Cricket News On This Day – The First Hat-Trick Takes Place In Twenty20 Internationals

first_imgNew Delhi: September 16, 2007 had something special in store for cricket and Brett Lee would provide it. The year 2007 witnessed the birth of a new World Cup for a new format. Before this tournament, there were 22 matches played in Twenty20 Internationals, a new format which was started in 2005 during the match between Australia and New Zealand. Looking at the popularity of the format, the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to start the new World T20 in 2007. The venue was South Africa and all the top teams were venturing into the unknown. Australia started their tournament poorly when they were upset by Zimbabwe in Cape Town while they bounced back with a win against England. Bangladesh started the tournament brilliantly with a win over the West Indies but lost to South Africa. Both teams qualified for the super-six stage, with Bangladesh taking on Australia at Newlands. Australia won the toss and chose to bowl with Tamim Iqbal and Nazimuddin opening the batting.Tamim and Nazimuddin started confidently with a four each off Brett Lee in the third over. The duo stitched a 40-run opening stand before Mitchell Johnson sent back Nazimuddin for 11. Following the end of the powerplay, Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke built the pressure and Tamim was sent back by Clarke for 32. Stuart Clark got the wicket of Mohammad Ashraful as Bangladesh struggled. Shakib Al Hasan got going with a six and a four off Clarke but in the 17th over, Lee returned and he created history. After Aftab Ahmed hit a four first ball, Shakib was on strike for the third ball. Looking to be aggressive, Shakib made room but Lee bowled a short of a length ball and the batsman edged it to Adam Gilchrist. Next ball, Mashrafe Mortaza made room and looked to find a scoring opportunity on the off side but Lee fired the yorker and he was cleaned up.Lee created history the next ball when he trapped Alok Kapali in front to become the first bowler to take a hat-trick in Twenty20 Internationals. Bangladesh never recovered from Lee’s hat-trick and even Nathan Bracken had a chance to take a hat-trick in the final over but he missed it and Bangladesh finished on 123/8 with Lee finishing with 3/27 from four overs. In response, Adam Gilchrist blasted 43 off 28 balls which included four sixes but Matthew Hayden showed his class with a blazing, unbeaten 73 off 48 balls as Australia romped home to a nine-wicket win. Also Read | Here’s how Amitabh Bachchan, Paresh Rawal mocked ICC’s super over rulesFollowing Lee’s hat-trick, there have been seven instances of a hat-trick in Twenty20 Internationals. Jacob Oram achieved the second hat-trick in the game against Sri Lanka in 2009 at Colombo while Tim Southee took 5/18, including a hat-trick in the game against Pakistan in Auckland in 2010/11. After a four-year lull, Thisara Perera took a hat-trick against India in Ranchi in 2015 while Lasith Malinga took his first hat-trick against Bangladesh in Colombo in 2016/17.Also Read | Shivam Mavi is the future of Indian bowling, says Brett LeeFaheen Ashraf became the first Pakistan bowler to take a hat-trick during the clash against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi while the next two hat-tricks were special. Rashid Khan of Afghanistan was the first to take four wickets in four balls during the game in 2018/19 against Ireland in Dehradun while Malinga created history by becoming the first player to take two hat-tricks in T20Is.In the game against New Zealand in Pallekele, Malinga took four wickets in four balls and he became the first player to achieve this feat twice, having done it in 2007 against South Africa in the ODI World Cup in Guyana. However, for Lee, he will always be the owner of the first hat-trick in this format. RELATED For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

