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Arsenal loses to Man City as Spurs go 5th with Man U drawing

LONDON (AP) — Tottenham is enjoying a resurgence in the Premier League, while Arsenal and Manchester United are wilting. Only four points now separate the teams in the Premier League but their recent fortunes have been very different. Jose Mourinho has overseen Tottenham's climb from 14th to fifth. Jan Vertonghen's late goal extended Mourinho's start to four wins out of five by sealing a 2-1 victory at Wolverhampton on Sunday, taking the north London club above the hosts. Manchester United is a point and a place behind Tottenham after being held 1-1 by a struggling Everton, deflating the mood at Old Trafford after back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Manchester City. Pep Guardiola's City returned to form on Sunday assisted by the collapse of Arsenal's defense, winning 3-0 at a team under the struggling temporary command of Freddie Ljungberg. A hat trick of titles seems to be beyond City's players even before the halfway point of the season, with Liverpool 14 points ahead of them at the summit. But the defending champions are now four points behind second-place Leicester, which was held 1-1 by Norwich on Saturday. DE BRUYNE EXCELS At the Emirates Stadium, Gabriel Martinelli came close to putting Arsenal in front before City raced up the other end to take the lead inside 90 seconds of the game. Kyle Walker surged forward before playing in Gabriel Jesus, who squared for Kevin De Bruyne to finish exquisitely from just inside the penalty area. The lead was doubled in the 15th minute when City launched a counterattack after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dispossessed, ending with De Bruyne crossing for the unmarked Sterling to tap in at the back post. Things went from bad to worse for Ljungberg and his players as De Bruyne struck again in the 40th while Arsenal were a man short. Sead Kolasinac had hobbled off after being unable to recover from an ankle knock but, with substitute Bukayo Saka not ready to make an entrance, City capitalized on the advantage and De Bruyne turned the ball home from the edge of the box. De Bruyne was almost celebrating a first-half hat trick of tremendous goals only for Bernd Leno to make a stunning save as he sent the latest shot onto the post. Arsenal's plight was summed up in the second half when Mesut Ozil was substituted and the playmaker kicked his gloves along the touchline. Arsenal has now taken only four points from four league games since since Ljungberg was installed as the temporary replacement for the fired Unai Emery. “It needs to be cleared up so everybody knows,” Ljungberg said of the managerial uncertainty. “That is something I've said, but it is totally up to the club. I'm very honored and I've tried to do things as good as I can, but I think as well it would be good to make a decision regardless of what it is.” TOTTENHAM TRIUMPH Tottenham has shown its north London rival how to make a managerial change and reap the benefits. Lucas Moura put Spurs ahead at Wolves in the eighth minute after a jinking run. Adama Traore's 20-yard strike in the 67th looked to have secured a point for the hosts until Vertonghen headed home Christian Eriksen's stoppage-time corner. Spurs were 12 points behind fourth-place Chelsea when Mourinho replaced the fired Maurico Pochettino less than a month ago. Chelsea visits Tottenham next Sunday only three points ahead in fourth. FERGUSON IMPACT Duncan Ferguson followed up beating Chelsea in his first game as interim Everton manager by grabbing a point at United. Victor Lindelof's own-goal gave Everton a first-half lead but Mason Greenwood grabbed a 77th-minute equalizer. It was frustrating for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a week after winning at Man City. “Today is not a big step backwards," said Solskjaer, marking almost a year after replacing Mourinho at Old Trafford. "It's more of a standstill, not improving.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports12 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

Chinese TV pulls Arsenal game coverage after Ozil criticism

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Chinese television pulled coverage of Arsenal's Premier League match against Manchester City on Sunday after Mesut Ozil, a forward for the London club, criticized Beijing's brutal mass crackdown on ethnic Muslims in the country. China is the Premier League's most lucrative overseas broadcast market, with the rights sold for $700 million in a three-year deal that runs through 2022. But instead of the sports channel of Chinese state television showing Ozil featuring in Arsenal's 3-0 loss to City, it scheduled a delayed recording of Tottenham's 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton from earlier Sunday, according to information from the network. Streaming service PPTV.com also also canceled a feed of Arsenal's match which featured Ozil for almost an hour before he was substituted amid cheers and some jeers from his own fans. Ozil reacted by kicking his gloves on the touchline. “How he reacts is up to him and I'll deal with it,” interim Arsenal manager Freddie Ljungberg said. “We'll see what it means for the future but of course we want players to behave the right way.” Ljungberg would not discuss the specifics of Ozil's social media post from Friday which embroiled Arsenal in controversy in China. “The China thing is political," Ljungberg said, “and I’ll leave that to the club.” Arsenal used a post on Chinese social media network Weibo to dissociate itself from Ozil's action. “The content he expressed is entirely Ozil's personal opinion,” the north London club said. “As a football club, Arsenal always adheres to the principle of not being involved in politics.” Ozil added to condemnation of the detention of more than 1 million Uighurs and other minorities in so-called reeducation camps in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang, where they are subjected to political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and food deprivation, as well as denial of religious and linguistic freedom. A social media post from Ozil on Friday denounced China for burning Qurans, closing mosques and the killing of religious scholars. The Arsenal player complained that “Muslims stay quiet.” The Chinese Football Association expressed "great indignation and disappointment" at Ozil's comments, according to the Global Times newspaper published by the ruling Communist Party. China's government increasingly uses the threat of loss of access to the country's growing market as leverage to try to control what companies, universities and others say or do abroad about political issues. Arsenal will be hoping to avoid the backlash faced by the Houston Rockets earlier this year after the NBA team's general manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, angering fans and officials in China. The tweet was deleted soon after it was posted, and Rockets owner and billionaire casino and restaurant owner Tilman Fertitta quickly rebuked his GM with a tweet saying that Morey does not speak for the team. The tweet caused some Chinese corporations to suspend relationships with the NBA. There is a growing a backlash in China against Ozil, who is Muslim of Turkish descent. “I think he is very wrong," lawyer Chen Wangshu said in Beijing. “As a sportsman, his most important responsibility is to do his job well, or to play good football.” In 2018, Ozil quit Germany’s national team following criticism over his decision to pose for a picture with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “He should be responsible for his career and refrain from making any comment raising and inciting anger in other nations," Chen said......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports12 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

