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Cousins returns from injury, returns to form and delivers win

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com TORONTO — It was the moment the Warriors waited so long to see, and finally it arrived in the nick of time: The still-recovering former All-Star, out of the starting lineup for more than a minute, returning and dismissing the noise about how the team is better without him by impacting the game in multiple ways and pulling the Warriors to victory. And get this: If the Warriors are truly fortunate, Kevin Durant will recover soon and duplicate what DeMarcus Cousins just did. In the NBA Finals. If he does, it could serve a critical blow to Toronto’s chances of pulling off a late-series surprise. “We know what we’re dealing with here,” said Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. Cousins provided the help that the two-time defending champions needed Sunday (Monday, PHL time) to draw even in the series and snatch momentum with a 109-104 victory at Scotiabank Arena. He played more than anyone thought, rebounded more than anyone imagined, defended and scored more than Toronto bargained for, and gave the Warriors what they missed the last 6 1/2 weeks with him on the shelf. The 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots from Cousins didn’t fully encapsulate how much relief he brought to the Warriors. He had a galvanizing effect on a team that used an 18-0 run to start the second half to seize control of Game 3 and then used Andre Iguodala’s three-point shot to ice it. They haven’t been in one piece since April 15 (April 16, PHL time), in the first round against the Clippers, when Cousins chased a loose ball, stumbled and grabbed his left leg. The torn quad required no surgery but a lengthy rehab period, and this after Cousins went through a 10-month rehab for a torn Achilles' tendon in the spring of 2018. He was feeling beat up. Cousins attacked the process anyway, determined to return from an injury that normally would mean the end to his postseason, for the simple reason that he hadn’t been to the playoffs in his career to this point. There’s also a matter of free agency awaiting in July; a strong return could improve his bottom line. “Once they told me I have a chance, a slight chance, of being able to return, it basically was up to me and the work I put in,” he said. “So I put the work and the time in and with God’s grace I’m able to be out here and play the game I love.” Cousins was clearly out of rhythm from the layoff in Game 1, his timing rusty, his execution unsure. He played just eight minutes without scoring a basket or drawing much attention from Toronto. But Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the surprise decision to start Cousins three nights later, and that faith was repaid handsomely. Cousins was active, his confidence growing stronger by the minute -- 27 of them, actually, and he only asked to be subbed out once. “We came in thinking he can maybe play 20 minutes,” said Kerr. “He was fantastic and we needed everything he gave out there: his rebounding, his toughness, his physical presence, getting the ball in the paint, and just playing big, like he does. We needed all of that.” What the Warriors hoped was for Cousins to be the best big man on the floor. In Game 1, that honor went to Raptors center Marc Gasol, who uncharacteristically became a prime scoring option for the Raptors with 20 points, most on open jumpers. Cousins didn’t give him that amount of breathing space in Game 2, and Gasol (six points) was never a factor. Cousins' teammates offered rave reviews. Steph Curry: “Obviously you get more comfortable with more minutes and playing aggressive. He puts a lot of pressure on their defense. It’s a big lift for us. More to come.” Draymond Green: “The more he plays, the better feel he gets. He was great on both ends. It allowed us to play through him in the post. Toronto knows. They’ve got to honor that, and we know what he’s capable of doing if they don’t.” Cousins had an amusing reaction to learning he was in the starting lineup — “I was like, ‘Cool’” — and feels as though he has more to give. “When I step on the floor, I’m going to leave it out there,” he said. “I want to be on this stage. This is what I’ve worked for my entire career, to have this opportunity to play for something.” Cousins spent seven years in purgatory in Sacramento, where he racked up losses and technicals. It was a frustrating time for him; he had no faith in the franchise's leadership and it soured his attitude. His trade to the Pelicans two years ago was met with enthusiasm; he teamed with Anthony Davis to form an intimidating front line, but the Achilles’ injury cut short his time on the floor and, ultimately, in New Orleans. The team refused to offer him a contract last summer, leading him to join the Warriors at a discount. So his purpose is to salvage what’s left of the season, capture a ring for his troubles and see what it brings this summer. And then there’s the matter of Durant. The two-time Finals MVP hasn’t been cleared for full-contact practice, and the Warriors will hold only one prior to Game 3. Kerr said it’s “feasible” that Durant could play with only one practice under his belt, yet that’s not the ideal scenario. What Cousins does is buy them more time with Durant. With the series tied 1-1, and the next two games in Oakland, and Cousins apparently rounding into form, there’s a bit less urgency to see Durant on the floor. Yet it appears to be a matter of when, not if, Durant will see action in this series. And it might be at the perfect moment, with Klay Thompson suffering a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter that forced him off the court. The All-Star guard later told Kerr he’s fine and that the hamstring tightness is minor, but his status will be determined by MRI. Given what’s happened so far, the Warriors can never be too careful or take the rosy view when it comes to muscle issues. They’ve established a theme that tells the story of their 2019 postseason, and it’s not one they designed or even wanted, but it fits their existence nonetheless: “recovery” and their ability to do so on all front. It's not just injuries. Even in sweeping Portland, Golden State had to recover from deficits of 17, 18 and 17 points in the Western Conference Finals. Trailing 1-0 in these NBA Finals, they recovered from 12 down to win on the road for a 23rd straight series, an NBA record. What the Warriors reminded everyone at Scotiabank Arena, in case folks forgot, is that they’re champions and bring plenty of know-how to this series, and are fully capable of winning games by any means necessary. “It’s big respect for them,” said Kawhi Leonard. “They have been here each of the last four years, won the last two, and you’ve got to take the challenge. They’re a great team.” But the Warriors would rather put a fully-loaded and healthy squad -- one that is clearly the class of the NBA -- on the court and win with that. This NBA Finals might finally get the Warriors at full strength. If not, they still might be more than the Raptors can handle. 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 NewsJun 3rd, 2019

