EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 4/30/2008

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Men News

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ABA

Tycoons updatings -by Gianni Pascucci
The Texas Tycoons announced last week that the team's head coach, Jean-Paul Afif , has been given clearance to speak with other leagues regarding head coaching vacancies. Afif navigated the Tycoons to a 21-3 record, falling to the eventual ABA champion Vermont Frost Heaves. The playoff loss marked the second time in consecutive seasons, that the Vermont franchise has prevented Texas from fulfilling championship aspirations. Regardless, Afif's accomplishments do not go unnoticed by the Tycoons or other teams in search of a head coach. About the Tycoons' future, in the same release the team officials say they have been in constant communication with the ABA's strongest cluster of teams, and this will weigh heavily upon the Tycoons' decision to return to the ABA or explore other options. Team GM Mike Senters admitted the team is considering options like the CBA and the PBL. After all, a large group of Tycoons' members have yet a huge experience of the PBL league..:-)

McCarthy named Executive of the Year -by Gianni Pascucci
The American Basketball Association (ABA) yesterday named Ian McCarthy of the Manchester Millrats as its General Manager of the Year for the 2007-2008 season. According to Joe Newman, ABA CEO, 'It was a very close race between four GM's, but looking at the overall job Ian did in putting together a great team both on and off the court, and the help and support he provided to the league itself, we felt that he was very deserving of the honor.' The Manchester Millrats gained community support with excellent programs, had outstanding sponsor support, worked closely with the Vermont Frost Heaves and the Quebec Kebekwa to make the All Star Game and Championship Playoffs a success, took his team to Nova Scotia, the Bahamas and to Singapore twice, provided excellent stats, a great web site and a steady stream of excellent press releases. We at Usbasket.com totally agree with this award, because Ian was everytime very available and collaborating with us.

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ARAB CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

Day 6 - 21st Arab Clubs Championship (April 23 - May 5 Amman, Jordan) -by Mohammed Malas

* Group C:

Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut
(LEB) 118 - Orthodox (JOR) 98 (Qs: 32-20, 64-45, 95-68 & 118-98)

# Best performance:
- Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut:
Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) (35 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast)
Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) (23 pts, 3 ast, 2 stl)
Ace Custis (202-F-74, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: Virginia Tech) (13 pts, 12 reb, 3 ast)
- Orthodox:
Rob Anderson (196-G/F-79, college: George Mason) (26 pts, 5 ast, 2 stl)
Kelly Wise (208-F-80, college: Memphis) (24 pts, 16 reb)
Ayman Idais (205-C-78, agency: Court Side) (14 pts, 17 reb, 3 stl)

Al Manama (BHR) 99 - Al Kahraba Electricity (IRQ) 68 (Qs: 25-14, 47-31, 64-56 & 99-68)

# Best performance:
- Al Manama:
Albert Mouring (191-G-79, college: Connecticut) (29 pts)
Faraj Abdulla (203-C/F-75) (20 pts, 12 reb)
- Al Kahraba:
Ahmad Monshed (25 pts, 7 reb)
Malek Falah (15 pts, 8 reb, 2 stl)

* Group D:

Al Kuwait SC (KUW) 97 - Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (LEB) 92 (Qs: 15-26, 49-53, 76-69 & 97-92)

# Best performance:
- Al Kuwait SC:
Andre Pitts (185-G-73, college: Huston-Tillotson) (25 pts, 7 ast, 2 stl)
Ira Clark (203-F/C-75, college: Texas) (23 pts, 12 reb)
Ahmad Al Mutairi (187-G-80) (18 pts)
Hiram Fuller (206-F-81, agency: Octagon, college: Fresno St.) (17 pts, 8 reb)
- Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut:
Alpha Bangura (197-F/G-80, college: St.John's) (35 pts, 4 ast)
Sabah Khoury (196-G-82) (22 pts, 5 ast, 3 stl)
Rony Fahed (182-G-81, agency: Pro Management Agency) (16 pts, 3 ast)

# Second round groups:
- Group E:
Zain (JOR) '1st of Group A'
Maghreb de Fes (MOR) '2nd of Group B'
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut (LEB) '1st of Group C'
Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (LEB) '2nd of Group D'
- Group F:
An Nasr (UAE) '2nd of Group A'
Al Nasr (LEB) '1st of Group B'
Orthodox (JOR) '2nd of Group C'
Al Kuwait SC (KUW) '1st of Group D'

# Second round sechedule (Amman Time, +3 GMT):
- Tuesday 29/4:
16:30 An Nasr - Kuwait SC
18:30 Zain - Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut
20:30 Al Nasr - Orthodox
- Wednesday 30/4:
16:30 Al Kuwait SC - Al Nasr
18:30 Maghreb de Fes - Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut
20:30 Orthodox - An Nasr
- Thursday 1/5:
16:30 An Nasr - Al Nasr
18:30 Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut - Zain
20:30 Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut - Maghreb de Fes
- Friday 2/5:
16:30 Zain - Maghreb de Fes
18:30 Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut - Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut
20:30 Orthodox - Al Kuwait SC



Standings
Arab Club Championships Standings
Group A
 1. Zain 3-0 
 2. Tilal 1-2 
 3. Qatar 1-2 
 4. An Nasr 1-2 
Group B
 1. Al Nasr 3-0 
 2. MAS 2-1 
 3. Al Ittihad 1-2 
 4. De La Salle 0-3 
Group C
 1. Al Riyadi 3-0 
 2. Orthodox 2-1 
 3. Al Manama 1-2 
 4. Al Kahraba 0-3 
Group D
 1. Al Kuwait 2-0 
 2. Sagesse 1-1 
 3. As Seeb 0-2 


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ARGENTINA

Semifinals: Libertad 1 Pearol 0 -by Facundo Iatzky
Liberad Sunchales won the first game of the semifinals and took advantage in the serie. The key of the game was the third quarter. It was won by 35-17 and it defined the game. Andres Pelussi (198-F-77) returned of his injury and was amazing. The second game will be played on Wednesday.

Libertad (93): Sebastian Ginobili 13, Pablo Moldu (191-G-78) 14, Laron Profit 13, Andres Pelussi 20 Robert Battle (200-C-81, college: Drexel) 13 (St); Jorge Benitez 12, Juan Pablo Sartorelli 0 Marcos Saglietti 8. coach: Julio Lamas.

Pearol (84): Sebastian Rodriguez 6, Quincy Wadley 9, Juan Manuel Locatelli 8, Jason Osborne 11 Roman Gonzalez (206-C-78, agency: HM Sports Agency) 25 (St); Marcos Mata 7, Lucas Picarelli 9, Alejandro Diez 7 Jervaughn Scales 2. coach: Sergio Hernandez


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BELGIUM

Sint-Jan and CEP Fleurus in Division II Play-Off Finals! -by Bertrand Larsimont


Division A:

BT Power Liefmans Wevelgem vs. Sint-Jan Antwerp 70-72
Thanks to a last basket by Ward Lemaire (196-F-80), Sint-Jan qualifies for the Division II Play-Off Finals for the second time in a row (last year against Ghent).
Sint-Jan will go to Fleurus on Friday and will host CEPF in Hoboken for the honorific title (no Division II team will join Division I next season) four days later.
Score at the half: 34-37.
Wevelgem: Robeyst 12; S. Naudts 6; Van de Keere 21; Flanders 18; Vandenberghe 3; Guillemyn 10.
Sint-Jan: Gorremans 4; Van Rillaer 12; Lemaire 7; Van Schil 15; T. Van de Vondel 16; Dekkers 4; Verrept 5; Ceyssens 9.

Falco Ghent vs. Bent Schoenen Waregem 97-84
Quarter by quarter score evolution: 27-25, 55-51, 79-65 and 97-84.
Falco: Vanderkimpen 9; T. Foucart 12; Breca 7; De Schepper 29; J. Van de Vondel 9; Selhorst 5; Seghers 4; Brysse 6; Huyghe 16.
Waregem: Van Vooren 5; De Leersnijder 5; Steinbach 15; Colpaert 6; Verdickt 8; De Wilde 14; Cleymans 13; Fiers 18.

Division B:

BBC Boom vs. CEP Fleurus 59-64
The men of Coach Fulvio Bastianini will play for the Division II title and will host Sint-Jan in Bonsecours on Friday, May 2nd at 20:30 for the first leg of the Play-Off Finals. The second leg (return game) will take place in Hoboken next Tuesday. The champion will be the winner in aggregate after both legs.
Quarter by quarter score evolution: 18-16, 33-25, 46-50 and 59-64.
Boom: Van Wert 3; Bayer 11; Lambreghts 15; Salden 19; Leten 4; Van den Eynde 7.
Fleurus: Vanesse 4; Tison 2; Moris 15; Jadin 13; Rozewicz 18; Buja 1; Semijejero 4; Pourtoit 7.

BBC Kangoeroes vs. Xenia Tours Sint-Truiden 20-0
The Canaries of Sint-Truiden did not show up.

Division C:

BC Ninane vs. Royal Alsec Nivelles 73-71
This close loss by Nivelles means the last rank in Group C for the visitors.

Jaga Radiators Hasselt vs. De West-Hoek Zwevezele 87-76
Thanks to this win, Hasselt finishes first in Group C.
Quarter by quarter score evolution: 24-15, 39-34, 66-59 and 87-76.
Hasselt: Geysen 14; Hendrix 14; Sterk 10; Van Poelgeest 12; Koonings 4; Vanhove 24; Maes 3; Gijbels 3.
Best scorers for Zwevezele: Bobb 21; Tandt 15 and Bourdeaux 18.

Standings

Division A

Sint-Jan Antwerp 5-1
Wevelgem 4-2
Falco Ghent 2-4
Waregem 1-5

Division B

CEP Fleurus 5-1
BBC Boom 4-2
Kangoeroes Willebroek 3-3
Xenia Sint-Truiden 0-6

Division C

JR Hasselt 5-1
BC Ninane 5-1
West Hoek Zwevezele 1-5
RA Nivelles 1-5



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BOSNIA

League 8, 6TH round - Siroki beat Igokea -by Elvir Halilovic

Results:
Zrinjski Mik Company - Bosna ASA BH Telecom 54:84
Siroki Prima Pivo - Igokea Partizan 82:75
Slavija - Borac Nektar (Wednesday April 30TH)
Grude - Sloboda Dita (Wednesday April 30TH)

Standings:
1. Bosna ASA BHT 6-0 488:385 +103 12 pts.

2. Siroki Prima Pivo 5-1 497:449 +48 11 pts.
3. Igokea Partizan 4-2 517:472 +45 10 pts.
4. Sloboda Dita 3-2 351:378 -27 8 pts.
5. Zrinjski MC 2-4 481:527 -46 8 pts.
6. Slavija 2-3 402:425 -23 7 pts.
7. Borac Nektar 0-5 354:386 -32 5 pts.
8. Grude 0-5 363:431 -68 5 pts.

Siroki Prima pivo - Igokea Partizan 82:75
(14:22, 24:20, 26:18, 18:15)
Siroki Brijeg, SD Pecara; Att.: 1.200; Ref.: Zurapovic, Jovanic i Drmic
SIROKI PRIMA PIVO: Bubalo, Grays 14, Stemberger 20, Dijan, Zupic 10, Sola 13, Spralja 9, Naletilic, Susak, Fajardo 8, Bethel 4, Ezugwu 4
Coach: Ivan Velic
IGOKEA PARTIZAN: Tosic 4, Patterson 5, Bocka 16, Stazic 8, Djurica, Vucurovic 7, Cup, Wright, Lydeka 6, Stefanovic 16, Kovacevic 4, Allen 9
Coach: Zoran Sretenovic

Zrinjski Mik Company - Bosna ASA BHT 54:84
(11:22, 15:26, 9:17, 19:19)
Mostar, SD Bijeli brijeg; Att.: 800; Ref.: Obradovic, Sobot, Nozinovic
ZRINJSKI MC: Filipovic 7, Bisko, Norac 9, Petric 2, Dzidic 2, Simovic, Brecic 10, Vuckovi 7, Buhac, Sarenac 9, Planinic 4, Grbavac 4
Coach: Nedjeljko Zelenika
BOSNA ASA BHT: Jefferson 7, Sehovic 10, Tomovic 9, Panic 10, Bavcic 10, Djurasovic, Zimic 1, Bailey 6, Hajric 5, Pasalic 3, Jackson 6, Williams 17
Coach: Jurij Zdovc



Standings - BIH League
D1 Standings
League 8
 1. Bosna S. 6-0 
 2. Siroki 5-1 
 3. Igokea 4-2 
 4. Sloboda Dita 3-2 
 5. Slavija 2-3 
 6. Zrinjski MC 2-4 
 7. Grude 0-5 
 8. Borac Nektar 0-5 
Places 9-14
 1. Posusje 10-14 
 2. Zenica Celik 10-14 
 3. Hercegovac 10-14 
 4. Leotar 9-15 
 5. Capljina 8-16 
 6. Vogosca 2-22 


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BULGARIA

Standings A2
A2 Standings
 1. Cherno M. E-on 13-1 
 2. Alvina 12-2 
 3. Spart.MVR 8-6 
 4. Slavia 7-7 
 5. Chernomor. 6-8 
 6. Vidabasket 6-8 
 7. Dunav 2 3-11 
 8. Sportist Svoge 1-13 


Lukoil Academic eliminated Rilski sportist -by Valentin Anguelov

Lukoil Academic continue their series of victories in Bulgarian championship and after 105-77 over Rilski sportist qualified for the semifinals of playoffs 2008. In Arena Samokov Students had troubles in the first half of the game as they led by only 5 points at the half time break (48-43).

