Mixed signals as HRC insist they have solid case against Etzebeth

Mixed signals as HRC insist they have solid case against Etzebeth

first_imgBongani Majola, chairman of the Human Rights Commission, has emphatically refuted a weekend report that claimed the institution doesn’t have enough evidence for its case in the Equality Court against Eben Etzebeth.Rapport cited a transcript of a meeting between the HRC’s commissioners, where chief executive Tseliso Thipanyane expressed concerns over a lack of concrete accounts that the Springbok lock had allegedly hurled racial slurs at Langebaan residents.The paper also intimated that the HRC pushed ahead with its plan to approach the Equality Court merely to cover up procedural shortfalls in its own investigation and was scared of a backlash from the local community should there be a perception that there wasn’t action being taken against Etzebeth.However, Majola on Monday told eNCA that the “report was totally incorrect”.“We do have the evidence in which we decided to go to the Equality Court and also it is not true that the CEO of the commission ever said that there is insufficient evidence, in fact during that meeting that I chaired, there was never any issue of the sufficiency of the evidence,” he said.He also suggested that Thipanyane’s quotes were nitpicked and taken out of context.“I don’t know how this conclusion was reached. The documented transcript showed that we do have evidence. I think only a few specific lines where picked up from the document. It wasn’t read as a whole.”Etzebeth last month laid a complaint at the South Gauteng High Court, alleging that the Commission lacked objectivity and sound procedure in its investigation.For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.last_img read more

Ex-Nigeria attacker Obasi in 2014 World Cup bribe claim

Ex-Nigeria attacker Obasi in 2014 World Cup bribe claim

first_imgObasi, 33, who has been a free agent since leaving Swedish outfit AIK in January, made his last Super Eagles appearance in 2011 and had club spells in Germany with Hoffenheim and Schalke.“I was supposed to be at the World Cup in 2014, I was playing with Schalke in the Champions League everything was going fine. At the end of the season, I was given an invitation for the World Cup preparations for friendlies in South Africa,” Obasi said on social media.“So, two days before the list came out, I was asked to pay some money if I wanted to be in the team,” he added.Obasi, who won a silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and played at the 2010 World Cup, said a move away from the Bundesliga fell through after missing the tournament four years later.“I felt like I’ve paid my dues for the country, if you’re a new player, I can get that but for me, it was a bit personal and very heart-breaking because I got injured – I was supposed to move from Hoffenheim to England,” he said.“And it takes a lot of dedication, it takes a lot of money and it takes a lot of investment in myself and my body. I went through surgery and did everything I could.”However, one of Nigeria’s assistant coaches at the World Cup six years ago, Valere Houdonou, maintained Obasi was not good enough to make the final squad facing competition from the likes of Peter Odemwingie and Ahmed Musa.“The question is, who could he have replaced among the strikers then?” Houdonou said.“He was invited like every other potential player that could make the World Cup then because the coaching crew wanted to take the best to Brazil then.“He failed to make the list because he could not displace anyone in the team,” he added.– ‘Two-way thing’ –Daniel Amokachi, who was also assistant coach at the World Cup in Brazil, took exception to Obasi’s allegations particularly after head coach Stephen Keshi died in 2016, insisting the players are also guilty.“This issue of bribe-taking or collecting in our football is not a one-way thing. Agents of players will come and meet a coach to offer money for their players to be taken,” said the ex-Everton striker, who featured at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.“It’s a two-way thing. Sometimes, players are the ones that will even go to the coach to say ‘my agent said he will pay for me to be part of the team’,” he said.“You will also see some administrators and coaches who have turned agents that will try to be influencing things from the side,” he added.Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies are investigating senior officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by president Amaju Pinnick after “weighty” allegations were leveled against them.last_img read more

The Cardinals started NLDS Game 5 with a 10-run first inning, demolishing Braves hopes and dreams

