Hungary s leader: EU and Soros seek to Muslimize Europe

BUDAPEST — European Union leaders and Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros are seeking a "new, mixed, Muslimized Europe," Hungary's anti-migration pri.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: World8 min. ago Related News

Hungary s leader: EU and Soros seek to 'Muslimize' Europe

BUDAPEST — European Union leaders and Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros are seeking a "new, mixed, Muslimized Europe," Hungary's anti-migration pri.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: World3 hr. 20 min. ago Related News

UK palace releases Prince George s 4th birthday portrait

LONDON — Kensington Palace has released a portrait to mark Prince George's fourth birthday......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: World9 hr. 20 min. ago Related News

With tiny bouquet of flowers, little Princess Charlotte steals scene in Germany

British royals Prince William and his wife, Kate, held Prince George and Princess Charlotte by the hand as they disembarked Wednesday from their plane at the.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: WorldJul 21st, 2017Related News

BLOGTABLE: Best free agent signing of 2017?

em> blogtable /em> The best free-agent signing this summer was ... ? * * * strong>David Aldridge: /strong> Paul Millsap with Denver (technically, a sign-and-trade with Atlanta and the Clippers). Just love what I think is going to be a perfect fit between a four-time All-Star who still should have two or three top seasons left in him -- which dovetails perfectly with his contract. Millsap remains one of the most underrated guys in the game, able to impact the game as a scorer, rebounder, defender and passer. I just think he should be a great complement playing off of Nikola Jokic with his ability to space the floor and pass. And the Nuggets needed another veteran voice in what is still a pretty young locker room. strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong> Paul Millsap to Denver struck me as a nice acquisition, one that addresses needs for the Nuggets both on the floor and in the seams. Millsap is a grown-up and repeat All-Star who brings leadership, which only matters if he can play his solid, versatile, ball-optional game up front. His deal -- three years, $90 million -- protects the Nuggets with that final year as a team option. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong>Kevin Durant. The MVP of The Finals took less than the max so the Warriors could keep the core together with Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston and make the defending champs the solid favorites for 2018. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong>The best was the Warriors' package deal of retaining Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. That's a decent outcome for Golden State. But if the conversation is free agents who were in play, then it's Gordon Hayward to Boston. To add a young All-Star without giving up anything in return, to a roster that already has a large window of opportunity, when the player and coach already have a very good relationship, would be tough to top most summers. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong>Easy answer: Gordon Hayward with the Celtics. He wasn't the most economical signing (Jonathon Simmons to Orlando) but in terms of an impact signing, he's right at the top. I look for Hayward to mesh easily with Brad Stevens, his former college coach; and mentally because he's not the savior of the franchise; and have a seamless relationship with Isaiah Thomas because Hayward isn't bringing a massive ego. strong>John Schuhmann: /strong>There's nothing better than re-signing the Finals MVP (and the second best player in the world) for less than 75 percent of the max, even if Kevin Durant's return to Golden State was a foregone conclusion. Gordon Hayward was the best player to change teams via free agency, gives the Celtics a much-needed, secondary playmaker, and makes what was a top-10 offense last season tougher to defend. And my personal favorite was the Clippers bringing the brilliant passing of Milos Teodosic from Europe. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>In a summer when there were trades (Chris Paul to Houston, Paul George to Oklahoma City) that could have more impact than any free agent signing, I have to go with Gordon Hayward to Boston as the best signing of this summer. Hayward chose a path East while it seemed every other star of significance was relocating West. Boston has a well-stocked roster, one ready to challenge Cleveland for the top spot and the chance to represent the Eastern Conference in The Finals next year. While Hayward is not necessarily a 'superstar,' he is in that tier below and more than capable of helping push the Celtics to a higher level. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong>Kevin Durant. By re-signing him to $9.5 million less than the max, the Warriors were able to max-out Steph Curry, retain their key bench players and add Nick Young. No other offseason move will have a greater influence on the championship race. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong>One of the biggest signings this summer was Gordon Hayward to Boston, and certainly the Celtics will once again be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. But I really like the way Hayward's former team, the Utah Jazz, navigated free agency. First they re-signed Joe Ingles, one of the NBA's best glue guys and an ace outside shooter, then following Hayward's departure they signed two terrific, active wing players in Thabo Sefolosha and Jonas Jerebko. Add in the trade for Ricky Rubio, and the Jazz may not be as good as they were a season ago, but I don't think they're going to be appreciably worse, either. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 20th, 2017Related News

US survives biting incident, beats El Salvador 2-0, advances

em>By Ronaldo Blum, Associated Press /em> PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj scored late in the first half and the United States beat El Salvador 2-0 on Wednesday night in an ugly CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal during which defender Henry Romero appeared to first bite Jozy Altidore on the back of a shoulder and then pull the American forward's nipple. Canadian referee Drew Fischer, a Major League Soccer regular, did not penalize the incident, which occurred during a skirmish on the goal line in the 57th minute ahead of a U.S. corner kick. A furious Altidore shoved down Romero after the apparent bite in his left shoulder area, then grimaced and fell to the ground after having his nipple twisted, but remained in the game. Romero still could face discipline later, CONCACAF said. The Americans, who started five veterans added for the tournament's knockout phase, overcame shaky defensive play and poor passing, advancing to a semifinal against Costa Rica on Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Bruce Arena changed all 11 starters for the second straight game and at 7-0-5 set a record for longest unbeaten streak at the start of a U.S. coaching tenure, topping Bob Bradley's 10-0-1 in 2007. The U.S. improved to 6-0 against El Salvador in the Gold Cup, also winning quarterfinals 4-0 in 2002 and 5-1 in 2013. The Americans are 17-1-5 overall against the Salvadorians, the only loss an exhibition at San Salvador in 1992. Altidore, forward Clint Dempsey, midfielders Michael Bradley and Darlington Nagbe, and goalkeeper Tim Howard were all added to the lineup. A crowd of 31,615 at half-filled Lincoln Financial Field was evenly split with supporters of both teams. Howard was called on to save the U.S. in the third minute. Rodolfo Zelaya ran onto a terrible, lightly struck backpass by Lichaj and instead of striking the ball with his first touch appeared to want to round Howard. The goalkeeper sprinted out, slid and batted away the ball with his left hand. Zardes was fed by Dempsey, broke in alone in the 17th and put the ball in the net, but he was ruled offside by linesman Ainsley Rochard of Trinidad and Tobago — replays showed Zardes was even with the last defender when Dempsey made the pass. Nagbe, moved from a flank to a central midfield role on his 27th birthday, started to stabilize the match for the U.S. with possession and passes, but the Americans did not break through until late in the first half. Bradley took a free kick on a flank from about 35 yards and sent it on a low liner into the middle of the penalty area. The 6-foot-5 defender outjumped Darwin Cerin about 8 yards from the goal and directed the ball with a glance of his head through the upstretched arms of goalkeeper Derby Carrillo. After scoring once in his first 40 international appearances, Gonzalez has two goals in his last three. Lichaj, trying to play his way into the top part of the U.S. depth chart, was played in by Dempsey and beat sliding defender Ivan Mancia to score on an angled shot from 6 yards. Mistakes nearly got the U.S. in trouble early in the second half. Pineda took advantage of Nagbe's giveaway and got around Lichaj for an open shot from just outside the penalty area but slid the ball wide. Dempsey made his 135th appearance, moving past Jeff Agoos into sole possession of third on the U.S. list, trailing only Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157). Dempsey needs one goal to equal Landon Donovan's American record of 57 national team goals. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 20th, 2017Related News

