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Ronaldo held scoreless in Madrid as Atletico beats Juventus

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid's vaunted center-back pairing finally got the better of Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday, even providing the goals after holding their long-time rival scoreless for once. In a match where Atletico had more trouble with video review than Ronaldo, the Spanish team kept the Portugal star in check but had to overcome two key VAR decisions to defeat Juventus 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League's round of 16. Central defenders Jose Maria Gimenez and Diego Godin scored late to give Atletico the win, after the hosts had a penalty kick taken away and a goal disallowed by VAR. Ronaldo, jeered nearly every time he touched the ball, had a quiet performance in his first match in the Spanish capital since leaving Real Madrid last summer. He came close to scoring with a booming shot from a free kick less than 10 minutes into the match, but had few opportunities after that. Heavily marked from the start, Ronaldo wasn't able to add to his good record against the old rival, which he helped eliminate in four straight seasons in the Champions League while playing for Real Madrid. Atletico had a first-half penalty reversed by VAR after it determined that Diego Costa was fouled outside the area, and the referee also consulted video replays on the pitchside monitor before disallowing a second-half goal by Alvaro Morata for a push on Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini. "We hope the VAR keeps improving and helping make things right, but do you really believe that a person who is 1.87-meters tall can fall that way in a game action like the one with Morata?" said Simeone, who celebrated his team's first goal with an obscene gesture and could face UEFA sanctions. The hosts dominated after an even first half at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, and both Costa and Antoine Griezmann missed clear scoring chances before Gimenez found the net after getting to a loose ball inside the area in the 78th and Godin added to the lead with an angled volley in the 83rd after defenders failed to fully clear a free kick cross by Griezmann. The shot seemed to take a slight deflection off Ronaldo, who was the closest player to Godin but wasn't able to block the effort. "Luckily we were able to overcome the calls that went against us with the VAR," Godin said. "It was a great result, scoring twice and not conceding, but we will have to be prepared for the final 90 minutes in Turin." Ronaldo was loudly booed when his name was announced before the match, and he drew even louder jeers from the Atletico crowd when he prompted the game to be interrupted because he remained on the ground after getting his foot stepped on later in the first half. Ronaldo almost scored when his long-range free kick forced Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak to make a difficult save in the ninth minute. He had another attempt with a deflected shot a few minutes later, but didn't come close to the Atletico goal again until a late header sailed over the crossbar. "Ronaldo played a good match, he is used to this type of match," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "The entire team had a letdown in the second half. It's a lesson we need to learn going into the return match." Ronaldo had not played in Madrid since joining Juventus in a blockbuster transfer at the end of last season. He had played with Real Madrid for nearly a decade, leading the Spanish powerhouse to four Champions League titles in five seasons, including in the last three. Entering Wednesday's match, Ronaldo had scored 22 goals in 31 matches against Atletico in all competitions. In the Champions League, he helped Madrid beat Atletico in two finals (2014 and 2016), one quarterfinal (2015) and one semifinal (2017). He had scored four goals in six Champions League games against the city rival. Atletico Madrid is back in the round of 16 after failing to make it out of the group stage last season. Juventus was runner-up in the Champions League in 2015 and 2017. Last year, it was eliminated by Ronaldo's Real Madrid in the quarterfinals. This year's Champions League final will be played at Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Financial questions hound 2 of F1 s 3 races in North America

Financial questions hound 2 of F1 s 3 races in North America.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Blazers in familiar territory but with 2 new additions

