By Adedapo Adesanya
The Milwaukee Bucks is one win away from their second NBA Championship after defeating the Phoenix Suns 123-119 in Game 5 over the weekend and taking a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals.
They will have an upper hand when the series shifts back to Milwaukee for Game 6, a must-win on the road for the Suns.
The Bucks were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo who recorded 32 points and nine rebounds, with some big plays down the stretch from Khris Middleton (29 points and seven rebounds) and Jrue Holiday (27 points, 13 assists and three steals).
Devin Booker had a spectacular night for the Suns, scoring 40 points, but was stripped off the ball by Jrue Holiday in the Bucks’ pivotal defensive play late in the fourth quarter. Chris Paul had 21 points and 11 assists, and Deandre Ayton added 20 points and 10 rebounds.
For Nigerian basketball fans, Game 6 will be on Wednesday, 2:00 a.m. West African Time (WAT).
Speaking on this, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) said, “I feel like we don’t stop. I feel like — I’ve been a part of different teams. Usually when you’re down 15 or 16 or whatever, down 0-2 or whatever the case might be.
“You kind of stop competing in a way. But I feel like this team, we don’t do that. We haven’t done that all year long, I think. I can’t remember, I can’t go that far back, but we keep competing.
“I can’t get too carried away. I have to stay in the present. I can’t worry about the outcome. Obviously, we know what the deal is. It’s one game away from being an NBA champ, being in the history of this game, being always there. You know, nobody can take that away from you.
“Doing it in front of our families and our fans, it’s big. It’s going to be big. That can wait. We’ve got to focus and keep playing good basketball. We’ve got to go back home and we’ve got to recover.
“I’ve got to grab some burgers, eat something right now because I’m hungry. And then we’ve got to watch the clips and see what we did well, what we didn’t do well what can we do better. There are steps to it before the game.”
On his part, Jrue Holiday (Bucks) added, “Everybody. My brothers, my wife, my parents. I think during the game though, most of the time it’s probably Vin Baker. Vin Baker is always in my ear continually telling me to be aggressive, continually telling me to pick up full court and make it hard on Chris and Book and continually telling me I’m the greatest. Yeah, I give a lot of credit to him.”
Pat Connaughton (Bucks) made it known that “We don’t really care if it’s Bucks in whatever; we just want it to be Bucks, right. I think it’s been great to rally the fan base. I think they have actually had it for a few years, so it’s been a cool thing to hear and see. But at the end of the day, we go out there every single night trying to win, trying to represent the city of Milwaukee to the best of our ability.
“We’ve got to do it again. The job’s not done. It was a great win tonight. We had each other’s backs and there were ebbs and flows to the game that I think really brought us together and showed us that we can fight through adversity. But we’ve still got one more.”
Meanwhile, Chris Paul (Suns) was more optimistic saying, “It’s a 48-minute game. I’ll go back and look at it and see, but we got to play the way we started off the game, we got to put a full game together like that, especially going there. We got to win a game in Milwaukee, so that’s all that matters right now.”
As for Mikal Bridges (Suns) clarified that “We’re ready, man, we’re ready for next game. If you sulk about it, it’s, the blink of an eye the season is going to be over. So, we’ll learn from it, Coach is going to show clips and what we have to do better, but we know what we have to do. But we’re ready, man, just do or die. We lose it’s over. So, we got to go out there and play our way and go get Game 6.”
Manchester United Sack Solskjaer as Carrick Takes Over
By Dipo Olowookere
The top English football club, Manchester United, have sacked their manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, after a run of poor results.
The club in a statement confirmed this development on Sunday, thanking the manager, who is a legend of the club because of his exploits as a player, for his services.
Solskjaer gave a hint of his imminent sack on Saturday after a defeat to struggling Watford by 4-1 at Vicarage Road when he waved goodbye to the away side after the match.
While doing this, the club’s assistant captain, Bruno Fernandes, gestured to the United fans that the fault of the crisis in the dressing room was not the coach’s alone but the entire team.
This was echoed by the team’s shot-stopper, David De Gea, in his post-match reaction when he blamed the players too for the poor performances in recent games.
But it was very certain that the Watford game would be Solskjaer’s last in charge of the club and this was officially announced on Sunday in a statement.
The club further said a former player of the Man United and one of the backroom staff of Solskjaer, Michael Carrick, will take charge in the interim until a permanent manager is announced.
“Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as manager.
“Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.
“Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future.
“His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.
“Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season,” the statement disclosed.
Mamador Splashes N6.5m on Nigerian Athletes
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
Nigerian athletes who won medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been rewarded with the sum of N6.5 million as a congratulatory gift from Mamador, the premium food brand from PZ Wilmar and producers of cooking vegetable oil.
