GETTING A TASTE OF SAMOA AND THE HEAT: Some members of the Aute Pasifika team at the N.U.S. Gymnasium. More coverage and photos on backpage and in Sports.

Aute Pasifika Netball experiencing Samoa

The Aute Pasifika Netball team is on their first trip to Samoa, to experience the game at the grassroots level. 

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In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after scoring a point against opponent Wang Xinyu of China during their match in the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen.

Sharapova retires with injury, Sabalenka reaches semifinals

Maria Sharapova retired from her match at the Shenzhen Open with an injury on Friday, giving top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka a spot in the tournament's semifinals.

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Switzerland's Roger Federer plays a shot during his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Federer wins to put Switzerland in Hopman Cup final

Roger Federer relied on his trusted serve to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) Thursday and give defending champion Switzerland a spot in the Hopman Cup final.

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Naomi Osaka of Japan talks to her coach Sascha Bajin, left, during her quarterfinal match against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane.

Coach's words inspire Osaka; Nishikori also into semifinals

Naomi Osaka called in her coach for advice on how to swing momentum after losing the first set to Anastasija Sevastova, and it did the trick.

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Germany's Michael Schumacher celebrating winning the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix auto race at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China.

Schumacher family asks for privacy before his 50th birthday

Michael Schumacher's family has asked for understanding as it continues to keep details of his health private ahead of the seven-time Formula One champion's 50th birthday.

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Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa lies on the mat after being knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr. during first round of their three-round exhibition match on New Year's Eve, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP P

Mayweather stops Nasukawa in 1st round, flooring him 3 times

 It took less than three minutes for Floyd Mayweather to knock down his Japanese kickboxer opponent Tenshin Nasukawa three times in a totally one-sided bout of exhibition boxing on New Year's Eve.

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Serena Williams.

Return to sender: Federer looking forward to Serena's serve

Roger Federer's wish is about to be granted — he's getting the chance to return Serena Williams' powerful serve.

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Lydia Ko of New Zealand during the practise rounds.

Lydia Ko receives New Zealand honor

Former top-ranked golfer Lydia Ko has received one of New Zealand's highest civil honors.

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No. 1 Alabama beats No. 4 Oklahoma 45-34 to reach title game

his season's Alabama juggernaut has yet to be stopped, and Oklahoma's shaky defense sure wasn't going to get in the way. Maybe Clemson can. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns and No. 1-ranked Alabama beat No. 4 Oklahoma 45-34 on Saturday night in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Orange Bowl .

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. speaks during a news conference in Tokyo.

Mayweather promises entertainment, not a knockout, in Japan

Floyd Mayweather is promising entertainment when he fights Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in three rounds of exhibition boxing on New Year's Eve, but not necessarily a knockout.

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Touch player Filoi Eneliko (right).

Veteran touch player defies coach’s expectations to make World Cup squad

Touch player Filoi Eneliko is after one last Pacific Games gold medal in what could be the final year of her international touch career. The veteran is hoping to make the open women’s squad for next year’s Games, which would be her fifth.

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Gerardine Solia-Gibb in action at a national team training camp in Wellington.

Mother of five topping the charts in netball training

A 35-year-old mother of five is setting the standard in training for the Samoa national netball team.

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(L-R) Elizabeth Fuavao, John Porter, Tuala Matthew Vaea, Jason Pritchard, Tuala Oli Ah Him, Su’a Richard Keil, Joshua Keil, Wylie Clarke, Su’a Geoffrey Clarke, Lupesoliai Joseph Parker and Leilani Clarke enjoy a get-together over ‘ava at SOS Ltd in Apia.

Lupesoliai keeping fit in Samoa over Christmas

Lupesoliai Joseph Parker is not letting the Christmas season in Samoa have an impact on his training regime.

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Tiffany Faaee captained the USA Eagles to a fourth-place finish in the 2017 Rugby.

Samoa’s very own Captain America continues to make noise in U.S. rugby

 “There’s just something fierce about Samoan women.”Tiffany Fa’ae’e is one of five such women to captain her nation in rugby in recent times.

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Lupesoliai Joseph Parker, Santa and Digicel staff visit the Moto’otua Hospital’s paediatric ward.

Champion boxer visits sick children

Sick children at the Moto’otua Hospital’s paediatric ward were in high spirits when Lupesoliai Joseph Parker and Digicel staff visited them on Christmas eve with presents.

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 Uanita Vaaga

Touch gives Uanita Vaaga a shot at her World Cup dream

Touch starlet Uanita Vaaga, 21, is among the open women’s squad of 16 that will contest the World Cup in Malaysia next April-May.

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Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) Chief Executive Officer, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i.

S.R.U. come out better off after tumultuous year

The Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U) CEO Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai said this year has been a very challenging one, with a lot of ups and downs.

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Journalists visit New National Stadium under construction during a media tour to the venues of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: domestic sponsorships up, budget same

Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics say they have secured another $1 million in domestic sponsorships and that the operating budget for the games remains at $5.6 billion.

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Lupe o le Soaga Samoa Rush in action during the Upolu National Men’s Premier League. Photo: Misiona Simo.

Controversial end to exciting year for Lupe o Le Soaga football club

After a difficult end to the Upolu National Football Men’s Premier League, Lupe o le Soaga Samoa Rush are excited about the future.

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Manu Samoa and Bristol flanker Jack Lam in action.

Jack Lam hopes English rugby insurance issue won’t keep him out of the Manu next year

Manu Samoa and Bristol flanker Jack Lam hopes an insurance issue between Premiership Rugby Limited (P.R.L.) and World Rugby won’t affect the Rugby World Cup preparations of Samoan players based in England.

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Rugby

BACK IN THE FOLD: Siaosi Asofolau.

Asofolau, Tupou and Perez back for Manu Samoa Sevens

Manu Samoa Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens has named his squad for the Hamilton and Sydney legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens. The team sees the return of a couple of old names in Alatasi Tupou, Siaosi Asofolau and Joe Perez.

Boxing

Manny Pacquiao, right, hits Adrien Broner during their WBA welterweight title boxing match Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Pacquiao dominates in retaining title against Broner

Manny Pacquiao showed Saturday night he's still got plenty of fight for a fighter on the wrong side of 40.

NFL

Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jordan Mailata, of Australia, heads off the field after an NFL football rookie minicamp at the team's training facility in Philadelphia. Mailata has made the cut for the Super Bowl

Too big for rugby, Eagles tackle Mailata is ready for NFL

He can laugh about it now, the concept of being "too big" that led him on this extraordinary journey to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Football

Manchester City's coach Pep Guardiola talks to his player Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Jesus keeps up scoring spree, Man City beats Wolves 3-0

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is keeping a close eye on Gabriel Jesus now the young striker's family are no longer with him in England.

Basketball

Phoenix Suns guard Mike James (55) in the first quarter during an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, in Phoenix.

US basketball player says Milan police racially profiled him

American basketball player Mike James says he was racially profiled by Milan police who pointed guns at him and two friends after being stopped on the street — a claim that police deny.

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