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Minority claimants free to bring issue to Supreme Court

The duly recognized House minority bloc led by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez yesterday welcomed the plan of Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo to elevate the leadership row to the Supreme Court......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarAug 9th, 2018

Warriors dominance in the West shows no sign of relenting

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com We have reached the point in this Golden State Warriors’ chokehold on the Western Conference where it turns spooky: The last team out West to deny the Warriors (technically) no longer exists. Yes, the LA Clippers are still right where they’ve always been. But all other traces of May 3, 2014, when they beat the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, have turned to dust. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, JJ Redick, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford -- they’re all gone. Usually, it’s the loser who feels the cold repercussions and fallout of a first-round defeat in the playoffs. But what’s often lost as the Warriors run the table in the West is how they’ve shattered so many teams, schemes and dreams along the way. In hindsight, four years ago was not the beginning of “Lob City” and the Clippers. It was the beginning of their end. The wreckage left behind by the Warriors over the ensuing 53 months underlines the undeniable truth: They’ve taken ownership of their very own West Side Story. They had a record-setting 73-win regular season. They’ve won 12 straight West payoff series (and 15 of 16 playoff series overall). Only twice – the West finals in 2016 and '18 -- did they endure the indignity of needing to survive Game 7 in the West playoffs. In short, this dynasty shows no signs of dying this season. If anything, the argument can be made -- even before it’s proven as fact -- that the 2018-19 Warriors are their most talented team yet. All-Stars Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson welcomed a fifth, DeMarcus Cousins, to their mix this summer. That is not typical in the NBA, folks. “This," Durant said, "is going to be an exciting season. Fun.” The Warriors’ five All-Stars (two of whom are former Kia MVPs) are still in their prime. And given that Andre Iguodala tends to transform from a fossil to an X-factor when spring arrives, perhaps only injury or another uncontrollable circumstance will keep the Warriors from making it an NBA-record five straight Western Conference crowns. “In terms of encouraging each other, being in tune with some of the things that might be thrown at you, whether it's injuries, whether it's a couple of slumps on the court, whatever the case is, we adapt really well and we don't stay down for too long,” Curry said. The Rockets, who won 65 games a season ago, are perhaps the most realistic challenger to the Warriors out West. But it's quite possible that Houston is weaker than it was in 2017-18. To understand how high the Warriors are sitting on the throne, you must survey what they’ve left behind. Just look at how the biggest threats in the West have either hit dead ends or maxed themselves out trying to chase the Warriors since 2014. Memphis Grizzlies: At one point, they were considered the toughest matchup for the Warriors because they were polar opposite in style. Half-court and methodical, the Grizzlies took a switchblade to the basketball, slowing the tempo. And they exploited Golden State’s lone weaknesses: Interior size and overall strength. They physically beat up the Warriors in the paint (Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol) and on the perimeter (Tony Allen). Additionally, Mike Conley was at times a handful at point guard at a time when Curry was winning MVP awards. But health and age wore the Grizzlies down and eventually forced them into a current reinvention that likely won’t reap benefits until after the Warriors are finished. Oklahoma City Thunder: As one of only two West teams (Houston being the other) to force the Warriors into a seventh game, OKC was prime for a takeover in 2016. That season, OKC eliminated a 67-win San Antonio Spurs team in the West semfinals. Durant and Russell Westbrook were healthy, humming and helping the Thunder to a 3-1 lead in the West finals. That, however, was their apex, and the costly collapse was heightened by the “Klay Game” (41 points in Game 6). Imagine, if not for a fateful turn of events -- Klay’s 3-point rampage, KD’s second-half Game 7 vapor and the Warriors losing the 2016 Finals to Cleveland -- maybe Durant sticks around in OKC. At any rate, the post-2016 West finals reconstruction being done by the Thunder (Exhibit A: The short-lived Carmelo Anthony experience) is falling short so far. Portland Trail Blazers: They were never seriously considered a thorn to the Warriors, and still aren’t. It’s just that they played themselves. They were fooled by the events in 2016, when they beat the injury-hampered Clippers in the first round. They were then somewhat competitive against the Warriors in the West semifinals (winning one game by 12, losing another in OT and the elimination game by just four). Flushed with false hope, that summer the Blazers handed out rich extensions to rotational players and, unfortunately, locked themselves into a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since. San Antonio Spurs: Like the Grizzlies, the Spurs caused trouble for the Warriors because of their disciplined style that put the brakes on the pace. San Antonio ruled the West just prior to the Warriors’ run and the proud franchise wasn’t willing to relinquish its hold so easily, causing the Warriors to shiver by winning the regular season matchup from 2014-16. Still, like Memphis, the Spurs turned gray almost overnight. Tim Duncan retired, Tony Parker lost some zip and then, of course, came the sneaky Zaza Pachulia foot plant that KO’d Kawhi Leonard in the first game of their 2017 series. It hasn’t been the same for the Spurs, who shipped off the disgruntled Leonard this summer. Houston Rockets: While the Warriors were able to build around Curry to create a dynasty, the Rockets are in their third attempt to do likewise with James Harden. The Dwight Howard experiment was an exploding cigar, and then the strategy of turning Harden into a point guard failed to draw blood. Chris Paul arrived last season and the best record in the West followed, but Paul has always limped at the wrong time. True to form, his body failed him in the conference finals, just when the Rockets were up 3-2 on the Warriors and primed to issue a stunning statement. The conference-wide process of teams searching for the formula to bring an end to this “Golden” era has taken on an interesting twist. Except for the Rockets, who shuffled their deck slightly this summer, other West contenders are on a semi-defeatist two-year plan. As in: We’re not ready now, but look out in a coupla years! LeBron James joined the Lakers this summer, but it’s hard to take them seriously when LeBron himself says his new team isn’t breathing the same air as the defending champs. His supporting cast is a mix of pups with no playoff experience and vets who’ve seen better days. It’s foolhardy to doubt the potential of any team with LeBron — eight straight trips to the championship round is no joke, even if it came through the East. But they’ll stand a better chance next season, especially if they’re bringing Kawhi or Jimmy Butler by then. There’s also the Utah Jazz, a Spurs-like operation led by a pair of Spurs alums in GM Dennis Lindsey and coach Quin Snyder. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is a star in the making, but you need more than one of those to match Golden State. Perhaps in time, Mitchell will get a shotgun rider, but Utah is a tough sell for A-list free agents. Houston stands out from the pack with Harden, Paul and center Clint Capela, who gave the Warriors fits last spring. They’re still an attractive, turnkey team. Adding Anthony provides scoring, but does he impact a potential West finals rematch in 2019? With Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute gone, where is the perimeter defense coming from? Is it possible that Houston, with Paul aging, had its best chance last spring and didn’t cash in? It’s also possible the Warriors will do everyone in the West a favor and destroy themselves in the very near future. Durant can become a free agent next summer. Thompson’s contract is up, too, although he’s been very clear about his preference to stay even if that means making below market value. “What’s happening right now is going to be really tough to replicate for anybody,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “You have the proverbial window, however you want to put it. We have an incredible opportunity that’s just not always going to be here. We want to take full advantage not only from a success standpoint but from an enjoyment standpoint. “We’re well aware that it’s not going to last forever.” But that’s getting ahead of the story here, which is whether the Warriors will fall shy of The Finals for the first time since 2014. A three-time champion is bringing everyone back and will add a bonus whenever the healing Cousins returns. Basketball can sometimes be a funny game and anything can happen to throw this scenario for a loop. Until then, however, it's hard to imagine anything derailing another season of Warriors dominance. 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 NewsOct 16th, 2018

