The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, February 08, 2019, Page Page 8, Image 8

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    SPORTS
Page 8 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
February 18, 2019
Jeremy Lin gets bought out, signs with Raptors
LIN LANDS IN TORONTO. Guard Jeremy Lin
(#17) of the Toronto Raptors is defended by Wash-
ington Wizards guard Chasson Randle (#9) and
center Thomas Bryant (#13) during the first half of
a National Basketball Association game on February
13, 2019, in Toronto. Lin played 25 minutes in his
Toronto debut after signing earlier in the day. He re-
ceived a brief ovation when he checked in for Norman
Powell at 4:05 of the first quarter. Lin finished with
eight points, five assists, and five rebounds. (Frank
Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
By Tim Reynolds
The Associated Press
IAMI — Jeremy Lin is on the
move again, with the veteran
guard being waived by the
Atlanta Hawks and signing with the
playoff-contending Toronto Raptors.
The Hawks waived Lin on February 11
and Jim Tanner, one of his agents,
confirmed Lin’s plan to join Toronto, which
was first reported by ESPN.
Lin and the Hawks worked out a buyout
agreement.
“The future is bright for Atlanta!!! I truly
mean that!” Lin posted on Instagram.
“Everyone who knows me knows how big
my dreams are and that I have so much left
to give to the game. Hyped to join the
Raptors!!”
Lin thanked the Hawks, saying they
helped him “become myself again on the
basketball court and allowed me to
experience the joy of hoops again!”
Toronto is Lin’s eighth National
Basketball Association (NBA) franchise,
after stints with Golden State, New York,
Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers,
M
Charlotte, Brooklyn, and this season
Atlanta. He appeared in 51 games for the
Hawks, all but one of those as a reserve,
averaging 10.7 points this season on
nearly 47 percent shooting.
Lin gives the Raptors obvious depth at
both guard spots, and will likely spend
time backing up point guard Kyle Lowry
and shooting guard Danny Green. And he
is needed soon, with the Raptors
announcing that backup guard Fred
VanVleet is expected to miss at least three
weeks with a partial ligament injury to his
left thumb.
The plan to enter into an agreement
with Lin came one day after the Raptors
finalized the conversion of two-way player
Chris Boucher’s contract to an NBA
standard contract.
Lin has averaged 11.8 points in 458
career games. He has been part of three
previous playoff runs, in 2013 and 2014
with Houston and in 2016 with Charlotte.
Iniesta teaming up with old teammate Villa in Japan
By Jim Armstrong
AP Sports Writer
OKYO — Andres
Iniesta’s
old
teammate from his
days at Barcelona is now
his new teammate at Vissel
Kobe.
Iniesta said the addition
of David Villa will give the
Japanese soccer team a
major boost as it attempts
to recover from a disap-
pointing season.
Vissel Kobe finished
10th in the 18-team
J-League standings last
season. Not content with
the results, owner Hiroshi
Mikitani went out and
signed Villa, who will team
up with Iniesta when Kobe
opens the season on
February
22
against
T
Cerezo Osaka.
“He’s a top quality
player,” Iniesta said. “We
hope he’ll bring a scoring
touch, which is why he was
brought here. His addition
is a big jump in the quality
of the team.”
The 36-year-old Villa
scored 59 goals in 98
appearances for Spain from
2004 to 2017, including five
goals at the 2010 World
Cup as his nation won its
first title. He scored four
goals for Spain en route to
the
2008
European
Championship title.
Before signing with
Kobe, the Spanish forward
spent four seasons with
New York City FC, scoring
80 goals in 124 MLS
appearances.
Iniesta joined Kobe after
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Difficulty
EASY
level: Easy
#26368
# 39
Instructions: Fill in the grid so that the digits 1
through 9 appear one time each in every row, col-
umn, and 3x3 box.
Solution to
last issue’s
puzzle
Puzzle #43347 (Hard)
All solutions available at
<www.sudoku.com>.
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last year’s World Cup and
said the transition wasn’t
easy. He scored only three
goals in 14 matches and is
hoping for better results
this season.
