Sunday, February 26, 2006

Barcelona extend lead; Roma set record

Barcelona's 2-0 defeat of Real Zaragoza was overshadowed by striker Samuel Eto'o's threat to leave the pitch because of racial abuse, while French champions Olympique Lyon suffered a 4-1 home hammering.

Juventus stayed 10 points clear in Italy, where AS Roma set a Serie A record of 11 consecutive wins, and Bayern Munich are now nine points ahead in Germany.

European champions Liverpool drew level with Manchester United in second place, 15 points behind rampant Chelsea, with a 1-0 defeat of Manchester City in England.


Late goals from Ronaldinho and Henrik Larsson gave Barcelona a 2-0 win over Zaragoza, with Larsson's goal coming after a great cross by Eto'o.

The Cameroon striker had tried to leave the pitch a few minutes earlier after being subjected to racist abuse from the home fans, but was persuaded to continue playing by his team mates and Barca coach Frank Rijkaard.

Barcelona have an eight-point lead over Valencia who stretched their unbeaten run in the league to 14 games but could only draw 1-1 at home with Getafe.

The champions have 58 points, Valencia have 50 while Real Madrid remain on 48 after a 2-1 defeat at Real Mallorca.

Atletico Madrid continued their good form under new coach Pepe Murcia when they took their winning run to six matches with a 5-0 demolition of basement side Malaga.


Serie A leaders Juventus led a clean sweep of victories for Italy's top three when they came from behind to beat relegation-threatened Lecce 3-1.

Goals by Emerson, Robert Kovac and a late Alessandro Del Piero penalty cancelled out Gennaro Delvecchio's goal for the visitors to give Juve 70 points from 27 matches.
They are 10 points ahead of second-placed AC Milan, who won 2-0 at Palermo. Inter Milan lie third on 58 points after a 3-1 victory over Udinese.

AS Roma set a record of 11 consecutive Serie A wins when goals by Rodrigo Taddei and Alberto Aquilani secured a 2-0 triumph over city rivals Lazio.

Roma's run of victories eclipsed the previous best of 10 in a row held jointly by Juventus (1931-32), AC Milan (1950-51) and Bologna (1963-64). The derby win kept Roma fourth in the table with 54 points. - - - -


Frank Lampard steered Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Portsmouth while Arsenal's Champions League hopes for next season suffered a body blow with a 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers.

England midfielder Lampard slotted home the breakthrough goal for the champions at Stamford Bridge after 65 minutes and Dutch winger Arjen Robben made sure of the points in the 78th.

Chelsea are now 15 points clear. Liverpool's Australian midfielder Harry Kewell got the only goal against Manchester City in the 40th minute.

With United busy winning the League Cup final 4-0 against Wigan Athletic, Liverpool moved alongside them on 54 points.

Arsenal failed to close the five-point gap on Tottenham Hotspur in the race for next season's Champions League after Norway's Morten Gamst Pedersen got the only goal at Ewood Park.

The Gunners are now seventh behind Blackburn and Bolton Wanderers, who beat Fulham 2-1.


Bayern Munich crushed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 and top the table with 58 points from 23 matches.

Werder Bremen moved ahead of Hamburg SV into second on 49 points with a 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Hamburg suffered a 2-0 home defeat by VfB Stuttgart. Stuttgart's victory, their first in Hamburg in 10 years, sent them up to fifth with 33 points.

Hamburg, the only team to beat Bayern this season, play at Munich next weekend and have 47 points.


Stade Rennes striker John Utaka scored a hat-trick to hand Olympique Lyon a shock 4-1 home defeat on Saturday.

It was Ligue 1 leaders Lyon's first defeat since they were beaten by Lille at home in their last game before the winter break in December and only their second of the season.

Second-placed Girondins Bordeaux failed to take full advantage as they were held to a 3-3 home draw by bottom side Metz. Bordeaux are six points behind Lyon.

Lille won 1-0 at off-form Monaco to move up to third. Lyon have 59 points from 27 games, Bordeaux have 53 from 28 and Lille 47 from 28.



