Bakery chain Greggs delivered a shock trading update this morning to reveal that its full-year profits would be ahead of analysts’ expectations.Chief executive Roger Whiteside said customers were ‘responding’ to improvements in products and services – as it unveiled own shop like-for-like sales (LFLs) growth of 5.2% for the 24 weeks to 13 December, compared with growth of just 0.7% in the same period last year.For the year-to-date LFLs were up 4.2%, added Greggs, significantly better than the -1.1% decline seen in the same period in 2013.Total sales were also up by 3.6%.Whiteside said: “The strong performance that we reported in our September IMS has continued. Trading conditions have remained helpful, but there is no doubt that customers are also responding to improvements in our product and service offer and to the investment we are making in the shop environment.“Whilst there is still much to play for over the final few weeks of the year, we currently anticipate that full-year profits will be ahead of analysts’ expectations.”The company said it would also update the market following its Christmas trading period and ahead of its full-year results.
Earlier this year, pioneering English prog-rockers King Crimson announced a full slate of highly-anticipated summer tour dates, dubbed the “Radical Action Tour,” their first North American run in three years. Today, the band announced full details for the tour, including the specific venues and the announcement of four additional shows (Seattle, WA; Oakland, CA; Red Bank, NJ; and Mexico City, MX).The band’s touring lineup will include founding guitarist Robert Fripp, as well as longtime collaborators Tony Levin (bass, Chapman Stick) and Mel Collins (saxophone), in addition to singer/guitarist Jakko Jakszyk and four different drummers: Bill Rieflin, Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto and Jeremy Stacey. Stacey and Rieflin will also double as keyboardists, an arrangement Fripp referred to as the “Double Quartet Formation,” adding that the band is “likely to be making a lot more noise than before.”To coincide with the tour, King Crimson is putting out an EP featuring their performance of David Bowie’s “Heroes” recorded in Berlin during the band’s 2016 European tour. The tribute is particularly meaningful considering that Fripp played guitar on Bowie’s original recording of the song. Explains Fripp, “King Crimson performed ‘Heroes’ at the Admiralspalast in Berlin as a celebration, a remembrancing and an homage. The concert was thirty-nine years and one month after the original sessions at the Hansa Tonstudio overlooking the Berlin Wall. This is released in the Fortieth Anniversary year.” The EP is slated for release on June 2nd.For tickets to any of the upcoming King Crimson shows, or for more information on the tour or the new EP, head here.King Crimson 2017 Tour Dates:06/11 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre06/12 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre06/13 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre06/15 – Saratoga, CA @ Mountain Winery06/16 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre06/17 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre06/19 – San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’s06/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre06/24 – Denver, CO @ Bellco Theatre06/26 – Minneapolis, MN @ State Theatre06/28 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre06/30 – Rochester, NY @ Kodak Hall07/03 – Montreal QC @ Montreal Jazz Festival07/05 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall07/07 – Quebec, QC @ Centre Videotron07/09 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre07/10 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre07/14 – Mexico City, MX @ Teatro Metropolitan07/15 – Mexico City, MX @ Teatro Metropolitan07/16 – Mexico City, MX @ Teatro Metropolitan07/18 – Mexico City, MX @ Teatro Metropolitan07/19 – Mexico City, MX @ Teatro Metropolitan[h/t – Consequence of Sound]
Jan De Nul Group is demanding the repayment of all installments paid to Croatia’s troubled Uljanik Shipyard, plus interest, after they cancelled an order for Newbuilding 500 – a cutter suction dredger.The Shipbuilding Contract for Hull 500 was signed two years ago between Uljanik d.d. and Dredging and Maritime Management SA (DMM) Luxembourg, the company in ownership of Jan de Nul Group.On April 19, the client said that it would seek the repayment of its advance payments for the vessel that was to have been built by the shipyard, Uljanik said in a statement via the Zagreb Stock Exchange.“Upon the negotiations which lasted few months among the Buyer, institutions of Republic of Croatia and Uljanik d.d. which aimed that instead repayment of advance payments the vessel be completed in Uljanik Shipyard or alternatively in foreign shipyard, the Buyer made final decision by which he requests repayment of advance payments increased for the interest,” the statement said.According to the subject, Shipbuilding Contract Uljanik d.d. is obliged in period of seven days from receipt of the request in headquarters of the company to effect repayment of advance payments increased for interest whereby the part of advance payments has been secured by state guarantees.The interested parties will continue to work on finding a solution to reduce the harm the latest developments are expected to cause to the state and the shipyard.
