“The defendant abused the trust placed in him as a soccer official in order to line his own pockets. The defendant’s breach of trust was particularly significant given his position as a member of the FIFA Audit and Compliance committee, which must play an important and independent role if corruption within FIFA is to be eliminated.”According to the criminal information to which Lai pleaded guilty, he received more than $850,000 in bribes between 2009 and 2014 from a faction of soccer officials in the Asian region in exchange for using his influence as a soccer official. The cash was intended to advance the interests of the faction that bribed him, including by helping officials in that faction identify other officials to offer bribes.A U.S. Department of Justice news release did not identify details of the faction buying influence.Lai also received $100,000 in bribes in 2011 from an official of the AFC who was then running for the FIFA presidency, in exchange for Lai’s vote and support in the then-upcoming FIFA presidential election.Mohamed bin Hammam, the AFC president who was running against Blatter in that FIFA election, was later banned for life from soccer by FIFA.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Newsome avenges last year’s close loss, nabs Slam Dunk crown The latest plea reaches deep into Asian soccer for the first time and involves an official who retained his position monitoring FIFA’s multi-billion dollar income and spending in the transition from former president Sepp Blatter to his successor Gianni Infantino.Lai’s 90-day interim ban by the FIFA ethics committee prevents him taking part in the world soccer body’s audit panel meeting on May 8 in Manama, Bahrain. Also that day, Asian soccer federations meet in the city to elect delegates to the FIFA Council.FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Lai also pleaded guilty to failing to disclose foreign bank accounts and agreed to pay more than $1.1 million in forfeiture and penalties. The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen.Bridget M. Rohde, an Acting U.S. Attorney, announced the guilty plea and said it “marks another important step in our ongoing effort to root out corruption in international soccer.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos LATEST STORIES Bulacan town gears up for biggest cookie jar Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer FILE – This is a Friday, Oct. 29, 2010 file photo of the then FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, left, and Sepp Blatter, President of the International Soccer Federation FIFA share a word during a press conference after a two-day executive committee meeting at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. FIFA has sent 1,300 pages of internal investigation reports into suspected bribery and corruption implicating world soccer leaders to Switzerland’s attorney general. However, FIFA said Friday March 31, 2017 it was legally barred from publishing the full reports or commenting on the evidence or conclusions. (Alessandro Della Bella/ Keystone, File via AP)ZURICH — The sprawling American investigation of bribery and corruption in international soccer has reached into Asia and claimed the first guilty plea from a senior official in the new FIFA leadership.A member of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee, Richard Lai of Guam, was provisionally suspended Friday by the FIFA ethics committee after admitting to taking about $1 million in bribes, including from a “faction” of Asian officials buying influence among voters.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ The Asian Football Confederation, where he is a long-time executive committee member, also “provisionally suspended Richard Lai from football with immediate effect.”Lai, a United States citizen and president of Guam’s soccer federation since 2001, plead guilty in Brooklyn federal court on Thursday. The FIFA ethics committee typically imposes life bans on officials who plead guilty.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe AFC official admitted to two counts of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with multiple schemes to accept and pay bribes to soccer officials.Lai’s case marks a stunning step forward in the American federal investigation, which had indicted or taken guilty pleas from more than 40 people and marketing agencies linked to soccer in the Americas since 2015.
