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For sale to the highest bidder: A 12-pound chunk of the moon

A 12-pound (5.5 kilogram) lunar meteorite discovered in Northwest Africa in 2017 rests on a table, in Amherst, N.H. The rock, which is actually comprised of six fragments that fit together like a p.....»»

Category: newsSource: philippinetimes philippinetimesOct 11th, 2018

Panthers sale sparks buzz in political, business circles

By Steve Reed, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The stunning news of the rare opportunity to purchase an NFL team has quickly garnered the attention of sports figures, business investors and politicians alike. Amid reports of sexual and racial remarks made by Carolina Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson in the workplace, he has unexpectedly announced that he is selling the NFL franchise after this season ends. It was a bombshell that rocked the Carolinas, and generated shockwaves inside and out of the organization. The team Monday promoted Tina Becker as COO and gave her full control of the day-to-day operations. Becker said in a release that “these have been some of the most difficult days of my 19 years with the Panthers.” She added that her immediate focus will be on corporate side of the organization, “while addressing the real concerns that have been raised in recent days.” Richardson, meanwhile, stepped away from daily responsibilities to focus on the sale of the team — which will come with a multi-billion dollar price tag. That’s what is known, but Richardson’s decision to walk away after nearly 25 years as owner has left more questions than answers about the franchise’s future — most notably, who will buy it and will they keep the team in Charlotte. Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said she is committed to working to keep the team in Charlotte. “The City of Charlotte values its long-running relationship with the Panthers after more than 22 seasons of NFL football,” Lyles said in a statement to The Associated Press. “The Panthers are part of Charlotte’s fabric. We’ve celebrated victories and anguished over defeats. We understand transitions are inevitable, and we look forward to working with current and future ownership.” The Panthers are tethered to Charlotte through the 2018 season because of an agreement on an $87.5 stadium renovation between the city and the team in 2013. That renovation is nearly complete. But a buyer could potentially purchase the team and move it in 2019. Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, who was mayor of Charlotte when the Panthers settled into their new stadium, has seen both sides. He also was the mayor when the Hornets left town. He said another question might be about Bank of America stadium. “Will (the new owners) ask for government subsidy to continue to improve the stadium, or, in fact, even build a new stadium, like what’s happened in Atlanta and Dallas?” McCrory said. “That would be a tall order.” He said it will be a business decision— and the highest bidder will get the team, to possibly do with it as they chose. “Unless the NFL steps in and says, ’No, you need to have a local ownership group,’” he said, “which I’d encourage them to do.” Panthers coach Ron Rivera was “a little taken aback” when Richardson informed him Sunday night of his decision to sell the team. But he too believes the Panthers should remain in Charlotte. “This organization has been a source of pride and goodwill and I would like to it continue,” Rivera said Monday. “This is a great community with a very supportive fan base that has been out there for us. They have been here for me and this football team and I hope that somehow it is able to stay here.” The chance to purchase an NFL team has potential suitors coming out of the woodwork. Rapper and actor Diddy indicated his interest in purchasing the Panthers on Twitter moments after Richardson’s announcement. Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, a Charlotte native, chimed in with “I want in!” NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has also expressed interest. Other businessmen with Charlotte connections could show interest as well. Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith and his son, CEO Marcus Smith, have previously expressed interest in purchasing the Panthers should the opportunity arise. And the Panthers are loaded with minority owners including real estate magnate “Smoky” Bissell, Family Dollar founder Leon Levine and members of the Belk family. Developer Johnny Harris, who was instrumental in luring the Wells Fargo Championship — and later the PGA Championship — to Charlotte, could also decide to increase his ownership stake in the team. Let’s not forget Michael Jordan. The six-time NBA champion owns the Hornets. However, Jordan’s interest level is unknown and his representative Estee Portnoy said she had no comment on the Panthers sale. More names will surely emerge over the next several weeks, but they need to be ready to write a big check. Forbes Magazine recently estimated the Panthers worth at $2.3 billion. And those numbers could be low. Forbes estimated the Buffalo Bills at a net worth of $935 million in 2013, but the team wound up selling in 2014 for $1.4 billion — nearly 50 percent higher than the estimate — according to magazine’s website. Before any sale can be finalized, it will need the approval of 24 of 32 NFL owners. The Panthers have a lot to offer potential suitors: — They are on the cusp of reaching the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. — They have sold out 225 of their 227 home games in team history, including 157 straight. — They feature several recognizable stars including 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton and 2013 Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly. Panthers tight end Ed Dickson said fans don’t deserve to have a team ripped out from underneath them. “It’s growing, it’s definitely been growing,” Dickson said of the fan base. “We are striving to build something that Dallas has, and Pittsburgh has. We don’t have that much history here. But one of the reasons I came here was to be a part of something special. When we do get to the top of the mountain and win a Super Bowl — then we have something to celebrate here” in the Carolinas. At least in 2017 and 2018, after that, it’s unclear where the party would be. ___ AP Writer Skip Foreman contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 19th, 2017

