Orr: Despite season-ending loss, SU has reason to be proud

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on March 28, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img SALT LAKE CITY — Arinze Onuaku sat motionless inside his locker, using a sideline towel to cover his face and act as a barrier between him and the gut-wrenching panorama outside.     A few loud sobs were his only proof of consciousness, aside from his occasional glances behind that towel to see if the press had gone home yet. One of his few interactions with teammates came when Rick Jackson sat down in the next locker over, peering through the steel mesh like a parishioner at confession, offering any signs of hope he could to his battered teammate. Onuaku didn’t feel much like talking Thursday, and understandably so. Syracuse had just had its heart ripped out by Butler. The dream season was over. It was time to hide for a little. There was no opportunity to consider the fact that this thing may have actually been a success. ‘Losing never feels good at this point in the season,’ senior guard Andy Rautins said. ‘For a team that had such high aspirations, I don’t think we’re going to be able to see the good side for a while.’ AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut this isn’t about Onuaku’s refusal to share his feelings. In moments like that one — moments where your heart stalls like an old generator, where your eyes see only the hazy shade your tears leave behind, where your jaw quivers like a tuning fork as you fight back the overwhelming emotion — there’s little motivation to face the world. For Onuaku and the boys, though, this is more about finding that reason to peel that towel off their heads and come back out. To set aside that lingering sting and realize that this was a successful season — the one no one thought SU could have.  ‘The expectations for the team weren’t very high,’ junior forward Wes Johnson said. ‘The games that we won and winning the Big East outright, we’ve got a lot to be happy about.’Heading into this year, Syracuse was college basketball’s year-old blockbuster, a team that captivated the nation the season prior but had since been forgotten. At the season’s opening, the names on the marquee hyped the likes of John Wall and Kentucky, Scottie Reynolds and Villanova, Sherron Collins and Kansas. The Orange was relegated to the 3-for-$5 bin. SU wasn’t ranked in the AP Top 25 and was picked to finish sixth in the Big East conference. At best, Syracuse would be a fringe tournament team with first-round loss written all over it. Then came Le Moyne. The Dolphins drove down Euclid Avenue and pummeled the Orange’s ego. Reruns on ‘SportsCenter’ made a team considered merely insignificant into a laughing stock. But, like a graduation party slideshow, the good moments began to fall into place. Each triumph seemed bigger than the last one as the afterthought became the topic of conversation again. ‘Like Coach said, we were doubted from day one, from day one everyone doubted us,’ sophomore guard Scoop Jardine said. ‘We proved everyone wrong, won the Big East outright, went to the Sweet 16 without A.O. when people counted us out. Then people jumped back on our bandwagon after Kansas lost, but we didn’t look at none of that. We just took it one game at a time.’Syracuse breezed through a 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden, blowing out a North Carolina team that had, one day prior, taken care of Evan Turner and Ohio State.It waltzed past the Big East conference schedule. In a league that, at its apex, had four teams in the Top 10 simultaneously, the Orange went 15-3. Johnson was made into the poster boy, the cagey forward constantly on the receiving end of those crowd-pleasing alley-oops. Rautins became known as the floor general, the glue that held the team together. Jardine was the spark plug, the reserve force that propelled the Orange to so many of its second-half comebacks. All these stories were written by the ever-expanding number of bodies on press row and witnessed by the spiking attendance. There was something special about Syracuse basketball in 2009-10, there’s no denying that.  And as the Orange players watch the rest of the NCAA Tournament, if they can, this will be the last thing on their minds. While the talking heads jump on the Butler bandwagon, the feeling will continue to fester. Everyone will be talking about the Bulldogs playing at home, about how they embody Gene Hackman’s boys in ‘Hoosiers.’ ‘That’s the most disappointing thing,’ freshman guard Brandon Triche said, ‘losing to a team that you should beat.’But if it can, for one second, the Orange should take that towel off and look around. Think about how they did something nobody else thought they could. Then, maybe, things won’t seem so bad.   Conor Orr is the sports editor at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at ctorr@syr.edu. last_img read more

