Coutinho left out of Liverpool squad for Hoffenheim clash

first_imgLiverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho was not included in the 22-man travelling squad for the first leg of their Champions League playoff against Hoffenheim, the Premier League club said on Monday.According to reports in British media, Barcelona target Coutinho submitted a transfer request last week after Liverpool rejected a second bid worth 100 million euros from the La liga club.Coutinho also missed Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at Watford on Saturday due to a back injury, with manager Jurgen Klopp conceding he had no control over the 25-year-old’s future at the club.Under current Uefa rules, Coutinho’s participation in the playoff round against Hoffenheim would not jeopardise a move in the current transfer window. The Brazil international will remain eligible to feature for another club in next month’s Champions League group stage.The Merseyside club will also be without striker Daniel Sturridge, who has failed to recover from a thigh injury sustained during the pre-season.Hoffenheim host Liverpool at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena on Tuesday before the two sides meet again at Anfield next week.last_img read more

Presidential candidates point to staff development at JOA

first_imgJamaica Olympic Association (JOA) presidential candidate Vishu Tolan has said that if elected, more staff will be employed to meet the needs of the association. Tolan, who is the current JOA first vice president, will be running against the body’s secretary general Christopher Samuda on Tuesday, to replace outgoing president Michael Fennell. “The first thing we’re going to do is we’re gonna employ a general manager/CEO, along with staff to meet the federation’s needs,” Tolan told The Gleaner. Samuda made similar promises to Tolan’s regarding the association staff, in his manifesto. He said that he has plans to restructure and enhance the competence of the JOA staff for greater output. However, Tolan said that his tenure, should he win, will not be a complete departure from how Fennell operated the association as president. He said he intends to continue the work done by the previous administration. “We will build on the excellent foundation that previous boards, headed by the Honourable Mike Fennell, OJ CD, have established and will seek to ensure that every sporting organisation affiliated with the JOA realises their full potential,” Tolan said in his manifesto. In his manifesto, Tolan also said that he plans to create a long-term strategic plan which will see Jamaica qualifying 100 athletes across 12 sporting disciplines for the 2024 Olympic Games. He also plans to support increased opportunities for development and training for local sport administrators. Samuda, on the other hand, said in his manifesto that “any successful organisation has at its core, a strong and viable corporate governance structure”, and that the JOA is no different and must lead. He said that he intends to achieve this by affirming the JOA’s board of directors as the primary policymaking body for members; strengthening the board’s secretariat as the implementation arm of the board of directors; Samuda also stressed transparency as important to him, should he win. He said that he intends to “enforce the obligation of directors and staff members to make full disclosure, to declare conflicts of interest, to observe confidentiality and to be professional in conduct.” He added that he would ensure that all member association will be treated equally, with regard to monies given to them. This will be through enforcing board policies focused on funding. Apart from the presidential race, other sports administrators in Jamaica would be involved in elections against each other for positions within the organisation. Tuesday’s election will take place at the JOA’s headquarters on Cunningham Avenue, in Kingston and 36 of Jamaica’s sporting associations will cast one vote for each position. Excellent foundationlast_img read more

