Flores and Bilic in focus

first_img Austrian defender Sebastian Prodl has already arrived and the club’s contacts in Italy are likely to facilitate the capture of further talented individuals. PERSONALITY Diego Forlan was a star of Atletico’s charge to the Europa League but his subsequent bust-up with Flores saw him isolated from the squad and spitting accusations of “bad blood” between the pair. The impeccably dressed coach left the Vicente Calderon under a cloud in 2011 having left Valencia in similar circumstances years earlier, suggesting he possesses a fiery and emotional character. Angrily voicing your concerns in public can earn managers hefty fines and bans in the Premier League but it is more pressing that Flores does not lose control of the Hornets dressing room. SLAVEN BILIC ACHIEVEMENTS Beyond his time as a tough-tackling centre-back with West Ham and Everton, England best remembers Bilic as the manager whose Croatia team denied the Three Lions a place at Euro 2008. The famous 3-2 win at Wembley significantly raised Bilic’s profile and from that point forward he was consistently linked with a return to Upton Park. He continued to impress in his role with Croatia but, after leaving the role in 2012, flopped at Lokomotiv Moscow and spent two dynamic but ultimately trophyless years with Besiktas in Turkey. TACTICS The 46-year-old favours a flat back four, balance and creativity in his midfield, and versatile strikers. Bilic’s sides play a short passing game – a style traditionally popular in Croatia – and prefer to control possession of the ball in the opposition’s half. Besiktas players were shown 10 red cards during his final season in charge, meaning discipline could well be an issue, and his determination to push players forward may see the Hammers caught out consistently on the counter-attack. PERSONALITY The occasional smoker from Split is certainly one of the game’s most intriguing personalities. A former law student and still an amateur rock musician, Bilic prides himself on his man-management skills and firmly believes that boosting players’ morale off the pitch will breed positive results on it. His illustrative command of the English language is bound to provide some of the coming season’s best media sound bites while he will hope his unbridled confidence rubs off on his new charges. Press Association Every summer brings a raft of changes to Barclays Premier League dressing rooms and dugouts alike, with familiar faces making way for fresh – and often rather colourful – characters. QUIQUE SANCHEZ FLORES ACHIEVEMENTS Flores, the son of a successful Real Madrid defender, was a regular fixture at right-back during his 10 years at Valencia and quickly adapted to the challenges of management. He guided Los Che to a third-placed finish in the Primera Division but it was at Atletico Madrid where he really began to shine, revitalising the club and steering them to the Europa League title in 2010. Since leaving Madrid his fortunes have been mixed – he has taken in spells in the Middle East and a brief stint with Getafe before being identified as the man to lead Watford in the English top flight. TACTICS The 50-year-old has been criticised for being tactically conservative but it was that insistence on defensive stability and patient build-up play that saw Atletico romp to victory in Europe five years ago. Watford already have an abundance of attacking talent so Flores will perhaps spend the early days of his reign improving matters at the back. Quique Sanchez Flores and Slaven Bilic, the Spaniard and Croatian who have just taken charge of Watford and West Ham respectively, are very different personalities and extol the virtues of rather diverse brands of football. Here, Press Association Sport’s James Cann examines what fans can expect to see from the two latest managerial imports. last_img read more

Tomkins snatches win for Hammers

first_img Linfield kept alive their hopes of progressing thanks to a battling 2-1 defeat to Spartak Trnava. The Slovakian side took the lead with a penalty from captain Erik Sabo. David Kee levelled soon after with a superb free-kick from the edge of the box but Martin Mikovic restored his side’s lead from close range. Milos Nikolic was sent off for a second yellow card just before half-time but the Blues could not add to their tally. Newtown perhaps faced the most difficult task of the British sides and came away from FC Copenhagen with pride intact but still facing a two-goal deficit to overturn in the second leg. The Welsh Premier League side got off to the worst possible start at the Parken Stadium when Ben Verbic struck for the hosts after three minutes. But Newtown refused to crumble and it took until the 74th minute for Kasper Kusk to double Copenhagen’s lead. UCD only went down 1-0 away at Slovan Bratislava, Adam Zrelak scoring the only goal, while Shamrock Rovers were beaten 2-0 at home by Odd. Olivier Occean netted twice for the Norwegians, the first from the penalty spot. But just when it looked like the tie would end goalless, Tomkins bundled the ball into the net following a corner to give the Barclays Premier League side the slenderest of leads to protect in next Thursday’s away leg. Aberdeen were far more convincing as they gave themselves a massive boost with a 3-0 first-leg win over Rijeka at the Stadion Kantrida. Such a result seemed unlikely in the early stages as the Croatian side, aiming to reach the group stage of the tournament for the third year running, dominated possession from the first whistle and squandered a host of chances – the closest of which saw Marin Tomasov strike a post. But defender Andrew Considine headed the Dons in front against the run of play in the 38th minute from a Niall McGinn corner. There was more joy soon after the break when midfielder Peter Pawlett, denied a goal for offside just before the break, headed in a Shay Logan cross. Substitute Kenny McLean increased the lead further in the 75th minute with a close-range volley to give Derek McInnes’ side what should be an unassailable lead ahead of the return game at Pittodrie. In contrast, fellow Scottish Premiership side Inverness experienced a painful lesson on their introduction to European football after falling to a dead-ball goal against the run of play against Romanian side Astra. Caley Thistle made a good start but lost 1-0 following a 24th-minute strike by Constantin Budescu. James Tomkins’ scrappy goal in the 90th minute saved West Ham’s blushes with a 1-0 win over Birkirkara in the Europa League second qualifying round first leg clash at Upton Park. Press Association With manager Slaven Bilic in the Boleyn Ground dugout for the first time since his summer appointment, the Irons were expected to make short work of the Maltese Cup winners, having seen off FC Lusitans of Andorra 4-0 on aggregate in the first round. However, despite naming a strong starting XI – which included the likes of captain Kevin Nolan, goalkeeper Adrian, defenders Winston Reid and Tomkins, with Morgan Amalfitano, Mauro Zarate and Modibo Maiga in attack – the Irons were left frustrated as the visitors dug in. last_img read more

