Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) dunks during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Houston. Golden State won 125-108. APHOUSTON — The Golden State Warriors wanted to make sure the Houston Rockets wouldn’t beat them from the 3-point line.They carried out their plan perfectly, forcing the NBA’s most prolific 3-point shooting team into a terrible shooting night in a 125-108 victory Friday night that extended Golden State’s winning streak to six games.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely LATEST STORIES Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ NO DANCING ON MY WATCHDurant said along with limiting Houston’s 3-point shooting, keeping Harden in check was a focus on Friday night.“You don’t want Harden up there dancing with the ball, shooting step backs and running down court dancing,” he said. “So we did a good job of limiting his shots, making him pass the ball and contesting shots as well at the 3-point line.”UP NEXTWarriors: Visit Orlando on Sunday.Rockets: Visit Memphis on Saturday to open a five-game road trip.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Blackwater in ‘must win’ vs Star, says Sumang MOST READ Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Gamboa officially assumes post as new PNP chief Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Warriors used a big third quarter to build a huge lead and coast to the victory.In a matchup of two of the best teams in the Western Conference and All-Star starting guards Stephen Curry and James Harden, the Rockets fell short. Houston, which entered the game leading the NBA with 667 3-pointers, was just 7 of 35 behind the arc. Harden went 0 for 5 and Eric Gordon, who entered the game leading the NBA with 160 3s, missed all seven attempts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“I think it was good defense on our part,” Durant said. “They missed a couple of open ones, but that’s from — they didn’t have a rhythm. I think we did a good job of putting a hand up on the shots and getting out and rebounding … for the most part we contested, forced them to shoot in the paint and got out and ran.”Houston’s 20 percent shooting on 3s tied a season low for a Golden State opponent and was just the fourth time this season that the Rockets made fewer than 10 3s. “None of us are happy, but it happens,” Harden said. “So what? What’s next? And that’s what our motto is.”Clint Capela had 22 points and Harden added 17 points with 11 assists for the Rockets, who are third in the West behind Golden State and San Antonio.The Warriors were up by five at halftime and used a 12-4 run to open the second half and stretch their lead to 74-61. Golden State got six points from Durant in that span, including a dunk and a nifty reverse layup.Houston got four points from Capela after that before Golden State used a 10-2 run, with 3s from Draymond Green and Curry, to make it 84-67 midway through the period.Golden State pushed the lead to 99-79 entering the fourth.ADVERTISEMENT Houston won the first game against Golden State this season in two overtimes to snap an eight-game, regular-season losing streak to the Warriors. But it was clear the Rockets wouldn’t make it two in a row after they scored just 22 points and went 0 for 10 on 3-pointers in the third quarter.Houston scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 99-84. But Golden State used a 9-4 run after that to extend its lead to 20 points by the midpoint of the quarter, and many fans started heading for the exits.Curry finished with 24 points and made five 3-pointers, including one with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining that left the Warriors up 117-93. Both teams cleared their benches after that.TIP-INSWarriors: Golden State made 15 of 38 3-pointers. … Klay Thompson added 16 points. … Green had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.Rockets: Ryan Anderson had one rebound in nine minutes in his return after missing two games with the flu. … Capela played 21 minutes off the bench in his third game back after missing a month with a fracture on his left fibula. … Sam Dekker had 17 points for his 11th double-digit game this season. …CHEERING ON THE HOME TEAMHouston Texans star J.J. Watt cheered the Rockets on from a courtside seat. He received a huge ovation when he was shown on the Jumbotron during a timeout in the second quarter. Watt, who won NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season, played just three games this season before having season-ending back surgery.SLEEP OVERThe Warriors had planned to fly out of Houston on Friday night, but a team spokesman said after the game they were staying an extra night because the weather was too bad to leave. Houston has experienced flooding this week as heavy rains blanketed the area for several days. Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards 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 View comments
‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards PSC finalizes SEAG delegation size: 300 athletes, 75 coaches, officials ‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Dimaculangan hit back-to-back aces, while Tunay flicked two hits in a row, all in the Blaze Spikers’ final five points for their fifth straight win at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.Mina Aganon topscored with 13 points for Petron, which already secured a spot in the final round where the top three teams will be joined by Japanese club Kobe Shinwa.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnPetron coach Shaq delos Santos lauded his wards effort but added that “our job is not finished yet.”“We still have to work very hard because there is still a lot ahead of us,” Delos Santos added.Delos Santos said their goal was to go all the way to the championship and revive the franchise’s winning tradition. LATEST STORIES Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu MOST READ Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home 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 The Blaze Spikers were the first team to have swept their way to the championship, winning all 13 games to capture the 2015 All Filipino Conference.The loss pushed the Lifesavers to the edge as their fate will depend on the Foton-Cocolife match, which was ongoing at press time.A win by the Tornadoes would automatically qualify them and eliminate the Lifesavers.Generika was in the thick of the fight after forcing a fourth frame through Gen Casugod, Patty Orendain and Angeli Araneta.But from 18-all, the Lifesavers committed key defensive lapses allowing the Blaze Spikers to finish off the match with ease.ADVERTISEMENT Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Rhea Dimaculangan and Carmela Tunay knifed crucial hits at crunch time as Petron swept its way to the final round, blasting Generika-Ayala, 25-11, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19, Thursday night in the Belo-Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot View comments
