Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Antonio Conte has confirmed his faith in teenage striker Sebastiano Esposito and his desire for an Inter side with “an Italian spirit”. Esposito impressed during his cameo against Borussia Dortmund, despite being just 17 years of age, and the starlet is expected to be given a new contract by Inter this summer. “In attack, we started out with very specific ideas,” Conte said at a Press conference. “We knew we had three attackers with certain characteristics in Lukaku, Sanchez and Lautaro, while Politano has characteristics not exactly suited to a striker, but he’d already played as one at Sassuolo. “I ask for certain movements from my forwards. Esposito was fifth choice, so from this point of view we were calm. “Since then, Sanchez’s injury has been a considerable loss for us, but we’ve cleared Esposito, who’d already done well over the summer. I’ll make market assessments with the club. “We still have one training session to go and we must make a virtue of necessity, like we did in the Champions League. “We’re trying to regain our energy after playing just two days ago. The fans against Dortmund were crucial. I hope they can give us a hand again tomorrow.” The Nerazzurri signed several Italians over the summer, including Nicolo Barella, Stefano Sensi and Cristiano Biraghi, while Antonio Candreva has been drafted back in… “The club’s objective is to focus on strong and reliable players, first and foremost. After that, it’s inevitable that Italian players provide you with immediate guarantees. “They know our way of working. Us Italians are much more picky, tactical and work in more detail than they do abroad. “For this, it’s important that we have an Italian spirit. After that, for example, I consider Handanovic Italian!” Looking ahead to his side’s Serie A match with Parma tomorrow, the Coach was then asked about other facets of his squad. “Sensi can also play in front of the defence. I prefer him further forward because he sees football, he knows how to make the last pass and scores goals. “But Stefano can play in front of the defence too. Borja Valero can also fulfil that role. “De Vrij’s become an important player for us, a bit like Bonucci. I’ve always said that the three centre-backs are the first to build play. “Even Godin made an assist against Udinese. These are situations that we must keep practicing. We must do them even more insistently. “I gave Pogba his debut just two months in and he was 18 years old. For me, young players are an added value, but they must give guarantees – and Esposito and Bastoni do for me.”
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Corruption is the unacknowledged mistress of the Indian politician. Something we live with stoically, though with latent unease, like the ghost in the attic. Then why suddenly all this ballyhoo about bribes, doctored e-mails, manipulated tenders and multi-crore deals concerning the Commonwealth Games?Simple. Corruption has poisoned sports, that stormy petrel,Corruption is the unacknowledged mistress of the Indian politician. Something we live with stoically, though with latent unease, like the ghost in the attic. Then why suddenly all this ballyhoo about bribes, doctored e-mails, manipulated tenders and multi-crore deals concerning the Commonwealth Games?Simple. Corruption has poisoned sports, that stormy petrel of national pride, something that makes India feel good. Or angry. Sportsmen are our only heroes left.Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee may have been the last of India’s political icons; in the national lampoon, the Indian politician is a venal caricature. In the good old days, before India became obsessed with flat screen TVs, shiny new cars and the Great Indian Dream of buying an apartment in Gurgaon or Goregaon, corruption was the cocaine of the masses; in an era of Five Year Plans, Ambassador cars and Doordarshan there was little else to be self-righteous about. But today, Sachin Tendulkar is God, and when he lofts the ball for a six, completing another ton or falls to a sly googly, India weeps. When Abhinav Bindra wins the Olympic gold, Vande Mataram becomes the national raga. When the reclusive Saina Nehwal takes the Number 2 slot in World Badminton, India cheers. When the voluptuous Sania Mirza is criticised by clerics for wearing short skirts, India protests, and when she marries a Pakistani, it is a national shame. Sports is the most powerful face of Indian patriotism: never mind that Milkha Singh did badly at the Olympics in 1960, he is still a torch-bearing hero at most sporting marathons and events.advertisementSo, when the Commonwealth scandals erupted, it was dirt flung at the tricolour itself. Politicians took over sport a long time ago, but those who stay electric in the static of public memory are our sportspersons. The politician by common wisdom is corrupt. In 1939, the Mahatma wrote in despair, “I would go to the length of giving the whole Congress a decent burial, rather than put up with the corruption that is rampant.” But does India care? The last scandal that outraged India was the Rs 64-crore Bofors scam in 1985, a pathetic sum compared to today’s takes; Rajiv Gandhi lost the election, but not his job. In the Urea Scam under P.V. Narasimha Rao, the chemical never arrived, despite a Rs 133-crore payout to a fictitious company.In history, sport is war’s splendid heir, its glory sublimating into courage. The Olympics celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. Sports is valour, entertainment and an arena that births heroes. Into this, Kalmadi and friends have cast tainted shadows. In the end, justice may not triumph fully, but the country will never forget 2010 CWG. Or forgive.
