EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 2/28/2008Copyright © 1997-2007 Eurobasket
Korisliiga, Round 35: Five games tonight. Torpan Pojat (Helsinki) losing third time in a row and now in Kouvola, where Kouvot won sixth time in a row.
ToPo was again in troubles especially in defense. Kouvot hit treys 55,2% (16/29). Corey Smith (196-G/F, agency: Warren Sports, college: Vanderbilt) (Kouvot) netted game high 31 pts. YMCA Lahti and visitor KTP (Kotka) had again a close game. This time KTP won by four 79-83. Steve Smith (200-F-81, agency: CAA Sports, college: Iona) and Baboucarr Bojang (204-F-80, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Illinois St.) combined 46 pts for KTP.
In Tampere local Pyrinto defeated Korihait (Uusikaupunki) 87-69. Kauhajoki took an important victory by beating Kataja (Joensuu) 97-73. Eric Washington (192-F/G-74, agency: Interperformances, college: Alabama) (Kauhajoki) was the game MVP: 31 pts and 13 rbs. Team Componenta (Karkkila) had a new American player on the roster as Nigel Moore (191-F/G-81, college: Alabama A&M) played his first game in Finland. Moore's start was good: 22 pts in 28 minutes! And that was in Espoo vs Honka! TC was shooting less, but with better accuracy. Honka won namely the rbs 43-30. Honka missed Petteri Koponen (193-G-88), who DNP (tonsillitis).
Interesting times during the last rounds of the regular season.
Kauhajoki - Kataja 97-73 (44-34) (Eric Washington 31/13, Darryll Hudson 18 - Terry Black 14, Martti Kuisma 11).
Honka - Team Componenta 74-85 (35-37) (Matt Williams 23/11, Kimmo Muurinen 15 - Chris Hester 22, Nigel Moore 22).
Kouvot - Torpan Pojat 106-81 (54-30) (Corey Smith 31/11, Wayne Bernard 19 - Josh Gonner 15, Tyson Patterson 15).
Pyrinto - Korihait 87-69 (41-32) (Antero Lehto 20, M.C.Mazique 17/11 - Glenn Stokes 27, Kyle Shiloh 11/12).
YMCA Lahti - KTP 79-83 (36-40) (Pierre Jallow 18, Vesa Makalainen 12 - Steve Smith 25/12, Baboucarr Bojang 21).
The Holland Blast will begin their season at Orchardview Middle School in Muskegon Michigan on Sat, March 15th at 7pm versus the Hidden Gems All Stars. The Holland Blast roster for 2008 will feature the 1-2 punch of Dennis Springs (5'8''-G-82, college: Ferris St.) and Antonio Davis (6'6''-F-82, college: Urbana) among many talented others.
Hidden Gems is a semi-pro team that plays competitive,high pressure basketball against different professional teams and colleges. The Hidden Gems All Stars will be composed of players who are in the market for professional basketball employment. Most have achieved high levels of success in their collegiate careers and also have professional experience at varied levels of play. Other IBL teams and representatives of different organizations are encouraged to be in attendance in order to evaluate the prospective talent.
To access information for attending this spectacular game, go to www.hollandblast.com and go to the schedule which has all the traveling information. Or visit either www.iblhoopsonline.com and go to Holland Blast for specific information on the team or www.leaguelineup.com/hiddengems for more information on the Hidden Gems organization as a whole. Roster Information for The Hidden Gems All Stars:
Tyler Ousley (6'9''-F/C) - All American at Otterbien with bigtime pro potential. Can play any frontcourt position at his height.
Tony Cornett (6'5''-F/G-84, college: W.Virginia St.) - 2-time All American. Equally effective at 2/3/4. Athletic,competitor fresh from Iceland.
Dwayne McNeal (6'7''-F/C-79) - Versatile Post player from Hampton who can play 4 or 5. Vast,varied pro experience.
