EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 3/7/2008

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Men News

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ABA

As the League Turns -by Joe Pietaro
The American Basketball Association is plodding along in the 2007-08 season, moving on even after many of the teams that began the season are distant memories. Divisions have anywhere from four to two clubs in each, barely even recognizable from November.
A number of teams even still listed as active have played less than 10 games, while the stronger ones are closing in on the originally scheduled 36. Not exactly balanced, and bordering on the absurd.
Instead of negative banter, reflecting on the positives that this season has given the ABA fans has been sparse, but still present.
Teams such as Manchester and Vermont have been the class of the Blue Conference, while Beijing, Texas and San Diego have led the way in the Red Conference.
The three Canadian clubs in the Northeast have competed and made things interesting. Halifax, Quebec City and Montreal may all be below .500, but can at least hang their hat on surviving in a league that has had more folding than a beginner's poker tournament.


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ALGERIA

Violence sparks in Algiers -by Kristian Santiago
After the game between arch rivals ASPTT Alger and Mouloudia Club Alger , a fight broke out which was started between players Djillali Canon (190-F-78) (MCA) and Belhoucine (ASPTT) who had a personal dispute already over a year ago. Other players and personnel joined in and the brawl went to be pretty ugly.Now the national basketball federation (FABB) has to hand down harsh punishment on the players and clubs involved in the fight.
In other news, the president of Widad Boufarik is trying to postpone their games as players went on a strike due to the financial crisis of the team.


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ARMENIA

Vesmadian signed in Egypt -by Kristian Santiago
Armenian guard Rouben Vesmadian (191-G-83, college: Fresno St.) signed in February a contract until the end of the season with Eastern Company in Egypt.
Vesmadian is not going to count as an import due to his egyptian citizenship and hopes to contribute significantly to the teams' success.


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AUSTRALIA

Bogut's 28th Double-Double of the season helps Bucks Past Sonics -by Sohail Nasri
7 Mar 2008

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - The Milwaukee Bucks' game plan was pretty basic against the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday night at the Bradley Center.

Going against a team that had played the night before in Detroit, the Bucks wanted to lower the boom on Seattle from the get-go and build a comfortable cushion for the rest of the game.

That's pretty much how it went as the Bucks rode an active first quarter and Charlie Villanueva's hot hand to a 118-106 victory. Milwaukee has won four of its last five home games.

'We tried to do that from the start, to jump on them early, since they had played yesterday,' said Villanueva, who scored 15 of his season-high 32 points in the first quarter. 'We did a great job of that. We played great for three quarters and then kind of let up in the fourth. It happens. But we recuperated and got it together.'

Point guard Royal Ivey, who started in place of the injured Mo Williams, said, 'We wanted to come out strong and just make it a hellacious game for them.'

The Bucks led after the first quarter, 39-24. The Bucks scored a season-high point total for the game, and their 69 first-half points were a season-high for either half. The Bucks led by 15 at halftime.

The Bucks led by as many as 17 points in the first quarter and 23 in the third before holding off a Seattle rally that trimmed the lead to five with just under 3 minutes to go.

But as it turned out, their fast start was enough to carry them through the evening.

The Bucks passed for a season-high 36 assists, including seven each by Michael Redd, Royal Ivey and Andrew Bogut.

'That's the way basketball is supposed to be played,' Ivey said. 'Everybody on this team can score. They wouldn't be in the NBA if they couldn't shoot. We have a lot of weapons. On any given night, anybody can get 30. 'Charlie V.' was hot tonight and we went to him and he knocked down shots. We were sharing the ball. It's fun to play like that. We need to do that more often.'

Villanueva made 12 of 26 shots, including three of six from three-point range. He made all five of his free throws and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Along with his assists, Bogut filled up the box score with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots while Charlie Bell scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Redd had 15 points and seven assists before leaving for the locker room in the final minute of the third quarter with a nose laceration. He did not return and received six stitches on the bridge of his nose after the game


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BARBADOS

Sealy, Cavs slip past Jackson -by Justin Marville
National forward Kevin Sealy scored six of his team high 14 points in a crucial 13-4 third quarter run to lead pre-season favourites Station Hill Cavaliers past British American Insurance Jackson 73-61 in the latest of the Sprite/BOA Premier League at the Wildey Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

After building a 33-27 half-time advantage the Cavs had looked to put away the contest early in the third quarter, with guard/forward Jason Smith scoring five quick points to spark an initial 8-2 run within the first two and a half minutes of the game's resumption to push Station Hill's lead to 12.

But Jackson responded with a brief surge of their own behind a well executed 3-2 defence and a combined eight points from Fabian Sealy and Bernard Riley, reducing the deficit to just six points midway through the third quarter as the Cavaliers got sloppy with the ball.

However, that is as close as the 2006 Intermediate champs would get the rest of the way as the Cavs national swingman came off the bench to provide Station Hill with a huge lift at both ends of the floor.

Led by a renewed effort at the defensive end of the court and some needless turnovers from Jackson, the Cavs got out in transition behind Sealy and Kenrick Haynes for easy points in the open court, closing out the quarter by outscoring the opposition 13-4 to reopen a 13 point advantage, 56-41, heading into the fourth.

Prolific shooting guard Javid Beckles threatened to rally a fourth quarter comeback by erupting for 13 points in the game's final period but with star Jackson guard/forward Peter Alleyne and Kirk Porte struggling from the field Beckles efforts would be in vein as he merely found himself trading baskets with Station Hill reserves Corey Howard and Ricardo Yearwood.

Despite failing to hit several uncontested jumpers in the first quarter the Cavaliers managed to end the opening period with a 20-14 advantage thanks in large part to the inside-outside combo of Smith and former Clapham forward Andre Jean-Pierre.

Executing their half court offence to perfection, the Cavs found numerous open looks on the outside for Smith and starting point guard Corey Williams against some poor defensive rotation from the Jackson perimeter defenders but failed to make the recently promoted side pay for its defensive short comings.

Alleyne tried his best to pull Jackson back on level terms in the ensuing period, going a perfect three of three from the field in the second but Station Hill maintained its marginal as Fabian Sealy went cold after enjoying a productive first quarter while the Cavs kept Beckles and Porte quiet, giving Alleyne no other offensive options.

Smith and Jean-Pierre finished with 13 and 10 points respectively for the Cavs while Beckles scored a game high 19, Sealy added 12 and Alleyne netted 11 points.


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BOSNIA

Mensur Bajramovic new headcoach of the NT -by Nedzad Kladusak
It is definitely not surprising that Mensur Bajramovic has been appointed for the new headcoach of the BIH Men NT.
Two weeks before there have been some rumours stating that is already clear that Bajramovic will succeed Nenad
Markovic who is doing very successfully in Greece.
Zeljko Lukajic who has also been considered stated that he has not been so much interested in the job since he was asked to
submit his plans in written form without knowing the squad and the state of the team.
Teoman Teoman Alibegovic however was very motivated to coach the NT of his home country but the comission considered him to be
more of a manager than a coach despite he spent three seasons on the bench of italian teams. It would be a pity to forget
about such formidable players and experts.
Velimir Velimir Gasic the most experienced candidate has withdrawn his candidature in an early stage since he KSBIH was simply not able
to fulfill his high requirements related to younger selections, preparations.....

In a first statement Mensur Bajramovic declared he doesn t want to give up any player but he pointed out that he wants also to give
young prospects like Djedovic, Kikanovic and Gordic more playtime. Sounds like the plans of Nenad Markovic just before the qualifiers started........


Bosna ASA BHT: Greer out, three new players comming -by Elvir Halilovic
Only five weeks before League 8 Bosna ASA BH Telecom canceled contract with Quemont Greer.
Bosna in this season want title and they need longest bench till now. After Hajric they loking for new players.
In next days in Sarajevo comming Armend Kahrimanovic (198-SG/SF-80), David Jackson (195-G-78) and Vladimir Panic (194-F-82).
Kahrimanovic was playing in Bosna before. Jackson in Sarajevo coming from China, from club Xinjiyang Flying Tigers. Before this season he was playing for Ulker, Siena, Granada, Artland.
Vladimir Panic coming from Slovenia, from Koper. He was one of the best shoters in slovenian league.
Who will stand in Bosna and did they enough for title, we will see...
Jackson David (195-G-78, college: Oregon)


Stats Leaders - D1
LIGA 13 BIH Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1. Bakovic CAP 20,95
2. Timotic HER 17,26
3. Rothbart BOR 16,91
4. Matic SLO 16,72
5. Mladenovic SLA 16,67
Rebounds Per Game
1. Rothbart BOR 9,7
2. Ramljak POS 8,6
3. Petani CAP 6,0
4. Timotic HER 5,8
5. Sadibasic ZEN 5,7
Assists Per Game
1. Allen IGO 6,4
2. Gvozdenovic SLA 4,8
3. Vujcic GRU 4,5
4. Bailey BOS 4,4
5. Bocka IGO 4,4
Steals Per Game
1. Pinjuh CAP 3,7
2. Bocka IGO 2,9
3, Stazic IGO 2,3
Blocks Per Game
1. Rothbart BOR 1,4
2. Wright IGO 1,2
3. Ramljak POS 1,1
2FGP
1. Timotic HER 6,76
2. Matic SLO 6,00
3. Williams BOS 5,25
3FGP
1. Skerovic HER 2,77
2. Bakovic CAP 2,73
3. Tosic IGO 2,41
Free Throws
1. Petani CAP 6,75
2. Bakovic CAP 6,13
3. Ross SLO 4,73
Ranking
1. Rothbart BOR 11,0
2. Ramljak T. POS 8,3
3. Matic SLO 8,2


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BRIT.V.ISLANDS

Cowboys drop 69-63 decision to Southeastern Louisiana in Southland Conference play Wednesday -by David Edole
McNeese State held the early lead but couldn't hang on as Southeastern Louisiana posted a 69-63 Southland Conference victory here Wednesday.

The Cowboys had led by a 29-25 score at halftime and McNeese was up by seven at 39-32 with 16:10 left in the game.

Southeastern then went on a 22-5 run to take a 10 point lead and led the rest of the way. McNeese challenged to get to within two points at 62-60 but the Lions went on to outscore them 7-3 the rest of the way to take the win.

The victory moved the Lions out of a tie with the Cowboys in the eastern division standings. They are now 8-7 in league play and the Cowboys dropped to 7-8. Overall Southeastern is 16-12 and McNeese is 13-14. Both teams have one game remaining on their regular season schedule and then will appear in the conference tournament next week.

The Cowboys had entered the game - designated Senior Night as the five seniors on the team were honored in pre-game ceremonies - with the possibility of being a No. 4 seed in the tournament if they could have won their last two games but now will fall down into the lower bracket.

Their 7-8 record puts the Cowboys in fourth place in the eastern division standings and tied with UT Arlington and UT San Antonio for overall sixth place.

Kevyn Green held the hot hand for the Lions in Wednesday's game as he tossed in a game high 29 points, making seven of 10 three point shots. Patrick Sullivan added 14 points and Warrell Span 12.

On a night that was dedicated to McNeese's five senior players, junior John Pichon was the top player. He pitched in 25 points and was the only double figure scorer for the Cowboys.

Jarvis Bradley, the team's leading scorer on the season, was held scoreless in the first half and wound up with eight points, six of them coming at the free throw line.

John Ford also didn't put up his average as he was limited to five points and only had one assist.

The Lions made five of six three point goals in the second half and 58 percent of all of their field goals in that period. McNeese didn't have one of its better shooting games, making only three of 11 three point goals and 44 percent of all of their field goals.

The Cowboys did hold a 34-27 edge in rebounding with 6-11 Kleon Penn (211-C-86) getting a game high 12 as well as three blocked shots and eight points. McNeese will conclude its regular season Saturday against Nicholls State in Thibodaux.


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CAPE VERDE

Standings
D1 Standings
1. ABC 3-1
2. Seven Stars 3-1
3. Predio 3-1
4. Ach.Grande 0-4


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COLOMBIA

Aragon, Guevara, Asprilla and Fernandez in Venezuela's LPB -by Victor Garcia

Guaiqueries de Margarita with Norbey Aragon coming from the bench lost against Gatos de Monagas as visitors, there are not oficial stats of te game yet.


Enielsen Guevara scored 8 points as starter for Gaiteros del Zulia, Gaiteros won its third straight game this time against the newcomers Gigantes de Guayana, ex Piratas de Bogota guard, DaJuan Gouard scored 15 for the Gigantes, it was the third straight game as starter for Enielsen in the season, Gaiteros is currently leading the standings.

Hardy Asprilla did not played in the lost of Marinos against Cocodrilos de Caracas, Asprilla's ankle is not heal yet, and should wait until weekend.

Yader Fernandez was not included in Cocodrilos' roster for the game.

Norbey Aragon (193-G/F-78, college: Georgia SW)


Edgar Moreno helps Indios in first Victory -by Victor Garcia
Edgar Moreno's level is rinsing in Puerto Rico, Edgar helped Indios de Mayaguez to get its first victory of the season defeating Criollos de Caguas 59 - 56 in Mayaguez.
Edgar scored 9 pts and grabbed 2 rebounds, Moreno also had 2 assists and 2 steals, the Colombian guard was the leader in steals in the last Venezuela's LPB.
Egdar's task is not easy in a legaue loaded of good guards, but the Colombian star will prove he belongs to the Elite of Basketball


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CUBA

Semifinals 2008 and Cuban Abroad -by Alessandro Fontana
LSB-time in Cuba!
Tonight the LSB Semifinals with Capitalinos against Guantanamo and Ciego de Avila against Matanzas. Capitalinos was the leader of this LSB, the team of La Habana was the first classified with a 24-4 standings. Capitalinos have great chances to win the Cuban Championship. Guantanamo will try to defeat Capitalinos, It will be very dififcult but Guantanamo with an incredible, unstoppable Henry Simon believes in the feat.
WHO WILL BE THE FINALIST: Capitalinos 70%, Guantanamo 30%
Ciego de Avila vs. Matanzas will be the other exciting Semifinal. Ciego de Avila is a team who is used to win, They are winner and for Matanzas will be hard, but We do not have to undervalue the heart, 'el corazòn' of Matanzas with Allens Jemmott (193-G-80) and 'El Puma' Danys Torrientes (190-G-85). Matanzas can be the surprise and if They win against Ciego de Avila, they can really win the LSB
WHO WILL BE THE FINALIST:Ciego de Avila 60%, Matanzas 40%

CUBAN ABROAD
In Puerto Rico, Atletico San German defeated Bayamon 75-73, for Roberto Carlos Herrera 15 minutes with 3 pts (1/3 3pts), 1 reb, 1ass and 1 steal
A. Fontana


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CYPRUS

Standings - Division B
Division B Standings
1. A.Yermasogias 19-1
2. Philips Coll. 18-2
3. Doxa 14-5
4. Olympos A. 14-6
5. APOP Paphou 14-6
6. Digenis 13-6
7. Paralimni 10-9
8. Achilleas Agrou 9-11
9. Asteras 6-13
10. Enosis K. 4-15
11. Argonaftes 3-16
12. Onisilos 1-18
13. A.Yeroskipou 0-19


Stats Leaders - A2
A2 Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
Prokopiou (Anagen) 17
Hristodoulou (Digenis) 16
Christodoulou (APOP) 16
Alexandrou(Anagen) 15
Antoniou (APOP) 15
Georgiadis (Philips) 15
Grigoriou (Anagen) 14
Papadopoulos(Paral)14
Rebounds Per Game
Koutsoloukas (Philips) 8
Papadopoulos (Paral) 7.5
Alexandrou (Anagen) 7.1
Hristodoulou (APOP) 7
Christodoulou (Digeni) 7 Grigoriou (Anagen) 6
Assists Per Game
Prokopiou (Anagen) 2.9
Georgiadis (Philips) 2.4
Papadopoulos(Paral) 2.1
Hatzifedonos (Olym) 2.1
Daniel (Digenis) 1.7
Steals Per Game
Karagiannis (Anagn) 2.1
Hristodoulou (APOP) 2.1
Alexandrou (Anagen) 2.1
Karvazonis (Digen) 1.5
Achilleos (Argon) 1.5
Blocks Per Game
Christodoulou (APOP) 2
Papadopoulos (Paral) 1.5
Hatzifedonos (Olymp) 1.1
Hristodoulou (Digenis) 1
Koutsoloukas (Philips) 1
Zagorov (Philips) 1
2FGP
Prokopiou (Anagn) 68
Antoniou (APOP) 65
Haralambus (Doxa) 60
Mihail (Achilleas Ag) 58
Christodoulou (Digen) 58
Zagorov (Philips) 57
3FGP
Christodoulou (Digen) 55
Philippou (Doxa) 54
Shiakallis (Olympos) 53
Papanikolaou (Philips) 50
Georgiadis (Philips) 50
Free Throws
Prokopiou (Anagen) 85
Hristodoulou (Digenis) 85
Hatzifedonos (Olymp) 83
Antoniou (APOP) 82
Mastoris (APOP) 82
Ranking
Prokopiou (Anagen)
Christodoulou (APOP)


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D-LEAGUE

Standings
D-League Standings
Central Division
1. Dakota W. 21-16
2. Sioux Falls S. 21-18
3. Iowa E. 17-19
4. Ft.Wayne MA 13-21
Southwest Division
1. Austin T. 24-11
2. Colorado 14ers 22-14
3. Tulsa 66ers 20-15
4. Rio Grande VV 14-24
5. Albuquerque T. 13-21
West Division
1. Idaho S. 26-10
2. LA D-Fenders 23-11
3. Utah 18-17
4. Anaheim A. 13-23
5. Bakersfield J. 6-31


March Transactions -by Surujh Roopnarine
NBA -> D-League Player Assignments
March 3rd
The Golden State Warriors re-assigned rookie center Kosta Perovic (7'2''-C-85) to the Bakersfield Jam. Perovic has only appeared in ne game for Golden State this season, scoring four points in seven minutes of action against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 19th.
The 23-year old Serbian was previously with the Jam between November and January, averaging 8.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.37 blocks over 19 games.
March 4th
The Boston Celtics have re-assigned former USC standout Gabe Pruitt (6'4''-G-86, college: USC) to the Utah Flash.
On his third assignment, Pruitt has combined averages of 15.2 points, 3.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 30.6 minutes for the Flash. Pruitt has appeared in 12 games for the Celtics this season.

NBA Call-Ups
March 1st
The Los Angeles Clippers signed veteran guard Andre Barrett (5'9''-G-82, college: Seton Hall). Barrett appeared in 30 games for the Bakersfield Jam this season where he averaged 18.9 points, 8.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds prior to being traded to Austin on February 25th. The former Seton Hall dynamo has NBA career averages of 3.4 points, 2.0 assists in 63 games spread between Houston, Orlando, Phoenix, and Chicago.

