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PH eyes to expand food export market in Japan

DTI-CITEM targets $10M export sales in FOODEX Japan The Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM) seeks to augment the Philippines’ trade relations with Japan as it showcases the country’s finest tropical flavors in the largest food fair in the Asia-Pacific region. Under Food Philippines brand, DTI-CITEM will bring […].....»»

Source: Boholnewsdaily BoholnewsdailyCategory: News49 min. ago Related News

Korean drug ring operating out of Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — A Korean drug syndicate is reportedly using the Philippines as its base and operating in Asia, an official said yesterday......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: News4 hr. 49 min. ago Related News

MSM’s link to HIV epidemic in PH

"There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex; people should be very free with sex and they should draw the line at goats,"Elton John declared in public after marrying his longtime partner in 2014.   In 2017, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)reported that our Christian nation has the fastest growingHIV epidemic in Asia-Pacific.   That males comprise 95 percent of the 1,962 new cases in 2018, and that 19 out of 30 male Filipinos who get infected every day are 15 to 24 years old.   That in early 2018 the PH National Youth Commission (NYC) is extremely alarmed, crying out: It's a "youth epidemic!" with Aiza ...Keep on reading: MSM’s link to HIV epidemic in PH.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 9 hr. 1 min. ago Related News

Ex-Benguet Gov. Raul Molintas dies in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- Former Governor of Benguet Raul "Rocky" Mencio Molintas, 60, and died while on vacation in this city on Feb. 14 after suffering a stroke. Molintas was taken to California Pacific Medical Center where he expired. He leaves behind his wife, Purificacion Suanding Molintas, Department of Tourism director based in San Francisco, and two children. Molintas was governor of Benguet for three terms from 1995 to 2004 after serving as Provincial Board Member from 1988 to 1992. He was a labor lawyer for militant unions as well as an avid golfer and a chess enthusiast. He helped put the St. Louis University chess team on the chess map in the Philippines. Molintas was kno...Keep on reading: Ex-Benguet Gov. Raul Molintas dies in San Francisco.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 9 hr. 1 min. ago Related News

BACK-TO-BACK: Arellano U sweeps San Beda in Finals series

Defending champion Arellano University took the fight out of San Beda University with an amazing comeback in the second frame that set the tone to an empathic 25-13, 29-27, 25-15, win to complete a sweep of the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Monday. Best Opposite Hitter and Finals Most Valuable Player winner Regine Arocha was on fire the whole match and effectively provided the much-needed points at crunch time as the Lady Chiefs claimed their second straight title and third overall crown in four seasons. Arocha scored all but one of her 15 points off attacks while adding 12 digs while graduating player Jovielyn Prado submitted 15 markers on her last year with Arellano U Andrea Marzan added eight points while skipper Mary Anne Esguerra ended her collegiate career with seven markers including the championship-clinching swipe towards the unprotected Zone 1 of the Lady Red Spikers.    “Kasi sa practice namin kahapon, kahit sa huddle namin kanina, sinabi namin na sa araw na ito, dapat tapusin na natin," said Arellano U coach Obet Javier. "Sinagot ako ng mga player ko sa pamamagitan ng ganoong klaseng laro." The Legarda-based squad saved four set points in the second set with Arocha firing the last two points off sharp crosscourt hits to take the frame.   With the Lady Chiefs holding the momentum, San Beda, a newbie in the Finals, melted down in the third as it went down to a 0-8 hole. The Lady Red Spikers saved five match points after going down 10-24 before Esguerra sealed the win with her signature swipe off theLady Red Spikers' two-woman wall.  Arellano U carved out a 25-15, 25-16, 15-25, 22-25, 15-6, win in the series opener Friday. Cesca Racraquin was the only player in double-figures with 13 points while Nieza Viray and Satrianni Espiritu combined for 14 markers for the Mendiola-based squad.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports15 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