The Cardinals started NLDS Game 5 with a 10-run first inning, demolishing Braves hopes and dreams

first_imgThe @Cardinals scored 10 runs in the first inning, the most runs in a first inning in MLB playoff history.It also ties the most runs in ANY postseason inning all-time (1929 A’s, 1968 Tigers, 2002 Angels). #TimeToFly— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) October 9, 2019Twitter, of course, was having itself a blast.Braves haven’t even batted. pic.twitter.com/C2TvAhjURw— Brenden Schaeffer (@bschaeffer12) October 9, 2019The show goes on. pic.twitter.com/L964oLhomd— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein_) October 9, 2019What’s the score of the Braves game? pic.twitter.com/EIB7o7k0ik— Spooky SZN Fuzzy 🎃👻🧟‍♂️🧛🏼‍♂️ (@fuzzyfromyt) October 9, 2019Jesus Christ Braves pic.twitter.com/XsWNA90gjj— The R&R Cigarcast (@tuscaloosacigar) October 9, 2019OH NO, BRAVES FANS. pic.twitter.com/GyAK7aKR6a— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) October 9, 2019“Alright my test is done lets check the Braves ga-“ pic.twitter.com/QEMvZqBZzl— X – AdamTheSportsFan (@AdamTheSportFan) October 9, 2019Top of the 1st Cardinals/Braves recap: pic.twitter.com/ZSqlaOTT8X— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 9, 2019All in all there were five hits — all with runners in scoring position — and four walks with 14 batters coming to the plate. Cardinals Devil Magic in full effect in SunTrust Park. They would go on to score another run in the second inning, extending the lead to 11-0, before winning the game 13-1 and advancing to the NLCS.But hey, it could be worse for Atlanta fans, after all — they could have blown a 28-3 lead. It was a nightmare start for Mike Foltynewicz, who looked more like early season Folty than recent, really good Folty. He allowed seven runs on three hits in the first, recording a single out in the process. He was relieved by Max Fried, who gave up three runs on two hits before finishing out the first inning.10-RUN FIRST INNINGWALKSAC BUNTSINGLESINGLEFIELDERS CHOICEWALKDOUBLEINTENTIONAL WALKWALKDOUBLEDOUBLEFLY OUTSTRIKEOUT (REACHED ON WILD PITCH)GROUNDOUT pic.twitter.com/bL6YhJsQfK— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) October 9, 2019The outburst was historic. Atlanta Barves: Engage.Don’t adjust your screen — that’s not an accidental typo. The Braves went full Barves on Wednesday night — you never  want to go full Barves — allowing 10 runs in the first inning and putting the Cardinals in the driver seat of NLDS Game 5 in Atlanta.last_img read more

Anthony Johnson came back to fight Jon Jones at light heavyweight

Anthony Johnson came back to fight Jon Jones at light heavyweight

first_img“You know who taught everybody to be strategic in this game?” Johnson asked.”Conor (McGregor)?” Schaub said. “Yep. Strategic with it sort of thing,” Johnson said. “So I’m like, ‘I got to be smart about it, I got to do what I got to do, I got to promote myself and put in the work and time and stuff like that and build my resume up,’ and then, when I get to the point where I got a big fight, or I got a title fight or something like that, it’s a game changer.” Anthony Johnson didn’t just come back to the UFC to fight at heavyweight. He has higher aspirations and one matchup on his mind.”I’m going to wait ’til I … lose about 10 more pounds, about 235 … I want to see how my body feels, and then if it feels good I’m going to probably try to make 205,” he said on “Below the Belt’s Food Truck Diaries” on Thursday. “Why?” Brendan Schaub asked.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year”Why? Who is there to fight at 205?” Johnson replied.”Because Jon’s (Jones) going to heavyweight,” Schaub said. “Oh, we’ll make it happen if I get low enough, we’ll fight at 205,” Johnson said.Johnson’s trainer Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN in August that Johnson was planning a comeback for the heavyweight division in March 2020. That would give him time to go through USADA’s six-month testing window to become eligible to fight again.And Johnson was clear: he likes the matchups at heavyweight and would have some good fights there. But he also clearly has his eyes set on Jones who he has a tremendous amount of respect for.”That’s the fight that I wanted (in 2015),” Johnson said. “I think Jon wanted that fight too before everything happened, you know what I mean, that situation, which it’s over with, it’s in the past…Jon and I have so much respect for each other dude, like, when we see each other there’s no animosity between each other, we like, show each other love, you know what I mean.”But that was a fight, that’s why I went up to 205, man. I was like, ‘That’s the guy I want,’ and then when I get my heart broken and I got to fight D.C. (Daniel Cormier) it’s not as motivating.”Jones and Johnson were supposed to fight at UFC 187, but Jones got into a car accident which started a whole slew of problems resulting in him having to vacate his title and get it back from Cormier.Johnson then fought four more times from 2015 to 2017 in UFC before announcing his surprise retirement. But at the age of 35, he’s looking forward to coming back and it sounds like a bout with Jones is the ultimate goal. And he doesn’t sound like he has a problem waiting around for it.last_img read more

