Bencic pulls out MASON, Ohio (AP): Belinda Bencic withdrew from the Western & Southern Open because of a right forearm injury after losing the first set 6-2 yesterday against sixth-ranked Lucie Safarova. Bencic upset top-ranked Serena Williams last weekend en route to winning the Rogers Cup in Toronto. The 12th-ranked Bencic said it’s too soon to know if she will play in next week’s tournament at New Haven, Connecticut. “I don’t think it’s very serious,” Bencic said. “I wasn’t 100 percent, and to beat Lucie or even compete against her, you have to be 100 percent. I didn’t want to retire. This was the first I’ve ever had to retire. I hope it gets better.” Safarova is scheduled to meet either 14th-seeded Elina Svitolina or unseeded Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals. Chelsea sign forward Pedro LONDON (AP): While Chelsea await a first win on the field this season, the Premier League champions scored a satisfying victory in the transfer market yesterday by beating Manchester United to the signing of Pedro Rodriguez from Barcelona. A fee worth US$33 million was agreed to bring the 28-year-old forward to Chelsea. The high-profile recruitment of a player who has won every major honour shifts the narrative at Chelsea following an unruly start to the season, particularly as it left United reassessing its transfer targets. Chelsea are enduring their worst start to a season for 17 years, going back before Roman Abramovich transformed the club’s fortunes with the injection of cash following his 2003 takeover. Juventus sign Brazil defender TURIN, Italy (AP): Juventus signed Alex Sandro from Porto for US$29 million yesterday with the Brazil left back agreeing a five-year contract with the Italian club. Alex Sandro, who has made six appearances for Brazil, completed a morning medical at Juventus, after flying to Turin on Wednesday night. “I’m feeling very positive, I’m happy and confident,” the 24-year-old said. “I can’t wait to be able to start training and playing and to continue making my dream come true. “The fans can rest assured that they have a player who will always give 100 percent to secure victories and success for the club.” Alex Sandro joined Porto in 2011 and scored three goals in 137 appearances.
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Western Bureau: Omar Wedderburn’s lack of emotion, while directing affairs from the St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS’) bench, gives the impression he could be somewhat detached from his team’s success, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The STETHS coach for once, admits to be feeling real anxiety, as he awaits the 4:30 p.m. kick-off in the final of the 2015 ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup Football Competition this afternoon between his team and Dinthill Technical at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. “I am anxious. I can’t wait for match time. I have been having sleepless nights over this one,” Wedderburn told The Gleaner. “This one is overdue and we need to make amends. I am expecting a ‘Texas-style shoot-out’ between the teams, where at the end the quickest and baddest will be left standing,” he said. STETHS last held the daCosta Cup in 2013 and are looking to recapture that most coveted of rural-area schoolboy football trophies, having done so four times already, but for Wedderburn, the fifth could be something special. They had to fight hard after a less than spectacular start to the campaign. STETHS lost once and were held to draws three times in the preliminary round. They then battled their way into pole position for the inter-zone round, and winning the title at Dinthill’s expense would be special for his mostly young players. “I know Dinthill will be gunning for us. I know they have quality players, and that is why they are in the final.” “The youngster Rodave Murray is a very good talent, but while we respect our opponents and show respect to him, we deserve to be here also and the team is straight up ready to knock them over,” Wedderburn said. “I am sure they are more than just one player, but whoever starts for them it doesn’t matter. It’s all about winning for STETHS,” he added. STETHS have won the daCosta Cup four times starting in 1974 and had to wait 25 years to claim a second in 1999. They were again champions in 2009, lost in the final to Glenmuir in 2012, but were back to their best in 2013 before losing out to Clarendon in the 2014 final. If the sequence is to be followed, it would result in STETHS being crowned champions a fifth time. “My players are aware of the history, and are determined to take full toll. Dinthill is a strong team and we salute them for that, but this STETHS team is superior, confident and ready,” reasoned Wedderburn. If they are to get their hands on the trophy this time around it will be up to the likes of Chris-Andrew Dixon, Michael Kerr – their red-hot striker with 29 goals to his name -, Trevaughn McCulloch, Shawn Genus and Romeo Wright to deliver.
