Junior Paulo breathes in the Canberra country air, contemplates the 80 minutes between his side and a NRL grand final before declaring: Ive never regretted anything.Paulo always believed hed be playing at this stage of the NRL season - only he thought hed be doing it in different colours.Flash back 10 months and 2016 held so much promise for Parramatta, so much so that Paulo and his then-Eels teammates dared to broach a premiership during pre-season meetings.However, crisis after crisis swept through the club, pushing him 280kms down the Hume Highway to the nations capital.First he received a slap on the wrist for turning out in a third-grade rugby union match in disguise.But when he received a warning from police about consorting with criminals following an ill-fated night out at a casino, it hastened his exit from the Eels.When Paulo posted a picture on social media of himself alongside a former bikie boss and alleged fraudster, it caught the attention of the NSW Organised Crime Squad.Having already signed on with the Raiders for next year, he sought an immediate release and made a mid-season switch to Canberra.While the saga blackened his name, he doesnt look back with regrets.I was never on social media around that time, I was trying to stay away from it, staying away from the TV, the newspapers, Paulo told AAP.I always had a lot of people say I saw your face in the paper, I saw your face on TV.Everything happens for a reason. If none of that had happened, I wouldnt have come down the highway. Im really grateful for everything that has happened and Ive never regretted anything.The 110kg wrecking ball will appear next month in a Sydney court to answer road rage charges relating to an incident last October when he allegedly punched a fellow driver in the face. Paulo is disputing the charges and has flagged his intention to plead not guilty.He has done well to remain focused on football despite the legal issues hanging over his head.Raiders boss Don Furner says escaping the fish bowl existence of Sydney has helped him and isnt afraid to predict representative honours are on the horizon for the 22-year-old.He and his partner have realised what an easy place this is to live - the traffic, the childcare facilities, the schools, the roads, Furner said.Those things that might be boring to an 18-year-old, theyre important when youre a parent. Hes settling in really well. He got through his first winter so his second winter will be a lot easier.Hell do a pre-season with us and hell be fitter next year - look out! James Worthy Jersey . The 20-year-old Pelicans big man glanced up and smiled widely at the well-wishers -- a fitting end to a day he wont soon forget. Davis responded to his selection earlier in the day as a Western Conference All-Star with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-91 on Friday night. Kobe Bryant Lakers Jersey http://www.lakersbasketballshop.com/Elgin-Baylor-Jersey/ . The defending champion beat Gael Monfils of France 7-6 (6), 6-3, while second-seeded Andy Murray of Britain dispatched Edouard Roger-Vasselin, also of France, 6-3, 6-3. Making his first appearance since injuring his wrist a month ago, Del Potro had difficulty with his service games in the first set. LeBron James Lakers Jersey . The Celtics closed out their first preseason under Stevens on Wednesday night with a 101-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, who rested a lot of their lineup including former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Kobe Bryant Jersey . LUCIE, Fla. WASHINGTON -- John Isner hit 18 aces and never faced a break point during a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus on Friday that put the American in the Citi Open semifinals. Isner won for the 10th time in his past 11 matches as he gets ready for the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 26 on hard courts similar to those used in Washington. "Im in a good rhythm and Im serving well," said Isner, who has 49 aces and was broken only once in three matches this week. "Id like to think I can hold my serve no matter whats under my feet, but I do think this (surface) helps my serve." The 20th-ranked and eighth-seeded Isner, who won the hard-court title at Atlanta last week, will face unseeded Dmitry Tursunov of Russia for a berth in Sundays final. The 61st-ranked Tursunov overcame 13 double-faults with the help of 15 aces to beat a cramping Marinko Matosevic of Australia 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4). Saturdays match against Isner -- who won the longest match in tennis history, 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon in 2010 -- will be only Tursunovs second semifinal of the season, and his first at Washington since 2006. The semifinal on the other side of the mens draw pits top-seeded and two-time champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina against No. 3-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany.dddddddddddd Del Potro, winner of the 2009 U.S. Open, grabbed 15 consecutive points during one stretch and defeated No. 7-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 7-6 (0), 6-3. Like Isner, del Potro did not face a break point in the quarterfinals. The 35-year-old Haas defeated No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3). Defending womens champion Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia returned to the semifinals by beating top-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 7-6 (0), 3-6, 6-3, and now will play No. 3 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. No. 4 Alize Cornet of France meets 64th-ranked Andrea Petkovic of Germany in the other semifinal. Makarova played only four points -- winning all of them -- and moved on when her quarterfinal opponent, Monica Niculescu of Romania, stopped after one game because of a left wrist injury. Cornet eliminated No. 5 Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (5), 6-2, and Petkovic advanced with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over 79th-ranked Paula Ormaechea of Argentina. Petkovic is a former top-10 player whose career was sidetracked by injuries, including a stress fracture in her lower back and ankle and knee operations. "Im just so grateful for the second chance," Petkovic said. "I really think of it as a second chance." ' ' '