November, 2019 Archive

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Trump makes racism ‘fashionable’ – LeBron

first_imgCatriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village “Hate in America, especially for African-Americans, is living every day,” James said at the time. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James. AP FILE PHOTOLOS ANGELES—Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James reacted swiftly Tuesday to US President Donald Trump’s repeated claim that there was “blame on both sides” in the deadly racial unrest in Charlottesville.“Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again!” James tweeted shortly after Trump angrily defended his controversial initial response to the white supremacist rally on Saturday that erupted in clashes with counter-demonstrators.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next LATEST STORIES Woods had marijuana, painkillers in system at arrest — report LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games A suspected Nazi sympathizer plowed his car into a crowd of anti-racism demonstrators, leaving one woman dead and 19 injured.Trump’s reaction on Saturday, that there was violence “on many sides” provoked a backlash and on Monday he singled out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis involved as criminals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in VirginiaBut in an exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday, a clearly irked Trump again said that both groups were at fault in inciting violence and insisted that those who gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee form a park were not all racist. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension James, who has long been outspoken about matters of race in America and endorsed Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton for president, had tweeted his dismay at the events in Charlottesville over the weekend.“It’s sad what’s going on in Charlottesville,” James tweeted on Saturday. “Is this the direction our country is heading?“Make [America] Great Again huh?! He said that,” added James in a dig at Trump’s celebrated campaign slogan.While James has attempted to use his celebrity to combat racism, his wealth and fame haven’t made him immune.On the eve of the NBA Finals in June his house in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood was daubed with a racial slur.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

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Hontiveros returns to action, joins Alab Pilipinas

first_imgView comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC PBA legend Jimmy Alapag, who replaced Mac Cuan, is also making his head coaching debut for Alab Pilipinas. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City The 40-year-old guard, one of the deadliest sharpshooters in the PBA, fortifies the Philippines’ roster that already features the likes of import Ivan Johnson and Bobby Ray Parks Jr.Hontiveros, who had a colorful 17-year career in the pros, is just one of six former PBA players in the lineup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJoining Hontiveros are ex-PBA veterans Rico Maierhofer, Josh Urbiztondo, Pamboy Raymundo and Rob Celiz. Oping Sumalinog, who briefly played for TNT is also part of the team.Completing the team are gritty point guard Pao Javelona and the returning Lawrence Domingo.center_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:18Sangley airport to be operational in 7 days – Tugade01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Alab Pilipinas new recruits Oping Sumalinog (left) and Dondon Hontiverors. Photo by Mark Giongco/INQUIRER.netBarely a month after announcing his retirement from the PBA, Dondon Hontiveros is lacing up his kicks again to write the next chapter of his basketball career.Hontiveros has been tapped to play for Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Cavs, Warriors gear up to begin championship quests againlast_img read more

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PBA suspends Camson, Almazan, Miranda

first_imgRead Next NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers MOST READ LATEST STORIES Kent Salado tears MCL, out for remainder of Aspirants’ Cup Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img Meanwhile, Miranda was penalized P20,000 for kicking Chris Ross in the groin late in NLEX’s 109-98 defeat to San Miguel last Friday. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Kia bruiser Camson was asked to pay P30,000 for instigating the fight against Almazan on Saturday, while the Rain or Shine center was slapped a P20,000 fine for figuring in the fist fight.READ: PBA: Almazan, Camson ejected after trading punches FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe two traded blows late in the first half of the game between the Picanto and the Elasto Painters last Saturday. They were sent to the showers early after both incurring a flagrant foul penalty two.Kia came out on top in the duel, 98-94 for their first win of the conference. Eric Camson vs Raymond Almazan. PBA IMAGESThe PBA Commissioner’s Office has meted meted out one-game suspensions on Eric Camson, Raymond Almazan, and Michael Miranda after the three figured in separate fights over the weekend.On top of the one-game ban, the players were also were also fined by PBA officer-in-charge Willie Maecial.ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoiseslast_img read more