NASCAR lineup at Pocono: Starting order, pole for Saturday’s race without qualifying

first_imgPositions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner pointsPositions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners pointsNASCAR starting lineup at PoconoThe same protocol that set the lineup for Saturday’s Pocono race will be used for all NASCAR Cup Series races currently confirmed on the 2020 schedule except Sunday’s Pocono race, the second leg of the doubleheader, for which the field will be set by a top 20 inversion of Saturday’s race results.NASCAR is proceeding without qualifying and practice sessions prior to races in an effort to limit time spent at the track amid the COVID-19 pandemic.As for Saturday’s race at Pocono, the draw for the starting lineup took place Thursday. Below are the results:Pos.DriverCar No.Team1Aric Almirola10Stewart-Haas Racing2Ryan Blaney12Team Penske3Denny Hamlin11Joe Gibbs Racing4Kyle Busch18Joe Gibbs Racing5Chase Elliott9Hendrick Motorsports6Joey Logano22Team Penske7Kurt Busch1Chip Ganassi Racing8Brad Keselowski2Team Penske9Kevin Harvick4Stewart-Haas Racing10Alex Bowman88Hendrick Motorsports11Martin Truex Jr.19Joe Gibbs Racing12Jimmie Johnson48Hendrick Motorsports13Ryan Newman6Roush Fenway Racing14Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47JTG Daugherty Racing15Tyler Reddick8Richard Childress Racing16William Byron24Hendrick Motorsports17Austin Dillon3Richard Childress Racing18Clint Bowyer14Stewart-Haas Racing19Erik Jones20Joe Gibbs Racing20John Hunter Nemechek38Front Row Motorsports21Matt DiBenedetto21Wood Brothers Racing22Matt Kenseth42Chip Ganassi Racing23Bubba Wallace43Richard Petty Motorsports24Chris Buescher17Roush Fenway Racing25Cole Custer41Stewart-Haas Racing26Michael McDowell34Front Row Motorsports27Brennan Poole15Premium Motorsports28Joey Gase51Petty Ware Racing29Corey LaJoie32Go Fas Racing30Ryan Preece37JTG Daugherty Racing31Garrett Smithley53Rick Ware Racing32Quin Houff00StarCom Racing33JJ Yeley27Rick Ware Racing34Ty Dillon13Germain Racing35James Davison77Spire Motorsports36Christopher Bell95Leavin Family Racing37Daniel Suarez96Gaunt Brothers Racing38Timmy Hill66Motorsports Business Management39BJ McLeod78BJ McLeod Motorsports40Josh Bilicki7Tommy Baldwin Racing MORE: Updated 2020 NASCAR Cup Series scheduleAs for pit stall selection for the NASCAR Cup Series races being run without qualifying, it is ordered based on finishing positions from the series’ previous race, followed by new entries in order of points. So Talladega winner Ryan Blaney had the first pit stall selection for Saturday’s race at Pocono and chose the No. 2 stall (because No. 1 was not available).NASCAR Cup Series pit stalls for Pocono race Saturday. Pit stalls for Sunday race chosen in order of Saturday finish. Would expect lineup draw Thursday for first Pocono race. Sunday race lineup is based on Saturday finish with top-20 invert. pic.twitter.com/2YtSbEsEwG— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 24, 2020Below is the starting lineup for Saturday’s NASCAR race at Pocono and how it was set.Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Pocono?For the first time this season, Aric Almirola is on the pole to start a race thanks to Thursday’s random draw. Almirola reached the top 12 in points standings thanks to his third-place finish at Talladega last week.Another Ford, that of Ryan Blaney, will line up next to Almirola’s No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Mustang on the front row to start Saturday’s race. They’ll be followed by a pair of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, starting in third and fourth.Below is the protocol for how the Cup Series field was set at Pocono: The starting lineup and pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, the first in a two-day doubleheader at the Tricky Triangly in Long Pond, Pa., were set by the same procedure that determined the starting lineup for the last five Cup Series races, all of which were scheduled to run without prior practice or qualifying sessions.The starting grid for Saturday’s race at Pocono, scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on Fox, features a pair of Fords at the front of the field as a result of the procedure that utilizes a combination of points standings and a random draw to set the lineup.last_img read more

