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Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Croatia qualify for Euro 2020

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Croatia qualified for the 2020 European Championship on Saturday. Germany advanced with a 4-0 win over Belarus on Saturday, with Toni Kroos scoring twice and steering the side top of Group C. Second-place Netherlands also qualified despite a 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland in Belfast. Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis missed a penalty in the first half. Austria joined already qualified Poland from Group G with a 2-1 win over visiting North Macedonia. Poland won 2-1 for its first win in Israel since 1988. Croatia booked its place as Group E winner with a 3-1 win at home over Slovakia. IMPRESSIVE GERMANY Injury-hit Germany started with an unfamiliar central defensive pair of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Matthias Ginter and Freiburg’s Robin Koch, the latter making only his second appearance and his first in a competitive game for Germany. There was little sign of inexperience against defensively minded Belarus, however, with Joachim Löw’s team dominating with good chances early on for Timo Werner, Serge Gnabry and Kroos. Manuel Neuer pulled off a brilliant flying save to deny Igor Stasevich with the visitors’ first chance, just before Matthias Ginter made the breakthrough in the 41st minute. Leon Goretzka scored four minutes after the break, and Ginter set up Kroos to mark his 95th game for Germany with the third goal in the 55th. That set off fans’ celebrations with Mexican waves going around the stadium. Stasevich had a chance to pull one back from the penalty spot after a clumsy challenge from Koch, but Neuer guessed the right way. Kroos wrapped up the scoring with a fine second goal in the 83rd, turning with a left-right combination to elude two defenders before shooting with his left boot inside the post. WALES HAILS BALE Gareth Bale returned from injury and helped Wales keep its automatic qualification hopes alive with a 2-0 win at Azerbaijan in Group E. Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson scored in the first half to give Wales its first away win in more than a year. Third in Group E with 11 points, Wales can secure automatic qualification with a win in its final game on Tuesday over second-place Hungary on 12 points. Bale hadn’t played for a month due to a calf injury, but the Real Madrid winger played just under an hour in Baku before being taken off by coach Ryan Giggs to safeguard his availability for the Hungary showdown in Cardiff. Bale was a booking away from suspension. BELGIUM PERFECT Eden Hazard scored twice and younger brother Thorgan Hazard also grabbed a goal as already qualified Belgium beat already qualified Russia 4-1 in St. Petersburg. The Belgians’ ninth win from nine qualifying games ensure they top Group I and join Italy as one of the six seeded teams in the finals’ draw on Nov. 30. Scotland defeated Cyprus 2-1 in Nicosia to move third in the group, and Kazakhstan won 3-1 at San Marino. Also, Slovenia beat Latvia 1-0 in Group G......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports16 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

Pasaol, Munzon eyed to lead Philippines in FIBA 3X3 OQT

Alvin Pasaol and Joshua Munzon are said-to-be shoo-ins for the Philippines' national 3x3 team which will see action in the 2020 FIBA 3X3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT). "Obviously, we need to have the top players in the country - especially the top two," Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league commissioner and program director Eric Altamirano said. "Joshua and Alvin are most likely going to be part of the team." Pasaol (420, 940) and Munzon (475, 860) are no. 2 and no. 1, respectively, in the Philippines in terms of ranking points. That is exactly why the two are being tipped to lead the Filipinos in the world meet in March of next year in Delhi, India. Other players being considered for the national team are Santi Santillan, Karl Dehesa, Troy Rike, Dylan Ababou, Chris De Chavez, Franky Johnson, Roosevelt Adams, and Leo De Vera. Last Friday, the Philippines officially entered the 20-team OQT. There, three tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are up for grabs. With only four months to prepare before they wage war with fellow Pool C teams no. 6 Slovenia, no. 10 France, no. 17 Qatar, and no. 33 Dominican Republic, Altamirano bared that overseas training is underway for the country's representatives. "We already have a plan and we just have to finalize it with boss Ronald [Mascarinas]," he said, referring to 3x3 patron Ronald Mascarinas. As per the well-respected mentor, the national team pool is mulling traveling to and then training in Eastern Europe or China. The new season of Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 tipping off on January of next year will also be a big boost for preparations. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 3rd, 2019Related News

PH men s 3x3 clinches Olympic qualifier berth

MANILA, Philippines – After a year of hard work, Philippine 3x3 is one step closer to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after qualifying for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in India on Friday, November 1. The Philippine men's team now joins Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic in Pool C ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 2nd, 2019Related News

