EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 3/28/2008

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Men News

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ADRIATIC LEAGUE

Play-off quarterfinals: Omar Cook crushed Union Olimpija in the first game ! -by Dragan Jankovski
Crvena Zvezda celebrates in the first game of Adriatic league play-off quarterfinals against Union Olimpija at home 93-87. It was a game with a lot of turns. Zvezda played a very good first quarter mostly owing to center Kikanovic, who netted 12 of his 14 points in this period, red and white team had plus 6 after the first 10 minutes. The visitors opened the second period with a 7-0 run and later extended the lead to plus 5 by half time. The biggest lead Olimpija had in 23rd minute, after Dragic's 3-pointer it was plus 10. But after that Cook woke up and with 2 successful attempts from behind the arc get Zvezda back in the game, 55-49. Teams entered into the last quarter equalized, 66-66. During the last 10 minutes both teams had a lead couple of times. With 3 minutes remaining Olimpija had 79-83 after which Cook and Dragicevic made a 12-0 run which was enough for Zvezda's first win in the play-off quarterfinals.

USA PG Omar Cook (186-G-82, college: St.John's) had a fantastic night collecting 32 points and 6 assists. He was MVP of the game with index value 36. MVP and the top scorer of Adriatic league regular season Tadija Dragicevic (205-F-86, agency: Beo Basket) followed Cook with 23 points and 8 rebounds. Olimpija got 19 points and 4 rebounds from Marko Milic (199-G-77) while Jasmin Hukic (204-G/F-79, agency: Beo Basket) finished the game having 18 points and 5 rebounds.

The second game will be played on Saturday in Ljubljana.


Crvena Zvezda - Union Olimpija 93-87
(31-25,10-21,25-20,27-21)

Zvezda:
Cook 32 (6 as), Dragicevic 23 (8 rebs), Kikanovic 14 (4 rebs), Bakic 13
Olimpija: Milic 19 (4 rebs), Hukic 18 (5 rebs), Taylor 15 (6 rebs)


Another surgery for Goran Vrbanc -by Dragan Jankovski
Guard Goran Vrbanc (194-G-84) has to undergo another surgery. Namely, after just one appearance in Cibona's jersey this season, which happened against FMP at the beginning of March, Vrbanc once again will be sidelined from the court. This time he injured his ankle and he has to travel to Rome for the surgery.

Vrbanc signed contract with Cibona two years ago when he made a move from Rijeka where he grew up.


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ARGENTINA

"Pepe" Sanchez will not play Olympic games -by Facundo Iatzky
Veteran point guard juan Pepe Sanchez (193-G-77, college: Temple) announced on thursday he will not play with the Argentinian national team any more. So Argentina wil loose one of the best point guards of argentinian basketball (maybe the best one). He said he took the decision due to personal reasons. Pepe made his debut in the national team in 1998 and won the gold medal in the last olympic games in Athens. Pepe was also the first argentinian to play in the NBA and he is playing in Barcelona currently.

LSB, Libertad (1) 82 - Boca jrs (1) 72 -by Ana Soifer
Libertad from Sunchales beat Boca jrs by 82 to 72. Tomorrow they will decide who will play against the Brazilian team Universo.
The game was intensive as all this kind of games have to be, but from the beginning Libertad showed they are still alive, despite on the injuries affected to a few players on the team.

Libertad: Starters: Martin Muller , Pablo Moldu , Laron Profit , Andres Pelussi , Robert Battle ; Off the bench: Jorge Benitez (202-C-73) , Marcos Saglietti y Emilio Dominguez . DT: Julio Lamas

Boca Juniors: Starters: Luis Cequeira , Gustavo Orona , Devon Ford , Leonardo Gutierrez , Gabriel Fernandez ; Off the bench: Alejandro Alloatti , Leonel Schattmann , Fernando Funes , Grady Reynolds y Raymundo Legaria . DT: Gabriel Piccato.


Stats Leaders - LigaA
LigaA Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1 L Gutierrez, Boca 21.0
2 B Johnson, Ind 20.6
3 C Brown, Quims 20.3
4 P Gil, Est 18.6
5 D Brown, BHur 17.8
Rebounds Per Game
1 R Battle, Lib 9.8
2 D Kante, ElN 8.7
3 B Johnson, Ind 8.4
4 J Levy, Est 8.3
5 M Fleming, Belg 7.6
Assists Per Game
1 J Martinez, REG 5.3
2 S Rodriguez, Pen 4.2
3 B Labaque, Aten 4.1
4 F Tittarelli, Obr 3.7
5 L Cequeira, Boca 3.4
Steals Per Game
1 D Alba, Gim 1.7
2 P Moldu, Lib 1.7
3 B Johnson, Ind 1.6
Blocks Per Game
1 J Moore, Aten 2.5
2 R Battle, Lib 1.8
3 B Johnson, Ind 1.3
2FGP
1 D Romero, Quilm 65.8
2 B Mason, Aten 65.5
3 G Fernandez, Boc 65.0
3FGP
1 G Fernandez, Boc 47.8
2 J Locatelli, Pen 47.8
3 N Aguirre, Quil 45.8
Free Throws
1 C Colla, Belg 91.1
2 J Mazzaro, Quim 90.7
3 S Rodriguez, Pen 86.4
Ranking
1 B Johnson, Ind 22,9
2 L Gutierrez, Boca 21.4
3 R Gonzalez, Pen 19,5
4 R Battle, Lib 19,4
5 W McFarlan, Qui 19.0


Stats Leaders - TNA
TNA Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1. B Assie, SM cor 24.1
2. D Miller, Ital 20.3
3. S Ravina, Reg 20.1
4. P Thornton, PEch 19.9
5. W Davis, olimC 19.6
Rebounds Per Game
1. M Fierro, SM cor 11.7
2. S Gonzalez, PEch 8.8
3. D Jones, Oli C 8.5
4. S Pardal, AEch 8.0
5. E Price, Alma 7.6
Assists Per Game
1. J Olmedo, LAN 4.8
2. L Saul, Alma 4.6
3. S Vesco, AEch 4.3
4. L RMoreno, Ech 3.4
5. E Martin, Reg 3.4
Steals Per Game
1. A Glover, COli 1.9
2. D Eiguren, PEch 1.9
3. L Saul, Alma 1.8
Blocks Per Game
1. B Assie, SMCorr 1.3
2. F Gutman, CIC O 1.0
3. Q Alexander, Esp 0.9
2FGP
1. S Easterling, Reg 72.2
2. D Jones, OLI C 71.6
3. M Ghirardi, Esp 67.5
3FGP
1. V Andrizzi, Lan 57.1
2. L Gornatti, Uni 47.2
3. S Rodriguez, Ital 45.2
Free Throws
1. M Trovellesi, olim88.8
2. D Belvedere, Cicl 87.4
3. M Rotschy, Ech 81.6
Ranking
1. B Assie, SMCor23.2
2. M Fierro, SMCor 20.4
3. D Jones, Aoli 20.1
4. A Glover, COli 18.3
5. S Pardal, Ech 18.0


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BARBADOS

Patriots slip by Cougars behind Haynes, Patterson -by Justin Marville
With all the hype surrounding dominant centre Kelvin Patterson's debut in the 'white and red' on Wednesday it was another national ‘big man' who made the biggest impact on the night.

6'8' Patriots forward George Haynes scored eight of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, including the eventual game winner with seventeen seconds left in regulation to lead his side to a last minute 78-76 victory over Jose y Jose Cougars in the latest action of the BABA Intermediate Division at the YMCA.

Tied at 74 with less than two minutes to play it would be the 21 year-old Haynes who came up with two great plays at opposite ends of the court which proved to be the difference between the two title contenders in a closely contested affair throughout.

The first was a resounding block on Cougars guard Mark Gittens' close range shot which led to a lay-up in the open court for swingman Julian Walcott that put the Patriots up by two with 1:16 left on the clock.

The national forward returned a minute later to score a lay-up of his own in transition, using his superior athleticism and youthful exuberance to beat marker down the court for an easy two to give the Patriots a 78-75 advantage with 17 seconds remaining.

However, that same youthful exuberance nearly cost Haynes the game.

Using his vast experience, veteran shooting guard Vincent Knight cunningly drew the young ‘big man' into fouling him on a subsequent three point shot attempt at the other end of the floor, giving the Cougars the perfect opportunity to force overtime with the usually efficient free-throw shooting Knight at the line for three shots.

But the Cougars' senior man let Haynes off the hook, missing two of his three ensuing free throws allowing the Husbands based side to escape with a narrow two point win.

The type of build-up generated towards former Cavs and national centre Kelvin 'Mr. Business' Patterson's first game for the Patriots has not been witnessed for some time in the Intermediate Division, but the squad from 'the Turning' never let the surrounding hype cloud its objective despite the absence of key forward Ricardo Jemmott.

Clearly prepared to handle the dominant post player, the Cougars nullified Patterson early in the contest, surrounding the brawny centre with at least two players on each Patriots possession to deny him any touches.

This strategy worked in the Cougars' favour as they restricted their opponents to just 15 first quarter points while forward Shawn Gaskin made up for Jemmott's absence on the offensive end to give his team a four point lead heading into the second period.

That lead quickly dissipated however once Patterson came out to the perimeter to get the ball in the ensuing period and the burly post player then showed the Hothersal squad why he is aptly referred to as 'Mr. Business'.

Showing off his versatility, Patterson proved unstoppable from just about everywhere on the court, scoring a series of outside jumpers to erupt for 14 second quarter points as the Cougars frontcourt had no answer for the ascending ‘big man'.

Haynes would benefit from Patterson's shift away from the key, exploiting the interior for eight points in the period as the Patriots built a 43-37 half-time lead.

But Knight and Gittens would get take advantage of their opposing perimeter defenders in the second half, providing the necessary foils on the perimeter for Gaskin as the trio combined for all but two of their side's 24 third quarter points to lead the Cougars rally.

Haynes and Patterson were kept quiet in the period, held to just five points between them as Cougars regained the advantage, 61-59, heading into the fourth.

Patterson led all scorers with 24 points while Walcott and Rawle Conway added 11 and 10 points respectively for the Patriots. Gaskin was the Cougars top scorer with 20 points, Knight and Ricardo Bartlett had 13 apiece while Gittens finished with 10.


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BELARUS

Standings - Premier League
Premier L. Group A Standings
1. Vitalyur 33-7
2. Minsk-2006 27-13
3. OZAA Osip. 26-14
4. Grodno-93 25-15
5. Temp-OSHVSM 18-22
6. Lokomotiv 14-26
7. Sozh Gomel 9-31
8. BNTU 8-32


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BULGARIA

Pini Gershon: Papazov will do the best for the national team -by Valentin Anguelov
The men's national basketball team head coach, Pini Gershon , gave a special press-conference before the final of the Bulgarian Cup in Samokov between Lukoil Academic and Cherno More Eurohold.

'Valentin Zlatev didn't put pressure on me at the HDI All star Game. Papazov has coached Lukoil Academic and the national team, so I think he has proven himself as a specialist and he has shown his devotion to the game. I know him well and I'm certain that he is a very good person. He hasn't committed any crime, so there isn't a problem. I will help him and he will help me. It isn't a question of personal attitude. The national team isn't mine, it is rather yours and my decision for the assistant coaches isn't an attempt to demonstrate something. I believe that all the players I'm going to call will show up for the national team' - said Gershon regarding Valentin Zlatev's statement after Lukoil's game with Dynamo in Moscow.

'Papazov will do what's best for the national team. We started our conversations yesterday and our first task is to find a sponsor. He is going to be busy with that until 20th September and so, unlike me, it will be probably very difficult for him to find a new team to coach. Anyway he puts the interests of the national team above his own goals. I am here to help and do the best for the Bulgarian basketball and I know that everyone wishes the same. When I had to decide about the assistants I thought only about basketball and didn't involve any politics. That's why I made my decision so quickly, because I believe that Papazaov and Minchev are the best. There aren't many coaches who are going to agree to be assistants after they have coached the national team. If Papazov can do that, his priority is the game of basketball. I believe that no one wants to harm the team but on the contrary - everyone is willing to give all they can' - added the Israelian.

He also said he hasn't spoken to Valentin Zlatev yet, but there wasn't a problem for that to happen. 'We were friends and I think we still are. He helps the strongest Bulgarian team and if there are more people like him, your country will soon have a team in the Euroleague'.

After he watched the semi-finals for the Bulgarian Cup at 'Arena Samokov', Gershon promised that he is going to be here again for the playoffs of the Championship.


Not a coach, a God -by Vladi Lazarova
Pini Gershon will lead Bulgaria. These news went around Europe and shocked the basketball part of the continent. First of all, because this kind of coaches usually don't lead the tail-enders. And if we are not there, we are few spans from. But let be honest, almost tail-enders. In basketball reality the status quo of the white-haired dictator from Israel a long time ago secured him the comfort of a God-anointed. But Bulgarian basketball reality is a waste stock. A stock, which in the best case can be hang over the shelf of a second hand clothing store.
In 1993, Bulgarian National team led by Simeon Varchev finished at the last place in their group at Eurobasket in Germany after three consecutive lost games from Croatia, Turkey and France. In 1993 in Israel 42-years old Gershon put the first brick in his future empire, after writing history with Hapoel Galil Elion - first title for the club and first for Pini.
12 years later, at Eurobasket'05 in Serbia, Bulgaria finished at the 13th place from 16 teams overall. 12 years later after his triumph with Hapoel Galil, Gershon is already a National hero. His strong body carry on his back three Euroleague titles, eight domestic Cups and seven domestic titles in Israel.
He is nothing less than a God in the home of Maccabi, where even the conflicts with his bosses are not capable to tear out a hair of his head.
He is the despot, who is storming from a centimeter distance at the face of his megastars, without a drop of shyness. In the face of millioners, who are standing two times taller, than their tyrannical head coach.
Through his hands have been passed by some of the best. Israeli idol and first Jew in NBA draft Oded Katash, the most expensive player in Europe now Sarunas Jasikevicius, the American who turn Tel Aviv into his second home town - Anthony Parker, Macio Baston - that center with the Indian cheek-bones, tha captain whose band has been accreted straight with the heart - Derrick Sharp, 211 cm tall Croatian gantleman Nikola Vujcic…And many, and many others.
From all of them, the only one who succeed to touch in the bottom the soul of Pini, is Parker. He adores him, talks about him like for his son. And there is nothing strange that they lft Maccabi in the same time. Parker decided to run after his NBA dream. Gershon first declared he needs a long vacation, because six years in Maccabi are like sixty in any other club on this planet.
Six months later liberty-loving coach packed his suitcases and for the first time in his life signed a contract to work abroad - in Olympiacos. Pini cancelled his vacation, because he had a new challenge in Pireus. For almost a million per season we hardly will find a person, who will not behave like him in the same situation. Except, of course, if he has a problem to show a document for his mental health.
The full budget of Bulgarian basketball federation for last year was around 1 million euro. And how then we can afford to have on board a high class, like Gershon? A logical question, but with a simple answer.
He don't come for money.
We don't have Mr Big, who can throw wads of money to Pini from the airplane stairway to the president apartment in 'Hilton'.
He is coming, because he wants to come.
Because he wants it, not because we have a lot to motivate him.
Bulshits.
Nobody can motivate him, nobody can tell him what is good and what is wrong. There is no power, which can write him to rules. Ecpecially the rules in his work.
In his hole life not the mind was leading Pini, the heart was. He has emotional nature. In the gym and out of the gym. So maybe, if you try to think a little bit, you will start to understand why a giant like him can stop to give us his hand, to us - the people who are living in a broken ship like ours, which cast an anchor at European coast once at every 12 years.
For a deeply religious man like him, the family is holy territory. There the family tree and blood connection mean much, much more than a low budget scenario in a cheap soap opera.
Imagine, that you are millionaire. You have enough for your grandchildren also. You have authority. You have name, which open doors. Once upon a time you was a kid, just a brave kid, who wanted more than everything to become among the greatest basketball players in this world. But your destiny had another plan for you - to become one of the greatest basketball coaches. You started from nowhere, but that was a long time ago.
Now this man is 56 and every morning he is opening his eyes like one of the masters of this on a first sight simple game.They have been carrying you on their hands. They have been throwing your body in the air. There isn't a Cup from which you didn't try the bitter sweet taste of champagne.
And accidently, your grandfather was born in Plovdiv. That is the turning moment of the puzzle game. To the view, you can see his gloomy face and gesticulated hands on the floor of 'Universiada' arena. And around him are not Parker, Baston and Sharp. But Stoykov, Kaloyan, Deyan, Filip, Chavdar and the others…
Don't dream, deal with the thought that the time came and at the head of Bulgarian National team we have not a coach, we have a God. Once to be us the lucky ones. And that man to come just from nowhere, just like this, directly from the sky. To come and save us from our tortures.


Lukoil Academic had no difficulties winning the Bulgarian Cup -by Valentin Anguelov
Lukoil Academic did its job routinely and once more won the Bulgarian Cup. Zeljko Lukaic's team defeated Cherno More Eurohold with 83-102 in the final at 'Arena Samokov', playing with maximum concentration only during the second quarter.

Lukoil Academic had obviously underestimated their opponents as the game started with a total lack of concentration on their side. The ambitious team from Varna took the initiative at the beginning and after 3 minutes of play they were ahead 12-4. Their next 8-point lead came at 17-9, but that was the best Spas Natov's players could do in this game. Bit by bit Lukoil tightened their defense and started paying more attention on offence and by the end of the first half they were already leading 22-23. In the second quarter the champions showed their full potential and Cherno More gave up all thoughts of making a sensation in this game. In spite of the admirable efforts of the 'sailors' to stay in the game Lukoil continuously increased their lead to reach a 19-point advantage at the half time (34-53). That made the second half less interesting and the main questions until the end of the game were who will be the MVP of the final and how many dunks was Pero Antic going to make. Lukoil effortlessly maintained their lead around 20 points as it even got to 27 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Anyway Cherno More's players didn't give up and through aggressive defense and team work they managed to get closer (63-84), earning the applause of the audience for their enthusiasm. At the end they lost with less than 20 points, which was a success against the best Bulgarian team in recent years.

