Airnet, Ulker advance; Yummy and Centrepoint win Friday Morning openers

Updated 05 October 2012
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Airnet, Ulker advance; Yummy and Centrepoint win Friday Morning openers

Best Player Millar Daham exploded with 23 points as Airnet arranged a knockout semifinal against Compass with a 68-53 victory over Nesma in the 2012 Boy Tevez Basketball Tournament organized by Overseas Filipino Basketball League (OFBL) at the Time-out Sports Academy on Television Street, Ghulail District on the outskirts of Jeddah.
The winner in the Airnet-Compass game gains a shot at waiting finalist Butler for the Inter-Commercial A championship. Butler qualified straight for the best-of-three championship series via a 6-0 sweep of the eliminations. Compass closed out the eliminations by beating Al-Zamil 65-59. In the Inter-Commercial B, Ulker reached the semifinal by beating Jica 59-58 behind the 25 points from Alturas.
It will be Ulker against BHBC and Maize against Bicol in a pair of knockout games with the winners to face off in another knockout game for the right to meet Tropapips (6-0) in the title clash in the tournament sponsored by Al-Zugbi Sports Tailoring, Art’s Cuisine, Pepsi, Amaia Escape, Basketball Referees Group (BRG), and Pinoy Photographers Club (PPC).
Even though they were trailing in the first half against, Airnet boys never backed down and maintained their composure in the game.
Daham waxed hot in the second period, scoring 15 of his total points while Bristol and Binas supported him with a combined 20 points.
Gilbert Quintanes led Uker to victory and in the process grabbed Best Player honors with 19 points. Melvin Cabillo added 13 points. Tilo almost singlehandedly carried Jica with 26 points including five threes.
Al Zugbi won the game against Team Forty 73-69 in the 40 above Division and the best player was Cudal with 26 points.
Meanwhile, Yummy Yummy and Centrepoint scored opening day victories in the Friday Morning 2nd Reinforced Conference.
Yummy Yummy had a first game to remember when it brought down defending champion Dabarkadz 65-60 while Centrepoint got its initial victory in a close game against Pepsi. Completing the nine-team field in this Friday league are Tropapips, Nesma, JAL, OBS Automotive and Firewind Rovzky.
The Best in Uniform and Best Muse awards went to Pepsi and Yummy Yummy respectively.
OFBL also announced ticket reservations for the Jeddah leg of the PBA Legends Kingdom tour Oct. 27 to 29 may be arranged through Boy Teves at 0502205478 or OFBL Facebook account ofbl_jed. The venue at Jeddah is the Green Hall Stadium.


Liverpool and Alan Kennedy look to rerun history against Real Madrid in Kiev

Updated 36 min 56 sec ago
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Liverpool and Alan Kennedy look to rerun history against Real Madrid in Kiev

LIVERPOOL: With eight minutes of the 1981 European Cup final remaining, Liverpool left-back Alan Kennedy made one of his trademark bursts forward, broke into the Real Madrid penalty area and drove home a left-footed finish to settle a tense, tactical battle.
Unlikely, unforgettable, he had the historic distinction of being the matchwinner in two finals, having also netted the decisive penalty in the shoot-out victory over AS Roma three years later.
“So proud,” reflected Kennedy. “It was a wonderful time to be a Liverpool player.”
On Saturday, the Reds meet Real again in Kiev to contest European club football’s most prized trophy.And the memories of that Paris triumph will never fade for the 63-year-old, nor will being part of a lauded Liverpool team.
“That was their mentality and Liverpool were rightly the top team in Europe,” Kennedy, who also lifted five League titles for the Reds during his eight-year stay at Anfield, said. “It was a great era, great times, but the be-all and end-all for any footballer, should be about winning trophies.”
Liverpool’s strength and focus was emphasized in that Parc des Princes showpiece. Before kick-off they had to cover up sponsor’s logos on their shirts to appease UEFA and TV broadcasters. They had concerns about the fitness of influential striker Kenny Dalglish and Kennedy himself after a broken wrist had sidelined him six weeks earlier.
“I think when you put obstacles in the way of that Liverpool team, the better they played,” he told Arab News. “We had issues with TV rights, about the state of the pitch, issues about the fitness of players, me included, but we went out to play the game and win.”
Formidable foes, Bob Paisley’s side dominated Europe in much the same way Zinedine Zidane’s side are doing at the moment. On Saturday they will seek to become the first side to win three European Cups on the bounce since Bayern Munich in 1976.
“Real Madrid are the champions and fantastic in the competition with their history,” said Kennedy. “You have to respect what they have done.
“Everyone expected Liverpool to be in contention for all the trophies too and that’s what we wanted, to push ourselves to as many finals. We wanted to win everything. Maybe we were a bit greedy, but we felt we could do it.
“I don’t think we were arrogant, although our play suggested we were good at what we did. We played a system that was attack all the time no matter if we were under the cosh or defending.
“It was a great team, everyone knew their jobs, we didn’t change for anyone. We were single-minded about winning. We had set the standards and were under pressure to win every game.”
As favorites, Real will be under similar pressure as they seek a 13th title. And Kennedy believes that his former club can claim a sixth European Cup and their first since the famous 2005 triumph over AC Milan in Istanbul when they came back from 3-0 down.
“I know it will be a great game, difficult to call,” he said.
“But I would be saying to the Liverpool players that you can win it, you are good enough to win it. Go out and play the same way you
have all season. If they do, I think they will win it.
“They may concede, but they should not change their style.”
And nor should they, as attack has been the best form of defense for Liverpool this season. In Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, there is a frontline blessed with pace, panache and potency.
Salah, rightly, has received accolades — including the PFA and Football Writers Player of the Year awards — after a stunning debut season following his £36.9 million ($49 million) arrival from Roma.
A landmark 42 goals — a record 32 in the Premier League — and ability to create chances have seen the Egyptian ranked alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
But, for Kennedy, there can be no comparison to Dalglish, arguably the greatest Kop king.
“Kenny was special, a different type of player, always on the shoulder of the defender,” he added. “Salah comes in from the wing and scores spectacular goals. Liverpool play to his strengths as he is forever getting into the box and the right position.
“For me, Kenny, over 10 seasons, was Liverpool’s top player at that time, fantastic, and it’s difficult to put them side by side. Salah’s been wonderful, but never had a season like this before.”
Madrid’s talisman Ronaldo has. Another 43 goals for the five-time Ballon D’Or winner shows he remains a force at 33.
“I’ve always had utmost admiration for Ronaldo,” said Kennedy. “He has this ability to score in finals and show how good he is. One chance, he takes it.
“But that’s been the same with Salah too. The goals he has scored, he seems to see what comes ahead. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.”