World Cup shorts

first_img Saudi Arabia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi says his team will try to play an all-action, possession-based style in the World Cup’s opening game despite their outsider status. Pizzi was renowned for his emphasis on attack and constant pressure when winning the Copa America with Chile in 2016. But he’s had just seven months with Saudi Arabia since he was appointed in November to prepare them for Thursday’s opening game against Russia Bert van Marwijk led Saudi Arabia through qualifying but left when he couldn’t agree on a new contract. Edgardo Bauza replaced him for just two months before Pizzi took charge. Saudi Arabia are at the World Cup for the first time since 2006 and have not won at the tournament since 1994. – AP The issue of legalising abortion in Argentina has reached the national team at the World Cup in Russia. Goalkeepers Wilfredo Caballero and Nahuel Guzman were asked about it at a news conference at Argentina’s base in Bronnitsy as lawmakers in the South American country debate whether to allow abortions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancies. Chelsea keeper Caballero said he opposes it because he’s Catholic but acknowledged it could be OK in very serious situations. Guzman called it inappropriate to discuss the issue so far from home but emphasised people’s general freedom to choose. Current law punishes women who get abortions with one to four years in prison except in cases of rape or if a woman’s life is in danger. All action for Saudis Two animals have predicted different winners for the World Cup’s opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Achilles the cat at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg picked the home team. The cat was presented with two plates of cat food one marked with a Russian flag and the other with a Saudi one. Achilles hesitated before going for the Russia plate. Spartak the lemur picked Saudi Arabia at a separate ritual at Yekaterinburg Zoo. Abortion debatecenter_img Striker Kylian Mbappe has declared himself fit for France’s opening World Cup Group C game against Australia on Saturday after taking a knock to his ankle in training. The 19-year-old cut short his training session Tuesday after a challenge from behind by central defender Adil Rami. Mbappe fell following the heavy contact and stayed on the ground for several moments. Mbappe said yesterday it was just a scare and maintained he is “100 percent fit.” He said he wanted to carry on training but was advised to go off as a precaution. Mbappe fit for Saturday Different winnerslast_img read more

Minister Noel Holder is a Minister, but is he the Minister of Agriculture?

first_imgMinister Noel Holder is listed as the Agriculture Minister in President David Granger’s Cabinet. But for the last three and a half years, he has been mostly missing in action. On those few instances that he decides to show up and speak, he disowns the responsibility for agriculture. This past week, he briefly showed up and spoke out on the $30 billion loan taken by the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) on behalf of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). The normally gentle Minister was belligerent in his rare speaking-out foray. He claimed he does not know anything about the $30 billion loan, does not know where the money is, does not know who has the money and, “frankly”, he “does not want to know”. This is the Agriculture Minister who has responsibility for sugar, claiming he does not want to know about a loan taken for sugar; a loan that might well be the largest loan ever taken by this nation’s Government.It is irresponsible that the Minister does not want to know about this loan. It is scandalous for the Minister insisting he has no information about the loan. It is illegal that a loan has been taken for sugar and the responsible Minister has not signed off. Something is smelly for the Agriculture Minister to ask where is the $30 billion. The SPU has had a disbursement of $17 billion for almost a year now, paying an interest of 4.75 per cent. GuySuCo already owes hundreds of millions as interest on the loan. Yet, the Agriculture Minister loudly proclaims he “frankly” does not want to know. As Agriculture Minister, I would have kicked up a stink to know. This irresponsible behaviour demands his resignation. I am confident that the Granger Administration did not want the Minister to know and that the SPU did not engage the Minister in any discussion about the loan. I sympathise with the Minister, but hold him responsible, because clearly, he did not want to know.In the meantime, GuySuCo had to wait for nine months before a Board was appointed and throughout all that period, the Minister was silent and even complicit in the non-appointment of the Board. In the absence of the Board, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was appointed. The Minister was not involved in the appointment and learnt of the appointment of Dr Davis as the CEO the same time as all of us. Just as with the loan, he was sidelined in the appointment of the CEO and now he has further been sidelined with the appointment of the Board.This week it has been revealed that the $30 billion loan was arranged by a “fixer” and the cost for fixing the loan was $116 million. This is a Corporation that cannot find money to pay wages of sugar workers on time. Late payment of wages for sugar workers is no longer a rare thing, happening often these days, twice in the last month alone. No one in Government has anything to say about the late payments and has sought to find money to pay wages on a timely basis – a violation of the law. For a cash-strapped Corporation, the pay-out of $116 million to “fix” a loan seems irresponsible. In fact, the first use of the $30 billion loan is to pay the “fixer”. But the Minister has nothing to say and the SPU head says it is only a “storm in a teacup”.The Minister is recklessly AWOL [absent without leave] as Republic Bank announced it is suspending disbursement of the remaining $13 billion of the loan because the SPU has used the loan in contradiction of the terms of the loan. The Minister in his usual style, has not found it necessary to speak out on the “hijacking” of a GuySuCo property in La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara, by the SPU/NICIL to establish a swanky “rum shop” for the privileged in Government to hang out. We know that even the docile GuySuCo management is outraged by this “hijacking”, using GuySuCo funds taken from the $30 billion loan to create a swanky “rum shop”. The Minister needs to stand with GuySuCo and not be docile.It was encouraging to see the Minister venturing out to “speak” his mind. But it is not like he does not want to know anything about sugar, he wants little to do with agriculture. Take his silence over the Panama rice scandal. Twenty containers of rice shipped to Panama has been rejected and the Minister is quiet, nothing to say. Many of us are asking: Do we have a Minister of Agriculture?last_img read more

