July 17, 2019 - Wednesday
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Firm on the saddle; Ocho repudiated

May 15, 2019 - Wednesday 4:05 AM by Jimmy Laking

This much I know by now. Administration candidate Dong Mangudadatu and independent Dr. Willie Ong rattled the scoreboards some but may not be able to make the cut for the available Senate slots.

Their strong showing, however, cannot be glossed over as they crowded out, with the exception of Bam Aquino, most of the opposition lights. This maybe a dress rehearsal for both Mangudadatu and Ong; the next time around would be sweeter.

As to the opposition, the message is clear: they are for all intents and purposes, to include those sleeping with both extremes of the political spectrum, been deemed irrelevant. In short, the electorate has seen through their limitations or motives.

The Ocho-Ocho slate had only itself to blame. Its first mistake was not in campaigning for its candidates but in taking on President Duterte at every turn when Digong was no candidate.

Its second mistake was in fielding a team of political lightweights that proved no match against political heavyweights such as Villar. There are also the Immortals to contend with, the type that tantalized the ABCs not so much for their cinematic abilities as  for the thickness of their skulls and skins. Ong could have breached through invincibility given just the resources to saturate the regions.

If anything, the results firmed up President Duterte’s hold on the saddle. And if this were chess, the game has passed the critical stage with the result no longer in doubt.

I think this was what Mayor Sara Duterte had in mind when she described this year’s elections as a crucial exercise for the Duterte administration.

And that she was nervous over how the senatorial slate of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago would fare on the eve of the elections.

She urged the people to let each vote count to enable President Duterte to push for what he wants for the country in the last three years of the administration.

Indeed, with a team in the Senate now assured, President Duterte is assured of the numbers to push for major reforms, Build, Build, Build and federalism including. It will be a very busy three years for the administration.

Again if this were chess, President Duterte has added exactly the right pieces to push in his determined bid to bring about inclusive change, without having to resort to a revolutionary government. It will be all systems going from henceforth assuming of course that the team will deliver as expected.

***

Meanwhile, it will be brother against brother as the Portland Blazers take on the Golden State Warriors for the right to represent the West in the NBA finals.

Seth Curry is playing for the Blazers while brother Stephen, considered the best shooter in the planet, is playing for GSW. Steph’s team is superstar-laden to include Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Steph himself.

The Curry family will be winners whoever wins.

The Blazers are not exactly push-overs. NBA experts say they play an intelligent game and the combination of CJ McCollum and Damon Liliard plays a run and gun game that pulsates non-stop the whole course of the game.

They showed this against the Oklahoma Thunder earlier and proved the difference in thumping the Denver Nuggets in the 7th game of a series.

Despite this, it is safe to assume that while the Blazers may win a game or two, the overpowering firepower of the Warriors will be hard to match. In fact, the harder the opposition, the better the Warriors seem to unfold as an elite team. This can go 4-1 for GSW.  

In the east, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors will tangle with the well-rested Milwauke Bucks.

The Raptors were coming off an emotional 7th game decider against the gutsy Philadelphia 76ers, the win decided only the closing seconds when Leonard fired a two-pointer that bounced four times off the ring before settling into the hole.

The Bucks, it is predicted, will run their game around the 7-footer Giannis Antekuonmpo who averages 30 points and 10 rebounds per game. He has a supporting case of battle-tested players that include former Spur George Hill.

In contrast, Leonard (himself a former Spur) has another Spur, Danny Green, to boost scoring and the likes of Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Paul Siakam and Fred VanVleet to produce the points and to play defence. It will be an epic match-up. This can go either way, however.

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