Ashok MitraOn Lal Bahadur Shastri’s sudden death in Tashkent in January 1966, the Congress Parliamentary Party chose Indira Gandhi as prime minister of the country. She won over Morarji Desai, the choice of the Syndicate, consisting of party veterans entrenched in the states and shaping party decisions since the China-India,Ashok MitraOn Lal Bahadur Shastri’s sudden death in Tashkent in January 1966, the Congress Parliamentary Party chose Indira Gandhi as prime minister of the country. She won over Morarji Desai, the choice of the Syndicate, consisting of party veterans entrenched in the states and shaping party decisions since the China-India border brawl brought to an end Jawaharlal Nehru’s once towering political influence. Indira had been president of the party; her experience in administration was however zero, barring the few months as a member of Shastri’s Cabinet, in charge of the relatively insignificant information and broadcasting portfolio. The autumn crop had failed in 1965, prices were rising steeply, the wages of two military involvements, first with China and recently with Pakistan, had wreaked havoc on the government’s fiscal. Since the balance of payments worsened too, forex reserves began plummeting.Indira Gandhi during a trip to the US, 1956.Indira Gandhi seemed flustered and indecisive. To the Syndicate’s great relish, Ram Manohar Lohia taunted her as a dumb doll. The old generation of civil servants who adored her father was gone. The new breed of bureaucrats thought she was putty clay in their hands. The Cabinet colleagues she by instinct preferred to lean on were C. Subramaniam, a political lightweight even in Tamil Nadu, and Asoka Mehta, a recent entrant to the party most Congressmen treated with disdain. As both the rate of inflation and the state of balance of payments deteriorated further, senior civil servants in the Ministry of Finance, more loyal to the IMF-World Bank bosses in Washington D.C. than to the greenhorn of a prime minister at home, aligned with Mehta and Subramaniam. They persuade Indira to devalue the rupee along lines suggested by the two international financial institutions. The measure, she was assured, would open the floodgates of external credit as well as bring down prices. It, however, turned out to be plunging from the frying pan into the fire. Prices, instead of declining, soared even higher. The promised quantum of assistance from overseas did not arrive. The crop failure in 1966 was even severer than in the previous year. In the scheduled round of elections in the new year, the Congress was dislodged from power in several states both in the north and south. It squeaked through in the Lok Sabha polls with a bare majority. Indira’s days as prime minister, everybody thought, were numbered.advertisementAt a Dalit household near Vapi, Valsad district, Gujarat.She appeared rudderless-and friendless. She had an inner grit, though few knew about it yet. She was determined to weather the storm, but needed a helmsman on her side, one who would give her the appropriate advice, chalk out her strategy, help her establish control over the administration. Suddenly, she thought of her old acquaintance from her Allahabad and London days, Parmeshwar Narayan Haksar, a close friend of her estranged-and now dead-husband. Haksar was then deputy high commissioner in London. He was summoned to take over as secretary to the prime minister in New Delhi, and did so in the early summer of 1967. Haksar had a curiously mixed-up career. Scion of an affluent Kashmiri Pandit family settled in north India, he was 16 when Jawaharlal Nehru was elected Congress party president in 1929. Nehru remained Haksar’s only god ever since.While studying at the University of Allahabad, he shone in both debates and sports, but most of his time was taken up by visits to Anand Bhavan and Swaraj Bhavan and absorbing the ideology of socialism. In London in the mid-1930s to study law, he got further radicalised. Among young Indians then living in the capital of the empire, he had the most commodious digs, which would be the favoured meeting place of both earnest volunteers of Krishna Menon’s India League and fresh recruits to the Communist Party of Great Britain, with a strong overlap between the two. When Haksar returned home on the eve of the Second World War, it was as a member of the Communist Party of India. He enrolled in the Allahabad High Court, but the party was his first call, P.C. Joshi putting him in charge of a local cell.Indira Gandhi with family at home.How could he forsake his loyalty to Nehru? Confusion over the party’s people’s war policy helped Haksar make up his mind: the nation’s destiny lay with Nehru, so did his. Following independence, Nehru put him in the foreign service. Haksar, given his background, natural poise and elegance honed by debates over dialectics, and love for literature and languages, was much valued by senior colleagues in the external affairs ministry. He too enjoyed his role as protagonist and spokesman of the Non-Aligned Movement. But he missed the thrill and excitement of the ongoing political developments back home. He was particularly anxious that no tinkering took