EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 2/22/2008

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Men News

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ABA

Roster changes in Halifax -by Gianni Pascucci
The Halifax Rainmen bolstered their roster with the signing of massive teenager James Tyler (7'2''-C-89), and Akeem Clark (6'3''-G-82, college: IUPU-Indianapolis), and waived swingman James Booyer (6'8''-F, college: IUPU-Indianapolis). Tyler and Clark will be in the lineup tomorrow night when Halifax hosts league champions Vermont Frost Heaves at 7:15 p.m.

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ADRIATIC LEAGUE

Union Olimpija extends contract with Marko Milic -by Dragan Jankovski

One of the leading players of Slovenian National Cup holder Union Olimpija, Marko Milic (199-G-77), agreed terms with the club and extended contract for two more seasons. In interview for the Slovenian local newspapers Milic announced that he is planning to play for another 3-4 seasons after what he would like to stay in the club from Ljubljana.


For 17 games in Adriatic league Milic averaged 15 ppg and 4.7 rpg and 2.4 apg while for 14 games in Euroleague he had 15.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 1.5 apg.



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ALBANIA

Kurtoglu top-scores for his team -by Eurobasket News
Albanian Ermal Kurtoglu (207-C-80) and his Efes Pilsen fought bravely but fell just short to Montepschi Siena in overtime of Euroleague. It was the first loss for Efes Pilsen at this stage of the tournament. Efes Pilsen playing at the Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall claimed a narrow 13:12 lead after the opening frame and stretched it to 30:19 in the second term. But Bootsy Thornton scored 6 points in a 9:0 run to erase the deficit to 2 points at 28:30. Eze then tied the scoreline at 30 with seconds past in the third term. Montepschi took over and started to build their lead. Romain Sato capped the frame with a jumper to give the visitors a 49:44 lead after three quarters of action. Scoonie Penn and Ermal Kurtoglu regained the lead for Efes Pilsen early in the fourth term with a couple of treys. The game remained close throughout the fourth period and Terrell McIntyre connected from downtown to make it 69:69 with under a minute to play in regulation. No team was able to deliver at the crunch time and the game moved into overtime. Romain Sato opened the extra period with a three-pointer but it was matched by Drew Nicholas and Scoonie Penn as Efes Pilsen remained in driving seat. Ksystof Lavrinovic once again tied things up at 76 with free throws. Ksystof Lavrinovic got fouled again and converted two more free throws to spur Montepaschi in front. Drew Nicholas failed to deliver, while Bootsy Thornton was accurate to stretch Siena's lead. Efes Pilsen had enough time to get to Siena but missed decisive shots and lost the battle. Ermal Kurtoglu produced 20 points and 7 boards for the hosts. Andre Hutson scored 14 points for Efes Pilsen. Bootsy Thornton had 18 points for Montepaschi.
Claudio Ndoja (198-G/F-85) 's Capo D'Orlando overcame Lottomatica Roma 82:71.


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ARGENTINA

Liga A: Wednesday games -by Facundo Iatzky
Regatas 71-Gimnasia 62
Chuck Robinson (201-F-72, college: E.Carolina) 18 pts and 3 players with 12 each. Diego Prego 16 pts in Gimnasia

Estudiantes 86-Atenas 72
Pablo Gil (188-G-78) 18 pts Mariano Franco 16 pts. James Moore 21 pts in Atenas

Libertad 91- Quilmes 69
Robert Battle (200-C-81, college: Drexel) 25 pts Andres Pelussi 16. Quilmes: Carl Edwards 19 pts

Sionista 76 -Penarol 74
Mariano Byro (196-G-82) 22 pts Mike Robinson and Anton Hall 13 pts each. Roman Gonzalez made 19 in Pena.


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AUSTRALIA

New Zealand Breakers storm past Cairns -by Eurobasket News
Cairns Taipans - NZ Breakers 78:100

The New Zealand Breakers got to a rare road win against Cairns in the playoffs of the NBL. Thus the Breakers advanced to the quarterfinal where they would take on the Brisbane Bullets for a chance to advance to the semis. Cairns meanwhile surprisingly got a stumbling block to their season aspirations. The game was opened by a three-pointer from Stephen Black (186-G-80) to set the Taipans in front. But the Breakers answered with a 15:4 run to grab the lead. Derrick Alston (208-C/F-72, college: Duquesne) scored 6 points during the stretch. Cairns capped the frame with an 8:2 run and the Breakers led 25:24 at the end of the frame. Jared Newson (196-G/F-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Tennessee-Martin) returned the lead to the hosts early in the second term and the Taipans maintained the tempo. Stephen Black completed an 18-point haul in the first half and led his side to a 48:45 advantage at the interval. But all the Taipans' hopes went astray in the second half as the Breakers performed a nearly perfect stanza of basketball. Kirk Penney (194-G-80, college: Wisconsin) stepped up for the visitors with 7 straight points early in the third frame and the Breakers tightened up defense. They accumulated a 15:1 rally to open up a double-digit lead. The Taipans fought back for some time before conceding a 7:0 run as the Breakers were up by 9 points after three quarters 75:66. It all went from bad to worse for the home team in the fourth quarter. Cairns' leaders were kept quiet and the Breakers easily ran away to a 17-point distance midway through the final stanza. Cairns never recovered at the late stages and NZ Breakers cheeringly extended their season.
Kirk Penney notched 30 points and 9 boards for the winners. Derrick Alston had 19 points and 12 boards, while Orien Greene (193-G-82, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Louisiana-Lafayette) poured in 17 points for the Breakers. Stephen Black scored 20 points to pace the Taipans. Martin Cattalini (202-F-73) and Gary Boodnikoff (200-G/F-79, college: Augusta St.) nailed 13 points apiece in defeat. The Breakers had an overwhelming dominance on the boards 57:36. They sank 48% from the field, while limiting the hosts to 36% accuracy. So now the New Zealand Breakers will take on the Brisbane Bullets on February 23.

Cairns: Stephen Black 20, Martin Cattalini 13, Gary Boodnikoff 13
NZ Breakers: Kirk Penney 30, Derrick Alston 19+12 boards, Orien Greene 17


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AZERBAIJAN

Basak Rasim averages 4.4 points per game in Euroleague -by Eurobasket News
Rasim Basak (202-F-80, agency: Court Side) averages 4.4 points per game in Euroleague for his Turkish Fenerbahce. In the last game the latter were hardly beaten in Spain losing to Tau 84:103. Tau dominated every facet of the game and built a 50:38 lead at the interval. Fenerbahce never recovered after the break and trailed by as many as 18 points heading into the fourth period. Tau eased to an overall win at the and improved to 2-0 record in Group E. Sergi Vidal and Zoran Planinic scored 14 points apiece to lead 7 Tau players to scored in double figures. Igor Rakocevic netted 13 points, while Mirza Teletovic (205-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) and Tiago Splitter nailed 12 points apiece for the winners. Oguz Savas answered with 20 points for Turkish outfit. Will Solomon dropped 14 points in a losing case. Rasim Basak played 9 minutes, had 1 rebound and 2 fouls.

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BELIZE

Lake I Boyz first ever 100+ point game in U-26 Competition history!!! -by David Magana
Last night at the Civic Center in Belize City the regular season in the U-26 tournament continued with two exciting games. The first game in the schedule was not placed since Buttonwood Bay has stepped off the tournament becuase of their loosing record. Buttonwood Bay defaulted their second game in a row and are now disqualified from further competition. All teams still yet to play against Buttonwood Bay will get an automatic win. Belize Bank Junior Bulldogs got an easy game win 20 - 0.
In game two, the game was very trilling as Belmopan Tuff e Nuff lose their third game with less that 3 pts. Due to an amatuer mistake, Tuff e Nuff had possession with seconds remaining but turn the ball over while inbounding on a back court violation causing them to lose the game 59 - 58 to Mesop Guardian Bombers. For the Bombers, Leon Williams (203-F/C-86, college: Ohio) had a double double nigth scoring 17 pts / 12 rebound while Bernard Felix (183-G-85) 13 pts. In a losing effort, Eric 'Rico' Reyes scored 13 pts and had 7 assists while Shane Lino 13 pts.
In game three, Lake I Boyz were on fire throughout the game to post a first ever 100+ point game in the U-26 Competition history over Complex Bombers. The Bombers were humilated as they lost 106 - 48 and made history as one of the worst beaten team in the tournament. For Lake I, Eden Serano (191-F) had a double double night with 25 pts / 16 rebounds while Ashton 'Koolie' Edwards 23 pts (5-3's) / 6 rebounds. In a losing effort, Ernest 'Fiddle' Tench also had double duoble figures, 16 pts / 11 rebounds and Troy 'Toby' Williams 10 Pts / 6 rebounds.

NEXT GAMES --- GRUDGE NIGHT --- Friday 22 February 6:30 pm at Civic Center

Game 1 - Complex Bombers vs Mesop. Guardian Bombers
Complex loss the 1st meeting 60-53. Can they dish out payback and become spoilers in the playoff drive
of the Mesop. Guardian Bombers.

Game 2 - Belize Bank Junior Bulldogs vs The Future
Future are still reeling from their 76-70 loss and are out to tame the Bulldogs and give them (Bulldogs)
their first loss of the season.

Game 3 - Lake I Boyz vs UB Black Jaguars
Can Lake I Boyz maintain their heat coming off of the first ever 100+ point game in U26 Competition history
and defend their home court honor against the UB team that beat them in Belmopan 72-65.

Come out and enjoy an exciting night of Basketball..............


The Future Back On Track In U-26!!! -by David Magana
Last Monday night at the Civic Center in Belize City the U-26 Basketball Tournament continued their regular season games. In the first game, Buttonwood Bay lost by default while Mesop. Guardian Bombers took the big W with a score of 20 - 0.
In the second game, UB once again beat Tuff e Nuff 67 - 55. Top scorers for UB were; Farron Lauriano with 15 points, 8 rebounds and Linbergh 'Prince' Graham with 13 pts.
In game three, The Future beat Complex Bombers 87 - 72. For the winning team, Winston 'Air Jun' Pratt got 22 points / 9 rebounds while Leroy Louraino 19 points. Eventhough Lester Cadle (188-G-80) had an excellent night for the Bombers with the first triple double of season, his effort wasn't enough to win the game. In a losing effort, Lester Cadle 27 points (4-3's) / 11 rebounds / and 10 turnovers while Ronald Rivers (183-G-84) 16 points.


Defending Champs Start With a Win In BECOL Tournament! -by David Magana
Last Friday night at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio, Cayo, the BECOL Tournament began with an opening ceremony that featured most of the teams participating in this year's tournament. The tournament began with a U-17 game featuring LA Tigers and Sacred Heart College. The game was very exciting and from the begining the Sacred Heart boys took the lead up to the fourth quarter where they ran out of gas. The LA Tigers continued with their momentum stealing away the win from Sacred Heart by a score of 49 - 44. For the LA Tigers: Elvis Usher Jr. - netted 16 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals, Elliott Bermudez - 12 points and Shelton DeFour Jr. - 8 points and 11 rebounds. In a losing effort, Shimeon Simpson netted 21 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals and Neville Lisbey - 11 points.
In the Senior Division, E -Three Stars, the defending champs, defeated Christ for Life 64 - 54. The pressure the champs applied to the Christ for Life team was too much in the fourth quarter and in the end they scumbed to the champs. For the winning team, Mark O'Brien scored 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Elroy 'Shabba' Willis - 15 points and 3 steals . In a losing effort, Linden 'Tahu' Galvez scored19 points and 8 rebounds, while Mark Gentle - 6 points, 10 rebounds.


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BRAZIL

Paulista League Finals: Franca sweeps Ulbra for the title -by Gustavo Cardoso

After two double digit wins over Ulbra at home, Franca went south to Sao Bernardo for the third match of the final series, yesterday. The Francanos won by 76 to 75 and took the Paulista title once again.


The game was very competitive from the start, different from what was seen on Game 2 when Franca started off with 11-0 run. Ulbra started better in the first, but Franca reacted on the second. In the third the team coached by Jose Neto got things together once again and kept the lead. In the fourth the scoreboard changestook place play after play, and the match was decided in the final seconds.


Diego (15 points) and Vanderlei (15) were the top players for Ulbra. In Franca, Helinho, with 26, and Rogerio Klafke, with 20, were key factors for Coach Helio Rubens .



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CAPE VERDE

Rudolph Named MAAC Men's Basketball Rookie Of The Week For Third Straight Time -by Pedro Gomes
Recognition is his fifth of the season as he shares the award this week

Feb. 18, 2008

Edison, N.J. - Loyola men's basketball freshman guard Brian Rudolph (180-G-88) has been named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Co-Rookie of the Week - the third consecutive week and fifth time he has been acknowledged by the league this season - it was announced today by the conference office.

This is the second time in the five weeks that Rudolph has shared the award, sharing it this time with Fairfield's freshman forward Warren Edney. Niagara's Charron Fisher was named the MAAC Player of the Week for the second straight week.

With the entire league playing just one game over the weekend, Rudolph's exploits against Siena got him the award. His conventional three-point play with 2:25 remaining brought the Greyhounds back from an eight-point deficit. He then assisted on the game-tying three-pointer with eight seconds left to send the game to overtime. In the extra session, the 5-11 guard took over, scoring nine points total, seven of those at the start of the overtime to help Loyola build an eight-point lead with a pair of layups sandwiched around a three-pointer with two seconds remaining on the shot clock. He finished with a career-high 15 points, matched his career best with eight rebounds and handed out five assists. He made five of eight from the field and four of five from the free-throw line.

The Greyhounds have won nine of 12 since Rudolph was reinserted into the starting lineup. Of Loyola's 15 wins, 13 have come when Rudolph was the starter at point guard. He is averaging 6.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists while playing 26.1 minutes per game.

Loyola is back in action tonight when it hosts MAAC co-leader Rider at Reitz Arena, starting at 7 o'clock.

http://loyolagreyhounds.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/021808aab.html

Before Loyola
Helped Bridgton (Maine) Academy to a 30-5 record and third consecutive NEPSAC Championship, earning Most Valuable Player tournament honors ... a three-time New Bedford Standard-Times Player of the Year selection while at New Bedford HS ... averaged 23.9 points and 10.1 assists as a senior, helping his team to an 18-5 record, losing to the eventual champion in the Division I state tourmament ... career-best came with a 39-point effort in a 111-96 win over East Boston ... finished his scholastic career as the only player in that school's history with 1,200 points, 600 assists and 200 steals, averaging 20.8 points and 10.1 assists in 60 games.

Personal
The son of Brian and Kelly-Grace Rudolph, Brian Eric Rudolph Jr. was born on September 17, 1988 ... an only child ... plans to major in Communication-Public Relations at Loyola. Brian's mother Kelly is Cape Verdian.


