Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Poe chides LTFRB exec over termination of motorcycle taxi pilot study Davon Potts scattered 12 points for Cignal’s second win in three games.“Credit to Wangs. They prepared hard against us,” said a relieved Cignal coach Boyet Fernandez. “It’s a learning lesson for everyone. Every time, we have to come in and play active and match up the energy ofthe other team.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe Couriers kept the game close and even gained an 11-point edge, 54-43 in the third quarter before Mocon and Pamboy Raymundo brought the Hawkeyes back in the game and eventually, seize the lead in the final three minutes.Raymundo unloaded all of his eight markers in the fourth period. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member PBA IMAGESCignal-San Beda outlasted Wangs Basketball, 84-77, Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Jason Perkins topped the Hawkeyes with a double-double of 19 points, 18 rebounds to go along with three assists, while Javee Mocon chimed in 15 markers.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite Marlon Gomez paced Wangs (1-2) with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Rey Publico got 10 makers and six boards.The scores:CIGNAL 84 – Perkins 19, Mocon 15, Potts 12, Arboleda 9, Raymundo 8, Oftana 7, Bolick 3, Tongco 3, Adamos 2, Batino 2, Bringas 2, Villarias 2, Arong 0, Bahio 0.WANGS 77 – M. Gomez 22, Publico 10, Tambeling 9, Brana 8, C. Gomez 6, Enriquez 5, Labing-isa 5, King 3, Regalado 3, Acosta 2, Montuano 2, Tayongtong 2, Salcedo 0.Quarters: 23-21, 39-45, 58-61, 84-77.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely 98% of residents in Taal Volcano’s 14-kilometer danger zone evacuated – DILG Mahindra looks ahead to next conference: ‘We’ll have better showing’ View comments Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos LATEST STORIES 15 Taal towns now under total lockdown Municipal councilor nabbed for indiscriminate firing in Leyte Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member
‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media MOST READ In a report from local MMA website Dojo Drifter, the Baguio native and self-taught painter described his amazing piece.“I did that portrayal of war and love, inspired by the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ [movie], as I admire the story and the characters, especially of Emma Watson as Belle,” he told the news outlet. “I think she has that character that even if she’s big star, she’s still humble, and her involvement [in the] UN makes me look up to her. That made me do that painting. Also my self-portrait symbolizes war and culture, because Igorots are known to be warriors,” he added. It took him roughly three weeks to finish the piece, the report said.Banario, whose brothers Honorio and Dario also fight professionally, holds a 4-1 mixed martial arts record.ADVERTISEMENT Griffin, Paul help Clippers hand Suns 10th straight loss Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties LATEST STORIES Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite ‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely The bantamweight fighter, who last fought in the Pacific Extreme Combat (PXC) in 2015, shared a couple of photos on his Instagram account recently, showcasing his painting inspired by the British actress. But instead of the hulking beast as her dance partner, Banario inserted himself in the fray, clad in full Igorot attire. Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot Those interested to buy his art may reach him through his official Facebook page. Khristian Ibarrola /raSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu Emma Watson captivated the hearts of many as she brought Disney princess Belle to life in the recently released “Beauty and the Beast” live-action film.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnHer undeniable beauty has even smitten Filipino mixed martial artist Harold Banario, who used her as an inspiration in his latest work of art.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ LATEST STORIES Pornography greets commuters at Sweden bus stop Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The $50 million tournament is backed by an international array of promoters including veterans Kalle Sauerland and Richard Schaefer. The field features five current world champions and nine unbeaten boxers.The top four seeds in each division were allowed to pick their opponents for the quarterfinal bouts, which will begin in September.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’In the 168-pound super middleweight tournament, WBA champion George Groves of Britain picked countryman Jamie Cox, and Callum Smith chose Sweden’s Erik Skoglund. Germany’s Juergen Braehmer will fight unbeaten Rob Brant, and Avni Yildrim will face the winner of Arthur Abraham’s bout with Chris Eubank on July 15.The cruiserweight division is more popular in Europe than in North America, and the tournament features the champions in each of the four major sanctioning bodies. Jean-Paul Gaultier to retire as fashion designer Solar-powered barge a key ‘interceptor’ for plastic waste Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite View comments End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend The World Boxing Super Series has announced the quarterfinal matchups for its upcoming tournaments in the super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions.The organization held a draw for the 16 participating fighters at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo this weekend.ADVERTISEMENT Not easy being green: Dog births unique puppy 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Lebedev beats Flanagan to defend cruiserweight title Olympic gold medalist Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO champion, chose Germany’s Marco Huck in an eye-catching matchup between two of the division’s top talents. Usyk said he selected the vaunted Huck to entertain his fans.