Seager, Valencia hit HRs in 10th to lift Seattle over Astros

The Associated Press   HOUSTON (AP) — Kyle Seager and Danny Valencia hit back-to-back homers in the 10th inning to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 9-7 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night. The wild back and forth game was tied at 7 entering the 10th when Seager, who finished with three hits, connected off Tony Sipp (0-1) on a shot to the seats in right field. Valencia added an insurance run when he launched a slider to center field three pitches later. Mike Zunino and Nelson Cruz also homered for the Mariners as they tied a season high with four homers to win their fifth straight game. Yovani Gallardo (4-7) allowed a hit and two walks in a scoreless ninth for the win and Edwin Diaz struck out two in a scoreless 10th for his 17th save. Cruz tied it in the seventh and Zunino put Seattle on top with his homer in the eighth. A sacrifice fly by George Springer scored a run to tie it at 7-7 in the bottom of the eighth. Jake Marisnick and Carlos Beltran both homered for the Astros on a night when All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa left in the fourth inning after jamming his left thumb on a swing. TWINS 4, YANKEES 2 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eddie Rosario had two RBI doubles and Eduardo Escobar added the go-ahead, pinch-hit single in the eighth inning to help Minnesota over New York. Brian Dozier had two hits and Adalberto Mejia gave up one run and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings for the Twins, who were tied 2-2 when Escobar delivered a base hit to left field off left-hander Caleb Smith (0-1). Rosario followed with his second double of the game, and Brandon Kintzler picked up his 26th save as light rain turned into a steady downpour at Target Field. Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge went 0 for 3 with an intentional walk and is 1 for 21 since his electric performance in the All-Star Home Run Derby. Taylor Rogers (5-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win. CUBS 4, BRAVES 3 ATLANTA (AP) — Jon Lester (6-6) bounced back from the shortest start of his career by allowing only one run in seven innings and Chicago stopped Atlanta's ninth-inning comeback. The Cubs led 4-1 before Atlanta scored two runs in the ninth off closer Wade Davis and loaded the bases with two outs. Davis allowed one-out singles to Brandon Phillips and Freddie Freeman before Phillips scored from third on a wild pitch. Matt Kemp followed with a run-scoring single and pinch-runner Lane Adams stole second and moved to third on Tyler Flowers' flyball to the warning track in center field. Following an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Matt Adams, pinch-runner Dansby Swanson stole second, leaving runners on second and third. Davis walked Sean Rodriguez, playing in his first game of the season, to load the bases. Johan Camargo's fly ball to shallow left ended the game, giving Davis his 18th consecutive save this season. Julio Teheran (7-7) allowed two runs and five hits and four walks in six innings. INDIANS 5, GIANTS 3 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Josh Tomlin struck out five and pitched into the eighth inning to win back-to-back starts for the first time this year, and Cleveland capitalized on two costly errors to beat San Francisco. Tomlin (6-9) allowed six hits and three runs without walking a batter in 7 1/3 innings. Cleveland snapped a season-high four-game skid with its first victory against the Giants in the last seven tries. San Francisco starter Matt Moore (3-10) hit an RBI single in the third before a wild throw did him in, and the Giants dropped their fourth straight home game. Cody Allen finished for his 17th save as the defending AL champs improved to just 4-11 in interleague. BLUE JAYS 4, RED SOX 3 BOSTON (AP) — Steve Pearce hit a solo homer, then added the go-ahead single in the eighth inning in Toronto's victory over Boston. The Blue Jays led 3-0 after two innings but Boston scored three in the seventh. Toronto went back in front in the eighth when Pearce singled to score pinch-runner Ezequiel Carrera from third. Ryan Tepera (5-1), who started the eighth, was credited with the victory even though Leone was the pitcher of record when the winning run scored. Baseball rule 9.17 (c) instructs the official scorer not to award a victory to a reliever who makes a short, ineffective appearance. Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 23rd save. Heath Hembree (1-3) took the loss. NATIONALS 6, REDS 1 CINCINNATI (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman set the Nationals' career home run record with a solo shot, and Bryce Harper connected again as Washington powered its way to a victory for a four-game sweep of Cincinnati. Zimmerman's 235th career homer moved him ahead of Vladimir Guerrero for most in Expos and Nationals history. Stephen Strasburg (10-3) recovered from his shortest start of the season by fanning 11 in seven innings and allowing four hits, including Eugenio Suarez's homer. Scott Feldman (7-7) lasted only one inning. He gave up a double, a single, Harper's three-run homer and Zimmerman's solo shot in his first 12 pitches. Feldman left after facing nine batters and giving up five runs on 33 pitches. RAYS 3, ATHLETICS 2 OAKLAND, California (AP) — Jake Odorizzi and two relievers combined on a two-hitter, helping Tampa Bay beat Oakland. Steven Souza Jr. hit his 19th home run, Evan Longoria also went deep and reached base three times while Adeiny Hechavarria added two hits for the Rays, who won for the third time in four games since the All-Star break. Odorizzi (6-4) bounced back from his worst start of the season and went seven innings while striking out five and walking two. Alex Colome retired three batters for his AL-leading 27th save. Daniel Gossett (1-5) allowed three runs in seven innings, including the homers to Souza and Longoria. ROCKIES 9, PADRES 6 DENVER (AP) — Charlie Blackmon 's fourth leadoff homer of the season hit the facing of the third deck, hard-throwing rookie German Marquez tied a career high with nine strikeouts and scuffling Colorado beat San Diego. Trevor Story added a two-run double as part of a five-run third to help the Rockies win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a month. Marquez (7-4) allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings. He perplexed the Padres by effectively mixing in his curve with a 98 mph fastball. Greg Holland got Matt Szczur to ground out following a two-out double in the ninth to earn his 29th save in 30 chances. San Diego starter Luis Perdomo (4-5) had his three-game winning streak halted after surrendering seven runs, five earned, over 2 1/3 innings. TIGERS 10, ROYALS 2 KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — Nicholas Castellanos and Mikie Mahtook went deep, Jordan Zimmermann smothered the Royals with strikes and Detroit proceeded to trounce Kansas City to open a four-game series. Ian Kinsler added three extra-base hits for the Tigers, who knocked American League wins leader Jason Vargas (12-4) from the game after 2 2/3 innings in his first start since the All-Star break. Zimmermann (6-7) allowed one run and seven hits without a walk in 6 2/3 innings, throwing 79 of 97 pitches for strikes. His dominance was partly a result of first-pitch strikes to 24 of the 28 batters he faced, which helped the right-hander win for the first time since June 3. PIRATES 4, BREWERS 2 PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gregory Polanco doubled twice, drove in two runs and threw out a potential go-ahead run at the plate to lead surging Pittsburgh over Milwaukee. Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt left the game in the fifth inning after a collision with Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl at the plate. Vogt caught an incidental elbow to the head from Kuhl, and both players were down for several minutes. Kuhl remained in the game, but Vogt had to be helped to his feet and left to be evaluated for a neck strain and left knee strain. Vogt held onto the ball and Kuhl was called out. Polanco finished 4 for 4 and is hitting .446 this month. Francisco Cervelli added two hits for the Pirates, who pulled within six games of the first-place Brewers. Daniel Hudson (2-4) picked up the win in relief of Kuhl when Polanco nailed Manny Pina at the plate in the sixth to preserve a tie. Polanco drove in Josh Bell in the bottom of the inning off Josh Hader (1-1) to put the Pirates in front. Felipe Rivero retired the last four batters for his seventh save. CARDINALS 6, METS 3 NEW YORK (AP) — Paul DeJong homered against New York for the fourth straight game and Adam Wainwright hit an RBI double while winning his fourth consecutive start. With runners at the corners in the bottom of the ninth inning, slugger Yoenis Cespedes grounded into a game-ending double play on a 3-0 pitch from Brett Cecil. Tommy Pham capped a six-run sixth with a three-run homer on Hansel Robles' second pitch since returning from the minors. Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda homered off Wainwright (11-5), who beat scuffling starter Zack Wheeler (3-7) for the second time in 10 days. ORIOLES 3, RANGERS 1 BALTIMORE (AP) — Seth Smith hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and Baltimore used a strong performance by its struggling pitching staff to beat Texas. Smith connected off Andrew Cashner (4-8) to make it 2-1, Baltimore's first lead since the All-Star break following a three-game sweep by the Chicago Cubs. Chris Tillman allowed one run and two hits over six innings. Richard Bleier (2-1) pitched a scoreless seventh, Mychal Givens had a perfect eighth and Brad Brach completed the three-hitter for his 16th save. MARLINS 6, PHILLIES 5, 10 INNINGS MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and Dee Gordon hit an RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning that sent Miami over Philadelphia. Gordon lined a single to right-center off Mark Leiter Jr. (1-2) for the Marlins' fourth walk-off win of the season. Drew Steckenrider (1-1) pitched a scoreless 10th. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2017Related News

