Bobby Duncan chose to leave Liverpool for Fiorentina because they “matched my ambitions. It wasn’t over money. I wanted to make a name for myself.” Duncan joined the Viola last summer for £1.8m after a controversial exit from Liverpool, when his agent Saif Rubie accused the Reds of bullying the player and blocking any potential moves from the club. “It was a difficult decision to be honest. I was in a difficult moment at that time,” Duncan told ViolaNation.com. “Something was missing. It wasn’t over money. It wasn’t over anything else other than I want to play first team football soon. Liverpool has Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Rhian Brewster. That front three is the best front three in the world. It was hard to knock them down. “In my mind, I thought I would go and play abroad. Serie A is just below the Premier League. I wanted to make a name for myself, show the Liverpool and Fiorentina fans who I am. I always loved Liverpool, but my love now is to the Fiorentina fans. I need to repay them for showing me the love since I arrived. “Leaving Liverpool was a difficult decision. I was only there for a year, but I didn’t see the path forward for me there.” Asked about why he chose Fiorentina, the cousin of former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard cited their hopes for the future. “There were a couple clubs coming after me. I thought that with the new owners coming in, with Rocco Commisso wanting to win trophies, build the club up, it matched my ambitions. I thought it would be an unbelievable experience to get into the first team, develop under Vincenzo Montella and Emiliano Bigica. Vincenzo Virgene believes in me. Hopefully I can pay them back now.” Duncan is one of relatively few English players who are trying to make their mark in a foreign league. “Italy is more physical and tactical. England it is more possession. Italy is feistier. When you step on the pitch, it’s war here. In England we play out of the back. It’s different, but in many ways not that much. “I think I am better served in the Italian game though. I like that here I can get into it. I love the scoring goals, but I like the dirty side of the game as well.” The player also advised other young English players to be more adventurous. “Believe in yourself and make the move. Make the sacrifices, you need to. Since age eight I have sacrificed friends, school, family, everything for this sport. For those up and coming English players I just say believe in yourselves. Put in the work, make the sacrifices, and find a way to see it through.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has sought two-year bans for the four quarter-milers, including Asian Games double gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji, who tested positive for banned substances last year following which they were slapped with one-year suspensions.The athletes had challenged the bans imposed on them by the anti-doping disciplinary panel and the appeals panel had reserved its verdict on their pleas.However, as expected, the WADA has come out to challenge the anti-doping disciplinary panel’s ruling just before the appeals panel is to pronounce its verdict.In its appeal, WADA has quoted several rulings by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in cases similar to those of Ashwini, Priyanka Panwar, Sini Jose and Tiana Mary Thomas in which the punishments awarded were more than one year. The world body made it clear that there was no need for leniency towards the athletes and they deserve harsher penalty. While Ashwini, Sini and Priyanka tested positive for methandienone, Tiana’s sample showed traces of two banned substances – methandienone and stanozolol.Chairman of the appeals panel CK Mahajan will now take up the appeal on Wednesday and the case may be dragged for another hearing before the three-member committee comes out with its verdict. The recent development comes as another setback for the athletes who are virtually out of contention for the Olympic qualifiers. There was a slender chance for them to make themselves available for the Olympics if the panel had upheld their appeal and decreed that the ban starts from the date of sample collection.advertisementHowever, with WADA’s intervention, they are in for more trouble with the world body putting in more evidence in support of a harsher penalty.The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) lawyers and defence counsel have been notified about the development.Meanwhile, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is also reviewing the cases of two athletes – Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu – who were also handed oneyear suspensions and is likely to challenge the ruling in their cases as well.In another development on Wednesday, two hammer throwers tested positive out of the 30 samples collected by NADA during the 57th National School Games held in Ludhiana from January 20 to 23.”In accordance with its programme for testing of athletes at School Games, NADA had collected 30 samples at this competition and the results showed two samples to give positive results for dope,” read a statement from NADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar.”The results of these 30 samples have been received from the National Dope Testing Laboratory. Out of 30 samples, two samples have given positive results for dope. They relate to hammer throwers,” it added.The substances found in samples were stanozolol and methandienone.
