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Capitals' Ovechkin says Olympic decision out of his hands

em>By Stephen Whyno, Associated Press /em> WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin released a statement Thursday night through the Washington Capitals acknowledging that the ability to represent Russian in the 2018 Olympics has been taken out of his hands. On the eve of the first day of on-ice training camp workouts, Ovechkin said in the statement that while he loves playing for his country, it won't happen because the International Ice Hockey Federation has assured the NHL that players under contract won't be able to play in South Korea. The NHL announced in April it wouldn't be sending players to the Games for the first time since 1994. 'I said every time I was asked since last Olympics that nobody is going to tell me I can't play because my country was going to be allowed to ask me,' Ovechkin said. 'Now the IIHF and NHL say my country is not allowed to ask anybody in the NHL to play and there is nothing to talk about anymore.' The Athletic first reported the IIHF's assurances to the league last week. Ovechkin is set to address reporters after his first official camp practice Friday. Ovechkin began saying a year ago that he was going to the Olympics no matter what. NHL players had participated in the past five Olympics, and Ovechkin played for Russia in the past three. Russia has a long history of using its top players in the Olympics, well before the NHL began participating in Nagano in 1998. The Soviet Union, and then the Unified Team, won eight of 10 Olympic gold medals from 1956-1992. 'I wanted to make this statement so that my words are clear and nobody misunderstands what I am saying,' Ovechkin said. 'The Olympics are in my blood and everybody knows how much I love my country. Ever since I was a kid and all the time I have played in the NHL, NHL players have played in the Olympic Games. We never have to make choice between our team and our country my whole career. I love the Capitals and my teammates here as much as I love my country and I know all the other NHL players feel the same for their teams. We should not have to be in position to make this choice.' In the statement, Ovechkin thanked owner Ted Leonsis for his support. Leonsis had gone on record saying he'd allow Ovechkin and other top players to go to the Olympics if they wanted to, even if it meant missing Capitals games. That won't happen now. 'Our countries are now not allowed to ask us to play in the Olympics,' the six-time NHL goals leader said. 'Me, my teammates and all players who want to go all lose. So do all the fans of hockey with this decision that we are not allowed to be invited. NHL players in the Olympics is good for hockey and good for Olympics. It sucks that will we not be there to play!!' Ovechkin, who turns 32 next week, had 33 goals and 36 assists in 82 regular-season games last season and added five goals and three assists in 13 playoff games. In 12 NHL seasons, all with the Capitals, he has 558 goals and 477 goals in 921 regular-season games and 46 goals and 44 assists in 97 playoff games. 'My focus as it always is this time of year is on my other dream as a kid, to try to win the Stanley Cup,' Ovechkin wrote. 'I am excited training camp has started in Washington and the time for talking is done. We just have to go out and do it and I will try my hardest to help my teammates win like I do every year since I came to the NHL.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 15th, 2017

China chases billionaire who threatens ‘explosive’ allegations against elite – The Guardian

A flamboyant Chinese billionaire known for his love of supercars and social media has claimed he is the victim of a political witch hunt after he threatened to lift the lid on “explosive information” about corruption at the top of Chinese politics. On Wednesday China’s foreign ministry confirmed that, at Beijing’s request, Interpol had issued a red notice for the arrest of Guo Wengui, a 50-year-old tycoon who had in recent months taken the highly unusual step of speaking out about alleged cases of corruption involving the relatives of senior leaders. Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesperson, described Guo as a “suspect” but offered no further details. But citing anonymous sources, the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper to which Beijing often hands politically sensitive scoops, claimed the billionaire was wanted for allegedly paying a 60m yuan (£6.8m) bribe to former spy chief Ma Jian, one of the most powerful victims of President Xi Jinping’s high-profile war on corruption. Guo rejected those claims on Wednesday, in an interview with the Chinese language service of Voice of America, claiming he was being targeted as part of a cover-up attempt. The billionaire, who has aired his as yet unproven allegations on his Twitter account and in a succession of recent interviews, accused Beijing of trying to silence him with “terror” tactics. “I’m greatly encouraged by the arrest notice. At least it will make people understand the true nature of my case,” he said. “If there was no such thing as corruption in China, the government wouldn’t become scared and frightened of me speaking the truth.” In a brief message to the Associated Press, Guo added: “It’s all lies, all threats. It shows they are scared of me leaking explosive information.” Willy Lam, a political expert from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said Guo’s decision to go public was an extraordinary move that was certain to put him on the wrong side of Xi Jinping. “It is the first time a [Chinese] billionaire, whether in or outside of China, has exposed this kind of dirty linen in public,” he said. Lam said Guo’s claims concerning the relatives of top Communist party figures had yet to be fully substantiated. Even so, they represented “a big public relations disaster for the Xi Jinping administration and for the Communist party in general” since they suggested Xi’s anti-corruption crusade had failed to halt what the president himself has described as the party’s moral slide. The scandal would reinforce the impression that, for all Xi’s efforts, the families of top leaders were still able “to make a killing” from their political connections, Lam added. “It is not a pretty picture.” Born and raised in Shandong province, Guo made a fortune as a real estate developer in Beijing, where he was behind one of the capital’s most unusual skyscrapers – the dragon-shaped Pangu Plaza near the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium. He was recently photographed at Mark’s Club, an exclusive club in Mayfair, London, that bills itself as a refuge for the “global A-list” and whose members include former British prime minister David Cameron. Guo reportedly left China in 2015. According to the New York Times, which has reported extensively on his case, he now lives in the United States where he frequents Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and resides in a $67.5m penthouse with views over Central Park. It was reportedly from this apartment that Guo spoke to the US-funded Voice of America on Wednesday, making fresh corruption allegations involving a relative of a senior Chinese politician. The New York Times reported that the Chinese government had attempted to stop the interview, summoning Voice of America’s Beijing correspondent and warning him against interfering in China’s “internal affairs”. Lam said that by going public Guo might be hoping to shield himself from a similar fate to fellow billionaire Xiao Jianhua who was snatched from Hong Kong’s Four Seasons hotel in January and apparently spirited into custody in mainland China. He was, however, playing a dangerous game. “His fate now depends on the US government,” Lam said.( Guo reportedly left China in 2015. According to the New York Times, which has reported extensively on his case, he now lives in the United States where he frequents Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and resides in a $67.5m penthouse with views over Central Park. It was reportedly from this apartment that Guo spoke to the US-funded Voice of America on Wednesday, making fresh corruption allegations involving a relative of a senior Chinese politician. The New York Times reported that the Chinese government had attempted to stop the interview, summoning Voice of America’s Beijing correspondent and warning him against interfering in China’s “internal affairs”. Lam said that by going public Guo might be hoping to shield himself from a similar fate to fellow billionaire Xiao Jianhua who was snatched from Hong Kong’s Four Seasons hotel in January and apparently spirited into custody in mainland China. He was, however, playing a dangerous game. “His fate now depends on the US government,” Lam said. Guo reportedly left China in 2015. According to the New York Times, which has reported extensively on his case, he now lives in the United States where he frequents Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and resides in a $67.5m penthouse with views over Central Park. It was reportedly from this apartment that Guo spoke to the US-funded Voice of America on Wednesday, [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsApr 20th, 2017