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers find themselves in much the same position as last season heading into the post-All-Star break stretch run. They’re coming off a confidence-boosting win over Golden State. One thing is new this year, however. The Blazers made a couple of key moves before the break to shore up their bench and to help propel them into the playoffs. Portland resumes its season Thursday (Friday, PHL time) at the Brooklyn Nets, the first of a grueling seven-game road swing. The game will likely mark the Blazers debut of Enes Kanter, signed just before the break. Kanter was waived by the Knicks following the trade deadline. He was once a starter in New York but he fell out of the rotation when the team turned its focus to younger players. The center from Turkey averaged 14 points and 10.8 rebounds in 115 games over two seasons. “As far as the rotation, that should be pretty seamless. He’ll get the backup five minutes,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “He’s a proven NBA player. He can score, he can rebound. He’s played in big games. So it shouldn’t be too difficult.” Kanter will join a second unit that, as it stands, includes Jake Layman, Seth Curry, Evan Turner and another newcomer, Rodney Hood. Acquired at the trade deadline in a deal with Cleveland, Hood has played in four games with the Blazers, averaging 9.72 points a game. The moves give Portland better depth as the team heads into the critical part of the season. The Blazers are 34-23 and in fourth place in the Western Conference. They’re seven games back of first-place Golden State, the team they bested by 22 points last week. “To go into the All-Star break and be confident knowing that we beat one of the best teams, if not the best team in the NBA, it’s huge for us,” forward Zach Collins said. There are still 25 games left, but for the past two years the Blazers have mounted post-break rallies. Last year at this time, Portland was 32-26, sitting in sixth place in the West, and also coming off a victory over the Warriors. The win touched off a 13-game winning streak that helped the team secure the West’s third seed for a fifth straight playoff appearance. The team’s streak matched the franchise record. The previous season, Portland lost three straight games to go into the break at 23-33, and an overtime loss at Detroit shortly thereafter put the Blazers 11 games under .500. But Portland caught fire from there and went 13-3 in March. Damian Lillard was named the conference’s Player of the Month, averaging 29.1 points in 16 games, and Stotts was named Coach of the Month. Following the latest victory over the Warriors, Lillard said he was happy with the team’s position heading into the remainder of the season, even if they let a few slip away. “I like it, I think it’s better than it has been in the past going into the break,” he said, referring to the team’s current record. “A big win going into the break. So that’s a positive, but obviously for us we look back at the opportunities we let slip away. The Dallas game, the Miami game at home. ... But all things considered, I think we all like where we are.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

FIBA: Near-perfect Gilas ready to win for World Cup

When Gilas Pilipinas beat Meralco in a practice game barely a week ago the national team was probably at 80 percent. After spending a good five days in Doha before playing Qatar in their penultimate game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, it’s realistic to expect that Gilas Pilipinas gained another 10-percent boost in ability and preparedness. Given the limited time of practice, that’s actually impressive in itself. “By the time we play, we should be around close to 9, 9 something,” head coach Yeng Guiao said of his national team. “I don’t think we can be really at 100 percent dahil kulang naman talaga yung preparation time. But if we can make 90 percent, we’ll be okay. That’s good enough to win games,” he added. Even with a precarious position of fourth place in Group F with an even 5-5 record, Guiao is optimistic that Gilas will pull through and make the FIBA World Cup in China later this year. With a tight pool of players plus the return of Andray Blatche, cohesion and morale appear to be up as well for the national team. “I’m confident, I’m happy with this group of guys. They’ve shown their commitment, they’ve shown their abilities. I’m happy with the development with Andray Blatche. He came in and he was in a lot better shape than he was when he first came in for the last… for the previous windows,” Guiao said. “So that’s really the best sign, I think, for us – he’s game ready. And I didn’t see any problems when he was here on or off the court. He’s somebody who understands the game really well and who loves his teammates. So that’s a really good foundation to build from,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

FIBA: Gilas’ final road to World Cup starts in Qatar

Gilas Pilipinas’ treacherous road back to the FIBA World Cup will start Thursday [Friday in Manila]. The sixth and final window of the Asian Qualifiers will have the Philippines play two road games and the first will be against Qatar in Doha. Currently 4th in Group F with an even 5-5 record, Gilas Pilipinas will look to finally bounce back from back-to-back losses suffered at home during the 5th window in late November and early December last year. The Philippines can barely afford any more errors in Group F as suffering a dumbfounding third straight loss could prove fatal to the country’s World Cup aspirations. With that being said, even a sweep from Gilas can still somehow result to elimination. Nevertheless, the national team has a task at hand against Qatar, a team they struggled to put away at home back in window no. 4 in front of a grand total of 220 people at the Big Dome in a closed-door match. While favored, Gilas Pilipinas will be hardpressed to submit its A-game in order to leave Doha with a big win. For Qatar, the Philippines will have the returning Andray Blatche at the lead. Behind the naturalized center are Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee, Japeth Aguilar, Mark Barroca, Marcio Lassiter, JP Erram, Scottie Thompson, Troy Rosario, and Thirdy Ravena. Gilas Pilipinas vs. Qatar will tip off from Doha at exactly 7:00 p.m. or 12 midnight in Manila.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

