Offside with Ken Gadaffi: Vol 1.37

CBL set to return with hoop dreams

The 2016 Cambodia Basketball League (CBL), sponsored by Angkor beer, will tip off at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena on June 25 with the season involving 10 teams stretching all the way up to September 24.

The launch of the new season was announced by the Cambodia Basketball Federation at a news conference held at the headquarters of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Recently.

The secretary-general of the CBF and League Commissioner Kao Kanaly told the media that matches would be played during the weekends.

A team should consist of 16 members, including a head coach, an assistant coach and a manager, with a maximum of 12 players for each game. The roster should include at least three players of Cambodian origin.

Registration for each team has been fixed at $500 each with enrollment ending at 5pm on May 31. Cash prizes and medals will be on offer for the top three finishers.

The winner will be assured of $3,000, while the runners-up will get $2,000 and the third-placed team $1,000.

Capital half marathon set for June

The 6th edition of the Phnom Penh International Half Marathon is to be held on June 12. At a press conference at National Olympic Committee of Cambodia’s headquarters on Monday, the organising committee announced that the event was being held to celebrate Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk’s birthday and Olympic Day, promote the environment and a clean city, and to fundraise for Kantha Bopha hospital.

The event has so far attracted more than 1,000 local runners and 100 foreigners from over 27 different countries.

NOCC President Vath Chamroeun said: “The final registration process will happen in front of the Royal Palace from June 9-11, and I expect there will be between 5,000 and 15,000 participants.”

There will be three categories in the event, including a 21km run, a 10km run and a 3km fun and family run.

 

Sophon leads charge in third junior nationals

Thu, 26 May 2016

H S Manjunath

The three-day Third National Junior Tennis Tournament takes centre stage on Friday at the National Training Center with a highly competitive field including previous-outing winner Sen Sophon from Kep lining up for the boys under-18 singles honours.

The upper crust of the country’s junior talent will be in action, including the two leading players on the female side, Hour Sreypov and Ho Sreynoch.

The centrepiece of the competition will be the boys U18, where the presence of Junior Davis Cup players Tep Timothy, Khleang Punlok and Chheang Vannasith adds depth to a field likely to be dominated by Kep poster boy Sophon and the fast emerging Long Sarinreach, who has made tremendous strides in the past few months.

Sophon and Sarinreach are set to renew their fierce rivalry as seen in their three-set battle for the title in the second edition earlier this year.

Of added interest is the participation in the U12 and U14 categories of girls from the Happy Chandara school for disadvantaged girls just outside Phnom Penh, who were introduced to the game last year.

The tournament is being sponsored by Hagar Restaurant and Catering, who like in previous editions will provide the players with meals at the competition.

Meanwhile, four national junior players, Ho Sreynoch, Khleang Punlok, Sen Sophon and Leng Sarinreach, will attend a 12-day ITF-ATF U16 Development Training Camp in Bangkok to be held under the auspices of the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand after the Juniors. The players will be assisted by travelling coach Laura Pola.

Swimming Uniform A Problem for Women Swimmers

At a time when the kingdom is striving to improve on its female participation in Sports, the Khmer Swimming Federation Secretary Hem Kiri has identified the Social factors attributed to the Swimmng gears as the cause of the lack of women in the field of Swimming in Cambodia

The Secretary General explained that most parents don’t want their daughters to come to the entertainment industry such as swimming, because the sport uses uniforms that reveals the body

Hem Kiri thus called on Parents to consider allowing their daughters to participate in Swimming.

However, the head of the federation’s commitment to mobilize women, because only 20 or them are currently in the National Camp which is not sufficient for Khmer Swimming.

Currently, the federation Khmer Youth Swimming academy training consist of 100 people, both at the Phnom Penh city and Kampong Cham province pools.

INTERNATIONAL SPORTS UPDATES

Dejdamrong Confident Ahead of Defense

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Unbeaten ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (6-0) puts his belt on the line against fellow undefeated fighter, Yoshitaka Naito (10-0) of Japan this Friday, May 27, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. And although Naito is known for his ability to take fights to the ground, Dejdamrong feels confident he’ll be able to keep the fight standing.

