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Buzz Nightmare slams rivals

first_img DID THE BASICS Spence said he simply did the basics … broke him sharply, rated him on the lead and his class did the rest. “I won with him on his debut over 1100 metres in February and he ran an amazing time of 1:05.3,” recalls Spence. “From then, I knew he had a touch of class, and this manifested itself today … He’s better than these horses and with further scope for improvement, I expect him to go far in racing,” added Spence, who is popularly called ‘Dolly Baby’. With the top three riders vying for the championship having a lean day, Robert Halledeen seized the opportunity to inch ahead in the title race after the Wayne DaCosta-trained MISS JUANITA (9-2) was awarded the eighth race for overnight horses on the disqualification of 9-1 chance BOLD AVIATOR, who won in a blanket finish with Aaron Chatrie aboard. Halledeen now leads with 51 wins, one ahead of Ellis and two ahead of Omar Walker, both of whom failed to ride a winner. Apprentice Renardo McNaughton stole the spotlight with two winners – MARKOFAPRINCE (9-5) and the 30-1 outsider, COOL U BOOTS, in the closing race. The progressive 3-y-o colt BUZZ NIGHTMARE completed a hat-trick of wins at Caymanas Park yesterday, making virtually all to win the third running of the O & S Tack Room Trophy restricted stakes over 1300 metres in fine style. Installed a 4-5 favourite with veteran jockey Ian Spence riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny, BUZZ NIGHTMARE broke smartly from the number-nine post position, but was soon joined on the inside by 2-1 second favourite, ROAD WI SEH, in the 10-horse field. But with Spence having a lot in hand, BUZZ was merely toying with ROAD WI SEH and opened up, leaving the half mile to turn for home two lengths clear of the ever-present ROYAL ASSAULT under title-chasing jockey Shane Ellis. Thereafter, BUZZ NIGHTMARE only had to be kept up to his work under the left hand stick from his 49-year-old jockey, beating ROYAL ASSAULT and the late-closing WINGS OF HOPE (24-1). Owned by 2 Penyu and bred by HAM Stables Limited, BUZZ NIGHTMARE was notching his fourth win from only five career starts and achieved the victory in yet another fast time – 1:19.2 behind splits of 23.1, 46.3 and 1:11.4 for the first 1200 metres.last_img read more

$10m up for grabs in SVL series for 2 y-o’s

first_imgTotal prize money of more than $10 million will be up for grabs for the 11th staging of the Supreme Ventures Limited’s (SVL) Triple Crown Series for native-bred two-year-olds, which gets under way on Monday, October 19.The series commences with the $2.95 million SVL Cash Pot ‘Only One For Me’ Trophy over 1200 metres; continues on Saturday, November 28, with the $3.6 million Pick 3 Super Challenge Trophy over 1400 metres; culminating on Boxing Day, December 26, with the 103rd running of the SVL Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes over 1600 metres for a purse of $4 million.Supreme Ventures Limited will contribute total prize money of $6 million to the purses in addition to a $1 million bonus to the owner of the horse good enough to win all three races in the series.Details were outlined by representatives of Supreme Ventures Limited and Caymanas Track Limited at yesterday’s launch in the Trainers’ Room at the track.Speaking on behalf of SVL, Diahann Guy-Shepherd, sponsorship, promotions, and branding manager, said:”This is a series that the horsemen look forward to as it gives the youngsters an opportunity to showcase budding talent early in their development, plus it is the only event on the local calendar that offers a $1 million bonus to the winner of the series,” she said.CTL’s racing secretary, Denzil Miller, recalled that the unique sponsorship was launched in 2005, resulting from the merger of Supreme Ventures, CTL, and TOBA.”In 2013, the SVL series created enormous interest and energy as we welcomed and enjoyed Princess Popstar’s outstanding performances in becoming the first horse to win the series,” he said.He added that the Cash Pot Trophy should be competitive as ever with DREAMLINER, VISION, MESMERIZE, FUTURE KING, BUBBLING KITTEN, RUDDY’S BOY, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, GARY GLITTER, and BLUE DIXIE the probable starters.Cedric Stewart, CEO of Caymanas Track Limited, said the SVL two-year-old series “reflects a rich history of thoroughbred racing in Jamaica”.He acknowledged SVL’s commitment to racing in Jamaica through its contribution to not only one, but four major events on the racing calendar the Lotto Classic and the series of three juvenile races.last_img read more

