Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH The trio apologized that day and publicly thanked Trump, who was in Asia last week, for his help. On Thursday morning, the president sent another tweet: “You’re welcome. go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible.”In the same tweet, Trump said, “HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLater in the day, as he rallied House Republicans before a crucial vote on a tax overhaul, Trump talked about his efforts to release the playersRep. Steve Womack of Arkansas said Trump “personally engaged the Chinese president and it turned out the way it did,” with the players released. He said China is known for being “extremely punitive” with criminal suspects, adding: “This could have been a disaster for those families.” Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Ex-France minister has to pay damages to Nadal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments MOST READ Flanked by Cody Riley, left, and Jalen Hill, third from left, UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball reads his statement as head coach Steve Alford listens during a news conference at UCLA Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, in Los Angeles. The three players were detained in Hangzhou following allegations of shoplifting last week before an NCAA college basketball game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump urged three suspended UCLA basketball players on Thursday to thank China’s president for their freedom after they shoplifted in China.The president’s suggestion came a day after he tweeted: “Do you think the three UCLA basketball players will say thank you President Trump. They were headed for 10 years in jail.”ADVERTISEMENT Read Next LATEST STORIES Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were detained in Hangzhou for questioning last week before the Bruins beat Georgia Tech in their season-opening game in Shanghai. The rest of the team returned home Saturday.Athletic director Dan Guerrero said the shoplifting occurred when the team had 90 minutes of free time on Nov. 6 in Hangzhou. He said the three took items from three stores.The players are suspended indefinitely, and coach Steve Alford says they will have to earn their way back onto the team.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.
“First game, first win but of course, we still encountered problems which is our receive and communication on the court,” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos in Filipino.Hillary Hurley backed up Stalzer with 18 points, including the Blaze Spikers’ last three points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutRhea Dimaculangan was a wizard on the floor for Petron, dishing out 32 excellent sets as she and Stalzer proved to be a lethal combination.Petron libero Pia Gaiser also had a triumphant return from an ACL injury that cut short her UAAP career last year. Lindsay Stalzer picked up where she left off, powering Petron to a 25-21, 18-25, 25-17, 25-20 win over Sta. Lucia in the 2018 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Saturday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Stalzer fired 30 points with six service aces and two blocks for the Blaze Spikers, who got their bid to regain the crown going.ADVERTISEMENT View comments AFP official booed out of forum Read Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting New coach wants to more output from Foton imports John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH LATEST STORIES Gaiser, the former University of the Philippines star, missed the rest of UAAP Season 79 after hurting her left knee against National University 11 months ago.Anisova Bohdana and Mar-Jana Phillips led the Lady Realtors’ attack with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Andretti shrugs his shoulders when asked what it’s like to have his last name, and to hear the whispers and questions about his famous family.“I don’t know what it’s like otherwise,” he said. “The more unique part is driving for my dad. Sometimes it can be tricky. Most of the time, we make it work.” BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Marco Andretti, left, and Fernando Alonso, of Spain, chat before the drivers meeting for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, May 27, 2017 in Indianapolis. The 101st running of the race is Sunday. APDETROIT — Marco Andretti left the Indianapolis 500 frustrated, wishing he could quickly race again to redeem himself after a broken wing led to an eighth-place finish.This weekend, he will get two chances to bounce back at the Detroit Grand Prix.ADVERTISEMENT “It’s another big points weekend,” Andretti said Thursday (Friday Manila time), standing in shade under a tree on a sunny day on Belle Isle, where IndyCar will have races Saturday and Sunday. “Within a month, there is so many points up for grabs — almost half the season it feels like. Hopefully, we can capitalize here and get back in the top 10 in points. I’ve had engine-related issues four races so far. I’ve been taken out of the points race, unfortunately.”Andretti is No. 14 in IndyCar points, slipping in the standings with just two top-five finishes and two in the top 10 out of six starts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe third-generation driver knows all too well he has to choose his words carefully. He grew up in the sport in a family that casts a huge shadow because of his grandfather, Mario, and father, Michael. While there are many things out of his control on a track, he knows it isn’t wise to lash out at his team when something goes wrong with his car.