India’s batting stalwart Rahul Dravid is likely to announce his retirment from Test cricket on Friday, bringing the curtains down on an illustrious career which made him the second highest run-getter in the longer format till now.Although there hasn’t been any official confirmation of the news but the BCCI on Thursday sent a media release about Dravid holding a joint press conference along with president N Srinivasan at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday afternoon.”Mr. N. Srinivasan, President, BCCI, and Mr. Rahul Dravid will address the media at 12:30 pm on Friday, 9 March 2012, at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru,” the release stated.The 39-year-old Dravid had a disastrous tour of Australia where he scored only 194 runs in eight innings at an average of 24.25. Even more disappointing was that Dravid popularly known as “The Wall” was bowled in six out of the eight innings as the Australian pacer Ben Hilfenhaus repeatedly breaching his defence with ease.There has been intense speculation about Dravid’s impending retirement ever since he failed with the bat during the Australian tour.Dravid had already announced his retirement from ODI cricket after the away series against England when he was surprisingly recalled in the shorter format due to his stupendous performance in the Test series where he scored three centuries in four matches.One of India’s greatest ever Test players, Dravid had scored a whopping 13,288 runs in 164 Tests at an average of over 52 which made him second highest scorer behind Sachin Tendulkar. He has hit 36 centuries and 63 half centuries with 270 against Pakistan being his highest score.He also has a very impressive ODI record where he had scored 10,889 runs at an average of shade less than 40. He has 12 centuries and 83 half centuries in the shorter format.Under his capataincy, India won away Test series in the West Indies as well as England but had a disastrous 2007 World Cup where they were out in the first round. advertisement
With India eliminated from the Asia Cup and just one Twenty20 International against South Africa in Johannesburg to come, the focus now shifts to the upcoming Indian Premier League.Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag is very pleased with the changes in the team composition made by the 2011 wooden spooners, and said it would be an honour and a pleasure to play alongside three current and former international captains.”It’s an honour to be playing with the players who have captained their countries. They can always give me advice if I am going wrong, or suggest a bowling change or field setting that works. So it feels great to be playing with Mahela, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor,” Sehwag told reporters at an event to launch his team’s revamped website here on Wednesday.”I have got (players who were) my first preference, and am happy to have a strong team. Some players will not be available for the first few games, so we will have to really play well.”Asked about the goals for the upcoming season, the flamboyant batsman said: “No one can set a target. We will try to play good cricket, give our 100 per cent. The most important thing, to start with, is to make the play-offs. From there on we will think. The first two or three games are very important, and then we take it forward.”Sehwag, who was rested for the Asia Cup, said while he was doing fine now, he missed being part of the dressing room when his idol, Sachin Tendulkar, got to his 100th international century.advertisement”The rest period is over and I am set to train, and play in the IPL. (But) I missed being in the dressing room when Tendulkar scored that 100th century,” he said.The 33-year-old defended the continued failures of the national team, saying it was a phase everyone went through. “It happens with every team across the world. There is also the home advantage which every team is taking now. The times will change for us. (In the Asia Cup) we beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka but lost to Bangladesh. They have the ability to beat any team,” he said.With the senior players under pressure to give way to youth, Sehwag was asked about his opinion on when a player should retire, and said: “It’s not like a job, government job where you have to retire at 60. A cricketer can retire at 30 or 60, it’s up to the player. Sanath Jayasuriya played till he was 42. I will continue to play as long as I am enjoying the game, contributing to the team, winning games for my country. Nobody can force a player to retire.”After Rahul Dravid’s retirement, Sehwag had paid tribute to the legend’s patience. Asked if it was a sign of things to come in his own batting, Sehwag replied in the negative.”I will not change my style of batting. (Regarding Dravid) he is too good, he is a good listener too. Patience is important even in T20s; you have to play out 120 balls,” he said.Sehwag also heaped praise on Virat Kohli for his outstanding performances on the Australia tour and in the Asia Cup.”He is a brilliant player. He has hit 11 ODI centuries and has not even played 100 matches. He has proved himself and no amount of praise is enough for him,” Sehwag said.The Daredevils also launched their website in Hindi, and Sehwag, who hails from the semi-rural area of Najafgarh on the outskirts of Delhi, said: “This season, my priority will be to interact with the team’s fans. I am happy and excited to see the Hindi website. I am from a rural area, I lived in Najafgarh for 26-27 years before moving to central Delhi. This will help us reach out to more people who can’t read or understand English in the village, and expand our fan base.”shreyas. [email protected]
