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September 18, 2020

Stanbic, NPA Confirm Participation in Corporate Soccer Champion

first_imgStanbic IBTC, Nigeria Port Authority ((NPA) and three other companies have confirmed their participation in this year’s edition of Corporate Soccer Champions.Other corporate bodies expected to participate in the event scheduled to hold on November 19-20th at the NPA pitch, Surulere are; Etisalat, Chevron and Galacticos. According to the Managing Director, Corporate Soccer Nigeria, Onome Obruthe, six organisations are expected to participate in the event but that only five have confirmed their participation.He further informed that any of the three; Exxon Mobil, Dhl and Capital Fields Energy would make up the sixth team that will participate in the event which will attract cash and other valuables gifts.Obruthe said that arrangement is on to have a football match between Stationery Stores and Bendel Insurance before the final which is geared towards encouraging and supporting ex-Nigerian league players.“We at the Corporate Nigeria are more determined in making this year’s edition a memorable one, hence the decision to include the match between Bendel Insurance and Stationery Stores, as well as other initiatives”, he said.He disclosed that the winner will represent the country at the next world Corporate Soccer at a yet to fixed date and venue.Obruthe also assured that all necessary arrangements have been put in place for a hitch free event.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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September 16, 2020

Grinding Gears: Basketball is struggling in irrelevant conference

first_img“There are a lot of teams [that], if they play well, can beat anybody in the league,” Enfield said. “If you don’t bring your best game, you can lose to anybody in the league. So there’s a lot of teams that, on any given night, can win by 10-15 points and maybe play the same team the next night and lose by 10-15.” It may have been shocking to Enfield, but, 11 games into conference play, USC’s standing is no longer a surprise to the neutral observer. USC is merely part of the group of Pac-12 teams mired in a “meh” season, one as uninspiring as the tepid crowds that have shown up at Galen Center. It was the continuation of a feud that stretches back to last season, when Boyle called Enfield out over USC’s recruiting practices. Enfield fired back with a statement and, during the teams’ next meeting, he called a timeout with 21 seconds left and USC ahead by 12 points to presumably rub in the victory. Boyle took exception to that and made it clear how much defeating USC Saturday meant to him. Washington, which won its first 10 conference games, couldn’t even claim a spot in the AP Top 25 — and it definitely won’t after falling to Arizona State on Saturday. There are three teams tied for second at 7-4 and then USC at 6-5. It would be one thing if the parity across the league was because all the teams were good and beating up on each other, but it is a problem if the parity is because the schools are equally bad. Those were three games that USC had a chance of winning — and probably should have won. But they came down to a couple of plays: a bounce here, a make instead of a miss there. This is what separates an average team from a good team — the ability to close out games, to emerge from a tight battle victorious. In this regard, the Trojans have no consistency. So, the hell with it, Tad Boyle. Bring on the petty drama, the unnecessarily exorbitant celebrations. This Pac-12 basketball season could use some life, anyway. Boyle to Saturday’s game was like the Pac-12 to the rest of the country: flailing its arms, kicking and screaming, attempting to stay relevant. One look at the standings is all it takes to figure out that this conference is, um, not good. But at a school where basketball barely registers on anyone’s radar, this story generated little interest — certainly not enough for two Pac-12 coaches to act petty following victories. And yet, there was Boyle, hollering like Colorado had just won the national championship rather than improved to 5-6 in an unimpressive conference. “I don’t know why Nick and Bennie weren’t in the middle of [the] lane and hedging on the ball screen,” Enfield said. “It’s very shocking. Those guys are juniors and seniors — two big mental breakdowns in the last two minutes of the game. Not going to make excuses for them, because I can’t.” Unfortunately, the latter is where the conference is at. Unless another team starts picking up steam down the stretch, the Pac-12 is looking at just one bid in the NCAA tournament — a woeful outcome for a Power 5 conference.center_img The marquee programs are struggling, and the best school, Washington, can’t get any national love despite being 10-1 in conference play. Arizona State, which knocked off No. 1 Kansas earlier this season, can’t seem to stay consistent. Arizona and Oregon aren’t even in contention. USC has dropped three of four after a three-game win streak showed the team’s flash of promise. Things have gotten so bad at UCLA that alumni and boosters are clamoring for former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino to take over the helm. That is indeed the definition of parity, but not in a good sense. USC’s last seven games are a strong example. Last month, the Trojans rolled past UCLA, Arizona and ASU and jumped to second in the conference. But in the last week and half, they suffered a road loss at Washington and brutal back-to-back home defeats to Utah and Colorado. “I meant no disrespect by it,” Boyle told reporters. “But this game meant a lot to me. I don’t forget what happened last year with the timeout.” Eric He is a senior writing about current events in sports. He is also the features editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs Mondays. Immediately after the final buzzer sounded on USC’s 69-65 defeat to Colorado Saturday at Galen Center, Colorado head coach Tad Boyle turned to the Buffaloes supporters behind him in the stands and yelled emphatically in celebration. As he went through the handshake line with the USC coaching staff, Trojans associate head coach Jason Hart confronted Boyle, and the two exchanged words. This quarrel is a microcosm of the Pac-12 season. Here are the men in charge of two programs that have been fairly mediocre this season, hovering around .500 in conference play, drumming up beef that nobody really cares about. There is zero buzz on campus surrounding the federal investigation into college basketball, which USC was involved in after former assistant coach Tony Bland was arrested in the fall of 2017. In January, Bland reached a plea deal on charges of conspiring to commit bribery to lure players to specific agents. “Supposedly,” USC head coach Andy Enfield said, “their coach swore at us, and that’s all I know.” In a 69-67 win over ASU last month, senior captain Bennie Boatwright nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer in the clutch. In a 69-65 loss to Colorado Saturday, it was Boatwright and junior forward Nick Rakocevic — two team leaders — who allowed Buffaloes guard McKinley Wright to drive right past them for two crucial layups that gave Colorado the late lead.last_img read more