“It was like he had been beamed back down to earth as a complete player overnight! “After that, he was always the standout player; people knew him before he even knew how to spell his name. He is a goalscoring midfielder in the Frank Lampard mould. Lampard was one of his idols, but so were Lionel Messi and Zinedine Zidane. “He has a high level of technical ability, great finishing quality and a great passing range. We felt that the Chelsea environment was perfect for Tino. “It has really stretched him. The training has always been harder than the matches, he’s highly competitive and he just wants to get on the pitch and beat his opponent.” Having progressed through Blues’ academy, Anjorin was part of the Under-18s side which won an unprecedented quadruple in 2018, with only the UEFA Youth League alluding him of the major trophies available to young players in England. The Poole-born teenager made his first team bow in late September against Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup while his first Premier League appearance came on Sunday as he stepped off the bench for the closing stages of the 4-0 win over Everton. Though he was overshadowed by the performance of Gilmour, it was clear that Anjorin will not struggle in senior football given his frame, though – like Loftus-Cheek – it has played a role in him picking up more injuries than he would have liked in his early career. He also needs to work on building up both his speed and acceleration when running if he is to take the next step and become a regular first-team footballer at the top level. Whether he makes that step at Chelsea or elsewhere, however, is up in the air somewhat. With the Blues looking to tie down a number of their prodigious young talents, the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have all signed new contracts over the past 12 months. Anjorin, however, has not been able to agree terms, and as such is now just over three months away from entering the final year of his current deal. Talks have been ongoing regarding a renewal for some time, with the Blues having previously been confident pen would be put to paper sooner rather than later. Their interest in Birmingham City starlet Jude Bellingham, who is being heavily linked with Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund, has further slowed matters, and there is some concern another of the club’s brightest prospects may follow in the footsteps of Tariq Lamptey – who joined Brighton in January – and leave. Read Also:Teen star Gilmour vows to keep proving worth at Chelsea Chelsea must now fight to show Anjorin that he is in the right place to further his development, and handing the England youth international more first-team opportunities will likely help. But should they fail to tie him down then there is set to be a long list of suitors for one of the most impressive teenage footballers the Premier League currently has to offer. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Tino Anjorin is set to sign a five-year extension with Chelsea. Tino Anjorin The 18-year-old made his Premier League debut in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Everton as a late substitute. And The Sun says Anjorin is poised for a new contract, despite still having remaining on his current deal. The Blues have already locked down youngsters Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Marc Guehi to long-term deals. Anjorin joined the West London club as a six-year-old. Few academies are getting a better showcase this season than Chelsea’s. Whether by choice or forced by the club’s transfer ban, Frank Lampard has turned to numerous homegrown talents in a bid to maintain the Blues’ status among the European elite. The latest to earn their opportunity was Billy Gilmour, whose star turns in midfield against both Liverpool and Everton in front of live television audiences in the UK should ensure that he becomes a household name sooner rather than later. Gilmour, of course, does not have the same history as some of Chelsea’s other young players in terms of his upbringing, with the Scot having been brought to west London from Rangers in 2017. Tino Anjorin joined Chelsea at Under-7s level, and has worked his way through the various age groups to now be on the cusp of earning a regular berth in Lampard’s first-team squad. A physically imposing presence who has been compared to Ruben Loftus-Cheek due to his stature, 18-year-old Anjorin has been the shining light in Chelsea’s youth team this season, contributing 11 goals and six assists thus far. Born to a football-obsessed family of Nigerian heritage, Anjorin was christened Faustino to pay homage to former Newcastle and Colombia forward Faustino Asprilla. It is a tradition that has run through the family, with his younger brother named Zico after the Brazilian legend. His father, Sheriff, has played the lead role in overseeing his development and revealed that he has been overpowering opponents from a very early age. “When he was three-and-a-half, he went and joined in a training session with six-year-olds,” Anjorin senior told Goal. “He was dribbling better and shooting with more power than those older than him. Loading… Promoted ContentA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?What Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love With7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone6 Incredibly Strange Facts About Hurricanes
