EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 1/1/2008

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Men News

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ADRIATIC LEAGUE

PG Zoran Osmokrovic is free agent -by Dragan Jankovski
Ex player of Borac Cacak and FMP Zeleznik, Zoran Osmokrovic (189-G-81), finally got a green light from FMP to leave the club and he got status of a free agent. Osmokrovic played last season for Borac Cacak and for 22 games in Serbian A league averaged 18.2 ppg, 6.8 apg, 3.3 rpg and 2.2 spg. He was the second MVP and the second scorer of the A league.

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ANGOLA

Petro beats 1ºAgosto for the "Provincial" -by Carlos Pereira
Without any foreigner plyer in both sides, Petro beats 1º Agosto by 80-75, for the "provincial" (the regional league of Luanda).
With this result the two teams are now at the top of the standin with 28 points.
Box score:
Petro de Luanda: Denilson Moreira(00), Eduardo Mingas(22), Luis Costa (03), Carlos Morais (12), Fernando Albano (06), Joaquim Xavier (00), Cardoso Casimiro (00), Francisco Horacio (07), Victor de Carvalho (06), Manuel Mariano (00), Victor Muzadi (24).
Coach: Alberto de Carvalho

1º de Agosto: Olimpio Cipriano (14), Joaquim Gomes (18), Felizardo Ambrosio (10), Vladimir Ricardino (15), Abdel Bouckar (04), Miguel Lutonda (12), Moamba Ilunga (02), Simao Joao (00).
Coach:: Jaime Covilha

Refrerees: : Iracelmo Pinto, Boaventura Francisco e Francisco Pacheco


Petro beats 1ºAgosto for the "Provincial" -by Carlos Pereira
Without any foreigner plyer in both sides, Petro beats 1º Agosto by 80-75, for the "provincial" (the regional league of Luanda).
With this result the two teams are now at the top of the standin with 28 points.
Box score:
Petro de Luanda: Denilson Moreira(00), Eduardo Mingas(22), Luis Costa (03), Carlos Morais (12), Fernando Albano (06), Joaquim Xavier (00), Cardoso Casimiro (00), Francisco Horacio (07), Victor de Carvalho (06), Manuel Mariano (00), Victor Muzadi (24).
Coach: Alberto de Carvalho

1º de Agosto: Olimpio Cipriano (14), Joaquim Gomes (18), Felizardo Ambrosio (10), Vladimir Ricardino (15), Abdel Bouckar (04), Miguel Lutonda (12), Moamba Ilunga (02), Simao Joao (00).
Coach:: Jaime Covilha

Refrerees: : Iracelmo Pinto, Boaventura Francisco e Francisco Pacheco


Luis Magalhaes coach of 1º Agosto? -by Carlos Pereira
The Portuguese coach Luis Magalhaes will be able to assume the command of the senior masculine team of basketball of the 1º of August in 2008, aiming at better results, according to informations conveyed by the national and international press.
In his publication of today, the Newspaper of the Sports (JD) writes what the trainer has been bringing near predicted for the day three of January to sign a contract, which time is not advanced.
The JD adds, quoting the Portuguese newspaper “ Record “, which Luis Magalhaes gave up the post of principal trainer of the Ovarense, having revealed that his future crosses Angola. Happening, the Portuguese will substitute the Angolan Jaime Covilha, who possibly will go for Brazil in formation.


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BAHRAIN

ROUND 2 STARTS TONIGHT -by Yousef Ahmed
HOLDERS Sitra begin their defence of the Bahrain Basketball Cup when they play Nuwaidrat at 5.30pm today at the Umm Al Hassam sports complex.

The game is one of two quarter-finals scheduled in the single-elimination competition today. Muharraq face Al Ittihad at 7.30pm.

Tomorrow, Manama take on Al Najma and Al Ahli face Al Hala in the other two last-eight contests.

The final four will be played on Sunday and Monday, followed by the championship game on Friday, January 11.

The Cup tournament is being played between the first and second rounds of the Bahrain Basketball League.


