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Djokovic dominant in return from injury layoff

MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic stopped quickly, abruptly changed directions and stabbed at a full-stretch volley that whizzed past Dominic Thiem for a.....»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarJan 10th, 2018

Nadal reaches 3rd round in straight sets

MELBOURNE, Australia – Rafael Nadal looked on point as he powered into the Australian Open 3rd round with a straight sets victory on Wednesday, January 17, a workout he deemed "very important" on his return from a knee injury. Spain's world No.1 only dropped serve once in a dominant performance as ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Federer joins Djokovic, Sharapova in 2nd round in Australia

By John Pye, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer picked up where he left off at the last Australian Open on a day when Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber and Novak Djokovic ensured there were all kinds of successful comebacks. Defending champion Federer beating Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in a night match, his first on Rod Laver Arena since clinching a career-reviving title here last year. He's been met on court after wins here previously by tennis greats Laver, John McEnroe and Jim Courier. On Tuesday night, he got something different. Comedian Will Ferrell stepped out of the crowd and, slipping into character as Ron Burgundy from the movie Anchorman, conducted the post-match interview. Six-time champion Djokovic and 2014 Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka stuck to business, returning from long injury layoffs with victories in their first matches since Wimbledon. Sharapova barely missed a beat in her first match in Melbourne since a failed doping test in 2016 resulted in a 15-month ban from tennis. One of just two former champions in the women's draw, Sharapova recovered from an early break in the second set and closed out her 6-1, 6-4 victory over Tatjana Maria with an ace at Margaret Court Arena. She celebrated by twirling, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd. "It's been a couple of years since I've been back here — obviously I wanted to enjoy the moment," the 2008 Australian Open champion and three-time runner-up said in an on-court TV interview. Former No. 1-ranked Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open winner, continued her resurgent run with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam to extend her streak to 10 consecutive wins. Her ranking slid into the 20s in 2017, but she's coming back into the kind of form that won her a title in Sydney last week and makes her a strong contender at Melbourne Park. "Something is going on with Australia and me," Kerber said. "I enjoy my stay, play my best tennis." Djokovic tweaked his service motion while recovering from an injured right elbow, and used it to good effect in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Donald Young. Djokovic lost in the second round here last year, but won five of the previous six Australian Open titles. "Obviously I wanted to start with the right intensity, which I have," Djokovic said. "I played perfect tennis, like I never stopped." Wawrinka, who had six months out after surgery on his left knee, beat Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2). No. 4-ranked 4-Alexander Zverev and No. 7 David Goffin advanced, but No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut lost to Fernando Verdasco, a semifinalist here in 2009, and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic lost 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to Lukas Lacko. No. 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the U.S. men with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez. Two other U.S. contenders, No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner, were out on opening day. Madison Keys also reversed a trend, becoming the only one of the four American women who contested the U.S. Open semifinals last September to reach the second round in Australia. Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe were all eliminated on Monday. No. 17-seeded Keys, the runner-up at the U.S. Open, had a 6-1, 7-5 win over Wang Qiang. No. 9 Johanna Konta beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-1 and will meet another American, Bernarda Pera in the second round. The U.S. women had four wins and 14 losses in round one. No. 1-ranked Simona Halep was in serious trouble twice — having to save set points at 5-2 down in the first set, and badly twisting her left ankle early in the second — before beating 17-year-old Australian wild-card entry Destanee Aiava 7-6 (5), 6-1. Halep, who lost back-to-back first-round matches here in the previous two years, will next play Eugenie Bouchard, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist who beat Oceane Dodin 6-3, 7-6 (5). "It's always really cool to go up against the best in the world," Bouchard said. "You use it as a measuring stick. I want to try to play my game and go out there and do some damage." Other seeded players advancing included Wimbledon champion Garbine Mugurza, No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, No. 8 Caroline Garcia, No. 16 Elena Vesnina, and No. 29 Lucie Safarova. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova lost 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 to Andrea Petkovic. Sharapova was banned for after testing positive for the drug meldonium here in 2016, when she reached the quarterfinals, and finished last year ranked No. 60. The five-time major winner will next play No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, who beat her at the U.S. Open last year in her return to a Grand Slam to tournament. After returning in New York, Sharapova is confident she's prepared again for a major. "I felt like I have got a lot of things out of the way physically and emotionally and mentally last year with — there was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely," she said. "But it felt pretty routine today.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Djokovic upbeat after winning comeback match at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia – Six-time champion Novak Djokovic looked his old self as he powered to a convincing first round victory at the Australian Open on Tuesday, January 16, on his return from an elbow injury, saying he felt "great." The 12-time Grand Slam winner, seeded an unfamiliar 14, was too strong for ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Djokovic returns from injury layoff with dominating win

