FC Barcelona’s Paulinho, right, celebrates after scoring with his teammate Luis Suarez during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Levante at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored first-half goals in a 3-0 win over Levante on Sunday, restoring Barcelona’s nine-point lead of the Spanish league while it awaits the arrival of Philippe Coutinho.Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga by giving Barcelona the early lead and taking his all-time record in the competition to 365 goals.ADVERTISEMENT Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Coutinho will be officially presented Monday after a transfer deal that could reach 160 million euros ($192 million).“(Coutinho) is a player who I think can bring many things to the team,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “He scores goals and provides assists, and in attack he can help us a lot.”Not that Barcelona needs it in the league. Atletico Madrid, which beat Getafe 2-0 on Saturday, remains a distant second, and fourth-place Real Madrid stumbled again on Sunday when it drew at Celta Vigo 2-2.The win took Barcelona’s unbeaten streak to 27 straight matches.Ousmane Dembele started for Barcelona and played just more than an hour before being substituted in his second appearance since returning from a left-leg injury that sidelined him since mid-September. The 20-year-old France forward played the final minutes of Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey.ADVERTISEMENT Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina LaVar Ball tells ESPN Walton has lost Lakers; coaches react OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Suarez doubled the advantage before halftime and Messi set up Paulinho to round off the win in stoppage time.Such an emphatic victory comes as Barcelona’s attacking threat is preparing for an additional injection of creativity with the 25-year-old Coutinho.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe Camp Nou is anticipating the incorporation of the Brazil midfielder, who flew to Barcelona on Saturday. Barcelona said Coutinho has yet to meet with his new teammates and coach, although he did make an appearance at the stadium for a photo session after Sunday’s match.“This is like living a dream,” Coutinho told the club’s website. “It’s incredible to know that I am going to play with my idols, players who have made history. Players like Leo Messi, Luis Suarez, (Andres) Iniesta, (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Busquets… I am happy to be able to live with and learn from them, and to win titles.” “In these three months I have been able to learn Barcelona’s philosophy, now I am eager to help the team,” Dembele said.Until the deal for Coutinho, Dembele was the club’s most expensive signing for a transfer fee of 105 million euros that could rise to 147 million euros.Messi once again this season connected with left back Jordi Alba, who headed back his pass for the Argentina forward to use one touch to volley in off the far post in the 12th minute and record his league-leading 16th goal of the season.Javier Mascherano started for Barcelona amid widespread speculation that he wants to leave in search of more playing time.The defender helped to set up Barcelona’s second goal by lobbing a pass over Levante’s defense where Sergi Roberto used one touch to send it to Suarez in the 38th. The striker controlled the ball with his left foot before sweeping home with his right for his 11th goal of the season and his sixth in a five-round scoring streak.After Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made two superb saves, Messi effectively finished the match by dribbling to the endline before squaring a pass for Paulinho to tap in for his seventh goal of the season.Barcelona reserve-team striker Jose Arnaiz debuted in the league as a late substitute.___16 POINTS BEHINDReal Madrid wasted a brace by Gareth Bale as it fell further behind the top three teams after drawing at Celta. Bale’s two goals in a three-minute span in the first half overturned an opener by Celta’s Daniel Wass.But they weren’t enough for the win amid an uninspiring performance by Cristiano Ronaldo, and poor defending by Marcelo and the rest of Madrid’s backline.Celta outplayed Madrid in the second half and its defenders left unmarked striker Maxi Gomez to head in a pass by Wass for an equalizer in the 82nd.Celta’s Iago Aspas went close to scoring twice, hitting the post early and having a penalty kick saved by Keylor Navas after the goalkeeper had fouled him in the 71st.The result left Madrid 16 points behind Barcelona, although with a match in hand, after only managing to win three of its last eight league games.“I have to find out what the problem is,” coach Zinedine Zidane said. “Sometimes we play 90 minutes well, but it is true that recently we don’t do it regularly. We need to have more confidence in our chances, and recently we don’t have the confidence to play 90 minutes well.”___OTHER RESULTSAthletic Bilbao beat Alaves 2-0, Leganes edged Real Sociedad 1-0, and Deportivo La Coruna drew 1-1 at Villarreal. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Rupinderpal Singh, Akshdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Danish Mujtaba and VR Raghunath were on target for IndiaDespite drag-flick specialist VR Raghunath missing as many as eight penalty corners and Rupinderpal Singh sustaining a serious thigh injury, India managed a 7-0 victory over minnows Oman in the men’s hockey event at the Asian Games, here on Tuesday.For India, Rupinderpal (18th, 19th min) successfully converted two penalty corners before limping off the field after scoring the second goal. The unbelievably off-colour Raghunath (39th, 60th min) managed two goals via penalty stroke and penalty corner.Akshdeep Singh (33rd), Ramandeep Singh (54th) and Danish Mujtaba (60th) were the other scorers.The worrying factor for India will be ace drag-flicker Rupinderpal’s injury before the crucial game against arch-rivals Pakistan.After a barren first quarter, India opened the account in the 18th minute when Rupinderpal’s rasping drag-flick hit the top of the right side. In the very next minute, he was again on target but was seen in considerable pain after successful conversion. He limped off the field and didn’t come back for the rest of the 41 minutes.However, it was big-bodied Raghunath, who would like to forget this match quickly as he seemed to be on a missing spree as he spurned one drag-flick after another.There was a spell of five minutes between the 21st and 25th minute when India were successful in earning five penalty corners, but Raghunath missed all five. The last one in fact he even failed to trap.In the third quarter, Raghunath was saved from blushes when Akshdeep deflected home yet another misdirected penalty corner hit to make it 3-0 in the 33rd minute.advertisementFinally, in the 39th minute (9th minute of 3rd quarter), Raghunath found his name on the scorers’ list as he converted a penalty stroke to make it 4-0.But such has been Raghu’s performance today that he could not even manage a smile after scoring.The final quarter saw India score three more goals with two of them coming in the last minute of the match.It was ironical that Raghunath finally found the target with the 10th drag-flick and the grumpy defender left the field despite a big margin of victory.
Week two didn’t look like it’d be that crazy on paper, but after a roller coaster day of football, Notre Dame has a new quarterback, Auburn narrowly avoided a historic upset, Arkansas got embarrassed by a MAC school, and BYU won on ANOTHER Hail Mary. Those ridiculous events have really altered odds for the national championship. As ESPN’s Brett McMurphy points out, the Fighting Irish, Tigers, and Razorbacks all fell significantly.Biggest drops in @LVSuperBook title odds from last week: Notre Dame from 12-1 to 40-1, Auburn 15-1 to 30-1, Arkansas 40-1 to 100-1— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 14, 2015On the other hand, there are some big gainers as well.Biggest moves up in @LVSuperBook title odds from last week: Michigan State from 20-1 to 10-1, Ole Miss & UCLA both from 30-1 to 20-1— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 14, 2015Via VegasInsider.com, here are the 10 teams that currently have the best odds to win it all.Who are you betting on?[VegasInsider.com]
The Government is collaborating on a project with Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners, to demonstrate the viability of the biofuels industry, using mined out bauxite lands to grow oil-producing crops.Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the objective is to extract the oils from seeds, such as castor and palm, for the emerging biofuels market in Jamaica.The collaboration, which also involves the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), and the Scientific Research Council (SRC), is part of the government’s strategy to seek out renewable energy sources, the Minister explained.Mr. Paulwell was speaking at the opening ceremony for the Analysis and Investigation of Low Emission (AILEG) project symposium, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, on Tuesday, July 9.The objective of the two-day forum is to build the capabilities of the government and other stakeholders to analyze low emission situations, and integrating them into economic development, strategic planning, and implementation.Among the topics being discussed are: low emission growth for development; analysis and investment for low emission growth; low emission development strategy in the Jamaican context; requirements for low emission considerations in national planning; the status and way forward for policy, programming, planning and financing for climate change.Contact: Alphea Saunders
