EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 2/15/2008

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Men News

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ARGENTINA

Last news of liga A -by Facundo Iatzky
Quilmes mar del plata released Kwan Johnson who just played two games. The managers had announced that hte replacement would be LeRoy Hickerson but the player coul not travel to Argntina due to personal problems so they decided sign Carl Edwards (196-F-81, college: Charleston) who comes to Hungary.
Asociacion Quimsa signed Gabriel Mikulas (201-F-80, agency: Interperformances, college: E.Carolina) who will replace Fernando Small (moved to Asociacion Italiana Charata). Mikulas was the MVP of the last season and was playing in Belgium.


Ginobili is on fire -by Facundo Iatzky
Emanuel Ginobili (198-G-77, agency: Interperformances) is maybe in the best moment of his carreer. The last night 'Manu' scored a season-high 46 points !! and San Antonio Spurs beat Cleveland cavaliers in a rematch of the last finals. Manu scored 18 points in the last quarter. Gino also made 8 three points (carreer-high). Fantastic. The Spurs are fighting to get the back to back campionship. The other argentinian Fabricio Oberto is playing in a huge level too.

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BAHRAIN

Ahli's Ahmed Malallah Named Player of the Week -by Walter Neto
It is a great pleasure to watch the performance of the rejuvenated Ahmed Malallah who has been named the 'Bahraini Player of the Week' in the Bahrain Basketball League. Malallah played a key role in his team's 78-69 victory over Muharraq on Monday, where he put in an all-around effort to finish with seven points, seven rebounds, two assists, three blocks and one steal.
The burly forward beat Muharraq wing man Mohammed Hassan and Hala shooter Ahmed Mirza for the top individual honour. All three were named in the 'Team of the Week', along with up-and-coming youngsters Mohammed Hussain and Omran Abdulredha, both of Manama. Al Hala centre Boniface Edeghe meanwhile was named the 'Best Professional of the Week'. Malallah has demonstrated the leadership, the team spirit and the skills that qualify him as one of the best players in the history of Bahrain Basketball. Malallah's performance this season is one of the reasons for Ahli's success thus far. 'Keep up the good work and the positive role model that you are!


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BRAZIL

Paulista League Finals: Franca starts at the top -by Gustavo Cardoso
The Paulista League Finals started this evening in Franca's Pedrocao. The home team saw a packed arena with almost 4,500 fans chanting their players on. On court, Coach Helio Rubens' boys were able to give their fans what they wanted and ended up winning the game against Ulbra/Sao Bernardo by the score of 85 to 66.

Despite the gap in the scoreboard, Ulbra played a tough match against the home team. The first quarter was very competitive until the end, but in the second Franca was able to take off on a 9 point lead. The score at the half was Franca 36, Ulbra 27.

In the third things got worse for Ulbra as Franca continued to hit its outside shot and felt little pressure on defense from the visitors. The lead got up to 17 points and it seemed the night was over. However, Ulbra still had some fuel to burn, and Coach Neto's players worked hard on a come back that got them back into the game.

When the gap in the scoreboard got back to single digits, Helinho shot a bomb from beyond the arc, and that indeed hurt Ulbra. Franca kept the rhythm and Ulbra, despite more focused at this point, couldn't get things together. A few mistakes at the end by the guests enabled Franca to win the first game of the series by almost 20 points.

William Drudi (204-C-81) was the man of the game for Franca with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Danilo had 15 for Ulbra.

Both teams will meet once again on Saturday. The game will be aired by ESPN Brasil.


Ciser/ Univille/ Joinville defeated Cetaf/ Garoto/ UVV in Nacional Masculino.- -by Ed Goodman
Joinville won over Cetaf Garoto 78-70 in the only game today in Nacional Masculino Gustavo and Andre both with 17 Pts. were the best by the winners and Marcio 19 Pts by CETAF. Joinville stand up in the 2nd place of the table with 6-3 record.

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BRIT.V.ISLANDS

Penn collected 8 blocks -by David Edole

Kleon Penn (211-C-86) pulled 13 rebounds and blocked eight shots as the Cowboys snapped a four game losing streak by beating Texas State 81-77 in Southland Conference action here Wednesday night. McNeese State lifted their league record to 3-6 and their overall mark to 9-12.
The Cowboys held a 39-34 halftime lead and then fought down a late Texas State challenge.
After leading by five points at the end of the first half, McNeese went out by nine points midway the second half but couldn't get its lead into double figures. With only 1:45 left in the game, Texas State cut the lead to 74-72 on a layup by Brandon Bush.
The Cowboys then scored the next six points, all on free throws, for an 80-72 edge and put the game away.

For one of the few times this season, McNeese was outrebounded, the Bobcats holding a 48-42 edge.
The Cowboys did have the upper hand in the shooting percentages. McNeese made 44.1 percent of its field goal attempts (26 of 59) and 31 percent of its three point shots (5 of 16) and also made 63 percent of its free throws (24 of 38).
Both teams scored 26 field goals but the Cowboys had the big edge at the free throw line, making 24 while Texas State hit on 14 of 21.

This game is the only regular season contest between the two schools as McNeese plays in the eastern division of the conference and Texas State is in the western division.



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CBA

Paul Woolpert wins the Coach of the Month award -by Eurobasket News
The Yakama Sun Kings' head coach Paul Woolpert was named the Coach of the Month for January. Yakama maintained their leading position in the league going 12-0 in the month. Paul Woolpert reached the milestone of 200th victory on January 30 when Yakama surpassed Rio Grande Valley. February meanwhile brought the second overall loss to the Sun Kings. On February 9 they were narrowly nipped by the Oklahoma Cavalry 92:91 away from home. The hosts overcame a slow first frame to build a 16-point advantage heading into the fourth period. Yakama managed to trim the deficit to a minimum but Oklahoma withstood at the end and registered the 16th win in the season. Marvin Phillips (6'7''-F-83, college: Claflin), Curtis Haywood (6'6''-G-75, college: Oklahoma City) and Tony Key (6'10''-C-82, college: Los Angeles CC) all scored 17 points to pace the Cavalry. Tim Ellis (6'4''-G-81, college: Kansas St.) answered with 20 points and 7 boards for Yakama. The Sun Kings however rebounded pretty quickly and returned home to stun the Atlanta Krunk 134:92 for the 30th win in the season. Atlanta enjoyed a 28:22 lead after the opening frame but Yakama easily denied the deficit and cruised to an overall win at the end. Desmond Ferguson (6'7''-G/F-77, agency: Interperformances, college: Detroit Mercy) topscored with 34 points for Yakama. Jason Sasser (6'7''-F-74, college: Texas Tech) added 22 points in a win. Larry Williams (6'8''-F-83, college: Kentucky St.) had 27 points and 14 boards for Atlanta.
Daryan Selvy (6'6''-F/G-79, college: Oklahoma) received the Player of the Week award in the National Conference. He averaged 18 points and 6.5 boards per game in the week. The American Conference Player of the Week award was handed to Ray Cunningham (6'7''-F-79, agency: Warren Sports, college: Murray St.) of the Minot Skyrockets. His weekly stats came up to 25.6 points, 8 boards and 2.7 steals per game.


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CHILE

Players Movement -by Daniel Valencia
Boston College

Boston played the semifinals of the 07/08 season and now they are building a team to fight for the title. The signed the poit guard Erik Carrasco (181-G-83), the forward Patricio Arroyo (197-F/G-73) and the center Jorge Valencia (206-C-77).

CD Puente Alto

Puente Alto hired the argentinian Marcos Beltramella as their head coach for the 08/09 season.

CD Universidad de Concepcion

The finalist of the 07/08 season signed the point guard Marcelo Hernandez (188-G-79) and the center Osven Ledesma (201-C-90).

Provincial Osorno

After missing the playoffs for the first time in the history of the club, the leaders hired a new head coach and some players. The argentinian Gustavo Noria is the new coach for Provincial Osorno. They also hired the point guard Eduardo Sepulveda (186-G-86), the forward Sebastian Suarez (189-F-91) and the forward Rodrigo Zuniga (198-F-76).


Market news -by Eurobasket
Market begins its movement in the Chilean basketball and some teams took advantage this season beginning with some very loudly news.
Boston College signed guard Erik Carrasco (181-G-83) and forward Patricio Arroyo (197-F/G-73). Two players that will improve the options of Maipu team and clearly leaves them this year as candidates for Dimayor title.
CDUdeConce announced the sign of guard Marcelo Hernandez (188-G-79) and of the young player Osven Ledezma (202-C-90), both coming from Osorno.
Osorno Toros signed last week guard Eduardo Sepulveda (186-G-86) who played last year in Ancud. Sepulveda must be the natural replacement of Marcelo Hernandez. Osorno roster should be leaded by experienced players who would continue in the team: Cristian Perez (194-F/G-74), Emilio Paris (196-F/C-74) and Pablo Coro (190-G-90).


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DENMARK

Svendborg handles SISU for the 16th win -by Eurobasket News
Svendborg consolidated their position at the second spot in the Basketligaen ladder. In round 19 they managed to tame SISU 87:68 at home court and improved to 16-4 record. The hosts had a firm hold of the initiative right from the start and enjoyed a 25:20 lead after the opening frame. The gap grew to 48:30 at the interval. Svendborg got a wake up call from the visitors in the third stanza as SISU outscored them 21:18 to trim the deficit a bit. But it was as close as the visiting side could get yesterday. Svendborg looked solid in the final quarter and sealed an important home win. Jarrett Howell (188-G-84, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: Texas Arlington) tallied 22 points and 5 steals for Svendborg. Ivan Hoger (225-C-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza) delivered 20 points and 9 boards for the winners. Christoffer Stangerup (192-G/F-83) posted 14 points for SISU. Tyler Best (206-F/C-83, agency: Warren Sports, college: IUPU-Ft.Wayne) and Trent Wurtz (203-F-83, college: Indiana St.) secured 13 points apiece as the visitors fell to 6-15 record at the bottom of the table.
Randers registered a win and a loss during recently. They opened the round with a 74:67 home victory over the Horsholm 79ers. Bonell Colas (206-F-82, agency: ProSportsCareers, college: Florida) produced 17 points and 16 boards for the winners. Helgi Margeirsson (191-G-82, agency: IceBasket, college: Birmingham Souther) added 12 points in a winning case. The 79ers answered with 19 points and 11 boards from Duane James (198-F-83, college: Binghamton).
Randers then were hosted by Horsens and suffered a 77:78 loss that dropped them to 9-13 record. Randers got to a flying start as they held on to a 26:15 advantage after 10 minutes of action. But the home team responded with a 26:15 second frame to square things up at the break. The teams remained drawn after three quarters but Horsens finally proved the difference late in the game and claimed the 10th win in the season. Spencer Ross (181-G-81, college: Queens (NC)) banked 22 points for the home team. Chris Nielsen (192-G-84) accounted for game-high 25 points in defeat.


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EBA

High-Scoring Outing's This Past Weekend in the EBA -by Justin Moore
The Alexandria Avengers blasted the North Jersey Lakers this past weekend 152-115 in front of 800 fan's in Alexandria.The Avengers again showed there balance with 10 players in double figures led by Hard working forward Brian Carter (6'6''-F-81, college: Catawba)(6'6-F,College:Catawba)25pts,12rebs,4ast, Point Guard Justin Moore (5'9''-G-80, college: St.Augustine)(5'9-G,College:St.Augustine,Agency:Jahsports)21pts,5ast,3stls with 5 three-pointers also Carlos Jones (6'2''-G-81, college: Mountain St.)(6'2-G,College:Mt.State)17pts,4rebs,3ast, Terrance Nixon (6'6''-F-79, college: George Mason)(6'6-F,College:George Mason)14pts,10rebs, Brian Polk (6'4''-F-81, college: Temple) (6'4''-F-81, college: Temple)(6'4-F,College:Temple)13pts,7rebs, Eric Herring (6'5''-F-79, college: George Mason)(6'5-SF,College:George Mason)12pts,6rebs, Steven Miles (6'2''-G-81, college: American)(6'2-G,College:American)12pts,6ast, Daryl Owens (6'2''-G, college: Nova CC)(6'2-G,College:NovaCC)11pts,8rebs,5stls, Tyree Harris (6'1''-G-79, college: Pfeiffer)(6'1-G,College:Pheffier)10pts,6rebs, Ryan Beale(6'5-SF,College:Georgetown)10pts,7rebs and Corin Turner (5'10''-G-81, college: Virginia Union)(5'10-G,College:Va Union)contributed 7ast.North Jersey was led by Corey Rich's 35pts and Brandon Zaleski (6'5''-G/F-83, college: Moravian)(6'5-F,College:Moravian)25pts,12rebs.

