EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 1/2/2008

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Men News

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ABA

Another female player joins the ABA -by Gianni Pascucci
In an official media release of yesterday, the Orange County Gladiators of the ABA announced the signing of former UC Irvine female player Kristen Green (5'9"-G-82). Like most of the media announcements coming from the ABA teams, however, this one too is pathetically uncorrect, where it tells about "making ABA and professional sports history" and "the first female player in ABA history". In fact, the first female player in the ABA was Giuliana Mendiola (6'0''-G-81, college: Washington), who played some games in the Los Angeles Aftershock ABA team between November and December, 2005, two years ago.... However, we wish a succesful season the same to the Gladiators and all their staff, and, of course, to miss Green too.

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ARGENTINA

From Nicaragua to Argentina -by Gianni Pascucci
Nicaraguan international Troy Watson (197-F/C-82) traveled to Argentina to join the TNA club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, where he will be tested for some time. If he will sign a contract with that team, Watson, who is the Captain of Team Nicaragua, will become the first player of this country to compete at so high level, in one of the best leagues of South America.

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AUSTRALIA

Matthew Knight is trumped the Player of the Week -by Eurobasket News
Rookie Matthew Knight (203-F/C-85, college: Loyola Marymount) of the West Sydney Razorbacks was named the NBL Player of the Week for Round 15. He masterminded a surprising Razorbacks' 111-105 win over the reigning champs Brisbane Bullets. A 22-year-old forward from Burnie secured 22 points and 11 boards for the winners as they improved to 9-12 record. The Razorbacks are now just one win shy of the 7th spot and occupy the 10th place in the standing with the playoff hopes still burning. Matthew Knight went for 10/19 from the field and issued 3 assists in this largely important victory for West Sydney. Matthew Knight surpassed Jason Smith (194-G-74) and Ian Crosswhite (212-F-82, college: Oregon) of the Sydney Kings for the weekly award. He also succeeded Ebi Ere (195-G/F-81, college: Oklahoma) who was got the honours for Round 14. Meanwhile Chris Anstey (213-C-75) leads the MVP balloting with 3 weekly awards in the current season.
The NBL action continued yesterday with two encounters wrapping up the calendar year. The Cairns Taipans grabbed their 11th win as they bumped the Brisbane Bullets 120-112 at home. Stephen Black (186-G-80) drilled 30 points for the Taipans en route to another impressive victory at the Cairns Convention Centre. The hosts used 9 points from Larry Abney to ignite a 15:6 run late in the second quarter and claimed a 56:49 advantage at halftime. Cairns never slowed down after the break with the pressure mounting up on the visitors and Brisbane had to start the final term trailing by 18 points. Cairns held a tight grip on the cushion extending it to as many as 22 points in the fourth stanza and ensuring positive result at the end. Jared Newson (196-G/F-84, college: Tennessee-Martin) contributed 22 points for the winners. Brad Williamson (197-F/G-81) had 27 points, while Dusty Rychart (201-F-78, college: Minnesota) banked 18 points for the Bullets. Ebi Ere was well held scoring just 11 on the night.
The Gold Coast Blaze continued to impress all basketball fans across Australia as they climbed to 12-8 record in their initial season in the NBL. This time the win came in Townsville as the Gold Blaze outscored the Crocs 87:79. Piling up a 10-point cushion at the interval proved to be enough for the visitors to win the game. James Harvey (196-G/F-79) sank 21 points, while Jason Crowe (193-G-76, agency: Court Side, college: Cal.St. Northridge) added 16 points in a winning effort for the Blaze. John Rillie (195-G-71, college: Gonzaga) answered with 16 points for Townsville as they fell to 11-11 record.


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BALTIC LEAGUE

Bumerangs get taste of victory -by Eurobasket News
Latvian Bumerangs/ASK finally drew the first blood in the season as they coasted past Tartu Fausto 82:55 at home. The first frame turned out to be a close affair before Jaunzems and Gundars Rauza (192-F-79) sank back-to-back jumpers to seal the outcome at 23:14 for the home team. The hosts opened the second stanza with a 6:0 run to set the tone. Ando Tagamets (200-F-79) answered with a jumper for Fausto but Bumerangs were unstoppable at the moment. Bruno Klavins (201-F-86) connected from downtown, while Janis Poznaks (205-F-83) delivered 4 points to enlarge the gap to 16 points. Ardo Armpalu (207-F/C-80, college: Marshall) knocked down 6 points and Ando Tagamets added a free throw to keep the visitors' hopes burning. Not for too long though. Agris Kazaks (197-G-85) and Gundars Rauza netted consecutive trebles early in the third stanza, while Toms Kindzulis (180-G-89) added another one a minute later to extend the lead to massive 20 points midway through the third quarter. Fausto entered the fourth period trailing by 22 points and looked hapless in the late stages. Janis Poznaks paced the hosts with 17 points and 11 boards. Gundars Rauza had 15 points and Bruno Klavins contributed 13 points for the winners. Ardo Armpalu issued 21 points and 9 boards for Fausto. Bumerangs improved to 1-12 record and faces VEF Riga on January 12. Fausto slipped at 3-8 before taking on Liepajas Lauvas on Saturday.
Atletas went into two-way share at the second spot in the BBL ladder as they celebrated a hard-fought 82:80 road win over Suduva. The visitors dominated in the opening frame and held on to a 30:24 lead after 10 minutes. Suduva however adjusted gradually to the tempo and soon surged ahead on a triple from Sirvydis 36:34. Atletas opposed the challenge and closed the second frame on a 12:3 run to take a 50:42 lead at halftime. Egidijus Dimsa (204-C-85) and Darius Gvezdauskas (190-G-88) kept on delivering points for the visitors as Atletas maintained the advantage. Vasiliauskas hit a three-pointer as Suduva were up by 10 points midway through the final term. But the hosts ignited a 10:2 run to climb within 2 points. Gintautas Vileita (192-G-75, college: Monmouth) completed a three-point play for Atletas to restore a 5-point cushion with just over 2 minutes remaining. Vytautas Tatarunas (200-F-82, college: Tulane) nailed a jump shot to cut the gap to 3 points with 59 seconds left in regulation, while Gediminas Navickas (180-G-84) was accurate once from charity stripe for a 81:77 Atletas' lead. Vytautas Tatarunas stepped up once again dropping another jumper and securing a 3-point margin with 23 seconds on the clock. Gytis Sirutavicius (195-F-83) hit a free throw and Sirvydis later pulled down an offensive rebound and had a chance to force overtime. But his shot went off mark sealing the victory for Atletas. Egidijus Dimsa topscored with 16 points for Atletas. Gintautas Vileita and Darius Gvezdauskas nailed 14 points apiece in a winning clause. Vytautas Tatarunas fired 25 points and collected 15 boards to shine for Suduva.


