TNT draws first blood

first_imgWorld’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken MOST READ With a 1-0 lead after a 109-105 win on Saturday, Victolero wants his Hotshots to stay the course knowing that the Beermen will do everything to bounce back in their 7 p.m. clash at MoA Arena.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games What ‘missteps’? View comments Alcantara, pal sweep futures WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garagecenter_img 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire PBA IMAGESTNT KaTropa maximized the advantage it has—a 6-foot-10 behemoth in Joshua Smith—and reversed all pre-series predictions that it was the underdog against Barangay Ginebra.Smith came off the bench and threw his weight around all night long, keying a 100-94 decision of the top-seeded Gin Kings as the Texters broke the ice in their best-of-five Final Four match-up in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup before a stunned pro-Ginebra crowd at Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Scoring at will and changing every Ginebra shot inside, Smith was the immovable force in the middle for the Texters that the Gin Kings didn’t have an answer to as TNT goes into Game 2 knowing that it put a dent on the psyche of the enemy—critical in a short series.“We hope that Joshua continues to play the same,” TNT coach Nash Racela, who was brilliant in drawing the game plan that had Smith scoring in the 30s for the second straight night. “But the locals will still be crucial.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt was clear that Racela would ride Smith all the way, as he managed his import’s minutes splendidly by, first, not starting him and then pulling him in and out of the floor to keep Smith fresh for the stretch.Smith, who came in as TNT’s third import here, finished with 35 points and 13 rebounds in less than 29 minutes. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games The locals backed Smith up with aplomb, with RR Pogoy shooting 17 and Ranidel de Ocampo firing 12. But the biggest shot among locals came from Jason Castro, who sealed the outcome with a triple with 12.2 seconds left for what turned out to be the final score.That was the only field goal for Asia’s best point guard, as he struggled to get into a rhythm all night but saved his only basket when it truly mattered.Justin Brownlee paced the Kings with 24 points, with LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar shooting 15 apiece.Game 2 is slated Tuesday night also at MoA Arena.Meawnhile, Chito Victolero has described Star’s Final Four with powerhouse San Miguel Beer in just one word: Grinding.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Michael Ferreira wins World Amateur Billiards title for third time in six years

first_imgThree times champion Michael Ferreira: DisgruntledThere is now no disputing who the title ‘monarch of the green baize’ belongs to – Michael Ferreira, the stocky Bombay-based Indian. At Valletta in Malta last fortnight, Ferreira made history by winning the World Amateur Billiards title for the third time in six years.For,Three times champion Michael Ferreira: DisgruntledThere is now no disputing who the title ‘monarch of the green baize’ belongs to – Michael Ferreira, the stocky Bombay-based Indian. At Valletta in Malta last fortnight, Ferreira made history by winning the World Amateur Billiards title for the third time in six years.For India, Ferreira’s feat was occasion for special celebration since his opponent in the final was Subhas Agarwal which made it the first time that two Indians have figured in the final of an international sporting event.For Ferreira, however, victory almost eluded his outstretched cue. When the last session of the semi-final against England’s Norman Dagley, former title-holder and Ferreira’s arch-rival, started, Ferreira was trailing by 735 points, an almost unbeatable margin.But in what he himself described later as a “miracle”, Mike as he is fondly known, pulled off a sensational wafer-thin victory to march into the all-Indian finals. Exulted Ferreira after defeating Dagley: “For anyone who believes there is no God and the age of miracles is over, I’ve got news for you baby. Miracles do happen, there is a God above and at the moment he is showering blessings on the Indians.”Disappointing Response: Tragically, the limited following that the game attracts in this country ensured that what should have been hailed as a historic occasion was sidelined by the vicissitudes of the Indian cricket team against the West Indies. Undoubtedly, Ferreira deserved much more.Ferreira first won the title at Melbourne in 1977, lost it to Paul Mifsud of Malta in Sri Lanka in 1979 and regained it at New