In Other EBA games The Camden Pride defeated The Delaware Destroyers 135-134 with Destroyers High scoring Sherman Brittingham (6'5''-F-82, college: California (PA))(6'5-F,college:California,Pa)Pumping in 46pts and Ronald Fields (6'3''-G)(6'3-G,College:Neumann)contributing 25pts in a losing effort.Also Defending EBA Champs Harrisburg Horizan blew past the New Jersey Bullets 131-108


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EUROLEAGUE

CSKA miraculously wins Top 16 opener -by Eurobasket News
CSKA - Lottomatica 72:71

The Euroelague season continued with Top 16 stage game in Moscow yesterday. CSKA hosted ambitious Lottomatica Roma and the teams came up with one of the most unbelievable performances in the season. CSKA entered the game with 24 straight Euroleague home wins in store but Lottomatica were close to snap that outstanding streak. CSKA got to a usual aggressive start and grabbed a 10:5 lead early on. But Roko Leni Ukic (195-G-84) soon nailed 5 points for the visitors as they tied things up at 12. Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) capped the frame with a trey to give the hosts a 15:14 lead. Lottomatica newcomer Ibrahim Jaaber (188-G-84, college: Pennsylvania) stepped up with 5 consecutive points for Italian team to set them ahead at 19:15 at the start of the second period. Roko Leni Ukic kept delivering points for Lottomatica and CSKA turned the ball over for too many times to be able to cut the gap. The guests made themselves at home with a couple of impressive plays as the margin grew to 30:22 late in the quarter. Trajan Langdon (192-G-76, college: Duke) and Marcus Goree (201-F-77, college: W.Virginia) provided some important buckets for the home side as they trimmed the difference to 29:32 at halftime. Both teams struggled offensively at early stages of the third stanza but Roma kept their noses in front. Alessandro Tonolli (202-F-74) hit one from downtown to enlarge the buffer to 44:38 but Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82), who made his first appearance for CSKA scored 4 points and Moscow team got as close as 2 points from Lottomatica. Nevertheless Roko Leni Ukic and Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) quickly denied the effort by 5 points in a row. Finally the scoreline was all set at 51:44 for Italian outfit heading into the final frame. The pressure mounted on the hosts as Lottomatica remained up despite all the efforts from CSKA. David Hawkins (193-G-82, agency: CAA Sports, college: Temple) fueled an 8:1 run for the visiting side as they accumulated a 66:55 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Ettore Messina used all of his timeouts and had to watch his team working fruitlessly to overcome the deficit. But when it seemed there were no way out for CSKA in this one Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) and Theodoros Papaloukas drilled back-to-back trebles for the hosts to drag them within 3 points with a minute remaining in regulation. Erazem Lorbek and Trajan Langdon traded two-point plays and then Roko Leni Ukic hit one free throw to make it 66:70. Theodoros Papaloukas converted an easy layup to trim the deficit to 2 points with 12 seconds on the clock. Rodrigo De La Fuente (200-F-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Washington) committed a turnover and Theodoros Papaloukas got to charity stripe sinking one of two free throws with 5 seconds left in the game. Ibrahim Jaaber got immediately fouled on and went for the line to drain just one of two free throws enlarging the lead to 2 points for Lottomatica. CSKA grabbed the rebound and sent Holden for the final shot, but he dished the ball to Trajan Langdon who notched an unbelievable buzzer-beating three-pointer to win the game for CSKA. Trajan Langdon finished with game-high 22 points for CSKA. Theodoros Papaloukas contributed 16 points and 5 assists for the hosts. Erazem Lorbek and Roko Leni Ukic answered with 13 points apiece for Lottomatica. Ibrahim Jaaber and David Hawkins had 12 points apiece in a disappointing loss.

CSKA: Trajan Langdon 22, Theodoros Papaloukas 16, Ramunas Siskauskas 10
Lottomatica: Erazem Lorbek 13, Roko Leni Ukic 13, Ibrahim Jaaber 12, David Hawkins 12


Tau returns from Lithuania with flying colours -by Eurobasket News
Lietuvos Rytas - Tau Ceramica 81:84

Tau got to an impressive start of their Euroleague Top 16 campaign as they stunned the top-seeded Lietuvos Rytas away from home in opener. Lietuvos Rytas meanwhile suffered a major setback to their Euroleague ambitions falling to 0-1 record in Group E. It was also a big disappointment for almost 11,000 spectators that flooded the Siemens Arena in Kaunas. The teams traded the baskets early in the game with neither side able to clear off substantially. The score was tied at 18 after 10 minutes of action but Splitter and Pete Mickeal (198-F-78, college: Cincinnati) ignited a 10:0 run for the visitors at the start of the second period and they grabbed 28:18 advantage. Tau used a bunch of points from Gabe Muoneke (200-F-78, college: Texas) to stay in front. Pablo Prigioni (186-G-77) intercepted the ball and dished it out to Splitter as Brazilian centre crowned the first half with at 44:33 for Tau.
Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) and Marijonas Petravicius (207-F/C-79, college: S.Carolina) tipped off the second half with a couple of needed buckets and the hosts trimmed the deficit to just a single point 46:47. Mirza Teletovic (205-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) scored 5 straight points for the visiting side as they restored a 6-point gap shortly after. Hollis Price (186-G-79, college: Oklahoma) nailed 4 points for the home team but his effort was well-matched by a three-pointer from Mirza Teletovic that silenced the crowd with Lietuvos Rytas trailing by 7 heading into the final period. Pablo Prigioni completed a three-point play and Sergi Vidal (198-F/G-81) connected from beyond the arc to spur Tau to a 72:64 advantage in the fourth term. Tau withstood all the effort from the hosts to come closer and remained leading by 9 points with just over 3 minutes left 80:71. Kenan Bajramovic and Hollis Price teamed up for 5 points to close the margin to 4 points. Tau used an offensive rebound and a layup from Mickael to stay ahead at 83:78. Tau converted a free throw but Kenan Bajramovic hit a massive trey to reload the hope for the home side. The chances stood out for Lietuvos Rytas all of a sudden as Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78) was fouled and missed both of his free throw attempts. But Hollis Price missed a desperate try to save the day for the Lithuanian team and Tau celebrated the initial win at the Top 16 stage.
Tiago Splitter (211-C/F-85, agency: Interperformances) knocked down 17 points to pace the visitors. Mirza Teletovic and Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) provided 11 points apiece for the winners. Hollis Price responded with game-high 23 points. Marijonas Petravicius scored 18 points and collected 10 boards in a losing effort. Lietuvos Rytas outrebounded their opponents 38:23 but committed 17 turnovers and shot 46% from the field. Tau answered with 53% accuracy from the field.

Lietuvos Rytas: Hollis Price 23, Marijonas Petravicius 18+10 boards
Tau: Tiago Splitter 17, Mirza Teletovic 11, Zoran Planinic 11


AXA Barcelona parted ways with Dusko Ivanovic -by Dragan Jankovski
After defeat against Bilbao in the quarterfinal of Spanish Cup, management of AXA Barcelona decided to release head coach Dusko Ivanovic. The main fact for his releasing was that team is not making good results and if this trend continues there is no chance for Barca to reach any of its targets this season.

Ivanovic stated he couldn't make any better results with the current Bacelona's roster and that he gave his maximum. It is still not known who will replace Ivanovic on the bench of Spanish giant.


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FINLAND

KORISLIIGA: Honka crushed YMCA LPR -by Rauno Hurmalainen

Korisliiga, Round 32: YMCA LPR lost by 38 pts vs visitor Honka (Espoo) on Wednesday. This loss is probably the biggest YMCA has suffered at home
for years. Kataja (Joensuu) defeated Korihait (Uusikaupunki) by eight pts. 38-year-old Andre Foreman (198-F/G-69, college: Salisbury St.) is still going strong: 25 pts.
Baboucarr Bojang has finally a chance to play on Top level in Finland. Bojang has left Pohjanmaa, Kauhajoki and will be on KTP (Kotka) roster for the
rest of this season.

YMCA Lappeenranta - Honka 68-106 (30-63) Adrian Henning 24, Petri Virtanen 16. Juha Stwen DNP. - Jukka Matinen 22, Petteri Koponen 21).

Kataja - Korihait 78-70 (44-40) (Andre Foreman 25, Anssi Kinnaslampi 16 - Kyle Shiloh 19, Darius Glover 19. Glenn Stokes DNP).



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FRANCE

Week 18 Game of the Week! Strasbourg vs Nancy -by Sean Davis
Week 18 Game of the Week! Strasbourg vs Nancy

First place Nancy goes on the road to face a different Strasbourg team
they faced in Round 4. Nancy beat Strasbourg at home 69-63, but
Strasbourg is much better at home where they have won 5 of their last
6. While Nancy is in first place with a 15-3 record all three losses
have been road losses. Both teams will be rested and ready to go.
Look for a 40-minute battle and the game to be decided in the final
seconds. Eddie Shannon (180-G-76, college: Florida) leads the way for Strasbourg averaging 12.5ppg
and 4.5apg and last week's hero hitting the game winning shot on the
road to defeat Cholet. LNB January Player of the Month Ricardo Greer (195-F/G-78, college: Pittsburgh)
is the leader of Nancy. He is a proven veteran who is not only a
consistent scorer he also leads the team in rebounding. I predict
Strasbourg to upset Nancy with a 73-71 victory.


Round 18 Predictions -by Sean Davis

Strasbourg 73 - 71 Nancy

Dijon 76 - 66 Cholet

Chalon 85 - 71 Clermont

Orleans 85 - 91 Le Havre

Pau-Orthez 89 - 87 Le Mans

Hyeres-Toulon 70 - 82 Roanne

Gravelines 77 - 87 ASVEL

Paris 82 - 75 Vichy


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GERMANY

Bonn signs Eddie Basden -by Moritz Korff
Team captain Jason Conley (196-G-81, college: Missouri) suffered a knee-injury lately and that's why the club-officials of Telekom Baskets Bonn (1. Bundesliga) made the decision to bring in another new player. Eddie Basden (196-G/F-83, college: Charlotte) signed a contract with the T-team for the remainder of this season. The 25-year-old Guard/Forward played 19 NBA-games for the Chicago Bulls in the 2005-2006 season and averaged 2.2 points per outing. In the following year Basden shot hoops at the highest European level, attending the Euroleague with Fenerbahce Istanbul (9 games: 5.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.7 apg). From November 07 until January 08 Basden appeared in 6 league-games for French ProA-side Cholet Basket and averaged 9.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg.

Mensah Taylor: "Pro A league is a league that I definitely want to get back to" -by Moritz Korff
Making the Eurobasket.com All-Regionalliga South-West South First Team after the 2006-2007 Mensah Sadikki Taylor (198-F-80, college: Gardner-Webb) attracted the interest of higher league teams in Germany during the summer and ended up signing a contract with Mitteldeutscher BC of the 2. Bundesliga pro A. In November 07 Taylor returned to TuS Treis-Karden, where he started his career in Germany back in 2005. Eurobasket Germany talked with him about his time on the MBC-team and this current Regionalliga-season.

You left Mitteldeutscher BC of the 2. Bundesliga Pro A after 6 games played this season. What went wrong for you at MBC that you didn't stay?
Yes, I left MBC after 6 games this season. The reason for my departure was that the team needed help at the point guard position. I also got off to a slow start with MBC. In preason I suffered a orbital fracture of the eye. With this injury I missed 80% of all the preseason games. These games were very important to me being that I came from a lower league. Just before the start of the first regualr season match the team suffered a injury at the back up point guard position and I was asked to perform the duties as the back up point. After a few matches, it was clear to the coaching staff and the management that I was not a true point guard, so they wanted to make a move by bringing in a experienced point guard. I totally understand why the club had to make this decision. MBC is a club that has a goal urgently reaching the 1st Bundesliga and in reaching their goal they had to make a decision at the piont guard postion. Performing the point guard duties is not where I am most effective on the basketball court. I am mostly dangerous when I can catch the ball on the wing and slashing to the basket looking for the open big man or passing to the shooting guard for the open shot, unfortunately I did not get many minutes to play my normal positon for MBC, so I just tried to do my best in playing a position that really takes years of practice to be good at.

You returned to Tus Treis-Karden then. What is different there compared to your time at MBC?
The difference between my time at MBC compared to my time here in Treis-Karden is that in MBC I was surrounded by basketball all the time. The players on my team were totally professional and that everyday there was something to do with basketball whether it was practicing twice a day or watching studying our opponent. In Treis-Karden there is not much emphasis on watching film and sudying the opponent. This difference is mostly due to the professional level of each club.

