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Real Madrid vs Sociedad Prediction: La Liga Match on 01.03.2021
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It’s the first day of March and La Liga champions Real Madrid return to league action following their midweek Champions League exploits. The home team are involved in a battle with city rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona to retain their crown and it’s a fight that is sure to go right down to the wire. We are entering a vital stage of the season. Can Real Madrid find the form needed to win the title? A competitive match is expected on Monday evening in Madrid after these teams played out a tense draw in their most recent meeting back in September. That game ended goalless, but it did extend Madrid’s unbeaten run against Sociedad to two games. Will that run continue? Madrid three off the pace Real Madrid entered round 25 of the La Liga season with stats showing 16 wins and four draws against four defeats, scoring 42 goals while conceding just 19. The 52 points gained leaves them three off the pace set by Atletico Madrid who also have a game in hand. Real have done well to fight their way back into it but know there’s now no room for error as the race gets serious. Confidence is high in the home dressing room after Blancos put together an eye-catching four-game winning run, moving them five points ahead of Barcelona in third place. The locals were last seen in domestic action beating Real Valladolid 1-0 away from home, claiming an important three points thanks to a goal from Casemiro on 65 minutes. More of the same is needed here. Sociedad have won their last three Sociedad are performing above expectations so far and sit fifth in the table with a strong chance of improving and grabbing a place in the top-four. Champions League football next season is a possibility if they can continue their form and that’s something the squad must keep in mind as the challenges continue to come at them thick and fast. The visitors arrive in town on the back of an impressive unbeaten run, drawing two and winning three of their last five games. Sociedad have also picked up each of the last nine points available to them in the league so face Madrid without fear. If they can get something out of this match it will seriously improve their chances of finishing in the top-four. Real Madrid vs Sociedad prediction Both teams find themselves in a fantastic position but that comes with pressure and the players know they must continue their impressive form until the end of the season. A slip up here could have a huge impact on their chances of winning the title or finishing in the top-four. That should make this a nervy game but both clubs are scoring for fun at the minute so armchair fans hope to see a few goals. La Liga odds Real Madrid are 2.14 to win with Sociedad priced at 4.2 with 22bet and the draw 2.71. Make sure to bet on Real Madrid vs Sociedad with 22Bet! The post Real Madrid vs Sociedad Prediction: La Liga Match on 01.03.2021 appeared first on 22bet.
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Addamo, Adams, and Bonomo Among Big Sunday Winners
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February 16 2021 Matthew Pitt Online poker tournaments are massive on Sundays and this fact along brings out the game’s best players. Michael Addamo, Timothy Adams, and Justin Bonomo are just three of those stellar names who managed to take down a Sunday major this weekend. Addamo Takes Down GGPoker Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250 Michael Addamo enjoyed a super Sunday courtesy of triumphing in the Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250, a tournament that attracted 113 of the world’s best players to the GGPoker virtual felt. Addamo’s first bullet didn’t go to plan and he crashed out in 76th place. He re-entered and put used his new stack to full effect. The likes of Kristen Bicknell, Matthias Eibinger, Elio Fox, Benjamin Rolle, and Anatoly Filatov busted inside the money places but before the star-studded final table. Austria’s “Filip1” was the final table’s first casualty. Their ninth-place exit awarding a $14,833 prize. Alex Foxen and David Yan then busted. Yan would go on to take down Sunday High Rollers Bounty King $3,150 for $49,300 later in the evening. The exits of Michael Zhang, Aleksei Barkov, Pascal Hartmann, and David Peters left Addamo heads-up against Wiktor Malinowski. Addamo rarely loses when he’s heads-up and that was the case again here. Addamo collected $131,187 for his victory while Malinowski banked $99,898 for his runner-up finish. Defeating Malinowski will go some way to making up for losing a massive $842,000 cash game pot last year. Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250 Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Michael AddamoCanada$131,187 2Wiktor MalinowskiMacau$99,898 3David PetersCanada$76,072 4Pascal HartmannAustria$57,928 5Aleksei BarkovRussia$44,112 6Michael ZhangBrazil$33,591 7David YanNew Zealand$25,579 8Alex FoxenCanada$19,478 9Flilip1Austria$14,833 ¥80 Million Gtd Asian Poker League (APL) Hits GGPoker Adams Takes Down High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625 Timothy Adams’ latest victory came in the High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625, an event that saw 80 players buy in. All but two of the players who navigated their way to the final table walked away with five-figures hauls. Fedor Holz and Andrii Novak being that duo. “LeoJose” fell in seventh and was joined on the rail first by Artur Martirosian, then by Urmo Velvelt, Rainer Kempe, and China’s Kevin Pu. This left Adams, on his one and only bullet, heads-up against Arsneii Malinov. Malinov fell at the final hurdle and scooped $36,565, which left Adams to add the $46,885 top prize to his GGPoker account. High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625 Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Timothy AdamsCanada$46,885 2Arsenii MalinovRussia$36,565 3Kevin PuChina$28,516 4Rainer KempeGermany$22,239 5Urmo VelveltEstonia$17,344 6Artur MartirosianRussia$13,526 7LeoJoseBrazil$10,549 8Andrii NovakUkraine$8,227 9Fedor HolzAustria$6,416 Other GGPoker Highlights Shankar Pillai – first-place in the High Roller MILLION$ for $207,692Gabriel Schroeder – first-place in the GGMasters High Rollers $1,050 for $140,355MonkeyD93 – first-place in the Global MILLION$ for $112,712swedishdream – first-place in the Bounty Hunters HR Main Event $525 for $95,817*Sami Kelopuro – first-place in the High Rollers Sunday Blade Opener $5,250 for $57,374L1mpFold – first-place in the GGMasters $150 for $54,631David Yan – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Bounty King $3,150 for $49,300*Joseph Cheong – first-place in the Sunday Bounty King $315 for $44,349*Ami Barer – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Mulligan $2,625 for $43,288Michael Zhang – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Opener $2,625 for $39,752Andras Nemeth – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Bounty King PLO $3,150 for $35,513*spera91 – first-place in the High Rollers Marathon $840 for $33,695Joao Caetano – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Fifty Stack $500 for $31,657Boris Kolev – first-place in the Sunday Forty Stack $400 for $30,214Bruno Botteon – first-place in the Sunday high Rollers Bounty Special $840 for $29,113*Dante Fernandes – first-place in the Bounty Hunters Sunday Special $210 for $25,808*Babyccino – first-place in the Sunday Main Event $200 for $24,254Anton Wigg – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Fast $525 for $13,780 *includes bounty payments Justin Bonomo Binks the partypoker High Roller Big Game Justin Bonomo Justin Bonomo, fresh from his recent Super MILLION$ victory, continued his impressive run of form by taking down the High Roller Big Game at partypoker. Bonomo came out on top of a 127-strong field in the $2,600 buy-in event to get his hands on $79,128. The final table was brimming with the world’s top poker talent, as you’d expect from such a prestigious tournament. Tomi Brouk busted in ninth and won $8,739, the tournament’s last four-figure prize. Ognyan Dimov, Roberto Romanello, and Pedro Garagnani were the next players to fall by the wayside. Niklas Astedt and Team partypoker’s Kristen Bicknell followed suit. Ukraine’s Pavlo Kolinkovskiy’s elimination in third-place, worth $34,935, left Bonomo and Ali Imsirovic heads-up for the title. Bonomo got the job done and secured the $79,128 top prize, leaving Imsirovic to bank $79,128. High Roller Big Game Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Justin BonomoCanada$79,128 2Ali ImsirovicMexico$50,916 3Pavlo KolinkovskiyUkraine$34,935 4Kristen BicknellCanada$24,702 5Niklas AstedtSweden$18,330 6Pedro GaragnaniBrazil$14,667 7Roberto RomanelloUnited Kingdom$12,398 8Ognyan DimovBulgaria$10,539 9Tomi BroukFinland$8,739 Jamie O’Connor Takes Down Big Game Jamie O’Connor turned $530 into $41,417 by winning The Big Game. O’Connor was a guest on Leigh Wiltshire and Des Duffy’s APAT Show while he was grinding this event but chatting didn’t put him off the grind. O’Connor defeated Rui Da Silva heads-up to lock up the top prize and resign Da Silva to a $28,678 consolation prize. Two other players saw their