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BALTIC LEAGUE

Lietuvos Rytas pip Siauliai to close the year -by Eurobasket News
BBL action was wrapped up with two matchups in the Elite Division. Lietuvos Rytas took advantage of Zalgiris initial loss to tie them in the ladder. It turned out to be possible after Lietuvos Rytas gained a difficult road victory over Siauliai. A sell-out crowd at the Siauliai Arena saw their favorites to open the game confidently enough. Donatas Zavackas (203-F-80, college: Pittsburgh) and Gediminas Maceina (188-G-84) delivered the starting 4 points to get the hosts going. Petravicius however scored 6 points early for the Rytas as they stepped up in front 10:9. The lead changed hands for a couple of times before Saulius Kuzminskas (210-C/F-82, college: California) dunked it home for a 23:22 Siauliai's advantage. Marius Prekevicius (196-F-84, agency: Interperformances, college: S.Florida) and Aurimas Kieza (204-F-82, college: Hofstra) connected from afar for the home team as the gap grew to 9 points at the start of the second stanza. Mantas Ruikis (198-G/F-85) and Donatas Zavackas later added two more three-pointers and Siauliai cleared off to a safe 41:29 margin. Gediminas Maceina and Andrius Slezas (200-F-75) exchanged triples for Siauliai to keep tight hold of the lead. Antonio Grant (196-F-77, college: S.Carolina) sealed the first half with a jump shot and ensured a 50:41 cushion for the home team. Donatas Zavackas and Gediminas Maceina pickedup from where they left in the second quarter. A bunch of accurate jumpers from them allowed Siauliai to cherish a 62:49 lead with under 4 minutes left in the frame. However Martynas Gecevicius (193-G-88) fired back-to-back treys for Lietuvos Rytas to cut the gap to 6 points. He then finished the third term on a high note sinking two free throws and making it a 60:64 game heading into the fourth period. The visitors stroke right after the break. Bajramovic nailed a jump shot to ignite a 16:0 rally as Lietuvos Rytas grabbed a 76:64 lead with just under 4 minutes remaining in regulation. Donatas Zavackas finally breached the scoring draught for the hosts netting 4 points. But Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) buried a triple to deny any Siauliai efforts to save this one.
Matt Nielsen (208-F/C-78) finished the game with 17 points and 7 boards for Lietuvos Rytas. Kenan Bajramovic contributed 15 points, while Hollis Price (186-G-79, college: Oklahoma) had 12 points in a win. Donatas Zavackas delivered game-high 22 points for the home team. Gediminas Maceina posted 13 points as Siauliai fell to 8-5 record. Lietuvos Rytas improved to 11-1 and share the top spot with Zalgiris.
Zalgiris meanwhile brought up one of the biggest surprises at the tournament so far falling short to Ventspils 70:77. It was the first defeat for Kaunas team in the BBL season and the first loss to a Latvian team in more than 20 years. Jimmy Baxter (198-G-80, college: S.Florida) paced Ventspils with 16 points, while Justin Love (189-G-78, college: St.Louis) added 14 points to overcome undermanned Zalgiris in this intriguing basketball affair. Ventspils thus improved to 4-7 record in the BBL standings.


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CHILE

Dimayor: Liceo Mixto and CD Universidad de Concepcion to the finals -by Daniel Valencia
Liceo Mixto and CD Universidad de Concepcion will play Dimayor 07/08 Finals.

The first seed Liceo Mixto swept the series against Boston College with a 95-74 victory in Game 3. As in the other two games, Patricio Briones (213-C-72) was unstoppable in the low post and also effective with the 3 point shoting. He ended the night with 22 points and was supported by the american Kei Madison (206-F/G-79) who netted 19 points. For Boston, Francisco Coro (193-F-81) and Tony Bishop (201-F-73) were the scoring leaders with 17 and 16 points respectively.

In Concepcion, CD Universidad de Concepcion reach the final series after defeating Deportivo Valdivia in Game 3 & 4. Game 3 was a thriller decided in the overtime. They tied 99-99 in the regular time and the host won the overtime 11-10. Alain Laroche (198-F-83) was the key player in this game, scoring 38 points (7 in the overtime). Game 4 was also a closed one decided in the last minutes, with the point guard Evandro Arteaga (178-G-83) showing his scoring skills. Arteaga ended the night with 30 points. 94-88 was the victory for Guillermo Narvarte's team. For the visitors, the shooting guard Brandon Mason (194-G/F-81), was the scoring leaders with 37 and 35 points.

These are the complete results of semifinals Game 3 & 4.

Game 3

Boston College 74 - Liceo Mixto 95
Bos: Francisco Coro 17 pts. Tony Bishop 16 pts. Adriano Machado 13 pts. / Lic: Patricio Briones 22 pts. Kei Madison 19 pts. Patrick Saez 13 pts.

CD Universidad de Concepcion 110 - Deportivo Valdivia 109 OT (99-99)
Ucon: Alain Laroche 38 pts. Evandro Arteaga 21 pts. Chris Sockwell 15 pts. / Val: Brandon Mason 37 pts. Claus Prutzmann 22 pts. James Moore 19 pts.

Game 4

CD Universidad de Concepcion 94 - Deportivo Valdivia 88
Ucon: Evandro Arteaga 30 pts. Alain Laroche 15 pts. Jose Luis Campos 14 pts. / Val: Brandon Mason 35 points. James Moore 14 pts. Claus Prutzmann 13 pts.


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CZECH REP.

McMillian not coming back from Christmas break -by Ondra Simecek
It has been announced today by Geofin Novy Jicin that Jeff McMillan (203-F-80, college: USC) did not come back from his Christmas holiday. Even the clubs management and McMillans agency were trying to contact the player they did not succeed in getting any reply or an explanation of his absence. The club will be intensively looking for a player to substitute McMillan.

