Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Lynx capture 4th WNBA title, overcome Sparks in 5 games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue answers questions during a press conference introducing Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder & Ante Zizic at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 7, 2017 in Independence, Ohio. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFPCLEVELAND — For Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, the shootings in Las Vegas became personal.Lue said he personally knows three people who were shot Sunday night when a gunman armed with assault rifles smashed open to hotel windows and opened fire on concert-goers, killing 59 and wounding more than 500 in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City “Whatever we can do to try to eliminate these types of situations, I’m all for it,” he said. “I’m not really a political guy who says what you should do. Whatever we can do to stop these types of violent acts, I’m all for it.” MOST READ Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Lue, who has lived in Las Vegas over the past nine summers, said he knew about 15 people who were at the show.“Just a horrible thing to have to go through, especially when I lived there for nine years and knowing all the people I know out there that work at the Mandalay Bay and Aria,” Lue said Wednesday night before the Cavs hosted the Atlanta Hawks in their first exhibition game. “I feel sorry for all the loved ones of each one that lost someone or been badly hurt. It’s just not a good thing. I’ve been touched by a few people who’d gotten injured, who’d gotten shot. Just a tough position to be in.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I feel sorry for all the loved ones of each one that lost someone or been badly hurt,” Lue said. “It’s just not a good thing. I’ve been touched by a few people who’d gotten injured, who’d gotten shot. Just a tough position to be in.”In his third season as Cleveland’s coach, Lue wouldn’t comment on changing gun laws, but would be in favor of anything to prevent bloodshed. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles05:18After the Typhoon Part 200:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary View comments
View comments Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ “I liked how we were able to control the game in the final minutes,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “We didn’t want to risk conceding like we did in the first leg.”It was a good debut for Coutinho, who came off the bench in the second half to replace Andres Iniesta, playing well in the nearly 25 minutes he was on the field.“There are a lot of expectations about Coutinho,” Valverde said. “He will fit well into our game. He entered in a complicated match, but he did well.”Coutinho arrived from Liverpool earlier this month but had been sidelined by a right leg muscle injury. The Brazilian playmaker was signed in a transfer worth up to 160 million euros (then $192 million), making him Barcelona’s most expensive player ever.Espanyol, seeking its first semifinal appearance in the Copa since 2014-15, appealed for a penalty when Gerard Moreno fell inside the area after contact with Barcelona’s Jordi Alba with about 10 minutes left in the game.ADVERTISEMENT FC Barcelona’s Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish Copa del Rey, quarter final, second leg, soccer match between FC Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID — With Philippe Coutinho making his debut and Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez adding to their scoring run, Barcelona advanced to the Copa del Rey semifinals for the eighth straight year on Thursday.First-half goals from Messi and Suarez guided Barcelona to a comfortable 2-0 victory over city rival Espanyol at Camp Nou Stadium, keeping alive the team’s hopes of winning its fourth consecutive Copa title.ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Durant fined for ref rant The other teams in the semifinals are Sevilla, Valencia and Leganes, which on Wednesday stunned Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Valencia got past last year’s runner-up Alaves on penalties, while Sevilla eliminated Atletico Madrid. The draw will be held on Friday, with the first leg matches being played next week.Barcelona had lost 1-0 to Espanyol in the first leg last week, but quickly evened the series when Suarez scored with a diving header less than 10 minutes into the match after a cross from the right by Aleix Vidal. Messi scored the goal that secured a 2-1 win on aggregate midway through the first half with a shot that deflected off a defender.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMessi and Suarez have combined to score at least a goal each in six of the team’s last seven matches.Messi has found the net 10 times in his last 11 games, while Suarez has scored 11 goals in his last nine matches. “We had some chances but didn’t capitalize on them,” Espanyol’s Victor Sanchez said. “We feel like we played a great series. Nobody really believed in us but in the end we were a goal away from advancing.”Argentine international Javier Mascherano was honored by Barcelona before the match. The defender is leaving the club after eight seasons to play in China. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding
Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Miguel Alab Pilipinas leaned on Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee anew to escape CLS Knights, 80-73, Sunday for their 7th straight win in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League at GOR CLS Kertajaya in Indonesia.Balkman, the Puerto Rican reinforcement, scored seven of the Philippine side’s last nine points, punctuating the victory with a thunderous slam in the last minute as Alab improved its standing to 10-4.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises The Scores:SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 80 — Balkman 26, Parks 17, Brownlee 16, Domingo 8, Urbiztondo 3, Alabanza 0, Celiz 0, Hontiveros 0, Javelona 0, Raymundo 0, Sumalinog 0.CLS KNIGHTS 73 — Williams 24, Edwards 17, Wuysang 13, Jensen 12, Lish 5, Enguio 2, Hidayat 0, Kurniawan 0, Nugroho 0.Quarters: 25-19, 47-43, 59-60, 80-73.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:48Balkman puts negativity behind ahead of 2nd PBA stint with San Miguel01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH AFP official booed out of forum Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Jaja, Lady Bulldogs go back to coach Castillo’s mantra in win over UE Balkman exploded for 36 points on top of 10 rebounds and three blocks while Brownlee had a near triple-double effort with 16 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists to keep Alab in third place.Bobby Ray Parks Jr. provided local support with 17 points, four rebounds, and four assists in a game where the Filipinos’ starters did much of the heavy lifting.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBrian Williams carried CLS with 24 points, 17 rebounds, and three assists, but his efforts weren’t enough to halt the Knights from falling to 3-10.Shane Edwards added 17 markers and five boards, while Mario Wuysang had 13 points, six assists, and three rebounds in the defeat. View comments NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Chongson, however, argued that the only statistic he was mindful of is the wins, the losses, and especially the championships.“I can’t worry about stuff like that,” he said after the Rhum Masters shattered the record for most points scored and biggest winning margin. “The only record I’m after is the championship.”Batangas coach Eric Gonzales acknowledges that his side is coming in as underdogs in the tiff.“Honestly, we still lack experience compared with the Tanduay players,” he said, as he will bank on his leaders Joseph Sedurifa, Jessie Saitanan, and Cedrick Ablaza.However, the Batangueños are hell-bent on making it to the top six even after their close 70-66 defeat to Cignal HD last week.ADVERTISEMENT Playoff positioning will be the biggest thing going in the minds of Batangas and Tanduay when the two teams part ways on Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Ranking tourney With the two squads currently tied at third place carrying their identical 4-2 slates, a victory is surely going to be a boost in the team’s bid to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.And that fact isn’t lost on Rhum Masters coach Lawrence Chongson, as they seek to stay in the running in the playoffs and, hopefully, a top two spot.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We’re really focused on the game against Batangas because we want to stay on top,” said the outspoken mentor. “One of us will get dropped because we are tied at three and four in the standings.”Tanduay got the necessary momentum builder it needed via a dominant 141-65 decimation of Zark’s Burgers last Monday, where the team also set two league records in the process behind Jerwin Gaco, Lester Alvarez, and James Martinez. MOST READ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong View comments Tip-off is at 3 p.m., to be followed by the all-important game between Marinerong Pilipino and Racal Motors at 5 p.m.Currently on the outside looking in, Racal (3-3) and Marinero (1-4) are just out for survival as both teams try to stay in the playoff race.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes
Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP)NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is not one to hold his tongue regarding issues in today’s NBA and he recently chimed in on Kyrie Irving’s supposed request to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers.READ: Cavs star Kyrie Irving reportedly requests tradeADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Teenager upsets Nadal at Montreal Masters Was LeBron James’ tweet a shot at teammate Kyrie Irving?Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers “When he was on a bad team and he was the man, I guarantee you that wasn’t a lot of fun for him,” he explained. “And now you want to leave the best player in the world. And listen, I hear all of this stuff about how LeBron casts a big shadow. He should cast a big shadow.”Barkley, meanwhile, certainly knows a thing or two about accepting a lesser role, as he joined fellow legends Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler at the twilight of his career in the 1996-1997 season.Although Barkley acknowledges that at 25 Irving is still in his prime with his best days ahead of him, he further explained why winning a championship remains the most important thing.“You wanna share the glory. You wanna win. Right now, there’s only two, three, maybe four legitimate teams in the NBA,” he concluded. “If you’re not on one of those four or five teams, you’re really just wasting your time for seven months. So I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to play with LeBron. Listen, I wanna play with LeBron now!” Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:ADVERTISEMENT DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games View comments Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo The outspoken player-turned-analyst shared how baffled he was by the notion of Irving’s displeasure playing second fiddle to teammate LeBron James.“You want to be on a good team. You want to play with other great players. This notion where you want to be the man, I just think is so stupid,” he said during an interview on NBA TV, as relayed by Bleacher Report.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“If I got a chance to play with another great player, I want to do that. The objective is to win,” he said.The 1993 NBA MVP also recalled Irving’s early years with the Cavaliers while LeBron was still playing for the Miami Heat. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’
Former India coach Greg Chappell has revealed that his insistence on pushing Sachin Tendulkar down the batting order against his wish during the 2007 World Cup led to a “breakdown” of relations with the iconic cricketer.Just before the 2011 World Cup, Chappell, now an Australian selector, has broken his four-year-long silence on the issue which had caused an upheaval in Indian cricket.Chappell now says that faced with a similar scenario he would have handled Tendulkar differently and left it to the batsman to pick his own place in the order.In a book on Tendulkar titled SACH, written by noted sports scribe Gautam Bhattacharya, Chappell has recalled the entire spat but insisted that he and Tendulkar buried the hatchet within a few days of the controversy.”At the outset let me clarify I never ever doubted Sachin Tendulkar’s commitment to the side. The only time I talked about him was in relation to the team’s World Cup venture. If you talk about a breakdown in relations, that possibly happened only around this time. Basically we differed on his batting order in the West Indies,” Chappell said in an interview published in the book which is due to hit the stands this week.Chappell said the conditions in the West Indies demanded a power-hitter in the middle order and the choice was between Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar. Since Sehwag refused the offer to come down the order, Tendulkar was approached who agreed reluctantly.”It wasn’t just me alone. Rahul Dravid was also involved in the thinking which felt the matches were going to get decided in those middle overs and you needed the brilliance of either a Sachin or Sehwag to play in that position,” Chappell revealed.advertisement”Sehwag didn’t seem very keen. So we sat down with Sachin who in any case was the first priority. We put it down to him and he seemed reluctant. He thought top-of-the-order was the best place for him as it has always been.But we were still in the discussion as Rahul and myself were convinced no other batsman in the team would be able to do it. Sachin finally agreed. Next day he got back to Rahul.Though he made it known that he was not happy doing it. He felt that his reputation demanded two places higher in the order,” he recalled in the interview.In hindsight, Chappell said he would have given the same suggestions but would have allowed Tendulkar to decide.”…that experience has taught me a lesson. Today confronted with a similar situation I would still put the idea across to him and explain. But if he shows any kind of discomfort I won’t push. I would let him decide,” Chappell said.Soon after the debacle, Tendulkar gave an emotional interview to a daily in which he said his commitment to the team was questioned by Chappell but the Aussie said the two had a chat and parted ways amicably.”With Sachin, I later on had a face-to-face chat. There was an issue about a write-up which had come out in the Times of India. We spoke the next day and I would like to believe parted on good terms. As I said earlier the only disagreement we had was over his place in the batting order which now is a thing of the past,” Chappell said.The former Australian captain went on to say that he admires Tendulkar for the ease with which he handles expectations of over a billion fans in a cricket-mad country.”During my years as the Indian Coach how people vied for a minute’s attention from him irrespective of wherever he went! Emotionally and physically it must be very draining to cope up with that sort of attention day in and day out. But he has handled it remarkably well.”He must be the most singlehanded devotee cricket has ever seen. Cricket has taken up so much of his life that at times you would wonder what is he going to do once he gives up the game!” he said.Chappell reiterated that his decision to quit as India coach was made before the 2007 World Cup disaster and the reason was clash of ideas with the BCCI.”I had presented the BCCI my road-map for the project Commitment to Excellence and they approved it. Yet there was a clear philosophical clash as to which direction the Group needed to go. I for one wasn’t prepared to compromise. If I had conceded then there would be no fight,” he said.advertisement”But I wanted to remain true to my beliefs and cricketing thought’s bottom-line ? it wasn’t going anywhere and whatever I had set out to do remained unattainable. That is why I decided to quit which was much before the World Cup.”So to set the record straight once again Sachin’s statement in the press against me had nothing to do with my discontinuing as the coach. As I said earlier we had parted on good terms,” he added.- With PTI inputs