Billboard-charting K-pop act PH-bound in February

See u later, Blinks!   Blackpink, the Korean girl group behind the worldwide hit, "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du," is set to hold a concert in Manila for the first time on Feb. 2 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, as part of its Asian tour, titled "In Your Area."   Tickets to the concert---mounted by MMI Live---goes on sale starting Dec. 6 (call 470-2222).   Composed of Jisoo, Jennie, Ros and Lisa, Blackpink, which debuted just two years ago, holds the distinction of being the highest-charting female K-pop act on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" peaked at No. 55. Its EP "Square One," on the other hand, reached No. 40 on the Billboard 200.   Blackpin...Keep on reading: Billboard-charting K-pop act PH-bound in February.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

NBA Asia Managing Director Levy: We don t take the Pinoy fanbase lightly

The Philippines is unique, among the countries Scott Levy, NBA Asia Managing Director, handles. Tasked to oversee the development and expansion of the NBA's strategic initiatives in Asia (with the exception of Greater China and India), the Philippines is a different situation for Levy, compared to say, Thailand, or Malaysia. Unlike other countries in the region, basketball is well-engrained in the local Philippine culture, as is the NBA. In that regard, the job is easy. But diehard fans, and this country is full of diehard NBA fans, want different things, and want much more of it. And Levy and the rest of the NBA Asia office know it's important to keep them happy. Speaking to reporters as part of a roundtable Q&A session, Levy admitted that satisfying Philippine demand continues to be the biggest challenge. Citing the league's local TV partners, which include ABS-CBN, Solar, and FOX, as well as the implementation of League Pass via mobile companies Smart and Globe, Levy said, "We want to make sure that there are enough games, and that there are enough outlets [to get those games], that people can continue to interact and really get to know [the NBA] beyond maybe what the scores are. "We want to bring more players here, bring the real experiences. So we bring NBA players during the year, we bring NBA legends (the league directly brings around 3-4 players and legends to the country each year), we have dance teams, we have mascots [so that] people can get very close to the game." This differs very much from other countries in Asia. Whereas in other countries, NBA Asia devotes resources to growing the game, often teaming up with local governments' sports ministries, there's no need to teach the basics here. "That just means we take a higher level approach to coaching and make sure that there's another step that they may [take]," said Levy, who cited the example of bringing in Fil-Am coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat into the Philippines to help impart higher-level coaching techniques. Because the country is further down the line in terms of hoops techniques, the league's Jr. NBA program which is presented in the Philippines by Alaska, has played a huge role in recent years. "Nearly two million kids have come through the program...to improve their skill level. Many of our players have moved on to play in the UAAP, in the NCAA. Some are now in the PBA. So we want to contribute to the existing strength of the basketball community here," Levy said. It hasn't always been smooth sailing though. Recently, ventures like the NBA Cafe and the NBA Stores in the Philippines saw their licenses expire and close. For Levy though, it's similar to the familiar "shoot your shot" maxim in hoops. "We're willing to try things and if they're successful, great, we'll continue them," he said. "But if we think there are better ways to engage, we'll do that." Levy added that while the physical stores may be gone, fans can still purchase NBA merch through NBAStore.com, and other places like Nike, Toby's and Titan. Levy also applauded how knowledgable local fans are with regards to players and teams. While it's often thought that a large chunk of Pinoy fans are Lakers fans, Levy said that when you look at the data, it's winning teams that are able to capture the attention of Filipinos, with the obvious exception of teams in areas with large Filipino communities, such as San Francisco and the Golden State Warriors. "For me, here in the Philippines, we don't have to do much more than just make sure the players and the teams are exposed, because Filipino fans understand great play, and they understand great players. And when teams win, or players do amazing things, they become popular here," he said.   Looking ahead to the future, Levy believes that mobile will still be the way to go, though with a caveat. "As the streaming speeds continue to improve...then we'll be able to deliver more content," Levy said. "We'll continue to adjust the delivery of our product as the speeds improve." He added that the league wants to look into more basketball mobile games, even locally or regionally developed ones, to help educate fans on players and give them more ways to interact. To sum it up, Levy once again reiterated that the Philippines is "incredibly important," to the Association. "It probably is the market with the highest fan affinity for basketball, and that's daunting. To satisfy everybody, that's a full-time job. "We don't take the fanbase here lightly. We are focused on making sure that everybody is happy with what they have available and we're listening for the things that we need to do better."   