Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet TNT import Donte Greene shoots over Mahindra import Keith Wright. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netTNT will take one last shot in hopes of improving its standing this 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.The KaTropa have parted ways with import Donte Greene, who will be replaced with Joshua Smith for the team’s final two games in the elimination round.ADVERTISEMENT TNT is already assured of a quarterfinal slot with a 6-3 record, but the KaTropa are still eyeing to snag a seat in the top two.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Racela keeps faith in TNT import Joshua Smith PLAY LIST 00:51Racela keeps faith in TNT import Joshua Smith00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Will Voigt to help Mighty, not fill Gilas’ coaching spot Gomez de Liaño bros still undecided on UP return View comments FEU opens Filoil bid with win over CSB School to fine parents for picking up their children late World’s shortest man dies in Nepal at 27 MOST READ ‘Maman Dion,’ mother of singer Celine, dies at 92 Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Sources close to the situation said the 25-year-old Smith will make his debut on Saturday against Alaska in Legazpi City.The 6-foot-10 Smith spent the last two years with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the NBA D-League, where he averaged 8.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists this past season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Smith will be TNT’s fourth import this conference after Denzel Bowles, Lou Amundson, and Greene.Greene averaged 29.0 points, 14.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 blocks in seven games for the KaTropa. LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend
IT has been a very good season so far for Demish Gaye of the GC Foster College, who has been in great form over the 400m. He was the first Jamaican to go under 45 seconds this season, when he clocked a personal best of 44.85 seconds in early May at a JAAA All Comers Meet inside the National Stadium. Since then, however, he has been bettered by two other Jamaicans in Nathan Allen, with 44.52 seconds, and Akeem Bloomfield, who clocked 44.74. Gaye showed, a few weeks ago, that he is now ready for top competition, as he looked quite relaxed in winning the one lap event at the Jamaica International Invitational Meet in 45.08 seconds where he defeated a decent field. Come this Saturday at the JN Racers Grand Prix, he will face his sternest test when he meets the likes of the Trinidad and Tobago duo of Lalonde Gordon and Machel Cedenio, along with the United States’ Vernon Norwood and Mike Berry and Jamaica’s own Fitzroy Dunkley and national 400m record holder Rusheen McDonald. Based on his progress so far this season, the very talented Gaye looks set to pass this test with flying colours. His coach at the GC Foster College, Maurice Wilson, who is the Technical Director of the country’s Senior Track and field programme, thinks he will do something special on Saturday. “Demish has improved tremendously in relation to his speed. He has so far run 20.48 seconds in 200m, almost 0.4 better than his previous personal best. This season he has run four major 400s and has shown improvement in various different parts of the race. The expectation based on his training is for him to do very well at the Racers Grand Prix Meet, then take that form in to the National Trials where the expectation is that he will take one of the individual spots to the World Championships,” said a very upbeat Wilson. Although he has not yet hit his best form yet this season, Cedenio, who was fourth in Rio last year with a best of 44.01 seconds, could hit top form on Saturday despite a season best of 45,65 seconds. Norwood shows at the Eugene Diamond League that he is getting near to his best after finishing third in 45.05 seconds and with a season best of 44.82 seconds, done in Baton Rouge earlier in the season, he could go all the way. Dunkley, however, showed good form at the Penn Relays when he anchored Jamaica to a rare win over the USA in the mile relay.
GOLD CUP CAMPAIGNERS IN SQUAD Chevone ‘Messi’ Marsh of Cavalier SC is the only newcomer named by the national senior team coach, Theodore Whitmore, for a friendly international against Saudi Arabia, set for October 7 in Riyadh. Marsh is among a 20-man squad that will begin preparation for the upcoming fixture. The 23-year-old midfielder spent loan periods at Ventor County Fusion and Kokkolan Pallovejkor in the Finnish League. He returned home during the summer and represented Cavalier in the opening Red Stripe Premier League game of the new season against Portmore United on Monday. The former Calabar High schoolboy star in April 2016 went on a trial stint in Finland, which sparked controversy with the then Jamaica national team coach Winfried Sch‰fer, who wanted him for a friendly international with Chile. Marsh opted to go to Finland and sign with Kokkolan Palloveikot in the Finnish Ykkonen league, but is now finally set to make his debut. Michael Seaton, who made his debut for the senior team against Trinidad and Tobago as a 17-year-old on November 15, 2013, is back in the senior team squad. He scored his first senior team international goal against St Lucia on March 5, 2014 and represents Maccabi Ahi Nazareth in Israel. The striker also represented Jamaica at the Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels. The Reggae Boyz squad also has members of the squad that lost 2-1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final against the United States in the final last July. In a previous friendly inter-national, Jamaica was beaten 2-0 by Canada at the BMO Field in Toronto Full squad: Michael Seaton, Ricardo Morris, Ewan Grandison, Ladel Richie, Alex Marshall, Oniel Fisher, Damion Lowe, Dwayne Miller, Damion Hyatt, Romario Williams, Jermaine Taylor, JeVaughn Watson, Shaun Francis, Kemar Lawrence, Marvin Morgan, Jamiel Hardware, Devon Williams, Fabian Reid, Rosario Harriott, and Chevone Marsh.
