MADRID (AP):Lionel Messi put on another show at the Camp Nou yesterday, scoring a remarkable goal from a free kick and then helping to set up a hat-trick for Luis Su·rez – including a daring assist from a penalty kick – as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 6-1.Ivan Rakitic and Neymar also scored as Barcelona opened up a three-point lead in the Spanish league over AtlÈtico Madrid, which edged Getafe 1-0. Real Madrid, which beat Athletic Bilbao 4-2 on Saturday with two goals by Cristiano Ronaldo, are four points behind Barcelona in third place. Barcelona have a game in hand.It was an impressive victory by the Catalan club, and the performances by Messi, Suarez and Neymar in the second half neared perfection.”We were spectacular and effective,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. “I’m used to seeing these players. When they train, they are even better.”Messi started the show by curling a left-foot shot over the wall in the 28th minute and then mesmerised the Camp Nou crowd as he helped Su·rez to score in the 59th, 75th, and 81st minutes.EXTRA-SPECIAL GOALSu·rez ‘s third goal was extra special, with the Uruguay striker and Messi fooling everybody after Messi was tripped in the area following a nifty dribble past a defender. Messi was set to take the spot-kick himself, but he just rolled the ball to the side for the in-rushing Su·rez to drive it home.While Celta players looked on in awe, Su·rez and Messi glimpsed at each other and smiled broadly before embracing to celebrate. Luis Enrique tried to cover his mouth while smiling himself at the bench.”Barcelona players, in addition to winning titles, also want to have fun and entertain the members in a fair and spectacular way,” the coach said. “It didn’t surprise me.”The play became famous after Johan Cruyff – a Barcelona idol – executed it while playing for Ajax in 1982.”It’s a legal play. Some will like it, some won’t,” Luis Enrique said. “It will generate a lot of debate.”
Fortuna >> Fortuna Huskies pitcher Hailey Dolcini wasn’t just good on Wednesday, she was perfect.The Huskies ace struck out all 15 batters she faced in a 10-0 five-inning victory over the Arcata Tigers at Fortuna High School.Fortuna catcher Jenna Christensen went 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI. Dolcini, Shelby Doebel and Taylor Fournier each had two hits for the Huskies. The victory clinched the Huskies’ fourth-consecutive Big 5 title. Fortuna is now 18-1-1 this season, 10-0 …
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Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City PBA IMAGESBlackwater was 12 minutes away from history.After a forcing top seeded Meralco into a do-or-die with a 92-91 stunner in Game 1, the no. 8 Elite had a real chance to advance to the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals against Star.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Blackwater even had the upper hand early in the rubber match but Meralco just showed its class, outscoring the Elite 31-19 in the fourth quarter en route to the the semifinal clincher.Maliksi, who finished with 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting and six boards, was disappointed he couldn’t lead his new team to greater heights.“I feel bad about myself because the trust of the coaches is there,” said Maliksi who only came to the Elite a couple of games before the eliminations ended. “My teammates trusted me and I feel bad because there were opportunities I know I’ve wasted.”ADVERTISEMENT Tasked to guide the Bolts, Amer drops 31 in crucial game BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight MOST READ All Blackwater needed was one more strong quarter to prove that a small franchise could make it big in the PBA.The Bolts, however, had other plans and that came in the form of a 104-96 win that ousted the Elite in a heartbreaker.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“All of us want something to prove, we can’t call this overachieving if we played just the quarterfinals,” said a dejected Allein Maliksi Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “Of course you want to win the championship. So, I think there’s a reason why we were put in this situation.”“It’s that we have to learn from this and apply whatever we need to do next conference, next season.” Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Dele Alli insists Spurs players behind Pochettinoby Freddie Taylora day agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham star Dele Alli believes that everyone at the club is firmly behind their manager Mauricio Pochettino.Spurs are struggling for confidence and form, especially in the Premier League.It has seen them slip in the top four race and prompted talks about Pochettino’s future at the club. But Alli insists every one of Spurs’ players is behind the Argentine coach.He told reporters: “Yeah, 1,000 per cent [players are behind Pochettino].”A lot of us would not be where we are now if it was not for him. All we can do is thank him.”We have always trusted him 100 per cent and we are going to keep doing that. We are a team.”When things are not going our way, it is easy for people to try and get at the manager but we need to look at ourselves as players.”We’re doing that and we are going to keep working hard.”
Add LeBryan Nash to the list of players who have slammed home a basket that should be considered for the mythical dunk of the year award. During Oklahoma State’s game against Texas in Austin, the Cowboys’ forward basically dunked over Longhorn guard DeMarcus Holland. Check it out: This angle makes it even more impressive:Oklahoma State and Texas are currently in the second half of their contest. The game is being televised on the Longhorn Network.
Georgia State, the No. 14 seed in the West Region, just ended the game on a 13-0 run to shock No. 3 seed Baylor, 57-56. Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter, the son of GSU head coach Ron Hunter, hit the game-winning three-pointer from way downtown with 2.8 seconds remaining.Hunter struggled much of the day, scoring just two points in the first half. His dad coached the whole game in a rolling stool after tearing his left achilles tendon celebrating the team’s Sun Belt Conference championship last week.This is what happened to Ron Hunter when R.J. made his game-winner. March Madness is amazing.
The band of snow is expected to shift to the southwest towards Sikanni Chief tonight, where 10 to 15 cm is forecast.Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations.Drivers are being reminded to prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.For up-to-date road conditions, you can visit DriveBC.ca. FORT NELSON, B.C. – Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Fort Nelson.According to Environment Canada, Hazardous winter conditions are expected.Snow at times mixed with freezing rain will continue this afternoon through tonight before easing Thursday morning. Approximately 10 cm of snow has already fallen this morning around Fort Nelson with a further 5 cm this afternoon.
Left: While waiting for the title ceremony, Magnus Carlsen is finally able to relax with his father by his side. Right: Following his defeat, Karjakin was clearly disappointed while speaking to the Russian media. He confirmed rumors about travelling to New York with a Virgin Mary icon. Watching an elite chess match in person is at once enjoyable and discomfiting. You follow the players’ actions — their moves, their mannerisms — for long stretches of time. You hang on each one and imbue it with meaning. You become so familiar with their moves that you can rattle them off later from memory: “queen to h6,” say, or “rook to e2.” You try to understand why the players did what they did. The moves can be beautiful or inscrutable or frustrating or disappointing. You try to imagine what you would do if you were in one of their chairs. You try to predict what they will do next. You try and make sense of their postgame explanations. But you aren’t them, and you can never really understand.On Wednesday, the final day of the World Chess Championship, hundreds crowded into the Fulton Market Building in lower Manhattan to watch, trying to understand. Magnus Carlsen, the defending champion, No. 1-rated player in the world and the closest thing the sport has to a rock star, was facing his challenger, Sergey Karjakin of Russia, in a series of speedy tiebreaker games. The 12 lengthy games that had stretched over the previous 19 days — I attended 11 in person — ended tied and the two grandmasters were back in their chairs in a soundproof glass box to break the deadlock. It was the biggest day in chess in many years. Carlsen, the former wunderkind, was clinging to his title and his legacy, while Karjakin and the Russians were hoping for a return to the days of Soviet chess hegemony. On the fourth game of the tiebreaker, and the 16th of the match, Carlsen attacked the Russian’s king, Karjakin resigned and the two shook hands. It was over. You had to elbow your way through knots of onlookers to get anywhere in the venue’s sprawling VIP wing. Men in suits and expensive shoes crowded around TVs, watching the games and sipping martinis. The room was at a low murmur — equal parts English and Russian with an occasional dash of Norwegian. The clinking of glasses and the ratatat of ice in cocktail shakers punctuated the chess talk.Like a Russian nesting doll, a VVIP section had been set up for Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire, and company within the VIP section. It was newly roped off and closely monitored by scary-looking bodyguards. Thiel, a Donald Trump supporter and a strong chess player himself, and Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire venture capitalist, sat at a board inside. With apologies to Beyoncé, it was $6 billion at a chess table. Accompanying them: Bennett Miller, who directed “Foxcatcher,” about the wrestling-obsessed murderer and multimillionaire heir to the du Pont fortune, and the Icelandic grandmaster Hedinn Steingrimsson, who was giving them a private analysis of the ongoing championship game taking place just a few yards away.A buffet and wine bar had been installed for the guests from Silicon Valley who’d arrived that day, and bored-looking members of their entourages lolled on large couches, poking at iPhones. Word around the venue was that the billionaires had paid $50,000 for these privileges. (The match’s organizer wouldn’t comment on the figure.) Much later in the evening, some other journalists and I raided their buffet, eating what must have been thousands of dollars worth of cold mini tacos.“Are you security?” the writer Brin-Jonathan Butler asked one of the well-dressed, well-built men keeping close watch over the well-heeled chess lesson.