For Cherno More Eurohold Bryce Sheldon finished the game with 20 points (6 triples) and with the 22 he scored in the semi-final against Levski he was the top scorer of the Final Four in Samokov. Except him the other American Todd Galloway also had a good game finishing with 12 points and 10 assists, while Simeon Tsenov and Leven Belberov added 13 points each.

For Lukoil Academic the 18-year-old Blagovest Spasov along with the other young talents - Dimitar Filipov, Petroslav Zafirov and Kalin Hristov got the chance to play for only about 2 minutes once again, although the game was decided long before they appeared on the court. On the other side, Pero Antic had enough time to finish with 21 points and 13 boards, winning the MVP voting for the final game. Willie Deane added 17 points and 7 assists and Riste Stefanov scored 16 points and made 5 assists for the winners.

FULL STATS FROM THE GAME LUKOIL ACADEMIC - CHERNO MORE EUROHOLD


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CBA

Minot Skyrockets are back against the wall in the final series -by Eurobasket News
Minot - Oklahoma 93:98

The Minot Skyrockets wasted the momentum they created snatching a win in Lawton and tying the series at 1-1. The teams moved to Minot and the Skyrockets had all the chances to make a huge step towards the title. Instead they were put into a do-or-die situation before Game 4 scheduled for tomorrow. The Skyrockets got to a better start as Sidney Holmes (6'7''-F-82, college: Lewis) put them in front 6:2. But Oklahoma quickly denied the gap and surged ahead 13:12 after Brandon Dean (6'2''-G-79, agency: Naiditch Entertainment, college: Arkansas) converted a triple. Oklahoma then held on to the lead throughout two quarters before Lee Scruggs (6'11''-F-79, agency: Edge Sports, college: Georgetown) finally tied the score at 60 in the third period. Scruggs soon nailed a jumper to retain the lead for the hosts 62:60. It was seesaw battle from now on as the teams traded buckets. Dean converted a layup to put the Cavs up by 3 midway though the final period 86:83. Minot failed to deliver on a couple of possessions and Oklahoma stretched the margin to 7 points 90:83. Minot climbed as close as 5 points with less than a minute to go but an accurate free throw shooting allowed Oklahoma to triumph at the end. Brandon Dean topscored with 24 points and 8 rebounds for Oklahoma. DeAnthony Bowden (6'1''-G-80, college: Creighton) added 22 points, while Daryan Selvy (6'6''-F/G-79, college: Oklahoma) had 14 for the winners. Ronnie Fields (6'4''-G-77, agency: Edge Sports) managed only 14 points in a loss. Sidney Holmes had 16 points and 11 boards for the Skyrockets. The visitors outscored the home side 30:18 off turnovers.

Minot: Sidney Holmes 16+11 boards, Ronnie Fields 14
Oklahoma: Brandon Dean 24, DeAnthony Bowden 22, Daryan Selvy 14


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CHAD

Bourgeon Head Coach Sasom .T -by Emery Doradji
Samson Head Coach of Bougeon BasketBall Club
Sason Tatoloum and his Assistance Djangyo Meldang are ready for 2008 championship with the first win Bourgeon versus TUC. Samson said that with the Chadian crisis last month it is hard to coach a team with no sponsor, but because of the love of basketball the kids practice and still around the BasketBall. He said that they won the championship last year in the same condition. Mamoute director of BIBO helped again start the season 2007/2008. He said no matter what they will stay focus and try to defend their title.


League of Chari-Baguirmi Ndjamena -by Emery Doradji
Basketball League of Ndjamena start last monday 03/24/08. The first game was postponed Postel 2000 vs Academya, Postel 2000 wasn't ready to confront Academya basketball club. Academya enter the season with Mark Ngoniry as head coach , and Daniel Ngangnon as assistance coach the two men want to revolutionize Chadian basketball they have a really good team. The captain Tissaign Niahma Doradji says that they are ready to attack this season with his teamates Mbah, and Alladoum they say the Defending championhip title is afraid to play them.

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COSTA RICA

First NL results -by Gianni Pascucci
The 2008 edition of CostaRican National League, named 'Copa BCR' has started. The most battled game was played by BCR Colono Limon and Santa Cecilia. These two teams ended the regular time 75-75 and Limon prevailed in the overtime 84-83 thanks to a basket from super veteran Hernando Robertson (195-G/F-64). Jeffrey Spencer (189-F-81) was the game top scorer, with 23 pts in losing effort, while Henry Martinez (186-G/F-75, agency: Interperformances) topped the scoring of Limon with 20. In another game of the first round, Ferreterias Brenes Barva destroyed Coyotes de Santa Ana 103-33 (!!) Amir Alvarado (198-G/F-84, college: Marshalltown CC) was the main scorer in Barva, with 23 points, and Hector Shepherd (191-C-80) scored 11 pts for the very disappointing Santa Ana. UCR started the season with the right pace, defeating Tienda El Parque Escazu 71-68, with 21 points from Minor Arias (193-F/C),while Gabriel Quesada (198-C-86) topped Escazu with 15 pts.

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CUBA

Ciego de Avila is back and Cuban Abroad -by Alessandro Fontana
LSB FINALS 2008
Ciego de Avila won also the second game at the Ramon Forst Coliseum, Ciego de Avila-Capitalinos is now 2-2 and the team, who wins the next game, will be 'Champion of Cuba'. We have to affirm, what an exciting LSB!, one of the most beatiful ever, Capitalinos won the first two games and when the team of La Habana was almost sure to win the League, Ciego de Avila showed their talent and thier experience. Ciego de Avila won the last two games (94-74 and 94-88) and now 'Los Avilenos' are very dangerous, They have players as Geoffrey Silvestre (202-F/C-79) and Michael Guerra (188-G-79), two stars who they are very expert in this kind of situations, for Capitalinos, who was very near to win the LSB, will be very hard now.
The last game ended 94-88 for Ciego de Avila.
CUBAN ABROAD
In Puerto Rico, Indios de Mayaguez were defeated by Humacao 66-91. Angel Caballero played 28 minutes and He scored 6 points (2/3 2pts, 0/1 3pts, 2/4 FT)+ 9 rebs. Caballero is playing very good in Puerto Rico with his team, He is scoring 7.7 ppg + 6.8 rpg.
In Argentina, Obras won against Penarol 87-85, for Lazaro Borrell 10 points (4/8 2pts, 0/1 3pts, 2/2 FT)+3 rebs in 22 miutes.
A. Fontana


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CZECH REPUBLIC

Nymburk confirming its power -by Ondra Simecek
Nymburk came to Prostějov to win and confirmed that already in the first quarter which they won 31:13 while not letting the home team any easy scoring. In the second quarter the difference increased to 28 pts and the game was decided. Prostějov is 3 points from Geofin in the ladder now.
Sadska won over Kolin especially due to the 24 pts of vet Denis Mujagic (193-G-69) and therefore made another important step to play offs.
Brno lost to Geofin75:84. Geofin got a narrow lead from the beggining, that to the half-time grew up to 13 points. But the home team did not allow any bigger difference, respectively Geofins lower effort in final minutes decreased the score to only a one-point difference. However the visitors retained the victory and assured themselves 2nd place in the ladder.
Ostravas Mike Mitchell is back after an injury and together with Marek Stuchly led the team in the victory over Pardubice 87:71.
Decin made the decision about the game already in the first half and won over Liberec without any problems 86:60.


Standings - NBL
NBL Standings
1. Nymburk 37-1
2. Geofin 29-9
3. Prostejov 26-12
4. Pardubice 24-14
5. Decin 23-15
6. Ostrava 19-19
7. A Plus B. 17-21
8. Sadska 16-22
9. USK Praha 13-24
10. Liberec 12-26
11. Kolin 8-30
12. Usti n/Labem 3-34


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D-LEAGUE

Standings
D-League Standings
Central Division
1. Dakota W. 26-18
2. Sioux Falls S. 25-20
3. Iowa E. 18-25
4. Ft.Wayne MA 15-28
Southwest Division
1. Austin T. 27-16
2. Tulsa 66ers 24-19
3. Colorado 14ers 23-19
4. Albuquerque T. 20-23
5. Rio Grande VV 17-29
West Division
1. Idaho S. 30-12
2. LA D-Fenders 30-13
3. Utah 20-23
4. Anaheim A. 20-25
5. Bakersfield J. 9-34


Terrance Whiters: The Ultimate Underdog Story -by Alain Reid
As players jockey to fill in summer camp positions, and make the transition period from amateur to professional ball, one young guard has set his hopes on beating the odds and becoming the feel good story of the summer.

Perhaps nobody is more excited to heat up the summer months and get on teams' radar than former Baltimore high school standout Terrance Whiters.

Whiters' journey began as a high school legend in Baltimore, where he earned several state and conference accolades as one of the city's most promising stars. After committing to Loyola (IL), Whiters was a solid contributor in his first year of collegiate basketball, averaging just short of 9 ppg. He followed-up with a strong sophomore season, where he exceeded a double figure scoring average. Whiters' trademark athleticism, lethal shooting range and scoring ability began to spark interest and create a buzz around the Loyola campus.

After dealing with some personal issues, Whiters chose to transfer to Division II Arkansas Tech. He immediately became a central piece of the team's success, and gained recognition among D-II fans as one of the nation's best kept secrets, finishing up his first year at Tech with averages of 21.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and a league-leading 2.8 steals per game. His first-year performance at Tech landed him a spot on the All-GSC West Division 2nd Team.

Whiters' momentum continued to build and gain speed toward the ladder part of the season, and he was receiving regular looks from top-level European and NBA scouts. This led him to declare for the NBA draft, choosing to test the market interest and not sign with an agent, so he could retain his eligibility.

After going undrafted, Whiters headed back to Tech for his senior season, and finished up with a solid 20 point plus scoring average.

Now entering his first year of professional play, Whiters is looking establish himself as one of the premiere underdog stories of the 2008 summer.

'For me, this summer is an opportunity to showcase my true abilities and prove that I belong on the court at a top level,' said the 24-year old Whiters. 'I've been in some difficult situations over the past few years, and faced a lot of challenges. But I'm really excited and committed to getting my professional career off on the right foot.'

Whiters says he's been busy staying in shape, and working out in preparation to stay as busy as possible this summer. He's already inked a deal with the Central Oregon Hotshots of the IBL, and plans on attending some of the summer's most prestigious camps and leagues, such as the Euroleague/ULEB Summer League, the KBL Pre-Draft Camp, among others.

His athletic style and explosiveness on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor has already sparked interest from European GM's, according to sources. While a lucrative career in Europe seems like the most logical path for Whiters, the Baltimore native will always have the NBA in the back of his mind.

'I would love to go to Europe, but my dream has always been the NBA, and I definitely haven't ruled this out yet. I believe in myself and know that if I get in front of the right people over the next few months, I can achieve my dream,' said Whiters. 'Most importantly, I just want to be a leader on a first-class organization next season, and bring their fans a winning attitude, and some excitement. Whether that's overseas or in the States, I'm going to show everyone what I'm all about.'

The first stop on Whiters' summer tour is the IBL camp, which he plans to report to shortly. In Whiters' mind, he expects it to be the beginning of a long and successful summer, and one that will enable him to conquer the odds and finally establish himself as a premiere talent.

'These next few months are ‘do or die' times for me,' said Whiters. 'I'm just going to leave everything out there, and show that I can't be overlooked on any level.'


D-Fenders Inch within Half Game of West Leading 14ers -by Surujh Roopnarine
Colorado 14ers (90) at Los Angeles D-Fenders (101)
Playing without star forward Sean Banks was no problem for Los Angeles as they jumped on the visiting 14ers early and held for a 101-90 victory last night at the Staples Center. Los Angeles improves to 30-13 on the season and pulls within ˝ a game of the idle Idaho Stampede who sits atop the West at 30-12. Colorado has now dropped four in a row and fall to 23-19 in the Southwest Division. Wendell White (6'6''-G-84, college: UNLV) was one of three D-Fenders to score 20 or more points, tallying 14 of his 21 in the first half. Cecil Brown (6'4''-G-83, college: UCSB) matched White with 21 while Errick Craven rounded out the top three with 20. Brandon Wallace stepped in for Banks in the starting lineup and had a very impressive stat line of 14 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and seven blocked shots! The return of NBA call-ups Kaniel Dickens and Billy Thomas (from Cleveland Cavaliers) was not enough for Colorado on this night as the pair only combined for 25 points on 10-26 shooting. Eric Osmundson (6'5''-G-83, agency: Interperformances, college: Pennsylvania) was the high man for Colorado with 18 points as Colorado only shot 38.6% from the field for the game.
14ERS: Eric Osmundson (18p+6as), Kaniel Dickens (13p+7rb), Roderick Riley (6p+11rb), Billy Thomas (12p+6as)
D-FENDERS: Cecil Brown (21p+8as), Wendell White (21p+7rb), Errick Craven (20p+6rb+8as), Brandon Wallace (14p+8rb+7as+7bs)

Austin Toros (104) at Anaheim Arsenal (109)
The Anaheim Arsenal held off a late surge by the visiting Austin Toros to secure a 109-104 victory last night in Anaheim. Anaheim, which has had a recent run of knocking off Division leaders, wins their fifth in a row and improves to 20-25. During their win streak, Anaheim has defeated Division leaders Dakota, Idaho and now Austin. The Toros fall to 27-16, still three games atop Tulsa in the Southwest Division. Mo Charlo (6'7''-F-83, college: Nevada) was the high point scorer for the game, with 24 on 8-18 shooting for Anaheim. San Antonio Spurs assignee Ian Mahinmi (6'9''-F/C-86) led Austin with 23 points.
TOROS: Ian Mahinmi (23p+6rb), Andre Barrett (17p+5rb+15as), DerMarr Johnson (20p), Marcus Williams (13p)
ARSENAL: Mo Charlo (24p+6rb), Ejke Ugboaja (10p+16rb), Will Blalock (18p), Kedrick Brown (17p+7rb)


Josh Gross Changing Addresses Again -by Surujh Roopnarine
Austin: Traded former Iowa State guard Curtis Stinson (6'2''-G-83, agency: Life Sports, college: Iowa St.) to the Iowa Energy for Josh Gross (6'6''-F-83, agency: Pro One Sports, college: NC-Greensboro).
Stinson was acquired from the available player pool March 1st and in 15 games split between Austin and the Utah Flash averaged eight points and three rebounds this season.
Gross, a 6-5, 190 pound forward from UNC-Greensboro joins the Toros roster averaging 15 points and five rebounds. Gross started the 2007-08 season with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds before being traded to the Iowa Energy for Mike Efeverbha.

Tulsa: Re-Signed former Pepperdine forward Glen McGowan (6'9''-F-81, college: Pepperdine) and then traded him to Sioux Falls for former Notre Dame guard Russell Carter (6'4''-G-85, college: Notre Dame). McGowan appeared in 17 games with Tulsa earlier this season, averaging 12.4 points, 5.1 rebounds while shooting 51.1% from the field. Carter, an All-Big East 1st Team selection as a senior at Notre Dame, joined Sioux Falls on March 18th, but has not appeared in any games yet.


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EL SALVADOR

LSB: wins for Denver and UTEC -by Jaime Arevalo
In the sixth round of Liga Superior, Denver came back to the win defeating Cosmos 72-67. Mauricio Lahud (176-G-84) outstood in Denver, scoring 25 points, while Cosmos was led by Edwin Lopez (183-G/F-85), who scored 25 pts he too. Two players from Guatemala, Thomas Gillespie (204-F/C-74, college: Regis) and Gerson Duarte (202-C-83), made their debut in Cosmos as import players. In another game of the day, UTEC prevailed over San Marcos 88-82, despite a good performing from the imports of San Marcos, one of them, Michael Pierrot (208-C-84), was the game top scorer at 30 points. Thenks to this win, UTEC keeps the lead undefeated.

Standings - Liga Superior
Liga Superior Standings
1. UTEC 3-0
2. ExSAL 3-1
3. San Marcos 2-2
4. Denver 1-2
5. Cosmos 0-4


*****************************************************
EUROLEAGUE

Interview with Milt Palacio, Partizan -by Nenad Ilijev

After turning 30 last month, Partizan Igokea point guard Milton Palacio (190-G-78, college: Colorado St.) is living through the most exciting chapter of his career just when, perhaps, he expected it least. By the end of this month, Palacio had converted his Euroleague debut into breakthrough celebration by leading Partizan into its first-ever Euroleague playoff series with a three-game-long performance that earned him the competition's March MVP honor. After spending his first seven pro seasons between six NBA teams, Palacio landed as Partizan's only import player on a team dominated by young, homegrown talent that craved his experience and leadership. Palacio found the way to deliver when they needed him most, but makes it clear in this Euroleague.net interview that his young teammates had earned his admiration long before. 'I have been very fortunate to come to a team like this, with young guys who care about the game,' Palacio said. 'It all came together at the right time this month, but I never doubted because we put so much work into it. Coach Vujosevic makes it that way. On the road or at home, we're always doing things together. Like I tell them, what's good off-court is always great on it.'

Partizan's Milt Palacio named Euroleague Basketball's MVP for March

Hi Milt. Congratulations both for making the playoffs and winning the March MVP award. How exciting has this month been for you?


'It has been very exciting. In my professional career, I've never been in a position to play such a big role as this. A little bit at Utah when I was in the NBA, but I didn't have so big a role as now, and that's the exciting part. All I can say is that all the hard work pays off.'

Partizan is a unique team that relies mostly on homegrown, young national players. How much did you know about Partizan's uniqueness and your role before you came to the club?

'I really didn't know exactly how unique they were. My agent informed me about them first. He just told me that the biggest thing he liked is how hard the coach works the guys, how disciplined they are, and how it's a team, not one player or someone trying to be the hero. And it's true, our coach is all for the team and he works these guys hard. For me coming off an injury and trying to get back to normal, it has been a great situation and a perfect fit. I didn't know my role coming in, but as the weeks and months have gone by, I've learned.'