The players of coach Petko Delev led by 4-2 after one minute of play but that was the only time in the game they had advantage on the scoreboard. 9 consecutive points by the visitors and they took the lead for good in the middle of the first quarter (11-4). At the end of the first 10 minutes thanks to the basket by Todor Stoykov visitors had their biggest lead of the quarter 9 points (23-14).

The home team mostly because of Miko Golubovic and Aleksandar Gruev cut the lead to only 2 points (37-39) 2:54 minutes before the break.

Second half started with two consecutive 3-pointers by Nenad Canak and Todor Stoykov which put the lead in double figures for the visiting team. 10-0 run in the second half of the third quarter decided the game in Lukoil favor, who led by 20 points in minute 27 (72-52).

In the last quarter the players from Rilski sportist didnt put lot of efforts in defense, Lukoil Academic closed the game and moved ahead.

Its good to notice very good performance by Gruev, who managed 28 points and season high 7 three pointers from 9 attempts. He ended with the best efficiency in the game 29.

Center Miko Golubovic had fifth double double of the season with 17 points and 11 boards.

For the visitors Pero Antic scored 22 (4/4 behind the arc) while Willie Deane and Larry OBannon ended with 20 apiece.

Rilski sportist had rebounds edge (28-25) but also turn the ball over twice more than their opponents (26-13).

Rilski sportiest ended their season while Lukoil Academic will play in the semifinals of the playoffs versus the winner of Spartak Pleven and Cherno more Varna.

Semfinals will start on May 5th.

FULL STATS FORM THE GAME RILSKI SPORTIST LUKOIL ACADEMIC



Levski eliminated Yambol, qualified for the semifinal playoffs -by Valentin Anguelov

Levski beat Yambol for second time in three days and qualified for the Semifinals in Playoffs 2008. This time the team of coach Julian Aladjov won away by the score 89-80. Despite the great support of the home crowd in Yambol they couldnt manage to win and push the series to third decisive game in the series. With the loss Yambol ended the season at the seventh place. They led in the score for 36 minutes but that fact didnt help.

The host team started the game very well and few fast breaks took the early lead. Great in those minutes was their point guard Stanislav Govedarov who managed 11 points in the first quarter plus organized the attack of his team very well.

In the beginning of second quarter though he received very doubtful fourth foul and right after that and technical fifth as well. Yambol left without their leading scorer and best guard. Despite that they were very motivated, played well in defense and kept the score in their favor. At the break Yambol were up by seven points, 46-39 but everybody was expecting tough 20 second half minutes.


In the third quarter Yambol even led by 14 points. Both ukrainian players Kirylo Skumatov and Vadim Reka played well and had control under the basket. Good minutes for his team had Ivan Marchev as well. At the end of third quarter after several mistakes of the home team Levski took advantage of it and cut the distance to only 6.

In the beginning of the last 10 minutes Stoyo Cholakov was fouled out and that put in real trouble the home team. Without him and Govedarov Yambol had big problems getting the ball in the opposite court. Levski turn the tempo little, started to play zone defense and after 13-0 run tied the score up at 75 apiece. Skumatov left the floor for 5 personal fouls and that really decided the outcome of the game in the visitors way.

Reka was the best scorer for Yambol with 17 points and he also grabbed 13 rebounds. Skumatov ended with 16.

Stanislav Slaveykov played great for the visiting team with double double performance 20 points and 13 rebounds. Youngsters Hristo Zahariev and Asen Velikov scored 12 points apiece.

This coming Monday Levski will play versus Balkan in the first semifinal game of this year playoffs.

FULL STATS FROM THE GAME YAMBOL - LEVSKI



Standings A1
A1 Standings
 1. Lukoil A. 32-0 
 2. Levski 22-10 
 3. Balkan 20-12 
 4. Spartak P. 16-16 
 5. CSKA 15-17 
 6. Cherno More 15-17 
 7. Yambol 11-21 
 8. Rilski S-list 10-22 
 9. Dunav 2007 3-15 
 10. Sliven 2-16 


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CROATIA

Glavinic and Lucic signed for Capljina! -by Dani Erceg

Josip Glavinic (193-G-82) and Mario Lucic (202-C-80) signed for BiH-D1 team Capljina till the end of current season. They have just finished their season in Croatian Play-Out League with Dubrovnik. Glavinic played 23 games for Dubrovnik this season and averaged 15.7ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.2apg, 1.7spg, Lucic played also 23 games and averaged 17.3ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.2apg, 1.3spg.






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CYPRUS

Behind the scene news -by Chris Mammides

According to some 'behind the scene' news which are not official yet, there will be some tremendous changes in the rosters of the top three teams of the Cyprus league, according to the same sources, AEL is very close to sign one of the top Cypriot guards, Grigoris Pantouris (190-G/F-82), the experienced guard just finished his current contract with the team of Apoel and he now looks very positive in reallocating him self back to his town, within he next couple of weeks the official announcement will take place. In regards to the same sources, the ex champions will not keep their head coach Charles Barton and they are looking towards the Greek market, they are looking for a Greek Coach who is well known not only in Greece but in Cyprus league too.

Furthermore, the Limassol team has already renewed the contracts of Alexis Liatsos (200-F-80, college: Ohio) while Giorgos Palalas (185-G-81) had already sign a contract last year (2 years contract), Konstantinos Perentos (198-F-83) will be the next player to renew his contracts as the management of the team wants the Cypriot forward.

In regards to Keravnos Strovolou, there are some rumours that the successful captain of the Strovolos team will not continue his career in Strovolos. Giorgos Anastasiadis (194-G/F-77) has offers from both Cyprus and foreign teams and is seriously consider doing the big shift after nine consecutive years in the team of Keravnos Strovolou, besides this season was not one of his best in regards to the general attitude of the coaching team towards his value as a player, the experience guard saw him self in many cases to be in the bench without any particular reason, only after Patric Lee's accident his role became more and more serious in the team with the cherry in the pie being his performance in the play offs series and especially in the most crucial ones against Apoel. For Strovolos team, there is a big question mark in regards to the Greek Coach, Vasilis Fragias, the Greek coach received a financal offer from Keravnos Strovolou but didnt answer yet, like last season, the experienced coach will answer in a due time, besides everyone knows that he will remain in Strovolos and that he will sign with Keravnos, after all.

Last but not least, the management will keep the American Jarrett Hart (194-G-80, college: Kansas St.) as he considers to be among the key players this season and together with Bryant Smith (196-G/F-77, college: Auburn) and Aleksandar Damjanovic (206-C/F-73) which they consider to be nearly members of Keravnos Strovolou for the coming seazon



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ESTONIA

KML Semifinals: Rock struggles in first half but beats Fausto -by Janar Filippov
Semifinals have started in Estonian SEB Meistriliiga. Teams from Tartu - TU/Rock and Fausto - build the first matchup, teams from Tallinn - BC Kalev/Cramo and BC Pirita - another. On Tuesday, the reigning champions TU/Rock hosted Fausto-Tartu Kalev and won 84:66 (41:40). After equal first half, Rock made a seven-minute 17:2 run in 3rd quarter and secured the victory with another 15:6 run in final three minutes. Despite the seemingly firm victory, Rock once again had a turnover trouble as they made huge 16 turnovers in first half. Luckily, they added only 2 in 2nd half.
Giorgi Tsintsadze (192-G-86) was the top scorer with 22 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. Janar Talts (204-C-83) added 16 points, 7 rbs and 3 blocks. Ardo Armpalu (207-F/C-80, college: Marshall) led Fausto with 13 points and 7 rebounds but he was limited to 28 minutes instead his usual 35-37, because he made 4 PF in first quarter only.


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EUROLEAGUE

Papaloukas: All our thoughts must be on the semi-final -by Kostas Papadopoulos
He's at the Final-4 for a sixth consecutive season. He's the reigning MVP of the Euroleague. And he's nominated for the All-Euroleague team once again. Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) of CSKA Moscow is very much the man to watch going into the Final Four in Madrid. Not only was he named Final Four MVP in 2006 when he led CSKA to its first Euroleague crown in 35 years, but he scored a career-high 23 points and dished 8 assists in last season's classic final against Panathinaikos, even though CSKA lost by two points. He will also be the only participating player in the 2008 Final Four to be honoured among the 50 greatest contributors to the first 50 Years of European Club Basketball.
Theodoros Papaloukas talked about everything at Euroleague.net: 'if someone had said that I would be among the legends in Madrid ten years ago, everyone would have laughed; it's like a dream come true what I have been living the last three or four years, from Belgrade to Moscow to Prague to Japan. Now, in Madrid, I hope to enjoy it even more by winning the Euroleague this year with all the legends being honoured. That would be the perfect combination'. And even more, in answering at the following questions set by some fans:
Q: what would you like to do after you retire as a player?
T.P.:'I would like to start a school or academy for basketball in Athens. It will not be very easy, but we will see. I am already involved in making summer camps in cities all over Greece. We go five or six days to each of the cities and it is good work we are doing. After I stop playing, however, I would like to make this something permanent.'
Q: This year's Euroleague has been incredibly competitive. In your view which team or player were the most surprising?
T. P.: 'CSKA has been for the last six years, and of course much before, one of the traditional powers of European basketball, so you cannot say we are a surprise to other teams. I said back in October, before the season, that I was very impressed already about Montepaschi Siena, and they have proven to be a great team going to the Final Four. And I think that the key player for them, the one who really impressed me, was Terrell McIntyre.'
Q: Which are the keys to try to win the next Final Four?
T. P.: 'The most important thing right now is to be concentrated and to try to understand what we have to do - and what we don't have to do - against TAU. Only after that can you relax, because you can't think about another opponent now anyway. Everyone wants to play in the final, and to do that, you have to win the first one. All our thoughts must be on the semi-final, then.'
Q: Can you tell us about your usual daily schedule, the training and the diet?
T. P.: 'It's not very easy to analyse one typical day, because a lot of it depends on what time of year and other things. What I can say is that I have a lot of people who help me take care of myself. They watch my weight, check my blood now and then to make sure I am getting the right nutrition and so on. The most important thing to realize is that we are human like everyone else, but that as athletes we have to be more careful sometimes of how we eat and train so that we always have energy and recover fast enough to play at our best every game.'
Q: What are the chances of your return to Piraeus and Olympiakos someday?
T. P.: 'Well, what is most important now is that we have to play the Final Four. The only thing that I am thinking about is Madrid. It has been our main target from the beginning of the season, and honestly, I cannot think of anything else right now, not even the draw of the Olympic Games. Everything has its own time.'
Q: What advice do you have for a tall teenager who wants to become a point guard like you?
T. P.: 'I think that I was very lucky in my career, because I found coaches who really believed in me. It's very important to find some people to support you in this idea, but first of all, you have to make sure if can be a point guard. Just wanting to be one is not enough. If professional people say you can be a point guard, find the right team that wants to use you that way. Then you have to work a lot, and not just to become a point guard, but to be good at every position you can play.'
Q: What do you feel, knowing that in your homeland all the people feel proud when you wear the Greek uniform, but also hope that you do well with CSKA?
T. P.: 'I don't know if everyone in Greece is supporting me when play with CSKA, but I am proud that some people support us from Greece as well as from other places around Europe and all over, really. It is very fascinating for me to receive mails that come from people all over the world. Sometimes, you don't realize how many people follow your career, but when you do realize it, it gives you more of a sense of responsibility towards the many fans out there.'
Q: Sometimes, it seems that you get better at the end of each season. Do you think so, too, and why is that?
T. P.: 'Yes, because I am always trying to be better at the end of the season. That's when the most important games are, the most crucial games. Of course, I try to help my team during the season to reach all our targets. Then when the most important games come, I want to be ready the most.'