Week 6 NFL DFS Picks: Best value players, sleepers for FanDuel, DraftKings daily fantasy football lineups

Week 6 NFL DFS Picks: Best value players, sleepers for FanDuel, DraftKings daily fantasy football lineups

first_imgOur Week 6 NFL DFS value picks are a real mixed bag. We have a couple matchup-based sleepers from the NFL’s worst team, a classic underpriced player from last week’s Monday night game, two breakout stars whose DraftKings and FanDuel prices still haven’t caught up to their talent levels, a big-play GPP option who’s set to see more playing time because of an injury, and an overlooked veteran who’s starting to turn things around. Whether you’re playing in a tournament or cash game, these are the typed of salary savers you need to help field a winning lineup.Before we get into the top Week 6 value plays, a reminder that the picks and analysis below is provided by the experts at RotoQL. Find out why 100,000 DFS players trust RotoQL to build lineups. Optimize, find value plays, and increase your chances of cashing today!  The Titans’ defense has been terrific this season, holding opponents to just 15.2 points per game. Its secondary is holding offenses to the 10th-fewest yards through the air per game, and this week it faces a Broncos offense that’s logging just 230.8 yards per game through the air (and just 18 points per game).Tennessee held Atlanta to 10 points in Week 4 on the road and also held the Browns to 13 points in a Week 1 road game. Denver’s offense is nothing like two two, and Tennessee should continue their dominance.More D/ST Values: Washington Redskins (@ Dolphins), Miami Dolphins (vs. Redskins) WEEK 6 DFS LINEUPS:Y! cash | Y! GPP | FD cash | FD GPP | DK cash | DK GPPNFL DFS Picks Week 6: QB sleepers, valuesKirk Cousins, Vikings vs. Eagles (DK: $5,200 | FD: $7,000)Things have been pretty terrible for the passing offense in Minnesota this season. Cousins has struggled immensely after having a solid 2018 campaign, failing to utilize his star receivers (Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen). There was a glimpse of hope in Week 5 against the Giants, with Cousins surpassing 300 passing yards for the first time in five contests this season. All told, he went 22-of-27 with 306 yards and two touchdowns. Minnesota fans pray that this was the turning point for their offense and quarterback, and there’s reason to expect a similar performance against Philadelphia.The Eagles are very likely to be without top corner Ronald Darby, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Philadelphia’s No. 27 pass defense is allowing 271.2 yards per game. In comparison, the Giants have the No. 28 pass defense. Aaron Rodgers was able to bust out of his funk two weeks ago against the Eagles with over 400 passing yards. Against an Eagles offense that puts points up, Cousins should be forced to keep his squad in the running of this contest and should have a relatively easy time doing what he did last week. Josh Rosen, Dolphins vs. Redskins (DK: $4,500 | FD: $6,400)If there was any week to take a complete shot in the dark with Rosen and the anemic  Dolphins offense, it’s this week. The Redskins have allowed 2.6 passing touchdowns per game to quarterbacks and Rosen’s time to prove that he’s a capable NFL starter is seemingly running out. If he’s going to make strides, this is the time, and he is priced at or around the bottom of all quarterbacks on the slate. More QB Values: Gardner Minshew (Saints @ Jaguars), Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers @ Rams)WEEK 6 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerWeek 6 DraftKings, FanDuel Picks: RB sleepers, valuesKenyan Drake, Dolphins vs. Redskins (DK: $4,400 | FD: $5,600)The poor Dolphins have been massacred week in and out, posting a ridiculous -137 point differential through four games. This week, however, they’re squaring off against the 0-5 Redskins, who are in turmoil after firing head coach Jay Gruden.The Redskins were forced to roll with Colt McCoy at quarterback last week with Case Keenum injured. Their offense has posted just 10 points over the past two games, so that this game shouldn’t get out of hand one way or the other. That’s big for Drake, who can be game-script dependent.It’s fair to assume that he could be in line for the most work he has had all season in Week 6 against a defense that’s allowing 144 rushing yards per game (No. 28). Washington’s defense ranks fourth worst in Football Outsiders’ DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), giving