Sachin Tendulkar does not want to predict whether his seemingly unconquerable record of 100 international centuries would ever be broken but the iconic cricketer hopes that as and when it happens, the feat is accomplished by a fellow Indian.In a wide-ranging interaction with the media, the 38-year-old Tendulkar also said that he does not intend to retire anytime soon no matter what the critics have to say.”I don’t know. I guess all the records are meant to be broken but I hope it’s an Indian. I don’t think you can predict that (whether it will be surpassed) but I hope it’s an Indian whenever it happens,” Tendulkar, who reached the milestone during the recent Asia Cup, told reporters here.”I feel that when I retire is something that I would decide because when I started was not decided by someone else. Those who are advising me about retirement did not bring me in the team.”I get my strength from my coaches and family. When I feel I don’t have that, on that day, I will think of retirement. I feel those who say you should retire at the top are selfish because when you are at the top, you should serve the country instead of retiring,” he said.India went on to lose the match, that too against Bangladesh, in which Tendulkar got to the feat and he said the disappointment meant that the celebrations were muted.”I don’t think that we are celebrating that one match. Where I am right now took 23 years and not one match. I feel the result was very important. It was very disappointing. The day I got the hundred there was no celebration,” he recalled.advertisementFor a player who has virtually every batting record that is there to be taken, Tendulkar said the biggest compliment for him was when the legendary Sir Don Bradman included him in his all-time Test XI.”I think the best compliment was from Sir Don Bradman when he announced his all-time Test XI and I was part of that squad. That would be the best compliment,” he said.Talking about his journey so far, Tendulkar, the highest run-getter in both Tests and one-dayers, said his late father Ramesh Tendulkar was his idol growing up.”My hero is my father because he is the one with whom everything started in my life. I follow my father. In cricket, even whose who haven’t scored a hundred were advising me but as long as it was in good intention, it was fine,” he said.When asked about India’s early exit from the Asia Cup, Tendulkar said credit should also go to the rivals who played better than them.”All three teams won two matches, it eventually boiled down to who beat whom. I want to clarify that Bangladesh are a good team and played well in all the four matches. The rival teams also come to win. Sometimes you play well but the other team plays better,” he explained.The diminutive right-hander said he does not have to prove anything now and would continue as long as he enjoys the game.”I don’t think I need to prove anything right now. I started playing this game because I loved it, I enjoy it. The passion for cricket was there. The dream was to play for India and win the World Cup, I don’t think anything can be bigger than that,” he said.”I can’t think of milestones. I have been able to play for India and win the World Cup. I don’t know what is in store for me but my focus would be to just enjoy the game. I don’t want to focus on what I have to achieve because I have already achieved what I wanted,” he added.Tendulkar also detailed the one year barren spell during which he got into 70s and 80s but somehow missed out on hundreds.”At the time of the World Cup when I got to 99 hundreds, no one was discussing about my 100th hundred because the focus was on the World Cup. But after the World Cup, the media built on it and started asking. I was only focused on playing cricket like always. I just wanted to score runs,” he recalled.”But as time went by, people who were listening to the media, those people, excluding my friends and family, would wish me about the 100th hundred. But I felt cricket should be the focus and that is what I kept telling myself,” Tendulkar said.advertisement”I can say that from a cricketing point of view, it was a tough phase because the good wishes were not stopping. Now, at least they won’t pray for my 100th ton and my ears will get some rest,” he joked.”I can’t complain about all these good wishes.”Talking about his own form in this one year, Tendulkar said, “I can say that there were patches when I didn’t bat well, there were patches when I felt that I batted my best. I felt that sometimes you need luck to be on your side.””Sometimes that luck factor was missing because as far as preparations were concerned, my commitment and passion was in place. I scored 100 out of 100 on that. But you don’t always achieve the results that you dream of,” he said.”Something that is more important is not to lose hope. I did not lose hope, I continued trying my best. Here I only waited for a year but for the World Cup I waited for 22 years and it happened.”Tendulkar said being a celebrity, his struggles hogged the limelight even though every individual goes through tough times.”There are going to be rough phases in life. I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t experienced rough phases but they are personal. But because we are public figures, our rough phases are on camera. But I didn’t lose faith in my ability and that is what has allowed me to be where I am.”Asked to assess himself, Tendulkar said he would leave that job to his fans and critics.”I can’t judge myself but definitely there was a dream to be regarded as one of the top players to have played the game. To be in that league that was my dream. I wanted to be right at the top or to be there in that group and I feel I am there but if you ask me to judge myself, I can’t do that. That’s for others to say,” he said.Asked to compare the pressure he felt at the time of his debut hundred and the 100th hundred, Tendulkar