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    September 22, 2017 6:33 AM +0330

    NEW YORK -- The U. Xavier Woods Womens Jersey .S. has picked the 12 players it believes can defend its world basketball title. The Americans kept Derrick Rose and cut All-Star Damian Lillard and three others early Saturday morning, getting their roster down to the limit for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Though team officials had previously said they might carry extra players when they left for Spain on Saturday, and final rosters arent due until next Friday, the Americans decided there was no need to wait. Kyle Korver, Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons also were cut, shortly after the Americans beat Puerto Rico 112-86 in their final home exhibition game. "Since taking over the USA Basketball mens national team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process weve gone through," USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said in a statement. "I cant stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. "I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent -- each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing." The rest of the roster is: Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson, Andre Drummond, Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee. The Americans can still change the roster in event of injury or withdrawal before Friday, a day before the World Cup opener, which is why they originally considered bringing extra players to Spain. "We feel that its better to go with 12 because thats really difficult on anybody if theyre not going to be on the team to travel that far," coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game at Madison Square Garden. Lillard, Drummond, Hayward and DeRozan didnt play in the game, but Krzyzewski stressed afterward the final decisions on the roster hadnt been made -- and it turned out two got tickets on the plane. "Im excited about the 12 players selected and feel we have excellent versatility and the makings of a really good defensive team," Krzyzewski said. Rose came off the bench and scored six points in 14 minutes. He had sat out the previous game and a couple of practices this week after feeling soreness following last Saturdays exhibition opener against Brazil, his first action since missing most of the last two seasons after a pair of knee surgeries. But he proved he was healthy enough to make his second U.S. team, having played for the Americans when they won the former world basketball championship in 2010. "These guys want to play with him. Thats part of getting back is to be around a group of peers," Krzyzewski said. Curry scored 20 points, while Harden and Gay had 13 points apiece for the Americans, who will play a final exhibition game in Spain against Slovenia and open the World Cup next Saturday against Finland. The U.S. led 52-47 after Thompsons buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of an entertaining first half before a divided crowd that included plenty of Puerto Rican fans. Knicks All-Star and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medallist Carmelo Anthony, who is part Puerto Rican, was in the front row along with golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis star Andy Murray. The Americans lost a number of key players this summer but are still good enough to defend their world title with the roster that remains, though they are vulnerable, which Puerto Rico proved by staying right with them for 20 minutes. But they can also turn close games into blowouts in a hurry, which they did by outscoring Puerto Rico 14-2 to open the second half, with some energetic plays from Faried on both ends, to open a 66-49 lead. "The team is looking great," Puerto Rico guard Carlos Arroyo said. "A lot of young guys motivated to represent their country with a lot of pride and honour, and youve got to give respect to that." Puerto Ricos veteran backcourt of Arroyo and J.J. Barea has loads of international and NBA experience, and they didnt wilt under relentless U.S. pressure the way so many other teams do. Former Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman also started for the Puerto Ricans, who play in Group B along with regional rival Argentina, Croatia, Greece, Senegal and the Philippines. Barea scored 16 points and Arroyo had 15. "Not every game is going to be pretty when we get to Spain, so this is a good test for us and a good experience for everybody on the roster," Curry said. Xavier Woods Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Taco Charlton Cowboys Jersey . Fans holding laudatory signs started showing up at Yankee Stadium when the gates opened at 4 p.m. Monday, an hour early in order to give them a chance to watch the New York captain take batting practice. LONG POND, Pa. -- Denny Hamlin won the pole the first time he ever raced at Pocono Raceway. Eight years later, Hamlin still had the speed in the No. 11 Toyota to take the top spot at the triangle track. Hamlin turned a track record-lap of 181.415 mph Friday to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup pole, a throwback to the times he dominated qualifying at one of his best tracks. Hamlin is a four-time winner at Pocono, matching his Martinsville mark for most career wins at a track. He swept two Pocono races on its former rugged surface from the pole in 2006. He also won races on the 2 1/2-mile track in 2009 and 2010. "I hope this track has aged a little bit," he said, "because when it was old and worn out was when I was really good at the track." With blistering speeds, Hamlin zipped his way to his second track record and pole of the season after topping the field at Bristol. Hamlin has 19 poles in 304 career Cup starts. Hamlin hasnt had much success with Joe Gibbs Racing at Pocono since 2010, finishing in the top 10 onlt twice and crashing out twice -- including a 43rd-place run last August. "We havent been that strong here since the repave," he said. "Its just a handful of things that make you off here and there. These tracks are almost like superspeedways now in the sense that youve got to have the fastest car in the right position to win them. BBack when I was winning in 06 on the old track, you could make up tons of position. Chidobe Awuzie Cowboys Jersey. That would never happen today because the cars are running so fast and so equal." Kurt Busch starts second for a needed lift for his Stewart-Haas Racing team. Busch has otherwise struggled outside of the one win that all but locked him into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. "We came here with a new approach to try to get our front ends to settle into the track a little better," Busch said. "I was really surprised that we had the speed for the pole today in our first attempt to try something a little different. Its great to cash in." Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon completed the top five. Coming off wins in the Coca-Cola 600 and at Dover, Jimmie Johnson will start 20th in his bid for a third straight victory. "I just got too greedy down in two and lost the nose in the corner exit," Johnson said. "I feel bad for my guys, but this ones on me." Keselowski continued his run of qualifying success. Last weeks pole winner at Dover, Keselowski has started third or better in the No. 2 Ford a whopping 10 times in 13 races this season. "Im not sure why, but Im not going to complain about it either," he said. 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