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FYR MACEDONIA

Standings - Division II
D2 Standings
 1. Pop Sport S. 20-7 
 2. Torus 19-8 
 3. Ovce Pole 17-9 
 4. Centar S. 16-10 
 5. Goce Delchev 14-13 
 6. Plejmejker C. 11-12 
 7. Teteks 11-14 
 8. Kozuv 11-15 
 9. Negotino 11-15 
 10. Heraklea 8-17 
 11. ABA 4-21 


Stats Leaders - Superleague
First Macedonian League Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1. Jarrid Frye (Amak SP) 19.77
2. Dime Tasovski (Strumica 2005) 19.30
3. Muhamed Thaci (MZT FON Univerzitet Skopje)18.60
Rebounds Per Game
1. Damir Latovic (Strumica 2005) 8.86
2. Muhamed Thaci (MZT FON Univerzitet Skopje) 6.90
3. Sasko Vasilev (Karpos Sokoli 2000) 6.53
Assists Per Game
1. Dimitar Mirakovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 5.83
2. Jane Petrovski (MZT Skopje) 5.14
3. Milan Miljkovic (Swisslion Pelister) 4.93
Steals Per Game
1. Jarrid Frye (Amak SP) 2.27,
2. Milan Miljkovic (Swisslion Pelister) 2.00,
3. Dimitar Mirakovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 1.72.
Blocks Per Game
1. Toni Simic (Fersped Rabotnicki) 1.30,
2. Srdjan Stankovic (Swisslion Pelister) 1.04,
3. Filip Kralevski (Vardar Osiguruvanje) 0.93.
2FGP
1. Gjorgji Talevski (Swisslion Pelister) 69.67,
2. Dime Tasovski (Strumica 2005) 67.57,
3. Pero Blazevski (Vardar Osiguruvanje) 65.81.
3FGP
1. Goran Veselinovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 45.29 %
2. Pero Blazevski (Vardar Osiguruvanje) 45.07 %
3. Ognen Stojanovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 43.17%
Free Throws
1. Pero Blazevski (Vardar Osiguruvanje) 78.96,
2. Muhamed Thaci (MZT FON Univerzitet Skopje) 72.40,
3. Dimitar Mirakovski (Fersped Rabotnicki) 70.48.


*****************************************************
GABON

Port-Gentil welcomes one of the big competition of the FEGABAB -by Tim Ndjiki
Dates of the cup of Gabon are known: the final phases of cups of the masculine and feminine senior Gabon named Albertine OWONO and David NZOUBOU ' will take place of the 7 to May 11, 2008.
The Maritime Ogoou League of the marked its agreement for the organization of this competition to Port-Gentil.
This Cup is qualifying for the next African deadlines; The controlled federal office of master hand by her chairwoman Mrs. Sylvie KOTHA, announced that the date limits deposit of files is fixed to April 30, 2008.
Ten teams are qualified for this final phase at boys and four at ladies.
We will come back there.


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


*****************************************************
GERMANY

New coaching staff and two new players in Osnabrueck -by Moritz Korff
Michael Buehren has been named the new Head Coach of the P4two Ballers Osnabrueck. The Ballers parted with Dimitris Polychroniadis recently who led the team to the championship in the Regionalliga North and to the 2. Bundesliga Pro B. Buehren previously stood at the helm of UBC Muenster and also coached the Hagen Huskies. In the past two years Buehren served as the Coordinator of the Youth-Program in Osnabrueck. His Assistant is going to be Mike Lehker.
And shortly after signing Phillip Guenther (180-G-85) the Ballers also announced that Patrick Wischnewski (191-G-87, agency: Weller Sports - Entertainment) and Vincent Kittmann (199-F-88, agency: Weller Sports - Entertainment) are going to join the team for the 2008-2009 season. Wischnewski began the past season with Lok Bernau and returned to his home Hamburg at the end of 2007 to finish the season with Bramfelder SV (2. Regionalliga). He averaged 17.5 points per contest in 10 appearances for BSV. Kittmann played 20 games for SC Rist Wedel and scored 6.7 points per contest in the Regionalliga North. He also had a license to play for Bramfeld and led the team in scoring (19.6ppg).


Eurobasket.com All-German 2. Bundesliga Pro B Awards 2007-08 -by Moritz Korff
#s#
#e#6


Wright


Burnette


Horton


Baker


Hornig

Player of the Year: Zack Wright (188-G-85, agency: Weller Sports - Entertainment, college: Cent.Missouri St.) - Braunschweig

Guard of the Year: Zack Wright - Braunschweig

Forward of the Year: Torvoris Baker (201-F-83) - Herten

Center of the Year: Andreas Hornig (212-C-80) - Kirchheim

Newcomer of the Year (domestic player): Elias Harris (202-F-89) - Speyer

Most Improved Player of the Year (domestic player): Christian Standhardinger (201-F-89) - Ehingen

Bosman Player of the Year: Thomas Dreesen (201-F-88) - Herten

Import Player of the Year: Zack Wright - Braunschweig

Domestic Player of the Year: David McCray (188-G-86) - Kirchheim

Defensive Player of the Year: Ethan Shaw (203-F-83, college: Detroit Mercy) - Essen

Coach of the Year: Igor Krizanovic - Essen

1st Team (5 players both imports and domestic players):
Zack Wright - Braunschweig
Tim Burnette (188-G-82) - Kirchheim
Terry Horton (191-F-81) - Iserlohn
Torvoris Baker - Herten
Andreas Hornig - Kirchheim

2nd Team (5 players both imports and domestic players):
Brandon Lincoln (193-G-83, college: Oregon) - Essen
Bryant McAllister (191-G-84, agency: 540 Sports, college: Duquesne) - Muenchen
David Bunts (189-G-79, college: Pacific) - Bielefeld
Thomas Dreesen - Herten
Ethan Shaw - Essen

All-Domestic Players Team (5 players):
David McCray - Kirchheim
Nikita Khartchenkov (201-F-87, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) - Braunschweig
Christian Standhardinger - Ehingen
Elias Harris - Speyer
Andreas Hornig - Kirchheim

All-Imports Team (5 players):
Zack Wright - Braunschweig
Tim Burnette - Kirchheim
Terry Horton - Iserlohn
Torvoris Baker - Herten
Ethan Shaw - Essen

All-Bosmans Team (5 players):
Greg Miller (193-G-77, agency: Rasmussen Services, college: Delaware) - Crailsheim
Duke Tshomba (196-G/F-78, college: Wichita St.) - Iserlohn
Thomas Dreesen - Herten
Colin O'Reilly (197-F-84, college: Post) - Freiburg
Mihajlo Pesic (206-F/C-81, agency: Court Side) - Ansbach/Freiburg

All-Defensive Team (5 players):
Zack Wright - Braunschweig
David McCray - Kirchheim
Chad McKenzie (200-F-84, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: Louisiana Tech) - Muenchen
Ethan Shaw - Essen
Andreas Hornig - Kirchheim

All-Newcomers Team (5 domestic players):
Maurice Stuckey (187-G-90) - Ehingen
Julian Krieger (188-G-83) - Speyer
Christian Imberi (193-G-82, college: Jamestown) - Ansbach
Sebastian Harke (203-F/C-81) - Iserlohn
Elias Harris - Speyer


(selected and voted on by the authors of Eurobasket Germany)



Eurobasket.com All-German 2. Bundesliga Pro A Awards 2007-08 -by Moritz Korff
#s#
#e#6


Jeanty


Trice


McGhee


Oliver


Kelley

Player of the Year: Rocky Trice (191-F-84) - Cuxhaven

Guard of the Year: Rocky Trice - Cuxhaven

Forward of the Year: Monta McGhee (202-F-79) - Cuxhaven

Center of the Year: Mark Kelley (204-F/C-84) - Langen

Most Improved Player of the Year (domestic player): Per Guenther (187-G-88, agency: Rasmussen Services) - Hagen

Bosman Player of the Year: Tomas Grepl (192-G-77) - MBC

Import Player of the Year: Rocky Trice - Cuxhaven

Domestic Player of the Year: Per Guenther - Hagen

Defensive Player of the Year: Rocky Trice - Cuxhaven

Coach of the Year: Andreas Wagner- Noerdlingen

1st Team (5 players both imports and domestic players):
Osvaldo Jeanty (183-G-84) - Noerdlingen
Rocky Trice - Cuxhaven
Monta McGhee - Cuxhaven
Chris Oliver (198-F-85) - Kaiserslautern
Mark Kelley - Langen

2nd Team (5 players both imports and domestic players):
Per Guenther - Hagen
Jean Francois (197-F-80, agency: AMI, college: Georgia Southern) - Cuxhaven
Omari Westley (201-F-82, agency: Profibasketball.de, college: Cleveland St.) - Noerdlingen
Ty Shaw (202-F/C-79, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: Albertson) - Noerdlingen
Peter Huber-Saffer (208-C-80, agency: Court Side) - Heidelberg

All-Domestic Players Team (5 players):
Per Guenther - Hagen
Christian Grosse (180-G-84, agency: Rasmussen Services) - Rhoendorf
Sebastian Adeberg (198-F-84) - Heidelberg
Johannes Lischka (203-F/C-87) - Lich
Peter Huber-Saffer - Heidelberg

All-Imports Team (5 players):
Osvaldo Jeanty - Noerdlingen
Rocky Trice - Cuxhaven
Monta McGhee - Cuxhaven
Chris Oliver - Kaiserslautern
Mark Kelley - Langen

All-Bosmans Team (5 players):
Muamer Taletovic (190-G-75) - Karlsruhe
Tomas Grepl - MBC
Stefan Svitek (203-F-77) - Karlsruhe
Avi Kazarnovski (209-C-80, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) - Noerdlingen
Stuart Robbins (209-C-76, college: Wabash Valley CC) - Kaiserslautern

All-Defensive Team (5 players):
Kelvin Parker (183-G-82, college: NW Missouri St.) - Rhoendorf
Rocky Trice - Cuxhaven
Omari Westley - Noerdlingen
Ty Shaw - Noerdlingen

Mark Kelley - Langen

(selected and voted on by the authors of Eurobasket Germany)



Roster of the 2008 German U20 National Team -by Moritz Korff
'Bundestrainer' Emir Mutapcic named the following roster for a training camp of the German U20 National Team which takes place in Braunschweig May 14-16:

Ziyed Chennoufi (202-F-88) - Hagen
Bastian Doreth (183-G-89) - Nuernberg
Oskar Fassler (198-G-88) - Berlin
Per Guenther (187-G-88, agency: Rasmussen Services) - Hagen
Elias Harris (202-F-89) - Speyer
Phillipp Heyden (208-C-88) - Berlin
Michael Jost (203-F-88) - Stahnsdorf
Philip Noch (200-G/F-89) - Braunschweig
Robert Oehle (209-C-88) - Paderborn
Tibor Pleiss (215-F/C-89) - Koeln
Kevin Schaffartzik (184-G-88) - Lichterfelde
Joleik Schaffrath (206-C-88) - Oldenburg
Stefan Schmidt (206-C-89) - Nuernberg
Philipp Schwethelm (200-F-89, agency: Court Side) - Koeln
Christian Standhardinger (201-F-89) - Ehingen
Maximilian Staiger (208-F) - Newark Academy (USA)
Karsten Tadda (190-G-88) - Bamberg/Breitenguessbach

The following players will not be able to attend the camp due to play-offs or stay abroad:
Robin Benzing (209-F-89) - Langen
Sajmen Hauer (190-G-88) - Bamberg/Nuernberg
Tim Ohlbrecht (211-C/F-88) - Bamberg/Breitenguessbach
Tom Spoeler (206-F-88) - Leverkusen
Lucca Staiger (196-G-88) - Iowa State (USA)

Headcoach: Emir Mutapcic
Assistant Coach: Robert Bauer


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

Greece is the eighth candidate interested in hosting the 2014 FIBA World Championship -by Kostas Papadopoulos
Following the decision taken at its central board meeting held on the 8th and 9th of December 2007 at Chicago, FIBA opened the bidding process for the 2014 FIBA World Championship on 10th of January 2008.
With two days to go until the closing date for the sending of letters of intent confirming the interest in hosting the event, FIBA announced today that the Hellenic Basketball Federation has become the eighth candidate to express an interest in bidding for the organization of the 17th edition of the FIBA World Championship, FIBA's premier competition.
Greece joins Spain, France, Denmark, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Italy in the group of candidates interested in hosting the 2014 FIBA World Championship. We remind that Greece hosted the World Championship already once, on 1998 at Athens.