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Hardest part was saying goodbye

first_imgBREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. But the pain did not last long.“10 minutes,” Lazo said, drawing laughter from the group. Fuentes did a mock-reenactment of the scene: “I was like huhuhu (crying).” And then the awarding ceremonies came and everyone “was happy,” recounted the bubbly midfielder.“After a while, when we were able to recover from that final whistle and then you see the girls crying and broken, we told them there’s nothing to be ashamed of with your performance,” said Benitez. “You can walk into the pitch with your held head high.”The sadness they felt when they had to go their separate ways, however, would last a little bit longer.“We were together for five weeks or more,” said Zalamea. “So it wasn’t easy to say goodbye. Especially since some of the girls were from the province and some were from America.” ADVERTISEMENT “They’re like family na and I wanted to stick with them forever,” said Lazo. “In the last day we were crying. It was so sad.”“It’s hard to say good bye to people who are the first ones you see when you wake up and the last faces you see before you go to sleep,” said Fuentes.The girls had built camaraderie the same way really special teams do: Stay together in success and failure. Bond through activities that help fight off the ennui that sometimes settles on “away” teams between games and practices. Building memories together.And there were lots of memories. Fuentes recalled “doing homework” and “applying face masks and cucumber patches during 10-hour layovers.” There were several activities: Team-building, singing on bus rides, queuing at buffet tables. And of course, the memories on the pitch were aplenty.“I’ll always remember that Myanmar game, when Mirya scored the goal and we were finally in the final,” said Torres. “That felt good.”Even the coaches carry moments they will always miss.“The routine,” said Dillera. “Waking them up early in the morning and making sure they’re tucked in bed before 9 p.m.”After all, for the coaches, it was suddenly like having children of their own—teenagers at that—to take care of.“I think we skipped the whole cute part,” laughed Benitez. “It was a lot of fun being with them. There were days when they were extra makulit and the coaches had to put their foot down. But with this batch of coaches, we could be as playful as the kids and we could be serious.”And the kids loved their coaches. Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR LATEST STORIES “They tag along sometimes and sumasama sa kalokohan,” said Zalamea. “They take care of us really well.”“They guide us. They are our inspiration,” added Torres. And they’re ready to jump on any chance to get together as a team again. After all, the team has a goal. If they stay together long enough and train together hard enough, they just might be able to plant a foot in the U17 women’s World Cup.And that may not be such a far-fetched dream.“You know you did something good, something right, when the goodbyes are longer than the training sessions,” said Benitez.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Oakley holds charity game for young golfers Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast View comments Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV MOST READ Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds “The last day,” said midfielder Martina Torres.Torres and her teammates—midfielders KC Zalamea and Any Fuentes and striker Maria Lazo—along head coach Marielle Benitez and assistant coach Elyo Dillera were recent guests of Sports IQ, the Inquirer’s omni-platform live sports talk show, where they talked about their journey to the finale of the U15 tournament.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAfter coming back dramatically to beat Myanmar in the semifinals, leaning on a goal by Mirya Garcia with four minutes left in the match, the young Malditas ran into a Thailand squad that flaunted superior quality and a marked improvement from the squad the Philippines nearly upset in last year’s U14 finale.The pain of a 6-2 defeat in the finale was real. The U15 squad truly believed in their hearts that they could finally complete the unfinished business they had with the Thais after last year’s heartbreaker.  In the end, Benitez said the girls were “crying and broken” after the match. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games INQUIRER PHOTO/RICHARD REYESThey were on the verge of missing out on a return trip to the finals. And even when they did get there, they were left “crying and broken” after Thailand reduced them to silver medalists yet again.And yet the girls of the Philippine U15 squad that played in the recent AFF age-group tournament will tell you about another one of the most gut-wrenching things they had to go through. ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Gameslast_img read more

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Tennis legend McEnroe refuses to apologize to Serena Williams for ‘sexist’ remarks

first_imgPagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Murray Wimbledon top seed for first time John McEnroe  SCREEN GRAB from Instagram/@barclayscenterTennis icon John McEnroe further ignited the flames of his recent beef with Serena Williams by refusing to apologize for his earlier statements.The 58-year-old legend, who’s best known for his temperamental outbursts during his playing days, recently earned the ire of netizens for claiming that Williams would be ranked “like 700 in the world” if she played in the men’s circuit.ADVERTISEMENT China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend View comments LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Riveracenter_img Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next What ‘missteps’? MOST READ McEnroe had the opportunity to express contrition during a guesting at the CBS’ “This Morning” show.“Would you like to apologize?” the program’s co-host Norah O’Donnell asked McEnroe on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), as relayed by Bleacher Report.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“No,” he replied. “It was not necessary. I didn’t know it would create controversy.”The four-time US Open singles winner added that the issue was blown out of proportion, more than it should have. “I respect Serena very much so and I was simply calling her on NPR—which supposedly this is where you can say it like it is and you’re gonna get honest feedback,” he said. “She’s the greatest player, female player, that’s ever lived.”Williams, on the other hand, earned the support of netizens for her dignified response to McEnroe’s criticism.  Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:Serena Williams cheered by netizens after answering John McEnroe’s backhanded complimentADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Gameslast_img read more

