The draw:Emperador Giants vs QPR Wanderers (9am)Agro Bullets vs City Redbacks (10am)UPNG Atafa Alladins vs North Build Hummers (11am)D8 Mosquitoes vs Paga Panthers (12pm).Official, David Silovo, said from 16 teams, there are now only eight teams left after the knockouts played yesterday.He said the losers from this weekend will bow out of the tournament while the winners advance on to the semi-finals stage.
Daniel Sturridge claims Liverpool team-mate Mario Balotelli is ‘misunderstood’ and admits he can’t wait to strike up a partnership with the Italian.The former AC Milan forward has struggled to settle at Anfield, following a £16m switch in the summer, and has even been linked with a January transfer window move away from the Merseysiders.But Sturridge, who has played with the 23-year-old just once due to injury, admits he’s desperate to link up with the ex-Manchester City man when he returns to action.“We get on well off the field and in the changing rooms. We’re always laughing and joking,” he told Drivetime. “It’s not hugely important to be friends to have a great [football] relationship with somebody, and if you’re not friends you can still have a great partnership, but you can also be friends and have a great partnership.“Once I get back fit I’m hoping we can strike up a partnership. Last season with Luis [Suarez] we had a great relationship up front and scored a lot of goals. Hopefully this season it will be the same.”Balotelli’s attitude has been questioned by certain sections of the Anfield crowd, following some below par performances and a controversial shirt-swap at half-time of the Reds’ 3-0 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.But Sturridge claims people are too hard on the former Etihad enigma.“Mario has been under the microscope,” he added. “That will always be the case when you play for a big club. You are going to have a lot of eyes on you.“Mario’s a great guy, and he’s misunderstood sometimes. A lot of people are harsh on him. I get on really with him though. I have nothing but good words to say about him.“He’s working hard on the training field. People have told me he’s working tirelessly to play the way we play.“It’s difficult moving to a new club and having new team-mates, it doesn’t [always] just click straight away. Everybody is helping him and he’s playing well. Sometimes you don’t get the breaks in terms of scoring goals. Every striker goes through times when they don’t score.“A lot of stories have been put out about him in the past which aren’t true. For him, it’s difficult to shake off the celebrity [tag].“He’s a likeable person. I don’t have any bad words to say about him. People don’t realise what he’s been through in his life to get where he is today.”
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download AudioAs U.S. buys more guns, state agency has more dough than it can handleLiz Ruskin, APRN – WashingtonThe Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation is largely funded by a federal tax on the sale of guns and ammunition, and sales nationwide are booming. But now the division may have to give back a portion of its bounty.Retired workers file dental benefits suitAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO/APRN – JuneauAn association of retired state workers has filed a lawsuit saying state cuts to dental benefits violate the Alaska constitution.Court rules in favor of municipalities in pipeline caseRobert Hannon, KUAC – FairbanksA ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court Friday has strengthened the role municipalities have in setting the tax value of Trans-Alaska Pipeline and similar structures. The ruling overturns a lower court decision that said the Alaska Department of Revenue had the final say.Congress OKs Coast Guard bill to transfer landsLiz Ruskin, APRN-WashingtonCongress has approved a Coast Guard bill that includes several land transfers Alaska’s congressional delegation has pursued for years. One of them is at Point Spencer, to advance the possible construction of an Arctic deepwater port near Nome.BlueCrest Energy updates drilling plansQuinton Chandler, KBBI-HomerBlueCrest Energy, the company drilling for oil north of Anchor Point, gave an update on their effort at a forum in Kenai last week.Reports conflict on Donlin Creek Mine’s effectsAnna Rose MacArthur, KYUK-BethelTwo federal agencies have come to different conclusions on the potential effects the proposed Donlin Creek mine could have on subsistence along the Kuskokwim River. The site sits 10 miles north of the village of Crooked Creek. Donlin estimates it could excavate 34 million ounces of gold over almost three decades.3 Togiak men die in boating accident after successful huntDave Bendinger, KDLG-DillinghamA moose hunting trip ended in tragedy this weekend in Togiak, after a boat carrying three men and three moose was swamped in heavy surf. The three men, who all died, were attempting to cross from the mouth of the Togiak River back to the village just after dark Saturday.How a deer can cause a plane crashEmily Kwong, KCAW-SitkaThroughout this year’s hunting season, Sitka’s airport has been contending with an unusual issue: dead deer. Carcasses have been washing up on the runway since November, attracting birds. And that has posed a big problem to airport operations. KCAW’s Emily Kwong has more.