said it is incomparable.”I think in 94′ when I did a press conference, even half of the journalists present right now were not there. There were few expectations. Today the expectations are a lot more. Even if I score 70-80, it is a disappointment like in Delhi last year against the West Indies.”It’s about how you look at things. My first century and this one can’t be compared because expectations are different,” he said.Like him, the Indian team has also gone through a tough phase since winning the World Cup in April last year.Tendulkar said the key to recovery lies in not losing hope.”Wherever we go, we want to win. When you lose the number one ranking, it means someone is playing better cricket than you, you need to perform better and win. That is what we go out for. At no stage should we lose hope. It is a rough patch but we can overcome that obstacle, we require hard work and we will do that,” he said.advertisement”I think our team has had a few injuries. During the England tour, we suffered because of injuries. I don’t want to give excuses because whoever plays, he is expected to do well. I can’t pinpoint reasons but we can get better.”I don’t know how to put it across. I don’t think you can find solutions in 3-4 sentences. It is a process. When we became number one, it was a process and we will have to repeat that,” he added.Talking about the state of the game in general, Tendulkar said Test cricket should remain the pinnacle.”There has to be more importance to Test cricket. This format is very challenging for which you need planning. You need to play at a different pace at different times. If you ask any player, most would tell you that Tests have to be number one and I have no different opinion,” he said.
LATEST STORIES But for the 6-foot-11 slotman, he’s just glad to see Cebuanos like the two of them making their mark in the league as he looks forward to facing off anew with the San Miguel center.“I know June Mar has five (BPC awards) now, but we’re still young in our careers. We got long ways to go in terms of our stay in the league and I think we can still win more of this in the years to come. But I know between the two of us, I got a lot of catching up to do.” he said.Still, Slaughter isn’t losing sight of his ultimate goal, which is to help Ginebra defend its title.“Of course, the goal will always be a championship and I’m motivated to help us win back-to-back,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Coming off a devastating ACL injury that sidelined him for the better half of last year, all Greg Slaughter wanted was to return to form and help Ginebra get back to title contention.ADVERTISEMENT No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors View comments Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans 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 ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Little did he know that all of his efforts will eventually bear fruit as he came back in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup stronger than ever, enough for him to win the Best Player of the Conference in the season-ending tourney.“It’s indeed a validation for all the hard work I put in,” he told the INQUIRER. “Coming back from the injury I’ve been in, I feel thankful to be in this position again and to receive awards like this is just indescribable. It’s always great to win your first.”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 openingSlaughter was stellar all conference long, leading the Gin Kings to a return trip to the Finals with his averages of 14.69 points, 8.75 rebounds, 1.69 assists, and 1.63 blocks.Bagging his first BPC trophy also brings back the talks of his rivalry with five-time BPC winner and three-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo to life. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Slaughter wins 1st BPC; Durham is back-to-back Best Import
‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Sports’ highest court rejected appeals by all 45 Russian athletes plus two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns in a decision announced on Friday, less than nine hours before the opening ceremony.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had refused to invite the group of Russians, saying it had evidence of alleged doping in Russian sports.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 openingAfter two days of hearings, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the IOC has the right to set its own standards for who is eligible.CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb, reading from a statement and declining to take questions, said the IOC process “could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision.” ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims LATEST STORIES The IOC’s vetting process was designed to exclude Russian athletes from the games if IOC officials were not sure they were clean, even if they had not been banned for doping.The IOC subsequently invited 168 Russians to participate as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag in a decision designed to balance the rights of individual athletes with the need for a strong deterrent to doping.The Russian delegation in Pyeongchang declined requests for comment, with spokesman Konstantin Vybornov saying “that’s it — the story is over.”The ruling is a heavy blow to Russian medal chances.Among those excluded are six-time gold medalist Viktor Ahn, the short track speed-skater whose return to his native South Korea for the Olympics had been hotly anticipated by local fans.Also out are cross-country skiing gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as potential medal contenders in biathlon, luge, and bobsled.Three former NHL players — Sergei Plotnikov, Anton Belov and Valeri Nichushkin — also lost appeals, though it was widely considered unlikely they would have played even if they had been successful, since the Russian roster is already full.United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said the decision was a “a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark and sordid affair.”