Imagine a team of the Pro A wanted to sign you for next season: Would you give it another try?
I would definietly give the Pro A another shot. The Pro A league is a league that I definitely want to get back to so that show what I can do at my normal position. I feel like I can really help any team out at the 2,3 position. I am a player that wants to be a part of a team that has a realistic goal and to play hard every game until this goal is achieved and beyond. Currently I am focused on this season and helping Treis-Karden in reaching their team goals. When this season is finished I will be available to sign with any team.

You are averaging close to 27 points per contest for Treis-Karden: Is it your goal to finish the season as the topscorer of the league?
Yes, to become the top scorer in the league is 1 of the many goals that I have for myself. After leaving MBC I had to set a high goal for myself. I knew that this was going to be difficult due to the late start of games I had in the league. Now that I am on the right track with 27ppg average I just have to stay focused and and keep working hard on the court on off, so that the other goals that I have for myself can be achieved also.

Which player has been your toughest opponent in the Regionalliga so far this season?
There has not been 1 really tough player that I have faced this year. I think recently due to my scoring ability teams as a whole play really good defense against me. Lately teams have played more box and 1 and triangle and 2 defense against me in order to limit my scoring chance.

You and your team take on MTV Stuttgart on Sunday. Who is going to win and why?
The game on sunday will be a good game. Treis-Karden has the best defense in the league. I'm sure that on sunday we will play very hard defense. So I think that the game will be won on the defensive end and Treis-Karden will come out on top sunday.

Mensah Taylor can be contacted by e-mail: m2320t@yahoo.com


Johannes Herber signs contract extension to stay with ALBA Berlin -by Moritz Korff
ALBA Berlin (1. Bundesliga) and Johannes Herber (197-G-83, agency: Pro One Sports, college: W.Virginia) agreed today to a contract extension through the 2009-2010 season. The German International is currently undergoing a rehabilitation process after a torn ACL, suffered in October. Herber is only one of many players who have made multiyear deals with the club. Also Patrick Femerling, Julius Jenkins, Aleksandar Nadjfeji, Immanuel McElroy, Philip Zwiener and Nico Simon have contracts which still run more than one season.

Justin Griffin Interview -by Daniel Poerschke

Eurobasket Germany had the chance to sit down and talk with Justin Griffin (193-G/F-83, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: Hawaii-Hilo). He played for then-BBL club Nurnberg in 2006/07, where he averaged 7.2ppg and 2.6rpg. Justin just finished his season in Mexico with Union de Zacatecas (12.1ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.2apg) and is ready to continue this season with a new club.

Coming straight out of NCAA 2 school University of Hawaii-Hilo, how was the transition to Nurnberg and the BBL for you?
Going to Nurnberg was fantastic, I couldn't have asked for anything better. As for the BBL, the transition was not hard,but there were a lot of adjustments I had to make. I was playing against true professionals every night, so everyone on the court could play. Overall it was a season of ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I learned a lot from my coaching staff and teammates.

Describe your game a little bit. What are your strengths and weaknesses on the court?
I grew up just shooting the ball, but as I'm growing as a player I have really expanded my game. I love getting out in transition and using my speed for easy baskets. My strong area is the mid range game, and I am a good 1 on 1 defender. Also I am a student of the game, I tend to learn things fast or work on them till I get them so my work ethic is definitely a strength. My weak points or you can say things I need to improve on is the understanding of the game, but that just comes with experience. You just can't get by on athleticism. I would like to become more creative especially passing out of penetration.

How did your season go in Mexico for your team and for you personally?
Going to Mexico was a personal decision, being that I am half Mexican. I wanted to experience the way of life and also the style of play. As a team I feel like we could have accomplished more, especially with the amount of talent we had. We finished 9th in our division, just shy of the playoffs. Individually, I played well, but as a player you always think you could have done a lot more. I learned so much from a couple veterans on the team not only about basketball but life in general, Mexico taught me how to be a professional on and off the court.

What is the biggest difference between playing in Mexico and Germany?
I would have to say the sizes at the 4 and 5 spots. They were a little undersized compared to the BBL. Germany had a controlled style of play, more half court sets and a balance in scoring throughout the team. Mexico was full of athletic guards, who's main purpose was to score the basketball and really not use there teammates. Also the referees weren't consistent, but hey everyone always has to complain about those guys.

Where would you like to play in the near future?
I want to make my way back to Europe in a strong league. Being that this is my second year playing professional basketball, I have come to realize that winning is everything. I am willing to do what ever it takes to WIN.

Thanks for your time Justin and Good Luck for the future!


Any team that is interested in Justin Griffin please email him at info@scorersfirst.com




Osnabrueck: Morinia receives contract extension -by Moritz Korff
Lamar Morinia (183-G-81, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: Montana St.-Northern), playmaker and topscorer of the P4two Ballers Osnabrueck, has signed a contract extension until the end of the 2008-2009 season. Morinia came to Osnabrueck in January 07 and is currently first in the ladder of the Regionalliga North with the Ballers, averaging a team-high 23.4 points per game.

*****************************************************
HUNGARY

Round 18: Falco beat Pecs -by Tamas Deri
With this easy victory against the 2nd place team Pecs FALCO KC made a very big step to start the playoffs from the first position.

FALCO KC-SZOMBATHELY - PVSK-EXPO CENTER-PECS 105-75
(26-21, 27-15, 28-17, 24-22)
Szombathely,Referees: Vigh P., dr. Benczur T., Hegedus T.
FALCO: Laszlo Kalman (186-G-72, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 35/12, Varadi 11/3, Bam Doyne (193-G-84, college: Mississippi) 25/15, Arnas Kazlauskas (204-C/F-76, agency: Court Side) 14/6, Nikola Aliakseyeu (212-C-78, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents, college: Buffalo) 12, Borszeki 3/3, Draughan 5/3, Feigl, Will, Coach: Srecko Sekulovic
PECS: Wittmann 3/3, Gergely Kutasi (190-G-84, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 15/12, Denes 11/6, Nick Williams (192-G-83, agency: Beo Basket, college: Cincinnati) 14/3, Czigler 6, Aleksic 6, Grebenar 8, Hosszu 3/3, Toth N. 9/3, Coach:Stojan Ivkovic
Layups: 8/16 (50 %) - 14/29 (48,3%)
2pointers: 14/24 (58,3%) - 3/9 (33,3%)
Three Pointers: 14/26 (53,8%) - 10/22 (45,5%)
Field Goals: 36/66 (54,5%) - 27/60 (45%)
Free Throws: 19/20 (95%) - 11/15 (73,3%)
Rebounds: 33 (25def/8off) - 24 (17def/7off)


*****************************************************
IBL

Brandon Watkins will return to Elgin Racers for 2008 season -by Trask Frost

Elgin, IL—The Elgin Racers have announced that Brandon Watkins (6'0''-G-81, college: Penn St.) will be back in a Racers' uniform for the 2008 season, the team's third in the International Basketball League.

Watkins, 6'0', was an All-Big 10 performer at Penn State University in 2002-'03, and led the Nittany Lions to three consecutive NCAA tournament berths in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Last season, Watkins was a key component in the Racers' run to the Midwest Division championship, averaging 20.9 points per game and displaying tremendous floor leadership.

Elgin Racers President/Head Coach Michael Murphy - 'Brandon is a tremendous talent with an off-the-charts basketball I.Q. As good as he is on the court, he is even more impressive off of it. The entire Racers organization is thrilled he's coming back this season.'

The Racers kick off their 2008 season on Friday, April 4 with a road trip to Indiana to take on the Gary Steelheads. The Racers' home opener is versus the Holland Blast on Saturday, May 10. For more information, contact the Racers at (847) 337-9529 or visit www.elginracers.com.


*****************************************************
ICELAND

Thursday games. -by Siggi Hjorleifsson
Tindastoll 71. Snaefell 87 Joshua Buettner (206-F/C-85, college: Michigan Tech) 19 Philip Perre & Svavar Birgisson 15 each for Tindastol. Justin Shouse 17. Hlynur Baeringsson (200-F-82, agency: IceBasket) 16 + 18 rebs. Sigurdur Thorvaldsson 16. Magni Hafsteinsson 15 for Snaefell.

Stjarnan 87. Njardvik 79. Dimitar Karadzovski (189-G-84) 26. Jarrett Stephens (200-F/C-77, agency: Duran International, college: Penn St.) 20. Jovan Zdravevski (197-F-80, agency: IceBasket) 15 for Stjarnan. Damon Bailey (197-F-80, agency: Icebasket, college: Missouri Western) 22. Johann OLafsson 18. Brenton Birmingham 15 for Njardvik.

Hamar 89 Thor 93. Roni Leimu (189-G-82) 23. Bojan Bojovic 21 for Hamar. Cedric Isom (188-G-84, agency: IceBasket, college: E.Texas Baptist) 29. Luka Marolt (202-F-85, agency: Global Sports Plaza) 27 for Thor.


*****************************************************
ITALY

Romel Beck moves from Varese to Capo D 'Orlando. -by Interperformances
Romel Beck (203-G/F-82, agency: Interperformances, college: UNLV) the leading scorer of the past Pre Olympic Tournament of the Americas has moved today from the prestigious Cimberio Varese to Upea Capo D Orlando remaining in the Italian A1 league. Beck was amongst the best players of Varese this season, however, due to the fact that Varese was not having a good season, both the management, the coaching staff and the player have decided to find another solution. Beck did not stay on the market for long. Capo D'Orlando is currently amongst the leading clubs of the Italian A1 league.

*****************************************************
JORDAN

Various News -by Mohammed Malas

- The Final Four of Excellent League schedule was published by Jordan Basketball Federation (JBF) as follows:

* Round 1 (Tuesday 19/2):
Zain - Arena
Al Riyadi/Aramex - Orthodox

* Round 2 (Sunday 24/2):
Arena - Orthodox
Zain - Al Riyadi/Aramex

* Round 3 (Wednesday 27/2):
Arena - Al Riyadi/Aramex
Orthodox - Zain

* Round 4 (Friday 29/2):
Arena - Zain
Orthodox - Al Riyadi/Aramex

* Round 5 (Sunday 2/3):
Orthodox - Arena
Al Riyadi/Aramex - Zain

* Round 6 (Wednesday 5/3):
Al Riyadi/Aramex - Arena
Zain - Orthodox

The assistant coach of Jordan National Team portuguest Mario Gomes will be montoring the final four games to choose the best for the NT.

- Zain Basketball Team received to big shockes in the last few days, The team's point guard Sam Daghlas will not be available for the rest of the season after
he tore his ACL in the left knee, The other shock is Rasheim Wright who will be put for at least 2 months following a sergery.

We wish for Daghlas and Wright the best and hope to see them soon on the court.

- Al Wihdat and Al Awdeh are the relegated teams after the end of the 1st stage of Excellent League, A big question mark for the performance of Al Wihdat this season despite having a good roster this year but these things happens in basketball.

- College SC's american star Jamal Ward (198-F-79, agency: ProSportsCareers, college: Chattanooga) is now part of ASU basketball team for the reminder of season, ASU is playing only in Jordan Cup and Ward will be a big add for them esspecially that he was one of the big scorers of the first stage of Exellent League.



*****************************************************
KOREA

KBL Heading Into The Stretch For This Years 2008 Champion -by Rick Ross

With This years 54 Game Season, it winds down to 12 Games Remaining on Tap & Into the Play-Off's.

Dongbu Promy still maintains its 1st place position while
Samsung Thunders Move Into 2nd - KT&G Kites & KCC Egis Tie for 3rd,
LG Sakers place 5th while ET Black Slam Round out the top 6 spots,
Closing in on 6 is SK Knights at 7 KTF - MOBIS - And Orions 8-9 &10.

Things Can change at the drop of a loss or some losses as each game will be
Of true significance to The Race to the KBL Championships to
Set the tone of secured places for the KBL Match-Ups,

Only 6 teams will advance while the Number 1 and 2 get the Buys
And wait for the winners of The 3rd - 4th - 5th and 6th place teams to battle to advance.

There is no expected or Dominate Team that has Superior strength this year over any of the
Ten Teams, although Coach Chun Chang Jin of

Dongbu Promy has shown the ability to stay in 1st place from the begining with total
Consistancy And Team Leadership.

KT&G SAMSUNG KCC & LG SAKERS maintain 500 and above play while SK KNIGHTS
ET BLACKSLAM and KTF Stay in the Hunt.