bankrolls swell by five-figures. Fourth-place finisher Joel Nystedt scooped $13,158 with Joao Gaspar reeling in a $19,868 prize for his demise in third-place. The Big Game Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Jamie O’ConnorUnited Kingdom$79,128 2Rui Da SilvaCroatia$28,678 3Joao GasparMalta$19,868 4Joel NystedtAustria$13,158 5Dwayne SluisNetherlands$9,177 6Fahredin MustafovBulgaria$7,273 7Justin OuimetteCanada$5,843 8Joakim AnderssonSweden$4,737 9Jamie NixonUnited Kingdom$3,844 Other Highlights From partypoker LivviG – first-place in the $320 The 300 for $19,962*BeastFromDaEast – first-place in the $109 Weekender for $17,563*Andreas Puntigam – first-place in the $55 Mini Big Game for $17,155freestylee – first-place in the $111 One Shot for $13,848*youngblood – first-place in the $215 Warrior for $13,450*EZfold55 – first-place in the $55 Gladiator for $12,138* *includes bounty payments partypoker MILLIONS Online Schedule Features MEGA High Roller and $5m GTD Main Event Peter Traply Nets Sunday Super Sonic Top Prize Peter Traply Peter “Belabasci” Traply triumphed in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Supersonic and banked a cool $20,378. That only tells part of the story, however, because the Sunday Supersonic is a hyper-turbo structured tournament meaning Traply’s victory only took one-hour 13-minutes for an hourly rate of $16,750, which is nice work if you can get it! Runner-up “mindreader007” and third-place finisher “acesdesigner” were the two other finalists whose $215 swelled to a five-figure score. Second-place weighed in at $14,591 with the third-place finisher collecting $10,448. $215 Sunday Supersonic Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Peter “Belabasci” TraplyHungary$20,378 2mindreader007United Kingdom$14,591 3acesdesignerBrazil$10,448 4LilharmisFinland$7,481 5Michiel “utreg” BrummelhuisNetherlands$5,356 6Felipe “ultraviol3nt” OlivieriArgentina$3,835 Dutch Star Wins High Roller Sunday Supersonic “Daenarys T” from the Netherlands took down the $1,050 edition of the Sunday Supersonic and did so in a mere one hour and five-minutes. This meant their $24,032 prize was worth $22,251 per hour! There were some awesome players at the six-handed final table, including runner-up Bruno “botteonpoker” Botteon and third-place finisher Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle. The day, however, belonged to former Sunday Million champion Daenarys T. PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Daenarys TNetherlands$24,032 2Bruno “botteonpoker” BotteonBrazil$18,451 3Benjamin “bencb789” RolleAustria$14,166 4Viktor “papan9_p$” UstimovRussia$10,876 5blackaces93Poland$8,350 6Andy “wiisssppppaa” TaylorUnited Kingdom$6,410 Other Highlights From PokerStars 13shaun – first-place in the $1,050 Sunday High Roller for $60,576Aleksei “AS Leshiy” Smirnov – first-place in the $215 Bounty Builder for $31,476*RaiseUpBlind – first-place in he $1,050 Sunday Cooldown for $29,468*yuhei33 – first-place in the $109 Bounty Builder for $29,419*Felipe “lipe piv” Boianovsky – first-place in the $215 Bounty Builder for $29,289*babecallme – first-place in the $109 Sunday Cooldown for $27,227*Black88 – first-place in the $215 Sunday Warm-Up for $17,941Artur “marathur1” Martirosian – first-place in the $1,050 Sunday Warm-Up for $17,814planty07/08 – first-place in the $109 Sunday Kickoff for $15,407Chris “ImDaNuts” Oliver – first-place in the Hotter $215 for $13,872*Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche – first-place in the $215 Fat Sunday for $11,782Christian “WATnlos” Rudolph – first-place in the $530 Sunday Marathon for $11,116 *includes bounty payments Get Ready for 107 MicroMillions Events Across Only Four Days! maestro1908 Grabs the $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep Title at 888poker The $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep had been hitting its guarantee lately but it reverted to type on February 14 when 892 players bought in to leave 888poker nursing a $10,800 overlay. “maestro1908” netted the $16,350 top prize after defeating the United Kingdom’s “needabridge” heads-up, leaving the Brit to bank $11,900. The $30,000 Sunday Challenge PKO performed much better with the 335 entrants ensuring the $30,000 guarantee was beaten by $3,500. “troms18” was the last player standing, a result that saw $6,327 head to their account. Swedish star “VnilaVader” was the tournament’s runner-up; they scooped $3,464 with bounties included. 888poker Giving Away $100,000 in 24/7 Freeroll Festival All This Month The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in Oddschecker Global Media, the parent company of PokerNews.