They included the winner of Nigeria’s first Olympic wrestling medal (silver), Blessing Oborududu, and Ese Brume, who got the bronze medal on the long jump, while the Paralympic teams consist of Flora Ugwunwa, Bose Omolayo, Folashade Oluwafemiayo and Latifat Tijani.
The sum of N1.5 million was given to Ese Brume, and Blessing Oborududu, while the sportsmen of the Paralympic team, who all won para-powerlifting gold medals at the games, were rewarded N5 million to commend their outstanding performances, totalling N6.5 million.
During the presentation of the cheques to the medalist at an event held in Lagos, the Managing Director Mamador Group, Mr Ipsit Charkrabarti, congratulated the stars on behalf of its parent company, PZ Wilmar.
Noting that the athletes have made the country proud, he said, “Mamador as a brand has been able to celebrate womanhood and the culinary strength of Nigeria cuisines for many years. Now it is time for us to express our honour and pride to celebrating the sports stars.”
On her part, the Head of Marketing Mamador Group, Mrs Chioma Mbanudu, reiterated the company’s full support for sport as it plays a unifying role for the human society, portraying the essentiality of discipline, goal setting, leadership, among others.
The cheque was presented by the Finance Director Mamador Group, Mr Amra Kuma, and collected by their representatives of the teams.
The gesture is in furtherance of the company’s corporate social responsibility sequel to a few months ago when the company organized a special edition program, Mamador August Women Meeting, that enabled a platform for women from all walks of life and social class to discuss, share experiences, encourage, and support each other in achieving fulfilment in their chosen endeavours.
Richest Nigerian Athletes
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is endowed with great sporting talent. It is home to world-beaters. Thousands of Nigerian athletes have made it big in the sporting scene, from boxing, soccer, basketball, athletics, and many other disciplines.
Big names in football have played in the top European leagues, while others brush shoulders against the best in the NBA, the world’s most lucrative basketball championship. It is normal that Nigerians are always following the progress of their own, and are constantly betting on various sports on bet9ja and other top bookmakers operating in the country.
We’ll be looking at the richest of them in this article.
- Anthony Joshua – Net Worth $80 million
Anthony Joshua is a professional boxer born in Watford, Hertfordshire in England and then returned to Nigeria. He has won the unified world heavyweight title two times. To add to the title, he has had IBF, WBO, and IBO since December 2019 and previously between 2016 to June 2019.
From 2015 to 2016, he held the commonwealth heavyweight title. His current net worth stands at $80 million, becoming one of the richest boxers in the world.
- Mikel Obi – Net Worth $60 million
John Obi Mikel, a Nigerian professional footballer, currently plays for Stoke City in England. Obi Mikel commenced his career in Nigeria, where he played for Plateau United. He has played for Chelsea in England, Lyn in Norway, Chinese club Tianjin TEDA, EFL championship club Middlesbrough, Trabzonspor in Turkey throughout his career so far.
Obi Mikel assisted Chelsea to lift two premier league titles, three FA titles, FA community shield, UEFA champions league, football league cup. In 2013, he won the Turkish cup while playing for Trabzonspor and the African cup of nations with Nigeria’s national team.
- Odion Ighalo – Net Worth $43 million
Odion Jude Ighalo is a Nigerian professional footballer currently playing for Saudi Club Al Shabab. Odion began his career in Nigeria, where he played for Nigerian clubs Prime and Julius Berger. In 2007 he moved to the Lyn club in Norway.
The Nigerian national has played in various football clubs, including Watford in England, Chinese club Yatai, Manchester United in the English premier league, and Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
- Obafemi Martins – Net Worth $41 Million
Obafemi Martins currently plays for Wuhan Zall in the Chinese super league. He left his country at the age of 16, and since then, he has played in various top clubs in Europe. He has played for Inter Milan before moving to the EPL side, Newcastle United.
Obafemi’s former employers include Vfl Wolfsburg, Rubin Kazan, English club Birmingham city, and Seattle club in the United States. He has won Serie A titles, 2 Italian Cups, and the Italian super league throughout his career.
- Victor Moses – Net Worth $27 Million
Victor Moses currently plies his trade for Spartak Moscow in the Russian top tier, but he’s on loan from English giants Chelsea. He started his football career at Crystal Palace and has played in numerous clubs in Europe, including Wigan Athletic, which marked his premier league debut. Other clubs include Chelsea, Liverpool, Stoke City, and West Ham United.
He has won various trophies throughout his career, including premier league title, FA Cup, and 2 UEFA Europa League with inter Milan, where he spent some time on loan. He helped the national team in winning the African cup of nations in 2013.
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