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PLDT starts unloading Rocket stake

PLDT, Inc. has started unloading its shares in German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet AG, as part of its plan to fund its massive capital expenditure program this year. In a statement, PLDT said its indirect subsidiary PLDT Online Investments Pte. Ltd. has committed sell at least 6.8 million Rocket Internet shares back to the German […] The post PLDT starts unloading Rocket stake appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource: bworldonline bworldonlineApr 16th, 2018

PLDT not ‘under pressure’ to sell remaining Rocket Internet shares

PLDT, Inc. said it is not under pressure to divest the remaining stake in Rocket Internet after it has started unloading its shares in German e-commerce investor as part of its plan to fund its massive capital expenditure program this year. PLDT Chairman, President and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said there is no pressure to […] The post PLDT not ‘under pressure’ to sell remaining Rocket Internet shares appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

PLDT raising cash, unloading stake in Germany’s Rocket Internet

Telco giant PLDT Inc. announced the beginning of its exit from Germany's Rocket Internet as it seeks to raise money to finance its historic capital spending of P58 billion in 2018.   PLDT told the Philippine Stock Exchangeon Mondaythat it committed to sell around 6.8 million of its shares back to Rocket Internet for about 163.2 million Euros (P10.5 billion).   This amounted to over half (or 67.4 percent) of its roughly 10.1 million shares in the company, which recently announced the buyback of up to 15.47 million shares at 24 Euros apiece. PLDT, through PLDT Online, currently owns about 6.1 percent of Rocket Internet.   PLDT first invested in Rocket Inter...Keep on reading: PLDT raising cash, unloading stake in Germany’s Rocket Internet.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

PLDT keeping remaining shares in Rocket Internet

Telco giant PLDT Inc. is holding on to its remaining shares in European internet company Rocket Internet after selling the bulk of its stake last month......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 15th, 2018

PLDT sells bulk of Rocket Internet shares

Telco giant PLDT Inc. completed the sale of most of its stake in Germany's Rocket Internet, a tech company it entered four years ago. PLDT said it had sold back to Rocket 6.8 million shares va.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Rocket Internet accepts PLDT’s stake sale offer

Rocket Internet has accepted PLDT Inc.’s offer to sell 67.4 percent of the telco’s stake in the European company for P10 billion......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018

PLDT reduces Rocket stake to 2%

PLDT, INC. on Monday said it has completed the sale of most of its shares in German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet. In a statement, PLDT said Rocket Internet has accepted 6,800,000 Rocket shares tendered by PLDT subsidiary PLDT Online Investments Pte. Ltd. at €24 per share or a total of €163.2 million. This represents around […] The post PLDT reduces Rocket stake to 2% appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018

PLDT unit seals partial sale of Rocket Internet stake

MANILA, Philippines – A unit of PLDT Incorporated  sold bulk of its shares in Rocket Internet SE, a German investor in technology start-ups, for a total of about €163.2 million (P10.10 billion), with the proceeds going toward its historic high capital spending budget for the year. PLDT told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018

MVP: No pressure to divest in Rocket

PLDT Inc. plans to hold on to its remaining stake in Rocket Internet as it expects improvement in the European company’s share price in the long term......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

PLDT raising P10.5 billion from sale of Rocket stake

PLDT Inc. is selling more than half or 67.4 percent of its shares in Rocket Internet SE under a buyback program for P10.5 billion......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

PLDT expects recurring core profit to hit P24 billion in 2018

By Krista A. M. Montealegre, National Correspondent PLDT, Inc. expects a better year after earnings took a hit in 2017 from accelerated depreciation costs, with the dominant telco mulling the sale of its stake in German start-up Rocket Internet AG to finance its record capital expenditure (capex) program. In a briefing in Makati City on […] The post PLDT expects recurring core profit to hit P24 billion in 2018 appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 8th, 2018