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Serena’s husband rips tennis administrator after win
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Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian has fired another shot at Madrid Open owner Ion Tiriac after Williams booked yet another Australian Open semi-final appearance.Williams was in imperious form in her quarter-final clash against Simona Halep, thoroughly dismantling the No.2 seed en-route to a 6-3 6-3 win at Rod Laver Arena.Watch the Australian Open with live streams of every court at 9Now. Click here to start watching!The 39-year-old has looked extremely sprightly after being forced to pull out of the French Open early last year through injury, chasing down balls defensively with the same ferocity she did earlier in her career. Williams' vintage showing so far in the Australian Open has silenced many of her critics who believed her chances of winning another Grand Slam title were slim, with Tiriac one of the more vocal critics.Williams was in untouchable form against Simona Halep in her Australian Open quarter-final clash (Getty)Following Williams' dominant display against Halep and advanced to her 40th Grand Slam semi-final, Ohanian made sure to stick the boot into Tiriac on social media."Good thing no one listens to that racist sexist (clown) Tiriac," he tweeted.The tweet wasn't the first time Ohanian had taken aim at Tiriac and called him racist and sexist, after also doing so late last year when Tiriac called out Williams' physique."At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago," Tiriac said on Romanian TV."Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire." Williams' improved lateral movement has stood out so far in her Australian Open campaign, with her agility a far cry from the version of her fans saw in Melbourne Park last year when she was hampered by ankle and Achilles issues.Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou admitted this week that her withdrawal from the French Open last year had allowed the 23-time Grand Slam winner to get out of a "vicious circle".Williams' lateral movement has been noticeably improved after she had been hampered by injuries (Getty)"We've been struggling those last years because she had a lot of injuries, so she was not able to practice the way we wanted," he said."It's a bit of a vicious circle because when you can't practice well, you don't get fit. When you're not fit, you get more injured. We had to get out of this vicious circle."In Roland Garros she had an injury that could get really worse, and that would have been extremely bad. That was definitely the right decision to stop, to heal, and to start working hard because she was able after that to do the necessary work in order to get fit."Now we're more in a virtuous circle than a vicious one. You have to start that virtuous circle by being fit, then everything goes better."For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
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Lahore Qalandars appoint Shaheen Shah as vice-captain for PSL 6
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Karachi: Lahore Qalandars have appointed pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi as the vice-captain for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six. The 20-year-old Shaheen has been with the Qalandars since the third edition of the PSL and has emerged as the core member of the franchise. Aaqib Javed, LQ’s director of Cricket said that Shaheen Shah Afridi is face of Lahore Qalandars. His dedication towards Qalandars’ mindset is remarkable. “Shaheen Afridi is a world class cricketer with exceptional bowling skills, his commitment and dedication for the team is unmatched and he is keen to take the team to the next level” said Aqib Javed. Shaheen Afridi, in his message, thanked the Lahore Qalandars management and aimed to contribute towards team’s success. “I am thankful to Lahore Qalandars’ management for this opportunity and really looking forward to play my part in success of Lahore Qalandars team” said Shaheen Afridi in his message. Shaheen has taken 34 wickets in 27 matches. He was Qalandars’ leading-wicket taker of PSL 2020. Read: Multan Sultans announce Mohammad Rizwan as captain for PSL 6 Comments comments Previous articlePakistani mountaineer Asad climbs Africa’s highest peak within 24 hours
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Jalen Green leads Ignite to 4-0 start in NBA G League