George A. Romero, father of the zombie movie, dead at 77

George A. Romero, father of the zombie movie, dead at 77.....»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 17th, 2017Related News

BLOGTABLE: Did Celtics add enough to challenge Cavs?

em> blogtable /em> The Celtics have word that Gordon Hayward is coming, but they lost a lot of depth in players like Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk. Are the Celtics, as constructed today, good enough to overthrow the Cavaliers? * * * strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong>No. I’m not even sure the Celtics as constructed today are good enough to overthrow the 2016-17 Celtics. The players to whom they’ve bid adieu represent several steps backward, with the strides forward from landing Hayward still to be determined. Avery Bradley in particular was a valuable, three-way player for Boston. Three-way? Yes, toting up his offensive, defensive and chemistry contributions. And say what you want about Kelly Olynyk, but he gave the Celtics a combination of size and shooting range that it will miss. All that gnashing of teeth we hear coming out of Cleveland is about the Cavs’ apparent difficulty in narrowing The Finals gap with Golden State, not about Boston or anyone else closing the gap in the East. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong> Gordon Hayward is a very good player and gives the Celtics an upgrade in their starting lineup, but not the same kind of boost they’d have received at both ends of the court from Paul George. The loss of depth should not be underestimated, especially Avery Bradley as a defender and locker room presence. They’re going to need Jayson Tatum and/or Jaylen Brown to step up in a big way. The bigger difference in terms of catching the Cavaliers just might be the loss of general manager David Griffin in Cleveland. He’s the one that kept LeBron James happy and nursed the salary cap with shrewd additions to the roster. Still advantage Cavs. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong>Yes. I would still give the Cavaliers an edge unless LeBron James recently sold the time machine that last season turned him into a 28-year-old, and I think having so many people talk about the Boston is an extra dose of motivation for Cleveland. The Cs winning the East, though, would hardly be a surprise. They will be better and I don't know that we can say the same about Cleveland. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong>They're probably not ready to beat the Cavs right now, barring some circumstance that is, but I'm not sure that was the primary goal. Danny Ainge wants this team to be ready for a five-to six-year run and particularly if/when LeBron James has had enough of Cleveland, which could be after this season. In order to stay ahead of the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors and whomever else becomes a contender in the East, Ange must soon address the big man issue. The Celtics need a rim protector. strong>John Schuhmann: /strong> The answer to that question is more about the Cavs than the Celtics. It promises to be another drama-filled season in Cleveland, with the fear of LeBron James leaving (again) next summer and with Kevin Love remaining in trade rumors. If the Cavs can stay focused in between the lines and build better defensive habits through the season than they did last year, they should remain the favorites in the East. But if the wheels start to come off in Cleveland, the Celtics are capable of taking advantage. With improved shooting and playmaking, Boston could have a top-five offense for the first time in 26 years (since 1990-91, the last time Larry Bird played more than 50 games). I am curious to see how they hold up defensively after taking a step backward on that end of the floor last season and losing both Bradley and Johnson. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>No, they're not quite there yet. The loss of Avery Bradley directly impacts the (theoretical) matchup with the Cavaliers in that the best possible defender of Kyrie Irving is no longer in green and white. The loss of Bradley is devastating enough, given his abilities on both ends of the floor and fit alongside Isaiah Thomas. But not having him to at least try and slow Kyrie down would be a game changer in that series. I know you have to give something (or someone) of quality up to get something of quality in return this time of year in the NBA, but Bradley was a piece I felt was too valuable to part with in this instance. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong>On paper, which is all we have today, the Celtics don’t have the star power to bring down LeBron James. But the outlook may be different nine months from now. James is seeking his eighth straight NBA Finals, and even more relevant is that his teammates are trying to get there for the fourth year in a row. Miami looked like a tired team while reaching its fourth straight Finals in 2014, as did Kobe’s Lakers when they fell short of a fourth successive Finals in 2011. In this threshold year, conditioning, teamwork and humility could carry the Celtics a long way. No one should be predicting an NBA Finals appearance for them, but no one should be counting them out either. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong>Didn't the Celtics finish with the Eastern Conference's best regular-season mark in 2016-17? That tends to get overlooked in the aftermath of their thrashing by the Cavaliers in the conference finals, but the Celtics were the best team in the Eastern Conference last season, at least by record. Olynyk had his moments, and Johnson was mostly a contributor off the floor, but the guy I really don't like them losing is Avery Bradley. Not only is Bradley one of the NBA's best perimeter defenders, but he also provided important defensive cover for Isaiah Thomas, and knocked down spot-up jumpers. The only way it makes sense to me is if you zoom out and look bigger picture: If you're losing Bradley, Olynyk and Johnson and adding Hayward, Tatum and Marcus Morris, I feel like it's mostly a net-plus. Especially if someone else (Marcus Smart?) accepts that defensive stopper role. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 13th, 2017Related News