“This is my wish opponent,” Huck said. “People say he is really good, an Olympic and world champion, but we will see when he gets in the ring with me.”IBF champ and unbeaten Russian Murat Gassiev faces mandatory challenger Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, while Latvia’s WBC belt-holder, Mairis Briedis, takes on Cuban ex-heavyweight Mike Perez. Unbeaten WBA champion Yunier Dorticos gets Dmitry Kudrayshov.The semifinals are scheduled to be held early next year, with the finals in May. The exact dates and venues for the quarterfinal bouts will be selected shortly.“I really believe this has an opportunity to become the brand in the sport of boxing, the kind of tournament fighters really want to participate in because it will elevate their exposure and it will elevate their careers,” Schaefer said.ADVERTISEMENT Painting found in Italian museum wall is stolen Klimt Imee Marcos slams driver-cap on motorcycle taxis
JPCCU welcomes Police sports champs partnership The Jamaica Police Co-operative Credit Union (JPCCU) has signed on as Title Sponsors for the 12th consecutive year of the Police National Sports Championship which is to be held June 2-3 at Stadium East. “Each year the Credit Union looks forward to partnering with the Police Sports Council to host such a monumental event that allows for officers to display their physical ability and be awarded for their outstanding performance,” said Dale Powell, Acting General Manager JPCCU. “For the 45th staging we want to bring the same great spirit as title sponsor and give back to our officers and show them that the Credit Union takes interest in their physical well-being,” he added. “Our relationship with the JCF has been one of significance since the Credit Union’s inception some 62 years ago. We continue to play a vocal role with the JCF and the National Sports Council by extension as their Credit Union.” Sagicor National Champs gets underway today Over 1200 students from all 14 parishes across the island put their athletic talent on show today, as day one of two of the JTA/Sagicor National Athletic Championships starts today at the National Stadium. The children, as young as age six, will be putting out their best efforts in various track and field events as they look to rack up points in hopes of walking away from the Championships as winners. The competition will be fierce as the top contenders from the parishes of St. Andrew, St. Catherine, St. Elizabeth, St. Ann and Portland are looking to cop the title of Parish Champions. St. Andrew will be defending their two year consecutive hold on the trophy. The Championships will be free to the public today with events getting underway at 10 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. On the second and final day of the meet, entrance fee is $200 for adults and $100 for children under 12.
Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes is adamant his craving for the Wray & Nephew Contender boxing title will be over when he faces the electrifying youngster, Ricardo ‘Magic Man’ Salas, in what is anticipated to be a monumental showdown for the 2018 crown at the National Indoor Sports Centre tomorrow. “The way I’m hungry for this, it’s like I’m not eating – like mi nuh eat for how many days,” said Holmes, about the Wray & Nephew Contender title. “I’m so hungry. Nobody is going to take my food out of my mouth because I’m going to war for my food. It’s just like when a hungry dog is there and him food throw down and you try to take it. Him a go bite you up. I’m hungry for it.” The ultimate clash in the Team Jamaica vs Team Canada series will be broadcast live on TVJ, starting at 9:30 p.m. The winner shall claim the 2018 Wray and Nephew Contender welterweight championship belt, plus $2 million, with $500,000 going to the runner-up, $250,000 for third, and $200,000 for fourth. Holmes, whose career was influenced by viewing fights on TV, is hoping that there will be much to celebrate by residents watching from Stony Hill, where his career started. His early passion, though, was soon fed into a channel when Carl Grant Jr, his current trainer, introduced street fights to Stony Hill in 2007. He admitted not accepting Grant’s initial offer to join Bruising Gym because he was doing construction work. “Eventually I went to the gym and trained like about three to four months until they had the National Championship in November and there’s where I made my debut,” he said. Holmes ended up winning the title and went on a 12-game winning streak. However, he took a fight while not in training and lost at fight 13. In 2012, he first fought in the Wray and Nephew Contender Series and became a pro, noting its contribution to his overall development. “I’ve gained a lot of experience over the years after turning professional in 2012, where I went up against Donovan ‘Police’ Campbell in the semi-finals. After that I went up against people like Sakima Mullings, Kemahl ‘Hit Man’ Russell, ‘Concrete’ Moncriffe (Devon) and ‘Chop Chop’ Corley. It has helped me a lot, moving forward and in this competition,” said Holmes, who in the early days was straight aggression, but is now more measured. “For the finals, it’s going to be a different fight, a much bigger improvement same way. I’m pacing myself, I’m controlling my breathing, I’m controlling the rounds. I know when to step up in the round, I know when to cool down.” “One of the things that I’m sure, sure, sure say that you can expect from me in the final is that I’m going to lift the Wray & Nephew 2018 Contender championship belt on the 25th of July,” Holmes predicted. “You’re going to see a Holmes that’ll make you say you never knew that Holmes existed, a brand new Holmes, a sharper Holmes, a Holmes who is going to be hitting, moving, turning all angles, lifting all stones, turning all blocks. You’re going to see a Holmes who is hungry.”