The Latest: Tigers and Cabreras donating to help families

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Miguel Cabrera and his wife Rosangel are partnering with the Detroit Tigers Foundation to donate $250,000 to organizations in Detroit that serve families and children. The player, staff member and staff member’s contact person must now go into quarantine at home for 14 days.Dresden’s entire team was ordered by local health authorities into 14 days of quarantine on May 9 after two players tested positive.The club says that all players who tested positive before were cleared in the fourth and fifth wave of tests and that they and the rest of the team will be able to resume training on Saturday.Dresden was scheduled to play at Hannover last Sunday but couldn’t participate because of the quarantine order. That game was rescheduled for June 3.Dresden is scheduled to resume play on May 31 against Stuttgart. May 21, 2020 Most of the money is going to the Detroit Public Schools Community District ($50,000), the Detroit Public Schools Foundation ($50,000), as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Police Athletic League and Brilliant Detroit ($140,000). The donations will support efforts to help families receive meals and childcare during the COVID-19 crisis, and to help students access online resources.The remaining $10,000 will support a philanthropic collaboration organized by G1 Impact to hire Detroiters to manufacture 100,000 reusable, hospital-grade masks for children and families in Detroit.___Pittsburgh Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle are each contributing $100,000 to assist local health outlets dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.The joint $200,000 donation will be split equally between Highmark Health and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The Highmark Health donation is earmarked for creating a mobile COVID-19 testing unit that will focus on under-served populations in the Pittsburgh area. Associated Press The donation to UPMC will benefit the UPMC Children’s Hospital Helpers Fund, which supports families and caregivers who are impacted by COVID-19.___North Carolina and North Carolina State will begin fall classes on Aug. 10 and forgo fall breaks in order to finish by Thanksgiving to get ahead of a potential second wave of COVID-19.UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz introduced a Roadmap for Fall in a letter Thursday that includes “off ramps” options if conditions change. Class sizes will be reduced with time extended between classes, some of which may be conducted remotely.Faculty and staff will return in a phased approach and should initially expect staggered and alternating work schedules. UNC will also emphasize adherence to public health guidelines, including physical distancing, wearing face coverings and increased hand washing. The school will observe Labor Day and University Day and complete the semester by Nov. 24. N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson announced that the school will begin classes nine days earlier than originally scheduled and forgo fall break to also finish by Thanksgiving. Students will not return to campus for the remainder of the year and winter commencement will be announced later.___East Carolina is eliminating its men’s and women’s tennis and swimming and diving programs to help reduce a $4.9 million budget deficit.The move affects 68 student-athletes and nine coaches and reduces ECU’s sponsored sports from 20 to 16, including nine for women. The NCAA requires Division I FBS schools to carry minimums of 16 sports, eight for women.“The coaches and student-athletes for these respective sports have all impacted our department and the Pirate Family in a positive manner,” athletic director Jon Gilbert said in a release. “This decision was not made lightly. The history and success of the swimming and diving programs and the tennis programs will continue to be celebrated at East Carolina.” ECU interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson stated that the athletic budget was not sustainable pre-COVID-19. The deficit began to grow significantly with the pandemic where the impact was immediate and would affect future revenue and expenses.ECU will honor scholarships for athletes who remain at the school. ___The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has canceled its induction ceremony in August because of health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.Hall of Fame president John Hendrickson says the museum believes it’s “in the best interests of everyone involved and for the integrity of the event to postpone the ceremony for a year.” ___Manchester United says it believes it will miss out on $24 million because the Premier League will have to make refunds to broadcasters even if the pandemic-disrupted season is completed.The league is in talks with its rights holders about rebates because of delays and changes to the broadcasting schedule. The season was suspended in March.Empty stadiums will also change the TV product.The rebates will vary based on the final position in the standings and the number of games aired live. United is in fifth place with nine games remaining. The Latest: Tigers and Cabreras donating to help families The Hall of Fame ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Aug. 7, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. This year’s class includes trainer Mark Casse, jockey Darrel McHargue, horses Wise Dan and Tom Bowling, and Pillars of the Turf Alice Headley Chandler, Keene Daingerfield, Jr., and George D. Widener, Jr. They will be inducted with the class of 2021.The 44th Annual Museum Ball scheduled for Aug. 14 also was canceled. It’s traditionally one of the highlights of the Saratoga summer social season.___German soccer club Dynamo Dresden has reported another case of coronavirus. The already quarantined second-division club has now had four players test positive.Dresden says on its website that the latest positive result was found in a fifth wave of tests conducted on Wednesday. It adds that another “category one” close contact of its coaching staff has also tested positive for COVID-19. The Premier League hasn’t provided details of the broadcasting rebate.___The governing body of swimming has postponed the short course world championships for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.FINA says the championships scheduled for December in Abu Dhabi will now be staged Dec. 13-18, 2021, in the United Arab Emirates because of the “the uncertainty related with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.”FINA president Julio C. Maglione says swimming organizers have worked closely with the United Arab Emirates’ authorities and “we believe this is the most suitable solution for all those taking part in this competition.” A general congress to elect the FINA Bureau for the years 2021-25 will be staged in Doha, Qatar, on June 5, 2021. The new members of the bureau will start their terms immediately after the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.The short course world championships are held in a 25-meter pool. The FINA world championships and the Olympics are staged in 50-meter pools.___More AP sports: and read more

