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Another inaugural tradition – prayer – under fire over Trump

NEW YORK — For years, the Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal parish with a dual role as a civic gathering place, has hosted a prayer service for the.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

All-Stars LeBron, Irving lead Cavs past Suns

em>By Tom Withers, Associated Press /em> CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, All-Star teammate LeBron James had 21 points and 15 assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked more like themselves at home in a 118-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). The Cavs were back in Quicken Loans Arena following a six-game road trip (their longest of the season) that concluded with an embarrassing 35-point loss at Golden State. But on their home floor, they had better offensive balance and ball movement while improving to 30-11 -- the same record Cleveland had at the halfway point of its 2016 NBA championship season. Channing Frye scored 18, Iman Shumpert 17 and James Jones 14 while filling in for star forward Kevin Love, still bothered by back spasms. Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 16 rebounds, but the Suns lost for the fourth time in five games. Already thin on their front line with Love out, the Cavs lost forward Tristan Thompson in the second quarter with a dislocated left index finger. However, Thompson returned after halftime. And Cleveland's offense was in a much better rhythm from the start after a trip that wasn't always pleasing to the eye. While trying to integrate newly acquired Kyle Korver into their rotation on the road, the Cavs got into some bad habits as they forced passes to one of the league's best shooters. A couple of practices seem to have helped as Korver made a pair of three-pointers in the second quarter of his home debut to help Cleveland open a 21-point lead. The Suns made a brief run in the third and got within 12 before Shumpert hit a pair of three’s and Jones hit one from long range. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em> Chandler has at least 15 rebounds in six straight games, matching the club record set by Jim Fox in 1969. Phoenix coach Earl Watson has known Korver for years. When he joined the Jazz in 2010, Watson leased Korver's condominium in Utah. 'We go back. I sent him a lot of money every month,' Watson said with a smile. 'I'm glad I don't do that anymore.' On a serious note, Watson said Korver is a perfect addition for Cleveland, especially while J.R. Smith recovers from thumb surgery. 'He's a deadly knock-down shooter. He knows how to win,' Watson said. 'They're looking more long term instead of immediate. You get into the playoffs and you need a big three to stretch the floor. He's obviously the best shooter on their team. It's an impressive move.' em> strong>Cavaliers: /strong> /em>James, who missed his 46th career triple-double by one rebound, will be making his 13th consecutive All-Star Game appearance next month. He said the honor never gets old. 'Just means I've been doing something right in this league,' he said. 'Means I'm consistent and taking pride in my individual ability to go out and produce for the team every night, and whatever team I've been on in my career. It's always great to see my name up there with the best guys in the league, so it's a pretty cool thing.' Smith has had the hard cast removed from his right hand. He's expected back in late March. Jones made his first start since April 2, 2015. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em> At the New York Knicks on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Phoenix won the first meeting this season in overtime. em> strong>Cavaliers: /strong> /em>Host the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in a matchup between two of the NBA's best teams. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2017

AMA’s Jeron Teng wants to extend personal title run

MANILA, Philippines — In his five years in the collegiate ranks, Jeron Teng celebrated two championships......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017

Ben Affleck braces for ‘entertaining’ Trump presidency

Ben Affleck is an optimist. The Hollywood star thinks the next four years will at least be interesting after watching President-elect Donald Trump’s first press conference......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

