76ers take Fultz with top pick in NBA draft

first_img1 dead in Cavite blast, fire WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Markelle Fultz walks on stage with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. 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. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP(Updated, 8:17 a.m.) NEW YORK— The Philadelphia 76ers selected guard Markelle Fultz on Thursday night (Friday, Manila) with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.The Los Angeles Lakers followed by taking Lonzo Ball as the draft started with a pair of freshmen point guards from the Pac-12 Conference.ADVERTISEMENT Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken READ: Sixers like Fultz first, Lakers eye Ball as NBA draft loomsFultz averaged 23.2 points last season at Washington, tops among freshmen, and added 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, the only Division I player to reach those stats. He walked across the stage Thursday night at Barclays Center wearing red sneakers made of basketballs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 76ers had the No. 1 pick for the second straight year after trading with the Boston Celtics on Monday. Now they add Fultz to a promising young core that includes Rookie of the Year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, plus Ben Simmons, the top pick from last year who sat out all season with a foot injury.Ball then got the wish he and his father, LaVar, wanted all along by staying in Los Angeles, where he starred last season at UCLA. LaVar Ball had said his son would only play for the Lakers, and it was clear that would happen when Lonzo got a phone call with the Lakers on the clock. What ‘missteps’? Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ TNT seeks 2-0 cushion World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide LATEST STORIES As Lonzo walked on stage to meet Commissioner Adam Silver and put on a purple Lakers hat, LaVar put on a gold Big Baller Brand hat, the company he has started.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken View commentslast_img read more

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Prabhu Chawla interviews Pranab Mukherjee on his future in politics

first_imgPranab MukherjeeThe quintessential politician and a veteran of many a political battle, Pranab Mukherjee, as external affairs minister, is typically in the thick of things. Not only does he continue to head a dozen important government committees but is now on a hectic tour of India’s neighbours including Pakistan and,Pranab MukherjeeThe quintessential politician and a veteran of many a political battle, Pranab Mukherjee, as external affairs minister, is typically in the thick of things. Not only does he continue to head a dozen important government committees but is now on a hectic tour of India’s neighbours including Pakistan and the ASEAN summit at Cebu to promote India’s foreign relations. Before he left, he sat down for an hourlong interview with INDIA TODAY Editor Prabhu Chawla and Associate Editor Saurabh shukla in the executive drawing room of South Block. Excerpts from the interview:Q. As part of your tour of India’s neighbours you would also be making your first visit to Pakistan as foreign minister. What is your agenda?A. I am going to Pakistan, firstly, to extend an invitation to President Musharraf to attend the 14th SAARC Summit. That is the official purpose. And surely we will not discuss the weather, we will discuss issues which are there. We will discuss SAFTA. With all other SAARC countries, tariff reduction has been finalised. But with Pakistan this has to be done still. Similarly, we would also like to review at the foreign ministers’ level the third round of Composite Dialogue that just got over.Q. The biggest impediment to the peace process is the issue of terrorism. Will you be seeking an assurance from General Pervez Musharraf that all terrorist acts against India will stop?A. The assurance was obtained by Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 6, 2004. President Musharraf assured him that Pakistani territory or Pakistani-dominated territory will not be allowed to be used by terrorists. The question is not of assurance; the question is how these assurances are actually implemented.Q. You said General Musharraf’s promises on terrorist camps are not being implemented. You used the word “unconvincing”.A. What I stated is that infrastructure of launching terrorists has not been dismantled. His (Musharraf’s) pledges have not been implemented.Q. But do you think that the peace process will be affected if terrorism continues from across the border?A. That is the issue which has been flagged at the foreign secretary-level meeting. We will flag it again.”Infrastructure for launching terrorists has not been dismantled. We will flag the issue during the talks.”Q. Do you think we can trust Musharraf now?A. We have to deal with the head of a state. The basic presumption would be that we would trust each other.Q. What about Jammu & Kashmir? Do you have any package solution?A. I don’t have any readymade solution.Q. But are we discussing a Kashmir solution on the lines of the four-point formula that General Musharraf has been suggesting?A. We are trying to resolve the issue of Kashmir in the context of Shimla Agreement, Lahore Declaration, and the series of talks which have taken place; we are having a composite dialogue of which resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue is a part. In that context we are going to discuss it. These are the issues that have been raised from time to time and the responses are there; you have heard the response of the prime minister in Amritsar.Q. Are your allies constraining you on foreign policy choices, be it Sri Lanka, the US or Iran? Your allies are dictating foreign policy choices now.A. No, not at all.Q. But you have to do a lot of explaining to them.A. Yes, as I have explained to my Left allies, I have equally explained it to the BJP leaders. Because parliamentary democracy demands that when there is a broad consensus in respect of foreign policy we should try to maintain that consensus. Keeping that in view, we apprised them of the developments which took place in our neighbourhood.Q. There have been reservations over the Indo-US nuclear deal. Even the scientists have opposed the deal.A. No, only a section of scientists have opposed it. They have expressed their concerns. But these concerns will not be ignored.Q. So are you saying that you will go for 123 agreement only if those concerns are taken care of?A. Of course, that is the commitment we have made.Q. Are you also saying that in the current form the deal will not go through, unless your concerns are sorted out?A. Unless certain issues are taken care of, certain concerns are addressed, it would not be possible for us to go with it.Q. The Congress is heading a coalition for the first time since Independence. So is handling coalition conflicts a major problem?A. Of course, running a coalition government in a country like India is a difficult task. More so when Congress leads the coalition, since most of the political parties were anti-Congress. To have a coalition, to run a coalition government, you require a lot of adjustments, a lot of flexibility. But the success of the coalition Government to a great extent is the contribution of UPA Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.Q. You could have done better if it was only a Congress-led government?A. That would be a value judgement right now because we do not have the majority.Q. But have you also compromised on your ideology?A. Sometimes compromise is not bad. Sometimes absolute power creates problems. There is an old saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.Q. Don’t you think that most national political parties are getting marginalised? Rather, people are looking up to industrialists and entrepreneurs.A. I would not put this as marginalisation of politicians or political system. I would put it as the recognition of other sections. Earlier it was monopolised by politicians only. Now there are other sections of the society- industry, sports, academics, judiciary- which are important too. They too have roles to play.Q. Your 1991-96 economic policies and the present ones are almost the same. But you lost the election then.A. Compare my Budget of 1982 with Manmohan Singh’s Budget of 1991. The policies which I proposed were almost the same but Indian industry strongly resisted my proposal for NRI portfolio investment. In 1991 it was welcomed because conditions had changed.Q. In the reforms process, you have not been able to fulfill certain things like FDI in telecom and insurance. Labour reforms are also stuck. Is it because of coalition compulsions?A. We have done whatever was possible through the administrative route. But where you require legislative support, you need the backing of others.Q. Has the Left been more of a hindrance than an asset for you?A. No, not at all. We are getting the support of all their 60 members solidly.Q. But you are paying a price for it.A. For everything, you have to pay a price. You are not running a single-party government.Q. You have always been the number one minister. Weren’t you upset when Manmohan Singh, whom you once appointed as RBI governor, became prime minister?A. I am neither number one nor number two. I am just one of them.Q. Don’t you have prime ministerial ambitions?A. Thank you for coming.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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Doping: Doctor blows lid off SAI’s role