Jeff Xavier Bio -by Pedro Gomes
The Cape Veridan-American Jeff Xavier (185-G-85, college: Manhattan) transferred to Providence last year from Manhattan College.

*Transfer not eligible for competition in 2006-07.

2005-06 AT MANHATTAN ... Scored six points and pulled down five rebounds in NIT Season Tipoff game at Seton Hall (11/14)... tallied 13 points vs. George Mason (11/26)...recorded 13 points and seven rebounds at Syracuse (11/30)... poured in 25 points in 40 minutes at Rhode Island (12/6)... tallied 13 points and five steals vs. Marist (12/9)... scored a team-high 19 points, adding five rebounds, three assists, and two steals at NDSU (12/18)... received John 'Doc' Johnson award as MVP of the 98th Battle of the Bronx, tallying game-high's with 24 points and six steals in win over Fordham (12/23)... scored 17 points on 7-10 shooting vs. St. Francis-N.Y. (12/30)... tallied 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals at Iona (1/6)... recorded 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals vs. Saint Peter's (1/8)... recorded a career-high tying 25 points (including a career-high 10-10 from the line), a career-high eight assists, and a career-high tying six steals, adding four rebounds vs. Rider (1/13)... scored 16 points vs. Siena (1/15)... tallied 14 points, six rebounds, and three steals at Rider (1/24)... scored 13 points, pulled down a career-high nine rebounds, adding four steals at Siena (1/30)... tallied 19 points, seven rebounds, and three steals vs. Loyola (2/5)... recorded his first collegiate double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds at Saint Peter's (2/8)... tallied his second straight double-double with 25 points (21 in the first half) and 12 rebounds at Canisius (2/11)... recorded his third consecutive double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing a career-high 13 boards in a career-high 45 minutes at Niagara (2/13)... tallied 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals, and two blocks vs. Long Beach State (2/18)... tallied his fourth straight conference double-double, tallying 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, adding four assists and two steals vs. Fairfield (2/23)... scored a team-high 23 points, adding seven rebounds, two assists and two steals vs. Iona (2/26)... scored 14 points and pulled down seven boards vs. Saint Peter's in MAAC Tournament (3/5)... tallied a game-high 22 points vs. FDU in NIT Opening Round (3/14)... poured in a career-high 31 points, adding eight rebounds and six steals in a First Round NIT win at Maryland (3/18).

2004-05 AT MANHATTAN ... Appeared in 29 games, making 17 starts... averaged 7.8 points and 1.4 steals per game... led the team with 48 made three-pointers... played three minutes in collegiate debut vs. South Dakota State (11/21)... scored first collegiate points, converting both ends of a one-and-one with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, and tallied 11 points in 12 minutes at Fairfield (11/30)... tallied six points on two made three pointers in 10 minutes at NC State (12/5)... tallied first career assist vs. Siena (12/9)... recorded first collegiate steal at Arizona (12/21)... scored three points and pulled down four rebounds in 23 minutes at Wichita State (1/3)... scored nine points on three-of-five shooting from beyond the arc in his first collegiate start vs. North Dakota State (1/5)... tallied four points, four rebounds, two steals and one assist vs. Niagara (1/13)... tallied 12 points, five steals, three rebounds, and three assists in 30 minutes vs. Saint Peter's (1/17)... poured in 13 points at Canisius (1/20)... scored seven points, adding five rebounds at Niagara (1/22)... tallied 15 points and four steals in 35 minutes at Rider (1/27)... tallied 19 points, including five trifectas, adding five boards, two assists, two steals, and one block at Siena (2/1)... tallied 11 points vs. Rider (2/11)... recorded 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals vs. Marist (2/13)... recorded 11 points, three boards, three assists, and three steals vs. Canisius (2/14)... tallied 11 points and four steals at Saint Peter's (2/27)... tallied a team-high 20 points in MAAC Opening Round win over Loyola (3/4)... poured in team and season-high 22 points in season-high tying 35 minutes in MAAC Quarterfinal game vs. Fairfield (3/5)... member of MAAC All-Star tour that toured China... team finished with a 7-0 record, as Xavier averaged 12.0 points per game and led the team with 16 three-pointers made.

HIGH SCHOOL: Named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2004 National Prep Invitational Tournament...Helped St. Raphael Academy capture two state titles his junior and senior seasons...Named Gatorade Player of the Year for Rhode Island in 2004...Recorded nine games with 40 or more points and two games with 50 or more points at St. Raphael...Averaged 26 ppg as a senior and 28 ppg as a junior at St. Raphael...

PROFILE: Name: Jeffrey G. Xavier Birthdate: September 7, 1985 Nickname: Jeff Major: Management Family: Son of Alice and Pedro Xavier. Has four brothers, David, Kenny, Jon and Alex, and two sisters, Stephanie and Tiffany. Favorite Teams: Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls Favorite Athletes: Steve Nash, Michael Jordan, Tracy McGrady Hobbies: Playing basketball What I would Like to Do After I Leave Providence: Manage a business

AT MANHATTAN OVERALL STATS
Total 3-Point Rebounds
Year GP-GS Min/Avg FG-FGA Pct FG-FGA Pct FT-FTA Pct Off-Def Tot Avg PF-FO Ast TO Blk Stl Pts/Avg
2004-05 29-17 559/19.3 79-179 .441 48-130 .369 20-26 .769 22-55 77 2.7 43-0 23 21 5 42 226/7.8
2005-06 31-30 1080/34.8 179-412 .434 77-220 .350 79-99 .798 49-133 182 5.9 82-3 60 78 7 70 514/16.6
TOTAL 60-47 1639/27.3 258-591 .437 125-350 .357 99-125 .792 71-188 259 4.3 125-3 83 99 12 112 740/12.3


Providence Friars Athletics Men's Basketball
http://friars.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/xavier_jeff00.html


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CENT.AFRICA

Central Africans Abroad -by Eurobasket News
Romain Sato (194-G-81, college: Xavier) together with his Montepschi Siena stays perfect in Top 16 of Euroleague. Turkish Efes Pilsen fought bravely but fell just short to Montepschi Siena in overtime. It was the first loss for Efes Pilsen at this stage of the tournament. Efes Pilsen playing at the Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall claimed a narrow 13:12 lead after the opening frame and stretched it to 30:19 in the second term. But Bootsy Thornton scored 6 points in a 9:0 run to erase the deficit to 2 points at 28:30. Eze then tied the scoreline at 30 with seconds past in the third term. Montepschi took over and started to build their lead. Romain Sato capped the frame with a jumper to give the visitors a 49:44 lead after three quarters of action. Scoonie Penn and Ermal Kurtoglu regained the lead for Efes Pilsen early in the fourth term with a couple of treys. The game remained close throughout the fourth period and Terrell McIntyre connected from downtown to make it 69:69 with under a minute to play in regulation. No team was able to deliver at the crunch time and the game moved into overtime. Romain Sato opened the extra period with a three-pointer but it was matched by Drew Nicholas and Scoonie Penn as Efes Pilsen remained in driving seat. Ksystof Lavrinovic once again tied things up at 76 with free throws. Ksystof Lavrinovic got fouled again and converted two more free throws to spur Montepaschi in front. Drew Nicholas failed to deliver, while Bootsy Thornton was accurate to stretch Siena's lead. Efes Pilsen had enough time to get to Siena but missed decisive shots and lost the battle. Ermal Kurtoglu produced 20 points and 7 boards for the hosts. Andre Hutson scored 14 points for Efes Pilsen. Bootsy Thornton had 18 points for Montepaschi. Romain Sato scored 12 points and now averages 13.5 points per game in Top 16 and has 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game.
Maxime Zianveni (198-F-79) and his AEL outlasted Ukrainian opponents Khimik on every inch of the court and deservedly won the game 70:65 in EuroCup. The game was pretty close early on but just before Milutin Aleksic begun his amazing offensive crescent. Aleksic had 21 points for the winners, who won despite being out-rebounded 42-31.Duane Woodward also had 15 points and four assists in a winning effort. Maxime Zianveni played 15 minutes and made 3 rebounds. he averages 7.3 points per game for his team.


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CUBA

LSB Statistics, Silvestre top rebounder and good scorer -by Alessandro Fontana
SCORER
Allens Jemmott (Matanzas) 24.5
Geoffrey Silvestre (Ciego de Avila) 22.3
HenrY Simon (Guantanamo) 21.3
Andy Boffill (Villa Clara) 21.0
Damian Del Toro (Santiago de Cuba) 20.0
REBOUNDS
Geoffrey Silvestre (Ciego de Avila) 7.0
Yoel Carta (Villa Clara) 6.5
Eliezer Lima (Capitalinos) 6.1
Henry Simon (Guantanamo) 6.0
Yoan Luis (Ciego de Avila) 5.8
ASSISTS
Manuel Area (Santiago de Cuba) 4.2
Alexei Mestre (Camaguey) 3.6
Michael Guerra (Ciego de Avila) 2.7
Alejandro Arcia (Villa Clara) 2.6
Yorman Polas (Camaguey) 2.4
STEALS
Danys Torriente (Matanzas) 4.7
Manuel Area (Santiago de Cuba) 4.1
Michael Guerra (Ciego de Avila) 4.1
Yorman Polas (Camaguey) 3.9
BLOCKS
Leonel Batista (Camaguey) 1.3
Grimay Chacon (Metropolitanos) 1.0
A. Fontana


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EUROLEAGUE

Euroleague: The third time wasn't bitter for the Greens!! PAO - Partizan Igokea 67-65 -by Chris Mammides

Panathinaikos - Partizan Igokea 67-65
(21-23,13-17,15-16,18-9)
It seems that Alfred Hitchcock influenced all the games between Partizan and Panathinaikos as all the three games this season were exactly the same, full of tension, full of excitement, great basketball and the final winner no matter what is Panathinaikos. Last night it was the third time that Partizan touched the 'dream' but couldn't finally grab it. The Serbian and Adriatic league champion reached differences as high as 16 points and with an amazing 9 minutes in the third quarter, were able to eliminate all Obradovic's solution, but a really solid 8-0 in the last minute of the 3rd quarter, made the Serbs to thing twice as PAO started to play much better in the last period with much stronger defence proving once more that Defence is in their blood. But still Partizan had a chance 2:30 before the end of the game extended the lead to 6 points but firstly it was Palacio to miss a lay-up and in the next possession the same player was wide-open but missed the shot from behind the arc.
Panathinaikos's power and familiarity in tough situations appeared in the last quarter and thanks to Hatzivretas, Spanoulis and Batiste, Obradovic's Greens recorded a valuable victory (the first in the round). Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82) led his team (in another game) with 20 points beign the only Green player with double digits. Michael Batiste scored 9 points and 12 rebounds while on the other side Partizan got 13 points from Dusan Kecman

Top scorers:
PAO: Spanoulis 20, Batiste 9 (12 rebs), Diamantidis 9 (4 rebs), Winston 9 (5 st)
Partizan Igokea: Kecman 13, Palacio 11 (4 st), Vitkovac 10 (7 rebs), Tepic 9

In the other Greek interest game, Aris defeated for a second consecutive time, this time it was the Lithuanian Lietuvos Rytas to beat Herbert's yellows with 89-75, with Wright remainign pointless and Massey once more trying for all the team with his 19 points and 10 rebounds, on the otehr hand Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81) once more was the top performer for the Lithuanians.




CSKA holds off Barcelona in Moscow -by Eurobasket News
CSKA - Barcelona 72:55

Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow overcame a slow start to their Top 16 campaign and gained speed to swoops past Barcelona in Round 2 yesterday. CSKA dominated the game and made the victory look quite casual. The hosts pointed out the advantage early in the encounter keeping the visitors scoreless for about two minutes. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) netted 4 points to give CSKA a 6:2 lead. Finally Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) hit from downtown but was well-matched by Trajan Langdon (192-G-76, college: Duke)'s trey. David Andersen (212-C-80) capped the frame with a jumper to seal things at 16:11. Siskauskas opened the second term with 6 more points to extend the margin to 11 points. Jaka Lakovic kept hitting treys as he totaled his third one to bring Barcelona within 6 points from CSKA. Soon Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) and Gianluca Basile (192-G-75) dragged the visitors as close as 3 points from CSKA 23:26. David Andersen and Marcus Goree (201-F-77, college: W.Virginia) however finalized the first half at 32:25. Trajan Langdon and David Andersen teamed up for 5 more points right after the break and CSKA started to get away. Siskauskas stretched the gap to 13 points but Ersan Ilyasova and Pepe Sanchez (193-G-77, college: Temple) connected from beyond the arc to trim the difference to 8 points. Later Roger Grimau (196-G-79) and Gianluca Basile notched treys for Barcelona to get within 5 points after 30 minutes. Jaka Lakovic tipped off the fourth term with a jump shot but Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) drilled consecutive buckets to put CSKA away. Trajan Langdon and David Andersen scored and then Ramunas Siskauskas fired from the outside to maintain the advantage. Mario Kasun (213-C-80) worked his way inside the paint to add two points to Barcelona's haul but Theodoros Papaloukas immediately answered with a three-point play to make it 63:51 for CSKA. Barcelona struggled to deliver and moreover the hosts were deadly from charity stripe leaving no chance for the visitors. David Andersen sank 4 free throws, while Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82) connected from three-point range to ensure the winning outcome for CSKA.
David Andersen finished the game with 20 points and 8 boards. Ramunas Siskauskas contributed 16 points, while Trajan Langdon scored 10 points for the winners. Jaka Lakovic dropped 11 points for Barcelona. Mario Kasun and Roger Grimau managed 7 points apiece in defeat. CSKA outrebounded the visitors 40:32 including 17:8 offensive boards.
CSKA will travel to Spain to take on Unicaja next week. Barcelona will host Lottomatica Roma on Thursday.

