Ronaldinho plays soccer exhibition with Chechnya leader

first_imgNonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kadyrov himself took to the field and scored for his team, which was largely made up of Russian ex-pros with a smattering of government officials.The Chechen leader is fond of sports, particularly soccer and martial arts, and has often brought foreign sports stars and other celebrities to Chechnya as a sign of prestige for the formerly war-torn region.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 shutoutInternational rights groups have accused Ramzan Kadyrov’s feared security forces of extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture and other human rights abuses. LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Costa Rica clinches World Cup berth on Waston’s late goal View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:37Protesters 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 students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Brazilian soccer star and former FC Barcelona player Ronaldinho, prepares to play in the Chechnya’s regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s team against the Italian former players team in Grozny, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. The Chechen leader, who is fond of sports, particularly soccer and martial arts, enjoys bringing foreign sports stars and other celebrities to Grozny. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)GROZNY, Russia — Brazil great Ronaldinho has played a game in Chechnya alongside the Russian region’s authoritarian ruler Ramzan Kadyrov.Ronaldinho, a two-time world player of the year, scored for Kadyrov’s team as it won an exhibition 6-3 against a lineup of Italian former players, including World Cup winners on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversarylast_img read more

Lopez drops 34 on Nets, D-Lo gets 17 in Lakers’ win

first_imgBrooklyn Nets center Tyler Zeller, right, goes for the ball as Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez, left, yells during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)LOS ANGELES — Brook Lopez hit six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 34 points against his former Brooklyn teammates, and rookie Kyle Kuzma had 21 points and 13 rebounds during his first career start in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 124-112 victory over the Nets on Friday night.D’Angelo Russell had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in his first game against the Lakers since they traded him to Brooklyn last summer in the four-player deal that brought Lopez and Kuzma to Los Angeles.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending 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 MOST READ CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pacio’s road back to title shot starts vs compatriot Doliguez Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddingcenter_img Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Lopez, the leading scorer in Nets history, had 23 points in the second half and added 10 rebounds while the Lakers stayed comfortably ahead of Brooklyn, which has lost four straight. Jordan Clarkson added 19 points and Brandon Ingram had 18.Allen Crabbe scored 25 points for the Nets in the opener of a five-game road trip, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 21.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 shutoutLopez had spent his entire nine-year NBA career with the Nets before the trade, becoming the top scorer in franchise history while leading the Nets in scoring during each of the past five seasons. But the 7-foot North Hollywood native will be a free agent next summer, and Brooklyn shipped him home after he put up 20.5 points per game last season.While most Staples Center fans paid attention to the still-popular Russell’s return, Lopez calmly posted his biggest offensive game yet for his new team He hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter, and punctuated the performance with a series of ferocious dunks in the final minutes. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion “I would say it ruffled a few feathers, but you control what you can control,” Russell said of Johnson’s comments. “He’s in a position to say what he wants, so I’m going to do what I can do.”KUZMA’S STARTBall got more attention during the summer, but the Lakers’ most impressive rookie has been Kuzma.The University of Utah product took another big step in his ascendant career with the Lakers, who appear to have a steal in the player Brooklyn selected with the 27th overall pick and then immediately traded to Los Angeles.Given his first chance to start after Larry Nance Jr. broke his hand in Portland on Thursday night, Kuzma responded by scoring 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the first half.TIP-INSNets: Russell is only 20 months older than Ball. … Lopez returns to Brooklyn on Feb. 2.Lakers: Nance will be sidelined for four to six weeks after surgery on Friday. He had started Los Angeles’ first eight games, making steady contributions on both ends of the floor. … Ball had six points on 3-of-15 shooting and seven assists.UP NEXTNets: Visit the Phoenix Suns on Monday. D-LO RETURNSRussell was the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft and the cornerstone of the Lakers’ rebuilding project under former bosses Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak. When owner Jeanie Buss replaced the duo with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka last year, Russell was shipped off to Brooklyn four months later along with high-priced center Timofey Mozgov, who had five points in his return.Before his return game, the 21-year-old Russell declined to criticize Johnson or the Lakers, saying he enjoyed his time in LA. He was greeted largely by warm cheers during pregame introductions.“I went through a lot while I was here,” Russell said. “Their job is to do what they can do best for the organization, and for me to move on, that’s what they felt was best. Can’t complain about that.”Johnson made the deal to clear Mozgov’s onerous contract off the books for the Lakers’ pursuit of top-tier free agents next summer, but also to clear a path for rookie Lonzo Ball, his preferred choice as the team’s new point guard and cornerstone. After the trade, Johnson also made comments that appeared to be critical of Russell’s leadership ability.ADVERTISEMENT Lakers: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday before heading out on an East Coast road trip. LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Wozniacki into Aussie Open quarterfinals vs Suarez Navarro