Benzema scores on last kick as Madrid draws 1-1 at Valencia

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Karim Benzema scored with the final kick of the match to snatch a 1-1 draw for Real Madrid at Valencia in the Spanish league on Sunday. The draw wasted a chance for Madrid to take the outright lead. Second-place Madrid is level on points with league leader Barcelona before the teams meet in their "clásico" at Camp Nou on Wednesday. Thibaut Courtois played a key role in Benzema’s goal when the Belgium goalkeeper joined the attack on a corner kick five minutes into stoppage time. Thibaut rose to connect with a powerful header that his counterpart Jaume Domenech batted down into the crowded box, where it reached Benzema to smash it home. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane rested holding midfielder Casemiro, who has four yellow cards and would have risked a suspension if he had played. Federico Valverde took the Brazilian’s place and had the game’s first scoring chance when he combined quick passes with Benzema before forcing Domenech to get low. Madrid was also without injured left backs Marcelo and Ferland Mendy, and Zidane had to employ the little-used Nacho Fernández, a central defender, on the left side of his back line. Madrid dominated the first half hour, working several flowing passing combinations to get into firing range. Valencia held firm thanks to holding midfielder Francis Coquelin until playmaker Dani Parejo shifted the action into a back-and-forth exchange. Rising talent Ferrán Torres had a great opportunity for the hosts just after halftime on the break, only for Courtois to close in fast and snuff out his attempt. Zidane sent on Gareth Bale and Vinicius Junior with just over 20 minutes left to take advantage of the open space. But it was Valencia that broke the stalemate when Daniel Wass spotted Carlos Soler on a team break. Soler coolly fired in Wass’ pass after teammates had drawn off the backtracking defenders to take the lead in the 78th. STREAK OVER Villarreal ended Sevilla’s eight-match unbeaten run in the Spanish league with a 2-1 away win, leaving the hosts four points behind Barcelona and Real Madrid. Sevilla had equalized and was pressing for a second when Villarreal got its second goal against the flow of play. Moi Gómez responded to Manuel Trigueros' run behind the defense with a lobbed pass that the midfielder controlled with his back to the net. Trigueros then stayed calm as goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik rushed off his line before passing for the unmarked Toko Ekambi to get the 74th-minute winner. Munir El Haddadi had canceled out Raúl Albiol’s header for Villarreal when the Sevilla forward rifled in a cross from Sergio Reguilón in the 61st. The win was Villarreal’s first in seven rounds. BACK IN FORM Getafe got goals from Ángel Rodríguez and Marc Cucurella to beat Valladolid 2-0 and move past Atlético Madrid into fourth place. After only one win in its first seven games, José Bordalás has got Getafe back to its good form from last season. The modest Madrid-based club is in contention for a Champions League berth after seven wins, two draws and one loss in its last 10 games. STILL WINLESS Last-place Espanyol remained without a victory at its stadium in nine games after a 2-2 draw against Real Betis. Betis got its opening goal from Borja Iglesias. Both Iglesias and Betis coach Joan “Rubi” Ferrer helped Espanyol earn a Europa League berth last season before changing clubs. Despite remaining five points from safety, Espanyol coach Pablo Machín was pleased by his team’s fightback from an early deficit to take a 2-1 lead before conceding a second goal to Betis’ Marc Bartra. “The point has more value than just a number. Today’s match shows us the way forward,” Machín said. RELEGATION FIGHT Ante Budimir scored for Mallorca with seven minutes left to earn a 2-2 draw at struggling Celta Vigo. The point allowed promoted Mallorca to stay just above Celta, which is in the drop zone......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports12 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

Lefty Madison Bumgarner, D-backs reach $85M, five-year deal

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Longtime Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has reached agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks on an $85 million, five-year contract that ends his run of success in San Francisco, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the 2014 World Series MVP still needed to pass a physical to complete the contract. Bumgarner pitched 11 seasons for the Giants but knew his time likely had ended. He bid farewell along with retiring manager Bruce Bochy on the season's final day. The Giants said during the winter meetings this past week in San Diego they had remained in contact with representatives for the 30-year-old Bumgarner, who helped them win World Series titles in 2010, ‘12 and ’14. The seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers also were among the clubs interested in signing the free agent. Bumgarner went 9-9 with a career-high 3.90 ERA in 34 starts last season. The lefty has been especially valuable in postseason play — he is 4-0 with a memorable Game 7 save and an 0.25 ERA in World Series play, and has pitched two shutouts in NL wild-card games. ___ AP Sports Writer John Marshall in Phoenix contributed to this report......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports12 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

