EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 4/29/2008

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Men News

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BAHRAIN

Al Ahli club out of GCC -by Yousef Ahmed

AL AHLI bowed out of GCC Clubs Basketball Championship losing to Kuwaiti champions Al Arabi 66-67 in Group 'B' last night in Doha, writes RAMI HULAYYEL

It was a deciding match for the Bahrainis who were hoping to clinch their second successive win and a berth in the semi-finals.

Instead, they finished third in this four-team group with four points from three matches, one point behind co-hosts Al Arabi of Qatar.

UAE champions Al Wasl clinched top spot in this group after winning all their three matches.

Al Ahli, coached by Fredrick Oniga of Nigeria, will play on Wednesday against Al Ansar of Saudi Arabia in a consolation match to decide fifth and sixth positions.

In the semi-finals, scheduled for tomorrow, Qatar's Al Arabi will take on defending champions and hosts Al Rayyan who took first place in Group 'A' with six points from three successive victories over Al Qadsia of Kuwait, Al Ansar and Omani side Nazwa.

In the second semi-final which kicks off at 7pm, Al Wasl clash with Group 'A' runners-up Al Qadsia. The final will be held the following day.

Meanwhile, 15-time Bahrain league champions Manama will play today their third and last match in Group 'C' against Iraq's Al Kahraba in the Arab Championship being held in Amman.

Having lost their first two matches to defending champions Al Riyadhi of Lebanon and hosts Orthodox of Jordan, it will be an inconsequential match for the Bahraini


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BELARUS

Vitalyur joins OZAA in the Final -by Eurobasket News
The winner of the regular season is back on track in will fight with OZAA in the Final. The road to the match up was too hard for Vitalyur as the team spent five games against Grodno-93. The last game, thanks to the home-court advantage saw Vitalyur celebrating 94:83 win. They closed the series at 3-2 and advanced to the Finals. The first Final game against OZAA will be played on the May 3rd.
Minsk and Grodno will play for the third place in the Play-offs. Their series will start as well on May 3rd.


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BELGIUM

Oostende Wins Belgian Cup -by Peter Buyse


Telindus Oostende beat Dexia Mons-Hainaut 66-63 to win its 11th Cup of Belgium.
The game could not have started any better for Oostende who took a 5-17 lead at the 6 minute mark. Bree then placed a 0-9 run to close the game to 3pts on 2ft's by Ben Ebong.
That 3 pt gap stayed on the scoreboard at the end of the first Q (17-20).
Oostende was not able to keep control of the score and slowly Mons fought its way back into the lead at the end of the 2nd quarter when Jim Cantamessa made a 3pt shot to give him team the lead at the half 35-33.

Things went from bad to worse when Mons opened the 3rd quarter with 2 more 3pointers made by Lenzly and Gray giving them their biggest lead of the game so far at 41-33. After Van Rossom and Petrovic narrowed the gap to 2 pts it was Greg Brunners moment to help his team reclaim the lead with a dunk and a 3pointer he gave Oostende a 43-46 lead with under 3 minutes to go in quarter 3. Of course this would not be a cup game if Mons was going to give up this late in the game and thanks to free throws by Evans, Reinking and Cantamessa they got even with Oostende in the 29th minute before Chuck Davis scored a free throw of his own to give his team a 1pt lead going into the final 10 minutes.

Oostende took the better start in the last quarter and took a 49-55 lead on scored by Van Rossom and Ivory. Titus Ivory's last score was followed by layups by Evans and Sullivan before he again with a 3pt shot gave Oostende another 5 pt lead (53-58) at the 35 minute point. Just when it seems Mons was about to lose control of the game they bounced back thanks to scores by Gray and Conlan who tied the game at 61 and 2 minutes to go. Mons even took the lead again in the final minutes on 2 ft's by Ben Ebong but once again it was Titus Ivory who got his team back on the right track with a 3pt shot made giving them a small 63-64 lead. Maybe more important than the score was Cantamessa's offensive foul caused by Veselin Petrovic to give Oostende possession of the ball in the final moments of the game. After an Oostende time-out Mons had no option but to foul an Oostende player. Jerry Green (191-G-80, college: Cal-Irvine) was perfect from the line and gave Oostende a 63-66 lead in the closing seconds. Travis Conlan missed the final layup and Oostende came away with a hard-fought Belgian Cup win at the Spiroudome in Charleroi.


In a comment to Eurobasket coach Sharon Drucker said that teamwork and sacrifice were the keys to this win. He also added to be proud that his team brought the Cup back to Oostende after 7 years.


Following is a comment from Oostende Captain Sebastien Bellin

as far as the game i think it was a great win for Oostende but also for Belgian basketball.
I think we need to give the Mons fans a lot of credit for the atmosphere they created along with the Oostende fans..
it was two very good teams playing in a great atmosphere and you can only take positive from that for the future of basketball here in Belgium..
as far as Oostende is concerned this Cup win completes on of our major goals for this season and
hopefully will generate even more energy for us to complete the last objective we have left this season...


Mons : Ben Ebong 8, Justin Gray 13, Travis Conlan 6, Andrew Sullivan 7, Mike Lenzly 14, George Evans 4, Nate Reinking 4, Jim Cantamessa 7, Jim Potter 0.


Oostende : Titus Ivory 9, Veselin Petrovic 8, Jerry Green 15, Chuck Davis 7, Sam Van Rossom 11, Elvir Ovcina 4, Chris McCray 2, Greg Brunner 10, Sebastien Bellin 0.



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BOSNIA

Standings - D2 Leagues
D2 Leagues Standings
A1 League
 1. Novi Grad-Atal 20-2 
 2. Limometal 18-4 
 3. Kakanj 17-5 
 4. Brcko 16-6 
 5. Velpak 15-7 
 6. Play Off 9-13 
 7. Student T. 8-14 
 8. Trica 7-15 
 9. Bihac 7-15 
 10. Lukavac 7-15 
 11. Velez 5-17 
 12. Bosnjak 3-19 
D1 Srpska Liga
 1. Mladost MG 19-3 
 2. Radnik B. 17-5 
 3. Bratunac 16-6 
 4. Varda 14-8 
 5. Rudar 14-8 
 6. Glasinac 12-10 
 7. Igokea II 10-12 
 8. Bijeljina 9-13 
 9. Wolf Security 9-13 
 10. Sutjeska 8-14 
 11. Mladost G. 4-18 
 12. Vrelo 0-22 
Herceg-Bosne
 1. Vitez 15-1 
 2. Siroki II 14-2 
 3. Zrinjski II 14-4 
 4. Rama 9-7 
 5. Brotnjo Citluk 8-8 
 6. Ljubuski 7-8 
 7. Odzak 7-8 
 8. Posusje II 5-9 
 9. Busovaca 5-12 
 10. Tomislav 5-12 
 11. Livno 1-16 


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CROATIA

Weekend review -by Eurobasket News
Marko Popovic (185-G-82, college: S.Idaho JC) won the Baltic League trophy with his Zalgiris. In the unprecedented SEB BBL final Zalgiris Kaunas has won the thriller against Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 86:84 and took home the trophy for the first time since 2005. Marko Popovic scored 5 points and made 2 rebounds.
In the semifinal Zalgiris posted a model win over ASK Riga at the Siauliai Arena in front of 3,900 spectators. AKS Riga had a short momentum when things were going their way early in the encounter after Curtis Millage and Sandis Valters put Riga outfit up by 4 points. But a couple of buckets from Marcus Brown lifted Zalgiris back in front. Ndiaye then notched a bunch of free throws and Zalgiris were up by 8 points late in the first frame. Sanders capped the first frame with a jumper to cut the deficit to 23:29 at the first intermission. Four points from Curtis Millage trimmed the deficit to 2 points at the beginning of the second term. Soon Sandis Valters accounted for 5 straight points and Millage added two more for ASK Riga to go up by one. Markota answered with a jump shot and ignited a 10:0 run from Zalgiris that restored a safe cushion. Paulius Jankunas stepped up with 4 points in a row for the Lithuanian team and Zalgiris enjoyed a 56:41 lead at halftime. Back-to-back triples from Maciulis and Marcus Brown stretched the margin to 21 points early in the third period. Zalgiris kept ASK Riga at distance throughout the period and maintained a 22-point buffer heading into the fourth term. ASK Riga never threatened Zalgiris lead in the fourth stanza and the Lithuanian team sealed their Final appearance.
In Adriatic league Zadar could not make it to the Final and lost the semifinal game to Hemofarm. Serbian team used a 19:10 in the last period to beat Zadar 81:72. Nebojsa Joksimovic (193-G-81, agency: Beo Basket) paced the winners with 13 points. Milivoje Bozovic nailed 13 and Rawle Marshall produced 11 points. Andrej Stimac (205-F/C-79) collected 15 points and 15 rebounds in the losing clause, while Juby Johnson (196-G-81, college: Miami, OH) had 19 points.
The Croatian team was not able to follow the rhythm of the opponent and was chasing it almost from the beginning. Milivoje Bozovic Milivoje made a jumper for Hemofarm as they started to lead in the game. The first quarter however belonged to Zadar that had 24:21 after it. Boris Savovic (207-F-87) brought Serbian team back and gave them a lead at 31:30. Hemofarm looked a bit better in defense and grabbed 42:40 advantage at the half time. Andrej Stimac and his Zadar saw the biggest lead at 54:47 when he made a lay-up. Miljan Pavkovic (178-G-81, agency: Beo Basket) lifted his team to 57:57 to ask the Croatians to call for time -out. The score was tied at 62:62 after 30 minutes played and everyone expected a final stanza. Hemofarm spurted from the very beginning of the last quarter and had 66:77 in the middle of it.


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EL SALVADOR

Standings - Liga Superior
Liga Superior Standings
 1. ExSAL 9-1 
 2. UTEC 4-4 
 3. Denver 3-4 
 4. San Marcos 3-6 
 5. Cosmos 2-6 


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FRANCE

Standings - N1
N1 Standings
 1. Antibes 25-6 
 2. Blois 23-8 
 3. Fos Ouest 23-8 
 4. Charleville 23-8 
 5. Get Vosges 22-9 
 6. Angers 19-12 
 7. St Chamond 18-13 
 8. Challans 18-13 
 9. Lille 16-15 
 10. Boulogne 16-15 
 11. Lievin 15-16 
 12. Bordeaux 15-16 
 13. Mulhouse 13-18 
 14. Longwy 12-19 
 15. Feurs 8-23 
 16. Andrezieux 7-24 
 17. Toulouges 5-26 
 18. Centre Feder. 1-30 


NM1 Day 31: Antibes digs the gap -by Chris Spiesser
Tumultuous week-end for our group of seconds. But finally no damages as each one lost! Antibes takes profit to strenghten its first spot with a two wins margin and the opportunity to undergo a 'joker' loss. On the other side, the GET Vosges is putting more and more pressure on the group of three with a tiny one victory gap. If their point average is not brilliant, they have never been as concerned by place 2 as today! In the bottom, the surprising victory of Longwy over Charleville leaves Mulhouse with no margin over its adversary.

Fos 77-80 Lievin
To obtain the win which almost means salvation for them, the nordists had an exceptionnal accuracy (30/50, 60%) with an unbelievable 8/11 from the 6.25m line. Simon Cretaux (1989) nailed a perfect 5/5 at 3pts for a forth game in a row scoring in double figures. Babou Cisse did good as usual (20pts 7/11, 4stl, 9ass) but after two short victories, the provencals seem quite exhausted. Maybe missing Aaron Harris (7.3ppg, 2.5apg) who left the team after day 21...

