Ucheibe completes switch to Benfica from Swedish club Assi

first_imgChristy Ucheibe has joined Portuguese Liga BPI outfit SL Benfica from Swedish club Assi, on a three-and-half-year deal.Advertisement Ucheibe saw out her first professional contract with Swedish club Assi in November 2019 and moved on to Portugal on a free transfer, after she inspired the Elitettan side to win the Norrbetten Cup. On joining SL Benfica, she told the club website: “I know I’m coming to a very competitive team. It is this demand and the greatness of the club of legend Eusebio that has attracted me.“I want to help the team win trophies domestically and, one day, shine in the Champions League. Now I just want to focus on work, on training with my teammates.“I know that if I play well here I’m going to reach the Nigerian National team too. I can’t play yet, but I already love and admire the passion of the Benfica fans.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?A Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsWhy Do Americans Consider Him To Be The Best President?6 Product That Have Wild Origin StoriesTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldUse Your Zodiac Signs To Find A Perfect Job10 Irresistibly Gorgeous Asian ActressesWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?Playing Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body18 Beautiful Cities That Are Tourist MagnetsThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love With7 Thailand’s Most Exquisite Architectural Wonderscenter_img Loading… During her one-year spell, the 19-year-old played a prominent role in Assi’s 10th-place finish in the 2019 season with two goals in 25 games across all competitions for Kenneth Paajarvi’s team.The midfielder, who moved to Sweden from Nigerian side Nasarawa Amazons in April 2019, played a crucial role in helping Nigeria reach the quarter-final of the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in France.Having completed her move to the Portuguese giants, the Nigerian becomes the second African to join the club this year following the arrival of South African striker Thembi Kgatlana last month.last_img read more

New Zealand take third place with six-try win over Wales

first_imgBy Greg StutchburyTOKYO (Reuters) – The All Blacks bid farewell to coach Steve Hansen and captain Kieran Read with a 40-17 victory over Wales at Tokyo Stadium on Friday, claiming the one World Cup prize that no team sets out to win — third place.Winger Ben Smith grabbed a brace and Joe Moody, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty and Richie Mo’unga also crossed as New Zealand rebounded from their semi-final loss to England and extended their 66-year winning streak over Wales to 31 tests.Both teams came to play and Wales, also saying farewell to coach Warren Gatland, ran the ball at every opportunity to score tries through fullback Hallam Amos and Josh Adams — a Welsh record seventh of the tournament for the winger.South Africa, who beat Wales in the other semi-final last weekend, face off against England in the final at Yokohama International Stadium today.“It was just important we came back and honoured the jersey and the fans and put that one last week behind us,” said Hansen.“We’ve played good footy throughout, but one bad game and you’re out. That’s knockout footy. Really proud of the boys.”While pundits and fans had questioned the relevance of a third-placed playoff, both sides said the game was an opportunity to bury the demons of their semi-final losses.It was also still a test between traditional rivals, with the All Blacks boasting a winning streak against Wales that stretches back to 1953.Read and fellow veterans Crotty, Smith and Sonny Bill Williams, who were all playing their final games for the All Blacks, were superb as New Zealand built a 35-10 lead early in the second half.The All Blacks threatened from the outset and scored a fifth-minute try from prop Moody, an example of how they can play when their ball handling and running into space clicks.Fullback Barrett extended the lead to 14-0 less than eight minutes later when he took an inside pass from scrumhalf Aaron Smith before Wales had their best period of the match.Gatland’s side abandoned the dour game they had played against South Africa last week and were prepared to spread the ball wide, with fullback Hallam Amos ghosting on to a long pass after 15 phases to give Wales their first try.“Our boys never gave up and tried to play some good rugby but probably a game too far for us,” said Gatland. “I’ve loved my time in Wales but that era’s over now and I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”Rhys Patchell added a penalty to reduce the gap to 14-10 before Ben Smith crossed twice, first by fending off Adams and then racing away outside the defenders after a long pass from his scrumhalf, to give the All Blacks a 28-10 halftime lead.Crotty crossed after another Williams offload two minutes into the second half while Smith added what he thought was a third try, before referee Wayne Barnes called it back for a knock-on earlier in the buildup.Wales then built back into the game and Adams burrowed over after another sustained and controlled period of play to eclipse Shane Williams’s six-try haul at the 2007 tournament.“We tried to play a bit but the score probably didn’t reflect that,” said Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones. “I think most of the squad earned their first caps under (Gatland), his legacy is a lot bigger than one game.”last_img read more

