Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Quarters: 25-19, 55-46, 67-67, 91-81. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ “Unlike last game where we’re rushing things, this time we focused on the game possession-by-possession,” shared Alcantara.Game 3 is on Tuesday, still at the Big Dome.CSB-LSGH had to play the what could’ve been the clincher without Inand Fornilos, who served his one-game suspension after his Game 1 ejection.Joel Cagulangan paced the Junior Blazers with 16 points.The Scores:MAPUA 91 – Escamis 25, Bonifacio 18, Jabel 17, Goum 10, Garcia 8, Enriquez 6, Lacap 4, Dennison 3, Ramos 0, Sarias 0, Socias 0.CSB-LSGH 81 – Cagulangan 16, David 12, Marcos 12, Lepalam 10, Mosqueda 9, Perez 9, Sangco 5, Morales 4, Lao 4, Belgica 0, Pedrosa 0, Dela Cruz 0, Cruz 0.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Lillard’s 26, Napier’s hot hands lift Blazers past Magic Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “I just told them to stay aggressive. That’s it,” said coach Randy Alcantara in Filipino, as Mapua survived a foul-plagued showing from Most Valuable Player Will Gozum.The hulking Gozum only got 10 points, six rebounds, and two blocks before fouling out early in the fourth quarter as the Red Robins saw their 13-point cut down to just one, 69-68.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHowever, Escamis had other plans for Mapua as he anchored a superb 17-8 blast that brought the lead back to10, 86-76 with 2:06 remaining.Warren Bonifacio tallied a double-double of 18 markers and 14 rebounds for the Red Robins, while Erick Jabel came off the bench to pour 17 points. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIES Mapua’s Clint Escamis. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDefending champion Mapua refused to let go of its crown and held off College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, 91-81, in Game 2 Thursday to force a winner-take-all duel in the NCAA Season 93 juniors basketball Finals at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Clint Escamis pumped in 25 points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals, and one block, including back-to-back layups in the final two minutes to douse La Salle Greenhills’ fightback late.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments
LATEST STORIES China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend 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 Trades involving Gilas players OK Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ The Chicago Bulls star was asked on Twitter by a fan as to when is he coming over to the Philippines and 12-time All-Star didn’t disappoint.“I will I will I promise,” Wade replied.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsWade won all of his titles with Miami before transferring to his hometown Chicago in 2016.The 35-year-old Wade averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals in his first season with the Bulls. Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR In his first game with the team, Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade (3) greets fans after an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Chicago. The Chicago Bulls won 105-99. APFilipino basketball fans sure hope Dwyane Wade keeps his promises.Wade, the three-time NBA champion, on Monday vowed to visit the Philippines, a country known for its deep love for hoops.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ravena on scare vs Thais: ‘We didn’t expect we would play that bad’6.1K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 SEA Games 7: Things to watch out for with PH women’s volleyball team Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side LATEST STORIES Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters “We expected that Thailand would put up a fight, but we didn’t expect that we would play that bad,” said guard Kiefer Ravena Monday at Sunway Putra Hotel here. “It was an ugly one for us but we ended up winning and that was the end goal.”CONTRIBUTED PHOTOThailand managed to take a 71-69 lead midway through the fourth and it needed the late-game heroics of Ravena and Baser Amer to lead the Philippines to the victory.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 openingGilas went on an 8-0 run to take a 77-71 lead with the backcourt tandem scoring six points in the pivotal spurt.Ravena said that if ever they plan to win the Philippines’ record 17th gold medal in the regional games, they have to be sharp from the get-go down to avoid playing catchup. KUALA LUMPUR—Gilas Pilipinas barely left MABA Stadium the same way it came in.Southeast Asia’s most dominant basketball program had to fight tooth-and-nail against Thailand to capture an 81-74 win at the start of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games basketball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “I guess we have to avoid things like these from happening again,” said Ravena, who finished with 11 points but shot 4-of-14 from the field. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments
MOST READ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Diane Carlos showed the way for the Lady Maroons with 14 points, 11 on attacks, as they notched their first win in two outings in Group B, tying idle San Beda.Isa Molde also shone for UP with 12 points as she and Carlos peppered the hapless TIP defenses all afternoon with accurate hits.Marian Buitre had nine, Jessma Ramos six and Justine Dorog and Roselyn Rosier five each for UP, which fell to Adamson on opening day.It was the second straight defeat by the Lady Engineers who obviously didn’t get the exact measure of the team they faced.Ashley Jinion topscored for TIP with six points.ADVERTISEMENT 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 UP was head and shoulders above TIP in blocks, 8-2, and service aces, 10-1. But TIP worked hard, too, and was not that inferior in the digs (38-37) and receives (20-18) departments.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Aiko Urdas fired 17 points while Jaja Santiago added 11 for the Lady Bulldogs, who are unbeaten in two starts.The Lady Bulldogs also proved they have adjusted well with new coach Babes Castillo, who replaced their long-time mentor and now Lady Stags tactician Roger Gorayeb.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 openingGorayeb didn’t show up and instead asked assistant coach Clint Malazo to call the shots for the Lady Stags, who fell to 1-2.Earlier, University of the Philippines strolled to the win column with an easy 25-20, 25-9, 25-13 decision over Technological Institute of the Philippines. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Menor’s next goal: 2nd pro win at Riviera Diana Mae Carlos of UP scores off Ashley Jinon (right) and Khem Consencino of TIP during their PVL match on Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre. —AUGUST DELA CRUZNational University has moved on.Showing no respect for the team being coached by its former mentor, NU crushed San Sebastian College, 25-21, 21-25, 25-11, 25-18, Monday night for a share of the lead in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo LATEST STORIES 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. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul The victorious Philippine sepak takraw team at the recent welcome lunch in Makati tendered by local sponsors La Filipina Canned Meats and PLDT with their hosts (second row, starting 7th from left) La Filipina executives Danika Co and Nicasio Limjap; and Juan Alonzo IV, PLDT Senior Relationship Manager – Public Sector (10th from left).The Philippine Sepak Takraw team, which bagged two silver and two bronze medals in the recently concluded 29th Southeast Asian Games, was treated recently with a warm welcome from local sponsors La Filipina Canned Meats and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT).Hosting the welcome lunch were La Filipina Canned Meats executives Danika Co and Nicasio Limjap, and Juan Alonzo IV of PLDT.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Glen Rice Jr. drops triple-double as TNT nips NLEX Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony MOST READ The Philippines won the bronze medal in the men’s doubles event sharing the plum with Laos.It also disputed the gold medal with host Malaysia in the men’s chin lone (linking) but settled for the silver for its first medal of the meet.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 openingJohn Jeffrey Morcillos, Johnjohn Bobier, Rhemwil Catana, Ronsited Gabayeron, Joeart Jumawan, and Alvin Pangan composed the team which bagged the silver medal.
Tribal dances add colour and vigour to any local festivalDelightful trails that wind their way through pear orchards or lead to the shores of the serenely rippling lake await you in Jharkhand. If you’re adventurous enough to go deep into the forests, you may stumble on one of the leaf huts in which the local adivasis live, tucked away in the deepest shadow of the sal trees. And if you’re even luckier, you may tread in the footsteps of a tiger that has climbed the plateau. Satyajit Ray was so charmed by the forests that he shot parts of Aranyer Din Ratri here. Jharkhand, in the last five years, has wandered experimentally down new trails of many kinds.Metro mixEating options are everincreasing in the capitalUrban Jharkhand has always been developing in cities like Jamshedpur, but now Ranchi is catching up. The city has the Big Bazar shopping mall at its heart with all the convenience of electronics on the first floor, furniture on the second and fashions of the third. There’s a two-screen multiplex, Eylex showing the latest blockbusters and the Sujata Miniplex, that has been recently upgraded. The City Centre Mall is being built with Singapore consultancy and when complete, will include Ranchi’s first five-star hotel.Culture curryVisit tribal artists in Ranchi to pick up souvenirsIt isn’t all about modern shopping. Jharkhand is working on how best to display its traditions too. The Hotwar Museum is as recent as September 2009 and it sprawls over 10,000 sqm at the mega sports complex in Ranchi. Its air-conditioned interior houses an impressive collection of artefacts from the pre-historic and Harappan periods, along with recent historic finds excavated at Khukhragarh in the Ranchi district. Among must-sees are the prehistoric hand tools, monoliths and painted and unpainted pottery, some of them moulded between 1100-350 BC, the period in which Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata. There are also over a hundred 12th-century sculptures of Yakshas and Yakshinis found during an excavation at Ichagarh in East Singbhum.Another museum, this time focussing on Jharkhand’s tribals is to be found at the Sanskriti Centre in Hazaribagh. The Centre is housed in a heritage building set in the middle of six acres of lush orchards and trees. The museum houses a detailed archaeological record of the Hazaribagh region, ranging from the Lower Palaeolithic to the present, while the art gallery showcases 15 styles of painting in the Khovar and Sohrai schools with over 300 works of art on display.Tribal women artists exhibit their work at the