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Category: lifestyleSource: abscbn abscbnAug 14th, 2019

Famed Makati food park reopens with new dining choices

In time for the holidays, the peak of feasting for many Filipinos, a go-to food court in Makati City recently reopened with a newly revamped vibe and offerings for today’s social media-savvy generation......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 13th, 2019

Lakers ready to showcase a motivated LeBron James, hungry Anthony Davis

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES — On training camp eve, the atmosphere, scene and vibe at the team practice complex suggested the Lakers will welcome two new and bold additions when the season tips off in three weeks. One: Anthony Davis, do-it-all forward, rescued from the depths of the New Orleans Pelicans, desperate for a championship and perhaps in line for the next Kia MVP award, both of which would be his first. Two: LeBron James. Yes, it’s true this is LeBron’s second season with the storied franchise, but does last year truly count? In his mind, no, it doesn’t, because the Lakers and NBA were all deprived of his usual high standard of greatness and astonishing health in 2018-19. The health part betrayed him for the first time in his 16-year career, causing him to miss 27 games, mostly due to a persistently bothersome groin strain. The part about greatness didn’t necessarily and totally disappear; after all, LeBron did average 27-8-8, numbers that even stars would kill for. Except those numbers didn’t translate into a playoff berth, even when he returned from injury and the Lakers still had a chance in the final month. And that, by extension, generated motivation within LeBron to answer the criticism both real (only a scant amount) and imagined (a lot) that LeBron now approaching 35 is no longer the force he was. “Oh, man,” said teammate Kyle Kuzma. “He’s going to be a load this season, more than usual.” “He’s gonna show all those people who are underestimating him,” added Rajon Rondo. “The stuff I saw him do this summer, getting up early in the morning, first one in the gym, working hard, it’s gonna pay off,” Davis said. A changed LeBron? Well, it’s hard to imagine him being a more focused player than before, just as it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that, yes, LeBron could experience a slight drop-off in talent because Father Time shows no mercy to anyone. But it’s also quite possible the 2019-20 LeBron can and will do what last year’s version couldn’t: Push the Lakers to a championship or at the very least, a deep playoff run. He appeared refreshed Friday at media day — as he should with plenty of time off. Stoic at times and totally businesslike, LeBron spoke about the frustration of watching the playoffs — he stressed he “didn’t miss a single game” — from his couch for the first time since 2005. He also shared his anticipation of sharing the floor with Davis. “It’s exciting to have such a beautiful young mind, a beautiful player but also a great leader as well,” LeBron said about Davis, although the 2018-19 Pelicans might quibble with that last part. “I know the caliber of player that AD is. When Rob (Pelinka, the GM) and everyone upstairs did what they had to do to acquire a talent, person as AD, I was obviously truly excited. You saw how much time we spent together in the summer.” True enough, Davis and LeBron have been shadows of one another, with Davis spending time on the set of the “Space Jam” sequel, where LeBron is the star and Davis has a role, and also on the phone with Pelinka when the Lakers made decisions on the rest of the roster. The sight of Davis and LeBron, a pair of generational talents with one of them still in his prime, running the floor and causing problems for the other bench is what LeBron needed but didn’t have last season when the Lakers won just 37 games and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season. LeBron plans to be as deferential as possible to Davis, who’s coming off a bitter end to a six-year run in New Orleans, in order to get the best from his All-Star forward. If that means LeBron must allow Davis to be the focal point of the offense, LeBron says so be it. "If we're not playing through Anthony Davis while he's on the floor, then it makes no sense to have him on the floor," James said. "Because he's that great.” The goal, obviously, is for LeBron to develop the same chemistry with Davis that he had with Dwyane Wade in Miami, and to get similar results — the Heat won a pair of championships and reached the NBA Finals every year with LeBron in the fold. The process is a bit more critical now because the Lakers sacrificed a chunk of their future to get Davis, and LeBron has only three years left on his contract. There’s also the notion that LeBron is in his sunset years although the insinuation, according to LeBron, is that it means he’s lost a step and a place among the league’s great players. While some of this criticism might be generated by his imagination, there was talk this summer — such as comments from David Griffin — that might have bothered him a little bit. Alright alright. Enough is enough. The throne has been played with to much and I ain’t for horseplay. Ether coming soon! ???????????????????????????????????????????? #JamesGang????? — LeBron James (@KingJames) August 1, 2019 “I’m very motivated,” he said, “but right now I’m in 'not talking about it mode.’ I’ve been very quiet this summer for a reason … but there’s some motivation for me. There’s a lot of conversations going on this summer and I’m just very quiet, very quiet. And I’m just going to maintain quiet, My mother always taught me, 'don’t talk about it, be about it.’ So that’s where I’m at. I think as a team, and myself, we need to get the Lakers back to what they’ve been accustomed to over the years. I’m excited about that.” LeBron needs Davis and yet, Davis needs LeBron just as much — the projected 2019-20 LeBron, who’s juiced by motivation, failure, an injury setback and all that chatter that he hears (or doesn’t) about his declining skills. Because without LeBron, Davis wouldn’t be here. Davis would either still be in New Orleans or staring up at the banners hanging from the ceiling in Boston and wondering how to duplicate that. Therefore, until further notice, the fate of the Lakers will rest with how much LeBron can distance himself from last season. The Lakers will require improved outside shooting and better defense (especially from LeBron) and obviously an MVP-level season from Davis to place themselves in the championship conversation. Then, all of the above are realistic. But it ends with LeBron, and isn’t this how it all started, with him? 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 NewsSep 28th, 2019

Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal happy to see growth in Philippine skateboarding scene

Twenty-year old Margielyn Didal was one of the Philippine contingent's biggest stars during last year's Asian Games in Jakarta/Palembang.  The Cebuana was one of four Filipina athletes to take home a gold medal, representing the tri-colors in an event that wasn't necessarily a popular sport in the Philippines: street skateboarding.  Nearly a year since, the Philippine skateboarding scene is seemingly getting more and more traction, and Didal's success on the big stage served as a catalyst.  "I think the Philippine skateboarding scene, malaki siya, and it’s getting bigger and bigger, especially because they put it in the Olympics, and some parents are interested in putting their kids into skateboarding now," Didal shared during a media scrum at the New Balance Numeric Asia Specific Tour, Friday afternoon in Manila. "I’m super hyped na mas lumaki yung skate scene and mas nabigyan ng pansin." Since becoming an Asian Games gold medalist, life has not been the same for Didal, who has continued to compete with the hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.  "It [has been] hectic, with schedule and skate events especially, for these qualification and ranking for the Olympics. I’m super happy about that, getting support from the Philippine government." she said.  For Didal, the busy life is all worth it, especially since the Philippine skateboarding scene is getting some shine along with it.  "Sobrang mas naging busy yung life, pero mas naging okay kasi nabigyan ng pansin nga yun skateboarding dito sa Pilipinas, kasi dati, wala lang." "Before hindi naman sport yung skateboarding. Skateboarding is to have fun. Even now, we’re still having fun, in a good way naman na we’re getting support, we’re getting exposure, at mas lumaki pa nga, tsaka skateboarding kasi, sobrang saya. Hindi ko na-expect na gagawin siyang sport, and from this, I’ve changed my life a lot, and my family’s," she continued.  As such, Didal has become an inspiration to aspiring skaters in the Philippines. Pinoy skateboarders, young and young at heart alike, trooped to the press conference with hopes of getting to meet, and take photos with Didal as well as the other members of the New Balance Skate Team, including Jamie Foy and Franky Villiani.  Seeing the turnout was an amazing feeling for the young Filipina skater.  "Sa mga kids din diyan na naiinspire ng mga pro-skaters katulad ni Jamie Foy, it’s such an honor and it feels amazing na may na-iinspire kami na mga kids or mga other skaters din na gusto mag-skate or yung nag-stop mag-skate and gusto bumalik dahil nami-miss nila yung feeling pag-skateboard." It wasn't only the fans that took notice of Didal's success, but also her hometown's government. Following her Asian Games gold, the Cebu City government pledged the construction of a skate park, which will not only hopefully develop even more future medalists, but also keep them from skating in potentially dangerous places like the streets and main throroughfare.  "It’s such an honor to represent the Philippines, especially for me, I grew up in my hometown without a skate park, getting chased by security, but still, we made it, and now they recognize us and give us the support. That’s overwhelming, na nakita nila lahat, na gusto nila mag-build ng skate park for all skaters," Didal said of the development.  Apart from bringing honor to the country, Didal was also able to show the world that while skating is mainly a male-dominated sport, the girls can hang as well.  "Before, it’s kinda [considered] as male stuff, now there are girl skaters growing all over the world, and it’s good, seeing these girls skating, shredding with them in big events, it’s cool that these girls can skate." Barely in her 20s, Didal still has a lot more skating to do in her career, but already, she has an idea of what she wants her legacy to be when it's all said and done, and that's to have been able to share her talent and her knowledge to the next crop of star skaters.  "I want to share my talent sa ibang tao," Didal expressed. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 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

PH to Highlight Top Products in Largest Halal Food Show in the Middle East

The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM) and in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Dubai, will lead 24 companies from the Philippines’ halal and organic food sectors in the 25th edition of the Gulf Food, Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2020

Tagumpay ba si Yorme sa paglaban sa ilegal na droga sa Maynila?