Player Movement
March 3rd
Colorado: Announced that All-Star Elton Brown (6'9''-F/C-83, college: Virginia) has left the team.
Los Angeles: Acquired Brian Morrison (6'2''-G-82, college: UCLA) and waived Cecil Brown (6'4''-G-83, college: UCSB) due to injury.
The former UCLA guard Morrison, has appeared in seven games this season for the D-Fenders, averaging 4.4 points in 11.3 minutes per game.
March 4th
Los Angeles: Acquired Darren Cooper (6'3''-G-83, college: Portland) and waived Wendell White (6'6''-G-84, college: UNLV). Cooper was an All-West Coast Conference selection his senior season at Portland where he averaged 12.1ppg, 4.3rpg and 2.4apg during the 2006-07 season.
Austin: Announced that D-League MVP candidate Keith Langford (6'4''-G/F-83, college: Kansas) has left the team.
Utah: Waived former Iowa State standout Curtis Stinson (6'2''-G-83, college: Iowa St.).
Dakota: Announced that Dontell Jefferson (6'5''-G-83, college: Arkansas) has left the team.


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EGYPT

Vesmadian signed in Egypt -by Kristian Santiago
Armenian guard Rouben Vesmadian (191-G-83, college: Fresno St.) signed in February a contract until the end of the season with Eastern Company in Egypt.
Vesmadian is not going to count as an import due to his egyptian citizenship and hopes to contribute significantly to the teams' success.


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EL SALVADOR

LSB First results -by Jaime Arevalo
In the league opener, ExSal largely deefated Denver 99-87, thanks to a great night from NT players Miguel Banos (186-F/C-84), who scored 27 points, and Salvador Bandek (181-G-78). The best of Denver was Daniel King (203-F-87), but it wasn' t enough. Two day after, however, ExSal suffered the first loss, 87-67 to UTEC, led by new players Joaquin Morataya (-77), Jorge Taton (200-F/C-81) and Ernesto Oglivie (-F-88), who led all the scorers with 25 pts. The best in ExSal was Carlos Martinez (190-F-79), who scored 19 pts. The new LSB team San Marcos made its debut tonight, defeating Cosmos 78-72. This team, coached by Enrique Samour, is strengthened by two import players from USA, Kenya Carruthers (201-F-79, college: Ks Wesleyan) and Michael Pierrot (208-C-84), plus veteran Arturo Mata (183-G/F-71). Edwin Lopez (183-G/F-85) tried to lead Cosmos, scoring 15 points, but San Marcos took the win, led by Kenya Carruthers with 20 pts

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


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EUROLEAGUE

Standings
Euroleague Standings
Group D
1. Montepas. 3-1
2. Partizan 2-2
3. Panathin. 1-2
4. Efes P. 1-2
Group E
1. Tau 4-0
2. Fenerbahce 2-2
3. Lietuvos 1-3
4. Aris 1-3
Group F
1. Macc.T-A 2-1
2. Real 2-1
3. Olympiak. 1-2
4. Zalgiris 1-2
Group G
1. CSKA 2-1
2. Barcelona 2-2
3. Unicaja 2-2
4. Lottomatica 1-2


A do or die game for the defending champion - Panathinaikos! -by Chris Mammides

Pre-game analysis

Defending champion Panathinaikos hosts Efes Pilsen at the Athens Indoor Olympic Hall. Panathinaikos has started the Top 16 with a 1-2 record and with Partizan's recent road win in Siena, Italy, the Green road beacame quite difficult as this is a weak period for Panathinaikos which suffered two consecutive loses (Aris and Maroussi) in the Greek League, a fact which for the last decade has never been repeated for the Triple crowners.
Last week the Greens went down 84-75 at Montepaschi Siena to slip into a three-way tie with Efes and Partizan Igokea for the second and last place in the group.
Meanwhile, Efes lost a road game at Partizan Igokea when four players refused to travel after USA Government claim that all American citizens working in Europe must avoid travelling to Serbia due to the Kosovo independence (which by the way USA officially recognised).
Three of the Americans of the Turkish team - leading scorer Drew Nicholas, starting center Loren Woods and playmaker Rashad Wright - are history as the Turkish club already kicked them out of the club due to their denial to travel to Serbia last week, Hutson is the only American who's expected to return to the team. Even so, Efes head coach David Blatt has only seven experienced players to make up his rotation. Efes began the Top 16 with an impressive 74-64 win over Panathinaikos in an amazing night of Nicholas (29 points) and Woods (7 points) who made up nearly half their team's points that night. Tonight, the ex Olympiakos point guard, Scoonie Penn (178-G-77, college: Ohio St.) and ex Panionios guard, Ender Arslan (190-G-83) will need to carry the ball for Efes against the extremely deep Panathinaikos backcourt, led by Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland), Vassilis Spanoulis, Sani Becirovic and Dimitris Diamantidis.
The battle in the paint will be a different story as the hosts are still without the injured Kostas Tsartsaris (210-F-79). Former Efes center, Prkacin is expected to receive some quality time in the court from Obradovic, who has only Demos Dikoudis and Andrija Zizic to play bigger roles inside. Efes will attack with Ermal Kuqo, Kerem Gonlum and Hutson. Small forwards Kenny Gregory and Mustafa Abi are Efes's other two rotation guys, who'll match up with either Kennedy it is most certain that for Greens, this is a do or die game, since with possible negative result, the Greens are out of the European games…
The troubles faced by Efes are not enough to calm the Serbian Head Coach Obradovic who stated that 'The last days PAO worked really hard and after the three consecutive losses the team showed desire to change the scene. The game against Efes Pilsen is a final for us, even if we had won in Siena last week. It is a big match for Panathinaikos and we prepare ourselves to compete against a solid team without thinking that they recently released three American players. They still have 7 or 8 players of high quality and I am sure that the recent incidents will make them come together and fight even harder. I hope that our fans will come to support us and honestly we have to play for them too, because they believe in our team.'



Start of Week 4 -by Eurobasket News
It is a must to start with Tau Ceramica that is the first team that got to the play-offs. Spanish powerhouse overcame Lietuvos Rytas 87:84 and became the first team to clinch a spot in the Quarterfinal Playoffs. Group E see them with a perfect 4-0 record. Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) and Pablo Prigioni (186-G-77) top-scored for the winners with 16 points apiece. Zoran Planinic dished a season-high 8 assists. Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) led Rytas with 18 points, while Vroman posted 15 points and 7 rebounds. Lietuvos Rytas fell at 1-3, producing however a very good game against the favorite.
In another game of the group Aris TT Bank registered its first win by edging Fenerbahce Ulker 59:60. Eleven thousand fans brought an amazing atmosphere for the Turkish side, but it was not enough for the win. Fenerbahce dropped to 2-2 and will at least tie for the second spot. Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.) paced the winners with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Bracey Wright (191-G-84, college: Indiana) scored 12 points, whilst Willie Solomon and Omer Asik each had 13 points for Fenerbahce.
More than 10,000 spectators enjoyed the game in Malaga. In the battle of the Spanish squads in Group G Unicaja edged Barcelona 62:61 at home.Davor Kus (190-G-78) paced all the winners with 15 points. Daniel Santiago (216-C-76, college: N.Mexico) added 11 while Boniface Ndong collected 9 points and 9 rebounds. Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) had 16 points for Barcelona, being the only player to reach the double digits. Both teams now have 2-2 records in the group.
Montepaschi Siena lost the first game in Top 16 being upset from Partizan Igokea. The latter beat the leader of Group D 78:75 to improve to 2-2.Milton Palacio (190-G-78, college: Colorado St.) top-scored for the winners with 26 points. Pecovic nailed 16, while Kecman and Velickovic added 10 each. Ben Eze and Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77, college: Clemson) paced Montepaschi with 16 each and Stonerook posted 13 in defeat.


Partizan Igokea downed strong Montepaschi in Belgrade 78-75 ! -by Dragan Jankovski

Partizan Igokea - Montepaschi Siena 78-75

Reining Serbian and Adriatic league champion grabbed the second consecutive win in Euroleague TOP 16 making a huge step forward to their dream - Euroleague quarterfinals. They downed, until last night unbeatable, Montepaschi Siena, who plays this season in amazing shape. Like always, Partizan had unbelievable support from their fans. Again there was almost 7.000 people in hall Pionir.

Partizan opened the game a bit better and mostly owing to Palacio made 14-6 in 8th minute. Very quickly, the visitors tied the score to 21-21 after successful fast break by Ilievski. After 10-0 run, Montepaschi made the bigger lead in 28th minute setting the score to 41-52. Partizan, through center Pekovic, came back into the game at the beginning of the last period 54-52. In the thriller finish, Montepaschi had a chance to leave the Belgrade celebrating. Namely, Partizan had a lead 76-75 with 13 seconds remaining. After Vujosevic's time out Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) made a mistake throwing the ball in from the side line after what he fouled Shaun Stonerook (203-F/C-77, college: Ohio) who missed two crucial FTs. At the Partizan's last possession Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket) drained it twice for the final score 78-75 and indescribable joy for the black and white fans. Interesting is that Partizan made the first shot from behind the arc in 34th minute of the game.

USA PG Milton Palacio (190-G-78, college: Colorado St.) paced the winners adding 26 points and 4 rebounds. Partizan's first star Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) followed him with 16 points and 7 rebounds. On the other side, strong Italian team got 16 points and 5 rebounds from Benjamin Eze (207-C/F-81, college: S.Idaho JC) and 16 points and 4 assists from Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77, college: Clemson).

After the game Partizan's head coach Dusko Vujosevic said that he is very happy with performance of his team and that this fantastic victory came from the players and also their great fans. He stated that the key of the Partizan's win was the crucial 3-pointer from Velickovic at the end and very good performance by Palacio.
Siena's head coach Simone Pianigiani wasn't unsatisfied last night. He said his team played a good game last night with pride, because they had a lot of injury problems with McIntyre and Lavrinovic. Siena still has a nice chance to finish on top of group D.

In order to reach the Euroleague quarterfinals Partizan will most probably have to beat the Greek giant PAO, who celebrated against Serbian team three times this season in extremely dramatic finishes.


Partizan Igokea - Montepaschi 78-75
(16-13,16-21,15-20,31-21)

Partizan:
Palacio 26 (4 rebs), Pekovic 16 (7 rebs), Velickovic 10 (4 rebs, 4 as), Kecman 10, Tepic 9
Montepaschi: Eze 16 (5 rebs), McIntyre 16 (4 as), Stonerook 13 (4 rebs), Lavrinovic 9



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FINLAND

Standings - Division I
1st Division Standings
1. FoKoPo 22-2
2. Lapua 21-3
3. Nokia 19-5
4. PuHu 17-7
5. TuNMKY 12-12
6. Jyvaskyla 12-12
7. Salon Vilpas 12-12
8. Huima 10-14
9. RU 9-15
10. Kaarinan Ura 9-15
11. Tapiolan H. 8-16
12. HNMKY 8-16
13. Pantterit 5-19
14. Visa Basket 4-20


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FRANCE

Limoges CSP Elite sign Sasha Markovic -by Eurobasket
Limoges CSP Elite (ProB) signed 31-year old Serbian-Greek center Sasha Markovic (211-C-77). Markovic played most recently at Pizza Express Primetel Apollon (Cyprus). Despite Markovic was born in Serbia, he started his basketball career in Greece playing for Panathinaikos junior team. He holds also Greek citizenship and his Greek family name is Theodorakis. He played in various Greek teams like Iraklio Thessaloniki, Aris Thessaloniki, then KAOD, Ionikos Thessaloniki and Apollon Patras. He apent also three seasons in Italy playing for Snaidero Udine (he helped them to advance from Lega Due to A1) and then one year at Air Avellino. He spent most of this season at Apollon in Cyprus.

ProB: The positions after Day 24 -by Chris Spiesser
The main point of the two last ProB days is the tightening on top of the league. Bourg, Rouen and Nanterre lost at least once and share place 1. Also, Limoges went undefeated and is only one game behind the decisive first spot. Moreover St-Etienne, Poitiers and Nantes follow two games behind the top. Even Aix stays only three games behind! In the bottom the best move is for Le Portel. With two victories, the greens take a one win advantage over St-Vallier and join
Chalons and St-Quentin at place 14.

Day 23 Results:
Nantes 80-78 Besancon
St-Vallier 97-75 Nanterre
St-Etienne 91-85 Chalons
Quimper 87-83 Bourg
Aix-Maurienne 83-69 St-Quentin
Boulazac 68-65 Brest
Poitiers 100-76 Reims
Rouen 63-73 Le Portel
Limoges 74-58 Evreux

MVP: Malick Badiane (211-F/C-84): 18pts (80%), 13rbs, 3blk

Day 24 Results:
Nanterre 87-82 St-Etienne
Chalons 69-60 Quimper
Reims 56-72 Limoges
Bourg 74-75 Rouen
Besancon 73-71 Aix-Maurienne
Le Portel 89-76 Poitiers
St-Quentin 72-65 St-Vallier
Evreux 87-66 Boulazac
Brest 76-60 Nantes

MVP: Peter Mulligan (197-F/G-82, college: Manhattan): 17pts, 9rbs, 10ass, 2stl, 6to

Among the keys of those results, we can note that Bourg lost its first place but had to play without Cedric Melicie (sprain). The top game Bourg-Rouen went one way during a long time (+17 for Bourg in the 3rd QT). But the visitors strenghten their defense and came back in the game. Darnell Williams nailed the decisive FTs. Limoges seems on the rise, they won a fourth game in a row in Reims with Lukovski at a better level: 11.5ppg, 6apg on this streak. Le Portel acclimatized to ProB with 3 impressive wins in a row. Jermaine Bucknor lifts the team: 19.33ppg (55.5%), 6rpg in 3 games.


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GERMANY

Q&A with Wesley Edwards -by Moritz Korff
Wesley Edwards (203-F-82, college: Florida Atlantic) is one of three Americans on the roster of the Bergheim Bandits (Regionalliga West). He came to Germany in November 07 and has helped the Bandits to stay away from the relegation spots. Here he talks about his first season in German basketball and his plans for the future.

Only two games left in the season for the Bandits: What is your prediction for the last games against Bochum and Salzkotten?
Both games have are very important for our club. In this league any team can win on any given night, so we have to come out a execute what we do as a team, make minimal mistakes, and I believe we can end our season on a postive note. We are looking forward to both games being pretty competitive though.

What do you think about the level of competition in the Regionalliga West compared to the game in the ABA and the NCAA?
The level of competition varies from game to game in the Regionalliga, just the same was it did in college and in the ABA. As a player my approach to the game is come out as do the things I do best. Every situation is what you make of it.

What are you going to do when the season in Germany has come to an end?
After our season is complete, I will remain in Germany until the beginning of May. My plan is to continue practicing with a few clubs and improve my individual skills.

Do have any plans for next season yet?
I'm uncertain of my plans for next season, my only plan is to put in the work during the offseason and next years plans will take care of itself. I do plan on playing in some pretty competitive summer leagues while back in the US though.

Please tell us about yourself as a basketball player. What are your strengths and weaknesses on the court?
As a player I consider myself fairly versatile and dont want to catagorize myself as a 'certain type of player'. I try to make the game easier for my teammates as well as myself by working smarter and not harder. One of the areas that I will focus on during the offseason is my conditioning and strength though, because you can never be too strong or too well conditioned.

Wesley Edwards can be contaced by e-mail: wedwards82@gmail.com


Drevo earns contract extension in Braunschweig -by Moritz Korff
Andrew Drevo (202-F/C-81, agency: Warren Sports, college: Nebraska) and the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (1. Bundesliga) have agreed on continuing their cooperation one more year. The 27-year-old Power Forward inked a new contract for the 2008-2009 season. The Bundesliga-Allstar is currently averaging a team-high 13.1 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Phantoms. Drevo came to Braunschweig in Summer 07 and played for JSF Nanterre in France before moving to Germany.

Also Marius Nolte to stay in Paderborn -by Moritz Korff


*****************************************************
GHANA

Bellevue crowned MCAC Champions - Boateng leads team with 13 points -by Kristian Santiago
Bellevue edged Okla.Wesleyan 72-61 to win their second straight MCAC Tournament. The Bruins, who are 29-3 this season and are having a home winning streak of 40 games , were lead by senior Stanley Boateng (180-G) who scored 13 points and pulled five rebounds in the winner.
Boateng , who arrived from the University of Mo.-St.Louis prior to the season , is having a solid season for the Bruins and started so far in 30 games on the point guard-spot.
Bellevue now faces St.Joseph's from Vermont on Wednesday in the first round of the NAIA II National Championships, and with another good outing of Boateng and his teammates the should advance to the next round.


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

Aris succeeded an amazing road win! -by Chris Mammides
With a super duper Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.), Aris TT Bank recorded its first win in Group E by edging Fenerbahce Ulker 59-60 in front of 11,000 Turks, at the Abdi Piecki Sports Hall last night. Aris improved to 1-3 and grabbed its first Top 16 victory this season. Meanwhile, Fenerbahce dropped to 2-2 and will at least tie for the second spot in this group at the end of this round.
Super Jeremiah Massey paced the winners with 18 points and 8 rebounds, including the game-winning free throw with 9 seconds to go. Bracey Wright added 12 points on 5-for-6 two-point shooting for Aris. Willie Solomon and Omer Asik each had 13 points for Fenerbahce. Asik added 11 rebounds, 7 of them on the offensive end, and 5 blocks. Omer Onan had 12 points for the hosts, who trailed 16-25 early in the second quarter. Semih Erden and Onan brought the hosts within 32-34 at halftime. Hanno Mottola and an unstoppable Jeremiah Massey still kept Aris ahead, 45-50 after 30 minutes. Two quick triples by Onan gave Fenerbahce its first lead, 45-50, with seven minutes to go. The game went down to the wire, as Jeremiah Massey hit a foul shot for a 59-60 edge. Solomon missed a driving layup and Asik could not put the ball back in time to win it, as his last effort came after the buzzer. Kalaitzis added another win over his rival 'friend' Willie Solomon. It is worth mentioned that the Turkish fans were not polite with the Greek players especially after the end of the game upon the referees didn't count CORRECTLY, the last Fener's basket as it was 100% after beeper shot!
Eurobasket.com, wishes all the best to Coach Herbert's team


Interview with Giorgio Zambellis -by Jay

Interview with Giorgio Zambellis (203-F-73, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents)


Hello Giorgio here we are again, you never stop to travel for basketball after Greece, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy now in Switzerland?
Giorgio: Few weeks ago the club of Pully and the president Schiesser called and offered me the chance to play in Switzerland hoping to get the playoffs games. At the moment the situation is difficult but not impossible at all, the team is good, guys are very nice they only need in this moment to believe in theirselves and dont waste any good thing they done until now. As I said it will be hard but nothing is impossible, just keep faith.