Without a doubt, that's music to the Philippine fans' ears. SIX SHOTS Here are six other topics Levy touched on during the interview: 1. On the Philippines hosting another NBA Global Games "The challenge with [the Global Games] is always, there's 15,000 people in that building, and there's a hundred million Filipinos that we're trying to engage around the NBA. So while the games are great, we are really spending our time figuring out how we can engage a hundred million Filipinos. "But it's always in consideration and hopefully at some point in the future, we'll be able to bring the game back here again." 2. On the impact of a full-Pinoy player making it in the NBA "That question has always perplexed me, because the fanbase here is so strong already. I mean clearly Jordan Clarkson is very popular here, but he's not the most popular NBA player [in the Philippines]. So would a Filipino player be the most popular player? If he was the best player in the NBA, he'd probably be the most popular player, but if he's not, I think Filipinos will follow that player, and will continue to follow the best players in the NBA because that's the expectation here in the Philippines - 'I'm looking for the best players and the best teams and that's who I want to follow.' "But [by] the number of people who are playing in this country, I think it's just a matter of time before we have multiple local Filipinos playing in the NBA. It's definitely going to happen. The game is getting better, the coaches are getting better, the level of talent in the PBA continues to go up, and there are more Filipino players coming to the US and playing in university [NCAA] so it's definitely going to happen." 3. On the passing of FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann "I personally knew Patrick and there was nobody that spent more time and energy and basically dedicated their life to the sport of basketball and had such a great impact on the sport of basketball around the world. It’s a tragic loss. Personally, I will miss Patrick and he worked very closely with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. They had just seen him in a FIBA conference in Xi’an, China a few days before and typically with Patrick he was off in Argentina in another basketball event. I mean, he just, he was tireless in his efforts and he had tremendous success and it’s a tremendous loss to the entire basketball community." 4. On the NBA expanding the game towards female fans in the Philippines. "[For the Jr. NBA PH program] our goal is always 50-50, boys-girls. We haven’t yet achieved that here in the Philippines but again, working closely with the schools, working with Alaska, working with SM...the percentage continues to increase. I'm not exactly sure what the [numbers are] last year, but it's still too low. "I think that’s why it’s a little bit of frustrating here. In countries like Thailand and Indonesia, where, well Thailand has more than 50 percent girls, and in Vietnam and Indonesia it’s over 40 percent right now. So, again, our goal is 50-50. This sport is gender neutral, we bring WNBA players into market, we’ve done that many times already and now we’re going into schools to really try to encourage young girls to play the game." 5. On giving tips to local leagues to become more successful "We’re not here to dictate how a league should be run. What we’re trying to do is understand where we can be helpful, if they’re looking for assistance in building an arena, we’re happy to help with that. If they’re looking [at] how to enhance ticket sales, how to expand the live in-arena experience. Whatever it is that they may ask for our assistance, we are here to help. We support local basketball in every way we can but we’re not being prescriptive in saying this is how you should run a league in the Philippines. There’s way more knowledge on the ground here in the country than we have about what’s successful here." 6. On sports stars from other leagues interacting with NBA players "Our players are incredible. They are global icons, they’re incredible on social media which continues to grow their fanbase….because our players are active on social and they’re interested, personally interested in fashion and technology and gaming, and music and they have relationships with Jay-Z and with Usher, with every other top performer and other athletes are also interested because they’re fans. So when we do an event in London, we get calls from players on Chelsea, and on Tottenham and on Liverpool and on Man U and say “Hey, we wanna come to the game because we wanna see these athletes play. "So, anytime there is an athlete that is a fan of the NBA we will look to engage them. We work with all other sports leagues and we’re also fans. Our players are fans. There’s an opportunity to go to Camp Nou in Barcelona, our players want to be there. So, this is more driven by the players, their personal interests in other sports and other athletes and luckily our athletes are generally pretty popular around the world, and we’ll encourage that engagement and facilitate some particularly social media moments where Neymar comes into the locker room and exchanges a jersey with Steph Curry. We had Ronaldinho wearing a Carmelo Anthony jersey, dribbling a basketball on his head. All these moments are really special for the crossover fans from one sport to another. But it’s really driven by our players’ personal interest or other athletes’ personal interest in basketball.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 25th, 2018

Why would anyone ever pay $558,000 for a bottle of Burgundy?