Reminder of the legacy Grace Foods Services and Western Union have increased their sponsorship for the sixth staging of the Vere Technical High School – Ben Francis Invitational track and field meet set for February 20 at the Jamalco Sports Complex in Clarendon. “We (Grace) have increased the sponsorship by $500,000 in sponsorship and execution of this meet as title sponsors. Last year, we budgeted $700,000, and this year it will be $1.2 million,” Angella Grandison-Reid, Grace Foods Services Company promotions and consumer services manager announced at the press launch yesterday at the Spanish Court Hotel. She pointed out that Grace has always assisted in the development of track and field meets. “We have been at development meets since 1975. This year, we are sponsoring 13 development meets, up from eight last year,” Grandison-Reid disclosed. The Vere Technical past student indicated that her company will continue to assist the meet. “Dr Henritta Stewart (principal of Vere), you don’t have to call us at Grace to find out if we are coming, as it is automatic,” Grandison-Reid asserted. Meanwhile, the coaches of the top medal-winning schools will walk away with cash incentives. “The top-three coaches will get $30,000, $15,000 and $10,000,” Olive Forrester, head of the physical education department at Vere revealed. There will also be prize monies worth $40,000 for each winner of the Championship events, such as high jump Class One (girls); 400 metres Class One (boys); 4×100 metres Class One (boys) and 4×400 metres (girls). Principal Stewart says the meet is a reminder of the legacy of a former principal of the Clarendon-based institution. “We might not be the champions of Boys and Girls’ Championship in recent years, but we have won 22 times in the past, and continue to be in the top five in the girls’ category. We continue to make bold strides in sports and intellectually, as our young people are resources to be developed,” Dr Stewart said. Ben Francis thanked everyone involved in the staging of the meet that will be held for the first time outside the school compound. “On this occasion of the sixth staging of the Ben Francis meet, thanks to all who continue to make it possible. You have set the stage on which students continue to perform,” Francis said. Albert Lawrence, the first Vere Technical male Olympian and a member of Jamaica’s 4×100 metres silver-medal team in Los Angeles in 1984 is the patron of this year’s meet.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):Antigua have already begun preparations to host a Test during the upcoming India series, in anticipation of getting official word from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).Sports Minister EP Chet Greene said the country had received “verbal information” that the tour would go ahead, and officials at the island’s premier cricket venue, the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, had already started putting things in place.”We are waiting for the official communiquÈ, but the verbal information is yes, the Test series is happening,” Greene told the Observer newspaper here.Preparations have already begun at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to host a Test during the India series.”But even at the level of preparation at the stadium, we have already started the work because we don’t want to get the announcement and then we find ourselves short of time.”FOUR-TEST TOURWICB president Dave Cameron confirmed last month that the four-Test tour would go ahead in July and August, but specific dates and venues had not been announced.The tour had been in jeopardy for some while after the Board of Control for Cricket suspended bilateral relations with the WICB, following the controversial abandoned tour of India two years ago.Antigua last hosted a Test during England’s tour of the Caribbean last year, when the first Test ended in a tense draw.Greene praised the stadium team for its commitment to moving quickly to spruce up preparations.”I want to commend Anthony Merrick and his team (and) Conley Phillip, who heads the stadium staff. We have started the work, but are just waiting on the official communiquÈ from the WICB that the game is happening.”