Jerry West: This game is going to overtake all the other sports

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com LOS ANGELES – Jerry West’s longevity is surpassed only by his excellence, which is surpassed only by his credibility, which is surpassed only by his legacy, which is surpassed only by his continued relevancy, which is surpassed only by his humility, which is surpassed only by his longevity... Aw, you get the idea. The man known as “Zeke From Cabin Creek” early in his NBA playing days, as “Mr. Clutch” by the time he was putting the finishing touches on a Hall of Fame career and as “The Logo” for much of the league’s past half century got credit for only 81 steals in the 14 seasons he played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1960-1974. The reason: that stat only got tracked starting in West’s farewell season. But he racked up No. 82 by stealing the show with his acceptance speech of the NBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award presented at the annual All-Star “Legends Brunch” at the L.A. Convention Center. West’s appreciation of NBA history, gratitude for his place in it, optimism for the game’s future and competitive fire all shone through when he stood before the audience filled with both his peers – some of the greatest players ever – and fans sampling for the first time one of All-Star Weekend’s most reliable highlights. Three months shy of his 80th birthday, West – who won one NBA title as a player, eight more as an executive with L.A. and Golden State, and as a consultant now to the Clippers, had input into that team’s blockbuster trade of star Blake Griffin – was one of four former Lakers honored per the brunch program’s tradition of recognizing men who associated with the host city. James Worthy received the Global Ambassador Award, Bill Walton was presented with the Hometown Hero Award and Magic Johnson was named the 2018 Legend of the Year. In introducing West, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: “One thing people know about Jerry is, he pulls no punches. And so, Jerry is someone I know I can count on. When there’s things happening in the league, Jerry will tell me exactly what I should know about today’s game and what’s happening with today’s players.” West used some of his time on stage, though, to acknowledge and thank a fifth Los Angeles legend: HOFer Elgin Baylor. In fact, he got emotional, pausing to collect himself while praising his former teammate and dear friend, long considered one of the most underrated players in NBA history. Baylor got to the Lakers two years before West, before they left Minneapolis, and was an 11-time All-Star from 1958 to 1971 who still ranks third all-time at 27.4 points per game. “Elgin, I won’t ever forget the way you treated me when I came here,” he said to Baylor, who was seated at a nearby table. “Amazing player but more amazing man. I remember when I was in college, never being able to watch the game, no TV, and of course we didn’t have one in my house. But I used to hear about this guy and I thought ‘Oh my God, I’m going to have a chance to play with him.’ “He’s my hero. I used to watch him practice, I’d watch him out of the corner of my eye. Just the way he conducted himself with people. Just one classy man.” West talked up others in the room whose lives he touched, and both lauded and encouraged current NBA players in their performances and in their commitments off the court. “You can be leaders because you have a voice. Don’t ever pass that up. Don’t ever lose your voice,” he said. “I really believe in humility. I also believe in civility.” After talking about the NBA’s astounding growth over the run of his equally astounding career, West’s competitiveness flickered through once more. “I’m going to say this – and I don’t like to say things that are controversial – but this game is going to overtake all the other sports,” he said. Comedian Billy Crystal, a long-suffering Clippers fan, opened the program with a hoops-themed monologue. “When I first started going to Clippers games, there was me, [broadcaster] Ralph Lawler and the players,” Crystal said. “A triple-double meant there were three couples in the stands. ... Watching all of this talent, I was glued to my seat – because that’s the way the Clippers would keep you from leaving.” Crystal provided some imagery when he likened pro basketball’s legendary stars to great musicians. “Wilt in jazz terms was a big band. He was powerful, huge, big brass section,” Crystal said. “Then Elgin came into the league and his style changed the way the game was played. ... He was cool, improvisational jazz. Then came the Big O [Oscar Robertson], who was the Dave Brubeck of basketball – easy but powerful and complex rhythms all at the same time. “That led the way to Dr. J [Julius Erving] and Kareem – Doc was [John] Coltrane, Kareem was Thelonious Monk with a little bit of Duke Ellington. ... Magic was unbelievable [and] brought us to Motown. Also, the country sounds of Mr. Larry Bird. Then came Michael – I can’t remember his last name but he played for the White Sox. He played to the beat of his own drummer. “Tim Duncan was not jazz; Tim Duncan was Beethoven. Then came the rappers, Shaq and [Allen] Iverson. And other virtuosos like Kobe [Bryant], LeBron [James] and Steph [Curry] and KD [Kevin Durant], [Russell] Westbrook. And the best goes on and on and on.” Silver, though, might have had the morning’s best line. In a shout-out to Magic Johnson – who has been fined $550,000 in the past six months for violating league tampering rules in talking publicly about Oklahoma City’s Paul George and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo – the commissioner said: “Magic, thank you for paying for the brunch today.” 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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports15 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

