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James signs two-year deal with Cleveland

Monday, 14 July 2014 00:00 Published in Sports

NEW YORK — LeBron James finalized a two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday with an eye towards maximizing his future salary once new TV contracts push NBA payroll limits higher, ESPN reported.
The US-based sports network's Web site reported that James inked a two-season deal worth only $42.1 million that would give him an option to become a free agent next year.
The Cavaliers confirmed the signing Saturday but refused to give any details about the contract's length or amount.
On Friday, James announced he would leave the Miami Heat, whom he led to two NBA crowns and four trips to the NBA Finals, and return to Cleveland, the team he spurned four years ago to join Miami in search of a first-ever championship.
Having solidified his place as the best player in the NBA, James said in an essay in Sports Illustrated that he wants to come home and accept the challenge of turning his home-region club into a champion.
No Cleveland sports team has won a major league crown since the Cleveland Browns captured the National Football League title half a century ago.
Under the plan, James would re-sign with the Cavaliers before the 2016-2017 season, when new TV deals are expected to create a huge leap in the maximum possible contract for a player.
James could avoid locking himself into what in time is expected to be a less valuable deal.
Although there is short-term risk should TV riches not come as expected, James' skills and homecoming have created huge interest across the United States and figure to boost viewership as his undertakes his quest to make the Cavaliers a champion.
James said he is committed to play for the Cavaliers for the remainder of his NBA career, even though a short-term deal would keep other options open should his plans change or the Cavaliers revival proves more difficult that expected.
Depending on how the new television contracts are put together, the salary cap is projected to leap to as high as $80 million in 2016. There is also uncertainty with the current collective bargaining agreement starting in 2017, another reason James wanted to keep his long-term options open when it comes to the structure of his contract.                                    AFP

Knights, Bombers gun for 2nd win

Monday, 14 July 2014 00:00 Published in Sports

Last year's runner-up Letran College and Jose Rizal University try to barge into the top half of the standings as they collide in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament today at The Arena in San Juan City.
Game time is at 2 p.m. with the winner sharing the fifth spot with Emilio Aguinaldo College and Lyceum of the Philippines University behind four-peat champion San Beda College (4-0), University of Perpetual Help (3-0), San Sebastian College (3-1) and Arellano University (2-1).
Also eyeing to move to the upper half of the standings is Lyceum, which will clash with winless Mapua at 4 p.m.
After dropping their first two games, the Knights and the Bombers got back to their feet with the former downing Mapua and the latter trouncing College of Saint Benilde for their first win.
Jose Rizal coach Vergel Meneses said their win over the Blazers should serve as a wake up call to them.
"The reason we lost our first two games the players didn't listen to our instruction. But the players learned from it with this first win and I hope we could sustain this kind of form," said Meneses.
For the Knights, it's a matter of staying focused.
"That's my role to this team, to motivate my teammates and remind them to just play our game and focus," said Letran's Kevin Racal, who had 24 points he spiked with four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block and without a turnover in their last game.
Aside from Racal, Mark Cruz should also be a marked man after he fired 23 points in the Knights' first triumph.
Michael Mabulac, on the other hand, should be the marked man for Jose Rizal after led everyone in scoring and rebounding with 16 points and 12 boards.

PLDT moves to semis as Petron runs out of gas

Monday, 14 July 2014 00:00 Published in Sports

PLDT Home TVolution overcame a sluggish start to pull off a gigantic upset of Petron, 16-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-22, yesterday in the quarter-finals of the 2014 PLDT Home-Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference volleyball tournament at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Behind Louann Latigay’s mighty performance, the Power Attackers pierced through the heart of the Blaze Spikers' defense for the hard-earned win that sent them to the semifinals of the women's division of this premier inter-club tournament supported by PLDT Home DSL and backed by Mikasa, Asics, Mueller Tapes, Jinling Sports Equipment, LGR, Bench and Healthway Medical.
Latigay, the quiet but efficient spiker from San Sebastian College, nailed all of her 18 points on smashes while skipper Sue Roces chipped in 14 markers for sixth seeded PLDT, which somehow avenged its bitter setback last conference where they were the top seed only to falter in the semifinals and fell to Cignal.
With that, the Power Attackers punched a ticket to the next round where they will face RC Cola Air Force — a team known for its furious offense and airtight net defense.
The winner between AirAsia and Cagayan Valley, meanwhile, will face Generika Army in the other semifinal pairing.
"Naka-recover kami sa pangit na first set," said PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb, whose wards surrendered a tournament-high 37 points to Petron's Dindin Santiago in the preliminaries.
"I told them to treat this game as if this is the championship game. There's no more tomorrow. We are already in the quarter-finals of the Superliga and one loss and we're out. Good thing they responded. They showed that they have the experience, the desire to win this match."
Santiago, the 6-foot-2 spiker who emerged as the top scorer in the preliminaries, finished with 23 kills for a total of 28 points. But her effort went for naught as her teammates failed to step up while falling to a maze of turnovers, especially in the crucial stretch.
Petron had 34 errors compared to PLDT's 19.
"We took advantage of that," Gorayeb added. "Petron lived and died with Dindin Santiago. It was all about Dindin. S’ya ang tinarget namin talaga. Kasi kapag sya ang nag-receive, mahihirapan na sya pumalo. But na lang at naging effective."
True enough, after a listless start, PLDT waxed hot, punishing the lousy Petron defense with a flurry of hot smashes down the stretch to claim the second and third sets.
Santiago tried to rally the Blaze Spikers in a bid to stretch the game to a deciding set. But Latigay and Roces took advantage of Petron's numerous turnovers early in the fourth set.
Petron managed to knot the count at 22. However, a backrow violation followed by Santiago's wide attack doomed its chances, sending it to a painful loss and out of contention despite opening its campaign with three consecutive victories.
"Their experience was their primary advantage," said Petron coach George Pascua. "Matagal na silang magkakasama at alam nila kung saan kami aatekihin. Nawalan kami ng service receive kaya nahirapan kaming umatake."

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