“I’ve had more time to
prepare
this
season,”
Iniesta said. “Last year, I
needed an adjustment
period but I’m in better
condition this year and the
team is in top form so
hopefully we will have
better results.”
Soccer officials in Japan
are hoping the presence of
players like Iniesta and
Villa will help raise the
profile of the J-League as it
competes with the Chinese
league in the lucrative
Asian market.
“We’re hoping these
world-class players like
Iniesta
can
generate
interest in the league not
only in Japan but in Asia
and the rest of the world,”
J-League
chairman
Mitsuru Murai said.
Villa started his career
at Sporting Gijon in 2000
before stints with Real
Zaragoza and Valencia. He
joined Iniesta at Barcelona
in 2010, where he won the
Spanish league twice and
the Champions League.
The 34-year-old Iniesta
scored the winning goal for
Spain in the 2010 World
Cup final. He also was a
key part of Spain’s two
European Championship
titles in 2008 and 2012.
Kobe’s connections to
Spain don’t stop with
Iniesta and Villa. The team
is coached by Juan Manuel
Lillo, one of several
Spanish coaches in the
J-League.
“The Spanish coaches
are able to bring a different
style to Japanese football,”
Iniesta said. “It’s a positive
development if they can
combine the best of Spain
and Japan to achieve better
results.”
NWSL NEWS. Nahomi “Naho” Kawasumi (#36) will play the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League
season with Sky Blue FC. The Japanese international was traded by Reign FC to Sky Blue in January. (AR
Photo/Jan Landis)
Naho Kawasumi traded to Sky Blue FC,
Thorns announce preseason tourney
Nahomi “Naho” Kawasumi will play the
2019 National Women’s Soccer League
(NWSL) season with Sky Blue FC. The
Japanese international was traded by
Reign FC to Sky Blue last month.
Naho first joined the Reign in 2014 on
loan from Japanese side INAC Kobe
Leonessa, where she was the league’s
second-leading scorer and was named
league MVP in 2013.
During Naho’s first season in the NWSL,
she scored nine goals, added five assists,
and was named to the NWSL Best XI.
Following Japan’s silver medal earned at
the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada
and another two seasons with INAC, she
signed again with Seattle in 2016. During
the past three seasons with the Reign,
Kawasumi appeared in 48 matches and
recorded 14 assists, including a league-
high nine assists in 2017.
“Nahomi has had over a decade of
experience with the Japanese national
team and her international experience
alone is a huge asset for us,” said Sky Blue
head coach Denise Reddy. “In addition, she
has had proven success in this league,
success that we believe will transfer here
to Sky Blue.”
“The decision to trade Naho was made in
conjunction
with
Naho
and
her
representatives,” said Reign FC owner and
president Bill Predmore. “She expressed a
need to maximize her playing time prior to
the World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo
Olympics in 2020. We agreed that Sky
Blue FC would be in the best position to
provide her that opportunity, so we
worked hard to affect that outcome on her
behalf.”
Predmore praised Naho’s leadership,
professionalism, tireless work ethic, and
extraordinary talent, and added, “Naho
has always played with a joy that is
infectious and a quiet intensity deeply
respected by all her teammates. She will
be missed.”
Also in NWSL news, the Portland
Thorns have announced details of the
Thorns Spring Invitational, which is
scheduled for the final week of March at
the University of Portland’s Merlo Field.
The fourth-annual, four-team tournament
features Thorns FC, the U.S. U-23
Women’s National Team, Chicago Red
Stars, and Reign FC.
The invitational kicks off on Sunday,
March 24 with Reign FC facing the U-23s
at 11:30am and the Thorns playing the
Red Stars at 5:00pm. The mid-week
matchups on Wednesday, March 27 pit
Chicago against Reign FC at 1:30pm,
followed by a 7:30pm match with the
Thorns and U-23s. The final day,
Saturday, March 30, features the Red
Stars and the U-23s, with the evening
match taking place at 7:30pm and
highlighting the two Cascadia rivals —
Thorns FC and Reign FC.
Tickets for the three preseason
tournament matches featuring Thorns FC
are general admission. Individual tickets
are available for sale starting March 19 at
<www.thornsfc.com>.