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PARIS: Second seed Petra Kvitova pulled out of the Paris WTA Open on Thursday (Friday in Manila) citing respiratory problems, with organizers giving her place to a lucky loser. Kvitova withdrew ahead of her second round date with France’s Alize Cornet. AFP

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NEW YORK: Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh highlight the reserves as a number of familiar faces were added to the NBA all-star game on Thursday (Friday in Manila). The game is on February 16 in New Orleans. AFP

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ACCRA: Russian former chess great and fierce Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov said on Thursday (Friday in Manila) that the Sochi Winter Olympics promoted “dictatorship” in the country and called on athletes to protest. Kasparov has previously slammed the staging of the Games in the Black Sea resort, claiming infrastructure would…

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The NBA Rookie Class of 2013 was expected to be one of the worst in recent memory and more than halfway into the season, it seems to be looking that way. Out of this draft class, only a few have shown that they belong in a professional league. The rest…

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BACOLOD City: Alexis Soqueno of Negros Occidental province and Karen Janario of Leyte province grabbed four gold medals apiece on Thursday in the athletics event of the Batang Pinoy national finals at the Pana-ad Sports Park and Stadium here. The 15-year-old Soqueno ruled the boys 110-m boys hurdles with a…

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Juvic Pagunsan, suspended by the local tour organizers last year for misconduct, has refused to pay his fine, giving up his slot instead in the rich The Country Club Invitational set to fire off next week at the posh TCC layout in Laguna. Pagunsan recently asked the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments,…

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Eight swimmers who made a splash in the recently-concluded 52nd Philippine Swimming League (PSL) Leg Series dubbed as The Manila Times College Swimming Championship showed readiness to compete in the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala in Cape Town , South Africa. PSL-TMTC gold medalists Denjylie Cordero, McTracy John…

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NEW YORK: Seattle punter Jon Ryan and Denver offensive guard Chris Kuper, the Super Bowl 48 players from the coldest climes, laugh at the idea it will be oppressively chilly on game day. The first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city will be staged on Sunday in suburban New…

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MIAMI: LeBron James won the last two MVP awards but his grip on the trophy could be slipping after Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the Miami Heat 112-95 Wednesday. Durant, who has finished second to James in MVP voting three times in his career, scored 33 points to stretch…