Italy and Latvia claimed their second straight victories Tuesday to advance to the semifinals as group winners in their respective qualifying tournaments for mens basketball at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.In Turin, Italy defeated Croatia 67-60 in Group B. Marco Belinelli led the hosts with 19 points while Bojan Bogdanovic scored 26 for the 1992 silver medalists. Croatia can still reach the semifinals with a win in its final group game against Tunisia.In Group A, Francisco Cruz scored 12 points in the final quarter to help Mexico beat Iran 75-70. Despite a game-high 20 points by Behram Yakchali, Iran had its second straight defeat and was eliminated from the competition.Mexico and Greece have already secured their semifinal spots before playing each other Wednesday.In Belgrade, Dairis Bertans scored 18 points in Latvias 71-59 win over the Czech Republic to earn the Baltic state top spot in Group B. The Czechs will play Japan for the second semifinal berth.In Group A, Puerto Rico bounced back from Mondays opening defeat against host Serbia by beating Angola 91-81. Led by Carlos Arroyos 18 points, Puerto Rico saw a 27-point lead reduced to just 10 in the final quarter.Earlier Tuesday in Manila, France rallied from a 10-point deficit against the hosts to beat the Philippines 93-84, and Canada defeated Turkey 77-69 on the opening day of their qualifying tournament.Nando De Colo scored 11 points in the third quarter and 27 overall to help France overcome a strong start by the Philippines. New Zealand is the third team in Group B.In Group A, NBA point guard Cory Joseph led Canada with 21 points, while Turkeys Sinan Guler scored 14. Canada can secure a semifinal spot as group winner by beating Senegal on Wednesday.The winners of the three six-nation qualifying tournaments will be added to the 12-team draw in Rio. Chase Allen Jersey
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. -- Charlie Graham stopped 67 shots as the Belleville Bulls edged the visiting Guelph Storm 6-5 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action. Ndamukong Suh Jersey
.B. - Sebastien Auger made 44 saves as the Saint John Sea Dogs edged the visiting Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2-1 on Saturday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. The showdown between two of the NFLs hottest teams could be decided by a single digit. In this case, that digit happens to be the middle finger on Matthew Staffords throwing hand.Stafford reportedly suffered torn ligaments and a dislocation in the first quarter of the Detroit Lions 20-17 win over Chicago last Sunday. He threw two interceptions, including a pick six, after having the finger taped and putting a glove on his hand. Stafford still led his club to its eighth fourth-quarter comeback victory, the most by any team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.Detroit, which leads the NFC North, will try to extend its winning streak to six games when it faces the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Giants have won seven of their last eight games, including a gritty 10-7 victory over NFC East leader Dallas last Sunday night.I expect it to be extremely competitive, Stafford said. Theyre playing for a lot and were playing for a lot. Its an NFC game and its going to be a big one. So were excited for the opportunity. Its great to be in this position; weve just got to go out there and play well.His finger complicates that process. The Lions pedestrian running game puts added pressure on Stafford to carry the offense. Hes ninth in the league in both completion percentage (66.7) and passing yards (3,447). Hes also tossed 22 touchdown passes and was intercepted just five times prior to the injury.Stafford, who scored the game-winning touchdown against the Bears with a 7-yard scramble, hopes the injury will be less of an issue with a week to experiment on equipment and treatment options. Hes unsure whether hell wear a glove against the Giants. An early forecast of inclement weather could force another in-game adjustment.Its never fun when its on your throwing hand but Ill figure it out and well go from there, he said. (The glove) is not really for my state of mind, its for whats going to be functional. So whatevers most functional, with what I can perform the best with, thats what Ill go with.Staffords job wont be any easier if Detroit is missing its leading rusher once again. Theo Riddick, who is most effective as a receiver out of the backfield, sat out against the Bears with wrist and ankle injuries and is doubtful. One of his backups, Zach Zenner, is in the leagues concussion protocol and is questionable.With three games remaining, the Lions (9-4) could wrap up their firstt NFC North title with a victory on Sunday and a Green Bay loss.dddddddddddd The Packers and Minnesota Vikings are tied for second place with 7-6 records and Detroit already holds the tiebreaker over Minnesota after sweeping the season series.The Lions dont have any soft touches remaining on the schedule. They have to play the Cowboys in Dallas the night after Christmas, then face the Packers at home on New Years Day.In head coach Jim Caldwells mind, the upcoming games arent any different from the ones his team just played.It didnt matter what the Bears record was last week, he said. That game still had a lot of magnitude. It was very, very important. This one is exactly the same. It just so happens, and thats how its going to be down the stretch, that youve got a team thats playing very, very well and thats riding high.The Giants (9-4) kept their division title hopes alive by defeating the Cowboys for the second time this season. They diffused the Dallas attack despite the absence of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who underwent sports hernia surgery last week and is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season. New York forced three turnovers, sacked rookie quarterback Dak Prescott three times and held Dallas to 260 total yards.Other than the crossing route that wide receiver Odell Beckham turned into a 61-yard touchdown reception, the Giants offense was a virtual no-show on Sunday. Quarterback Eli Manning threw an interception and lost two fumbles and the rushing game averaged 2.8 yards per carry.Ive got to play better, Manning said. Got to find completions, got to protect the football better. Thats whats got to happen in these types of games. You get into December, youve got to protect the football. Thats the most important thing right now.Manning was also picked off twice the previous week in a 24-14 loss to Pittsburgh and has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in the last three games. Fortunately for him, the defense has masked the offenses struggles. Opponents have been held to 20 or fewer points in five of the teams last six victories.Weve got to keep finding ways to win, he said. The defense is playing outstanding, so weve got to help them out. Weve got to score more points, give them a lead and dont make it hard on them. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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