Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Claudio Ranieri marked his Sampdoria debut with a birthday stalemate against Roma, but the Giallorossi suffered yet more injuries. Click here for the full match report. OR Follow all the action as it happens from today’s SIX Serie A games and give your views on the LIVEBLOG.
Juventus have left Cristiano Ronaldo out of their squad to face Lecce tomorrow, but Mattia De Sciglio and Danilo are included. Ronaldo has been rested for the trip to Lecce, but De Sciglio and Danilo have been passed fit after several weeks out with muscle injuries. Young forwards Marco Olivieri and Han Kwang-song have been promoted from the Under-23 squad, but Douglas Costa is still not ready to return. The pair’s inclusion comes despite Mario Mandzukic being fit and available, although the striker has been cut completely by Coach Maurizio Sarri. Juve squad to face Lecce: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Buffon; De Sciglio, De Ligt, Alex Sandro, Danilo, Bonucci, Rugani, Demiral; Pjanic, Khedira, Matuidi, Emre Can, Rabiot, Bentancur; Dybala, Cuadrado, Higuain, Bernardeschi, Olivieri, Han Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
It was Tintin mania writ large. Fans were out on the streets, some sporting Tintin caps, some in the trademark quaff of the world’s most famous boy reporter. There was even someone strutting around in a Captain Haddock costume. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, the animated,It was Tintin mania writ large. Fans were out on the streets, some sporting Tintin caps, some in the trademark quaff of the world’s most famous boy reporter. There was even someone strutting around in a Captain Haddock costume. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, the animated 3D adaptation of the Belgian comic book hero, premiered on October 21 at the UGC De Brouckere theatre in Brussels, the city of his creator Herge’s birth. India Today’s Associate Copy Editor Narender Saini caught up with the movie’s director, Steven Spielberg, over two days in Brussels and Paris. Excerpts:Q. When did the idea of making a Tintin movie first catch your fancy?A. In the 1980s. But we lacked the technology then. I found it only in the Noughties and immediately reacquired the movie rights. On an intuition, I approached Weta, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s company. I asked them to show me how Snowy, Tintin’s faithful companion, would look like. It took them three months before the results came in. I went to my screening room and turned on the projector. And there was Snowy. Their digital dog was brilliant. We were on!Q. The movie releases in India on November 11, a full six weeks before its US release. Any special reason?A. America doesn’t know Tintin. We are positioning it as an original movie based on a good story. We want Americans to discover Tintin the same way they discovered Indiana Jones, ET, Star Wars or films like Avatar.advertisementQ. Do you think you did justice in terms of animation and live action?A. Yes. The characters breathe life, they possess a sense of humour and all the emotions we do because they were performed by real people. But I am not patting myself on the back. All credit goes to Weta and the actual animators.Q. Does technology obscure the story in your latest offering?A. Technology made things easy but is not most important. If you do not have a great idea, you cannot make a great movie based only on technology.Q. Did you ever meet Herge, Tintin’s creator?A. I had spoken to him over the phone sometime in 1983. I told him what a huge fan I am of his art, and his stories, and he raved about Raiders of the Lost Ark, which had come out in 1981. I told him that I wanted to adapt his book into a movie. Herge said, “You are the only director I feel who can do justice to my book.” He asked if I could come next week. I was shooting the next Indiana Jones instalment that time in London. We agreed to meet in three weeks. He died two weeks later.Q. Who is your favourite character in the Tintin series?A. Captain Haddock. Because he is funny, larger-than-life, and his worldview is a little clouded over. The best thing about him is his profanity. Herge customised it for him.Q. You and Peter Jackson are planning a Tintin trilogy?A. If the film achieves a level of success that we think warrants further adventures of Tintin, Peter and I would love to do it.Q. Besides the Reliance Enter-tainment tie-up, what other Indian collaborations do you have?A. I don’t. My financier, Reliance Entertainment, is making movies possible for my DreamWorks Studios now.
First it was Rahul Dravid, then it was VVS Laxman’s turn to follow suit with a ton. Just when you were beginning to think that a deceleration was on the cards skipper MS Dhoni jumped in the fray with a century against his name. Score | PhotosWith the ‘Big 3’ belting their names in the record books with massive centuries against their names and the scoreboard swelling to 631/7 dec, chances that the ton an average Indian cricket fan has been waiting for seven months might not come to past at Eden – the Mecca of Indian cricket.Chances are that the touring West Indies side, who were trailing by 597 runs with 8 wickets remaining in the 1st innings when bad light forced an early end, may be forced to follow-on putting Sachin Tendulkar’s plans for his 100th ton on hold.India started the day on 346/5 with VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh at the crease. While Laxman continued to bat at ease, busy chasing his 17th Test hundred, Yuvraj Singh paid the price for inappropriate strokes.Trying to play across the line to opposition skipper Darren Sammy will always invite trouble and that’s what happened on Tuesday, Yuvraj got trapped leg before on a paltry 25.That was the first of the two wickets to fall from the Indian camp on the day as Laxman and Dhoni, playing like they were possessed, chased down every ball that was thrown to them.Singles came aplenty and so did the doubles and boundaries. Besides skipper Dhoni made sure that were those ‘spectator-friendly’ shots that took the aerial route past the fence.advertisementSoon Laxman played his trade mark shot off Sammy, the ball sailed past the boundary, the scanty crowd rose up in applause and the man was out there raising his bat to a 100 against his name – his 17th Tests.Bad light and slight drizzle brought in its share of drama as an early lunch was called with India on a cosy 433/6.If the first session belonged to Laxman, the second was clearly Dhoni’s.He battered, bashed and pounded and even used his trademark helicopter shot to the entertainment of the sparse crowd and within minutes the India total raced past 500.But Dhoni continued and within a matter of minutes his double digit figure had turned to three, giving him his fifth Test ton. At tea India were a massive 613/6.Breaks usually don’t go down too well with the batsmen and Tuesday proved to be no different. Minutes into the final session a Kemar Roach ball broke their 224-run partnership.The India skipper wanted to cut a short ball, but a thick edged was nicely taken by keeper Carlton Baugh and the Dhoni was seen walking back with 144 on board even as the India score read 620/7.With the captain back in the pavilion deceleration wasn’t far. Precisely 11 balls later India declared with the scoreboard reading 631/7 with Laxman remaining unbeaten on 176.West Indies 1st inningsAlready reeling under pressure, the Windies started off poorly losing their opener Adrian Barath in the second over of the innings.The 87-mile an hour cherry off paceman Umesh Yadav took the edge of Barath’s bat and Virender Sehwag did the rest in the slips cordon. He could only manage to score one as the visitors lost their first wicket on three.Offie R Ashwin scalped the other opener Kraigg Brathwaite (17) and the Windies were down 30/2. The visitors could have been in major trouble if it had not been for bad light that forced early stumps.At close on Day 2, West Indes were trailing by 597 runs with eight wickets in hand.
