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Kakai happy being single

MANILA, Philippines — Kakai Bautista does not see herself entering a romantic relationship at this point in her life after recovering from what had been repo.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource: philstar philstarApr 1st, 2018

PBA: Good guy Tony dela Cruz reflects on storied career after being honored by Alaska

​After a long and storied career in the PBA, Tony dela Cruz was honored by the Alaska Aces in a special ceremony during halftime of the Aces-Magnolia Hotshots tussle at the Big Dome Sunday evening. The UC Irvine product, who was brought in by the Shell Turbo Chargers in 1999 as a direct hire, enjoyed 11 fruitful seasons with Aces before officially announcing his retirement in 2017, along with veteran sharpshooter Dondon Hontiveros. A recipient of the PBA Sportsmanship award in 2006, he could boast of a record that could be comparable to that belonging to Wilt Chamberlain. If the Big Dipper could boast that he did not foul out in his 14-year NBA career, dela Cruz could also be proud of not incurring a single technical foul throughout his PBA journey. "I’m super proud of the way I carried myself each and everyday on the court so no matter how many awards I wished I would’ve won of course, I would’ve won 20 championships and a million MVPs but it’s just the fact I know what I did in my career and the fact that I am proud of how I played each and everyday in practice, super, super like proud," the now Aces assistant coach said after the game. Also included in the halftime tribute was a video montage containing tributes from former Shell teammates Rob Wainwright, Chris Jackson, Rich Alvarez, and former team governor Bobby Kanapi. The 39-year old said that he could not contain his emotions from the messages showered upon him, and was moved by the compilation. Looking back, the 6'5” dela Cruz said that his proudest moment in the PBA was their championship win over Ginebra in 2013, and the 2010 PBA Fiesta Conference Finals series win over the San Miguel Beermen, where he played with sore eyes in Game 6, the series clincher. He also recalled how he was called for his lone flagrant foul, a landing spot foul on Dennis Espino.  "I went into the commissioner’s office and he said we’re not judging you as a person, just the action and I said it was fair and I apologized to Dennis there was no harm but again, maybe I wished I would’ve gotten a couple more technicals to like feel some of my frustration but just super proud that I can look back at my career and really, really happy," he quipped. Now bringing a lot of experience to the table as an assistant coach under Alex Compton, he hopes to get better and get more experience while being on the sidelines. "I just want to continue to learn. But everyone keeps making jokes, letting me know how much weight I’ve gained but like Don Allado said, ‘You know what, I played so many seasons in the PBA, I have the right to eat whatever I want.’" "But again, I think the biggest transition is being in shape. I do wanna get out there and play with the guys sometimes but I think the biggest transition for me is wanting to be knowledgeable but at the same time, curious about how to get better at basketball." With no less than team owner Wilfred Uytengsu in attendance for the honor, longtime Alaska public relations manager CK Kanapi told Spin.ph's Gerry Ramos that the honor bestowed upon dela Cruz was not a formal jersey retirement, unlike the likes of former players Jeff Cariaso, Bong Hawkins, import Sean Chambers, Jojo Lastimosa, and three-time MVP Bogs Adornado. __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 10th, 2018

Eduard Folayang and his familiar path to glory

Eduard Folayang has been here before. Back in 2014, after racking up back-to-back wins in in a span of half a year, the Team Lakay star was slowly building a name for himself as a top-tier contender in ONE Championship’s lightweight division. A third straight win would have possibly put him in the title picture. And then, he ran into Russian Timofey Nastyukhin. A sequence that will forever be burned in the minds of Filipino MMA fans, Nasytukhin dropped Folayang with a well-timed flying knee to the jaw, and then finished it off with a crushing soccer kick, back when soccer kicks were allowed. While it wasn’t Folayang’s first stoppage loss, it was arguably his most violent to date. The Filipino MMA star lay motionless in front of a Filipino crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena. It took Folayang over a year before he made his return, a decision win over Tetsuya Yamada. That win would set Folayang on his path to the ONE Lightweight Word Championship, one of the most celebrated stories in MMA in the past couple of years. Roughly three years removed since his knockout loss to Nastyukhin at the Mall of Asia Arena, it would seem like a cruel repetition of history, as Folayang would once again find himself staring up at the MoA Arena lights in late 2017. Folayang, a single day away from celebrating his one-year anniversary of being a ONE world champion, saw his spot at the top of the lightweight division taken away with one, well-timed overhand right, courtesy of Martin Nguyen. Nguyen made history that night at the expense of Folayang, becoming ONE Championship’s first ever two-division world champion. For the Pinoy MMA hero, it was another setback, not unlike the many he’s faced through the course of his career.   The Road to Redemption No matter what other people said, those who knew him knew he’d be back, and one of those whose believe never wavered was that of ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, saying that this is just the start of Folayang's journey.  So finally, when it was announced that Folayang would indeed be coming back to the cage, it was a big deal. Immediately, it was clear that redemption was on the former champion’s mind. “Yun naman ang nagpapa-sarap sa isang life story, yung paano ka mag-rise after you fall, and it adds a lot of spices sa life if ganun ulit yung mangyayari, although syempre may different versions yung story ng bawat isa sa atin, and I’m still looking forward on my redemption in this upcoming fight.” Folayang said. Folayang’s return was set for May, in one of the most-stacked ONE cards of the year, and even with three world title bouts featuring the biggest ONE Championship stars also on the card, Filipino fight fans’ eyes were on Folayang’s highly-anticipated return.   Parallel Experiences With 25 professional bouts under his belt, Eduard Folayang isn’t new to the game, by any means. From fighting in front of small crowds to main eventing a packed Singapore Indoor Stadium for the world title, Folayang has seen it all and done it all, that’s why pre-fight jitters isn’t expected to be an issue for a fighter the caliber and experience of ‘The Landslide.’ And while it wasn’t so much as jitters, Folayang admits that he had a lot going through his head in the days leading up to his comeback fight. “Yung siguro sa akin lang, andaming pumapasok sa isipan ko, hindi mo maiiwasan yung mga ‘what ifs’ mga paano kung natalo ulit ako dito, ganun,” Folayang told ABS-CBN Sports. Having already been in this situation before, Folayang added that it was indeed a big help being able to look back at a parallel experience. “Oo naman, nakatulong, kasi looking back noong 2014, nung na-knockout din ako kay Timofey, tapos yung same feeling nung kakalabanin ko ulit nung 2016 si Tetsuya Yamada, andaming tumatakbo sa utak, mas lalo na since naging champion ako, syempre hindi mawawala yung expectations ng tao and andyan na yung mga bashers e, naka-ready na sila. So the best thing to do is dapat maging mentally strong and accurate sa pagpapatupad ng gameplan para manalo.” And implement a gameplan successfully, he did.   The Comeback Against an undefeated grappler in Russian Kharun Atlangeriev, Folayang was visibily patient and picked his shots while shrugging off takedown attempts to earn the unanimous decision win. “Yun yung isa sa mga nakita ko na parang naging cautious ako, siguro yung thinking na talagang parang masyadong worth yung game, as much as possible talaga, hindi mo na iniisip na maging fancy  yung fight, mas nananaig yung goal mo na manalo.” Folayang said of his performance against Atlangeriev. “Siguro yun yung isa sa mga pinaka-reason kung bakit medyo naging conservative yung approach ko sa fight, at saka napansin ko din, although gusto ko mag-all out, very passive yung kalaban eh, hindi mo alam kung ano yung iniisip niya, yun din yung isa sa mga naging reason.” Folayang went on record and gave himself a three out of five rating in his comeback fight. While ultimately he was happy with the result, the Baguio City native believes that he could have done way more, and that’s what he intends to do in the future. “Masaya, although sa akin I believe I can do much better, syempre ngayon comeback fight kasi kaya andyan palagi yung pressure, the more we learn a lot of lessons, the more na magiging maganda yung adjustment natin for the upcoming bouts na dadating.” Step one of the comeback was complete.   Second Shot at Glory And again, Eduard Folayang finds himself on the comeback trail. The 34-year old Team Lakay star has successfully bounced back from a loss, but arguably more important now is what lies ahead. With the win, Folayang is on his way, if not already back in the title picture, and if you ask him, he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s ready to get back what was once his. “Parang more na na-boost yung desire ulit para makabalik dun sa nawala sa atin, and hopefully this year, magkaroon ulit ng opportunity para maka-laban for the title.” Fueling the fire even more for Folayang is the fact that after seeing Nguyen’s last two bouts - a unanimous decision loss to ONE Bantamweight World champion Bibiano Fernandes and a split decision win over Christian Lee - he feels he can perform better if given a second go-around. “Especially after panoorin yung last two fights nung tumalo sa akin, parang nasasayangan ba. Feeling ko talaga, mas deserving na ako yung nakahawak, parang ganun yung pakiramdam ko.” Folayang shared. “Parang I could have done better kung hindi lang ako naging careless on one point, and kung na-oversee ko lang talaga na yung strength ko, dun ako papasukin.” While only time will tell whether or not Folayang does get a shot at the title again, whether a rematch or be it against someone else, the former champ is certain that he’s still in this, and he’s hungrier than ever for another taste of glory. “Malakas pa rin eh [yung hunger], it’s just a matter of paano natin alagaan yung career natin, yung health natin, iba kasi, yun din yung kagandahan ng mixed martial arts eh, the more na pumupunta yung age mo, the more na mas nagiging cautious ka, hindi na lang puro lakas yung ilalaban mo kundi parang nagiging wiser ka na din sa approach mo.” “I think yung hunger ko andun parin, I’m still hungry.” Folayang adds. When it’s all said and done, Folayang won’t be happy with just being at the top once and then crashing down after. For the Team Lakay star, there are still chapters to be written as he begins what is hopefully another run towards the pinnacle of the sport. “Yun naman yung gusto natin, hindi yung natapos na yung end ng chapter ng story natin, kundi may mga magaganda and exciting stories pa na maisusulat in that book.” After all, “multi-time world champion” Eduard Folayang has better ring to it, no? “Yun yung gusto natin, mas magandang pakinggan.” Eduard Folayang’s been here before, and if you’ve been paying attention, you know that this is just the start of great things to come......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 28th, 2018