WI arrive in Australia for tough assignment

first_img RICHARDSON’S FINAL BRISBANE, Australia (CMC): West Indies made a quiet arrival in the picturesque east coast city yesterday to begin preparation for their three-Test series against Australia staring next month. The squad, led by captain Jason Holder, arrived via New York and Los Angeles following two days of travel from the Caribbean. West Indies will train their attention first on a five-day camp at the Allan Border Field before taking on a young Cricket Australia XI in a four-day game starting Wednesday at the same venue. A significant presence in the squad is that of head coach Phil Simmons, who missed the recent Test and limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka through suspension. He was pulled from that tour by the West Indies Cricket Board after he bizarrely claimed in a media conference that the selection of the one-day squad had been influenced by “outside interference”. Simmons, appointed following the ICC World Cup earlier this year, subsequently apologised after appearing before the WICB’s human resources committee, and was promptly reinstated. The Trinidadian will be leading West Indies for the first time on an overseas tour after presiding over the home tours against England and Australia. While Simmons has returned, the series will mark the final one for Sir Richie Richardson in his five-year stint as team manager. The former West Indies captain and batting star is set to take up duties as an ICC match referee following the series. For the Caribbean side, the highlight of the series will be the Boxing Day second Test in Melbourne, as the tourists have not had the courtesy of being part of this historic fixture in 15 years. Several hundred West Indians, who reside in Australia, are expected to mark the Boxing Day Test with a mini-carnival. West Indies will play the opening Test in Hobart starting December 10 and the third Test in Sydney, starting in the New Year, and are expected to face a tough assignment against the powerful Aussies. Significantly, they have not won a Test Down Under in 18 years and have also not beaten Australia in a Test for 12 years. SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajindra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Jomel Warrican.last_img read more

Points standing

first_imgP W D L GF GA GD PtsLeicester City 31 19 9 3 54 31 23 66Tottenham 31 17 10 4 56 24 32 61Arsenal 30 16 7 7 48 30 18 55Man City 30 15 6 9 52 32 20 51West Ham 30 13 11 6 47 35 12 50Man United 30 14 8 8 38 27 11 50Southampton 31 13 8 10 41 32 9 47Stoke City 31 13 7 11 34 37 -3 46Liverpool 29 12 8 9 45 40 5 44Chelsea 30 10 11 9 45 41 4 41P W D L GF GA GD PtsWest Brom 30 10 9 11 30 37 -7 39Everton 29 9 11 9 51 41 10 38Bournemouth 31 10 8 13 38 50 -12 38Watford 30 10 7 13 30 32 -2 37Swansea 31 9 9 13 31 40 -9 36Crystal Palace 30 9 6 15 32 40 -8 33Norwich City 31 7 7 17 32 54 -22 28Sunderland 30 6 8 16 36 55 -19 26Newcastle 30 6 7 17 29 55 -26 25Aston Villa 31 3 7 21 22 58 -36 16last_img read more

Willis, Williams win FLOW Ultimate Experience

first_imgRomario Willis of St George’s College and Tyrese Williams of Kingston College will represent Jamaica at the FLOW Ultimate Football Experience Final in Trinidad and Tobago on May 7. Willis won the top spot, while Williams was second at the event staged at Ballaz Liberty Park, located at Devon Road in St Andrew, on Saturday. They won from of field of 67 boys and one female competitor. All 68 persons received certificates of participation. Sean Porteous and Dwight Merrick of Jamaica College received special awards. They were presented with Manchester United jerseys. Two winners from several Caribbean countries will advance to the two-day skills session in Trinidad next month, to experience one-on-one training with Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and Manchester United Soccer School coaches. There, they will participate in a series of drills, designed by the coaches for the for the two top finalists to win a trip to Old Trafford in Manchester, England to watch Manchester United against Crystal Palace in the English Premier League on May 21. Willis who is a 15 year-old and in third form says that he was highly confident in winning the top prize for a chance to go to the final in Trinidad. “I came here expecting to win because I put in a lot of work. It is an overwhelming feeling. I am going to Trinidad and then I will be in Manchester next month,” he said confidently. Manchester United’s past player and academy coach, Quinton Fortune says it was a good experience in his first visit to Jamaica. “It is a good experience been here for the first time in Jamaica. I enjoyed the experience with the kids, they have talent and are wonderful,” Fortune who represented Manchester for six years said. Carlo Redwood, LIME vice-president of marketing and television said the kids aged 13 to 16 were selected from across the island. “It is good to see the kids here who were selected from across the country. FLOW is continuing to develop football in association with the CFU,” Redwood said. HIGHLY CONFIDENTlast_img read more

