Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Jazz thumps Heat in OT

MIAMI (3rd UPDATE) - Paul Millsap scored a career-high 46 points, including a rebound basket to force over-time, and the Utah Jazz edged Miami 116-114 on Tuesday despite stellar showings from Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

The Jazz rallied from a 22-point deficit and pulled level at 104-104 on Millsap's basket at the final buzzer of the fourth quarter. Utah claimed the victory on two free throws by Francisco Elson with 0.4 of a second remaining.

"It's speechless, to be down like that to a team like this and to come out with a win," Millsap said. "We clawed our way out of it. But this says a lot about our team."

Wade scored 39 points and James produced his 29th career triple double - double-digit totals in three categories - with 20 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, but the Heat still suffered their first home loss of the season.

"I think we panicked a little bit as a group," Wade said.

James produced the first triple-double for the Heat since Shaquille O'Neal in 2006 and his seventh in a losing cause, a defeat he credited in large part to the skills of Utah's Jerry Sloan, the longest-tenured active NBA coach.

"Jerry Sloan is one of the best coaches we have in our league," James said. "He kind of figured out what we wanted to do."

The Heat, 5-3, missed five shots in the last two minutes of over-time to equalize or seize the lead, the last by Eddie House at the concluding buzzer.

Utah's Deron Williams scored 21 points and added 14 assists while Andrei Kirilenko contributed 16 points for the Jazz, who had lost their six prior games at Miami.

"At some point in the year, unfortunately, we have to go through something like this," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Chris Bosh added 17 points for the Heat and lamented his team's inability to shut down the Jazz at the start of the second half.

"We came out flat in the third quarter," Bosh said. "We didn't have the sense of urgency that we needed. We had a chance to put them away and we didn't."

Only seven other players have scored as much as Millsap did in one game against the Heat, a list that includes James, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Alex English and Gilbert Arenas.

"He got easy buckets, a lot of easy buckets," Bosh said of Millsap. "I had never seen him hit a three before."

Kirilenko's 3-pointer with 1:50 remaining in over-time gave the Jazz, now 4-3, a 112-111 edge but the Heat pulled level at 114-114 on a Wade 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining.

Elson was fouled by Wade near the basket on the final Jazz possession and Elson made the winning free throws inside the final half-second.

Millsap had averaged 6.9 points in eight prior games against Miami, but beat the Heat by sparking Utah to 42 points in the fourth quarter with 11 of his own in the last 28 seconds, including two 3-pointers in the final 12.1 seconds.

"The man was on fire," said Wade, who connected on only 12 of his 23 shots.

"I guess when it rains, it pours," Millsap said.

The Heat ran off 15 consecutive points at one stretch in the first quarter on the way to a 51-32 half-time lead.

Pacquiao begins last training leg in Texas

MANILA, Philippines – Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao kicked off his last training leg in Texas, where he will face Mexican Antonio Margarito on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight belt.

Filipinos, Mexicans and Americans watched the 7-division world champion train at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center in Dallas.

Prior to his public workout, the pugilist-turned-congressman jogged in the morning.

His trainers said they want Pacquiao to take it easy during his training.

The reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion, however, still exerted effort as he did numerous footworks.

According to Pacquiao, he wants to maintain his speed because he believes that it would be the key to his victory.

“Tijuana Tornado” Margarito, meantime, arrived in Texas earlier than Pacquiao.

He said that his clash with Pacquiao, dubbed as “The Event,” is the biggest fight of his career.

He added that he will do everything that Pacquiao’s previous opponents were unable to do.

Pacquiao and Margarito will face off at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Federer leads seeds into Paris Tennis Masters 3rd round

PARIS – Top seed Roger Federer, defending champion Novak Djokovic and third seed Andy Murray all hit form on the super-quick courts at the Bercy arena to reach the Paris Masters third round on Wednesday.

Federer breezed past home favourite Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 and Djokovic comfortably defeated Argentina's Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-3, but Murray had to battle back from a set down to overcome former champion David Nalbandian.

Federer, who received a first-round bye, served imperiously against Gasquet and secured the decisive break of serve in the third game of the first set with a typically deft forehand drop volley.

He broke his opponent in the opening game of the second set and went on to close out victory in a leisurely 68 minutes, teeing him up for a showdown against unseeded Czech Radek Stepanek for a place in the last eight.

"It's always dangerous playing Richard here," said Federer, who has never gone beyond the quarter-finals at the event.

"Apart from a couple of games, there wasn't much between us.

"I've had injuries and problems with tiredness here before, and I hope I can change that this week."