What is the level of LN?
Giorgio: I just played few games and i saw someone in tape and is too earl to have an opinion, but I think that here are very good American players that can show their skills and also nice suiss young players. Basketball is growing day by day here and people just want to see more to get in love with this game, I think that the federation and the clubs are working in good and professional way.

Do You miss Italy?
Giorgio: What a question. Of course I miss Italy, I have my affects, my parents,my friends, but professionally I think that I made the best choice to come here, cause I see much enthousiasm and passion, the best things for a new player. I hope the best cause is not easy to be an important player for the clubs target especially when the season already started frm many months ago. We want playoffs and we must work hard and continously, I know that are words but is the only way right now.

What the club asked you?
Giorgio: I spoke many times with the president and the coach,and in this moment they need an experienced player to power forward spot, that could help the team to have more attention and concentration and to give the right attitude and winning mentality to teammates in the hard moments of any game, for me its an honour that they trust me and sincerelly I hope the best.

Do you have any plans for the next season?
Giorgio: I have many plans but I take them for me, now I live day by day and my only target is to have playoffs with Pully, after the end of the season we can talk for other things, anything you wish.

Ok Giorgio we leave you at your job, we hope to see you happy on your new experience....
Giorgio: I am happy cause I am doing my job exactly what I love, being here in Switzerland is another step and another challenge for my carrier, I am 34 years old and I thing that I will never stop to learning about basketball giving my best self to anyone that needs my skills.

Have a good day and we wish you to see you back on Italian courts like you always did!



A do or die game for the defending champion - Panathinaikos! -by Chris Mammides

Pre-game analysis

Defending champion Panathinaikos hosts Efes Pilsen at the Athens Indoor Olympic Hall. Panathinaikos has started the Top 16 with a 1-2 record and with Partizan's recent road win in Siena, Italy, the Green road beacame quite difficult as this is a weak period for Panathinaikos which suffered two consecutive loses (Aris and Maroussi) in the Greek League, a fact which for the last decade has never been repeated for the Triple crowners.
Last week the Greens went down 84-75 at Montepaschi Siena to slip into a three-way tie with Efes and Partizan Igokea for the second and last place in the group.
Meanwhile, Efes lost a road game at Partizan Igokea when four players refused to travel after USA Government claim that all American citizens working in Europe must avoid travelling to Serbia due to the Kosovo independence (which by the way USA officially recognised).
Three of the Americans of the Turkish team - leading scorer Drew Nicholas, starting center Loren Woods and playmaker Rashad Wright - are history as the Turkish club already kicked them out of the club due to their denial to travel to Serbia last week, Hutson is the only American who's expected to return to the team. Even so, Efes head coach David Blatt has only seven experienced players to make up his rotation. Efes began the Top 16 with an impressive 74-64 win over Panathinaikos in an amazing night of Nicholas (29 points) and Woods (7 points) who made up nearly half their team's points that night. Tonight, the ex Olympiakos point guard, Scoonie Penn (178-G-77, college: Ohio St.) and ex Panionios guard, Ender Arslan (190-G-83) will need to carry the ball for Efes against the extremely deep Panathinaikos backcourt, led by Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland), Vassilis Spanoulis, Sani Becirovic and Dimitris Diamantidis.
The battle in the paint will be a different story as the hosts are still without the injured Kostas Tsartsaris (210-F-79). Former Efes center, Prkacin is expected to receive some quality time in the court from Obradovic, who has only Demos Dikoudis and Andrija Zizic to play bigger roles inside. Efes will attack with Ermal Kuqo, Kerem Gonlum and Hutson. Small forwards Kenny Gregory and Mustafa Abi are Efes's other two rotation guys, who'll match up with either Kennedy it is most certain that for Greens, this is a do or die game, since with possible negative result, the Greens are out of the European games…
The troubles faced by Efes are not enough to calm the Serbian Head Coach Obradovic who stated that 'The last days PAO worked really hard and after the three consecutive losses the team showed desire to change the scene. The game against Efes Pilsen is a final for us, even if we had won in Siena last week. It is a big match for Panathinaikos and we prepare ourselves to compete against a solid team without thinking that they recently released three American players. They still have 7 or 8 players of high quality and I am sure that the recent incidents will make them come together and fight even harder. I hope that our fans will come to support us and honestly we have to play for them too, because they believe in our team.'



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

Standings - Eredivisie
Eredivisie Standings
1. Amsterdam 26-4
2. West-Brabant 21-9
3. Eiff.Towers 18-11
4. M.Magix 18-12
5. Hanzev.Cpt 18-13
6. Rotterdam 17-12
7. Zwolle 13-17
8. Leiden 12-18
9. Weert 12-19
10. Aris Friesland 6-24
11. Den Helder 4-26
12. Almere 0-0


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

A Division Stats Leaders
A Division Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1. Mills, Dombovar 23.3
2. Gulyas, ASE 23.1
3. Blair, Univer 21.7
4. Day, Kaposvar 21.8
5. Kalman, Falco 21.3
Rebounds Per Game
1. Freeman, Bodrogi 10.0
2. Aliakseyeu, Falco 9.9
3. Horvath, ASE 9.4
4. Hendlein, KKK 9.3
5. Ocitti, Kormend 8.8
Assists Per Game
1. English, Dombovar 8.8
2. Savic, NYKK 7.7
3. Kalman, Falco 6.8
4. Simon, Albacomp 5.6
5. Meszaros, ASE 5.6
Steals Per Game
1. Savic, NYKK 3.8
2. Doyne, Falco 3.2
3. English, Dombovar 3.0
4. Day, Kaposvar 2.9
5. Drahos, Vas. 2.8
Blocks Per Game
1. Jurkunas, Szolnok 2.0
2. Wiley, Dombovar 1.8
3. Gulyas, ASE 1.6
Ranking
1. Gulyas, ASE 31.1
2. Kalman, Falco 30.9
3. Mills, Dombovar 30.4
4. English, Dombovar 27.7
5. Blair, Univer 27.2


Standings - A Division
A Division Standings
1. Falco 18-2
2. Pecs 13-6
3. Dombovar 13-7
4. Szolnok 12-7
5. Nyiregyhazi 12-8
6. Atomeromu 11-8
7. Albacomp 11-9
8. Kormend 10-10
9. Univer KSE 9-10
10. ZTE KK 8-12
11. Soproni 8-12
12. MAFC 6-17
13. Kaposvari 4-16
14. Bodrogi Bau 3-17


Hungarian Cup -by Balazs Radics
ATOMERŐMŰ SE-UNIVER KECSKEMET 80-72 (20-20, 12-17, 28-17, 20-18)
Paks, 600 att. R: Bognar, Farkas, Marton.
ATOMERŐMŰ: Meszaros Z. 6, TOROMAN 14/9, Kiss Zs. 8/3, Panta 6, HORVATH Z. 15/6. Sub: Csaplar-Nagy E. 3/3, C. BROOKS 23/12, Stevenson 5. Head Coach: Sabali Balazs
KECSKEMET: Sigurdarson 9/9, Larry Blair (183-G-84, college: Liberty) 28/9, Horvath A. 7/3, Jefferson, Fiegi 10. Sub: Csorvasi 2, Halmai 8/6, Toth P., Lekli 6, Csabay 2. Head Coach: Zsoldos Andras
ASE advanced to the final4 (155 -132)

POLAROID-LAMI-VED-KÖRMEND-MARSO-VAGEP NYÍREGYHAZI KK 88-64 (28-13, 20-24, 21-14, 19-13)
Kormend, 2200 att. R: Foldhazi, Cziffra, Palla
Polaroid-Lami-Ved Kormend advanced with 182-174

PLANET LEASING DOMBÓVAR KC-ALBACOMP 82-82 (20-18, 23-20, 17-30, 22-14)
Dombovar, 1000 att. R: dr. Valovics, Kiss L., Kapitany
DKC: ENGLISH 19, Mills 14/6, Deak 7/6, SANDERS 19, Wiley 13/9. Sub: Bodi 8/6, Molnar M., Balogh L. 3/3. Head Coach: Dzunics Braniszlav
ALBACOMP: Balazs Simon (188-G-80, agency: Court Side). 21/6, Bradford 11/9, RADOVICS 19/6, Chad McClendon (199-F-73, college: Appalachian St.) 25/3, Boozer 2. Sub: Hanga, Bencze Z. 4, David G. Head Coach: Peresztegi-Nagy Akos


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IBL

Elkhart Express look for continued success in third season -by Trask Frost
Elkhart, IN— Free Big Macs, the Locomotion, the Conductor, Ernie Express. They all add up to the excitement of Elkhart Express basketball. Now add Fan Fests, tailgating parties, Daimon's Kids Youth Team and some new, exciting players. The Elkhart Express is ready to start its 2008 season, and the team is looking for its third IBL championship.

Can the Express 'three-peat?' 'No minor league basketball team has ever three-peated,' says Daimon Beathea, head coach and president of the Express. 'We intend to make history this year. We are bringing back some very strong players from last year's roster, and we are making some great additions. The Elkhart Express has established a presence in pro basketball, and now we are taking advantage of that presence with our recruiting.'

Tim Pledger (5'9''-G-76, college: Belhaven), Coleco Buie, Jarrod Lovette and Phil Calvert have each agreed to return this year. Joining them will be Mike Brownlee (6'2''-G-75, agency: Huss Sport Agency, college: Charleston), Chris Charles (7'0''-F/C-81, agency: Edge Sports, college: Villanova) and Lincoln Glass (5'11''-G-79, college: Auburn). Beathea is still talking with Express scoring champ Cedric Moodie.

Beathea said he expects to firm up his roster this week, especially after watching this past Saturday's free agent tryouts.

Elkhart fans know Brownlee only too well. He drilled 38 points and passed out 12 assists for the Marysville (Ohio) Meteors in their 120-117 win last year over Elkhart. Marysville has since folded.

Charles likely will become a fan favorite. He stands 7 feet 1 and is the tallest Express player ever. Charles traveled with the Express to China last year and showed the team some major league moves.

Glass is a 5-11 guard and formerly played for South Bend Clay. He also was a standout at Auburn University.

Elkhart opens its season March 22 with an away game at Gary. Its home opener is a week later on March 29 against the Windy City Soldiers from Kankakee, Ill.

But, fans don't have to wait until the end of this month for their first glimpse at the Express. The team will have its Blue/Gold Intra Squad scrimmage at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 15 at Memorial High School. There is no admission, and fans will have the opportunity to meet the players, take pictures and ask for autographs.

Beathea also wants season ticket holders to show up that day and collect their tickets. This should help avoid the long lines encountered for the first game last year.

At 2 p.m. that day, Daimon's Kids Youth Team will play. The Youth Team is made up of 12 middle school students selected earlier this year from a group of about 30 that participated in tryouts.

A highlight for the Youth Team is a trip in April to China where they will play teams from Concordia International School and Shanghai American School. The Youth Team trip, April 5 to April 13, is part of the Express' Spring China Tour, March 31 to April 13. Details of that trip are still being completed.

China, however, is becoming very involved in the IBL. The Express trip last August opened the door, and Beathea forged a partnership with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. He served as a guest coach for the team.

When the Express return from China, the team will bring back four Chinese players and a coach. Two of the players will be active members of the team; the others will be reserve players.

This is all in keeping with the IBL's efforts to expand in Asia. The Shanxi Kylins from the CBA will play a full IBL schedule this season, including trips to Los Angeles and Edmonton. The IBL will feature two teams from the CBA and a team from Japan in 2009.

Much of the attraction of Express basketball is the entertainment value. Beyond the fast paced games, Beathea is continually looking for ways to improve the fan experience.

This year, he is planning three tailgating parties. All will be on a Friday — April 25, May 30 and June 20. For two hours before the game and for two hours after, concessions will make food and drinks available. Games and giveaways are planned, and the Locomotion, the Express cheerleaders, will perform. The location for the parties is not settled.

The Express will continue the partnership with McDonald's to provide free Big Macs to all attending the game if the team wins and scores over 130 points.

The Express also is providing 2,000 tickets to Elkhart Community Schools to pass out. Kids receiving those tickets will get a free cheeseburger from McDonald's if they attend the game.

'We'll come up with other promotions as the season goes along,' said Beathea. 'The whole idea is to show fans some fantastic basketball and give them a good time. We're going to do that and bring home another championship trophy.'

The Express will play a 20 game schedule between March 22 and June 21. Season tickets are now available for $145 (courtside), $90 (adult 18 and over, lower reserve), and $60 (youth 17 and under, lower reserve). Single session tickets are available at the gate. All home games are played at North Side Gym. Elkhart Express is headquartered at 56199 Park Way Plaza off of C.R. 17. Its telephone is 574-522-9911.


Slam gearing up for first game in the International Basketball League -by Trask Frost
Bellingham, WA—The Bellingham Slam's inaugural IBL season is set to get underway on Saturday, March 8 with a trip to the Monroe Sports Arena to take on the Snohomish County Explosion. The Slam put together two strong seasons in the ABA—reaching the quarterfinals in 2006 and the semifinals in 2007, and finishing with an overall record of 44-26.
The Slam have assembled their most talented roster to date in an effort to keep winning in what Slam ownership considers ‘a more competitive league.' Information on the Slam's '08 line-up is listed below:

New Faces
Erroll Knight (6'7''-G-83, college: Gonzaga) - 6'7' F - Gonzaga University - Knight will be one of the league's top defenders and most dynamic athletes this season. Knight helped lead the Bulldogs to a Sweet Sixteen appearance as a senior (2006), and earned WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors the same season. Knight starred at Chief Sealth High School in Seattle, where he was named 'Mr. Basketball' in 2001 by the Washington State Coaches Association. 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.
Ryan Diggs - 6'2' G - Western Washington - Diggs averaged 2 1.6 points per game for the Vikings as a senior en route to All-American honors. Diggs set the single game school record for points with a 47 point outburst against Humboldt State in 2006. Diggs returns to Bellingham after playing in the Netherlands and in Cyprus.
Paul Hafford - 6'4' G - Portland State University - Hafford had a breakout rookie season in 2007 as a member of the Central Oregon Hotshots. Hafford earned IBL All-Star honors, averaging a team-best 24.8 points per game, including a 47 point outing against the Portland Chinooks.

Key Returnees
Brian Dennis - 6'6' F - Western Washington - Dennis has led the Slam in rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage the last two seasons. Dennis has played in every game in the history of the team. Dennis played two games for the Explosion last season, averaging 5.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Jacob Stevenson - 6'4' G - Western Washington - Stevenson, like Dennis, has played in every Slam game in team history. Stevenson was the Slam's second leading scorer last season, averaging 21.4 points per contest.
Brandon Hartley - 6'4' G - Saint Martins - Hartley was third on the Slam in scoring in 2007, with an average of 15.7 points per game. Hartley eclipsed the 20 point mark 5 times last season, including a career best 30 points versus San Jose.


Hotshots bolster interior with additon of 6'10" big man -by Trask Frost
Bend, OR—The Central Oregon Hotshots have announced that Shawn Hampton will join the team for the 2008 season. Hampton, 6'10', will give Central Oregon a physical presence inside that the team has lacked in past seasons.

Hampton attended Rutgers University before finishing his collegiate career at Bowie State University. Hampton played last season with the Baltimore Pearls (ABA), averaging 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

Central Oregon Hotshots Owner Mikal Duilio - 'Shawn will be a huge difference maker in terms of what we'll be able to do on defense. His skill set is the perfect complement to the players we have in place. I truly can't wait to see these guys on the court.'

The Hotshots' 2008 season kicks off on March 22 against the USA All-Stars. The Hotshots home opener is on Friday, April 25 versus the Shanxi Kylins. Season and single-game tickets are on sale now. For more information, contact the Hotshots at (541) 350-8939, or visit www.centraloregonhotshots.com.


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

Standings - Iceland Express League
Express L. Standings
1. Keflavik 16-4
2. KR 16-4
3. Grindavik 14-5
4. Njardvik 12-8
5. Snaefell 11-8
6. Skallagrimur 10-10
7. IR 9-11
8. Thor AK 8-11
9. Tindastoll 7-13
10. Stjarnan 7-13
11. Fjolnir 4-15
12. Hamar/S. 4-16


Stjarnan stay's in top league -by Siggi Hjorleifsson
IR 84 Stjarnan 87. This results secure Stjarnan spot in Iceland express league for next season and it means that Fjolnir & Hamar drop down to division 1.
Tahirou Sani leading scorer for IR 25 pts. Dimitar Karadzovski & Jarrettt Stephens 26 each for Stjarnan.

Njardvik 113 Skallagrimur 83. Very important win for Njardvik to stay in fourth place and have homecourt advance in play-offs. Snaefell can still get that spot. Brenton Birmingham 29. Hordur Vilhjalmsson 22 for Njardvik. Darrell Flake 23 for Skallagrim.

KR 95 Hamar 66. Easy win for KR in the end. KR & Keflavik in top seat. Joshua Helm 25 for KR Roman Moniak 27 for Hamar.


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IRAN

Super League comes to an end with all ups and downs, Mahram wins title -by Houman Bagheri
Tony Madison scored 24 points and grabbed 8 rebounds as Mahram clinched their first ever championship title Wednesday in the Iranian Super League with a 106-93 win over Saba Battery, the Asian title-holder. It was the sauce-makers' second win in a row after they downed Saba 101-93 on Monday. The defending champion Saba Battery played the first game without the services of French point-guard Makan Dioumassi who was suffering from an injury. He played 40 minutes in his team's second challenge. Mahram's Samad Bahrami scored 20 points but had to leave the court when he received his second technical. Art Long had left the game earlier when he continued his aggressive play and picked up his second technical foul.
It came as the coaches of both teams, the bench players and even the fans seemed to be frustrated with the mistakes of referees and their inconsistency in calling or not making calls when they should have, in the last two final games.
'There were several major reasons that stopped us from repeating the championship this season,' Saba's coach, Mehran Shahintab said, 'we lost one of our key players, Aidin Bahrami who passed away in a car crash before the play-offs; also we had to play 3 or 4 games in a week in the play-offs and finals, due to the squeezed schedule, which made our players too exhausted.'
Saba Battery suffered from another blow during the play-offs when there were changes going to happen inside the managerial board.
Meantime, in Isfahan, Kaveh handed Zob Ahan their second loss 74-52 in the 3rd-place games. Zob Ahan had been defeated 103-94 in the first game earlier this week.
IRANIAN SUPER LEAGUE 2007-08 FINAL RANKINGS
1- MAHRAM
2- SABA BATTERY
3- KAVEH
4- ZOB AHAN

Houman Bagheri
FIBA Official Correspondent in Iran


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

Interview with Giorgio Zambellis -by Jay

Interview with Giorgio Zambellis (203-F-73, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents)


Hello Giorgio here we are again, you never stop to travel for basketball after Greece, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy now in Switzerland?
Giorgio: Few weeks ago the club of Pully and the president Schiesser called and offered me the chance to play in Switzerland hoping to get the playoffs games. At the moment the situation is difficult but not impossible at all, the team is good, guys are very nice they only need in this moment to believe in theirselves and dont waste any good thing they done until now. As I said it will be hard but nothing is impossible, just keep faith.