Pocari Sweat hopes to sustain its run against Perlas even as Creamline tries to get back at BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The defending champions Lady Warriors are the hottest squad in the lead with a four-game winning streak and a league-leading 4-2 card.ADVERTISEMENT Kobe Paras’ college crossroads Swing Out Sister back to PH this April But the road to a fifth straight win will be thorny as the Perlas Spikers made a statement recently when they dealt the Water Defenders their first defeat in the league.The Cool Smashers, led by Alyssa Valdez, will try to score a similar breakthrough win over the Water Defenders in their 4 p.m. duel.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundAt 2-3, Creamline needs to win as many as it can to ensure a pass to the next round.Meanwhile, the organizing Sports Vision hinted at going all-Filipino if the International Transfer Certificates (ITC) of the league’s imports won’t be granted by the international volleyball body today. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte “If the ITCs will not be given today, we have no choice but to go all-Filipino the rest of the way,” said Sports Vision’s Ricky Palou.Among the imports suiting up are BaliPure’s Jennyfer Brooke Keddy and Jeng Bualee, Creamline’s Kuttika Kaewpin and Laura Schaudt, Air Force’s Patcharee Saengmuan, Perlas’ Rupia Inck and Naoko Hashimoto, and the Power Smashers’ Hyapha Amporn. Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Yanson buses to keep operating despite legal battle
LATEST STORIES End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Rebisco-PSL squad arrives in Kazakhstan Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working View comments Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Power Smashers coach Nes Pamillar. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netPower Smashers escaped with a 25-23, 16-25, 25-20, 25-23 victory over Philippine Air Force to stay in the hunt for an outright semis berth in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.But coach Nes Pamillar felt the win still left a lot to be desired with the way his girls performed against the cellar-dwelling Jet Spikers.ADVERTISEMENT For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ “There were lots of instructions that weren’t followed. They didn’t seem like they know what they were doing. I was telling them to think. I told them we’ll talk again in the dugout,” he said.After taking the first set, 25-23, the Power Smashers came out flat in Set 2, allowing the Jet Spikers to equalize, 25-16.They seemed to have figured things out in the fourth set, turning a 14-all deadlock to a 21-15 lead, but once again fell to the same trap as Air Force tied the game at 22.Luckily, Prado took matters into her own hands, scoring off the block to put her side at match point before denying Yongco on the net for the win.Patcharee Saengmuang topped Air Force (1-8) with 21 points, while Angel Mae Antipuesto got 11 in the loss.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite “I’m not satisfied with how the players performed,” Pamillar said in Filipino. “They were out of sync and it seemed like they were taking things easy. They know that they can beat our opponent and relaxed too much. That can’t be the case,” he said.Thai guest player Kannika Tipachot showed the way as she had 21 of her 23 points off attacks to help the Power Smashers improve to a 5-4 slate.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundHyapa Amporn added 11 markers, while Jovelyn Prado got 10, including the match-clinching joust against Air Force’s Iari Yongco in the fourth set.Still, Pamillar called out her ladies for their lackluster showing, putting the focus on his setters Vira Gullema and Alina Bicar. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTerrence Romeo hit the game-winning shot and GlobalPort knocked off Alaska, 107-106, for the last quarterfinals berth in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.Romeo buried a 3-pointer to put the Batang Pier ahead for good, 106-104, with 8.1 seconds left.ADVERTISEMENT The loss capped off a disastrous run for Alaska, which fell to its eighth straight defeat.It also spoiled Abueva’s milestone night as he had a career-best 31 points, to go with 13 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.Cory Jefferson led the Aces with 32 markers and 16 boards, while Chris Banchero chipped in 16 markers and four rebounds in the losing effort.Alaska missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2012 Governors’ Cup, and put a blemish on coach Alex Compton’s eight-straight playoff appearances.The scores:GLOBALPORT 107 – Harper 32, Romeo 26, Pringle 21, Guinto 8, Cortez 6, Pessumal 5, Anthony 5, Grey 3, Maierhofer 1, Mamaril 0, Forrester 0, Paredes 0, Pennisi 0.ALASKA 106 – Jefferson 32, Abueva 31, Banchero 16, Manuel 9, Exciminiano 8, Racal 3, Enciso 3, Galliguez 2, Cruz 2, Thoss 0, Pascual 0, Hontiveros 0, Dela Cruz 0.Quarters: 20-26, 52-49, 74-78, 107-106. Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak “We have to give credit to the guy. He’s really willing to take the shot. That’s why he’s Terrence Romeo. In short, makapal talaga ang mukha niya,” said coach Franz Pumaren.“It’s a gutsy move. It takes one great player to be willing to take that shot.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundThe Aces still had a chance to tie the game, but Calvin Abueva’s undergoal stab rolled out of the rim. Justin Harper split his freebies keeping the door open for Alaska, but Simon Enciso muffed his right corner trey in the final 3.0 seconds.Romeo dropped nine of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, on top of five rebounds and three assists. For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ LATEST STORIES Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Harper topscored for the Batang Pier with 32 markers and 17 boards, while Stanley Pringle added 21 points, six rebounds, and five assists.Even Pumaren can’t deny that he was surprised with GlobalPort’s sudden ascent to the quarterfinals, as he looked back a month ago when his team seemed primed for an early exit.“I guess we surprised a lot of people. No one imagined us to be in this situation, to be in the quarterfinals. Just last month, I think most of the basketball fans, they were thinking we were ready to fold and go on a vacation,” he said. “I guess today’s game is a testament that the boys, they don’t want to go on a break yet.”What awaits, though, is a date against top-seed Ginebra, which will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals starting on Tuesday.“It’s going to be a tough series for us. Just a one-day rest and we’re playing the number one team — the team that’s on a streak. Hopefully, we can sustain the run,” said Pumaren.ADVERTISEMENT Wozniacki into second French Open quarterfinal