Papaloukas: All our thoughts must be on the semi-final -by Kostas Papadopoulos
He's at the Final-4 for a sixth consecutive season. He's the reigning MVP of the Euroleague. And he's nominated for the All-Euroleague team once again. Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) of CSKA Moscow is very much the man to watch going into the Final Four in Madrid. Not only was he named Final Four MVP in 2006 when he led CSKA to its first Euroleague crown in 35 years, but he scored a career-high 23 points and dished 8 assists in last season's classic final against Panathinaikos, even though CSKA lost by two points. He will also be the only participating player in the 2008 Final Four to be honoured among the 50 greatest contributors to the first 50 Years of European Club Basketball.
Theodoros Papaloukas talked about everything at Euroleague.net: 'if someone had said that I would be among the legends in Madrid ten years ago, everyone would have laughed; it's like a dream come true what I have been living the last three or four years, from Belgrade to Moscow to Prague to Japan. Now, in Madrid, I hope to enjoy it even more by winning the Euroleague this year with all the legends being honoured. That would be the perfect combination'. And even more, in answering at the following questions set by some fans:
Q: what would you like to do after you retire as a player?
T.P.:'I would like to start a school or academy for basketball in Athens. It will not be very easy, but we will see. I am already involved in making summer camps in cities all over Greece. We go five or six days to each of the cities and it is good work we are doing. After I stop playing, however, I would like to make this something permanent.'
Q: This year's Euroleague has been incredibly competitive. In your view which team or player were the most surprising?
T. P.: 'CSKA has been for the last six years, and of course much before, one of the traditional powers of European basketball, so you cannot say we are a surprise to other teams. I said back in October, before the season, that I was very impressed already about Montepaschi Siena, and they have proven to be a great team going to the Final Four. And I think that the key player for them, the one who really impressed me, was Terrell McIntyre.'
Q: Which are the keys to try to win the next Final Four?
T. P.: 'The most important thing right now is to be concentrated and to try to understand what we have to do - and what we don't have to do - against TAU. Only after that can you relax, because you can't think about another opponent now anyway. Everyone wants to play in the final, and to do that, you have to win the first one. All our thoughts must be on the semi-final, then.'
Q: Can you tell us about your usual daily schedule, the training and the diet?
T. P.: 'It's not very easy to analyse one typical day, because a lot of it depends on what time of year and other things. What I can say is that I have a lot of people who help me take care of myself. They watch my weight, check my blood now and then to make sure I am getting the right nutrition and so on. The most important thing to realize is that we are human like everyone else, but that as athletes we have to be more careful sometimes of how we eat and train so that we always have energy and recover fast enough to play at our best every game.'
Q: What are the chances of your return to Piraeus and Olympiakos someday?
T. P.: 'Well, what is most important now is that we have to play the Final Four. The only thing that I am thinking about is Madrid. It has been our main target from the beginning of the season, and honestly, I cannot think of anything else right now, not even the draw of the Olympic Games. Everything has its own time.'
Q: What advice do you have for a tall teenager who wants to become a point guard like you?
T. P.: 'I think that I was very lucky in my career, because I found coaches who really believed in me. It's very important to find some people to support you in this idea, but first of all, you have to make sure if can be a point guard. Just wanting to be one is not enough. If professional people say you can be a point guard, find the right team that wants to use you that way. Then you have to work a lot, and not just to become a point guard, but to be good at every position you can play.'
Q: What do you feel, knowing that in your homeland all the people feel proud when you wear the Greek uniform, but also hope that you do well with CSKA?
T. P.: 'I don't know if everyone in Greece is supporting me when play with CSKA, but I am proud that some people support us from Greece as well as from other places around Europe and all over, really. It is very fascinating for me to receive mails that come from people all over the world. Sometimes, you don't realize how many people follow your career, but when you do realize it, it gives you more of a sense of responsibility towards the many fans out there.'
Q: Sometimes, it seems that you get better at the end of each season. Do you think so, too, and why is that?
T. P.: 'Yes, because I am always trying to be better at the end of the season. That's when the most important games are, the most crucial games. Of course, I try to help my team during the season to reach all our targets. Then when the most important games come, I want to be ready the most.'


Market news -by Chris Mammides
A1

Costa Cafe Marousi: Billy Keys (188-G-77, college: N.Mexico St.) will join forces with Costa Cafe Marousi, the experienced American guard after his wonderful season in Larissa have been selected by Head Coach Soulis Markopoulos to become the second American memebr of the team from the North Suburb areas of Athens, for the season 2008-2009. The first American will be the current player Jarod Stevenson (200-F-75, college: Richmond), who signed his renewed contract, earlier on last week, with these two American players, Marousi is the first team in the Greek league which already agreed the terms with both his foreigners.

AEK Athens: The team of Coach Vangelis Agelou agreed terms with the Turk center Umut Yenice (208-C-79) for the coming play-offs against Olympiakos Piraeus, AEK singed the Bosman center only for the play-offs, but if the player satisfied the teams management, there is an option in his contract to renew his contract for the coming season.



Pekovic in Panathinaikos! -by Chris Mammides

It became unofficially - official as even his current head coach of Partizan Belgrade, Mr. Dusko Vujosevic announced it earlier on last week, and the Montenegrin center Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86) will join forces with the Green team of Zeljko Obradovic , Panathinaikos. This announcement took place just some hours after the final game of Adriatic league between Partizan and Hemofarm, in which game Nikola Pekovic was the MVP and the top scorer with 22 points and 10 rebounds. The talented center is definitely a big addition for the Green team as this season failed to repeat last seasons triumph simply due to lack of power in the paint, the specific player will give what the team needs.



Standings - B-C leagues
B Standings
B Division
 1. Near East 20-5 
 2. Ikaros K. 20-6 
 3. KAOD 19-7 
 4. Amyntas 19-7 
 5. Ermis L. 19-7 
 6. Lavrio 19-7 
 7. Anagennisi 19-7 
 8. Aigio Helesi 18-8 
 9. Komotini 18-8 
 10. Ikaroi Serron 16-10 
 11. Doukas 10-15 
 12. Goumenissa 10-15 
 13. Alimos 7-18 
 14. Makedonikos 6-19 
 15. Milonas 2-23 
 16. Olympiakos V. 1-24 
C North - Group 1
 1. AIAS Evosmou 21-4 
 2. Arhelaos 21-4 
 3. Aiginiakos 16-9 
 4. Niki Volou 15-10 
 5. Filippos V. 15-10 
 6. Argos Orestiko 14-11 
 7. HANTH 13-12 
 8. Proteas G. 12-13 
 9. Galaxias 11-14 
 10. Foinikas 11-14 
 11. Siatista 9-16 
 12. Ionas Volou 9-16 
 13. Ifestos T. 5-20 
 14. Megas Al. 3-22 
C North - Group 2
 1. Apollon K. 24-2 
 2. Enosi Kavalas 22-4 
 3. Stratoni 22-4 
 4. Halkidona 19-7 
 5. Mantoulidis 17-9 
 6. Eleftheroupoli 16-10 
 7. Makabi 15-11 
 8. Ionikos Ionias 13-13 
 9. M.Alexandros 12-14 
 10. Thermaikos 7-18 
 11. Komotinis 6-20 
 12. VAO 5-20 
 13. Arion Xanthis 4-22 
 14. Nikiti H. 0-26 
C South - Group 1
 1. Arkadikos 22-4 
 2. Gyziakos 21-4 
 3. Agia Paras. 16-9 
 4. Kronos l. 16-9 
 5. AEK/Pegasus 16-9 
 6. Peiraikos 15-10 
 7. Kefallonias 14-11 
 8. KAO Palaimon 14-11 
 9. Doxa Lefkadas 12-13 
 10. Apolloniada 11-14 
 11. Papagou 6-19 
 12. EA Patron 5-20 
 13. AEM Polyvios 4-21 
 14. Messinis 4-21 
C South - Group 2
 1. OFI 22-4 
 2. Ierapetra 20-5 
 3. Zografou 18-7 
 4. Panelefsiniakos 18-7 
 5. Filathlitikos 15-10 
 6. Kronos AD 15-10 
 7. Ionikos Nikaias 13-12 
 8. Arditos 13-12 
 9. Ionikos N.F. 12-13 
 10. Aris Nikaias 10-15 
 11. Apollon Sm. 7-18 
 12. Ermis S. 7-18 
 13. Diagoras 3-22 
 14. Halkida 2-23 


*****************************************************
IRAQ

Al Kahraba Electricity finishes the campaign in Group C -by Eurobasket News
Al Manama became the last team to upset Al Kahraba Electricity in Group C of 21st Arab Clubs Championship. The team from Bahrain overcame the team from Iraq 99:68. Al Manama took a control of the game from the very beginning and dominated the court. Al Manama nailed 35 points in the last period but Al Kahraba Electricity kept the two digit number on the board. Albert Mouring (191-G-79, college: Connecticut) led the winners with 29 points. Faraj Abdulla (203-C/F-75) collected 20 points and 20 rebounds for the first win of Al Manama. Ahmad Monshed top-scored for Al Kahraba Electricity with 25 points, while Malek Falah nailed 15.

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

Round 23:First and second teams -by Netanel Dahan


Round 23 MVP: Oded Shaashoua (187-G-82, agency: Ronsport).


First team
Oded Shaashoua, Oded was great at the game against Galil, he finish the game with 27 points, 4 Rebounds, and 7 assists.
Steve Burtt(185-G-84, agency: CAA Sports, college: Iona), Steve showing at his last games that he is the rescuer of Ashklon, he scored 25 points in just 29 minutes, And drew 7 fouls.
P.J. Tucker (196-F-85, agency: CAA Sports, college: Texas) (196-F-85, agency: CAA Sports, college: Texas), Holon defeat Ramat Gan 120-74 and one of the responsibles for that is P.J.. Tucker scored 26 points in just 22 minutes took 9 rebounds (4 of them at the offense) drew 6 fouls, and aslo dishing 2 Assists.
Brandon Kurtz (208-C-78, agency: SportsTalent, college: Tulsa), Brandon scored 16 points, took 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 assits, and blocked 2 shots
Jamie Arnold (203-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: Wichita St.), Jamie scored 18 points, took 9 rebounds, draw 8 fouls and blocked one shoot.





Second team
Adam Hall (196-F/G-80, college: Virginia), Adam scored 20 points, took 11 rebounds, with 3 steals
Tunji Awojobi (201-F-73, college: Boston U.), Tunji scored 17 points, took 6 rebounds, drew 6 fouls, 2 assits and blocked one shoot in 26 minutes.
Jason Williams(196-G/F-83, college: UTEP), Jason scored 20 points, took 10 rebounds, and drew 6 fouls.
David Bluthenthal (201-F-80, college: USC), David scored 20 points and 4 rebounds.
Jerome Beasley(208-F-80, college: N.Dakota), Jerome scored 18 points took 3 rebounds and drew 5 fouls



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

Carife Ferrara confirms Coach, GM -by Gianni Pascucci
In his first market move after the promotion to Serie A, Carife Ferrara President Roberto Mascellani announced that both team GM Alessandro Crovetti and Head Coach Giorgio Valli agreed to extend their running pacts with the team for another two seasons, till june 2010

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

Young star heads north -by John Scribe
The JBLs Rera Kamuy Hokkaido team have announced the signing of OSG Phoenix's All-Star shooting guard/forward Shogo Asayama (192-F-81).

The Rera Kamuy signing signnifies a major smash during the the JBL transfer period.

Rera Kamuy started the 2007-2008 campaign strong but fizzled out from the midseason to finish at last place with an 8-27 record. Hokkaido had a solid core of players with veteran Takehiko Orimo and the super athletic Ryota Sakurai, not to mention one of the JBLs young elite imports in Jawad Williams. However, the team struggled as they did not have the depth to rest it core players and struggled to get consistent play out of the point guard position.

On the other hand, Asayama leaves OSG, which will be defecting to the professional BJ League. The Phoenix obviously tried to keep all of its players to compete for an inaugural championship, but there are numerous rumors that there will be a exodus among its best players, and that they will remain in the JBL.

By placing nearly half its roster on the transfer list, Rera Kamuy has made it clear that the team intends to improve and do so in a hurry, despite only entering its second season. The signing of Asayama should help provide the 38 year-old Orimo rest and also signifies that the long-range sniper can be the future offensive focal point for years to come.


BJ Wildcard Game Results -by John Scribe

Eastern Wildcard
April, 20, 2008

TOKYO MARKS WILDCARD VICTORY IN HISTORIC YOYOGI GAME

Tokyo Apache 103-88 Niigata

In a game that marks the first-time a BJ team has ever played in the Yoyogi Annex National Gymnasium, the hometown Apache belted the Niigata Albirex before a near-capacity crowd of 2,511.
Niigata owned Tokyo in its regular season series, but faced a Apache team that had been one of the hottest teams in the East for last month or so.

