(Field Level Media) LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 39 points on 19-for-23 shooting as the San Antonio Spurs snapped a two-game losing streak with a 121-112 win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder yesterday. The Spurs led by eight heading into the fourth quarter and never allowed Oklahoma City to get closer than five points the rest of the way.When Aldridge is on his game, the Spurs win. In San Antonio’s five victories this season, he has averaged 25 points per game; it its three losses, he has managed just nine points per contest. Last season, Aldridge scored a career-high 56 points against Oklahoma City.Dejounte Murray added 17 points, eight rebounds and a career-best 10 assists for San Antonio in the win. DeMar DeRozan hit for 16, Bryn Forbes scored 14 and Patty Mills racked up 10 points for the Spurs. Danilo Gallinari led the Thunder with 27 points on 7-for-10 shooting (5 of 6 from beyond the arc), with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander adding 21 points, Chris Paul contributing 19, Hamidou Diallo and Dennis Schroder scoring 11 each, and Steven Adams totaling 10 points for Oklahoma City.The Thunder led by as many as seven points in the first half before settling for a 57-56 advantage at intermission. Gallinari paced Oklahoma City with 14 points, and Paul and Gilgeous-Alexander scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Thunder over the first 24 minutes of play.Aldridge led all scorers at the half with 19 points and made all nine of his two-point shots during the first two quarters. San Antonio also got 12 points from DeRozan in the half and 10 points and seven assists from Murray. The Spurs took the lead early in the third quarter and were up just 87-84 with 1:01 to play in the period before a 3-pointer by Patty Mills and two free throws from Gay allowed San Antonio to grab an eight-point lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
LUCKNOW, India, CMC – West Indies have prepared for a “difficult” challenge from novices Afghanistan when the one-off inaugural Test between the two teams bowls off here today (midnight Tuesday, Eastern Caribbean time). Head coach Phil Simmons told reporters here yesterday while Afghanistan possessed limited experience in the longest format, playing in subcontinent conditions made them a dangerous side and it was important West Indies were on top of their game.
Phil Simmons“As an opponent, they are going to be difficult,” said Simmons, ahead of his first Test with the Caribbean side in his second stint in charge in four years.“They are going to be very difficult because they are on their home ground. The wicket’s going to turn [and] everything like that but in saying that, everywhere you go the opponents are going to be difficult in their home atmosphere. “It is going to be a difficult Test match for us but at the end of the day, we’ve got to play home and away all the time. That’s how we look at it.” West Indies enter as overwhelming favourites to dominate the game at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Stadium. In their captain Jason Holder, they possess the world’s leading all-rounder in Tests while Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase and Shai Hope are all experienced campaigners with Test hundreds to their names.Veteran seamer Kemar Roach will lead the Windies attack with Holder and fellow pace bowler Alzarri Joseph playing supporting roles. Specialist spinner, left-armer Jomel Warrican, is expected to feature prominently as is off-spinning all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall who made his debut on India’s tour of the Caribbean last August.Afghanistan, meanwhile, have played just three Tests since gaining ICC status two years ago, winning two – against India and Bangladesh – and losing to India.And Simmons, who stepped down as Afghanistan’s coach following the World Cup in July, said the Windies would be looking to exploit the Asian side’s inexperience. “I think there’s a lot of changes in this team compared to the white-ball team,” he noted.“And I think that’s their format. Their format is T20 and they’ve done well over the last two, three years in T20 cricket so they were always going to fight back in that one (series).“I think this one (Test format) they’ve had three Test matches. They’ve done well … but it’s still a learning stage for them and hopefully we can capitalise on that.” Afghanistan’s bowling, as it did in the recent T20 series, is expected to be the strength of the home side. But while they boast some decent fast bowlers, it is their spinners like leg-spinning captain Rashid Khan, 19-year-old leg-spinner Qais Ahmed and 20-year-old left-arm spinners Zahir Khan and Hamza Hotak who are expected to prove the real threats.And Simmons said West Indies would undertake a last minute assessment of the pitch before deciding on the composition of their squad.“I’ve got to have a look at the wicket again today and maybe tomorrow morning and see what it looks like before we decide what the final bowling attack would be like.” he said.“It (final XI) may be heavy on spin or heavy on seam depending on what we see between today and tomorrow.” SQUADS:AFGHANISTAN – Rashid Khan (captain), Asghar Afghan, Ihsanullah Janat, Ibrahim Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Karim Janat, Qais Ahmed, Ikram Alikhiel (wicketkeeper), Afsar Zazai, Nasir Jamal, Zahir Khan, Yamin Ahmadzai, Hamza Hotak, Nijat Masood.WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph.