Uganda Cranes off to take on Nigeria’s Super Eagles

first_img 2017Group Stage13th301213  1978Runners-Up2nd530297 There was also a sense at the end of the match that Ugandan football history has been made, and the older generation of stars are now confident a new generation of players is ready to carry Cranes into the future.“This is likely to be my last African Cup of Nations qualifying match at Namboole,” declared captain Denis Onyango who is yet to be beaten in the qualifiers. He has been between goal for five qualifying matches, 540 minutes without conceding.Kaddu’s goal not only assured Uganda of first place in Group K with one game to go, it also opened the door for Tanzania to also qualify.If the Tanzanians win in Lesotho on Sunday they will return to the African football showcase after a 38-year absence.Cape Verde coach Rui Aguas  admitted his side were second best and will be lucky to snatch second place.“Congs Uganda. They deserve the win,” he said, before rushing to catch a flight back to Cape Verde.Cape Verde were in the 2013 and 2017 Nations Cup finals.Group L  Standings P W D L F A  PTSUganda     5  4  1  0  7  0  13Tanzania    4  1  2  1  3  4   5C. Verde     5  1  1  3  4  5  4Lesotho     4   0  2  2  2  7  2Uganda’s Africa Cup of Nations record  1968Group Stage8th300328  2019 to 2023To be determined Host nation(s) / YearRoundPositionGPWD*LGSGA  1963Withdrew  1990Withdrew  1976Group Stage8th300326  1965Did not qualify *****MATCH REPORT Just when it looked like Cape Verde would hang on for a point, Patrick Kaddu used his head to break the deadlock as Uganda qualified for their second successive African Cup of Nations finals for the first time since the seventies.Kaddu popped from the blue to glance in a header from a fine cross by Godfrey Walusimbi in the 79th minute to spark of wild celebrations by Ugandan fans.Uganda Cranes capped the performance by holding on for their fifth consecutive clean sheet at the Cameroon 2019 qualifiers with what their French coach Sébastien Desabre, 41, said is his finest achievement.“Yes”, he replied when asked by journalists if this was his biggest achievement as a coach.  1957 to 1959Did not enter  1962Fourth Place4th200215  1980 to 1982Withdrew Kaddu scored for Uganda. He is off to Nigeria to take on Alex Lwobi’s Super Eagles Tuesday in a friendly. ? via @KadduPatrick9AFCON RESULTSUganda ?? 1 Cape Verde ?? 0South Africa ?? 1 Nigeria ?? 1NEXTNigeria ?? vs Uganda ?? (friendly, Tuesday)Kampala, Uganda  | THE INDEPENDENT | With the business of qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations completed, Uganda and Nigeria play a friendly Tuesday that can be considered a warm-up for Cameroon 2019.Uganda Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre named an 18-man team that flew to Nigeria without skipper Denis Onyango but with the majority of players who were in action Saturday, including goal scorer Patrick Kaddu.The two goalkeepers who traveled with the team were Salim Jamal and Charles Lukwago.According to FUFA.COM, the team departed on Sunday morning at 9am after the flight was delayed by six hours. The game is set for the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr also earlier called up stand – in captain Ahmed Musa and 22 other players for the qualifying match against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana played yesterday in Johannesburg. The same group will feature in the friendly against the Cranes of Uganda at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.Squad to Nigeria:Goalkeepers: Salim Jamal, Charles LukwagoOther players: Nico Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Khalid Aucho, Denis Iguma, Moses Waiswa, Patrick Kaddu, Isaac Muleme, Timothy Denis Awany, Isaac Isinde, Allan Kyambadde, Taddeo Lwanga, Ibrahim Sadam Juma, Milton Karisa, Allan Kateregga, Derrick NsibambiI’m super Happy with our qualification to the AFCON. I understand our fans wants our A1 game in every games . The only positive out here is the fact that we have Qualified for the AFCON. Thank you to our fans all over the world . ?????? pic.twitter.com/00mhauCuEw— John Ogu (@ogujohnugo) November 17, 2018 READ FULL AFCON AFRICA ROUNDUP page 2Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2  1992 to 2015Did not qualify  1984 to 1988Did not qualify  1974Group Stage6th301235 TotalRunners-Up6/311932141834  1970 to 1972Did not qualifylast_img read more

