Led by a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds from Kwame Lawrence, the finals’ most valuable player, Arnett Gardens Rockers overcame a determined effort from Upper Room Church to win game three of their WorldNet/Southern Basketball Conference (SBC) league championship finals 82-71 at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday. The Rockers swept the best-of-five 3-0 and claimed their second successive SBC league title.Needing to win to keep the series alive, Upper Room started well and raced into a 11-3 lead before ending the quarter ahead 28-17. Arnett were having problems stemming Upper Room’s attacks, with Jermaine Brown (20 points) and Dwayne Pottinger (17 points and 14 rebounds) proving very difficult to contain.INCREASEDINTENSITYHowever, the introduction of Fernando Young increased the intensity in Arnett’s defence, and they were able to win the second quarter 21-16 as Upper Room led 44-38 at half-time.With Upper Room now within reach, the home team was expected to overtake their opponents in the third period, but the visitors continued to prove stubborn, and despite losing the quarter 17-11, they went into the final period tied up at 55-55.The effort it took to keep the hosts at bay eventually took its toll, and in the final quarter, Arnett ran riot as Lawrence, Vivian Spence (16 points and seven rebounds), John Brandt Jr (15 points), Arnell Campbell (12 points and 11 rebounds), Delano Mallett (10 points), and Young (12 rebounds) toyed with their opponents before romping to a nine-point victory.Arnett’s player-coach, Mallet, was very pleased to have ended the series at three games and in front of their home fans.”Last year, it was rougher than this one because we had to play hard at Waterhouse to win, so to win in front of our home fans is a great feeling,” he said.Arnett pocketed the $100,000 winners’ cash prize, $50,000 of which was contributed by sponsor World Net. The other $50,000 came from a cash pool contributed to by all the teams. This was established to offset the league’s expenses at the start of the season and prior to WorldNet sponsorship. According to SBC general secretary, Tanya Wright, the runners-up prize money and All Star game were also financed from this pool.
Jamaica’s assistant coach, Miguel Coley, said the Reggae Boyz fell just short of their main objectives in a two-year plan when they were beaten by Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on Sunday. Coley revealed that when the German coach took over in 2013, the aim was to build a core of players, win the Caribbean Cup and then the Gold Cup, and so far, the team has accomplished two of the three objectives, just falling short of the other. The assistant coach, however, insisted that they must continue to build on what they have accomplished at the Gold Cup tournament. “We had our objectives and we have achieved at least two. The first was to develop a core (of players), win the Caribbean Cup and then the Gold Cup this year,” he said. “The main objective now is the World Cup qualifiers, so each time we are just building, building, building and developing the team,” he told The Gleaner yesterday hours after the team’s return to the island.. Coley said the team cannot get complacent over their historic achievement, and though he was disappointed with the defeat to Mexico in the decider, he believes in the long term this loss will make them crave for the success they were denied. work harder, smarter “It’s a great performance, and it’s something that we cannot get complacent about; it is something we have to build on. We can’t even think about the word ‘complacent’, we can only think about working hard, and this means you have to work harder and work smarter. “Making this Gold Cup final and losing shows it is a learning process. We haven’t reached as yet, so we need to work. Losing the final and getting a taste of it means we want to be back, so we will be putting the necessary things in place,” he argued. The young tactician thought there were countless other positives at the tournament and that they should focus on developing those characteristics. “The comradrie, the unity and love was a joy to see. We also created an identity of how we wanted to play – keeping quality possession, creating goalscoring opportunities and defending very compact. “The energy level was great and so was each player trusting each other. Those are important ingredients when building a team. We will be looking at the tape from the game to see what we could have done better, what we could have done in terms of positives and encourage that some more. “We want to keep the ball some more in the middle third and occupy some more of the defensive third of our opponents,” he said. However, to continue the impressive strides the team has made under Sch‰fer going into the World Cup qualifiers, which start in August, Coley called for more support and sponsorship to assist the team. “We would love more sponsors to come on board because in football, success is money and management; how you manage the players and how you take care of them is crucial. We have a good thing going, and once we can get the necessary assistance, we will do very well,” he in