PHL makes 3×3 qualifier

The Philippines picked  a seat in Group C of the men’s division of the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held in India, March next year. The Filipinos were pooled with opponents from Slovenia, France, Qatar, and Dominican Republic in the seeding held in Utsonomiya, Japan on Friday. Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al […] The post PHL makes 3×3 qualifier appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsNov 2nd, 2019Related News

Philippines named as one of the 20 nations that will compete in the 2020 FIBA 3X3 Men s Olympic Qualifying Tournament

The Philippines was named as one of the 20 nations that will compete in the 2020 FIBA 3X3 Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament that will take place on March 2020 in India. The announcement was made Friday evening in Utsunomiya, Japan. "We’re very happy that the Philippines will be competing in the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament for a shot at making it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio. "3x3 is an area where Filipino basketball players can really excel and we’re delighted that a Filipino basketball team will get to test their skills against the world’s best. "The SBP thanks all the private promoters that held 3x3 events especially Chooks-To-Go led by Ronald Mascariñas." "We are extremely happy with this development," added Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league owner Mascariñas. "But we could not have done it without the combined efforts of everyone. "We would like to thank the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas headed by chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan and president Al, the numerous private promoters, all the players from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3, and, of course, the Filipino people who supported us for the last nine months." The Philippines will be slotted in Pool C in the OQT that will has three tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at stake. It will be joined by Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic. Composing Pool A are Mongolia, Poland, Brazil, Turkey, and Spain while Pool B will have USA, Lithuania, Belgium, South Korea, and New Zealand. Pool D, on the other hand, has the Netherlands, Latvia, Canada, Croatia, and host India. Gaining automatic berths in the Olympics are Serbia, Russia, China, and Japan. And it was a long road to India for the country. Back in February, the men’s side of the Philippines was ranked at a lowly 59. But ever since the league opened its curtains last February 16, the country’s rankings have steadily risen. The first-ever season of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 had three conferences, namely the President’s Cup, the Patriot’s Cup, and the Magiting Cup. All had level-seven tournament ratings, with level-10 as the highest possible rating. The country also hosted the world’s first-ever Super Quest last April, a level eight tourney; and the country’s first-ever Challenger tournament last September 7, a level nine event. Moreover, the club teams from the league competed in a World Tour Masters and multiple Challenger tourneys — including the Doha and Jeddah Masters and Challenger tournaments in Moscow, Haining, Poitiers, Xiongan, Sukhbaatar, and Kaohsiung. To sustain the country's push to the OQT, the league put up a 14-leg invitational tourney, the MelMac Cup to close out the season. The national team will be composed of twp players from the top 10 and two players within the top 50 or have the minimum number of ranking points. As a tune-up for the national team, the 2020 season of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 will open this January. "The journey is far from over as the goal is to not just make it to the OQT. The endgame is to make it to Tokyo. We are going all out to prepare our national team for this and we hope that everyone joins us in this journey to Tokyo," bared Mascariñas......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 1st, 2019Related News

Libu-libong trabaho, naghihintay para sa mga Pilipinong manggagawa sa Europa

 NANGANGAILANGAN ang Europa ng 2,000 hanggang 5,000 skilled at semi skilled na mga manggagawang Pinoy.   CHERRY LIGHT   PANIBAGONG oportunidad ang naghihintay sa libu-libong Pilipinong manggagawa na nais magtrabaho sa Central Europe. Ayon kay Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, hinihingi ng Slovenia ang pagpayag ng Pilipinas para sa deployment ng 2,000 hanggang 5,000 skilled […] The post Libu-libong trabaho, naghihintay para sa mga Pilipinong manggagawa sa Europa appeared first on PINAS......»»

Source: Pinasglobal PinasglobalCategory: NewsOct 30th, 2019Related News

5k Jobs in Europe for Pinoys

Fresh job opportunities are being made available for Filipino workers in southern central Europe, the labor department reported yesterday. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Slovenia is seeking Philippine approval for the deployment of between 2,000 to 5,000 skilled and semi-skilled labor to supplement their workforce. Similar opportunities are also available to Filipino workers in […].....»»

