UAAP Starting Five: Week 9

first_imgQC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort LATEST STORIES MOST READ FEU needed to win its Sunday’s game against University of the East and the 22-year-old Tolentino heeded the call when the Tamaraws needed a closer.With a 49-49 score board at the end of the third quarter, Tolentino completed a four-point play that completed the Tamaraws’ 21-8 run in the fourth that gave FEU a comfortable 70-57 lead with 3:27 left in the game.FEU held on to win 79-63 to get to 6-6, and the fourth spot, with Tolentino finishing with 10 points, seven in the fourth, and seven boards.Forward: Thirdy Ravena (Ateneo Blue Eagles)Thirdy Ravena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo already secured the top seed in the league even before it faced University of Santo Tomas on Saturday.That precedent, however, didn’t prevent Thirdy Ravena from putting on a show in front of the hapless Growling Tigers.Ravena finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the Blue Eagles’ 102-83 victory over UST and produced one of the best highlights of the season when he jammed home a tomahawk with 2:22 left in the game.Guard: Jerie Pingoy (Adamson University Soaring Falcons)Jerie Pingoy. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWhat a surprise, another Soaring Falcon.When Sarr bullied his way through the UP interior, Jerie Pingoy orchestrated in and out of it. And the game’s magnitude wasn’t much of a factor for Pingoy as he put up 15 points, eight assists, six steals, and zero turnovers against the Fighting Maroons.Pingoy’s savvy play helped Adamson take an 86-70 win over UP as the Soaring Falcons calmly perched at the third seed and the 5-7 Fighting Maroons dropping to fifth.Guard: Jasper Parker (Far Eastern University Tamaraws)Jasper Parker. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWith his family cheering him on, and the Tamaraws eager to take sole possession of fourth place, Jasper Parker put on a show.Parker led the Tamaraw charge against UE on Sunday with a season-high18 points and eight assists as his family saw him play at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum for the first time.Honorable mentionsBen Mbala (De La Salle Green Archers)Ben Mbala. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIt’s kind of awkward to see reigning MVP Ben Mbala get relegated to the honorable mention spot.Well the reason for that is Sarr’s game with Adamson had a bigger implication as the win led to the Soaring Falcons securing the third spot while Mbala’s Green Archers already had their twice-to-beat advantage in their possession even before the Halloween break.Still, Mbala produced this week’s highest-scoring output with 30 points that went along eight boards. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Matt Nieto (Ateneo Blue Eagles)Matt Nieto. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAs Ravena filled up the box scores against UST, Matt Nieto lit up from deep.Nieto had 19 points in the Blue Eagles’ 102-83 win over UST and all five of his field goals came from beyond-the-arc.Not too shabby for Nieto, who exploited the Growling Tigers’ lackadaisical perimeter defense. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPAcenter_img Read Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Papi Sarr. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPapi Sarr just showed University of the Philippines who’s the boss.The 6-foot-8 Soaring Falcon towed Adamson University in an all-important 86-70 win over the Fighting Maroons on Sunday putting up a gaudy 25-point, 17-rebound line.Sarr’s dominance over UP helped the 9-4 Soaring Falcons seal the third spot with a game to spare in their schedule.Forward: Arvin Tolentino (Far Eastern University Tamaraws)Arvin Tolentino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe birthday boy delivered the goods for Far Eastern University when the Tamaraws needed it the most.ADVERTISEMENT Only eight games were played this week as the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament resumed after the Halloween break.ADVERTISEMENT All but one of the Final Four spots are now filled as Adamson University secured the third seed with Far Eastern University currently in fourth.University of the Philippines is a full game behind FEU while National University will now need to have its prayers answered if it wants to get to the semifinals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNow that the Final Four scenarios have been settled, here are the best players by position this week.Center: Papi Sarr (Adamson University Soaring Falcons) It’s final: Bundit still Ateneo Lady Eagles coach View commentslast_img read more