In other NBA action:— Jayson Tatum had 33 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics over the skidding Utah Jazz 114-103. Jaylen Brown added 20 points and Marcus Smart had 17 for Boston. All five starters scored in double figures to help the Celtics finish 3-1 on a road trip out West. Donovan Mitchell scored 37 points to lead the Jazz, who lost their fourth straight game — all at home.— Russell Westbrook and James Harden combined for 63 points as the Houston Rockets sailed to their fifth straight win, 140-112 over the Memphis Grizzlies. Harden piled up 30 points without playing in the fourth quarter and Westbrook, who had 33, sat down for good with about six minutes left. The duo had 46 points by halftime as Houston built a 73-47 lead. Dillon Brooks had 22 points for the Grizzlies, who finished 0-4 on their longest road trip of the season.— Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Marcus Morris added 18 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 102-92. Los Angeles won its second straight game, bouncing back from a tough stretch that included its only three-game losing streak of the season. Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 25 points and 17 rebounds. All-Star guard Devin Booker had a rough night, scoring 14 points on 5-of-19 shooting.— Luka Doncic had 26 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for his 13th triple-double of the season, helping Dallas beat San Antonio 109-103. Kristaps Porzingis added 28 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas. — Evan Fournier (FOHR’-nee-ay) scored 28 points, Aaron Gordon added 25 and the Orlando Magic pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 130-120 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The Magic solidified their hold on the final playoff spot in the East, putting the Hawks away with a 14-5 spurt. Fournier scored nine points in the game-clinching run, and Gordon finished it off with a 3-pointer. The Hawks lost despite a 37-point effort from Trae Young. John Collins added 26 points but was blocked twice in the fourth quarter to stymie any hopes of an Atlanta comeback.— Jerome Robinson’s 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left lifted the Washington Wizards to a 110-106 win over the Brooklyn Nets to snap a three-game losing streak. After Robinson gave Washington a 108-106 lead with his 3, Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie missed a 3-point attempt and Robinson added two free throws as Washington won a game in which it squandered an 18-point lead. The ninth-place Wizards trail the seventh-place Nets by five games in the Eastern Conference.— — Jordan McLaughlin’s layup with just under nine seconds left put Minnesota ahead for good, D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 27 points and the Timberwolves added to Miami’s late-season stagger and the Timberwolves beat the Heat 129-126. Malik Beasley scored 21 points, Juancho Hernangomez tied a season-high with 17 and McLaughlin added 13 for Minnesota. The Timberwolves were down by 12 with 3:59 left, then closed on a 20-5 run to get just their second victory in 20 games. Kendrick Nunn led Miami with 24 points. Bam Adebayo had 22 points and 10 rebounds.— Terry Rozier scored 26 points, and the Charlotte Hornets handed the New York Knicks their fifth straight loss 107-101. The slumping Devonte Graham returned from a team-mandated night off and scored 21 points. P.J. Washington and Bismack Biyombo each scored 12 points for the Hornets, who snapped a two-game losing skid. Julius Randle finished with 18 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks.NBA-NEWS Stanton, Verlander will likely miss opening dayUNDATED (AP) — Oft-injured New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will likely miss opening day because of a strained right calf. Manager Aaron Boone says Stanton was injured near the end of defensive drills yesterday. Yankees star pitcher Luis Severino needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season. The AL East champion Yankees open on March 26 at Baltimore.The Yankees put a major league-record 30 players on the injured list last year, with Stanton missing most of the season.Meanwhile, Justin Verlander’s spring training debut will be postponed at least a few more days while the Houston Astros ace deals with tightness in his groin. Verlander had been scheduled to start Thursday against Washington. Instead, he will throw a simulated game at the Astros’ complex prior to that exhibition. Houston manager Dusty Baker said the tightness first appeared a couple of days ago. Baker says he isn’t worried about the injury lingering. Verlander won his second Cy Young Award last season by going 21-6 with a 2.52 ERA.Elsewhere in the majors: — St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has been ruled out from returning to play in the regular season or in the playoffs. Bouwmeester spoke to reporters for the first time since he collapsed on the bench in the first period during a game at the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 11. The 36-year-old Edmonton native was hospitalized and spent five nights in the hospital.