Germany’s Angelique Kerber returns to Shelby Rogers of the United States during their Women’s Singles Match on day six at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON — Four of the remaining 16 women at Wimbledon have played in a final at the All England Club. One of them is certain to be eliminated in the fourth round.Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguzura, who have won titles at other Grand Slam tournaments, each lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final the last two years — Kerber in 2016, Muguruza in 2015. They meet Monday for a spot in the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT Solar-powered barge a key ‘interceptor’ for plastic waste Not easy being green: Dog births unique puppy Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pornography greets commuters at Sweden bus stop Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite LATEST STORIES Harden signs extension, giving him richest NBA deal ever Jean-Paul Gaultier to retire as fashion designer MOST READ Venus Williams lost in the semifinals last year and is playing at the tournament for the 20th time.At 37, she is the oldest player left in the women’s draw. On Monday, she will play the youngest woman left, 19-year-old Ana Konjuh of Croatia.“Yeah, it’s interesting, for sure,” Williams said. “But I guess when you walk on the court, I don’t think either of us is thinking about the age. You’re thinking about, ‘How do I win?’”In other fourth-round matches, all on Monday, Radwanska meets two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka will play second-seeded Simona Halep, sixth-seeded Johanna Konta will face Caroline Garcia, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko goes against No. 4 Elina Svitolina, No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki plays No. 24 CoCo Vandeweghe, and Magdalena Rybarikova will meet Petra Martic.Konta has become the latest local hope at the All England Club. The last British woman to win Wimbledon was Virginia Wade in 1977.ADVERTISEMENT Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet The top-ranked Kerber has lost her past four matches against Muguruza.“I think I have to play from the first point good tennis against her,” Kerber said Saturday. “I have to be aggressive, as well, and trying to (play) my game from the first ball that we hit.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson SPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The other players with experience in the final at the grass-court major tournament are Williams’ older sister, Venus, and Agnieszka Radwanska.Venus Williams has five Wimbledon titles and lost in another three finals — each time to Serena. Radwanska was the runner-up at the All England Club in 2012 to — yes, that’s right — Serena Williams. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Imee Marcos slams driver-cap on motorcycle taxis McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Painting found in Italian museum wall is stolen Klimt Kerber and Muguruza had their chances to win the last two years, but they ran into Serena Williams. That can’t happen this year — the defending champion is pregnant and taking the rest of the season off.“I have toughest rounds to come. I’m just looking forward for it,” said Muguruza, who won the French Open last year. “I’m not thinking that far, like most people do.“For me, it’s just more simple than that. I’m just going to take care of my next match and we see from there. It’s just like that.”That next opponent is the No. 1 player in the world — even if Kerber has been struggling at the major tournaments this season after winning the Australian Open and U.S. Open last year.On Saturday, she had a tough time early and was stretched to three sets in her 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over American Shelby Rogers.“It was for sure a really important win for me today, especially because it was a really up-and-down match, and I was down at least 2-4 in the second set,” Kerber said. “Maybe it is a turnaround. We will see.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments
PERFECT NEIGHBOUR staged a furious late rally, getting up shades from the wire to beat United States-bred BRAWN by a neck in yesterday’s Viceroy Trophy at Caymanas Park.Partnered by champion jockey Omar Walker. PERFECT NEIGHBOUR stalked speedy ANOTHER BULLET out of the mile chute, with stablemate IAN LINKS for company, while BRAWN recovered from a terrible start in the 1800-metre race.BRAWN, however, caught up with the leaders approaching the half-mile and launched his attack on the inner rail, along with PERFECT NEIGHBOUR on the outside, heading into the home turn.Pushed to the lead by apprentice Bebeto Harvey, BRAWN shot to the front off the turn and set sail for home with 3-5 favourite PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in chase.Up to a half-furlong out, BRAWN’S supporters were eyeing the cashiers’ windows to collect at odds of 8-5. However, Walker doubled his efforts aboard the 2013 Derby winner, who lengthened his strides with the tote board looming, and leapt forward to collar BRAWN at the winning post.PERFECT NEIGHBOUR’s victory put the Wayne DaCosta-trained seven-year-old back in grade one where he campaigned as recent as December, his last race in the class being the Diamond Mile in which he had finished down the track.Non-claiming apprentice Linton Steadman rode two winners on the 10-race card to top all jockeys, opening the programme aboard Anthony Nunes’ FOLLOW BACK A ME.He returned to close his two-timer with BALLON D’OR, who turned the tables on STIR IT UP at 1820 metres in the fifth after losing to the mare at a mile on December 20.Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Saturday.
