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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Monday, June 15, 1998

Garcia, Hull compete at Powerlifting

Tony Garcia of Barstow broke the state record for powerlifting in his class at the USPF South Texas Powerlifting Championships in Seguin June 6.

Garcia took first place in the 220-lb. sub-master class by bench pressing 460 pounds. The old record was 410 pounds.

Billy Hull of Pecos also lifted in the 220-lb. class, bench pressing 345 pounds and taking fourth place.

They hope to compete in the state championships in Austin Nov. 7, said Garcia.

"I hope to break the state record again," Garcia said.

Garcia and Hull work on their lifting at Tony's Fitness Center in Barstow. Others are invited to work out at the fully-equipped gym, where Garcia offers expert advice and customized routines on request for $20 per month.

Bulls win NBA finals

AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The ball was in Michael Jordan's hands, the court glistened in front of him and the clock became part of the heart of this man who's made a Zen-like connection with ball, buzzer and nylon.

As he fixed his eyes on the rim and his future, a question became embedded in time: Would he do it again? Of course.

Was it the last time? Nobody knows.

``My answer is that there are still a lot of unanswered questions,'' said Jordan, who scored 45 points, including a pullup jumper with 5.2 seconds left that gave the Chicago Bulls their sixth NBA championship with an 87-86 victory over the Utah Jazz in Game 6 Sunday night.

``It's a lot of sympathetic feelings about this team and where we want it to go.''

Jordan stood at halfcourt wagging six fingers for the number of championships he has nearly single-handedly won for the Bulls. A unanimous choice for his sixth Finals MVP trophy, he walked off with that, too.

If he walks away for good, this game would be the ultimate stamp on an incomparable career. With a jump-stop and flick of the wrist he seemed to want to hold onto forever, Jordan added another incredible moment to a highlight film that future generations will have trouble believing.

Jordan will be a free agent this summer and has spoken of retiring. Coach Phil Jackson has insisted that he doesn't expect to be back, and Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and six others will be free agents.

``Unless something absolutely unusual comes out of left field,'' Jackson said, ``I don't expect us to be back here.''

This was up there with all the incredible moments in Jordan's career -- the shot that won the 1982 NCAA championship for North Carolina, the 63-point game against Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics, the career-high 69 points against Cleveland and all those heart-stopping performances at Madison Square Garden.

``This was the best performance I've seen by Michael Jordan in a critical situation in a critical series,'' Jackson said.

With Chicago trailing 86-85 inside 20 seconds, Jordan sneaked up behind Karl Malone, swatted the ball away and dribbled upcourt. He pulled up 19 feet away, nearly faked Bryon Russell out of his sneakers and let fly from 17 feet with 5.2 seconds left.

``The moment started to come, and once you get the moment, you see the court and you see what the defense wants to do. I saw that moment,'' Jordan said.

``I let the time tick to where I felt I had it where I wanted it. I stopped, pulled up and had an easy jump shot.''

The shot sent a reverberating shock through the stunned Delta Center, as formidable an opponent as the Jazz in these Finals. It left future Hall of Famers Malone and John Stockton still without a championship after all these years of grit and artistry.

And the worst part is, Stockton doesn't believe any of this business about the impending breakup of the Bulls.

``It won't be last one,'' said Stockton, whose clutch 3-pointer with 41.9 seconds left was obliterated by Jordan. ``It's been a nice story for everyone here. But he'll be back, and Scottie will be back and Phil Jackson will be back. I'm tired of hearing all that.''

Some feared the Bulls' dysfunctional dynasty would cease to function at the Delta Center; that noise in the arena and the shadow cast by the Wasatch Mountains symbolized a bitter end to a remarkable era.

They forgot who was still running this show -- distracted, injured and low-on-fuel as it was. It was unmistakably Jordan, and he was perfectly marvelous for perhaps the last time.

``That guy was ridiculous,'' said Steve Kerr, who clinched the title last year with a winning shot in Game 6 while Jordan was double-teamed. ``He's so good, it's ridiculous.''

He made 15 shots, including three 3-pointers, and had his highest scoring game in the finals since scoring 55 against Phoenix in 1993.