Forward Dameion Baker led the scoring for the Apache with 24 points, which had 5 players score in double figures. Niigata's Andre Smith (24 points) and Rodney Webb (20 points) paced the way for the Albirex, but didn't get much help from its Japanese players and saw All-Star forward Matt Garrison struggle as he finished with 6 points.

Tokyo now faces Sendai on May 3 at Ariake Coliseum to crown this year's Eastern Conference Championship.


080420 ワイルドカードゲーム@代々木第二 東京アパッチvs新潟アルビレックスBB (C)Tokyo Apache 小林 学/bj-league

Tokyo's John Humphrey looks to slither

through Niigata's Andre Smith

Photo: www.apache5.com


Western Wildcard

April 20, 2008

LIGHTNING SHOCKS WESTERN FAVORITE

Fukuoka 112-94 Takamatsu


The Lightning gods (Rizin means Lighting god) continue to shock the world as they came into the Wildcard games as heavy dogs.

The Rizing Fukuoka basketball team, winners of now seven straight games shocked the Takamatsu Five Arrows in the first round of the BJ League playoffs.

Fukuoka, an expansion franchise was behind the Oita Heatdevils in the standings for much of the year to turned the switch on at the end of the year to be the hottest team in the league.


April's Monthly MVP award winner Michael Gardener served as the generator of Fukuoka's energy, and sparked the offense with 38 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists. All-Star forward Josh Peppers backed Gardener with 26 points.


On the other end, Takamatsu struggled to hit shots early on and could not find enough bullets to counter the Rizing. The Arrows were led by All-Stars Reggie Warren and Yu Okada with 27 points and 17 points respectively.


Fukuoka will now face one of their biggest tests versus the two-time defending champion, Osaka Evessa on Saturday.

IMG_6362.JPG










Michael Gardener leads Fukuoka

to unprecedented territory.

Photo: www.rizing-fukuoka.com



Loibl may Leave -by John Scribe
After two seasons and one championship at the helm of the Toyota Alvark, there is speculation that Head Coach Torsten Loibl may not return to Japan next season.

According to close sources to Loibl, he is contemplating a return to Germany to take a job in his home country. At the sametime, Toyota has apparently agreed to the move, and the Alvark may be on a search for a new hancho to lead its veteran group.

Torsten came to Japan two seasons ago, under the recommendation of then-coach John Patrick and soon won a JBL title to repeat for the Alvark. He also lead the Alvark to an All-Japan Tournament Title during thes ame 2007 season. This season, he again led Toyota to the promised land but succumbed to the emergence of the Aisin Seashorses team.
If this source is true, Loibl leaves with a compiled 36-22 record.


BJ: Will Osaka become a dynasty? -by John Scribe

The Osaka Evessa have seen it all in the BJ. They went through the perfect fantasy of being one of the charter members and winning the inaugural bj league championship home to Osaka.
And during that season, guard Matt Lottich was named best 5, and forward Lynn Washington was crowned MVP.

In year two, Osaka steamrolled past every team during the regular season, but faced stiff competition versus Oita in the Semi-Finals and then-expansion team Takamatsu. Again, Osaka owned the trophies they took home another piece of hardware back to Shinsaibashi and individual awards went to Lynn Washington (best 5), and David Palmer (MVP) respectively.

Now, we enter today. Osaka is still good, but they haven't really done it in such a dominant fashion. The Evessa started the season slowly as they faced stiffer competition and loss early games. And at the same time, their Anchor, Washington was sidelined with a broken leg. However, the Evessa got together as Head Coach Kensaku Tennichi found the right combination on the floor and saw its Japanese players mature and become leaders for the two-time defending champions. Things haven't been easy, but the Evessa have proven why they are deserving of being champions of the past.

But now, they face their biggest challenge yet-- To establish a dynasty and solidify themselves as legends some years from now.


...However...


There will be three new teams before them at Ariake Coliseum to make things alittle more difficult for them.


From the east, Sendai and Tokyo returns to the BJ League Playoffs to not only become champions of their conference, but to dethrone the kings before they come a basketball deity.


Sendai is coming off a tough season where they competed for a playoff spot, but lost touch during the closing month of the season. And now they are back stronger than ever as the added Bobby St. Preux, and Nick DeWitz, and Patrick Whearty to become a bigger, strong, and athletic team. In short, they are fundamental basketball on steroids.


On the hand, Tokyo had rise from the ashes as they are now 27-17, compared to a dismal last place finish last season. And in order to accomplish this, Coach Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant had to virutally revamp his Japanese players and assign new and effective roles for all players. John Humphrey is now like Bryant's son Kobe, where he is still the focal point on offense, but starting to look for his teammates. And Nick Davis comes from Niigata to Anchor the middle and collects anything that comes off the rim.


However, before Osaka faces either of them, they have to face the hottest team in the league--the Rizing Fukuoka.


Fukuoka was an after thought during the first part of the season as they faced growing pains by default of being an expansion team. However, they caught lightning as they won 7 straight games where they had to win all of its remaining games to surpass the OIta Heatdevils and have re-energized its teams with the addition of last year's finals hero Kaz Nakamura, and forward Michael Parker. It also doesn't hurt that Michael Garnder have found his touch again and they are inspired as ever to cause some miracles.


Who will take home the hardware? Will Osaka force the issue and claim its fame? Will Cinderella have a happy ending?


We will all find out at Ariake this weekend.


BJ FINALS BREAKDOWN:




Eastern Conference Finals:


Tokyo Apache vs. Sendai 89ers

The destiny of these two teams may not only hinge on its respective coaches, but also on the shoulder of these players.



Notes: Regular seaon match-up is at a deadlock 3-3 record. Prototypical match-up of size versus speed. Another is ball-control offense verus explosive basketball.

This also serves a rematch for the inaugural season's third place game.


Keys for Sendai: The 89ers must control the tempo and point guard HIkaru Kusaka will be handed the responsibility of doing so. At the sametime, Sendai must continue to move the basketball, which is strong suit. They are big, but if they don't move their feet and the ball, Tokyo can clog the lanes and render sendai ineffective.

Key players will be Nick DeWitz and Ryan Blackwell. Blackwell is a key as he will more times than often have to traffic the offense from the paint. DeWitz is their primary offensive source and if he is off, Sendai might as well head home early.


Keys for Tokyo: Tokyo's primary priority should be focus on defense and rebound. And in order to rebound, Nick Davis MUST not get in any iota of foul trouble.

It is easy to assume that Tokyo will play a couple of trick defenses to compensate for their size, and its effectiveness will dictate if the Apache can get into their typical running game. If Tokyo gets running and Cohey Aoki and Johh Humphrey finds their rhythm, they will give give the 89ers fits.



Western Conference Finals:

Rizing Fukuoka vs. Osaka Evessa

2連覇を達成し天日ヘッドコーチを胴上げする大阪エヴェッサ(撮影・築山幸雄) News photo

Will Osaka use Fukuoka as a stepping stool to celebrate again or will Neumann find an answer to dethrone the defending champs?



Notes: A battle of the hottest team versus the team that basically owns them in the regular season. Both teams like to play basketball at a break-neck pace. However, the winner of this game will most likely be the one that actually slows the tempo at times and makes the fewest mistakes.


Keys for Osaka: The first thing is not to rely heavily on Lynn Washington until it becomes necessary. And the play alot of players. Coach Tennichi tends to only play a few players during important games, but if Fukuoka presses as they normally do, the Evessa are going to drain themselves. One of the key players will be Kazuya Hatano, which has proven to be the answer when looking for mismatches. And if Mikey Marshall goes off, there's not much any team can do as Osaka will reign supreme in any above-the-rim battle.


Keys for Fukuoka: To Mix defenses and take good shots. Fukuoka tends to press alot, but Osaka has numerous players that can handle the ball and they are athletic enough to play above the press with passes and alleyoops. Coach Neumann is know for making adjustments and this is where he will have to do alot of coaching: whether it's calling the appropriate time at the right time or show different schemes. One concern is how Fukuoka will match-up. If Parker guards Osaka's Marshall, he will most likely have to do alot more work on defense than offense. If Fukuoka can defend, rebound, and actually slow down the pace at times, they have a great shot.





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JORDAN

Orthodox advances even with a loss -by Eurobasket News
Orthodox lost the last game of Group C, but finished second that gave the team a right to advance to the next round. Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut from Lebanon took the fist place in the group beating Orthodox 118: 98. Al Riyadi proved the ambitions for the top places and won all the quarters of the game. Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) led the winners with 35 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) followed him with 23 points, while Ace Custis collected 13 points and 12 rebounds. Rob Anderson (196-G/F-79, college: George Mason) top-scored for the hosts with 26 points. Kelly Wise (208-F-80, college: Memphis) had a good game with 24 points and 16 rebounds, whilst Ayman Idais (205-C-78, agency: Court Side) collected 14 points and 17 rebounds.
It was more of offensive beginning as the teams had nothing to lose advancing to the next round after second games. Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut is the favorite and kept the winning current. They opened the game with 32;20 in the opening quarter and increased to 64:45 at the half. Another 31 points from them were too much for Orthodox that however produced a good end of the game. The team from Jordan won the last period 30:23 and cut the gap to 20 points.
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut as a winner of Group C will play in Group E together with another team from Jordan Zain. Maghreb de Fes and Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut will be also their competitors. Orthodox will play in Group F with An Nasr, Al Nasr and Al Kuwait SC.


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KUWAIT

Al Kuwait SC wins Group D -by Eurobasket News
Al Kuwait SC won Group D of 21st Arab Clubs Championship. In the second and last game of the group the team overcame Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut 97:92. Trailing 11 points after the first quarter Al Kuwait SC produced a good second half to benefit from the game. Andre Pitts (185-G-73, college: Huston-Tillotson) led the winners with 25 points. Ira Clark (203-F/C-75, college: Texas) scored 23 points and made 12 board, while Ahmad Al Mutairi (187-G-80) posted 17. Alpha Bangura (197-F/G-80, college: St.John's) shined in the losing effort with 35 points. As there were three teams in the group Al Kuwait SC top it with 2-0 record.
Al Kuwait SC did not look fresh enough in the opening tip of the game and had to follow Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut. The latter controlled the quarter and had 26:15 after the first period. They left the court for the big break in front having 53:49 advantage.
Al Kuwait SC woke up fully in the third quarter and grabbed 76:69 after the end of it. The last quarter was a good one to see and Al Kuwait SC led the game to the win. After the end of the Group D Al Kuwait SC advanced to Group F where it will play with An Nasr, Al Nasr and Orthodox. Group E will have Zain, Maghreb de Fes, Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut and Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut.


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LATVIA

Latvian Basketball League. Play-off -by Gunars Gailitis

Latvian Basketball League

1/4 finals

SK Valmiera - VEF Riga 79-82 (19-21; 24-14; 17-19; 19-28), series 0-2

Bankevics 20, Nash 19+6st, Amolins 11, Cavars 11+6as; Jeromanovs 22, Kolesnikov 20, Sheleketo 12+7reb

Liepaja Lauvas - ASK Riga 80-81 (24-14; 15-19; 19-23; 22-25), series 0-2


Ctskovskis 18, Stalbergs 17, Cipruss 11+7reb; Dwayne Broyles (196-F/G-82) 25, Jahovics 17+7reb, Pavic 12+7reb, Millage 11


Barons/LMT - BK Zemgale 89-70 (29-19; 18-19; 24-15; 18-17), series 1-0


Batista 19, Berzins 17+12reb, Hlebowicki 17+6reb, Jefferson 11+7as, Skele 11; Berkis 23, Bambis 12+7reb




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LEBANON

Blue stars v/s Champville (1-1) -by Rony Daccache
On Sunday, Champville managed to tie the remaining series 1-1 in a precious win (83/76) against Blue Stars at Dik el Mehdi. Blue Stars didnt benefit from Ghassan Sarkis's absence who was stopped for 1 game by the Lebanese federation. Patrick Saba, the assistant coach, replaced Sarkis and lead the team for the victory. Champville made the come back and the difference in the 3rd quarter when Blue Stars lost Rodrigue Akl's (185-G-88) efforts who was out due to foul trouble.