BLOGTABLE: How much did Thunder improve this offseason?

em> blogtable /em> The Oklahoma City Thunder made a big splash by trading for Paul George. Are you convinced OKC will be significantly better next season? * * * strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong> I’ll skip any quibbling over what we mean by “significant” and just say yes. For this season, sure, adding a Paul George who’s ready for his close-up is a big, impact-y move because he’ll be eager to show how well he can play with his MVP peer Russell Westbrook and because he’ll have a brighter spotlight on him than he ever did in Indy. Also, the players the Thunder gave up won’t nag at that team in their absence -- George covers whatever Victor Oladipo did and Domantas Sabonis wasn’t ready to change the front line’s dynamic in a pace-and-space league. I’d still rather see George with the Lakers right now, rather than having player and team moon over each other from afar for a year. But this will be entertaining, and OKC should see a nice bump in victories. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong>You have to define significantly better. The combination of Russell Westbrook and Paul George does not let OKC crack top three in West of Golden State, San Antonio, Houston. I can see them going from last year’s 47 wins to the 50-51 range that puts them in the 4-5 holes that were occupied by the Clippers and Jazz. Where the effect could be felt is in the playoffs were the new 1-2 punch makes them a much tougher out. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong> The Thunder will be better. It's tough to attach a subjective term because improving by, say, five games, could be considered significant to some but not to others. But reaching the 50s in wins and at the very least playing a competitive first-round series after a 4-1 elimination last time, maybe even winning, would be a step forward. All of which sets OKC up for the truly significant moment: Paul George's decision. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong> I think we should define 'significantly' first. Will they have a cleaner look and an additional weapon besides Westbrook? Or course. Will this put them in the mix with the Spurs and Rockets? Perhaps. Do they have a shot at the Warriors? (Cue the James Harden side-eye video clip.) strong>John Schuhmann: /strong> They will be better, and it's not just about Paul George, because Patrick Patterson is another addition that can make an impact on both ends of the floor. With the two teams in front of them in the '16-17 standings -- the LA Clippers and Utah Jazz -- both losing their best players this summer, the Thunder can move up in the standings. But it remains to be seen if OKC can climb into Tier 2 (Houston and San Antonio) in the West. Even with the additions of George and Patterson, their ability to improve on offense (where they were below average last season) will depend on Russell Westbrook's willingness to cede some of the playmaking burden. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>If by 'significantly' you mean better than the sixth seed in a rugged Western Conference, I believe that to be a reasonable expectation. The addition of Paul George (and some of the other moves Thunder GM Sam Presti has made this summer) put reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook in a position to have much more fuel in his tank heading into a postseason. I don't care that acquiring George could amount to nothing more than a one-season rental -- I love that Presti made his play and snagged him before someone else did. It sends a strong message around the league about the way the franchise is approaching things going forward. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong>They are significantly better, as are the Rockets. But neither team has enough firepower to knock off the Warriors (and maybe not the Spurs either). What OKC has done is to create an opportunity to take advantage if Golden State is weakened by injuries or other issues next year. As always, the question for the Thunder is whether the stars can share the ball, elevate their teammates and get away from the isolation offense that isn’t likely to hold up against the ball movement of Golden State (or San Antonio, if the Spurs are healthy). strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong> Yes. And it's not only because of George, although to me George gets underrated a bit. His Indiana Pacers teams may not have been wildly successful the last few seasons, but at his best PG-13 is an elite two-way wing player, able to score, create and defend at a level few of his peers can reach. I also love the Thunder adding Patrick Patterson, who will provide an ability to stretch the floor that Sabonis never possessed and will help make up for Andre Roberson's inability to shoot. I also like the signing of Raymond Felton as a solid veteran backup. The Thunder last season were held together mostly by Russell Westbrook's attitude and grit. This season, he will have some much-needed help. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 13th, 2017Related News

New addition George gets star treatment in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY — Paul George never expected to end up in Oklahoma City......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 13th, 2017Related News

Federal Land, Japan firms tie up for $400-M BGC project

MANILA, Philippines - Federal Land Inc., the real estate unit of George Ty’s GT Capital Holdings Inc., has brought to Manila two Japanese giants for the join.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: FinanceJul 10th, 2017Related News

Justice revives theft case vs Romero

Justice revives theft case vs Romero.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: NewsJul 10th, 2017Related News