CSKA: David Andersen 20, Ramunas Siskauskas 16, Trajan Langdon 10
Barcelona: Jaka Lakovic 11, Mario Kasun 7, Roger Grimau 7


Lietuvos Rytas fire down Aris -by Eurobasket News
Lietuvos Rytas - Aris 89:74

Almost 10,000 spectators gathered at the Siemens Arena in Vilnius to watch their favorite Lietuvos Rytas drive to the first win at Top 16 stage. Lithuanian team used a stunning first frame to upset Aris and improved to 1-1 record in Group E. Hollis Price (186-G-79, college: Oklahoma) got things going for the hosts with a trey early in the encounter. Mindaugas Lukauskis (198-G-79) scored quick 6 points for Lietuvos Rytas as they accumulated an 11:5 lead midway through the frame. Mindaugas Lukauskis would not stop as he drained a triple soon to give Lietuvos Rytas a 21:9 advantage. Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) and Jared Jordan (188-G-84, college: Marist) secured a 27:11 lead for the hosts after 10 minutes of action. Aris tried to change the pace early in the second quarter and with the tempo raising the Greek side managed to trim the deficit to 10 points at 19:29. However Lietuvos Rytas reacted with an 8:0 rally that restored a 37:19 lead for the home side. The teams traded triples late in the quarter and Lietuvos Rytas accumulated a 49:31 lead at the interval. Mindaugas Lukauskis opened the second half with one more three-pointer and later Chuck Eidson (202-F-80, college: S.Carolina) scored 4 straight points to keep Lietuvos Rytas running. Aris could not find the proper defensive tools to hold off striking hosts and trailed by 16 points at the end of the third term. Dimitris Tsaldaris (196-F-80) and Iliadis fired from downtown for Aris at the start of the fourth term to boost up the intrigue. Later Giorgos Kalaitzis (195-G-76) poured in a three-pointer to erase the deficit to just 9 points at 60:69. Chuck Eidson and Vladimir Boisa (209-F/C-81, agency: World Sport Agency) traded three-point plays and then Lietuvos Rytas capitalized on technical foul from Aris to sink a bunch of free throws and climb beyond reach. Mindaugas Lukauskis and Chuck Eidson provided 18 points apiece for Lietuvos Rytas. Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) netted 17 points and grabbed 7 boards for the winners. Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.) responded with 19 points and 8 boards for Aris. Darius Washington (188-G-85, college: Memphis) drilled 11 points in defeat.
Lietuvos Rytas will play against Fenerbahce away from home next. Aris will face Tau Ceramica in a must-win fixture at home.

Lietuvos Rytas: Mindaugas Lukauskis 18, Chuck Eidson 18, Kenan Bajramovic 17
Aris: Jeremiah Massey 19, Darius Washington 11


Panathinaikos - Partizan 67-65 -by Kostas Papadopoulos
After last week's defeat from Efes Pilsen, last night's game against Partizan Igokea was very crucial for Panathinaikos on its way at Top 16 of Euroleague, and especially on gaining the first place at its group. Thus, the win (67-65), even at the very last minutes, will be certainly proved valuable.
Partizan started the game with two early successful 3-point shots, taking a lead (4-11) before the Greens made a 12-0 serie to lead with 5 points (16-11). However, the Serbians didn't upset and recover, basing on their offensive rebounds, and finished the first period at 23-21. Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) helped its team at the second period to take a bigger difference (25-32), before V-Span (Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket)) take his gun and with many successful efforts reduce it at two (34-36). Partizan, though, found the way and broke Greens' defense, finishing the first half at 6 (34-40).
At the third period, Dusko Vujosevic insisted on his zone defense and due to both Panathinaikos' mistakes and unsuccessful shots, but also due to its players' scoring [mainly Milton Palacio (190-G-78, college: Colorado St.) and Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket)], Partizan has been found at +15 on the 27th minute (41-56). Although, any other team may have been upset at that time, Panathinaikos' funs seemed to believe at their team and gave them the appropriate encouragement to reduce the difference. Vasilis Spanoulis found that enough and with the help from Sani Becirovic (195-G-81, agency: Beo Basket) ended the period at only 7 point- difference (49-56) after a 8-0 serie at 1.35 minutes.
It was then defense's time. Panathinaikos strengthened it very much (pressing a lot and enforcing Partizan at making a lot of mistakes) and after 8 minutes Panathinaikos has been found at two points ahead after a successful 3-point shot from Nikos Hatzivrettas (195-G-77), ending a 24-7 total serie. It was then Michael Batiste's (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) time, who with two successful free throws after a defensive rebound at 19,5 seconds before the end, gave his team a 2-point leadership. He even finished his work with the block on Milenko Tepic 1,9 seconds before the end. Until the end, Partizan didn't manage to make any attempt and the anxiety for everybody of us, being at the court, has finished. Panathinaikos was still alive at the Top-16 battle, staring at the next game against Siena with optimism, knowing its abilities very well.
Periods: 21-23, 34-40, 49-56, 67-65
Panathinaikos: Vasilis Spanoulis 20 (2), Sani Becirovic 8, Kennedy Winston (198-F-84, agency: Priority Sports, college: Alabama) 9, Dimos Dikoudis (207-F/C-77, agency: Court Side) 3, Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland) 4, Andrija Zizic (207-F/C-80, agency: FCM), Nikos Hatzivrettas 3 (1), Nikola Prkacin (208-C-75) 2, Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) 9 (1), Michael Batiste 9, Fragiskos Alvertis (206-F-74, agency: FCM)
Partizan: Milton Palacio 11, Milenko Tepic 9 (2), Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket) 13 (3), Dejan Borovnjak (208-F-86), Uros Tripkovic (197-G-86) 7 (1), Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) 5, Nikola Pekovic 7, Cedomir Vitkovac (201-F-82) 10 (1), Petar Bozic (197-G-78) 3 (1), Strahinja Milosevic (203-G/F-85, agency: Beo Basket), Slavko Vranes (229-C-83)

After the game, Panathinaikos' coach, Zeljko Obradovic , stated that 'if it weren't for the fans, we wouldn't have managed to prevail tonight. The match was a tough one, partly because last Sunday we played against our archrival Olympiacos. What worries me though is the fact that we made the same mistakes we did against Efes Pilsen last week. It was a crucial match and we had to be very focused throughout the forty minutes. But that wasn't what we did. Our group is open, especially after Siena's win. Each team can qualify. Even Partizan'.
On the other side, Partizan's coach, Dusko Vujosevic, gave his 'congratulations to Panathinaikos. Also I want to congratulate my players for their performance tonight. In the decisive moments we failed to score mostly because at these moments some key players were fouled out. I think that the fans had the chance to enjoy a great game and to appreciate our young Serbian players. In addition, my players, on the other hand, had the opportunity to play against the champions of Europe and gain some valuable experience. Regarding our chances to qualify to the next stage, I think that we still can qualify since there are four games left to play'.


One more thriller defeat for Partizan against big PAO in Athens ! -by Dragan Jankovski

PAO - Partizan Igokea 67-65

Partizan Igokea really doesn't have a luck against green PAO this season. Last night it was the third time when Partizan again was a small step away from the real sensation but it didn't happen. Namely, reining Serbian and Adriatic league champion had plus 6 on the half time against reining Greek and European champion in the middle of Athens. Black and white team reached 49-35 at the half way of the third quarter. PAO started to play much better in the last period but still Partizan had a chance 2:30 remaining in the game to extend lead to 6 but Palacio at the first point missed a lay-up and at the next possesion he was wide-open but unsuccessful from behind the arc. Quality and experience of PAO's players came on the scene and thanks to Hatzivretas, Spanoulis and Batiste Greek giant recorded valuable win, especially after defeat in the first round against Efes Pilsen in Turkey. Ex NBAer Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) led his team to this very tough victory netting 20 points and he was the only one who scored more than 9 points in PAO. Michael Batiste (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) had 9 points and 12 rebounds while on the other side Partizan got 13 points from Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket).

Head coach of PAO Zeljko Obradovic after the game said: 'Partizan played much better than us in this game. One of the reasons for our not so good performance is the fact that we played against Olympiakos last week-end and all players concentrated on that game. I want to congratulate them because they succeeded to return into the game after minus 15. Of course I am very grateful to our fans which, like always, helped us a lot tonight.'

On the other Partizan's head coach Dusko Vujosevic was very proud on his players because for the third time this season they played thriller game again big PAO. He also said that Partizan missed a great opportunity to record a win tonight but he stated that nothing is over yet. Partizan didn't play any game at home so far in Euroleague TOP 16.


Panathinaikos - Partizan Igokea 67-65
(21-23,13-17,15-16,18-9)

PAO:
Spanoulis 20, Batiste 9 (12 rebs), Diamantidis 9 (4 rebs), Winston 9 (5 st)
Partizan Igokea: Kecman 13, Palacio 11 (4 st), Vitkovac 10 (7 rebs), Tepic 9



Fenerbahce and Efes Pilsen lose in Euroleague -by Eurobasket News
Both Turkish representatives in Euroleague lost their Top 16 battles yesterday. Efes Pilsen fought bravely but fell just short to Montepschi Siena in overtime. It was the first loss for Efes Pilsen at this stage of the tournament. Efes Pilsen playing at the Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall claimed a narrow 13:12 lead after the opening frame and stretched it to 30:19 in the second term. But Bootsy Thornton (194-G-77, college: St.John's) scored 6 points in a 9:0 run to erase the deficit to 2 points at 28:30. Eze then tied the scoreline at 30 with seconds past in the third term. Montepschi took over and started to build their lead. Romain Sato (194-G-81, college: Xavier) capped the frame with a jumper to give the visitors a 49:44 lead after three quarters of action. Scoonie Penn (178-G-77, college: Ohio St.) and Ermal Kurtoglu (207-C-80) regained the lead for Efes Pilsen early in the fourth term with a couple of treys. The game remained close throughout the fourth period and Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77, college: Clemson) connected from downtown to make it 69:69 with under a minute to play in regulation. No team was able to deliver at the crunch time and the game moved into overtime. Romain Sato opened the extra period with a three-pointer but it was matched by Drew Nicholas (191-G-81, college: Maryland) and Scoonie Penn as Efes Pilsen remained in driving seat. Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) once again tied things up at 76 with free throws. Ksystof Lavrinovic got fouled again and converted two more free throws to spur Montepaschi in front. Drew Nicholas failed to deliver, while Bootsy Thornton was accurate to stretch Siena's lead. Efes Pilsen had enough time to get to Siena but missed decisive shots and lost the battle. Ermal Kurtoglu produced 20 points and 7 boards for the hosts. Andre Hutson (202-F-79, college: Michigan St.) scored 14 points for Efes Pilsen. Bootsy Thornton had 18 points for Montepaschi.
Meanwhile Fenerbahce were hardly beaten in Spain losing to Tau 84:103. Tau dominated every facet of the game and built a 50:38 lead at the interval. Fenerbahce never recovered after the break and trailed by as many as 18 points heading into the fourth period. Tau eased to an overall win at the and improved to 2-0 record in Group E. Sergi Vidal (198-F/G-81) and Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) scored 14 points apiece to lead 7 Tau players to scored in double figures. Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78) netted 13 points, while Mirza Teletovic (205-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) and Tiago Splitter (211-C/F-85, agency: Interperformances) nailed 12 points apiece for the winners. Oguz Savas (208-C-87) answered with 20 points for Turkish outfit. Will Solomon (187-G-78, college: Clemson) dropped 14 points in a losing case.


*****************************************************
FRANCE

ProA/B Trading News -by Chris Spiesser
Paris changes its coach: Jean-Marc Dupraz will end the season on the bench. Ron Stewart who lost the five games he coached so far gets a new task in the club. Dupraz was already on the bench in the capital town as an assistant.

Toulon who called the free Ismaila Sy (192-G-79, agency: Interperformances) a few hours after Colson's Achille's injury hired a new US PG. It will be Daniel Horton (191-G-84, agency: KMG Sports Management, college: Michigan) who played in Turkey and D-League since he graduated from Michigan. Recently he posted 15.5ppg, 3.00rpg and 4.5apg for Albuquerque.

Gabe Kennedy (205-F-81, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: UAB) who recently left Besancon is training with Limoges where Almonte and Gouez are injured. But following the LNB, he can't play for another ProB team within 45 days.


*****************************************************
GERMANY

2. Bundesliga: Market News -by Moritz Korff
According to the website of the 2. Bundesliga two more roster moves have been made only a couple of days prior to the end of the transfer-period on February 28.
The Kaiserslautern Braves (2. Bundesliga Pro A) added Jeremy Hunt (196-G-83, agency: CAA Sports, college: Memphis) to the roster. The 24-year-old Shooting Guard spent his entire collegiate career at the University of Memphis (NCAA1) and averaged 14.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals per contest as a senior (2006-2007). In November 07 Hunt joined SKS Polpharma-Pakmet Starogard Gd. from the Polish DBE-league, but stayed only for a short time (5 games: 3.4ppg).
Meanwhile, Phillip Freeman (211-C-79, college: Miles) has moved within the 2. Bundesliga Pro B, left the NOMA Iserlohn Kangaroos and is headed to hapa Ansbach instead. Iserlohn hired the Canadian Guard James Hudson (188-G-83, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: The University of Alberta) from 2. Regionalliga-team Recklinghausen recently to fill the second import spot. Freeman is going to replace Mihajlo Pesic (206-F/C-81, agency: Court Side) on the Ansbach roster. The Serbian/Irish Post Player decided to accept the offer of USC Freiburg yesterday. He had come to Ansbach after Konstantin Furman (205-F/C-76) had suffered a torn ACL in January.


Bamberg adds NBA D-League All-Star -by Moritz Korff
The defending German champion Brose Baskets Bamberg (1. Bundesliga) has agreed terms with Dwayne Mitchell (194-G-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Louisiana-Lafayette) on a contract for the rest of this current campaign. 25-year-old Mitchell played NCAA-basketball at Auburn and the University Louisiana at Lafayette until 2006. The same year he moved to France and made his first steps in the European game as a member of ProA-side Paris Basket Racing. He had 32 appearances and scored 11.1 points per contest. His other stats in France: 4.3 rpg, 2.4apg, 1.8 spg. Being selected in the first round of the 2007 NBA D-League Draft Mitchell joined Iowa Energy, the affiliate of the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat. Thanks to his performances in the Iowa jersey (31 games: 20.4ppg, 6.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.6spg) the native of New Orleans was invited to attend this years' D-League All-Star Game recently.

46ers sign veteran Danny Lewis -by Moritz Korff
Danny Lewis (185-G-70, college: Wayne St., MI) has inked a contract with the LTi Giessen 46ers (1. Bundesliga) today. The 37-year-old veteran Point Guard will stay for the remainder of the season. The native of Kalamazoo, MI graduated from D2-school Wayne State in 1993 and began his career as a pro in Mexico. Lewis then spent the following six seasons with the London Towers of the British Basketball League and obtained a British passport in 2001. After leaving the UK Lewis played in Israel, Poland, Russia and Spain. In 2002 he made the All-Israeli Premiere League First Team. During the 2006-2007 campaign Lewis appeared in 34 games of the Spanish LEB and averaged 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists as well as 1.1 steals per outing for Palma Aqua Magica.

Regionalliga Sudwest : Williams left Weissenhorn -by Kristian Santiago
Suddenly, Lorenzo Williams (191-G-84, agency: Profibasketball.de, college: Rice) left BC Weissenhorn after the last game, heading towards Slovakia to join a first division-side.
The transfer-deadline is already passed, and Weissenhorn had to react to the departure of a key player.
The management asked Terris Sifford (198-F-83, agency: All-Star Basketball Services, college: Winston Salem), who is still registered with the team , to return to Germany to play the rest of the season.


