Category Archives: Sports

Spain basketball tops France for fourth EuroBasket gold medal in past six tries

For Spain, almost all of the names on the national team’s roster have changed in recent years.

The expectations didn’t. And neither did the results.

Juancho Hernangomez scored 27 points, his brother Willy Hernangomez added 14 and earned tournament MVP honors, and Spain topped France 88-76 on Sunday to win the EuroBasket gold medal.

It was Spain’s fourth European championship in its past six tries, all those golds coming under coach Sergio Scariolo.

“It’s easy to say that we are extremely happy,” Scariolo said. “We got into this championship in eighth place in the power ranking, and we managed to climb, step by step. … It’s been amazing now to see we are above all those great teams.”

Lorenzo Brown scored 14 points and had 11 assists for Spain, while Jaime Fernandez scored 13.

Evan Fournier led France — which also dropped the gold-medal game at the Tokyo Olympics to the U.S. last summer — with 23 points, while Thomas Heurtel scored 16 and Guerschon Yabusele added 13.

Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves was held to only six points on just two shots from the field for France.

“Spain played better from start to finish,” said Fournier, who plays with the New York Knicks. “They had a clear game plan, and we did not execute ours well enough. … We never really had control of the game. They just played better, man, period.”

This was supposed to be a rebuilding summer for Spain.

Pau and Marc Gasol, the longtime leaders of the program, retired from international play following a quarterfinal loss to the U.S. at the Tokyo Games. Sergio Gonzalez also decided last summer was the right time to walk away, after 16 years with the national team. Sergio Llull and Ricky Rubio, two more of the team’s veterans, couldn’t play because of injuries.

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The winning tradition continued anyway.

Spain is now the reigning Basketball World Cup (won in China in 2019) and EuroBasket champion. It has also medaled in 10 of its past 11 EuroBasket appearances.

“It’s hard to explain with words how I feel,” said Willy Hernangomez, who plays in the NBA for New Orleans. “I’m feeling extremely proud of my teammates, of my coaching staff, of all the Spanish federation from the top to the bottom. We much deserve this gold medal.”

But this young crew also had the exuberance of youth: As Scariolo and Willy Hernangomez were trying to hold a postgame news conference, the rest of Spain’s roster crashed the session, armed with water bottles, and soaked the MVP and their coach.

“That’s the dark side of having a young team,” Scariolo said, as he happily dabbed at his face with a towel. “I don’t see Pau Gasol throwing water around.”

For France, it was another medal — and another instance of coming up a bit short of the shiniest medal. France’s last major crown came in winning EuroBasket in 2013. Since then, the French have obtained two bronzes at the World Cup (2014, 2019), a bronze at EuroBasket (2015), silver at the Tokyo Olympics and now silver again.

The difference was clear: Spain held a massive 35-7 edge in points off turnovers.

“Today, obviously, we have lost the gold,” France coach Vincent Collet said. “They executed their plan perfect.”

Juancho Hernangomez was 6-for-6 from 3-point range in a six-minute span of the second quarter, helping Spain extend what was a 23-14 lead into a 45-26 edge with just about three minutes left in the half.

It was perhaps a mildly unlikely source for a 3-point barrage. He had made a total of 12 3s in his eight previous games in this year’s EuroBasket tournament, and his high in any NBA game is six.

“We needed him today and he was there for us,” Willy Hernangomez said.

An 11-0 run helped France cut what had been a 21-point deficit to just 47-37 at the half — and the momentum carried into the third quarter.

Yabusele’s jumper with 6:52 left in the third got France within 49-46, and everything seemed to be shifting.

But Spain held on. Juancho Hernangomez’s seventh 3-pointer with 7:29 left made it a 71-61 game, and the outcome wasn’t in doubt again. “I cannot be happier as a basketball coach,” Scariolo said.

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Calvin Kattar-Arnold Allen featherweight bout close for Oct. 29 UFC Fight Night

The UFC is finalizing a featherweight main event between Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen for a UFC Fight Night on Oct. 29, UFC president Dana White told ESPN on Wednesday.

fight agreements have not been signed, but the 145-pound contest is close to being official, sources told ESPN. The UFC Fight Night will take place inside the Apex facility in Las Vegas. Kattar (23-6) is coming off a razor-thin split-decision loss to Josh Emmett in June.