*****************************************************
LATVIA

Latvijas Basketball League -by Gunars Gailitis

Latvijas Basketball League

Division II


February, 12

ASK Juniors - RNS-D/Livani 78-86 (17-20; 19-26; 20-17; 22-23)

Freimanis 28, J.Rozitis 16; Baranovskis 18, Kalnins 16, Slesers 13+12as


February, 13


LU/Ridzene - BK Zemgale 61-77 (21-18; 18-17; 13-24; 9-18)


Mizis 18+14reb, Zeidaks 14+10reb, Ei.Tukiss 13; Martins Berkis (198-F-85) 28, Raiskums 17, A.Lagzdins 10



*****************************************************
LITHUANIA

Lietuvos Rytas loses at home -by Lukas Zajancauskas

Lietuvos Rytas lost against TAU Ceramica 81:84 (18:18, 15:26, 24:21, 24:19).
Both teams played equally in the first quarter. TAU started the second quarter with a run 8:0. Hollis Price (186-G-79, college: Oklahoma) three pointer reduced the deficit to 4, but the Spanish went to the dressing rooms at halftime with an 11 point advantage.

Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket), Chuck Eidson (202-F-80, college: S.Carolina) and Marijonas Petravicius (207-F/C-79, college: S.Carolina) (207-F/C-79, college: S.Carolina) started a very important run, which cut the deficit 44:47. But the hosts didn't used a chance to take the lead in this game, Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) made a lay-up, then Mirza Teletovic (205-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) scored 5 points in a row, 48:54. Rytas was trailing by 8 in the start of the last period.

Hollis Price scored 5 points in a row and reduced the deficit to 4, but then Andrius Slezas got a unsportsmanlike foul for roughly stopping Pablo Prigioni (186-G-77) break away. Only 3 minutes were remaining and the hosts were behind by 9. Hollis Price and Kenan Bajramovic were the best players of Rytas tonight. The Bosnian hit a massive three, which gave hope for Rytas fans, because they were behind only by 2 points with just 15 seconds was remaining. Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78) was fouled and he missed his free throws. But unfortunately for the local fans, Hollis Price lost the ball. The last attack was desperate and TAU Vitoria achieved their first vistory in TOP 16.

Hollis Price scored 23 points, Marijonas Petravicius knocked down 18 points and 10 boards. Tiago Splitter (211-C/F-85, agency: Interperformances) led the visitors to the victory by scoring 17 points. Mirza Teletovic landed three 3-pointers in the crucial moments of the game.
Lietuvos Rytas : Hollis Price 23, Marijonas Petravicius 18, Kenan Bajramovic 15.
TAU Ceramica : Tiago Splitter 17, Zoran Planinic 11, Mirza Teletovic 11.



*****************************************************
MALAWI

PROBLEMS AFFECTING BASKETBALL IN MALAWI -by Blena Chisenga
Despite Malawi having alot of potential players who can improve basketball in Malawi,
it is still a dream to improve basketball in since most of the problems are not looked
into and dealt with.

A shortage of basketball courts is the major problem which affects basketball in Malawi.
Players have to travel long distances to find a basketball court. This affects them since
they reach at basketball courts already tired. Sometimes they do skip training days
because of fatigue.

The government of Malawi is also to be blamed for poor standards of basketball in Malawi.
The government only concentrate on funding football leaving basketball aside. Most of the leagues
do not continue due to a lack of funding. This causes a lot of players to not take basketball seriously
since they do not benefit from it.

Basketball can not develop without basketball coaches. This is the case in Malawi. Teams do
not have coaches instead they use their fellow players to coach them. This contributes to poor
standards of basketball since their fellow players cum coaches are not equiped with skills of coaching.

Medical aid is essential to all sporting activities. Most basketball players stop playing basketball for life
because when they are seriously injured on the court, there is no medical aid (first aid) to ease the situation.

For basketball to improve in Malawi, the above problems have to be looked into and dealt with immediately.
For example, in Angola there are many basketball courts, a lot of basketball coaches, plus the balls
are cheap. No wonder Angola is doing great in basketball.


*****************************************************
NCAA2

Justin Griffin Interview -by Daniel Poerschke

Eurobasket Germany had the chance to sit down and talk with Justin Griffin (193-G/F-83, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: Hawaii-Hilo). He played for then-BBL club Nurnberg in 2006/07, where he averaged 7.2ppg and 2.6rpg. Justin just finished his season in Mexico with Union de Zacatecas (12.1ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.2apg) and is ready to continue this season with a new club.

Coming straight out of NCAA 2 school University of Hawaii-Hilo, how was the transition to Nurnberg and the BBL for you?
Going to Nurnberg was fantastic, I couldn't have asked for anything better. As for the BBL, the transition was not hard,but there were a lot of adjustments I had to make. I was playing against true professionals every night, so everyone on the court could play. Overall it was a season of ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I learned a lot from my coaching staff and teammates.

Describe your game a little bit. What are your strengths and weaknesses on the court?
I grew up just shooting the ball, but as I'm growing as a player I have really expanded my game. I love getting out in transition and using my speed for easy baskets. My strong area is the mid range game, and I am a good 1 on 1 defender. Also I am a student of the game, I tend to learn things fast or work on them till I get them so my work ethic is definitely a strength. My weak points or you can say things I need to improve on is the understanding of the game, but that just comes with experience. You just can't get by on athleticism. I would like to become more creative especially passing out of penetration.

How did your season go in Mexico for your team and for you personally?
Going to Mexico was a personal decision, being that I am half Mexican. I wanted to experience the way of life and also the style of play. As a team I feel like we could have accomplished more, especially with the amount of talent we had. We finished 9th in our division, just shy of the playoffs. Individually, I played well, but as a player you always think you could have done a lot more. I learned so much from a couple veterans on the team not only about basketball but life in general, Mexico taught me how to be a professional on and off the court.

What is the biggest difference between playing in Mexico and Germany?
I would have to say the sizes at the 4 and 5 spots. They were a little undersized compared to the BBL. Germany had a controlled style of play, more half court sets and a balance in scoring throughout the team. Mexico was full of athletic guards, who's main purpose was to score the basketball and really not use there teammates. Also the referees weren't consistent, but hey everyone always has to complain about those guys.

Where would you like to play in the near future?
I want to make my way back to Europe in a strong league. Being that this is my second year playing professional basketball, I have come to realize that winning is everything. I am willing to do what ever it takes to WIN.

Thanks for your time Justin and Good Luck for the future!


Any team that is interested in Justin Griffin please email him at info@scorersfirst.com




*****************************************************
PBL

Inteviewing coach Cooper about the Jacksonville Slam -by Gianni Pascucci
Trying to going a little more in deep in the Jacksonville PBL story, coach Scott Cooper agreed to aswer to some Usbasket.com questions, as follows:
Q: Dear Coach, you have just taken over the coaching job in the re-born Jacksonville PBL team. How did this happen exactly ?
A: A few of the Jam players wanted to stay around and form the SLAM, backed by the PBL. Several of my players from last years ABA team called me and asked me to help them as Head Coach. It has been a real honor to be invited back by the players ! I took on the role and made the voyage to Chicago with only 6 players last weekend. For those guys, it all was restarting.
Q: who among the players was the most active in the 'rebuilding process' ?
A: Anthony Lumpkin was instrumental in keeping the team in Jacksonville after the Jam was taken over by the league. Anthony recruited the core group of players and contacted me about coaching. If it were not for Anthony Lumpkin, the Slam as it is may not exist. He is very dedicated to his teammates and coaching staff. He basically was the GM of the team after the Jam folded.
Q: What about the team feeling now ?
A: I believe people looked at the scores for the games this weekend and saw we lost, but did not realize the hardships these players went through. These guys traveled to Chicago after not being paid a penny and the Jam folding. Playing the games were a victory themselves this past weekend.
The PBL stood by their word and paid the players as promised. It is such a positive atmosphere now, and the PBL has been great in assisting this team !
Q: What do you think about this team's future ?
A: After the addition of the new players, the team should finish the season stronger than the team that began the season as the Jam.
Q: we noticed tha a coach, Gary Anderson, is listed also as a player. Why ?
A: Gary Anderson (6'3'-G-76, College: Talladega) has served as a coach, and because of a last second trip to Chicago he had to serve as an active player. He may have to do so again in the future.


What happens in Dallas ? -by Gianni Pascucci
Following the rumors about the financial straits of the Dallas team, at the beginning of this week we received an e-mail from the Dallas Defenders owner, Mr. Erin Patton , telling that his team was leaving the league because of philosophical differences and would seek a new league. Rumors around the Premier Basketball League say now that that the Dallas franchise is being purchased by new ownership and will continue operation. No official release, however, has been sent by the PBL headquarters about this, and the Dallas team shoul host tomorrow night the Chicago Throwbacks. Will this game be played ???

*****************************************************
PHILIPPINES

PUREFOODS-STA. LUCIA BATTLE ROYALE IS ON -by Benny Lirio

And the final reckoning begins.

The drama unfolds Friday with Purefoods looking to keep its winning tradition in the pro league's most prestigious tourney
and Sta. Lucia out to carve its own niche.

They battle for first blood in the 2007-08 Smart PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven Finals at 7:20 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.
A slam-bang duel is expected right in the series opener with the protagonists likely to come out strong from a four-day rest.
Each one is raring to go to battle in this finale which has the elegant Commissioner Jun Bernardino Trophy at stake.
League legend Francis Arnaiz and Filipino world boxing champions Nonito Donaire, Gerry Penalosa, Donnie Nietes and Florante Condes
have been invited to do the ceremonial toss in the Finals opener.

While practically all the players are harping on their dream to win the championship, the warring coaches are not looking far ahead, focusing on Game One.
'I'll take this one game at a time. Sta. Lucia is dangerous. All I've done is our preparation for the opening game,' said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio .
'They swept me in two games in the eliminations but this is a new ball game. We've made our preparation for the series opener and I think we're really
ready,' said Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez .

Neither team lacks motivation and inspiration with the Giants out to tie the Crispa Redmanizers' record of five all-Filipino crowns and the Realtors out to end
a seven-year title drought by winning the most coveted championship in the pro league.
Landing the all-Filipino Finals for the first time in franchise history, the Realtors are eager to make the most out of it.

The Giants, meanwhile, want their all-Filipino winning tradition to live on.
'We've done many firsts in this tournament and we might as well go all the way to win our first all-Filipino championship,' said Fernandez.
'After all our hard work, we made it to the Finals. We'll do whatever it takes so as not to let this chance slip away,' said skipper Dennis Espino.
The Giants don't think they're any less hungry though they've won the all-Filipino crown four times before and they're in their 12th Finals appearance in this very tourney.

'The way I look at it, winning a championship is like eating three meals a day. You may have had your breakfast or lunch, but you'd still eat because you'll ultimately get hungry still,' said Gregorio.
Purefoods and Sta. Lucia are dead even with 16-9 win-loss records after the semifinal round but many feel the latter enjoys tremendous momentum going into the series.
A team which had never finished better than third in an all-Filipino tourney before, the Realtors are in a joy ride heading to the championship series. Sta. Lucia has marked its campaign in the tourney with several franchise records, including a streak of eight straight wins, 12 triumphs in all in the eliminations, automatic entry into the semifinals and a first-ever all-Filipino Finals appearance.

But Gregorio insists you throw everything out of the window when you're in the Finals.
The consensus among PBA coaches is that the two teams are evenly matched. Looking at the stats, no team also enjoys a tremendous edge.
Sta. Lucia and Purefoods are No. 1 and No. 2 in the league on defense and No. 8 and No. 7 on offense.
The Giants are averaging 94.16 points for the conference while shooting 42.3 percent from the field while the Realtors are norming 93.76 points on a 40.8 field goal marksmanship.

Purefoods has the edge in rebounding but Sta. Lucia is better in assists, steals and blocks. The Giants are logging 53.20 rebounds, 15.4 assists, 5.8 steals and 3.2 blocks a game as against the Realtors' 47 rebounds, 19.6 assists, 8.2 steals and 3.6 blocks per outing.
Fernandez doesn't mind the numbers, saying if they win, it's all because of defense.
Gregorio says they will battle the Realtors tit-for-tat. 'If they hold us, grab us and are allowed by the refs, we'll do the same,' said the youthful Purefoods mentor. (NC)

PBA.PH



*****************************************************
POLAND

Rashad Phillps signs with Euroleague club. -by Interperformances
Rashad Phillips (178-G-78, agency: Interperformances, college: Detroit Mercy), the offensive combo guard out of Detroit, after leading the Australian NBL in assists will sign with the Euroleague Polish Club Sopot for the remainder of the season. Phillips will arrive in Poland tomorrow.

*****************************************************
PORTUGAL

Moncho Lopez is the new Portugese head coach -by Bruno Baltazar

This afternoon Moncho Lopez , the former Spanish national team Head Coach, signed an agreement that will make him the new Head Coach for Portugal until the next European Championship in 2009.

The Portuguese were looking for a young coach with quality and still experience enough, which Moncho Lopez seems to have.