Source: Metrocebu MetrocebuCategory: NewsOct 24th, 2019Related News

DoLE eyes Slovenia for OFW

The Labor secretary added that a Philippine technical working group "early next month" will present Slovenia a draft of a bilateral agreement spelling out the working hours, salary, days off, and vacation of Filipino workers. #SilvestreBelloIII #Sloveniajobs The post DoLE eyes Slovenia for OFW appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsOct 23rd, 2019Related News

5,000 jobs waiting for Filipinos in Slovenia

Some 5,000 job opportunities are awaiting Filipino workers in Slovenia, the Department of Labor and Employment reported yesterday......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsOct 22nd, 2019Related News

5k trabaho sa Europe para sa Pinoy

MANGANGAILANGAN ng 5,000 bagong trabaho sa Europe kaya malaking oportunidad ito sa mga manggagawang Pilipino. Ito ay base sa ulat ng Department of Labor and Employment. Nais ng bansang Slovenia na humingi ng pahintulot sa Pilipinas kaugnay sa pagpapadala ng nasa 2,000 hanggang 5,000 skilled at semi-skilled na manggagawa upang mapalakas ang kanilang workforce. Kahalintulad […] The post 5k trabaho sa Europe para sa Pinoy appeared first on Bandera......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: NewsOct 22nd, 2019Related News

Poland, Russia qualify for Euro 2020; Croatia must wait

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press Poland and Russia qualified for the 2020 European Championship on Sunday, while Gareth Bale's goal forced Croatia to wait after a 1-1 draw with Wales. Germany beat Estonia 3-0 despite playing with 10 men from the 14th minute. Robert Lewandowski set up both goals for Poland as Chicago Fire midfielder Przemyslaw Frankowski and fellow substitute Arkadiusz Milik scored late in a hard-fought 2-0 win over North Macedonia. Poland is assured of finishing in the top two of Group G, where second-place Austria boosted its hopes of qualifying with a 1-0 win at Slovenia. Russia earlier routed Cyprus 5-0 to join group winner Belgium in securing a place at next year's tournament. Valencia forward Denis Cheryshev scored twice and set up two more goals for the Russians - who only needed a draw to be sure of qualification - to take their tally to 21 points after seven wins from eight games in Group I. With two games remaining, Russia has 11 points more than third-place Cyprus and 12 more than fourth-place Scotland, which thrashed San Marino 6-0 at a poorly attended Hampden Park in Glasgow. Belgium already had secured its place at the finals, but Roberto Martínez's team stayed perfect in qualifying with a 2-0 win over Kazakhstan in Astana. Michy Batshuayi scored in the first half and Thomas Meunier wrapped up the win in the second, giving Belgium its eighth win from eight games. The Belgians have scored 30 goals and conceded just one. BALE THWARTS CROATIA Nikola Vlasic scored early to put Croatia on course for a win that would have secured qualification from Group E. Bale's equalizer in first-half injury time denied the visitors - including Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric - and kept Welsh hopes of qualifying alive. Croatia leads the group by two points from Hungary, which defeated Azerbaijan 1-0 in Budapest thanks to Mihály Korhut's early strike. The top three in the group are Croatia (14 points), Hungary (12) and Slovakia (10). Wales is fourth on eight points with a game in hand over the top two. GÜNDOGAN SHINES Ilkay Gündogan scored twice and set up another for 10-man Germany to beat Estonia with three second-half goals in Tallinn. "The whole week hasn't been easy," said Germany coach Joachim Löw, whose side was hit by injuries. "But we didn't complain. The decisive thing was that we upped the pace in the second half. In the end it was satisfactory." Emre Can, filling in at center back, was shown an early red card for bringing down Frank Liivak, who would have been through on goal. Germany had never had a player sent off so early in a game before, with Can beating the mark set by Robert Huth's 15th-minute ejection in a friendly game against Northern Ireland in 2005. Gündogan finally broke the deadlock in the 51st when his effort from outside the penalty box took a slight deflection off Marco Reus' heel. His second goal six minutes later also took a deflection, this time off a defender. Gündogan's long pass over the top allowed substitute Timo Werner to wrap up the win in the 71st. Germany and the Netherlands are level on 15 points and well-placed to qualify from Group C. Northern Ireland is third on 12 points. The Dutch earlier claimed a 2-1 win over Belarus in Minsk, thanks to first-half goals from Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. The top two teams of each group advance. The other four qualifiers will come through four tiers of playoffs in March......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 14th, 2019Related News