Jurgen Klopp says Steven Gerrard will not play for Liverpool again

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled out any chance of Steven Gerrard playing for the club again. Press Association But the manager said that was not a likely prospect, although he is happy to honour the agreement Gerrard had with former manager Brendan Rodgers to train at the club’s Melwood base while he is home. “I spoke with Stevie. One phone call and a few messages. He is a very nice guy I must say,” said Klopp, who has yet to meet Gerrard in person. “He’s a Liverpool legend, of course, but his contract as I know is in the USA “But now his break starts and I told him ‘When you are here of course you can come whenever you want, you can train with us if you think it is good for you. “Of course our doors are always open for him, that is clear. But nothing else. “Do you think he should play at this moment or next year. No? Why did you ask me? “Stevie has a contract with LA Galaxy, he loves this club and he is a legend and when his contract has ended we can talk about different stuff. “We will find for sure something for Stevie when he comes back and whatever he wants to do we will help him but not at this moment – we are in the middle of the season. “Everything is fine, perfect between LFC and Stevie, but I don’t know him until now and I’m looking forward to the moment we meet each other and we’ll talk about his ideas for the future, maybe, if he has some. “The door is always open. Of course.” Klopp has taken his strongest-possible side to Russia for the Europa League match against Rubin Kazan with the inclusion of youngsters, including the likes of Pedro Chirivella, Cameron Brannagan and back-up goalkeeper Ryan Fulton – kept to a minimum, although defender Connor Randall would also have travelled had he not picked up an injury in training yesterday. Klopp’s policy is different to those of predecessor Brendan Rodgers, who on the club’s only other European trip this season left six senior players at home when they flew to Bordeaux in September. Liverpool, who have had three successive 1-1 draws in Europe this season, at the very least have to avoid defeat in Kazan if they are to avoid a tricky conclusion to their Group B campaign. They currently trail leaders Sion (on seven points) by three and are ahead of Kazan by only a point with Bordeaux to follow in their final home game ahead a trip to Switzerland in December. Klopp was asked by a local journalist what he thought of the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan. “We are not here for a visit. I hope you will see that tomorrow,” he added. “We know it will be hard tomorrow and that is why the Europa League is a very big challenge. “We are here to do our best and if we need to work hard for 95, 96 minutes then we shall do this.” Klopp is eminently quotable and he was reminded of one of his oft-repeated phrases about wanting to play “heavy metal” football at former club Borussia Dortmund when asked how he would describe Liverpool’s musical style. “The problem in my life is I say too many sh*t things,” said the German, reducing his audience to laughter. “I don’t know, we have to work to create a new kind of music but we are in a good way.” Rubin manager Valeriy Chaly has watched his opponents win their last two matches – plus drawing at home to Southampton after their 1-1 stalemate in their encounter at Anfield – and is expecting a more confident side. “I watched the game between Chelsea and Liverpool are improving with each match,” he said. “Liverpool played an aggressively, tightly compact in all areas of the field. “This is the style of Jurgen Klopp. Aggressive tough football.” However, the German would be happy to welcome him back in another capacity once his contract with Los Angeles Galaxy is over. A report suggested there was a prospect the 35-year-old midfielder, currently in the Major League Soccer off-season, could don the red shirt again after a conversation with Klopp about training with the squad now he is back in England. last_img read more