‘I think it was Russia’ – CNN News

President-elect Donald Trump said for the first time Wednesday he believes Russia was responsible for hacking ahead of the election but contemptuously rejected allegations that Moscow mounted a campaign to compromise him. In his first news conference since winning the election, a combative Trump made clear he will not mute his style when he is inaugurated in nine days. He lashed out at media and political foes alike in a bravura performance. The Trump Tower press conference confirmed the President-elect's deep desire to quickly assert power once he's sworn in. He insisted on moving speedily &'8212; too speedily for some Republicans in Congress &'8212; to replace Obamacare. He also pledged swift action on building a wall along the border with Mexico and nominating a new Supreme Court justice. But it's also clear Trump will take office amid persistent questions about his relationship with Russia. While Trump was at the podium, his nominee to become secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, faced tough questions on Capitol Hill about whether the incoming administration will view Russia with sufficient skepticism. At the news conference, Trump finally conceded he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin's intelligence agencies were behind hacks on Democratic computers ahead of the election but argued that wouldn't happen again. &'8220;I think it was Russia,&'8221; Trump said. Putin &'8220;should not be doing it. He won't be doing it. Russia will have much greater respect for our country when I am leading it than when other people have led it.&'8221; Trump, who has vowed to improve relations with Russia despite some Republican opposition, said he did not know if he would get along with Putin and noted it's possible he won't. But he could not resist a swipe at his defeated Democratic election rival, Hillary Clinton. &'8220;Do you honestly believe Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me?&'8221; he asked. He added that Russia is not the only nation that hacks US targets and accused Democrats of not having sufficient cybersecurity programs. The news conference opened with the incoming White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, slamming a &'8220;political witch hunt&'8221; following reports that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Trump. Vice President-elect Mike Pence also criticized the media before introducing Trump, who kept up his criticism of US intelligence. &'8220;I must say that I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies,&'8221; Trump said. He said any such move by the agencies would be a &'8220;tremendous blot on their record.&'8221; &'8220;A thing like that should never have been written, it should never have been had and it certainly should have never been released,&'8221; Trump said. The news conference follows exclusive reporting by CNN on Tuesday that classified documents presented last week to President Barack Obama and Trump included the allegations about Russia. The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and drew in part from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him 01:38 The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Trump. The news conference, delayed from December, was scheduled for Trump to outline how he will address questions about possible conflicts-of-interest related to his vast business empire. Trump appeared beside a large pile of files he claimed were pertinent to the companies that are going to be placed in a trust to be run by his sons. He reiterated that he doesn't plan to release his tax returns, saying they are under audit and don't include relevant information After taking a handful of questions, Trump turned the event over to Sheri Dillon, an attorney who was on hand to discuss Trump's business interests. She said Trump planned to put in place a structure that will &'8220;completely isolate him from the management of the company.&'8221; &'8220;He further instructed that we build in protections that will assure the American people that the decisions that he makes and the actions he takes as President are for their benefit and not to support his financial interests,&'8221; she said. Trump will place all his financial and business assets in a trust, Dillon said. The Trump Organization, meanwhile, will not enter into any new deals abroad and all domestic deals will be subject to a heavy vetting process. The firm will also appoint a new ethics officer, she said. The President-elect has also terminated a number of deals set to close shortly, a step that had cost him millions of dollars, she said. Dillon argued that the decision had been made not to put all Trump's assets in a blind trust or to divest of all his assets because it would be impractical. She also said that Trump should not be forced to destroy the business that he had built up. &'8220;President Trump can't unknow he owns Trump Tower,&'8221; Dillon said, explaining why a blind trust would not be a workable solution to addressing conflicts of interest issues while he is President. Dillon said Trump would take other actions to avoid the appearance of a conflict over the Emoluments Clause [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

Watson and Clemson dethrone top-ranked Tide, 35-31

div>RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer /div> div>  /div> div>TAMPA, Florida (AP) — College football's first national championship rematch was even better than the original, with an incredible twist at the end. /div> div>  /div> div>Deshaun Watson and Clemson dethroned the champs and became the first team to beat Nick Saban's Alabama dynasty in a national title game, taking down the top-ranked Crimson Tide 35-31 Monday night in the College Football Playoff. /div> div>  /div> div>Watson found Hunter Renfrow for a 2-yard touchdown pass with a second remaining to give the Tigers their first national championship since 1981. A year after Alabama won its fourth title under Saban with a 45-40 classic in Arizona, Clemson closed the deal and denied the Tide an unprecedented fifth championship in eight seasons. /div> div>  /div> div>The lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter, but Watson got the ball last. Likely playing in his final college game, the junior quarterback threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns. In two games against Alabama and the most ferocious defense in college football, Watson has thrown for 825 yards and accounted for eight touchdowns. /div> div>  /div> div>Coach Dabo Swinney, the native Alabaman and former Crimson Tide walk-on receiver, has built an elite program at Clemson that was missing only one thing. Now the Tigers can check that box, too. /div> div>  /div> div>'Eight years ago we set out to put Clemson back on top,' said Swinney, who can turn postgame interviews into a rousing sermon. 'We came up a little short last year, but today on top of the mountain, the Clemson flag is flying.' /div> div>  /div> div>After three quarters of vicious hits and tight defense, Tigers-Tide II ended up looking a lot like the first meeting when the teams combined for 40 points in the fourth quarter. /div> div>  /div> div>Clemson took its first lead when Watson found Mike Williams for a 4-yard touchdown a minute into the fourth quarter to make it 24-21. /div> div>  /div> div>The Tigers took a 28-24 lead with 4:38 left in the fourth quarter when Wayne Gallman surged in from a yard out. /div> div>  /div> div>The Tide's offense, which had gone dormant for most of the second half, came to life with the help of a sweet call from newly promoted offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Receiver ArDarius Stewart took a backward pass from Jalen Hurts and fired a strike to O.J. Howard for 24 yards. /div> div>  /div> div>On the next play, Hurts broke free from a collapsing pocket and weaved his way through defenders for a 30-yard touchdown run to make it 31-28 with 2:07 left. /div> div>  /div> div>More than enough time for Watson. /div> div>  /div> div>'I was calm,' Watson said. He said he thought about Vince Young's last-second touchdown for Texas that derailed the Southern California's championship run in the 2005 championship game at the Rose Bowl. He told his team: 'Let's go be great.' /div> div>  /div> div>Watson hooked up with Williams and Jordan Leggett, who made great catches for big gains to get to first-and-goal with 14 seconds left. /div> div>  /div> div>A pass interference on Alabama made it first-and-goal at the 2 with six seconds left. Time for one more play to avoid a game-tying kick and potential overtime. Renfrow slipped away from the defense at the goal line and was alone for an easy toss. It was the walk-on receiver's second TD catch of the night, adding to the two he had last season against Alabama. /div> div>  /div> div>When it ended, Clemson's 315-pound (143 -kilogram) defensive lineman Christian Wilkins did a cartwheel and Ben Boulware, one of the toughest linebackers in the country, was in tears. /div> div>  /div> div>The Tigers had snapped Alabama's 26-game winning streak and beaten a No. 1 team for the first time ever. /div> div>  /div> div>'It's been 35 long years!' Boulware screamed. 'It's coming home baby! It's coming home!' /div>.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo wins FIFA best player award for 4th time

GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer br /> ZURICH (AP) — Capping what he called the best year of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth FIFA best player award on Monday. The double European champion with Portugal and Real Madrid beat great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards. 'It was a year that was magnificent at a personal level and at a sporting level,' the 31-year-old Ronaldo said in Portuguese in his acceptance speech, which he began by exclaiming 'Wow, wow, wow.' Ronaldo's fourth career FIFA award closed the gap on five-time winner Messi, who has been the runner-up to each Ronaldo victory. His 34.54 percent of total voting points in a 23-candidate ballot was clearly better than Messi's 26.42 percent. Griezmann got 7.53 percent. Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected media, and fans online. Messi did not attend after being pulled out hours before the ceremony by his club Barcelona to prepare for a cup match on Wednesday. 'Of course, I wish that they (Barcelona players) had been here tonight like in the other years. We have to respect the decision,' Ronaldo said. Yet again, Ronaldo and Messi snubbed each other on ballot papers they got as captains of Portugal and Argentina. Ronaldo selected three Real Madrid teammates headed by Gareth Bale, and Messi picked Luis Suarez atop an all-Barcelona ballot. Ronaldo's 2016 trophy haul included the European Championship, Champions League, and Club World Cup, plus individual best player awards from UEFA and France Football magazine. 'I won a lot trophies, collective and individual, so I am proud,' said Ronaldo, adding he would send the inaugural silver FIFA Best trophy to the museum dedicated to his career on his home island, Madeira. Messi's Barcelona won the Spanish league and cup double in 2016, though Argentina lost another Copa America final. Griezmann's France and Atletico Madrid lost their finals to Ronaldo's teams. Ronaldo's mentors for club and country were beaten to the coaching award by Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who earned the prize for a stunning English Premier League title. 'What happened last year was something strange. The God of football said Leicester must win,' said Ranieri, who was in his first season at the unfashionable provincial club widely tipped for relegation. Ranieri rose from his seat and politely shook hands with his two opponents, Madrid's Zinedine Zidane and Portugal's Fernando Santos, plus their partners before heading to the stage. The 65-year-old Italian collected his trophy from Diego Maradona, who earlier Monday played in an exhibition match with other retired greats at FIFA headquarters. Carli Lloyd of the United States won a FIFA player prize for the second straight year, despite a quarterfinals exit at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. With gold-medal winner Melanie Behringer of Germany in third place, Lloyd got more than 20 percent of the vote and five-time winner Marta of Brazil was runner-up with 16.6 percent. Behringer got 12.34 percent. 'I honestly was not expecting this,' Lloyd said. 'I know Melanie did fantastic in the Olympics.' Germany did win the women's coaching prize as Silvia Neid earned her second FIFA prize, after also winning the 2010 award. Neid beat two previous winners: last year's winner, Jill Ellis of the United States, and Pia Sundhage of Sweden, the Olympic silver medalist. The Puskas Award for best goal was won in an online poll by Mohd Faiz Subri, who scored with a wildly swerving long-range free kick for Malaysian club Penang. A players' vote organized by international union FIFPro gave a World XI of: Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich); Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona/Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid); Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid); Messi, Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona), Ronaldo. The First FIFA fan award was chosen by fans and was made to supporters of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, who joined in singing the English club's anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' before a Europa League quarterfinal. The other nominees were Iceland fans at Euro 2016, and Dutch club ADO Den Haag, whose fans brought soft toys to children supporting rival team Feyenoord. FIFA made its Fair Play Award to Atletico Nacional, the Colombian club which was scheduled to host Chapecoense in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final on Nov. 30. After most of the Brazilian team died in a plane crash flying to the match, Atletico Nacional asked the South American soccer confederation to present the title and trophy to Chapecoense. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Inigo providing much-needed voice for newbie Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung once again fell to Alab Pilipinas last Sunday. But still, the Truth’s 1-1 record over the weekend was their best-ever showing in their short history. Much of it has to do with reinforcements Derek Hall and Cedric Oliver who dominated Saigon before giving a good scare to the Filipinos. However, it also has to do with the emergence of Asean Heritage import Achie Inigo as a floor leader. Against the Heat, the Filipino collected 18 points, four assists, and three rebounds and then against his countrymen, he was behind the steering wheel of repeated rallies. Coincidentally, Inigo’s steadying of the ship comes on the heels of a coaching change from Tryston Lawrence to Sabatino Chen. For someone who has been used to a champion coach like Nash Racela, the shift was much-needed. Talking about his new Taiwanese mentor as compared to the now-departed American, he said, “Mas maayos siya and mas detailed mga sinasabi niya. Yung coach namin dati, walang board.” He then continued, “Experienced si coach Chen kaya mas alam niya ginagawa niya.” Chen was only quick to return the favor. “Achie is great. He’s my voice on the court. We understand each other because we have similar philosophies,” he expressed. Kaohsiung’s coach then went on to recall how, at one point, his floor leader subbed himself in for defensive purposes and it turned out to be the correct decision. For Inigo, he’s slowly but surely realizing that his stint in the ABL has a more personal goal – to help out with development of the startup Truth. “Baka nga kaya ako dinala rito ni God kasi may purpose para tulungan sila. Kasi kahit nga, dynamic stretching, ako pa nagpa-stretch sa amin,” he narrated. He the continued, “Willing akong tumulong kahit anong need nila kasi wala pa talaga silang experience.” Fortunately for Kaohsiung, Inigo has, without a doubt, taken a thing or two from his more than four years under Racela. “Natutunan kong maging court general talaga sa FEU. Siyempre, yung experience ko kina coach Nash at coach Eric (Gonzales), lalong tumaas yung IQ ko,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Walker enjoys the views and his game, takes lead at Kapalua

