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Gold standard Lacuna, towering teen Sotto make Ateneo proud as UAAP 81 Athletes of the Year

Ateneo de Manila University has three of the four Athletes of the Year in UAAP 81. Blue Eagle swimming great Jessie King Lacuna was hailed as Athlete of the Year for Collegiate Individual Sports in the closing ceremony, Tuesday at MOA Arena. Lacuna is an Olympian and has been a mainstay for the Philippine national team in the last decade. He had led the Katipunan-based school to five titles in men’s swimming all while amassing 35 gold medals and four MVP plums. Meanwhile, Ateneo swept the awards in the High School Division with Kai Sotto for Team Sports and Philip Joaquin Santos for Individual Sports. Sotto was the Season MVP in the Juniors Basketball Tournament while also leading the Blue Eaglets to a runner-up finish. The 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is now chasing his NBA dream and is training abroad. University of Sto. Tomas pride Sisi Rondina is the lone Athlete of the Year not hailing from Katipunan. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Real Madrid extends Kroos contract until 2023

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid says it has extended Toni Kroos' contract until the end of the 2023 season. The 29-year-old midfielder, whose contract was to expire at the end of the 2022 season, joined from Bayern Munich after winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014. He has helped Real Madrid win 11 titles, including three Champions Leagues and a Spanish league. Madrid just completed one of its worst seasons in recent years with a 2-0 home loss to Real Betis. The club finished third, eight points behind Atletico Madrid and 19 points behind champion Barcelona. Madrid is expected to revamp most of its squad under Zinedine Zidane, who returned as coach near the end of the season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Season over, Real Madrid faces turbulent summer

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The best thing for Real Madrid about this season is that it is finally over. A humiliating 2-0 loss at home to Real Betis on the last day of the Spanish league on Sunday brought to a close one of the most disappointing seasons in years for the most successful team in European club competition. Madrid's last match exemplified the collective decline of a group of players who had won four of the previous five Champions League titles but found themselves practically out of the running for any major trophies months ago. Defenders often a step too slow, midfielders unable to maintain ball possession, and forwards incapable of producing sufficient scoring chances, much less put the ball in the net. Madrid finished in third place and 19 points adrift of champion Barcelona, the largest-ever deficit with its fiercest rival by the end of a season. Madrid was effectively out of the league title race by January and was eliminated from the Champions League and Copa del Rey in early March, leaving the club with nothing to play for other than pride. And pride couldn't stop the team from failing to get a win in its last five away matches, or ending the season with back-to-back losses. Coach Zinedine Zidane wants his players to remember this feeling. "When you want to try harder and you can't even achieve the smallest little thing, it is complicated," Zidane said. "We have to accept that it has been a bad season. We can't forget it; we have to have it very present in the future so it can help us improve." Now Zidane and club president Florentino Pérez can finally put in motion their plans to breathe some life into a squad that performed far below what its fans expect. "Football is motivation ... Next season this is going to change," Zidane said. WHO'S OUT? Candidate No. 1 to leave is Gareth Bale. Bale arrived at Madrid in 2013 as the biggest signing in football history. Six years, multiple titles and more than 100 goals later, Zidane looks more than ready to part ways with the Wales winger. Zidane has rarely counted on Bale since he returned to the club in March nine months after stepping down, becoming Madrid's third manager of the season following the failures of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari. Bale didn't leave the bench on Sunday in what many believed was his last game for Madrid. But with Bale under contract until 2022, his exit may hinge on finding a club that can cope with the 29-year-old winger's salary of a reported 15 million euros a season. Goalkeeper Keylor Navas is reported to be unwanted after he became a second-choice player following the signing of Thibaut Courtois. The future of midfielders Toni Kroos and Francisco "Isco" Alarcon and defender Marcelo are also in doubt after their sub-par campaigns, while Zidane has shown little interest in playing midfielders Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente and left back Sergio Reguilón. "Nobody is going to take away what these players did for five years," Zidane said. "(But) we don't have excuses. We ask our fans for forgiveness because we have the obligation to give it our all." WHO'S IN? Of all the names floated, Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard's is the most commonly heard. His contract with Chelsea expires in 2020 and he may be ready before then for a change after seven years in London. The other major name is Manchester United star Paul Pogba, who Zidane has said he admires. But unless Madrid can somehow succeed in prying Kylian Mbappé away from Paris Saint-Germain, then the goals that went missing when Cristiano Ronaldo left last year won't be found in a single player. Zidane will still have to solve the pending problem of retooling a team that spent most of the last decade feeding that goal-scoring machine called Ronaldo. If not, then next season may not be much better......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Man City completes sweep of English trophies with FA Cup win