The Massachusetts native will look to close out 2022 on a high note after taking much of 2021 off. He picked up an impressive five-round victory over Giga Chikadze in January before coming up short versus Emmett.

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Kattar will face a surging opponent in Allen (18-1), who is 9-0 in the UFC dating back to 2015.

Fighting out of Suffolk, England, Allen is coming off a first-round TKO over fan favorite Dan Hooker in March. It was Allen’s highest-profile win inside the Octagon and came in front of a sellout crowd in London.

Kattar and Allen are the Nos. 5 and 6 featherweights in the world, according to the UFC’s official rankings. Current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-1) does not have his next title defense scheduled.

He is coming off a victory over Max Holloway in July and is already back to training, according to sources. He has volunteered to be a backup for a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev in October.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo ejected as Germany eliminates Greece from EuroBasket

Giannis Antetokounmpo got ejected, and Greece’s hopes of bringing home a European championship ended not long afterward.

Germany, meanwhile, is taking full advantage of its home-court edge.

Dennis Schroder scored 26 points, Daniel Theis had a 13-point, 16-rebound effort and host Germany moved into the EuroBasket semifinals with a 107-96 victory over Greece on Tuesday.

Antetokounmpo had an outstanding game for Greece — 31 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in 30 minutes. But he also picked up two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, the last of those leading to his ejection with 4:56 left.

Greece was down by 14 when he committed his second such foul, and Germany maintained full control the rest of the way.

Germany now has an opportunity at what would be just its second medal in its past 13 appearances at EuroBasket. The Germans earned the European title in 1993 and were second in 2005; assured of no worse than fourth now, this tournament will mark their best EuroBasket finish since that silver-medal showing.

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“I think this is unbelievable for German basketball, the way this team, the way these players have performed on their home soil up to now,” Germany coach Gordie Herbert said. “I think the way they’ve played, the way we’ve played, people can relate to. They see an identity.”

Greece and Serbia were the only two teams that made it through the group stage of EuroBasket with undefeated records, both 5-0 and led by a pair of two-time NBA MVPs — Antetokounmpo for Greece, Nikola Jokic for Serbia.

Then came the knockout stage, and the records no longer mattered. Serbia and Jokic were ousted in the round of 16 by Italy; Antetokounmpo and Greece are now gone as well.

“We really enjoyed the ride,” Greece coach Dimitrios Itoudis said. “We really enjoyed the journey. I think that we made a lot of people proud with the way that this team performs. We wanted to go more, but it didn’t happen this time.”

Giannoulis Larentzakis scored 18 points on only five shot attempts for Greece; he was 5 for 5 from the field, four of those from 3-point range, and was 4 for 6 from the foul line. Tyler Dorsey added 13 for Greece.

Franz Wagner and Andreas Obst had 19 points apiece for Germany, which plays Spain in Friday’s semifinals.

“It was a really physical game,” Wagner said. “A lot of points. We found our rhythm really early and I think we did a way better job collectively guarding them in the second half.”

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Jimmy Garoppolo agrees to restructured contract, will remain with San Francisco 49ers this season

After an offseason in which a divorce seemed all but certain, the San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are staying together for one more season.

Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday that Garoppolo and the Niners agreed to a restructured one-year contract that is worth $6.5 million in fully guaranteed base salary. The new-look deal includes another total of $500,000 in roster bonuses and playtime bonuses that could boost it by another nearly $9 million for up to a total of $16 million if all bonuses are reached.

Garoppolo’s restructured contract also includes a no-trade and no-tag clause that ensures Garoppolo will serve as the backup to Trey Lance this season and will then be able to explore unrestricted free agency in 2023.

A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Garoppolo and the 49ers have discussed the option of waiving the no-trade clause if something develops and the 49ers can get compensation, but Garoppolo was willing to help the team and wanted to play again this campaign with his teammates.

Depending on how it’s structured, Garoppolo’s salary cap number for 2022 will end up being somewhere between $18 million to 19 million less than the $26.9 million it was previously slated to cost

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The idea of Garoppolo staying with the Niners became more of a possibility after an offseason and training camp in which the Niners were unable to find a trade partner for him. Garoppolo had right shoulder surgery in March, which made trading him nearly impossible, and by the time he resumed throwing in late June, most quarterback-needy teams had already gone a different direction.