Warriors secure now, but face questions on Cousins, Durant

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, Calif. -- All is rather calm at the moment with the defending champs, who are idling until they reach two important checkpoints in their gold-bricked road: What happens when DeMarcus Cousins comes back, and what happens if Kevin Durant doesn’t? One carries implications for this season, the other impacts next season and beyond. It’s really that simple for the Warriors, the heavy NBA favorites who once again are threatening to burst everyone else’s balloon for the next seven months and then pop bottles in June. While his new teammates are busy breaking a sweat in Camp Kerr, Cousins is mostly off to the side of the court, on his own schedule, going through the next phase of his rehabilitation from a torn Achilles suffered last spring. There is no timetable on his debut. Still: He represents a bonus for the defending champs, an ace card that doesn’t need to be played until it’s time, perhaps around the All-Star break in February, before for the playoffs. It’s quite a luxury to have, for a team that has everything: A big man with skills who averaged 25 points, 13 rebounds and 1.6 blocks last season with the Pelicans and is only 28. Assuming a full recovery, which isn’t a slam dunk by any means, Cousins would still be in his prime once he suits up and makes life complicated for teams trying to game plan for Golden State. And then there’s the elephant in the gym. Durant remains on a year-to-year contract. Initially, this was done mainly to ensure the Warriors wiggle room under the salary cap to re-sign Andre Iguodala and keep the core of a three-time champion. Yet Durant chose the same financial strategy this summer during free agency and therefore will be back on the market in 2019. You ask, and he says only: “Just keeping my options open.” It’s a rather sound, if rare, strategy that’s afforded by only few, as in, just Durant and until this summer, LeBron James. For the superstar who has already banked in excess of $100 million on the court and pulls that much and perhaps more in endorsements, there’s no financial incentive or urgency to lock in long-term. LeBron did so with the Lakers last July only because it was finally the right time: He turns 34 this year. Going year-to-year allows Durant, 30, to stay unchained in case something happens that causes him to sour on the Warriors and/or fall in love with another team. He’s an MVP contender in his prime and so a long-term deal will always await, no matter if he stays or goes. The only risk is a career-threatening injury, and in such an unlikely yet worst-case scenario. Durant is already wealthy times ten. Flexibility, right now, is more valuable than long-term money. The bigger issue is how this hovers above the Warriors, and there’s no sign that it’s causing sleepless nights. For one: Durant is in the fold for this season and the Warriors remain loaded; therefore their sights are fixated on June, when the championship will be decided, not July, when free agent starts. And two: The organization seems secure in itself and believes at the moment of truth, Golden State will be his best option. The evidence is pretty compelling. Next season the Warriors move into a state-of-the-art arena in San Francisco; ownership is laughing at the luxury tax, which could approach over $150 million in two seasons depending on the payroll; and in case you haven’t noticed, the Warriors are on a championship roll. Finally: Durant enjoys his surroundings. “We’re selfless, care about each other, that’s what the Warriors do,” he said. “My cup is full here knowing that you can walk in here and be yourself, no judgment, just all love. The championship is just the cherry on top.” It’s hard to imagine Durant going to a more talented team. The Warriors are still in their prime, at least the core. Steph Curry is 30 and Durant joins him on Saturday. Cousins, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are 28. It’s rare for a professional sports team to have three titles in the bag with stars in their prime as they chase No. 4; usually, one or two of the main pieces are old and in decline. Extensions are due for Thompson and Cousins next summer along with Durant, and Green in two years. The conventional thinking is a team can’t pay everyone, and perhaps not. But the Warriors will generate millions in their new building, enough to keep a payroll approaching $300 million (and cope with high luxury taxes) if they chose to do so. The goal is to keep the championship train running, until it can’t, because dynasties are hard to build and trickier to maintain. The Warriors have the opportunity to see this through, and so they’ll try. “We’re not looking at this as the final dance,” said coach Steve Kerr. “Like I said, we want to have some fun and enjoy what we have this year and move on from there. Our focus is to really enjoy it while it lasts. And nothing lasts forever, so we know that. We want to go out this year and enjoy every step of the way." Thompson repeated Thursday how much he “loves” living in the Bay Area and “I’d be crazy not to” think about the amount of in-prime talent he’d leave behind if he signs elsewhere. Green said he imagines himself a Warrior “for a long time.” Durant? We’ll see. In the meantime, the Warriors, like Durant, will take it year-by-year. It’s the only way to do business in the modern NBA. This year promises big returns, once again, on the floor. The last team to reach the Finals five straight years was the Bill Russell Celtics. And the Warriors, who swept the Cavaliers last June, who bring Durant and Curry and Thompson and Green back, finally have a center-piece this time. When Cousins returns, this team will be built to make history. And then, come free agency next summer, when the bill comes due, we’ll find out if they’re built to last. 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 NewsSep 28th, 2018