THE CHALLENGE The world has changed since I was boy, and the question is, Has it changed for the better? When I was a boy, if you loved sport, you played sport at elementary school; at high school, if you were one of the lucky ones to get into a high school; at youth clubs; and at clubs, before you even thought of playing for Jamaica. It was a natural progression of practising, training, and playing, and if you were good enough, you then represented Jamaica. International sport was reserved for the best, and it was the stage on which the best – the very best – competed for international glory. In those days, Jamaica’s best were in sports like cricket and track and field, and those were the sports in which Jamaica participated internationally and did well. Whenever the Jamaicans arrived, they were ready to make noise. Over the years, however, as Jamaica got better in every way, as more opportunities in the form of more sports came our way, and as our appetite got healthier and healthier, Jamaica is not only almost everywhere internationally, but Jamaica wants to be everywhere, internationally. Nothing is wrong with that, not if we are good enough in each of them; if we are prepared to be good enough in all of them; and if we have the money to support all of them by providing for all their needs from the beginning to the end. And nothing is wrong with it, not when we see the finished product and follow the successes of the many world beaters and champions that little Jamaica has produced. Something seems to be wrong, however, when the situation is not so much about being able to compete in international sport, but more about participating in international sport. Today, it appears that the glow of international sport is so attractive that everybody, from he or she starts learning to play a particular sport, he or she is ready to go international, to represent Jamaica, to go to any world championship, including women’s cricket and women’s football. Again, it must be emphasised that nothing is wrong with that, with people wanting to do their own thing despite their gender, and with people wanting to reach the top, to compete with the best. NECESSARY PROCESS In everything, however, there must be, and there should be, a process. And the process must include learning, practising, training, playing, and playing competitively and consistently until a level beyond competence is achieved before one even ventures on to the international circuit. That is why, in my humble opinion, some events, like the Olympic Games and the World Cup of football, are such great sporting events and sporting spectacles. To get to the Olympic Games, except in special cases, and to the World Cup, one must qualify. That is why they pack in the people, and people who pay a lot of money to them. It is for the best. It is not for whoever will may come. Why should the best be competing against those of obvious inferior skills, those who, long before the event takes place, know that they are only there to make up numbers, so to speak, or because somebody has the money or can get the money to send them to tournaments and championships? The money spent on getting there, to fly them there, to pay for their hotel rooms, to buy clothing, and to feed them, is money that could be better used to prepare them properly so that when they are ready to compete, they can perform better. The West Indies Women’s team is now at the ICC Women’s World Cup, and they have lost all seven matches to date. Their worst defeat was when they lost seven wickets for three runs in a practice game against South Africa, when they lost by eight wickets with 71 deliveries to spare against Australia in the World Cup; and when they lost to India by seven wickets, with 45 deliveries to spare, also in the World Cup. Should the West Indies be at the World Cup? Maybe, but only because they are the World T20 champions and because they are very, very, unpredictable. If, however, their preparation is anything like that of Jamaica’s, where they hardly play any cricket, except for a few days on a few weekends every now and again, they should not be there. Apart from a few of the girls, the West Indies girls do not really practise, train, or play cricket regularly, and it is difficult for them to compete with, say, England, who has an All-Stars Cricket League for very young girls, a Chances to Shine programme for primary school girls, and the KIA Super League for clubs. Women’s cricket in countries like England, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa, where there are high-performance centres, is serious business, and it is getting bigger and bigger, with the girls getting faster and stronger and technically better day by day. In the West Indies, maybe with the exception of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, where Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews hone their skills, women’s cricket, except for Stafanie Taylor and one or two others, is just an after-thought, an after-thought caused maybe by the lack of money and the problems of inter-island travel. Do not let the entourage, which includes three coaches, fool you. Listen to head coach Vasbert Drakes in Taunton last Tuesday: “Anyone who plays cricket will tell you that you get better the more you play, and the constraint that we have is that we didn’t play competitive cricket, but at the moment, I’m not going to use that as an excuse. “We’re going to draw on our natural resources. We’ve done it before, and it can be done again. “We can bat. The challenge is to bat and to do the basics for longer periods.” That is what batting is about, that is what good batting should be all about, and that is what practising and playing do for you. The game against Australia was described as “net session masquerading as a World Cup match, the bowling as throw-downs to the batsmen (batswomen) to practise their best shot”, and “there was no punching the air when the winning run was hit. The Australians just turned to their sparring partners and thanked them for the workout”. Against India, the match was described as “easy pickings for India”. Every man, or woman, has a right to aim high and to go places. There is, however, or there should be, a proper and responsible way to get there, and that way should be more important to people from a small country and struggling country, especially a country like Jamaica, and a region like the West Indies.