first_imgLATEST STORIES She has won both matches since in straight sets and will next play Carla Suarez Navarro, who came back from a set and 4-1 down to beat No. 32 Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.After a tight tussle in the opening four games against No. 19-seeded Rybarikova, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, Wozniacki dominated the fourth-round match and conceded only six points in the second set. She even tried a between-the-legs “tweener” from near the baseline for the first time in a tour-level match. She didn’t win the point, but said it was progress.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I think you can tell my confidence is high,” Wozniacki, who finished last season by winning the WTA Finals title, said in an on-court TV interview. “I tried a tweener today and it went in.”She looked at a replay on the stadium screen and joked “I’m admiring myself there.” Wozniacki could return to the top ranking if she reaches the semifinals and a combination of other results go her way.She has never won a Grand Slam singles title but lost the U.S. Open final twice — to Kim Clijsters in 2009 and to Serena Williams in 2014.Suarez Navarro has reached the quarterfinals at a major five times, but is yet to make the semifinals.She has won two of their seven career head-to-heads, which date back to a match on a lower-tier tour in 2006.“Well, we play a lot of times,” Suarez Navarro said. “I know how she plays. I know how tough she is. She’s fighting every ball, but at the same time she can play aggressive. She has a lot of experience on these rounds.”ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki blows kisses to the crowd after defeating Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova in their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — Caroline Wozniacki is continuing to cash in on her second chance at the Australian Open, reaching the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2012 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybarikova on Sunday.After her close call in the second round — she had to save two match points and come back from 5-1 down in the third set — No. 2-ranked Wozniacki said she was “playing with the house money” and had nothing to lose.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal PLAY LIST 02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Paul, Rockets end Warriors’ streak John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View commentslast_img read more

Player of the Week: Cruz helps TNT make playoffs

first_imgJericho Cruz. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJericho Cruz didn’t waste any time in showing why TNT wanted his services.In his first two games, Cruz was the explosive guard the KaTropa needed him to be while also doing the other things apart from scoring.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Hot-shooting Ahanmisi leads Akari-Adamson past AMA LATEST STORIES MOST READ Cruz averaged 17.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals in TNT’s all-important victories over NLEX and Phoenix to earn the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week.His solid showing couldn’t have come at a better time for the KaTropa, who were on the verge of elimination before the acquisition of Cruz in a trade with Rain or Shine.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIn his TNT debut, Cruz collected 17 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals in a blowout win over NLEX on Wednesday.The 27-year-old Cruz followed it up with another 17-point performance that went with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead a 118-97 rout of Phoenix in a playoff for the last quarterfinals berth on Sunday. Read Next Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatuslast_img read more

Jazz moving on from Hayward, but timing is ‘problematic’

first_imgRobredo: 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 “Timing has been problematic,” Lindsey said Wednesday. “It’s time for us to pivot. It’s time for us to move on. We like our young group and we think we’re going to keep the defensive integrity.“There’s not as many prospects left on the board because of the timing. So we’ll take a look at it, prospects at every level.”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 starsThings took a bizarre turn Tuesday as early reports had Hayward going to Boston, but his agent later put out a statement that the decision had not been made. Hours later, it was announced through a Hayward-written post on The Players’ Tribune .Lindsey declined to address the way it was handled or the way he was informed. “There’s probably a few adjectives there,” Lindsey said. “That may be a conversation for a later date.”The Jazz are losing 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and their lone All-Star that helped return the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.“Certainly we will miss Gordon and his many contributions to our team, but I always tell our players that ‘adversity is opportunity in disguise,’” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said in a statement. “This is one of those moments and we need to live those words. We have a roster of young, talented and resilient players. I am confident that together we will accept this challenge while continuing to strive toward our goal of individual and collective improvement.“To further lament Gordon’s departure does not honor the commitment we have to our current players.”ADVERTISEMENT China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Heat, Waiters agree on new deal Gordon Hayward #20 of the Utah Jazz watches on during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/AFPSALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey hasn’t spoken with Gordon Hayward since the All-Star announced he was heading to the Boston Celtics. The two have texted back and forth, however.Lindsey wouldn’t lament Hayward’s choice to take Boston’s $128 million offer, understanding that it’s a personal decision that was made. But the process has left the Jazz in a bit of a bind. There were contingency plans in place in case Hayward left, but most available marquee players had made their decisions before Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend View comments LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Riveracenter_img Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Season-ending PBA Governor’s Cup kicks off July 19

