Alaska do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva and Ginebra guard LA Tenorio getting cut. That leaves Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Jeff Chan, Ryan Reyes, Japeth Aguilar, Ranidel De Ocampo, Bobby Ray Parks, Terrence Romeo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, June Mar Fajardo and naturalized center Andray Blatche in the squad. Tenorio took to Twitter after the news, only tweeting one word that’s more than enough to say he is okay with the final decision of coach Tab Baldwin. The Nationals are facing a tall order of trying to secure an Olympic berth against powerhouse countries such as France and Canada in the tournament set July 4-10 here. FOLLOW TENORIO TWEET...

ALSO: Down from 14 Coach bares final Gilas list today


JUNE 26 - The 14 Gilas Pilipinas hopefuls fight an opposing team and compete with one another as they take on Italy in Day One of a four-team, two-day pocket tournament at The Paladozza in Bologna, Italy on Saturday (early Sunday morning in Manila).
It’s the final reckoning among the Gilas training pool members with coach Tab Baldwin to announce at 6 p.m. today, Manila time, the final composition of Team Phl that competes in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the MOA Arena on July 5-10. “Play your hearts out tomorrow because tomorrow will be a factor. I just want you all to be aware of that,” said Baldwin at the end of their second day of training in Bologna. “I also want you to know it would be a bad day for me. It would be a especially bad day because two guys who do not deserve to be dropped will be dropped,” Baldwin added. Before playing their second game in the Bologna pocket tourney that also features Canada and China, Baldwin has to name his Final 12 as per the deadline set by FIBA. “On Sunday, it will be an ordinary day for 12 of you. For two guys, it will be a bad day. I’ll have to make an announcement on the team’s lineup,” Baldwin said. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

‘LeBron being LeBron’


LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after making a shot during his team’s game against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. AFP

CLEVELAND, JUNE 27, 2016 (MANILA STANDARD) posted June 18, 2016 at 12:01 am by AFP - Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James delivered one of the greatest must-win performances in NBA Finals history late Thursday, leading his Cleveland Cavaliers in a victorious late charge against the Golden State Warriors.

James scored 41 points to power the Cavaliers over Golden State 115-101 and force a one-game showdown for the NBA title.

“Special, very special,” Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving said of James.

“You try not to sit back and watch because you’re trying to make sure that you create space for him and able to give him outlets when he needs it,” Irving said.

But “when a guy’s got it going like that ... it’s just unbelievable.”

James scored 18 consecutive Cavaliers points from late in the third quarter to midway into the fourth, part of a run where he scored or assisted on 35 of 36 Cleveland points.

“That fourth quarter was unbelievable when he’s playing that mid-range, and outside, and driving to the rim and creating opportunities for all of us,” Irving said.

READ MORE...

James finished with 41 points for the second game in a row—the first time a player had 40 in back-to-back finals games since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000—and the Cavaliers leveled the best-of-seven series at 3-3, setting up a winner-take-all game seven showdown Sunday in California.

“It’s LeBron being LeBron. He’s one of the greatest of all times,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.

“Our back was against the wall and he took it upon himself to really put this team on his back and really get us to where we’re trying to get.”

In a virtuoso performance, James played 42 minutes, hit 16-of-27 shots from the floor, passed out 11 assists, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked three shots and made four steals.

“He played unbelievable on both ends of the floor,” Cleveland’s J.R. Smith said. “He was aggressive all night.”

The Cavaliers could become the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals. They became the first team in 50 years, and only the third ever, to recover from such a hole to force a seventh game.


PHILSTAR

IN PHOTOS: Cavs make history, win first ever NBA crown (Associated Press) | Updated June 20, 2016 - 12:02pm 0 369 googleplus0 0


Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, center, celebrates with teammates after Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 19, 2016 (Monday in Manila). The Cavaliers won 93-89. | AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

MANILA, Philippines — It's one of the best things in basketball lore.

And boy, did it deliver. Game 7 was more everything we asked for: cardiac.