LOOK: Mo Twister joins NBA GM School

Radio DJ Mo Twister put his analytical skills and media savvy to the test as he joined the first episode of the SAP NBA GM School show aired over NBA TV. Known as Mohan Gumatay in real life, the US-based DJ, who still hosts his radio show which airs in the Philippines, claims that he has been an NBA stat buff for over two decades. In the show, hosted by Ros Gold-Onwude, the four participants had a chance to become an NBA general manager for the day. Former GMs Kevin McHale, David Griffin, and Head of NBA Basketball Strategy and Analytics Evan Wasch also used their expertise on the show to critique and teach the quartet. The full treatment includes a mock press conference, a hypothetical mock draft, and setting up a team that will hover under the NBA salary cap. How did Twister perform? Will this start a career for him in the NBA? Watch at the whole episode below to find out!.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports11 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Hot Stuff: Converse s New Collection Sparks A Girl Power Campaign With Millie Bobby Brown!

Join Millie Bobby Brown in Converse’s "All The Stories Are True" campaign!.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleFeb 20th, 2019Related News

Hot Stuff: Converse s New Collection Sparks A Girl Power Campaign With Millie Bobby Brown!

Join Millie Bobby Brown in Converse’s "All The Stories Are True" campaign!.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleFeb 20th, 2019Related News

'TheStrongSide: Eli Soyud On Growing Up To Be A Headstrong Woman

The Lady Falcons captain schools you on how to turn into the strong-willed person you should be......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleFeb 20th, 2019Related News

'ChalkChallenge: Watch As LizQuen Names Their Fave K-Pop Groups!

Check out our video of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil as they play the 7-Second Challenge with us!.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleFeb 20th, 2019Related News

UAAP: UST coach Kung Fu Reyes livid over late missed call

UST Golden Tigresses head coach Emilio 'Kung Fu' Reyes expressed his displeasure over a missed call that could have changed momentum late in the fourth set. Trailing late in the fourth set, 20-17, UST was on the verge of cutting more of the Lady Eagles' lead. Reyes then called out Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston for allegedly changing positions in the previous possession and thus should have been called for a rotation error.  Instead, what they got was a net touch violation on Janine Balcorta, and confusion ensued, as a timeout was called. Reyes fumed along the sidelines and got a yellow card for arguing with the second referee in the next possession.  "Kitang-kita. Wala na eh. Ewan ko ah. Ang interpretasyon nila parang basketball. Pag di daw nila nakita, di tinawagan. Kino-contest ko na," explained Reyes.  "Sinasabi ko na. Beforehand, nag-drdribble pa lang yung server natin, tapos sila rin nag-tripping. Ang masakit kasi, hindi naman kami ipapanalo kung yun ang tinawag. May chance na nakadikit," he added. The fourth-year coach for the Golden Tigresses however clarified that it was not the game-defining call, but suggested something else could have happened, especially with the way how momentum swung in their favor. UST ultimately lost the game the set and the game, 21-25, 18-25, 25-16, 22-25. "Na-receive na yung bola sa depensa, tapos tatawagan kami ng touch of the net? Lahat ng mali na naitatawag sa amin. Samantalang mali na doon sa harapan nila, di pa nagagawa yung action sa ano sa serve, 'di pa natatawagan hanggang sa matapos yung serve. Kitang-kita, ayaw nila i-correct yung sarili nila," a fuming Reyes exclaimed. He also called on the UAAP to get referees who have had playing experience to get a more personal feel of the game, to see the nuances that a regular spectator might miss. "Ang dapat unang tinatanong dyan kung volleyball player yung referee if they understand the nature of the game. Ganoon lang kasi yun. Biruin mo, nakikita ko yun, nagco-coach ako ng anim na taon, tinitignan mo yung kabila, nakikita ko. Ano ba ang nakikita nila? Yun net, check ball?" "Ang dami yung positioning ng tao, nagpalit lang ng dalawa di na nila alam kung tama o mali yung position? Tao tayo oo, pero they understand the nature of the game. Dapat alam nila ang rotation." He also added that acknowleding the error could have prevented him from blowing his top, but he never got the apology. "Dyan sila kumikita eh. Diba? Ganoon yun. Di yung sasabihin na nagkakamali. Oo nga nagkakamali pero ano yun very basic yung ano. Tapos magdadahilan pa sila? Ano ba naman yung sabihin nila na 'di ko nakita coach'? Yung pag-amin, ma-relieve ka kahit papaano. Pero they keep on denying. That's bullsh*t. Ganoon na yung nangyayari." Talking about his team's performance, he did note how his middle blockers underperformed since the reception was poor. He also praised Ateneo's counterparts for delivering, which was the main factor in the Lady Eagles' first win of the season. With his personal losing streak against Katipunan extending to seven games dating back to Season 78, he wishes that he could now end it in the next round. "Yun yung magandang motivation sana na maka-isa kami pero outstanding ang talo ng Ateneo, lalo na at the net." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

