Sports Eye

 NBA Finals to reach 7 games

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr. 

GOING to battle with a complete lineup unlike their opponent, NBA first time finalist Toronto Raptors walloped the injury-plagued two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, 123-109, at the Warriors home turf last Thursday and now leads the best-of-seven championship series, 2-1.

As expected and predicted by several basketball connoisseurs, the third game was won by the Raptors due to the sidelining of Warriors’ three key players because of injuries.  Forwards Kevin Durant with strained right calf and Klay Thompson with strained left hamstring plus its reliable center Kevon Looney with fractured costal cartilage, the listless Warriors five although determined to win the match with the cheers of the boisterous crowd, failed to lead all the quarters, 29-36, 52-60, 83-96, and finally lost the match with a 14-point deficit. We watched on TV how the Raptors won the first match, 118-109, lost the second joust, 109-104, and triumphed in the third meeting despite Warrior’s superstar Stephen Curry’s high 47 points.

Walang katulong si Curry sa scoring kaya duon sila natalo,” said Sammy Imbuido of San Fabian. I agree. If Thompson did not suffer an injury and even with the absence of Durant, I’m still confident that the Warriors would have won that third game. They already did this during their first two championships and the second game last June 3 sans Durant. Chance is huge with Thompson, Curry and Durant together. We saw this last year.

I’m making this column on Thursday, just after the third game. And by the time you read this piece, the fourth encounter is already over at Warriors home court Oracle Arena in Oakland, California before going back to Toronto for the fifth match on Tuesday. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is confident that Thompson will be back in the fourth game and a possibility for Durant also. Kerr is self-assured that his quintet will win the fourth with the presence of a recovered Thompson. Yes, I and many others surmise that the series might even reach seventh and final game. And if Durant returns in full form, I guess it will be another championship victory for the California based Warriors. And if that happens, that will be the fifth overall titles for the Warriors starting in 1975. Let’s wait and see.

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Unlike last year which the four-day Le Tour de Filipinas (LTdF) was conducted in the first quarter of the year won by my town mate Mangaldañon Joshua Cariño, the LTdF this season will be run in five days, June 14-18, to kick off and finish in Tagaytay City.

The LTdF 2.2 international race is sanctioned by the world governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) with 10 foreign continental teams participating and five local squads. Unfortunately, like in the past years, our elite Pangasinan pedal pushers led by Cariño and 2018 Ronda Pilipinas titlist Ronald Oranza and Jay Lampawog of Villasis and Cariño’s younger brother Daniel Ven, Dominic Perez of Sto. Tomas, Melvin Corpuz of Umingan, the siblings Mark Julius and Warren Bordeos of Laoac, to name some, were separated and distributed to represent different commercial teams including our national squad. The winners will earn corresponding points to be added for what they had already earned in their previous international races sanctioned by UCI to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

We should wish them again the best of luck.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ JOHN 1: 29-30

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