PVL: De Guzman, Ultra Fast Hitters ready for tough grind against HD Spikers

The last time PLDT Home Fibr team captain John Vic De Guzman faced defending champion Cignal, the prized scorer together with another power-hitter Mark Alfafara held their ground to topple a star-studded Cignal squad. De Guzman and Alfafara, both members of the national team that saw action in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, displayed their full arsenal to outgun the Marck Espejo-bannered HD Spikers in four sets. The win helped PLDT get the monkey of its back after a disappointing start in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference men’s division. Crossing paths once again and this time with the Finals berth at stake, De Guzman and the Ultra Fast Hitters hope to reassert their mastery over the reigning titlists at the start of their best-of-three series Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Action begins at 10:00 a.m.   PLDT may have scored an upset over Cignal the last time out but their prelims victory won’t matter much in this battle with too much at stake.     “Sa preparation talagang nag-focus kami sa team. Of course pinractice namin kung ano yung mga possible play ng Cignal,” said De Guzman, who had 21 points in PLDT’s 25-20, 26-24, 26-28, 25-23 win over the HD Spikers last May 20 in Batangas. “Well, yes, tinalo namin sila nu’ng semis pero hindi nangangahulugan ‘yon na magiging kampante kami, especially ngayon semifinals, talagang paghahandaan nila kami. Ganon din kami mas pinaghandaan namin at mas nag-double time kami para mas maging maayos ‘yung flow nu’ng team,” added De Guzman, who had plenty of help from Alfafara in their win over Cignal where the former University of Sto. Tomas standout unleashed 29 point with 26 coming off kills. Cignal claimed the outright Final Four berth while PLDT took the long road to advance in the semis. The HD Spikers are coming off a long layoff. The Ultra Fast Hitters won their first two matches in the round robin quarterfinals only to lose in their last outing against Philippine Air Force to land at no. 4 seed. Despite coming off a loss, PLDT remains optimistic of its chances.        “Ang pinaka key lang namin is ‘yung teamwork. We all know na champion team sila at ilang conferences na silang magkakasama sa isang team unlike us talaga na binunot sa iba’t ibang universities but then again hindi naman magiging hadlang yon para mawalan kami ng kumpiyansa,” said De Guzman. “Malaki ang tiwala ko sa PLDT team especially sa coaches, and I know may purpose si God whatever will be the result of the game.” Game 2 of the series is on July 4 while Game 3, if needed, is on July 6.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