first_imgThe doping menace in the country continues to get murkier with a junior scientific officer claiming that the malaise is widespread inside the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala.Sajib Kumar Nandi, who was appointed as a scientific officer (sports medicine) at the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala, has come out with startling revelations about the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ganging up against him when he tried to raise his voice against the corrupt activities at the country’s premier sports institute.Nandi said he has seen banned drugs lying inside the NIS, Patiala premises and alleged that top SAI officials were involved in corrupt activities which facilitated doping among athletes.Before the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) came into existence in 2009, the National Dope-Testing Laboratory (NDTL) was under government jurisdiction and the dope tests were conducted under SAI’s nose.For decades, Indian athletes have been using banned performance – enhancing drugs and all that happened under the nose of SAI. Nandi has now blown the lid off SAI’s corrupt activities and said the system was corrupt from top to bottom.”For long, Indian athletes have been failing dope tests and I used to notice all that during my tenure at the NIS Patiala. In 1999, I was asked to collect dope samples without any documentation and when I protested, the then chief executive director of NIS, Patiala, BS Ahlluwalia forced me to go ahead without following the proper procedures,” Nandi told MAIL TODAY from Patiala.He said in 2002, a huge stock of banned supplements was found in the hostel at NIS Patiala and he went up to the higher authorities in SAI so that it could be used as evidence in court to prove that there was organised doping going on inside the institute.advertisement”But all those medicines were destroyed and there was no chance those drugs could be used as evidence,” said Nandi.”All my efforts to check the doping menace at the institute were resisted by the SAI officials.Since I was against the malpractices of the SAI, they harassed me in whatever way they could.”I was accused of theft and sexual harassment against a lady doctor and was transferred twice – to Gandhinagar and Bangalore. In 2009, I was assaulted.”But I fought against the system and took legal recourse. A Chandigarh bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal quashed my transfer orders to Gandhinagar as all allegations were found false,” added Nandi.He pointed that the samples of athletes were collected without keeping any records and it was all because of the involvement of the SAI officials, national federations and the Indian Olympic Association ( IOA).”All this cannot be done within the premises of the institute without the knowledge and encouragement of the administration.” He further revealed that there were times when the dope samples were collected but never reached New Delhi for testing.”Through an RTI petition, I asked for the travel and daily allowances of the driver and attendants who took the samples to New Delhi. But SAI did not furnish any such information as the samples were never transported to the capital for testing in the first place,” Nandi alleged.The junior scientific officer is not the only one who has charged SAI and federations of malpractice. As many as 558 positive cases between 1991 and 2009 are set to be revisited by the anti- doping disciplinary panel.The names of all those erring athletes are in two sealed documents which are currently with the NADA panel and reopening those cases may have serious implications.last_img read more

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Zardari writes to Manmohan, welcomes revival of cricket ties

first_imgPresident Asif Ali Zardari has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing the hope that the resumption of cricketing ties after five years will be a confidence building measure.Zardari on Wednesday sent the letter to Manmohan Singh welcoming resumption of cricket relations, reported Dawn.The cricket board on Monday invited Pakistan to play three One-dayers and two Twenty20 Internationals in December-January, a move that would see the arch-rivals clashing in a bilateral series after a five-year gapThe resumption of cricket matches would add to positive atmosphere witnessed by the two countries, said Zardari.The letter said: “You would recall that in my recent visit to India, we discussed resumption of cricket ties between Pakistan and India. I am glad to learn that the cricket boards of Pakistan and India have agreed to resume cricket matches after a gap of five years.””I am sanguine that cricket matches between our two countries would prove to be a formidable confidence building measure and a way forward towards encouraging people-to-people contacts,” it added.last_img read more