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Team Ignite’s Jalen Green. G LEAGUE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines — Jalen Green sustained his torrid start to lead Team Ignite’s comeback win over the Iowa Wolves, 97-90, in the NBA G League Tuesday at AdventHealth Arena in Florida. The 6-foot-6 Fil-American fired a career-high 22 points as Ignite stretched its unbeaten run to four games. He has now scored at least 20 points for the third straight game. Green, who also collected six rebounds and five assists, capped off his solid outing with a layup for a 96-90 lead with 12.2 seconds left. #GLeagueIgnite remains undefeated at 4-0 take a look inside its hot start as told by head coach Brian Shaw pic.twitter.com/MVggNlGLR7 — NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 16, 2021 Ignite trailed by as many as 11 early in the fourth quarter before going on a 25-7 run to take control of the game. Donta Hall added 12 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for Ignite, which still awaits the arrival of Filipino center Kai Sotto. UNCERTAIN However, coach Brian Shaw said he doesn’t have a say yet on whether Sotto will be able to play right away when he returns. “That’ll be something that will be determined by the people that are above my paygrade,” said Shaw during a media availability. Sotto came back to the Philippines hoping to suit up for the national team in the third and final window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers in Doha this month. But the tournament was postponed again with the Philippines back as the host. The 7-foot-3 Sotto is expected to rejoin Ignite in the G League’s bio-secure facility in Orlando as soon as he clears strict quarantine measures. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Australian Open 2021 Quarterfinal 2 Preview: Key players, time in India, where to watch, full schedule of AO2021 inside
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Australian Open 2021 Quarterfinal 2 Preview: Key players, time in India, where to watch, Day 10 full schedule inside- The Australian Open 2021 quarterfinals 2 will be played on Wednesday (February 18). Key players–Ash Barty, Jessica Pegula, Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas– will play in the quarterfinals of the year’s first grand slam– AO2021. While Rafael Nadal is aiming for his record 21st Grand Slam titles, above other players are in search of their major. Ahead of the action-packed quarterfinal 2, here is the complete schedule of Australian Open 2021 quarterfinal Day 10: Also Read: Australian Open 2021 | Serena Williams overpowers Simona Halep to reach 40th Grand Slam semifinal   Australian Open Quarterfinal 2- Order of Play on Day 10   Venue: Rod Laver Arena   Women’s singles 1 Ash Barty vs K Muchova 25 22 J Brady vs J Pegula   Men’s singles 7 A Rublev vs D Medvedev 4 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Rafael Nadal 2   Also Read: Australian Open 2021| Aslan Karatsev stuns Grigor Dimitrov to enter semifinals     Where to watch Aus Open 2021 quarterfinal 2? The Australian Open 2021 quarterfinal 1 live stream will be aired on SONY SIX, SONY TEN2, SONY TEN3 and OTT platform SONY SIX in Hindi and English language.   When to watch Australian Open 2021 quarterfinals? The live stream of Australian Open quarterfinals will begin at 5.30 AM IST.   Check complete Australian Open 2021 quarterfinal, semifinal and final schedule below:   16-17 February – Men’s and women’s singles quarter-finals 18 February – Women’s semi-finals and first men’s semi-final 19 February – Second men’s semi-final 20 February – Women’s final 21 February – Men’s final   For all the latest results, news, insights and updates from Australian Open 2021 and other sports news, follow us at insidesport.co
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Jessica Pegula, daughter of Bills and Sabres owners, pulls off massive Australian Open upset
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Jessica Pegula. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)Packers: 3 moves Green Bay can make thanks to David Bakhtiari by Rucker Haringey Jessica Pegula continues her magical run at the 2021 Australian Open, knocking off the No. 5 player in the world to get to the quarterfinals.Jessica Pegula is one match away from getting to the 2021 Australian Open semifinals. The daughter of Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula just pulled off an incredible upset in the fourth round on Sunday, defeating the No. 5 player in the world Elina Svitolina 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals. Pegula faces No. 22 Jennifer Brady on Tuesday.This was the 26-year-old’s first victory over a top-10 opponent, as well as her first trip to a Grand Slam quarterfinal. It will be an All-American quarterfinal between Pegula and Brady on Tuesday.“It’s an opportunity for both of us,” said Pegula after defeating Svitolina on Sunday at Rod Laver. “I’m just happy I’m here. She’s been playing some good tennis, solidifying herself as a top player.”Perhaps the Bills’ success will continue to carry over to Pegula in Australia?The Bills are coming off their best season in Pegula’s lifetime. Buffalo had not hosted a playoff game since before she was born. While the Sabres continue to not do much of anything on the NHL side of things, the Bills were one win away from making their fifth trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history. The Bills should be one of the top five teams in the NFL again next season.While Pegula’s remarkable run in Melbourne may be coming to an end soon, being able to knock off the No. 5 player in the sport in such a high-profile event as the Australian Open is a huge accomplishment. Pegula is in her athletic prime and with one more victory over a ranked opponent, she will be one of the last four women’s tennis players remaining in this tournament.Pegula’s run in the 2021 Australian Open has been one of the better stories of the entire event.