Rampant Belgium becomes 1st team to qualify for Euro 2020

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Six first-half goals set Belgium on its way to a record-tying victory and a place in next year's European Championship. Three late goals revived the Netherlands' chances of being at the continent-wide tournament, too. Belgium — the world's top-ranked soccer nation — became the first team to qualify for Euro 2020 by crushing San Marino 9-0 on Thursday, matching the biggest margin of victory in its history. It was 6-0 by halftime in Brussels, with striker Romelu Lukaku scoring two of the goals to pass 50 in internationals. The Belgians consolidated their place at the summit of Group I and guaranteed a top-two finish with three qualifiers to spare. Their neighbors didn't have it so easy, with the Netherlands' scoring three goals from the 80th minute to come from behind and beat Northern Ireland 3-1 in the Dutch stronghold of Rotterdam. Memphis Depay scored two of those late goals. It left the two teams in a three-way tie on 12 points with Germany in Group C. The Northern Irish have played one game more, though, and their remaining two qualifiers are against the Dutch and the Germans. Croatia and Poland both won 3-0, against Hungary and Latvia respectively, to stay in control of their groups. RAMPANT BELGIUM Belgium has now won an international game by a nine-goal margin on four occasions, with San Marino on the receiving end of two of those thrashings. In 2001, it lost 10-1 in this fixture. Double figures looked well within reach of the Belgians after they scored six goals in the final 17 minutes of the first half, with Nacer Chadli, Toby Alderweireld and Youri Tielemans joining Lukaku in finding the back of the net. There was also an own-goal from Cristian Brolli. The other three goals came from the 79th minute, through Christian Benteke, Yari Verschaeren and Timothy Castagne. "Nine-nil is a good result," said Lukaku, who now has a record-extending 51 goals for Belgium, "but we would have loved to have scored one more and broken that all-time record." Russia looks almost certain to join Belgium in advancing from the group after beating Scotland 4-0 at home to stay eight points clear of Cyprus in second place. Russia is away to Cyprus on Sunday, and needs only a point to qualify. LEAVING IT LATE With the Dutch trailing 1-0 heading into the final 10 minutes, it looked as though they might need a back-door route to Euro 2020 via the playoffs. A defeat would have left them six points adrift of Northern Ireland but Ronald Koeman's team finally converted one of their chances when Depay scored in the 80th to cancel out Josh Magennis' opener five minutes earlier. Luuk de Jong and Depay — following a surging run by Frenkie de Jong — added goals in injury time to seal victory for the Netherlands, who have now won 17 matches in a row at Feyenoord's De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam since drawing 0-0 with Romania in March 2007. "We are devastated with the nature of the defeat," said Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, whose team went from being favorites to automatically qualify to the outsiders in the space of about 10 minutes. Belarus drew 0-0 with Estonia in the group's other game. Both teams are out of contention. LEWANDOWSKI HAT TRICK Robert Lewandowsi moved onto 60 international goals by scoring his sixth hat trick for Poland in its 3-0 win in Latvia. The Bayern Munich striker netted twice in the opening 13 minutes before adding a third in the 76th. Austria stayed three points behind Poland in Group G by coming from behind to beat Israel 3-1. North Macedonia beat Slovenia 2-1 and is a further two points in third place. CROATIA IN COMMAND Croatia, the World Cup semifinalist last year, opened up a three-point lead in Group E by beating Hungary 3-0 thanks to a fifth-minute opener by Luka Modric and two goals by Bruno Petkovic. Second-place Slovakia was held to a 1-1 draw at home to Wales, which is fourth — three points behind its opponent — but has a game in hand over all the teams above them. The top two in each of the 10 groups qualify for the 24-team Euro 2020, which is being played in 12 countries with no automatic places for hosts. The other four qualifiers will come through four tiers of playoffs in March......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 11th, 2019Related News

