Butland: Hart as good as Neuer

Jack Butland.
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Teen gives birth in toilet, then returns to film match

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Messi stars for Argentina

Lionel Messi
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Five things that can help the Dragons win

It’s showtime. The Dragons and slingers face off in a winners-takeall clash today. Here are five key factors for success for each team

DANGERMAN: The Dragons will try to get their offence, led by Reginald Johnson (left), the league’s topscorer, going today.

1 Big Reg needs to come up big

Big centre Reginald Johnson, the Asean Basketball League MVP (world import) with a league-high 22.2 points per game, got 34 points in Game Three as the Westport Malaysia Dragons downed the Singapore Slingers 90-72.

But, after registering four personal fouls in Game Four, the 26-year-old was restricted to just 12 points, the 2.08m-tall American's joint-worst points tally against the Singaporean side this year, as his team lost 75-73.

With a heavily reliance on their four imports, Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia needs his big man to come good in the decider.

He said: "The Slingers managed to get into Reggie's head in Game Four. He was supposed to guard (Justin) Howard, but he failed to do so. It resulted in Howard scoring 31 points. This cannot happen if we want to win the championship."

2 Team effort

If the Finals were based on points scored by only the local players, the Slingers would have won hands-down, 103-53. Singaporeans have contributed 34.6 per cent of their team's tally compared to the Malaysians' 16.3 per cent.

This could be a little unfair as the Dragons have one more import than the Slingers, thus reducing the amount of playing time for their locals, who include Loh Shee Fai, Ma Chee Kheun and Kuek Tian Yuan who can all shoot from range.

While Vanguardia is unlikely to drop any of his imports - they have averaged more than 30 minutes on court - he said: "Throw away all the stats, records and awards. For now, it must be a collective effort. We cannot rely on only Reggie or Calvin (Godfrey) to have a good game.

3 Shoot and score

They are the ABL's top scorers, but they haven't had it all their way with the Slingers, who even made more field-goal attempts (286-274) during the Finals.

But the Dragons can be pretty unstoppable once they get going, as they showed in Games Two and Three, with each of their four imports averaging more than 10 points over the last four matches.

"We will get our offensive rhythm with our defensive intensity," said Vanguardia.

4 Contain Howard

In their four defeats by the Slingers, Justin Howard averaged 29 points.

But, when they managed to put a leash on the big Slingers centre, limiting Howard to just five points in Game Three, the Dragons romped to victory.

And, when they couldn't stop him from scoring 31 points in Game Four, they lost by a whisker.

It's easier said than done because the 2.11m-tall American is not your typical big centre who thrives only under the basket. The man can shoot pretty well from mid-range too.

Vanguardia said: "That loss hurt the team, but it's not the end of the world. We have home-court advantage but we have to work hard defensively, especially against Howard."

5 Make home-court advantage count

With the Finals tied at 2-2, the same scoreline as the regular season match-ups, neither side have been able to capitalise on their home games, losing one a piece.

But the tie-breaker will be held at the 2,500-seater Dragon's den known as the Maba Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, and the animated Vanguardia wants the home fans to make a difference.

He said: "All season long, we have worked hard to get home-court advantage.

"We are expecting our Dragons faithful to get behind us as always."

The Slingers also had to contend with an early-morning five-hour coach ride up to KL yesterday. It's not the most arduous of journeys, but it may have an impact at the end of a gruelling season where they have played the maximum 27 games.

Picture of dead SMRT worker leaked by Police NSF

A photograph of the body of one of the two workers killed in the SMRT accident that went viral was leaked by a full-time police national serviceman, said the police on Friday (March 25).

The picture, which showed a close up of Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari’s body lying on the MRT track, was circulated on social media websites, forums and messaging app WhatsApp earlier this week.

It was even seen by some of Mr Asyraf’s family members before they received news that he died.

On Friday (March 25), a police spokesman told The New Paper, in response to media queries, the picture was a screenshot allegedly taken off a police computer terminal screen by an officer, who is believed to have later shared it with his family and friends.

The spokesman added that the police are investigating the officer for an offence under the Official Secrets Act.

“The Police deeply regret the insensitive and illegal action of the officer, and met with the family today to explain the circumstances surrounding the leakage," he said.