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FRANCE

Pro B : Sambou Traore signs for Evreux -by Aurelien Hipp
*The PF Sambou Traore (199-F-79) has signed til the end of the season with Evreux. After having signed Bob Menama, replacing injured Jean-Emmanuel LeBrun, Evreux is reinforcing the roster with this new signature. Traore played for a lot of french teams during his career (Antibes, Epinal, Mulhouse, Clermont,Châlons). Last year, he ended his season with an severe injury at his knee (cross ligaments). Since then, this very good ProB player was looking for a team.

ProA : Chalon releases Mott and Rogers, signs Darrel Mitchell -by Aurelien Hipp

*During this winter break, Chalon has decided to release PG Shawnta Rogers (162-G-76, college: George Washington) and PF Terquin Mott. A new player is already there for the PG spot, named Darrel Mitchell, coming from Lithuania.Rogers posted 7.2ppg 5apg, while Mott posted 4.5ppg 3.5rpg in 2 games.



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HOLLAND

Brazilian Minas Clube wins Amsterdam/Haarlem Basketballweek -by Fred Roggen
The Brazilian team of Minas Tenis Clube has won the Amsterdam/Haarlem Basketballweek. The South Americans were Sunday in the final stronger than the national team of Israel: 92-77.
For Israel it was the second final defeat in a row of the Amsterdam/Haarlem Basketballweek, previous year the team lost the final against Eiffel Towers Den Bosch, which this time finished as third.

The final remained exciting up to the third quarter. In the third period Minas Tenis Clube, the best team of South America, placed an outstanding run, the team of the Brazilian NT-coach Flavio Davis Furtado ran from 51-50 to 75-63.
Facundo Sucatzky (176-G-72, agency: Interperformances) (Minas Tenis Clube) was chosen to MVP of the tournament.

Final ranking:
1. Minas Tenis Clube (Bra)
2. Israel
3. Eiffel Towers Den Bosch (Ned)
4. Conti Assis (Bra)
5. Astana Tigers (Kaz)
6. Valga Welg (Est)


Rotterdam Challengers adds Antonio Griffin -by Fred Roggen
Rotterdam Challengers strengthened their roster with the addition of small forward/shooting guard Antonio Griffin (197-G/F, college: CSU Bakersfield). The Challengers attracted Antonio Griffin, who made the previous days a good impression during the Amsterdam/Haarlem basketball Week. His two last college-years Griffin played for Florida State University and Cal. State Bakersfield.

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ITALY

Market news and rumors -by Gianni Pascucci
Some days before the Round 17, Montepaschi Siena had signed Hector Romero (202-F-80, college: New Orleans), formerly at Legea Scafati. Romero made his debut yesterday vs. Pierrel. Upim Fortitudo Pallacanestro officially announced the firing of coach Andrea Mazzon . The market rumors about Upim Bologna tell about a new coach, coming from Eastern Europe (Mehmet Becirovic ?) and a new SG, maybe Joseph Forte (193-G-81, agency: Megasport, college: N.Carolina). In Lega 2, Prima Veroli added to the roster USA-ITA Joey Beard (209-F/C-75, college: Boston U.)

