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& lsquo;Narco-killer& rsquo; eyed as new PNP chief

President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he will appoint a policeman as the next Philippine National Police chief who can assure him that all drug lords would be killed in the government’s anti-drug campaign......»»

Category: newsSource: thestandard thestandardDec 3rd, 2019

PHI ends SEA Games hosting in style

The Philippines celebrated the end of its successful hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games the same way it rolled out the red carpet for all participating nations. From a presentation of Filipino culture through performances from Aeta Festival Dancers and the Manila Concert Choir, to the dazzling aerial drone presentation to the colorful fireworks display and a concert featuring the Black Eyed Peas, the Philippines made the biennial meet’s closing ceremony Wednesday night at the New Clark City Stadium in Tarlac as memorable as its opening. After 10 days of competition on different fronts in 56 sports with 530 events, the Philippines emerged as overall champion once again after completing the feat 14 years ago when the country also hosted the Games. Philippine Sports Commission chairman and PHI SEA Games Chef De Mission William ‘Butch’ Ramirez and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea accepted the overall championship recognition for Team Philippines, which collected 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals. Heroic Filipino surfer Roger Casugay, who was also the PHI’s flag-bearer in the closing ceremony’s traditional parade of athletes, was feted the Fair Play Athlete for his selfless act of helping Indonesian competitor Arip Nurhidayat get out of dangerous waters during the semifinal of their surfing competition. Casugay eventually won the men’s longboard event gold. Also feted were swimmer Quah Zheng Wen of Singapore as Male Mega-Athlete for copping six gold and two silver medals while Nguyen Thi Anh Vien of Vietnam was named Female Mega-Athlete for her six gold and pair of silver medals in the pool. A tribute and a parade for the workforce and volunteers was also part of the program before Medialdea officially closed the PHI’s hosting as the fire in the P55 million cauldron was extinguished. Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) head and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Philippine Olympic Committee president Cong. Bambol Tolentino handed over the SEA Games flag to 2021 host Vietnam in the turnover rites.     Vietnam prepared a presentation for their hosting two years from now.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

& lsquo;Narco-cop& rsquo; linked to drug recycling killed in buy-bust

A newly-retired policeman tagged as a ‘‘ninja cop” and having direct links to at least to more police officers in the recycling of illegal drugs was killed by police operatives in a buy-bust operation in Novaliches, Quezon City, Monday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 10th, 2019

