Spurs looking forward to new faces, new season after turmoil

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title View comments San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball players Pau Gasol, left, and LaMarcus Aldridge talk during media day at the Spurs practice facility in San Antonio, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)SAN ANTONIO — DeMar DeRozan’s first month with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been serene, though the All-Star guard acquired in the offseason from Toronto has been warned about provoking “angry Pop.”“That hurts me,” Popovich said playfully. “I just, just . it hurts me. Our relationship is not starting off well, I guess. I guess I have more work to do than I thought.”ADVERTISEMENT Rockets hope ’Melo can help them to 1st title since 1995 Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew 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 MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img “I still don’t know all the names,” Popovich said Monday during media day.The biggest missing name is that of Kawhi Leonard, who was traded to Toronto in the offseason in an awkward, uncharacteristic move for a franchise known for stability. Leonard missed all but nine games last season due to a right quadriceps injury that initially flared up last summer and never healed to his satisfaction. The All-Star forward demanded a trade this offseason and the Spurs relented, trading Leonard and Danny Green to the Raptors for DeRozan and Poeltl in July.As the Spurs were chatting with reporters, Leonard told reporters in Toronto he was ready to play.“We’re happy to turn the page,” San Antonio forward LaMarcus Aldridge said. “DeMar’s here and he’s happy and he’s motivated. He’s going to make us better. You’ve got to look forward.”After needing two weeks to get over the initial shock of being traded, DeRozan is also happily looking forward after seeing what San Antonio accomplished last season.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Welcome to the kinder, gentler Spurs?Hardly.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 ChrissPopovich is still going to scream at his players on the court and will always be mischievous off it. More specifically, the franchise he built is still going to rely heavily on ball movement and defense, albeit with a whole lot of new faces.The era of the Big Three is officially over for San Antonio with Tony Parker leaving in free agency and Manu Ginobili joining Tim Duncan in retirement this summer. DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, Lonnie Walker, Dante Cunningham, Quincy Pondexter and Chimezie Metu and a host of others were invited to training camp, which starts Tuesday. The Spurs were a top three seed in the Western Conference for much of the season before dropping to seventh in the final month following various injuries to Leonard, Green, Parker, Kyle Anderson, Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol.“You seen what they did last year being down one of their best player and what they were able to accomplish,” DeRozan said. “The fight that they had with the young guys.”Still, the Spurs nearly missed the playoffs last season and the loss of Leonard along with the departures of Green, Ginobili, Parker and Anderson places San Antonio’s streak of 21 straight postseason appearances in danger.“In one way it’s a little bit melancholy (being without the Big Three),” Popovich said. “Because I’ve been with them for so long and at the same time it’s a great opportunity for a new challenge and new energy, a different route, a different perspective and seeing all the new faces we have to try to put together will make it a really interesting and challenging year, but in a good way.”Many see this as a rebuilding season, especially with so many new faces, but the Spurs insist they have already been there and done that.San Antonio spent last season transitioning fully from a team that relied heavily on the Big Three to one that evolved from its shadow. The period to that evolution was Dejounte Murray replacing Parker in the starting lineup and helping guide the team to the postseason despite not having Leonard.“I think last year was kind of our rebuilding year,” Aldridge said. “Kind of a transitional year as far as putting DJ at point and getting his first year at point and growing with him.”Murry spent the offseason working with San Antonio shooting guru Chip Engelland, who helped reshape the shooting strokes of Leonard and Parker amongst others. Entering his third season, Murray’s confidence has grown to the point he wants to be a vocal leader, too, if Popovich asks that of him.“We’re going to build a brotherhood off the court and then it’s going to carry on to the court,” Murray said. LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma: Unstoppable force since World Cup 2015

first_imgIndia captain Virat Kohli’s career graph has climbed sharply since World Cup 2015. It would not be wrong to say that Kohli has been unparalleled in the last 4 years leading up to World Cup 2019.Virat Kohli has the most number of centuries for an active players and is racing to surpass legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar record 49 hundreds despite having played 233 fewer innings.Last year, Virat Kohli created history by becoming the first player to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, as well as the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year awards.Since the 2015 World Cup, where India were knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual winners Australia, Virat Kohli has hit 4306 runs in ODI format-the highest by any batsmen since the showpiece event. The 30-year-old has hit 19 centuries in the 4-year-period.Following Virat Kohli in the list of leading run scorers since the 2015 World Cup is Rohit Sharma, who has amassed 3790 runs at an average of 61.12 with the help of 14 centuries.In that time, the Indian opener also hit his third double hundred (208*) to become the only player in the history of the game to do so.England Test captain Joe Root is next in the line-up with 3498 runs, averaging at 58.30. Root has been in good run-of-form in the recently concluded ODI series against Pakistan and will look to emulate the same when he plays his second World Cup at home.Eoin Morgan is not much far behind from his compatriot Joe Root. With a consistent performance since the 2015 World Cup, Morgan has smashed 3039 runs at an average of 46.75.advertisementThe England limited-overs captain is enjoying good time with bat going into the 2019 World Cup. Morgan scored an unbeaten 71 and 76 runs in the ODI series against Pakistan.Catching up with Morgan is South African wicket-keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock with his 2971 runs scored at an average of 50.35. The 26-year-old has whakced 8 centruries and 16 half-centuries since the Australia World Cup.Also Read | Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz included in Pakistan’s 15-man squad for 2019 World CupAlso Read | Where are India’s 2011 World Cup winners?Also Seelast_img read more