North Carolina bounces field hockey from ACC tournament; ice hockey sweeps Penn State

first_img Published on November 10, 2013 at 11:58 pm On Thursday, No. 2 Syracuse (16-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast) posted a 3-1 victory over Boston College (12-7, 1-5) in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament to avenge its regular-season loss to the Eagles.But on Friday, No. 3 North Carolina (16-5, 3-3) ended the Orange’s ACC Championship run. Emily Wold’s goal in the 25th minute proved to be the difference in a 1-0 shutout of SU in the semifinals. The loss came only six days after Syracuse beat the Tar Heels, 1-0, in its regular-season finale at J.S. Coyne Stadium.SU plays the winner of Miami (Ohio) and Michigan State on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and hosts the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Boston College and Connecticut are the other two teams in the region.On Friday, Wold broke a scoreless tie in the first half by deflecting a crossing pass from Loren Shealy toward the cage and past SU goalie Jess Jecko for her fifth tally of the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange had a number of opportunities to respond during the first half, including two penalty corners. However, UNC goalie Sassi Ammer made four saves to preserve the lead.Tight defense highlighted much of the second half, as neither team recorded a shot through the first 20 minutes.Syracuse nearly tied the game with only 3:10 remaining. Jordan Page sent a ball into the scoring circle that found its way past Ammer. However, the officials overturned the call after video replay showed that a defender had not touched the ball inside the circle.The Orange scrambled during the final minute, but couldn’t produce the equalizer. After Lauren Brooks and Emma Russell were both denied by Ammer, Syracuse had one final chance on a penalty corner as time expired. However, Leonie Geyer’s shot was batted aside to end the game.The scoreless effort was the first for Syracuse since a 2-0 loss to Massachusetts in 2010.Syracuse will play its first game of the NCAA tournament at home at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday against the winner of Miami (Ohio) and Michigan State. Connecticut and Boston College will also play in Syracuse. Ice HockeyFollowing its victories over Boston College and Union, Syracuse traveled to University Park for a two-game set against Penn State.The Orange (6-4, 2-0 Conference Hockey America) continued its momentum with a weekend sweep of the Nittany Lions (2-9-1, 0-4-0).It began with a 2-1 victory on Saturday, where forward Melissa Piacentini provided the necessary offense for the Orange.She capitalized on a power-play opportunity to give Syracuse a 1-0 lead in the first period. Defensemen Kaillie Goodnough and Nicole Renault each had an assist on the goal for the Orange.Penn State defenseman Jordin Pardoski took advantage on a power-play chance, which tied the game late in the second period.Piacentini provided the go-ahead goal less than two minutes into the third period, though, to give Syracuse the 2-1 lead.Goalie Kallie Billadeau continued her consistency in front of the net for the Orange. Her 16 saves — nine of them occurring in the third period — led SU to the win. On Sunday, Syracuse escaped with a 4-3 win in overtime on a game-winning goal by freshman forward Jessica Sibley.There was more offensive firepower on display from both teams. Penn State executed late in the first period on a goal by Kendra Rasmussen that gave the Nittany Lions a 1-0.Five minutes into the second period, Penn State’s Taylor Gross scored her fourth goal of the season to increase the lead to 2-0.But Syracuse kept the game within reach when right wing Akane Hosoyamada scored on a power-play goal to cut the deficit to 2-1 late in the second period.Left wing Nicole Ferrara followed up with the team’s second goal three minutes into the third period to tie the game at 2-2.Forward Amy Peterson provided another one-goal lead for Penn State with a power-play goal about seven minutes into the period. Then Syracuse responded late in the third period with a goal by defenseman Danielle Leslie, which tied the game at 3-3 and ultimately forced overtime.That is when Sibley scored the game-winning goal less than two minutes into overtime, propelling the Orange to a comeback victory and its sixth victory of the season.Syracuse will travel again this coming weekend for two games against nationally ranked Mercyhurst College.VolleyballSyracuse wrapped up the weekend with a bit of a scare. The Orange (13-13, 8-6 Atlantic Coast) took on Boston College (8-18, 0-14) in a road match that proved to be quite the test for SU.Syracuse held on to win the match in five sets, defeating the Eagles to reach .500 overall for the first time all season. SU came out flat to start Sunday, dropping the first set 25-16. The Orange never really had a chance as it trailed the entire set. However, the team was able to bounce back and take the next two sets, winning the second 25-20 and the third 25-18.Syracuse dropped the fourth set to tie the game up at two sets apiece. The fifth set, normally played to 15 points, ended up needing some extra points to decide a winner.SU was close to defeat when it trailed 14-10. But it was able to fend off the Eagles on five straight match points to eventually win the final set 18-16. The win came with a little bit of help as the last three points were scored on attack errors by Boston College.Outside hitter Silvi Uattara led the offense, racking up 14 kills. Outside hitter Nicolette Serratore also provided a spark, recording her seventh double-double of the season. Middle blocker Monika Salkute had her best game of the year also adding 11 kills — a season best — and seven total blocks.The Orange returns home this week, facing Pittsburgh on Friday and Maryland on Sunday, both in the Women’s Building.– compiled by staff writers Tyler Piccotti, tfpicott@syr.edu, Matt Miselis, mjmiseli@syr.edu, and Eric Riter, esriter@syr.edu Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