Longwy 76-75 Charleville
Just like in Mulhouse, Longwy plays its best basketball when they are under strong pressure. A loss and their season would have been over. But they found the ressources to overcome Charleville despite Gretouce (23pts 9/12, 5rbs) and Davis (19pts, 8rbs, 3blk). The ardennians had a real trouble with their 3pts accuracy (3/20) and Godin (16pts, 4rbs, 10ass) made a brilliant game to lift his team to a 12th win.

Challans 77-70 Blois
The greens took a jump start and at halftime it was hard to bet on a local win as the score was 30-47. But coach Faure is still missing Johan Blot and has to use the most of his starting five (35 minutes at least). And this time, tiredness costed a 47-23 to Orr (27pts, 11rbs) and Co. Challans won in the final seconds with a tremendous Seth Scott who ends the game with 38 ranking points (30pts 6/7 3pts, 12rbs) and a decisive 3 pointer.

Mulhouse 57-67 Golbey-Epinal
Those three results put a real boost on the GET's final games, especially with the reception of Fos next week! To secure its place, Epinal overcame Mulhouse with a strong paint (26rbs vs 39) and 7 more accuracy points (39% vs 46%).

Feurs 65-81 Antibes
The leader had troubles during the first 20 minutes (39-37) of a carefull game (only 16 turnovers for both teams). In the second half, Doubal (25pts, 5rbs), Stipanovic (18pts, 6rbs, 3ass) and Mollinari (18pts, 5rbs, 3ass) reversed the trend, the three combining a bright 11/20 from the 6.25m line. ProB is fermly in sight for the former french champion.

Saint-Chamond 93-80 Bordeaux
The liguerians have a pressureless season ending they can spend on improving their game. Denave, Gotagni and Russell scored above 20pts to overcome Bordeaux. But once more it is the local collective that is the most explicit: 108 ranking points for coach Perrin's team which is also planning the future: 6pts and 9ass for Michael Koog (1988).

Lille 58-64 Angers
A 6th win in a row and Angers is now 10-4 over the second phase of the season. In Lille, Michael Doles (198-F-82, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: Va Commonwealth) was on fire with 25pts (10/11), 8rbs, 4stl, 5to, 2ass while Julien Lesieu posted a double-double (13pts, 11rbs, 4ass) in order to end the season at place 6.

Boulogne 82-78 Centre Fdral
Also on a good trend, Boulogne had to win but the final scores underlines a good game by the french prospects. Christophe Leonard led his team with 28pts and 8rbs but the maritims found the solutions with a strong 1-5 axis. 19pts and 4ass by Faycal Sahraoui added to Diamory Sylla's 17pts, 8rbs, 3blk secured the maritims a positive balance.

Toulouges 76-93 Andrzieux
Andrezieux is having a much better season ending than expected as they grabbed a 4th victory over the last 6 games. With this new win, they reject Toulouges to the 17th spot and can still try to improve their rank by overcoming Feurs.


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GABON

The star of basketball Gabonese on dictates his law. -by Tim Ndjiki
In spite of one season disappointing MIAMI, the Gabonese Stephane Lasme, who evolves in this club of the biggest league of basketball of the world, spend an encouraging season, these figures confirm his athletic qualities. At the time of their last confrontation (3-1), He marked 12 points against Atlanta Hawks and MIAMI took back the meeting 113 -99. The Heat had seven players in double figures, including Ricky Davis (15 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds), Earl Barron (13), Stephane Lasme (12) and Chris Quinn (11).
Middle figures of the season 2007-2008.
Pts: 5.2 - Rb: 3.5 Asts: 0.2 Blks 1.5


The star of basketball Gabonese on dictates his law -by Tim Ndjiki
The star of basketball Gabonese on dictates his law.
In spite of one season disappointing MIAMI, the Gabonese Stephane Lasme, who evolves in this club of the biggest league of basketball of the world, spend an encouraging season, these figures confirm his athletic qualities. At the time of their last confrontation (3-1), He marked 12 points against Atlanta Hawks and MIAMI took back the meeting 113 -99. The Heat had seven players in double figures, including Ricky Davis (15 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds), Earl Barron (13), Stephane Lasme (12) and Chris Quinn (11).
Middle figures of the season 2007-2008.
Pts: 5.2 - Rb: 3.5 Asts: 0.2 Blks 1.5



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GUYANA

VV ROYALS 4TH ANNUAL LINDEN INTER SCHOOLS BASKETBALL 2008 -by Joe Chapman
MHS' AKEEM KANHAI'S RECORD 54 POINTS EARNS MHS A SEMIFINAL SLOT AS MHS CLOBBER PAST LFS BY 50 POINTS, 87-37.

Mackenzie High School's all purpose guard Akeem Kanhai perhaps created history when he poured in 54 tournament high points as Mackenzie High School overwhelmed Linden Foundation Secondary (LFS) by 50 points, 87-37, last Monday afternoon at the Mackenzie Sports Club hard court.
Having the same name like NBA legend centre Akeem 'The Dream' Olajuwon but playing a completely different position, the 50 point plus game by the sizzling Kanhai must be a dream effort; and for his historic scoring, the win has pointed the unbeaten Mackenzie High into the final four of the Victory Valley Royals 4th Annual Inter Schools Under 19 championship as Christianburg/ Wismar Secondary kept their hopes alive with a 47-23 win over winless Wisburg in the first game of the double header feature.
The fluent moving junior national point guard Kanhai was in terrific form with his trademark silky drives through the lane, as he smothered his markers each time with his step ahead movement, or when he pulled up to drill jumpers from all around the court, to continue his rich vein of form.
In scoring a hefty 62 per cent of his team's total, Kanhai got support from centre Omar Sam who netted 12 points and and guard Sheldon Noel with 10. Geoffrey La Rose had 24 points for the LFS side.
MHS now have one game in hand against arch rivals Linden Technical Institute (LTI), a game which is to be continued tomorrow afternoon (Friday) with the scores in favour of LTI 26-24 with 12:45 to go in the second half, after MHS were leading 20-16 at half time.
In the other game on Monday, Christianburg/Wismar Secondary stayed on course for a semifinal berth when they whipped Wisburg 47-14, rendering the losers no chance of qualifying having lost all their matches in the six team tournament.
Stravin Ettienne led the way for the 'Multi' boys with 21 points, while for Wisburg the top shoot was James McAllister with six points.
Two more matches were scheduled to be played last night (Wednesday), weather permitting, at the MSC venue. Christianburg/ Wismar Secondary School (CWSS) were down to play LFS in the first game and New Silvercity Secondary (NSS) were to face the challenge of LTI.
With one game against LTI left before the semifinals, Mackenzie High up to this stage were on top of the qualifying round with eight points from four wins, LTI were next with an unblemished record also after three wins with six points and two game in hand.
NSS and CWSS also have six points but both have lost twice with a similar amount of wins while having one game to play.
Wisburg are in the cellar spot with five points and the semifinals are set for next Monday and the final next Wednesday at the MSC hard court.


K & S KINGS/BRUSCHES' CLASSIC 2008 -by Joe Chapman
KINGS DOWN ROYALS 77-65 AS BRUSCHES' C;ASSIC BOUNCES OFF
HOSTS Kashif and Shanghai Kings, led by a 30-point game from returning guard Steve Neils (Jr), drew first blood in their quest to secure another basketball championship, with an impressive 77-65 win over Victory Valley Royals when the inaugural Brusches' Classic basketball tournament began Saturday night at the Mackenzie Sports Club hard court. Tonight a triple-header is planned with Georgetown teams Beepats Scorpions and Eagles clashing in game one at 18:00 h, Amelia's Ward Jets then play Wismar Pistons at 19:30 h and the third game is between Linden club Glands Trucking Service Bulls and Georgetown's Courts Pacesetters at 21:00 h.
After an impressive march past of the five Linden clubs in this competition the Royals were adjudged the best team on display ahead of Kings, Wismar Pistons, Amelia's Ward Jets and Glands Trucking Service Bulls.
In the opening game of the competition the Kings took care of the challenge of the Royals as they were led by the wiles of Steve Neils (Jr), guard Marvin Hartman and centre Omally Sampson who combined for 64 of their team's 77 points and were able to shield their advantage throughout the encounter, leading at the end of the first quarter 19-13, at halftime 36-28, and 58-47 after three quarters before coasting to the eventual 77-65 win.
The Kings lineup showed maturity against a club who have potential but lack direction at times in displaying and putting together their rich resources. With time, however, this team will be a team to be reckoned with.
Hartman had 21 points and Sampson 13. The Royals best players were the indefatigable centre Dwayne Roberts, who led their effort with a bustling 21 points, and forward Orlando Glasgow with a solid game.
Earlier the founder of the Kings team, former national captain James Brusche, one of the three USA-based brothers who represented Guyana with distinction, was on hand to brief the teams on his expectations of this new tournament. Also giving sound advice was former national coach Linden Alphonso.
President of the Linden Amateur Basketball Association, Uborn Smith, declared the championship open after the march past of the Linden teams in the eight-team tournament.
However, the Kings who must be among the best clubs locally showed their class as they kept control of the Royals' charge every time they seemed to have come within striking distance, with the narrowest of leads being five points.
In the supporting game of the evening Block 22 Flames had the better of New Ballers 58-53 after leading at halftime 26-15. Gavin Clarke had 15 points for the Flames while Donnelle Benjamin was the top shoot for the Ballers with 15 points.


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HOLLAND

Kitwana Rhymer dismissed at Hanzevast Capitals by direct -by Fred Roggen
The governing board of Hanzevast Capitals has after exhaustive consultation with coach PEP Claros decided to conclude the contract with Kitwana Rhymer (208-C-78, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Massachusetts) by direct. Rhymer did not show little commitment during the training the past 10 days, as result that he did not play last Thursday in the play-offgame against Matrixx Magixx and communicated constantly injuries which training and playing would make impossible. The medical staff of Hanzevast Capitals had about that another opinion.
The club will not deliver the ' letter or clearance', which implies that Rhymer cannot play for another team.