ST.JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC:A ruling by the Supreme Court in India aimed at shaking-up the administration of cricket, there should give fresh momentum to moves for radical changes to the operations of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Charles Wilkins, former chairman of the governance committee for West Indies Cricket has said.The Supreme Court has suspended two franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for two years over a corruption scandal and had recommended changes to make the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) more transparent.In an article circulated across the Caribbean, Wilkins has accused WICB administrators of deliberately refusing to introduce the changes needed in the region for personal reasons.”The same changes are badly needed in this region. The WICB has itself recognised that, but does not like the consequences for its clique of administrators hence has backed away,” said Wilkins in his article.”The verdict of the supreme Court of India should give fresh impetus to the move for change here.”In April, the WICB and Caricom prime ministers said they had agreed to set up a panel comprising eminent Caribbean persons to examine the problem-plagued governance structure of the WICB with the view of “reversing the current negative trends in the sport”.The move represented the latest attempt to arrest a worrying trend of crises in the regional administration of the game.”The Caricom governments should take note of the verdict. In their usual manner they have been slow to react and have done little of real impact,” writes Wilkins.”They should get serious and revive their efforts to force the badly needed changes. Public agitation to that end should continue”.The Indian Supreme Court has forbidden anyone who has commercial interests in individual IPL teams to also contest BCCI elections, because that could create an obvious conflict of interest.The court has also appointed a committee that will punish certain team officials who violated IPL rules.Meantime, Wilkins has accused the top three cricket-playing nations – India, Australia and England – of attempting to “isolate” West Indies and reduce their revenue from cricket.Wilkins referenced the movie Death of a Gentleman which highlights the hijacking of the game by India, England and Australia as posing a threat to West Indies cricket.”The West Indies is being isolated despite lip service paid by the big three to our importance to the game,” he argued.”For cooperating with the hijack, WICB were awarded the hosting in this year of the ICC annual meeting. What a grand prize. But India, Australia, and England grabbed for themselves all six international tournaments between 2015 and 2023.”
WESTERN BUREAU:Seventeen combined chances fell for champions Clarendon College and Manchester High in the feature ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup Inter-Zone football match at Middlesex International College in May Pen. In the end, it took just one to settle the hottest match of the Inter-zone round.That honour fell to Tremaine Williamson, whose 60th minute thunderbolt header was enough to seal victory for Clarendon College and hand Manchester High their first loss of the 2015-16 season.Ewarton High tagged Denbigh High 2-1 in the opening match to share the lead in Zone Seven with Vere Technical, who defeated Paul Bogle High 2-1.Billed as a blockbuster, the Zone Four game in May Pen surely lived up to expectations, with end-to-end action, particularly in the first-half, with both teams looking potent in attack.Seigle Knight, the Clarendon College attacking midfielder, was particularly bent on getting in a shot at goal as often as he could and should have hit the target on at least two occasions.Duhaney Williams, the danger man for Manchester High, should have given his team the lead in the 29th minute, after he was gifted the ball through an erroneous defensive pass. However, the in-form striker dragged his effort wide, with Eric Edwards in the Clarendon goal at his mercy.Manchester High again came close to scoring in the 40th minute, but this time Romaine Walsh took one too many touches and had his chance snuffed out by the Clarendon defender.The win was vital for Clarendon’s confidence, as noted by their coach, Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis. He told The Gleaner he drilled his players on the importance of winning their first game in the Inter-Zone round.”It feels good to win as both schools came to score goals. But we knew it would come down to a single goal because we both have good, sound defence lines,” Davis said.Munro College, meanwhile, just keep getting better and join Clarendon on points as leaders of the zone, edging Spalding High 3-2 in their game.Former champions St James High took control of Zone One with a 2-1 win over Spot Valley High, while the game between The Manning’s School and Frome Technical ended in a 1-1 stalemate at Frome Sports Complex.Yesterday’s ResultsPaul Bogle 1 Vere Technical 2Dinthill 1 Port Antonio 2Petersfield 1 Rusea’s 1Clarendon College 1 Manchester 0Fair Prospect 0 Lacovia High 3Glenmuir 5 Bog Walk 1Munro College 3 Spalding 2Alston 0 STETHS 1Islington 1 Browns Town 2Spot Valley 1 St James High 1Manning’s 1 Frome Tech 1Seaforth 0 Kemps Hill 0Denbigh 1 Ewarton 2Lennon 2 Decarteret 0Annotto Bay 0 Marcus Garvey 1Cornwall College 1 Herbert Morrison 0
GAMES PLAYED Having coached Wolmer’s Boys standout midfielder Rojay Smith, during his two-year stint at the Heroes Circle-based school, Harbour View FC’s coach Ludlow Bernard remains impressed with the player’s easy transition into the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) set-up. Bernard coached Wolmer’s to the 2012-13 Walker Cup knock-out title and now backs Smith to be a regular Harbour View player. “The transition for him would have been quite significant. I remember in 2012 when he was playing in the Under 17 competition, you would have seen certain limitations, but having been exposed to quality football, both at Wolmer’s Boys and again playing at Harbour View against senior and experienced players, his improvement, I would say, has doubled if not tripled over time,” the Harbour View coach noted during yesterday’s RSPL press briefing held at the sponsor’s head office on Spanish Town Road. Meanwhile, Smith has played a total of eight games so far this season for Harbour View and said he is eyeing a regular starting role “I am playing with more senior players now and I want to reach up to their level, so I have to lift my standard. “When I just started out I was on the bench. Now I am in the starting 11, so progress is there,” said the attacking midfielder. He stressed that the RSPL competition is much more physical than the Manning Cup but he intends to give his best for his team. “I would rank my transition at five out of 10 because there is always room for improvement. I just need to be more attacking and link up more with the forwards. We have a problem scoring goals, so we midfielders need to step up and start scoring more goals for the team,” he pointed out, adding that playing in the RSPL is something he always yearned for.
Some major players in local basketball have expressed grave disappointment in Mark Broomfield’s administration after a year in office.Urban Knights’ Gordon Porter and Pete Matthews of Runnin Rebels say basketball is in its worst state in 10 years and that there is no confidence in the administration and its president to attract sponsorship or support of any kind.Porter and Matthews highlighted declines in the sport and the implications of not having a top-flight tournament. The National Basketball League (NBL) will have been out of commission for three seasons this August.Both agreed there is no faith in the administration and its leadership but are willing to give Broomfield time before they consider a no-confidence vote, though they insist that something needs to happen fast.”The major problem the association faces is negative perception. Corporate Jamaica has no confidence in the leadership, and it’s pertaining to what happened in the previous administration, so the present administration is having a hard time convincing the corporate sector to come on board.”As a consequence, the NBL has not restarted, and it is causing other problems because top players are not able to compete at the highest level. Players have not played in two years, others are playing in the lower leagues, and it’s creating all sorts of issues as it’s filtering over to other competitions and it has serious implications for basketball,” he reasoned.The general lack of sponsorship and a flagship tournament are having a dire impact on the sport’s development, said Matthews, who believes that they might have to revamp from the grass-roots level.NO SPONSORSHIP”There is absolutely no sponsorship, and the present administration cannot garner any money, so we don’t know what is going to happen. I can wholeheartedly say I have no confidence in the administration.”We have players sitting down three years, getting fat, players who were coming along, and now there is no top-level league for them to compete in because corporate Jamaica has no confidence in the association, so we are wondering what is going to happen to basketball,” he insisted.Broomfield said that the accusations are not entirely true and insisted that they are slowly trying to rebuild corporate Jamaica’s confidence, but it’s taking time.”How do you gain confidence? To rebuild a sport that has sustained certain damage requires more than a sponsor. I am one hundred per cent sure the corporate community doesn’t question my integrity. Our annual financial statements for 2013-2014 are out and our books are open for those who want to look. That is the only way we can regain confidence. We have to rebrand what we have in this tight economic space, and it requires sacrifice,” he said.