Florida Man Arrested After Dragging, Fatally Running Over Girlfriend

first_imgAuthorities say a woman was dragged for several hundred feet on I-75 near Gainesville on Saturday while holding onto the door of a truck before she lost her grip, was run over by the vehicle and died.The Florida Highway Patrol arrested the woman’s boyfriend, 44-year-old Ryan Le Boss, early Sunday at his Lake City home, on a charge of leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in death.Troopers say he was driving the Ford pickup truck involved in the incident, and several witnesses verified the initial report. Officials identified the girlfriend was 48-year-old Eileen Bocca, and say she died at a nearby hospital.Bocca was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.It is not clear whether Le Boss will face other charges.last_img read more

Here is how Prithvi Shaw is helping people affected by Cyclone Nisarga

first_imgPrithvi ShawAdvertisement bg6pNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsigmWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eisoem4( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 8mlWould you ever consider trying this?😱4k68ohCan your students do this? 🌚3unRoller skating! Powered by Firework As the global pandemic novel coronavirus has brought the world into a standstill, all the sporting events around the world have either been postponed or cancelled. With no cricket is going on at the moment owing to the pandemic outbreak, youngster Prithvi Shaw has been keeping himself busy helping villagers in Maharashtra.Advertisement Prithvi ShawAlong with the COVID-19 pandemic, the state has been going through the tough time at the moment because of the cyclone Nisarga which hit earlier this month and affected several people. And amid this critical situation, Prithvi Shaw has decided to use his time by helping the needy people.The struggle of the people living in Dhokawade village near Mandwa (Alibaug) which is approximately 110 km from Mumbai has left an impact on the U-19 India captain and the star opener of India. However, he thought to help the people there in the village. Notably, he has been locked down there for the last two months due to the pandemic.Advertisement The 20-year old is currently staying at politician Sanjay Potnis’s farmhouse in Dhokawade, alongside his son Yash. Meanwhile, Potnis shared how Prithvi Shaw and his son are helping the villagers to build their houses after they were badly affected by the cyclone. He further revealed that Shaw helped the villagers financially as well.“Yes, they [Shaw and Yash] have been in Alibaug since the lockdown. The cyclone was pretty bad there. The entire village [Dhokawade] was badly affected. The roofs of houses were destroyed. Even my bungalow suffered some damage. Prithvi and my son witnessed the difficulties of the villagers and decided to help. Prithvi has not only helped them put the roofs back on their houses, he also provided financial assistance to some of the needy villagers,” Potnis told mid-day.Advertisement “This goes to show that Prithvi is not just a talented cricketer but also someone who understands his social responsibility at such a young age. It shows his maturity,” Potnis further added.However, his behaviour not only impress others but also his father who praised his son’s noble gestures. He was also delighted to learn about this.“Prithvi has come up the hard way. He has seen difficult days when he was climbing the ranks as a cricketer and that’s why he empathises with people who are struggling in life,” Pankaj Shaw said.With the situation getting better in some places, cricket is going to start soon. Notably, Cricket Australia have announced their upcoming fixture and the West Indies team have reached England for their upcoming series as well.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also, follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comALSO READ:Gautam Gambhir reveals he was asked to plead guilty to Shane Watson elbowing incident in 2008!Gautam Gambhir: Virat Kohli doesn’t have the ability of ABD, Kallis or Lara! Advertisementlast_img read more