When training camp opened on July 26, Garoppolo reported on time and passed his physical, but he did not participate in practice or attend meetings and hadn’t yet been issued a 49ers iPad with the playbook on it.

While the Niners practiced, Garoppolo spent his time on a side field continuing the prescribed throwing program for his shoulder rehabilitation.

Through it all, the Niners indicated that keeping Garoppolo at his previous cost was something they could do, even though it was always unlikely. But bringing him back at a reduced cost always seemed like a logical option if no trade could be completed.

On Aug. 23, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan again reiterated that no situation had been ruled out when it comes to Garoppolo.

Now, the Niners have one of the most expensive backup quarterbacks in the league but also one who knows the offense and has been under center for a trip to Super Bowl LIV and last year’s run to the NFC Championship Game.

That’s no small thing given the team’s lack of success with backup quarterbacks under Shanahan. The Niners were 1-1 in two Lance starts last year but he also dealt with thumb and knee injuries that hampered his rookie campaign.

In games started by quarterbacks other than Garoppolo since Shanahan’s arrival in 2017, the Niners are 8-28. They’re 35-16 with Garoppolo at the controls.

That .673 winning percentage was the fifth best of all starting quarterbacks in the NFL with at least 10 starts in that time. In 52 matches with the Niners (including playoffs), Garoppolo has thrown for 12,124 yards (eighth most in franchise history) while completing 67.1% of his attempts (eighth in the NFL in that span) with an average of 8.33 yards per attempt (first in the NFL in that time among qualified starters).

Despite that success, Garoppolo has also struggled with injuries and interceptions. From 2018 to 2021, he missed 25 starts because of knee, ankle, calf and thumb injuries. His 44 interceptions since taking over as the starter near the end of 2017 is tied for 12th most in the league and his 1.59 touchdown to interception ratio ranks 32nd.

Through all of the offseason speculation, the Niners insisted they wouldn’t just part with Garoppolo for nothing. They also appreciated how he handled an odd situation in 2021.

Now, Garoppolo will be asked again to handle a potentially awkward situation with aplomb as he switches roles with Lance. “I think Jimmy Garoppolo deserves a ton of credit because of the way he handled the situation,” general manager John Lynch said after the season.

“The way not only he went about competing, competition brings out the best in everyone, it certainly did with Jimmy, but the way he also welcomed Trey and helped him along the way, it was a really nice thing to see. And I think it speaks volume to who he is.”

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Cameron Smith to play Australian Open, PGA

Newly crowned British Open champion Cameron Smith will make an emotional return home to Brisbane in November to contest the Australian PGA Championship.

Smith will bring the famous Claret Jug with him when he returns to Australia for the first time since 2019 and also contest the Australian Open in Melbourne from December 1-4.

Triumphant at the landmark 150th Open at St Andrews last month, Smith is now intent on capping off his unforgettable 2022 with more silverware on Australian soil.

The 28-year-old gained back-to-back Australian PGA Championships in 2017 and 2018 and will be chasing a third when he tees up in his home city from November 24-27.

“I’ve had an unbelievable year and to be coming home to play tournaments is the icing on the cake,” said the world No.2.

“I’m so excited to see friends and family again. Some of them I haven’t seen for years now and once I get to the golf course, I’ve got my eye on some more trophies.”

Smith’s record-setting victory at the Old Course in Scotland was his third of the year after also taking out the prestigious Players Championship and the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

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The Queenslander continues to be linked to an impending move to LIV Golf.

But even if he joins Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed breakaway league after the PGA Tour’s final FedEx Cup playoff event starting on Thursday night in Atlanta, Smith will still be free to contest Australia’s two biggest events of the summer.

Australasian tour officials have ruled out following the lead of PGA and European Tour bosses in banning any players who join LIV Golf.

Smith is the latest big-name drawcard to commit to the Australian Open and PGA Championships.

He joins fellow PGA Tour stars Marc Leishman, Lucas Herbert and Min Woo Lee.

Former Women’s US PGA Champion Hannah Green is also teeing up at the mixed-gender Australian Open being staged at Kingston Heath and the Victoria Golf Club.