LeBron James keeping Father Time at bay in LA

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The bearded man in a robe who walks with a slight hunch and carries an hourglass always lurks in the shadows, almost out of view. Nobody is paying him much mind or cares what he has to say -- at least not initially. He’s not on anyone’s radar until he appears and applies a gentle tap on the shoulder (or a violent shove in the back) of the unsuspecting. And that’s when they realize they’ve been paid a visit by someone whom Charles Barkley always says is undefeated. Yes, it is “Father Time,” the mythical creation of the ancient Greeks whose clock is more pronounced than any made in Switzerland. He is, by every metric, always on time, although that seems to vary, depending on his mood. He is gracious and respectful in some cases, unforgiving in others. Ultimately, he and only he decides when your time in sports is up. And so, it’s a matter of when, not if, he’ll throw LeBron James in reverse. But where other stars became role players or transformed into shells of their former selves, LeBron is playing at a high level. He turns 35 later this month and because he’s delivering Kia MVP-quality results here in his 17th NBA season, he is winning against time, and therefore, he is … cheating time. He’s almost at 57,000 minutes played in the regular season and playoffs combined, which ranks fourth behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant. He should pass Kobe for No. 3 in career scoring (33,643 points) by the All-Star break. The all-time scoring mark and a high ranking on the all-time assists list are in sight, too. Ask him why and how he’s doing it and LeBron is playfully coy and quick to say “fine wine.” He’ll also often credit the extra motivation he acquired last summer, when he watched the playoffs from his sofa, not far removed from a groin injury and a dreadful first season with the Lakers. Those things caused him grief and fueled his desire to reclaim his place. "I put in the work and I trust everything that I’ve done, especially this offseason," James said. "I’ve come in with a great mindset, with a healthy mindset and a healthy body." Considering his middle age, LeBron is putting together a masterful season (25.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) while excelling as a volume 3-point shooter. His 10.8 apg leads the NBA and his effort defensively -- which was laughable last season -- is laudable now. Nobody at 35 has assembled such numbers in league history. “He’s LeBron James,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. “Until he isn’t.” What’s age got to do with it? Well, nothing right now. LeBron is still capable of unleashing a facial dunk, as he did with a smirk against the Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica, who perhaps wisely never bothered to challenge it. He also covers all the court rather than, as some aging players are wont to do, play between the free throw lines. It’s true that soon enough he will wear longer shorts than anyone in the game -- not from faulty tailoring, but from constant pulling and tugging. And while the ball is in play, he will someday hear squeaking on the court and suddenly notice that sound is coming from his joints. “Nobody knows when it’ll happen to him because he’s still playing in the air,” said Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins. “And even when that goes, his basketball IQ will allow him to stay great on the ground. I mean, who gets triple doubles at his age? Only he knows when his time is up.” When that day arrives -- and assuming he doesn’t first quit while he’s ahead -- how big of a decline will it be for LeBron (and, by extension, for us) to witness? Will he fall prey to nagging injuries, get torched nightly by previously inferior players, or quit playing defense? Here’s how “Father Time” diminished six greats who came before LeBron: 1. Michael Jordan: When he retired for the second time, after his last season with the Bulls, Jordan was still very much a physical marvel and the reigning MVP and Finals MVP (he won five MVPs and six Finals MVPs). He was certifiably great for 13 of his 15 seasons and could’ve been longer if not for three years of college ball, an injury-shortened 1985-86 season and 1.5 missed seasons due to baseball. His body only began to betray him when he un-retired in 2001 to play for the Wizards. At 38, Jordan rarely dunked, wasn’t as sharp defensively and knee issues limited him to 60 games in 2001-02. 2. Jerry West: “The Logo” never had a down year in his 14-year career. He was First-Team All-Defense in 1972-73 as a 34-year-old and was solid in his final season (20.3 ppg, 6.6 apg, 2.6 spg). But he wasn’t at his peak of the late 1960s and opted to quit over pride (and money, when Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke refused to renegotiate his contract). 3. Bill Russell: His career ended mainly because he ran out of psychological fuel. Russell lost his passion to play at 35, even after winning championship No. 11 in his final season (1968-69). That season, he played 46.1 mpg in the playoffs, averaging 10.8 ppg, 20.5 rpg and 5.4 apg. While those numbers are perhaps skewed by the way the game was played back then, they’re still remarkable. 4. Wilt Chamberlain: A man of astonishing stats, Chamberlain averaged a league-leading 18.6 rpg and shot 72.7% overall in his final season (1972-73). Knee issues had long forced Wilt into being a statue in the paint and a third option on offense. After that final NBA season, he jumped from the Lakers to the ABA for money. San Diego offered him $600,000 to be a player-coach, but his Lakers contract prevented him from playing. Wilt coached instead, doing so with disinterest, often not showing up for games or practice. He quit basketball completely after that season. 5. Kobe Bryant: Those roundtrip flights to Germany to get oil for his knees managed to delay the obvious for a few years, but a torn Achilles in 2013 at 35 was the killer. Kobe, much like Jordan and LeBron, was elite into his 30s. And he’ll always have that 60-point send-off. 6. Karl Malone: He won his final MVP at 35 and was built for durability, never suffering a serious injury. He averaged 20.6 ppg in his final season with Utah (2002-03) as he approached 40. By then, he had morphed into a jump shooter and lost his instincts for offensive rebounding. He bowed out as a ring-chasing role player with the Lakers in ‘03-04. Larry Bird was ruined by debilitating back issues at 32. Abdul-Jabbar often only jogged downcourt his last six seasons. Tim Duncan became a secondary option in his last four seasons while Dirk Nowitzki averaged more than 20 ppg once over his final five seasons. Vince Carter is 42 and proudly still playing, but clearly is 10 years beyond his prime. Allen Iverson was the last to know his quickness was gone. “For me, it was Year 12 when it hit me,” said Lakers great James Worthy, who had knee issues. “My patented move was taking off from somewhere inside the free throw line. I found myself halfway there once and I started to descend before I got close to the rim. I had to do a George Gervin flip instead of a dunk. “It’s different now, with this generation of players. I was eating Burger King before games and working out on Nautilus machines. I went to college with Lawrence Taylor and I remember him telling me, ‘I don’t wanna get hit anymore.’ And he’s a reckless guy. LeBron will wake up one day and he won’t have that drive. He’ll be tired and while physically he’s in such great shape, something will go away, either a move or speed.” LeBron seems determined to be the outlier. He spends, by various estimations, more than $1 million on his body for round the clock therapy and a personal trainer. Last summer, he refused to allow the shooting schedule for the movie “Space Jam 2” to interfere with his schedule, rising at 3:30 a.m. to train before heading to the set. He has more than once fantasized about staying in the league long enough to possibly play against or alongside his son, Bronny (now a high school freshman). “LeBron is not only a great player but a physical marvel,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Probably the best athlete to ever walk this planet. I’ve never seen anybody in my lifetime in any sport whom I would consider a better athlete. It’s one of his best attributes and the one that goes the least noticed. You just take it for granted that he’s out there every night and still doing his things.” LeBron exchanged playful tweets with Tom Brady last month, with LeBron saying the two are “one in the same.” Brady is a tame comparison to LeBron. Brady doesn’t run 94 feet and back for nine months (playoffs included) and when tired can simply hand off to the running back. Same for NFL legend Joe Montana, who made the Pro Bowl at 37. MLB legend Nolan Ryan threw once every four or five days. Maybe tennis star Roger Federer, who won Wimbledon at 36 and still reaches finals at 38, comes closest. “It wouldn’t shock me if LeBron played until he was 40,” West said. “He’s such a great athlete and knows enough about his body that he’ll probably leave before he declines.” After watching Robert Parish waste away on the Bulls’ bench, Jordan said he’d never allow himself to stay in the game that long. His pride and unwillingness to be seen as hanging on meant he’d walk away first. LeBron doesn’t think of the twilight and given how he’s playing now, that doesn’t appear to be in the future, anyway. “I was with the Nuggets late in my career and the funny thing is I was leading the league in assists,” said Mark Jackson, fourth on the all-time assists list. “There was a loose ball, a deflection, and it’s right here, and I can go get it. I made the move to go get it, and before I could get anywhere near it, a kid out of nowhere, and in a blur, snatched it. Gets the ball, by the time I get to the spot where the ball is, he’d already dunked it. Young kid by the name of Allen Iverson. I knew it would never be the same.” Jackson says LeBron is so multi-gifted that he can endure decline in one area and still flourish in another. “He also has the knowledge, pace and understanding that he’ll still be able to be effective even when he slows down,” Jackson said. “I don’t think it’ll be drastic. He can average a triple-double for the next five years.” LeBron is taking great satisfaction in fighting age while tweaking skeptics, both real and imagined, who wondered if decline was imminent. He cites that “Washed King” nickname -- did somebody actually call him that? -- as motivation. “It’s the personal pressure I put on myself,” LeBron said. Eventually, like everyone, he’ll take the L from “Father Time.” Until then, LeBron is making us wonder if that mythical man exists. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2019

Referees: VAR wrongly changed 4 English Premier League calls

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — The head of English Premier League refereeing came clean when he faced club executives over the imperfections of using video assistant referees. Far from new technology completely eradicating mistakes, Mike Riley told them four key decisions across four games were incorrectly overturned by the on-field referees relying on the judgment of VARs watching replays from afar. “We’re far from perfect,” Riley said a week on from the meeting of clubs. “We’ve got improve the way that we do things.” Teething problems were anticipated by Riley after conferring with Howard Webb, the former Premier League referee who helped to introduce VAR into Major League Soccer in the United States in 2017. “He said the worst outcome is when the refereeing team on the field of play made the right decision, the VAR intervenes to make the wrong decisions,” Riley said. “There will be times we don’t intervene when everyone thinks we should.” It is not helped by Premier League referees not using the pitch-side monitors through 12 rounds this season since VAR was implemented. The four mistakes by VARs came across two matchdays in the last month when the league lowered the high bar previously applied for the referees’ decisions to be overturned: — Daniel James earning a penalty for Manchester United after a collision with Ben Godfrey at Norwich; — Everton defender Michael Keane accidentally catching Aaron Connolly, leading to a Brighton penalty; — Chelsea midfielder Jorginho’s slight contact with Gerard Deulofeu getting Watford a penalty; — Sokratis having a winner for Arsenal against Crystal Palace ruled out because teammate Calum Chambers was wrongly adjudged to have committed a foul in the buildup. “There are significant things we can do to improve,” Riley said at a briefing. “We can get better consistency of decision making as VARs. “We can improve the timing so we have that minimum interference and if we achieve those, which we will over time, then what we will end up with is better quality decision making, better than 91% and actually in a way that minimizes disruption to the game.” But Riley was still able to assure the chairmen and chief executives of the 20 clubs that the number of correct game-changing decisions has risen from 82% last season to the 91% so far since VAR was introduced. “Let’s not look back at what might have happened so far,” Riley said. “Let’s take all those learnings and go, ‘How do we improve the system going forward?’ because we’ve all got a stake in making sure that happens.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

