Japan celebrates Ohtani’s record $700 million deal

MANILA, Philippines — League champs Kaya FC-Iloilo annexed the Copa Paulino Alcantara after beating Davao Aguilas-UMAK on penalties, 4-3, after a 1-1 tie in extra time Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Justin Baas delivered the marginal spot kick as Kaya claimed the Copa that it previously won in 2018 and 2021 and capped a spectacular Philippines Football Leagu e season spiked by a blazing triumph in league play in May.

It’s actually a quadruple-championship performance in 2023 for the club as it also reigned supreme in the PFF Women’s League last month and the PFF U19 Boys Second-Division National Championship just hours before the C opa final.

Davao actually drew first blood against Kaya in the battle for the Cup trophy named after the legendary Pinoy scorer with FC Barcelona.

Yannick Tuason’s h eader in first-half stoppage put the Aguilas ahead and Kaya managed to get the equalizer via Arnel Amita 19 minutes after restart.

Baas’ penalty shot was initially saved but the referee called for a retake due to a violation by goalkeeper Dini Ouattara. The 23-year-old defender made the most of this second chance and slotted it home to break the tie for good and seal the deal.

Kaya custodian Quincy Kammeraad likewise helped lead the team to Baas’ winning shot as he denied Tuason and Serge Kaole in Davao’s turn in the shootou t.

TOKYO — Pride and incredulity gripped Japan Sunday after baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani signed a record-shattering $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the richest in North American sports history.

The 10-year deal was announced after weeks of speculation about where the 29-year-old Los Angeles Angels pitching and hitting ace would land in free agency.

“Ohtani to go to Dodgers,” blared the headline of an extra edi tion of the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s leading daily.

“The 10-year, 101.5 billion yen deal: the highest amount ever in sports history,” it said.

A special edition of the Iwate Nippo, a local newspaper in Ohtani’s hometown, featured a headline set against a blue background, the Dodgers’ colors.

Ohtani’s breathtaking contract featured prominently on almost all major news websites and Sunday talk shows in Japan, while also dominating conversations on X, formerly Twitter, for much of the day. 

The excitement was echoed by Takahiro Ogawa, a shopper in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district.

“I was really amazed,” the 54-year-old told AFP, saying the size of the deal had surpassed even original speculation of a whopping 80 billion yen.

“I wish I could get a slice of it.”

Erika Iwasaki, 33, said she was proud of Ohtani.

“I was surprised at the price first, but I am really happy that a person who is valued so much is actually from Japan.”

Japanese media speculated Ohtani’s desire for a Major League Baseball title played a major part in his deal with the powerhouse Dodgers, perennial contenders in the playoffs.

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