Saluting…

first_img…el CommandanteIt’s a supreme irony that Fidel Castro, the man who for over fifty years rejected bourgeois values, died on US “Black Friday” – a day epitomising the capitalist drive to squeeze the last penny from the workers through fetishizing bourgeois consumerism. But then the irony was probably lost when American designers from the sixties onwards made Castro’s “anti-bourgeois” military fatigues into a chic fashion statement. Banana Republic, anyone?Castro was one of the last real “revolutionaries”. Not just a revolutionary to overthrow a repressive government – even though that’s nothing to scoff at. Not just a revolutionary to bring poor Cubans of African descent into the cities and install them into the posh homes of the departed ruling strata who’d departed to Florida…and helped to break the racial segregation that’d prevailed up to then.Not just a revolutionary who insisted education must be available all the way to university and medical schools – absolutely free. And ditto on free medical care to one and all. Not just a revolutionary to remove the exclusivism and elitism from medical schools to train and export doctors to all Latin America and Africa. Not just a revolutionary who insisted all jobs are of equal dignity and workers must be paid so as not to create class differences.No. Castro was a revolutionary who believed that there could be a total transformation of the human psyche so that folks would be able to accept the egalitarianism he insisted was necessary for a just society. From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs. And we know in this he failed – because so many Cubans are just raring to enjoy the spoils of the consumer society and the inequalities that go with it – even though by all the measures mentioned above, Cuba’s done better than any other society in the Caribbean.But Castro really “failed” because of two factors. First there was the economic embargo imposed since 1960 and is still in place. Who can predict where Cuba would’ve been today if it could import spare parts for its industrial base during those fifty+ years? Then there’s the TV programmes from the US that’s beamed into Cuba which flaunts the “good life” in that society. Who supports Castro to mention the US and the “developed world” are able to enjoy that sybaritic lifestyle because of their historic exploitation of the Third World?Most commentators predict that with the passing of Fidel and then of his brother Raul, the new generation of Cuban leaders will go the way of China and graft a capitalist economy onto a socialist society.But Castro must be saluted for fighting the good fight.…a principled stanceYou gotta hand it to Juan Edgehill for sticking to his guns in the obvious attempt to bully him into submission in Parliament. Here it is… over a year ago he calculated the Guyanese tax payers would be set back a Billion dollars over the government’s 5-year term to deal with the 50% salary increase the Cabinet awarded itself.And for the third time he refused to bow and scrape when he was convinced he was right. Now in the latest meeting of the Parliamentary Privileges Committee – which is being used like the Spanish Inquisition on him, Edgehill produced the figures to back-up his assertion. And the Committee, headed by Speaker Bartland Scotland, were struck dumb! They now say they have to “consider” Edgehill’s submission.But one has to ask why the persecution of Edgehill? Was he correct when he asserted that African-Guyanese who join the PPP get singled out more for “condign” treatment?The PNC-led coalition Government couldn’t possibly be that racist, could they?…the printer’s devil?The Chronic reported that Prezzie called for a return of the glory days when Linden produced Aluminium. Surely Prezzie didn’t say that, did he? Linden produced ALUMINA and not aluminum.Must be that pesky printer’s devil again!!last_img read more