MOTIVATION DIFFICULT Benett said it has been extremely difficult getting his boys motivated for this competition. “It has been hard getting the boys up for training as it was a big disappointment that we were edged out of the Manning Cup. It has been a little hard to stomach, but now we put everything in the Walker Cup because that’s all we have left,” he continued. “It’s more mental now as we have not played in over a week and a half, so it will be rough, but we are hoping we come mentally prepared. Training did not show it (motivation), but we are hoping that when the whistle goes, we will get going,” Bennett added. “We are going to push for it (title) because we have not won anything. The only teams that have won schoolboy titles are Calabar and Excelsior, so everybody else will be up for it. Mona might be a bit happier, reaching here for the first time, so they will be gunning for it. It will be hard to motivate some teams, but I think it will be a good competition.” Hydel coach Corey Bennett believes that some teams will find it too difficult to lift their players for the ISSA Walker Cup competition, which kick-offs with the quarter final games this afternoon. However, he also believes that many schools, his included, will welcome the opportunity to win their first major schoolboy football title. Hydel face Mona at 1:00 p.m. at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in one of four matches on this afternoon. In the 3:00 p.m. match at the same venue, St Jago entertain Cumberland. At Stadium East, Excelsior play Denham Town at 1:00 p.m. and St Catherine take on Calabar at 3:00 p.m. Despite the disappointment of losing the Manning Cup round-of-sixteen game to St Andrew Technical, Bennett believes that all the teams will see this as an opportunity to end the season on a high note. “I played the Walker Cup many moons ago and the best teams use to fight for the title. But I think it has been watered down, so I think they should call it a different name because it does not hold the same significance,” Bennett said. “But we (Hydel) haven’t won anything at football level. Obviously, it (Walker Cup) does not have the same shine as the Champions Cup or Manning Cup, but nevertheless, we are thankful that we are still in a position to fight for a cup,” he stated.