KRASNODAR, Russia (AP) – With only two days to go before Spain’s opening match at the World Cup, Julen Lopetegui was fired as national team coach after accepting a job to lead Real Madrid next season. Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales, who made the announcement on Wednesday in Krasnodar, later said Fernando Hierro would replace Lopetegui as coach for Spain’s match against Portugal in Sochi on Friday. The 50-year-old Hierro, a former national team player and Real Madrid captain, will be taking on his first major coaching job. He had been acting as the federation’s sports director and was already in Russia with the national team. Rubiales said firing Lopetegui wasn’t the best solution but it was needed after the federation was caught by surprise by Madrid’s announcement. “The federation cannot be left out of a negotiation by one of its workers and be informed five minutes before the press release,” Rubiales said. “We have been compelled to act.” Rubiales, who took over as president last month, said Lopetegui disrespected the federation’s values and it was the only decision he could make. “It’s a difficult situation, but we are not the ones who determined the action that had to be taken. The federation has its values and it has to maintain them,” Rubiales said. “It may look like a weakness now, but with time this will make us stronger.” Rubiales said he tried to keep the Madrid announcement from being made public but it wasn’t possible. He said he had to make the decision — which was supported by the federation’s board of directors — to “send a clear message” that things have to be done properly. There were reports that players tried to persuade Rubiales to change his mind and keep Lopetegui on the job. “We are the national team. We represent this emblem, these colours, our fans, a country,” Spain captain Sergio Ramos wrote on Twitter. “Our responsibility and commitment is to you. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, together.” Because he was fired, Madrid won’t have to pay the US$2.3 million of the termination clause on Lopetegui’s contract. Rubiales said that although the federation’s financial situation was not ideal, money was “not the most important thing in a moment like this.” Lopetegui did not attend the news conference but was expected to speak to the media after returning to Spain. Hierro was expected to lead his players for the first time in a practice session later Wednesday. The former defender spent most of his career with Real Madrid but finished his playing days with English club Bolton in 2005. He played in four World Cups with Spain, from 1990 to 2002, and in two European Championships, 1996 and 2000. Hierro was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane left the post in 2014. He coached second-division club Real Oviedo two seasons ago and was Malaga’s general manager after leaving his sports director position with the Spanish federation in 2011. After Madrid’s announcement that it hired Lopetegui, critics immediately began questioning some of the coach’s decisions with the national team, including his choice to leave some Barcelona players such as Sergi Roberto out of the World Cup squad. There were also questions about how Lopetegui would be able to fully focus on the national team while also having to discuss off-season signings for his new club. There are six Madrid players in Spain’s team for the World Cup. Lopetegui’s name had not been mentioned by Spanish media among the probable candidates for the Madrid job, which opened up after Zidane unexpectedly quit. Last month, Lopetegui agreed to extend his contract with the national team through 2020. “I admire and respect Lopetegui a lot. He is a top coach, and that made it harder to make this decision,” Rubiales said. “Winning is important, but above that, we need to know how things have to be handled.” It was a difficult departure for the 51-year-old Lopetegui, who took over from Vicente del Bosque after the 2016 European Championship and had been credited with reviving a team that was on the decline after winning Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. By successfully blending talented youngsters and veterans from its golden generation, Lopetegui kept Spain unbeaten through 20 matches in charge, comfortably leading the team to the World Cup from a qualifying group that included Italy.