The 11th Auto Expo kicked off at Pragati Maidan in the national capital on Thursday. With a line up of 50 brand new launches, concept cars and celebrity tie-ins Auto Expo 2012 is all about shiny metal and carbon. It is already the second biggest auto show in Asia and this year it threatens to jump the kerb again.Some Day 1 launchesLate on the Indian car scene, Nissan has been trying to make up for lost time. On the opening day the company used brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor to unveil its multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) Evalia.A rather conservative looking MPV, given the time it has taken for Nissan to bring this one in, nothing particularly futuristic or concept-like about it. It is a nice, robust seven-seater that will begin production later in 2012 and compete with offerings from Toyota and others.Completing its fluidic design philosophy, Hyundai wrapped up the global launch of its new Sonata on Day 1 of Auto Expo 2012. Sonata is already being pitched as a best in segment vehicle. Hyundai suggests that the car’s design was inspired by the effect that gravity would have on an orchid. That would pretty much explain the flowing lines on this beautiful big sedan.Suzuki India took the covers off two new entry-level two-wheelers – 110cc motorcycle Hayate and 125cc scooter Swish – this season. Hayate would be available for India’s mass market from April. Swish is a value-packed scooter aimed at first time owners, especially young adults and newlyweds.Never far behind, Yamaha kept its word about getting into the Indian scooter market. On display at the expo is Yamaha’s new scooter concept, the Yamaha Ray. Clearly designed for the woman rider, the scooter sits pretty and is easy on the eye. There were a lot of women who mobbed the Yamaha stand, but apparently it had more to do with the company’s brand ambassador John Abraham than the sprightly scooter itself.advertisementFollowing a pretty healthy 2011, leading motorcycle maker Harley Davidson rolled out FXDB Street Bob and FXDC Super Glide Custom at the Delhi show. Street Bob is a dyed-in-the-wool bobber styled motorcycle and happens to be the first 1,600cc motorcycle to be priced under Rs 10 lakh, which is a hardcore value proposition. These happen to be Harley’s cheapest offerings in India so far and bookings for both are already open.Bigger is better”Bigger is better” is the latest mantra for global automakers aggressively targeting India’s underdeveloped sports utility vehicle (SUV) market. And, Auto Expo 2012 is undoubtedly the season of compact SUVs. Carmakers have unveiled over a dozen new rugged, full-powered SUVs at the auto expo this year.Maruti Suzuki’s compact SUV hybrid concept XA Alpha arrives with a bang when virtually every competitor is revving up to put out smaller and more compact SUVs. The XA Alpha, said to be a pretty much a fourth-generation Jimny, is just four-metre long. Incidentally, the XA Alpha is an open market research concept. Maruti Suzuki would decide its fate based on public response at the expo.Ushering in the season of serious machismo, Mahindra has brought it Rexton, a premium SUV from the recently acquired Korean SsangYong badge. With some pretty robust off-road capabilities, the Rexton will be Mahindra’s big splash in the full-blown premium SUV market and will find a cosy place among competition from the big off-road boys in the country.Hyundai Motor too has launched its new concept van Hexa Space targeting the urban customers. It packs in eight passengers and all the seats are shaped hexagonally to create optimum space utilisation. But the manufacturers say it was not yet certain when it would hit Indian Markets.America’s second-largest automaker Ford too unveiled a compact SUV EcoSport. Showcasing EcoSport at the auto show, Ford hopes to boost its presence in Asia’s second-fastest growing major economy. EcoSport features a one litre three-cylinder direct-injected EcoBoost engine making it an environment friendly proposition.