Were you prepared for anything like what you have found in terms of the fan support?

'I have never been around fans like this before in my life, and I don't know if I ever will again. They even say that I'm a Serb now, and have given me a Serbian name: Milutin. Whenever fans act like that, giving you a nickname, you know they appreciate what you're trying to do.'

Every game in March was do-or-die, but it started with the home win over previously undefeated Montepaschi. What do you remember from that game and was it the key one psychologically?

'Yes, I think that psychologically that game was the biggest for us. I remember everything, too. We were down 68-60 with about four minutes left and we got three stops in row. I said to the guys, 'If we get some stops we are going to score.' I felt we were on a roll, scoring-wise, because inside they couldn't match up with Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket). So I wanted to play inside-outside, and was telling the guys to get ready to shoot and make plays. But the key was the defense, and when we locked that down, it made the baskets come easier. The other big thing was that we never looked at the games as do-or-die. We never saw them as pressure games, because no one expected anything from us. So we approached every game that way, as a chance to prove ourselves to everybody. And our coach didn't put pressure on us, either. He just said that if we want to make a stand, and make history, we should go out there and play hard, which we did.'

What affect did the team's second win in March, at Efes Pilsen, have on the playoff run?

'That one was about keeping the momentum going. We had played and beaten Efes two weeks before at home with all the Americans not coming and things of that nature which could have been distracting. Our coach deserves a lot of credit in all this. He does a great scouting job. He knows teams inside and out, what they do and what they don't do. For us to go up big in the third quarter, by 25 points or something in Turkey, was a big lift in itself, even though the game got closer. But we didn't go there saying we had to win. We just think that if no one expects it, why not just win? When we go like that, things turn out better as compared to earlier in year, when we thought we had to win and played terrible. Now, it's like: why not win?'

Then came defending Euroleague champ Panathinaikos at home in a head-to-head duel for a spot in the quarterfinals. What was it like to be on the floor at Pionir Arena even before that game started?

'I always have a few jitters before stepping out on the floor. It's normal really, because I think there's something wrong if you're not a little nervous. But this time, I mean to tell you, I had goosebumps when we ran out of the tunnel and onto the floor. Goosebumps. I was like: wow! The whole gym was packed and cheering for our layup line. I walked over to Michael Batiste (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) from Panathinaikos. He said, 'Have you ever seen anything like this? We're going to have fun tonight!' I tell you, I was sweating in the layup line just because of the atmosphere. I just kept telling myself to get an easy basket first and then calm down and relax. Then, my first shot was a three-pointer, which I never like to shoot first. I like an easier basket to get started. But the night before, Predrag Danilovic (202-G-70) had told me to be ready. He said that Panathinaikos was going to double off, that I would be making the decisions and I had to let myself shoot the ball if I was open, even if I missed a couple. He said, 'Be ready and don't worry. Just keep shooting. They'll fall'.'

Have you ever played in an atmosphere like that before?

'Never. I'll tell you how loud it was: I lost my voice screaming plays and defenses. The next day I was hoarse, and that never happened before in my life. I was telling my brother later that it was impossible to describe. You can't compare it to Duke or the NBA playoffs or anything else in America. They just don't compare with this. And the amazing thing was our guys were so relaxed. You figure a young team would be nervous, but not them. Playing three other times against Panathinaikos helped, because we knew them like the back of our hand. And we were ready. I knew it was our game to win.'

You tripled your performance rating from the regular season in these three games in March. How did you know it was your time to break out?

'All year long, I was playing up and down; good game here, not well there. I think now that I was thinking too much during that time, thinking 'I've got to hit this shot, stop that player'. Then, in the game at Siena, I had six turnovers, and I told myself I played terrible. I was putting the weight on my own shoulders, saying point guards can't do that. I think that after that, I just knew it was time for me to step up and lead. I thought that if I can make plays and show the way, they would follow my lead. And that was key. I remember when I got here and these young guys would point to players on other teams, saying how much money they made, I told them a funny thing: 'I never saw a dollar bill put the ball in the basket.' Now they know what I mean: the money doesn't play. There are lot of NBA guys making big money who can't make it to the playoffs or a championship. You need a team for that. Budget doesn't mean anything. It's the players who have to make shots, not the money. That wasn't our attitude at the beginning of the year, but it is our attitude now. No matter who the other guy is, he's still got to lace 'em up and play.'

After a tough month, have you left a little something extra for this upcoming series against Tau Ceramica?

'The truth is that I haven't seen them play enough and we're concentrating on our domestic league right now, but the one thing I know is that Coach Vujosevic will have them scouted to a T. That's one thing I have a lot of confidence about. He'll break their team down into its tendencies and weaknesses, and we will be prepared. After that, it will come down to how hard we are going to fight and play.'

Tau's got a South American following with Argentine and Brazilian players, but you have your own connections with Belize in Central America, where your parents are from. Do you know if they are following you from Belize now that you moved to Europe?

'I know for sure, because my mom was telling me on the phone that she got the news of me being MVP of the month from Belize. Someone there sent her an e-mail before I did! So I know they are keeping track for sure.'

What are your thoughts on these young Partizan players with whom you are sharing your Euroleague experience?

'These guys work so hard! I don't know if all of Europe and everybody in the Euroleague does the same, but they do work hard. I know most European teams practice twice a day, but in the NBA, you might come in for an hour-and-a-half at most. These guys not only practice hard, but are in tune with basketball. They love basketball. They talk about it, keep up with everything. They ask me about NBA guys I've played against and with. I have been very fortunate to come to a team like this, with young guys who care about the game. I've seen plenty of young guys before who don't care, who get their money and just relax. These guys come to optional practices to shoot and make 1,000 shots. It all came together at the right time this month, but I never doubted because we put so much work into it. Coach Vujosevic makes it that way. On the road or at home, we're always doing things together. Like I tell them, what's good off-court is always great on it. When there's chemistry off the court, I can scream 'Let's go!' at a guy during the game and he understands. If I didn't know the same guy well off the court, I don't know how he will respond. My friend Chauncey Billups (191-G-76, college: Colorado) told me the same thing about when he won the NBA title with Detroit, that they were so close off the court, that made everything easier on the court. It's the same here at Partizan. Everyone is on the same page. Because of that, I can get in the huddle and look them in the eyes and say what has to be said. That's the fun part about this.'


by Euroleague.net



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

U18: French names team for the U18 World Championship -by Richard
#s#
#e#6


Sadiku


Albicy


Tanghe


Lang


Leonard
4 Landing Sane (207-C-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball
5 Elio Sadiku (187-F-91) of Saint-Etienne B. C.
6 Andrew Albicy (178-G-90) of Paris-Levallois
7 Saer Faye (197-F-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball
8 Lens Aboudou (192-G-90) of Paris-Levallois
9 Florian Thibedore (192-G-90) of Besancon Basket Comte Doubs
10 Alexis Tanghe (207-F/C-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball
11 Nicolas Lang (195-G-90) of ES Chalon-Sur-Saone
12 Christophe Leonard (199-F-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball
13 Tanguy Ramassany (203-F-90) of Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez
14 Miguel Buval (206-F/C-90) of Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez
15 Thomas Celerier (203-C-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball


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

Jackson is history!! -by Chris Mammides
Olympiakos and Marc Jackson (206-C/F-75, college: Temple) split ways just after the Hellenic Cup's Final. The American player seems to be the only player who didn't really like the change of the coaching team in Olympiakos, as Panagiotis Yiannakis is more focused to the team spirit and the strong defence, these two elements are not the best feasible advantage for Marc Jackson who had a kind of discussion with the Greek coach and the Red management (according to a number of Greek sport sites) decided to 'cut' the American player from the Red roster. Qyintell Woods will replace Marc Jackson in the Greek league games.

In the mean time, PAOK added Michael Jordan (183-G-78, agency: Court Side, college: Pennsylvania) in his roster after the 'divorce' with Jason Rowe (178-G-78, college: Loyola, MD)


*****************************************************
HOLLAND

Tony Van den Bosch returns to Belgium -by Fred Roggen
Coach Tony van den Bosch will leave Aris Friesland at the end of the season and went back to Belgium. Vandenbosch has signed a two-years contract with the Div. 2 team of Sint Jan Antwerp.
Van den Bosch replaced in November 2007 coach Andre Roorda in Leeuwarden, who had to leave Aris Friesland through the bad results of the team.
Under guidance of Van den Bosch, the team did not much improve and misses the Play Offs.


Standings - Eredivisie
Eredivisie Standings
1. Amsterdam 28-7
2. West-Brabant 24-11
3. M.Magix 23-13
4. Eiff.Towers 21-13
5. Hanzev.Cpt 20-15
6. Rotterdam 19-14
7. Zwolle 16-19
8. Leiden 15-21
9. Weert 14-22
10. Aris Friesland 8-27
11. Den Helder 4-30
12. Almere 0-0


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

IBL Preview -by Jeffrey Duncan
The IBL regular season tipped off March 8 with a great rivalry game between the Bellingham Slam and the Snohomish County Explosion in Monroe, Wash.

SnoCo already had one game under its belt -- a 169-85 dismantling of the USA All-Stars, an IBL traveling team.
In the Bellingham game, the Slam overcame an 11-point halftime
deficit to briefly take a 98-97 lead with seven minute to play. But
the Slam dug itself too big of a hole and could not hang on as
SnoCo emerged with a hard fought 116-106 victory. SnoCo was
lead by Jamal Miller's 32 points and 12 rebounds.

Donald Watts chipped in 31 points and Chris Weakly added 25. Ryan Diggs and Jacob Stevenson led six players in double figures for the Slam with 20 points each. Lukas Henne added 19 and Erroll Knight scored 13.

STEELHEADS DEBUT

The Gary Steelheads tipped of their 2008 season with an impressive 133-95 victory over the USA All-Stars. Gary coach Rob Spon still had 20 players on his roster for this game and played everyone. Ishmieal Kamara and Kenyon Gamble led the Steelheads with 12 points apiece. Former NBA player Sam Mack and Keenan Browder chipped in with 10. All 20 Steelheads scored at least two points, making Spon's cuts very difficult. Gary needs to be down to 12 players soon.

An upcoming game to keep your eye on is Gary vs. Battle Creek on March 20. Both of these teams will be favored to go deep in the playoffs. This will be the opening game of the season for the Knights. Gary will have already played the USA All-Stars twice.

IBL ROSTER NEWS

* The Bellingham Slam's roster is very impressive lead by recent signee, Erroll Knight, the former Gonzaga standout. Knight began his professional career last season in Israel, playing for first-division team Hod Hasharon, where he averaged 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Other players of note on the Slam roster: Paul Hafford, Brian Dennis, Jacob Stevenson and Jared Stevenson. Hafford was a key player last season for the Central Oregon Hotshots. He averaged 24.8 points per game and had a season-high 47 against the Portland Chinooks. Dennis and the Stevensons all played for the Slam when they were members of the ABA.

* The Snohomish County Explosion return many of the key players from last season's 17-5 team. Donald Watts, Rashaad Powell, Justin Murray, Jamaal Miller and Chris Weakley return to defend the West division title. It's a credit to head coach Randy Redwine and the ownership of the Explosion that so many former players are back.

* Another team that returns many of its best players from last year is the Portland Chinooks. David Lucas, David Jackson, and Shammgod Wells all return to try to win the IBL championship. The Chinooks lost to theElkhart Express in the IBL championship last season. The Chinooks will also add 2007 IBL All-Star Dajuan Tate. Tate finished second in the IBL in scoring last season with an average of 35.6 points per game. He then took his game to China and averaged more than 26 points per game. Tate is considered by many scouts to be one of the best players in the world not currently in the NBA. Former IBL all-star Terrence Green and sharpshooter Robert Day and also return to Portland.

* The Central Oregon Hotshots re-tooled their roster and look poised to make a run at the IBL championship. A solid group of returning players, along with a nice batch of newcomers, put a smile on the face of new head coach Joe Becera. Returning to Central Oregon: Phillip Freeman, Cliff White, Terry Horton and crowd favorite Arthur Lewis Jr. Newcomers include Jamal Walker, Chucky Freirson, Dustin Hummel and sharpshooter Jeff Dunn. Look for the Hotshots to duplicate their 144-point a game average from last year and also put more emphasis on defense.

* The Vancouver Volcanoes may have the most improved roster in the IBL. Shawn Malloy, Gary Muzzy, Edjuan Green, Porter Troupe, Kevin Bloodsaw, and Brad Lechtenberg are the keys cogs for the Volcanoes. Malloy, Green and Muzzy provide a solid inside game, Troupe and IBL all-time leading scorer Bloodsaw are the slashers, and Lechtenberg is the pure jump shooter. Look for good things from the Volcanoes this season. Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., will be home again for the Volcanoes.

* The expansion Edmonton Chill have started to assemble a nice stable of talent. Stephen Sir, JR Patrick, Marques Hayden, Rashaun Broadus, and big-time scorer, Antone Jarrell, lead the Chill into the 2008 season. Jarrell played last year with the Salem Stampede, where he averaged 25.3 ppg and scored a record 68 points against the Central Oregon Hotshots. He finished 10th in league scoring and was named to the 2007 IBL All-Star team. Hayden played last year with Seattle of the IBL and most recently played for Talca Espanol of the Dimayor League top division in Chile, where he averaged 20.3 ppg,9.0 rpg and 1.3 bpg. He was ranked as the 10th best power forward out of college at the NBA Players Association Camp behind the likes of current NBA All-Star and Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh.

* The Gary Steelheads are, in a word, loaded. With 20 players still on the roster, some are bound to be cut soon. I would count on the following guys to make the Gary squad: 37-year-old former NBA guard Sam Mack, Keenan Browder and brothers Terrance and Torrance Hayes. Also keep your eye on Keyon Gamble, Ishmieal Kamara and DeAnthony Bowden. There are rumors floating around that Gary is interested in signing former NBA all-star, Glen 'Big Dog' Robinson. Stay tuned for updates.

* The Grand Rapids Flight return for another IBL season and will be led by IBL all-stars Micah Lancaster and 7-foot-9 center Sun Ming Ming. Other players to watch are Kenny Langhorne, Terrance Shaw, DeAngelo Johnson and former NBA player Charles Smith. David Fox returns for his second season on the bench. The Flight will play their home games in the posh DeltaPlex arena.

* The two-time defending IBL champs Elkhart Express will bring back the nucleus of their team from 2007. Tim Pledger, Colecu Buie, Jarrod Lovette and Phil Calvert will join newcomers Michael Brownlee and 7-1 center Chris Charles. Brownlee averaged 25.6 points per game last year with Marysville.

* The Windy City Soldiers look to improve on last season's 0-18 record. The Soldiers' 2008 roster is highlighted by Barry Bradford and Amir Major, both of whom earned IBL all-star honors in 2007. Major is a capable scorer, who averaged 20.6 points per game last season for the Soldiers. Bradford averaged 15.8 points per game last season, and will again be relied on to run the offense. Six-foot-10 center Erik Rhinehart is a huge addition in the middle, giving the Soldiers the inside presence they lacked a season ago. Six-foot-9 CeCe Malone will also help bolster the interior.

* The Elgin Racers return some firepower from last season's 16-6 team. IBL all-stars Brandon Watkins and Sherick Simpson return to add scoring punch to the Racers. Simpson averaged 25.2 points per game in 2007. Also returning to Elgin is Keith Gayden. Michal Murphy returns to the sidelines in 2008 to try and get Elgin over the hump. The Racers have finished second fiddle to Elkhart and Marysville the past two seasons.

* I am still awaiting roster information from the Los Angeles Lightning, Las Vegas Stars, Tacoma Jazz, Holland Blast, and the Battle Creek Knights. If you are interested in the roster of China Shanxi Kylins, check out iblhoopsonline.com.


Las Vegas Stars looking to shine in 2009 -by Trask Frost

Las Vegas, NV - The Las Vegas Stars had a surprising inaugural season in the IBL, finishing with a .705 winning percentage before losing a tightly contested game to the Portland Chinooks in the playoffs. The Stars are back for the 2009 season, and anxious to prove that last year's strong showing was not a fluke.

Stars' owner Alexis Levi-Scott is proud of the team's first campaign, and expects lessons learned in season one to make the Stars stronger in the future. 'Last season was a learning experience, no question,' said Levi-Scott. 'I am better prepared to run this team efficiently and assemble a team capable of competing for the title.'

Head Coach Dan Savage returns this season, as do seven players from the 2007 squad. Las Vegas will complete their roster with four or five additional players. The Stars clearly have an eye for talent—Las Vegas signed relatively unknown DaJuan Tate a season ago, and Tate blossomed into one of the best players in minor-league basketball (see attached ‘Minor League Success Story').

Returning Las Vegas Stars
Willie Hall 6'0'
Hollis Hale 6'1'
Eddie Shelby 6'0'
Trevor Lawrence (7'0''-C-82, college: N.Mexico St.) 7'0'
Matt Winan 6'5'
Deavereaux Vinzant 6'8'
Demetrius Orme 6'5'
New Additions
Keenan Payton 6'3'
Mike Scott 6'6'


The Stars kick off their 2008 season with a trip to the Midwest to take on the Windy City Soldiers (Chicago, IL) on Thursday, April 24. The Stars will also visit defending champion Elkhart (IN), and 2005 IBL champs Battle Creek (MI), on the road trip.

The Stars will play their home opener on Tuesday, May 13 against the Portland Chinooks. This will pit the Stars against one of the most talented roster in the league, including former Star DaJuan Tate. The Stars are exploring several home venue options, including the Cox Pavilion and will make an official announcement on April 15. For more information, visit the Stars' team page at www.iblhoopsonline.com.