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CAMEROON

Bafang Basketball Camp -by Gilles Bouwe

For the 27 Dec to the .29 Dec took place in Bafang the first edition of the BAFANG BASKETBALL CAMP.The Camp was an idea of BOUWE GILLES who directed it . The camp was coordonnated on the technichal plan by PEPOUNA MUNYUTU well known as PEPSO.

Due to problem caused by the local basketball league the camp have see just the participation of 30 kids of 8 to 15 years both girls and boys.



National Season -by Gilles Bouwe
The new basket ball season have started in the country by two provinces the center with the super cup won by Friendship for the youth Phi Slama Jama for the girls and Condors for the Mens. In the littoral province the opening tournament of the season was played and won by Ecole de Basket for the youth ,Mac Force for the womens and Free Basket for the mens.

Gaby NGoundjo ties freshman record shot blocking... -by Yann Tientcheu
Our very promising, freshman forward from Douala, Cameroon, Gaby Ngoundjo (201-F-88), was one of the main attractions on sunday at Halton Arena when
his team, University of North Carolina, Charlotte took down Fairleigh Dickenson by the score of 65-59. Gaby NGoundjo went on to tie the 49ers basketball program's freshman record, and Halton Arena's record of shots rejected in a game by imposing 6 blocks to Fairleigh Dickinson. Ngoundjo who saw 18 mns of action finished the game with 8rbds, 6pts, and 6 blocks.
The best is to come for our countryman!!!


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CYPRUS

Derrick Tarver in Aspis Apoel -by Chris Mammides
A shooting machine joind the team of Aspis Apoel. The Nicosia team released earlier on December their American guard, Stokes and they sign the American super scorer, Derick Derrick Tarver (192-G-80, college: Akron) . Derrick Tarver is allready joined the team and is really giving his 100% in the training and everybody in the team believes that better days are coming for APOEL.

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EGYPT

Second round results -by Andrew Youssef

-Smouha beat Zamalek 89-80 in a big surprize at the begining of the Egyptian league.


-Alahly beat Gazco 69-48 in an easy game for Alahly and Tarek elGhannam return to play after his injury in Zamalek match at the final of Cairo and Giza zone champion also Mody ElGarhy , Eslam Aly and Ibrahim elGamal not play because of their Injured.


-Itthad beat Shourta 83-78.



Ahly face to face with Riyadi tonight in Hariri Final -by Sherif Soliman
Ahly went to the final game easily after a big win over Blue stars(leb) last night 92-63.Last night game was a one side match Blue stars showed no resistance while Ahly players scored from every place in the court, Islam Ahly scored 19 points,Most of Ahly stars have a good rest last night as the small players did the job for them, Tonight final is not an easy one Ahly will face Riyadi( Leb) who won this tournament 8 times. The game will start at 5 pm.

The second round starts tonight with no faces between the big four -by Sherif Soliman
The second round games of the Egyptian league 2008 starts tonight at 6 pm. Tonight's schedule will be as follows:
Al GIESH Vs A.Sporting,Al shams Vs Damanhour,Eastern Co. Vs Gezira,Gass Co. Vs Ahly, Somoua Vs Zamalek, Al Shorta Vs Itthad .All games will be held at courts of clubs written first.
Marvin Black (201-F-80, agency: EM-PA, college: Marshall)zamalek player


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ETHIOPIA

visiting Ethiopia -by Yoseph Zemede
New comer from the united states hiis name is Ronald will come next july to see ethiopian basket ball.he is a coach in college and he really intersted to bring some players specially their hight is more than two meters he added to eurobasket website.in order to increase the popularity of ethiopian basket ball this kind of apportiunity is really important.if you have any comment or intersted to play out side ethiopia send your DVD which shows your skills of basket ball through yosephzemede@yahoo.com or yospehzemede@eurobasket.com.

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IBL

IBL adds Asian Expansion Department -by Trask Frost

Portland, OR--The International Basketball league has begun its campaign to expand into several Asian markets including China, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. The IBL is uniquely able to do this, as the league's northwest cluster has eight teams all within a short driving distance of Portland, Oregon. An Asian team that joins the IBL could play all 10 of their away games in one shot—one flight—from one hotel even. IBL Commissioner Mikal Duilio—“Having eight teams in one region makes overseas expansion viable, particularly to Asia.” The first
Asian team to join the IBL, the Shanxi Kylins, will play an 18 game road schedule (see first option below). The IBL expects six Asian teams to join the league for the 2009 season.

