19 Jan

On Basketball: Calls, or non-calls, overshadowing games

first_imgHouston Rockets’ James Harden (13) protests a call beside Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart (36) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)None of this is good.It’s a bad look for James Harden, after a game where he took 15 free throws, to say he wasn’t getting favorable whistles. It’s counterproductive for the NBA to say there were three uncalled fouls against LeBron James in the waning moments of a Finals rematch. It’s troubling that referees are too often part of the postgame story.ADVERTISEMENT Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson This is Christmas week, an unofficial start date of the NBA season for casual fans who shift their focus from football to basketball.Those new eyeballs are not seeing the league at its best.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkReferees have been in the news plenty this season, especially this week. No one wants that. Fans pay to see triple-doubles, not double-technicals. The latest ref drama was Thursday night in Boston, where the Celtics rallied from 26 points down to beat Houston — but postgame talk was dominated by discussion of two late offensive foul calls against Harden.“You never want to see a game end like that,” Brooklyn’s Caris LeVert said. LATEST STORIES Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Holm aiming for upset of Justino, 2nd title belt at UFC 219 Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Boston loved the calls and Houston hated them and everyone else is likely split down the middle. Thing is, fixating solely on those two whistles robs the league of a chance to revel in what should have been considered a great basketball game.The two calls against Harden came in the final 8 seconds, both pushoffs drawn by Boston’s Marcus Smart.It is undeniable that Smart is a very good defensive player.He also has a reputation among opponents for being a flopper.On the first of the two late fouls, Smart appeared to grab Harden — who tried to get his arms free. Smart is a tough, strong guy, but when Harden made contact with him he dropped like a rock.ADVERTISEMENT Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finalscenter_img SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio 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 OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew On the second, Harden pushed off and Smart fell again. This time, it seemed more believable. If Harden hadn’t extended his right arm so far, who knows if referee Tony Brothers (who made both calls) would have blown the whistle.The first one didn’t look like the right call. The second one did.Neither is why Houston lost. Houston lost because it wasted a 26-point lead. The Rockets might have had a chance to win in the last 8 seconds. But it should have never come down to officiating. And it had nothing to do with only two refs working the game; one of the three assigned sat out with a sore back.“First of all, how do you only have two officials on a national TV game? That is the first question,” Harden said. “A lot of grabbing, a lot of holding. How else am I supposed to get open? A guy has two arms wrapped around my whole body.”Harden also shot just 7 for 27 from the field.Fans just want the good stuff. They don’t want stories of bad calls and ref suspensions for getting physical with a player, like Courtney Kirkland did with Shaun Livingston. They probably don’t want to see what went on late in the Cleveland-Golden State marquee Christmas game, either.James got fouled three times by Kevin Durant in the final moments — with the Cavs down three. None of the three got called.James is 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, a problem to defend and a problem to officiate. He suffers from the same issue Shaquille O’Neal did; when you’re the strongest guy on the floor, opponents tend to be allowed to get away with more. He can get clobbered, but won’t always get the call.“For me, the worst thing is when I actually go over and talk to the ref and they say ‘it was nothing,’” James said.The NBA ultimately said James was right about his belief that Durant fouled him, confirming as much in the Last 2-Minute Report on Tuesday. The L2MR is a great tool, though meaningless. It’s probably safer for players and coaches to think they were the victims of a bad call instead of having those suspicions confirmed by the league, which isn’t going to change the outcomes anyway. (“Sorry, LeBron, you were right. KD did hit you. Our bad. You still lose.“) Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense It’s difficult to say if the report helps or hinders the player-ref relationship, which is somewhat tense at the moment.ESPN reported last week that the leadership from the players’ association and the referees’ union met with hopes of a better relationship between the sides. It’s a nice idea but disagreements are inevitable.Another issue: the referee corps is changing. Seasoned vets like Danny Crawford, Joey Crawford and most recently Monty McCutchen have all called their last games. Refs are getting younger, newer. Growing pains are happening.“You can’t deny that there’s a transition period right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.True, but no one would ever want to see a Finals game get decided by a late pushoff.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

12 Jan

Mabaruma solar now being retrofitted

first_imgThe Mabaruma Solar farm facilitiesThe Mabaruma solar farm in Region One (Barima-Waini), which was supposed to have been commissioned last year and provide 17 hours of electricity for residents, is now being retrofitted with batteries to store energy.This is according to Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson when asked about the project recently. Patterson informed this publication that once these works are completed, the solar farm, which reportedly costs over $250 million, should be operational.When asked for a timeframe for the project’s completion, Patterson did not give a specified date. The minister would only say that retrofitting of the solar farm would be completed at any moment.“The Mabaruma solar farm, they’re putting in some extra, additional batteries. So as soon as that’s in, we’re 100 per cent up and running. It should be completed anytime now, I should think,” he added.Solar farms use photovoltaic panels to acquire energy through direct sunlight, which is then converted into clean, green electricity. In cases where weather patterns do not guarantee a steady supply of sun, batteries are installed to store electricity for back up distribution.There had previously been some confusion about the Mabaruma project with Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley revealing that the farm will not generate the energy its being hyped up to generate.In an interview with the Region One Chairman last month, Ashley had explained to this publication that there were challenges with the project that included the storing of the solar energy, among other things.“We know they have a serious problem with compatibility. We are aware because the generator sets we have were not constructed to deal with the eventuality of having such a project on board. We’re grateful for the project but we’re concerned that hundreds of millions would have been spent and it will not provide the services it should to the people”.“Whatever project is being done by Government, any entity within a particular region, the RDC should receive a copy of the contractual agreement and the bills of quantity of that particular project, so we can help in the monitoring of that particular project while it’s being done. But we don’t have any such documentation. We’re at a loss when it comes to that,” he had also said.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hinterland Electrification Programme Horace Williams had subsequently revealed in sections of the media that while the project will initially deliver 17 hours of electricity to residents, they are aiming eventually for 24-hour power supply.During the Turkeyen and Tain talks earlier this year, Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) Head Dr Mahender Sharma had revealed to the audience that the project is expected to come on stream by this year end.“By the end of this year we would have installed more than 5 megawatts of new solar on the rooftops of Government buildings and some hinterland locations and one of our first solar farms in Mabaruma”.However, Sharma had alluded to the technical challenges that can be faced when looking to harness solar energy.“Five megawatts is a huge number in just a few years. But what’s wrong with solar? It’s not continuous. Your engineers will tell you it’s not dispatchable. Its only there for a few hours and to capture it requires quite a bit of technology. You have to find a way to store it and batteries are a big problem, they are still very expensive,” he had said.last_img read more