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 Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Santi Santillan. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe reigning champion De La Salle have started off marvelously in its title defense going 2-0 with wins over Far Eastern University and National University despite the absence of reigning MVP Ben Mbala.Santi Santillan, with all his length, has become a disruptor in the paint for the Green Archers.He may not have the same bulk as teammates Mbala, Abu Tratter, and Prince Rivero but Santillan makes up for it with his smooth game and the aforementioned length to average 11 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 4.0 offensive rebounds.Against NU, Santillan had one of the better games of any individual this season when he put up 13 points and 16 boards.Forward: Thirdy Ravena (Ateneo de Manila University)Thirdy Ravena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netHe may be called Thirdy but Thirdy Ravena has played like he’s the No. 1 in his position this season.After an up-and-down performance last year, Ravena has been Ateneo’s most consistent player so far this season and his steady contributions helped the Blue Eagles grab the early lead in the standings at 3-0. Ravena is averaging 18 points, nine rebounds, and 2.3 assists this season.Guard: Paul Desiderio (University of the Philippines)Paul Desiderio. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUnlike Ravena, Paul Desiderio hasn’t been steady. Read Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients No collegiate league in the country generates as much hype as the UAAP and nothing stirs conversations and debates than players’ rankings.With that said, here are the best players for each position in the first two weeks of competition. And sticking to Inquirer’s seven-bulleted list articles there would be two more names included in this piece and those couple of players are the honorable mentions. 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 shutoutPlayers are considered based on their numbers and win-loss records are also factored in.Enough chitchat, let’s start some arguments. LATEST STORIES MOST READ BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Center: Steve Akomo (University of Santo Tomas)Steve Akomo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netHey look, it’s a player from the University of Santo Tomas, which remained winless after two games.Never mind that the Growling Tigers looked more like house cats than large predators, but Steve Akomo has shown glimpses that he can become a force in the middle in the UAAP.The 6-foot-8 Akomo has displayed tremendous upside as he averaged 12.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks to become UST’s most consistent player despite its disappointing start to the season.Forward: Santi Santillan (De La Salle University)ADVERTISEMENT View comments NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 10 Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Get ready for pandemonium as the UAAP basketball season has begun. ADVERTISEMENT But when the Fighting Maroons needed the big shots, Desiderio wasn’t shy to throw the haymakers.Desiderio took out the heart out of University of Santo Tomas in UP’s opener and he then proceeded to suck the soul out of University of the East for the Fighting Maroons’ second win.The UP skipper was 1-of-10 from deep before he hit the game-winning triple against UST to push the Fighting Maroons to the 74-73 win.He then outscored the whole Red Warriors team, 16-7, in the third quarter in UP’s 84-71 win en route to a career-best 28 points.Guard: Aljun Melecio (De La Salle University)Aljun Melecio. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAljun Melecio has been La Salle’s diminutive dynamite averaging 24.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 2.5 steals.La Salle employs head coach Aldin Ayo’s Mayhem system and it always starts with the point guard hounding the opposing team’s ball handler. Melecio is capable of starting the team’s defensive scheme and he’s also at ease with finishing his team’s possessions. Honorable mentions:Ron Dennison (Far Eastern University) LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Ron Dennison. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRon Dennison was mainly used as a defensive stopper in Season 79, but in Season 80 he’s become FEU’s full-fledged main offensive option. The fifth-year guard averaged 15 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists during the stretch but his team’s 1-2 record has put a damper on his personal numbers. Ricci Rivero (De La Salle University)Ricci Rivero. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAnother honorable mention is La Salle’s Ricci Rivero.The sophomore Green Archer got in this list after his 21-point outburst against NU, a game that La Salle won, 115-109. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa
ASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa – Day3 Session6 – Philippines’ John Vincent Pangga defeated United Arab Emirates’ Saif Al-Kharoosi at the flyweight (50kg). PHOTO FROM ASBC FACEBOOKPuerto Princesa—John Vincent Pangga and Kenneth dela Pena hurdled their respective opponents on Friday, assuring the Philippines of at least two bronze medals in the ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships here.Pangga beat Saif Alkharoosi of the United Arab Emirates by RSC (Referee Stops Contest) in the first round of their flyweight duel to barge into Sunday’s semifinals against Kazakhstan’s Talgat Syrymbetov.ADVERTISEMENT After drawing a bye in the first round, De La Pena, dominated India’s Selay So, 5-0, in the pinweight class to advance against Chinese Taipei’s Yu Chen-Ching.Syrymbetov beat Bhutan’s Tanding Wangchuk by RSC in the third round and, with his solid credential as Kazakhstan national junior champion, should give Pangga a tough fight.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 starsAnother Filipino, Norlan Petecio, bowed to Uzbekistan’s Sherzod Kodirboev, 5-0, in the lightweight division, leaving Pangga and Dela Pena to carry the fight for the host country in the event confined to 15 and 16 year olds.Criz Russu Laurente lost to Kazakhstan’s Makhmud Sabyrkhan by the same score in the light flyweight category on Thursday. NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Though they will be pitted against internationally seasoned opponents, Pangga and Dela Pena promised to give it their best shot in the five-day competition organized by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines headed by Ricky Vargas.The tournament took a break Saturday and will conclude on Monday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Silver lining Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ 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 View comments
The Games Village, the heart of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in the Capital, had its soft launch on Thursday with organisers claiming that the facilities and ambience at the venue make it one of the best of its kind in the world.A bird’s eye view of the Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi on Thursday.The Village will be home to more than 7,200 athletes and delegates for the duration of the Games. Some of the participating countries have already started sending their delegates, while the athletes will start arriving from September 23.The Village, situated on the banks of the Yamuna adjacent to the Akshardham temple, has 14 blocks, 34 towers and 1,168 fully-furnished air-conditioned flats, out of which 1,100 will be used to accommodate athletes and delegates.The flats have between two and five bedrooms, with two occupants per room.The Village also has facilities such as a shopping centre, saloon, a bank and two swimming pools too.”One of the pools will be used for leisure and the other, of standard international dimensions, will be for training purposes,” Organising Committee’s additional director general Ashok Kapur said.”The Village also has VIP lounges, a post office, plaza, bar and an informal dining area,” he said.In a first, competitors in four disciplines will be able to train at the Village itself without having to go to the competition venues.”Apart from the swimmers, weightlifters, wrestlers and athletes will be able to train at the Village itself,” Dalbir Singh, mayor of the Games Village, said.advertisement”This facility had not been provided at any previous Commonwealth Games,” Singh said, adding that the paralympic competitors in powerlifting can also train there.The training area for athletes includes an eight-lane track as well as a separate throwing area.There is also seating arrangement for 1,086 people.”In this way, the athletes will save valuable time that they would otherwise have spent travelling to and from the competition venues,” Singh said.In addition, there is a state-of-the-art gymnasium for the residents.”There are machines for weight training, cardio-workouts as well as stretching,” Cyrus Appoo, gymnasium supervisor, said.Some delegates have already started assembling in the Capital with representatives from England, Wales, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand already working on registration formalities.”There are certain basic facilities we provide to all residents. If they want something extra, we will provide them a ‘rate card’ which has pre-determined charges for various facilities,” Kapur said.The soft launch started with an inter-faith prayer where leaders from various religions wished the Games success.”The soft launch is designed to give us a feel about what is required by the time all the athletes arrive. Whatever is missing can be arranged in the next few days as only nuts and bolts need to be looked into,” Kapur said.Organising Committtee chairman Suresh Kalmadi said that there will be daily entertainment programmes in the evenings.