AP source: Hosmer, Padres reach preliminary eight-year deal

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Just the thought of free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer joining the downtrodden, youthful San Diego Padres sent a morning jolt through the spring training clubhouse. The on-field vibe seemed equally cheery, as country music blared as players went to work under sunny skies in the Arizona desert. Hosmer reached a preliminary agreement on an eight-year contract with the Padres, pending a physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the tentative deal, speaking on the condition of anonymity Sunday because there had been no formal announcement of Hosmer's potential signing. It would become official once he passes a physical early in the week. While the final position players reported Sunday — most were already in spring camp — ahead of Monday's first full-squad workout, Hosmer wasn't expected in the desert until at least Monday. Hosmer, who spent his first seven major league seasons with Kansas City, would receive a reported $144 million. Padres manager Andy Green could only discuss the acquisition of Hosmer in generalities since it isn't final, but was hopeful of having his full team together Monday. "I can't replicate the magic of the first day twice, so, yeah, you want him or anyone to be there when you're talking," Green said. "... Not that there is any real magic on the first day, but it's always nice to have your camp settled as early as possible." The 28-year-old Hosmer batted a career-high .318 in 2017 and matched his best from the previous season with 25 home runs. A four-time Gold Glover and All-Star in '16, he drove in 94 runs and scored 98 for the Royals last season. He also had a career-best .385 on-base percentage. Veteran right-hander Chris Young also came to the Padres this offseason after most recently pitching three seasons for the Royals, calling Hosmer "one of my all-time favorite teammates" who brings "a competitive fire" that will be much-welcomed. He hadn't been in touch with Hosmer in recent days but they did communicate earlier in the winter when Young chose San Diego and discussed that it was among Hosmer's top choices, too. Young said he didn't want to add any pressure to Hosmer making a decision. "Hos is a legitimate All-Star," Young said. "I think he brings a veteran experience, he's a winner, he's a champion and a great mentor for young guys. So I think he fits all the categories I think you're looking in terms of a teammate, a leader, a competitor. I think he makes any clubhouse better, much less this one." While most every club feels a sense of optimism this time of year with a fresh slate as spring training begins, the Padres were especially upbeat as they got going early Sunday at the idea of the power-hitting Hosmer in their lineup and at first base. San Diego went 71-91 last season for fourth in the NL West above only the San Francisco Giants, and the Padres haven't been to the playoffs since losing in the 2006 NL Division Series. Green knows what someone such as Hosmer could mean to a club's chances of turning it around. "It was always time to start contending for me," said Green, beginning his third season as San Diego skipper. "It was always go out and win opening day and go out and win every game. I haven't been very good at that, I have to acknowledge that. At this point in time, opening day has been cruel to me so far. "But I think we show up with the expectation of winning the first game of the season and don't waver from that no matter who's in that clubhouse. Does it get easier if certain people are in that clubhouse? Yeah, it sure does." Wil Myers, who played 154 games at first for San Diego last season, was ready to move positions as needed. He can play elsewhere in the infield and all three outfield spots and Green said he would be "magically" taking fly balls in right field Sunday. "Wil's been great with everything that's ever been asked of him," Green said. Myers said the Padres communicated with him during the offseason about the possibility of adding Hosmer, saying: "When I saw that possibility I was very excited. To be able to add a player like that I think is very cool." Myers played in 2010 with Hosmer in the minors with the Royals. "I know nothing's definite right now but just to be able to hopefully add a guy like that is pretty special," Myers said. "He's a great guy. He's going to be a guy that fits really well in this clubhouse. ... You've heard a lot of great things about him, what he does in the clubhouse and who he is as a person.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 19th, 2018Related News