Wall, Beal star as Wizards beat Lakers; Ball’s shooting woes continue

first_imgQC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort “They had an off-shooting night,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said, “but we participated in that.”READ: Lonzo Ball says ongoing shooting issues ‘just in my head’ FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBall, who had 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, finished the night shooting 29.2 percent so far in the pros. That’s the second-worst through a player’s first 12 games in the shot-clock era, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.Asked about people constantly analyzing his unusual shooting motion — it looks something like a right-handed shot put released from the left side of his head — the No. 2 overall draft pick said: “I really don’t even care, to be honest. I know I’ve got to just keep shooting and just improve it every game.” John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Washington Wizards guard John Wall, right, dribbles against Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON — Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball’s cold-shooting start to his NBA career just keeps getting worse. For a change, the Washington Wizards managed to play the sort of defense that contributes to limiting an opponent’s scoring.John Wall and the Wizards managed to make a double-digit edge hold up against the Lakers this time, with the All-Star point guard scoring 23 points and Bradley Beal adding 22 while Washington held Ball to 3 for 12 on field-goal tries in a 111-95 victory over L.A. on Thursday night.ADVERTISEMENT READ: Lakers win gives Ball last word on Wizards’ Wall When these teams played each other in Los Angeles last month in the fourth game of the season for each, the Wizards led by 10 points entering the fourth quarter before the Lakers wound up winning 102-99 in overtime.This time, L.A. pulled to 93-84 on Julius Randle’s two-handed slam with about 8 minutes left. But a 3 by Beal soon built the hosts’ advantage back to 15.Defense has seemed to optional at times for the Wizards this season. But they held the Lakers to 36 percent Thursday.“That’s been one of our downfalls — ball-watching too much and trying to steal it in the backcourt and leaving our transition at risk of getting scored on,” Beal said. “It was definitely a demand of Coach’s: Get back in transition. Make sure we’re defending our guy. Take pride in it.”TIP-INSLakers: Seven players scored at least 10 points apiece, including Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Brook Lopez. … Came in averaging an NBA-high 56 points in the paint and 16 of their first 20 points came that way Thursday. L.A. finished with 48.Wizards: Centers Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi combined for 10 points and 11 personal fouls in 44 minutes.REMATCHThere was plenty of Wall vs. Ball hype leading into that one — initially fueled, not surprisingly, by Ball’s father, LaVar — although their matchup never become the game’s focus.WALL DOES ALLWall’s night included a resounding lefty dunk over Lopez that Wall said showed his recently sprained left shoulder — which had strips of black tape on it — is doing OK. “That was my testimony to say it’s cool,” Wall said. At the defensive end, he had a couple of his trademark chase-down blocks, including one on Ingram that drew a roar from the sellout crowd of 20,356. “He might be the best ever at doing that,” Brooks said. View comments Lakers coach Luke Walton’s take?READ: Lakers win gives Ball last word on Wizards’ Wall “He’s an incredible player. He’s 20 years old. He almost had a triple-double tonight. But any time you turn on any sports show, all they talk about is his shot,” Walton said. “Is it extra pressure? One hundred percent. He’s a rook who … gets dissected by everybody.”Washington’s Otto Porter Jr. finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Markieff Morris scored 16 points, including a pair of 3s to open the third quarter.Coming off a home loss in which they never held a lead against the NBA-worst Dallas Mavericks, the Wizards went up by as many as 21 against the Lakers, at 91-70 on Porter’s turnaround fadeaway jumper with about 75 seconds remaining in the third quarter.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillioncenter_img Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Harden drops triple-double as Rockets hold off Cavs Read Next MOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH BIG MOMorris was playing in only his fourth game of the season because of offseason surgery and a suspension and left after 3½ minutes because his knee tightened up. But after riding a stationary bike, he returned, finishing 6 for 7 on field-goal attempts. “It’s good to see him back to somewhat of his old self,” Brooks said. “It’s only going to get better from here.”UP NEXT:Lakers: At Milwaukee on Saturday night.Wizards: Host Atlanta on Saturday night.last_img read more

