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Nuggets' Nene to play for Brazil

August 13, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Denver Nuggets forward Nene said Sunday he will be released to play for Brazil in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament this month in Las Vegas.

Nene's participation had been in doubt as the Nuggets and the Brazilian Basketball Confederation negotiated an insurance policy in case the forward were to be injured in Las Vegas.

Nene said the insurance contract hadn't been finalized but added that Nuggets officials guaranteed he would be released to play.

"I asked them, 'Will I be able to play?' And they said yes," Nene told the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper and other Brazilian media. "That's why I am here."

Nene, who did not play for Brazil when it won last month's Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, arrived in Brazil on Sunday morning for his first practice with the team before it travels to the United States on Tuesday.

The top two finishers in the tournament Aug. 22-Sept. 2 in Las Vegas will clinch a spot in next year's Beijing Olympics.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Pittsburgh receiver Kinder out for season

Pittsburgh receiver Derek Kinder, a first-team all-Big East Conference player last season, will sit out the season because of a torn knee ligament.

Kinder was injured making a cut after catching a pass during a non-contact drill during the first day of full-squad workouts Saturday.

He is expected to have surgery this week.

GOLF

UCLA-bound player wins Women's Amateur

Maria Jose Uribe, a 17-year-old Colombian who will be a freshman at UCLA in the fall, took advantage of a late putting lapse by Amanda Blumenherst and beat the two-time college player of the year from Duke 1-up for the U.S. Women's Amateur championship at Carmel, Ind.

Neither player was up by more than one hole the entire 36-hole match-play final round at Crooked Stick Golf Club.

Catriona Matthew won the Scandinavian TPC, shooting a four-under-par 68 to beat Laura Diaz and Sophie Gustafson by three shots at Loddekopinge, Sweden.

Defending champion Annika Sorenstam closed with a 68 for her best round of the tournament and moved from 21st to ninth.

MISCELLANY

Botero rides to title in Tour de Colombia

Santiago Botero, 34, won the 15-stage Tour de Colombia by 4 minutes 45 seconds over Hernan Buenahora.

Botero was dropped by Swiss-based Phonak last year for his involvement in a Spanish doping investigation that implicated 56 cyclists. He was cleared by Colombia's cycling federation in November.

Erik Zabel of Germany won the third stage of the Tour of Germany and countryman Jens Voigt retained the overall lead with a total time of 10:05.20.

Zabel, 37, finished the 113-mile race in 4:49.25. Joaquin Rojas of Spain was second, and Bradley McGee of Australia was third.

Salute The Sarge beat Georgie Boy by a length under jockey Michael Baze to win the $147,000 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar.

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