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Nike releases LeBron 12

Thursday, October 30, 2014


LeBron James embodies a rare skill set that requires innovative footwear tailored to his multidimensional game. James’s latest shoe, the LeBron 12, is designed to enhance his explosiveness while combining three key benefits: superior cushioning, harnessed support and natural flexibility.

The LeBron 12 narrative connects to the shoe’s precise engineering and unique connection to James’s skills. Each LeBron 12 colorway is inspired by James’s game, physical attributes and the analysis that drove the development of his latest signature footwear.

James has demonstrated the courageous heart of a lion while being tested both physically and mentally over his professional career. That grit and determination inspired the LeBron 12 HRT of a Lion colorway.

The LeBron 12 HRT of a Lion shoe is available on nike.com and at select retail locations in North America and Greater China on Oct. 30. The LeBron 12 is available now for customization on NIKEiD.

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2015 NBA Season Preview

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The NBA is now moments away from officially starting, and I'm pretty sure your fantasy lineups are now locked and loaded. Here's my lookahead to the upcoming season.

1. The new Cleveland Big 3

LeBron James has just taken his talents back to Cleveland, and Kevin Love joins him to form a new triumvirate with Kyrie Irving. Will this, however, translate to a championship for the Cavs? I can't say just yet as the Chicago Bulls have a 100% Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol with them (more later). But Cleveland will have a deep playoff run this year.

2. The Real Test for D-Rose: Version 2.0

In my FIBA World Cup preview, I mentioned that the tournament should be the barometer if Derrick Rose is completely back from a string of knee injuries. Well, Irving rocked the World Cup, but Rose was spectacular during the preseason, even dropping a 30 at one point. Let me tweak the D-Rose part. The regular season should now serve as the new barometer if Rose is really back. Remember: Rose hurt his knee anew just a few games into last season.

3. The Paul George Effect: Version 2.0

With Team USA proving that it can win the FIBA World Cup even with a superstar down in Paul George, all eyes are now on the club basketball scene as the Pacers will now have to settle things without him. Add to that the decision of Lance Stephenson to join the Charlotte Hornets. The pressure is now on Roy Hibbert to prove that he really belongs. Hibbert, while giving fantasy owners smiles, have put up dismal numbers in most of his last games last season. If he stays the same this year, Indy might end up back in the lottery after back-to-back conference finals appearances.

4. The Jordan Clarkson Effect
NBA (file photo)
The injury to Steve Nash could give a blessing in disguise for Fil-Am rookie Jordan Clarkson. However, he has to man up in his game as he will be expected to play backup to Jeremy Lin in the Lakers camp.

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Golovkin vs. Rubio Live Stream

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Watch Gennady Golovkin and Marco Antonio Rubio battle it out for the WBA Middleweight Championship here. Also, witness Nonito Donaire taking on Nicholas Walters for the WBA Featherweight Title here.

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Sakuragi gets signature shoes with Jordan Slam Dunk series

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Hanamichi Sakuragi's legacy will now live on with his new personal
apparel line courtesy of the Jordan brand. Nike
Sakuragi finally gets his own kicks! No, not the Pinoy Sakuragi as in Marc Pingris. Not even Japan's naturalized big guy J.R. That Sakuragi!

Hanamichi Sakuragi, the lead character of the well-known manga turned anime Slam Dunk, will be immortalized as the Jordan brand unveiled the fruits of its newfound partnership with the manga's creator, Takehiko Inoue.

"I have been inspired by Michael Jordan's game, as well as his attitude. It's been a great honor to have this opportunity," said Inoue, a fan of MJ.

One of the Slam Dunk-inspired shoe line released was the new Jordan Super Fly 3.

The Super Fly 3 will bear Sakuragi's number ten, formalizing the Slam Dunk lead as the first fictional character to have a player-exclusive shoe line.

Also, the Super Fly 3 has Sakuragi's face drawn on it, and the shoebox also bears excerpts from the Slam Dunk manga.

The Nike Air Jordan VI will also have some "Slam Dunk-ness" in it as a special edition bearing Sakuragi was released.

The Slam Dunk edition of the Air Jordan VI is a homage to the manga, which was first published in 1990 during Jordan's sixth NBA season.

