Nikola Pekovic (209-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) is bulldozing the paint and Ricky Rubio is ready to start ramping up his minutes, giving the Minnesota Timberwolves hope that they can withstand another long stretch without All-Star forward Kevin Love. Larry Drew's Atlanta Hawks have hit the skids after a superb start to the season, prompting the coach to label them "soft," which never sits very well with professional athletes. Pekovic had 25 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Andrei Kirilenko (209-F-81) added 21 points and the Timberwolves beat the Hawks 108-103 on Tuesday night. Derrick Williams scored 17 points and Alexey Shved had 15 for the Timberwolves, who were missing coach Rick Adelman due to personal reasons and will be without Love for the foreseeable future while he deals with a broken right hand for the second time this season. Terry Porter filled in as coach and led the Wolves to their first victory over Atlanta since 2006, snapping an 11-game skid. "We were really motivated," said Pekovic, who has eight double-doubles in his last 13 games. "I think everybody was motivated with all that's happening with all our players. I think everybody wants to step up and show more." Josh Smith had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Alfred Horford (6'10''-F/C-86, college: Florida) had 19 points and 11 boards for the Hawks, who have lost three straight and four of their last five. They lost for the first time this year when Smith and Horford each get a double-double. "There's some guys in there that are going to have to be held accountable," Drew said. "As we move forward, if this doesn't change, there's going to have to be some changes. That's plain and simple. I'm not going to sit back and watch our guys come out and not be energized to play. That's totally unacceptable." Rubio had eight assists, four steals and four points in 18 minutes in his first game back after missing the previous four with back spasms. He returned from a torn left ACL in the middle of last month and has had to deal with groin and back problems during his comeback. But he said he's eager to see how his body responds on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City when he plays in games on consecutive days for the first time since his knee injury. "I think it's going to be a good test," Rubio said. Lou Williams finished with 21 points and eight assists for the Hawks, who trailed by 14 to start the fourth but had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds. Dante Cunningham then stole the inbounds pass and Luke Ridnour knocked down two free throws to seal the win. The Wolves have been the worst 3-point shooting team in the league virtually all season, but they hit 8 of 15 against the Hawks to get a big win before a four-game road trip. While the Heat and Knicks grabbed all the headlines in the first two months of the season, the Hawks quietly put together a solid start that kept them right on their heels. They won 19 of their first 28 games, beating the likes of Oklahoma City, Indiana (twice), the Clippers and Memphis along the way. But they lost at Detroit and home against Boston in a back-to-back last weekend, scoring just nine points in the third quarter against the Celtics. "We waited way too long to start playing," Drew said. "The first half we were soft, soft. We did not guard very well. I thought physically they did just about anything they wanted to." The Hawks had a team meeting after being blitzed by the Celtics in the second half, and Smith bristled at being called soft. "I'm not rolling with the soft part," Smith said. "We didn't come out with the energy. Soft is not how we play." NOTES: Porter interviewed for an assistant position on Drew's staff when he was hired in Atlanta. How'd that go? "I didn't get it," Porter said with a chuckle. ... The Timberwolves played host to 16-year-old Cody Metz as part of the Make-A-Wish program. Metz is a devoted fan who has suffered from numerous complications following surgery on a brain tumor five years ago. Metz watched the game from a suite and planned to accompany the team on a road trip to Oklahoma City. "This definitely gives me something to look forward to," Metz said. "I'm really excited." Courtesy of: www.foxnews.com
Results and Stats from Superleague 2 Round 1 of Semi-Finals - 4 hours ago