MMA Mariners Win Lacrosse Opener

first_imgCASTINE — Christopher Keiley scored six goals and provided four assists as the Maine Maritime Academy Mariners crushed Green Mountain College 20-2 in their lacrosse season opener on Saturday at Ritchie Field. Ryan Williams of the Maine Maritime Academy Mariners checks a Green Mountain College defender during MMA’s lopsided 20-2 season-opening lacrosse win on Saturday at Castine.—MIKE OLESThe Mariners jumped out to an 8-0 first-period lead over the visiting Eagles and led 13-2 at halftime. MMA freshman Andrew Di-Salvo had a strong debut with 10 points, including seven assists. Senior Garret Lake and sophomore Todd Murphy each contributed three goals, and sophomore Wade Mondoux had a goal and three assists. This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textFreshman goalkeeper Daniel Redmond made eight saves in notching his first collegiate win. For Green Mountain, Chris Wetzel and Thomas Wheeler each scored and goalkeeper Steve Braunius had a busy afternoon with 14 saves on 50 MMA shots. The Mariners were slated to continue their North Atlantic Conference play yesterday (Wednesday), hosting Thomas College, and they will host St. Joseph College on Saturday at 1 p.m. Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015 Latest Posts admin Latest posts by admin (see all)center_img State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015 Bio House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014last_img read more

Ryan Detour Memorial Tournament slated for Saturday

first_imgBUCKSPORT — Every year before the winter sports season begins, high school wrestling teams across the state meet at Bucksport High School to compete in honor of the late Bucksport wrestler Ryan Detour.This year’s Ryan Detour Memorial Tournament is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Bucksport High School.“Ryan was a big goof,” said Bucksport wrestling coach Dan Ormsby, who was teammates with Detour in high school. “His jokes and sense of humor was magnetizing.”Detour died from a long-term health issue on Dec. 7, 2002, at the age of 17 on a wrestling mat at a match in Caribou. He was buried in his wrestling gear.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“Wrestling was his passion,” Ormsby said. “The more people who come to honor him Saturday, the better.”last_img read more

Cricket News India vs South Africa 1st Test: Wriddhiman Saha To Play, Rishabh Pant Dropped From Playing 11

first_imgNew Delhi: India vs South Africa, 1st Test: Wriddhiman Saha will return to international cricket action after 22 months as India decided to drop Rishabh Pant for the first Test match against South Africa at Visakhapatnam. India captain Virat Kohli on Tuesday confirmed that Saha will keep wickets for India ahead of Pant.  21-year-old Rishabh Pant had failed to impress in recent matches scoring just 58 runs in the two-Test series against the West Indies. He has also failed to play any big knocks in the limited-overs matches. Pant has so far played 11 Tests, scoring 754 runs at an average of 44.4.While Saha has scored 1164 runs from 32 Tests at an average of only 30.6, the 34-year-old is considered a safer choice behind the wickets. He also has shown decent form with the bat scoring two 60s against West Indies A prior to being left out of the XI for the Tests. He scored 60 against South Africa A in Mysore recently.Virat Kohli also confirmed that India are set to go into the game with two spinners in the form of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. Rohit Sharma is set to play as an opener.”We are in no hurry with Rohit Sharma as opener. He will be given time and space to find his rhythm and the way he wants to play at the top,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference.The first Test starts on Wednesday at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

BCCI looking at T20 World Cup window for IPL

first_img(CMC) – The Indian cricket board (BCCI) believes it can capitalise on the window which could open, if the International Cricket Council (ICC) cancels the Twenty20 World Cup later this year.The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place from October 18 to November 15 in Australia but BCCI apex council member, Anshuman Gaekwad, said yesterday he did not believe the showpiece would come off as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.“I have my doubts that the T20 World Cup will be held this year,” said the former India Test batsman said.“About IPL, we cannot think of just now. It will depend on Indian conditions and the window is only during this T20 WC which is October-November.“If the World Cup gets cancelled or postponed, only then IPL can happen but then also it depends on what the conditions are in India.”The BCCI has postponed the lucrative IPL indefinitely following the coronavirus outbreak which forced the government here to enforce a strict countrywide lockdown.Already, India have confirmed 107 000 cases and 3 300 deaths to be the 11th worst-hit country globally.However, government have begun to slowly ease the seven-week lockdown earlier this week with the resumption of some services but while stadiums and sports facilities were allowed to open, gatherings of any kind have been prohibited.Gaekwad warned that even when cricket returned, it would take on a different complexion because of the new social-distancing measures.“Cricket is not going to be the same, the approach would be different,” Gaekwad explained.“There will be no crowd in the stadiums. Cricketers are not used to playing in empty stadiums. It will be one very difficult aspect of playing a new type of cricket.“It may take another two months or four months or more to resume cricket. It is not theory that you can read and write. You have to perform so nothing is going to be easy.”Several West Indies stars are expected to headline the 13th edition of the IPL with the likes of veterans Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, along with superstar Andre Russell some of the major drawing cards.A plethora of young Windies stars like Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Fabian Allen and Oshane Thomas are also set to feature.last_img read more