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Hyderabad has a better sex life than other Indian cities: Survey

first_imgWhich is the sexiest city in India? Believe it or not, it’s Hyderabad. That’s the finding of a recent poll on sexual habits in India which came up with some surprising statistics.In fact, the traditional image of India as a deeply conservative society, where Bollywood films even shy away from,Which is the sexiest city in India? Believe it or not, it’s Hyderabad. That’s the finding of a recent poll on sexual habits in India which came up with some surprising statistics.In fact, the traditional image of India as a deeply conservative society, where Bollywood films even shy away from showing couples kissing, is clearly a cover-up.The survey, conducted by the manufacturers of Kama Sutra condoms, says the incidence of pre-marital sex is almost 43 per cent.But the survey, conducted in 10 cities with 3,500 respondents (87 per cent of them male), has its down side: it showed that Indians, like in other contact sports, will never win a gold medal in the sexual Olympics.The Big O still eludes Indians with only 57 per cent admitting to having had orgasms.Hyderabad has a better sex life than other cities. About 32 per cent of its respondents admitted to having daily sex.last_img read more

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Lava launches 3G calling tablet IvoryS at Rs 8499

first_imgIndian handset maker Lava has announced the launch of its IvoryS tablet for Rs 8,499.In a press release, the company said, “17.78cm (7.0-inch) Lava IvoryS is an extremely stylish and sleek device weighing only 300 grams to make it highly portable and convenient to use. It is packed with enhanced features making it a perfect choice for youngsters and working professionals who like to have a device having great design and at the same time, like to enjoy on-the-go connectivity, entertainment and longer usage at an affordable price.”The Lava IvoryS comes with 7.0-inch multi touch capacitive display having  a  resolution of 1024×600 pixels.  It is powered by a MT8312 1.3 GHz dual core processor and Mali 400 GPU clocked at 416 MHz. The device has 1-GB of RAM and 4-GB of internal memory that is expandable upto 32 GB. It offers dual SIM (3G+2G) capabilities and runs on out-of-the-box Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.Lava IvoryS sports a 3.2-megapixelrear camera with flash for low light images and a VGA front camera for 3G video-calling. It packs a 2,800 mAh battery which, as company claims,  will provide up to 200 hours of standby time and 8 hours of talk time. On the connectivity options, it supports Wi-fi, Bluetooth, USB tethering, GPRS and EDGE.It comes preloaded with apps and games like Opera, Hungama Music App, WhatsApp, PayTM, EA games.Speaking about IvoryS, S.N. Rai, Co-founder and Director, LAVA International said, “We are very happy to announce the launch of our latest sleek and affordable offering, IvoryS, 17.78cm (7.0) tablet which is an extension of our Ivory Series. IvoryS is especially designed for youngsters and young working professionals to engage them with stylish product that meets their requirements of entertainment and connectivity at an affordable price.”advertisementPriced at Rs. 8,499, Lava IvoryS comes in grey and white colours and will be available across national retail chain stores, multi-brand outlets and online stores.last_img read more

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Raptors beat Pacers in Kyle Lowry’s return

first_imgRead Next UP NEXTPacers: Visit Cleveland on Tuesday night.Raptors: Host Atlanta on Tuesday night. Serge Ibaka scored 18 points, while Lowry had 12 points and eight assists after missing the previous six games because of a sore lower back.“He’s a big piece of what we’re tying to do here,” Powell said. “It seemed like he hasn’t missed a beat.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsKawhi Leonard rested on the second night of a back-to-back, but Lowry played 32 minutes and shot 4 for 10, going 2 for 6 from 3-point range.“Good to be out there with my guys,” Lowry said. “It felt good to be able to help them get a win.” Thailand fires coach Milovan Rajevac after AFC Asian Cup loss to India Powell scored 10 points in the second and Toronto led 70-63 at halftime. Ibaka had 10 in the third as the Raptors took a 96-84 edge into the final quarter.“Everybody was wide open tonight,” McMillan said.TIP-INSPacers: C Myles Turner (right shoulder) was not available. Sabonis made his second start of the season. … All five starters scored at least 10 points.Raptors: Powell’s career high is 30, set at Brooklyn on April 13, 2016. … Lowry and Leonard have played together in 21 of Toronto’s 42 games. … Lowry had not played since Dec. 22 at Philadelphia. He missed the four games before that because of a sore left thigh.BENCH BOUNCES BACKToronto got more bench points in the first quarter (six) than it did in all of Saturday’s win at Milwaukee (five). The Raptors finished with 52 bench points.“We talked about coming out and setting a tone, bringing the energy and playing our game,” Powell said.KAWHI RESTSLeonard has been held out of at least one game of all eight back-to-backs so far this season, one year after being limited to nine games with San Antonio because of a quadriceps injury. Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue LATEST STORIES Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening View comments LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “He was really good tonight,” Nurse said.Green matched his season high with five 3-pointers and Toronto hit 17 of 33 from long range, one shy of its season best.“They were the aggressors all night long,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “We never really established that we could stop them.”It was the fifth time this season the Raptors have faced a team that had won at least five straight games. Toronto is now 3-2 in such encounters, also beating Miami on Dec. 26 and Milwaukee on Saturday.“Hopefully this will be an eye-opener for us, and realize we’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to get to where we want to be,” Indiana’s Victor Oladipo said.Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 points, Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Oladipo scored 16 points for Indiana. The Pacers have lost five straight and 14 of the past 16 against the Raptors.Thaddeus Young scored 14 points and Darren Collison had 11.Indiana has won 13 of its past 16, losing twice to Toronto and once to Cleveland in that span. The Raptors rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Pacers 99-96 on Dec. 19.“This is a tough place to play,” McMillan said. “They make it a tough place to play, and we haven’t had success here in a number of years.”Both teams shot better than 60 percent in the first quarter but the Raptors made six of nine attempts from 3-point range to lead 37-35. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion The Pacers lost their 11th consecutive game north of the border. Indiana’s most recent win Toronto was March 1, 2013.Lowry also had three steals and three rebounds, and took a pair of charges.“There’s about 32 other things out there that you’re not seeing that he’s doing that don’t get recorded on the stat sheet,” coach Nick Nurse said.Danny Green scored 15 points and Fred VanVleet had 12 as the Raptors returned from a victory in Milwaukee on Saturday to win their fifth straight at home.Powell made 10 of 12 shots and scored 11 points in the final quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives between Indiana Pacers guard Cory Joseph (6) and guard Tyreke Evans (12) during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — Kyle Lowry returned from injury to help the Toronto Raptors extend a run of home dominance over the Indiana Pacers.Norman Powell scored a season-high 23 points, Pascal Siakam had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Raptors beat Indiana 121-105 on Sunday night, snapping the Pacers’ six-game winning streak.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Cuban says Mavs want Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic for long haul