The IBL will initially offer a few programs to facilitate Asian expansion:
• The first option is to allow teams from Asia to play an away game only season in the United States. The Asian team will compete as an official member of the IBL. The Asian team will play all 18 games in America in roughly 30 days. The trip to America will include an array of activities which will give foreign teams an opportunity to experience American culture beyond the hardwood.
• The second option- The IBL will send select teams on tours to Asia. The IBL has already sent two teams to China in 2007 with positive feedback from Chinese associations on both of those trips.
• The third option- is to organize tryouts in a country for players who are interested in playing basketball in the IBL. Selected foreign players will have the opportunity to improve their game by experiencing a full season of play in America against American IBL teams.
The options listed above are in place to promote and build relationships with Asian teams that with the intention that Asian teams will officially join the IBL (with normal schedules of home and away games).

To facilitate this expansion, the IBL has added a new department:

David White has been named Director of Asian Expansion. White lived in Shanghai, China from 2000-2003 while studying Chinese at Shanghai International Studies University. White later helped American Piledriving Equipment Inc. expand into China and was involved in several government projects that included driving the largest piles in the world. White played four years of college basketball. David White—“I have a passion for Chinese language and culture and I am very excited to be a part of the IBL campaign to expand into Asia”.

Sadachika Yoshioka, Director of Japanese Relations. Sadachika is currently living in London. He lived in Japan and Canada while working for the world's leading financial institution for more than 17 years, specializing in the areas of global securities services, corporate finance, structured finance and cash management services. Yoshioka has various basketball relationships including contacts with the Japanese Basketball League (JBL). Yoshioka “is excited to see the IBL and the JBL form a relationship in the near future”.

Eric Cuadra, Director of Philippines Relations. Eric is the Founder/CEO of SHO-SHOT Athletics basketball footwear & apparel. Cuadra is also involved in senior showcase basketball camps. Cuadra is a major sponsor with Harlem Starz exhibition travel team and X-Over Streetball travel team (NYC). Cuadra has contacts in the Filipino community in Vancouver, British Columbia, Seattle, Portland and Manila Philippines.

The IBL's fourth season tips off in March of 2008. IBL web site- www.IBLhoopsOnline.com


Chinese team joins IBL for 2008 season -by Trask Frost
Portland, OR—The International Basketball League has announced that the Shanxi Kylins from the Chinese Basketball Association will join the league for the 2008 season. The Chinese Basketball Association has produced current NBA players Yao Ming (Houston Rockets) and Yi Jianlian (Milwaukee Bucks). The Kylins will compete as full-fledged members of the IBL in 2008, playing an 18 game road schedule. The full 2008 IBL schedule will be released on January 15.

Based in Xi'an, Shaanxi, the Kylins play in the CBA's North Division. The Kylins were founded in 2000 by the Xi'an Dongsheng Group.

IBL Commissioner Mikal Duilio—“It has always been my goal to have legitimate international play in the IBL. Coming off our most successful season last year, we really expect 2008 to be outstanding—having Shanxi on board definitely adds to that.”

The IBL is uniquely able to offer Asian teams an efficient and affordable option to compete in an American professional basketball league. The IBL's system of organizing teams in regional clusters makes it possible for the league to offer an overseas team the same ‘one flight guarantee' it gives its domestic owners. The Kylins will be based at the USBA in Springfield, Oregon, and play its 18 game schedule in the IBL's northwest cluster, beginning on April 18 versus the Central Oregon Hotshots.

Adding the Kylins to the 2008 schedule is a direct result of the recent creation of the IBL's Asian Expansion Department, headed by former Shanghai resident David White (See ‘IBL Adds Asian Expansion Department' news release on the Shanxi Kylins page at www.iblhoopsonline.com).

“This is an exciting first step towards our eventual goal of adding several teams from the region as permanent members of the IBL,” said White.

Joining White in the IBL's Asian Expansion Department is Sadachika Yoshioka, the IBL's Director of Japanese Relations. Commissioner Duilio spent a week with Yoshioka in Japan last December, visiting with members of the Japanese basketball community and watching a few JBL games. Rounding out the Asian Expansion Department is Eric Cuadra, the Director of Philippines Relations.

About Xi'an

Xi'an, a city of over eight million, borders the northern foot of the Qinling Mountains to the south, and the banks of Wei River to the north. Hua Shan, one of the five sacred Taoist mountains, is located 100 km away to the east of the city. Xi'an is the capital city of the Shaanxi Province. Xi'an has been the capital of eleven dynasties for more than 2000 years. Along with Rome and Constantinople, this city played a vital role in bridging the gap between east and west. There are important sites and relics in this city. The Terracotta Army of Qin Emperor, is regarded as the eighth wonder of the world. The Tomb of Yang Yuhuan and Huaqing Pool all date back to Tang Dynasty, the peak of China's federal period. Famen Temple in Xi'an is the only temple in mainland China storing true relics of Buddha Sykyamuni.


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ISRAEL

Maccabi Ironi Ramat Gan sign Jerome Beasley -by Eurobasket
Maccabi Ironi Ramat Gan agreed terms with 28-year old American forward Jerome Beasley (208-F-80, college: N.Dakota). Beasley played most recently at Beirasar Rosalia (Spain). Beasley is a very experienced player. He already played a short time in the NBA with Miami Heat. But he could not keep the spot at the team and got almost no playing time. Finally decided to sign in CBA (Sioux Falls Skyforce). Then again some summer camps with NBA teams, but at that point he realized it would be impossible to make it to the NBA. So he was open for signing overseas. He player in Turkey for Ulker, in Poland for Polpak, then in Australia for Sydney. He also got some international experience playing in pro leagues in Latin America, where he spend some time at Trotamundos (Venezuela) and Reales (Dominican Rep). This season he started with Spanish Beirasal Rosalia in LEB Gold (2nd division). But obviously Israeli Premier League was more attractive offer.