What made this championship even more special was the way Jordan had to work in the clinching game. With Scottie Pippen severely hobbled by a sore back, Jordan pumped up 35 field goal attempts and 15 free throws.

``Michael's probably got another five years left in his career before you even see a decline in him,'' said Pippen.

The Jazz pushed closer and closer to a seventh game behind Malone, who was dominant again with 31 points. The Mailman got an offensive rebound and hit a jumper that gave Utah a 79-77 lead with 4:16 left.

Ron Harper hit a tying jumper that appeared to come after the 24-second clock had expired. It will taste sour to the Jazz all summer because they had Howard Eisley's 3-pointer waved off in the first quarter. It clearly should have counted.

``You have to play through those things,'' Stockton said.

After Jordan tied it at 83 with four free throws, Stockton made the shot that everyone would be talking about today if not for what happened next. Yes, Jordan had one more stroke of genius left in him.

Was this it?

``Hopefully, I've done enough so that everybody can have some thoughts about what Michael Jordan did in 13 years,'' Jordan said. ``I have another life, and I have to get to it at some point in time.''

It could never top this one.

Could it?

De La Hoya leaves El Paso with an eye of future

AP Sports Writer
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- In the eyes of the thousands who turned out to see him fight Patrick Charpentier, Oscar De La Hoya proved his greatness. When history finally passes judgment on De La Hoya, though, Charpentier's name is not likely to come up.

The talk was of great fighters and De La Hoya's potential place in history after he knocked Charpentier down three times in the third round Saturday night, stopping him before a delighted crowd of 45,368 in the Sun Bowl.

But, against a fighter who hit the canvas almost as many times as he hit De La Hoya, it made it more difficult to judge just how good De La Hoya has become at the age of 25.

De La Hoya, for one, was impressed with himself. And so was Gil Clancy, the trainer-turned-broadcaster who now helps in De La Hoya's corner.

``He could end his career in most people's eyes as the best fighter who ever lived,'' Clancy said. ``What I see in Oscar is almost a perfect fighter. There has never been a perfect fighter, but Oscar has so much potential.''

After only 28 fights, it's too early to be speculating on De La Hoya's eventual place on boxing history. But he has never lost, and is making millions of dollars every time he gets into the ring, even against the likes of Charpentier.

Proclamations of greatness will have to wait until De La Hoya fights the likes of fellow welterweight champions Felix Trinidad and Ike Quartey, or finishes his career with what he sees as an unprecedented seven titles in different weight classes.

But for one night, at least, even De La Hoya was almost giddy with his performance.

``I thought I was better than ever,'' De La Hoya said. ``I had no problems out there. After I hurt him I knew the knockdown was coming.''

The wrist injury that kept him out of the ring for six months was no problem as De La Hoya showed an array of punches in pummeling the hapless challenger around the ring almost at will.

From the opening bell, De La Hoya snapped Charpentier's head back with jabs and dug to his body with left hooks. He used a left hook for the first knockdown, followed it seconds later with a perfect uppercut that put Charpentier back on the canvas, then finished him off with a right hand at 1:56 of the third round.

Charpentier, who has never won a fight outside of France, was credited with landing a total of five punches in the fight.

``He didn't catch me with any solid punches whatsoever,'' De La Hoya said. ``He caught me, I guess, with a few grazing left jabs that didn't do any damage.''

The win added another $4 million to a bankroll already swollen by $33 million in earnings in 1997 alone. It also set up a Sept. 18 rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez, who has irritated De La Hoya with his view of why he was stopped in the fourth round the first time the two fought two years ago.

In that fight, Chavez was cut over his eye and was taking a beating when the bout was finally stopped because he could not see.

``This time around with Chavez, it's something personal,'' De La Hoya said.

Still to come are possible fights with Trinidad, the IBF champion and Quartey, who holds the WBA belt. At least some in boxing believe De La Hoya has taken advantage of fighting boxers who are past their prime and that he hasn't had to fight someone as strong as he is.

De La Hoya wants no part of that, claiming it is Trinidad and Quartey who are ducking him.

``I'm trying to create history by fighting the best champions in the world,'' he said. ``I'm just waiting for them to sign a contract.''

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