What is the level of LN?
Giorgio: I just played few games and i saw someone in tape and is too earl to have an opinion, but I think that here are very good American players that can show their skills and also nice suiss young players. Basketball is growing day by day here and people just want to see more to get in love with this game, I think that the federation and the clubs are working in good and professional way.

Do You miss Italy?
Giorgio: What a question. Of course I miss Italy, I have my affects, my parents,my friends, but professionally I think that I made the best choice to come here, cause I see much enthousiasm and passion, the best things for a new player. I hope the best cause is not easy to be an important player for the clubs target especially when the season already started frm many months ago. We want playoffs and we must work hard and continously, I know that are words but is the only way right now.

What the club asked you?
Giorgio: I spoke many times with the president and the coach,and in this moment they need an experienced player to power forward spot, that could help the team to have more attention and concentration and to give the right attitude and winning mentality to teammates in the hard moments of any game, for me its an honour that they trust me and sincerelly I hope the best.

Do you have any plans for the next season?
Giorgio: I have many plans but I take them for me, now I live day by day and my only target is to have playoffs with Pully, after the end of the season we can talk for other things, anything you wish.

Ok Giorgio we leave you at your job, we hope to see you happy on your new experience....
Giorgio: I am happy cause I am doing my job exactly what I love, being here in Switzerland is another step and another challenge for my carrier, I am 34 years old and I thing that I will never stop to learning about basketball giving my best self to anyone that needs my skills.

Have a good day and we wish you to see you back on Italian courts like you always did!



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JAMAICA

Rogers play earns starting spot for Valpo -by Leonard Whyte
Valparaiso, IN (3-6-2008) - Freshman guard, Michael Rogers, formerly of St. George's College and Redemption Christian High, is now the starting shooting guard for the Valparaiso University crusaders. Rogers had the best game of his rookie season last weekend when he tallied new career highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds, his first career double-double. He connected on 8-of-12 field from the field, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc, and also recorded two assists and two blocked shots. Valparaiso defeated University of Wisconsin - Green Bay 75-67 last night in the first round of the Horizon League Championships for its 20th win of the season.

*****************************************************
JAPAN

Standings - BJ League
BJ League Standings
1. Evessa 25-7
2. 89ers 23-9
3. Five Arrows 22-10
4. Albirex 21-13
5. Broncos 16-16
6. Apache 16-16
7. Heat Devils 14-18
8. Fukuoka 12-20
9. Golden Kings 9-23
10. Grouses 4-30


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

Braggs to Orthodox? -by Mohammed Malas
Some sources inside Iran and Jordan are speaking about a near agreement between ex-import of Petrochimi of Iran Torraye Braggs (203-F/C-76, college: Xavier) and Orthodox club to replace Kelly Wise (208-F-80, college: Memphis) who was suspended from playing in the Excellent League until the end of this season following the fight last tuesday.......

Braggs is a 'full of experience' player who had a big career following his history in playing in NBA (3 seasons), Venezuela, Greece, Spain, Russia, China, Philippines, Latvia, South Korea and finally in Iran this season.......

Still nothing is confirmed from Orthodox club management or the player to check if its true or not but lets see.....


*****************************************************
KAZAKHSTAN

Round IV of the National Division 1 gets under way -by Eurobasket News
The National Division 1 continued action with the games of Round IV held in Almaty. The surprising leaders of the Division 1 BK Almaty secured their winning attitude. They opened the round with a confident 84:63 win over Bary-Atyrau. The visitors got to a slightly better start and used some sloppiness from BK Almaty to take a 20:19 lead after the opening frame. But the home side proved the difference and drove to the 10th win in the season. Vsevolod Fadeykin (206-G-85) led the action with 17 points and 7 boards for BK Almaty. Oleg Ten (185-G-74) added 16 points and 7 assists for the winners. Barsy-Atyrau answered with 14 points from Roman Asilbekov (198-F-86).
In another game of the opening day of the round the Astana Tigers narrowly defeated Tobol 77:66. The Tigers inked three imports recently and they added needed depth to the roster. Lemar Gayle (198-F-79, college: CSU Bakersfield), Justin Bailey (188-G-77, college: Hartford) and Raheim Brown (208-F-79, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Atlantic) were introduced to the squad. Lemar Gayle topscored in his debut for Astana with 21 points and 10 boards. Sergei Smirnov (213-C-75) provided 15 points, while Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88) had 12 in a winning case. Pavel Mikheev scored 16 points for Tobol in defeat.
Tobol however quickly rebounded after the loss to upset Barsy-Atyrau yesterday. Tobol dominated throughout the game and easily dismantled their opponents 89:70. Mikhail Evstigneev (203-F-84) led well-balanced Tobol offense with 17 points and 7 boards. Pavel Mikheev (198-F-83) and Stanislav Lashko (195-G/F-82) contributed 13 points apiece for the winners. Aleksei Sukhavetsky (184-G-82) dropped 15 points to pace Barsy-Atyrau.


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

Standings - LBAL
LBAL Standings
Austrumi 1-4
1. Valmiera-2 12-0
2. Maksis/LTI 9-3
3. DU/Hansabanka 8-4
4. Madona 5-7
Austrumi 5-7
1. Jekabpils 3-9
2. Preili 3-9
3. Ezerzeme 2-10
Centrs 1-4
1. Ogre/Sonora 17-1
2. ASK Kadeti 16-0
3. Keizarmezs-2 16-2
4. Jurmala 2 14-2
Centrs 5-8
1. Kursa/MRU 14-4
2. VIA Riga 11-7
3. Turiba 9-7
4. LU 9-7
Centrs 9-12
1. VEF Riga 8-8
2. Salacgriva 8-10
3. Ridzene 89 8-10
4. Saulkrasti 6-10
Centrs 13-16
1. Ridzene M. 7-11
2. ASK Kadeti-2 6-12
3. 3.BJSS 5-11
4. I.O.S. 4-12
Centrs 17-20
1. DSN 3-15
2. Ridzene 91 1-15
3. LNSF 0-18
Rietumi 1-4
1. Dartija 12-4
2. Liepajas Papirs 11-5
3. Kandava 10-6
4. Variants 10-6
Rietumi 5-9
1. Zemgale/Juniors 10-6
2. Perkons 9-7
3. Talsi 8-8
4. Olaine 2-14
5. Baldone 0-16


*****************************************************
LEBANON

Smith replaces Jolley in Champville -by Mohammed Malas
Champville club management decided to change Kevin Jolley (197-F-82, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Quinnipiac) with James Smith (213-F/C, college: Marist) following head coach Sarkis Ghassan 's request, Jolley failed to impress the fans around so the change was a must to acheive the team's goals despite having some good games with the team........

Smith is a center who can shoot the 3, He was graduated from Marist University in the american NCAA last year, Earlier this season he played in Mexico for a short time before joinning the D-League and he is now in Lebanon.....

The other import is Jarred Merrill (206-F-81, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Oklahoma Christian) who is doing a good job in the team and helped them to win in the last game against Sagesse in the league with a buzzer in the last seconds of OT.


*****************************************************
LESOTHO

NBL Standings
NBL Standings
1. Bashana-Baeso 7-1
2. Lerotholi P. 7-1
3. Rovers 3-3
4. Leseli 3-3
5. Roma Boys 1-4
6. Lialuma 0-0
7. Killa Beez 0-0
8. S.M Tech 0-3
9. Rangers 0-4


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

Zalgiris fails to deliver as well -by Simas Baranauskas
Kaunas Zalgiris lost a very important battle in the TOP 16 of Euroleague. The team from Kaunas lost to Spanish basketball giants Real Madrid 69:83 (14:14, 16:30, 23:21, 16:18).

The first quater was very intense. Good defensive efforts from both teams, a couple mistakes didn't allow the score to grow rapidly. Lazaros Papadopoulus was the main man for Real in the beggining, but Zalgiris had it's own hero - Eurelijus Zukauskas. The big guy scored 4 points and blocked two shots. The score's 12:7, when Real takes a run of 7 unanswered points. The quater ended equally - 14 a piece.

Offensive basketball took edge in the second quater of the game, Real seemed to take control, but after a three from Marcus Brown, the deficit was decreased to one point (21:22). But the team from Madrid really took off when two big guys (Felipe Reyes and Lazaros Papadopoulus) were on the court together, they made second and sometimes even third time oportunities for Charles Smith and Louis Bullock to score. However Zalgiris managed a small comeback scoring four in a row points to cut the deficit to 30:36. But Real still managed to pull away in the very end of the first half. Kerem Tunceri hit an eight meter buzzerbeater to make the score 30:44.

The second half started with acouple mistakes from Zalgiris, Real increased their lead to 16 points. But on the next possesion DeJuan Collins made a wonderfull throw in alley-oop pass to Paulius Jankunas, who finished it with huge a dunk. This episode started a run for Zalgiris: Marcus Brown scored two three pointers and the very same Jankunas scored a lay in to make the score 40:47. But Real quickly regained a double digit advantage, however Zalgiris got even closer after two points from Goran Jurak (49:54). But again Real finished the quater better: Jurak got a technical for argueing with the referee after his own foul. Real used this to their advantage: a six point possesion restored the double digit advantage (51:62). Tunceri got another crazy three at the buzzer to make the score 53:65 after the third.

Zalgiris started the fourth quater well with baskets from Marcus Brown and Damir Markota, but the Spaniards answered with a run of 8:0. Jonas Maciulis tried to wake his teammates up but missed both free throws after an unsportsmanlike foul was given to Alex Mumbru. The game ended with desperate three point atempts by Zalgiris, but it just wasn't their day. The game ended at 69:83.

Zalgiris: Marko Popovic 18, Marcus Brown 15 (3/10 3pt), Paulius Jankunas 13+9 boards
Real: Felipe Reyes 18+7 boards, Kerem Tunceri 16, Louis Bullock 15


Painful loss in Vitoria -by Lukas Zajancauskas

Tau Ceramica - Lietuvos Rytas 87:84 (28:26,17:22,27:19,15:17). Both teams played well, offensive dominated in this game, but the spanish played better in last two minutes. Tau Ceramica is the first team, which obtained place in the quater finals. Rytas now has 1-3 record, so they must win against Ulker next week. And win by 5 points or more. Very good game for Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) (16 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds) and Pablo Prigioni (186-G-77), they fully changed Igor Rakocevic, he didn't played this week. Simas Jasaitis (202-F/G-82) scored 12 points, this is his season high in Euroleague. Also good game for Rytas big mens, even without Petravicius and Nielsen they managed to grab more rebounds than their opponents.

Very big tempo in the first half, teams played very well in the offence, but not in the defence. After the first half Rytas led by 3 (45:48). Both teams was very accurate from three point line, Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) was the leading scorer in Rytas with 13 points.

The last quater was also a crucial quater in this game. Tau was leading 86:81 in the end of this period, but then Kenan Bajramovic hit from downtown and cut the deficit to 2 points, about 1 minute is remaining. Kenan Bajramovic throws the ball to Hollis Price (186-G-79, college: Oklahoma), but Hollis doesn't catch it. Turnover and only 8 seconds was remaining... Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) got a foul, Sergi Vidal (198-F/G-81) missed the first first free throw. Tau was ahead 87:84. Hollis Price ran over the court, trieed to shoot from downtown, but Zoran Planinic fouled him. Tau Ceramica hasn't got 5 team fouls, so Rytas needs to start new atack. But the last three pointer was blocked by James Singleton (203-F-81, college: Murray St.). By the way, he recovered from serious injury and played his first Euroleague game. Tau Ceramica won 87:84.


Tau Ceramica : Zoran Planinic 16 , Pablo Prigioni 16, Mirza Teletovic (205-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) 15.
Lietuvos Rytas : Kenan Bajramovic 18, Jackson Vroman 15, Chuck Eidson (202-F-80, college: S.Carolina) 15.



*****************************************************
NAIA

Bellevue crowned MCAC Champions - Boateng leads team with 13 points -by Kristian Santiago
Bellevue edged Okla.Wesleyan 72-61 to win their second straight MCAC Tournament. The Bruins, who are 29-3 this season and are having a home winning streak of 40 games , were lead by senior Stanley Boateng (180-G) who scored 13 points and pulled five rebounds in the winner.
Boateng , who arrived from the University of Mo.-St.Louis prior to the season , is having a solid season for the Bruins and started so far in 30 games on the point guard-spot.
Bellevue now faces St.Joseph's from Vermont on Wednesday in the first round of the NAIA II National Championships, and with another good outing of Boateng and his teammates the should advance to the next round.


*****************************************************
NBA

Houston breaks franchise record in straight wins -by Eurobasket News
The Houston Rockets lost Yao Ming but it never prevented them from posting the franchise-record 16th consecutive victory. Yesterday the Rockets made it into the history by edging the Indiana Pacers 117:99 at home. Houston dominated the game and built a 17-point advantage at halftime. The Pacers closed within 7 points in the third period but it was as close as the visitors could get. The Rockets opened the fourth period with an 11:2 rally to run away for good. Tracy McGrady (6'8''-G/F-79) finished with 25 points and 6 boards to pace the hosts. Rafer Alston (6'2''-G-76, college: Fresno St.) contributed 21 points, while Luther Head (6'3''-G-82, agency: Priority Sports, college: Illinois) accounted for 14 points for the winners. Danny Granger (6'8''-F-83, agency: Priority Sports, college: N.Mexico) and Troy Murphy (6'10''-F-80, college: Notre Dame) responded with 17 points apiece in a loss. Houston travels to Dallas today to take on their Division rivals.
The Boston Celtics cleared off to a 3-win distance from their closest persecutors Detroit Pistons beating them 90:78 at the Banknorth Garden. Thus the Celtics became the first team to clinch the playoff birth. Kevin Garnett (6'10''-F-76) fired 31 points and led the Celtics to the 47th win in the season. Detroit were always behind in this one but managed to tie the scoreline at 69 in the fourth period. It was just a one-point game late in regulation 78:77 but the Celtics answered with a 12:1 run to crown the game and celebrated an impressive win. Rajon Rondo (6'1''-G-86, college: Kentucky) scored 16 points, while Paul Pierce (6'7''-F-77, college: Kansas) added 15 in a win. Chauncey Billups (6'3''-G-76, college: Colorado) responded with 23 points and 7 assists for the Pistons as they dropped to 44-17 record.


*****************************************************
NCAA

All set for the Atlantic Coast Conference decider -by Eurobasket News
Duke and North Carolina will meet this weekend to decide on the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championship. It became known afer Duke overcame Virginia 86:70 to improve to 26-3 overall record. They now need to show the same determination when they take on the top-ranked Tar Heels at the weekend in hope to clinch the Conference title. The Blue Devils were pretty comfortable en route to their 26th victory as Virginia played their third game in five days and looked weary. The Blue Devils closed the first half on a 19:5 run to claim a 43:31 lead that was too big for the Cavs to absorb. Gerald Henderson (6'4''-G-87) knocked down 19 points to pace the Blue Devils. Kyle Snyder provided 18, while Greg Paulus (6'1''-G-86) added 14 in a win. Calvin Baker (6'2''-G-87, college: William & Mary) responded with 15 points for the Cavs as they fell to 14-14 record for the season.
Senior Shan Foster (6'6''-G/F-86) put on an amazing performance to lift his Vanderbilt past the 25th-ranked Mississippi State in overtime. The Commodores all-time leading scorer fired career-high 42 points including 9 straight three-pointers. One of them found the target with 2.7 seconds remaining in overtime and brought the 25th win for the Commodores. This victory meant that Vanderbilt finished with a perfect home record and would probably have a bye in the opening round of Southeastern Conference next week. Andrew Ogilvy (6'10''-C-88) delivered 16 points, while Alex Gordon (6'0''-G-85) chipped in 14 more to ensure the winning outcome for Vanderbilt. Jamont Gordon (6'4''-G/F-87) scored 24 points in defeat. Charles Rhodes (6'8''-F/C-85) dropped 22 points for the Bulldogs as they lost the chance to win the Conference title after clinching the SEC West title last week. Shan Foster's scoring tally matched the school-record of 42 points registered on February 20, 1967 by Bo Wyenandt.


*****************************************************
NEW ZEALAND

Brian Wethers lifts Waikato past Nelson -by Eurobasket News
Waikato - Nelson 92:80

The Waikato Pistons replied on an excellent performance from former NZ Breaker Brian Wethers (194-F/G-80, college: California) to snap the Nelson Giants' winning streak. The defending champs entered the game with a 2-0 record atop of the NBL ladder but were abrupt by the brave and action-followed Pistons. The Giants looked comfortable in the opening minutes with a usual contributor Michael Harrison (206-F-84, agency: Interperformances) taking the charge. He accounted for the first 7 points of the encounter to carry Nelson in front. But the Pistons' coach Murray McMahon reacted immediately initiating Jason Crowe (193-G-76, agency: Court Side, college: Cal.St. Northridge) and Mike Homik (204-F-78, agency: Promotex, college: Albertson) to action. The dangerous duet of Jason Crowe and Brian Wethers glued perfectly. Crowe distributed well, while Wethers was deadly from the field for Waikato to go up soon. Brian Wethers exploded with 13 straight points for the Pistons at the start of the second period to build a 14-point cushion for the hosts singlehandedly. He later was well supported by Puke Lenden (195-G-80), who drained all of his 10 points in the frame and Waikato accumulated a 10-point buffer at the break 47:37. Brian Wethers continued to pile up points in the second half keeping the Nelson Giants at distance. The Giants stuck around and trimmed the gap to 7 points midway through the fourth period but it as much as they could do. The Pistons withstood at the end and recorded their first win in the season. Brian Wethers notched a season-high 40 points to pace the Pistons. Ray Cameron, Pero Cameron's younger brother, accounted for 18 points, while Puke Lenden nailed 10 in a win. Michael Harrison answered with 27 points for the Giants. Chris Daniel and Jamil Terrell (200-F/C-80, college: W.Texas A&M) dropped 12 points apiece in defeat.
Nelson Giants take on the Devon Dynamos Taranaki tomorrow away from home. Waikato will wait till March 15 to face Taranaki for their next game.

