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It s a new day in the NBA, and a welcomed change

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — There is no favorite. This is what the NBA wanted. And needed. The biggest piece of valid criticism about the league in recent years has been its predictable. Golden State got to the last five NBA Finals. LeBron James had made it there eight years in a row, four with Miami and then four more with Cleveland. Brooklyn used to be the 'other' team in New York, and the Clippers used to be the 'other' team in Los Angeles. No more. Welcome to a new NBA. If you think the Clippers can win it all next season, or the Lakers, or Utah, or Philadelphia, or Milwaukee, or Houston, or Denver, or even Golden State and maybe a few others, you're right. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Technically, there is a favorite: The sports books in Las Vegas, after hearing the news that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are heading to the Clippers, listed them as the best bet Saturday to win the 2020 NBA championship. Yes, the Clippers. A team that has won exactly four playoff series since moving to Los Angeles in 1984. A team that had 12 consecutive losing seasons a generation ago. There wasn't much NBA intrigue at this time last year. The Warriors were adding DeMarcus Cousins to a team that won the last two championships and were seemingly locks to win a third consecutive title. Everyone knows it didn't work out that way. Toronto took care of that. It was just more proof that what seems obvious at this time of year doesn't always come to fruition. This year, though, the newfound balance of power — dare we say "parity" — seems like a done deal. The East still has a 60-win team in Milwaukee returning the reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and shooting guard Khris Middleton, so the Bucks may be the favorite right now on that side of the league. Philadelphia lost JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler, adding Josh Richardson and Al Horford to a team that looks be dominant defensively. No one will count out Boston, because of Brad Stevens and now Kemba Walker. Miami got better even after losing Dwyane Wade with the addition of Butler — and the Heat might throw their hat in the ring if Russell Westbrook is indeed available following the George trade to the Clippers. Brooklyn gets Kyrie Irving this season and now knows it'll be adding Kevin Durant next season, once he returns from his Achilles rehab. Atlanta's young core may be the most promising in the NBA. And let's not forget the East also has the reigning NBA champion Raptors, albeit without Leonard and Danny Green.) But the West ... wow. The Clippers kept Patrick Beverley, have an amazingly talented bench led by Lou Williams, a coach everybody wants to play for in Doc Rivers and now gets two of the very best players in the game with Leonard and George. The Lakers still have James, added Anthony Davis, kept JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo, signed DeMarcus Cousins and Green — and might be in the market for another shooter. Portland went to the West final last season and have an elite backcourt in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Utah had a brilliant summer, giving Donovan Mitchell more good players like Mike Conley to surround himself with. Houston still has James Harden and Chris Paul. Dallas figures to be better if Kristaps Porzingis is healthy to run alongside Luka Doncic. The Lakers are almost certainly coming for someone's playoff spot out West. Same goes for the Heat in the East. And before long, New Orleans with Zion Williamson and David Griffin at the controls, Atlanta with that core led by Trae Young and Kevin Huerter, potentially Memphis with the Ja Morant era set to begin, it'll be their turn at the playoff table. It's been a top-heavy league for a long time. Only five different franchises have represented the West in the NBA Finals over the last 20 years. In the East, it's five over the last 15 years. Right now, the odds-makers in Vegas are predicting next June it'll be Clippers vs. Bucks. A couple days ago the Lakers were the betting favorites. A new day is here in the NBA. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJul 7th, 2019

Mangompia Brigade welcomes new commander

ILIGAN CITY, Nov. 14 (PIA) - The 55th Engineer (Mangompia) Brigade of the Philippine Army (PA) welcomed Col. Irineo F. Sebastian as its new acting commander in a change of command ceremony held Fri.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsNov 15th, 2020

Greenpeace willing to assist Palace in crafting climate emergency declaration

Greenpeace Philippines welcomed the Palace statement that President Rodrigo Duterte would look into the suggestion to declare climate emergency, which would ensure that climate change and its impacts on the lives of Filipinos is a top government priority......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 29th, 2020

New dad Brandon Vera says fatherhood a source of motivation

Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is now a father.  The Filipino-American mixed martial arts star and his wife Jessica welcomed their son Atreyu Timothy into the world back in July, and it’s given the 42-year old a renewed sense of motivation.  Vera, who has been ONE’s heavyweight king since 2015, says that like winning inside the cage, words simply cannot describe the feeling of becoming a dad.  “I can’t describe how Atreyu was born just like I can’t describe what it’s like to win in the ONE Circle. It’s two peas in the same pod, no words would ever do that justice,” Vera said. “There was one moment when Atreyu first came out, I was in such joy that I threw my arms up in the air and looked straight up at the ceiling and started crying and smiling, thinking, ‘Wow, this is what everyone talks about.’” Much like most fathers in the fight game, Vera says that the birth of his child has become a source of energy.  “It is easier to wake up. I can agree with this statement. I feel more motivated. I get tired less. I don’t know how and why, but that happened,” Vera explained.  The difference is, Vera says that he’s always had family in his mind, which isn’t necessarily the case for other new fathers.  “Everybody keeps saying priorities change, I am not of that same mindset. Family has always been number one for me. I have been waiting for a long time to change diapers, feed the baby, and train with my child in the gym. All plans are still the same. We’re the World Champ, we act accordingly and we keep our title until we decide it is time for the next step.” “Honestly, I re-realize I’m a father every day I open my eyes and see him. Being a father is not only a very important path in life, it’s also a very serious one for me where my teachings and actions will and can help mold Atreyu into a person to help this world,” Vera continued. That newfound energy and motivation should come in handy once Vera makes his long-awaited return to action. The reigning heavyweight king is expected to defend his ONE Heavyweight World Championship against Indian-Canadian challenger Arjan Bhullar......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