GUSTO naming maniwala that Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno can do better than national leaders. Minsan pang ipinahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang kanyang pananampalataya that the actor-turned-politician makes a good President in the future. Kinabukasan din noong isang linggo, nagbigay ng kanyang saloobin si Isko patungkol sa pahayag ni VP Leni Robredo na sa […] The post Tagumpay ba si Yorme sa paglaban sa ilegal na droga sa Maynila? appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

IT-BPM, creative services, halal products pushed as priority exports

The Department of Trade and Industry is pushing electronics, food and beverage, information technology – business process management, creative industries and halal as priority sectors for exports this year......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

Young Veterans look to lead Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in Dubai

This year's iteration of the Mighty Sports-Pilipinas basketball team that will participate in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament is made up of some of the brightest young basketball stars, some of them suiting up for Mighty Sports for the first time.  While exciting young stars like Thirdy Ravena, Kai Sotto, Dave Ildefonso, Jamie Malonzo, and Gilas veteran Andray Blatche are some of the fresh new faces set to banner Mighty Sports, it will be key returnees such as Gab Banal, Mikey Williams, and Juan Gomez De Liano that will serve as the team's 'veteran leaders' so to speak.  While not exactly among the teams elders, Juan GDL, Banal, and Williams are ready and willing to fulfill their role as leaders.  "[I told them to] basically just play your game and come in and do what you have to do," Williams told The Score's Denice Dinsay. "As long as you listen to the coach, ask questions, you'll continue to get better and flourish in this tournament."  "A lot of these college players are the star players of their respective college teams, but they're coming into a veteran team with three imports and Andray, so it's not like their college team anymore, we have a lot of veterans, especially ex-NBA guys. They just need to apply their fit into the team, check their egos, and play for the betterment of the team," said Banal.  Apart from the trio of returnees, the other leader will be none other than Alab Pilipinas and Mighty Sports veteran and former PBA import Renaldo Balkman.  "We have a savvy vet that knows the game very well," Williams said of Balkman. "He's played at a high level and his IQ is at the top of the charts. As you long as you follow his lead and do what he does, everything will fall into place."  Check out the full video below:  The invitational tournament kicks off on January 23rd. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