*****************************************************
ISRAEL

Mekel signs with Maccabi -by Tamar Goldman
The Israeli Gal Mekel (191-G-88), which played for the past two years in Wichita St University decided to return to Israel. Mekel grew up in Maccabi Tel Aviv's youth section, and from there moved to the USA. Even though Mekel can play in collage next year too he came back to the Israeli 1st Div. and he won't be able to go back to collage after playing in a professional league.
Mekel is very well known in the youth National teams - he played in the Israeli U16 National Team on 2004, in the Israeli U18 National Team on 2005-06 and in the Israeli U20 National Team on 2007


Murilo is back with Maccabi -by Yarone Arbel
Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv decided to bring back the Brazilian center Murilo da Rosa (207-C-83, agency: Arik Krayn Services) and play him until the end of the season. Last summer Murilo signed with Maccabi a long term deal, but was loaned to Academik Sofia to gain some experience in the European market. He had a good start in Bulgaria and averaged 12.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 71.1% 2FG% in 21:28 mpg in the ULEB Cup but at some point things both sides decided to part ways and he went back to Brazil. Maccabi was looking to thicken their front court after the injury of Marcus Fizer, and after almost landing Loren Woods eventually decided to use a player who is already under contract with the club. Murilo will be able to play only in the Israeli league, since the registration deadline for the Euroleague was before the tip off of the Top16.

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ITALY

Masieri joins Pavia -by Gianni Pascucci
Edimes Pavia added to the roster ARG-ITA Leandro Masieri (201-F-76), who inked a contract till the end of the current season. Masieri is a well-known forward with good offensive skills. He comes back in Pavia after playing there in 2005. He was playing in Belgrano, Argentinean Liga A.

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JAMAICA

Samuels impresses scouts in Milwaukee -by Leonard Whyte
Milwaukee, WI (3-27-2008) - The East All-Stars were the underdogs, but last night that didn't matter as they defeated the West All-Stars 107-102 in the 31st Annual McDonald's All-American High School basketball game. Louisville-bound Samardo Samuels, who finished with eight points on 3-of-8 shooting, was cited as the most impressive player of the week by fellow players Tyreke Evans (MVP of the game), Mike Rosario and Willie Warren. Without hesitation, they recognized Samuels for his scary combination of size and agility. Former NBA player, Larry Drew, whose son also participated in the game, also said he was most impressed with Samuels.

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JAPAN

Standings - BJ League
BJ League Standings
1. Evessa 27-11
2. Five Arrows 26-12
3. 89ers 26-12
4. Albirex 23-15
5. Apache 22-16
6. Broncos 19-19
7. Heat Devils 18-20
8. Fukuoka 14-24
9. Golden Kings 10-28
10. Grouses 5-33


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LATVIA

LBL standings
LBL Standings
Division I
1. Barons/LMT 11-2
2. BK Ventsp. 11-2
3. Valmiera 11-8
4. VEF Riga 10-9
5. ASK Riga 9-2
6. Liep.Lauvas 9-9
7. Bum./ASK 2-16
8. Keizarmezs 1-16
Division II
1. Zemgale 26-5
2. Ventspils au. 23-7
3. RNS-D/Livani 19-11
4. ASK/Juniors 19-12
5. Jurmala 14-17
6. LU/Ridzene 13-18
7. Roja 12-20
8. Saldus 7-24
9. Cesis/Remarks 6-25


Stats Leaders
LBL Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
Ozols (Jurmala) 21.5
Kanbergs (VA) 19.8
Rudzitis (Bum.) 18.3
Berkis (Zemgale) 17.8
Jurevicus (Liepaja) 17.6
Rebounds Per Game
Stimac (Valmiera) 11.3
Ed.Eglitis (LU/Ridz.) 8.8
Licitis (Saldus) 8.4
Neilands (Roja) 8.4
Bucs (VA) 8.2
Assists Per Game
Slesers (Livani) 7.3
Tiss (Saldus) 4.5
Buskevics (ASK) 4.4
Olivero (Valmiera) 4.0
Raiskums (Zem.) 4.0
Steals Per Game
Slesers (Livani) 3.2
Millage (ASK) 2.6
Skele (Barons) 2.5,
Blocks Per Game
J.Rozitis (ASK/Jun.) 2.6
D.Rozitis (Cesis) 2.4
Rich (Liepaja) 2.4
Ranking
Stimac (Valmiera) 21.6
Kanbergs (VA) 21.0
Alexander (Bar.) 20.0


Standings - LBAL
LBAL Standings
Austrumi 1-4
1. Valmiera-2 10-1
2. DU/Hansabanka 7-4
3. Maksis/LTI 5-6
4. Madona 0-11
Austrumi 5-7
1. Preili 5-2
2. Jekabpils 3-3
3. Ezerzeme 2-5
Centrs 1-4
1. ASK Kadeti 4-1
2. Jurmala 2 3-2
3. Keizarmezs-2 2-3
4. Ogre/Sonora 1-4
Centrs 5-8
1. Kursa/MRU 2-0
2. Turiba 2-1
3. LU 1-2
4. VIA Riga 0-2
Centrs 9-12
1. VEF Riga 1-0
2. Salacgriva 1-1
3. Ridzene 89 0-0
4. Saulkrasti 0-1
Centrs 13-16
1. I.O.S. 1-0
2. Ridzene M. 1-0
3. ASK Kadeti-2 0-1
4. 3.BJSS 0-1
Centrs 17-20
1. DSN 0-0
2. LNSF 0-0
3. Ridzene 91 0-0
Rietumi 1-4
1. Liepajas Papirs 6-4
2. Dartija 4-4
3. Kandava 4-5
4. Variants 4-5
Rietumi 5-9
1. Zemgale/Juniors 9-2
2. Perkons 7-2
3. Talsi 5-6
4. Olaine 3-8
5. Baldone 2-8


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LITHUANIA

Standings - LKL
LKL Standings
1. Lietuvos 16-0
2. Zalgiris 13-2
3. Siauliai 12-6
4. Alita 9-6
5. Neptunas 7-8
6. Sakalai 5-10
7. Nevezis 5-11
8. Panevezys 5-11
9. Atletas 4-12
10. Suduva 3-13


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MEXICO

FUERZA GUINDA Roster Changes -by Alejandro Martinez
Fuerza Guinda de Nogales has announced the signing of former Buckeye standout J.J. Sullinger (196-G-82, agency: 540 Sports, college: Ohio St.). Sullinger replaces Chris Rodgers (193-G-84, college: Arizona in the roster. Sullinger was a teamate of current Guinda guard Tony Stockman and have been reunited. In another transaction, the team also announced the signing of regional player Francisco Luna (180-G-83). The speedster Luna had a solid season as the starting point guard with Agua Prieta and will now be have the role of sixth man. To make room in the roster, the team released regional player Jean Gameros (199-F/C)

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MONTENEGRO

MNT1A Play-Out 2 Round : Second win for Jedinstvo and Ulcinj -by Dragan Scepanovic
In the game of 2 Round Montenegrin 1A Play-Out league Rudar all tree basketball club which played at home losed games : Rudar Pljevlja losed against Jedinstvo B.Polje 67-83 (14-12,19-22,17-25,17-24) , Mornar Bar losed against BC Ulcinj 77-83 (23-23,6-8,23-15,10-16) and BC Kotor losed against Primore H.Novi 71-79 (14-16,26-20,13-22,18-21). For Rudar Mirko Vukajlovic (198-G-80) was the best with 17 points, for Jedinstvo it was Milic with 17 and Vladimir Grdinic (188-G-78) 16 points,. For Mornar Marko Mijovic (188-G-87) did the job with 26 points, while for BC Ulcinj it was Srdjan Djuric 19 points,In BC team Mandic was the topscorer with 30 points and 10 rebounds (MVP od 2 Round MNT1A Play-Out League), for Primore Aleksandar Raickovic (205-C-77) was the best with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Standings - 1A
1A Standings
Superleague
1. Lovcen 0-0
2. Niksic 0-0
3. Buducnost 0-0
4. Mogren 0-0
5. Danilovgrad 0-0
6. ABS Primorje 0-0
Play-Out
1. Jedinstvo 2-0
2. Ulcijn 2-0
3. Mornar Bar 1-1
4. Primorje-M. 1-1
5. Kotor 0-2
6. Rudar 0-2


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NBA

NBA Europe Live tour for 2008 -by Eurobasket News
The NBA is going to announce the schedule for the Europe Live tour in October of 2008. Reportedly four European cities were chosen to host the exhibition games. The series will tip off on October 9 in Paris when the New Jersey Nets will take on the Miami Heat. The teams will meet again on October 12 in London. The Washington Wizards and the New Orleans Hornets will play their two games on October 14 in Berlin and October 17 in Barcelona. This time the Association gave up the idea of the exhibition games including European teams. The rumours say that the following seasons will see the increasing presence of the NBA in Europe. David Stern already talked about the idea of creating a European-based division in NBA in future.

NBA teams to tour Europe for third consecutive year as part of 2008 NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports -by Eurobasket
Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets and Washington Wizards Will Compete in Preseason Games in France, Germany, Spain and the U.K.
The Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets and Washington Wizards will play preseason games in Barcelona, Berlin, London and Paris in October as part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™, the National Basketball Association and EA SPORTS announced today.
'Our third consecutive year of NBA Europe Live is another step in our ongoing effort to bring the excitement of the NBA to our growing fan base,' said NBA Commissioner David Stern. 'Through the support of our partners, including EA SPORTS, the Heat, Nets, Hornets and Wizards will compete and extend our global commitment to community service in four European cities where basketball's popularity is increasing.'
Following NBA Europe Live 2008, NBA teams will have played 48 games in 18 different cities in Europe over the past two decades. Last year's seven NBA Europe Live games drew more than 10.3 million viewers, 75,000 spectators, and were supported by 23 marketing partners.
'NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS creates an authentic platform for fans of all ages across Europe to enjoy real life and virtual basketball experiences on a grand stage,' said Peter Moore, President, EA SPORTS. 'We're excited to extend our partnership, which helps expand the NBA's global footprint and allows European fans to access the emotion of sport through our NBA LIVE franchise.'
NBA Europe Live 2008 will include the 2006 NBA champion Heat taking on the Nets at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy in Paris on Oct. 9. The teams will then travel to London for their second contest on Oct.12 at The O2 Arena.
The O2 World in Berlin, Germany will host the match up between the Hornets and the Wizards on Oct. 14. The arena will open this fall and mirrors the groundbreaking O2 Arena in London. Following the games in Berlin, the two teams will play the final game on the tour in Barcelona on Oct. 17 at the Palau Sant Jordi.
Euroleague Basketball will once again serve as a partner in NBA Europe Live, which it has since 2006. EA SPORTS, adidas, Champion and The Coca-Cola Company will all return as pan-European marketing partners for 2008 tour, and Spalding, the official basketball of the NBA, will again serve as an official supplier. They will conduct a variety of NBA-themed promotional activities to reach NBA fans in Europe.
'Euroleague Basketball is always seeking to participate and help in making the sport of basketball grow across the globe and, for the third consecutive year, we are happy to be participating and making the bridges between Europe and the USA stronger,' said Jordi Bertomeu, CEO of Euroleague Basketball. 'The NBA Europe Live program offers fans the possibility of watching great basketball, and is one in a series of ideas that can bring basketball to the forefront of world sports.'
In addition to the basketball action, the NBA will also conduct a variety of community events and programs in each of the NBA Europe Live 2008 host cities as part of its NBA Cares initiative. Since 2000, the NBA family has helped create, build and establish more than 400 places where kids and families can live, learn or play around the world, including 11 total in Europe as part of the 2006 and 2007 NBA Europe Live tours.
GAMES DATE CITY ARENA
New Jersey Nets vs. Miami Heat Oct. 9 Paris Palais Omnisport Paris Bercy
New Jersey Nets vs. Miami Heat Oct. 12 London The O2
Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Hornets Oct. 14 Berlin O2 World
Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Hornets Oct. 17 Barcelona Palau Sant Jordi
The inaugural NBA Europe Live in 2006 featured the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs playing preseason games in Barcelona; Moscow, Russia; Rome; Paris and Lyon, France and Cologne, Germany. NBA Europe Live returned in 2007 with the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors visiting Rome; Madrid and Malaga, Spain; London and Istanbul, Turkey.

Courtesy of NBA


Standings
NBA Standings
1. Boston C. 56-15
2. Detroit P. 51-21
3. N.Orleans H. 49-21
4. San Antonio S. 49-23
5. Los Angeles L. 49-23
6. Houston R. 49-23
7. Phoenix S. 47-24
8. Utah J. 47-25
9. Orlando M. 46-27
10. Dallas M. 45-27
11. Golden St. 44-27
12. Denver N. 44-28
13. Cleveland C. 40-32
14. Portland T.B. 38-35
15. Washington W. 37-34
16. Philadelphia 37-35
17. Toronto R. 36-35
18. Sacramento K. 32-39
19. Atlanta H. 31-40
20. New Jersey N. 31-41
21. Indiana P. 29-43
22. Chicago B. 28-43
23. Charlotte B. 26-45
24. Milwaukee B. 24-46
25. Los Angeles C. 21-50
26. New York K. 20-51
27. Minnesota T. 18-52
28. Memphis G. 18-53
29. Seattle S. 17-55
30. Miami H. 13-59


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NCAA1

Terrance Whiters: The Ultimate Underdog Story -by Alain Reid
As players jockey to fill in summer camp positions, and make the transition period from amateur to professional ball, one young guard has set his hopes on beating the odds and becoming the feel good story of the summer.

Perhaps nobody is more excited to heat up the summer months and get on teams' radar than former Baltimore high school standout Terrance Whiters.

Whiters' journey began as a high school legend in Baltimore, where he earned several state and conference accolades as one of the city's most promising stars. After committing to Loyola (IL), Whiters was a solid contributor in his first year of collegiate basketball, averaging just short of 9 ppg. He followed-up with a strong sophomore season, where he exceeded a double figure scoring average. Whiters' trademark athleticism, lethal shooting range and scoring ability began to spark interest and create a buzz around the Loyola campus.

After dealing with some personal issues, Whiters chose to transfer to Division II Arkansas Tech. He immediately became a central piece of the team's success, and gained recognition among D-II fans as one of the nation's best kept secrets, finishing up his first year at Tech with averages of 21.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and a league-leading 2.8 steals per game. His first-year performance at Tech landed him a spot on the All-GSC West Division 2nd Team.

Whiters' momentum continued to build and gain speed toward the ladder part of the season, and he was receiving regular looks from top-level European and NBA scouts. This led him to declare for the NBA draft, choosing to test the market interest and not sign with an agent, so he could retain his eligibility.

After going undrafted, Whiters headed back to Tech for his senior season, and finished up with a solid 20 point plus scoring average.

Now entering his first year of professional play, Whiters is looking establish himself as one of the premiere underdog stories of the 2008 summer.

'For me, this summer is an opportunity to showcase my true abilities and prove that I belong on the court at a top level,' said the 24-year old Whiters. 'I've been in some difficult situations over the past few years, and faced a lot of challenges. But I'm really excited and committed to getting my professional career off on the right foot.'

Whiters says he's been busy staying in shape, and working out in preparation to stay as busy as possible this summer. He's already inked a deal with the Central Oregon Hotshots of the IBL, and plans on attending some of the summer's most prestigious camps and leagues, such as the Euroleague/ULEB Summer League, the KBL Pre-Draft Camp, among others.

His athletic style and explosiveness on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor has already sparked interest from European GM's, according to sources. While a lucrative career in Europe seems like the most logical path for Whiters, the Baltimore native will always have the NBA in the back of his mind.

'I would love to go to Europe, but my dream has always been the NBA, and I definitely haven't ruled this out yet. I believe in myself and know that if I get in front of the right people over the next few months, I can achieve my dream,' said Whiters. 'Most importantly, I just want to be a leader on a first-class organization next season, and bring their fans a winning attitude, and some excitement. Whether that's overseas or in the States, I'm going to show everyone what I'm all about.'

The first stop on Whiters' summer tour is the IBL camp, which he plans to report to shortly. In Whiters' mind, he expects it to be the beginning of a long and successful summer, and one that will enable him to conquer the odds and finally establish himself as a premiere talent.

'These next few months are ‘do or die' times for me,' said Whiters. 'I'm just going to leave everything out there, and show that I can't be overlooked on any level.'


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

Anchorage is among Final Four contestants -by Eurobasket News
Alaska-Anchorage reached NCAA Division II Final Four. Anchorage toppled California 55:52 in a closely fought contest and improved to 28-6 record in the season. McCade Olsen notched a jumper with 27 seconds left in regulation to give the Seawolves a 52:50 lead. California turned the ball over and Carl Arts (6'6''-F-85) stretched the gap to 54:50 with 12 seconds on the clock. Theron Colao (6'3''-G) answered with a layup to drag California within 2 with 4 seconds left. Chris Bryant (6'4''-G-85, college: Drake) could not put the game away hitting just one of two free throws and the Vulcans had a chance to force overtime. Theron Colao attempted from downtown but his shot fell just short off target sealing the win for the Seawolves. Carl Arts paced Alaska-Anchorage with 17 points and 8 boards. Luke Cooper (6'0''-G-84, college: Alaska-Anch.) added 12 points, while Chris Bryant contributed 11 points for the winners. Theron Colao had 19 points for California. Julian Logan (6'4''-G) chipped in 12 points in defeat. Anchorage will now take on Augusta State in the National semifinal.
Augusta State survived a nail-biting double-overtime clash against Central Oklahoma to advance to the Final Four. The Jaguars were down by 14 points in the second quarter and by 6 in overtime but still withstood to post a remarkable victory. It was the first appearance for Augusta State in the Elite Eight and now they stretched the list of historic births. Garret Siler (6'11''-C-86) matched his career-high 31 points to pace the Jaguars. He converted a free throw late in the first overtime to send the game into the second extra period. Tyrekus Bowman (6'5''-F-86) hit from the outside to set Augusta State in front at the start of the second overtime. Garret Siler and Caleb Brown (6'4''-G/F) then stretched the margin to as many as 6 points. The Broncos never recovered and suffered a painful narrow defeat. Tyrekus Bowman finished with 22 points and 8 boards, while Demetrius Howard (6'5''-G-85) added 21 points for the Jaguars. Brian Walker (6'3''-G-86) answered with 23 points for Central Oklahoma. Sam Belt (6'5''-G/F-84, college: Tulsa) notched 22 points and 11 boards in a losing case.
Wignona will play against Bentley in the second national semifinal. Winona overcame previously undefeated Grand Valley 67:54 to qualify to the Final Four stage. Jonte Flowers (6'5''-G) topscored with 29 points for Winona State. Quincy Henderson (6'5''-G) poured in 10 points and collected 11 boards for the winners. Callistus Eziukwu (6'10''-F/C) tallied 19 points and 8 boards to pace the Lakers. Justin Ringler (6'4''-G/F) produced 15 points and 11 boards for Grand Valley.
Bentley extended their perfect run in the season toppling North Alabama 102:92 in the Elite Eight round. Jason Westrol (6'3''-G-88) canned 26 points as the Falcons grabbed their 34th straight win. Lew Finnegan (6'4''-G-85, college: Cal Poly - SLO) accounted for 19 points and 8 boards in a win. The Lions responded with 25 points from Thomas Fraise (6'6''-C-82).


