Officials of one of the world’s foremost sports investment agencies, Doyen Sports Group, and Arsenal Football Club are expected to sign an agreement with the Phoenix All-Star Academy this afternoon in Kingston.The deal, which is being hailed by Phoenix co-founder Craig Butler as a major development for Jamaican football, will see the agency, which, among other ventures, manages the certain affairs for some of the planet’s leading footballers, partner with Phoenix in the establishment of a state-of-the-art football academy just outside of Montego Bay, as well as prepare, market and place talent from the club into the European market.Doyen’s website lists names such as Neymar, Radamel Falcao, Mangala, Alvaro Morata, Alvaro Negredo, and Marcos Rojo, but does not outline the nature of their involvement with the players.The group is considered to be an investment-based organisation that facilitates player transfers.Phoenix already has several players on overseas contracts, with Belgium-based Leon Bailey, who is already in the Genk first team, and Kyle Butler, both doing well. But Craig Butler is confident that this partnership will create opportunities for more players and open another avenue to the international markets.”This partnership between Phoenix Academy and Doyen has many positives. They will partner with us in the building of an academy in Trelawny, as well as the marketing and placement of players in Europe,” Butler told The Gleaner ahead of today’s signing, which is scheduled to take place at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.”Phoenix have done extremely well over the years in terms of our standard of developing players in technical, tactical and personal development. We are creating players that are ready for the European market,” Butler added, while referring to Arsenal’s interest.”Leon (Bailey), at 18 years old, is already one of the best players in Belgium, and is already in the first team there. Kyle is also doing well and should be in the first team soon.”Arsenal have taken note of that and want to come and take a look and see what our other players are about,” added Butler.”This is huge for the country. I still believe that with development, Jamaica can become one of the teams that challenge for World Cups, not just strive to participate and make up numbers,” Butler said.Butler also underlined that a 14-acre property has already been secured by Phoenix All-Star Academy and will be developed to accommodate a full academy, in collaboration with Doyen Sports.
Despite ending Day Two tied on points with main challengers John Mills, defending champions Windward Road Junior High turned up the heat on yesterday’s third and final day at Stadium East to win the 2016 INSPORTS Junior High School Track and Field Championship by more than 100 points.The Oral Whilby-coached team accumulated 562.50 points to finish ahead of John Mills on 457.50 points. New Dayfinished third with 190; Melrose claimed fourth spot with 183.50; and Louise Bennett Coverley came in fifth with 169.Windward Road also topped the male and female categories with 289.50 and 264 points, respectively, in front of John Mills, which was second in both sections.Surprised by large marginWhilby, however, admitted that he never expected his team to win by such a large margin and was more than elated with the outcome.”We won by over a hundred points. I was confident of the victory, but I had no idea the team would perform this well,” he said. He also warned that his team has the foundation to continue this winning streak.”We should retain this championship. A lot of our points came from the lower grades, and they will be stepping up in class. John Mills did their thing in the past, but this new era has Windward Road written all over it, so we are looking forward to next year,” he added.Meanwhile, seven athletes shared the overall champion boy prize and six shared the female honours.In the male section, the award was shared by Jaheim Gilmore, Nemoy Cockett, and Kevin Wilson of John Mills, Amontae Wray of Windward Road; Shelton Britton of Louise Bennett; Mickel Wilson of Braeton; and Lennox Barrett of Melrose, who all contributed 18 points each to their schools.For the females, Gregory Park’s Leanna Lewis and Shantonique McCalla shared the award with Kamesha Graham of New Day; Shaniece Benjamin of John Mills, Ashley Johnson of Melrose; and Janealia Brown of Windward Road, who all scored 18 points.John Mills coach Ransford Spalding says the lower classes was their downfall but says they intend to improve on this area for next year.”Where we went wrong is in the primary division. We only scored 12 points and Windward Road score 140 points, but we have to congratulate them (Windward Road) because they have a team and John Mills don’t have a structured team,” he said.
