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Young and sober: Drinking on the wane for Australian teens

Drinking among Australian teenagers has declined sharply in the past two decades, with parents less likely to supply kids with booze and youths increasingly conscious of their health, researchers said Friday. The study by Deakin University, which surveyed more than 41,000 teenagers between 1999 and 2015, found that the number of adolescents who had consumed alcohol has dropped from close to 70 percent to 45 percent. Australia, where the legal drinking age is 18, was among the highest youth consumers of alcohol in the world when the survey began, researchers said. But minors buying alcohol has declined from 12 percent nearly two decades ago to just one percent today, the stud...Keep on reading: Young and sober: Drinking on the wane for Australian teens.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJan 12th, 2018

Parents initiating teens to drinking a bad idea — study

Paris, France --- Parents who give their teens alcohol, even to teach them how to drink responsibly, are more likely to do harm than good, according to a six-year study in Australia, published Thursday. "Parental provision of alcohol is associated with risk, not with protection," said lead author Richard Mattick, a professor at the University of New South Wales. "Parents should avoid supplying alcohol to their teenagers if they wish to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms," he said in a statement. Mattick and colleagues monitored nearly 2,000 teens aged 12 to 18 in three Australian cities, along with their parents, over a six year period, with participants completing detaile...Keep on reading: Parents initiating teens to drinking a bad idea — study.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 26th, 2018

Aussie sentenced to life term for online child porn

  CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- An Australian who ran an international cyberpornography trade was sentenced by a local court to life imprisonment for forcing children to perform sexual acts and for torturing them while filming their ordeal.   Judge Jose Escobido of the Regional Trial Court Branch 37 here found Peter Gerard Scully, 55, guilty for qualified trafficking. He was also given an additional six years to nine years and 11 months in jail for five counts of rape by sexual abuse.   Testimonies   Scully's former live-in partner, Filpino Carme Ann Alvarez, who allegedly lured female street children and young scavengers, was also meted the same...Keep on reading: Aussie sentenced to life term for online child porn.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 15th, 2018

Cagayan de Oro court convicts Australian pedophile Peter Scully

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – A regional trial court in Cagayan de Oro City declared Australian national Peter Gerard Scully guilty sexually abusing young children in Mindanao and uploading videos for clients in Europe.  Judge Jose Escobido of RTC Branch 37 convicted Scully of one count of human trafficking and 5 counts ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

17-year-old student gets gold medal in US writing event

Visit us on Instagram To be You; Facebook: To be You; e-mail inq.tobeyou@gmail.com Georgia Limcaoco, a 17-year-old 11th grader from International School Manila (ISM), was one of over 2,800 recipients of a national medal from the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. It's a prestigious event for creative teens in grades 7-12 organized annually by the US nonprofit group Alliance for Young Writers & Artists. Limcaoco received a gold medal for "Sampaguita," a thought-provoking piece she entered in the Flash Fiction category (highly focused works characterized by brevity). The story was initially honored with a Gold Key, a regional award that automatically qualified it for rec...Keep on reading: 17-year-old student gets gold medal in US writing event.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

Elite 60’s two Visayan standouts are newest Batang Gilas players

The Elite 60 Development Camp has officially taken a step forward in the direction where it wants to be. The program concluded its second annual training camp last Sunday at the Colegio San Agustin Gym in Makati and named the first two players it will be boosting up into the Batang Gilas pool. Steve Nash Enriquez from University of Visayas is the headliner as his all-around brilliance caught the eye of just about everybody. “Yung talent niya, yung play all throughout the camp, talagang stand out e. He reminds me a lot of how Terrence Romeo plays kaya ang laki ng potential ng bata,” program assistant director Anton Altamirano said. The 5-foot-7 guard is the prototypical Filipino guard – what he gives up in size, he makes up for in height. That is why he was hailed as the Elite 60’s Best Camper. Also part of the training camp’s Mythical 5 alongside Enriquez is his fellow Visayan Harold Alarcon of Tay Tung High School as well as Filipino-Australian Royce Mantua. Six-foot-one guard Alarcon just continued opening eyes in the four-day camp much like he did in the 2018 National Basketball Training Center National Finals last March. “We all know he could score, but what he showed during the camp was how he could also take charge,” the program assistant director said. Meanwhile, Mantua, a 6-foot-2 swingman, is seen to be nothing but valuable for Batang Gilas in international play. “I was talking to (Batang Gilas assistant) coach Josh Reyes and yun ang players na gusto nila – long, agile players who can defend. Ang laki pa ng potential niya to grow and get better,” Altamirano said. The three are just the first instances of the Elite 60’s fulfilment of its objective to identify and then integrate young talent into the Batang Gilas pool. “This is a good sign and good step towards the future development ng players natin. We’re doing something right kasi yung mga players natin dito will now get a call up sa Batang Gilas,” the son of multi-titled mentor Eric Altamirano shared. He then continued, “Yun naman talaga ang goal dito – to give (players over the country) to represent the country.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

