Tinanggap ni ABS-CBN Corporate Communications Head Kane Choa ang Best TV Station trophy.

Tinanggap ni ABS-CBN Corporate Communications Head Kane Choa ang Best TV Station trophy.

TINANGHAL na Best TV Station ang ABS-CBN na umani ng 22 awards para sa kanilang entertainment programs at personalities sa 3rd LionhearTV RAWR Awards, isang online award-giving body na binubuo ng fans at readers, blogging community, at industry leaders na kumikilala sa showbiz talents.

Ginawaran si Coco Martin ng Royal Lion Award, isa sa top awards pati na ng Actor of the Year at Magnanimous Lion of the Year awardee naman si Sarah Geronimo.

Kinilala rin ng blogging community ang ABS-CBN Corporate Communications bilang Blogger-Friendly Group at apat na awards naman ang napanalunan ng Wildflower kabilang na ang Teleserye of the Year, Actress of the Year (Maja Salvador), Ultimate Bida (Maja Salvador), at Ultimate Kontrabida (Aiko Melendez).

Love Team of the Year naman ang tambalan nina Maymay Entrata at Edward Barber at nasungkit din ni Maymay ang Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

Kabilang din sa Kapamilya stars na pinarangalan sa RAWR Awards sina Darren Espanto (Favorite Performer of the Year), BoybandPH (Favorite Group), at Karla Estrada (Favorite TV Host).

Kinumpleto ang listahan ng winners mula sa Kapamilya Network ng iba’t ibang programa at personalidad kabilang sina Jake Zyrus (The Ultimate Comeback), Maris Racal (Beshie ng Taon), Vice Ganda (Pak na Pak na Comedian), Xia Vigor (Bibo Award), KZ Tandingan (Hugot Song of the Year for KZ’s rendition of Two Less Lonely People in the World), KathNiel (Fan Club of the Year), Can’t Help Falling in Love (Movie of the Year), at It’s Showtime (Trending Show of the Year).

Ibinoto ang lahat ng mga nagwagi ng fans at readers (50%), blogging community (25%), at industry leaders (25%).



Source: Balita

Ni NORA CALDERON

AT 84, masaya pa ring kausap si Ms. Gloria Romero na tinagurian ding Queen of Philippine Movies noong panahon niya, malakas pa rin kahit almost 60 years nang nagtatrabaho sa showbiz.

Nakasama na niya ang lahat ng mahuhusay na mga artista at direktor, pero wala pa siyang balak na magretiro sa showbiz.

Gloria Romero

Gloria Romero

“As long as I can memorize my lines, tuloy pa rin ako sa pag-arte,” sabi ni Tita Glo, sa pictorial ng untitled new teleserye niya sa GMA Network.  “Mas inspired pa ako ngayon nang malaman kong ang show namin na Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko na pambata ang theme ay mataas ang rating every Sunday. Hindi naman mahirap ang ginagawa ko roon dahil nagkukuwento lang ako, parang si Lola Basyang.”

Natuwa rin si Tita Glo nang kunin siya ni Coco Martin na mag-guest sa festival entry nitong Ang Panday sa coming Metro Manila Film Festival sa December.

“Hindi nga ako makapaniwala na kinukuha ako ni Coco. Bakit ako kukunin ay hindi naman niya ako kilala. Pero kinuha nga niya ako, kasama ko pa ang apo kong si Christopher. Ang galing magdirek ni Coco, may puso siya sa mga artista niya. Six days lang naman akong nag-shooting.  Si Christopher, naiwanan ko pa dahil may mga eksena pa siyang kukunan with Jake Cuenca. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako kay Coco.”

Hindi sinabi ni Tita Glo kung ano ang role niya sa Ang Panday.

“Now, sa bago kong soap, natuwa ako na kasama ko rito si Carmina Villarroel. Twelve years old lamang siya nang magkasama kami sa Palibhasa Lalaki, twelve years din kaming nagkasama sa show, at ngayon lang kami muling magkakasama, may asawa at may mga teenage na siyang kambal. Anak ko si Carmina sa soap at anak niya si Bianca Umali, kaya apo ko siya, isang haciendera ako sa story.