Italy’s decline can be traced to Serie A’s problems

first_imgRead Next The Italian league was once where the likes of Diego Maradona, Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit came to play in the primes of their careers. It’s where Kaka won the Ballon d’Or award with AC Milan in 2007 — the last time anyone besides Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the honor.Paradoxically, the start of Italy’s decline can be traced back to 2006 — the year Italy won its fourth World Cup. That was also the year of the “Calciopoli” refereeing scandal that saw Juventus stripped of two Serie A titles and relegated to the second division as punishment.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water polo Complicated laws and a lack of funding have prevented clubs from building new stadiums. In 2014, the American owners of Roma presented plans for a new stadium but haven’t been able to break ground yet due to a series of bureaucratic delays.“It’s time to make choices that perhaps in the past people didn’t have the courage to make,” Italian Sports Minister Luca Lotti said. “This world needs to be revised from the youth levels on up to Serie A.”Although Italy is no longer the draw it was once for the best in the world, it still has a large contingent of foreign-born players. And that is stunting the development of the country’s talent.Juventus has been the Champions League runner-up in two of the past three seasons, but the Turin squad has heavily relied on Argentine forwards for its success: Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.Federico Bernardeschi, one of Italy’s most talented young forwards, joined Juventus in a 40 million euro ($47 million) transfer this season but has been largely relegated to the bench. So it’s no wonder that Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura used Bernardeschi only in a bench role in the playoff loss to Sweden on Monday.The only Italian who starts for Serie A leader Napoli is winger Lorenzo Insigne, who was also reduced to abench role under Ventura in a widely criticized decision.Meanwhile, Napoli’s Brazilian-born midfielder Jorginho was given his first competitive start for Italy in the second leg of the playoff. Eder, another Brazilian-born player, appeared in the first leg.With captain Gianluigi Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli and midfielder Daniele De Rossi having announced their international retirements, Italy needs a new generation of Azzurri to step up.And the younger players need space in an improved Serie A to become competitive. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Japan wary of Gilas’ speed, offense Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, left, and Manolo Gabbiadini react to their team’s elimination in the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Italy and Sweden, at the Milan San Siro stadium, Italy, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)ROME — The best players in the world go elsewhere. The best coaches in Italy emigrate. The stadiums around the country are falling apart.The lingering problems affecting Italy’s domestic league might just be the reason for the country’s failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 MOST READcenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games The Premier League is where former Italy coach Antonio Conte now manages at Chelsea, having won the league in his first season. It’s where Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini also won titles at Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively.Fabio Capello coached England from 2008-12 and said he would never be interested in leading Italy’snational team.Any Italian coach who moves to England raves about the facilities there and the packed stadiums. It’s the complete opposite of Serie A, where most of the big squads play in dilapidated stadiums that were last renovated for the 1990 World Cup — the last major tournament that Italy hosted.Of Italy’s six biggest clubs — Juventus, Milan, Inter Milan, Roma, Lazio and Napoli — only Juventus has a new stadium that it operates on its own.Milan and Inter play in the city-run San Siro, Roma and Lazio play in the Stadio Olimpico run by the Olympic committee and Napoli plays in the crumbling San Paolo Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort SPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutA number of top players left Juventus after the scandal and the “Old Lady” of Italian soccer required half a dozen years to recover.In the meantime, the Premier League emerged as the sport’s richest domestic competition while Italy was eliminated in the first round of the last two World Cups. LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

NBA: Warriors spend $150K on champagne at nightclub after title win

first_img1 dead in Cavite blast, fire WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage According to TMZ, the newly crowned NBA champs blew through roughly around 300 bottles of premium champagne at Oracle Arena, as players drenched both fans and personnel after claiming the Larry O’ Brien Trophy. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Golden State Warriors celebrate NBA crown with street parade Steph loves champagne. (So do I). Alchemy sent us this pic of the Warriors at the Harlot Nightclub in San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/5K1OTg43Qy— Lisa Fernandez (@ljfernandez) June 13, 2017Before celebrating with their hometown fans during the team’s victory parade in the Bay Area on Thursday (Friday in Manila), the Golden State Warriors held a soirée of their own after blowing out the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in the 2017 NBA Finals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: Golden State Warriors celebrate NBA crown with street paradeADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img What ‘missteps’? View comments LATEST STORIES World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken The team went on to commemorate its victory by bringing the party to the Harlot Nightclub in San Francisco, where it reportedly spent $150,000 (over P7 milion) on the sparkling wine.The hefty tab included bottles of the fancy liquor custom 6-liter Moet & Chandon Nectar Rose, which was estimated to go for $15,000 (over P700,000) apiece, “if you could buy them,” the report said.  Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:Fil-Am fan who asked Klay Thompson to sign toaster invited to Dubs’ victory paradeADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Rally in support of Kaepernick planned