Young Pinoys seen drinking more imported wine

Philippine wine imports could rise by at least 16 percent to 16 million liters this year due to the country's economic expansion, as well as the increasing demand of young Filipinos for the al.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

Mic, Check! Beginner’s Workshop in Public Speaking & Hosting in CDO and Butuan

Learn the basic of public speaking and hosting with Mic, Check!, a Beginner’s Workshop on Public Speaking & Hosting is now being offered by Academax Learning Studio and 9000 Events May 16-19, 2018 in Cagayan de Oro City and June 1-3, 2018 in Butuan City. This workshop aims to hone the hosting and public speaking potential of kids, teens, and young professionals who are willing to undergo the rigors of public speaking and the basics of hosting live events......»»

Category: newsSource:  kagay_anRelated NewsMay 11th, 2018

Elite 60 Dev’t Camp to serve as start for future Batang Gilas players

The Elite 60 Development Camp strives to be bigger and better now in its second year. And along with providing another avenue for young talent to better themselves, the training program is also providing another avenue for the Philippine national youth basketball team to better itself. “We (have tried) to come up with a program to complement and assist the national team program. That’s why this year, we decided to lower the age group to 16 and under,” camp director Eric Altamirano said in the program’s press conference on Thursday at the Capitol Commons in Pasig. He then continued, “If there’s any player that we can identify, the national team would be able to put them in the pool and have continuous training to hopefully make the national team.” The Elite 60 Development Camp is a training program that scoured the entire country for the best of the best young talent aged 16 and under. It will run from May 10 to 13 at the Colegio de San Agustin Gym in Makati. In its first edition a year ago, it gathered the top Under-18 players such as NCAA Juniors MVP Will Gozum and UAAP Juniors champion RJ Abarrientos. Now, it aims to identify younger talent who may very well serve as the core of Batang Gilas. “After the Elite 60 Camp, the objective is to have the national team coaches to be able to see sino ba ang potential players nila,” Altamirano said. Overseeing the camp alongside Altamirano, will be Rob Beveridge, former head coach of the Australian men’s national basketball team. For Batang Gilas itself, the training program is a much-welcome development. “This will really help us with the identification of talent. We lean on this program to identify the talent that we need,” assistant coach Josh Reyes said. And for that, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is also in all-out support of the Elite 60 Development Camp. “Magandang programa ang na-develop nina coach E at coach Alex [Compton] kaya it’s something worth supporting. Hopefully, this thing carries on through more years,” Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2018

Anesthesia before age 2 may result in poorer development, literacy and numeracy scores, says new study

New Australian research has found that young children exposed to general anesthesia may have poorer development and lower literacy and numeracy school scores later in childhood than children not exposed to anesthesia. Carried out by researchers at the University of Sydney, the large-scale study looked at 211,978 healthy children and compared the developmental and school results of those who had been exposed to general anesthesia before age four to children of the same age who hadn't been exposed. The researchers looked at either the children's school entry developmental assessment in 2009 or 2012, or their Grade 3 school test results (when children are aged 8 to 9). They found ...Keep on reading: Anesthesia before age 2 may result in poorer development, literacy and numeracy scores, says new study.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018

Elderly Filipina cursed by 2 Australian teens - Manila Bulletin

Elderly Filipina cursed by 2 Australian teens - Manila Bulletin.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsApr 6th, 2018

Cherry blossoms reach full bloom in Tokyo

TOKYO (AP) --- Japan's famous cherry blossoms have reached full bloom in Tokyo as spring-like weather descends on the nation's capital. Crowds flocked Monday to popular spots in much of Japan to enjoy the sea of delicate pink and white blooms. Some laid down picnic sheets at Shinjuku Gyoen, a former imperial garden in the heart of Tokyo, to enjoy "hanami", the custom of blossom viewing. Eating and drinking under the trees is a popular pastime. People young and old strolled beneath a canopy of cherry blossoms on a walkway along the Meguro River, also in central Tokyo. Some stopped to take selfies or close-ups of the blooms. "There are of course so many beautiful flowers, b...Keep on reading: Cherry blossoms reach full bloom in Tokyo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 26th, 2018