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Like PH, other countries also sent their B teams in Jones Cup

first_imgFEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ LATEST STORIES Regional power Iran, the champion here in five of the last eight years, sent its ‘B’ team as the 12 players in its roster vie for two slots to the national team proper where they will get to play with the likes of Hamed Haddadi and Nikha Bahrami.Japan’s biggest star, Jojie Takeuchi, stayed home, according to Japanese media here, together with some of the team’s regulars as its 24-Under squad is thrown into the fire which will give coaching staff an idea on who can make it to the regular squad.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsLong-time Gilas tormentor South Korea has assembled a team made up of a couple of national team players led by Lee Jong-hyun.Coached by 1990s national team star Hur Jae, the Koreans are also tipped to contend in the Asian Championship. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Federer on verge of Wimbledon immortality National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress FILE – Like Gilas, Japan also didn’t send its best players in the Jones Cup. Fiba.comTAIPEI — It’s not only the Philippines that didn’t send its best for the Jones Cup, with the timing of the event not really friendly to two more prestigious regional contests for the remainder of the year.Asian sides priming up for the continental championship in August and the start of the World Cup Qualifying later this year, save for the host nation, have opted to send their second teams to this 10-team, nine-nation event to develop talents for the future.ADVERTISEMENT El Nido residents told to vacate beach homescenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim It’s no secret that Gilas Pilipinas left a lot of its best players back home – to the disappointment of Canada 150 coach Kyle Julius – as the country has put a premium on the World Cup Qualifying starting in November.“I’d be afraid to play your best team in the future,” Julius said after posting a 90-77 win on Saturday.“This is part of the program, the aim is continuously upgrade the pool of talent, that’s why we have the young guys here,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes said. “It’s important to have a lot of players to rely on in the national team in the future.”Chinese Taipei is using this tournament to sharpen its “A” and “B” teams – which Gilas plays successively starting Sunday – as even its second team is beefed up by an import in Kyle Barone and coached by Charles Parker.ADVERTISEMENT Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweetlast_img read more

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PVL: Bali Pure strengthens semis bid, downs Adamson

first_imgChurch, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant LATEST STORIES Bali Pure were on a two-game skid before facing Adamson and head coach Roger Gorayeb said they had to steady their record if they ever hope of entering the title race.“We can’t do anything about my players’ schedule because my team’s core is composed of students and now that their schools have resumed classes my players are far too exhausted compared to when they were playing in summer,” said Gorayeb.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Some of them would train twice for their school teams, so we really can’t execute drills when we train for Bali Pure.”Jerrili Malabanan led Bali Pure with 16 points while Grethcel Soltones and Risa Sato added 14 and 10 points, respectively. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Neymar PSG switch doubts grow at Barcelona Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jema Galanza had a game-high 18 points to lead the Lady Falcons. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBali Pure remained in contention for the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference after taking down Adamson in four sets, 25-18, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20, Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Water Defenders improved to 3-3 to tie BanKo Perlas at fourth place while Lady Falcons are at a lowly 1-5 and have been eliminated from playoff contention.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READcenter_img Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congresslast_img read more

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SEA Games: Paras makes highlight reel out of Gilas’ rout of Myanmar

first_imgNATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul MOST READ The Burmese, who were just simply outclassed, kept fighting. They played at their best in the fourth quarter, where they managed to put up 18 points, two more than their output in the first three quarters.The Filipinos rose to 2-0 after surviving the Thais, 81-74, in the opener on Sunday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Perkins tows Cignal HD to Game 1 blowout in D-League Finals Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side LATEST STORIES Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Kobe Paras of the Philippines dunks over a Burmese defender in the preliminaries of men’s basketball tournament of the 29th Southeast Asian Games. The Philippines prevailed, 129-34.Kobe Paras turned the Philippines’ game against Myanmar into one of his own dunk exhibition.Paras put on an aerial show to the delight of the frenzied Filipino crowd at MABA Stadium as the Gilas cadets mercilessly ripped an overmatch Myanmar side, 129-34, in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View comments The high-flying Paras played his best game yet as part of the national team, collecting 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists, seven steals and four blocks. The 19-year-old swingman had several throwdowns, including a one-handed facial that made it, 86-14, late in the third quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingPitting the region’s top team against the worst, the game was over early when Gilas scored 15 unanswered points from the get-go.The lead ballooned to 50, 60-10, at the half before swelling to 82, 98-16, at the end of the third quarter.last_img read more