STAYING POWER: These schools have great grassroots programs

Ateneo de Manila University has won it all three times in a row in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. The most recent of which was a season sweep that just yet again proved that in recent history, Blue Eagle the king. Of course, head coach Tab Baldwin deserves much credit for that - he wouldn't take it, but he could. At the same time, though, the blue and white has also given coach Tab all the materials he needs to assemble a juggernaut. And those materials? Ateneo itself, for the most part, discovered and developed them. More than half of the Blue Eagles in UAAP 82 were formerly Blue Eaglets. And even in high school, Nieto twins Mike and Matt, BJ Andrade, SJ Belangel, Geo Chiu, Jason Credo, and Gian Mamuyac were champions. Funnily enough, Thirdy Ravena, who has three Finals MVPs to his name, was unable to take a title in the Jrs. as he was denied by Hubert Cani's Nazareth School of National University and Jerie Pingoy's Far Eastern University-Diliman. Still, Ravena plus those seven other ex-Eaglets all played their part in their season sweep. If you count Ange Kouame, who was taken in even before college and finished his high school in Multiple Intelligence International School, then that makes nine homegrown players for Ateneo. That, without a doubt, makes Katipunan the site of the most successful grassroots program in recent history. And the Blue Eagles are far from finished as they already have the likes of Ian Espinosa, Josh Lazaro, Lebron Lopez, and Forthsky Padrigao waiting in the wings. Not that far behind are usual suspects FEU and San Beda University. Last season, the green and gold counted five Baby Tams who were full-fledged Tams. Add RJ Abarrientos and Cholo Anonuevo to that list and next season, FEU may also very well have half of its Srs. squad grown from its Jrs. program. The Red Lions, meanwhile, had Peter Alfaro, Prince Etrata, Evan Nelle, and Ain Obenza coming from their high school ranks. Only Nelle wound up as a key cog in their almost-season sweep, but with his departure, bigger things are now going to be expected from Alfaro and Etrata. Even more, with standout Red Cubs Rhayyan Amsali, Yukien Andrada, Justine Sanchez, and Tony Ynot coming in, Mendiola would reap the rewards of its stout Taytay program once more. Also enjoying the resurgence of its high school team is San Sebastian College-Recoletos which could boast that top gun RK Ilagan as well as rotation players Michael Are, Rommel Calahat, Alex Desoyo, Gelo Loristo, Jessie Sumoda, and Ken Villapando were former Staglets. For its part, University of Sto. Tomas has CJ Cansino and Mark Nonoy getting promoted from its Jrs. program. Those two comprise the Growling Tigers' backcourt of the present and the future and they have another proud product from the Tiger Cubs coming in the form of Bismarck Lina. Mapua University and Jose Rizal University are yet to barge back into the Final Four, but their rebuild is right on track thanks to building blocks from their high school squads. All of Denniel Aguirre, Warren Bonifacio, Joaqui Garcia, Paolo Hernandez, Eric Jabel, Noah Lugo, Jasper Salenga, Justin Serrano, and Laurenz Victoria are Red Robins-turned Cardinals while the Heavy Bombers now have their core four in ex-Light Bombers John Amores, JL Delos Santos, Marwin Dionisio, and Thomas Vasquez. The University of the Philippines had a growing grassroots program with Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan as well as Will Gozum having come from UP Integrated School. With the GDLs choosing to sit out UAAP 83 and Gozum choosing to transfer to College of St. Benilde, however, the Fighting Maroons have no homegrown players on the roster, at present. That could change, though, if Joe GDL makes the cut or if, next year, current Jr. Maroons Jordi GDL, Aldous Torculas, and Ray Allen Torres opt to stay put. That is also what Adamson University is hoping Jake Figueroa, the UAAP 82 MVP, and Matty Erolon would do after their last year as Baby Falcons. After all, Lorenz Capulong, AP Manlapaz, and Joem Sabandal have already proven to be capable and confident Soaring Falcons. Lyceum of the Philippines University is yet to see a seamless transition from its high school to its college teams, but in NCAA 95 MVP John Barba and former Batang Gilas Mac Guadana, they seem to have their very first homegrown stars. With head coach Goldwin Monteverde taking the reins of the Bulldogs after going back-to-back with the Bullpups, National U looks like it will finally have a clearly connected basketball program. John Lloyd Clemente is already there alongside RJ Minerva, Chino Mosqueda, and Migs Oczon and all of Gerry Abadiano, Kevin Quiambao, and Carl Tamayo may very well join them for coach Gold's first year in the Srs. Meanwhile, De La Salle University has had quite the up and down track record in taking full advantage of its TWO high school programs. Only Aljun Melecio, a former Jr. Archer, and Joel Cagulangan, a former Greenie, were the homegrown Green Archers last season and with the latter having moved on, only the former remains. La Salle's shortcoming has been CSB's gain as the Blazers have only welcomed with open arms La Salle Green Hills products Ladis Lepalam, Sidney Mosqueda, Unique Naboa, Mark Sangco, and Luigi Velasco as well as DLS Zobel product Prince Carlos. Here are the other teams who had homegrown players on their rosters last year: ARELLANO CHIEFS Marlon Espiritu. Kent Segura. Lars Sunga. LETRAN KNIGHTS Christian Balagasay. Jerrick Balanza. Neil Guarino. Kurt Reyson PERPETUAL ALTAS Jasper Cuevas. Jielo Razon. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2020

Vegan meals and awards shows: Hollywood red carpets go green

LOS ANGELES, USA – From glitzy all-vegan galas to recycled red carpet outfits, Hollywood has stepped up efforts to reduce its carbon footprint this awards season, which will soon wrap up with the Oscars. But while some scientists have welcomed A-listers' renewed zeal on climate change, others ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 31st, 2020

Bangladesh allows education for Rohingya refugee children

DHAKA, Bangladesh – Rohingya children living in Bangladesh refugee camps will be allowed to receive a formal education after a change of heart by Dhaka in a move welcomed by right activists. Nearly one million Rohingya, including more than half a million children, live in the squalid and crowded camps ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 28th, 2020