SWEET REPEAT: Cooney, Ennis shine as No. 4 Syracuse uses 2nd-half run to blowout Indiana

first_imgNeither of Syracuse’s starting guards entered the season with much experience. The last time that the Orange faced Indiana — less than a year ago — Trevor Cooney played just four minutes and Tyler Ennis was still in high school.They’ve played just eight games together as SU’s starting backcourt, but already play with a sort of twin telepathy. They spend the majority of the game on the floor together and Ennis knows where Cooney likes to shoot, but Gerry McNamara and the Syracuse coaching staff have even made sure the two have a good relationship off the court.“We play together every day,” Ennis said, “and I kind of know where his spots now where he’s going to be and where he likes to play.”The Orange’s starting guards, on both ends of the floor, once again guided No. 4 SU to victory, igniting a 23-3 second-half run that propelled Syracuse to a 69-52 win against the Hoosiers (6-2) as part of the Big 10/ACC Challenge.In front of 26,414 in the Carrier Dome, Cooney led the Orange (8-0) with a game-high 21 points. The well-rounded Ennis approached a triple-double with 17 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Defensively, the two guards combined for eight steals as part of a defensive performance that head coach Jim Boeheim said won his team the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Both those guys are playing way beyond any hope or expectations and that’s why we’re in good position,” Boeheim said. “If they were playing like you would expect we’d probably have at least a couple losses.”Cooney gives SU its outside presence, and Ennis has the presence of mind to get into the lane and fire passes out to the perimeter. Four of Cooney’s five 3s against Indiana were assisted by Ennis.When IU drew the score to a tie just 2:09 into the second half, Cooney and Ennis helped SU embark on its extravagant run.Cooney deflected a pass and started in transition with Ennis. The freshman guard brought the ball up as Cooney nestled into his familiar spot on the left wing. Ennis found him, and Cooney delivered.“All I have to do is find the open spots and he’s going to find me,” Cooney said.On Syracuse’s next possession, Cooney pulled up again. This time he was fouled and sunk all three at the line. Then Ennis hit a jumper.A tie game transformed into a 10-point lead in just two and a half minutes and would eventually balloon as large as 21.“I don’t think you could ask for them to play at a higher level than what they’ve played,” Boeheim said. “It’s really been amazing the level of play that they’ve had.”Defensively, Ennis said picking up the 2-3 zone was a bit of a process at first — he didn’t play it much in high school or AAU and even those were “nothing like this.”But Tuesday was the fourth time that Ennis racked up at least four steals and the fourth straight game with at least three.“I think I’m still learning a couple things, just off reads and what the other team’s doing,” Ennis said. “The zone, I think I’m learning it.”He and Cooney form a different style of backcourt than the one that Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche did a year ago, but the defensive production has been similar. The Orange’s recent stretch of strong play, starting in Hawaii, has coincided with the backcourt’s improvement on both ends of the floor.The expectation was for a freshman point guard and an inexperienced shooting guard to struggle.Cooney found the ire of Syracuse fans last season as his limited 3-point attempts frequently clanged off the rim — or missed it all together. Ennis was simply an unknown.But now they’ve become more complete players. In only eight games, expectations have flipped. What was once considered a weakness of the team has become one of its clear strengths.“They’ve really picked up the whole team,” Boeheim said. “I don’t think you can say enough about how they’ve played this year.” Comments Published on December 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Forward Madison FC: UW alumnus looks to be hometown favorite as new inductee