Best performance:
Champville: Elie Estephane (190-G/F)(25pts, 7 rbd, 4 ass), Jarred Merrill (206-F-81, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Oklahoma Christian) (206-F-81, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Oklahoma Christian)(20pts, 7 rbd, 5 ass), Jonathan Jones (211-C-79, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM))(19pts, 9 rbd)

Blue Stars: Waki Williams (206-F-82, college: Memphis)(21pts, 11 rbd), Jean Abdel-Nour (198-G/F-83)(18pts, 8 rbd), Derrick Tarver (192-G-80, agency: Edge Sports, college: Akron)(16pts, 4 rbd, 11 ass), Jihad Murr (196-F-85)(15 pts, 7 rbd)


Kahraba - Antonins (1-0) -by Rony Daccache

In the 1st final four game of the 2nd division, the well experienced Mark Kozah (190-F-73) lead his team (Kahraba Zouk) to win v/s CS Antonins in an exciting over time game. In the 2nd half, Kahraba Zouk's players (Rabih Francis and Roy Malkoun) managed to stop CS Antonins point guard and leader Anis Feghali but not Georges Khaled who showed a good level in 3rd and 4th quarters.

The 2nd series between ENB and Tebnine starts tonight at 20h00 at Sports city complex.



Moutahed v/s Antranik (3-0) -by Rony Daccache
After 3 years from being in 1st division and for the 1st time, Al Moutahed Tripoli managed to reach the final four stages after defeating Antranik Beirut in 3 consecutive games. Antranik Beirut, that was ranked 7th, was far away from the competition and didnt bother at all the northern team where the teams coach Toni Vujanic gave the chance to most of the bench players to be a part of this games series and especially Brian Feghaly. The team will face Sagesse in the semi final.

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MALTA

Compleet IS to face BUPA Luxol in the Final -by Eurobasket News
The Gatorade League comes to an end with the games of the qualifying round being completed over the weekend. The finalists were known before the games of the final round. This time BUPA Luxol and Compleet IS will fight for the Gatorade League crown in the Final series.
Compleet IS wrapped up the qualifying round in a somehow sloppy manner as they were beaten by Siggiewi Smina. The teams had little to achieve in this one but Siggiewi Smina still fought bravely to upset one of the leagues favorites. They accumulated a 47:33 lead at halftime and did not allow Compleet IS to deny it after the break. Addison Bonnici (-84) provided game-high 30 points to pace Siggiewi Smina to an 86:79 victory. David Camilleri knocked down 18 points for the winners. Omar Said (177-G-80) led Compleet IS with 27 points. Adrian Micallef (204-C-79) scored 16 points in defeat. The Final series is scheduled to start on Thursday.
In the meantime there was one game played in the relegation pool. Mellieha SVS edged Floriana 86:68 to stay atop of the pool. Steve Sammut completed a 26-point tally to pace the winners. Julian Naudi (177-G-77) contributed 25 points for Mellieha in a win. Sassoun Saakian poured in game-high 37 points for Floriana as they face relegation now.


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NBA

Reports send Larry Brown at the helm of Charlotte -by Eurobasket News
Several sources reported veteran coach Larry Brown to be close to a deal with the Charlotte Bobcats. The 67-year-old Hall of Fame coach will reportedly sign a contract with the franchise on today. If it happens the Charlotte Bobcats will become the ninth team in Browns long winning career. Larry Brown will replace Sam Vincent who steered the Bobcats to a 32-50 season. Larry Brown resigned as the executive vice president of the Philadelphia 76ers last week. Larry Brown won the NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and the NCAA title with Kansas in 1988. His last coaching job was with the New York Knicks in 2006. It was arguably the most controversial of his duties as he could not prevent the Knicks from decay and left the franchise. Charlotte has yet to make their first playoff appearance in the teams history.
In the meantime another legendary coach decided to part ways with coaching job. Pat Riley announced his retirement from the Miami Heat coaching duty yesterday. He will still remain the franchise president. Pat Riley will be replaced by his assistant Erik Spoelstra in the next season. The 37-year-old Spoelstra will become the youngest coach in the NBA. Pat Riley has the record of 1,210 career wins that puts him at the third spot among the winningest coaches in the NBA history. He did not add too many victories this season though as the Heat finished the leagues worst record of 15-67. But Pat Riley insisted that the rebuilding process was going in the right direction. He sent Shaquille ONeal to Phoenix in a blockbuster deal in February which raised too many controversial thoughts among the critics. But Pat Riley was also known for his hardline decisions and the ability to look in the future. Pat Riley began his NBA coaching career with the LA Lakers and won the championship straight away. He steered the New York Knicks to the NBA Final and then finally moved to Miami in 1995. He brought the Heat to the title in 2006.


Atlanta goes neck and neck with Boston -by Eurobasket News
Atlanta evened things up in their series against Boston yesterday. The Hawks travelled back home with 0-2 deficit in the matchup against the leagues favorites and little chances to come back to Boston. But two games changed it all. Now Atlanta returns to Massachusetts hopeful they can come up with the biggest sensation of the opening round. The Celtics feel far from underestimating the Hawks now. Joe Johnson (6'8''-F-81, college: Arkansas) scored 20 points in the fourth frame as the Hawks came from behind to upset Boston 97:92 in the second straight home game. The guard finished with 35 points, while Josh Smith (6'9''-F-85) had his say with 28 points, 7 blocks and 6 boards for the winners. The sides were all square at 79 before Josh Smith nailed a jumper to put the hosts up for good. Joe Johnson then took the floor as he dropped 9 straight points and the Hawks never looked back. But the tension was there as Kevin Garnett (6'10''-F-76) and Pachilia got into a little brawl in the dying which was however quickly cooled off by the officials. Kevin Garnett scored 20 points but shot just 9/21 from the field for Boston. Ray Allen finished with 21 points to pace the Celtics. The series now moves to Boston for Game 5 on Friday.
The LA Lakers closed out the series against Denver beating the Nuggets 107:101 at the Pepsi Center yesterday. Denver fought bravely but still lacked answers for Kobe Bryant (6'6''-G-78)s tremendous performance. Bryant nailed 14 points in the last 5 minutes of the encounter to propel the Lakers to yet another confident victory over hapless Denver. He completed a 31-point tally, while Pau Gasol (7'0''-F/C-80) netted 21 points in the first playoff sweep for Los Angeles since 2002. Pau Gasol was dominant for the visitors in the starting half scoring 18 points, Kobe Bryant took over in the second and finalized another easy-looking victory for the Lakers. J.R. Smith (6'6''-G-85) led the Nuggets with 26 points. Allen Iverson notched 22 points and Carmelo Anthony added 21 in defeat. The Lakers now wait for the outcome of Utah vs. Houston series to get to know their next opponent.
Orlando also booked their next round appearance after holding off Toronto 102:92 at the Amway Arena. Dwight Howard (6'10''-F-85) exploded with another double-double of 21 points and 21 rebounds and the Magic proved strength. The Raptors had no answers for Dwight Howard play throughout the series as the Magic phenomenal centre completed his third 20-point and 20-board game. Chris Bosh (6'11''-F-84, college: Georgia Tech) answered with 16 points and 9 rebounds in a loss. Jameer Nelson provided a sufficient back up for Howard scoring 19 points, while Rashard Lewis contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds for the winners.


Scott Wins Coach of the Year Honors. -by Bryan Floyd
Byron Scott was voted NBA coach of the year on Tuesday after leading the Hornets to their first playoff appearance in four years.Scott coached the Hornets to a 56-26 record, a franchise high for victories. New Orleans won the Southwest Division crown and leads Dallas 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs entering Game 5 tonight. Scott received 458 points in the voting, while Rivers finished second with 242. Adelman was third with 193 points.Rivers agreed with the choice of Scott.'He should,' Rivers said Monday night. 'He really should. You look what they've done.'

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NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand will host U19 World Championships -by Eurobasket News
New Zealand was given an honour of hosting a 2009 men's U19 world basketball championships. The event will be staged from June 2-12. Sixteen teams will participate including Junior Tall Blacks. Auckland and North Shore were chosen as the host cities for the biggest basketball event in New Zealand ever. Pool games are scheduled to be played at the ASB Stadium and the North Shore Events Centre. The Final round will be staged at the Vector Arena. The Junior Tall Blacks will prepare for the tournament playing against Australia in the Conference Basketball League in August.

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NICARAGUA

Liga Premier introduced to media -by Gianni Pascucci
Yesterday morning in Managua the Nicaraguan Basketball Federation (FENIBAL) introduced to media the first edition of the Liga Premier de Baloncesto (LPBN), a tournment that would make some competition with the ACB league, trying to steal some fans and/or media attention. The teams announced by the FeNiBal in the new Premier League line-up were: American College, Jaguares de la UAM, Caimanes de Santa Teresa and a team that will result from the merge between Fupade Coast and Super-Santiago de Carazo. Two other teams that could join the league are Vikingos and Raptors, both from Managua, but their participation is yet uncertain. Yuri Cisne will be the LPBN Manager and Mauricio Castellon, FIBA Instructor for Nicaragua, will serve as the League Commisioner. For the inaugural, 2008 edition, the import players will not be allowed, and the league tipoff will be tomorrow, Wednesday 30, in Managua, with the game Jaguares UAM - American College Eagles. The regular season will run for two months and will be followed by the semifinals, best of 5 games, and the Finals, best of 7 games.

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NPBL

Avengers Overpowered and Out-numbered -by Justin Moore
The Alexandria Avengers were overpowered this weekend in a 130-117 lost to a very good Elmira Bulldogs team led by powerful big man MacKenzie Clark (6'9''-C-83, college: Auburn-Montgomery) 25pts 14rebsDarwin Young (6'2''-G-85, college: Buffalo) 21pts and Lester McNair (6'2''-G, agency: All-Star Basketball Services, college: Buffalo St.) 19pts. The Alexandria team fought hard but ran out of gas with only 6 avengers players making the trip missing were the Avengers two top scorers Tyree Harris (6'1''-G-79, college: Pfeiffer) and Devon Neckles (6'7''-F/C, college: St.Francis,NY) also newcomer Kelvin Coggins (6'4''-F, college: Co.Carolina). Steven Miles (6'2''-G-81, college: American) stepped up to the Tune of 43pts,9ast, Justin Moore (5'9''-G-80, college: St.Augustine) 31pts,8astBrian Carter (6'6''-F-81, college: Catawba) 24pts 15rebs and Daryl Owens (6'2''-G-76, college: Nova CC) added 14rebs look for the Avengers to be at full strength when they play the Maryland Bayraiders this weekend.

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PHILIPPINES

Pat Riley retires: Filipino assumes NBA's Miami Heat head coach position -by Hector Santos
Pat Riley resigned Monday as coach of the Miami Heat after struggling through the worst season of his National Basketball Association career, but will remain as team president.

Filipino-American Erik Spoelstra, a Heat assistant coach, replaced Riley as the bench boss. He has worked for the club for the past 13 years.

Riley, 63, took over for Stan Van Gundy 21 games into the 2005-2006 season and guided the Heat to an NBA title, but this year's Heat matched their 1989-1999 inaugural version for the worst record in club history.

Riley has a 1,210-694 regular-season record and five NBA titles to his credit over 25 seasons. He made an earlier break in 2003 but said there was no way he would return to the bench again.

Spoelstra who quietly worked the sidelines before as an assistant coach, training young players, among them Dwayne Wader, the hottest NBA superstar of late. He devised their game plans from long hours of watching video recordings of games the team played. Spoelstra was an insider in the process that led to the team's first gold.

Born to a Filipino mother, the former Fe Celino, the 35-year-old Spoelstra is an ex-collegiate basketball players at the University of Portland, Oregon, a former professional player/coach for Tus Herren, a team in the professional sports league of Germany.

In Portland, where he was the starting point guard for four years, he averaged 9.2 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game and was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.

Spoelstra graduated from Portland in 1992 with a degree in communications. He's the first Filipino American ever to crack the highest playing rank in the NBA bureaucracy.

Spoelstra is the NBAs youngest current head coach. He is 69 days younger than the second youngest head coach, Lawrence Frank of the New Jersey Nets.