Israel in uproar over Argentina pre-World Cup friendly snub

By Aron Heller, Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) — The sports-crazed nation of Israel was in uproar Wednesday over Argentina's abrupt cancellation of a World Cup warmup match following pro-Palestinian protests, with some of the country's leaders accusing Lionel Messi and his teammates of caving to terrorism. Israel was eagerly awaiting the sold-out international friendly scheduled for Saturday night at Jerusalem's Teddy Kollek Stadium and the arrival of some of the world's best players. Argentina is one of the most popular national teams among Israelis and fans had been scrambling to get a chance to see Messi in person. But after a fierce Palestinian campaign, which included images of Argentina's white and sky-blue striped jersey stained with red paint resembling blood and threats to burn Messi posters, Argentina's football federation announced it was skipping the event. Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, apologized for cancelling the match but said the safety of the players was at stake. "What has happened in the last 72 hours, the actions, the threats that have occurred have led us to take the decision not to travel," he said during a news conference in Barcelona, where the Argentine team is training prior to the start of the World Cup next week. "(We) apologize to the Israeli community. It's nothing against the Israeli community, the Jewish community and I would like everyone to take this decision as a contribution to world peace," he said. "In the end, they've done the right thing, and this is behind us," Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain told ESPN. "Health and common sense come first. We felt that it wasn't right to go." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri and urged him to intervene, to no avail. Later Wednesday, Israel's Sports Ministry said a "negotiation" about the match was underway, perhaps in hopes of salvaging it, but gave no further details. "It's unfortunate the soccer knights of Argentina did not withstand the pressure of the Israeli-hating inciters, whose only goal is to harm our basic right to self-defense and bring about the destruction of Israel," said Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. "We will not yield before a pack of anti-Semitic terrorist supporters." The head of the Palestinian football association, Jibril Rajoub, had called on Arab soccer fans to burn Messi posters and T-shirts if he participated. He has long tried to get soccer's world governing body, FIFA, and the International Olympic Committee to impose sanctions against Israel. Rajoub believes Israel should be punished for restricting movement of Palestinian players, and for forming teams in West Bank settlements. Rajoub had also objected to holding the match in Jerusalem, whose eastern sector the Palestinians claim as their capital. Although the Kollek stadium is in west Jerusalem, it is located in a neighborhood built where a Palestinian village once stood before it was destroyed in the war surrounding Israel's independence in 1948. Following the move, he held a press conference in Ramallah featuring a picture of him with Messi and a sign reading: "From Palestine, thank you Messi." Rajoub had accused Israel of playing politics with the game, by moving it from its original location in Haifa to Jerusalem, and by trying to link it to celebrations surrounding Israel's 70th anniversary. He called it a victory for "ethics and values" of sports. "They tried to use sport as a tool for political ends, and for this I think, they failed," Rajoub said. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said it was a sad morning for Israeli sports fans, including his own grandchildren. "But there are values that are greater than even Messi. The politicization of the Argentinean move worries me greatly," he said. Opposition figures, however, accused Israel's headline-seeking sports minister Miri Regev of bringing on the politicization of the sporting event by insisting on moving the game from Haifa to contested Jerusalem and by trying to orchestrate a politicized photo-op with Messi. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized. Israel considers the entire city to be its capital, while the Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Regev rejected the backlash at a press conference Wednesday evening saying "there is no bigger lie" than claims her decision to hold the match in Jerusalem aided in its cancellation. She said the Argentinians had not objected and that Messi himself had wanted to visit sacred Christian and Jewish sites in the holy city. Regev said the match was canceled following "threats by terror elements sent to Messi and his family and to other players." Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called the snub a "spectacular own goal" by Regev that delivered victory to boycotters of the Jewish State. Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay called for a police investigation into Regev's "corrupt conduct." "We just absorbed a shot in the face. This is not just sports," he tweeted. "This, unfortunately, could start an international tsunami." Regev claimed that "terrorist" groups had made threats against Argentina's players and their families, sending them images of dead children, though she gave no further evidence. She accused members of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, of backing the boycott advocates. "Unfortunately, we have Trojan Horses in the Knesset who give headwind to terrorism," she said. The Palestinian militant Islamic group Hamas praised Argentina for canceling the game. Spokesman Husam Badran said Hamas "applauds" the move and reiterated its position that rejects "all forms of normalization" with the Jewish state. A senior official at the Argentine Football Federation said the national team decided to call off the match with Israel after receiving threats from Hamas. The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity due to safety concerns, did not provide evidence or details of the alleged threats. A Hamas official mocked reports that the group had threatened the players, calling them unrealistic, and saying they don't deserve a comment. The Hamas official was not authorized to comment in the issue and also spoke on condition of anonymity. Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction and has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since it took over the territory in 2007. Israel and the United States consider it a terror organization for its bombings, shooting and rocket attacks targeting civilians. Israel has largely fended off the boycott campaign with only a small number of artists and organizations shunning the country. Argentina's snubbing would appear to be the boycott movement's greatest achievement thus far. The grassroots movement advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in what supporters say is a way to promote Palestinian rights through nonviolent means. Israel says the campaign goes beyond Israeli occupation of lands claimed by the Palestinians and masks a deeper aim of delegitimizing or even destroying the country. It has formed a government ministry whose primary mission is to combat the boycott movement. The Argentinean move, which featured on the front pages of all the major Israeli dailies, raised fears that it could serve as a template for future boycotts of Jerusalem, most notably next year's scheduled hosting of the popular Eurovision song contest. The Palestinians celebrated the cancellation as a major triumph. Israeli organizers said an offer had been floated to have the game played in Barcelona instead, but it was highly unlikely. "I think sports should never be involved with politics," said Shahaf Ashraga, a fan in Jerusalem. "It just makes me sad to think that the game has to be canceled because of the Palestinian pressure." Argentina opens its Group D campaign in Russia against Iceland on June 16. It then plays Croatia on June 21 and Nigeria on June 26. It is unclear whether Argentina will play another warmup, or if it will arrive in Moscow ahead of schedule. ___ Associated Press writers Debora Rey and Victor Caivano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Kiefer Ravena starts drive for drug awareness