Northwestern: Just what the doctor ordered

first_imgView Gallery (2 Photos)Fresh off its first loss in 17 games, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team bounced back and played one of its cleanest games yet in Saturday’s 69-52 victory over Northwestern.The No. 2 Badgers (22-2 overall, 8-1 Big Ten) only committed five personal fouls, as the Wildcats (11-11, 1-8) only shot two free throws.It was a tale of two games for the Badgers, who scraped their way to a 56-50 win in the Jan. 13 meeting with the Wildcats. Nevertheless, Wisconsin still anticipated the same type of game Northwestern would play Saturday. “With the type of things Northwestern does, they don’t set us up to foul,” UW senior forward Alando Tucker said. “They’re making a lot of hard cuts; they’re not really posting hard, so there’s not a lot of room for us to foul.”Wisconsin jumped out to an early 11-4 lead and never looked back, heading into the locker room at half-time up 33-19. The Badgers’ 13-point lead was much in thanks due to the 12-0 advantage they held at the free-throw line in the first half.But in the second half, all aspects of the game weren’t as clean for Wisconsin. With just about eight minutes remaining, Northwestern was able to pull off a 14-0 run to pull within 10 points at 62-52.”I was pleased with the way our guys fought back,” NU head coach Bill Carmody said. “I thought our effort was pretty good, but not enough to beat that team.”Northwestern’s run was sparked by freshman forward Kevin Coble’s steal and breakaway lay-up. Coble, who sat out the previous game against Wisconsin with an ankle injury, finished with a game-high 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting.”He’s a good shooter, and he understands the offense really well,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said. “Sometimes maybe when you’re hurt and sitting out, you get a chance to see things.”Behind Coble, Northwestern was able to sustain a couple scoring runs throughout the game, but Wisconsin always answered with one of its own.”It was a streaky game, but we had our streak, too,” Ryan said.After hitting their first four 3-point attempts of the second half, the Badgers built their lead up to 24, the largest of the game, before Coble and the Wildcats stormed back.”After halftime, we wanted come and put them away early,” Tucker said. “We were really aggressive offensively and defensively; we disrupted their offense.”Tucker combated Coble’s scoring barrage with a team-high 20 points, but it was the contributions from Wisconsin’s backcourt that made the difference.Kammron Taylor scored 15 points and dished out three assists while Michael Flowers posted 12 points and four assists.”They were a settling factor for the other guys,” Ryan said of the Badgers’ starting guards. “They [were] pretty efficient on offense, and on defense they were solid.”Taylor and Flowers were both aggressively looking for their outside shots, and they were hitting them. Taylor connected on 3-of-6 three-pointers and Flowers hit 2-of-3 from behind the line.”Shots were coming and I was just trying to get myself in good position,” Flowers said. “Kam and Tuck draw a lot of guys, so I’m often left open on the wing, and they pass me the ball with confidence that I’m going to knock it down, and I just let it fly.”Wisconsin finished 16-of-20 from the free-throw line while Northwestern was a mere 1-for-2.”You take 80 [percent] anytime,” Ryan said. “You don’t always get there, but it’s a long season.”last_img read more

Syracuse looks to Dome homecoming to change early-season fortunes

first_img Published on March 21, 2013 at 1:07 am Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesse Facebook Twitter Google+ Twenty-three straight games on the road. This is how the Orange began its 2013 season, traveling to exhibitions and tournaments in Charleston, S.C., Palm Springs, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and O’Ahu, Hawaii. But on Saturday, the team will finally play in front of a Syracuse crowd. For the second straight season, the Orange (9-14) will play its first home games in the Duel at the Dome, a weekend event in the Carrier Dome. The team will meet Harvard (5-10) on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon, hoping to use its rare home-field advantage to bury early-season woes.“The biggest difference from last year’s team to this year’s team is just on-field experience,” SU head coach Leigh Ross said. “It will be good for these girls to finally play at home. It’s your field, your dugout and your locker room, and feeling that comfortability is something this team could use.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange was in a much different situation heading into the Duel at the Dome last season. It had seven seniors, a 17-8 record and a No. 24 national ranking. This year’s team already has 14 losses, while last year’s lost 16 games the entire year. Searching for answers in the early going, the Orange is excited to get home and play in an event that energized an already hot team a year ago. This time around, the team isn’t using its homecoming to continue its success, but to find it.Last season, the Orange defeated Colgate 6-0 on Friday, then Canisius 6-5 on Saturday. Squaring off with a Harvard team that is also off to a slow start should give the Orange the opportunity to achieve similar results. “The toughest part about our upcoming games is our defense, because that is something we have been struggling with,” SU first baseman Jasmine Watson said. “The hitting will come, but we just need to stay focused and we’ll be able to beat Harvard.”As a junior captain, Watson hopes coming home will speed up the team’s maturation process. She loved the Duel at the Dome last season, and thinks playing in front of the home crowd will be especially beneficial to this year’s squad. “When we’re on the road, only so many of our fans travel with us, and that can be hard at times,” Watson said. “Playing in front of our crowd is going to help us get comfortable and hopefully gain some confidence.”Senior shortstop Morgan Nandin went to nearby Cicero-North Syracuse High School. As the team comes home for the Duel at the Dome, her supporters, the “Nandin fan club,” will be out in full force.Nandin’s old teammates and coaches came to the Dome to watch the Orange play last season, and she couldn’t have been happier. “There’s nothing better than seeing familiar faces in the crowd. It’s one of the main reasons I came to play here,” Nandin said. “Just seeing orange all around us after being away from home for so long was awesome last year, and will be just as awesome the second time around.”But after showing her affection for the event, Nandin’s voice became stern. It’s her senior season, she’s a captain and she isn’t satisfied with the Orange’s play so far.“We are playing in our environment and we need to turn it around,” Nandin said. “We’re just a few changes away from being right there. We just need to start making them.” Commentslast_img read more

