They’re off and running for Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships 2016. Calabar High will retain the Boys’ Champs title by a 50-60 point margin, while Edwin Allen High will also repeat as Girls Champs winners by an 80-90 point margin. The more difficult call to make will be who will win the stellar Class One boys’ 100-metre event? All things considered, the race should be fast and the winner will be one of Jhevaughn Matherson of Kingston College (KC), Nigel Ellis of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and the St Jago High’s rocket man, Raheem Chambers. This race is Ellis to win. His body of work, but more specifically his 10.20 clocking while running all alone at Western Championships, has quite rightly earned him the favourite’s tag. His blistering top-end speed and aggression over the final 40 metres should render Ellis unbeatable at this level, providing he executes well. Chambers will have to beat them with his strength out of the blocks and hold his form and momentum through to the tape. Due to the minuscule margin for error in this quality field, the St Jago man will have to run a perfect race to win. But Chambers did show signs of returning to his 10.27 best, with a comfortable 10.32 clocking at the recent Carifta Trials. Matherson will be the X-factor in this race. He reminded all and sundry how special an athlete he is with that 10.25 run while easing up and gazing all around the stadium, also at the Carifta Trials. Outside of the sheer class and quality of the Class Three 100m record holder, the dynamics of Matherson wearing the purple of KC cannot be overstated. When it comes to Champs, that energy generated by the constant bellowing of purple support coming from the stands, has discombobulated many opposing athletes over many years. The big question is this: How will Nigel Ellis cope with the ‘purple pressure’ come that final on Friday evening? There is also the burden of expectation on Ellis, not just of winning his first major race at Champs, but also to become the first STETHS athlete to win the prestigious Class One 100-metre event. If Ellis passes those mental tests he will win. He is naturally fastest in the field and with that stunning anchor leg in the mile relay at the Gibson/McCook Relays, he showed that he is not just fast, but also supremely strong. Having listened to him in a couple of interviews, I get the impression that he is quite level-headed, with a near nonchalant dynamic to his easy going, relaxed personality, qualities he will need to cope with those crucial race pressure moments. As is the tradition of this particular event, it will be worth going miles to see. The hope is for a legal headwind of about 1.6 to 1.8 metres per second, which would serve up the necessary conditions for an assault on the 10.12 Champs record by the Anguillan citizen Zharnel Hughes, who competed at Champs for KC. It is quite befitting our legacy in world sprinting that a Jamaican schoolboy retains that record and that honour. All things remaining equal, I predict Ellis to win from Matherson from, Chambers, with the hope being that mother nature will oblige with the necessary conditions for a schoolboy sprinter to dip under 10.10 for the first time in our glorious Champs history.
The captain of Jamaica’s Under-20 team that disappointed many with their impotent performance in the first quarter of this year when they failed to qualify for the World Cup has restored his reputation with a big performance in the Red Stripe Premier League.In fact, Junior Flemmings did more than that. The 19-year-old, who was largely responsible for Tivoli Gardens’ 3-2 win over fierce rivals Arnett Gardens, became a man as he almost carried his team on his back as they registered their third successive victory and climbed two places to sit third in the table on 11 points.The former Jamaica College player not only had a foot in all three of his team’s goals, he outdid three defenders and the goalkeeper to score the final goal and secure victory himself. All throughout the game, Flemmings and his more seasoned compatriot Jermaine Johnson were unplayable whenever they went forward.Tivoli’s opening goal came when Ranike Anderson climbed high to head home a Flemmings free kick in the 33rd minute. Andrew Phang levelled in the 45th and Kemal Malcolm fired the home team ahead in the 67th. Substitute Otis Ffriend was on hand to steer home one of three Flemmings free kicks to rebound into play before Flemmings finished the job on the final move of the match.”It is an overwhelming feeling. Coming to Arnett Gardens to play is not an easy thing and to actually get the three points after being 1-2 down is really special.”We really stuck together, dug deep and came out with the victory,” the very assured Flemmings said after the game.Sounding like one much older than his years, Flemmings indicated that his intention coming into the game was to earn the man of the match honour and give his team the victory. His task, he said, was made easier by the slowness of the Arnett Gardens defenders.”Their defenders are really slow and we really exploited that today,” he said matter-of-factly.unpleasant memoriesIn addition to a desire to erase the unpleasant memories of the World Cup qualifier, Flemmings is driven by a desire to make his mark among big men.”Being a schoolboy coming out of the Manning Cup and coming into the Premier League is not an easy thing. They always say that there has never been a schoolboy that actually left Manning Cup and actually came in the Premier League and be outstanding. I just want to create my own trademark and make my own legacy,” the ambitious player said.He may not be the most accurate when it comes to the facts of players shining in the League during or right after their schoolboy years, but his approach to getting the top is the right one.”What you are seeing now is just because of hard work. It is just hard work and more hard work that has contributed to this. I just kept on working. The work never stops.”The free kicks are something that I have been practising day in day out. Before training actually starts, I would get the mannequins and practise, practise because I know that one day, it will come in handy,” said Flemmings, who has set himself a target of eight goals in the League before taking up a professional opportunity in January.
Western Bureau: St Elizabeth Technical High (STETHS) are the 2015 ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup champions. Neville Morgan’s header in the 57th minute was enough to hand STETHS a 1-0 win. It’s their second title in three years and their fifth overall. Yesterday’s defeat extended Dinthill’s long wait for another hold on the coveted title. They last won the trophy in 1981. The Montego Bay Sports Complex hosted the final, and as promised by the STETHS coach Omar Wedderburn, it was one to be remembered. Prior to the match, the STETHS coach he really wanted to take this title after several early-season setbacks, and his players played like they were on a mission yesterday. From the opening whistle STETHS enjoyed the majority of ball possession and it was clear that Dinthill’s tactics of sitting deep in defence and allowing STETHS to attack would backfire in the end. They came very close to opening their account in the 20th minute, when several attempts on the Dinthill goal resulted in a header crashing against the crossbar. The rebound was subsequently put over, as Dinthill breathed a collective sigh of relief. That was STETHS’s first real chance, but before that the danger man for Dinthill, Rodave Murray, had a half chance which he also failed to convert at the other end. Just after the half-time break, it was time for STETHS’s ace goalgetter Michael Kerr to show his worth and he nearly made Dinthill pay with a rasping shot that flew just wide of the far post in the 50th minute. Dinthill’s big goalkeeper George Brown then saved smartly, diving to his right to block another of Kerr’s efforts with his leg to keep the scoreline even. But with their opponents offering little in attack, STETHS struck. Morgan rose above the Dinthill defenders to head past Brown from a left-sided corner for the only goal of the final. STETHS supporters invaded the field at the final whistle as they celebrated wildly. Dinthill’s only consolation is that they will still have the current team intact next year to mount another assault, and perhaps take that other step in lifting the title that keeps eluding them. SIGH OF RELIEF
Western Bureau:A second-year medical student from Kenya and a Jamaica public service employee took top honours in the second running of the Black River 5K Run/Walk race on Sunday.Edgar Muganzi strolled away with the top male award after crossing the finish line in 18 minutes 30.18 seconds, while the top female prize went to Juliet Reeves, who stopped the clock in a respectable 27:49.26.Muganzi said after his race that he was delighted to have finished first in his inaugural attempt.”This was a beautiful course. I had no problems with it, and I am very happy to win here,” he said.”I am just so happy to perform and add my part in raising funds for the treatment of cancer,” Muganzi added.Eighty-seven runners and walkers took part in the event, an almost 50 per cent increase in registration over last year, and a pleased David Morris, president of the Black River chapter of the St Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, stated as much.”I am of the impression that this was a great event, but we put in a real effort to get the word out, and it’s definitely much improved from last year. It’s a growing event that we are proud to be part of,” Morris said.Part proceeds from the event will go towards assisting the Black River branch of the Jamaica Cancer Society.Muganzi was chased across the line by Marcell Stewart in 18:57.65, while Anthony Danvern was third.In the women’s section, first-time entrant Reeves of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, won ahead of Elinor Daniel, 28:15.04, and Kadian Myers, 36:08.08.Carl Barrett took care of business in the men’s walk, posting 37:16.39. Jon Pierre Cavannah was second with Anthony Graham in third.Cecile Barrett was the female walk winner, with Marsha Alexander taking second, just in front of Janette Kaloo.
The third Berger Elite League, organised by Netball Jamaica, was launched on Wednesday at General Accident Insurance Company with a lottery to select the members of the six teams. Defending champions Clarendon Gaters, runners-up St James Sharpes, St Catherine Racers, Manchester Spurs, St Ann Orchids and Kingston Humming Birds are the six teams. Each team will have 10 players, with all having members of the national senior team. Some of the players to look forward to seeing on court include Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, Paula Thompson, Anna Kay Griffiths, Kadejah Williams, Shantel Slater, Adean Thomas, Stacey Facey and retired Sunshine Girl Simone Forbes, as well as returned Sunshine Girl Kimesha Sterling. The teams will now begin training in preparation for the start of the competition on November 10. An opening ceremony, set for 5:30 p.m. at the National Indoor Sports Centre, will precede the first match. President of Netball Jamaica Dr Paula Daley-Morris was pleased to see the lottery completed and promised high-level competition and exciting matches from the first match. She said that the competition will be used to identify talent for the senior teams going forward. Looking forward to the best of three matches to close the competition in January, she mentioned that they will play exhibition matches such as celebrity vs masters matches to heighten the excitement for the spectators. Daley-Morris says that some of the matches, including the opening match, will be aired live on SportsMax (this is being done for the first time). Daley-Morris indicated that there will be some new but experienced coaches this year including Connie Francis, Oberon Pitterson-Nattie in addition to the other 10-member coaching panel. Dalton Hinds, coach of the defending champion Clarendon Gaters, said that it will be a tall order to defend his championship as all the teams are strong this year. He promised that the team will do its best to be victorious again nevertheless. Casey Perue, marketing manager at Berger Paints Jamaica, said that the company was pleased to be supporting the growth of Jamaica’s most successful team sport for decades and will be around for the long haul. They also plan to stage various promotional activities at the matches to give back to the spectators who support the sport.
MIDDLESBROUGH, England (AP):Chelsea moved to the top of the English Premier League yesterday after a first-half strike by Diego Costa earned the visitors a convincing 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough.Chelsea dominated the game and were rewarded for their unrelenting pressure when Costa scored four minutes before the break, reacting quickest to a loose ball after a goalmouth melee and firing home from close range. It was his 10th goal of the season.Middlesbrough showed more ambition in the second half but the next clear chance also fell to Chelsea, shortly after the hour mark, when defender David Luiz pushed forward and sent a high cross into the area. Costa headed the ball back invitingly for Pedro Rodriguez – but his first-time shot slammed against the crossbar.After six consecutive league wins without conceding a goal, Chelsea now have 28 points from 12 games in Antonio Conte’s first season in charge.Liverpool and Manchester City have 27 points each, with Arsenal in fourth with 25.