Waikato: Brian Wethers 40, Ray Cameron 18, Puke Lenden 10
Nelson: Michael Harrison 27, Chris Daniel 12, Jamil Terrell 12


Standings Men
NBL Standings
1. Nelson 2-1
2. Waikato 1-0
3. Taranaki 1-0
4. Harbour Heat 1-0
5. Wellington 1-2
6. G&H Hawks 0-0
7. Manawatu 0-0
8. Canterbury 0-1
9. Otago 0-1
10. Auckland 0-1


*****************************************************
NPBL

Hawks win league opener -by Gianni Pascucci
The NPBL 2008 season opening game was held in the YMCA in Elmira, NY, in front of more than 400 enthusiastic fan. The game was very close, and the league reigning champions Hudson Valley Hawks defeated by only one point the Elmira Bulldogs, 124-123. Amseshem Foluke-Henderson (6'6''-G/F-84, college: New Paltz St.) led the Hawks with 32 points, 16 rebounds and 4 assists. Teammate Robert Patterson-Brown (6'2''-G) followed behind with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. Co-Captains, Willie Coleman (6'0''-G-72) and Pat Schultz (6'0''-G-82) contributed with 17 and 18 points, respectively. The Bulldogs leading scorer was David Ruffin (6'4''-G/F-84, college: Hartford) who finished with 26 points and 7 rebounds on the night. Two Elmira player's posted a double double on the night, with 18 points and 13 rebounds coming by the way of Clark MacKenzie (6'9''-C-83, college: Auburn-Montgomery) and Demontric Doddles (6'7''-F-78, college: Mansfield (PA)) posted numbers of 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Standings
NPBL Standings


*****************************************************
PANAMA

Forbes kills LaSalle with 26 points and 11 rebounds -by Miguel Sanchiz
Panama international Gary Forbes had a superb night, and junior point guard Chris Lowe had a triple-double as University of Massachusetts crushed La Salle, 100-63, in a key Atlantic 10 game of the NCAA Wednesday night. Lowe had 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds to register the sixth triple-double in school history. The two teams entered the game tied for third in the league, but La Salle (14-15, 8-7) didn't put up much of a fight. UMass (20-9, 9-6), which won 20 games for the second straight season, stayed in a tie for third with Richmond. UMass stretched its lead to 20 points late in the first half and never looked back. The margin reached 42 at 100-58 with 28 seconds left. Nine players scored in double figures, including all three UMass seniors who were honored before their final regular season home game. Gary Forbes led the Minutemen with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Dante Milligan added 18 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots. La Salle freshman Jerrell Williams led the Explorers with 15 points and 10 rebounds.


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

RP Youth Team 2008 (UNDER18) -by Benny Lirio

1. Frank Golla Jr.,
2. Jed Manguera,
3. Mark Lopez,
4. Joseph Tolentino,
5. Samuel Joseph Marata,
6. Ryan Roose Garcia,
7.Jover Mendoza,
8. Joseph Terso,
9. Mark Joel de Guzman,
10. Jerome Ramos,
11. Jeric Allen Teng,
12. Gabriel Banal,
13. Jaypee Mendoza,
14. Jhon Sumido,
15. Jairod Flores and
16. Philip Paredes.

Coach: Franz Pumaren

Asst. Coaches
Dindo Pumaren
Sandy Arespacochaga
and Jack Santiago


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

Diaz signed for Juve Caserta and Ricky Sanchez is back 22+14 -by Alessandro Fontana
Guillermo Diaz will play in Italy (Second Division) for the rest of this season. 'Our Boricua' signed for this season with Caserta. Guillermo Diaz played this season with Arsenal Anaheim in D-League and He obtained also a 10-days contract with L. A. Clippers in NBA. A lot of BSN Clubs were interested in him but He decided to play in Europe, in Italy.
Guilllermo Diaz will come back in Europe where He had already played with success in Czech Republich (Nymburk with more than 20 ppg) and in Greece (Olimpiada, 5 games 13 ppg).He should play with Caserta already on Sunday against Pavia.
Ricky Sanchez 'El nino prodigio' came back in Humacao, He played a 'partidazo' against Santurce, his team Humacao was defeated but Sanchez scored 22 pts+14 rebs.
BSN BOXSCORES
SANTURCE-HUMACAO= 74-71
S= Ayuso 24, Rivas 12 (8 rebs), Berdiel 9, Falcon 7, Traylor 6, Watson 6, Dalmau 4, E. Santiago 3, Narvaez 3, O. Santiago 0
H= R. Sanchez 22 (14 rebs), Nieves 16, Martinez 14 (14 rebs), Guzman 8, Ayala 9, K. Sanchez 2, De Jesus 0, Richards 0
BAYAMON- SAN GERMAN= 73-75
B= Western 26, I. Lopez 12, Kavossy 11, Benson 9 (9 rebs), Hinson 7, Valenzuela 6, Vega 2, Anderson 0, Lopez 0, Valencia 0
SG= Lazor 20 (12 rebs), Alvarado 16 (7 rebs), Fuller 15, Villegas 11, Dyer 7, De Jesus 3, Herrera 3, Mendez 0
FAJARDO- GUAYAMA= 84-90
F= Hamilton 24, Pellot Rosa 16, Agbai 15, Mojica 15, Jackson 12, Vazquez 2, Gonzalez 0, Salgado 0, Rivera 0
G= Perez 21, Frejie 20, Caro 15, Payano 8, Melendez 8, Parillon 7, Rivera 4, Wingate 4, Brignoni 3, Aponte 0, N. Rivera 0, Oliver 0
A. Fontana


Lions make it 2 in a Row -by Luis Ramirez
The Ponce Lions outhustled the Arecibo Captains to beat the Captains 87-82. The game started off with a 6-0 run by the Lions as Jeff Aubry could not be stopped by the Captains Center Osiris Ricardo. The Captains made some adjustments and came back in the quarter but at the end of this 1st quarter it was the Lions leading 17-16. In the 2nd quarter the Lions continued playing a good defense, and had some good offensive runs but the Captains would always answer back and this kept the score close, the half ended 41-38 in favor of the Lions. In the 3rd quarter the Lions went on an offensive run which had them leading at the end of this quarter 63-55. In the 4th quarter the Lions continued their offensive run and the lead at one point was 15 points for the Lions, but the Captains still had some offense left in them and Angel Figueroa (196-G/F-81, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Dowling) seemed unstoppable as he cut down the lead for the Lions to just 2 points with less than a minute to go in the game. Free throws from Wilfredo Pagan sealed the win for the Lions in the final seconds. For the Lions Gabriel Colon (200-G/F-84, agency: Next Level) had 17 points to lead the Lions, he also played superb defense and this contributed to the Lions win, he was followed by Joel Jones (196-G/F-81, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Sacramento St.) who scored 16 points. For the Captains it was Angel Figueroa with 28 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Bobby Joe Hatton (187-G-76, college: Marist) with 15 points.

IN other BSN action, the surprise of the night was the Bayamon Cowboys who defeated the Carolina Giants 102-101. The Cowboy who had not tasted victory so far in the season played an excellent game to deserve the win. The 1st quarter was in favor of the Giants as it ended 31-27. In the 2nd quarter the Cowboys retook the lead as the half ended 51-48 in favor of the Cowboys. The 3rd quarter also pertained to the Cowboys as they were leading 76-71. In the 4th quarter was evenly played but the Giants did tie the game at 101 points with just 14 seconds left. Cowboy's Ivan Lopez got fouled with just 1 second to go in the game and converted both free throws to give the Cowboys their first win of the season. For Bayamon, Lee Benson (208-F/C-73, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Brown Mackie) scored 33 points with 12 rebounds followed by Darnell Hinson (186-G-80, college: Northeastern St.) with 19 points. For Carolina, Darius Rice (208-F/C-82, college: Miami, FL) scored 21 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, followed by Tony Delk (186-G-74, college: Kentucky) with 19 points.

Over at Mayaguez in a low scoring game the Indians won as they beat the Caguas Criollos 59-56. The Criollos took the 1st quarter 13-12, but the Indians came back in the 2nd quarter to take the half 27-25. The Indians also took the 3rd quarter and were leading 40-35 at the end of the quarter. In the 4th quarter the Criollos just couldn't mount any great offensive threat and the Indians got their 1st win of the season. For Mayaguez, Keenan Jourdon (202-F-74, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Boston Coll.) scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. For Caguas, Angel Alamo (206-F/C) scored 13 points.

In the last game of the night, the Santurce Crabbers had a strong 2nd half to overcome the Guaynabo Conquistadors 92-81. Guaynabo took the 1st quarter 24-16; they were also leading at the end of the 1st half, 43-39. But in the 2nd half the Crabbers went on an offensive run to take the lead for good. The Conquistadors were simply unable to answer in the 4th quarter and thus lost their 1st game of the season. For Santurce Larry Ayuso (190-G-77, agency: Edge Sports, college: USC) and Ricardo Dalmau scored 16 points to lead the Crabbers. For Guaynabo, Carlos Escalera (190-G-79, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Missouri So.) scored 21 points to be the best scorer for the Conquistadors.


Standings - BSN
BSN Standings
Island
1. San German 4-0
2. Ponce 2-2
3. Arecibo 2-2
4. Mayaguez 1-1
5. Caguas 1-2
6. Guayama 1-3
Metro
1. Santurce 5-0
2. Guaynabo 2-1
3. Carolina 1-1
4. Fajardo 1-2
5. Bayamon 1-4
6. Humacao 0-3


Stats Leaders - BSN
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
Alvarado(S. German)24.7
A.Figueroa (Arecibo)24.5
L.Benson (Bayamon)23.5
R.Perez (Guayama) 24.0
J. Jones (Ponce) 20.3
Rebounds Per Game
Martinez (Humacao) 14.0
Jourdon (Mayaguez) 14.0
Benson (Bayamon) 13.3
Figueroa (Arecibo) 11.5
Langhi (Guaynabo) 11.0
Assists Per Game
Alvarado (S.German) 7.3
W. Pagan (Ponce) 5.8
R. Cruz (Arecibo) 5.5
B. Hatton (Arecibo) 5.5
A. Cruz (Carolina) 5.5
Steals Per Game
Figueroa (Arecibo) 2.3
E.Santiago (Santurce)2.3
M. Bryant (Caguas) 2.3
Blocks Per Game
Thompson (Ponce) 2.5
A. Dyer (S. German) 2.0
De Jesus (S. German)1.7
3FGP
O. Santiago(San) 54.4%
Alvarado (SG) 50%
M. Wilson (Con) 46.2%
Free Throws
D. Langhi (Con) 94.4%
C. Rivera (Cap) 90.9%
M. Wingate (Bru) 90.9%


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RUSSIA

Standings - Superleague A
A Superleague Standings
1. CSKA 18-1
2. Khimky 17-2
3. Triumph 14-5
4. Dynamo M. 14-6
5. Unics 12-7
6. Ural Great 10-9
7. Lok.Rostov 9-10
8. Samara 8-10
9. Spartak-P. 7-11
10. Univ.Surgut 5-13
11. Lokomotiv N. 4-17
12. Spartak St.P. 3-16
13. Krasnoyarsk 2-16


Dynamo LOST with LOKO -by Max Brodsky
Lokomotiv Rostov na Donu had its wonderful winning game over Dynamo Moscow. Of course the favorite was Dinamo which is one of the top Russian team and Loko's win was pretty big sensation for Russian fans. Team of Rostov had a lot of injured players as Szymon Szewczyk (209-C-82), Andrei Babitchev (209-F/C-85), Dimitrios Marmarinos (205-C-76, college: Nevada), Damir Zibirov (188-G-86)...

After the first five minutes it was tie 8:8. Than Dynamo had two nice 3 pointers by Sergei Bykov (190-G-83) and Antonis Fotsis (210-F-81) while Rostovians were not shooting from the distance. Before the end of the first period Junior Harrington (193-G-80, college: Wingate), Thomas Gardner (195-G-85, college: Missouri) and Kresimir Loncar (210-F-83) caught up the difference till the minimum. In the second period Loko finished 6 points leading over Dynamo 31:25. At the end of the 3rd quarter Dinamo went ahead by 10 points 45:55. Kresimir Loncar and Valentin Kubrakov (195-G-72) made 18 and 17 points for their team while Hansen scored 17 for team of Moscow. Finally Lokomotiv won its very important game against Dynamo 74:67.


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SAUDI ARABIA

Tisby signs for Al Ahli -by Ali Ahmed

Al Ahli Jeddah basketball team management agreed terms with the American Center Antoine Tisby (203-C-83, agency: 540 Sports, college: S.Carolina) to play for them this season .


Antoine Tisby is a solid low post threat. He has great mobility and just knows how to score. His wingspan is 85 or 7 feet.
Antoine Tisby is a good scorer around the basket.

Tisby played in Chile and Germany.


Awards/Achievements:
NIT Winner -05, 06
SEC Tournament Finalist -06


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SENEGAL

Results of the Fifth round of the national championship -by Kristian Santiago
UGB - US Goree 47-67
Goree had to take a tough defeat mainly due to the absence of coach Cheikou Diouf (left to the U.S.) and Elhadji Diakhate (left for the Yemen).

DUC - SIBAC 52-49
Pape Maguette's three-pointer decided a hard fought game at Marius N'diaye Stadium.

AS Douanes - Police 52-36
In the duel between coaches Moustapha Gaye and Keletigui Diane, Gaye guided Douanes to an easy win after the 32-29 halftime-break thanks to a well played defense.

US Rail - Bopp 55-50
Moussa Keita and Mbodj simply outrebounded Bopp.

SLBC - US Louga 71-68


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SERBIA

Partizan Igokea downed strong Montepaschi in Belgrade 78-75 ! -by Dragan Jankovski

Partizan Igokea - Montepaschi Siena 78-75

Reining Serbian and Adriatic league champion grabbed the second consecutive win in Euroleague TOP 16 making a huge step forward to their dream - Euroleague quarterfinals. They downed, until last night unbeatable, Montepaschi Siena, who plays this season in amazing shape. Like always, Partizan had unbelievable support from their fans. Again there was almost 7.000 people in hall Pionir.

Partizan opened the game a bit better and mostly owing to Palacio made 14-6 in 8th minute. Very quickly, the visitors tied the score to 21-21 after successful fast break by Ilievski. After 10-0 run, Montepaschi made the bigger lead in 28th minute setting the score to 41-52. Partizan, through center Pekovic, came back into the game at the beginning of the last period 54-52. In the thriller finish, Montepaschi had a chance to leave the Belgrade celebrating. Namely, Partizan had a lead 76-75 with 13 seconds remaining. After Vujosevic's time out Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) made a mistake throwing the ball in from the side line after what he fouled Shaun Stonerook (203-F/C-77, college: Ohio) who missed two crucial FTs. At the Partizan's last possession Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket) drained it twice for the final score 78-75 and indescribable joy for the black and white fans. Interesting is that Partizan made the first shot from behind the arc in 34th minute of the game.

USA PG Milton Palacio (190-G-78, college: Colorado St.) paced the winners adding 26 points and 4 rebounds. Partizan's first star Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) followed him with 16 points and 7 rebounds. On the other side, strong Italian team got 16 points and 5 rebounds from Benjamin Eze (207-C/F-81, college: S.Idaho JC) and 16 points and 4 assists from Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77, college: Clemson).

After the game Partizan's head coach Dusko Vujosevic said that he is very happy with performance of his team and that this fantastic victory came from the players and also their great fans. He stated that the key of the Partizan's win was the crucial 3-pointer from Velickovic at the end and very good performance by Palacio.
Siena's head coach Simone Pianigiani wasn't unsatisfied last night. He said his team played a good game last night with pride, because they had a lot of injury problems with McIntyre and Lavrinovic. Siena still has a nice chance to finish on top of group D.

In order to reach the Euroleague quarterfinals Partizan will most probably have to beat the Greek giant PAO, who celebrated against Serbian team three times this season in extremely dramatic finishes.


Partizan Igokea - Montepaschi 78-75
(16-13,16-21,15-20,31-21)

Partizan:
Palacio 26 (4 rebs), Pekovic 16 (7 rebs), Velickovic 10 (4 rebs, 4 as), Kecman 10, Tepic 9
Montepaschi: Eze 16 (5 rebs), McIntyre 16 (4 as), Stonerook 13 (4 rebs), Lavrinovic 9



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SEYCHELLES

SEYCHELLES : Two men's divisions instead of three this season -by Carlos Pereira
THE Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) has decided to scrap one division in the men's category, thus reverting back to two divisions - first and second - as it was the case some five years ago.

While the former Men's division 1A league comprised eight teams, the new first division will instead have 10 teams. Those are defending League and Cup double champions PLS Hawks, Premium Cobras, Baya, Cascade Bullets, MBU Rockers, Angels, Razors, last year's Men's division 1B winners Praslin Warriors, Men's division 1B runners-up RC Dynamics and Men's division 1B fourth place finishers Beau Vallon Heat.

It is to note that Razors is the new name for SMB Razorbacks, while Juniors have not been promoted to the top league despite finishing third in the men's division 1B league last year. This is because they fall directly under the arms of the SBF which launched its new season last Sunday with three charity matches during which Baya beat PLS Hawks 71-64, Anse Etoile Stars defeated HotShots 44-42 and RC Dynamics triumphed 72-54 against Mont Fleuri Dawgz.

As for the Men's division two, it is made up of 11 teams - Drifters, RA Rockets, Cadets (all newly registered), Juniors, RA Herons, Mont Fleuri Dawgz, Anse Etoile, AAP Brothers, Pointe Larue Falcons, LMS Youth and Fire Brigade.

Six teams - SBF Cup winners HotShots, League champions Anse Etoile Stars, Mont Fleuri, RA Sisters, Juniors and Cadettes - will compete in the Women's League after the disbandment of former champions Bel Air.

Six men's teams - West Coast Kingz, Bel Air Blazers, LMS Jazz, LM Chasers, Falcons Youth and Baie Ste Anne Dawgz - have also disbanded.

It is also worth noting that the men's and women's editions of the Jhelum Cup (Curtain-raiser) are ongoing with the finals scheduled for Saturday March 29 at the Palais des Sports.