MELBOURNE, Australia --- Novak Djokovic stopped quickly, abruptly changed directions and stabbed at a full-stretch volley that whizzed past Dominic Thiem for a winner. He then turned and beamed. Djokovic is back after the longest injury layoff of his career and he's clearly enjoying himself on the court again. Wearing a compression sleeve on his right arm to protect his troublesome elbow, Djokovic dominated the fifth-ranked Thiem 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday in an exhibition match at the Kooyong Classic, a key tune-up event for next week's Australian Open. Still smiling afterward, Djokovic said he'd had doubts whether he'd be ready to play the first Grand Slam of the year, but the ...Keep on reading: Djokovic returns from injury layoff with dominating win.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

Nadal to play Kooyong exhibition ahead of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia --- Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will make his return from injury at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 15. Nadal joins former No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, a six-time Australian Open champion, in using the Kooyong event to warm up for the year's first Grand Slam tournament. Tournament director Peter Johnston on Sunday said negotiations with Nadal accelerated after the 16-time major winner withdrew from the Brisbane International. "Rafa was looking for match play and of course we were more than happy to oblige," Johnston said. "The addition of both Novak and Rafa changes our schedule and the way we will r...Keep on reading: Nadal to play Kooyong exhibition ahead of Australian Open.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 7th, 2018

Greg Slaughter is the Great Hope

June Mar Fajardo has been the dominant force in the PBA ever since he was drafted first by Petron in 2012. Greg Slaughter, drafted first by Ginebra a year later, was supposed to be his destined rival. However, multiple injuries to Slaughter put a damper to the dreams of the two giants clashing several times in a season but there is hope in 2018. Following a successful return from knee injury that saw him win a Best Player of the Conference award and a championship, it seems like Slaughter is finally healthy enough to be on deck each and every time Ginebra takes on San Miguel. He's the only realy matchup to the now four-time league MVP anyway. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone knows it. Everyone who pays attention to Philippine basketball knows it. Greg Slaughter is the great equalizer, however, Greg Slaughter does not think that way. "I wouldn’t say there’s an individual equalizer," Slaughter said. "We’re more team-oriented, even when we won the championships, we pride ourselves on getting high assists. That’s our calling card, sharing the ball, moving the ball and playing team defense," he added. While he wouldn't acknowledge himself as the equalizer, Slaughter does know that there's more weight on his shoulders now. After a productive comeback in the Governors' Cup, even with import Justin Brownlee, he's expected to be even better now in the All-Filipino. Greg is up for the challenge. "I understand that I have a big responsibility now," he said. "With one conference behind me after my injury I feel like I’m back feeling comfortable with everything. Last conference we won the championship with Justin, that’s great but now that we’re without him, we’ve got to step up and I’m ready to take on that role," Slaughter added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

Nadal to return in Tie Break Tens; Djokovic also playing

MELBOURNE, Australia — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will make his return from injury in the Tie Break Tens event in Melbourne on January 10......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 1st, 2018

Djokovic skips another tournament, elbow still not right

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Novak Djokovic withdrew from another tournament on Saturday, this time his final warm-up event for the Australian Open, saying he still has pain in his right elbow and isn't sure when he will return to action. The elbow problem forced Djokovic to withdraw from an exhibition tournament in United Arab Emirates on Friday. The 30-year-old Serb said Saturday his elbow had not improved and he was going to miss next week's Qatar Open. The tournament in Qatar, where Djokovic is the two-time defending champion, was the last on his schedule before the Australian Open starts on Jan. 15. "Unfortunately, the situation with the elbow has not changed for (the) better since yesterday. I still feel the pain," Djokovic said in a statement. "Only when I'm 100% ready to play, I will be able to come back. I hope it will be soon. I want to thank everyone for (their) patience and understanding." Djokovic will continue with treatment to his elbow after consulting with his medical team, he said. He didn't say what his plans were for the Australian Open in Melbourne, where he has won six of his 12 Grand Slam titles and where he claimed back-to-back titles in 2015-16. Djokovic hasn't played a competitive match since he retired in this year's Wimbledon quarterfinals because of the elbow injury. He was scheduled to meet Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in the semifinals of the exhibition event in UAE on Friday, his first match in nearly five months. Djokovic won three Grand Slam titles in 2015 and another two in 2016, but his performances slipped this year. He was upset in the second round of the Australian Open by No. 117 Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan and went out in the quarterfinals of the French Open. He retired in the last eight at Wimbledon and missed the U.S. Open in an attempt to recover from his elbow injury......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Seahawks beat Cowboys 21-12 in playoff elimination game