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Manchester City swept aside Watford to complete the first clean sweep of English men's football trophies. The fourth piece of silverware of the season was sealed by four different scorers in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus netted twice and David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne also scored as Watford was humiliated 6-0. Victory for Pep Guardiola's side came a week after the Premier League trophy was retained to join the League Cup and Community Shield already in City's possession. "What a season," City captain Vincent Kompany said. "What a tremendous club." But the unprecedented achievement by football's costliest squad comes against the backdrop of investigations into City's compliance into football's spending rules that could lead to the Abu Dhabi-owned team being banned from the Champions League. More than $1 billion has been spent on transfer fees alone since 2008 when Sheikh Mansour bought a team that was more accustomed to playing in lower leagues than lifting trophies. It wasn't until 2011 that City ended a 35-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup. Now City is the undisputed power of English football — a status it claimed from neighbor Manchester United. "It's one of the best seasons I have experienced as a manager," said Guardiola, who won titles previously at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Watford was contesting its first cup final in 35 years and never had a look in after Roberto Pereyra was denied by goalkeeper Ederson of the chance to snatch a shock lead in the 11th minute. Not long after, Watford fans were made to endure City players celebrating in front of them. After Abdoulaye Doucoure gave the ball away, City broke forward and Sterling headed through for David Silva to strike into the net. City's other Silva — Bernardo — was the provider of the second in the 38th, chipping to the far post where Gabriel Jesus diverted the ball into an empty net. Sterling ensured it crossed the line but his Brazilian teammate was credited with the goal. The onslaught came in the second half with De Bruyne exerting his influence after coming off the bench. The Belgian netted in the 61st, receiving the ball from Gabriel Jesus, who had combined with Sterling. Gabriel Jesus found the net seven minutes later after being released by De Bruyne's throughball, sliding past Heurelho Gomes after the goalkeeper came off his line. Then the record-equaling final victory margin came from a double inside six minutes from Sterling, who grew up near Wembley and has a tattoo of the stadium's arch. The Football Writers' Association player of the year tapped in after latching onto Bernardo Silva's cross in the 81st, and met the rebound after Gomes pushed his initial shot onto the post. "It just shows what the manager's building here," Sterling said. "At the start of the season he said, 'Let's try and get the mentality right and go for the Premier League again,' and we've done that again, exceptionally well. "It's a credit to all the boys, being mentally switched on throughout the season which has been long with the World Cup as well. Everyone's been focused and on their A game the whole way through.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 19th, 2019

Cebuano singer’s ‘Buwan’ is MYX Music Awards’ song of the year

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebuano singer Juan Karlos Labajo’s hit song “Buwan” was named Song of the Year during the MYX Music Awards 2019 held on May 15, Wednesday at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent.  The announcement of winners was also done on MYX’s official Instagram page.  “#MYXMusicAwards2019 Song of the Year: “Buwan” by Juan Karlos,” […] The post Cebuano singer’s ‘Buwan’ is MYX Music Awards’ song of the year appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 16th, 2019

La Salle, Adamson, FEU all bounce back in Filoil Preseason

De La Salle University, Adamson University, and National University all barged back into the winner’s circle of the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament following separate wins, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Encho Serrano made sure the Green Archers moved on from heartbreak, shooting his side to a 68-61 win. The incoming second-year swingman had 15 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Andrei Caracut and Justine Baltazar brought the backup as the former had 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists and the latter nine markers, 12 boards, and three blocks. That was more than enough for the Taft-based team to bounce back from a heartbreaking overtime loss to the University of the Philippines they suffered last Sunday. For their part, the Soaring Falcons leaned on new foreign student-athlete Lenda Douanga to get the better of College of St. Benilde, 82-75. Congolese Douanga posted a powerful 19-point, 16-rebound double-double and was backstopped by the backcourt of Jerrick Ahanmisi and Jerom Lastimosa who scored 17 and 16 markers, respectively. Those three were on-point from start to finish and ultimately brought their team to a 2-1 standing.   Also scoring a well-earned win are the Bulldogs who rallied by Far Eastern University, 82-77. Dave Ildefonso topped the scoring column with 19 points on top of five rebounds as the Bulldogs rode a 29-9 final frame all the way to their first win after a tournament-opening loss. With their respective losses, the Cardinals remained winless in three tries and the Blazers and Tamaraws both fell to 0-2. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME NU 82 -- D. Ildefonso 19, Minerva 14, Clemente 10, Gaye 9, Mosqueda 7, Oczon 7, Tibayan 6, Rangel 6, Galinato 2, Chatman 2, Abatayo 0, Diputado 0, Mangayao 0, Gallego 0. FEU 77 -- Stockton 15, Comboy 13, Ebona 10, Tuffin 8, Alforque 8, Bienes 6, Flores 6, Nunag 5, Tchuente 4, Gonzales 2, Celzo 0, Gloria 0. QUARTER SCORES: 21-28, 36-42, 61-68, 82-77. SECOND GAME ADAMSON 82 -- Douanga 19, Ahanmisi 17, Lastimosa 16, Camacho 9, Bernardo 6, Sabandal 6, Fermin 5, Yerro 2, Capulong 2, Manlapaz 0, Ad. Doria 0, V. Magbuhos 0, An. Doria 0. CSB 75 -- Naboa 12, Pasturan 11, Leutcheu 10, Gutang 8, Dixon 8, Javillonar 6, Haruna 5, Nayve 4, Belgica 4, Carlos 3, Pangalangan 2, Young 2, Flores 0, Lepalam 0. QUARTER SCORES: 13-15, 38-26, 57-55, 82-75. THIRD GAME LA SALLE 68 -- Serrano 15, Caracut 11, Baltazar 9, Cu 6, Lojera 6, Lim 5, Bartlett 4, Melecio 4, Manaytay 4, Manuel 2, Escandor 2, David 0, Bates 0, Bonggay 0. MAPUA 61 -- Victoria 14, Serrano 10, Bunag 8, Aguirre 7, Pido 6, Lugo 5, Bonifacio 4, Gamboa 4, Garcia 3, Hernandez 0, Jabel 0. QUARTER SCORES: 12-15, 31-30, 56-52, 68-61. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 14th, 2019