Slow starts hinder Syracuse in ACC play heading into weekend matchup with Boston College

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Down 19-16 to Duke on Nov. 9, it looked like Syracuse still had a chance to come back and win the first set. But six straight points for the Blue Devils, punctuated by an ace from Emily Sklar, ended it.The Orange didn’t huddle like it does after almost every point. Instead, SU setter Gosia Wlaszczuk stared at the ground and stormed to the other side of the court, ahead of her teammates. Libero Belle Sand clenched her fists in disappointment and followed.“When it looks like sometimes we are slow, we have to realize it’s a reason because the other team does something that make it looks like (we are),” head coach Leonid Yelin said.In a season of many struggles for Syracuse, starting slow has been one of them. The Orange has only won the first set four times in 13 conference games — and three of those instances came against teams in the lower tier of the Atlantic Coast Conference.In the other nine ACC games, SU has been outscored by almost 10 points per first set — compared to 1.2 points in the second sets. Syracuse (8-17, 1-12 ACC) will be looking to avoid another unsuccessful beginning when it hosts Boston College (10-13, 5-7) at 1 p.m. in the Women’s Building on Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think having a slow start is usually an individual thing,” middle blocker Lindsay McCabe said. “People have to be ready to play and mentally prepare to start the match and maybe we haven’t been doing a good enough job of that.”In the past four games, the Orange’s hitting percentage in the first set is a mere 6 percent, compared to 14 percent in the rest of the sets. Often, SU will rebound from a double-digit point deficit in the first set, but loses by only a few points in the second and third.Sometimes it’s a matter of adjusting to the other team, Yelin said, but other times it’s a matter of adjusting to one another on the court. McCabe said it doesn’t have as much to do with the other team as it does with the Orange.“One thing that’s great about volleyball is the next set starts at 0-0,” McCabe said. “Coach always says, ‘It’s not like basketball where after the half if you’re down 30 you’re still down 30 when you come out.’ I think that the best thing we can have, and we do, is short memory so when you come out for that the second set it’s a brand-new game and a brand-new chance to win.”McCabe said that once she and her teammates settle into the game and get comfortable on the court, they usually mesh together. But because of injuries, the Orange has had to play with multiple different lineups and a few players have changed positions.McCabe said the team has been good at making mid-game adjustments this year, but Yelin said sometimes that’s not enough. Regardless, the players don’t get discouraged knowing that they’ll have to win at least three out of the next four sets to win the game, McCabe said.Against Louisville on Oct. 31, Syracuse lost the first set, 25-12, and dropped the first five points of the second. But the Orange came back to win the second, 25-22.With SU only capturing one ACC victory this season and battling to win even one set each game, the slow starts haven’t helped.“(I’m) unsatisfied,” Wlaszczuk said. “I feel like we have a good team and we are supposed to be higher in the standings of the ACC. It’s just that we can’t overcome ourselves and it’s mental.” Comments Published on November 13, 2014 at 12:02 am Contact Jon: | @jmettuslast_img read more