Happy 10th Birthday to These Songs and Albums

There's always new music popping up left and right. Some from established artists we already love as well as from those up and coming. As much as we enjoy fresh tracks, it's also fun to reminisce the old ones. Like the songs and albums we would put on repeat in high school or college. For 2018, there are many albums turning 10 years old. From pop tracks to auto-tuned voices, 2008 was an interesting year for music. Today, let's travel back in time and listen to the songs we heard on the radio and saw on MTV. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" by Beyonc Beyonc has accomplished a lot in the past decade like giving birth to three children and setting new performance standards with #B...Keep on reading: Happy 10th Birthday to These Songs and Albums.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

Single file your way this April 18 to Macao Imperial Tea – SM City Manila! First…

Single file your way this April 18 to Macao Imperial Tea – SM City Manila! First 100 transactions gets to their drink on a ultra cute Happy Bear Tumbler! See you in line at the 4th Level! #MITForYouAndMe #MacaoImperialTeaPH #EatPlayShopInTheCity #iLoveSMCityManila #EverythingsHere Source link: Single file your way this April 18 to Macao Imperial Tea – SM City Manila! First….....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

Kakai Bautista: Just happy to be alone

Kapamilya comedian Kakai Bautista has been repeatedly dragged into would-have-been if not failed relationships. But now that she's completely healed, she no longer seeks romantic love and is actually at peace and ready should she be destined to live her life alone forever. "I'm not looking for it," she said at her exclusive interview on Wednesday at "Inquirer ShowbizLive." In fact, she said she was happy and enjoying life alone, so much that being loveless was no longer an issue for her. "Ewan ko nga. Nawiwirduhan na ko sarili ko," she said. "Hindi ko alam. Siguro dumating na ako dun sa stage na nag-e-enojoy ako -- 'yung ano, natapos na sa mga sweet sweet at mga pinagdaan...Keep on reading: Kakai Bautista: Just happy to be alone.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 21st, 2018

Curry would love to captain Team Curry again in 2019

By Bernie Wilson, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stephen Curry would love to be an NBA All-Star Game captain again next year, especially since the game will be in his hometown of Charlotte. LeBron James would be OK with someone else taking his place, depending on who the top two vote-getters are, although his draft prowess led to Team LeBron beating Team Stephen 148-145 Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). And there’s a definite appetite for the NBA to televise the captains’ draft rather than conduct it clandestinely like it was this year. “Televise it,” said DeMar DeRozan of Team Stephen. “Give the people what they want to see. I think everybody wants to see it. At the end of the day, every single person that gets picked, you are an All-Star, so it doesn’t matter where you really go, so I think televise it.” Players raved about the new format of having captains draft the teams rather than the traditional format of East vs. West. And James finally revealed his draft order: Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, his former Cleveland teammate Kyrie Irving and DeMarcus Cousins, who missed the game due to a season-ending injury. “I know who I like watching and I had a draft board. I had a process,” James said. “Some of it went according to plan. A couple of them fell through, but I was satisfied and happy with the guys that I got.” James’ original roster was dramatically altered by injuries to Cousins, John Wall, Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Love, who all missed the game. “Even with the four guys that got injured we were able to get four new guys that came in and played well for us.” James was named the game’s MVP after making the go-ahead, finger-roll layup with 34.5 seconds left and scoring a game-high 29 points. Where did he hide his draft board? “Ain’t none of your business. You’re going too far, man,” James said with a laugh. Curry didn’t divulge his draft order. “As the draft kind of unfolded, you start to game plan around positions,” he said. “For me, I tried to get the best shooters. It was kind of cool to see both teams come together as me and LeBron were picking. So that part, that vibe of the format and having two guys select from your peers will be a fun show as it unfolds year after year.” The All-Star draft led to interesting dynamics on court. Curry chose his Golden State teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, but the trio had to play against Durant. James also chose Oklahoma City duo Westbrook and Paul George to play along with Kyrie Irving, who forced a trade away from James in Cleveland just last summer. Irving and James had no obvious friction, even laughing and joking on the bench. Neither did Durant and Westbrook, who broke up in 2016 when Durant left Oklahoma City for Golden State. Durant helped James smother Curry in the final seconds to prevent him from getting off a potential tying shot. And then there was Toronto’s Dwane Casey coaching Team LeBron against Raptors star DeRozan. “I think that having the captains and selecting the guys and being able to mix them up gave it a more authentic feel of kind of what us players want to be part of in an All-Star Game,” Irving said. “It’s great to play with guys in your conference, East-West. But when you get a chance to have Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and you know they’re teammates already, and then you mix them with myself and Kemba (Walker), and LeBron, and you could see the mix and it just worked.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