South Africa’s newly crowned Women’s British Open champion Ashleigh Buhai also revealed on Thursday that she’d play the Australian Open, which is offering a $3.4 million in prize money to be split evenly among the men and women.

Golf Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland stated securing Smith and Buhai was a massive boost to Australian golf fans.

“Over the last few years Australians golf fans have loved following the rise of Cameron Smith,” Sutherland said.

“He delights fans of all ages and even young kids have been inspired by him, turning up to golf sporting mullets and dreaming of playing like him.

“For Australian golf fans this is a great opportunity to come and watch Cameron – and to recognize his brilliant achievements, including his most recent Open Championship victory.”

Announcing the two recent men’s and women’s British Open champions in one day is a sign of the star-studded fields that are building for the Australian Open.

“Ashleigh Buhai is one of those stars and her commitment to the event highlights how well-received our new format has been internationally. She is a major champion and she wants to not only be a part of it,” Sutherland said. “The presence of this year’s Open champion and AIG Women’s Open champion is a great coup for the event.”

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Formula 1 CEO: ‘No more racing in Russia’

Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali stated the sport has no plans to hold future races in Russia.

The Russian Grand Prix was calendared to be held in Sochi this year before moving to Igora Drive in St. Petersburg in 2023, but F1 canceled the race after Russia invaded Ukraine. Domenicali said the sport has no intention of returning to the country.

“I’ve always believed that you should never say never,” Domenicali told Sport Bild magazine, per GrandPrix.com. “But in this case, I can promise for sure — we will no longer negotiate with them.

“There will be no more racing in Russia.”

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Alexey Titov, the CEO of Russian GP promoter ANO Rosgonki, stated he expects F1 to refund payments made following the cancellation of this year’s race.

“This debt exists, it is confirmed and our position on it is unchanged,” Titov told Russian news agency Tass. “We expect a refund regardless of the current position of Formula One Management in relation to holding races in the Russian Federation.

“The current situation in world sports is extremely politicized. It is necessary to take Domenicali’s words here with this in mind. What he said has a pronounced political connotation that has nothing to do with the real spirit of sports.

“The future of our relations today is really unclear. We will take Domenicali’s position into account in our further work.”

This is the first year since 2014 that a race has not been held at the Sochi Autodrom, with Mercedes having attained every race to date.

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RB Kareem Hunt requests trade but Cleveland Browns decline

Running back Kareem Hunt, who is seeking a contract extension, has requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns, but the team has privately declined that request, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Hunt, who is in the final year of a two-year, $12 million deal, has missed team drills the past two practices and has told the Browns he will not participate until he gets an extension, a league source told ESPN.

The news of Hunt’s trade demand was first reported by Cleveland.com.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski declined comment Sunday when asked about Hunt’s trade request.

“I’m not going to get into really anything that has to do with our players and conversations,” he said.

Stefanski also stated he “won’t get into that” when asked whether Hunt would be fined for sitting out team drills.

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Hunt’s situation adds more turmoil for the Browns, who are waiting to see how long quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Watson was suspended for six games by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Monday, but the NFL appealed the ruling Wednesday, seeking a tougher penalty.

Hunt, 27, has been productive during his three campaigns for Cleveland, but he missed nine matches last season with calf and ankle injuries and concluded with 386 yards and five touchdowns, finishing third on the team in rushing behind Nick Chubb (1,259 yards) and D’Ernest Johnson (534). Hunt led the Browns with 11 touchdowns (six rushing, five receiving) in 2020.

Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing as a rookie with the Chiefs in 2017, when he had 1,327 yards, was released by Kansas City a year later after video surfaced of him shoving and kicking a woman.

He signed with the Browns in 2019 and was suspended for the first eight games of that season for violating the personal conduct policy.

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Jessica Korda shoots 65 in borrowed golf clothes, trails Hinako Shibuno at Women’s Open

Playing in borrowed clothes doesn’t seem to bother Jessica Korda at the Women’s Open.

Still waiting for her suitcase to arrive in Muirfield, Korda recovered from an early bogey to shoot a 5-under 66 in the first round Thursday, putting her 1 shot behind leader Hinako Shibuno of Japan.

Korda made four birdies and an eagle on the 17th despite missing her normal clothes after her luggage got stuck at an airport in Switzerland.