F1 car sent to 5-year-old boy with cancer

Hamilton dedicated his win in Barcelona to Harry Shaw, a five-year-old from Surrey, who is set to lose his battle against a rare bone disease......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsMay 14th, 2019

Red Bull threatens Ferrari s status as 2nd best team in F1

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press MONTMELO, Spain (AP) — Ferrari has a fight on its hands. Just not the one it wants. Red Bull is threatening to replace it as Formula One's next-best team behind a dominant Mercedes after Max Verstappen outperformed Ferrari's drivers at the Spanish Grand Prix. Verstappen took third place on Sunday behind race winner Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. That allowed the Red Bull driver to move past Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel into third place overall with 66 points to Vettel's 64. Hamilton and Bottas are far in front with 112 and 105 points, respectively. "I knew we could take the fight to Ferrari," Verstappen said after being cheered by the large number of Dutch fans who had come to the race decked in orange T-shirts. Verstappen and his supporters have good memories of the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit. His win here in 2016 made him F1's youngest race winner at age 18. While another victory was out of the question given Mercedes' pace, Verstappen didn't have too much trouble staying in front of the Ferraris. "We were close to Ferrari in qualifying," he said. "I am happy to be back on the podium and third in the championship. It is good to close the gap." As F1's most successful team, Ferrari entered the season with renewed hopes of challenging Mercedes after rising talent Charles Leclerc joined Vettel in a potentially potent driving lineup. Ferrari was faster on this same track during two weeks of preseason testing this winter and had brought in a new engine for the race. But Mercedes was unfazed and stormed to a fifth one-two finish in as many races to further demoralize its rivals. Vettel tried to get the jump on the Mercedes at the race start from third on the grid. But the move only succeeded in making Bottas flinch and letting Hamilton go clear. After Vettel's tires locked up, Verstappen slipped past into third place. Even though there are 16 races left, it looks like Ferrari will likely have to wait another year to end its constructors title drought that dates back to 2008. "The updates we brought here to Barcelona, both on the aero front and on the engine, worked well and we are more than pleased with them, but they proved to be insufficient," said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. "Now we have to analyze and think about what did not work. And when it comes to that, as of today I don't think we have a precise answer." As for Hamilton, he said he had taken notice of improvements that Red Bull had made after switching to a Honda engine this season. The defending champion also said he missed a better effort from Ferrari. "We welcome a battle and it would be great to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull," said Hamiton. "I prefer it when they are in the mix with us. It is much better when we can compete with another team.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2019