Drake another edge. Expect Drake to handle the bulk of the offensive production in a game that should see few points scored. The Dolphins should protect Josh Rosen by handing the ball off frequently.Tevin Coleman, 49ers @ Rams (DK: $4,400 | FD: $5,000)Coleman played in his first game on Monday night since his ankle injury in Week 1. The running back is a solid weapon that coach Kyle Shanahan used regularly in Atlanta with the Falcons a few years ago, and that chemistry didn’t die. Coleman logged 16 carries for 97 yards in his return against the Browns, showing 49ers fans what he’s about. Finally, we see the bigger picture for the San Francisco offense.Coleman draws a marginal defense that is allowing 106.8 yards per contest on the ground. In Week 5, Chris Carson ran 27 times for 118 yards against the Rams. In Week 4, Ronald Jones took 19 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown against them. Although he will split carries with Matt Breida, Coleman is a strong play due to Shanahan’s offensive designs. He is also a very capable pass catcher, and those skills should be showcased more moving forward. He should get the touches necessary to make him a nice value play.More RB Values: Duke Johnson (Texans @ Chiefs)WEEK 6 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endFanDuel, DraftKings Picks Week 6: WR sleepers, valuesDJ Chark, Jaguars vs. Saints (DK: $5,500 | FD: $6,500)Already one of the biggest breakout stars of 2019, Chark looks like a stud. The second-year wideout has gained quite the connection with quarterback Gardner Minshew and is fresh off an eight-catch, 164-yard receiving game with two scores. He’s collected at least one touchdown in four of five games and has eclipsed 100 yards twice.The Saints haven’t stopped opponents’ air attacks in 2019, giving Chark and Minshew an opportunity to put up some serious fantasy points. Chark has posted single-digit points in DFS just once this season and has surpassed 20 points twice. His DFS cost keeps growing, but he’s just affordable enough to be considered a value grab this week. Keep riding Chark while you can.Mecole Hardman, Chiefs vs. Texans (DK: $5,300 | FD: $6,400)Hardman was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he’s already making a name for himself in Kansas City’s offense. The speedy wideout saw just one target in Week 1, but he’s averaging 5.5 targets per game since. Hardman has accounted for two total touchdowns and highs of 97 and 79 receiving yards this season.Things get better for Hardman’s outlook beyond Patrick Mahomes’ trust in him, as Sammy Watkins re-injured his bad hamstring during last week’s game. As a result, Watkins could miss time, boosting Hardman’s stock. Stuck behind Tyreek Hill and Watkins, Hardman’s floor was low; however, now that Watkins is likely out of the picture for Week 6, we could see Hardman’s best performance yet even if Hill (shoulder) returns. He should see an increase from his 62-percent snap share last week and could be a major factor against the Texans.More WR Values: D.K. Metcalf (Seahawks @ Browns), Robby Anderson (Jets vs. Cowboys)MORE WEEK 6 DFS: Stacks | Lineup BuilderBetQL, RotoQL’s sister product, simplifies the research process for sports bettors by equipping them with real-time line movements, value bets of the day and meaningful team trends. Check it out here!Week 6 NFL DFS Picks: TE sleepers, valuesWill Dissly, Seahawks @ Browns (DK: $4,900 | FD: $6,000)The Seahawks struck gold when they used a fourth-round pick on Dissly in 2018. The tight end has been on a tear, collecting four touchdowns over five games this season. Russell Wilson has found a new safety net in Dissly, and that has extended to the red zone.Dissly has been targeted six times in the red zone this season, ranking him seventh among tight ends. He has nabbed four of those targets for touchdowns. The four scores lead all tight ends. Overall, Dissly has come down with 23 of his 26 targets this season, proving to his quarterback that he should be looked to more often. The relationship between Dissly and Wilson continues to bud. Look for Dissly to grab a touchdown against a Browns defense that has allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this season.More TE Values: Delanie Walker (Titans @ Broncos), Jared Cook (Saints @ Jaguars)WEEK 6: Waiver pickups | FAAB planner | Trade values | Snap countsWeek 6 NFL DFS values: D/ST sleepersTennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos (DK: $2,900 / FD: $4,700)last_img read more