Sherf replaced Katash as the new head-coach of M. Tel-Aviv -by Elad Zeevi
Oded Katash, who was introduced as the new coach of Maccabi Tel-Aviv only 6 months ago, stepped down after the heavy lost the team suffered yesterday (104:86 to Ramat-Gan). Maccabi's management gathered today to an urgent meeting, where they decided to part ways with Katash, who led the team to it's worst season opening in the local league (5 W, 3 L) since 1992-93, the year Maccabi lost their last championship.
the man who will replace Katash as Maccabi's coach until the end of the season will be Zvi Sherf , the CEO of M. Tel-Aviv until a few hours ago. Sherf coached Maccabi several times in the past, the last time was 10 years ago. he will make his debut on the lines against Efes-Pilzen on thursday.


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KOREA

NUMBER 8 KTF ROUT #1 DONGBU -by Rick Ross

In the KBL this year anything can be expected,
But to the surprise of Dongbu it was unexpected as # 8 KTF beat #1 Promy
84-57 On NEW YEARS DAY. The stats are posted in Korean http://www.kbl.or.kr/
but it looks Like KTF was led by Mitchell Carl (206-F-79, college: N.Kentucky) 28 pts & 19 Rebs & newly aquired Import
Marcus Session (198-G/F-81, college: St.Mary's (TX)) Who is filling in for Injured player

Kendrick Jamie (203-F/C-78, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: Baylor),

In other news I'm (coach Rick Ross) happy to be back in good health for the NewYear,
I look forward to returning this week-end at home in ChangWon,
I received thousands of emails from fans and Family through-out the World and

I appreciate All the support and Prayers that have blessed me and my Family Here in Korea.
Thank You Happy New Years and God Bless You. :-)



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MEXICO

Martin joins Lechugueros -by Gianni Pascucci
Just before the end of December, Lechugueros de Leon announced the signing of their new import player. He is Eric Martin (197-F-76, college: Cincinnati), who will replace in roster Calvin Morris (203-F/C-74, college: Tennessee St.), and his last stop in Mexico was at Frayles de Guasave, CIBACOPA league.

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NBA

Hidayet Turkoglu buries jumper to upset the Bulls in overtime -by Eurobasket News
Hidayet Turkoglu (6'9''-F-79) could have been not a perfect decision for the man to take the last shot on the night but the ball appeared in his hands and Turkish forward brought a New Year present to all Orlando fans. He hit a fadeaway jump shot with less than a second remaining in overtime to seal a 112:110 victory over the Bulls. Turkoglu's shot came after Ben Gordon (6'2''-G-83, college: Connecticut) connected from afar to tie the game at 110 with 6.7 seconds remaining. But the Magic delivered the ball to Turkoglu and he was convincing from the field sinking the basket over Ben Wallace (6'9''-C-74, college: Virginia Union). Ben Wallace then tried a desperate shot from midcourt but missed the mark and allowed the Magic to celebrate their 4th win in a row. Jameer Nelson (6'0''-G-82, college: St.Joseph's) topscored for the Magic with 22 points. Rashard Lewis (6'10''-F-79) had 19 points, while Dwight Howard (6'10''-F-85) produced 17 points and 22 boards in a win. Ben Gordon was on fire scoring season-high 39 points off the bench for the Bulls. Luol Deng (6'7''-F-85, college: Duke) secured 21 points in the 18th loss for Chicago in the season.
Another outcome was decided in overtime as the Charlotte Bobcats managed to overcome the visiting Pacers behind 36 points from Gerald Wallace (6'7''-F-82, college: Alabama). 20 points arrived in the fourth term and overtime sparking the sleepy Bobcats to a sizzling comeback effort. The Pacers were up by 13 points midway through the fourth period but started to struggle in the dying stages. Turnovers became a stumbling block for the Pacers' offense late in regulation moreover their defense was unable to cope with flying Gerald Wallace. He knocked down two treys at the end of the fourth period and then added two more in extra time to secure the winning outcome for the Bobcats. Indiana now lost four straight games and slipped to 15-17 record. Jason Richardson (6'6''-G-81, college: Michigan St.) drilled 28 points for the winners. Jermaine O'Neal (6'11''-F-78) answered with 20 points and 13 boards for the Pacers.
The trade market was quiet these days with the only news coming from Washington. The Wizards waived guard Mike Wilks (5'11''-G-79, college: Rice). He was signed by the Wizards on December 19 and appeared in 4 games averaging 1.3 points and 1.5 boards per 10 minutes.


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NCAA

Vanderbilt off to the best start in school history -by Eurobasket News
Vanderbilt beat Iona 97:73 to improve to the 13-0 record from the start of the season marking their best-ever NCAA campaign start in the school history. Now they are among only 6 undefeated teams in Division I as they share the heroics with North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas, Washington State and Mississippi. The Commodores once again showed some sparkling offense to drive to yet another clinical victory at the end. Vanderbilt's defense was still pretty sloppy down the line but it never prevented them from posting the 13th consecutive victory. The Commodores were up by 5 points at the interval but came off the dressing room shooting from all guns. They recorded an early 26:5 run to open the second half and never looked back thereafter. Andrew Ogilvy (6'10''-C-88) delivered 20 points and 9 boards for Vanderbilt. Shan Foster (6'6''-G/F-86) provided back up with 20 points, while Alan Metcalfe (6'9''-F-85) sank 14 points in a winning effort. Gary Springer (6'9''-F/C) responded with 17 points for Iona. Devon Clarke (6'6''-F) banked 15 points as the Gaels suffered their 9th loss in the season.
Texas A&M grabbed their 6th straight win as they nipped Rice 68:41. The Aggies thus climbed to 13-1 record in the season. The hosts shot season-low 38% from the field but their defense worked smoothly to deny the Owls any chance. Building a comfortable 33:18 lead at halftime the Aggies then had a momentum early in the second half to extend the gap to as many as 20 points. The margin kept on growing and Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon let the reserves logged some more minutes. Josh Carter (6'7''-G/F-88) and DeAndre Jordan (7'0''-C-88) delivered 16 points apiece for the Aggies. Joseph Jones (6'9''-F/C-86) contributed 14 points for the winners. Lawrence Ghoram provided 16 points and 6 boards in a losing effort. The Owls fell to 3-8 record. Texas A&M will next host LSU on January 5.