place with Nehru’s national and international visions as reflected in official policy. When the summons came from Indira Gandhi, he was ready. A slice of India’s history was in the making.Haksar’s years overseas in the relative leisure a diplomatic career permits had given him plenty of time to think things over. Installed as Indira’s factotum, the long-term agenda for him was fulfilling the Nehruvian dream of ushering in a republic which progressed rapidly on the economic front, where the commanding heights of decision-making would be with the state apparatus that was purged of shibboleths from the past. The first mission was to assist Indira in fending off meddling from the tiresome fogeys in the Syndicate and establish her total supremacy over the party. The party itself was faction-ridden with a moribund organisation; to expect it to be the vehicle for radical social and economic transformation was silly. Would it not be better to shift the centre of gravity towards the apex, and all power in the party be made to flow from whoever controlled it, meaning Nehru’s daughter? The administrative frame should similarly be restructured. The noble objectives embedded in the Nehruvian vision were achievable only when government institutions and public sector entities functioned in a coordinated manner. Two corollaries followed: (a) those in charge of the upper layers of ministries and public enterprise needed to be handpicked, and (b) the prime minister’s office exercised due surveillance over the entire spectrum of governance.advertisementPakistan president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto with Indira Gandhi in Shimla on July 2, 1972.Haksar set to work. It took barely a year to drive out the Syndicate: its oldies did not have the mental or physical stamina to counter the midnight missiles, timed to meet the press deadline, he would craft for Indira to send. When they broke away, they took away the parliamentary majority. No matter, Haksar ensured that Indira’s-and his own-past contacts with those who at the moment led the two communist parties ensured smooth sailing in Parliament. A series of decisions catching the popular imagination-stiffening direct taxes, setting up an antimonopolies commission, annulment of privy purses, and topping them all, nationalisation of 14 leading banks-followed in quick succession. After a snap Lok Sabha poll in early 1971, Indira was prime minister in her own right. Haksar monitored the proceedings from behind the scenes. Several of his friends from London days won the polls and were made Cabinet ministers in charge of key portfolios. (One, a fabulously rich Bombay barrister, arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan swearing-in, riding his regal Bentley. Haksar took him aside for a dressing down.)Click here to EnlargeFew outsiders are aware of it, but much of the spadework and craftsmanship that underlay Indira Gandhi’s winning her greatest laurels-the liberation of Bangladesh even as the United States was given a bloody nose-was Haksar’s finest hour too. While the other Kashmiri, D.P. Dhar, was more visible negotiating the friendship treaty with the Soviet Union and in other photo session occasions, Haksar quietly sorted out the details of the operations with the army on one side and representatives of the provisional government of the new country on the other, coordinated assignment of tasks and of responsibilities with the West Bengal administration, monitored arrangements for receiving the flood of refugees and escapees from across the border and, at the same time, invested his diplomatic acuteness to checkmate Richard Nixon.advertisementFROM THE RECORD BOOKSSomehow, India will never be the same again. She was a giant among pygmies; a woman who left an indelible visual impression upon the collective consciousness, larger than life itself. Her power was reflected in the image, so profoundly imprinted in the minds of every Indian, that whatever their station in life may be or however uncompromising their differences with her, it became impossible to reconcile India without Indira. Shock, disbelief, anger. But at the end was a terrible silence, as the sheer enormity of the tragedy gradually dawned.Passing of an Era: Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)By Sunil Sethi, November 30, 1984History though carves its own ironies. The moment of Haksar’s reaching the peak of achievement was also the moment of his taking the final bow. Once Atal Bihari Vajpayee hailed her as Mother Bhagavati and The Economist called her the Empress of India, Indira Gandhi had no further need for outsourcing, from now on advising and counselling would all be in the family. Haksar the Nehruvian was soon shunted out. His agenda was still useful, but only as a vote-catching slogan. The power centre Haksar had converted the prime minister’s office into though remained intact. It passed to the command of the younger of the two princes, who put it to excellent use in the Emergency. Haksar dreamed of a Nehruvian paradise. His handiwork instead took the nation to a redux of medieval dynastic rule.- The author was the chief economic adviser to Indira Gandhi’s government.