With LA as backdrop, NBA opens latest ASG chapter

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES — There’s a very real chance of seeing it all at the NBA All-Star Game from the world’s greatest players and athletes, who are trained to entertain. And they deliver on that, every year, for the most part. Which brings us to this year’s showpiece: Will we finally see the All-Stars play defense, or not? Simple question. Over the last three years, they game morphed into a blob of uncontested shots and layups with the pace of a NASCAR event and the intensity level of a turtle race. Last year Steph Curry comically dropped to the floor rather than putting his body between Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rim (maybe wisely, but still). That was a flash-point moment. Perhaps because of fear of getting injured, or maybe the body just needs a break after a half-season, players rarely spent much energy trying to stop anyone. That led to wild and repetitious scoring sprees, where the losing team averaged 170 points, and ultimately, new changes designed to encourage players to at least simulate a real game and turn it up two notches. And so, Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) game at Staples Center will serve as the laboratory rat and perhaps usher a new era for the midseason game. If today’s players treat it the way the old-timers did, then this could be special. If not, this could be 194-187. “I think it’ll be different,” said Curry. The rules committee was alarmed enough by the public backlash of the last two games, where the winning West team came a combined 12 points from hitting the 200-point mark, that the traditional format was scrapped. No longer is it East vs. West, now it’s the leading vote-getter in both conferences choosing their own squad, regardless of conference. Therefore, Team Stephen will tip against Team LeBron with the mixed squads lending some intrigue and could cure the defense and intensity issues. As an added bonus, each member of the winning team will receive $100,000 vs. $25,000 for the losers, although it must be mentioned that the only player in an All-Star uniform making below eight figures is Karl-Anthony Towns. Still, the idea was to raise the incentive level and hoping it raises the fourth-quarter heat. The coach of the LeBron team, Dwane Casey of the Raptors, said he plans to do his part by shuffling the minutes based on who’s trying the hardest. “I went to our players individually and asked two questions: ‘Do you want to put on a show, or do you want to win? Let me know.’ I’d like them to go and compete. I want to win. We owe it to the league and the fans to let them know that the NBA isn’t about rolling the ball out there. There are a lot of fundamental things we can do on the court, and it starts with the All-Star Game, with everyone watching.” It helps that the game will feature a few subplots designed to make it interesting. Such as: LeBron and Kyrie Irving, together again. They had a mysterious split last summer after Irving, two years removed from a championship in Cleveland and with the chance of additional chances to win another, demanded and received a trade. He’s in Boston now, creating a rivalry with Cleveland whereas none existed before the deal. But apparently there was no acrimony generated by the split and the two have remained on decent terms, based on the chatter between them. Nothing personal, in other words. And anyway, LeBron chose Irving for this team. The reunion, says Irving, will be “pretty awesome.” LeBron: “Listen, anytime I get an opportunity to be with a fellow teammate of mine on the same court, and then you add on the fact of what we were able to accomplish in the three years, they just make it special. You automatically start thinking about the moments. There was a time when I was in Miami when I thought about if there was a chance for me to be Kyrie's teammate at All-Star Weekend. I thought about that. I didn't think it would be possible, and then we became teammates. We were on the same All-Star court together as teammates. Those thoughts still go into my head of how great it was to break the drought in our city, over 50-plus years, when the both of us had magical, magical Finals runs. So, it's always special. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, together again. Well, the two ex-Thunder ‘mates did play for the West squad last season, yet kept their distance, both on and off the court, the entire weekend. Also, they had testy exchanges this season, evidence that if nothing else, the competitive spirit between them remains high. Yet, all seems civil regarding the split two years later, maybe because Westbrook gained a half-measure of revenge when Paul George arrived this season. Curry and James Harden, together. As team captain, Curry selected Harden, and at least for one weekend, the two will put aside some natural conflict. One: They’re among the leading candidates for the MVP award, and those in the Harden camp believe he was robbed of the second MVP won by Curry. Two: The Warriors and Rockets are engaged in a thermal race for top spot in the West, with the Rockets beating Golden State twice this season so far. (Side note: Curry responded “Ha” the other day when asked who should win the MVP this year, him or Harden. Just “ha.”) Joel Embiid. The fun-loving big man makes his All-Star debut and promises to bring his infectious personality to the game and also his astonishing skills, rare for a seven-footer. Look for Embiid to make a strong big for game MVP and doing so apologetically. His competition could come from Antetokounmpo and either winner would signal a victory for a league looking for yet another superstar. But, the game itself. Will it be taken seriously? “We've talked about it.” said Irving. “Like I said, I think it's more individually based in terms of the competitive fire. But I know that we're pretty excited to be out there and compete and go at one another for a little bit and have a little fun.” Last year, Antetokounmpo was playfully chastised by his teammates for going full-tilt and challenging shots and essentially treating it like a playoff game. It was his first All-Star appearance and he was surprised by the mild tone of the pace. Victor Oladipo, a first-timer this year, doesn’t believe that’ll happen to him. “My competitive nature is going to get the best of me,” he said. The unspoken concern, of course, is injury, although there’s no documented case of a player ever pulling up lame in the game. Imagine the outcry, for example, if the intensity soars and someone grabs a body part. The fallout will be steep, and with that in mind, many coaches tell their players to ease off the gas pedal. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” said Casey, “but we want to change the narrative about this game and how it’s played. I find that when players do things half-way or go through the motions, that’s when they’re more liable to get hurt.” And so, with that in mind, with a revamped format and a bit more pocket change for the winner and an audience that would like to see some floor burn for a change, the All-Stars just could make this game interesting. That starts with defense. “The challenge is, if you’re going to play to win, you’re going to compete on the defensive end, especially in transition,” said Casey. “That’s where the all-star game kind of deteriorates. You got to start your transition defense, our one on one defense, and put defense in the game because if you don’t, it will be 160, 170 points. I don’t know if we’re going to change it all in one game, but that’s our goal is to try to be more serious on defense, and not trick passes and trick shots and circus mentality. “These guys can entertain and also play defense and give a more competitive game. They are good enough to pull it off. That’s what I hope to see and what fans hope to see.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 19th, 2018Related News