Moncho's curriculum shows quality, as he coached the Spanish national team from 2002 to 2004. They won the bronze medal in the European Championship in 2003 in Sweden. He recently spent 2 seasons in Leche Rio and past season he coached Caja San Bernardo.

The assistant coaches will be Portuguese- Rui Alves remains with the national team and Rui Miranda will be the 2nd assistant coach as well as being the team's physiotherapist. He is also a former international player.

The promise is to maintain the level that Portugal conquered in the past European championship in Spain.



*****************************************************
PUERTO RICO

Lions beat Giants in Preseason Games -by Luis Ramirez
Playing their first exhibition game this year the Ponce Lions beat the Carolina Giants by a score of 112-86. Ponce played without import player Aaron Mcghee who did not play due to a Coach decision. The Giants also played without one of their import players and Angelo Reyes. The Lions showed a balance attack and made 5 man substitutions thru out the games while the Giants put on a good show. For the Lions, Gabriel Colon (200-G/F-84, agency: Next Level) scored 20 points to be the Lions tops scorer while for the Giants it was import player Darius Rice scored 26 points.
In other preseason games Santurce won over the Bayamon Cowboys 72-70 while the game over at Arecibo between the Captains and the San German Athletics was called half way into the third quarter when both teams went for each other in a manner in which the officials thought was not sportsmanslike. The Captains were winning at that point 43 to 37.


*****************************************************
SERBIA

AXA Barcelona parted ways with Dusko Ivanovic -by Dragan Jankovski
After defeat against Bilbao in the quarterfinal of Spanish Cup, management of AXA Barcelona decided to release head coach Dusko Ivanovic. The main fact for his releasing was that team is not making good results and if this trend continues there is no chance for Barca to reach any of its targets this season.

Ivanovic stated he couldn't make any better results with the current Bacelona's roster and that he gave his maximum. It is still not known who will replace Ivanovic on the bench of Spanish giant.


Lower leagues, round 16 -by Dragan Jankovski
Serbian B league:

Vujic Metalac - Sloboda 77:64
(18:14, 22:15, 23:13, 14:22)

FMP 2 - Tamis Petrohemija 85:82
(21:25, 27:19, 18:15, 19:23)

Proleter Naftagas - Beograd
73:88 (18:27, 19:19, 15:16, 21:26)

Vrbas - Kikinda 87:74
(20:10, 21:25, 20:15, 26:24)

Crnokosa - Prva Petoletka 102:92
(19:25, 30:22, 30:21, 23:24)

Zeleznicar - Kotez Bambi 65:112
(22:24, 14:21, 14:38, 15:29)

Vojvodina Zlatiborac - Beovuk 72 87:94
(26:20, 14:23, 29:29, 18:22)



Third league, group North:

Topola - Zemun Lasta 94:103
(09:28, 22:31, 21:18, 32:26)

Radnicki (Bg) - Polet Keramika 106:80
(28:23, 24:22, 26:26, 28:09)

Grocka - Viva Basket 94:86
(19:19, 35:18, 17:30, 23:19)

Sport Key - Srem 113:88
(41:10, 17:23, 29:20, 26:35)

Partizan 2 - Mladost (Ze) 95:91
(28:24, 18:23, 28:23, 21:21)

Superfund BP - Spartak 109:55
(35:18, 28:17, 22:10, 24:10)

FKL Temerin - Radnicki (Ob) 66:70
(10:24, 23:15, 15:15, 18:16)



Third league, group South:

Novi Pazar - Maraton Atlantik 71:97
(20:17, 14:23, 16:26, 21:31)

Bor RTB - Krusevac 74:60
(19:26, 23:14, 20:10, 12:10)

Jablanica - Mladost (Ca) 70:78
(26:23, 23:13, 12:22, 09:20)

Goc - Napredak Maksi-Ko 97:77
(27:13, 21:15, 29:22, 20:27)

Nis - Prokuplje 78:74
(24:16, 17:18, 17:18, 20:22)

Pirot - Zlatibor 81:78
(27:13, 18:20, 18:19, 18:26)

Mladost (Za) - Svilajnac Kompo 77:72
(22:14, 18:19, 15:13, 22:26)


Slavko Stefanovic returns to Mega AM, Aleksandar Subara retires -by Dragan Jankovski
After two months in German ALBA Berlin, power forward Slavko Stefanovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) returned to his ex team Mega Aqua Monta from Belgrade. Stefanovic signed an open contract with option that he can leave the team if he gets much better offer.

Point guard Aleksandar Subara (182-G-79, agency: Beo Basket) made surprisingly decision to retire from professional basketball because of the business he ran couple of years ago. In his career Subara changed many teams. Some of them are Beobanka, Beograd, Atlas, Charleroi, Panionios and Igokea. In the past Subara was a World Champion in streetball 3 on 3.


Partizan Igokea motivated against Montepaschi on the road -by Dragan Jankovski
After winning the National Cup Radivoj Korac on Sunday, Partizan Igokea will meet powerful Montepaschi Siena in Euroleague TOP 16. Regarding tonight's game head coach of Partizan Igokea Dusko Vujosevic said: 'We do not need a better motivation than the fact we are playing in Euroleague TOP 16. We will play on the road against top team of Italian Serie A, who wants to reach the first place after 6 games in group D. We are going to play without any pressure and we will try to surprise the hosts. I believe we are able to do this.'

Partizan went for Italy yesterday morning while the game is scheduled for today at 20:30h. In the first game of group D Efes Pilsen made a kind of surprise beating green PAO 74-64 in Turkey.


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SINGAPORE

No Sling Shot in Final Game -by Anthony Lim


Two different scenarios for the Slingers and the Adelaide 36ers at the Singapore Indoor Stadium mid-week, 13/2/2008. The Slingers had their contracts up for negotiations. The visitors knew before tip-off their playoff hopes had evaporated. What was left was just playground bragging rights. The Singapore Sports School filled out the lower tier of the south end to add vocal support to the home team. Both teams started out tentatively, trading 3 pointers - Rod Grizzard putting the Slingers on board and Darren Ng replied for the visitors. Mike Helms traded 3 pointers with Jordan Dodman,with the scores tied 6-6. Then, the script changed. With comedic element provided by a court side spectator playing coach, the Slingers went into self destruction mode. Misplaced passes, running ahead of play and no signs of clear focus among the players. The Slingers coach thought as much, giving local player, Koh Meng Koon, some playing time. The only cheers mustered by the home crowd was a pull up pump fake by Grizzard at 8:52 to make the score 8-12. To add to the theatrical nature of the game, the officiating crew of Houghton, Geirsch and Sim decided to contribute their share. Questionable calls came screaming from the coaching staff of both benches. Case in point - with his team leading 15-27 at 3:57, the 36ers Julius Hodge had a free dunk following a broken play by the Slingers. Nothing unusual except that Hodge chose to hang onto the rim, very close to rimming , an offense punishable under NBA rule section 5, sub-section(a). A non-unsportsmanlike penalty resulting in a technical foul. Given the slide in the gold standard of NBA refereeing, it seems that more than the effects of the meltdown in housing mortgage financing from the USA had reached Singapore shores. An awful quarter had both teams trying for long range shots, an incredible 19 being attempted by both sides. The Slingers were 5/11 and 36ers 4/8. Only a Helms 3 pointer and a Grizzard pulled up jump shot at the foul line were the highlights of a forgettable quarter, Slingers trailing 28-35.
The Slingers picked up at the start of the second quarter where they left off in the first. A Helms lay up from a Grizzard assist and a successful Shane MacDonald 3 pointer reduced the deficit to 33-38. Even Koh got extended playing time. However, the 36ers used their physical size advantage by setting up screens, forcing the Slingers into perimeter shooting. Helms continuously drove the lane and a successful 3 pointer at 3:57 leveled the scores at 55-55. The visitors had a deeper bench to call upon and their aggressive play forced the Slingers into numerous defensive errors. At the end of the half, the 36ers had restored their lead, 58-65, their bench outscoring the Slingers 25-3 and picked off 16 points from turnovers. Helms was easily the Slingers leading scorer, with 23. Grizzard had 14 and Hodge paced the 36ers with 16.
The officiating crew returned to center stage with more questionable calls, turning the game into a scrappy affair. Another Hodge rimming act went unnoticed. Suddenly, official Giersch issued a game warning to Blagoj Janev of the Slingers and David Cooper of the 36ers, both for extra curricular activity off the ball. This, after a highly disputed goal tending call at 5:05, giving the Slingers two free throws. Then official Giersch decided to issue an in game caution to Hodge for fan taunting after his dunk at 2:26 to pull the visitors ahead 74-88. The verbal abuse was mostly directed at Sim. Truth be told, Sim did not look like an official confident with his play calling. To add to the fanfare of a game losing its plot, another local Slinger, Michael Wong, got playing time. The third quarter ended mercifully, Slingers trailing 77-90. Helms only scored 2 points and Grizzard held scoreless.
Sticking with a successful game plan, the 36ers boxed out the Slingers in the final quarter to protect its lead. This forced the Slingers to go around the paint and with Helms forced into the lane, the Slingers began to tire. At 7:50, the score had reached 84-104. By 5:12, it was 86-116. Perhaps sensing the game out of reach, local Slingers, Wong and Pathman Matialakan, got playing time. No change to the Slingers though, with broken plays and players in wrong positions. The 36ers, playing relaxed basketball, further extended their lead, with Ng putting in a long range shot to make the score 97-126 at 0:34. The closest a local Slinger came to scoring was at 1:20 when Wong's jumper rimmed out.




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SLOVENIA

Market News and Injury Report -by Zeljko Zule

After short try-out period the managemnt od Alpos Sentjur decided to ink Rodrick Stevenson (190-G-76, agency: ProSportsCareers, college: Francis Marion) ex Pizza Express Primetel Apollon..

Krka is testing Antonio Zizic (207-C/F-86) ex Lugano Tigers.
Ivan Simunic (203-F-86, agency: Interperformances) of Elektra Esotech had arthroscopic surgery on his left and is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks.
Jure Erzen of TCG Mercator (203-F/C-75) had surgery on thumb amd will be sidelinedat least one month.

Smiljan Pavic (210-F/C-80, agency: VTBM/SRBM) parted ways with AEK Atehns. He averaged 8,4 minutes, 2,4 points (2P 8-13, FT 1-2), 1,0 rebounds, 0,1 steals and 0,7 turnorvers in 7 games of HEBA Championship OPAP.



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SPAIN

Market news -by Robert Mayor
- AXA F.C. Barcelona guard Roger Grimau (196-G-79) will continue two more years in catalonian team. 'Blaugrana' captain is averaging this season 10 points and 3 rebounds per game.

- Iurbentia Bilbao forward Martin Rancik (204-F/C-78, college: Iowa St.), will remain sidelined 10 weeks due a ligament sprain. Player got injured in last Copa del Rey semifinal against Tau Vitoria.


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SWEDEN

Akropol is fined -by Frankie Afzelius

Akropol Basket have been on the upswing in the latter part of the season. This success is thanks much to the changes that were made, such as bringing in point guard Torey Thomas (180-G-85, college: Holy Cross) who is having a monster season averaging 25pts, 8,5reb, 7,8 ass and 3,2 stl. He is leading the league in the latter two categories and second in the league in scoring. Also with big man Blerim Mazreku (206-F/C-81, agency: Interperformances) who has found his home with Akropol averaging 19,5pts, 6,5 reb.


These two, together with Gerald Riley (198-F-81, agency: LimeLight, college: Georgetown) have created a fearsome three that have the rest of the league taking notice of them again. As well as new Head Coach Ali Ghanim who has lead the team to 7 wins in 11 tries after he took over.


Even with the success they have had some setbacks. Akropol has been fined and will have to play against defending champions Plannja without a crowd. After incidents of fans throwing items on the court, the league has punished the club by fining them 10.000 Sek as well as not allowing a crowd at the game this Friday. Hopefully this will teach the individuals that are responsible for the incidents that they are not helping their team out by disrupting the game as well as risking injury to the players when they throw things onto the court.



Djordjic returns to Sweden -by Frankie Afzelius
Uppsala is making moves again. This time they bring in Borislav Djordjic (203-F/C-82, college: Stetson), a familiar face for the Swedish fans. Djordjic has played in the Swedish league before with Solna Vikings and last year iwth Ockelbo Basket. He is a agressive and strong inside presence and Uppsala hopes he will continue on the great season he had last year with Ockelbo where he avg 20.0ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.0spg and became the Bosman Player of the Year in the Swedish League.