Freeland narrowly misses no-hitter as Rockies beat White Sox

DENVER (AP) — Hometown rookie Kyle Freeland came within two outs of the first no-hitter by a Rockies pitcher at Coors Field before surrendering a sharp single to Melky Cabrera in Colorado's 10-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Freeland, who is from Denver and grew up going to games at the hitter-friendly park, struck out the first batter of the ninth inning and then allowed Cabrera's hit to left field on a 2-2 count. The 24-year-old Freeland (9-7) threw 126 pitches. He was pulled immediately after the hit and left to a standing ovation. The lefty struck out a career-high nine, walked three and hit a batter. Freeland was trying to throw the second no-hitter in Coors Field history. Hideo Nomo accomplished the feat in 1996 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The only no-hitter in Rockies history was thrown by Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010 at Atlanta. Edinson Volquez of the Miami Marlins pitched the lone no-hitter in the majors this season, doing it last month against Arizona. Freeland even had an RBI single in the seventh for the Rockies' last run. Reliever Jordan Lyles got the last two outs to complete the one-hitter. Pat Valaika drove in five runs, including a three-run homer as part of a five-run sixth that turned a 2-0 lead into a rout. Charlie Blackmon also hit a solo homer. Carlos Rodon (1-2) was the loser. ASTROS 19, BLUE JAYS 1 TORONTO (AP) — Carlos Correa homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs and Houston romped into the All-Star break, battering Toronto. The runaway leaders in the AL West became just the fifth team in the last 40 years to reach 60 wins before the All-Star Game. They Astros joined the 1998 Yankees, 2001 Mariners, 2003 Braves and this year's Los Angeles Dodgers, who got there Saturday. At 60-29, Houston heads into the break with a whopping lead in a division where no one else is over .500. A day after his career-high 15-game hitting streak ended, Correa had four hits. The All-Star shortstop hit the 20-homer mark with his second of the day for his fifth career multihomer game and second this year. Fellow All-Star Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel and Evan Gattis also homered for Houston. Altuve had three hits for the fifth consecutive game — he became the ninth major leaguer to do so in more than a century, and the first since George Brett's record-tying six-game streak for Kansas City in 1976. Gattis drove in four runs with two hits in Houston's most-lopsided win of the season. Brad Peacock (7-1) pitched six innings of shutout ball, holding the Blue Jays to five hits while walking five. The Astros hit three home runs in the second against J.A. Happ (3-6), the third time this season they've had at least three in an inning. PIRATES 14, CUBS 3 CHICAGO (AP) — Francisco Cervelli and Andrew McCutchen capped Pittsburgh's 10-run first inning with consecutive homers off Jon Lester, helping the Pirates pound Chicago. Cervelli drove in five runs and Jordy Mercer had two hits and three RBIs as the Pirates closed out a 5-2 road trip with their fifth win in six games. All-Star Josh Harrison homered in the ninth and Chad Kuhl pitched three innings of one-run ball in an emergency start after Jameson Taillon was scratched due to flu-like symptoms. Pittsburgh sent 15 batters to the plate in its highest-scoring inning since it got 10 in the seventh against Colorado on May 17, 2009. It was the first time it scored at least 10 in the first inning since June 8, 1989, against Philadelphia. Cervelli hit his third career grand slam into the basket in left with two out. McCutchen followed with a drive to left-center for his 17th homer, chasing Lester and drawing a smattering of boos from a frustrated crowd of 41,604 at Wrigley Field. Chicago (43-45) heads into the All-Star break with a losing record for the first time since it was 40-54 in 2014. The Cubs were 53-35 at the break a year ago on their way to their first World Series title since 1908. Lester (5-6) was charged with four earned runs and six hits in the shortest start of his 12-year major league career. A.J. Schugel (1-0), the second of three Pittsburgh relievers, pitched three innings for the win. DODGERS 5, ROYALS 2 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw tossed a six-hitter to become the majors' first 14-game winner, Justin Turner homered twice, and NL West-leading Los Angeles beat defeated Kansas City to complete its major league-best 10th sweep and sixth straight victory. The streaking Dodgers head into the All-Star break owning baseball's best record of 61-29. They've won 18 of their last 19 at home, where they lead the majors with a 39-11 mark. Kershaw (14-2) allowed two runs and six hits on 99 pitches, struck out 13 and walked none to set the Dodgers' record for most wins at the break. The All-Star left-hander, who won't pitch in Tuesday's showcase in Miami, is 10-0 over his last 13 starts, all Los Angeles victories. He allowed a run for the first time in four outings. Danny Duffy (5-5) gave up five runs and six hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and didn't walk anyone. BREWERS 5, YANKEES 3 NEW YORK (AP) — Travis Shaw and Stephen Vogt both homered and Milwaukee increased its surprising NL Central lead, topping New York. The Brewers have won nine of 11. At 50-41, they go into the All-Star break in first place for the fifth time in franchise history, 5 1/2 games ahead of the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs and St. Louis. The Yankees (45-41) have not won a series since June 9-11 and are 3 1/2 games behind first-place Boston in the AL East. Shaw hit a three-run homer in the first off Masahiro Tanaka (7-8). Vogt added a solo shot in the second, his fourth since being plucked off waivers from Oakland two weeks ago. Jimmy Nelson (8-4) pitched five-plus innings of three-run ball. Corey Knebel notched a four-out save, his 14th in 18 opportunities. Clint Frazier homered for the Yankees, the rookie's second shot in as many days and his third in just seven games since his debut. NATIONALS 10, BRAVES 5 WASHINGTON (AP) — Anthony Rendon reached base four times, the Washington bullpen allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings, and the Nationals beat Atlanta. Rendon scored twice and drove in a pair as the Nationals salvaged a split of the four-game series with the Braves to enter the All-Star break with a 9 1/2-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East. Washington starter Joe Ross left the game with an apparent injury with one out in the fourth. Reliever Matt Grace (1-0) allowed two runs, one earned, over 2 2/3 innings. Joe Blanton, Enny Romero and Matt Albers each threw a scoreless inning. With Washington leading by one, Rendon provided an insurance run in the seventh. He walked, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Tyler Flowers, and scored on a Matt Wieters' sacrifice fly. Atlanta rookie Sean Newcomb (1-4) allowed four runs on four hits over four innings. TIGERS 5, INDIANS 3 CLEVELAND (AP) — Michael Fulmer outpitched All-Star teammate Corey Kluber and Alex Presley hit a tiebreaking, two-run double and Detroit hung on late to salvage the series finale with Cleveland. Fulmer (9-6) dominated Cleveland's lineup until the seventh, when he gave up a two-run homer to Indians