At the end of last month, officials of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), travelling in a boat in the Cuyuni River, Eteringbang area, reported that Venezuelan soldiers from their “bank” of the river, fired shots at them which luckily or deliberately missed. Guyana immediately lodged a protest to which the Venezuelans responded three days ago, rejecting the charge.“It is important to note that the investigations carried out by the Venezuelan military authorities have not reported of any incident in the above mentioned area and our military units confirm not having carried out any military exercise in that location,” the statement from the Venezuelan Embassy asserted.This incident is only the latest in a series of confrontational moves by Venezuela towards Guyana during the past year and Guyanese need to keep focused on the pertinent issues so that the interests of our country and nation are safeguarded. The bottom line for us is Venezuela unilaterally created a controversy in February 1962 when at the UN they disputed the “full and final” Arbitral Award made in 1899 that settled the border between Venezuela and Guyana.As a prerequisite to granting independence to Guyana in 1966, Britain as the colonial power participated in a three-way conference in 1965 that produced the “Geneva Agreement” outlining the procedures that must be mutually agreed to for the Good Office of the UN Secretary General to address the Venezuelan controversy.After following two approved methods for the last half century, Guyana has proposed that the controversy be placed before the World Court for a full and final juridical decision. As part of the Geneva Agreement both parties were instructed not to enlarge their claims.In March 2015, after the US oil giant ExxonMobil had been requested to begin drilling for oil in the Stabroek Block off the Essequibo Coast, Venezuela wrote the company objecting to the move. Guyana protested this interference in its internal affairs. Back in October 2013, the Guyanese Government had hired the oil drilling company Anadarko to conduct studies for future oil concessions in the Roraima Block off Essequibo’s coast, where it was concentrating on petroleum exploration. The Venezuelan Navy intercepted the ship and forced it into a port at Venezuela’s Margarita Island. The captain, a Ukrainian national, was charged with violating Venezuela’s Exclusive Economic Zone while the rest of the crew were released.In the subsequent effort to deal with the matter, the Foreign Ministers of Guyana and Venezuela met on October 2013 in Trinidad and hashed out an agreement that a technical team would meet within four months, “to explore mechanisms within the context of international law to address the issue of maritime delimitation”.As Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett noted at the time, both sides restated that their individual and contradictory claims were valid, but in an evident coup for Guyana, the maritime demarcation was delinked from the fallacious claim Venezuela had been making for Essequibo.However almost immediately after the ExxonMobil rig struck oil in May 2015, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro issued a presidential decree, No 1787, and published in their Ordinary Official Gazette No 40,669, dated May 27. The map claimed Venezuela’s sovereignty of all waters within the 200 miles range hence blocking Guyana’s access to resources in that area of the Atlantic Ocean. Guyana and Caricom protested this decree when it was uncovered in July 2015 and Venezuela withdrew it and replaced it with one that did not mention coordinates.The point to be made is while Venezuela has complained that the US is behind the heightening of present tensions, the Maduro administration has taken initiatives to raise its border controversy independent of that country and its obvious strategic concerns over the Venezuelan oil reserves.While there is a dispute over facts in the latest skirmish at Cuyuni, the border controversy must be settled through a judicial settlement.We are heartened the government has hired two high-level legal experts in this area.
The 2017 Budget was presented yesterday and as has been our practice, we will provide a framework for the average citizen to analyse the presentation and be able to follow the debate that will follow. Firstly, we must appreciate the type of economy we have so we can decide whether the measures and spending introduced by the Budget will assist the economy to deliver what the Government stated at the beginning of its term: the “good life”.We have what is called a “mixed economy” – one that combines characteristics of market, command and traditional economies. It benefits from the advantages of all three while suffering from some of the disadvantages. While market economies stress the role of business as the “engine of growth” and the operation of the market using supply and demand to set prices of the goods we buy, the Government has a critical role to play in strategic areas from a “command” standpoint, beyond the usual regulatory role it plays.The “command economy” in its extreme form was introduced by the People’s National Congress (PNC) in the 1970s when the Government nationalised 80 per cent of the economy and private industry utilising market forces were miniaturised. This was reversed from 1989 when most of the nationalised industries were privatised. The Government was now supposed to perform three major “mixed economy” functions, in which the annual budget plays three critical roles.These are to allocate or encourage the allocation of resources in the most efficient manner to deliver growth and development; to redistribute the national wealth in a more equitable fashion; and finally, to collect and spend revenues for the national weal. Thus, with the present Budget, we should first look for measures introduced to deliver “growth and development”.Over the last few months, the Government met the Private Sector organisations, which uniformly informed the former of the low level of activity into which the economy had sunk. They recommended what has been the standard policy in the toolkit of mixed-economy governments – stimulus of the economy. These had been proposed and successfully implemented from the Great Depression by the economist Lord Keynes. But the policies had fallen into disfavour with the introduction of free-market fundamentalism from the late seventies. But with the world economic collapse in 2007, the ideas of Keynes have come back into vogue.So, more granularly, we should look for policies that would encourage spending in the economy. Typically, taxes by the Government on businesses discourage their expansion while subsidies encourage it. Taxes should, therefore, be reduced so that more money remains with businesses and citizens. These funds can then be spent to initiate a virtuous and ever-increasing cycle of demand stimulating production. Interestingly, this will generate overall increased tax collection by the Government on the larger amount of economic activity. While the Government has said there would be no new taxes, that would not be enough: there needs to be substantial tax cuts to have the desired, stimulatory effect.The Government can also encourage investments in identified areas of the economy through appropriate policies. Take the sugar industry where the Government has closed Wales Estate and will soon close another three that will result in 7000 workers losing their jobs. In addition to those workers not earning incomes to even live a “subsistence life” much less the “good life”, the Government would not be collecting taxes from those incomes nor revenues from the sugar industry it owns. Wales was supposed to become the model for transitioning “sugar workers” into independent “farmers” of crops that would deliver greater revenues and taxes. We should scrutinise the Budget for these policies.In terms of the redistributive function, it is elementary economics that the pie must be made larger for effective, sustainable redistribution. We must scrutinise the Budget to discern whether redistribution outweighs stimulation and for equitable Government spending across all groups. That would be the surest way for a further contraction of the economy and increased social tensions.
