The highly-coveted Argentina international joined United in a record £59.7million deal from Real Madrid. The 26-year-old has been handed the club’s famous number seven shirt, and his arrival has the potential to excite fans after a poor start to the season. “He can accelerate our play and our style of play but he fits in our philosophy. “But what he can do more than fit in our philosophy, is I can change the system for him and maybe I shall do that in the future, like I have already done against Swansea City. “He played at Real Madrid not only as a wide wing player but also in midfield so that is also a reason why we are convinced he shall succeed.” Di Maria himself is happy to fit in wherever Van Gaal wishes to deploy him. Di Maria, man of the match in last season’s Champions League final, said: “It depends on the manager and where he wants to play me. “I come here to work for the team and I am prepared to play in any position he wants to. I just want to help the club become successful again.” Di Maria is well aware of the significance of United’s number seven, a shirt worn with distinction in the past by the likes of George Best, Steve Coppell, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Di Maria and Ronaldo were key members of Real’s Champions League-winning side last season and the Argentine asked the Portuguese star about United. He said: “I was aware of the importance of the number seven shirt. “Cristiano Ronaldo had spoken to me at Real Madrid and told me how important it was. “I wanted to wear this shirt and do as much for the club as Ronaldo and the others could do. “The club also wanted me to wear it so I want to live up to it.” Di Maria is likely to go straight into the squad for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Burnley but Van Gaal has not indicated whether he might start. Van Gaal, however, has warned he cannot be expected to transform fortunes immediately. Van Gaal, speaking at a press conference to unveil Di Maria, said: “I am very pleased that we can have such a class player in our squad but you have many class players. “For me it is also important that he is a team player and that is what I am liking in Di Maria – not only class, and that he can accelerate the game for us, but that he can also play in the interests of the team. “That is why we have chosen this player and I hope he shall give us good results, but we cannot expect after two days’ training sessions that he is the miracle what I already read (about). “No, you have to work for the miracle and he knows that.” United are yet to win a match this season and on Tuesday were knocked out of the Capital One Cup in humiliating fashion – a 4-0 defeat by League One MK Dons. Questions have been asked of Van Gaal’s tactics, notably his 3-5-2 formation, and consequently where Di Maria would fit into that. Van Gaal said: “I only buy players that can improve our philosophy so I have spoken already about his way of playing in the interests of the team. Press Association Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has warned not to expect instant miracles from Angel di Maria.
JADA Mohan, the country’s leading junior female basketball player, turned in another sensational all-round performance to lead Marian Academy to the finals of the Girls’ regional finals where they will play President’s College in the National Schools Basketball Festival.Behind Mohan’s 13 points and seven steals, Marian Academy brushed aside the St Rose’s High Girls 18-7 in a game where Renuka Ramcharran scored two points and grabbed sixJada Mohanrebounds.Kellian Sauers also scored two points and hauled in five rebounds for Marian Academy, while for the losing team, Jamaica Blair netted four points, coupled with four rebounds and four steals.Meanwhile, Plaisance Secondary overwhelmed Tutorial High School 63-32 points to confirm their favourites status and booked a trip to the semi-finals of the Boys’ U-19 category.Andrew Johnson top-scored with 19 points, Nigel Bowen recorded 12 points, 13 rebounds and five steals and Reuben Reid added 10 points and 8 rebounds for Plaisance Secondary, who will face President’s College on Thursday.President’s College edged St Rose’s High in a 55-53 nail-biting victory to clinched a semi-final spot.Anthon Fileen had a game-high 29 points in the East Coast Demerara-based team’s win, while being supported by Akeem Crandon’s ten points and eight rebounds.For St Rose’s, Anthony Yansen dropped an entertaining 25 points, seven boards and six steals performance, but that was not enough to help his side advance.In the other U-19 match on the day, the Government Technical Institute proved too strong for the Adult Education side, demolishing them 62-39.Shamar Huntly (14 points, seven rebounds), Nickosie Allicock (14) and Richard Telford (10 points, 14 rebounds) were the top performers for GTI, who will face Marian Academy in the semi-finals.Marian Academy sealed a place in the U-19 semi-finals a with 59-21 points win over the Bishops’ High School, thanks to a dominating showing by Timothy Thompson.Thompson literally controlled the court, in his end-to-end performance where he not only shot a game-high 25 points, but had 24 rebounds in the process.Jahleel Young chipped in with 14 points, 19 rebounds and Jether Harris and Josiah Daniels scored seven points apiece for Marian Academy.Joshua Smith (seven points) and Andre Somrah (six points, five rebounds) were the top scorers for Bishops’ High.The Under-19 semi-finals will see President’s College take on Plaisance Secondary from 17:00hrs and GTI battle Marian Academy on Thursday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.The Georgetown/East Coast Regional finals are set for Friday, June 30 from 16:30hrs.The tournament is sponsored by Edward B. Beharry Group of Companies Ltd and the National Sports Commission (NSC).