All-Star Jose Ramirez. Detroit's shaky bullpen barely held together over the last three innings. Shane Green worked out of a bases-loaded threat in the seventh and Justin Wilson did the same in the eighth while getting five outs for his 10th save in 11 tries. Fulmer won't pitch for the AL in Miami on Tuesday night, so he made the most of a nationally televised matchup against Kluber by beating the Central-leading Indians. He held Cleveland to one run and three hits over the first six innings and won his third start in a row. Presley ripped his double just inside the left-field chalk in the sixth off Dan Otero after the Tigers loaded the bases against reliever Nick Goody (1-1), who replaced Kluber to start the inning. The Indians were again without manager Terry Francona, who underwent a cardiac ablation to correct an irregular heartbeat and spent four days at the Cleveland Clinic. Francona is expected to rejoin the club following the All-Star break. PHILLIES 7, PADRES 1 PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Freddy Galvis hit two of his team's six home runs, Jerad Eickhoff threw five shutout innings, and Philadelphia topped San Diego. Rookie Nick Williams began the run of homers with his first in the majors during the second inning. Cameron Rupp followed two batters later with another solo homer and Galvis hit a two-run shot in the third inning. Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr added solo home runs in sixth and seventh innings respectively and Galvis went back-to-back after Altherr's for his second of the game. Eickhoff (1-7) returned from the disabled list with a strong start for the Phillies. He tied a season high with eight strikeouts and held the Padres to just five hits and a walk. Trevor Cahill (3-3) struggled while striking out eight in five innings. CARDINALS 6, METS 0 ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong and Luke Voit homered and Lance Lynn pitched seven innings of three-hit ball to help St. Louis beat New York. It was Lynn's longest outing since May 23, when he threw 123 pitches in eight scoreless innings in a 2-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. Lynn's two strikeouts is a season low, but he needed just 93 pitches while facing two batters over the minimum. Lynn (7-6) did not allow a runner past first and lowered his ERA to 3.61. Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the eighth and John Brebbia pitched a scoreless ninth as the Cardinals finished a 6-4 homestand and moved into a tie with the Chicago Cubs for second place in the National League Central. Steven Matz (2-2) gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since June 3. MARLINS 10, GIANTS 8 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton homered twice, the second coming after A.J. Ellis' tiebreaking two-run home run in the 11th inning, and Florida held on to beat San Francisco. Miami blew a 7-4 lead when the Giants scored three runs off Kyle Barraclough in the eighth before Ellis and Stanton lifted the Marlins in extra innings. J.T. Realmuto reached on shortstop Brandon Crawford's throwing error leading off the 11th. After JT Riddle flew out, Ellis hit a tiebreaking two-run home run. It was Ellis' first career pinch hit home run. Stanton, who homered in the fifth off starter Johnny Cueto, then tacked on No. 26 against George Kontos (0-3). The Marlins head into the All-Star break having won five of six. Nick Wittgren (2-1) retired six batters for the win and A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth for his 17th save. REDS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1 PHOENIX (AP) — Homer Bailey went 6 2/3 strong innings, Scott Schebler doubled in the go-ahead run and Cincinnati beat Arizona, sending the Diamondbacks to their fifth loss in six games. Bailey (2-2) gave up a run on seven hits in his fourth start since returning from February surgery to remove small bone spurs from his elbow. He struck out five and walked four. A.J. Pollock homered for Arizona, his first since a six-week stint on the disabled list with a groin injury. Patrick Corbin (6-9) allowed two runs in six innings but took the loss. The left-hander scattered seven hits and matched his season high with nine strikeouts. Raisel Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 17 tries. RAYS 5, RED SOX 3 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Brad Miller hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and Tampa Bay took three of the four from AL East-leading Boston. Miller connected with two outs off Joe Kelly (3-1), sending a drive over the center field wall. Kelly had made a career-best 23 straight scoreless appearances. Brad Boxberger (1-0) worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth before Alex Colome got three outs for his 25th save. Tampa Bay, at 47-43, has 13 more wins than last year at the All-Star break and trails the Red Sox by 3 1/2 games. ORIOLES 11, TWINS 5 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adam Jones homered twice and drove in five runs to lead a 15-hit attack in Baltimore's victory over Minnesota. Ruben Tejada and Seth Smith each had three hits for the Orioles, who won their second straight and earned a split of the weekend series. Max Kepler had a double and a triple and Robbie Grossman drove in two runs for Minnesota, which reached the All-Star break at 45-43. It's only the second time in the past seven seasons the Twins have been above .500 at the break. Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4) worked five innings for his third win in his past five starts. He allowed four runs in the second inning, but otherwise held off the Twins. Kyle Gibson (5-7) was the loser. ANGELS 3, RANGERS 0 ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — J.C. Ramirez outpitched All-Star Yu Darvish and Albert Pujols hit his 604th career home run as four Anaheim pitchers combined to beat Texas. Ramirez (8-7) allowed two hits in six innings. Angels relievers allowed only one walk with Bud Norris earning his 13th save with a perfect ninth inning. Ramirez made his 16th straight start since mid-April after his previous 108 career appearances in the major leagues were in relief. The 28-year-old was moved into the starting rotation after Los Angeles lost multiple starters to injury. Darvish (6-8) gave up two runs while pitching 7 1/3 innings. He allowed three hits, fanning six and walking four in a start that cost him a potential appearance in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. MARINERS 4, ATHLETICS 0 SEATTLE (AP) — Felix Hernandez rediscovered some of his past form allowing two hits over six dominant innings, and Nelson Cruz hit his 17th home run of the season to lift Seattle past Oakland. Making his fourth start since coming off the disabled list late last month, Hernandez had the best command of his pitches perhaps all season. Hernandez struck out a season-high eight, including a stretch with four of five outs retired via the strikeout in the fourth and fifth innings. Hernandez had better separation in the speeds between his fastball in the low-90s and a changeup in the mid-80s and an excellent curveball. Hernandez (4-3) allowed only a third-inning double to Matt Joyce and a two-out single to Jaycob Brugman in the fifth. Daniel Gossett (1-4) was the loser. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 10th, 2017Related News