LONDON (AP):Leicester City completed one of the greatest-ever sporting achievements yesterday when the 5,000-1 underdogs won the English Premier League for the first time.Leicester players were crowded around a television inside top-scorer Jamie Vardy’s house as they were handed the title by closest challengers Tottenham being held to a 2-2 draw by deposed champions Chelsea.With an insurmountable seven-point lead over Tottenham with two games remaining, Leicester are champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history.”Championes! Championes! Ole! Ole! Ole!” the jubilant Leicester players sang as they jumped up and down with their arms on each other’s shoulders inside Vardy’s house.”Nobody believed we could do it, but here we are Premier League champions and deservedly so,” Leicester captain Wes Morgan said. “I’ve never known a spirit like the one between these boys, we’re like brothers.”FIRST JAMAICA TITLE-HOLDERMorgan is the first Jamaican international to win the English Premier League.Just two years ago, Vardy and many of his teammates were playing in the second tier and then came close to instantly dropping out of the Premier League. They started this season as among the favourites to be relegated again. But last night, fans – who never dreamed their modest club in a city with a population of 330,000 would conquer wealthier rivals – descended on Leicester’s King Power Stadium to party into the night.”People saw it last season when everyone expected us to be relegated, but we fought back to prove people wrong,” Morgan said. “This season’s been a continuation of that. We’ve built on the momentum, but I don’t think anyone believed it would come to this.”Leicester, who will collect the trophy on Saturday when they host Everton at home, had not even finished higher than second since 1929.English soccer have not had a first-time champion of the top flight since Nottingham Forest in 1978. And for the last 20 years, the Premier League trophy has never left London or Manchester, with Arsenal, Chelsea, United and City sharing the trophy among them.Unlike that title-winning quartet or 1995 champion Blackburn, Leicester have achieved their success without lavish spending on their squad.Chelsea’s draw also ensured Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri became a league title winner for the first time in his career, 12 years after the 64-year-old Italian was fired by the Blues.”Let’s do it for Ranieri,” read one Chelsea fan’s banner during yesterday’s game at Stamford Bridge, where the trophy was presented to Chelsea last May.”It’s the greatest achievement in the history of English football and it was led by an Italian,” Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, tweeted.Leicester missed a chance to seal the title on Sunday when they were held to a draw by Manchester United, but Chelsea ensured that the party wasn’t delayed any longer.Tottenham had to win at Chelsea to keep their bid for a first title since 1961 alive and led 2-0 thanks to goals from striker Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, before Chelsea staged a second-half fight back to draw in a fiery London derby, where tempers frayed and tackles flew in from everywhere.”What a game,” Leicester defender Robert Huth tweeted. “Makes me look like an angel! CHAMPIONS!!!”Centre half Gary Cahill pulled a goal back for Chelsea early in the second half and with Tottenham clinging on, the equalising goal was scored by Eden Hazard.Ranieri called Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink to thank him for Chelsea’s part in delivering the title to Leicester, which is owned by Thai retail giant King Power.”(Ranieri said) five times ‘Thanks’, because of the emotion,” Hiddink said. “I didn’t see any tears because it was not a Facetime conversation, but his voice was trembling a bit.”One bookmaker, Sky Bet, said it paid out £4.6 million (US$6.8 million) to punters who backed Leicester to win the title, with 128 putting money on the team at 5,000-1.No sports team has defied such odds to triumph, and Leicester’s improbablesuccess has provided a feel-good story for a country divided as they prepare to vote on whether to remain in the European Union.”Many congratulations to Leicester,” British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted. “An extraordinary, thoroughly deserved, Premier League title.”
Djokovic, Nadal advance at Madrid Open MADRID (AP): Defending champion Novak Djokovic recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the third set to defeat Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 and reach the third round at the Madrid Open yesterday. Djokovic rallied in the final set by breaking Almagro to go up 6-5 and served out to earn his 15th win of the season in over two hours. The victory left Djokovic on track to play a semi-final against four-time Madrid champion and home-crowd favourite Rafael Nadal, who struggled in a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 win over Fabio Fognini of Italy in just under three hours. Nadal will play Nick Kyrgios of Australia, who defeated Ryan Harrison of the United States 6-3, 6-3. The second-seeded Djokovic will play veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who got past Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3). Mourinho: Europa semi is ‘most important’ match MANCHESTER, England (AP): Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described the second leg of his team’s Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo today as “the most important match of our history”. United, three-time European champions and 20-time English champions, lead 1-0 from the first leg in Spain last week. The winners of the Europa League earn a place in next season’s Champions League, increasing its significance for a United side that have only played in Europe’s top competition for one of the last three seasons. “For Celta, it’s – in their words – the most important match of their history,” Mourinho said yesterday. “My feelings, it’s also the most important match of our history. It doesn’t matter what happened before, how big the matches we played before.”