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan says it’s impossible to gauge the extent to which spot-fixing has spread worldwide and wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to use innovative methods to investigate the whole issue and not limit it to only his country.The 1992 World Cup-winning captain feels that if it is proved that Pakistani players were actually involved in spot fixing in the series against England, they should be banned to set an example.”If what the News of The World [newspaper] has uncovered is spot fixing, then I am afraid it could be a lot more than what you could imagine because, clearly, it wasn’t the ICC investigations that uncovered these allegations. So, God knows how much of this goes on?” Imran told Headlines Today in an exclusive interview in New Delhi.”How can anyone tell whether someone has bowled no balls after being paid money or it’s an accident? In my opinion, there has to be a worldwide investigation into this because it could be widespread. It is impossible to detect. ICC has to come up with innovative ways of finding it out. If Pakistani players are involved, they must be punished,” he said.Asked specifically on allegations against some Pakistani players, Imran declined to jump the gun. “These are still allegations and a case is still going on.Natural justice demands that you are innocent until proven guilty. That’s why I am waiting for the verdict,” he averred.Kapil Dev, who led India to 1983 World Cup title, felt the ICC should properly channelise its resources to check corruption in the game. ” This World Cup [to be held in south Asia in February- April] will be very important for the ICC. It should play its role very carefully and very strongly. I personally would like to see Pakistan cricket come up. Whatever happened in the last six or eight months, we have pointed fingers on Pakistan,” he said.advertisement”But if ICC spends the right amount of time and money, these things can be sorted out. The authorities who are handling this and are deeply involved 24 hours [a day], they should see this as a challenge and say ‘ why things have landed up this far’. More important is that the ICC put together its heads and say, ‘we’ve to rectify everything with it’.” Arjuna Ranatunga, who captained Sri Lanka to an unexpected world title in 1996 and was part of the discussion, suggested that the ICC should involve former cricketers of integrity to assess the corruption in the game.”I personally feel that they [ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit sleuths] should go and see matches personally, ball by ball, and see what’s happening.The ACSU is run by top cops and they don’t know anything about cricket. You need to involve proper, honest cricketers to get them analyse these things,” he said.”When cricketers say something, they will probably mean that there’s something fishy. But a cop will maybe go and check their bank balances. You need to involve honest, proper cricketers who they [ match fixers] won’t be able to buy. That’s the easiest way to stop this [ malaise].” Imran felt that Pakistan is not just confronting spot fixing charges, but its entire cricket setup needs to be overhauled.”Unfortunately, it’s the way cricket is run. The president of the country appoints the cricket board chairman and that’s where things going wrong. The only qualification for the chairman is that the president likes him and he’s accountable to no one. Basically, it’s the ad hoc basis on which the team is run,” he said.”The moment the team loses, there’s pressure on the team. He [ board president] wants to do something … sacks the captain. We had five different captains in one year. You can’t have stability in the team if captains keep changing.” Asked if he was the right person to head the cricket board, Imran was sure his political opponents won’t let him clean the system. ” I know what the problems are in Pakistan. And I know if I am put in that position, I will not be able to function properly. I have political opponents in Pakistan and they would like to see me fail and would not let me succeed,” he said. Kapil was for Imran heading the board and even said Pakistan’s ” 80 per cent” problems would vanish if he was at the helm of cricketing affairs.Ranatunga disagreed and cited his own case to illustrate how politicians interfere in board’s working in the Indian subcontinent.advertisement”Imran can’t sort out PCB. I couldn’t sort out Sri Lankan cricket and I was there only for 11 months. I tried to stop corruption and I tried to set the cricket right and I was thrown out by a minister who was the most corrupt in the country,” he alleged.On Pakistan’s prospects at the World Cup, Imran felt that if pacers Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir are cleared of spot fixing charges, it would boost the team’s chances. ” If they play, Pakistan’s chances go up. They are outstanding. They are the sort of bowlers who will get early wickets. There are two ways of winning one-day matches – one is by containing runs, the other is by taking wickets. They can get wickets. That would give Pakistan a chance.”