Royal wedding guess list: Who gets a nod from Prince Harry, Meghan Markle?

LONDON (AP) --- Forget the Winter Olympics, the Champion's League or the Super Bowl. The real competition right now is who's going to be invited to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding. Everyone who is anyone in Britain is angling for an embossed royal ticket. British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, who is seeking to add two more world championships to the three he already owns, says he would be happy to interrupt his high-level training for a trip to Windsor Castle on May 19. The ebullient Joshua has not been shy, tweeting a picture of himself and Harry with the question "Need a best man?" "I'm single," the 28-year-old told the BBC, expressing an interest in seein...Keep on reading: Royal wedding guess list: Who gets a nod from Prince Harry, Meghan Markle?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2018

ABS-CBN Sports launches LIGA channel

ABS-CBN Sports recently launched its new cable sports channel LIGA that will be the home of the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world, the FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia this year. LIGA is a 24-hour channel dedicated to provide sports fans in the country with premium content in sports like football, basketball, and volleyball. Starting January 2018, viewers have been able to watch LIGA on standard definition on SKY cable channel 86, in high definition on SKY cable channel 183, and on Sky Direct channel 14. Currently, the channel airs the FIFA World Cup European qualifiers, allowing local football fans to follow their favorite teams’ journey to the main tournament of the quadrennial international football tournament, which will be held from June 14 to July 15 in Russia. While anticipation is high for the quadriennial international football tournament, LIGA channel head Jojo Neri-Estacio said sports fans have more reasons to tune into the sports channel with its other offerings. LIGA carries the games of the current season of the ASEAN Basketball League that features basketball clubs from different countries in Asia including the Philippines’ Alab Pilipinas. It will also have live broadcast of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Volleyball tournament starting on February 3, while it will also air other ABS-CBN S+A fare like the UAAP Season 80 Women’s volleyball tournament, UAAP Season 80 football tournaments, and the Premier Volleyball League. College basketball fans will also be happy to know that LIGA will bring back classic UAAP Games, from as early as Season 70, where viewers can see the beginnings and early triumphs of the country’s hardcourt heroes in the professional leagues. LIGA is available on SKY Cable and Sky Direct and will soon be available in provincial cable affiliates nationwide. Watch premium sports content on standard definition on Sky cable channel 86, in high definition on Sky cable channel 183, and is on channel 14 on Sky Direct......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

ARMM hires 75 new teachers for Maguindanao, more expected to get jobs

COTABATO CITY – Dozens of newly hired teachers for the province of Maguindanao were added to the roster of the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) on Monday, officials said. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman signed the appointment papers of 75 teachers and said  their profession is more of service and commitment than livelihood. “You chose this path because it is your passion — because you are committed and determined that you want our youth to learn. The regional government will not neglect your efforts and will provide what you deserve,” he said. Debunking the misconception that appointments in ARMM are tainted with corruption, Gov. Hataman said those appointed are qualified and do not have those so-called backers. A mechanism was made to ensure that appointees are well-distributed to schools that are in need. Along with the appointment order is a deployment order. In his first appearance as the newly appointed DepEd-ARMM Secretary, Atty. Rasol Mitmug, Jr. reminded the teachers that the region’s “youth is expecting to receive quality education.” “Sana maging daan kayong mga guro na matulungan ang mga batang magsumikap sa pag aaral dahil maraming kabataan ang umaasa na magkaroon ng maayos at dekalidad na edukasyon,” he told the teachers. One of the teachers, Elpigenia Apellido, a 41-year old single mother with two children, said: “Excited ako na may halong kaba.” Her appointment was 18 years in the making. Since her graduation in 1999, Apellido served as a factory worker in Luzon and also as a farmer in her hometown in Sultan Kudarat. During the past two years, she served as a volunteer teacher in Kulasi Elementary School where she did not receive compensation. Previously teaching in makeshift classrooms to underprivileged children, she is now eager to go back as a full-fledged teacher and help her students who usually go to school without basic supplies such as pens and notebooks.  “As a teacher and the second mother of my students, I play an important role in nurturing them for their future,” she said. “It’s never too late to reach for your dreams. I’m here now signing my papers, although long overdue, this serves as a message to everyone.” “Sacrifices have to be made along the way, but if you get the chance to go to school, do not miss it, since you never know when your break will come,” she said. Gov.  Hataman said the appointments comprised just the first batch of new teachers in the region. More appointees are expected to be made this year. “The process will be easier now. Our main goal is to finish all appointments, including senior high school, by first quarter of this year,” he said, adding, DepEd-ARMM will fill all teaching positions in nine schools divisions in the region in the first quarter of this year.   Newly hired teacher Sahira Kalipapa said the distance between her home and her school assignment may be challenging, but she is more excited to help her students. A 30-year-old resident of Datu Paglas North, she will be deployed to Darampua Elementary School in Sultan sa Barongis town, an hour away from her place. “Wala pong kaso sa akin ang layo, ang mahalaga po sa akin ay makatulong sa mga estudyante sa sarili kong probinsya,” Sahira said. Overwhelmed with joy as she signed her deployment order, she said: “It’s an answered prayer po. Sobrang saya po na finally teacher na po ako.” “Ang sarap po sa pakiramdam dahil alam namin na dumaan ito sa tamang proseso. Libu-libo ang applicants na kasabay ko dito at masaya ako na napabilang ako sa mga newly hired teachers,” she said.  Sahira said that she never thought of applying to other places outside the ARMM. “Mas pipiliin ko pa rin po ang lugar namin dahil mas kailangan po kami sa lugar namin,” she added. Applicants for teaching positions in the ARMM have to go through the Assessment and Competency Examination for Teachers that includes a panel interview and a teaching demonstration to evaluate their aptitude and proficiency for teaching. The process is meant to promote quality education in the region. Gov. Hataman said it helps guarantee that only qualified teachers will be hired. On January 4 this year, the appointment papers and deployment orders of the 192 public school teachers in Sulu were signed by the governor. “Our goal is to fill in all the teaching vacancies in the first quarter of the year,” he said. “Nandito kayo hindi dahil sa kung sino ang nag-recommend sayo, nandito kayo dahil dumaan kayo sa tamang proseso at alam namin na qualified kayo,” he said.  Another teacher, Johaira Ali, also thanked and praised Gov. Hataman for hiring them, saying, they waited for this for a long time. “I’m excited to be finally appointed by the ARMM Department of Education because I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” she said.   Musarafah Ebrahim, a teacher who shared her own excitement, said: “I’m happy to be here. I’ve always found joy in teaching, and I feel like this is truly the job for me.” Qualified, not endorsed   Gov. Hataman told the teachers “I made sure to meet all of you today because I wanted to tell you personally that you are here not because of anyone’s endorsement, but because you are qualified. Atty. Mitmug reminded the teachers of their crucial role as educators. “Many of the youth here in the ARMM are hoping to receive quality education in our public school system, and the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJan 27th, 2018

