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Malaysia’s wheelchair basketball team target gold for 2017 ASEAN Para Games

The Malaysia Wheelchair Basketball team (MWBF) is determined to one-up their previous achievement at last year’s ASEAN Para Games in Singapore.

The national wheelchair basketball squad had limited training session this year; apart from the Wheelchair Basketball National Champions League in August, they did not participate in any major tournaments.

However, MWBF squad captain Ahmad Nazri Hamzah is positive that they will do well next year.

“Right now we’re focused on improving out techniques and stamina. The main reason we lost to Thailand before was because of weak techniques.” Ahmad Nazri explained.

He also asserted that the wheelchair basketball squad will do their very best for a gold medal this year, especially since Malaysia is the host nation.

The entire Malaysian Para Asean contingent has set a target to finish second in overall standings in next year’s Asean Para Games.

Other sports that are included in the ASEAN Para Games are archery, badminton, boccia, chess, cycling, football five-a-side, CP football, goalball, para powerlifting, sitting volleyball, table tennis, bowling, and wheelchair tennis.

Basketball

3-time MVP Lebron James delivers maiden title to Cleveland

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This year’s NBA finals proved to be the most dramatic ever, as Cleveland Cavalier’s “King” James delivered an all-rounded mighty performance in their 93-89 championship-clinching victory over the Golden States Warriors on Sunday. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals for the third time after his side completed a remarkable comeback from a 3-1 series deficit, the first team to do so.

“We were able to put together some spectacular games down 3-1,” said a tearful James moments after the victory. “This is special.”

I kept that positive attitude. I don’t know why we had to take the hard road. Against all odds.”

“Cleveland, this is for you!” James screamed on the court after the frantic final seconds.

It was an improbable achievement by the Ohio-based team, due to the dominance of their opponent throughout the season. The Warriors broke numerous records on their way to the finals, namely the best regular-season record which was previously held by the Chicago Bulls. They also raced to an early lead in the best-of-seven series final and were tipped by most to retain their title, especially when they came home for Game 5 up 3-1. Stephen Curry and co. still could have won on Sunday night when the score was tied 89-89 with 4 minutes still to play, but they missed their 3-pointers. Cav point guard Kyrie Irving nailed his, and the rest is history.

Basketball

Cavaliers tewaskan Warriors untuk merangkul kejuaraan NBA pertama

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Bintang bola keranjang, LeBron James membantu Cleveland Cavaliers untuk menang 93-89 ke atas Golden State Warriors semalam dalam perlawanan ketujuh yang menakjubkan untuk melengkapkan kebangkitan di luar jangkaan dan merangkul kejuaraan NBA pertama mereka.

Kemenangan ke atas Warriors, yang merangkul kejuaraan tersebut di laman Cleveland tahun lalu, menjadikan Cavaliers pasukan pertama yang menang selepas ketinggalan 3-1 secara defisit dalam kiraan daripada tujuh perlawanan untuk Final NBA dan bergelar juara.

“Saya telah meletakkan sasaran untuk membawa pulang kejuaraan sejak dua tahun selepas kembali ke sini,” kata James dengan penuh emosi, selepas pulang ke Cavalier pada tahun 2014 setelah empat tahun menyertai Miami yang memberikannya dua kejuaraan NBA.

“Saya memberikan segalanya. Saya curahkan jiwa dan raga ke dalam perlawanan ini.”

James mengetuai Cleveland dalam kemenangan yang memberikan kejuaraan ini dengan satu triple-double setelah menjaringkan 27 mata, 11 rebound dan 11 bantuan untuk menjadikannya Pemain Paling Bernilai dalam NBA Finals buat kali ketiga.

Kemenangan itu menamatkan penantian sedekad bandar Cleveland, yang tidak pernah memenangi sebarang kejuaraan profesional sukansejak Cleveland Browns memenangi Liga Bola Sepak Kebangsaan pada tahun 1964.

Untuk James, kemenangan ini bukan sahaja gelaran NBA ketiga beliau, tetapi juga akan dianggap sebagai kejayaan terhebat dalam kariernya kerana dia berjaya menunaikan janjinya untuk memberikan kejuaraan kepada bandar kelahirannya, Ohio.

“Saya kembali bersebab. Saya kembali untuk memberikan kejuaraan kepada bandar kami,” ujar James yang bergenang air mata sambil memeluk Trofi Kejuaraan Larry O’Brien.

“Saya tahu saya mampu. Saya tahu apa yang saya pelajari beberapa tahun selepas saya pergi, dan saya tahu saya mempunyai keupayaan untuk membawa kejayaan yang tak pernah kita kecapi.”

Perlawanan itu berlangsung sengit dengan pertukaran pendahulu sebanyak 20 kali sementara tiada pasukan yang mampu mendahului dengan catatan lebih lapan mata.