Four football personalities will be honourees at the 30th staging of the Bell-Ziadie Memorial matches on Heroes Day (Monday, October 17) at Winchester Park, St George’s College. Among this year’s honourees are former FIFA referee Peter Prendergast, former schoolboy and national star, Kenneth ‘Bop’ Campbell, and posthumously former national goalkeeper Orville Edwards and former St George’s College and national player, Leighton Hue. “This year, we will honour four persons who contributed to the development of football in Jamaica,” chief organiser Clive ‘Busy’ Campbell disclosed during the launch of the Masters and Celebrities-promoted event at Cuddy’z Restaurant and Grill in New Kingston on Tuesday. Campbell also said it is time for Jamaica to get “back to basics” in the development of football in Jamaica. “We are all saddened that we failed in our bid to advance to World Cup 2018. We all can say we could have, we should have, but that is now history,” Campbell said. “We need to get back to basics, nurturing our youngsters and putting in place structured programmes as a start. We can do better,” said the former Jamaica Football Federation league director, during the time when Rene Simoes came to Jamaica. He added: “I appeal to the coaches of the various football clubs to ensure that they nurture the young talent that is in their care by guiding them, talk to them about the basic principles of football. The coaches need to explain to them why being disciplined is important, explain to them why education is important as one must be intelligent to play football. Explain to them why team work is important. Once they get that, I think we should be well on our way.” He further said: “Coaches should do it for the love of the game, do it for Jamaica, do it because of the passion you feel. Do it for the talented young men who are hungry for any opportunity and not for the fame and fortune that may just come your way.” Former FIFA referee, Prendergast, called for the development of proper surfaces in order for the improvement of the game in Jamaica. “We must have proper playing fields to move forward. We cannot continue to play on those surfaces that is affecting the game,” Prendergast said. The Bell-Ziadie matches are scheduled to start at 2 p.m., with three teams participating. The teams include St George’s College Invitational, Chris Martin Invitational and Masters and Celebrities. Among the names are former World Cup players Walter Boyd, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, as well as Shavar Thomas, Usain Bolt, Jermaine Gonzales, Nicholas Ziadie and others. Winthorpe ‘Jackie’ Bell and Dennis Ziadie died in an accident during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Finals in Mexico City, Mexico. Since then, ‘Busy’ Campbell has organised the game to honour both men, who contributed significantly to local football. MESSAGE TO COACHES
Almost three years after a proposed local franchise system, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is yet to make a move, with club officials expressing mixed views on the plan.The board of directors of the Jamaica Football Federation went into a strategic planning retreat on May 3-4 in 2014 to chart the way forward for Jamaica’s football in general and the JFF in particular.This franchise system was originally scheduled to be rolled out for the 2015-16 season but was pushed back by a season.However, there remains mixed reactions to the proposals with a number of top local football administrators expressing conflicting views.WAY FORWARD”I have been saying that a franchise system is the way forward. It has been talked, about but nothing done,” said Orville Powell president of reigning Red Stripe Premier League champions Montego Bay United.”We (MBU) have not heard nothing yet. There is a Premier League that could be easily turned into a franchise system. But, the clubs must have a proper structure. It seems to be a dream,” Powell added.Chairman of Tivoli Gardens Edward Seaga is not in support of a franchise system because he believes that it is a way for the JFF to take back control of the club system.”I am absolutely not in support. It’s a way for the JFF to take back the contribution that goes with it. The PLCA would be wiped out,” noted Seaga, who is also chairman of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ).Clyde Jureidini, general manager of Harbour View, added that it could work if properly managed.”It could be a step in the right direction. Proper funding must be in place for it to last 10-15 years in the first instance,” Jureidini said.There is still no indication from the JFF on what is causing the delays.A Franchise Committee, which is chaired by Gary Sinclair, was established and tasked with the responsibility of piloting the transition; including the finalisations of criteria for the franchises.However, Sinclair could not be reached for updates with several calls and messages to his mobile phone over the past few months going unanswered.
