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Monaco Grand Prix served as confidence boost for Force India team

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Niko Hulkenberg of the Force India F1 team during the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix.

Niko Hulkenberg of the Force India F1 team during the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix.

MONTREAL (Diya TV) — After the team’s first double points finish of the 2016 season at the Monaco Grand Prix, Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says his squad’s confidence is back after a messy start to the season.

Sergio Perez drove his car to a third-place podium finish; teammate Niko Hulkenberg finished sixth in the race. The performance vaulted the team from seventh to fifth in the constructors’ standings as it leapfrogged Haas and Toro Rosso.

The previous five races had been a struggle for Force India, they had failed to maintain the momentum carried into the 2016 season with its B-spec car.

“Being able to get both cars in the points is incredibly encouraging because that’s something we’ve struggled to do,” Fernley said.

“We just needed to have a bit of good fortune because we’d had a terrible run of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for the first four races.

“Clearly our biggest rival is Toro Rosso, and we had a good result against them in Monaco which has moved us back up to fifth in the constructors’ championship.

“As we were also competitive in Barcelona after putting the updates on the car, we’ve shown it is now competitive, and the team is competitive again.

“That gives the whole team a significant lift in confidence ahead of upcoming tracks that should be good for us.”

Team principal Vijay Mallya reflected on how significant the weekend at Monaco was for his team, and shared his thoughts on how the team can use the momentum moving forward in this weekend’s Canadian GP.

Sergio Perez of the Force India F1 team celebrates his podium finish at the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez of the Force India F1 team celebrates his podium finish at the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix.

“Monaco was a very significant weekend for us,” Mallya said. “I felt incredibly proud to see Checo standing on the podium. It’s a memory that will stay with me forever. It was a brilliant team effort and a much deserved reward for all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes to keep pushing us forward.

“The Monaco performance means we come to Canada full of confidence. The 23 points we claimed in Monaco lifted us to fifth place in the championship. I’ve been saying all season that our luck needs to change and I hope that Monaco represents a turning point. We now have some momentum and I believe we can push on and keep racking up the points in the races to come. Montreal should play to our strengths and I’m feeling optimistic that we can get both cars well inside the top ten in qualifying and the race.”

For Perez, the race in Canada represents the possibility of consecutive podium finishes — he logged a third-place finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2012, and said the track is his personal favorite.

“Montreal is one of my favorite circuits: I was on the podium there in 2012; I had one of my best races in 2014 and I feel positive ahead of this year’s race,” he said. “It’s an old school track and, while the layout is much faster than Monaco, it shares some of its characteristics: it’s a circuit that rewards bravery and punishes mistakes, a place where the driver can make a difference.”

News

Kyle Shanahan confirms the 49ers have moved on to Trey Lance

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SANTA CLARA (Diya TV) — Trey Area is officially here. On Tuesday, San Francisco 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan proclaimed in a press conference that the team has moved on from former starter Jimmy Garoppolo and is looking towards Trey Lance, the 2021 3rd overall pick out of North Dakota State. A massive trade up during the 2021 offseason led to the selection of Lance as the Niners had to mortgage their short term future to potentially secure their long term future.

During the season however, Garoppolo had taken the reins with Lance only seeing time on the field when Garoppolo was hurt. Lance himself also had to deal with injuries but was able to start two games. The Niners made the big trade-up because of Garoppolo’s inconsistency in play and health. A big statement from Shanahan ended any doubts about Lance being the starter or a potential QB battle in camp: 

“We have moved on to Trey. This is Trey’s team. That’s nothing against Jimmy. We made that decision a year ago and we’re going with that. We’re not going to mess around with that anymore. Jimmy understands that fully. That’s a business decision and that’s what makes it not awkward. Jimmy knows we’re going with Trey. Trey knows we’re going with Trey and our team does, and everyone likes both of those guys.”

– HC Kyle Shanahan

It is the end of an era for Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco. After the Niners traded a 2nd round pick for him, he enjoyed successful years with the team, including 2019 and 2021 which saw the Niners make it to the final four (and a Super Bowl appearance in 2019). Ultimately, the team felt they needed an upgrade at the sport’s most important position and are now making the switch. 

As for potential trade suitors for Garoppolo, keep an eye on the Seattle Seahawks. It would be tough to negotiate with a division rival but if Seattle eats most of Garoppolo’s salary while sending over a high value pick, a deal could get done. Another likely situation is the Niners waiting for a starting QB to get injured in camp (it happens every year) as this will give them an avenue to trade Garoppolo for the value they seek. 

The Niners have officially ushered in a new era and are setting their sights on a bright future led by Trey Lance.

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Basketball

India Rising puts forth valiant effort in loss to Boeheim’s Army in TBT

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SYRACUSE (Diya TV) — With The Basketball Tournament commencing, most eyes have been set on Boeheim’s Army and their path to repeating as champions. However, their first match provided an opponent true to its name: India Rising. 

While one may look at the 90-62 score and disregard the India Rising squad, when watching the game, the team did truly give Boeheim’s Army a run for their money in the first half. Facing a team full of guys who played under one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, Jim Boeheim, India Rising jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and was able to keep pace with Boeheim’s Army for a substantial amount of time. Most people may have written them off early but they kept fighting. They had a clear cut goal to bring attention to basketball players of Indian descent by pulling off a cinderella win and carve a path for themselves. It is clear that they put in their full effort to try and realize those goals.

In the second half, Boeheim’s army was able to pull away but India Rising had made their message clear: Indian ballers should not be overlooked. The box score does not paint the real picture of how much heart, determination, and grit India Rising displayed to get more recognition. General manager Gautam Kapur and head coach Ajay Sharma have done an excellent job overseeing the initiative and giving the best Indian hoopers a chance to shine on a big stage. 

In a 64 team tournament, India Rising stood out and gave a near-professional squad a tough time. For what this team set out to achieve, no heads should be hung low. India Rising should be getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve.

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Featured

Sharks make Mike Grier the first Black GM in NHL history

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SAN JOSE (Diya TV) — There is a changing of the guard in San Jose and one that has made NHL history.

The San Jose Sharks have formally announced Mike Grier as their new General Manager, making the 14-year NHL veteran the first African-American to hold such a position over the NHL’s lengthy history. After the resignation of former GM Doug Wilson and the relieving of previous head coach Bob Boughner and his coaching staff, wholesale changes were bound to happen. The franchise, still without a Stanley Cup, hopes to move in a new direction and regain the success they once had.

Grier is part of a family of sports executives as his father, Bobby, has worked as a director of scouting and player personnel with the NFL’s New England Patriots while his brother, Chris, is currently the GM of the Miami Dolphins. The new Sharks GM will follow in his family’s footsteps after playing professional hockey for more than a decade. 

As a member of the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks, Grier played a total of 1060 games across 14 years. After retiring in 2011, he sought out coaching roles with the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, before ultimately getting the monumental callback from the San Jose Sharks which would change NHL history. 

One of the primary tasks for Grier as a GM will be finding a new head coach for a franchise in search of stability on the bench. From there, the rebuild will be strenuous with many current Sharks players getting older with the need to infuse younger talent. The Sharks will be picking at 11th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, affording Grier the opportunity to select a potential franchise cornerstone.

After being sunk in no man’s land, the Sharks decided to make a large-scale change to create a new identity and reach the goal of lifting Lord Stanley for the first time.

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