PromotieDivisie Scores: A battle til the end!!! -by Terry Cooper
The final week is approaching as teams prepare for the PromotieDivise playoffs. Four teams are fighting for the remaining three spots to qualify for the Final Four. MyGuide2 are close to sealing the #2 seed as they won 2 of the last 3 games but lost to Landstede2 which is currently in third place. Akrides has won their last two games (Landstede2, Pigeons) which has them secured for 3rd possible 2nd place. Cangeroes won a cruical game over Landstede2 but lost a close game against regular season champions MSV which puts them in a must win situation in the final week of the regular season. Akrides vs Cangeroes game has been rescheduled due to a team tragedy. Below are the situations for these teams for playoff seeding:

MSV #1 Seed

MyGuide #2 Seed with win over Cangeroes

Landstede #3 seed with loss from Akrides by Cangeroes or MSV

VBC Akrides #2 or #3 seed with wins over Cangeroes and MSV

Cangeroes #4 seed with wins over Akrides and MyGuide2 and loss by Akrides from MSV


Week 21 Scores:

Punch - MSV 85-77
Initial High Five - De Groene Uilen 72-60
Landstede2 - Cangeroes 50-53
Pigeons - VBC Akrides 67-93
BV Rooi - EBBC2 68-78
Leiden2 - MyGuide2 56-70

Week 22 Scores:

Orca's - BV Rooi 68-76
EBBC2 - Initial High Five 92-65
VBC Akrides - Landstede2 75-66
MSV - Cangeroes 90-81
De Groene Uilen - Leiden2 90-74
MyGuide2 - Pigeons 89-68

Week 23 Scores:

Pigeons - De Groene Uilen 78-87
Initial High Five - Orca's 82-55
Landstede2 - MyGuide2 87-56
BV Rooi - Punch 72-79
Leiden2 - EBBC2 78-54


Standings - Eredivisie
Eredivisie Standings
 1. Amsterdam 31-9 
 2. Eiff.Towers 27-13 
 3. West-Brabant 27-13 
 4. M.Magix 25-15 
 5. Hanzev.Cpt 24-16 
 6. Rotterdam 23-17 
 7. Zwolle 18-22 
 8. Weert 17-23 
 9. Leiden 15-25 
 10. Aris Friesland 8-32 
 11. Den Helder 5-35 
 12. Almere 0-0 


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ITALY

Standings - SerieA
SerieA Standings
1. Montepas. 31-3
2. Lottomatica 23-11
3. Air AV 23-11
4. Premiata 22-12
5. Armani 19-15
6. Pierrel 19-15
7. Tisettanta C. 17-17
8. Upim 17-17
9. Scavolini 17-17
10. Benetton 16-18
11. Angelico 15-19
12. Siviglia Wear 15-19
13. Eldo 14-20
14. Solsonica 14-20
15. Snaidero 13-21
16. La Fortezza 13-21
17. Legea 10-24
18. Cimberio 8-26


Standings - Lega 2
Lega2 Standings
 1. Carife 22-8 
 2. Banco Sard. 20-10 
 3. Pepsi 20-10 
 4. Trenkwalder 19-11 
 5. Fastweb 18-12 
 6. Vanoli 18-12 
 7. Fileni 17-13 
 8. Carmatic 17-13 
 9. Coopsette 16-14 
 10. Edimes 13-17 
 11. TDShop.it 12-16 
 12. Prima Veroli 11-19 
 13. Indesit 10-20 
 14. Aget 10-20 
 15. Agricola G. 9-21 
 16. Ignis 6-24 


Serie A Playoffs: Pesaro out, Cant and Fortitudo in -by Luca Bianchin

Pesaro loses at home against Avellino, ending regular season behind Cantu' and Upim: no playoffs for Scavolini. Marques Green (170-G-82, college: St.Bonaventure) led Avellino in the fourth quarter, when Air took the decisive lead with a 9-2 run in 4 minutes. Green closed with 18, while Pesaro had in Hicks the top scorer (26 with 9/10 from the free throw line). Thanks to Avellino, Cantu' and Bologna improved to seventh and eighth place: Tisettanta prevailed in Rieti (but not as easily as expected), while Bologna managed to win in Milano against Armani Jeans. Joseph Forte (193-G-81, agency: Megasport, college: N.Carolina) impressed scoring 31 points with 4 assists and Milano ended the regular season with the usual, positive Danilo Gallinari (202-G-88, agency: Players Group): 19 points for Nba prospect. Armani in first round will face Premiata Montegranaro, able to beat Udine at home. Benetton Treviso outscored Teramo but failed to reach 9th place: no chances to play Euroleague next season for the Greens.

1 Montepaschi Siena - 8 Upim Bologna
4 Premiata Montegranaro - 5 Armani Jeans Milano
3 Air Avellino - 6 Pierrel Capo d'Orlando
2 Lottomatica Roma - 7 Tisettanta Cantu'



Lega2-30th Day -by Gabriele Fioretti
Ferrara ends this season losing at Casale (Otis George (205-C-81, agency: Beo Basket, college: Louisville) 20+12) but next year will play in Serie A. Caserta'll start from the top of the ranking in the playoffs even if lost against Jesi (Ryan Hoover (188-G-74, agency: SportsTalent, college: Notre Dame) 36 with 10/18 from 3pt). Sassari is the 2nd after winning at Pistoia thanks to 22 by Trent Whiting (185-G-76, college: BYU). 23 by Paul Marigney (192-G-82, college: St.Mary's, CA) gave success at Livorno and 3rd spot in the seeding to Reggio Emilia. Soresina (Quadre Lollis (200-F/C-73, college: Montana St.) 19 pts) will face Casale as 4th team, after defeating Veroli in the last day of the regular season. Five players in double figure and Rimini defeated Pavia, like Fabriano that with five players in double figure won the game against Novara and stay in Legadue. 28 by Rodney Elliott (202-F-76, college: Maryland) and 25 by Andrea Niccolai (196-G/F-68, agency: Interperformances) gave an unuseful victory to Montecatini at Imola and so the team coached by Stefano Tommei can't avoid relegation in third division.
Next Sunday will start the playoffs. The braket is:
Caserta-Rimini
Soresina-Casale
Sassari-Jesi
Reggio Emilia-Pistoia
The first two games will be played at home of the team best ranked.
TDShop.it LI-Trenkwalder RE 72-76
Coopsette RN-Edimes PV 92-70
Pepsi Caserta-Fileni Jesi 75-84
Fastweb Casale-Carife FE 64-57
Aget Imola-Agr.Glo.Mont. 88-99
Indesit Fab-Ignis Novara 84-70
Carmatic PT-BancoSardegna 71-77
Vanoli Soresina-Prima Veroli 92-84
See complete boxscores at www.legaduebasket.it


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LIBERIA

Uhuru Kings qualifies for final -by Numennie Williams
Uhuru Kings basketball team has qualified for the grand final of the Liberia Basketball Federation national league. Uhuru qualified on Saturday after defeating Dream Team twice in their best out of three l in the semi final stage of the competition. LPRC Oiler on Sunday April 27 pinned NPA Pythons 64-63 points in game one of their bes tout of three Semi final. The two teams put up a fine basketball display that kept the crow standing, stouting and singing. Game two is expected to take place on Wednesday April 30, 2008. Before that match, Commissioners will hustle former female champion Phoenix in a female semi final stage. Commissioners won game one 54-36 points. In another female Semi final on that day, champion K-Deltas will play Survivors. K-Deltas won game one 60-53 points.

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LUXEMBOURG

Standings - DBBL
DBBL Standings
Title Group
 1. Sparta 21-7 
 2. Etzella 19-9 
 3. Amicale 17-11 
 4. Musel Pikes 17-11 
 5. Contern 11-17 
 6. Residence 10-18 
Relegation Group
 1. T71 13-11 
 2. Black Star 10-14 
 3. Soleuvre 10-14 
 4. BBC Nitia 4-20 


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NBA

Hedo Turkoglu Wins Most Improved Player Award. -by Bryan Floyd
Hedo Hidayet Turkoglu (6'9''-F-79) didn't get the call for a mid-season honor when the Eastern Conference All-Star roster was announced this season. But the Orlando Magic forward did get the nod at the end of the year after he posted career highs in three separate offensive categories. Today Hidayet Turkoglu will be named as the NBA's most improved player, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. Hidayet Turkoglu's 19.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists were all career highs. He helped lead the Magic to a 52-30 record and the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

New Orleans, Cleveland gain 3-1 lead -by Eurobasket News
New Orleans upset Dallas 97:84 in Game 4 of the series to take a 3-1 lead and step closer to the next stage. David West (6'8''-F-80, agency: Octagon, college: Xavier) overcame a somehow plane performance in the third game to explode with 24 points and 9 boards for the Hornets. He scored 10 points at the start of the third stanza when the visitors went on a 15:2 run to surge from behind and never looked back en route to a comfortable victory. It was the first win for the Hornets in Dallas since 1998. Chris Paul (6'0''-G-85, college: Wake Forest) provided 16 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds for the winners. Dirk Nowitzki (6'11''-F-78) answered with 22 points and 13 boards for the hosts, while Jason Terry came up with 20 points in defeat. Josh Howard continued his shooting struggle as he converted 3/16 field goals. Jason Kidd had even worse numbers as he finished with 3 points and 3 assists before being ejected midway through the final period. The series now moves back to New Orleans for could-be decisive Game 5 on Tuesday.
Cleveland beat Washington on a tie-breaking three-pointer from Delonte West (6'4''-G-83, college: St.Joseph's) with 5.4 seconds left in regulation. Lebron James did his usual job completing a 34-point and 12-board tally to pace the Cavs. Cleveland grabbed a 3-1 lead in the series and look forward to finalizing a victory at home in the next game. Delonte West scored his playoff career-high 21 points including a vital trey with time ticking off. Antawn Jamison replied with 23 points and 11 rebound for Washington. Caron Butler added 19 points in a losing case. Gilbert Arenas scored 4 in a row to tie things up at 97 with 28 seconds remaining. But Lebron James gathered couple of defenders around him in the last possession dished it to Delonte West and the guard did not miss.
Detroit squared things up when they held off Philadelphia 93:84 in Game 4 at the Wachovia Center. The Pistons looked dominant in just one frame but it was just enough to build a decisive advantage. Detroit outgunned the hosts 34:16 in the third period and maintained the lead throughout the fourth quarter to celebrate a key victory in the race for the next round birth. Tayshaun Prince (6'9''-F-80, college: Kentucky) scored 23 points to lead the visitors. Rasheed Wallace had 20 points and 10 boards, while Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups contributed 18 points apiece in a win. Thaddeus Young nailed 15 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for the 76ers.
Phoenix sweetened the pill a bit after they thumped San Antonio 105:86 in Game 4 in Arizona. The Suns jumped to a 34:13 lead after the starting frame and kept the Spurs at bay for the rest of the encounter. Raja Bell (6'5''-F/G-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Intern.) topscored for the home team netting 27 points. Boris Diaw (6'8''-F/C-82) added 20 points, 10 boards and 8 assists for the winners. Tony Parker (6'0''-G-80) paced the Spurs with 18 points.


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NPBL

Week 8 results: Elmira at the top -by Gianni Pascucci
On Saturday, April 26, the Hudson Valley Hawks took on the Westchester Monarchs and finally won a game. The final score was 118-113. Leading the way for the Hawks was Justin Skipwith (6'2'-G-83, college: Post) with 19 pts, 11 rebs and 9 assists. Amseshem Foluke-Henderson (6'6''-G/F-84, college: New Paltz St.) had 25 pts and 4 assists. Dayshawn Wright (6'6''-F-85, college: Mountain St.) made his Hawk debut with 18 points, 6 blocks, and 10 rebounds, and Willie Coleman (6'0''-G-84) was very good he too, with 19 pts and 4 assists. Telron Spell (6'4''-G/F-82, college: Bridgeport) led all the scorers with 31 points for the Monarchs and Henri Burford (6'2''-G-80) addded 25 points. 'Chocolate Thunder' Darryl Dawkins made an appearance at the game signing autographs and interacting with fans. On the same night, the NY Strikeforce defeated the Delaware Destroyers 118-108. The Strikeforce started off sluggish down half-time by the score of 48-51, and then came the third quarter surge with Prince Jackson (6'6''-F-84, college: Dominican, NY) on fire, hitting two three point shots. The fourth quarter was close as the Destroyers staged a comeback with scoring 38 points 12 of which were scored by Yuta Kurihara (5'9''-G), but it wasn' t enough. Terrell Taylor (6'3''-G-81, college: Bridgeport) led Strikeforce with 24 pts, 3 rebs, 2 asst, and 1 stl, closely followed by Carl Lee (6'6''-F-82, college: Utah Valley St.) with 23 pts, 3 rebs, 2 asst and 1 blk shot. Sherman Brittingham (6'5''-F-82, college: California (PA)) led Delaware with 25 points in losing effort. The Elmira Bulldogs took their 6th consecutive win on the season defeating the Avengers 130-117. The Bulldog's jumped out of the gates early and enjoyed a double digit lead for almost the entire game, even being withou the services of the league's leading scorer, David Ruffin (6'4''-G/F-84, college: Hartford) (34.2 pts per game) who sat out his second straight game with a sore knee. Six players from Elmira ended the game in double digit scoring. The Bulldogs were led by MacKenzie Clark (6'9''-C-83, college: Auburn-Montgomery) who finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds as the Avengers had no answer for the big man down low. The other double top scorers were Darwin Young (6'2''-G-85, college: Buffalo) (21 points), Marlin Johnson (6'4''-F-75, college: Monroe CC) (20 points), Lester McNair (6'2''-G, agency: All-Star Basketball Services, college: Buffalo St.) (19 points, including four 3 pointer's made), Kevin Hill (6'5''-G/F, college: Mansfield (PA)) (12 points, including three 3 pointer's made) and Demontric Doddles (6'7''-F-78, college: Mansfield (PA)) (10 pts). Thanks to this win, the Bulldogs have reached the top of the table together with the Maryland BayRayders

Standings
NPBL Standings
 1. Elmira B. 6-3 
 2. MD Bayraiders 5-2 
 3. NY Strikeforce 4-2 
 4. Alexandria A. 3-1 
 5. HV Hawks 2-6 
 6. NY Monarchs 1-3 


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PARAGUAY

National League: America and Sol at the top -by Gianni Pascucci

In front of its fans, America de Pilar took all the three games scheduled, and now leads undefeated the Group B. Metropolitan champions of Sol de America are undefeated in Group A. The National League will come back in action on MAy 2, when the Group A will concentrate in Encarnacion and the Group B will travel to Asuncion for anoother 'thre nights round robin'. The complete results of the first two National League round robins are as follows:

GROUP A:
Sol de America - Estrellas del Este 83-70
Felix Perez Cardozo - Sacachispas 83-79
Sacachispas - Estrellas del Este 85-73
Sol de America - Felix Perez Cardozo 96-76
Felix Perez Cardozo - Estrellas del Este 84-64
Sol de America - Sacachispas 86-83
Standings:
1. Sol de America 3-0
2. FPC 2-1
3. Sacachispas 1-2
4. Estrelas del Este 0-3

GROUP B:
Libertad - Gigantes del Norte 69-53
America - Dep.San Jose 84-70
America - Gigantes del Norte 102-81
Libertad - Dep.San Jose 85-83
America - Libertad 93-82
Dep.San Jose - Gigantes del Norte 77-74
Standings:
1. America 3-0
2. Libertad 2-1
3. Dep.San Jose 1-2
4. Gigantes 0-3



National League Standings
National Standings
GroupA
 1. Sol de Am. 3-0 
 2. Felix Perez 2-1 
 3. Sacachispas 1-2 
 4. Estrella 0-3 
GroupB
 1. America 3-0 
 2. Libertad 2-1 
 3. D.San Jose 1-2 
 4. Gigantes 0-3 


Metropolitan League Standings
Metropolitan L. Standings
 1. Univ.Catolica 6-1 
 2. Sportivo SL 5-2 
 3. Univ.Autonoma 4-3 
 4. Olimpia 2-5 
 5. Ciudad Nueva 1-7 


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POLAND

Prokom and Turow win the semifinal openers -by Eurobasket News
Two best teams of the Polish regular season are the best so far in the Play-offs as well. Prokom and Turow won the semifinal openers and look forward for another home games.
Turow beat Slask 67:56 on Sunday. The latter did not feel any discomfort playing the first game away from home and took 11:18 from the early beginning. Turow recovered in the second quarter with 25:15 to close the half having 3 points deficit. Another 15:5 in the defensive style answered for all the questions about the winner. Thomas Kelati (195-G/F-82, college: Washington St.) led the winners with 15 points. David Logan (184-G-82, college: Indianapolis) produced 10, while Dragisa Drobnjak (200-F-77, agency: VTBM/SRBM) chipped in 9. Robinson and Atkins finished the game with 13 points each in the losing clause.
Prokom Trefl Sopot stopped sensational Polpak in the fist game of the semis. The winner of the regular season was satisfied with 88:66 at home. The hosts opened the game with 27:15 in the early quarter, but then Polpak answered with 14:20. Another 21:16 and 26:15 in the second half remained the semifinal without sensation. Milan Gurovic (207-F-76, agency: Beo Basket) led the winners with 18 points. Mustafa Shakur (190-G-84, college: Arizona) and Filip Dylewicz (202-F-80, agency: Beo Basket) followed him with 10 points apiece. Dixon ended up with 14 points in the losing effort.


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PORTUGAL

PROLIGA 1st round playoffs games 1 results -by Bruno Baltazar
Surprise happened in the 1st game ,the first team to win 2 games in the series advance to the next round and Esgeira did a tremendous surprise winning the first game against the sensation Vitoria,neither Tommie Eddie or John Winchester could give them a win and now they have to win both 2 games at home if they want to advance.
Benfica won easily,Queluz that in the regular season lost their games to Academica showed the playoff time is all it matters,Fisica and Illiabum had a tought game facing each other.

Here's the complete list of results in the first game of the 1st round of PROLIGA playoffs:

Fsica T.V/Besleasing X Illiabum - 82 / 75
Esgueira /Oli X VSC -M.Couto Alves - 80 / 72

Sampaense/Tec.Coimbra X Sport Lisboa e Benfica - 62 / 74
Ass.Academica Coimbra X Queluz Sintra PMundial - 59 / 61


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PUERTO RICO

Boricuas Abroad and "Victor Victory" 33 points -by Alessandro Fontana

BORICUAS ABROAD
In Spain, Unicaja Malaga won against Joventut Badalona 92-64, Daniel Santiago played 21 minutes with 13 points (6/8 2pts, 1/2 FT) with 9 rebounds and 1 steal.
In Turkey, Besiktas won against TED Koleji 95-9, 'The Wizard' Rick Apodaca scored 5 pts (1/5 2pts, 0/1 3pts, 3/4 FT) in 17 minutes. Besiktas ended the turkish regular season with a 24-6 standings and Besiktas is the first team of the Turkish Liga. In the Play-offs Besiktas will play with the 8th team, Banvitspor (1-0).
In Germany, Paderborn won against Bremerhaven 89-75, Nathan Peavy played a good game with 12 points (3/9 2pts, 1/3 3pts, 3/5 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
In Bosnia, Siroki won a difficult game against Zrinjski Mik 91-86. Sharif Fajardo was the MVP of the game with 18 points. Siroki has now a 4-1 standings in the Bosnia League.
In Italy, Caserta was defeated by Jesi 75-84, for Guillermo Diaz 25 minutes with 9 points (3/5 2pts, 3/4 FT)+2 rebs,2 steals and also 3 turnovers. Caserta ended the Italian Second Division with a 20-10 standings. Caserta classified 2nd and the team of 'our boricua' Guillermito will play against Rimini in the Italian Play-offs.
In Poland Turow qualified for the Semifinals and the team of Andres Rodriguez will play against Slask Wroclaw.
BSN
In Puerto Rico, Santurce defeated Bayamon 92-76, with this victory Santurce has a 15-11 standings and Los Cangrejeros are back in the race for the first place in the Metro Division. MVP of the game was 'El Jefe' Larry Ayuso
with 20 points, He had bad percentage but with his leadership and garra Santurce could conquer Bayamon.
Guaynabo won against Fajardo 89-85 with a great game of Carmelo Lee 23 points and a great intensity in defense.

Carolina was defeated by Humacao 92-105. MVP of the game Isiah Victor with 33 points. Roderick Riley, the new american of Humacao, scored 4 points (in three games with Humacao 8.9 ppg). Riley is an american center who played a lot in the US Minors with Bakersfield Jam and Fayetteville Patriots in D-League
BSN BOXSCORES
CAROLINA-HUMACAO= 92-105
C= Carmona 24, Rivera 21, Ere 19, Reyes 13, Hiraldo 4, Brown 4, Cruz 4, Villafane 3, Rosa 0
H= Victor 33, Guzman 27, Nieves 21, R. Sanchez 9, K. Sanchez 5, Ayala 4, Riley 4, Malpica 2
FAJARDO-GUAYNABO= 85-89
F= Beard 25, Rivera 20, Agbai 16, Hamilton 11, Mojica 4, Quintero 3, Gonzalez 2, Salgado 2, Pellot Rosa 2, Colon 0
G= Shannon 24, Lee 23, Escalera 14, Martinez 14 (11 rebs), Latimer 9, Sheppard 5, K. Sanchez 0
SANTURCE-BAYAMON= 92-76
S= Ayuso 20, Dalmau 17, Watson 16, Falcon 15, Traylor 12, Berdiel 10, R. Dalmau 2, Melendez 0, Narvaez 0, Rivera 0, E. Santiago 0, Rivas 0
B= Guevara 29, Perez 16, Benson 8 (14 rebs), Vega 7, Valencia 5, Lopez 4, Hinson 3, Western 2, Morales 0, Valenzuela 0
A. Fontana



Standings - BSN
BSN Standings
Island
 1. Arecibo 19-9 
 2. Caguas 16-11 
 3. Ponce 12-15 
 4. San German 12-15 
 5. Guayama 6-20 
 6. Mayaguez 5-21 
Metro
 1. Carolina 17-10 
 2. Humacao 16-11 
 3. Santurce 15-11 
 4. Fajardo 15-12 
 5. Guaynabo 15-13 
 6. Bayamon 14-14 


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ROMANIA

Standings
Div.A Standings
 1. CSU Ploies. 24-2 
 2. CSU Sibiu 20-6 
 3. UMobitelco 19-7 
 4. BCM Tim. 16-10 
 5. Rapid Buc. 16-10 
 6. Tg Mures 15-11 
 7. Dinamo Buc. 15-11 
 8. Gaz Metan M. 14-11 
 9. BCM Pitesti 11-14 
 10. CS Otopeni 9-16 
 11. CSU Brasov 6-19 
 12. Rm Valcea 6-20 
 13. Targoviste 5-20 
 14. CSM Oradea 4-21 


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RUSSIA

Ural Great advances, Dynamo ties the series -by Eurobasket News
One more spot is available in Russian semifinals. The battle becomes hotter as Triumph and Dynamo both deserve that spot with the teams that already there. Ural Great created a sensation sending Unics out of the semifinals.
Dynamo beat Triumph at home in Game 2 82:75 and tied the series at 1-1. Dynamo went on a 20:16 lead in the opening quarter, but the main success the hosts had in the third period with 25:15. Triumph desired to sweep the series but now the task will be to prove the home court advantage win. Robertas Javtokas (211-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) led the winners with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Henry Domercant (192-G-80, college: E.Illinois) and Antonis Fotsis (210-F-81) nailed 14 points apiece. Terrell Lyday (190-G-79, college: BYU) ended up with 19 points for the visitors.
Ural Great became the semifinalist that was not expected by many specialists in Russia. With 1-1 in the series the team from Perm grabbed the ticket to the semis after a road win in Kazan. A 12:19 in the first quarter was fatal for the hosts that could not recover later in the game. A tiny victories in the second half sent Ural Great to the Play-offs semifinals where they will meet Khimky. Ralph Biggs (199-F-76, agency: Court Side, college: Towson) led the winners with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Brent Wright (203-F/C-78, college: Florida) poured in 19 and Andrew Wisniewski (191-G-81, college: Centenary) had 14. Stanescu and Dusko Savanovic (204-F/C-83, agency: Beo Basket) produced 14 points in the losing clause.


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SCOTLAND

Lions took semifinal spot beating the Rocks -by Eurobasket News
Marshall MK Lions overcame SAMG Verve Scottish Rocks 105:93 in the Quarterfinals of BBL. Bletchley Leisure Centre became the unwelcoming for the Scottish representative. SAMG Verve Scottish Rocks struggled in the opening quarter having 17:17, but then the Lions scored five of the first seven points at the start of the second period to take the score out to 32:24. Rocks tried hard later in the game and brought it back to 53:50 going in at the half. For something esle they could find an answer as Lions were too good for them. Williams paced the winners with 27 points. Robert Youngblood (200-F-69, college: Southern) nailed 26 and Windless added 17. Sterling Davis (200-F-77, college: Tulane) was the best for the Scottish team with 24 points.
BBL Finals Weekend is scheduled for May 3-4 in Birmingham. The day's first clash will see the first-placed Newcastle Eagles taking on the Marshall MK Lions.They will be followed on court by the second-placed Guildford Heat facing off with the Kularoos Plymouth Raiders.

Marshall MK Lions 105-93 SAMG Verve Scottish Rocks
Lions: Williams 27, Robert Youngblood 26, Windless 17
Rocks: Sterling Davis 24, Moritz Wohlers (203-F/C-84, agency: Court Side, college: Montana St. - Billin) 21, Yanders 16


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SLOVENIA

Standings - 1A
1A Standings
Places 1-8
 1. Olimpija 8-0 
 2. Helios 7-2 
 3. Slovan 5-4 
 4. Zlatorog 5-4 
 5. Krka 4-5 
 6. Luka Koper 3-6 
 7. TCG Mercator 2-6 
 8. Elektra 1-8 
Places 9-13
 1. Alpos S. 12-18 
 2. Polzela 12-18 
 3. Zagorje 11-19 
 4. Kraski Zidar 9-21 
 5. Rogla 6-24 


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SPAIN

ACB Round 32 -by Paul Nilsen

Round 32 of ACB action was a dramatic one in terms of the desperate fight to survive in the Spanish top flight and avoid the drop into LEB this summer with Leon whose fate is already sealed.

MMT Estudiantes picked up the result of the weekend. They travelled to Granada knowing a loss would see them join Leon through the trapdoor and it was a must win game. For the hosts, they are placed just one spot above Estu and for them it was just as massive and that is why over 9,000 fans packed into the venue, including a big contingent from the capital to provide a great atmosphere.

Perhaps unexpectedly the game was not as tense as many had expected as Estu took control almost from start to finish to dodge the bullet for one more week. Their fans were having a real disco on the final buzzer after they collected a 69-83 win, set up by a strong start that had put them 12-20 in front . Hernan Jasen (198-G-78) was again the top man with 17 points and 6 rebounds while Carlos Suarez fired a trio of three-pointers.

On of the biggest reasons for Estu fans dancing with joy is that have two very winnable games to play in terms of ViveMenorca at home this week and then they finish with a road game against bottom club Leon.

For Granada the situation is now desperate - for they have two tough games to finish at Badalona and at home to Euroleague Final Four side Tau Ceramica. Quite simply they have to win on of those if Estu dont slip up and it looks like the desperate bad luck of losing talisman Curtis Borchardt may come back to haunt them.

Valladolid are the other side who remain deep in trouble and vulnerable to being caught by Estu. Javier Imbroda and his team travelled to Madrid hoping to pick up a win at Fuenlabrada who had only secured their own ACB status a week earlier. However it was the home team that continued their recent revival and poured real pressure on Imbroda by claiming an 88-76 success.

Again Valladolid started poorly and were down by double-figures at the half with Fuenla playing real team basketball - seven players reaching double-figures and shooting the ball well. Valladolid meanwhile again relied on Jospeh Gomis, who has carried the team on his shoulders as best he can and another 21 point haul was again not supported by his team-mates. Valladolid look like they also have a tricky last two fixtures as they will play Marc Gasol and Girona at home next time finishing with a game against Polaris World Murcia.

One team who will definitely be playing their basketball in ACB next year is Cajasol. After a turbulent season, their returning coach Manel Comas has completed his mission to save the Seville club from the drop and they have done it in style by completing a shock 77-85 win at the Fernando Buesa against Tau Ceramica. Veteran point guard and one of the biggest reasons for the change of Cajasols fortunes, Elmer Bennett had another influential game with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Greek star Michalis Kakiouzis also continued what has been a very consistent season for him personally with 20 points. The win came mainly because of an outstanding first quarter when they racked up 30 points as well as a strong finish to the game down the stretch when Tau had threatened to sneak the victory. Tau remain in fourth spot and Seville rise to the dizzy heights of eleventh spot.

Ricoh Manresa, ViveMenorca and Polaris World Murcia still hover just above the bottom four teams after both slipped to disappointing away losses. Manresa fought for a long time in Bilbao looking to push the Basque club all the way but then faded midway through the third quarter having led at the half time break, to eventually fall to an 89-77 loss. Marcelo Huertas pulled the strings for Bilbao with 8 assists and 14 points while the home team converted 10 of 20 three-pointers. Rafa Martinez continued his impressive season for Manresa with a game high 21 points.

Menorca crashed 91-80 at relegated Grupo Begar Leon who were excellent, perhaps with the pressure finally off although only 3,500 fans were their to watch a rare win. It was their best performance of the season with no fewer than 11 players registering on the score sheet with Javier Bulfoni showing why he has been a star for Leon this campaign with a 19 point haul. Menorca were generally woeful aside from 20 points from Mario Stojic.

Polaris World Murcia crashed 79-104 at home to Pamesa Valencia in an East coast derby game with the visitors scoring their highest score for three seasons. All 12 players got on the score sheet with Serbian Dejan Milojevic claiming 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Pamesa dominated this contest from start to finish winning every quarter to humilate Manuel Hussain and his side.

Gran Canaria blew their big chance to stake their claim for the final play-off spot after they crashed 84-94 to Akasvayu Girona to end their hopes. They will be extra disappointed since they led 32-25 after the opening period but soon Marc Gasol and Victor Sada took control for the visitors. A double-double for the former while Sada dished up a stunning 11 assists as Girona are now safely in the play-offs and now looking to avoid Real.

The worth of Rudy Fernandez to DKV Joventut was underlined as Badalona were thrashed in Malaga without their star. Unicaja claimed an impressive 92-64 success as they dominated from tip to buzzer. Carlos Jiminez secured 11 points and 11 rebounds while Gabriel Germain top scored with 20 points. It was a real off day for Joventut with only Sonseca and Mallet barely scraping into double-figures. It was Badalonas worst defeat since 2004 and for Unicaja it completed a trio of successes against the top clubs at home having already soundly beaten Real Madrid and Barcelona.

That brings us to El Classico and this time another humiliation. Barca went to Vistalegre in good mood having won in Tau and capable of pulling off a victory but it wasnt to be as Real came out with more fire after an even first quarter when the scores were tied 27-27 to achieve a 90-73 victory. It was a bruising and bad tempered affair but the warrior Felipe Reyes led from the front in that respect with a moody and battling performance. However it was Raul Lopez who provided the class in the game with 19 points while Axel Hervelle just missed out on a double-double. For Barca, this was their worse loss against the enemy since 2001.


Standings - ACB
ACB Standings
 1. Real 27-5 
 2. Joventut 24-8 
 3. Barcelona 23-9 
 4. Tau 21-11 
 5. Pamesa 21-11 
 6. Akasvayu 19-13 
 7. Lagun Aro 19-13 
 8. Unicaja 17-15 
 9. G.Canaria 16-18 
 10. Fuenlabrada 13-19 
 11. Cajasol 13-19 
 12. Ricoh Man. 12-20 
 13. Menorca 12-20 
 14. Murcia 12-20 
 15. Grupo Capitol 11-21 
 16. Granada 10-20 
 17. Estudiant. 10-22 
 18. Leon 8-23 


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SWITZERLAND

Birstal and Fribourg both even the semifinal series -by Alexander Davis

Bristal and Fribourg both collected much needed victories in their semifinal series this weekend. Birstal defeated Lugano at home in a thrilling game that took an extra period to decide the outcome. After being defeated on the road in Lugano in game 1, the Starwings fought Lugano each quarter Saturday, as the score was tied at the half 37-37, and at the end of regulation, 71-71. It wasn't unitl the overtime period that Birstal pulled away, outscoring Lugano 14-9 and winning the game with a final score of 85-76! Jared McCurry led the Starwings with 24 points follwed by Sheray Thomas' 22. Lugano was led by sharpshooter Dusan Mladjan who scored 29 points in the loss.

In the other semifinal game on Sunday Fribourg absolutely embarrased Vacallo on the road, as the Swiss champs won 89-51. At the half Frbourg only led by 8 points, but came out in the third quarter and showed their defensive prowess as the only allowed 5 points in the first 6 mintues of the quarter. After getting the game 1 upset of Fribourg, Vacallo seemed to be going right where they left off last game as the took an early lead in the 1st quarter. But that was the last time Vacallo would even get close to Fribourg as the rest of the game was a cruise for the champs. Fribourg had 5 players in double figures led by Pascal Perrier-David, who rebounded from his awful 0-10 game 1 shooting performance. Vacallo was led by Ricky Gibson who tallied 15 points.



Fribourg: Pascal Perrier-David- 21 points Tresor Quidome- 14 Dave Esterkamp (200-F-78, college: Bowling Green)- 12 Harold Mrazek -12 Marcus Sloan (205-F-82, agency: Octagon, college: TCU) 11 points 6 rebounds


Vacallo: Ricky Gibson (191-G-84, college: Stillman)- 15 points Martin Mihajlovic (208-C-81)- 10



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U.KINGDOM

BBL Championship Playoff Quarter-Finals -by Eurobasket News
British Championship has a specific rule among the other leagues in Europe as the teams have only one game in the Play-offs in each stage. Quarterfinals sent away four more teams and left the same number of them for the semifinals.
The winner of the regular season Newcastle Eagles beat Worcester Wolves 105:96. It was not an easy game for the favorite and it could enjoy only the advance to the semis. Olu Babalola (198-F-81, college: Clemson) led the winners with 21 points, Defoe nailed 20 and Leven had 15. Life ended up with 29 points in the losing effort.
Kularoos Plymouth Raiders had the biggest difference among the other pairs outscoring Sheffield Sharks 91:73. DeAntoine Beasley (198-G/F-79, college: Tennessee Tech) top-scored for the winners with 26 points. Lasker netted 22 and Moore posted 18. Ian Whyte (215-C-71, college: Clarion) finished the night with 16 points in the losing clause.
Guildford Heat edged Everton Tigers 81:72. Martin produced 25 points in the winning clause, Daniel Gilbert (197-G-83, college: Buffalo) posted 23 and Harrison added 12 points. Sterling Davis (200-F-77, college: Tulane) top-scored for the Tigers with 15 points.
Marshall MK Lions overcame SAMG Verve Scottish Rocks 105:93. Bletchley Leisure Centre became the unwelcoming for the Scottish representative. SAMG Verve Scottish Rocks struggled in the opening quarter having 17:17, but then the Lions scored five of the first seven points at the start of the second period to take the score out to 32:24. Rocks tried hard later in the game and brought it back to 53:50 going in at the half. For something esle they could find an answer as Lions were too good for them. Williams paced the winners with 27 points. Robert Youngblood (200-F-69, college: Southern) nailed 26 and Windless added 17. Sterling Davis was the best for the Scottish team with 24 points.
BBL Finals Weekend is scheduled for May 3-4 in Birmingham. The day's first clash will see the first-placed Newcastle Eagles taking on the Marshall MK Lions.They will be followed on court by the second-placed Guildford Heat facing off with the Kularoos Plymouth Raiders.

Marshall MK Lions 105-93 SAMG Verve Scottish Rocks
Lions: Williams 27, Robert Youngblood 26, Windless 17
Rocks: Sterling Davis 24, Wohlers 21, Yanders 16

Newcastle Eagles 105-96 Worcester Wolves
Eagles: Olu Babalola 21, Defoe 20, Leven 15
Wolves: Life 29, Anthony Paez (198-F-84, agency: Rasmussen Services, college: Stephen F. Austin) 24, Harker 20

Kularoos Plymouth Raiders 91-73 Sheffield Sharks
Raiders: DeAntoine Beasley 26, Lasker 22, Moore 18
Sharks: Ian Whyte 16, Chaney 14, Ant. Virgil 12

Guildford Heat 81-72 Everton Tigers
Heat: Martin 25, Daniel Gilbert 23, Harrison 12
Tigers: Sterling Davis 15, Richard Midgley (189-G-83, college: California) 14, Herriman 13


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U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS

PRO REPORT -by David Edole

Virgin Islanders invading Caribbean professional leagues.
A grand total of seven (7) Virgin Islanders are presently playing in Latin America Countries. Carl Krauser (188-G-81, college: Pittsburgh) recently signed with Guayana Giants of the Venezuelan professional league (LPB). Krauser arrived in the oil rich country on Saturday and is scheduled to play his first game on Wednesday.
Krauser has played in the CBA with the Pittsburgh Xplosion and in Puerto Rico with Mayaguez Indians before moving on to South America.
Three national team members presently call Puerto Rico home. Kevin Sheppard (182-G-79, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Jacksonville), who is having one of his best seasons ever, is averaging 16 points for the Guaynabo Conquistadors (15-13). Guaynabo sits in fifth place in the metro division.
Ja Ja Richards (207-C-75, agency: EM-PA, college: Loyola, IL) suits up for Humacao Grises (16-11). Richards is out with a foot injury and should be back with the team any day now. Grises are in second place in the metro division
Jameel Heywood (198-F-77, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Oklahoma) recently joined Ponce Lions after a six month stint with Lanus Club of Argentina. Heywood had 11 points and six boards in his last game, a win for the Lions (12-15). The Lions are in fourth place in the Island Division.
Last but not least, three more players are calling Dominican Republic home. Carl Thomas (200-F-76, college: Charleston) is playing with Jose Horacio and Ramel Lloyd (193-G-78, college: Long Beach St.) plays for San Sebastian of the XV Torneo de Baloncesto Superior de Moca.
Thomas had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead Jose Horacio (4-3) to a tough win over Don Bosco, 79-72, Sunday night.
In the first game of the night, La Cancha held off San Sebastian, 90-86. San Sebastian fell to 2-4 on the season.
Darnell Miller (195-G-82, college: W.Georgia) has lead Cupes to the finals of the XXVIII Torneo de Baloncesto Superior de Santiago. Cupes promptly lost to GUG, 71-93, at the Dr. Oscar Gobaira Arena in Santiago. Miller had 16 points in the loss and took a punch from Winston Tepo Muoz. Munoz will be suspended for game two.
Miller is having a great tourney and was named player of the week in the second week of play and received Nicander Perez Bohemian Beer plaque and gifts from Dominican National Brewery, Benches and Nave Group Malla.

EUROPE
Cuthbert Victor (196-G-83, college: Murray St.) continues to play great basketball. CAI Zaragoza has won their 11th straight game in dominating fashion. Zaragoza roughed up Fundacio Basquetinca.com, 89-64, in the Spanish LEB Gold Division play. Victor played only 25 minutes and scoreed 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists.
Zaragoza (26-5) have been playing the best basketball in the LEB and is on pace to ascend to one of the premiere leagues in all of Europe, ACB next season. Raja Bell had a brief stint in the ACB with Real Madrid before joining the Utah Jazz.

Rhymer leaves Hanzevast
The governing board of Hanzevast Capitals after exhaustive consultation with coach PEP Claros has decided to end their contract with Kitwana Rhymer (208-C-78, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Massachusetts). Rhymer was unable to train with the team for the past ten days due to injury. With the series versus the Matrixx tied at one game a piece and the team in need of a big man. Hanzevast refused to give Rhymer the ' letter or clearance', which implies that he cant play for another team until the season for Capitals ends. The Capitals was one of the favorites to win the Dutch Eredivise.

PORTUGAL
Omari Peterkin (204-F/C-83, college: Boston U.) first year as a professional came to an end as Vagos eliminated Lusitania three games to two in the first round of the UZO league.
Peterkin had a good initial season and was named to the all star team. The 6-foot-8 post averaged 11 points and 8.8 rebounds in 16 regular season games. He averaged 10 points and 7.4 boards in the playoffs.


Germany

Digibu Baskets Paderborn exploded to a 30-13 lead after first frame on their way to a quality 89-75 home win over playoff bound Eisbaren Bremerhaven Saturday night in Bundesliga play. Leading 45-31, Paderborn fought off a Bremerhaven rally as the Eisbaren cut the deficit to 63-59 heading into the 4th.

Jason Edwin had 10 points for Paderborn. Psderborn shot 49% from the floor and made 9 of 18 threes in the win. They also enjoyed a big advantage from the foul line making 18 of 23 FT (78%) compared with 5 of 11 for Bremerhaven. Paderborn won their 3rd consecutive game upping their record to 14-18.


POLAND
Third-ranked Slask needed four games to get past Reggie Freeman (198-G/F-75, college: Texas) and Atlas Stal Ostrow of the Polish DBE. Slask put on a strong performance in the fourth encounter and prevailed in the series, 3-1. The visitors relied mainly on the first and fourth periods, winning them 52--37. It was just enough for Slask to move on to the semifinals.




Suns' Bell rings up his best game at right time -by David Edole

As Suns guard Raja Bell (196-F/G-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Intern.) approached his locker following Sunday's 105-86 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, he paused to look at the large media contingent waiting for him then softly dropped a one-liner.

'This is the most action I've seen since I clotheslined Kobe (Bryant),' he said referring to his infamous takedown during the 2006 postseason.

The attention was warranted after Bell delivered another knockout performance in Game 4. After scoring just 27 points in the first three games combined, Bell matched that total Sunday to lead the Suns' desperation charge.

Bell's first seven points, which came consecutively, were the most important. After Phoenix, in need of a quick start, missed its first three shots, Bell nailed a 3 off an inbounds play and hit his next two shots as well to key the Suns' 11-1 start.

'I made a commitment to be a little bit more aggressive,' said Bell, who was 8-for-11 from the field, 5-for-7 from 3-point range.

'It wasn't really until I put that ball inbounds and decided not to run the play and just come off and shoot it that I made that decision.'

Bell doubled his first-quarter output in the second, scoring 14 points while making all three of his field-goal attempts and all six of his free throws.

'Raja was fantastic tonight,' guard Steve Nash said. 'He was making shots and his passion and aggressiveness was contagious.'

Phoenix is 12-0 when Bell scores at least 20 points this season.

'I felt it was needed,' said Bell, who had 14 points in Game 1, but just eight in Game 2 and five in Game 3. 'Sometimes you have a feeling that your team might need something that night. ...

'It's one of those things that offensively against them we run sets that I wind up in the corner a lot. Sometimes I feel like Tony (Parker) and guys who are on me get a free pass. They get to stand over there and watch. That's OK, but tonight in a game where we're down 0-3, we got nothing to lose. I might as well come off and try to help offensively.'

While Bell did almost all of his damage in the first half, he also delivered late.

With mostly reserves on the floor in the fourth quarter, Phoenix's lead shrunk from 32 to 21 so coach Mike D'Antoni was forced to bring Bell back into the game. He responded with a 3 from the corner to end a 5-minute, 15-second scoring drought.

It was Phoenix's only field goal in the final 9:28.

'Raja's a warrior, he always has been,' D'Antoni said.

Matt Paulson, Tribune



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VENEZUELA

Alejandro puts a check point -by Yelitza La Torre

Gatos de Monagas puts a check point, helped for their best cats as Alejandro Flores (201-F,college: E.Oklahoma St. JC) and Ernesto Mijares (190-G-76, college: Mc Clennan CC) pull over the Blue Express.
Alejandro Flores made 27 points and catches 16 rebounds to stop Trotamundos de Carabobo.
Gatos and Trotamundos are leaders of the classification, first and second spot. The first month of tournament is gone, Gatos as well as Trotamundos have been trying to keep the leadership.
Gatos defeat Trotamundos 98 - 93.

Today(03/31/2008) they are facing once again to finally define which team is taking the leadership... so far.



Break the glass, In case of fire -by Yelitza La Torre
In this case, Alejandro was on fire and he broke the glass. Alejandro Flores (203-F-81, college: E.Oklahoma St. JC) finished the second game of the series Gatos - Gaiteros, knocking down the board with a huge slam dunk when 19 minutes were remained of the second half.
The technical staff of the professional basketball league of Venezuela is going to reschedule this game which is going to restart over in a neutral or same arena.
By the time that The Horse Alejandro Flores kicked the glass down, the scored was, Gatos 31, Gaiteros 19
Gatos defeated Gaiteros 92 89 on Saturday, where Alejandro Flores (203-F-81, college: E.Oklahoma St. JC) was the hero as well with a tremendous block to Miguel Angel Marriaga (207-C-84), who was about to slam the ball and then, the same Alejandro Flores made a three point shot.


Standings - LPB
LPB Standings
 1. Trotamundos 21-5 
 2. Guaiqueries 16-8 
 3. Gatos 16-9 
 4. Marinos 14-11 
 5. Cocodrilos 13-9 
 6. Gaiteros 12-12 
 7. Guaros 10-16 
 8. Dep.Tachira 9-14 
 9. Panteras 7-19 
 10. Gigantes 5-20 




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Women News

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BELARUS - Women

Olimpia ties the series -by Eurobasket News
Olimpia tied the Final series against Berezina. The second game brought 79:76 and the teams will have to start the battles from the very beginning.
Meanwhile, Sviatlana Volnaya (187-G/F-79, college: Virginia) advanced to the Finals in Turkey with Fenerbahce. The winner of the regular season Fenerbahce swept the series over Pankup TED Kayseri Koleji with 59:76 on a road. After the opening quarter the favorite took 16:24 advantage, but then the hosts answered with 22:12 in the second. The things got better again for Fenerbahce in the second half when they recorded 9:22 in the third and 12:18 in the last. Melike Bakircioglu led the winners with 16 points. Tammy Sutton-Brown nailed 15, while Cappie Pondexter produced 11. Sviatlana Volnaya supported the winners with 4 points. Hulya Ozkan resisted for the hosts with 20 points.
Yelena Leuchanka (196-C-83, college: W.Virginia) was injured and did not play in the first semifinal game. CSKA held off UMMC 90:69 in Moscow. The rivalry that continues for the whole year brought success for CSKA this time. The Moscow outfit looked good in the first half and built a 46:30 advantage at the break. UMMC tried to even things in the third period but trimmed the deficit by just two points. But it was as close as UMMC could get. CSKA were back in the driving seat in the final stanza and UMMC never recovered. Maria Stepanova finished with 24 points and 7 rebounds. Amaya Valdemoro provided 17 points, while Edwige Lawson and Ann Wauters dropped 12 points in a win. Sandrine Gruda nailed 12 points and collected 10 caroms for UMMC. Asjha Jones completed the game with 11 points in a loss.


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CZECH REPUBLIC - Women

Untamed Gambrinus wins another ZBL title -by Eurobasket News
Gambrinus - USK Praha 95:48

Gambrinus extended their overwhelming dominance in the Czech ZBL after claiming the title yesterday. Gambrinus destroyed their arch-rivals USK Praha in the third game of the Final series to complete a sweep. USK Praha needed a win desperately to stay alive in the series but Brno was unwelcoming. Zirkova and Hamchetou Maiga (185-G/F-78, college: ODU) quickly gave the hosts a 10:3 lead early in the game. However Michaela Ferancikova (190-F-77) scored 4 straight points and Jannell Burse (197-C-79, college: Tulane) added two more as USK Praha trimmed the gap to a single point. Kulichova nailed a jump shot and ignited a 10:0 run from the home team. Them it was Tamika Whitmore (187-C/F-77, college: Memphis) took over. She netted 7 points in a row and Gambrinus closed the first frame 34:15 in front. Vesela and Hana Machova (182-F/G-79) teamed up for 6 early points in the second term to carry the hosts to a 40:17 advantage. USK Praha looked hapless at the moment as Brno outfit piled up a 56:27 cushion at the interval. Elhotova scored 4 quick points in the third stanza to try to keep the visitors in the contest. But Tamika Whitmore exploded with 14 points in the third quarter to propel the home team to a 77:43 buffer heading into the fourth period. Hana Machova opened the fourth term with 8 straight points to stun USK Praha. The visitors never recovered in the late stages and Gambrinus eased to yet another championship title.
Tamika Whitmore scored 23 points to pace the hosts. Hana Machova nailed 22 points and Hamchetou Maiga added 13 points and collected 8 rebounds for the winners. Michaela Ferancikova canned 12 points for USK Praha. Sandra Le Drean (187-F-77) and Jannell Burse had 11 points apiece in a loss.

Gambrinus: Tamika Whitmore 23, Hana Machova 22, Hamchetou Maiga 13
USK Praha: Michaela Ferancikova 12, Sandra Le Drean 11, Jannell Burse 11


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ESTONIA - Women

TLU/Volta forces the decider in the Final series -by Eurobasket News
Tallinna Living - TLU/Volta 70:75 (OT)

The dramatic fourth game in the Estonian Meistriliiga Final series allowed TLU/Volta to survive and force the fifth and decisive game on Thursday. TLU/Volta entered the game with their backs against the wall and must win to stay alive in the series. However Tallinna Living looked forward to completing their championship title at home court. They got to an aggressive start and quickly grabbed a lead. The hosts secured a 19:15 advantage after the first frame but TLU/Volta found the arguments to recover in the second period. They tightened up the defense and limited the hosts to just 11 points and drove to a 36:30 lead at halftime. TLU/Volta capitalized on the momentum and stretched the gap to 11 points heading into the fourth frame. But Tallinna Living struck back in the fourth quarter. The home team denied the deficit and tied things up at 62 at the end of regulation. However an inspirational game from Jana Rannaveski (172-G-87) allowed TLU/Volta to prevail in the extra time. The visitors snatched a narrow victory and postponed the answers till Thursday. Jana Rannaveski scored 23 points for TLU/Volta. Ashley Wallace (183-C-85, college: Pace) came up with 18 points and 11 boards, while Heila Rosenfeldt (172-G-83) produced 11 points and 14 boards for the winners. Pirgit Puu (170-G-88), Viive-Kai Rebane (184-F-89) and Kaia Kosk (174-G-89) scored 15 points apiece in defeat. Tallinna Living dominate the boards outrebounding the visitors 39:34. TLU/Volta in the meantime forced the hosts to 23 turnovers and shot solid 41% from the field.

Tallinna Living: Pirgit Puu 15, Viive-Kai Rebane 15, Kaia Kosk 15
TLU/Volta: Jana Rannaveski 23, Ashley Wallace 18+11 boards, Gerly Kostla (177-G-80) 14, Heila Rosenfeldt 11+14 boards


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ISRAEL - Women

Final 3rd round result -by Gil Goshen



Bnot Hsahron- Ramla 69:81


For Ramla:

Jackie Johnson 2 pts
Laine Selwyn 2points.

Shay Doron 20 pts
Sherill Baker 22 pts
Michelle Snow 18 pts,

For Raanana Hertzeliya:

Abiola Wabara 13 points.
Tanisha Wright 20 points
Mistie Williams 11 pts,.
Ornit Shwartz 8 points.
Katia Levitzky4 pts


The next game will be at Ramla home court..its 2:1.. and Ramla is only one game from winning the champion..



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ITALY - Women

Schio grabs the lead in Italian Finals -by Eurobasket News
Schio grabs the lead in Italian Finals against Napoli. The winner of the EuroCup did not mind playing away from home and now will have an advantage over the opponent. Mostly due to the second half Schio overcame Napoli 59:74 and will have Game 2 at home. Laura Macchi (187-F-79) paced all the winners with 21 points. Ngoysa produced 12, while Raffaella Masciadri (185-F-80) posted 10. Kedra Holland-Corn (173-G-74) led the hosts with 21 points. Mariangela Cirone (171-G-76) netted 13, while Ndiaye scored 11.
The guests were in front already in the opening tip of the game taking 10:12 lead. Thanks to Ciampoli and Raffaella Masciadri the visitors enjoyed 20:25 in the beginning of the second quarter. The minimum lead was seen throughout the whole period and then Horasan set up 30:36 as the teams went to the lockers.
Even though Schio went on a 30:38, Napoli reduced to 41:42. The third quarter was ended at 47:53 and still with an intrigue for the last stanza. In the last period Schio played much better and went on a Final lead with 49:61. There was no way the hosts could stay closer and catch them up. Schio wins the opener of the finals and becomes the favorite number one of the play-offs.

Napoli-Schio 59:74
PHARD NAPOLI: Paterna n.e., Mariangela Cirone 13, Mauriello 3, Giauro, Barnes 2, Gentile 3, Horasan 6, Ndiaye 11, Lesdema n.e., Kedra Holland-Corn 21. All. Molino.
FAMILA WUBER SCHIO: Moro 2, Butler, Bethany Donaphin (190-C-80) 15, Tassara 3, Sanchez 3, Raffaella Masciadri 10, 'Ngoysa 12, Ress 2, Ciampoli 6, Laura Macchi 21. All. Orlando.


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LUXEMBOURG - Women

The semifinals set in Luxembourg -by Eurobasket News
Basket Esch completed the qualifying round at the top of the ladder beating Contern in the final game. The outcome was pretty vivid after a storming first frame when Basket Esch drove to a 27:4 advantage and never looked back again. Leah Metcalf (173-G-83, college: N.Carolina) proved her leader status completing the game with 24 points, 13 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals for Basket Esch. Cynthia Dohn (172-G/F-81) added 9 points in a win. Carrie Bacon (183-F-80, college: Wyoming) answered with 25 points and 12 boards in defeat. Contern finished the stage at 6-16 record and missed the playoffs. Basket Esch will now take on T71 Dudelange in the best-of-three series.
T71 overcame Amicale in the last round of action. Dudelange overcame 35-point and 10-board performance from Lisa Lee (183-F-84, college: Charleston So.) to celebrate a 78:70 victory. Katie Donovan (183-F-82) scored 24 points for the visitors as they finalized the 12th win in the season. Michele Zeyen (173-F/C-81) provided 13 points for the winners. Amicale appeared out of playoff zone coming to the finish at the 5th spot.
Residence got a vital win over Musel Pikes leapfrogging them in the ladder and securing the home-court advantage through the semis. Residence succeeded 67:63 at home at the weekend and rolled to the second spot in the ladder. Catherine Scanlon (180-G/F-83, college: Drexel) produced 24 points for the hosts. Kaatje Claes (182-C-81) nailed 17 points in a winning case. Amanda Stowe (186-F/C-79, agency: Next Level, college: Wisc.-Green Bay) replied with 25 points and 12 boards for Musel Pikes in a loss.


Standings - Women
DBBL Standings
Title Group
 1. Basket Esch 18-4 
 2. Musel Pikes 13-9 
 3. Residence 13-9 
 4. T71 Dudelange 12-10 
 5. Amicale 8-14 
 6. AB Contern 6-16 
Relegation Group
 1. Etzella 9-0 
 2. Grengewald 7-2 
 3. Racing 6-3 
 4. Les Esperants 2-7 
 5. Black Frogs 2-7 
 6. BC Mess 1-8 


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MALI - Women

Hamchetou Maiga triumphs in Czech Republic -by Eurobasket News
Hamchetou Maiga (185-G/F-78, college: ODU) and her Gambrinus extended their overwhelming dominance in the Czech ZBL after claiming the title yesterday. Gambrinus destroyed their arch-rivals USK Praha in the third game of the Final series to complete a sweep. USK Praha needed a win desperately to stay alive in the series but Brno was unwelcoming. Zirkova and Hamchetou Maiga quickly gave the hosts a 10:3 lead early in the game. However Michaela Ferancikova scored 4 straight points and Jannell Burse added two more as USK Praha trimmed the gap to a single point. Kulichova nailed a jump shot and ignited a 10:0 run from the home team. Them it was Tamika Whitmore took over. She netted 7 points in a row and Gambrinus closed the first frame 34:15 in front. Vesela and Hana Machova teamed up for 6 early points in the second term to carry the hosts to a 40:17 advantage. USK Praha looked hapless at the moment as Brno outfit piled up a 56:27 cushion at the interval. Elhotova scored 4 quick points in the third stanza to try to keep the visitors in the contest. But Tamika Whitmore exploded with 14 points in the third quarter to propel the home team to a 77:43 buffer heading into the fourth period. Hana Machova opened the fourth term with 8 straight points to stun USK Praha. The visitors never recovered in the late stages and Gambrinus eased to yet another championship title. Tamika Whitmore scored 23 points to pace the hosts. Hana Machova nailed 22 points and Hamchetou Maiga added 13 points and collected 8 rebounds for the winners. Michaela Ferancikova canned 12 points for USK Praha. Sandra Le Drean and Jannell Burse had 11 points apiece in a loss.

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POLAND - Women

Finals FGE: Wisla Can-Pack - Lotos PKO BP 2:2 -by Wojciech Strzebinczyk
Wisła Can-Pack Krakw - Lotos PKO BP Gdynia 63:75 (15:16, 16:21, 18:19, 14:19)
Wisła:
Candice Dupree 17, Marta Fernandez 15, Kara Brown-Braxton 10, Agnieszka Pałka 6, Jelena Skerovic 6, Anna DeForge 4, Ewelina Kobryn 4, Anna Wielebnowska 1, Monika Krawiec 0.
Lotos: Chamique Holdsclaw 22, Alana Beard 16, Jekateryna Snicyna 13, Dominique Canty 8, Slobodanka Maksimovic 8, Magdalena Leciejewska 6, Anna Breitreiner 2, Marta Jujka 0, Natalia Waligrska 0.


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PORTUGAL - Women

Liga Feminina final -by Luis Rocha
Olivais won the final and is now the new champions. It was a great game with a bit of drama, typical of a really good match. Alges loose early in the game is guard Joana Araujo (175-G-78), they not cry over that and Ines Costa (162-G-86) made a good game and didnt disapoint her fellow mates. At the break Olivais was in the lead by 7 points, at the end of the 3rd quarter Olivais still leads by 12, but the last quarter was memorable, great come back from Alges and at 20s to the buzzard, Alges was with Maxann Reese (176-G-78, college: Michigan St.) in the free trhow line to shoot 3 shots when was down by 3. She made the first two but miss the last, after that imediate foul and Pauline Nsimbo (187-F/C-82, agency: LBM Management) made the 2 shots from the line giving the win to hers team by 3 (65-62). Many people filled Municipal of Anadia, and this game as well as all the final four will certainly made those who watched very pleased with the shows. Nice advertising for women basketball in Portugal. Lakethia Hampton (183-F/C-83) was the final MVP with 24 points and 16 rebounds.

Carlos Caetano leaves ESSA -by Bruno Baltazar
Carlos Caetano ESSA head coach will leave the team after the 3rd place in the portuguese championship.
He coached them for the past 3 seasons,last season he won the champ,this year finished in 3rd and in the first season with the team in 05/06 finished in the 5th place,won the supercup in 2005 ,two final 4 of portuguese cup and in the final of the 1st Taa da Liga edition.
A career of sucess with the team that will face the new season with many updates for sure.


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SENEGAL - Women

Gomis and N'Diaye's efforts in the semis -by Eurobasket News
Emilie Gomis (180-F-83) nails 3 points and makes 3 rebounds in the first game of French semifinals. It could have been one spot dividing the teams in the regular season final standings but it turned out to be miles separating them in the first semifinal of LFB. Montpellier thumped Emilie Gomis's Valenciennes to take a 1-0 lead in the semifinal series. Montpellier enjoyed a complete dominance throughout the game leading from the start till the final buzzer. The hosts jumped to a 23:12 lead after the starting period and stretched it 18 points at halftime. Valenciennes never recovered after the break as they entered the final term trailing by unassailable 21 points and the home time coasted to an easy victory at the end. Gunta Basko notched 23 points and 7 boards for Montpellier. Grace Daley provided 13 points, while Gaelle Skrela scored 10 for the winners. Sabrina Reghaissia nailed 16 points for USVO. Francesca Zara dropped 10 points in a loss. The hosts outrebounded their opponents 39:28 and limited them to 34% from the field.
Astou N'Diaye (190-C-73, college: Abil.Christian) and her Phard Napoli got the right to defend the title in an incredible semifinal match in Taranto. Phard Napoli had an horrible start and only in the final quarter, with a 0-15 break, closed the double digit gap that Taranto accumulated in the first quarter. Astou N'Diaye became the second in the scoring list and scored 10 points. Now Phard Napoli has the chance to win for the second straight time the Italian championship. The first match of the final series will be played Saturday night in Naples, while the second and third game will be played in Famila Wuber Schio.


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SPAIN - Women

The end of the regular season -by Eurobasket News
The regular season went to the end in Spain. Currently four teams will fight for the winner of the Play-offs.
Ros Casares won the regular season with 23-3 record. In the last game the team did not allow EBE Promociones to climb to the second place and to have a home court advantage in the semifinals. Ros Casares overcame the opponent 73:57 with 23:15 in the opening quarter. Delisha Milton-Jones (186-F-74, college: Florida) led the winners with 17 points. De Souza and Elena Tornikidou (185-F-65) supported her with 12 points each. Silvia Morales (170-G/F-79) ended up with 17 points in the losing effort.
Perfumerias finished the season on the second spot defeating Extrugasa 49:57 away from home. Perfumerias stayed alone on the second position with 20-6 record and will have home court advantage over EBE Promociones. Matic paced the winners with 12 points, while Tracy Reid (182-F/G-76, agency: Merit Sports, college: N.Carolina) nailed 11. Brown and Herrera ended up with 11 points each in defeat.
San Jose advanced to the semifinals after a home win over Cadi la Seu 52:48. Liron Cohen (173-G-82) top-scored for the winners with 13 points and Santos was the best with 17 points for the visitors.
Ros Casares will face San Jose in the semifinal, while in another battle Perfumerias will take on EBE Promociones.


Extremadura Dato goes down to LF2 and Mann Filter Zaragoza survives in LF -by Ivan Villar
Mann Filter Zaragoza will be a year more in LF thanks to win over Hondarribia Irun.Aragon's team by the hand of Soeli Garvao (187-C-77) (23 p-7 reb) fought and got most important win of season.Kelly Da Silva (15 p-10 reb) leaded Badajoz's team for win against Celta Vigo.In spite of this,Extremadura tied with Mann Filter in table but lost average.So Extremadura Dato comes back to LF2 next season.Olesa got last ticket to playoff after win Canarias at home.Olga Podkovalnikova shone being MVP shared of this round with 28 points,9 rebounds and 34 of efficience.Brooke Wyckoff emulated her Canarias with 22 points and 16 rebounds,making same efficience of 34.

PLAYOFFS FROM 5TH-8TH PLACES (3 games 1-1-1)

Rivas Futura-Seat Olesa
Celta Vigo-Extrugasa Vilagarcia

There are 3 places for FIBA Eurocup.If Seat Olesa wins playoff,looser of Celta-Extrugasa eliminatory would be out of Europe's competition.


Standings - LFB
LFB Standings
 1. Ros Casares 23-3 
 2. Perfumerias 20-6 
 3. EBE Promoc. 19-7 
 4. Acis-Incosa 18-8 
 5. Rivas Futura 16-10 
 6. Real C.Vigo 14-12 
 7. Extrugasa 12-14 
 8. Olesa 10-16 
 9. Cajacanar. 10-16 
 10. Cadi la Seu 10-16 
 11. Hondar.-Irun 9-17 
 12. Mann Filter 8-18 
 13. Badajoz 8-18 
 14. Burgos 5-21 


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TURKEY - Women

Galatasaray and Fenerbahce will face in the Finals -by Eurobasket News
Two Turkish titans will face each other in the Finals of the Play-offs. The winner of the regular season Fenerbahce swept the series over Pankup TED Kayseri Koleji with 59:76 on a road. After the opening quarter the favorite took 16:24 advantage, but then the hosts answered with 22:12 in the second. The things got better again for Fenerbahce in the second half when they recorded 9:22 in the third and 12:18 in the last. Melike Bakircioglu (191-F/C-87) led the winners with 16 points. Tammy Sutton-Brown (193-C-78, college: Rutgers) nailed 15, while Cappie Pondexter produced 11. Hulya Ozkan (186-F-80) resisted for the hosts with 20 points.
Galatasaray also celebrated the win away from home. Trailing 10 points after the first half to Besiktas Cola Turka, Galatasaray could benefit from the game. The guests produced 20:13 in the third quarter to reduce to 3 points and then dominated in the last period with 25:13. Sophia Phienola collected 20 points and 11 rebounds for the winners. Esra Sencebe nailed 16, while Vickie Johnson (177-G/F-72, college: Louisiana Tech) scored 15. Saziye Karslı ended up with 18 points for Besiktas Cola Turka. Stacey Lovalace and Vanessa Hayden followed her with 12 points apiece.

Pankup TED Kayseri Koleji -Fenerbahce 59:76
Pankup TED Kayseri Koleji: Burcu Taşbaş, Zoia Stanoeva 6, Betl Sunter 8, Hulya Ozkan 20, Serap Ycesir 2, Aysun Yararbaş, Esra Ural, Aynur Metin 4, Anita Moore 8, İlsu Darıcıoğlu 9, Glin Cantekin 2.
Fenerbahe: Sviatlana Volyona 4, Birsel Vardarlı 7, Yasemin Dalgalar 5, Branzova Erdenay 8, Tammy Sutton-Brown 15, Tuğe Murat, Melike Bakircioglu 16, Cappie Pondexter 11, Ebony Hoffman (188-C/F-82, college: USC) 10+11 rebs

Besiktas Cola Turka -Galatasaray 63:72
Besiktas Cola Turka: Nilay Yiğit 7, Nazlı Gler 8, Korana Zanze 6, Stacey Lovalace 12, Vanessa Hayden 12, Saziye Karslı 18
Galatasaray: Saynur Tozlu, Vickie Johnson 15, Işıl Alben 8, Yasemen Saylar 2, Petra Ujhelyi (192-C-80, college: S.Carolina) 11, Sariye Gke , Sophia Phienola 20+11 rebs, Esra Sencebe 16


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U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS - Women

2008 Paradise Jam Team Overviews and Brackets -by David Edole
Seattle, Washington -- Eight division I womens basketball teams will travel to St. Thomas to participate in the 9th annual U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands. Basketball fans can look forward to an impressive womens field, with seven of the eight participants reaching the post season in 2008. Three 2008 Paradise Jam participants: Baylor, California and Iowa reached the NCAA tournament. Four played in the post-season WNIT: South Florida, Texas Tech, Villanova and Wisconsin. Central Florida rounds out the eight team field.

Baylor and California both advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament before falling. Baylor beat Wyoming in the first round before succumbing to Pittsburgh in second round action. California advanced to the second round with a win over San Diego, but fell to George Washington in the second round. Iowa fell in the first round to Georgia. Although these three NCAA-hardened squads bring high expectations to the islands this November, they will be hard-pressed by the other five teams also seeking early season success.

Texas Tech and Villanova both reached the third round of the post-season WNIT before falling to TCU and Colorado respectively. Wisconsin lost to fellow Paradise Jam participant, Villanova in the second round. The two will face off on Thanksgiving Day in the islands. South Florida fell in the first round of the WNIT. Central Florida rounds out the eight-team Paradise Jam field, making it one of the most competitive, neutral court, early season tournaments in America. Two teams will make return visits to the islands. Texas Tech returns to the Paradise Jam to defend its 2000 title. Wisconsin placed third in the 2001 Paradise Jam.

The Paradise Jam consists of two separate tournaments. Each is a four-team, three-game round robin event. One is called the 'Island Division Tournament and the other is called the Reef Division Tournament. Both are Multiple Team Event (MTE) tournaments. An MTE tournament counts as only two games against a teams annual maximum of 29 games, despite playing three games at the tournament.
All four teams in the Paradise Jam Reef Division Tournament competed in the 2008 Post Season: California and Iowa in the NCAA Tournament and Texas Tech and South Florida in the Post Season NIT. Competition begins on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th at 7:00 PM with Texas Tech playing Iowa, followed by the 9:30 PM game where South Florida will battle California. Games continue on November 28th with Iowa vs. South Florida at 7:00 PM and California vs. Texas Tech at 9:30 PM. The remaining match ups will conclude on November 29th at 7:00 PM (South Florida vs. Texas Tech) and 9:30 PM (California vs. Iowa).

The Paradise Jam Island Division Tournament includes one NCAA tournament participant in Baylor and two Womens National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) participants in Villanova and Wisconsin. The field is completed by Central Florida. Competition begins November 27th at 2:00 PM with a matchup between Villanova and Wisconsin, followed by the 4:30 PM game where Central Florida will play Baylor. Games continue on November 28th with Wisconsin vs. Central Florida at 2:00 PM and Baylor vs. Villanova at 4:30 PM. Competition concludes on November 29th at 2:00 PM (Central Florida vs. Villanova) and 4:30 PM (Wisconsin vs. Baylor).

All game times are listed in Atlantic Standard Time, which is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Games will be played at the U.V.I. Sports and Fitness Center, the Caribbeans premier basketball facility.
In 2007 Paradise Jam action, Connecticut defeated Duke to claim the St. Thomas crown. Stanford narrowly defeated Temple for third place and Old Dominion finished ahead of Purdue with a win in the consolation game. All six teams competed in the 2008 NCAA tournament, which saw Stanford defeat Connecticut to advance to NCAA Championship game.

In the St. John Championship game, Wake Forest defeated Wichita State to take home the Paradise Jam St. John tournament crown. In the consolation game, Texas A&M overcame Indiana to finish second.