Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Slaughter certainly had his moments of brilliance against the Bolts during the Finals series.But there were also moments where he seemed lost, moments where Meralco pounced on his presence and managed to overturn Ginebra’s massive advantage in size to the Kings’ undoing.Cone absorbed all of those situations like a sponge, those instances now stored in his vast memory bank as he makes a long-overdue trip back to the United States on Monday to be with family and celebrate his latest conquest there.“Right now teams are trying to mismatch him,” Cone said as he obliged fans for selfies. “Teams have been trying to play us small, most especially in this series and these are the things we have to learn how to handle.“Teams have been throwing things at us that we’re asking ourselves: ‘What do we do?’” he went on. “But the more we have those situations, the more we develop as a team.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ All eyes on SMBThe season started with all eyes on San Miguel Beer, on its giant June Mar Fajardo, and on their Grand Slam bid. There was one familiar question throughout the season: Was there a side out there that could stop the Beermen from completing a Triple Crown sweep?The Beermen certainly made everyone doubt there was. San Miguel dusted off Ginebra in the Philippine Cup finale and then dismissed TNT KaTropa in the Commissioner’s Cup title series.The table was set for a Grand Slam.Beer was being chilled even before tip off of the Governors’ Cup in anticipation of a celebration for the franchise’s second Grand Slam. Interestingly enough, Meralco’s Norman Black steered the team to its first season sweep in 1989.All San Miguel needed to do was sign up a great import and stay injury-free.The Beermen failed at both as import woes and a leg injury to Fajardo helped doom them to a sixth place finish in the eliminations, and—you guessed it—a twice-to-win handicap against Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals.It wasn’t even close, that playoff game.And Ginebra had everything in place once it sealed a Finals stint: Cone was coaching at his best, LA Tenorio was making a case as the best point guard in the conference despite a nagging elbow injury, Justin Brownlee was as deadly as last season, and Slaughter had returned from injury and was terrorizing the opposition in the shaded lane.Exploiting Slaughter With a 4-3 win in the classic best-of-seven Governors’ Cup series carved out in front of record-setting audiences in the last three games at cavernous Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, there were times—a lot of it, actually—when the Gin Kings’ legions of fans were sitting on pins and needles.Even coach Tim Cone, who has seen so many battles in a decorated career, admitted to being nervous a lot of times with the gung-ho Bolts refusing to go away and fighting to the last ounce of their strength.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogBut, believe it or not, Cone cherished those moments.Moments after winning the 20th title in 32 Finals appearances of his career, Cone talked extensively about the game, about the thrilling series and then saved a few minutes with the Inquirer to talk about the future—and a lot of that bright future is cast on the 7-foot shadow of Ginebra star Greg Slaughter. Things are looking UP Barangay Ginebra certainly had its hands full in completing the franchise’s first championship repeat in PBA history.ADVERTISEMENT “I feel that we’re just trying to exploit Greg,” Cone said of his center, admitting that he held back in playing him extended minutes in the championship because he “still didn’t know what to do in some situations.”“I feel like I haven’t exploited him yet,” Cone went on. “They were playing small and we couldn’t handle that at that time. But we’re learning. We learned a lot in this series.”Slaughter played in his first Finals series and went on to bag his first Best Player of the Conference citation.Tenorio, on the other hand, was the Finals MVP for the second straight season, while Japeth Aguilar has shown dramatic improvement ever since Cone got on board and has evolved into a dependent player on both ends, not just the 6-foot-9, athletic guy trying to knock down the three-point shot.Dominant forwardAguilar has metamorphosed into a dominant power forward, challenging every enemy attack in the shaded lane and shying away from those three-pointers.While talk in the final three games of the title series also centered on the Draft set at Robinson’s Place in Ermita on Sunday, where the Beermen now have the chance to snag 6-foot-7 Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger and come up with their own version of a twin-tower combo, Cone wasn’t into any of that.He feels that, with Slaughter, Aguilar, Tenorio and the valuable experience he gained as a coach, Ginebra has what it takes to remain dominant.More to come“You can always have pieces added,” Cone said when asked of the Draft, where they pick 11th overall, second-to-last in the first round. “But we still have guys who are developing and we’re pretty much OK. 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Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ “I think we can challenge San Miguel a little bit,” he said. “June Mar is unbelievable, but the more we have him (Slaughter) and the more we see things (like the small-ball ploy of Meralco), the more we develop him and the more we improve as a team.”So it wasn’t out of just championship elation, or his amazement that the last three games of the title series was watched by close to 140,000 fans, but Cone certainly had his basis when he addressed the crowd in the din of the Ginebra celebration and said:“We’re not going to stop here, we have more championships to win.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ LATEST STORIES It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson
When it comes to talent, not many can question what India batsman KL Rahul brings to the table. But a couple of failures at the start of this edition of the Indian Premier League saw critics questioning his form as also if this would ultimately see him miss the bus for the World Cup. After all, the Kings XI Punjab batsman is in the race to fill the No.4 slot in the national set-up for the showpiece event in England, starting May 30.Not one to let critics get the better of him, Rahul silenced one and all with a match-winning knock against Mumbai Indians in Mohali on Saturday. His unbeaten innings of 71 not only saw KXIP win the game, but once again showed that this youngster is just too good to miss out for long.Speaking to IANS, Rahul said that a couple of games don’t really mean much in a long tournament like the IPL and it was all about getting that one innings to turn things around. More importantly, he said that he isn’t willing to let the No.4 slot in the World Cup squad distract him.”As players it is important that we try and perform well for our respective IPL franchises and team. It is also very important to stay in the present. If you do well, you