Madrid beats Valencia 3-1 to reach Spanish Super Cup final

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Helped by a clever goal by Toni Kroos directly from a corner kick, Real Madrid comfortably defeated Valencia 3-1 on Wednesday to kick off the revamped Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Francisco “Isco” Alarcón and Luka Modric also scored for Real Madrid as it advanced to Sunday's final against either Barcelona or Atlético Madrid, who will play on Thursday. Kroos curled in an exquisite right-footed shot from the corner flag in the 15th minute after spotting Valencia goalkeeper Jaume Domenech out of position. Domenech was talking to a defender when Kroos curled in the corner, and couldn't get back in time to stop the ball from crossing the line. He punched the ball but it still went into the top of the net. “It was a lack of concentration by all of us,” Valencia forward Denis Cheryshev said. “I think mentally if affected us. After this goal everything became harder.” Isco added to the lead with a shot from inside the area in the 39th, and Modric sealed the victory with a neat strike with the outside of his right foot into the far corner in the 65th. Valencia's lone goal came through a penalty converted by Dani Parejo in second-half stoppage time after a handball by Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. “We were in control from the start,” Madrid midfielder Casemiro said. “We wanted to control possession and that's what we did. Everything went as planned. We can start thinking about the final now. ” Madrid's victory came in a less-than-packed King Abdullah Sports City stadium, which seats 62,000. Real Madrid said before the tournament that only about 20 of its fans were expected to make the trip from Madrid to Saudi Arabia, though most of the local crowd was pro-Real Madrid. “The fans showed their support," Casemiro said. "We have to thank them for how well they have welcomed us here.” The Spanish federation took the Super Cup to Saudi Arabia in a three-year deal reportedly worth 120 million euros ($134 million). It made the move despite criticism from human rights activists and advice from UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin for European soccer teams not to play in countries "where the basic rights of women are not respected.” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde acknowledged earlier Wednesday they were playing in Saudi Arabia for the money, saying “football is an industry today. ... That's really why we are here." Amnesty International organized a small peaceful protest in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Madrid on Wednesday to call for the release of women activists who have been fighting for their rights in Saudi Arabia. The Super Cup was also played abroad last season, when Barcelona beat Sevilla in Tangiers, Morocco, in a single-game final. This is the first year the Super Cup is played with four teams. It used to feature only the Spanish league winner and the Copa del Rey champion. Valencia, last season's Copa winner, had complained about the change because it would have to play an extra match to try to win the title. Madrid got the win despite traveling to Saudi Arabia without injured forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Coach Zinedine Zidane used 22-year-old striker Luka Jovic up front, with five players forming the midfield. Valencia also was depleted by injuries, and striker Rodrigo was among those absent......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2020

Super Cup to start with little interest from fans in Spain

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — The revamped Spanish Super Cup debuts in Saudi Arabia this week with the Spanish federation trying to hype the competition but seeing few fans in Spain interested in it. The Super Cup’s new semifinals format begins with Real Madrid facing Valencia on Wednesday, then Barcelona taking on Atlético Madrid on Thursday. The Barcelona-Atlético game was sold out, according to the federation, and only about 10,000 tickets were left for Madrid-Valencia. All games will be played at the 62,000-capacity King Abdullah Sports City stadium outside Jeddah. More than 35,000 tickets were sold for Sunday’s final in the first 24 hours after being put on sale. “Success in attendance is guaranteed for an attractive tournament that has gained value thanks to its new format,” the federation said. It added the new competition has “triggered the illusion” of fans in Jeddah, becoming a “true mass phenomenon in Saudi Arabia.” It said the tournament “will have an exceptional atmosphere.” But few fans in Spain were enticed to make the trip to Saudi Arabia soon after the holidays. Real Madrid said only about 600 fans came to the club requesting tickets, and from those only 20 came from people in Madrid. The rest were mostly from members already outside the country. Barcelona said 300 tickets were sold by the club, though it wasn't clear how many of those fans were traveling to the match from Spain. According to the Spanish daily El Mundo, about 50 ticket requests were made to Atlético, and only 26 to Valencia. “Football evolves, whether we want it or not. We are thrilled to be here fighting for this title,” Valencia coach Albert Celades said. “We understand why the fans couldn't make the trip here. We will try to bring the trophy back home to them.” Some players didn't make it to Saudi Arabia because of injuries, including Real Madrid's Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale. Atlético Madrid was without Thomas Lemar and Diego Costa, while Barcelona is missing Arthur, Ousmane Dembele and Marc-André ter Stegen. Valencia traveled with all of its players, including those injured. “We didn't come here for tourism, this is an important competition,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “We are glad to be playing here and we will do everything to try to win.” This is the first year of a lucrative three-year deal -- reportedly worth 120 million euros ($134 million) -- reached by Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales to play the competition in Saudi Arabia. The federation said the deal will help Spain in its attempt to host the 2030 World Cup in a joint bid with Portugal. The decision attracted plenty of criticism from human rights activists, though, and went against advice from UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin for European soccer teams not to play in countries “where the basic rights of women are not respected.” Amnesty International has called for a peaceful protest in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Madrid on Wednesday to call for the release of women activists whom it says have been detained in the country. “I'm here professionally, and they welcomed us really well,” Zidane said. “Personally, it's different." The Spanish league also criticized the federation’s decision to play the Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, citing the country’s backing of a satellite company that is allegedly behind the piracy of European match broadcasts. The Spanish league also accused the federation of having double standards, as it has been against the league’s attempt to play a regular season match outside of Spain. The Super Cup was also played abroad last season, when Barcelona beat Sevilla in Tangiers, Morocco. Valencia, last season’s Copa del Rey champion, also complained about the change, as under the old format it would have a chance to win the Super Cup by winning one match instead of two. The Spanish Super Cup was always played between the Liga champion and the Copa del Rey winner at the beginning of the season, usually at a neutral venue. Now, the top two teams in each competition are participating overseas. The Liga is on its winter break. Barcelona is the most successful club in the Spanish Super Cup with 13 titles, three more than Real Madrid......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020

‘Pasko sa Uptown’ shows why children’s smiles define Christmas spirit

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Running and giggling children was a sight to behold one December morning inside theCamp Lapu-Lapu, the headquarters of the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP Centcom) in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City. It was a welcomed change. There were no soldiers with guns in formation. Instead, the field […] The post ‘Pasko sa Uptown’ shows why children’s smiles define Christmas spirit appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 21st, 2019

LeBron James, Anthony Davis bring new Heat to L.A.