Germany, Netherlands win as Croatia drops points

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press Germany flirted with defeat for a second straight European Championship qualifier before Marcel Halstenberg's first international goal lifted the team to a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Monday. Coming off a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands, Germany's recovery was unconvincing, helped by Northern Ireland wasting good chances. The Dutch delivered another impressive attacking display as Memphis Depay marked his 50th game for the Netherlands by scoring one goal and setting up two more in a 4-0 win over Estonia. Belgium made qualifying seem a pushover by beating Scotland 4-0 to keep a perfect winning record, but other favorites faltered. Croatia and Poland both dropped points but remained top of their increasingly competitive groups. REBUILD CONTINUES Germany's still in rebuild mode. More than a year on from its embarrassing group-stage elimination at the World Cup, Joachim Löw's team still struggles to get what should be routine wins. Just as South Korea ran Germany into the ground at the World Cup, so hard pressing from Northern Ireland nearly earned an upset win in Belfast. The host had the better of the first half. Conor Washington had one good shot saved by Manuel Neuer, and later tripped over the ball in front of goal, missing the best chance of the game. Germany emerged from the break refreshed and needed just three minutes before Halstenberg volleyed the ball into the net after Julian Brandt flicked on a cross. Stuart Dallas then went close for Nothern Ireland, who continued to challenge until deep into stoppage time, when Serge Gnabry grabbed Germany's second goal on a counter. "They pressed us hard in the first half, but at some point they got tired," Halstenberg said. Asked if Germany was getting back to the level of Europe's best, he was diplomatic. "It's hard to say." Ryan Babel was crucial in the Netherlands' come-from-behind win over Germany on Friday and he tore up another defense on Monday, scoring twice against Estonia. It was the first time Babel scored two in an international game and left the Dutch third in Group B, though they've played one game fewer than everyone else. The Netherlands' home-and-away games against Northern Ireland next month and in November will likely decide the automatic qualifying places in Group C. CROATIA CHECKED World Cup finalist Croatia was held by outsider Azerbaijan to 1-1 on Monday, denting its chances of reaching next year's European Championship. Croatia won an early penalty for handball, converted by captain Luka Modric, but Azerbaijan wing back Tamkin Khalilzade cut in from the left in the 72nd minute and beat Dejan Lovren before shooting past goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. For Azerbaijan, a Euro 2020 host, it was the first point of the qualifying campaign after four straight defeats. Croatia leads Group E by a single point from Slovakia and Hungary with two qualifying spots available. Slovakia beat Hungary 2-1 to move up to second. The other team in the hunt for qualification, Wales, was playing a friendly. BELGIUM TAKES IT EASY Scotland's Hampden Park was a walk in the park for Belgium. The visitors were three goals up after just 32 minutes as they kept a perfect record of six wins from six in qualifying. With an 11-point cushion to third-placed Kazakhstan, Belgium could seal qualification in its next game against San Marino. Belgium's goal difference of +18 is the best of any team in the qualifying competition and its gone five competitive games without conceding. Russia kept second place in Group I, but was lackluster in beating Kazakhstan 1-0, needing an 89th-minute headed goal from right back Mario Fernandes. Cyprus beat San Marino 4-0. After a fourth defeat, Scotland was in fifth place. It has never finished a European Championship qualifying campaign below fourth. POLAND SCORELESS AGAIN Poland looked a dead cert to qualify until last week, and now that seems a long time ago. After four straight wins, a 2-0 loss to Slovenia on Friday rattled the Poles. A 0-0 draw with Austria on Monday left Poland with its lead cut to two points. Slovenia earned a second big win in four days, beating Israel 3-2 to snatch second place in Group G. The competition's top scorer, Eran Zahavi, netted his ninth goal in qualifying as Israel turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, but Roman Bezjak drew Slovenia level before winger Benjamin Verdic scored the winner. Fourth-placed North Macedonia kept long-shot qualifying hopes alive by beating Latvia 2-0......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsSep 10th, 2019Related News