For Hope, it was his third hundred in seven games, following his back-to-back efforts in the semi-final and final of the Regional Super50 last month. Brathwaite combined with Alleyne to add 45 for the first wicket and safely navigate the first hour for the hosts. However, Alleyne seemingly lost concentration following the drinks break and fell to the second delivery, wafting at a short ball from left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer and nicking a catch behind to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich. Any hopes Jaguars had of slicing through Pride’s top order were then dashed, however, as Brathwaite and Hope combined to keep the visitors wicket-less for the remainder of the session and the entirety of the post-lunch period. BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Test batsman Kraigg Brathwaite carved out his 18th first-class hundred to surpass 7,000 first-class runs as Barbados Pride dominated leaders Guyana Jaguars on the opening day of their eighth round game here yesterday. He was joined by West Indies teammate Shai Hope, who gathered his fifth first-class hundred as Pride, choosing to bat first at Kensington Oval, ended the day on 293 for two. Brathwaite struck 143 while Hope entertained with an unbeaten 118, the pair putting on 205 for the second wicket in a partnership that pulled the hosts around from 45 for one after left-hander Anthony Alleyne perished cheaply for eight in the first session. Playing only his second game of this season’s regional four-day championship, the 24-year-old Brathwaite immediately made his presence felt. All told, he struck 17 fours in an innings lasting 236 balls and just over 43/4 hours, passing the 7,000-run landmark when he reached 36. Hope, meanwhile, extended his rich vein of recent form, counting 15 fours and two sixes in a knock spanning 257 deliveries and just under five hours at the crease. THIRD HUNDRED
Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Of those matches, the Philippines dropped a 112-11 loss to Malaysia which has put the team in ignominy.Against the Thais, however, the Filipinos will at least try to come up with a competitive showing to jumpstart their campaigns.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Singapore won the gold two years ago, while Malaysia took silver. Brunei and Thailand tied for bronze. The country finished sixth behind Myanmar which was fifth. LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano KUALA LUMPUR — Women’s netball, which joined at the last minute, will battle Thailand at 3 p.m. to kickstart its Southeast Asian Games campaign at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara here.Netball Philippines president Dr. Charlie Ho said they are more prepared this time than two years ago when the team debuted in the biennial games and lost all five matches.ADVERTISEMENT Teen gunned down in Masbate Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend PH coach confident of chances against Cambodia in men’s U-22 football 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Francis Casey ALCANTARA. Photo from ITFTennis.comKUALA LUMPUR — Francis Casey Alcantara wants his revenge over the dreaded Thai twins, who spoiled it for the Philippine men’s team two years ago.To be paired with Ruben Gonzales this time, Alcantara said he would like to finally win the men’s doubles gold against current champs Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat Ratiwatana of Thailand.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Indonesia angered after Malaysia puts wrong flag in SEA Games book National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano The twins derailed Alcantara and Treat Huey in the semifinals, before frustrating Gonzales and Jeson Patrombon in the finals.“We want some revenge from our loss,” said Alcantara as tennis competition starts Monday at national Tennis Center, Sports Complex Jalan Duta.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Huey won’t see action but Alcantara tried to downplay it by saying the team, including novice AJ Lim, is ready because it has been playing all year long.The women’s team will be composed of Katharina Lehnert, Denise Dy, Clarice Patrimonio and Khim Iglupas. Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Huey and Dy won the mixed doubles, which was the country’s only gold medal to show in Singapore SEA Games.“Treat is not here so our chances are affected in mixed,” admitted top tennis official Romy Magat who said Dy will be paired with either Alcantara or Gonzales.There won’t be team tie event this time, and Alcantara said that would alleviate the absence of Huey who is ranked in in the top 50 in doubles.ADVERTISEMENT Teen gunned down in Masbate Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