Gilas and NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena began his personal crusade to raise awareness of banned substances, particularly performance-enhancing drugs, and distributed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list to national athletes Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, Cheska Altomonte of softball, Nikko Huelgas of triathlon and James de los Santos of karate in a meeting at the PLDT office in Makati the other day......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 1st, 2018

PLDT completes partial sale of Rocket Internet shares

PLDT Inc said it has completed its partial sale of its Rocket Internet SE shares. PLDT said in a statement that Rocket Internet AG has accepted 6.8 million Rocket shares tendered by PLDT subsidiary PLDT Online Investments Pte. Ltd. at €24 per share for a total consideration of €163.2 million or around P10.51 billion. This represents […] The post PLDT completes partial sale of Rocket Internet shares appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018

Warriors dominate Game 1, with more star power on the way

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, CALIF. — Basketball was suspenseful at Oracle Arena on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) for only about 10 minutes, when all eyes in the building were fixated on the floor, absorbed every shot and all the action before folks finally exhaled, thrilled with the outcome. But enough about Steph Curry’s closely-inspected pre-game warmup drills. The second-round playoff opener against the Pelicans held everyone's attention for roughly the same length of time. The once-bored Warriors, who are woke now, ran Anthony Davis and friends off the floor comfortably before halftime. As they await the return of Curry, and Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) for Game 2 looks likely for that, the Warriors straight-up clowned New Orleans almost from the start, dropping threes, making stops, zipping downcourt on fast breaks and essentially throwing themselves an Oaktown version of Mardi Gras. In a late second-quarter frolic that especially caused the sellout crowd to sway, Draymond Green tossed a lob to Kevin Durant for a dunk and Klay Thompson drilled a three-point bomb from the corner, where he was immediately groped by the frolicking Warriors’ bench. The Warriors broke for 41 points in that quarter; in the second and third quarters combined, New Orleans scored just 40. Party on. “It was probably the loudest I’ve heard Oracle all year,” said Kerr. “It was kind of a weird regular season but the playoffs are here and our guys feel that, our fans feel that and the second quarter reflected what’s at stake and what we’re trying to accomplish.” It was Warriors 123, shell-shocked Pelicans 101, and yes, there’s no guarantee the rest of the series will be a Big Easy for the defending champions. This is the playoffs; stuff happens, scripts flip. That said, they will get a two-time MVP, and a restless one at that, back in the lineup sooner rather than later. So this is looking rather promising for the Warriors and gloomy for the Pelicans, much less the rest of the remaining NBA playoff field. Even before Curry went through his customary dribble and shoot routine, where he looked sharp, Kerr had already decided to keep the point guard on ice for at least another 72 hours. Kerr explained that Curry has had limited scrimmaging time since healing from an MCL knee sprain on March 23 (Mar. 24, PHL time), and wanted to play it safe. In Kerr’s words, the coach was “protecting Steph from himself.” Kerr said Curry didn’t take the news well, but this was no negotiation. “When you have been out five weeks and you want to play in the playoffs, I don’t think one scrimmage is enough, even though he wanted to play and pleaded his case,” Kerr explained. “I just think going through the next few days and making sure he is feeling good and holding up well is the right approach.” The stakes, obviously, are steep, too much to roll the dice in the second round, no disrespect to the Pelicans. Curry’s body has proven fragile this season, with ankle and knee injuries over the last four months sending a jolt through the organization. None of his ailments were serious or needed surgery; still, the Warriors rightly were leaving nothing to chance, especially since nothing major was at stake. That changes now. Davis and the Pelicans, having swept through the first round, have Golden State’s attention. Also, assuming a Rockets-Warriors conference final in a few weeks, Curry will need to shake the rust for what would be an epic series on paper. “He looks great in practice, looks great in workouts,” said Durant. “It’s exciting for him to get back in a place he enjoys the most, which is playing ball. He loves the game just as much as anybody I’ve ever been around.” What’s most important, and impressive, is how the Warriors decided to ramp it up before Curry’s return. The energy, intensity and sense of urgency was evident against the Pelicans and it turned Game 1 into a rout, and that combination wasn’t always evident in a season where the Warriors pressed the snooze button following the All-Star break. Their defense against the Pelicans was worry-free from the second quarter onward. Green held Davis to just two points in the second quarter when the game changed; Green finished with a triple double: 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists which was perhaps his best game of the season, all things considered. “Once our defense took a stand that’s when the game turned in our favor,” said Green. “If we can push the tempo and get stuff in transition, that’s big for us and obviously that starts with stops.” The Warriors had only one turnover and held the Pelicans to 30 percent shooting in the second quarter, which fueled Golden State’s transition game. Durant and Thompson were straight fire with the jumper and they combined for 53 points in what amounted to three quarters worth of sweat. And that was a wrap. “That quarter was unacceptable,” Rajon Rondo said. In some ways this result was understandable; the Pelicans are new to this; Davis is playing in the second round for the first time in his great career, and only Rondo brings championship chops. About the Warriors, Gentry said: “They’ve done it before, and that’s why I say you’ve got to be very disciplined in what you do with these guys. If you make a mistake against them, they make you pay. They are very smart.” Kerr used a smallish starting lineup without a natural center, sticking Green in the post, keeping JaVale McGee on the bench and going with a combination of Nick Young and Shaun Livingston in the swing spots. This allowed the Warriors to pace with the Pelicans, who ran the Blazers out of the first round. Yet in the superstar competition, the Pelicans are at a disadvantage, a margin that will only swell the next game. Therefore, did New Orleans miss out on its best opportunity to grab a game, while the Warriors were short a star? Jrue Holiday realizes the problems and challenges that a Curry-fortified team will pose for the Pelicans. He did the math. “You have to key on him as well as KD and Klay,” said the Pelicans guard. “He’s obviously another element of their team.” At the same time, Thompson believes the Warriors need to chill on any urge to assume all will be well once the team is whole again. “We played well without Steph,” he said. “It hasn’t been as easy as it looks but we adjusted without him. Even if he does come back, it’s a natural human emotion to be relaxed because we have so much coming back. That will be a test to not depend on Steph to save the day. We have playmakers all around. Just do this together. He’s going to give us a huge boost but we can’t relax.” With the help of trusty Warriors assistant coach Bruce Fraser, who has the enviable duty of being the official and exclusive workout partner for one of the greatest shooters in league history, Curry hit jumper after jumper as the doors opened at Oracle. As usual, the routine drew a sizable group of onlookers from the stands, but this one seemed more important than others. Folks wanted and needed to know: Is Curry, after a month off, still splash-ready? Warm-ups can only tell so much. Yet the concentration, the rapid-fire dribble, the quick catch-and-shoot and the aim appeared pure. Seemingly everyone is awaiting the return of Curry except those who stand to suffer because of it. “I’m more excited as his brother that he’s out there,” said Durant. “He gets to play basketball, something that he loves to do. We’ll see what happens next game.” 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 NewsApr 29th, 2018

