Talk ‘N Text takes 2-0 lead in PBA finals

Updated 11 January 2013
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Talk ‘N Text takes 2-0 lead in PBA finals

Talk ‘N Text fans in the stands were treated to yellow shirts just before tipoff of Game 2 last night with the simple logo that said: “Defense wins championships.” The Tropang Texters then did their thing at the Mall of Asia Arena floor and botched up Rain or Shine’s top offensive players on the way to an 89-81 victory and a 2-0 lead in their PBA Philippine Cup title series.
“As a team, we played good defense,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said. “That’s what we have to do to be able to win this series. I think our defense really held up.” Ranidel de Ocampo and Jason Castro, meanwhile, provided the offense for the Texters, shooting a combined 45 markers with De Ocampo scoring Rain or Shine’s final six points to cap his highest-scoring output of the season.
De Ocampo finished with 24 points that went with nine rebounds and four assists, with his eight first quarter points fueling another hot start by the Texters.
History is now speaking kindly of the Texters as only five of 32 teams that went on to take 2-0 leads in a title series didn’t go all the way.
But Black is not about to be dragged into saying anything that would make his players lose the edge that they are playing with.
“I’m going up against Yeng Guiao, I wouldn’t be talking anything about any sweep,” Black said. “It’s nice that you’re up, 2-0, but we still need to get four wins. And that’s a long way to go as far as I am concerned.” Talk ‘N Text was the last team that took a 2-0 lead to win, doing it against Powerade in the Finals of this tournament last season.
It was also the Texters who were the last to rally from an 0-2 deficit to win a title series, pulling it off against Alaska in the 2008-2009 Philippine Cup Finals, which was the first title of Talk ‘N Text in the Chot Reyes era.
And if the Texters could win again in Game 3 slated tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum, then even Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is acknowledging the fact that it would be close to impossible for them.
“(An) 0-2 (deficit) is still manageable,” Guiao said after giving his wards a long dressing down in the locker room. “But if we don’t win on Sunday (in Game 3), then it is almost lights out for us.” Guiao, who is in his third all-Filipino championship series looking to win his first, did not hide the fact that defense did win it for the Texters.
“We are still struggling with our shooting percentages,” Guiao, whose last all-Filipino Finals loss came at the hands of Purefoods, 2-4, in 2006, said. “Shooting wise, we can’t rhythm going, we just couldn’t make big plays.
“But we are not losing any hope.” JR Quinahan had 16 points and Paul Lee 15 for the Painters, but Lee had a critical error in the fourth quarter that led to one of De Ocampo’s final baskets that sealed the deal for the Texters.
Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan, two personalities that helped the Painters get this far, couldn’t deliver in the stretch, grounded for the second straight outing.
Meanwhile, the Philippines, because of the volatile peace and order situation in Lebanon, was awarded the rights to host the 27th Fiba-Asia Championship from August 1-11.
At stake in the tournament would be three slots to the World Basketball Championships that will be held in Madrid, Spain, in 2014.


Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Updated 22 May 2018
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Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will cover all external debts owed by Saudi Professional League clubs
  • Crown Prince will provide 1,277,000,000 Saudi riyals (around $340 million)

RIYADH: The General Sports Authority and Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) have announced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will cover all external debts owed by Saudi Professional League clubs.
According to reports, the Crown Prince will provide 1,277,000,000 Saudi riyals (around $340 million) that will not only clear monies owed but also enable clubs to invest ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The issue of debt had become a major issue in the country’s football scene.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs are currently experiencing financial problems that require immediate and urgent intervention,” the General Sports Authority, which oversees Saudi Arabian sport, said in a statement released on social media.
The body noted that there are a total of 107 cases under appeal at world governing body FIFA regarding unpaid salaries in Saudi Arabia.
“Failure to intervene urgently to rescue clubs may result in damage to the reputation of the Kingdom in general and Saudi Arabian sport in particular,” added the GSA.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs may face severe disciplinary sanctions because of the failure to meet financial obligations such as the
denial of the registration of players in general or the deduction of points.”
Unpaid salaries were also a factor in Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr being unable to appear in this year’s AFC Champions League after they were denied AFC club licenses.
Al-Ittihad were the club with the highest debt of 309 million riyals ($82 million) and welcomed the news.
“We are delighted by the generous initiative of His Royal Highness,” Al-Ittihad president Nawaf Al-Muqairn said in an official statement released by the two-time Asian champions.
“This contributes to creating solid ground for all clubs to move toward achieving their goals.”
Legendary Saudi striker Sami Al-Jaber, recently appointed president of champions Al-Hilal, announced his gratitude on social media.
“Great thanks to His Highness the Crown Prince for the great support that the clubs have enjoyed which enables sport in our country to keep pace with the aspirations of our leadership,” Al-Jaber wrote.
The Crown Prince’s move followed the SAFF announcing a new raft of regulations in April that will come into effect next season and are designed to take the league forward. These included restricting club spending on transfers and salaries to 70 percent of revenue. The size of first-team squads has been reduced from 33 to 28, of which five must be homegrown players of 23 or younger.