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Justin Coleman put Seattle in front for good with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown and the Seahawks won a playoff elimination game against Dallas, beating the Cowboys 21-12 on Sunday in Ezekiel Elliott’s return from a six-game suspension. Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and the Dallas offense didn’t score a touchdown despite the reunion with his backfield mate, the one he shared a remarkable rookie season with a year ago when Cowboys had an NFC-best 13 wins. Now Dallas (8-7) is eliminated from the postseason with the end of its three-game winning streak, and the Seahawks (9-6) still have a chance to keep their five-year playoff streak alive after Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns despite a career-low 93 yards passing. Coleman gave Seattle a 14-9 lead in the third quarter when he reached down to catch Prescott’s badly overthrown pass to Elliott and ran untouched 30 yards for a touchdown. It was the fourth pick-six of the season for Prescott, who threw just four interceptions last season when he was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He has 13 interceptions for the season. The Seahawks were eliminated in the NFC West race by the Los Angeles Rams’ 27-23 win at Tennessee. But they can still make the postseason with some help despite gaining just 136 total yards — their fewest since getting 135 in a 14-9 win over the St. Louis Rams in 2013. Seattle’s first two offensive touchdowns were set up by pass interference penalties in the end zone. The first was a 3-yarder to Jimmy Graham, the second a 6-yarder to Doug Baldwin after running plays backed up the Seahawks both times. The Cowboys, who lost their first three without Elliott before the winning streak, didn’t take it easy on last year’s NFL rushing leader after his six-week layoff, giving him 15 carries for 73 yards in the first half. The longest carry was a 9-yarder as he averaged 4.7 per carry. Elliott finished with 97 yards on 24 carries. But Dallas didn’t give Elliott the ball with a first down at the Seattle 3 when trailing by nine points midway through the fourth quarter. After a Prescott run, a holding penalty on a pass play and the third sack of Prescott, Dan Bailey missed a 34-yarder. Bailey, who had two 51-yarders among his four kicks, missed again in the closing seconds. Dallas receiver Dez Bryant dropped the first pass of the game and was caught on camera on the sideline yelling at former Cowboys receiver Miles Austin, now a staff member. Soon after, he fumbled after making a catch, setting up Wilson’s scoring toss to Graham. Bryant had another ball go off his hands on a throw behind him, and the tipped ball was intercepted by K.J. Wright to wipe out one of several promising Dallas scoring chances. MIMICKING ZEKE Coleman repeated an Elliott antic from last season, when the Dallas running back jumped into the jumbo Salvation Army red kettle after a touchdown on Thanksgiving. Coleman got the same penalty, too — a 15-yarder for unsportsmanlike conduct. WAY BACK The Seahawks had 2 yards passing at halftime thanks in part to DeMarcus Lawrence’s 22-yard sack of Wilson in the first half. Lawrence overpowered Germain Ifedi, forced Wilson to backtrack after he tried scrambling to his right and tackled Wilson as he tried to run away from him at the Seattle 8. GRAHAM MILESTONE Graham’s second-quarter touchdown made him the first NFL tight end with at least 10 scoring catches in a season for two franchises. He did it three times with New Orleans and has 69 career TDs. INJURIES Cowboys: Five-time Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith started despite a right knee injury that kept him out of practice most of the week. He came out after the first series, replaced by Byron Bell. UP NEXT Seahawks: Home against Arizona next Sunday. Cowboys: At Philadelphia next Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2017

Focus more on how long Tiger Woods lasts more than his score

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — One year later, the scene hadn't changed. Jordan Spieth paused on the 17th green and looked across the water to the adjacent fairway at Albany Golf Club as Tiger Woods hit his shot to the ninth green, just like he did last year at the Hero World Challenge. Curiosity is just as high over another return from injury for Woods and how he will fare after a long layoff. What's different about the expectations for this comeback — his fifth since he first had back surgery in the spring of 2014 — is they are more about how long Woods will last than what kind of scores he posts. "He seems more confident this year the way he's walking and talking," Spieth said Wednesday in a whisper, having lost his voice to illness. "He seemed more excited at the Presidents Cup before he was even swinging, more anxious. And it seemed to really bother him that he was following doctor's orders, like he really wanted to get going. So once he was given the go, I think it was exciting for him. "So we're all very interested, as we should be, in how it goes for him this week — and obviously, hoping that's the start." The start of his latest comeback is Thursday against an 18-man field that features eight of the top nine players in the world. It's the first time every shot counts for Woods since a 77 in the Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 3. That was his seventh round in his return. He withdrew the next day, citing back spasms, and had a fourth back surgery in April to fuse two disks in his lower back. Woods reports some stiffness and not as much range in motion. But he says he has no pain. The hype about this return has been fueled by friendly rounds over the last few weeks. Justin Thomas, the PGA Tour player of the year who will be paired with Woods on Thursday, said fans will be "shocked at how good his game looks." Rickie Fowler made a casual reference to how far Woods was driving it past him. Brad Faxon, who played with Woods and Dustin Johnson last Friday in a round with President Donald Trump, said Woods looked at ease and held nothing back in his swing, especially with the driver. Woods had to keep score in his pro-am round Wednesday, and that included a 2 on the 350-yard seventh hole when he drove the green with a breeze at his back and holed a 20-foot putt for eagle. The tournament is unofficial, though it offers world ranking points. Woods is at No. 1,199 in the world, and even if he finishes last, he'll move up more than 200 spots into the top 1,000. That still seems odd for a guy who spent 683 weeks at No. 1 in the world. What enthuses Woods is playing again. "It's been a very long time, and I'm really looking forward to getting out there and playing with Justin and having a good time," Woods said. After that, it will be time to reassess. "I just really want to be able to complete this week, play all four days and give myself a chance on that back nine on Sunday to win this thing," said Woods, whose last victory was more than four years ago at Firestone in the Bridgestone Invitational. He lasted only three starts when he came back from his first back surgery in the summer of 2014. He lasted two starts after he returned at the end of 2014, and then after playing all four majors in 2015, he had a pair of back surgeries. And when he returned from those last year in the Bahamas, he lasted only three events. "My physio was certainly working overtime last year after every day and even in the morning, trying to get me ready to go," Woods said. Woods said the reason his comeback last year was over so quickly was due primarily to the rough at Torrey Pines and not realizing his disk was in bad shape. He said the deceleration in his swing when he hit out of the rough made the injury worse. That's why there's so much emphasis on his health. He looks built to last, or at least last a little longer. And this is the ideal spot for Woods to return. There is no cut. Woods is guaranteed four rounds. Interest is high. Pressure is not. "I think it's an easy week for Tiger as it is for anybody else versus other weeks — not as many people, the golf course doesn't beat you up," Spieth said. "But you can start to see it's actually, I think, pretty important, these end-of-the-year tournaments to kind of set a precedent for next year." That especially holds true for Woods......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2017