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NEW ZEALAND

Star Quality -by Eurobasket News
Former MVP Adrian Majstrovich (201-F/G-80) is the key new signing for the Youthtown Auckland Stars as they gear up for the 2008 Dominion Finance NBL season. Small forward Reece Cassidy (200-F/G-82) returns after a season with the Manawatu Jets, while Dan Barrett is also back in a Stars uniform after spending the last few years overseas. Returning from last year's squad are veteran forwards Dillon Boucher (196-G-75) and Casey Frank (203-F-77, college: N.Arizona), shooting guards Josh Clark (186-G-83) and Valance Te Ratana, point guard Fia Gatoloai (188-G) and power forward Vallance McCarthy. Majstrovich played four seasons for the Bay Hawks, winning Rookie of the Year in 2003 and Most Valuable Player in 2004. Last season he averaged 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 13 games for the Wellington Saints. Kenny Stone returns for his seventh season as head coach of the Stars, and will be joined by NBL legend Ben Anthony as assistant coach. Point guard Lindsay Tait (194-G-82) has committed to the Stars for next season and is in the process of finalising his contract details with the club. Tait is currently in Australia recovering from surgery to his right shoulder. Sources close to Tait say that the surgery was a success and that he is recovering well. He is expected to return to New Zealand soon to continue the rehabilitation process, but is likely to miss a considerable amount of the NBL season while his shoulder heals fully.
The Stars are looking forward to a successful season in 2008, and coach Stone is pleased with the make-up of the team. “I like the nice mix of experience and youth in this team and I like the direction we are headed. “We have added some depth for this season's team which will benefit everyone. The young players who gained experience last season will benefit from that and continue to get opportunities to contribute this season. “Adrian's a great signing for the Stars as he adds an impact player that we will miss with Lindsay out injured for much of the season and he will add depth in our front court. “We will miss Lindsay but hope to have him back late in the season and will assist him with his rehab when he returns to New Zealand.” The Stars begin their season on 1st March when they host the Wellington Saints at ASB Stadium, Kohimarama.
Courtesy of: www.basketball.org.nz


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NICARAGUA

From Nicaragua to Argentina -by Gianni Pascucci
Nicaraguan international Troy Watson (197-F/C-82) traveled to Argentina to join the TNA club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, where he will be tested for some time. If he will sign a contract with that team, Watson, who is the Captain of Team Nicaragua, will become the first player of this country to compete at so high level, in one of the best leagues of South America.

Super Santiago wins National League -by Gianni Pascucci
Thanks to the wonderful website Pinoleros.com we can say to you that Super-Santiago de Carazo became the 2007 Nicaraguan champion defeating 83-66 American College in the National League Final Game. Another time more, Carlos Gonzalez (177-G-80) showed his immense offensive skills, leading Super Santiago with 29 pts, Ramon Chavez added 15 points and Jose Moncada 13 at the winning side. Geovanny Umana (204-C-84) was the best in American College, with 18 pts, folllowed by Alan Salazar with 16. This team, however, was seriously limited by teh absence of Carlos Rocha (-G/F). Super-Santiago had defeated in semifinal game Jaguares de la UAM, 94-85 after an OT. After failing to qualify for the finals, Jaguares have been defeated even in the Third Place Final, this time 83-86 by the Fupade Coast.

NL individual awards -by Gianni Pascucci
At the end of the competition, the Federacion Nicaraguense de Baloncesto (FENIBAL) officials gave the National League Individial Awards as follows:
NL Most Valuable Player : Ramon Chavez - Super Santiago
NL Best Scorer : Donald Olivas - Jaguares de la UAM


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PARAGUAY

National League line-up announced -by Gianni Pascucci
The 2008 edition of the Paraguayan National League will feature 8 clubs, divided into two groups. The tournment will start between March and April, and the teams line-up will be as follows: Group A: Sol de America, Felix Perez Cardozo, America de Pilar, Gigantes del Norte de Concepcion. Group B: Deportivo San Jose Vithaton, Libertad, Universal del Sur de Encarnacion, Estrellas de Ciudad del Este. Only two teams, Felix Perez and Pilar, haven' t completed yet their registration to the competition, in case of withdraw the teams ready to replace them are Colonias Unidas and Universidad Autonoma de Asuncion. The registration deadline is January 12, 2008. The CPBA (Confederacion Paraguaya de Basquetbol) will invest a huge sum in the league, and has recently announced a very important agreement with cellular phone compatny "Tigo" that will be the main sponsor of the cpompetition, together with Coca Cola and Brazilian oil company Petrobras.

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PBL

Impact roster released -by Gianni Pascucci
According with the official Arkansas Impact website, the team roster for the upcoming PBL season will be as follows:
Jamaal Brown....................................Cal State Fullerton
Marco Cole.........................................Louisiana Tech
Jeremy Bell........................................Williams Baptist
Ryan Holmes.....................................Philander Smith College
Nick Tuggle........................................E. Tenn State
Brian Bunche.....................................SEMO
Tarik Wallace.....................................University of Arkansas
Gabe Feagin......................................University of Mobile
Warren Beaulah................................Brewton Parker College
Kenny Langhorn................................Columbus
Head Coach: Todd Day


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PHILIPPINES

Filipino cagers in huge win -by Hector Santos
SHUI TOU, China - The Philippines' 5th Avenue Telecoms made sure there's enough reason to celebrate the new year.