Mbappe scores 2 as PSG moves 7 points clear; Depay injured

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain moved seven points clear at the top of the French league with a resounding 4-0 win at 10-man Saint-Etienne on Sunday. Midfielder Leandro Paredes scored his first PSG goal before Mbappe's brace took his club career tally to a whopping 102 a few days before his 21st birthday. An eventful game saw Neymar hold his head in his hands after a rare penalty miss, and the ultra-efficient Mauro Icardi scored yet another clinical goal. In Lyon, star striker Memphis Depay and midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide were coming to terms with serious knee injuries that could keep them out for the rest of the season. Both players ruptured knee ligament during a 1-0 home defeat to fourth-place Rennes. Saint-Etienne played 65 minutes with 10 men after midfielder Jean-Eudes Aholou’s sending off. It proved an easy win for Thomas Tuchel's side, which has played one game less than second-place Marseille approaching the midseason winter break next weekend. As Mbappe ran through and smacked the ball into the bottom left corner in the 90th, Saint-Etienne fans were in raucous party mode. Flares were lit and fireworks let off. The referee blew full time straight from the restart, choosing not to play any additional time. He had interrupted the game for about a minute early in the second half to let smoke from flares dissipate. A fan group at Saint-Etienne was celebrating its 20th anniversary and notified the club, referee and stewards know beforehand with the game passing off peacefully. Paredes netted with a volley from the edge of the penalty area in the 10th, with Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier beaten by a deflection off a defender. Saint-Etienne’s chances were severely reduced when Aholou was sent off in the 25th for a crude two-footed lunge on Paredes. After Mbappe had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, Ruffier twice made fine saves from Neymar. Mbappe read Neymar’s first-time pass well and fired the ball under Ruffier's body in the 44th. Ruffier denied Neymar twice with his legs and PSG winger Angel Di Maria hit the post — within 10 minutes of the second half. After Neymar was tripped by Mathieu Debuchy, he sent Ruffier the wrong way from the spot but the ball hit the right post in the 62nd. The ice-cool Icardi confirmed his status as PSG’s new arch-poacher in the place of Edinson Cavani, adroitly clipping home a half-volley at the back post from left back Layvin Kurzawa’s cross in the 74th. RISING STAR, INJURED STAR Eduardo Camavinga scored an accomplished late goal as Rennes won 1-0 at Lyon to move up to fourth place. The injuries to Depay and Reine-Adelaide overshadowed 17-year-old Camavinga's latest stellar performance. He shot to prominence with an outstanding performance against PSG in August. Then age 16, he set up a goal and demonstrated a staggering range of passing as he pulled the midfield strings in a 2-1 win. Now he is celebrating his first league goal, and the way he took it will only have served to remind Europe's leading clubs what a precocious talent Rennes has in its team. The goal came in the 89th minute after he collected a pass wide on the left. Camavinga advanced confidently at pace toward goal, with his head up. Drawing center half Joachim Andersen out of the penalty area, Camavinga cut past him with a sudden change of direction, then held off two other defenders before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and in off the left post. Rennes is one point behind third-place Lille, having played one game less. Lyon slipped down to eighth spot after a second straight home defeat. Also Sunday, seventh-place Bordeaux lost 1-0 against Strasbourg, with striker Ludovic Ajorque netting for the visitors in the 11th minute. It was Ajorque's sixth goal of the season and moved the Alsace-based side up to 13th place......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports12 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

Pacers beat Hornets 107-85 for 3rd straight victory

By Phillip B. Wilson, Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Reserve guard Aaron Holiday scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter in the Indiana Pacers’ 107-85 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Holiday was a point shy of his career high set a month ago at Brooklyn. The Hornets rallied to cut Indiana’s lead to 70-66 entering the final quarter before Holiday and the Pacers pulled away again for their third straight victory. Doug McDermott, a reserve guard who had not scored through three quarters, helped spark the late surge with a pair of 3-pointers. By the time Holiday hit his second 3-pointer of the game, the Pacers had a 93-75 lead with 4:54 remaining. Pacers center Myles Turner had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Domantas Sabonis added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Cody Zeller, a Hoosier native who typically plays well in front of family and friends, had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte. He accounted for eight of the team’s 20 points in the opening quarter. A 19-2 run pushed the Pacers’ early advantage to 33-20 by the end of the first quarter. After missing an initial shot, Turner made four consecutive attempts, including one from beyond the arc. TIP-INS Hornets: Terry Rozier, who entered with a 17.1-point average, had three points on 1-of-12 shooting. Pacers: Sabonis, in his first season as a full-time starter, had his 22nd double-double — the second-most in the NBA. UP NEXT Hornets: Host Sacramento on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Pacers: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports12 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

Tiger Woods and US team rally to win Presidents Cup again

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — High emotions, fierce hugs from Tiger Woods, this time as a winner both ways in the Presidents Cup. Woods capped off a big year that began with his 15th major at the Masters by playing and leading his U.S. team to another victory in the Presidents Cup on Sunday at Royal Melbourne. The first playing captain in 25 years, he opened the 12 singles matches by beating Abraham Ancer to set the Presidents Cup record with his 27th match victory, and set the tone for the rest of his team. The scoreboard was filled with American red scores all day as they rallied from a two-point deficit to win the Presidents Cup for the eighth straight time against an International team that faltered at the worst time. Matt Kuchar delivered the clinching putt, a 5-footer for birdie that assured him a halve against Louis Oosthuizen and gave the Americans the 15 1/2 points they needed to win. “For us to be in a hole, to come back and win this thing ... to win it as a team, but to do it with Tiger Woods as our captain was just a huge thrill,” Kuchar said. They result was 16-14, and at least this one was a contest. The U.S. victory two years ago at Liberty National was so resounding that it nearly ended on Saturday. International captain Ernie Els was determined to turn it around. He created a new logo for the International team. He relied heavily on analytics. It still wasn't enough. “I followed a plan, and it didn't quite work out, but we came damn close,” Els said. “If you compare our team on paper with other teams in other sport, you would have laughed us out of the building. But we gave it a hell of a go and we came mightily close to winning and upsetting one of the greatest golf teams of all time.” Els thought back to Friday, when the Americans won two matches with birdies on the 18th hole and rallied to halve another to keep the International lead from growing. On Sunday, all he saw was U.S. momentum that couldn't be stopped. “We gave you everything we had," Els said to Woods at the closing ceremony. “You were the better team.” Woods hugged everyone hard, players and vice captains alike, wearing a smile not seen since he walked off the 18th green at Augusta National after becoming a Masters champion again after injuries that nearly ended his career. “We relied on one another as a team, and we did it — together,” Woods said, his voice choked slightly with emotion. “This cup wasn't going to be given to us. We had to go earn it. And we did.” Els fashioned the youngest International team from a record nine countries from everywhere outside Europe and took a 10-8 lead into the final day, the first time it had the edge in 16 years. It wasn't enough. Patrick Reed, whose caddie was benched for shoving a fan who had cursed Reed from close range Saturday, built a 6-up lead through seven holes before eventually putting away C.T. Pan to win for the first time this week. Webb Simpson, who played with Reed as they lost all three team matches, never trailed in beating Byeong Hun An. Everyone on the U.S. team contributed something. With so much red on the board, Tony Finau might have been his team the biggest boost. He was 4 down through 10 holes against Hideki Matsuyama, won the next four holes and earned a half-point. It came down to the final hole in South Korea four years ago. This time, the Americans were assured of a tie if the Internationals were to win the last three matches, creating at least a little drama. But it was a familiar ending. The Americans now are 11-1-1 in an event that began in 1994. “It's hard to digest,” said Adam Scott, who has played in nine Presidents Cup without ever winning. “It's incredibly disappointing but ... I like where this team is going, and I'll be working really hard now to be on the team in two more years.” The only International victory was in 1998 at Royal Melbourne, and several players from that team came to Australia this week to conjure up good vibes. It only worked for so long. The Americans won the singles session for the first time since 2009. Most years, their lead was so big it wasn't critical. This time it was. They hadn't trailed since 2003 in South Africa, the year of the tie. So inspired was the American play that none of their six singles victories made it to the 18th hole. The last two matches were halved, and the 8-4 advantage in singles matched the record for the largest Sunday margin since the Americans won 8-4 in the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994. The next Presidents Cup is in 2021 at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. In the meantime, the Americans will try to get on another team and win back the Ryder Cup, which gives them far more trouble......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Usman batters Covington, Volkanovski claims title at UFC 245

