Having succeeded Muhammad Junaid Qureshi as General Manager, Operations, at Pakistan Railways on March 27, Rana Saeed Akhtar (photo) was arrested two days later on embezzlement and corruption charges. The ongoing investigation into scrap disposal tenders also names Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and former railways secretary Samiul Haq Khilji.In an effort to turn PR around, the government has established a new management board, with Bilour taking the helm as Chairman. Other members are Dr Hafeez Pasha, Pir Muhammad Qasim Qureshi, Dr Abdul Malik, Professor Imran, Mohsin Aziz, Shakeel Durrani, Muhammad Aurangzeb Khan, Iqbal Samad Khan and Nasreen Haq.
You expend so much energy trying to battle back. Guys get tired, you try to sub and keep guys fresh. (There are) offensive rebounds, turnovers, those things at some crucial times that stop runs. Those things take your energy too. – Quin SnyderSALT LAKE CITY — Following a second-straight dispiriting loss Saturday night — a 106-94 defeat to New Orleans a night after losing convincingly at Golden State — the Utah Jazz need to figure out how to start games faster.In both losses, the Jazz fell behind by big margins in the first half that were too large to climb out of in the second half.On Friday, the Jazz trailed by as many as 29 points before closing to 12 in the final quarter. On Saturday, the Jazz closed a 17-point deficit to five points heading into the fourth quarter, but could never get any closer in the final period.It’s the same problem the Jazz had against Oklahoma City earlier in the week, but in that game they were able to overcome an early large deficit and come away with a victory.But the Jazz know they can’t keep digging themselves big holes and expect to have any chance of winning — especially with top NBA teams like Chicago (Monday, 7 p.m.) and the L.A. Clippers (Saturday night) coming to EnergySolutions Arena this week.“We can’t work our way into it,’’ said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “It takes too much energy when you play like that at the beginning of the game. It takes too much energy to come back and then you’re drained.’’On their five-game road trip back East a week earlier, the Jazz got out of the blocks early, enjoying a lead after the first quarter in four games and being tied in the other.However, since returning home, they’ve had a problem getting untracked in all three games.Against Oklahoma City, the Jazz only scored 14 points in the first quarter and fell behind by as many as 17 points in the first half.Against Golden State, the Jazz were never in the game, falling behind 12-0 out of the gate and trailing by 15 after the first quarter and by 22 at halftime. Against New Orleans, the second quarter was the killer as a 27-27 tie turned into a 57-40 halftime deficit.“You expend so much energy trying to battle back,’’ said Snyder. “Guys get tired, you try to sub and keep guys fresh. (There are) offensive rebounds, turnovers, those things at some crucial times that stop runs. Those things take your energy too.’’The Jazz players are aware they can’t keep starting so slow and expect to win games.“We dug ourselves too big of a hole,’’ said forward Gordon Hayward. “We fought back and I’m proud of the effort we had in the second half, but we didn’t have enough to get enough stops. We made a furious comeback in the third quarter, but we just have to play the whole game like that.’’Hayward led the second-half charge, scoring 21 of his team-high 31 points in the second half. But other than second-year guard Trey Burke, who had perhaps his best offensive game of the year with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, Hayward didn’t get enough help on the night.Burke agrees that the Jazz have to figure out a way to get started quicker.“We came out slow again and that’s something we have to get better at,’’ he said. “Collectively as a group we have to make a choice, we have to come out with a different mindset with a high level of focus. It’s not one thing you can point to, it’s not one individual, it’s a team thing that we’re going to have to make a constant effort to come out with more focus.’’JAZZ NOTES: The Bulls come to Utah with an 8-5 record after losing to Portland 105-87 Friday night. In that loss, only two players scored in double figures — rookie Nikola Mirotic with 24 off the bench and Aaron Brooks with 12. … The Bulls have been ravaged by injuries this year with Derrck Rose out several games with a sprained left hamstring and Kirk Hinrich (chest) and Pau Gasol (calf) both missing Friday’s game. Then in that game Taj Gibson suffered a sprained ankle and will miss the Jazz game. … Hinrich is listed as doubtful, Gasol as questionable, and Rose as a game-time decision for Monday’s game. … Fourth-year guard Jimmy Butler leads the Bulls with 20.4 ppg game on 49.7 percent shooting. … First-round draft choice Doug McDermott is averaging 4.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13 minutes per game. … Former Jazz first-round draft pick Nazr Mohammed is playing in his 17th year in the NBA with his eighth team in Chicago. … In between the Chicago and Clipper home games, the Jazz will play at Oklahoma City Wednesday night. … The Jazz and Bulls play again in Chicago on Jan. 7. Related Rose, other injured Bulls could play against Jazz tonight