Bhullar wins P.League+ MVP
The P.League has named Hsinchu JKO Lioneers center Sim Bhullar as the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for last month. The 2.26m-tall Canadian averaged 27.1 points, 20.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game over the month, including earning 50 points and 32 rebounds in a 123-116 win over the New Taipei Kings. Leading the season standings in both points and rebounds, with an average of 26.2 and 20.6 respectively, Bhullar’s performance secured a 6-1 record for the Lioneers last month, as well as top spot in the six-team rankings. The team today plays the Formosa Taishin Dreamers in Taichung.
Victoria ‘pissed off’
The sports minister of Australia’s Victoria state yesterday reacted with anger after Lionel Messi’s Argentina pulled out of a highly anticipated June 11 friendly against rivals Brazil in Melbourne. The event’s promoter said it had been informed that Argentina were not prepared to travel to Australia for the match “contrary to their prior agreement and commitment to do so.” Ticket holders for the clash at Melbourne Cricket Ground, which would have come just five months before the World Cup, would be eligible for refunds, the promoter said. “We are pretty disappointed and I think it’s fair to say pretty pissed off,” Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport & Major Events Martin Pakula said. “I think they owe Australian football fans an explanation because they have not provided an acceptable explanation to the promoter,” he added.
Messi paid most in sports
Lionel Messi was the world’s highest-paid athlete over the past year, with the annual Forbes list released on Wednesday placing the Paris Saint-Germain forward ahead of the NBA’s LeBron James and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi earned US$130 million, which includes US$55 million of endorsements, during the 12-month period ended on May 1 to sit atop the list of the 10 highest-paid athletes a year after finishing second to Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor. Los Angeles Lakers forward James was next on this year’s list, after bringing home a combined US$121 million, shattering the US$96.5 million record for an NBA player that he set last year, while Portugal captain Ronaldo earned US$115 million to sit third. Forbes said its on-the-field earnings figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned during the 12-month period, while off-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income.
Sherpa breaks own record
A Nepalese Sherpa yesterday broke her own record as the most successful female climber of Mount Everest by reaching the summit of the world’s highest peak. Lakpa Sherpa and several other climbers took advantage of favorable weather to reach the 8,849m summit early in the morning, her brother and expedition organizer Mingma Gelu said. He said she was in good health and was safely descending from the peak. Sherpa, 48, never got a chance to get a formal education because she had to start earning a living by carrying climbing gear and supplies for trekkers. Yesterday’s successful ascent was her 10th — the most times any woman has climbed Everest.
Kosovo Olympic authorities have asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to open disciplinary proceedings against Novak Djokovic, accusing the Serb of stirring up political tension by saying “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia” at the French Open. Djokovic wrote the message on a camera lens following his first-round win on Monday, the same day that 30 NATO peacekeeping troops were hurt in clashes with Serb protesters in the Kosovo town of Zvecan where Djokovic’s father grew up. “Kosovo is our cradle, our stronghold, center of the most important things for our country,” 36-year-old told Serbian media. Serbian authorities said 52 protesters were wounded
Unable to sleep the night before her first-round match at the French Open against second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine checked her phone at 5am on Sunday and saw disturbing news back home in Kyiv. At least one person was killed when the capital of Kostyuk’s nation was subjected to the largest drone attack by Russia since the start of the war, launched with an invasion assisted by Belarus in February last year. “It’s something I cannot describe, probably. I try to put my emotions aside any time I go out on court. I think I’m better than
China has long been the sleeping giant of men’s tennis, but on Monday the giant stirred as Shanghai trailblazer Zhang Zhizhen advanced to the second round of Roland Garros. One of three Chinese men in the draw, Zhang became the first from the nation to win a main draw match at Roland Garros in 86 years after Serbian opponent Dusan Lajovic retired due to illness when trailing 6-1, 4-1. Compatriots Shang Juncheng and Wu Yibing bowed out in defeat, but 26-year-old Zhang has a big chance to go further when he takes on Argentine qualifier Thiago Agustin Tirante for a place in
Novak Djokovic seemed ready to move on from non-tennis issues at the French Open on Wednesday, while two of the four Taiwanese at the tournament advanced in the women’s doubles, with one due to play last night. Serbia’s Djokovic beat Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 7-6 (7/2), 6-0, 6-3 in the second round of the men’s singles and wrote on the lens of a TV camera — an autograph and a smiley face. It was quite different from what happened after his win on Monday, when Djokovic wrote in Serbian: “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence.” He spoke about the matter