Bale set to return to Madrid s squad after injury layoff

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Gareth Bale is expected to make his return to Real Madrid's lineup in a Copa del Rey match this week after being sidelined for more than two months because of injuries. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Monday that the Wales forward has recovered from a left leg muscle injury and will play at least part of Tuesday's match against Fuenlabrada at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Madrid won the first leg 2-0 against the third-division club. Bale hasn't played since Madrid's 3-1 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Sept. 26. Plagued by injuries this season, his latest ailment came in practice while trying to recover from another muscle injury. "He will be with us tomorrow and will play," Zidane said. "But I still don't know for how long he will play. We will see how the match goes." The coach did not say whether the 28-year-old Bale will start or come off the bench. Bale has played only nine matches with Madrid this season, scoring three goals. He missed the final World Cup qualifiers with Wales, which was eventually left out of next year's tournament in Russia. Zidane said he is looking forward to seeing Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema playing together again, although that is not likely to happen on Tuesday. "We will take a look at some of the players from the youth team," Zidane said. "It's important to do that." Ronaldo and many other regular starters were left out of the first leg last month. Zidane said goalkeeper Keylor Navas is fully fit again and will be available for Tuesday's match, as will defensive midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who also had been nursing an injury. Defender Sergio Ramos, who broke his nose in the Spanish league match against Atletico Madrid nearly 10 days ago, has been practicing with a protective mask but will not play Tuesday. In other matches this week, Barcelona defends a 3-0 first-leg win against Murcia, while Atletico Madrid looks to overcome a 1-1 draw against Elche......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

Krajinovic upsets Isner to face Sock in Paris Masters final

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — Qualifier Filip Krajinovic reached the Paris Masters final after upsetting John Isner 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5) on Saturday. Isner was also playing for a berth in the elite eight-man ATP Finals, and that ended, too. Krajinovic slid onto his back and sobbed, his arms raised, after sealing victory on his first match point. The Serb then knelt and kissed the court. "When I served for the match my hand was shaking," Krajinovic said. "It was tough to control the emotions. Best day in my life but the tournament is not over yet." He will play for his first career title against another American, Jack Sock, who comfortably beat Julien Benneteau of France 7-5, 6-2. Sock has never won a Masters title and can qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in London if he does so here. Sock dropped his serve twice but broke Benneteau five times. Sock will go for his third title of the year and fourth of his career. Benneteau is retiring. "I was able to ... play my game, swing big," Sock said. "I'm going to have to bring my A game tomorrow. ... Everyone knows (Krajinovic) is a very talented player and he's showcasing that." Isner didn't hide his disappointment. "I had an opportunity here to do some things (ATP Finals) I've never done before," Isner said. He was a runner-up in Paris last year and again fell short of an elusive first Masters title. "This one is going to sting because I knew I was the highest-ranked player in the semifinals," he said. Krajinovic is the lowest-ranked in a Masters final since 2003, when 191st-ranked Andrei Pavel made it in Paris. The 77th-ranked Krajinovic had won only 17 matches in his whole career — thwarted by injuries — before this tournament. He is also the first qualifier to reach a Masters final since Jerzy Janowicz in 2012, also in Paris. However, he was helped by not having to play his quarterfinal because top-ranked Rafael Nadal pulled out with a right knee injury. Nadal has not said whether he will be fit enough to play in the Finals, starting on Nov. 12. Serving for the first set, Krajinovic held to love. Isner dominated the second-set tiebreaker and leveled the match with an ace. Isner forged a break point at the start of the third set, but missed it with a wasteful forehand. Then he spurned another chance on Krajinovic's serve at 30-40 in the ninth game. "I missed the ball by a few inches," Isner said. "With how well I was serving today, that was essentially a match point." In a tense decisive tiebreaker, Isner led 3-0 but Krajinovic went 5-4 up. Isner's 31st ace tied it but a superb return to Isner's feet on the next point gave Krajinovic match point on his serve. Reaching the final is particularly sweet for a top-10 junior whose promising career was held back by an extra bone in his right wrist that needed treatment, following on from a right shoulder operation in 2011. "I really had big injuries. But I stayed calm," he said. "I knew that one day everything will come back." He hasn't forgotten the support from countryman Novak Djokovic during his injury layoffs. "We are very close friends," Krajinovic said. "He was helping me right after the injuries. He gave me a coach." Nor has he forgotten the sponsors who dropped him when he was down. "I break top hundred a couple years ago and then all of a sudden I have an extra bone in my wrist," he said. "It was mentally really tough because, you know, getting older and older all sponsors said no to me." A whipped forehand winner into an open side of the court was enough for victory, prompting wild celebrations from Krajinovic's coach, Petar Popovic, who was topless as he shook his fists in delight. "We started four months ago and it's going unbelievable," Krajinovic said. "I knew him since I was 10.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2017