WHEN A private Asian collector bid an eye-popping $558,000 for a single bottle of 1945 Romanée-Conti at Sotheby’s sale this past Saturday in New York, a world record was smashed. This was not just the highest price ever reached for a 750 ml bottle of Burgundy, but also the highest for any bottle of wine ever at auction. The post Why would anyone ever pay $558,000 for a bottle of Burgundy? appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsOct 17th, 2018

Australia mints its most valuable coin ever

SYDNEY, Australia--- Australia has minted a gold coin encrusted with rare pink diamonds worth Aus$2.48 million (US$1.8 million) to meet growing demand for high-end collectables from the ultra-rich. The two-kilogram treasure, which depicts a sailing ship, a gold prospector and boab trees found in Western Australia, is considered legal tender and will be sold to the highest bidder. It is the most valuable coin ever made in Australia and is expected to be sold to a buyer from Asia or the Middle East. It was "released in response to the distinct increase in demand for exclusive luxury items", said Perth Mint chief executive Richard Hayes Tuesday. "The coin showcases rare pink...Keep on reading: Australia mints its most valuable coin ever.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018

Meralco’s Ghana entry in limbo

The Manila Electric Co.'s (Meralco) debut as a hands-on energy player abroad hit a snag as its Chinese rival for a concession in Ghana hailed to court the responsible state agency, prompting a stop in the contracting process. The Millennium Development Agency (MiDA) of Ghana---which leads the concession process---last month named Meralco the preferred bidder for a contract to manage, operate and invest in the Electric Company of Ghana (ECG), which serves that West African country's capital region. MiDA chose Meralco for having the "highest combined technical and financial score." MiDA, however, confirmed last week that losing bidder led by BXC Company Ghana Ltd. has brought the age...Keep on reading: Meralco’s Ghana entry in limbo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2018

Historic step

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will walk across the Demilitarized Zone on Friday for a historic summit with the South’s President Moon Jae-in, the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy. Pyongyang’s atomic arsenal will be high on the agenda the first time one of….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsApr 24th, 2018

Silent bidding raises passionate voice for Arroceros park

For this year's silent auction, the all-women Winner Foundation members came in Christmas-y red, with a few wearing deep fuchsia. I wore my blue-and-white nautical stripes, being a nonmember but almost a yearly visitor and bidder for lower-priced objects. There was one year, my first time to go, when I went overboard and beyond budget. The next year I restrained myself and just bought secondhand paperbacks from the table of historian Benito Legarda Jr. Another year, I outbid a rival for a set of batik handkerchiefs. Strict discernment On my fourth year, I again practiced strict discernment as I moved from table to table to study the things for sale. I fell madly in love ...Keep on reading: Silent bidding raises passionate voice for Arroceros park.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 2nd, 2018

China credit rater gives top marks to PHL’s panda bonds

A CHINESE debt watcher has given its highest credit rating to the Philippines’ planned yuan-denominated securities, citing the country’s “strong and consistent economic growth,” the Finance department said in a press release on Monday. China Lianhe Credit Rating Company Ltd. gave the Philippines’ planned “panda” bond sale an “AAA” rating with a stable outlook, saying […] The post China credit rater gives top marks to PHL’s panda bonds appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 12th, 2018