Biado exits World Chinese 8-Ball

World champion Carlo Biado suffered two consecutive losses to bow out of contention in the 2018 World Chinese 8-Ball Masters being held at the Olympic Stadium in Qinhuangdao City, China. The reigning World 9-Ball Championship titlist lost to Chinese Wu Zhengyu via a 4-13 decision in his first match then absorbed another 8-13 hearth-breaking loss [...] The post Biado exits World Chinese 8-Ball appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

BEST OF 5 PART 2: In 2006, the reign of the Red Lion began

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. --- San Beda College is the winningest team in all of NCAA basketball. With 21 championships in the Seniors division, they have four more than second-running archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Almost half of that total comes from the last 12 years where the Red Lions have claimed 10 titles. A dozen years ago, Mendiola having the rightful claim as the winningest all but seemed to be a far- fetched idea. Back in 2005, the red and white only had 11 championships in the Seniors division – way behind what the Knights had. THIS ISN’T WHAT YOU KNOW Then, San Beda was not the dynasty that it is now – and not even one of the top contenders as that recognition belonged to Letran and Philippine Christian University. More than that, they were also right smack in the middle of a 28-year title drought, with their last title coming in the late ‘70s. That 1978 championship was under the guidance of famed mentor Bonnie Carbonell. After him, a number of coaches tried to take home the championship for the Red Lions only to come up short time and again. THEN AND NOW Enter Koy Banal in 2005 and continuing into 2006. And just to give him a good start, he brought along the very same Carbonell who was the school’s last vestige of a championship. “I brought in Freddie Abuda sa coaching staff to add to Chito Victolero and JB Sison who were already there. More important was I also got coach Bonnie Carbonell who was my hero,” he shared. He then continued, “He’s the one who inspired me to coach and he was the last coach who gave San Beda a championship.” As it turns out, Carbonell’s arrival was some sort of premonition as that year was the magical season they had long been waiting for. Even Banal, 11 years since and numerous stints in the PBA and PBA D-League after, could not forget that magical season. As he put it, “That year was really special. That is still in my heart, that is still in my memory. You won’t forget those experiences.” THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM So much so that the now 56-year-old head coach could still narrate what had happened then like it was yesterday. The story of San Beda’s modern-day dynasty starts at the end of Season 81 – following another finish outside of the playoff picture. “Right after our last game in Season 81, I just gave the players one week off,” Banal recalled. “I told them Season 82 is already starting for us.” And so, from October of 2005 onto 2006, they were already gearing up for another shot at ending an almost three-decade long title drought. KINGS OF THE QUEEN CITY OF THE SOUTH That gearing up took them as Cebu where, in Banal’s eyes, all came together for them. “Ang key rito is yung aming preparation. I wanted to create adversity kasi nga I wanted to buil their character kaya we went to Cebu,” he said. He then continued, “’Di lang kami sa isang gym naglaro. Nagpunta kami mismo sa campuses – sa UV (University of Visayas), sa UC (University of Cebu), sa USC (University of San Carlos), USJ-R (University of San Jose-Recoletos. Yun talaga yung key kasi araw-araw na laro tapos may practice pa.” He also added, “Dun talaga kami nag-bond kasi biro mo, magkakasama kami ng one week. Dun talaga nabuo ang San Beda.” Still, all those preparations would have been all for naught without game-changing players. CATALYST FOR CHANGE Fortunately for Mendiola, that time also saw them with perhaps the biggest game-changer in the history of the NCAA. Banal’s very first order of business when he took the job was to bring in a big man – and not just a big man, but a dominant big man. “The primary plan was to recruit a dominant big man because that was the problem of San Beda in the previous seasons. The solution to the problem? A six-foot eight-inch powerhouse hailing from Nigeria. “We brought in Sam Ekwe. I believe his arrival turned the tides for us kasi Rookie (of the Year)-MVP, ano pa bang pwedeng ibigay sa kanya nun,” the mentor said. Indeed, from the get-go, Ekwe proved to be a force the league had not seen before and averaged 10.6 points, 16.5 rebounds, and three blocks. While he has always had the tools, Banal said what made him special was that he was more than willing to know more about how to make good use of those tools. “Very dominant, but willing to learn and listen and follow. Kaya I would like to give the credit to Freddie Abuda kasi siya ang tumutok talaga,” he said. BREAKTHROUGH With Ekwe wowing just about everybody all the way to both the MVP and RoY awards, the Red Lions followed his lead all the way to the championship round. There, they bested the Dolphins – then with future PBA stars such as Beau Belga, Jayson Castro, Gabby Espinas – in an epic three-game series. And it wasn’t even until the very last seconds when Belga’s would-be game-winner clanged off the rim and into the hands of Yousif Aljamal that the decision was definite – Mendiola’s title drought has come to an end. For the head coach who ended it all, even at that moment, he knew full well that it wasn’t about him. “Yung iniisip ko talaga, para sa mga players e. Yung sakripisyo nila, nagbunga kaya kung makikita mo yung video nun, bawat isa, umakap sa akin e,” he said. He then continued, “Special talaga yun, nasa puso ko yun at ‘di makakalimutan. Nothing compares to the championship we all won in San Beda.” FULL CIRCLE As if the good ending needed to be even better, that 28-year wait was tied up neatly by the presence of one Bonnie Carbonell – the head coach of the last title before the drought and a consultant of the first title after the drought. “After winning the championship, kami ni coach Bonnie, may maganda kaming kuha na nag-akapan kaming dalawa. ‘Di ko rin makakalimutan yun,” Banal said. Until now, it’s not just Banal who hasn’t forgotten. Nobody at all will be forgetting about San Beda, winners of 10 of the last 12 championships, anytime soon. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017

Court declares POC election ‘null and void’

Christmas won’t be merry for Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. This after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City declared the last POC election, where Cojuangco won unopposed, “null and void.” In a decision penned by Judge Maria Gracia A. Cadiz-Casaclang last December 1, the RTC branch 155 stated that [...] The post Court declares POC election ‘null and void’ appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsDec 20th, 2017

POC wants Richie Garcia training director for 2019 SEAG

MANILA, Philippines — If he could have his way, Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco wants some old hands to help run the show in the 2019 S.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 19th, 2017