“[Naito] should be worried about standing and fighting Muay Thai with me,” said the former three-time Lumpinee Stadium champion.

The 37-year old Dejdamrong won Lumpinee’s 105-pound belt twice and the 108-pound strap once, elevating him to legendary status in the world of Muay Thai. In six bouts with ONE Championship, Dejdamrong’s striking became the main attraction of his journey to winning the ONE strawweight title.

He plans to use those striking skills to his advantage on fight night.

Zidane Praises Rival Diego Simeone

MADRID (Reuters) – Zinedine Zidane had few equals as a player but heading into his first Champions League final as a coach, he admits that unlike Atletico Madrid counterpart Diego Simeone he still has much to learn.

The former France playmaker, who was promoted from Real’s reserve team to replace Rafa Benitez in January, steered the side to a runners-up finish in La Liga and Saturday’s final in Milan.

Real have won 21 out of 26 games under Zidane and lost two, scoring 71 goals and giving away 18. Simeone led Atletico to their second Champions League final in three years.

“He has everything that a coach needs but above all, he knows his team and his players well, which is the most important thing,” Zidane told a news conference on Tuesday.

“I have a lot to learn but my enthusiasm to learn is tremendous. This will make me improve. I still have a long journey to be an important coach.”

Saturday cannot come soon enough for Zidane, who could become the seventh man to win the European Cup as a player and a coach. His spectacular volley in the final in Glasgow in 2002 gave Real their ninth European title and they claimed a record 10th crown in 2014.

Real failed to beat Atletico in La Liga this season, losing 1-0 at home and drawing 1-1 at the Vicente Calderon stadium,

 

Easy for Djokovic and Nadal, Murray Suffers

PARIS (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams barely got their shoes dusty at the French Open on Tuesday but two of the top five women’s seeds went out and Andy Murray survived the first round by the skin of his teeth.

World number one Djokovic, back on the Philippe Chatrier Court where Stan Wawrinka snatched the title from his grasp a year ago when a career slam loomed, crushed Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun 6-4 6-1 6-1.

Nadal found big-serving Australian Sam Groth even more compliant as the Spaniard began his tilt at a 10th Roland Garros title with a 6-1 6-1 6-1 victory.

Reigning champion and top seed Williams completed the Chatrier programme by polishing off Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 6-0.

Predictable day three most definitely was not, though.

Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who four months ago downed Williams to win the Australian Open, was sent tumbling out by flying Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens who won 6-2 3-6 6-3.

Third seed Kerber was troubled by a shoulder injury while later fifth seed Victoria Azarenka, the former world number one, hobbled out with a knee injury against Italy’s Karin Knapp when she trailed 4-0 in the deciding set.

Nadal’s only taste of a round-one defeat came at Wimbledon three years ago and there was never any chance of another meltdown as he leaked just three unforced errors.

World number two Murray is equally reliable – his last first-round exit coming at the 2008 Australian Open.

Westbrook Leads Thunder to Vital Win

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Oklahoma City Thunder moved within one victory of the NBA Finals after beating the Golden State Warriors 118-94 in Game Four on Tuesday.

Russell Westbrook collected 36 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma City grabbed a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals, thanks in large part to Westbrook’s first triple-double of the postseason.

Defending champions Golden State will attempt to stay alive on Thursday at home in Game 5.

Thunder forward Kevin Durant scored 26 points on 8-of-24 shooting to go with 11 rebounds. Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson each scored 17 points, while Steven Adams posted 11 points and seven boards.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points. League MVP Stephen Curry was held to 19 points on 6-of-20 shooting, and he and Thompson combined to make just six of 21 3-point attempts. Harrison Barnes posted 11 points in the loss.

The Warriors lost back-to-back games for the first time in the postseason after never losing consecutive games in the regular season during their record-setting, 73-win campaign. They fell by a combined 52 points over the two games in Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Warriors, who fell behind by 14, got back into the game without their superstars leading the way. It was the play of Barnes and Festus Ezeli that helped Golden State close the gap to two midway through the second quarter.

However, the Thunder kept pounding the boards and winning the hustle points. That included Adams getting to a loose ball outside the 3-point arc and firing a fastball pass to Roberson under the goal for a layup.

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