Book is Trump White House’s nightmare

What were they thinking? This is the thought that occurs to the reader when author Michael Wolff explains his almost unfettered access to the White House of US President Donald J. Trump in his book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" (Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2018, 321 pages). Wolff, an award-winning journalist and author, basically talked the Trump people into letting him hang around in the White House to write a book they assumed would be a positive view of the Trump presidency. They were wrong. "Shortly after Jan. 20, I took up something like a semipermanent seat of a couch in the West Wing," Wolff writes. "Since then I have conducted more than 200 interv...Keep on reading: Book is Trump White House’s nightmare.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 18th, 2018Related News

Thailand held up as model for domestic-focused agriculture

THAILAND has been held up as a model for the government’s new domestic-demand focus for agriculture, with its competitive tourist industry helping boost local consumption and lessening dependence on exports, where prices are volatile and delivery requirements are demanding, the head of a university agriculture department said. University of Asia and the Pacific Center for […] The post Thailand held up as model for domestic-focused agriculture appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: FinanceFeb 18th, 2018Related News

DENR sec says Pulag fire an accident

BAGUIO CITY — Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said even if the fire that razed Mt. Pulag last January was an accident......»»

Source: Nordis NordisCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: UST silences Adamson in sweep

Depleted University of Sto. Tomas snapped Adamson University’s two-game winning streak with a 25-9,31-29, 25-19, victory Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Coming off a four-set loss to Ateneo de Manila University a week ago and missing the services of injured Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini and libero Rica Rivera, the Tigresses vented their ire on the Lady Falcons to even their record to 2-2 tied with their victim, the Lady Eagles and Far Eastern University. Sisi Rondina played her usual explosive game, firing 22 points off 17 kills, four aces and a kill block while adding 16 digs for an all-around effort for the Espana-based squad. Dimdim Pacres and Carla Sandoval stepped up to score 13 and nine markers, respectively, for the Tigresses, who lost Rivera to a meniscus tear on her right knee early in the opening set of their game against Ateneo and Alessandrini to a right shoulder injury. Rivera is out for at least three weeks while Alessandrini will skip the rest of the first round. "Sabi ko lahat ng nangyayari may reason. Ang mga locals ito na ang pagkakataon and nag-respond naman sila para sa mga nawala," said Tigresses coach Kungfu Reyes.   UST was on fire to open the match but found trouble in the second set. But a gritty comeback in the second frame highlighted by saving five set points took the fight out of the Lady Falcons that the Tigers used as fuel to cruise in the third. Jema Galanza finished with 10 points while Mylene Paat and rookie Chiara Permentilla were limited to a combined 12 markers for Adamson.      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