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NLBA

Standings
NLBA Standings


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OCEANIA CHAMPIONSHIPS U18

U18: French names team for the U18 World Championship -by Richard
#s#
#e#6


Sadiku


Albicy


Tanghe


Lang


Leonard
4 Landing Sane (207-C-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball
5 Elio Sadiku (187-F-91) of Saint-Etienne B. C.
6 Andrew Albicy (178-G-90) of Paris-Levallois
7 Saer Faye (197-F-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball
8 Lens Aboudou (192-G-90) of Paris-Levallois
9 Florian Thibedore (192-G-90) of Besancon Basket Comte Doubs
10 Alexis Tanghe (207-F/C-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball
11 Nicolas Lang (195-G-90) of ES Chalon-Sur-Saone
12 Christophe Leonard (199-F-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball
13 Tanguy Ramassany (203-F-90) of Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez
14 Miguel Buval (206-F/C-90) of Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez
15 Thomas Celerier (203-C-90) of Centre Federal du Basket-Ball


U18: Greek names team for the U18 World Championship -by Richard
4 Epameinondas Papantoniou
*5 Evangelos Mantzaris
7 Ioannis Karathanasis
8 Dimitrios Arapis
*9 Konstantinos Papanikolaou
*11 Konstantinos Sloukas
12 Vlantimir Giankovits
*13 Nikolaos Pappas
*14 Leonidas Kaselakis


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PORTUGAL

Ovarense tryes out Waller -by Luis Rocha
Due to the incapacity of Willie Taylor (194-G-81, college: Va Commonwealth) to get out of his current team, Ovarense are searched the market and came out with John Waller (193-F-82, agency: Profibasketball.de, college: ODU). This player who plays as a 2 or 3 has started training with the team (try-out) in order to replace Ben Reed (191-G/F-83, college: W.Michigan). This weekend Ovarense will face a tough challenge in Liga Uzo going on the road to Porto, and probably that will be a good chance for them to try Waller out and see if he meets the standards of the team.

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PUERTO RICO

Angel "Piwi" Garcia in Nike Hoop Summit and BSN Boxscores -by Alessandro Fontana
Angel Garcia (196-C-88) is the first 'boricua' to be selected for the Nike Hoop Summit, the game where the most interesting 'worldwide young players' can play and show all their talent and ambition. This year, the Nike Hoop Summit will be played in Portland at Rose Garden on 12th April. The game will be on Fox Sport Net.
Angel Garcia is one of the strongest new young players of Puerto Rico. He played already a Under-19 World Cup where He scored 13.8 ppg+7.8 rpg. He is playing in this season for East Chicago Central H. S.
BSN Boxscores
BAYAMON-SANTURCE= 83-96
B= Vega 19, Benson 16 (12 rebs), Lopez 11, Guevara 10, Chapell 9, Valenzuela 6, Western 6, Anderson 4, Hinson 2, J. Lopez 0
S= R. Damau 25, Ayuso 21, Falcon 12, Berdiel 11, Traylor 10, Ra. Dalmau 7, Rivas 6, O. Santiago 2, Melendez 2
GUAYNABO-GUAYAMA= 96-84
G= Langhi 32, Lee 17, Wilson 11, Sanchez 10, Sheppard 10, Ortiz 8, Padilla 5, Duran 3, Kortwright 0, Garcia 0, Lopez 0, Simon 0, Paniagua 0
G= Freije 20, Beard 15 (14 rebs), Lopez 15, Melendez 8, Rivera 8, Parillon 6, M. Rivera 5, Soto 3, Brignoni 2, A. Rivera 2, Aponte 0, Gittens 0, Perez 0
CAGUAS-CAROLINA= 68-93
C=Melendez 13, Ramos 12, Ortiz 10, Martinez 9, Bryant 9, McSweeney 5, Alamo 4, Konecny 4, Casablanca 2, Davila 0, Rivera 0, Ruiz 0
C= Alejandro Carmona 20, Reyes 13, Hiraldo 12, F. Rivera 10, Edwards 10, Cruz 9, Brown 7, Ere 5, Ruiz 2, Rosa 1, Osorio 0
MAYAGUEZ-HUMACAO= 66-91
M= Jimenez 21, Jourdon 16 (12 rebs), Casiano 7, Caballero 6, Lopez 6, Venzen 4, Caraballo 4, Zayas 2, Erazo 0, Rosa 0, Crispin 0
H= Guzamn 17, K. Sanchez 16, R. Sanchez 14, Nieves 12, Ayala 11, Richards 8, Febres 6, Morales 4, Jackson 3, J. Nieves 0, Malpica 0
A. Fontana


Standings - BSN
BSN Standings
Island
1. Arecibo 10-4
2. Ponce 7-6
3. Caguas 6-6
4. San German 5-8
5. Mayaguez 4-8
6. Guayama 4-9
Metro
1. Santurce 9-4
2. Guaynabo 8-5
3. Carolina 7-5
4. Humacao 6-6
5. Fajardo 6-7
6. Bayamon 5-9


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RUSSIA

CSKA became Champion of Superleague -by Max Brodsky
By winning 81-71 the away game at Lyubertsy versus Triumf CSKA became the champion of the Superleague. From champion's side top scorer was Slovenian forward Matjaz Smodis (205-F-79) who made 22 points and 4 assists while J.R. Holden (185-G-76, college: Bucknell) was following him by 18 points and 3 steals. Ognjen Askrabic (207-C/F-79) was the top from Triumph who finished the game grabbing 15 points and 8 rebounds.

'We knew that the game would be hard. Triumph was performing very good' said head coach of CSKA Moscow Ettore Messina .


Standings - Superleague A
A Superleague Standings
1. CSKA 22-1
2. Khimky 20-2
3. Triumph 15-7
4. Unics 14-7
5. Dynamo M. 14-8
6. Ural Great 11-11
7. Lok.Rostov 10-11
8. Samara 9-12
9. Spartak-P. 9-12
10. Univ.Surgut 6-15
11. Spartak St.P. 4-17
12. Lokomotiv N. 4-19
13. Krasnoyarsk 2-18


*****************************************************
SAUDI ARABIA

Lewis speaks about his adventure in Saudi Arabia -by Mohammed Malas
The american center of Al Nahda team Gentry Lewis (204-F/C-81, college: Philander Smith) spoke about his career in Saudi Arabia in a small interview for Asia-Basket.......

1- Hello Gentry how are you?
I am fine just I just finished the season with Al Nahda. I am a little upset that we didnt make the playoffs which is set to start today in Jeddah. I had the opportunity to play with another team for the playoffs but I had a bruised tendon in my hand so I decided to get that taken care of and get ready for the summer and next season instead join a different team but inshullah the best team win.

2- So what do is your opinion about the country of Saudi Arabia in general?
I think Saudi is a great country. It is a place that I particularly think that is a good place to come to and relax and really get to know yoursefl because its not much to do here. There is no night life or things of that nature here so there is alot of time to work on my craft which is basketball. I also got the chance to focus on making me better as a person because its peace here and i think coming here I made myself better as a person, player and even possibly a husband when you think about my learning experiences here and all the things we dont appreciate normally sometimes like family because here thats there biggest thing Allah, family, then money and everything else but in America money is main concern.

3- What do you think about the Saudi Arabian League this year?
I think overall it is just like any other league in the world. Every country you have your good teams and bad teams. Its no different here than anywhere else except people say the competition here and in Middle East is not respected as in Europe. I think its truth to that but many countries have great teams such as Jordan, Syria, Iran etc. as well as Saudi Arabia. This particular league had a showcase of some good players both Saudi and American players. On any given night the best team could loose just as anywhere else in the world. You just try to win by all means necessary.

4- How was your coach with you?
I think he was a good coach. I think at many moments in the game he sometimes got caught up watching the game versus coaching in moments because of the excitement especially playing in places like Ohod, Ittihad, Ahli or Fattah because many fans come out and its enjoyable and sometimes he got a little to enjoyed and forgot he was coach at moments and became a fan. Overall he was good coach but his understanding and philosophy on certain things were not always best because he was so modern in his method of coaching but the game has changed and its continually changing everywhere in the world.

5- What about your teammates?
I enjoyed my teammates. Every country I have ever went I have enjoyed my teammates whether that be Poland, Turkey, or Montenegro and they always enjoy me they just think I get to emotional at times and tell me basketball is just a game. That was one similarity here as those places because win or loose the people here would be happy or okay but Darryl Jones (191-G-83, college: Cent.Arkansas) and I would be upset about a lost but they would just be like we will get the next one. My teammates were behind me here and helped me to become a better player and understand triple teams and double teams better because it was something that I faced every game I played here after the first game I played so they helped me in that area for after I leave here and I am very grateful and that taught me some Arabie.

6- According to offcial stats, You made around 21 ppg and 15 rpg, Was that your goal or you wanted more?
I just tried to pick spots and pass to open guy and I wouldnt have the season I am had if I didnt have teammates who understood me both Saudi teammates and my countrymate American Darryl Jones who cuts and hits open shots because many games I got doubled and triple teamed. Those guys like Sal, Fahad, Fiese, Turkey knocking down open shots made it alot easier for me to operate. The teams here position 4 and 5 players were a mix match because if he is true position 4 he is likely to small and if he is position 5 he is to big and I am quicker so thats the advantage. I just tried to create a match up problem.

7- You played usually in Europe, Did do you like it here in the Middle East?
Well, The Middle East is very nice and culture is very different from what I am used to but over all its a good place for me because I think I found peace here within myself... I think as far as a basketball standpoint many teams here are competitive with the Americans and foreigners they bring in as well as the locals.. The league is like any other league it has your good teams and bad teams but I can respect about here in Saudi is even your worst team plays hard...Thats really all you can out of any player.

8- What do you think about the players here in Saudi?
I think every team had foreigners either from USA, Serbia, or Africa to put in the mix with their local players. All of which of foreign players were good players and like me had to make an adjustment to things here in Saudi from the lifestyle to the playing. A few players I remember in particular were like Souleymane Camara (211-F/C-79, agency: ACMT, college: Kentucky) and Jihad Muhammad (180-G-84, agency: EM-PA, college: Cincinnati) from Ohod we became friends and talked throughout the game, Chris Jackson (211-C-82) or Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (186-G-69, college: LSU) from Ittihad he was just like a big brother to every player in the league and he gave me the nickname 'I DO THIS' because that was what I would say when teams used to double me or triple and I score still so it stuck with me also Akeem Wright (198-G-84, college: Kansas St.) from Qadsia he basically lived with us and he was very good player. Then you also had Saudi players like Ahmed from Qadsia and good locals at Ansar and Al Hilal had one very good 4/5 young player who I think can play in Europe Top League and he is young.

9- What are your plans for next year?
I dont know yet, I have a good team of people working for me and with me both in Europe and Asia such so its up to the teams to contact them I am just focused on getting healthier and better in all aspects of the game...

10- Thank you for your time.
Thank you for yours and Eurobasket keep doing what it is you do because me and my wife sit on here for hours looking at updates


Battles moves to Al Wahda -by Ali Ahmed
Al Wahda basketball team management agreed terms with the American Center Malcolm Battles (205-F/C-79, agency: HM Sports Agency, college: N.Mexico) (205-F/C-79, agency: HM Sports Agency, college: N.Mexico) to play for them this season.


He is very strong and athletic player; Uses his strength and athleticism to grab many rebounds and block shots; A variety of offensive moves ranging from low post to three points shooting with high percentages. Good speed and a very mobile player.


Awards/Achievements:
2000/01 Newcomer of the year, 2nd Team All Conference
1999/00 JUCO All-Conference 1st Team, Conference Rebound leader, Top 5 Scorer.
1998/99 All Freshman 1st Team, All-conference 3rd Team, All-Tournament Team, Top 25 JUCO All-American
Duarte, San Francisco Tourneo -07 (MVP): 33.6ppg, 12.3rpg, 4.6apg


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SERBIA

Interview with Milt Palacio, Partizan -by Nenad Ilijev

After turning 30 last month, Partizan Igokea point guard Milton Palacio (190-G-78, college: Colorado St.) is living through the most exciting chapter of his career just when, perhaps, he expected it least. By the end of this month, Palacio had converted his Euroleague debut into breakthrough celebration by leading Partizan into its first-ever Euroleague playoff series with a three-game-long performance that earned him the competition's March MVP honor. After spending his first seven pro seasons between six NBA teams, Palacio landed as Partizan's only import player on a team dominated by young, homegrown talent that craved his experience and leadership. Palacio found the way to deliver when they needed him most, but makes it clear in this Euroleague.net interview that his young teammates had earned his admiration long before. 'I have been very fortunate to come to a team like this, with young guys who care about the game,' Palacio said. 'It all came together at the right time this month, but I never doubted because we put so much work into it. Coach Vujosevic makes it that way. On the road or at home, we're always doing things together. Like I tell them, what's good off-court is always great on it.'

Partizan's Milt Palacio named Euroleague Basketball's MVP for March

Hi Milt. Congratulations both for making the playoffs and winning the March MVP award. How exciting has this month been for you?


'It has been very exciting. In my professional career, I've never been in a position to play such a big role as this. A little bit at Utah when I was in the NBA, but I didn't have so big a role as now, and that's the exciting part. All I can say is that all the hard work pays off.'

Partizan is a unique team that relies mostly on homegrown, young national players. How much did you know about Partizan's uniqueness and your role before you came to the club?

'I really didn't know exactly how unique they were. My agent informed me about them first. He just told me that the biggest thing he liked is how hard the coach works the guys, how disciplined they are, and how it's a team, not one player or someone trying to be the hero. And it's true, our coach is all for the team and he works these guys hard. For me coming off an injury and trying to get back to normal, it has been a great situation and a perfect fit. I didn't know my role coming in, but as the weeks and months have gone by, I've learned.'

Were you prepared for anything like what you have found in terms of the fan support?

'I have never been around fans like this before in my life, and I don't know if I ever will again. They even say that I'm a Serb now, and have given me a Serbian name: Milutin. Whenever fans act like that, giving you a nickname, you know they appreciate what you're trying to do.'

Every game in March was do-or-die, but it started with the home win over previously undefeated Montepaschi. What do you remember from that game and was it the key one psychologically?

'Yes, I think that psychologically that game was the biggest for us. I remember everything, too. We were down 68-60 with about four minutes left and we got three stops in row. I said to the guys, 'If we get some stops we are going to score.' I felt we were on a roll, scoring-wise, because inside they couldn't match up with Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket). So I wanted to play inside-outside, and was telling the guys to get ready to shoot and make plays. But the key was the defense, and when we locked that down, it made the baskets come easier. The other big thing was that we never looked at the games as do-or-die. We never saw them as pressure games, because no one expected anything from us. So we approached every game that way, as a chance to prove ourselves to everybody. And our coach didn't put pressure on us, either. He just said that if we want to make a stand, and make history, we should go out there and play hard, which we did.'

What affect did the team's second win in March, at Efes Pilsen, have on the playoff run?

'That one was about keeping the momentum going. We had played and beaten Efes two weeks before at home with all the Americans not coming and things of that nature which could have been distracting. Our coach deserves a lot of credit in all this. He does a great scouting job. He knows teams inside and out, what they do and what they don't do. For us to go up big in the third quarter, by 25 points or something in Turkey, was a big lift in itself, even though the game got closer. But we didn't go there saying we had to win. We just think that if no one expects it, why not just win? When we go like that, things turn out better as compared to earlier in year, when we thought we had to win and played terrible. Now, it's like: why not win?'

Then came defending Euroleague champ Panathinaikos at home in a head-to-head duel for a spot in the quarterfinals. What was it like to be on the floor at Pionir Arena even before that game started?

'I always have a few jitters before stepping out on the floor. It's normal really, because I think there's something wrong if you're not a little nervous. But this time, I mean to tell you, I had goosebumps when we ran out of the tunnel and onto the floor. Goosebumps. I was like: wow! The whole gym was packed and cheering for our layup line. I walked over to Michael Batiste (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) from Panathinaikos. He said, 'Have you ever seen anything like this? We're going to have fun tonight!' I tell you, I was sweating in the layup line just because of the atmosphere. I just kept telling myself to get an easy basket first and then calm down and relax. Then, my first shot was a three-pointer, which I never like to shoot first. I like an easier basket to get started. But the night before, Predrag Danilovic (202-G-70) had told me to be ready. He said that Panathinaikos was going to double off, that I would be making the decisions and I had to let myself shoot the ball if I was open, even if I missed a couple. He said, 'Be ready and don't worry. Just keep shooting. They'll fall'.'

Have you ever played in an atmosphere like that before?

'Never. I'll tell you how loud it was: I lost my voice screaming plays and defenses. The next day I was hoarse, and that never happened before in my life. I was telling my brother later that it was impossible to describe. You can't compare it to Duke or the NBA playoffs or anything else in America. They just don't compare with this. And the amazing thing was our guys were so relaxed. You figure a young team would be nervous, but not them. Playing three other times against Panathinaikos helped, because we knew them like the back of our hand. And we were ready. I knew it was our game to win.'