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SWITZERLAND

More movements in the Swiss leagues -by Kristian Santiago

LNA

BBC Nyon signed Belgian gaurd Julien Rahier (193-G-83, agency: LBM Management) for the rest of the season after his try-out with the team .
In the meanwhile the try-out period of Steve Payne (202-F-72, agency: Interperformances, college: Ball St.) and Charlie Mandic (200-F-73, agency: Interperformances) who are also in Nyon, has been extended until July 16th.
Alexandre Pidoux (185-G-82) left the team to focus on his studies and because he moves to Australia until the end of the season.
He averaged 3,8 ppg , 0,7 rpg and 1,3 apg in 15 games for Nyon.
Gino Martinez also decided not to keep Julien Pirlot (198-F-81, agency: LBM Management), another Belgian who played in one game for Nyon (6 pts , 1 assist).

Meyrin waived Kenneth Saunders (198-F-82, college: Ft.Valley St.) due to his poor performance on the court.He posted 10,9 ppg , 3,4 rpg and 1,9 apg for Meyrin during the season.
New signing is Albert Myles (198-G-75, college: W.Texas A&M) who transfers from Spain (Badajoz, LEB Bronze) to Meyrin.

Juozas Ramanauskas (208-C-85) convinced Sion-Herens' staff and is signed until the end of the season.
Brian Mason (191-G/F-84, college: S.Carolina St.) , who came in to subsitute Maurice Latham who is injured, did not see his contract extended.In nine games, he contributed with 9,4 ppg , 4,0 rpg and 1,0 apg.
To replace Mason ,the staff decided to sign Derrick Lang (194-G-80, college: Incarnate World) who played in Brazil before.
Italian-Paraguayan Bruno Zanotti (197-F-82, college: Merrimack) also signed with the team previously.
Brazilian-Italian Leandro Rossini Binotto (188-G-78, agency: Interperformances) returned to Brazil due to personal reasons, he replaced earlier in the season Rasheed Quadri (191-G-80, college: La Salle) who left the team also due to personal reasons.
The club signed Warner Nattiel (184-G-82) who comes from BBC Monthey ( 3,1 ppg , 0,3 rpg , 0,7apg) while Patrick Zwahlen (195-G/F-82, college: Cleveland St. CC) transfers to BBC Monthey (3,4 ppg , 1,6rpg , 0,5apg).
Also gone is Serge Tindom (187-F-81) , who joins Martigny-Rhone Basket in the LNB. His number in Sion were 0,3 ppg, 0,7 rpg and 0,2 apg in six games played.

American Kenny Whitehead (208-C-80, college: JMU) is going to Geneva to play for the Devils. He started the season in Germany with Paderborn where he played in two games.
Whitehead replaces George Byrd (203-C-75, college: Va Commonwealth) who didn't satisfy the staff. Byrd recorded 3 ppg and 3,7 rpg in three games with the Devils.
Also new in Geneva is German Matthias Kautzor-Schroder (195-G-75, college: Wisc.-Parkside) who arrives from Meyrin where he posted 6,4 ppg 3,0 rpg and 1,2 apg.
Youngster Carlos Torres (178-G-90) is getting his chance in the pro-team as well.

Vevey Riviera Basket decided to add Bin Tabu-Eboma (183-G-82) to the roster. The guard replaces the released American Von Damien Green (178-G-80, college: Manhattan).The native of the Dem.Rep. of Congo played lastly for ASC Mainz in Germany.

Basket-Club Boncourt had to sign a player due to Jerod Adler (206-F-82, college: Indiana St.)'s injury and chose Zack Anderson (211-F/C-78, agency: 011 Sports, college: Hawaii-Pacific) who comes from Jordan where he played for Al-Wihdat.

Neuchatel announced that Herb Johnson is joining the staff as an assistant-coach after leaving Sion-Herens where he held the same position.


LNB

STV Luzern Basket signs import Darius Howard (192-G-83, college: SW Assemblies of God) until the reminder of the season. He arrives from Germany where he averaged 16,7 ppg for Capoen Duesseldorf.
The same team aligned young guard Predrag Racic (177-G- 89), Ajdin Orucevic (185-G-88) and Michael End (190-G-88) from the junior-team into the seniors.
Avdo Coric (193-F/C-79) won't be available for the rest of the season after sustaining a knee injury. He posted 4,8 ppg , 2,2 rpg and 0,8 apg in six games for Luzern.

Yann Debonneville (185-G-85) left Bernex Onex Basket for personal reasons.

He averaged 2,3 ppg and 1 rpg in four matches for Bernex.
Bernex signed Swiss-Armenian guard Sevag Keucheyan (178-G-78, agency: HM Sports Agency) who played lastly for MTV Stuttgart in Germany.
Also new in the team is Mikael Maruotto (191-F-91) who comes from the own junior-team to help.
Another add is Willy Youtchou (198-F-79, college: N.Colorado) who was waived by Meyrin and suits up for Bernex instead.

He averaged 2,9 ppg , 1,7 rpg and 0,2 apg for Meyrin in the LNA.

Abdoul Kachkara (184-G-90) left Vernier after four games in which he recorded 0,8 ppg for the club.

Eric Coly (195-F-68) and Antoine Borgeaud (187-G/F-88) won't be suiting up for BBC Cossonay anymore.Borgeaud is currently serving his military service and isn't available while Coly left the team to purse other options. Instead, American Chris Powell (205-F-81, college: Chaminade) arrives in Cossonay and comes from Meyrin Grand-Saconnex.

Zurich Wildcats strengthened their team with the addition of Marc Seylan (172-G-92) who was promoted from the junior-team.
Due to not having enough time to practice, Laurent De Meyer (200-F-84) left Zurich where he scored 4,7 ppg and 5,3 rpg while Sven Ivanic (197-F-90) is going to develop with the U-20 team of the club for the rest o fthe season.

Eric Johnson (188-G-86) is no longer with Pages Jaunes Pully Basket.

Swiss U-20 national Miroslav Petkovic (183-G-88) left Birstal to join BC Korac Zurich due to the limited playing time he received with the Starwings.
Also transferring to BC Korac is Peter Kona (185-G-87) who comes from city-rivals Wildcats.

Chene BC signed Namik Zahirovic (192-F-77) from Bernex Onex Basket where Namik averaged 15,3 ppg , 6,9 rpg and 2,7 apg.

1 LN

1 LN Club Phoenix Basket Regensdorf signed David Castro (192-F-85) who returns from the Zuerich Wildcats, while German guard Enes Dendic (182-G-78) left the team.



National Cup : Vacallo - Monthey 79 - 66 -by Maxime Lory

In the first semi-final of the National Cup, SAV Vacallo Basket beated BBC Monthey 79 to 66.
At Half-time, the men of Rodrigo Pastore already leaded 37-35, but they posted a 12-3 in 5 minutes to easily win at final. BBC Monthey played without the guard, Nicolas Porchet who was convalescent. SAV Vacallo Basket is so, the first qualified for the final.


Stats :
SAV Vacallo Basket : Gibson 19p, Smiljanic 19, Dacevic 18, Mihajlovic 15, Raga 6, Molteni 2, Miller 0
BBC Monthey : Polyblank 21p, Jaquier 19, Schneidermann 17, Wegmann 9, Zwahlen, Blankson, Michellod, Kicara 0



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TAIWAN

Dunk contest, long-distance shootout participants announced -by Chris Wang
Participants of the dunk contest and thee-point shootout in the 2008 SBL All-Star Game (Feb. 23) were announced:

Dunk contest:
Yuan Chen-chan (BOT)
J. Sanders (dmedia)
Lee Jun-wei (dmedia)
Fan Yong-shi (Yulon)
Lu Cheng-ju (Yulon)
Cheng Shi-han (Dacin)
Doug Creighton (PY)

Three-point shootout:
TB: Chen Shih-nian, Wang Shin-kai
BOT: Chien Ming-fu, Chang Bo-sheng
TM: Wu Yong-jen, Wu Cheng-yu
dmedia: Wang Nan-kuei, Ouyang Jin-hen
Yulon: Chen Hsin-an, Lee Hsueh-lin
Dacin: Yue Ying-li, Chen Ching-wen
PY: Chen Jun-jay, Hsu Shih-ching


Sanders named January Player of the Month -by Chris Wang
Dmedia's American import Jonathan Sanders was named January Player of the Month, winning the honor for the third time in one and a half seasons.

Sanders averaged for 20.1 points, 17.4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.67 blocks and 2.67 steals in January, during which dmedia Numen solidify its position in the top four.

Dmedia head coach Wu Jian-kuo praised Sanders for his work ethic, saying that Sanders always arrived one hour before team practices to work on his game and that rubbed off on his young teammates.

Wu also hoped that the SBL will change its import rule, which only allows non-playoff teams to hire imports. If dmedia makes the four-team playoff this season, Sanders will have to find a new team to play next year.

The rule is strange, indeed, but Sanders has been familiar with it. The American all-around player helped Videoland Hunters, which is now known as Taiwan Mobile, to a runner-up finish in the regular season last year and was forced to leave the team later.

Voting results (points):
J. Sanders (dmedia) 61
Chien Jia-hong (PY) 32
Ouyang Jin-hen (dmedia) 16
Chen Hsin-an (Yulon) 10

2007-08 SBL Players of the Month:
January: J. Sanders (dmedia)
December: Chen Hsin-an (Yulon)


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TURKEY

Fenerbahce Ulker Overcame Aris On The Road -by Serdar Ortakuyu

Bogdan Tanjevic and his Fenerbahce Ulker has proven they quickly recovered from a dramatic loss against Turk Telekom in OPEL Turkish Cup semi final by beating Aris on the road in a packed arena on Thursday.

Thanks to a large rotation in the paint the visitors did not feel the absence of Euroleague all time top rebounder Mirsad Turkcan (206-F-76) and used the painted area well in addition to Will Solomon (187-G-78, college: Clemson)'s offensive contribution. Aris responded in the last quarter taking advantage of turnovers to equalize the score at 77 but Fenerbahce Ulker toughened up defensively and ran a 19-11 serie to seal the deal.

Will Solomon hit a game high 23 points as four of the others added double figures in scoring. On the other hand Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.) and Bracey Wright (191-G-84, college: Indiana) both poured in 17 for the hosts.

Next week Fenerbahce Ulker will travel to Spain to face TAU who defeated Lietuvos Rytas on the road yesterday.

Aris TT Bank(88): Reyshawn Terry 16, Bracey Wright 17, Georgios Kalaitzis 3, Savvas Iliadis 2, Vladimer Boisa 3, Hanno Mottola 5, Jeremiah Massey 17, Dimitrios Tsaldaris 9, Darius Washington 16
Fenerbahce Ulker(86): James White 6, Willie Solomon 23, Omer Onan 4, Rasim Basak 0, Semih Erden 12, Demir Kaan 10, Gasper Vidmar 2, Oguz Savas 9, Tarence Kinsey 10, Omer Faruk Asik 7, Emir Preldzic 13

(21-29, 43-50, 60-70, 88-96)



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UKRAINE

Yekimov left Odesa / Friendlies -by Alexander Muzyka
- BC Odesa's center Alexei Ekimov (211-F-81) is back to Russia. Spartak SPb has announced they inked Yekimov today.

- While we had Ukrainian Cup Final Four, some teams used this break for friendlies. Monkeys and Budivelnyk invited each other and made a total draw. BC Odesa won over Domograd - it became the first game for Vadym Pudzyrei as a BC Odesa's head coach. Remind Vadym Pudzyrei had this position some years ago. This season he started as BC Odesa farm team head coach. He returned to a 'big' position after Juri Selikhov and Andri Druhachonok.

Friendlies

Feb. 6
Ironi Ramat Gan - Khimik 78:93

Feb. 9
BC Odesa - Domograd 99:55 (28:21, 33:14, 22:9, 16:11)
O
: S.Balashov 18, Bailey 14...

Feb. 10
Budivelnyk - Cherkasy Monkeys 72:70 (15:22, 20:17, 22:18, 15:13)
B
: M.Balashov 12, Orlenko 11, Yailo 10, Vucicevic 9, Zabirchenko 8, Briantsev 7, Nerush 6, Stefanishyn 5, Horbenko 2, Coleman 2, Kravets 0, Yevstratenko 0
ChM: ?

Feb. 13
Cherkasy Monkeys - Budivelnyk 86:65
ChM
: Lebedev 23, Edwards 14, Revzin 14, Y.Lokhmanchuk 11, Markovic 8, Cekovski 7, McLinton 5, Kanate 2, Jarutis 2
B: ?

- Budivelnyk's farm team head coach Oleksandr Lokhmanchuk became the new Budivelnyk director. Vladyslav Podolian (195-G-86) invitation to 'builders' became the one of the first his steps. It's possible to see Podolian as a loaned player.

- Ukrainian AllStarDay will be held by Donetsk.