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Tambov - Dynamo-CBK 69-65 Tambov held off Dynamo-CBK for the first win. Worth to mention a great performance of center Andrey Voron (208-87) who helped to win the game recording 19 points and 9 rebounds. Forward Nikita Gresev (204-88) contributed with a double-double by scoring 12 points and 13 rebounds for the winners. Guard Vladislav Smorkachev (192-97) answered with 23 points (made all of his nine free throws !!!) and center Yuriy Kochnev (209-89) added 8 points and 12 rebounds in the... [read more]
Tambov held off Dynamo-CBK for the first win. Worth to mention a great performance of center Andrey Voron (208-87) who helped to win the game recording 19 points and 9 rebounds. Forward Nikita Gresev (204-88) contributed with a double-double by scoring 12 points and 13 rebounds for the winners. Guard Vladislav Smorkachev (192-97) answered with 23 points (made all of his nine free throws !!!) and center Yuriy Kochnev (209-89) added 8 points and 12 rebounds in the effort for Dynamo-CBK. Dynamo-CBK's coach Oleg Filin rotated ten players in this game, but that didn't help. Top scorers: Tambov: A.Voron 19+9reb+2ast, O.Alferov 17+1reb+1ast, N.Gresev 12+13reb+2ast, Y.Pershin 8+5reb+3ast, R.Tumanov 6+2reb+4ast, T.Bekkiev 4+2reb Dynamo-CBK: V.Smorkachev 23+1reb+1ast, I.Kaytukov 12+3reb+2ast, Y.Kochnev 8+12reb+1ast, S.Sarafankin 6+1reb, A.Piterov 6+10reb+2ast, N.Gafarov 4+4reb+5ast
Cheb.Yastreby cruised past Dynamo in the opener. Cheb.Yastreby made 16-of-21 charity shots (76.2 percent) during the game. They also forced 19 Dyn-Magn.ChL turnovers. They shot the lights out from three nailing 14 long-distance shots on high 58.3 percentage. Swingman Pavel Zhukanenko (194-86) stepped up and scored 25 points and 7 rebounds for the winners and power forward Anton Bogdan (198-86) chipped in 21 points and 5 rebounds. At the losing side center Sergei Dubinin (206-85) responded with a double-double by scoring 13 points and 12 rebounds and point guard Aleksey Osokin (178-89) scored 15 points and 5 assists. Both teams had four players each who scored in double figures. Top scorers: Cheb.Yastreby: P.Zhukanenko 25+7reb+2ast, A.Bogdan 21+5reb+1ast, N.Tkachenko 17+3reb+1ast, N.Dolmatov 10+7reb, E.Bogdan 9+5reb+1ast, P.Koltsov 5+2reb+5ast Dyn-Magn.ChL: V.Chichaykin 16+3reb, A.Osokin 15+4reb+5ast, S.Dubinin 13+12reb, P.Moshkovskiy 10+3reb+1ast, Y.Tikanov 7+3reb+3ast, K.Epanov 5+9reb
Aleksey Golyahov gets MVP of the Week award for Russian Superleague 1 - 6 days ago
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Experienced Aleksey Golyahov (190-PG-84, agency: AproK Sports Group) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Sakhalin and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Superleague 1 Player of the Week award for round 28. The 32-year old playmaker had the game-high 21 points adding six rebounds and eight assists for Sakhalin in his team's victory, helping them to beat Samara-SGEU (15-8) 92-81. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. Sakhalin maintains the 4th po... [read more]
Experienced Aleksey Golyahov (190-PG-84, agency: AproK Sports Group) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Sakhalin and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Superleague 1 Player of the Week award for round 28. The 32-year old playmaker had the game-high 21 points adding six rebounds and eight assists for Sakhalin in his team's victory, helping them to beat Samara-SGEU (15-8) 92-81. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. Sakhalin maintains the 4th position in Russian Superleague 1. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Sakhalin will need more victories to improve their 15-8 record. In the team's last game Golyahov had a remarkable 60.0% from 2-point range. It's his second year at Sakhalin and it's hard to imagine this team without him. Golyahov has impressive league stats. He is in league's top in assists (5th best: 3.7apg) and averages solid 52.6% FGP.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 26-year old guard Fedor Klyuchnikov (192-G-90) of Spartak-Prim.. Klyuchnikov impressed basketball fans with 32 points and 5 assists. Of course he led Spartak-Prim. to another comfortable win outscoring the lower-ranked Ryazan (#11, 5-18) 90-63. Spartak-Prim.'s 6th position in the standings has not changed. His team lost some distance to top teams. But 14-9 record is not bad and everything may still change. Klyuchnikov is a newcomer at Spartak-Prim. and it seems he did not have too much trouble to become one of team's leaders. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 23.3ppg (#1). He also recorded 3.7 assists per game.