The India-England WC match has been shifted as Eden Gardens couldn’t meet the ICC deadline.It was January 5, 1934, when Eden Gardens in Kolkata (then Calcutta) hosted its first test match which was between India and England. The then England team led by the legendary Douglas Jardine had put the people of Calcutta in embarrassment as India was out for 247 in the first innings, and was asked to follow-on.Fortunately, India could save its first game in Eden Gardens because of a brave halfcentury by Dilawar Hussain and 43 by opening batsman Naoomal Jaoomal in the second innings. It was the beginning of a new era of cricket in Kolkata, and Eden Gardens, the second-largest cricket stadium in the world, had become a place of pilgrimage for most cricketers as well as cricket-lovers.The picturesque ground is believed to have the most passionate and vocal cricket spectators. It is said that a cricketer’s cricketing education is not complete till he has played a game in front of a packed Eden Gardens.But, exactly 77 years after the historic test match, people of Kolkata have now again been subjected to humiliation in the Eden Gardens. The International Cricket Council ( ICC) has dropped the crucial India- England match, scheduled to be held on February 27 in Eden Gardens. Both India and England are favourites to win the ICC World Cup.The ICC officials found that the infrastructure in the Mecca of cricket in Asia is still not ready to host the crucial match on February 27. Repeated requests by the officials of Cricket Association of Bengal ( CAB) to the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI) and the ICC did not yield any consideration.The entire state of West Bengal has been embarrassed because of ICC’s decision. All the Kolkata- based newspapers carried headline stories on the issue, describing that the World Cup fever is totally lost in Bengal even before a single ball is bowled.All the satellite television channels too have been airing headlines and debates on the ICC’s decision to shift the India- England match. Some even alleged that ICC president Sharad Pawar, who is a minister in the United Progressive Alliance government, is desperate to project Eden Gardens in poor light because West Bengal is ruled by the Left Front.As West Bengal is poll- bound, common people are worried that the crucial India- England match in Kolkata should not be a victim of political one- upmanship.Fortunately, railway minister Mamata Banerjee, so far, has not made any attempt to politicise the Eden Gardens issue.Humiliated with the ICC decision, West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee promised all possible help to the CAB to retain the crucial India- England match in Eden Gardens.He said it is a ” major setback” for the cricket- loving people of the state.Even sports minister Kanti Ganguly held meetings with CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya to find out ways to retain the crucial tie in Kolkata, and put an end to the embarrassment to the state.Chuni Goswami, a great footballer, and former captain of the Bengal Ranji Trophy team said that the crisis over Eden Gardens was result of ” sheer lack of judgement”. He said the CAB should not have undertaken massive renovation works at the stadium.In recent times, Eden Gardens has not been getting international matches primarily because of CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s hostility with BCCI honchos, including its president Shashank Manohar and ICC chief Sharad Pawar. The last oneday international here was played on December 24, 2009.Meanwhile, there has been strong demand by a section of the people to immediately remove CAB secretary Biswaroop Dey, and entrust former Team India captain Saurav Ganguly to handle the World Cup matches in Eden Gardens.In response to this demand, the chief minister has appointed the former India captain to liaison with Sharad Pawar for the World Cup preparations. Roads in several places in Kolkata were blocked by people in protest against the ICC decision.If ICC cancels the three other World Cup matches in Eden Garden, it would be the last nail in the coffin. In addition to the February 27 one- dayer, Eden Gardens is scheduled to host Ireland- Holland, South Africa- Ireland and Zimbabwe- Kenya matches.If the crucial India- England match is not held, will Kolkata be happy with the other matches? Can Eden Garden bail itself out of the crisis again?advertisement
Zaheer AbbasI don’t see Pakistan winning this World Cup. It’s not at all a strong team. Pakistan have only two good batsmen-Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. If these two fail in a match, there is no one to navigate the team out of a crisis. Younis Khan is an experienced player and knows how to play according to the situation. Though he started playing cricket at the international level very late-at the age of 27-Misbah has been improving with every game. What has impressed me most is his effort to spend maximum time at the crease.Our bowling has obviously lost the sheen. The team can’t depend on Shoaib Akhtar as he is not 100 per cent fit. He is limping and can break down any moment. There is no immediate replacement for Akhtar. It’s heartening to see him taking wickets but the team clearly misses the services of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir who have had to sit out of the tournament due to their involvement in the spot fixing scam. Umar Gul has to be consistent and Abdur Razzaq can be effective only on fast wickets. I would also want to see Razzaq bat ahead of captain Shahid Afridi. Razzaq has won us several matches coming at No.6.Misbah-ul-HaqThe team is winning under Afridi but only a crisis will expose how good he is as a captain. He should bat only during slog overs as he doesn’t take responsibility. He wants to hit every ball for a six and doesn’t play according to the situation. He is now too old to change his style, so he should come out to bat only in the last six or seven overs. He should learn from Indian captain M.S. Dhoni. Dhoni was a pinch-hitter earlier, but ever since he became captain, he doesn’t throw his wicket.The Pakistan team is also one of the worst fielding sides in the tournament. They have to improve in this department quickly. Only then can the team hope to reach, at least, the semi-finals.advertisementZaheer Abbas is a former batsman of Pakistan. He spoke to Kaushik Deka. PITCH REPORT”There is pressure if you win, pressure if you lose. I would have told you the exact figure if I had a machine to measure it.”M.S. Dhoni, Indian captainWords WorthJournalists have deleted Tony Greig ‘s number from their phonebooks. The 6´´6´- tall English commentator has sent a letter to ESPN Star Sports asking for more money if he has to express his “valuable” views on the World Cup. He has already been paid over Rs 20 lakh by the channel for his services as a commentator. “If I have to open my mouth except for eating, you will have to pay for it,” Greig wrote.The SoothsayerAhead of the India vs England match at Bangalore on February 27, Shane Warne predicted on Twitter that the game would be a tie. Since then bookies across the globe are trying to get his number on speed dial. “Before you think there was something untoward regarding the prediction of a tie, I thought it was going to be a cracker-it was tongue-in-cheek, but right,” he tweeted again. Warnie, you are the new Octopus.