I LOVE YOU, THIS GAME: Death threats and 5-peso coins, the MBA was crazy

There was confidence in the Metropolitan Basketball Association's regional format to succeed. After all, people love it when their home gets the spotlight. At the very least, the MBA was going to be a strong league for the actual cities and provinces that were represented in it. However, even those who believed in the MBA the most probably didn't expect just how big the reception was going to be. It was crazy and someone like this writer, who was too young to experience the bliss that is the MBA, can't do it justice. Fortunately, those who actually lived through the craziness of the MBA can tell those stories now, 20 long years later. Chito Victolero, former guard of the San Juan Knights and current head coach of Magnolia in the PBA: Sometimes merong mga unruly crowd na talagang very supportive sila at merong fanatics so sometimes nakakagawa sila ng mga ‘di tama, but you know kasama ‘yun eh. Kasama ‘yung sa dapat mong paghandaan, kasi you have to include it in your scouting report, ‘yung how to be mentally tough during the game. Kasama ‘yung crowd dun. ‘Yun nga ‘yung MBA. That’s why kakaiba siya kasi kung regular crowd lang siya, parehas lang ng ibang liga ‘yan. That’s why kakaiba ‘yung MBA. The crowd was very different then. ‘Yun ‘yung maganda dun. Kasama siguro sa marketing strategy ng MBA ‘yun, how to deal sa ganung crowd. Kasi iba ‘yung crowd, iba ‘yung atmosphere, iba ‘yung spirit ng game, lahat nandun eh. Nakaka-miss nga eh. When you go to Bacolod, to Cebu, nae-excite ka agad because you know there’s a big crowd. We wonder if coach Chito has a scouting report for Ginebra fans during Manila Clasico?   Dondon Hontiveros, former guard for the Cebu Gems who went on to become a PBA legend. Current guard for Alab Pilipinas: There was a time talaga na masasabi ko na ‘yung outrageous na ginagawa ng mga fans pa… may mga batuhan. Nakita nga natin dito may nagbato ng bottled water sa referee pero it was worse then. It even came to a point na kapag nalaman ng fans kung ano ‘yung hotel ng kalaban parang inaabangan na ba. And ganun din kami if we go travel to Bacolod, ganun din ‘yung nae-experience namin. Fortunately for me, pagkakaalam ng mga taga-Bacolod, taga-doon ako because the year before, in 1997, I played there sa Negros Basketball Association for Central and maganda pinakita ko. So naalala nila na dun ako naglaro, so ‘di naman masama para sa’kin. Cebu vs. Negros was one of the premier rivalries in the MBA and Hontiveros was the star of the Gems. "Fortunately for me," might be an understatement for Dondon.   Rafi Reavis, former center for the San Juan Knights. Still plays for Magnolia in the PBA and is the winningest active player, with 10 championships: It was always one of the teams at the South, because it was always the North versus the South. Negros, we had a tough time down there. Cebu’s also a tough place to play – not only did you have do play in a hostile environment, and when I say hostile I mean coins being thrown at you, hamburgers, apples, anything you can think of, it can be coming your way. You really had to watch out if things get heated in those places. That was just how passionate the fans were. I mean, they’re the nicest people but hey, don’t come in here and try to take what we’re trying to achieve here. It was pretty cool.  I never heard any racist things but I’ve been cursed out by old ladies before. I remembered an old lady, about 80-plus year-old, she just walked by me before the game cursing me out so I was like ‘Wow!’. But I also understood these fans are just passionate, this was their home team, so I understood. I get it. And as a player, you cannot let stuff like that affect you, and that’s just the will power you had to have. You have to put yourself inside of a bubble and focus on the task at hand which is the game, win the game and get out of there, hopefully safely, and leaving everything else to the fans and the things you can’t control, you leave it alone. Rafi must have been quite the charm back in the MBA.   Reynel Hugnatan, former forward for the Negros Slashers and current forward for the Meralco Bolts with at least 5,000 career points in the PBA: Naalala ko nun naglaro kami sa Cebu, may dala na kamig mga payong sa ilalim ng upuan namin. Kasi alam namin, pag konting ano lang, magbabatuhan na naman. Pag nagbatuhan, ready na kami, may payong na kami. Always bring an umbrella folks.   