— Montreal Canadiens defenseman Victor Mete will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot. Mete suffered the injury during the game in Detroit on Feb. 18. The 21-year-old Mete had four goals and 11 assists in 51 games this season.— Peter Laviolette (lah-vee-uh-LET’) is returning to the bench after being selected as the coach of the United States men’s national team competing at the world hockey championships in May. The move was announced by USA Hockey on Wednesday, seven weeks after Laviolette was fired by the Nashville Predators. Laviolette ranks 16th in NHL wins with 637 covering four teams over 18 seasons, including the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. He also coached the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers.MLB-UMPIRE PROMOTIONAP Exclusive: MLB appoints 1st black umpire crew chief NFL-NEWSPlayer reps send new CBA to union members for approvalUNDATED (AP) — The NFL and its players are closer to a new collective bargaining agreement and the next decade of labor peace that would come with it. There’s still work to be done to get the deal into the end zone, however. Following a late-night vote on the slim majority approval of the 32 team representatives, the NFL Players Association was preparing to send the current CBA proposal to the full union membership for potential ratification. Last week, owners gave their majority-vote approval. Negotiations have been gone on for the past 10 months. The 17-game regular season is the most significant change.In other NFL news:— Former TCU and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Trevone Boykin has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to charges from the 2018 beating of his girlfriend. Boykin and prosecutors agreed to the sentence in return for his guilty plea Wednesday to aggravated assault and witness tampering charges. Boykin’s attorney says his client will be eligible for parole in less than a year. Shabrika Bailey alleged that Boykin broke her jaw in two places in the March 2018 beating. The Seahawks cut Boykin in the wake of the allegation. February 27, 2020 Monk suspendedUNDATED (AP) — Hornets guard Malik Monk has been suspended without pay for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA’s anti-drug program. Monk’s suspension will begin with Wednesday’s game against the New York Knicks and continue until he is determined to be in full compliance with the program.In other NBA news:— The NBA fined Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) $25,000 Wednesday, two days after he made an obscene gesture on the court and used profane language during a live television interview. The gesture occurred with 17 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Sixers’ 129-112 victory over the Hawks on Monday night. With the clock winding down, Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter came from behind and swiped the ball from Embiid, who was trying to dribble it out. Embiid responded by flashing a middle finger at Huerter. He later apologized.MEN’S T25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL NHL-SCHEDULECompher, Francouz lead Avalanche to 3-2 win over SabresDENVER (AP) — JT. Compher broke a tie on a wrist shot with 8:06 remaining, Martin Kaut scored his first NHL goal and the banged-up Colorado Avalanche won their fourth straight by beating the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Gabriel Landeskog (LAN’-dehs-kahg) also scored to help the Avalanche vault into second place in the Central Division. Pavel Francouz was sharp in stopping 31 shots. Zemgus Girgensons (ZEHM’-guhz GEER’-gehn-suhnz) and Curtis Lazar scored for the Sabres. They’ve dropped five straight to Colorado. In other action:— The Los Angeles Kings spoiled Patrick Marleau’s debut with Pittsburgh in a 2-1 victory over the Penguins. Blake Lizotte had a power-play goal and an assist, Cal Petersen made 36 saves and Trevor Lewis also scored in the last-place Kings’ fourth win in seven games. Tristan Jarry stopped 20 shots in Pittsburgh’s fourth consecutive regulation loss, matching their total regulation defeats in their previous 22 games since Christmas. Bryan Rust scored with 13:18 to play for the Penguins with an assist from Evgeni Malkin, who played his 900th career game. Update on the latest sports Associated Press — 31-year-old left-hander South Korean star Kwang Hyun Kim retired all six Miami batters he faced in his first Grapefruit League start for the St. Louis Cardinals. It came after he threw one shutout inning of relief against the New York Mets on Saturday. Kim struggled with control of his off-speed pitches in the first inning, but he found his rhythm in the second. He kept batters off balance mixing a fastball that touched 95 mph with his curve. The Marlins didn’t get a ball out of the infield against Kim.