EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 12/20/2008Copyright © 1997-2008 Eurobasket
The Washington Raptors, the same ABA team that was't able to reach Anchorage to play the Alaska Dream some days ago, experienced the same disappoint yesterday. In fact, just after announcing a history-making four game series with the Sacramento Heatwave on Friday, Dec 19; Saturday, Dec 20; Sunday, Dec 21 and Tuesday, Dec 23, the Raptors officials discovered that the Sacramento team would not be available for the Friday and Saturday 2 game home series. In consequence, the team had to find a replacement, and the Fresno Rebels stepped ahead. This team was scheduled to start in 2009, and all the game played in this season should have been 'exhibitions', but everything came together quickly and they asked to be included in this season's ABA schedule. 'They have a very strong team with well known players,' added Regina Joseph , Raptors President. 'The fans and sponsors of the Raptors have been anticipating back-to-back games but were thrilled with the news of this history-making series. The games will be played at Pierce College in Lakewood (a suburb of Tacoma). It is located at 9401 Farwest Drive SW in Lakewood, WA 98498. Tip-off time for all games is 7:15pm; the gym will open to the public at 6pm. For more information, visit www.washingtonraptors.com
The West Virginia Wild strengthened its backcourt by signing Ivan Cubela (6'7''-F-84), a swingman from Croatia. Cubela, who played in various European teams, is a genuine professional. The Wild Director of Scouting/Player Personnel Thaddeus Breckenridge said, 'I think Ivan has a chance to play in the NBA someday or at least get a serious look. He reminds me of Tony Kukoc from his Chicago Bull days. Ivan can fill it up from the outside and take you off the dribble and finish at the rim.' Cubela will join the team in January after the paperwork has been accepted to come to the US. He hopes to join a list of international NBA player who have come to the US and had great careers. For more information, visit www.westvirginiawild.com
Good news and bad news for Optima Gent, Graham Brown (205-C-84, college: Michigan) succesfully underwent knee surgery last week but will be out for quite some time. He already missed this past weekend's game at Aalst and is not scheduled to return back to Belgium before Jan 15.
On a brighter note for the Gent team they were able to reach an agreement with national team guard Roel Moors (188-G-78) for the remainder of the season.
Former Oostende forward Eric Hicks (198-F-83, college: Cincinnati) is expected to arrive in Oostende tomorrow for some medical tests. The tests are necessary before Oostende makes a decision on signing him for the rest of the season. Hicks started the season at Samara before he injured his knee.
Mons forward Julian Sensley (206-F-82, college: Hawaii) is back in the US dealing with a family situation and will not be on the roster for the last game of 2008.
Antwerp shooting guard Thomas Lamot (190-G-87) is still suffering from back problems and will not be on the roster for their game vs Mons.
He is expected to be back for the game on Jan 3rd vs Verviers.
For those who can not get enough of basketball games during the christmas break, it is time to head for Amsterdam as of Dec 21st.
The world renowned Haarlem Basketball Week has changed names to AmsterdamHaarlem Basketball Week and is taking place in Amsterdam between Dec 21st and Dec 30th.
What makes the AHBW always intersting is the variety of teams that participate. Teams rarely seen in Europe such as Capitanes de Arecibo, the reigning Puerto Rican champion and Minas Tenis Clube from Brazil, last years tournament winners. Also back from last year are the Astana Tigers from Khazachstan. Add to that the Israeli Olympic team, the Dutch NT, NCAA D2 team Francis Marion, Amsterdam and Den Bosch and you got something to look forward to during this time of the year.
There are on average 2 games a day starting on the 21st at 15.30 and finishing with the final game on the 30th at 20.00.
Also back are the Luvabulls the Chicago Bulls cheerleader accompanied by Benny the Bull, the Bulls mascotte.
Check out the schedule and much more on
Nikos Kritsalos (192-G-77) is officially player of AO Sporting Athens as after nearly three months the case was solved legally and the court decided that Kritsalos is a player of the Patisia team.
Sokrates Gizogiannis (202-F/C-82) is very close to sign with AEP Olimpias Patron. There are only some final discussions in regards to the length of the contract.
Evangelos Sakellariou (196-F/G-89) agreed financial terms with Pagrati. The talented player who started the seazon in Air Avellino decided to come back to Greece as his time in the court was not sufficient.