You tripled your performance rating from the regular season in these three games in March. How did you know it was your time to break out?

'All year long, I was playing up and down; good game here, not well there. I think now that I was thinking too much during that time, thinking 'I've got to hit this shot, stop that player'. Then, in the game at Siena, I had six turnovers, and I told myself I played terrible. I was putting the weight on my own shoulders, saying point guards can't do that. I think that after that, I just knew it was time for me to step up and lead. I thought that if I can make plays and show the way, they would follow my lead. And that was key. I remember when I got here and these young guys would point to players on other teams, saying how much money they made, I told them a funny thing: 'I never saw a dollar bill put the ball in the basket.' Now they know what I mean: the money doesn't play. There are lot of NBA guys making big money who can't make it to the playoffs or a championship. You need a team for that. Budget doesn't mean anything. It's the players who have to make shots, not the money. That wasn't our attitude at the beginning of the year, but it is our attitude now. No matter who the other guy is, he's still got to lace 'em up and play.'

After a tough month, have you left a little something extra for this upcoming series against Tau Ceramica?

'The truth is that I haven't seen them play enough and we're concentrating on our domestic league right now, but the one thing I know is that Coach Vujosevic will have them scouted to a T. That's one thing I have a lot of confidence about. He'll break their team down into its tendencies and weaknesses, and we will be prepared. After that, it will come down to how hard we are going to fight and play.'

Tau's got a South American following with Argentine and Brazilian players, but you have your own connections with Belize in Central America, where your parents are from. Do you know if they are following you from Belize now that you moved to Europe?

'I know for sure, because my mom was telling me on the phone that she got the news of me being MVP of the month from Belize. Someone there sent her an e-mail before I did! So I know they are keeping track for sure.'

What are your thoughts on these young Partizan players with whom you are sharing your Euroleague experience?

'These guys work so hard! I don't know if all of Europe and everybody in the Euroleague does the same, but they do work hard. I know most European teams practice twice a day, but in the NBA, you might come in for an hour-and-a-half at most. These guys not only practice hard, but are in tune with basketball. They love basketball. They talk about it, keep up with everything. They ask me about NBA guys I've played against and with. I have been very fortunate to come to a team like this, with young guys who care about the game. I've seen plenty of young guys before who don't care, who get their money and just relax. These guys come to optional practices to shoot and make 1,000 shots. It all came together at the right time this month, but I never doubted because we put so much work into it. Coach Vujosevic makes it that way. On the road or at home, we're always doing things together. Like I tell them, what's good off-court is always great on it. When there's chemistry off the court, I can scream 'Let's go!' at a guy during the game and he understands. If I didn't know the same guy well off the court, I don't know how he will respond. My friend Chauncey Billups (191-G-76, college: Colorado) told me the same thing about when he won the NBA title with Detroit, that they were so close off the court, that made everything easier on the court. It's the same here at Partizan. Everyone is on the same page. Because of that, I can get in the huddle and look them in the eyes and say what has to be said. That's the fun part about this.'


by Euroleague.net



Aleksandar Smiljanic and Nenad Stefanovic in Montenegro -by Dragan Jankovski

Montenegrin team Mogren from Budva decided to reinforce its roster for the Superleague. Management of the team signed experienced guard Aleksandar Smiljanic (196-G-76, agency: Beo Basket), ex player of FMP Zeleznik, Buducnost, Maroussi Athens, Lokomotiv Rostov na Donu and Ukrainian Lvov.

Mogren also agreed terms with point guard Nenad Stefanovic (193-G-85), who moved from FMP to Polish team Polpak Swecie in February. Before FMP, Stefanovic used to play for BC Beograd, Partizan and Sloga.



Play-off quarterfinals: Omar Cook crushed Union Olimpija in the first game ! -by Dragan Jankovski
Crvena Zvezda celebrates in the first game of Adriatic league play-off quarterfinals against Union Olimpija at home 93-87. It was a game with a lot of turns. Zvezda played a very good first quarter mostly owing to center Kikanovic, who netted 12 of his 14 points in this period, red and white team had plus 6 after the first 10 minutes. The visitors opened the second period with a 7-0 run and later extended the lead to plus 5 by half time. The biggest lead Olimpija had in 23rd minute, after Dragic's 3-pointer it was plus 10. But after that Cook woke up and with 2 successful attempts from behind the arc get Zvezda back in the game, 55-49. Teams entered into the last quarter equalized, 66-66. During the last 10 minutes both teams had a lead couple of times. With 3 minutes remaining Olimpija had 79-83 after which Cook and Dragicevic made a 12-0 run which was enough for Zvezda's first win in the play-off quarterfinals.

USA PG Omar Cook (186-G-82, college: St.John's) had a fantastic night collecting 32 points and 6 assists. He was MVP of the game with index value 36. MVP and the top scorer of Adriatic league regular season Tadija Dragicevic (205-F-86, agency: Beo Basket) followed Cook with 23 points and 8 rebounds. Olimpija got 19 points and 4 rebounds from Marko Milic (199-G-77) while Jasmin Hukic (204-G/F-79, agency: Beo Basket) finished the game having 18 points and 5 rebounds.

The second game will be played on Saturday in Ljubljana.


Crvena Zvezda - Union Olimpija 93-87
(31-25,10-21,25-20,27-21)

Zvezda:
Cook 32 (6 as), Dragicevic 23 (8 rebs), Kikanovic 14 (4 rebs), Bakic 13
Olimpija: Milic 19 (4 rebs), Hukic 18 (5 rebs), Taylor 15 (6 rebs)


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SEYCHELLES

Jhelum Cup - PLS Hawks make final -by Carlos Pereira
PLS HAWKS are in Saturday's final of the men's version of the Jhelum Cup after Thursday's semifinal win against Angels. The defending League and Cup champions eliminated their Anse Boileau-based opponents thanks to a 95-67 win.

Coach Tony Juliette's PLS Hawks, who are gearing up to participate in next month's Indian Ocean Club Championship (IOCC) in Mauritius, caused Angels a lot of trouble with their suffocating full court press. Unable to free themselves from man-to-man marking, the angels turned the ball over and the hawks accepted the offers to add to their points tally.
In fact, PLS Hawks won all four quarters 19-8, 29-18, 21-17 and 27-24 to power past Angels into Saturday's final.
Centre Barry Baron got off the substitutes' bench to get 21 points and lead four other hawks - Nigel Annette (18 points), Neddy ‘Oye' Fanchette (17 points), veteran captain Jim Domingue (12 points) and Bernard Bristol (11 points) - in double digits.
After being kept quiet in the first period, Daniel Dodin scored in the other three quarters to finish with a game-leading 22 points. Darren Lesperance got 13 points ad centre Steve Antat added 12 for the losers.
PLS Hawks were to know their opponents yesterday when defending champions Premium Cobras were to meet Baya in the second semifinal.by G. G.


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SPAIN

Week 26: Stevie Johnson MVP LEB Silver and Brett Beeson/Dreike Bouldin MVP LEB Bronze -by Daniel Fernandez

Stevie Johnson (198-F-78, college: Iowa St.) (Caja Rioja) was the MVP in the 26th round in the Adecco LEB Silver with 38 of efficiency. He scores 29 points and grabs 7 rebounds.
Brett Beeson (Balneario Archena) and Dreike Bouldin (Carrefour El Bulevar) were the MVP in the Adecco LEB Bronze with 36 of efficiency.

Week 26: TOP 5 by Efficiency LEB Silver
Stevie Johnson (Caja Rioja): 38 (29pt + 7rb)
Jason Blair (Plasencia): 37 (25pt + 9rb)
Bigelow Mark (Santa Pola): 33 (26pt + 3as)
Elys M. Guzman (Sabadell): 31 (26pt + 13rb)
Matt Kiefer (Farho Gijon): 31 (26pt + 6rb)

Week 26: TOP 5 by Efficiency LEB Bronze

Brett Beeson (Archena): 36 (30pt + 5rb)

Dreike Bouldin (Carrefour): 36 (29pt + 6rb)

Francisco Baquer (Badajoz): 35 (26pt + 7as)

Jermaine Turner (CB Tijola): 29 (22pt + 9rb)

Phifer Frank (ADT Tarragona): 28 (21pt + 16rb)



Standings - LEB Silver / Bronze
LEB Standings
Silver
1. Axarquia 20-6
2. Illescas 20-6
3. Almeria 19-7
4. Vic 19-7
5. Caja Rioja 18-8
6. Gijon 17-9
7. Plasencia 15-11
8. Caceres 14-12
9. Huesca 13-13
10. CB Tarrag. 12-14
11. Basq.Muro 12-14
12. Qalat Caja Sol 10-16
13. Cornella 9-17
14. Ourense 8-18
15. Prat 8-18
16. Sabadell 7-19
17. Palencia 7-19
18. Santa Pola 6-20
Bronze
1. Vigo 19-5
2. Archena 18-7
3. Guadalajara 16-8
4. Torrealta 16-9
5. Jerez 15-10
6. Navarra 14-10
7. Cajasur 13-11
8. Coruna 12-11
9. Real M. II 12-12
10. Salsa Musas 12-13
11. Obila 10-15
12. Merida 9-15
13. Esplugues-P. 9-15
14. Badajoz 9-15
15. Tijola 8-17
16. Opel Jovent 8-17
17. ADT Tarrag. 7-17
18. Torrevieja 0-0


ACB Round 27 -by Paul Nilsen
Round 27 of the ACB proved to be an emotionally charged affair as the race for the play-offs and survival in the top flight of Spanish basketball heats up.

There was controversy and the odd shock during this round with tempers flaring at both Bilbao and in Malaga. Real Madrid travelled to struggling Bilbao with the home team hoping to halt their alarming slide of the last few months with key players finally getting back to full fitness and into some form. The visitors took control in the first half opening up a nine point advantage at the break but Bilbao stormed back in the second half. Real eventually clung on to a nail-biting 79-78 win to break Basque hearts with Bilbao furious that they were not awarded a goal-tend by the referees, a decision that effectively cost them the game. The contest produced one of the performances of the season by the star of Round 27 in Felipe Reyes (203-F/C-80) who claimed an impressive double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds on his way to a valuation of 38 points. Only Marko Banic and Paco Vazquez scraped into double-figures for the home team who now find themselves with the real possibility of even losing their play-off status.

That fear is also something that now haunts both Unicaja and Girona. Unicaja coach Sergio Scariolo was thrown out of the game with Tau Cermaica in the closing stages as the Martin Carpena erupted with Unicaja getting a rough deal against Tau Ceramica. Both Carlos Jiminez and Jiri Welsh were also fouled out as the Malaga club blew a terrific start leading 24-12 to somehow end up getting blown away by 89-77. It was a remarkable fight back by Tau who simply had to bounce back after their shock home defeat to lowly Leon last time round. 25 points from Igor Rakocevic and 19 points from Zoran Planinic the key to their revival in this game., as was some great defence in the second half with Unicaja committing some 17 turnovers. Tau remain in third spot while Malaga remain locked with Girona and Bilbao on 15-12 down in sixth spot.

The reason for the sudden scramble for the final three play-off spots is the sudden resurgence of Gran Canaria in ninth place who are chasing Girona, Unicaja and Bilbao down to sneak into the reckoning. Another reason for their hope aside from their own record is that Girona crashed in one of the shocks of the round. Despite having won last weeks Catalan derby against red-hot DKV Joventut, they had less success in this Rounds Catalan derby as they were rocked 89-98 by Ricoh Manresa. This result didn't just have an impact on the play-off fight but also the relegation battle too. It was a game that will be of a huge relief to Manresa who have struggled of late and were beginning to look like third favourites for the drop into the LEB. Californian Toby Bailey produced a huge performance of 25 points and eight rebounds, including six three-pointers while Josh Asselin landed 19 points as Manresa shot an incredible 58 percent from outside. The lack of perimeter defence killed Girona and particularly in the final quarter when they faded badly and were outscored 31-17. Marc Gasol picked up his usual exemplary double-double, but this time it wasn't enough for his under-par team.

Gran Canaria continue to frighten the life out of the three teams above them as they moved to within one loss of play-off positioning with a comfortable 92-85 win over Valladolid, a team that remain in trouble and have hit a real losing streak right at the wrong time of the season. The final scoreline flattered the visitors to pulled the deficit back a little in the closing stages but they were always struggling in this game after a shocking start that left them 18 points behind at the midway point. 25 points, 7 rebounds and four steals by Carl English inspired Granca with every player getting on the score sheet in an excellent team performance. Javier Imbroda was handed three big individual performances by his team with Gomis, Eley and Boddicker all getting past twenty points, but what he still needs is some defence - and quickly.

Manresa and Polaris World Murcia were the big winners at the bottom of the table, as were ViveMenorca who won in Seville a week earlier in the only game of the Round to be played earlier. Polaris World Murcia were left to sweat until the final minute of the game to inflict a shattering 63-61 loss on bottom side Grupo Begar Leon. The visitors were looking for what would have been hugely impressive and maybe life saving road victories but ultimately they failed to follow up the shock of the season - namely last weekends win at Tau. A third quarter tally of just 9 points cost them dearly as it let Murcia back into the game after trailing in the first half. A stunning 15 rebounds by Federico Kammerichs for Murcia the difference as he also recorded 13 points to give the home team a little breathing space in the survival fight.

The other two teams right down at the bottom are Madrid clubs Fuenlabrada and MMT Estudiantes. Both went down after brave fights in difficult away fixtures with Fuenla falling at Pamesa Valencia in the battle of the Orangemen while Estu crashed in Badalona after scaring Joventut.

Fuenla were looking to repeat their recent road win in Malaga and in particular because their home form is terrible of late and they led at the start of the final quarter before the home team finally came alive with Pamesa easing away in the last period to claim an 80-71 win. Shammond Williams had 8 assists while Ruben Garces and Dejan Milojevic both claimed 10 rebounds. Tom Wideman top scored in the game with 22 points for Funela.

Estudiantes were expecting a storm in Badalona who were expected to bounce back from their shock mauling in Girona but while Estu did eventually go down 97-89, they didn't exactly incur the wrath of Reneses and his players. In fact for long periods of the game, a rare Estudiantes away victory looked to be on the cards especially after leading in the last quarter. Step forward Rudy and the game was gone. Fernandez scored 30 points to dig his team out of a hole while several Estu players could hold their heads up high with Carlos Suarez scoring 24 points and Sergio Sanchez dishing up 8 assists to go with his 21 point haul.

Finally Barcelona bounced back from their last home loss to lowly Cajasol with a more measured performance against an in-form Granada, although the visitors wins generally have been at home of late. Barca were in control throughout the last three quarters after just being edged out 21-19 in the opening period. Gianluca Basile fired 21 points to help them to a comfortable 85-75 victory with Samo Udrih collecting 20 points for the visitors who remain in mid-table as Barca consolidate in fourth.


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SWEDEN

Sundsvall wins in cold blood -by Eurobasket News
The regular season champions Sundsvall confidently opened their quarterfinal series against Norrkoping. The league favorites bettered their opponents 101:80 to grab 1-0 lead in the series. The game turned into a real heated battle in the first half. Norrkoping fought fire with fire and managed to ensure a 22:22 tie after the opening frame. The situation hardly changed after the intermission as the teams traded baskets with neither side able to clear off. It was all square at 47 after 20 minutes of action. But finally the things brightened up for the Dragons. They raised the tempo in the third stanza accumulating a 14-point advantage. It was too much for the Dolphins to surpass. Sundsvall wisely held on to the lead and celebrated an impressive victory at the end. Srdan Subotic (193-G-80, agency: Interperformances) had 21 points to pace the Dragons. Joakim Kjellbom (213-C/F-79, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: N.Arizona) scored 19 points, while Adam Alexander (176-G-80) notched 17 for the winners. Ian Johnson (206-F-84, college: Davidson) scored 24 points for the Dolphins. Conor Grace (205-F-82, college: Davidson) secured 18 points in a losing effort. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday in Norrkoping.
The second-ranked Solna suddenly stumbled in the starting encounter of their quarterfinal matchup against Oresundskraft. In a nail-biting dramatic clash Oresundskraft pulled away with a narrow 80:79 victory to take the lead. The visitors looked better in the second and third frames of the game building a 15-point advantage heading into the fourth frame. But the Vikings denied it and had a chance to save the game. But Oresundsktaft withstood all the efforts from the hosts to break in front and succeeded in the end. Jens Stalhandske (190-G/F-78) nailed 24 points to lead Oresundskraft. Johan Akesson (209-C-84) added 15 points for the winners. Rudy Mbemba (181-G-87) chipped in 26 points for Solna. Lesli Myrthil (200-F-77, college: Wagner) had 16 points in defeat.
Plannja overcame Uppsala 99:80 in the first game. Terry Williams (187-G-83, agency: Interperformances, college: Georgia Southern) was dominant with 25 points for the hosts. Dee Ayuba (198-F-86, college: UMKC) contributed 20 points for the home team. Danny Gathings (193-F-80, college: High Point) responded with 24 points for Uppsala. Fredrik Jonzen (207-C/F-78, college: Oklahoma St.) provided 14 points in a losing effort.


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TOGO

Racing Lome is the new Togo Champion -by Carlos Pereira
After beating Swallow, the last champion, by 59-46, Racing of Lome his the new Togo national champion.
The championship is played in 3 days at the 'Lome Municipal Stade'.

Result from phase 1
Group A
Swallows vs Semassi: 68 - 48;
Semassi vs Racing Club: 37 - 58;
Racing vs Swallows: 43 - 34

Group B:
Modčle vs C7C: 61 - 41;
Leaders vs DYTO: 24 - 51;
Modele vs Leaders: 71 - 30;
Leaders vs C7C: 49 - 27;
DYTO vs Modčle: 33 - 42.