By the Numbers: Christmas Clasico

With all 12 teams finally playing at least one game, the 43rd PBA season is officially here. Like for real. And with that in mind, a brand-new By The Numbers PBA edition is also here. This should be fun. Okay let's do this. Oh Happy Holidays, Kapamilya!   10 Number of Christmas Day wins for Brgy. Ginebra, most in the league and it's not even close. The Gin Kings have made it an annual tradition to win on Christmas Day, losing only once in 11 tries. Ginebra's only Christmas loss came 11 years ago against Talk 'N Text.   4 Number of Christmas Clasico wins by Ginebra in four games. The Gin Kings simply own this Holiday and this rivalry for a couple of years now. Ginebra has three straight Christmas Clasico wins over the Hotshots and since last season, the Gin Kings are 8-3 in Manila Clasico games. This has to be killing Magnolia fans all over.   122 Number of points scored by Ginebra's Mark Caguioa on Christmas Day games, most in the league. The Spark scored seven points in the Gin Kings win over Magnolia, pushing his total to 122 points.   24.5 Average points of Globalport's Terrence Romeo on Christmas Day games (minimum of two games), best in the PBA. However, the Bro sat out the Batang Pier's loss to NLEX this year as he continues to deal with a knee injury.     39 Sticking to scoring on Christmas, the now retired Jimmy Alapag holds the single-game record for most points on Christmas. The Mighty Mouse scored 39 points, 24 from beyond the arc, in 2004 when the then Phone Pals lost to Ginebra on December 25.   2 Number of undefeated PBA teams at the Philippine Arena. NLEX (1-0) joined Kia (2-0) as the only two teams not to take an L at the massive INC-owned facility. The PBA has played six playdates at the Philippine Arena so far. Blackwater (0-2), TNT (0-1), and Globalport (0-1) have yet to win there. Meanwhile, Meralco is 1-2 at the Philippine Arena and Ginebra is 5-1 including one championship.   19 Kiefer Ravena's scoring average so far in the PBA. The Phenom has been living up to hype i nthe big league two games in so far. In his debut game, Kiefer went for 18 points and 12 assists before dropping another 20 points in s a Christmas-day win for NLEX.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2017

How will the Spurs meld Aldridge, Leonard?