Lady Falcons have a legit building block in Louie Romero

Adamson's road back to prominence remains rocky at best but the Lady Falcons look like they already found a legitimate piece for the future. Palaraong Pambansa 2017 Best Setter Louie Romero once again impressed in her second game as guest player for Adamson in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Saturday, anchoring the Lady Falcons' attack albeit in another losing effort. The 17-year-old incoming Grade 12 student finished with five points on four aces and had 30 excellent sets as the young Lady Falcons pushed the Perlas Banko Spikers to four sets. Despite being one of the youngest players in the tournament, Romero, who attends Kings' Montessori School in Quezon City, relishes the opportunity as this is practically early practice for her before she goes to Adamson for real. Romero is already committed to the program of coach Airess Padda. 'Masaya po kasi mga pro na po yung mga kalaban namin, syempre mas macha-challenge ka, kung ano yung mga dapat mo i-improve at matutulong mo sa team,' she said. 'Nung una, nagulat po ako nung sinabi ni coach Onyok na 'Louie guest player ka sa Adamson.' Sabi ko 'coach seryoso ka?' Parang nagulat ako na na nae-excite. Nacha-challenge din na kabado, parang di ko kayang gampanan yung role ko,' Romero added. With more than a year left before she officially suits up as an Adamson Lady Falcon, Romero is trying to absorb all the knowledge she can get in her first PVL stint. It can help her once she goes back to school and it shouls fast track her development before she attends college. 'Kailangan po kasi mag Grade 12 tapusin muna yung K-12. Eh Grade 11 pa lang po ako magge-grade 12 pa lang. So next, next year po,' she said on her future UAAP status. 'Kung pano po maging mature, yung leadership na ginagawa ko mas madadala ko po sa [HS] team ko,' Romero added. br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter. @paullintag8 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 9th, 2017Related News

Ronaldinho, Giggs in Pakistan for soccer exhibition matches

RIZWAN ALI, AP Sports Writer   ISLAMABAD (AP) — Ronaldinho and Ryan Giggs were among soccer stars to arrive in Pakistan on Saturday to play exhibition matches which organizers hope will boost the sport in the country. Dutchman George Boateng, former France players Robert Pires and Nicolas Anelka, former England goalkeeper David James and Portugal's Luis Boa Morte flew in via private jet to the capital Islamabad. Pakistan Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa hosted a reception, saying 'sports promote peace,' before players flew out to Karachi for the first seven-a-side exhibition match later Saturday amid heavy security. The tour has been organized by a private company, World Group, aiming to promote football in Pakistan, which is No. 200 out of 211 in FIFA rankings. Lahore will host the second exhibition match on Sunday. Pakistan has not hosted a major foreign team in any sports since an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team's bus in Lahore in 2009. 'For us it's a big moment,' Pakistan football captain Kaleemullah said. 'We didn't ever dream that such big stars will come to Pakistan. I grew up watching Ronaldinho on television and I still can't believe it, he's in Pakistan.' The 37-year-old Ronaldinho said in a statement he was 'excited at the prospect of playing in Pakistan.' Cricket is the major sport in Pakistan, but English Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga soccer have attracted a growing following among younger fans. Tickets were priced from 2,000 to 30,000 rupees ($280) with 1,000 free tickets for young people in Karachi. Manchester United has a large following in Pakistan. 'Pakistani fans have not seen (international) players. This is a great opportunity to see footballers live and in their home country,' former United great Giggs told Geo Television in Dubai before flying in a private jet to Pakistan. Back in Karachi, young fans had started arriving at the stadium — heavily guarded by army soldiers — hours before the match. The stadium was decorated with giant-sized billboards of the foreign players. Television footage showed the players escorted by armed soldiers in a convoy as they left Quaid-e-Azam International Airport. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 9th, 2017Related News

Pacers looking toward future after dealing Paul George

em>By Michael Marot, Associated Press /em> INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Pritchard’s aggressive offseason was derailed by Paul George’s decision. So the team’s new president of basketball operations went all in on Plan B. He needs it to pay off. On Friday (Saturday, PHL time), Pritchard talked about using the two young players acquired in last week’s deal with Oklahoma City as being key elements in a rebuilding project that will likely be the defining moment of his tenure. “Paul was not staying beyond this year and we had no chance. I thought we were in a good place, but at the end of the day he wanted to be with another team,” Pritchard said in his first public comments since word leaked about the deal. “We have to move on. It’s like a rebirth for the franchise.” Or a major rebuild. The conventional wisdom around the league is that the Pacers didn’t get enough in return for a 27-year-old, four-time All-Star who is still in the prime of his career. Once George’s camp let the whole basketball world know he intended to sign with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers in free agency next summer, his value dropped and put Pritchard in a bind. “Could you have gotten more?” Pritchard said when asked if George would have kept his plans private. “Absolutely.” Of all those enticing trade rumors, Pritchard estimated only about 5 percent were actually true. But rather than gamble on future draft picks and start completely start from scratch, the Pacers did the next best thing — bringing in 25-year-old guard Victor Oladipo and 21-year-old forward Domantas Sabonis. Both are former lottery picks who Pritchard believes will become starters and will team with promising third-year center Myles Turner to give the Pacers a viable long-term nucleus. The good news for Pacers fans is that in a watered-down Eastern Conference, with only four established playoff teams, everyone else, including Indiana, is in some form of rebuild mode. “People want to know are we a playoff team?” coach Nate McMillan said. “Kevin’s going to build this team, but I can tell you as a coach, we always play to win.” Pritchard may just be warming up, too. At a news conference to introduce the Pacers’ newest additions — Oladipo, Sabonis and free agent guard Darren Collison — Pritchard said he was hoping to add a small forward before the end of the weekend. Less than three hours later, a person with knowledge of the situation said the Washington Wizards had renounced the rights to free agent Bojan Bogdanovic so he could agree to a two-year, $21 million deal with the Pacers. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced. Bogdanovic is considered one of Europe’s top shooters and could contribute immediately in George’s old spot. “My guess is we’ll add one more wing, who we’re having conversations with right now,” Pritchard said before the deal was finalized. The trade market remains open, too, and Pritchard has already demonstrated he’s not afraid to change the norms. He waived guard Monta Ellis on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), ridding the Pacers of a 12-year veteran who had lost his starting job and a two-year deal worth more than $11 million per season. And he took a shot on Collison, the point guard who had a rugged season in Sacramento and who played with the Pacers from 2010-12. “We still have some positions to fill but you look at Darren and Vic and they are a perfect fit,” McMillan said. “I intend to let them go and play their game. I think defensively, they’ll get after it. I love their motors and you just have to let them go.” But what Pritchard really wanted was a bright future. He wanted young veterans who still had room to grow. He chased guys he could keep in town for a few years. He avoided overpriced contracts or the notion he had to completely start over and instead has a roster that still needs some fine-tuning but could make the playoffs. “We looked at a lot of different models, some where you got really bad, some that would have gotten you toward the middle and some that would have capped you out and you might not make the playoffs,” Pritchard said. “We think we can be very competitive next year and we feel like we have a team that can grow over the next two years.” ___ em>AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report. /em> .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 8th, 2017Related News