30 Teams in 30 Days: Can Wizards realize their potential?

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com What offseason? That's a question many fans ask as the flurry of trades, free agent news and player movement seems to never stop during the summer. Since the Golden State Warriors claimed their third title in four years back on June 8 (June 9, PHL time), NBA teams have undergone a massive number of changes as they prepare for the season ahead. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- from the team with the worst regular-season record in 2017-18 to the team with the best regular-season record -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: Washington Wizards 2017-18 Record: 43-39, lost in first round to Toronto Raptors Who's new: Dwight Howard (free agency), Jeff Green (free agency), Troy Brown, Jr. (Draft), Austin Rivers (trade) Who's gone: Marcin Gortat (trade), Mike Scott (free agency) The lowdown: With John Wall limited to half a season because of knee surgery, Bradley Beal became a leading man and, on some nights, pushed the boundaries of stardom. If anything, he gave the Wizards confidence in knowing that, when the pair is healthy, Washington boasts a top-three-or-four backcourt in the NBA. Forward Otto Porter Jr. was third in the NBA in 3-point shooting (a blistering 44.1 percent) and served as a secondary source of scoring. However, the Wizards weren’t so clear-cut elsewhere. The frontline continued to be a source of mixed results and frustration and, other than Kelly Oubre Jr., depth was an issue. The Wizards went chilly late in the season, lost nine of their last 12 games and dropped to the eighth seed. In some ways, the Wizards are on the clock. They must seize the opportunity to win big while Wall, 27, and Beal, 25, are still in their primes. Yet they’ve rarely stayed healthy together and besides, nothing is promised. Remember, the Toronto Raptors broke up the sterling DeMar DeRozan-Kyle Lowry backcourt this summer when their patience finally ran out. Also, keep in mind the cost. Wall’s super max deal doesn’t begin until 2019-20. Beal is due $80 million the next three years, roughly the same money Washington will pay Porter Jr., who’s a good (but perhaps overpriced) complimentary player. For the time being, the Wizards will put their frontcourt faith in Dwight Howard, who arrives about five years past his prime, but should be an upgrade over Gortat. Howard, 32, came cheap after his Brooklyn Nets buyout and remains a deluxe rebounder (12.5 per game last season). The decision to bring in Howard could be the banana peel in the path of progress, however. This is his fourth team in four years. His “act” -- being easy-going, goofy and fun-loving -- didn’t play well with some previous teammates, including, among others, Kobe Bryant and James Harden. Howard is headed to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and anyone who believes otherwise is foolish -- the man did carry the Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals. For a seven-year stretch, he was one of the game’s biggest impact players. Yet his twilight is bewildering, which is not surprising. Howard never developed his offensive game (namely a go-to move or mid-range shot) and as a result, he’s a dinosaur in a changing environment, someone who shrinks considerably when he strays six feet from the basket. Plus, he’s not the defensive demon of before, although he stays in tremendous physical shape and still runs the floor. There’s also the matter of his personality, which might be overstated to a degree, yet was an issue ever since he left the Magic. Howard appears to be on a mission to please everyone and in the process, tends to ruffle some feathers along the way. Finally, he often becomes irritated when he doesn’t see the ball in the low post. He won’t get many touches on a team with Wall and Beal taking upwards of 35 shots a night. (Ball movement and sharing was a complaint Gortat voiced at times in the past, too.) Over the summer, Wall said he will do whatever he can to make Howard comfortable ... because what’s the alternative? Since Beal joined Wall in 2012-13, they have won three playoff series together -- but have never reached the East finals. However, the East is wide open this year with LeBron James out West. The Wizards chose not to trade Oubre Jr. in the offseason, but this situation bears watching. He’s a developing player at a stacked position, and the swingman spot became even more crowded when the Wizards drafted Brown, who’s cut in the same mold. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Wizards move Oubre Jr. or Porter Jr. by the trade deadline if the right deal comes along, simply because Washington can’t pay both. Plus, Oubre Jr. is eligible for a contract extension next summer. Brown, 19, brings court vision and a reliable handle, but it's hard to see him playing much given the bodies in front of him on the depth chart. After all the quality big men and point guards were gone (and they passed on picking Michael Porter Jr.), Washington was in a weird position at No. 15 in the Draft. They could either trade the pick or Draft a wing-type. They traded Gortat for Rivers, who’s listed at point guard but lacks the court vision and ability to create for others to see much time at the position. Rivers is more of a 3-point shooter, and he did well enough (37.8 percent) last season to ably bring that element off the bench. For the most part, the Wizards made minor moves this summer, none of which are expected to dramatically change the complexion of the club. It should be enough to keep them in the playoff mix, especially with LeBron gone. From there, their hopes will be tied to their health. 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 NewsSep 15th, 2018