MOST READ His freebies with 10.4 seconds left sealed the deal for the Saints team, comprised of stars from Perpetual, San Beda, Letran, San Sebastian, and St. Benilde.Gab Dagangon added 14 markers and three boards, while Rey Nambatac had 12 points, three assists, and two rebounds for the Saints.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The Heroes had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but Tey Teodoro lost the handle on his drive as the Saints secured the steal, before Eze got hacked on his undergoal stab in the last 10 seconds.Coach Boyet Fernandez enjoyed the rare chance to mentor these collection of players. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPrince Eze imposed his presence down low and carried the Saints over Heroes, 84-80, in the 2017 NCAA All-Star Game Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Nigerian big man continued his dominant tear, tallying a double-double of 17 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks to come away with the All-Star MVP award.ADVERTISEMENT Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees LATEST STORIES Quarters: 23-18, 45-41, 66-64, 84-80. Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next No Christmas Mass at Notre Dame for first time in two centuries PLAY LIST 01:42No Christmas Mass at Notre Dame for first time in two centuries03:48Passengers flock to Naia one day before ‘Undas’04:36Undas 2019: Remembering the dead and reuniting with the living01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net“At least, the players enjoyed the game. We did try to balance the playing time for everyone so that they’ll be given a chance to play. At least in the end, when it was a close game, we made some stops,” he said.CJ Perez paced the Heroes team, made up of studs from Lyceum, JRU, EAC, Arellano, and Mapua, with 15 points, four rebounds, four steals, three assists, and a block.Jerome Garcia also went 3-of-4 from threes to wound up with nine markers in the defeat.The Scores:SAINTS 84 – Eze 17, Dagangon 14, Nambatac 12, Bolick 7, Quinto 6, Baetiong 6, Mocon 5, Valdez 5, Potts 4, Calvo 3, Domingo 3, Dixon 1, Baytan 0, Castor 0, Ylagan 0.HEROES 80 – Perez 15, Garcia 9, Salado 8, Victoria 7, Flores 6, Mendoza 6, Teodoro 5, Munsayac 5, Grospe 4, Enriquez 4, Bunag 4, Nzeusseu 3, Raflores 3, Onwubere 1, Ayaay 0.ADVERTISEMENT Kobe Paras relishes representing Philippines Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles View comments
When he was coaching Far Eastern U in the UAAP, Nash Racela would gush on how Raymar Jose led the Tams by example. The burly big man would go all out even during practices, thus giving teammates no excuse to slack off.ADVERTISEMENT That’s why when Jose was doing double duty in basketball—training with the national team and anchoring Cignal’s run in the PBA D-League—coach Boyet Fernandez would often sit the former FEU stalwart during practices.“If you let him practice, he’s just going to go in there and play like it’s a game,” Fernandez said during an appearance at Sports IQ Thursday. “So rather than risk injuring him and making him unavailable for Gilas [Pilipinas], I’d just let him rest.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Pamboy Raymundo’s commitment to Cignal’s D-League bid was just as solid. The tough-as-nails point guard would show up first during practice and log out after everybody had left.“He’s just out there working on his game,” said Fernandez. Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees That commitment became even more critical when the Hawkeyes moved their practices to 5:30 a.m. to accomodate the class schedule of Jason Perkins. Raymundo didn’t mind the switch. He just showed up earlier.“He’ll be there before 5:15,” Fernandez said. That the whole team agreed to practicing at dawn was a big reason for Cignal’s latest triumph in the D-League, where the Hawkeyes brushed aside Centro Escolar on the way to back-to-back titles in the season.“It was easy to make the sacrifice to practice earlier because we knew what Jason could do for the team,” Raymundo said.Perkins made it even easier for the team to adjust to the schedule: “Sometimes, he’ll be at the gym at 4 a.m.,” Fernandez said.But at the heart of the victory is the hard work that the team put into winning the crown.ADVERTISEMENT Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ “That’s why I always tell sportswriters, credit to the players. Because I really mean it. You can be a good coach but nothing will happen if you don’t have players who will follow the system and put in the hard work,” added Fernandez, who is often jokingly chided by the sports press for his oft-repeated go-to post-game interview comment.But Fernandez’ legacy in the D-League is no laughing matter. He has won eight titles in nine championship appearances. And sure, his teams were powerhouse squads on paper. But it was never an excuse for the team to give anything less than their best effort.Jose knows why. As part of the Southeast Asian Games gold-winning Gilas Pilipinas cadets squad, Jose knows being guaranteed the title doesn’t mean you will end up winning.“You still have to play hard because you don’t know what the opponent can do,” Jose said.Because of his stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the SEA Games, Jose missed the championship series, leaving the Hawkeyes without a marquee big man against a squad that featured the towering Rod Ebondo.But Raymundo and Jose, who was named D-League MVP while he was playing in the SEA Games final in Malaysia, were not concerned.“We have faith in coach,” Raymundo said, And Jose agreed. “He is very hardworking and that gave us confidence against CEU.”And with that hard work as a main weapon, there was no stopping Cignal from claiming yet another D-League crown. MOST READ Ang spearheads strong PH showing LATEST STORIES Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay View comments
Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ A costly, catty dispute finally settled View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson No. 1 Nadal will be a significant favorite Sunday against No. 32 Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to become the lowest-ranked U.S. Open finalist since the ATP’s computer rankings began in 1973. The 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Anderson, who won an NCAA doubles title at the University of Illinois, is equipped with a big serve, certainly, but he only once had even been a quarterfinalist at a major until this week. He’s also lost all four previous matches against Nadal.Plus there’s this: Nadal looked as good as ever over the last three sets against del Potro, further confirmation of his return to the height of his powers. Nadal is again healthy and capable of excellence, after wrist and knee injuries dulled his effectiveness in 2015 and 2016 — the first seasons since 2004 in which he not only failed to win a Grand Slam trophy but didn’t even make a final.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“It’s been an amazing season, of course, after a couple of years with some troubles, injuries, tough moments,” Nadal said. “So this year, since the beginning has been a very emotional year.”He reached the Australian Open final in January, losing to Roger Federer, then claimed his record 10th French Open championship in June. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson By now, Nadal was pulling his own intimidating, topspin-lathered forehand up the line and attacking whenever del Potro left a ball short.It was quickly clear that the only doubt remaining was what the final score would be.“Just the fight to be in the final, and have a chance to fight for another title here, is so important for me,” Nadal said.Hours earlier, Anderson was so excited that he celebrated his semifinal victory as if it made him the champion, stepping on a chair and then a flower box to help him climb into his guest box in the stands.“I don’t know if it’s appropriate,” Anderson said. “It certainly felt the right thing to do.”Hip, leg and elbow injuries caused him to miss time this season. Ankle surgery, plus left knee, right shoulder and groin injuries were problems last year.He is appearing in his 34th major tournament and took advantage of a draw depleted by withdrawals of several top players, including past champions Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.“It’s nice that some of them gave us a bit of a shot to make a run in this tournament,” Anderson said. Winning start MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after beating Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)NEW YORK — Once Rafael Nadal went from passive to aggressive and got his uppercut of a forehand going, it didn’t take long for him to power into the U.S. Open final.Closing in on a third title at Flushing Meadows and 16th Grand Slam championship overall, Nadal overcame a so-so start with an overwhelming performance the rest of the way Friday night, taking nine games in a row during one stretch to beat 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend South African Kevin Anderson advances to US Open final Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Break new ground Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Save for a less-than-dominant opening set Friday, in which Nadal had nine winners and 10 unforced errors, he barely missed his targets. His numbers the rest of the way: 36 winners, 10 unforced errors.Eventually, Del Potro’s flat, fearsome forehand became less dangerous, as if he suddenly remembered just how weary he was. Dealing with an illness, del Potro came back from a two-set deficit to win his fourth-rounder in five sets, then got past 19-time major champion Federer in the quarterfinals in four. Maybe it was all too much for del Potro, whose one Grand Slam title came via wins over Nadal in the semifinals and Federer in the final in New York eight years ago.That was the last time Nadal lost in a major semifinal ; he’s now won 15 in a row. This time, the 24th-seeded del Potro actually edged ahead with the match’s first break, going up 3-2 in the first set when a backhand return caught the net tape and took a fortuitous roll over to Nadal’s side for a winner.That was greeted with a chorus of “Ole, ole, ole, ole! Del-po! Del-po!” for the popular Argentine, who would serve out that set, punctuating it with a forehand.Maybe that woke up Nadal, who wouldn’t again relinquish a game until he owned the second set and a 3-0 lead in the third. The next time del Potro served, Nadal finally earned his first break point with some fantastic defense, throwing himself to his left to somehow get back one massive forehand from del Potro, who — perhaps stunned that ball came back — sent his next forehand long.ADVERTISEMENT