And so they meet again at Euro 2012 .This time, however, Spain and Italy are playing for the European Championship and a place in the history books.The Mediterranean rivals meet Sunday in Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, three weeks after they drew 1-1 in their opening match of the tournament’s group stage.As the defending champion and World Cup holder, Spain is bidding to win a third straight major title, cementing its place as one of the greatest national teams. It would also match Germany’s record of three European Championship titles.Only the unpredictable Mario Balotelli and a surprising Italy team orchestrated by Andrea Pirlo stand between Spain and what many see as its destiny.Even Italy coach Cesare Prandelli reckons that Spain is the best bet to lift the trophy.”At the moment, even if I open my eyes, I am still dreaming,” Prandelli said after his side’s 2-1 victory over Germany in the semifinals, when Balotelli scored both goals.”Spain remain favorites because of the years of hard work that they have put in. They have been dominant in every game they’ve played so far.”Spain hasn’t lost in a European Championship since 2004 and has already matched West Germany as the only defending champion to return to the final after winning the World Cup. The West Germans managed it in 1976, but subsequently lost to Czechoslovakia following Antonin Panenka’s famous chip shot in a penalty shootout.This final brings together teams with players brazen enough to have successfully copied Panenka’s audacious spot kick during their penalty shootouts in the knockout rounds. Spain defender Sergio Ramos used it in the semifinal win over Portugal, after Pirlo employed it against England in the quarterfinals.It also features the tournament’s best defensive team against one of its most exciting attacking squads.Spain has not conceded a goal since that opening draw with Italy and hasn’t been scored upon in nine elimination games at major tournaments. Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and Pirlo are leading one of Italy’s top attacking teams in recent history.”We always just tried to play, I think that is our strength,” said Prandelli, whose team is bidding to give Italy its second European title, the same number as Spain and France.”When we started off at this tournament, we were convinced that by working in a certain way we could become a proper team not just a quality team, but also a team with the right spirit.”Though Balotelli’s selection had been in doubt due to troubles both on and off the pitch at Manchester City, the 21-year-old Italian of Ghanaian descent has scored three times at Euro 2012.”I waited a long time for this moment, especially because my mother came all the way here and I wanted to make her happy,” he said after the victory over Germany.”This is the greatest evening of my life, but I hope Sunday will be even better,” added the striker, who has a chance to finish as the tournament’s top scorer with one more goal.”For the final my father is coming, too,” he added. “So I hope to score . . .”Along with their players, the Azzurri also have an encouraging statistic on their side: Spain hasn’t beaten Italy in a competitive match that didn’t end in penalties since 1920.Spain’s attack has featured a rotating cast of forwards, with attacking midfielder Cesc Fabregas usually being preferred to striker Fernando Torres. On Sunday, coach Vicente del Bosque is likely to repeat the 4-6 formation he first deployed against Italy on June 10.Substitutes Pedro Rodriguez and Jesus Navas have had impressive tournaments, and Del Bosque certainly values the contribution of players who don’t feel slighted by being on the bench.”When you send out a substitute who is upset it always makes things more difficult. When you send out a player who is happy and ready to play one minute if that’s what’s needed, that is very important,” said Del Bosque, who can match West Germany’s Helmut Schoen as the only coaches to have won a European Championship and a World Cup.Del Bosque admitted that Portugal not only made Spain look sloppy for over an hour, but had taken his players “to the limit.”However, his team’s extra day of rest compared to the Azzurri will help with preparations, while Italy is keeping an eye on any injury problems after Balotelli came off in the second half against Germany due to cramps.”We’re proud of what we are doing and, of course, we hope to achieve what no one else has done before,” Del Bosque said, before touching on what victory would mean with an economic crisis back home.”It would be good for everyone, for Spanish football and for our country.”advertisementadvertisement
Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View comments De Ocampo, Hodge to miss first month of Philippine Cup LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Foton standouts Christine Joy Rosario and Jaja Santiago look to stop Sta. Lucia’s upset bid. —AUGUST DELA CRUZFoton eyes a trouble-free ride to the semifinals against lightly regarded Sta. Lucia Realty even as Cocolife and Cignal dispute the remaining Final Four spot in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.The two-time defending champion Tornadoes will be going up against the Lady Realtors, whom they trounced in the eliminations with ease, 25-16, 25-11, 25-16.ADVERTISEMENT The winner between Foton and Sta. Lucia will take on Petron, while the victor between Cocolife and Cignal will square off with F2 Logistics.The Asset Managers ran away with a five-set victory over the HD Spikers, 19-25, 24-26, 27-25, 25-16, 15-9, and that could factor into the 7 p.m. match.Another thing going against Cignal was the absence of local leaders Jovelyn Gonzaga (knee injury) and Rachel Anne Daquis (dengue), leaving a rudder-less lineup that struggled to get past winless squad Victoria Sports-UST last week.ADVERTISEMENT After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. And with high morale coming into the quarterfinals after turning back erstwhile unbeaten F2 Logistics, the Tornadoes should have the upper hand in the knockout encounter at 4:15 p.m.