2 groups bring House minority row to Supreme Court

The squabble between two minority groups in the House of Representatives has reached the Supreme Court......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

2 groups bring House minority row to Supreme Court

The squabble between two minority groups in the House of Representatives has reached the Supreme Court. Source link link: 2 groups bring House minority row to Supreme Court.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 12th, 2018

Lorenzana on Trillanes: No warrant, no arrest

  Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th will remain free if the court will not issue a warrant for his arrest, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday. “No warrant, no arrest,” Lorenzana told reporters in a text message. The embattled senator failed to secure a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The high [...] The post Lorenzana on Trillanes: No warrant, no arrest appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsSep 12th, 2018

House power struggle, free UP tuition, Pope Francis | Midday wRap

Today on Rappler: Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas warns he would go to the Supreme Court if the House of Representatives retains Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez as minority leader. The University of the Philippines announces it got a spike in applications due to the free tuition policy. Pope ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 31st, 2018

Carpio: PH, other claimants should ward off China’s ‘creeping invasion’ in West PHL Sea

The Philippines should join forces with fellow claimant-states and other countries in warding off China's "creeping invasion" in the West Philippine Sea, Supreme Court acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said on Monday. For the nth time, Carpio also called on the Duterte administration to bring a formal diplomatic protest opposing Beijing's continued militarization in the disputed South China Sea, the latest of which was the deployment of nuclear strike-capable bomber planes in the Paracels. International military analysts said the successful landing of H-6K military aircraft, which has a combat radius of 3,520 kilometers, on Woody Island put the entire Philippine archipelago withi...Keep on reading: Carpio: PH, other claimants should ward off China’s ‘creeping invasion’ in West PHL Sea.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