*****************************************************
GREECE

Panathinaikos - Partizan 67-65 -by Kostas Papadopoulos
After last week's defeat from Efes Pilsen, last night's game against Partizan Igokea was very crucial for Panathinaikos on its way at Top 16 of Euroleague, and especially on gaining the first place at its group. Thus, the win (67-65), even at the very last minutes, will be certainly proved valuable.
Partizan started the game with two early successful 3-point shots, taking a lead (4-11) before the Greens made a 12-0 serie to lead with 5 points (16-11). However, the Serbians didn't upset and recover, basing on their offensive rebounds, and finished the first period at 23-21. Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) helped its team at the second period to take a bigger difference (25-32), before V-Span (Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket)) take his gun and with many successful efforts reduce it at two (34-36). Partizan, though, found the way and broke Greens' defense, finishing the first half at 6 (34-40).
At the third period, Dusko Vujosevic insisted on his zone defense and due to both Panathinaikos' mistakes and unsuccessful shots, but also due to its players' scoring [mainly Milton Palacio (190-G-78, college: Colorado St.) and Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket)], Partizan has been found at +15 on the 27th minute (41-56). Although, any other team may have been upset at that time, Panathinaikos' funs seemed to believe at their team and gave them the appropriate encouragement to reduce the difference. Vasilis Spanoulis found that enough and with the help from Sani Becirovic (195-G-81, agency: Beo Basket) ended the period at only 7 point- difference (49-56) after a 8-0 serie at 1.35 minutes.
It was then defense's time. Panathinaikos strengthened it very much (pressing a lot and enforcing Partizan at making a lot of mistakes) and after 8 minutes Panathinaikos has been found at two points ahead after a successful 3-point shot from Nikos Hatzivrettas (195-G-77), ending a 24-7 total serie. It was then Michael Batiste's (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) time, who with two successful free throws after a defensive rebound at 19,5 seconds before the end, gave his team a 2-point leadership. He even finished his work with the block on Milenko Tepic 1,9 seconds before the end. Until the end, Partizan didn't manage to make any attempt and the anxiety for everybody of us, being at the court, has finished. Panathinaikos was still alive at the Top-16 battle, staring at the next game against Siena with optimism, knowing its abilities very well.
Periods: 21-23, 34-40, 49-56, 67-65
Panathinaikos: Vasilis Spanoulis 20 (2), Sani Becirovic 8, Kennedy Winston (198-F-84, agency: Priority Sports, college: Alabama) 9, Dimos Dikoudis (207-F/C-77, agency: Court Side) 3, Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland) 4, Andrija Zizic (207-F/C-80, agency: FCM), Nikos Hatzivrettas 3 (1), Nikola Prkacin (208-C-75) 2, Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) 9 (1), Michael Batiste 9, Fragiskos Alvertis (206-F-74, agency: FCM)
Partizan: Milton Palacio 11, Milenko Tepic 9 (2), Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket) 13 (3), Dejan Borovnjak (208-F-86), Uros Tripkovic (197-G-86) 7 (1), Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) 5, Nikola Pekovic 7, Cedomir Vitkovac (201-F-82) 10 (1), Petar Bozic (197-G-78) 3 (1), Strahinja Milosevic (203-G/F-85, agency: Beo Basket), Slavko Vranes (229-C-83)

After the game, Panathinaikos' coach, Zeljko Obradovic , stated that 'if it weren't for the fans, we wouldn't have managed to prevail tonight. The match was a tough one, partly because last Sunday we played against our archrival Olympiacos. What worries me though is the fact that we made the same mistakes we did against Efes Pilsen last week. It was a crucial match and we had to be very focused throughout the forty minutes. But that wasn't what we did. Our group is open, especially after Siena's win. Each team can qualify. Even Partizan'.
On the other side, Partizan's coach, Dusko Vujosevic, gave his 'congratulations to Panathinaikos. Also I want to congratulate my players for their performance tonight. In the decisive moments we failed to score mostly because at these moments some key players were fouled out. I think that the fans had the chance to enjoy a great game and to appreciate our young Serbian players. In addition, my players, on the other hand, had the opportunity to play against the champions of Europe and gain some valuable experience. Regarding our chances to qualify to the next stage, I think that we still can qualify since there are four games left to play'.


Uleb Cup: Panionios beat Pamesa 70-59 -by Chris Mammides
Panionios defeated Pamesa Valencia 70-59 at the opening leg of their ULEB Cup Last 32 series in Athens. Both teams have reasons to be optimistic: Panionios dominated early with a 20-0 run to the bridge the first two periods and led by as many as 19 points, but lost its edge later on. Meanwhile Pamesa struggled, but clawed its way back; leaving it a real chance to get to the Last 16 when it hosts the second leg next Tuesday. Pamesa led in the first few minutes, but Panionios caught fire with a 20-point charge as everyone on the home team seemed to have a hot hand. However Pamesa quickly regrouped and was soon within single figures, though Alexandar Capin made it 38-24 by halftime. The lead would close to 7 in the fourth quarter, but Panionios held on for a respectable advantage heading into the second leg.
Pamesa came out firing and burst in front 2-6 on triples by Williams and Douglas. Giannoulis responded for Panionios with consecutive baskets inside and passionate defence. After the hosts surged into the lead at 11-8, Capin and Newley came up big from downtown and Giannis Kalambokis (195-G-78) added a fade away jumper to boost the margin to 19-8. Pamesa needed a timeout after four scoreless minutes, but the momentum did not shift. Instead, Zoroski knocked down a wild triple to beat the first-quarter buzzer with Panionios fully in charge at 24-8. Giannis Kalambokis opened the second quarter with a driving basket to which Lonny Baxter added a free throw to cap an impressive 20-0 Panionios run with the scoreboard showing a 27-8 advantage. Pamesa was in disarray until House buried a triple that awakened his teammates. The visitors then fed Ruben Garces in the paint and he obliged with scored 5 points that trimmed the difference to 27-16. Antonas Kavaliauskas answered with a tip-in for Panionios, but House bettered that with a flying layup and free throws to make it 29-20. Pamesa was back in the game, although Panionios upped the ante with another triple by Capin at 36-20. Even when Douglas reloaded his gun for a late corner triple, Panionios held a 38-24 lead at intermission.

Douglas turned it on big way in the second half, as he first dished to House for a triple and then unleashed a three-pointer, allowing Valencia to claw its way back to 42-32. Sweet-shooting Sakota gunned from beyond the arc to reclaim a double-digit lead, yet Panionios was out of rhythm offensively. Moreover, the hosts were unable to control the boards and as a result, Pamesa managed, with Williams as its go-to-guy, to cut the lead to 50-43 with a period left to play. Williams opened the final period in style with a triple, but Giannis Kalambokis responded with a gutsy drive and 2 free throws to make it 54-46. Then, Zoroski and Douglas took over, exchanging baskets. Douglas fired in a triple, Zoroski followed with 5 points and Douglas answered back with another 3pointer to cut the deficit to 7. However, the hosts did not lose their composure and remained in the driver's seat. With the clock ticking down and the score at 65-57, Sakota found Newley for a decisive triple that brought the home crowd to its feet. Williams hit a long jumper, as Pamesa was trying now to trim the lead as much as possible, yet a charging foul by Douglas and 2 free throws by Giannoulis allowed Panionios to set the final score at 70-59.

Ivan Zoroski (195-G-79) led Panionios with 15 points, Brad Newley and Giannis Giannoulis (207-C-76) added 12 points apiece and Ioannis Giannis Kalambokis had 10 for the hosts, who won the battle on the glass 36-27. Shammond Williams (187-G-75, college: N.Carolina) scored 18, Ruben Douglas (193-G-79, college: N.Mexico) 17 and Fred House (196-F-78, college: S.Utah) 10 for Pamesa in defeat.

Source: Ulebcup.com


Euroleague: The third time wasn't bitter for the Greens!! PAO - Partizan Igokea 67-65 -by Chris Mammides

Panathinaikos - Partizan Igokea 67-65
(21-23,13-17,15-16,18-9)
It seems that Alfred Hitchcock influenced all the games between Partizan and Panathinaikos as all the three games this season were exactly the same, full of tension, full of excitement, great basketball and the final winner no matter what is Panathinaikos. Last night it was the third time that Partizan touched the 'dream' but couldn't finally grab it. The Serbian and Adriatic league champion reached differences as high as 16 points and with an amazing 9 minutes in the third quarter, were able to eliminate all Obradovic's solution, but a really solid 8-0 in the last minute of the 3rd quarter, made the Serbs to thing twice as PAO started to play much better in the last period with much stronger defence proving once more that Defence is in their blood. But still Partizan had a chance 2:30 before the end of the game extended the lead to 6 points but firstly it was Palacio to miss a lay-up and in the next possession the same player was wide-open but missed the shot from behind the arc.
Panathinaikos's power and familiarity in tough situations appeared in the last quarter and thanks to Hatzivretas, Spanoulis and Batiste, Obradovic's Greens recorded a valuable victory (the first in the round). Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82) led his team (in another game) with 20 points beign the only Green player with double digits. Michael Batiste scored 9 points and 12 rebounds while on the other side Partizan got 13 points from Dusan Kecman

Top scorers:
PAO: Spanoulis 20, Batiste 9 (12 rebs), Diamantidis 9 (4 rebs), Winston 9 (5 st)
Partizan Igokea: Kecman 13, Palacio 11 (4 st), Vitkovac 10 (7 rebs), Tepic 9

In the other Greek interest game, Aris defeated for a second consecutive time, this time it was the Lithuanian Lietuvos Rytas to beat Herbert's yellows with 89-75, with Wright remainign pointless and Massey once more trying for all the team with his 19 points and 10 rebounds, on the otehr hand Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81) once more was the top performer for the Lithuanians.




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

Round 19: Kormend could win in Pecs -by Tamas Deri

Kormend could beat Pecs in a very top game tonight in their own arena. Kormend lost only one game in 2008 (13th of January in Hodmezovasarhely) yet, after a very bad start of the season (4-10), won five games in a row.

PVSK-EXPO CENTER PECS - POLAROID-LAMI-VED KÖRMEND 85-90
(22-25, 24-19, 14-24, 15-22)

Pecs, Att.: 3.000, Referees: Palla, Adam, Kiss
PVSK: Kutasi 5/3, Nick Williams (192-G-83, agency: Beo Basket, college: Cincinnati) 14/9, Gabor Denes (197-F-82) 16/12, Toth 6, Lapov 10/3, Wittmann, Peter Grebenar (211-C-81) 18, Czigler 2, Dragan Aleksic (196-G-70, agency: Beo Basket) 14/6, Coach: Stojan Ivkovic
KORMEND: Marton Fodor (191-G-81, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 12/6, Ferencz 8/6, Rudolf Trummer (196-F-78, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 13/9, Ocitti 9/3, Vavra 12, Jermaine Thomas (187-G-84, agency: 540 Sports, college: La Salle) 12/6, McCants 5/3, Gergely Fodor (193-G-77, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents) 19/12, Coach: Dragoljub Krivacevic



All-Star game: roster of League-Selection is complete -by Tamas Deri
The roster of the League-Selection, which team will play against the Hungarian NT, is complete. As we published some days ago the starting five will be like following:
Thomas Kelley, Mike English, Eric Freeman, Arnas Kazlauskas and Du Juan Wiley. The head Srecko Sekulovic and his assistant Peter Volgyi decided to invite following players to the event:
Nikola Aliakseyeu (212-C-78, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents, college: Buffalo) (FALCO KC)
Erno Sitku (208-C-72, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) (NYKK)
Zalan Meszaros (190-G-74) (ASE)
Akos Horvath (194-G/F-81, agency: FCM) (UNIVER)
Dragan Aleksic (196-G-70, agency: Beo Basket) (PVSK)
Cory Bradford (191-G-78, agency: Edge Sports, college: Illinois) (Albacomp)
Julien Mills (193-G-84, agency: Warren Sports, college: Ball St.) (Dombovar)


Market news -by Tamas Deri

One day before the deadline some teams signed foreigner players to try to make the rosters stronger.


As Andrius Jurkunas is still not fit and able to play the management of Szolnok decided to bring in a new power forward. Marqus Ledoux (203-F-80, college: Tulsa) just signed his contract this morning and practiced already with his new team twice. Ledoux played last season in Hungary for Kormend, where he was one key player, averaged 12 points and 6.5 rebounds in 30 minutes on the court. His achilles got cut in the 3rd game of the 1/4finals against Albacomp and could not finish the season. He had a very hard and long rehabilition in the United States and got fit in december, when signed in Austria, with the first division team of Gussing. He played there 10 games and averaged 10.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 27 minutes per game.

In yesterday's night game against Kormend Wittmann felt on the floor, and broke his hand. He will be not able to play at least for 6-8 months, so the management had to find a replacement very quickly. They decided the sign Srdjan Jovanovic (194-G-76), who is a well-known player in our country, as he played in Kecsekemet before. This season he started in Poland with Polpak, but left and just arrived in Hungary today.



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IBL

Kellog Company Supports BC KNIGHTS YOUTH TICKET PROGRAM -by John Gary
courtesy oursportscentral.com Kellog Company has again teamed up with the Battle Creek Knights to present Kellogs Kids. Through Kellogs kids area youth will have the opportunity to attend Knights games this season. Five hundred tickets will be allocated by the knights to nonprofit organizations serving youth.

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JAMAICA

NDC in three-way tie for conference lead -by Leonard Whyte
South Euclid, OH (2-21-2008) - A fired-up Notre Dame College (NDC) defeated Malone College 81-64 last night to pull into a three-way tie for first place in the American Mideast Conference (AMC) North Division. NDC, 13-14 overall and 6-3 in AMC, led by as many as 35 points in the second half before cruising home for their third straight victory. Sophomore center Karim McFarlane produced 14 points and 12 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season and fifth in a row.

McDonald's All-American Rosters announced -by Leonard Whyte
Miami, FL (2-21-2008) - Forward Samardo Samuels of St. Benedict's Prep and combo guard Tyreke Evans of American Christian High, rated the No. 1 and No. 2 basketball players respectively, in the Class of 2008, were named to the East team for the 31st annual McDonald's All-American game to be played at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 26 at 9:30 p.m. EST on ESPN. Proceeds from the game will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC(R)) of Eastern Wisconsin and its Ronald McDonald House(R) program.

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JORDAN

Round 1 of Final 4 -by Mohammed Malas
Zain and Orthodox were the winners in the opener of Final 4 yesterday in Prince Hamza Hall in Amman....

Zain 93 - Al Riyadi/Aramex 79 (Qs: 25-15, 46-34, 74-48 & 93-79)

Glen Summerall (193-G-80, college: Cal.St.-San Bernar.)'s 2nd game with the team was successful and helped his team alot to find some solutions from outside the arc following the injury of both Sam Daghlas and Rasheim Wright, Glen scored yesterday 24 points and 11 rebounds to make good support to Nate Johnson (17 points) and Zaid Al Khas (17 points), Moussa Al Awadi played with Zain after he was back from a loan in Al Wihdat.

In the other side, Andre Laws and Demetris Montgomry (22 points) played their 1st game with Al Riyadi and did well with veteran Hussam Lutfi but without big help from their other teammates.