Perez dedicates Grand Prix win, MVP award to deceased brother

F2 Logistics ace setter Kim Fajardo saw Venezuelan import Maria Jose Perez open on the left side. The reinforcement soared and smashed a thunderous kill. Petron’s Mika Reyes and Rhea Dimaculangan went up simultaneously to erect a wall but came a bit too late. American import Hillary Hurley was the Blaze Spikers’ last line of defense but Perez’s missile slipped off her hands as the Cargo Movers celebrated their impressive come-from-behind series win to conquer the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix in the deciding Game 3 Saturday at the MOA Arena. Perez joined her team in celebration. She’s now a champion and was named Conference Most Valuable Player. Perez did her best to win for the team. This despite a searing pain in her heart brought by a sad news she received the day before from halfway across the world. Her older brother, Daniel, passed away Friday after a bout with cancer.         Knowing that they needed to stay focused on the game, Perez chose to keep the news from her teammates. Confiding only to skipper Cha Cruz, who then told head coach Ramil De Jesus.  “Very professional ni Maria kasi kakamatay lang ng oldest brother niya kahapon dahil sa cancer," said De Jesus during the post-game interview after F2 Logistics captured the crown in a 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18, win over the Blaze Spikers that completed their comeback from a 0-1 series deficit.         “Sobrang saludo ako, di niya sinasabi sa team, di ko nga alam pano nya nadadala,” De Jesus said. “Kasi di umiiyak, di malungkot, di nadala sa performance. Saludo talaga ako sa kanya.” The 2008 Beijing Olympian scored 24 points all from kills, averaging 21 markers in the Finals. “I didn’t think about my loss I know I have a big responsibility with my team,” said Perez, a woman of strength and high professionalism. “I didn’t share it with my team. I just smiled and tried to be strong because I know we had this opportunity to win this game.” “I don’t want my teammates to be saddened with my loss,” she added.  Perez’s voice cracked and held her tears back during the interview as she dedicated the win and MVP to her brother. “I was thinking about that,” she said. “I know that’s the only that will make my family happy.” Perez will return to Venezuela before flying to Utah to play in another tournament. Asked if she’ll return next year, Perez said that she wants another run with the Cargo Movers. “We have talked about it (going back to F2). I really want (to come back) but I haven't talked to the management,” said Perez. “I think after this we will decide and we will see my final decision.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2017

Good news for UST? Tiger Cub star CJ Cansino wants to stay

CJ Cansino has had a double-double for University of Sto. Tomas in all six games thus far in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The result for those double-doubles? Four wins, two losses, and solo third in the standings for the Tiger Cubs. Unlike last season when it was quite too little too late for his breakout, the second-year swingman has wasted no time making his presence felt. “Tinuloy ko lang din po yung magandang second round ko last year kasi nanghinayang ako sa first round ko nun. Wala akong kumpyansa nun kasi nabigla ako na UAAP na ‘to,” he shared. He then continued, “Bumalik na lang yung kumpyansa ko nung kinausap na ako palagi nila coach kung ano talagang role ko.” Now, the UST coaching staff is nothing but proud that their tantalizing talent is finally making his mark. From a skinny teen representing De La Salle Araneta and first eyed by Far Eastern University-Diliman, Cansino is now a reason for hope in Espana. “Galing po akong La Salle Araneta tapos nag-try rin ako sa FEU kaso magulo po yung nangyari. Naghanap po kami ng iba pang kukuha sa akin and buti na lang, merong UST,” he recalled. He then continued, “Sabi ng parents ko rin po kasi, pati yung pag-aaral, maganda sa UST.” As it turns out, the Valenzuela native made the right decision and is now the featured player for the Tiger Cubs. In fact, in their near upset of powerhouse Nazareth School of National University, he almost singlehandedly won the game. CJ. Cansino. Wow. Just wow. UST finally has another talented wing on its hands. His and-1 right through two defenders gives his team a 72-57 lead. — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) Nobyembre 26, 2017 Cansino stepback threee! Tiger Cubs lead, 75-60. — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) Nobyembre 26, 2017 Then CJ Cansino shuts me up with a threee over the outstretched arms of Paul Manalang. 80-76 UST. — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) Nobyembre 26, 2017 Cansino blocks Manalang! But Manabat turns it over! These errors are killing UST! Ball back to NU, their lead is 87-85, 12.8 to go. — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) Nobyembre 26, 2017 For Cansino, it was all about giving back to the school which gave him a chance. “Ngayong last season ko na, binubuhos ko na lahat para mapanalo ang UST,” he said. And it’s not just in the Juniors and in the present, but also in the Seniors and in the future – if he had his way. “Sana nga po, tumuloy rin ako sa Seniors para bigyan din ako ng pagkakataon na iangat yung Growling Tigers kasi sobrang baba na ng pride pagdating sa basketball. Gusto ko ring i-prove sa Seniors na may magagawa ako for UST,” he said. The do-it all player is being touted as the next coming of Kevin Ferrer – a Juniors MVP as a Tiger Cub who went on to star for the Growling Tigers in the Seniors. As a 17-year-old, the six-foot-five Ferrer averaged 22 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks en route to the MVP. As an 18-year-old, the six-foot-two Cansino is norming 26.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.8 assists and is one of the clear frontrunners for MVP. As of the moment, whether or not Cansino will be able to follow in the footsteps of Ferrer is not yet a certainty. However, the current King Tiger Cub wants to make it clear he hopes to keep donning the gold and white. “Nasa kanila na yun, pero first option ko, siyempre UST. Nasa puso ko na talaga yung Tigers at gusto ko talagang maglaro para sa kanila,” he said. That’s still for tomorrow, though. For now, Canisno just wants to bring his team back to the Final Four for the first time in six years. “Masaya po ako na nabigyan ako ng ganitong chance. Yung pinaghirapan ko na kahit injured ako ng eight months, nagpapasalamat ako na maganda pa rin ang pagkabalik ko,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Bird, Taurasi headline US women s hoops national team pool