Ceferin stresses big clubs with closed Champions League idea

By Rob Harris, Associated Press UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin told leaders from European leagues not to forget the importance of big clubs in generating cash during a private meeting in which plans were detailed for a closed-off Champions League favoring the elite. A recording and images obtained by The Associated Press from the meeting at the UEFA headquarters on Wednesday highlights the schism between clubs and leagues over the ability to influence UEFA as it considers revamping its club competitions starting with the 2024-25 season. The dramatic proposal, shown during the meeting in Nyon, would lock in 24 of the 32 slots in the Champions League without the need to qualify annually through domestic leagues and would introduce promotion from and relegation to the Europa League. The plan has infuriated domestic leagues, particularly La Liga President Javier Tebas, who views UEFA as too closely aligned to the vision of European Club Association head Andrea Agnelli of Juventus. In a letter obtained by the AP last month, European Leagues President Lars-Christer Olsson floated the possibility of an investigation to determine whether the ECA was abusing a dominant position as UEFA was lobbied for more games between leading clubs. "Speaking about big clubs, this is a typical populist tool that is used in Europe not only in football," Ceferin told European Leagues representatives in the closed-doors meeting. "More and more the rich are taking everything from you and we the rich will help. Is that logical? I don't think so. And it's true big clubs are taking a lot of money, the most the biggest amount of money because of their results. And it's true that we have to think about that. But they're also bringing a lot of money on the table which is very easily forgotten." Hitting out at claims he is "killing football," Ceferin rebuked members of the European Leagues organization over public criticism and warned his executive committee could have pushed ahead with a revamp of competitions without discussing it with them. "We will not insult, but the more shouting there will be, the less consultation process there will be," Ceferin said. "Shouting in the media tells us much more about those people than about UEFA," Ceferin added. "We were listening about what will happen here, about how we are killing football, destroying football — despite the fact that UEFA is the only organization in European football that shares money as solidarity to every single country in Europe." The early UEFA vision, if approved, would see the Champions League group stage start a month earlier in August and double the size of each group to eight teams. But 24 of the 32 clubs in the 2024-25 group stage could retain their places the following season regardless of their domestic league finish. That would give certainty to leading clubs that attract the biggest television audiences but reduced opportunities for outsiders. Four Champions League teams will be relegated each season into the next season's second-tier Europa League. They would be replaced by the Europa League semifinalists, who would be promoted. Only four qualifying places would be left for national champions competing in preliminary rounds. It would leave the Dutch league runner-up — as Ajax was before reaching the Champions League semifinals this season — with no ability to qualify. Promotion and relegation is also envisaged between the Europa League and a third-tier competition that has yet to launch. The third competition, first revealed by the AP in 2015, would kick off in the 2021-22 season with a 32-team format in eight groups of four. But it could be enlarged to 64 teams from 2024, with four groups of 16 teams, possibly arranged by region, according to the UEFA documents. "You have to know that the ones who are shouting generate huge revenues and don't share anything with the others in Europe," Ceferin said. "The ones who really have problems respectfully and humbly wait for our explanation. And that's why we want to discuss we want to discuss because of the ones who deserve. That we discuss the ones who need our help and not the ones who are scared about their personal interest." In 2016, Ceferin decried a secret deal over Champions League changes agreed just before he was elected to succeed Michel Platini as UEFA president. Ceferin was frustrated UEFA caved into demands of Spain, Germany, England and Italy to guarantee them 16 of the 32 Champions League group-stage places. Now Ceferin is giving the impression he is consulting more by bringing leagues and clubs to meetings in Nyon. But his unhappiness with officials from leagues was clear in the tone. "We can go to the ExCo and decide and not ask anyone and your representative in the ExCo go can vote against," Ceferin said, referring to Olsson, who sits on the executive committee. "But we don't want to do it. That's why we are discussing. Legal action threats, I will not comment that much. As a lawyer with 25 year experience, this is quite the joke." Ceferin called on European Leagues officials to approach the talks "with some class without hostility and without false solidarity" and challenged them to come forward with proposals. "I hope we will exchange many important ideas and arguments," Ceferin said. "And if we do that we will come at the end to a solution that will be good for all the European football and — trust me or don't trust me — but the fact is that for UEFA that's our goal. We cannot do what clubs say and we cannot do what league say. We will do what is right for European football. And we will protect it together.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2019