Orthodox 88 - Arena 75 (Qs: 24-17, 45-38, 65-55 & 88-75)

Orthodox made a good beginning in the game and that turned to control most of the time with a comfortable lead following the success of Chris Campbell (23 points), Ayman Idais (20 points), Naser Bassam (19 points) and Kelly Wise (19 points) despite some good work from Mark Strickland (22 points), Zeid Abbas (17 points) and Josh Cooperwood (17 points) but those 3 did'nt found their colleagues in the team with the needed effect and that led to a red end.


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KOSOVO

Kosova - Albania under the patronage of Prime Minister Thaci -by Edona Shabani

The first interstate sports event in the history of Republic of Kosova, will take place on Thursday 21.02.2008.

The match between Republic of Kosova and republic of Albania will be played in both categories women, starting on 6:00 pm, men starting on 8:00 pm and it will be under the patronage of Prime Minister of Kosova Mr. Hashim Thaci. Basketball Federation of Kosova invites all kosovar fans to fill the Sports and Youth Hall in Prishtina with National flags, state flags and also the flags of all states that support Kosova.

Sourse: www.basketbolli.com



Both National Teams will Honor the Meritorious of Indipendence -by Edona Shabani
The members of NT of Albania and Kosova , who on Thursday will be playing a historic match, the first interstate match after the declaration and recognition of the Republic of Kosova, during their stay in Kosova will honor the meritorious of independence of Kosova.

AGENDA OF VISITS

On 21.02.2008 Thursday

At 10:00 Visit of the Zahir Pajazit monument

At 10:15 Visit the grave of President Rugova

At 10:30 Visit martyrs graveyard in Prishtina

At 11:00 Visit the memorial complex 'Adem Jashari' Prekaz.

On 22.02.2008 Friday

At 11:00 Visit memorial complex of 'Lidhja e Prizrenit'


Source: www.basketbolli.com


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LATVIA

Latvian Basketball League -by Gunars Gailitis

Latvian Basketball League

Division I

February, 19

Liepajas Lauvas - Bumerangs/Gulbene/ASK 84-82 (25-25; 25-17; 16-21; 18-19)

Jevgenijs Kosuskins (202-F-77) 24, Jurevicus 24, Ansons 11; Rudzitis 20, Poznaks 17, Rauza 14


VEF Riga - SK Valmiera 93-87 (17-21; 20-31; 26-12; 30-23)


Maksim Sheleketo (204-F-87) 37, Aleksejevs 14, Kolesnikov 14; Amolins 17, Nash 15, Olivero 14, Jankauskas 12, Stimac 12



Latvian clubs in Eurocups -by Gunars Gailitis

ULEB Cup

Last 32

Lukoil Academic (BUL) - BK Ventspils 67-64 (16-17; 18-16; 18-22; 15-9)

Antic 17+11reb, Canak 13, Stoykov 11, Mujezinovic 10; Baxter 15, Akingbala 12+10reb, Vitols 11, Love 11


FIBA EuroCup


Quarter Final Round. First game


Barons/LMT - KK Zagreb 67:58 (13:14, 16:19, 23:13, 15:12)


Armands Skele (192-G-83) 25, Hlebowicki 13, Alexander 10+10reb; Vladovic 13, Simon 10, Zadarevi 9



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LEBANON

Results from Round 7 -by Asia-Basket Lebanon
In the 7th round of the Lebanese league , Riyadi managed to maintain is unbeaten record with another win in the last minutes in the game that joined him to Blue Stars, Blue Stars who played without foreign players showed a great basketball, the game finished 66-72 .

In the second game Moutahed is showing round after round its progression and showed a very organized basketball against Antranik who played with a new face after the sudden move by replacing the team scorer Marcus Brown by a new player B.J. Spencer. The game finished on the score of 88-67.

In the third game Feytroun is continuing its good performance and had a good game against Sagesse , Feytroun under the commands of Coach Elie Nasr had a very good 3 quarters in which they urged Sagesse players to regroup in the 4th to secure a very important game for the maintain in the top of the table. The game finished on the score of 82-106.

In the last game of this round Anibal had a big surprise for the Basketball Fans with a very important win against Champville on the score of 98-97 in the dying seconds of the game .

Feytroun - Sagesse: 82-106

Best Scorers:

Feytroun: Aaaron Haynes (23pts)

Sagesse: Sabah Khouri (29pts)

Q1:23-27 Q2:17-16 Q3:22-36 Q4:20-27



Moutahed - Antranik: 88-67

Best Scorers:

Moutahed : Darren Kelly (28pts)

Antranik: Nadim Souaid (24pts)

Q1:22-18 Q2:19-15 Q3:23-19 Q4:24-15



Champville -Anibal: 97-98

Best Scorers:

Champville: Jarred Merrill (36pts)

Anibal: Danny Barhoum (26pts)

Q1:18-21 Q2:30-22 Q3:16-27 Q4:33-28



Blue Stars -Riyadi : 66-72

Best Scorers:

Blue Stars: Jean Abed El Nour (16pts)

Riyadi: Ramy Akiki (18pts)

Q1:17-14 Q2:19-14 Q3:14-24 Q4:16-20


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LIGA SUDAMERIC.

Union Atletica will not play the South American League -by Hector Lopez
Union Atletica rejected an invitation to play the South America League, the local Federation announced today. Union was invited afetr Malvin, the last LUB champion. also said they will not participate. 'We are looking the situation to decide which team will play', said Alberto Ward General Secretary of the Uruguayan Federation. The team selected will have to play Group C in Corrientes from Feb 29 to March 1st. , against Regatas (Argentina) Sol de America (Paraguay) and Deportivo Tachira (Venezuela). Tachira is replacing a Brazilian team, Minas Tenis, due to internal problems in their country. Another Uruguayan team, Trouville will organize Group B, in Montevideo, with Libertad Sunchales (Argentina) Flamengo (Brazil) and Millonarios (Bolivia) from Feb.25 to Feb 29.
The group A will be played from Feb. 22 to Feb 24, in Caracas, with Boca (Argentina) Universo (Brasil) Regatas (Peru) and Cocodrilos (Venezuela). Two teams of each group plus the two best thirds
will play quarter finals.


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LITHUANIA

Lietuvos Rytas fire down Aris -by Eurobasket News
Lietuvos Rytas - Aris 89:74

Almost 10,000 spectators gathered at the Siemens Arena in Vilnius to watch their favorite Lietuvos Rytas drive to the first win at Top 16 stage. Lithuanian team used a stunning first frame to upset Aris and improved to 1-1 record in Group E. Hollis Price (186-G-79, college: Oklahoma) got things going for the hosts with a trey early in the encounter. Mindaugas Lukauskis (198-G-79) scored quick 6 points for Lietuvos Rytas as they accumulated an 11:5 lead midway through the frame. Mindaugas Lukauskis would not stop as he drained a triple soon to give Lietuvos Rytas a 21:9 advantage. Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) and Jared Jordan (188-G-84, college: Marist) secured a 27:11 lead for the hosts after 10 minutes of action. Aris tried to change the pace early in the second quarter and with the tempo raising the Greek side managed to trim the deficit to 10 points at 19:29. However Lietuvos Rytas reacted with an 8:0 rally that restored a 37:19 lead for the home side. The teams traded triples late in the quarter and Lietuvos Rytas accumulated a 49:31 lead at the interval. Mindaugas Lukauskis opened the second half with one more three-pointer and later Chuck Eidson (202-F-80, college: S.Carolina) scored 4 straight points to keep Lietuvos Rytas running. Aris could not find the proper defensive tools to hold off striking hosts and trailed by 16 points at the end of the third term. Dimitris Tsaldaris (196-F-80) and Iliadis fired from downtown for Aris at the start of the fourth term to boost up the intrigue. Later Giorgos Kalaitzis (195-G-76) poured in a three-pointer to erase the deficit to just 9 points at 60:69. Chuck Eidson and Vladimir Boisa (209-F/C-81, agency: World Sport Agency) traded three-point plays and then Lietuvos Rytas capitalized on technical foul from Aris to sink a bunch of free throws and climb beyond reach. Mindaugas Lukauskis and Chuck Eidson provided 18 points apiece for Lietuvos Rytas. Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) netted 17 points and grabbed 7 boards for the winners. Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.) responded with 19 points and 8 boards for Aris. Darius Washington (188-G-85, college: Memphis) drilled 11 points in defeat.
Lietuvos Rytas will play against Fenerbahce away from home next. Aris will face Tau Ceramica in a must-win fixture at home.

Lietuvos Rytas: Mindaugas Lukauskis 18, Chuck Eidson 18, Kenan Bajramovic 17
Aris: Jeremiah Massey 19, Darius Washington 11


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NBA

Jason Kidd and Shaquille O'Neal start for new teams -by Eurobasket News
Yesterday was rich for big appearances in the NBA as Jason Kidd (6'4''-G-73, college: California) and Shaquille O'Neal (7'2''-C-72, college: LSU) donned the jerseys of their new teams for the first time. Shaquille O'Neal finally debuted for Phoenix as he started for the Suns against the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaquille O'Neal was obviously eager to make his debut an outstanding one by edging his long-time arch-rival Kobe Bryant (6'6''-G-78) in the one of the most exciting clashes of the season. But Kobe Bryant had his own thoughts on that. He drained game-high 41 points to pace the Lakers past soaring Phoenix. Shaquille O'Neal came up with 15 points and 9 boards in 29 minutes of action. Pau Gasol (7'0''-F/C-80) added 29 points, while Lamar Odom (6'10''-F-79, college: Rhode Island) accounted for 22 more in the Lakers win. Amare Stoudemire (6'10''-F-82) registered 37 points and pulled down 15 boards for the Suns as they suffered their 17th defeat and were matched by the Lakers in the ladder. The Lakers were up by 115:108 with just over 5 minutes left in regulation. But Shaquille O'Neal scored 6 points in a row to drag Phoenix within a single point 114:115. Bryant answered with a jumper but Shaq hit a free throw for the Suns to keep close. Kobe Bryant would not stop with another jump shot but Steve Nash (6'3''-G-74, college: Santa Clara) responded with two free throws to make it 117:119. Finally Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol scored 4 points in a row and the Lakers ran away with a victory.
In the meantime Jason Kidd started for the Dallas Mavericks as they travelled to New Orleans. It did not help the Mavericks though as Chris Paul (6'0''-G-85, college: Wake Forest) had a monster night to pace the Hornets to a 104:93 win. He tallied 31 points, 11 rebounds, 9 steals and 5 boards to ensure the 37th win for the Hornets in the season. Jason Kidd logged 37 minutes and totaled 8 points, 6 boards, 5 assists and 3 steals in defeat. Dirk Nowitzki (6'11''-F-78) dropped 31 points for Dallas as they slipped to 35-19 record in the table. Predrag Stojakovic (6'10''-F-77) and David West (6'8''-F-80, agency: Octagon, college: Xavier) netted 18 points apiece for the winners.


San Antonio markets Kurt Thomas -by Eurobasket News
The San Antonio completed the trade that allowed them to get forward Kurt Thomas (6'9''-F-72, college: TCU) from Seattle. The Spurs exchanged him for guard Brent Barry (6'6''-G-71, college: Oregon St.), centre Francisco Elson (7'0''-C-76, agency: Court Side, college: California) and a 2009 first-round draft pick. Kurt Thomas spends his 13th season in the NBA. His recent average numbers show 7.5 points and 8.8 boards per game. His career stats come up to 9.9 point and 7.5 boards. It all suits well in the current tendency of the Western title contenders to boost up their frontcourt.
The Seattle Supersonics meanwhile continued to look for more flexibility under the salary cap. They traded out Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen earlier and obviously aim for refreshing the squad building it around Kevin Durant. Brent Barry averaged 7.3 points in 29 games for the Spurs in the season. Francisco Elson scores 3.5 points and collects 3.3 rebounds in the season.


Change In the Air: A Look At Two Trade Deadline Deals -by Michael Moten
It has been a dynamic season of trades in the NBA to say the least and as the deadline reached its final hours; there were several deals that changed the complexion of the teams involved.

Sonics-Bulls-Cavs Trade:
Cavs get: Ben Wallace (6'9''-C-74, college: Virginia Union), Joe Smith (6'10''-F-75, college: Maryland), Wally Szczerbiak (6'6''-F-77, college: Miami, OH), Delonte West (6'4''-G-83, college: St.Joseph's), Bulls 2nd rounder
Bulls get: Larry Hughes (6'5''-G-79, college: St.Louis), Drew Gooden (6'10''-F-81, college: Kansas), Cedric Simmons (6'9''-F/C-86, college: N.Carolina St.), Shannon Brown (6'3''-G-85, college: Michigan St.)
Sonics get: Adrian Griffin (6'5''-G/F-74, college: Seton Hall), Donyell Marshall (6'9''-F-73, college: Connecticut), Ira Newble (6'7''-F-75, college: Miami, OH)

This is a big one, Big Ben (or Big Bum as some have labeled him this season), moves on to Cleveland. He has been averaging 8.8 rebounds and 5.1 points per game this season. Joe Smith gets a new start with the Cavs, he has been consistent all season and proven he can still help a team with experience and energy. Wally Szczerbiak provides the shooting weapon the Cavs were looking for and should get good looks with Lebron on the floor. He is also much better off the dribble than people give him credit for.

The Bulls are happy to have a bigger guard in their backcourt in Hughes, and even happier to get away from the final two years of Wallaces' enormous four year contract. Hughes brings the usual excellent defense both on and off the ball and has had some big offensively productive nights this season.

Hornets get: Bonzi Wells (6'5''-F-76, college: Ball St.), Mikes James
Rockets get: Bobby Jackson (6'1''-G-73, college: Minnesota)

Rockets get: Gerald Green (6'8''-G/F-86)
Minnesota gets: Kirk Snyder (6'6''-F-83, college: Nevada), 2nd rounder

Wining nine games in a row did not stop the Rockets from doing some tweaking. Bonzi Wells has had a good season but with the emergence of Louis Scola and Carl Landry, Wells became expendable. Bobby Jackson gives them another experienced point while moving Mike James and his expensive contract helps the club, he has been a major disappointment. Kirk Snyder was the odd man out on a very deep team while Gerald Green is a local Houstonian and a young athletic player that can shoot from long range. He will be looking for more consistent playing time in Houston.