“The Police have strict rules on the management of official information and take a very serious view of any breach. Officers who commit any wrongdoing will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

Get the full story in our print edition (March 26).
Subscribe to The New Paper in print and digital at www.tinyurl.com/getTNP

Hwa Chong Institution's casual approach to warm weather

Hwa Chong Institution allows lower secondary students to wear T-shirts to school to combat warm weather

RELIEF: Hwa Chong Institution's lower secondary school students wearing 'school-approved' T-shirts to school.

Lower secondary students at Hwa Chong Institution were allowed to dress down for class this week.

Some of those The New Paper (TNP) spoke to yesterday, said they were happy to be allowed to wear "school-approved" shirts to campus.

That meant dri-fit class T-shirts, physical education T-shirts and co-curricular activities shirts.

Secondary 1 student Lim Hong Wei said: "Wearing them feels much more comfortable than wearing the school uniform."

A school spokesman said the dress down was due to the warm weather.

The spokesman said: "This is to make the environment more comfortable for learning.

"We will continue to monitor the weather over the next few weeks. We have also reminded students to hydrate regularly and have adequate rest."

TNP understands that only lower secondary students were allowed to substitute their school uniforms as their classrooms are not air-conditioned.

But alumnus Ng Li Ren felt the change in dress code was unnecessary.

The 19-year-old, who is doing national service, said the lower secondary classrooms are cool enough.

He explained: "There are many fans in the classrooms to help cool the temperature.

"Besides, the lower secondary students are already wearing shorts."

But he added that the casual attire had its own advantages.

"Wearing the class T-shirts may help with class bonding."

Last month could rank among the top five warmest Februaries since records started in 1929, according to the Meteorological Service Singapore.

It said last Tuesday that the second half of this month is expected to be drier and warmer than the first two weeks.

The daily maximum temperatures are expected to range between 33 deg C and 34 deg C, and could reach a high of 36 deg C.

MOE CIRCULAR

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has sent out a circular reminding schools to be mindful of the well-being of their teachers and students as they engage in outdoor physical activities.

"Teachers and students are encouraged to drink appropriate amount of fluids to prevent heat injuries, with appropriate rest and water breaks considered," said an MOE spokesman.

Dr Dana Elliot , 42 , a family physician at Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic, gave a few pointers on how to prevent heat injuries.

He said: "Besides adequate hydration, wearing light T-shirts made of cotton will help a lot."

Wearing caps and applying sunblock with an SPF 50 rating would also help reduce risks associated with the hot weather.

"If you're exercising and not acclimatised to high heat, it's important to have regular rest intervals in shady areas."

Why expose trainees to such danger?

YOUR SAY

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WHAT FILM CRITICS ARE SAYING

Reviewers give their take on seeing human faeces and armpit hair in Long Long Time Ago 2.

"If this were a film with a modern setting, close-ups of faeces would be out. But because of this movie's (setting), I think it's all right and understandable.

"As for Aileen Tan showing her armpit hair, personally, I think that was optional.

Tan's image of a long-suffering, frumpy woman already stands out strongly, especially with her chipped tooth. We don't need to see her armpit hair to know that she is living a very tough life."

- Chan Yunn Horng, Associate Editor, Shin Min Daily and Lianhe Wanbao

"I don't think we should kick up a big fuss about Aileen showing her armpit hair. In today's age where we are often stressing about gender equality, there's no need to feel offended by the sight of that.

"Her scene is a good representation of the poor financial situation of her character. She has to work so hard for her family, why would she have money to purchase shavers?

"As for the close-up of the faeces, I'm not sure what Neo was trying to show, because the scene was actually more about the little boy's sister saving him from the toilet. He could have used a mid shot or wide shot instead."

- Tina Tan, Entertainment Editor, U-Weekly

"Aileen's character having armpit hair is an extremely accurate depiction of the late 1960s.

"I was a kid growing up in those times and I remember my mum, my neighbours and my aunties - all of them didn't shave! It wasn't till much later, maybe in the early 80s, that women started to care more about such things.

"Similarly, the toilets in 1960s kampungs were really unhygienic. There was no flushing mechanism and workers will only clear the poop manually after an entire day. That scene of human faeces is actually very real."

- Eista Lee, film reviewer, 
Lianhe Zaobao

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