Relive the top photos from the cardiac culmination of Cleveland Cavaliers' campaign of the 2016 season in this gallery:


Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, warms up next to forward Kevin Love before Game 7 of basketball's
NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry shoots from an aisle while warming up before Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) dunks in front of Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson during the first half of Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, center, shoots between Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) and guard Mo Williams during the first half of Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) drives between Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, left, and guard J.R. Smith during the first half of Game 7 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry sits on the bench during the second half of Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Monday, June 13, 2016. The Cavaliers won 112-97. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

RELATED: James, Cavaliers win thrilling NBA Finals, 93-89


PHILSTAR BY JOAQUIN HENSON

Bringing it home SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 24, 2016 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


JUNE 25 -Off the plane but still sky-high, LeBron brings title home Cleveland Cavaliers Welcomed Home After NBA Championship The newly crowned NBA champion Cavaliers were welcomed back to Cleveland with thousands of people cheering as they walked off their flight to the hometown. The biggest cheer was for LeBron James, who carried the Larry O¿Brien championship trophy over his head. Following Sunday night¿s game in Oakland the team flew to Las Vegas for an evening of partying. The Cavaliers beat out the Warriors last night, claiming their very first NBA Championship title. FROM MCALL.COM

It was estimated that anywhere between 800,000 to 1.3 million fans jammed the streets of downtown Cleveland for the parade that celebrated the crowning of the Cavaliers as the new NBA champions the other day. City Mayor Frank Jackson was in one of the convertibles that lined the procession so he must have declared it a special non-working holiday.

You can understand why the euphoria spilled onto the streets and gripped the city. For 52 years, Cleveland languished without a championship in any pro sport. There were close calls but no team could clinch. It took the James Gang to reverse the Cleveland curse.

LeBron James was perched in a Rolls Royce convertible with his wife Savannah and their three children. He wore a gold cap, sunglasses, a Nike T-shirt and a Nike pair of shorts. Somewhere in the parade was Cavs teammate J. R. Smith as shirtless as he was when emerging from a private jet to land in Cleveland the morning after the NBA championship was settled at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Also in a convertible was Kyrie Irving who hit a triple and broke an 89-all deadlock after nearly a four-minute drought with 53 seconds left to pave the way for the Game 7 win over Golden State, 93-89, in the NBA Finals.

READ MORE...

Even the school band from the St. Vincent-St. Mary high school which James attended in Akron was in the parade. Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes basketball coach Thad Matta were in the same convertible waving to fans. Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown was on hand to award the NBA trophy to James in a symbolic passing of the torch to the city’s new hero.

For the record, Game 7 drew an average of 30.8 million viewers in the US, second in the all-time ladder to the 35.9 million that witnessed the Game 6 clincher of the 1998 NBA Finals between Chicago and Utah. The recently ended seven-game Finals averaged 20.1 million viewers. In terms of advertising revenues, Game 7 of this year’s Finals should’ve generated at least $50 Million.

Three of the seven games were played at the Quicken Loans Arena and the Cavs won twice at home. Golden State stole Game 4 on the road while Cleveland took Games 3 and 6 at home.

The halftime shows in Cleveland were more fun and amusement-oriented. The halftime shows in Oakland featured musicians. In Cleveland, fans were treated to the Red Panda acrobat where a Chinese lady on a monocycle flipped over 10 ceramic plates one on top of the other from the neck of her foot to the top of her head, to an elderly man who climbed at least 10 chairs that he propped up one by one in a tower and a family of at least 10 monocyclists doing synchronized tricks. You can’t beat those acts for entertainment.

Before Irving’s triple, James blocked Andre Igoudala’s potential go-ahead basket with 1:50 to go. Igoudala got a pass from Steph Curry on a breakaway and never knew James would spring from behind to erase his layup. That was one of Golden State’s six misses in that dry spell where the Warriors flubbed four triples.

James posted a triple double with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists but couldn’t have brought the Cavs to the Promised Land without his loyal subjects. Irving was phenomenal with 26 points and also had a spectacular three-point play with an off-balanced, left-handed bank shot in the third quarter. Kevin Love collared 14 huge boards and held his own against Golden State’s bigs.

But James was clearly the man of the moment. His block on a fastbreaking Curry in the second period and his swat on Igoudala were chilling. James took a stand defensively and the other Cavs followed his cue. As for Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue, he earned his redemption. Lue looked clueless after Golden State opened a 3-1 series lead, fueling speculation that predecessor David Blatt could’ve done a better job on the bench. But after the Cavs won three in a row and became the first NBA team ever to come from 1-3 to win a championship, Lue was suddenly a genius.


Cleveland rocks as James, Cavaliers bring home an NBA title FROM THE HOUSTIN CHRONICLE

For years, James has played like a marked man. Detractors wouldn’t hold back in denouncing James whenever he failed to lead his team to the title. That’s because being the King, he’s supposed to reign supreme season after season. Anything less than a title would mean slippage. After all, James was acknowledged to be the best player on the planet. But you and I know that basketball isn’t a one-man show. James can only do so much as one man in a team of five on the floor.