PBA: Caram’s career game earns him Player of the Week

Anjo Caram’s career game in the PBA couldn’t have come at a better time for Meralco. The wily guard came through with a career-high 30 points in the Bolts’ 103-89 win over NorthPort Batang Pier that solidified their bid to finish as the no. 1 seeded team heading to the playoffs of the Governors Cup. Coach Norman Black described Caram’s performance as ‘awesome’ after going 11-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter alone to match his previous career-best of 16. “He really gave us a big lift and pretty much guided us to the victory,” said Black of his prized-guard out of San Beda. “So I gave him a lot of credit for leading the team. He knew going to the game that Baser (Amer) was not 100 percent and Anjo came and really stepped up and made big shots for us.” Not to be denied, Caram emerged as the PBA Press Corps-Cignal Player of the Week for the period (Nov. 4-10). The 28-year-old pride of Iloilo City did the feat by becoming the shortest PBA player at 5-foot-6 to score 30 points in a game as per league chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III. Caram’s offensive explosion helped the Bolts keep their winning streak at five and improved at 8-2 overall for a tie with NLEX on top of the standings with a week to go before the end of the eliminations. The Meralco guard won the weekly citation over NLEX’s Jericho Cruz, who also received a vote for scoring the game-winning basket as the Road Warriors rallied from 26-points down to nip defending champion Magnolia, 86-85. Other players considered for the honor were Caram’s Meralco teammates Raymond Almazan and Chris Newsome, Japeth Aguilar of Barangay Ginebra, Rain or Shine’s Javee Mocon, JR Quinahan of NLEX, the San Miguel Beer duo of June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, along with Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang and Paul Lee......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 14th, 2019

Addressing growing fan behavior problem top priority for NBA

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press About a dozen NBA players gathered for a teleconference with officials in the league office this summer, making their case about what they believe is one of the biggest problems in the game. Fan behavior, they said, is getting worse. The numbers show they’re right, and if that isn’t troubling enough race only adds to the complexity of the issue: Most NBA players are black, and it seems like most of those in the closest seats are white. Not every incident is racially motivated, though some clearly are. After high-profile incidents involving Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyle Lowry and others last season — including ones involving racist taunts — zero tolerance for abusive or hateful behavior is now to become the NBA’s policy going forward. The league is changing and toughening its code of conduct for fans, especially putting those in closest proximity to the players and the court on alert that anything over the line will lead to ejections and possibly more. “We’ve added any sexist language or LGBTQ language, any denigrating language in that way, anything that is non-basketball related,” said Jerome Pickett, the NBA’s executive vice president and chief security officer. “So ‘your mother’ comments, talking about your family, talking about test scores, anything non-basketball related, we’ve added that in as well as being something that we will go and pull a fan out of the seat and investigate what happened.” Westbrook and Cousins were subjected to racist taunts in Salt Lake City and Boston and the fans involved in those incidents were banned by the Jazz and Celtics. Lowry was shoved by a minority partner of the Golden State Warriors’ ownership group, seated courtside during the NBA Finals, and that person was banned from team business for a year by the league. There were more. Those were just the highest-profile ones. The NBA would not release exact numbers — and the totals are believed to be very low — but Pickett said the ejections of fans in the courtside area still more than doubled last season. Westbrook declined comment for this story, saying through a Rockets official that he was not comfortable discussing the matter. But the players’ union insists that the problem is getting bigger and bigger. “Last season, I began to sense even at the games I was attending that there was a certain, I’ll call it absence of civility, that permeated the games,” said Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. “I was seeing more bad-mouthing opposing teams that were not simply ‘you suck,’ which every one of us will tolerate, but really nasty, nasty comments being directed at players.” The Celtics banned a fan for two years for directing racist chants at Cousins. Westbrook was involved in a pair of incidents in Utah that came to light last season; was offended by a fan during the 2018 playoffs by a fan calling him “boy” before a playoff game, and then last season was involved in a back-and-forth shouting match with another fan. The Jazz banned both fans for life, and Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the NBA for threatening the fan involved in last season’s incident. “I try very hard not to have my default answer be, ‘It’s racism.’ I really do because I don’t think that necessarily advances the argument,” Roberts said. “If it’s undoubtedly that, then I’m happy to say it.” It’s not always racism, either — Roberts also said she’s received complaints from many white players about being the subject of nastiness from fans. Amira Davis is an assistant professor at Penn State specializing in 20th Century American History with an emphasis on race, gender, sports and politics. She believes fans feel more emboldened now to say whatever they like, without fear of repercussions. “There have been plenty of sober fans yelling slurs and attacking players in the worst way,” Davis said. “I think it’s a mix of all of those things and when looking at predominantly white spaces like Utah and a largely black labor force, it ratchets it up a little bit more and makes it a lot more intense. Particularly in this political climate in which it’s very easy to project onto high-profile black athletes and pathologies and misconceptions about the black community.” Fan behavior is not just a concern in the NBA. It is being noted everywhere. Racist chants and taunts are a major issue in European soccer, including at a Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England last week. Green Bay and Philadelphia fans fought in the stands at Lambeau Field last month. The Atlanta Braves had fans stop doing their “tomahawk chop” during the playoffs earlier this month. During the AL Championship Series between Houston and New York, Astros manager A.J. Hinch told umpires that he felt the behavior of fans at Yankee Stadium had crossed the line and that it “was becoming a dangerous situation.” “There’s no place for that,” Hinch said, referencing matters like debris being thrown from the stands toward players and taunts directed toward some of the Astros. “Both teams will agree. And it’s really hard to stop fans from doing that. But it’s also very dangerous.” And the athletes are not always just victims, either. Golfer Bio Kim was suspended by the Korean PGA for three years for making an obscene gesture at the crowd during the final round of a tournament that he won, angry because of noise from a cellphone camera. In the NBA, the league is expanding the area in arenas most closely monitored when it comes to player-fan interaction. The top-priority area used to be just those seated with feet on the court itself or maybe the first couple rows of courtside seats; now, that area goes several rows deep in every building, plus the areas where teams and referees enter and exit the court. The fan code of conduct, a standard announcement at every NBA arena for years, is now being shown and promoted more times in each game. Season-ticket holders have been put on notice by teams that they may lose their seats even if they give their tickets to someone who goes over the line and harasses players or officials too vociferously. Fans believed to have been involved in incidents will be removed from seats while officials investigate; many times, when a security guard asks those in a certain area what just happened, no one would volunteer information with the suspected heckler present. “I think players are definitely vulnerable,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said after the Lowry incident. “Any time you’re in a situation where you can do no right, like in defending yourself, you’re vulnerable.” ___ AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower in Boston contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 21st, 2019