The Oakland Raiders had the option of selecting highly touted wide receiver Calvin Johnson or quarterback JaMarcus Russell as their No. 1 pick in the 2007 NFL draft, and selected Russell, who ended up being categorized as a “bust.” But now Russell is attempting a comeback, according to Yahoo! Sports.Russell’s last snap came in 2009 with the Raiders, but he has been away from the NFL for the last two seasons. He received tryouts from the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins in 2010, but now finds himself trying to resurrect what once was deemed as a promising career.“My first year out, I couldn’t watch football, but after a while, I couldn’t keep the TV off,” Russell said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. “I got that itchy feeling but now I gotta watch it, gotta watch.”The 27-year-old Russell was heavily criticized throughout his collegiate and professional career for his weight. When he entered the league he was 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds. He has picked up even more weight since his absence. Now Russell has dropped from 320 to 308 pounds by focusing on his cardio conditioning in the last six weeks.“The last few years, the things going through my life, football is my job and it is how it feeds my family,” he said. “People would say (that) I didn’t love the game but that pisses me off. People don’t know the real you, but I want people to know the real me and see what I can do. People are always saying that I’m a bust. I want show them I’m not. I’m committed to this now.”The next couple of months will be one of Russell’s biggest tests of commitment to reclaiming his future in the league. He will work with a plethora of former NFL players and personnel to get into better physical shape and retool his memory. Jeff Garcia, Marshall Faulk and Olympian Ato Boldon are some of the people he will be working with.Russell will still need to prove that he has changed from the man who was arrested in July 2010 for possession of codeine syrup without a prescription.“I’m not looking for a pat on the shoulder from people who haven’t been there for me,” Russell said.One step that Russell has taken is speaking to youth groups about his arrest and poor decision making.But he is determined that the decision to make a comeback will be the right choice in the long run.“It’s going to feel good to go back out there again,” Russell said. “I will make this happen.”
Yards / target8.67.7 YesNo Gronkowski on the field? Targets400100 Receptions27772 Air yards / target9.47.4 Completion %69.272.0 Brady needs GronkPatriots’ receiving stats, 2017-18 season through Week 15 First downs / target0.690.32 Plenty of things went sideways down the stretch of Patriots-Steelers on Sunday. Pittsburgh tight end Jesse James either did or did not make a go-ahead touchdown catch with 28 seconds left in the game, and Ben Roethlisberger definitely didn’t spike the ball with eight seconds remaining to set up a field goal that very likely would have tied the game 27-27 and sent the game into overtime. But uncertainties aside, one thing beyond argument was the unalloyed dominance of Rob Gronkowski in his return from a one-game suspension.Gronkowski had nine catches for 168 yards against a defense that had been determined to stop him. He caught passes with defenders draped over him and inaccurate throws from Tom Brady. He created space down the seam and made catches in traffic over the middle. He was a lot.Gronkowski’s return also made a noticeable difference for Brady, who had looked vulnerable without his tight end, especially when going deep. The Patriots have been without top wideout Julian Edelman all season after he suffered a season-ending ACL tear during the preseason, and they were also without receiver Chris Hogan on Sunday. And even though the Patriots showed last season that they can succeed — win a Super Bowl! — without Gronkowski,1Gronkowski missed the Patriots last five regular-season games and all three playoff games. Edelman doubled his per-game receiving average in the second half of the season and had 342 yards in New England’s three playoff games. Brady has struggled over the past several seasons when neither Edelman nor Gronkowski is on the field.Here’s how New England’s passing game has gone with and without Gronkowski on the field this season (which has, of course, played out entirely without Edelman): Yards3,429771 Source: ESPN Stats & information group Gronk’s effect as a receiver himself should be obvious enough — he’s an enormous target with sure hands. But the way he opens up the offense overall, or perhaps the way the offense contracts when he isn’t around, has a greater effect on the offense as a whole than even his impressive personal numbers suggest. While the receiving yards per target gained remain about the same when Gronk sits — yards per target fall from 8.6 to 7.7 — the average air yards per target fall off considerably, as do the team’s first downs per target. And even though Brady is excellent at short, quick passes, it’s not the same without Gronkowski eating up chunks of yardage and opening up lanes for teammates to do the same.Even with Gronkowski’s standout performance, the game came down to that chaotic final minute. Maybe it goes differently if Pittsburgh doesn’t lose its own driving-engine receiver, Antonio Brown, early in the game. There are a lot of mysteries about what could have happened in this specific game. But any doubts raised by New England’s loss to Miami in Week 14 seem to have been put to rest: Brady and the Patriots are still just fine, so long as Gronkowski is on the field.