In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry calls from the bench in the second half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in New Orleans, Sunday, May 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)NEW ORLEANS — The Pelicans’ penchant for pushing the pace looks more and more like a quixotic mission to out-Warrior the Warriors.That’s been the dilemma for Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry as New Orleans has slid into a 3-1 hole in its Western Conference semifinal playoff series against defending champion Golden State.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Although there’d be logic to slowing the game down to limit shooting opportunities for Golden State’s prolific perimeter players, Gentry never saw that option as practical enough to pull off in the playoffs.“We’re going to play at a fast pace,” Gentry says. “I know some would say, ’You’re kind of playing into Golden State’s hands. But this is the way we’ve played the whole season, so we’re not going to all of a sudden try to adjust and do something completely different, because the success we’ve had has been based on playing at a fast pace and being a team that has played the fastest pace in the league.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“We don’t have the ability to all of a sudden change that and become a walk-it-up-the-court team,” Gentry continued. “We’re just going to continue to attack.”The Pelicans found a measure of vindication in Game 3, when the Warriors had an off night shooting and New Orleans won by 19 points. But in Game 4 on Sunday, the Warriors ramped up their defensive intensity, shot better and beat New Orleans by 20-plus points for the second time in the series. Now Golden State can close out the series at home in Game 5 on Tuesday night. LATEST STORIES Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident View comments Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Mayweather arrives in Manila to continue ‘country hop’ ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Even when the Pelicans’ had DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins playing alongside fellow All-Star big man Anthony Davis in a lineup that revolved around that imposing front-court tandem, New Orleans played relatively fast. They averaged 101.5 possessions per 48 minutes, which ranked sixth in the NBA.After Cousins went out for the season with a left Achilles tear in late January, the Pelicans picked up the pace even more. During their final 34 games, they averaged 104.5 possessions per 48 minutes — a faster pace of play than any other team during that span.If Cousins remained healthy, slowing the pace somewhat, and punishing the smaller lineups the Warriors use to greatest effect, would be a more realistic option for New Orleans. But Cousins is not expected back on the court until after next season begins. And whether he’s still with the Pelicans remains to be seen; New Orleans wants him back, but he’ll be a free agent this summer.The Pelicans’ current lineup features relatively young, versatile players who move well and can score from various spots on the floor, such as Davis, guard Jrue Holiday and forward Nikola Mirotic. They also have a point guard in Rajon Rondo who thrives when pushing the pace and quickly identifying favorable matchups in transition, or early in possessions.“After we lost Boogie, we became the No. 1 team in pace and we’re going to continue to be that same team,” Pelicans veteran small forward Solomon Hill said. “For us to change with all the chips on the table would basically be defeating the purpose. If we’re good at something, we’re going to stay with it and if anything, we’re going to try to perfect it.ADVERTISEMENT Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ “If we had Boogie out there, it would be different. We’d slow it down and execute some stuff,” Hill added. “But we’re not going to change for anybody. The way we feel like we can compete at the highest level is to continue to be who we are.”Gentry has always known what he’s up against in this round of the playoffs. He was a lead assistant coach for Golden State’s 2015 championship team before taking the top job in New Orleans.During the 2017-18 regular season, the Warriors ranked fifth in pace, averaging 101.9 possessions per 48 minutes, so an up-tempo game was going to take the defending champs out of their comfort zone.Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who was Gentry’s boss back in 2015, doesn’t see the Pelicans’ refusal to slow the pace as stubborn. Kerr sees Gentry doing the best he can with the personnel he has.“You’ve got to do what’s best for your team. You can’t go against your team’s character and change strategy in the playoffs,” Kerr said. “You’ve got to be who you are.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ While Perez has all the makings of a future PBA star, his fellow newcomers JP Calvo, Jeepy Faundo and Cyrus Tabi have also drawn praise from Columbian.“With the rookies, CJ, Calvo, Faundo and Tabi are great additions to our team. We got a pure point guard in Calvo and another guard in Tabi then, we have another big man in Jeepy,” said Columbian coach Johnedel Cardel.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I told the guys this is a different team from the one that I handled last conference. The way the rookies are playing and practicing, it’s like they’re not rookies.”The Dyip chose Calvo as the 11th overall pick while the Tabi was a surprise selection in the second round. Top Pentagon general: US maintains ‘high levels of readiness’ regarding N. Korea PLAY LIST 01:11Top Pentagon general: US maintains ‘high levels of readiness’ regarding N. Korea00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES CJ Perez with Columbian coach John Cardel. Photo by Mark GiongcoColumbian has a lot of reasons to feel giddy with the arrival of CJ Perez, who is poised to provide the struggling franchise the jolt it needs to snap out of its longstanding funk.But the former Lyceum ace and one-time NCAA MVP isn’t the only rookie the Dyip are raving about heading into the 44th Season of the PBA.ADVERTISEMENT Columbian determined not be just another ‘checkmark’ for other PBA teams Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Faundo was actually picked by Magnolia in the second round but the former University of Santo Tomas center was left unsigned.“I got a call from Alvin Patrimonio and he asked me if I need Jeepy Faundo. I said yes, I need a big man so we got him here,” Cardel said.“I like what I see from the rookies. CJ, his slashing ability, his defensive ability, also JP he’s a very smart player and also Jeepy I like what I see with his rebounding and his toughness on the inside,” said guard Rashawn McCarthy, one of Columbian’s main options.Tabi, meanwhile, was a relative unknown but not to Cardel.Cardel knew exactly what he’s going to get from Tabi, whom he coached at Rizal Technological University.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title “I know Tabi for a long, long time because he’s my player from Rizal Tech University and to me, he plays like a veteran.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
George Graham has predicted Arsenal will end their Premier League title drought THIS season.The Gunners missed the chance to move top on Boxing Day as they suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Southampton.The loss lead to heavy criticism of Arsene Wenger and his players, with some fans suggesting they don’t have the ‘bottle’ to be major trophy winners.But Graham is convinced Wenger will have the last laugh and lead the club to glory to title glory for the first time since 2004.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the legendary former Arsenal boss said: “The others teams that are fancied are not up to the task.“Manchester City defensively are poor, Manchester United are having a bad time and Chelsea won’t win it.“Leicester are top just now, but I think Arsenal will definitely win it this year.“Southampton were outstanding, both with the ball and without the ball. They were fabulous and were in Arsenal’s faces right from the off.“They put them under pressure and it was a bad all-round team performance from Arsenal. But I just think, forget it lads, and let’s get back to where what we were doing before the Southampton game.”