— Ubaldo Jimenez took another step in his comeback attempt with the Colorado Rockies, pitching two innings against the Texas Rangers. The 36-year-old threw 21 pitches, 14 for strikes. He gave up two hits and one run, with no walks or strikeouts. He last pitched in the majors in 2017 for Baltimore.— Miguel Sano has volunteered to move across the diamond to accommodate Twins newcomer Josh Donaldson. Sano gave up his regular spot at third base, moving to first base, and let Donaldson take his place at third. Sano bounced back from a winter injury last season and hit a career-high 34 home runs. His power helped the Twins set a major league record with 307 homers and win the AL Central.— Houston’s Alex Bregman was hit on the back by a breaking ball from St. Louis reliever Ramon Santos, the seventh Astros player plunked in five spring training games. Some opposing players have called for retaliation against the Astros following Major League Baseball’s finding that Houston broke rules against electronic sign-stealing en route to its 2017 World Series title and again in 2018. Dustin Garneau was hit Sunday against Washington, and José Altuve was grazed Monday against Detroit, when Osvaldo Duarte and Alex De Goti also were hit. Aledmys Díaz and Jake Meyers were hit Tuesday by Miami.— The Houston Astros continued to get booed on the road in spring training as they visited the home of the New York Mets. Former World Series MVP George Springer was heckled as part of Houston’s split squad. Fans are calling the Astros cheaters, and doing it loudly in the wake of their sign-stealing scam. Springer had to hear it for a bit longer on Wednesday. The star leadoff man stepped into the batter’s box a minute before the game was scheduled to begin, giving the crowd extra time to boo him. — Nick Cousins scored in his Vegas debut and the Golden Knights beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 in a matchup between two of the top teams in the Pacific Division. Max Pacioretty and Shea Theodore also scored as Vegas won its seventh straight game. Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves to earn his 61st career shutout to tie Turk Broda for 17th all-time. The 16-year-veteran netminder is now 5-0-0 in his last five starts. Vegas improved to 11-3-2 under Peter DeBoer. Edmonton lost for the first time when playing on the second of back-to-back nights, dropping to 6-1-0.NHL-NEWSMuzzin outUNDATED (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs have suffered another setback on defense with the loss of Jake Muzzin to a broken hand. The Leafs announced that Muzzin will be out about four weeks after suffering the injury during a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Toronto also is missing defensemen Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci because of injuries.In other NHL news: Maryland squeaks past Minnesota 74-73UNDATED (AP) — Darryl Morsell drained the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left for No. 9 Maryland to cap a comeback from a 16-point halftime deficit and beat Minnesota 74-73. Jalen Smith had 16 points and 12 rebounds, including a soaring rebound and slam with 14.5 seconds remaining that pulled the Terrapins within 73-71. Anthony Cowan Jr. had 10 points, nine assists and six rebounds for Maryland, which maintained a two-game lead for first place in the Big Ten with three games left. Daniel Oturu had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which missed three foul shots in the final 39 seconds. Then the Terrapins hustled the ball up to find Morsell, who had 13 points and nine rebounds, for the winner from NBA range.In other T25 action:— Myles Dread hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to lift No. 16 Penn State over Rutgers 65-64 after the Nittany Lions blew a 21-point lead. Trailing 40-19 late in the first half, the Scarlet Knights tied the game at 62 with 1:32 left in the game on Geo Baker’s layup. His jumper gave Rutgers a two-point lead with 42 seconds remaining. Dread hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to lift Penn State over Rutgers 65-64 after the Nittany Lions blew a 21-point lead. Akwasi Yeboah missed a 3-pointer the other way and Dread was swarmed by his teammates who snapped a two-game losing streak.