Affidavit shows USC officials missed red flags in scheme

first_img“I think this needs to be some type of cross campus committee that oversees this, so that there’s faculty involvement in it, that there’s the admissions office involved in it and the athletic department rather than simply this one person at the top of a pyramid who was able to add names because it’s worth $100,000 to her,” Tierney said. While 33 parents were named in the indictment, Singer had 700-plus clients from 2011 to 2019, court documents read. By the numbers, the scheme went undisturbed until the FBI was tipped off during a separate investigation. But according to the affidavit, there were warning signs at USC and other universities that could have tipped admission officials off before the FBI got involved. “They know about USC,” Singer wrote back to Sloane. “One of the counselors questioned [your son] getting in as water polo player this week. My folks at [U]SC called me, so we could restate [your son] playing in Italy as [his high school] does not have a team.” “So I just don’t want anybody going into … [Sloane’s son’s high school] and [the Giannulli’s daughters’ high school] yelling at counselors,” Heinel said. “That’ll shut everything down.” At USC, former senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel, who was terminated the day the investigation was released, presented fake athletic profiles to the admission committee and advocated for the students’ admission, as she would with all student-athletes. Posselt said many colleges have already begun to change admissions processes by eliminating standardized testing requirements. She said she hopes the FBI’s investigation will push universities to reevaluate the factors they consider in the admission process. According to the FBI documents, their guidance counselor believed the girls’ applications may have contained “misleading information” because she believed neither of them had the experience to have been characterized as athletic recruits. Loughlin later emailed Singer asking for assistance in Olivia Jade’s college applications. After hearing about the issues with the high school counselors, Heinel left a voicemail for Singer, expressing her concern that the bribery scheme could be uncovered. She told Singer the students should say they were walk-ons for their respective sports and look forward to trying out for the team. On March 16, USC announced it will conduct a case-by-case review of all students connected to the scheme, as well as an internal investigation to reform areas such as the student-athlete admission process. William Tierney, co-director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education, referred to the scheme as a “masterful scam.” “Fuller House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, paid $500,000 to have their daughters, Isabella and Olivia Jade, admitted to USC as women’s crew recruits, despite no rowing experience. Despite emails from high school counselors and college coaches who questioned the students’ athletic resume or if they were actually on the roster, Singer’s scheme remained intact, and the students matriculated. According to Tierney, unlike the general admission process, athletic departments often recruit specific athletes even if they do not meet the school’s typical criteria. Tierney said USC should no longer place the responsibility of presenting applicants to the admission committee onto only one faculty member like Heinel. center_img “I think an important part of what happened here is that students who wouldn’t have been admitted because of their academics were allowed to be considered via athletics,” Posselt said. “Some universities are beginning to work toward having a certain threshold of academics for even the athletes to be considered on. I’d like to see USC move in that direction personally.” Quickly after, his high school counselor emailed him and his father asking what universities he was admitted to. Sloane forwarded the email to Singer, asking what he should say in order to avoid suspicion from the high school, according to FBI documents. Wealthy parents paid William “Rick” Singer, who had connections with athletics faculty at top universities like USC, to create falsified athletic profiles for their children and have them admitted as athletes. When the FBI uncovered the largest college bribery scheme in American history from its “Operation Varsity Blues” investigation, it seemed like the perfect scam. Devin Sloane, the founder and CEO of waterTALENT, started working with Singer in 2017 to guarantee his son’s admission to USC as a water polo recruit. Records show Sloane purchased water polo gear on Amazon. He later emailed a graphic designer to modify an image of his son to appear like a water polo player for a false recruiting profile. The FBI investigation showed that USC officials missed key warnings from high school counselors and college coaches, who pointed out some students’ lack of athletic experience in the sports they were recruited for. (Daily Trojan file photo) “There’s already a serious degree of introspection going on on the part of colleges and universities about what they’re looking for and why and what the implications are of how they have thought about merit,” she said. “What happened with the admissions scandal only elevates the need to have conversations like that.” “What [Singer] discovered is the weak link because it wouldn’t have worked … if you were just a regular student applying and went to the admission office this would not have happened,” Tierney said. “So he was a brilliant guy, I mean what a crook.” After Olivia Jade received her official acceptance to USC, the high school counselor emailed Giannulli, saying that he had been in contact with a senior assistant director of admissions at USC and Giannulli. He said their daughter was a coxswain on the team. In November 2017, Heinel presented Sloane’s son to the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions and sent a conditional acceptance letter to Sloane’s son. Sloane paid Heinel $50,000 and sent an additional $200,000 to the Key Worldwide Foundation, which allegedly worked to conceal bribes as donations, after his son received an official acceptance late last March. Julie Posselt, an associate professor of education, said schools like USC should change their own standards for admission to expect similar academic standards from all applicants.last_img read more