Unbeaten Lodge Secondary and the Bishops’ High School secured lopsided wins when the GuyOil Secondary Schools Football League continued Thursday at the Ministry of Education ground, Carifesta Avenue. Lodge Secondary brushed aside Charlestown 6-1. Dorwin George fashioned a hat trick in the 26th, 56th and 59th minute. Adding goals in the third and 39th minute were Collin McBean and Nicholas Trotman respectively. An own goal in the 66th minute sealed the result. For the loser, Tarique Pryce netted in the 48th minute. Similarly, the Bishops’ High mauled St. John’s College 4-0. Anthone Herod, Malachi Richards and Romeo Bradford scored in the seventh, 52nd and 54th minute each while an own goal in the 45th minute completed the score.
(Reuters) – The NBA has reached an agreement with the National Basketball Players Association to withhold 25% of each player’s salary from May 15 due to the shutdown of the sport because of the coronavirus pandemic. The deal would provide a gradual reduction in player salaries in case a “force majeure” event, such as the pandemic, wipes out the rest of the regular season.The money will be placed in escrow and paid back to players if all of the remaining regular season games are played, ESPN reported.If only part of the season can be played, the amount paid out would be on a pro rata basis based on the number of games completed. The salary reductions will continue through the first two months of the 2020-21 NBA season, ESPN said.The NBA has not held a game since March 11 and it is unclear when it might return to action.
(Reuters) – Children will need more access to sport in the post-pandemic world and there is a pressing need to press authorities to stop school sports “withering on the vine”, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said yesterday. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the sporting calendar across all disciplines and levels from school to professional.Coe told Reuters he was planning to launch a campaign to protect the long-term future of athletics when the global lockdowns and cancellations end.“I want our sport to be a campaigning sport and if we are not about young people and access to the sport we might as well pack up and go home,” the 63-year-old said. “I am not going to be shy or pussy foot around this any longer. This has to be addressed and this has to be the long-term thinking when we come out of this.”A healthier population would be better placed to weather future storms like the coronavirus outbreak, Coe added.“We have got to hit this hard now. We have get into education departments and we can’t let politicians talk a good game about this and not deliver,” Coe said. “The very fact that any child in the UK is 50% less likely to be active between the age of eight and nine, and 12 and 13, is wrong. It just cannot be right. Whichever way you view that, that has to be wrong,” he added.
(Jamaica Observer) Brandon King and Nicholas Pooran, two of the Caribbean’s rising batting stars, say they ultimately dream of playing Test cricket for West Indies, despite so far only representing the regional side in white-ball cricket. King, the 25-year-old Jamaican right-hander, made his debut for West Indies in Twenty20 (T20) and One-Day International (ODI) cricket last year, but is yet to feature in the sport’s longest format.Trinidadian Pooran, 24, a left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper, began his T20 International career four years ago. He has developed into a regular for West Indies in T20s and ODIs.