first_imgUniversity of Wisconsin soccer alumnus Carl Schneider is the newest signee of Forward Madison FC, Madison’s first ever professional soccer team. Schneider is a unique player compared to the other early signees of the club, as he’s the first player signed by the club to be born and raised here in Madison.Schneider played for local La Follette High School from 2007-11, leading the school’s soccer team to their first ever Big Eight Conference title his senior year. The team finished 21-2-1 overall (9-0-0 Big Eight) under Schneider’s leadership. Schneider was also a four-year All-Big Eight Conference honoree, before choosing to pursue soccer in college at the UW.After redshirting his freshman season at UW, Schneider played defense and midfield, starting in 51 games and appearing in another 10 from 2012-15. Overall, Schneider compiled nearly 4800 minutes of playing time and also finished with two goals and an assist in his career.Following graduation, Schneider went on to play in Sweden for IFK Åmål. In Sweden, Schneider helped the team get promoted twice in three years to the division above. He has now returned to where it all started, having been announced as the newest Forward Madison FC signee Tuesday.Schneider said he’s most excited to play in his hometown again because he gets to play in front of those he knows and loves. Not many fans showed up to his team’s games in Sweden, so he said Madison will be a nice change of scenery, as the city has always been welcoming to new sporting events.Schneider went on to say that he feels his “career has come full circle, having played in Madison on every level.” He is also excited to be playing at a higher level in a place he’s always wanted to play professionally. His goals for this season include locking down a starting spot, being a part of one of the top teams in the league, and with that, a team promotion to a higher level of the United Soccer Leauge by the end of the season. When asked about what made him personally choose to play soccer professionally instead of pursuing a career in his area of study, psychology, Schneider said he’s always been passionate about playing soccer.As a natural pick to be the hometown favorite, Schneider feels he’ll have an edge on opponents visiting Madison.With many people watching from here in Madison, it’s easy to see why Schneider could become an instant fan-favorite, even if he doesn’t play the most flashy position on the field as a right back.“If anyone is questioning whether or not to get tickets to the games this season, all you need to do is look at the Mallards,” Schneider said. “This crowd is going to be the same people, and it is going to be a party.”last_img read more

Cricketers kick off ICC Twenty20 campaign

first_imgTeam captain William Porterfield says that Oman have been in good form heading into the tournament. After a series of mixed performances in their warm-up matches, John Bracewell’s side will face Oman in their opening Group A game this afternoon.They’ll have to go-up against Bangladesh on Friday before then playing The Netherlands in their final group match on Sunday.Ireland will have to finish top of the group to progress to the next phase where they would join the likes of Australia, India and South Africa.last_img read more

Peter Ivanov – UltraPlay – Exploring the esports ecosystem

first_imgShare Betway & Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) head up elite speaker lineup at ESI London September 7, 2018 Submit Share UltraPlay enhances Esports betting experience March 29, 2018 BUFF.bet weighs up IPO options after X-Bet.co merger April 27, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Esports is no longer the industry’s best kept secret. The burgeoning industry has shown remarkable growth in recent years as an entertainment product in itself. As a result, the betting landscape has also developed at a remarkable pace. Whereas previously there was few bookmakers who offered markets on esports, it’s now rare to find an operator who doesn’t have any at all. There’s a huge amount of competition going on across the world and the coveted millennial demographic are watching more and more in the way of esports competition. We spoke to UltraPlay Head of Esports Trading Peter Ivanov to find out more about the esports ecosystem and how their business adapts to the ever-changing market. SBC: What do UltraPlay see as the main tournaments in esports – from both a spectator perspective and a betting perspective? Do they differ?PI: Main tournaments are pretty much the same from both spectator and betting prospective and they are ESL Pro Leagues and Tournaments, Dreamhack Tour, ELEAGUE branded tournaments and so on so forth. The reasons for that are the hype that these tournaments bring within the community and that reflects upon the public no matter if they are just watching or betting as well. The number of followers on the main tournaments is growing exponentially, which creates greater drive for the whole esports ecosystem to develop and improve in many aspects. There are some small differences that stem from the general outlook of some tournaments where even the participants take them more relaxed and not so competitive which makes them harder to predict. This unlocks another characteristic as often spectators find them more attractive to watch rather than to bet on. Our observation at UltraPlay, has brought us to the conclusion that the engagement level of esports fans is way higher when there are betting opportunities available on any given tournament. We strive to offer more and more specialized bets on big tournaments because the esports community is keen on measuring their level of understanding and predicting the outcomes in such high-profile tournaments. SBC: What has changed in the last two years with regards to esports betting? What can a spectator bet on now, and what could they bet on back then?PI: Esports betting has grown at an immense rate in the last couple of years, with UltraPlay being the major driving force behind that growth. Back in the days, offering who will win the match was the main and most often only offering that you can see among operators. Nowadays, UltraPlay is providing an unprecedented amount of pre-match offerings on 25 different game titles. However, UltraPlay’s greatest achievement is the live offerings we support that enable our clients to offer five times more games with in-play betting coverage than any competitor. Esport games are very dynamic and challenging and therefore betting on live games as they develop require the most profound knowledge of the game and that is why UltraPlay’s product is in so high demand among the esports fans. The fact that punters can feel the adrenaline of winning together with their favorite players and teams make esports betting even more exciting. The sector is constantly innovating and developing adding more and more options for the punters to feel the superb betting experience.last_img read more