Ceres left with mountain to climb after away leg

first_imgHISOR—Sensational at home in the AFC Cup, it looks like Ceres Negros will need to top all of those performances to survive this latest challenge.ADVERTISEMENT Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Stags battle Bombers minus star The Busmen absorbed a 0-4 drubbing at the hands of Tajikistan champion Istiklol in the first leg of their inter-zone semifinal tie on Tuesday, leaving them with a mountain to climb at Panaad Stadium in three weeks time.On a chilly night in the outskirts of the capital Dushanbe, Ceres, the Asean zonal champion, struggled to cope against a relentless Istiklol side that made the most of its physical advantage by hassling and harrying the visitors at Hisor Stadium.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“I thought we could have done better, but we will give them a good fight at home,” said Ceres midfielder Stephan Schrock. “We’re not giving up just yet.”Panaad has been a fortress for visiting teams with Ceres coming away with big wins in the group stage including a 6-2 win over Hanoi and a 5-0 demolition of Tampines. Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite What’s in store for your animal sign this year Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees View comments Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Istiklol got a goal each from Akhtam Nazarov and Romish Dhzalilov in the first half, before a second half brace from Manuchehr Dhzalilov ensured the Tajiks go into the second leg on Sept. 12 at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City with a comfortable advantage.A 5-0 win at home will allow the Busmen to advance, but a 4-0 scoreline will send the tie to extra time. But with the way the Tajik champions dominated the first leg, it seems the Busmen would need a miracle for that to happen.It was a tough reality check for the Busmen as they paid dearly for another sub-par away performance.Nazarov opened the scoring by converting a penalty in the 25th minute after Kota Kawase brought down Dimitri Barkov inside the area. Romish Dhzalilov doubled the lead at the stroke of halftime with a clinical strike that left Roland Muller with no chance.The Busmen hardly threatened in the first half as Istiklol controlled proceedings, pressing high and winning the ball early.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titleslast_img read more

Mayweather-McGregor winner to get gaudy Money Belt from WBC

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Perlas’ bid for gold ends in loss to Malaysia Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor pose for photographers during a news conference Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, in Las Vegas. The two are scheduled to fight in a boxing match Saturday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)LAS VEGAS, Nevada—Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor aren’t just fighting for money in the boxing spectacle of the summer.The winner also gets The Money Belt.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu LATEST STORIEScenter_img Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay The World Boxing Council has created a special prize for this weekend’s 154-pound showdown, which isn’t actually for any real WBC championship.Instead, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman on Wednesday revealed the gloriously blingy Money Belt, which is studded with 3,360 diamonds, 600 sapphires, 300 emeralds and 1 1/2 kilograms of 24-karat gold on green Italian alligator leather.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Sulaiman grinningly showed off the Money Belt and Mayweather posed for photos with it after a news conference for Saturday’s show.The WBC also created a similarly shiny monstrosity for Mayweather’s 2015 bout with Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather was a longtime WBC champion before his retirement. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies What’s in store for your animal sign this year Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite View comments MOST READlast_img read more

Wednesday Group, Dreamchaser rule inaugural PBS

first_imgJake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide Organizer Destine Javelona said the league resumes on Oct. 14. —CEDELF P. TUPASSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio 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 Kanter believes Westbrook will stay in OKC OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Makati-based teams Wednesday Group and Dreamchaser Basketball hacked out thrilling victories on Saturday to rule their respective divisions in the inaugural Premium Basketball Showcase held at Kerry Sports at Shangri-La at the Fort.ADVERTISEMENT View comments DAY6 is for everybody How to help the Taal evacueescenter_img LATEST STORIES MOST READ Shooting guard Roy Cayanan scattered 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Wednesday overcame Goto Pilipinas, 79-77, to claim the Spartan division crown.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogForward Jake Diwa and burly center JR Casulla also shone for Wednesday, which stunned R. Lapids, 74-73, in the semifinals of the division limited to recreational players.Earlier, center JM Agustin took charge with 19 points and 13 rebounds to lift Dreamchaser to a 66-62 triumph over erstwhile unbeaten Compadres-Wilmer in the 18-Under finals of the tournament backed by PMT Clothing, Basketball TV and Nike Park. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Garbrandt gets pep talks from Kobe, Tyson before UFC fight