Berdepan penyingkiran dalam dua perlawanan terdahulu, James membawa Cavs bangkit semula dan menjadi pasukan ketiga yang berjaya membawa ke perlawanan penentuan ketujuh selepas ketinggalan 3-1 dalam pusingan kejuaraan.

Untuk Warriors, yang mencatatkan 73 kemenangan dalam 82 perlawanan biasa musim, kekalahan semalam merupakan kali pertama mereka tewas tiga perlawanan berturut sejak November 2013.

“Bukan mudah untuk mencapai sasaran kami, dan sukar untuk melihat apa yang kami gagal dapatkan,” kata MVP liga dua kali Stephen Curry, yang memungut 17 mata dalam kekalahan itu.

Selepas melalui musim biasa yang memecahkan banyak rekod, Warriors tidak dapat menamatkan saingan dengan kemenangan kedua berturut liga, gagal menamatkan perlawanan walaupun mendahului 3-1 dalam siri perlawanan terbaik musim.

Kegagalan Warriors disebabkan ketiadaan pertahanan mereka Draymond Green disebabkan penggantungan, kecederaan ke atas Andrew Bogut dan pakar pertahanan Andre Iguodala.

“Satu perjuangan yang hebat tetapi tidak berakhir seperti yang kami mahukan,” ujar ketua jurulatih Warriors Steve Kerr. ‘’ Ia merupakan perjalanan dua tahun yang menakjubkan. Kami kecewa ia tidak berakhir seperti yang kami mahukan, tetapi itulah kehidupan.”

Selepas Warriors mendahului siri 3-1, ramai pihak menganggap Cavs sudah tidak berpeluang lagi dan menyangka Golden State akan muncul juara dengan mudah.

Namun, Cavaliers menunjukkan bahawa mereka mampu menafikan jangkaan ramai dan menujukkan kebangkitan menakjubkan untuk memenangi kejuaraan NBA pertama mereka.

“Saya tahu keupayaan kami, walaupun ketinggalan 3-1 menentang pasukan terhebat musim biasa,” jelas James.

“Semua pihak menafikan peluang kami dan itulah saatnya kami tahu kami boleh bangkit serta itulah masanya saya gandakan usaha di saat semua orang menafikan peluang saya.”

Basketball

“The Conductor” – Nike pays emotional tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant

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Every basketball fan went through waves of emotions last week, as Kobe Bryant officially ended his 20-year career in NBA, with a mindblowing 60-points performance.

Irrespective of which team you back, Kobe would have definitely dropped your jaw at some point – he’s an undisputed legend in NBA.

What was more impressive was the manner in which he exited the game. Not only did he produce an astounding performance – hitting 60 points for only the sixth time in his career – Kobe also delivered an inspiring post-game speech. “What can I say, Mamba out!” he said, right at the end of his speech.

Plenty of tributes have poured in since then, but Nike have now opted to pay tribute in two brilliant ways. They’ve released a new shoe called KOBE 11 Avar Muse, which features individual inspiration from design pioneers – including NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker, Eric Avar and Tinker Hatfield.

But besides that, Nike also released an inspirational video titled ‘The Conductor’, to showcase the tremendous impact that Kobe has had on players, coaches and everyone involved with the game.

Basketball

#MambaOut: Watch Kobe Bryant’s 10 greatest NBA plays

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What a man, what a legend.

Kobe Bryant bid farewell to NBA earlier today, putting on an outstanding show in his final NBA game. He dropped an incredible 60 points, inspiring the Lakers to a 101-96 win over Utah Jazz!

He took to center court after the game and said: “I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by, man, this is crazy,” Bryant said while addressing the crowd post game. “This is absolutely crazy … and to be standing at center court with you guys, my teammates behind me, appreciating the journey that we’ve been on — we’ve been through our ups, been through our downs. I think the most important part is we all stayed together throughout.”

“What’s funny — the thing that had me cracking up all night long — the fact that I go through 20 years of everybody screaming to pass the ball, and then the last night they’re like, ‘Don’t pass it!,” Bryant enthused.

“All I can do here is thank you guys,” he told the crowd. “Thank you guys for all the years of support. Thank you guys for all the motivation. Thank you for all the inspiration. What can I say? Mamba out,” Bryant said in closing.

With 5 NBA Championships, 18 time NBA All Star, 11 NBA All First Team, 9 NBA Defensive Team, 4 All Star MVP, 1 MVP under his belt, Kobe Bryant will always be remembered by all basketball fans, as one of the greatest to have ever graced the game.

As a tribute to Kobe, we’ve attached a video of his greatest plays in NBA! Full video credit goes to Sportscentre.

 

Basketball

VIDEO: NBA pays tribute to final ‘Kobe vs LeBron’ battle

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When we speak of the NBA this year, we cannot leave out Kobe Bryant as this season would be the last season for the Lakers’ shooting guard.

