O’Dayne Richards maintains he will be working hard to medal at the IAAF World Championships in London next year.The 27-year-old Richards has a bronze medal under his belt from last year’s Beijing World Championships.”I am always looking to not just maintain, but increase. If you are not number one, you still might have work to do to maintain it,” said Richards, who is all about medal contention in London.”Definitely, that is the way I have to think as a professional athlete. I always have to think I am able to win a global title, break records – and world records,” he continued.OPTIMISTICHe said he is optimistic about next year, due to his ability to “fight through injuries, surgery and still make it to the Olympic final” in Rio.”It kinda gives me hope that I will still manage to get into the top 10 or even top three in the world next year in London, so I am really looking forward to that,” he told The Gleaner, adding that he took lessons away from Rio ahead of the new season.”Patience is one of the things I took forward from 2016, to be mindful of the fact that anything can happen and not to pressure myself too much.”I look forward to the possibilities that are ready and waiting for me in 2017, if the Lord wills,” he added.Richards is also a 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Pan Am Games gold medal winner last year. He explained that despite not medalling in Rio, he will grow from the experience.”I am grateful for what happened this year. I had a few injuries and because of that I wasn’t able to perform as well as I would like, but I still managed to make it to the Olympic final and I am grateful,” he reiterated.
Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? The Asia League has two tournaments, the Super 8 in July and the Terrific 12 in September but Beyer sees more chance for growth for the Super 8 since the month of July coincides with the offseason of many of the Asian associations.“This could be the biggest offseason party for the teams. There will be concerts, a roster of foreign players, tons of media, the games will be broadcast over 30 platforms.”Beyer, however, won’t just send out invitations left and right. He wants to ensure that there will be a competitive balance and would target the teams who are in the upper echelon of its respective leagues.His method of inviting teams to play for the Asia League takes a similar cue to the one UEFA imposes for the Champions League where only the top teams from each domestic leagues—in the case of England, Germany, and Spain the top four are selected for the 2018-2019 tournament.Beyer added that in the event that the Super 8 expands to 32 teams, the teams will play in a double round-robin group stage featuring home and away games.ADVERTISEMENT But it’s not only domestic leagues, with the ASEAN Basketball League breaking ground in 2009 and becoming a platform for the Southeast Asian region to bolster ties through basketball.Then in 2017, the Asia League was born to give a venue for professional teams across Asia to face against each other in a high-level competition.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’CEO Matt Beyer has bold hopes for his brainchild. He wants the Asia League Super 8 to become the Asian basketball equivalent of the UEFA Champions League in European football.“Absolutely, the ideal situation for the Summer League is to expand to 32 teams in three years and that it becomes the offseason basketball forum,” said Beyer during a conversation with the media Friday at Studio City here in Macau. Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Asia League CEO Matt Beyer talks to the media during a break in the week-long Super 8 tournament in Macau.MACAU—There’s no doubt that the sport of basketball has been growing exponentially in Asia for the past decade.Most of the countries in the continent now have professional basketball leagues with the PBA, the oldest pay for play league in Asia being one of the premier associations along with China’s CBA.ADVERTISEMENT Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Macau, whose government formed a partnership with Asia League, would then become the ground for the knockout semifinal and championship rounds.“We want to see it mature as we go along, it requires a deep partnership with Fiba and the associations like the PBA,” said Beyer.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lady Bulldogs withdraw from PVL View comments