The third best performed player last round was another Spartak-Prim.'s star - American Justin Martin (198-F-90, agency: Interperformances). Martin scored 17 points and grabbed eleven rebounds (!!!). He was another key player of Spartak-Prim., helping his team with a 90-63 easy win against the lower-ranked Ryazan (#11, 5-18). Spartak-Prim. needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 14 victories and 9 lost games. Martin has a very solid season. In 9 games in Russia he scored 13.0ppg.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Evgeny Karpeko (204-F-89) of Ryazan - 16 points and 11 rebounds 5. Alexey Zhukanenko (210-F-86) of Samara-SGEU - 20 points and 4 rebounds 6. Artem Yakovenko (205-F/C-88) of Sakhalin - 19 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Gleb Gerasimenko (182-PG-88) of Irkut - 20 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists 8. Serdar Annaev (186-PG-94) of Univ.Surgut - 9 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists 9. Maksim Polyakov (205-C-84) of TEMP-SUMZ - 12 points and 7 rebounds 10. Maxim Krivosheev (207-F/C-88) of Spartak-Prim. - 15 points and 6 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Anatoly Kashirov selected the top Russian playing abroad in last week's games - 7 days ago
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We bring you last week's top performances from Russians who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. Marsel Ovsepyan (200-C-90)to an easy victory against the eighth-ranked Brest in the Belarusian Premier League in Friday night's game.
We bring you last week's top performances from Russians who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.
#1. This week's number one is former University international center Anatoly Kashirov (215-87, currently plays in Lithuania). He could not help Dzukija (7-19) in their last game. Despite Kashirov's good performance Dzukija lost 72-76 on the road to the higher-ranked (#3) Lietuvos rytas.
He was the second best scorer with 14 points. Kashirov also added 8 rebounds in 24 minutes on the court.
It's Kashirov's first season with the team.
He has relatively good stats this year: 10.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 2FGP: 47.0% and FT: 64.7% in 24 games he played so far.
Former Spartak St.Petersburg starter played for the Russian university national team six years ago.
#2. Second place goes to an international forward Nikita Balashov (207-91, agency: Alti Sport, currently plays in Baltic League). He was not able to help P.Zvaigzdes in their game against Tartu Ulikool in the Baltic League.
Balashov recorded 8 points and blocked 3 blocks.
The first-placed P.Zvaigzdes (11-1) was edged 88-88 in Tartu by the leading Ulikool in the group B of Baltic League.
This season Balashov has relatively solid stats: 10.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4bpg, 2FGP: 62.7%(47-75).
He is in the roster of the Russian senior national team.
#3. The Russian player who performed third best last week abroad was an experienced former international power forward Fedor Dmitriev (204-84, also represented by Alti Sport, currently plays in Poland). Dmitriev contributed to an easy victory against the 14th-ranked AZS Koszalin (8-16) 78-62 in the Polish PLK on Monday night.
He recorded 8 points in 17 minutes.
Anwil Wloclawek (17-7) is placed second in the PLK.
It was his team's seventh consecutive victory in a row.
This year Dmitriev averages: 6.7ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.5apg, 3FGP: 34.1% and FT: 74.1% in 22 games.
He played for the Russian national team eleven years ago.
#4. Guard Teymuraz Babunashvili (185-90, currently plays in Georgia) managed to help Kutaisi Kutaisi to win against the sixth-ranked Cactus Tbilisi (8-14) 82-78 in the Georgian Superleague last Friday.
Babunashvili recorded only 2 points.
Kutaisi Kutaisiis placed in the Superleague.
Babunashvili's overall stats this season are: 3.3ppg and 1.8rpg.
He has a dual citizenship: Russian and Georgian.
Babunashvili used to play for the Russian U18 national team
back in 2008.
#5. Former U20 international center Nikolay Rogozhkin (221-93, another player represented by Alti Sport, currently plays in Spain) was not able to secure a victory for UCAM Murcia II (4-7) in their game against Cartagena (4-7) in the Spanish EBA (fourth division).
He scored 6 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished 3 assists in 17 minutes.
UCAM Murcia II (#4) lost 80-85 at home to the higher-ranked (#3) Cartagena in the Group E Clasif.
This year Rogozhkin's overall stats are: 4.4ppg and 3.6rpg in 20 games.
He used to play for the Russian U20 national team
four years ago.
The list of other players, who all have Russian passport but never been selected to any of Russian national teams:
#1.Marsel Ovsepyan (200-C-90, currently plays in Belarus) led Vitebsk to an easy victory against the eighth-ranked Brest (4-25) crushing them 98-64 in the Belarusian Premier League in Friday night's game.
He scored 17 points, had 8 boards, passed 4 assists and added 3 steals in 28 minutes.
Vitebsk OBK-Voktsor (18-11) is placed fourth in the Premier League.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
This year Ovsepyan averages: 9.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.5apg and 1.4spg in 20 games he played so far.