“Ngayon ko rin lang muli makakasama si Marvin Agustin, nagkasama kami noon sa Love Ko Si Babes with Jolina Magdangal. Nakakatuwa kasi muli kong makakasama si Christopher de Leon at makakasama ko rin si Quezon City Congressman Alfred Vargas, then si Jean Garcia, Gardo Versoza.”

Ano ang pinagkakaabalahan niya kung wala siyang shooting?

“Since 1955, nasa New Manila pa rin ako, kapag wala akong work, iyon na ang time para naman ilabas ko ang mga laman ng cabinet ko at iyong hindi ko na kailangan ipinamimigay ko na. Like iyong mga dusters na sinuot ko sa Palibhasa Lalaki, ipinamigay ko na, dozens kasi iyon dahil twelve years ngang tumagal ang sitcom namin.”

Nagsimula na silang mag-taping at kahit daw naman malayo ang location nila, sa Leviste farm sa Lipa City, hindi naman mahirap pumunta at may cut-off na rin siya ng taping hours.

Si Don Michael Perez ang direktor ng serye na malapit nang ipalabas sa GMA-7.



Source: Balita

NGAYON lang nari-realize ni Paolo Ballesteros na matagal na palang halos hindi siya natutulog.

Nagsimula ito nang gawin niya ang pelikulang Die Beautiful. Hindi nga kasi siya pumapalya araw-araw sa kalyeserye ng Eat Bulaga. At pagkatapos ng kanyang first starring movie, nasundan agad ito ng Amnesia Love with Yam Concepcion for Viva Films. Then ang halos magkasabay na shooting ng solo movie muli niyang Barbi: D’ Wonder Beki ng OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions at T-Rex Entertainment, at ang first movie together nila ng mga lolang sina Nidora at Tinidora na ipalalabas nang Trip Ubusan: The Lolas vs Zombies ng APT Entertainment at M-Zet Productions.

“Kaya kapag may shooting ako, natutulog na lang ako sa biyahe,” sabi ni Paolo. “Like dito sa Trip Ubusan, sa Batangas at Subic ang location namin, kaya mahaba ang biyahe. Kung minsan, kapag dumating ako ng bahay at talagang pagod na ako, itinutulog ko na rin na naka-make-up ako. Iyon pa namang dalawa kong movies, parehong kailangan ko ang mahabang oras sa pagmi-make-up. Wala namang gustong mag-make-up sa akin, natatakot sila, baka raw mali ang gawin nila at magalit ako sa kanila.

”Kaya nga ako naman ang nahihiya kay Tito Joey (de Leon) sa Barbi, dahil matagal na siyang tapos mag-make-up, hindi pa ako tapos lalo na kung iba-iba ang character na gagampanan ko sa eksena. Pero okey lang daw kay Tito Joey, naiintindihan niya ako. Kahit sina Kuya Jose as Lola Tinidora at si Kuya Wally as Lola Nidora, matagal na silang tapos mag-make-up, ako hindi pa. Nag-iisip na nga ako ng paraan para mapabilis ko ang pagmi-make-up ko, pero wala, depende kasi kung sino ang gagayahin ko.”

Inspirasyon ba niya ang ipinatatayo niyang bahay para sa family niya?

Napangiting tumango si Paolo, totoo raw, lalo’t malapit nang matapos. Nakatayo sa 470 sq.m. lot somewhere in Quezon City ang three storey-house niya. Makakasama niya sa bahay na ito ang parents at mga kapatid niya. Ang second floor daw ay magiging receiving room nila at doon sila tatanggap ng mga bisita at ang third floor ay para sa kanila ng anak niyang si Keira na nandito na sa Pilipinas — dahil bumalik na ito ang mommy nito, for good.

Bukas (Wednesday) na ang showing ng Trip Ubusan: The Lolas vs Zombies in cinemas nationwide, directed by Mark Reyes. Sa November 29 naman ang showing ng Barbi: D’ Wonder Beki.

Mabigat ang kasabay niyang pelikula.

“Exciting!” sagot ni Paolo.

Pero sana raw ay pare-pareho silang kumita dahil tiyak namang masisiyahan ang mga manonood sa kanilang mga pelikula.