Cuban s tanking talk raises key issue for NBA

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst The NBA fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 for being honest. Cuban told Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer Julius Erving on Erving’s podcast a couple of weeks ago that he told his players during a recent dinner that “losing is our best option. Adam (Silver) would hate hearing that…(but) we want the players to understand. As a player, you know that even though you may not agree, but at least if you respect the fact that someone took the time to talk to you, and you understood their perspective, you’re going to give me your feedback, but you’re part of the process.” But the league fined Cuban for what it called “public statements detrimental to the NBA” three days later. And Silver sent a memo to all 30 teams last week detailing the league’s position. “Throughout this period,” Silver wrote, “we have been careful to distinguish between efforts teams may make to rebuild their rosters, including through personnel changes over the course of several seasons, and circumstances in which players or coaches on the floor take steps to lose games. “The former can be a legitimate strategy to construct a successful team within the confines of league rules; the latter -- which we have not found and hope never to see in the NBA -- has no place in our game.” Yet Cuban did not in any way, nor has any evidence to the contrary emerged, state the Mavericks were losing games on purpose; that is, players were intentionally missing shots, or not putting forth effort on defense to let the other team score, or anything like that. (Even Silver acknowledged in the memo that the league has “no basis at this time to conclude that the Mavericks team is giving anything less than its best effort on the court, and Mark has assured us that this is not the case.”) So, why the fine? Was what Cuban said so incendiary? ‘’Mark knew his comments were public, so it surprised me that he was so candid, but that's who Mark is,” said one very high-ranking official from another team over the weekend. “To me his comment wasn't indicating tanking as their strategy but more about setting the expectation that playoffs were not a possibility. The only consolation of not making the playoffs is being in the lottery. You can't blame a team from trying to turn the lemon (losing) into lemonade (top 4 pick). The league needs to find a way not to reward losing.” Exactly. What Cuban said was spot on -- losing to improve the Mavericks’ Draft position was, and is, the best and quickest way for Dallas to get better and start winning games again. That doesn’t mean everyone agreed with Cuban being so blunt. “I think it was a totally inappropriate to say that to players,” said another extremely high-ranking team official for another team. “Whatever the team’s strategy may be, I firmly believe that the players should always play to win. The fine is meaningless to Mark; in fact, sometimes I think he enjoys the publicity he gets from the fines.” But. We ask people to be truthful and not lie about their intentions. We tell our kids that no lie is worth telling, and that telling the truth, no matter how painful, is always the best choice. So Cuban is honest and tells the truth, that short-term losing makes more sense for his franchise’s long-term interests, and he’s relieved of 600 large by the league. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers are lauded -- and revel in their slogan, “Trust the Process,” celebrated by the team’s most ardent supporters -- whose central tenet was to lose, and keep losing, until you could draft a player good enough to build around and win down the road. Which is, exactly, what Dallas is doing now. Indeed, increased tanking is the logical extension of an analytics-dominant league. If three is greater than two -- the reasoning behind the primacy of the 3-pointer in today’s NBA -- then doing anything you can to get more ping-pong balls in the hopper is the correct thing to do. You can’t just embrace the parts of doing it by the numbers that are pleasant. This is the flip side. Burying one’s head in the sand and pretending teams don’t do this doesn’t make sense. Everyone does it in every sport, or don’t you recall “Suck for Luck,” the chant of Indianapolis Colts’ fans before the 2012 NFL Draft? What of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros losing 324 games from 2011-13? Were they trying to win games, or did we all imagine them going from $102 million in payroll in 2009 to $26 million by 2013? “I resist the word ‘tanking,’ but I’m very pro ‘rebuilding,’ when it’s necessary,” said Los Angeles Dodgers President Stan Kasten, who in a former life ran the Hawks as general manager in the ‘80s and ‘90s, by telephone Sunday. “And, it’s painful,” Kasten said. “You’ve got to explain it to your team, your fans, to your front office, to your coaches, to your wife, to your kids, to the country club. It’s hard. It’s painful. It’s nobody’s first choice. But if it’s necessary, it’s often the quickest way to get the team back to winning. And don’t lose sight of that.” Kasten’s Dodgers lost the World Series to the Astros, who methodically built their team the last four years around young drafted players like Series MVP George Springer, last fall in seven games. But not only is he not angry with Houston for the way management took the franchise’s foundation to the studs -- compared with his high-spending Dodgers -- he admires the speed with which they went from worst to first. “I have real feelings about what they did,” Kasten said. “Because Mark Walter (the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, the global firm that bought the Dodgers in 2012) and I, before we bought the Dodgers, we were looking at Houston. Because