Volleyball: Badgers look to bounce back after tough weekend

first_imgAfter the No. 8 Wisconsin volleyball team (16-6) experienced a two-loss weekend to No. 3 Minnesota and No. 14 Michigan, the Badgers dropped three spots in the rankings.Fortunately, they have a quick turnaround that will give the Badgers a chance to recover in matches against the No. 13 Purdue Boilermakers (21-4) Friday night and the Indiana Hoosiers Saturday.The Boilermakers are coming off a two-win weekend with major help from their star redshirt senior outside hitter, Sherridan Atkinson. She was recently named the Sports Impact/AVCA National Player of the Week for her part  in helping the Boilermakers roll past No. 4 Penn State in October.Men’s Basketball: Happ’s triple double paves way for 85–63 Badger victory in season openerUniversity of Wisconsin men’s basketball team took down the Coppin State Eagles without any trouble to open up the 2018-19 Read…But the Badgers have a nationally recognized player of their own. Sophomore middle blocker, Dana Rettke was recently named the Big Ten player of the week despite the two losses. She recorded a school record 30 kills against Minnesota and a double-double with 10 blocks against Michigan. She currently leads the Big Ten in blocks per set percentage.It’s safe to assume the showdown between Atkinson and Rettke in the front row will be an exciting matchup.While the Boilermakers are seemingly gaining momentum as they head into the last month of regular season play, the last time the Badgers and the Boilermakers faced each other, it was all Badgers and then some.Leading in nearly all major stat categories, Wisconsin swept the Boilermakers in three sets back in September. Rettke had 15 kills, Danielle Hart led the way with four blocks and Molly Haggerty had 10 digs.Badger libero, Tiffany Clark will look to build upon their recent dominant performances in the back row to shut down Purdue’s front hitting core. Clark sits fourth in the Big Ten for digs per set and that has been impacted by her dominant performance as of late.The second matchup of the season between the No. 13 Purdue Boilermakers and the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers will take place at the UW Fieldhouse Friday at 7 p.m.Men’s soccer: Badgers take on Michigan in high stakes semi-final matchupAfter overcoming a 2–0 deficit on their way to a resounding 6–3 win over Rutgers in the Big Ten Quarterfinals, Read…The Badgers will also face off against the Indiana Hoosiers (15-10) Saturday. Coming off of a recent five-set loss to Purdue, Indiana is looking to regain the groove they had to propel them past No. 14 Michigan earlier in the season. Indiana has taken three matches against ranked big ten teams into five sets.That game will also take place at the UW Fieldhouse Saturday at 7 p.m. The Badgers will be recognizing their lone senior, Tionna Williams in their last home match of the season.last_img read more

Kiruane McDonaghs through to Minor B County final

first_imgKilruane McDonaghs are through to play Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels in the county Minor B football final.The North Tipp team beat Cappawhite Gaels 6-9 to 0-9 under lights last night in Dr Morris Park.Kilruane led the West Tipp team by a single point 1-5 to 0-7 at the break before five second half goals saw them comfortably over the line at the final whistle.last_img

La Liga Review: Top Two Sides Continue Winning Run

first_imgThe top two teams, Barcelona and Valencia, maintained their lead over the rest of the chasing pack after securing wins in their respective Spanish La Liga Matchday games on Saturday evening.League leaders Barcelona needed a goal from each half from Gérard Deulofeu and ageless playmaker Andres Iniesta to beat basement club Malaga for an 8th win from 9 games. The home win ensured they stay four points ahead of in-form Valencia.In the game of the weekend, Valencia thrashed Sevilla 4-0 at the Mestalla to stay on the trail of Barcelona with goals from Goncalo Guedes (2), Santi Mina and Simone Zaza.Real Betis are also upwardly mobile and have leapfrogged Sevilla into 5th place after a 2-0 win over visitors Alaves courtesy goals from Antonio Sarabia and an Alexis own goal.Matchday 9 ResultsLevante 1-1 GetafeBarcelona 2-0 MalagaValencia 4-0 SevillaReal Betis 2-0 AlavesRelatedlast_img read more