End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer “We’re delighted we’ve been able to complete this transfer,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.“Signing James Rodriguez was our coach Carlo Ancelotti’s biggest wish, following their successful spell working together in Madrid.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“James is a very versatile player.“He’s a goalscorer himself, he sets up a lot of goals and on top of that he’s great from set-pieces. LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Djokovic says Wimbledon courts ‘not that great’ this year View comments Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission LATEST STORIES “There’s no question that this transfer further increases the quality in our team.”The attacking midfielder has been recruited by the Bavarian giants with a few of their star-studded squad threatening to leave.Brazil forward Douglas Costa is negotiating a transfer with Juventus while winger Serge Gnabry, 21, who has only just signed from Werder Bremen, wants to be loaned out to gain experience. James joined Real in July 2014 for 75m euros from Monaco on the back of his outstanding performances at the Brazil World Cup, where he scored six goals in the finals as Colombia reached the quarter-finals.His best season at Real was in 2014/15, under current Bayern boss Ancelotti, when he scored 17 goals, with 18 assists, in 46 matches.ADVERTISEMENT But Rodriguez struggled to break into Real’s star-studded first team under Ancelotti’s replacement Zinedine Zidane.He made just 13 starting appearances last season in the Spanish league with a further nine off the bench.Matters came to a head in April when James expressed his frustration after being replaced in a 4-2 win at Leganes.“I am satisfied with James and find it perfectly normal for him to get upset in such a situation,” said Zidane at the time.The writing was on the wall for the Colombian at the Bernabeu from then on and he expressed his desire to move long before Bayern came calling.He played against his future employers for just seven minutes when Real beat Bayern in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and was left out of the squad which beat Juventus 4-1 in the final.James will get straight down to business at Bayern.He flies with Ancelotti’s squad on their tour of China and Singapore, which leaves on Sunday, and will include stars Thomas Mueller, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.James will be joined by fellow new signing Corentin Tolisso, 22, who has just joined Bayern from French side Lyon for 41.5 million euros ($47.3m).Alongside Tolisso, Gnabry and James, the German champions are set to add two new names to their squad for next season with Germany internationals Niklas Suele and Sebastian Rudy signed from Hoffenheim. Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ (FILES) This file photo taken on May 6, 2017 shows Real Madrid’s Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez celebrating after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match Granada FC vs Real Madrid CF at Nuevo Los Carmenes stadium in Granada.Real Madrid’s Colombian midfielder James Rodríguez will be loaned to Bayern Munich for two years, the two football clubs announced on July 11, 2017. According to the website of the German champion, the loan contract contains a call option. / AFP PHOTO / SERGIO CAMACHOColombia’s hot-shot James Rodriguez has joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan from Real Madrid, the Bundesliga club announced on Tuesday.The two clubs have agreed on a two-year deal until June 30, 2019, with the option for Bayern to buy the 25-year-old midfielder who was the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet
View comments Bobby Ray Parks will be out for the third straight game for Gilas with a swollen left foot, giving Reyes one less reliable wingman on the floor.The Filipinos were tipped as the heavy favorites against Japan’s Under-24 squad but trailed for most of the game, needing that one telling burst late in the final frame to snuff the fight out of the Japanese and win for the third straight day.“We needed a lot of focus and we weren’t able to execute that in the first half,” said Christian Standhardinger, who is pondering on starting a PBA career when the team planes back home.“We had the urgency in the fourth period and got going on defense,” he added after finishing with 22 points and 15 rebounds which he highlighted by finishing a fastbreak play with a two-handed dunk in that 12-0 run.