— Saddiq Bey scored 23 points and Justin Moore had 21 to lead No. 12 Villanova past St. John’s 71-60 on Wednesday night. Moore hit eight 3-pointers and Bey had seven. The Wildcats honored former Wildcats star Kyle Lowry. Lowry played two seasons for Villanova before he became a five-time NBA All-Star with the defending champion Toronto Raptors. St. John’s were 12 1/2-point underdogs but kept it close until Moore got on a hot streak down the stretch to seal the win. NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has appointed its first African American umpire crew chief, promoting Kerwin Danley to the position this week.A person familiar with the move spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made.The 58-year-old Danley has worked two World Series and been on the field for 10 other postseason rounds, including the AL Championship Series last year.He’s also been chosen to call two All-Star Games. Danley called his first game in the majors in 1992 as a minor league fill-in and was hired to the MLB staff in 1998.MLB-STANTON, VERLANDER TO MISS OPENING DAY Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA-SCHEDULECavs route 76ers 108-94, Embiid left with sprained shoulderWASHINGTON (AP) — Collin Sexton scored 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers routed Philadelphia 108-94 on Wednesday night after 76ers center Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) left in the first quarter because of a sprained left shoulder. The 76ers, already playing without All-Star guard Ben Simmons, never led against the team with the worst record in the Eastern Conference and fell to 9-21 on the road.Embiid collided with Cavaliers center Ante Zizic while being fouled late in the first quarter. The 7-footer held his shoulder in obvious pain but stayed in the game and missed both free throws.The Sixers pulled Embiid at the next time stoppage and he walked to the locker room while rubbing his shoulder. He briefly returned to the bench in the second quarter but went back for more evaluation and treatment. At halftime, Embiid rejoined his teammates on the bench with a wrap on his injured shoulder.Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Larry Nance Jr. had 13 points for Cleveland.Shake Milton, who replaced Simmons in the starting lineup, scored 20 points. — The New York Giants have released linebackers Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin, clearing significant salary cap space with the departure of their two most expensive defensive players. The Giants, rebuilding under rookie head coach Joe Judge, gained more than $13 million in salary cap savings by jettisoning the two. Ogletree was twice elected a team captain and accumulated a team-high 173 tackles as the starter at inside linebacker over two seasons with the Giants.SPORTS-VIRUS OUTBREAKJapan baseball will play in empty stadiums, Irelands rugby match, Asian soccer postponedUNDATED(AP) — Japan’s professional baseball league says it will play its 72 remaining preseason games in empty stadiums because of the threat of the spreading coronavirus. The regular season is to open on March 20. The virus that began in China is disrupting all of the country’s sports schedules and has raised concerns about the Tokyo Olympics. They are to open on July 24. Representatives of the baseball league’s 12 teams made the move at a special meeting.Meanwhile, Ireland’s Six Nations rugby match against Italy in Dublin has been postponed because of concerns about the spreading virus in Europe. The Italians were scheduled to play at Ireland on March 7, part of annual rugby competition that also includes England, France, Scotland and Wales. A women’s game the following day was also postponed. And Asian soccer leaders have postponed two key meetings because of the outbreak.
PLAYA VISTA >> The first month of the NBA schedule isn’t particularly kind to the Clippers. They play four sets of back-to-backs. They travel to Portland, to Memphis, to San Antonio, to Oklahoma City, to Minnesota, to Sacramento, to Dallas, to Detroit, to Indiana and to Brooklyn. The schedule allows for less than a handful of practices.But, in a calendar packed with 19 games in 34 days, coach Doc Rivers might actually have gotten a little lucky. The NBA’s schedule-makers gave him the perfect chance to reinforce the thing the Clippers have spoken about since their very first team meeting in training camp.The Clippers better rebound. If they don’t, their opponents absolutely will.Their first four opponents — Portland, Utah, who they play Sunday, Phoenix and Oklahoma City — all finished in the top seven in offensive rebounding percentage last season. The Clippers were the third-worst defensive rebounding team a year ago. Last year, the Clippers grabbed 15 or more offensive rebounds only four times. “That is not a focus,” Rivers said. “I want to be a better offensive rebounding team, don’t get me wrong. I’d rather not give up points the other way. That statistically is a fact. We know that to be true. “… If they’re under the basket, we want you to go after it. But if you don’t get it, you got to get back.”Bench steps upThe Clippers’ second unit continued to receive praise for its performance in the win at Portland. “I think our second