Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 21st 2013 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 21, 2013
Spain s reign as European bas-
ketball champion yesterday with
a 75--72 overtime victory behind
32 points from Tony Parker to set
up a final against Lithuania.
Two-time defending champion
Spain led by 14 points at halftime
but Parker made a 3-pointer to
give France its first lead of the sec-
ond half, 64--43, with two minutes
After Marc Gasol made a
jumper, Alexis Ajinca made a free
throw for France with 40 seconds
left to tie it up, and both teams
missed chances to win in regula-
tion. Parker and Antoine Diot then
scored France s last eight points
from the line in OT to keep their
team in front and Gasol missed a
desperation three at the buzzer.
Diot was the only other French
player in double figures with ten
points, while Gasol led Spain with
19 points and nine rebounds and
Rudy Fernandez scored 17. Point
guard Ricky Rubio was largely inef-
fective, with two points, one assist
and four turnovers.
Lithuania earlier reached its first
final since winning the title ten
years ago by beating Croatia 77--62.
Jonas Maciulis led Lithuania
with 23 points, Linas Kleiza added
22 and Mantas Kalnietis had 18 as
the three of them combined to
outscore Croatia. Lithuania centre
Jonas Valanciunas provided some
big defensive plays with five blocks,
while Bojan Bogdanovic led Croatia
with 15 points.
"It was a difficult game mentally
because we knew how important
it was," Maciulis said. "Both teams
came out shot-shy and we were
the first to take the lead."
Lithuania went on an 18--3 run
to start the third quarter that
decided the game. Maciulis scored
two consecutive 3-pointers and
made a jump shot during that run,
while Kalnietis added seven points.
Lithuania also used a big third
quarter to beat Italy in Thursday s
"They came out in the second
half and took a great advantage,
we could not catch up," Croatia
forward Damjan Rudez said.
Lithuania won the European title
in 2003 and was bronze medalist
at the 2010 worlds but has not made
the podium in Europe since taking
bronze in 2007 and lost in the quar-
terfinals at home two years ago.
"It was an important win for
our generation, to show that we
can play well and win a medal. We
are trying to prove to people who
thought we were not a good team
that we can win," Maciulis said.
Croatia coach Jasmin Repesa
said Lithuania "played much bet-
ter" than his team, which will play
for the bronze medal.
"They are bigger, faster, more
athletic," Repesa said.
Earlier, Pooh Jeter scored 10 of
his game-high 20 points in the
fourth quarter to lead Ukraine to
a 66--58 victory over Italy and earn
a spot at next year s World Cup.
It will be Ukraine s first trip to
France to play
EuroBasket final ATLANTA---Tiger Woods was doing
his best to get back into the mix yes-
terday at the Tour Championship.
The last five holes changed every-
Woods made a double bogey from
the trees and a triple bogey with a tee
shot into the water. That turned one
of the best rounds of the day into a
1-over 71 that kept him at the bottom
of the pack.
"I put everything I had into that
start and didn t have much at the end,"
Woods said. "Just ran out of gas."
Woods made his first birdie of the
tournament on his 21st hole, a ten-
foot putt on No 3 that he thought he
missed. He made four birdies in a six-
hole stretch around the turn and was
5 under for his round through 13 holes,
and four shots behind Henrik Stenson,
who had yet to tee off.
That was as close as he got.
His tee shot on the 14th bounced
off a tree and went deeper into the
woods. He didn t think he could punch
out to the fairway, so he tried a high
fade through a gap in the trees to get
into a bunker, allowing him a reason-
able chance to save par. But it came
out soft and settled about 50 yards
short of the green. His next attempt
over a tree went into the bunker, and
Woods made double bogey.
After a bogey on the 16th---a tee
shot toward trees on the right and a
poor chip---Woods hit his 3-wood left
all the way and into the water.
"My legs were just tired," Woods
said. "I didn t rotate through the ball."
He dropped on a forward tee, and
his fourth shot with a sand wedge
came up short of the green and rolled
down a slope. Woods went with a
putter, but his ball didn t quite reach
the green. Two putts led to a triple
He was at 4-over 144 for the tour-
nament. It was the first time since
the 2011 PGA Championship that
Woods started a tournament with
back-to-back rounds over par.
Woods never directly answered
questions about his health, specifically
"I m tired," he said.
Asked if his back was OK, he replied,
"It s been just a long, long grind."
Woods entered the Tour Champi-
onship as the No 1 seed in the FedEx
Cup. While he s not likely to win the
tournament, he could still win the $10
million prize if Stenson, Adam Scott,
Zach Johnson or Matt Kuchar did not
win. Stenson and Scott were at the
top of the leaderboard. (AP)
Woods finishes over
par again at East Lake
SINGAPORE---Red Bull driver Sebas-
tian Vettel again stamped himself the
man to beat by setting the fastest time
in yesterday s practice for the Singa-
pore Grand Prix.