“You hope justice has been served but how some of these athletes can keep dirty medals from Sochi but be excluded now is hard to reconcile,” Tygart said. “And why the IOC rushed the process on the Sochi medal decisions is unexplainable and a tragedy for clean athletes.”The ruling comes a day after the first Olympic competitions began and ends more than a week of uncertainty for two groups of athletes who lodged last-ditch cases to the CAS. As well as the 45 athletes, the ruling covers a luge coach and a skeleton coach.The IOC has refused to comment on individual Russian athletes but says it decided who to exclude using a newly obtained Moscow laboratory database with evidence of past doping offenses.It refused to invite some Russians even after their disqualifications from the 2014 Olympics were lifted by CAS last week.Stephen Hess, an international sports lawyer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said the decision was a victory for the IOC.“There is no absolute right to get an invitation from the IOC to come to the Olympics,” Hess said in a telephone interview. “That was within the IOC’s discretion, and they didn’t exercise it arbitrarily. If Russia had an Olympic team, CAS might have said: ‘IOC, the Russians can put them on their own team. You can’t keep them out.’ But Russian doesn’t have an Olympic team.”The IOC pointed to a CAS statement that declared the Russians were not necessarily innocent of doping, just that the evidence was insufficient to ban them. Also, the IOC said, “there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered” in last week’s CAS case “that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes.”US athletes praised the decision and the end to uncertainty around the participation of some Russian athletes.“That is great news,” said US women’s skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender, who placed fourth in the Sochi Olympics — one spot behind bronze medalist Elena Nikitina, who was one of the 45 appealing her ban. U.S. bobsledder Nick Cunningham said he’s tried to not focus on the will-they-or-won’t-they drama surrounding the Russians.“It’s not going to change what happens to me in the next two weeks,” Cunningham said. “If dirty athletes are taken out, then clean athletes will prevail. That’s what I hope.” /kga 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 Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim In this February 15, 2014 photo, men’s 1,000-meter short track speed-skating gold medalist Viktor Ahn, of Russia, gestures while holding his medal during the medals ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Six-time Olympic gold medalist Ahn and three former NHL players are among 45 Russian athletes and two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns in a decision announced on Friday, February 9, 2018. (AP FILE PHOTO) “The CAS panel found that the applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which the two special commissions — the Invitation Review Panel and the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group — independently evaluated the applicants was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner. The Panel also concluded that there was no evidence the (commissions) improperly exercised their discretion.”The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency welcomed the decision. The IOC issued a statement saying the decision “supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes.”WADA president Craig Reedie described it as “absolutely correct.”“I am delighted at the decision and the way they expressed it,” Reedie told the Associated Press in a telephone interview. “They have quite clearly understood that there was systemic manipulation of the anti-doping process.“It means the games can proceed. Athletes can get their heads down and go. This particular issue is now behind us.”ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Golden State forward Draymond Green fined $50,000 View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ
‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Regine Arocha named NCAA Finals MVP PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:16CJ Peralta says QC judge followed rules in giving nod to raids on militant offices01:51SC gives QC court one month extension to resolve Maguindanao massacre case02:49Robredo: 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 Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais MOST READ Judiciary Committee set to take over Trump impeachment probe BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Denied of a home victory at the start of its campaign in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL)-Anta Rajah Cup, Muntinlupa faces another acid test when it battles unbeaten co-league leader Quezon City on Tuesday.Expect a full house crowd at Muntinlupa Sports Complex as the Angelis Resort-backed Cagers try to sustain the momentum of a three-game winning streak against the formidable Capitals supported by Royal Manila at 9 p.m.ADVERTISEMENT Muntinlupa has picked up victories on the road since losing to Navotas in its first game while Quezon City is undefeated in four games to share the lead with the Tanduay-backed Batangas City Athletics.“They’re starting to play better while gaining more confidence,” said Quezon City coach Vis Valencia, referring to the host team.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 openingWinless Bataan and Imus collide at 7 p.m.STANDINGS: Batangas 4-0, QC 4-0, Muntinlupa 3-1, Valenzuela 3-1, Parañaque 2-2, Navotas 2-2, Caloocan 1-4, Imus 0-4, Bataan 0-4 Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES View comments