are automatically in the race for selection. But if you worry about the selection, then you put too much pressure on yourself,” he said.”I am not somebody who is thinking too much about the World Cup spot. I just want to perform for KXIP and enjoy the IPL. T20 cricket is all about having fun,” he smiled.advertisementWhen it comes to the pressure of expectation and the criticism after a couple of failures, Rahul said he doesn’t let what people are saying outside get to him and he tries to keep working hard.”I don’t know anything about too much pressure or anything. It was only two games so the talks don’t get to me and I don’t read them. Yes, it is always disappointing not to score and get off to a good start. But then, it is a long tournament and it is all about working hard and one good knock helps you to get back to scoring,” he said.He’s not just a star, he’s Sadda Star! @klrahul11 got the most number of votes for his sublime knock in #KXIPvMI #SaddaPunjab #KXIP #VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/nZlseYm8OVKings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) March 31, 2019There have been talks that Rahul has tried to play one shot too many in recent times and that led to his failure. But the opener defends his decision and says that playing aggressively is important in a format like T20 cricket.”It is T20 cricket, you have to try and play a few shots. You have to attack and make best use of the first six overs and as a result you might end up playing a few bad shots and these things are bound to happen. You cannot really worry too much about it and you learn from your mistakes. You have to play aggressively as it is T20 cricket and you can’t play in any other way. Have to keep your chin up and look forward,” he said.First home win of the seasonA big thank you to the fans! Your support was incredible #saddapunjab pic.twitter.com/1SazBUMAGbK L Rahul (@klrahul11) March 30, 2019Asked about donning the wicket-keeping gloves, Rahul said: “Mostly for the team composition. It is a team game and especially when you don’t bowl, you can add value by keeping wickets. I have done that last year as also for RCB. This is something I enjoy doing in T20 cricket and I am all for the team.”Skipper R Ashwin’s decision to ‘Mankad’ Jos Buttler made headlines all over, but Rahul says that this unit doesn’t believe in reading about what is being said from the outside.”We don’t really read too much about what is happening around. We are a new team and look to enjoy ourselves and get to know each other. We have a very positive environment in the dressing room and we are looking to learn and improve as we play more games,” he said.While he is definitely a match-winner himself, one man who has once again shown that class is permanent is Chris Gayle. At 39 years and 192 days, he is definitely one of the oldest players in the tournament. But for Rahul and the rest of the KXIP boys, Gayle is a youngster.advertisement”You have to give it to him. He is one of the most destructive players to have played the game. He brings in a lot more than just his destructive batting to the team. He brings in fun and laughter along with the experience and keeps the mood in the dressing room really light,”he smiled.@klrahul11 pic.twitter.com/o0XfKDUwXvChris Gayle (@henrygayle) March 23, 2019To have someone with so much experience and yet to have him gel with the youngsters is just brilliant. Nobody thinks of him as a 40-year-old, he is a youngster at heart and he calls himself that. He is someone who reinvents his batting and has been enjoying himself and it is great to have someone like him around,” he added.Also Read | KL Rahul’s mantra in IPL: When Chris Gayle bats like that, never try to be a heroAlso Read | With World Cup in mind, KL Rahul promises to be more disciplined in IPL 2019Also Read | Koffee with Karan row: Pandya, Rahul issued notices for deposition by BCCI OmbudsmanAlso Watch | Could not come out of home: KL Rahul on Koffee with Karan row
Lucknow: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said the alleged harassment of a woman student by ex-Union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand in Shahjahanpur appears to be a repetition of the Unnao case.In a tweet, she alleged that in Uttar Pradesh, if a woman registers a complaint against a BJP leader her security is not guaranteed. Gandhi was referring to the rape charge made by a 19-year-old woman from Unnao against MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was expelled from the BJP recently. In Shahjahanpur, Chinmayanand was booked on Tuesday under IPC sections related to abduction in order to murder, and criminal intimidation. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s media advisor Mrityunjay Kumar was quick in his retort advising the Congress general secretary not to create confusion and the police have taken all the steps in this regard. The Shahjahanpur police on Tuesday lodged an FIR against Chinmayanand after the student went missing following her allegation in a video clip that he had been harassing her. Her father had filed a complaint with the police accusing Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, a charge refuted by the BJP leader’s lawyer who claimed it was a “conspiracy” to blackmail him. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe woman’s father alleged that she has gone missing at the behest of the 72-year-old BJP leader, who heads Mumukshu ashram. She is a post-graduate student in one of the colleges run by the ashram. “In Uttar Pradesh, this matter appears to be repetition of the Unnao case. If a woman complains against a BJP leader, then she is not guaranteed justice, even her own safety is not guaranteed,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi with hashtag ‘EnoughIsEnough’. The 19-year-old rape survivor from Unnao and her lawyer suffered critical injuries in a car-truck collision in Rae Bareli district in Uttar Pradesh on July 28. Her two aunts died in the incident. The girl’s family alleged that the accident was an attempt to eliminate her. In another tweet, Gandhi said, “Not a single day passes in Uttar Pradesh when the BJP government manages to assure women that you are safe and you will get justice if anything happens with you.” She also tagged new reports of the case involving Swami Chinmayanand in support of her tweets. “Last year, the BJP government had withdrawn a rape case against accused (Chinmayanand). It’s clear where the government is standing. UP girls are watching,” Gandhi said in the microblogging site. “The girl, who raised voice is missing or deliberately being taken away. What is happening with her nobody knows. Till when this will continue?” she posed in another tweet. Reacting on Priyanka Gandhi’s comments, Mrityunjay Kumar took to the same platform to say, “Dont create confusion Priyankaji. UP police has taken all steps.” “FIR has been registered and the family has been assured of their security. Read newspapers and know truth and stop playing politics by showing sympathy. People know all. Your veil has slipped and the real face is out,” he said.