Mavs star Doncic won’t play at Bucks due to ankle injury

first_imgMicrosoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday ‘People evacuated on their own’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Leonardo DiCaprio, Taika Waititi, other stars react to Oscar nominations Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee LATEST STORIES DALLAS, TEXAS – DECEMBER 14: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks hurts his ankle in the first half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Center on December 14, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFPDALLAS — Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic didn’t make the trip to Milwaukee and will miss the game against the Bucks after spraining his right ankle against Miami.The club listed the 20-year-old as not with the team on the preliminary injury report for the visit to the Bucks on Monday night. Doncic’s absence means the reigning rookie of the year will miss the first of two meetings with 2019 MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.ADVERTISEMENT Thailand reports case of coronavirus from China Injuries from fireworks down by 35% this year, DoH say PLAY LIST 03:10Injuries from fireworks down by 35% this year, DoH say02:24To have zero injuries, DOH wants a total fireworks ban00:50Trending Articles01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown01:54MMDA deploys rescue team to Batangas following Taal eruption Doncic was injured in the opening minutes of a 122-118 overtime loss to Miami on Saturday when his right foot landed on a foot of Heat guard Kendrick Nunn. The Mavericks rallied from 24 points down without their injured star and had the lead in the final minute of regulation.It will be the first missed game of the season for Doncic, who is averaging 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game. He missed 10 games his rookie season, mostly because of nagging minor injuries.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4 Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down NFA assures ample rice supply in ashfall, eruption-affected areas No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist The age of Esports begins View commentslast_img read more

Rape is not equivalent to “deflowering”

first_imgAs Guyana joins the rest of the world in observing Child Protection Week under the theme “Children’s Safety and Security, Our Priority”, the haunting incidents of rape and sexual assault against women and girls continue to trouble this nation. The sad reality of this recently unfolded when a 21-year-old mother of one died following a sexual attack by a minibus driver. So severe were her injuries that a child is now left motherless. In 2015, there were over 230 reports of rape, but only 36 persons were charged. Compounding this actuality is also the fact that there is a stark court backlog on tackling cases of sexual violence.A recent United States Department report on human rights outlined that in Guyana, a high number of rape and sexual assaults are unreported to authorities, citing that this was most likely as a result of fear of stigma, a lack of confidence in authorities, retribution, or further violence.As with any form of violence, sexual violence tears at the fabric of a country’s well-being. However, when the agency responsible for helping victims of rape describes this horrendous crime as mere “deflowering”, the sad unravelled truth of our country’s approach to this crime is evident. “Deflowering” means to deprive (a woman) of her virginity, but is that what rape is? Mere deflowering? The Social Protection Ministry, in its statement on Guyana’s observances for Child Protection Week, stated that “incest and underage sexual activity in childhood (are) also of grave concern to the Childcare & Protection Agency (CPA), an arm of the Ministry. This deflowering of our children must stop.”It is frighteningly obvious that the Social Protection Ministry needs a trained psychologist to educate its staff about the true meaning of rape, particularly child rape, which is not simply “deflowering” even if the victim was virginal. Rape is more than “deflowering”; rape is sexual abuse, a lifelong scar. The Ministry needs to also be enlightened that rape and other forms of sexual assault have traumatic psychological, emotional, physical, social, interpersonal, and financial impact on victims. According to a study conducted by Rape Victims Advocates (RVA), each survivor reacts to sexual assault in their own unique way. Personal style, culture, and context of the survivor’s life may affect these reactions. Some victims may tell others right away what happened, others will wait weeks, months, or even years before discussing the assault, if they ever choose to do so.Earlier this year, Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence came in for much criticism after she made some unfortunate remarks and had a casual approach in defence of a man, who was charged for sexual molestation. The Minister, in defence of the man, was quoted by another section of the media as saying, “This is a family issue that has been going on and on and on and on for whatever reason, I can’t tell you, because if I had a brother, even if there was an accusation, this is not how I would go about helping him.”What was rather disappointing is that the alleged molester’s sister further alleged that she told the Minister that her brother needed to be jailed for his involvement, but Lawrence asked her not to pursue such actions.Less than six months later, there is a statement issued by the Ministry the same Minister heads defining rape of children as simply “deflowering”.The Social Protection Ministry is where victims of such a dreadful crime seek refuge not only for their physical well-being but also for justice. As such, if rape/sexual assault victims’ tragedy is seen as mere “deflowering” by this ministry, then where can they truly seek help? This time around, President David Granger needs to do much more than modestly ask the Minister for an explanation.last_img read more