“If anyone knows anyone at the Zurich airport that would like to put my suitcase on the one flight a day that they have coming into Edinburgh, I’d deeply appreciate it,” Korda said. “I know where it is, I have an AirTag on it. I can’t get anyone to actually go get it. … Monday I wore Megan Khang’s pants. Tuesday, I wore my sister’s pants and Wednesday I wore Alison Lee’s pants. Today I’m wearing FootJoy pants.”

Shibuno, the 2019 champion, made birdies on the first three holes and went on to card eight in total in her 65. Scotland’s Louise Duncan and Mexico’s Gabby Lopez were tied for third, 2 shots back.

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“It has been a long time since I’ve played this well, especially putting. Honestly it was a little frightening,” Shibuno said through an interpreter. “I haven’t changed much. My caddie told me that my body balance was off when I was missing putts. Once I focused on this, I could play much better.”

Nelly Korda, Jessica’s sister, was tied for 13th after shooting a 70.

Catriona Matthew, also a former Women’s British Open champion and two-time-winning captain in the Solheim Cup, was elected to hit the opening tee shot Thursday after growing up close to Muirfield, which is hosting the event for the first time.

It was only six years ago that Muirfield didn’t permitted women to even set foot in the clubhouse.

Matthew struggled to a 5-over 76, making double-bogeys on the first and 10th and failing to make a single birdie.

“Being the first women’s pro event to be played here, it’s great, and me being local, it was a huge honor to hit the first tee shot,” Matthew said. “Apart from the two doubles, I actually played quite well. It’s a little frustrating.”

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Chelsea set to sign teenage midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa for up to £20 million

Chelsea are set to sign Aston Villa midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka in a deal which could reach £20 million, sources have told ESPN.

In a brief statement, the Blues confirmed: “Aston Villa and Chelsea can confirm that the clubs have reached an agreement for the permanent transfer of Carney Chukwuemeka.

“The 18-year-old has been given permission to travel to London to discuss both personal terms and undergo a medical.”

Sources have told ESPN that the medical is expected to take place on Wednesday with Chukwuemeka set to become the Blues’ third summer signing after the arrivals of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.

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Chukwuemeka had just one year remaining on his deal at Villa Park and rejected multiple offers to sign an extension, amid interest from several rivals across Europe including Barcelona and AC Milan.

A move abroad appeared the most likely option if Villa were pushed to sell but the size of Chelsea’s offer has proved too difficult to resist:

Sources have told ESPN the deal comprises an initial fee in the region of £15m with add-ons taking it to a potential £20m depending on the player’s progress.

Chukwuemeka won the European Under-19 Championship with England last month and is tipped for a bright future after making 12 Premier League appearances last season.

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Charley Hoffman and Mark Hubbard share first-round lead at Barracuda Championship

Charley Hoffman and Mark Hubbard each had 13 points in the modified Stableford scoring system to share the first-round lead in the Barracuda Championship.

Hoffman and Hubbard each had seven birdies and a bogey at Tahoe Mountain Club in the second of two consecutive U.S. events co-sanctioned by the European tour.

Players receive eight points for albatross, five for eagle and two for birdie. A point is deducted for bogey and three taken away for double bogey or worse. Hoffman closed his afternoon round with a birdie on the par-4 ninth. The 45-year-old former UNLV player has four PGA Tour victories.

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“It’s just nice to be able to play golf,” said Hoffman, coming off a tie for 69th last week in the Scottish Open. “This year has been a tough year, with back issues. Back feels OK, so when it feels OK I want to play, so that’s why I’m playing. “

The 33-year-old Hubbard is winless on the PGA Tour.

He was third last week in Kentucky in the Barbasol Championship.

“I feel comfortable out here.” Hubbard said. “I’m from Colorado. I’m good with elevation, went to school (San Jose State) two hours from here, so it kind of feels like a home event, anyway.”

Brice Garnett, Sean Crocker and Aaron Cockerill were tied for third with 12 points. Maverick McNealy was at 11 with Henrik Norlander, Michael Gligic, Callum Tarren and Jim Knous.

Former Pepperdine player Joe Highsmith had seven points in his first PGA Tour start as a professional. He’s playing on a sponsor exemption.

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