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer br /> KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — With a chance to take the lead at Kapalua, Jimmy Walker missed in the one spot he was trying to avoid. The way he was hitting his wedges Thursday, it really didn't matter. Walker hit a tough pitch to a tight pin on the elevated green to 3 feet for birdie on the par-5 15th, and he nearly holed a lob wedge from 78 yards on the final hole for an 8-under 65 that gave him a two-shot lead in the SBS Tournament of Champions. He's still three days away from atoning for a playoff loss to Patrick Reed two years ago at Kapalua, though it was an ideal start for the PGA champion in ideal conditions on the west end of Maui, except for a short burst of pineapple showers. Jim Herman got in one last round with his former employer — President-elect Donald Trump — a few days before Christmas, then came out to the Plantation course where he once got in a round of golf in tennis shoes and rental clubs while on his honeymoon. Herman, a former assistant at Trump National, was 6 under through 13 holes when his round stalled. Even with four wedges in hand over the final five holes, he had to settle for pars and a 67. Justin Thomas and Ryan Moore also were at 67. In his first competition in three months, Jason Day had a pair of three-putts but still managed a 70. Defending champion Jordan Spieth wasn't so fortunate. He never got his putter going, turned a birdie into bogey on the 15th and had to birdie the final hole for a 72. Walker had the Tournament of Champions in hand two years ago until Reed holed out from a fairway to start an unlikely rally and won in a playoff. Walker won the following week on Oahu at the Sony Open for the second straight time. 'I love the scenery. I'm a very visual person, so I enjoy looking out and watching the whales when I'm walking around. Just a pretty place,' Walker said. 'Everybody's in a good mood. I love stepping off the plane and the air is just awesome. Something does it for me here.' Walker was curious about a short club in his bad when he came to Kapalua, though it wasn't any of his wedges or his putter. He was so determined to be more accurate off the tee that Walker cut 2 inches off his driver while at home at Texas during the offseason. He liked the way it felt and had Titleist make him one without the duct tape. Hitting fairways is not a big issue on the expansive Plantation Course, though it showed his willingness to go old school to fix a longtime problem. This driver is 42 inches, just an inch shorter that a typical driver a generation ago. 'I didn't bring anything else, so this is the club I've got with me,' he said. 'This is a tough golf course for that because it's such a big place and you want to just kill it, and I had to keep reminding myself today why I put it in and why did it to hit the fairway, hit the middle of the fairway.' He was in the middle of the fairway on the 15th with caddie Andy Sanders reminding him to hit it hard, that through the green was better that leaving it at the bottom of a deep swale to the right. But with the ball below his feet, and the wind coming out of the left, he wound up bailing out. 'That was probably my favorite wedge shot,' Walker said. Daniel Berger made bogey on the par-5 18th and was at 68, along with Jason Dufner. The group at 69 included Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama, who is going after his fourth consecutive victory worldwide. Herman qualified by winning the Shell Houston Open and brought back strong memories. He abandoned the mini-tours, took a job at Trump's course in Bedminster, New Jersey and got married. The honeymoon was a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands, and he had seen enough of Kapalua that when the ship stopped on Maui, Herman headed for the Plantation course. 'I see the pictures on our computer all the time,' he said. Herman never imagined returning as a PGA Tour winner, but what a journey. He became Trump's regular partner, Trump encouraged him and helped back one last bid to play professionally, he finally got to the big leagues and made it back to Kapalua. The round with Trump was just before Christmas. They were partners. They won. Not much changed. 'He's the same guy to me,' Herman said. 'But now I get to call him Mr. President.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Woods adds Dubai to complete busy start to the year