Eight NBA Playoffs storylines to watch

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst Suddenly, we’re not quite as certain that Warriors-Cavs, Part IV, Sure to be Way Better than “Jaws: The Revenge” and “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace”, is going to make air, are we? The 2018 playoffs are just about here, and Stephen Curry isn’t, and Kyrie Irving won’t be, and Joel Embiid might be, and Jimmy Butler will be -- if his team is, that is. And both conference champions from a year ago are equally unsettled going into the postseason, for different reasons. The Golden State Warriors are banged up, while the Cleveland Cavaliers are brand new. Golden State hasn’t looked like an offensive leviathan, while Cleveland has been one of the league’s worst defenses. And, most importantly, each has legit challengers this year in Houston and Toronto in its respective conferences -- deep, tough, elite defensively, hard to stop offensively, and tempered/hardened/driven by recent playoff failures. Which should make late May and early June even more compelling than normal. At the least, we’ll have the Warriors going for three rings in four years, and LeBron James going for an eighth straight Finals appearance -- each representing something special. The postseason, then, should provide some theatre that Meryl Streep will drop what she’s doing to watch. Among the biggest storylines: 1. The Hinkie Referendum, Passed The Philadelphia 76ers’ scintillating run to end the regular season sets up them for a glorious postseason run, that will finalize a season in which the decisions by former GM Sam Hinkie -- the successful ones, anyway -- are rightly celebrated. (The failures of Jahlil Okafor and Michael Carter-Williams to fire as stars after Hinkie took each high in the first round are not only not ignored by Hinkie’s biggest supporters, they are cited as proof that he had to do what he did for as long as he did, because you’re going to have some misses at the top of the Draft. God, I love Hinkie Stans.) It says here that a healthy Joel Embiid and an exponentially improving Ben Simmons are the one team that can give LeBron’s Cavs true night sweats in the Kyrie-less east playoffs. Embiid is a problem for any team, but especially for the defensively indifferent and ineffective Cavaliers, who have no one remotely capable of keeping “The Process” from running wild. Since New Year’s Day, only Curry (120.4), Chris Paul (116.1) and Jamal Murray (114.7) have better Offensive Ratings among point guards than Simmons’s 113.9, per NBA.com/Stats. Who, from among George Hill (6'3"), Jose Calderon (6'1"), Jordan Clarkson (6'5") and J.R. Smith (6'5") is Cavs coach Tyronn Lue going to put on the 6'10" Simmons? Yes, Lue could try James on Simmons, who is no threat to shoot from deep or run through a maze of pindowns. But that doesn’t make him any easier to slow down. No matter who Philly plays in the postseason, the Sixers are going to be a problem. 2. Indiana George and the Tempo of Doom It’s taken the Oklahoma City Thunder much longer than any of us thought, but OKC is a win from the postseason (even if the Thunder can’t beat the Heat in Miami tonight, the Cancun-bound Memphis Grizzlies will be in Oklahoma City Wednesday). And that’s when Paul George will determine whether his future is in the 405 or elsewhere. The Thunder’s up-and-down regular season doesn’t provide much clue to how far they could go in the playoffs, thought OKC looked formidable in ending the Rockets’ 20-game home win streak Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). It was a game that featured Russell Westbrook successfully taking on the challenge of defending James Harden down the stretch. When Oklahoma City plays with pace and gets up and down the floor, it can beat anyone. The Thunder will likely have to take down an elite unit like Houston at some point in the playoffs to convince George to stay. 3. A Series of Fortunate Events With Irving’s injury, the Washington Wizards’ failure to launch and other maladies to Eastern Conference contenders, the Cavaliers have an increasingly clear path back to The Finals. Doing this is best way to keep LeBron: The Sequel in town for an extended run, but the proof will be in the doing, of course. Cleveland will need Larry Nance, Jr., Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson to perform under playoff pressure, which Nance and Clarkson have never had to do and Hood did briefly in the 2017 playoffs with the Utah Jazz. 4. She packed my bags last night, pre-flight/Zero Hour, 9 a.m The Rockets have been the best team in the league most of this season -- an offensive and defensive juggernaut, the logical extension at both ends of the floor of the standards the Warriors set the last few seasons. James Harden will likely walk away with Kia MVP honors after the season and Chris Paul has been everything Houston hoped he’d be. But Houston must finish the deal with a championship to make its own mark. 5. Jurassic Park Everything is set up for Toronto, as well -- the Raptors have the Eastern Conference’s best record and are tied with Houston for the best home record (34-7) in the league. They have home court until The Finals. Their two lynchpins, All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, are healthy. They’ve diversified their offense and learned to love the 3-pointer. They’re back to guarding at an elite level. The East is laid out open for a Toronto run to The Finals. There’s no excuse for the Raps not to. 6. ‘Brow’, Beating We don’t know for sure that the New Orleans Pelicans will make the playoffs. As of this writing, they haven’t clinched yet, although beating the Warriors in Oakland on Saturday went a long way toward their getting to the postseason. But assuming New Orleans is playing next weekend, its success in the playoffs can only help the franchise as it recovers from the recent death of former owner Tom Benson. “The Brow” (aka Anthony Davis) may have got us on April Fool’s Day, but the next couple of weeks will be dead serious. What if the Pelicans manage a first-round upset? Don’t say it’s not possible with the way Davis is playing. That would go an awful long way to quieting the “How the Boston Celtics Will Get Anthony Davis in 2020, Vol. MCMLXXXVII” hot takes. 7.  The Boston Medical Group The Celtics as imagined played exactly five minutes together this season. Everything that’s transpired since has been wrapped in gauze and sutured shut. Kyrie Irving’s latest knee procedure has everyone hopping off the Celtics’ postseason bandwagon -- a mistake, unless coach Brad Stevens pulls a hammy before Game 1 in the first round. Stevens has coached up whatever 12 guys are active pretty damn well since he’s come to the NBA, and he’ll still have a lot to work with in the playoffs: Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier (the Celtics hope they can get Marcus Smart back after the first round). The bigger issue, of course, is Irving’s health going forward -- and into next season, after which he can opt out of the last year of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent in 2019. The current belief in Boston is that Irving’s knee -- the cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bones -- is sound and that he’ll have no long-term issues with it. But Irving and the team thought taking out the tension wire that had helped heal his broken patella after his 2015 surgery would do the trick. It didn’t.   There should be no doubt Boston will be all in on Irving. But after missing these playoffs after going out in Game 1 of the Finals in ’15, Irving will again have to show he’s able to handle a season-long campaign and still be able to bring his best to the postseason. 8. Bah Gawd, That’s Kawhi Leonard’s Music! We have all worked on the assumption that Leonard isn’t going to play for the Spurs any more this season as he rehabs his quad injury, even though they’ve never quite actually said he’s out for the year -- and he, as per usual, has said next to nothing. The Spurs have ridden LaMarcus Aldridge’s All-NBA-level season to the cusp of the playoffs, but no one has much expectation they’ll be there very long if they make it without their former Finals MVP. “Do I have any expectation I’ll see Kawhi?,” Danny Green said a week ago, repeating my question to him. “As of right now, my mindset is no. I’m just going to forward without him … if he does come back, great. Our mindset is this is the group we have today, this is the group we’ll have tomorrow. If somebody does come and join, we’ll have them and it’ll be great. But right now we’re moving forward with the expectation that this is who we have.” But, it’s not like we haven’t seen guys come back suddenly for the playoffs after missing large chunks of a season. A fellow named Michael Jordan played just 18 regular season games in his second season with the Bulls in 1986, recovering from a foot injury and not returning to the lineup until mid-March. True, he did get 15 games under his belt before the playoffs. But that did not prepare anyone for his showing up in Boston Garden in Game 2 of the first round against the Celtics and dropping 63 on the home team. There are, to be sure, issues between Leonard and the Spurs, and maybe they’re insurmountable. But if, somehow, “The Klaw” wakes up one morning this month and says he’s good to go, and reports for duty … who doesn’t think San Antonio can’t start assimilating opponents into its collective just like old times? Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

