ALL eyes will be on Christian Standhardinger as the Filipino-German big man dons a NorthPort jersey

ALL eyes will be on Christian Standhardinger as the Filipino-German big man dons a NorthPort jersey for the first time against—of all teams—his former team San Miguel Beer in a much-anticipated Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City. Standhardinger was shipped by the Beermen—who was picked No. 1 in the draft two years ago but found himself with San Miguel Beer via a controversial trade—to the Batang Pier in exchange for Moala Tautuaa in what could be one of the most stunning trades in years. And just how he would stand up against the Beermen (5-1 won-lost) with the Batang Pier (2-4) would be known in the game that tips off at 7 p.m. Winners of the past two conference titles and playing as a back-up to June Mar Fajardo, Standhardinger find himself playing a fresh role with NorthPort. Mini Tripod And he could only think of the missed chance of winning a rare grand slam as he leads a young Batang Pier squad with rookie Robert Bolick as main man. “I wish I could’ve had a chance to win a grand slam. But it is what it is,” Standhardinger said. “And I think the players of San Miguel are great, I wish them the best.” Used to ...

Sri Lanka scientists stand by naming of new geckos amid nationalist criticism

COLOMBO — Scientists in Sri Lanka continue to voice their support of a colleague under fire from nationalist figures for naming six newly discovered gecko species after a series of historical national heroes. Sameera Suranjan Karunarathne was the lead researcher of a 10-person team that discovered the new species of day geckos during a survey of reptiles in more than 100 locations across Sri Lanka in 2017. Their findings were published in the journal Vertebrate Zoology this August, but the naming of the new species, intended to honor figures from the country’s mythical past and its struggle against colonialism, has sparked nationalist outrage during an election year. “The idea was not to create a controversy but to highlight Sri Lanka’s reptilian diversity and high endemism,” Karunarathne told Mongabay. Two of the new geckos, Cnemaspis nandimithrai and C. gotaimbarai, are named after Nandimithra and Gotaimbara, two legendary fighters from the Ten Giant Warriors who served the ancient Sinhala king Dutugamunu, the island’s ruler from 161 to 137 B.C.E. The four others are named in honor of lesser-known heroes from the Uwa-Wellassa Rebellion of 1817-1818, when Sri Lankans rose up ag...