Chasing his third straight win in For-
mula One s annual night race and seem-
ingly headed for a fourth successive
drivers championship, Vettel set a time
of one minute, 44.249 seconds on the
Marina Bay circuit; six tenths of a sec-
ond clear of teammate Mark Webber.
Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and
Lewis Hamilton were the nearest rivals,
but third-placed Rosberg was more
than a second slower than Vettel.
"The time we set was a surprise
today, I got a good lap in, but I don t
think it s completely representative,"
Vettel said. "We seem to be quick, but
Mercedes will be very strong in qual-
Lotus driver Sebastian Grosjean had
steering problems in the early session
and a hydraulic failure in the late one,
but was still fifth quickest, outper-
forming his more experienced teammate
Kimi Raikkonen in eighth.
Ferrari s Fernando Alonso---who reit-
erated his commitment to the team on
Friday amid speculation of a move to
McLaren---was sixth, ahead of
McLaren s Jenson Button. Force India s
Adrian Sutil and McLaren s Sergio Perez
were ninth and tenth.
There were few incidents over the
two 90-minute sessions. Williams Pas-
tor Maldonado went nose-first into
one of the concrete barriers that hem
the street circuit but the car had only
minor front-wing damage.
The lack of problems was a testament
to both the track surface, which has
more grip this year after resurfacing,
and the concentration of drivers who
must go through 78 gear changes per
lap on the twisty circuit, while dealing
with the intense heat of driving under
floodlights in the tropical climate.
Vettel s performance was dispiriting
for his rivals, who need a dip in the
German s imperious form if they are
to reel in the already-comfortable 53-
point lead he holds in the champi-
onship. Should he top the times in Sat-
urday s qualifying, that lead is likely to
be extended further as Vettel has con-
verted his past three pole positions this
season into race wins.
About the only bad news for Vettel
on Thursday was a 200-euro fine for
speeding in the pit lane in the first
The yawning one-second gap
between Vettel and third-placed Ros-
berg was a surprise, given that Mercedes
had hoped that a return to a tight, high-
downforce circuit would negate the
speed advantage Red Bull enjoyed in
Belgium and Italy.
Mercedes had taken the pole-and-
win double at both Monaco and Hun-
gary, the two other races with compa-
rable race settings.
"There are some big gaps on the
timesheets but we need to focus on
our own program and not get distracted
by what our competitors are doing,"
Mercedes F1 executive director Toto
Wolff said. (AP)
Vettel fastest in 2nd
practice for Singapore GP
Tsonga stayed on course for his
third straight Open de Moselle
title by beating Germany s Tobias
Kamke 4--6, 6--3, 6--4 yesterday
to reach the semifinals.
Tsonga has won ten career titles
but only one this year at the Open
13 in Marseille in February. This is
Tsonga s first tournament since a
knee injury forced him to drop out
of his second-round match at
The 80th-ranked Kamke has
never won an ATP tournament and
it was only his second quarterfinal
of the season.
He saved eight break points in
the first set and converted his first
against Tsonga to move ahead.
Tsonga then broke Kamke once
in the second and third sets and
next faces eighth-seeded Florian
Mayer of Germany, who rallied to
beat Argentina s Carlos Berlocq
5--7, 6--4, 7--5 to reach his second
semi this season.
Saturday s other semi is an all-
French match between Gilles
Simon and Nicolas Mahut.
Simon beat sixth-seeded Sam
Querrey 6--4, 7--6 (1) and Simon
did not face a single break point
in a Simon, who did not face a
single break point, next plays coun-
tryman Nicolas Mahut after he
beat Germany s Benjamin Becker
Simon took control of the
tiebreaker by hitting a forehand
passer down the line to open up
a 3--1 lead.
He then forced an error at the
net from Querrey, who swiped his
racket in frustration after losing
the next point. Simon opened his
shoulders to hit a crisp forehand
winner that set up five match
points and he converted the first
when Querrey s awkward shot sank
into the net.
The 31-year-old Mahut is blos-
soming late in his career and won
his first two singles titles this sum-
Simon, the 2010 champion, is
chasing his first title of the season
after reaching his fifth semifinal
of the year. (AP)
Tsonga, Simon reach Open de Moselle semis
Spain's Ricky Rubio, background, tries to pick the ball from France's
Tony Parker during their EuroBasket European Basketball
Championship semifinal match at the Stozice Arena, in Ljubljana,
Slovenia, yesterday. France won 75--72 in overtime. AP PHOTO
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