first_imgNATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFPFilm maker Spike Lee is backing a rally in support of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who provoked controversy last season by kneeling during the US national anthem to protest against injustice in America.According to a social media post by Lee on Tuesday, the “United We Stand” rally for Kaepernick, organized by several civil rights groups, will start at 5pm (2100 GMT) on August 23 outside the NFL headquarters on Park Avenue in New York City.ADVERTISEMENT 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 LATEST STORIES NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers “I Did Not Organize And Set Up This Protest. However I Still Support My Brother And His Stance On The Injustices In The USA,” Lee said in a separate Twitter post.Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers signal caller, remains unemployed a month before the start of the regular season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Seattle Seahawks are the only team that has hosted Kaepernick since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers and became a free agent.Lee and others have suggested that teams are avoiding Kaepernick, who was 2-10 as a starter with the 49ers last season, because of his anthem protest. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell denied this month that Kaepernick was being “blackballed” but Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin said last week that he believes NFL owners are “trying to send a message” by not signing Kaepernick.“It’s frustrating because you want to have guys who are willing to speak out about things that they believe in, whether you agree with it or not,” Baldwin told ESPN.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Malaysia urges Indonesia to keep a lid on haze ahead of SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

PH men’s volley team drops SEA Games opener to Vietnam

first_imgRobredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony LATEST STORIES But the errors piled up for the Philippines, allowing Vietnam to take control, 23-19, en route to the victory.The Vietnamese hope to win the gold medal this time after settling for second place in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore following a three-set loss to Thailand.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Teen fencers deliver silver, bronze for PH MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments The Philippine men’s national volleyball team yielded to powerhouse Vietnam, 25-19, 25-21, 25-20, at the start of the 29th Southeast Asian Games volleyball competition Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur.The Filipinos may have faltered in straight sets but they had their moments especially in the third set, where they managed to take a 16-13 edge.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PARlast_img read more

Awesome Foursome

first_imgA side is only as good as its leader. Now we have heard comments like “my grandmother could have led the Australian sides in the 1990s to victory”, but they belittle the role of a captain in sport. The captain’s role in any international team is absolutely critical. The captain has to bring the best out of his players. His job is not to teach them how to play but to encourage them to give their best. It may or may not result in a match-winning performance on a certain day but pays off in the long run.Mike Brearley, in his Art of Captaincy, has done a wonderful job in highlighting the role of a captain. When a side is habitually winning, as was common for the West Indies under Clive Lloyd and Australia under Steve Waugh, it is easy to miss the importance of leadership. One has to only look back at West Indies cricket before Lloyd took over to see his contribution. He was able to get the players to rise above their inter-island (inter-country) rivalries and perform under the West Indies flag to become possibly cricket’s greatest team ever. Waugh raised the level of Australia a notch when he took over captaincy.Who would have imagined India winning the World Cup in 1983, or Sri Lanka in 1996? But leaders like Kapil Dev and Arjuna Ranatunga were able to rally their forces admirably, winning the small battles as well as the final frontier by beating seemingly invincible teams. In all World Cups, it’s not about winning the first few games but peaking at the right time. Sides such as South Africa have peaked early and then gone on to lose crucial semi-finals. The World Cup is a marathon, not a sprint. The side that plays best when it reaches the quarter-finals with its players peaking at the right time will be the one that comes out on top.advertisementEach successful captain brings something special to the table, something he shares only with his team members. Different captains have different styles. When I became England’s captain, they had hit rock bottom and needed a firm leader to give them a push up. By the end of my reign, they needed a captain such as Michael Vaughan to help them to go out and express themselves in a carefree manner as they did in the 2005 Ashes series. For this World Cup, all captains will be working out their plans. A captain’s success also depends on his equation with the coach. India and England owe a lot of their recent successes to their respective captain-coach combines. The coach is an integral part of a captain’s success.(Top left) Kumar Sangakkara, M S Dhoni, Andrew Strauss and Ricky PontingA lot will rest on the shoulders of the men I consider as the top four captains of this World Cup. M.S. Dhoni has led India admirably over the past few years. He is calm and unflappable under pressure and seems to be enjoying captaincy. The Indians will be under a lot of pressure at home, and Dhoni will have to alleviate the pressure from his boys. That will hold the key to India’s success in the World Cup. His very successful partnership with coach Gary Kirsten will be put to its toughtest test yet.Kumar Sangakkara is captain of a young and strong Sri Lankan side, which is ranked third on the icc’s odi charts. Like Dhoni, he is also going to feel the “home” pressure, but the Lankans have a solid record at home.Ricky Ponting and Australia can never be counted out. The Aussies are no longer a “great” side, but they are still the world’s top-ranked odi team. Ponting has the capability to inspire his boys and lead a final onslaught but it’s not going to be as easy as it was in the previous three World Cups.Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower have worked brilliantly as a team and inspired England to become the No. 3 Test team. Despite their recent loss to Australia in the odi series, after retaining the Ashes convincingly, England will be a dangerous side. They can beat anyone on their day and Strauss has his team’s backing to the hilt.The dark horse of the tournament is definitely Pakistan. They may be down in the rankings but can never be underestimated. They have been through much turmoil and scandal. Shahid Afridi and his boys will be itching to set things right.The writer is a former captain of the England cricket teamadvertisementlast_img read more