Bottas takes pole at Spanish GP ahead of Hamilton

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press MONTMELO, Spain (AP) — Valtteri Bottas is poised to become a major threat to teammate and defending Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton after clocking a scorching lap at the Spanish Grand Prix to take his third consecutive pole position on Saturday. Bottas smashed Hamilton's track record at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit in qualifying, finishing the 4.6-kilometer (2.5-mile) track in 1 minute, 15.406 seconds to better Hamilton's mark from 2018. More importantly for Bottas' hopes in Sunday's race was the gap of more than half a second over Hamilton's best effort. With Hamilton second on the grid, Mercedes is in great position to extend its record start after the pair swept the top two spots at the first four races. Bottas, who failed to win a race last season, leads Hamilton by one point in the standings after they have alternated places in their run of one-two finishes. "I really enjoyed that adrenaline rush from those laps," Bottas said. "It started well, this season. Just the way I hoped for. I am feeling better and better in the car." Hamilton praised his teammate, who after two years as a second fiddle has emerged as the No. 1 challenger to stopping him from winning a sixth world title. "Valtteri did a fantastic job. He has been quick all weekend," said Hamilton, who took pole in Spain in the previous three years. "I just didn't do the job on my side." Hamilton was quick to add he hoped to celebrate another Mercedes team victory on Sunday, but with him on top. "I'll be giving it everything. Great for the team to have a one-two. If I can reverse it (in the race) I'll be happy." Hamilton will look to turn the tables on Bottas in a race that he has won three times, including the last two years. But Hamilton is getting accustomed to seeing the back of Bottas' car. Bottas won the last race in Azerbaijan from pole position. He was fastest in practice on Friday, and the Finn showed no jitters in qualifying after spinning into gravel in the final practice. Bottas shouted an emphatic "Yes!" over the car radio when he knew the top spot was his after Hamilton came up short on his last run, with some gravel strewn on the course possibly slowing him down. Bottas and Hamilton both said that the 66-lap race could be decided in the opening meters. "The start and Turn 1 will be particularly important," Bottas said. "Tomorrow, Lewis and I both want to win, so I'm looking forward to a hard and fair fight." Hamilton said: "My starts have been decent so far this year, so hopefully that will continue on Sunday as it's not that easy to overtake on this track." Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari will start from third, just in front of Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Ferrari's other driver, Charles Leclerc, will start from fifth. Vettel has yet to top qualifying, and it is clear Ferrari has made up no ground despite bringing a new engine to Spain. Vettel is 35 points behind Bottas in third place. "The car doesn't feel bad, but the car is not quick enough," Vettel said. "We are struggling a little bit to bring it together." Pierre Gasly had the sixth best time in his Red Bull, ahead of Haas pair Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Nico Hulkenberg was the only driver to go off the track in an otherwise clean qualifying session. The German ran into the barrier and bent one side of his front wing under his Renault. After hasty repairs, Hulkenberg could not make it out of the first qualifying section, which culls the slowest five drivers. Renault partner Daniel Ricciardo finished qualifying 10th but will have to serve a three-place grid penalty that he carried over for causing an accident with Daniil Kvyat in Azerbaijan. Williams' woes deepened after George Russell lost control during practice before qualifying. Damage from the rear-end impact into the wall required a gearbox change, which incurred a five-place grid penalty. Russell and teammate Robert Kubica were again at the bottom of qualifying with the slowest cars......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 12th, 2019

Ferrari still slower than Mercedes despite new engine

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press MONTMELO, Spain (AP) — Ferrari had hoped that a new engine would help the team finally get ahead of Mercedes. Instead, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton put themselves in an excellent position to extend their record start to the Formula One season after Mercedes took the top two spots in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel will start Sunday's race from third on the grid for the fourth time this season. But the gap seems to have grown— not diminished— in the performance level between the Italian cars and their rivals during the two-week break since Bottas and Hamilton combined for Mercedes' fourth one-two finish in Azerbaijan. And this was after Ferrari had fast-tracked a new power unit for the first European race of the calendar to try to stop Mercedes from getting any further ahead. Vettel already trails Bottas by 35 points and Hamilton by 34 after four races and call ill afford another race without a victory. Seeing his best lap still 0.8 seconds slower than pole-winner Bottas, Vettel said that some "daring" was called for if Ferrari wanted to turn it around. "We are certainly not satisfied, but I am very happy with the approach, with the chance that we took in terms of trying something daring, something that ultimately will pay off," Vettel said. "It will help us in terms of pace for tomorrow, and hopefully it sets us off in the right direction for the next couple of weeks." Vettel said that while his and Charles Leclerc's Ferraris seem fast enough to match the Mercedes in flat-out speed on the straightaway, they are losing ground in the final stretch of the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit that features several turns. "(That) seems to be more than an Achilles' heel at the moment," Vettel said. Leclerc, the only non-Mercedes driver to claim a pole position this season, had a tougher time in qualifying after he clipped a curb and did some slight damage to his car. "I don't understand how I managed to lose that much of the car," Leclerc said. "We broke quite a lot and in (the third qualifying session) the balance was strange so we need to check the car again." The 21-year-old Leclerc will start the race fifth behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 12th, 2019

UAAP 81: NU captain Dave Wilson Yu now a licensed engineer

National University may have missed out on the Final Four in the UAAP 81 Men's Basketball Tournament, but team captain Dave Wilson Yu just scored the biggest of wins off the court. Yu is now a licensed engineer as he is among nearly 3,400 people who passed the May 2019 Board exam, according to the Professional Regulatory Commission. Of course, the 23-year-old was nothing but overjoyed. "I am very happy and fulfilled. All the hard work, yung walang tulog, and yung sacrifices, they paid off," he said. Yu had spent the last five years taking up civil engineering - already a tough task made even more difficult by the fact he is a student-athlete. Still, he persevered and turned his lifelong dream into reality. For that, the former Bulldogs captain has nothing but gratitude to his alma mater. "Thank you to the NU community and to my parents, Wilson, Cherry, Manny, and Claire. They have always been there for me," he said. He then continued, "Also, to sir Hans Sy, now I understand what he told my father when we all first met that he will personally look after my future. Thank you to all of you for making me a civil engineer." Now he is already an engineer, Yu said he is ready and raring to make good use of his brand new license. "I want to pursue being an engineer. Balak kong mag-apply sa top construction firms dito sa Manila," he said. That means that - for now, at the very least - his playing career would remain on hold. As he put it, "As of now, gusto ko muna mag-engineer talaga." Whatever it is, there is no doubt that Engr. Dave Wilson Yu has just made NU proud. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2019