“We have high respect for these teams and we work very hard because we want to make sure we defend the title again,” said Foton coach Moro Branislav.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe veteran Serbian mentor said he was expecting the Lady Realtors to pour their hearts out against them, the way Generika-Ayala made Petron worked hard for the semifinals berth late Tuesday.The Blaze Spikers, the reigning All Filipino champions, encountered a rough patch before overcoming the hard-fighting Lifesavers in a thrilling five-setter, 19-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-17,15-11. MOST READ MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Malditas save PH from shutout
MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ The Sixers also sent seldom-used guard Nik Stauskas, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft, and a 2019 second-round pick to the Nets for forward Trevor Booker. Booker, the 23rd overall pick of the 2010 draft by Washington, averaged 10.1 points with the Nets.“There is a level of toughness and versatility that interests me,” Brown said. “He’s shown that he can play, handle not play and be good people and handle himself like a pro.”Okafor gave the Sixers plenty of headaches in his rookie season out of Duke with his off-court conduct, which included his role in Boston street fight that earned him TMZ scrutiny and a two-game suspension.He was widely mocked last year for a lackadaisical defensive effort where he stood still and failed to contest shots in a game against Miami.“I think like anybody that comes into our organization, we need to defend the basketball,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I think that will be a challenge for both of them. We need those guys to be two-way players.”ADVERTISEMENT Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ingram’s 3-pointer lifts Lakers over 76ers Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2016, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) drives to the basket as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City. A person familiar with the deal says 76ers are set to trade beleaguered center Okafor to the Brooklyn Nets. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)PHILADELPHIA — Buried on the bench in Philly, Jahlil Okafor has a chance to prove in Brooklyn he’s not a bust.Okafor got his wish when the Philadelphia 76ers finally traded the No. 3 overall pick of the 2015 draft to the Brooklyn Nets. The deal ends the stalemate that had kept Okafor on the bench for all but two games this season.ADVERTISEMENT Under former general manager Sam Hinkie, the Sixers orchestrated a plan to strip the roster of talent to gobble draft picks that could turn into future rotation players. Accused of tanking, the Sixers went 18-64 in 2014-15 and earned the No. 3 pick. They landed a flop instead of a future star. Okafor not only dropped behind Embiid on the depth chart, but this year was demoted behind Richaun Holmes and Amir Johnson.“It’s not easy to take a guy that was drafted third in the draft, after all the pain and strife that this organization and fan base went through, to just move away,” Colangelo said.Colangelo had no ties to Okafor and there was no secret of his desire to move him. Okafor played in 105 games (81 starts) with the Sixers and averaged 14.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 26.2 minutes while shooting 51.0 percent from the field“I wouldn’t say there’s regrets. I’d say there’s human disappointment,” Brown said. “We went through a lot together while he was here.”The Nets also requested waivers on guard Sean Kilpatrick. Atkinson said he was ready to help the two former first-rounders find success with the rebuilding Nets.“I think they’re coming into a strong locker room,” Atkinson said.“This trade provides us with a good opportunity to bring in two young players who were high picks in recent drafts and give them a chance to succeed in our system,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said.Booker was ready for a fresh start in Philly.“It’s been real Brooklyn . Will always have nothing but love for you. Loved my time in New York!!!” Booker tweeted Thursday night. “Philly what it do ?”The Sixers played the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Nets were in Mexico City for a game against Oklahoma City later Thursday night. Malditas save PH from shutout LATEST STORIES Once a prized piece of The Process, Okafor rapidly fell out of favor with the rise of star center Joel Embiid.“Love you. New beginnings,” Embiid said he texted Okafor. “Good luck. And I made sure to let him know I was going to kick his (rear).”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingTeam president Bryan Colangelo said he reached a deal with a team he declined to name to trade Okafor last season until it fell apart at the last minute. That led to an awkward situation where Okafor didn’t even travel with the team during the trade deadline. Okafor led the Sixers in scoring as a rookie with Embiid out with injuries. Okafor played 55 games last season and never really meshed with the franchise center. Okafor started piling up DNP-CDs and those stretched into this season, where the Sixers will chase a playoff berth without him.“He can go play basketball again,” coach Brett Brown said.