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The relationship they formed, nurtured and maximized to the championship fullest was captured in all its glory nine years ago this month on a sensational play that took maybe six seconds. Dwyane Wade grabbed a loose ball and ran up court, leading a rather routine fast break and then, chemistry happened. He gently tossed a short, no-look bounce pass that for a microsecond went to a ghost, at least until LeBron James, trailing the play in full sprint, appeared and scooped the ball. Wade didn’t see LeBron behind him … he just knew. LeBron didn’t call for the ball … he just knew. As LeBron elevated and cupped the ball for a tomahawk dunk, Wade kept running forward and spread his arms before the crowd, as if to say: This is how we do it. That finish was immortalized by an Associated Press photographer seated underneath the rim named Morry Gash. The image instantly went viral, causing witnesses to gasp at the image’s snarky, arrogant and amazing glory. Mostly, though, that sequence symbolized the blossoming bond between LeBron and Wade early in their time together with the Miami Heat. 9 years ago today. #L3GENDARY pic.twitter.com/Yc7iQDezlM — Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 6, 2019 And, it suggests what’s currently percolating in Los Angeles with the Lakers. LeBron has a new basketball boo, and the process with Anthony Davis is starting to look strikingly familiar. Theirs is an already devastating combo that has the Lakers scorching through the early NBA season with the best record in the West. ‘Bron and The Brow are both entertaining and effective, a combination that certainly works in L.A. (which expects both). This is more of the peanut butter-and-jelly variety than fingernail meets blackboard in terms of two forces blending in beautifully. They share the same ideas about how to play the game as one, when to defer (and when take over) and why there’s no need for ego or one-upmanship. It’s a tag-team, your-turn-my-turn type of existence, sprinkled with an ability to recognize each other’s tendencies. Oh, and it helps that they like each other as people. Longtime Laker witnesses might feel the urge to compare this to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, but a more apt linkage is LeBron and Wade, whose on-court kinship spilled over into their personal lives, and to this day they still refer to each other as brothers from other mothers. “We had something special,” James said. And now, with Davis? “Everything’s coming along great, maybe even quicker than we thought.” As the Lakers prepare to play Friday in Miami (Saturday, PHL time) -- the site of so many LeBron-Wade connections -- the NBA’s new combo is just getting ramped up. No All-Star duo in the league is generating more wins, sizzle and per-game production than LeBron and Davis, who average a combined 53.6 points, 15.8 rebounds and 14.1 assists per game. They’re durable, too: LeBron has played in every game while Davis has missed only one. Much of this was expected when the Lakers traded for Davis and gave LeBron someone who was arguably his equal in terms of talent. The pairing seemed ideal because Davis is a low-maintenance star who doesn’t always demand the ball and keeps his ego hidden -- necessary tools when one plays in LeBron’s orbit. They also tend to cover each other’s weaknesses. For example, Davis is a superior defender while LeBron, who turns 35 in a few weeks, picks his spots defensively. Davis took the Pelicans to the semifinals once, while LeBron has played in eight of the last nine Finals. One other critical element worth noting is this: LeBron is anxious to grab at least another title here with his third team, which would be unprecedented. Davis is hungry for his first. They share the same quest, then, but approach it from different angles. Given where they are in their careers, there was a hunch they were made for each other. After 25 games, this notion has proven correct. “They hit the ground running right from the start of training camp,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “Both on and off the basketball court, their chemistry has been seamless.” LeBron seemed determined to make this work after his first season in L.A. lacked a true co-star and was slowed by a groin injury. His basketball relationship with Kyrie Irving in Cleveland took a sharp turn three years ago when Irving demanded a trade, mainly to escape LeBron’s enormity and strike out on his own. LeBron, like almost everyone else, was stunned as to why someone was so willing to bail on an all-time great. That raised this issue: while LeBron is one of the most accommodating superstars in NBA history, other stars in their prime would rather be the lead singer on another team. Davis seems cut from another cloth, however. And besides, when LeBron eventually retires (he has two seasons left on his contract), Davis will become a solo king if he so desires. This process was months in the making as LeBron made a point to align himself with Davis off the court since last summer. He welcomed him into his home, inviting him to events and generally magnetizing himself to Davis, who in turn did the same. This same approach worked for LeBron and Wade in 2010, but back then, LeBron was joining Wade’s team and was careful not to overstep any boundaries. “What I’m seeing here is how much time they spent together away from the court last summer and how that has impacted what’s going on right now,” Vogel said. “Even in film sessions the two are always together. They’re just building that friendship that LeBron and Dwyane had. LeBron has done everything in his power to make sure he’s going out of his way to make Anthony comfortable.” Wade and LeBron became fast friends because their personalities were similar and therefore clicked. Wade admitted that, at times, it was difficult to ride shotgun that first season together. But he respected LeBron’s talents too much to make that an issue. It all worked as they won two championships and made four Finals together. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra recognizes what’s developing in L.A. and says about LeBron: “He’s able to morph into whatever he needs to be to bring out the best from other players. This just fits like a glove with LeBron and AD, the way they work well together. Their skill sets compliment each other.” The Bron-Brow combo is causing defensive hell for teams: Which one gets a double team? Do you put a big player on LeBron and a shorter one on Davis or vice versa? Last Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the two combined for 82 points against the Timberwolves, which came two nights after they dropped 70 on the Blazers. Scoring only tells so much, but the way they compliment each other is nearly perfect. LeBron handles the ball, Davis impacts the rebounding and defense. They can almost sense where the other is without looking. Together, their sneaker prints are all over the floor. “The more time you spend together, if you have the same goals in mind and you have the same drive, then organically it happens,” LeBron said. Much of this is new to Davis, who only got a half-season’s worth of playing time with an All-Star (DeMarcus Cousins) his six seasons with New Orleans. He welcomes the change of synergy because playing next to LeBron ups his championship odds. “I mean, he’s a tremendous teammate, great talent and takes a lot of pressure off not only me, but everyone else,” Davis said. “It’s fun to be on the floor with him.” That’s evident from everyone who has watched this relationship take root and grow. “It’s there, and I think it’s genuine, too, from what I can see,” said former Lakers great and James Worthy, now a TV analyst for the club. “They’ve known each other for a while now, and they have that same drive and vision about the game and how it’s played. I think they know how to monitor each other and the team constructively to where the cohesiveness remains tight.” What’s frightening is the process hasn’t even reached a half-season. The wavelength LeBron and Wade once enjoyed can be matched with Davis, and it’s on pace to be fully maximized by the playoffs. The better it gets for Bron and Brow, the better it is for their supporting cast. “For me and AD, it starts with us,” LeBron said. “If we’re on the same page it makes it easier for the rest of the ball club.” There’s an important duplication taking place in Los Angeles, from LeBron-Wade to LeBron-Davis. The initial results are decisively promising. If this all keeps up, might multiple championships also follow? Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 12th, 2019