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com A top-three team in the Western Conference is ready to get its best player back from injury. He's someone who, last season, made first-team All-NBA, had a seat at the MVP roundtable and nearly chopped down the champion Golden State Warriors in a playoff game (before being chopped down himself). And this will be good for the San Antonio Spurs, most would agree. What’s less certain is what Kawhi Leonard’s return from an achy quadricep means for LaMarcus Aldridge, who looks comfortable playing the lead right now without his co-star, yet squirmed to find peace when he had to ride shotgun. The Spurs star could make his season debut on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) against the Mavericks. The Spurs’ season rides on a happy balance between the two and a way to once again lurk as the team that gives the Warriors a severe case of the creeps, more than any other in the West. Despite all the fuss made over Chris Paul joining James Harden in Houston, and the star-infused Thunder in Oklahoma City, it’s the same-old Spurs who spooked Golden State in Game 1 before losing the Western Conference finals. They were also the last non-Warriors team to reach the NBA Finals. And look who’s sitting a bounce pass from the top of the West, despite missing Kawhi all season? That opening playoff game last May against Golden State was a flash point for San Antonio. The series of events that followed managed to put Leonard in a bad place physically, saw Aldridge melt epically the rest of that series and generate trade talk in the off-season, forced a major sit-down/showdown between coach Gregg Popovich and Aldridge and then, out of seemingly nowhere and somewhat surprisingly, a peaceful resolution was reached and wins followed. “As you can see, based on the evidence,” said Aldridge the other day, “everything’s good.” Yes, it appears so. With Kawhi out of the lineup, the Spurs are doing what they usually do, using disciplined basketball to stamp themselves as a contender. Some nights, Aldridge has been a force, ripping double-doubles and looming large in close games. The ball is finding him in a greedy groove; Aldridge is taking almost 17 1/2 shots a game and the Spurs’ No. 2 shooter, Rudy Gay, is getting nine. As a result, his scoring average is up from a year ago, from 17.3 points per game to 22.6 ppg, matching his best production during his peak with the Portland Trail Blazers. Now in his third season with the Spurs, Aldridge has never felt this frisky and once again is leaning on his money maker: the floating 18-foot jumper. Most important, the Spurs are winning because of him, and Popovich is gloating over him. “Are you kidding?” Popovich said. “We’d be in the toilet if it wasn’t for L.A. He’s been a complete basketball player at both ends of the floor, great rebounding, defensively, running the floor, scoring. What’s really been great is his leadership. And him bringing it every night.” It’s a short sample size after 25 games, but Popovich and the Spurs are cautiously encouraged by this. The Spurs veered from their usual draft-and-develop ways when they signed Aldridge to a big free-agent contract three summers ago. Because of that, Aldridge was considered an outsider, someone who wasn’t a true Spur, but who was needed by a team that craved proven talent to remain a contender in the post-Tim Duncan era. But it’s been a learning process for Aldridge, Popovich and the Spurs. He came from the Blazers anxious to break free of a team that began to orbit around Damian Lillard, but wouldn’t you know it, Leonard turned into a superstar almost overnight after Aldridge arrived. The timing was good for the Spurs ... and awkward for Aldridge, who was forced to adjust his game with prodding from Popovich. Aldridge bit his tongue last season when he averaged his lowest point total since his rookie season. When Leonard suffered his ankle sprain against the Warriors, Aldridge suddenly had the burden of carrying the load, and he failed spectacularly for the rest of that series. He averaged just 11.3 points in the final three games and became low hanging fruit for critics. Popovich was asked the other day if Aldridge had to atone for that this season and the coach came to his player’s defense. “I don’t know if the word ‘atone’ is accurate,” Popovich said. “If your leading scorer and also your point guard (Tony Parker, who was also out against the Warriors) isn’t there, then it falls on someone else. If you take away the two top players from any playoff team, it’s probably going to be tough to move on. I don’t think he has anything to atone for.” Still, something wasn’t right; anyone could see that. Aldridge requested a summertime meeting with Popovich and came with demands. On the surface, that might seem a risky strategy, given the coach’s credentials vs. someone without a single title, and Aldridge knew he was walking on eggshells. “I didn’t know how it would go because he’s Gregg Popovich. I didn’t know how he’d take me saying things. I didn’t know what to expect, with me coming at a person a different way but I was very honest and I think he could tell this was maybe different from what he was used to. But I was not disrespectful. I was trying to express how I was feeling and he was very receptive to it. We kept talking and things got better. I was pleasantly surprised.” For anyone who thought one of the game’s greatest coaches didn’t have a humble side, guess again. Popovich said: “We broke bread a few times, talked about it, laughed about it, discussed what we thought needed to happen, and frankly 95 percent of it fell on me because I made an error in trying to change him too much. That might sound odd, but he’d been in the league nine years and there’s one way he plays on the offensive end and feels comfortable with. I tried to turn him into Jack Sikma, told him I was going to teach you how to play on the elbow, go on the wing, face up. It was confusing for him. It really didn’t fit his style of play. I was guilty of over coaching in a sense. “We came to an agreement on what had to happen. Well, on defense, I told him ‘I’m going to get on you like I do everyone else. But on offense, I don’t even want to talk to you. When they double you, kick it. Other than that, you be LaMarcus Aldridge.’ You see the result right now. He’s happy, confident and kicking everybody’s butt.” Every star player’s ego needs a degree of pampering, and Popovich did admit that dealing with Aldridge was different than any player he’s ever had, yet says there’s a reason for that. “When guys like Kawhi and Tony Parker and others came to me, they were young kids. When a guy’s been in a league nine years and is used to doing something and I try to take it away, that’s not right. That wasn’t very wise on my part.” Popovich didn’t pull rank in the meeting with Aldridge and if anything, he put his ego in check, something you see from coaches who haven’t accomplished one-fourth of what he’s done. But Pop has never strayed from the first rule in coaching players, especially the good ones: Keep them happy by any means necessary. “You gotta look at things and make it better as a coach,” he said. “It’s your responsibility. This was mostly me.” Here’s Aldridge this season so far: Back-to-back 33- and-41-point games a few weeks ago, sharper court awareness, better rebounding and passing than a year ago. Aldridge: “I was frustrated. I just wanted to help more and I think he understood that. Now I feel as confident as I was in Portland. I’m definitely being myself and playing my game and not overthinking and not worried about what’s going to happen if I don’t play well. I’m not a face-up guy. I like to have my back to the basket more. Pop’s given me the freedom to be myself again and that has shown itself on the court.” The issue, both say, wasn’t necessary the number of shots, though that was certainly one of the issues. It also was about the spot on the floor, when those shots needed to be taken. Aldridge said he has no problem with Leonard as the core -- he called Kawhi “our main guy” -- but wanted the same amount of comforts within the system. “He’s a go-to guy also,” said Aldridge. “The plan is to have him be the guy he is, and I be who I am now.” And there’s the key word: now. Leonard was bothered by the quad all last season and it didn’t respond quickly to offseason treatment. But now he’s nearly 100 percent and hopes a quick return to the level of last season when he jacked his scoring and finished third in the MVP voting, one spot ahead of LeBron James. Count Parker among the teammates who’ve said the obvious about Aldridge and how the power forward, in Leonard’s absence, has looked All-Star quality. “Everything’s going through him right now and he’s doing a better job knowing when to score and when to pass,” Parker said, “along with reading double teams and playing good defense.” But then Parker, the most senior Spur after Manu Ginobili, stressed that everyone, including Aldridge, must sacrifice for Leonard and not vice-versa, for the sake of the system and ultimately, wins. “When you play for the Spurs you don’t get a lot of big stats,” Parker said. “Now that Kawhi is out, he obviously has the ball more and he’s going to shoot more shots.” Then he added the kicker: “When Kawhi comes back we will share” -- Parker said while smiling -- “like we always do here.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2017

Cignal closes elims campaign on a high note, faces Cocolife in the quarters

Cignal played with a crippled roster, but it hardly mattered as import Alexis Matthews asserted her dominance at the middle en route to a 25-21, 25-16, 25-14 victory over Victoria Sports-UST in the 2017 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Matthews was a solid force to be reckoned with as she single-handedly towed the HD Spikers to a morale-boosting victory. With the win, the HD Spikers formally closed their eliminations campaign at the fourth spot with a 4-4 win-loss card to book a quarterfinal duel with fifth-seed Cocolife on Thursday. F2 Logistics, meanwhile, is set to take the top spot provided that it prevails by at least four sets against newcomer Iriga City. If that happens, Petron will take the second seed while two-time champion Foton will fall to third. Matthews, the 6-foot-3 American middle blocker from Michigan State, did most of the damage at the middle as she knocked down 13 kills and six blocks for 19 points while winger Honey Royse Tubino chipped in eight markers for the HD Spikers, who missed the services of national team member Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis. Gonzaga crashed with a knee injury last week while Daquis is still in the hospital after being diagnosed with dengue. Cignal coach George Pascua said while the victory boosts their confidence for the next round, local players such as Janine Marciano, Mylene Paat, Paneng Mercado and Tubino must all step up and deliver the numbers they will miss if and when Gonzaga and Daquis sit out anew. “I’m happy with our performance, but the locals must step up,” said Pascua, adding that over-confidence nearly doomed their chances in the first set where the Tigresses erected a 20-15 lead before Matthews buckled down to work. “Everybody is performing well and meets our expectations during training. But we should apply what we train and play a notch higher during actual games because things will start to get tough as we enter the quarterfinals.” From a 15-20 disadvantage, Matthews imposed her will at the middle, allowing Mercado to convert a strong kill and Saet to knock down back-to-back aces for a 22-21 lead. Shannen Palec tried to put the Tigresses back into the set with a successful attack, but Mylene Paat and Mathews delivered a pair of hits, giving the HD Spikers the set point, 24-22, and the confidence in the second and third sets. “She (Matthews) played really great,” said Pascua, noting that his other import Beth Carey of Australia was simply out of rythmn. “I just hope she maintains that form in the quarterfinals.” Carla Sandoval and Dimdim Pacres tallied 10 and nine markers, respectively, for the Tigresses, who kissed the tournament goodbye without a single victory in eight matches. They, however, still emerge as biggest winners as they will carry all the lessons they gained in this high-level tourney to the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) wars starting February......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