Serie A Round 17: is Siena unbeatable ? -by Gianni Pascucci

The first half of the Serie A regular season ended yesterday night. Even if all the verdicts about the Italy Cup Final Eight were yet known, some of the 17th round games have been very interesting. For sure, Italian league has changed a lot: there is a true balance only starting from the second place, given that Montepaschi Siena is yet undefeated, and only Lottomatica Roma seems to be able to challenge it. Yesterday, Siena easily defeated Pierrel Capo D'Orlando on the road, with Vlado Ilievski (190-G-80, agency: World Sport Agency) performing for 22 pts and 5 assits and Bootsy Thornton (194-G-77, college: St.John's) adding 20, while Gianmarco Pozzecco (185-G-72) scored 19 in the home team and Judson Wallace (204-F/C-82, college: Princeton) added 13 pts and 16 rebs. Led by Allan Ray (188-G-84, college: Villanova), who scored 19 pts, Lottomatica triumphed at home over a bad version of Virtus La Fortezza, confirming the bad season for the teams from Bologna. In fact, the other one, Upim Fortitudo, has been routed at home by AJ Milano, and this caused the firing of head coach Andrea Mazzon , contested by the team fans during the game. Another one-time powerhouse, Benetton Treviso, felt on the road to Siviglia Wear Teramo, led by Clay Tucker (194-G-80, college: Wisc.-Milwaukee), who scored 23 pts and grabbed 5 rebounds, and Cimberio Varese, a ten times league winner, is now alone at the last place after being destroyed 93-67 by Legea Scafati, in which Frank Williams (191-G-80, college: Illinois) scored 21 points and four other teammates ended the game in double digits. Led by Alex Righetti (198-G/F-77) and Marques Green (170-G-82, college: St.Bonaventure), who scored 18 pts each, the unexpected Air Avellino largely defeated Scavolini-Spar Pesaro, another team, however, that is making batter than expected. Cantu defeated Rieti led by DaShaun Wood (180-G-85, college: Wright St.) who scored 24 points and Premiata Montegranaro kept its winning pace defeating Snaidero Udine on the road (and Ricky Minard (194-G/F-82, college: Morehead St.) led the way with 22 pts, 3 rebs, 1 assits). Last, despite Chris Monroe (191-G-81, college: George Washington) and Jumaine Jones (201-F-79, agency: Octagon, college: Georgia) combining for 45 points, Angelico Biella defeated Eldo Napoli thanks above all to a stellar performinig from Kevinn Pinkney (206-F-83, college: Nevada), who produced 35 pts, 13 rebs, 3 steals and 2 assits to be the MVP of the round. See down all the 17th round results:
Upim Bologna - Armani Jeans Milano 66-72
Pierrel C.d'Orlando - Montepaschi Siena 70-92
Angelico BielIa - Eldo Napoli 97-87
Tisettanta Cantu - Solsonica Rieti 84-75
Legea Scafati - Cimberio Varese 93-67
Snaidero Udine - Premiata Montegranaro 77-82
Siviglia Wear Teramo - Benetton Treviso 92-76
Air Avellino - Scavolini Spar Pesaro 90-63
Lottomatica Rome - La Fortezza Bologna 93-72
See complete boxscores at www.legabasket.it



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LATVIA

Historic win for Ventspils -by Eurobasket News
Ventspils - Zalgiris 77:70

It did not happen for 20 years but the moment finally arrived. Ventpils became the first Latvian side to upset Zalgiris in about a decade as they handed them a 77:70 defeat in the BBL action. It was also the first defeat for Zalgiris in the BBL season. Kaunas team came to Ventspils without DeJuan Collins, Marcus Brown, Zukauskas and Michael Bradley. Ventspils at the same time were without the services of their starting centre Kaspars Cipruss (210-C-82). The teams exchanged the baskets early on with Dainius Salenga (197-F-77) and Jimmy Baxter (198-G-80, college: S.Florida) doing the main damage. Neither team could gain a substantial lead and two free throws from Justin Love (189-G-78, college: St.Louis) late in the frame allowed Ventspils to acquire a 23:19 lead. Pavels Veselovs (206-F-83, agency: Interperformances) and Akin Akingbala (208-F-83, college: Clemson) scored 4 unanswered points to open the second term and the momentum turned in favor of the hosts. Jimmy Baxter and Akin Akingbala came up with consecutive baskets to enlarge the margin to 10 points before Goran Jurak (203-F/C-77) and Marko Popovic (185-G-82, college: S.Idaho JC) cut it back to 5 with just over 3 minutes left in the first half. Later Marko Popovic and Zygimantas Janavicius (192-G-89, agency: Interperformances) fired from downtown and Zalgiris took a 38:36 advantage. Jimmy Baxter sealed the outcome of the first half with another jump shot to square teams up at 38. Marko Popovic continued to pour three-pointers as he nailed two more to begin the second half. Ventspils needed 5 straight points from Helmanis midway through the third stanza to regain the advantage 54:52. The teams traded the baskets late in the frame and the home team held on a tiny 60:59 lead heading into the fourth period. The game remained close throughout the final quarter as Paulius Jankunas (204-F-84, agency: Interperformances) hit a jumper to trim the deficit to 3 points with 2 minutes left in regulation. Raimonds Gabrans (188-G-84, agency: FCM) and Jimmy Baxter knocked down consecutive baskets for Ventspils and the hosts enjoyed a 77:70 lead with over a minute to play. However Jonas Maciulis (200-G/F-85, agency: Interperformances) and Marko Popovic missed their attempts to bring victory for Ventspils.
Jimmy Baxter topscored for Ventspils with 16 points. Justin Love delivered 14 points, while Akin Akingbala came up with 13 points and 12 boards in a historic win for the Latvian team. Paulius Jankunas and Marko Popovic drained 17 points apiece in defeat.