Nelson sends trio of grads to 2014 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament

first_imgThe 19-year-old, who had breakout season recording 21 goals and 40 points in 62 games, followed by a team-high four goals and one assist in four playoff contests, landed an amateur tryout with Carolina, and played so well as the recent camp, Hurricanes staff decided to invite to play in the Prospects Tournament.”I’m just going to go in with an open mind,” Hunt told the Regina Leader Post.”I’m obviously nervous because there are a lot of great players down there. I’m just going to try to play my game, do what I do best, and then see if they like how I did.”As for MacLeod, who played for the Nelson Leafs before landing a NCAA college scholarship, the 22-year-old rearguard needed to wait out the summer before beginning his professional career after graduating from Boston College in the spring.MacLeod, who spent time recently in Boston training before the Prospects Tournament, signed a minor league contract in the East Coast Hockey League but was granted status to play in the tournament with the Blue Jackets squad.”(Playing in the tournament) will be great for exposure for me and the chance for me to see the level of other rookie players,” MacLeod said.The Traverse City tournament, which begins Friday, is divided into two divisions — Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay.Columbus, Detroit, Minnesota and St. Louis are in the Gordie Howe pool while Buffalo, Carolina, Dallas and NY Rangers make up the Lindsay draw.The teams cross over into Tuesday’s playoff round.Nelson Leafs president Larry Martel said while NMH may have played a part of the equation to get the three to this level of hockey, hard work put them over the top.“I feel proud because I understand the work, commitment and sacrifice these athletes have gone through to get to this point in their young careers,” Martel explained.“It’s and incredible amount of work and they have a dream and they are doing everything in their ability to realize that dream.”Of course nothing is etched in stone during the weekend with more than 400 players trying to catch the eye of NHL scouts and brass at the Traverse City tournament, other than Hiller working behind the bench in the NHL for Detroit.Hunt is going back to junior in Regina to play for the Pats while MacLeod is destined for the minor leagues, hopefully with a team in the American Hockey League.But one can only hope the success of these Heritage City players can pave the way for other Nelson Minor Hockey grads to enjoy success on the professional hockey stage. The Octopus Thrower website lists five players for Red Wings Nation to watch at this weekend’s 2014 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament.The Die by the Blade site puts the spotlights the top 2014 draft picks of the Buffalo Sabres in Sam Reinhart and Brendan Lemieux as two players to keep an eye on.The main focus of The Nelson Daily is three grads from Nelson Minor Hockey Association who will also be wetting their NHL appetitie at the Traverse City tournament in one capacity or another.Forward Dryden Hunt and defenceman Isaac MacLeod will suit up on the ice for the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets, respectively, while former Nelsonite Jim Hiller will make an appearance as one of the new assistant coaches for the Red Wings staff.“This is great for Nelson,” said Simon Wheeldon, a former professional hockey player and hockey coach of the KIJHL’s Nelson Leafs.“I don’t think any other time there has been this many players taking part in an NHL like camp . . . maybe the only time was when Danny (Gare), Pat (Price) and Greg (Adams) were playing in the NHL,” Wheeldon added.Danny Gare, Pat Price and Greg Adams all played minor hockey in Nelson before going on to experience successful NHL careers.While Hiller, MacLeod and Hunt all got their first taste of life on the pond game in the Heritage City in Nelson Minor Hockey, the trio took different routes to Traverse City and the NHL Prospects Tournament — an event that runs from Friday to Tuesday (September 12-16) and features from Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.Hiller played his hockey in Nelson before moving with his family to finish his minor career in Cranbrook.He then played NCAA hockey with North Michigan before getting a taste of the NHL with Los Angeles and Detroit.Hiller, finishing his playing career in Europe, coached in the BC Hockey league before landing a spot with the Tri-City Americans where he took the Western Hockey League club to the League Finals in 2010 and winning the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as WHL Coach of the Year.Hunt, who jumped Junior B Hockey in Nelson for a few seasons with the Notre Dame Hounds program, is currently on the roster of the Regina Pats of the WHL.last_img read more