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VENEZUELA

Greivis Vasquez honored after historic display -by Francisco Vega
Venezuelan guard Greivis Vasquez (196-G-87) was honored as NCAA Basketball Player of the Week by ESPN.com, after performing a historic display in of his two games played for Maryland Terrapins during that span against Boston College and North Carolina.

Vasquez averaged 19 points, 7.5 rebounds and 11.5 assists per outing. He scored 25 points against Boston College and a few days later, he was one rebound shy of the 'triple double', after scoring 13 points, giving 15 assists and grabbing 9 boards against North Carolina. His assists were good enough to tie the historic record of the Maryland Terrapins and he also tied the highest mark in the present season. It is his second national award after earning Rookie of the Week in the ACC in February of 2007.

Maryland has improved its record to 16-8 and 6-3 against ACC teams thanks to his outstanding season. He's the team's top scorer with an average of 16.9 points per match and is also the second players with more minutes played per game with over 37. He's scored for double figures in 22 of 24 games and has led his team's offense 12 times. He already has performed 161 assists and has given over 10 assists in a match five times. His 5.4 rebounds per game mark is also a career-high.


Steve Logan off for three days -by Wolfgang Lucena
Marinos de Oriente wrote the first name in the list of injuries players. Its imported point guard Steve Logan (182-G-80, college: Cincinnati), could be out for three days due to injured on his knee. 'We will monitor his discomfort, our doctors staff has recommended him to stay away from practices for three days' Domingo Cirigliano, president of the Club
27 years old point Guard Steve Logan (182-G-80, college: Cincinnati) from Cleveland, brings to Marinos de Oriente a brilliant basketball experience earned in many basketball leagues, including the NBA and D-league.
Marinos is still moving its local pieces and looking for a shooting guard and center for the upcoming 2008 professional basketball season.


New Coaching staff for the national team, -by Yelitza La Torre
Carmelo Cortez, president of the Venezuela Basketball Federation (FVB) announced that, Nestor Salazar is too busy for the National Team. Salazar has been in the national team since 2003, but his compromise with the professional basketball league, doesn't let him dedicate time enough to the national squad. For now, the president of the Federation wants to make public the idea, that he could give this responsibility to Carl Herrera (206-C-66,college: Houston) and Omar Walcott (202-C-66, college: St.Peter's), considering that both of them had told him about their hopes to do something good for the nation. Carmelo Cortez is waiting to hear from them once again.

Oscar Torres played through pain -by Francisco Vega
Venezuelan forward Oscar Torres (195-F/G-76) had to play through pain in a left leg muscle and only contributed with 3 points and 4 rebounds to UPIM Bologna's victory against Legea Scafati, 92-80, in a rescheduled match of Italy's first division basketball, Lega A.

Torres participated during 14 minutes on court. Coach Dragan Sakota decided to protect him. He scored one of four two-point shots, missed a three-pointer and netted one of two attempts from the free-throw line, while stealing one ball and loosing another.

UPIM relied on Joseph Forte (193-G-81na) and his 28 points, followed by Horace Jenkins (186-G-74) with 20 points and Stefano Mancinelli (202-F-83) with 14. For Legea, Joel Salvi (199-F-78) finished up with 19 points, Dimitri Lauwers (187-G-79) added 17 and former Guaros de Lara shooting guard Marcus Hatten (186-G-80) added 14. UPIM is at place 11 in the standings with a 10-12 record, ten games shy of the leaders, Montepaschi Siena (20-2), the team where Venezuelan Hector Romero (202-F-80) plays.


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WBA

White joins back the Hardhats -by Gianni Pascucci
The Mississippi Hardhats announced another signing: the comeback of Detrick White (6'1''-G-76, college: Mississippi St.) from the Mexican team Dorados. According with the teams official release, 'with the return of White, the Mississippi team feels to have added one of the quickest and smartest guards in minor league basketball, and this addition allows the Hardhats ownership to feel very strong and to head back to the champship game'.



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Women News

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BRAZIL - Women

Catanduva and Ourihnos open semifinal series with wins -by Eurobasket News
Both Ourihnos and Catanduva seem to comfortably roll towards the Final in the CNBF. Ourihnos won the first two games of their best-of-five series against de Nassau. On February 11 Ourihnos left no chance for the visitors storming past de Nassau 85:63. Iziane Castro (183-G/F-82) proved her topscorer status with another brilliant performance of 33 points and 6 boards. Karen Rocha (175-G-84) was helpful with 19 points for the winners. Gigi answered with 19 points and 6 boards for de Nassau. Yesterday the teams met once again and the result saw Ourihnos grab a 2-0 lead in the series. However this time it was a close fixture with de Nassau sparking in the final quarter and falling just short in the end. Ourihnos looked pretty dominant in three quarter piling up a 75:59 lead heading into the fourth stanza. But de Nassau came back to life in the crunch time and cut the deficit to only 5 points. It was not enough though and Ourihnos stepped closer to the Final. Iziane Castro notched game-high 31 points for the hosts. Lisdeivi Pompa (193-C-74) contributed 18 point for the winning side. Fabiana Guedes responded with 23 points for de Nassau. Game 3 is scheduled for February 16 in Pernambuco.
Meanwhile Catanduva got to a victorious start against Sao Bernardo. Catanduva ensured a 108:72 in the first game. Sao Bernardo silenced the home team fans with a surprising 22:20 start. But Catanduva quickly adjusted their game and stroke back to take a 49:39 lead at the interval. Catanduva then easily cleared off to a safe distance and finalized a confident win. Natalia Burian (162-G-84) provided 28 points for the hosts. Ariadna Felipe (179-G-83) scored 19 points for the winners. Lilian Goncalves (184-F-79) scored 13 points for Sao Bernardo.


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CZECH REP. - Women

Gambrinus eases past MiZo Pecs into the Euroleague quarterfinal -by Eurobasket News
Gambrinus - MiZo Pecs 84:45

Gambrinus extended their Euroleague season as they won the decisive third encounter of the eighth-final series against MiZo Pecs. Gambrinus did not look particularly impressive in the first two matchups of the series but yesterday they resembled of the Gambrinus that won the Euroleague trophy two years ago. The Czech powerhouse took over right from the start and did not give too much breathing space for the visitors. MiZo Pecs tried to answer for every strike from Gambrinus early on but Eva Viteckova (190-F-82) and Petra Kulichova (198-C-84) scored 6 straight points late in the opening frame as the hosts grabbed a 20:11 lead. Zuzana Zirkova (175-F/G-80) opened the second stanza with a trey and Petra Kulichova added a jumper as Gambrinus took off to a 14-point distance. Tamika Whitmore (187-C/F-77, college: Memphis) later stepped up with 5 straight points for the home team to enlarge the margin. Zsofia Fegyverneky (178-G-84) capped the first half with a jump shot to trim the difference to 19 points at 22:41. Timea Beres (192-C-76), Tamika Whitmore and Hamchetou Maiga (185-G/F-78, college: ODU) ignited a 6:0 run to start the second quarter and Gambrinus enjoyed a 49:22 advantage. It was virtually no stoppage for the home side as Timea Beres and Hamchetou Maiga soon carried Gambrinus to a massive 72:25 buffer after 30 minutes of action. The intrigue passed away and Czech favorites cruised to an overall win afterwards. Zuzana Zirkova led Gambrinus with 18 points, while Hamchetou Maiga provided 12 points. Tamika Whitmore and Timea Beres added 10 points for the winners. Anna Vajda (191-F/C-84) was the only Pecsi player to score in double figures as she posted 10 points in defeat. Zsofia Fegyverneky contributed 8 points for Hungarian team. Dalma Ivanyi (178-G-76, college: Florida Intern.) played only 13 minutes and was kept scoreless as the injury troubled her throughout the game. Gambrinus held their opponents to only 33% from the field and forced Pecsi to 27 turnovers. Gambrinus will now take on Ros Casares in the quarterfinals. Game 1 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for February 26 in Spain.

Gambrinus: Zuzana Zirkova 18, Hamchetou Maiga 12, Tamika Whitmore 10, Timea Beres 10
MiZo Pecs: Anna Vajda 10, Zsofia Fegyverneky 8


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EUROLEAGUE (W) - Women

USVO unable to tame Ros Casares -by Eurobasket News
Ros Casares - USVO 70:46

Valenciennes stopped just one step from producing the loudest sensation of the Euroleague playoffs as they were close of eliminating Ros Casares. But Ros Casares proved the strength in the decider and advanced to the quarterfinal stage of the competition. USVO handed the first loss to Ros Casares in the Euroleague season in the previous game but in Valencia Spanish outfit restores status quo. Krissy Bade (182-F-80) and Emilie Gomis (180-F-83) scored first 4 points in the game to spark USVO but Ros Casares quickly responded with a 15:0 run that put gave them a firm hold of the initiative. Elena Tornikidou (185-F-65) and Katie Douglas (183-G/F-79, college: Purdue) nailed a bunch of free throws to extend the gap to 21:6 after the starting frame. Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) connected from afar early in the second stanza but her attempt was well-matched by Laurie Koehn (174-G-82, college: Kansas St.). The teams exchanged baskets throughout the second period and Ros Casares drove to a 38:23 advantage at the break. Laia Palau (178-G/F-79) and Ferragut gave the hosts a 46:27 lead midway through the third term but Emilie Gomis crowned the stanza with 4 consecutive free throws to trim the deficit to 17 points. Katie Douglas completed a three-point play, while Delisha Milton-Jones (186-F-74, college: Florida) and Baranova added 4 points for the home team as they opened a 20+ advantage with almost 7 minutes left in regulation. Valenciennes never recovered and had to surrender at the end. Katie Douglas provided game-high 17 points for Ros Casares. Elena Tornikidou posted 12 points, while Milton contributed 9 points and 13 boards for the winners. Emilie Gomis and Krissy Bade answered with 10 points apiece in a losing case. Reka Cserny (190-F-81, agency: LBM Management, college: Harvard) dropped 8 points for French team. USVO converted just 29% from the field and committed 19 turnovers. Ros Casares will now take on Gambrinus in the quarterfinal best-of-three series. Game 1 is scheduled for February 26 in Valencia.

Ros Casares: Katie Douglas 17, Elena Tornikidou 12, Delisha Milton-Jones 9+13 boards
USVO: Emilie Gomis 10, Krissy Bade 10, Reka Cserny 8


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FRANCE - Women

USVO unable to tame Ros Casares -by Eurobasket News
Ros Casares - USVO 70:46

Valenciennes stopped just one step from producing the loudest sensation of the Euroleague playoffs as they were close of eliminating Ros Casares. But Ros Casares proved the strength in the decider and advanced to the quarterfinal stage of the competition. USVO handed the first loss to Ros Casares in the Euroleague season in the previous game but in Valencia Spanish outfit restores status quo. Krissy Bade (182-F-80) and Emilie Gomis (180-F-83) scored first 4 points in the game to spark USVO but Ros Casares quickly responded with a 15:0 run that put gave them a firm hold of the initiative. Elena Tornikidou (185-F-65) and Katie Douglas (183-G/F-79, college: Purdue) nailed a bunch of free throws to extend the gap to 21:6 after the starting frame. Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) connected from afar early in the second stanza but her attempt was well-matched by Laurie Koehn (174-G-82, college: Kansas St.). The teams exchanged baskets throughout the second period and Ros Casares drove to a 38:23 advantage at the break. Laia Palau (178-G/F-79) and Ferragut gave the hosts a 46:27 lead midway through the third term but Emilie Gomis crowned the stanza with 4 consecutive free throws to trim the deficit to 17 points. Katie Douglas completed a three-point play, while Delisha Milton-Jones (186-F-74, college: Florida) and Baranova added 4 points for the home team as they opened a 20+ advantage with almost 7 minutes left in regulation. Valenciennes never recovered and had to surrender at the end. Katie Douglas provided game-high 17 points for Ros Casares. Elena Tornikidou posted 12 points, while Milton contributed 9 points and 13 boards for the winners. Emilie Gomis and Krissy Bade answered with 10 points apiece in a losing case. Reka Cserny (190-F-81, agency: LBM Management, college: Harvard) dropped 8 points for French team. USVO converted just 29% from the field and committed 19 turnovers. Ros Casares will now take on Gambrinus in the quarterfinal best-of-three series. Game 1 is scheduled for February 26 in Valencia.