Enmore teen missing

first_img– last seen at school gateMissing: Vilma “Kamini” AnantAn Enmore, East Coast Demerara family has been worried since Monday when 15-year-old Vilma Anant went missing.Guyana Times understands that Anant, commonly known as “Kamini”, is a Fourth Form (Grade 10) student of Apex Academy. The teenager reportedly left for school on Monday morning but upon arriving at the gate, she turned around and left – and has not been seen or heard from since.Speaking with this newspaper, Anant’s uncle, Vijay Sukhdeo, explained that “Kamini” had been living with them since she was little. He said the teenager’s parents had resided in Mahaica Creek, but separated years ago so he and his wife took in “Kamini”.“She come live with us from since nursery to now and we never had any problems like this before,” the worried man related.Sukhdeo recalled that on Monday morning “Kamini” sat down to have breakfast with the family and all seemed to be well with her. She then left for school. He noted some time after they got a call from the school asking about her.“Because it’s a private school, they would call home whenever a student does not show up. So the teacher called home and asked about her and I told her that she left to go to school, but the teacher said she wasn’t there,” the man noted.He added that later in the day when the school bus returned to drop off students, they enquired from the driver and he confirmed that he dropped the teenager off in the morning.Sukhdeo went on to relate that he visited the school on Tuesday and was shown footage from Monday morning. “Mr Ali showed me the video and we see her going up to the school gate and then she turn around and left,” the man said.The cameras did not extend to the road, so it cannot be said where the young lady could have gone from the school’s Atlantic Gardens, ECD location. According to her uncle, there was no one with his niece at the time nor did anything seem to be amiss with her.Furthermore, the man said that on Monday after the young woman failed to return home, the family contacted all her relatives and friends, but no one had seen or heard from her.A worried Sukhdeo explained to this newspaper that his niece was a quiet individual and had never caused such a problem. “I don’t know what happen … I really can’t say why she would disappear like that, we never had any problems with her… this is the first time something like this happen,” he said.The family is pleading with the teenager to return home as soon as possible, and is also requesting members of the public with information on the whereabouts of 15-year-old Vilma “Kamini” Anant to contact them on 616-6345 or the nearest Police Station.last_img read more

MoE launches Youth Innovation Project

first_imgThe Department of Culture, Youth and Sport (DCYS) — a part of the Ministry of Education (MoE) — launched its inaugural Youth Innovation Project on Monday, as the country celebrates Youth Week 2017.This initiative, a flagship project of the DCYS that is being funded by the Government of Guyana in its 2017 budget, aims to provide opportunity for Guyanese youths to design, develop and produce innovative ideas to combat challenges plaguing their schools and communities, while at the same time foster a green economy.This is with the incorporation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Anthropology, Architecture, Archeology, Arts, Mathematics and Spirituality; otherwise known as STEAMS.The launching event featured a number diverse cultural performances, as well as a series of remarks from those who were at the forefront in the preparation of this major youth opportunity.In attendance at the Umana Yana on Monday were Acting President Khemraj Ramjattan and Minister in the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry, who both led the ribbon-cutting ceremony; as well as other government officials, members of the private and public sectors, and students representing schools from around Georgetown.Speaking at the launch was a key player in the development of the Youth Innovation Project, Bridget Hinds, who expressed delight in the introduction of the Department’s initiative while highlighting its importance in the contemporary Guyanese society. Hinds also pointed out the objectives of the project, stating: “This project purports to engage all youths from the ten regions of this dear land in a collaborative, concertive effort to produce out-of-the-box solutions to the physical, social, and psychological ills of our environment.”Also speaking at the event was the project manager, Grace Roberts-Simon, who revisited the initial stages of the project and indicated the underlying goals of the Youth Innovation Project of Guyana (YIPOG), which were keenly addressed in the project’s outline.“It all started with the vision of Minister Nicolette Henry when she envisioned tapping into the innovative minds and pioneering spirit of young Guyanese. YIPOG aims to unite, creative and innovate ideas that will lead young Guyanese between the ages of 16-35 from all administrative regions, including Georgetown, to aspire to produce solutions to issues and challenges in this beautiful green land of Guyana,” the project manager stated.Roberts-Simon went on to say that the Youth Innovation Project will be supported by the Department’s existing partners, a list which includes the Youth Entrepreneurship and Skills Training Program (YEST), the Volunteerism Support Platform (VSP), and the President’s Youth Award, Republic of Guyana (PYARG).Delivering the feature address, Minister Nicolette Henry explained that youths are the backbone of the country, and must be given the necessary platform to thrive.She said she believes this project is the perfect opportunity for young Guyanese to play their part in shaping the cohesive society, as well as a well-developed economy.“It is our firm belief that the Youth Innovation Project will create an enabling environment, (wherein) our young people will be able to realise their true potential, thus playing their part in fostering social cohesion, helping us to protect our environment, forging economic prosperity, and applying best practices for a green economy,” Minister Henry posited.The managing team of the Youth Innovation Project 2017The Minister said this investment in youths is particularly important for the country, and she indicated that the Ministry of Finance has pledged $50 million to this initiative.Apart from Government’s input, the project would also be supported by business entities, both locally and foreign; and those would facilitate the implementation of over 20 projects that would be selected after the application process.The Ministry is now open for application from groups consisting of no more than 10 persons (both in and out of the school system) within the ages of 16 and 35, who wish to propose a solution with the integration of STEAMS in the execution of their action plan. Applications were officially opened on Monday, and will last through to the end of June, after which a two-month assessment process will follow.The winning projects will be announced during the month of September, also Education Month, during which the grants will be presented to offset the overhead costs of the project.The proposals will be assessed and awarded in five categories: Most relevant to sustainable communities; Most creative and innovative; Best plan and project design; Best use of STEAMS; and Best presentation.The launch of the Youth Innovation Project of Guyana has been one in a list of activities tabled for the celebration of Youth Week, 2017. The official celebrations were kick-started with a youth rally on Sunday, and will conclude with a National Youth Symposium to be hosted on Thursday.This year marks the reintroduction of the week of celebrations after a two-decade hiatus, and was observed under the theme ‘Inspiring our Youths, Celebrating their Achievements’.last_img read more