Bring withdrawal from Int l Criminal Court to SC? Risky due to political atmosphere

MANILA, Philippines – Bringing the issue of Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) before the Supreme Court might be risky given the current “political atmosphere.”  For Commissioner Roberto Cadiz of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), this is the “bigger” consideration when filing a case ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

Gabriela sues gov’t over Dengvaxia issue

THE Gabriela partylist yesterday filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking to compel the government to provide free medical services and treatment to children injected with the Dengvaxia vaccine. In a 42-page petition for mandamus, Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus and the Association for the Rights of Children in….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2017

MILF firm on demand, wants wider Muslim autonomy

COTABATO CITY – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF said it will not back down from its original demand to have a wider autonomy for minority Muslims in southern Philippines as it rejected anew any government offer other than an expanded territory, not even the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM.   The MILF signed an interim peace deal with Manila in 2014 and has been pushing for the approval and ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL and other provisions stipulated in the accord -Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro, including the establishment of the new Bangsamoro autonomous region.   The BBL was rejected by Congress during President Benigno Aquino’s administration after some of its proposed laws violated the Constitution. The MILF said it will not revisit the BBL and insisted on the original draft submitted to Aquino.   Many politicians and residents in the proposed Bangsamoro areas also rejected the BBL and wanted out of the deal, citing various reasons and the failure of the Aquino government and peace negotiators from both sides to include recommendations submitted by the provinces in the autonomous region.   The BBL was drafted by the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission appointed by the MILF and the Aquino government.   If ratified, it will pave the way for the establishment of the Bangsamoro region that would replace the ARMM which is composed of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, including the cities of Lamitan and Marawi. The creation of Bangsamoro autonomous region would have to be decided on a referendum in the ARMM and in areas where there are large Muslim communities.   Let SC Decides on Unconstitutional Provisions   “The position of MILF is very clear. First, MILF will never accept an autonomy that is lower than the ARMM; secondly, the MILF will not accept an autonomy that is equal to the ARMM. The MILF only accepts an autonomy law that is better than the ARMM,” said MILF Vice Chairman Mohagher Iqbal.   Iqbal also suggested the BBL should be passed as it is and let the Supreme Court decides on its unconstitutional infirmities. “Yung BBL ngayon kung ako lang ang masusunod ang maganda diyan ipasa na nila ng walang bawas at walang dagdag. Hayaan nalang natin ang Supreme Court maghusga kung alin dyan ang unconstitutional,” he said. “And then kung maghusga ang Supreme Court, ipunin na lang natin yun dahil meron pang function ang BTC mag-propose to amend the constitution.”   He said the government offered the ARMM thrice to the MILF and three times it was rejected by the rebel group. He said: “Congress may opt to pass all the constitutional provisions and for Congress to amend the Constitution to accommodate unconstitutional substances on the proposed Moro law, and then later it will incorporate to the working of committee which will draft the federal system of the country.”   Provisions   According to the BBL, the purpose of the law is to establish a political entity, provide for its basic structure of government in recognition of the justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Muslim people and their aspiration to chart their political future through a democratic process that will secure their identity and posterity and allow for meaningful self-governance.   In the draft law, the following areas shall be included in new political entity – the towns of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in Lanao del Norte and all villages in the towns of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit, and Midsayap which voted in the 2001 plebiscite. And also included are the cities of Cotabato and Isabela, and contiguous areas where 10% of residents may petition for its inclusion into the new Bangsamoro territory.   And under its General Principles and Policies, it stipulates “in the exercise of its right to self-determination and self-governance, the Bangsamoro is free to pursue its political, economic, social, and cultural development; the Bangsamoro Government shall be parliamentary. Its political system is democratic, allowing its people to freely participate in the political processes within its territory; the Bangsamoro Government, consistent and suitable to its parliamentary form of government, shall adopt an electoral system which shall allow democratic participation, encourage formation of genuinely principled political parties, and ensure accountability.”   It further said that: “Governance in the Bangsamoro is the responsibility of the duly elected civilian government. Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Bangsamoro Government shall promote unity, peace, justice, and goodwill among all peoples, as well as encourages a just and peaceful settlement of disputes. The Bangsamoro abides by the principle that the country renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.”   “The Bangsamoro shall adhere to the principle of enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. The Bangsamoro shall establish a government that ensures that every citizen in the Bangsamoro is provided the basic necessities and equal opportunities in life. Social Justice shall be promoted in all phases of development and facets of life within the Bangsamoro. The Bangsamoro Government shall respect and adhere to all international treaties and agreements which benefited the Bangsamoro Government.”   President Rodrigo Duterte is also [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsAug 12th, 2017