Charles Warren (6'1''-PG/SG, college: Findlay (OH)) - IBL All Star and star in college. Strong at either backcourt position. Top tier shooter and leader.
Marcus McCants (6'1''-PG/SG) - South Carolina St collegiate athlete with deadly outside touch. Plays 1 or 2 very well. Brother of Ed McCants.
Chris Blakely (6'5''-G/F, college: Mt.Union) - Coach on the floor. Premier defender and high quality all around talent. 1-4 on both sides of the ball.
Marcel Jackson (6'3' PG/SG) - Defensive juggernaut. 6'8' wingspan allows for many steals and quality defensive pressure. Deft mid-range shooter as well.
Sean Ballard (6'6' F) - Frontcourt versatility. Fully capable of defending 2/3/4 and strong at 3/4 on offense. High level defense and intensity.
Henry Brown (5'8' PG) - Cat-quick, strong PG who finsihes well in traffic. 3ball is strong,as is defensive pressure. Penetration is almost at will.
Last 32, 2 game
BK Ventspils - Lukoil Academic (Sofia) 55-73 (21-22; 9-19; 17-15; 8-17) (in 1. game 64-67)
Jimmy Baxter (198-G-80) 29, Veselovs 7, Helmanis 6; Dean 23+6reb+5as+5st, Mujezinovic 16, Stefanov 12, Antic 12+11reb
FIBA Euro cup
Quarter Final Round. Second game
KK Zagreb (CRO) - Barons/LMT 80-74 (18-15, 28-17, 20-20, 14-22). Series 1-1
Simon 17, Vladovic 16+10as, Tomic 16; Gustas 16, Batista 13, Skele 12, Alexander 11
The Houston Rockets won thier 13th consecutive game against the Washington Wizards 94-69 Tuesday evening, doing so without Ming Yao (7'5''-C-80). They will be without thier All-Star center for the remainder of the regular and post season after doctors discovered a stress fracture in his left foot. 'It's obviously a difficult day for our organization and our fans,' general manager Daryl Morey said. 'We've been playing exceptional ball. Yao's been a huge part of that'.
Houston has been hot of late, pulling itself back into the tight Western Conference playoff picture but loosing Yao's 22 points 11 rebounds and defensive presence will be daunting to replace. The Rockets must depend on veteran center Dikembe Mutombo (7'2''-C-66, college: Georgetown), forwards Luis Scola (6'9''-F/C-80), Chuck Hayes (6'6''-F-83, college: Kentucky) and Carl Landry (6'7''-F-83, college: Purdue) to share frontcourt minutes and carry the load. Recovery time for this injury is projected at four months and it is unclear if Yao will be available to play in the upcoming Olympic games in Beijing.
Week 21 featured many close games including two surprises not everyone was expecting to see such as Casa TED's victory over Fenerbahce Ulker on the road. On Saturday the Ankara side never stepped back and ran a huge 26-13 serie in the third thanks to Omer Unver who fired 16 just in 10 minutes. Will Solomon (187-G-78, college: Clemson) and Emir Preldzic (206-F-87, agency: Beo Basket) responded in the last quarter to tie the game but Antawn Dobie (183-G-78, college: LIU Brooklyn) never struggled to keep his team in the game.
Another surprising result came from Ankara as TBL newcomers Antalya BSB managed to take down a struggling Turk Telekom on the road and had the chance to start a possible play off meeting 1-0 ahead since they defeated Turk Telekom in the first half of TBL as well. It was a close game untill Ricardo Marsh hit the winning shot one second remaining against his former team in addition to his 28 points and 8 boards. This win took Antalya to fourth place on TBL and moved Turk Telekom to sixth.
Sunday's games were more predictable as Besiktas Cola Turka kept Darussafaka at the bottom by beating the Greens and Kepez handed a shorthanded Pinar Karsiyaka missing starters Baris Ermis (194-G-85) and Geno Carlisle (190-G-76, college: California) due to injury problems. On the other hand Huseyin Besok's effort helped Galatasaray Cafe Crown post an overtime win over Mersin BSB and Kevin Braswell's 34 points cruised past Banvit to stay his Mutlu Aku Selcuk away from the relegation zone.