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kamaru Usman brutally stopped Colby Covington with 50 seconds left in the fifth round at UFC 245 on Saturday night, retaining his UFC welterweight title with a spectacular finish to their grudge match. Alexander Volkanovski took the UFC featherweight title from Max Holloway and became the second Australian champion in the promotion's history with a tactical unanimous-decision victory. Amanda Nunes defended her bantamweight title with a grinding unanimous-decision victory over Germaine De Randamie at T-Mobile Arena. Usman (16-1) closed out an occasionally slow fight with Covington (15-2) in thrilling fashion, knocking down the challenger twice with precise punches and then finishing him on the ground. Usman and Covington took a personal animus into the cage, and the Nigerian-born Usman made good on his vow to derail the career of the divisive Covington, whose grating personality and eager embrace of President Donald Trump have made him a sharply polarizing figure in mixed martial arts. "This one is not just for me," Usman said. “This is for the whole entire world.” Volkanovski (21-1) picked apart Holloway (21-5) with leg kicks and movement for five frenetic rounds, controlling the bout with style and persistence. The 31-year-old challenger born in a tiny coastal town in New South Wales joins New Zealand-born middleweight Robert Whittaker as UFC’s only Aussie champs. The judges favored Volkanovski 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45. Holloway struggled to land consistent strikes while dodging Volkanovski’s barrage of leg kicks, but the long-reigning champ still appeared surprised and disappointed by the judges’ verdict in just his second loss since 2013. “It means the world,” Volkanovski said. “I have two kids at home. Everything is about my family. Spending time away from them kills me, but this is for them, a little early Christmas present for them.” Volkanovski became just the fourth featherweight champion in UFC history, joining Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor and Holloway, who had reigned since 2016. Volkanovski earned his title shot with 17 straight victories, including seven since joining the UFC, capped by a win over Aldo in May. “Featherweight has always had great, respectful champions who always fight the next contenders in line, and I appreciate that,” Volkanovski said. “There’s a lot of people who have earned their shot and aren’t given it, so I’m going to make sure everyone who earns it, gets it.” Holloway has been one of the UFC's most popular and most durable fighters of the 2010s, winning 13 consecutive bouts before he moved up to lightweight and lost a decision to Dustin Poirier for an interim title last April. He returned in July with a featherweight defense over Frankie Edgar before agreeing to a shot for Volkanovski. Covington and Usman started with two busy rounds of striking in which Covington appeared to be landing more blows, but Covington poked Usman in the eye during the third. Usman responded by bloodying Covington in an impressive third-round flurry, and Covington subsequently told his corner that he thought his jaw was broken. Usman took control from there, gradually finishing Covington in his first defense of the belt he took from Tyron Woodley earlier this year. Covington (15-2) won an interim title last year, but then missed a full year of competition due to injuries. Nunes (19-4) earned her 10th straight win and fifth bantamweight title defense over a half-decade of UFC dominance, but the two-division champion had to rely on her wrestling skills to dominate her 135-pound rematch with De Randamie (9-4), the former 145-pound UFC champion. “My game plan was to go five rounds and work the takedown,” Nunes said. “I almost got two submissions, but I made some mistakes and I have to fix that. Just a little bit of the technique was off, but I will fix it and next time I will get it.” After Nunes nearly finished in a one-sided first round, De Randamie surprised Nunes with several effective strikes in the second. Nunes wisely landed multiple takedowns to control the rest of the bout, keeping De Randamie on the mat and unable to land a home-run strike. The judges favored Nunes 49-46, 49-45 and 49-44. “Honestly, I was a little bit off tonight,” Nunes said. “But I’m the champ. I always have Plan A, B, C and more.” Nunes added the featherweight belt last December with her 51-second thrashing of Cris “Cyborg” Justino, cementing her place among the sport’s greats. Still only 31 years old, Nunes has said she will defend that 145-pound belt in her next fight, which would make her the first UFC fighter to defend two titles simultaneously. De Randamie was the first UFC women’s featherweight champion in 2017, but she moved down to bantamweight after she was stripped of the belt. The Dutch kickboxer was stopped by Nunes in the first round of their first meeting in 2013, but she tested Nunes much more extensively this time out. Earlier on the pay-per-view portion of the show, Aldo (28-6) lost a split decision to fellow Brazilian contender Marlon Moraes (23-6-1). Russian bantamweight contender Petr Yan stopped Urijah Faber with a single head kick in the third round. Yan (14-1) battered and bloodied the 40-year-old veteran with two knockdowns in the second before finishing Faber and then calling out two-division champ Henry Cejudo afterward......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

UAAP 82: Lady Falcons to train in Thailand

Looking for a better showing in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament, the Adamson University Lady Falcons are set to train in Thailand early next year. The Lady Falcons will undergo rigid training in the region’s volleyball powerhouse country from January 6 to 17 with 17 players joining the training camp. The squad will be supervised by coach Lerma Giron and trainer multi-awarded mentor Tai Bundit. In their two-week camp, Adamson is set to play a series of tune-up games against some of the best Thai collegiate teams as well as a couple of commercial clubs. UAAP Season 82 volleyball is set to begin in February. The Lady Falcons had a disappointing Season 81, where they finished last with just two wins in 14 games. That season also saw Adamson part ways with head coach Air Padda and replaced by Onyok Getigan. With prized recruits in promising setter Louie Romero, Lucille Almonte, Lorene Toring and Rizza Cruz teaming up with sophomore Trisha Genesis under Giron, the Lady Falcons put themselves under the radar as a promising title contender in the UAAP after conquering University of Sto. Tomas in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference Finals......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

