After a thrilling game six won in double-overtime 125-122 against the Boston Celtics, Cameroon’s Pascal Siakam and his Toronto Raptors team are now tied 3-3 in the NBA play-off Eastern Conference semi-final series.
Siakam, a regular starter for the Raptors, scored 12 points, had 8 rebounds with 6 assists, and point guard Kyle Lowry netted 33 points to emerge the games top scorer on the night.
Celtics’ shooting guard Jaylen Brown knocked down 31 points with 16 rebounds, with Jayson Tatum, their power forward, finishing with 29 points and 14 rebounds.
But Raptors Nick Powell came of bench and added 23 points for the defending champions who have now forced a game 7 decider with the Celtics on Friday night.
The winner will go on to face Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
In the Western Conference game played on Wednesday night, Kawhi Leonard – an NBA Champion with the Raptors last season, scored 30 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists for the Los Angeles Clippers in their 96-85 win over Denver Nuggets to lead 3-1 in their series.
Wubetu Abate Appointed as New Ethiopia Coach
The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) have announced the appointment of Wubetu Abate as the new coach of the national team, ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger in November.
The EFF did not renew the contract of the national team’s former coach Abraham Mebratu last August amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Abate signed a two-year contract. At the unveiling, the EFF president Esayas Jira disclosed he was very careful with the recruitment process.
“Following the government’s approval of football activities resumption, we took only few days to name a new coach. The technical committee proposed a list of coaches and our choice fell on Wubetu Abate.”
Abate will be given the task to qualify the nation to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the FIFA World Cup qualifiers final playoffs.
The newly appointed coach says he is aware of the risks that come with the job, yet insists it is a dream to coach the Ethiopian national team.
“I like challenges and enjoy them. I face many challenges in my coaching career. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. It was a dream for me to manage Ethiopia national team. Surprisingly, the dream has come true, and I hope to achieve good results during my spell”.
Abate has managed domestic clubs in Ethiopia such as Adama City, Ethiopian Coffee, Dedebeit, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Hawassa City, Fasil Kenema, and Sebeta Town FC. He also coached a club in Sudan Al Ahli Shendi.
Ethiopia currently sit in second place in Group K of their AFCON qualifiers. They lost 1-0 to group leaders Madagascar, and had a surprising 2-1 victory over the Ivory Coast in November 2019.
Abate’s first game in charge of the Ethiopian national team will be an away game against bottom of the table Niger in Niamey.
Nigeria Loses Bukayo Saka To England
Arsenal’s winger, Bukayo Saka, has picked The Three Lions of England ahead of the Nigerian senior national team.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had courted the 19-year-old for the Super Eagles. However, hopes by Nigerian fans that the teenager will some day represent the country was put paid to after he was invited for England’s upcoming games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark.
Saka, who was born in Ealing, Greater London, has expressed happiness at the invitation, tweeting “honoured and grateful to get my first
England call up ! #Blessings.”
The Three Lions play the Welsh side in a friendly at Wembley on October 8 before taking on the Red Devils and the Danish team in Nations League outings.
Saka had in July said that he had a difficult decision to make when it came to international football, and whether to stick with England after progressing through the youth ranks, or switch to Nigeria.
“It’s a tough choice,” Saka said at the time. “I’m happy to have represented England at youth level but I’m also proud of my Nigerian heritage from my parents.
“We haven’t been picked by any team so it’s about staying humble and when the time comes we’ll make the decision.”
Saka has been in fine form for Arsenal since breaking into the Gunners first team and last season he featured prominently as Mikel Arteta’s men finish eighth in the Premier League and also helped the club clinch the FA Cup title.
Nigeria at 60 with Segun Odegbami
Segun Odegbami, the former Captain of Green eagles, take us through Nigeria’s sports journey from 1960 and how it is now.
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