Federer loses to Thiem in Madrid Open quarterfinals

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Roger Federer's return to clay lasted only three matches. A day after saving two match points at the Madrid Open, Federer squandered two match points himself in the quarterfinals against Dominic Thiem on Friday, losing 3-6, 7-6 (11), 6-4. It may have ended his first appearance at a clay-court tournament in three years, but Federer wasn't leaving the Spanish capital too disappointed with the outcome of his return. "I feel very good about my game. I thought I had some good matches here," Federer said. "I feel good on the clay right now. It's been a good week. Frustrating, clearly. Losing with match points is the worst, so that's how I feel. But nevertheless, if I take a step back, it's all good." Federer skipped the clay swing the past two years to remain fit for the rest of the season. He decided to return this year in preparation for his first French Open appearance since 2015. The fifth-seeded Thiem, runner-up in Madrid the last two seasons, will next face top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who didn't have to play his quarterfinal after Marin Cilic withdrew because of food poisoning. Thiem has a chance to win his third title of the year after victories in Barcelona and Indian Wells, where he defeated Federer in a three-set final. "Facing him, it always requires my absolute best game and also a little bit luck, which I both had in Indian Wells and also here, and that's why I won these two matches," Thiem said. The other semifinal will be between Stefanos Tsitsipas and five-time Madrid champion Rafael Nadal. Tsitsipas defeated defending champion Alexander Zverev 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, while Nadal cruised past Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2. Nadal lost only seven points on his service games, conceding no break opportunities against the 34th-ranked Wawrinka. The Swiss lost the 2013 Madrid final to Nadal. "It was one of my best matches in a long time, my best match on clay this year," the second-ranked Spaniard said. "It means a lot to have this feeling in this crucial moment of the clay season." On the women's side, Simona Halep made it back to the Madrid final for the first time since 2017 with a 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-0 win over unseeded Belinda Bencic. The French Open champion can surpass Naomi Osaka for the No. 1 ranking if she wins Saturday's final. "I don't want to think about that. For me, it is more important to win the trophy here than being No. 1," the third-ranked Halep said. "I prefer titles than numbers and rankings. So this is my goal, to play finals and to win trophies." She will face last year's runner-up Kiki Bertens, who defeated Sloane Stephens 6-2, 7-5. The 37-year-old Federer was trying to win his third Madrid title, and first since 2012. He has already won hard-court titles this season in Dubai and Miami. Federer got off to a great start against Thiem at the Magic Box center court, breaking the Austrian's serve early and cruising to a first-set win. He squandered five break points in the second, and then had match points at 8-7 and 10-9 in the tiebreaker before Thiem forced the deciding set by converting his sixth set point. Federer had saved two match points in his difficult three-set win over Gael Monfils on Thursday. Thiem broke Federer for the first time in the third game of the third set, converting his ninth break opportunity of the match. Federer got back on serve at 4-4, but started his next game 0-40 and couldn't recover. Thiem then served out for the victory, converting on his second match point. Thiem has won the last two matches he played against Djokovic, who got the day off because of Cilic's withdrawal. "It was supposed to be definitely a good match," said Djokovic, who has played only four sets this week. "I went back on the court, trained for another hour and got a good sweat in. Happy that I'm going to be fresh for my semifinal." The top-seeded Serb is seeking a third Madrid Open title, and his second of the season after winning the Australian Open. Thiem lost the Madrid final to Nadal in 2017 and to Alexander Zverev in 2018. "I was playing Novak last year and two years ago and he was not at his best I guess, and now he is again," Thiem said. "He's won the last three Slams and he is at the top of the ranking again. So the challenge couldn't be bigger.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2019

Ferrari boosts engine in Barcelona to try to catch Mercedes

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Five rounds into the Formula One season and Ferrari is already running out of time to catch Mercedes in the championship race. Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc trail the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton headed into the Spanish Grand Prix, so the Italian organization fast-tracked the rollout of a new power unit aimed to give Vettel and Leclerc a boost in Barcelona. "We are currently behind in the championship and we have to catch up," said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, who noted the team used a new aerodynamic package in Baku last round. "We will also bring some developments in this area to Barcelona. On top of that, we will have a new power unit that we are introducing ahead of schedule, as the second specification was due to be brought to Canada." The Canadian GP in June is only two races from now, but the team needed the extra power to compete with Mercedes this weekend at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit. Binotto said a new "formulation of race lubricant" will also be introduced along with the new power unit, "delivering increased performance." Ferrari is attempting to reverse a dismal start to the season in which Mercedes finished 1-2 through the first four races for the best start for a two-car team in F1 history. Bottas leads the drivers' standings with 87 points, one more than five-time champion Hamilton. Vettel is already 35 points off the lead, with Leclerc 40 points behind. Hamilton won last year's title despite just a five-point lead over Vettel at this stage of the season. He finished the year 88 points ahead of the German driver. "The results seem to paint a relatively clear picture, but the truth is that they're too flattering," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said. "The performance has fluctuated in the first four races. So, there is no complacency about our situation because we know that it's not truly representative of the balance of power this season so far." Wolff noted that Ferrari dominated in preseason testing in Barcelona and is expected to bring a strong package to the race in Spain. "Our opponents were blisteringly quick in winter testing, so the Spanish Grand Prix will be anything but easy," he said. "Despite the good start to the season we remain quite skeptical of our own performance and know that there are a number of areas where we can and must improve. We anticipate a tough and competitive weekend, first against our rivals and also between our drivers. Everything is still very much up for grabs this season and we will be keeping our foot firmly to the floor." Hamilton won the Spanish GP three times, including the last two, while Vettel will be seeking his second win in Barcelona and first at the track since 2011, when he was still with Red Bull. "I've always had very positive weekends in Barcelona with Ferrari, even if we've never won," Vettel said. "I hope this might be the moment to put that right.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 9th, 2019