PBA: North vs. South is back for 2019 All-Star Game

James Yap’s career revival has led to yet another starting spot in the PBA All-Star Games. Yap will star for the the South All-Stars together with San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Magnolia’s Mark Barroca, and Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and Scottie Thompson. They’ll square off against the North All-Stars featuring LA Tenorio, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Japeth Aguilar, and Calvin Abueva. After two years of Gilas Pilipinas vs. Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao All-Starts, the PBA All-Star Game is back to the traditional North-South affair. The three-city leg is also gone as there will be only one host in 2019 and that is Calasiao in Pangasinan. The 2019 PBA All-Star Games will be on March 29-31 up north.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: Lady Maroons snatch solo lead

University of the Philippines preserved its unblemished card after defeating Far Eastern University, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20, Wednesday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The trio of Isa Molde, Justine Dorog and Tots Carlos displayed another superb showing to pace the Lady Maroons in their second straight win in as many outings. The victory was UP’s first win against FEU since the second round of Season 76. "FEU is a good team, they keep on changing tactics and that gave us a lot of challenge. It was a good win and we hope that we continue with it in the next games to come," said UP coach Godfrey Okumu.   Carlos finished with 15 points anchored on 12 spikes while Dorog got 12 markers for UP. Molde posted 11 points and added 17 digs for an all-around performance for the Lady Maroons, who got a good service game going that translated to 14 aces.   UP was quick to recover after yielding the second set and took control of the fourth set early. The Lady Tamaraws made one final push, saving four match points before Molde finished them off with a powerful hit.     FEU dropped to 1-1 slate tied with University of Sto. Tomas and Ateneo de Manila University. For the second straight game rookie Lycha Ebon fired a game-high 16 points while adding 10 digs and seven excellent receptions for the Lady Tams. Celine Domingo had 11 markers while Heather Guino-o and freshman France Ronquillo combined for 14 points FEU.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

Madaming nag-eexpect pero tao din ako, rookie pa lang ako -- Eya Laure

UST Golden Tigresses rookie Eya Laure asked fans to temper expectations as she continues her UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball campaign. Laure scored 12 points in the 21-25, 18-25, 25-16, 22-25 loss against the Ateneo Lady Eagles Wednesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre, just five points less from her debut Sunday. "Sinasabi ko naman every game na kailangan mahanap mo yung confidence mo as a player kasi nga importante yun nga lang parang gasoline ang tagal kong uminit and ang tagal ko rin nahanap yung confidence ko kung paano ko ilalaro yung normal kong laro," the rookie said. "Madaming nageexpect pero tao din ako, rookie pa lang ako," she added. Laure also mentioned that she had been reading comments about her in social media, mostly positive, but asks for patience as she treads along her inaugural collegiate campaign. When asked on what area of her game she needs to improve on, she noted that a healthy mind will be most integral. "Siguro yung swag. I mean hindi naman swag sa kalaban pero yung kunwari confidence ko sa sarili na chinicheer up ko yung sarili ko, chinicheer up ko yung teammates ko nagsasalita ako na nadadala ko sila kasi kapag nila nakita ako na nginingitian ko minsan yung kalaban, hindi naman personally, pero dun ko lang nakukuha yung confidence ko na maglaro kung ano yung nilalaro ko." The 19-year-old, who is part of the roster that should have seen action in the Asian U23 Women's Volleyball Championships in Thailand, expressed her sadness at the sudden pullout. "Nalungkot ako pero pinagpray ko na lang din yun kasi siguro hindi pa time ngayon pero madami pa naman, madami pa namang dadating na mga liga-liga sa international kahit papaano siyempre as a player sino ba namang hindi gusto na parang irepresent yung country," shared Laure.  "So yun for me nalungkot pero sabi ko nga ipagpe-pray ko na lang kung ano yung plans ni God sa Philippine volleyball. Dito muna tayo magfofocus sa UAAP na lang."   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: Our team is changing -- Okumu