By Doug Feinberg, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are back for another run with the U.S. women's basketball team. The four-time Olympic gold medalists are among the 29 players chosen Thursday for the national team pool. Eleven members of the 2016 Olympic team that won a sixth consecutive gold medal for the Americans are in the group. The only player missing from that team is Tamika Catchings, who retired after the 2016 WNBA season. "Our strength has always been our best players play over and over. Our veteran players want to play," U.S. national team director Carol Callan said. "They appreciate representing our country and being part of the USA Basketball culture. We've selected athletes that are a mix of young with the older players. We cover each position well." The U.S. already has qualified for next year's FIBA World Cup, which will be held in Spain. There are five college players in the pool: UConn's Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, South Carolina's A'ja Wilson, Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell and Louisville's Asia Durr. Most, if not all, of them won't participate in a training camp that will be held in South Carolina from Feb. 9-11. U.S. national team coach Dawn Staley said that Wilson, if her class schedule permits, will be around for the training camp. "If she doesn't have class, I want her to sit front and center to see how the Olympians, two-, three-, four-time Olympians operate and approach things," Staley said. "I want the entire team to witness what it's like to see our country's best athletes come together and practice and gear up to play." Staley, who also coaches South Carolina's women's basketball team, will be playing a dual role that weekend, as her Gamecocks are hosting Florida on that Sunday. All 29 players in the pool have previous international experience with USA Basketball. They've combined to win 100 gold, two silver and four bronze medals. "The amount of experience that will be here in Columbia, South Carolina, will be great. Working with the best players that our country has to offer and the 29 players that have been invited," Staley said. "We want to share this experience, being at South Carolina, having them come to see our campus, our university, our city, our state, quite sure they'll find it very enjoyable besides the work we need to put in on the floor." Callan said the pool is fluid and players can be added. One player who it didn't sound like will be added is Candace Parker, who won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 but did not make the team in 2016. "We generally don't talk about players that aren't here because there's a variety of reasons why they aren't," Callan said. "She's one of them, we choose not to try to speak for them. I would simply suggest you ask her. Candace has been an important part of our program over the years and we talked about the decision when she didn't make the Olympic roster. I don't want to speak for her or try to verbalize.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Putin accuses US agencies of manipulating doping testimony

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin accused U.S. agencies of manipulating evidence from the main whistleblower on doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Putin said Thursday that former Moscow anti-doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov — who is under witness protection after fleeing to the United States last year — is "under the control" of the American agencies, including the FBI. Rodchenkov being in the United States "is not a positive for us, it's a negative. It means he's under the control of American special services," Putin said. "What are they doing with him there? Are they giving him some kind of substances so that he says what's required?" Putin added that Rodchenkov should never have been appointed to run Moscow's anti-doping laboratory in the first place. "It was a mistake on the part of those who did it, and I know who did it," he said, but didn't name names or say they should be punished. Testimony from Rodchenkov played a key role in International Olympic Committee investigations which led last week to Russian athletes being required to compete under a neutral flag at the upcoming Pyeongchang Games. Rodchenkov said he was ordered by the sports ministry to oversee steroid use by Russian athletes in many sports, and to cover up their doping by falsifying test results and swapping dirty samples for clean ones. The IOC's decision to trust Rodchenkov's evidence is "nonsense," Putin said, portraying the scientist as mentally unstable and referring repeatedly to Russian criminal investigations against him. The Russian government has denied it had any involvement in doping, particularly around the Sochi Olympics, which is seen as a key prestige project. Russian officials have previously said they accept some drug use occurred, but on a much smaller scale than alleged, and that Rodchenkov tricked some clean Russian athletes into taking banned substances by claiming they were legitimate dietary supplements. Putin also reiterated previous claims that Russian doping scandals are an attempt to smear the government as he runs for re-election in March, a month after the Pyeongchang Olympics. "The scandal is being created ahead of the domestic political calendar," he said. "Whatever people say, I'm convinced, I just know this is the case." Russian sports officials and athletes across numerous sports have said they will accept the IOC demand that they compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia." That means they will compete in neutral-colored uniforms under the Olympic flag, with the Olympic anthem played at medal ceremonies instead of the Russian anthem. However, the IOC says the ban could be lifted in time for Russian athletes to march at the closing ceremony under their own flag, if Russia complies with IOC conditions. An IOC commission found no evidence that Russia's "highest state authority" was involved in doping, but that sports ministry officials knew of the doping scheme......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Oladipo, Sabonis helping Pacers move forward