Samantala, may guesting si Paolo sa seryeng Born Beautiful na muling magtatampok kina Trisha (Paolo) at Barbs na gagampanan na ni Martin del Rosario at mapapanood sa Cignal Entertainment sa January, 2018. Ibig bang sabihin, bubuhayin ang character niyang si Trisha sa Die Beautiful?

“Abangan ninyo kung ano ang twist na gagawin ni Direk Jun Lana sa characters namin ni Martin sa story.” –Nora Calderon



Source: Balita

New research has found that sleeping on the back during the late stages of pregnancy can increase a woman's risk of suffering a stillbirth.

Carried out by an international team of researchers including the universities of Manchester and Leeds in the UK, the study looked at more than 1000 women in England -- 291 women who had a stillbirth 28 weeks or later into their pregnancy and 735 women who had a live birth and who acted as the control group. 

The women were interviewed about their sleeping positions amongst a number of other factors.

After their analysis, the team found that women who had a late stillbirth were 2.3 times more likely to report going to sleep on their back on the night before the baby died.

The researchers estimate that if no pregnant women slept on her back, late-stage stillbirths could fall by 3.7 percent in England.

Although the study didn't look at how sleeping positions were impacting on the unborn baby and increasing the risk, they suggested that in the late stage of pregnancy, when a women is lying on her back the combined weight of the baby and the womb puts pressure on the mother's blood flow, which can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the baby. 

In addition, sleeping on the back may disturb a woman's breathing patterns.

Commenting on the findings, researcher Dr Tomasina Stacey said, "A stillbirth is a devastating experience. The message that emerges from this research though, is that women can modify this particular risk factor themselves. When they go to bed, they should try to settle to sleep on their side and not their back -- it doesn't matter if it's the left side or the right side."

"They should not worry if they wake up and find themselves on their back," she added, "The important thing is to commence sleep on their side."

The news comes after previous smaller studies have also suggested a link between sleeping position and stillbirth, with the new study the largest to date.

The research was funded by four charities, Action Medical Research, Cure Kids, Sands and Tommy's, with Tommy's now launching a public health campaign to alert women that it is safer for their baby to sleep on their side.

Around 11 babies every day in the UK are stillborn, which is around one in 225 babies. The UK ranks 24th out of 49 high-income countries for stillbirth rates with the team now using the findings to stress that the situation in the UK should be improved.

<p style=OnePlus CEO Pete Lau explains how he will eventually win you over. 

Sarah Tew/CNET" height="180" src="http://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBFoE1D.img?h=180&w=270&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=169&y=198" width="270" /> © Provided by CNET OnePlus CEO Pete Lau explains how he will eventually win you over. Sarah Tew/CNET Chances are, you've probably never heard of OnePlus. But ask an Android aficionado and you'll likely get a smile.

That's because OnePlus has spent the last three years creating a company almost exclusively catering to savvy and hardcore Android users. It's done so by packing premium features and specifications into smartphones that are significantly cheaper than traditional flagship offerings from the likes of Apple or Samsung. Its latest phone is the OnePlus 5T

OnePlus, owned by Chinese phone giant Oppo, is a rare example of a company making headway directly with consumers, fostered in part by a thriving and active online community that offers feedback on future products. That's particularly impressive in US, where other direct-to-consumer efforts have struggled and most Americans buy phones from their wireless carriers.

"OnePlus is an enthusiast brand, and that is not a bad thing," said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Global Data.

But there are signs that OnePlus wants to be more than just a niche player. The company last week held its first phone launch event, inviting media and more than 350 fans to a warehouse venue in Brooklyn -- a signal that it hungers for a larger presence in the mobile world.

Co-founder Carl Pei made his ambitions known near the end of the hour-long presentation.

"One day in the future, you will hopefully see OnePlus devices all around you, maybe even used by people who have no idea about technology," he said.

OnePlus has a long a way to go before that scenario becomes plausible. Its word-of-mouth strategy has been great for cultivating a base of savvy customers, but that also means it flies under the radar for most people. Since it sells directly to customers, it gets little carrier support. The price of the OnePlus 5T has edged up to $499, or nearly twice the price of the original OnePlus One's $299 starting cost.