How Trump’s health care loss will shape his presidency – CNN News

The fate of Donald Trump's presidency may hinge on what he does next. His failure to convert the core campaign promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare &'8212; even with a GOP monopoly on power in Washington &'8212; has left the White House reeling. Trump and his advisers must now regroup and try to figure out how to avoid another legislative debacle on their next big issue, tax reform. They will do so knowing that a second failure could throttle his presidency. Once, Trump's aides viewed health care reform, presumably an easy early win, as a way to deliver momentum to his presidency and to build toward more sweeping change picked from his ambitious agenda. But the effort's ignominious defeat Friday has severely weakened the President, electrified Democrats and left Trump's declarations that he is the ultimate dealmaker who can change Washington looking increasingly hollow. Trump surprised some of those close to him with his reaction to Friday's health care collapse. He did not vent or rage. Instead in the Oval Office afterward Trump was &'8220;sullen and quiet&'8221; as he contemplated his first blow, dealt by the Washington swamp he had vowed to drain, one insider source said. The President was well aware he failed to deliver on an issue that stirs the passions of his political base. He was also mindful that the health care disaster would make his quest to tackle a behemoth tax package that much more difficult, the source said. Indeed, the early failure means that hundreds of billions of dollars in federal savings that the White House had earmarked to bankroll a tax code overhaul are nowhere to be seen. &'8220;It makes everything harder moving forward,&'8221; one Trump adviser said. Another senior administration official told CNN's Gloria Borger that tax reform could now have to be a &'8220;smaller version,&'8221; than originally planned and the problem would be explaining to the public that because the repeal of Obamacare didn't happen, there's &'8220;a trillion dollars less to deal with.&'8221; Already casting an eye toward the midterm elections, which typically hurt the President's own party, some of Trump's advisers fear Obamacare's underdog survival will provide a rallying point for their political foes. &'8220;Democrats will feel emboldened and their base will feel emboldened,&'8221; a senior administration official said. As the White House grasps for a bounce back strategy, his team must take another look at one of the most important questions that Trump faced when he took power, one lent more urgency by his humiliation over health care. They must consider whether his brand as an outsider &'8212; with broad strokes politics that exacerbates grievances, has little time for dissenters and is anchored around his imposing, unpredictable personality &'8212; can actually prosper in Washington. Ironically, it was the same forces of inertia and division in the capital that soured Trump's voters on the political establishment and helped elevate him to power that combined to defeat him in his first legislative venture. &'8220;I think what happened is that Washington won,&'8221; said Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney, in a frank moment Sunday on NBC's &'8220;Meet the Press.&'8221; &'8220;I think the one thing we learned this week is that Washington was a lot more broken than President Trump thought that it was,&'8221; said Mulvaney, adding &'8220;the status quo wins and, unfortunately, the folks back home lost.&'8221; Mulvaney's comments marked a stunning admission, given that he works for a President who brashly predicted he knew politics better than the politicians and would soon bring the city to heel with his negotiating flair and mastery of sealing a deal. Instead, two-thirds of the way through his crucial First 100 days, Trump is nowhere near any significant legislative victory. And health care reform's failure is not his only problem. His travel ban on citizens on a list of predominantly Muslim nations has twice been turned back by the courts. His budget, which features steep cuts in diplomacy spending to finance an increase for the military, is facing stiff resistance in Congress. A building intrigue over his campaign's ties to Russia is clouding the White House's mood. It now appears that the most tangible success of Trump's first months in office will be the expected confirmation of his Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch &'8212; though even that will further polarize Washington. Republicans are vowing to invoke the &'8220;nuclear option&'8221; by changing Senate rules so that Gorsuch can be confirmed with 51 votes, along party lines, rather than with the super-majority traditionally required for nominees to the nation's top bench. In one sense, it should not be surprising that Trump is struggling. He is the most inexperienced new president in history, and lacks the political networks and insider contacts that most commanders-in-chief take for granted when they take office. Capitol Hill sources report that the President appeared unfamiliar with the in-depth details of the health care bill, as he tried to move votes in meetings with holdout Republican lawmakers. And while his processor, Barack Obama, spent months marshaling Obamacare through Congress, Trump tried to ram through the repeal bill in a matter of weeks. That was part of a White House strategy to get a fast start in the First 100 Days to create a shock-and-awe sense of momentum. But the tactic appears to have backfired &'8212; especially in the case of Obamacare and the travel ban where too little time was spent assessing the political and [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 27th, 2017