And celebrate the Filipinos did, hacking out a morale-boosting 76-54 win over Tong Whye of Singapore in the seventh Zheng Chenggong Cup international invitational basketball tournament at the Shui Tou gymnasium here Monday.

Playing barely a few hours before the New Year's day celebration back home, the Filipinos shrugged off the extremely cold weather in this marble-producing town in Fujian province and spewed fire from beginning to end to frustrate the less-experienced Singaporean side.

The Filipinos even led by 26 points, 97-71, shortly befoe the final buzzer.

Ronnie Zagala, the team's most dependable scorer in the first three outings, sustained his fiery form as he finished with team-highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds for 5th Avenue.

Guard Richard Litonjua also finally made his presence felt after two unproductive games against Macau and Indonesia.

Litonjua, a prized recruit from National Interclub champion Wang's Ballclub, scored 19 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. The 5-9 guard also ably shared playmaking chores with Zagala and former University of Santo Tomas player Romel David.

David added 14 points, while Luis Palaganas, a late-addition from MBL First Conference champion 3T Corporation, contributed 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

"It's really a feel-good win for all of us," sai RP-5th Avenue playing coach Junel Mendiola after the Filipnos' second win in four matches in this prestigious tournament held every four years in honor of former Army general and national hero Zheng Chenggong.

"The boys are really determined to redeem themselves after losing their composure due to sloppy officiating and allowing the Indonesians to turn a close game into a rout," added Mendiola, who led the same 5th Avenue team to the 2007 MBL Second Conference title over Ocean Fresh in Manila last month.

Compared to their back-to-back losses to Nanan (67-70) and Indonesia (66-84), the Filipinos played a lot better this time.

Despite being slowed down by stomach ailments on ex-pro Braulio Lim and Fil-Australian Michael Andre Burtscher, the Filipinos shot better with 55 percent (30 of 54) compared to the Singaporeans' 36 percent (17 of 46). (Ed Andaya/Journal)

The Filipinos also had more assists, 15-6, more steals, 14-9 and lesser turnovers, 13-23.

Singapore, which dropped its fourth straight game, drew 26 points and 16 rebounds from Bo Man, the 6-6 member of the Singapore Sizzlers playing in the Australian pro league.

The Filipinos closed their stint in the quadrennial event when they meet 2003 runner-up Hong Kong in Nanan City on Tuesday.

A win over Hong Kong, which suffered its first defeat against Indonesia (72-63) on Monday, coupled by a Nanan loss to Indonesia in the final game Tuesday will create e a three-way tie for second place among 5th Avenue, Nanan and Hong Kong.

And although they failed to defend the title won by the Laguna Lakers in 1999 and Federal Express in 2003, the Filipinos are determined to show their true worth against the Hong Kongites.

"We'll give it our best shot," said Mendiola.

Also Monday, the Filipinos gathered for a late-night party at the four-star Minjing Hotel to welcome the New Year with a small celebration with Chinese friends.

Also present during the celebration were team coordinator Toto Lryatos and Baguio-based refere John Ustig.

The team will return home via Xiamen on Wednesday night.

The scores:

5th Avenue (97) -- Zagala 26, Litonjua 19, David 14, Palaganas 10, Mendoza 7, Dizon 7, Lim 6, Burtscher 6.

Singapore (74) -- Bo 26, Lu 13, Chien 10, Huo 10, Li QL 7, Li WT 4, Liang WM 4, Yao 0.

Quarterscores: 28-16; 54-32; 76-54; 97-74.


FAN'S CORNER -by Benny Lirio

A foreign coach is key to continued Phillipines basketball success.Making the Beijing Olympics is the big target for the South East Asia champions.

But there have to be changes if the team are move up to a new level.


The Philippines confirmed themselves as the dominant force at the conclusion of the South East Asian basketball games in Ratchasima, Thailand.
They beat Indonesia 75 - 49, Cambodia 136-82, Thailand 94-53 and Malaysia 108-60.

Although the numbers speak volumes, the actual games reflect how wide the disparity is among its member countries.
It's pretty much the same in football, where the Philippines don't have much to beat, and basketball ranks alongside football in popularity.

Basically, the Philippines don't have much opposition when it comes to popular sports and consequently their own goals in basketball are somewhat limited.

The only thing we could do to eliminate this vague belief is to have a coach who has the nerve to choose or to cut players for the national team for future

tournament. And the best way to do this, and go forward, is to appoint a foreign coach, preferably a european coach, who would be prepared to select tall, young and hardworking players and not be sympathetic to any team to which he might belong. The players need not necessarily be pure Filipinos.

Basically, we need a fresh start, better training and exposure. If we had a coach with commitment and players of the same quality the fans would definitely enjoy watching, not the coach but the players.

Side-court buffoonery does not always work. Remember the last FIBA Qualifying tournament? We lost against Iran because of one mad moment when a

technical foul on the national team's coach changed the outcome of the game. Iran eventually won the tournament and qualified for the Beijing Olympics next year.

The fans didn't show it, but they were bitterly disappointed. We should win or lose in a proper manner, on or off the court. It is not fair to leave the ordinary fans to play a 'blame game' and it would be good to hear someone say: "Blame me, not the players." The big hope is that the Philippines can still make the Olympics.

SPORTINGO/Blirio



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SAUDI ARABIA

Muhammad signs for Ohod -by Ali Ahmed
Ohod Al Madina basketball team management agreed terms with the American guard Johad Muhammad to play for them this season.

He is the prototype point guard, who is an excellent passer, and has the ability to score like a two-guard. He possesses good outside shooting range and is an excellent free throw shooter.

Jihad played last season in Saudi and he was one of the best amrican players there.