Afridi’s Mad Army

first_imgThe Pakistan cricket team has more zany characters in one side than the rest of World Cup teams put together. The word’s out: Shahid Afridi’s green brigade might lift the glittering trophy on April 2 in Mumbai. Wasim Akram, a former Pakistan captain, has called it cricket’s incomparable madness. The side has won two matches on the trot, deflating former champions Sri Lanka on their home ground.Occasional prayers on the field, fights over who will bowl the opening spell, community dinners (and lunches on rest days), special supplications to avoid India in the quarter-finals, bans on shopping and nights-out as well as sudden checks on usage of handsets has left the team with just one focus, one target – Returning to their embattled country with the Cup.A look at their eleven: Shahid AfridiCaptain ControlAllah is maalik for anything and everything. That does not stop Shahid Afridi, 31, from being a control freak. He has told his family that he will return only with the World Cup and refuses to let his players’ whims get in the way. He has led from the front and believes he is one of world’s top batsmen. But his batsmen often cannot run fast enough between the wickets and his bowlers are confused about who will get the first ball to start the day. Afridi’s balm is his favourite song, 18 Till I Die by Bryan Adams.Bookies’ Bad BoyThe left-arm spinner could not make an impact against Sri Lanka. Abdur Rehman, 31, just got one wicket and dropped catches. He is already on the scanner of coach Waqar Younus and manager Intikhab Alam and, of course, Afridi. That doesn’t bother Rehman because he never watches the replays. His only worry is that he is hated by the bookies in Pakistan-they call him the bad boy-who doubt the dropped catches against Sri Lanka.advertisementMohammad HafeezThe Hidden TalentHe is an opener, needs his partner, luck and Allah to win the day, especially after his disastrous run out against Sri Lanka. His team mates may think otherwise, but Mohammad Hafeez, 30, considers himself the most valuable player in the side. He has told Afridi that he has a marvellous all-round technique as a right-hand batsman and a right-arm off-spin bowler. Afridi did not care to reply or argue.Wrong NumberPakistan expects Umar Gul, 26, to get the early wickets. Prayer and pressure are constant companions of one of Pakistan’s craftiest seam bowlers. His true love seems to be his hair. His teammates joke that he is constantly looking for Shoaib Akhtar’s shampoo. At the moment he is getting more wickets than the other hair lover, Shoaib Akhtar.Shoaib AkhtarThe Nightwatchman No nights out, just chuck those fireballs. Shoaib Akhtar, 35, has to prove to both fast bowling legend Wasim Akram and coach Waqar Younis that he is Pakistan’s best bet. But some of his friends in India-including Shahrukh Khan and Karan Johar-have told him to enjoy life. Which may be why, in his last moment under the sun, breaking the curfew in Bangladesh, Akhtar took Kamran Akmal for a night out.Face of the NationMisbah-ul-Haq, 36, must get the runs for the side. Pressure mounted on him right from the day the team boarded a flight for Dhaka for the opening ceremony. When he walks out to bat, he just sees the wicket and prays that it doesn’t get hit. He keeps a dartboard with Joginder Sharma’s photo pasted on it. Sharma took the catch of him that defeated Pakistan in 2007. He may be a bit overweight but resents being called an aloo.Younis KhanKhan DoHe is Pakistan’s answer to India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Australia’s Ricky Ponting. Younis Khan, 33, must score runs, otherwise he could face the isi on return. He wants to be subtle and stylish like Rahul Dravid but the team management is wary of fielding him for any press