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Latvian big man Porzingis, the number four pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, hasn’t played since undergoing surgery to repair a torn left knee ligament last February.He was traded from the New York Knicks last week in a blockbuster multi-player deal, but the Mavericks were quick to say that they don’t expect him to resume competition this season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesCuban said the Mavericks will evaluate Porzingis and develop a timetable for his return.“I’ve been patient this whole time and I’m going to keep staying patient,” Porzingis said. “We’re going to make the right decisions.” Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Newly acquired player Kristaps Porzingis, left, responds to questions as head coach Rick Carlisle, center, and team owner Mark Cuban, right, listen during a news conferences where the newly acquired players were introduced in Dallas, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)Kristaps Porzingis won’t join new Dallas teammate Luka Doncic on court this season, but once he does Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants to keep the duo together for the long haul.“Our goal is to keep these two together for the next 20 years,” Cuban said Monday as the NBA club held a press conference to introduce new acquisitions Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. Courtney Lee and Trey Burke.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes LATEST STORIES US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants While Porzingis can become a restricted free agent at the end of this season, Cuban envisions Porzingis staying in Dallas and forming a dynamic duo with rookie sensation Doncic, the third overall selection in last June’s draft who is averaging 20.7 points per game along with 7.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists.Porzingis, 23, said he had a “great relationship” with the 19-year-old Slovenian, having played against him in Europe.“I remember he was a few years younger than me. We just know each other from playing against each other for a long time,” Porzingis said. “Now that I have the opportunity to play with him I’m really excited about it.”ADVERTISEMENT Miami Heat to retire Chris Bosh’s No. 1 jersey next month View commentslast_img read more

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Bencic upsets Halep to reach Dubai semifinals; Kvitova wins

first_img‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting IAAF allows 21 more Russians to compete as neutrals Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic celebrates after defeating Romania’s Simona Halep in their quarterfinal match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Unseeded Belinda Bencic rallied to beat second-ranked Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 Thursday to reach the Dubai Championships semifinals.Bencic, who saved six match points in the previous round against Aryna Sabalenka, failed to capitalize on an early break in the first set but Halep continued to struggle with her serve and was broken seven times in total. Bencic broke for a 5-4 lead in the second and then raced out to a 3-0 lead in the decider, having won six games in a row. Halep, who was playing her ninth match in 13 days after reaching the final in Qatar last week, got one break back but Bencic broke again for a 5-2 lead before converting her third match point.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town “It was really difficult physically,” Halep said. “I was tired. After the second set, I felt like I’m getting cramping a little bit. It’s normal. I was sweating a lot. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger.”Second-seeded Petra Kvitova had no such problems, winning the last eight games to oust Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 to book her spot in the last four. Kvitova, the 2013 Dubai champion, needed just 62 minutes to wrap up the win. She will next face Su-wei Hsieh of Taiwan, who came from 5-1 down in the final set to beat fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. It was the latest upset for Hsieh, who ousted Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber on Wednesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesIn the final quarterfinal, two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine defeated Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-2, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Bencic. It’s the fourth year in a row that Svitolina makes the semifinals in Dubai, although she had to come from a break down in each set to get past Suarez Navarro.Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic celebrates after defeating Romania’s Simona Halep in their quarterfinal match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief LATEST STORIES MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