Even Sakuragi's jersey was given life as the Jordan brand also introduced a t-shirt with the details of the Shohoku #10 kit and a hat with Sakuragi's number embroidered on it.

The new Jordan brand Slam Dunk series is now available in all Titan stores.

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I wanted NU to win

Friday, October 17, 2014


As part of a sports media outfit, I resolve to a principle to adhere: to stay neutral at all times. However, when NU took Game 2 of the UAAP Finals against FEU, I felt, "This could be the Bulldogs' time." NU may be the fourth-seed (only the second time it happened), but the team played like the top-seed (curiously, NU was the top-seed in the only other time the number one team got ousted in the semis last year) in that win. And then, I kept this in my mind: I want NU to win Game 3!

To think about it, my mom (the second of eight children) was not yet born when the Bulldogs won their only UAAP title, and my grandma was still pregnant with her eldest daughter. The shotclock was just being introduced in the NBA, and the Philippines was fresh from winning the bronze in the FIBA World Cup. The word "televison" was still new to the minds of the Filipinos, and social media was not even planned then.

From that 1954 feat, or at least since NU's only other Finals appearance in 1970, the team experienced a downfall that accelerated during its "dark ages" in the 80's. The 90's would witness Arnel Sunga, Danny Ildefonso, and Lordy Tugade wear the blue and gold, but NU just could not make the Final Four, which was introduced by that time.

The Bulldogs finally made the Final Four at the turn of the century, but they could not pick up the slack from there and even fell to the cellar again. Enter Eric Altamirano and Ray-Ray Parks. The former Purefoods coach and Georgia Tech prospect ignited a huge uprising that led them to consecutive semis appearance and a great shot at the championship after getting the best record last year. Tough luck, UST happened.

This year's NU was similar to last year's UST. The Bulldogs also needed a playoff win to enter the Final Four (while the UST-Ateneo game was officially an elimination round game, by technicality, it was a wildcard playoff since both teams were tied for fourth then) and bucked a twice-to-beat disadvantage to shock top-seeded Ateneo. When Mac Belo shot the game-winner for FEU against La Salle (I predicted Ateneo vs. La Salle in the Finals), I thought the Finals will last the full three games.

Indeed, it happened. FEU took Game 1 in a wild finish but got bludgeoned in Game 2. After I interviewed my blogger friends at Blogapalooza, I first spilled the beans to one of them, the only one who answered FEU (she's an alumna of the school). I told her that I wanted NU to win because the time is now, similar to another respondent's answer.

I covered Game 3 at my lonesome (apparently, my superiors, who would love to watch the finale, were not available that time), and I witnessed history. FEU got off to an early lead, but NU came back and took a double-digit edge. The Tams threatened to reclaim the lead, but the Bulldogs were really playing inspired basketball. Alfred Aroga, not known for his free throw shooting, was accurate from the stripe (surprisingly too, his teammates who do better struggled). J-Jay Alejandro was on track to do an encore of his epic performance against the Blue Eagles. Kyle Neypes was deadly in the catch-and-shoot. Simply, NU happened.
The NU crowd was feeling it already.
Two minutes left in the match, NU led by a huge margin, and I wanted to cry. It was a dream moment--seeing a then moribund collegiate team completely evolved to a championship squad. The clock read 0.0, and the 60-year wait is over! I felt the nostalgia of 1954, even notches higher.
The NU bench began to celebrate.
Troy Rosario bursted out in tears of joy.
Glenn Khobuntin's parents witnessed his road to triumph.
I witnessed it all!
After the win, I wanted to congratulate my college blocmates who are now NU professors, but with a jampacked NU side of the Smart Araneta Coliseum, I could not trace them (I later found out that they did not watch the game live). Still, I was blessed that I witnessed a historical moment, and I'm gonna be proud to share this to my sons and grandsons. I wanted NU to win, and it happened.

I also got reminded of a Twitter conversation with Marco Dela Cruz, the owner of the UAAP-NCAA Memes pages on Facebook and Twitter. He got a point after all. The thrills of witnessing a championship inside the Big Dome was really nostalgic.

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