On Sunday there were two games determining the victors by 1 and 2 points. Efes Pilsen travelled to Bursa to face Oyak Renault who kicked them out of the Turkish Cup final. The hosts had to play without their leader Andre Woolridge (183-G-73, agency: Interperformances, college: Iowa) but even Evren Buker (194-F-85)'s extra effort was not enough to prevent the 58-60 loss. Ironically Efes Pilsen side was able to score only 3 points in the last quarter which is likely to be a record in the beermen's history.
The last game of Week 21 was in Istanbul between Beykoz and Alpella, probably the most dramatic too. Alpella's Serhat Cetin (197-G-86) who turned the ball over and saw Cem Coskun (209-C-87) making the score 88-86 with a dunk for Beykoz two seconds remaining to the end, hit an incredible but controversial buzzer beater three to win the game for Alpella. Beykoz made an application with the video of this game and waiting for federation's decision.
Kevin Braswell (188-G-79, agency: Priority Sports, college: Georgetown)
Preston Shumpert (198-G-79, college: Syracuse)
Omer Unver (204-F-81)
Ricardo Marsh (203-F-81, agency: Edge Sports, college: ODU)
Huseyin Besok (212-C-75, agency: Interperformances)
Spanish powerhouse Ros Casares got to a successful start of the Euroleague quarterfinal series against Gambrinus winning Game 1 in Valencia. The battle proved to be a real scorcher with neither side able to clear off till the last minutes. The teams traded baskets early on before Katie Douglas (183-G/F-79, college: Purdue) scored 5 straight points and gave Ros Casares a 14:7 advantage. Hamchetou Maiga (185-G/F-78, college: ODU) and Jana Vesela (194-F-83) cut it to 5 points and later Zuzana Zirkova (175-F/G-80) dragged Czech team within 2 points 16:18 at the end of the first frame. Hamchetou Maiga scored quick 4 points to put Gambrinus up in the very beginning of the second term. Katie Douglas and Delisha Milton-Jones (186-F-74, college: Florida) responded with 8 points in a row for the hosts and Ros Casares built a 27:20 buffer. Petra Kulichova (198-C-84), Hana Machova (182-F/G-79) and Eva Viteckova (190-F-82) kept Gambrinus within a striking distance and Ros Casares finished the first half leading by only 2 points 34:32. Beres netted 4 points and Hamchetou Maiga added 2 more to tip off the second half. The lead changed hands for 6 times throughout the third period and Ros Casares appeared on top 54:51 after 30 minutes of action. Delisha Milton-Jones, Katie Douglas and Laia Palau (178-G/F-79) notched 6 consecutive points to make it a 64:55 for Ros Casares midway though the final period. Zuzana Zirkova and Jana Vesela reacted with 5 points in a row to keep the hopes alive for the visitors. However Katie Douglas nailed 5 points and Elena Tornikidou (185-F-65) added two more to keep Gambrinus at bay.
Delisha Milton-Jones ended up with game-high 26 points to pace Ros Casares. Katie Douglas contributed 23 points and Elena Tornikidou dropped 8 more for the winners. Hamchetou Maiga responded with 13 points and 11 boards for Czech champions. Zuzana Zirkova scored 13 points, while Eva Viteckova netted 12 points in defeat. Gambrinus outrebounded the hosts 39:36 but committed 21 turnovers and sank only 62% from charity stripe in a losing effort.
French Bourges Basket met little resistance en route to a solid victory over visiting Fenerbahce to open the Euroleague quarterfinal series. Sonja Kireta (198-C-76) scored quick 6 points for the hosts early in the game and Bourges grabbed a 13:7 lead. Celine Dumerc (169-G-82) hit from beyond the arc and Sonja Kireta added two more points to her scoring haul as the hosts stretched the gap to as many as 9 points 20:11. Nevriye Yilmaz (195-C-80) answered with 4 points in a row to cut the margin but Florence Lepron (182-G-85) completed a three-point play and Emmeline Ndongue (194-F-83) capped the frame with a jump shot to give Bourges a 25:15 lead. Cappie Pondexter (175-G-83, college: Rutgers) and Tammy Sutton-Brown (193-C-78, college: Rutgers) kept Fenerbahce close early in the second quarter. Endene Miyem (188-F-88) and Belinda Snell (182-F-81, agency: LBM Management) however soon opened 12-point buffer, while back-to-back treys from Belinda Snell and Sonja Petrovic (189-F-89) stretched it to 16 points. Cappie Pondexter finalized the first half with 4 points in a row and the teams went into the dressing room with Turkish team trailing by 10.
Esmeral Tuncluer (175-G-80) scored 6 points at the start of the second half to erase the deficit to only 5 points. Emmeline Ndongue reacted with 4 straight points and Sonja Petrovic fired one from the outside to ice Fenerbahce efforts. Endene Miyem accounted for the last 6 Bourges points in the frame and allowed the hosts to enjoy a 64:54 lead before the final period. Belinda Snell and Sonja Kireta combined for 7 more points at the start of the fourth quarter and Bourges Basket ran away for good. Sonja Kireta led 5 Bourges players to score in double figures with 19 points and 6 boards. Endene Miyem added 16 points, while Belinda Snell notched 14 points, 6 assists and 4 boards for the winning side. Cappie Pondexter answered with 23 points for Fenerbahce. Nevriye Yilmaz posted 16 points in a losing case. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday.
The Euroleague quarterfinal stage enjoys two Russian derbies. One of them tipped off in Vidnoje yesterday with Spartak taking on Dynamo. The defending Euroleague champions Spartak proved their ambitions for this edition of the tournament with a high-flying victory over the arch-rivals Dynamo Moscow. Spartak entered the game in a storming manner as Lauren Jackson (196-F/C-81) scored 6 unanswered points to put the hosts up. Tina Thompson (188-F-75, agency: Merit Sports, college: USC) immediately followed it with her 5 straight points to give Spartak an 11:0 lead at the start. Dynamo however was never intimidated by the start as Nuria Martinez (176-G-84) responded with two impressive trebles and Simona Augustus (185-G-84, college: LSU) added a jumper to cut the margin to just 3 points at 8:11. Diana Taurasi (182-G-82, college: Connecticut) and Jackson converted jump shots and Sue Bird (175-G-80, college: Connecticut) notched a trey for Spartak to go up 18:10. Nuria Martinez was implacable from downtown to keep Dynamo rolling. The teams exchanged baskets late in the first frame and Spartak held to a 24:19 lead. But Dubravka Dacic (201-C-85, agency: Interperformances) and Ieva Kublina (193-C-82, college: Virginia Tech) scored quick 6 points to open the second frame and draw teams at 24. Diana Taurasi and Bird teamed up for straight treys as the hosts cleared off to a 34:28 distance minutes later. Tina Thompson was deadly from charity stripe and Lauren Jackson scored 5 points as the home side opened up a double-digit lead midway through the period. Marina Karpunina (180-F-84), Lauren Jackson and Diana Taurasi stretched it to 49:31 with less than 2 minutes to go in the half. Lauren Jackson completed her impressive 19-point first half tally to seal the outcome at 51:33.