On-fire Alas proves he could be an outside threat

BOCAUE, Bulacan --- NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao was practically begging for Kevin Alas to shoot from the outside. So Kevin did do just that and he ended up with a new PBA career high. Alas led the Road Warriors' charge Sunday at the Philippine Arena here and NLEX completed a come-from-behind win over Blackwater to secure a place in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs. Spiked by five triples, Alas finished with 25 points, 16 in the fourth quarter. He also had eight rebounds and five assists for good measure. "Good thing Kevin Alas saved the day for us. I've been getting on Kevin's outside shooting the last few games, I've been asking him to take outside shots," Guiao said. "I did not expect that it would pay dividends this early. But I've been telling him that he's just underusing his outside game. Today he showed us that he is an outside threat," he added. For Alas, it was about time for him to repay the trust his coach has been giving him. It also proves that coach Yeng's tough love actually works. "I played okay nung last game pero I ended up, napag-sabihan ako ni coach Yeng nung game na yun. I just wanted na suklian yung binibigay na trust ni coach Yeng," he said. "Matagal na. Pero sabi niya sa post-game namin kanina ‘kung di ko na naman papagalitan at mamumura to si Kevin di na magkaka-shooting to’ parang ganun so yun lang kailangan lang talaga suklian yung trust na binibigay sa akin ni coach Yeng," Alas added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

