Davis likes Lakers’ title chances when NBA returns

FILE – Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis (3) and LeBron James (23) celebrate as they walk back to the bench in the final seconds of overtime in the team’s NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. The Lakers won 119-110. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Anthony Davis says he likes the Los Angeles Lakers’ chances of winning the NBA title when the coronavirus-halted season resumes July 30 even more after the four-month break.

The 27-year-old power forward says he feels “100% healthy” after working out at home nearly every day since the NBA shut down on March 11 after Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

“Actually I think our chances are higher because we’re all rested,” Davis told reporters Thursday. “It’s going to be who wants it more.

“We’re motivated as a team and self-motivated to win.”

The LeBron James-led Lakers had the second-best record in the NBA at 49-14 and topped the Western Conference by 5.5 games over the Los Angeles Clippers when the campaign was halted.

They will travel to the NBA “bubble” at Orlando, Florida, next week for training camp and play eight more regular-season games without fans starting July 30 against the Clippers before the playoffs begin.

If the Lakers do make a run to the championship with the NBA Finals in October, they would spend about three months in the quarantine atmosphere.

The Lakers will be without guard Avery Bradley, who opted out of the comeback plan, and might not have center Dwight Howard, who’s status is uncertain.

“Obviously we’ll miss (Bradley) but we have guys that are healthy, guys that are ready to go,” Davis said.

The Lakers have added J.R. Smith, a former James teammate in Cleveland, to replace Bradley, while Dion Waiters and Markieff Morris had barely

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LOOK: Liza Soberano bares stylish short hair

Liza Soberano has stunned with a style change after getting a few inches chopped from her hair.

The actress revealed the look on Instagram yesterday, July 4. Soberano now sports a wavy light brown bob just below her chin.

“Really feeling my new healthy hair,” she said, thanking Korean favorite Zero One Story Salon in Taguig for the makeover.

Zero One Story Salon first bared Soberano’s bob styled with flipped ends last Friday, July 3 via Instagram.

The salon also shared a picture of Soberano’s boyfriend, Enrique Gil, with a fresh cut on Friday.

It seems Soberano last updated her look before the enhanced community quarantine took effect. The salon posted a picture of Soberano with bangs and layered hair past her shoulders on March 14.

Soberano previously sported curly hair for her teleserye “Make It with You”with Gil. However, the show was axed in June even as the series had not filmed an ending.

The actress cited that fear of the coronavirus and “many other factors” were behind the cancellation. The show was a production of embattled media giant ABS-CBN which was shut down by the government in May. JB

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Japan gets football rolling but with no fans in stands

Hiroshima’s Tsukasa Morishima (L) vies for the ball with Kobe’s Dankler (R) in an empty stadium during the J-League match between Vissel Kobe and Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Kobe on July 4, 2020, during the reopening day of Japan’s football league, after matches were forced to be postponed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

Top-flight Japanese football kicked off again on Saturday, but without spectators, following a four-month break because of coronavirus.

The restart to Japan’s J-league comes after professional baseball began its virus-delayed season behind closed doors on June 19 and the country gradually rolls back its anti-virus measures.

No spectators were allowed into stadiums for the nine games on Saturday, while players and coaches tested negative before taking part.

Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, playing with Vissel Kobe, said he hopes to bring joy to as many people as possible at a time when the sports world has been battered by the pandemic, according to the Sankei Shimbun daily.

The league got underway for one weekend in February before it was suspended.

Spectators will be allowed to watch live from July 10, with stadiums scheduled to admit 5,000 — or 50 percent of their capacity — whichever number is smaller.

Fans are expected to be asked to wear masks, wash their hands frequently and avoid shouting.

The government has lifted a national state of emergency imposed to contain the virus, but the public are still urged to observe good hygiene practices and social distancing.

The pandemic has already forced a one-year delay to the summer Tokyo Olympics, and suspended everything from sumo to the summer high-school baseball tournament — an enormously popular event that receives extensive television coverage.



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