Delhi in 1981 defeating Dagley, a London bus-driver. Ferreira’s feat is only rivalled somewhat by Australia’s Bob Marshall, who managed to bag the title four times – but over a period of 26 years.advertisementIncidentally, the list of two-time title-holders includes another Indian, Wilson Jones. Ironically enough, the second time that Jones won the title in 1964 was the year Ferreira started competing at the international level.But even then, he had all the makings of a champion. In his first bid in 1964, he finished third and only lost to Jones and runner-up Jack Karneham by very slim margins. His next bid was at Colombo in 1967, where a painful leg injury forced him out of the tournament but not before he had dazzled the billiards world with the highest tournament break of 507.He topped that in his next international appearance in the 1969 World Amateur Championships in London by becoming the first Indian to chalk up an official break of 600. His 629 in that tournament stood as a world record till it was eclipsed by Sri Lanka’s Mohammed Lafir in Bombay in 1973.Ferreira finished second in that tournament and at that stage it appeared that he lacked the final championship edge to make it to the top. After London, Ferreira went into a slump and it looked like India’s hopes of a second world billiards champion had faded. Ferreira had been chasing the title for over a decade without success but most people underestimated his tremendous fighting spirit.Steady Improvement: Billiards players, like good wine, usually mature with age and Ferreira was showing signs of doing just that, practising for long hours and getting more consistency into his game. In Melbourne, in the 1977 championships, he dramatically dispelled any doubts about his big match temperament and became the second Indian to win the title.If any further doubts about his lack of the killer instinct remained, they received the same treatment in 1981 in New Delhi: he demolished record after record with the brilliance of his table craft.Billiards’s gain, however, has been badminton’s loss. Ferreira was one of the top schoolboy badminton players at St Joseph’s, Darjeeling, and would probably have taken seriously to the game had not an injured elbow ended his badminton career at an early age. He switched to billiards and continued to play after his arrival in Bombay to study law and eventually join his father, a well-known barrister, in the family profession. His work, however, gave him little time for practice and less so when he decided to join Voltas as a law officer.The other Tata company, TOMCO, always on the lookout for sporting talent, quickly absorbed him and gave him facilities where he could spend long hours at practice and play. The results were immediate and spectacular. In 1966, he became the first Indian to defeat the indomitable Wilson Jones. He was then a mere 27, a relative babe by billiards standards. The rest, as they say, is history.advertisementDisillusionment: Unfortunately, the world champion is still a frustrated man. His success has been rudely ignored by the Government. Even after winning his second world title in 1981, Ferreira says he received not one word of congratulations from the state or the Union Government.The only grudging acknowledgement of his existence has been the Shivaji Chhatrapati Award and Arjuna Award. Says he bitterly: “Our cricketers are feted and rewarded for their moderate successes. What will I have to do to deserve similar treatment?”That bitterness comes through eloquently in his writing whenever he takes on reporting assignments for Indian dailies. In his dispatch from Malta after beating Dagley, he wrote: “I was alarmed by the fact that my play had been deteriorating steadily for reasons I could not analyse other than an intense desire to win and prove to the honourable Mr N.K.P. Salve and others of his like that India has more than just Prudential World Cup winners.”It is precisely for that reason that Ferreira has dissuaded his two sons from following in his footsteps. One son, Mark, took to tennis instead and seems to have inherited some of the famous Ferreira talent. He is now in California on a tennis scholarship and has already registered quite a few creditable victories.But Ferreira’s real inspiration is his wife, Fay. She accompanies him on every world tournament since 1977 and according to Ferreira, was responsible for his win last fortnight. “When I was trailing just before the last session, she told me that I had as good as lost so why not relax and enjoy my game. She then slipped a picture of St Jude, the patron saint of desperate cases, into my hand,” he says, adding with a twinkle in his eye, “in fact, St Jude is the joint holder of the title with me.”last_img read more