Former runner’s life anything but ordinary

first_imgAt first glance, you can tell there’s something special — something different — about Louis Zamperini.He wears a cardinal USC hat and is 92 years old, but he’ll forgive you for thinking he’s 60. Most men his age are confined to their homes, but you can tell that Zamperini doesn’t live that life. In fact, he probably does more physical activity than the average 30-year-old. He’d challenge you to a skateboard race, but he quit about 10 years ago when he did exactly that and broke his collarbone.Up until two years ago, Zamperini would also race you down the mountain skiing double black diamonds. As a 92-year-old, he performed moves I don’t dare try on a bunny slope.He still trims trees and bushes with his chain saw and trash talks during the nine holes of golf he regularly plays with men 30 years his junior.But these characteristics are a by-product of his story — the story that he leaves home to tell four or five times per month, as he did on Wednesday to USC students at the Catholic Center. These characteristics only partially explain why Zamperini is the greatest and most inspirational Trojan alive.“You just have to be around him for five minutes to know what kind of influence he has on others. He can motivate and inspire,” said USC track and field director Ron Allice, who established the annual Zamperini Award for the most inspirational person on the team.It’s not hard to understand why.Zamperini should be dead. In fact, for just about a year, he was. His parents got a death certificate signed by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt more than a year after his plane crashed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean while he was on a search-and-rescue mission in 1943.As his plane was sinking, Zamperini tried to wriggle free, but was entangled by wires. He finally gave up hope and lost consciousness.That is, until he found himself alive, awake and floating inside the plane. He used his USC class ring, which latched onto a hook on the plane, to pull himself out the window of his old life and up to the surface of his new one. Upon reaching the surface, he snagged the tail of a life raft that was about to drift off.Zamperini, who converted to Christianity a few years after World War II ended, has only one explanation for how he managed to escape the grip of the wires while unconscious.“There was no way I could have gotten loose by another human. A miracle took place. God saved me,” he said.You’ll understand, then, why he hates how the word “miracle” is thrown around too loosely and too often today — he doesn’t even use it to describe the other two plane crashes he survived.So his prize for escaping death? Living on a life raft with two other survivors in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — for 47 days. He fed on raw fish and albatross; when you’re hungry, you’ll eat anything.“It was like a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream,” Zamperini said.The story doesn’t end there. On the 48th day, he was picked up by Japanese sailors and put in a prisoner-of-war camp for two and a half years.During those years, he endured taunts, torture, betrayal, dehydration, attacks by insects and experimental injections. Once, a guard known as “the Bird” struck him on the temple with a brass belt buckle. After asking Zamperini to take the toilet paper off his head that he was using to stop the bleeding, the guard hit him again.But Zamperini survived using the mental strength he obtained when he was a kid running the mile. He held the high school world record for 20 years and the national collegiate record for 15. He raced in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and shook the hand of Hitler himself.Zamperini was freed after the war ended. After becoming a Christian in the ’50s, he has since forgiven every Japanese guard who wronged him, including the Bird.It would be impossible to guess that Zamperini went through all this torture because he is so upbeat and positive these days. He has to be — it’s who he is. His heart is twice the size he is.“If you’re in any kind of conversation with him, everything is positive. He is a very inspirational person just in his day-to-day actions and life philosophy. He’s not ordinary,” Allice said.It’s hard to be ordinary when you hold the record for most Olympic torches carried (five) and you have a Nazi flag in your closet drawer that you stole from a bar at the Olympics when you had a little too much to drink. But not many 92-year-olds have done, or can do, the things on Zamperini’s résumé.The next time you walk through the gates of Cromwell Field, take a look to your right. You’ll see a fountain with the name of the plaza above it. It’s the name of the most inspirational Trojan alive.And you’ll know why the crowd at the Catholic Center gave him a standing ovation.“Spittin’ Sports” runs Fridays. To comment on this article, visit or email Kenny at read more