A slice of life of Filipino women workers

“Even a salary of P36,000 is not enough. We have to borrow money to make ends meet. At times, we even have to pawn our ATMs (to loan sharks). My mere daily transportation cost is already pegged at P4,000. How could they dare tell us that about P10,000 is enough?” The post A slice of life of Filipino women workers appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsMay 1st, 2019

5-6 loan sharks can be arrested without warrant — Aguirre

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Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

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Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 27th, 2016

SEC: Public school teachers among victims of ‘5-6’

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Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 6th, 2016

SEC starts crackdown on loan sharks

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Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2016

Gov’t to create micro funding, revive heritage industries

The Duterte administration is coming up with two new special projects: micro funding for bottom of pyramid that will outlaw loan sharks or the 5-6 scheme and revival of local heritage industries......»»

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Solon backs 100-day maternity leave

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Aetas in Capas under siege, says solon

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Clear yourself, solon tells De Lima

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Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsSep 25th, 2016

Chelsea agrees to re-sign Luiz, City clears decks on deadline day

LONDON: Chelsea agreed terms with Paris Saint Germain to re-sign Brazil defender David Luiz on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), while Manchester City allowed four players to leave on season-long loan deals as the transfer deadline approached across Europe......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 1st, 2016

England 'keeper Joe Hart arrives in Torino to warm welcome

TURIN, Italy (AP) — England goalkeeper Joe Hart is on the verge of completing a loan move to Torino from Manchester City. Hart, who was given permission to leave the England camp to fly to Italy, underwent a medical at the Serie A club on Tuesda.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2016

Morales tells solon asking what Ombudsman means: Google it - Inquirer.net

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Nation: Leave, Duterte tells all presidential appointees

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Mindanao solon: Leave peace talks alone - Inquirer.net

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Mindanao solon: Leave peace talks alone

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Philippines secures $202-M loan for Mindanao road project

Philippine and Japanese officials on Tuesday night finalized a $202.04-million (¥21.92-billion) loan for the construction and improvement of roads in Mindanao’s conflict-affected areas, including Marawi City......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated News17 min. ago

Japan to fund Mindanao Road Network Development Project

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga, June 19 (PIA) -- Philippines signed Tuesday evening a loan agreement with the government of Japan for a US$202.04 million or Y21.9 billion loan for the road network d.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated News4 hr. 16 min. ago

Japan to fund Mindanao Road Network Development Project

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Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated News5 hr. 16 min. ago