Adding to the joy of India’s cricket World Cup triumph, veteran tennis players Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi won their second title of the season by clinching the Sony Ericsson Open here to become number one in the ATP World Tour Doubles Team Rankings.Third seeded Bhupathi and Paes rallied to beat second seeded Belarusian-Canadian pair of Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 6-7(5) 6-2 10-5.Paes had, in fact won the title even last year with Lukas Dlouhy but for Bhupathi it was his first career title at Crandon Park.”The key (to us winning) was just fighting as a team. Like Leander said, we didn’t play our best match of the week. All four of us were tentative in the beginning,” Bhupathi told ‘sonyericssonopen.com’.The Indian Express duo were up 6-5 in the first set but let it slip by conceding a break and never had a lead in the tie-break.”We had a chance to win that set but we didn’t take it — threw away the breaker pretty much,” Bhupathi said.Bhupathi and Paes found their rhythm in the second set and were also helped by a double fault by Nestor in the fourth game. That enabled the Indians to take a 3-1 lead and they never looked back after that.”My level dropped after the first set. We didn’t get enough balls in play and they served better as the match went on. Max played well, so I feel bad about that. But we played against a tough team today,” Nestor admitted.advertisementThe win takes the Indians ahead of World number one Bob and Mike Bryan for first place in the ATP Doubles Team Rankings and in the battle to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.It is Paes and Bhupathi’s second team title of the year, following the Chennai Open at the start of the season.”It’s still early for us. The season is broken down into four segments — this is just the first of them. If we’re still No. 1 after the US Open, then we’ll start getting excited,” said Bhupathi.Paes finished runner-up to Nestor and Zimonjic with Lukas Dlouhy last year at the French Open, after he and the Czech won it in 2009.”We love playing on the dirt. We got a month off now to get ourselves physically fit and get ready for a lot of long matches on the clay,” Paes said.”The clay definitely helps us because we train so hard for it over the years but at the same time there are a lot of singles guys who play well on the dirt too. At the French Open, I think it’s one of the hardest slams to win, but if we’re physically right, I think it will be good,” he added.- With PTI inputs
Assam Police averted a tragedy on Friday morning when its personnel detected and defused an explosive device planted inside a train during routine search after its arrival at the railway station in Guwahati.Police found the bomb kept inside an air bag from seat no. 22 of S5 coach during routine search of the Kolkata-Guwahati Kanchanjanga Express at the Guwahati Railway Station, sources said.They said after the bomb was found, all 1100 passengers inside the train were deboarded. “The train was checked thoroughly,” the sources said.Police said they recovered 4 kg explosive, 4 detonators and a time device from the bag at around 5.20 AM after the train arrived.”The programmable time device was found during routine check by police personnel. Every train which arrives at the Guwahati station is checked,” the sources said.- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
Sunita Rani made a stirring return to the track, winning the 1,500 mThis is the Asian Games in the land where cabbage is king and calling estranged neighbours home is the flavour of the season. You can’t escape Korea’s famous kimchi or even the feel-good South Korean vibes radiating towards,Sunita Rani made a stirring return to the track, winning the 1,500 mThis is the Asian Games in the land where cabbage is king and calling estranged neighbours home is the flavour of the season. You can’t escape Korea’s famous kimchi or even the feel-good South Korean vibes radiating towards their visiting brethren from the North. In this scenario of reunion and rehabilitation, the Indian performance has been powered by Family.It’s said that in the great Indian families, the centrifugal force rests in the figure of the mother. At the Busan Asian Games, after a first week ridden with disappointment, India’s challenge came together in the form of its women athletes who hauled in the gold and set records.Saha won the 200 mIn a single day, three women won gold, doubled India’s tally of athletics golds from the 1998 Bangkok games and gave the country more of this precious metal than in any other Asian Games since Delhi 1982. In a signature move that is patented by Indian sport, one of those women, Sunita Rani whose victory was the most emphatic of all, almost didn’t make the trip to Korea at all.Reality will bite later, when the expectations and stakes get higher and the competition tougher, but in Busan the Indian athletes team pulled the national contingent out of some grim early days and towards a heady finish. For India’s fractious sporting family, it has been a tale of sacrifice, adoption, brotherhood and sibling rivalry.After K.M. Beenamol strikes it rich in the 800 m, not to be outdone, little brother K.M. Binu runs the race of his fledgling career and, in the