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NCAA

Duke loses second in a row -by Eurobasket News
Duke entered the week with a perfect record of 22-0. But something went wrong with the Blue Devils as they suffered two straight defeats in 4 days dropped to 10-2 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The most recent defeat came yesterday as Duke were not able to handle Miami for the first time in 45 years. The Hurricanes lived up to their name early in the second half as they scored 15 consecutive points to leave Duke behind at 59:39. The Blue Devils refused to give up and almost completed an impossible comeback falling just short at the end. Jon Scheyer (6'5''-G-87) and Greg Paulus (6'1''-G-86) dragged the Blue Devils within 3 points with 19 seconds left 90:93. Jack McClinton (6'1''-G-85, college: Siena) scored a free throw for Miami and then DeMarcus Nelson (6'4''-G-85) drained a jumper for Duke to get even closer 92:94. But Jack McClinton was deadly from free throw line to seal the third win in a row for the Hurricanes. Dwayne Collins (6'8''-F/C) came up with a career-high 26 points to lead Miami. Jack McClinton posted 22 points for the winners. Jon Scheyer responded with a career-high 27 points for the Blue Devils. Duke suffered 22 turnovers and converted 45% from the field. Miami answered with 57% accuracy.
In the meantime Memphis remained undefeated as they shattered Tulane 97:71 away from home. It was the 26th straight success for the Tigers and the 400th career win for John Calipari . The Tigers dominated completely and led 46:27 at halftime. They cruised past their opponents to an overall win and now have to concentrate on the upcoming scorcher. Memphis will take on the second-ranked Tennessee in the first top-ranked clash since February 25, 2007. Chris Douglas-Roberts (6'7''-G-87) fired 29 points for the Tigers. Derrick Rose (6'4''-G-88) added 17 points in a win. David Gomez (6'7''-F-85) accounted for 23 points in defeat. Kevin Sims (5'10''-G-88) contributed 14 points for the Green Wave.


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NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand Breakers storm past Cairns -by Eurobasket News
Cairns Taipans - NZ Breakers 78:100

The New Zealand Breakers got to a rare road win against Cairns in the playoffs of the NBL. Thus the Breakers advanced to the quarterfinal where they would take on the Brisbane Bullets for a chance to advance to the semis. Cairns meanwhile surprisingly got a stumbling block to their season aspirations. The game was opened by a three-pointer from Stephen Black (186-G-80) to set the Taipans in front. But the Breakers answered with a 15:4 run to grab the lead. Derrick Alston (208-C/F-72, college: Duquesne) scored 6 points during the stretch. Cairns capped the frame with an 8:2 run and the Breakers led 25:24 at the end of the frame. Jared Newson (196-G/F-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Tennessee-Martin) returned the lead to the hosts early in the second term and the Taipans maintained the tempo. Stephen Black completed an 18-point haul in the first half and led his side to a 48:45 advantage at the interval. But all the Taipans' hopes went astray in the second half as the Breakers performed a nearly perfect stanza of basketball. Kirk Penney (194-G-80, college: Wisconsin) stepped up for the visitors with 7 straight points early in the third frame and the Breakers tightened up defense. They accumulated a 15:1 rally to open up a double-digit lead. The Taipans fought back for some time before conceding a 7:0 run as the Breakers were up by 9 points after three quarters 75:66. It all went from bad to worse for the home team in the fourth quarter. Cairns' leaders were kept quiet and the Breakers easily ran away to a 17-point distance midway through the final stanza. Cairns never recovered at the late stages and NZ Breakers cheeringly extended their season.
Kirk Penney notched 30 points and 9 boards for the winners. Derrick Alston had 19 points and 12 boards, while Orien Greene (193-G-82, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Louisiana-Lafayette) poured in 17 points for the Breakers. Stephen Black scored 20 points to pace the Taipans. Martin Cattalini (202-F-73) and Gary Boodnikoff (200-G/F-79, college: Augusta St.) nailed 13 points apiece in defeat. The Breakers had an overwhelming dominance on the boards 57:36. They sank 48% from the field, while limiting the hosts to 36% accuracy. So now the New Zealand Breakers will take on the Brisbane Bullets on February 23.

Cairns: Stephen Black 20, Martin Cattalini 13, Gary Boodnikoff 13
NZ Breakers: Kirk Penney 30, Derrick Alston 19+12 boards, Orien Greene 17


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PORTUGAL

ProLiga - Fisica -by Nuno Vieira

Amadeu Cordeiro (192-G/F-78), 2man from Fisica T.Vedras B is injured!!! He received last week a knee injury.

The player is making a several medical exames to see the extention of the injury.

But everithing point to a injury that will take him out from the playoffs.

It will be a big lost for the club since Amadeu brings experience and a strong defensive mentality to the team.

Amadeu after playing the TOP league for a couple of seasons in Gaia, have being playing in the ProLiga, this season have decide to play to Fisica to try to get back on track with a positive carrier.



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PUERTO RICO

Boricuas in the States and Games in Puerto Rico -by Alessandro Fontana
BORICUAS IN THE STATES
In D-League 'partidazo' for Guillermo Diaz, his team Arsenal Anaheim was defeated by Tulsa 132-131, but 'Our Boricua' scored 31 points (6/12 2pts, 3/5 3pts, 10/12 FT) with 3 rebs and 6 assts.
In NBA, Dallas was defeated by New Orleans Hornets, for Jose Juan Barea only 2 pts (0/1 2pts, 2/2 FT) and 1 reb in 4 minutes.
GAMES IN PUERTO RICO
Some games during these days in Puerto Rico. The BSN teams are playing 'friendly-games' to be ready for the beginning of the League.
Arecibo defeated Bayamon 75-63. MVP was 'Buster' Angel Figueroa with 21 pts. To mention for Arecibo also White Rodney 19 pts and Bobby Joe Hatton 10 pts. For Bayamon good game for Franklin Westernwith 13 pts.
Cangrejeros de Santurce won against Caguas 89-76, Ricardo Dalmau 23 pts and 'El Jefe' Larry Ayuso already 'on fire' with 20 pts. San German won against Guayama 92-88 thanks to his american players, Dixon Nigel (25 pts) and Bobby Lazor (21 pts).
A. Fontana


Lions ready to be the King of The Jungle Once Again -by Luis Ramirez
Today we review the Ponce Lions, a team which during the past few years had been in the news but not on a positive note but rather because of a lot of turmoil mainly because of the poor management skills by its owners. During the offseason the Lions lost its Captain- Bobby Joe Hatton who signed with the Arecibo Captains, also gone are the prior team owners. The Team now has only one owner and they have added an ex official Jorge Vazquez as their General Manager and he has done a really good job in coming up with very good addition to the team. The Lions have a new playmaker as they got Wilfredo Pagan from the Guayama Brujos which is a high caliber player which will fill the void of Hatton absence. Fans are once again excited and eager for the season to start. The Lions squad will have the following players Antonio Latimer, Yoyo Rosario, Joel Curbelo, Gabriel Colon, Freddy Martinez, among others. The Lions import Player will be Aaron McGhee a player who saw some limited action last year with the Carolina Giants. The Lions had selected Eddie Elisma as their Community Player but it turned out that Elisma did not qualify as a Community Player and this has Lion's Team Owner making a decision on what player will substitute Elisma. Returning to the Lions will be Joel Jones Camacho who is a high Flying athletic player who quickly became a Fan favorite last year with some incredible dunks, also returning for his 20th season will be Antonio Colon who may be playing his last season and may be retiring at the end of the season. The Lions will be coached by Sam Worthen who has experience in the BSN. There is much excitement this year with the Lions and it very likely that they will be on top of their division when the regular season ends, anything else than a Championship will simply not satisfy the faithful Ponce Lion fans.

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QATAR

Army Club : The League Champions!! -by Eurobasket News
Written by: Amir Abou-El-Kheir & Mohammed Malas

Army Sports Club (Al Jaysh) deserved to be the champions of Qatar's Basketball League after securing it by beating Al Sadd by 16 72-56 in the last round of the league yesterday in Al Gharafa Club Court......

Al Rayyan's dominance in the Qatari Men's Basketball League came to a screeching halt Wednesday night thanks to a 32 point first half performance (10-11 from behind the arc) by forward Ali Turki (200-F-82) . Turki finished the contest with 38 points. An undermanned As Sadd Club squad was led by Saeed Kosar's 33 point effort, including 20 points in the second half.

Al Jaysh were ready from the get-go and the match was never in doubt as coach Soli (Milovahovic Dragoslav from Serbia) had his team relaxed and mentally prepared for the contest; something Coach Soli has emphasized the entire season and this match was a perfect illustration of his philosophy. The final score of 72-56 (50-16 at half time) was not as close as the score suggests.

Congratulations to both Coach Soli and the team members for an outstanding performance and a great season. Al Jaysh will now start preparing for both the Prince and King's Cups.

Al Rayyan and Al Arabi Club finished tied for second at 10-4, but due to Al Rayyan's two victories over Al Arabi Club during the season, Al Rayyan take second place and Al Arabi Club finish third.

# The roster of the champions Army SC:

Mustafa Al-Sayyad (204-F/C-82, college: Fresno St.)
Ali Turki (200-F-82)

Baker Ahmad Mohammed (198-F-86)

Johannes Krug (204-F-82)

Lamar DeJol (Import!)

Sheikh Ibrahima

Fadi Hani

Babacr Maroni

Ziad Deerbah

Hussam Omar

Omar Siraj

Mahmood Abdalla

The supposed champions Al Rayyan suffered so much this year due to many reasons such as the import's quality, big confedence, bad luck...etc.........

# Teams stadings in 2007/2008 Qatar's Basketball League:
1- Army SC
2- Al Rayyan
3- Al Arabi
4- Al Sadd
5- Qatar SC
6- Al Ahli
7- Al Gharafa
8- Al Wakra



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RUSSIA

CSKA holds off Barcelona in Moscow -by Eurobasket News
CSKA - Barcelona 72:55

Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow overcame a slow start to their Top 16 campaign and gained speed to swoops past Barcelona in Round 2 yesterday. CSKA dominated the game and made the victory look quite casual. The hosts pointed out the advantage early in the encounter keeping the visitors scoreless for about two minutes. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) netted 4 points to give CSKA a 6:2 lead. Finally Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) hit from downtown but was well-matched by Trajan Langdon (192-G-76, college: Duke)'s trey. David Andersen (212-C-80) capped the frame with a jumper to seal things at 16:11. Siskauskas opened the second term with 6 more points to extend the margin to 11 points. Jaka Lakovic kept hitting treys as he totaled his third one to bring Barcelona within 6 points from CSKA. Soon Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) and Gianluca Basile (192-G-75) dragged the visitors as close as 3 points from CSKA 23:26. David Andersen and Marcus Goree (201-F-77, college: W.Virginia) however finalized the first half at 32:25. Trajan Langdon and David Andersen teamed up for 5 more points right after the break and CSKA started to get away. Siskauskas stretched the gap to 13 points but Ersan Ilyasova and Pepe Sanchez (193-G-77, college: Temple) connected from beyond the arc to trim the difference to 8 points. Later Roger Grimau (196-G-79) and Gianluca Basile notched treys for Barcelona to get within 5 points after 30 minutes. Jaka Lakovic tipped off the fourth term with a jump shot but Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) drilled consecutive buckets to put CSKA away. Trajan Langdon and David Andersen scored and then Ramunas Siskauskas fired from the outside to maintain the advantage. Mario Kasun (213-C-80) worked his way inside the paint to add two points to Barcelona's haul but Theodoros Papaloukas immediately answered with a three-point play to make it 63:51 for CSKA. Barcelona struggled to deliver and moreover the hosts were deadly from charity stripe leaving no chance for the visitors. David Andersen sank 4 free throws, while Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82) connected from three-point range to ensure the winning outcome for CSKA.
David Andersen finished the game with 20 points and 8 boards. Ramunas Siskauskas contributed 16 points, while Trajan Langdon scored 10 points for the winners. Jaka Lakovic dropped 11 points for Barcelona. Mario Kasun and Roger Grimau managed 7 points apiece in defeat. CSKA outrebounded the visitors 40:32 including 17:8 offensive boards.
CSKA will travel to Spain to take on Unicaja next week. Barcelona will host Lottomatica Roma on Thursday.

CSKA: David Andersen 20, Ramunas Siskauskas 16, Trajan Langdon 10
Barcelona: Jaka Lakovic 11, Mario Kasun 7, Roger Grimau 7


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SERBIA

One more thriller defeat for Partizan against big PAO in Athens ! -by Dragan Jankovski

PAO - Partizan Igokea 67-65

Partizan Igokea really doesn't have a luck against green PAO this season. Last night it was the third time when Partizan again was a small step away from the real sensation but it didn't happen. Namely, reining Serbian and Adriatic league champion had plus 6 on the half time against reining Greek and European champion in the middle of Athens. Black and white team reached 49-35 at the half way of the third quarter. PAO started to play much better in the last period but still Partizan had a chance 2:30 remaining in the game to extend lead to 6 but Palacio at the first point missed a lay-up and at the next possesion he was wide-open but unsuccessful from behind the arc. Quality and experience of PAO's players came on the scene and thanks to Hatzivretas, Spanoulis and Batiste Greek giant recorded valuable win, especially after defeat in the first round against Efes Pilsen in Turkey. Ex NBAer Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) led his team to this very tough victory netting 20 points and he was the only one who scored more than 9 points in PAO. Michael Batiste (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) had 9 points and 12 rebounds while on the other side Partizan got 13 points from Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket).

Head coach of PAO Zeljko Obradovic after the game said: 'Partizan played much better than us in this game. One of the reasons for our not so good performance is the fact that we played against Olympiakos last week-end and all players concentrated on that game. I want to congratulate them because they succeeded to return into the game after minus 15. Of course I am very grateful to our fans which, like always, helped us a lot tonight.'

On the other Partizan's head coach Dusko Vujosevic was very proud on his players because for the third time this season they played thriller game again big PAO. He also said that Partizan missed a great opportunity to record a win tonight but he stated that nothing is over yet. Partizan didn't play any game at home so far in Euroleague TOP 16.


Panathinaikos - Partizan Igokea 67-65
(21-23,13-17,15-16,18-9)

PAO:
Spanoulis 20, Batiste 9 (12 rebs), Diamantidis 9 (4 rebs), Winston 9 (5 st)
Partizan Igokea: Kecman 13, Palacio 11 (4 st), Vitkovac 10 (7 rebs), Tepic 9



B league, round 17 -by Dragan Jankovski

Nothing new happened in Serbian B league after 17th round. Tamis Petrohemija and Metalac are almost sure participants of the A league next season while Sloboda, Zeleznicar and Prva Petoletka are already seen in the third league.

B league, round 17:

Vojvodina Zlatiborac - Vujic Metalac 72:86
(13:26, 23:17, 24:20, 12:23)

Beovuk 72 - Zeleznciar 100:77
(31:24, 25:22, 27:17, 17:14)

Kotez Bambi - Crnokosa 66:69
(23:12, 15:18, 11:17, 17:22)

Prva Petoletka - Vrbas 77:93
(27:19, 18:32, 16:18, 16:24)

Kikinda - Proleter Naftagas 76:70
(10:21, 20:09, 20:31, 26:09)

Beograd - FMP 2 90:92
(20:24, 16:22, 27:17, 27:29)

Tamis Petrohemija - Sloboda 88:69
(25:20, 19:21, 23:11, 21:17)



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SLOVAKIA

New coaches, new players -by Martin Galajda

Svit has signed Zachary Ingles (188-G-83, college: E.Kentucky) to a one week tryout, he is flying from the US today and will arrive today.