Awards/Achievements:
JUCO All-American -04
NIT Quarterfinals -06


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SINGAPORE

Tong Whye of Singapore lost to Philippines' 5th Avenue Telecoms -by Hector Santos
SHUI TOU, China - The Philippines' 5th Avenue Telecoms made sure there's enough reason to celebrate the new year.

And celebrate the Filipinos did, hacking out a morale-boosting 76-54 win over Tong Whye of Singapore in the seventh Zheng Chenggong Cup international invitational basketball tournament at the Shui Tou gymnasium here Monday.

Playing barely a few hours before the New Year's day celebration back home, the Filipinos shrugged off the extremely cold weather in this marble-producing town in Fujian province and spewed fire from beginning to end to frustrate the less-experienced Singaporean side.

The Filipinos even led by 26 points, 97-71, shortly befoe the final buzzer.

Ronnie Zagala, the team's most dependable scorer in the first three outings, sustained his fiery form as he finished with team-highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds for 5th Avenue.

Guard Richard Litonjua also finally made his presence felt after two unproductive games against Macau and Indonesia.

Litonjua, a prized recruit from National Interclub champion Wang's Ballclub, scored 19 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. The 5-9 guard also ably shared playmaking chores with Zagala and former University of Santo Tomas player Romel David.

David added 14 points, while Luis Palaganas, a late-addition from MBL First Conference champion 3T Corporation, contributed 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

"It's really a feel-good win for all of us," sai RP-5th Avenue playing coach Junel Mendiola after the Filipnos' second win in four matches in this prestigious tournament held every four years in honor of former Army general and national hero Zheng Chenggong.

"The boys are really determined to redeem themselves after losing their composure due to sloppy officiating and allowing the Indonesians to turn a close game into a rout," added Mendiola, who led the same 5th Avenue team to the 2007 MBL Second Conference title over Ocean Fresh in Manila last month.

Compared to their back-to-back losses to Nanan (67-70) and Indonesia (66-84), the Filipinos played a lot better this time.

Despite being slowed down by stomach ailments on ex-pro Braulio Lim and Fil-Australian Michael Andre Burtscher, the Filipinos shot better with 55 percent (30 of 54) compared to the Singaporeans' 36 percent (17 of 46). (Ed Andaya/Journal)

The Filipinos also had more assists, 15-6, more steals, 14-9 and lesser turnovers, 13-23.

Singapore, which dropped its fourth straight game, drew 26 points and 16 rebounds from Bo Man, the 6-6 member of the Singapore Sizzlers playing in the Australian pro league.

The Filipinos closed their stint in the quadrennial event when they meet 2003 runner-up Hong Kong in Nanan City on Tuesday.

A win over Hong Kong, which suffered its first defeat against Indonesia (72-63) on Monday, coupled by a Nanan loss to Indonesia in the final game Tuesday will create e a three-way tie for second place among 5th Avenue, Nanan and Hong Kong.

And although they failed to defend the title won by the Laguna Lakers in 1999 and Federal Express in 2003, the Filipinos are determined to show their true worth against the Hong Kongites.

"We'll give it our best shot," said Mendiola.

Also Monday, the Filipinos gathered for a late-night party at the four-star Minjing Hotel to welcome the New Year with a small celebration with Chinese friends.

Also present during the celebration were team coordinator Toto Lryatos and Baguio-based refere John Ustig.

The team will return home via Xiamen on Wednesday night.

The scores:

5th Avenue (97) -- Zagala 26, Litonjua 19, David 14, Palaganas 10, Mendoza 7, Dizon 7, Lim 6, Burtscher 6.

Singapore (74) -- Bo 26, Lu 13, Chien 10, Huo 10, Li QL 7, Li WT 4, Liang WM 4, Yao 0.

Quarterscores: 28-16; 54-32; 76-54; 97-74.


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TAIWAN

Chen wins third BOW award in December -by Chris Wang
Yulon forward Chen Hsin An (196-G/F-80) was named Week 4 Baller of the Week Monday, his third BOW award in the month of December, after averaging 22.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2 assists for the week.

Dmedia import Jon Sanders was the only BOW winner other than Chen, who averages 19.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.1 blocks for the season and was the primary reason for Yulon's 10-game winning streak.

Chen had 40 points in the media voting. Taiwan Beer forward/center Wu Dai-hao, the closest vote-getter, received 15 points.

2007-08 Baller of the Week:
Week 4: Chen Hsin An (Yulon)
Week 3: Jonathan Sanders (dmedia)
Week 2: Chen Hsin An (Yulon)
Week 1: Chen Hsin An (Yulon)


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TANZANIA

Four Teams Reach RBA Semis -by Carlos Pereira
by Suleiman Jongo

JKT team yesterday outsmarted the University of Dar es Salaam Outsiders by 96-67 points to win a semi final berth against ABC in the ongoing Dar es Salaam Regional Basketball (RBA) Kili championship at the National Indoor Stadium.
Other two teams that qualified for the semi final stages were holders Savio and Vijana expected to clash on Saturday according to the championship's coordinator Zablon Manase.
While Savio breezed past Chang'ombe Boys by 71-64 points, Vijana triumphed over Prisons on a 74-40 points margin.
During yesterday's first quarter final tie, towering JKT's Charles Makene posted 26 points and took nine rebounds with superb double turnovers to emerge top scorer of the tense quarterfinal clash.
JKT dominated the match for most of the entire first half, taking a 56-31 points lead as the third quarter resumed.
JKT players were at their best with dazzling moves holding their opponents to disarray.Dar Outsiders' Frank Kusiga had 14 points to his credit, polished by two assists and seven steals while committing four fouls.
The losers stepped up their game in the final quarter with an impressive show but time was unfriendly to them, snatching an 18-17 points margin win.
Despite losing the match, Dar Outsiders' player John Tungaraza was a constant menace to JKT defenders, netting 20 points polished by three defensive rebounds.
In the other quart final between holders Savio and Chang'ombe Boys, the winner took the opening quarter with 19-12 lead and increased the tally to 35-24 by the half time mark.
During the Vijana-Prisons quarter final tie, Vijana dictated terms right from the beginning, to post 34-14 points margin up to half time.
Vijana were too strong for Prisons as they also dominated the third and final quarters, with Mohamed Ally scoring 23 points and John Mcharo had eight to his credit.The only player from Prisons who at least sparked was Alex George who managed nine points, sending a few ripples on the winners' defence.
The last quarter final pairing brought together Army Basketball Club (ABC) trounced Chui by 62-51 points to sail into Saturday's semis.
Zablon said the semifinal and final matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday (respectively) at the National Indoor Stadium.
The league is organized by Basketball Dar es Salaam under sponsorship of Tanzania Breweries under the Kilimanjaro beer banner.