#2. Experienced Dmitriy Glebov (196-F-84, currently plays in Ukraine) contributed to Dnipro's victory against one of league's weakest teams Avantazh-Politekhnik Kharkov (3-23) 87-74 in the Ukrainian Superleague last Friday.
He scored 8 points, made 3 passes and 4 steals.
Dnipro Dnepropetrovsk (20-6) is placed third in the Superleague.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is very crucial.
This season Glebov averages: 6.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.2apg and 1.5spg.
#3.Aliaksandr Pustahvar (202-SF-85, currently plays in Hungary) could not help Falco KC (16-8) in their last game. Despite his good performance Falco KC was badly defeated 94-75 on the road by the lower-ranked (#4) Kaposvari.
Pustahvar was the second best scorer with 13 points. He also added 6 rebounds in 30 minutes.
It was Falco KC's first loss after four consecutive victories.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be important.
Pustahvar has relatively good stats this year: 13.1ppg, 4.5rpg and 1.3apg in 24 games.
He has a dual citizenship: Belarusian and Russian.
#4.Vladimir Veremeenko (208-F-84, currently plays in Euroleague) was not able to help Brose Baskets in their game against Fenerbahce (17-9) in the Euroleague.
Veremeenko scored 5 points.
Brose Baskets was defeated 83-78 in Istanbul by the much higher-ranked Fenerbahce (#4).
There are only four games left until the end of the Euroleague Regular Season. So now every game will be extremely important.
It's Veremeenko's first season with the team.
This year he averages: 2.1ppg and 1.4rpg.
Veremeenko is another player who holds two passports: Belarusian and Russian.
#5.Alexey Chubrevich (212-C-86, currently plays in Israel) contributed to an easy victory against the league outsider Maccabi K/G (4-18) crushing them 98-66 in the Israeli Winner League on Monday night.
Chubrevich recorded 8 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Hapoel Unet Holon (15-7) is placed second in the Winner League.
This season Chubrevich averages: 5.3ppg and 3.6rpg.
He has both Russian and Israeli nationalities.
#6.Egor Koulechov (196-G/F-94, currently plays college basketball in the States) led Rice to a victory against the University of San Francisco 85-76 in the NCAA National Tournament Round 1 in Wednesday night's game.
Koulechov had a double-double by scoring 24 points and getting 11 rebounds in 34 minutes.
Koulechov has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 18.3ppg, 8.9rpg and 2.1apg in 34 games.
Koulechov also holds two passports: Russian and Israeli.
#7.Dmitriy Flis (204-F/C-84, currently plays in Spain) was the major contributor in Ourense's victory against one of league's weakest teams Magia Huesca 81-65 in the Spanish LEB Gold (second division) in Friday night's game.
Flis recorded 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds (made all of his five free throws).
Flis has reliable stats this season: 12.1ppg, 5.3rpg and 1.1spg.
He has dual citizenship: Russian and Spanish.
#8.Alexander Matveev (194-G-91, currently plays in Belarus) was not able to secure a victory for Impuls BGUIR in their game against Grodno-93 in the Belarusian Premier League.
Matveev recorded 8 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in 34 minutes.
His team was badly defeated by 19 points 101-82.
This year Matveev's overall stats are: 6.2ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.7apg and 1.4spg in 18 games.
#9.Anton Kazarnovski (206-F/C-85, currently plays in Germany) contributed to a 1-point BG Karlsruhe's victory against the third-ranked Oldenburg 67-66 in the German ProB (third division) on Saturday night.
He recorded a double-double by scoring 13 points and getting 10 rebounds. Kazarnovski also added 2 blocks and 3 steals.
This season Kazarnovski has very high stats. He averages: 15.4ppg, 7.2rpg and 2.5apg.
Kazarnovski has Russian and Israeli nationalities.
Despite his Russian passport, Kazarnovski previously played for the Israeli university national team and is probably not eligible to play for the Russian team.
#10.Igor Simin (199-SF-84, currently plays in Israel) contributed to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Galil Elion 98-81 in the Israeli National League (second division) in Tuesday night's game.
He scored 14 points in 38 minutes.
This year Simin's overall stats are: 9.5ppg, 1.8rpg and 2.5apg in 17 games.
He has dual citizenship: Russian and Israeli.
Despite Simin's Russian passport, he previously played for the Israeli U21 national team and probably cannot be called to the Russian team.
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