Smith century steers South Africa to fine win

CENTURION, South Africa (Reuters) - Skipper Graeme Smith hit a superb century to steer South Africa to a convincing six-wicket win over Australia in the first one-day international on Sunday.

The opener thumped an undefeated 119 from 124 balls, the highest score by a South African in a one-dayer against Australia.

The tourists, who won the toss and chose to bat, totalled 229 for eight in a match reduced to 47 overs a side by rain.

South Africa, set a revised target of 204 in 41 overs after more rain, got home in 37.3 overs. Smith's innings included 12 fours and a six and beat the previous record of 112 held jointly by Gary Kirsten and Hansie Cronje.

Smith, who faced stinging criticism after his team performed poorly on their tour of Australia, roared with satisfaction after he stroked Michael Clarke through the covers to reach his sixth one-day century.

Clarke and Michael Hussey had resurrected Australia's innings with a century stand after the visitors slumped to 25 for three. Clarke clipped his 53 off 82 balls, while Hussey's 56 came off 73 balls.

Simon Katich, who dragged a wide delivery from fast bowler Makhaya Ntini onto his stumps, and Damien Martyn, trapped plumb leg-before by seamer Shaun Pollock, fell early on.

Adam Gilchrist, standing in as skipper for the injured Ricky Ponting, then played a roundhouse hoik off Ntini and sent a looping catch to Andre Nel at mid-on.

That was the signal for Clarke and Hussey to begin their rescuing partnership, and they scored steadily despite a slow pitch and an outfield slowed by overnight and morning rain that delayed the start by 30 minutes.

A stand of 51 between Shane Watson, who scored 22, and Brett Lee, who smashed an unbeaten 38 off 28 balls, boosted Australia late on.

South Africa lost Boeta Dippenaar and Herschelle Gibbs with 28 runs on the board, but AB De Villiers joined Smith in a fluent stand of 83.

The second game in the five-match series will be played in Cape Town on Friday.

By Ken Borland


Henin-Hardene beats Sharapova in Dubai final

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Justine Henin-Hardenne beat Maria Sharapova 7-5, 6-2 Saturday to win the Dubai Open, showing no signs of the shoulder injury that plagued her in 2005.

Henin-Hardenne, twice a champion in this event and unbeaten in Dubai in 12 consecutive matches, won for the second time this year.

"I am very happy with the way I played this week," the Belgian said. "It was a tough week with all the rain and us having to play two matches yesterday, but my body held up."

Henin-Hardenne, seeded fourth, has won all four of her matches with Sharapova since losing their first in Miami in 2005. This time, Henin-Hardenne mixed powerful forehands with backhand winners against the third-seeded Russian.

"I played a good match, but I guess I was a little tired from yesterday," Sharapova said. "But I am happy with the way the season is shaping up and I am looking forward to playing her again."

Sharapova missed two break opportunities but converted the third to go up 5-3 up. Henin-Hardenne fought back, and at 5-5 Sharapova made four straight unforced errors. That gave the break to Henin-Hardenne, who then served out for the set.

"Maria put a lot of pressure on my serve in the first half of the match," Henin-Hardenne said. "I then decided to stand one step up and hit more towards the center of the court and into her body. That cut down her angles a bit."

In the second set, Sharapova double-faulted while serving for the fifth game, and the Belgian pounced on the opportunity to earn the first break of the set and go 3-2 up. She broke again in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead.

Sharapova had a chance to prolong the match with two break points in the eighth game, but squandered it with three straight unforced errors.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

NBA News: East Won in 2006 All Stars Game

HOUSTON - Tim Timur (East) akhirnya memenangi pergelaran NBA All-Star 2006 di Houston, Senin (20/2) WIB. Pada pertandingan yang berlangsung seru, East menang 122-120. Guard/forward Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James terpilih sebagai MVP pertandingan dengan torehan 29 angka 6 rebound 2 assist.