LATEST STORIES Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely 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 MOST READ Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Nuggets: Denver, which has lost nine straight to the Thunder, was without F Kenneth Faried (back) and G Jameer Nelson (right calf).UP NEXTThunder: Wrap up their four-game trip at Minnesota on Tuesday night before finishing regular season against Denver at home.Nuggets: Visit Dallas Tuesday on the first night of a back-to-back to end their season.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook celebrates after hitting a buzzer beating three point shot to win the game against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Denver. Oklahoma City defeated Denver 106-105. Westbrook also broke the NBA record for triple doubles with 42 for the season. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)DENVER — First, Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s record for most triple-doubles in a season. Then, he broke the Denver Nuggets‘ hearts.Westbrook’s 36-foot dagger at the buzzer gave Oklahoma City a 106-105 victory, eliminating the Nuggets from playoff contention and capping an historic Sunday afternoon in which he scored 50 points to go with 16 rebounds and 10 assists.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Westbrook’s 42nd triple-double is one more than the ”Big O” had for the Cincinnati Royals in 1961-62, a mark that many in the NBA had considered unbreakable until Westbrook’s incredible run.The crowd gave Westbrook a standing ovation after he broke Robertson’s record with his 10th assist with 4:17 remaining.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThen, those same fans stood in stunned silence after watching Westbrook score his team’s final 15 points, including the game-winner after Steven Adams took the inbounds pass from Kyle Single with 2.9 seconds left and dished to Westbrook, whose long jumper ringed through the iron as the horn sounded.”It was a good defense,” lamented Nuggets guard Gary Harris. ”He’s had a hell of a season. I think he might have just locked up the MVP with that one right there.” SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Westbrook insisted his buzzer beater wasn’t a low-percentage prayer.”I practice that shot everyday pregame,” he said.Same spot. And, he said, usually the same result.”So, I definitely feel confident in shooting that shot,” he said.DO-IT-YOURSELFADVERTISEMENT Sixers’ top pick Ben Simmons has grown another 2 inches—report Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Westbrook had a double-double by halftime but didn’t get his triple-double until feeding Semaj Christon in the right corner for a 3-pointer that pulled the Thunder to 101-91 with more than four minutes left.With his 10th assist and his record in the books – after four tries at that final assist – Westbrook took care of the scoring himself the rest of the way.He followed a pair of layups with six free throws – half of them coming after Nikola Jokic was whistled for a flagrant foul and a technical – then added another layup.”It was like a video game,” Christon said. ”I loved watching it.”Westbrook’s biggest bucket was his last.”Pure adrenaline, emotions running high, game-winning shot, it is something you dream about as a little kid to be able to do that on the road especially from that distance,” Westbrook said. ”It is something you definitely will never forget.”TAKING OVERWestbrook scored the game’s final eight points overall as Denver’s shooters went cold when one more bucket would have iced it.”I give him credit, he is a hell of a player and an MVP candidate,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ”(But) I really feel that we lost this game. Our turnovers in the fourth quarter, we had six turnovers for 10 points. Down the stretch, we had a lack of poise, lack of execution, we picked up a technical foul. Everything that could go wrong went wrong.”HOT AND COLD Danilo Gallinari scored 22 of his season-high 34 points in the third quarter to lead the Nuggets, who were hoping to take the race with Portland for the final Western Conference playoff spot down to the final two games.But Gallo didn’t score at all in the fourth quarter, when the Nuggets managed just 14 points.WAIT FOR ITWestbrook nearly had his 10th assist with two minutes left in the third quarter but Enes Kanter lost the handle going up for the basket and Westbrook took a seat until the fourth quarter.Upon his return, Westbrook again fed Kanter, who took several steps on his way to the basket and was whistled for traveling with 8:20 left.With the crowd again on its feet anticipating history, Westbrook passed to Domatas Sabonis, whose jumper rimmed out at 7:16. Sabonis missed another short jumper with 5:39 left that would have given Westbrook the record.Finally, Westbrook fed Christon for the 3-pointer to put Roberton’s record to rest.”He always tells us, if you’re open, shoot the ball,” Christon said of Westbrook. ”I was open and let it go.”TIP-INSThunder: Westbrook’s three career 50-point triple-doubles all came this season and are the most by any player in NBA history. … F Doug McDermott was a late scratch with a sore left knee. … Coach Billy Donovan said it’ll be up to Westbrook if he wants to rest during one or both of the Thunder’s final two games.