unit really played well defensively the other night,” Jordan said. “They’re guarding Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin every day, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge. But I think they did a great job defensively finishing off possessions and limiting those guys to one shot the other night.”Jamal Crawford said the bench played “agenda-free” basketball after his team won in Portland, and Saturday before practice, he continued to speak highly of their play. “Guys who understand their role I think is really, really key for us, because everybody has the right attitude and the right mindset,” Crawford said. “I feel like we’re one of the better second units in the league, even though we haven’t been together that long. If we can just keep getting better and better and keep getting more defined in our roles, I think we’ll be great.”Quick hitsBrice Johnson (back) and Paul Pierce (ankle) are both listed as “Out” on the Clippers’ injury report. … Alan Anderson (ankle) was healthy enough to play Thursday in Portland, but he, along with Brandon Bass and rookie Diamond Stone, didn’t see action. Thursday, they passed the first test, keeping Portland from winning the rebounding battles (the teams tied). But, Rivers said, they should’ve been better. “The ones that we can get, we have to get. I think we had six of them — we do our own count — that we should have got that we didn’t in the Portland game. That’s a lot actually,” Rivers said. “…Those are the ones we still have to get. And we watch film on rebounding now and that’s important.”The Clippers don’t need to see Utah on tape to know what’s in store for them Sunday afternoon in their home opener at Staples Center. They just need to look across the court at 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert.“I mean, they got damn near one of the tallest guys in the league in Rudy, and he crashes the glass hard,” DeAndre Jordan said. “Now that (Derrick) Favors is back, he’s going to do the same thing…Whenever we can force those guys to one shot, don’t let them get a second one.”The Clippers have even discussed offensive rebounding, never part of Rivers’ coaching foundation. And while, he said it’s still not a priority, his team still managed to grab 15 offensive rebounds in its season-opening win at Portland. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
The images looked comical as the 7-foot-1 Timofey Mozogv has taken 3-pointers at the end of recent practices. But with Lakers coach Luke Walton hoping to incorporate Golden State’s philosophies on the increased use of the 3-point shot, why not?“I need to work on everything,” Mozgov said. “You have to improve your game. Maybe one day they’ll let you shoot.”Apparently, that day has already happened. Mozgov insisted Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw has “a special play for me.” Laughter quickly erupted.“It’s no joke,” Mozgov said. “I’m serious.”So will he take a 3-pointer in a game?“If I’m going to be on the court with the ball, of course I’m going to shoot,” Mozgov said. “I have to. It’s not like I’ll run to the 3-point line and shoot. We have a lot of shooters. We have a lot of work to do. We’re not just shooting 3s.” EL SEGUNDO >> This could have marked the time where D’Angelo Russell would put on a show perhaps as captivating as his summer league play. Maybe he would make another game-winning 3-pointer. Maybe he would throw out enough nifty passes to fill a highlight reel. Maybe he would carry those positive vibes he has felt for Lakers coach Luke Walton and show how that will lift his game.Instead, Russell opened exhibition play against Sacramento on Tuesday collecting nearly as many fouls (three) as points (four) and logging more turnovers (five) than assists (three). The Lakers only beat the Kings, 103-84 because the reserves chipped away at a 13-point half-time deficit.“It was average,” Russell said of his play. “I didn’t have that pace and pep in my step. But it’s all new.”So with the Lakers (1-0) continuing their exhibition schedule against the Denver Nuggets (1-0) on Friday at Staples Center, Russell vowed for a much better encore. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “It only gets better. The only way we can go is forward,” Russell said. “With the new coaching staff and offense, everything is still new. No matter how times we’ve gone over it, going against different defenders, teams and reads, it’s all new.”Everything seemed even more new to rookie forward Brandon Ingram, whose two points and 0-of-5 clip overshadowed his two rebounds, two blocks and one steal.After experiencing mixed performances and evolving roles his rookie season last year, Russell predicted Ingram’s hiccups will not last long.“It only gets easier,” Russell said. “The more he starts to trust the system and relaxes, I feel like it’ll be easier. He’s going to realize where he can get his shots and what he can get away with this in this league.”Expanding his boundaries