*****************************************************
TURKEY

Beko TBL : Week 25 -by Onur Decani

Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul ColaTurka Istanbul and Efes Pilsen Istanbul Pilsen Istanbul Istanbul proceeded with more victories , but the most important match of this week was the derby between Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul Ulker Istanbul Ulker Istanbul Ulker Istanbul Istanbul and Galatasaray Cafecrown Istanbul Cafecrown Istanbul Istanbul Cafecrown Istanbul Cafecrown Istanbul . The derby was so exciting. Tthe winner was decided after an overtime period was played , the winner was Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul with a 4 point differnece 76-72. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul had a great start of the match so they once took the difference to 22 points and after closed the 1st half 42-28 ahead. Galatasaray Cafecrown Istanbul got their revenge in the 2nd half and 2 minutes before the end of the game Galatasaray Cafecrown Istanbul were 5 points ahead , 62-57. But Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul tied the score to 66-66 with baskets from Will Solomon (187-G-78, college: Clemson) (187-G-78, college: Clemson) (187-G-78, college: Clemson) (187-G-78, college: Clemson) and Mirsad Turkcan (206-F-76). In the begining of the overtime period the teams didn't score much and the difference was not bigger than 3 points , but Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul with baskets from Will Solomon , Omer Onan (194-G-78, agency: Interperformances) and Semih Erden (211-C-87) took The score to 75-70 into the last sconds of the game so Galatasaray Cafecrown Istanbul was not able to change the score and the victory went to Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul , who now are the 3rd in the league , while Galatasaray Cafecrown Istanbul are the 4th with 1 victory less then their rivals. For Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul , Will Solomon scored 11 points - 7 rebounds - 6 assists and Gasper Vidmar (210-C/F-87, agency: Interperformances) scored 10 points - 4 assists.The top scorer of Galatasaray Cafecrown Istanbul was Charles Gaines (201-F-81, college: S.Mississippi) who made a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The leader of the league Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul scored another victory to protect their 1st position on the league , while Kepez Bld Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye got their 14th lose this season. Even though Kepez Bld Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye closed the 1st half 42-38 ahead , Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul with their good defence in the second half let them to score just 20 points in the 2nd half , they also were effective with Preston Shumpert (198-G-79, college: Syracuse) (198-G-79, college: Syracuse) (198-G-79, college: Syracuse) to get the victory. Preston Shumpert was the man of the match with 20 points - 3 assists and 3 rebounds , while Kaya Peker (207-C/F-80, agency: Court Side) scored 16 points and 8 rebounds. In the Kepez Bld Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye side Lorenzo Gordon scored 23 points and 8 rebounds.

Efes Pilsen Istanbul also scored a victory to follow the leaders Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul . Efes Pilsen Istanbul this week got an easier victory , beating Alpella Istanbul 86-69 . Kerem Gonlum (208-C/F-77) scored 19 points for Efes Pilsen Istanbul , while their new transfer Craig Bradshaw (207-F/C-83, college: Winthrop) scored 14 points and 6 rebounds.

Turk Telekom Ankara Ankara lost to Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi and this effected them in their way to reach a good position in the play-offs. Turk Telekom Ankara once took the score to a 15 point difference but in the end they lost 82-85. The man of the match was KIng who scored 19 points and the last points of his team in the last second.

Banvit Basketbol Kulubu beat Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye 80-78 , with their good performance in the last period . Even though they lost Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye are still in the 6th position , while Banvit Basketbol Kulubu are in 3rd position to reach the play-offs . Kenny Adeleke (205-C-83, college: Hartford) (205-C-83, college: Hartford) made double-double with 26 points and 14 rebounds to reach the victory for his team , while Ricardo Marsh (203-F-81, agency: Edge Sports, college: ODU) scored 23 points for the losing side.

Mutlu Aku Selcuk Universitesi Konya beat Pinar Karsiyaka SK Izmir SK Izmir 98-97 , while Warren Carter (206-F-85, college: Illinois) scored 27 points for the home side , for Pinar Karsiyaka SK Izmir , Sean Marshall (198-G/F-85, college: Boston Coll.) scored 29 points and Quinton Hosley (198-G/F-84, college: Fresno St.) 27 points.

Best Five :

Preston Shumpert of Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul

Will Solomon of Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul

Kenny Adeleke of Banvit Basketbol Kulubu

Warren Carter of Mutlu Aku Selcuk Universitesi Konya

Bernard King of Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi



Stats Leaders - D1
TBL Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1.Q.Hosley, Karsi. 23.2
2.K.Braswell, Selc 21.6
3.L.Gordon, Kepez 21.3
4.S.Marshall, Karsi. 20.0
5.R.Marsh, Ant. 19.1
Rebounds Per Game
1.Q.Hosley, Karsi. 12.0
2.K.Adeleke, Banvit 11.2
3.D.Kinloch, Alpella 10.8
4.D.Harvey, Banvit 10.5
5.C.Burgess, Beykoz 9.3
Assists Per Game
1.H.Koseoglu, Kepez 7.0
2.K.Braswell, Selc. 5.7
3.W.Solomon, FB 5.3
4.H.Dobie, Ted K. 5.0
5.D.Brown, GS 4.8
Steals Per Game
1.K.Braswell, Selc. 2.3
2.S.Cetin, Alpella 2.1
3.J.Lucas, Ant. 2.0
4.Q.Hosley, Karsi. 2.0
5.C.Williams, Turk T. 2.0
Blocks Per Game
1.O.Asik, FB 1.9
2.D.Harvey, Banvit 1.5
3.C.Burgess, Beykoz 1.4
4.S.Nicevic, BJK 1.2
5.H.Besok, GS 1.0
Ranking
1.Q.Hosley, Kars. 558
2.L.Gordon, Kepez 515
3.W.Carter, Selc. 422
4.C.Burgess, Beyk 416
5.A.Adeleke, Banvit 410


Standings - TBL
TBL Standings
1. Besiktas 20-5
2. Efes P. 19-6
3. Fenerbahce 17-8
4. Galatasaray 16-9
5. T.Telekom 16-9
6. Antalya 15-10
7. Karsiyaka 14-11
8. TED Koleji 11-14
9. Mersin 11-14
10. Kepez Bld 11-14
11. Banvitspor 10-15
12. Selcuk Uni. 9-16
13. Oyak Renault 9-16
14. Alpella 8-17
15. Darussafaka 7-18
16. Beykoz 7-18


*****************************************************
U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS

PRO REPORT -by David Edole
Behind the outstanding play of Cuthbert Victor (196-G-83, college: Murray St.), CAI Zaragoza destroyed second place Alicante, 89-67 in LEB Gold Division play.
Zaragoza used a strong defensive effort in the second period, outscoring Alicante 32-10. 'We had to win this game, said Victor. 'Our defense was on display in this victory.'
'Now we have to take one game at a time and make sure we maintain our defensive intensity. I hope it comes habitual and the first test is on Sunday. If we defend like we did today we will win many games.'
'Each victory is a message that we are sending to rivals and not only to Bruesa or Alicante. We are willing to elevate our play and not lose anymore games.'
The game versus Alicante was one of Victor's better games this season where he contributed in every facet of the game. Victor had 19 points, seven rebounds, five steals and two blocks.
'In general, I believe that my play today against Alicante has not been one of my better performances since I arrived at the CAI Zaragoza' added Victor. 'But, yes one of the better offensive games'.
Zaragoza (21-5) has won their 6th straight game.

RHYMER and Capitals drop a must win game
Hanzevast Capitals ran out 24-10 lead over Landstede Basketball but could not hold on in Dutch Eredevise action. Landstede won 74-66 on Tuesday night. Landstede used a 24-12 third quarter to take the lead 51-45 and did not lose their edge for the rest of the game.
Hanzevast ruined a great opportunity to gain ground for the 4th place and home court advantage in the FEB playoff race.
Kitwana Rhymer (208-C-78, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Massachusetts) led Hanzevast (20-15) with 16 points and seven rebounds.

PETERKIN FINED
Omari Peterkin (204-F/C-83, college: Boston U.) was fined 500 Euros and suspended for one game after being reprimanded by Commission Discipline of the LCB. The commission decided to punish Peterkin after he insulted the character of the referee in the previous game versus Casino Figueira Ginasio. Peterkin only played ten minuites in the game. Lusitânia Cove Patrimonio (7-12) dropped the hotly contested game to Ginasio, 63-65 at the buzzer. Peterkin, an all star, averages 11.4 points and 8.6 rebounds.

PUERO RICO
A rejuvenated Ja Ja Richards (207-C-75, agency: EM-PA, college: Loyola, IL) led Humacao Grises over Mayaguez Indians, 91-66. Richards had eight points, captured 15 rebounds and blocked six shots. Humacao (6-6) won the first period 27- 10 and maintained the lead going into the half, 43-35.

Kevin Sheppard (182-G-79, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Jacksonville) had 11 points and a season high nine assists to lead Conquistadores de Guaynabo to win over Brujos de Guayama, 96-84.
Guaynabo dominated the first half and led, 49-34. Sheppard nailed a triple in Guaynabo's 13-3 run in the first that put the game away.
Guyanabo (8-5) is the surprise of the BSN.


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

Silveira will join Guaros de Lara, in Venezuela -by Hector Lopez
Luis Silveira (190-G/F-71) will join Guaros de Lara, from the Venezuela League, announced the web site Urubasket. Silveira played last season with Atenas, for the Uruguayan League 35 games with 12.3 pgg, 6.1 rpg, 3.0 apg, reaching the semifinal playoff. Silveira is a member of the Uruguayan NT and a winner of two South American NT championships. He had played for teams in Argentina and Ecuador. He will replace another Uruguayan player, Fernando Martinez, who resigned for personal reasons.

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

Stats Leaders - LPB
LPB Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
Washington (Guai) 20.4
R. Castillo (Gai) 20.4
K. Capers (Gat) 20.0
R. Blackshear (Gua) 17.9
J. Vargas (Tro) 17.6
Rebounds Per Game
R. Allen (Gig) 10.5
A. Sucre (Mar) 10.1
H. Bayona (Guai) 9.1
T. Aguilera (Tro) 8.2
K. Young (Mar) 7.2
Assists Per Game
K. Houston (Coc) 5.4
E. Mijares (Gat) 5.0
C. Mitchell (Pan) 4.7
D. Pereyra (Gai) 4.4
G. Vargas (Pan) 4.3
Steals Per Game
E. Mijares (Gat) 4.0
C. Cedeno (Guai) 3.7
L. Wallace (Tro) 3.5
O. Bradley (Gig) 3.4
R. Guevara (Gua) 3.2
Blocks Per Game
R. Allen (Gig) 3.8
A. Patterson (Gat) 1.8
T. Garrison (Gai) 1.6
A. Barrios (Tro) 1.3
L. Bethelmi (Coc) 1.2
2FGP
A. Quiroz (Guai) 65.0%
F. Centeno (Gua) 65.0%
L. Bethelmi (Coc) 64.0%
M. Dumont (Pan) 63.0%
H. Salcedo (Gai) 62.0%
3FGP
C. Morris (Tach) 77.0%
G. Araujo (Tach) 58.0%
F. Sanabria (Gat) 48.0%
P. Brito (Tro) 47.0%
D. Ramirez (Tach) 47.0%
Free Throws
H. Paez (Coc) 93.0%
L. Wallace (Tro) 90.0%
V.D. Diaz (Coc) 90.0%
C. Mitchell (Pan) 89.0%
K. Lowe (Mar) 89.0%


Michael Byars-Dawson clarifies his status -by Francisco Vega
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- American player Michael Byars-Dawson (183-G-78, college: Northwestern St.) wrote an e-mail message to Latinbasket.com Venezuela in which he expressed his discomfort with the publishing of a note that confirmed a press release issued by Venezuela's Liga Profesional de Baloncesto (LPB), after he was tested for drugs in his blood system and turned out positive on a substance linked to Marihuana, which forced Gaiteros del Zulia to release him, even though he had turned out to be a solid scorer in the games he had the chance to play.

Byars-Dawson explained what happened to him. 'The team I left in Iran gave me a drug to help me deal with the pain I have in my knee. They also sent a documented letter asking for permission which was granted by the federation', said the player in his written message.

The player, who's currently free to sign with any team, made it clear that in terms of integrity, he's always been a pro who respects the game and its implications. 'I have never failed a drug test in any other league and I've been playing for six seasons'.


Kervis Ramirez: "Marinos is a club with a winning tradition" -by Francisco Vega
Caracas, Venezuela.- (LPB Press Department) Kervis Ramirez (190-G-78), a recent one-year acquisition for Marinos de Anzoategui, was interviewed by the LPB's press department and express confidence about the possibility of his team overcoming a bad start of the 2008 season.

In his 11th season as a pro player in Venezuela, 9 of those wearing the uniform of Guaros de Lara and another one with the extinct Bravos de Portuguesa, Ramirez is now experiencing a new organization.

LPB: How do you see Marinos for this season?
KR: 'Pretty good. It's a shame that we've lost some important games for only a point of difference. We've played good defense, but in my opinion, there's been unfair referee decisions that have harmed us'

LPB: Marinos started this season with four straight losses. What do you think of the team's performance right after those?
KR: 'We've always had the push to win. Scoreboards have been close and the victories have not been there for us. However, this is a long tournament and I know we'll recover from that. We're a very competitive team and we're all focused on leaving the bad streak behind. The key is for us to believe in ourselves and what we're doing since the tournament began'

LPB: What are your thoughts on the expansion of the LPB?
KR: 'It is good for the development of basketball in the country. Now the league's more even and the new teams, Deportivo Tachira and Gigantes de Guayana, aren't the worse. Those teams will battle this season'

LPB: What do you think about Marinos coach, Keith LeGree ?
KR: 'He's a good motivator with all the players. He teaches us that we have to give the best of ourselves in every game and that it will be reflected on the results of the matches, which have been very even despites the fact that we've lost by little difference. There's great chemistry inside the team'

LPB: A final message for the fans of Marinos de Anzoategui, eager to see their team get back into the winning track?
KR: 'I know you're desperate to see the team have more victories than defeats. Marinos is a team with a winning tradition and the victories will come. We'll keep battling'

Translation: Francisco Vega (Latinbasket.com Venezuela)


Rafael Guevara: "Guaros is a great club" -by Francisco Vega

Caracas, Venezuela.- (LPB Press Department) Rafael Guevara (194-F-79), the newest acquisition, through a one-year loan, of Guaros de Lara, was also interviewed by the LPB's press department and he mentioned his good thoughts and feelings about the organization he's now playing for. Guevara came alongside Erick Herrera (184-F-80) from Marinos de Anzoategui in exchange for Kervis Ramirez (190-G-78) and Sonny Reyes (180-G-86).

LPB: How do you feel about your arrival to Guaros de Lara?
RG: 'I feel fine. I want to take this opportunity to clarify that I never had any problems with Guaros or its general management. This is a great club and I feel fantastic here'

LPB: How do you see the team turning out for this season?
RG: 'As the season advances, we'll improve. We hope that Pablo Machado's contract gets resolved, cause we need a center that can help us get more rebounds. In the upcoming matches we'll continue to improve'

LPB: What are your plans for this season individually and part of the team?
RG: 'Our goal is for Guaros to advance to the next round. We're together to get this team ahead and savour the triumphs that we'll surely going to get. Personally, I'm focused on doing my job here, both in defense and offense'

LPB: In November, you participated in the Vale 3 proyect with LPB in your hometown, Panaquire, Miranda. What did that mean to you?
RG: 'It was with great pride that I got a chance to contribute and support my town and my people. We always have to fight for what we want and we have to come through. There's a lot of talent there for basketball'

LPB: What do you think of Gustavo Garcia as coach of Guaros?
RG: 'I'm happy having him as the head coach. He's like a dad, like a friend. He gives opportunities to young players. We're creating good team work in this group of players. We're good enough to fight for big things'


Translation: Francisco Vega (Latinbasket.com Venezuela)



Standings - LPB
LPB Standings
1. Trotamundos 10-1
2. Gatos 9-3
3. Guaiqueries 6-4
4. Cocodrilos 5-3
5. Gaiteros 5-6
6. Guaros 5-7
7. Marinos 4-6
8. Panteras 4-8
9. Dep.Tachira 2-7
10. Gigantes 2-8




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Women News

*****************************************************
AUSTRIA - Women

Standings - AWBL
AWBL Standings
Hauptrunde 1
1. Herzogenb. 13-2
2. Fl.Foxes 13-2
3. Wels 8-7
4. Klosterneub. 4-12
5. Vienna 87 0-15
Hauptrunde 2
1. Wien 5-2
2. Graz 2-3
3. Baden 2-4


*****************************************************
BOSNIA - Women

Standings - Women
D1 Standings
1. Zeljeznicar 17-0
2. Jedinstvo 14-3
3. Celik 12-5
4. Spars 11-6
5. Brotnjo Citluk 9-8
6. Banovici 9-8
7. Mladost BL 7-10
8. Zrinjski 4-13
9. Sloboda 2-15
10. Jablanica 0-14
Will join on later stage:
1. M.Kraj. BL -


Amra Mehmedic in France -by Sead Buljina
Our National team member and one of the best players, Amra Mehmedic (177-G-81) has signed for Chollet, which competes in the first French league. Mehmedic has left Slovakian Slavija after two months due to unfulfilled financial obligations by Slovakian club. In her career, Mehmedic has played for Zenica, Spars (Bosnia), Lukoil (Bulgaria) and St Joseph University in the USA. By signing Amra Mehmedic French team has brought a strong reinforcement through the end of the season.

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BULGARIA - Women

Lukoil Neftochimic got back the Bulgarian Cup -by Valentin Anguelov
Lukoil Neftochimic won back the Bulgarian Women's Cup after beating Dunav Econt 82-71 in today's final at 'Arena Samokov'. The two teams were above all others in this year's edition of the tournament and deservingly reached the final. That was the first collision between them this season as they are also the top contenders for winning the Bulgarian Championship.

The players from Rouse had the initiative only in the opening minutes of the game leaving the impression that they could actually beat the more experienced team from Bourgas. After 7 minutes of play Dunav Econt was leading 15-7 and was fully in control of the game. Near the end of the first and in the beginning of the second quarter Lukoil Neftochimic managed to score 11 consecutive points, taking the lead by 5 points (24-19). From that moment on Petko Marinov's girls didn't let their lead slip away until the very end of the game. At the half-time Lukoil Neftochimic had a comfortable 8-point advantage but nothing was clear yet.