Valverde questioned after another late collapse by Barcelona

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona had once again played great, led through goals by Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, yet still managed to let it slip away. Barcelona squandered one of its best performances of the season by conceding two late goals to Atlético Madrid, falling 3-2 in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Messi equalized after Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion scored for Atletico, and Griezmann put Barcelona deservedly ahead 2-1. But the goalkeeping of Jan Oblak, Atlético's star this season, kept Barcelona out for the rest of the way while Álvaro Morata leveled with a penalty kick in the 82nd minute and Ángel Correa completed the dramatic turnaround in the 86th. For Barcelona, the chance to add a minor trophy from a mini-tournament played thousands of miles away is not the main worry. The concern is Barcelona’s odd knack of losing control of games that look like a sure victory. Whether it's a question of overconfidence, a lack of fitness or just momentary lapses that cost the team dearly, the pressure is on coach Ernesto Valverde. Messi and other team leaders defended Valverde, whose very good overall record at Barcelona has been blemished by shocking defeats. “It’s normal that when you lose and don’t reach your objectives, and when our fans see that the team is not playing like they would like, that people talk and say things,” Messi said. “We have to be more united than ever, remain a strong group and get through this. “This year we will try to play like we did today (before the late goals) and not commit childish errors like those we committed.” But that didn’t stop the Spanish sports media reporting that Barcelona club officials met with midfield great Xavi Hernández to probe him as a possible replacement for Valverde either now or next season. Xavi left Barcelona in 2015, following 17 trophy-laden seasons, for Qatari club Al-Sadd, where he coaches. The speculation that he could soon be returning home led to Al-Sadd saying no move was imminent. “The issue of Xavi going to Barcelona is normal and expected because he will be at his club and it’s his first home and he must return there in the future, but as of today, Xavi is the coach of Al-Sadd.” Al-Sadd general manager Turki Al-Ali said in a statement on the club website. “Xavi and his team are focusing on tomorrow’s match against Al-Rayyan, and we know that a club with the size and professionalism of Barcelona will take to official channels to speak of such matters,” Al-Ali said. Barcelona’s loss at the King Abdullah Sports City on Thursday came five days after it conceded an 88th-minute equalizer at Espanyol in the Spanish league. The late goal by Wu Lei also came on a desperate counterattack similar to both of Atlético's late attacks that led to goals, when Barcelona’s backline was out of sync and let a pass through to a player with only goalkeeper Neto to beat. Wu’s goal ruined a superb match by Luis Suárez, who had scored with a fine touch and made a difficult pass for an assist. Suárez also backed Valverde on Thursday by taking the blame for the stumble against Atlético. “This loss shows we have room to improve,” the Uruguay striker said. “It shows us that there are mistakes that we can’t make because we were in charge of the game and we let them mount counterattacks … but the coach is not at fault. They were mistakes that we made.” Barcelona has drawn three of its last four league matches, but still lead the competition on goal difference ahead of Real Madrid. The team was leading before finishing 2-2 at Real Sociedad last month; lost 3-1 at Levante after Messi had put them ahead in November; and gave up a goal in the 81st in a 2-2 draw at Osasuna in August. Those setbacks would not be as worrisome for Barcelona if the team had not completely collapsed in the Champions League in recent seasons, most recently a humiliating 4-0 loss at Liverpool after winning the first leg of the semifinals 3-0. Valverde’s job was then in even more jeopardy at the end of last season after Barcelona lost the Copa del Rey final to Valencia, casting a shadow of doubt over the Spanish league champions. Club president Josep Bartomeu, however, has stuck by the former player who is known for his intelligence and unflappable attitude. Valverde is in his third season at Barcelona. He has won back-to-back Spanish league titles and one Copa del Rey final. A European Cup has eluded him. Valverde said he was used to the criticism as part of a job that was never secure. “We coaches always work with the idea of giving it our all to each match,” Valverde said. “We know how soccer is and that there is a permanent instability in teams when you are not getting good results or when you lose. Now that we have lost I suppose people will talk about it, but I remain focused on my job.” Valverde’s next job is to prepare for the visit of Granada on Jan. 19. In the meantime, Atlético will face crosstown rival Real Madrid in the Super Cup final on Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2020

Fast-food chain relives iconic TVC

For generations, Filipino families—have had only one thing on their mind when dining out: the goodness of the Jollibee Chickenjoy, and having as much of it as they want......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020

US unveils partial ban on flavored e-cigarettes

The US government announced Thursday it was banning most flavored e-cigarettes in a bid to curb the rising tide of youth vaping, but under industry pressure it stopped short of the full ban promised in September by the White House. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said cartridge-based e-cigarettes in flavors other than tobacco or […] The post US unveils partial ban on flavored e-cigarettes appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

PBA: Working Holidays for Gin Kings as Finals near

The Holidays are in full swing, with everyone celebrating Christmas with their respective families. It’s going to be the usual stuff for the Gin Kings, they will eat the good food and exchange gifts. However, Barangay Ginebra has some important business to attend to soon and the team’s focus will not be entirely on exchanging gifts but on how to beat Meralco in yet another PBA Governors’ Cup Finals. “I just gotta explain to the guys that it's gonna be everybody else's holidays, but it's not gonna be ours. This is work for us,” head coach Tim Cone said. “You make your reputations, your contracts, you do all these things when you win a championship. At this point, if you win a championship you're gonna be able to get your contracts and you're gonna build your reputation as a player. The Finals is absolutely crucial,” he added. With the strange way the PBA schedule worked out this season, everyone’s been making sacrifices. And as one of the two teams competing for the last title of the year, the Gin Kings are making a bigger sacrifice compared to others. As Ginebra tries to prepare for a best-of-7 Finals, the team will be working its way around Christmas and the New Year festivities. “Their families will be upset, my family's gonna be upset, but they're all basketball peoples. They understand the game, they understand what it takes. We think we'll be okay,” Cone said. “We'll find some time, but it won't be three or four days at a time. It'll be one or two at some point, and then practice three or four days, and then take another day off and then practice three or four days again. Parang ganyan,” Coach Tim added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2019
Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2019

TMT outlook: Can tech spend buoyancy keep the industry airborne?

