Salley, Edwards may be Italy-boundDetroit Pistons John...

Sports briefly

August 11, 1991

Salley, Edwards may be Italy-bound

Detroit Pistons John Salley and James Edwards may be headed for Italian teams, The Oakland (Mich.) Press reported yesterday.

Forward Salley may be nearing a deal with the Italian League's defending champions, Phanola Caserta, the Press said. Gincarlo Sarti, general manager of Phanola Caserta, said the team is awaiting Salley's response to a contract offer, said to be a one-year deal worth $1.7 million.

The Press also said the Pistons have agreed to release 14-year NBA veteran center Edwards from the last year of his contract. Ettore Messina, coach and general manager of Knorr Bologna of the Italian League, signed Edwards last week to a conditional, three-year, $5 million contract, the Press said.

Messina told the newspaper that Reggie Turner, Edwards' agent, notified him several days ago that the Pistons agreed to release Edwards from his $933,000 contract for 1991-92.

Tennis

Top-seeded Gabriela Sabatini developed a blister on the bottom of her left foot and had to withdraw from her semifinal match in the Player's Challenge tournament against Jennifer Capriati in Toronto. Sabatini withdrew with a 3-2 lead in the second set after Capriati won the first set, 6-4.

Capriati will meet Katerina Maleeva in today's final. Maleeva advanced when her sister, Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere, retired with a shoulder injury while trailing, 4-6, 0-1.

The injury ends Sabatini's chance of becoming the world's top-ranked player before the U.S. Open starts on Aug. 26. Third behind Monica Seles and Steffi Graf, Sabatini could have reached No. 1 by winning this tournament and at Los Angeles next week.

* Guy Forget of France advanced to the final of the $1.3 million ATP Championship by upsetting top-seeded Boris Becker, 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-3, in Mason, Ohio. Forget will face the winner of last night's semifinal between U.S. Open champion Pete Sampras and French Open champion Jim Courier.

Forget, 26, has been a winner this year at Sydney and Brussels. Before that, he had won just three tournaments, all in France.

* Magnus Gustafsson of Sweden and Karel Novacek of Czechoslovakia moved into the championship of the $350,000 Czechoslovak Open in Prague. Gustafsson, the top seed, took 2 hours, 24 minutes to beat sixth-seeded Guillermo Perez-Roldan of Argentina, 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2. Novacek, seeded second, needed almost as long -- 2 hours, 7 minutes -- to prevail, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5, over Thomas Muster of Austria.

* Top-seeded Julie Halard of France outlasted No. 6 seed Elna Reinach of South Africa, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, in three sets to advance to the final of the Virginia Slims of Albuquerque.

Halard, ranked No. 27 in the world, will meet the winner of last night's match between No. 2 seed Gigi Fernandez and No. 4 Susan Sloane in today's final. Webb Heintzelman of Bethesda shot a 4-under-par 68 to take a one-shot lead going into the final round of the $125,000 Ben Hogan Tulsa Open in Broken Arrow, Okla.

Heintzelman, who shot a first-round 70 on the 7,086-yard, par-72 Golf Club of Oklahoma course, combined five birdies with one bogey during the second round for a 36-hole total of 6-under-par 138.

"I made a 40-foot putt on the final hole Friday and that set the tone for my round today," said Heintzelman, who has yet to win a tournament on the satellite tour. "During the final round, I'm going to concentrate on getting the ball in the fairway off the tee and then on the green and see what happens. I'm a little frustrated that I haven't been able to win this season, so I'm happy to be leading going into the final round."

Soap box derby

Paul Greenwald of Saginaw, Mich., edged two other racers to win the Junior Division of the 54th All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio. The competition, featuring gravity-driven cars made either from scratch or from official kits, attracted 170 racers from four nations and drew 17,500 spectators at Derby Downs.

Greenwald, 13, covered the course in 28.89 seconds to win the Junior Division, for 9- to 16-year-olds in cars made from official kits.

Danny Garland of Studio City, Calif., won the Master Division, featuring drivers 12 to 16 in homemade cars, with a time of 28.09 seconds. Garland, 14, also posted the day's fastest time, covering the 953.75-foot course in 28.03 seconds in a qualifying race.

Will Long of Kansas City, Mo., and James Rayle Jr. of Washington finished second and third, respectively, in the master's race.

Swimming

Jim Barber of Indianapolis overtook Igor de Souza of Brazil in the final mile to win the 10th 28 1/2 -mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. Barber covered the course in 7 hours, 6 minutes, 34 seconds. Kris Rutford of Lincoln, Neb., also passed de Souza in the final mile to take second in 7:06:44, and the Brazilian, who had led from the start, was third in 7:08.20. Marcia Cleveland of New York was the first woman across the finish line, timed in 7:29:35, which was fifth overall in the field of 41 swimmers from six countries.

Track and field

Former UCLA sprinter Henry Thomas was in a Los Angeles jail yesterday in connection with an alleged robbery and assault. Thomas, who graduated from high school with the fastest recorded sprint times in California prep history, pleaded innocent to seven counts stemming from the June 29 incident, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Thomas, 26, of Long Beach, Calif., and another man are accused of robbing a couple in the parking lot of a Los Angeles fast-food restaurant.

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