Nash Racela, former head coach for the Batangas Blades and current head coach for TNT KaTropa: If you watch the MBA ang daming hecklers di ba, talagang sinisigawan ka the whole game. I'm thinking one game in Davao, and there was another game in Negros na parang the whole game, may isang tao nasa likod ko na sigaw lang ng sigaw sa akin. Ganun talaga eh, it just shows the passion of the Filipino basketball fans. That's understandable, it really made the game more interesting nung mga panahon na yun. We think coach Nash would prefer this set up than having to bring his own umbrella to the bench.   Alex Compton, former guard for the Manila Metrostars and current head coach for the Alaska Aces: It hurts if a five-peso coin comes flying from the upper deck and hits you in the head. That leaves a bump and that happened a few times in a few different places. In the MBA that was almost expected because everybody was so intense. You should have brought an umbrella coach.   Peter Musngi, the one and only "Voice of ABS-CBN," he was one of the key people for ABS-CBN in the MBA from the league's inception to its untimely demise: One of the things that I remember, and kapag inaalala ko nga lang kinakabahan pa ko eh, I think I was seated beyond Commissioner Ogie Narvasa then sa official’s table and noong nagbatuhan… we were warned already kasi it was Negros vs. Cebu, sabi baka magkagulo. Noong may questionable call daw ng referee, biglang nagliparan ‘yung mga coins. Nakita ko talaga tumatama kay Commissioner Ogie Narvasa, but he looked at the back and stayed. Ako naman, tatakbo na sana ako (laughs) kasi nagkakagulo na pero ‘nung nakita ko si Ogie, ‘Ay nakakahiya, sige na nga bahala na matamaan sa ulo’ (laughs). So that’s one. The others are from the coverage standpoint, dahil we were always moving around, and it came to a point paggising mo ‘di mo alam kung nasaan ka. It takes a few minutes to think ‘Oh, saan kami nanggaling? Saan na kami ngayon?’ Or the fact that we were eating Jollibee for breakfast, lunch and dinner (laughs) because ‘yun ang sponsor eh. That wasn’t bad, but we had to be creative and say, I mean kasi umuulan, umaaraw, ‘di mo alam tapos, sabi naming ‘At least man lang arroz caldo, mainit.’ Jollibee all day, everyday? Now that's crazy.   Ramon Fernandez, the "El President" and four-time PBA Most Valuable Player served as the MBA's very first Commissioner: The biggest problem of the Commissioner's Office at the time were the fans, the rowdy fans. Masyadong fanatic sa mga teams nila. I remember distinctly one game in Negros, it was the Cebu Gems and the Negros Slashers, nagkagulo yung players. The fans just started throwing things and I had to stop the game. Mabuti na lang nandoon yung bishop, sitting beside me. So pinakiusapan ko siya na, 'Bishop baka pwede mo naman kausapinyung crowd na let's just enjoy and have fun' pumayag naman siya. Natuloy yung game, laro ulit. Eh nagkaroon na naman ng gulo, ganun na naman nangyaro so I said, 'Bishop baka one more time,' sabi niya, 'Mon leave it all to God.' Sometimes all you can do is just pray and ask for Divine Intervention.   Ramon Tuason, CEO of MetroBall, Inc., the mother company of the Metropolitan Basketball Association: It was a Cebu-Davao game and Ramon Fernandez was able to gather 14 large garbage cans of debris [from the game]. From rocks, to plastic bottles, to bottles with green liquid inside, anything. Marbles, socks with marbles inside, they were throwing everything inside. As a matter of fact, we had to ban plastic drinking water from entering the stadium after like the fourth or fifth game. We had to go through the Army, the PNP, and everybody to have support in the stadiums because of the fans' passion. We call it the passion of the nation but sometimes, they become too passionate, too emotional. Very difficult to control the crowds. In Bacolod, there was a situation where a bomb exploded inside a garbage can. Players, coaches, and including us got death threats especially during the inauguration game, because as you remember, the PBA, who was I guess threatened, decided to move their opening day to our same opening day and made it a Robert Jaworski birthday bash. I guess Jaworski fans were a bit pissed off that we were in the same day but actually, they moved their opening day to ours, as a matter of fact, ABS-CBN had a countdown. The PBA was threatened? Interesting... (to be continued)   *I Love You, This Game is a series celebrating the Metropolitan Basketball Association's 20th anniversary. Stay tuned for more! READ PART 1: I LOVE YOU, THIS GAME: The logo that started a basketball revolution READ PART 2: I LOVE YOU, THIS GAME: The Passion of the Nation READ PART 3: I LOVE YOU, THIS GAME: Trouble from Lakerland --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 12th, 2018