Chief selector K. Srikkanth has apologised for the first time for the team’s dismal performance in the last few series and admitted that it is a transitional phase in Indian cricket.”I take responsibility as chief selector for what has happened. I accept the blame. I say sorry to the Indian public for doing badly. But we will bounce back ,” Srikkanth said in Aaj Tak’s Seedhi Baat programme.However, the former opening batsman said it was time to look to the future.”We have to look forward rather than crib about things that went wrong. Why cry over spilt milk?””I don’t believe in giving excuses. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t,” he said.Srikkanth believed that India was going through a cricketing recession.”This is a stressful period for Indian cricket, and the best way to emerge from this stress is to go through it. Look at Australia, England, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka – all cricketing nations have gone down in the dumps but have emerged stronger. You can’t be on top all the time. It’s a cycle and all cricketing teams go through it,” he said.India has suffered back-toback 0-4 whitewashes in England and Australia during Srikkanth’s tenure.One of the bright spots in recent times has been the emergence of Virat Kohli and the chief selector lauded his mental strength.”Virat is willing to take responsibility in a crisis situation. He is a fighter. That shows his character,” he said.Srikkanth denied that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is over-burdened with leading the team in all three formats.He also refused to be drawn on issues regarding the rift between Dhoni and Virender Sehwag.Srikkanth also believed that Sachin Tendulkar should continue playing for as long as he wants.”Sachin is doing a great job, leave him alone! Leave the decision of retiring to Sachin – he knows what to do and what not to do. He has achieved a humanly impossible target,” he signed off.advertisement
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Piyush Chawla has been a part of Kings XI Punjab since the first season and the team’s sluggish start has hardly helped the leggie’s cause. The 23-year-old was part of the World Cup winning squad but he has failed to make an impact in the international arena.He is however upbeat about a turnaround in both his and his IPL team’s fortunes and reckons Pune Warriors batsman Robin Uthappa is the most dangerous batsman in the Indian Premier League after Chris Gayle.”The start has not been good but there are enough games left for us to mount a comeback. Every team will go through a phase where they will lose some matches and it’s bound to happen in a league of this nature,” he said.He also rates Uthappa as the most dangerous batsman in the league after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Gayle.”Robin is an impact batsman and can destroy any bowling line-up on his day. I think after Chris Gayle, he is the one who can alter the game’s complexion.”Being a leg-break bowler in T20s is not an easy task as players are always in an aggressive mode and there is also very less scope for trying out variations.But Piyush says he never allows those batterings to shake his confidence and he takes it in his stride.”Every game is a new one and as bowlers, especially in a format like IPL, bowlers will go for runs. The crowd loves to see big hits and it’s an important component of the game. But I always try to innovate with my bowling and am trying to come up with a new delivery that will bamboozle batsman,” said Piyush, who idolises Shane Warne and Anil Kumble.advertisementYuvraj Singh was his first captain for Kings XI Punjab and Piyush wants him to be a part of the Kings XI set up again.”If Yuvraj is available for the next season, we should have him in our team next time around.”His presence in the side lifts the spirits of the team when the chips are down and he inspires his teammates to give their best on the field. I want him to make a comeback as soon as possible,” he signed off.
Less than 10 days into the grand event, it is being said that the 2003 cricket World Cup has already found its player of the tournament. Robert Mugabe. The controversial president of Zimbabwe and patron of its cricket board ruled the early stages of the Cup more than any pyjama-clad,Less than 10 days into the grand event, it is being said that the 2003 cricket World Cup has already found its player of the tournament. Robert Mugabe. The controversial president of Zimbabwe and patron of its cricket board ruled the early stages of the Cup more than any pyjama-clad superstar. Till now no World Cup has been so conflict-riddenThe ICC may have battened down the hatches against the tidal wave of ambush marketing but Mugabe’s politics ambushed attention and the eighth World Cup like no cheeky advertising campaign ever could.The Cup is churning – in chaos that never ends, every day bringing fresh controversy, every phone call a portent of fresh scandal, new disaster. The cricket is lost in space, far away somewhere. Instead of spotlighting genius, cricket’s World Cup has run straight into dictators, substance-abusers, political activists, suspected racists and a bunch of dithering Englishmen in Africa.No Cup has been so conflict-ridden. It is no wonder even the Christian Science magazine and the Jewish Chronicle have devoted pages to the Cup – after all every scourge of the modern world seems to be upon it. Shane Warne and his Chamber of SecretsROPE A DOPE: Warne’s explanation didn’t find too many sympathisers even in AustraliaWhen it comes to modern-day scourges, Warne has worked his way through them all, one at a time. Bookiegate, a scandal over a tawdry phone call, trying to conceal his failure in a very public anti-smoking campaign and the man responsible for international cricket’s first positive dope test. For one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the century, it was not a fall from grace but rather one of his regular visits to the halls of infamy. Cricket suspected more than just one man’s folly, specially as Australia are only one of three countries with drug codes in cricket and annoyingly self-righteous when it comes to the bad practice of others.CUP SIDELIGHTS HUNKOMANIA: A World Hunk XI picked by female readers of The Star included (in order) Wasim Akram, Stephen Fleming, Alok Kapali, Makhaya Ntini, Corey Collymore, Craig White, Zaheer Khan, Brett Lee, Dravid, Chris Cairns and Tendulkar.BAGGAGE MAN: The Indian team is accompanied by an entertaining baggage man, Achmat. The Indians were startled by his informality and irreverence, but were soon seen exchanging the traditional South African greeting of “Howz it, brother?”SPEED GUN: It’s official. The time available to batsmen to react to a ball being bowled at him by, say, Brett Lee (below) is 400 milliseconds. An Australian invention, Silicon Coach, that can measure any activity is currently being used at the “elite” level in Australia Tim Noakes, a member of the World Cup Appeals Committee on Drugs and professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town, asks, “Warne’s said on record that he has not taken a performance-enhancing substance.advertisementBut why then did he need to take a diuretic? If he was using it to get fitter and stronger and to recover from an injury then that’s clearly a violation and Australians must ask who prescribed it to him.” The possible explanations are two: that a diuretic was part of his medical requirements (not the case as it is a treatment for high blood pressure and Warne has not sought a medical exemption for that condition) or that any nutritional supplements he may have taken was contaminated by the diuretics that showed up in his test. Warne’s statement that he took a fluid tablet before his comeback game on January 23 has also been questioned. Writing in The Melbourne Age, Peter Brukner, associate professor at the Centre for Sports Medicine Research and Education at Melbourne University, said, “One would have thought that the last thing an athlete would want to do on a hot day is to dehydrate himself… it has been shown that dehydration leads to impaired performance.” Diuretics are on the IOC’s list of banned drugs because they can be used as weight-loss tablets that help boxers, rowers and weightlifters achieve required weight levels quickly and because they can act as masking agents for anabolic steroids, used to speed up an athlete’s recovery from injury. Warne, whose other newsworthy act in South Africa was to make an unsubtle beeline to chat up the statuesque woman who led the Australians out at the opening ceremony in front of 25,000 people, slipped again- except this time it showed.Nasser Hussain and the Philosophers’ StonesHIT WICKET: Hussain (right) with coach Duncan FletcherSticks and stones may have broken protesters’ bones in Mugabe’s Harare but thousands of words flying around England’s besieged cricket team and its refusal to play in Zimbabwe have hurt them too.Captain Nasser Hussain was caught between weeping young players and a cricket board that didn’t want to give up the cake, but couldn’t be bothered to make a trip to the bakers in a slightly rough neighbourhood with an armed escort. Public understanding turned against Hussain & Co once Henry Olonga and Andy Flower decided to wear black bands in Zimbabwe’s first match to mourn the “death of democracy”. Olonga, the first black man to represent Zimbabwe, and Flower, the most accomplished cricketer from his country, made a rare political gesture in cricket, one an ICC insider called “powerful and brave”. advertisementA notice put out by Mugabe’s Zanu PF partyNot the words being used to describe Englishmen. The England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) took its opportunism to the brink: it tried to get the ICC to cancel its opening match in Harare without making a formal declaration that it would not go, a legal ploy which sought to limit damage claims.South Africa’s board president Percy Sonn, a lawyer himself, thundered, “There has been a huge disrespect shown to our ability to host a tournament, despite the fact we have spent millions of rands on meeting their concerns.” Sonn declared that South Africa and Zimbabwe would stage a counter-boycott of their tours of England. It was an unsafe country where recently a stash of poisoned gas had been found, and where subway trains would regularly “crash into walls”. The ECB’s new chairman, David Morgan, didn’t meet with Sonn for days after he arrived and didn’t attend the opening ceremony in Cape Town despite the fact that he was invited and in town. MAIN MAN: The onus of preserving and destroying is back with TendulkarInstead England have been shown a documentary film about the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe to help them make up their minds. England’s Plan B is to get the match moved or to share points should Zimbabwe refuse to play away from home.Should the ICC,which has played tough so far, concede points at this stage, there will be an uproar that will once again unite the African and Asian lobbies in world cricket because when Australia and the West Indies refused to visit Sri Lanka in 1996 due to security concerns, they readily forfeited points. To make an exception for England would lead to a long aftershock of chaos.Tendulkar and the Batting Order of the PhoenixHYPED REALITY The average runs scored by India’s much-vaunted batsmen in the 10 innings up to the Holland match.15.3-Tendulkar14.7-Ganguly33.5-Sehwag19.4-Dravid29.5-Yuvraj8.7-KaifIf there is chaos, can India be far behind? Like the legendary phoenix, the Indian batting order is rumoured to have the capacity to rise from the ashes.Now with only six wins in their last 15 matches (including the match against Holland), the ashes are threatening to go cold in South Africa with little chance of glorious resurrection. A Dutch team made up of special-education teachers, university students, lawyers, real-estate agents and cigar salesmen – including a player by the completely unreal name of Jan Feiko Kloppenburg – left cricket’s gazillionaires red-faced after their first game.advertisementThe Dutch may have been as keen to procure a signed Sachin Tendulkar shirt as they were to get his wicket but captain Roland Lefebvre was brassy enough to suggest that the world’s best batsman had “looked tame” in his first 50-plus score in eight innings. Tendulkar had an eerily quiet run-up to the Cup due to a combination of injury and unsettled form. The question of where he would bat is part of the Indian team’s official secrets act, the epicentre for a dozen conspiracy theories.When Tendulkar walked out to open against Holland – a turnaround choice made by Sourav Ganguly – the dam burst: the maestro was at the top of the order to stop the growing growl in the media about how his genius was wasted down in the middle or perhaps it was a gesture to placate a disgruntled superstar pushed off the centrestage by that audacious arriviste Virender Sehwag. A member of the Indian touring party said, “If we want to win this World Cup, we need Sachin to have a good tournament. We need him to be where he is most comfortable, and there we need him to play like the best batsman in the world.” Tendulkar will open in more innings than was previously expected in the group stage.The onus of stepping up to the plate – not merely with the slash-and-burn tactics of lesser mortals like Sehwag but with the composite gifts of creator, preserver and destroyer – is back on Tendulkar again. The World Cup has begun but the players have yet to take centrestage for their deeds on the field. As the campaigns around South Africa 2003 have kept repeating – it’s time.
No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Beda secured a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs as they fought off a tough stand from Arellano, 83-72, Thursday in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre.Robert Bolick flirted with a triple-double as he fired 13 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds, including the last four points for the Red Lions to finally put the Chiefs away.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges The Red Lions had a hard time shaking off the desperate Chiefs in the game as Arellano cut the deficit to as low as four, 67-63 with 7:34 remaining.But Cabanag and AC Soberano commandeered San Beda’s 9-0 blast to restore order and take a 13-point lead, 76-63, with 5:31 to play.Kent Salado paced Arellano (5-9) with 17 points, three assists, and two rebounds, but his efforts weren’t enough as the Chiefs lost three of their last four games.Michael Cañete and Kraniel Viloria both had 15 markers in the defeat.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT Javee Mocon registered 14 markers, seven boards, and five assists, while Jeramer Cabanag posted a career-best 14 points, six of which coming in the fourth quarter, to go with two rebounds.Donald Tankoua also added 11 markers and five boards in the win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingCoach Boyet Fernandez is glad to keep San Beda’s 12-game winning streak rolling, but warned his players of complacency, especially as it prepares for its final eliminations assignment against Lyceum and the Final Four.“As what I’ve always said to my players, we only have to take good care of ourselves. We cannot pray for other teams to lose, other teams to win. All we have to do is take care of ourselves and win our games. Whatever will be the result, we’re always ready and prepared,” he said. Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups PVL goes to Tuguegarao, Bacolod, Iloilo For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans LATEST STORIES SAN BEDA 83 – Cabanag 14, Mocon 14, Bolick 13, Tankoua 11, Noah 7, Soberano 7, Adamos 4, Abuda 3, Doliguez 3, Potts 3, Bahio 2, Cariño 2, Tongco 0.ARELLANO 72 – Salado 17, Cañete 15, Viloria 15, Flores 6, Dela Cruz 5, Concepcion 3, Meca 3, Nicholls 3, Taywan 3, Enriquez 2, Abanes 0, Alcoriza 0.Quarters: 21-17, 43-40, 61-55, 83-72. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims
Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games “I told him ‘good job, you made it tough on me,’” said Bolick in Filipino Thursday as San Beda won its 21st seniors basketball title. “I told him ‘you know what, you did a good job, you’re the guy who came in and made an 18-0 sweep.’”“Last year, they never did it and they were very low in the standings.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingLyceum finished the Season 93 eliminations with a perfect 18-0 record after Season 92’s ninth place finish where it went 6-12 without Perez, who was still serving his residency at the school.“This year, just one guy, he changed the culture of Lyceum,” said Bolick who finished with 18 points, five rebounds, and six assists in Game 2. “I said to him ‘keep your head up because there’s nothing to be ashamed of.’” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIn the middle of a loud Smart Araneta Coliseum during the second game in the Finals between San Beda and Lyceum, Robert Bolick and CJ Perez shared a quiet moment.Perez left the game with 36 seconds left, just before San Beda celebrated its 92-82 title-clincher, but Bolick stopped him on the way to the Lyceum bench to share some words.ADVERTISEMENT Malditas save PH from shutout Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH ONE launches reality search for next MMA superstar in Asia The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Bolick said it’s just unfortunate that Lyceum still hasn’t got the championship experience that could’ve saved them in crunch time.As for San Beda, championship experience is practically running through its DNA.Bolick gave the Red Lions an 89-82 lead with 50.9 seconds left with a cold-blooded triple with Lyceum’s Mike Nzesseu rising up to challenge him.“I think the only advantage we have was our Finals experience, we know how to compose, and we know how to finish games in crunch time,” said Bolick. “I’m pretty sure next year, CJ will be working hard.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ View comments ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims LATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim
SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais SEOUL, South Korea — Despite the frosty political ties between their home countries, athletes from North and South Korea have sometimes produced emotional scenes of reconciliation at international sports events.They tearfully hugged after winning a world table tennis championship, drew a standing ovation while parading together at the opening of the Olympics and took a selfie with each other that captured international headlines.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives June 1991: The Koreas send a unified team to the FIFA World Youth Championship in Portugal. The team reaches the quarterfinals.___2000: Athletes from the two Koreas march together under a “unification flag” depicting their peninsula during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney Olympics. It’s the Koreas’ first such parade since their 1945 division.___FILE – In this Aug 7, 2016, file photo, South Korean gymnast Lee Eun-ju, right, and her North Korean counterpart Hong Un Jong shake hands and smile together for photographers during the artistic gymnastics women’s qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The photo captured global headlines, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach describes it as a “great gesture.” (Kim Do-hoon/Yonhap via AP, File)2002: North Korea attends the Asian Games in Busan, South Korea. The countries’ athletes conduct a joint march during the opening and closing ceremonies. North Korea sends a cheering group of young women. Dubbed the “squad of beauties” in South Korean media, they often draw more attention than the North’s athletes.___2003: North Korea participates in the University Games in Daegu, South Korea, and its athletes walk with their South Korean counterparts during the opening and closing ceremonies.___2004: Athletes from the two Koreas march jointly at the Athens Olympics.___ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games North Korea to attend Olympics in rival South708 viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte View comments MOST READ 2017: North Korea’s taekwondo demonstration team visits South Korea for its first performance in the rival country in 10 years.___Jan. 1, 2018: North Korea’s Kim says in his New Year’s address that he is willing to send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Olympics.___Jan. 5, 2018: South Korea says North Korea has agreed to hold talks on how to cooperate for the Pyeongchang Games.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ___1988: Seoul hosts the Summer Olympics, and North Korea again boycotts.___April 1991: The Koreas send their first-ever unified male and female teams to the world table tennis championships in Chiba, Japan. The women’s team wins the championship by defeating the powerful Chinese.___ADVERTISEMENT There could be similar drama at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort town of Pyeongchang, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un saying he’s willing to send a delegation to the games. The two Koreas will meet at their tense border on Tuesday to discuss how to cooperate on the Olympics.Some key moments in Korean sports ties:FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting___1986: Seoul, the South Korean capital, hosts the Asian Games. North Korea boycotts. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims 2005: North Korea attends the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea. Included in the North’s cheering squad is Ri Sol Ju, who is now the wife of Kim Jong Un.___2006: The two Koreas march together at the Turin Winter Olympics.___2007: Athletes from the two Koreas march together at the Asian Winter Games in Changchun, China, but have not done so since.___2014: North Korea attends the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. At the close of the event, three top North Korean officials make a surprise visit and hold the highest-level face-to-face talks with South Korea in five years.___2016: At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, a 17-year-old South Korean gymnast takes a selfie with a North Korean gymnast while training for competition. The photo captures global headlines, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach describes it as a “great gesture.”___ Steve Kerr calls LaVar Ball ‘the Kardashian of the NBA’
San Miguel is returning to the ABL five years after winning the crown in 2013 with a team coached by Leo Austria.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Ray Parks rediscovered the form that made him the local Most Valuable Player last season, pouring a season-high 31 points, while imports Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee joined forces in overtime, contributing 20 points apiece as Alab improved to 7-4.It was Alab’s fifth win in the last six games—a run that coincided with the entry of Balkman and Brownlee, the import who led Ginebra to back-to-back Governor’s Cup titles last year.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingChong Son blew a double digit lead in the second half as Josh Urbiztondo broke out of his shooting slump to will the Filipinos back into the game, hitting three triples in the final three minutes to forge overtime.The victory came as a welcome respite for Alab as it searched for sponsors, after cutting ties with its initial backer, Tanduay, a couple of weeks ago, following disagreements with player and import selections. Sources said the team was informed of the San Miguel partnership after the win over Chong Son. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lady Blazers near Final Four berth PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Alab Pilipinas. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAfter a shaky start in its second season in the Asean Basketball League (ABL), things are finally looking up for Alab Pilipinas.Not only has Alab brought down one of the early favorites in Chinese team Chong Son Kung Fu Lions, 94-91, in overtime on Wednesday night in Santa Rosa, Laguna, the Filipino ball club also secured a new backer in San Miguel Corp., which had a brief yet successful stint in the regional tournament.ADVERTISEMENT BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES MOST READ View comments Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim
In a bid to outplay Twitter and at the same time become journalists’ best friend, Facebook on Thursday launched FB Newswire which would be a repository of verified, real-time content for use in covering breaking news stories.Billed as an online trove of real-time information for journalists and newsrooms to mine, FB Newswire has been launched in partnership with News Corp-owned Storyful. FB Newswire aggregates newsworthy content which is shared publicly on the social networkThe FB Newswire will work on Storyful’s raison d’etre which was to verify news sources from social sites inclduding FB, Twitter and Instagram.FB Newswire will collect “newsworthy content” that Facebook users share publicly, including photos and videos, as well as status updates from users who are on the ground where news is breaking.With this, Facebook aims to to position itself as a source for timely public information – something similar to what Twitter has become.You can follow the FB Newsroom at www.facebook.com/fbnewswire as well as on twitter at @FBNewswire.Regarding the launch, in a message on FBNewswire, Andy Mitchell, Director, News and Global Media Partnerships, wrote, “Every day, news is made on Facebook. More than one billion people use our platform to discover, explore and participate in news-making events around the world.”Today, we’re excited to announce FB Newswire, a resource that will make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce.”Powered by Storyful, the leader in social content discovery and verification for newsrooms, FB Newswire aggregates newsworthy content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organizations across the world for journalists to use in their reporting. This will include original photos, videos and status updates posted by people on the front lines of major events like protests, elections and sporting events. FB Newswire is accessible on Facebook at Facebook.com/FBNewswire and on Twitter at @FBNewswire, and will be updated in real-time with content related to top news stories.advertisement”In Storyful, we’re excited to have found a partner with a track record of understanding both the potential of the social web as a key resource for media as well as the tools that newsrooms need to utilize it. We’re confident that their news expertise and best-in-class editorial team will help make it even easier for journalists to use compelling social content from Facebook in their newsgathering and reporting.”News is finding a bigger audience on Facebook than ever before. Journalists and media organizations have become an integral part of Facebook, which is visible in features like Trending Topics, improvements to Pages, and recent changes to News Feed. Publishers are seeing the results of our commitment, with referral traffic from Facebook to media sites growing more than 4x in 2013, and we’re excited to deepen our relationship with media organizations and journalists in the days to come.”
Xherdan Shaqiri and Gokhan Inler will be crucial for Switzerland at the World CupPerhaps this is Switzerland’s best chance to make an impression at the World Cup.The Swiss have a talented group of mostly young players who are aiming to give veteran coach Ottmar Hitzfeld a fitting finale for his career.Here are five players to watch:XHERDAN SHAQIRIStill only 22, Xherdan Shaqiri should make many lists of potential breakout stars in Brazil.Shaqiri will be going to his second World Cup with talent has not yet been fully exposed.At Bayern Munich, the stocky wide attacker has to wait for his chance in the biggest Champions League matches behind Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller. In the Bundesliga, Shaqiri is a consistent scorer and assist provider for the runaway champions.Despite tight and physical marking from opponents in Brazil, Shaqiri has strength and balance to compare with the similarly sized Lionel Messi.The poor man’s Messi? It sounds like an insult, but really isn’t.GOKHAN INLERSwitzerland fans have long looked for Gokhan Inler to step up and be “patron” of the midfield.Now captain of the “Nati,” Inler has increasingly shown the strength and creativity to dictate play. However, it is an intriguing tussle for central midfield slots among Napoli teammates Inler, Valon Behrami and Blerim Dzemaili.Behrami and Dzemaili stood out in a 1-0 win over Brazil last August. Inler was benched because he would be suspended for a subsequent World Cup qualifier, so Hitzfeld paired the other two.advertisementInler soon returned and, celebrating his 30th birthday in Brazil after the group stage ends, should be in his prime.FABIAN SCHAERSwitzerland has often seemed to lack a world-class central defender in recent years. Fabian Schaer might be the solution.The 22-year-old Schaer has impressed in only his second season with Swiss champion FC Basel and since making his international debut against Brazil.With excellent long-range passing and the composure to take penalties for his club, Schaer has also scored three times in his first three national team matches.Defensively, Schaer is still developing and has missed valuable playing time with knee and ankle injuries since December.Schaer has already been linked with Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal and a good World Cup could make him the latest big sale by Basel.STEPHAN LICHTSTEINERStephan Lichtsteiner is a modern right-back with old school qualities.The Juventus player overlaps in attack, gets crosses in, scores his share of goals and does not shirk when the game gets feisty.Indeed, Lichtsteiner was a big reason that Brazil collectively lost its cool when losing to the Swiss last August.First-half flashes down Lichtsteiner’s right flank irked Neymar and Marcelo and let Switzerland know it had got under the skin of the World Cup hosts.A big-game attitude developed with the Italian champions should serve Switzerland’s needs well.HARIS SEFEROVICCentral striker might be the one position coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is most undecided about.Haris Seferovic was the No. 9 Hitzfeld thought he had. The Real Sociedad forward earned a run of selections by scoring a 90th-minute winner against Cyprus in qualifying last June.Seferovic led the attack in the remaining qualifiers but did not add to his tally. Then he spent the night of his 22nd birthday in February in a Spanish police cell with his wife after a public disturbance.Two weeks later, Hitzfeld gave Josip Drmic another chance in a friendly against Croatia, and the Nuremberg forward scored twice.Seferovic can win back his coach’s trust by recapturing his early-season form.
The quartet of Priyanka Panwar, Tintu Luka, Mandeep Kaur and MR Poovamma won the goldIndia continued their stranglehold in women’s 4x400m relay event in the Asian Games as its quartet ran a brilliant race to win the gold for the fourth time on the trot in Games record time in the 17th edition in Incheon on Thursday.The quartet of Priyanka Panwar, Tintu Luka, Mandeep Kaur and M.R. Poovamma won an easy race in 3:28.68 to improve upon the earlier Games record of 3:29.02 which was also in the name of the gold-winning Indian team in 2010. This was the second gold for India from athletics after Seema Punia bagged the yellow metal in women’s discus throw.Japan won the silver in 3:30.80 while China bagged the bronze in 3:32.02. The first lapper, Panwar was, however, lagging behind her Japanese counterpart but Luka, who won a silver in 800m race, ran a brilliant race to recover the loss ground for India.India took a small lead after two laps before Mandeep widened the gap in the third lap after holding out a strong challenge from her Japanese counterpart. Poovamma, who won a bronze in 400m race, then anchored India to gold by blasting her way to the finishing line.This was the fourth time India has bagged gold in women’s 4x400m relay in Asian Games as the country has been winning the event since the 2002 Busan Games.Mandeep Kaur, who ran an impressive third leg was part of that gold-winning quartet in the 2010 Guangzhou Games.advertisement
India take on Sri Lanka in the 4th ODI at the Eden Gardens. (BCCI)Having already pocketed the series, a rampaging India would like to continue their dominance and a hapless Sri Lanka would look to salvage some pride during the penultimate game of the five-match series at the Eden Gardens on Thursday. Live score Led by the flamboyant Virat Kohli, in the absence of regular skipper MS Dhoni, who is nursing a thumb injury, Team India have outplayed the Lankans by handing them crushing defeats in the first three matches to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.With the selectors resting regular opener Shikhar Dhawan, all eyes will be on Robin Uthappa who last played for India in June. Rohit Sharma, returning to the squad after a two-month injury layoff, is also bound to grab the spotlight.Cracking two fifties and a century, Dhawan has scored 283 runs to be the top scorer so far. However, there is disappointment in store for the home crowd, as local boy and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha has been rested. Uthappa, who keeps for his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, is expected to replace Saha behind the wickets.If required, Ambati Rayudu can also take up the wicket-keeping duties.Tweaking the squad for the last two games, the selection panel has brought in Karn Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Kedar Jadhav, at the expense of Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Saha, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Varun Aaron and Mohammed Shami.The visitors too have shuffled their squad, and are looking up to old warhorse Mahela Jayawardene and dashing opener Tilakratne Dilshan. Jayawardane hit an elegant century in the last ODI, and his efforts would be crucial for a Sri Lankan resurgence.advertisementPlagued by a string of poor batting display, Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews had no qualms in accepting his side played poorly.”We haven’t played well. We haven’t batted well in all three games,” Mathews said after conceding the series in Hyderabad.Out of form by his high standards, Kumar Sangakkara has been rested along side Dhammika Prasad, Suraj Randiv and Upul Tharanga. Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Ajantha Mendis and Shaminda Eranga are the replacements.The mystery spin of Mendis and Eranga’s death bowling is expected to give teeth to the Sri Lankan attack that has looked listless in the absence of pace spearhead Lasith Malinga and left-arm slow bowling Rangana Herath.Having snared eight wickets in the series, Umesh Yadav would spearhead India’s pace attack while legspinner Karn, who has found a place in the Australia-bound Test squad, may get a look in.Touted as India’s future full-time captain, Kohli has led with elan, and already amplified the desire of making team India ‘ruthless’.”I think what we are trying to achieve is being ruthless. If you want to be ruthless, if you want big and convincing wins, it’s very important to address the issues that happen,” Kohli had said prior to the Hyderabad match.The star batsman, who has been named captain for the opening Test against Australia in December, would hope to continue his good run both as a skipper and with the bat.At the Eden Gardens, India have beaten Sri Lankan twice in four games, while one yielded a no result. Statistically, the hosts are favourites, and could try out different batting and bowling combinations, especially with less than 100 days left before they embark on their campaign to defend the World Cup title.The last time the two sides met on this ground was in December, 2009. Then India had trounced Sri Lanka by seven wickets, riding on hundreds from Gautam Gambhir and Kohli. In a run feast, both the teams scored in excess of 300. Upul Tharanga had too got to the three-figure mark.Teams (from):Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (captain), Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Ashan Priyanjan, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lahiru Gamage, Chaturanga de Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Ajanta Mendis, Shaminda ErangaIndia: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Karn Sharma, Axar Patel, Vinay Kumar.