Official data double including women’s first for STATSCORE

first_img StumbleUpon Share STATSCORE has become the official sports data provider for both Futsal Ekstraklasa and the Women’s PGNiG Superliga.The Poland-based company already held exclusivity over the official data supply for the Men’s PGNiG Superliga, Slovnaft Handball Extraliga and Polska Hokej Liga.The deals dictate that STATSCORE scouts are the only ones legally entitled to enter the indoor venues to gather the sports data. Futsal and handball enthusiasts will, therefore, get fast updates for every goal, attack and much more for both competitions.“Becoming the official data provider creates great value but it also means new responsibility,” said Jakub Myszkorowski, Chief Commercial Officer at STATSCORE. “Every data point has to be 100% accurate and delivered with no delay because the stats will be point of reference for everyone. This made STATSCORE hire and train a new group of scouts dedicated to these two new competitions.”Futsal Ekstraklasa is the first futsal competition covered by STATSCORE as an official data provider. It will be served by the company’s dedicated LeagueCenter.“This is another step towards making this competition more professional and to strengthen our trademark,” said Futsal Ekstraklasa’s CEO Maciej Karczyński upon signing the contract.“Futsal Ekstralasa is the top tier of the Polish futsal leagues,” added Myszkorowski. “It is contested by 14 teams. The two clubs with the most amount of titles are CLEAREX Chorzów and PA Nova Gliwice, both with five. This makes Silesia the strongest region in Polish futsal. “Do we need to mention that STATSCORE was also born and raised in Silesia and now has its head offices in Katowice – what a great coincidence!”Meanwhile, PGNiG Superliga – the second new addition to the STATSCORE stable – is the major organization for Polish handball. PGNiG, the biggest Polish gas and oil mining company, has been the official sponsor of the competition since 2010.Working on the women’s side, this new deal represents the first time that STATSCORE has become the official data provider for a female competition.Supporters of the women’s league will now be able to track every key incident from all games, said the company, which should bring about a completely new experience for all those following the tournament. Submit Bookmaker STS strikes Polish Futsal partnership March 3, 2020 Share Related Articles STATSCORE chosen as the main sponsor for Futsal Ekstraklasa August 11, 2020 SBC’s Year In Review: August’s big betting news December 27, 2019last_img read more

Clippers are no fans of Donald Trump’s ‘locker room talk’

first_imgPLAYA VISTA >> Maybe it was the rhetoric about Muslims, refugees or immigrants. Maybe it was good old fashioned partisanship. Or maybe it was an excuse used by Presidential candidate Donald Trump.However we got here, we’ve reached a point where the Clippers aren’t going to keep their opinions silent.When asked about leaked comments about women from the politician, a few Clippers didn’t hold back.In fact, they moved on him. “That would step past G,” he said. “Or PG. Or PG-13. Or R.”Rivers, a longtime NBA veteran as a player and coach, also said Trump’s comments didn’t occur in any locker room he’s ever been. But to him, there was a deeper problem.“They’re bad comments. They’re demeaning to women. I have a daughter,” Rivers said. “When people throw out that (term) ‘locker room talk,’ there’s nobody talking like that in the locker room. Is there swearing in the locker room? Every other word. But, there’s nobody demeaning people. There are players in our locker room with sisters, wives and daughters. There’s not that type of talk in anyone’s locker room. That bothered me when I heard it, but what bothered me more was the original tape. I didn’t need the other thing to bother me.“It’s what we’re in right now, talking about that instead of policy and education. That’s the biggest crime.”The Presidential campaign has caused a spike in political conversations within and around the Clipper team so far this season.During training camp, the team gathered to watch most of the first Presidential debate. Rivers asked the media what they thought about it. Players like J.J. Redick didn’t hesitate to share their views.“It’s embarrassing that Donald Trump is a candidate. It really is,” he told reporters after the first debate. “…That guy, man…just awful.”Griffin said the political conversations are nothing like the ones he had with his Clipper teammates four years ago when Barack Obama was running for a second term against Mitt Romney, that this election has elicited more passion and interest within the team.And, it’s led to some interesting locker room talk.“I remember having conversations but not to this extent” Griffin said. “It’s a little different this time around; it’s pretty obvious. Whoever you going for, whoever you’re with or not with, this is a completely different campaign. These debates have been wild, like must-see TV. I stopped watching Monday Night Football. It’s different; it’s unique – not really in a good way.” “Honestly, thinking about him having a chance to run our country is scary to me,” Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said.Trump, who was caught on tape saying “You can do anything” to women when you’re a star, including grabbing them by the genitals, called the comments “locker room talk” as part of his apology.As people who spend time in professional locker rooms, Crawford, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Doc Rivers all disputed the characterization of their workplace.“I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms and been on a lot of busses and been mic’d up a lot,” Griffin said. “I’ve never heard those types of things said. To just attribute it to locker room talk, it kind of gives guys who spend a lot of time in locker rooms a bad name.”While no one claimed that the chatted in locker rooms always stays G-rated, Griffin said Trump’s comments passed that threshold.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Kobe Bryant opens up about storied NBA All-Star history

