Here comes the reign again

first_imgJo 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. View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? 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’ – Lacsonlast_img read more

$100m boost for business in Africa

first_img2 June 2006The Investment Climate Facility, a unique fund conceived to help Africa create a more attractive business environment and realise its potential as a global player and trading partner, was formally launched at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Thursday.A centre-piece of the WEF meeting, the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) received the full backing of the continent’s premier gathering of leaders in business and politics, and announced that it had successfully secured its first $US100-million of funding through a combination of sovereign donor and corporate funding.“With a defined seven-year life span, the ICF has set out clear objectives to drive investment in Africa, removing real and perceived obstacles to domestic and foreign investment, and preparing and promoting the continent as an investment destination,” the ICF said in a statement.These objectives include streamlining business registration, improving customs regulation, securing property rights and making financial markets more inclusive.‘Clear mandate to make a difference’“We are confident the ICF can have an immediate and sustained impact on Africa’s future growth and development,” said Reuters chairman and ICF co-chair Niall Fitzgerald. “It is a unique fund, highly accountable and focused, with a clear mandate to make a difference.”Initial sponsors of the ICF include Anglo American, Royal Dutch Shell and Shell Foundation, Unilever, SAB Miller, the UK Department for International Development, Ireland, the Netherlands, the European Commission and the International Finance Corporation.The ICF is structured on private sector principles and governed by an independent board responsible to the ICF’s investors as well as to African and other high-level stakeholders. It has the support of the African Union, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), the Commission for Africa, the G8 and Business Action for Africa.“Africa must achieve a sustained annual growth rate of 7% if it is to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living on less than US$1 a day by 2015,” said former Tanzanian president and ICF co-chair Benjamin Mkapa. “Improving the investment climate is a central catalyst in fulfilling this objective.”Reforming Africa’s investment climateThe ICF said it was “designed to complement rather than compete with other programmes. It is focused exclusively on reforming the investment climate across Africa – through practical action and measurable change.“The ICF’s level of resources, and its ability to draw upon skills and experience of African business, governments and regional bodies, enables it to work at regional and national level.”The ICF’s ambitious list of to-dos over the next few years include:Reducing red tape;Helping to secure property rights and make contract enforcement more efficient;Speeding up and simplifying business registration processes;Making financial markets more inclusive;Making labour markets more conducive to job creation;Ensuring that customs regulations are reformed to facilitate trade;Making tax systems easier to comply with;Making information and communication technology regulations more investment friendly;Promoting competition;Pursuing initiatives to reduce corruption and crime; andPromoting Africa’s image as an attractive investment destination.“The ICF will not finance commercial ventures of hard infrastructure,” the body said in its statement. “No projects that are to the benefit of one particular company may be funded by the ICF. All projects will be for the benefit of the business community as a whole.” reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

US unveils African power initiative

first_img1 July 2013The United States will lead an initiative aimed at doubling access to electric power across sub-Saharan Africa, US President Barack Obama announced during an address at the University of Cape Town on Sunday.Obama was in South Africa on the second leg of a three-nation African tour that started in Senegal last Wednesday and continued in Tanzania on Monday.According to Times Live, the initiative, which will bring “light where there is currently darkness,” will focus on boosting access to electricity in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.The Power Africa initiative will receive $7-billion in US investment and an additional $9-billion in commitments from private companies including General Electric and Symbion Power.Times Live reported that Power Africa would focus on expanding the reach of power grids and investing in renewable energy sources such as geothermal, hydro, solar, and wind power.Times Live quoted President Obama as saying: “It’s the connection that’s needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy.”While the initiative may be a step in the right direction, Times Live reported that the International Energy Agency puts the figure required to achieve universal access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 at around $ and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Cow smuggling down in Rajasthan

first_imgSpecial outposts set up in Alwar and Bharatpur have led to a significant decline in cases of cow smuggling, the Rajasthan government informed the State Assembly on Monday while adding that a proposal to depute two Superintendents of Police in Alwar was under consideration to curb crime in the district.‘Alwar crime rate high’During Question Hour, State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, while responding to concerns raised by legislator Banwari Lal Singhal, said the crime rate in Alwar was high as compared to other districts.A proposal to depute two SPs in Alwar was under consideration but the government would take a decision according to the availability of budget and resources, he added.Mr. Kataria informed the house that as many as 17,405 cases were registered in Alwar in 2017.Ramgarh MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja alleged that betting was highest in Alwar, involving money to the tune of ₹10,000 crore. He also said there were several units involved in synthetic milk production in Alwar.‘Real crime data’Mr. Ahuja claimed that criminals from neighbouring States came to Alwar to commit crimes. He accused the district police of not revealing the real incidence of crime in its data.Another BJP MLA, Ramhet Yadav, said that most of the cases of motorcycle and transformer theft were closed by Alwar police without recovery of the stolen property.The Minister said all steps were being taken to check crime.last_img read more

Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden dies after bicycle crash

first_imgAmerican motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden died, the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital announced on Monday, five days after he was hit by a car while training on his bicycle. Hayden was 35.Last week, the hospital announced that Hayden had severe cerebral damage and multiple traumatic injuries.”The medical team has verified the death of the patient Nicholas Patrick Hayden, who has been undergoing care since last Wednesday May 17 in the intensive care unit of the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena following a very serious polytrauma which occurred the same day,” the hospital statement said.Hayden, who was in Italy following a race at nearby Imola, was transported to the Bufalini facility following the incident on the Rimini coast on Wednesday.Judicial authorities have opened an investigation into the incident.Hayden won the MotoGP title in 2006, finishing narrowly ahead of Italian great Valentino Rossi.Hayden was 13th in this season’s Superbike standings, riding for the Red Bull Honda team.Several family members had flown in from the United States, including Hayden’s mother and brother.last_img read more

Wales To Ban Wild Animals In Circuses

first_imgThe Welsh Government will ban the use of wild animals in circuses, the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones will announce today in a move congratulated by Animal Defenders International (ADI) who, for more than 20 years, have been documenting and campaigning to end the suffering of animals in UK circuses.A statement released this morning from the Welsh Government states “The way animals are treated is an important reflection of society and over the next 12 months, a bill will be introduced to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses on welfare grounds”.Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International, said: “We congratulate the Welsh Government for taking a stand to stop circus suffering in Wales and bringing a UK-wide ban one step closer.”“ADI has documented suffering and abuse in UK circuses for many years. Knowing that only a ban can protect them, we are delighted an end to the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales is finally within sight.”Given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Welfare is inevitably compromised.The Welsh Government committed to ban wild animals in circuses back in 2013, stating it would seek an extension to draft legislation published for England by the UK Government. The bill however was left to gather dust for five years, the UK Government finally committing, in February, to act by January 2020. Around the world, 45 countries have already introduced prohibitions on animals in circuses including Scotland and Ireland.With a Welsh Government-commissioned report, published in 2016, finding that “Life for wild animals in travelling circuses…does not appear to constitute either a ‘good life’ or a ‘life worth living’” and in support of a ban, it was expected legislation would soon follow. ADI was disappointed when instead there was talk of regulation, which cannot ensure animal welfare and is unlikely to detect husbandry problems or physical abuse.Consulting the public on the broader issue of mobile animal exhibits last year, the Welsh Government also asked if a ban on wild animals in circuses should be considered. The response from the public, including ADI and Welsh supporters, was unsurprisingly overwhelming, with the Welsh Government stating that there was “strong support for a ban”.Most recently, during a debate in the Senedd in March, Assembly Members unanimously called for urgent action to bring in the ban, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths responding that she was “exploring opportunities to bring forward legislation”.Changing attitudes and awareness of animal suffering have seen the number of circuses with wild animals in Britain plummet. Only two remain: Circus Mondao and Peter Jolly’s Circus which are licensed in England and tour Wales. A third circus with big cats also performed in Wales when owner Thomas Chipperfield was unable to obtain a licence in England; it has remained off the road since.ADI revealed the miserable lives of Chipperfield’s lions and now one tiger. Living caged on the back of a truck, the animals are shut behind metal shutters at night, with restricted access to an outdoor exercise area during the day. ADI has also documented appalling overcrowding, fighting between animals, a worker tormenting a camel, animals kept inside for days on end, and failure to comply with government regulations at the winter quarters of Peter Jolly’s Circus.In support of ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Wales, Hollywood star and Welsh actor Rhys Ifans slammed the use of wild animals in circuses saying, “Like bear baiting, witch burning and the ‘Welsh not’, this cruel practice belongs in the past”.last_img read more