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Complete games by Roy Halladay, who was elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

The Greek God of Wrestling previews WWE’s Elimination Chamber, including speculation about a surprising development. Achilles Heel also tells you how NXT warmed up its fans at the Tower Theater, how Shaquille O’Neal may get involved in WrestleMania, and how far you’ll have to travel to see CHIKARA’s King of Trios.

The Greek God of Wrestling has a more favorable opinion of Battleground than most of the critics. Achilles Heel also reveals the announced matches for SummerSlam, expresses sympathy for Randy Orton and concern for Global Force Wrestling.

With candidates to fill their head coaching vacancy dropping left and right, the Eagles decide to hire Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, a former Eagles quarterback and assistant coach who will be hired when the Chiefs are eliminated from the playoffs.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Hall call for Halladay Former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay earns induction to Baseball Hall of Fame. Halladay, who died in plane crash in November 2017, receives 85.4 percent of vote from Baseball Writers Association, more than 75 percent required for induction. Halladay wins AL Cy Young Award with Blue Jays (2003) and NL Cy Young Award in his 1st season Phillies (2010). Halladay finishes with record of 203-105. Former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling receives 60.9 percent of vote.

2. Sixers roll past Rockets Joel Embiid pours in 32 points, 24 in 1st half, as Sixers hammer visiting Rockets, 121-93. Landry Shamet, JJ Redick contribute 18 and 16 points, respectively. James Harden scores 37 points despite sitting out 4th quarter, stretching streak of games with at least 30 points to 20. Sixers without Jimmy Butler (wrist). Corey Brewer, recently signed to 10-day contract, starts in place of Butler, covers Harden. Rockets without Chris Paul, Clint Capela.  Sixers host Spurs tonight (8 p.m.).

3. Eagles defend Wentz Eagles players, including Fletcher Cox, Brandon Brooks and Jason Kelce, defend QB Carson Wentz after article by Joe Santoliquito at PhillyVoice.com contains anonymous sources calling Wentz selfish and egotistical.

4. Rams’ OT win filled with controversy Greg Zuerlein, who kicked 48-yard field with 19 seconds remaining to force overtime, kicks 57-yarder in overtime to boost visiting Rams past Saints, 26-23, in NFC Championship Game. Winning field goal set up by interception when Drew Brees hit while throwing, giving Rams possession at own 45-yard line. Saints appear to have game in hand near end of regulation, but officials miss blatant pass interference on Rams on 3rd down within final 2 minutes, forcing Saints to settle for field goal instead of getting new set of downs inside 10-yard line. Rams’ opponents in Super Bowl will be Patriots, who score on 1st possession of overtime to defeat host Chiefs, 37-31, in AFC Championship Game. Teams combine for 38 points in exciting 4th quarter that ends with Chiefs kicking tying field goal to force overtime.

5. Flyers win 3rd straight Carter Hart makes 33 saves, Nolan Patrick scores twice as Flyers defeat host Canadiens, 5-2, to extend winning streak to 3 games. At one point, Canadiens outshooting Flyers, 15-1, but Hart keeps game scoreless. Flyers break ice on Konecny’s goal with 2:59 remaining in 2nd period. Konecny assists on James van Riemsdyk’s goal 1:33 later. Patrick scores twice in 2:26 in 3rd period, with Max Domi scoring for Canadiens in between. Michael Raffl puts game away with empty-net goal. Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere register 2 assists apiece. Flyers have extended time off through All-Star break.

6. Thanks a million Eagles head coach Doug Pederson ends suspense by stating that Carson Wentz will be Eagles’ starting quarterback next season, but Eagles give Nick Foles $1 million bonus even though he didn’t reach criteria for bonus. Because he left regular-season final with rib injury, Foles barely missed out on playing 33 percent of snaps and making playoffs, which would have automatically triggered bonus. He came up 4 plays short, but receivers bonus anyway. Wentz recovering from stress injury in back.

7. Wildcats win 7th straight Eric Paschall scores 23 points, Phil Booth adds 17 as Villanova defeats host Butler, 80-72, to extend its winning streak to 7 games. On Saturday, AJ Brodeur scores 12 of his 16 points in 2nd half as Penn defeats Temple, 77-70, to clinch at least share of its 1st Big 5 title since 2002. Quakers can clinch outright title this Saturday with win over Saint Joseph’s. In other local games Saturday, Troy Harper scores 22 points, Drexel overcomes 18-point deficit during 73-68 victory over visiting James Madison, and La Salle suffers 68-57 loss to Rhode Island to remain winless at home this season.

8. Phillies meet with Harper Phillies met with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper on Saturday in Las Vegas. Majority owner John Middleton, team president Andy MacPhail, GM Matt Klentak, manager Gabe Kaper part of Phillies’ contingent. No agreement reached. Phillies continue to negotiate with free agent infielder Manny Machado. Phillies hire coach Bobby Dickerson, whom Machado was reportedly close to while with Orioles. In other Phillies news, team signs all arbitration eligible players except pitcher Aaron Nola. Nola’s side asking for $6.75 million; Phillies’ offer is $4.5 million. Arbitration-eligible players who sign 1-year contracts are infielder Cesar Hernandez ($7.75 million); third baseman Maikel Franco ($5.2 million); outfielder Aaron Altherr ($1.35 million); and pitchers Vince Velasquez ($2.249 million), Jose Alvarez ($1.925 million), Hector Neris ($1.8 million), Adam Morgan ($1.1 million) and Jerad Eickhoff ($975,000).