Hello, World Cup: A record field set for FIBA s main event

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press SHANGHAI (AP) — The biggest basketball World Cup is about to begin. Many of the world’s top players — and a couple of the world’s top national teams — are not in China for the FIBA World Cup, a 32-team extravaganza that begins Saturday. At stake over the next 16 days: The world championship, along with seven of the 11 remaining available berths in next summer’s Tokyo Olympics. And several teams figure they can be the one to thwart the United States’ bid for an unprecedented third straight crown. “We’re here to go for gold,” said Sasha Djordjevic, the coach of Serbia — a team that some consider the tournament’s gold-medal favorite. “Every game that we play will be the biggest game for us.” The first eight games of the tournament are Saturday, and things will move quite rapidly. The eight-game-a-day pace continues through Sept. 9, with quarterfinal games on Sept. 10 and 11, semifinals on Sept. 13 with the event capped by the gold- and bronze-medal games in Beijing on Sept. 15. All told, 92 games will be played in eight cities. “We have nothing to lose,” said Japan guard Yuta Watanabe, whose team will face the U.S. in the group stage. FIBA changed much about the tournament for this edition. The event was moved back a year; the last World Cup was in 2014, and it was bumped to 2019 this time around to avoid going against the FIFA World Cup for men’s soccer in the same years. The field was expanded from 24 to 32 and qualifying rules were vastly altered largely to keep NBA and other pro-league players from helping their countries reach the event. For some nations, that became a huge problem. European champion Slovenia, the world’s seventh-ranked team, is not in the World Cup. Same goes for world No. 9-ranked Croatia, which lost eight of its 12 qualifying games. Yet for other nations, the changes sparked opportunity — Nigeria, Venezuela, Italy and Japan all qualified for the first time since 2006, and Poland made the field for the first time since 1967. “The World Cup is an unbelievable competition,” said Canada coach Nick Nurse, who doubles as coach of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors. “Great teams and coaches and scouting and work and preparation that will make anyone better for going through that. So I’m extremely honored and excited and humbled to be here.” Most of the top Americans aren’t in the World Cup, a few because of injuries, other candidates cited schedule concerns. Of the 35 leading scorers from this past NBA season who would have been eligible to play for the U.S. team, only two — Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz — are wearing the red, white and blue in China. “I’m more concerned with who is here than who isn’t,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. For the international teams, though, there’s minimal concern about big-name absences. Greece is led by NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Serbia is led by All-NBA center Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and France features third-team All-NBA center Rudy Gobert. And the host Chinese are hoping to make a splash as well. “It’s a rare opportunity for all of us,” former NBA player Yi Jianlian, now the Chinese captain, said in Beijing earlier this week. “You can feel the special duty when you see the national flag on your chest.” Some other things to know as the World Cup begins: FORMAT Teams were drawn into eight groups of four for the opening round, with the two top teams from each group making the round of 16 and the others going into classification games to determine 17th through 32nd place. Games are four 10-minute quarters, so regulation is eight minutes shorter than an NBA game. The 3-point line is a bit closer than in the NBA, especially from the top of the arc — that’s 22 feet, 2 inches in FIBA play, or 19 inches closer than the NBA stripe. The top two teams from the Americas, top two from Europe and top regional finisher form Asia, Africa and Oceania will clinch spots to join Japan in the 2020 Olympics; the last four spots in the 12-team field for the Tokyo Games will come down to qualifying next July. BEST GROUP The so-called “group of death” would be Group H, with Australia (which just beat the U.S. in a friendly to snap a 78-game winning streak by the Americans), Lithuania and Canada. All three of those teams are likely good enough to advance, yet only two will get to the round of 16 with a shot at the quarterfinals. Senegal rounds out that group. U.S. RECORD The Americans have won 19 consecutive World Cup (formerly known as the world championship) games, and are 14-0 in games in China when using a roster composed of NBA players (8-0 in the 2008 Olympics and 6-0 in other games there in 2006 and 2008). Mason Plumlee is the only player on this year’s U.S. World Cup team that was on the gold-medal-winning roster at this event in 2014. REFRESHER COURSE Seven of the eight quarterfinalists from the 2014 World Cup are in this year’s field. The U.S. beat Lithuania and Serbia beat France in the semifinals, and the Americans rolled to a 129-92 win in the gold-medal game behind 26 points from Kyrie Irving. France rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Lithuania for bronze 95-93. GLOBAL GAME FIBA, basketball’s global organizing body, says the tournament will be televised in at least 176 countries and territories......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 31st, 2019Related News

All eyes will be on Nadal vs. Kyrgios matchup at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — All eyes will be on the marquee matchup between Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon. It is a rematch from 2014, when a 19-year-old Kyrgios upset then-No. 1 Nadal at the All England Club. In other second-round action Thursday, Serena Williams and Roger Federer will play their matches at the All England Club's second biggest court. They have won a combined 15 singles titles at Wimbledon and are accustomed to playing most of their matches on Centre Court. This time, Federer will be on No. 1 Court against 20-year-old Jay Clarke of Britain. Williams will follow in that arena, facing 18-year-old Kaja Juvan of Slovenia. Andy Murray will make his debut at this year's tournament, playing men's doubles with Pierre-Hugues Herbert against Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 4th, 2019Related News