GamStop suggests punters self-exclude during lockdown

first_img Related Articles As the gambling industry is continuing to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, GamStop has urged people to ‘exclude themselves from all online gambling websites’ if they are worried about their betting habits.The national online self-exclusion initiative believes that self-excluding during the lockdown can limit the risk of problem gambling.Fiona Palmer, Chief executive of GamStop, said: “We are concerned that, at a time when so many people are being forced to stay at home during the coronavirus, vulnerable consumers who may have an issue with their gambling might be tempted to spend money they do not have on online gambling.“We want to make them aware that GamStop provides a free, simple and secure solution for anyone who wants to take a break from online gambling.“People generally come to us when they realise that excluding themselves from all online gambling is the first step they need to take to provide the necessary breathing space to tackle their issues with gambling.”More than 130,000 people have registered with GamStop since the scheme went live in April 2018, with 73% opting to self-exclude for five years, the maximum period available.However, since the nationwide lockdown was triggered, early evidence has shown a spike in calls from users registered with GamStop in an attempt to try and lift their self-exclusion before their chosen minimum period has expired so they can begin gambling again.Outside London, the cities with most registered users are Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Leicester.Meanwhile GamStop’s data has shown that 42% of its users are aged 25-34, a demographic which has previously been highlighted by the UKGC as ‘most likely to be classified as problem gamblers’. 27% of those registered were aged between 35 and 44, 13% aged 45-54 and a further 12% aged 16-24.Palmer continued: “Self-exclusion is just one tool in a suite of services; we work closely with charities, such as GamCare, who offer specialist treatment, as well as with banks who provide financial blocking options to their customers and with providers of device blocking software.“Our focus is to help people take that first step and register with GamStop rather than putting it off whilst the country is in lockdown.” StumbleUpon DraftKings CBO – Industry ‘only just scratched the surface’ of US sports betting July 16, 2020 Share Better Collective cautious on quick recovery as COVID drags growth momentum August 25, 2020 Submit Share UKGC launches public awareness campaign on gambling controls, rights and safeguards August 3, 2020last_img read more

Rafael Benitez: Chelsea interim manager angrily confirms exit

first_imgRafael Benitez has said he will leave Chelsea in May and described the decision to give him the title “interim manager” as a “massive mistake”.After beating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the FA Cup fifth round, the Spaniard also criticised some of the club’s fans. He said: “Chelsea gave me the title of interim manager, which is a massive mistake. I’m the manager.“The fans are not helping us. At the end of the season I will leave. They don’t have to worry about me.”Benitez’s defiant post-match interview came after the former Liverpool manager was once again targeted by a section of his club’s own supporters.The 52-year-old has always been unpopular with some Blues fans since he took over from Champions League-winning manager Roberto Di Matteo in November. A section of the club’s supporters were unable to forgive or forget Benitez for his association with Liverpool, and the acrimonious rivalry formed with then Blues boss Jose Mourinho.Benitez outwitted ‘The Special One’ in the 2005 and 2007 Champions League semi-finals and the 2006 FA Cup semi-finals, and directed some barbs towards the club.“I have been in charge in football for 26 years, I won the Champions League, I won the Fifa Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the Italian Super Cup, the Spanish league twice, nine trophies – all the trophies you can win at club level,” said Benitez after a comfortable victory at the Riverside.“So this group of fans are not making any favourites with the team and they are singing and wasting time preparing banners.“They have to concentrate on supporting the team, that’s what they have to do. “Every game they continue singing and preparing banners, they are wasting time. What they have to do is support the team.“I am a professional and I am doing my job. What I want to do is win every single game for Chelsea.”Reports emerged from Stamford Bridge earlier in the week that Benitez was involved in a heated exchange with members of his squad after their 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday.Before the FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough, Benitez insisted he had a “fantastic” relationship with the club’s players.He reiterated his satisfaction with his squad after they set up an FA Cup quarter-final clash with Manchester United. “I have a top side and a good group of players who work hard and it is a top club, it is not a problem,” he said.“The problem is a group of people who can say what they want.”Chelsea have won 13 of 26 matches since Benitez took charge and are fourth in the Premier League, 19 points behind leaders Manchester United.The former Inter Milan boss said he would be “the happiest man in the world” were the club to qualify for the Champions League, but questioned the decision to call him ‘interim manager’.“I have a title. Someone decided the title would be interim. Why? Just in case?” said Benitez. “Fine, that is your decision. I don’t agree, but that is your decision and now everybody has to take responsibility.“Everybody is interim because after you there is another one. In this case they didn’t have anyone so why did they put interim?“I can’t change the titles and the perception so it doesn’t matter now. What I have to do is be sure that I give 100% every single day. They will know I am trying to do my best.“The manager is the manager. One month, three months, seven months – it doesn’t matter.“I think the reason why the group of fans is not happy is because I was Liverpool manager, we played in the Champions League, massive games, that’s it.”last_img read more

Lakers schedule set; 2016-17 opens at home against Rockets

first_imgBoth intrigue and uncertainty await on how long it will take for the Lakers’ young roster to develop. Or how long it will take for Luke Walton to master his position as the Lakers’ new head coach.At least the Lakers have clarity on who they will play and when during the 2016-17 season. The Lakers learned a few things when the NBA announced its schedule for the upcoming campaign on Thursday, developments that could provide both rich storylines and landmarks during the team’s rebuilding process.The Lakers will open a season without Kobe Bryant for the first time in 20 years with a home game against the Houston Rockets and former Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni on Oct. 26 at Staples Center.After making two NBA Finals appearances and winning one NBA title the past two seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Walton will coach against his former team four times, twice at home (Nov. 4, Nov. 25) and twice in Oakland (Nov. 23, April 12, season finale). The Lakers will host the Clippers on Christmas Day at Staples Center. Even if the Lakers have lost by an average of 20.45 points during 11 consecutive losses against their Hallway rival, the Lakers-Clippers matchup should produce fireworks. The Lakers play host to the Clippers again on March 21) with the Clippers the designated home team for the Jan. 14 and April 1 meetings.When the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers meet in Philadelphia (Dec. 16) and Los Angeles (March 12), inevitable comparisons will arise between this year’s draft picks at No. 1 (Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons) and No. 2 (Lakers’ Brandon Ingram).The Lakers face other tests throughout the season.The Lakers will experience extensive travel during a seven-game, 12-day trip that includes Sacramento (Dec. 12), Brooklyn (Dec. 14), Philadelphia (Dec. 16), Cleveland (Dec. 17), Charlotte (Dec. 20), Miami (Dec. 22) and Orlando (Dec. 23).Their annual Grammy trip will span eight days, including stops in Washington (Feb. 2), Boston (Feb. 3), New York (Feb. 6), Detroit (Feb. 8) and Milwaukee (Feb. 10). The Lakers play 16 sets of back-to-back games, a slight decrease from last season (18). Overall, the NBA reduced the number of back-to-back games to an average of 16.3 per team, a 16 percent reduction from 19.3 per team in 2014-15 and an 8 percent reduction from 17.8 per team last season. The longest homestand is also 12 days, occurring from March 17-28 (six games).Despite Bryant’s retirement and the team’s recent struggles, the Lakers still command national attention. ESPN will broadcast eight of the Lakers’ games, while TNT will show six of them. The Lakers will also make nine appearances on NBA TV. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more