Citizens lining up to receive VP Boakai and his entourage in the districtBy S. Micah Yeahwon in Western LiberiaCitizens of Gbarma and Kongba districts in Gbarpolu County on Saturday, May 20, presented a statement of support for the presidential bid of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.The statement of endorsement was read by the county’s former Superintendent, Boima Q. Taweh, and presented to the Vice President by Representative Gerude T. Lamie and Senator Danie F. Natehn.In the statement, the citizens, comprising students and other youths, tribal leaders, chiefs, women’s groups, elders, and officials of the districts, said the decision to support Boakai’s candidacy was predicated upon his requisite experience to lead the nation, his immaculate personality, which is an example of decency that he has demonstrated over the years.The statement also described the Vice President as an agriculture-minded person; and as such, he would encourage Liberians to go back to the soil when he ascends to the nation’s highest office.The citizens later gowned VP Boakai and the Senate Pro Temp Armah Z. Jallah. They also presented a gift to the Vice President which they referred to as the “Insignia – the mantle of the leadership that he is to assume in 2018.”In response to the statement, Boakai thanked the citizens for their commitment in serving the government and the nation over the last 11 years. He called on the leadership of the two districts to join him and work collectively to improve the lives of their people.“We want to see the lives of our citizens be touched for the better,” he said.The VP then promised the citizens a community radio station and the installation of telephone towers in their district for easy access to communication.The colorful ceremony, which took place in a large unfinished town hall, brought together hundreds of citizens and residents, traditional mask dancers, the student community of the two districts, as well as government officials.Other dignitaries and government officials who graced the occasion included Bomi County Superintendent Samuel Brown; Senator George Tengbeh of Lofa County; Gender Minister, Julia Ducan Cassell; Senator Matthew Jaye of River Gee County; Unity Party chairman, Wilmot Paye; Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Henry Youton; Gbarpolu County Superintendent Armah Sarnor; and Gbarma Statutory District Superintendent, Elijah David, among others.The ceremony was climaxed with the gowning of VP Boakai in Yauqayah Town, where he and his entourage drove to shortly after the program.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The storybook run to last year’s CIF-Southern Section Division III finals still is fresh on the minds of the Arcadia High School boys soccer players. Those who seeded Monday’s division playoff pairings apparently have a shorter memory. After finishing second in the Pacific League, Arcadia coach Jason Franz was surprised to learn the Apaches (12-7-5) are in a wild-card game this afternoon against visiting Lompoc Cabrillo (9-11-3), a fourth-place team from the Los Padres League. In the final division poll, there weren’t any Pacific League teams in the top 10. Only champion Hoover was awarded with a first-round game while Arcadia, Crescenta Valley and Burroughs from the eight-team league were forced to go the wild-card route. “Should a second-place team from an eight-team league be in a wild-card game?” Franz wondered. “I’m not in favor of that. “But CIF has a bigger problem because there are too many teams competing for six divisions. We need to add another division, otherwise this sort of thing will keep happening.” The Division VI pairings are a bigger mess. The first round consists of only league champions playing wild-card winners; there are 49 teams competing in the division. There are 17 wild-card games in Division VI, and Westmark (7-0-4), an undefeated champion from the Omega League, was placed in a wild-card game. “Nobody wants to put a league champion in a wild-card game,” CIF-SS director of sports information Thom Simmons said. “Unless someone makes a proposal to the Southern Section council to add a division, these are the cards we have to deal with.” Considering the injuries to key players and others lost because of grades, Pasadena girls soccer coach Carlos Guerrero is pleased the Bulldogs finished fourth in the Pacific League and qualified for the Division II playoffs. The Bulldogs (11-4-3) were unbeaten in their final seven games and will be on the road against Westlake (9-2-8) in a wild-card game this afternoon. The Bulldogs figured to be one of the Pacific League contenders entering the season, but midfielder Breane Joseph broke her leg midway through league, and senior forward Gilly Acedo has been out for weeks with an knee ligament injury. “It’s been a very frustrating season, but I give our girls a lot of credit for fighting through the rough times,” Guerrero said. “We have been playing without two of our top three players, and we lost other players because of injuries and grades.” firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4485 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
A fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera always seemed natural. They are both from Mexico City, they’re the same age and they have been in, or near, the same weight class. They both made their money fighting out of the Forum under the Forum Boxing Inc. banner in the 1990s. However, it is not often that fighters working for the same promoter will fight each other because a promoter isn’t going to go out of his way to get one of his top fighters knocked off. With that, Marquez will finally get the chance to make an indelible mark on the sport. Marquez, 33, is 46-3-1 with 35 knockouts and has held the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation featherweight belts, as well as the World Boxing Organization interim featherweight belt. Marquez-Barrera will be available on HBO pay-per-view. Armando Garcia, chief executive officer for the California State Athletic Commission, said Wednesday that he is investigating the events surrounding the brain injury suffered by Victor Burgos at the hands of Vic Darchinyan during their flyweight title fight Saturday at Home Depot Center. Garcia, however, said little else about the fight that left Burgos seriously injured. Burgos, who lost via 12th-round technical knockout, had post-fight surgery late Saturday to remove a blood clot on his brain. On Tuesday he had come out of a medically induced coma and was responding to verbal commands given by doctors. “I don’t mean to be evasive or anything, but the state has decided to respect the family and not make any comment,” Garcia said. “I have to do some checking so I can finish up the report. At some point, I think we will be able to talk in detail.” Wladimir Klitschko will defend his IBF heavyweight belt against Ray Austin on Saturday in Germany. HBO will televise. Klitschko, of Kiev, Ukraine, will be attempting to make the second defense of the belt he won with a seventh-round technical knockout of Chris Byrd last April. Klitschko, 30, stopped Calvin Brock in the seventh round in his first defense last November. Klitschko is 47-3 with 42 knockouts. Austin, 36, is from Cleveland. He is 24-3-4 with 16 knockouts. Catch the replay of the October 1981 lightweight title fight between Alexis Arguello and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini tonight on Versus. Arguello won via 14th-round technical knockout. email@example.com (562) 499-1338 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Then again, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions doesn’t have a problem with it. The company now promotes Marquez and Barrera, and they will fight on March 17 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Barrera’s World Boxing Council super featherweight belt will be at stake. “We are looking to do the best fights with the best fighters,” said Eric Gomez, Golden Boy matchmaker and vice president. “That is what the public wants. These two warriors want to fight each other, want to face each other and give back to the boxing community.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant She said officers believed the driver to be Raul Eoyoque, 27. After talking with the officers, the driver accelerated through the intersection at Golden Valley, returning to the southbound freeway. Officers lost sight of the vehicle, but a witness called to report that a vehicle matching the Hummer’s description stopped just north of the San Fernando Road off-ramp, where the driver threw three bags containing a white powdery substance onto the shoulder of the road. Officers recovered two intact one-pound bags of the substance, which appeared to be crystal methamphetamine. A third bag had fallen into traffic lanes and been run over by passing vehicles. At 7:50 p.m., officers located the Hummer in the park-and-ride lot at San Fernando Road, south of the freeway. A search of the car yielded one more pound bag of the white powder. That amount of crystal methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $21,000, according to a law enforcement drug price list. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CANYON COUNTRY – A fugitive suspect managed to elude pursuit by Highway Patrol officers Sunday night and tossed bags of what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine during his getaway, a CHP spokeswoman said Monday. A bail bondsman following the man’s 2005 Hummer H2 on the Antelope Valley Freeway called the CHP about 6:25 p.m., saying he believed the driver to be an armed fugitive, Officer Wendy Hahn said. Officers caught up with the sport utility vehicle at Sand Canyon Road and followed it at 75 mph. The man, heading south, pulled over at the Golden Valley Road off-ramp and officers drew their guns in case he was indeed armed, Hahn said. “The driver stopped, but refused to show his hands or turn off the car, telling officers that there were no keys to the vehicle,” she said.