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo has a fever and the only prescription is ... no, not more cowbell. Cowbell might make sense, if you factor in Oladipo’s love of and commitment to music (his debut R&B album has been available since Oct. 6). But the fever currently afflicting Oladipo, shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers, has nothing to do with extracurriculars and everything to do with the odes and anthems he’s been performing within the confines of 94 feet by 50 feet. If the fifth-year guard out of Indiana University, by way of the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder, looks comfortable in his new star turn for the Pacers, well, just remember that’s your word. Not his. “You could say I’m comfortable with the people here,” says Oladipo, who spent three seasons with the Hoosiers before becoming the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. “I played in front of these fans, they mean a lot to me and I gave a lot to them just like they gave a lot to me while I was in college. “But I’m never comfortable in any situation I’m in. I will never be comfortable. That’s what kind of makes me get up and work every day. It’s like, never be satisfied. Because for some reason, ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted more.” Oladipo’s eyes just about glow after a weekend practice as he delves into his unflagging intensity. He doesn’t undercut it with a smile or a token laugh. This is real heat. “Maximize my talent and exhaust my potential,” he says. “In order to do that, I’ve got to come to work every day. That’s my thought process. Wake up each day and be great that day.” Each day would include tonight, when Oladipo will share center stage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the more decorated and once-beloved star who preceded him in the Pacers lineup. Paul George, a four-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist during his seven seasons in Indiana, was due to face his old team for the first time since being traded to Oklahoma City in July. It was a parting necessitated by George, who had made clear his desire to sign a maximum-salary contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018. But the trade was orchestrated by Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations, and Chad Buchanan, their general manager, who surprised the NBA by swapping George to OKC for Oladipo and big man Domantas Sabonis. You want intense? The initial reaction to that deal was intensely negative, quickly reaching hysterical proportions. The Pacers immediately were mocked for having traded George for nickels on the dollar. Reports out of Boston characterized Indiana’s POBO as more of a bobo for allegedly spurning a Celtics’ offer of multiple players and draft picks. *Takes a well deserved nap for 3 hours ** Opens Twitter: pic.twitter.com/xWNYaVfKTy — Myl3s Turn3r (@Original_Turner) July 1, 2017 The west is sick!!!! Best conference in the world!!!! — Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) July 1, 2017 Vic to the Pacers?! He might as well run for governor while he's at it! — Cody Zeller (@CodyZeller) July 1, 2017 Former Thunder star Kevin Durant called the move “shocking” and of George said “Indiana just gave him away.” Among much of the media that covers the league, there was a general feeling of “rubes” afoot -- that the Pacers had been snookered in taking back an overpaid ($21 million annually through 2020-21) second-tier talent and an overbilled guy who had disappeared in OKC’s postseason. And now? Not so much on any of those fronts. ‘He knows how good he is’ George’s stats are down in the “OK3” core he’s formed with reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook and aging Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder (12-13) are the NBA’s consensus disappointment, team category, with nearly a third of their season in the books. Sabonis has boosted the Pacers off the bench in a half dozen ways. And Oladipo has all but earned himself a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team while speeding his new team’s fans past their heartbreak over George’s jilting. Generally, the best trades in sports are win-win, but for Indiana right now, a bit of win-lose has made the start of 2017-18 downright sublime. “We happened to really like Sabonis in the draft,” former Pacers president and ongoing consultant Donnie Walsh said last week. “We wanted more of everything in the trade too. But when it came down to it, we had this offer with Oladipo, who we also liked. They’ve come in here and the more they’ve been here, the more we like ‘em. We’re happy.” The Pacers also are 16-11, two weeks ahead in the victory column over their 42-40 finish last season that was good for a playoff berth. Oladipo is the biggest reason why, averaging more points per game (24.5) than George ever has. The 6'4" guard who attended famous DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md., spent much of last season being beaten up for his contract and negligible impact in Oklahoma City. He had taken grief earlier for his status as the second pick in 2013, a lofty status not of his doing. And here he was again in the summer, hearing it all over again for a transaction he didn’t design. “He came in with a chip [on his shoulder],” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “I thought he should come in with a chip.” Some would have flinched from the pressure. A few might have curled up, full blown fetal. Oladipo has gone entirely the other way. “His confidence is at an all-time high,” backup point guard Cory Joseph said. “He knows how good he is.” As Joseph spoke after the Pacers’ upset of Cleveland Friday, a game in which Oladipo scored 20 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter, a lilting voice drifted from behind the scenes in the home dressing room. “Look at it right now, he’s singing in the shower,” Joseph said, tilting his head and laughing. “He’s confident. You guys are all in here, he’s just singing. He’s a confident guy. Everybody in this locker room, everybody in this organization definitely welcomes that.” Trade not driving Oladipo’s breakout season Don’t misunderstand. The critics still are out for Oladipo. “My mom told me yesterday I need to work on my free throws,” he said with an eye roll after practice Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). She had noticed, during her son’s run of big games in December -- 36 points at Toronto, 27 vs. Chicago, 33 against the Cavs the night before her chiding text -- that he had missed 18-of-31 foul shots. This, by a career 80 percent shooter from the line. “I’m over that,” Oladipo said. “I’m not going to miss no more. I’ll make ‘em next time. And if I miss ‘em, I’ll make ‘em the next. If that’s my problem right now, I think I can fix it.” Twenty-four hours later, Oladipo took 13 free throws against Denver and made 11. He scored 47 points in all, hitting 15-of-28 shots and half of his 12 three-pointers. The comeback victory in OT got the Pacers to 4-for-4 on their six-game homestand and continued to shrink whatever chip it was that the 25-year-old was shouldering. “In the beginning of the year, I said, ‘I don’t have a chip. I have a brick house on my back,’” Oladipo said. But not anymore, right, now that some folks are referring to it as “the Victor Oladipo trade” rather than “the Paul George trade?” “That’s what I feel like every morning, no matter what’s going on,” he said. “I don’t even think about the trade, honestly. It’s in the past for me. People’s opinions are going to be there whether you like it or not. From the outside looking in, I guess you could say [then] that was a great trade for OKC. That’s what they believed. But it wasn’t going to change the way I worked. It wasn’t going to change my approach.” This step up in status is considered perhaps the most difficult an NBA player can make. Suddenly, opposing coaches are X&O-ing him to death. The player dogging him up and down the court is the other guys’ best defender. Often, they’ll send double-teams to get the ball into one of his teammates’ hands. “He hadn’t had that,” McMillan said. “When he was in OKC, the game plan was focused on Westbrook. When he was in Orlando, he was just a young player. Now he is seeing the defenders like a LeBron [James], like a [DeMar] DeRozan, what these stars are seeing. He’s seeing the best defenders and he’s seeing teams game-plan to take him out. “Learning how to play and be consistent every night with that challenge is something he’s going through.” Oladipo’s quick success with the Pacers has kept any crowd critics at bay. They were pre-disposed to like him just as their rebound date after George, but had he underperformed, Oladipo’s service time in Bloomington wouldn’t have protected him for long from criticism. But now, it’s George who likely will get the harsh reception. Oladipo, overtly after each of the recent victories, has made it clear to the home fans via some emphatic pointing and body language that the Fieldhouse happens to be his house. “I don’t say it, they say it,” he said. “I just do the gesture and they do the rest of the work for me. I let them do all the talking. We feed off them -- when they’re into it, we play better. I don’t know why, that’s just how basketball’s always been. They’re our sixth man and we need ‘em every night.” Oladipo’s breakout season has been bolstered, too, by the Pacers’ second-through-15th men. Those who already were in Indy knew how valuable George was at both ends. Those who, like Oladipo and Sabonis, were new this season were within their rights to be as skeptical as the national headlines of the guys coming in trade. Go-to guy emerges for Pacers OKC was a specific challenge, Oladipo having to learn on the fly how to fit his own darting, ball-heavy style to only the second man in NBA history to average a triple-double. Westbrook’s usage was off the charts, rendering the other Thunder players to supporting cast whether suited to that role or not. Just like that, Oladipo had to catch and shoot as someone to get Westbrook into double digits in assists. It wasn’t his nature and it made for an individually forgettable season. “I had a role. I tried to play that role to the best of my ability. And I improved certain areas of my game in that role,” was all he’d say Saturday, stiffly, about the OKC experience. Said Walsh: “I felt like he was going to get a different opportunity here. ... When he got to Oklahoma City, he was playing wih a guy who was averaging a triple-double. And he liked Russell Westbrook. But he comes here, he’s got an opportunity to be ‘our guy.’ “I think he might have been looking for that. I never asked him. He’s a really cool guy. He knows what he wants to be, I think.” Oladipo needed this and the Pacers needed him to need it. With George gone, they were like a smile missing a front tooth. The other teeth weren’t just going to move up in the pecking order -- no matter how good young big man Myles Turner is -- and replace the one they’d lost. If they were going to have any success this season, if McMillan was going to be able to coach and adjust in his second year taking over for Frank Vogel, the players needed to fill their roles and welcome this new addition. That’s why this tale of Oladipo’s growing success is about what the Pacers have done for him, as much as it is what he’s done for them. “We didn’t really present it like that,” McMillan said, “because we were still trying to develop who our ‘go-to guy’ was. He has been slowly taking on that role through the things he’s done. I haven’t had to say anything. He’s making good decisions with the ball. And the guys are getting a feel for what we’re doing down the stretch because we’ve had some success, and we’ve had it with Victor having the ball.” Chemistry change for Pacers There might be NBA teams with chemistry as solid as the Pacers’ right now, but it’s hard to imagine there are any with better. It’s more than mere relief that someone has stepped up, easing their own loads a bit. It is a genuine eagerness for Oladipo to max out, for each of the rest of them to do the same in whatever lane they’re riding. “Vic’s been everything at this point,” Turner said. “He’s done a great job of stepping up and being that guy, being that dude. It’s amazing to have that when you’re going through a situation where it’s a brand-new team. We’re still learning each other and he’s showing that he’s ready.” Did Turner know this would happen and, if so, when? “First couple days he started texting me in the summertime,” the big man said. “I saw what his mindset was, and I loved it from the jump. He carried that right in when we started playing pickup this summer. “Vic’s been traded, what, [two] times? He finally comes back home and he has a team that’s telling him to go, telling him to be him. I don’t think he had that with his former teams. Now that he’s here and he’s doing that, I’m pretty sure he’s [enjoying it].” Said Joseph: “He’s been a beast for us and he’s going to continue to be a beast for us. ... He’s been running with that opportunity and opening eyes around the world.” Even strong-willed, uber-confident Lance Stephenson, has backed up for Oladipo. “There’s no hate, know what I mean?” he said over the weekend. “Some guys get mad about somebody doing good. This team wants its teammates to do good. That’s what’s going to make us even better.” Oladipo keeps referring to the other Pacers in a legit lubricating of the “no I in Indy” process. “Honestly I think it’s the personalities and the men that we have in this locker room,” he said. “My teammates are phenomenal people -- not just basketball players, phenomenal people. When you surround yourself with great people, people who sincerely care about you and your team, the chemistry just comes naturally.” Sabonis shows glimpses of success, too The other guy in the trade, Sabonis, has developed more organically, his maturation seemingly inevitable regardless of locale when you tote up his youth, his work ethic and his bloodlines (son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis). He has gone from that rookie who logged just six minutes in the Thunder’s five 2017 playoff games against Houston to an essential piece in McMillan’s rotation. “Once I got traded, I knew this was a great opportunity for me to show people what I can really do,” said Sabonis, the No. 11 pick in 2016. “I was a rookie last year. Everything was new. Here, I’m being used more at the 5. That’s more the position I’ve been used to playing my whole life.” Sabonis’ minutes are up from 20.1 in OKC to 24.6 off Indiana’s bench. His scoring has doubled from 5.9 ppg to 12.1. And his PIE rating has soared from 4.9 last season to 12.6, a sign of the versatility the skilled big man possesses. “I love Sabonis,” Walsh said. “His father was one of the greatest players in the world, so I don’t like that comparison -- it kills him. He [Domantas] is just more of everything you think he is. He’s stronger than you think. He can shoot the ball better. He’s got good hands, he can catch the ball. I’ve seen him make moves in game that I’ve never seen him make in practice.” Said Turner: “I played against Domas in college -- I knew what kind of player he was. I was excited when we got him. He’s gotten bigger and stronger since then, obviously, and he just didn’t have a chance to show himself last year. But he’s been big for us now, especially when I was out with the concussion. He stepped up huge in that role and we’ve played well since then.” The Pacers are playing faster this season, up from 18th in pace last season to 10th now, part of their improvement from 15th in offensive rating (106.2) to 6th (108.3). They’re doing better, too, in contesting shots and throttling opponents’ field-goal accuracy. The biggest reason why has been Oladipo’s blossoming. Whether due to the sunshine of new, happier surroundings or from that darker, more intense place, to prove cynics wrong. No one can now talk of the Pacers’ bungling of what, after all, was a deal to rent George, not to have him long-term. Fans at Bankers Life figure to boo George on his first visit back, with an inventory they haven’t needed or used on Oladipo. Some might see that as ingratitude, others as respect. It’s a little bit of love lost, too. “Look, they loved Paul when he was here,” Walsh said. “They guy is a great player. One thing I’ve always felt: These guys that play here, they always know more about what they want for their lives than we do. How you gonna argue with that? He treated us good, we treated him good. No bad blood here. I don’t know about fans.” Folks in Indy have a new crush now, one they hope lasts for a while. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2017