they were available. And truthfully, when we looked at where they were, we were going to do the same thing. It had to be done. Because they were not on a track to win. And frankly, I don’t think I could have done it as fast, or as well, as (Astros owner) Jim Crane, or (GM) Jeff Luhnow. Because doing that, to the extreme, takes real intestinal fortitude.” Kasten makes a strong distinction between a team cutting payroll and going young and that winds up losing, and one that’s actively seeking ways to lose more games. “All of these owners are hyper-competitive, and they want to win,” Kasten said. “And truthfully, the quickest way to win, at least if you look at the last three world champions, is to rebuild and get young and get prospects and do it that way. And if you don’t think that’s the better way to go, ask the fans in Houston and Chicago and Kansas City how they feel. You won’t get one fan who disagrees with what is done. It is the quickest way to win.” Please do not misunderstand. I hate tanking. I hate the idea of introducing losing into your shop, even indirectly. It’s like a virus, extremely difficult to get rid of once it gets in a franchise’s bloodstream. A ticket is, in essence, a contract between parties: I pay top dollar, you give me top-dollar product in exchange. When a team tanks, it violates that compact; I don’t recall any team that’s given fans a tanking discount. It is also very difficult to tank effectively in the NBA. The last three teams with the best odds of getting the No. 1 in the Draft going into the Lottery -- Boston (2017), Philadelphia (2016) and Minnesota (2015) -- have indeed won. But prior to that, the team with the best odds didn’t get the first pick for 10 consecutive years, and 22 times out of the last 25 years. And even the teams that did buck the odds and get the first pick often picked wrong, or did I miss Anthony Bennett Night in Cleveland, or the Andrea Bargnani statue outside of Air Canada Centre? “The Draft is often a crap shoot anyway,” the official from the second team said. “So why not give your fans the best product that you can and then draft Donovan Mitchell,” as Utah did this season. The Jazz traded for the rights to the Kia Rookie of the Year candidate, who was taken near the bottom of the Lottery (13th overall by the Denver Nuggets). This came a season after the Jazz went 51-31 and won its first-round playoff series. I agree. Tanking does not reward excellence in team building -- good drafting, good free-agent signings, good player development -- it rewards the exact opposite of that. It’s a Golden Ticket that doesn’t even require you to buy an Everlasting Gobstopper. But, tanking is reality. You can’t pretend it isn’t. And the only way to completely get tanking out of pro sports is to eliminate the Draft in all sports, including the NBA. We don’t want to have that conversation, do we? Personally, I’d love it. Can you imagine the fight that would set up between interested teams -- and who wouldn’t be interested? -- in a certain 7-foot-1 freshman center almost certain to leave school early who currently plays for a school that’s been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately? Would he help the Lakers? The Knicks? The Bulls? The NBA team in the state in which the college player currently plays, which rather desperately needs another star to pair with its one really great player (whose name, if you must know, rhymes with “Nevin Cooker”)? Would he help any team in the league that doesn’t currently employ Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid or Karl-Anthony Towns in the middle? Most assuredly. And if he could control where he wanted to go, and for how much, the process would be must-see TV. Yet, while the real-world implications would be fascinating, I’m not sure how you could eliminate the Draft without loosening the underpinnings of the entire pro basketball enterprise (and, yes, one could make a moral case for doing just that, as it does go against the whole Manifest Destiny thing to artificially bind someone to a company rather than letting them market their services to the highest bidder). If there was no Draft, why would any player with Lottery-level talent go to college? Yes, there would be the occasional Grant Hill/unicorn who wants to go to college to better themselves intellectually and/or embrace the person growth that often comes from being on your own for four years. But, while sad to say, most kids with NBA dreams go to college because that’s the path through which they can ultimately get to the pros the fastest. With no Draft, and few of the top college-age players thus needing/wanting to go to college, you’d have a very different March Madness than you have now. And as that is a multi-billion enterprise, both for the broadcast networks that air it (including Turner Sports, which runs NBA.com) and the colleges that reap the financial deluge it produces, the likelihood of across the board support for a new player acquisition model is slight. Not to mention, you’d have a much different salary structure in the NBA, as there would be no rookie slotting for drafted players. And if you think the game’s superstars would stand idly by and watch more of that cheddar that they helped produce go out the door to guys who haven’t yet done anything … you’d be wrong. So, the Draft isn’t going anywhere. Which means the NBA must decide whether it wants to continue to be shocked, shocked that tanking is going on in its league, or accept the reality that there is not much patience for being in the middle ground in a league where every team is now worth more than $1 billion. There is only, as Pat Riley said a long time ago, winning and misery. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. 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 NewsMar 6th, 2018