Rafael Nadal has been sensational with 65 wins against a single defeat in ParisIn what promises to be a blockbuster Friday, three of the biggest stars in tennis will be in action to secure their finals berth for the coveted French Open final.On one hand, world number 2 Novak Djokovic will lock horns with No. 18 Ernests Gulbis – the only man from Latvia to enter a Grand Slam tournament, while the other semifinal promises a cracker of a game with world number 1 and king of clay Rafael Nadal taking on Britain’s best bet Andy Murray.Nadal has been sensational with 64 wins against a single defeat at Roland Garros. His only loss at the tournament came against Robin Soderling in the 4th round in 2009.Murray will be playing in the French Open semifinals for the second time; he lost to Nadal in 2011. In all, Nadal owns a 14-5 edge in their head-to-head matches.Five things to look for in the men’s semifinals Friday at the French Open:NADAL’S STREAKHeading into his semifinal against Andy Murray, No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal’s French Open record is a hard-to-believe 64-1, a run that includes eight titles – more than any man has won at any of the Grand Slam tournaments – and a 33-match winning streak. The lone loss came to Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009. Nadal is trying to become the first man to win five consecutive French Opens.NADAL vs MURRAYNadal or Murray has participated in each of the last 17 Grand Slam finals, a stretch that dates to the 2010 Australian Open. That will become 18 major finals in a row at this French Open, of course. But in none of those instances did Nadal and Murray face each other for the title. Eight of their 19 previous career matchups came at majors, with Nadal holding a 6-2 edge – once in the fourth round, once in a quarterfinal, and six in semifinals. Overall, Nadal leads 14-5. This meeting makes them the only two men in the Open era, which began in 1968, to have met at least twice at each Grand Slam.advertisementMURRAY ON CLAYEveryone knows just how good Nadal is on red clay. But Murray, whose major titles came on grass at Wimbledon and on hard courts at the U.S. Open, is proving rather adept at handling the slow surface, too. This is his second French Open semifinal – he made it that far in 2011, before losing to Nadal, naturally – and he made clear after his five-set victory over Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals that he is not satisfied. “It’s definitely a big achievement, but that’s not what I came here to do. Yeah, my goals are different and my expectations are different to a lot of people,” Murray said. “I expect a lot of myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well at these events, and thankfully I have done OK so far. Still hopefully a long way to go in the tournament.”DJOKOVIC vs GULBISNo. 2 Novak Djokovic meets No. 18 Ernests Gulbis, the only man from Latvia to enter a Grand Slam tournament, in Friday’s opening semifinal. Djokovic holds a 4-1 lead in head-to-head matches, including a straight-set win in the 2008 French Open quarterfinals, the only other time Gulbis made it that far at a major. They go way back: Both attended a tennis academy in Munich in their early teens.GLUTEN-FREEDjokovic, a six-time major champion, needs a French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. He’s talked often – and even written a book – about how changes to his eating habits, including dispensing with gluten, helped him overcome problems with fitness and allergies early in his career. And Gulbis? He was asked this week why he needed a half-dozen years to get back to the latter stages of a major after doing so initially as a teenager. “What took me so long? I think I was eating wrong. I had the wrong diet,” he said with a laugh. “Everybody was talking about this gluten-free diet. My diet is full-on gluten. I like a lot of ketchup, a lot of unhealthy stuff, so there is a balance which I found in the last couple of years.”(With AP inputs)
Rajasthan Royals’ player said he has heard that he has been named as implicated in Mudgal reportFormer England batsman Owais Shah has denied any knowledge of being investigated for spot fixing and betting in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL).Shah’s statement came even though the Supreme Court of India Friday refused to divulge any names in an ongoing investigation.According to The Guardian, Shah said it was “very distressing” and issued a statement Friday through the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) saying he had “no knowledge” of the investigation.Shah, of Rajasthan Royals, was interviewed by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) anti-corruption unit last year as a precautionary measure when details of the Indian Premier League (IPL) scandal first surfaced.”I have heard that I have been named as implicated in the Mudgal report presented to the Indian Supreme Court. Prior to the news, I had no knowledge that I was under investigation or suspicion,” he was quoted as saying by The Guardian.”I have not heard from, been interviewed by or received any form of correspondence from the Mudgal enquiry or the Indian Supreme Court or anyone connected with it. I have no idea what allegations have been levelled at me or what case, if any, I am expected to answer.””Needless to say, this is very distressing as I have as much information as those seeking comment from me. Consequently, I will be making no further statement beyond this one and giving no interviews until I have established exactly what is going on and why I have been named.”advertisement