10 things to know going into the 2017-18 NBA season

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Happy New Year, NBA. The 72nd regular season starts Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time), when Boston heads to Cleveland and Houston goes to Golden State. Fans in Cleveland will boo Kyrie Irving, fans in Oakland will cheer the Warriors’ latest championship banner, and the march toward April will finally be underway. The offseason was loaded with changes. Carmelo Anthony and Paul George went to Oklahoma City, Gordon Hayward and Irving went to Boston, Isaiah Thomas got sent to Cleveland, Jimmy Butler is now in Minnesota and Paul Millsap calls Denver home. That’s seven All-Stars who moved, a record for an NBA offseason. Every coach who started last season will start this season. That’s an NBA first. Here’s 10 things to know about the NBA season that is finally here: ___ 10. QUICK STARTERS San Antonio, Toronto and Miami will likely start 1-0 — because under current management, San Antonio, Toronto and Miami almost always start 1-0. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is 18-2 on opening night, Raptors coach Dwane Casey is 7-1 and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is 7-2. Spoelstra has started 1-0 in each of the last six seasons, the longest such run in the NBA. A coach in need of a 1-0 start? Try New Orleans’ Alvin Gentry. He’s dropped five straight openers and is 2-9 on opening night. Brooklyn, Orlando, Milwaukee and Utah have the league’s longest current opening-night losing streaks, starting 0-1 in each of the last four seasons. 9. FROM DISTANCE Last season was the third straight where the NBA’s team single-season three-point record fell, starting with Houston (933 in 2014-15), Golden State (1,077 in 2015-16) and Houston again (1,181 from 2016-17). Between the Rockets, Cleveland, Boston and the Warriors, four of the five highest single-season three-point totals in history came last season. Don’t expect the 3-ball to go away anytime soon, either. 8. LEBRON’S MARKS LeBron James’ list of milestones is about to get longer. He comes into this season 1,213 points shy of becoming the seventh NBA player to reach 30,000, meaning it should happen by about the All-Star break barring any extended absence. He’s also on pace to eclipse the 8,000-rebound and 8,000-assist marks this season. The only other player in NBA history with 25,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists is Kobe Bryant. James already has all those numbers, and counting. 7. WHERE’S THE DEFENSE? In 2014-15, half the league — 15 teams — held opponents under 100 points per game. Two seasons later, San Antonio and Utah were the only teams that managed the feat. The league’s planned crackdown on traveling this season might help, but it’ll be interesting to see if defensive numbers improve in this era of three-point-reliant, pace-and-space basketball. 6. MAYBE MINNESOTA Think about this, with apologies to fans in the Pacific Northwest: There have been more NBA playoff games in Seattle over the last 13 years than in Minneapolis. This will finally be the year that changes. The Timberwolves, who last reached the postseason in 2004, should return this spring even in a loaded Western Conference with Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and new addition Jimmy Butler leading the way. 5. SPURS CHASE HISTORY If the Spurs win 41 games this season — a safe bet — it’ll be the 21st consecutive season where San Antonio finishes the regular season at .500 or better. That would tie the NBA mark in that department, matching the feat set by the Utah Jazz from 1983-84 to 2003-04. The Spurs set a record for consecutive winning seasons last year with their 20th. (Utah was 41-41 in 1984-85.) 4. DIRK’S LONGEVITY Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki enters this season 31 games away from passing Kevin Willis for No. 6 on the NBA’s all-time list. At 48,673 minutes, he’s also within striking distance of No. 5 Elvin Hayes (50,000), No. 4 Jason Kidd (50,111) and No. 3 Kevin Garnett (50,418). 3. STEPH WATCH Stephen Curry will have just turned 30 when this regular season ends. And by then, he legitimately could be No. 3 on the NBA’s all-time three-point list. Curry starts this season No. 10, and at his current pace will pass Ray Allen for the top spot sometime in the 2019-2020 season. 2. NEW DEADLINE No longer will the All-Star Game be overshadowed by talk of who’s getting moved where (like last year, when DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans while players were still in locker rooms in New Orleans immediately after the game). The trade deadline will now be 10 days before the All-Star break, so this season that means Feb. 8 (Feb. 9, PHL time). 1. AND THE WINNER IS ... How can anyone pick against Golden State right now? The Warriors will get their third title in four years, which is the easiest prediction possible. So we’ll finish this with some probably less-than-chalk picks: LeBron James is going to reclaim the MVP award, the Rockets will have a game where they connect 30 times from three-point range and Charlotte’s Steve Clifford will be coach of the year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2017

Thunder add reinforcements for MVP Westbrook

em>By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press /em> OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook did it all last season and it wasn’t enough. Westbrook averaged a triple-double and topped Oscar Robertson’s single-season record for triple-doubles on his way to winning the league MVP award and the scoring title. He led the Thunder to the playoffs after Kevin Durant left for Golden State in the offseason. A five-game playoff exit at the hands of the Houston Rockets was typical of Oklahoma City’s season — great play from Westbrook but the team falling short. Reinforcements have arrived. The Thunder have acquired All-Stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in trades, and now, Oklahoma City is poised to return to elite status. “To be able to play with those two guys and the rest of the guys we have is amazing,” Westbrook said. “I’m excited. I’m looking forward to making a great run, and I’m happy they’re here.” Anthony, now 33, appears to have plenty in the tank. He averaged 15.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in the preseason. He said he expects to score, but he will do what is needed to fit in with coach Billy Donovan’s system. George led the Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and 2014. He missed most of the 2014-2015 season after breaking his leg, then the Pacers lost in the first round of the playoffs the next two seasons. His early adjustment appears to be going smoothly — he averaged 20.3 points in the preseason. He believes that being paired with superstar talent gives the Thunder a chance to be special. “You need guys of that stature and that level to be able to help and create something special,” George said. “It’s just that era where you’ve got to face teams that are going to have two or three guys that can take over games and be iconic to this league.” Here are some things to watch from the Thunder this season: strong>BACKUP POINT GUARD /strong>: The Thunder sometimes ran into trouble last season when Westbrook would go to the bench to rest, and it was a particularly big issue during the playoffs. New pickup Raymond Felton should be an upgrade. The veteran has 657 NBA starts and averaged 9.5 points per game just two seasons ago for Dallas. strong>ADAMS’ DEVELOPMENT /strong>: Center Steven Adams had his best season last year, and he will be in position to be even better this year. He ranked seventh in the league in field-goal percentage last season, and with George and Anthony drawing attention, he should be open a lot more this season. He shot 62 percent from the field during the preseason. strong>HIGH-FLYER: /strong> Rookie guard Terrance Ferguson played professionally in Australia last season. He showed off his springs on several highlight-reel plays while averaging 6.3 points in the preseason. There’s substance to go with the flash. “He’s a guy that comes in and works hard, does the things we ask him to do on both ends,” Anthony said. “Wants to get better. You can’t ask for a better rookie than that. A guy who wants to be out on the court and working his way to have an opportunity to gain some minutes. So he is a guy that you guys will be hearing more of in the future.” strong>THREE-POINT SHOOTING: /strong>Oklahoma City was the worst three-point shooting team in the league last season at 32.7 percent. The addition of George, Patrick Patterson and Anthony should help that. All are good shooters, and they should get plenty of open looks playing off of the other talent on the roster. strong>REPLACING ENES: /strong>The Thunder had to give up Enes Kanter to get Anthony. Kanter was one of the best reserves in the league — just two years ago, he finished third in the race for Sixth Man of the Year. He’s an elite offensive rebounder and one of the league’s most efficient shooters. “Enes was a great guy, he was a great teammate,” Donovan said. “He in my opinion is maybe the best offensive rebounder in the game. You know, I think he’ll be missed.” .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 12th, 2017