Men’s Hockey: Granato offered head coach position with USA Olympic team

first_imgLess than two months after his brother, Don Granato, announced he would be taking a coaching position with the Chicago Blackhawks, University of Wisconsin men’s hockey head coach Tony Granato has been chosen to coach the 2018 United States Olympic team.The former NHL head coach has been selected to coach this year’s Olympic team before they head off to South Korea. This selection might have come as a shock to some, but considering that major changes have happened this year within the world of men’s hockey, selecting a college coach was the most logical choice for USA Hockey.2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team Management, Coaching Staff Named:— USA Hockey (@usahockey) August 4, 2017After announcing back in March that they would no longer allow their players to compete in the Olympics, the NHL majorly changed the way Olympic teams were formed. Now, instead of countries using their top professional athletes to chase that gold metal, they will need to rely more on amateur and collegiate athletes to boost their rosters instead.Hiring an NHL head coach to coach an Olympic team would be rather inconvenient, since the coach would not have any knowledge of the athletes they would be working with. Granato is the perfect choice for this role, since he now has intimate knowledge of both collegiate hockey and the development leagues within the U.S.It is unknown whether or not Granato will continue to coach the Badgers this year while beginning his role as the USA head coach. Typically, the U.S. men’s hockey team spends the four weeks prior to the Olympics preparing for the games.Granato to depart UW hockey program for coaching position with Chicago BlackhawksOnly a year after the University of Wisconsin’s men hockey program acquired Don Granato, the former associate head coach announced Read…This schedule was primarily in place to accommodate the NHL owners, who did not want to lose their star players for a majority of the season. Without that burden on Team USA’s shoulders, it is unclear if the men will retain their same training schedule, or will adopt the older training schedule that they used to follow.Back in the 1980s, when NHL players were not allowed to participate in the Olympics, the men’s team trained from the time that they were selected in November, with most players taking a year off from their collegiate/amateur careers to compete for their country. This is the same format that the women’s national team currently uses in their preparation for the games.“I’m honored and humbled to be able to represent the U.S. on the Olympic stage.“ – Tony Granato, head coach, 2018 Olympic Men’s Hockey Team— USA Hockey (@usahockey) August 4, 2017In the event that the national team only trains for the four week period prior to the Olympics, Granato will not miss much back home. During that time frame, Wisconsin only has one series against Ohio State University, which will most likely be coached by assistant coaches Mark Osiecki and Mark Strobel.If Granato finds himself away from the team until the games are done, a third coach might be hired to temporarily fill the third coaching spot for the Badgers. It is unknown what kind of training schedule the national team will develop now that they no longer have the scheduling conflict with the NHL.More should be known later in November, when selection for the U.S. national team begins.last_img read more