Ventspils: Jimmy Baxter 16, Justin Love 14, Akin Akingbala 13+12 boards
Zalgiris: Paulius Jankunas 17, Marko Popovic 17


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LITHUANIA

Lietuvos Rytas pip Siauliai to close the year -by Eurobasket News
BBL action was wrapped up with two matchups in the Elite Division. Lietuvos Rytas took advantage of Zalgiris initial loss to tie them in the ladder. It turned out to be possible after Lietuvos Rytas gained a difficult road victory over Siauliai. A sell-out crowd at the Siauliai Arena saw their favorites to open the game confidently enough. Donatas Zavackas (203-F-80, college: Pittsburgh) and Gediminas Maceina (188-G-84) delivered the starting 4 points to get the hosts going. Petravicius however scored 6 points early for the Rytas as they stepped up in front 10:9. The lead changed hands for a couple of times before Saulius Kuzminskas (210-C/F-82, college: California) dunked it home for a 23:22 Siauliai's advantage. Marius Prekevicius (196-F-84, agency: Interperformances, college: S.Florida) and Aurimas Kieza (204-F-82, college: Hofstra) connected from afar for the home team as the gap grew to 9 points at the start of the second stanza. Mantas Ruikis (198-G/F-85) and Donatas Zavackas later added two more three-pointers and Siauliai cleared off to a safe 41:29 margin. Gediminas Maceina and Andrius Slezas (200-F-75) exchanged triples for Siauliai to keep tight hold of the lead. Antonio Grant (196-F-77, college: S.Carolina) sealed the first half with a jump shot and ensured a 50:41 cushion for the home team. Donatas Zavackas and Gediminas Maceina pickedup from where they left in the second quarter. A bunch of accurate jumpers from them allowed Siauliai to cherish a 62:49 lead with under 4 minutes left in the frame. However Martynas Gecevicius (193-G-88) fired back-to-back treys for Lietuvos Rytas to cut the gap to 6 points. He then finished the third term on a high note sinking two free throws and making it a 60:64 game heading into the fourth period. The visitors stroke right after the break. Bajramovic nailed a jump shot to ignite a 16:0 rally as Lietuvos Rytas grabbed a 76:64 lead with just under 4 minutes remaining in regulation. Donatas Zavackas finally breached the scoring draught for the hosts netting 4 points. But Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) buried a triple to deny any Siauliai efforts to save this one.
Matt Nielsen (208-F/C-78) finished the game with 17 points and 7 boards for Lietuvos Rytas. Kenan Bajramovic contributed 15 points, while Hollis Price (186-G-79, college: Oklahoma) had 12 points in a win. Donatas Zavackas delivered game-high 22 points for the home team. Gediminas Maceina posted 13 points as Siauliai fell to 8-5 record. Lietuvos Rytas improved to 11-1 and share the top spot with Zalgiris.
Zalgiris meanwhile brought up one of the biggest surprises at the tournament so far falling short to Ventspils 70:77. It was the first defeat for Kaunas team in the BBL season and the first loss to a Latvian team in more than 20 years. Jimmy Baxter (198-G-80, college: S.Florida) paced Ventspils with 16 points, while Justin Love (189-G-78, college: St.Louis) added 14 points to overcome undermanned Zalgiris in this intriguing basketball affair. Ventspils thus improved to 4-7 record in the BBL standings.


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QATAR

2007-2008 Season Finally Getting Underway with Defending Champs Al Rayyan taking on Al Wakra -by Amir Abou-El-Kheir

The 2007-2008 Qatari Mens Basketball season will finally get underway this week-end when defending champions, Al Rayyan meet Al Wakrah on Saturday. Al Wakrah hope to improve on last year, where they went 0-14 in the League. They came on strong in the Heir-Apparent and King's Cup, and now are hoping they can continue their run into the League this year. They will have their work cut out for them as they face a Rayyan squad that will be hungry, as they got shut out of the two season ending cups. Deng D'Awol (213-C-77, college: Wayland Baptist) is the man that Al Wakrah has called on to try to help them in the middle. The 7'1 big man comes to Al Wakrah after playing last season with the Maryland Nighthawks of the ABA.

The other match of the evening will be contested between Al Arabi Club, who came in second in the League last year and won the Heir-Apparent Cup, vs Al Al Gharrafah; a team that had plenty of talent and promise last year, but failed to live up to their potential. The game will feature two of the best players from last year, Boney Watson (183-G, college: Sam Houston St.), of Al Arabi Club and Garaffa's Ousseynou N'Diaye (195-G-85). N'Diaye won the scoring title last year.

Sunday's games will include Qatar Club, who won the King's Cup and finished third in the League, but lost their two best players, Mamadou Seck and Pape Mouhamadou Diouf, vs Al Ahli Sports Club, which finshed second to last in the year, but have made wholesale changes this year. Al Ahli is the only team that didn't resign any of their foreign players from last year. They have also added Coach Ken Green (206-C-67, college: Rhode Island), former coach of As Sadd Sports Club. So, this will probably be the most interesting game of the first round, as both teams will have virtually all new personnel. Finally, As Sadd Sports Club will face off against Al Jaysh Army SC. As Sadd Sports Club, who parted ways with Coach Green earlier in the pre-season, have brought in former NBA player Chris Morris (203-F-66, college: Auburn) to run their team. However, time will tell if Morris' NBA experience will rub off on his players and help his team win some big games this season.
Early predictions are that there might be some suprises in the League this year, so stay tuned.