Brandon KingIronically, King, an elegant stroke-maker, was affixed to the radar of Caribbean cricket watchers after scoring over 600 runs and averaging just below 50 for Jamaican Scorpions during the 2018-19 regional four-day season. While that accomplishment demonstrated the level of temperament required at Test level, the batsman’s impressive tally of 496 runs for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the subsequent Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament saw him fast-tracked into the West Indies white-ball squads.Those duties limited him to only one match for the Scorpions in the abbreviated 2019-20 four-day campaign.But King maintained that he prefers the longest version. “I have a little mixed feeling. Even though I’ve had breakthrough performances in T20 cricket I still believe four-day is my best format. I wish to play all formats for West Indies [but] my main goal was, and still is, to play Test cricket,” he told the Jamaica Observer during an interview late on Tuesday.“I would’ve loved to be able to put in some strong performances in four-day [cricket] again after a good 2018-19 campaign but I loved being a part of the Windies set-up even more – so I have no trouble with how things have gone,” King said.Pooran, who has developed a reputation as a crisp striker of the ball, has been a staple in Twenty20 franchise leagues around the world since he was a teenager. But yesterday he told the Observer that playing the longest format is very much in his plans. “Test cricket is something I always wanted to play. I would love the opportunity to experience Test cricket at some point, but just right now I’m taking it step by step,” he said during a telephone interview.Cricket West Indies, under President Ricky Skerritt, has scrapped the strict guidelines implemented by the previous administration which, barring an exemption, forced Test aspirants to participate in the regional first class tournament.However, even with those rules out the window it would augur well for players to indicate their ambitions by playing in the competition. Pooran, a self-professed student of the game, has only featured in three regional four-day matches — all of which came between November and December 2014.The former West Indies Under-19 star said he is not averse to returning to the regional four-day scene.“I’m not rushing anything…I’m here, I’m not going anywhere, and I’m contracted by Cricket West Indies. If that is what I have to do to play Test cricket, I guess I’ll have to do it at some point in time. That’s a conversation to have; I need to find out what I have to do to play [Tests] eventually.“Right now, when playing for West Indies the only free time we have [allows] playing one [four-day] game or two games. I just started to play international cricket; I just got a taste and I’m enjoying it thus far,” he explained. Pooran, who has an outstanding batting average of 49.05 in 25 ODIs, sustained near career-ending injuries after he was involved in a vehicular collision in Trinidad in January 2015.He was left with a ruptured left patellar tendon (structure linking kneecap to shin bone) and a fractured right ankle. Separate surgeries and months of physiotherapy were required before he was even able to walk again.In an Observer article published on May 1, 2020, his compatriot Dwayne Bravo cited Pooran’s potential to be an effective Test batsman. “Definitely, someone like Pooran batting at six or seven is going to be very good for West Indies, very handy in that lower order when bowlers [are] tired,” Bravo told the Observer.
President Donald Trump on Friday criticized Drew Brees’ decision to publicly apologize and walk back his comments about “disrespecting the flag.” The New Orleans Saints quarterback apologized Thursday for comments he made one day earlier that he described as “insensitive and completely missed the mark.” He said Wednesday that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country” while reiterating his objection to NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.
Drew BreesNumerous black athletes, including NBA star LeBron James, expressed outrage at Brees. Several of Brees’ New Orleans teammates were among the NFL players who were irate.Trump, though, said on his Twitter account that he doesn’t think Brees needed to issue an apology. “I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high. …“We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag — NO KNEELING!”Brees posted an open-letter reply to Trump on his Instagram account on Friday night. “Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag,” Brees wrote. “It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.“We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.“We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when? “We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.”Trump’s comments came hours before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell apologized and said that the league was wrong for not listening to players and their concerns about social justice and racism.Social injustice has been a major source of tension in the NFL since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling before games during the 2016 season to bring attention to police brutality. Kaepernick hasn’t played in an NFL game since that year. The NFL’s relationship with black players is under scrutiny in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A group of players requested the NFL take strong action on Thursday in a video directed at Goodell and other NFL officials.Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 after white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes in an incident caught on cell phones. Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.Three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — were arrested and charged with aiding and abetting both a second-degree murder and a second-degree manslaughter.—Field Level Media
SOUTHAMPTON, England, (Reuters) – An “angry and gutted” Stuart Broad sought reassurance about his England future after being dropped for the ongoing series opener against West Indies, the 34-year-old quick said yesterday. England’s decision to go with James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood for the first test in Southampton snapped Broad’s run of 51 consecutive home tests.“I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’ve found the last couple of days quite tough,” the right-arm paceman told Sky Sports.“To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement: you get disappointed if you drop your phone and break your screen. “I’ve been frustrated, angry and gutted – because it’s quite a hard decision to understand.“I’ve probably bowled the best I’ve ever bowled in the last couple of years. I felt like it was my shirt having been in the team through the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.”Broad said stand-in skipper Ben Stokes had explained his omission for the first match of the three-test series against West Indies. “Stokesy told me just that they’re going with extra pace in these conditions,” said Broad.“I wanted clarifications on the future going forward and I was given pretty positive feedback going forward.“I spoke to (national selector) Ed Smith last night and he said he’s involved in picking the 13 and this was picked purely for this pitch.” Broad acknowledged competition was intense for a place in the pace department.“We’re in quite a unique position this summer: very rarely do you get all your bowlers fit like we’ve got at the minute and all your bowlers ready to go,” he said.“I don’t think I’ve got anything to prove – England know what I can do, the selectors know what I can do – and when I get that opportunity again you can bet I’ll be on the money.”