Pertandingan yang dipimpin wasit Dick Bavetta, Greg Willard, dan Joe Derosa berlangsung seru. Pada kuarter pertama kedua regu masih menjajaki permainan. Skor sama kuat 28-28 terjadi di kuarter ini.

Memasuki kuarter kedua, tim Barat lebih cepat menyesuaikan diri. Tracy McGrady dkk. memenangi kuarter kedua dengan 42-25 sehingga di halftime unggul 70-53.

Pelatih Timur, Flip Saunders mengeluarkan senjata penting di kuarter ketiga. Ia memasukkan bersamaan empat pemain Detroit Pistons yang menjadi cadangan. Masuknya Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, dan Ben Wallace membuat permainan Timur lebih stabil. Minimnya waktu berlatih memang sangat berpengaruh di setiap penampilan All-Star. Timur merebut kuarter ketiga dengan 41-27.

"Saya yakin mereka akan bisa mengejar. Saya katakan, ini bukan kompetisi resmi, jadi mereka bermain lebih rileks. Itulah yang membuat kami bisa mengejar ketinggalan 21 angka," ucap Saunders.

Kuarter keempat merupakan kuarter penentuan bagi kedua regu. Para pemain kedua tim mulai bermain ketat. Namun East merebut momentum kemenangan dan merebut kuarter ini dengan 28-23 sehingga memenangi pertandingan dengan skor tipis 122-120.

Barat punya kesempatan menang saat jump shot Kobe Bryant masuk, 120-120. Namun sebuah tip in dari Dwyane Wade membuat Timur kembali unggul. Tip in Wade sekaligus memberikan gelar MVP kepada James. James adalah MVP termuda di All-Star.

"Sebuah kemenangan yang impresif. Teman-teman berhasil mengejar ketinggalan. Momentum mengejar itu menjadi milik kami," ungkap LeBron.

"Saya hanya berusaha menunjukkan kemampuan terbaik. Ternyata itu membuahkan trofi MVP ini," ungkap LeBron gembira.

Semua pemain Barat mencetak angka. Skor terbanyak dibukukan Tracy McGrady dengan 36 angka diikuti Tim Duncan 15 angka 10 rebound, Shawn Marion 14, Dirk Nowitzki 10, Kobe Bryant 8, Ray Allen 8, Yao Ming 5, Steve Nash 2, dan Kevin Garnett 2. Sedangkan pembuat angka dari Timur adalah LeBron James 29 angka, Dwyane Wade 20, Shaquille O'Neal 17, Chauncey Billups 15, Allen Iverson 12, Paul Pierce 7, Vince Carter 5, dan Gilbert Arenas 1. Ben Wallace tidak membuat namun mengemas 8 rebound, 3 steal, 2 blok, dan 2 assist. (AP/NBA/Yahoo/rex)

Source: Basket


IBL News: International Game Scrapped

IBL International Games pada 5 Maret 2006 nanti tampaknya urung digelar. Hal ini disampaikan oleh Ketua tim mediasi Irawan Haryono di Hal Basket STC, Senayan Minggu (20/2) malam. “International Games tidak dilaksanakan. Sedangkan Turnamen IBL kemungkinan besar sesuai jadwal awal,” kata pria yang juga menjabat sebagai Presiden klub Aspac Putra Riau.

Turnamen IBL 2006 rencananya akan diputar di tiga kota Jakarta, Cirebon dan Bandung mulai 10 hingga 26 Maret. Namun Cirebon urung menjadi penyelenggara. “Rencana bermain di Cirebon kemungkinan dipindah. Kepastiannya baru akan didapat seusai rapat Dewan Komisaris berikutnya,” lanjutnya.

Dewan Komisaris IBL akan kembali melakukan rapat koordinasi pada Kamis (23/2) nanti. Rapat ini akan membahas perkembangan dari hasil kerja tiga tim yang dibentuk untuk menjalankan kompetisi IBL 2006 termasuk membahas tentang mekanisme penggunaan pemain asing di Turnamen IBL. "Kemungkinan kita akan pakai pemain asing asal Filipina," ucapnya. (isr)