Gov’t plans piecemeal sale of Mile Long property

THE GOVERNMENT plans to sell just a portion of the Mile Long property in Makati City this year and will hold on to a chunk of the lot in anticipation of higher valuations, the Finance chief said. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said his department is awaiting results of a valuation exercise that are […] The post Gov’t plans piecemeal sale of Mile Long property appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2018

Two Koreas hold top-level talks in Olympic rapprochement

SEOUL: South Korea’s president held landmark talks with the North’s ceremonial head of state and the sister of its leader Kim Jong Un Saturday, even as the US warned against falling for Pyongyang’s Olympic charm offensive. Moon hosted the elderly Kim Yong Nam — technically the highest-level Northern official ever to go to the South… link: Two Koreas hold top-level talks in Olympic rapprochement.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2018

At 37, Fil-Am boxer Brian Viloria eyeing fifth world title

In 2005, Filipino-American boxer Brian ‘The Hawaiian Punch’ Viloria captured his first world championship, knocking out Eric Ortiz in the first round to become the new WBC Light Flyweight world champion. Now, thirteen years later, Viloria is hunting for his fifth world championship, and at 37 years old, Viloria is still as explosive as ever. “I've had a kid so I thought it’d be opposite.” Viloria told ABS-CBN’s Steve Angeles. “It’s all about taking care of yourself, whether you’re fighting or not fighting. I always tell people boxing is a lifestyle, just staying in shape.” Following his 2015 loss to then-pound for pound king Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzales for the WBC Flyweight world title, Viloria revealed that he thought long and hard about his future. After sitting out 2016, Viloria made his return to action in 2017, stringing together a couple of victories that has earned him a shot at the vacant VBA Flyweight world title. Viloria has relatively flown under the radar in the past few years, but a look at this record will show that the Waipahu native has won six of his last seven fights. “I feel like this is my first world title fight. There’s a lot to prove, a lot of people tell me ‘You’re getting old blah blah blah, do you still have what it takes?’” said Viloria. “A lot of those questions come up to me, but for me I have to prove it in February 24th, and for me that’s what’s motivating me. I think I’m still capable of competing at the top level.” On February 24th, Viloria goes toe to toe with Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian, an unbeaten opponent who’s seven years Viloria’s junior. And while Dalakian may have the edge on youth, experience will definitely be on the side of Viloria. This will be Dalakian’s first chance at a world championship and his first fight outside of Ukraine. Still, Viloria believes that Dalakian will be coming in hungry and ready. “I know how he feels. I still know the feeling of fighting for my first world title and you get up for that and knowing your against a guy that’s proven himself in the division.” “Kids get up for that. They come up with their A-game for that.” Viloria added. Nearly seventeen years after his professional debut, Viloria finds himself still fighting at the highest level of the sport with a fifth world title in his sights. It isn’t lost on him however, that he could be on the tail-end of his career. “I wish I could do it forever but I can see the bridge coming up and right now, I’ll take it from fight to fight.” But for now, the focus is on the WBA Flyweight crown. “Right now I feel great but we have to see. We’ll wait when that time comes and we’ll make a decision.” Viloria says.   Viloria and Dalakian battle for the vacant WBA Flyweight world championship at the Superfly 2 card at The Forum in Los Angeles, California on February 24th. Also fighting on the same card is reigning and defending IBF Flyweight world champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes.   H/T: Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

Japan s historic Tsukiji fish market holds final New Year auction

TOKYO, Japan – Tokyo's world-famous Tsukiji fish market held its last pre-dawn New Year's auction on Friday, January 5,  before closing down for relocation, with the highest bidder paying more than $320,000 for a giant tuna. After more than 80 years in operation, the world's biggest fish market, a popular tourist ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

MMFF 2017 sets record for highest 1st, 2nd day sales

MANILA, Philippines — This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival broke the festival's box office records as it surpassed the 2015 first and second day gross sale.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

Restrictions at back of Torrens Title will not divest owner of property rights

Dear PAO, Andy obtained a loan from me and he mortgaged his property which he previously purchased from a certain government agency. Andy failed to pay his debt; hence, I foreclosed the mortgage and eventually emerged as the highest bidder during the public bidding. Andy now claims that the mortgage covering the property is void, [...] The post Restrictions at back of Torrens Title will not divest owner of property rights appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsDec 17th, 2017