With LA as backdrop, NBA opens latest ASG chapter

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES — There’s a very real chance of seeing it all at the NBA All-Star Game from the world’s greatest players and athletes, who are trained to entertain. And they deliver on that, every year, for the most part. Which brings us to this year’s showpiece: Will we finally see the All-Stars play defense, or not? Simple question. Over the last three years, they game morphed into a blob of uncontested shots and layups with the pace of a NASCAR event and the intensity level of a turtle race. Last year Steph Curry comically dropped to the floor rather than putting his body between Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rim (maybe wisely, but still). That was a flash-point moment. Perhaps because of fear of getting injured, or maybe the body just needs a break after a half-season, players rarely spent much energy trying to stop anyone. That led to wild and repetitious scoring sprees, where the losing team averaged 170 points, and ultimately, new changes designed to encourage players to at least simulate a real game and turn it up two notches. And so, Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) game at Staples Center will serve as the laboratory rat and perhaps usher a new era for the midseason game. If today’s players treat it the way the old-timers did, then this could be special. If not, this could be 194-187. “I think it’ll be different,” said Curry. The rules committee was alarmed enough by the public backlash of the last two games, where the winning West team came a combined 12 points from hitting the 200-point mark, that the traditional format was scrapped. No longer is it East vs. West, now it’s the leading vote-getter in both conferences choosing their own squad, regardless of conference. Therefore, Team Stephen will tip against Team LeBron with the mixed squads lending some intrigue and could cure the defense and intensity issues. As an added bonus, each member of the winning team will receive $100,000 vs. $25,000 for the losers, although it must be mentioned that the only player in an All-Star uniform making below eight figures is Karl-Anthony Towns. Still, the idea was to raise the incentive level and hoping it raises the fourth-quarter heat. The coach of the LeBron team, Dwane Casey of the Raptors, said he plans to do his part by shuffling the minutes based on who’s trying the hardest. “I went to our players individually and asked two questions: ‘Do you want to put on a show, or do you want to win? Let me know.’ I’d like them to go and compete. I want to win. We owe it to the league and the fans to let them know that the NBA isn’t about rolling the ball out there. There are a lot of fundamental things we can do on the court, and it starts with the All-Star Game, with everyone watching.” It helps that the game will feature a few subplots designed to make it interesting. Such as: LeBron and Kyrie Irving, together again. They had a mysterious split last summer after Irving, two years removed from a championship in Cleveland and with the chance of additional chances to win another, demanded and received a trade. He’s in Boston now, creating a rivalry with Cleveland whereas none existed before the deal. But apparently there was no acrimony generated by the split and the two have remained on decent terms, based on the chatter between them. Nothing personal, in other words. And anyway, LeBron chose Irving for this team. The reunion, says Irving, will be “pretty awesome.” LeBron: “Listen, anytime I get an opportunity to be with a fellow teammate of mine on the same court, and then you add on the fact of what we were able to accomplish in the three years, they just make it special. You automatically start thinking about the moments. There was a time when I was in Miami when I thought about if there was a chance for me to be Kyrie's teammate at All-Star Weekend. I thought about that. I didn't think it would be possible, and then we became teammates. We were on the same All-Star court together as teammates. Those thoughts still go into my head of how great it was to break the drought in our city, over 50-plus years, when the both of us had magical, magical Finals runs. So, it's always special. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, together again. Well, the two ex-Thunder ‘mates did play for the West squad last season, yet kept their distance, both on and off the court, the entire weekend. Also, they had testy exchanges this season, evidence that if nothing else, the competitive spirit between them remains high. Yet, all seems civil regarding the split two years later, maybe because Westbrook gained a half-measure of revenge when Paul George arrived this season. Curry and James Harden, together. As team captain, Curry selected Harden, and at least for one weekend, the two will put aside some natural conflict. One: They’re among the leading candidates for the MVP award, and those in the Harden camp believe he was robbed of the second MVP won by Curry. Two: The Warriors and Rockets are engaged in a thermal race for top spot in the West, with the Rockets beating Golden State twice this season so far. (Side note: Curry responded “Ha” the other day when asked who should win the MVP this year, him or Harden. Just “ha.”) Joel Embiid. The fun-loving big man makes his All-Star debut and promises to bring his infectious personality to the game and also his astonishing skills, rare for a seven-footer. Look for Embiid to make a strong big for game MVP and doing so apologetically. His competition could come from Antetokounmpo and either winner would signal a victory for a league looking for yet another superstar. But, the game itself. Will it be taken seriously? “We've talked about it.” said Irving. “Like I said, I think it's more individually based in terms of the competitive fire. But I know that we're pretty excited to be out there and compete and go at one another for a little bit and have a little fun.” Last year, Antetokounmpo was playfully chastised by his teammates for going full-tilt and challenging shots and essentially treating it like a playoff game. It was his first All-Star appearance and he was surprised by the mild tone of the pace. Victor Oladipo, a first-timer this year, doesn’t believe that’ll happen to him. “My competitive nature is going to get the best of me,” he said. The unspoken concern, of course, is injury, although there’s no documented case of a player ever pulling up lame in the game. Imagine the outcry, for example, if the intensity soars and someone grabs a body part. The fallout will be steep, and with that in mind, many coaches tell their players to ease off the gas pedal. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” said Casey, “but we want to change the narrative about this game and how it’s played. I find that when players do things half-way or go through the motions, that’s when they’re more liable to get hurt.” And so, with that in mind, with a revamped format and a bit more pocket change for the winner and an audience that would like to see some floor burn for a change, the All-Stars just could make this game interesting. That starts with defense. “The challenge is, if you’re going to play to win, you’re going to compete on the defensive end, especially in transition,” said Casey. “That’s where the all-star game kind of deteriorates. You got to start your transition defense, our one on one defense, and put defense in the game because if you don’t, it will be 160, 170 points. I don’t know if we’re going to change it all in one game, but that’s our goal is to try to be more serious on defense, and not trick passes and trick shots and circus mentality. “These guys can entertain and also play defense and give a more competitive game. They are good enough to pull it off. That’s what I hope to see and what fans hope to see.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

Fire hits Jokhang monastery, one of Tibet s most sacred

BEIJING, China (UPDATED) – A fire broke out Saturday, February 17 at one of the most sacred sites for Tibetan Buddhism, Lhasa's revered Jokhang temple, state media said, but no casualties were reported and the extent of the damage remained unclear. The official Xinhua news agency said the fire began at ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