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Coach Urban Meyer stands in front of the team before the Buckeyes take the field against Rutgers on Oct. 1. The Buckeyes won 58-0. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorThe enterprise that is college football continues to grow with social media branding, television deals and other sources of revenue. All factors emphasize the importance of signing one of the best play callers in the country, but that comes at a price.On Wednesday, USA Today released a compiled database of the 2016 salaries of all NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision coaches. At the top were arguably the three best coaches in the NCAA: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, Alabama coach Nick Saban and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.Meyer is ranked third out of 128 coaches with a 2016 total salary of $6,094,800.Meyer trails only Harbaugh and Saban, respectively, for the largest income of Division I coaches. Harbaugh tops the charts at $9,004,000, more than $2 million higher than Saban’s $6,939,395. USA Today lists Harbaugh’s maximum bonus at $1,325,000, while Meyer’s maximum bonus is $775,000.Not all of Meyer’s payment is coming from OSU. The school pays Meyer a maximum of $6,003,000, with all bonuses factored in, and Meyer received $91,800 for “other pay.” OSU said the $91,800 was meant to cover travel costs associated with outside engagements, and any leftover money was directed to the Shelley and Urban Meyer Family Foundation.The most recent outside-income form available to USA Today was due to be filed by Sept. 10, 2015, and lists Meyer as having generated a total of $801,450 in “cash and/or goods and services for charities.” That number includes $696,450 he raised for his family’s charity.Meyer had $250,000 of his possible bonuses paid in the 2015-16 season.
Ohio State redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson catches the ball on the block against Northwestern’s Dererk Pardon on Jan. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorOhio State survived a road game on Thursday — one could argue the Buckeyes stole it. The last thing the team needed was a flop at home against a Northwestern team that is currently projected in the NCAA field and on the cusp of being ranked in the top 25 — but flop is just what they did.Northwestern walked away from the Schottenstein Center with a 74-72 victory on Sunday. It marked the first time since 1977 the Wildcats beat OSU in Columbus.In the first half, OSU could not find its way to the charity stripe, as the Buckeyes had just one attempt from the free throw line — a miss from sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle. Even with some extremely physical defense on display from Northwestern, only one foul sent OSU to the line in the first.Even after having a lead, OSU allowed a 10-0 run and a 9-0 run in the first that erased the lead.The Wildcats were led by Scottie Lindsey, who racked up 21 points, who also lead the team with time on the court with 35 minutes. The Buckeyes had little answer for him, leading to the Wildcat win. OSU was led in scoring by junior forward Jae’Sean Tate, who earned 14 points. Sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle had 13 points, and hit two of his three 3-point attempts. “There was times in the game where we started on a run, but we just couldn’t capitalize,” Tate said following the loss. “First half, at the end we just didn’t work together as a team, and (Northwestern) got that little run. We just didn’t have it tonight.”OSU had a bit of a scare during the first half, as sophomore guard C.J. Jackson fell hard in front of the Northwestern bench and was helped to the locker room during a timeout, putting little to no weight on his right knee. He later returned, and finished the game with seven points and six rebounds, but was visibly limping for much of the game.Each side traded blows in the early goings of the second, before a 3 by Northwestern guard Bryant McIntosh brought the Wildcats’ lead to five with 13:59 left in the game.Contrary to the first half, Northwestern was guilty of a plethora of fouls, allowing 22 second-half chances at the line, and put the Buckeyes in the bonus with 12:29 left in the game. Of those, OSU converted just 12 for a 52 percent mark from the free throw line.Junior center Trevor Thompson took advantage of a noticeable height advantage over anyone was guarding him, pulling down 15 boards and picking up 11 points. Sunday marked his sixth double-double this season, all of which have been with points and rebounds.