Giannis Antetokounmpo named 2019 NBA MVP

By Beth Harris, Associated Press SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks fell two games short of the NBA Finals. They won big at the NBA Awards. A tearful Giannis Antetokounmpo earned Most Valuable Player honors and Mike Budenholzer won Coach of the Year on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) in Santa Monica. Antetokounmpo, a 24-year-old forward from Greece, beat out Paul George of Oklahoma City and James Harden of Houston, who won last year. Antetokounmpo was a resounding winner. He received 941 points and 78 first-place votes in the balloting — 165 points more than Harden. Harden finished second with 776 points and 23 first-place votes. "MVP is not about stats and numbers, and obviously James Harden had unbelievable numbers and Paul George also, but obviously it's about winning," Antetokounmpo said backstage. "We created great habits throughout the season and were able to stick by them, and that's why we were able to have a chance in every single game we played and were able to win 60 games." The show had an international flair, with three international players besides Antetokounmpo winning. Antetokounmpo averaged 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds while earning All-NBA first-team honors this season, his sixth with the Bucks. He led the franchise to the best record in the regular season and the Bucks reached the Eastern Conference finals. Tears rolled down his cheeks as Antetokounmpo thanked his mother Veronica and brothers in the audience at Barker Hanger. He credited his late father for pushing him toward his goals and his teammates and coaching staff for their help. "We started from nothing as a family," he said, "and we are going to be in every stage that we can be as a family." Antetokounmpo said backstage that he had vowed to his family he wasn't going to cry. "When you hear your name up there on the stage and then you realize these years of hard work, what you did in the past, then you start getting emotional," he said. Budenholzer also got choked up while thanking his family after his second coaching honor. He earned the trophy for the first time with Atlanta in 2015. He guided the Bucks to a 60-22 record in the regular season in his first year with the franchise, leading them to the Eastern Conference finals, where they lost to eventual NBA champion Toronto. "What they did on the court this year, including the playoffs, was special," Budenholzer said backstage. "We weren't good enough in the end, but we certainly feel like we have enough talent, we have enough character to be a team that's playing in the finals and winning a championship." Budenholzer also coached Team Giannis in the All-Star Game last season. He beat out Denver's Mike Malone and Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers. Horst was honored in voting by his fellow NBA executives, while the six biggest awards were determined in voting by a global media panel. Lou Williams was voted the Sixth Man of the Year for the second season in a row and third time in his career, tying former Los Angeles Clipper guard Jamal Crawford. The guard won for the first time in 2015 with Toronto. Williams beat out teammate Montrezl Harrell, with whom he formed the highest-scoring bench duo in NBA history last season, and Domantas Sabonis of Indiana. Williams became the career leader in points off the bench during the season. "This one was different because I kind of went into the season wanting this one. In years past I always just played and lived with whatever happened," he said. "I felt like this one was going to be a legacy piece." Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz won Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. The 26-year-old center from France beat out Antetokounmpo and George. "I never thought I would be able to do that when I started basketball playing in France," Gobert said backstage. "I didn't know an NBA player, I didn't know nothing about basketball. I was just having fun." Pascal Siakam of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors earned Most Improved Player. The 25-year-old from Cameroon averaged 16.9 points and started 79 of 80 regular-season games for the Raptors in his third year with the team. Siakam had 26 20-point outings after scoring 20 points in a game only once in his first two seasons. He then scored 32 points in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Siakam beat out De'Aaron Fox of Sacramento and D'Angelo Russell of Brooklyn. Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks easily won Rookie of the Year. The 20-year-old small forward from Slovenia accepted his trophy from RJ Barrett, who went to the New York Knicks as the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft last week. Doncic was the No. 3 pick last year. The other finalists were Deandre Ayton of Phoenix and Trae Young of Atlanta. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson shared the Lifetime Achievement Award. The former rivals took turns holding their trophies while each other spoke. Bird said the NBA is in good hands with today's talented athletes and he urged them to keep the game the same so it continues on for future generations. Johnson starred for the Los Angeles Lakers and Bird with the Boston Celtics. Mike Conley Jr., newly traded to the Utah Jazz, claimed trophies for Teammate and Sportsmanship of the Year. Conley earned the awards for his 12-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies. Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards received the NBA Cares Community Assist honor......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 25th, 2019Related News

PVL: Cool Smashers battle Water Defenders to end first round

Streaking defending champion Creamline looks to end the first round in solo second place when the Cool Smashers clash with winless BaliPure on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The match starts at 2:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. The Cool Smashers won three straight games after dropping their conference opener in straight sets at the hands of league-leading and unbeaten PetroGazz. Creamline welcomed the return of Thai coach Tai Bundit, who replaced fired Chinese mentor Huanning Li after just one game, with a 13-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23, win over Motolite last Saturday. The Cool Smashers are facing a team that has yet to win a game but Creamline knows that the Water Defenders will come prepared and hungry to end their skid.    “Paghahandaan namin sila like how they’ll prepare for us and we can’t sleep on their imports, we can’t sleep on their locals. Kasi kapag pinagsamsa-sama sila at nag-click silang lahat mahirap silang pigilan,” said Cool Smashers setter Jia Morado. “So I think we just to have to work on a stronger start, be more consistent and be more efficient and smarter when we play,” added Morado, who is backed by a solid crew led by Alyssa Valdez, Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato and imports Kuttika Kaewpin of Thailand and Venezuelan Ale Blanco. BaliPure remains in search for the elusive win after failing in its first four tries. Montenegrin Danijela Dzakovic and Alexandra Vajdova of Slovenia will need all the help they could get from locals Grazielle Bombita, Satrianni Espiritu and Menchie Tubiera to end the first round on a high note.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 11th, 2019Related News