Cubs rally past Scherzer, Nationals 2-1, lead NLDS 2-1

em>By Jay Cohen, Associated Press /em> CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo looped a tie-breaking single with two outs in the eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs overcame Max Scherzer's brilliant performance to beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Monday for a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series. Scherzer was dominant in his return from a right hamstring injury, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh. But just like in Game 1, when Chicago was held hitless into the sixth by Stephen Strasburg, the World Series champion Cubs showed off their resilience on the way to a stirring victory. Game 4 of the best-of-five series is Tuesday. Jake Arrieta returns from his own hamstring injury for the Cubs, while Tanner Roark gets the ball for the Nationals. Chicago committed four errors, including two by left fielder Kyle Schwarber on one ugly play, and Rizzo and Jason Heyward each made uncharacteristic baserunning mistakes. But the Cubs got a huge pinch-hit RBI single from Albert Almora Jr. and a solid pitching performance from Jose Quintana in the return of postseason baseball to Wrigley Field after last year's World Series ended in Cleveland. With pinch-runner Leonys Martin on second in the eighth, Rizzo hit a blooper to left off Oliver Perez that found a patch of outfield grass between three Washington fielders. Rizzo stumbled after he took a big turn around first and was tagged out to end the inning, but he didn't seem to care too much, yelling and screaming as the Cubs came out of the dugout for the ninth. All-Star Wade Davis then retired three in a row for his second save of the series. Jayson Werth popped out to Rizzo to end the game. Scherzer struck out seven and walked three before he was pulled after Ben Zobrist doubled to left-center on his 98th pitch for Chicago's first hit with one out in the seventh. With Washington clinging to a 1-0 lead, Nationals manager Dusty Baker opted for left-hander Sammy Solis, who had a 5.88 ERA during the regular season, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon countered by sending Almora to hit for the lefty-batting Schwarber. Mark this one down for Maddon, who drew some criticism after he allowed Carl Edwards Jr. to pitch to Bryce Harper in the eighth in Game 2 and the slugger responded with a two-run homer. Almora lined a 3-2 pitch into left-center for his first career postseason hit in 15 at-bats. Almora yelled and pounded his chest after rounding first and the crowd of 42,445 cheered wildly. Heyward followed with another base hit, but was inexplicably doubled off first on Addison Russell's fly ball to a hustling Michael A. Taylor in center, ending the inning. While Scherzer mowed down the Cubs, Quintana worked on his own gem in his first career playoff appearance. Helped by terrific running grabs by Heyward in right and Jon Jay in center, the veteran left-hander carried a two-hit shutout into the sixth. With two outs in the inning, Daniel Murphy lofted a fly ball to left that Schwarber dropped and then flubbed again when he tried to pick it up. The two errors put Murphy on third, and Maddon was booed as he went to the mound to pull Quintana in favor of Pedro Strop. Ryan Zimmerman followed with an RBI double into the gap in right-center, giving Washington the lead. The All-Star slugger also had one of the big blows in Game 2, hitting a tiebreaking three-run homer in the Nationals' 6-3 victory. Schwarber's costly play was part of a strange day in the field for the Cubs. Quintana and Zobrist also committed an error, but Russell made a spectacular diving stop on Taylor's grounder to shortstop in the seventh and Zobrist robbed Trea Turner of a hit with a solid play at second in the eighth. strong>FUNNY GUYS /strong> Actors and brothers Bill and Joel Murray led the crowd in the singing of 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' during the seventh-inning stretch. Bill Murray fired up the crowd of 42,445 by pumping his right arm as they finished off the song. strong>UP NEXT /strong> Roark is from Wilmington, Illinois, about 60 miles south of Chicago, and grew up rooting for the Cubs. The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in five career games at Wrigley Field. 'It's pretty surreal to pitch in Wrigley, and just the history that they have here and everything,' he said. 'It's very exciting and I'm anxious to get out there.' Arrieta hasn't pitched in a game since he lasted just three innings in a loss at St. Louis on Sept. 26. But he said he is 100 percent for his eighth career playoff start. 'From this point on, it seems like it's going to be a non-issue for us now,' he said. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 10th, 2017