2008 PBA All-Star Weekend Summary -by Lorenzo Gahol
2008 PBA All-Star Weekend
April 25-27, Bacolod City

2008 PBA All-Star Game
Apr 27 (Sun) West Negros College Gym, Bacolod City
South All-Stars 163 - Simon 29, Yap 25, Hugnatan 23, Alapag 22, Hontiveros 16, Williams 15, Taulava 10, Ferriols 8, Baguio 8, Valenzuela 5, Thoss 2
North All-Stars 158 - Caguioa 24, Tugade 22, Helterbrand 19, Cardona 19, Miller 14, Santos 13, Pingris 12, Raymundo 12, De Ocampo 10, Belasco 7, Villanueva 4, Reyes 2.
Quarterscores: 41-41, 78-79, 114-113, 149-149 (reg), 163-158 (OT)

MVP: Peter June Simon (186-G-82), Purefoods

North All-Stars
G- Anthony Helterbrand, Ginebra
G- Mark Caguioa, Ginebra
C- Marc Pingris, Magnolia
F- Kerby Raymundo, Purefoods
F- Lordy Tugade, Magnolia
Willie Miller, Alaska
Mark Cardona, Talk N Text
Ranidel De Ocampo, Air21
Arwind Santos, Air21
Nic Belasco, Coca Cola
Enrico Villanueva, Purefoods
Ryan Reyes, Sta. Lucia

Head Coach: Ryan Gregorio

South All-Stars
G- Jimmy Alapag, Talk N Text
G- James Yap, Purefoods
C- Asi Taulava, Coca Cola
F- Kelly Williams, Sta. Lucia
F- Danny Seigle, Magnolia*
Cyrus Baguio, Red Bull
Junthy Valenzuela, Ginebra
Peter June Simon, Purefoods
Dondon Hontiveros, Magnolia
Joachim Thoss, Alaska
John Ferriols, Alaska
Reynel Hugnatan, Alaska

Head Coach: Boyet Fernandez

*Did not play. Replaced by Hugnatan in the starting five.

Side Events
Rookies Vs Sophomores Blitz Game
Apr 25 (Fri) West Negros College Gym
Rookies 101 - Buenafe 25, Lanete 17, Cruz 14, Devance 14, Bono 10, Aljamal 8, Kramer 7, Eman 6
Sophomores 97 - Tenorio 19, Pacana 14, Reyes 13, Ibanes 12, Andaya 12, Membrere 11, Cabatu 10, Isip 6
Quarterscores: 20-27, 46-54, 77-75, 101-97

MVP: Ronjay Buenafe, Coca Cola

Slam Dunk Contest: Kelly Williams, Sta. Lucia
Three-point Shootout: Renren Ritualo, Talk N Text
Skills Competition: Willie Miller, Alaska
Legends Shootout: Active Stars (Ritualo, Hontiveros, Arigo) def. Legends (Gomez, Fernandez, Cabahug), 49-45
Shooting Stars: Ronald Tubid, Jason Webb, Councilor Greg Gasataya


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PUERTO RICO

Capitanes and Criollos sure to be in Super 6 BSN -by Alessandro Fontana

Criollos de Caguas won a very important game against Ponce. Caguas, with this victory, is sure to be one of the best six teams and Criollos will play the Super 6 BSN. MVP of the game was Marlyn Bryant, great game for him with 23 points.
The other game was Mayaguez against Guayama, Mayaguez won easily 82-74 and we do not have to forget that Los Indios played without Angel Caballero, the cuban, one of the best players of the team.

BSN BOXSCORES
CAGUAS-PONCE= 85-83
C= Bryant 23, Redhage 22, Melendez 18, Ramos 12, Rosas 10, Alamo 0, Garcia 0, J. Garcia 0, Konecny 0, Ortiz 0
P= Pagan 26, Colon 14, Jones 10, Frejie 10, Heywood 9, Orta 6, Aubry 4 (10 rebs), Rosario 4, Padilla 0
MAYAGUEZ-GUAYAMA= 82-74
M= Smith 18, Jimenez 12, White 12, Caraballo 9, Zayas 9, Crispin 6, Lopez 6, Venzen 5, Erazo 5, Acevedo 0, Rosa 0
G= Liriano 22, Lopez 17, Solano 14, Parillion 9, Oliver 4, Rivera 3, Melendez 2, Aponte 0, Herrera 0, M. Rivera 0, N. Rivera 0
BORICUAS ABROAD
In Poland, Turow played and won the first game of the Polish Semifinals against Slask Wroclaw. The result was 67-56. For Andres Rodriguez 7 points (2/2 2pts, 1/4 3pts) in 29 minutes with 6 assists.
In NBA, Orlando qualified for the second round of the NBA Play-offs, they won 4-1 against Toronto, in the last game Orlando won 102-92 but Carlos Arroyo did not play.
A. Fontana



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QATAR

Grimes signs for Al Arabi -by Ali Ahmed
Al Arabi Club basketball team management agreed terms with the American guard Lamar Grimes (182-G-83, college: Indiana St.) to play for them the GCC.




Grimes is scoring point guard who can play off guard too. Handles pressure well and is good at the pick&roll. Excellent pull-up shooter off the dribble. Good passer with good courtvision. Unselfish. Good defender and rebounder for his position. Very good drive to the basket. Great attitude.





Awards/Achievements:
WBA West Division Champion -06
WBA Semifinals -06


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SAINT KITTS

Ghetto Roots Off To Impressive Start -by Jay
The SKABA 2008 Digicel/National Bank/KFC League continued over the weekend with some keenly anticipated and exciting match-ups. The most significant of the weekend match-ups was the clash between the Horsfords Ghetto Roots and the Cayon Lions in the Digicel Premier Division.
Newly acquired players Troy 'Jasbo' Wattley with 17 points and a massive 18 rebounds and Anthony Jabal Joseph with 11 points and 10 rebounds led the Ghetto Roots to an impressive victory 76-67 victory over the always dangerous Cayon Lions. Ghetto Roots led from start to finish as they enjoyed a comfortable 46-33 lead at halftime. The second half was all Ghetto Roots as they kept Cayon at bey throughout. Berlie Francis and Rymal Bally Browne had excellent contributions as Francis had 15 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out late in the 4th quarters and Browne led the team with 3 assists to go with 14 points.
Tyrone O Loughlin led the way for Cayon with 17 points while teammate Jamone Isaac had 9 points and Bruce Jeffers had 11 rebounds.
I am very pleased with the game and the performance of the guys said Ghetto Roots team manager Wallis Wilkin. This is the first time we have played in an organized setting as a team. The new additions in Jabal and Jasbo have greatly enhanced the quality of the team, Wilkin continued.
The Ghetto Roots Basketball Club is this year featuring 2 teams in the Digicel Premier division. It has been well over 12 years since a club has been able to achieve this feat. Early predictions have already penciled at least one of the two teams as early favorites for the Divisions final four playoffs.
In other games a local national Junior select team played against a St.Croix under 15 team in the last of a 3 game tour by the St.Croix youngsters. The Cruzan boys lost all 3 games including a 71-50 lost on Sunday evening. In Sunday nights game the Kittitian juniors was led by Randy Taylor with 20 points and Daryl Lewis and Quincy Fraser with 11 and 13 points respectively.


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SENEGAL

Alpha Traore shines for Maghreb de Fes -by Eurobasket News
Players from Senegal participate in 21st Arab Clubs Championship for their teams abroad. Pape Ba (205-F/C-81, college: Bethune-Cookman) and Sulaiman Diop (200-C-88) tried hard for Al Tilal from Yemen. In the first game day of 21st Arab Clubs Championship Al Tilal Aden from Yemen lost to Zain from Jordan 48:101. In the opening quarter the guests resisted in the game and trailed 23:14. The second period saw the spurt from the hosts that started to increase their lead. They had 53:24 by the half time and looked very optimistic in the campaign. After three quarters the spectators enjoyed plus 50 for the hosts and in the last quarter the task was to reach 100. Zain managed to do it and won 101: 48.
Al Tilal won the last game of the Group A, but could not advance to the next round. At first in the second game Qatar Club beat Al Tilal Aden 86:75. Trailing 70:45 the team from Yemen could reduce the gap in the end of the game. Qatar Club was paced by Daoud Musa (193-G-82) who nailed 23 points. Jerry Holman collected 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Taha Alassari scored 30 points in defeat, while Sulaiman Diop scored 14.
In the last game of the first round Al Tilal beat An Nasr 98:97. It was a very tough game and the team from UAE controlled the majority of it. An Nasr opened the game with 26:22 and increased to 44:37 at the half. The things remained the same in the end of the third quarter when the board showed 76:67. Al Tilal had outstanding last quarter and grabbed the first win. It was not enough however to advance to the next stage as An Nasr has a better difference between three teams that finished with 1-2 record.
Alpha Traore (188-G-83),
Abdou Diame (206-F/C-81, college: Jacksonville St.) and N'Baye Matar defend Maghreb de Fes from Morocco. Maghreb de Fes lost the first game 76:70 to Al Nasr. Ellia Zolic led the winners with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Kowan collected 12 points and 5 assists, while Khaled Mohamad scored 12. Alpha Traore had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in the losing effort.
Maghreb de Fes defeated De La Salle Al Quds Jerusalem in the second game 98:65. The team from Palestine had a wonderful first quarter and had 20:12 after it. Moreover De La Salle Al Quds Jerusalem remained in front with 33:32 at the half. Maghreb de Fes used their power in the second half taking 58:51 after three quarters and leading the game to the happy end.
N'Baye Matar top-scored for the winners with 37 points, whilst Alpha Traore had 16. Issa Kamel ended up with 18 points in the losing effort.
Maghreb De Fes edged Al Ittihad Jeddah 91:72 after the even score in the first quarter. The team from Morocco used some runs to take a control later in the game and had 23 points advantage after three quarters played. Alpha Traore paced all the winners with 22 points and 8 rebounds.
N'Baye Matar nailed 16 and Mohamed Hjira posted 15. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf poured in 25 points in the losing effort.


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SEYCHELLES

SEYCHELLES : High-scoring wins, big-three stay unbeaten -by Carlos Pereira
HIGH-SCORING wins were registered in Mens Division One matches played over the weekend at the Palais des Sports as the big three Premium Cobras, Baya and PLS Hawks extended their winning streaks.

Premium Cobras 126 Razors 48

SOLOMON 42-point performance for Premium CobrasTHE 126-48 win was the biggest victory margin so far this year in the top flight as Alao Solomon had another 40+ match for former champions Premium Cobras.
On Sunday, the Nigerian shooting guard finished with 42 points, making him Premium Cobras and the leagues best scorer so far with 161 points in four matches.
Averaging 40 points per match, Solomon also scored 34 in the 96-57 win against Cascade Bullets, 46 in the 97-58 win over Praslin Warriors and 39 in the 88-68 victory against MBU Rockers.
The Cobras had another six players Dominic Pillay (21), Steve Allisop (18), Abdel Sylla (12), skipper and playmaker Tony Moustache (11), Steve Servina (10) and Biko Biong (10) scoring in double figures as they won all four quarters, 34-13, 31-10, 31-8 and 30-17.
A volleyballer with Premium Spikers, Ricky Vel finished with 17 points to lead the Razors who find themselves on a razors edge after losing for the third time in four games. Their only win was against fellow strugglers Cascade Bullets on an 85-76 score.
The previous highest win was registered by PLS Hawks against Beau Vallon Heat on a 115-50 score.

PLS Hawks 83 Cascade Bullets 53

With a depleted squad, the Bullets wanted to surprise Indian Ocean Club Championship runners-up PLS Hawks, but they came up short after holding the defending champions for more than 25 minutes.
PLS Hawks coach Tony Juliette was not happy with what he saw on the court and had to bark instructions from the sidelines and he even regrouped his players during a time-out to rethink tactics as Cascade Bullets were playing on a par with them.
After trailing 31-34 at half-time and 41-43 midway through the third quarter, the Bullets were thinking of getting their first win in four outings but they probably forgot that the Hawks could move up a gear.
This is exactly what happened and the Hawks won the third and fourth quarters, 24-11 and 25-11, to close the game at 83-53.
Veteran power forward and captain Jim Domingue led the Hawks in scoring with 19 points, with Rodney Loz (14), Neddy Oye Fanchette (13) and Bernard Bristol (12, all from 3-point range) combining for 39 points.
Bullets skipper Kenneth Sophie led all scores with 21 points which went to waste in the defeat.

Beau Vallon Heat 41 MBU Rockers 91

Like Cascade Bullets, Beau Vallon Heat are also without a win in four games and their latest loss was at the hands of MBU Rockers, who rediscovered the winning feeling after losing to Premium Cobras the weekend before.
The Rockers were always in control of the match, winning all four quarters, 22-8, 28-11, 19-14 and 22-8, as they won by a 50-point margin.
Coach Alvin Alcindors MBU Rockers were led in scoring by swingman Cyril Agrippine with 21 points, while playmaker Nigel Sinon (15) and Nigel Henriette (16) also scored in double digits.
Cliff Furneau and Tony General Barb had 10 points each for the Heat, who need to start winning if they are to survive in the top flight.

