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

14 Jan

Varbah Gayflor, Others Booked

first_imgThe Joint Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature has booked former Gender and Development Minister Varbah Gayflor for “financial malpractices” and wants her restitute monies allegedly mismanaged.Addressing a news conference yesterday at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, PAC announced that Madams Gayflor, Parleh D. Harrison, Director of Women Division and Stephen Forkpah, Comptroller, all from the Gender Ministry, should jointly restitute US$75,000 and deposit said amount into an escrow account for government purpose.PAC also wants Forkpah and Mrs. Jestina Kollie jointly restitutes US$25,279.55 that remains unaccounted for as a result of bank and cash reconciliation.According to the PAC, recommendations to restitute these monies are based on the fact that the issue of non-approval of budgets presents a challenge for governance of affected entities.“The Committee believes that the expenditure of funds without an approved budget will continue in the future if no action is taken. The committee considers such actions systemic across sectors line ministries and agencies, and hereby recommends that henceforth the Legislature must approve the budgets for these entities along with the annual budget of the government of Liberia,” the PAC declared.In further recommendations, the Committee intoned that Madam Gayflor and Forkpah must be made to payback US$23,901.71 and L$31,180 allegedly mismanaged for fees collected from the Ministry’s Conference Hall rental, which were not accounted for during the period of the audit.Relative to monies intended for women’s organizations and unaccounted for allowances, Madam Gayflor and Forkpah again were booked for the alleged misappropriation of US$143,459 and US$35,576 respectively.Payments made to third parties instead of service providers, PAC believes that Edwin Borbor and Mrs. Moses S. Kelleh should jointly restitute US$355,367.60 and deposits the amount into escrow account.The PAC also wants Matthew Bundo, Personnel Director to restitute L$235,629 from monies accounted for as a result of payroll irregularities.The Auditor General during the audit of the Ministry of Gender and Development analyzed the bank statements of the Ministry and observed that there existed a variance of US$25,279.55 for which the AG did not receive any substantive explanation or documentation, according to the PAC.During the public hearing, the chief witness in person of Varbah K. Gayflor and the financial controller at the time argued that the money was a donor fund, as such, the reconciled reports were sent to the donors, so the ministry was unable to give the AG a report on such donor fund.During the cross examination, the committee was emphatic that all monies that flows into any government agency from central government or partners belongs to the people of Liberia and are subject to the AG’s commissioned audit under the laws of Liberia. Thus, the Committee recommends that Forkpah and Mrs. Jestina Kollie should restitute US$25,279.55.Meanwhile, other line ministries and agencies captured under this report are to be published in our subsequent publications.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more