Lithuania beat Greece
Mantas Kalnietis made two free throws with 14 seconds remaining to seal Lithuania’s 73-69 victory over Greece in the match for fifth place at the European basketball championship in Kaunas, Lithuania, on Saturday. The match was mainly a matter of prestige since both teams had already advanced to the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament ahead of next year’s London Games. Earlier on Saturday, Goran Dragic scored 21 points to lead Slovenia to a 72-68 win over Serbia in the match for seventh place. That match meant even less since both teams had missed the Olympic qualifying tournament.
Erakovic reaches first final
New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic rallied to defeat defending champion Tamira Paszek 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday and reach her first WTA final at the US$220,000 Quebec City Challenge. In yesterday’s championship match, the 85th-ranked Kiwi will face Czech sixth-seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, who easily defeated Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek 6-4, 6-3 in the other semi-final. Like Erakovic, the 25-year-old Zahlavova Strycova is gunning for her first WTA Tour title. They have never faced each other on the tour.
Pervak wins maiden title
Top-seeded Ksenia Pervak won her maiden WTA title on Saturday, beating Eva Birnerova in the final of the Tashkent Open. After Birnerova had rallied in the first set from 3-0 down to level, Pervak responded by winning the next three games to take a 1-0 lead. The Russian won four consecutive games in the second set, serving for the match at love and wrapping up the victory with an ace. The 52nd-ranked Pervak has not dropped a set on the way to her second final of the season. She lost to Vera Zvonareva in the final in Baku in July and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Alvarez stomps Gomez
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez kept his WBC light middleweight title belt by stopping Alfonso Gomez at 2 minutes, 36 seconds of the sixth round in Los Angeles on Saturday. Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KOs) started and finished strongly in a Los Angeles bout that was held as a two-city undercard for television viewers before the Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz bout. Alvarez knocked down Gomez (23-5-2) with a compact left hook late in the first round. Gomez rallied in the next few rounds and hung in with the hard-punching Alvarez, but Alvarez dominated the fifth round, and he finished off his Mexican compatriot with a nasty uppercut and several big shots. Gomez thought referee Wayne Hedgpeth stopped the fight too soon, despite Alvarez raining blows.
Morales bloodies Cano
Veteran boxer Erik Morales, the last fighter to beat Manny Pacquiao, stopped fellow Mexican Pablo Cesar Cano to win a title in a fourth weight division in Las Vegas on Saturday. Morales battered and bloodied the younger Cano before the fight was stopped at the end of the 10th round by the corner of Cano, who was a late replacement and took the fight on with just a few days’ notice. With the win, Morales earned the vacant World Boxing Council junior welterweight belt. Cano’s corner stopped the fight as blood streamed down the left side of his face from a cut around his eye. He was fighting outside of Mexico for the first time.
Mechelen thrashed by Mons
Taiwan international Javier Chen’s KV Mechelen were thrashed 5-1 by RAEC Mons on Saturday as they dived to eighth place in Belgium’s Jupiler League. Jeremy Perbet opened the scoring for hosts Mons in the sixth minute, before Mechelen’s Abdul-Yakuni Iddi equalized after 34 minutes. Mons edged ahead again when Rachid Bourabia scored two minutes before halftime. Perbet increased Mons’ lead in the 62nd minute and then completed his hat-trick in the 84th minute. Bourabia grabbed a brace and completed the rout five minutes later. Chen played the full 90 minutes for the visitors.