For the last eight meetings in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, University of the Philippines has been on the losing end of its head-to-head matches against the Far Eastern University. The Lady Maroons fell victim to the Lady Tamaraws for four straight years. Tots Carlos, Justine Dorog and Isa Molde together with sophomore head coach Godfrey Okumu unknowingly snapped that trend Wednesday night when UP struck down FEU, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20, to take the solo lead in Season 81 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “It’s good history,” said Okumu, whose squad moved up to 2-0 win-loss record, when informed of their feat during the postgame interview. “Everything comes with the change. Our team is changing. It’s not how we used to play before. Every day we keep on changing and we’re trying to improve step by step. No one among the current team roster had experienced that last victory of the Diliman-based squad back in February 9, 2014. Kathy Bersola and then skipper Angeli Araneta were the heroes of that match that saw UP upset FEU, 26-24, 25-16, 16-25, 25-19. The win came under the watch of Jerry Yee, who was replaced by Okumu two years ago. “It’s a good thing that we’re able to achieve this first win after so many years. That is something we’re gonna take home and celebrate over,” said Okumu, whose squad defeated FEU in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Finals last year. “I hope, when we meet them again the results will be the same, but as I said before it’s not an easy team to beat.” For Dorog, who had 12 markers coming off nine kills, one block and a pair of aces, they treat the victory as an ordinary win.   “Actually hindi namin iniisip kung ilang talo kami, ilang panalo kami. Step by step talaga hindi yung ‘Ay nanalo ka tapos magsi-settle kami dito.’ So kailangan pa na i-prove namin sa mga tao na kaya pa,” said Dorog. “May goal kasi kami kaya di namin iniisip ‘yun,” added Carlos, who had 15 points.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

UAAP: FEU vets need to step up to help rookies -- Pascua

FEU Lady Tamaraws head coach George Pascua stressed character for his veterans as the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball wars heat up. Rookie Lycha Ebon led the charge once again for FEU, while some key veterans underwhelmed in their efforts during a 18-25, 25-20, 22-25, 20-25 loss to the UP Lady Maroons. Pascua emphasized the need for his older players to step up and help the rookies in their transition to the collegiate stage. "Dapat sila 'yung mag-lead. 'Yung leadership not only sa words, even sa action kailangan ipakita nila. Kailangan sila mismong mga ates ang maging good example sa mga rookies," Pascua explained.  "Kasi gaganahan pa 'yung mga rookies kapag nakita na ganoon 'yung ates nila," he added. Pascua also was kind of worried that the young guns were carrying the scoring load for the squad, but is confident that they can jell as they have 12 games left in the eliminations. Talking more about the loss, the mentor urged his players to take a look at themselves in order to be better in the coming games after committing 34 errors while letting their opponents score 14 service aces. As they face the Ateneo Lady Eagles in San Juan on Sunday, he hopes that they could find an answer to their lingering problems.  "Hindi naman ganoong kadali baguhin [ang character]. Ang nangyari sa amin individual errors. Ibig sabihin may mga bagay na 'di namin kontrolado ng mga coaches," Pascua mentioned.  "Ang execution is nasa players. Ang sabi ko nga sa kanila, umpisahan muna sa sarili nila; kung ano ba 'yung intention nila, kung ano ba 'yung goal nila." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