Dear Editor,Every day that passes confirms more and more that the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) has no interest in investigating organised crimes for which it was established. It is becoming clearer with each passing day that this Unit’s agenda is to execute the diktats of politicians to do hatchet jobs on identified persons. This sinister mission of SOCU was unwittingly made clear by no other than its Head, Mr Sydney James, whose remarks were carried in separate and different stories published in the local media on May 2.In one of the articles, it is reported that Mr James indicated that SOCU has not been requested to investigate the 476 pounds of gold which was alleged to have left Guyana illegally and stolen in Cura?ao. The estimated worth of this gold is US$11.5 million. This is approximately GY$2.5 billion. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to conclude that the disappearance of this gold is part of an organised criminal enterprise.However, SOCU has been instructed to investigate a concocted and contrived criminal case of missing law books worth US$2000 and to institute a criminal charge, which can never be proven, in relation thereto. In another article, the same Mr James is quoted as lamenting the delay in receiving legal advice in respect of investigations being done by SOCU. All of the investigations listed by Mr James in that article are politically directed.Again, Mr James has blissfully exposed that legal advice is viewed not as a fundamental facet of the investigations of SOCU but is more of an obstacle and hindrance. It is clear, therefore, that SOCU’s priority is not a fairness and legality in their investigations but is to do a hatchet job and institute criminal charges as quickly as possible.In my case, the alacrity was unprecedented. I was called in for questioning by SOCU on Monday, April 24, 2017. I served SOCU with a High Court Order on April 25, preventing them from seizing the books. On April 26, the file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice. On April 27, I was charged! Clearly, there was no delay in getting advice in my case.On April 27 in court, my lawyers requested full disclosure of all statements and evidence to be made to the defence on the next court date, May 9. On Tuesday, a letter was written to the Special Prosecutor reminding him of this request. I also spoke to him in person on Tuesday. He told me he does not have all the statements yet. On Wednesday, he responded, in writing and informed me that “investigations are not yet completed”!! So, in their haste, they charged me without statements and without the investigations even being completed!! What if the continuing investigations unearth evidence that is exculpatory? Do you really think they will bring forth this evidence, withdraw the charge and suffer the consequential public embarrassment? Of course not!!Clearly, this matter is about political vengeance and vendetta and has nothing to do with justice and fairness. In this political climate, it may not be insignificant that the Special Prosecutor is the brother of a sitting Minister of the Government.I call upon the Special Prosecutor and SOCU to use the same speed referred to above in getting those statements ready and available and conclude the investigations before the next court date and be prepared to proceed with their case at the same speed, as well.Sincerely,Mohabir Anil Nandlall, MPAttorney-at-Law
Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief But let’s be real: After the way the projected top overall pick in the NBA draft played during the ACC Tournament, and the rest of the season for that matter, is there anybody that warrants more attention on college basketball’s biggest stage than the Blue Devils’ freshman phenom?“I’m very excited to be here,” Williamson said, “because I watched March Madness as a little kid, and to actually be here … I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsIt’s not just that he’s playing for the Blue Devils, or coach Mike Krzyzewski, or on a team that many expect to cut down the nets next month in Minneapolis. Williamson even gets to start his journey in his home state of South Carolina against No. 16 seed North Dakota State.Lest anyone think differently, the Bison know what they’re up against. The Cavaliers, of course, were blown out by Maryland-Baltimore County in the biggest upset in tournament history last season — an epic collapse that they’re ready to put in the past.“We discussed it a lot. We used it as motivation,” the Cavaliers’ Ty Jerome said. “It can take you to a place you’ve never been if you use it the right way. So it’s more about doing what we do, playing with our same edge every single game we’ve played so far this year rather than just knowing we’ve got to make up for last year and playing with anxiousness and anger.”As the tournament cranks back up, here are some of other story lines Friday:ANOTHER WADE-LESS RUN: Kansas State reached the Elite Eight last season without star forward Dean Wade, who was dealing with a foot injury. Can the Wildcats do it again? Wade isn’t expected to play this weekend, and perhaps at all this month, and that means the No. 4 seed in the South Region could be ripe for an upset when it opens against UC-Irvine in San Jose, California.“I mean, we’re a better team (than last year),” leading scorer Barry Brown Jr. said. “We’re just trying to do better things. The Elite Eight run was fun. We’re just trying to take it game by game, day by day, and get better hopefully, doing even more special things.”BRILLIANT BULLS: Buffalo lost just three games, one of them to Marquette, and spent most of the season firmly entrenched in the Top 25. Now, coach Nate Oats’ team can prove it deserved its ranking when the No. 6 seed in the West Region opens against Arizona State in Tulsa, Oklahoma.The No. 11 seed Sun Devils built some momentum with a play-in win over St. John’s.SWIRLING CYCLONES: Iowa State rolled to the Big 12 Tournament title with a victory over Kansas, and Marial Shayok and Co. can score points by the dozen. The No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region gets to prove it against No. 11 seed Ohio State, a team that prefers to lean on defense.“I think the guys have great confidence,” Cyclones coach Steve Prohm said, “and obviously playing against Ohio State, I think our vision and focus will be really good.”PAC-12 PRIDE: The conference that was so maligned all season, and that many thought would be a one-bid league, gets a chance to prove everyone wrong. No. 12 seed Oregon and its new-look lineup of four 6-foot-9 stalwarts opens against fifth-seeded Wisconsin in the South Region, while No. 9 seed Washington gets Sam Merrill and eighth-seeded Utah State in the Midwest. The Ducks are on a roll after winning their conference tournament title to secure a bid, while the Huskies dominated the Pac-12 all season getting routed by the Ducks last weekend.“I mean, it’s always the next game. Win or lose, you can’t dwell on it,” said the Huskies’ Matiesse Thybulle. “For us, we moved on the second we got off the bus and we’re excited to be here and have this opportunity to play in March Madness.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “We’re aware. We’re human,” North Dakota State guard Vinnie Shahid said. “Anybody that doesn’t think about it or tells you they don’t think about it, they’re lying to you, because we’re human and we do think about it. At the end of the day, the ball goes up and it tips, it’s something we’ve all been doing our whole lives, 40 minutes goes on the clock and it’s a basketball game.”There were plenty of near-upsets in the first round Thursday, but games became known more for the lack of execution down the stretch — think Belmont’s failed bid against Maryland or New Mexico State’s mistakes against Auburn — than any kind of memorable March Madness.That is, until Ja Morant dropped a triple-double and No. 12 seed Murray State routed fifth-seeded Marquette to set up a second-round matchup with Florida State.Perhaps more upsets will come Friday.The games get started with high-scoring but mercurial Iowa against seventh-seeded Cincinnati in Columbus, Ohio. Fifth-seeded Mississippi State will try to avoid an upset at the hands of Liberty in their East Region matchup in San Jose, California, while top-seeded Virginia will try to avoid the sheer embarrassment of losing to another No. 16 seed when it faces Gardner Webb.ADVERTISEMENT 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 Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Duke’s Zion Williamson (1) celebrates after Duke defeated Florida State in the NCAA college basketball championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)The spotlight of the NCAA Tournament shifts to Zion Williamson and No. 1 overall seed Duke.Along with the other 31 teams playing in first-round games Friday.ADVERTISEMENT Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying MOST READ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Nuggets grind out victory over fading Wizards Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? View comments