Forecast of heavy rain in New York could affect ALCS — and NLCS, too

Forecast of heavy rain in New York could affect ALCS — and NLCS, too

first_imgA threatening forecast of heavy rain Wednesday in New York could alter not only the American League Championship Series but the NLCS, too, according to ESPN, which cited unidentified sources.The forecast as of Tuesday morning (via weather.com) calls for a 100 percent chance of rain Wednesday in New York, with around a half an inch of precipitation expected and locally heavier rainfall possible with temperatures in the mid-60s and winds at 10-15 mph. However, if an NLCS Game 5 is necessary, it currently is scheduled to start at 4:08 p.m. ET Wednesday on TBS with ALCS Game 4 scheduled for shortly after 8 p.m. ET on FS1.MLB prefers that on days when there is only one postseason game that it be played in prime time. So with the threat of a rainout in New York, MLB is considering preemptively moving Game 5 of the NLCS to the evening slot.Sources said MLB would likely announce any change in an NLCS Game 5 before Wednesday, giving the teams, TV partners and fans time to adjust. Three takeaways from the Nationals’ Game 3 win over Cardinals MLB playoffs 2019: ‘Bullpenning’ comes to Yankees-Astros ALCS With the possibility that Wednesday’s ALCS Game 4 between the Astros and Yankees could be rained out, MLB is considering moving a potential NLCS Game 5 between the Nationals and Cardinals to that night, the sources told ESPN.The NLCS schedule becomes a moot point if the Nationals, who hold a 3-0 series lead over the Cardinals, finish a sweep in Game 4 Tuesday in Washington. Related News Three takeaways from the Astros’ Game 2 win over Yankees The ALCS is tied 1-1 entering Game 3 in New York at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, when there is no precipitation in the forecast for the area.However, if Game 4 is postponed to Thursday, then it could affect pitching plans for the Yankees and Astros.The Yankees, who manager Aaron Boone said Monday were planning on a bullpen day for Game 4, could bring back Game 1 starter Masahiro Tanaka on regular rest. The Astros, who manager A.J. Hinch said might also consider using an “opener” in Game 4, also could bring back Zack Greinke for Game 4 on regular rest.last_img read more

Utah Utes basketball: Tillie’s rapid return a plus in team’s win over UNLV

Utah Utes basketball: Tillie’s rapid return a plus in team’s win over UNLV

first_imgWhen Kim Tillie underwent knee surgery two weeks ago today, the prognosis was that the Ute senior forward would be out for three weeks.Well, not only is Tillie playing tonight against San Diego State, but he already has a game under his belt since the surgery.Tillie played Saturday night and was a key part of the Utes’ 73-69 upset of UNLV. He played 16 minutes and scored six points with five rebounds before fouling out.”Having Kim Tillie back was a big plus,” said coach Utah coach Jim Boylen. “His athleticism helped us a lot on Saturday.”Boylen said Tillie will have his minutes limited and though Boylen didn’t give a number, Tillie likely won’t play more than 20 minutes tonight. Also, he may come off the bench again behind freshman Shawn Glover, who could get his fourth career start.”I have a curse on me — every January something happens to me,” Tillie said.As a freshman, he broke his foot on Jan. 1 and missed the rest of the season, 17 games in all.His sophomore season, a stress fracture was discovered in late December and he missed five games, three in January.Then last year, Tillie missed two games in mid-January because of a foot injury, which bothered him the rest of the season.This year, it was in the Jan. 2 game at LSU where Tillie felt something strange moving around on the side and front of his left knee. It wasn’t enough to keep him from playing, but “was really annoying and bugging me,” said Tillie. “It was preventing me from playing 100 percent so we decided to take it out.”It turned out to be a piece of cartilage that was loose and moving around and occasionally getting stuck when he bent his knee.”Dr. (Robert) Burks did a great job of finding whatever was wrong and taking it out and that’s why I recovered so fast,” said Tillie.Tillie also credits Ute basketball trainer Trevor Jameson for his quick recovery with icing, massaging and compression to get the swelling down.”Once the swelling was down, I could play,” he said.In San Diego State, the Utes will play another athletic team that likes to push the ball in transition. Boylen is most concerned about the Aztecs’ offensive rebounding ability, which is big since one of the Utes’ biggest weaknesses is their defensive rebounding.”They may be the best offensive rebounding team we’ve played and I’m really concerned about that,” Boylen said. “Our defense has been very good, but defensive rebounding is always a concern for us.”The Aztecs have a well-balanced team, led by junior forward Billy White, who averages 12.1 points per game. Other starters include freshman forward Kawhi Leonard (11.1 ppg), junior forward Malcolm Thomas (10.9 ppg) junior point guard D.J. Gay (9.9 ppg) and freshman guard Chase Tarpley (7.2 ppg).After tonight, the Utes will have another home game Saturday afternoon (4 p.m.) against Air Force, while the Aztecs will go home to face league-leading BYU Saturday night.e-mail: sor@desnews.comUtes on the airSan Diego State (13-5, 2-2) at Utah (9-8, 2-1)Today, 8 p.m.TV: The mtn. Radio: 700 AMlast_img read more