EQUIPPED TO WIN Tomorrow’s Lotto Classic race day, sponsored by Supreme Ventures Limited, offers no carry-overs in the exotic bets, but with 12 races scheduled, finding the winning combinations won’t be easy. The programme will be highlighted by the 76th running of the Lotto Classic for the Governor’s Cup over 2,000 metres to be contested by 12 native-bred three-year-olds, including Post to Post 2000 Guineas runner-up ORPHEUS (Shane Ellis up), stable-companion BIGDADDYKOOL, (Linton Steadman), CHACE THE GREAT (Jevanne Erwin) and the vastly improved grey gelding MR. DOITBETTA to be ridden by promising apprentice Hakeem Pottinger. The above-mentioned quartet should decide the outcome as they vie for the major share of the $3 million purse. We look at the first of the two Super-6 races, beginning with the Lotto Championship Trophy race ($180,000 claiming) over 1,300 metres to be contested by nine starters, including proven campaigner EL CLIENTE, to be ridden by 3.0kg claiming apprentice Pottinger for trainer Wilfred Chin. Although failing to justify favouritism when finishing 3 3/4 lengths fourth to MANDEYA over 1,200 metres on May 14, EL CLIENTE has been eased in the weights for this race (down 3.0kg), and remembering his runaway win over EUSEBIA on March 12, should have the beating of CLEARLY OURS and BURNING MEDIC. Next on the programme is the Lotto Multiplier Trophy (claiming $250,000 $210,000) over 1,820 metres, in which seven will run. The field includes top contenders BATIDOR DE MUNDO and ABOVE THE RADAR, both of whom have won several times over this circular course, as well as the noted front-runner PLAY STATION, who will have to be caught. The one best equipped to win is the Robert Darby-trained BATIDOR DE MUNDO, with in-form Robert Halledeen aboard. The six-year-old son of Natural Selection has been a model of consistency, failing by a neck to beat GO TRAIN over this trip on March 2. His last win in November was achieved on a $350,000 claiming tag over a mile and, with nothing outstanding in the line-up, should take the honours. In the third race, the $1 million Lotto Juvenile Stakes over 600 metres straight for maiden two-year-olds, all five starters will be racing for the first time and with VERY CLASSIC to be ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis for trainer Anthony Nunes, and the Dennis Lee-trained LADY FAYE (Aaron Chatrie up), having pleased at exercise, it should come down to these two. Preference is for VERY CLASSIC, a grey filly by Western Classic out of Verity who galloped 1:01.4 from the gates at exercise last Saturday, the last three in 35.0. FLYING MIRACLE, who finished fourth to LADY BELRIDGE over a mile on a $450,000 claiming tag last Saturday, this, after missing the break and running very wide into the straight, should rebound on a $350,000 tag in the fourth race over 1,400 metres for the Lotto Dash Trophy. The six-year-old gelding carries a mere 51.0kg for the services of promising 3.0kg claiming apprentice Bebeto Harvey and should make amends for last week’s misadventure. His main dangers in a 10-strong field are recent winner OUR CREATION and HAILEY’S COMET. The last two races in the first SUPER-6 should be won by GOLD SCREW (Wesley Henry up) and RUBY ROSE, with Ellis now taking the ride. Their respective dangers are NASDAQ PRINCESS and WONDER GIRL. FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES (1) EL CLIENTE/CLEARLY OURS (2) BATIDOR DE MUNDO/ ABOVE THE RADAR (3) VERY CLASSIC/ LADY FAYE (4) FLYING MIRACLE (5) GOLD SCREW/NASDAQ PRINCESS (6) RUBY ROSE/WONDER GIRL MAIN DANGERS
Without Messi, Barcelona’s attack lacked bite until the middle of the second half. His replacement, Paco Alcacer, making his Champions League debut, had little impact. Neymar was closely marked, often by two or three Moenchengladbach players. But the Brazilian got more space in the second half and used it well. Suarez lacked support, but he was the one who threatened, firing high in the first real chance in the 11th. Suarez might have done better later in the first half had he shot for himself instead of squaring the ball to Alcacer. Julian Korb made a great sliding tackle to deny the Barcelona forward a shot at goal from close range. Following an opening 7-0 drubbing of Celtic, Barcelona now have six points in Group C. Moenchengladbach are at two defeats, having also lost the opener 4-0 to Manchester City. Manchester City were held 3-3 at Celtic. Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen got a warm reception from former home fans, having played formerly for Moenchengladbach. It was Barcelona’s second win in their last seven matches in Germany. At the Emirates, Arsenal beat Basel 2-0, while PSG got the better of Ludogrets on the road with a 3-1 win. Napoli out-powered Benfica 4-2 in their first Champions League home game in two years, while Besiktas and Dynamo Kiev drew 1-1 in their contest. Atletico Madrid tagged Bayern Munich 1-0, with PSV and Rostov ending 2 – 2. ATTACK LACKING BITE MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP): Barcelona overcame the absence of Lionel Messi to come from behind and beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 in the Champions League yesterday. Gerard Pique stabbed home the winning goal in the 74th minute after a corner from Neymar was volleyed by Luis Suarez. Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer spilled the shot and the Barcelona defender hustled to nod it home. Neymar created Barcelona’s equaliser with a through ball for substitute Arda Turan, who drilled it into the roof of the net in the 65th, five minutes after coming on for Ivan Rakitic. Moenchengladbach could not hold on to the lead it got in the 34th. Mahmoud Dahoud and Raffael double-teamed to put Sergio Busquets under pressure and win the ball. Raffael carried it forward and then fed Dahoud on the left. His perfectly timed pass found Hazard open to slot home from close range.
Any cricket match is a lovely occasion, including the eye-catching, gay-abandon, ball-flying action of the recent T20 version of the game. To me, however, and with all its excitement, that version of the game fails to match the classic, elegant, and majestic style and quality of a Test match, especially when it brings together two teams of quality players. Cushioned in the middle, however, is the ODI version, the 50-over competition, the format which was made popular in 1975 with the inaugural World Cup, and the one which the West Indies won two times in succession before losing it in an upset on the third attempt, or so it was reported. Intended as the tournament to save cricket, and to spread the game, when it was launched, it was a four-year competition and it was welcomed with open arms as the excitement grew and the weak matched skills with the strong and on many occasions cut them down to size. Eventually also came the Champions Trophy in 1998 with an original intention of funding weaker countries, and with the West Indies winning it in 2004 after a brilliant, nail-biting finish engineered by Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw. Since then, much has been the talk about what to do with both of them, and the ideas included to keep them both, to drop one of them, and to keep one of them. The general feeling was that they only clogged up the calendar, and that cricket would be better off with only one of them. That, in a nutshell, is where the arguments now stand, and the tournaments will be played, the Champions Trophy later this year, and the World Cup next year. The problem with both competitions, however, especially for the West Indies, is that they have to qualify for the tournaments. They missed qualification for the Champions Trophy and only 10 teams will qualify for the World Cup. Only eight full teams automatically qualify for the World Cup while the other two will have to play in a qualifying tournament, along with Ireland and Afghanistan for the other two places. WINNING QUALIFICATION The West Indies are now languishing at number nine in the rankings, below Bangladesh and Pakistan and above only Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Ireland, and with a fight on their hands. As things now stand, therefore, the West Indies, once the best ODI team in the world, will miss the Champions Trophy and are now faced with winning qualification for next year’s world Cup with the cut-off time set for the September 30 this year. They should make it, but may be only just about. They can get in ahead of Bangladesh and Pakistan. Fortunately for the West Indies, their survival is more or less in their own hands. They play England in three ODIs starting today, they play Pakistan in three next month, and they play England in five in the middle of the year. This time, ODIs are the most crucial, for the West Indies.
MIDDLESBROUGH, England (AP):Gabriel Jesus marked his return to Manchester City’s starting lineup by rescuing a 2-2 draw against relegation-threatened Middlesbrough in the Premier League yesterday.But City failed to take advantage of Manchester United drawing earlier in the day with Swansea and strengthen its place in the top four Champions League qualification places.Fourth-placed City remains only a point ahead of United with four games remaining, but it would have been even closer had Gabriel Jesus not headed in Sergio Aguero’s cross in the 85th minute. The forward is back after 10 weeks out with a foot injury.PRICELESS POINTSMiddlesbrough led through a first-half strike from former City striker Alvaro Negredo but the visitors drew level in controversial fashion when Aguero netted from the spot. Boro players reacted with fury when Leroy Sane went down under the challenge of Marten de Roon.Calum Chambers appeared to have secured three priceless points for Middlesbrough in the 77th minute.But Gabriel Jesus’ leveler leaves Middlesbrough six points off safety with just three games to go.