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Kings, NBA begin sex-assault inquiry into coach Luke Walton

first_imgDuterte wants probe of SEA Games mess John Havlicek, Boston Celtics great, dies at 79 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Walton’s attorney, Mark Baute, has called the allegations “baseless” and says the coach will prove that in court.The 31-year-old Tennant contends Walton attacked her when he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, which was from 2014 to 2016.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsTennant said she confided in people at the time but never filed charges because she was scared. Her lawyer, Garo Mardirossian, said because years had passed, he believed it would be difficult now to file a police report and put together a criminal case.Tennant said Walton continued to harass her after he became coach of the Lakers and she was working as a broadcaster in Los Angeles for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA. She now does a wellness podcast. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Tennant said she considered the 39-year-old Walton, the son of Hall of Famer Bill Walton, to be a longtime friend and mentor. The coach had written the foreword to a 2014 book she had written and she went to give him a copy while he was at a Santa Monica hotel during a Warriors road trip to Los Angeles.Tennant said Walton met her in the lobby and invited her to his room. After discussing the book, Tennant said Walton suddenly grabbed her, pinned her to the bed and forcibly kissed her. Tennant said that when she asked him to get off “he laughed at me.”Tennant said Walton relented and she started to leave the room when he grabbed her again and kissed her ears and neck. She said he finally stopped, laughed and said “good to see you” before she left.The Kings investigatory team will be led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden and Jennifer Doughty. Van Dermyden is founding partner of the Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux and an expert on employment law.Doughty is a veteran investigator and senior associate attorney at Van Dermyden Maddux.The NBA’s investigatory team will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, the senior vice president and assistant general counsel of Integrity and Investigations. Previously, Maringer served 12 years as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton directs his team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles. A person with direct knowledge of the agreement said Saturday, April 13, 2019, that Walton will become coach of the Sacramento Kings, just a day after parting ways with the Lakers following three losing seasons. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)The Sacramento Kings and the NBA began a joint investigation Thursday into allegations that coach Luke Walton sexually assaulted a woman.The Kings and the league said they will be looking into the accusations from a lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles by former sportscaster Kelli Tennant.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid View commentslast_img read more

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Sports legends honor basketball great John Havlicek

first_imgFILE – BOSTON, MA – APRIL 13: Member of the Boston Celtics 1966 and 1976 Championship teams John Havlicek is honored at halftime of the game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat at TD Garden on April 13, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images/AFPBOSTON — Sports legends were in Boston to honor basketball great John Havlicek.Former Celtics and Bruins stars gathered at Trinity Church in Boston on Thursday for a memorial service. The Hall of Fame Celtics player died in April at the age of 79.ADVERTISEMENT PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Megan Rapinoe kicks FIFA, says women’s soccer not treated equally Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Boston Herald reports that Celtics greats Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn and Dave Cowens joined Bruins legend Bobby Orr at the memorial. Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Phil Niekro and former U.S. Senator and New York Knicks player Bill Bradley were among others to pay their respects.“Hondo” Havlicek played 16 years for the Celtics and is the team’s all-time leading scorer. He was voted one of the 50 greatest players of the league’s first 50 years and is best remembered for his steal to clinch the 1965 Eastern Conference finals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

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Steve Kerr speaks out on US shootings, Obama White House visits

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “My novice analysis was it was not a particularly well-played game, but again, the result was the desired one for Liverpool fans,” Kerr said. Kerr, guiding the defending champions in the NBA Finals for the fifth year in a row, said he hopes a younger US generation that has lived under the fear of mass shootings might force a change in American gun-ownership laws.“The young generation, the March For Our Lives generation, has really inspired me,” Kerr said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“So I offer my support to them and to all young people, and hope that we can create a change where we don’t all have to walk around scared we’re going to get shot in our country.”Police say the shootings Friday at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia, were by public works department engineer DeWayne Craddock. Kerr said he was not aware Obama would attend until “a little while” before he spoke to the media and recalled the Warriors’ visit to Obama’s White House after the team’s 2015 NBA crown as a great moment.“The White house visit, for sure, after the 2015 championship,” Kerr said. “That was quite a thrill to visit there and have the whole team there. It was a treat to experience that.”What went unsaid was the team’s decision not to visit US President Donald Trump in the White House after winning the NBA titles the past two seasons.No visits to TrumpWarriors star guard Stephen Curry said after Golden State’s 2017 title that he wouldn’t go to the Trump White House. A White House invitation was later rescinded by Trump after Curry and others had already said they wouldn’t attend.That prompted NBA star LeBron to call Trump a “bum” on Twitter and add, “Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”Last year, Warriors stars Curry and Kevin Durant and James said during the finals they would not attend a White House celebration if their team won.Kerr called Trump a “blowhard” and “ill-suited” to be president in 2017.Kerr was an 18-year-old college freshman in January 1984 when his father Malcolm, then president of American University of Beirut, was shot in the back of the head.As a player, Kerr won five NBA titles, three with the Chicago Bulls and two with San Antonio. He has coached the Warriors to three titles in four seasons and seeks another this year.Kerr, a Liverpool supporter, did strike a lighter tone in congratulating the club for beating Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wears a “Vote for our Lives” shirt to a news conference before Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors in Toronto, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (Neil Davidson/The Canadian Press via AP)Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Sunday urged Americans to vote for gun-control candidates in the wake of a US shooting rampage that left 12 dead and four wounded.The tragedy spurred action by Kerr, whose university president father was fatally shot in 1984 in Lebanon by a Shia militia known as Islamic Jihad.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Kawhi Leonard’s 34 not enough in Game 2 LATEST STORIES 2 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self PLAY LIST 03:122 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self01:42Police: California school shooting took 16 seconds00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, toocenter_img DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess According to the Washington-based Gun Violence Archive monitoring group, it was the 150th mass shooting, with four or more people shot or killed, in the United States this year.Kerr, whose Warriors are facing the Toronto Raptors for the NBA crown, wore a T-shirt with the message “Vote For Our Lives” on the front to a pre-game news conference ahead of Sunday’s second game of the best-of-seven championship series.“The shirt has everything to do with the tragedy in Virginia Beach a couple days ago and how devastated so many families are and so many people are,” Kerr said.“The shirt is a reminder that the only way we can get out of this mess is to actually vote, and to vote for people who are going to be willing to create some change in our gun laws in our country.”Kerr’s remarks came only minutes before the tipoff of a contest in Toronto which former US President Barack Obama was slated to attend.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games messlast_img read more