India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal made a rousing start to her bid for an Olympic medal as she beat Swiss Sabrina Jaquet in straight games in women’s singles group stage opening match on Sunday. The world number five Saina was too good for the 65th ranked Sabrina as she took just 22 minutes to complete a 21-9 21-4 victory at the Wembley arena.Sabrina, who had qualified for the Games by reaching the quarter finals of the 2012 European Championship in Karlskrona, Sweden, could not provide any resistance to Saina, who launched her campaign on a dominating note.The 22-year-old Indian, who came into the tournament after winning the Thailand Grand Prix Gold and Indonesian Super Series Premium last month, took 12 minutes to wrap up the first game, before sealing the issue in her favour by winning the second game in just 10 minutes.Such was the domination of the Indian that Sabrina was reduced to a bystander as the Indian kept lapping up her points in quick succession. The girl from Hyderabad led by a massive 12 and 17 points in the first and second game respectively.Saina, who had reached the quarterfinals in her Olympic debut at the Beijing Games four years ago, will take on Lianne Tan of Belgium in another group E match on Monday.
Maria Sharapova defeated Eugenie Bouchard 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the semis on ThursdayMaria Sharapova made it back into the French Open final for the third straight year, beating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 Thursday.The seventh-seeded Russian lost the first set for the third straight match, but again managed to turn things around. Sharapova won eight of the last 10 games, and has now won 19 straight three-set matches on clay.Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam by winning the title at Roland Garros in 2012, but lost to Serena Williams in last year’s final.Bouchard, a 20-year-old Canadian seeded 18th at Roland Garros, was playing at the French Open for the only second time. Last year, she lost to Sharapova in the second round.In the other semifinal match, fourth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania will face 28th-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany.The final is on Saturday.Sharapova struggled a bit with her serve, double-faulting nine times and getting broken four times. But she made up for her shaky serving with solid groundstrokes, either going for winners or waiting out errors from Bouchard.Bouchard took the early lead with her first break in the third game of the match, smacking a forehand winner to give herself a 2-1 edge. She quickly made it 3-1 by completing a run of winning 12 of 17 points.The pair traded breaks early in the second set, and then again later. But Sharapova managed to stay ahead and broke Bouchard for the third time in the set to even the match at one set apiece.advertisementSharapova served first in the third set, and made her move in the fourth game, converting her third break point to take a 3-1 lead that she held onto until the end.Bouchard, who reached the Australian Open semifinals in January, saved four match points before Sharapova won it with a forehand that Bouchard missed on the other end.Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title 10 years ago at Wimbledon. She followed that with major titles at the U.S. Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. But since she recovered from having right shoulder surgery in 2008, she has vastly improved her clay-court game and has won six of her last eight titles on the red surface.This year, Sharapova has already won clay-court titles in Stuttgart and Rome, and her six wins so far at Roland Garros give her an 18-1 record on the dirt this season.And like against Bouchard, it’s been tough to beat her in three sets on the surface. The last time Sharapova lost a three-set match on clay was at Roland Garros in 2010, when Justine Henin beat her in the third round.