UNFAIR ACT Calabar High says that the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) has further deepened what it calls the perception of it being a body which considers itself to be above critique or accountability. The school says this is because ISSA has not responded to its request for a statement regarding its ruling, which allows Kingston College’s (KC) Ari Rodgers to compete at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships later this month. Rodgers is a Ugandan middle-distance runner, who is regarded as one of the favourites for the Boys’ Class 2 1500m and 800m events at Champs. He joined KC in October last year, missing ISSA’s registration deadline of September 30. ISSA has cleared him to compete, citing what is being described as “extenuating circumstances”. However, Calabar, the defending Boys’ Champions, released a statement yesterday saying ISSA’s refusal to publicly address the complaints has led to the school making three assumptions. The first of these is that Rodgers’ eligibility is arguable as he is ineligible based on what it says is “ISSA’s clearly stated and enunciated criteria”. The second is that the student being registered before his arrival in Jamaica is inaccurate. Calabar’s statement says “to be promised, offered, granted a space in an institution isn’t the same thing as being registered. In fact, the Ministry of Education’s Policy is that a student cannot be registered in absentia. The parent may be absent for registration but not the student!” The third is that ISSA acted unfairly in that an exception was made for Rodgers and KC with regard to these “extenuating circumstances”, however, no similar lenience was shown to athletes of other schools in the past, who had situations that may also be considered extenuating. “Needless to say, it would be most helpful if ISSA articulated some of these factors and juxtaposed them against other instances in which they failed to apply this discretion,” the release from Red Hills Road-based school read. The statement went on to say that Calabar’s issue is with ISSA, not KC, and that it does not want to make Rodgers a victim of circumstances he did not create himself. Calabar’s statements are similar to those of its head coach, Michael Clarke, who recently told The Gleaner that he believes this decision will cause the public to seriously challenge ISSA’s credibility. He also said that the decision sets what he described as a dangerous and fragile precedent, because it now leads to the possibility of persons taking legal action against ISSA whenever an unfavourable decision is made in the future.
Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Zach Randolph had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Buddy Hield added 17 points for the Kings. Sampson grabbed 16 rebounds in his first start this season.While Cleveland’s win streak is impressive, James said he won’t consider anything special until the Cavs nearly double it.“Twenty-five,” he said when asked where the streak needs to get to before becoming significant. “Because you’re getting close to 33 (Lakers 1971-72), that’s the all-time record. We ain’t nowhere near close. We got close in Miami. We got to 27 and lost to Chicago.”Thanks to James and another Chicago, the Cavs roll on.ROSE REFLECTSCavs guard Derrick Rose spoke to his teammates before the morning shootaround, two days after returning to the team from a self-imposed hiatus. Rose has been dealing with a sprained ankle and the 2011 NBA MVP’s latest injury had him re-considering his future.Lue didn’t provide any specifics about Rose’s comments, but said his teammates were glad to have him around again.“It was just good to have him back and hear him talk because he’s not a big talker,” Lue said. “He’s a quiet guy. But just hearing what he had to say and then just seeing how everyone was welcoming him back and was happy he’s here.”SAMPSON STARTSampson, who was born in Cleveland and went to the same high school as James, didn’t know he was starting until he arrived at the arena. Then he learned he was guarding James.“I knew it was going to be a challenge,” he said. “I look at moments like this, it was fun. You want to make as few mistakes as possible, and make that guy work. LeBron’s one of the best players in the league so you’ve got to make everything tough on him. That’s what I tried to do, but we came up short.”TIP-INS Kings: G Frank Mason scored a season-high 15. … C Willie Cauley-Stein (strained lower back) didn’t play after getting hurt on Saturday against Milwaukee. Cauley-Stein is also expected to sit out Friday’s game at New Orleans.Cavaliers: F Tristan Thompson scrimmaged along with G Isaiah Thomas, who is nearing his debut with Cleveland after being sidelined with a hip injury. While it’s still not clear when Thomas will play, Thompson, who has missed 17 games since Nov. 1 with a strained left calf, could be back in the floor in days. “I’ll be ready to return when the front office and them (the medical team) say I’m ready to return,” Thompson said, purposely being vague. “I gotta stay in my lane like LaVar Ball said.” … Cleveland has made at least 10 3-pointers in 13 straight games and scored at least 100 in 18 in a row.UP NEXTKings: Wrap up four-game trip at New Orleans on Friday.Cavaliers: At Indiana on Friday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James celebrates after scoring in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 101-95. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND — The play is called “Chicago,” named after a game-winning shot LeBron James made in the playoffs to beat the Bulls.It worked like a charm again in Cleveland.ADVERTISEMENT Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments James drained a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left and finished with 32 points as the Cavaliers tied a franchise record with their 13th straight win, 101-95 over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.James, who changed his sneakers three times, also had 11 rebounds and nine assists, helping the Cavs rally from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to remain unbeaten since Nov. 11. His decisive 3-pointer in the final minute over JaKarr Sampson came after James went to the bench during a timeout and told coach Tyronn Lue to run a play for him.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBrian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense“Was going to run a different play and then Bron said, ‘I want Chicago.’ So I said, ‘OK,’” Lue said. “We got it to him and he made a big shot.”After catching the inbounds pass, James took a dribble to his left and then stepped behind the line and knocked down his fifth 3-pointer. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES Irving, short-handed Celtics earn win over Mavericks “It felt good,” said James, who finished 12 of 18 from the floor. “I was able to get the laces where I wanted them and I got enough space, I created enough space with the step-back away from JaKarr and I was able to let it go. It felt good the whole time.”Cleveland, which also won 13 straight in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, will try to break the team record Friday at Indiana.This one wasn’t easy. The Kings gave the Cavs everything they had, but couldn’t contain James in the clutch. That’s been the case for nearly every team that has faced the three-time champion, who is shooting with a confidence rarely seen in his career.“He’s amazing,” said Kyle Korver, who opened the fourth quarter with three straight 3-pointers to give Cleveland the lead. “He’s just demanding the ball. He’s like, ‘Give me the ball, we’re about to win.’ And, I’ve been around some guys who’ve had amazing years. I’ve been playing with him and Derrick (Rose) when he was MVP. Allen Iverson when I was young.“But he’s taken this to a whole new level. It’s amazing to have a better than a front-row seat, because I’m usually on the court next to him somewhere. I’m glad he’s on my team.”ADVERTISEMENT
No reporter was allowed to ask questions during Vargas’ announcement.“And we will stay like that as we begin the healing process of the PBA. This [reconciliation of the board] is for the fans,” Vargas added.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkVargas was the only one who talked, and after thanking fellow board members Alfrancis Chua of Barangay Ginebra, Bobby Rosales of Kia, Al Panlilio of Meralco and Pato Gregorio of TNT KaTropa for their roles in ending the worst crisis to hit the league in its existence, added that Narvasa has tendered his resignation, effective immediately.Willie Marcial, the special assistant to the commissioner and media bureau chief since the time of Noli Eala, was appointed officer-in-charge as the board starts its search for a new man at the helm. Saying that the Philippine Basketball Association board is stronger than ever—and will stay that way—new chair Ricky Vargas said that they “are looking forward to a very fruitful 43rd Season” and at the same time, bared accepting the resignation of commissioner Chito Narvasa.“We’re back together—stronger than ever,” Vargas said in a press conference, minutes before the opening of the new season Sunday afternoon at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.ADVERTISEMENT Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson “I would just like to thank the people who made us stronger than ever,” Vargas said as he made special mention of Chua, “who was always there looking for solutions.”Narvasa steps down after two years of calling the shots.While he may have been the central figure in the biggest issue that rocked the league, he can lay claim to engineering the blockbuster championship series between the Gin Kings and the Meralco Bolts.That title series played its last three games at the cavernous Bulacan arena where more than 54,000 fans watched Game 7 and close to 150,000 saw the last three outings—all all-time records.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tireless Busmen cruise to PFL success LATEST STORIES MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Prior to opening day, the 12-man board was literally split into two as it argued over Narvasa’s term, an issue that dragged for quite a while and even threatened the postponement of the start of the season.“We reached out to (Chito) Narvasa and made amends for the things that needed to be clarified,” Vargas explained.“We worked out on his personal hurts in the process and this morning, he submitted his resignation effective today (Sunday).”The board was split in factions of seven and five, with the bigger group not wanting to extend Narvasa’s watch and the smaller bloc sticking by the commissioner.There was not a controversy that big in the league’s first 42 years as the issue disrupted the annual planning session of the board in Los Angeles last month and made the five-day working trip a sightseeing tour.The brouhaha told, as the season opened before a very lean crowd, a far departure from the success the league enjoyed near the end of the previous season when Barangay Ginebra won the Governors’ Cup before record crowds at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.ADVERTISEMENT View comments