‘Maze Runner’ outruns ‘Jumanji’ to lead North American box offices

LOS ANGELES, United States --- Fox's young-adult film "Maze Runner: The Death Cure" dashed past "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" as it opened this weekend in North American theaters,taking in an estimated $23.5 million after a strong showing overseas, website Exhibitor Relations reported. The dystopian sci-fi film, the third and last in the "Maze Runner" series, follows the life-and-death adventures of three young "Gladers," teens immune to a destructive virus infecting the world. The film's release had been delayed a year after star Dylan O'Brien was injured on the set. It has proven "an all-out sensation overseas" while taking in $82 million for the week, according to Hollywo...Keep on reading: ‘Maze Runner’ outruns ‘Jumanji’ to lead North American box offices.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 29th, 2018

Parents initiating teens to drinking a bad idea: study

Parents who give their teens alcohol, even to teach them how to drink responsibly, are more likely to do harm than good, according to a six-year study in Australia, published Thursday. Source link link: Parents initiating teens to drinking a bad idea: study.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJan 26th, 2018

Back to drawing board for ailing Djokovic

MELBOURNE — It’s back to the drawing board for ailing 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic with his immediate playing future uncertain after an injury-ravaged exit from the Australian Open. The former world no. 1 cut a disconsolate figure as he played to the bitter end in a agonizing defeat to South Korean young gun […] The post Back to drawing board for ailing Djokovic appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2018

Australian lifesaving drone makes first rescue

SYDNEY, Australia – A pair of Australian swimmers on Thursday became the first people to be rescued in the ocean by a drone when the aerial lifesaver dropped a safety device to distressed teens caught in rough seas. Australia is leading the use of the technology in surf lifesaving, with dozens ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 18th, 2018

Players criticize risky conditions at broiling Aussie Open

By Justin Bergman, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Some weary players sat shirtless on changeovers, ice-filled towels draped around their necks. Others retreated to any bit of shade they could find on court and sought treatment for blistered feet and heat stress. Temperatures soared to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) as the start of an expected heat wave hit the Australian Open on Thursday, bringing misery to players unfortunate enough to have their matches scheduled during the day session and keeping many spectators away. "I didn't expect to play this kind of match," a thoroughly exhausted Juan Martin del Potro said after beating Karen Khachanov in a nearly four-hour, second-round match. "I prefer to watch on TV. Or stay on the beach, drinking some beer." Scorching temperatures are common at the Australian Open — so much so the tournament has an extreme heat policy that allows for the referee to close the roofs on the three main show courts and suspend play on the outer courts when temperatures surpass 40 Celsius. Matches weren't halted Thursday as the highs stayed just below 40 Celsius for much of the day, but that doesn't mean the heat didn't cause issues for the players. Gael Monfils, for one, staggered through a good portion of his second-round match against Novak Djokovic, bending over repeatedly to catch his breath between points and at one stage returning to the comfort of his shaded chair without even attempting to return Djokovic's serve. Afterwards, he called the conditions "risky" for the players, especially with the new rule restricting the time between points to 25 seconds. "I get super dizzy. I think I have a small heat stroke for 40 minutes," said Monfils, who is considered one of the fittest players on tour. "At that time, the officials have to make a move. Maybe wait a little bit, whatever, five minutes between the set. Maybe they have to do small adjustment." Djokovic agreed, describing the conditions "brutal" and some of the toughest he's ever played in. "There are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognize that you might need to give players few extra hours until (the temperature) comes down," he said. "I understand there is a factor of tickets. If you don't play matches, people will be unhappy." But he said the conditions were at the point where it becomes a "danger in terms of health." There were no retirements due to the heat on Day 4, however, and some players were even unfazed by the conditions. Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei saw the heat as a benefit in her second-round upset of Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza. "I know the weather is going to be a little bit tough today," she said. "I was thinking, 'Ah, I'm from Asia. I maybe can handle it better than other girls.'" Muguruza did have to stop at one point to wrap her feet to prevent blistering from the hot court. "I think the surface of the court, I don't know how much heat, (but) it's terrible," she said. "Very, very hot." As for recovery, nearly every player mentioned taking an ice bath, but Hsieh had a different approach. "Acupuncture," she said. "Not my favorite ... but it helps a lot. And also do the massage. And eat some nice food." With the weather expected to be hotter on Friday, with highs of 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit) in the forecast, Monfils had a message for players scheduled to be on court. "Honestly, good luck for the players," he said. "Just be smart. If you have to give up, you know, it's not a shame.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2018