CONSISTENT ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR TAKES GRADE II, $200,000 JOHN HENRY TURF CHAMPIONSHIP BY A HALF LENGTH UNDER STEVENS; TRAINED BY EURTON, THE CALIFORNIA-BRED GELDING GETS 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF IN 1:58.35

first_imgFIVE YEAR OLD BY GAME PLAN EYES $4 MILLION LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF NOV. 5 ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2106)–Forwardly placed throughout, California-bred Ashleyluvssugar got a perfect stalking trip under Gary Stevens and went on to an impressive half length win in the Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita. Trained by Peter Eurton, the 5-year-old gelding by Game Plan got 1 ¼ miles on turf in 1:58.35. A gate to wire winner of the Grade II, 1 3/8 miles turf Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 20, “Ashley” notched his second consecutive win and his fourth from seven starts over the Santa Anita lawn.Breaking from post position six in a field of 10 and with the temporary inner rail set at 10 feet, Ashleyluvssugar sat a controlled second to longshot El Huerfano the entire trip until assuming command three sixteenths of a mile from home.“This is his kind of track,” said Eurton. “You gotta think this horse is just full of heart. When he’s healthy like he is right now, he’s great…The six hole helped us out a lot, we got to see what was going on to the inside of us. There was a little bumping going on at the beginning so Gary put him out there wide and it was easier for him to relax.”Owned by his breeders, Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Ashleyluvssugar was the third choice in the wagering at 3-1 and paid $8.80, $5.00 and $3.40. He now has eight wins from 17 starts and will make his next start in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (1 ½ miles) at Santa Anita on Nov. 5. (With the John Henry winner’s share of $120,000, he now has earnings of $847,504).“I’m excited about the Breeders’ Cup,” said Stevens. “He’s stepping up in company but he loves a mile and a half. This was pretty easy on him and he was looking for even more room to run pulling up. This was a great race for him. The speed was down on the inside and it set up nicely. He’s better with a horse in front of him. He’s not very big but he’s full of energy, does his job and he loves Santa Anita.”In a three-horse charge for second money, longshot Texas Ryano, with Joe Talamo up, prevailed by a nose over Twentytwentyvision and Flavien Prat.Off at 14-1, Texas Ryano paid $15.80 and $10.00.Twentytwentyvision was a half-length better than 5-2 favorite Metaboss and paid $4.80 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.55, 46.93, 1:10.96 and 1:34.83.last_img read more