Players to watch out for this season:

Ousseynou N'Diaye (Al Gharrafah)
Boney Watson (183-G, college: Sam Houston St.) (Al Arabi Club)
Mohamed Camara (196-F-83) (Al Ahli Sports Club)
Ishmael Joyce (190-G-81, college: Jackson St.) (Qatar Club)
Deng D'Awol (Al Wakrah)
Erfan Ali Saeed (200-F-83) (Al Rayyan)
Saad Abdulrahman Ali (194-F-85) (As Sadd Sports Club)



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SERBIA

PG Zoran Osmokrovic is free agent -by Dragan Jankovski
Ex player of Borac Cacak and FMP Zeleznik, Zoran Osmokrovic (189-G-81), finally got a green light from FMP to leave the club and he got status of a free agent. Osmokrovic played last season for Borac Cacak and for 22 games in Serbian A league averaged 18.2 ppg, 6.8 apg, 3.3 rpg and 2.2 spg. He was the second MVP and the second scorer of the A league.

Ivan Vukadinov joins Swisslions Takovo -by Dragan Jankovski
After two years, BC Swisslions Takovo returned it's ex player Ivan Vukadinov (193-G-81), who started the season on Cypriot Keravnos. Vukadinov signed contract with his new-old team until the end of the season.

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SLOVENIA

Alpos promote assistant coach Kocar to replace Cujes -by Zeljko Zule
Alpos Sentjur promoted assisttan coach Bostjan Kocar to head coach. He replaces Matjaz Cujez who has resigned from his position as head coach of Alpos Sentjur. Speculation about his departure hand been rife since his side lost 55-86 at home to TCG Mercator.

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SPAIN

ACB Round 15 -by Paul Nilsen
It was a dramatic round at the top of the classifications and a bad weekend for the Barcelona clubs who both lost ground on Bilbao and Real at the top after defeats.

A spectacular third quarter by Tau Ceramica turned the game against DKV Joventut on it's head after it looked like Rudy and Co were on their way to an impressive win with a 14 point lead at the break. However the home team came out fired up and blew Badalona all the way back to Catalunya with a 34-12 third quarter to eventually prevail by 80-73. Stunning stuff made possible thanks to 8 assist from Zoran Planinic and 23 points from Igor Rakocevic. Fernandez finished with 27 points and 7 assists but Joventut were too soft on the boards and part of the reason asto why they were blown out in the penultimate quarter.

A similarly impressive performance was put in by ViveMenorca who are slowly pulling themselves away from trouble at the bottom after a convincing and hugely important 85-68 win over Barcelona. Few had expected Ricard Casas and his players to get the positive result against a side that were coming into the game having blown away Real in the previous game. However Menorca came out quickly and a lacklustre Barca simply never recovered. To make matters worse for Dusko Ivanovic, just when they were about to get back into the game, the home team stepped on the gas in the final period to show they have a lot of heart and are up for the fight ahead to establish themselves in ACB. Mario Stojic was in fine form for the hosts with 18 points and 9 rebounds.

Real completed a routine victory at home over Ricoh Manresa who slip down the standings to just fourth from bottom after two of their main rivals picked up wins. The 94-70 loss at Vistalegre was inevitable as they suffered a backlash from Real's poor performance at Barcelona in the Classico in the previous game.

Real are not however on top of the standings with that accolade going to the worthy leaders Bilbao. The Basque club finish 2007 sitting proudly on top of the ACB in an unexpected position with their latest success coming by way of a 73-67 win over Estudiantes in front of a packed Bizkaia Arena. With Huertas pulling the strings again to pick up 8 asissts, Bilbao are really showing the way when it comes to the team concept with another strong rebounding performance and a total of 16 assists. Estu meanwhile remain second from bottom but are showing signs that they will have more than enough to eventually haul themselves out of trouble.

Estu's escape plan hasn't been made any easier with the likes of Menorca beating Barca but also what was perhaps the most important result of the week and that was struggling Fuenlabrada picking up a thrilling and vitally important away victory at Polaris World Murcia. Away wins for the capital's third club don't come too often but this 73-72 win relieves the pressure and was an outstanding display of courage. On a poor run of form, the visitors looked to be dead and buried by half-time as they trailed by 44-26. They gave themselves an outside shot with a strong third quarter but still had to produce a magnificent 27-16 final period to somehow take the win. 23 points and 12 rebounds from a back to form Tom Wideman pivotal in this contest.

Cajasol slumped to another disappointing loss, this time going down 88-79 at Valencia who are still tied with Tau Ceramica with a 10-5 season record. Rubvenb Douglas scored 24 points for the home side and with Shammond Williams directing traffic with 9 assists, Cajasol were always up against it with 20 points from Tyrone Ellis their only highlight of the game.

