Taiwan progress in Thailand
Taiwan finished third in the preliminary round of the 2010 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia U-18 Championship for Women in Thailand and were scheduled to meet China yesterday in the semi-finals. Opening the tournament with three victories, Taiwan lost to China and Japan in the last two games to finish third in the six-team round-robin preliminary round with three wins and two losses, behind defending champions Japan (5-0) and China (4-1). South Korea squeezed into the final four with two wins and three losses. The tournament, being held, in Surat Thani, is a qualifying event for the FIBA World U-19 Championship for Women to be held in Chile next year. The top three teams in Thailand will represent Asia in Chile.
US, Japan stay unbeaten
The US and Japan continued their unbeaten run on Sunday at the world championship. The US, which has won this tournament six straight times, defeated Australia 9-2 and Olympic champions Japan edged Canada 2-1. Both teams are 5-0 with two more games to play in the group stage. Cat Osterman picked up the victory for the US, a complete-game victory with 10 strikeouts. Alissa Haber led the Americans at the plate. She was 3-for-3 with four RBIs and scored one run. Mika Someya picked up the complete-game victory for Japan with seven strikeouts and no walks. Japan took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Canada tied it in the top of the fifth. However, in the bottom of the fifth Ayumi Karino doubled in Shizuyo Hamamoto — who had also doubled — to restore the one-run lead. Canada’s first two batters were retired in the top of the seventh, but Melanie Matthews singled to bring the potentially tiebreaking run to the plate. Caitlin Lever was thrown out at first on a fielder’s choice to end the game. In other results on Sunday, Taiwan beat Argentina 6-3, China blanked the Dominican Republic 7-0, the Netherlands trounced South Africa 7-0, the Czech Republic edged Botswana 5-4, Venezuela beat New Zealand 5-2 and Cuba overcame Britain 4-1.
Cooper fined, disqualified
Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper has been fined and disqualified from driving after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while on a suspended license. Magistrate Judith Daley, sitting in the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday, fined Cooper A$400 (US$344), banned him for driving for six months and entered a traffic conviction against him. A lawyer for the 22-year-old told the court Cooper’s action was inadvertent. Liam Burrow said Cooper had changed address in March and had not received a letter informing him his license had been suspended. Burrow said Cooper was unaware his license was suspended until he was stopped by police for a license check in Brisbane last week. Cooper is due in court again on Friday on a burglary charge relating to an incident at a Gold Coast residence on Dec. 6 last year.
Police smash betting ring
Hong Kong police said yesterday they have smashed a record HK$170 million (US$22 million) gambling ring that took illegal bets on World Cup soccer games and horse racing. Authorities arrested four men linked to triad gangs and seized betting records in the latest in a series of raids that have netted at least three dozen suspects since the soccer tournament kicked off this earlier this month. “This is a record for a single raid,” a police spokeswoman said.