HONG KONG (AP): Venus Williams saw her chance of qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals slip away yesterday after losing in straight sets to Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open. Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams, seeded third, was defeated 6-4, 7-5 in a tense encounter which lasted two hours and four minutes in front of a packed centre court at Victoria Park. “It is disappointing. I had an off day, while she probably played one of her best matches this year,” Williams said. The 35-year-old Williams needed to reach the final today to boost her chances of playing in the lucrative WTA Finals, starting October 25 in Singapore. The last time Williams played in the WTA Finals – where only the world’s top eight-ranked singles players qualify – was in 2009 in Doha. Fourth-seeded Jankovic was helped by a wayward opponent whose usually strong serve deserted her. Williams also failed to take her chances, only converting two of 16 break points in the match. Last-minute wild card entry Jankovic will now meet Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the final. Kerber moved within one win of cementing her place in the WTA Finals after beating Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 6-2. Second-seeded Kerber is presently ranked fifth in the Road to Singapore leaderboard and can book her ticket if she adds the Hong Kong Open title to her wins in Charleston, Stuttgart, Birmingham and Stanford. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has made winning so routine this year that even when he dominates one of his biggest rivals, he takes it in stride. The top-ranked Serb broke Andy Murray five times en route to a 6-1, 6-3 win in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters yesterday, one of his most lopsided victories ever over the two-time major winner. Afterward, Djokovic said he would only allow himself to enjoy the victory for a moment before turning his attention to today’s final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 winner over Rafael Nadal in the other semi-final.
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INESTIMABLE PLEASURES SHORT OF BRAINS On Saturday, April 2, with an awe-inspiring and emotional outpouring of love and respect, this nation bade a grand farewell to one of its most illustrious sons. Winston Blake (‘The Merritone Music Maestro’) was not universally embraced for his connections with or contribution to Sport. However, with his undying love for his alma mater, Kingston College – a virtual hotbed for the games that teenagers play – he was a fixture at the National Stadium and before that, Sabina Park, during Champs week. Without fuss or fanfare, his unsolicited support took many young athletes over the hump. Politicians from both sides of the divide, by their presence, typified the life of the man whose earthly journey they had huddled together to celebrate. He will be sorely missed. Foster’s Fairplay wishes that he be granted eternal rest. English Cricket commentator and former County of Hampshire player, Mark Nicholas, has referred to the West Indies T20 team as “short of brains”. The remark came during the build-up to the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup in that format of the game. Nicholas is described by the popular cricket website, espncricinfo, as “almost a throwback to the era of amateurs”. Anyone familiar with that period in English cricket, where there was a clear, social demarcation between two sets of cricketers, is wont to draw a single conclusion. Amateurs were referred to as gentlemen and those who looked to the game for their living were given the nomenclature of players. Given all that, the “no brains” label, coming from a white Englishman, must be seen as manifestly racist. That skipper Darren Sammy, mindful of, but not allowing the tag to disrupt his flow, could have led his team to a sound thrashing of the English, was a masterstroke. The clobbering, straight on the heels of a similar beating of the Aussies by our ladies, was a ”take that” response in the face of those who consider themselves to be ahead in quality of on-field performance. With those two title-winning victories and the still savoured under-19 triumph, the way forward is being charted by the loyal fans of the sport. They have stuck with a team whose fortunes have plummeted to rock bottom. Once ruling the roost in what is still considered to be the real cricket, they had been swept aside by teams who prepared, while the perennial high rankers remained complacent and perhaps, over-celebrated. It is quite understandable that this string of victories in a ‘slam bam, thank you, ma’am format’ has elicited shouts of “We are back”. Foster’s Fairplay urges caution. No one with a straight face can deny that there are inestimable pleasures to be derived from the shortest version of the game. The ending to the final provides stark evidence. In attacking an achievable target, the West Indies innings had fallen into serious disrepair. The strategy crafted by the ‘out of touch’ and in some quarters ‘out of favour’ Marlon Samuels was sheer brilliance. He curbed his well-known flair and ferocity to set up the Carlos Brathwaite explosion. It was the grand finale, all West Indians loyal to the cause could conceivably have wanted. It had all the ingredients of a Hollywood thriller. All that said, West Indies cricket has impacted and ruled the world from the springboard of Test cricket. That and only that must be the focal point in any perceived initiative to turn that never-ending corner. The treasures of watching and appreciating the grace, elegance and charm of a Lawrence Rowe, the ability to bludgeon into surrender a savage attack as Sir Vivian Richards afforded us, are no longer. Need one to further illustrate the point; go back to the mastery of a Sir Garfield Sobers or the finesse of the great Rohan Kanhai. Set in what is now being challenged – a five-day match – like it or not, together with fierce fast bowlers, the West Indies grabbed and held on to the number one spot for close to two decades. To this place all heads must be pointed if the call of “we are back” is to be countenanced. Go for it, West Indies!