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PSL remains ‘strong,’ in talks with GMA 7 for broadcast deal
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FILE PHOTO – PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico during the 2020 league opening. TRISTAN TAMAYO/INQUIRER.net Despite encountering turbulent times, the Philippine Superliga is in the process of engaging a new television partner in GMA 7. PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico announced Tuesday at the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum that league officials look forward to forging an alliance with the Kapuso network since breaking up with TV5 has become inevitable. “We remain as strong as before and even stronger now because the teams that we have are very committed. As we speak today, we are starting negotiations with GMA 7 as our new TV partner,’’ said Juico. Once the deal has been sealed, GMA 7 will air the league’s beach volleyball tournament starting Feb. 26, featuring eight teams in a bubble tournament in Subic Bay, Zambales. Juico said the PSL currently has four teams—Sta. Lucia, F2 Logistics, Chery Tiggo and a guest squad in Petro Gazz—while the league is seeking to add two to three more teams as soon as the GMA 7 partnership has been finalized. He added Generika, Petron and Marinerang Pilipina took a leave from the league and reports have it that Cignal has decided to move ship to the Philippine Volleyball League. “If Cignal is joining the other league, we have no other sensible reason to stay at TV5. We have to adjust to the reality of the situation and the signs of the times,’’ said Juico during the weekly forum backed by Smart, Go For Gold, Milo, San Miguel Corporation, Braska and Pagcor. But while the PVL has gone professional under the supervision of the Games and Amusements Board, the PSL, which decided to move the projected March opening of its indoor volleyball to a later date, has opted to remain non-professional. “Our board, our team owners, the ones who are still with us really want to stay non-professional. We realized that there is really no room for two professional (volleyball) leagues in this country,’’ said Juico. “What good will that do to Philippine sports development? It doesn’t make strategic sense. Why do we have to move up if there is already a (pro) league there? We’ll just stay here where we are happy and have created a niche,’’ added Juico. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Thurston weighing up return to Maroons
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Johnathan Thurston says he'll strongly consider joining Queensland's State of Origin coaching staff if offered a role for the 2021 series.The Maroons legend, who made 37 Origin appearances is widely tipped to serve as an assistant under newly appointed Queensland coach Paul Green."Once you're in it it's very consuming, I love the Maroon jersey everything about it, so yeah if I get asked yeah I'd certainly consider it," Thurston said.JT toasts the aggression reignited into Origin: JT's Roast and Toast"I've got to talk to the boss first because four young kids at home, eight, six, four and two this year they are. The eight-year-old is going on 18 so it's tough times for the wife."Thurston and Green combined as captain and coach to deliver the Cowboys' first NRL premiership in 2015 and JT believes his former mentor will make a seamless transition into Origin."There's been a lot of talk about his intensity and things like that, but it's State of Origin, it's the best players you're working with," Thurston said."It's about making sure everyone understands their role in the team and that's what he brought to the Cowboys. "He's one of the best footy brains going round Greeny, so I'm predicting our boys will go back-to-back with him at the helm."  What Origin means to QueenslandersThurston's home town of Townsville will host the first major match of the year when the NRL All Stars game kicks off on Saturday and he's advocating for North Queensland to stage a State of Origin match as well. "Yeah 100 percent. Not only can we hopefully attract an Origin game but hopefully we can attract teams from other codes to come and play because it's a world class stadium it's a world class high performance centre ... so that's what we want."For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
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Meet America’s 63rd National Park
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As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal government in December brought an unexpected and lasting gift: a new national park.The 5,593-page spending package included a raft of provisions authorizing little-known projects — the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota, for one — and giving lawmakers a chance to advance a variety of long-delayed initiatives. Among them was the elevation of the New River Gorge, in southern West Virginia, to the status of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the country’s other most renowned outdoor spaces. The designation of the area — roughly 72,000 acres of land flanking 53 miles of the gorge — as a national park and preserve creates the 63rd national park in the United States and completes a multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.