14 Sep 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

2:35 pm on 14 September 2020

Latest - The Australian National Basketball League season will start in mid-January at the earliest.

New Zealand Breakers' Tom Abercrombie

Breakers captain Tom Abercrombie. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman said the main reason for pushing the start of the season back to the new year is to give the clubs the best opportunity to play in front of as many fans as possible.

The NBL have stated they will remain flexible about the exact start date and this will depend on a number of factors including travel and border restrictions, community transmission numbers and availability at venues across Australia and New Zealand.

The NBL are planning to play a full season and if needed the competition will be played in one or more hubs to achieve this.

Ko fights back for top ten finish

A final round six under 66 has fired New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko into a top ten finish at the ANA Inspiration women's major in California.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand plays a tee shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the ANA Inspiration at the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club on September 10, 2020 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Photo: AFP

Seemingly out of contention at the major championship she won in 2016 after starting the day in a tie for 36th, Ko shot the lowest round of the day which included seven birdies carding a six under 66.

The former world number one finished in sixth place to earn $160,000 and will no back look back with disappointment on her second round 74 which effectively put her out of contention to win her third major.

South Korea's Mirim Lee won the tournament in a three way play off.

Lee eagled her final hole of regulation to force playoff with American Nelly Korda and Canadian Brooke Henderson then birdied the first extra hole to walk off with a maiden LPGA major title.


Tour de France all but over for defending champion

Tadej Pogacar beat fellow Slovenian and overall leader Primoz Roglic to win the 15th stage of the Tour de France as defending champion Egan Bernal all but abandoned his crown after a brutal failure.

Tadej Pogacar of UAE TEAM EMIRATES in the 2020 Tour de France cycling race

Tadej Pogacar Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Colombian was dropped 13km from the finish at the top of the Col du Grand Colombier, an unforgiving 17.4km ascent at an average gradient of 7.1 per cent, and lost seven minutes 20 seconds on the line.

Two-time runner-up and fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana also quickly lost contact with the leading group led by Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team mates, who set a frantic tempo from the bottom of the climb.

Pogacar, however, was the freshest man in the finale as he outsprinted Roglic for the victory at the end of a punishing 174.5km trek in the Jura mountains, confirming he was the odds-on favourite's main rival.

Australian Richie Porte took third place, at 35 enjoying a sweet resurgence on the Tour.

Roglic leads Pogacar by 40 seconds and Colombian Rigoberto Uran by 1:34 as the race is turning into an all-Slovenian affair following Bernal's disappearance.

- Reuters

Mourinho blasts Spurs fitness in defeat

Jose Mourinho accused some of his players of laziness and bad fitness after his lacklustre Tottenham Hotspur side's 1-0 home defeat by Everton in their Premier League opener.

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho Photo: Photosport

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's 55th-minute header settled the issue and Tottenham's display, especially in the second half, led to some harsh words from manager Mourinho.

"Against good teams like Everton if you let them play from the back they are comfortable with very good technical players. If you don't press them you give them ammunition," he said.

"We were lazy in our pressing. That is a consequence of bad fitness, bad pre-season. Some players didn't even have a pre-season. Some players had a wrong state of mind. I don't want to speak about it -- I'm not sure about it."

With Carlo Ancelotti in the opposing dugout it was a meeting of two of the game's most decorated coaches, but it was Italian Ancelotti who won the head-to-head hand's down.

With Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez, signed this week from Real Madrid, French powerhouse Abdoulaye Doucoure and Brazilian midfielder Allan all making impressive debuts, Everton were unrecognisable to the stodgy team of last season.

- Reuters

Leicester City open EPL season with a win

Belgium defender Timothy Castagne scored on his debut for Leicester City with striker Jamie Vardy adding two late penalties as the Foxes completed a 3-0 opening away win at West Bromwich Albion.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City.

Jamie Vardy Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Vardy and Harvey Barnes had chances to open the scoring in the first half for Leicester but both men were denied by excellent saves from West Brom's resilient goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

"It's always tough going to a newly-promoted team," said Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.

"The first half was a bit slow - we didn't penetrate enough. Once we found our rhythm, we played very well in the second half. We created chances and looked to attack the game."

Castagne, who signed a five-year deal after joining from Atalanta, broke the deadlock on 56 minutes when he headed in a cross from his fellow Belgian Dennis Praet.

Slaven Bilic's West Brom were indisciplined in defence as they gave away two penalties in 10 minutes for professional fouls.

Vardy was last season's Premier League top goalscorer with 23 goals and he opened his account at the Hawthorns with two confident strikes in succession from the spot.


Morbidelli claims maiden MotoGP victory

Petronas Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli produced a dominant display to win the San Marino Grand Prix after team mate Fabio Quartararo was forced to retire from the race at Misano.

Italian Morbidelli, who started second on the grid, finished in 42 minutes, 2.272 seconds to comfortably beat Pramac Racing's Francesco Bagnaia and secure his first MotoGP win.

Spain's Juan Mir edged out seven-times MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi to take the final podium place, much to the disappointment of fans who returned to the grandstands with social distancing rules amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 25-year-old Morbidelli started fast to lead at the first corner from Rossi, who was chasing his 200th podium finish, and maintained his advantage throughout the race.

Frenchman Quartararo, bidding for his third win of the season, crashed after losing control of his bike at turn four and he had to play catch up after dropping to 20th. He hit the tarmac again after a visit to the pits on lap 20 before retiring from the race.

Pole-sitter Maverick Vinales of Yamaha, who set an all-time lap record at the circuit on Saturday, could only finish sixth.

- Reuters