gallery and, all in all, the Centre is a celebration of the colour and vibrancy of tribal life. In the last five years it has also worked around to developing its website so that it can appeal to a worldwide audience.Arty talesThe Hotwar Museum, a must visit, sprawls over 10,000 sqmHundreds of families of Amadubi village near Jamshedpur in Jharkhand have been illustrating local folk dances and tribal legends as well as other religious tales through the unique paintings that they have been making for centuries. What makes the paintings unique is the brightness and appeal of the illustrations that are made from different base media and colours ground from local herbs and stones. The tradition of paintings has been kept alive through the Guru-Shishya teaching method. The State Government is training the villagers to make their work more commercially sustainable.Tribal lifeAlong with art and culture, adivasi tourism is also developing fast. The Santhals are one of the oldest tribes in the country and then there are the Asurs, the Lohars and the Mundas. Some of them weave baskets, some are skilled blacksmiths forging intricate ornaments from iron, while others work with the bamboo. Thanks to a new tourism initiative many of these villages have opened up to tourists so that it is possible to sample their unspoilt way of life.Mine aheadOpt for the speedy way on the waters of JharkhandJharkhand has always been known for its mineral wealth, but there is an initiative to use the mines for something more than just minerals. Mining tourism is a concept that has been booming in Australia and South Africa and steps are being taken to make areas like the Regrappa mines and the North Karmpura mines in Ranchi district suitable for mining tourism. Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) are consulting with the Jharkhand Tourism authorities and offering their mines for the experience.Festive spiritBig Bazar shopping mall in Ranchi is a huge step towards modernismThe Baba Baidyanath Vishva Mahotsav was kick-started in 2008 and ‘rollicking’ is how everyone describes the three-day affair. A blend of religion and adventure tourism, it gives visitors a chance to explore Deoghar’s temples and after the blessings try their hand at kayaking, snorkelling and yachting in 18 specially chosen lakes and rivers. Performers are brought in from the eastern states during August and there are also tribal dances and folk songs adding their rhythm.Adventure tourism is coming to Jharkhand in a big way promising to make life even more of an adventure in the coming days. With new hotels and a scenic setting, this is a destination that is sure to surprise the visitor.advertisementadvertisementFact fileAfter Australia and South Africa, mining tourism is now here to make wavesRanchi’s first five-star hotel Carlson Hotels Worldwide-Asia Pacific plans to open a Radisson hotel in Ranchi in April 2010.Hotwar Museum Mega Sports Complex, Hotwar, RanchiSanskriti Centre, Dipugarha, P.O. Hazaribagh; timings: 1.30p.m.-5p.m.; tel: (06546) 264 820; www.sanskritihazaribagh.comAmadubi village 90 km from Jamshedpur.Adivasi tourism Currently organised in Simdega and Lohardaga by Jharkhand Tourism. Contact (0651) 240 0981 or check www.jharkhandtourism.inMining tourism http://jharkhandi.com/miningtourism.aspxBaba Baidyanath Vishva Mahotsav 3 days in Jul/Aug 2010; www.babadham.org
The much-hyped Indian boxing squad, led by Olympic medal winner Vijender Singh, flopped but the unheralded athletics contingent exceeded expectations when Krishna Pooniya led an unprecedented clean sweep of all the women’s discus medals in the Commonwealth Games on Monday.Baton has passed from me: Milkha | Video: Indian boxers falter in semisPooniya led a historic Indian 1-2-3 by hurling the disc to 61.51m and became the country’s first woman in 52 years to win the gold on a day the Games was rocked by its first doping scandal when woman’s 100m champion gold medallist Osayemi Oludamola of Nigeria returned a positive test for a banned stimulant.Pooniya is the second Indian athlete after Milkha Singh (1958, Cardiff) to garner a gold in track and field events and her title enabled the country to equal its previous-best gold medal haul in Games history. The country had won 30 gold at Manchester eight years ago.She swept the discus event with Harwant Kaur (60.66m) and national record holder Seema Antil (58.46m) bagging the silver and bronze to lift the host country’s tally in athletics to a record seven.However, the story that emerged from the boxing ring was disappointing with Vijender and three others biting the dust in the semis and settling for the bronze.The consolation was the entry of southpaw Suranjoy Singh (52kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Paramjit Samota (+91kg) into the finals after winning their semi final bouts.Suranjoy reached the gold medal round defeating Haroon Iqbal of Pakistan, Manoj Kumar made the title round edging out Valentino Knowles of Bahamas and Samota outpunched F A Junior of Tonga.advertisementThe shock defeat of hot title favourite Vijender led the Indians to lodge a protest with the event’s officialdom after the referee penalised the Indian star towards the fag end of the bout when he led narrowly.Amandeep Singh (49kg), Asian champion Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and Dilbag Singh (69kg) also lost their semi final bouts and had to be content with bronze medals.Women rifle shooters Tejaswini Sawant and Meena Kumari also grabbed the bronze in the women’s 50 metres rifle prone event after logging one point less than the gold and silver medalists.