“They just changed their defensive schemes and started triple-teaming me. Some guys on our team didn’t make the shots they normally make. But that happens and that’s basketball. We just got to keep playing and believing we’ll be fine,” he said.TNT was unable to sustain its first half showing and bowed to Ginebra, 107-89, and saw its five-game winning run snapped.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnBut rather than be down, Greene preached positivity to his fellow KaTropa, noting that their 5-2 record isn’t that bad and the challenge lies on how the squad will rebound after the All-Star break.“That’s what I’m trying to tell my teammates: to be positive. We have four winnable games left, we get a chance to get a rest, get in the gym and work on some things,” he said as he finished the game with 28 points and 15 rebounds. Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town “For me, I’m still trying to find my touch. The past two games have been good to me but it needs to be not just me but the whole team. I can’t win without my teammates. They’ve been sticking by my side the whole time and I just want to see them do well and win.”The job, however, gets harder as there’s a big possibility of Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy being called up for national team duty in the upcoming 2017 Seaba Championships.For Greene, though, he believes TNT has every material to remain competitive as the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations comes to a close.“I’m prepared but it’s not just gonna be on me,” he said. “I have other guys who are going to step up. We still got two other guards in Kris (Rosales) and Matt (Ganuelas-Rosser) who are ready to step up and do a great job. I believe in them and the rest of the team. I think we’re gonna be fine.”TNT hits the court anew on May 5 against San Miguel.ADVERTISEMENT Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte 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 Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Tennis: Sharapova back in business, like it or not Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bulacan town gears up for biggest cookie jar MOST READ Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely PBA IMAGESDonte Greene anticipated the rowdy crowd when TNT faced off against Ginebra on Sunday.What he was’t prepared for, though, was the Gin Kings ganging up on him and triple-teaming him. ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home View comments
TRAINING WELL Trainer Randolph Scott is set to cash in when he sends course specialist BALLON D’OR over 1820 metres in tomorrow’s opening race in the Sunrise-6 at Caymanas Park. The event for $450,000 claimers, and five years old and upwards non-winners of four, has attracted seven starters, but none should test Scott’s five-year-old gelding. In his last two trips over the distance, BALLON D’OR has won by a combined 22 plus lengths, clocking 1:59.0 and winning by 16 lengths on April 26 and by just over six lengths on June 10 and crossing the winning post in 1:59.3. The trainer has called up leading jockey Omar Walker to partner his horse, and he should make no mistake. Race two over 1400 metres should be an afternoon stroll for British-bred KALAMATA. She was beaten a neck by overnight allowance campaigner Awesome Destiny, going 1820 metres on July 8, and will easily beat a field of second-level local three-year-olds. The distance appears a bit short, but she will be too classy for this field. NO MONEY FRIEND has sneaked down to $250,000 at a very handy mark and could lead all the way in race three. Last time in this claiming group, NO MONEY FRIEND lost by three quarters of a length to ARGUMENT DONE over 1000 metres straight. He has been training well for some time and at this low level will have too much pace for his seven rivals. In race four, KAMALI STAR should outstay rivals over the 1700 metres distance. The four-year colt has beaten most of the field he will face tomorrow and should prove too strong in the final 100 metres. Race five is a very knotty event for two-year-olds, who will travel over 800 metres. The Anthony Nunes-trained APOLLO BAY has the best form but appears one-paced, so the winner should come from one of the newcomers. The one best equipped to top the event is ALEXANDRA. By Blue Pepsi Lodge – Grace Marie, ALEXANDRA has been training fairly well and the sire, known for producing speedsters, had a good winner in Exhilarate two weeks ago. Trainer Nunes has the key to race six. DIOSA DE ORO ran an improved race on July 8, but after being up with the pace for 1000 metres of the 1100m race, she weakened badly late. Stable companion MIRABILIS will be staying on at the end of the 1400 metres race and looks the likely winner with Linton Steadman aboard.