Published on January 12, 2019 at 10:40 pm Contact Charlie: firstname.lastname@example.org | @charliedisturco Curtis Haywood II’s hand rose in the air with Frank Howard a couple feet in front of him. A quick pass to Jose Alvarado, alone in the corner, ended in a 3 and prompted Syracuse to call a timeout.Right before half court, SU head coach Jim Boeheim walked over to Howard. The two talked about what had happened: Howard dashed to Haywood II and left Alvarado open. Georgia Tech took a six-point lead and the Orange never recovered.Syracuse looked much more polished after opening conference play with two straight wins. The defense that shut down Clemson was confronted with a weak offense in Georgia Tech that “survives” on its defense, GT head coach Josh Pastner said. But while Georgia Tech’s defense stifled the Orange, the Yellow Jackets’ (10-6, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) offense erupted and shot 59.5 percent from the field. Much of that success came from Georgia Tech’s game plan of feeding its bigs in the middle of the paint, leading it to a 73-59 win over Syracuse (11-5, 2-1) on Saturday night inside the Carrier Dome.Georgia Tech’s big men instantly made an impact. Abdoulaye Gueye was often guarded by Marek Dolezaj. He quickly took advantage of his strength advantage over the SU center. Gueye used a mixture of post moves to create separation on Dolezaj. He often backed the Slovakian native down before using a hook shot or layup off the glass.“(Dolezaj’s) a good player,” Boeheim said, “but he has trouble when he goes 1-on-1 with those guys.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlvarado said the team knew to feed the big men because Syracuse’s defense likes to play “high.” That led to 1-on-1 opportunities with Dolezaj, Bourama Sidibe or Paschal Chukwu down low. When SU doubled the post, a GT big man kicked the ball back out for an open opportunity.For the first time all season, Pastner started Gueye along with James Banks III, another big that dominated Syracuse’s interior defense. Together, the duo combined for 20 of Georgia Tech’s 27 first-half points and rarely missed.“It was part of our equation,” Pastner said. “Thinking about (Dolezaj on defense).”While Dolezaj was able to accumulate five steals, very rarely did the rest of the SU defense collapse on Gueye and Banks III, triggering 1-on-1 opportunities with players that are 37 pounds and 63 pounds heavier than Dolezaj, respectively.It is no secret Dolezaj struggles with bigger and stronger athletes, especially in the post. But against Notre Dame and Clemson, the big men were kept in check. He was able to get around players and poke the ball loose, rather than having to try and stop them in the low post.Notre Dame had just 14 points in the paint, while Clemson put up 22 against Syracuse. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, matched with 36, even with Gueye suffering a cramp with 15:43 left in the second half, forcing him to miss the rest of the game. The damage had been done, though.When Boeheim opted to combat Banks III and Gueye’s interior presence with a bigger player in Sidibe, the duo still found a way to score. One play, Alvarado saw Banks III slip by Sidibe for a wide-open alley-oop. Banks III added 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting.“(Gueye and Banks III) did a really nice job of being patient and poised,” Pastner said, “when they caught the ball. They didn’t panic.”Oshae Brissett called it “defensive lapses,” as a team. Frank Howard said, “we weren’t engaged.”SU’s defensive failures didn’t just happen inside the paint with Gueye and Banks III. Alvarado and Haywood II often found themselves open in the corner or at the top of the key, pulling the trigger from 3. The duo made 6-of-9 from beyond the arc.Whenever it seemed like Syracuse was mustering up a run to cut the deficit to single digits, Georgia Tech would nail a deep ball, or get an offensive rebound and second-chance opportunity.Syracuse resorted to a full-court press for most of the game’s final 10 minutes, trying to force the Georgia Tech guards into making mistakes. Instead, the offense was able to often find a cutter down the wing who would either score with ease or draw a foul.Anything Syracuse threw at Georgia Tech defensively, it seemed like the Yellow Jackets were already a step ahead. Turnovers resulted in transition buckets. GT outscored SU in the paint by 20 and shot well, both 59.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3.With six minutes left, an inbound pass from Brissett was picked off by Michael Devoe. Tyus Battle slid over to help Buddy Boeheim with a half-court trap. But he drove in the paint and kicked it out to Evan Cole who quickly passed it to Haywood II.Wide open, at the top of the key, Haywood II released the shot. He stood there, watching, hand up in the air once again. He didn’t move until the ball swished through the net and made contact with the ground. Another Syracuse error that resulted in a wide open 3.“We made too many mistakes in the second half,” Boeheim said. “That put us in a hole we couldn’t recover from.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+