conference. Once in India, when a scribe asked him if he was happy about Indian hospitality, he said he did not go to any hospital. He often smiles when the team is on the verge of defeat. He is visiting a hair specialist to check his receding hairline.Smiling AssassinNervous to the core, the snappy wicket-keeper wants to earn money by writing columns. The problem is that he does not know how to write. Kamran Akmal, 29, has offered his phone number to friendly journalists for quotes. Afridi has asked him to slow down behind the stumps as his antics reminded him of Paksitan’s cricket maverick, Javed Miandad. He has compared him to India’s Kiran More. When Akmal was offered a toothpaste ad, the bet was on how many teeth he would show.advertisementUmar AkmalThe Little BrotherHe watches his brother Kamran perform, and then tries to imitate. Umar Akmal’s world revolves around Kamran. The 20-year-old wants to smile like Kamran, specially when Afridi scolds him, which is often. There were question marks hanging over his inclusion in the playing xi prior to the World Cup, but his fireworks against Kenya have earned him a new name, pocket dynamite.Hide and SeekHe is the double delivery man in the side. Abdul Razzaq, 31, must get big scores every time Pakistan bats and also pick up early wickets. Otherwise his enemies will force the Pakistan Cricket Board to drop him from the national team. The most interesting thing about this all-rounder is that he vanishes from the scene for years and the re-appears with amazing regularity. He hates the pressure of saving the team but has told his mates that he can live with it.Ahmed ShehzaadPraying on DangerAhmed Shehzad, 20, prays five times before stepping out. Australian captain Ricky Ponting is his idol. Someone asked him what he likes most in Ponting, pat came the reply, “aggression.” Shehzad is now learning the trick of breaking tv sets with his gloves. He attributes his brilliant fielding to Ponting who recently broke an lcd tv screen with his gloves. Shehzad has been often seen targeting tv screens with his gloves and that’s the secret behind his sharp throws. He is also proud of his series-winning performance against New Zealand in February.last_img read more

ICC bars electronic media from covering remaining World Cup matches

first_imgThe International Cricket Council on Monday barred electronic media from covering the remaining matches of the cricket  World Cup, including the high voltage India-Pakistan semi final in Mohali on Wednesday, for breaching the media guidelines.An ICC spokesman said that non-rights holders will no longer be allowed to cover the practice session or the press conferences related to World Cup for not adhering to the code of conduct and the media guidelines, which they had signed for accreditation.The spokesman said, this will be applicable to both the semifinals in Colombo and Mohali and the final in Mumbai.ESPN-StarSports has the broadcast rights for the World Cup.The non-rights holder (NRH) were given time till tonight to give an undertaking that they will abide by the terms and conditions for media accrediatation, failing which they would be disallowed to cover the event.An ICC source said there has been number of broadcast violations during the entire tournament and they have repeatedly brought it to the notice of the offenders but despite the warning they continued to breach the guidelines, promoting the game’s governing body to take stern action.The first semifinal of the WC between Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be held in Colombo tomorrow while the high-octane second semifinal between traditional rivals India and Pakistan is scheduled to be here on Wednesday.The final will be held in Mumbai on April 2.- With PTI inputslast_img read more