Sports Briefs


Wed, Feb 07, 2007 - Page 18

■ Basketball
Gary Payton suspended

Miami Heat guard Gary Payton was suspended for one game without pay on Monday for talking back to the NBA official who ejected him during a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Payton will serve the suspension on Monday when Miami hosts the Charlotte Bobcats. On Saturday, Payton was ejected by official Mark Davis for arguing a call. Before leaving the floor, Payton leaned in close and said something to Davis. The Heat won the game 117-98. The 16-year veteran is averaging 5.6 points and 2.9 assists this season, both career lows.

■ Tennis

Costa to captain Brazil

Former player Francisco Costa was named as captain of Brazil's Davis Cup team on Monday. Costa, whose highest ATP rank was No. 140 in 2000, replaced Fernando Meligeni, the Brazilian Tennis Confederation said. Meligeni resigned in December after complaining that the confederation gave low priority to the Davis Cup. The 33-year-old Costa, who quit playing professionally in 2005, had one Davis Cup appearance. "We'll always work to have Brazil in the Davis Cup's World Group, but we also need to think about revamping the team," Costa said.

■ Baseball

Dominican Republic wins

Julian Tavarez pitched three-hit ball into the sixth inning and the unbeaten Dominican Republic eliminated defending champion Venezuela from title contention in the Caribbean Series with a 7-1 win Monday. It was the second time in four days that the Dominican Republic's Cibao Eagles (4-0) defeated Venezuela's Aragua Tigers (1-3), including a 4-3 victory in 18 innings on Friday. In the late game on Monday, Armando Rios hit a two-out, two-run single in the 10th inning to send Puerto Rico to a 4-2 victory over winless Mexico. With two days of competition remaining, Puerto Rico's Carolina Giants (3-1) are the only team still capable of beating out the Dominican Republic for the crown.

■ Football

Dead kicker was drunk

University of Southern California kicker Mario Danelo was drunk when he plunged over a cliff to his death, but the coroner's office on Monday was unable to say why he fell. A toxicological report accompanying Danelo's autopsy report said he had a 0.23 blood-alcohol level, nearly three times the legal limit in California. The autopsy report said the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries, but "because of the unanswered questions, we are stating the manner of death as undetermined," Deputy Medical Examiner Jeffrey Gutstadt of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office wrote in the report.

■ Football

Millions watch Super Bowl

The NFL Super Bowl game between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears was watched by 93.2 million people in the US on Sunday, the third-largest television audience in US history. It was the second-most watched Super Bowl, trailing the 1996 championship game, which had 94.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research on Monday. The only other program that drew a bigger TV audience was the 1983 series finale of the Korean War-based situation comedy MASH, which was watched by nearly 106 million people -- 77 percent of the people who watched TV that night. Indianapolis won the game 29-17, which was broadcast on the CBS television network.

■ Singapore
Coach cagey on future

With a third Asean championship title in the bag, Singapore's soccer chiefs are sure of one thing -- their heart belongs to Raddy. Inspirational coach Raddy Avramovich led his charges to a dramatic two-legged victory over Thailand at the weekend for Singapore's third regional title and the city state's soccer officials are desperate to hang on to their man. Avramovich, though, has been cagey about his plans ever since Sunday's second-leg clincher in Bangkok. "Two years is a long time and you never know," was the 57-year-old's enigmatic reply to reporters' questions on whether he would be at the helm in 2009 when Singapore defend their crown.

■ Germany

Hamburg goals too small

Hamburg SV have scored fewer goals than any Bundesliga club this season and the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper has discovered one possible cause -- the goals in their home stadium could be too small. The newspaper reported that the goals in the Hamburg Arena stand 2.39m high, with the crossbar 5cm lower than the prescribed 2.44m. "Obviously we're going to measure that again," HSV spokesman Joern Wolf told Germany's SID sports news agency. "If those numbers reported are correct, we will make sure we have a new goal in place that conforms with the rules by the next match against Borussia Dortmund. It's a good thing no one hit the crossbar last week in the Energie Cottbus match."

■ China

Olympians lose to Chelsea

China's 2008 Olympic team lost their first match against a Chelsea XI 1-0 on Monday while officials moved to quell complaints about the pitch at the English champions' training center. Chinese media reported complaints from the under-21 side about the state of the facilities at the London club's Cobham centre, where they are training for two weeks. "The pitch isn't as good as we imagined," Zhou Haibin, a midfielder with Chinese champions Shandong Luneng, told Titan sports newspaper.

■ Brazil

Aggressive ball boy banned

A ball boy was banned on Monday for hitting a goalkeeper with an iron bar during a regional match at the weekend. The Paulista (Sao Paulo state) soccer federation said on its Web site that Carlos Marcio dos Reis had been suspended for 30 days over the incident during the second division match between Comercial and Botafogo-Riberao Preto. Comercial's Palma Travassos stadium was also closed until further notice and the federation will in future select the ball boys for the team's home matches. TV pictures showed the boy hiding the ball behind an advertising board instead of handing it to Botafogo goalkeeper Marcao. When Marcao tried to fetch the ball, the two argued and the boy hit the goalkeeper several times with an iron bar.