Komarno signed until end of the season forward Marek Jurik (191-G/F-78, agency: Promotex). He is comming back almost after two years.

Levice will test American center Steve Rich (208-C-72, college: Miami, FL) and Montenegrin Luka Sjekloca (212-C-84). For medical tests is coming American guard Janavor Weatherspoon (186-G-80, agency: Promotex, college: Oklahoma St.). He played there four games season ago with 14.3 ppg. Levice also released coach Juraj Gacik and signed Jozef Lovik released from BK Dolny Kubin.

Dolny Kubin signed new coach Croatian Ivan Fulgosi.

Slovak NT forward Martin Sykora (190-G/F-81, agency: Heinrich Sports) signed multi year contract with Czech BK Pardubice.


Brock Gillespie (188-G-82, college: Rice) signed until end of the season with Casta SPU Nitra after successful try out.



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SLOVENIA

Union Olimpija extends Marko Milic -by Matej Bergant

Union Olimpija extended contract of their star player Marko Milic (199-F-77) for another two seasons. In this season's Euroleague Marko Milic averaged 15.6ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg in 30mpg. He is also lethal in Adriatic League where he is averaging 15ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.4apg in 28mpg. This season he also led Union Olimpija to their first thropy in this season - winning Slovenian Cup. With this move Union Olimpija started building its roster for next season.



Primoz Brezec traded from Detroit to Toronto -by Matej Bergant
Detroit Pistons acquired Juan Dixon (191-G-78, college: Maryland) and cash consideration from Toronto Raptors in exchange for Primoz Brezec (216-F/C-79). Brezec will now join another Slovenian center in the NBA - Radoslav Nesterovic (212-C-76). Brezec was already traded in this season from Charlotte Bobcats to Detroit Pistons. He didn't play much during this season and averaged only 1.7ppg and 1.1rpg. Brezec played for Union Olimpija before being drafted by Indiana Pacers in first round as 27th pick. He stayed there two seasons before joining Charlotte Bobcats and than moving to Detroit Pistons who traded him now to Toronto Raptors.

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TURKEY

Fenerbahce and Efes Pilsen lose in Euroleague -by Eurobasket News
Both Turkish representatives in Euroleague lost their Top 16 battles yesterday. Efes Pilsen fought bravely but fell just short to Montepschi Siena in overtime. It was the first loss for Efes Pilsen at this stage of the tournament. Efes Pilsen playing at the Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall claimed a narrow 13:12 lead after the opening frame and stretched it to 30:19 in the second term. But Bootsy Thornton (194-G-77, college: St.John's) scored 6 points in a 9:0 run to erase the deficit to 2 points at 28:30. Eze then tied the scoreline at 30 with seconds past in the third term. Montepschi took over and started to build their lead. Romain Sato (194-G-81, college: Xavier) capped the frame with a jumper to give the visitors a 49:44 lead after three quarters of action. Scoonie Penn (178-G-77, college: Ohio St.) and Ermal Kurtoglu (207-C-80) regained the lead for Efes Pilsen early in the fourth term with a couple of treys. The game remained close throughout the fourth period and Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77, college: Clemson) connected from downtown to make it 69:69 with under a minute to play in regulation. No team was able to deliver at the crunch time and the game moved into overtime. Romain Sato opened the extra period with a three-pointer but it was matched by Drew Nicholas (191-G-81, college: Maryland) and Scoonie Penn as Efes Pilsen remained in driving seat. Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) once again tied things up at 76 with free throws. Ksystof Lavrinovic got fouled again and converted two more free throws to spur Montepaschi in front. Drew Nicholas failed to deliver, while Bootsy Thornton was accurate to stretch Siena's lead. Efes Pilsen had enough time to get to Siena but missed decisive shots and lost the battle. Ermal Kurtoglu produced 20 points and 7 boards for the hosts. Andre Hutson (202-F-79, college: Michigan St.) scored 14 points for Efes Pilsen. Bootsy Thornton had 18 points for Montepaschi.
Meanwhile Fenerbahce were hardly beaten in Spain losing to Tau 84:103. Tau dominated every facet of the game and built a 50:38 lead at the interval. Fenerbahce never recovered after the break and trailed by as many as 18 points heading into the fourth period. Tau eased to an overall win at the and improved to 2-0 record in Group E. Sergi Vidal (198-F/G-81) and Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) scored 14 points apiece to lead 7 Tau players to scored in double figures. Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78) netted 13 points, while Mirza Teletovic (205-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) and Tiago Splitter (211-C/F-85, agency: Interperformances) nailed 12 points apiece for the winners. Oguz Savas (208-C-87) answered with 20 points for Turkish outfit. Will Solomon (187-G-78, college: Clemson) dropped 14 points in a losing case.


ULEB Cup Nightmare -by Serdar Ortakuyu

At the first stage of qualification round in ULEB Cup Turkish teams suffered - all on the road - 2 losses and one draw despite their good regular season records including a spotless 10-0 run by Besiktas Cola Turka. The Black Eagles, the current leaders of TBL, registered their first loss at the hands of Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel. Jamie Arnold (203-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: Wichita St.) and company ran a harsh second quarter serie over the visitors who're known as a stable defensive team, to finish the game with a 15 point deficit.

On the other hand Turk Telekom who won the Turkish Cup the other week but surprisingly lost to Banvit by 38 (125-87), suffered another heavy loss, this time in ULEB Cup competition. Unics Kazan featuring Jerry McCullough (179-G-73, college: Pittsburgh) and Virgil Stanescu (207-C/F-77, agency: Interperformances, college: S.Alabama), two former Turk Telekom players took advantage of offensive boards, Turk Telekom's weak side to post a 91-65 victory which is a big advantage for the next game.

Galatasaray Cafe Crown was not able to come up with a win on the road against Asvel but quickly recovered from a double digit deficit and equalized the score at 69 at the end thanks to Robert Hite (188-G-84, college: Miami, FL) who took responsibility in Dee Brown (185-G-84, college: Illinois) and Tufan Ersoz (197-F/G-80)'s absence. Galatasaray side who had a 7-3 regular season record, ironically looks closer to the next round than Besiktas Cola Turka and Turk Telekom, two teams with better regular seaon records (10-0 and 9-1).



*****************************************************
U.S.VIRGIN ISL.

Shaq Knocks Bell Out Cold - Literally -by David Edole
Suns guard Raja Bell (196-F/G-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Intern.), who had a sizable bump on his head, left the lockerroom without speaking to media after Wednesday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bell suffered a mild concussion after taking a Shaquille O'Neal right elbow to the back of his head in the fourth quarter, according to Suns physician Dr. Thomas Carter.
Carter said Bell was 'knocked out cold for a few seconds,' but showed no adverse effects when checked after the game.
Carter said Bell should be ready for Friday's game against Boston.


Rick Dean: Newton passed pop test -by David Edole
It's always been about more than just evaluating talent. Anyone who closely follows American college basketball or the developmental leagues of Europe can probably identify players with the talent to merit at least a shot in the NBA.

But Milt Newton's job as vice president of player personnel for the Washington Wizards involves more than finding talented players.
The former Kansas Jayhawk — a key member of the 1988 national championship team honored Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse — also has to evaluate how prospects will fit into a team concept. And yes, they still have teams in the NBA, despite its emphasis on individual stars.

That's not done easily from even a good seat in a college arena or the high-def view from the couch.

'If you're going to spend millions of dollars on a player, you've got to do your background work,' Newton said. 'You watch how they relate to teammates on the bench, watch how they relate to their coaches, see how they take criticism. You ask trainers, people at the university: Does this guy act like a superstar?

'The one thing you don't want to do is bring in a player you can't rely on. But that happens a lot.'

Today more than ever, it seems.

Superstar egos have existed in sports since, when, the first Greek Olympiad? But NBA people today also must be concerned with how players are affected by their entourage, their agents, their ladies, their shoe deals. 'Making the club' means something other than cracking a team's roster.

'You see more players who don't seem to realize that this is a business,' Newton said. 'They'd rather hang out in the clubs, which takes away from them being the best they can be.

'Sure, you still need talent, but if the difference in talent between two players is minor, you'll see teams go for the guys they know won't be a headache.'

Newton's perspective, mind you, is shaped largely from watching coach Larry Brown work his team development magic 20 years ago.

'We're in the locker room one day, and there's this case of sodas for the team,' Newton remembered. 'Each guy could take one, but one guy took three.

'Well, coach made the point that sacrificing for the team starts with little things. You take one soda, and after everybody's had one, you go for seconds only if anything's left. But if you can't make the little sacrifices, you won't make the big ones.'

A nice point. It worked splendidly on the 1988 Jayhawks, and clearly made a lifelong impact on Newton.

But do you think Brown tried it on his Pistons, 76ers or Knicks? Me, neither.


Stevens Returns -by David Edole
Maloney's unselfishness and power was on display again Wednesday night as the Spartans, back at full strength, dismantled a young Platt basketball team 89-56 on its home court in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Four thunderous dunks punctuated Maloney's 15th victory of the season. Two of the slams were by Shoquan Stevens (198-F-90) who returned after an 11-game absence to score eight points and corral eight rebounds.

'I couldn't stop smiling,' said the senior center, who was out with a broken radius bone in his right arm. 'Just to have so much love from my teammates made it even better. To be welcomed back like that, there's no better feeling. It's like a family.'

With 20 seconds to go in the first, Stevens stole a Platt pass at midcourt and dribbled it right through the key for a left-handed slam. Maloney (15-5, 6-4 CCC South) took a 23-7 lead after one quarter.

Spartans were too much while building a 43-17 halftime lead.

'We were unselfish to a fault,' Maloney coach Howie Hewitt said. 'I told Rash that whatever shot he didn't make, he assisted on. Having Shoquan gives us a chance to play Johrone (Bunch) on the perimeter. It's nice having our full contingent. It's been a while, but it's great to have them back.'

Bunch finished the contest with nine points. In the final quarter, Stevens added a final jam for the Spartans.

The Spartans now move on to the postseason, which opens with the CCC conference tournament on Saturday. Maloney, the defending CCC champs, will open on the road at Glastonbury. Game time is tentatively set for 7 p.m.


*****************************************************
URUGUAY

Union Atletica will not play the South American League -by Hector Lopez
Union Atletica rejected an invitation to play the South America League, the local Federation announced today. Union was invited afetr Malvin, the last LUB champion. also said they will not participate. 'We are looking the situation to decide which team will play', said Alberto Ward General Secretary of the Uruguayan Federation. The team selected will have to play Group C in Corrientes from Feb 29 to March 1st. , against Regatas (Argentina) Sol de America (Paraguay) and Deportivo Tachira (Venezuela). Tachira is replacing a Brazilian team, Minas Tenis, due to internal problems in their country. Another Uruguayan team, Trouville will organize Group B, in Montevideo, with Libertad Sunchales (Argentina) Flamengo (Brazil) and Millonarios (Bolivia) from Feb.25 to Feb 29.
The group A will be played from Feb. 22 to Feb 24, in Caracas, with Boca (Argentina) Universo (Brasil) Regatas (Peru) and Cocodrilos (Venezuela). Two teams of each group plus the two best thirds
will play quarter finals.


*****************************************************
UZBEKISTAN

News from abroad -by Eurobasket News
Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) collected 6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals for Barcelona in Euroleague. Russian CSKA Moscow however overcame a slow start to their Top 16 campaign and gained speed to swoops past Barcelona in Round 2 yesterday. CSKA dominated the game and made the victory look quite casual. The hosts pointed out the advantage early in the encounter keeping the visitors scoreless for about two minutes. Ramunas Siskauskas netted 4 points to give CSKA a 6:2 lead. Finally Jaka Lakovic hit from downtown but was well-matched by Trajan Langdon's trey. David Andersen capped the frame with a jumper to seal things at 16:11. Siskauskas opened the second term with 6 more points to extend the margin to 11 points. Jaka Lakovic kept hitting treys as he totaled his third one to bring Barcelona within 6 points from CSKA. Soon Ersan Ilyasova and Gianluca Basile dragged the visitors as close as 3 points from CSKA 23:26. David Andersen and Marcus Goree however finalized the first half at 32:25. Trajan Langdon and David Andersen teamed up for 5 more points right after the break and CSKA started to get away. Siskauskas stretched the gap to 13 points but Ersan Ilyasova and Pepe Sanchez connected from beyond the arc to trim the difference to 8 points. Later Roger Grimau and Gianluca Basile notched treys for Barcelona to get within 5 points after 30 minutes. Jaka Lakovic tipped off the fourth term with a jump shot but Theodoros Papaloukas drilled consecutive buckets to put CSKA away. Trajan Langdon and David Andersen scored and then Ramunas Siskauskas fired from the outside to maintain the advantage. Mario Kasun worked his way inside the paint to add two points to Barcelona's haul but Theodoros Papaloukas immediately answered with a three-point play to make it 63:51 for CSKA. Barcelona struggled to deliver and moreover the hosts were deadly from charity stripe leaving no chance for the visitors. David Andersen sank 4 free throws, while Viktor Khryapa connected from three-point range to ensure the winning outcome for CSKA.
David Andersen finished the game with 20 points and 8 boards. Ramunas Siskauskas contributed 16 points, while Trajan Langdon scored 10 points for the winners. Jaka Lakovic dropped 11 points for Barcelona. Mario Kasun and Roger Grimau managed 7 points apiece in defeat. CSKA outrebounded the visitors 40:32 including 17:8 offensive boards.
Grigori Shukhovtsov (211-C-83) and his Lithuanian Neptubas is 2-15 in the Baltic league. In the last game Neptunas lost to ASK Riga 79:91. Grigori Shukhovtsov scored 5 points and made 3 rebounds. Before that Kalev/Cramo stole the victory from Neptunas 70:72 in the Elite Division. The win allowed the guests to increase to 4-7 record. Mateo Kedzo led the winners with 17 points. Kriisa netted 14, while Frier scored 13. Marius Runkauskas ended up with 12 points in defeat. Grigori Shukhovtsov made 7 points and 3 rebounds.


*****************************************************
VENEZUELA

Gatos defeats Gigantes in friendly match -by Francisco Vega
Gatos de Monagas defeated Gigantes de Guayana in a friendly match that took place at Gilberto Roque Morales Gymnasium of Maturin, Monagas, with a final scoreboard of 96-81.

The expansion franchise team made it hard for the Cats at their own court, as they entered the last quarter with a surprising 66-66 tie, but the more experienced players of Monagas figured out the way to get the scoreboard under command.