“Something like that,” he responded ominously. “I wouldn’t bother them, if you don’t mind.”This World Chess Championship scene was somewhere at the intersection of Bond film, Trump fundraiser and museum gala. There are other internal chess-world squabbles. Agon Limited, the match’s organizer, filed an application for a restraining order and injunction against a number of popular third-party chess websites, just before the match began. The websites’ alleged transgression? Relaying chess moves live, which Agon saw as a violation. The application was denied by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who wrote that “robust reporting of factual data concerning the contestants’ moves” best served the public interest. Agon’s CEO, Ilya Merenzon, told me that the company would continue to pursue the matter in court, and was also proposing legislation to cement their rights to the games they organize.I discussed the case with Macauley Peterson, the content director for chess24, one of the defendants, on the floor of the venue during one of the early games. He kept glancing away from me at people walking by. He said he was worried about who might be eavesdropping.The tournament’s organizers have declared their own victory, though, bragging that the 20-day biennial championship had drawn some 10,000 spectators to its location in the South Street Seaport. But that’s less than, say, half the average attendance of the worst team in baseball for any one of its 81 home games this year. And the event’s only two main sponsors were PhosAgro, a Russian producer of phosphate-based fertilizer, and EG Capital Advisors, a Russian investment management company. Not exactly Nike and Coca-Cola. Spectators in the VIP lounge. A production team from Russia created an atmosphere for VIPs more often seen in Moscow than Manhattan. Despite the high-powered, moneyed interest, and its prime New York City location, the match was sparsely covered by the American press — as chess is generally — and given little attention outside the core chess world. It’s unlikely to increase the game’s reach or exposure as the organizers may have hoped. That did happen once in the States — in 1972 — but that was because of Bobby Fischer.The troublesome shadow of Fischer stretches over every conversation of chess’s success and future in the U.S. He was the best American player of all time, and its only modern world champion. His legacy is stained by his vocal anti-Semitism, and comments that he was pleased with the terrorism on Sept. 11, among other things. But in his chess prime, he carried the U.S. on his back while sitting at the board, having taught himself the game, largely alone, in a shabby Brooklyn apartment. And he won.While this year’s championship lacked the colorful characters and Cold War narrative of Fischer’s title run — although some journalists tried to revive them — it did have some of the controversy.Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the game’s international governing body, FIDE, was absent from the match, having been sanctioned by the U.S. for business connections with the Assad regime in Syria. Ilyumzhinov is no stranger to controversy. He insists he was abducted by aliens. They were wearing yellow spacesuits and nabbed him from his Moscow apartment in 1997, taking him away to a distant star. He considers chess “a gift from extraterrestrial civilizations.” Left: Magnus Carlsen, 26, at the World Chess Championship’s opening gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Right: Sergey Karjakin, 26, tests the overhead lights in the playing hall. All photographs by Misha Friedman Left: A branded vodka bar assured VIPs were sufficiently entertained throughout the tournament. Right: Ekaterina, a Karjakin family friend, flew in from Moscow just for the tiebreaker round. But despite the controversy and the finances, what’s really missing from chess is a character.The U.S. has three players in the world Top 10, any one of whom could have a shot at challenging Carlsen for the title in two years. They’re undeniably fantastic players. But they seem less like compelling national characters — and less like artists — than Fischer did. They’re technicians, raised in a computer-chess age. Carlsen ended the match and extended his world championship reign with a beautiful move on Wednesday evening — whether he’d admit its beauty or not — sacrificing his queen to entrap Karjakin’s king. But in one of the postgame press conferences, Carlsen said chess was a sport and a science. For art, he said, you’d “have to look elsewhere.” Left: Neil deGrasse Tyson, a celebrated astrophysicist, and Fabiano Caruana, the No. 2 ranked chess player in the world, chatted about baseball. Right: Peter Thiel showed up for the decisive tiebreaker round and had a grandmaster at his side to explain the games live. Tickets were expensive, but there were a lot of young fans at every game, especially on weekends. After the match — after the trophy presentation and the cake and the champagne — our photographer and I tracked down the Norwegian contingent at an after-after-party at a steakhouse a couple miles uptown. It was a festive scene. Holiday garland and lights festooned the bannisters and the restaurant was a cozy respite from the cold and rainy November day outside. Carlsen was sitting at a far table in the crowded dining room with about 50 others. He was eating. With a fork. Like a person. It was odd to see him with something other than a chess piece in his hand.I wanted to talk to him. I’d been watching him for hours most days for the past three weeks. But honestly I had no idea what I’d say. Carlsen famously hates interviews. But I was saved. “No questions. Definitely no,” his manager, Espen Agdestein, told us. “He’s very tired. We’re just relaxing.”I’m not Carlsen. But I understood.