OnePlus isn't looking to go on a marketing blitz, and co-founder and CEO Pete Lau said he would continue to focus on word of mouth as its primary growth driver.

But the company knows it needs to build a presence, and the normally media-shy Lau sat down for an interview on Thursday to discuss how he may eventually win you over. Lau spoke in Chinese, with Pei translating his comments. 

© Provided by CNET On that price

OnePlus played the expectations game leading into the unveiling of the OnePlus 5T, letting speculation of a price tag of $600 run rampant on Twitter before confirming it would start at $499 ($559 for a 128 gigabyte model).

The price of OnePlus phones has gone steadily higher as the company has added more features -- the OnePlus 5T offers a bigger display and a facial recognition system -- and the products are a long way from the original's slam-dunk price of $299. At the same time, phones from more recognizable names like LG and Motorola are starting to become more affordable.

"OnePlus still offers solid value relative to even more expensive flagships, but high prices expose it to new competition and could limit its base further," Greengart said. 

But Lau believes the OnePlus 5T offers a product that is superior to ones that are significantly more expensive and consumers will eventually smarten up about it.

"We think about it in simple terms," he said. "It's a good product at a fair price."

OnePlus comes up with the concept of the phone first, before thinking about price, Lau said. That's the opposite of most manufacturers, which target a price and build their phones accordingly. 

<p style=The OnePlus 5T offers a few minor upgrades to the OnePlus 5. 

CNET


" height="300" src="http://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBFowLV.img?h=300&w=300&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f" width="300" /> © Provided by CNET The OnePlus 5T offers a few minor upgrades to the OnePlus 5. CNET Privacy concerns

In a bit of awkward timing, reports cropped up days before the launch that OnePlus phones contain software called "EngineerMode" that potentially allowed hackers to access the device. The company explained that the software was a diagnostic tool, and that someone needed to physically get a hold of your device to take control. But the company ended up stripping out a core part of the EngineerMode feature -- the one allowing for root access -- anyway. 

OnePlus executives didn't address it during the launch, but Lau discussed the controversy in the interview. He acknowledged that there was a misunderstanding in communication and the company never intended to invade its users' privacy.

Lau also chalked it up to cultural differences. In markets such as China, the notion of privacy isn't as worrisome as it is in Western markets, and the company said it didn't know it needed to disclose this kind of access to consumers.

For 2018, OnePlus plans to focus on making sure it understands the standards and demands of each region, he said.

Lau noted that when OnePlus explained the issue to the company's online community, the reaction was positive. But while the hardcore OnePlus fans may rally around the company, the concerns may linger to more casual customers just learning about the brand.

"It's enough for them to be at least a little wary," said Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC. 

Don't count on a Verizon OnePlus

OnePlus phones are sold unlocked, so they only work in the US on the AT&T and T-Mobile network. The company has no plans to build a version that works for Verizon or Sprint because of the resources required to build a device that would run on their CDMA standard.

Lau noted that the Verizon certification process is the most difficult one, and OnePlus doesn't have the bandwidth for the carrier. The company would have to raise its prices to support different networks, which it's reluctant to do.

OnePlus does partner with some European carriers, including Finland's Elisa, but that was largely to get its phones into a retail store. The company does plan on hosting more pop-up stores and meetups in the US, but not necessarily to promote the OnePlus 5T, Lau said.

Still, Lau understands the importance of US carriers and hopes the word-of-mouth popularity of OnePlus spurs the carriers to seek the company. He kept the door open to a partnership down the line.

"It's not out of the question," he said. 

a hand holding a cellphone © Provided by The Next Web Tether noted in a now-removed post on its site that nearly $31 million worth of tokens were stolen from the treasury in which it stored its dollar-pegged cryptocurrency.

The company said that it won’t redeem any of the stolen tokens, and will attempt to prevent them from entering other exchanges.

While Tether has been able to identify the address in which the hacker is holding those stolen funds, it hasn’t yet understood how the attack took place. As such, it’s temporarily suspending its backend wallet service for partners, and is updating its Omni Core software client to prevent the missing tokens from being used in any transactions.

The company, which offers cryptocurrency tokens valued at US$1 each, has already been under scrutiny for allegedly being owned and operated by the same people who run Bitfinex, a British Virgin Islands-based Bitcoin exchange that’s been hacked in the past.