Almost 7,000 fans watched Granada overcome Girona 98-90 with Carlos Gianella and Andrea Pecile combining for a mammoth 50 points to get the home team a win as they now climb out of the mid table zone into 8th position and tied with their opponents. The game was tied at the half but with Pecile getting to the hoop in the second, they win this game from the free throw line.

On the same record as both Granda and Girona are Unicaja with the Malaga club cruising to a 101-86 win over Gran Canaria who are now falling down the table with their usual poor away form. A 32-21 opening period set the tome for the Malaga club as Jiri Welsch top scored with 20 points. Granca had foru of it's players all finishing with 14 points.

Finally Valladolid completed a win against their rivals Grupo Begar Leon with a 74-69 victory in the final game of Round 15 as Joseph Gomis grabbed 19 points.


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TUNISIA

CSC makes feeling -by Carlos Pereira
For time, the championship gave balanced matches and where "babies" made more than bother the "big". They surprised them and made that the day is eventful, as if by magic. Two winning and honestly unforeseen blows. CSC which outclasses EZS and ESR which dominates USMonastir.
The win of the CSC ("Railway workers") is a true feat worthy of respect. In spite of the 9 points which separated both clubs, nothing of it dissuaded CSC which surpassed itself and made EZS compete for continuations before tearing off final win.

RESULTS
DSGrombalia-ESSahel : 58-67
CSCheminots-Ezzahra : 83-81 (75-75
after O.T.)
CAfricain-CABizertin : 74-64
SNabeulien-ASHammamet : 106-59
ASMarsa-JSKairouan : 71-77
ESRadès-USMonastir : 82-68


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U.S.VIRGIN ISL.

Another MVP for Aska -by David Edole
Ivan Aska is making the habit of acquiring Most Valuable Player trophies over the Christmas break. The 6-foot-7 forward was named MVP of the Colquitt Classic after leading Boyd Anderson HS to a three game sweep.
Aska had 22 points and 20 boards as the Cobras hammered Woodlawn (AL), 85-64 in the championship game.
Aska was also named the Rockdale Holiday Classic MVP after sweeping that pre Christmas tourney.
Boyd Anderson, which won all three of its tournament games for the second year in a row, is coached by former Moultrie High Packer Eugene Richardson. The Cobras raised their record to 14-1.
Boyd Anderson is ranked No. 13 in Florida.
Boyd Anderson advance to the finals by trouncing Jeff Davis (AL), 55-28.


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WBA

2008 WBA Free Agent Camp set for April 11-12... -by David Archer

WBA Pro Basketball League
P.O. Box 942161
Atlanta, Georgia 31141-2161
www.wbaball.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2007

Media Contact: Tony Baraka
P: 770-973-8441
E: smiurban@comcast.net

WBA Pro Basketball League Hosts Free Agent Camp April 11-12, 2008 At Life University In Marietta, Georgia

WBA Pro League Also Celebrates Historic 5 Years of Growth

Atlanta, Georgia (December 12, 2007) - The WBA Pro Basketball League (WBA) announced that it will hosts its annual Free Agent Camp on April 11-12th , 2008 at Life University in Marietta, Georgia. The camp will be conducted to give prospective players an opportunity to be exposed to the 10 teams in the WBA. A free agent selection draft will be held directly following the camp to allocate the top prospects.

Last season, approximately 40 players were drafted by the 10 teams in the League. This season, 50 players will be drafted, as each team will select in ten rounds. Drafted free agents will report directly to team training camps after the Free Agent camp, joining veterans and protected players for preparation of opening night.

"Our Free Agent Camp is the foundation to the growth of the WBA," said Leroy Mc Math, founder and Chairman of the WBA Pro Basketball League. “The objective of our league is to provide opportunities for players to develop both on and off the court to further their careers in professional basketball.”

Over the Last 5 years numerous players from the WBA moved on to professional playing jobs overseas, as well as in the CBA and NBDL - even the NBA - as former WBA player David Young was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics and Kyle Davis was signed as a free agent by the New Jersey Nets. Currently, Josh Powell is playing with the L.A Clippers Jamario Moon with the Toronto Raptors as well.

The WBA Pro Basketball League was created in 2003 to teach, develop, and expose basketball players to NBA, NBDL, CBA, and International Scouts. The purpose of the WBA is to serve as a training ground to develop professional players, coaches, and personnel on and off the court. Emphasis is placed on fundamental development, career development, community involvement, and education. Current franchises include the (Jackson, TN), (Gwinnett, GA), (Biloxi, MS), (Macon, GA), (Birmingham, AL), (Marietta, GA). (Holly Spring, MS), (Murfreesboro TN), (Anderson, SC) Mayas-USA, and (Memphis,TN).

For more information on the 2008 WBA Pro Basketball League Free Agent Camp, please visit the official web site of the WBA Pro Basketball League at www.wbaball.net.