first_imgBryant’s favorite All-Star memory starts with his rookie season. In 1997, Bryant gushed about talking with Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley and John Stockton. “They were probably like, ‘Who is this kid? It’s just extremely annoying, because he just keeps asking all these questions,’” Bryant said. “But the guys that came before me shared so much insight.”That could have helped Bryant with his first All-Star accomplishment. Bryant won the 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Contest by performing an in-between-the-legs dunk.“I didn’t want to do it. I was too nervous,” Bryant said, laughing. “But I wound up having fun and winning the thing.”The startBryant was not considered good enough to start for the Lakers in 1998. But the 19-year-old Bryant was considered good and popular enough to become the youngest player to start in an All-Star game. That pitted Bryant against Jordan, and the Lakers’ young star appeared eager to accomplish one thing. “Going up against him and defending the turnaround shot,” Bryant said. “During the regular season, I didn’t get a chance to match up with him too much in that regard. In the All-Star game, I had a chance to measure it, see the tempo of it, the footwork of it and physicality of it. It was fun.”It was also fun for Jordan and Bryant to trade baskets. Jordan won his third All-Star MVP after posting 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Bryant had 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting, six rebounds and two steals despite sitting in the fourth quarter.“I got blamed for Kobe not getting the MVP because I took him out,” said Sacramento coach George Karl, who coached the Western Conference All-Stars that year. “I couldn’t believe that.”But Karl confirmed Karl Malone asked to sit amid frustration with Bryant. “Karl said to take him out because Kobe told him to get off the block,” Karl said. “He said, ‘Get out of my way.’”The boosThe moment in 2002 seemed too perfect for Bryant to receive a standing ovation. He collected his first All-Star MVP. He posted 31 points in his Philadelphia hometown. But instead of showering Bryant with brotherly love, Philadelphia fans booed him both throughout the game and during the MVP ceremony. After all, Bryant helped the Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 NBA Finals. “It gave me a stronger will and more motivation to be a great player,” Bryant said. “It gave me a stronger sense of a killer instinct.”Be like MikeBryant already had a killer instinct partly because of studying Jordan. So when Bryant guarded in Jordan’s final All-Star game in 2003, it seemed inevitable they would chirp.“That was a foul all day long,” Jordan said.“I know you ain’t talking,” Bryant replied. “You only got three [rings]. I got six,” Jordan responded. “That’s why I should get that foul.”Nearly 13 years later, Bryant had no comeback. “The ring count is one I can’t catch,” Bryant conceded after winning five NBA titles. But after Jordan made a potential game-winning fade-away jumper in the 2003 All-Star game with 4.8 seconds left in overtime, Bryant drew a foul on the next possession and forced double overtime. Bryant then scored 55 points on Jordan that season, a feat Bryant once reminded Jordan about years later during All-Star weekend. “That’s how I showed respect to MJ,” Bryant said. “I take the things I learn from them and the competitive spirit from them, and give it back.” The feudAfter fighting over roles and personality differences, the feud between Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal became an inevitable storyline during All-Star weekend. In 2004 at Staples Center, O’Neal won the All-Star MVP award over Bryant. After the Lakers traded O’Neal the following summer to Miami, Bryant and O’Neal ignored each other in the 2005 All-Star game during pre-game handshakes. In 2007, Bryant stole the spotlight from O’Neal by winning his second All-Star MVP award. Yet, Bryant said he and O’Neal “were always civil.” O’Neal insisted their lack of interactions as opposing All-Stars “was never anything personal.” The two proved that publicly when Bryant and O’Neal (then with the Phoenix Suns) shared the All-Star MVP award in 2009.“That moment really broke the ice,” said O’Neal, who relished Bryant giving the trophy to his son, Shareef. “After that, I knew all the stuff we went through was silly.”Bryant viewed that episode differently, saying they had already become “extremely friendly.”“When you put two guys in a locker room every single day and have complete differences on how you should get somewhere, you’re going to have confrontation,” Bryant said. “Now that we go our separate ways and see each other only once every whenever, that’s great.”Capturing Los AngelesThe Lakers unveiled Jerry West’s statue outside Staples Center. Clippers forward Blake Griffin won the Slam Dunk Contest by jumping over a car. But Bryant still owned All-Star weekend in Los Angeles in 2011.Bryant had his hand and feet immersed at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater. He then left another imprint by collecting his fourth All-Star MVP with 37 points on 14 of 26 shooting and 14 rebounds. “He told me early in the game, he’ll try to get a feel if he can go for the MVP by how his shots were falling,” said Chicago Bulls forward and former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol. “He does that because he’s so ambitious and wants to be the best.”So much that Griffin and Kevin Love teased Bryant for stealing their rebounds. Bryant responded, “I’m the double-double king.”“Being around so many young players,” Bryant said, “gave me so much energy by seeing them bounce around.” Taking the painThe replay shows Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade accidentally broke Bryant’s nose in the 2012 All-Star game. The medical tests show Bryant suffered a mild concussion.Bryant stayed in the game and scored 27 points to surpass Jordan’s previous All-Star record in points scored (271). On the final play, Bryant also defended James and forced him to pass. In the 2013 NBA All-Star game, Bryant also blocked James twice. James joked, “I was injured.” But it was Bryant who was injured in 2012, though he did not play like it.“You get a shot from somebody, the last thing you want them to know is they took you out,” Bryant said. “You have to hit me harder than that.”Wade hit Bryant hard enough that Bryant needed to wear a plastic mask. A week later, Bryant scored 33 points against the Heat. “There were no hard feelings,” said Wade, who apologized privately to Bryant. “But I expected him to come out and give me what he did.”The injuriesBryant could not overcome all injuries during All-Star weekend. He stayed sidelined in 2010 (left ankle), 2014 (left knee) and 2015 (right shoulder). Bryant also only played three minutes in 2008. Bryant called those moments “extremely frustrating.”“You can sit there, whine, complain and feel sorry for yourself,” Bryant said. “But that’s not going to do anything about it. You have to move quickly to a place of acceptance and figure out what you can do.” The last chapterBryant has figured out enough to stay healthy to play in his 15th All-Star game and making his 18th All-Star appearance. That already has created more memories. Jordan presented Bryant with his entire Nike catalog, which includes 30 of Jordan’s various shoes in brilliant white.“I told him, ‘You have no idea how much I worked to try to find a pair of shoes when I was in high school,” Bryant said. “Now I have the whole collection. It’s pretty sweet.”So is the possibility that Bryant could make more All-Star memories once he steps on the court.Quote box: “My storybook ending would be to enjoy this experience and help these young guys,” Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on his final NBA All-Star game. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error TORONTO >> Practice stopped abruptly. Then, players, coaches and fans watched something on the Ricoh Coliseum scoreboard that has caught everybody’s attention for almost two decades.Highlights of Kobe Bryant’s All-Star performances played on a loop. They showed how Bryant collected four All-Star MVPs to tie Bob Pettit for a league record. They showed how Bryant set an NBA All-Star-record 280 points.When Bryant plays his final All-Star game on Sunday at Air Canada Centre, will the Lakers’ 37-year-old star provide another highlight?“My storybook ending would be to enjoy this experience and help these young guys,” said Bryant, who wants to play around 10 minutes. “It’s important for them to take advantage of the moment.”center_img Hence, Bryant did not sound thrilled when Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry told him, “I have a lot of assists for you.”“I said, ‘No. What are you doing? You’re a shooter,” Bryant said. “You grew up watching me. What the hell are you talking about that you want to pass me the ball at an All-Star game? Are you crazy?”It also remains crazy to fathom how Bryant’s NBA All-Star history marked defining moments of his 20-year NBA career.“He has so many great memories and there’s so much great footage,” Cleveland forward LeBron James said. “I don’t know how you guys will able to mix, match and put together his legacy.”The beginninglast_img read more