LeBron s worlds collide as son s team, alma mater meet

By Nicole Kraft, Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — They crowded into Nationwide Arena, 13,000 strong, cheering every shot, roaring with every basket. Many were not there to see the game. They came to see LeBron. Bronny James made his Ohio debut Saturday, and hit the go-ahead shot in the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers' 59-56 victory over the St. Vincent-St. Mary Irish. Sierra Canyon is 8-0. Watching, cheering loudest of all and pacing the sideline, was LeBron James, NBA great, father to Bronny, and St. Vincent-St. Mary’s most famous alum. The elder James led the Irish to three state titles in four years, bringing their games to the airwaves of ESPN airwaves and the pages of Sports Illustrated. Now it’s Bronny’s turn.   More than 400 credentialed media encircled the court to capture every pass, every dribble, every shot of the King’s firstborn, who would likely have worn an Irish jersey had the family not moved west so James could shine for the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James put Akron’s St. Vincent–St. Mary High School on the map nearly 20 years ago and has donated $2 million to the school, renovating the gymnasium that now bears his name and writing a $250,000 check to buy new uniforms for athletes and band members. His best friend, Willie McGee, is the athletic director. But his heart Saturday was clearly with the Trailblazers, as he yelled tips and encouragement from his court-side seat. With a timeout, James walked halfway on to the court, calling, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” to the Sierra Canyon bench and leaping to his feet when the Trailblazers took a first-half lead. “Before LeBron went to the Lakers, it was assumed Bronny would stay in Ohio and play at St. Vincent -St. Mary, and carry on the tradition,” Zach Fleer of 270 Hoops, central Ohio’s premiere prep basketball site, said. “Among freshman class, he is among the elite players, but he is not the best player in country. He’s not like his dad yet—he still has a ways to go, Right now I think he is a better shooter than LeBron was at that age. He’s 6-foot-2 now. If he stretches out to his dad size, there is no telling how good he can he.” James took a private plane from Miami to watch his son play high school ball live for the first time, but the game was about more than family by blood. He started the night having dinner with his St. Vincent-St. Mary teammates — the “Fab Five,” they were called when they were the biggest thing in high school basketball 17 years ago. Joining James court-side was his wife, Savannah, childhood friend and business partner Maverick Carter, and former Irish teammate Romeo Travis, who cheered his alma mater but shouted as Bronny James drove down the court, “Here we go young King!” LeBron James has anticipated the sight of his son facing his alma mater for some time. “A pretty surreal, come-full-circle, unbelievable thing,” LeBron James said. James and Dwyane Wade decided months ago that they would have their sons pair up at Sierra Canyon — just as they did in Miami from 2010 through 2014, winning two championships together with the Miami Heat. Now their kids are chasing a title, although Wade’s son Zaire was injured and did not play Saturday. LeBron James’ said his only regret so far being that his schedule with the Los Angeles Lakers takes him away from Trailblazers’ games. “I love what I do. I don’t take this for granted. This is a dream come true,” LeBron James said. “But missing my son, missing LeBron Jr., missing (younger son) Bryce’s first game the other day when we left for Orlando, missing my daughter at gymnastics and things of that nature, I understand it’s the business, but it sucks.” Sierra Canyon has been a well-known program in high school circles for some time — the Trailblazers have won the last two California Open Division state championships and were ranked nationally last year with a roster loaded with blue-chip prospects. Celebrity sightings are an everyday thing at the school where it costs $37,700 a year in tuition alone for high schoolers to attend: Recent Sierra Canyon rosters included the sons of former NBA players Scottie Pippen and Kenyon Martin. Marvin Bagley III played there. Kendall and Kylie Jenner attended the school. Drake has been to games as a fan. This year — with the oldest sons of James and Wade added to the mix — it has become a full-on spectacle. Saturday’s game was part of a four-game run that will see them play in four different states, California, Arizona, Ohio and next up will be Nevada in a few days. They’ve played in Texas already. Games in Massachusetts and New Jersey are later this season. ESPN will air 10 more Sierra Canyon games this season, with other games either on television or streamed. Bronny James being compared to his father is inevitable. The attention he draws is also enormous — videos of his first dunk, when he was 13, have been viewed on YouTube more than 20 million times and he has 3.8 million followers on Instagram. For now, the family is trying to squash any talk of how good a player he can be or if he’ll one day make the NBA. “My son is in the ninth grade; he’s a kid,” LeBron James said. “We’re not even thinking about anything besides how he can be a great teammate, how he can be a great son, how he can be a great brother to his sister and little brother, how he can continue to be a great kid.” ___ AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Bucks Bledsoe out at least 2 weeks with fibula fracture

The Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 24-3. They will be challenged to stay at the top however, sans the services of starting point guard Eric Bledsoe. The team tweeted that Bledsoe suffered "a right leg injury" during the Bucks' 127-114 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday (PHL time). An MRI revealed a "right fibula avulsion fracture" and Milwaukee expects him to be out for at least two weeks. Eric Bledsoe sustained a right leg injury on Friday night. After a MRI and exam, it showed a right fibula avulsion fracture. He is expected to be sidelined for approximately two weeks and his status will be updated as appropriate. pic.twitter.com/UrLMKlgBEd— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 15, 2019 Bledsoe this season is averaging 15.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. The team beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 125-108 on Sunday (PHL time), plugging in Donte DiVincenzo into the first five. The second-year player responded with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals, against just one turnover, in 25 minutes of action......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Mavs may have to face East beasts minus injured star Doncic

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — The timing couldn’t be much worse for the Dallas Mavericks to be without star guard Luka Doncic. The reigning rookie of the year sprained his right ankle in the opening minutes of a 122-118 overtime loss to Miami, the first of five straight games for the Mavericks against the teams that entered Sunday (Monday, PHL time) with the five best records in the Eastern Conference. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said he didn’t expect Doncic to play Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in Milwaukee against reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, although he stressed it wasn’t a medical opinion. X-rays were negative. The rally from a 24-point deficit to a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter against the Heat was probably the most encouraging thing to happen to the resurgent Mavericks this season. But the reality was they still lost and have games against East contenders every other day through next Sunday (next next Monday, PHL time). Three of the remaining four are on the road. “It’s going to be opportunities, a lot of touches for a lot of people,” said guard J.J. Barea, who played in just six of the first 24 games but figures to have more nights like his 12 points in 13 minutes against the Heat as long as Doncic is sidelined. “Just got to be ready. With him here, with him not here, we’ve still got to start the games better.” Doncic was coming off the latest of many eye-opening games this season. A former teenage star in Spain, the Slovenian wowed the crowd in Mexico City with a pre-game speech in flawless Spanish before scoring 41 points with 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a 122-111 win over Detroit. Two nights later, the 20-year-old was on the ground between rows of fans behind a basket less than two minutes into the game, clutching his ankle after landing on the foot of Miami’s Kendrick Nunn on a drive. Doncic had left the arena, presumably to get an MRI, and wasn’t available to comment after the game. “Obviously, we lose a guy that’s a great player,” Carlisle said. “We don’t know for how long. We got to circle the wagons with the guys that we have and play like we did in the second half. Pretty simple.” Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 of his 28 points in the second half, including several clutch 3-pointers. But he was shut out in overtime, getting just one shot and missing a 3. Kristaps Porzingis, the other half of Dallas’ star European pairing along with Doncic, had 22 points and 14 rebounds. But the 7-foot-3 Latvian missed badly on two shots late in overtime to finish 7 of 21 from the field and gave up an offensive rebound in a one-point game after Jimmy Butler missed two free throws with nine seconds left in the extra period. The Bucks will take an 18-game winning streak into Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) game. Dallas then plays Boston at home before trips to Philadelphia and defending NBA champion Toronto. “Just like we did today, the second half,” Hardaway said of the mindset minus Doncic. “But we have to be like that for the whole 48. It’s not going to be easy.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

LOOK: The ABS-CBN Christmas Special 2019 Backstage and Rehearsal Photos

LOOK: The ABS-CBN Christmas Special 2019 Backstage and Rehearsal Photos.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: MoviesDec 15th, 2019Related News

FPJ as a respected and admired co-actor, director and producer

Fernando Poe Jr. AKA ”King of the Philippine Movies” or “Da King” left a great legacy in the local entertainment industry with his commendable work ethics......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: MoviesDec 15th, 2019Related News

L2M report: Butler fouled twice on last possession

The NBA's Last Two Minute Report says that the Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler was fouled twice by the LA Lakers on the last possession of their 113-110 loss, Saturday (PHL time). The Heat were looking to force overtime against the Western Conference-leading Lakers, but Butler missed a 23-footer with 1.4 seconds left. Per the report however, LeBron James initiated contact with Butler during the inbounds pass, affecting the Heat star's freedom of movement, which should have resulted in a whistle. The second instance comes shortly after when Anthony Davis made contact with Butler during his overtime-forcing attempt. The report notes that "the contact is not created by Butler's leg extension," and thus, Butler should have had free throws with 2.6 ticks remaining. Video of the two non-calls can be viewed here. The report also adds that at the 1:16 mark of the final quarter, Lakers guard Danny Green should have been called for a double dribble, which would have given the Heat an extra possession. The Lakers rallied from a double-digit deficit to win this one, the eighth time this season they've needed to make a comeback for the victory......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Liverpool extends EPL lead as Leicester draws, Chelsea loses

By Mattias Karen, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Mo Salah and Liverpool are running away with the Premier League. Salah used his blistering pace and a bit of trickery to score both goals in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday — a result that extended the Reds' lead to 10 points in the table as they move closer to a first Premier League title in 30 years. Closest challenger Leicester was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Norwich, while defending champion Manchester City is a full 17 points behind in third place ahead of its game at Arsenal on Sunday. Fourth-place Chelsea, meanwhile, slumped to a fourth loss in five league games with a 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth — giving added hope to the handful of teams chasing the final Champions League spot. No one seems able to keep up with Liverpool, though. Jürgen Klopp's team has won 16 of 17 league games so far, with one draw, and are on course for a record-breaking season. “The most important thing that you have to show in this period of the season is resilience, and that's what we showed again,” Klopp said. SURGING SALAH Salah made it four goals in two games as he followed up his Champions League double with another brace at Anfield. Salah finished off a lightning counterattack to give the host the lead in the 38th minute at Anfield and then made sure of the victory with a cheeky backheel from a tight angle in injury time. It wasn't all so easy for Liverpool, though, even against a Watford that is last in the standings. Only poor finishing prevented the visitors from taking at least a point in Nigel Pearson's first game in charge. Striker Troy Deeney, Will Hughes, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gerard Deulofeu all missed good chances to score for Watford. Salah was as clinical as ever, though, taking his tally to nine league goals this season. The only negative for Liverpool was when Georginio Wijnaldum was forced off with an apparent hamstring problem, meaning he could miss the upcoming Club World Cup in Qatar. LEICESTER FALTERS Leicester saw its eight-game winning streak in the league ended by Norwich. Jamie Vardy's streak of scoring in eight straight league games also ended after his header from a corner was ruled an own-goal by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, who directed the ball into the net with his hand. That goal equalized for Leicester in the 38th minute after Norwich striker Teemu Pukki had given the visitors a surprising lead in the 26th. Vardy had a chance to score early in the second half when he rounded Krul, but rolled the ball onto the outside of the post from a tight angle. “We weren't quite at our level but we managed to get back and get a point,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. “It was probably the right result, we didn't start so well and our passing was slow.” SLUMPING CHELSEA After surging up the table into the top four, Frank Lampard's Chelsea is in the middle of an alarming slump. Dan Gosling's late goal gave Bournemouth the win, with Chelsea's grip on fourth place suddenly looking shaky. “We need more urgency in our play,” Lampard said. “If you're an attacking player, get at people, do things that are positive, don't play safe. We play generally too safe through the game.” Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers both have a chance to pull within two points of Lampard's team on Sunday. Gosling scored an 84th-minute winner when he flicked the ball over Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the net despite standing with his back to goal, ending Bournemouth's run of five successive league losses. SURPRISING SHEFFIELD John Fleck scored twice as Sheffield United climbed provisionally into fifth place by beating fellow promoted side Aston Villa 2-0. Fleck put the hosts ahead in the 50th minute by steering home an assist by John Lundstram, and added the second in the 73rd. Villa had a chance to get back in the game after VAR awarded a penalty for handball by John Egan, but Jack Grealish belted the resulting spot kick against the crossbar. In a game between midtable teams, Chris Wood scored his seventh goal of the season as Burnley ended a run of three successive losses with a 1-0 win against an injury-hit Newcastle. Wood's 58th-minute header was enough to give Sean Dyche's side its fifth league win at home this season, all without conceding. In the late game, West Ham eased the pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini with a 1-0 win at Southampton. Sebastian Haller put West Ham ahead in the 37th minute by slotting a low shot in off the post for his fifth goal of the season, which was enough to give the Hammers only their second win in 11 league games......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Coutinho stars as Bayern bounces back to rout Bremen 6-1

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Philippe Coutinho has finally lived up to Bayern Munich's high hopes for the Brazil playmaker. Coutinho scored a hat trick and set up two more goals to help Bayern end its two-game losing run in the Bundesliga with a 6-1 rout of Werder Bremen on Saturday. "That was his game," said fellow goal-scorer Robert Lewandowski, who grabbed two. Substitute Thomas Müller scored the other goal as Bayern bounced back from successive 2-1 defeats to Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen. Bremen's visit came just at the right time for the seven-time defending champion. Bremen had lost its previous 20 competitive games against Bayern, 17 in the league and three in the German Cup. Coutinho gave a demonstration of what Bayern had been expecting when it signed him on loan with a purchase option for 120 million euros ($133 million) from Barcelona in the offseason. "It was fun for everyone who was in the stadium," Bayern coach Hansi Flick said of the 27-year-old Coutinho. "The team was delighted for him, that he produced such a performance on the pitch. Three goals scored, two made – that was simply class!" However, Florian Kohfeldt's team gave Bayern a scare when Milot Rashica rifled a shot from outside the penalty area past Manuel Neuer to open the scoring in the 24th minute. Jiri Pavlenka denied Lewandowski in the 40th, when the Poland star only had the goalkeeper to beat, and then saved Coutinho's effort from the rebound. But the Bremen 'keeper was beaten twice before the break. Serge Gnabry gave Coutinho a tap-in in the 45th and the Brazilian set up Lewandowski to break his two-game scoring drought in first-half injury time. Lewandowski had scored in the first 12 games of the season, a record, before an unexpected dry spell. Coutinho's second goal in the 63rd all but sealed the win, but the goals kept coming with Lewandowski grabbing his second in the 72nd, Coutinho setting up Müller in the 75th and completing his hat trick in the 78th. "Today it was important to get the points to move back up the table," Coutinho said. Bayern moved up to fourth with the win. The Brazilian came off to enthusiastic applause in the 82nd for New Zealand's Sarpreet Singh, who came on for his Bayern debut. LEIPZIG TOP Leipzig went top with a 3-0 win at Fortuna Düsseldorf in the visitors' sixth consecutive win. Patrik Schick opened the scoring early, Timo Werner added a penalty and Nordi Mukiele completed the scoring as Leipzig moved two points clear of Gladbach, which can reclaim the lead with a win at Wolfsburg on Sunday. KLINSMANN'S 1ST WIN Jürgen Klinsmann claimed his first win in charge of Hertha Berlin thanks to Vladimir Darida's rocket inside the left post for a 1-0 home victory over high-flying Freiburg. Darida let fly from outside the penalty area to decide a lackluster game in the 53rd. It was Hertha's first win in six league games. "It was hugely important for the team," Klinsmann said. "The heads will be a little lighter." Goals from Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz gave third-place Borussia Dortmund a 4-0 win in Mainz — its fourth consecutive win since its Champions League loss in Barcelona. Cologne defeated nine-man Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 in the Rhine derby and Union Berlin was held to a 1-1 draw at Paderborn......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Liverpool faces Monterrey in Club World Cup semifinals

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — European champion Liverpool will play North American champion Monterrey in the semifinals of the Club World Cup in Qatar, while Flamengo faces Saudi Arabian team Al Hilal. Monterrey held on for a 3-2 win over Al Sadd on Saturday, with Abdelkarim Hassan's 89th-minute goal for the Qatari club setting up a nervy finish. Leonel Vangioni, Rogelio Funes and Carlos Rodriguez scored for Monterrey. The Mexican team plays Liverpool on Dec. 18, with South American champion Flamengo taking on Al Hilal a day earlier. Al Hilal, the Asian champions, beat CAF Champions League winner Espérance Sportive de Tunis 1-0 with a fine goal from French forward Bafétimbi Gomis in the 73rd minute. Al Hilal's Mohamed Kanno was sent off late with a second yellow card. The final is on Dec. 21 at the Khalifa International Stadium......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Barcelona s disputed draw adds fuel to upcoming clasico