Jeff Napa happy his scoring record was broken by Alvin Pasaol

Jeff Napa scored 43 points for National University on August 22, 2002. For 15 years that was the highest scoring output by a single player in a single game in the UAAP. That was until October 4, 2017. And there, Alvin Pasaol scored 49 points in ultra-efficient 20-for-30 shooting – setting the new standard for scoring in the modern era. While his personal best was topped, Napa said he was nothing but glad for Pasaol. “I’m happy for him, pero sana nanalo,” he shared. Pasaol and University of the East lost to De La Salle University, 100-106, while Napa and National University triumphed over Adamson University, 98-92. Still, the now Colegio de San Juan de Letran head coach said the Red Warrior will only get more motivation from this. As he put it, “Great motivation yan para sa kanya para lalo siyang magpursigi pa sa kanyang career at matulungan yung team niya.” For his part, Pasaol said he will just keep working from here. “Siguro, nilaro ko lang yung talagang best ko na hinihindi ni manong sa akin na maglaro ako ng sarili ko. Kaya itutuloy ko lang yun,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 4th, 2017

Jeff Napa happy his scoring record was broken by Alvin Pasaol

Jeff Napa scored 43 points for National University on August 22, 2002. For 15 years that was the highest scoring output by a single player in a single game in the UAAP. That was until October 4, 2017. And there, Alvin Pasaol scored 49 points in ultra-efficient 20-for-30 shooting – setting the new standard for scoring in the modern era. While his personal best was topped, Napa said he was nothing but glad for Pasaol. “I’m happy for him, pero sana nanalo,” he shared. Pasaol and University of the East lost to De La Salle University, 100-106, while Napa and National University triumphed over Adamson University, 98-92. Still, the now Colegio de San Juan de Letran head coach said the Red Warrior will only get more motivation from this. As he put it, “Great motivation yan para sa kanya para lalo siyang magpursigi pa sa kanyang career at matulungan yung team niya.” For his part, Pasaol said he will just keep working from here. “Siguro, nilaro ko lang yung talagang best ko na hinihindi ni manong sa akin na maglaro ako ng sarili ko. Kaya itutuloy ko lang yun,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 4th, 2017

An NBA first: Every coach who started last season is back

em>By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press /em> MIAMI (AP) — Dozens of NBA players found new homes this offseason. A few front offices dealt with hirings and firings. There’s a new arena in Detroit and an ownership change looms in Houston. The league’s logo was even tweaked. Change was everywhere. That is, except the coaches’ offices. Here’s a first for the NBA: Every coach is back. From the start of last season to the start of this season — barring something happening in training camps, anyway — not a single NBA team has changed coaches. That’s an unprecedented run of retention and an obvious source of pride for coaches across the league as the first practices of the season get set to occur this weekend. “I think what people are seeing is what this league needs, what these players need more than anything, is stability and a consistent message,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, who’s going into his 10th season. “Otherwise we’re just losing ground if you have to start all over every year. That’s a tough way to win in this business. That’s a tough way to build any sort of culture or consistency.” No one is starting over in the next few days, at least in the sense that a new staff is taking over a team. Last season was the first since 1963-64 — and only the fourth in league history — where there were no in-season changes. The league was much smaller back then as well, with only nine coaches having to keep their bosses happy. It’s a 30-team league now, and a year ago at this time 10 of those clubs had a new coach. “From top to bottom, we have a very high quality level of coaching,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, the president of the National Basketball Coaches Association. “This is as stable as our profession has been in decades. Contracts are strong, the league is constructed in a way now where coaching is extremely important and ownership understands the importance of the coaching process.” There hasn’t been a coaching hire since Jeff Hornacek was formally announced by the New York Knicks on June 2, 2016 — which might not sound that long ago, but in a field without any real job security that’s an eternity. So when coaches gathered last week for their annual preseason meeting, they celebrated the fact that there were no new faces in the room. “We’ve talked about the importance of supporting one another — and at the same time, the need to try to beat each others’ brains in,” Carlisle said. “It’s a conflicting sort of concept from afar, but internally we are the only ones that know all the challenges that head coaches in the NBA face. And because of that, there’s a real healthy respect for one another.” Summer vacations are ending now. Coaches will all be grabbing their whistles in the next few days, starting with Golden State’s Steve Kerr and Minnesota’s Tom Thibodeau on Saturday when the Warriors and Timberwolves open training camp — those teams can start early because they’re going to China in the preseason. The other 28 teams start practice on Tuesday. “In team-building and pro sports, a lot of times the methodical long game is what’s necessary,” said Spoelstra, the second-longest-tenured coach in the league behind San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich. “But you’re seeing less and less of that. That’s why last year was such a pleasant surprise. I think it really was a celebration of stability and an acknowledgment of how complex this position can be.”   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2017

