Friday, June 25, 2004
The first quarter final of Euro 2004 took place. The hosts Portugal edged England 6-5 in penalty shootout after playing to a 2-2 draw after extra time. Beckham missed yet another penalty (as the English lost once again on penalties, almost setting a trend if not for the lone victory against Spain back in 1996). Mixed feelings for me as I saw little used Tottenham reserve striker Helder Postiga scoring for his country on home soil to force extra time. Hopefully he'll get to play more come next season. (Though he seems quite behind in the packing order after Robbie Keane, Jermaine Defoe, and Fredrick Kanoute for the 2 forward positions.)
Meanwhile at Wimbledon, Venus Williams was taken out in the 2nd round by Croatian teen Karolina Sprem. A blunder by the chair umpire undeniably sped up the process, but the 3rd seed of the ladies' draw was basically outplayed by her lower ranked opponent for most of the match. Also, Navratilova's amazing comeback journey in singles came to an end. She actually looked like the more probable winner in the first set as she generally dominated and rarely looked troubled. However, 19-yo Gisela Dulko, who also won against Martina in the French Open just a few weeks ago, settled down and worked the aged veteran around the court and wore her down. Despite the tough loss, it was nothing short of an incredible show of resilience and great conditioning of the 47-yo legend. (In other news, Alicia Molik also won her 2nd round match in straight sets.)
Making it even more eventful a day, the NBA draft also took place. The Sonics finally landed a decent center prospect. Unfortunately, he doesn't look liek he's ready to contribute right away, meaning we're still stuck with the mediocre three headed monster for at least another year.... Well, at least I guess it's not all bad as long as they didn't draft another small forward.
In related news, Northwest college stars Luke Jackson and Blake Stepp both got drafted. Jackson ended up being a lottery pick at #10 by the Cavaliers and will probably form a dynamic one-two punch with Lebron, while Stepp barely avoided being undrafted, being chosen by the Timberwolves with the second to last pick, 58th overall. Washington State PG Marcus Moore and Gonzaga C/F Corey Violette were both undrafted.