Mike Sorensen: Pac-12 may get more than its share of bowl berths

Mike Sorensen: Pac-12 may get more than its share of bowl berths

first_imgSALT LAKE — Just three years ago, what was then known as the Pac-10 Conference only had four bowl-eligible teams and couldn’t fulfill its bowl obligations. The Sun Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl and Fight Hunger Bowl had to fill their slots with non-Pac-10 teams.This year, however, the Pac-12 could have an opposite problem with too many bowl-eligible teams.Right now it looks like the league could have as many as 10 bowl-eligible teams to fill seven bowl commitments (eight if two league teams make BCS bowls). With a 30-6 nonconference record, the league has a lot of winning teams and most are heading toward the six-win minimum to be eligible for a bowl.Oregon, Stanford and Oregon State already have clinched bowl spots, while five schools — Arizona State, Arizona, Washington, UCLA and USC — are just a win away with five wins. Two schools, Utah and Washington State, each have four wins with four games left.Even Colorado, with a 3-4 record, has a shot at a bowl. The Buffs have yet to win in Pac-12 play but have league bottom feeder Cal at home as well as USC before playing at Utah in the season finale. The Buffs also have a game at Washington this week.Only Cal, at 1-7 under first-year coach Sonny Dykes, is out of the bowl running among Pac-12 schools.The guess from here is that nine Pac-12 schools will end up going bowling. The eight with at least five wins will certainly get to six wins and the ninth school would be the winner of the Utah-Washington State game on Nov. 23. Both the Utes and Cougars have three other chances to get another win, although WSU has a tougher road with Arizona State, Arizona and Washington, while Utah gets Colorado at home to finish the season along with No. 25 Arizona State and No. 2 Oregon.If the Pac-12 does get nine bowl-eligible teams, it’s likely another spot will open up in a bowl that doesn’t have a bowl-eligible team from its appointed conference. Otherwise, a 6-6 team from the Pac-12 may have to stay home for the holidays.Next: SEC might also overfill Related Ute QB Wilson hopeful that banged-up hand will be healed by end of weeklast_img read more

John McEnroe, Pete Sampras to play Tuesday at EnergySolutions Arena

John McEnroe, Pete Sampras to play Tuesday at EnergySolutions Arena

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — Some of the best talent the tennis world has ever seen will be on display Tuesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.Pete Sampras, who has won the second-most Grand Slam title singles events in history, will be joined by legend John McEnroe, Jim Courier and James Blake for the PowerShare Series Champions Challenge.The four players will square off in one-set matches at 7 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. with Sampras playing McEnroe and Courier meeting Blake, with the winners playing in the finals at 8:30 p.m.The PowerShare Series features 11 former top tennis stars in a 12-city tour of one-night tournaments in February and March and the players trade off playing in the various venues.Salt Lake is the seventh stop on the tour, which was most recently played in Denver and Houston.McEnroe just turned 55, but he has done very well against his younger opponents. The three-time Wimbledon and four-time U.S. Open champion leads the series this year with 1,200 points, followed by Courier with 900 and Andy Roddick with 500.Part of the reason for his lead is that McEnroe is playing in more events than the other 10 players on the circuit. But he is holding his own with the younger players, having won the opening event in Kansas City and two weeks ago in Indianapolis. He also finished second in Oklahoma City and at Birmingham, Ala., where he lost to Roddick 7-5 in the finals.For the 42-year-old Sampras, this will mark his 2014 debut in the PowerShare Series. Courier, 43, won four Grand Slam events and was the world’s No. 1 player in 1992 and played on two winning Davis Cup teams for the United States.The 34-year-old Blake, who played competitively in world competition until last year, won 17 career titles and was the No. 1 ranking American in 2006 and was a member of the winning U.S. Davis Cup team.last_img read more