Second seed Djokovic fought back from an early break in the first set against Monaco and then saw off break points in his opening two service games of the second before completing a routine win.

"He was taking the balls early and being aggressive, and he was the better player at the start of the match," said Djokovic, who lost to Federer in the Basel final on Sunday.

"I was lucky to get the break. When I did that I regained confidence and control of the match, and felt better on the court."

Djokovic, defending the title he won against Gael Monfils last year, will face Michael Llodra in the third round after the Frenchman upset American 16th seed John Isner 6-3, 6-4.

Murray never got going in the first set against Nalbandian, who won 88 percent of the points on his first serve to take the set 6-2.

The Scot raised his game in the second set, however, and required just one break point opportunity to level the tie, with Nalbandian putting a forehand beyond the baseline at set point.

Nalbandian has a fine record at the Bercy arena, having won the event in 2007 and lost in the final in 2008, before missing last year's tournament following hip surgery, but he blinked first in the deciding set.

Murray needed treatment on a wrist injury at 2-2 but he took a 5-3 lead when the Argentine sent a forehand long and then calmly served out for a hard-earned 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

"I struggled at the start," admitted Murray.

"He didn't miss the ball for a set and a half. I haven't played on such a quick court since I've been on the tour.

"But I changed the tension in my racquets by four or five pounds and I felt much more comfortable at the end of the second set."

Murray's next opponent will be Croatian 13th seed Marin Cilic, who came through 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 against Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Swedish fourth seed Robin Soderling completed the third round line-up late on Wednesday when he eased past France's Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-0.

Earlier, Spain's David Ferrer, the seventh seed, overcame a first-set wobble to beat Italian Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).

Eighth seed Andy Roddick swept into the third round with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, while Russian 10th seed Nikolay Davydenko -- the 2006 champion -- beat Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-0.

Cilic's countryman Ivan Ljubicic, the number 15 seed, became the third seed to exit the tournament when he fell 6-4, 6-4 to Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.

BI: Illegal wokers hide visas in their panties

MANILA, Philippines - Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) stumbled upon a new modus operandi of human traffickers with the recent arrest of 3 prospective overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who concealed their travel documents in their underwear in an attempt to hide their true destinations.

Bureau of Immigration Officer-In-Charge Ronaldo Ledesma said the 3 female “tourist workers” were intercepted at the NAIA last October 25 as they were about to board a Philippine Airlines flight to Singapore.
The 3 were queuing for clearance at the NAIA immigration counter when they were invited for questioning by members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU).

Lawyer Arvin Santos, BI airport operations division chief, said the women, who pretended to be tourists, started panicking while being questioned. “They pulled out their visas and plane tickets from their underwear after we managed to bluff them into revealing their final destinations,” Santos said.

The hidden travel documents showed that from Singapore, the passengers have connecting flights to Beirut and Dubai. From there, the women would then go to Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. The government bans the deployment of female workers to Lebanon.

“It appears that the illegal recruiters and human trafficking syndicates are using all tricks so their victims can avoid detection by immigration officers,” Ledesma said.

He said the new modus operandi is a sign of desperation on the part of the syndicates whose operations are reportedly severely crippled by the BI’s intensified drive against human trafficking.

Immigration officers at the NAIA and other airports have offloaded thousands of departing “tourist workers” since August when the government, through the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), launched its aggressive anti-human trafficking drive.

The IACAT is headed by Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, who is also the undersecretary in charge of the Bureau of Immigration.

Advisory on Saudi's 'no smoking policy' in airports

SAUDI ARABIA – A Filipino migrant group urged the Philippine posts detailed in Saudi Arabia to issue an advisory regarding the “no smoking policy” in prohibited areas in domestic and international airports in the kingdom.

“We are urging the concerned Philippine posts officials to issue an advisory so that the Filipino community and the various Filipino organizations will be informed of this latest airport authority's policy of 'no smoking' in prohibited areas,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Monterona said anti-smoking signages are expected to be displayed in the coming days in the kingdom’s 27 domestic and international airports.

The smoking ban, which covers travelers as well as airport and immigration employees, is reportedly aimed at protecting the smoker’s health and reduce harm caused by second-hand smoke.

Monterona said smoking in airports is not totally prohibited. There are actually designated smoking areas in the terminals.

Sixteen smokers have been nabbed so far at the Jeddah International Airport during the first day of its implementation. The violators were fined 200 Saudi Riyals.

The Migrante leader said an advisory is necessary to caution arriving Pinoy migrant workers and those who will be departing for the Philippines next month.