LONDON, England (AP):Arsenal won their first Europa League match in 17 years after a delayed start while AC Milan started fast in subduing hosts Austria Vienna 5-1 yesterday.Kick-off in Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Cologne was delayed for an hour after thousands of ticketless Cologne fans made it hard for ticketholders to get into Emirates Stadium. About 20,000 Cologne fans came to London, after only 3,000 tickets were allocated to them. Police said four people were arrested for public order offences.Also, Atalanta struck three times in the first half to hand struggling Everton a 3-0 defeat, Spanish league co-leaders Real Sociedad crushed Rosenborg 4-0, and Lyon drew with Apollon of Cyprus 1-1.Cologne sit winless on the bottom of the Bundesliga, but their fans, walled off by security guards in the stadium, were celebrating after only nine minutes when Jhon Cordoba lobbed goalkeeper David Ospina from 40 yards out.It took Arsenal 40 minutes to reply, through substitute Sead Kolasinac. Alexis Sanchez hit the match-winner, and started the move for the last goal, a rebound effort finished by Hector Bellerin.”We went to four at the back at halftime and the second half was better,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “Kolasinac makes quick decisions, he’s strong in the tackle and quick going forward. He’s settled in quickly and we’re very pleased to have him.”MILAN START FASTEarlier, new AC Milan forward Andre Silva scored a hat-trick. Milan made certain of the result within 20 minutes.Midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring after seven minutes then set up two for Silva in the 10th and 20th.”We played quickly, particularly in the first 20 minutes, finishing the game off clinically,” Milan coach Vincenzo Montella said. “This was a big win for us.”Alexandar Borkovic’s header reduced the deficit early in the second half, Silva completed his hat-trick, and Suso finished the rout just a minute after coming off the bench.After three years away, AC Milan returned to European competition as perhaps the favourite – at least until December when eight teams jump in as a result of placing third in a Champions League group.Also, AEK won at Rijeka 2-1 in another Group D game.EVERTON STRUGGLESFollowing consecutive losses to Chelsea and Tottenham in the English Premier League, Everton went on to struggle in Bergamo. Wayne Rooney failed to impress and his teammates made no difference.After a 26-year absence in Europe, Atalanta cruised, with all the goals in the first half.Selected results: Atalanta 3 Everton 0; Austria Vienna 1 AC Milan 5; Basaksehir 0 Ludogorets 0; Dyn. Kiev 3 Skenderbeu 1; FC Copenhagen 0 Lokomotiv Moscow 0; Hoffenheim 1 Braga 2; Rijeka 1 AEK Athens 2; Slavia Prague 1 Maccabi Tel Aviv 0; Villarreal 3 FC Astana 1; Young Boys 1 Partizan 1; H. Beer Sheva 2 Lugano 1; Hertha Berlin 0 Ath Bilbao 0; Marseille 1 Konyaspor 0; Real Sociedad 4 Rosenborg 0; Vitesse 2 Lazio 3; Waregem 1 Nice 5; Arsenal 3 FC Koln 1.
Jamaica Women were crowned champions of the West Indies Women T20 Blast after defeating favourites Barbados Women by a nail biting five runs in the final round of matches at Sabina Park yesterday. The champions batted first and posted a competitive 108 for four off their 20 overs, with sidelined Windies opener Natasha McLean topscoring with 42, and captain Stafanie Taylor, carrying a shoulder injury, 32. Windies representatives, all-rounder Deandra Dottin, and pacer Shakera Selman claimed two for 19 and two for 24, respectively. The previously unbeaten Barbados, won entered the fifth round contest with four straight wins, compared to three triumphs and a defeat by the hosts, were then restricted by pacers Roshana Outar and Karla Cohen to a total of 104 all out, off their 20 overs. Barbados had a good start at 44 without loss, and were at one stage 62 for two, before Outar was introduced and started their demise. The diminutive Outar went on to finish with two for 21, while Cohen, who bowled the final over with Barbados needing nine runs to win, claimed two for 20. Windies opener and the tournament’s top runs-getter, Hayley Matthews, topscored with 30. The dangerous Dottin made 11. Jamaica, who also ended the tournament with four wins and a defeat, were then crowned champions by the head-to-head winner tie-breaker rule.