The first ever starting five for Gigantes, coached by Nelson Solorzano , was filled in with Reinaldo Charles (190-G-84), Martin Correa (198-F-78), Enyer Guerra (190-F-84), Jose Yovera (194-G/F-75) and imported player DaJuan Gouard (189-G-83). For Gatos, coached by Dominican Jose Maita Mercedes, the players used were Ernesto Mijares (190-G-76), Edgar Arteaga (198-F-76), Kenya Capers (194-F-73), Andre Patterson (201-F-83) and Amber Marin (208-C-81).

Cappers was the top scorer with 23 points for the winning side, followed by Patterson with 15, Mijares with 13 and Peter Kvietek (203-C-77) with 12 coming off the bench. For Guayana, Deivis Aranguren (192-F-85) netted 12 points while Correa, Gouard and Guerra finished off with 11. Daniel Dominguez (-71) also had double figures with 10 points.


LPB Transactions and News -by Francisco Vega
The following is a list of transactions performed in the last few hours by the Liga Profesionald de Baloncesto 2008 teams.

Harper for Trotamundos

The Most Valuable Player of LPB 2005, forward Aaron Harper (201-G-81), was signed by Trotamundos de Carabobo as new importe player and replacement of the originally announced Curtis Williams (205-F/C-77). Harper will join J.R. Wallace (183-G-81) as the only imported players confirmed by the general management of the 'Blue Express' so far.

Harper, a 2.01 small forward is now 33 years old and comes from a couple of very productive seasons in France with Saint Germain, where he experienced the prestigious Euroleague.

Cox and Benitez to Marinos

Marinos de Anzoategui announced through press releases that they've reached a deal to bring guard John Cox (196-G-81) to Venezuela next May. Cox was actually born in Caracas, Venezuela and has never visited his country. He's the fifth top scorer in France's first division basketball with team Le Havre. He's even a solid candidate to try out for Venezuela's Senior Team as soon as he comes back from France. He will play in the league as Venezuelan and not as an imported player.

Also, the general management decided to bring in Ricky Benitez as assistant coach for Keith LeGree , and Benitez will join Henry Paruta , the other assistant coach of the team.

Guaros bring in Jarrell and Klaiber

Guaros de Lara were forced to let go Daryl Dorsey (185-G-81) because he was called back from the United States to play in the NBA's D-League for Albuquerque. Their need for a center also forced them to pass on he opportunity they had to reach an agreement with argentinian Ariel Eslava (202-G/F-79). That's why they ended up signing contracts with guard Mark Jarrell-Wright (198-G-81) and center Antric Klaiber (208-F/C-76), whom are expected to arrive this next weekend, as the team plays a friendly exhibition tournament in the city of Merida. Guaros also signed Oscar Silva as their new GM.

New names

The LPB's press department accounted a few imported players names that were presented by their representatives in the official meeting held in Caracas for roster inscriptions and final details regarding the upcoming Opening Day.

Gaiteros del Zulia won't bring Brian Greene (196-G/F-84) because the talented player got injured prior to his trip. Deportivo Tachira added Quincy Davis (206-F/C-83) to their roster. Gigantes de Guayana signed Ramel Allen (210-C-79) and mexican Arim Abdul Solares (202-F/C-83). Gaiteros del Zulia added panamanian Jamahr Warren (194-G/F-79) and Panteras de Miranda will use Cornelius Mitchell (180-G-82), Leroy Davis (194-F-81) and jamaican Marlon Dumont (206-F-77).




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Women News

*****************************************************
BERMUDA ISLANDS - Women

Jenaya Helps to extend UTC's win streak -by Tim Trott
Sophomore Shanara Hollinquest (183-F) led three Chattanooga players in double-figures as they extended its win streak to 16 games, the longest in the nation, with a 65-43 win over Elon at Alumni Gym.

Chattanooga spotted Elon seven points to start the game before going on a 16-0 run and never looked back. Hand and Jenaya Wade-Fray (175-G) (member of women's national team 2005 & 2007) started the charge with back-to-back 3-pointers and Anderson scored six points in the run. Hand hit a 3-pointer at the 9:47 mark of the opening half to give Chattanooga its first double-digit lead at 21-11.

In the second half Chattanooga stretched its lead into the 20s behind Anderson, Hollinquest and Hand who combined for Chattanooga's first 13 points of the half. Jenaya would finish the game with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal.
Courtesy of gomocs.com


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BRAZIL - Women

Catanduva joins CNBF Final -by Eurobasket News
Sao Bernardo - Catanduva 76:85

The expected happened in CNBF semifinal series and two favorites advanced to the main series of the championship. Ourihnos became the first finalist completing a sweep in their series against de Nassau. Catanduva did not wait for too long to join their arch-rivals in the Finale. They overcame Sao Bernardo in Game 3 of the semifinal series and celebrated an overall victory that allowed them to qualify for the main event of the season. Sao Bernardo proved they can be a real threat for any opponent and challenged Catanduva in the first two encounters away from home. This time the teams traveled to Sao Bernardo and the hosts hoped to stay alive in the series. And everything looked like the home team would stretch the series early in the encounter. Sao Bernardo never looked like underdogs early on and ended up leading 20:19 after the first frame. Catanduva struggled to adjust their defensive effort and the margin grew to 9 points at halftime 46:37. But Edson Ferreto managed to revive his team in the break. The visitors came off the dressing room recharged and started to fight their way back into contest straight away. They outscored the home side 28:15 in the third stanza and enjoyed a 4-point advantage going into the fourth period. The situation did not change for Sao Bernardo as they ran out of steam late in regulation and were unable to post a win. Catanduva secured the third victory in the series and advanced to the main clash of the season. Natalia Burian (162-G-84) notched game-high 24 points for Catanduva. Karla da Costa (173-G-78) added 21 points, while Ariadna Felipe (179-G-83) tallied 14 points and 10 boards for the winners. Cintia Santos Luz (170-G/F-71) answered with 24 points for Sao Bernardo. Priscila de Souza (173-G/F-82) accounted for 15 points in a losing effort. Catanduva dominated the boards 40:29 and forced the hosts to 18 turnovers.
Game 1 of the best-of-five final series is scheduled for February 23.

Sao Bernardo: Cintia Santos Luz 24, Priscila de Souza 15
Catanduva: Natalia Burian 24, Karla da Costa 21, Ariadna Felipe 14+10 boards


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CAPE VERDE - Women

Crispina Correia (Tininha), wins the Angolan Female Championship with 1 de Agosto -by Pedro Gomes
1 de Agosto recapture the Angola tile beating Interclube 64 to 58.

The Angolan news site, reported that,
'The Cape Verdian' athlete, scorer of 17 points, knew how to take advantage of her height and was almost unstoppable in the interior game'.

Below the game stats for the Angolan champions; 1º de August:
1º de Agosto: Maria Afonso (04), Domitila Ventura (00), Isabel Francisco (00), Barbara Guimaraes (06), Sonia Guadalupe (00), Crispina Correia (193-F/C-75, college: Auburn) (17), Astrida Vicente (19), Nacissela Mauricio (14), Ernestina Neto (00), Jacqueline Francisco (04), Sofia Capinga (00), Fineza Eusebio (00).


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HUNGARY - Women

German arrival in Mizo Pecs 2010 -by Csilla Kantor
Dorothea Richter (176-G-83), the 25 years old point-guard signed to the Hungarian team, Mizo Pecs 2010 for the rest of the season. She is a member of the German National Team and played in Phard Napoli last. With the new arrival the team would like to compensate the injuries of the basic players. According to the statistics, Richter's strenghts are the rebounds and assists. Before Napoli she played in BG Dorsten with which team she took part in the Euro Cup. She scored 9,8 points, took 2,8 rebs and made 2,5 assists on the average. In Phard Napoli she was mainly a substitution, played 12.7 minutes , shot 3.9 points and made 0.6 rebounds averagely.

Drawing for European Championship has made -by Csilla Kantor
The drawings for the European Championship was held on Saturday, 16.02. in Venice, Italy. The Hungarian National Team of Women had a hard season behind, they didn't reach the expectations. In 2007 they not only didn't succeeded to take part in the European Champs but they also had to play in the additional qualifying tournament . The coach of the team was Tamas Bencze that time. As it has been already decided, the new head-coach will be Laszlo Ratgeber.
As the drawings shows our opponents will be the National Team of France, Romania, Croatia and Slovakia. For the Hungarian Team the list means a hard qualification again. The French finished 8th in the last Continental Games, Romania and Croatia succeeded to play in the Preliminary Round, although they had no wins there. Slovakia fell in the additional qualifying tournament, with only one win against Poland.


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ISRAEL - Women

Round 19th first team -by Gil Goshen


Round 19 MVP - Shay Doron
An amazing shooting day for her ended with 28 points on 6 for 8 from downtown, including a tough game winning 3 with 3.6 seconds left.
Round 19 First Team
Sheri Sam -, . She finished with 25 points and 7 rebounds.

Shay Doron - 28 points ( 6 from 8 to 3 points ).

La'Tangela Atkinson - great double double for Atkinson , 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Ayana Walker - . She finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds in Ashdod's big win at Ramat Hasharon.

Taj McWilliams Franklin - another great game for Ramat Hen's with 25 points and 9 rebounds, and a huge shot at the buzzer that was an inch away from sending the game to overtime.

Shay Doron (175-G-85, college: Maryland)


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PUERTO RICO - Women

"La Diosa" Cindy Valentin is on fire, 39 pts. -by Alessandro Fontana
Cynthia Valentin is playing a 'wonderful season' in Spain, her team has only a 4-13 standings but Valentin is one of the best players of the Spanish League. She is scoring 21.4 ppg and if Tenerife won 4 games this was only thanks to 'La Diosa' Valentin.
Tenerife played in the last weeks two games. In the first game Tenerife Aguere was defeated by Villadecans 79-58. Valentin played 34 minutes with 15 pts (4/8 2pts, 1/6 FT 4/5 FT), 11 rebounds, 3 assts and 2 steals.
In the second games Tenerife Aguere won against Expofinques Tanit 74-58. Cynthia Valentin was the MVP of the Game. She scored 39 pts (9/15 2pts, 2/4 3pts, 15/17 FT)+8 rebs+4assts and 7 steals in 37 minutes.
Next game for 'La Diosa' will be on 24th February against Biurrarena.
A. Fontana


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ROMANIA - Women

Romanian CUP -by Bogdan Bocaniala

CSS-LMK Sf. Gheorghe - RAPID CFR Marfa Bucuresti 101- 56
With a very clear victory CSS-LMK Sf. Gheorghe is going in the final four with the right to play the final and to win it.
Rapid CFR Marfa Bucuresti was a easy fish for a team with this big experience and great players.
With a total score of 174 - 112 CSS-LMK Sf. Gheorghe wins this game against Rapid CFR Marfa Bucuresti.

Sportul Studentesc OMNILOGIC UNIVERSUL Bucuresti - BC Teleorman Alexandria 88- 55
If you watch the score you may think that is a big difference between this tow teams. It is not like that and only the good basketball played by Sportul Studentesc OMNILOGIC UNIVERSUL Bucuresti in this game made this possible.
Predrag Vasic girls played 3 times in last 10 days against BC Teleorman Alexandria ans win them 2 times.both times they win in Romanian CUP.

ICIM Arad - CSM U Oradea 73- 67
ICIM Arad showed from first game that they are the favorites to play the final tour.
In this game coach Budurean gave more minutes to the Romanian players he has in the team.
ICIM Arad: Ramona Tarta (170-G-89) 19 (1x3), Elisabeth Pavel (192-C-90) 11, Daniela Bucica (180-F-86) 3 (1), Ildiko Nagy (187-F-84) 13, Alexandra Uiuiu (183-F-89) 11 (1), Bianca Urban (184-F/C-76) 4, Ozana Marginean (175-F-90) 2, Anita Meszaros (189-C-88) 10
CSM Oradea - Brown 14, Hughes 19 (3), Singur 2, Moiseev 20 (4), K. Ildiko Nagy 3, Grigoras 2, Ulica 4, Gavra 3

U - Trustul CRE Cluj-Napoca - CET Govora 72- 74
The girls from Cluj looked tired after 3 games against CET Govora in tow weeks.
Even thou they started good the game they give up in second quarter and give hope to CET Govora that they may win and go in final four of Romanian CUP.
Cluj did not give up and after break started to fight harder and in the end they lost the game but they go in final four because of the biggest difference in the first round they played in guest. It was then 80-85 for U - Trustul CRE Cluj-Napoca and with a total store of 157-154 they will play in the final four.
MVP - of the game was Florina Diaconu (176-G-82) with 26 points

CSS-LMK Sf. Gheorghe, Sportul Studentesc OMNILOGIC UNIVERSUL Bucuresti, ICIM Arad and U - Trustul CRE Cluj-Napoca will play the final four.



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SPAIN - Women

Katie Douglas will play next WNBA season for Indiana Fever -by Ivan Villar
These days had happened one of biggest market operation in USA.WNBA teams of Connecticut and Indiana agreed that Katie Douglas (183-G/F-79, college: Purdue) will play for Fevers.Shooting guard is happy of new signing.She's best signing of Ros Casares 2008.She averages 15,3 points in spanish league and 15,6 points in last Queen's Cup of Sevilla,her second tittle with orange team.Tamika Whitmore will replace her in Suns and they'll face in next round of Euroleague.

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U.S.VIRGIN ISL. - Women

Javois has 32 more! -by David Edole
Missouri Western's senior tandem of Jill Johnson and Yanique Javois (176-G-86, college: St.Louis) led the Griffons past the Truman State Bulldogs 93-78 in St. Joseph, Mo., on Wednesday night. The victory moved the Griffons to 10-13 overall and 5-10 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). The Griffons snapped a seven game losing streak and moved into a three-way tie for the final two MIAA post-season tournament spots with three games remaining.

Johnson finished with a career high of 39 points and 16 rebounds, while Javois tacked on 32 points and nine boards of her own. The Griffons out-rebounded the Bulldogs 49-32 and shot 47-percent (26-of-65) from the field.

Missouri Western jumped out to an early lead on Truman, as Johnson scored eight points before the first media timeout to give the Griffons and early 15-8 lead. The Griffons maintained that steady margin as Johnson and Javois combined for 39 of the Griffons 47 first-half points. The Bulldogs Georgia Mueller had 16 of her team-high 32 points in the first frame for the Bulldogs.

The Griffons shot 46.2-percent (18-of-39) from the field and made all eight of the free throw attempts in the first half. Western also out-rebounded the Bulldogs by ten in the first frame, 27-17.

The Griffons opened up a brief 13 point lead in the second half, but Truman was able to cut it to single-digits with less than 12 minutes to play in the ballgame. Western would explode during the next eight minutes, rattling off a 23-7 run to take an 83-58 lead with four and a half minutes left in the contest.

The Bulldogs would not give up as they went on their own 11-2 run to cut the Griffon lead to 85-72 with 1:40 to play. The Griffons would not get flustered as they would hold on down the stretch and get a season series split with Truman