NBA Draft: Los Angeles Lakers select Brandon Ingram with No. 2 pick

first_imgWith the Lakers 30th out of 30 NBA teams in 3-point percentage last season (31.7), Ingram should boost those numbers after shooting 41 percent from behind the perimeter with the Blue Devils. With the Lakers finishing 27th in total defense last season (106.9 points per allowed), Ingram’s history in defending the opposing team’s top scorer could improve those rankings, too.The Lakers also became impressed with Ingram’s respectful demeanor. They interviewed him at the pre-draft combine in Chicago in May and also dined with him the night before his pre-draft workout about two weeks ago at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.Ingram has fielded plenty of questions about his weight considering few expect his listed 6’9”, 190-pound frame to absorb the daily physical poundings in the NBA. Yet, Ingram has continuously increased weight in both fat and muscle through extensive weight-training and highly caloric diets. Those close to Ingram believe he will eventually overcome that because of his other positive attributes.The Lakers also have the 32nd pick on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. In a move that carried less drama than a bland Hollywood script, the Lakers selected a player in the NBA draft on Thursday that many expected would wear a purple and gold uniform.The Lakers drafted Duke forward Brandon Ingram with their No. 2 pick, providing an immediate replacement at the small forward spot that Kobe Bryant left vacant following a storied 20-year NBA career. The move may have lacked any element of surprise, but draft selection could still eventually lead to a blockbuster.It’s far too early, of course, to project the 18-year-old Ingram’s future after he won the ACC’s freshman of the year award during his lone season at Duke. But Ingram should complement Lakers’ promising young core to remove the stench from finishing last season with the worst record in franchise history. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more