Latest – The New Zealand Breakers have held on for a thrilling 84-83 win over the Cairns Taipans in the Australian NBL.
Yanni Wetzell Photo: PHOTOSPORT
The roller-coaster season for the Breakers continues as they picked up their fourth win from 19 games and remain bottom of the table, just below the Taipans.
The Breakers hadn’t played since a 19-point loss to the Sydney Kings eight days ago and that was just four days following their stunning 23-point victory over the Illawarra Hawks.
They put both the best and worst of those performances all into one game at the Cairns Convention Centre, but the good of their first, second and fourth quarters was enough to stave off the stunning third period of the Taipans.
New Zealand dominated the first half with Peyton Siva running the point and Yanni Wetzell on the inside dominant, and unstoppable, forces. The Breakers led by as much as 26 points but by three quarter-time, remarkably the Snakes were two points down and could have gone in front at the buzzer.
The Breakers were able to steady in the fourth term to go back up eight, and they led 84-72 with 3:50 to go. However, they didn’t score again.
Breakers centre Yanni Wetzell finishing with 23 points, 14 rebounds, seven steals and four assists, while Peyton Siva had 22 points.
Breakers coach Dan Shamir was relieved to come away with the win with work to do on the third quarter, it sure beat the alternative of losing and trying to fix it.
“No game usually goes easy the whole way, usually teams have their runs but for so many reasons we didn’t have the consistency in the second half. But it is much better than to talk about that and try to correct it after a win.”
Owner praises Rams victory
Rams owner Stan Kroenke praised his team’s fighting spirit after they battled back to win the Super Bowl on their home field, and said the $8.3 billion stadium he funded seemed to be working out just fine.
A view before the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Inglewood, California. Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images/AFP
The billionaire businessman, who is sometimes called “Silent Stan” because of his reluctance to talk to the media, was effusive in his praise of the team, its coaches and its managers during a brief on-field interview.
“It’s amazing,” Kroenke said while holding the Lombardi trophy after the come-from-behind, 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The win marked the second championship for the franchise and first since returning to LA six years ago.
The Rams had the good fortune of playing the title game on their home field – the massive, state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
“As far as building this stadium, I think it turned out all right,” he said.
The stadium will host World Cup matches in 2026 and the Olympic opening ceremony in 2028 along with other major concerts and events in the coming years.
Kroenke also owns the Premier League’s Arsenal FC, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, among other teams.
Sprinter questions Valieva decision
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson questioned why Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was allowed to continue competing at the Beijing Games amid a doping charge, months after a positive test for cannabis derailed her own Olympic dreams.
The 21-year-old American was expected to be one of the biggest draws at the Tokyo Summer Games after winning the 100 metres at the U.S. trials, but was barred from competing after accepting a one-month ban for her positive test for cannabis.
She later said her action was the result of mourning the death of her mother, as the incident rekindled the debate over the use of cannabis among athletes.
“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of (Valieva’s) situation and mines?” Richardson wrote on Twitter. “My mother died and I can’t run and was also favored to place top 3. The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady.”
Sport’s highest court cleared the 15-year-old Russian Olympic Committee’s Valieva to continue competing in Beijing, although no Olympic medals will be awarded at the women’s singles event on Thursday if she finishes in the top three.
Newcastle lose Trippier
Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a foot fracture in yesterday’s 1-0 home win against Aston Villa.
The right back’s first-half free kick turned out to be the winner at St James’ Park but Trippier was forced off injured in the 48th minute.
“Trippier underwent an X-ray immediately after the game and scans have shown a fracture to the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot,” the club said in a statement
Newcastle did not put a time frame on his return.
The 31-year-old Trippier has made a fine start to life at Newcastle since joining from Atletico Madrid last month, scoring twice and leading them to three league victories in a row.
Newcastle, 17th in the standings with 21 points from 23 games, travel to West Ham United on Saturday.
AlphaTauri reveal new car
AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost said Formula One should cut back its calendar to 18-20 races, as it otherwise risked fans losing interest in the sport.
The 2022 season is set to feature a record 23 races, one more than the unprecedented 22 rounds last year.
Liberty Media, which acquired the sport’s commercial rights in 2017, has spoken of expanding the schedule to 25 races.
“Last year, we were lucky because the races were very interesting, there were always fights, but we can’t expect that this will always be the case,” said Tost.
Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri became the fifth team to unveil an example of their 2022 Formula One challenger, taking the wraps off the AT03 in an online launch.
The car, which will be raced by an unchanged driver line-up of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda and features a similar livery to last year, has been designed to Formula One’s radical new rules which are aimed at improving wheel-to-wheel racing.
It also sports the larger, new for 2022, 18-inch wheels.
The 2022 season is set to get underway in Bahrain on March 20.
World Cup qualifier to be replayed
The World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina in September that was suspended after health officials ran onto the pitch will be replayed.
The match at the NeoQuimica Arena in Sao Paulo was halted in farcical fashion just five minutes after kick off when Brazilian health officials entered the pitch to stop Argentina’s England-based players from playing.
The officials claimed the Argentines had breached Brazil’s rules stating travellers who had been in the UK, South Africa or India during the previous two weeks were forbidden from entering the country unless they were Brazilian citizens or had permanent residency.
FIFA also banned Argentine players Emiliano Buendia, Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero for two matches. The health officials had alleged that the players had misled border officials by declaring they had not been in a red list country during the 14 days before the game.
FIFA, based in Switzerland, fined the Brazilian and Argentine football associations for their failure to ensure “order and safety”.
NZ sailor to lead Canadian team
The New Zealand sailor Phil Robertson is to move onto his third Sail GP team.
World match racing champion Robertson has been named as driver for the Canada team for the third season of the series.
Robertson is renowned for his experience in getting new entrants up to speed on the fast-paced F50 racing championship and is actively building a world-class team of Canadian athletes.
Robertson led China SailGP Team to a podium finish in Season 1 and will wrap up Season 2 with the Spanish team next month at the grand final in San Francisco.
“We not only have the ambitious task of building a team from scratch, with little to no experience of this kind in Canada, but we also have the goal to be competitive against the best teams in the world. The first step for us is to build a solid sailing squad, from there we will develop everyone’s knowledge of foiling and then start to work on the specific skills required to sail an F50,” said Robertson.
UEFA to give away tickets
UEFA will offer 30,000 tickets to fans of teams taking part in this season’s European finals as a way to thank them for their support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Champions League finalists will each receive 5,000 tickets and a total of 8,000 tickets will be handed out for the Europa League final. The finals of the Europa Conference League and Women’s Champions League will each have 6,000 tickets available.
UEFA said that clubs can use the tickets to reward loyal supporters but they must not be given to sponsors, partners or club officials.
The pandemic has had a considerable impact on European clubs, who lost $15 billion across two seasons due to matches being played behind closed doors and a decrease in transfer revenue, according to a study published by UEFA this month.