-----------


Transfer of players at the start of the 2008 season
PLAYERS FROM TO
Patricia Samynadin Bel Air Mont Fleuri
Sarah Beaudoin Bel Air Mont Fleuri
Christina Georges Bel Air Mont Fleuri
Shirley Theeroomooldy Bel Air Mont Fleuri
Lisette Derjacques Bel Air Mont Fleuri
Burtina Desir Bel Air Mont Fleuri
Kerin Savy Bel Air Anse Etoile Stars
Georgia Desir Bel Air Anse Etoile Stars
Jennifer Bonne Bel Air Anse Etoile Stars
Zerah Fontaine Juniors HotShots
Katherina Morel Bel Air RA Sisters
Beneth Labrosse Pointe Larue Falcons Razors
Christopher Camille Pointe Larue Falcons Cascade Bullets
Christopher Dugasse Razors Mont Fleuri Dawgz
Nigel Cafrine Razors Baya
Ricky Sicobo Baya MBU Rockers
Sebastien Laurence Razors RA Herons
Keddy Reginald Fire Brigade RA Herons
Kenneth Moustache RA Herons RA Rockets
Marcus Madeleine RA Herons RA Rockets
Kenny Labonte RA Herons RA Rockets
Marcus Tirant RA Herons RA Rockets
Bertran Alphonse RA Herons RA Rockets
Denis Jeremie RA Herons RA Rockets
Jossy Victor RA Herons RA Rockets
John Philoe LMS Jazz RA Rockets
Marco Mathiot RA Herons RA Rockets
Steve Andre Fire Brigade AAP Brothers
Keddy Micock LMS Jazz PLS Hawks
Karim Cesar LMS Jazz PLS Hawks
Marvin Asba AAP Brothers Premium Cobras
James Joubert LMS Jazz RC Dynamics
Malik Maïche Premium Cobras Beau Vallon Heat
Tony Barbe Bel Air Blazers Beau Vallon Heat
Rolly Rose Bel Air Blazers Beau Vallon Heat
Kenny Rabat Bel Air Blazers Beau Vallon Heat
Steve Servina Bel Air Blazers Premium Cobras G. G.


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SWEDEN

Stats Leaders - Basketligan
Basketligan Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1 Gerald Riley Akr 27,65
2 Thomas Akr 25,39
3 Ian Johnson Nor 23,81
4 Favors Oresund 23.71
5 Gervin Nor 23,65
Rebounds Per Game
1 Jackson Plan 11.6
2 Mcdade Bor 11.41
3 Kjellbom Sund 10,15
4 Lazare Gothia 9,59
5 Salaam Solna 9,56
Assists Per Game
1 Thomas Akr 6,83
2 Jackson Upps 6,61
3 Favors Öre 6,36
4 Larsson Pla 5,86
5 Pleick Norr 5,27
Steals Per Game
1 Thomas Akropol 3.28
2 Jackson Upp 2,93
3 Williams Pla 2.46
4 Mbemba Solna 2,41
5 McKnight Solna 2.39
2FGP
1 Randa Akr 77,36
2 Djuric Jämt 67,57 3 Drains Plannja 66,85
3FGP
1 Guei Uppsala 58,33
2 Degernäs Söd 54,17
3 Kjellbom 52,17
Free Throws
1. Jackson Upps 96,43 2. Larsson Boras 90,91
3. Stålhandske Ore 90.91


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SWITZERLAND

Standings - LNB
LNB Standings
1. SAM Massa. 17-2
2. Villars 16-3
3. Chene 14-5
4. Neuchatel 12-7
5. Luzern 10-9
6. BC Korac Z. 9-10
7. Bernex 8-10
8. Vernier 8-11
9. Martigny 6-13
10. Zurich W. 5-14
11. Cossonay 2-17


Recent transfers in the LNA and the LNB -by Kristian Santiago
LNA

Sdent BBC Nyon signed Steve Payne (202-F-72, agency: Interperformances, college: Ball St.) , Charlie Mandic (200-F-73, agency: Interperformances) and Fabien Fond (177-G-71) until the end of the season.

The temporary contract of Damon Thornton (202-F-77, college: N.Carolina St.) will be not renewed and the player will be a free-agent. In four games, Thornton averaged 11,3 ppg, and 6 rpg for Benetton Fribourg Olympic.

Amadou Diop (203-C-87) of Lausanne Morges Basket tore his anterior crucial ligaments and will be out for the season.

Oezkan Kirmaci (191-G-78) won't be part of the Birstal Starwings Basel until the end of the season.

Luka Vertel (196-G/F-86) of the BC Lugano Tigers had to leave the country because his working permit was not extended.

Luke Lloyd (202-C/F-77, agency: Rasmussen Services, college: Morehead St.) signed a temporary contract to replace injured Ryan Blankson (198-F-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Loyola, IL) at BBC Monthey.

LNB

Ivan Vasquez (178-G-83) leaves Etoile Sportive Vernier for personal reasons. In 14 games, he averaged 4,9 ppg, 1,5 rpg and 1,4 apg.

Antoine Schneebeli (193-F-89) will be sidelined until the rest of the season. The forward posted 2,2 ppg and 1,5 rpg in 12 games for Pages Jaunes Pully Basket.

Neuchatel signed Greek Alexandros 'Henry' Sarikas (188-G-81) until the end of the season.Sarikas played in Canada for Malaspina University ('04-'06) and later in the Greek second division.

Giorgios Zambellis (203-F-73, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents) arrives in Pages Jaunes Pully Basket and stays until the end of the season.

Zurich Wildcats added Nicholas King (201-F/G-82, agency: Strategic Sports, college: St.Augustine) to their roster.

Patrick Mabillard (206-C-84) joined back BBC Cossonay after playing in two games for Martigny-Rhone Basket (4,5 ppg and 3 rpg).

Christian Diassouka (174-G-86) left Pages Jaunes Pully Basket after putting up good numbers in three games (12,3 ppg and 2 apg).

Filip Crnjakovic (178-G-83) and Vladimir Ciric (197-G/F-83) were released by the Zurich Wildcats. Crnjakovic played in eight games and scored 9,0 ppg 2,3 rpg and 3,4 apg while Ciric played in 13 and had 5,2 ppg and 2,3 rpg.


Stats Leaders LNA
LNA Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1 McCurry | Star. 27.5
2 Brown | Laus. 21,3
3 Karim | Meyr. 21.1
4 Sir | Bonc 20.7
5 Alston, Vevey 20,4
Rebounds Per Game
1 Erwin | Luga. 12,7
2 Blankson | Mont. 10,1
3 Pellerin | Meyr. 9,8
4 Thomas | Star. 9,6
5 Pietras | Luga. 9.3
Assists Per Game
1 Coffin | Star. 10,2
2 Bah | Luga. 7,4
3 Derogatis | Gene. 7,1
4 Karim | Meyr. 6,2
5 Perrier-David | Frib. 5,7
Steals Per Game
1 Gibson | Vaca. 4,8
2 Smiljanic | Vaca 2,8
3 Dacevic, Vaca 2,7
Blocks Per Game
1 Johnson | Frib. 3.4
2 Powell | Mont. 3.3
3 Erwin | Luga. 1.9
2FGP
1 Mrazek | Frib. 74.2
2 Buettner, Geneva 73.9
3 Pietras | Luga. 69.5
3FGP
1 Mrazek | Fri. 54.8
2 Payton, Bonc 47,4
3 Sir | Bonc. 48,1
Free Throws
1 Mrazek | Frib. 92.5
2 Walker | Laus. 91.5
3 Sir | Bonc. 91.2
Ranking
1 McCurry | Star. 24.4
2 Erwin | Luga. 22.0
3 Schneiderman | Mont. 21,7
4 Karim | Meyr. 21,4
5 Calvo, Laus. 21.3


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TPBL

Standings
TBPL Standings


lAKE JACKSON WINS BIG AGAINST HOUSTON -by Chris Cardenas
Lake Jackson,Tx — The Lake Jackson Lakers ran their record to 10-3 in the Texas Professional Basketball League with a 131-108 win over the Houston Synergy Sunday afternoon at Brazoswood Gym. The Lakers had more players suited, and used that strength to their advantage. The Synergy only put five players on the floor, and had a lonely bench as they wavered.
In the early going, Lake Jackson jumped out to a 21-point lead, 33-12, as the Lakers scored at will on the Houston club. Led by Takuya Okada's 10 points and Sylvester Simple's nine, the Lakers led 39-21 after the first 12 minutes of play. Eight different Lake Jackson players scored in the opening period.
Right before the halftime whistle, former Angleton standout Anthony Banks connected on a 3-pointer from the corner to give Lake Jackson a 66-50 intermission lead. The Synergy' Walton kept his team close with 13 points in the quarter.
In the third quarter, the Synergy outscored Lake Jackson 40-30 with Walton again getting the hot hand and scoring 20 of that total. Trailing by double digits for a majority of the period, the Synergy cut their deficit to less than 10 in the last minute before settling for a six-point hole, 96-90, heading into the final 12 minutes of play.
That was as close as the Synergy got, though, as the Lakers opened the final period with an 6-0 run, including buckets by West Columbia 's Matt Autenrieth, Jonah Broussard and a slam dunk by Simple.
Houston got within six again before finally relenting to the Lakers' offensive output.
Six Lakers scored in double figures led by Simple's 27 and followed by Okada's 19, Broussard's 17, Banks and Shannon Austin each with 14 and Autenrieth's 13.
The Synergy were led by Walton's 52 points.
Lake Jackson will travel for a doubleheader in El Paso this coming weekend in a battle for the #1 seed for playoffs.


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TUNISIA

Latest Results from Tunisia -by Kristian Santiago
Play Out

Fourth Round Results:

ASH-ASM 70-68
CSC-CAB 59-53
DSG-ESR 86-79

Standings:

1) DSG 8 4 4 0
2) ESRadès 8 4 3 1
3) CSCheminots 6 4 2 2
4) CABizertin 6 4 2 2
5) ASHammamet 5 4 1 3
6) ASMarsa 4 4 0 4

Play-Offs

Sixth Round Results:

USM-JSK 79-88
CA-EZS 80-74
ESS-SN 89-80

Standings:

1) CA 11 6 5 1
2) ESS 11 6 5 1
3) SN 10 6 3 3
4) EZS 8 6 2 4
5) JSK 8 6 2 4
6) USM 7 6 1 5


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TURKEY

Starts the countdown for Beko All Star 2008 -by Onur Decani
The 2008 edition of annualy orginizing Beko All Match will be played at March 23 , 2008 . The organization will be held in Istanbul , Abdi Ipekci Arena . The most important event of that night will be the All Star Match that will be played between the team of turksih players and the team of foreign players who play at Beko Basketball League. Also there will be several activities and other basketball competitions . The palyers that will parcipiate are not chosen yet , but we will be able to see that in the following days.

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U.KINGDOM

Reading retain EBL Trophy -by Dave Ryan
Reading Rockets coach Dave Titmuss was a delighted man as his side retained the National Trophy with an 84-68 victory against Worthing Thunder.
'I was really pleased with the way our guys focused in training during the week in preparation for the Final, and we pretty much executed our game plan to a tee. I think Worthing is a very talented team and capable of beating anyone in Division One by 15-plus points. We've lost to them twice this season so this was a very satisfying victory and the first time we've played them with all of our team available and recovered from injuries.'
The teams went into the final break separated by just two points, but it was a strong fourth period which ensured that the Rockets recorded their second Trophy final against the Thunder in as many years.
'To hold such a high scoring squad to just 11 points in the fourth quarter while scoring 25 ourselves shows how far our young team has come in understanding what needs to be done when the game is on the line' said Titmuss. I think our recent improvements in rebounding, helping each other on defence and playing without the ball were keys to the result.
However the Rockets coach was refusing to get carried away with the win, as his side aim for more silverware: 'This was an important win for us but it's over now, the Trophy has been returned to the cabinet and it's time to concentrate on the League and the Championship Play-Offs. Our club has always subscribed to the idea that if what you did yesterday still looks good today, then you haven't done much today!'
Rockets' American shooting guard Andy Harper collected the MVP award, finishing with 29 points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist.
The teams were tied at eight after three minutes before a Harper basket sparked an 11-0 Rockets run which saw David Watts chip in with seven points. The tear was broken by a Dan Midgley basket, and Thunder scored eight of the next ten points to cut Reading's lead to 21-16 before a Watts trey helped Rockets go into the first break with a 25-16 lead.
Tom Sadler opened the second period scoring for Reading, but Thunder fought back, and Cleve Woodfork started a run of 11 unanswered points which put the south coast team 33-31 ahead going into the final two minutes of the half.
Sadler leveled the score with a basket, and four Harper points ensured that Reading went into the half-time break 37-34 ahead.
The teams were tied at 38 after two second half minutes, but a Rich Wellings trey helped Reading score seven unanswered points and they remained in the lead - despite the ejection of Danny Carter for an apparent head-butt on Danny Hildreth - until the final two minutes of the third period when Demetrius Scott scored to level the game at 52.
A James Mooney trey put Thunder back in the lead, but it was that man Harper who drained a three to ensure that Rockets went into the final break 59-57 ahead.
Sadler again opened the scoring in the fourth period, Rockets never trailed again as they started with a 13-5 run. Scott broke the run with a single free-throw, but the respite was short lived for Thunder seven points from Harper helped Reading wrap up the game and their second successive Trophy triumph.
Watts finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Dan McKay had 10 points and eight boards. Scott led the Thunder scoring with 21 points and seven rebounds, with Mooney adding 20 and Woodfork 10.


Reading get National Trophy -by Eurobasket News
Reading Rockets -Worthing Thunder 84:68

Reading Rockets beat Worthing Thunder with an 84:68 score which made the Rockets coach Dave Titmuss delighted and proud. Due to that he commented that the opposing team was in fact talented and hungry for the title, which motivated his guys focus in training in preparation for the Final and regain victory unlike in past.
The teams went into the final break separated by just two points. Thus Titmuss was happy to mention that even in the fourth quarter his team got to understand what needed to be done when the game was in the line.Nevertheless, the Rockets coach refused to get carried away with the win, meanwhile being determined to concentrate on the League and the Championship Playoffs. Andy Harper (186-G-81, college: Albertson) collected the MVP award, finishing with 29 points, three rebounds and two steals.
Three minutes after the teams were tied at eight Harper raised the score up to 11-0. But the gap was broken by Thunder's Dan Midgley that cut Reading 's lead to 21:16 before Rockets went into the first break with a 25:16 advantage.After Reading opened the second period scoring, Thunder fought back, and ended up 2 points ahead going into the final two minutes of the half. Then Reading leveled the score with a basket, and four Harper points ensured that Reading went into the half-time break 3 points ahead.Rich Wellings (197-F-82) ' trey helped Reading to score seven unanswered points and remain in the lead. A James Mooney (191-G-84, agency: IceBasket, college: Mt.St.Vincent) trey put Thunder back in the lead though, but it was that Harper who drained a three to ensure that Rockets went into the final break 2 points ahead. Rockets started scoring in the fourth period with a 13-5 run and never trailed again. Thunder broke the run with a single free-throw, but the respite lived short for the team. The reason was that Harper's decisive seven points made the National Trophy return to the cabinet.

Reading Rockets: Andy Harper 29, David Watts (206-F) 20+15 rebs, Dan McKay 10
Worthing Thunder: Demetrius Scott (188-G-85, college: Appalachian St.) 21, James Mooney 20


Standings - BBL
BBL Standings
1. Newcastle E. 19-3
2. Plymouth R. 18-7
3. Guildford H. 16-5
4. Milton Key. 14-9
5. Scottish R. 14-10
6. Everton T. 12-10
7. Sheffield S. 11-12
8. Worcester W. 10-15
9. Cheshire J. 7-15
10. Leicester R. 7-18
11. London C. 6-17
12. Birmingh.P. 5-17


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U.S.VIRGIN ISL.

Stevens lead Maloney to win -by David Edole
Shoquan Stevens (198-F-90) had 14 of his 18 points in the second half to lead No. 6 Maloney-Meriden (18-6) over No. 11 Career -New Haven(14-8) in the second-round CIAC Class L tournament Wednesday night. No. 6 Maloney, plagued by early foul trouble, didn't pull away from No. 11 Career until the second half, winning 60-43. Rashamell Vereen added 17 points for the Spartans. Raymond Askew had 17 points to lead Career.

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URUGUAY

Bigua took the lead in the final playoff -by Hector Lopez
Kevin Young (206-C-84, college: Missouri) scored 24 points and Mark Alan Bortz (208-F-82, college: Buffalo) added 17, to be the MVP when Bigua defetead 90-58 Hebraica Macabi in the first game of the best-of-five final serie of the Uruguayan League. Young, with a value index of 35, grabbed 15 rebounds and scored 11 two-point shots, a record for a LUB final game. Bortz took 13 rebounds and also get an index value of 35 points. Leandro Garcia Morales (186-G-80, college: Texas A&M) netted 19. Bigua took the lead at the beginning to maintain a clear difference through all the game played in the neutral Palacio Penarol stadium. For Hebarica the main scorer was Grady Reynolds (198-F-80, agency: Strategic Sports, college: St.John's) with 13 points and 4 rebunds. Other import player Letheal Cook (208-C/F-80, college: Bowie St.) played just 7 minutes with 1 point. The nex game will be played Friday 7.

An import player for Marne to play the Metro League -by Hector Lopez
Antonio McMillion (196-F-83, agency: Promotex, college: Md-Eastern Shore) will play for Marne the next Metropolitan championship to start April 11th, the team announced. It is the first time the Metroplitan League authorize foreign players for its championship played by 13 team. The two first will play the Uruguayan League 2009. At least eigth teams from the Metro already announced they will ink a import player, but Million was the first one announced. Each team can only sign one import player.