“There’s no right thing for me to say,” the 30-year-old Andretti acknowledged. “I’m either complaining or just taking it on the chin and trying to work harder. So, I’ll just take it on the chin and work harder.” LA mayor ponders 2028 Games in exchange for youth funding Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast MOST READ Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast LATEST STORIES Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Takuma Sato, meanwhile, gave Andretti Autosport its second straight win at the Indy 500 and the third in four years. Sato and four other drivers in Honda-power cars finished among the first seven and in front of Andretti. And days later, he is still puzzled he wasn’t as successful as others on his team or with a Honda engine at open-wheel racing’s signature event.“I don’t have an answer for that yet,” he said softly. “I wish we knew. I’m not sure what happened.”Since being the IndyCar and Indy 500 rookie of the year in 2006 with one victory, a lot of people aren’t sure what has happened to Andretti. He has won only one other IndyCar race, back in 2011, and failed to finish in the top five in any of his 16 starts last season.Tony Kanaan has seen up close, and from afar, how much pressure is on Andretti since he was a 14-year-old kid hanging out around the track.“He has to carry a big name on the back of his shoulders,” Kanaan said. “He’s one of the great drivers we have, but if you’re going to keep comparing him to his dad and his grandfather, those are tough shoes to fill. I think he has learned how to take that pressure off himself and to just be Marco.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments
“I expect us to come out guns blazing. You get punched in the face you want to respond. We know what it takes to win a championship. We know what we have to do.”The Cavaliers became the first team in NBA Finals history to rally from 3-1 down last year in dethroning the Warriors.Now Cleveland is trying to become the first playoff team to overcome a 3-0 deficit, but that requires a road win Monday.“We have to bring our best game every game against this team. They create so many different problems out on the floor, so much firepower, that we always have to play great in order to win,” Cavaliers superstar LeBron James said.“If you don’t do something well, they will make you pay for it, so we have to be 20 times better in this building and we understand that… If we don’t protect the ball, we don’t limit their three-point shooting, then we can get blown out.”ADVERTISEMENT “First three games we were being too nice, helping guys up off the floor, smiling, I didn’t like that,” Lue said Sunday. “Talking trash, being physical, whatever you got to do to get that edge, you got to do it.“They’re coming right after us so we have to go after them. I don’t see anything funny or anything to smile about. Hitting, being physical, we have to do that. Talking trash or knocking guys on the floor, whatever you got to do, you got to do it.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutExpect the battle to be joined as the Warriors, on the brink of an NBA title but coming off their first loss in two months, try to clinch before home supporters.“You don’t want to keep letting the series prolong, so you have to come out with a killer instinct and a punch-face mentality,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 09: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors speak after a foul in the third quarter in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFPCleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue wants to see a tougher tone from the defending champions in their do-or-die showdown Monday with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 but missed a chance to clinch with a 137-116 loss Friday at Cleveland, the more intense and physical Cavaliers ending Golden State’s unbeaten playoff run at 15 games.ADVERTISEMENT Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Irving sinks big shots for Cavs when need greatest Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire MOST READ What ‘missteps’? World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ “We know the situation we’re in. We know anything can happen in this league and we know that champions just don’t lay down and die. They’re going to come out and play with a sense of urgency.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken View comments – LeBron, K.D. talking trash –James, who said he isn’t interested in playing in the new Olympic basketball 3-on-3 event, said he and Warriors star forward Durant will continue to exchange trash talk.“We’ve been on each other a lot throughout these first four games,” James said. “It’s probably going to stay that way and we’ll see what happens after that.”What could be a coronation might also give the Warriors a coronary issue. They lost game five at home last year on the way to dropping the series. They added Durant, seeking his first NBA title after leaving Oklahoma City, but a loss would bring a game six Thursday in Cleveland and perhaps a winner-take-all Sunday showdown in Oakland.“They’re going to view this as a game seven situation,” Cleveland’s Richard Jefferson said. “For us, every game’s a game seven. But for them, this particularly is from the standpoint of they don’t want to go back to Cleveland and they understand that anything can happen in game seven.”Green said the chance to sweep was a distraction more so than the now-ended chance to become the first champion to roll unbeaten through the playoffs.“It’s natural for you to look up and see the finish line right there, and you tend to focus on that instead of the task at hand,” Green said. “We understand that.“You just think it’s going to happen. Then all of a sudden you get smacked in the face and it’s like: Whoa. You remember what can be, what can happen.”Not since 1996 had a team up 3-0 failed to sweep in the final. But not since 1951 has a team down 3-0 forced a seventh game in the finals.“We just want to play a good game. We can’t worry about what happens after the game,” Durant said. “If we start thinking too far down the line, we take our focus off of the task at hand.
Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments “That’s it, we can’t do anything but accept what just happened,” said F2’s middle blocker Aby Maraño after the tough loss.READ: Petron claims PSL All-Filipino Conference title, sweeps F2 FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsIn a game that saw three extended sets and several lead changes, the match ended on a net fault from F2 Logistics.“When that kind of situation happens, there are so many things that enter your mind,” said Maraño who had 14 points in the loss. “’Is it over? Are we still going to fight it?’” Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Maizo-Pontillas ‘pressured’ after winning MVP plum CONTRIBUTED PHOTOAfter a crushing defeat to Petron in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference, all F2 Logistics can do is and move on.The Cargo Movers were swept by the Blaze Spikers in the finals with a 26-24, 24-26, 24-26, 25-23, 15-11 win sealing the title Thursday night.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We were in a situation where we were down three points in the fifth set, but Petron was just more aggressive. And if we were in Petron’s situation, we would’ve done the same thing and finish it quick.” Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera LATEST STORIES China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena
Reyes huddles Gilas at end of 1st quarter. “We’re up by one and yet we had seven turnovers.” Asks Filipinos to take care of the ball better. pic.twitter.com/JYYcBTynFK— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) July 15, 2017 El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes LATEST STORIES Next up for the Philippines is Chinese Taipei’s national team on Sunday and the Filipinos will be playing on borrowed time from now on as they can’t afford to take another loss and expect to win.READ: Gilas fate hangs on future pro stars This 10-team, nine-nation event will be just a single round tournament where the team with the most wins after nine playing days wins the championship.Using the name Mighty Sports last year, the Philippines swept this tournament with an import-laden crew led by former NBA All-Rookie Team member Al Thornton.ADVERTISEMENT National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Despite committing seven of its 22 turnovers in the first period, the Filipinos were able to take a 20-19 lead into the second, only for the Canadians to finally find their rhythm and assert their character.READ: Ravena on joining PBA Draft: Only thing left to be done is pass application formThat, despite coming into the tournament with the benefit of four hours of practice together.“I really didn’t know what to expect coming over here,” coach Kyle Julius, a member of the Canadian national team from 2005-2007, said. “But they played hard and it resulted in a win.”Joey Haywood fed Michale Kyser for a two-handed alley-oop slam with 6:45 left that capped a 7-0 spurt for the Canadians and made it a 75-60 game, which basically put the game to bed.READ: Reyes sees growth as Gilas survives Alaska in testy encounter“I’m happy with the effort we came up with,” Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said as his young crew matched up pretty well. He, however, pointed out to the 40 free throws that the Filipinos gave up which spelled the difference.“You can’t give up 40 free throws against a quality team like that and expect to win,” Reyes said.Keifer Ravena, who is set to turn pro in the coming PBA season, paced the Filipinos with 12 points, with Bobby Ray Parks shooting 11 and Carl Bryan Cruz chipping in 10.The scores: Chris Paul looks to get over playoff hump in Houston Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim READ: Despite the attention, Kobe Paras remains cool in first Gilas stintGilas groped for form practically all game, even if it led by a hair after the first period as the Filipinos simply found it too hard penetrating with the Canadians clogging the lanes effectively well.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ TAIPEI – Using its advantage in size and athletic ability to offset its lack in chemistry, Canada 150 on Saturday afternoon put Gilas Pilipinas’ title aspirations in the 39th Jones Cup Invitational in serious jeopardy after a 90-77 drubbing of the Filipinos at Taipei Peace Basketball Hall here.The experienced Canadians, a merry mix of stars assembled recently from teams in the National Basketball League of Canada, held the Filipinos to just 14 second quarter points to scoot away and get their own bid off on the right foot.ADVERTISEMENT FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Canada 90 – Williamson 15, Haywood 12, Kapelan 12, Smith 9, Wood 9, Friesen 8, Sutherland 5, Keith 4, Mordan 2, Bachyski 2Gilas 77 – Ravena 12, Parks 11, Cruz 10, Wright 9, Standhardinger 9, Jalalon 5, Myers 7, Paras 4, Pogoy 4, Ferrer 3, Belo 3, Jose 0Quarterscores: 19-20; 44-34; 66-54, 90-77Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Ravena, Paras weigh in on Gilas’ loss to Canada in Jones Cup4.1K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments
Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Argentina’s forwards Lionel Messi (L) and Mauro Icardi talk during a training session in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires, on August 29, 2017 ahead of their FIFA World Cup qualifier football match against Uruguay. / AFP PHOTO / Juan MABROMATALuis Suarez could yet line up against Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi on Thursday as South America’s battle for 2018 World Cup places resumes with Argentina’s trip to Uruguay the pick of the fixtures.With leaders Brazil already locking up their place at next year’s tournament, attention turns to the tussle for the three remaining automatic berths on offer in the marathon 10-team qualifying tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Brazil will have the luxury of being able to treat their game against Ecuador in Porto Alegre as a training exercise after securing qualification in their last outing, a 3-0 win over Paraguay in March — their eighth consecutive victory.The game may see Brazil coach Tite select Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, who has not played for the Premier League team this season amid a transfer saga involving Barcelona.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side A 6-0 romp over lowly Singapore provided a further clue that Sampaoli, who favours an aggressive, attacking style, may already have begun to have an influence.Higuain axedSampaoli served notice of his determination to invigorate Argentina’s ranks by axing striker Gonzalo Higuain in favour of Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi.Icardi is expected to start at the apex of a front three with Messi and Juventus prodigy Paulo Dybala lurking just behind.Argentina’s path to Russia has been complicated by the Court of Arbtitration for Sport ruling on Tuesday that confirmed a sanction against Bolivia for fielding an ineligible player in their September 2016 0-0 draw with Chile.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Colombia are second in the standings on 24 points while Uruguay and Chile occupy the other two automatic spots on 23 points.It means that fifth-placed Argentina have little margin for error as they head to Montevideo’s Estadio Centenario for the latest instalment of their historic rivalry with the Uruguayans.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingArgentina have spluttered their way through the qualifiers so far, notching only six wins in 14 games, but have shown signs of life under new coach Jorge Sampaoli.Sampaoli, who masterminded Chile’s victory at the 2015 Copa America, took control of the ‘Albiceleste’ in May, and began his reign with a morale-boosting 1-0 win over Brazil in a friendly in June. FIFA later converted that result to a 3-0 win for Chile, a ruling that means Sampaoli’s former team now have a one-point advantage over the fifth-placed Argentines.“Now we have to play catch-up to get to the World Cup,” Sampaoli said Tuesday.Uruguay meanwhile are sweating on the fitness of Barcelona star Suarez.The 30-year-old talisman was initially ruled out of the fixture through injury but has travelled back to his homeland to train with the team.Veteran coach Oscar Tabarez hinted Suarez may yet make a dramatic return on Thursday, declining to rule out the striker.“He has shown signs of recovery that have rather surprised us,” Tabarez said.If Suarez fails to win his fitness battle, Uruguay will once again turn to in-form Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, who is the top scorer in the qualifying competition with nine goals.“It is a very, very difficult match… We will see who has the most guts for it,” said Tabarez.Elsewhere on Thursday, second-placed Colombia will aim to edge closer to qualification with an away victory over already-eliminated Venezuela.Fourth-placed Chile meanwhile host Paraguay in Santiago as they aim to remain ahead of Argentina in the qualifying positions. Athletes raise millions for Texas flood disaster NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments
After coming under scathing attack from all sides for its shoddy preparations, the Commonwealth Games (CWG) organising committee (OC) continues to put up a brave face. Brushing aside the criticism for lack of preparations, CWG OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot on Tuesday offered lame excuses to counter some serious concerns raised by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).Bhanot rejected the hard-hitting letter written by CGF chief Mike Fennel and said that it was not a serious issue. Though he admitted that filth and some small problems were there, it was so because no one was living in the flats at the Games Village, Bhanot insisted.In reply to the concerns raised by CGF CEO Mike Hooper, Bhanot claimed that 70 per cent of the cleaning work was already done and the rest would be completed in the next 36 hours. He said the CWG OC has done a great job and nothing has happened for which anyone should be ashamed of.”All work will be completed at the Village before the athletes start coming from September 23rd. Every complaint on Games Village will be looked into and resolved before arrival of teams. There is nothing to worry,” Bhanot said.Earlier in the day, Hooper had said, “We are disappointed with the condition we find ourselves in. Cleanliness and hygiene are great concerns. The Village is filthy. One can’t occupy the rooms. There is building dust and rubble and the toilets are not working. The Village is supposed to provide the athletes the right environment to prepare for the events. But at the moment we cannot say that’s the case. The promises made have not been kept. Time has run out.”advertisementIn a further embarrassment, New Zealand’s CWG chef de mission Dave Currie even suggested that the Games could be called off. “If the Village is not ready and the athletes can’t come, obviously the implications of that are that it’s not going to happen,” Currie said.Answering to a query on the footbridge collapse near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday, Bhanot said the incident was unfortunate but it would not affect the Games. As many as 26 labourers working on the site were injured in the incident that took place near the CWG main venue.