Donegal Yarns is a yarn production company based in the village of Cill Charthaigh in south-west Donegal, producing the famous “Donegal” yarn, which is commonly used by major global clothing brands such as JCrew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada and Chanel, to name but a few.Chris Weiniger, Manager of Donegal YarnsThe company is helped out by Údarás na Gaeltachta’s enterprise development scheme which assists entrepreneurs by encouraging new investment in Gaeltacht areas, nurturing already established businesses, and enhancing the skill base of those living in Gaeltacht communities! The company today has evolved from a state sponsored Congested District Board development scheme in the 1920’s, setting up a commercial spinning facility in Kilcar.Donegal Yarns currently employs 35 people and has taken the initiative to develop and launch an innovative modern apprenticeship and staff development programme for the textile industry in Ireland.Their aim is to ensure that the skills and traditions required to keep this industry thriving, will be retained in the area. Donegal Yarns calls on Educational Bodies to provide accredited courses to ensure skills are available for the future growth of the textile Industry in South West Donegal!Companies in this historic & traditional part of Donegal’s Gaeltacht have found it difficult to find the skills required in areas such as dying, carding and spinning.These specific courses don’t exist in Ireland and are no longer available in the UK to support the textile industry.Hence, Donegal Yarns, decided to develop their own training programme and, with support from Údarás na Gaeltachta, have developed a framework programme specific to their needs.Commenting on the programmes, Manager of Donegal Yarns, Chris Weiniger said, “Some of our employees have been working in this factory for over 40 years and have talents that you won’t find anywhere else.”“The next generation of local talent are now coming to the fore and we believe, that if the industry is to survive, it is crucial that these skills are passed on through an apprenticeship and staff development programmes like this one.”“The framework was designed by Maggie Marr in 2014. She has worked in the textile industry for over 30 year and has specialised in training and project management.” Joseph O Donnell“Her main focus was to design a programme in conjunction with the company’s internal resources. It is a structured apprenticeship course that consists of seven modules, delivered by a team of experienced employees as internal trainers supported by external trainers with experience working in the global textile industry.”“We are hopeful that with the help of Educational Bodies this will become a sought after and accredited course, run from the Donegal Gaeltacht.”“It is instrumental to the growth of the textile industry in South West Donegal and in particular our company” said Chris Weiniger.“The textile industry in this area and all over Ireland as a whole are working much closer together now, supporting each other from our yarn production right through to the finished product, all being exported around the world.” Chris Weiniger and Joseph O Donnell“Understanding, communicating and appreciating the challenges of each other’s businesses has helped create synergy in the supply chain here in South West Donegal!”“Our NEW modern apprenticeship & staff development programme is a sign of the commitment from senior management right through to the operative on the production floor.”“The programme has taught us the importance to embrace change and adapt the way we work and think. We are already starting to see the benefits of everyone’s hard work.”“It is not only our heritage, but our people that make the business and this industry work, so by investing in our people we can cement & set a foundation for our company’s future, to grow & expand.”“ We are delighted as a company to see a growing trend in recent years of both local Donegal companies and other Irish textiles companies increasing their production levels again in Ireland developing ranges around our “ Genuine Donegal” products.“International brands still want to have the link with traditional methods of producing yarn and Donegal Yarns can provide that link, dating back generations from a location rich in textile heritage. Together our entire team make up what is a unique recipe for global success.” concluded Chris.Údarás na Gaeltachta also offer financial and non-financial support to businesses such as Bá Dhún na nGall Teo , as well as supplying business facilities at a competitive price to businesses in various different sectors.Over 7,000 people are employed thanks to the Údarás na Gaeltachta scheme!To learn more about Údarás na Gaeltachta’s enterprise development scheme you can visit their website!All photography by Paul DohertyMeet the Kilcar team who spin yarn for Prada and Chanel! was last modified: October 2nd, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
