Everything came apart for Gilas in loss to Qatar, says Chot ReyesBy Francis T. J. Ochoa; Assistant Sports Editor | Philippine Daily Inquirer 6:18 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
INCHEON, South Korea—It took just one game for Gilas Pilipinas’ plans to come unhinged in the 17the Asian Games here.
And it wasn’t even the loss to Korea or the failure to widen a 67-65 victory over Kazakhstan to an 11-point margin that would have kept the Philippines above the quotient line and in the semifinals of the men’s basketball competition.
“The real problem was the game against Qatar,” said national coach Chot Reyes. “The story of our tournament was our loss to Qatar.”
Qatar turned back the Philippines, 67-58, in the quarterfinal round and shredded Gilas Pilipinas’ Asiad basketball blueprint in a way that the Filipinos could never tape it back together again. The team blew a 16-point lead against Korea and lost, 97-95, and a day later, watched an 18-point cushion melt way below the quotient line against Kazakhstan.
“Of course, we are really disappointed with the result,” Reyes said. “But there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Now, Reyes is simply hoping that the Gilas program continues.
“We wanted to get back our respectability in Asia and we did it,” he said, citing the gains that Gilas Pilipinas had achieved, including winning its first game in the Fiba World Cup in 40 years. “It’s a shame if we all would judge this program based on this tournament.”
“This is just a blip in the program and I hope we overcome this one and start moving forward. The program must continue.”
There were signs that Gilas Pilipinas will resume regular programming once the team flies back to the Philippines.
Chief supporter Manny V.Pangilinan, the business tycoon who heads the national basketball federation, has given Reyes a vote of confidence. Sources also revealed that Marcus Douthit has been offered a one-year extension by management, which means he will be constantly available for tournaments that first-choice reinforcement Andray Blatche cannot suit up for.
And in the end, Reyes shouldered the blame for the Philippines’ exit from a tournament where it was looking to end a more than five-decade drought for an Asiad gold.
“I don’t shy away from responsibility,” he said. “I take responsibility for what happened here.”
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MVP backs Chot Reyes amid Gilas Pilipinas slide in Asian Games
Be circumspect and focused, Abap urges Asian Games boxing judgesBy Francis T. J. Ochoa; Assistant Sports Editor | Philippine Daily Inquirer 6:02 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines—There will be no protest regarding Ian Clark Bautista’s loss to hometown bet Choe Sangdon in their round-of-16 flyweight match in the 17th Asian Games last Saturday at Seonhak gym in Incheon, South Korea.
But the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (Abap) certainly wants officials to take a close look at it.
Abap executive director Ed Picson wrote a letter to David Francis, the Asiad tournament supervisor for boxing, asking for a review of the fights and other ones that had been questioned to make sure that judges and referees will be more “circumspect and focused” for the rest of the tournament.
“We felt strongly that Bautista won the fight and the reaction of the crowd reinforces that argument,” Picson wrote.
“Having said that, I assure you that I have been in this sport long enough to know there will be times when things happen which strike us as unfathomable. Then again, there have been several instances in the tournament (not involving us) which elicited angry reactions, not only from the participants involved, but the crowd as well.
“We are concerned that repetition of such insensitive decisions may send the wrong signals and damage the gains the AIBA leadership under President Ching Kuo Wu has achieved in its avowed goal of transparency and fairness.
“As you know, I considered filing a protest but after speaking with you, thought the better of it.”
Picson clarified that he was not out to protest the decision or accuse any of the officials of any wrongdoing but suggested that tapes be reviewed for future reference.
“As a brother in our beloved sport, I know you to be one of the most upright people I have come across in boxing. The same holds true for most of the officials working the tournament. This view is unchanged.
“I only wish for our tournament to be successful and for our sport to be free of controversy and suspicion.”
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Inspired Nishikori ready for London ATP finalAgence France-Presse 4:32 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
TOKYO — Kei Nishikori will take his growing confidence on court into the concluding weeks of the ATP season, with hopes of becoming the first Asian man to qualify for the eight-man final in November.
“I’m sixth now (in the season points race) and I’m really hoping to qualify for the World Tour Finals,” he said on Tuesday at the Japan Open after a doubles win.
The Japanese player, who was last weekend’s champion in Kuala Lumpur, said it was the first year he had had the chance to reach the final.
“It’s something that every player wants to play. I’m happy about standing sixth but I have a lot of work over the next weeks,” he said.
“I’m pleased to be in this position but the race is very close and a lot of players are trying to earn a place. Some good results over the rest of this Asian swing will help, I’m hoping to do well,” added Japan’s US Open finalist, who plays next week in Shanghai.
Nishikori will open his singles campaign as fourth seed against Croatian Ivan Dodig on Wednesday in front of his home crowd at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old is Japan’s only player in the ATP top 100, with the other six Japanese players still ranked within the top 170.
Nishikori won the Tokyo title in 2012 and is the only Japanese to lift the honor.
In first-round results, German Benjamin Becker beat Kuala Lumpur semi-finalist Jarkko Nieminen as the Finn retired trailing 7-5, 4-1.