Indiana Pacers add Collison, Bogdanovic to backcourt

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers have signed free agent Darren Collison. Terms of the deal were not released Friday (Saturday, PHL time) amid reports it is a two-year contract worth $20 million. The point guard returns to a team he played for from 2010-12. Collison averaged 11.9 points and 5.0 in 139 games during his first stint with the Pacers. Since being taken with 21st overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, Collison has career averages of 12.7 points and 4.8 assists. He joins a backcourt that will be led by Victor Oladipo and Lance Stephenson The Pacers are rebuilding after trading four-time All-Star Paul George to Oklahoma City and losing point guard Jeff Teague in free agency. Indiana also waived forward Rakeem Christmas. The Associated Press’ Jon Krawczysnki also reported that a person with knowledge of the situation says the Washington Wizards have renounced the rights to free agent Bojan Bogdanovic so he could agree to a two-year, $21 million deal with the Pacers. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced. Just hours before the deal was reached, Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard hinted that a major signing could occur before the end of the weekend. Bogdanovic is considered one of Europe’s top shooters. He could contribute immediately now after four-time All-Star Paul George was traded from Indiana to Oklahoma City. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 7th, 2017Related News

Pacers explain Paul George deal was best for team’s future

INDIANAPOLIS — Kevin Pritchard struggled to make the deal......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 7th, 2017Related News

NBA signing day brings salary cap, luxury tax questions

em>By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press /em> NEW YORK (AP) — Free agency in the NBA can be so complicated that even teams mess it up sometimes. The Houston Rockets and Nene had to negotiate two deals because it turned out the first contract they agreed to wouldn’t have been legal in NBA circles. All the talk about salary caps and luxury taxes is when the game of basketball becomes a business. It’s one of the reasons more and more front offices are being led by former stat analysts instead of former stat stuffers. So now that free agent signings have commenced, here’s a look at the salary cap, how it’s determined, and how teams get around it: strong>Q: Why are deals that were done days ago being announced today? /strong> strong>A: /strong>The NBA has a moratorium period during which teams and players can negotiate and agree to deals, but nothing can be completed until the moratorium ends, which is now the afternoon of July 6 (late July 5, PHL time). The salary cap used to be computed during the moratorium and announced just before it ended, which was sometimes confusing to teams in trying to negotiate contracts without knowing exactly how much they could spend. The cap is now announced when free agency opens on July 1 (July 1 afternoon, PHL time). ___ strong>Q: How is the salary cap determined? /strong> strong>A: /strong>It’s a formula based on the projected basketball-related income of that year. For the 2017-18 season, the cap has been set at $99.1 million. That’s the highest it’s ever been, though it didn’t take anywhere near the huge leap of a year ago following the extension of the league’s national TV deals. As a result, teams haven’t spent quite as extravagantly — or perhaps foolishly — as last July. ___ strong>Q: Are there penalties for exceeding the cap? /strong> strong>A: /strong>Yes, there are penalties. And they can be severe, depending on how much a team goes over the cap and how often. Teams pay a luxury tax this year if they exceed $119 million. It starts with $1.50 for every $1 they are over, and rises at various levels from there if they soar $5 million or more past the tax. But that starts at $2.50 for every $1 if a team is a “repeater,” having been a taxpayer for the previous three seasons. ___ strong>Q: Is $99.1 million the most each NBA team can spend in payroll next season? /strong> strong>A: /strong>No, teams can exceed the cap. Unlike the NFL, the NBA has what’s considered a “soft” cap, allowing teams to exceed the cap through the use of various spending exceptions. In some cases, the more a team spends, the bigger its tax break. Teams can use one of three mid-level exceptions this season: There is an $5.2 million exception granted to teams with payrolls exceeding $119 million, an $8.4 million exception for teams with payrolls under $119 million, but over the $99.1 million cap; there is a $4.3 million exception for teams with a payroll under $99.1 million. ___ strong>Q: Will teams that signed players to big free agent deals now have to make trades because of the luxury cap? /strong> strong>A. /strong>That’s a yes and no answer. Yes, if teams that are in danger of paying the luxury tax want to avoid penalties, they will have to make deals. The answer would be no if teams don’t mind paying the luxury tax. Before signings picked up momentum Thursday afternoon, there were two teams with payrolls over the $119 million payroll that triggers the luxury tax — Cleveland and Portland. Once free agency ends, there likely will be several more. But teams have the upcoming season to adjust payrolls via trades, buyouts and other moves as the luxury tax won’t kick in until the end of the 2017-18 season since it is based on players’ salaries. ___ strong>Q: What does the cap have to do with player salaries? /strong> strong>A: /strong>Veteran players can get a percentage of the cap to determine the first year of their salaries in a contract. For a player who has been in the league 10 or more years, that can be 35 percent of that season’s salary cap. The cap doesn’t really impact contracts for rookies or minimum-salary players. Their salary levels are determined. ___ strong>Q: How did the Warriors sign Nick Young after giving Stephen Curry a $200 million deal and re-signing Kevin Durant? /strong> strong>A: /strong>The Warriors will be one of those teams over the cap once all their deals are completed. The reigning champs went on a spending spree with Curry’s big deal, re-signing Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and everything else they’re doing. Their payroll will exceed $119 million, so they will use the $5.2 million mid-level exception available to them to slot in Young. ___ strong>Q: Are only legitimate championship contenders willing to pay the luxury tax? /strong> strong>A: /strong>Not necessarily. Portland, which is paying a combined $50 million next season to guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, gave big deals during last summer’s spending spree to Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe. The Trail Blazers are looking at a payroll of more than $130 million next season for a team that didn’t even win a playoff game. ___ strong>Q: What’s the benefit of staying under the cap? /strong> strong>A: /strong>Besides being in position to sign players without using exceptions, it helps facilitate trades. A team over the cap acquiring a player has to send back salaries that match within a certain limit. But the Utah Jazz needed only deal a first-round pick to Minnesota to get Ricky Rubio late last month because they were under the cap. ___ strong>Q: What’s the benefit of staying under it this year? /strong> strong>A: /strong>To be ready for a potentially loaded 2018 class that could include the likes of LeBron James, Durant, MVP Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins. That’s worth saving money for.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 7th, 2017Related News