9. Fultz to rehab with Sixers Markelle Fultz to continue rehabilitation with Sixers, according to report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Fultz had been doing rehab for thoracic outlet syndrome in Los Angeles. No timetable set for return to court for Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 NBA Draft

10. Flyers trade Leier Flyers trade speedy Taylor Leier to Sabres for Justin Bailey (6-foot-4, 214 pounds) in exchange of forwards who haven’t been able to stay in NHL. Forward Dale Weise, who cleared waivers, also expected to be traded. Flyers trade center Jordan Weal to Coyotes for minor-league defenseman Jacob Graves, 6th-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft. Weal, an unrestricted free agent after this season, registered 3 goals, 6 assists in 28 games this season. Weal has speed, but production was inconsistent and often committed penalties in offensive and neutral zones. Weal acquired in 2016 trade that sent veterans Vincent Lecavalier, Luke Schenn to Kings. Graves, 23, was playing for Norfolk in ECHL.

(To listen to past PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio shows, please click here.)

WEEKEND RESULTS

Friday
Men’s Basketball
St. Louis 68, St. Joseph’s 57
Villanova 85, Xavier 75
(at Wells Fargo Center)

Saturday
Thunder 117, Sixers 115
Flyers 5, Montreal 2
Wings at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Drexel 73, J.Madison 68
R.Island 78, La Salle 67
Penn at Temple, 5 p.m.

Sunday
No games scheduled

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Sixers 121, Rockets 93

Tuesday
Men’s Basketball
Villanova 80, Butler 72

Wednesday
Spurs at Sixers, 8 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Richmond at St. Joseph’s, 7 p.m.
La Salle at Fordham, 7 p.m.

Thursday
Men’s Basketball
Memphis at Temple, 7 p.m.

Friday
No games scheduled

Saturday
Sixers at Denver, 9 p.m.
Toronto at Wings, 7 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Cincinnati at Temple, noon
Drexel at Delaware, 2 p.m.
S. Joseph’s at Penn, 7 p.m.

Sunday
Men’s Basketball
Seton Hall at Villanova, 2:30 p.m.
(at Wells Fargo Center)

FOR LEAGUE-WIDE SCORES AND STANDINGS, CLICK ON THE LINKS UNDER THE “STANDINGS” HEADING IN THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT, OR IN THE HEADING AT THE UPPER-RIGHT OF THIS PAGE

Looking forward to Hall-aday weekend

Former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, who died in November of 2017 when his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year on the ballot. Mariano Rivera is a unanimous ...
Looking forward to Hall-aday weekend

Who should be QB?

Who should be the Eagles’ starting quarterback next season, Carson Wentz or Nick Foles? Share your thoughts in Voice of the Phanatics.

Flyers Notebook

Improved production from players such as Nolan Patrick (pictured), James van Riemsdyk and Oskar Lindblom, not to mention the goaltending of Carter Hart, helped the Flyers compile a modest three-game winning streak.

Fish ‘n Chips

Eric Fisher’s notes-style column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the possible departures of some key Eagles, the Phillies’ free-agent waiting game and the character of Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley.

Most indispensable

As we learned last season, nobody is irreplaceable. And Eagles fans are learning once again why backup quarterback Nick Foles has a place on the PhillyPhanatics.com’s list of the most indispensable Eagles for the 2018 season.

Heel Turns: Predictions for 2019

January - 17 - 2019 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling, after complaining about being marginalized by coverage of the Eagles, makes his predictions for 2019. Achilles Heel also bids farewell to Gene Okerlund, sounds impressed with All Elite Wrestling, and tells you where you can watch Impact Wrestling.

Putting it on the Line

January - 17 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Saints and Chiefs are 3-point home favorites in the conference championship games. Which teams is Eric Fisher selecting? Read the story to find out.

Classic rematches

January - 17 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Sunday’s conference championship games feature rematches from two classic regular-season games. Andy Reid gets another shot at Bill Belichick when the Chiefs host the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. The Saints try to get past the Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

Sixers’ mid-term grades

January - 15 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Ben Simmons has been a triple-double machine, but will that be enough to earn an “A” from Eric Fisher? Read the story to find out mid-term grades for Simmons, the rest of the roster, head coach Brett Brown and general manager Elton Brand.

Victory slips through Birds’ grasp

January - 13 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Nick Foles (pictured) and the Eagles appeared to be creating another magical moment, but Foles’ pass went through Alshon Jeffery’s hands at the two-minute warning and was intercepted, sealing the Eagles’ fate in a 20-14 loss to the Saints.

Eagles-Saints: It should be a different game

January - 12 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Eagles must generate more pressure on quarterback Drew Brees (pictured) during Sunday’s playoff game (4:40 p.m.) than they did during their regular-season meeting, which ended with the Saints cruising to an emphatic 48-7 victory.

Side angle of Cody Parkey's missed field goal