“Towards the end of this year, with these big bills coming down, I decided to strike,” said Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the state’s junior senator, who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced the New River Gorge legislation in 2019.“This was the right opportunity,” she said.A draw for rafters, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiastsThe gorge and its surroundings have been prized for decades as one of southern West Virginia’s more spectacular natural places.In 1963, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution seeking to designate the New River Gorge as a “national playground,” preparing to send the proposal to President John F. Kennedy, whose primary campaign was lifted substantially through support from West Virginia voters. But momentum to create a national recreation area stalled after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination later that year.Though the gorge remained a curiosity among rafters and outdoor enthusiasts, the area only received federal protection from the Interior Department in 1978, when it was designated a national river.Now, the outdoor offerings in the gorge have come to define the area as a premier destination for adventure sports in the East.The New River plunges 750 feet over 66 miles, resulting in long stretches of violent rapids that can reach a class five level, generally considered the most difficult that can be navigated by white-water boaters. (Licensed outfitters operate in several towns near the river, providing rentals and tours for rafting and kayaking.)The canyon walls, which soar as high as 1,600 feet, offer miles of cliffs that rank among the best in the East Coast for rock climbing. Sheer faces in the gorge made of robust Nuttall sandstone provide both traditional and sport-climbing routes across the difficulty spectrum.Bike routes are scattered throughout the park on both sides of the river, with options for both technical mountain biking and more casual pedaling along former railroad beds.A glimpse back in timeAccording to the National Park Service, geologists believe the New River — its name a misnomer used by early American explorers who often assigned the same name to any river they came upon for the first time — was a segment of the preglacial Teays River. This larger river, which traversed much of the current Ohio River watershed, was later diverted and broken up by glaciers. The age of the Teays is uncertain, but fossil evidence suggests it could be as much as 320 million years old, leaving its remnant, the New River, as quite possibly the second oldest river in the world.Beyond the millions of years of geological history on display, the gorge is also filled with signs of the region’s heritage as a major coal production hub.Miners once capitalized on the easy access to rich deposits of high-quality bituminous coal in the canyon, where the river had already shorn through hundreds of feet of rock. Especially after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway linked the New River coal fields to markets in 1873, dozens of boom towns popped up along the river’s edge, thriving well into the 1920s.In 1963, a coal mine was still operating in the gorge, said Dave Arnold, a state tourism commissioner who operated a rafting company for more than 40 years.“In ’76 or ’77, if you were in my boat, we’d have been floating down the river and I would have been showing you, ‘here’s an old coal tipple, here’s the old hotel at Caperton, here’s this and that,’” he said.The demand for coal around the turn of the twentieth century was so high that towns existed every half mile along up the river, according to the Park Service. As the industry went into decline, however, by the 1950s many were already abandoned, leaving ghost towns scattered throughout the gorge. Additionally, logging during the late nineteenth century stripped vast portions of the gorge bare, clearing enormous swaths of virgin forest.The park contains the remnants of communities such as Nuttallburg and Kaymoor, which still stand near the riverbank and are accessible from points higher up. Seams of exposed coal are visible along some trails leading into the gorge and its towns, where abandoned mine portals and the foundations of coke ovens remain.Restoring an ecosystem with diverse wildlifeDespite the environmental degradation and pollution that industry unleashed, some unique ecological features make the gorge well-suited to a diverse combination of wildlife, which has slowly reappeared as time has passed.The river lies at the center of a migration corridor where plants and animals that typically range further north or south come together, including several federally endangered and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat and the Allegheny woodrat.According to Lizzie Watts, the park’s superintendent, the river itself is also notably warmer than surrounding areas, making it a popular warm-water fishing destination with more than a dozen public access points. The river is one of the premier spots for smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast, and muskellunge and walleye are common in the park today.