Kalpana Chakravarthy at StreelakhaPlacards, posters, black flags and silence are characteristic of Vimochana’s protests. But that is only when they take to the streets to protest atrocities against women or seek justice. Fortunately there is nothing dull or sad about Streelekha-a sister concern of Vimochana- the first of its kind,Kalpana Chakravarthy at StreelakhaPlacards, posters, black flags and silence are characteristic of Vimochana’s protests. But that is only when they take to the streets to protest atrocities against women or seek justice. Fortunately there is nothing dull or sad about Streelekha-a sister concern of Vimochana- the first of its kind bookshop in the country that stocks a wide range of feminist writings and literature.Streelekha occupies a single room in the beautiful exposed brick construction and is run efficiently by Kalpana Chakravarthy sporting a bindi the size of a one rupee coin.White wooden shelves stand out against red walls and are stocked with books that range from feminist writings and women’s issues related literature to fiction and poetry. There are comfortable wooden stools and chairs with fluffy cushions to give you a relaxed time.Donna Fernandes, the founder says that Streelekha was born out of a need to develop an alternative to the mainstream publishing world that didn’t offer much on women writing and was limited to cooking and beauty tips.” Streelekha, along with Vimochana, has been in existence since 1985, and has served as an academic resource center for research scholars and writers. Chakravarthy and Fernandes reminisce about the golden years two decades ago when they would cart back cartons of books from feminist fares across the world. “We would ask them to donate all the books that they didn’t sell and we would bring it back for Streelekha.” Times have changed and both admit that there is a lot more serious writing today, thanks to the inclusion of women’s studies in universities. Streelekha’s biggest challenge is to sustain itself in a market-driven economy where commercial book shops offer massive discounts at sales. Besides stocking books, Streelekha and Vimochana hold poetry readings and meetings at the space. Most recently Streelekha has ventured into publishing and has three new titles in English and Kannada.Those seeking writings on womens issues or books by women should head to Streelekha and while there, dont even think of asking for Mills and Boon or chicklit.advertisement
Yusuf Pathan and off-spinner R Ashwin are expected to be included in India’s 30-member strong World Cup probables list when the selectors meet in Mumbai on Saturday.While Baroda’s Pathan pummelled his way to 123 not out off 96 balls with 7 sixes and as many fours in the fourth ODI at Bangalore against New Zealand on December 7, apart from grabbing crucial wickets with his off breaks in the series, Tamil Nadu’s Ashwin captured the highest number of wickets (nine) in the bilateral rubber.Also expected to be named in the World Cup squad is southpaw Parthiv Patel, who grabbed his chances with both hands after he was given an opportunity to prove his worth in the last two matches of the five-match ODI series against New Zealand.In both the ODIs, Parthiv came up with impressive knocks as an opener.Meanwhile, surprise inclusions in the 30-man list is unlikely, which would be pruned when the final squad for the mega event – to be held in the sub-continent from February 19 to April 2 — will be named, according to selection committee sources.The final team is to be declared a month before the commencement of the World Cup as per the rules of the International Cricket Council (ICC).Meanwhile, the BCCI’s working committee is also set to meet tomorrow in what sources said would be a “routine meeting” to ratify decisions taken by its sub committees – including the IPL Governing Council — after its last meeting.Among others, it would ratify the IPL Governor Council’s decision of December 5 to allow franchise Kochi Cricket Pvt.advertisementLtd. to take part in IPL 4 after the owners buried their differences following hectic parleys to the satisfaction of the T20 League’s authorities.- With PTI inputs
