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National Sports Briefs: Rivers-Manning matchup

Associated Press
SAN DIEGO ó When Eli Manning and Philip Rivers play at Giants Stadium on Sunday, it’ll be the first matchup between the two quarterbacks who were swapped for each other during the first round of the 2004 draft.
Be sure to watch, said Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, whose spot in San Diego was secured as part of a draft-weekend blockbuster trade, in 2001.
“There’s a natural rivalry there with Philip and Eli, as it was with Michael Vick and myself from the trade,” Tomlinson said. “Those two are going to be linked for their whole career. So, as a fan, that’s something you want to watch.”
Manning preferred the Giants to the Chargers, who took him anyway with the No. 1 pick, then dealt him to New York for Rivers and a handful of picks.
Two years ago, Manning led the Giants to a Super Bowl victory.
“I don’t have any regrets,” he told San Diego reporters during a conference call Wednesday.
Rivers said he’s happy the Chargers acquired him and two future Pro Bowlers ó outside linebacker Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding.
“I think I like it here a whole lot better,” Rivers said. “It certainly fits me out here.”
Merriman said he doesn’t sense the Chargers harbor any ill will toward Manning for choosing New York over San Diego.
“I just look at it as another quarterback I need to get on the ground, period, and he’s a pretty good one,” he said.
PRO HOOPS
BROOKSVILLE, Fla. ó Disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was a free man Wednesday after serving most of a 15-month sentence in a gambling scandal.
A New York judge sentenced the ex-referee in July 2008 after Donaghy said he took thousands of dollars from a professional gambler in exchange for inside tips on games ó including games he worked.
The 42-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting betting information through interstate commerce in the tips-for-payoffs scheme.
– DALLAS ó Nancy Lieberman is set to become the first female head coach of an NBA Development League team.
A news conference is scheduled today to introduce Lieberman as the first coach of the team that will begin play during the 2010-11 season in Frisco, a suburb about a half-hour north of downtown Dallas.
COLLEGE HOOPS
ORLANDO, Fla. ó A fight over the shoes Michael Jordan’s son will wear at the University of Central Florida has cost the school any future sponsorship with adidas.
Freshman guard Marcus Jordan wore a pair of white Air Jordans during UCF’s exhibition game against Saint Leo on Wednesday night.
NHL
NEW YORK ó SUNRISE, Fla. ó Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves for his second straight shutout, Steven Reinprecht opened the scoring early in the third period, and Florida extended Carolina’s winless streak to 10 games with a 3-0 victory Wednesday night.
Sharks 3, Blue Jackets 2, SO
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle scored the lone goal in a shootout, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped all three Columbus shooters to give the Sharks their sixth straight win and eighth in their last nine games.
Sabres 3, Islanders 0
BUFFALO, N.Y ó Ryan Miller made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season and 14th overall, and Thomas Vanek had a goal and assist for Buffalo. Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad also scored to help the Sabres (9-2-1) rebound from a 5-0 loss to the Islanders on Saturday.

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