Spain, Poland stay perfect in Euro 2020 qualifying

By Karel Janicek, Associated Press PRAGUE (AP) — Spain and Poland maintained perfect records in qualifying for the 2020 European Championship by winning their third straight games on Friday. Spain took a 4-1 victory home from Faeroe Islands while Poland also won away, 1-0 at North Macedonia. Israel beat Latvia 3-0, thanks to Eran Zahavi's hat trick, to surprisingly stay in contention for a spot in the final tournament and Ukraine routed Serbia 5-0. In the last rounds of qualifiers before the summer break, world champion France and powerhouses Croatia, Germany and Italy will be in action on Saturday while the Netherlands, Portugal, England and Switzerland wrap up play in UEFA's inaugural Nations League final four on Sunday. SPAIN SHINES Sergio Ramos put Spain in front after six minutes with his 19th international goal and Jesus Navas followed with his first score for "La Roja" since 2013. Klaemint Olsen beat goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to reduce the lead, but an own goal by goalkeeper Teitur Gestsson made it 3-1 before halftime and Jose Gaya closed things out in the 71st minute. Assistant coach Robert Moreno once again took charge of Spain with Luis Enrique absent due to personal reasons. Enrique continues to do most of the planning for Spain's training and receives also video of the sessions at his home in Barcelona. It's unclear when he might return. Spain tops Group F with nine points, two more than Sweden, which beat Malta 3-0. The two leaders face off on Monday. SCHICK ON TARGET England had taken command of Group A with big wins over the Czech Republic (5-0) and Montenegro (5-1), but its participation in the Nations League gave the others a chance to catch up. In Prague, the Czech Republic came from a goal down to spoil the coaching debut of Bulgaria's 1994 World Cup star Krasimir Balakov. Ismail Isa headed home from close range to put Bulgaria in front after just three minutes. But Patrik Schick slotted home a first-half equalizer and scored the winner early in the second half. The Czechs, who have qualified for each European championship since the 1993 breakup of Czechoslovakia, are three points behind England in second. Bulgaria has two points, the same as Montenegro and Kosovo, which drew 1-1 in Podgorica. SERBIA SUFFERS Ukraine moved to the top of Group B with seven points by routing Serbia. Viktor Tsygankov scored twice in a three-minute span of the first half and Yevhen Konoplyanka sandwiched a pair of goals around one from Roman Yaremchuk after the break. Luxembourg drew 1-1 at Lithuania to stay second in the group with four points. It will face a more serious test on Monday when it plays at Ukraine. Portugal has two points after a slow start, one more than Serbia. ZAHAVI UNSTOPPABLE Krzysztof Piatek's overhead kick goal early in the second half may have proved Poland's favorite status, but it was again Israeli's Zahavi who stole the show in Group G. Zahavi curled in a free kick in the ninth minute and added two more goals in the second half, giving him seven in three qualifiers. Poland's nine points are two more than Israel, while Austria registered its first points with a 1-0 win over Slovenia. DUFFY THE RESCUER Shane Duffy scored with five minutes remaining to give Ireland a 1-1 draw with Denmark that kept it at the top of Group D. Substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg put Denmark in front in the 76th minute, only for Duffy to equalize late with a header. Ireland has seven points, three more Switzerland. Georgia is third with three points after beating Gibraltar 3-0, and Denmark has two points......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 8th, 2019Related News

Slovenia reburies 800 bodies from post-WWII mass grave

MARIBOR — Slovenia on yesterday reburied the remains of some 800 people found in a mass grave containing the bodies of thousands believed killed in the after.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: WorldOct 27th, 2016Related News

Hart shines as disappointing England draws 0-0 at Slovenia

The Associated Press   England required a series of brilliant saves from Joe Hart to salvage a 0-0 draw at Slovenia in World Cup qualifying, with the dropping of captain Wayne Rooney failing to have the desired effect on Tuesday. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 12th, 2016Related News