(Reuters) – Romanian top seed Simona Halep beat compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets in the semi-finals of the Prague Open yesterday to set up a final with third seed Elise Mertens of Belgium. Halep was broken three times in the first set but managed to win the tiebreak before Begu, who finished her quarter-final match earlier in the day, ran out of steam as the reigning Wimbledon champion won 7-6(2) 6-3.Begu’s quarter-final was suspended on Friday when she was leading Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2 0-1 and the match went the distance on Saturday with the Romanian winning 6-2 4-6 6-2 after a total of two hours and 40 minutes.Begu had spent more than seven hours on court at the tournament and the fatigue was starting to show with the 29-year-old taking a medical time out in the opening set which allowed Halep to refocus. “I didn’t play my best tennis but she was also tired… it was a good match,” Halep said. “I’m really happy that I could win it. It’s always tough to play against her, she’s a great player.“She was playing really well at that point and she was kind of dominating the match. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad to play long matches because sometimes you get the rhythm, and sometimes you get tired.”Earlier in the day, Mertens got the better of Kristyna Pliskova to win 7-5 7-6(4), saving seven of eight break points to advance. “It was a really close match, just a couple of points of difference,” Mertens said. “We both served well, so it was difficult to break each other.“In the end, it was just one break difference in the first set and I think I managed it well at the end. In the second set, we were both winning our serve and although I made a couple of errors in the tiebreak, I stayed mentally tough.”
Share Submit Rank outlines plans to reopen Grosvenor venues July 22, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Rank lowers profit guidance as Mecca venues begin reopening July 3, 2020 Related Articles William Hill pursues HMRC FOBTs rebate May 20, 2020 Seeking to bolster its customer service operations, Rank Group Plc has confirmed the appointment of UK CS veteran Liam Smith to the newly created role of Director of Customer Contact.Smith who joins the casino operator from customer service outsourcing specialist Contact Center Managed Services, will report directly to Darren Moffett Rank’s Director of Customer Operations.Updating the market, Rank management stated that Smith would be tasked with leading the for opening and managing a new centre of customer excellence in Sheffield, which will employ over 60 people.Commenting on the appointment, Darren Moffett commented, “Liam will be a great asset to Rank. He has extensive experience in the gaming industry as well as having worked with a number of high-profile companies, both in-house and as a consultant, driving award winning customer experience. The new Rank Customer Service Hub, which will open in September, represents a significant investment by the group for our employees and customers, but we are confident that the team will be able to help us to improve levels of customer satisfaction as well as retaining and growing our digital customer base.Smith commented on joining Rank CS operations“I am delighted to be joining a company that is as passionate about delivering excellent customer service as I am. I have every confidence that our new Customer Services hub will enable Rank to deliver a key point of competitive differentiation and that we will be able to use it to improve levels of customer satisfaction as well as driving enhanced business performance.“