Coutinho is back but problems run deeper at Liverpool

em>By Steve Douglas, Associated Press /em> LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Philippe Coutinho's belated return to the Liverpool team adds an extra layer of ingenuity to a forward line that promises to be one of the most thrilling in European soccer this season. Entertainment is unlikely to be in short supply at Anfield now that the front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah will be prompted from midfield by Coutinho, who has been reintegrated after his unsettling offseason when he was wooed by Barcelona. However many goals they score, though, Liverpool seems destined to be debilitated by its frailty at the back. Whether it's a collective problem — as manager Juergen Klopp is suggesting — or individuals simply making bad decisions or mistakes, Liverpool doesn't have the defense to make a realistic challenge for major honors this season. This past week, Liverpool has lost 5-0 at Manchester City, albeit after being down to 10 men for more than half the game, and then ruined a dominant performance against Sevilla in the Champions League by giving away two sloppy goals in a 2-2 draw. There are legitimate concerns starting with the goalkeepers and going right across the defensive line, and they have been there from the moment Klopp took over in October 2015. It was odd, then, that he chose to sign only one defender during the transfer window, left back Andrew Robertson from relegated Premier League team Hull for 8 million pounds ($10.7 million). Robertson has played only one game so far this season. Would things have been different had Liverpool managed to sign Southampton center back Virgil van Dijk, its much-publicized top defensive target? Klopp doubts it. 'I know here you're always looking for this thing about the defense ... that these problems will have been sorted with one player — it was mentioned we put all our money together and do this,' Klopp said after the Sevilla game. 'It's not about this. It's about being dominant and losing a little bit of concentration, the grip of the game that you do not have in all defensive moments.' The issues are clear to see. Klopp has rotated his two goalkeepers, Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, in the last four matches, continuing the long-held uncertainty in that position. At center back, Joel Matip is good on the ball but not a commanding presence at set pieces or under the high ball, while Dejan Lovren can be clumsy and error-prone, as shown against Sevilla when he completely missed an attempted clearance to allow a tap-in goal in the fifth minute. At left back, Alberto Moreno can be an attacking threat but a defensive liability, and Robertson is inexperienced on this stage. At right back, youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold (18) and Joe Gomez (20) have bright futures but can be caught out in behind them. Of the so-called 'Big 6' in the Premier League in Klopp's time in England, Liverpool had the leakiest defense in the 2015-16 season and only Arsenal conceded more goals last season. The neutral will want Klopp to keep things as they are, starting with the home match against Burnley in the league on Saturday. Liverpool is arguably the most exciting team to watch in the Premier League, with opportunities popping up regularly at both ends. The team's first-half performance in the Sevilla game was so exhilarating that Liverpool's fans gave the players a standing ovation as they went off for halftime. Throw the returning Coutinho into the mix, and Adam Lallana when he is back from a thigh injury maybe next month, and Liverpool's attacking options are seemingly limitless. It's what happens at the other end, however, that could decide the Reds' fate this season. Here's what else to watch out for this weekend in the Premier League: ___ strong>ROONEY'S RETURN /strong> On Sunday, Wayne Rooney makes his first return to Old Trafford since leaving Manchester United to rejoin boyhood club Everton. Rooney spent 13 trophy-filled years at United and is the club's record scorer with 253 goals, yet seemingly isn't held in the same regard as United's great names of the past like Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs. United midfielder Jesse Lingard predicted Rooney will receive a good reception, saying: 'He's a legend at the club and we will always welcome him back.' United leads on goal difference after collecting 10 points from a possible 12. Everton has scored only two goals in four games this season, Rooney grabbing both of them. ___ strong>HODGSON'S FIRST GAME /strong> Fifteen months after leaving the England job, Roy Hodgson is back in management after taking over at Crystal Palace. Palace fired Frank de Boer after only four league games, with the team in last place and yet to score a goal in four straight losses. Hodgson's first game in charge is at home to Southampton on Saturday.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 15th, 2017

Meralco spoils Devance’s return with win over Ginebra

BOCAUE --- Joe Devance would have liked to mark his return from a foot injury with a victory. After all, his first game this season was interestingly at Philippine Arena, the site of Ginebra's 2017 Governors' Cup triumph last October, and against their Finals foes in Meralco. But the Bolts had other plans as they came away with an 84-82 win on Sunday night. "I'm just disappointed that we lost, especially since it's my first game back," Devance said. The most important thing is that Devance is slowly but surely getting himself back to his old form. "I'm okay. I still have quite a bit to go," he said after playing for 18 minutes and finishing with four points, three rebo...Keep on reading: Meralco spoils Devance’s return with win over Ginebra.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2018