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Sign of the times: Vettel furious as Hamilton wins in Canada

first_imgCayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles05:25What we ought to know about Filipino Sign Language02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, of Germany, switches the standing markers to place Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, second and himself first at the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix auto race in Montreal, Sunday, June 9, 2019. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was red with rage at being stripped of a much-needed win at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.So the four-time Formula One world champion took matters into his own hands — literally.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew After getting out of his car with his helmet still on and stomping back to his garage, Vettel then made his way to the post-race grid.The Montreal crowd watched in amazement as Vettel theatrically grabbed the big No. 1 sign parked in front of race winner Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes car and moved it to where his Ferrari should have been in the empty No. 2 slot.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThen Vettel did the opposite with the No. 2 sign, hauling it over and dramatically plonking it in front of Hamilton’s car.The crowd cheered, as if witnessing a moral victory. Hamilton showed a touch of class on the podium, grabbing Vettel’s arm and pulling the German alongside him on the top step. Hamilton was asked for his view and some of the crowd jeered when he said “all I can say is I didn’t make the decision.”Vettel intervened quickly and told the crowd not to boo Hamilton, but to jeer the stewards’ decision itself.“We have very great respect for each other,” Vettel said. “I heard some fans booing when Lewis got his trophy. I will defend Lewis 100 percent here because it wasn’t him.”Mercedes has now clinched seven straight wins this season — and nine in the past 10 races overall — and Ferrari has not won since former driver Kimi Raikkonen’s victory at the United States GP in October last year.Once again, Vettel seemed to have the race under control only to lose his composure.It is the third straight season he is making panicky errors.He span his car with Hamilton behind him in Bahrain earlier this season, went into the barriers when leading the rain-soaked German GP by nearly 10 seconds last July; and crashed from pole at the Singapore GP two years ago.This time, the mistake was made on a bone-dry track and in perfect weather conditions.The excuses are running out fast for Vettel, unfair decisions or not. “Obviously I’m angry, as you can imagine,” Vettel said. “I gave everything I had today and more.”Vettel had started from pole position and crossed the finish line narrowly ahead of Hamilton.But Vettel had been given a five-second time penalty for an incident which happened with a little more than 20 laps to go. Despite Vettel taking the checkered flag, that penalty gave the five-time F1 champion Hamilton his fifth win in seven races and 78th overall.Vettel, meanwhile, has not won in 15 races — a dismal run at the most storied team in F1.His mistake was basic, unfair time penalty or not.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, toocenter_img Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue He went into the grass with Hamilton pressuring behind him, and then swerved back onto the track, forcing Hamilton to brake suddenly to avoid crashing into the barriers to the right of the track.But amid the anger Vettel did have a point.F1 carved its reputation in decades of daredevil acts and used to be famed for such high-speed drama but here it was deemed preferable to fine Vettel for an unsafe re-entry back onto the track.Vettel took a swipe — or rather a full-blown lunge — at governing body FIA, saying the reasoning of the stewards went against the spirit of motor racing.“It is not making our sport popular. People want to see us race, and it was racing. Just a shame when we have these funny decisions,” Vettel said. “I just wish I could be as good as I am … but in the old drivers’ time. We should be able to say what we think, but we can’t. I disagree with where the sport is now. It’s not the one I fell in love with.”Strong words from Vettel, who finished ahead of his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas in fourth place and taking a bonus point for the fastest lap.In the standings, Hamilton is 29 points clear of Bottas and already 62 ahead of Vettel heading into the French GP in two weeks’ time.An exasperated Vettel said on team radio “they’re stealing this race from us” — and the stewards’ decision clearly festered for the remaining laps — but it was another Vettel blunder following multiple mistakes in losing the past two championships to Hamilton.Vettel’s barren streak dates back to the Belgian GP last August, while his longtime rival Hamilton is well poised in his bid for a sixth F1 title to move within one of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.Hamilton and Schumacher have both won the Canadian GP a record seven times. MOST READ LATEST STORIES Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Mangosong, Gabriel dominate anew in MMF Supercross View commentslast_img read more