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer br /> KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — After playing one tournament in 15 months, Tiger Woods feels good enough to schedule four events in five weeks that cover opposite sides of the country and the world. Woods filled out the rest of his early schedule Thursday by saying he would return to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. He had not played since August 2015 while recovering from two back surgeries, returning last month in the Bahamas at the Hero World Challenge. Woods made 24 birdies in 72 holes, but he finished 15th in a 17-man field. 'I am working hard to sharpen my game for 2017, and my goal is simple: to win,' Woods said in a blog on his website. Woods makes his 2017 debut at Torrey Pines on Jan. 26-29, and then he will cross 12 time zones to play in Dubai. After a week off, he returns to California for the Genesis Open at Riviera, and the following week heads to Florida for the Honda Classic. The last time the 41-year-old Woods played four times in five weeks was early in 2013 — the Match Play in Arizona, followed by three of the four tournaments that made up the Florida swing. What pleased him about his return at the Bahamas, beyond his 24 birdies, was his health. 'The only doubt I had was the physicality of the round — the length and duration — because I hadn't been able to practice or play much golf,' Woods said. Woods said he and his two children were hit with a virus before Thanksgiving, and he ran out of energy toward the end of the tournament. He attributed some of the energy loss to be host of the Hero World Challenge and having other functions to attend. 'I know many people doubted whether I would play competitive golf again, and to be honest, even I wasn't sure,' Woods said. 'My love for the game never left. It's just that the body would not allow me to play. Now my body is allowing me to do it again.' Woods got in one high-profile round after the Bahamas. He played with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Florida. 'What most impressed me was how far he hits the ball at 70 years old,' Woods said. 'He takes a pretty good lash.' He said they didn't have a match, covered a variety of topics and 'enjoyed the bantering, bickering and needling.' Woods said he still was testing equipment because Nike announced last year will no longer be making clubs and golf balls. Woods recently signed a deal with Bridgestone Golf to plays its ball, noting that Bridgestone once make the Nike golf ball he has used since 2000. He said he likely would keep using his Nike irons and his old Scotty Cameron putter. Woods, whose 79 PGA Tour victories are three short of the career mark set by Sam Snead, is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines (including the 2008 U.S. Open). He last played there in 2014 when he missed the 54-hole cut. A week later in Dubai, where he had won twice, Woods tied for 41st. That year was the start of back trouble that led to the first of his three surgeries and caused him to miss the Masters for the first time. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

Motiejunas' new mission with the Pelicans: Get Davis open

em>By Brett Martel, Associated Press /em> METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Donatas Motiejunas, the Pelicans' new seven-footer, might sound delusional to more cynical NBA observers. Two of the first topics Motiejunas discussed after his first practice with the Pelicans on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) were the health of his back and the Pelicans' playoff prospects, offering rosy outlooks on both fronts. 'I'm going to prove it when I get on the floor,' Motiejunas said when asked about fighting the perception that he's been damaged goods since back surgery near the end of the 2014-15 season. 'I don't see an issue to fighting through this.' The versatile Lithuanian, who has left and right post-up moves, hits about 31 percent of his three-point attempts and draws praise for his passing ability, also sees himself as a boost to the Pelicans' playoff chances. New Orleans is eight games below .500 (14-22), but sat just two games out of the final Western Conference playoff spot heading into Wednesday night's (Thursday, PHL time) NBA slate. When Motiejunas was asked whether he saw his stint with the Pelicans, which will pay him a pro-rated veteran minimum of about $600,000, as an audition for when he becomes a free agent again next summer, he answered by talking about team goals. 'I'm here to help the team win. I'm not here to look at my personal stats,' Motiejunas said. 'If this team is going to make the playoffs and I'm going to help them, it's going to put my value up regardless.' Motiejunas later added, 'As long as we're going to stay healthy, this team right now can make a big push.' A handful of teams expressed interest in signing Motiejunas, who has played four seasons in the NBA with Houston, averaging 7.8 points and four rebounds. They were all offering about the same pay because most teams at this point in the season are restricted to paying the NBA minimum for new free-agent acquisitions. Gentry said the Pelicans had internal discussions about trading for Motiejunas last year and were pleased to be able to get him now in a low-risk, free-agent deal. Gentry said the presence of Anthony Davis and up-tempo, evenly spaced offense the Pelicans run appealed to Motiejunas. 'The opportunity to play alongside a great player — obviously it makes the game easier,' Gentry said. 'The system that we run is something that was appealing to him.' And for New Orleans, having a big-man with passing skills and shooting range helps Davis because he 'can take away some of the potential double-teams' that Davis might otherwise see. Indeed, Motiejunas said his mission is to help Davis 'get wide open shots.' 'I'm a creator,' Motiejunas said. 'I can take the ball to the paint, force the defense to collapse on me and dish the ball to [Davis], and without a lot of energy waste he can get an easy bucket.' The Pelicans have used a smaller, quicker lineup recently with the 6’11” Davis at center. It has paid off in the form of five victories in seven games. Gentry said Motiejunas will likely play center, but his ability to run and pass means a lineup shift, with Davis moving back to power forward, should not disrupt the rhythm with which New Orleans has played lately. Davis agreed, saying Motiejunas has 'a high basketball IQ, but the thing that stands out to me the most is his ability to pass. ... It gives me another opportunity to get out on the floor and roam, step out and shoot the ball, or be able to attack more.' As a restricted free agent last offseason, Motiejunas signed an offer sheet from Brooklyn worth about $36 million over four years. Houston initially sought to match it, but ultimately allowed the 26-year-old to become an unrestricted free agent after negotiations broke down, in part because of the player's history with back injuries. He played in only 37 games last season, but also only missed one regular season game after Feb. 27 and played in five playoff games. Motiejunas said he's been working out on his own in Vancouver the past five months and is in 'really good shape.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Rodgers-Manning headlines NFL's wild-card weekend

ROB MAADDI, AP Pro Football Writer br /> Aaron Rodgers vs. Eli Manning will headline the NFL's wild-card weekend. Rodgers tossed four touchdown passes to help the Green Bay Packers capture the NFC North title with a 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday night. The Packers (10-6) will host the Giants (11-5) next Sunday while the Lions (9-7) visit Seattle (10-5-1) on Saturday night. New York's 19-10 win at Washington eliminated the Redskins (8-7-1) and allowed the Packers and Lions to secure playoff spots before their game kicked off. But the teams are heading in opposite directions. The Packers have won six in a row while the Lions lost three straight. Earlier in the day, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons (11-5) secured a first-round bye with a 38-32 win over New Orleans. The Seahawks beat San Francisco 25-23 and earned the No. 3 seed. The Cowboys (13-3) already locked up the NFC's No. 1 seed before they played last week. In the AFC, Tom Brady and the Patriots (14-2) beat Miami 35-14 to secure the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Chiefs (12-4) clinched a first-round bye thanks to Denver's win over Oakland coupled with their victory over San Diego. The Raiders (12-4) fell from No. 2 to the fifth spot and will open the playoffs on the road at Houston (9-7). That matchup could feature rookie quarterback Connor Cook making his first career start for the Raiders after they lost Derek Carr last week and backup Matt McGloin went down in the second quarter against the Broncos. The Texans also have uncertainty at quarterback. Tom Savage sustained a concussion in a loss at Tennessee and was replaced by former starter Brock Osweiler. The Steelers (11-5) will host the Dolphins (10-6) in the AFC's other wild-card game. Here's a look at the playoff teams by seed: AFC 1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Brady and coach Bill Belichick will begin their quest for a fifth Super Bowl championship against either Houston, Oakland or Miami on Jan. 14. 2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Coach Andy Reid is 3-0 in divisional playoff games when his team has a bye. All three wins came with the Eagles. The Chiefs open against Pittsburgh, Houston or Oakland on Jan. 15. 3. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown had an early bye. They sat out an overtime win over Cleveland in preparation for the Dolphins next Sunday. 4. HOUSTON TEXANS: They need to sort out their quarterback issues before the Raiders visit next Saturday at 4:35 p.m. Oakland beat Houston 27-20 in Mexico City. 5. OAKLAND RAIDERS: Carr's season-ending injury deflated a team making its first playoff appearance since losing the 2003 Super Bowl to Tampa Bay. 6. MIAMI DOLPHINS: It's unknown whether QB Ryan Tannehill will return from injury when the Dolphins play their first playoff game in eight years. Matt Moore was 2-1 in Tannehill's absence. NFC 1. DALLAS COWBOYS: Dak Prescott only played two series and Ezekiel Elliott sat out a loss at Philadelphia to get ready for the playoffs. The Cowboys will open against Green Bay, New York or Detroit on Jan. 15. 2. ATLANTA FALCONS: They will host Seattle, Green Bay or New York on Jan. 14. 3. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Russell Wilson and the Seahawks start their drive for a third NFC championship title in four seasons against the Lions next Saturday. 4. GREEN BAY PACKERS: Rodgers has the Packers riding high into the playoffs. They were a No. 6 seed in 2010 when the last won a Super Bowl. Green Bay plays the Giants in this season's final wild-card game next Sunday. 5. NEW YORK GIANTS: Were locked into the No. 5 seed, but Manning played the entire game and the Giants knocked out the Redskins. Manning has won two playoff games at Lambeau Field, beating Brett Favre and the Packers in a frigid NFC championship game following the 2007 season. 6. DETROIT LIONS: Wilson, Richard Sherman and The 12s stand in the way of Detroit's first playoff win since the 1991 season. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2017