It’ll be interesting to see how the cryptocurrency community reacts to this news as more details come to light. We’re keeping an eye on this, so stay tuned for more as it happens.

a screenshot of a social media post © Provided by Engadget

After catching up with iOS, Google's keyboard app for Android is now racing ahead, courtesy of an update that packs 40 additional languages (including Japanese), and built-in sticker packs. Although Google already has a keyboard for non-Latin script languages, it's not forcing you to adopt Gboard, as noted by 9to5Google. Instead, you'll need to manually configure the Android app for a new language.

For the uninitiated, Gboard puts Search right in the keyboard. And, it also adds GIFs, emoji-centric tools (including type and scrawl to search), and glide and voice typing to the mix -- which may make you kick your other keyboards to the curb.

With the latest update, Gboard now boasts 120 languages in total. Plus, you get access to four sticker packs by default (previously Gboard only included stickers if Google's Allo messaging app was installed) -- so you never have to use words again.

Gboard (Google Play)

Some foods may be off-limits nutritionally, but what about legally? We’ve found 15 foods that have been banned for health or ethical reasons around the globe. There are certain kinds foods that should be avoided for health reasons, but what about dishes with government laws against them? Some of your favourite foods could be banned internationally for a host of environmental, dietary, and customary reasons.

We’ve rounded up a list of 15 foods that are illegal to consume and produce in certain countries. With crimes ranging from trademark infringement to inhumane production processes associated with them, these foods and beverages are unlawful here and across the globe.

In addition to steering clear of these illegal foods, be sure to check out our list of the 75 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet to avoid any diet disasters.

from Rodil Vega's Twitter © Provided by GMA News Online from Rodil Vega's Twitter

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday admitted that it is not ready to assist Metro Rail Transit Line 3 riders if the MRT3 is temporarily shut down.

In a press briefing, MMDA assistant general manager for planning Jojo Garcia said that it would be difficult to provide assistance to the 500,000 commuters served by the MRT3 every day.

“Definitely not, that’s 500,000 commuters a day. How can you be prepared? Sa 50 tao na isang bus, you’re talking about 500,000, that’s 12,000 buses. Saan tayo magnanakaw ng ganyang kadaming additional bus?” Garcia said.

“Ngayon nga 12,000 na 'yung dumadaan sa EDSA. Pero call ng DOTr ‘yan. Hindi kami ang expert diyan, kaya sila nandiyan. Of course mas naiintindihan nila yan kaya sa amin,” he added.

Senator Grace Poe earlier urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to decide immediately whether there is need to temporarily shut down the operations of MRT3 until the causes of the system’s numerous and repeated glitches are fixed.

Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services, made the statement after a car detached from a northbound train traveling between the Ayala and Buendia stations, prompting the evacuation of at least 140 passengers.

Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez also admitted that the DoTr has already been seriously considering shutting down the rail system.

"Since the first quarter of this year, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade has already considered stopping the operation of MRT because of its poor condition," Chavez said.

Malacañang, for its part, said that suggestions to temporarily shut the rail system down need further consideration.

"We assure the public that the DOTr maintenance team is working overtime to ensure the safety of the entire system. Suggestions to shut down the operations of the MRT3, however, need further consideration," presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said in a statement. — BM, GMA News

Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics © Maddie Meyer/GettyImages Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics

You know that an NBA player had a career night when fans of the opposing team are chanting "MVP" at the end of the game.

That's the case for Kyrie Irving, as the Celtics' star capped off an incredible 47-point​ performance with a 10-point overtime to give Boston the 110-102 win. 

The win marks the Celtics' 16th consecutive win, led by the inspired play of Irving, as they sit atop the Eastern conference. 

Irving simply could not miss as he carved his way through the Mavericks defense on route to an ultra efficient 16-of-22 shooting performance. Kyrie shot 5-of-7 from three-point territory, while netting 10-of-11 free throws. The 25-year-old superstar was responsible six assists and three rebounds as well. 

Clearly the mask didn't slow down Kyrie today as his game was clicking on all cylinders.

The Celtics have been playing inspired basketball lately and are running away with the Eastern conference early on, posting a 16-2 record through their first 18 games. 