After the break the team from Bourgas maintained their lead and after a 9-0 run near the end of the third quarter they even made it bigger getting ahead by 14 points before the final 10 minutes (60-46). The only unpleasant moment for Lukoil Neftochimic in these minutes was when Daniela Georgieva got injured and had to leave the court. She returned to the bench after a while but Petko Marinov decided not to let her in again and she had to watch the rest of the game from there.

Stefan Stefanov's players gave their best using a full-court press in the closing minutes of the game, but Lukoil Neftochimic confidently preserved their lead and won the cup.

The American Scott scored 5 triples and was the root of her team's success with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals. So far she had scored only 4 three-pointers in 5 games for Lukoil Neftochimic but today, in the most important game, she was incredible. Slavova also scored some very important baskets finishing with 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Natalia Topalova added 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 4 assists for the victory. None of them, however, managed to take the MVP honours from Zornitsa Kostova. She finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists for a total index of 28.

For Dunav Econt Svetla Asenova was the top scorer with 20 points and Djambazka finished with 16. The team's biggest problem in the game was losing the rebounds under the baskets. They had only 24 compared to 33 for their opponents.

With this victory Lukoil Neftochimic wins the Bulgarian Cup for the fifth time in their history (1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008), while Dunav Econt had to comfort themselves with the fact that they won the silver medals in their first appearance in the tournament.

FULL STATS FROM THE GAME DUNAV ECONT - LUKOIL NEFTOCHIMIC


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FINLAND - Women

SM-SARJA: PeKa and Catz to the Finals -by Rauno Hurmalainen

SM-sarja, Semi-Finals, Game 3: PeKa (Kotka) crushed again Huima (Aanekoski) 101-59 and is ready for the Finals. PeKa won all four quarters and scored
already during the first half as many points as Huima in the game! Shanika Freeman (183-F/C-83, college: Jacksonville St.) was again herself by scoring game high 29 pts and grabbing 12 rbs. Ashley Haynes (176-G/F-84, college: Austin Peay St.) added 19 pts. Huima was shooting 2-pointers 27,9% and was so much behind PeKa in everything. PeKa - Huima 3-0.
Catz (Lappeenranta) had to work much harder to make the way to the finals. Visitor YMCA Helsinki had the lead (31-32) during the half time, still leading 43-47
after three quarters, but Catz won the fourth quarter 24-5 and the game 67-52. Yelena Solovyeva (189-C-75) (16/17) and Lizanne Murphy (185-F-84, college: Hofstra) (16/14) saved Catz this time. Niina Laaksonen (185-F/C-85) led YMCA Helsinki with 14 pts and 18 rbs. Catz - YMCA Helsinki 3-0.
YMCA Helsinki and Huima will play for bronze in Helsinki on Friday, March 28. The Finals between PeKa and Catz (just like last season) will start on Wednesday,April 2.

PeKa - Huima 101-59 (59-26) (Shanika Freeman 29/12, Ashley Haynes 19 - Shakeena Wicker 14/11, Kenya Robinson 13/10).

Catz - YMCA Helsinki 67-52 (31-32) (Yelena Solovyeva 16/17, Lizanne Murphy 16/14 - Niina Laaksonen 14/18, Laura Toivonen 11).



*****************************************************
FRANCE - Women

Standings - LFB
LFB Standings
1. Bourges 21-0
2. USVO 17-4
3. Montpellier 15-6
4. Villeneuve 12-9
5. Mondeville 12-9
6. Clermont 10-11
7. St Amand 10-11
8. Challes 10-11
9. Reims 10-11
10. Pays d Aix 8-13
11. Tarbes 8-13
12. Arras 6-15
13. COB Calais 5-16
14. Mourenx 3-18


Montpellier closes on the second spot in LFB -by Eurobasket News
The third-ranked Montpellier used the loss of USVO to narrow the distance to the second place in the LFB ladder. Montpellier survived a difficult journey to Mondeville pulling away with a 79:74 victory. Montpellier started the game with a strong rally that put them up 21:10 after 10 minutes of action. But the hosts quickly restored parity and evened surged in front 33:31 at halftime. Up and down game continued in the third period when the visitors outgunned Mondeville 21:11 and returned into a driving seat once again. The game broke free in the final stanza as the teams fired from the all the ranges and paying not much attention to defense. Mondeville notched 30 points but it was not enough to change the outcome. Montpellier came out on top and improved to 15-6 record. Paoline Salagnac (173-G-84) netted 15 points for Mondeville. Jennifer Digbeu (190-F/C-87) added 14 for the winners. Grace Daley (170-G-78, college: Tulane) had 21 points and 5 assists for Montpellier.
In the meantime USVO could not cope with Challes on the road. The hosts bettered the visiting side 64:61 to hand those the 4th loss of the season. Marlous Nieuwveen (195-C-80) led all scorers with 25 points and 9 rebounds for Challes. Chandi Jones (181-G/F-82, college: Houston) dropped 17 points for the winners. Reka Cserny (190-F-81, agency: LBM Management, college: Harvard) was the only player to score in double figures for USVO. She knocked down 18 points and collected 7 rebounds in defeat.
Bourges celebrated their 21st straight win in the tournament beating Arras 77:45 at home. Villeneuve remained at the fourth spot with a comfortable 75:65 victory over Reims. Building a 10-point lead at halftime Villeneuve held off Reims after the break. Shala Crawford (193-C-79, college: Life) provided 20 points for Villeneuve. Geraldine Robert (184-F-80) bruised Reims for 17 points. Kindoki-Fleur and Mame-Marie Sy (184-F-85) scored 14 points for Reims.


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ISRAEL - Women

Round 23th first team -by Gil Goshen

Perkins MVP of Round 23

Round MVP - Jia Perkins
26 points, 10 of 16 shooting against lots of double teams and the league's best defender. Perkins scored Ramat Hasharon's last eight points including the game winning jumper with 5 seconds left. She's one of the league's best go-to players, and a big reason why Ramat Hasharon can always win a close game.

Round 23 First Team
Nomi Kolodny - Scored 12 points in the 2nd half to help Ramat Hasharon come back from a double digit hole and added six boards to help her team get a big overtime win at Ramat Hen.

Laine Selwyn - Finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and great defense on Ivory Latta in the win against Holon.

Brandi McCain - 24 points on great shooting, 7 assists, 5 steals and great defense on Tanisha Wright at the end of the game led Ashdod to a win over Raanana Hertzelia. The last time McCain reached 24 points was in round three and the 7 assists are a season high, ironically in the last game of the season.

Jia Perkins - won the game for Ramat Hasharon, and gave her team a valuable home court advantage in their playoff semi final series against Ramla.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin - Season high of 38 points on great shooting along with 14 rebounds weren't enough for Ramat Hen to get their first win over Ramat Hasharon, but it's enough for the first team.






Regular season 2007/8 Leaders !!!!! -by Gil Goshen


Rebounds :

Detrina White MACLAREN Holon 12.4 .

Offensive Rebounds :

Ayana Walker Maccabi Ashdod 5.0
Detrina White MACLAREN Holon 4.5


Defensive Rebounds :

Shaunzinski Gortman Maccabi Tel Kabir 8.5
Detrina White MACLAREN Holon 7.9


Points:

Tamara Booye Hapoel Tel Aviv 24.8
Ivory Latta MACLAREN Holon 22.7



Assists:

Tanasha Wright Bnot Hasharon 6.3


Double-Doubles :

1. Ayana Walker Maccabi Ashdod 15 games.
2. Detrina White MACLAREN Holon 12 games.


Steals:

Edwina Brown Ramat Chen 3.2
Tanasha Wright Bnot Hasharon 3.2


Blocked Shots :

Ayana Walker Maccabi Ashdod 2.1
Michelle Snow Ramla 1.5
Detrina White MACLAREN Holon 1.1

Efficiency:

Taj McWilliams Ramat Chen 27.1
Ayana Walker Maccabi Ashdod 26.6
Shaunzinski Gortman Maccabi Tel Kabir 23.9
Tanasha Wright Bnot Hasharon 23.6
Detrina White MACLAREN Holon 22.0





DeTrina White (180-F-80, college: LSU)


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KAZAKHSTAN - Women

Standings - Women
D1 Standings
1. MKTU 0-0
2. Okzhetpes 0-0
3. Irtysh 0-0
4. Astana 0-0


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LITHUANIA - Women

Laisve and Lemminkainen enter semifinal stage -by Eurobasket News
Laisve and Lemminkainen swept their quarterfinal series and qualified for the semifinal stage in LMKL. Lemminkainen overcame Atletas 83:55 in the second game to celebrate a confident victory. Ramune Kumpiene 's team sent a strong message to the hosts in the opening stanza stunning them 27:10. Atletas tried to bounce back in the second term as they trimmed the gap by 4 points but Lemminkainen easily took over in the second half and never looked back. Reda Kontvainyte (182-F-90) paced the visitors with 21 points. Egle Zygelyte (166-G-84) added 14 points, 5 boards and 5 assists for the winners. Irma Raugaite (176-G-84) answered with 13 points for Atletas. Kornelija Balciunaite (177-F-81) dropped 11 points for Kaunas outfit in defeat.
Laisve also had little problems edging Siauliai 88:44 away from home. It was all over for the hosts before halftime. Laisve tallied a 44:21 advantage in the first half and maintained the margin throughout the second one. Ilona Nikonovaite (175-G-75) secured 19 points, 6 assists and 6 boards for Laisve. Jolanta Marmiene (181-F-79) had 15 points, while Asta Daujadiene (176-G-73) and Jolanta Vilutyte (190-F-69) notched 12 points apiece in a win. Gabriele Gutkauskaite (174-G-90) responded with 18 points in a losing effort.
Lemminkainen will now face TEO Vilnius in the semis. Game 1 is scheduled for April 2. Laisve will clash with Arvi on the same day.


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NCAA2 - Women

Double-overtime thriller in Kearney -by Eurobasket News

Division II Elite Eight stage came up with some dramas. One of them occurred in the South Dakota vs. Washburn clash. The South Dakota Coyotes needed two extra periods to register their 30th straight win and advance to Final Four. South Dakota celebrated an 85:80 win to book their first-ever Final Four birth. Jenna Hoffman (5'8''-G-85) converted two free throws with 22 seconds left in regulation to put South Dakota in front 63:60. But Corky Stiger nailed a three-pointer to send game into overtime. The Coyotes once again were up by 3 points late in the first overtime but a trey from Jessica Mainz forced the second extra frame. Jenna Hoffman and Yoerger quickly piled up a 4-point cushion of the Coyotes and they never surrendered it claiming an 85:80 victory in the end. Jenna Hoffman led the Coyotes with 27 points. Ashley Robinette added 13 points, while Yoerger tallied 19 points and 6 boards for the winners. Corky Stiger drilled game-high 31 points for the Washburn. Janice Bright (5'9''-G) had 16 points and 8 boards for the Lady Blues. South Dakota will now face undefeated Delta State in the semis. The top-ranked Delta State took care of California 75:64.
Northern Kentucky bumped Wingate 78:65 to reach Final Four. Jessie Slack posted 20 point to lead the Norse. Angela Healy added 16 points and 8 boards. The Bulldogs replied with 19 points from Kate Edwards. Anna Atkinson fired 16 points in defeat. Northern Kentucky will face Alaska-Anchorage in the semifinal. Anchorage bettered Franklin Pierce 71:65 in overtime. Rebecca Kielpinski (6'2''-C) was massive for the Seawolves with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Kahlie Quinones added 16 points and 10 boards for the winning side. Johannah Leedham (5'10''-G-87) provided outstanding 31 points and 18 boards for the Ravens.



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POLAND - Women

FGE Play-offs: Quarter-Finals - Game 2 -by Wojciech Strzebinczyk
Lotos PKO BP Gdynia - ŁKS Siemens AGD Łodź 81:44 (19:7, 19:7, 19:15, 24:15)
Lotos:
Jekaterina Snicyna 14, Chamique Holdsclaw 11, Natalia Waligorska 10, Patrycja Gulak 10, Slobodanka Maksimovic 10, Ganna Zarytska 9, Marta Jujka 6, Magdalena Leciejewska 6, Dominique Canty 5.
ŁKS: Katarzyna Kenig 15, Jennifer Humphrey 7, Renata Oliveira 6, Edyta Koryzna 5, Sylwia Wlaźlak 5, Agnieszka Wilk 3, Dorota Sobczyk 2, Karolina Rykowska 1, Milena Owczarek 0, Birute Dominauskaite 0.

Lotos PKO BP Gdynia - ŁKS Siemens AGD Łodź 2:0


KSSSE AZS PWSZ Gorzow Wlkp. - Utex ROW Rybnik 86:39 (15:11, 29:12, 17:7, 25:9)
AZS PWSZ: Katarzyna Ristic 18, Justyna Żurowska 16, Denaimou N'Garsanet 10, Barbara Kaszewska 9, Aleksandra Chomac 7, Agnieszka Kaczmarczyk 7, Carrie Moore 7, Joanna Czarnecka 5, Małgorzata Babicka 5, Aleksandra Pietraszek 2, Katarzyna Czubak 0, Agnieszka Szott 0.
ROW: Magdalena Skorek 7, Minja Siljegovic 7, Joanna Gorzyńska-Szymczak 6, Nikita Bell 6, Olena Proszczenko 5, Marquetta Dickens 5, Edyta Błaszczak 3, Małgorzata Chomicka 0, Barbara Głocka 0, Hollie Merideth 0.

KSSSE AZS PWSZ Gorzow Wlkp. - Utex ROW Rybnik 2:0


Wisła Can-Pack Krakow - INEA AZS Poznań 88:55 (32:8, 23:19, 19:14, 14:14)
Wisła:
Candice Dupree 17, Kara Braxton 15, Anna DeForge 13, Marta Fernandez 12, Ewelina Kobryn 10, Jelena Skerovic 9, Monika Krawiec 8, Agnieszka Pałka 2, Natalia Trafimawa 2, Agata Gajda 0, Anna Wielebnowska 0, Paulina Gajdosz 0.
AZS: Beata Krupska-Tyszkiewicz 19, Joanna Jarkowska 8, Marlena Wdowczyk 8, Monika Sibora 6, Reda Aleliunaite-Jankowska 6, Joanna Lorek 6, Małgorzata Mycka 2, Agata Rafałowicz 0, Olga Pacyńska 0, Anna Pamuła 0, Katarzyna Jarkowska 0, Paulina Dąbkowska 0.

Wisła Can-Pack Krakow - INEA AZS Poznań 2:0


PKM Duda PWSZ Leszno - CCC Polkowice 60:56 (15:13, 17:13, 15:15, 13:15)
PKM Duda:
Ryan Coleman 18, Edyta Krysiewicz 15, Agnieszka Budnik 8, Martyna Koc 8, Daria Mieloszyńska 7, Agnieszka Makowska 4, Anna Talarczyk 0, Olga Żytomirska 0.
CCC: Petra Stampalija 18, Anna Szycko 11, Ndeye Ndiaye 7, Ilona Jasnowska 6, Jennifer Lacy 6, Justyna Jeziorna 4, Veronika Bortelova 2, Olga Masilione 2.

PKM Duda PWSZ Leszno - CCC Polkowice 2:0


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SPAIN - Women

Standings - LFB
LFB Standings
1. Ros Casares 18-3
2. Perfumerias 16-5
3. EBE Promoc. 15-6
4. Acis-Incosa 14-7
5. Rivas Futura 13-8
6. Real C.Vigo 12-9
7. Extrugasa 10-11
8. Olesa 9-12
9. Cajacanar. 9-12
10. Cadi la Seu 8-13
11. Hondar.-Irun 7-14
12. Mann Filter 6-15
13. Burgos 5-16
14. Badajoz 5-16


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SWEDEN - Women

Solna Vikings march through quarterfinal stage undefeated -by Eurobasket News
The Solna Vikings won six straight games at the quarterfinal stage and easily secured their semifinal spot. In the last game of the stage the regular season champs overcame Telge 67:66. Trailing by 6 points after 10 minutes of action the Vikings leveled the encounter in the second half and forced overtime. There Solna were just more accurate and celebrated a tough victory. Jurgita Kausaite (178-G/F-70, college: Emporia St.) dropped 18 points for Solna. Jennifer Harris (178-G-84, college: Washburn) contributed 14 points for the winners. Louice Halvarsson (189-C-89) notched game-high 27 points to pace Telge. Shelley Hammonds (188-F-83, agency: LBM Management) added 15 points and 13 boards as the hosts also secured their semifinal tickets finishing at the third spot in quarterfinal group A.
08 Stockholm beat Lulea Basket 68:55 in the final round. Jennie Thingwall (183-F-85) dropped 14 points, while Malin Gernandt (175-G-81) scored 13 for the winning side. Eszter Csontos (179-G/F-82) upset the hosts for 23 points in defeat.
The Norrkoping Dolphins won the second quarterfinal group to advance to the next stage of the tournament. The Dolphins had to overcome Marbo Basket in the final round to ensure the top spot. The hosts entered the game aggressively and piled up a 6-point advantage after the opening frame. But Marbo quickly denied the deficit and surged ahead 38:36 at halftime. But the Dolphins prevailed in the third stanza which proved to be decisive in this one. They accumulated an 8-point cushion before the fourth period and survived in the dying minutes. Fatima Maddox (168-G, agency: 540 Sports) knocked down 20 points for Norrkoping. Malin Belfrage (184-F-79) had 16 points and 6 boards for the winners. Lindsey Hicks (185-F-81, college: Purdue) answered with 24 points and 13 boards for Marbo.


Standings - Damligan
Damligan Standings
Group 1
1. Solna Vikings 6-0
2. 08 3-3
3. Telge Energi 2-4
4. Lulea Basket 1-5
Group 2
1. Norrkoping 5-1
2. Visby 4-2
3. Marbo Basket 3-3
4. Jamtland 0-6