Manabat, Kanda lead Foton in opening day win

Games Tuesday (Bacoor Sports Center) 4:15 p.m. —- SLR vs Generika-Ayala 7:00 p.m. -— Cocolife vs Cignal   Dindin Manabat announced her return on a sizzling note as she powered Foton to a 25-19, 22-25, 25-16, 25-22 victory over Generika-Ayala in the opening salvo of the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City. Sidelined with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury last year, the power-hitting Manabat led the Tornadoes' furious run in the third and fourth sets to emerge victorious. Manabat fired eight kills and a game-high five aces to finish with 14 points, while American import Brooke Kanda delivered 17 attacks and two blocks to finish with 21 points for the Tornadoes, who are looking for a rebound after losing the Grand Prix crown to F2 Logistics last year. Canadian reinforcement Elizabeth Wendel tallied 11 points in her debut. Foton lost the battle in the attack zone, 42-44, but it ruled the blocking department, 8-2, and had more aces, 13-6, to underscore their dominance in the match that lasted for one hour and 36 minutes. Still, new head coach Rommel Abella stressed that they are still far from gaining their championship form. “If I’ll put a number on it, I think around 60 to 70 percent pa lang,” said Abella, who took over the slot left by Serbian coach Moro Branislav. “We’re still a bit stiff and jittery. Hopefully, we could eliminate all the mistakes we had. Anyway, this is still a very good start,” he said. Abella added that although he was expecting more from their imports, the collective effort of the Tornadoes was enough to carry them through. “We were expecting a little more,” he said. “But since this is just their first game here in the Philippines, their performance was still acceptable. Hopefully, they can provide us with a little more offense in our next game.” But the day obviously belonged to Manabat. Looking fit and deadly after 10 months of rehabilitation and therapy, Manabat was impressive on both ends, especially in the third set where the Tornadoes erected a 12-point advantage, 20-8, to clinch the set victory and build enough momentum for the deciding set. The Lifesavers hung around and tried to extend the game to a fifth set, 21-23, but Manabat scored on a sharp kill to claim the match point, 24-21, before Kranda connected a strong hit to seal the victory. “All Dindin needs was mind-setting,” said Abella. “We always ask the PT (physical therapist) about the status of her injury and they always say that it’s a hundred percent healed. So, it's a good thing she stepped up in this game.” Darlene Ramdin of Trinidad and Tobago finished with 19 points while Symone Hayden of United States added seven markers for the Lifesavers, who were off to a slow start under the tutelage of new head coach Sherwin Meneses......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2018

Ceres Negros wins 9-0 in 2018 AFC Cup opener

Three players scored twice while two others chipped in as well to power Bacolod-based football club Ceres Negros FC to a resounding 9-0 win over Cambodia's Boeung Ket Angkor to open their 2018 AFC Asian Cup campaign, Tuesday evening at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod.  Japanese forward Takumi Uesato opened the floodgates for Ceres Negros, so to speak, as he was the first to get on the board with a goal in the 15th minute.  Four minutes later, Spanish striker Bienve Marañon made it a 2-0 advantage for the home team.  Uesato and Marañon would each score one more time, to make it a comfortable 4-0 advantage in just 29 minutes of action.  OJ Porteria found the back of the net in the 31st minute to make it a 5-0 scoreline even before the midgame break.  As if The Busmen needed any more help on the offensive end, Boeung Ket Angkor defender Sun Sovannarith kicked the action off in the second half with an own goal in the 58th minute to make it a 6-0 lead for the Pinoy side.  Skipper Carlie De Murga and substiture Manny Ott both added a goal each, in the 64th and 81st minutes respectively, while Porteria scored once more to put the final touch with five minutes left in regulation.  The dominant win puts the inaugural PFL champions at the top of the standing in Group F with a win and three points. Singapore's Home United sits at second with an identical one win and three point-standing, while Shan United and Boeung Ket Angkor round out the group, each with a loss.  Ceres Negros return to action on February 27th when they head to Singapore for a showdown with Home United at the Jalan Besar Stadium. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

Another win for delirious Philly: Embiid, Sixers top Wizards

By Aaron Bracy, Associated Press PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and the 76ers helped the city of Philadelphia continue to celebrate by leading from start to finish in a 115-102 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Dario Saric added 20 points and J.J. Redick had 18 for the 76ers, who snapped Washington's five-game winning streak while playing in front of a raucous crowd still in a tizzy over the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots. Bradley Beal scored 30 points for the Wizards, who lost their first game since fellow All-Star John Wall had arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome left knee. It looked like half the crowd was clad in Eagles green, and fans broke out into several loud chants of "E-A-G-L-E-S!" as the party continued 48 hours after Philadelphia won its first Lombardi Trophy. Fans gave a standing ovation to Eagles offensive linemen Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski and Jason Peters when they rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell before tipoff. The 76ers seemed to feed off the emotion. Philadelphia took control early, scoring 22 of the first 29 points, and led by as many as 22 in the opening half before settling for a 65-55 halftime lead. The 76ers pushed the advantage to 19 points on Embiid's three-pointer that made it 78-59 with just under nine minutes left in the third. Washington again pulled within 10 points, 94-84, at the end of the period. But Embiid's outside shooting gave Philadelphia breathing room again when his three-pointer from the top of the key made it 100-84 with 10:16 left. The Wizards managed to get within single digits in the final five minutes, but they never seriously threatened. TIP-INS Wizards: Washington had its streak of getting at least 25 assists snapped at six games. ... Wall is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks. ... Washington shot 26 percent (7-for-27) from three-point range. 76ers: Embiid and Justin Anderson attended Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) Super Bowl, alternately watching the game from a suite and the stands. ... In addition to the offensive linemen, Eagles cheerleaders and mascot Swoop helped rile up the crowd. ... Philadelphia will play its next four games at home and doesn't hit the road until Feb. 22 (Feb. 23, PHL time) at Chicago. FULTZ SPEAKS Philadelphia rookie Markelle Fultz told TNT's Caron Butler during an in-game interview that he expects to be a better player upon his return from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him for the majority of the season. Fultz's return has been clouded in mystery and the first-round pick's well-documented struggles reclaiming his jump shot have caused concern within and outside the organization. Head coach Brett Brown repeatedly has said that there is no timetable for Fultz's return and, as an injured player, the club doesn't make him available to local reporters for interviews. But Fultz spoke with optimism to Butler. "It's been a slow process," he said. "It's been tough, but at the end of the day I know it's going to make me better." UP NEXT Wizards: Host Boston on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). 76ers: Host New Orleans on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2018