WASHINGTON — Outspoken basketball dad LaVar Ball questioned the extent of President Donald Trump's involvement in securing his son's release from the custody of Chinese authorities during a combative 20-minute CNN interview on Monday night (Tuesday Manila time).

The president, in tweets Sunday, said he should have left LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in jail because LaVar Ball "is unaccepting of what I did for his son" and "very ungrateful!" LaVar Ball has refused to thank Trump.

LaVar Ball didn't back down during the CNN interview, telling host Chris Cuomo that Trump has more important things to do than ask for his gratitude.

LaVar Ball | AP © Philstar.com LaVar Ball | AP

"That's on your mind, that a father didn't say 'Thank you'? And you're the head of the U.S.? Come on," Ball said. "There's a lot of other things that's going on. Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let's just stay in our lane."

Ball suggested that he and Chinese president Xi Jinping had more to do with securing his son's release than the president.

"Did (Trump) help the boys get out? I don't know. If I was going to thank somebody, I probably would thank President Xi. He's in China. He's the president of China," Ball said, later adding: "I helped my son get out of China. I had some people that had boots on the ground that knew the situation."

Ball also pushed back against Trump's suggestion that shoplifting "is a very big deal in China."

"It wasn't a big deal because being raised in South Central LA, I've seen harsher things. I've seen 16, 17-year-old kids that have had to go to jail for life, that were my friends," Ball said. "He wasn't physical. He returned it. He fessed up to it."

LiAngelo and fellow UCLA freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley have been suspended indefinitely. They were arrested and questioned about stealing from high-end stores next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins stayed before leaving for Shanghai to play Georgia Tech. All three apologized for their actions and thanked Trump for his role in securing their release, which occurred while the president was traveling in Asia.

The trio isn't allowed to suit up, be on the bench for home games or travel with the team. Without them, No. 23 UCLA lost to Creighton on Monday night in the Hall of Fame Classic.

LaVar Ball is attempting to build an empire around the basketball skills of his three sons — Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo, LiAngelo and prep prospect LaMelo — and his own bombastic personality. He started an apparel company, Big Baller Brand, with shoes that retail for $500 or more, and he got in several plugs for his products during the CNN interview.

The UAAP has suspended the three referees who worked the Adamson-La Salle UAAP Final Four game last Saturday after the Falcons filed a protest due to “unfair and biased” officiating.

a group of people posing for the camera: uaap refs © InterAksyon uaap refs

Adamson, which lost the game 82-75 to bow out of the tournament, lamented the huge free throw discrepancy in the game. The Falcons were awarded five free throws and drew 12 fouls. The Green Archers attempted 39 free throws and drew 33 fouls.

“The statistics do not lie. Watching it either live or on television reveals a dubious officiating by the referees, all in favor of La Salle and prejudicial to Adamson,” Fr. Aldrin Suan of Adamson wrote in a letter addressed to UAAP commissioner Rebo Saguisag.

In response, Saguisag said that referees Enan Alejo, Ian Borbe, and Mollie de Luna have been immediately suspended following an emergency meeting after the game. Two of them were “strongly recommended for being banned for the rest of the season”.

However, a replay of the game has been ruled out.

Photo from Chot Reyes’ Instagram account: chot gilas tokyo © Photo from Chot Reyes' Instagram account chot gilas tokyo

The Philippine national men’s basketball team landed in Tokyo on Tuesday three days before kicking off its 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifying campaign.

Gilas Pilipinas will be taking on host Japan on Friday at the Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Ground Gymnasium to begin its quest in the six-window qualifiers.

Spearheading the Gilas Pilipinas delegation which left Manila via Philippine Airlines on Tuesday morning are coach Chot Reyes and team manager Butch Antonio.

Leading the 16-man pool are naturalized player Andray Blatche, who is making a return to the team after skipping the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon last August; four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and former FIBA Asia Mythical Five member Jayson Castro.

Also part of the roster are Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Almazan, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Terrence Romeo, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy and Allein Maliksi.

Romeo, the team’s leading scorer in the FIBA Asia Cup, is doubtful against Japan due to a knee injury.