Patriots clinch home-field advantage

The Associated Press br /> MIAMI GARDENS, Florida (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 276 yards and three scores Sunday as the Patriots clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs by beating the Dolphins 35-14. New England took a 20-0 lead in the first half, and turned away Miami's comeback bid with the help of a 77-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Julian Edelman and a 69-yard fumble return by linebacker Shea McClellin. The Patriots (14-2), already assured of a first-round bye, became the ninth team since 1972 to go undefeated on the road during the regular season. The Dolphins (10-6), beaten for only the second time in the past 11 games, had already earned an AFC wild-card berth. They play their first postseason game since 2008 next weekend at Pittsburgh. STEELERS 27, BROWNS 24 PITTSBURGH (AP) — Steelers backups assured the Browns of the top pick in the 2017 draft. Landry Jones hit Cobi Hamilton with a 26-yard touchdown with 2:57 left in overtime. The Browns took a lead on Cody Parkey's 34-yard field goal with 7:17 remaining in the extra session. Jones, who started while the playoff-bound Steelers rested Ben Roethlisberger, took the Steelers 75 yards in nine plays. The last was a pretty lob to the end zone that Hamilton hauled in to give Pittsburgh (11-5) its seventh straight victory. Jones finished with 277 yards passing and three touchdowns and one interception. Isaiah Crowell ran for a career-high 152 yards for the Browns (1-15), who finished with the worst record in franchise history. JETS 30, BILLS 10 EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes in what was likely his final game for the Jets. Despite a 5-11 record, the Jets are making no changes in leadership, meaning both coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan will remain with the team next season. Bowles is 15-17 in his two-year tenure with New York, which hired him in January 2015 after firing Rex Ryan. Maccagnan is also in his second season with the Jets, and had also been criticized for the team's roster, which likely faces an overhaul this offseason. The Bills (7-9) also face some uncertainty this offseason after firing Ryan earlier in the week and elevating offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn to the interim role. Two other people with direct knowledge of the situation told the AP before the game that Lynn is the clear favorite to take over the job permanently. TITANS 24, TEXANS 17 NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — A concussion that sidelined quarterback Tom Savage could have the biggest impact coming out of the Texans' loss. Savage started for the AFC South champions, left in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion and was cleared. He took a snap to kneel down on the final play of the first half and was diagnosed with a concussion after being re-evaluated at halftime. That left Brock Osweiler, benched for Savage last month, running the offense. He threw for 253 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a 1-yard TD on fourth-and-goal in the fourth quarter. Houston (9-7) will host Oakland next weekend, possibly with uncertainty at quarterback. DaQuan Jones recovered a fumble for a touchdown in the first quarter and the Titans never trailed to finish with their first winning season since 2011. EAGLES 27, COWBOYS 13 PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tony Romo threw his first touchdown pass in nearly 14 months as the playoff-bound Cowboys played it safe. The Cowboys (13-3) had already locked up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs so Dak Prescott played only two series and Ezekiel Elliott watched from the sideline. Carson Wentz tossed two TD passes to Zach Ertz to help Philadelphia finish with a two-game winning streak. Prescott was 4 for 8 for 37 yards before giving way to Romo, who hadn't played in a regular-season game since Thanksgiving 2015 when he broke his left collarbone for the second time in less than three months. Romo broke a bone in his back in the third preseason game against Seattle this season, paving the way for Prescott to have one of the best years by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. BUCCANEERS 17, PANTHERS 16 TAMPA, Florida (AP) — Jameis Winston threw for 202 yards and one touchdown as the Buccaneers broke up Cam Newton's 2-point conversion throw in the closing seconds for their first winning season in six years. Winston threw a 10-yard pass to Mike Evans to snap a fourth-quarter tie and became the first player in NFL history to start his career with consecutive 4,000-yard seasons. But the Bucs (9-7) were eliminated from playoff contention, not getting the help they needed in other games for their first berth since 2007. Winston's franchise record-setting 28th TD pass put the Bucs ahead 17-10 with 3:10 remaining. Newton, however, moved the Panthers (6-10) right down the field, with help of a 47-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin and two fourth-down completions to set up a 5-yard scoring pass to trim Carolina's deficit to one with 17 seconds left. VIKINGS 38, BEARS 10 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sam Bradford concluded his first season with Minnesota with three first-half touchdown passes. Bradford went 25 for 33 for 250 yards and one interception, finishing with a 71.6 percent completion rate to set an NFL single-season record. Kyle Rudolph caught 11 passes for 117 yards and a score for the Vikings (8-8), who started 5-0 before stumbling out of their bye week and never recovering. The Bears (3-13) wound up with their fewest wins in a non-strike year since 1973 after turning the ball over five times. Everson Griffen returned one of their three lost fumbles for a touchdown. Jordan Howard, the lone bright spot, rushed for 135 yards on 23 carries to break Matt Forte's franchise rookie record and finish with 1,313 yards for the season for Chicago. COLTS 24, JAGUARS 20 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 9 seconds left. Indy (8-8) went 75 yards in 84 seconds with no timeouts to avoid its first losing season since 2011, sending retiring linebacker Robert Mathis out with a win in his final NFL game. Jacksonville (3-13) matched the second-worst record in franchise history after blocking a punt with 1:54 to go and breaking a 17-17 tie with 1:33 left. Instead, Luck took the Colts right downfield for the score. Mathis extended his league record of strip-sacks to 41 in the fourth quarter, two days after announcing he would retire. BENGALS 27, RAVENS 10 CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton completed his first 10 passes, one for a touchdown, and Rex Burkhead ran for a pair of scores in the Bengals' fifth straight win at home over the Ravens. The Bengals (6-9-1) missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. Coach Marvin Lewis says he'll return in 2017. Baltimore (8-8) failed to reach the playoffs for the third time in four years. The Ravens played their final game as if they were emotionally hung over from a last-minute loss at Pittsburgh last Sunday that eliminated them. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2017