Magic withstand late Miami rally for rare road win

MIAMI (AP) — Mario Hezonja scored 20 points, Jonathon Simmons made the tie-breaking dunk with 1:31 remaining, and the Orlando Magic beat the Miami Heat 111-109 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). The Heat appeared to tie the game after Tyler Johnson was credited with a basket when Orlando's Bismack Biyombo was called for goaltending with 2.8 seconds remaining. A video review overturned the call. Starting for the injured Aaron Gordon, Hezonja shot 7-of-14 from the field and 4-of-9 three-pointers as the Magic won their third road game in the last 24. Marreese Speights' consecutive three-pointers capped a 12-2 surge and his second one extended Orlando's lead to 99-89 with 11 minutes remaining. Speights finished with 12 points. The Magic withstood a 16-2 Miami run late in the fourth quarter. Josh Richardson's layup with 2:53 remaining tied it at 109. Richardson scored 20 points for Miami. Hassan Whiteside added 19 and Justise Winslow finished with 16. Simmons and D.J. Augustin scored 16 points apiece for Orlando. Evan Fournier finished with 13 points. The Heat have now started their last two homestands with losses against the last-place teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences in Orlando and Sacramento. The Heat struggled from the perimeter in the first half as they went 0 for 12 in three-point attempts. But 16 points in the paint helped Miami build a 29-17 lead in the first quarter. Consecutive three-pointers from Simmons keyed a 10-2 run in the final 1:13 of the second quarter that got the Magic within 60-59 at halftime. TIP-INS Magic: Leading scorer Gordon missed his fourth consecutive game because of a strained left hip flexor. The injury also forced Gordon to withdraw from the Slam Dunk contest during All-Star weekend. Gordon participated in the previous two Slam Dunk contests. Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell will replace Gordon. Heat: Kelly Olynyk left with a left shoulder strain midway through the first quarter and didn't return. Olynyk fell hard to the floor after positioning for a charging foul on Biyombo. . Olynyk was scoreless, ending a streak of 11 consecutive games in double figures. . Miami made 20 free throws in the first two periods, a season high for a half. UP NEXT Magic: Host Cleveland on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Heat: Host Houston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

UAAP 80 VOLLEYBALL: Hindi totoo ang sinasabi nila -- Laure on rumors circulating about her decision to skip Season 80

Injured University of Sto. Tomas star EJ Laure broke her silence two months after her decision to sit out the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The Season 77 Rookie of the Year watched the Tigresses’ opening-day match against defending back-to-back champion De La Salle University at the MOA Arena from the sidelines with a sling on her right hand. UST dropped a five-setter, 20-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-15, 8-15, decision. Laure and UST announced last December that Laure will sit out her supposedly fourth playing year to rest and fully recover from a chronic right shoulder injury. But rumors of her absence circulated on social media. Some speculations was that of academic difficulties, some about her intentionally redshirting to be able to play alongside sister Eya for two seasons while a malicious angle of her being pregnant also circulated.         “Siyempre siguro tao din naman sila, meron silang sariling opinyon. Hindi ko naman maiiwasang wag sabihin sa kanila na, 'wag, 'di ganoon. Sa kanila na rin 'yun,” said Laure, who was with rumored boyfriend Kapamilya teen star Bugoy Carino. “Ewan ko kasi parang hindi naman totoo 'yung sinasabi nila and nasa kanila na lang ‘yun, kung ano gusto nilang sabihin,” she added. “Kasi siyempre tao din naman sila, may sarili silang opinyon.” Laure cleared that she has been nursing a shoulder injury since last season and she decided to skip a year to fully recover and heal. “Di ba last year parang nagpa-injection ako. After noon, ilang days pa lang, umalis agad kami for Thailand. So hindi ako nakapag-therapy kasi di ba sa Thailand, sunod-sunod 'yung training namin,” said Laure, who last played for Foton Tornadoes during the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix last December.  “Nu’ng (PSL) AFC (All-Filipino Conference) lang siya sobrang na-feel ko 'yung pain ulit.” For now, Laure has no timetable yet on her return to action. “Depende pa kasi sa sasabihin ng doctor ko kung kelan pwede, kelan niya ako papayagan,” she said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2018