Theresa May triggers Brexit Article 50 – Al Jazeera

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has triggered the formal two-year process of negotiations that will lead to Britain leaving the European Union  after 44 years in a process popularly known as Brexit. A letter invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and officially notifying the EU of Britain's decision to withdraw from the bloc was hand-delivered to European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels by British Ambassador to the EU Tim Barrow on Wednesday. The loss of a major member is destabilising for the EU, which is battling to contain a tide of nationalist and populist sentiment and faces unprecedented antipathy from the new US administration. It is even more tumultuous for Britain. For all the UK government's confident talk of forging a close and friendly new relationship with its neighbours, it cannot be sure what its future relationship with the bloc will look like &'' whether businesses will freely be able to trade, students to study abroad, or pensioners to retire with ease in other EU states. Those things have become part of life since the UK joined what was then called the European Economic Community in 1973. In a speech to parliament designed to coincide with the letter's delivery, May urged the country to come together as it embarks on a &'8220;momentous journey&'8221;. &'8220;We are one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future. And, now that the decision has been made to leave the EU, it is time to come together,&'8221; she said. May told MPs she wanted to represent &'8220;every person in the UK&'8221;, including EU nationals, in negotiations. The prime minister acknowledged there would be &'8220;consequences&'8221; to leaving, and she said the UK accepts it cannot &'8220;cherry pick&'8221;, and stay in the single market without accepting free movement. EU Council President Donald Tusk said there was &'8220;no reason to pretend this is a happy day&'8221;. &'8220;We already miss you,&'8221; he said, adding there was &'8220;nothing to win&'8221; and that, now, the Brexit process was about damage control. Britain voted to leave the EU last June, after a campaign that divided the country. In a close result, 52 percent voted for Brexit, while 48 percent wanted to stay in the EU. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, while England and Wales, with a much larger combined population, voted to leave. Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips, reporting from London, said May's speech attempted to strike a delicate balancing act. &'8220;Throughout the speech Theresa May is talking to two audiences simultaneously. She's talking to the audience across Europe, but she's also talking to a wide range of opinion in the country. &'8220;She's trying to assuage the disappointment of the 'remainers', but she's also trying to rein in some of the hardline Eurosceptic 'leavers' &'' many of whom belong to her own party&' [and] a conservative-dominated press in this country who are much more gung-ho about the terms of Brexit,&'8221;  Phillips said. May has promised to take Britain out of the EU single market but negotiate a deal that keeps close trade relations with Europe, as she builds &'8220;a strong, self-governing global Britain&'8221; with control over its own borders and laws. Brexit Secretary David Davis said Britain was &'8220;on the threshold of the most important negotiation&'8221; for Britain &'8220;for a generation&'8221;. The British parliament backed May's Article 50 plan earlier this month, after six weeks of debate. The EU is expected to issue a first response to Britain on Friday, followed by a summit of EU leaders on April 29 to adopt their own guidelines &'' meaning it could be weeks before formal talks start. Their priority is settling Britain's outstanding obligations, estimated between 55 and 60 billion euros [$59bn and $65bn] &'' an early battle that could set the tone for the rest of the negotiations. Both sides have also said they are keen to resolve the status of more than three million European nationals living in Britain after Brexit, and one million British expats living in the EU. The two sides also want to ensure Brexit does not exacerbate tensions in Northern Ireland , the once-troubled province that will become Britain's only hard border with the rest of the EU. Britain also wants to reach a new free trade agreement within the two-year timeframe, although it has conceded that a transitional deal might be necessary to allow Britain to adapt to its new reality. Many business leaders are deeply uneasy about May's decision to leave Europe's single market, a free trade area of 500 million people, fearing its impact on jobs and economic growth. The Brexit vote sent the pound plunging, although economic growth has been largely stable since then. On Tuesday, Scotland's semi-autonomous parliament backed a call by its nationalist government for a new referendum on independence before Brexit. Scotland's devolved administration is particularly concerned about leaving Europe's single market &'' the price May says must be paid to end mass immigration, a key voter concern. The prime minister rebuffed the referendum request and has vowed to fight for a new relationship with Brussels that will leave Britain stronger and more united than before. The EU, too, is determined to preserve its own unity and has said any Brexit deal must not encourage other countries to follow Britain out the door. With the challenges ahead, there is a chance that negotiations will break down and Britain will [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 30th, 2017

Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa happy being single with a crown

Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa happy being single with a crown.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsOct 29th, 2016

Salah, Neymar, Messi, messy, messy: World Cup stars stifled

By Mauricio Saverese, Associated Press SARANSK, Russia (AP) — With nagging injuries, heavy marking from opponents and some simply uninspired play, the top stars of the 2018 World Cup have struggled to deliver on the impossible expectations they carried into the tournament, with one prominent Portuguese exception. Aside from Cristiano Ronaldo, who has all four of Portugal's goals in its two games, many of the biggest names are off to a shaky start. No one has had rougher treatment from the opposition than the world's priciest player, Neymar. During Brazil's opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland, the 26-year-old was fouled 10 times, the highest number on a single player in a single match since the 1998 World Cup, when England's Alan Shearer took 11 challenges against Tunisia. Overall, Switzerland fouled Brazil 19 times , with little intervention from the referee, and it worked — especially on Neymar. Brazilians suggested their opponents were too violent; Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandes thinks Neymar has another problem. "He just falls too much," Fernandes said after the game in Rostov-on-Don. "Out of these 10, only seven or eight were fouls. We have to stop their star, and he is the star." Neymar felt the effects of the Swiss strategy long after Sunday's match ended, limping out of training Tuesday as he continues to recover from a foot injury he picked up before the tournament. He trained Wednesday and was confirmed as a starter for the match against Costa Rica on Friday. Superstar Lionel Messi did face heavy marking too, but he also had two uninspired performances for Argentina, which is now on the verge of early elimination after a 3-0 defeat against Croatia. Throughout the matches against Iceland and Croatia, disciplined defenders and midfielders stopped Messi from making his famous runs and getting one-on-one chances. Against Iceland, Messi saw his penalty spot kick saved by goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, and the game ended 1-1. Against Croatia, he crumbled with the rest of the team, which now desperately needs to beat Nigeria in the last round of group stage to have a chance of advancing to the next phase. "Messi is human," Aguero said after the Iceland match. "Sometimes things happen for a reason. We need to be with him. This was a bad day, but he can decide a match at any given moment. Hope he is better against Croatia." Croatia was taking note. "You can't stop him with one player, you have to defend like a team. You saw that with Iceland," defender Dejan Lovren said ahead of the Argentina clash late Thursday. Egypt striker Mohamed Salah set a Premier League scoring record for Liverpool and held all the hopes for a deep run by the Pharaohs in their return to the World Cup, until he injured his shoulder playing for Liverpool in the Champions League final in a clash with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, of Spain. Salah sat out the opening 1-0 loss to Uruguay in Yekaterinburg, with coach Hector Cuper hoping to have him fit for Egypt's second match, against Russia. He made his World Cup debut in St. Petersburg and scored from the penalty spot, but only after the hosts led by three goals, and his mobility was clearly affected. He barely touched the ball in the first half and avoided physical contact with Russian defenders during the entire game, and Egypt was eliminated with one match left to play. Ronaldo isn't entirely alone in starting strong. Diego Costa has three of Spain's four goals, Harry Kane has both of England's, and Luka Modric scored one goal and set up the other in Croatia's 2-0 win over Nigeria. And there's plenty of time for others to turn things around. Kylian Mbappe, the 19-year-old striker at the center of the second-most expensive transfer in history, managed just one chance in France's 2-1 win over Australia in Kazan, but scored Thursday against Peru in front of an empty net. His famous runs and dribbles, however, were blocked by Australia's physical game. It's early, and the tournament has seen plenty of stellar play from lesser-known players, but many of the star scorers have work to do......»»

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