The NBA s new coach s challenge could be a timely tool for teams to wield

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com Cleveland’s John Beilein, the only new-to-the-league coach this season, actually got a jump on his 29 rivals in one department. To better familiarize himself with the Cavaliers team he was taking over, Beilein broke from the tradition that has assistant coaches working the sideline at NBA Summer League. When the situation arose in a game in Las Vegas for Cleveland to invoke the experimental “coaches’ challenge” rule, Beilein was the one calling for it. And the one getting shot down. “It was an out-of-bounds play,” Beilein recalled during a break at the coaches’ meetings in Chicago last month. “My player came to the bench saying, ‘It’s definitely our ball.’ I thought, ‘Great, this is why we have it now.’ “We came back out. It was their ball.” There will be a lot of dashed hopes in 2019-20, as well as some pivotal reversals, with the NBA’s adoption of the latest replay wrinkle. As in MLB and the NFL, coaches will have the opportunity to appeal, in real time, certain referees’ decisions. All the “triggers” of the existing replay system remain, but now the teams will have a sense of control. One time each game. “I’ve been a proponent of it for many years, just as an additional layer of security,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who also serves as president of the NBA Coaches Association. “If a call’s inaccurate for any reason, it’s just an extra chance -- particularly if the game’s on the line -- to get it right. “The question has always been, how to execute it. Where to start. Sounds like this is going to start with a high level of simplicity. Then we’ll see where it goes.” Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone thought back to 2017-18, when the Nuggets missed the postseason after a loss at Minnesota in the season’s final game. Like every game, there were a handful of what-if moments. “Think about it,” Malone said. “Two years ago, one play could have been the difference for us between the lottery and playoffs. That saves jobs, that gets home/road seeding, there are a lot of things that it can affect.” How the coach’s challenge works For this season, the challenge can be made in three situations: to question a foul called against that team’s player, to dispute an out-of-bounds decision or to question a goaltending/basket interference ruling against that team. The first type applies to the entire game; the others to the first 46 minutes (and first three minutes of overtime), after which the established triggers take over. Challenging a call requires the coach to first call a timeout and then inform the referees he wants a review. There are new court administrators at every game this season to help with the process. Also, fans will notice green “challenge lights” at the scorer’s table -- the one nearest the challenging bench will blink. Beilein said he sought redress a couple of times in Las Vegas, without satisfaction. “They never reversed their decisions,” he said, “but it’s really a good idea to do, to let us have this say in a game. You ask, they review it. If they don’t see it, you just move on with the game. It puts things away, so we’re not grinding away all night on that call. It’s over. It’s done.” If a call is reversed, the challenge is successful and the team’s timeout is restored. If the initial ruling stands, the challenge is deemed unsuccessful and that timeout is gone. Win or lose the appeal, the allotment stays the same: One challenge per team per game. The early chatter among coaches has been, when is the best time to use it? In Sunday’s Hornets-Celtics game, Brad Stevens and James Borrego waited until the final minute. Both challenges failed. “I’ll probably save it till the fourth quarter,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “I’m going to be really excited about it when it helps wins me some games. And I’m going to really hate it when it costs me.” Said Malone: “The funny thing is, we always say, ‘The game never comes down to just the last play. Something that happened in the first quarter was just as important.’ But the reality it, when you get to the last two minutes, if you have the coaches challenge in your pocket, that could come up with a really big play or give you momentum.” The refs’ crew chief will have the final determination of fouls. He or she also will be able to “clean up” the play in question if, for instance, they notice the foul was assessed incorrectly or if a different foul by either side occurred before the one being reviewed. Note: infractions such as 3-second violations or traveling, if uncalled initially, can’t be assessed in a challenge review. The league’s Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J., will adjudicate out-of-bounds and goaltending challenges. Confidence key in using challenge At the NBCA September meetings in Chicago, the feature -- also given a trial run in the G League in recent seasons -- was discussed in a ballroom session with referees and supervisors of the officials. The next day, they all spent time on a basketball court, walking through the particulars. Borrego took advantage of his proximity in Charlotte to talk with Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera about his strategy in using the NFL’s version. Those coaches physically throw a red flag to signal their challenge and have time to hear from assistant coaches in a stadium booth upstairs who have seen video to determine their chances of reversal. The NBA won’t have either flags to throw or helpers checking. The coaches will have to alert the refs by twirling their fingers in the air, the current universal symbol for “replay.” They’ll need to act before an opposing player is handed the ball to shoot free throws or toss it inbounds, or before a jump ball. “We haven’t had this conversation with them yet, but players never think they fouled,” Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Monday. “It’s never out on them. We’re gonna have to say, ‘OK, did you really not foul?’ Somehow figure out, ‘OK, you have to tell the truth.’ “That kind of feedback from them is going to be important in a challenge situation.” The preseason was only a few days old but, in this era of analytics, Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen had his crew gather data on every early challenge. He’s working up a list of situations in which to use it. Late in games? Sure. But not so late that the existing triggers take over for a disputed out-of-bounds play. Then the coach might go home without using it. “You’re always concerned about [burning] the timeout,” Boylen said. “You’d better be sure. Your [viewing] angles better be good.” Not everyone is a fan of the experiment, which will be evaluated after the season by the NBA’s Competition Committee. Some skeptics fret that adding reviews will mean more delays in games that already have replay interruptions. Then there was Monty Williams, the Phoenix Suns’ new coach. Part of his dislike? Genuine empathy for the referees. “I’m not a fan of it at all,” Williams said. “Sometimes it’s to your detriment, but I think human error is part of our game. I know we’re trying to get it right, but sometimes [replay] causes referees to get second-guessed a lot. They already are. “And this is just one more thing for coaches to have to do. Now we’re all going to have to delegate a guy on our bench to monitor things.  “If we’re gonna challenge, I wish it was a segment -- say, the last three minutes of the game. I want to coach. I don’t want to be focused all night on, ‘Should I have challenged [a call made earlier]?’ ” Fans might notice other rules changes and priorities for officials this season: * Coaches will be required to submit their starting lineups earlier now, making them public at least 30 minutes before tipoff. This change is seen largely as a nod to the looming arrival of legal sports betting. Knowing the starters earlier -- and which regulars might be sitting out with injuries or for “load management” -- means more wagers can be made with the most updated information. (A change still can be made if a player gets hurt or aggravates an injury during warm-ups.) * The Replay Center will take over determinations of 2-pointers vs. 3-pointers, operating automatically. * There figures to be a spate of traveling calls early this season. The referees have made that infraction one of their “Points of Education” for 2019-20. That means a “more stringent enforcement” of the existing rule, according to Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s VP, head of referee development and training. The league has gone so far as to include the concept of “the gather” in its rule book now. That -- the moment when a player has full control of the ball and thus the point from which he can take two steps – has been used for years by game officials. But now it has been codified, which helps when discerning variations such as steps taken backward (rather than in forward progress) or in the “Euro-step.” McCutchen noted that, in years past, the NBA game was played through the post at a slower pace. Referees evaluated plays starting with the defenders. Now, with hand-checking long gone and 3-pointers pulling players farther out on the court, the refs’ sequence of viewing plays has shifted to feet, then release, then defender. Other Points of Education for the refs this year have focused on illegal contact initiated by offensive players, “freedom of movement” issues and “respect for the game” moments, which basically are emotional overreactions to calls that exceed allowable guidelines. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 12th, 2019