MPBL: Sta. Lucia hoops tradition lives on in Pasig

"I am a true basketball man. We were 34 years in basketball. We will represent the city we all love." Those are the words of Salvador "Buddy" Encarnado, the boss of the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. For him, this team is more than just a job, it seems to be a calling. The old Sta. Lucia Realtors played for 17 years in the PBA, winning two titles with Encarnado a fixture in the team's leadership. Some of their players are etched into Pinoy hoops lore, like Marlou Aquino, Kelly Williams, Dennis Espino, and MPBL commish Kenneth Duremdes. When SLR departed from the league in 2010, the real estate conglomerate continued to dabble in hoops, fielding teams in amateur leagues. But their takeover of the Pasig franchise in the MPBL represents their biggest hoops project since fleeing the pro league. Sta. Lucia Basketball thus entered a new era. This team is also very close to Encarnado's heart. The GM grew up in Barangay Sumilang, a 13-minute walk away from the Realtors' home court, the Pasig Sports Center. Exequiel "Exy" Robles, the president of Sta. Lucia Realty, is also a native of Pasig. Both were dismayed when the Pasig Pirates finished the Datu Cup in dead last in the table, at 4-21. "As a Pasigueno I could not help but feel bad for the negative image of Pasig with a team that went 4 out of 21," said Encarnado, who has retired as a day-to-day executive of SLR but helps out in their sporting ventures. Sta. Lucia took the reins of the troubled club, rechristened them the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, and quickly moved to upgrade the roster. There wasn't a great deal of time, just two and-a-half weeks before the June start to the season. "We were pressured to make a fighting team in such a short window. It was like being the last in a buffet lunch. We had so few choices," laments Encarnado. Despite the slim pickings Pasig brought in a trio of studs in guard Robbie Manalang, swing man Jeric Teng, and former Mapua standout Josan Nimes. Manalang, a Filipino-American guard from Orange County in California, starred for Adamson but didn't sign with a team in the PBA after being drafted by Rain or Shine in the second round. The Realtors nabbed him on the last day of the preseason transfer period. "The management and team welcomed me with open arms since day one. Playing here has revived my career," says the guard. Manalang is norming just under 14 points per game and is a real weapon from beyond the arc. Encarnado locked down coach Bong De La Paz, who he had worked with in the past. "He knows my standard and my system," says the GM. Richard Velchez and Argel Mendoza were also roped in. In the recent midseason trading period the team strengthened their frontcourt with veteran Leo Najorda and 6'5" former NLEX Road Warrior Fonso Gotladera. "They bring experience and height," says the team chief. Pasig also has a powerful secret weapon: the rabid fans in the Pasig Sports Center. It's a cozy, intimate bandbox of an arena, and Realtors fans regularly fill it to the brim. "Hands down some the best fans in the league, if not the best," says Nimes. "The atmosphere is loud, crazy, and energetic. Almost all our games are jampacked and the fans are always engaged." "I have never seen a whole venue stand up and put three fingers in the air before I shoot a three like the Pasig fans do. I don't think I will ever forget that," says Manalang. "I'm usually the last to leave the dugout after games. And fans will still be there waiting for pictures. It's an amazing feeling," continues the former Soaring Falcon. "The fans relate to people who represent them," explains Encarnado. "Without the fans we are nothing. Basketball is not just basketball. They want to be entertained. The crowds are knowledgeable. They know what they are watching." Pasig is not invincible at home, having dropped games to Batangas and Bacoor. But both were close contests settled in the final seconds. Pasig's home is still one of the league's fortresses. Encarnado is cautiously optimistic about their chances this season. But for the next competition, the expectations will be high. "Next year some of my old players will be free and hopefully they will come back. I expect good things to happen." One thing that will never change is the Sta. Lucia culture, which Encarnado hopes will live on in this team's new iteration. "Ever since it has been about the work ethic of the group. We select people with good values who believe in hard work and have passion." The passion was in full view last Monday when the Realtors tangled with the Iloilo United Royals inn Makati. The Pasigueños battled hard, and Najorda had a superb day including a neat left-handed hook shot in the first quarter. But Pasig once again missed the services of the injured Jeric Teng, and could not neutralize Iloilo's white-hot Al Francis Tamsi, who scattered 26 points. Pasig shot just 34 percent from the field and lost 79-65. Encarnado sat at the end of Pasig bench, dressed in a team-supplied green-and white Sta. Lucia polo jack. He mostly observed the loss with little emotion. But near the end, during a dead ball situation, the boss strolled onto the court, and with glasses in hand, upbraided an official for not calling an elbow on one of his charges. His team falls short but they are still very much in the playoff race. The fire in Encarnado's belly still burns for the game. And it will not be extinguished anytime soon, if his words are to be believed. "I will never retire from basketball.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2019

New-look Clippers ready to level up beyond Best Team in L.A.

