More than 7,000 miles from home, fans were chanting his name, and the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was loving it. In the basketball-loving Philippines, no one was going to ruffle a charismatic icon visiting to promote the sport, encourage kids to pursue their dreams and maybe sell a few pairs of his new line of shoes. “I love Manila,” a beaming Bryant told a crowd that started gathering nine hours before he appeared. “The energy here is off the charts.” Bryant, fresh off a gold medal at the FIBA Americas championship, kicked off his five-stop Asian tour. ETC.: NBA referees will be able to use instant replay to review altercations and some flagrant fouls starting this season. The NBA Board of Governors voted last week to approve the changes recommended by the league’s Competition Committee. Soccer David Beckham will find his mission of transforming soccer in America more difficult than expected, according to the manager of his former team in England. Beckham is attempting to turn soccer into a mainstream sport in the United States after joining the Carson-based Galaxy with a five-year, $32.5 million contract in July. However, he is likely to be sidelined for the rest of the MLS season because of ankle and knee injuries. Even a fully fit Beckham would be unable to overcome the problems the sport faces in the U.S., Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said. “It is difficult with David going there. I don’t know what kind of impact he can make,” Ferguson said. “David Beckham himself can’t change the whole country.” ETC.: The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan joins Carlos Bocanegra and Tim Howard as finalists for the 2007 Honda Player of the Year award, presented annually to the U.S. national team’s outstanding performer. The winner will be announced Oct.5. … Spain reached the final of the Under-17 World Cup, beating Ghana, 2-1, in extra time on Bojan Krkic’s goal at Ulsan, South Korea. The Spaniards will play for the title Sunday against the winner of today’s semifinal between Nigeria and Germany. College volleyball Seniors Asia Kaczor and Diane Copenhagen combined for 34 kills to lead No.4 USC (7-0) to a 30-22, 30-23, 30-28 nonconference women’s volleyball victory over Pepperdine (4-3) at the Galen Center. Kaczor recorded a match-high 20 kills, including 17 in the first two games. Sophomore setter Taylor Carico (Mira Costa High) had 40 assists for USC. Kiah Fiers (Peninsula High) had 37 assists for the Waves. ETC.: Cal State L.A. defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills, 30-16, 30-11, 30-20, at CSDH (1-8, 0-1 CCAA). JC soccer El Camino College’s Jose Lopez scored once and Rhys Orpe twice in a 3-0 victory over visiting Victor Valley in a men’s match. El Camino is 3-0-1. ETC.: Samira Yakubu, Stephanie Hall, Courtney Flamengo, Imara Rodriguez and Samantha Domenick each scored goals as El Camino (3-1-1) posted a 5-0 women’s victory over visiting Oxnard. Jurisprudence Two female athletes at Baylor, a basketball and volleyball player, were charged with beating a woman in a park. Basketball player Latara Shanica Darrett and volleyballer Ashlee Genae Cooper, both 19-year-old sophomores, surrendered to police Tuesday and were charged with assault causing bodily injury, a Waco, Texas, police spokesman said. ETC.: Houston Rockets swingman Justin Reed was released from jail after his arrest on a marijuana charge. Reed was arrested Tuesday night in Jackson, Miss. Motorsports NASCAR iron man Ricky Rudd, who once taped his eyes open to race, will be unable to compete because of injury for the first time in a career spanning more than a quarter century. Rudd separated his left shoulder in a wreck Sunday at California Speedway. Kenny Wallace will replace him Saturday night in the No. 88 Ford at Richmond International Raceway. ETC.: Joe Gibbs Racing spent 16 seasons jockeying for position in the crowded General Motors camp, where three championships in five seasons weren’t enough to move the organization to the front of the pack. JGR won’t have that problem in 2008. The three-car organization will move to Toyotas next season in a switch that will make it the premier team for the Japanese automaker. … Tony Stewart said he’s working on an extension to stay at Joe Gibbs Racing past 2009. The team also is trying to add three years to Denny Hamlin’s contract, which expires in 2010. Cycling Oscar Freire of Spain won the mountainous fifth stage of the Spanish Vuelta while Vladimir Efimkin of Russia kept the overall lead. Freire, who rides for Rabobank, completed the 98-mile leg in 4 hours, 7 minutes, 51 seconds. Horse racing Georgie Boy rallied from next-to-last place to win the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity by a half length over Salute the Sarge. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, the 2-year-old colt covered seven furlongs in 1:25.34 over Polytrack and returned $13.60, $6.20 and $3.60. ETC.: Discovery of the equine influenza virus at thoroughbred stud farms in New South Wales state was “potentially lethal” for Australia’s racing and breeding industries, industry leaders said. … Jazil, winner of the 2006 Belmont Stakes, was retired and will stand at stud at Dubai Sheik Hamdan’s Shadwell Farm. Youth sports More than half the nation’s high school students participated in sports last year, and for the first time more than 3 million of them were girls. The National Federation of State High School Associations released the results of its annual participation survey, listing a record 7,342,910 high school athletes in the 2006-07 school year among its member associations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This the 18th straight year the number of participants has increased. Deaths Max McNab, who won the Stanley Cup as a player with the Detroit Red Wings in 1950 and later served as the general manager of two NHL teams in a nearly 50-year hockey career, has died. He was 83. McNab suffered a massive stroke in Las Vegas on Saturday and died on Sunday, Peter McNab, his son and a former NHL player, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. Another son, David, is the longtime assistant general manager of the Ducks. Yachting Defending champion Alinghi is still hopeful that American syndicate BMW Oracle Racing will drop its lawsuit against the Swiss team and participate in the next America’s Cup. Alinghi general counsel Hamish Ross said that officials from both teams were in talks to find an out-of-court solution. BMW Oracle racing’s Golden Gate Yacht Club filed a lawsuit in New York state court against Alinghi’s Societe Nautique de Geneve in July. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! If he decides to re-join the Ducks, it appears likely that he will skip training camp and some early-season games, including the two-game series against the Kings in London. Niedermayer recently told a reporter for ESPN.com, “I’ve made (the decision) a few times. It’s changed a few times. I really don’t know when it’ll be finalized.” Meanwhile, there has been no formal announcement from right wing Teemu Selanne, who also is considering retirement after winning the Cup for the first time in his career. Training camp opens next Tuesday for the Ducks. Basketball From news services Defenseman Scott Niedermayer might announce today whether he will return to the Stanley Cup champion Ducks or retire from the NHL. Niedermayer, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the MVP of the playoffs last spring, will meet with reporters today at the Ducks’ training facility in Anaheim to discuss his future. He reportedly met with Ducks general manager Brian Burke on Wednesday.
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