The stylish and extremely well-connected Bridgette Radebe is the Global Foundation for Democracy’s Businesspersonof the Year. (Image: Mining Weekly)Janine ErasmusThe Global Foundation for Democracy honoured South African mining entrepreneur Bridgette Radebe, the country’s first woman to excel in this sector, as their 2008 Businessperson of the Year at a function in Johannesburg in May 2008.Radebe, who is the sister of billionaire Patrice Motsepe, himself a renowned gold mining magnate and one of the world’s wealthiest men, is married to Jeff Radebe, South Africa’s minister of transport. She is recognised as one of South Africa’s most powerful businesspeople and to date is the only woman at the helm of a deep mining company.The well-connected Radebe received her award from Kazakh billionaire Alexander Mashkevich, whose company Alferon Management has mining operations in several countries, a number of them in Africa.The citation for Radebe’s award describes her as a “heroic women and a born entrepreneur who defied legislation to build her own successful mining group. She is an economic activist, an agent of transformation and a pioneer of change who has played a key role in changing exclusionary mining legislation in South Africa and who pioneered the implementation of empowerment mining models in Africa and internationally.”The mission of the Global Foundation for Democracy is to educate the public about the benefits of using democracy as a means of achieving global peace and cooperation. The award is presented to individuals who have made a difference in an ever-changing political and environmental landscape. Among its past winners is former South African president FW de Klerk, who jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with another former president, Nelson Mandela.Determined to forge ahead in the mining sectorRadebe heads the Mmakau Mining company, which besides its core business has shares in numerous other enterprises. Mmakau focuses on gold, platinum and coal mining. It is named after the village in North West Province where Radebe grew up, and it was the exploitation of her people’s mineral rights that determined her choice of career. Mmakau was established as a company in 1995 after Radebe had gained considerable experience as a mining contractor.It wasn’t long before the company took on ownership of its own mines and entered into a partnership with Shaft Sinkers, broadening its scope to include shaft sinking, and mining design and construction. Today Mmakau has a 7% share in Marula Platinum, a 30% share in Madibeng Platinum, a 25% share in Shaft Sinkers, and a 25% share in Dorstfontein coal mine, among several others. It has also diversified into ferrochrome with a 6,5% stake in the Hernic ferrochrome plant near Brits.A pioneer of women in businessRadebe is a political science graduate who obtained her BA degree from the University of Botswana. In 2003 she founded the New Africa Mining Fund, a private equity fund that focuses on investing in junior mining opportunities in South Africa and the broader Africa continent. To date the fund has invested in a range of mining-related resources including gold, kaolin, coal, diamonds, anthracite, silica and platinum.With her considerable experience in the mining sector, Radebe played an important role in the South African Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) of 2002, which provides for equitable access to and sustainable development of the nation’s vast mineral and petroleum resources. She also had a hand in the creation of the Mining Charter and is credited with ensuring that the charter not only contains empowerment quotas but also a target for gender empowerment.In addition to her many mining interests, Radebe sits on the board of Sappi, South Africa’s major paper producer. Previously she served on the board of the National Research Foundation.Radebe was the first president of the local branch of the International Women’s Forum, a global network of women leaders whose members include US Senator Hillary Clinton, South Africa’s First Lady Zanele Mbeki and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The South African chapter was established in 2000.Radebe also chairs the South African Mining Development Association and in 2007 was appointed as vice chair of the Minerals and Mining Development Board that advises the Minister of Minerals and Energy on matters that relate to the MPRDA, as well as dispute resolution and human resource development in the sector. She will serve a three-year term in this position.“We continue to forge links between South Africa and mining investors on the African continent,” said Radebe, speaking recently in her capacity as the chair of the Mining Development Association. “Our business commitment is to pursue a code of conduct in Africa that will demonstrate global mining transformation policies in these countries. The next ten years in the history of the South African mining economy will give rise to defining moments in the long walk to economic freedom.”Useful linksDepartment of Minerals and EnergyGlobal Foundation for DemocracyNew Africa Mining FundSouth African Women in Mining AssociationSA Mining Development AssociationInspirational Women at Work
SharePrint Related3, 2, 1, Planetary Pursuit hebt ab!March 6, 2018In “Deutsch”Geocaching in Space Event CenterOctober 7, 2013In “Community”3, 2, 1, lancement de la Poursuite Planétaire !March 6, 2018In “Français” Attention all astronauts! Attention all astronauts! This is Ground Control giving you the green light for liftoff. All systems are go, you may proceed to launch!The year is 2650. You are invited to join the Geocaching Explorers Club and be among the first geocachers to visit every planet in our solar system, earning souvenirs along the way. Find different geocache types to individually collect points on the Friend League between March 19 and April 15 and earn up to 10 new souvenirs to become an Official Space Explorer.3, 2, 1 liftoff!Share with your Friends:More