***
About the WBA Pro Basketball League:


The WBA Pro Basketball League is a 10-team premiere basketball summer league headquartered in Atlanta, GA that runs from May through June. Elite players are often catapulted into further opportunities on NBA summer league teams and preseason training camps. Founded in 2003, the WBA offers transition from college to professional ball, while providing each community with an exciting brand of basketball and entertainment. The league offers entertainment at home games from local radio personalities to entertainment from record labels such as Universal, Atlantic, Sony, and Def Jam. For more information, please visit www.wbaball.net.



WBA Celebrates 5 Years with new ownership & name change... -by David Archer

WBA Pro Basketball League
P.O. Box 942161
Atlanta, Georgia 31141-2161
www.wbaball.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2007

Media Contact: Tony Baraka
P: 770-973-8441
E: smiurban@comcast.net

WBA Celebrates 5 Years With New Ownership & Name Change

New Name Will Be WBA Pro Basketball League

Atlanta, Georgia (December 12, 2007) - In A Major Announcement out of Atlanta the World Basketball Association is seeing major changes with the announcement of a change in its name to the WBA Pro Basketball League and Celebrating 5 years of operation with an exciting upcoming 2008 season and New ownership of the WBA Pro Basketball League.

Leroy Mc Math Founder & Chairman of the WBA Pro Basketball League talks about all of the changes with the WBA new name the new ownership and the exciting things that will happen with the upcoming 2008 series and what it means for die hard WBA Fans and the WBA teams.

“I'm very please with the direction the new WBA Pro League is headed, I'm excited about the upcoming season. I think new management will do a great job taking taking my vision to the next level”

The WBA Pro Basketball League was created in 2003 to teach, develop, and expose basketball players to NBA, NBDL, CBA, and International Scouts. The purpose of the WBA is to serve as a training ground to develop professional players, coaches, and personnel on and off the court. Emphasis is placed on fundamental development, career development, community involvement, and education. Current franchises include the (Jackson, TN), (Gwinnett, GA), (Biloxi, MS), (Macon, GA), (Birmingham, AL), (Marietta, GA). (Holly Spring, MS), (Anderson, SC) (Murfreesboro TN), and (Memphis, TN).

For more information on the 2008 WBA Pro Basketball League Free Agent Camp, please visit the official web site of the WBA Pro Basketball League at www.wbaball.net.

***
About the WBA Pro Basketball League:


The WBA Pro Basketball League is a 10-team premiere basketball summer league headquartered in Atlanta, GA that runs from May through June. Elite players are often catapulted into further opportunities on NBA summer league teams and preseason training camps. Founded in 2003, the WBA offers transition from college to professional ball, while providing each community with an exciting brand of basketball and entertainment. The league offers entertainment at home games from local radio personalities to entertainment from record labels such as Universal, Atlantic, Sony, and Def Jam. For more information, please visit www.wbaball.net.





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Women News

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FRANCE - Women

Poll Result:: Which French club do you think will make the final four of the EuroLeague Women -by Leslie Anderson

This poll was put up after the first round of games when the EuroLeague results were at an all-time low:

The early votes indicated that nobody thought that any French club would qualify. This trend changed after the last two rounds when the results improved.

The final results of the poll indicate that 42% of the participants believe that France will not be represented in the finals this year while 33% went for Cercle Jean Mace Bourges. Valenciennes USVO and Villeneuve D'Asco ESB Lille Metropole came up with 9% each and USO Mondeville with 7%.


France and Russia have four clubs each in the competition this year and for the moment all is well for the Russian clubs with three clubs already qualified for the next stage of the competition. Dynamo Moscow require one more victory before they can join CSKA Moscow, UMMC Ekaterinburg and Spartak Moscow Region in the draw for the last sixteen.


No French club has qualified yet although Cercle Jean Mace Bourges have put themselves in a good position to qualify as they have aggregate wins against the bottom two teams in their group.


The rules of the competition state that no more than two teams per country can qualify for the final four and only one team per country for the final. For example if all four Russian teams qualify for the quarter-final then they will be drawn against each other in the start of a mini-country championship. Therefore the ranking positions at the end of the group stage will become important in case of more than two clubs from Russia or France qualify for the quarter-final.



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HOLLAND - Women

Burhan Alibegovic fired -by Mannus Etten
The coach of ProBuild Lions Landslake Burhan Alibegovic is fired. They didn't notice the reason why he is fired.
In the pressmailing they announced that Rene van der Wielen becomes the new coach. The former coach of Matrixx Magixx Nijmegen last year will guide the practices starting at 2 January. His first match with the team will be on 5 January at home against Perik Jumpers Tubbergen.

Rene van der Wielen was voted last year as coach of the year. He was coach of the men's team of Matrixx Magixx Nijmegen in the 2005-2006 season and is still coach of the national team for girls under 20.