first_imgRobredo: 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 Last season’s Governors’ Cup runner-up Meralco hopes to rekindle the magic with Allen Durham as it takes on Blackwater in the first game on July 21 while GlobalPort and Rain or Shine clash in the night cap.The four teams in the conference opener switch foes on July 22 at Mall of Asia Arena when NLEX and Kia face off at 3 p.m., followed by Alaska and Phoenix at 5:15 p.m.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 starsTo cap off the opening weekend, Star unveils reinforcement Cinmeon Bowers on July 23 against Blackwater at 4:30 p.m., before the rematch of last season’s Governors’ Cup Finals between Ginebra, still led by parading Justin Brownlee, and Meralco at 6:45 p.m.Commissioner’s Cup runner-up TNT springs back to action on July 28 at Ynares Center in Antipolo against Kia while Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel hits the hard court anew in the following day, July 29, still in Antipolo, as it goes up against Blackwater. The PBA released the partial schedule on Friday, and will release the full slate of games in the coming days.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera MOST READ Just a little over two weeks since the Commissioner’s Cup wrapped up, the action resumes in the PBA as the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup kicks off on July 19.Rebranded Kia Picanto opens the hostilities when it faces Eugene Phelps-led Phoenix in the curtain-raiser at 4:15 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum, followed by the tussle between the rejigged NLEX crew against Alaska at 7 p.m.ADVERTISEMENT San Beda clips San Sebastian in NCAA season-opener China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

ABL: Alab Pilipinas rebounds with Macau win, stays perfect at home

first_imgSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Puerto Rican tandem of Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos combined for 58 points and 23 rebounds for the Philippine side, which went on a 16-3 blast late in the fourth quarter to break the game wide open.Balkman fired a game-high 37 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the field that went with nine rebounds and four steals while Ramos added 21 points and 14 rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsLeague-leading Alab stretched its undefeated home record to 6-0, six days after falling 1-2 on the road following a 73-72 setback at the hands of Formosa in Taiwan.A dunk by Balkman with 1:50 remaining made it 106-91 to cap Alab’s run after Macau pulled to within just two. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ONE: Edward Kelly out to prove he can beat Christian Lee the conventional waycenter_img LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Alab Pilipinas scores another home win. Photo from ABL WebsiteSan Miguel Alab Pilipinas sure felt good to be back home.Alab Pilipinas bounced back from a heartbreaking loss after beating the Macau Black Bears, 106-99, in the 2019 Asean Basketball League Friday night at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Ray Parks posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists while Lawrence Domingo had 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting off the bench. Ethan Alvano also dished out 10 assists on top of his seven points and five rebounds.Alab shot an impressive 52 percent from the field thanks to their unselfish play. The team assisted on 36 out of its 41 made field goals and turned the ball over just 11 times.Ryan Watkins and Anthony Tucker each notched a double-double for the Black Bears, who have now lost three in a row and slipped to seventh in the standings with a 6-5 card.Watkins had 24 points and 15 rebounds while Tucker collected 22 points and 10 assists.ADVERTISEMENT TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening MOST READlast_img read more