House minority leadership dispute going to SC

MANILA, Philippines – The group of eight “legitimate” opposition lawmakers is set to elevate to the Supreme Court (SC) the issue on the House minority leader.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 17th, 2016

Bidding for third telco to push through as SC fails to rule on petition for restraining order

THE bidding for the third telco company that will operate in the Philippines is expected to push through after the Supreme Court (SC) did not issue a temporary restraining order...READ MORE The post Bidding for third telco to push through as SC fails to rule on petition for restraining order appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsNov 6th, 2018

BLOGTABLE: Are there any coaches feeling the heat?

NBA.com blogtable The Cavs fired Ty Lue after an 0-6 start. Any other coaches out there who could be feeling the heat? * * * Steve Aschburner: This is as scientific a question as we get at the Blogtable lab. The methodology for answering: Work from the bottom of the standings up. Compare records to expectations. Factor in the years and money remaining on the coach’s contract, and voila! So in the West, I’m wondering about the Lakers’ Luke Walton (given the impatient LeBron factor) and OKC’s Billy Donovan. Washington’s Scott Brooks has an underachieving team on his hands in the East but three years on his contract. None of the other teams under water in that conference is fretting, with either low expectations, newish coaches or, in Miami’s case, a proven commodity and one of the league’s best. Shaun Powell:  Better keep an eye on Scott Brooks in Washington, especially if the Wizards go in the tank during their upcoming homestand. Not that he's the issue -- the Wizards have awful roster chemistry -- but you know how this usually ends. John Schuhmann: There are a few other teams off to disappointing starts, but I won't speculate on the job status of any coaches, which can be affected by internal relationships or the coach's contract status as much as it is by on-court success or failure. Sekou Smith: Cleveland's panic move to fire Tyronn Lue just six games into this season should not set off a vigorous round of coach purging. This was a very specific situation the Cavaliers were dealing with, what with the departure of LeBron James in free agency. That said, seats could be heating up in Washington and Minnesota. The Wizards have been disappointing early on and the Timberwolves are still operating with the uncertainty of the Jimmy Butler situation hanging over everything. As we all know, a coach's fate often rides the frantic rails of an owner or general manager's whims. So seats that aren't particularly warm now could heat up depending on what transpires between now and Christmas Day......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 1st, 2018

Guevarra to Trillanes: This is just the start, let’s go to Supreme Court

MANILA, Philippines – It's not over. Reacting to a court rejection of his department's motion to arrest opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the Supreme Court (SC) has the final say on the issue. The lower court's verdict opens an opportunity for ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2018

De Lima welcomes SC ruling to allow media coverage of her trial

      Senator Leila De Lima welcomed on Thursday the ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) allowing media coverage of her trial on drug charges filed against her before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 206. The SC ruling came after the media were earlier prevented from entering the courtroom, which De Lima said could be due to Judge Lorna Navarro-Domingo's orders. "Despite Judge Lorna Navarro-Domingo's effort to prevent the media from observing the proceedings, I am grateful that the High Court has shown respect to the free press and to my right to an open and public trial," she said in a statement. Last June, Domingo denied the writte...Keep on reading: De Lima welcomes SC ruling to allow media coverage of her trial.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 18th, 2018

LP-led bloc takes House minority leadership question to SC

THE MINORITY bloc in the House of Representatives led by the opposition Liberal Party (LP) has formally challenged the minority leadership before the Supreme Court (SC), filing a case on Friday, Oct. 5. The post LP-led bloc takes House minority leadership question to SC appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsOct 5th, 2018

House minority leadership challenged before SC

THE fight for the right to be called the Minority at the House of Representatives isn’t over as Marikina Rep. Romero “Miro” Quimbo (2nd District) challenged the leadership of Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez by asking the Supreme Court to declare his bloc as the legitimate Minority. The Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus seeks to [...] The post House minority leadership challenged before SC appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsOct 5th, 2018