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Glamour and Ire

first_imgThiruvananthapuram: A 500-m, Rs 8-crore artificial reef installed six months ago off Kovalam beach is making waves. It is meant to help protect the eroded beach, enhance fish stocks and boost tourism, but some of its geotextile bags have been washing ashore, prompting fish workers and environmentalists to demand an,Thiruvananthapuram: A 500-m, Rs 8-crore artificial reef installed six months ago off Kovalam beach is making waves. It is meant to help protect the eroded beach, enhance fish stocks and boost tourism, but some of its geotextile bags have been washing ashore, prompting fish workers and environmentalists to demand an inquiry. Kerala Tourism, however, is undaunted. It has launched the global campaign for the coming season in style.IloraA Rs 1.5-crore promotional film, Your Moment is Waiting, made by Prakash Varma (of the Vodafone Zoozoo ads fame) will be screened at Saatchi Gallery, London and will be later shown along with the Julia Roberts starrer Eat Pray Love, which was shot in Kerala, at theatres all over the UK; it also features international model Miriam Ilora. In March this year, Kerala Tourism’s innovative campaign in the UK using cabs plying in Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham sporting exotic images from God’s Own Country like elephants and snake boats was noticed widely. “The UK being our biggest overseas market, it makes sense to launch our global campaign here,” says V. Venu, secretary, Kerala Tourism.last_img read more