WATCH: Devin Booker wins 2018 JBL Three-Point Contest

MANILA, Philippines – Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker caught fire to defeat Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson with his record-breaking 28 points in a single round of the 3-point shooting contest on Saturday, February 17 during the NBA All-Stars weekend.  Stephen Curry and Thompson previously held the single-round record of ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

Vatican investigator meets Chile abuse victim in New York

NEW YORK, United States – A high-profile victim of a disgraced pedophile priest said Saturday, February 17 he was glad to finally be able to tell his story as the Vatican's top abuse investigator began a probe into an alleged cover-up in Chile. Pope Francis has come under fire for ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

Pacom Commander Says Indo-Pacific Region at a Crossroads

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2018 -America's security and economic prosperity are linked to the Indo-Pacific region, which finds itself at a crossroads, Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the commander.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

PSG returns to French league comfort zone with 5-2 home win

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated PRess PARIS (AP) — After falling short in the Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain returned to its French league comfort zone and beat Strasbourg 5-2 on Saturday. Edinson Cavani netted twice, and Julian Draxler, Angel Di Maria, and Neymar also scored to ensure PSG stayed 12 points clear of second-place Monaco at the top. But not without a fright. Strasbourg took the lead in the sixth minute and pulled back to 3-2 as PSG continued to show alarming signs of weakness at the back. Strasbourg had a late goal incorrectly ruled out for offside after PSG's defense was again easily breached, although it was already 5-2 by then. PSG lost at Real Madrid 3-1 on Wednesday in the first leg of the last 16. The way PSG capitulated by giving away two late goals heaped pressure on coach Unai Emery over his team selection. "The atmosphere was a bit tense. That's normal," Cavani said. "We have to look forward now. We played well today, although at times we could have been better." Emery was booed by sections of the home crowd when his name was announced over the loudspeaker before the game. Later, Cavani stopped short of giving Emery his personal backing when asked if the under-fire coach has the full support of the players. "We're a team and big teams stick together in the important moments," Cavani said. "That's the only way you can win." Strasbourg beat PSG at home in December, and stunned the crowd at Parc des Princes by taking the lead when midfielder Jean-Eudes Aholou was left completely unmarked near the penalty spot. PSG hit back hard and was 3-1 up after 23 minutes thanks to Draxler, Di Maria and Neymar's 19th in 19 league games. Stephane Bahoken scored against PSG for the second time this season after a quick counterattack. Strasbourg poured forward but the hope didn't last for long. Cavani gave PSG some breathing space with an assured finish in the 72nd, clipping the ball over goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja, then lobbed him for his league-leading 23rd goal. "It was important to win after Wednesday's match. We have to get our fans ready for the games to come against Marseille (next weekend) and Real Madrid," Emery said. "We have to show we can maintain this level of play against better sides, with all due respect to Strasbourg." To celebrate Chinese New Year, PSG players' names were written in Mandarin on the back of their shirts and a Chinese dragon paraded around the pitch. PSG says it has 1.3 million Chinese followers. In order to better serve the soccer market in Asia, the league match between Nice and PSG on March 18 has been moved forward to 1 p.m. local time (1200 GMT). Marseille players will also have their names in Mandarin for Sunday's home game against Bordeaux at Stade Velodrome. Marseille recently launched an account on Chinese social media site Weibo. ___ OTHER MATCHES Striker Giovanni Sio's second-half equalizer gave Montpellier the point it needed to take fifth place after drawing with Guingamp 1-1. Two goals from newly signed striker Diafra Sakho gave Rennes a 2-2 draw at Caen, which missed two penalties. Saint-Etienne won at Angers 1-0, Troyes beat last-place Metz 1-0, and Amiens drew with Toulouse 0-0 in another relegation scrap. In Sunday's other games, fourth-place Lyon goes to Lille, and Nice hosts Nantes......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

Arizona Foster Care System Revealed as Pedophile Ring: Former Foster Child Tortured for Years Sues for $15 Million

WARNING! Graphic content -- not suitable for younger readers! THE state of Arizona, which has the infamous reputation of removing the highest percentage of children in the U.S. from their homes and families through Child Protective Services, has now also been exposed as having a very corrupt foster care network….....»»

Source: Journal JournalCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2018Related News