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Sports Shorts

December 3, 1996

TOKYO (AP) _ Rassy Montalban of the Philippines dethroned Kazuhisa Machida as Orient-Pacific Boxing Federation junior bantamweight champion Tuesday night by stopping him in the fifth round.

Montalban knocked down Machida once in the fourth round and twice in the fifth before the referee stopped the fight.

Montalban 113 pounds and Machida 114 1/2.

South Koreans Choi Yosam and Yoon Seok-hyun won OPBF titles by split decisions over Japanese boxers.

Choi won the vacant OPBF junior flyweight title with a 12-round split decision over Kenzo Ando and Yoon won the OPBF welterweight title with a seven-round split decision over champion Hiroyuki Yoshino.


Ligier Team Signs Japanese Driver

PARIS (AP) - Shinji Nakano of Japan will join Frenchman Olivier Panis as drivers for Ligier, the Formula One team said Tuesday.

Nakano, 25, was in the Japanese Formula 3000 competition last year but did tests for Ligier over the past two months.

Panis won the Monaco Grand Prix for Ligier last May, the only Grand Prix not won by either Williams or Ferrari all year.


Donnay, Famous for Wooden Rackets, Sold To British Company

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Donnay International, the company best known from the days that Bjorn Borg wielded its wooden rackets, was sold to CDS Holdings of Britain.

CDS Holdings bought the struggling company for $3.9 million from the regional government of Wallonia in southern Belgium and said Tuesday it will seek to bring it back to international prominence.

Donnay produced some 10,000 rackets a day when wooden frames still were the rage in the 1970s. Borg, who won five Wimbledon titles, took 62 tournaments with his trademark black racket.

With the emergence of fiber frames, sales started slumping for Donnay. Now, no production is left and 23 people remain in the distribution center at the headquarters of Couvin. Portugal still has a production plant.


Velasco Resigns As Italian National Volleyball Coach

ROME (AP) _ Julio Velasco resigned as coach of the Italian national volleyball team on Tuesday, three months after Italy lost to the Netherlands in the Olympic final at Atlanta.

Velasco said his decision to leave after eight years was not related to the Olympic upset.

``I need new challenges. I’m leaving without regret. . .it’s a closed chapter,″ the Argentine-born coach said.

He did not comment on reports that he may join Italy’s women’s team.

``I am not moving to a club, or to another national team. I could not accept the idea to try to beat Italy,″ Velasco said.

Under Velasco, the Italians captured 16 international titles, including World and European championships.


FIFA Reinstates Albania for World Cup Qualifying

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ Albania’s soccer federation was reinstated by FIFA on Tuesday, clearing the way for Albania to go ahead with its World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland this month.

FIFA suspended Albania from all World Cup competition last week after the government sports ministry dismissed the head of the Albanian Football Association and dissolved the body’s executive committee.

``The Ministry has now confirmed to FIFA that this internal suspension has been revoked and that the current Albanian Football Association leadership will remain in office at least until elections early next year,″ soccer’s world governing body said Tuesday.

The decision means Albania’s match against Northern Ireland in Belfast on Nov. 14 will go ahead as scheduled, FIFA said.


Puerto Rican League to be Broadcast Internationally

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ The Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League begin broadcasting winter season games on Wednesday to cities in the United States, Latin America and Asia under a new 3-year contract.

The broadcasts will include 14 winter season games, the playoffs and the all-star game, Joaquin Monserrate, president of the island’s Professional Baseball League said.

The games will be broadcast on Hispanic television stations in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, El Paso, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Organizers estimate they will reach an estimated 21 million Hispanics in the United States plus millions of viewers in Latin America and parts of Asia.

Update hourly