PLDT not in hurry to fully divest from Rocket Internet

MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Incorporated  is not in a hurry to dispose of all of its shares in Rocket Internet SE , as it banks on the optimistic prospects of the Berlin-based tech investor's financial perfomance in the coming months. This comes after the listed telecommunications giant announced on Monday, April 16, that its ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

PLDT subsidiary selling bulk of Rocket Internet shares

MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Incorporated  is disposing of bulk of its shares in Rocket Internet SE – a German investor in technology start-ups – for a lower price of €24 (P1,545.28) per share, or a total of about €163.2 million (P10.51 billion), to partly fund its historic high capital spending budget for 2018. The ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Landbank starts offer to acquire PDS shares

LAND BANK of the Philippines (Landbank) will start making offers to shareholders of the country’s fixed-income exchange this week, with the state lender hoping to sign enough purchase agreements and acquire a majority stake within a month. Landbank President and Chief Executive Officer Alex V. Buenaventura said on Friday that the state-run lender will be […] The post Landbank starts offer to acquire PDS shares appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 4th, 2018

LandBank starts ‘due diligence’ to acquire majority stake in fixed-income bourse

MANILA, Philippines — State-run LandBank of the Philippines on Tuesday said it has started conducting its “due diligence” in its plan to acquire a majority s.....»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 30th, 2018

Atlanta s Matt Ryan aims for happy homecoming in Philly

By Rob Maaddi, Associated Press PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Quarterback Matt Ryan has another shot at a happy homecoming. A berth in the NFC championship game is at stake when Ryan leads the Atlanta Falcons (11-6) against the Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) in a divisional playoff Saturday. Ryan, who grew up rooting for the Eagles and went to Philadelphia's William Penn Charter School, is 1-3 at the Linc. "I'm used to it now," Ryan said about returning home. "Playing as long as I have, I understand regardless of where we play you have to be at your best every week. The one nice part is there will be a lot of familiar faces, friendly faces after the game, which is always nice." Ryan had his worst game of his MVP season last year in Atlanta's 24-15 loss in Philly on Nov. 13, 2016. He was 18 of 33 for 267 yards with one touchdown and one interception. "Obviously, there will be some scheme from that game that we'll take, what went well and what didn't go well and try to improve on that," Ryan said. "We're a different team than we were last year when we played them and they're a different team. It will be some carry over, but it will be a little bit different." Here's some things to watch for when the teams meet in the playoffs for the first time since Philadelphia's win over Michael Vick's Falcons in the 2005 NFC championship game: NICK'S UP: Nick Foles makes his fourth start since replacing Carson Wentz after the MVP candidate tore his ACL in Week 14. Foles played well in his first five quarters and struggled in the next five. He's certainly a dropoff from Wentz, but he's also capable of spectacular performances. Wentz once tossed seven TDs in a game in 2013. He had four TDs in his first start in Week 15. "There's enough substance behind his career that merits having confidence," Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. 'NORTHEAST' NOISE: There's crowd noise, and then there's the noise generated by Philadelphia fans known for their intensity. Falcons coach Dan Quinn seemed to search for a polite term to compare Eagles fans with the fans the team heard in last week's wild-card win at the Los Angeles Rams. "I'm not going to say more passionate, but I would say more Northeast," Quinn said with a smile. The Falcons have pumped in artificial noise in practice this week but will lean heavily on Ryan and center Alex Mack to use their experience with silent counts and hand signals. "That's huge," said tight end Levine Toilolo. "That's where it all starts, coming off the ball, the cadence and stuff like that. We definitely work on that every week. Their fans, we're expecting a loud crowd in a big playoff game." Mack said he expects Philadelphia's fans "to be really dedicated, really loud, really involved. So it's going to be a challenge just in terms of crowd noise." COMFORT ZONE: After leading the league in scoring in 2016, the Falcons finished the regular season 15th with first-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Atlanta averaged 22.1 points per game, down from 33.8 last season. Ryan says he has become more comfortable with Sarkisian, especially the last two weeks in wins over Carolina and the Rams. "I think Sark has done a great job of finding who we are week to week, specifically the last two weeks I think he's done a great job," Ryan said. STOPPING JULIO: The Eagles had some success against Julio Jones in their win last year, keeping him out of the end zone but allowing 10 catches for 135 yards. Jalen Mills held him to four catches for 48 yards when he was matched up against Jones. The second-year pro is confident he can contain Jones again. Ronald Darby will have to cover Jones when he's on his side. "You have to think the ball is coming to him each and every play," Mills said. "Whether they're having a run or a pass play, you've just got to think the ball is coming to him." MULTIPLE BACKS: Both teams have options in the backfield. The Falcons are led by Devonta Freeman, who had 865 yards rushing and seven TDs. Tevin Coleman had 628 yards rushing and five TDs. LeGarrette Blount led the Eagles with 766 yards rushing and scored two TDs. Jay Ajayi had 873 yards rushing and one TD combined with the Dolphins and Eagles. He ran for 130 yards against Atlanta in Miami's win on Oct. 15. ___ AP Sports Writer Charles Odum contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018