James, 31, has now played in the last six Finals, ascending the throne thrice. Overall, he has seen action in seven Finals out of his 13 seasons. That kind of impact is rare. James has registered the third triple double in a Finals Game 7 after James Worthy with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1988 and Jerry West, also with the Lakers in 1969. He has now posted seven triple doubles in seven Finals.

The championship has a special meaning for James because he left Miami two years ago to return home to Cleveland and bring a title to the city.

His mission wasn’t only sentimental, it was personal. “I’m true to the game,” he said. “I know what I bring to the table. I came back for a reason. I came back to bring a championship to the city. I knew what I was capable of doing. I knew what I learned in the last couple of years that I was gone and I knew if I had to, when I came back, I knew I had the right ingredients and the right blueprint to help this franchise get to a place that we’ve never been. That’s what it was all about.”

For the King, it was mission accomplished.


PHILSTAR

Abueva, Tenorio out of Gilas 'Final 12' (philstar.com) | Updated June 26, 2016 - 7:21pm 52 430 googleplus0 0


Photo from Sports5

MANILA, Philippines – The final 12-man lineup of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament has been bared Sunday night, with Alaska do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva and Ginebra guard LA Tenorio getting cut.

That leaves Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Jeff Chan, Ryan Reyes, Japeth Aguilar, Ranidel De Ocampo, Bobby Ray Parks, Terrence Romeo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, June Mar Fajardo and naturalized center Andray Blatche in the squad.

Tenorio took to Twitter after the news, only tweeting one word that’s more than enough to say he is okay with the final decision of coach Tab Baldwin.


Follow L.A Tenorio @LA_Tenorio #Puso🇵🇭 7:02 AM - 26 Jun 2016 707 707 Retweets 1,590 1,590 likes

The Nationals are facing a tall order of trying to secure an Olympic berth against powerhouse countries such as France and Canada in the tournament set July 4-10 here.


PHILSTAR

Down from 14 Coach bares final Gilas list today By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 26, 2016 - 12:00am 2 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The 14 Gilas Pilipinas hopefuls fight an opposing team and compete with one another as they take on Italy in Day One of a four-team, two-day pocket tournament at The Paladozza in Bologna, Italy on Saturday (early Sunday morning in Manila).

It’s the final reckoning among the Gilas training pool members with coach Tab Baldwin to announce at 6 p.m. today, Manila time, the final composition of Team Phl that competes in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the MOA Arena on July 5-10.

“Play your hearts out tomorrow because tomorrow will be a factor. I just want you all to be aware of that,” said Baldwin at the end of their second day of training in Bologna.

“I also want you to know it would be a bad day for me. It would be a especially bad day because two guys who do not deserve to be dropped will be dropped,” Baldwin added.

Before playing their second game in the Bologna pocket tourney that also features Canada and China, Baldwin has to name his Final 12 as per the deadline set by FIBA.

“On Sunday, it will be an ordinary day for 12 of you. For two guys, it will be a bad day. I’ll have to make an announcement on the team’s lineup,” Baldwin said.

READ MORE...

“Tomorrow’s game, that’s your final tryout, so to speak. Only the 12 selected will play on Sunday. That’s the process. We live with the process,” Baldwin added.

The 12 players that will represent the country in the final qualifying tourney for the Rio Olympics will finally be known after a process of selection and training that commenced with the once-a-week practices starting late last year.

Greg Slaughter, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Moala Tautuaa and some cadet players including Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer, Marc Belo, Roger Pogoy and Russell Escoto had had their participation in the training.

With the health problems of Slaughter, Lee, Ganuelas-Rosser and Lassiter, Andray Blatche, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Jayson Castro, Jeff Chan, Ranidel de Ocampo, June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Marc Pingris, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, Ryan Reyes, LA Tenorio and Bobby Ray Parks were the Gilas 14 flown to Europe for the crucial part of the buildup for the Manila OQT.

Now comes the time for Baldwin to make the final cut, with two to be relegated as reserves.

Baldwin can make a roster change during the team managers’ meeting on the eve of the tourney, but one player change requires a penalty fee.

Barring health problems, naturalized player Blatche and the six other holdovers from the Changsha Asian meet are expected to banner the Gilas 12 that will go up against France on July 5 then New Zealand on July 6.

Team Phl needs to make the Top Two of that group to advance to the crossover knockout versus the best two from among Turkey, Canada and Senegal.

Separate OQTs in Turin and Serbia will be played to fill three remaining spots in the Rio Olympics in August.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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