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES -- It was almost exactly a year ago when the Clippers welcomed the media on the same day the Lakers debuted LeBron James, and Patrick Beverley told the half-dozen or so reporters who must’ve made a wrong turn: “We’re the best team in L.A.” That bit of bravado went unnoticed and unheard, partly because of the Laker noise, partly because few -- if anyone -- bought it. Of course, Beverley was ultimately proven wise when the Clippers scrapped their way to 48 wins and a pair of first-round wins against the Warriors while LeBron and the Lakers almost literally collapsed from a kick to the groin. With a swell of attention now being paid to presumptive title favorites, who added Paul George and Kawhi Leonard while retaining much of the supporting cast, Beverley was given the chance Sunday (Monday, PHL time) to double down on his prophecy. He toned it down. “We’ll see,” he said. Yet his sinister grin was plain to see, and it reflected the swagger and internal expectations of a franchise not known for through-the-roof projections. Such is the new world order in Los Angeles, and perhaps the NBA, in 2019-20. These are unprecedented times for the Clippers, who’ve had winning teams before but none with this much title twinkle headed into the season. “We know what we’re capable of doing,” said Beverley, and so does everyone else. You don’t add the reigning NBA Finals MVP and another who finished third in the regular-season Kia MVP balloting without shaking up the establishment, even if you’ve never won a championship in franchise history. But there’s a long wait between now and next spring's playoffs, and a shorter one to see George on the floor. The 29-year-old swingman is still in the mending stage after off-season surgery on both shoulders. He said “I’m not sure” when he’ll be ready to play, even with opening night against the Lakers a little over three weeks away. George said he hasn’t had any complications or setbacks, but won’t engage in any contact work in camp and coach Doc Rivers said George will not appear in any games until he does. “There’s no problems,” George said. “I’m just going to do light work and drills for now.” The other issue as it relates to health is Leonard’s usage. Last year in Toronto, still smarting from a persistent quad injury that led to his stormy exit from the Spurs, Leonard didn’t play on consecutive nights during back-to-back games. Rivers said there are no such restrictions this season, or demands from the player, although the coach wants to reserve the right to monitor and change the approach if necessary. "Last year, I was going in with an injury that I was dealing with the year before, still was lingering, and we knew that I had to be healthy going throughout the season and making it to the playoffs,” Leonard said. "This time, I'm feeling good. I’m feeling way better than I was at the start of last season. There really was no plan laid out to discuss with everyone." Rivers also noted that the Clippers’ depth will allow for rest periods for George and Leonard; both players are joining a team that prospered without an All-Star last season, a team that will probably once again bring reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell off the bench. In due time, the Clippers will be complete, and that’s the most important takeaway from their first official gathering. The level of enthusiasm is “sky-high,” said Williams. Rivers has flexibility with Leonard and George, widely considered among the most elite two-way players in basketball. On offense, George and Leonard are top-10 league scorers (26.6 points last year for Leonard; 28.0 for George). Playing those two alongside Williams, who averaged 20 points last season in just 26 minutes off the bench, should cause matchup headaches. “We’ll force a lot of defenses to make a lot of hard decisions,” said Williams. And the options afforded to Rivers might even be richer on the other end. Rivers thinks pairing two newcomers plus Beverley -- who guarded Kevin Durant in the playoffs, while giving away seven inches -- can be “special.” Utilizing three players who can legitimately guard multiple positions, the Clippers’ defense could be epic, if not historic. George said: “It’s going to be scary … we’ve really got a chance to do something special on the defensive end. Watching Pat get out there and picking somebody up 94 feet, that's going to get me going. It's going to get Kawhi going. It's just going to become contagious on a nightly basis. I honestly think, for the first time, people are going to be excited to watch the defensive end as opposed to watching the offensive end.” The makings of a unique season, then, is on deck for the Clippers. It became realistic when Leonard, fresh off a title in Toronto, chose George and the Clippers over LeBron James and Anthony Davis and the Lakers — which, in itself, seems un-Clipper-like given the club’s former reputation and history, when superstars were once allergic to L.A.’s "other" basketball team. But these are new times. “We actually wanted to be teammates for a long time,” said George. “This was always in the works to happen at some point.” From the top of the organization to the bottom, everyone knows the potential and just the same, would rather allow a scenario to play itself out than speak it into existence. That’s why Beverley provided the most unexpected news of camp by playing it coy. But you knew where he stood. “Can’t wait to get started,” he said, echoing the thoughts of a locker room thinking big. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 30th, 2019

NBA veteran Muggsy Bogues believes he can play in today s less physical game

In basketball, height is often might, but throughout the years, there have been a number of guys on the smaller side who have managed to impact the game on so many levels.  Today, the likes of Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kemba Walker, and Kyle Lowry among others are some of the NBA's most notable stars just a little over six feet tall.  But if we're talking about small guards, probably no other player in NBA history impacted the game quite like the legendary Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues.  At just 5-foot-3, Bogues played 14 seasons in the league and was one of the key pieces of the original Charlotte Hornets franchise back in the 90s. The 12th-overall pick from Wake Forest had career averages of 7.7 points and 7.6 assists.  Currently in the Philippines for an NBA 3X event on August 3 and 4, Bogues got to do some media rounds with ABS-CBN and got to talk a bit about his career as well as the major differences of today's NBA and the NBA that he played in.  "I had a decent career, I believe," Muggsy shared. "I had a career where I was able to play in three decades, in the 80s, the 90s, and the 2000s. I played with amazing talent, I played against some amazing talent. Got drafted by the Washington Bullets in 87, so I thank them for that opportunity to be selected 12th overall, then I went on to showcase most of my talents in Charlotte, played two years in Golden State, two years in Toronto, I went to New York but didn’t really play, I was hurt, got traded and went to Dallas." "After the 14th year, my mom passed away, and had three years left on my contract, but I just couldn’t go out there anymore, I just didn’t have the energy. Mr Cuban, at the time, the owner of the Mavs, he decided to honor my contract and just allowed me to ride off into the sunset. 14 years of playing, 15 years of payment, but throughout all of it, I wouldn’t change, not one minute. My journey was an amazing journey. No one thought that I would be able to do what I was able to do." During his time with the Hornets, Muggsy got to play alongside the likes of Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, and was able to help the team to three playoffs appearances.  "It was awesome, I mean it was a dream come true, playing in the NBA and playing with the best in the world and having teammates like Larry and Alonzo and Dell Curry and those guys made the cause that much more special. The bond and the war that you went to so many battles with." "We had some great moments in Charlotte, I spent nine years of my NBA career in Charlotte and played with some talented players and played against some amazing talents, like Michael Jordan and the Bulls, but we just couldn’t get past those guys because of that number 23, it was kinda tough, but again, that was the nature of the business back then," he added.  The diminutive Bogues earned a reputation as being a hard-nosed defender during his time in the NBA, something that he's extremely proud of.  When asked about todays game and who he would like to try his hand at stopping, Bogues welcomed the challenge of containing today's best stars.  "I’d like to guard ‘em all today, the way the salaries are," he said with a chuckle before detailing how different today's game is compared to when he was on court. "It’s truly fun to watch today, the game is totally different than what we played. It’s more uptempo, there’s not as many positions, just be able to be on the floor depends on what type of skillset you have. You got 7-footers now facing the basket, opposed to when we played, guys played with their backs to the basket, at that size, but it’s a great game today, there’s a lot of entertainment, a lot of long-ball shooting, so guys really have to work on that skillset to try to compete. The NBA is a trend, you have to be able to match that thing that’s happening, that trend that’s going on today." Muggsy believes that his tenacity and his defensive skillset is something that would translate well into today's NBA as well.  "Well every player feels like they can play in any era, and I believe that I can play in this era. It’s not as physical as it was back then, the lane is more open, so I feel like I can move my way anywhere on the court and still be able to be effective, and for defensively, I don’t want to say there’s not much defense taking place, but nobody plays defense the way I play," said Bogues. "I don’t see no guys hitting you up 94-feet. A couple of them you got, like [Eric] Bledsoe or maybe Patrick Beverley, maybe those guys that may get into you really aggressively, but there’s not as many," he added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2019