UNCERTAINTY is mounting for technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) businesses against a turbulent economic and political backdrop, according to the latest research by Grant Thornton. The optimism of more than 450 TMT leaders, surveyed as part of our International Business Report, fell to net 29 percent in the first half of 2019, down from 45 […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsDec 25th, 2019

Industry Leaders Push for Cleanergy

The Philippine energy sector has come a long way in the last 10 years, ushering in an era of landmark policies and initiatives geared towards industry competitiveness and environmental sustainability. Over the past decade, the power sector has shifted from being highly dependent on fossil fuel to employing a more balanced energy mix with various […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsDec 24th, 2019

Phl agriculture: The best is coming

The Sulong Pilipinas Agribusiness Summit recently held in Davao City was a great success, with over 500 stakeholders that include business groups and industry leaders taking part in the consultative dialogue to discuss issues relative to the agriculture sector......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 21st, 2019

Japan lifts export curbs in SoKor

Japan has lifted curbs on the export of a key microchip material to South Korea, news reports said Saturday, days before the leaders of both countries meet in their first formal talks for more than a year. The ministry of economy, trade and industry on Friday removed photoresists — used to coat semiconductor circuit boards […] The post Japan lifts export curbs in SoKor appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 21st, 2019

Max’s Group in new multi-brand hub

Leading casual dining powerhouse Max’s Group Inc. (MGI) opens its latest multi-brand site at the heart of one of the busiest thoroughfares in the Metro. Strategically located at the intersection of EDSA Southbound Lane and Main Avenue in Cubao, Quezon City, it is touted as MGI’s convergent and innovative destination to bring good food, delightful experiences, […] The post Max’s Group in new multi-brand hub appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 19th, 2019

Kluber joins hometown Rangers, leaves ace talk to others

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Corey Kluber is returning to Texas to pitch for the Rangers. The two-time Cy Young Award winner will leave it to others to say whether his hometown team has its next ace. “I think having a starting pitcher you can rely on every fifth day to give your team a chance to win, keep you in the ballgame, I think that stuff carries just as much weight,” Kluber said Tuesday, two days after the Rangers acquired him in a trade with Cleveland that sent outfielder Delino DeShields and reliever Emmanuel Clase to the Indians. “As far as expecting myself to be a No. 1 starter, I feel like if you do that stuff in between starts and you prepare yourself and you do the things I talked about, I think that stuff just kind of falls in line. But that’s not what I set out to do.” Kluber missed most of last season after breaking his right forearm when he was struck by a line drive during a start at Miami. The 33-year-old came close to returning to the Indians' rotation but injured an oblique during a minor league rehab appearance that ended his comeback. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels characterized it as a blessing in disguise after Kluber pitched at least 200 innings in five straight seasons, capped by three consecutive trips to the playoffs from 2016-18 for the right-hander. “It was a very trying season for me,” Kluber said. “Looking back on it now, the way I feel now, I guess I kind of buy into that, that it was probably not the worst thing in the world for me as far as the future goes.” Kluber blossomed into one of baseball's best pitchers starting with his first Cy Young season in 2014, when he went 18-9. The second came three years later, with an 18-4 record and AL-leading 2.25 ERA. Kluber was a 20-game winner the year before his injury-shortened season. “We fully believe that he can get back to somewhat what he used to be,” manager Chris Woodward said. “And if he’s anywhere near what he used to be, he’s absolutely an ace.” Kluber joins a rotation with two solid options in All-Star left-hander Mike Minor and hard-throwing righty Lance Lynn. The Rangers had already signed two free agent right-handers in Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson before adding Kluber. While Kluber is joining the team he grew up watching, it won't be in the same ballpark. The Rangers are moving into Globe Life Field, a $1.2 billion retractable-roof stadium across the street from Globe Life Park. Texas' home for 26 seasons also was where Kluber watched the Rangers when he was a high schooler in the Dallas suburb of Coppell, and where he pitched three times for the Indians. “I think it’s excitement in the sense that it’s new,” said Kluber, whose career record is 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA. “It’s a place you’ve never been before, things like that. Once it gets down to it and you’re pitching, you’re in the games, I don’t take that into account much.” Texas moves into the new ballpark coming off three straight losing seasons, the club's longest sub-.500 stretch in 16 years. But expectations are climbing with a rotation led by Kluber, Minor and Lynn and an offense hoping for a full season from young slugger Joey Gallo. The Indians picked up Kluber's $17.5 million contract option for 2020 immediately after last season. Because Kluber was dealt, his $18 million club option for 2021 would become guaranteed if he pitches 160 innings this season. Kluber said he's ahead of schedule with his throwing program simply because he missed so much of last season and wanted to start his regular throwing earlier. He's been on that plan for about a month and a half. “I feel really good,” Kluber said. “I'm excited about where I am physically right now.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2019