Shock top Mercury even without Ford

first_imgThe Detroit Shock shook off the absence of their interior star and held off the run-and-gun Phoenix Mercury in a wild 108-100 victory in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday night. The defending champs struggled to get back to the finals, squeaking past New York and Indiana in the East and figured to have trouble with Phoenix, which hadn’t lost in the playoffs. And without Ford, the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player and the heart of the team, what chance did they have? A pretty good one, as it turns out. Plenette Pierson and Kara Braxton roared off the bench, combining for 45 points and 22 rebounds, and provided the kind of intimidating inside play for which Ford is known. WNBA: Post player’s absence doesn’t keep Detroit from claiming Game 1 win. By Mike Householder THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – No Cheryl Ford, no problem. Detroit outrebounded Phoenix, 48-30, and scored often on putbacks and other high-percentage shots. The Shock’s bench outscored Phoenix’s, 50-12. “Obviously, a good win for us a man down. That was a magnificent contribution from our bench,” said Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer, who found out Wednesday morning that Ford wouldn’t be able to go. He said he hopes to have Ford available for Game 2. “Right now, we’re hoping she’ll play Saturday, but we won’t know until the morning of the game at the earliest,” said Laimbeer, a former Palos Verdes High star. Four other players scored in double figures for the Shock, whose point total was the highest in Finals history. It also was the highest-scoring game ever in the finals. Penny Taylor scored 32 points and Cappie Pondexter had 27 to lead the Mercury, who struggled when All-Star Diana Taurasi missed significant stretches of the game with foul trouble. Taurasi, who averaged 20 points in the Mercury’s first four playoff games and 25 during the regular season, was held scoreless in the first half. She scored a quick nine points in the third before being whistled for a loose ball foul with 5:37 to go in the quarter. The contact on Detroit’s Katie Smith resulted in Taurasi’s fifth foul and she sat on the bench for the remainder of the quarter. Taurasi fouled out with two minutes remaining in the game. She finished with 10 points in 22 minutes. ETC.: Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson won the second MVP award of her WNBA career. Jackson, who also won in 2003, led the league in scoring for the third time with a career-best 23.8 points per game and also led the WNBA with a career high of 9.7 rebounds per game.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more