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Asian Games Village a big hit among athletes

first_imgS. KannanThe Games Village is the heart and soul of any major multi-discipline sporting extravaganza.In 2010, when New Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games, the media had to focus on the negatives.From seepage in rooms to broken toilets and stinking upholstery, there was heavy criticism for the organising committee headed by Suresh Kalmadi.Here in Incheon, which is all set to host the high profile Asian Games, the Village is situated half an hour away from the main city. The area is known as Guwol-Dong and, as you near the complex, the security arrangements impress you. Unlike China, which hosted the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the Asian Games in 2010 Guangzhou, cops here are careful not to make the guests feel unwanted.A delegation of Japanese athletes enters the Village on Wednesday.For that matter, if you want to soak in the Village atmosphere as a visitor with a valid accreditation card, you need an official to check you in. The consensus among athletes, coaches and officials was that Incheon has taken great pain in providing top-class comfort.Food is a major concern in South Korea for an outsider — especially for vegetarians, who have a very tough time. The language barrier is also very hard to overcome and sign language may not always be the best option!Yet, inside the Village, there are translators attached to every team and volunteers have been provided to take into account the multitude of languages spoken in the competing nations.One smart young man from India now studying management in Japan decided to sign up as a volunteer for the Games. Hari Shambu hails from Allepey in Kerala and speaks good Japanese. Yet, when he decided to volunteer in Incheon, he did not know he would be attached to the Indian contingent. He has also learnt Korean for the Games.As a schoolboy, Shambu played badminton.advertisementSo when he met Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap for the first time this week, it was dream come true. When the Indian flag formally goes up in the Games Village on Thursday, Shambu will be carrying the placard with the ‘India’ name. “I heard they were looking for a young girl to do this job. I told them to consider my case as I am helping out the Indian teams,” said Shambu.If Shambu’s dream has come true in a way, for many others who get to live in the Village, it’s a fascinating experience. Special attention has been paid to cleanliness.For a city where the number of smokers is quite high, the high rise Village buildings have been declared a no-smoking zone. If at all anyone wants to smoke inside, there are designated areas. FOR those finicky about food, a wide range of options including western, halal, Asian and Korean delicacies are available, as is Indian “khaana”. This is a 24-hour service and teams shuttling between the Village and training arenas can order packed lunch boxes in advance.In an age when stress is so high for athletes, there are prayer halls which provide for most religions. These minute details go a long way in boosting the image of the host city, something Incheon is striving for. There is a laundry service handling thousands of soiled clothes daily to keep the athletes who put their heart and soul into training tension-free.In the event of any niggle or injury, the medical facilities are top class. From common cold to dental trauma and urgent care for any eye infection, specialists are there to help. Those working in the Games Village rarely get credit but, till now, stories emanating from Incheon have been positive. Hopefully, we won’t hear ‘unsuitable food’ used as an excuse for non-performance from Indian athletes!s.kannan@mailtoday.inlast_img read more

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Indian tennis scene seems perched at an uncomfortable crossroad

first_img(From left) Chiradeep Mukherjea, Vijay Amritraj, Royappa and Kamesh Krishnan: tired actors in a tragic farceThere was, in a sense, a certain amount of symbolism in Chiradeep Mukherjea’s facile win over Australian Brian Benson in last fortnight’s Indian Open Satellite Tennis Tournament at Calcutta’s South Club. The comparatively unattractive prize,(From left) Chiradeep Mukherjea, Vijay Amritraj, Royappa and Kamesh Krishnan: tired actors in a tragic farceThere was, in a sense, a certain amount of symbolism in Chiradeep Mukherjea’s facile win over Australian Brian Benson in last fortnight’s Indian Open Satellite Tennis Tournament at Calcutta’s South Club. The comparatively unattractive prize money – Benson received Rs 3,325 as runner-up – and the glaring absence of any players of international repute has reduced the Indian tennis circuit to a tragic farce. This year, with the Indian Open having been scrapped and major tennis tournaments pruned down to a mere 17, the Indian tennis scene seems perched at an uncomfortable crossroad. Firstly the biggest foreign name the All India Lawn Tennis Association (AILTA) had was Benson and the two Americans, Rich Flach and Scott Kidd-all three virtual unknowns on the international tennis scene. The additional fact that the Satellite Tournament, which is considered a stepping stone to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Volvo and Grand Prix tournaments, has Nandan Bal as top seed, is a dismal commentary on the status that the Indian circuit has earned over the years.At one time, it was possible for Indian tennis fans to bask in the reflected glory of Nastase, Thomas Koch, Tom Gorman, Raul Ramirez and of course the Amritraj brothers. But that is history. And the rot has started seeping down to the Amritrajs of tomorrow. “The circuit is getting stale,” says Balram Singh, a circuit veteran, “you don’t enjoy tennis anymore and neither do top players like Vijay, Anand, Shashi (Menon) bother to participate. That means that none of the top class foreigners are interested either.”Poor Organisation: But much of the griping from Indian circuit hopefuls is directed at the AILTA and the organisational hassles that make playing in the Indian circuit a frustrating experience. And, in the long run, scotches any talent that may be available. “The way Indian tennis is run is a disgrace,” storms Shyam Minotra, former Davis Cupper and the secretary’ of the recently-resurrected Tennis Players’ Association of India. “It has become routine to be elected and re-elected as the office bearers of the AILTA thus maintaining a never-ending monopoly.”Certainly, a close look at the organisational aspect of the Indian tennis circuit indicates why veteran has-beens like Jaideep Mukherjea and Premjit Lall are still winning tournaments, while no youngster worth the name (with the possible exception of Shankar Krishnan) has made any waves. For instance, none of the players is provided with the train fare, as was the case earlier. They are crammed together in spartan dormitories and paid an astonishing sum of Rs 15 a day for meals, AILTA spokesmen defend their penny-pinching by pointing out that the tournaments carry prize money. But how much? The prize money starts only when a player reaches the quarter finals and is a paltry Rs 200-250 for a majority of the tournaments. The total prize money is around Rs 20,000 and the bulk of the gate money and advertising revenue goes to the organisers.Few Opportunities: The result is that not many players complete the circuit since their money is exhausted by the time they are halfway through. Most of them come from middle class families and have a limited budget. Consequently, the entries for the later tournaments are sparse and the opportunities for spotting new talent greatly reduced. Argues Chiradeep Mukherjea: “There should be separate men’s, women’s and junior tournaments, with the juniors being given free board and lodging instead of prize money.”Another deterrent is the haphazard way in which the tournaments skip from one part of the country to another and back again, draining the mental and financial reserves of most of the players. In the 1978-79 circuit, players found themselves in Madras one week, then in Cuttack, Gauhati, Allahabad and Meerut. Says Narendra Singh who was in the committee that finalised the dates of the 1978-79 circuit: “One cannot help such things. Halfway through the tournament, a quarter of the centres have cried off due to finances, calamities or non-availability of top players. In which case, last minute adjustments have to be made.”But the AILTA seems determined to avoid what is the most obvious remedy. Increase the prize money and give free board and lodging till the end of the tournament. Even an improvement in the lodging facilities would be some sort of incentive if instead of 10 or 12 players sharing a dormit- ory, decent double rooms were provided. Says Royappa, a former Indian number one and a player on the international circuit: “Instead of one tournament a week, we should have at least two or three in different centres. This would lessen the load of entries on the organisers in the initial tournaments and would reduce the muddle that exists now.” But that is wishful thinking. The AILTA, which claims to be organising itself on ATP lines, seems quite content to let sleeping dogs lie. But it is a direct result of their attitude that led to India’s disgraceful performance in the Eastern Zone Davis Cup last year when the team lost to lowly North Korea. It was indicative of the huge gap between players of the calibre of Vijay Amritraj and Ramanathan Krishnan and the current crop of players who are stagnating through no real fault of their own or lack of adequate talent, but because of the peculiar attitude of the powers-that-be.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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US Open 2019: Coco Gauff Delivers on the Hype in First-round Thriller