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal moved into the semi-finals of the China Open by beating sixth-seeded John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (0) yesterday. The French Open and US Open champion has won five titles this season and is closing in on the year end No. 1 ranking. “I don’t remember a lot of mistakes,” Nadal said. “I went to the net very often. I did the things that I want to do, and I did it well, so very happy.” On the women’s side, unseeded Carolina Garcia of France upset third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (6) in almost 312 hours to line up Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals. Simona Halep, on course to becoming the No. 1 player in the world for the first time, faces French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. Nadal saved all three break points he faced against Isner. He will next play third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2. Dimitrov spent time practising with Nadal in Mallorca ahead of the hard-court season. The two also went fishing at sea. “We catch a few ones (fish), but not very big,” Nadal said. “But we had some good dinner.” Nick Kyrgios also advanced. The eighth-seeded Australian won when opponent Steve Darcis retired with a neck strain while trailing 6-0, 3-0. Kyrgios will take on second-seeded Alexander Zverev. The German beat Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 and qualified for the season-ending tournament in London. Second-ranked Halep moved into the women’s semi-final by defeating Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-2, 6-1. To bump Garbine Muguruza from No. 1, the Romanian needs to reach the final.
Hydel High School’s outstanding goalkeeper, Shaquan Davis, said it was a big disappointment that the school did not go further in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition. However, he and his teammates will be looking to go the distance next season, as his aim will be to add a Manning Cup title to the Walker Cup crown, which they lifted a few weeks ago for their first schoolboy football title. Davis, Man of the Match for the final against Excelsior, which they won 2-0, was lost for words after winning the school’s first title and the MVP award. “This feeling cannot be explained. I can’t find a way to tell you how I am feeling now but it’s a great feeling,” Davis said. “I did not really make the impact I had hoped this season. I am always confident in myself. I am Shaquan Davis and I know what I am capable of, but I am looking to market myself as a player because I am looking to go forward in the profession. “But I have a next year, so next year we will be looking to do it in the Manning Cup. Our objective (this season) was the Manning Cup and we didn’t get it. But I made a mark and we were able to lift the Walker Cup, and I am glad for that,” the goalkeeper added. The colourful and brave ‘shot stopper’ has been crucial to his team’s display throughout the season, starting with the opening Manning Cup game against Jamaica College, where his talent came to light. In the Walker Cup final against Excelsior, he was equally impressive, as he kept a clean sheet to help his school to its first football title. MOVING FORWARD Davis, who is also one of the school’s top basketball players and Duhaney Park’s Major League goalkeeper, said his intention now is to continue to improve on and off the field and build on the momentum from this season. “I am the vice-captain and I cover my team, so I had to constantly be talking to them. But I couldn’t have done this without my teammates, so thanks to them, but right now my next move is to get some subjects and try to move forward, as I will be looking to get a scholarship next season,” he said.
Marlon Jacobs popularly known as “Freedom Boss” will be hosting yet another exciting and energetic event called “Liquorish fah Soca” on Wednesday, July 31 in the Parking Lot of Giftland Mall.This is one of several parties that was hosted by the dynamic entertainer whose aim to promote parties for the grassroot. The party, although the major event will be held in Georgetown, Barticians can expect the same vibes this evening at the Third Avenue Beach and Saturday evening at the New Amsterdam Stelling Road, Berbice.A similar event was held in December last year at the Marriott Beach front and was deemed as huge success. The party saw thousands of fans storming the venue to party to the best music selected and joggle by some of the most energetic deejays around.This year will be no different, as the deejays are all ready to entertain the patrons with the best mixes. Tickets for the event vary and will be available at regular ticketing locations and at the gate on the nights of the events.However, for those who do not have tickets in advance, they will pay more at the gate. For the soca junkies, this is one event you don’t want to miss.