Donaire blasts Rigondeaux for quitting vs Lomachenko

A five-division champion, Nonito Donaire knows a thing or two about fighting, so when he saw Guillermo Rigondeux quit mid-fight against Vasyl Lomachenko, that decision did not quite sit well with him. "Incredible performance from Loma, Rigo has never been in this position where he has been dominated every way," Donaire posted on TwitterSunday. "But I still can't understand how a fighter quits." "I fought with bloody hands, I fought with numerous fractures, and sometimes my brain tells me to stop and tells me I've done enough but never in my life have I ever quit." Rigondeux, a natural super bantamweight, moved two weight classes to challenge Lomachenko for the WBO world super feathe...Keep on reading: Donaire blasts Rigondeaux for quitting vs Lomachenko.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 10th, 2017

Russia awaits decision on Winter Olympics ban for doping

Doping-tainted Russia’s 2018 Winter Olympics participation will be decided when the International Olympic Committee meets from Tuesday, in one of the weightiest decisions ever faced by the Olympic movement. The build-up to the high-stakes summit in Lausanne just 66 days before the start of the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, has been dominated by an [...] The post Russia awaits decision on Winter Olympics ban for doping appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsDec 5th, 2017

Jayson Castro’s decision to rejoin Gilas a big boost for team future campaign

WHEN Gilas Pilipinas’ program resumed early this year under comebacking head coach Chot Reyes, questions were raised whether Jayson Castro, a veteran campaigner of the squad who was named the best point guard in Asia several times, will continue to play for the team. After losing two games in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament last year, […] The post Jayson Castro’s decision to rejoin Gilas a big boost for team future campaign appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