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Even with the pullout of Meralco Manila and Ilocos United last month, PFL officials expressed confidence of a better season, following a compressed and extended 2017 competition.“We’re taking into account lessons from the first season to improve this year’s competitions,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, who sits in the league’s board. “We’re confident that even with six clubs, we will see much improved competition from the teams.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingA total of 75 matches will be staged this year with the champions of the League eligible to compete in the AFC Champions League next year. The champion of the PFL Cup, on the other hand, will gain outright entry to the AFC Cup. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto The 2018 Philippines Football League season kicks off March 3 with six clubs disputing two trophies and the chance to represent the country in continental competitions next year.Reigning champion Ceres-Negros, fresh off a historic run in the AFC Champions League qualifying round, headlines the six-team field that includes Davao Aguilas, Kaya Makati, JPV Marikina, Stallion Laguna and Global Cebu.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Jerwin Ancajas: Relaxed and ready Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims MOST READ LATEST STORIES
LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games San Beda, Perpetual score key wins BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim The Hotshots closed out with six unanswered points inside the final minute to win for the fifth straight game and rise to 6-1 while dealing the Elite a fourth consecutive defeat in a 2-5 record.Paul Lee missed the game because of a sprained ankle and there was no real go-to-guy for Magnolia in this game as the Hotshots actually couldn’t sustain a hot start that had them taking a 23-13 lead after the first frame.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBlackwater steadily clawed back and had a solid chance to turn things around only to fall because of some bad decisions in the endgame.“It was a very tough game, we had some lapses in the end,” coach Chito Victolero said. “Because of our experience and chemistry, we barely scraped through.” PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais View comments Ian Sangalang, meanwhile, finished with just eight points but had two key plays on opposite ends of the floor when it mattered the most. Sangalang harassed Belo into that backing error and then broke the last tie at 72 with a running jumper off a pass from Marc Pingris.Meanwhile, the Gin Kings battle NLEX at Cuneta Astrodome on Saturday, seeking a follow-up to that upset of the Beermen and climb to the upper half of the elimination round bracket.Barangay Ginebra had been tagged one of the favorites in the preseason but wobbled a bit and tripped into a three-game slump before beating the Beermen.NLEX, another preseason favorite, has also been caught in a slump after winning its first two games of the season.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Chris Tiu scored 18 points and Ed Daquioag added 16 to lead Rain or Shine past Meralco, 90-84, in the nightcap.The Elasto Painters improved to 4-3 and dealt the Bolts their fifth defeat in seven games.After just a day’s rest, the Hotshots will return to clash with the three-time defending champion San Miguel Beermen.“That will be tough,” Victolero said of the game. “We will have no excuses and we will try to find ways to beat San Miguel. We need to regroup. [Barangay] Ginebra was able to do it (beat the Beermen in the second of back-to-back games) and that’s our motivation.”Mac Belo paced the Elite with 25 points, tying his career-high, but had a crucial backing violation that doomed Blackwater. He also opted to pass off on a 2-on-1 break that led to a key miss by John Pinto.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Magnolia survived the loss of an 18-point lead in the third period by playing steadier at the crunch, nipping Blackwater, 78-72, to wrest the lead heading into the final four weeks of the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto