Teary-eyed Calabar High basketball coach praises repeat all-island champions

first_imgIt was an emotional night for Calabar High School’s coach, Ludlow Barker, after watching his team hold off Ardenne High to win back-to-back Under-19 ISSA National Basketball Championship titles, following a 62-52 overtime win at the G.C. Foster College auditorium on Tuesday evening.Led by a game-high 28 points from MVP Maliek McCarthy and 13 points from Jevaun Faulder, Calabar High shrugged off a fourth-quarter surge from the Basil Barrett-coached Ardenne before going on to dominate overtime 12-4.Justin Rhoden was Ardenne’s top scorer with 15 points.However, in his post-match interview, Calabar High’s coach, Barker, could not restrain the tears as emotions overwhelmed him while he piled praises on his players for their sacrifice on the road to winning back-to-back Southern Conference and national championship honours.”I know these players,” said a tearful Barker. “When they commit to do the work, they come up trumps. I believe in them; they believe in me. I just love these players. I love coaching the school because they have heart and soul.TOP COACH, PLAYERS”They (players) say they have a top coach, but I say I have top players – the greatest players in the world – and I’d never exchange them for anything,” he stated.”Winning back-to-back South Conference titles was going to be tough, but winning back-to-back all-island was going to be harder. We had to have a lot of self-discipline and play good defence.”After an evenly contested first quarter (12-12), Calabar High captured the second period 11-7 to lead 23-19 at half-time. They continued to hold the ascendancy after taking the third quarter 17-14, but in the final quarter, Ardenne upped their game a couple of notches and Calabar High could find no answer as the Basil Barrett-coached team were hitting shots from all angles and range. In the final analysis, Ardenne High won the period 15-8 to be tied 48-48 at the final whistle.However, in overtime, Ardenne did not know what hit them as Calabar High came out firing and easily captured the period 12-4 for a convincing win.”My team held its nerve when it went to overtime. They were still feeling good about themselves even though they gave up the lead,” Barker admitted. “We didn’t lose concentration. We stuck to the game plan and we supported each other, and defensively, we did an excellent job. So to repeat at this level is quite a joy.”In the junior final, St George’s College avenged their Southern Conference final defeat to St Catherine High with a 54-47 win.Jordon Gilles with 17 points and Nathan Reid (10 points) were the top scorers for St George’s. Shevran Williams was St Catherine’s top scorer with 13 points.last_img read more

India most successful touring Test team in Sri Lanka since 2014

first_imgVirat Kohli last week became the first captain to win two Test series in Sri Lanka. India’s innings and 53-run victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo helped India take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.India’s majestic win in Colombo also made them the most successful team to tour Sri Lanka since 2014. It was India’s fourth victory in five matches. Pakistan remain the second best team with two victories in five Tests.In these three years, Sri Lanka have hosted 18 Tests and interestingly, all of them have yielded results. Sri Lanka have won 11 while Bangladesh have been the only other team to have won a Test.The island nation has meanwhile whitewashed Pakistan (2-0), West Indies (2-0), Australia (3-0) and Zimbabwe (1-0)during these three years.Kohli now aims to become the first Indian captain to sweep a Test series in Sri Lanka. Mohammad Azharuddin had achieved the feat but at home in 1994.Kohli extended his dream run as captain to eighth consecutive Test series victory when India won the Colombo Test on Sunday.Kohli and Co. have been the most dominant Test side in the world and have not lost a series home or away since their 2-0 defeat in their 2014-15 tour of Australia.Since that series loss, India have outplayed all their rivals winning eight consecutive Test series without much fuss. In these two and a half years, India under captain Kohli have lost only two matches while have won 18 games.Kohli surpassed Steve Waugh’s record of seven consecutive series wins when India destroyed hosts Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. Ricky Ponting holds the record with nine series victories in a row.advertisementKohli’s record as captain in this time has been phenomenal to say the least. In 28 Tests, Kohli has registered 18 wins, three losses and six draws. Overall Kohli has 18 wins and is just four away from overtaking Sourav Ganguly’s tally of Test 21 wins and become India’s second most successful captain after Dhoni (27 wins).India had scripted a rampaging 304-run victory in the first Test with opener Shikhar Dhawan smashing a career-best 190 with regular openers Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay, left out injured.Dhawan smashed a 168-ball 190 in the first innings to steer India to a mammoth total of 600 and help it take a firm grip on the match, which eventually they never let go.Abhinav Mukund also scored a crafty 81 in the second essay which had Kohli’s unbeaten 103.At No.3 the ever-dependable Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a patient 153 off 265 balls at Galle, notched up his 13th century in his landmark 50th Test.Spin twin Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja picked up a five-wicket haul each in the second match. Jadeja will miss the third and final Test after he was suspended by the ICC for dangerously throwing the ball at Sri Lanka’s nightwatchman Malinda Pushpakumara.last_img read more