It s a new day in the NBA, and a welcomed change

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — There is no favorite. This is what the NBA wanted. And needed. The biggest piece of valid criticism about the league in recent years has been its predictable. Golden State got to the last five NBA Finals. LeBron James had made it there eight years in a row, four with Miami and then four more with Cleveland. Brooklyn used to be the 'other' team in New York, and the Clippers used to be the 'other' team in Los Angeles. No more. Welcome to a new NBA. If you think the Clippers can win it all next season, or the Lakers, or Utah, or Philadelphia, or Milwaukee, or Houston, or Denver, or even Golden State and maybe a few others, you're right. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Technically, there is a favorite: The sports books in Las Vegas, after hearing the news that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are heading to the Clippers, listed them as the best bet Saturday to win the 2020 NBA championship. Yes, the Clippers. A team that has won exactly four playoff series since moving to Los Angeles in 1984. A team that had 12 consecutive losing seasons a generation ago. There wasn't much NBA intrigue at this time last year. The Warriors were adding DeMarcus Cousins to a team that won the last two championships and were seemingly locks to win a third consecutive title. Everyone knows it didn't work out that way. Toronto took care of that. It was just more proof that what seems obvious at this time of year doesn't always come to fruition. This year, though, the newfound balance of power — dare we say "parity" — seems like a done deal. The East still has a 60-win team in Milwaukee returning the reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and shooting guard Khris Middleton, so the Bucks may be the favorite right now on that side of the league. Philadelphia lost JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler, adding Josh Richardson and Al Horford to a team that looks be dominant defensively. No one will count out Boston, because of Brad Stevens and now Kemba Walker. Miami got better even after losing Dwyane Wade with the addition of Butler — and the Heat might throw their hat in the ring if Russell Westbrook is indeed available following the George trade to the Clippers. Brooklyn gets Kyrie Irving this season and now knows it'll be adding Kevin Durant next season, once he returns from his Achilles rehab. Atlanta's young core may be the most promising in the NBA. And let's not forget the East also has the reigning NBA champion Raptors, albeit without Leonard and Danny Green.) But the West ... wow. The Clippers kept Patrick Beverley, have an amazingly talented bench led by Lou Williams, a coach everybody wants to play for in Doc Rivers and now gets two of the very best players in the game with Leonard and George. The Lakers still have James, added Anthony Davis, kept JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo, signed DeMarcus Cousins and Green — and might be in the market for another shooter. Portland went to the West final last season and have an elite backcourt in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Utah had a brilliant summer, giving Donovan Mitchell more good players like Mike Conley to surround himself with. Houston still has James Harden and Chris Paul. Dallas figures to be better if Kristaps Porzingis is healthy to run alongside Luka Doncic. The Lakers are almost certainly coming for someone's playoff spot out West. Same goes for the Heat in the East. And before long, New Orleans with Zion Williamson and David Griffin at the controls, Atlanta with that core led by Trae Young and Kevin Huerter, potentially Memphis with the Ja Morant era set to begin, it'll be their turn at the playoff table. It's been a top-heavy league for a long time. Only five different franchises have represented the West in the NBA Finals over the last 20 years. In the East, it's five over the last 15 years. Right now, the odds-makers in Vegas are predicting next June it'll be Clippers vs. Bucks. A couple days ago the Lakers were the betting favorites. A new day is here in the NBA. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

Bonds, Clemens making slow gains with changing electorate

NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer The electorate is changing, however, and that could be good news for both. Bonds and Clemens inched past the 50-percent mark for the first time Wednesday, each appearing on about 54 percent of ballots cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. For a fifth straight year, Bonds and Clemens fell short of the 75 percent needed for induction, but their support is slowly climbing. Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to the Hall on Wednesday. Bonds and Clemens remain on the outside looking in because of drug suspicions, but they could continue to gain ground as more new voters are welcomed into the process. 'I think, just generationally, people in their 20s and 30s look at this different than people in their 50s and 60s,' said Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, a first-time voter who supported Bonds and Clemens. 'Maybe we're missing something — I'm not one of these people that thinks, like, I'm right and they're wrong. It's just different viewpoints.' A writer can receive a Hall of Fame vote when he or she has been an active member of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, so newcomers are always on the way. In 2015, the Hall of Fame eliminated voters who had been inactive for more than 10 years — a move that further boosted the influence of newer voters. The closest thing to a Hall of Fame exit poll is Ryan Thibodaux's online vote tracker , which has charted over half the ballots from this year's election. Of the 14 first-time voters identified on the site as of Wednesday night, 13 supported Bonds and Clemens. One of those first-time voters was Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News, who said he supported Bonds after former Commissioner Bud Selig was elected as part of this class by a veterans committee. Selig presided over the era in which drug suspicion became so rampant. 'The last few years in my Sunday column in The Buffalo News, I refused to use Barry Bonds' name. In my column, it became kind of a trademark. I just referred to him as No. 25,' Harrington said. 'So now people see my article in The Buffalo News — 'Wait a minute, how did you vote for Bonds and Clemens?' I explained in my column a couple weeks ago: To me, I felt, the Bud Selig thing was a tipping point.' Bonds and Clemens are back on the ballot next year, along with newcomers such as Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, Johan Santana and Omar Vizquel. Here are a few more things to watch: PUBLIC BALLOTS The BBWAA voted to release each voter's Hall of Fame choices to the public, starting next year. That change will add transparency to the process, although there are some concerns about groupthink and peer pressure. 'I'm very conflicted about this,' Mellinger said. 'I applaud the reasons that they are public. We are a profession that demands transparency in others, so why shouldn't we have the same here? I get all that. I can't argue against any of that. The part that I'm uncomfortable with is: I hope that people still vote their hearts and their minds and don't change based on, you know, 'I don't want to get ripped on Twitter.'' SABERMETRIC FAVORITES Raines had plenty of support in sabermetric circles. 'You've got these new stats. You've got WAR (wins above replacement). You've got all this stuff,' Raines said. 'Back in the day, when you looked at a Hall of Famer, you looked at 500 home runs, 300 wins and 3,000 hits, and a lot of times if you didn't reach those criteria, it was kind of hard for anyone to kind of look at you as a Hall of Famer. But I think the way the game has changed today, the way they look at the stats and everything, it has changed.' The next beneficiary of modern stats could be Mike Mussina, who achieved 51.8-percent approval this year. Mussina never won a Cy Young Award, but according to Baseball-Reference.com, his career WAR is comparable to that of Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson. LOGJAM Nearly half of this year's 442 voters used the maximum 10 slots on their ballots, and although three people were elected, players like Trevor Hoffman (74.0 percent) and Vladimir Guerrero (71.7) fell just short, meaning they'll be back to take up votes again next year. With some credible new candidates eligible in 2018, the 10-player limit could come into play for quite a few voters. Lynn Henning of The Detroit News has abstained from voting at all when he's felt there were more than 10 Hall-worthy players. He didn't have that problem this year, but it could happen again. 'The 10-ballot restriction is silly, it's perverse, it's unjust, it's convoluted. It's a complete affront to players who deserve recognition, when they've earned recognition and are otherwise screened out because of some arbitrary adherence to this number 10,' Henning said. 'I think it's the most outlandishly preposterous restriction I've ever been exposed to in the realm of professional voting.' SPECIALISTS One challenge Hall voters now face is evaluating players who had more specialized roles — like designated hitters and closers. 'It's easy to find context for a Vladimir Guerrero or a Mike Mussina because there are tons of outfielders in the Hall of Fame, there are tons of starting pitchers in the Hall of Fame,' said Ryan Fagan of Sporting News. 'Defining the context for a DH or for a relief pitcher, that's more challenging, because there aren't a lot of guys like that in there.' Fagan supported Edgar Martinez, a DH, but did not vote for closers Hoffman, Billy Wagner and Lee Smith. None of those four made it in. All but Smith will be on the ballot again in 2018. ___ Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Duterte renews vow vs drugs, corruption