Despite Portmore United’s credentials which will make them the favourites, Duckie said their focus would be on what they can control, not the name and fame of the team they are facing. “It is always a disadvantage playing away from home. I don’t know that you could put a percentage on it, but champions are made at home and away so these are moments that we will have to relish. It will be two competitive teams on the field, and we are looking forward to it.” Among the players Duckie will have at his disposal are Ladale Richie, Robaldo Rodney, Cardel Benbow, Kemar Beckford, Ricardo Dennis, Ricardo Campbell, and goalkeeper Kadeem Dennis, all of whom were brought in during the transfer window. Portmore United’s Shavar Thomas, who guided the team to the national title in his first season in charge, said who they open their season against is not of the greatest importance. “The importance of this game is not about whom we are playing and what they have done in the preseason. This game is important because it is the first of the season, and we want to make a mark,” said Thomas, whose team was busy in the off season competing in the CONCACAF Champions League, where they lost in the quarterfinals. For some teams, having they players actively engaged in the off season would have been a disadvantage, but for Thomas and Portmore United, that was not the case. “We are lucky to have guys who are committed and focused. All we had to do was to rejuvenate them and get them ready again, and I think we have done that. “Yes, we are starting the season without a number of players like Maalique Foster, Ewan Grandison, Jermie Lynch, and Andre Dyce. We were without them from the start of our preseason, so it is nothing new, and with the exception of Maalique, we took part in a regional competition without them and did well,” the confident Thomas declared. While the loss of the live wire Foster and Lynch will be missed on the front line, Thomas said his team would not be significantly affected. “They were a big part of our success last season, but we have adequate replacements. We still have Jovan East, who gave us 15 goals last season, Ricardo Morris, our new captain, gave us about eight goals last season, and there are others like Saneekie Burton, Venton Evans, and we have added Naquain Brown from St Bess FC, who scored about 15 goals for them, so we have attacking and goalscoring options,” Thomas said, indicating that they would not be short of fire power. Today’s games When the first ball is kicked in this the 2018-2019 Red Stripe Premier League season, most eyes and ears will be trained in the direction of the Spanish Town Prison Oval. Not because of any possible prison break and not wholly because it is the home of defending champions Portmore United, but because people will be anxious to see how newcomers Mount Pleasant Academy measure up. One of two promoted teams, Mount Pleasant have turned a few heads because of their spending power, which has seen them recruit a number of key players from other Premier League clubs. There is also the presence of the influential and much-travelled coach, Donovan Duckie. Not surprisingly, Duckie is ready for action. “Everything is all about the preparation. We have gone through the general and the specific phases. We have played about seven games in pre-preparation phase and have not lost, but the true test is the game itself, competitive game. “The first game against Portmore United is big as it is no secret what they are about. Their reputation precedes them. They have been to quite a few finals and won a number of them,” Duckie explained as he sought to set the stage for today’s game. 3:30 p.m: Reno vs Cavalier – Frome Complex 3:30 p.m: Montego Bay United vs Tivoli Gardens – Wespow Park 3:30 p.m: Portmore United vs Mount Pleasant – Prison Oval 3:30 p.m: UWI FC vs Harbour View – UWI Mona Bowl 7 p.m: Arnett Gardens vs Humble Lion – Anthony Spaulding Complex NOT FOCUSING ON NAME 8:35p.m.: Waterhouse FC vs Dunbeholden FC. @ Waterhouse Stadium Tomorrow’s game
The 61st Caribbean Table Tennis Championships will be held in Guyana next February and the hosts hope to put an end to the dominance of the Dominican Republic. That’s the sporting challenge issued by Christopher Franklin, who drove the Guyanese to a strong performance last week in Kingston, where the 60th staging of the championships was contested. Franklin promises that he and his teammates will be working hard to turn the tables. In Kingston, from September 23 to 29, Guyana was the team that pushed the dominant Dominican Republic squad the hardest. The effort produced Under-21 titles for Shemar Britton and Chelsea Edghill, team silver medals for both the Guyanese men and women, and a mixed-doubles runner-up finish for Trenace Lowe and Franklin. Franklin, who was the only non-Dominican Republic player to reach the men’s singles semi-final stage, said the champions can expect even more of a fight next year. “It’s always great to play in front of a home crowd and it’s something that we’re really looking forward to and we’re going to start preparing from now because we want to turn things around in the Caribbean region, where you see Dominican Republic really dominating the events,” he said last Saturday. “We’re not too far off,” said the player known at home as ‘Corelone’, “and we plan to put a stop to that when they come to our turf.” He explained why Guyana played so well in Kingston. “A lot of determination, self-sacrifice, you know, it’s something that we really wanted,” he revealed. “We really wanted to have an outstanding year this year because we’ve been working hard,” he continued. MENTAL PREPARATION FILLED GAP Noting that his female colleagues had targeted the team gold medal, he said: “Yes, they fell a step short, but we are all taking it as a positive because the preparation for us coming here wasn’t ideal.” He said mental preparation made up for sometimes limited practice. “Many of us had to work with mad schedules, some playing maybe once, twice a week, so it was all a lot of sacrifice,” Franklin revealed. “Mentally, we prepared ourselves mentally for this so you know, the outcome was good.” Barbados coach Trevor Farley was left to rue a playing-arm injury to his brother, 2003 singles champion Kevin. The Barbadians led Guyana 2-0 in the men’s team semi-final but without their wounded leader, couldn’t hold on. “We started with 2-0, then the third match with the guy who came in. He was fresh, and I know he had a little nerves, and that made the turnaround and I thought we would have still pulled it off, but Guyana really played well,” Farley said. The tide turned when Joel Alleyne beat untested Barbadian Marcus Smith to start the Guyanese comeback. It was Smith’s first match of the tournament. Coach Farley thinks his team did well, nevertheless, and expects training programmes at home to bear fruit by next February. “We’re seeing some good results coming out,” he reported, “and I think that in the future you should see better table tennis from the Barbados team.”
No one is happier than Major Desmon Brown that the National Stadium is set to undergo a major repair next year. Brown, who is the general manager of Independence Park Limited, which manages the venue, said the facility has been operating below international standards for the past five years and that it was on the brink of not being able to host international events such as World Cup Qualifiers and athletics meets. “For international events, a dedicated drug-testing area is required and right now what we have to do is use one of the changing rooms, which is not the best thing,” Brown said. “We also need proper changing rooms with ice-baths, physiotherapy rooms and we don’t have that. One of the recent requirements from FIFA is that you have to have separate access to the field by players and officials, right now (it’s just the) McDonald Tunnel with officials, VIPs and everybody walk through it.” He continued: “Our medical facilities for patrons are inadequate, especially in the bleachers. We don’t even have enough restrooms in the bleachers. We are supposed to have a venue operating centre where we would have the Police, the fire brigade, the ministry of health and private security. All of those people are supposed to be in one room and that is where you make major decisions in terms of anything happening and we don’t have one of those now.” Brown said the stadium has been allowed to host FIFA matches and IAAF athletics meets out of discretion. “When we patch up a few things, they allow us to host these events because we don’t have anywhere else,” Brown said. He alluded to an incident when the stadium almost received an international bad when Jamaica hosted Panama in a World Cup Qualifier in 2013 after crowd control issues. “We never had a field invasion and that is why we never got punishment, but we can’t continue like that,” Brown said. The renovated stadium capacity will increase to 38,000 as the velodrome (cycle track) will be removed. “The fact that we are taking out the obsolete velodrome means that we are going to have space for more seats and this will bring people closer to the action,” Brown explained. Brown said the renovation of the stadium will be done over a three year period to facilitate the hosting of events. Minister of Sports, Olivia Grange is expecting the renovation to begin next year as the Government is in the final stage of signing off on the project. “We have gone through the PIU (Public Investment Unit) and we are in the process of hiring a consultant who will assist with the technical aspects of the project as well as developing a business plan,” Grange said. “We are speaking to the Ministry of Finance in terms of the funding and it will be done in stages.” Facilities inadequate
Six zestful young ladies will take to the stage of the National Cultural Centre on February 19, to compete for the title of Miss Mash Queen Guyana 2017. This pageant has returned after a decade hiatus and Simpli Royal is making sure it returns with a bang. Registration for suitable delegates between the ages 17-30 ended and it has come down to the final six. The delegates are Ashanti Jasper, Aquaila Rupan, Keleisha Kelly, Younette Stepheny, Romichelle Brumell and Gabriella Chapman. These beauties were revealed to the public on Sunday last at the Umana Yana, in Georgetown. On pageant night, the delegates will participate in the opening fanfare and introduction, talent piece, swimwear competition, evening gown display and an onstage interview. Tickets for the pageant cost 00, 00 and 00 and are available at the National Cultural Centre.