Good food and fine art at the Peech

first_imgThe Peech’s energy-saving strategyincludes solar heating and grey water recycling Guests can admire the artwork whilerelaxing in the trendy lounge. (Images: The Peech Hotel) MEDIA CONTACTS • Gerhard KoekemoerThe Peech Hotel+27 11 537 9797 RELATED ARTICLES • Voluntourism: see SA, do good • Cape Town’s responsible tourism • Liliesleaf to sprout new hotel • SA wins big at World Travel AwardsChris ThurmanWhen James Peech relocated from Britain to South Africa, he didn’t think he’d be opening a hotel in the middle of Johannesburg.After a lengthy spell curing their mutual wanderlust in south-east Asia, Peech and his South African partner Cassie Janisch planned to return to her homeland and settle in Cape Town. The Cape, however, did not prove hospitable to their ambitions for the hospitality industry and they decided to try their luck in the ostensibly less tourist-friendly Johannesburg instead.Luck, fate or sheer serendipity? Call it what you will. The point is that they happened to find a charming house in the suburb of Melrose, north of Johannesburg’s city centre, at a time when the owners were looking to escape a massive construction project underway next door.They saw the potential and, within a few years, their vision had been fulfilled: the construction site turned into über-trendy Planet Fitness at The Wanderers sports club, while the house and grounds nestling alongside were expanded into a tranquil and surprisingly spacious four-star 16-room boutique hotel.That the Planet Fitness complex doesn’t intrude on the aesthetic or atmosphere of the Peech Hotel is largely attributable to architect Kate Otten, whose design for the extensions emphasised seclusion: hotel guests hardly feel that they are in the biggest city in the country, just a short distance from its commercial hub.This proximity is, of course, appealing to business travellers, and The Peech boasts a 10-seater boardroom and workspace facilities for such guests. Yet judging from the diverse conversations and languages to be overheard in the hotel’s bar and lobby area, an equal proportion of the international clientele are leisure travellers.Whether it’s business or pleasure that brings them to the Peech, those who stay there soon learn a thing or two about the art of living.Laid-back and chicThe Bistro, under head chef Greg Jardim, has developed a reputation for fine dining. After sampling the sundried tomato, asparagus and fennel risotto I was happy to concur; the Asian fishcakes with wasabi dipping sauce entrenched my opinion.Then there was the duck confit served with polenta and a berry coulis, the sirloin with blue cheese sauce, the chocolate torte with Frangelico … it’s clear that Jardim and his sous-chefs are living up to their promise to create dishes that are both “laid-back and chic” with “an understated touch of sophistication”.Robert Chifunyise is kept busy as resident sommelier; the Peech hosts monthly wine evenings, at which local vintners proffer a selection of wines paired with appropriate dishes. Connoisseurs of other beverages are not entirely neglected – earlier this year the Collective São Gabriel, a multi-national group of craft beer-makers, shared some of their luxury brews. And the hearty brunch on offer every Sunday morning is accompanied by an endless supply of Cap Classique Brut from Villiera Wines.Care of the environmentThe Peech, by example, also teaches another subject: eco-living. Certified for Fair Trade in Tourism, the hotel implements a strict sustainability policy incorporating solar water heating, double-layer insulation in rooms and the recycling of grey water from baths and showers.In addition to operating with the environment in mind, Peech exercises a social conscience through charitable contributions towards the Little Eden Children’s Home in Edenvale, east of Johannesburg.What would the art of living be without the visual arts? Sculptures from various African countries are displayed in the hotel’s rooms, augmenting the eclectic decor and sleek finishes. While works of art serve an anodyne decorative function in most hotels, however, this is not the case at The Peech.James Peech has teamed up with art agent and curator Christina Wiese of Brown Spice Boutique to ensure that the hotel’s walls are continually adorned by new art works in various styles. As a result of these floating exhibitions, the hotel has become something of an informal gallery.In 2009 an environment-themed collection of photography and sculpture that also displayed fashion, industrial and interior designs reinforced Peech’s passion for ecological sustainability. Artists who have subsequently opened exhibitions at the hotel include photographers Neil Corder and Babi Prokas; Layziehound, with his music-oriented pastel images; and Anupama Das, whose geometric designs tease and delight the eye.The arts programme is ongoing, as are the wine evenings and other events. In fact, for such a calm and quiet place, The Peech is veritably abuzz with new developments – from landscaping of the already lush and leafy gardens, to plans to convert the poolside eating area into an al fresco deli.All this activity can only bode well for visitors to, and residents of, Johannesburg. As for Capetonians … well, they’re likely to feel they’ve been missing out.  Gerhard KoekemoerEmail: gerhard@thepeech.co.zaPhone: +27 (0) 11 537 9797Fax: +27 (0) 11 537 9798www.thepeech.co.zalast_img read more

