Sat, Mar 21, 2015 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

BASEBALL

MLB announces Cuba game

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has declared his intention to play an exhibition game in Cuba next year, even though a Cuban baseball official said the two sides had yet to start talks. The game could set up a rapprochement on the diamond similar to the way the US and Cuban governments have come together at the negotiating table. Manfred told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that MLB was likely to play an exhibition game in Cuba early next year. Reuters was not able to immediately reach Manfred after business hours for comment. A Cuban baseball official said any talks would be dependent on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between Havana and Washington. “That may be their will, but we have not had any conversations. There is no agreement,” said Antonio Diaz, spokesman for the Cuban National Baseball Directorate.

BASKETBALL

Marbury set for third title

Stephon Marbury, who left the National Basketball Association after two All-Star selections and a fractious stint with his hometown New York Knicks, is a win away from his third Chinese title in four years. Marbury scored 30 points on Thursday night to lead the Beijing Ducks over the Liaoning Flying Leopards in game five of the Chinese Basketball Association finals. With a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series, the Ducks can clinch tomorrow. Since leaving the US in 2010 and signing with the Ducks a year later, Marbury has led his team to two titles — in 2012 and last year. Along the way, the Brooklyn native has found a popularity that eluded him back home. Beijing named him one of its 10 “model citizens” for last year, and he was serenaded by chants of “MVP” as he shot free throws in the closing seconds of Thursday’s win. A Chinese musical based on his life, I Am Marbury, had a brief run last year, with Marbury himself making an appearance at the end of each show.

FORMULA ONE

German Grand Prix unlikely

A Formula One race in Germany this year looks increasingly unlikely, as neither of the country’s two circuits have been able to make a deal with series promoter Bernie Ecclestone. Nurburgring circuit spokmesman Pietro Nuvolini said on Tuesday that there was still no agreement with Ecclestone. The Hockenheim circuit said earlier this week that the facility would be unable to organize the race within the time remaining. “We have come to the conclusion that it makes no sense now to wait any longer, because of timing, organizational and economic reasons,” Nuvolini said. The German Grand Prix has been provisionally set for July 19. With the two circuits alternating annually, Nurburgring was scheduled to stage the race. However, because it has financial problems, Hockenheim was considered instead. Nuvoloni said the circuit was making the July 19 date available to another event.

GOLF

Winds delay Madeira Open

Strong winds forced the players back to the clubhouse at the Madeira Islands Open on Thursday, making play impossible and leaving the organizers no choice but to reduce the tournament to 54 holes. Gusts reached 75kph and stayed steadily above 56kph throughout the day, causing balls to move on the greens at the mountaintop venue. The first round was rescheduled to start yesterday, with tee times for the first two rounds remaining unchanged and the cut coming after 36 holes. The wind was forecast to die down overnight, although rain and possible thunderstorms could affect play.

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