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TURKEY

Ibo Back To Greece -by Serdar Ortakuyu
Turkish international Ibrahim Kutluay (198-F/G-74) left his team Fenerbahce Ulker to delay his mandatory army service but to keep playing basketball. After negotiating with various teams such as his former club AEK and Panionios he ended up with signing the contract offered by PAOK who are having an unstable season so far in Greek league. The current law in Turkey is only able to delay the army service for professional athletes till 33. After spending some time in Greece Ibo will be eligible to come back and serve for the Turkish army for only 28 days since the current law provides an exception to Turkish citizens who work abroad for over 3 years. On the other hand Fenerbahce Ulker is expected to fill his spot with Serhat Cetin (197-G-86) who started the season at Fenerbahce Ulker but moved to their affiliate Alpella by the coaching staff's decision.

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U.S.VIRGIN ISL.

Drexel Ends 2007 With a 69-51 Loss to Saint Joseph's -by David Edole
Saint Joseph's shot 64 percent in the second half and defeated Drexel, 69-51, at the Palestra. The Dragons, who entered the game shooting 35 percent from long range, made just two of 20 from behind the arc as they fell to 7-6. The Hawks won their third straight game and improved to 7-4.

Drexel cut the Hawks' lead to four early in the second half when Tramayne Hawthorne hit his only three-pointer of the night to make it 30-26. Saint Joseph's answered with an 8-0 run as Pat Calathes and Tasheed Carr each had four points during the stretch. The Dragons couldn't get any closer than six points the rest of the way. While the Hawks torched the nets in the second half, Drexel struggled from the floor making just seven shots in the second half.

Drexel trailed by just five with 55 seconds to play in the half before Calathes was fouled. He sank one of two and Rob Ferguson picked up the offensive board and scored to make it an eight-point lead at the break. Both teams committed 10 turnovers in the first half.

Randy Oveneke led the Dragons with a career-high 18 points. Frank Elegar (206-C-86) added 17 points and eight rebounds. The senior was 6-for-6 from the floor.

Calathes led the Hawks with 20 points and 10 rebounds. He was 7-for-9 from the floor and also had five assists and three blocks. Ahmad Nivins added 13 points, while Carr and Ferguson chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.




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Women News

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CAMEROON - Women

National Season -by Gilles Bouwe
The new basket ball season have started in the country by two provinces the center with the super cup won by Friendship for the youth Phi Slama Jama for the girls and Condors for the Mens. In the littoral province the opening tournament of the season was played and won by Ecole de Basket for the youth ,Mac Force for the womens and Free Basket for the mens.

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NCAA - Women

Central Arkansas axes Checola Seals-Horton -by Eurobasket News
The Central Arkansas Sugar Bears decided to part ways with head coach Checola Seals-Horton . The news came after the Sugar Bears fell to 2-11 record in Division I action. Checola Seals-Horton stepped up as the head coach in 2004 after a long-time coaching expert Ron Marvel retired. Central Arkansas was 61-43 under Seals-Horton but a shaky tip off for 2008 campaign forced the issue with the head coach. Ron Marvel now returns to the captain's bridge as interim coach.
Meanwhile the North Carolina Tar Heels grabbed their 13th win in the season but were left with some sour aftertaste. All-American Erlana Larkins (6'1''-F-86) broke her left hand in an 88:67 victory over the Liberty Lady Flames. The Tar Heels received needed boost from LaToya Pringle (6'3''-F/C) as she nailed career-high 25 points and 10 boards to maintain the winning result for North Carolina. Larkins posted 15 points before leaving the court and LaToya Pringle picked up from there on nailing 12 points after Larkins' injury. Rashanda McCants (6'1''-G/F) netted 12 points for North Carolina as they climbed to 13-1 record. Megan Frazee (6'3''-G/F-87) tallied 18 points and 15 boards for the Lady Flames. Liberty committed fatal 35 turnovers to suffer a defeat and fall to 11-2 record.
Connecticut remained undefeated as they thumped Army 82:33 for the 11th consecutive in the season. Mel Thomas (5'9''-G-85) buried 5/8 treys on the way to game-high 19 points in only 26 minutes on the court. The Huskies began the game with a 17:3 rally and never looked back later on. The Black Knights fell to 6-6 record and were led by Cara Enright (5'10''-G-86) with 7 points. The Black Knights struggled to overcome the Huskies' stifling defense. They committed 24 turnovers and shot only 28% from the field. The Huskies also dominated the boards 40:28.


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TURKEY - Women

U18 NT Finished 5th in Balkan Games -by Cem Guvener
Turkish U18 National Team participated in the Balkan Games. In the group stages Turkey only beat Romania's B team 66-43 and lost to Greece and Serbia 52-50 and 84-45 respectively.

After the group stages Turkey played against Bulgaria, who finished Group A in 3rd position, and won the game 73-70 to finish the tournament in 5th position.