Brown meets with Rooney, saying it is time to move on

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has ended his lengthy standoff with the team by meeting with president Art Rooney II, though any shot at reconciliation between the two sides appears to be out of the question. Brown, who has asked to be traded, posted a picture on various social media accounts on Tuesday that showed him arm in arm with Rooney at the Palm Beach International Airport. "We discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues!" Brown wrote. "We both agreed that it is time to move on but I'll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization!"         View this post on Instagram                   Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin A post shared by Antonio Brown (@ab) on Feb 19, 2019 at 8:05am PST Brown still has three years remaining on the $72 million contract he signed in the spring of 2017, and remains one of the most dynamic performers in the league. He is the only player in NFL history with six consecutive 100-catch seasons and he hauled in 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and a franchise-record 15 touchdowns in 2018. Yet his relationship with the team has deteriorated over the past several months. The low point came before Pittsburgh's game against Cincinnati in Week 17. The team sent him home with an apparent leg injury on the Friday before the game and he failed to provide coach Mike Tomlin with an update until Sunday morning, when his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, let Tomlin know that Brown was available to play. Tomlin opted to make Brown inactive and Brown did not show up to clean out his locker or conduct an exit interview with the coaching staff. He pulled out of the Pro Bowl with an injury, and Rooney indicated the team had been unable to make contact with Brown in the weeks after Pittsburgh finished 9-6-1 and failed to reach the playoffs. Brown has continued to be a vocal critic of the Steelers during his estrangement from the team. Over the weekend, he took aim at Tomlin and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for their role in the deteriorating relationship between Brown and the club......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

No. 1 Naomi Osaka loses 1st match since splitting from coach

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Naomi Osaka lost her first match since moving up to No. 1 in the WTA rankings — and first since splitting from her coach. The two-time major champion had trouble with her serve and was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by 67th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic at the Dubai Championships in a little more than an hour on Tuesday. Afterward, Osaka wiped away tears while speaking to reporters and discussing the difficulty of dealing with her new-found spot atop the sport. "I don't think I necessarily understand what position I'm in, in a way. Because last year, I wasn't even anywhere close to this ranking. People didn't pay attention to me — and that's something that I'm comfortable with," Osaka said. "I don't really like attention," she said. "It's been a little tough." Playing a second-round match after an opening bye as the tournament's top seed, Osaka won only 5 of 27 second-serve points, just 19 percent, and barely half of her first-serve points, 12 of 22. She was broken seven of the nine times she served. Mladenovic came into the Dubai Championships with a record of 0-4 in 2019. Osaka had not competed since winning the Australian Open in January for her second consecutive Grand Slam title, a victory that also allowed her to become the first tennis player from Asia to lead the rankings. Last week, Osaka announced on Twitter that she would no longer work with coach Sascha Bajin, who began coaching her before last season and helped her win the U.S. Open in September. Osaka didn't offer an explanation for the split at the time, but addressed it during a media availability before the Dubai tournament, saying: "Everyone thinks it was a money-related issue, but it wasn't. ... I think my reason is I wouldn't put success over my happiness." In other action Tuesday at the hard-court tournament, second-seeded Petra Kvitova — the runner-up to Osaka at the Australian Open — beat Katerina Siniakova 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4; third-seeded Simona Halep — Osaka's predecessor at No. 1 — defeated Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (5), 6-4; and No. 4 seed Karolina Pliskova edged Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. No. 7 seed Kiki Bertens lost to Viktoria Kuzmova 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (6), while No. 11 Daria Kasatkina was eliminated by 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin 6-3, 2-6, 6-4......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

Liverpool, Bayern draw 0-0 in Champions League first leg

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Bayern Munich still can't find a way to score at Liverpool, drawing 0-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday to go a fourth game without netting at Anfield across 48 years. By denying Bayern an away goal, Liverpool has a slight edge heading into the second leg of the round of 16 knowing it would advance with a scoring draw. Liverpool had a scare in the 13th minute when Joe Matip unwittingly diverted Serge Gnabry's cross goalward from close-range and the ball bounced off goalkeeper Alisson Becker to safety. Bayern winger Kingsley Coman then sent a shot into the side-netting three minutes later. Liverpool squandered chances when Mohamed Salah headed wide from Trent Alexander-Arnold's delivery and Sadio Mane shot wide on the turn. Mane also miscued an attempted overhead kick in front of the Bayern goal and Matip sent the ball wide from Roberto Firmino's cutback before halftime. In a strong defensive display by Liverpool, makeshift center back Fabinho made a well-timed tackle on Robert Lewandowski in the six-yard box. Gnabry sent a shot fizzing over the bar from outside the box in the 59th but Bayern struggled to test Alisson. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer preserved the clean sheet in the 85th by tipping Mane's diving header tipped around the post. On a quiet night in the competition, the other game between Lyon and Barcelona was also scoreless......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News