Australia lifesaving drone makes first rescue

A pair of Australian swimmers on Thursday became the first people to be rescued in the ocean by a drone when the aerial lifesaver dropped a safety device to distressed teens caught in rough seas. Australia is leading the use of the technology in surf lifesaving, with dozens of drones being trialed on beaches around… link: Australia lifesaving drone makes first rescue.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJan 18th, 2018

Federer joins Djokovic, Sharapova in 2nd round in Australia

By John Pye, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer picked up where he left off at the last Australian Open on a day when Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber and Novak Djokovic ensured there were all kinds of successful comebacks. Defending champion Federer beating Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in a night match, his first on Rod Laver Arena since clinching a career-reviving title here last year. He's been met on court after wins here previously by tennis greats Laver, John McEnroe and Jim Courier. On Tuesday night, he got something different. Comedian Will Ferrell stepped out of the crowd and, slipping into character as Ron Burgundy from the movie Anchorman, conducted the post-match interview. Six-time champion Djokovic and 2014 Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka stuck to business, returning from long injury layoffs with victories in their first matches since Wimbledon. Sharapova barely missed a beat in her first match in Melbourne since a failed doping test in 2016 resulted in a 15-month ban from tennis. One of just two former champions in the women's draw, Sharapova recovered from an early break in the second set and closed out her 6-1, 6-4 victory over Tatjana Maria with an ace at Margaret Court Arena. She celebrated by twirling, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd. "It's been a couple of years since I've been back here — obviously I wanted to enjoy the moment," the 2008 Australian Open champion and three-time runner-up said in an on-court TV interview. Former No. 1-ranked Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open winner, continued her resurgent run with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam to extend her streak to 10 consecutive wins. Her ranking slid into the 20s in 2017, but she's coming back into the kind of form that won her a title in Sydney last week and makes her a strong contender at Melbourne Park. "Something is going on with Australia and me," Kerber said. "I enjoy my stay, play my best tennis." Djokovic tweaked his service motion while recovering from an injured right elbow, and used it to good effect in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Donald Young. Djokovic lost in the second round here last year, but won five of the previous six Australian Open titles. "Obviously I wanted to start with the right intensity, which I have," Djokovic said. "I played perfect tennis, like I never stopped." Wawrinka, who had six months out after surgery on his left knee, beat Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2). No. 4-ranked 4-Alexander Zverev and No. 7 David Goffin advanced, but No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut lost to Fernando Verdasco, a semifinalist here in 2009, and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic lost 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to Lukas Lacko. No. 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the U.S. men with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez. Two other U.S. contenders, No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner, were out on opening day. Madison Keys also reversed a trend, becoming the only one of the four American women who contested the U.S. Open semifinals last September to reach the second round in Australia. Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe were all eliminated on Monday. No. 17-seeded Keys, the runner-up at the U.S. Open, had a 6-1, 7-5 win over Wang Qiang. No. 9 Johanna Konta beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-1 and will meet another American, Bernarda Pera in the second round. The U.S. women had four wins and 14 losses in round one. No. 1-ranked Simona Halep was in serious trouble twice — having to save set points at 5-2 down in the first set, and badly twisting her left ankle early in the second — before beating 17-year-old Australian wild-card entry Destanee Aiava 7-6 (5), 6-1. Halep, who lost back-to-back first-round matches here in the previous two years, will next play Eugenie Bouchard, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist who beat Oceane Dodin 6-3, 7-6 (5). "It's always really cool to go up against the best in the world," Bouchard said. "You use it as a measuring stick. I want to try to play my game and go out there and do some damage." Other seeded players advancing included Wimbledon champion Garbine Mugurza, No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, No. 8 Caroline Garcia, No. 16 Elena Vesnina, and No. 29 Lucie Safarova. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova lost 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 to Andrea Petkovic. Sharapova was banned for after testing positive for the drug meldonium here in 2016, when she reached the quarterfinals, and finished last year ranked No. 60. The five-time major winner will next play No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, who beat her at the U.S. Open last year in her return to a Grand Slam to tournament. After returning in New York, Sharapova is confident she's prepared again for a major. "I felt like I have got a lot of things out of the way physically and emotionally and mentally last year with — there was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely," she said. "But it felt pretty routine today.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Warriors keep evolving in rivalry with Cavs