Browns to stay the course despite 1-15 season

WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer br /> PITTSBURGH (AP) — The worst season in franchise history won't cost Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson his job. If anything, owner Jimmy Haslam is doubling down on his bet that Jackson, general manager Sashi Brown and the rest of the front office are the right people to turn things around. The revolving door that's been an offseason fixture since Haslam bought the team in 2012 is stopping, even after a 27-24 overtime loss to the backup-laden Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday that left the Browns an NFL-worst 1-15. 'Clearly not an acceptable year,' Haslam said. 'Really since we bought the team, it's totally unacceptable performance, which as ownership we'll take the entire blame for.' And not, Haslam stressed, Jackson or Brown, both of whom were brought in last winter to revive a team that's 15-49 over the past four seasons. 'Could not be more pleased with the job Hue and the staff are doing,' Haslam said. 'You wouldn't think this was a 1-14 team with the way this team was out there battling (today). Really pleased with Hue and really pleased with our personnel group. I think we have the right people in place.' If not the right results. At least, not yet. Their final game of 2016 looked an awful lot like the 15 that came before it: flashes of competence undone by questionable play-calling and occasionally bad luck. The Browns fumbled inside the Pittsburgh 5 with a minute to go in regulation and had a first-and-goal at the Pittsburgh 2 turn into a field goal by Cody Parkey, extending the game. Oh, and they had a potential pick-6 by Briean Boddy-Calhoun turn into a touchback when Pittsburgh's Darrius Heyward-Bey punched the ball out of Boddy-Calhoun's hands as he stretched for the goal line in the third quarter. A touchdown would have put Cleveland up 21-7 in the third quarter. Instead, the Steelers went right back down the field to tie the score. And so it goes. While the loss assured the Browns of the top pick in the draft this spring, it provided little solace after the Steelers responded to Parkey's field goal by going 75 yards in nine plays, the last a 26-yard touchdown lob from Landry Jones to Cobi Hamilton. 'We were coming here to win the game,' Jackson said. 'We weren't coming here to get a No. 1 pick. Those guys gave it everything they had.' Isaiah Crowell ran for a career-high 152 yards for the Browns, who have been playing football since 1946 (save for a brief three-year break from 1996-98) and never finished with a 'one' in the win column. Not exactly that Jackson envisioned when he took over last January. 'You can't sugarcoat this,' Jackson said. 'It is what it is. I would hope we get a chance next year to earn a different type of record. That's where it starts. We're 1-15. I never would have thought that in a million years, but we are.' Robert Griffin III passed for 232 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but Cleveland missed a chance to beat the Steelers on the road for the first time since 2003. Griffin, signed to a two-year deal last offseason, said getting a chance to compete for the starting job in 2017 would be 'awesome.' He also acknowledged that the broken bone in his shoulder suffered in September never fully healed, though he was quick to point out it did not have a significant impact on his play. 'You'd be naive to think a guy that breaks a bone in season is going to come back with a fully healed bone,' Griffin said. 'The doctors felt I was healed enough to return to play ... but to say I was 100 percent healthy is a lie.' Like Haslam, Griffin praised Jackson and his staff for doing what they could in a difficult situation. 'I think those guys are the right guys,' Griffin said. 'I think in the offseason what those guys are going to do is give the Cleveland Browns the best chance to win going into next year.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2017

Tiger Woods plays 18 holes with Trump

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Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsDec 24th, 2016

Nothing personal for Pingris after Star beat James Yap

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Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2016

Teen Jackie Evancho first singer confirmed for Trump inauguration

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Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsDec 15th, 2016

Healing takes time

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Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsDec 8th, 2016

Obama legacy: Handing Trump a broad view of war powers

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Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 5th, 2016

The Ironic Twist in the Trump-Duterte Lovefest

The day after Donald Trump won the US presidency in a stunning upset, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte declared the end of his personal war with the United States. “I don’t want to fight now that Trump’s there. I would like to congratulate Presid.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philnewsRelated NewsDec 5th, 2016