Splash Brothers Curry, Thompson lead short-handed Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry put on a thrilling display with 33 points Friday (Saturday, PHL time) to lead the Golden State Warriors over the Chicago Bulls 143-94 on a night Kevin Durant and Draymond Green were out. Splash Brothers Curry and Klay Thompson came to play with their fellow All-Stars out. NBA Finals MVP Durant was sidelined the second time in three games with a sprained left ankle, while Green didn't play for rest. Curry found his stroke from way back and breezed past a seven-footer in the paint with authority. The two-time MVP notched his seventh career 30-point half and 21st 20-point quarter, when he scored 26 in the second as the Warriors matched their biggest half of the season with a 74-53 lead at intermission. Steph was feeling it, all right, following up a deep three in the second quarter with a high-step shuffle and chest pat before waving his hands in the air for the crowd to join the fun. And with Green's muscle flexing absent on this night, Curry drove left and over seven-foot Robin Lopez for a layup late in the second and was fouled. On the floor beneath the basket, he flexed his biceps in celebration. He shot 10-for-18 with four three-pointers, while Thompson added 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting with five triples. Big man Zaza Pachulia had a season-best 11 points and a career-high six assists. Rookie Jordan Bell made his first career start and had a quick one-handed slam -- this after being inactive in four of the past five games. Omri Casspi also started for short-handed Golden State coming off a 108-91 loss at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Scurrying back on defense, Bell made a pretty block from behind against a driving Denzel Valentine midway through the third and finished with six blocked shots in 26 minutes. Jerian Grant scored 21 points off the bench, Lauri Markkanen scored 14, and Valentine added 10 in the Bulls' fourth straight defeat and ninth in 10 as Chicago concluded a winless four-game road swing out West. Pachulia stole the ball from Lopez and drove to the basket as Lopez took him down with 4:25 remaining in the third and Pachulia hit his head on the padded base of the basket. The play went to official review and Lopez received a Flagrant 1 foul. Both teams shot 54 percent in the first quarter, but the Bulls were outscored 45-21 in the second quarter as they went 8-for-25 from the floor. DURANT UPDATE After the Warriors took Thursday (Friday, PHL time) off following the road trip, coach Steve Kerr was called into the training room Friday morning (early Saturday, PHL time) with the update about Durant's status. "He had some soreness in his ankle significant enough to keep him out," Kerr said. TIP-INS Bulls: Chicago is 2-10 in November. ... The Bulls last won at Oracle Arena 113-111 in overtime on Jan. 27, 2015, snapping Golden State's 19-game home winning streak. Warriors: Kerr plans to rest Green from time to time as he sees fit, and had made the decision about a week ago -- then briefly reconsidered with Durant sidelined before sticking with the plan. "It's something I'm going to do periodically during the year. Last year during The Finals I thought there were games where Draymond, we were almost piecing him together," Kerr said. "Because of how hard he plays and because the nature of his game we just need to give him a rest once in a while. I planned this one a week ago." ... Bell played his most minutes, topping his previous best of 12. ... Golden State is 5-0 after losses this season. ... The Warriors are 8-2 against the Eastern Conference, 6-1 at home. ... Two-way G Quinn Cook was back with Golden State from the G League and got a nice look in the blowout. UP NEXT Bulls: Host Miami on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Warriors: Host New Orleans looking for a ninth straight victory in the series and 10th in a row at home......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2017

PH notches win in Tokyo

Struggling big time in the second half on Friday night, Gilas Pilipinas went to its two most reliable guns when the chips were down to score a 77-71 decision of Japan in the first window of their Fiba Asia 2019 World Cup Qualifying series at Komazawa Olympic gym in Tokyo. Jayson Castro and naturalized player Andray Blatche stepped up big and averted a collapse by the Filipinos, who bungled first half command with a lethargic third quarter and even trailed the under-rated Japanese twice before pulling this one out. Castro, voted best point guard in Asia twice, hit five straight points inside the final 1:50 that extended a 70-66 lead to a safe margin as the Filipinos gathered som...Keep on reading: PH notches win in Tokyo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 24th, 2017

European cities battle fiercely for top agencies leaving UK

BRUSSELS --- Brexit is still well over year away but two European cities on Monday will already be celebrating Britain's departure from the European Union. Two major EU agencies now in London -- the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority -- must move to a new EU city because Britain is leaving the bloc. The two prizes are being hotly fought over by most of the EU's other 27 nations. Despite all the rigid rules and conditions the bloc imposed to try to make it a fair, objective decision, the process has turned into a deeply political beauty contest -- part Olympic host city bidding, part Eurovision Song Contest. It will culminate in a secret vote Monday ...Keep on reading: European cities battle fiercely for top agencies leaving UK.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 19th, 2017

France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup, stunning South Africa

ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer LONDON (AP) — France will host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, a year before the Olympic Games in Paris, after surprisingly beating South Africa and Ireland in a vote on Wednesday. The World Rugby Council disregarded the recommendation of an evaluation report to hand the tenth edition of its showpiece tournament to South Africa. A secret vote by member nations instead saw France, which hosted the 2007 World Cup, beat South Africa 24-15 in a second round. "If you look there wasn't a great deal between France and South Africa in the evaluation report," World Rugby president Bill Beaumont said. "It was very close." It means France will host four prestigious sporting events within six years, with golf's Ryder Cup in Paris next year and soccer's Women's World Cup across France in 2019. The French sports ministry said the decision to award it the Rugby World Cup so close to the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris in 2024 "demonstrates the excellence of the French know-how in organizing major sporting events." The Rugby World Cup final is set to be played at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, just outside Paris. Eight other cities that will host matches: Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse. South Africa, which staged the Rugby World Cup in 1995, has now failed with four successive bids to land the tournament again. Fans gathered in the capital Pretoria expecting to celebrate victory in the vote. Instead, some of the crowd, dressed in the colors of the South African flag, was in tears as they watched the announcement from England. "Why has it gone against the recommendation when most of the unions said they would vote with the recommendation?" Joel Stransky, who kicked the dropped goal that won the 1995 final for South Africa against New Zealand, said on SuperSport television. "What is the point of having an independent auditor if you're not even going to take heed of their recommendation?" ___ AP Sports Writers Samuel Petrequin in Paris and Gerald Imray in Cape Town contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2017

Liverpool wins at West Ham to close gap on EPL top five

By Sam Johnston, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — The only member of the English Premier League's top six in action on Saturday, Liverpool took full advantage. Juergen Klopp's side won at West Ham 4-1 to secure successive league victories for the first time since August. Mohamed Salah scored twice, while Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also found the net as Liverpool made light work of West Ham at the Olympic Stadium. The victory took Liverpool level on points with Chelsea and Arsenal, which both face tough challenges on Sunday against top two Manchester United and City, respectively. Third-placed Tottenham meets Crystal Palace. "Two weeks ago I felt quite different. We knew after that game at Tottenham (4-1 defeat) that we were bad," Klopp said. "We wanted to strike back and the boys did with three really nice results." After an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Brighton in its last home league game, West Ham's display did little to relieve the increasing pressure on manager Slaven Bilic. "I definitely don't feel a broken man. I'm very, very strong," Bilic said. "On the other hand, the situation for West Ham is not good." The Hammers dropped to 17th, with just a point separating them from the relegation zone. Here's a look at the action: MANE RETURNS Almost as important as the victory for Liverpool, was the return of Sadio Mane. The Senegal winger missed the last five games after injuring a hamstring on international duty. Mane didn't score, but coming through 77 minutes unscathed with assists for both of Salah's goals vindicated Klopp's decision to start him. "(Playing) Sadio Mane from the beginning after his injury, after yesterday his second session with the team. I never did it before," Klopp said. "Sadio is a naturally fit player, a little machine." The first set-up came as Mane and Salah performed a two-man counterattack, with the latter putting the ball in the net just 13 seconds after West Ham took a corner at the other end. The second was equally impressive as Mane beat two defenders before switching the ball to Salah, who arrowed his finish into the bottom corner. DEBUTANTS EXCELLING Brighton and Huddersfield both won to move into the top half of the standings in their debut league seasons. Brighton extended its unbeaten run to four games by defeating Swansea 1-0 with Glenn Murray scoring for a third consecutive league game. "Eighth has surpassed our expectation, most newly promoted teams would say the same, but we've got to be guarded against any type of complacency," Brighton manager Chris Hughton said. Huddersfield held on for a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion despite playing the final third of the game with 10 men. Christopher Schindler was sent off after receiving a second yellow card, but Rajiv van La Parra's first-half strike was enough. The other promoted team, Newcastle, conceded a last-minute goal to Bournemouth in a 1-0 loss. Steve Cook's injury-time header left Rafael Benitez's side with just one win in its last six. DYCHE STOCK RISES Another overachieving club is Burnley. Sam Vokes scored in the 80th minute to beat Southampton 1-0. Everton is reportedly interested in hiring Sean Dyche away from Burnley after firing manager Ronald Koeman in October. "I've had numerous times when I've been linked with situations and I just continue to see it clearly and that is to work hard at what I do," Dyche said. "There's not a story there. My story is the Burnley story; five years here, another win today, which is a fantastic win, a clean sheet, Southampton away, a place that's been historically very, very tough for us to come and get results - both me as a manager and the club - and we've won 1-0, that's the story." Earlier, Leicester stayed unbeaten under manager Claude Puel while twice wasting the lead in a 2-2 draw with Stoke......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2017