Barcelona s fall highlights team s Messi-dependency

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — If Lionel Messi doesn't come to the rescue for Barcelona, no one will. The Argentina forward has saved Barcelona time and time again over his career, coming up with extraordinary goals and incredible assists that have led the club to dozens of titles over the years. And it was his remarkable performance in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals against Liverpool that helped Barcelona overcome an off-night by the rest of the team. Messi scored two goals last week to put Barcelona in position to make it to the final for the first time in four years. But when Barcelona struggled again collectively in the second leg, Messi wasn't able to turn things around. Liverpool reversed the 3-0 loss from the Camp Nou with a spectacular 4-0 win at Anfield, extending Barcelona's European title drought for yet another year. The loss highlighted Barcelona's dependency on Messi, who put in a solid performance but couldn't produce any more epic goals to keep the team in the tournament. "We shouldn't blame anybody," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. "We are a team in the good situations and in the bad situations. In the end, it's the coach who has to bear the responsibility." Catalan sports daily Sport called Barcelona's defeat "the worst ridicule in the history" of the club, saying the result in England was "unforgivable." A video reproduced online by Spanish media showed what appeared to be Barcelona fans verbally confronting the team's players at the airport in Liverpool after the match. Valverde rested Messi more than ever this season, knowing how crucial he could be in the decisive moments of the season. He had been key to the team in several occasions, either deciding games as a starter or when coming off the bench. The Argentina playmaker was rattled by Liverpool players from the start on Tuesday, at one point having his head shoved by defender Andrew Robertson as he prepared to get off the ground. Messi had a few good moments, though, including two great throughballs that Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez squandered in front of the goal. Philippe Coutinho also had an opportunity off an assist from Messi but couldn't capitalize on it. Messi missed a good chance himself, one that he would not normally miss, with the ball by his feet inside the area, but he couldn't get a shot on goal. Still, he had the most attempts for Barcelona, with two being stopped by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker. Barcelona had been mostly outplayed against Liverpool in the first leg, but Messi still scored twice to give his team the advantage. It was Ousmane Dembele who had the chance to add to Barcelona's result in that match, failing to score in a late counterattack that was started by Messi. The defense also faltered at Anfield, with Alba's mistakes being mostly to blame for two of Liverpool's goals. Barcelona also couldn't survive Messi's ordinary performance in the team's elimination against Roma last season, when it squandered a three-goal first-half advantage in the quarterfinals. "What hurts the most is that it has happened again," Valverde said. "I think it will take a long time for us to put this behind us." It had been a nearly perfect season for Messi and Barcelona so far, with the playmaker putting up some of the best numbers of his career and the club reaching the final stretch of the season with a chance to win the treble. Barcelona has already won the Spanish league, and it has a chance to win the Copa del Rey in a final against Valencia on May 25. But there will be no fifth Champions League trophy this year for Messi, who had promised at the beginning of the season "to do everything we can to bring that beautiful and coveted cup" back to Barcelona. Maybe next year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 9th, 2019

Mentality of giants : Self-belief fueling Klopp s Liverpool

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Like the rest of the soccer world, Juergen Klopp had his doubts. Given the scenario — the big first-leg deficit, the presence of Lionel Messi on the other side, injuries to important players — the Liverpool manager just wasn't sure, deep down, that his team could come back from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals. So he laid down a challenge. "I said to the boys before the game, 'I don't think it's possible, but because it's you I think we have a chance. Because you have the mentality of giants,'" Klopp said, recalling some of his final words before kickoff on arguably the greatest night of soccer in Anfield history. That Liverpool managed to pull off the most unlikely of 4-0 victories in the second leg is a testament not only to the quality of the team Klopp has put together but also the belief he has instilled in a group of players who don't know when they are beaten. They've shown it all season. The late goals — however bizarrely they have come — in wins over Everton, Tottenham and, most recently, Newcastle have kept Liverpool in the Premier League title race with Manchester City to the final weekend. The backs-to-the-wall 1-0 win over Napoli in the final group game in the Champions League, which sent the Reds through courtesy of the head-to-head tiebreaker of goals scored. The mental fortitude to rebound from losing to Real Madrid in last season's Champions League final in the most painful way, certainly for Mohamed Salah after his first-half shoulder injury in that match. So maybe the comeback against Barcelona was natural for this machine that Klopp has created, albeit one that has yet to win a trophy under the German coach. And it feels entirely justified that if Liverpool is to fall short in the Premier League — the team is one point behind City with a game to play — it still has the chance to end the season with some silverware in a competition that has become so synonymous with this storied English club, a five-time European champion. "I am really happy having another chance to get things right," Klopp said, referring to the 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in Kiev. "Last year, we felt we have to go back, we cannot let it stand like this. I am not sure it will happen again, so it's so special." For Klopp, it is a chance to end his six-match run of losses in cup finals stretching back to the 2013 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, when he was coach of Borussia Dortmund. Since then, he has lost two German Cup finals with Dortmund and then three title matches with Liverpool — in the English League Cup (2016), the Europa League (2016), and last year's Champions League. "I know what people say about me and losing finals," Klopp said in one of his many candid moments in a post-game news conference during which he often seemed lost for words. There's certainly no self-doubt among his players. Check out, for instance, Andrew Robertson pushing Messi on the head with two hands while the Barcelona forward was on the ground one minute into the match. This a defender who, in 2017, was playing for Hull but is now one of the most highly regarded left backs in the world. Look at Trent Alexander-Arnold, who — at the age of 20 — had the audacity to pull off a 79th-minute corner routine in which he pretended to walk away from the ball only to spin around and cross for Divock Origi to sweep in the fourth and clinching goal while Barcelona's defenders looked the other way. It was such clear-thinking amid the furnace that was Anfield on Wednesday. And then there's Origi, an afterthought at Liverpool at the start of the season after spending last year on loan at Wolfsburg in Germany before being reportedly close to sealing a loan move to Huddersfield. Now here he is, scoring the late winner against Newcastle on Saturday and adding two more against Barcelona three days later. Salah was out, recovering after a concussion. Roberto Firmino was missing, too, with a muscle strain. And Naby Keita was recently ruled out for the season. Even during the game, Robertson was taken off at halftime with a calf injury and captain Jordan Henderson played on after hurting his right knee in the first half. Henderson was everywhere in the second half, eclipsing more-esteemed Barcelona midfield rivals Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic and helping to nullify Messi as the Argentine dropped deep. "The belief we have in the changing room is amazing," Henderson said. "Look at the supporters and the lads." Indeed, the night ended with Liverpool's players and coaching staff standing arm-in-arm in a line in front of jubilant supporters in The Kop, singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" — the club's anthem. Together, they'll head to Madrid for the final, feeling it's their destiny to win European soccer's biggest prize for the sixth time......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 9th, 2019

WATCH: Liverpool stuns Barca to make Champions League final

    LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom – Liverpool produced one of the most stunning comebacks in Champions League history to beat Barcelona 4-0 and progress to the final for the second consecutive year on Tuesday, May 7 (Wednesday, May 8, Manila time) as stand-in striker Divock Origi and substitute Georginio Wijnaldum both scored ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 8th, 2019

Student athlete Lorraine Hann is Miss Mandaue 2019

Mandaue City, Cebu—Lorraine Hann thought she had no chances of winning the Miss Mandaue 2019 crown. After all, she had no special awards during the coronation night on Tuesday evening, May 7, 2019,  at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex.  But the stars aligned for the 18-year-old student athlete and beauty queen when she […] The post Student athlete Lorraine Hann is Miss Mandaue 2019 appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 8th, 2019

Madrid sends Stay strong message to former keeper Casillas

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid's players and fans took a moment before Sunday's 3-2 Spanish league win over Villarreal to send messages of support to former star goalkeeper Iker Casillas as he recovers from a heart attack. Players posed for a team photo wearing T-shirts that said in Spanish "Iker, we are all with you," while spectators at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium chanted his name and unfurled a huge banner saying "Madrid fans are with you. Stay strong, eternal captain." The 37-year-old Casillas fell ill while training for his club, FC Porto, on Wednesday and remains hospitalized after undergoing a catheterization. Porto's doctors said the former Spain goalkeeper is expected to fully recover, but it is too early to know if he can keep playing professionally. Casillas was a fan favorite during his 16 seasons with Madrid, where he won three Champions League and five Spanish league trophies. Casillas also helped Spain to win the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships. He joined Portuguese club Porto in 2015. Against Villarreal, Madrid bounced back from a 0-0 draw at Getafe and a 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano as it struggles to compete consistently despite the return of coach Zinedine Zidane. Barcelona clinched the league title last week. With Madrid in a distant third place, all the talk in the Spanish capital is what the club will do in the offseason to shake up its squad. Zidane left stars Gareth Bale and Luka Modric off his squad for the match. "You can interpret it anyway you want, but I have to pick a squad (for the game), nothing more," Zidane said afterward. "I am not going to talk about the next season of anyone." Little used striker Mariano Díaz and defender Jesús Vallejo responded to their rare starts Sunday by scoring. Díaz struck twice, while Vallejo got his first goal for the club. Gerard Moreno and Juame Costa scored for Villarreal. Madrid's Vinicius Junior returned as a late substitute after two months sidelined with a leg injury. GETAFE FOUTH Getafe is trying to join Madrid, second-place Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the Champions League next season. The modest club moved back ahead of Sevilla into fourth place and the final spot for Europe's top club competition after beating relegation-threatened Girona 2-0 at home. Jorge Molina continued his excellent season at age 37 by scoring his 14th league goal before Ángel Rodríguez put the result beyond doubt. TWO TEAMS RELEGATED Rayo and Huesca became the first teams to be relegated from the top tier. Rayo was left seven points from safety with two matches remaining — after Valladolid beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0. Huesca is also down after it was routed 6-2 by Valencia, leaving it eight points from safety......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 6th, 2019