LOCAL High schools wishing to purchase stretchers as part of their medical equipment for football matches could be called on to fork out as much as $70,000 plus tax. The two types of stretchers used are the wheeled (gurney, trolley, bed or cart) or the basic cot that must be carried by two or more people. The issue of having stretchers as part of schools’ medical equipment at matches was thrown into the spotlight on Tuesday, when Dominic James, captain of St George’s College, collapsed during a Manning Cup match against Excelsior High at the Stadium East field. The player was lifted off the field by four men. The 18-year-old, who would have celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday, was seen by medical staff from the school then transported to the University Hospital of the West Indies, where he died. Checks done by The Gleaner yesterday revealed that the best stretchers are not available in bulk locally, and it could take up to six weeks to get supplies from overseas. Jamaica Hospital Supplies, which sells health care equipment and supplies for hospitals in the Corporate Area, said the demand for stretchers went up after James’ sudden death. The manual stretchers (cots) are the length-wise fold type and could cost up to $63,100 plus tax. According to a senior employee, who wished to remain anonymous, they were down to just 10 stretchers. “There has been a spike in orders since yesterday,” the employee said, adding that schools were among the institutions rushing to place orders. Another Corporate Area-based firm, Medical Disposables and Supplies Limited, said they wouldn’t have a vast quantity of stretchers in stock, but once schools submit an order, they could source the equipment. Managing Director Mertis Boothe said if a school needed a stretcher, the institution would be asked to decide on the type it would need. “We would have to bring them in as they are not manufactured in Jamaica,” Boothe said. SPIKE IN DEMAND
While some Jamaicans may not earn a comfortable living from their professional sporting pursuits, Woman International Chess Master Deborah Richards-Porter says that chess has taken her places and has given her a business from which she can live comfortably. Richards-Porter is the first Woman International Chess Master in the English-speaking Caribbean. Besides playing the sport she loves, she operates her own business, teaching chess to over 100 students. It is set up at different schools, while during summer and Christmas holidays, she has specific programmes tailored for her clients. “I have a chess business; I have chess as a profession, and seasonal programme for students who are interested in learning every day,” Richards Porter told The Gleaner. “You can make a decent living from chess, because I graduated from the University of the West Indies (UWI). I was doing research, and I stopped it to come and teach chess,” she outlined. Like most things, however, the flag-bearer says it depends on who you are and how you go about marketing and doing it. “It (chess) takes up a lot of my time, most of my life is chess right now, and working is more fun than work for me,” she reasoned. NOT ENOUGH RECOGNITION According to the veteran, Jamaicans need recognise chess as a sport. “No, I would not say I have gotten adequate recognition as a player. I think most people don’t know what is happening in and round chess. More has to be done from our side in terms of pushing sports that are not track and field and football so that we can get our recognition,” she underlined. The player began her career at 16 and described it as kind of a coincidence” how she started, as she was a former table tennis player. “Seven months after playing, I became national champion, and about a month after that, I was on my first plane ride going to Slovenia to play the chess Olympiad at the time,” she continued. Richards Porter added, “I found out within the first year that chess could take me places.” She has represented Jamaica at five Chess Olympiads, dating 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. She was named the RJR Sports Foundation Woman Chess Player of the Year. – S.F.
Edwin Allen dynamo Kevona Davis erased Anneisha McLaughlin’s 16-year Class Two Girls 200m record, stopping the clock at 23.07 seconds at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships at the National Stadium. Davis, who was ejected from the 100m final on Friday after a false start ruling, made up for that disappointment with a dominating performance, which left silver medal winner Joanne Reid (St Jago) and Gabrielle Matthews (Hydel) without an answer. McLaughlin clocked 23.11 while representing Holmwood Technical in 2001.