“In an elite tournament like this, there’s no such thing as an easy game,” Reyes said. “They (Japanese) gave us everything we could handle. In the end, we were fortunate to pull it off.”ADVERTISEMENT “My concern is (South) Korea,” Reyes said after a 100-85 decision of Japan, which the Filipinos were only able to fend off after a 12-0 run late in the fourth period as Gilas again labored under a bum start at Taipei Peace Basketball Hall here.The Filipinos, after rising to 3-1, battle the Koreans at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, and Reyes would have wanted his men fresher because from there, Gilas takes on Iraq and then Atletas All Stars Lithuania in the next two days.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“We needed to rest more guys today and rest them for Korea,” Reyes said. “But we needed to play people extensive minutes (with the game being close). We don’t know how we will compete against Korea. But we will try our best.”The Koreans, who have dealt the Filipinos numerous heartaches in the past, were set to battle the Lithuanians later on Tuesday. After victories over Chinese Taipei B, India and Iran, Korea went into that game still undefeated. Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission Creamline targets 5th straight LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade Reyes pointed out that he used Kiefer Ravena, Matthew Wright and import Mike Myers longer than he had planned.All three finished in twin digits, with Myers completing a double-double with 17 and 17 rebounds and Wright chipping in 15 and Ravena 11. Jio Jalalon also had 11 points and two steals in his finest game yet.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTAIPEI—Chot Reyes played some of his aces more than he thought he should have on Tuesday afternoon against an enemy Gilas Pilipinas could have conquered rather easily.And this is a concern as the Filipinos head into what the firebrand coach said is “the belly of our schedule” in the 39th Jones Cup Invitational here.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold00:50Trending Articles05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES MOST READ Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend
OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Alvarado is a banged-up warrior who got seriously crushed in a losing title defense against Ruslan Provodnikov in October 2013. He was stopped in 10 rounds.As noted by Philboxing.com founder and chief editor Dong Secuya, Alvarado next lost by decision to Juan Manuel Marquez in May 2014, before being stopped by Brandon Rios in three rounds in January 2015.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“It was in the last Rios loss that he seemed out of it,” Dong Secuya said.It’s a bit puzzling, but if there’s anything unique Arum has found, it could be Alvarado’s four-straight wins (against unranked foes) since his return to the ring. For the record, Pacquiao has not bothered to comment directly on Arum’s choice of Alvarado.Yesterday, veteran sportswriter Nick Giongco reported Pacquiao has bared his choice of a next opponent.“I want Matthysse,” Giongo said Pacquiao told him during a break in the Senate Tuesday afternoon.Giongco said Pacquiao believes his own aggressive style and Matthysse’s penchant for toe-to-toe combat would make for a very compelling bout.Matthysse took the WBA 147-lb belt with a stoppage of Thailand’s Tewa Kiram last month. His record is 39 wins, 4 losses, one draw with 36 KOs.“Matthysse is the fight that I like, a fight fans would also like to see,” Giongco quoted Pacquiao as declaring.Trainer Freddie Roach has himself said he would love Pacquiao to face Matthyse next.ADVERTISEMENT Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Meanwhile, Bob Arum has declared Pacquiao vs Matthysse an impossibility.“I see Manny has talked about fighting Matthysse,” Arum told Boxingscene. “But that’s not gonna happen.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Teng feeling like a rookie again in reunion with Jarencio at GlobalPort LATEST STORIES Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Veteran promoter Bob Arum made a promise to provide something unique (and nice) for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight. After a long wait, it turned out the unusual opponent Arum meant was former world title-holder Mike Alvarado.Top Rank Inc. has announced that the Pacquiao-Alvarado bout would be featured side-by-side with the WBO welterweight title defense in April of Australian Jeff Horn against the unbeaten Terence Crawford of Omaha.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments