Calisaan tows San Sebastian to rout of St. Benilde

first_imgLOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC ST. BENILDE 71 – Naboa 17, Dixon 15, Leutcheu 12, Pili 8, Sta. Maria 8, San Juan 6, Suarez 3, Castor 2, Domingo 0, Velasco 0.Quarters: 28-21, 51-35, 74-53, 101-71. K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH San Sebastian leaned on Calisaan’s offensive surge in the fourth quarter, before Kevin Baytan’s trey erected a lead as high as 36, 96-60, late in the game.The lengthy forward dropped 14 of his 20 points in the payoff period, to go with his six rebounds to help the Golden Stags even their slate at 3-3.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlfren Gayosa added 15 markers, 13 coming in the first half, on top of six boards, while Allyn Bulanadi got 13 points as San Sebastian dominated the lowly Blazers.Coach Egay Macaraya expressed satisfaction with the way his side dominated the game. LATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLeaning on Michael Calisaan, San Sebastian finally strung its first winning streak in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament with a 101-71 whacking of St. Benilde Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.With their guns ablaze from the get-go, the Golden Stags showed their full potential on the offensive end, converting 54-percent of their shots from the field and became the first squad to break the century mark this year.ADVERTISEMENT Read Nextcenter_img SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief “At least for us, we got a good shooting percentage today. St. Benilde is giving us a lot of three-points and we’re making them. That’s the key to our game, that we made our threes,” he said, noting of his side’s 10-of-27 shooting from beyond the arc.Unique Naboa led St. Benilde (2-5) with 17 points, three rebounds, and two assists, while Edward Dixon got 15 markers and seven boards.Clement Leutcheu just missed out on a double-double as he racked 12 points and nine rebounds.The Scores:SAN SEBASTIAN 101 – Calisaan 20, Gayosa 15, Bulanadi 13, David 9, Mercado 8, Calma 8, Navarro 7, Baetiong 6, Capobres 5, Ilagan 4, Costelo 3, Baytan 3, Are 0, Quipse 0, Valdez 0.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Deaf personalities everyone should know PLAY LIST 04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know05:01What the Deaf want the hearing to know01:15Learn basic phrases in Filipino Sign Language01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Vince Carter biopic to be shown at Toronto film fest View commentslast_img read more

Azkals fly to Doha seeking maximum points

first_imgMOST READ But the Filipinos remain on top of Group F with seven points, although a defeat in the Oct. 10 clash at Al Wakrah SC Stadium could put their qualification hopes in peril.Azkals coach Thomas Dooley got a boost on the defensive end with Daisuke Sato, who plays for Horsens in the Danish first division, returning from suspension.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Azkals have conceded six goals from their first three matches and they suffered a blow when top centerback Amani Aguinaldo sustained a long-term knee injury.Misagh Bahadoran, the leading scorer in World Cup Qualifying two years ago, also did not make the trip due to a shoulder injury. Read Next Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  ‘GAB is not to blame’ Looking to grab maximum points this time, the Philippine Azkals flew to Doha last Tuesday night to undergo a one-week camp in preparation for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying duel with Yemen.Missing several key players due to injuries, the Azkals were held to a 2-2 draw by the Yemenis Sept. 5 at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View commentslast_img read more

Abueva hopes to get second chance at Gilas, vows to redeem self

first_imgPhoto from Fiba.comCalvin Abueva is still keeping his fingers crossed on his potential inclusion back to Gilas Pilipinas, which will see action against Australia and Japan in the second window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.Abueva is hoping to make the roster, but knows that in the end, it’s still going to be coach Chot Reyes, who will have the final say.ADVERTISEMENT But given the chance, Abueva vowed to do his best to redeem himself to Reyes and the national team program.“I’m showing, the best that I can, what I was in the first window, it’s still going to be the same,” he said. “There are some players who are not here and who are injured, and if I get a chance, that would be a big thing for me and I promise that I’ll double my effort.” AFP official booed out of forum John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES MOST READ NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “This is an opportunity. I accepted coach Chot’s decision wholeheartedly and whatever happens, I’ll accept it,” he said in Filipino.Abueva has been dropped from consideration for the upcoming leg by Reyes after he and Raymond Almazan skipped the team’s first three practices this year.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe did show up in the following week on January 29 after he got cut and promised to make up for his shortcomings. Abueva has since been diligent in showing up for the trainings, missing only one session when the Aces had a game the day prior.Still, there’s no denying that Abueva is making the most of this “second chance” participating in practices, relishing every opportunity to help the national team. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Ceres hits AFC Cup milestone in drubbing of Boeung Ket 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “For me, I’m just doing my best here. It’s sad that I may skip the second window, but [Gilas] is important for me,” he said.Reyes, meanwhile, remains noncommittal if he’s going to reconsider include Abueva to his roster for the games against Australia and Japan later in Feburary, saying that as of now, everything is still status quo.“Calvin is still part of the pool. He continues to come and practice as part of the pool just like everybody else here,” he said. “We took him out of the consideration for the second window, but he has remained part of the pool. And I’ve always said: people can play themselves into consideration, into the pool and out of the pool, or out of consideration. There’s no change there.”Reyes reiterated he still hasn’t made up his mind as to who will comprise his 12-man lineup in Melbourne especially with some of the players hit with injuries.“We haven’t made any decisions either way because we’re still assessing the injury status of the other guys so we’re not yet in a position to make any final decisions or determinations in the line-up,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Rebisco-PSL squad arrives in Kazakhstan

first_img250 enrolled at phony school arrested in immigration scam Quiñahan joins Paras, Teng, Ravena in PH 3×3 squad LATEST STORIES Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan—A tired, but fired-up Rebisco-PSL Manila squad arrived here Tuesday after a 35-hour flight from Istanbul to this laid-back town.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingAfter disembarking from the grueling Turkish Airlines flight, team captain Rachel Anne Daquis said the team’s battle cry will be “big fighting heart,” amid the challenge of facing tough teams in the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championships which starts Thursday.The 14-player team, made up of the core of the newly formed Philippine team that will compete in the Southeast Asian Games, will battle clubs from Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Iran, Chinese Taipei and host Kazakhstan. Ust Kamenogorsk school girls welcome the Rebisco PSL Manila at the airport today ahead of the Asian Women’s Club Championships here pic.twitter.com/4lG55bdhKt— Marc Anthony Reyes (@marcreyesINQ) May 23, 2017ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games National head coach Francis Vicente refused to make a prediction—the country’s best finish here was 7th place out of the 12-team field last year—although he vowed to give SEAG rivals Vietnam and Thailand a good fight.“But we will be a going all out here because we want to gauge the team,” said Vicente.The team members are Daquis, Mika Reyes, Jaja Santiago, Aby Marano, Kim Fajardo, Denden Lazaro, Bia General, Lourdes Clemente, Maika Ortiz, Gen Casugod, Ces Molina, Aiza Pontillas, Rhea Dimaculangan and Jovelyn Gonzaga.“This is the strongest team we have formed for this tournament,” said Philippine Superliga director Anna Tomas who joined the squad also backed up by Asics and GrandSports.However, this marks the first time the country is sending an all-Filipino crew in a competition that allows imports.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments MOST READcenter_img Hornets beat Pistons for 8th straight time Vicente quickly called for an evening practice right at the tournament’s venue, the spanking new Boris Alexandroc Sports Palace that sits at the town center near the Ulba river.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LOOK: Vhong Navarro’s romantic posts spark speculations he’s marrying longtime GF Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes SEA Games: PH beats Indonesia, enters gold medal round in polo Man who told immigrant to go back to country asked to write essay Lillard, Anthony lead Blazers over Thunderlast_img read more

Belo has to get over mental hump regarding injury — Reyes

first_imgLATEST STORIES Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has an ace he just couldn’t pull out of his sleeves just yet.Not in the Jones Cup Invitational at least.Mac Belo has gotten very little exposure in this 10-team, nine-nation event, and with two games remaining in the Gilas Pilipinas schedule, the top pick in the last PBA Draft is patiently waiting for his time.ADVERTISEMENT Most of Belo’s fellow members of the Cadet program, who are in the team playing here, have been tapped for the SEAG, and he could eventually be one of four Cadets playing in Lebanon, the others being Matthew Wright, Jio Jalalon and RR Pogoy.“He is a big part of our plans, especially for the Fiba Asia,” Reyes said. “But we have to minimize our expectations. Hindi puedeng biglain (We can’t force him).”With less than three weeks before Gilas departs for Beirut, and with the final roster to be sent to Fiba no later than noon time this Tuesday, Reyes will have a lot of thinking to do on whether he takes Belo there.And Belo would have to hurdle that psychological hump to make the decision easier for Reyes, even in the last two games of the Jones Cup if he gets the chance.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Tall, talented Lithuania too much to handle for Gilas View comments Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READcenter_img Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ But Reyes feels that the 6-foot-3 former Far Eastern ace is not yet “game ready” after coming off a knee injury that kept him out of play for months.“I think it’s here,” Reyes said, pointing to his temple when asked what’s bugging Belo. “It’s all psychological for him. We really have to take a look at his progress because he doesn’t seem to be game-ready.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsReyes put Belo’s name in the 24-man pool for the Fiba Asia Championship in Beirut from August 8-20 and said that he really had plans for Belo specifically for that tournament – which is a lot tougher than the other event a separate Gilas squad will be playing in, the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur from Aug. 19.It seems that Belo is playing with a hindrance in the way he moved on the floor when he played five minutes in a 91-80 loss to Lithuania on Friday, though the Blackwater forward said that he is 100% prior to coming over. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweetlast_img read more

Fil-Canadians boost PH SEA Games bid in ice hockey

first_imgBoth players were earlier disqualified for allegedly violation eligibility rules.“This is a great relief for us and great morale boost for the team,” said team manager Petronilo Tigaronita.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 openingTenedero and Sanchez were initially removed from the lineup after the hosts claimed both failed to meet the required 16-month residency rule under international standards.“But we have proof and documentation, including certification from their respective barangays that they have stayed in the Philippines since April 2016,” said teammate Francois Emmanuel Gautier, who arrived with Tigaronita ahead of the team in filing the appeal. “We only had four days to get them,” he added.The Philippines is considered to be the favorites to rule ice hockey, which is making its debut in the regional event.“If we play to our potential, I can’t see any reason why we won’t win [the gold],” said Filipino-Swiss goalkeeper Gianpetro Iseppi in an interview before the squad left for Kuala Lumpur.The Filipinos open their campaign against Indonesia on Monday at the Empire City Ice Arena in Damansara Perdana, a new commercial hub in this bustling and progressive Malaysian capital.They take on Singapore next then, Malaysia before closing out their stint against Thailand on Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT This photo taken on August 15, 2017 shows head coach Daniel Brodan (R) giving instructions to members of the Philippines men’s ice hockey team, dubbed the “Mighty Ducks”, during a practice session at a mall skating rink in Manila ahead of their games at the Southeast Asian Games (SEAGames) in Malaysia.Dubbed the “Mighty Ducks” by local media, the Philippine men’s hockey team aims to win a gold medal in next week’s games in Malaysia — a far cry from members’ days of only learning of the sport through the Disney movies. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBEThe Philippines’ gold-medal bid in ice hockey got a shot in the arm after two of its key players earned the go-signal from Southeast Asian Games organizers to compete.Carlo Martin Tenedero and Paul Gabriel Sanchez have been allowed to play in the SEA Games after the country’s men’s ice hockey team won its appeal to reinstate the two Fil-Canadians in the team Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul LATEST STORIES The team that finishes with the most number of wins bags the gold medal.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesterscenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony SEA Games Gallery: August 19 Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR View comments MOST READlast_img read more

Indian women create history, win 4×400 relay gold

first_imgIndian women’s 4x400m relay team celebrates after winning gold during the CWG at the JN Stadium. PTIIndia won their second athletics gold at the Delhi Games with the women’s relay team’s stellar show in the 4×400 race at the JN Stadium here. Medals | WATCH VIDEO On the same day, India also collected four athletics bronze, taking their tally in track and field to an unprecedented 12.Indian women’s 4x400m relay team added another gold to the one won yesterday by discus thrower Krishna Poonia as medals rained for the home country in front of a cheering near-capacity crowd at the Jawaharalal Nehru Stadium.VIDEO: HEENA, ANNU GIVE INDIA 31ST GOLDPaddlers keep medal hopes aliveBreathtaking closing show on cardsThe men’s and women’s 4x100m relay teams, triple jumper Renjith Maheswary and javelin thrower Kashinath Naik added a bronze each.After today’s events, only men and women’s marathon remained in the athletics competition.In terms of number of medals won, it turned out to be the most productive day for India. Yesterday, India swept women’s discus throw with Poonia winning gold to break a 52-year-old drought, while Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil bagged a silver and bronze respectively.The 12 medals, including a gold, is more than the 10 medals the country had won in the earlier editions.The women’s 4X400m relay quartet of Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur set the track ablaze by winning the race in 3:27.77, ahead of Nigeria (3:28.72) and England (3:29.51).Manjeet was running second at the end of first leg and Jose maintained it. Akkunji then took India to lead with a fast run in the third leg before Mandeep saw off a late surge from a Nigerian to cross the finishing line ahead of the rest.advertisementThere were scenes of wild celebration among the Indian officials present at the VIP stand and among the vociferous crowd. National coach Bahadur Singh termed it as the beginning of India’s emergence as an athletics power.”We have shown that we can win medals at the highest level. Athletics competition in the Commonwealth Games is of high standard. If we maintain this level for another 3-4 years, India can become an athletics power,” Bahadur told PTI.The medal-surge began with the women’s 4x100m relay team of Geetha Satti, Srabani Nanda, P K Priya and H M Jyothi finishing third in a photo finish with a timing of 45.25secs, just one-hundredth of a second behind second-placed Ghana (45.24secs). England won gold in 44.19secs.It looked like India’s final-leg runner H M Jyothi would cross the finishing line at second but Ghanaian Janet Amponsah did better and the home team had to be content with a bronze.India clocked 45.25secs, while Ghana clocked 45.24secs.The men’s quartet of Rahamatulla Molla, Krishnakumar Rane, Shammer Mon and Mohd Abdul Qureshi smashed the national record with a timing of 38.89secs.The same quartet had set a national record of 39.00secs in the semifinals yesterday.India were lagging behind in the first and second legs but Mon took them to fourth place by the end of third leg in the field of eight. Qureshi beat a runner in the final leg to take India to bronze. England won the gold in 38.74secs while Jamaica settled for a silver in 38.79secs.Triple jumper Renjith Maheswary broke his own national record by clearing 17.07m in his third of the six attempts.His earlier national record was 17.04m.Till the fifth and penultimate round, Maheswary was second, behind eventual gold winner Tosin Oke (17.16m) of Nigeria, but Cameroonian Lucien Mamba jumped 17.14m in his final attempt to win silver.”I though I would win a silver but I am happy that I won a bronze. I dedicate the bronze to my daughter Jia (born in August),” he said after the race.In the men’s 4×400 race, India finsihed seventh in 3:07.60.”I am too happy to say anything. We worked very hard and by the grace of God we finally got our prize. We practised non stop for one and a half months to get our coordination right.We have improved a lot and we have broken the national record,” he said.But the surprise medallist of the day was Kashinath Naik, who cleared 74.29m, in men’s javelin throw. The gold and silver were won by Jarrod Bannister (81.72m) of Australia and Stuart Farquhar (78.15m) of New Zealand respectively.”I am not satisfied by my performance as I could do better. But I am happy that India won its first medal in javelin throw,” Naik said later.advertisementlast_img read more

Curator promises fair pitch in Durban

first_imgPromising a fair pitch for the second Test between India and South Africa, the chief groundsman of the Kingsmead Stadium, Wilson Ngobese, said the track will not help bowlers excessively.The first Test was won by South Africa by an innings and 25 runs in Centurion after the Indian batting collapsed in the first innings on a track which helped pace bowlers in overcast conditions.Ngobese said the pitch for the second Test starting in Durban on Sunday would be a lot more balanced. “I want to give a wicket that is fair to everybody,” Ngobese said. ” It must not excessively help the bowlers too, and then if you can’t bat, I can’t help it. But we are expecting more rain till the start of the match and I am hoping for a few sunny days. Still, it should help the bowlers with good bounce,” he added.Ngobese said the weather would also be a major factor, along with the sea breeze.”I don’t want to show cracks on the pitch,” said Ngobese as he ruled out getting rid of the grass cover on the track.Meanwhile, South African captain Graeme Smith started the mindgames ahead of the Boxing Day Test.”I still believe that we could have handled that situation better. I would like to insist that the wicket was helping bowlers when we batted for the first 40- odd overs,” the South African captain stated in reference to India’s 136 all out in the first innings in Centurion.”The wicket flattened out after tea on the second day. But certainly we would have done better on that wicket ( batting first),” said Smith.advertisementThe skipper insisted that South Africa have the momentum.”We won the last Test by an innings and 25 runs. So we have a lot of positives to take from that match. We are certainly going to take that confidence with us in the second Test. On the other side, doubts will certainly creep into the Indian team. But we aren’t thinking too far ahead. We are focusing on the process and preparing well for this match,” he said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Somdev falls as India’s singles challenge ends

first_imgQualifier David Goffin from Belgium lowered Indian superstar Somdev Devvarman into the coffin as he posted a stunning 6- 2, 6- 4 first round win in the Chennai Open on Tuesday.With crowds filling the stadium and rooting for Somdev, fans hoped for a miracle.Runner- up in 2009 at the Chennai Open and second round loser in 2010, Somdev could not reproduce the magic which he has shown in the recent past. India’s singles challenge ended with Somdev’s loss.They say the first event of the year is always a tricky one. Somdev realised it as he was unable to come up with the big shots. As one who had become the toast of the nation after his efforts in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, this was a night of deep disappointment.To his credit, Goffin, just 20, soaked in the atmosphere and finally won when Somdev hit a forehand long. Overall, the way Goffin served and churned out the groundstrokes, there was no doubt he deserved to win.People will talk of Somdev loving the ambience, but his inability to string together big points made for bad viewing on Tuesday.” I am very disappointed with the result. Hopefully, the season will get better for me,” Somdev said at the press conference.” I was hitting very well in practice.That obviously doesn’t count when you are playing a match. I do not want to make any excuses but I can tell you it was a bad day. I am not going to kill myself over it,” added Somdev, with a laugh.advertisementTitle favourite Tomas Berdych came out all guns blazing as he demolished Frederico Gil of Portugal 6- 0, 6- 1 in the first round.After Kei Nishikori dumped second seed Marin Cilic on the first day, no one wanted another shocker.Berdych, who is playing here for the first time, treated the audience to top quality tennis and was aggressive to the point of being ruthless.It could have been a total rout had not Gil, ranked 101, won a game after being down 0- 5. ” It is important to start well in the new season and I am happy I was able to do that tonight,” said 25- yearold Berdych. He next faces Ivan Dodig of Croatia.From the Indian point of view, there was mixed news with Yuki Bhambri losing. However, Rohan Bopanna, who plays singles rarely, showed once again he can trouble the big players as he By S. Kannan in Chennai played his heart out before losing 4- 6, 4- 6 to third seed Stanislas Wawrinka.The more one sees Wawrinka, the more one is certain that the Swiss player will never give the opponent a free point. On Tuesday, Rohan, playing on the same court where he won the Davis Cup tie for India against Brazil in September, played as well as he could.Lack of singles play was evident, but the tall and strapping Coorgi tried hard with his serve against a top class singles player.The scoreline may suggest it was a routine match, but Bopanna put his heart and soul into it.Where the Indian came short was when he made some loose sorties to the net and got passed or when Wawrinka was ripping some incredible forehand drives.One such shot came in the eighth game of the second set when the Swiss faced a break point. Wawrinka hit a full blooded forehand cross- court pile driver which had a touch of class.” It was not an easy match tonight. After losing in doubles, I was keen to do well in singles. I was playing Bopanna in front of his home crowd and I couldn’t take it easy,” said Wawrinka.Fourth- seed Richard Gasquet of France, ranked 30th in the world, ousted compatriot Edouard Roger- Vasselin 6- 1, 6- 3 to reach the second round. The Frenchman next plays Bjorn Phau of Germany for a place in the quarter- finals.Seventh- seed Xavier Malisse of Belgium, who won the Chennai event in 2007, outplayed Marsel Ilhan of Turkey 6- 3, 6- 1 in another match.last_img read more