On a magical Tuesday, India made a golden splash in the sporting arena by overcoming churlish opponents and near-death situations to emerge proud and victorious.It was a dream day made possible by sportspersons who were as plucky as they were gifted. Consider wrestler Anil Kumar, who beat ill-tempered Australian Hassane Fkiri to win gold in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) fixture though he was bruised and bleeding after being shockingly head-butted.In the Mohali Test match, master stroke player VVS Laxman won the day for his country – this win too was against the Australians – battling muscle spasms and a seemingly backbreaking total.Kumar and Laxman were just a couple of heroes of the day as India won five CWG gold at a fast clip and trounced the Australians in the Mohali Test after being in a precarious situation. In fact, Tuesday proved that it does not always have to be cricket versus the Olympic sports.Not only did the two compete for attention, they joined hands to make it a glorious day for Indian sport.First to veteran Laxman, who single-handedly thwarted the prospect for an Australian victory dance at Mohali. He took India from a hopeless 124 for eight to 216 for a miracle victory. It was only just that Laxman remained unbeaten on 73 at the end of the match as rival skipper Ricky Ponting was yet again denied a shot at winning a Test in India as captain. While Laxman kept the India flag flying high in cricket, young Indian shooters and wrestlers got together in Delhi to make it a golden day for the hosts.advertisementAt the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, it was Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and world No. 3 Gagan Narang who opened the account for the country with a thoroughly dominant victory in the men’s 10m air rifle pairs event. Add to this a come-from-behind win over the Australians for India’s Anisa Sayeed and Rahi Sarnobat in the women’s 25m pistol event.The sun began to set, but the good news didn’t stop here. Greco-Roman categories are supposed to be India’s Achilles heel in wrestling. On the opening day of the competition, the form book just went out of the window.First, it was Ravinder Singh who annihilated England’s Terrence Bosson 9- 0 in the final of the 60kg category before Sanjay Kumar beat Richard Addinall of South Africa 2-0 to win the 74kg category.Then came Anil Kumar’s turn to win a fractious 96kg final fight against Australian Hassane Fkiri.Sports lovers were in raptures.At the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium complex, Ravinder looked more relieved than happy – for he had managed to keep a promise he had made to his father three years ago. His father Balwant, a former Haryana Kesari himself, had wanted his son to win a gold medal at the Games. Balwant’s death in 2008 only strengthened Ravinder’s resolve to win a medal.Ravinder was too fast and quick for England’s Bosson and, after winning 2- 0 in the opening round, scored seven consecutive points in the second to emerge the winner.”I had made a promise to my father and I am extremely happy that I could manage to fulfil it. I thank God, my well wishers and my coach for this effort.” He said the crowd had played a “major role” in his gold win. They had high expectations from him; he couldn’t let them down.In contrast, Sanjay’s bout against Addinall was a very close affair.Addinall tried his best to press home his height advantage but Sanjay’s superb defence stood out. In fact, in both the rounds, the two wrestlers appeared to be evenly matched.However, in the crucial stages, it was the Indian who prospered to win 2-0.The third and final bout saw an unruly Fkiri trying hard to distract Anil’s focus. At least on two occasions, the gangling Australian of Tunisian descent resorted to headbutting – but nothing could deter the gritty Indian.Anil kept his cool as blood oozed from his mouth.His quick manoeuvres landed the Australian in trouble. The Indian went on to win 6-0 with a victory that put the icing on the cake for the approximately 3,000 fans in attendance.Later on, a two-member technical delegation from the world wrestling body (FILA) disqualified and stripped Fkiri of his silver medal.Reports suggested that his unsportsmanlike conduct for which he was held guilty was a In the morning, Bindra (595 points) and Narang (598 points) shattered their own CWG record of 1,189 points set in Melbourne by shooting a combined total of 1,193 points to leave England (1,174) and Bangladesh (1,173) far behind.advertisementNarang warmed up for Wednesday’s face-off between the two superstars in the singles event by shooting four perfect rounds, while Bindra was somewhat inconsistent.”It was not a cake walk. There were a lot of expectations. There was a lot of pressure. It was certainly not easy,” Bindra said.The Gagan-Bindra win was followed by an amazing turnaround for Anisa and Rahi, who were trailing the Australian pair of Lalita five points at the end of the precision round of the event. But in the rapid section, 19-year-old Rahi turned the tables almost singlehandedly, blowing away the Aussies with a 296/300. Anisa gave her good support with a 288 to give the Indians a total of 1,156 points, breaking the eight-year-old record of 1,150 set by the same Australian duo.Deepak Sharma and Omkar Singh then won silver in the men’s 50m pistol pairs after finishing behind Singapore, while rifle prone world champion Tejaswini Sawant made up for teammate Lajja Gauswami’s lapses to earn India another silver in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position pairs event, once again behind Singapore.