American Donald Young stopped Japan’s Go Soeda 6-4, 6-2.
Nishikori ends Japan’s 96-year wait for US Open semi-final spot
Kei Nishikori triumphs in Malaysian Open
Asian Games: Malaysian gold medal winner expelled for dopingAgence France-Presse 3:15 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
INCHEON — Asian Games organizers on Tuesday expelled Malaysia’s wushu gold medal-winner Tai Cheau Xuen after she became the third doping failure of the giant event.
Tai, 24, tested positive for a banned stimulant after winning Malaysia’s first gold in at the Games on September 20, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said. The Malaysian delegation vowed to appeal.
The champion in the Chinese martial art was found to have taken sibutramine, according to an OCA statement.
It is the second time the substance, widely used as a dietary supplement, has been detected at the Games, where 9,500 athletes are taking part.
OCA anti-doping chief, M. Jegathesan, has indicated that not all failures for sibutramine are “hard core” cheats, but he has not yet commented on Tai’s case. And no matter the circumstances the OCA had no choice but to order her out.
“The competitor has been disqualified from the competition as well as these Games, and as such her accreditation cancelled and her medal withdrawn,” said the statement.
The official announcement of the failed test was delayed because Tai and the Malaysian Olympic Committee asked for the B-sample to be examined, officials said.
Malaysia’s chef de mission Danyal Balagopal said the team would appeal the decision, but did not say on what basis.
“Obviously when we say we will appeal we have strong reasons,” he told AFP.
A Tajik footballer, Khurshed Beknazarov, and a Cambodian soft tennis player have already been expelled for failing tests.
Nineteen-year-old Cambodia Yi Sophany was also found to have taken sibutramine, which is widely taken to control weight.
About 1,900 doping tests will be carried out on the Asian Games athletes, according to Jegathesan, the OCA medical committee chairman.
He said this week there are three kinds of doping failures.
There are the “hard-core” cheats who deliberately take the “magic pill” because they think it will help them to win. There are also competitors who are pushed into doping by their coaches.
And there are athletes who get caught through “ignorance” just by taking medicines and diet treatments, said Jegathesan.
The Cambodian athlete told the OCA that she had taken sibutramine as part of a beauty treatment, officials said. And they acknowledged that it probably would not have helped her performance.
But the OCA is obliged to follow the World Anti-Doping Agency rules and list of banned stimulants.
Jegathesan said that neither of the first two cases reported were probably intentional. “I don’t think there was ever any intention to use these to cheat,” he said.
“But we cannot make an exception to the rule simply because we are sympathetic. We have a job to do, to protect the clean athlete,” he added.
After winning in the women’s nanquan and nandao all-round event on September 20, Tai had dedicated her victory to all Malaysians for their solid backing for the national contingent in Incheon.
“I also want to thank the National Sports Council and Olympic Council of Malaysia for the support they have given me,” she said.
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Increased doping tests for Sochi 2014—IOC
George Shuba, former Brooklyn Dodger, dead at 89Associated Press 11:58 am | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — George “Shotgun” Shuba, a member of the 1955 World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers who was best known for offering a congratulatory handshake to minor league teammate Jackie Robinson, died Monday. He was 89.
The Los Angeles Dodgers said Shuba died at his home in Youngstown, Ohio. No cause of death was given.
Shuba, who was white, congratulated his teammate on the Montreal Royals near home plate after Robinson hit a three-run homer on April 18, 1946, off Jersey City Giants pitcher Warren Sandell. The moment shared by a smiling Robinson and Shuba was captured in a famous photograph and dubbed “A Handshake for the Century.”
Shuba reportedly hung a copy in his living room.
Robinson went on to break major league baseball’s color barrier when he started at first base for Brooklyn on April 15, 1947.
Shuba had a .259 career batting average with 24 homers and 125 RBIs in 355 games as a utility outfielder with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1948-55. The left-handed hitter was the first National League pinch hitter to homer in the World Series, connecting in Game 1 against the New York Yankees in 1953.
The Dodgers said Shuba earned his nickname after someone compared his line drives with the sound of buckshot. His career was featured in a chapter of Roger Kahn’s book, “The Boys of Summer,” a tribute to the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers.
Shuba appeared at Dodger Stadium in 2005 when the club marked the 50th anniversary of its only championship in Brooklyn. He was joined by Carl Erskine, Roger Craig, Don Newcombe, Johnny Podres, Clem Labine, Sandy Koufax, Don Zimmer, Tom Lasorda and Duke Snider.
Born on Dec. 13, 1924, in Youngstown, Shuba was the youngest of 10 children whose parents were Czechoslovak immigrants.
He practiced his swing for hours with a rope tied to the ceiling, making knots in the rope where the strike zone would be. He swung a bat at the rope, helping to develop the powerful swing that later produced line drives in the major leagues.
Shuba is survived by his wife, Kathryn; a son, Michael; daughters Marlene and Marykay; and a sister, Helen.
Services were pending.