Ros Casares: Katie Douglas 17, Elena Tornikidou 12, Delisha Milton-Jones 9+13 boards
USVO: Emilie Gomis 10, Krissy Bade 10, Reka Cserny 8


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HUNGARY - Women

Gambrinus eases past MiZo Pecs into the Euroleague quarterfinal -by Eurobasket News
Gambrinus - MiZo Pecs 84:45

Gambrinus extended their Euroleague season as they won the decisive third encounter of the eighth-final series against MiZo Pecs. Gambrinus did not look particularly impressive in the first two matchups of the series but yesterday they resembled of the Gambrinus that won the Euroleague trophy two years ago. The Czech powerhouse took over right from the start and did not give too much breathing space for the visitors. MiZo Pecs tried to answer for every strike from Gambrinus early on but Eva Viteckova (190-F-82) and Petra Kulichova (198-C-84) scored 6 straight points late in the opening frame as the hosts grabbed a 20:11 lead. Zuzana Zirkova (175-F/G-80) opened the second stanza with a trey and Petra Kulichova added a jumper as Gambrinus took off to a 14-point distance. Tamika Whitmore (187-C/F-77, college: Memphis) later stepped up with 5 straight points for the home team to enlarge the margin. Zsofia Fegyverneky (178-G-84) capped the first half with a jump shot to trim the difference to 19 points at 22:41. Timea Beres (192-C-76), Tamika Whitmore and Hamchetou Maiga (185-G/F-78, college: ODU) ignited a 6:0 run to start the second quarter and Gambrinus enjoyed a 49:22 advantage. It was virtually no stoppage for the home side as Timea Beres and Hamchetou Maiga soon carried Gambrinus to a massive 72:25 buffer after 30 minutes of action. The intrigue passed away and Czech favorites cruised to an overall win afterwards. Zuzana Zirkova led Gambrinus with 18 points, while Hamchetou Maiga provided 12 points. Tamika Whitmore and Timea Beres added 10 points for the winners. Anna Vajda (191-F/C-84) was the only Pecsi player to score in double figures as she posted 10 points in defeat. Zsofia Fegyverneky contributed 8 points for Hungarian team. Dalma Ivanyi (178-G-76, college: Florida Intern.) played only 13 minutes and was kept scoreless as the injury troubled her throughout the game. Gambrinus held their opponents to only 33% from the field and forced Pecsi to 27 turnovers. Gambrinus will now take on Ros Casares in the quarterfinals. Game 1 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for February 26 in Spain.

Gambrinus: Zuzana Zirkova 18, Hamchetou Maiga 12, Tamika Whitmore 10, Timea Beres 10
MiZo Pecs: Anna Vajda 10, Zsofia Fegyverneky 8


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ICELAND - Women

Wednesday games. -by Siggi Hjorleifsson
Haukar 82. Hamar 74.Kiera Hardy 28. Unnur Tara Jonsdottir. 19. Kristrun Sigurjonsdottir 17 for Haukar. LaKiste Barkus 32 for Hamar.

Keflavik 93 Valur 84. TaKesha Watson38 Margret Kara Sturludottir 13 + 12 for Keflavik. Molly Petemann 34 for Valur.

Grindavik 108 Fjolnir 61 Joanna Skiba (163-G-85, agency: IceBasket, college: Bryant) 38 + 14 assist. Tiffany Roberson 16 for Grindavik. Slavica Doimovska 15 for Fjolnir.


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ITALY - Women

Serie A1, day-19: stats and results -by Carlo Grilli

Levoni Taranto - Gescom Viterbo 74 - 58
(21-14, 39-30, 55-43)
LEVONI TARANTO: Marianna Balleggi (188-F-74) 7 (2/5, 0/1), Corbani C. dnp, Greco M. 6 (3/8, 0/1), Bello M. (0/1, 0/2), Zimerle A. 11 (1/2, 3/7), Sauret Gillespie A. 11 (4/6, 0/1), Summerton L. 14 (6/8), Prado F. 4 (2/3), Frohlich L. 9 (2/4, 1/1), Brunson R. 12 (4/14). Coach Corno Aldo
GESCOM VITERBO: Danzi D. 2 (1/1), Santucci L. 6 (1/3, 1/1), Nicolini E. dnp, Brunelli G. , Smith B. 19 (7/11), Maslowski M. 11 (5/12, 0/1), Limoura L. dnp, Siccardi V. 11 (5/11, 0/1), Gorla L. 2 (1/1, 0/1), Crepaldi C. 7 (2/7, 1/5). Coach Agresti Claudio

Lavezzini Parma - Germano Zama Faenza 52 - 63
(18-18, 35-39, 42-51)
LAVEZZINI PARMA: Maiorano M. 3 (1/4), Stabile S. 2 (1/3, 0/4), Paparazzo E. 2 (1/5), Zanoni I. (0/1), Battisodo V. (0/1), Rejchova M. 4 (2/4), Mahoney M. 7 (2/6, 1/3), Zanon M. 6 (0/2, 2/2), Screen J. 16 (2/5, 2/8), Sulciute E. 12 (4/6). Coach Scanzani Maurizio
GERMANO ZAMA FAENZA: Eric M. 15 (4/8, 2/8), Maria Chiara Franchini 11 (4/5, 1/5), Ramon E. 2 (1/1), David I. 9 (4/8), Casadio G. 3 (1/1), Jokic D. 13 (6/10), Bandini E. dnp, Knezevic A. 2 (1/1), Dos Santos C. 8 (3/11), Morsiani L.. Coach Rossi Paolo

Italmoka Pozzuoli - Pool Comense 93 - 88
(32-16, 52-44, 71-71)
ITALMOKA POZZUOLI: Nunzia Paparo (165-G-77) 7 (1/3, 1/2), Cirov T. 23 (6/9, 3/3), Ferazzoli I. dnp, Franchetti M. , Minervino M. (0/1), Grima H. 14 (3/5, 2/3), Linguaglossa E. dnp , Grasso A. 16 (6/10), Andjelic N. 17 (0/1, 4/5), Dixon T. 16 (5/10, 1/2). Coach Palumbo Carlo Fulvio
POOL COMENSE: Bouderra F. 26 (8/12, 2/3), Bestagno E. dnp, Fabbri V. 6 (3/4), Slavcheva G. 14 (3/6, 2/6), Turner L. (0/1), Invernizzi M. 4 (1/2), Hall V. 19 (6/14, 1/2), Zampella A. 15 (0/1, 5/8), Tunguz B. dnp, Sarni S. 4 (2/7, 0/1). Coach Ricchini Roberto

Carispe La Spezia - Fiera di Roma Pomezia 57 - 62
(15-15, 32-27, 48-44)
CARISPE LA SPEZIA: Bestagno M. 2 (1/1), Corradini L. , Pastore C. 1 (0/4, 0/1), Callens E. 13 (4/9, 1/2), Templari E. dnp, Newton C. 18 (6/11, 1/3), Bagnara B. 3 (0/3, 1/6), Vukovic V. 10 (2/2), Sarti R. (0/4), Willis C. 10 (4/9, 0/1). Coach Papini Giovanni
FIERA DI ROMA POMEZIA: Di Battista F. (0/1, 0/1), Servillo M. dnp, Hodges D. 13 (0/5, 3/9), Cinili S. 2 (1/1), Mendes Da Silva T. dnp, Scimitani S. (0/1), Machanguana C. 23 (7/19), Lichnerova J. 7 (2/3, 1/3), Milica Beljanski (185-F-83) 15 (3/8, 1/1), Gattini C. 2 (1/5). Coach Incecchi Sandro

Acer Priolo - Famila Wuber Schio 75 - 63
(22-19, 44-41, 59-48)
ACER PRIOLO: Angela Gianolla (171-G-80) 20 (2/6, 3/4), Bonfiglio S. dnp, Palie S. 9 (1/1, 1/2), Milazzo O. dnp, Fabbri E. 2 (0/1), Seino T. 18 (5/7, 1/1), Sciacca B. 6 (0/3, 2/3), Pascalau F. 8 (2/8), Meneghel R. 4 (1/3), Phillips T. 8 (3/7). Coach Coppa Santino
FAMILA WUBER SCHIO: Consolini C. dnp, Moro E. (0/2, 0/2), Butler D. 9 (3/4, 1/3), Donaphin B. 10 (4/8), Tassara S. (0/1), Masciadri R. 12 (2/3, 2/4), Ngoyisa B. 17 (7/11, 0/1), Ress K. 2 (0/2), Ciampoli F. (0/1, 0/1), Macchi L. 13 (2/8, 1/4). Coach Orlando Sandro

Phard Napoli - Banco di Sicilia Ribera to be played later

New Wash Montichiari - Umana Venezia to be played later



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SPAIN - Women

Ros Casares saves match ball without problems against USVO Valenciennes -by Ivan Villar
ROS CASARES-USVO VALENCIENNES 70-44

Manolo Real's team played a final after 2 looses in a row last week.2,000 fans took their team to easy victory and next round of favourite competition.Defense was key of game,specially of Marina Ferragut over Nicole Ohdle.Delisha Milton shone with 9 points and 13 rebounds but Katie Douglas showed like other days that she's very important in valencian team.Forward scored 17 points and seems to be best signing of Ros Casares for this season.Next step,Rivas Futura in Queen's Cup.Madrid's team believes in win,so game maybe great.
Katie Douglas (183-G/F-79, college: Purdue)


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U.S.VIRGIN ISL. - Women

Murrah powers past Warren Central -by David Edole
As hot as Warren Central was from the perimeter, it still could not catch up with the nation's sixth-ranked team Friday night at WC.

Murrah (24-1) withstood a barrage of nine made 3-pointers by the Lady Vikes, including a 65-foot bank shot by point guard Karnina Bunch to end the third quarter, to take a 65-56 win. LSU signee LaSondra Barrett, one of the nation's top-rated players by many recruiting services, had a double-double with 23 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

'When I saw that shot go in I thought, is this a dream?' Barrett said of Bunch's shot. 'Warren Central is a very good team, especially under Coach (Donny) Fuller. And they shot it well from the perimeter, but they couldn't match up with us inside. When the game got tight, I moved to the block and was able to find the open girl and they finished their shots.'

That was something WC (15-12) had trouble doing in the final four minutes. Down just 57-54 with 4 minutes, 10 seconds left, the Lady Vikes missed their next nine shots in a row.

On the Murrah side, Barrett, who was being watched by LSU coach Van Chancellor, directed a decisive 8-0 run to put the contest away. Three times the 6-foot, 1-inch forward caught the ball with her back to the basket and was able to drop step her defender for either a basket or an easy pass to Murrah's other two 6-footers in the post in Brandi Simmons and Kierra Dampier for a basket. The trio made three baskets to go with two free throws from Tanecka Carey to put Murrah up 65-54 with 1:34 left.

Bunch finally ended WC's drought with a layup with two seconds left to account for the final WC points. With both Chancellor and a University of Louisville assistant coach in attendance, it was Bunch who made the biggest leap forward with her team-best 22 points and five assists. Fifteen of her points came on 3-pointers, all well behind the line.
'I just played hard. We knew how good Murrah is -- sixth in the nation,' said Bunch, a junior. 'I mean, we did well considering (Sha'Kayla) Caples didn't have her best game offensively. We just went through a stretch at the end where we couldn't make nothing.'

Caples, the two-time Vicksburg Post Player of the Year, went 3-for-16 from the floor. She had just two points at the half and finished with nine for the game.

'Karnina had a great game,' Fuller said. 'She stepped up big. I thought Brittany Erves and Vernadette Hale stepped up. But to play the No. 6 team in the country to nine points with our best player having her worst offensive game of the year says something. I still thought K (Caples) did some really good things. She played some of her best defense of the year. She just had an off night shooting.

'Overall, I'm really proud of the way our kids played.'

Murrah, whose only loss this season was to Brookhaven, was able to counter WC's eight first-half 3-pointers by making 17 of 30 shots (57 percent). Barrett had 17 points by halftime as the Lady Mustangs led 39-34.

The pace slowed in the third quarter and Murrah went up seven before a basket by Caples and a 3-point play by Bunch made it 44-42. Murrah was up 50-46 when Bunch dialed in her 65-footer to make it 50-49.

'I can hit that shot, but that's the longest one I've ever made,' Bunch said.

Simmons had 17 points and nine rebounds for Murrah. Tamecka Carey, another one of the state's top juniors, had 14, including 12 on four 3-pointers.

Heather Casey had nine points, all on 3-pointers, for WC.


Richards -Video -by David Edole

Akeema Richards is producing 13.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 5.1 steals per game this winter for Western HS in Baltimore. In the team's 54-44 win over seventh-ranked City this past Friday, Richards had 18 points and 15 rebounds. She punctuated the performance late in the game by being fouled in mid-air and twisting her body to make bank a shot high off the glass with her back to the basket. The move that would make some NBA all-stars applaud was simply vintage Akeema to Western HS Coach Tiffany Silver.
'It was like Kobe Bryant and that's immediately what I thought about,' Silver said. 'I don't call that luck coming from her, she makes them look so easy.'

VIDEO