Italy Tops Spain for European Title, 64-56

Carlton Myers scored 18 points and Gregor Fucka pulled down 10 rebounds as Italy won the European basketball championship by beating Spain 64-56 in the title game yesterday in Paris.

Italy, which played an aggressive defensive, also defeated Spain when it won its only previous title, in 1983.

Myers, a Englishman whose mother is Italian, made 5 of 6 free throws in the final three minutes after Spain had closed to within eight points, and Fucka had 10 points in addition to his rebounding. Spain made only 4 of 18 field goal attempts in the first half.

The Italians led by 20 points before Spain used a 10-0 run to close within eight with three minutes remaining. But Myers then sealed the victory from the foul line.

In the bronze-medal game, Sacramento Kings center Vlade Divac scored 19 points to lead Yugoslavia to a 74-62 victory over France. Yugoslavia, winner of four of the last five championships in which it participated, lost a chance at defending its latest title when it was beaten in the semifinals by Italy, 71-62. The last time Yugoslavia finished as low as third was in 1987.

Divac bounced back from a bad night against Italy, when he shot 1 for 6 from the field and scored only eight points. Nikola Loncar added 14 points and seven rebounds for Yugoslavia and Dejan Bodiroga had 15 points.

Antoine Rigaudeau led France with 16 points.


Milan Rivals Add Power

The city of Milan is the destination of two important international soccer transfers announced last week.

Italian Serie A champion AC Milan won the bidding war for Dynamo Kiev star Andriy Shevchenko, the 22-year-old phenom of the Ukrainian national team known at the "Ronaldo of the East." Milan signed Shevchenko, who made his international debut at 18, to a five-year, $25 million contract on Friday.

It is the highest amount ever paid for a player from the former Soviet Union.

Milan's crosstown rival Inter bolstered its defense with the $3 million signing of French World Cup defender Laurent Blanc, 33, from Olympique Marseille.

Blanc had turned down an offer from Liverpool, saying that he had always wanted to finish his career in Italy, where he played for Napoli in the early 1990s.

Marseille lost its other central defender, Ivorian international Cyril Domoraud, to Inter last month.


IOC to Stay

The International Olympic Committee has no plans to move from Switzerland in spite of local anger over defeat in the 2006 Winter Games selection, its president said in an interview published Wednesday. "The IOC has historically liked Lausanne," where it has been headquartered since 1915, Juan Antonio Samaranch told the Geneva daily Tribune de Geneve. "If Switzerland and Lausanne don't chase us out, we'll stay here with pleasure." The decision by the IOC to snub the Swiss city frontrunner Sion and award the 2006 Winter Olympics to Turin, Italy, led to vandalism at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne and to angry reaction from politicians and news media.


Cricket Loss Probed

The sport of cricket continued to fall into disarray following the national team's rout at the hands of Australia in the World Cup final. On Wednesday, a judge was appointed to investigate match-fixing and betting allegations against Pakistan's World Cup cricket team. An inquiry followed relentless criticism from fans and government officials that Pakistan's humiliating eight-wicket World Cup loss to Australia was engineered. The cricket team has denied the accusations and captain Wasim Akram said they have demoralized his team. On Friday, the Indian organizers of the annual Sahara Cup one-day tournament between India and Pakistan in Toronto in September announced the event would be cancelled because of the Kashmir conflict. The decision came after a growing number of Indian players demanded that cricketing links with Pakistan be severed.


Rose Sets Record

Robert Rose hit for the cycle for the third time in his career Wednesday, setting a Japanese record, as he led the Yokohama BayStars to a 20-4 trouncing of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Rose, who last played in the majors for the Anaheim Angels, went 4 for 4 and drove in five runs.


Teams Clash Over Player

Australia on Wednesday named Jason Jones-Hughes, a member of Wales' World Cup rugby squad, to its own Australian Barbarians squad starting an international tug-of-war over the player. The New South Wales Super 12 player had been named by the Welsh on Tuesday to their World Cup squad. He has a Welsh father and has said he wants to play for Wales in this year's World Cup. But the Australian Rugby Union says Jones-Hughes is a big part of its own plans and has asked the International Rugby Board to intervene. An ARU spokesman said the team had been picked before it was announced that Jones-Hughes had been named in the Welsh squad, but Jones-Hughes' spokesman told reporters that it was unlikely that he would play.


Kammerling Posts Top Time

Anna-Karin Kammerling set a new world best in the women's 50-meter butterfly Thursday, winning her event in 26.39 seconds at the Swedish national championships in Halmstad. Kammerling's time was .15 of a second faster than Dutch swimmer Inge De Bruin's mark. The 19-year-old Kammerling will be competition at the upcoming European Swimming Championships in Istanbul.

No. 1 Badminton Player Ousted Again

World number one Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark was eliminated from badminton's Malaysian Open by unseeded local player Mohd Roslin Hashim at the last 16 stage on Thursday. For Christensen, it was the second shocking defeat in successive tournaments, having lost unexpectedly in the semifinals at the world championships in May to veteran Fung Permadi. Christensen squandered a 14-10 lead in the deciding game to lose, 8-15, 15-3, 15-17. The current world champion and now strong favorite to take the title, second seed Sun Jun of China, advanced to the quarterfinals beating Malaysia's Lee Tsuen Seng, 15-7, 15-9. In the women's singles, world champion and world number one Camilla Martin eased through to the quarterfinals, beating Malaysia's Ng Mee Fen. Meanwhile, former world champion Han Jian of China urged the International Badminton Federation on Monday to consider changes to the scoring system to make the sport more exciting. A system based on shorter games with up to five points was presented. Three games would make a set and the winner would be the first to win two sets.

CAPTION: Italy's Gregor Fucka and Alessandro De Pol jostled for loose ball Friday. Yesterday they returned to help Italians win their first European title since 1983 and second overall.