SPORTS BRIEFS

Staff writer, with agencies

Sat, May 03, 2014 - Page 18

ICE HOCKEY

Taiwan U10s beat All Stars

The Taiwan U10s need one more win to qualify for today’s final at the Mega 5’s tournament in Hong Kong after a 4-3 win over Taiwan’s All Stars side yesterday in the Squirts division. They are to face the Sunshine Dragon Fire’s A team today, with the final to be played tonight. The All Stars had a 2-0 loss to Sunshine A on Wednesday. “[We] came out flat with heavy legs,” All Stars coach Cullen Revel said of the Wednesday loss by e-mail. “[We] controlled the play for most of the game, but just couldn’t generate any positive offensive attacks while having a couple defensive lapses that cost [us] a couple goals.” The U10 side are to play Sunshine A today with a win securing them a spot in the final later tonight. The All Stars are to play the HK Selects today. A win will give them a chance at playing in the final depending on goal difference. Other results for Taiwanese teams saw the U12 side lose 7-0 to the HK Typhoons on Wednesday. Early yesterday morning Taipei’s Silver Monsters downed the HKAIH team 3-0 in the Bantam division and later yesterday the Taiwan U12 side beat the Thunderbirds 3-2. The U12s were to play the Feiyang Eagles at press time.

RUGBY UNION

SANZAR searching for team

Super Rugby organizer SANZAR said yesterday that it has begun a global search for an 18th team after this week’s decision to expand the competition from 2016. The unions of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia on Thursday announced they were backing a new four-conference, two-group model that is to include three new clubs from South Africa, Argentina and possibly Asia or the US. The Port Elizabeth-based Southern Kings will be one of new teams from South Africa. Organizers are looking to the addition of an 18th team to take its competition to new markets with interest already received from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. “Our strong preference is for the 18th team to come from Asia, as we believe this will attract significant commercial opportunities for us in the future,” Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver said.

BASKETBALL

NBA moves on Sterling

NBA owners took their first concrete step on Thursday toward removing Donald Sterling from their ranks after the disgraced real-estate tycoon’s racist remarks. Hours after the league’s advisory/finance committee held a meeting to discuss NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recommendation that Sterling be forced to sell the team, reports surfaced that the 80-year-old Sterling is battling cancer. ESPN.com said on Thursday that unnamed sources had confirmed Sterling’s illness, first reported by the New York Post. A move to force Sterling to sell would require the approval of three-quarters of the other 29 NBA owners, and Silver said on Tuesday he was confident of gaining the necessary votes.

TENNIS

Haas wins first match

Tommy Haas made light of his 36 years to open the defense of his Munich Open title with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Colombia’s Alejandro Falla on Thursday. Haas, the second seed and ranked 16 in the world, took his career dominance over the South American to 5-1 with a 74-minute win in his first match since a fourth-round exit to Roger Federer at Indian Wells in March. He had been sidelined in recent weeks with a right shoulder injury. Top seed Fabio Fognini of Italy also made the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 win over German wild card Dustin Brown.

SOCCER

Blues’ Faria gets ban, fine

Chelsea assistant manager Rui Faria was hit with a six-match stadium ban and fined £30,000 (US$50,640) on Thursday following his furious rant at the officials during Sunderland’s shock 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge last month. The Football Association found Faria guilty of two charges of improper conduct after Jose Mourinho’s long-time assistant had to be restrained during a fiery touchline exchange with referee Mike Dean and fourth official Phil Dowd in the closing stages of the match. The incident was sparked by Dean’s decision to award a controversial penalty to Sunderland when Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta slid in to challenge Jozy Altidore, causing the Black Cats striker to tumble even though there was little intentional contact. Fabio Borini converted the spot-kick to seal a Sunderland victory, which dealt a major blow to Chelsea’s hopes of winning the Premier League.

SOCCER

Female fans rip up Koran

Two fans were convicted on Thursday of tearing up a copy of the Koran during an English soccer match and throwing the pieces in the air. Julie Phillips, 50, ripped pages from the Islamic holy book and handed them out to fellow away supporters to shred during offensive chanting, Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard. Phillips and fellow Middlesbrough fan Gemma Parkin, 18, both from the northeast English town, were found guilty of a religiously aggravated public order offence. The incident happened during the second-tier English Championship 2-2 draw between hosts Birmingham City and visitors Middlesbrough at St Andrew’s Stadium on Dec. 7 last year. Phillips was ordered to pay £730 and Parkin £620 in fines, court costs and victim surcharges. They had both denied knowing that the book being torn apart was the Koran, saying the book was handed to them on their way to the stadium.

ICE HOCKEY

Canucks fire Tortorella

The Vancouver Canucks fired head coach John Tortorella on Thursday after he led the NHL team to their worst campaign in 15 years in his first season behind the bench. The fiery coach, who was relieved of his duties along with assistant coach Mike Sullivan, was unable to breathe life into a Canucks team that has been in freefall since losing in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011. “Today we are making an important change in the direction of our team,” Canucks president Trevor Linden said in a statement. “We have a lot of important work to accomplish this off-season as we build our management and coaching staff, improve our roster and connect with our fans.” Since losing to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Canucks have failed to win a playoff series, falling in the first round in 2012 and last year, and missing out on the post-season this year.

GOLF

Trump gets first major

Two days after acquiring the iconic Open venue Turnberry, US billionaire Donald Trump was awarded his first major on Thursday with the announcement of the site of the 2022 PGA Championship. The last of the year’s four majors, the PGA Championship is to be staged at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, in 2022, the USPGA said in a statement. “When you get acknowledged to have one of the majors, anyone of the majors, but having the PGA is a very, very big deal,” Trump said on a conference call. “It’s very important to me.