Critics might feel that Lionel Messi is a better player when he represents Barcelona than in Argentina’s colours, but national coach Alejandro Sabella believes the superstar is above the club versus country debate and is the best player in the world. VideoThe new national coach said that both teams played differently and pitting Messi’s club performances against those for the country was unfair.”Messi is much above the club versus country debate. He is the best player in the world at present, let alone Barca or Argentina.”More importantly, the two teams function very differently so comparing his performances is unwarranted. Barcelona is the best team in the world and the players have been playing together for a long time, so they understand each other really well. Comparing Messi’s various performances would be unfair,” he said.Speaking ahead of Friday’s friendly against Venezuela at the Salt Lake Stadium, Sabella said that he was looking for a playmaker to provide Messi more options and freedom on the pitch.”We definitely need a playmaker in the national side who will make Messi more comfortable on the ground. At the moment, he gets closed down by opposition defenders. We want to let him free and for that, we need a partner who will give him more freedom and options when he has the ball. He needs someone who reads his game well,” he said.Messi’s elevation to captaincy for Friday’s match was thought to be a move to rope in more spectators, but Sabella confirmed that it was a long-term appointment.advertisement”Although it is a bit too early to speak whether we will see Messi leading the national side at the 2014 World Cup, he will definitely be the captain when we play the qualifiers,” he said.Former coach Diego Maradona was blamed for his perceived lack of tactical acumen that saw Argentina lose to Germany in the 2010 World Cup, but Sabella refused to be drawn into any comment on his predecessor’s qualities.”I wasn’t involved with the national team or the management back then, so it wouldn’t be fair on my part to comment if there were tactical errors. The defeat was undoubtedly disappointing, but it is time we move ahead,” he said.Rubishing rumours that Carlos Tevez isn’t in his scheme of things, Sabella said: “When we picked the team for the next two games, Tevez wasn’t even training, so we weren’t in a position where we could select him. But he is back training with Manchester City and the quality player that he is, he will be inducted into the team soon.” Sabella refused to give out his tactics for the upcoming friendly and said that he would decide on them on the match day itself.”We have quite a few options to pick from, so we will measure them before selecting a combination and that wouldn’t happen before match day. I will have to discuss the strategies with the whole team management,” he said.
Beijing Olympics bronze medal winning wrestler Sushil Kumar will lead the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the London Games on July 27.The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) named Sushil as the flag-bearer for the contingent on Sunday, even as a number of names were doing the rounds.Amongst the others who were in contention were India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, Beijing Games bronze medallist Vijender Kumar and Leander Paes, who won a tennis singles bronze at the Atlanta Games.”It’s a matter of great pride for me that such an honour has been bestowed upon me. I feel privileged to lead the Indian contingent at the Olympics which is considered as the biggest sporting event in the world,”Sushil told Mail Today on Sunday, minutes after arriving from the US where he was training with the wrestling team.Sushil, who rose to prominence after winning the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, said that being the flag-bearer will only motivate him to do better in London.”I am aware that the whole country would be expecting a medal from me and I have been training very hard so that I don’t disappoint fans.”There are a lot of other athletes in the Indian contingent and having been chosen as the flag-bearer will only motivate me to perform better at the London Games,”said the 66kg category wrestler.Sushil has a long list of achievements to his credit. Along with the bronze in Beijing, the gold medal at the 2010 World Championships in Moscow is the highlight of his career so far.advertisementThe 29-year-old Sushil also won a gold at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and is a four-time Commonwealth champion.At the Olympics, the wrestling events begin on August 5.The five-member Indian wrestling team is scheduled to leave for Belarus on Thursday night where they will train for two weeks before they fly out to London in the first week of August.However, Sushil will make a two-day visit to London for the opening ceremony. He will fly out from Belarus on July 26 and join his wrestling team after a couple of days.”It’s a matter of just two days and with the kind of training that we have had, I don’t expect it to affect my preparation. Being the flag- bearer will only motivate me,”he added.Acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that Bindra’s father had officially informed them that he will not be able to lead the Indian contingent, while Paes has already had the honour at the Sydney Olympics.”Abhinav has his event the day after the opening ceremony and the same is the case with Vijender who also has his bout on July 28,”said Malhotra.rahul.rawat@ mailtoday.in
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