“It’s just frustrating,” Thompson said. “We have to play harder. Biggest thing, this last three games, has been competing, competing, competing. All in. There was moments today where we just split apart and wasn’t a team and didn’t compete.”A basket by Jackson with 9:05 remaining tied the game at 52-52, before he found space on the next possession in the right corner and nailed a 3 to give OSU the lead. Northwestern pushed ahead off back-to-back plays by guard Isiah Brown, who knocked down a tough layup before grabbing a steal and scoring on a fast break. After a Tate 3 from the corner and a defensive stop, the junior forward went to the line looking to tie the game, but missed one of his shots.After getting close, OSU fouled Northwestern on three separate trips, giving the Wildcats an easy chance to stretch out their lead. All six free throws were converted.“I thought our half court defense was pretty decent in terms of what we were trying to do and what we were trying to take away,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “But Northwestern’s too good to give them free points, that’s for sure.”OSU fought back with 3-point shots from Lyle and freshman center Micah Potter, and had the chance to pull within one after Loving made a layup and was fouled. But it wasn’t meant to be for OSU, as his foul shot clanked off the back of the rim, and Northwestern converted two more from the free throw line. The loss puts OSU at 2-5 in the Big Ten, and 12-8 overall. Northwestern is now 5-2 in conference play, and is 16-4 overall.The Buckeyes will face Minnesota at home on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in their next game
The Ohio State softball team (7-5) returned the bulk of its offensive production from last season, but through its first 12 games of the 2017 season, the best offense has come from a newcomer — sophomore shortstop Lilli Piper, an Akron transfer.Piper has made an immediate impact for the Buckeyes since her arrival before the season. She leads the team in hits, RBIs, multi-base hits and has the team’s second-highest slugging percentage.Before putting up those team-leading numbers, Piper had to adjust to a new environment and group of teammates.“It was almost like starting freshman year all over again,” Piper said. “I was kind of finding my niche in the program and what they wanted to do and what they wanted from me. I was just getting used to the girls, getting used to the team, making new friends and a new family.”Complicating matters, Piper wasn’t just switching teams, she was switching sports. Though she did play softball at Akron, Piper was on scholarship with the basketball team and spent extensive time on the hardwood.“Going from playing basketball year-round for years to stopping and completely switching was definitely another switch in my head that had to come on and a different mentality,” Piper said. “Playing both sports really helped me become the athlete and player today when it comes to softball.”The changes didn’t seem to hinder Piper. She earned a starting spot before the season, beating out freshman shortstop Amy Balich, and exceeded expectations at the plate. Before the season, OSU coach Kelly Schoenly said Piper proved she could handle the job defensively, but was waiting to see what she could add offensively. Obviously, she’s more than proven herself at the plate.Senior pitcher Lena Springer said she knew immediately Piper was going to add a lot to the Buckeye offense.“I actually thought that the first day of practice, when she first stepped foot on the field,” Springer said. “I remember I was throwing batting practice for her one day and I was like, ‘Woah, this kid’s got a bat.’”Despite the immediate success, Piper knows she must keep working, or she will lose her spot as quickly as she got it.“Every single day, every game you’re fighting for a spot on the field,” Piper said. “That’s what kind of pushes me, that nothing is guaranteed. So, coming out there it’s working every single day to be out on the field and earning the right to be on the field. That’s the mentality I had.”Piper will look to continue her hot hitting at the Central Florida Tournament, where the Buckeyes will face Georgia, Central Florida, Delaware State and Mercer.
Torino have reportedly had an approach from Arsenal for star forward M’Baye Niang, claims reports from ItalyThe Gunners have set their sights on a move for the Senegal international in this summer transfer window and have made contact with Torino over the prospect of signing Niang.But Tutto Mercato Web claim that an official bid has not been lodged yet and that Arsenal have just enquired for the time being.But new head coach Unai Emery may be set to step up his interest in Niang in the near future with the Premier League’s summer transfer window to close on August 9.Merson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.But the Spaniard will have to make a decision soon with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund also interested in making a move for the 23-year-old.Since replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal this summer, Emery has already signed five new players with Ligue 2 side Lorient’s Matteo Guendouzi being his latest arrival.