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August 28, 2020

Barcelona v PSG preview: Ibrahimovic returns with PSG facing huge task

first_imgTeam news, manager quotes, match facts, and more ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second leg clash between Barcelona and PSG.TEAM NEWS Andres Iniesta is available for Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Paris Saint-Germain after suffering a back injury in the first leg in France.The midfielder was stretchered off in that match but he returned to training on Monday, as did defender Jeremy Mathieu.Brazilian international Dani Alves should also play after suspension. Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has been ruled out of the second leg with the thigh injury he picked up in the 3-1 home defeat last week.The centre back is joined on the sidelines by namesake Thiago Motta (thigh), while right back Serge Aurier is suspended. Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Marco Verratti will return for the French champions after missing the first game through suspension. MANAGER QUOTESLuis Enrique: “The difficulty lies in the game overall. They’re an opponent with a negative result who won’t hold anything back. We’re going out to win the game. I always want a positive result. The goal is to qualify but I understand victory is always the best result. There will be times we suffer, as happened in Paris. The goal is to qualify and I don’t settle for results that aren’t victories.”Laurent Blanc: “We have to think that we have to score and I am sure that we will but we have only a small chance to go through. We cannot afford to concede goals and this here is practically impossible. All the teams that play here in Europe concede at least one. They have attacking players with incredible talent. We have to show that we want to win, show that we are capable of doing it and give a better account of ourselves than in the first match.”MATCH FACTS Barcelona have won just two CL games against PSG, but they were their last two meetings (D3 L2).Barcelona have lost just one of their last twelve European games against French clubs (W7 D4).Paris Saint-Germain have won just one of their Champions League trips to Spain (D2 L2), scoring and conceding in all those games (8 scored and 10 conceded).PSG are the third French club to have been defeated by Barcelona in a Champions League home game, after Lyon (2-3 in 2001) and Monaco (0-1 in 1994).Barcelona have won seven Champions League games in a row, just two victories behind their best run in the competition (9 in February 2003). Paris have not won any of their last four CL games (D2 L2), remaining the only quarter-finalist yet to win in this season’s knockout rounds.Barcelona are the only quarter-finalist yet to draw a game in the Champions League this season (W8 L1).Barcelona are the only quarter-finalist to have scored an own goal in the Champions League this season (Jeremy Mathieu against PSG in the first leg).Since Lionel Messi made his CL debut, only Xavi (23), Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo (22) have provided more CL assists than him (21)With his first goal in the first leg against PSG, Luis Suarez scored the 400th goal for Barcelona in CL history. Indeed, only Real Madrid (436) have scored more goals than the Culés in Champions League history (401).Neymar has scored in all three CL appearances against PSG (three goals).Barcelona have had the fewest players booked in the Champions League this season amongst teams that have made it to the quarter-final (12).Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the only goalkeeper amongst teams in the quarter-final to have saved a penalty in the Champions League this campaign.–last_img read more

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