Basketball

THE BIG 5: Disappointments, Excitements, Thrillers make the weekend’s 5-in-1 package

Every new week, All Baller Zone highlights the sporting stories that stole the headlines and dominated the talking points over the cause of the weekend.

This Monday, we relieve a goal thrilling excitement from the EUROs, a record-breaking feat from the NBA playoffs, an exciting transfer gist from Camp Nou, an intense Grand Prix battle in France, and a disappointing action in Lagos, Nigeria.

Here, is our weekend’s Big 5!

5: RACE TO THE FINISH: Verstappen pulls fabulous comeback to beat Hamilton at French GP

It was all Max Verstappen on Sunday as he fought back to pass Lewis Hamilton and take a brilliant win in the French Grand Prix to extend his championship lead.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team gambled on an extra pit stop, sacrificing the lead to come back at Hamilton on fresher tyres to pass the Mercedes with two laps to go and Mercedes was already ruing a strategic blunder in which they left Hamilton out one lap too long and lost the lead.

After a thrilling see-saw battle between the two title contenders and their teams, Verstappen moved into a 12-point championship lead after seven races following Red Bull’s third victory in a row.

4: TEARS, NOT OF JOY: Tobi Amusan Denied African Record After Electronic Timer Dismay

A faulty electronic timer marred the final of the women’s 100m hurdles at the Olympics Trials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos on Friday – a race which had Tobi Amusan reportedly shed tears due to disappointment.

Amusan, who was hoping to break Gloria Alozie’s 23-year African record in the event, won the race comfortably, but the electronic timer failed to display the time at the end of the race, remaining at 0.00secs.

The hand timer, which was eventually used, recorded that Amusan won the race in a time of 12.3secs, which would have erased Alozie’s 12.44secs, which was set in 1998. But the time did not stand as the World Athletics recognizes only the electronic timing device.

3: SIX-GOAL MADNESS: Holders Portugal, Stunned In 4-2 thriller By Germany In Munich

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in a EURO 2020 Saturday game that went on to record five more goals shared between both sides – two of which were Portuguese own goals. Germany, who ensured the game was one-way traffic, had Robin Gosens as their major inspiration as they stunned the holders in their second group game.

Germany’s win means both these sides now sit on three points, one behind group leaders France, heading into a pivotal final round of fixtures on Wednesday. Germany host Hungary, who earlier on Saturday held France to a draw, while Portugal faces the world champions in the final game with all four nations still able to progress.

2: HEART OF A LION: Barcelona Announce Signing Of Memphis Depay Until 2023

Dutch forward Memphis Depay became the fourth player to join Barcelona this summer, following Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, who were both signed after leaving Manchester City, and Emerson Royal.

The 27-year-old winger who got reunited with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman penned a two-year deal and was officially announced by the Spanish giants on Saturday. Depay who has scored 11 times in the 18 matches he played under Koeman before the coach was lured to Barcelona last August, would hope his Dutch chemistry could make him a Culer favourite.

1: TRIPLE-DOUBLE MAESTRO: Devin Booker Leads Phoenix Suns To Win Over Los Angeles Clippers

Devin Booker was on fire for Phoenix Suns on Sunday as he got his first career triple-double, leading his side to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 120-114 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

A massive 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists were the impacts Booker had on the game, helping the Phoenix to cope with the absence of star player and point guard, Chris Paul. The Suns are now three wins away from the franchise’s first NBA Finals appearance since 1993.

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