Indonesia bids spectacular farewell to Asian Games

first_imgBy Bharat Sharma Jakarta, Sep 1 (PTI) Indonesia bid an emotional farewell to the 18th Asian Games, displaying the same gritty spirit with which it organised the 15-day sporting extravaganza as thousands braved heavy rain to turn up for a spectacular closing ceremony here on Sunday. The 76,000 capacity Gelora Bung Karno stadium did not attract many people when the track and field events were on but they made a beeline to watch the two-hour long closing ceremony that was high on entertainment. Indonesia’s love for Bollywood was also on full display as singer Siddharth Slathia and Denada sang popular numbers ‘Koi Mil Gaya’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hain’ and ‘Jai Ho’. As expected, the closing ceremony was not as spectacular as the opening when Indonesian President Joko Widodo made headlines with his bike stunt to enter the venue. But it was fun nonetheless with a heady mix of song, dance and fireworks. Widodo’s video message to his countrymen and the entire Asian continent also added to the excitement. For the organisers, it was the end of an intense and successful campaign, having got four years to prepare for the second biggest multi-sporting event in the world following Vietnam’s withdrawal. Having two cities — Jakarta and Palembang — as co-hosts was a first in Games’ history, making the herculean task all the more challenging. Hosting more than 11,000 athletes from 45 countries across two contrasting cities was no mean feat but a determined Indonesia pulled it off, overcoming the triple threat posed by terrorism, crime and its notorious traffic.advertisement “Everyone supported, that’s the key. The whole of Indonesia became one and supported the Games. We had a plan since March, 2016. As an organisation we made sure we implemented that plan. We also got the best Indonesian talent to support the Games. Did everything work? Not 100 percent. But we tried to solve the issues and did not run away from them,” said Erick Thohir, chief of organizing committee INASGOC. The successful staging of the Games, happening for the first time in Indonesia since 1962, has also given the country the confidence to bid for the 2032 Olympics. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who was at the VIP area alongside OCA chief Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah and Indonesian Vice-President, has also given a thumbs up to the countrys Olympic bid. While the grand opening ceremony showcased Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage, the closing of the Games was a modest affair but still scored high on liveliness. The spectators revelled in the united spirit of Asia as artists from India, China and Korea performed. India’s Slathia, one among the six singers who sang the Games anthem in their local language, enthralled the spectators alongside the reputed Ikon and Super Junior from Korea besides Indonesia’s very own like Isyana Saraswati, Dira Sugandi, RAN and Bunga Citra Lestari. For the physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted athletes, the ceremony gave them an opportunity to let their hair down. Forgetting the intense competition for the moment, the sporting champions mingled to celebrate the occasion rather than parading separately. China and Japan, who finished an expected first and second in the medals tally, were welcomed vociferously but the roar got louder when the Indonesian contingent marched in. Indonesia finished fourth in the medals tally, a drastic improvement from a top-20 finish in Incheon four years ago. The Indian contingent was led by women hockey team’s captain and flag-bearer Rani Rampal. It was also a memorable Games for India as it produced the best ever performance with 69 medals including 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. The loudest cheer, however, was reserved for the 13,000 volunteers who worked tirelessly to contribute to the Games success. The ceremony culminated with Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah calling on the athletes to meet in four years in Hangzhou, the host for the 2022 Asian Games, before the symbolic handing over of the OCA flag to the Mayor of the Chinese city, Xu Li Yi. A sneak peek video of the next host city was also played out on the giant screen, followed by a short cultural performance. PTI BS PDSPDSlast_img read more