Corruption, doping issues aired at global Olympic meeting

By Karel Janicek, Associated Press PRAGUE (AP) — Allegations of corruption and doping were on the minds of national Olympic leaders at their annual gathering on Thursday. The Association of National Olympic Committees assembly was presided over by Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait in a rare public appearance since being implicated six months ago in an American investigation of bribery linked to FIFA. Senior ANOC official Julio Maglione said its ruling committee "unanimously cleared" the sheikh of wrongdoing, and led delegates in applauding him. Sheikh Ahmad, an influential International Olympic Committee member who skipped recent meetings in Switzerland and Peru, said he was "delighted to continue as sport is my life." Officials met one day after an International Olympic Committee panel investigating an alleged Russian doping conspiracy at the 2014 Sochi Olympics found athletes guilty in its first two cases. The rulings finally upheld claims and evidence about Sochi detailed last year by a Russian whistleblower and World Anti-Doping Agency investigator. IOC President Thomas Bach described the case on Thursday as a "direct attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games." Still, Bach was also forceful in attacking critics of the IOC who have demanded severe sanctions for Russia before case verdicts were reached. "It is unacceptable that specific sanctions are already being demanded in public domain before due process," said Bach, who did not name his target. A group of national anti-doping agencies, including the United States and United Kingdom, wants the IOC to expel Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Bach reiterated on Thursday that a decision on Russia's participation should be taken by the IOC board he chairs at a Dec. 5-7 meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Before then, more verdicts in Sochi doping cases are expected from the IOC panel. The IOC leader said it was a "human right" to get due process and noted: "Always think how you would react if you were alleged of some wrongdoings." Bach's plea for fairness was heard by the watching Sheikh Ahmad, who is under investigation by the ethics committees of the IOC and FIFA. He continues to lead an IOC committee with a $500 million budget to support Olympic bodies and athletes. Since rising to lead ANOC in 2012 as the long-time Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president, Sheikh Ahmad has built his reputation as an Olympic power broker. He has often been dubbed the IOC "kingmaker." The Prague meetings have been the sheikh's highest profile return to sports politics since he was identified in U.S. federal court as paying bribes to gain influence with Asian soccer officials. On April 27, a FIFA audit committee member from Guam pleaded guilty to various corruption charges. In a Brooklyn court, Richard Lai admitted receiving $850,000 in bribes from 2009 to 2014 from a faction of Kuwaiti officials. Some of the money was wired from an OCA account. Sheikh Ahmad was not named in court, though in published transcripts Lai said he knew the money originated from "co-conspirator 2" — also referred to as the OCA president who later became a FIFA executive committee member. Within days, the Kuwaiti royal withdrew from an election to retain his FIFA role while his eligibility as a candidate was under further review. The sheikh denied wrongdoing and has not been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice. However, he did not attend meetings of the full IOC membership in July in Switzerland and in September in Peru, which were key to naming Paris and Los Angeles as future Olympic hosts. On Thursday, he won support from Maglione, the head of swimming governing body FINA whose Kuwaiti vice president was identified as "co-conspirator 3" in Brooklyn court. Maglione says he "took all the requisite action" to dispel doubts about Sheikh Ahmad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2017

Commissioner Narvasa: Let s be a league of rules, not of men

Things in the PBA just got a bit more complicated. Just hours after Rickie Santos was appointed as the league's officer-in-charge, it appears that Chito Narvasa will still end up as Commissioner for the time being. And in a separate press conference Thursday afternoon, Narvasa maintains his position and will not resign from his post. "I'm willing to resign, wala namang problema. But if it's for principle, then I must stay," the Commissioner said. Narvasa says that as long as he's in position, he will fight for the PBA and the Commissioner's office, noting that the Commissioner will not be bullied into submission by those who have power. "I was talking to some of my advisers also, a close friend of mine said I should stay," Narvasa said Monday at the PBA office in Libis. "Why? Tama na to, I can always leave, I'll be okay. Ayaw ko may kaaway, ayaw ko makipagaway. Gusto ko masaya ang tao sa PBA," Narvasa answered. "Sabi nila 'Chito that's not it.' If they can bully the a Commissioner, force him to resign at something they do not like, then the office of the Commissioner will weaken and will always be subject to whoever is most powerful among the team owners. "Yun lang ang pakiusap ko. I hope the people will understand. I hope they understand the principle behind it, I'm fighting for the Office of the Commissioner. Nobody, no matter how powerful, should be able to frighten it, scare it, or threaten it," Narvasa added. After what has been a rather stressful day for the league, status quo remains in the fact that Narvasa is still Commissioner. However, clear battle lines have been drawn with regards to the PBA board. On one side, seven teams have made it known that they want Narvasa out, with their board of representatives filing a resolution not to extend Narvasa's term as Commissioner. Those teams include TNT, Meralco, NLEX, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Blackwater and Phoenix. On the other side, there's the five teams that urged Narvasa to stay put. The teams are San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Globalport, and Kia. In order for Narvasa's term to not be extended, the PBA Board needs 2/3 of the majority to vote for it. That accounts for eight teams. Ultimately, Narvasa says that he will accept his fate at the hands of the PBA Board. However, he just hopes that the proper procedure will be followed before arriving at such decision. "I'm just doing a job here. I know who my bosses are, if 8 of the 12 tell me to leave, then I will leave. No problem, I will follow eh. But who will I follow?" Narvasa said. "Just follow the procedures and stick to the rules. Let's be a league of rules and not of men," the Commissioner added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2017