As he welcomed 2017 with hope for positive and meaningful change for the nation, President Duterte has renewed his “sacred vow” to free Filipinos from the slavery of drugs, corruption, and criminality......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

MVP may run if there’s ‘clamor’ for change

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez yesterday welcomed the news that long time sports patron Manny V......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 8th, 2016

Against an environmental catastrophe, we need an almost revolutionary change: Andy Robinson

“If they don’t listen to us, there will be no future for them or anyone,” he said. Jyro saw, Of the indigenous people of the.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated News10 hr. 14 min. ago

Biden to sign executive orders on Day 1, amid high alert for inauguration

Joe Biden’s top aide said Saturday the incoming president would sign about a dozen executive orders on his first day in office, as police fearing violence from Trump supporters staged a nationwide security operation ahead of the inauguration. Authorities in Washington, where Wednesday’s inauguration will take place, said they arrested a man with a loaded handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition at a security checkpoint, underscoring the tension in the US capital which is resembling a war zone. However, the man’s family told US media he was a security guard, rejecting the idea he was intent on causing harm. Incoming Biden chief of staff Ron Klain said in a memo to new White House senior staff that the executive orders would address the pandemic, the ailing US economy, climate change and racial injustice in America. “All of these crises demand urgent action,” Klain said in the memo. “In his first ten days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain added. As he inherits the White House from Donald Trump, Biden’s plate is overflowing with acute challenges. The US is fast approaching 400,000 dead from the Covid-19 crisis and logging well over a million new cases a week as the coronavirus spreads out of control. The economy is ailing, with 10 million fewer jobs available compared to the start of the pandemic. Biden this week unveiled plans to seek $1.9 trillion to revive the economy through new stimulus payments and other aid, and plans a blitz to accelerate America’s stumbling Covid vaccine rollout effort. On Inauguration Day Biden, as previously promised, will sign orders including ones for the US to rejoin the Paris climate accord and reverse Trump’s ban on entry of people from certain Muslim majority countries, Klain said. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward,” Klain said. – 500 rounds of ammunition – Meanwhile, Washington was under a state of high alert after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6. The assault left five people dead, including a police officer. Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington as well as state capitals over the coming week. Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington and streets have been blocked off downtown with concrete barriers. On Friday night, police arrested a Virginia man at a security checkpoint where he tried to use an “unauthorized” credential to access the restricted area where Biden will be inaugurated. As officers checked the credential against the authorized access list, one noticed decals on the back of Wesley Beeler’s pick-up truck that said “Assault Life,” with an image of a rifle, and another with the message: “If they come for your guns, give ’em your bullets first,” according to a document filed in Washington, DC Superior Court. Under questioning, Beeler told officers he had a Glock handgun in the vehicle. A search uncovered a loaded handgun, more than 500 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the gun, the court document said. Beeler was arrested on charges including possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. But Beeler’s father Paul told The New York Times his son had been working as a security guard on the Capitol grounds. Asked if the younger Beeler supported a peaceful transition of power, Paul Beeler told the newspaper, “That’s the reason he’s there.” In addition to the heavy security presence in Washington, law enforcement was out in force in state capitals around the country to ward off potential political violence. Mass protests that had been planned for the weekend did not materialize on Saturday, with security far outnumbering Trump supporters at several fortified statehouses, US media reported. In St Paul, Minnesota, for example, hundreds of law enforcement officers, some armed with long guns, ringed the Capitol with National Guard troops providing backup.  The number of protesters totaled about 50......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

E-bikes For Food Delivery To Further Reduce Carbon Footprint

Quick-Service Restaurant KFC has moved to further reduce the company’s carbon footprint with the rollout of its pioneering e-bike (electric bike) fleet for food delivery in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Several units of the eco-friendly e-bikes have been deployed last year, with 72 more set to be dispatched to service KFC stores in Metro Manila and its peripheries. “This is a trailblazing initiative for KFC and reflects our continuing pursuit for more ways to contribute to the global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change,” KFC Philippines Chief Operations Officer Jojo Marcelo shared. Electric vehicles have three times less carbon footprint than conventional vehicles in their entire lifecycle, or from production to distribution, use, and disposal, studies have shown. They do not produce direct emissions, thus, helping improve air quality in urban settings. KFC’s e-bikes, supplied by one of the world’s top makers of electric vehicles, also do not contribute to noise pollution like the ordinary motorcycles being used in food delivery today. “The e-bike fleet is part of KFC’s response to the clamor for the private sector to escalate the green movement, which gives primary consideration to the environment in all aspects of the business, from production to consumption. It is also our way of addressing the growing need for sustainable food delivery service in this New Normal when mobility is restricted and people are staying indoors even while working or studying,” Marcelo added. KFC’s e-bikes are also lighter and easier to navigate than conventional motorcycles, without compromising efficiency and on-time delivery of “finger lickin’ good chicken and gravy, well-loved fixins, tasty new pasta, and rice bowl creations”. KFC now prides itself as the first quick-service restaurant in the country to utilize e-bikes for eco-friendly delivery, which can be accessed via its website www.kfc.com.ph, the KFC Philippines mobile app, and delivery service number 02-888-7-8888. It currently has over 300 branches nationwide. KFC also recently opened the business for sub-franchising, allowing entrepreneurs throughout the country to join the fast-growing QSR chain......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021