first_imgJo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio 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 Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Garbrandt puts the bantamweight belt on the line when he fights T.J Dillashaw (15-3) in what could be the fight of the night on a three title-fight card.“We’re the real main event,” Garbrandt said.Garbrandt won the championship at UFC 207 when he battered Dominick Cruz, snapping his 13-bout winning streak with flair. Garbrandt repeatedly knocked down Cruz in the fourth round and handed him his first MMA loss since March 24, 2007.Garbrandt, a native of Uhrichsville, Ohio, was a competitor on the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter” for fellow Team Alpha Male teammate Urijah Faber when he famously shoved McGregor and they had to be separated. Garbrandt would later coach against Dillashaw on TUF.UFC President Dana White has said Garbrandt’s talent and remarkable charisma gives him the potential to become UFC’s most marketable budding star in 2018.ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Totally able FILE – Cody Garbrandt, right, celebrates as he receives his belt after defeating Dominick Cruz, left, in a bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 207 in Las Vegas. Garbrandt is slated to defend his title against TJ Dillashaw on Saturday at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)NEW YORK — Cody Garbrandt got a pair of championship pep talks in the week leading up to the biggest fight of his career: Kobe Bryant and Mike Tyson each stopped by for a motivational pick-me-up and to rub elbows with perhaps UFC’s next big thing.Garbrandt yearns to share more than championships with the stars — he wants to be stamped with the same greatness that defined them.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson UFC wraps up its first year of cards in New York with its second trip to Madison Square Garden. McGregor headlined a card last November that set an MSG gate record of $17 million.White said the sold-out 217 show should again rake in the cash.“We’re No. 1 here and this weekend we’re going to be No. 3,” White said. “New York’s been very good to us and we’re going to continue to come. We want to be No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 at MSG.”UFC also ran a show at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and one in Buffalo. UFC seems poised to expand its East Coast footprint in 2018 with a card set for Boston and a possible return to New Jersey’s Prudential Center on the horizon.“This will be the biggest year in company history. We’re on track for the biggest year ever,” White said of UFC’s profits.COVER BOYMcGregor, the lightweight champion, was revealed Friday as the EA UFC 3 cover boy. McGregor shared the cover last year with Rousey. McGregor is coming off his richest payday yet in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr., and said he wants a piece of the company before he returns to UFC.White was confident McGregor would return, possibly for a bout against interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson.“As we go into negotiations with Conor, there’s always all kinds of crazy stuff out there,” White said. “We always get deals done with Conor. Conor has been easy to deal with, and we’ll get it done.” It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson “It humbles you to have Dana White and the UFC believe in you, finally,” he said. “I feel I am going to be the next superstar. However, that doesn’t put extra hype or pressure on me to fulfill those shoes. I go out there and perform. And look, I have fun fighting.”Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw could be the fight of the night, but here’s what else to check out at MSG:HISTORYJoanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0) puts the 115-pound championship on the line against Rose Namajunas (6-3). Jedrzejczyk is set to tie Rousey’s mark of six title defenses.With a win Jedrzejczyk would make UFC history — and maybe headline her own PPV card.“There’s no if. I will,” Jedrzejczyk said.GSP RETURNSSt. Pierre ends his four-year sabbatical to fight Bisping for the middleweight championship in the main event. St. Pierre was one of the UFC’s biggest stars and pay-per-view draws during his long reign atop the 170-pound division, but the Canadian star walked away in November 2013.“He looks impregnated by aliens,” Bisping said.NEW YORK, NEW YORK The 26-year-old Garbrandt, a tattooed tough guy with remarkable charisma out of Ohio, makes his first defense of his 135-pound title Saturday night at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden.His rapid ascent up the card — on the strength of an 11-0 record — has him positioned as a fighter who could make the leap into pay-per-view headliner and gravely needed superstar.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe MSG card is headlined by two stars pushing 40 in middleweight champ Michael Bisping (38) and UFC veteran Georges St. Pierre (36). UFC mainstream stars Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey have no fights on the horizon. Jon Jones, perhaps the greatest pound-for-pound MMA fighter ever, is again out indefinitely as he faces his latest doping penalty.The cage door for a breakthrough star is wide open for 2018. MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Blatche ‘super excited’ to rejoin Gilas

first_imgMOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netAndray Blatche expressed his excitement as he rejoins Gilas Pilipinas for the start of its daily practices on Monday.“I’m super excited. I can’t wait for tomorrow,” Blatche said on Sunday as he sat courtside during the NLEX-Alaska duel at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio 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 OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Blatche was supposed to arrive to the country on Monday, but the naturalized center came in a few days in advance, flying in on Friday.“My team just allowed me to leave a lot earlier and I accepted that,” the 31-year-old said as he got an early release from his CBA club Xinjiang Flying Tigers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkComing in a better shape compared to his form back in November, Blatche didn’t waste time since arriving in the Philippines as he scheduled a personal shootaround at Meralco Gym on Saturday.“I just try to come here, get used to the ball, and that’s it. It’s a different ball so I try to shoot with that ball again,” he said. UST libero Rivera suffers knee injury vs Ateneo Though the Philippines is a heavy underdog in its duel against Australia on Feburary 22 in the second window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, Blatche is optimistic that Gilas can pull off the upset as long as it stays together.“We have to work hard as a team, use our strengths, our quickness, our outside shooting,” he said. “If we could do that, I feel we have a good chance.”Blatche joins the rest of Gilas Pilipinas for the first time on Monday afternoon at West Greenhills Gym.ADVERTISEMENT Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more