AUDIO: MFM Coach Banks On Divine Intervention To Win NPFL Title

first_imgTechnical Adviser of title-chasing MFM FC Fidelis Ilechukwu has stated that his side needs divine intervention to claim the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title on the final day of the current campaign.The Olukoya Boys sit second on the NPFL standings with 62 points from 37 matches, just a point behind league leaders and title-favourites, Plateau United, heading into the last Match Day of the 2016/17 season on Saturday.MFM intends to beat El Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri on Saturday while hoping that Rangers will defeat Plateau United in Jos, so they can claim a first-ever NPFL crown.But in an exclusive chat with, Ilechukwu is refusing to accept that his side’s destiny is not in their hands.“If my destiny is not in my hands, why am I a member of Mountain of Fire and Miracles ministries?” Ilechukwu asked rhetorically. “Why are we praying, why are we shaking our heads when we are praying? So it doesn’t matter.“What happened to MFM Football Club is like a miracle. Nobody believed it would happen.“To me as head coach of MFM Football Club, our technical and tactical ability is not enough. It’s all about God’s grace and God’s grace can still make everything change for our good. That’s my belief.”Already guaranteed runners-up in the NPFL this term and a spot in next season’s CAF Champions League in only their second season in the topflight, ‘The Working One’ as Ilechukwu is fondly called, says MFM see themselves as ‘Champions’ even if they fail to win the title on Saturday but warned that the race is not yet over.“It’s a great one (for us) if at the end of the day we didn’t win the league. But to me, we are champions. We are champions already because we have gotten a continental ticket (CAF Champions League). We are champions; the boys and the management are celebrating.“I still believe that the league is still open. I told (Kennedy) Boboye (coach of Plateau United) that ‘you must not rejoice until after our game against El Kanemi and after their game against Rangers’ because to me, the league is still open.”To snatch the title on the final day, MFM will have to do what 18 other clubs have failed to do this season, that’s defeat El Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri and pray that Kennedy Boboye’s Plateau United drop points in Jos against Rangers. However, the 39-year old gaffer believes he has a formidable squad capable of doing the unthinkable.“As far as MFM is concerned, there’s no tough team in the NPFL because we are the toughest. We are the best!“The most important thing is that the rejected stone is now the chief cornerstone. That’s number one.“And we are going into that game (against El Kanemi Warriors) with the intention of winning the league; which I know is very, very possible because who knows, Rangers may draw against Plateau United and MFM can win. It is possible,” he said.MFM FC are only in their second season in the Nigeria Professional Football League after gaining promotion to the topflight two years ago.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Relatedlast_img read more

Christian Saba to quit football

first_imgFormer Black Starlets defender Christian Saba is ready to quit football after being unable to find a club one year after his release by Bayern Munich II.Saba, 33, spent 16 years with the second team of the Bavarians and scored eight goals in 285 appearances, but could not break into the first Ghana can exclusively reveal that the Black Starlets 1995 defender is well convinced that it is time to hang his boots and he is on the verge of undertaking a coaching course to help the coming generation.The former Black Meteors player, who was groomed at King Harrison Babies and Accra Hearts of Oak was signed by the German giants together with Emmanuel Bentil in 1995 after they excelled with the Black Starlets in Ecuador.The giant centre-back is regarded as the longest serving African player in a single club in the history of European football.last_img read more