Assam school makes students block road demanding repairs to it

first_imgThe administration of southern Assam’s Hailakandi district has served a show-cause notice to a private English medium school for letting its students take part in a road blockade.The students of Blue Flowers English Medium Higher Secondary School blocked the road at Hailakandi town’s Rabindra Sarani on Tuesday morning demanding repairs to the road on which the school is situated.The chairperson of the district’s Child Welfare Committee on Wednesday filed an FIR against the principal of the school for violation of children rights and the Juvenile Justice Act. This was after Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli late on Tuesday evening served the show-cause notice asking why “stern action should not be initiated for allowing a large number of minor school students in uniform to resort to road blockade.”The school authorities have been given a 48-hour deadline to show cause, failing which the permission to run the school could be cancelled.The blockadehad led to traffic snarls, causing inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians alike. Officials said the demonstration was uncalled for, since the Public Works Department had given a written assurance to the school that the road would be repaired by July 31.In April, the Hailakandi district administration asked the Assam Board of Secondary Education to take appropriate action against Oxford School for sending its students in uniform to a political rally at Panchgram.Four other schools in the district – Adarsha Vidyalaya, Panchgram Quomi Madrassa, Maulana Abdul Ali Jaliliya Madrassa and Cambridge High School – were also issued show-cause notices for making their students attend the rally.last_img read more

Its the SecondBlingiest Finals Matchup in Modern NBA History

No matter how the NBA Finals plays out, by the end of this season fully half of the 16 finals since the breakup of the second three-peat Chicago Bulls in 1998 will have been won by the San Antonio Spurs or the Miami Heat. When these teams met in the 2013 finals, it marked the first time since the 1980s that both teams had multiple championships in their recent history. This year, both teams feature multiple players — Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker for the Spurs; Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem for the Heat — with at least three rings (all from their present teams).How does this stack up with other finals in NBA history? Very well. Counting total rings owned by players on both squads when entering their series, this is the second-blingiest matchup in the post-merger era (counting championships back to 1963, 10-ring minimum):Amazingly, the Spurs are the team with less championship pedigree in this matchup. The Heat have 11 players with championship-winning experience (unsurprising for the defending champs). But though the Spurs’ Big Three (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili) have more rings (10) than the seven held by the Heat’s Big Three (Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh), no other Spurs were around for their last title in 2007, and none has won a championship with another team. This 12-ring difference is large historically, and teams with such a disparity don’t have a good record:Teams with an eight-or-more ring advantage are 18-4 in finals series, though a lot of those were mismatches between a dynasty and a flavor of the month. But the Spurs this year are the better team on paper, with both the better record (62 wins in the regular season vs. Miami’s 54) and the better statistics (Spurs SRS was 8.0 vs. Miami’s 4.15). Additionally, the Spurs have a lot more rings than most ring underdogs. This year’s squad ties last year’s for the third-most rings ever owned by the less pedigreed team entering a finals:For a team with multiple championships to be the least decorated going into a finals is extremely rare. The Lakers in the 1987 Los Angeles/Boston matchup tops the list; the Lakers had 14 rings, fewer than the Celtics’ 20. That matchup had an interesting combination of NBA greats in their primes combined with NBA greats past their primes:Kareem Abdul-Jabbar seemed to be an ageless wonder and averaged nearly 22 points per game in the 1987 finals. But Bill Walton — in his final NBA season — played only 24 minutes in five games against the Lakers (after having played in only 10 games the entire regular season). Without his two rings, even that stacked finals would only be tied with this year’s. And if these two teams meet again next year, they will surely break the record.UPDATE (June 5, 6:48 p.m.): I only counted the rings of players who were on their teams’ active rosters in the NBA Finals. There are players such as Matt Bonner, who received a ring with the Spurs in 2007 but wasn’t on the Spurs’ finals roster. Bonner and his ilk aren’t included.(June 5, 8:28 p.m.): The first chart in this article originally omitted the 2005 series between the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons but has since been updated. read more