Ricky Rubio plays well in return to Minnesota, but Jazz come up just short

Ricky Rubio plays well in return to Minnesota, but Jazz come up just short

first_img Related Utah Jazz lose to Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-97 Funny video: Ricky Rubio tries to figure out what Rudy Gobert is saying Tonight he wanted to play well and he wanted his new team to play well. I love to see the passion in his game. We saw that tonight I expect well keep seeing it. – Jazz head coach Quin Snyder on Ricky RubioMINNEAPOLIS – Before Friday’s game, Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio said it would be “a little weird” playing on the court he’s played for six years as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also said he wondered what kind of reception he would receive from the Minnesota fans.Well, he got a tremendous ovation from the Target Center fans when he was the first Jazz player introduced and an image of him on the video board was shown to the sold out crowd.However, by the end of the night, those cheers had turned to jeers as Rubio got in a couple of altercations with T-Wolves’ players and then nearly led a spirited comeback by the Jazz that fell just short.On the night, Rubio finished with 19 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, while fighting foul trouble for much of the night. He outplayed his counterpart, Jeff Teague, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Indiana, as Teague finished with 10 points and four assists in the same number of minutes as Rubio.Afterwards, Rubio talked about how it was fun seeing old friends, but he was disappointed he couldn’t come away with a win against his old team.“We didn’t play our best tonight, but we had a chance,” he said. “When you have a chance on the road in this league it’s a lot and especially against a team that’s one of the best in the West.”Earlier in the day, the 26-year-old Spaniard had talked to more than two dozen media types after Utah’s morning shootaround. He was gracious in greeting reporters he knew from his days with the Wolves and talked about his mixed emotions of being back in Minneapolis, while playing for the Jazz.“It feels a little weird, but it’s a business,” he said. “I have a lot of friends on the other side, but tonight it’s about winning. A lot of emotions . . . I’ve spent a lot of time here, I create a family here, I love it.”Rubio said he wasn’t surprised to be traded, commenting, “When there’s rumors for two years, you believe the rumors and then they come true.”He also said he was happy to be in Utah and that the Jazz have treated him well since the day he was traded back in June.“They were amazing from Day One,” he said. “They were texting me and emailing me almost every week though the process all summer long and ever since I came to Utah. It was amazing knowing they are on the same page.”Coach Quin Snyder said it’s always a challenge for a player going back to his former club and friends, but thought Rubio handled it well.“Tonight he wanted to play well and he wanted his new team to play well,” he said. “I love to see the passion in his game. We saw that tonight I expect well keep seeing it.”ANOTHER RENOVATION: Like Utah’s Vivint Smart Home Arena, the Target Center has been renovated since last season.The $145 million renovation, slightly more expensive than Utah’s, includes new seats, a state-of-the-art scoreboard, new premium and hospitality spaces, refurbished concourses, upgraded concessions, a new box-office lobby, additional entry points, a five-story glass atrium, an updated sound system, all digital signage and additional gathering locations for fans as well as improved locker rooms and training facilities.“It’s amazing what they’ve done,” said Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau. “We’re thrilled with that. I think it’s good for everybody, certainly our players appreciate it and our fans are going to love it.”JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz and Wolves play four times this season. They’ll play at Vivint Arena Nov. 13 and March 2 and return to Minnesota on April 1 . . . Last year, the Jazz were 3-1 against the T-Wolves, winning both game at the Target Center . . . Raul Neto was cleared to play after sitting out with a sore hamstring, but never got in the game as Donovan Mitchell got the backup point guard minutes . . . Joel Bolomboy, who was waived by the Jazz on Monday, was picked up by Milwaukee and signed to a two-way contract and will be eligible for the G. League Draft on Saturday . . . Everyone in the arena was given a white T-Shirt that read “All Eyes North” before the game . . . The Minnesota Lynx were honored during the third quarter for winning another WNBA title last week. Hood goes down, so do Jazz in 100-97 loss at Minnesotalast_img read more