NBA wrap: Bucks improve to 2-0 against Raptors with win in Toronto

first_imgBoth teams had well rounded scoring, but Milwaukee proved to be too much for Toronto and improved to 2-0 against the Raptors.Antetokounmpo has been one of the favorites to win MVP so far this season. The Greek Freak scored 19 points, grabbed 19 boards and had six assists on the night. He was a jack of all trades as usual. Brook Lopez made five 3-pointers and tied Antetokounmpo’s team high of 19 points. Malcolm Brogdon chipped in 18 points of his own. Related News Serge Ibaka scored a game-high 22 points on an inefficient 9-of-21 shooting. Leonard tallied 20 points, which was the second highest total in the game. He also had eight rebounds and four assists, but it was far from his best performance.The 21-7 Raptors still have a strong hold on the Eastern Conference, but they’ve been tested lately, as they’ve lost three of their last four games.Studs of the NightJrue Holiday scored 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting in the Pelicans’ 116-108 victory over the Pistons.Blake Griffin scored 35 points on 13-of-25 shooting in the Pistons’ loss.DeMar DeRozan had 26 points, six rebounds and eight assists in the Spurs’ 110-97 win over the Jazz.Duds of the NightEric Bledsoe scored nine points on 4-of-14 shooting in the Bucks’ victory over the Raptors.Anthony Davis scored just six points on 2-of-7 shooting in 26 minutes against the Pistons. He was limited by a hip injury. HighlightThis Michael Kidd-Gilchrist block freed Malik Monk up for a fast break slam in the Hornets’ 119-107 victory over the Knicks.MKG’s swat sparks Malik Monk’s jam!#Hornets30 52#NewYorkForever 39💻📱:— NBA (@NBA) December 10, 2018What’s Next?Heat (11-14) at Lakers (16-10) 10:30 p.m. ET — Neither of these two teams are considered to be top contenders this season but there is a much bigger story in the works. Dwyane Wade says this will be his final NBA season, and this game will likely be the final time he gets to play against his good friend LeBron James. Both are surefire Hall of Famers and they took the league by storm when they formed a trio alongside Chris Bosh, which brought Miami a pair of championships. Jimmy Butler responds to 76ers star Joel Embiid’s comments about being frustrated with rolecenter_img Caris LeVert injury update: Nets F is ‘in the gym shooting,’ coach Kenny Atkinson says Basketball fans had been waiting to see the Bucks and Raptors battle at full strength. That happened Sunday and, this time around, Milwaukee claimed a 104-99 victory.Both squads were 6-0 last time they met in late October, but each team was missing a superstar. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard, however, were both on the floor and faced each other for the first time this season in Toronto.last_img read more

After ‘terrible’ loss to Kings, Clippers catch a break in schedule

first_imgThe Clippers (44-31) are 8-8 this month, which Rivers circled before the season began as the toughest stretch of the season. They are just 9-10 since the All-Star break in mid-February.After playing three more games in four nights, the Clippers will have three days off next week before the final four games of the regular season.“We need practices,” Rivers said, “and I’ve been saying that for a while. The good news is now with this stretch coming up we’ll be able to really get our (practices in). … But I like how we’re trending. I think the practices will take us over the top.”Today will give Rivers a chance to do more than in limited day-of-game walk-throughs, although he said he’s “not going to push them.” Instead the focus will be on muscle memory, execution, trying to get back to the things that early this season had the Clippers atop the West.“It’ll be nice to have a practice,” forward Blake Griffin said. “To be able to get up and down and be able to work on some stuff and hopefully that gets us into a better groove.” LOS ANGELES >> The Clippers need a break.Fortunately, the schedule finally gives them one.After blowing an 18-point lead in the last five minutes in a 98-97 loss to the lottery-bound Sacramento Kings on Sunday, the Clippers do not play again until Wednesday against Washington. The Clippers have consecutive days off for the first time in a month. Monday was an off day and when they gather for practice this morning in Playa Vista, it will be their first time doing so since Feb. 28.“The fact I can say practice is really nice,” Coach Doc Rivers said. The Clippers have won four of six games, their two losses by a combined three points, and each of those, Sunday and three nights earlier, came down to a missed jump shot at the buzzer.After Sunday’s loss, the Clippers were clinging to a 1 1/2 game lead on Oklahoma City for fifth in the Western Conference and trailed the Utah Jazz by a full game for fourth.The timing, as they say, was not ideal.Chris Paul called Sunday against Sacramento “a terrible loss” and “probably the worst one in the regular season in my career,” but said the Clippers would find a way to get past it.“You ain’t got no choice,” he said. “Once the buzzer sound, you look at the film. I’m sure we’ll talk about it. Doc said some stuff after the game, but got to get ready for Washington.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more