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The End of Dadagiri

first_imgMinutes before Sourav Ganguly’s name was to be called on the rebound during the Indian Premier League (IPL) bidding process at Bangalore, Sahara India chairman Subrata Roy requested his son Seemanto to make one last effort to include the former Indian captain in the Pune Warriors team. “Then you should,Minutes before Sourav Ganguly’s name was to be called on the rebound during the Indian Premier League (IPL) bidding process at Bangalore, Sahara India chairman Subrata Roy requested his son Seemanto to make one last effort to include the former Indian captain in the Pune Warriors team. “Then you should leave me out mate,” quipped coach Geoff Marsh who sat next to Roy Jr at the table. Seconds later, auctioneer Richard Madeley threw a white cricket ball into the basket, declaring Ganguly unsold, having failed to attract a single bid from any of the 10 franchises, including Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) that he had fondly shaped four years ago with filmstar Shah Rukh Khan and his investors.Ganguly, watching the proceedings on television at his home, did not react on his Black Sunday. He later played a game of basketball with his daughter Sana and her friends and switched off his handset to avoid repeated calls from prying reporters who had gate-crashed his south Kolkata home.Almost 48 hours later, a crestfallen Ganguly told the owner of a sports channel, “I was dropped unceremoniously. It is sad and should not have happened; it is humiliating.” He was one of the icon players when Lalit Modi started the cash-rich league and held his usual, celebrity-infested reality auctions for low-brow television. Now, the same Ganguly was among the three of the 48 capped Indian players up for auction but who remained unsold, the others being Wasim Jaffer and VRV Singh. Worse for him and his supporters was the selection of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, both members of the 35-plus brigade.advertisement  As the two-day bidding process got over, it was clear that Ganguly will not be playing in the fourth edition of the world’s richest cricket league. Subrata Roy made one last effort on January 12, faxing Ganguly an offer letter to join the board of directors of Sahara Adventure Sports that owns the Pune Warriors team.It seemed like a backdoor call to get Ganguly into the IPL and many wondered whether it would be wise for Ganguly to accept such an offer at a time when KKR remains non-committal. “The decision was purely professional, our focus is on young players,” said KKR director Joy Bhattacharya. Agrees former Indian captain Bishen Singh Bedi, “How can Ganguly handle the Twenty20 pressures? He has not played competitive cricket for the last two years.â€? The veteran spinner found support from Anil Kumble, chief decision maker of Royal Challengers Bangalore, “It is the new reality of modern cricket. The franchises are looking at three years and not one year.”KKR owner Shah Rukh Khan, who flew to South Africa a day before the start of the auction, merely told reporters in Durban that he would meet Ganguly on his return to ease tensions in Kolkata where fans threatened boycott of KKR matches. Though Ganguly’s supporters argued that the former Indian captain had immensely enhanced KKR’s brand value, the professional management brought in by the owners thought exactly the opposite. Come to think of it, wasn’t KKR the only franchise that didn’t have any of its owners at the auction?Yet, speculation continued as to why everyone ignored Ganguly. Members of some of the IPL teams confirmed that the former Indian captain’s backroom politics often created serious problems, both on and off the field. “He is a dangerous person to have in the dressing room, often instigating one player against another. And such politicking is routine with him. He comes with a lot of baggage,” remarked a KKR insider, adding, “Age was never an issue for dropping him. It was his attitude. Everyone in Indian cricket is aware of his dressing room politics.” Incidents of such tension between Ganguly and other players were evident during the previous IPL editions when Shah Rukh Khan had to replace him as the captain of the side with New Zealander Brendon McCullum.There were other reasons as well. Ganguly, despite being an integral part of KKR, had started discussing a possible shift to Pune Warriors months before IPL 4 was being planned. “He was being told by the KKR bosses that they would like to have him in a mentor’s role and groom the side but he would not play. He said nothing to that offer,” said Bhattacharya. Immediately after the weekend auction, KKR CEO Venky Mysore said: “It’s something he will have to think about and if he is interested, I couldn’t be happier.” A sulking Ganguly did not respond.For Pune Warriors, the issue was even trickier. Ganguly, long associated with the group, had played the Bengali card well enough with the Roys and was almost guaranteed a place in the side till Marsh played spoilsport and raised serious fitness and man-management issues. The coach, it is reliably learnt, also touched upon the issue of the fees that Ganguly, for reasons known best to him, suddenly raised to Rs 1.86 crore. But nothing was put on paper. Even the Sahara Group, which Ganguly till recently considered his safest batting ground, remained neutral in the blame game. “How can we take him when the chief coach and his juniors are totally against him? It is not as if all 10 franchises had gone to the auction with a mindset that the likes of Ganguly, Chris Gayle, Mark Boucher and Brian Lara were not to be touched. The coach is the best person to pick the side,” said Abhijit Sarkar of the Lucknow-based group.advertisementNo one disputes Sarkar. The fourth auction round, minus the glitz and glamour that accompanied the previous ones, predictably demolished all existing myths about the sport and business. Any sentimental value of legends up for auction was drowned within the first hour. There was a growing realisation that it is safer to invest in Indians than chase overseas mirages. Even Delhi’s Gautam Gambhir did not think he would lead the pack of multi-millionaires with a whopping $2.4 million (Rs 11.04 crore), followed by Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa $2.1 million (Rs 9.66 crore) and Rohit Sharma $2 million (Rs 9.20 crore). Three others-Irfan Pathan, Yuvraj Singh and Saurabh Tiwari-are also not very far from the $2-million mark. “Contrasting these figures with the highest paid overseas player, Mahela Jayawardene ($1.5 million), and the other two foreigners, David Hussey and Dale Steyn, in the $1-million bracket, will give you an instant insight into the mindset of the moneybags controlling the franchises,” said Alan Wilkins, veteran cricket commentator with ESPN Star Sports, the world’s largest sport broadcaster, adding, “Remember Mahendra Singh Dhoni got $1.5 million in 2008 and Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen’s price tag was $1.55 million the following year. Now you have a clutch of brash young kids bought for over $2 million each. This trend will continue in coming years as well, as this league is meant for youngsters.”Wilkins knows his IPL. The league is no longer an audacious and untested experiment where the portfolio concentration was on a high-risk, high-return strategy with teams built around a few stars. With the proportion of the budget used to buy the five most expensive players falling sharply, the IPL 4 auction was more about building winning selections than thirsting for marquee crowd-pullers. “It is like a mutual fund manager designing his equity portfolio. It’s obvious that IPL team owners will behave like venture capitalists,” said noted cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle. “Forget the stars and let’s focus on the unknowns whose valuations have soared in successive IPL auctions.” Bhogle pointed out that 20 players had seen a 10-time salary hike, eight saw their valuations increase between 500 and 1,000 per cent and 21 saw their valuations increase between 100 and 500 per cent since the cash-happy IPL started.advertisementExpectedly, the upshot in the new list of stars has forced some dropouts: Ganguly is one of them. Spare a teardrop for his farewell. No wonder, Kolkata’s widely circulated Ananda Bazar Patrika cryptically commented: “There’s no life after death.”last_img read more

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