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CLEVELAND -- You might expect, given the familiarity from what’s gone on for four years now, that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have worked up some serious mutual contempt. They both covet what the other wants -- in fact, the Warriors or the Cavs could make a persuasive case that, if not for the other guys, one already would have notched a three-peat and be chasing Bill Russell’s Celtics in pursuit of a fourth consecutive championship. They both have poured buckets of blood, sweat, tears, money, Gatorade and offseason counter moves into their nouveau NBA rivalry. And they both, well, as Golden State coach Steve Kerr phrased it to the San Jose Mercury News Sunday (Monday, PHL time), “We just want to kick each other’s ass.” And yet the Warriors and the Cavaliers -- who play again Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) at Quicken Loans Arena in the NBA’s prime-time MLK showdown -- have more in common with each other than they do with any of the league’s other 28 teams. Playing 100 games or so every year. Locking in mentally and surviving physically longer than anyone else. Showing up each night targeted as a measuring stick, even a season maker, by the opponents. While trying like heck to keep things fresh. Renew. Find and tap into a new source of energy, because old ones wane over time. “It’s the biggest challenge of this whole season,” Kerr told NBA.com late last week, with the Warriors starting a back-to-back in Milwaukee and Toronto on their way back to The Land. Even if it were possible -- and it realistically is not, given free agency, injuries, trades, the salary cap, luxury taxes, hirings and firings each NBA offseason -- playing a pat hand from one championship-level season to the next isn’t desirable. Voices, locker rooms, relationships get stale. Rivals adjust and escalate in the arms race. Some players ebb in the pecking order, others flow. It’s important to inject new faces, add skills and even find fresh themes to fend off monotony, even boredom, through the 82-game slogs. The Warriors, in winning 20 of 23 games over the past seven weeks, largely have managed to do that. The Cavaliers, at 26-15 after 2-7 stretch that started at Golden State on Christmas (Dec. 26, PHL time)? Not so much. Golden State shifts gears after each season It’s easy to think of Golden State’s success since Kerr’s hiring before the 2014-15 season as one uninterrupted run of excellence. Three-pointers, “death lineups,” and the rest. But the differences from one year to the next have been fairly pronounced. “In Year 1, we were trying to prove ourselves to the world,” Kerr said. “Then we win the championship -- it was all so fresh. There were no letdowns at all that year. It was the most exciting, it was the most energized, it was the most refreshing. It was brand new to all of us. It felt like we were riding this wave all year -- we were all giddy, like, ‘Oh my God, we’re really good!’ We didn’t know we could be like that. And for me, it was my first year coaching.” Steph Curry won his first MVP award. He and Klay Thompson generated considerable conversation about the best shooting backcourts in league history. Draymond Green forever changed the old NBA notion of “’tweeners.” The Warriors finished 67-15, ranked second in the league in offense (111.6) and first in defense (101.4) and beat Cleveland in the Finals in six games. “It was maybe like the first stages when you fall in love,” Kerr said. “You’re just on Cloud 9 and she can’t do anything wrong. There’s infatuation and then you truly fall in love, and it’s amazing. “The second year, we sort of rode that wave of euphoria of being the best team in the league and having won the title. The next thing you know, we’re 24-0 and we’ve got a chance to set an all-time record. That 73-win mark carried us all year. We were going to prove that, not only were we the champs but we were one of the best teams ever.” The Warriors were -- by regular season standards. Curry won his second MVP award. Kerr missed the first 43 games due to health issues but assistant coach Luke Walton steered them to a 39-4 mark. They bought into the chase for 73 victories fairly late, but instead of a 16-5 playoff run like the previous spring’s, the Warriors went 15-9 -- coming up one victory short when the Cavaliers became the first team to claw back from a 3-1 deficit. That led directly to Golden State’s next new wrinkle, a reconfiguration that came close to buckling the league’s knees. “We got KD,” Kerr said. “Now we’re changing our team, right? Last year was about incorporating KD, welcoming this incredible player into our organization and our roster. Figuring how to do it, how we were going to adjust. I felt like there were times last year that were tiring, where our guys were done a little bit. But it was ‘new’ again.” Even the challenges were fresh, like counting Curry’s or Klay Thompson’s touches relative to Durant’s or closing ranks around Golden State’s thin man as his reputation took blows for the first time in his NBA career. Not interested in shooting for 74 victories, the Warriors simply took care of business and stayed coiled for the postseason. Then it was a 16-1 dash to title No. 2, Durant snagging the Finals MVP trophy after the five-game dispatching of the Cavs. All of which just set the Warriors’ bar higher, requiring them to search for something new, somebody borrowed, presumably nothing blue. “This year it’s just survive and advance,” Kerr said. “It’s ‘let’s get to April, May, June in one piece.’ There’s a reason we’ve lost six home games already. We don’t have the driving force that we had the last few years. We’re dealing with what any team in NBA history that’s tried to do this has dealt with. The Lakers (1982-85), the Celtics (1984-87, 1957-66)... It’s just really hard and you need that driving force.” Said Warriors vet Andre Iguodala: “Your body is mindful of it, because it hurts.” A couple of young guys -- Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney -- have taken on bigger roles. Nick Young brings some sort of buzz into any locker room that will have him. Still, as veteran guard Shaun Livingston said: “We’re not chasing any records. We’re not adding another All Star. We’re just trying to make it through the marathon.” Cavs' challenges mount during 2017-18 The Cavaliers are just trying to make it through the marathon, too. But if they could, they might do it like Rosie Ruiz, the 1980 women’s “winner” of the Boston Marathon who perpetrated a hoax by hopping the subway and running only the final mile of Beantown’s famous race. The 2017-18 has been anything but fun for Cleveland so far. It began with the departure of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, a not-so-funhouse mirror image of Durant’s arrival a year earlier in the Bay Area. Irving, for reasons still not quite explained, made it known in the offseason that he wanted out. He wanted to be the man on his own team. Or he didn’t want to be left in the lurch if (when?) LeBron James took his talents elsewhere again. Or both. Or neither. Regardless, once the Cavaliers made his request come true by dealing him to Boston for All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas and Brooklyn’s coveted first-round pick this June, their task got tougher and their season longer. Losing one of the league’s best ball handlers and shot makers doesn’t qualify as “renewal” any more than what went on in Oklahoma City when Durant packed up. There’s been more. Shooting guard J.R. Smith seemingly got old overnight. Jae Crowder, who came from the Celtics in the Irving deal, hasn’t meshed with the Cavs’ style. Kevin Love has been moved to center but hasn’t done anything to satisfy the Cavs’ need for rim protection. Thomas only returned to action from a hip injury as the calendar turned to 2018 and has played only four games in these two weeks. Even with so many new faces -- seven of the top 12 in coach Tyronn Lue’s rotation weren’t here 12 months ago -- it’s a group heavy on veterans, players a little too established or mature to naturally instill raw energy. James said recently that none of this is new, it’s another case of the Cavs biding their time for the “second” season that means everything. But Lue also introduced the topic of “agendas,” suggesting that some of his guys were looking out for their own responsibilities and performances -- particularly on defense -- rather than the group’s. At best, this is another dose of the midseason blahs, the Cavs in their doldrums in need of an All-Star break. At worst, though, they might be honing some bad habits that won’t be so easy to break in May or June. Especially if East rivals such as Toronto, Boston or Washington are emboldened after witnessing or administering some of the Cavs’ more embarrassing beat downs this season. Will any of this matter come spring? It will if the switch each team is minding stubbornly decides not to flip. “That’s the key. You’ve got to find that balance,” Kerr said. “Are you flipping the switch or are you navigating? The idea is, don’t let bad habits slip in. Right now, this moment, we’re into some bad habits. Our defensive efforts  the last five, six games [before the weekend] were awful. We got away with it because Steph was going nuts.” The Cavaliers repeatedly have not gotten away with bad defensive habits, even on nights when James has been dominant. “It’s tough,” Livingston said. “They’re a team that’s built for the playoffs. But our core guys still are in there prime. Their core guys are still good. But we’re talking about ‘prime.’” Most still would pick both Golden State and Cleveland to advance all the way to a “Finals Four” (after last year’s “Rubber Match” series). But one of these years, most will be wrong -- about one or both. That alone might be motivation enough. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018