Tags:#Adobe#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tomorrow at MAX, Adobe’s worldwide developer conference, Adobe SystemsIncorporated will announce with partner Research In Motion (RIM) their progress in bringing Flash support to BlackBerry devices.RIM, the company behind BlackBerry’s wireless platform, including email and touchscreen technologies, is joining Adobe’s Open Screen Project, a 50-organization-members-strong organization that aims to promote better apps for richer mobile, television, and desktop browsing experiences for users.With this announcement, 19 out of the top 20 mobile handset manufacturers are now collaborating with Adobe to integrate Flash technology into their devices.Also at MAX, Adobe and Nokia are jointly announcing the funding of more than 35 multi-screen applications as part of the Open Screen Project Fund. Several apps will be demonstrated at the show, including Twitter client Twittle, interactive map MyFestivalGuide, entertainment app SmartGrooves, frequent flyer app MileBlaster, real-time audience feedback app Live TalkBack, and many more.Adobe is also announcing support for HTTP streaming and several new mobile-ready features, including multi-touch, gestures, accelerometer, and screen orientation.Flash Player 10.1 is the first consistent browser-based runtime from the Open Screen Project that offers browsing of Flash-based web apps, HD video, and other content on smartphones, netbooks, other Internet-enabled devices.Flash support is also expected for several other mobile platforms, including Google Android, Symbian, Palm webOS, and Windows Mobile. A public developer beta will be available for Windows Mobile, webOS, and desktop operating systems before the end of the year. A public developer beta for Android and Symbian should be announces early in 2010, with general availability and publicly available devices coming in the first half of 2010. jolie odell Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Golovkin, who was making his Las Vegas debut, and Mexico’s biggest star Alvarez delivered on all levels as two of boxing’s pound-for-pound best met at the T-Mobile Arena Saturday in a highly-anticipated fight that was two years in the making.The evenly-matched fight ended in a draw which meant Kazakhstan’s Golovkin would keep his World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We knew going into this it would be a war,” said Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez.Golovkin will earn a $3 million purse and Alvarez will make $5 million. LATEST STORIES Canelo Alvarez (L) exchanges blows with Gennady Golovkin during their WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight championship fight at the T-Mobile Arena on September 16, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Gennady Golovkin retained his three world middleweight titles, fighting to a draw with Mexican star Canelo Alvarez in a showdown for middleweight supremacy that lived up the hype. AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIThree-belt champ Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez look set to rule the resurgent middleweight division for years to come after their 12-round slugfest Saturday which fittingly ended in a stalemate.“It was a great fight,” said boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya. “This is one of the best fights we have seen in recent years.”ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Read Next MOST READ View comments Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Desiderio ends shooting slump with career game vs UE Golovkin has 19 straight title defences and now needs just one more victory to tie Bernard Hopkins for the most middleweight title defences in a row at 20.Golovkin waited a long time to get his first fight on boxing’s biggest stage in the United States. He has fought in 22 cities and seven different countries but never before in Sin City.This fight should have already happened and Golovkin had to push hard to get a deal. But it was left to marinate until there was no other option for Alvarez, who was fighting for just the second time over 155-pounds.Golovkin wasn’t going to let anything distract him while training for this fight. He even missed the birth of his daughter on September 8 because he was in the gym training for the fight. His wife, Alina, gave birth to the couple’s second child.While Golovkin plans to enjoy more time with his expanding family, Alvarez is going to take several months off.“I am going to rest for the rest of the year and we will fight again next year,” he said. Golovkin is considered one of the fittest athletes in boxing and he needed every ounce of that conditioning and every extra breath of air to withstand the force of Alvarez’s body and head punches. Alvarez says he would use his rematch clause for a second fight against knockout king Golovkin, who has now gone the distance his last two fights. In March, he had his streak of 23 consecutive knockouts snapped when he outpointed Daniel Jacobs.Some said Golovkin was showing his age as Jacobs had an unexpected surge over the final three rounds before losing by a narrow decision. Alvarez doesn’t think Golovkin is ripe for the picking but says he might have lost some of the fear factor.“He has a different power than others I have faced,” Alvarez said of Golovkin. “But he is not the monster everybody is talking about. I didn’t feel that.”ADVERTISEMENT PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:40Pacquiao ready to go with week left before Thurman fight01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games
Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “It’s not as sexy, but it’s important.”RELATED VIDEOGolden State Warriors celebrate NBA Championship2.5K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast View comments Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV NBA: Netizens react to Steph Curry’s ‘napping’ during Game 2 Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, center, defends a shot by Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love during the second half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Oakland, California. APOAKLAND, California — Kevin Durant is growing a little tired of questions about his ability to play defense.“Underrated?” Durant responded when recently asked about the perception of his D. “My coaches don’t feel like that.”ADVERTISEMENT Neither does he, and KD’s menacing, 6-foot-9 presence from the paint to the perimeter is a big reason unbeaten Golden State is closing in on its second championship in three years.While best known for his sensational scoring and shot-making from every corner of the court, Durant has been tough on LeBron James so far in these NBA Finals by smothering the Cavs superstar. The Warriors are two wins from a title going into Game 3 at Cleveland on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDurant is chasing his first championship and seems determined to do whatever it takes.So versatile with his length and ability to alter shots, he even played center during Sunday’s Game 2 when Draymond Green dealt with foul trouble in the 132-113 victory. BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast MOST READ BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games “I’ve gotten better, and 2013 is when I feel I really turned the corner as a defender. Around 2012, that’s when coaches stopped thinking they could go at me and get a basket or get me in foul trouble,” Durant said. “But I don’t expect anybody on the outside who really doesn’t know the game to look at me as a defender because once you’re labeled something that’s what you’re going to be. But I feel the last four or five years I’ve definitely continued to get better and better, and smarter. I have the physical tools, but it’s also about mentally knowing what to do.”Sure, James still notched his record-tying eighth career Finals triple-double and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving had big nights. Yet Durant, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and the others kept the pressure on the Cavs.Durant blocked five shots to go with 33 points, 13 rebounds and six assists after going off for 38 points and eight assists in Thursday’s Game 1.“His defense was amazing, and we needed it. Especially with Draymond out,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s a small game and you got shooters everywhere and you have to be able protect the rim with LeBron coming downhill, with Love posting up and Draymond’s on the bench. So that’s a pretty scary proposition for us. I thought that Kev’s defense was unreal, and it was probably the key to the whole game.”It could be that Durant’s defense will quiet the critics at last, especially if he comes out a winner after that scrutinized move from Oklahoma City last July to join the super-Warriors.“I don’t feel like I get picked on or people call sets just to try to score on me. That hasn’t happened in a while,” he said. “I’ve grown leaps and bounds from where I was. I feel like I’ve been a solid defender in this league for a while.”With all of their offensive firepower, the Warriors often turn a stretch of timely defensive stops into scoring spurts that can swing the momentum. Or, in many cases, give them just the jolt they need to put a game out of reach for good.“I operate under the assumption that our guys know what to do and they know their system,” Golden State assistant and defensive specialist Ron Adams said. “We have an eclectic system. There’s freedom offensively, and we have some freedom defensively, and we’re good at it.”When the Warriors added Durant, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West to a roster that blew a 3-1 Finals lead to James and fell short of a repeat last year, many wondered if they would have enough in the middle to defend the rim.“It was a question mark for some people going into the season, losing (Andrew) Bogut and some other guys,” general manager Bob Myers said. “Ron is interesting. He’s always had good defensive teams. And we take pride in it, we care about it. I know the offense gets most of the attention but our players, they work at it, collectively, individually. They want to be a good defensive team. We try to do it all year. Sometimes it’s better than other times, but this is the time of year you really need it the most. For us, we view it as important as our offense. LATEST STORIES “I don’t think there’s many teams in the league who their backup is better than their starter,” Green said. “So I think that’s a luxury that we have with KD here, and when I went out with foul trouble, obviously he — to say pick up the slack is kind of a ridiculous term, because he’s a great player, an MVP, one of the best players in the world. So just the way he played on the defensive end, the way he played on the offensive end, he’s been doing it all playoffs long, but in these Finals, he’s really picked it up, and it’s been huge for us.”Durant and Green have set the tone all season on the defensive end, establishing an intensity and toughness — and the rest of the Warriors had no choice but to do more during Durant’s 19-game absence this spring with a knee injury.“If we’re locked in on the defensive end, we’ll score enough points,” Green said. “Even on an off night, we’ll score enough points.”After his NBA Finals failure five years ago against James and the Heat, Durant vowed to become a legitimate, respected defender who could make nearly as much of an impact blocking shots and crashing the boards.He insists he can do even more.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next