Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 19th 2014 Contents A64
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 19, 2014
SAN ANTONIO---Tim Duncan and
Tony Parker won titles in their second
seasons. Manu Ginobili was a cham-
pion as an NBA rookie.
Success came so quickly and fre-
quently for the Spurs' Big Three, but
San Antonio couldn't keep it up after
winning its last title in 2007. And just
when they were on the verge of being
back on top again last year, the Miami
Heat practically snatched the champi-
onship rings right off their fingers.
So when they finally celebrated again
on Sunday, players wrapping themselves
in flags from around the world in a
reminder that the Spurs look far beyond
the border to build champions, Parker
had no trouble deciding where to rank
"That's why I say it's the sweetest
one," Parker said, "because it's just
unbelievable to win seven years ago,
and to be so close last year, it was very
cruel. But that's the beauty of sport.
Sometimes it's tough. And sometimes
it can be beautiful like today."
The Spurs finished off a dominant
run to their fifth NBA championship,
ending the Heat's two-year title reign
with a 104-87 victory that wrapped up
the series in five games.
Painfully denied 12 months ago by
the Heat, this victory party was worth
"We got to this spot and we didn't
let it go," Ginobili said.
San Antonio erased an early 16-point
deficit and routed Miami for the fourth
time in the series. A year after the Spurs
suffered their only loss in six finals
appearances---a heartbreaking seven-
game defeat---they turned the rematch
into no match at all.
"We had a great first quarter, but
from that point on they were the better
team, and that's why they're the cham-
pions in 2014," said LeBron James, who
led the Heat with 31 points and ten
Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard had 22
points and ten rebounds for the Spurs,
who added this title to the ones they
won in 1999, 2003, 05 and 07 by
shooting a finals-record 52.8 per cent
in the series.
"They played exquisite basketball this
series and in particular these last three
games," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
A decade and a half after winning
their first title, the Spurs remain the
NBA's model organisation, a small-mar-
ket team that simply wins big and hardly
ever does it with a high draft pick.
Instead, they found players overseas or
in other organisations who would fit
the Spurs' way of doing things and
mesh with Duncan (US), Parker (France)
and Ginobili (Argentina), who have
teamed for 117 postseason victories, the
most by one trio. (AP)
Spurs top Heat to nab NBA title
Naved Arif, the former Sussex player who was
charged by the ECB with match-fixing, has been
banned for life after he admitted breaching the
board s Anti-Corruption Code. The ECB s decision
breaks new ground in the fight against cricket
corruption in England and Wales. It is the first
time that the governing body has concluded that
the outcome of a county match was fixed.
"Mr Arif pleaded guilty to six breaches of the
Code, all of which related to corrupt activity in
connection with the CB40 fixture between Sussex
and Kent at Hove in August 2011," the ECB said.
"His admissions were made in tape-recorded
interviews with the ECB's anti-corruption unit
and via signed statements. In accordance with the
provisions of the ECB Anti-Corruption Code, Mr
Arif has accepted an agreed sanction of a life ban
from all forms of cricket."
A statement from his solicitors said: "Mr Arif
regrets his conduct which has let himself, his team-
mates, Sussex County Cricket Club and the cricket
"He is deeply ashamed of his actions and, con-
sequently, bringing the game of cricket into dis-
repute. These actions were unacceptable and Mr
Arif has no excuses.
"Being banned from cricket, the game he loves,
is the most severe punishment he could receive.
Mr Arif is currently considering his future, having
learnt some painful lessons from his past.'' (AP)
ECB ban Naved
Arif for life
MELBOURNE---Former Sri Lanka spin great Muttiah
Muralitharan has gone from longtime adversary of
Australia to a coach of its national team. Cricket Aus-
tralia said yesterday that Muralitharan, who finished
with a record 800 test wickets, would help prepare
Australia s batsmen for a two-test series against Pak-
istan in the United Arab Emirates in October and
One of his tasks will be to familiarise Australians
with the "doosra" delivery, which has baffled them in
the past and is part of the armory of Pakistan's Saeed
Ajmal. "Ajmal bowls a little bit similar to me so perhaps
if I can bowl to the Australian batsman it might help
a little bit and give them some tips." Muralitharan said
in a statement.
Muralitharan, who made his test debut against Aus-
tralia in 1992, has had a checkered history in Australia
because of a suspect bowling action caused by a mild
arm deformity. His seemingly bent arm and a strong
wrist rotation caught the eye of Australian umpire
Darrell Hair, who called the Sri Lanka spinner for
"chucking"---or bowling with an illegal action---during
a test match at Melbourne in 1995.
A scientific analysis ordered by the International
Cricket Council determined that his bent arm caused
an optical illusion of throwing and he was cleared to
continue bowling in international cricket. (AP)
Muralitharan to help
coach Australian team
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