Letters From Davao by Jun Ledesma

EJK THE FAVORITE DISH of the political opposition, leftists and the pan-handling human rights watch organizations had always been extra-judicial-killing. And their principal suspect is then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte now President of the Republic of the Philippines.  EJK is actually a political propaganda leveled by the adversaries of the unbeatable Mayor who, during his term as mayor, ran practically unopposed. Those who salivate for the position and dared to run were not only trounced but end up humiliated because the results of the elections have always been lopsided in favor of Digong. The last attempt of his political rivals was to consort with the Commission on Human Rights which was then chaired by Leila de Lima. This was in 2009 a few months before elections in 2010. The local human rights organization and HRW New York connived with CHR to the death of what they claimed were 280 plus victims of EJK. As if this was not enough, they succeeded in bringing in Philip Alston, a Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, to lend drama to the much ballyhooed probe conducted by CHR Chair De Lima.  HRW New York also published a book titled “You Can Die Anytime…”. For over five months of intensive and expansive investigation within which time Duterte took a leave of absence and gave up his supervisory over the police,  to assure the probers a free hand, De Lima and her team never produced a piece of evidence. CHR Chair De Lima even added spice to her task. All the members of her probe team were from Manila. The summons and warrants she all secured from the Regional Trial Courts in Metro Manila because according to her she cannot trust the judges in Davao because they are scared of the Davao Death Squads of Duterte. Well, she became Secretary of Justice and then Senator. She continued haranguing Duterte with EJK issue. The sound bites had all become too familiar as it had become too boring. When she became Senator, she resurrected the EJK charges against Mayor Duterte, who had been catapulted to the highest position of the land by then. This time she had fellow Sen. Antonio Trillanes to revive her issue against Duterte. The duo produced two witnesses, Matobato and Lascañas who at the start of the senate drama contradicted each other but then later sang the same but discordant tune. Matobato had earlier confessed that by himself he killed over 200 on orders of Duterte. Lascañas who refuted the claims of Matobato later turned 180 degrees and joined him for reasons that can be subjected to millions of speculations. This time the duo claimed they buried more than 2,200 EJK victims in an abandoned quarry which is just about three kilometers from city hall. It was the same (Laud) quarry where, in 2009, CHR Chair De Lima made several diggings to look for cadavers but found none. Oh well, they actually unearthed an incomplete skeletal remains of what looked like a Cro-Magnon man along with two pairs of a new license car plates. If you do not call that planted pieces of evidence I do not know what those are but the RTC Judge in Makati threw these out for the badly deteriorated skeletons and the license plates are inadmissible in court. As DOJ Secretary and Senator one wonders why she never came back with pick and shovel this time with Matobato and Lascañas in tow. They could have easily pinpoint the graveyard since they alleged they buried their victims there. This time with more than 2,200 victims buried in that small quarry land, one can shoot an arrow in the air and it could fell anywhere on a burial ground and find their victims there. Instead, De Lima, Trillanes, Matobato and Lascañas opted to unearth their victims in the halls of the senate. I must say though that they succeeded in their quest because they not only increased the numbers of alleged EJK from 300 to 2,200 in Davao City alone and then to 3,000 plus which became the adopted figure of Time Magazine, Rappler and the rest of anti-Duterte publications. The exaggeration did not end there for anywhere from 7,000 to  over 13,000 is now what you see in their score board. The amplification of EJK estimates also depend on events. Before the ASEAN summit in Manila,  an organization even came out with a jarring figures alleging 30-million perished by EJK in the Philippines. Whatever are the concocted figures  by whoever extrapolates or publishes it the fact remains that majority of the Filipinos supports President Duterte on his war on drugs.  This is reflected by the results of surveys which complimented each other’s findings. The positive indicators however are always drowned by the noise and overestimations of the rabid critics of Duterte. For whatever reasons moreover, recently the razzmatazz over EJK had died down as quickly as the numbers of the victims rise. I can only attribute this to the potential bombshell that the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine will create. Suddenly parents of children inoculated with the vaccine are confronted with a terrible and horrible prospect their kids might suffer the severe attack of dengue. The attack dogs that had a pound of flesh of Duterte had their tails behind their legs and the rabid fangs clamped. It is time to think of how to parry the slings […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 13th, 2017

Whiffle Ball: MLB sets strikeout record for 10th year in row

The Associated Press - Major League Baseball hitters have once again swung — and missed — into the record book. For the 10th straight year, MLB batters have set the mark for most strikeouts in a season. They did it Wednesday, raising the strikeout total to 39,168. That topped the 38,982 who fanned in 2016. The final game of the day was at Dodger Stadium and, fittingly, the last out came when Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen got San Diego's Jabari Blash to swing at strike three. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has fanned the most often, 204 times. He's also hit 50 home runs, helping MLB set a record for the highest homer total in a season. Boston ace Chris Sale leads all pitchers with 308 strikeouts. With four days left in the regular season, the Milwaukee Brewers top the majors with 1,537 strikeouts. The AL West champion Houston Astros have the fewest at 1,050. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2017

Mining firm bags Sucat power plant

MANILA, Philippines - A mining firm emerged the highest bidder for the purchase of the decommissioned 850-megawatt (MW) Sucat thermal power plant (STPP) in M.....»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 31st, 2017

28-year-old scion cut Rolling Stone deal over love of guitars

The sale of a big chunk of Rolling Stone magazine began with a casual meeting between a scion of one of Asia’s richest families and the son of magazine impresario Jann Wenner, during a sweltering New York summer......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 26th, 2016