LONDON (AP): Chelsea’s slump in form under Jose Mourinho reached a new low yesterday after a 3-1 loss at home to Liverpool, while Arsenal and Manchester City continued to set the pace at the summit of the Premier League. Manchester United, meanwhile, were held to another 0-0 draw, this time against Crystal Palace. Chelsea had the perfect start at Stamford Bridge, taking the lead through Ramires’ powerful header after only four minutes. But Liverpool refused to be flustered, growing into the game and taking control of possession. Philippe Coutinho equalised on the stroke of half-time, powering past a Chelsea player before steering a left-footed shot beyond Asmir Begovic from the edge of the penalty area. In the second half, Liverpool’s intent to win was evident. Coutinho gave his side the lead on 74 minutes with a shot which deflected off John Terry, before Christian Benteke sealed Juergen Klopp’s first league victory as Liverpool manager and Mourinho’s sixth league defeat this season. MOURINHO SHAKEN In a television interview immediately after the match, Mourinho looked shaken, repeatedly answering questions with, “I have nothing to say”. He opened up a little more in the post-match press conference, insisting he does not fear for his job as manager of the team he guided to the Premier League title only five months ago. “There are things that are out of our hands,” Mourinho said. “I have some players really sad in the dressing room and I am full of respect for them.” Arsenal beat Swansea 3-0 with goals coming from Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Joel Campbell in the second half. City needed an 89th minute penalty by Yaya Toure to beat Norwich 2-1 at home. Nicolas Otamendi’s powerful header gave City the lead, before an error from goalkeeper Joe Hart gifted Norwich an equaliser through Cameron Jerome. Toure’s penalty came after Russell Martin handballed and was sent off. City missed a second spot kick, through Aleksandar Kolarov, in added time. Both City and Arsenal have 25 points, but City are first with superior goal difference. Manchester United drew 0-0 at Palace, their second straight goalless draw in the league after being held by City last week. Louis van Gaal’s side dropped to fourth, with Leicester moving third after coming from behind to beat West Brom 3-2 away. Striker Jamie Vardy scored his eighth straight game for Claudio Ranieri’s side. The England striker is the league’s top scorer with 11 goals in 11 matches.
Kingston College (KC) had a lot to celebrate after yesterday’s Pepsi Under-14 and Under-16 finals at the Constant Spring field. The North Street-based school captured both titles. In the Under-14 showdown, they defeated Camperdown High 2-1 and clipped Bridgeport High by a similar margin in the Under-16 final. Victory in the Under-14 final ensured a third title in a row for KC. They went ahead in the 36th minute when Dwayne Atkinson beat two defenders then slotted past an advancing goalkeeper. Three minutes later, Camperdown drew level. Wayne Henry scored to send both teams into the break at 1-1. In the second half, David Williams found the winner for KC when he headed home a corner kick in the 47th minute. The Under-16 final was evenly contested in the first half, which ended 0-0. Four minutes after the restart, KC took the lead through Jhamal Pusey, who scored from inside the six-yard box. Pusey doubled the score in the 61st minute when he volleyed home from a corner. Bridgeport’s consolation goal came from Romario McPherson in the 77th minute.