Much of the 490-strong Philippine contingent have yet to arrive but already, Philippines secretariat, led by chief of mission Cynthia Carrion, has already been set-up to help them settle in.Malaysia, which is hosting the biennial meet for the fourth time, is gunning for the overall championship with an 111-gold medal target. It’s the same number of mints it won when it ruled the 2001 edition.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Organizers here have put premium on security as some 8,000 personnel from the country’s police and military are called on to provide safety to a projected 20,000 athletes and officials who will gather here.“There are enough police personnel to monitor the traffic as well as security situation at all the venues,” said Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister YB Brig. gen. Khairy Jamaluddin in a press statement. 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Representatives of each sport for the SEA Games come up on stage. Photo by Bong Lozada/INQUIRERKUALA LUMPUR — The Philippines’ modest goal of scoring 50 gold medals begins Tuesday when its athletes in netball, water polo and football go into action in different venues here.A few sports have already started although the formal opening will be on Saturday at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Teen gunned down in Masbate End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Filipino athletes who have arrived were also briefed by the Philippine delegation secretariat that was set up in a function room in plush Sunway Putra Hotel in the downtown.They will be given local sim cards and a WhatsApp account has been set up to facilitate communication among 800 athletes and officials here.The PH water polo team will take on fearsome Thailand at 11 a.m., at National Aquatics Center, serving as the opening salvo for the delegation.The team is hoping to gain as many wins as possible after having undergone training camp in Barcelona. It’s best finish was silver during the 2009 Laos Games.Men’s and women’s football will open their respective bids both at 8:45 p.m., fighting Cambodia and Malaysia, respectively.ADVERTISEMENT Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Seeking more golds, Cojuangco balances archery and family 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano MOST READ Netball will join the fray at 3 p.m., facing Thailand.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings View comments
View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. But squads which miss out on taking Standhardinger could still get their man as the deadline for local-born aspirants is on October 12.The 2017 PBA Rookie Draft is on October 29 at Robinson’s Place Manila.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Rice, Castro deliver as TNT survives Rain or Shine for semis berth LATEST STORIES In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide DAY6 is for everybody Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson “If we can get a guy like Standhardinger, with his experience and demeanor on the court and his skillset, he can easily turn this franchise around,” said Kia coach Chris Gavina, whose team owns the number one pick in this year’s draft.The same goes with NLEX coach Yeng Guiao, though he’s aware of the Road Warriors’ position at number two.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“We don’t have any plans yet, but the obvious route for us is if Standhardinger goes number one, maybe we’ll go with Kiefer Ravena,” the fiery mentor said, touching on the possibility of the 23-year-old playmaker declaring for the draft. “If Kiefer is number one, then we’ll go with Standhardinger. That’s really the obvious thing we could come up to right now.”Picking third, Blackwater still hasn’t come up with its wishlist. “We still need to know more about whose in the draft,” said team manager Johnson Martines. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Photo from Fiba.comDespite the uncertainty surrounding his status, Christian Standhardinger remains a solid prospect for the top teams drafting in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.Three of the four teams picking in the upper thirds of the annual rookie selection expressed their desire to sign up the 28-year-old big man even if he had already signed a contract with Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the ASEAN Basketball League.ADVERTISEMENT How to help the Taal evacuees MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson But Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia, meanwhile, is hoping against the odds that somehow, the Fil-German forward would fall through the cracks and drop to four.“I’m hopeful that Standhardinger will be available when our time comes,” said Vanguardia with the Fuel Masters owning two first round selections.Though Standhardinger is locked in a live contract with Hong Kong, his PBA draft application opens the chance for teams to claim his rights even when he’s out of the country until the end of the upcoming 2017-2018 ABL season. He could suit up in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the earliest.The team that does draft Standhardinger can work a buyout deal with the Long Lions, still granting if he could secure a release from his ABL team.Fanfare surrounding the hardworking bruiser shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially after his stellar play for Gilas Pilipinas in the Jones Cup, the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup, and the 2017 SEA Games.ADVERTISEMENT
Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene LATEST STORIES It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Antonio shares Italy lead; Torre rises Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ A victory against Nepal will guarantee progress to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, a first for the country.“I think this is as good as any chance for us to qualify so I’m not even thinking about the possibility of us not qualifying,” said Younghusband, who has four goals so far in the qualifiers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogSitting on top of Group F with eight points, the Azkals still have one more game against Tajikistan at home.“This is perhaps one of the most important matches in our history,” said team manager Dan Palami. Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson ‘Bata’ Reyes bows to Vietnamese foe for another SEA Games bronze PLAY LIST 02:02‘Bata’ Reyes bows to Vietnamese foe for another SEA Games bronze01:39SEA Games 2019: Nicanor rallies to bring home 1st fencing gold for PH04:16Hidilyn Diaz clinches her 1st SEA Games weightlifting gold02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Having enjoyed his first trip to Nepal five years ago when the Philippines reached the AFC Challenge Cup semifinals for the first time, Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband is hoping to achieve a bigger, more important goal this time.When Younghusband leads the Azkals out at ANFA Stadium against the host country in Kathmandu on Tuesday, the team will be carrying the dreams of a nation that has so long been aching to play with the elite.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
O’Quinn with a putback slam! Beasley gets MVP chants. Tied game at 68 after three quarters. #NBA pic.twitter.com/gjS7X0lzG3— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) December 22, 2017The Knicks are 1-5 without Porzingis this season, but the Latvian center was hardly a factor in the victory as he only registered a point and five rebounds in 23 minutes in his first game back after dealing with a sore left knee.The Knicks star, though, has generally not performed well against the Celtics. In the Knicks’ 110-89 loss last October 24 at the TD Garden in Boston, Porzingis shot just 3-of-14 as they fell to 0-3.“He hadn’t played in 7 days, it’s always tough to come back from that. He just had one of those nights. I’m sure he wanted to come out and play well, but the team won and he’s happy about that,” said the New York coach.Enes Kanter added 14 points and 10 boards while Courtney Lee and Jarrett Jack, who were responsible for the Knicks’ hot start where they led by as much as 14 in the opening period, had 12 markers apiece.Kyrie Irving matched Beasley’s game best 32 points, but the Celtics still lost their second straight game after falling to Miami, 90-89, on Wednesday at home. Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals New York Knicks’ Michael Beasley (8) celebrates after scoring a three point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden in New York, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)NEW YORK — Kristaps Porzingis received the loudest cheers during the player introductions as he returned from a two-game absence.But by the end of the night, Madison Square Garden was chanting another name.ADVERTISEMENT Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense MOST READ “It is what it is. It happens,” Irving said. “So for now, presently, where we are, just pick ourselves up and move on to I believe, Chicago (on) Saturday.”The Knicks face the Detroit Pistons on Friday before facing the Philadelphia 76ers at home on Christmas Day.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Michael Beasley earned deafening “MVP! MVP!” chants after steering the New York Knicks past the NBA’s league-best Boston Celtics, 102-93, Thursday night here.Beasley came alive in the third quarter and took over for the Knicks after Kyrie Irving gave the Celtics their first lead of the night that ballooned to as big as nine with over three minutes left to play in the period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MVP chants for Beas. He can’t miss, even from the stripe. #NBA pic.twitter.com/GvIeHDwbrW— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) December 22, 2017 Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina He scored six of the Knicks’ last 11 points that tied the game at 68 at the end of third, and New York continued to ride his hot hand in the final quarter, where Beasley poured 18 points to keep the Celtics at bay.With Al Horford hounding him, Beasley pulled up from 12 feet to push the lead to 99-91 with over a minute left and virtually seal the Knicks’ first victory over their Atlantic Division rival in three tries.“Mike, he can do a lot of things with the ball. He can go right, he can go left. He was the second pick in the draft 10 years ago. He’s talented and you all saw that tonight,” said coach Jeff Hornacek.Beasley exploded for 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting and added 12 rebounds off the bench, making him the first sub for the Knicks to have scored 32 and 12 according to Associated Press.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ben Mbala leaves La Salle, joins Mexican ball club OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson