EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 4/18/2008

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Men News

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ASIAN CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

19th Asian Clubs Championship Draw -by Mohammed Malas
The 19th edition of the Asian Clubs Championship (Kuwait May 8-16) groups draw were made in Kuwait City in Kuwait, 10 teams from 10 different countries will play in the tournament which will be hosted by Al Qadsia club for the 2nd time after the 17th edition in 2006...

- Group A:
Al Rayyan (QAT)
Zain (JOR)
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut (LEB)
BK Almaty Alma-Ata (KAZ)
Satria Muda Britama Jakarta (IND)

- Group B:
Al Qadsia (KUW) - Hosts
Saba Battery (IRI) - Titleholders
Harbour Centre Batang Pier (PH) 'Phillipines National Team'
ONGC (IND)
Al Wasl (UAE)

# First round games:
- 8th of May:
* Group A:
Al Riyadi - Almaty
Al Rayyan - Satria
* Group B:
Al Qadsia - Saba Battery
ONGC - Harbour Centre
- 9th of May:
* Group A:
Zain - Al Rayyan
Satria - Al Riyadi
* Group B:
Al Qadsia - ONGC
Al Wasl - Saba Battery
- 10th of May:
* Group A:
Almaty - Satria
Zain - Al Riyadi
* Group B:
Al Wasl - ONGC
Al Qadsia - Harbour Centre
- 11th of May:
* Group A:
Al Rayyan - Al Riyadi
Zain - Almaty
* Group B:
Saba Battery - ONGC
Al Wasl - Harbour Centre
- 12th of May:
* Group A:
Satria - Zain
Almaty - Al Rayyan
* Group B:
Al Qadsia - Al Wasl
Harbour Centre - Saba Battery


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AUSTRIA

Gmunden and Traiskirchen protect home-court -by Stefan Heinrich
In the first gmes of the Admiral Play-Offs the Gmunden Swans and the Traiskirchen Lions protected their home-court advantages. Gmunden beat WBC Wels 90:82 and Traiskirchen won 93:81 against the Kapfenberg Bulls.

Gmunden led at half-time by 15 points but Wels had an oustanding third quarter which they won 32:16, but in the fourth quarter was again dominated by Greg Deteri Mayes (189-G-74, agency: Court Side, college: Murray St.) (203-C) who finished the game with 30 points.

Traiskrichen led almost the whole game eventhough they missed their starting PG Benedikt Danek due to a knee injury, but Joey Joey Vickery (180-G-67, college: Brandon) (180-G-67, college: Brandon) led the Lions with 23 points.

Gmunden Swans - WBC Wels 90:82
Swans: Deteri Mayes 30, Peter Hutter (196-F/G-80, agency: Interperformances) 15, Matthias Mayer (206-C/F-81) 15, Boylan 12, Johnson 12, Sullivan 6
WBC: Casey Archibald (193-G-84, agency: ProSportsCareers) 18, Kendrick Davis (193-G-84, agency: Hart Sports Mngm, college: N.Texas) 17, Tilo Klette (205-C/F-77) 16, Palmer 15, Stanek 7, Pargfrieder 6, Woschank 3

Traiskirchen Lions - Kapfenberg Bulls 93:81
Lions: Joey Vickery 23, Davor Lamesic (205-F-83, agency: Interperformances) 17, Stevan Milosevic (211-C-85, agency: Interperformances) 12, Paliashchuk 9, Rhynes 9, Geisler 7, Bjelica 7, Zekovic 7, Nicoara 2
Bulls: Ramiz Suljanovic (206-F/C-79, agency: R.H.Consultancy) 16, Shawn Ray (193-F-80, agency: Heinrich Sports, college: N.C.Central) 15, Kevin Nelson (192-G-84, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Park) 13, Zeleznik 9, Hallett 9, Josipovic 8, Forrestal 5, Grgat 5, Lanegger 1


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BARBADOS

Cavs capture third Premier League KO crown in four years -by Justin Marville
After giving up 30 points in the first quarter, pre-season favourites Station Hill Cavaliers rallied to hold the defending champs Lumber Company Lakers to just a further 38 on their way to a convincing 78-68 championship performance in the final of the BOA Premier League Basketball knockout at the Barbados Community College on Sunday.

With that victory Station Hill has now copped their third knockout title in four years to justify their pre-season favourite status.

But, as they did in Saturday's semi-final against the Tridents, the Cavs looked anything like the favoured side in the first quarter.

The defending champs rattled off nine unanswered points to start proceedings as Station Hill opened their second successive game in as many nights lifelessly at both ends of the floor.

Needlessly throwing away the ball and struggling mightily from the field, the Cavs also failed to get back in transition to stop opposing point guard Derek Browne and swingman Adrian Stewart in the open court.

The Lakers also executed their half-court offence to perfection, as Browne found his way to the ring with utmost ease, while centre Andre Boadu dominated in the low blocks, extending the Husbands side's lead to 25-8.

Station Hill reserve guard Kenrick Haynes provided a much needed spark off the bench, leading a brief 7-0 Cavs run but Boadu and Browne closed the quarter scoring four consecutive points to keep the Cavaliers at bay.

But it wouldn't be for long as Station Hill rallied to start the ensuing period with Browne resting on the bench to open the second.

Suffocating their opponents behind a renewed intensity on the defensive end, the Cavs responded with a subsequent 14-4 surge to reduce the once massive deficit to just four points, 34-30, at the 3:40 mark of the quarter.

Inspired by backup point guard Errol Pollard's play off the bench, added to some timely outside shooting and strong inside play from national forward Junior Moore, Station Hill would get within three in the dying moments of the half until Stewart resurrected the Lakers offence.

Forcing the issue in transition and off dribble penetration, the burly small forward scored five points to ignite a period ending 7-2 Lakers run that pushed their advantage to 45-37 at the half.

However, that advantage would disappear with a blink of the eye.

Sparked by torrid perimeter shooting from starting guards Corey Williams and Jason Smith, Station Hill opened the third quarter scoring seven unanswered points to spark an ensuing 21-8 explosion as the Cavaliers began to stamp their authority on their overwhelmed opponents.

It didn't help the Lakers' cause any that their offence sputtered with Boadu being forced to the bench due to foul trouble, while national shooting guard Zahir Motara and Adrian Allman settled for countless, unsuccessful long range bombs.

In all, the defending champs scored just ten third- quarter points on a woeful three of 17 from the floor in the period.

Leading 65-55 to start the fourth, Station Hill's lead would be threatened midway through the quarter as Allman and Motara hooked up for four treys on consecutive possessions to get as close as three points, 71-68.

But the pair fell in the trap of living behind the three point arc, wasting subsequent possessions by hoisting unwarranted deep balls while the Cavs put away the game behind a solid rebounding effort led by reserve forward Jamai Puckerin.

The last of the four treys, Allman's third in the period, would turn out to be the Lakers' final field goal in the game as Station Hill stretched their advantage to double digits once again, duly putting an end to their opponents' rally.

Smith and Haynes scored 11 points each to lead five Cavs players in double digits while Pollard, Williams and Kevin Sealy added ten points apiece.

For the Lakers, Boadu had a game high 15 points, Browne netted 13, Allman finished with 11, while Stewart and Motara both ended with 10 points each.


Miller leads Pine to Intermediate KO title -by Justin Marville
With long-time Pinelands frontcourt mate Ryan Maynard injured, Gary Miller knew that the big stage would require an even bigger performance.

The indomitable forward/centre rose to the occasion, dominating the contest from start to finish on his way to a game high 33 points, leading the Pine to a title clinching 68-63 win over the second seeded Patriots in the final of the BOA Intermediate knockout competition at the Wildey Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

Invigorated by the boisterous pro-Pinelands crowd seated behind the team bench, Miller wasted no time in stamping his authority on the game's proceedings, pouring in five quick points as the Pine opened the contest by scoring eight unanswered points.

But the Patriots would soon get past their initial nerves and Pinelands' opening burst, responding with a rally of their own behind great team defence and the superb efforts of national forward George Haynes.

The 6'8' 'big man' created matchup nightmares for the smaller Pinelands frontcourt, easily scoring over his shorter low post defenders while keeping grabbing several defensive boards at the other end of the floor as the Patriots seized the momentum by locking the scores at 14 entering the second quarter.

It was there that they would encounter Miller at his dominant best.

Using his superior strength and vast experience, the Pinelands post player began the period on a personal 5-0 run, accounting for his side's first eight points in the quarter as the Pine gained the early advantage once again.

From free throw line jumpers, to back-to-the-basket moves and finishes amongst multiple defenders, Miller showed his entire offensive arsenal in scoring 12 points over a seven and a half minute span to push Pinelands' lead to 31-20.

With the help of guard Rawle Conway, Haynes attempted to lead yet another late quarter Patriots surge, combining with the resurgent shooting guard for seven points near the end of the period to spark a brief run.

But they failed to make significant inroads into the sizeable deficit as opposing swingman Ramon Simmons knocked down a timely trey to end the rally, while Steve Sealy and Corey Nurse scored some crucial free throws to put Pinelands ahead 37-29 at the half.

Behind great full court pressure on defence, the Pine was able to stretch its lead into double digits once again by outscoring the opposition 8-3 to start the third quarter.

However, they would fail to put away the Patriots after putting themselves in yet another strong position, committing numerous, unwanted mistakes which Haynes and company willingly took advantage of.

With Pinelands allowing his side to hang around in the contest, Haynes would be at it again, erupting for 10 third quarter points to bring the Patriots within five, 52-47, at the end of the period.

But Miller would prove to be the difference between the two sides as the prolific inside scorer overpowered the Patriots frontcourt in the low blocks for seven points in an 11-3 Pinelands run to start the fourth, extending the side's lead to 61-50.

Patriots threatened to make a game of it late in the fourth, with Conway running hot from the perimeter to reduce the lead to as little as four points, 67-63, with just a minute remaining.

However, the Husbands based side would have nothing left in the tank, failing to add the score sheet as Pinelands held on for a five point triumph.

Conway finished with a team high 20 points and Haynes added a further 18 while Miller was the lone Pinelands player in double digits.


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BELARUS

Semifinals are tied at 1-1 -by Eurobasket News
After the range of the semifinal matches four leading clubs did not rouse the championship interest, though ended up with a draw 1:1 in both pairs - Vitalur-Grodno and Minsk-OZAA.
As for the Vitalur-Grodno game, it followed its usual playing pattern: Vitalur's bursting start, ups and downs, nervous finish. It was no way a childish game with an eccentric playing of Kuchinskiy,
Charko Uladzimir, Bibik Alexandr, Shustau Maksim and Yeremenko . In the forth quarter, however, Grodno almost approached an even score, but did not overcome Vitalur. The next day, on the revenge match, Vitalur managed a perfect start with a 15:0 score! Later on Grodno brought on its pressing, zonal attack and play-making of Senkevich Andrei. In the middle of the forth period the score went even (60:60) and the last minute was passionately stuffed with time-outs. So, 24 seconds prior to the end Vitalur leading a point ahead (64:63) had a right to attack. But somehow Andrei Mastou (202-F-84) got lucky and the team won thanks to his three-pointer 9 seconds before the siren.
Speaking about another playing pair of leaders- Minsk-OZAA, the Friday's and Saturday's matches varied greatly. That could be seen mainly in the play of Minsk, who won on Friday and desperately lost on Saturday. OZAA's arc shot met the resistance of Minsk that held four attacks for 2 minutes and gained 10 points. Pretty much equal opponents were broken down by a harsh game of the Minks player
Koul Alexander. That gave an opportunity to the referees to count a critical number of failures which they saved for later. The loss of the central player was a rather sad thing; moreover the team lost Chemyakin not long before that. Nevertheless, an American player Stiggers saved Minsk who had a terrific playing strategy. 24 seconds before the siren he hit a very important shot and deprived an opposing team of an overtime.
On Saturday, after that confident debut of the home team (20:11), none could expect its defeat. OZAA showed a brilliant game regarding to Maksimov, who hit his favourite three-pointers, and Kondrusevich, who was trying to rehabilitate after the previously made mistakes.


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BELGIUM

Div 1 News -by Peter Buyse

Optima Gent has announced that head-coach Eric Rogiers and assistant-coach Philip Wintein will stay on for next season.


Just 1 week ago D'or Fischer set a new league season high with 21 rebs, but John Turek (206-F/C-83, college: Nebraska) broke the record in Wed's game vs Antwerp when he took down 22 rebounds.

Bree is the 9th team which got its licence for the 2008-2009 season. Verviers-Pepinster's licence was refused at first but the team can appeal this decision.

Antwerp Giants will finish the season without Kris Sergeant who is out for the rest of the season. Ayinde Ubaka missed the game vs Gent on Wed and could miss another 2 games.



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BELIZE

SHJC/BNE Harpies Clinch Playoff Spot!!! -by David Magana

Last Saturday night at the Deacon Call Court in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo, the BECOL Tournament continued games of the regular season. In the U-20 division, West Side (2-3) beat Young Stars (2-3) by a score of 49 - 36. For West Side, Cesar Castellanos scored 15 pts, 4 steals, Halil Alcoser 11 pts, 2 rebs, Jose Luis Pech, with a double double, 10 pts, 10 rebs, 2 assists and Evan Brown 8 pts, 9 rebs and 2 assists. In a losing effort, Regis Morris scored 8 pts, 5 rebs and 2 assists.
In the Over 35, Esperanza Veterans won their first game in an exiting game against ICB Veterans by 48 - 46. With 1:30 left, ICB was trailing by 7 points, so they started fouling. With 5 seconds to go, ICB down by 1, with Rico Black (180-G-75) going to the line to shoot 2. He made the first to tie the game, then the second shot missed, with Esperanza clearing the rebound. With the game tied, Oscar Quewell, from ICB, deliberately fouled Tate, and Tate hit both free throws to win the game. Big mental mistake by Quewell. For esperanza, Evan Reynolds scored 19 pts, 2 assists, 4 steals, Jesse Tate, 12 pts, 4 steals. In a losing effort, Rico Black scored 14 pts, 4 rebs and Kano Green with a double double, 13 pts and 14 rebs.
In the main attraction of the night, SHJC/BNE Harpy Eagles made history when they ended the season with a 4-2 record and qualifying to the playoffs. After beating Spartans (1-3) by a crushing defeat of 90 - 48, the Harpies are a team to watch for their defensive and especially offensive team they have. Last season they ended up in the cellar with a 1-6 record but this year it's a different story. For the winning Harpies, Mervin Castillo (-C) scored 20 pts, 9 rebs, 1 block, Elton Moore with another extra-ordinary monster night with a Double Double figure, 20 pts, 12 rebs, 6 steals, Omar Yacab, 13 pts and 6 rebs, while Lucas Wordsworth (188-F) also with double double figures, 13 pts, 12 rebs and 4 steals. In a losing effort, Aubrey Lopez (188-G) scored a double double figures, 23 pts and 13 rebs.

Games for this coming weekend. First game starts at 6:30 p.m. sharp.

Friday night:

Game 1(U - 20) - Hydro Power vs. Young Stars
Game 2(O - 35) - Hydro Power vs. Benque Rockers
Game 3(Srs.) - Belize Bank Diamonds vs. Christ for Life
[Win by Diamonds gives them the #1 seed]

Saturday night:

Game 1(U - 17) - L.A. Tigers vs. Wolves
Game 2(U - 20) - West Side vs. Cayo Ballers
Game 3(O - 35) - E-Three Stars vs. Spartans



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CAPE VERDE

Cape Verde: Is Ryan Gomes going to join the national team? -by Pedro Gomes
[by Kris SANTIAGO] - That's the big question. The Portuguese-speaking group of islands located on the west coast of Africa has a population of under 500.000 but most Cape Verdians do live abroad including the US with estimated 500.000 (mostly in Massachusetts and Rhode Island) and Portugal with another 80.000 people.

Ryan, who is proud of his Cape Verdean family background, is the second player from the islands to make the NBA after retired guard Dana Barros who played in 14 seasons and 850 games in the league but never for the national team.
If the Minnesota Timberwolf (Averages currently 12,5 points and 5,7 rebounds per game as a starter) decides to accept the invitation to join the national team, the chances for a good outing at the Olympic qualifying tournament (July 14-20 in Athens, Greece) of the small country from the African continent would definitely increase.

The big surprise of the African Championships in 2007 (Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt lost to the undersized and mostly unknown Cape Verdeans) faces a tough task against Germany (including Dirk Nowitzki and possibly Chris Kaman) and New Zealand (features several former-college players like Craig Bradshaw and Kirk Penney, the last one who hade even two short stints in the NBA) and could need help at the forward positions.

'Gomes has been asked a number of times but has not played at any time', tells me Dan Klotz, the US representative of the national team.
He adds further: 'Despite star Center Rodrigo Mascarenhas (Plays professionally in Angola and played in Portugal before), Cape Verde has at time struggled against teams with greater height and more physical inside play, and Gomes would be an instantaneous antidote to that.'

Other players from the Boston-area like Marques Houtman (UMass-Dartmouth) and Tony Barros (UMass-Boston) already represented the country of their ancestors successfully in international play.
Houtman, a 1,90m guard, was even voted to the All-Star Team of the African Championships altogether with Mascarenhas and stayed in the host country of Angola to play for Primeiro Agosto Luanda.

And more could even follow: 'Jeff Xavier would be most likely to join the team in the very near future, possibly in time for the Olympic Qualifying tournament. After two highly successful years at Manhattan College, Jeff transferred to Providence College, where he led the team in scoring, and led or was at the top in 4 categories, including rebounding, highly unusual for a guard.
Jeff was invited to join the national team in 2007, and personally expressed an interest in doing so, but the Providence College coaching staff led by Tim Welsh would not allow him to play. Welsh is no longer the coach at Providence College, and we hope very soon to have Jeff join the national team', states Klotz, who resides in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, an area with a large Cape Verean population.

With Loyola-Maryland University guard Brian Rudolph, who finished the season as the MEAAC-Freshman of the year, and center Aldevino Lima of Northeastern University, the future of the national certainly looks bright,
but adding Ryan Gomes would help the underdogs immediately to battle the highly touted national teams for a spot in the 2008 Olympics.
Now it's up to Gomes to decide if he wants to join the preparations and play a major role in the national team or to rest during the summer and prepare for the next season in the NBA.

Personally, I'm hoping that Cape Verde will manage to pull an upset win over New Zealand in the first round to advance.
With or without Ryan, the team will be proud to represent the country in such a prestigious event, and make Cape Verde and its players known to a wider public (There is going to extensive television coverage around the globe) then before.

It's a win-win situation for Cape Verdean basketball and also gives hope to smaller 'basketball-countries' for the future, and I am sure a lot of basketball fans will root for the underdog when it's about time.

www.fiba.com


Achada Grande Pulls upset of the season -by Pedro Gomes

Predio was heavily favored, and had come from a convincing win against Seven Stars. Achada Grande put up a gritty performance from all their players. It is a great win for the Achada Grande team. This win will boost their confidence to finish the season on a high note, and go into the playoffs with a much needed win.

The fact is that, talent-wise, Achada Grande was so inferior to Predio that they should have been run out of the building by the blues. But by the grace of God they shot very well from the field, and fought hard on the court, and still only won by three points. Here was a team playing better than they could ever have imagined in their wildest dreams and they were only able to win by three. That tells you how much of a mismatch Predio was for them.

The final score was Predio 60, Achada Grande 63.

In the other game of the night ABC x Seven Stars. ABC had some trouble maintaining their lead in the last 2 minutes of the game. This saw Seven Stars tie the game with 50 seconds left.
However, the experience of the ABC players, versus the individuality of the Seven players, determined the outcome of this game.
ABC won by 7 points, 81 to 74.



Another Cape Verdean May sign with 1º de Agosto -by Pedro Gomes
Abdulai Faty could be a 1º Agosto player, current leader of the Angola basketball championships. The Cape Verdean player, currently playing for Desportivo da Huila, is in talks with 1 de Agosto about his future. Nothing has been confirme yet.

1º de Agosto's interest in Abdulai Faty is fruit of his excellent performances while playing for Desportivo da Huila, averaging around 15 points per game, and contributing to the remarkable performance of his team, which holds the fourth place in the Angola championship.

Manuel Travoada, ex-National team coach of Cape Verde and current coach of Faty, affirms that 'he has been playing well and gaining better physical condition to fight with Angolan, Portuguese and American big men in the low post, and he is growing in this very competitive championship. He will be a serious case in the future'.

Abdulai Faty,(205-C-85), former-player of Seven Stars, Bairro, Sporting of Praia, and Belenenses (Portugal), also played for the senior nation team, and hopefully it will be able to repeat itself when it's time for the pre-selection of the NT for the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament.


First annual meeting of the Zone II in Dakar: Henry Gomes: "Our federations sleep" -by Pedro Gomes
The Zone II held its first annual conference in Dakar last Saturday. A zone that is crumbling under the weight of financial difficulties and seeking candidates for the organization of the playoff tournaments for men.

The Zone II desperately sought a candidate for the organisation of the qualifiers for African championships 2009. On the senior level, Guinea is the sole candidate, while the women's competition has no possible host in sight so far.
A possibility would be to create a league system instead of a tournament so a host wouldn't be needed.
Furthermore, Guinean Omar N'diaye suggested to FIBA-Africa to review the current qualification system.
He points out, that the zonal qualifiers would gain more attraction if only the Champions and the host country would be automatically qualified while the other countries that were placed
second to eight have to play again the zonal qualifiers instead of being automatically qualified for the next African Championships.

Another problem is facing the area: Financial difficulties related to the contribution of non-member countries. Currently only Cape Verde is reliable. And Dakar, which should host the headquarters of the zone, is outstanding for its unpaid bills. However, the contribution is only $ 300 per year, or 135000 F Cfa.

A positive note is the recent success of the U-16 zonal championships which have been held in Guinea-Bissau and that nine (Gambia, Sierra Leone and Mauretania were absent) of 12 members of the zone were present in Dakar.


Standings
D1 Standings
1. ABC 8-2
2. Seven Stars 6-4
3. Predio 5-5
4. Ach.Grande 1-9


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CROATIA

TAU,Maccabi eyeing Ante Tomic -by Davor Kosic
Euroleague Powerhouse - Tau Ceramica and Maccabi Tel-Aviv are eyeing for a move for Croatian starlet - Ante Tomic (217-C-87).
The forward/Center of KK Zagreb had great year with the Croatian team with stats of 13.1ppg,7.2rpg and 1.7apg in the Adriatic League. and 14.0ppg 7.6rpg in the Fiba EuroCup.
Scouts of Both teams already seen the player in couple of occasions this month and both a plotting for a move for the young and talented player.
Tomic himself said that he doesnt think of moving to the NBA soon as he plans to stay couple of season in Europe with a move for a Bigger club would very intersts him.


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D-LEAGUE

Cleveland Cavaliers Re-Signs Billy Thomas from Colorado 14ers -by Surujh Roopnarine
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who will open up the 2007-08 NBA Playoffs at home versus the Washington Wizards on Saturday at 12:30pm, re-signed Billy Thomas (6'5''-G-75, college: Kansas) from the Colorado 14ers. Thomas, whose 14ers were knocked out of the D-League playoffs on Tuesday by the Los Angeles D-Fenders, was with Cleveland during last night's final regular season NBA game and will be eligible to play in the playoffs and will be with the team at the beginning of next season.
Thomas, who was previously called up by Cleveland on Feb. 22nd averaged 2.0 points in 4.3 minutes over six games. In 36 games for the 14ers this season, including a 20-point performance in Colorado's first-round playoff loss, Thomas averaged 16.3 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 37.2 minutes.
Prior to the 2007-08 season, the former Kansas standout played 25 games with New Jersey during the 2004-05 season, when he averaged 3.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. During the 2005-06 season, Thomas appeared in 17 games with the Washington Wizards. In total, Thomas holds NBA career averages of 2.8 points and 1.1 rebounds in 46 games.


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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

GUG is UNDEFEATED in the semifinal round... -by Ozell Wells
In Wednesdays' action GUG improved to 2-0 in the semi final series as they beat CUPES 98-92. Felipe Lopez (197-G/F-74, college: St.John's) led all scorer with 31 pts, 5 rebs, 2 assists and 2 steals. Eric Ferguson (186-G-82, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Arkansas) assisted Felipe's efforts with 21 pts. Julius Nwosu (207-C-71, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Liberty) added 16 pts, 14 rebs and 2 blocked shots in the victory.
CUPES responded with 28 pts from Fausto Alex Sime (192-G-79), 19 pts from Darnell Miller (195-G-82, college: W.Georgia) and 17 pts from Santiago's 3pt shooting King Osvaldo Lopez (189-G/F-83). The biggest difference in this game was the 12 turnovers by both Sime & Miller.
In the 2nd game, SAMEJI began to regain their championship form as they defeated Pueblo Nuevo 81-76. Pueblo Nuevo is now 0-2 in the semifinal round and is in danger of being shortly eliminated. Amaury Filion (206-C/F-81) led all scorers with 26 pts & 15 rebs while Joerickson Duvarsier (182-G-81) added 19 pts & Joel Ramirez (191-G-81) 18 pts. GREAT DEFENSE BY SAMEJI held Eddie Elisma (205-F/C-75, college: Georgia Tech) to only 11 pts on 3 of 13 shooting.
Pueblo Nuevo now sits at 0-2 in the SemiFinal round and is in danger of being shortly eliminated.
This Friday will see Sameji vs GUG & CUPES vs Pueblo Nuevo
THE STANDINGS: GUG 2-0, CUPES 1-1, Sameji 1-1 & CPN 0-2


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EL SALVADOR

Changes in ExSal roster -by Gianni Pascucci
Just before the last round of Liga Superior, ExSal announced the hiring of Nathan Watson (191-G-83, agency: TASM, college: Auburn), who is back in the team after succesfully performing there in 2007. He fills one of the two import spot after that the team officials decided to release both Doug Whittler (208-C-83, college: Morehouse) and Victor Toribio (198-G/F-82).

ExSal keeps the to of the table -by Jaime Arevalo
In last LSB round, ExSal defeated 111-79 a yet schocked San Marcos, coached for the first time by Ismael Ochoa, who replaces Enrique Samour. As it was easy to expect, Nathan Watson (191-G-83, agency: TASM, college: Auburn) outstood immediately, leading ExSal with 29 pts. Oscar Rivera (186-G-80) and Salvador Bandek (181-G-78) assisted well their import team mate, while Michael Pierrot (208-C-84) poured in 34 points to be the game top scorer in losing effort. The same night, Denver prevailed over Cosmos 103-93, led by Marcus Robinson (198-F, college: N.Georgia), who scored 27 points, and Carlos Alas (181-G-79), who added 14 pts. The best performer in a Cosmos without any import player was Edwin Lopez (183-G/F-85), who scored 21 points.

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EUROLEAGUE

Final Four game officials named -by Kostas Papadopoulos
The names of the eight referees who will work the 2008 Final Four in Madrid have been announced by the Euroleague. The full list of referees includes: Recep Ankarali (Turkey), Romualdas Brazauskas (Lithuania), Srdan Dozai (Croatia), Spiros Gkontas (Greece), Dane Hierrezuelo (Spain), Carl Jungebrand (Finland), Stelios Koukoulekidis (Greece) and Boris Ryzhyk (Ukraine).
Returning from last year's crew is Ryzhyk, while Brazauskas (three times), Jungebrand (two) and Koukoulekidis (one) have all whistled in Final Fours since the 2001-02 season. Hierrezuelo and Gkontas are both working their first Final Fours. By assigning newcomers to the Final Four officiating crew, the Euroleague aims both to reward professional competency and diversify the pool of referees with experience in Europe's top basketball event. Along with refereeing assignments, the appointment of two game commissioners for the Final Four was announced. They are Goran Radonjic (France) and Ricardo Salguero (Spain).
The Final Four will be held from Friday May 2 to Sunday May 4 at the Community of Madrid Sports Palace in the Spanish capital and features four teams: CSKA Moscow, Tau Ceramica, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv and Montepaschi Siena.

By the courtesy of Euroleague.net


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FRANCE

French Cup: Nanterre defeats Strasbourg -by Chris Spiesser
Nanterre is becoming a French Cup specialist as they join for the second year in a row the 1/4 finals. This time they downed Strasbourg which couldn't lead any second in the game. No other surprise happened this time, the ASVEL, Nancy, Gravelines and Cholet had expected wins. Pau had a big home victory against the ProA leader, Le Mans. At home, the NM1 teams did good job facing their ProA/B opponents. Angers drove Poitiers to overtime while Challans lost in the final minutes against Le Havre.

Nanterre 72-71 Strasbourg
20pts, 9rbs, 4ass for Ricky Soliver and 20pts, 5rbs for Souarata Cisse
Strasbourg slowly came back but lost the final ball.

Pau 104-98 Le Mans
Trepagnier: 21pts, Ferchaud 4/4 3pts in 11'
Clancy: 27pts (12/16), 7rbs, 3ass

ASVEL 102-67 Hyeres-Toulon
45rbs vs 26rbs for the ASVEL which had 7 players above 10pts.

Challans 80-87 Le Havre
Marcellus Sommerville: 30pts (11/16), 12rbs
Challans was led by Driss (14pts, 8rbs, 3blk, 4ass) and Judith (16pts, 7rbs, 3ass)

Angers 72-79 Poitiers (ot)
Angers grabbed 49 rbs (vs 32) with double-doubles for Doles, Lesieu and Sulpice plus 23pts (9/12) for Rajnak.
Costentin nailed 16pts, 8rbs, 5stl, 4ass.

Cholet 72-53 Orleans
Beaubois had 18pts (6/7) and 4rbs against Orleans who couldn't score more than 23 pts in the second half.

Gravelines 85-59 Chalon
Worse, Chalon had only 21 pts in the second half...
Dubiez posted 21pts and 4ass while Brun had 17pts, 5rbs and 3ass

Vichy 64-72 Nancy
Nancy shot at 47%, Vichy only at 37% in this defensive game.
Issa had a 12pts-12rbs double-double but the Greer family went for 24pts, 14rbs and 11ass.

The 1/4 and semi-final will be held in the same time, next Tuesday and Wednesday, in Limoges and Denain.


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FYR MACEDONIA

Stats Leaders - Superleague
First Macedonian League Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1. Jarrid Frye (Amak SP) 19.77
2. Dime Tasovski (Strumica 2005) 19.30
3. Dimitar Mirakovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 18.48
Rebounds Per Game
1. Damir Latovic (Strumica 2005) 8.86
2. Muhamed Thaci (MZT FON Univerzitet Skopje) 6.57
3. Sasko Vasilev (Karpos Sokoli 2000) 6.53
Assists Per Game
1. Dimitar Mirakovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 5.83
2. Jane Petrovski (MZT Skopje) 5.14
3. Milan Miljkovic (Swisslion Pelister) 4.93
Steals Per Game
1. Jarrid Frye (Amak SP) 2.27,
2. Milan Miljkovic (Swisslion Pelister) 2.00,
3. Dimitar Mirakovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 1.72.
Blocks Per Game
1. Toni Simic (Fersped Rabotnicki) 1.30,
2. Srdjan Stankovic (Swisslion Pelister) 1.04,
3. Filip Kralevski (Vardar Osiguruvanje) 0.93.
2FGP
1. Gjorgji Talevski (Swisslion Pelister) 69.67,
2. Dime Tasovski (Strumica 2005) 67.57,
3. Pero Blazevski (Vardar Osiguruvanje) 65.81.
3FGP
1. Goran Veselinovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 45.29 %
2. Pero Blazevski (Vardar Osiguruvanje) 45.07 %
3. Ognen Stojanovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 43.17%
Free Throws
1. Pero Blazevski (Vardar Osiguruvanje) 78.96,
2. Dimitar Mirakovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 70.48,
3. Goran Samardziev (Feni Industri) 70.29.


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GERMANY

Knee injury puts Moye out for season -by Moritz Korff
The season is over for A.J. Moye (193-G-82, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: Indiana), team captain of the Walter Tigers Tuebingen (1. Bundesliga). The 26-year-old American who played 29 Bundesliga-games averaging 10.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest in this current campaign suffered a knee-injury in practice on Sunday. This injury turned out to be a torn ACL in the right knee. It is not sure yet if Moye will have to undergo surgery for this reason. However, an operation is probably necessary on his left knee because of continuous discomfort.

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GREECE

Koufos' future seriously matters Greek big rivals -by Kostas Papadopoulos
Ohio State's Greek player Kosta Koufos (213-F/C-89) is mulling his future in college basketball. Kosta Koufos was expected to make a decision this past week, but that proved premature.
His mother, Kathy Kosta Koufos, a high school guidance counselor, said to George M. Thomas from Beacon Journal, USA, that his options are too complicated to rush into things: ''It's a very serious decision, and we're weighing all of his options. We're not excluding anything right now.''
Kosta Koufos could stay in school, enter the NBA Draft, or turn pro and play in Greece. His college coach, Thad Matta, thinks though that he should stay. Not that his performance as a freshman was unimpressive: Kosta Koufos averaged 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks and capped off the season by winning the outstanding player award in the National Invitation Tournament, which the Buckeyes won. ''I think he could really help us and help himself by coming back,'' Matta said in a recent report.
''I think he's a first-rounder if he decides to enter. I think he'll go somewhere between 15 and 30 in the first round. I think he'd be better suited waiting another year,'' said Jonathan Givony, president and director of scouting for the Web site DraftExpress.com. ''So many guys have entered the draft, he didn't have the kind of year he needed to have to be a lottery pick. Which, potential-wise, he can get there down the road.''
ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas said Kosta Koufos should wait: ''He's got to get stronger, improve his lower base and not get moved around as easily,'' Bilas said. ''I think he's got to become a better rebounder and defender. If you're coming out early, you'd better be ready to make an impact on that league, and he's not prepared to do that yet.''
That leaves Kosta Koufos with another option that he is considering, his mother said: Greece. Kosta Koufos holds dual citizenship and has played for the Greek national team.
Before entering OSU last summer, he played in the Under-18 European championships in Madrid. He dominated the tournament, averaging 26.5 points, 13 rebounds and 3.5 blocks and won the tournament's Most Valuable Player award after leading the Greek national team to a silver medal.
According to reports, he may have spurned a multimillion-dollar offer to play pro ball in Greece so he could attend OSU last year, but this summer both Panathinaikos and Olympiakos (especially after coach Giannakis came at the Reds) would like to add him at their roster. Even the first offers have been referred, with Panathinaikos' one overcoming the one of Olympiakos only for EUR0,5m. (EUR 5,5m. for a 3-year contract). ''Since he has that heritage, he may want to do that,'' Bilas said. ''The only difference over there is that he can spend more time playing and work on his game as opposed to going to school, but I wouldn't recommend that.''
Givony sees a couple of other advantages for going to Greece. ''He would make money. It would allow him to improve on his game before he gets drafted,'' he said. ''And I think that his game is better suited for European basketball than for college. It's kind of hard for big guys to stand out sometimes in college.''
The arrival of another 7-footer, B.J. Mullens, at Ohio State could cause some problems, too. ''They can't really play together, especially under Thad's system; he values defense so heavily,'' Givony said. ''It's going to be a little bit difficult for (Kosta Koufos) playing with B.J. Mullens. B.J.'s a highly touted guy, and you'd think he would be one and done himself.''


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GUATEMALA

Elite Sport defeats Estudiantes -by Gianni Pascucci
Elite sport took another win in Liga Metropolitana-Torneo Apertura 2008, defeating Estudiantes 74-65. The game best persormers were Alejandro Carrillo (191-F-88), who scored 21 pts for Elite Sport, and Jose Luis Burbano (186-G/F-85), who added 20 points. Jose Salem scored 17 and Alejandro Barahona 10 for Estudiantes. This was the 4th win in a row for Elite Sport, that is now at the top of the table, but this happened without meeting the other favoutite teams Sat-Markvision and Leones de Marte. The first of these showdowns is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22 at the Gimnasio Nacional Teodoro Palacios Flores, when Elite Sport will play Sat-Markvision.

Standings
Liga Metropolitana Standings
 1. Elite Sport 4-0 
 2. Leones de Marte 3-0 
 3. Markvision 3-0 
 4. SLT 1-1 
 5. Lemans 1-1 
 6. USAC 0-0 
 7. Corpoevisa 0-1 
 8. Millonarios 0-1 
 9. R L 0-1 
 10. Zencas 0-1 
 11. URL 0-2 
 12. Estudiantes 0-2 


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GUINEA

First annual meeting of the Zone II in Dakar: Henry Gomes: "Our federations sleep" -by Kristian Santiago
The Zone II held its first annual conference in Dakar last Saturday. A zone that is crumbling under the weight of financial difficulties and seeking candidates for the organization of the playoff tournaments for men.

The Zone II desperately sought a candidate for the organisation of the qualifiers for African championships 2009. On the senior level, Guinea is the sole candidate, while the women's competition has no possible host in sight so far.
A possibility would be to create a league system instead of a tournament so a host wouldn't be needed.
Furthermore, Guinean Omar N'diaye suggested to FIBA-Africa to review the current qualification system.
He points out, that the zonal qualifiers would gain more attraction if only the Champions and the host country would be automatically qualified while the other countries that were placed
second to eight have to play again the zonal qualifiers instead of being automatically qualified for the next African Championships.

Another problem is facing the area: Financial difficulties related to the contribution of non-member countries. Currently only Cape Verde is reliable. And Dakar, which should host the headquarters of the zone, is outstanding for its unpaid bills. However, the contribution is only $ 300 per year, or 135000 F Cfa.

A positive note is the recent success of the U-16 zonal championships which have been held in Guinea-Bissau and that nine (Gambia, Sierra Leone and Mauretania were absent) of 12 members of the zone were present in Dakar.


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HOLLAND

Landstede Zwolle extends contract of Gerard Punch -by Fred Roggen
Landstede basketball has the first American player for the new season already under contract. The American guard/forward Gerad Punch (193-G/F, college: Furman) has earned an contract-extension with Landstede Zwolle for the next season. The guard/forward is now busy with his first season at the team from Zwolle. For Punch means this a longer stay in zwolle, 'I have got the chance to play professional basketball and hopes to develop my career further. Punch season-averages: 13.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

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ICELAND

Keflavik to the finals -by Siggi Hjorleifsson
Keflavik made it to the play-offs final by winning last three games against IR. Not happen before in Iceland that team loose first two games in the serie but comes back in win next three. Keflavik did.
Final score last night. Keflavik 93. IR 73. IR scored only 13 points in 2nd period and only 12 in last period. You can not win when this happens.
Leading scorers for Keflavik. Gunnar Einarsson (190-G-77) 23. 5/6 in three pts. Tommy Johnson (196-G/F-81, college: Texas Wesleyan) 13.
For IR only Nate Brown (183-G-80, agency: IceBasket, college: St.Peter's) did well with 23 pts. Eirikur Onundarson (186-G-74) 15. Sveinbjorn Claessen (191-G-86) 14.

Keflavik will play against Snaefell in the finaals. First game saturday.


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LEBANON

Standings - Division A
Div.A Standings
1. Al Riyadi 14-0
2. Moutahed 11-3
3. Sagesse 9-5
4. Blue Stars 6-8
5. Champville 5-9
6. Feytroun 5-9
7. Antranik 5-9
8. Anibal 1-13


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MAURITIUS

Indian Ocean Club Championships started in Mauritius -by Kristian Santiago
Teams competing in the 16th CCOI are:

Men
Group A : Real SC (Mauritius), Jeux d'Afrique (Mayotte) and Djabal Club (Comores)
Group B : Sebam (Madagascar), PLS Hawks (Seychelles) and Saint-Pierre BB (Reunion)

Women
Curepipe Starlight (Mauritius), Sotrata (Madagascar), BCB (Reunion), Anse Etoile (Seychelles), BCM (Mayotte)

The finals of the tournament will be held on April 20th.

Rosters for both teams from the Seychelles:

Anse Etoile Stars (Women) : Simone Malbrook, Geneviève Beaudoin, Lindy Mathiot, Dina Louis, Brigitte Nibourette, Georgia Desir, Jennifer Bonne, Priscilla Devasin, Magdeline Julienne, Zita Simeon, Lucia Souffe and Barbara Hoareau. Charles Abel (Manager) and Michel Malbrook (Coach).

PLS Hawks (Men) : Jim Domingue (194-F-68), Nigel Annette (-F), Rodney Loze (194-C), Heribert Derjacques, Daniel Edmond, Emmanuel Jupiter (-F), Romeo Victor (176-G), Daniel Victor, Neddy Fanchette (-C), Karim Cesar, Bernard Bristol (-G), Francis Moustache, Keddy Micock and Barry Baron (203-C).Tony Juliette (Head Coach) and Kenneth Domingue (Assistant-Coach)


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NBA

The regular season is over -by Eurobasket News
So now the regular season is over and the main NBA's treat gets under way. Playoffs will start on April 19 with 16 teams striving for the NBA crown. With the situation pretty clear in the East all eyes were on the wild West with no easy answers for placing the 8 top seeds.
The Dallas Mavericks finished the season on a high with a 111:98 win over New Orleans. It meant the Mavs clinched the 7th spot in the West setting up an opening round matchup against the Hornets. Jason Kidd (6'4''-G-73, college: California) notched his 100th career triple-double with 27 points, 10 boards and 10 assists and Jason Terry (6'2''-G-77, college: Arizona) knocked down game-high 30 points coming off the bench and Dallas prevailed in the rehearsal of the first round battle. The Mavs entered the fourth period up by 13 points and though the visitors cut the gap to 4 points midway through the frame the Mavs managed to keep the positive result till the final buzzer. David West (6'8''-F-80, agency: Octagon, college: Xavier) finished with 26 points and 8 boards for New Orleans. The teams are tied at 2-2 in the season series.
The San Antonio Spurs rolled past the Utah Jazz 109:80 at home yesterday to remain with a home-court advantage for the opening round of playoffs. The win set up a mouth-watering San Antonio vs. Phoenix first-round clash. Utah remained in the fourth spot and would play against the 5th ranked Houston in the first round. The Rockets however will have the home-court advantage against Utah because the Jazz had their final spot booked by winning the Northwest Division. Tony Parker (6'0''-G-80) had 24 points and 12 assists, while Tim Duncan (6'10''-F-76, college: Wake Forest) came up with 14 points and 11 boards in the Spurs' win. C.J. Miles (6'6''-G-87) scored 12 points for Utah in a losing case. The Spurs lost the season series to Phoenix 1-3, while Utah had a 2-1 edge against Houston.
Denver eased past Memphis in the regular season finale 120:111 but still remained just in the 8th spot coming into the playoff stage. The Nuggets will now try to challenge the LA Lakers in the opening round. The win marked the first 50-win season for Denver since 1988. Allen Iverson (6'1''-G-75, college: Georgetown) nailed 21 points and Carmelo Anthony (6'8''-F-84, college: Syracuse) dropped 17 as the Nuggets rolled to a winning outcome. Kyle Lowry (6'0''-G-86, college: Villanova) bruised the hosts with 22 points. Andre Brown (6'9''-F/C-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: De Paul) netted career-high 19 points in defeat.


Standings
NBA Standings
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Div.
 1. Boston C. 66-16 
 2. Toronto R. 41-41 
 3. Philadelphia 40-42 
 4. New Jersey N. 34-48 
 5. New York K. 23-59 
Central Div.
 1. Detroit P. 59-23 
 2. Cleveland C. 45-37 
 3. Indiana P. 36-46 
 4. Chicago B. 33-49 
 5. Milwaukee B. 26-56 
Southeast Div.
 1. Orlando M. 52-30 
 2. Washington W. 43-39 
 3. Atlanta H. 37-45 
 4. Charlotte B. 32-50 
 5. Miami H. 15-67 
Western Conference
Northwest Div.
 1. Utah J. 54-28 
 2. Denver N. 50-32 
 3. Portland T.B. 41-41 
 4. Minnesota T. 22-60 
 5. Seattle S. 20-62 
Pacific Div.
 1. Los Angeles L. 57-25 
 2. Phoenix S. 55-27 
 3. Golden St. 48-34 
 4. Sacramento K. 38-44 
 5. Los Angeles C. 23-59 
Southwest Div.
 1. San Antonio S. 56-26 
 2. N.Orleans H. 56-26 
 3. Houston R. 55-27 
 4. Dallas M. 51-31 
 5. Memphis G. 22-60 


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NIGERIA

Africabasket U.S. College Basketball Postseason Awards 2007-2008 -by Kristian Santiago

Like every year around this time, Africabasket.com honors African players who succeeded in the U.S. collegiate system. There have been numerous players that stood out and have to be mentioned for their efforts on and off the court.
Also, are we wishing all the seniors a great start into their professional basketball career for 2008-2009 seasons.


Africabasket Player of the Year 2007-2008: Josh Akognon (180-G-86, college: Washington St.)
The point guard who transferred out of Washington State to Fullerton helped the Titans to win the Big West Tournament and a bid for the NCAA Tournament this year. Akognon, who has also international experience by representing Nigeria's national team at the FIBA World Championships in the past, is one of the leading scorers of the NCAA with 20,2 ppg and will be back for another successful post-season run of Cal State Fullerton.


Africabasket Rookie of the Year 2007-2008: Nyal Mac Koshwal (208-C)
The Sudanese power forward blossomed into college basketball scene with formidable performances that earned him a spot on the Big East Freshman Team.
He has a knack for rebounding and registered already astonishing 8,4 boards per game in his first season for DePaul.
Be sure to hear from Mac more often in the next years, a future in the NBA must certainly be his goal.




NCAA Division I


Africabasket 1st All - African Team

Josh Akognon, Cal State Fullerton, Jr.
Season: 20,2 ppg 3,3 rpg 1,4 spg 89,9 %FT (NABC All-Distr.15 2nd Team, All-Big West 2nd Team, Big West All-Tournament Team, All-Big West Tourn. MVP)

Hasheem Thabeet (221-C-87), Connecticut, Soph.
Season: 10,5 ppg 7,9 rpg 4,5 bpg (Big East Defensive POY, All-Big East 2nd Team, NABC Distr. 1 2nd Team)

Abdulai Jalloh (188-G-86, college: St.Joseph's), James Madison, Jr.
Season: 15,5 ppg 5,5 rpg 2,9 apg 1,7 spg (All-CAAC 3rd Team, All-CAAC Ac. 2nd Team)

Parfait Bitee (188-G-85), Rhode Island, Sr.
Season: 11,8 ppg 2,5 rpg 4,7 apg (Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, A-10 All-Defensive Team)

Longar Longar (211-C-83), Oklahoma, Sr.
Season: 11,4 ppg 5,6 rpg 1,0 bpg (Portsmouth Invitational Tournament)

Africabasket 2nd All-African Team

Boubacar Coly (206-F-83, college: Xavier), Morgan State, Sr.
Season: 9,6 ppg 10,9 rpg 2,5 bpg (All-MEAC 1st Team)

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (200-G/F-88), UCLA, Jr.
Season: 8,8 ppg 6,0 rpg 1,0 spg (PAC-10 All-Defensive Team, NCAA Final Four)

Kojo Mensah (185-G-85, college: Siena), Duquesne, Jr.
Season: 12,1 ppg 3,3 rpg 3,4 apg 1,4 spg

Uche Echefu (206-F-86), Florida State, Sr.
Season: 10 ppg 7,3 rpg 1,0 bpg

Nyal Mac Koshwal, DePaul, Fr,
Season: 10,7 ppg 8,4 rpg 1,2 spg (Big East-Freshman Team)

Smaller Colleges (NCAA II,III and NAIA)

Africabasket All-African Team

Fred Eshon (185-G), Texas Wesleyan, Sr.
Season: 13,4 ppg 2,8 rpg 1,8 apg (Red River All-Conf. 1st Team)

Alioune MBaye (198-F/C), California (Pa.),Jr.
Season: 12,3 ppg 8,1 rpg 1,5 bpg (All-PSAC 1st Team)

Abdoulaye Ouedraogo (203-F), William Paterson,Soph.
Season: 10,8 ppg 8,7 rpg 2,2, bpg (NJAC Defensive POY, All-NJAC 1st Team, D3 Hoops All-Atlatnic 2nd Team, MBWA/Presto Sports D3 All 3rd Team)

Collins Onyando (196-C), Trevecca Nazarene, Sr.
Season: 11,3 ppg 7,7 rpg 3,2 apg (All-Tran South 1st Team)

Brian Oduor (193-G), Trevecca Nazarene, Jr.
Season: 14 ppg 6,3 rpg 1,3 apg

Stephane Bakinde (203-F-87, college: Stony Brook), Newberry, Sr.
Season: 11,3 ppg 6,5 rpg

Mahamoud Jabbi (201-F), Oswego State, Soph.
Season: 14,3 ppg 7,1 rpg 2,8 bpg (SUNYAC All-Conference 2nd Team)

Patrick Sanou (198-C), Armstrong Atlantic, Sr.
Season: 10,2 ppg 5,4 rpg 1,4 bpg (ESPN: The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District III Men's Basketball first team)

Tut Yual (201-F), Sioux Falls, Sr.
Season: 10,8 ppg 5,1 rpg (GPAC All-Conference 2nd Team)



NJCAA (Junior Colleges)

Africabasket All-African Team

Destin Damachoua (185-G-86), Polk CC, Soph.
Season: 16,9 ppg 4,0 rpg 1,4 apg (AllSuCon 1st team)

Papa Oppong (193-G, college: Coffeyville CC), Panola JC,Soph.
Season: 15,7 ppg 5,2 rpg 2,1 apg 40,1 % 3p-FG (All Region 14 2nd Team)

Samson Gebreberhane (198-F), Allan Hancock CC, Soph.
Season: 15,9 ppg 5,2 rpg 2,9 apg

Chop Tang (198-F), Eastern Arizona JC, Soph.
Season: 15,1 ppg 4,9 rpg 1,5 apg (Arizona All-Star Team)

Panyon Alex Makur (193-G, college: Cent.Florida CC), Genesee CC, Fr.
Season: 17,3 ppg 5,0 rpg 1,9 apg 40,2 % 3p FG (NJCAA Reg. 3 2nd Team)

Rhiiny Ngot, SUNY-Orange County CC, Fr.
Season: 15,4 ppg 11 rpg 52% FG

David Kanyinda (188-G-88), Lamar CC, Soph.
Season: 11,5 ppg 2,4 rpg 1,8 apg 45% 3p-FG

Mso Ikyaator (-85), Erie CC, Fr.
Season: 10 ppg 8,5 rpg 1,6spg (NJCAA Reg. 3 3rd Team)

Luse Mundadi (188-G), Lake County CC, Soph.
Season: 17 ppg (NJCAA Reg. 4 2nd Team)



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PARAGUAY

FPC inks Lee and Hall -by Gianni Pascucci
Felix Perez Cardozo announced the agreement with USA players Brandon Lee (188-G, agency: ProSportsCareers, college: Tarleton St.) and Dwain Hall (208-C, college: UTSA). The team is also testing an African guard and added to its roster Alcides Fernandez (205-C-82) and Anderson Villamayor (192-F-80). To prepare as best as possible the next National League, the team organizes this upcoming weekend a Quadrangolar Tournment with Deportivo San Jose, Sol de America, and Estrellas del Este. The games will be played on Friday 18 and Saturday 19.

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PHILIPPINES

Standings - PBA Fiesta Conference
PBA Standings
 1. Sta Lucia 3-0 
 2. Red Bull 3-1 
 3. Coca-Cola 3-1 
 4. Talk N Text 2-2 
 5. Air21 2-2 
 6. Magnolia 2-2 
 7. Alaska 2-2 
 8. Purefoods 2-2 
 9. Ginebra 0-3 
 10. Welcoat D. 0-4 


PBA Fiesta Cup Results -by Lorenzo Gahol
#s#
#e#4


Seigle


Thomas


Holcomb
Apr 13 (Sun) Araneta Coliseum
Talk N Text 86 Magnolia 91
MBM: Danny Seigle (198-F/G-76) 18 pts, 10 rebs
TNT: McGhee 22 pts, 15 rebs

Air21 102 Coca-Cola 95
A21: Steve Thomas (203-F-81) 25 pts, 15 rebs, Santos 21 pts
CCT: Gervin 26 pts, 6 asts

Apr. 16 (Wed) Araneta Coliseum
Welcoat 90 Alaska 92
AA: Randy Holcomb (204-F/C-79) 26 pts, 15 rebs
WD: Gainous 30 pts, 19 rebs

Red Bull 98 Purefoods 96
RBB: Cyrus Baguio (188-G-80) 27 pts, Parada 22pts, 16 rebs
PG: Rice 31 pts, 9 rebs


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PORTUGAL

End of LIGA UZO for next season -by Bruno Baltazar
The 8 teams in LIGA UZO, organized by the Portuguese League, decided in a meeting held yesterday in the city of Figueira da Foz to drop the league for next season.
Meanwhile, the teams in PROLIGA decided to stay and compete next season in the championship organized by the Portuguese Federation.
The LIGA UZO teams will now create a commission to discuss their future that seems more and more likely to compete in the Proliga as well.
This likely means the end of professional competition in Portugal.


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PUERTO RICO

Boricuas Abroad and All Star Game info -by Alessandro Fontana
BORICUAS ABROAD
In Poland, Play-off Time, Turow won the first game against Kotwica 79-73. Andres Rodriguez played 15 minutes with 4 points (1/1 2pts, 0/3 3pts, 2/4 FT).
In Spain Malaga was defeated by Girona 71-65. Daniel Santiago scored 15 pts (7/15 2pts, 1/1 FT) in 21 minutes + 6rebs and 3 blocks.
In NBA, it will be play-off time from Saturday, Orlando with 'our Boricua' Carlos Arroyo will play against Toronto, Dallas against New Orleans.
In Puerto Rico, BSN Staff decided that the All Star Game will be on 10th may at Tomas Dones Coliseum in Fajardo.
BSN Boxscores
ARECIBO-SAN GERMAN= 80-81
A= White 24, Rivera 17, Rodriguez 9, Hatton 7, Figueroa 6, Cortes 6, Rosa 5, Cruz 3, Jourdon 3
SG= Lazor 24, Dyer 17 (5 blocks), Alvarado 13, Lugo 12, Avila 7, S. Villegas 4, Caro 2, De Jesus 2, J. Villegas 0
A. Fontana


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SAINT KITTS

SKABA Basketball League 2008 Officially Opens This Weekend -by Jay
Basseterre, St.Kitts (April 16th 2008):-The highly anticipated official start of the St.Kitts Amateur Basketball Association League 2008 is finally here. This weekend, on Sunday, the official opening of the DIGICEL/National Bank/KFC SKABA Basketball League will take place at Basketball City .
The official opening ceremony will start promptly at 4pm with the march past which will feature the 32 teams taking part in this years league. The ceremony will conclude with the 2007 champions and runners up awards and prize giving which will be immediately followed by a packed night of fun, games and giveaways.
The evening will feature 2 marquis league games including 2007 'A' division semifinalists Lindsay Grant Challengers Exodus and the Conaree Fireballs.Both teams were heavily favoured last year to win the division and earn a Premeir Division promotion. However they fell just short as they were both beaten in the final four by Horsfords Ghetto Roots and Blue Devils. The 2nd big game will be a rematch of laste years finals when the defending Champions St.Pauls Tuff Knots pl;ay former Champions RAMS Hitters. Hitters and Tuff Knotss have started a rivalry of sorts as both teams are seen as the two top teams in the league.
Their will also be two exhibition games when the Junior Division will stage an country versus town All Star game and the females will also engage in an All Star encounter.

The DIGICEL/National Bank/KFC SKABA league 2008 will feature over 32 teams in 4 divisions namely the Premier, 'A', Junior and Female Divisions. Games will be played on Tuesdays, Wednsdays, Thursdays, Saturdays with the game of the week on Sunday's. All games will be played at Basketball City.


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SENEGAL

Africabasket U.S. College Basketball Postseason Awards 2007-2008 -by Kristian Santiago

Like every year around this time, Africabasket.com honors African players who succeeded in the U.S. collegiate system. There have been numerous players that stood out and have to be mentioned for their efforts on and off the court.
Also, are we wishing all the seniors a great start into their professional basketball career for 2008-2009 seasons.


Africabasket Player of the Year 2007-2008: Josh Akognon (180-G-86, college: Washington St.)
The point guard who transferred out of Washington State to Fullerton helped the Titans to win the Big West Tournament and a bid for the NCAA Tournament this year. Akognon, who has also international experience by representing Nigeria's national team at the FIBA World Championships in the past, is one of the leading scorers of the NCAA with 20,2 ppg and will be back for another successful post-season run of Cal State Fullerton.


Africabasket Rookie of the Year 2007-2008: Nyal Mac Koshwal (208-C)
The Sudanese power forward blossomed into college basketball scene with formidable performances that earned him a spot on the Big East Freshman Team.
He has a knack for rebounding and registered already astonishing 8,4 boards per game in his first season for DePaul.
Be sure to hear from Mac more often in the next years, a future in the NBA must certainly be his goal.




NCAA Division I


Africabasket 1st All - African Team

Josh Akognon, Cal State Fullerton, Jr.
Season: 20,2 ppg 3,3 rpg 1,4 spg 89,9 %FT (NABC All-Distr.15 2nd Team, All-Big West 2nd Team, Big West All-Tournament Team, All-Big West Tourn. MVP)

Hasheem Thabeet (221-C-87), Connecticut, Soph.
Season: 10,5 ppg 7,9 rpg 4,5 bpg (Big East Defensive POY, All-Big East 2nd Team, NABC Distr. 1 2nd Team)

Abdulai Jalloh (188-G-86, college: St.Joseph's), James Madison, Jr.
Season: 15,5 ppg 5,5 rpg 2,9 apg 1,7 spg (All-CAAC 3rd Team, All-CAAC Ac. 2nd Team)

Parfait Bitee (188-G-85), Rhode Island, Sr.
Season: 11,8 ppg 2,5 rpg 4,7 apg (Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, A-10 All-Defensive Team)

Longar Longar (211-C-83), Oklahoma, Sr.
Season: 11,4 ppg 5,6 rpg 1,0 bpg (Portsmouth Invitational Tournament)

Africabasket 2nd All-African Team

Boubacar Coly (206-F-83, college: Xavier), Morgan State, Sr.
Season: 9,6 ppg 10,9 rpg 2,5 bpg (All-MEAC 1st Team)

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (200-G/F-88), UCLA, Jr.
Season: 8,8 ppg 6,0 rpg 1,0 spg (PAC-10 All-Defensive Team, NCAA Final Four)

Kojo Mensah (185-G-85, college: Siena), Duquesne, Jr.
Season: 12,1 ppg 3,3 rpg 3,4 apg 1,4 spg

Uche Echefu (206-F-86), Florida State, Sr.
Season: 10 ppg 7,3 rpg 1,0 bpg

Nyal Mac Koshwal, DePaul, Fr,
Season: 10,7 ppg 8,4 rpg 1,2 spg (Big East-Freshman Team)

Smaller Colleges (NCAA II,III and NAIA)

Africabasket All-African Team

Fred Eshon (185-G), Texas Wesleyan, Sr.
Season: 13,4 ppg 2,8 rpg 1,8 apg (Red River All-Conf. 1st Team)

Alioune MBaye (198-F/C), California (Pa.),Jr.
Season: 12,3 ppg 8,1 rpg 1,5 bpg (All-PSAC 1st Team)

Abdoulaye Ouedraogo (203-F), William Paterson,Soph.
Season: 10,8 ppg 8,7 rpg 2,2, bpg (NJAC Defensive POY, All-NJAC 1st Team, D3 Hoops All-Atlatnic 2nd Team, MBWA/Presto Sports D3 All 3rd Team)

Collins Onyando (196-C), Trevecca Nazarene, Sr.
Season: 11,3 ppg 7,7 rpg 3,2 apg (All-Tran South 1st Team)

Brian Oduor (193-G), Trevecca Nazarene, Jr.
Season: 14 ppg 6,3 rpg 1,3 apg

Stephane Bakinde (203-F-87, college: Stony Brook), Newberry, Sr.
Season: 11,3 ppg 6,5 rpg

Mahamoud Jabbi (201-F), Oswego State, Soph.
Season: 14,3 ppg 7,1 rpg 2,8 bpg (SUNYAC All-Conference 2nd Team)

Patrick Sanou (198-C), Armstrong Atlantic, Sr.
Season: 10,2 ppg 5,4 rpg 1,4 bpg (ESPN: The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District III Men's Basketball first team)

Tut Yual (201-F), Sioux Falls, Sr.
Season: 10,8 ppg 5,1 rpg (GPAC All-Conference 2nd Team)



NJCAA (Junior Colleges)

Africabasket All-African Team

Destin Damachoua (185-G-86), Polk CC, Soph.
Season: 16,9 ppg 4,0 rpg 1,4 apg (AllSuCon 1st team)

Papa Oppong (193-G, college: Coffeyville CC), Panola JC,Soph.
Season: 15,7 ppg 5,2 rpg 2,1 apg 40,1 % 3p-FG (All Region 14 2nd Team)

Samson Gebreberhane (198-F), Allan Hancock CC, Soph.
Season: 15,9 ppg 5,2 rpg 2,9 apg

Chop Tang (198-F), Eastern Arizona JC, Soph.
Season: 15,1 ppg 4,9 rpg 1,5 apg (Arizona All-Star Team)

Panyon Alex Makur (193-G, college: Cent.Florida CC), Genesee CC, Fr.
Season: 17,3 ppg 5,0 rpg 1,9 apg 40,2 % 3p FG (NJCAA Reg. 3 2nd Team)

Rhiiny Ngot, SUNY-Orange County CC, Fr.
Season: 15,4 ppg 11 rpg 52% FG

David Kanyinda (188-G-88), Lamar CC, Soph.
Season: 11,5 ppg 2,4 rpg 1,8 apg 45% 3p-FG

Mso Ikyaator (-85), Erie CC, Fr.
Season: 10 ppg 8,5 rpg 1,6spg (NJCAA Reg. 3 3rd Team)

Luse Mundadi (188-G), Lake County CC, Soph.
Season: 17 ppg (NJCAA Reg. 4 2nd Team)



First annual meeting of the Zone II in Dakar: Henry Gomes: "Our federations sleep" -by Kristian Santiago
The Zone II held its first annual conference in Dakar last Saturday. A zone that is crumbling under the weight of financial difficulties and seeking candidates for the organization of the playoff tournaments for men.

The Zone II desperately sought a candidate for the organisation of the qualifiers for African championships 2009. On the senior level, Guinea is the sole candidate, while the women's competition has no possible host in sight so far.
A possibility would be to create a league system instead of a tournament so a host wouldn't be needed.
Furthermore, Guinean Omar N'diaye suggested to FIBA-Africa to review the current qualification system.
He points out, that the zonal qualifiers would gain more attraction if only the Champions and the host country would be automatically qualified while the other countries that were placed
second to eight have to play again the zonal qualifiers instead of being automatically qualified for the next African Championships.

Another problem is facing the area: Financial difficulties related to the contribution of non-member countries. Currently only Cape Verde is reliable. And Dakar, which should host the headquarters of the zone, is outstanding for its unpaid bills. However, the contribution is only $ 300 per year, or 135000 F Cfa.

A positive note is the recent success of the U-16 zonal championships which have been held in Guinea-Bissau and that nine (Gambia, Sierra Leone and Mauretania were absent) of 12 members of the zone were present in Dakar.


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SERBIA

Superleague, round 4 - FMP celebrates in derby, easy wins for Partizan and Zvezda -by Dragan Jankovski
In derby game of round four FMP from Zeleznik was better than Hemofarm STADA at home 78-69. It is the second consecutive defeat for Hemofarm while FMP is undefeated yet but they played one game less than Hemofarm because of Partizan's participation in Euroleague quarterfinals. First half was almost equalized without bigger lead for any team. Crucial period of the game was the last three minutes of the third quarter when Hemofarm scored just 3 points. Thus, after 47-47 Panthers went into the last quarter with 61-51. At the beginning of the last 10 minutes Hemofarm made 10-0 run equalizing the score to 61-61 but until the end FMP intensified defense which outcame with final plus 9. Zoran Erceg (211-C/F-85) led Panthers with 23 points and 6 rebounds while Hemofarm got 22 points from Rawle Marshall (201-G-82, college: Oakland).

Crvena Zvezda made an easy win in Cacak over Borac 89-71 thanks to wonderful performance of Bosnian hot prospect Elmedin Kikanovic (210-C-88, agency: Beo Basket), who collected 27 points and 7 rebounds and was MVP of the round 4 with index value 34. USA PG Omar Cook (186-G-82, college: St.John's) also had fantastic night as he recorded double-double, 20 points and 12 assists. Rastko Dramicanin (207-C-86) had 16 points and 6 rebounds in Borac. Zvezda currently has score 3-1 while Borac has 1-3.

Partizan Igokea also had an easy job in Pionir over Vizura 88-57. Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket) was MVP of the game with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

Swisslions Takovo suffered home defeat vs Vojvodina Srbijagas 79-84. In thriller finish Milos Bojovic (198-G-81) was hero of the game. With two successful shots from behind the arc he brought the second win for Vojvodina in the Superleague.


FMP - Hemofarm STADA 78-69
(22-22,15-17,24-12,17-18)

FMP:
Erceg 23 (6 rebs), Samardziski 10 (5 rebs), Krstovic 10
Hemofarm: Marshall 22, Vukosavljevic 19


Borac - Crvena Zvezda 71-89
(18-22,13-24,13-24,27-19)

Borac:
Micic 18, Dramicanin 16 (6 rebs), Plicevic 15, Ilic 11 (4 rebs)
Zvezda: Kikanovic 27 (7 rebs), Cook 20 (12 as)


Partizan Igokea - Vizura 88-57
(16-16,25-13,24-20,23-8)

Partizan:
Milosevic 15, Palacio 13, Kecman 10 (8 rebs, 5 as)
Vizura: Lucic 16 (6 rebs), Radovanovic 14 (4 rebs, 7 as), Sinovec 11


Swisslions Takovo - Vojvodina Srbijagas 79-84
(23-28,19-19,18-15,19-22)

Swisslions:
Jorovic 25 (8 rebs), Dragojlovic 19 (9 rebs), Aleksic 13 (7 as)
Vojvodina: Bajic 17 (8 rebs), Bojovic 14 (6 rebs), Nemeth 14


Igor Kokoskov is the new head coach of Georgian NT -by Dragan Jankovski
37 year-old assistant coach of the NBA team Detroit Pistons, Igor Kokoskov, agreed to terms with the Georgian Basketball Federation to be the head coach of their National Team. Kokoskov started his coaching career in young selections of Partizan Belgrade. Later on in 1997 he made a first step to the USA where he had an observer role at Universities DePaul, Duke, Northwestern, and the NBA team Chicago Bulls. During the 2002-03 season, he became an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers, and since the summer of 2003 has beenan assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons.

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SEYCHELLES

Indian Ocean Club Championships started in Mauritius -by Kristian Santiago
Teams competing in the 16th CCOI are:

Men
Group A : Real SC (Mauritius), Jeux d'Afrique (Mayotte) and Djabal Club (Comores)
Group B : Sebam (Madagascar), PLS Hawks (Seychelles) and Saint-Pierre BB (Reunion)

Women
Curepipe Starlight (Mauritius), Sotrata (Madagascar), BCB (Reunion), Anse Etoile (Seychelles), BCM (Mayotte)

The finals of the tournament will be held on April 20th.

Rosters for both teams from the Seychelles:

Anse Etoile Stars (Women) : Simone Malbrook, Geneviève Beaudoin, Lindy Mathiot, Dina Louis, Brigitte Nibourette, Georgia Desir, Jennifer Bonne, Priscilla Devasin, Magdeline Julienne, Zita Simeon, Lucia Souffe and Barbara Hoareau. Charles Abel (Manager) and Michel Malbrook (Coach).

PLS Hawks (Men) : Jim Domingue (194-F-68), Nigel Annette (-F), Rodney Loze (194-C), Heribert Derjacques, Daniel Edmond, Emmanuel Jupiter (-F), Romeo Victor (176-G), Daniel Victor, Neddy Fanchette (-C), Karim Cesar, Bernard Bristol (-G), Francis Moustache, Keddy Micock and Barry Baron (203-C).Tony Juliette (Head Coach) and Kenneth Domingue (Assistant-Coach)


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SLOVAKIA

Chemosvit Svit thrashes Pezinok -by Eurobasket News
Round 43 of the regular season in Slovak Republic brought a massive loss of the leader. Pezinok was thrashed by Chemosvit Svit 63:103 and now 33-10 in the standings. Svit won all the quarters and dominated the court. Sedma and Drazen Klaric (205-F-80) both lerohu d the winners with 21 points. Znanec supported them with 19, while Andrej Lukjanec (203-F/C-69) had 16 in defeat. Chemosvit Svit is third in the league with 28-15 record.
Inter Bratislava used a chance to close the gap beating HBK Prievidza 99:84. That was a very interesting and at the same time unbelievable game with the carousel in it. HBK Prievidza opened the game with 17:38 in the opening quarter, but then was smashed in the third by 42:20. A win also in the second and the last quarters saw Inter Bratislava improving to 30-13 record. Dusan Pandula (195-F-84) paced all the winners with 23 points. D. Novak posted 17, while Homola scored 14. Hrvoje Puljko (193-G-83, agency: Interperformances) produced 25 points in the losing effort.
MBK Rieker Komarno overcame Slovintegra Levice 80:63 as Stipe Pivac (204-F/C-78, agency: Heinrich Sports) led the way with 16 points. BK CASTA SPU Nitra beat MBK Handlova 86:81 with 22:19 in the last period. ESO CLUB Lucenec won over BK Dolny Kubin 86:71 and Slavia TU Kosice stun Nova Ves 86:78.

Chemosvit Svit - SKANSKA Pezinok 103:63 (29:20, 21:16, 27:15, 26:12)
Chemosvit Svit: Sedma 21, Drazen Klaric 21, Znanec 19
SKANSKA Pezinok: Andrej Lukjanec 16, Brliť 11, Dosek 10

MBK Rieker Komarno - Slovintegra Levice 80:63 (17:16, 23:16, 25:12, 15:19)
MBK Rieker Komarno: Stipe Pivac 16, Barisic 13, Suja 13
Slovintegra Levice:Rich 21, Lutovsky 17, Kral 7

Inter Bratislava - HBK Prievidza 99:84 (17:38, 16:11, 42:20, 24:15)
Inter Bratislava:Dusan Pandula 23, D. Novak 17, Homola 14
HBK Prievidza:Hrvoje Puljko 25, Immink 14, Storcel 12

BK CASTA SPU Nitra - MBK Handlova 86:81 (21:16, 20:19, 23:27, 22:19)
BK CASTA SPU Nitra:Hill 22, Seman 19, Jankovic 12
MBK Handlova:Sasa Avalic (197-G-80) 19, Milosevic 16, Vlaic 10, Smacko 10

ESO CLUB Lucenec - BK Dolny Kubin 86:71 (24:17, 21:26, 21:18, 20:10)
ESO CLUB Lucenec:Kovacevic 22, Praznovsky 18, Jankovic 13
BK Dolny Kubin: Davor Kurilic (202-F-82) 24, Cvitanovic 15, Findura 11

Slavia TU Kosice - Nova Ves 86:78 (21:15, 17:20, 24:23, 24:20)
Slavia TU Kosice:Deng 24, Juraj Probala (185-G-79, agency: Promotex) 18, Lutter 17
Nova Ves: Igor Pesta (203-F/C-84) 28, Mason 24, Ridzoň 12


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SPAIN

ACB Round 30 (Wed) -by Paul Nilsen
A protracted Round 30 of ACB action is almost at an end as after two major midweek games with another on Thursday night between Real Madrid and ULEB Cup winners DKV Jovenut in the capital.

Bouncing back from their ULEB Cup disappointment in unanimous fashion to dliver a crushing blow to Unicaja were Akasvayu Girona who travelled to Malaga on Wednesday and picked up a wholly unexpected 71-65 victory.

Sergio Scariolo and his team will be mortified that they lost this one having dominated the first half to hold a nine point lead at the break. In fact it was going very much to the script with many people expecting Girona to be too tired in this game after a mentally and physically gruelling ULEB weekend. However the Catalans ripped up the script and leave Unicaja sweating on their play-off place with a phenomenal second half when they outscored and completely outplayed the hosts to turn the game completely on its head.

Marc Gasol (212-C-85, agency: Interperformances) showed why he is such a leader of the team and one of the best players in Europe by picking his side up when they were looking down and out to carry them to a huge victory that almost secures them a play-off spot. They are nearly there and it is hardly surprising with Gasol picking up 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks and five assists. He was well supported with four of his team-mates reaching double-figures. Jiri Welsch had 10 points and 7 rebounds for Unicaja.

In the other game it was a case of Pamesa Valencia heading to Leon looking to put pressure on Tau Ceramica for that precious home play-off spot of fourth place. Leon meanwhile knew that a defeat would just about seal their fate of LEB basketball next year. While still mathematically possible, their survival is unlikely after the home team slumped to a 75-91 defeat. Valencia started strongly but Leon managed to keep themselves in the hunt for a win right up until the final quarter when the class of Pamesa shone through. Lamont Barnes had a credible double-double for the home team but it was 18 points and seven assists from Shammond Williams that stood out in this contest as Ruben Douglas also shone with a top score of 22 points.


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U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS

Buck Harvey: Spurs' edge: Duncan has been waiting -by David Edole

San Antonio Express-News

Tim Duncan (208-F-76, college: Wake Forest) sat at his locker Wednesday evening, watching a replay of an earlier game against the Jazz, when he saw himself slip on a clumsy pivot move.


Still sitting, he rolled his chair, kicking his feet against the floor like a little kid, until he was close enough to grab the remote. Then he replayed the moment, over and over again, until he had seen it 10 times.

What followed made it official.

Duncan is paying attention now, isn't he?

All the Spurs appeared interested Wednesday. It was if they put on a dress rehearsal for the playoffs, and the word Gregg Popovich used afterward to describe his team fit that.

'Purposeful,' he called them.

Their problem is that their next opponent will be as purposeful. A year ago, the Spurs and Suns drew blood and anger, and now one franchise will feel disgust and failure within two weeks.

Duncan has never known this kind of loss. He's been the opposite of Tracy McGrady, getting out of the first round every year he's been in uniform, and his first time set the tone. Then, in 1998, Duncan pounded the Suns in a matchup similar to this one. Both teams won 56 games that season.

After that, Duncan didn't face that kind of first-round fear. As a high seed, the Spurs drew beatable opponents. Even last year, when the Spurs were also a third seed, their first-round opponent, Denver, won only 45 games.

This is different. The Suns had the conference's best record when they gambled on Shaquille O'Neal. Who knows? They might be the best again, even if the record doesn't show it, and what Shaq has done against Duncan suggests that.

Duncan has gone 15 for 40 in their two meetings this year, both Spurs losses. But has Shaq found a way to control Duncan? Or did these games say more about what Duncan has become in the regular season?

He has never cared for stats, and he quit caring about the Olympics after seeing FIBA officials at work. He once cared about the MVP award, as well as All-Star appearances, but he's gotten over most of that.

Haircuts, clothes, media attention — all were long ago placed in the who-cares drawer. And as the years went along, he's cared less and less about the regular season, too.

He hasn't skated, exactly, as Shaq has. He's used the regular season as a nice way to get in shape.

Duncan has never gone that far. The only four games he missed this season were after he strained an ankle and knee, and his numbers this season indicate he's been paying attention most of the time.

Still, Duncan has come to see the regular season for what it is — simply prologue for what comes later. He can get pumped up for rivalry games, but he mostly endures the first 82 games with an emotional inability to reach the gear he wants.

Little wonder the Spurs struggled at times this season. Teams often didn't double Duncan, which led to fewer open looks for the other Spurs. And over the past month, even against power teams in the conference, Duncan's body language has screamed without much ambiguity:

'Could we please get to the playoffs?'

Wednesday was about that. The Spurs understood they needed to put everything together, no matter how that impacted seeding. They needed to get Manu Ginobili back, and for Brent Barry to make a shot, and for Tony Parker to return to last June.

They needed, too, for Duncan to zone in and treat the Jazz as he did in the playoffs a year ago. He did, scoring the first basket of the game, before following with an assortment of blocks and rebounds.

One sequence: Duncan dove at Carlos Boozer, forcing a Boozer miss, and Duncan kept running. Ginobili came up with the rebound, looked up and threw a long pass to Duncan sprinting to the other end.

'Tim Duncan was running the floor,' said Jerry Sloan, reacting to the sight. 'He set the stage for everyone.'

That's what he's done for his career. And now comes Shaq, and a rival, and a series where something has to give.

Pull up a chair.

Duncan has.



No. 3 Spurs vs. No. 6 Suns -by David Edole
The Suns won the season series 3-1, and this figures to be a great one on the heels of last season's controversial Spurs' six-game win in the conference semifinals. The big change, of course is the Suns now have Shaquille O'Neal to man the middle, freeing Amare Stoudemire from guarding Tim Duncan (208-F-76, college: Wake Forest) while having a lot more room to roam on offense. Superb point guard Steve Nash now also has Grant Hill as a running mate in the backcourt, with Leandro Barbosa, Raja Bell (196-F/G-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Intern.) and Boris Diaw filling crucial roles as well. The defending champion Spurs are still built around their terrific trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and 2007 Finals MVP Tony Parker, with Michael Finley and Bruce Bowen as consistent as ever in their roles on the wings, and Fabricio Oberto in the post next to Duncan. They've added Ime Udoka and Kurt Thomas for depth up front, and Ginobili has been troubled by a strained groin lately, but they are for the most part healthy. The Spurs also have Matt Bonner for depth off the bench, with aging Robert Horry not healthy, and Jacque Vaughn and Damon Stoudemire behind Parker. The Spurs have homecourt, but the Suns are on a mission. I see it going the distance.
Pick: Spurs in 7
By Mike Kahn

Season series: Suns 3-1

Dec. 13: Suns 100, Spurs 95
Jan. 31: Spurs 84, Suns 81
March 9: Suns 94, Spurs 87
April 9: Suns 96, Spurs 79


FIRST ROUND: SPURS VS. SUNS
Game 1 - SAT, AT SPURS 2 P.M. ABC
Game 2 - TUE, AT SPURS, 8:30 P.M. FSNSW TNT
Game 3 - Apr 25, at Phoenix, 9:30 p.m. KENS ESPN
Game 4 - Apr 27, at Phoenix, 2:30 p.m. ABC
Game 5 *APR 29, AT SPURS, TBA
Game 6 *May 1, at Phoenix, TBA
Game 7 *MAY 3, AT SPURS, TBA


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UKRAINE

Kyiv and Mariupol win their series' openers -by Alexei Naumov
BC Kyiv defeated BC Dnipro in their 2008 Playoffs opener to take a 1:0 series lead.

Kyiv started the game with a 7:0 run and only Dnipro's Artem Shvets drained a trey to stop Kyiv's onslaught. Ryan Stack and Vadym Matyukevych exchanged baskets to make it 9:5 midway through the 1st quarter. Kyiv responded with a 12:2 run and finished the time-frame up by 10.

Dnipro managed to even up the flow of the game, cutting the lead to 3 after Shvets' 3 and 1. He drained yet another 3 to tie the game at 27 to end a 16:6 run. This made Kyiv regroup, and they regained their 10-point lead by the end of the 1st half.

The visitors reduced the lead to 6 in the third, but Kyiv once again responded with a 16:2 blow to finish the 3rd quarter up by 20.

Final quarter was now just a formality and Kyiv held on to the win without much stress.

Pooh Jeter scored 16 points for the winners, Dnipro's Olexandr Panchenko matched his effort, also finishing the game with 16.

Meanwile, Azovmash defeated Cherkaski Mavpy and also took a 1:0 series lead. Game report and both games' stats are available on the Official Website of the Ukrainian Basketball Federation.




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Women News

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BOSNIA - Women

Standings - Women
D1 Standings
Final Four Group
 1. M.Kraj. BL 2-0 
 2. Zeljeznicar 2-0 
 3. Celik 0-2 
 4. Jedinstvo 0-2 
Other D1 teams
 1. Spars 12-6 
 2. Brotnjo Citluk 10-8 
 3. Banovici 9-9 
 4. Mladost BL 6-12 
 5. Zrinjski 4-14 
 6. Sloboda 3-15 
 7. Jablanica 0-18 


*****************************************************
CAPE VERDE - Women

First annual meeting of the Zone II in Dakar: Henry Gomes: "Our federations sleep" -by Pedro Gomes
The Zone II held its first annual conference in Dakar last Saturday. A zone that is crumbling under the weight of financial difficulties and seeking candidates for the organization of the playoff tournaments for men.

The Zone II desperately sought a candidate for the organisation of the qualifiers for African championships 2009. On the senior level, Guinea is the sole candidate, while the women's competition has no possible host in sight so far.
A possibility would be to create a league system instead of a tournament so a host wouldn't be needed.
Furthermore, Guinean Omar N'diaye suggested to FIBA-Africa to review the current qualification system.
He points out, that the zonal qualifiers would gain more attraction if only the Champions and the host country would be automatically qualified while the other countries that were placed
second to eight have to play again the zonal qualifiers instead of being automatically qualified for the next African Championships.

Another problem is facing the area: Financial difficulties related to the contribution of non-member countries. Currently only Cape Verde is reliable. And Dakar, which should host the headquarters of the zone, is outstanding for its unpaid bills. However, the contribution is only $ 300 per year, or 135000 F Cfa.

A positive note is the recent success of the U-16 zonal championships which have been held in Guinea-Bissau and that nine (Gambia, Sierra Leone and Mauretania were absent) of 12 members of the zone were present in Dakar.


*****************************************************
FINLAND - Women

SM-SARJA: Espoo Team signed with Coach Ilpo Rantanen -by Rauno Hurmalainen
Espoo Team will change the Head Coach for 2008-09 season. Assistant Coach Mikko Larkas will stay, but there will be Ilpo Rantanen , 38,
from Tampere as the new Head Coach and as assistant coach also Mirka Dettmann. Rantanen was coaching last season BC Nokia. Rantanen started his
coaching career in 1984. Catz (Lappeenranta) has re-signed with Russian F-C Elena Reshetko (185-C-86). Reshetko averaged 15,0 ppg, 7,6 rpg and 2,9 spg in 32
contests this passed season. Tommi Koskinen will continue as Catz Head Coach assisted by Mika Haakana and Arttu Rossi.


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FRANCE - Women

Standings - LFB
LFB Standings
1. Bourges 25-1
2. USVO 19-7
3. Montpellier 19-7
4. Villeneuve 14-12
5. Mondeville 14-12
6. Challes 14-12
7. St Amand 13-13
8. Clermont 13-13
9. Reims 12-14
10. Tarbes 11-15
11. Pays d Aix 10-16
12. Arras 9-17
13. COB Calais 6-20
14. Mourenx 3-23


Bourges wins the regular season with 25-1 record -by Eurobasket News
Bourges won the regular season in France with 25-1 record. Bourges beat Aix-en-Provence in the last game 73:69 and only one loss with one point is the only upset of Bourges in France. Emmeline Ndongue (194-F-83) led the winners over Aix-en-Provence with 20 points. Endene Miyem (188-F-88) netted 13, while Belinda Snell (182-F-81, agency: LBM Management) had 12. Anda Jekabsone (191-F/C-72) top-scored for the visitors with 17 points.

Valenciennes is second with 19-7 record. In the last game of the regular season the team beat Villeneuve d'Ascq 75:59 . Sarah Michel (178-F-89) and Nicole Ohlde (193-F/C-82, college: Kansas St.) top-scored with 19 points for the winners. Emilie Gomis (180-F-83) followed them with 17 points. Geraldine Robert (184-F-80) and Shala Crawford (193-C-79, college: Life) posted 17 points each in defeat.

Lattes Montpellier had also 19-7 record after the win over Calais 75:87 on a road. Gaelle Skrela (177-G-83) was unstoppable with 27 points. Sandra Dijon (195-C-79) scored 19, while Gunta Basko (181-F-80, college: Siena) had 14. Lauren Neaves (188-F-83, college: Rice) top-scored in defeat with 18 points.

Final Four Cup is scheduled for April 19th. In the semifinals Bourges will meet Villeneuve d'Ascq, while Valenciennes faces Lattes Montpellier. The Final is scheduled on April 20 as well as the game for the third place.


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HUNGARY - Women

Uniqua NB1 - Round 23 -by Adam Patonay
Everybody knows that Pecs and Sopron will be the 1st and the 2nd after the regular season and Szeged is the 3rd, but the fight is very big for the 4-5-6 position beetwen Szolnok, ZTE and BSE. In this round BSE beat Szolnok by 5 points what is more than Szolnok beat BSE at home court. So if this teams finish with same result after the regular season BSE will be on the better position for the play-off because they better on the compare. Zala Volan has to win one of they home court game against big teams Sopron or Szeged. They're so close against the Euroleague team Sopron, because the american guard Molly Creamer (177-G-81, agency: LBM Management, college: Bucknell) was unstopable, but they couldn't made the surprise, because Bernadett Nemeth 'killed' her former team with a last-second basket.

Szeviep Szeged - Seat Foton Gyor 102:72
Szeged: Tomova M. 14, Zherzherunova O. 19, Furesz E. 17/6, Szlimak H. 17/6, Russai P. 19/3
Gyor: Borovickova I. 14/6, Varga R. 14

BSE - Szolnok 91:86
BSE: Iglesias C. 27/12, Aties Z. 30/3
Szolnok: Angela Djelmis 27/15, Hegedus R. 13, Kozdron M. 16/12, Boskovic M. 14/6, Vescan B. 12/3

BEAC - Kanizsa 63:42
BEAC: Sule K. 16/12, Karasz L. 16
Kanizsa: Varga Zs. 13

Savaria BC Szombathely - Vasas Csata 45:84
Savaria: Szilvia Anyos 8/3
Csata: Fritz J. 22/6, Fejes R. 14, Koncz Zs. 11 (10 reb), Izsak J. 10/6, Szondy D. 12/6

Zala Volan ZTE - MKB Euroleasing Sopron 69:70
Zala Volan: Molly Creamer 32/24, Horvath Zs. 12
Sopron: Gorbunova O. 13, Nemeth B. 11, Branzova A. 13, Sliskovic 10

Mizo Pecs 2010 - Atomeromu Szekszard 105:43
Pecs: Somogyi A. 22/12, Podrug E. 21 (12 reb), Fegyverneky Zs. 11, Coleho G. 12, Krivacevic T. 11
Szekszard: Maksimovic M. 10


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ITALY - Women

Taranto and Schio take the lead in the semis -by Carlo Grilli
Playoff, semifinals, game-1 (best-of-three):

Levoni Taranto - Phard Napoli 72 - 56 (1-0)
(21-18, 33-29, 48-38)
LEVONI TARANTO: Balleggi M. 8 (4/5), Corbani C. (0/1, 0/1), Greco M. 10 (4/10, 0/1), Zimerle A. 11 (4/4, 1/6), Sauret Gillespie A. 14 (5/9), Summerton L. 6 (1/2), Prado F. 2 (1/2), Frohlich L. (0/5), Rebekkah Brunson (191-F/C-81, agency: LBM Management, college: Georgetown) 21 (8/14), Masoni M. (0/1). Coach Corno Aldo
PHARD NAPOLI: Paterna S. dnp, Cirone M. 10 (2/7, 0/2), Mauriello P. 5 (0/1, 1/2), Giauro S. 6 (3/8), Barnes A. 8 (4/13, 0/1), Gentile I. (0/2), Horasan Y. 4 (2/6), Ndiaye A. 4 (2/7), Lesdema N. 2 (1/2), Holland-Corn K. 17 (1/5, 3/7). Coach Molino Nino

Famila Wuber Schio - Umana Venezia 72 - 51 (1-0)
(22-17, 39-27, 51-33)
FAMILA WUBER SCHIO: Moro E. 10 (2/6, 2/5), Butler D. 2 (1/2, 0/1), Donaphin B. 15 (7/9), Simona Tassara (174-G-72) 4 (2/2), Sanchez R. (0/1), Masciadri R. 8 (1/6, 2/4), Ngoyisa B. 21 (10/15), Ress K. 5 (1/3, 0/1), Ciampoli F. (0/1), Macchi L. 7 (1/5, 1/3). Coach Orlando Sandro
UMANA VENEZIA: Sottana G. 3 (1/3), Modica F. 10 (3/5, 1/5), Johnson S. 4 (2/8, 0/4), Sanford N. 3 (1/3), Andrade M. 5 (2/5), Nadalin J. 10 (5/9), Giauro E. 2 (1/1), Romagnoli A. dnp, Vujovic A. 14 (1/2, 4/8), Zampieri A.. Coach Riga Massimo

Playout, final round, game-1 (best-of-three):

Gescom Viterbo - Fiera di Roma 88 - 76 ot (1-0)
(22-21, 39-33, 58-53, 72-72)
GESCOM VITERBO: Debora Danzi (192-C/F-75) 14 (5/7), Kouznetsova S. 6 (1/3, 0/3), Santucci L. 7 (2/4, 1/1), Brunelli G. dnp, Smith B. 26 (12/15), Maslowski M. 25 (10/12), Limoura L. 5 (2/4, 0/3), Siccardi V. 1 (0/3), Gorla L. 4 (2/3, 0/1), Crepaldi C. (0/1). Coach Agresti Claudio
FIERA DI ROMA: Di Battista F. 21 (2/7, 4/6), Servillo M. dnp, Hodges D. 22 (6/16, 2/6), Cinili S. 3 (1/2), Mendes Da Silva T. dnp, Scimitani S. 4 (2/5), Machanguana C. 20 (9/16), Lichnerova J. 2 (1/3, 0/1), Beljanski M. 2 (0/2, 0/1), Gattini C. 2 (1/6, 0/1). Coach Incecchi Sandro


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NEW ZEALAND - Women

Tall Ferns fight bravely against China -by Eurobasket News
New Zealand - China 67:71

Tall Ferns continue their preparation for the Olympic qualifying tournament with friendly games. They travelled to China to take part in the Good Luck Beijing tournament. New Zealand played against China as a part of preparation for the competition yesterday. The game proved to be a heated battle with neither side able to clear off substantially. The hosts were up by 3 points 31:28 at halftime but the Kiwis kept it close in the second half. They cut the margin to a single point late in regulation but Chinese players were deadly from charity stripe to pull away with a victory. Lisa Wallbutton (183-F-86) and Aneka Kerr (183-F-81) scored 14 points apiece to pace Tall Ferns. Toni Edmondson scored 10 points, while Angela Marino (166-G-86) had 7 in defeat. China outrebounded the visitors 38:34 but New Zealand team forced the hosts to as many as 24 turnovers.


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RUSSIA - Women

Quarterfinal first games are without sensations -by Eurobasket News
The first games of the Quarterfinals finished in the Russian Superleague and so far the favorites are 1-0. Spartak MR, that is still with dreams in Brno after the Euroleague triumph smashed Dynamo Kursk 98:56. A win in all the quarters plus 24 points in three of them left Kursk out of hopes. Spartak's leaders decided to have some rest after the hard work in Euroleague and Kelly Miller (178-G-78, college: Georgia) led the winners with 24 points. Schegoleva nailed 17 and made 8 rebounds, while Ivana Matovic (197-C-83) had 15. Anastasia Bocharova (180-F-77) ended up with 12 points in the losing clause.
CSKA outscored Nadezhda 82:60. The second team of the regular season had a tough defense in the opening quarter that led to 20:7 advantage. Maria Stepanova (202-C-79) top-scored with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Hammon nailed 20, whilst Wauters collected 14 points and 9 rebounds. Anastasiya Verameyenka (191-C-87) finished the game with 19 points nd 11 rebounds in defeat.
UMMC scored 104 points in an easy win over Dynamo Energiya that stopped on 71. Svetlana Abrosimova (188-F-80, college: Connecticut) netted 18 points for the winners. Ober had 14 and Gruda brought 13 points and 6 rebounds. Ferdinand produced 14 points in the losing effort.
The game between Moscow and Vologda became the most interesting as it was difficult to predict the winner until the end of the game. With 25;13 in the third Moscow team grabbed the lead and held it to the winning streak. Pierson top-scored for the winners with 24 points. Monique Currie (183-G/F-83, agency: Ronsport, college: Duke) nailed 16 and Zakalyuzhnaya had 14 points and 8 rebounds. Liudmila Sapova (185-F-84) chipped in 15 points for the visitors.


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SLOVAKIA - Women

Kosit opens the semifinal series with a win -by Eurobasket News
Kosit stepped forward with 1-0 in the semifinal series over Victoria. The only game that was played yesterday brought a confident victory for the hosts, 82:50. The defending champion looked better throughout the whole game and dominated the court. Luisa Michulkova (179-F-84) led the winners with 20 points. Barbora Fabianova (182-F-82, college: Youngstown St.) nailed 16, while Daniela Cikosova (181-F-82) had 15. Nikola Kovalova (168-G-89) top-scored for the guests with 17 points.

Kosit went on an early run taking 23:10 after the opening quarter. To make the things better it was another push before the second half for 23 points lead. Kosit won the second quarter 21:11 as the teams went to the lockers with 44:21.
In the second half the hosts controlled the game, but the visitors were happy to tie the period. In the third one Victoria stayed at 12:12 that gave 56:33 entering the last quarter. With 26:17 Kosit opened the semifinal series with the win. The second game is planned for April 19th. In another game Ruzomberok hosts Nitra tonight.

KOSIT - VIKTORIA 82:50
KOSIT : Luisa Michulkova 20, Daniela Cikosova 15, McCarville 10, Jurcenkova 8, Carnoka 0 (B. Barbora Fabianova 16, Kovacova 7, Mincikova 6).
VIKTORIA : Nikola Kovalova 17, Krasnockova 14, Pindrochova 5, Kandracova 2, Slimakova 0 (Zuzana Skvarekova (170-87) 8, Bartanusova 2, Laszloova 2, Podpinkova 0).


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TURKEY - Women

Galatasaray and Pankup TED Kayseri are on the semi`s -by Iva Ivanova
Galatasaray and Pankup TED Kayseri are the next teams, qualyfied to the next step of the TBBL battle. Euroleague`s team Fenerbahce, and both EuroCup participants - Galatasaray and Pankup TED Kayseri, now winner in the last game go to next level.

Today Mersin beat Besiktas Cola Turka 77-66, and write goal in serie:2-2. Tomorow, 19th April,16.00 Besiktas Cola Turka -Mersin. Game will be at Besiktas Sport Arena.