As emotional it may be for fans all around the world, Bryant is sure of his decision and is trying to make every Lakers’ game count- including the game with Cleveland Cavaliers last week.

The Cavs managed to beat the Lakers 120-108 at the Staples Centre but what made viewers so engrossed in the match was not just Bryant, but also LeBron James.

Cleveland’s King James and Bryant battled against each other for one last time and fans were enthusiastic over the last showdown of the notorious rivalry between the both. The hashtag #KobeVSLeBron and #KOBEvLEBRON trended in the United States for two days and hit the worldwide trends soon after that alongside shaking up the social media.

Some shed tears, some cheered loudly, some just wanted the rivalry to continue because despite it being a rivalry, it was a battle of two purely talented basketball players.

Are you sad to see the end of the 13-year long on-court action between the Lakers legend and King James? Because I know I am.

Photo credits: skidmorenews.com
Photo credits: skidmorenews.com

The NBA official Twitter took the liberty to post a short video of Kobe and LeBron ‘through the years’.

As Mark Jackson would say, “Great players are like death and taxes, sooner or later, they’re gonna get you.”

Great game for the Cavs today but overall, great match for the both of them today.

Basketball

VIDEO: NBA legend Shaq O’Neal surprises kids by joining pickup game

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NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal pulled a major surprise on some neighbourhood kids over the weekend, by joining them in a casual basketball pickup game.

He was responding to a video that went viral recently, featuring a cop in Florida, who was called to deal with a group of children, who were allegedly playing too loudly.

Officer Bobby White, who arrived on the location soon afterwards, was captured on video saying: “Can you believe someone is calling to complain about kids playing basketball in the street. I obviously don’t have a problem with it.”

He went on to join the kids in their pickup game, and before he left, he promised to bring backup the next time he drops by.

So guess who dropped by as backup?

 

Basketball

VIDEO: 76ers present tribute video for Kobe Bryant before Lakers match

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After Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant announced his decision to retire by the end of the season, fans all over the world had been grieving but in the end, we all know that no matter what he does, even if he retires, his legacy will remain and nobody can top that.

Bryant, who grew up in the humble state of Pennsylvania, returned to his hometown in Philadelphia one last time this morning before the end of the season for a match with the 76ers (the match ended with Sixers winning 103-91).

The 6’6 shooting guard had spent most of his time being educated outside of Philadelphia in Lower Merion High School. It was during that time Bryant earned national recognition for his sheer skills. He was named Pennsylvania Player of The Year during his junior year. It was also the place where he took singer Brandy to his senior prom.

Before the match, Bryant was the last player in the Lakers’ starting line-up to be announced and the crowed cheered loudly for him, chanting “Kobe!” non-stop.

Despite having wishes of a not so formal retirement, those plans were out of the circle when Bryant was brought to the centre court where he was presented a framed No. 24 Lower Merion jersey from Dr. J and his high school coach. The Sixers even put up a tribute video for him, honouring his days in the industry, and most of all, for representing Philadelphia to become one the world’s most renowned players.

Dec 1, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers hall of famer Julius Dr. J Erving (L) presents Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) hit Lower Merion high school uniform prior to the game at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Photo credits: Twitter (NBA)

Here’s a short video of his entrance from NBA’s official Twitter:

And here is the tribute video prepared by the Sixers:

 

Basketball

Kobe Bryant’s heartwarming retirement poem

NBA Finals Game 6: Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics

20 incredible years spent entirely in Los Angeles is finally coming to a stop.

It’s quite a sad for the Lakers’ fans as Kobe Bryant, arguably one of NBA’s finest shooting guards has finally announced his plan of retirement by the end of the season with an emotional self-composed poem to the Players’ Tribune website.

“I’m ready to let you go,” was one of the lines in his poem.

The Hall of Famer has played for the Lakers since the start of his career and had led the team to win 5 NBA championships- three consecutive championships in 2000-2002 and another two straight wins in 2009 and 2010. He also holds the NBA record for the most seasons with the same team. He even won gold medals with the US basketball team in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Dubbed one of NBA’s living legends in the current basketball scene, Bryant scored a career-high of 81 points in a single game which was in 2008 against the Toronto Raptors. This was the second most points scored in a game in NBA history, close enough to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962.

As much as the fans want to see him continue his action on court, the 37 year-old is sure that his decision to retire is not going to change.

With 20 splendid years with the NBA, and an inspiration to most passionate basketball fanatics of the current generation, he’s proved himself enough and worthy of such. Its time to turn those actions into legacy.

But just like what Magic Johnson said, “There will never be another Kobe Bryant.”

Here’s the full version of his poem:

Dear Basketball,

From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love with you.

A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.

As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.

And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.

I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have. 

And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

Love you always,
Kobe