After playing the Japanese, Gilas Pilipinas will immediately fly back to Manila where they will host Chinese Taipei on Monday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

MANILA, Philippines — Cignal takes its turn to scar F2 Logistics' immaculate mark when they clash in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The HD Spikers have the talent and the experience to stop the Cargo Movers.

Imports Alexis Matthews of United States and Beth Carey of Australia are two of the league's best middle blockers while Jovelyn Gonzaga, Paneng Mercado and Royse Tubino are all capable of lighting up the scoreboard.

Cignal HD will try to blemish F2's immaculate record in the 2017 Chooks to Go - Philippine Superliga Grand Prix. | Philippine Superliga/ Roman Prospero © Philstar.com Cignal HD will try to blemish F2's immaculate record in the 2017 Chooks to Go - Philippine Superliga Grand Prix. | Philippine Superliga/ Roman Prospero

Of course, veteran Rachel Anne Daquis will be back to assert her leadership for the HD Spikers, who are looking to pull off a gigantic conquest that would send the Cargo Movers crashing back to earth.

Head coach George Pascua said if they would come up with superb blocking and airtight floor defense, winning over F2 Logistics will be very possible.

"Our offense is always there," said Pascua, the genius behind Petron's historic 13-0 sweep of the PSL All-Filipino Conference two years ago.

"We have to put premium on our blocking and floor defense if we want to win over a very talented and disciplined team like F2 Logistics."

But the Cargo Movers appear invincible.

After dropping a single set to Petron, F2 Logistics rammed through its foes like a runway train dominating Sta. Lucia, Cocolife, Generika-Ayala and Victoria Sports-UST in lopsided fashion.

Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela was at the helm of that sizzling run as she dominated the attack zone together with Kennedy Bryan of United States and college star Kim Dy.

Middle blockers Aby Marano and Majoy Baron also play their role to perfection as well as libero Dawn Macandili and setter Kim Fajardo.

Although talks have it that the Cargo Movers are in for a perfect season, head coach Ramil de Jesus would rather aim for perfection than be complacent.

"It's still a long way to go," said the 10-time UAAP champion coach. "This is the PSL. All teams are tough and all players are very good. Although our goal is to win the crown, we have to be at our very best and work hard to achieve that target."

De Jesus said Cignal has what it takes to win over them.

They, however, have to work doubly hard to remain unbeaten.

"Cignal has a strong middle game and good wing spikers," he said. "We have to match their prowess and counter their attacks."

De Jesus knows that it's just a matter of time before they suffer their first loss.

But as much as possible, they want to enjoy this blazing run.

Jiang Tianyong in court in August: Jiang Tianyong was put on public trial in August © AFP Jiang Tianyong was put on public trial in August

A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer has been jailed for two years, the latest conviction in Beijing's crackdown on rights activists.

Jiang Tianyong was found guilty of inciting subversion of state power and defaming China's political system.

His wife told Reuters that the verdict was unacceptable. Amnesty International dismissed the trial as a "sham".

Mr Jiang was an outspoken critic of the government's crackdown on dissenters, representing some of those rounded up.

It is estimated that more than 300 lawyers, legal assistants and activists have been questioned, and more than two dozen of these pursued as formal investigations.

Mr Jiang defended human rights activists and fellow rights lawyers as well as also Falun Gong practitioners and Tibetan protesters.

The court also found the 46-year old guilty of using social media to attack the Chinese government and of inciting others to demonstrate in public.

His wife Jin Bianling told Reuters she believed her husband was being made an example to "deter or repress" other rights lawyers like him.

"I do not acknowledge or accept this verdict," she told the news agency speaking from the US.

She said his family had been unable to contact him since he first disappeared in November 2016 on a trip to visit the family of fellow rights lawyer Xie Yang who was held by the authorities at the time.

Jiang Tianyong in 2012: Jiang Tianyong (2012 file pic) defended many fellow government critics © AFP Jiang Tianyong (2012 file pic) defended many fellow government critics

Mr Jiang was put on trial in August where according to state media he read out a confession, telling the court he attended overseas training sessions encouraging him to reject China's political system.

Human rights groups have described the trial as an effort to discredit the lawyer as a part of what critics describe as China's "war on law".