Column: Spieth keeping patience amid worst slump of career

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press MEXICO CITY (AP) — For a brief moment, Jordan Spieth had reason to believe he finally caught a good break with a bad shot. He was trying to hit a hard, low draw on the fifth hole of the final round at Riviera into a strong wind and a light rain. Instead, it caught the heel of his 3-wood and spun out to the right, smacked off a tree and went further back next to a fence, just beyond a white out-of-bounds stake. Good news: The rules official said the stake was left there by accident. "He said, 'That's not supposed to be there.' He literally picked up the white stake and said, 'This isn't ours,'" Spieth said. "So I got it out." Bad news? "I still made triple," he said with a laugh. Spieth can still find humor amid the worst slump of his career, or what amounts to a slump for a 25-year-old who already has 14 victories worldwide, including three legs of the career Grand Slam. He picked up his third major in the 2017 British Open when he his tee shot caromed off a spectator's head and into the dunes right of the 13th fairway at Royal Birkdale. He hit 3-wood after a penalty drop on the driving range, somehow escaped with bogey, and then went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie to win. That was 37 tournaments ago, and it's starting to feel even longer. Coming off the first winless year of his pro career, Spieth made a last-minute decision to play the Sony Open in Hawaii to shake off the rust from a busy offseason that included getting married. He missed the cut. Since then, he has opened with rounds of 65 at Torrey Pines, 66 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and 64 at Riviera. He has yet to break par on the weekend. His best result was a tie for 35th at Torrey. The weekends have been an issue, and Spieth said as much after he finished his first round at Riviera. "I got off to good starts my last couple events and I need to continue to work hard to improve each day here instead of getting complacent and assuming my game is there," he said. "It's still not quite there tee-to-green." Two days later, he went into the final round in a tie for fourth, eight shots behind Justin Thomas. He shot 81. That triple bogey on No. 5 was only part of his troubles. Just as the rain began, Spieth fanned a 4-iron on the second hole that sailed so far right that it went into the bushes high on the hill. He had to take a penalty drop and made double bogey. After the triple bogey on No. 5, his round really came unglued on the par-4 10th. He made a quadruple-bogey 8, with five of those shots from the sand. One went over the green into a plugged like near the back lip. He popped that into the middle of the sand, and his fourth shot caught too much sand and plugged under the lip. The fifth was to get back into the bottom of the bunker — plugged again — and he got that one out and two-putted for 8. The 81 matched his highest score to par, though it wasn't all that jolting to sign his name beneath that number on his card. "Not when you're 10 over after 10 and have the hardest holes to play," he said. "I thought I played pretty well after that." The game is progressing. The results — the ultimate measure in golf — are still a work in progress. It's one thing that Spieth is at No. 24 in the world after starting 2018 at No. 2. It's another to realize he has played six tournaments this season and is No. 175 in the FedEx Cup standings. Perhaps most startling is how infrequently he's even had a chance to win. In the last year, Spieth has only had three tournaments where he started the final round within five shots of the lead or closer. The most recent was at the TPC Boston, where he shot 70 and tied for 12th. It has proven to be a long road back from a year in which he struggled with his putter, and when that came around, his swing got out of sorts. Riviera was his 11th straight time out of the top 10, his longest such streak since he started in 2013. Is his patience being tested? "I don't think so," he said. "It's something that comes with what I'm working on." He said at the start of the year he felt no pressure to get his game turned around quickly. He was more concerned last year when something was off in his game and he wasn't quite sure what it was. "That's not an easy feeling," he said. For five years, he did a lot right without really knowing why. And when it stopped, he had to figure it out. Spieth pays little attention to any form of media, social or otherwise, and would prefer to keep it that way. He shared as much in Hawaii when he said, "I know what's wrong with Jordan Spieth, and I know what's right with Jordan Spieth. I know how to get where I want to go with my golf game and have fun doing it.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 20th, 2019Related News