Manny Pacquiao arrives at MGM Grand for welterweight title defense

first_imgLOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? .@mannypacquiao has arrived for fight night 👊 #PacBroner: https://t.co/nCQBGqUid3 pic.twitter.com/FxjlSaeaPQ— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) January 20, 2019Boxing’s only eight-division world champion arrived during the featherweight fight between Hugo Ruiz and Alberto Guevara. He is fighting in the US for the first time in two years.ADVERTISEMENT TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games openingcenter_img MOST READ LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Filipinos winless in Pacquiao-Broner undercard as Jayar Inson drops split decision Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. .@mannypacquiao arrives for his return to Las Vegas for #PacBroner! pic.twitter.com/vlWxLDvPeS— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) January 20, 2019MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao has arrived at MGM Grand Las Vegas ahead of his title defense against American Adrien Broner Sunday (Manila time).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsPacquiao (60-7-2) will defend his WBA World welterweight title for the first time after he took the strap from Lucas Matthysse via seventh round technical knockout on July 15, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Wife Jinkee accompanied Pacquiao to the venue.For #PacBroner updates, visit The Pacquiao Files.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Let’s not blame Maria Sharapova for not knowing Sachin

first_imgMaria Sharapova started winning Grand slams quite early in her career to showcase to the world, she was much more than only a second pretty face to come from Russian tennis. Having reached the top of women’s rankings, she has travelled a lot further than Anna Kournikova did.Darling of her fans from across the globe, including India, she is now running a few million fans short since her infamous remark of not knowing who Sachin Tendulkar is.Maria Sharapova. Photo: ReutersTendulkar and David Beckham were two amongst a group of famous sportsmen present in the Royal box at Wimbledon this year as guest invitees. Sharapova, in her post match conference, when asked about the Royal box guests, remarked she had not heard of Sachin, knew Beckham. She would have said it dismissively as one would if you don’t know the person. The backlash in India via social media has been from nasty, hostile to that of ridicule and mockery.Little would Sharapova have known that her remark would set #WhoIsSharapova trending on twitter. A tweet from a Sachin fanatic read, “If Sharapova doesn’t know Sachin, she’s an atheist. #SachinTheGod #WhoIsSharapova. Another fan called Sharapova a cheerleader. There is one who thinks she is more famous now with all the negative publicity. Others are abusive.Is all of this justified? Since Sharapova is already a villain to many in India, let’s play the devils advocate. Russian born, Sharapova comes from a nation where cricket isn’t played.  Nor is it in most parts of Europe and America. For the record, Russia is an affiliate ICC nation. But for all of International Cricket Council’s efforts to spread it amongst associate and affiliate nations (about 100 in all), beyond the 10 test playing countries, their presence in cricket is more academic than representative, lacking a playing structure with many governing bodies ridden with corruption. Even efforts to popularise the more modern and least skill dependant three hour T20 format of the game are in a very nascent stage.advertisementThat the game’s most famous and illustrious superstar, Sachin Tendulkar does not register with a fellow athlete of another sport, belittles neither the star player nor the intellect of the player who does not know him. If anything it speaks poorly of the administrators who have failed to globalise the game beyond the Commonwealth nations.Sharapova did know Beckham though and that’s not because he is Posh Spice’s husband. Beckham, for all his dead ball speciality was far from being the best footballer to come from England. But he played football which is a global sport in every sense of the term and became the game’s most marketable star.Cricket administrators owe Tendulkar some gratitude for popularizing the sport to some degree, beyond geographical borders with his stardom. India’s demigod has spent time with Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Micheal Schumacher amongst a host of legendary sportsmen. Cricket is played neither in Switzerland, US or Germany. Some of these meetings may have been facilitated by sponsorship and promotional objectives. But he certainly has earned the right to be the sponsors’ select choice, coming from the weight of his cricketing CV.Phil Tufnell, Chris Broad and Andrew Strauss were the other invited cricket dignitaries at the Royal box at Wimbledon. They would all pale in comparison to Sachin Tendulkar.Even after retirement, Tendulkar’s appeal remains unmatched. And even though he may not necessarily rank as the game’s best in everyone’s books, he would always be a contender for the debate. As for the legion of his Indian fans, Sachin touched their lives with all the fun he provided to an aspirational India for more than two decades .Now as India moves on to becoming more ambitious, perhaps even cricket will and one hopes its most celebrated figure will no longer remain an obscure name to those who don’t follow the sport. Till such time let’s not demonise a Maria Sharapova. There will be more like her and they are not to blame.last_img read more