THE TABLES HAVE TURNED In the middle of the recently concluded FIFA World Cup, a kind gentleman told me, “We have to support the Motherland now.” When I asked for clarity, he specified that with Brazil and all the African teams eliminated, the only option was to support England. For him, the presence of Jamaica’s Raheem Sterling on the England team sealed the decision. Though Jamaicans have always supported World Cup and club teams that included black players, his declaration made me think. I don’t watch sport with race and geopolitics as an overlay. By my way of sport-thinking, such a bent might promote bias. Yet, that gentleman’s pragmatic support for England had me thinking. Many supported France all the way because of the black players on its roster. Social media had quaintly dubbed the French triumph a win for Africa. Indeed, blacks play for France. Belgium and France, who along with eventual runner-up Croatia, reached the semi-final round, largely because of a colonial past. The outstanding Basil Ince book, Black Meteors, outlines the history of the Caribbean in international track and field. Published in 2012, the book by the 1976 Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team manager also touches the colonial background to the arrival of blacks on European sport teams. In one section, he quotes a former French head of state, who pinpoints the irony of it all. “It is a trap set by history”, Pierre Mesmerr, who was prime minister in the 1970s, once lamented. “We in France and Europe have been accustomed to colonising the world. Now the foreigners are coming here to us”. Support for France and Belgium grew during the World Cup for footballing reasons, too. Both teams were impressive and the Belgians gained some fans after they eliminated the favoured Brazil. Sterling bought England some support, too, but the ‘motherland’ label was a surprise. It came not long after the untidy Windrush matter, which found Jamaicans who had been invited to rebuild Britain after World War II being ushered out until wiser heads prevailed. The jolt subsided. I continue to watch sport without letting my geopolitics impose. After all, high-quality teams and sportsmen deserve admiration for their skills no matter their colour or history. That’s the beauty of the World Cup and the Olympic Games. Though politics is ever present, they give us a chance to escape once every four years. – Hubert Lawrence is a Liverpool fan who has made notes at trackside since 1980.
With one match still to be played, Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz are already champions of the Caribbean CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers having convincingly won all their three games. Their performances mean that they have qualified for the final stage of the World Cup Qualifiers to be staged in the United States between October 4 and 17. Many persons within the football fraternity give the Girlz a good chance of qualifying for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the president of the Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts, who believes this could be his landmark achievement for his tenure as the JFF boss. “The dream of every administration is to qualify for a global tournament and we are working very hard, and I really want to leave a landmark achievement when I leave office, and I believe this is a very good opportunity to do so. We have a real good chance,” Rickets said. “We at the JFF have been giving the girls the full support. We have restarted the women’s premier league and the Under-15 girls tournament.” He continued: “We sent them to the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) Games and I thought it did a lot for their preparation as they were exposed to the Central American countries.” The team continued their impressive form in the tournament on Friday night by thrashing Trinidad and Tobago 4-1. They won the first two games 9-0 and 4-0 against Antigua and Barbuda and Bermuda, respectively. And with only our immediate neighbours, Cuba, left to play this evening at 6’clock, Ricketts believes the team is a well-oiled machine heading into the CONCACAF round. “When I saw them (the team) at the CAC Games, I thought that we really needed to give them as many opportunities as we could, because they were extremely competitive and I thought that with a little more fortune, they could have medalled. We were competitive against the Central American and South American countries,” Ricketts said. But Ricketts’ ambition to make the Girlz’s quest to become the first Jamaican female team to qualify for a global tournament his landmark achievement as president might be difficult, as they will now have to contend with the three giants in the confederation, United States, Canada and Mexico.
Western Bureau: Lennon High School held their nerve to maintain a perfect start to the 2018 ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup for newly appointed head coach Byjeon Thomas. In a dramatic finish at the Crofts Hill Community Centre yesterday, Lennon came from behind to score three goals in the last three minutes of stoppage time to register a 3-1 win over hosts Kellits High. Timroy Robinson gave Kellits the lead in the 67th minute. However, Tyrece Harrison scored a brace for the visitors in the 90th plus three and 90th-plus-four minutes. Then Ryan Simpson, with the last kick of the game, added a third goal. Thomas, who admitted that he was feeling the tension as the game got closer to the end, said those late goals were a big relief. “It was a bit of a test to hold our nerves. I think it’s because we are not sharp as yet … . I have to say it was difficult at times watching because we were creating chances, but the lack of sharpness was clear,” said Thomas, who is happy to have come away with another three points. “I’m ecstatic. We were behind for a long while although we were playing the better football, and we were just unfortunate to get caught against the run of play for the opening goal. I think we really need to work on our finishing because I think we missed about 20 chances, but at the end of the day, we got the three points,” he added. Other results: Christiana 1 Alston 0; Troy High 0 Holmwood 3; Spalding 1 Knox College 2; Edwin Allen 0 Clarendon College 3.