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VENEZUELA

Standings - LPB
LPB Standings
1. Gaiteros 3-0
2. Trotamundos 2-0
3. Cocodrilos 2-1
4. Guaiqueries 2-1
5. Gatos 2-1
6. Dep.Tachira 0-0
7. Gigantes 0-1
8. Panteras 0-2
9. Marinos 0-2
10. Guaros 0-3




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Women News

*****************************************************
BELGIUM - Women

Standings - Women
D1 Standings
Div.A
1. Dexia 4-0
2. BBC Boom 3-1
3. Waregem 1-3
4. N.Namur 0-4
Div.B
1. Point Chaud 2-1
2. Sint Kateline 1-0
3. Monceau 1-1
4. Houthalen 0-1
5. Runkster 0-1


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CYPRUS - Women

Standings - women
A1 Standings
1. AEL 14-0
2. Keravnos 12-2
3. Anagennises 8-6
4. Achilleas 8-6
5. Etha 4-10
6. ENAD 4-10
7. Apoel 3-11


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CZECH REP. - Women

Gambrinus completes Final Four picture -by Eurobasket News
Ros Casares - Gambrinus 69:75

Czech champions Gambrinus beat the odds and celebrated a tough 75:69 road win over Ros Casares to claim the last available spot in the Euroleague Final Four. Gambrinus were on verge of losing the series after falling short to Ros Casares in the first game of the series. But the Czech outfit recovered and struck back winning back-to-back encounters and coming from behind to book the Final Four birth. So Gambrinus now has a chance of repeating their success of 2006 when they triumphed in the Euroleague.
Ros Casares entered the game confident of their own strength. Delisha Milton-Jones (186-F-74, college: Florida) and Katie Douglas (183-G/F-79, college: Purdue) quickly set the right tone with 4 consecutive points to put the hosts in front. But back-to-back treys from Tamika Whitmore (187-C/F-77, college: Memphis) and Zuzana Zirkova (175-F/G-80) soon denied the deficit. The lead changed hands for a couple of times before Ivana Vecerova (194-C-79) and Hana Machova (182-F/G-79) capped the first frame with straight jumpers and put the visitors up by 7 points 21:14. Gambrinus maintained the gap and hen Tamika Whitmore scored 5 points in a row the Czech team enjoyed a 10-point advantage midway through the second term. Hamchetou Maiga (185-G/F-78, college: ODU) and Tamika Whitmore added pain for the hosts as the margin grew to 14 points. Laia Palau (178-G/F-79) and Katie Douglas converted a couple of free throws and Zuzana Zirkova sank a layup for a 40:27 Gambrinus cushion at halftime.
Elena Tornikidou (185-F-65) and Katie Douglas teamed up for quick 7 points at the start of the second half and trimmed the deficit to just 6 points. Marina Ferragut (190-F/C-72) soon nailed a three-pointer and Ros Casares climbed within 4 points from the visiting side. But Zuzana Zirkova and Jana Vesela (194-F-83) dropped a bunch of free throws to restore an 8-point distance. Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) fired from downtown but her effort was immediately matched by Tamika Whitmore. Aguilar hit another three-pointer late in the third stanza, while Eva Viteckova (190-F-82) replied with a jumper to make it 56:48 for Gambrinus after 30 minutes of action. The teams could not convert for almost two minutes at the start of the final frame before Zuzana Zirkova connected from beyond the arc stretching the lead to 11 points. Ros Casares responded with 6 straight points and cut the difference. When Elena Tornikidou dropped a jump shot the Spanish team closed the gap to just 4 points. But Zuzana Zirkova stepped up for Gambrinus and her massive treble iced the effort. Three free throws from Elena Tornikidou put Ros Casares within 4 points with 95 seconds remaining. Hana Machova was able to convert just one free throw, while Elena Tornikidou penetrated under the rim and accounted for two more points to pull the hosts within 3. Kulichova missed a layup but Jana Vesela was there to tap it in and made it a 71:66 game with 26 seconds on the clock. Elena Tornikidou was unstoppable at the moment as she completed a three-point play and Ros Casares trailed by only 2 points with 18 seconds remaining. However Hana Machova was deadly from charity stripe and Laia Palau missed her jumper to seal the win for Gambrinus.
Zuzana Zirkova finished with game-high 22 points for Gambrinus. Tamika Whitmore had 21 points, while Jana Vesela produced 10 points and 13 rebounds for the visitors. Delisha Milton-Jones registered 16 points and 14 boards for Ros Casares. Elena Tornikidou had 16 points, while Katie Douglas chipped in 14 in a loss.
Gambrinus will now take on Bourges Basket in the Euroleague semifinal on April 11.

Ros Casares: Delisha Milton-Jones 16+14 boards, Elena Tornikidou 16, Katie Douglas 14
Gambrinus: Zuzana Zirkova 22, Tamika Whitmore 21, Jana Vesela 10+13 boards


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EUROLEAGUE (W) - Women

Gambrinus completes Final Four picture -by Eurobasket News
Ros Casares - Gambrinus 69:75

Czech champions Gambrinus beat the odds and celebrated a tough 75:69 road win over Ros Casares to claim the last available spot in the Euroleague Final Four. Gambrinus were on verge of losing the series after falling short to Ros Casares in the first game of the series. But the Czech outfit recovered and struck back winning back-to-back encounters and coming from behind to book the Final Four birth. So Gambrinus now has a chance of repeating their success of 2006 when they triumphed in the Euroleague.
Ros Casares entered the game confident of their own strength. Delisha Milton-Jones (186-F-74, college: Florida) and Katie Douglas (183-G/F-79, college: Purdue) quickly set the right tone with 4 consecutive points to put the hosts in front. But back-to-back treys from Tamika Whitmore (187-C/F-77, college: Memphis) and Zuzana Zirkova (175-F/G-80) soon denied the deficit. The lead changed hands for a couple of times before Ivana Vecerova (194-C-79) and Hana Machova (182-F/G-79) capped the first frame with straight jumpers and put the visitors up by 7 points 21:14. Gambrinus maintained the gap and hen Tamika Whitmore scored 5 points in a row the Czech team enjoyed a 10-point advantage midway through the second term. Hamchetou Maiga (185-G/F-78, college: ODU) and Tamika Whitmore added pain for the hosts as the margin grew to 14 points. Laia Palau (178-G/F-79) and Katie Douglas converted a couple of free throws and Zuzana Zirkova sank a layup for a 40:27 Gambrinus cushion at halftime.
Elena Tornikidou (185-F-65) and Katie Douglas teamed up for quick 7 points at the start of the second half and trimmed the deficit to just 6 points. Marina Ferragut (190-F/C-72) soon nailed a three-pointer and Ros Casares climbed within 4 points from the visiting side. But Zuzana Zirkova and Jana Vesela (194-F-83) dropped a bunch of free throws to restore an 8-point distance. Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) fired from downtown but her effort was immediately matched by Tamika Whitmore. Aguilar hit another three-pointer late in the third stanza, while Eva Viteckova (190-F-82) replied with a jumper to make it 56:48 for Gambrinus after 30 minutes of action. The teams could not convert for almost two minutes at the start of the final frame before Zuzana Zirkova connected from beyond the arc stretching the lead to 11 points. Ros Casares responded with 6 straight points and cut the difference. When Elena Tornikidou dropped a jump shot the Spanish team closed the gap to just 4 points. But Zuzana Zirkova stepped up for Gambrinus and her massive treble iced the effort. Three free throws from Elena Tornikidou put Ros Casares within 4 points with 95 seconds remaining. Hana Machova was able to convert just one free throw, while Elena Tornikidou penetrated under the rim and accounted for two more points to pull the hosts within 3. Kulichova missed a layup but Jana Vesela was there to tap it in and made it a 71:66 game with 26 seconds on the clock. Elena Tornikidou was unstoppable at the moment as she completed a three-point play and Ros Casares trailed by only 2 points with 18 seconds remaining. However Hana Machova was deadly from charity stripe and Laia Palau missed her jumper to seal the win for Gambrinus.
Zuzana Zirkova finished with game-high 22 points for Gambrinus. Tamika Whitmore had 21 points, while Jana Vesela produced 10 points and 13 rebounds for the visitors. Delisha Milton-Jones registered 16 points and 14 boards for Ros Casares. Elena Tornikidou had 16 points, while Katie Douglas chipped in 14 in a loss.
Gambrinus will now take on Bourges Basket in the Euroleague semifinal on April 11.

Ros Casares: Delisha Milton-Jones 16+14 boards, Elena Tornikidou 16, Katie Douglas 14
Gambrinus: Zuzana Zirkova 22, Tamika Whitmore 21, Jana Vesela 10+13 boards


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HUNGARY - Women

Stats Leaders - Women
A Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1 Williams, Cegledi 19.5
2 Varga Kanizsa 17.2
3 Iglesias, BSE 16.7
4. Aties, BSE 16.3
5. Djelmis, Szolnok 15.5
Rebounds Per Game
1 Williams, Cegledi 12.5
2 Turoczi, Zala Volan 10.1
3 Aties, BSE 8.8
4 Keller, Szolnok 8.7
5 Kajdacsi, Szeged 8.6
Assists Per Game
1. Ivanyi, Pecs 6.5
2 Bukovszki, Szekszard 4.3
3 Vrantcheva, Szeg 3.9
4 Djelmis, Szolnok 3.9
5 Iglesias, BSE 3.7
Steals Per Game
1 Iglesias, BSE 5.3
2 Koncz, Vasas 4.0
3 Furesz, BSE 3.5
Blocks Per Game
1 Williams, Cegledi 2.3
2 Tomova, Szeged 1.2
3 Keller, Szolnok 1.1


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ICELAND - Women

Keflavik regular season Champions -by Siggi Hjorleifsson
Keflavik is regular season Champions afther team beat KR 90-59 at KR Gym.Kr is struggling after they lost Monique Martin to injury. Candace Futrell scored 23 pts & took 12 rebounds for KR, other players did not play well. For Keflavik Palina Gunnlaugsdottir (170-G-87) had good game for Keflavik 19 pts. Susanne Biemer 17.

Hamar beat Valur 81-66. LaKiste Barkus 28 pts 12 rebs & 8 assist. Iva Milevoj 17. Hafrun Halfdanardottir 14 + 12 rebs for Hamar. Molly Peterman 28 for Valur.

Haukar with new american player Victoria Crawford (170-G-83, college: Memphis) beat Grindavik 87-73. Victoria Grawford 42. . Tiffany Roberson 21. Joanna Skiba 18 + 9 assist. Petrunella Skuladottir 17.


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ISRAEL - Women

Ramla surprise BC Moscow at the EuroCup semi-final!. -by Netanel Dahan

Ramla without Jaclyn Johnson(end the season) won BC Moscow 80-74 in Ramla very happy for this win and they hope to advance the semi finles.

For Ramla:
Shay Doron (175-G-85, college: Maryland) (175-G-85, college: Maryland)30 pts, 8 rebs
Sherill Baker (174-G-82, agency: Ronsport, college: Georgia) 25 pts
Taly Noy, Laine Selwyn, Ivona Jerkovich 6 pts each
Ina Gourevitch 5 pts
Brashida Elohim 2 pts

For BC Moscow:
Monique Currie (183-G/F-83, agency: Ronsport, college: Duke) 30 pts, 12 rebs
Plenette Pierson (188-F/C-81, college: Texas Tech) 10 pts, 5 rebs
Elena Beglova 9 pts.


The story(Fiba web site):

Doron scored four points as the hosts jumped ahead 6-2. But Currie's six points pushed Moscow up 12-8. Doron knocked down a triple and two foul shots as Elitzur came back to grab a 19-14 cushion only to see Pierson's three-ball give the Russians a 20-19 lead after one period.

The Israelis started the second on fire as Tali Noy and Inna Gourevitch hit from downtown and Doron poured in five points in a 19-5 run to begin the quarter and open a 38-25 gap. And Gourevitch's lay-up left Rabi's team ahead 40-29 at the break.

The hosts tallied the first four points of the second half as the lead grew to 15 points - 44-29. Back-to-back baskets by Baker kept Elitzur ahead 52-39 midway through the third. But Currie scored three baskets and Ekaterina Savelyeva drained a long-ball as BC Moscow closed the quarter on a 14-4 run to close within 56-53 going into the fourth.

Rabi's team however shut down Moscow in the final period with 10-2 surge for an 11-point gap - 66-55. Currie continued her strong game with a three-ball and back-to-back baskets by Savelyeva had Moscow within 70-64.

Noy hit her second trey of the game and the lead was back up to 75-64 with less than three minutes to play. But the guests were able to close within six points and have a decent chance in the return leg.
Short interviews with the players and the coach('Safal'):
Eli Rabi
'I salute the girls for the performance today, they never hung their heads… we're not a brilliant team, we do it with lots of heart'.
Shay Doron
'When players step up we can win, we believe in that and we won. This win is for Jackie, we said from the start that we'd come in and fight'
Laine Selwyn
'I hate to say it but no-one really believed in us, and to come out and show everyone wrong, it feels great'
Monique Currie
'I didn't think we'd lose but anything can happen ramla made it this far so they're doing something right'
Plenette Pierson
'I got in early foul trouble, fouled out early, I didn't get a chance to get in to the game. That won't happen in the 2nd game'.

In the other game of the semi finels won Galatasaray(Turkey) Schio(Italy) 63-55.
The second leg of the semis wil be at the next week.



Standings (W)
D1 Standings
1. Bnot Hash. 16-3
2. Ramat H. 15-4
3. Elizur Ram. 14-5
4. Ramat Hen 11-8
5. M.Ashdod 9-10
6. B.Yehuda 8-12
7. Elitzur Holon 7-12
8. M.Tel Kabir 4-14
9. Hap.T-A 3-18


LIRON COHEN !!!!!! -by Gil Goshen

Liron Goes to Hollywood

Liron Cohen's great performances in the Spanish league and cup drew the WNBA's attention, and after a brief negotiation Cohen signed with the Los Angeles Sparks and will join Lisa Leslie and probably Candace Parker in L.A this summer.
'I still can't believe it but I'm truly happy', said Cohen in a phone call from Spain, 'I've been chasing this dream for three years and started to realize it might not happen, and that's when it did happen'.

Say hello to Israel's 2nd WNBA player. Liron Cohen, the 25 year old 5'9 Israeli national team guard, signed with the Sparks. Cohen, originally from Jerusalem, grew up in Maccabi Raanana and won two Israeli Cups with the club in the 99/00 and 00/01 seasons. She then moved to play in Ramla and won the Championship and Cup with the team in 03/04. Following that season Cohen played in Greece, before returning to Israel in 05/06 to play for Ramat Hasharon. After winning the Israeli Cup for the 4th time in 05/06, she stayed another season with Ramat Hasharon before signing with Leon, Spain, for this season.

'Everything happened so fast, in the last two days. All the credit goes to my agent John Spencer', Cohen told 'Safsal'. 'Penny Toler [L.A's General Manager] called me yesterday and said she's very interested in me', said Cohen. 'She spoke with Murriel Page, my teammate in Leon who plays for the Sparks, she asked her about me and she recommended. She told me she's been following me in the last month and in general, and that she wants me to sign with her team', Cohen continued.

'I obviously didn't think twice, I said I'm very happy and flattered that she called. This is all happening too fast to be true, I still can't believe it but I'm truly happy. It's funny because after three years of thinking about the WNBA and trying desperately to get there I just stopped thinking about it. I focused on basketball and it suddenly happened', said Cohen. It still hasn't sunk in with her that she'll be boarding a plane across the ocean straight from Spain. 'I was just talking about how I'm dying for a vacation in Israel and now I'm flying to a completely different place, but who wouldn't want that as their troubles'.

In the Spanish league, Cohen is averaging 13.7 points and 2.7 assists in 29.0 minutes per game. She led Leon to a 14-4 record, 3rd best in the league, and to a historic performance in the Cup Finals where they lost to Valencia by 2. Cohen was named the tournament MVP.

The Sparks' training camp starts in early April, but the regular season in Spain only ends on April 26th. The top 4 teams qualify for the semi finals, a best of 3 series. The finals are also a best of 3 series. L.A's first preseason game in on May 3rd, and the actual tips off on May 17th. 'I asked Toler about my late arrival and she just told me to be calm and play, and that it's ok if I get there when we finish', said Cohen. 'It was very nice talking to her, she was a player herself and even played in Israel so she knows all about it', she added.

The Sparks had a tough season last year, with Lisa Leslie taking the season off to give birth and Chamique Holdsclaw's sudden retirement. They finished last in the west with a 10-24 record, which helped them snatch the #1 pick in the upcoming WNBA draft. There's no question they're going to select Candace Parker from Tennessee, already a member of the senior USA national team and one of the biggest talents in American basketball in recent years.

Aside from Lisa Leslie who will return to the court and Parker who's supposed to join, L.A has point guard Temeka Johnson who only played 11 games last year due to injury. In 2006 she started 30 games and averaged 8.0 points and 5.0 assists in 25.3 minutes per game. Johnson's back up last season was Marta Fernandez, who started 20 games and put up 8.7 points and 3.0 assists in 26.2 minutes per game. At the 2-guard spot L.A recently signed Marie Ferdinand Harris, an All Star who spent the last six seasons in San Antonio. One player who won't be in L.A after 11 years is Mwadi Mabika, who signed with Houston. Two more familiar faces for the Sparks are Ramat Hen's Taj McWilliams Franklin and Ramla's Sherill Baker.

There's no doubt that L.A needs another point guard, especially since Frenandez is more of a 2-guard. 'From what I understand they wanted me to fill a need for them, a point guard who can also play the 2. As far as I'm concerned this is the best situation I could have asked for, it's a great opportunity I plan to take with both hands', said Cohen.

The Sparks open preseason on May 3rd in Atlanta, and play in Chicago on the 8th. Their last preseason game is at home vs. Minnesota on the 11th. L.A will visit the defending champions Phoenix Mercury for the season opener on the 17th, in a game broadcasted nationally in the States.

The lone minus in all this for Cohen is of course missing the Israeli national team games in August, the qualifying games for the European Championship. 'Unfortunately I will probably miss the national team games this year and that's something that's very important and dear to me. I hope that maybe I will be able to join towards the end if it'd be possible' said Cohen, but there's no question that this time she has to put herself first.




Liron Cohen (173-G-82)


Goodbye Hapoel Tel Aviv -by Gil Goshen


The former champion of the Israeli league Hapoel Tel Aviv ( 2005/2006 season ) says Goodbye to the
first division and will play on div2 next season.
On the most important game tonight Hapoel Tel Aviv lost vs. Tel Cabir 57:64 ( home ).
M. Tel Cabir will continue to play in div1!!
Altough Hapoel had 5 player only nobody thought that they will fight until the last minutes...
We will miss Hapoel next season...hope to see them again very soon.
Shachar Alterman (172-G-86)


Liron Choen in the Sparks -by Gil Goshen


The Israeli combo guard Liron Cohen ,( AGENCY: JOHN SPENCER 540 SE.)
made it !!!! she will be the second Israeli basketball player on the WNBA !!!!


SPARKS SIGN ISRAELI POINT GUARD LIRON COHEN

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Sparks have signed Israeli point guard Liron Cohen, who starred in the Spanish League this winter, it was announced. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Cohen was named Israel's Safsal player of the month for February after leading Leon to the Spanish Queen's Cup finals for the first time, where she was named tournament most valuable player. In three league games and three Cup games in February, Cohen averaged 17.3 points and 4.0 assists per game. She made seven of eight three-point shots en route to 33 points in Leon's win over league-leading Valencia in league play.

In Spain's Queen's Cup tournament, Cohen had 11 points and seven assists in Leon's quarter-finals win over Extrugasa and 27 points and six assists in a semifinal win over Salamanca. Despite being heavily guarded, Cohen had 12 points in a 68-66 loss to defending Cup champion Valencia in the finals. She averaged 16.7 points and 5.3 assists in the tournament.

Cohen, who starred for the Israeli national team in 2005 and 2007, averaged 13.2 points per game and shot 53 percent from two-point range and 43 percent from three-point range in Europe Cup competition this season. She was on Israeli Cup championship teams in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2007 with Ranana, Elitzur Ramla and Ramat Hsharon. She played in Greece in 2005-06 and averaged 14.8 points per game.