“The next generation will have the opportunity to see what, in the last 150 years, it looks like when an area goes from being logged and mined to left alone,” Ms. Watts said. “The ecosystem has come back to full trees and mature forests.”As federal protections took effect after the Park Service began overseeing the area as a national river in 1978, wildlife has largely recovered, and many see an opportunity to showcase the region’s natural elegance.“To show off our rock climbing, our extreme sports availabilities in that area, is just really exciting,” said Ms. Capito of what she described as a “kind of wild and wonderful part of our state.” ‘The cream of the crop’The National Park Service, created in 1916, oversees more than 400 areas across the country, including national monuments, seashores and battlefields as well as parks, which together total more than 85 million acres.While the new title for New River Gorge does not fundamentally alter the area’s day-to-day operations, both lawmakers and the Park Service tend to view “national parks” as the crown jewels of the park system — a protection granted to some of the largest and most prized tracts of the country.“National Park status is usually considered like the cream of the crop,” Ms. Watts said. “But it really is just another one of those names.”The New River Gorge does not match the scale of many national parks in the western United States, where Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone sprawl over more than 1 million acres each.Nevertheless, officials expect the new designation to bring a substantial influx of travelers, boosted in part by a dedicated set of enthusiasts who strive to visit every national park.In typical years, around 1.3 million travelers visit the gorge, according to the Park Service’s tourism data. Based on studies of other areas that received national park status, Ms. Capito said she expects to see visitors increase by as much as 20 percent.“It does feel like the very beginning stages of transformation for the whole area,” said Becky Sullivan, the executive director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’ll be very, very interested to see where we are in about 10 years.”Maintaining the community and its favored pastimesAs unique outdoor attractions throughout the Appalachian region have gained more national visibility, some concern has grown over the idea of a wealthy and mobile set from out of state trampling the communities adjacent to these places.West Virginia remains the second-poorest state in the country in terms of median household income, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau. And while tourism has brought a needed injection of wealth to areas all around the gorge, it has also changed the makeup of neighboring communities, as more people have come to visit the park or settle down near it.Interest in the natural offerings around the park has brought slow but measurable change for small towns nearby like Fayetteville. Officials say that the advent of remote work during the pandemic has only hastened a trend of properties in the area being repurposed for vacation rentals and outsiders snapping up second homes.“You cannot find a house for sale in Fayetteville, because they’re just in such high demand,” said Sharon Cruikshank, the town’s mayor. “So that definitely changed the budgeting of the town as well as the county.”When legislation was first introduced to designate the area as a national park, pushback came from some locals. Hunters have long enjoyed access to secluded sections of woods around the gorge, and with hunting prohibited in federal parks, some protested the potential loss of thousands of acres of hunting grounds.In a compromise, more than 65,000 acres of the total area were designated as a nature preserve where hunting can continue as before, and only roughly 7,000 acres directly within the canyon are officially off limits as national parkland. A provision was included to empower the park to acquire more than 3,000 acres of private land around its current boundaries as well, to expand the size of the preserve and add public hunting grounds.In a nod to tradition, the legislation also enshrines the right for visitors to continue to make use of one of the park’s most famous features — the New River Gorge Bridge — at least once a year.BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which jumpers parachute from elevated structures or cliffs, is banned in every other national park.But, since 1980, BASE jumpers have been permitted to plunge from the top of the 876-foot-high bridge and parachute down toward the river once a year, on Bridge Day, held one Saturday in October. The legislation designating the area as a national park allows that tradition to continue.As many as 100,000 people typically come to watch the jumpers plunge, according to Ms. Sullivan, providing a major boost for businesses in the region. The event has only been canceled twice, including last year because of the coronavirus.Bridge Day’s organizers advise jumpers that the only dependable way to touch down safely is to plan to land directly in the river. In normal years, hundreds do so, often multiple times that day, gliding down and softly hitting the New River’s waters.
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