first_imgNew York: Teen sensation Cori “Coco” Gauff lived up to the hype surrounding her US Open debut on Tuesday, battling back to beat Anastasia Potapova 3-6 6-2 6-4 in a back-and-forth thriller.The outlook appeared bleak for the 15-year-old American when she was broken to open the second set but Gauff broke back in the next game to seize the momentum and ultimately level up the contest in front of a supportive crowd. But hard-hitting 18-year-old Potapova, despite needing medical attention to her shoulder, refused to go down without a fight and Gauff had to earn her place in the second round. “No matter where I was on the court, I could always hear someone supporting me.”Coco & the New York crowd = @CocoGauff | #USOpen pic.twitter.com/vUX30ZhTB8— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 28, 2019Asked how she turned the match around, wildcard Gauff pointed to the fans inside Louis Armstrong Stadium.”Honestly it’s because of the crowd,” she said. “You guys were amazing. No matter where I was on the court I could hear somebody supporting me and I’m really grateful for that.”Gauff also had words of praise for her opponent, who battled hard in the third set.”I was trying to really dig deep. I was like, ‘You got to make her play. She’s not going to hand it to you,” said Gauff.”I really don’t remember the match too well because everything is still a blur. But I do remember I think that four-all game, it was just like a lot of battling.”Gauff entered this year’s tournament amid high expectations after reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon earlier this year.She next faces 26-year-old Timea Babos of Hungary in the second round at Flushing Meadows. Anastasia PotapovaCoco GauffCori Gauffus open First Published: August 28, 2019, 8:45 AM ISTcenter_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

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Pro Kabaddi 2019: Puneri Paltan Out of Playoffs Contention After Thrashing by Dabang Delhi

first_img dabang delhipklPKL 7PKL Live Score First Published: September 29, 2019, 10:49 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Panchkula: Naveen Kumar was once again the star for Dabang Delhi KC as they ousted Puneri Paltan from the Pro Kabaddi League with 60-40 victory on Sunday.Naveen, the talented raider picked up another Super 10 (his 17th consecutive) as Delhi produced a near-flawless performance to end the paltan campaign in the cash-rich league. Dabang Delhi, as expected, started on the front foot, with their raider-in-chief Naveen Kumar looking unstoppable. The 19-year-old raider picked points at will, pulling out the acrobatic moves in the process, as the Delhi side inflicting an All-Out on Pune in the 7th minute of the match.Puneri Paltan were badly missing the services of their raider Pankaj Mohite, who missed out due to a fever. Their raiders struggled as Ravinder Pahal (completed 50 tackle points for the season) and Joginder Narwal, the corners for Delhi, also got into the game with successful tackles.Naveen kept adding to his points tally as he clinched a personal record of becoming the fastest player to secure 400 raid points in the PKL history.The Delhi side secured their second All-Out with 7 minutes remaining to half time to open up a 14-point lead.Manjeet was once again the only positive player on the mat for Pune and his valiant efforts in the raids allowed the side to cling on to the hope of coming back into the match. The first half ended 30-16 with Delhi on top.The second half turned out to be much of the same with Delhi dominating in all departments. last_img read more

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