SEA GAMES: Phisgoc, LVPI to sit down on hosting ASEAN Grand Prix leg

It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.   Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chief operating officer Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara will sit down with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. to discuss the country’s possible hosting of the second leg of the planned inaugural ASEAN Grand Prix. Suzara, who is also the chairman of the powerful marketing and development committee of the Asian Volleyball Confederation, told ABS-CBN Sports that Phisgoc is planning to use the four-nation tournament hosting as one of the eight test events for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. The ASEAN Grand Prix is tentatively scheduled late next month or early October. “We will ask LVPI to use the ASEAN Grand Prix as test event for volleyball because it involves four countries,” said Suzara on Thursday. “This is also the request from the Asian Volleyball Confederation. We will call on LVPI to consider doing a test event.” The official added that it is a good opportunity to expose the national women's team against squads from Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia and at the same time serve as a dry run for the country’s hosting of the biennial meet in November.  Phisgoc, according to Suzara, will take care of the needed equipment and logistics of the Grand Prix leg as it will fall under the country’s SEA Games hosting test event. "I have to call [LVPI president] Mr. [Joey] Romasanta to consider the ASEAN Grand Prix second leg to be a test event for Phisgoc," Suzara said. Thailand will host the opening leg and Suzara wants to suggest LVPI to take care of the next stop of the home and away tournament.  “I asked AVC that we might be able to use one leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix because right now kasi ang magho-host pa lang Thailand,” he said. "They’re asking Philippines but hindi pa maka-commit ang LVPI because it needs funding.” “But now Phisgoc is giving the funding as the official test event so why not? It’s also good for the national team,” Suzara added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

'Agimat' returns with special LeBron 16 low colorway

In its third year, the Agimat story takes center stage with the first footwear collaboration with Titan, a beacon of basketball culture in the Philippines. The latest LeBron 16 Low x Titan “Agimat” was inspired by Filipino folklore, where the greatest of warriors are tasked not only to excel in battle, but also to lead past the field of combat and to the pinnacle of their kingdom.  Evolving LeBron James’ journey from Warrior to King, the new Agimat sets the stage for James’ newest challenge to scale greater heights. Speaking about their first Nike collaboration, Levon Rondina, Chief Brand Officer for Titan said, “We are proud and excited that our partnership with Nike is on the Agimat, with its iconic relevance to the people of the Philippines. Since it first launched in 2017, the Agimat has rooted itself not just in basketball performance but also the culture around the game. We are proud to continue deepening that connection through design and storytelling true to Titan’s heritage, culture and spirit.”           View this post on Instagram                   #TAKETHETHRONE // The Agimat. Struck by Lightning. Made for the Warrior, Fit for a King. The journey continues. The Nike LeBron 16 Low x Titan ‘Agimat’ is coming. #FLOTG #TitanX A post shared by TITAN (@titan_22) on Aug 12, 2019 at 8:00pm PDT   Built to harness the athlete’s power during possession, the LeBron 16 Low x Titan “Agimat” features a combined cushioning system that helps absorb impact and provide responsive energy return. The stretch collar in the new design expands to let athletes easily get their foot in, while the custom lacing will secure the fit as per the athlete’s requirement.  In terms of design, there are 2 new badges appearing for the first time on this Agimat iteration – the ‘shield’ inspired by the Bagobo tribe’s traditional armour and ‘lightning’ that symbolizes power – both reflective of James’ stature as he takes on greater challenges in his journey with those who share the same values and resilience onwards. Jino Ferrer, Country Marketing Manager, Nike Philippines said, “We are thrilled to have worked with Titan on this special collaboration of the LeBron 16 Low x Titan “Agimat”. Titan’s love of the game has helped established them as an authentic and vital lifeline of Manila’s basketball scene. We are confident that the Agimat aptly inspires athletes to raise their game on and off the court; to the next level and beyond.” The Nike LeBron 16 Low x Titan “Agimat” priced at PHP8545 will be available at Titan stores, the Titan App, and TITAN22.COM.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2019

SEA Games promo to go full blast next month

Promotion of the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games will go full blast by next month according the organizer's chief operating officer Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara. The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), Foundation official said that they are working with the private sector with the biennial meet’s promotional fund still pending at the Department of Budget and Management. “This is the problem now, so we’re trying to finalize. Hopefully starting next week we will have private groups helping us with the promotion,” said Suzara. He explained that Phisgoc is still waiting for DBM’s decision on which advertising agency will handle the promotion of the Games, which is scheduled to run from November 30 to December 11.     “The promotions requirement that we have are with DBM. So kailangan i-award pa sa ahensya so napakahirap,” Suzara said. “‘Yun ang di maintindihan ng tao. Galit ng galit na wala pang promotion but we are going through this government process. Di namin kasalanan dahil [government] budget yan, gagawin namin [yung government process].” With just four months before the Games, Phisgoc is working on tapping the private sector to get the promotion and awareness drive rolling. “Starting next week, [SM] Mall of Asia is helping us with these LED screens, ilalabas na nila [ang SEA Games promotions],” said Suzara. “We also have a billboard company that is helping us.”   “There are many private companies that are helping us now in the meantime na hindi pa na-release ng DBM yung approval or bidding ng agency,” he added. The Department of Tourism, according to Suzara is also chipping in for the Games’ promos.   “DOT is also helping, they have shelled out a budget for promotions. So hopefully, nitong August boom na 'yung promotions,” Suzara said. The SEA Games will feature 530 events across a record 56 sports to be held in venues in Manila, Clark, Subic, Tagaytay, Laguna, La Union and Batangas.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2019

NO FREE TICKETS: All SEA Games venues will charge entrance fee

No free viewing. Fans who want to catch the exciting action of the 30th Southeast Asian Games live at the event venues will have to pay for tickets. Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), Foundation chief operating officer Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara said that there will be a gate charge for all sports. “Of course for some sports that are not so popular we are trying to fix a minimal rate. [In} all sports, tickets will be charged,” said Suzara, who added that charging gate tickets will add ‘value’ to the sport. “We want the public to know that these sports are important. Even for a $1 ticket is enough for them to appreciate what the sport in the SEA Games is.”    Phisgoc is now in the process of striking a deal with a ticketing firm for featured sports in the biennial meet set on November 30 to December 11. Suzara said that they are talking with SM Tickets and could sign an agreement for event tickets in the next couple of weeks.    “Hopefully, we will be signing an agreement with SM Tickets. Sila ang pinakamagandang package, being also a sponsor of the SEA Games,” said Suzara. The country’s fourth hosting of the SEA Games will feature a record 56 sports and 530 events. “I think there will be a general pricing, but of course, there will be a semifinals, finals, doon natin medyo tataasan ng konti,” said Suzara. “Although the income of tickets will not so big, it adds also to the revenue of the SEA Games.” Suzara also added that they are also taking in consideration the capacity of event venues especially of crowd-drawing sports like basketball and volleyball. “Volleyball and basketball for sure [will draw huge gate attendance], what is important also is [to know] the number of seats na kailangan. It can be free-seating kung walang mga number ang seats pero ili-limit din natin,” he said. “We need to know the capacity, let’s say for example 10,000 yan, we will sell only 8,000 because the other 2,000 (tickets) are for athletes, media, broadcasters, NOC officials, VIPs and sponsors,” he explained further. Basketball will be played at the MOA Arena while volleyball will be held at the Philsports Arena in Pasig. Phisgoc earlier announced that 11 sports will be televised live inlcuding basketball (5x5 and 3x3), volleyball, football, swimming, diving, athletics, badminton, boxing, gymnastics, sepak takraw, taekwondo and E-sports. Tickets will be available once the schedule of games and events are finalized. Participating countries have until September 22 to submit their entry by names while the drawing of lots for team sports is on October 3.   -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2019

SEA Games: NLEX to close section near Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening ceremony

Organizers of the 30th Southeast Asian Games are looking at a 12-hour closure of a section of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) near the Philippine Arena on November 30. The 55,000-seater indoor Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan will be hosting the biennial meet’s opening ceremony that will land on a Saturday and on Bonifacio Day.   “We are doing a thorough planning of the opening ceremony. You can imagine we have an opening ceremony on Nov. 30. Although that's a holiday, if we close NLEX for 12 hours, malaking ano yun [traffic],” said Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), Foundation chief operating officer Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara. Phisgoc is working with the Philippine National Police and the NLEX management on the details of the closure with thousands of fans, athletes, officials and delegates from the 11 participating countries trooping the arena for opening ceremony.    “People have to plan from now on, na pagdating ng Nov. 29, magbiyahe na sila ng Baguio or somewhere north. Kasi pagdating ng Nov. 30 ng 12:00 noon, sarado na ang NLEX hanggang midnight. That's a 12-hour window. After nun, aalis na ang lahat ng tao na manonood ng opening ceremony,” Suzara said. “These things will be convenient for us. This is the suggestion of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Kasi alam mo naman yung likod ng Philippine Arena, masikip. Main highway lang talaga tayo, NLEX lang. This takes a lot of planning with the PNP and NLEX also,” he added. The SEA Games will last until December 11 with 530 events across a record 56 sports to be held in venues in Manila, Clark, Subic, Tagaytay, Laguna, La Union and Batangas.     Concerns of traffic congestions has been raised with the country’s hosting of the biennial meet especially with it landing near the Christmas season. “We are trying to solve this,” said Suzara.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2019

SEA GAMES: 11 sports to air live in the Philippines

The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee, Foundation (Phisgoc) announced on Tuesday that 11 sports will be broadcasted live when the country hosts the biennial meet from November 30 to December 11. Phisgoc chief operating officer Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara said during the broadcast and media conference at the Sofitel Hotel that airing of these popular sports including the opening and closing ceremonies will be divided among two of the country’s biggest networks. “We’re trying to focus only on 11 live sports that are really popular not only in the Philippines but regional sports too like badminton and sepak takraw and football,” said Suzara. Crowd-drawing sports basketball (5x5 and 3x3) and volleyball headline the list of sports that will get live coverage. Also getting TV exposure are football, swimming, diving, athletics, badminton, boxing, gymnastics, sepak takraw, taekwondo and E-sports. The remaining 45 sports will have separate highlights and updates. “Again these are only 11 live sports that will be divided to local TV networks,” said Suzara. “The other sports will be highlights. Again as I mentioned earlier today, there’s cost in every sport that you want to do live, there’s an additional cost. Everybody knows that.” Phisgoc is still in the process of finalizing the livestream rights of the Games. Football will be the first sport to air with the preliminaries set to begin on November 25. Volleyball will start on November 28. Badminton, 3x3 basketball, gymnastics and sepak takraw opens on Dec. 1 followed by boxing (Dec. 2), swimming and 5x5 basketball (Dec. 4), E-sports (Dec. 5), athletics and diving (Dec. 6) and taekwondo (Dec. 7).      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2019

PhilHealth chief sees & lsquo;syndicate& rsquo; disintegrating

PhilHealth chief sees & lsquo;syndicate& rsquo; disintegrating.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 9th, 2019

Five things we learned from Game 4 of the 2019 Finals

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com OAKLAND, Calif. – Five things we learned from the Toronto Raptors’ 105-92 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Friday at Oracle Arena: 1. Dynasties eventually become ‘die-nastys’ Will we get one more game at Oracle Arena? The scene of so much Golden State wonderfulness the past five seasons? A building about to be abandoned when the Warriors move from Oakland to a state-of-the-art arena across the Bay? Hold up. Asking one more game out of the Warriors seems a lot at the moment. These guys just suffered their second consecutive home playoff loss by 10 points or more, something that hasn’t happened to this franchise in 50 years. After three straight games scoring precisely 109 points, the Warriors came up 15 short Friday (Saturday, PHL time). They are 0-9 overall this season when held to double digits, and 0-11 in the playoffs during the Steve Kerr era, when they score 94 or fewer. And now they’re on the wrong side of a 3-1 deficit, lacking everything from certain healthy bodies to an edge, a sharpness that was missing in the second half. Granted, Golden State once held a 3-1 edge in a Finals, all the way back in 2016 … when LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers chased them down and became the only Finals team to claw out of such a chasm. The Warriors did the same to Oklahoma City in the 2016 Western Conference finals. So they not only have a blueprint, they have the know-how and an opportunity to do it again. Like Kerr before him on Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) postgame podium, Warriors forward Draymond Green spoke of simply trying to win one basketball game, the next game, as the proper way to dig out of this series hole. But then he dropped his guard and mentioned winning three in a row, something the Warriors have done often. But they’re a whole year removed from doing that in a Finals (last year’s sweep of the Cavs) with a healthy Kevin Durant. This is a more worn-down, tired team. In fact, Game 4 was more than Golden State’s 102nd game of 2018-19, regular and postseason combined. It was the 102nd playoff game of their five consecutive Finals runs, which means they have crammed an extra season-plus into their schedules compared to the underachievers on lottery teams sitting at home. From the looks of it Friday (Saturday, PHL time), these guys are ready to be toppled, like the Lakers in 1989 and again in 2004, like the Heat in 2014 and the Cavaliers last June. The boisterous Raptors fans who staged their takeover of the Warriors’ building after Game 4 were merely mirroring what their favorite team did on the court from halftime on. Golden State could not stop it. Rudy Tomjanovich might still be inclined to scream into the darkness. (“Never underestimate the heart of a champion!”) But pride only takes you so far, and that’s mostly what the Warriors have left. 2. Third quarter? That’s Toronto’s now It took the Raptors more than 18 minutes to score 30 points Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), stymied by the pace of the game and particularly Golden State’s scrappy, hustling defense. Immediately after halftime, it took Toronto only 12 minutes to put up 37. The time of death for Golden State on Friday was immediately after Kawhi Leonard drained consecutive three-pointers – “F-you” shots, teammate Fred VanVleet memorably coined them – that boosted Toronto from a four-point deficit to a 12-point advantage. The Warriors already had played well enough to rightly feel they should have had a bigger cushion; falling behind so rudely seemed to buckle the defending champs. That they feel third quarters are their birthright made the switcheroo intolerable. “We had a big problem with the third quarter in Game 2,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. “We had to make some adjustment there to try to combat the way they come out of the half. We made the decision to put Fred in, [first] in Game 3 and then Game 4 again. Mostly it's to try to keep up pace of our offense going. It gives us two point guards out there that can push the ball, get it in and get it going, and it kind of paid off. “I know Kawhi's two big three's to start the half really changed the whole feel of everybody. Everybody was like, ‘Okay, man, we know we are here, let's go,’ and we just kind of kept going from those two three's.” For the Warriors, who have done that to so many others, turnabout was a pain in the rump. “Oh, this sucks,” Draymond Green recalled thinking as Toronto took control of the quarter. “It sucks really bad. You just try and do whatever you can to change it. Get a stop, get a bucket, get some momentum.  Every time we did, they answered.” Green was asked about the difficulty of rattling the stone-faced Leonard with whatever defensive tactic Golden State could muster, and brushed the question aside. “I don't think you're ever going to rattle Kawhi. Not sure we used that word one time in our scouting report, ‘We're going to rattle him,’” Green said. But it’s not just Leonard now. It’s the Raptors. Time after time, whenever Golden State revved up with a couple of scoring possessions, signaling to their fans they ready to make a run, Toronto snuffed it with a three-pointer or a well-executed pick and roll. They’ve got a team of Kawhis-in-training, unflappable lately if not as inscrutable. “Most teams will take cues from their leaders or their star players, so I think that spreads around a little bit,” Nurse said. But he also praised vets such as Marc Gasol, Danny Green, Kyle Lowry and VanVleet for how steady they’ve been. Now, with the temptation to imagine hoisting a championship trophy, the Raptors might be expected to buy into the stat that, of the 34 teams in The Finals who have led 3-1, 33 of them got their rings. But this team is so focused, so resolute in taking care of business down to the smallest and most mundane task, that all Nurse might have to do is remind them how many aspiring champs won three games in a Finals and still headed into summer empty-handed. (It's 19.) No trophy, no rings. 3. A surge from Serge The chemistry between Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry was evident in their playful banter on the podium Friday night. Each slipped into his role, Lowry as the instigator, Ibaka as the target of his playful jibes. “You joining me?” Lowry asked, as Ibaka got to the podium a half minute after him. “Serge Ibaka, everybody. You all know him. Nice outfit. Worth a lot of money. Is that jacket real leather?” “Yes, it’s real leather,” Ibaka said. "Pants too tight, he can't even sit down,” Lowry said. On court, Ibaka’s defensive impact and 20 points in reserve dampened a lot of Warrior enthusiasm. There are nights when Ibaka comes across like Chief in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” a large, lumbering and rather stiff option near the rim with very little to say. Some nights, he even seems to be asleep. But still waters often run deep, too deep for the Warriors in Game 4, it turned out. Ibaka’s here-today, gone-tomorrow shooting touch had him playing in a way that none of Golden State’s three centers – DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney or Andrew Bogut – could match. “Once he gets into the series," Nurse said, "which he did in Game 3 with the blocked shots and the rebounding and stuff, he seems to stay in the series. He usually gives you all of it.” Said Lowry, about knowing when a Serge surge is coming: “He doesn't say anything. When Serge is effective defensively is when he's at his best. I think the scoring just comes. We're going to make sure he gets that pick-and-pop jump shot, he's rolling … When he brings that intensity and that fierceness, it's kind of tough to stop him on both ends of the floor.” 4. Stephen Curry had a bad game One of the most famous pieces of magazine journalism ever was entitled, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” by Gay Talese, a profile written when Sinatra obviously was ill of body and temper, and didn’t even grant Talese an interview. So our headline kind of tells the story as his did: Curry, one of the top five players in the NBA and probably the greatest overall shooter of all time, was not his two-time MVP self. He wasn’t even the Game 3 version (47 points). The Warriors point guard scored 20 fewer points in this one, and was 2-of-9 from three-point range. He missed all five of his shots from the arc in the first half and he picked up some obvious frustration fouls. Curry played 43 of the 48 minutes, and Golden State was outscored by 11 points when he was on the court. “It wasn’t his best game,” Kerr said. Evaluating Curry, for the Warriors, was going to come down to breaking down video and keeping the faith. Evaluating him, for the rest of us, is getting complicated these days by a sense that Curry did not get his due in past Finals – at least in terms of winning the Bill Russell Award as Finals MVP. But that’s no excuse to don rose-colored glasses every time he hits the floor. As scintillating as his performance was in defeat Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) as the Warriors’ only healthy threat, his Game 4 work was raggedy and unproductive. “They have been aggressive all series and trying to take space away from me and Klay,” Curry said. “I missed some shots early that I usually make, especially from the three-point line. But overall, I thought I got good looks.” Every game doesn’t need to be a referendum on the level of Curry appreciation. He might have deserved more consideration as Finals MVP in 2015, when Andre Iguodala snagged it with a strong performance in the clinching game. And even though Kevin Durant was an easy choice in 2017, there were some who felt Curry was more essential (including this voter). In some cosmic and just way, Curry probably should have been recognized with hardware somewhere among the three. But all signs are pointing to Leonard now, so Curry might have to muddle along with "only" those two Maurice Podoloff trophies for regular-season MVP, along with his All-NBA berths and assorted accolades, his ginormous contract and bounty of commercial endorsements, three rings (unless this series turns around) and a better life than most people who’ve ever walked the planet. 5. Durant to play in Game … 8? It’s possible that Durant will come walking through Rick Pitino’s proverbial door and seize what’s left of the championship series by the throat, playing like the two-time Finals MVP he is. Failing that, if there’s a Game 6, maybe that’s the night Durant at least does a Willis Reed impersonation, limping through the Oracle tunnel to a thunderous roar and hitting a couple of early shots to inspire his teammates to something special. (There still, alas, would be a pesky Game 7 for which to account, back in Toronto, likely muddying the drama.) Then again, maybe Durant doesn’t come back at all. For The Finals or with the Warriors, period. Speculation at this point is all over the map. Some think the Warriors planned to hold him out until things got really dire, to buy extra healing time and maybe not use him at all. Others now believe Durant’s rehab process of his strained right calf back-slid to some degree on Thursday, when he participated in a checkpoint workout with the training staff. A few folks think he never was going to return, regardless. After all, the All-NBA forward hasn’t played since May 8 (May 9, PHL time), missing nine fairly important games. This is a league where injuries typically face an “If this were a playoff game, would he play?” threshold. Durant has been nearly as absent from this NBA postseason as LeBron James. Look, all injuries are different, and even the same type of injury can have different timelines with different sufferers. Klay Thompson rushing back from his hamstring issue after skipping only Game 3 is at the crazy-resilient end of the durability scale. Kevon Looney basically rose from the ashes, giving the Warriors a rim runner and 10 points with six rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench. He had been ruled out for the rest of the series after suffering a rib cartilage fracture in his crash to the floor in Game 2. After anticipation of Durant’s availability got out in front of his reality for a few days, the chatter is more tempered now. There’s a shrug and a whiff of uncertainty folded into every mention. If Durant had his Thursday workout, he would have played Friday (Saturday, PHL time). If he had a setback … Heck, at this point it might be more pragmatic for the medical peeps to declare him out and let the Warriors who’ve come this far see this through, yea or nay. “As far as KD, there's been hope that he will come back the whole series,” Draymond Green said. “So that's not going to change now. Obviously we hope to have him, but we'll see what happens. We don't make that final call, he don't really even make that final call.  His body will tell him if he can get out there or not. And if he can, great. And if not, you still got to try to find a way to win the next game.” The Warriors had been holding out hope for Durant’s return as if he was their ace in the hole, imagining him with zero rust or rhythm issues once back and no limitations on his gait. But he has passed the “In case of emergency, break glass” point of urgent help possibilities. Now Durant resembles more the keg hanging from a Saint Bernard dog’s collar. It’s a nice idea, but when was the last time one of those dogs saved somebody who literally drank from the little barrel? Toronto is in a foreign land, by NBA standards. But it ain’t the Alps. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 9th, 2019

US navy chief doesn& rsquo;t want China tensions to & lsquo;boil over& rsquo;

US navy chief doesn& rsquo;t want China tensions to & lsquo;boil over& rsquo;.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 16th, 2019

& lsquo;Rise up& rsquo;: Papua New Guinea female police chief& rsquo;s battle cry to women

& lsquo;Rise up& rsquo;: Papua New Guinea female police chief& rsquo;s battle cry to women.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 14th, 2019

& lsquo;Bikoy& rsquo; hunt on, criminal case eyed for role in oust-Duterte videos

& lsquo;Bikoy& rsquo; hunt on, criminal case eyed for role in oust-Duterte videos.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 11th, 2019

SolGen pushes quit call on IBP chief over & lsquo;Bikoy& rsquo;

SolGen pushes quit call on IBP chief over & lsquo;Bikoy& rsquo;.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

Name ‘narco solons,’ Alvarez told

Name ‘narco solons,’ Alvarez told.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017