most surprising finish for India, ends up with silver in the men’s section. A family from the hilly Ikkudi district of Kerala, where there isn’t a proper road leading to their village of Kombotinjhal, has brought India three Asian Games medals.advertisementNeelam Jaswant Singh produced her personal best and a Games record to win her first ever Asian goldNo ordinary obstacle could stop Robert Bobby George reaching out to give his own small family everything he thought it needed. He gave up a love of his life – long-jumping – for the love of his life: wife Anju. “I stopped jumping because I could not focus full-time on her career,” he says simply. Bobby now is always almost on the edge when Anju jumps in competition. She set off the gold rush for India, winning gold on the first day of the athletic competition.Ask the tall, slender Anju if her hugely technical event, the long jump, needs more decorated coaches and she laughs and replies like the good Indian wife of the fables, “There is a foreign coach for jumps, but I would rather listen to my husband.” Today the couple plan to try out the Grand Prix and indoor season in Europe in the winter.HOCKEY: India launched the defence of its Asian Games title riding on the genius of their controversial veteran Dhanraj PillaiTimes have been kind to the Georges; for another sporting couple Busan brought an end to hard time: Jaswant Singh, husband and coach to discus thrower Neelam, watched her turn her Bangkok bronze medal win into gold in Busan and throw her personal best. The quietly fiery Neelam told journalists after collecting her medal, “You have all been unkind to me, always saying that I only performed at home. This should set the record straight.”It was also the only score sprinter Saraswati Saha wanted to settle in Busan. “I will not return empty-handed,” she had told her family. A painful hamstring almost caused her to limp out of the race before the home stretch but she ran and ran – and at the end limped away to the dressing-room to call to Kolkata to her husband.Some families adopt: in 1992 coaches Dr Kuntal Roy and his wife Shubraja took in a confused, gawky teenager. Soma Biswas came to Shubraja with the desire to be a high-jumper after she was discarded by a SAI scouting programme. When Kuntal returned from Germany after a doctorate in sports coaching, his wife told him she had almost given up trying to shape Biswas into any kind of athlete.GOLF: Golfer Shiv Kapur won India’s first gold in Busan in blustery conditions. It was the first gold for Indian golf in 20 years.”She had no speed, no power,” he remembers. Today she is Asian Games silver-medallist in the heptathlon, a gruelling seven-event competition. Her first phone call after completing her last event was to Shubraja. “I’ve instructed her parents not to call her up often. She has no social life, no boyfriends,” says Kuntal. “At times, I feel bad. But then I have to do it.” To be a heptathlete you have to be a monk first.The air in Busan does strange things even to the quarrelsome Indian hockey team which came together like never before, putting out the challenge of Pakistan in a high-tension semi-final. The Indo-Pak match was a grudge game and an encounter of the highest order.Hard-edged competitiveness and gamesmanship replaced goodnatured bonhomie and mutual respect. Only Dhanraj Pillai could manage to assimilate both in one gesture. During the pre-match warm up, Pillai went to retrieve a ball from Pakistani territory, glared at the Pakistani bench, waved his stick menacingly, said a few words, waited for moment and then broke out into a laugh.Sitting in the stands, Asif Bajwa, the Pakistani assistant coach, had a blueprint of the game plan for India. On a map of the world that is their field, he had designated two figures next to the name of Pillai. But still they couldn’t stop him scoring two goals. For once, a young team responded to the genius of their ageing lion.advertisementLONG JUMP: Anju Bobby George leapt to 6.53 m, good enough to open up India’s gold account in athletics”I have never seen a goal like this in my 14 years of playing. Never seen one, never scored one like that ever,” Pillai said of Gagan Ajit’s Singh’s match-winner – one of those he had accused of not passing the ball to him in the previous match versus Pakistan. Once the old enemy was vanquished, all was forgotten and forgiven.As long as the wins kept coming, all was sunny. But questions must be asked of those who returned empty-handed. After the euphoric Commonwealth Games in July, pistol-shooter Jaspal Rana had bluntly ruled out chances of a medal in Busan. He did not disappoint, but that is not a reason.More will be asked of the shooters in Athens and their response must be more convincing. The heavyhanded discipline of weightlifting continued to churn out rumour and innuendo. A member of the ad-hoc body that runs Indian weightlifting had allegedly written a letter to the Sports Ministry, asking for permission not to field a team in Busan. In the face of two positive dope tests at the Commonwealth Games, it was believed the Indian weightlifters didn’t quite have the “confidence” to take their best shot in Busan. After all, Leo Tolstoy did say that while all happy families were the same, all unhappy families were unhappy in their own way. The Asian Games usually bring good news. Now if only someone figured out how to do the same at the Olympics. – Siddharth Saxena is correspondent of The Hindustan Times, Delhi