The amount of money garnered from the sponsorship of ‘Champs’ and schoolboy football should mandate that there is a stated percentage of sponsorship dollars to any school-based sporting competition going towards the medical care of the participating children. We owe it to our kids. The other tragedy, to my way of thinking, was the revelation of the details of the offer made to Carl Brown, a former national player and successful coach of Boys’ Town Football Club and Jamaica. “Capo”, as he is affectionately known from his days as the captain of Boys’ Town and Jamaica, has been there, done that in virtually every aspect of local football. He has run the national programme on his own and has been there at the side of Brazilian coaches, who have been asked to guide local football to international relevance. I share Carl Brown’s dismay and sense of being insulted when I read the contents of the e-mail sent to ‘Capo’ over the signature of the secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Raymond Grant. I am prepared to assume that Mr. Grant typed the letter on instructions and somehow didn’t read or understand the contents. There can be no other rational explanation for that insulting e-mail. The missive exemplifies the contempt that the present hierarchy of the federation has for local coaches and reveals their penchant for coaches and players with foreign addresses and accents. It is now painfully obvious that the present JFF cannot be allowed to continue to guide Jamaica’s football if international relevance is the ultimate aim. Football fans of Jamaica, act now. This protocol involves a detailed question-and-answer form that must be completed by the child/participant and the parent together, ideally in the presence of a member of the team conducting the examination. The answers to the questions in this section of the examination can alert the examining physician to potential medical problems that need to be paid special attention and in some cases further investigation. That means that the examiner has to be someone with specialist training in sports medicine and, hopefully, some experience in cardiac-related problems. The fact that this project is being spearheaded by the Heart Foundation and the Heart Institute of the Caribbean augurs well for our children, but, and this is a big BUT, there has to be branches of these institutions islandwide and not confined to the corporate area. This protocol, if properly completed, is not cheap and requires funding not only from the schools and the Ministry of Education, but also from the private sector, which gains tremendous support from the fans of school sports. DETAILED FORM The tragedies that have occurred within football are urgent of debate and action. The death of a child while representing his school at sports may not have been preventable – based on the leaked autopsy report – but his demise highlights the importance of the proper examination of children being accepted to every institution of learning in Jamaica. The present protocol seems to be the same for every child going to school – be it pre-school, basic school, primary school, or secondary school. The form requires very little detailed examination and seems to be focused on the child’s immunisation status. For example, how many school administrators read the form submitted, and even if they do, how many act on the recommendations of the examining physician? Does the medical examiner’s statement of “Poor dental hygiene, needs urgent dental care” result in action from the school when it is patently obvious that there is very little parental supervision of this vital aspect of the child’s health and potential to learn? The pre-participation examination, prior to participation in school sports under the auspices of the Inter-Secondary Schools Association (ISSA) proposed by the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and supported by the Heart Institute of the Caribbean, must become mandatory for every competitive sport at school level. MEDICAL CARE FUNDS
A new season of racing commences today at Caymanas Park, the 10-race programme featuring the annual renewal of the McKay Security Limited Trophy race over 1820 metres for $180,000 claiming horses.Also on the well-supported card is the CTL Fan Appreciation Day Trophy 3-y-o and under overnight allowance race to be contested by 10 starters over 1820 metres, and the traditional New Year’s Day Trophy race over 1300 metres in which BUBBLING KITTEN, SOY EL SENOR and BIRD CATCHER should have a keen tussle for top honours in a field of seven.Having finished only a length third to CHOO CHOO BLUE and GARY GLITTER in a hotly contested 1200-metre sprint as recent as Boxing Day, the Philip Feanny-trained filly BUBBLING KITTEN, with former champion jockey Wesley Henry aboard, looks the one to beat from the convenient mark of 52.0kg.The four-year-old daughter of Blue Pepsi Lodge-Shanda was running on strongly in the closing stages to finish on the heels of two very good horses, and despite the claims of the Anthony Nunes-trained grey colt SOY EL SENOR, a good winner over this trip on December 10, BUBBLING KITTEN has a bit more appeal.Meanwhile, the CTL Fan Appreciation Day Trophy promises to be a more competitive race among the 10 starters. Indications are that the winner will come from a quartet comprising ROYAL VIBES, TIMEFORARMS, MIRACLE STAR and the American 3-y-o filly AWESOME DESTINY, who finished 121/2 lengths eighth to SEEKING MY DREAM in the recent Diamond Mile.Given this slower pace, AWESOME DESTINY, who last won over this trip on November 19, will prove a tough opponent with champion apprentice Bebeto Harvey riding for trainer Gary Subratie, but my preference is for MIRACLE STAR (Shane Ellis up), who usually reserves his best for this trip.The McKay Security Trophy, which offers a whopping purse of $1 million to this lowly level, has a difficult look about it, what with the likes of RED PARROT, DR TRAIN, BATIDOR DE MUNDO, MONEYNEVERSLEEP and BARS OF GOLD expected to figure prominently in a 12-horse field. Preference is for the Marlon Anderson-trained, 4-y-o RED PARROT, a narrow loser to PLAY STATION on a $250,000 tag on December 10 over a mile and now dropped in class with three-time champion Dane Nelson up, should make amends.I also like MY COMPANION in the second race, SEEKING THE DAWN in the fourth, and HOLOGRAM SHADOW in the fifth.
Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer LATEST STORIES Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission View comments Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PLAY LIST 01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award01:04Rombaon grabs bronze in cross country MTB race02:39PH’s Josie Gabuco boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)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 LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation The Filipinos now have a total of 35 medals in the scholastic games.Before the Filipinos took their chance for the silver, they put a gallant stand against eventual gold medalists Thailand.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’The Thais struggled against the Filipinos, even dropping the first set, but prevailed after five, 23-25, 27-25, 25-22, 22-25, 16-14, on Tuesday.The Philippines’ Girls Volleyball team. Photo from Inquirer’s The Volleyball Reporter.Head coach Regine Diego, despite the loss, still admired her team for showing the heart to compete against, arguably, the best volleyball power in the Southeast Asian region. Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Philippines succumbed to Indonesia in straight sets, 25-15, 25-18, 25-17, to settle for the bronze medal in 2017 Asean Schools Games Girls Volleyball at Republic Polytechnic Singapore Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend “Thailand is really an advanced country in terms of volleyball and we managed to make things close so that’s really something to be proud of,” said Diego in an interview with Inquirer’s The Volleyball Reporter.“I really can’t say much about this game, the kids played with a lot of heart, I’m so proud of them and I don’t think anyone can top that as of the moment because right now they have the biggest hearts in the Philippines.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet NBA: Lakers seeking veteran point guard to mentor Lonzo Ball
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTOLOS ANGELES—Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers has been relieved of his duties as president of basketball operations, allowing him to focus on coaching duties, team owner Steve Ballmer said Friday.Ballmer said Lawrence Frank, the team’s executive vice president, will assume responsibility for basketball operations. Frank also will oversee general manager Dave Wohl.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson He inherited a depleted front office in the aftermath of former owner Donald Sterling’s racially-charged audio tape scandal.In the wake of the scandal, Ballmer bought the Clippers for $2 billion and ultimately signed Rivers to a five-year, $55 million contract extension to continue as president and coach in 2014.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Graduating Baniqued, Borlain reign in IronKids anew Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Both Rivers, 55, and Frank, 46, will report directly to the owner.“Doc knows how to win championships,” Ballmer said in a statement. “That is what we prioritize, and that is what Doc will focus on. He is key to integrating our new players with our returning players and taking us to new heights on the court.”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’Rivers will continue to have a strong voice in personnel and organizational matters, Ballmer later told ESPN.“I’ve owned the team for three years now, and I really better understand what an owner’s responsibility is — and it turns out that running a franchise and coaching are two enormous and different jobs,” Ballmer said. ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets LATEST STORIES Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return “The notion that one person can fairly focus on them and give them all the attention they need isn’t the case.”The Clippers head into the new NBA season without veteran point guard Chris Paul, who was traded to the Houston Rockets in June after saying he planned to depart the team in free agency.READ: Clippers, Doc Rivers bracing for wild offseasonThe Rockets sent seven players plus a 2018 first-round NBA draft pick to the Clippers in the deal, but the nine-time All-Star’s departure still prompted Las Vegas bookmakers to immediately drop the Clippers’ chances of winning the title next season from 40-1 to 100-1.Rivers, who guided the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA title, left the Celtics to join the Clippers as the Los Angeles club’s top basketball executive and coach four years ago.ADVERTISEMENT 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ View comments
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIt’s no surprise that Papi Sarr’s absence was a big blow to Adamson in its opening day loss to Ateneo on Saturday.Sarr averaged 14.4 points and 14.9 rebounds per game last season for the Falcons.ADVERTISEMENT End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next With Sarr rendered helpless on the bench in street clothes, Ateneo took full advantage, giving more touches to its big man Chi Ikeh.Ikeh pounced on the Falcons’ depleted frontline, coming away with 18 points and 17 rebounds. He already had a double-double as early as halftime with 14 points and 13 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards, three more than the entire Adamson team.“Ikeh just dominated us. We had a hard time containing him,” said Pumaren, whose squad was outrebounded, 60-35.Pumaren admitted not having Sarr around was tough, but it’s still not an excuse as to how the Falcons poorly performed and got badly beaten.“I’m one coach who won’t dwell on that. I’ve been coaching for the longest time and you won’t hear from me saying, ‘If this player was here.’ That’s part of my job to make the most out of my remaining 15 players.”ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Sarr missed the much-anticipated duel between preseason favorites due to a groin injury and it’s still uncertain when he would return.“I want to play next game but everything will depend on the doctor if he will give me the clearance to play,” Sarr told INQUIRER.net.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogAdamson head coach Franz Pumaren said his Cameroonian import is still day-to-day.“We always prepare for the worst scenario. If he’s there, that’s a bonus, if not then, the other players must step up,” he said. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ Break new ground LATEST STORIES It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson MOST READ Winning start Palace defends Duterte’s absences from Asean events PLAY LIST 01:50Palace defends Duterte’s absences from Asean events01:37UAAP SEASON 80: Adamson Soaring Falcons02:56UAAP Season 80 Preview: UE Red Warriors02:14Carpio 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 A costly, catty dispute finally settled Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Meralco nips Star to clinch playoff berth View comments
View comments Winning start Angela Lee celebrates after stopping Jenny Huang in the third round to defend her atomweight title in the main event of ONE Championship: Warrior Kingdom on March 11, 2017 in Thailand. Photo from ONE Championship’s Facebook pageWorld champions Angela Lee and Ben Askren defend their titles in the main offering of the ONE: Immortal Pursuit fight card in Singapore on November 24.Hometown bet Lee stakes her undefeated record and ONE Women’s Atomweight belt in a rematch against Japanese martial arts veteran Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi in the main event of the promotion’s return to Singapore.ADVERTISEMENT Castro admits De Ocampo irreplaceable LATEST STORIES Askren, meanwhile, eyes the perfect end to his career as he battles Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in the co-main event.“This is going to be the biggest event we have ever put together for martial arts fans in Singapore and around the world,” said ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogOther fights in the card have not yet been announced. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend A costly, catty dispute finally settled Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Break new ground A costly, catty dispute finally settled 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 Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’
In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide With two matches to play, Uruguay and Colombia are in the best shape to join Brazil at the World Cup. The biggest shock could be two-time champion Argentina, which will battle for a spot against Peru, Chile, Paraguay and Ecuador. Bolivia and Venezuela have been eliminated.Argentina, the runner-up three years ago in Brazil, has not missed a World Cup since 1970.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogHere’s a look at the countries and matches set for Thursday and next Tuesday.ARGENTINA Argentina and Peru play Thursday at Boca Juniors’ La Bombonera stadium, among the world’s most hostile venues for visiting teams. It’s the first World Cup qualifier there in 20 years.Both countries have 24 points, and a victory by either would be a giant step toward qualifying. A slip, andArgentina will have to win the final match in Quito, Ecuador, where the altitude of 2,850 meters (9,350 feet) is a burden for visiting teams.Peru, coached by Argentine Ricardo Gareca, is at home to Colombia in its final game.Argentina will be without Sergio Aguero for both matches after he fractured ribs in a car accident last week. New coach Jorge Sampaoli has been unable to lift the team, which has drawn its last two matches, against Uruguay (0-0) and Venezuela (1-1).URUGUAYADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson What ban? Chinese in thrall to ‘goddess’ Sharapova It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES BRAZILBrazil is already in, and will surely test reserves in Thursday’s match in the thin air of La Paz. Look for the regulars to face Chile next week in Sao Paulo.Brazil coach Tite is undefeated in 10 qualifying games, and has won nine of them.THE RESTParaguay with 21 points, and Ecuador with 20, will need to win their final two matches and get help from others to have any chance. Bolivia and Venezuela are out.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DAY6 is for everybody MOST READ Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. How to help the Taal evacuees Uruguay is in great shape. It has 27 points and second place in the standings, 10 points behind Brazil. The team finishes qualifying at Venezuela, and at home against Bolivia — the two countries that are already eliminated.Depending on other results, a draw at Venezuela on Thursday might be enough to guarantee Uruguay a place in its third straight World Cup.COLOMBIAColombia has 26 points and beating Paraguay in the coastal city of Barranquilla could be enough to secure a place at its second straight World Cup. That would also eliminate long-shot Paraguay.“We’re fired up, but relaxed, knowing that this group can win the match and bring happiness to Colombia,” defender Davinson Sanchez said.CHILEThe two-time defending Copa America champion has only 23 points and is teetering on the edge. Chile is home against Ecuador on Thursday, and then must beat Brazil next week in Sao Paulo.Chile has lost its last two matches, against Paraguay and Bolivia, an indication of the state of play.PERUPeru has 24 points and has won three games straight to get back into contention. After the match in Buenos Aires, it finishes at home with Colombia.“We’re going to arrive at that final game in great shape,” Argentina-born coach Ricardo Gareca said. “We’ve got this far with our determination.”Peru last reached the World Cup in 1982 in Spain. Brazil’s Casemiro(L), Neymar(C) and Thiago Silva attend a training session at the Granja Comary sports complex in Teresopolis, about 90 km from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 3, 2017 ahead of their World Cup qualifier matches against Bolivia and Chile. / AFP PHOTO / Mauro PIMENTELRIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil is in, and over the next week three more South American countries will join the five-time champions at the World Cup in Russia.The fifth-place team from the region will also keep its chances alive, facing a playoff next month against New Zealand. That winner will also advance.ADVERTISEMENT Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed 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’
Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours For the second year, Ginebra and Meralco meet anew in what promises to be a slam-bang clash for the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup championship.Last time these two met, fans were treated to six tightly-contested affairs–which were settled by five points or less and which ended in an Justin Brownlee’s buzzer-beater three that gave Ginebra the 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 smogA year after, the Bolts and the Kings— with same faces and new additions in their line ups—are ready for war again and it would be interesting to see how different things turn out this time.Here are INQUIRER’s keys to victory for this best-of-seven series. Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coaching chess matchIt’s easy to assume that series going down as offense-versus-defense, given the Gin Kings’ high-octane style against the Bolts’ grindhouse system.After all, Ginebra’s been averaging 103.7 points per game versus Meralco’s 98.19, but the Bolts are only allowing opponents to 89.8 markers per outing against the Gin Kings’ 98.8.But looking past that gives us a meeting of the minds as two of the most decorated and highly respected mentors in the league today engage in a coaching chess match.Tim Cone, seeking for ring no. 20, and Norman Black, who’s in search for his ninth title, square off anew for only the second time in the championship stage, with the first, of course, being last year’s duel.ADVERTISEMENT Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Pasaol reminds Pumaren of ‘joyous’ PBA great Meneses OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments It’s going to be a battle of adjustments and creativity with both coaches known to stick to a system. With both sides evenly matched, Cone and Black would have to figure out a way to gain the slightest advantage in what promises to be a series to go the distance.Great wall of GinebraAs if Ginebra’s small-ball tactic last season wasn’t dangerous enough, Cone unearthed a scheme opposite of that with the return of Greg Slaughter.With the Cebuano giant back in the fray, the Gin Kings have toyed with their roster and at times, unleashed a killer frontcourt five with a guard joining Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Justin Brownlee, and Joe Devance on the hard court.It shouldn’t come as a surprise, too, that Ginebra is second in the league in rebounds with 55.19 boards per game and first in blocks with 7.75 rejections per outing.Expect the Gin Kings to make the most of their strength and pound the ball down low.Bombs away BoltsHow do you counter that size advantage? Meralco’s way is drawing those bigs to the outside.The Bolts have capitalized on the power of the three-ball, topping the league with their 37-percent clip, much to Black’s delight.Baser Amer, Jared Dillinger, and Reynel Hugnatan have been fearless in hoisting those long balls, but Meralco’s arsenal just got deeper with the additions of Ranidel de Ocampo, Garvo Lanete, and Mike Tolomia, all of whom are ready to light it up once their hands wax hot. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ And with Game 1 set at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena, as well as Games 5, 6, and 7, if necessary, scheduled at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, expect the troves of ka-barangays to come out and support their team.However, Meralco import Allen Durham shared that after his team’s runner-up finish last year, the Bolts are more than ready to tune that noise out.“The crowd is not going to be a factor,” he confidently said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Explosive Gilas Pilipinas not yet at its best, says Tim Cone PLAY LIST 01:45Explosive Gilas Pilipinas not yet at its best, says Tim Cone06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio 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 Now the biggest challenge for the Bolts is consistency in making their shots.All the small thingsWhat makes Ginebra’s league second-best offense work is its efficiency on the floor with its 46.10-percent shooting.Going 50.25-percent from two and 34.87-percent from three, the Gin Kings have been making the most of their shots.But with a series likely to decided on a couple of points, every basket matters, and that’s Ginebra’s achilles heel. The Gin Kings are the league’s worst free throw shooting team, going 64.29-percent from the charity stripe despite hoisting a league-high 434 free throw attempts.Meralco, on the other hand, have been diligent in capitalizing on those free points, going 73.02-percent from the 15-foot line to pair with its 44.68-percent field goal shooting.While a freethrow may just be a point, in a series expected to be down the wire at all times, these small things matter the most for each team.The sixth manIt’s been well-documented how the raucous crowd influence Ginebra games in the past.The Gin Kings have admitted how the audience have helped them get out of danger, while players from the other side also bared being a bit rattled by the rowdy crowd. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Can we call it a rivalry now?ADVERTISEMENT