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — A disputed decision not to award a late penalty may have cost Barcelona the Spanish league lead entering Wednesday's “clásico” against Real Madrid. Barcelona was held to a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad on Saturday, giving Madrid a chance to go into the midweek match at Camp Nou Stadium with a two-point lead if it beats Valencia on Sunday. Barcelona was expected to file a formal complaint to the Spanish soccer federation over the non-call, which came after Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente appeared to pull down Gerard Piqué by his jersey in stoppage time. Neither the referee nor video review thought there was enough to award a penalty. Barcelona was especially upset because Real Sociedad's first goal came on a penalty awarded in a similar situation after Sergio Busquets grabbed Llorente's jersey in the first half. “The one on Gerard was clearer than mine,” Busquets said. “If the referee saw the first one, he had to see that one as well. I think he saw it, but didn't want to make the call.” Spanish powerhouses Madrid and Barcelona will meet for the first time this season in a match postponed from October because of a separatist rally in the Catalan capital. “We don't know whether we will still be leaders or not, that's out of our hands now,” Busquets said. “But we will enter the match with good momentum. We have been improving and we'll be playing at home.” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde didn't rest any of his top players, using Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Antoine Griezmann in the attack. Messi didn't play in the team's Champions League match at Inter Milan on Tuesday. Barcelona, which had won nine of its last 10 league games, was outplayed during most of the match at Reale Arena. Fifth -place Sociedad creating most of the scoring chances and restrained Barcelona, which was in control for short periods of the game but couldn't capitalize on its chances to seal the victory. “We are upset despite a draw against a team like Barcelona,” Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil said. “We did more than they did, we could have taken the three points.” Mikel Oyarzabal opened the scoring for the hosts by converting a 12th-minute penalty kick after Busquets was caught grabbing Llorente inside the area. Barcelona recovered with two fast breakaways, one late in the first half and another soon after the break. Griezmann equalized in the 38th by flicking the ball past goalkeeper Álex Remiro from inside the area. Griezmann, who played nine seasons with Real Sociedad, didn't celebrate his goal. “I have a lot of respect for those who have given me everything,” said Griezmann, who has scored three goals in his last five matches. Suárez put the visitors ahead in the 49th with a strike into the open net after a short pass by Messi. The hosts equalized in the 62nd with a close-range shot by striker Alexander Isak after Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen couldn't fully clear a cross. Oyarzabal had also scored the last time Real Sociedad beat Barcelona, in a league match back in 2016. Barcelona had won seven straight matches against Real Sociedad in all competitions. Real Sociedad has won only one of its last five league matches. It had lost its last five league games against Barcelona. ATLÉTICO MOVES UP Atlético Madrid beat Osasuna 2-0 at home to end a three-match winless streak in the league. Álvaro Morata and Saúl Ñíguez scored a goal each in the second half to lift Atlético back to fourth place, the last qualification spot for the Champions League. Diego Simeone's team had won only one of its last six league games. Tenth-place Osasuna had lost one of its last seven matches in the league. ATHLETIC STALLS Athletic Bilbao was held by Eibar to a 0-0 home draw in a match between two Basque Country teams. It was the second winless game in a row for sixth-place Athletic, which hadn't been held scoreless in four straight league games. Eibar, sitting in 16th place, had lost four straight league matches. LEVANTE REBOUNDS A late winner by North Macedonia midfielder Enis Bardhi gave Levante a 2-1 win at Granada, ending the team's two-game losing streak. Bardhi scored with a shot from outside the area in the 89th minute. Levante moved to 11th, one point behind Granada......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Anthony Rendon eager to team up with Trout in Angels lineup

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press Anthony Rendon and agent Scott Boras had just wrapped up the third baseman’s $245 million deal to join the Los Angeles Angels last Wednesday when Mike Trout began blowing up his phone. “Based on his exclamation points in his texts, he seemed really excited,” Rendon said with a grin. Two of the majors' best hitters are forming a well-paid partnership in Orange County, and they are both excited to reward Angels owner Arte Moreno’s largesse with postseason success. The Angels formally introduced Rendon at Angel Stadium on Saturday, welcoming the championship-winning slugger to their star-studded lineup. Rendon left the Washington Nationals to team up with Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton in the Angels’ loaded lineup. But the World Series star insisted his lavish new contract — a seven-year deal with the biggest average annual value ever given to a third baseman— wasn’t as important as the words he heard from Moreno, the Angels’ 73-year-old owner. “Arte and Carol (Moreno) were really adamant about reaching out to Scott and saying they wanted me to be a part of the Angel organization,” Rendon said while holding his daughter, Emma, and sitting next to his wife, Amanda. “That meant a lot to me and my family, to have that respect, to really feel wanted,” Rendon added. “That was one important thing that we always talked about trying to look for in an organization where we wanted to head to or stay at, was a family atmosphere, somewhere that we could plant our roots in, lay a foundation and just grow our family together.” Moreno has been following Rendon’s career since the native Houstonian was a collegiate slugger at Rice, where Moreno had friends in athletic administration. Moreno followed Rendon’s rise with the Nationals up to last season, when he led the majors in RBIs and earned his first All-Star selection before repeatedly coming up with clutch hits during Washington’s improbable playoff run. “Historically the way he’s played, his background, everything felt like a really great fit for what we’re trying to accomplish here,” Moreno said. After his spectacular 2019 season, Rendon is leaving the World Series champions for a franchise that hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009 despite annually fielding a high-priced roster around Trout, who won his third AL MVP award this year. Rendon joins a lengthy list of elite veteran ballplayers lured to Anaheim or persuaded to stay here by Moreno, who bought the Angels one year after they won their only World Series championship and has attempted to recreate that success ever since. Moreno has never been shy about spending his personal fortune and his income from a team that annually draws more than 3 million fans to Angel Stadium. But while Vladimir Guerrero and other free agents performed splendidly under the halo, Moreno has received disappointing results with many of his big-ticket acquisitions — from Gary Matthews Jr. and Vernon Wells to the disastrous $125 million deal with Josh Hamilton, and even eight years of steady, but underwhelming production from Pujols, the $240 million slugger. There’s little reason to think Rendon isn’t worth the money for a team eager to start winning immediately. The 29-year-old Rendon is still squarely in his baseball prime, and the Angels’ flamboyant acquisition of the best hitter on the free agent market fits with Moreno’s desire to make his team more exciting for his loyal fans after four consecutive losing seasons. Moreno acknowledged he was determined to land either Rendon or ace Gerrit Cole, who got a $324 million deal from the Yankees. “Anthony was a player we targeted early,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. “Very rarely in free agency do you see significant impact, and this winter it appeared there was a number of players that could provide impact, but Anthony was somebody we highlighted. We’re still targeting pitching, but when the opportunity arose for us to do something with Anthony, it was a pretty easy sell for Arte because he does hold Anthony in very high regard.” Rendon will wear No. 6, the same uniform number he wore in Washington, after getting it from new teammate David Fletcher. The up-and-coming second baseman is likely to team with Rendon and Simmons in one of the better defensive infields in the AL. Rendon cashed in spectacularly in free agency, but he is grateful the Angels aren’t done going after free-agent starting pitchers to fill out the rotation that was Los Angeles’ biggest weakness last season. “Talking to Scott about it, he’s had a lot of interaction with Arte, and he says these guys always want to win,” Rendon said. “They’re always going to go for it. They want to build a great team, even though they’ve already got great players on the field.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News