Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou has compared playing at the AFCON without Didier Drogba to Barcelona playing without Lionel Messi.The Chelsea frontman retired from international football last year and the Elephants are participating in their first major tournament without their star striker.And Kalou admits the loss of the 36-year-old is likely to leave Cote d’Ivoire lacking up front as they look for their first AFCON win since 1992.”It’s difficult to imagine (life after Drogba) but it’s a little like if you tried a few years ago to imagine Barça without Ronaldinho and Real without Zinedine Zidane, and yet today we have Messi and Ronaldo,” the Hertha Berlin attacker told FIFA.com.”Both teams always have new players who come in and take over.”Today, (Samuel) Eto’o and Drogba represent not just Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon but the success of an entire continent, and they’ve set an example for youngsters across the whole of Africa.”And not just in football, the fact that they experienced success with their countries and also the big clubs they’ve played for has opened doors for all of us.”
As a team, Los Osos (18-11) shot 54 percent from the field – including 42 percent from 3-point range – to give the Baseline League its first victory of the postseason. Three league teams were swept out of the playoffs in Wednesday’s wild-card round. “Our goal was to have fun, because when we go out and have fun, we can’t be stopped,” Richard said. “I feel like we’re on a mission, like we’re going to really go far in this tournament.” Los Osos, the No. 15 seed, will advance to play either wild-card entry Beverly Hills or No. 1 seed Redondo Union on Tuesday at a yet-to-be-determined site. Diamond Bar (16-12) won’t get that chance. After finishing third in the Sierra League, the Brahmas entered the postseason hoping to pull an upset or two and see where it got them. “If we can get our bigs involved in the game by giving them touches, it opens everything else up for us,” Smith said. Six-foot-9 seniors Jordan Richard and Cameron Khoury combined for 29 points and 27 rebounds to dominate the inside game and Mide Osifeso scored a game-high 20 points mostly on the strength of his outside shooting. “We were our own worst enemies at times,” coach J.T. Cameron said. “We couldn’t get our of our own way.” The Brahmas aimed to stop Los Osos from getting dribble penetration, and found occasional success. But even when they played good defense, an untimely turnover seemed to doom their efforts. Trailing by 11 at the half and by 20 just seconds into the fourth quarter, Diamond Bar still felt it had a chance until leading scorer Victor Lee got his fifth foul with 5:06 remaining. Lee led the Brahmas with 19 points, with Elijah York (17 points) and Alan Jones (16) also reaching double digits. DIVISION I-A Chino Hills 76, Riverside J.W. North 62 Cory Harkey scored 27 points with 13 rebounds as Chino Hills proved to be the better Huskies (22-6) against visiting J.W. North. Nick Turner scored 24 points for Chino Hills, which advances to the second round for the second year in a row. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! RANCHO CUCAMONGA – It’s been a continuing theme for coach David Smith and the Los Osos boys basketball team: if the Grizzlies’ big men play big, they’re a tough team to beat. Los Osos got one of those big performances on Thursday night, and it resulted in a 74-64 victory against visiting Diamond Bar in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I-A playoffs.