Former Spain great Xavi retires from soccer at the age of 39

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Xavi Hernández will retire from soccer this season, ending a career in which he became one of the best midfielders to ever play for Barcelona and Spain's national team. The 39-year-old Xavi quit international soccer in 2014 and left Barcelona one year later after 17 seasons. He has since played for Qatari club Al-Sadd while preparing for a future as a coach. "This 2018-19 season will be my last as a player, but I hope the future offers the chance to be a coach," Xavi said Thursday. "For four more weeks I will lace up my boots to play the last matches of an unforgettable career that has lasted for 21 years and taken me all over the world." With his vision, precise passing and uncanny ability to protect the ball from opponents, Xavi helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships in 2008 and 2012. He holds a Barcelona record with 767 appearances and helped the club win 25 titles, including four Champions Leagues and eight Spanish leagues. He also finished third in the voting for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Ballon d'Or. Xavi left Barcelona when he lost his starting job, but even then he said his intention was to one day return to his home club as a coach or sporting director......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 4th, 2019

New original docuseries, Stephen vs The Game now available on Facebook Watch

MANILA, 3 May 2019 – Unanimous Media and Facebook have teamed up to deliver a new six-episode original docuseries, Stephen vs The Game, which chronicles three-time NBA Champion Stephen Curry’s journey throughout the 2018-19 season. The series premieres today, exclusively on Facebook Watch.  Stephen vs The Game delivers an unprecedented look into the life of Curry, a transcendent athlete who, through is uncanny three-point shooting ability and unbridled joy for the sport, continues to reinvent the way basketball is played. The series will explore what drives him on and off the court, including his family, faith, personal passions, and legendary work ethic — all of which have helped him become one of the most revered athletes in the world. The documentary will also include never-before-seen childhood footage of Curry and behind-the-scenes footage from his 2018 NBA championship run.  Executive produced by Unanimous Media and Religion of Sports and directed by Gotham Chopra, the series marks the second installment in the Facebook Watch VS series, which aims to explore the personal motivations that drive some of the world’s most accomplished athletes. The first installment, Tom vs Time, aired in 2018 and chronicled Tom Brady's quest to outlast Father Time as a 40-year-old championship-caliber quarterback in the NFL. “This past year has been an incredible chapter in my life—from the birth of my first son to winning a third championship—and we’ve been capturing it all,” Curry says. “This series is deeply personal, providing an in-depth look into the pivotal moments from the last year and exploring everything that is important to me. It’s been a fun project to work on with my Unanimous team and Facebook. I have incredible fans, and I’m excited to share my life with them in a way I never really have before.”  “Stephen has an amazing story that should really resonate with the Facebook community, which makes him the perfect next subject for our VS series,” Chopra says. “A lot of people have heard about his faith, but I don’t think they know the half of it. Being able to ride shotgun with Stephen across this historic season and get a glimpse into the three foundational elements of his life - faith, family, and hoops - has been an amazing ride and something I think millions around the world will be fascinated by.”  "Stephen has become one of the most beloved athletes in the world, and for the first time in his nine years in the league, we're getting unprecedented access into his life and journey,” say Jeron Smith and Erick Peyton, co-founders of Unanimous Media. “It’s been great to work with Religion of Sports on extending the franchise and bringing the vision for this series to life. Stephen's social media presence has always been engaging and genuine, and we're excited to offer fans a richer storytelling experience and honest look at who he really is on Facebook Watch. It's another example of Stephen and Unanimous creating unique and compelling content that brings people together and simply entertains."  Curry has developed a vibrant community on Facebook and Instagram by using the platforms to give people a window into his personal life, speak directly to fans, and raise support and awareness for important causes such as Nothing But Nets. Stephen vs The Game will be yet another way for Curry to meaningfully connect with this community—including basketball-loving Filipinos who enjoy and admire Curry's game-changing style of play.  In addition to the docuseries, Curry will interact with fans in his official Facebook Group, provide real-time updates via Facebook and Instagram Live broadcasts, and use Instagram Stories and IGTV to share bonus content from the series.  Filipino fans can add episodes to their Watchlists by following the VS on Watch Facebook Page......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019