Manchester City will face a stern test against Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16A Champions League draw heavy with reunions on Monday paired Real Madrid and Barcelona with the same last 16 opponents as last season, and sent Arsene Wenger back to the club where he made his reputation.Defending champion Madrid will play Schalke a year after a 6-1 rout in Germany sparked a 9-2 aggregate victory.”We want to show that we’ve learned something,” Schalke coach Roberto Di Matteo said. “We got the toughest rival.”Barcelona will once again travel first, on Feb. 24, to play Manchester City. Barcelona beat City 4-1 on aggregate at the same stage last season.”We have tried to improve at the back. We are more solid than last season,” said Man City director of football Txiki Begiristain, a former Barcelona player and director. “The only reason to be happy is that I can go home.”The draw also paired Wenger with former team Monaco, where the Arsenal manager rose to prominence by winning a French league title in 1988.”It’s AS Monaco – Mon. Wenger will be happy about the draw,” Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil wrote on his Twitter account.More repeat business will see Paris Saint-Germain again host Chelsea first, after the English club advanced from their quarterfinal series last season.Former German star Karl-Heinz Riedle announces English club Chelsea’s draw for round of 16″What happened last year was a good experience that shall not be repeated,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said.advertisementBayern Munich, which won the most recent of its five titles in 2013, will be away first against Shakhtar Donetsk. The runaway Bundesliga leader has never played the Ukrainian champions.”Donetsk is a big unknown for us. It won’t be so easy to prepare for these matches,” Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said.Shakhtar, which is based near Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, is scheduled to host its match on Feb. 17 in Lviv because of the ongoing conflict in its home city with separatist forces.Juventus will face Borussia Dortmund in a repeat of the 1997 final which produced one of the biggest Champions League upsets. Back then, Dortmund beat the heavily favored defending champions 3-1.Also, Bayer Leverkusen will face Atletico Madrid, and FC Basel will play FC Porto in a match of clubs which sustain good Champions League results despite often selling star players.”Every year they sell wonderful players at high prices and they stay sportively on a very high level,” said Basel club president Bernhard Heusler, whose team ousted five-time champion Liverpool last week. “We have no fears, only a lot of respect.”The first legs will be played on Feb. 17-18 and 24-25, with the return matches on March 10-11 and 17-18.The final is scheduled for June 6 at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.Round of 16 draw:Paris Saint-Germain(France) vs Chelsea(England)Shakhtar Donetsk(Ukraine) vs Bayern Munich(Germany)Schalke(Germany) vs Real Madrid(Spain)FC Basel(Switzerland) vs FC Porto(Portugal)Manchester City(England) vs Barcelona(Spain)Juventus(Italy) vs Borussia Dortmund(Germany)Bayer Leverkusen(Germany) vs Atletico Madrid(Spain)Arsenal(England) vs Monaco(France)
For Australia, Joe Burns would be making a debut in Melbourne.India have been so near yet so far after the two Tests against Australia and now would play for pride by spoiling their golden chance of winning a series Down Under.Australia’s regular skipper, Michael Clarke is out of the series with Steve Smith assigned the role and the allrounder did the job well by leading the hosts to a four-wicket win at the Gabba. On the contrary, India’s makeshift skipper Virat Kohli in the first Test at Adelaide led from the front with twin hundreds, but faltered to take India over the finish line.MS Dhoni, India’s Test captain has taken charge from the second Test and would be leading his team out also on the Boxing Day, while Clarke has decided to do commentary in Melbourne.While coming to the team compositions, both teams have few problems to deal with. For India, batting has failed them when they required the most resulting in handing Australia the advantage by capitulating. The top order in Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli are in great touch with Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara chipping in with modest scores.The bowling, however, in Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav have looked to bother the Aussies, but given away too many easy runs and more importantly failed gloriously in snapping the tail. A fit Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be drafted in the team or the tourists would prefer to go in with the same attack. Opener KL Rahul would have to wait a bit longer, but Suresh Raina stands an optimistic chance with Rohit Sharma struggling at No.6 position.advertisementAustralia have been lucky or could be said they seized the key moments in both the Tests to stay one step ahead of India. Veteran Shane Watson and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin have been struggling for form with Australia heavily dependent on David Warner and Smith. Watson is under lot of scrutiny and needs to fire in order of standing a chance to retain his place in Sydney.All eyes also would be on debutant Joe Burns to be batting at sixth position, who has replaced an injured Mitchell Marsh. Ryan Harris is also back in place of Mitchell Starc. Leading up to the third Test, Australia had few injury issues, but Warner and Shaun Marsh have recovered on time after getting hit in the nets.Australia are already in the driver’s seat and gunning for a possible whitewash. While India have to move on and stop whining about unrest, bad food and practice wickets to stage a turnaround.