Tina Thompson scored 6 points and Lauren Jackson dropped yet another treble to put Spartak ahead by 25 points. Lauren Jackson was merely unstoppable as she soon contributed 5 straight points and Tina Thompson accompanied her with a three-pointer for a massive 74:44 advantage midway through the third stanza. Tatiana Shchegoleva (193-F/C-82) and Marina Karpunina continued to mount pressure on the visitors and the margin grew to 31 points at the final intermission. Natalia Hejkova gave some rest for Spartak key performers in the fourth period but never allowed Dynamo to revive any sort of intrigue. The visitors obviously lacked their charismatic leader Anete Jekabsone-Zogota who was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Lauren Jackson stunned Dynamo almost singlehandedly notching game-high 29 points, 6 boards and 2 assists for Spartak. Tina Thompson provided sufficient backup with 16 points. Nuria Martinez answered with 20 points hitting 6/9 three-pointers. Simona Augustus scored 19 points in a losing effort.
UMMC opened the quarterfinal stage of Euroleague with an outstanding victory against previously undefeated CSKA. Moscow powerhouse was absolutely spotless in any kind of competitions this season but their impressive winning run came to an end. UMMC came back from behind to handle CSKA and put themselves on the brink of the Final Four. The teams kept it close early in the game. UMMC kept in front for some time but Nicole Powell (188-G/F-82, college: Stanford) drilled a three-pointer to put CSKA up by 3 with just over a minute to go in the first frame. Asjha Jones (188-F-80, college: Connecticut) capped the quarter with a jump shot to make it 22:23 at the end of the period. Ann Wauters (194-C-80) converted two free throws and Becky Hammon (168-G-77, college: Colorado St.) fired from downtown for CSKA to take up a 30:24 lead early in the second stanza. Penny Taylor (185-F-81) and Sandrine Gruda (192-F/C-87) trimmed the difference and Kristi Harrower (166-G-75) hit from beyond the arc to return the advantage to UMMC. The lead changed hands thrice before Edwige Lawson (167-G-79) sealed it at 44:43 for CSKA at halftime. Amaya Valdemoro (184-F-76) opened the third term with a trey and Edwige Lawson added three points to give the hosts a 6-point cushion. But Penny Taylor fired with 6 points for the visitors and Svetlana Abrosimova (188-F-80, college: Connecticut) connected from downtown to shave it back to a single point late in the third quarter. CSKA withheld all the efforts from UMMC and remained atop 60:59 after 30 minutes. Not for too long though. Deanna Nolan (180-G/F-79, college: Georgia), Natalia Vodopyanova (190-F-81), Penny Taylor and Asjha Jones combined for 8 unanswered points at the beginning of the final period and made it 67:60 for UMMC. Amaya Valdemoro quickly responded with a three-pointer for the hosts but Penny Taylor continued to reign in the court with two more points from charity stripe. Maria Stepanova (202-C-79) and Ann Wauters carried CSKA within 3 points but just to see Sandrine Gruda hit a jump shot and restore a 5-point buffer. Sandrine Gruda and Kristi Harrower extended the margin to 6 points shortly after. Caroline Aubert (168-G-80, college: Colorado) sank two free throws and UMMC appeared up by 8 points with 32 seconds left in regulation. Becky Hammon sparked a hope for the hosts with a trey but it was well-matched by Bibrzycka. Finally Penny Taylor crowned the game with two more free throws and ensured the winning outcome for UMMC. The Australian point guard scored posted 18 points to lead UMMC. Sandrine Gruda and Asjha Jones netted 15 points apiece for the winners. Amaya Valdemoro provided 17 points and 9 boards for CSKA. Ann Wauters added 16 points and 11 boards in defeat. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday in Ekaterinburg.
Yesterday was the bid for the Hungarian Women Final Four and the draw for the semi-final. The Cup Final will be in Pecs beetwen 22-23 of March 2008. MKB Euroleasing will play against Szolnok and Mizo Pecs against Zala Volan. Most probably the two Euroleague team will meet on the final and play for the title.
HUNGARIAN WOMEN CUP FINAL FOUR
22-23. March 2008. Pecs
Szolnoki NKK VS. MKB Euroleasing Sopron
MiZo Pecs 2010 VS. ZTE-Zala Volan