'We are very excited to be able to sign Liron,' said general manager Penny Toler. 'She is a very talented and gifted enough to play both guard position.'

'This is a big opportunity,' said Cohen. 'I feel flattered that the Sparks have given me this opportunity. I hope that it will be a great summer for the team and me as well.'


Liron Cohen (173-G-82)


Liron Cohen in Spain -by Gil Goshen


The Israeli combo guard Liron Cohen ,( AGENCY: JOHN SPENCER 540 SE.)
made it !!!! she will be the second Israeli basketball player on the WNBA !!!!


SPARKS SIGN ISRAELI POINT GUARD LIRON COHEN

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Sparks have signed Israeli point guard Liron Cohen, who starred in the Spanish League this winter, it was announced. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Cohen was named Israel's Safsal player of the month for February after leading Leon to the Spanish Queen's Cup finals for the first time, where she was named tournament most valuable player. In three league games and three Cup games in February, Cohen averaged 17.3 points and 4.0 assists per game. She made seven of eight three-point shots en route to 33 points in Leon's win over league-leading Valencia in league play.

In Spain's Queen's Cup tournament, Cohen had 11 points and seven assists in Leon's quarter-finals win over Extrugasa and 27 points and six assists in a semifinal win over Salamanca. Despite being heavily guarded, Cohen had 12 points in a 68-66 loss to defending Cup champion Valencia in the finals. She averaged 16.7 points and 5.3 assists in the tournament.

Cohen, who starred for the Israeli national team in 2005 and 2007, averaged 13.2 points per game and shot 53 percent from two-point range and 43 percent from three-point range in Europe Cup competition this season. She was on Israeli Cup championship teams in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2007 with Ranana, Elitzur Ramla and Ramat Hsharon. She played in Greece in 2005-06 and averaged 14.8 points per game.

'We are very excited to be able to sign Liron,' said general manager Penny Toler. 'She is a very talented and gifted enough to play both guard position.'

'This is a big opportunity,' said Cohen. 'I feel flattered that the Sparks have given me this opportunity. I hope that it will be a great summer for the team and me as well.'


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LATVIA - Women

Standings - LSBL
LSBL Standings
1. Cesis 24-0
2. Liepajas met. 16-10
3. Avantis T. 16-10
4. RTU/Klond. 15-10
5. TTT/Rapa 13-13
6. TTT Riga 11-1
7. Ridzene 9-17
8. SK Riga 5-22
9. LU/US 0-26


Stats Leaders - Women
LSBL Stats Leaders Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
Ozolina (Rapa) 20.0
Tillis (TTT) 20.0
Okonkvo (Cesis) 19.3
Malkevica (Rapa) 18.7
Niedola (Liepaja) 18.2
Rebounds Per Game
Niedola (Liepaja) 12.0
Crockett (Cesis) 10.8
Vitola (Riga) 10.4
Okonkvo (Cesis) 10.2
A.Eglite (Rapa) 10.1
Assists Per Game
Ose-Hlebovicka (Kl.) 5.9
Derevjanik (Cesis) 5.7
Eibele (Avantis) 4.8
Neimane (Cesis) 3.5
Z.Eglite (TTT) 3.5
Steals Per Game
Z.Eglite (TTT) 3.6
Okonkvo (Cesis) 3.5
Strupovica (Ridzene) 3.0
Blocks Per Game
Vitola (Riga) 3.9
Gailite (TTT/Rapa) 1.9
Kityzina (TTT) 1.6
Free Throws
Jakobsone (Klond.) 80.3
Eglite (TTT) 78.3
Priede (Ridzene) 77.9
Ranking
Okonkvo (Cesis) 27.4
Niedola (Liepaja) 23.7
Crockett (Cesis) 23.2


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NORWAY - Women

Standings - Women
Kvinneligaen Standings
1. Gimle 12-0
2. Ullern 9-3
3. Baerums Verk 8-4
4. Hop 7-5
5. Ammerud 3-9
6. Elite Nord 2-10
7. Nordstrand 1-11


Gimle wins Kvinneligaen regular season -by Eurobasket News
Gimle finished the Kvinneligaen season with a perfect record of 12 straight wins and occupied the first spot. Ullern secured the second position with a confident win over the Ammerud Queens in the last game of the regular season. Ullern edged the Queens 91:40 away from home. It was all done in the first half as the visitors built an unassailable 42:19 lead and were never threatened again. Kristine Kristiansen (-75) poured in 23 points and grabbed 8 boards to lead Ullern. Kristi Lie added 15 points for the winners. Tiffany Lopes answered with 14 points for Ammerud as they finalized 3-9 record for the season.
Baerums/Verk also were victorious in the last encounter. They visited Nordstrand and managed to drive to a 70:49 win. It allowed Baerums/Verk to ensure the third spot in the ladder at 8-4 record. The game was pretty close but Baerums/Verk never trailed en route to the 8th win. They accumulated a 34:24 lead at halftime and marched steadily towards the success after the break. Nanna Sand (-77, college: Arizona St.) produced 21 points, 13 boards and 6 steals to pace the guests. Karianne Oysted delivered 16 points and 9 boards for the winners. Anya Sodal responded with 20 points and 7 boards for Nordstrand. Ellen Aas had 14 points, 7 boards and 7 steals as the hosts slipped to 1-11 record.


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SCOTLAND - Women

Chaloner's 45-point eruption drives St.Mirren to victory -by Luis Romero

St. Mirren 74-71 Edinburgh Kool Kats

Saints started this gaem in much the same way as the latest home game against KoolKats, very tense, not quite being able to convert on usual scores along with poor decision making on offence. Capital players, on the other hand, shot well and attacked the home side with much more confidence and relax.
Natalie Chaloner lead the offence well being in position on the fastbreak play and kept her nerve to finish well. National League leaders did not play to their usual standard and showed poor form throughout but still managed to force a slight lead going into the half time break 44-35.
Second half started with nothing decided, home side missed opprtunities on offence, along with lapses in concentration on defence, allowed talent and young KoolKats to keep the preassure on and plant doubts in Saints' players. Last ten minutes were able to give emption to league title, but a full court preassure finally decided the game giving St.Mirren 14th straight league win 74-71.

With five games to go, St.Mirren (14-0) still holds a gap of three games to Polonia Phoenix (11-3), but still two direct confrontations to play and two extra diffcult away games for leaders (Fury and KoolKats), it ain't over till it's over. This weekend St.Mirren plays at Falkirk and Polonia at St.Maurice's.


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U.KINGDOM - Women

Tight at the top -by Dave Ryan
It's still neck and neck at the top of the EBL Division One Women's after Sheffield Hatters and Rhondda Rebels both notched double digit win on Saturday.
Hatters recovered from a close start at Nottingham to defeat the Wildcats 91-62. After Sheffield opening the scoring with a jumper from Stephanie Gandy Nottingham were able to go on a 7-0 run. Hatters then brought the score back from some great offensive movement and balanced scoring. After a few lead changes, Sheffield were able to go in to the end of the first quarter up 21-18.
That was the closest Wildcats were ever going to come again in the game. Sheffield forced Nottingham into turnovers off some great defensive pressure, and went into half-time with a comfortable 45-30 lead before effectively wrapping things up with a 25-15 third period.
Sheffield distributed the ball well and scored from all positions on the floor while Nottingham were left to rely on the scoring from point guard Nicole Woods. She had 32 for the game and had her best game in a Wildcat uniform. Hannah Shaw was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 10 points, while Stephanie Gandy (27), Helen Naylor (21) and Sarah Naylor (15) all scored well for the visitors.
'I was proud of the way the girls came out in the first quarter, we were playing well as a team offensively and being intense on defense. said Wildcats coach Leanne Chandler. 'We just weren't able to maintain that for 40 minutes. We need some big wins from these last few games so we can control our own position in the league without relying on others to drop games.'
Twenty-one points apiece from American pair Kirby Copeland and Leandra Brown helped Rebels chalk up a 69-55 home win against Manchester Mystics. The hosts led 16-10 at the first break, and a 23-12 second period gave them a comfortable 17 point lead at half-time. Mystics, who were led by 21 points from Joanne Claydon, fought back to win the third quarter 18-15, but as the sides shared 30 fourth quarter points, they could get no closer. Carling (12) and Osmer (10) completed the Manchester top scorers, while player-coach Andrea Congreaves chipped in with ten for Rebels.
Division One (Women)
Team Northumbria remain in third place following a 64-52 victory at basement side London Towers on the weekend. 'It was not our best display of the season but we got the job done' said coach Deirdre Hayes. 'We are doing everything in our power to make sure we give ourselves the best chance of finishing in the top three.'
table. The game started slowly as neither team could score for the first 4 minutes. Finally an inside move by Northumbria's Loui Hall put the visitors on the scoreboard. Both teams struggled to get any offensive run going and a basket with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter by Jaye Colbert put Northumbria back in front at 8 - 7. A three point play from Zoe Vickers and another basket from Hall but Northumbria up 13 - 7 at the end of the first quarter.
Northumbria kicked into offensive gear in the second quarter when a running drive from Noelia Cacheiro and a lay-up from Colbert put Northumbria up by 10. However, every time it seemed that Northumbria was going to run away with the game Towers fought back. Although Northumbria had increased their lead going into the half it was not comfortable at 33-20.
In the third quarter the visitors were unable to make any runs while the home team closed to within four points at 40 - 36 with four minutes left in the quarter. A three pointer from Colbert started off a 10-0 run for Northumbria to go into the final break 50-36 ahead.
In the fourth quarter the two teams mainly exchanged baskets although the home team took the quarter 16 - 14 Northumbria had done enough in the early part of the game to secure another vital win.
Hall led all scorers with 25 points, while Colbert added 23 for Northumbria. The scoring was spread around for Towers, with Durojaye and Wanstall hitting 11 each and Morton and Cripps both scoring ten.
The battle of the Suns saw Solent collect their second victory of the season against Sevenoaks, running out home 86-70 winners. Led by 26 Arek Deng points, it was the visitors who started strongly, leading 21-18 at the first break. However a 22-11 lead put the hosts firmly in control, and they added another three points to their lead in the third period to lead 65-50 going into the final quarter. That fourth period proved to be a tight one, with Solent shading it 21-20. Brookfield led Solent with 20 while Wohlberg added 12. Cristal Turner scored 21 for Sevenoaks, Timola chipping in with.
London Heathrow Acers strengthened their play-off hopes with an 88-83 overtime win against UWIC Archers. Hosts Acers led 22-21 at the first break and doubled that lead with a 24-23 second period. They looked well on their way to victory as they went into the final break with a 64-54 lead, only for the Welsh side to fight back and take the game into overtime with a 23-13 fourth period. With the teams locked at 77, it was the home side who stepped up to collect their fifth league win of the campaign. Codiga (22), Piano (16) and B Lear (14) led the hoe side, while Wagstaff led all scorers for the visitors with 30 and Stephanie Collins added 26.


Standings - Women
EBL Standings


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U.S.VIRGIN ISL. - Women

Javois named All-MIAA First Team -by David Edole
Crucian Yanique Javois (176-G-86, college: St.Louis) was named to the All-MIAA First Team as voted by the conference coaches. Javois had an outstanding senior season for Missouri Western Griffons. Javois was named the MIAA Player of the Week twice during her senior campaign. Yanique finished her senior year averaging 18.6 points per contest, which ranks her third in the MIAA. Javois scored a career and MIAA season high for points scored against Emporia State on February 9, 2008 as she poured in 39 points on 16-of-27 shooting. Javois also broke career records in rebounds in a game with nine and assists with eight. She hit six three point shots in a game against Truman State, which is one off the Missouri Western record. Yanique has started all 26 games this season and has averaged 37.2 minutes of action. Javois is sixth in the conference in field goal percentage shooting 47.8-percent (194-of-406) from the floor and fourth in three point percentage making 39.4-percent (52-of-132) of her long range shots.
Missouri Western State University (located in St. Joseph, Mo.) is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association


Western to elite 8 -by David Edole
Western High School walloped Millers of Milford Mills, 68-39, Tuesday night. The Millers came in poised and went out to an early 10-3 lead. With a couple defensive switches the Doves found themselves with a 27 point run and never looked backed. Junior Guard, Akeema Richards hit a milestone by scoring her 1000th point against the Lady Millers. Coach said Milford,' We knew they were scrappy and very tough. I told my girls to play more disciplined and execute offensively.' Richards finished with 17 points, 11 reboounds and eight assists in the win. The Doves will return to the Regional Finals for the third time in three years. This game will be played at Catonsville High School this friday.
In the first meeting between these two teams Catonsville got the best of Western by 10 points. Western has not losed since. This regional match-up is a repeat of the 05-06 Regional when the Doves beat Catonsville by 20. Coach Silver said,' We just have to go and play our game. The team that executes wins.' The Doves will be away from Home for the first time in 3 years for Regional game.


Troy U advances -by David Edole
- Troy University junior guard Kylie Morrissy drove the length of the court with nine seconds remaining to send the Trojans to a 66-65 victory over Louisiana-Monroe in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

Morrissy led the Trojans with 21 points, while Amy Lewis added 19 and Zena Lawrence (178-F-86) 12.

The final 1:07 provided all the excitement either side would need.

Louisiana-Monroe had a chance to take the lead, but the ball went off of Shannon Lloyd's hands and out of bounds with 57.2 seconds to play. The Trojans then came down the floor and avoided a disaster on a pass that Lottie Moore and Audrey Muse battled for before Moore went out of bounds. The Trojans retained possession with 39.7 seconds remaining on the clock.
With 22.8 seconds remaining on the clock and 14 on the short clock, Troy called a timeout to set-up what could be their final possession of the season. After the Trojans were leaving the huddle, Louisiana-Monroe called a timeout to set their defense.

The Trojans ran a play with Amy Lewis driving to the basket, unfortunately the Lady Warhawks countered with two defenders. The shot was short, and ULM's Shannon Davis scored on the other end with nine seconds remaining.

After Troy held a nine-point advantage in the first half and Louisiana-Monroe a three-point advantage in the second half; the two teams battled for the remaining 2:20 for the right to advance to the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

LaJeanna Howard drained a long 3-pointer from the right wing with 2:20 to play to put Louisiana-Monroe up 63-62. However, the Trojans came right back down the floor and used a basket by Lewis to take a 64-63 lead with 2:02 to play in the contest.

Danielle Realph hit a 3-pointer for the Trojans, putting Troy up 60-52 with just 6:15 to play in the contest. The junior took a feed from Larelle Roper on the right wing, and without hesitation, drained the 3-pointer to continue a 17-6 Trojans run after trailing 46-43.

After turnovers by Louisiana-Monroe and Troy, Howard drained a long 3-pointer with 5:12 to play in the contest to trim the Troy lead to 60-55. The Trojans turned the ball over their next trip down the floor, but with 4:52 to play Lawrence stepped in front of a pass to end a Lady Warhawks threat.

However, the eight-point lead was trimmed to two when Regena Jackson drained a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 60-58. After a missed 3-pointer by Lewis, Brittnie Davis and Realph battled for a loose ball and it led to a Lawrence basket and a 62-58 lead for the Trojans.

On the ULM trip down the floor, Shannon Lloyd drove to the basket and was fouled by Lawrence with 3:04 to play in the contest. She hit the lay-up, but missed the free throw to keep the deficit at two.

After leading for much of the first half, the Trojans watched as Louisiana-Monroe pounded the ball inside to Shannon Lloyd for three quick points and a tie game, at 34-all. Troy answered quickly, on their next possession, as senior guard Lewis drove to the basket, converting the lay-up and a subsequent free throw and a 37-34 lead with 17:43 remaining in the contest.

The two teams traded baskets inside on their next two possessions, until Troy's Audrey Muse picked up her third foul with 16:07 to play in the contest. On the next possession, Jesse Carrier drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to tie the game at 39-all with just under 16 minutes to play in the contest.

The Trojans gave up the lead for the first time in 23:40 (since ULM led 2-0 in the first half) on a pair of free throws by Lottie Moore with 14:53 to play in the contest. Troy junior forward Kylie Morrissy tied the game with 14:11 to play on a pair of free throws after a foul Moore. However, Regina Jackson took the largest lead of the game with 13:17 to play on a Regena Jackson 3-pointer 44-43, until Morrissy connected on a short jumper to trim the lead to 46-43.

The Trojans kept clawing at the lead, sticking to their game plan and feeding the ball inside. Unfortunately, so did Louisiana-Monroe to maintain their three-point advantage. Lewis connected on her first 3-pointer of the game with 10:36 to play in the contest to give Troy the lead back at 50-48.

After a Troy basket gave the Trojans a four-point lead, Moore rebounded her own miss and put the ball in from close range to pull ULM to within 52-50; but Zena Lawrence answered on the other end with 8:31 to play.

From there, the two teams traded baskets - yet again - until Brittnie Davis converted on one-of-two free throws for a 55-52 lead.

The first points of the game were scored via a technical foul call on the Trojans, when a uniform discrepancy was spotted by the official scorer on Laura Lee Holman's uniform number. Louisiana-Monroe was able to knock down the subsequent free throws and took a 2-0 lead. The Trojans were able to recover and took the lead on four consecutive points by Muse with 16:33 to play in the first half.

After Louisiana-Monroe jumped ahead on a Carrier 3-pointer, the Trojans went on a subsequent 10-0 to pull ahead of ULM, 16-7 with just over 10 minutes to play in the half. The Lady Warhawks turned to Moore, who scored five consecutive points to pull within four with just under 10 minutes to play in the opening half, 18-14. The two teams traded baskets on their next two possessions, until two Lewis free throws put the Trojans ahead by five with 7:44 to play in the opening half and LaJeanna Howard drained a 3-pointer with 6:41 to play to pull the Lady Warhawks back to within two at 22-20.

The lead stayed at two until Lloyd tied the game at 24-24 with 4:15 to play in the opening half on a turnaround jumper in the lane. The Trojans were able to take the lead back with 3:33 to play in the opening half when Lewis chased down a loose ball rebound and fed it to Morrissy for the easy basket, two of her 13 first half points. She stole a pass the next trip down the floor and converted on the lay-up with 3:11 to play in the opening, but left the floor injured on the play.

The Lady Warhawks trimmed the lead to as little as one point in the first half, when Lloyd connected on a lay-up with just 27 seconds remaining, trimming the lead to 32-31.

Lloyd led ULM with 19 points, while Jackson added 13 and Carrier 11.
Troy (13-17) advances to play third-seeded Middle Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, Saturday night at 9 pm. Meanwhile, Louisiana-Monroe ends the season 17-13.