LeBron James named MVP
Miami Heat forward LeBron James was named on Saturday as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player this season, cementing his place among the game’s greatest players. It was the third time in four years that “King” James has won the game’s most prestigious individual award, elevating him alongside the sport’s biggest names. Only seven other players — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone — have won the trophy at least three times. Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for six MVP wins, one ahead of Jordan and Russell, but James, still just 27 years old, has plenty of time on his side. “I never dreamt about being an NBA Most Valuable Player,” an emotional James said in a presentation in Miami broadcast live on national television.
Carlos del Moral sets record
Carlos del Moral set a European Tour record of just 20 putts in storming to a three-shot lead with a 9-under par-63 in the third round of the Madeira Islands Open in Santo da Serra on Saturday. Del Moral birdied his closing three holes in benign and very hot conditions to move to 17 under for the tournament on the mountainous course. The Valencia-born Del Moral, who is seeking a first win on the European Tour, made nine single putts over the outward nine holes. The tour confirmed his round included the lowest number of putts for 18 holes, and came a week after the European Tour celebrated its 40th anniversary. “I putted beautifully, which gives me a lot of confidence,” Del Moral said.
Brian Viloria gets revenge
WBO flyweight champion Brian Viloria gained revenge over Mexico’s Omar Nino Romero yesterday, winning by a technical knockout to retain his title in a hard-fought bout. Romero’s corner threw in the towel in the ninth round of the World Boxing Organization fight in Manila after Philippine Viloria, 31, unleashed a salvo of unanswered punches against the 36-year-old Mexican, who was stuck on the ropes. The victory gives Viloria, popularly known as the “Hawaiian Punch” a record of 31 victories and three defeats. It was also vindication for Viloria, who lost his World Boxing Council light flyweight title to Romero in 2006. Later that same year, they clashed again, but the fight was declared a no contest after the Mexican failed a post-fight drug test. Speaking after yesterday’s bout, Viloria said he had become stronger since the two previous encounters. Viloria, of Philippine descent and based in Hawaii, almost knocked Romero down in the fourth round with the Mexican visibly dazed by his opponent’s punches.
Leicester makes it to final
Leicester booked their place in an eighth successive English Premiership final with a 24-15 semi-final win over champions Saracens at Welford Road on Saturday. The Tigers will now face the Harlequins, who topped the regular season table, in the final at Twickenham on May 26 after the London club’s 25-23 victory over Northampton earlier on Saturday. Teenager George Ford, the current junior world player of the year, ensured the Tigers did not miss England outside-half Tony Flood, absent because an ankle injury, with an assured all-round display. The 19-year-old son of former England defense coach Mike Ford kicked four penalties and a conversion, while it was his passing skill that created Leicester’s two tries.