As the clock counts down on what promises to be the biggest soca event in Guyana this year, International Soca Star Machel Montano is expected to touch down in Guyana today.This is as the cover blows on the hype just months after Banks DIH Limited, under the Banks Beer brand, dropped the bomb that they will be staging a mega concert featuring “Mr Fete” himself.On Saturday, September 2, all roads lead to the Providence National Stadium as the renowned ‘Party Boss’ is set to headline the grand “Soca in My Heart” event.Setting the pace for the King of Soca on Saturday will be an exhilarating line-up of local artistes, which include Michelle “Big Red” King, Kwasi “Ace” Edmondson, Adrian Dutchin, Timeka Marshall, and Trevor Vibes.The “Fast Wine” singer will then take the stage with a series of energetic performances which are expected to keep his local fans on their feet in a whining trance.This event comes years after Machel had last appeared in Guyana; and such, it is no doubt that local fans are longing to see the ‘King of Soca’ live in concert.Persons wishing to cash in on the “Soca in my Heart” party can do so by purchasing their tickets at the cost 00 for general admission and ,000 for the VIP experience.Tickets are available at Demico Retail Liquor Store, Brickdam; Caesar Palace, Durban Street; OMG Restaurant, Sheriff Street; Quik Serve and all Banks DIH branches in Linden, Bartica, Berbice and Essequibo. Gates to the event will be open at 17:00h while the action is set to kick off at 19:30h sharp.
…on NGSAIt’s said “Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.” This Eyewitness really believes some folks making policy at the Education Ministry may be “mad” – in the sense of how the ancients used it. Doing things that just doesn’t stand to reason. Take this latest decision on the NGSA – to now have the kids write their names on the exam papers.Why in the world would they want to do this? Well let’s look at the reasons they provided. For Paper I – which is all multiple choice – they claim the students writing their names will guarantee they were the ones who actually answered the questions!! Well they should tell the long suffering students and their parents, what will be different if stand-ins write those same names.Is the Ministry going to have a data bank of signatures of these 11-year-olds to compare the written signatures against? But really!! The NGSA’s written in the same schools the kids attend. Can anyone really think an “imposter kid” can show up among kids who spent six years together and not be outed? What a crock!!And even if some precociously cunning kids are gaming the system by having “imposters” take their place – wouldn’t it be better to install the system in place for CSEC. Have the cherubs submit their pics which can be presented with their Candidate Numbers on the Exam Day?For Paper II, the students will now have to not only write their names – but also their addresses, date of birth and gender on a page that’s kept by the administrators – but doesn’t go up to the markers! We’re not told why the administrators need that data – which should be already in the system. Or what they’ll do with it. But with Paper II going up to the markers without the names on the kids’ submissions, couldn’t the aforesaid precociously cunning kids substitute their “stand-ins” for them?But we all know this is all BS…isn’t it? So will the powers-that-be who will determine the life chances of the next 14,500 kids writing the NGSA (specific high school attended and income are highly correlated) give us the real scoop? As it is, folks out there think the present Administration wants to fiddle with the present randomised distribution of the top 10 per cent. In a country so divided that people look at the origin of people who’re selected as dog catchers. Can you imagine the rap the Government will take if they allow this hare-brained scheme to go through?Hope they’re learnt from the present imbroglio that silence may be golden, but not in politics.…on Holder in Costa RicaWe know Agriculture Minister Noel Holder’s out in Costa Rica…no one is sure why…but he’s there all right. Our media says he’s there for development of our livestock sector. But this Eyewitness thinks that’s only because the fella in charge of our livestock programme accompanied him. However, the Costa Rican media says:“Among the areas for discussion are the systematic, participatory, and organised approaches to dealing with agriculture in the region; support for the construction of medium and long-term visions, enabling each country to achieve its development goals and to look at the international vision for dealing with global phenomena related to agriculture and rural life.“The objective of the visit is to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural sector, strengthen agriculture’s contribution to the development of territories and well-being of the rural population and improve agricultural capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”In other words – more bloviating BS.…in closing LBIMinister Holder was heavily criticised for not visiting Wales Estate when he closed it down and threw 1700 sugar workers into the streets.They can’t do that with the closure of LBI throwing another 700 out on their ears.The man’s not in the country!!