Giannis Sioutis (184-G-73), the experience point guard agreed terms with I.C.B.S. untill the end of the seazon
Costas Pashalis (208-C-75) is in discussions with A.G.O Rethymno Aegean. The experience center is without a team since June 2008.
The Greek German guard Konstantinos Stavropoulos (197-F-75, college: Ill.-Chicago) agreed terms (three weeks ago) with the team of Keravnos Aigio Helesi. Since he arrived in the team of Head Coach Nikos Pavlou , Keravnos is counting three consecutive victories.
Stavros Mikoniatis is officially in the technical team of A.G.O Rethymno Aegean (Technical Advisor) and will be helping the Head Coach Fotis Takianos
Sotiris Nikolaidis (186-G-74) the experienced point guard agreed terms with Ilysiakos Athens
Michalis Tanakidis (192-G-85) and Apollon Patras split ways. The young player decided to proceed with his military duties.
Thursday night in FEB action, Aris Friesland owns Eiffel Towers once again at home, while defending FEB champion Eclipse Jet/MyGuide and Hanzevast Capitals ran up the scoring numbers on their opponents, and Matrixx Magixx won in a low scoring battle vs. ZZ Leiden.
In Leeuwarden, Aris Friesland were the majority of the game playing catchup vs. Eiffel Towers, but in the end came out on top, winning in a 92-91 thriller. While both teams gave each other little defensive resistance (Aris 65.9% FG, Eiffel 69.7%, 12 of 25 three-pointers), however Aris did a good job of forcing Eiffel to turn the ball over 25 times. The 'Killer B's' Tristan Blackwood (183-G-85) and Matt Bauscher (188-G-85, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) were on their A-game, with Blackwood scoring 19 pts. and Bauscher adding 18 pts. and 9 assists. Both Jayme Miller (205-F-85, agency: Passing Lane) and Rein Van der Kamp (202-F-79, agency: R.H.Consultancy) contributed to the cause, adding 16 pts. each. Jerome Beasley (209-F-80, college: N.Dakota) led all scorers with 25 pts. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Aris and improved their record to 6-11.
In the Sporthallen-Zuid, defending FEB champs Eclipse Jet/MyGuide took no prisoners vs. Landstede Basketball, giving their opponents no breathing room from the outset, winning in a 109-59 blowout. Eclipse Jet/MG led 29-15 at the end of the 1st quarter and it snowballed from there, leading 54-26 at the half. Eclipse Jet/MG shot a sizzling 79.5% FG total, with a whopping 56-12 bench scoring advantage and 42-25 rebounding advantage. CC Harrison (194-G-76, agency: Court Side, college: N.Carolina St.) led six Eclipse Jet/MG players in double figures with 19 pts. Robby Bostain (191-G/F-84, agency: Sports Plus International, college: Furman) led Landstede with 14 pts. Eclipse Jet/MG get back on the winning track with a 12-2 record.
In the Martiniplaza in the Hanzevast Capitals-BlueStream Seals matchup, scoring was also not a problem, but in the 4th, Hanzevast stepped up when needed, winning in an 112-100 track meet. The three-point line was friendly for both teams (Hanzevast 14 of 28, BlueStream Seals 13 for 21!), but Hanzevast was more aggressive in getting to the free throw line (24-13 difference). Will Whittington (191-G/F-84, agency: 540 Sports, college: Marist) was hot for Hanzevast, pouring in a game-high 29 pts., including 6 three-pointers, to lead five Hanzevast players in double figures. Darnell Dialls (203-F/C-86, agency: Court Side) led five BlueStream Seals players in double figures with 23 pts. Hanzevast improves to 11-6, moving in a tie with Matrixx Magixx for 2nd place in the FEB standings.
IIn the Horstacker, Matrixx Magixx and ZZ Leiden were the total opposite of the scoring end from their counterparts, with a low scoring affair. But an ugly win is better than a pretty loss, with Matrixx keeping pace with a 55-49 win. The score was 9-8 at the end of the 1st quarter. Matrixx forced ZZ to cough up the ball 25 times and had 26 steals. Darnell Wilson (198-F-85, agency: Court Side, college: Canisius) led Matrixx with 17 pts., 8 rebounds and 5 steals. Matrixx improves to 11-6 and a tie with Hanzevast Capitals for 2nd place in the FEB standings.
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