Praslin Warriors 65 RC Dynamics 71

After getting a win in their second match on a 70-66 score against the Razors, Praslin Warriors went back to losing, this time against RC Dynamics, who got 20 points, including two 3-pointers from Kenneth Domingue.
Captain Tony Marday added 11 points in the win for RC Dynamics, who trailed 11-15 at the end of the first quarter but won the other three 18-16, 22-18 and 20-16. This was their first win in three games.
Ryan Volcre had the hot hands for the Warriors with 17 points, 12 of which came from 3-point range.

Baya 92 Angels 64

Baya extended their winning streak to four games by steamrolling Angels 92-64 on the back of 19 points from both centre Robert Lon and shooting guard Jean-Paul JP Camille.
Nigel Cafrine came off the substitutes bench to get 17 points, while playmaker Giovanni Laval added 13, including three treys.
Coach Michel Malbrook was back on the bench after missing two games while on regional mission with womens team Anse Etoile Stars, and his Baya team entirely dominated the match, winning all four 10-minute spells, 26-13, 17-16, 23-19 and 26-16.
Collin Japhet and Barry Dubignon had 13 points apiece to lead Angels, whose usual high scorers Daniel Dodin and Darren Lesperance were kept silent.
Meanwhile, in a Mens Division Two match, RA Herons beat LMS Youth 55-38.G. G.


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SIERRA LEONE

Alpha Bangura top-scores twice for his team -by Eurobasket News
Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut was stronger than As Seeb 105:59 in the first game of 21st Arab Clubs Championship. The team from Lebanon together with Alpha Bangura (197-F/G-80, college: St.John's) controlled the whole game, but As Seeb could be proud of the second quarter. They stun the favorites to close the gap to 46:30. Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut was led by Alpha Bangura who scored 20 points. Sabah Khoury nailed 18, whilst Micah Brand had 17. Neslon N'Gao top-scored in the losing side with 16 points.
Alpha Bangura and his Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut lost the second game to Kuwait 97:92. Trailing 11 points after the first quarter Al Kuwait SC produced a good second half to benefit from the game. Andre Pitts led the winners with 25 points. Ira Clark scored 23 points and made 12 board, while Ahmad Al Mutairi posted 17. Alpha Bangura shined in the losing effort with 35 points. As there were three teams in the group Al Kuwait SC top it with 2-0 record. Al Kuwait SC did not look fresh enough in the opening tip of the game and had to follow Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut. The latter controlled the quarter and had 26:15 after the first period. They left the court for the big break in front having 53:49 advantage.
Al Kuwait SC woke up fully in the third quarter and grabbed 76:69 after the end of it. The last quarter was a good one to see and Al Kuwait SC led the game to the win. After the end of the Group D Al Kuwait SC advanced to Group F where it will play with An Nasr, Al Nasr and Orthodox. Group E will have Zain, Maghreb de Fes, Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut and Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut.


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SLOVAKIA

It is playoff time in Extraliga -by Eurobasket News
Extraliga reached the playoff stage and the quarterfinals tipped off at the weekend. The league favorites Pezinok took care of Nitra 88:79 in the first game of the best-of-five series. The 8th-ranked Nitra never looked like underdogs away from home as they got to an energetic start of the encounter. The visitors held to a 40:38 lead at the interval and looked forward to creating the first sensation. But Pezinok finally shook off starting sloppiness and clawed the way back into contest. They outgunned Nitra 23:15 in the third period and surged ahead. The game turned into a dogged fight where Pezinok proved the strength and maintained the lead till the final buzzer. Peter Micuda (206-C-72) finished with 21 points for Pezinok. Glen Whisby (203-C/F-72, college: S.Mississippi) provided 20 points, while Andrej Lukjanec (203-F/C-69) scored 18 for the winners. Dametri Hill (203-C-74, college: Florida) answered with 23 points for Nitra in defeat.
The second-ranked Inter edged Komarno 99:86 in Bratislava. Daniel Novak (201-F/G-78, agency: Interperformances) provided 30 points, 9 boards and 4 assists as Inter dominated throughout the action and picked up a 1-0 lead in the series. Dusan Pandula (195-F-84) nailed 24 points for the winning side. Igor Majoros (200-F-80, agency: Promotex, college: SW Baptist) responded with 20 points and 8 rebounds in a loss.
Svit also got to a winning start against Handlova. The third-ranked Svit fired down their opponents 88:76 at home. The hosts overcame a 2-point first period deficit to be back in the driving seat in the second half. Peter Sedmak (203-C-85) scored 19 points for Svit. Drazen Klaric (205-F-80) accounted for 16 points for the winners. Nenad Milosevic (188-G-83) produced game-high 21 points and 7 assists for Handlova in a losing effort.
Nova Ves snatched a home-court advantage away from Lucenec as they beat them 78:74 on the road in the first game. Trailing by as many as 13 points at the interval Nova Ves struck back in the second half riding past stunned hosts to a key win. Jozef Bucak (207-C-81, agency: LBM Management) canned 20 points and collected 9 rebounds for Nova Ves. Marcel Madaj (200-F-78) netted 14 points in a winning case. Antonio Bicvic (199-F-82) and Igor Kovacevic (189-G-72, agency: Heinrich Sports) answered with 18 points apiece for Lucenec.


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SPAIN

Gestiberica Vigo Step Up to LEB Silver -by Daniel Fernandez
Gestiberica Vigo won 61-82 in Alaior Opel Jovent home and with this victory Gestiberica Vigo is a new team in the Adecco LEB Silver for the next season. The other place in the LEB Silver will be played in the playoff between eight teams.
Ivan Matamalas (194-F-84) scored 27 point for the Alaior Team but it was not enough and Gestiberica Vigo conquered a very important win that give the place in the LEB Silver for the 2008/09 season when yet there are 3 match to the end of the season. Shawn Jackson (203-F/C-71, college: Johnson C. Smith) was a very important player for the Gestiberica Vigo and he scored 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.


Standings - LEB Silver / Bronze
LEB Standings
Silver
 1. Vic 24-7 
 2. Axarquia 23-8 
 3. Illescas 23-8 
 4. Caja Rioja 21-10 
 5. Gijon 21-10 
 6. Almeria 20-11 
 7. Plasencia 17-14 
 8. Huesca 17-14 
 9. Caceres 17-14 
 10. CB Tarrag. 16-15 
 11. Basq.Muro 14-17 
 12. Qalat Caja Sol 11-20 
 13. Cornella 10-21 
 14. Ourense 10-21 
 15. Palencia 10-21 
 16. Prat 10-21 
 17. Sabadell 8-23 
 18. Santa Pola 7-24 
Bronze
 1. Vigo 23-6 
 2. Archena 21-9 
 3. Guadalajara 18-11 
 4. Torrealta 18-12 
 5. Coruna 17-12 
 6. Navarra 16-13 
 7. Real M. II 16-13 
 8. Jerez 16-13 
 9. Cajasur 15-14 
 10. Salsa Musas 13-16 
 11. Esplugues-P. 12-17 
 12. Merida 11-18 
 13. Obila 11-18 
 14. Badajoz 11-18 
 15. Tijola 11-19 
 16. Opel Jovent 10-19 
 17. ADT Tarrag. 9-20 
 18. Torrevieja 0-0 


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TANZANIA

Spartans an Edge Above Basket Kings -by Carlos Pereira
by Victor Machota
Arusha

The Spartans basketball sports club thumped Kings of Kaloleni 60-54 in a friendly meet at Soweto grounds on April 19.
The seemingly aggressive Spartans walked out of the pitch with 17 baskets against the King's 14 at the first breather.
At the second break the results stood at 34-31 in favour of Spartans.
hough at the start of the last round of the game the difference was only two baskets, the Spartans scored quick last baskets to make the final result reading at 60-54.
Spartans captain said the friendly match was meant to promote friendship and promote sportsmanship
Kings captain Bariki Joseph said his team was preparing for the coming Muungano cup championships in Zanzibar from 20 April 20.
Arusha youths now taking interest in basketball.

THE KING'S SQUAD LIST
1.Elia Mwabukusi (CP)
2.Raheem Salum
3.Bariki Hard
4.Robert Edward
5.Chelu Black
6.Patric Rambo
7.Ahmed Mohamed
8.Zungu Kiki
9.Joseph Mrema


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U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS

2008 Paradise Jam team overview and bracket -by David Edole
Seattle, Washington -- Eight division I mens 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 mens field, with four of the 2008 participants earning berths to the NCAA tournament last March. Wisconsin, Connecticut, Miami and San Diego each competed in the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to tournament Cinderella, Davidson. Miami beat St. Marys in the first round before succumbing to Texas in second round action. San Diego advanced to the second round with a win over fellow 2008 Paradise Jam participant, Connecticut. Although these four NCAA-hardened squads bring high expectations to the islands this November, they will be hard-pressed by the other four teams also seeking early season success. Valparaiso, Southern Mississippi, La Salle and Iona round out the eight-team Paradise Jam field, making it one of the most competitive, neutral court, early season tournaments in America. La Salle will be the first team ever to appear in three Paradise Jam tournaments. The Explorers placed third in 2001 and sixth in 2003. Two former Paradise Jam champions will return to islands to defend their titles: Wisconsin (2005 Champion) and Miami (2001 Champion).

Competition begins on November 21 with consecutive-day action culminating in the championship round on November 24. The 2008 Paradise Jam will tip off with Miami playing Southern Mississippi at 2:00 pm on the 21st. The days other matchups include San Diego vs Valparaiso at 4:30 pm, La Salle vs. Connecticut at 7:00 pm and Iona battling Wisconsin at 9:30 pm. All game times are Atlantic Standard Time (one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time). Two games will be played daily on November 22 (losing teams from the 21st) and November 23 (winning teams from the 21st) at 7:00pm and 9:30pm. The final day of competition on November 24 will be structured similarly to the first day. The game times are set for 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:00 pm with the championship game at 9:30 pm. All games will be played at the state-of-the-art University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

In 2007 Paradise Jam action, Baylor defeated Winthrop to take home the Paradise Jam crown. Georgia Tech scored in the closing seconds of overtime to beat Notre Dame and take third place, Monmouth captured fourth place with an overtime victory over Charlotte and Wichita State finished ahead of University of Illinois at Chicago.




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Women News

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BELARUS - Women

It's all about Beijing -by Eurobasket News
Less and less time remains till the beginning of the qualifying tournament in Spain . The national team of Belarus is going to take up for one of the five available passes to Beijing .The main obstacle for a full value preparation of a team is lack of time. Since the girls from the Belorussian basketball clubs with different degree of success participate in national championships, they end up the season in different terms. The first meeting is scheduled May, 4 at the gym Horizont in Minsk . However the leaders are more likely to appear by the beginning of the second preparation stage on May, 15 in Staiki. The sparring program still includes 4 matches: on May, 26 and 27 in Brno with a Czech team, and on May, 31 and June, 2 in Riga with Latvians. As for the check match with Japan , nothing is certain yet, but certainty may appear after the trip of Anatoliy Buyalskiy to Latvia , where the Japanese players will come in early May.The upcoming meeting of the Belorussian team will start under the supervision of a new staff, a PT coach Dmitriy Sedov and a masseur Vladimir Sass. There is a hope that with their help 18 invited players will balance out the functional conditions.
The national team of Cuba is a competitor of Anatoliy Buyalskiy in the pool of the Olympic qualified tournament. The Cuba team is taking part in the prestige international tournament these days in Beijing. The list was filled up also with the teams of the USA , Australia , New Zealand , South Korea and China . In the starting duel Alberto Sabalas team overcame the New Zealanders with a 4-point gap (75:71). The Americans though prevented the Cubans from the victory (60:92). Suchitel Avila can be called the best Cuban player, and she also earned 17 points for the team. Yakelin Plutin helped the team beat the Australians (60:52) as well as the Koreans (78:66).
It should be mentioned that the playing strategy of the Cuban team is built on the aggressive front line game thanks to the captain Yayma Boulet (193-C-83) while the back line is more concentrated on pressing and destruction. Moreover, the Cubans are highly physically prepared and minimum rotation can be observed during the matches.


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DENMARK - Women

Horsholm wins Dameligaen -by Eurobasket News
Amager - Horsholm 53:77

The Horsholm 79ers claimed the Dameligaen crown after sweeping Amager in the Final series. Horsholm celebrated a close victory in the opening game of the best-of-three series and did not wait for too long before finalizing an overall success. The 79ers stormed past Amager away from home to clinch yet another Dameligaen title. Everything was decided in the first half as Horsholm accumulated an unassailable 18-point advantage. The visitors stretched it to 25 points before breezing to the victory in the final period. Anne Thorius (179-G-77, college: Michigan) finished with 15 points for the winners. Kristine Dalgaard (188-F/C-79) notched 13 points for the 79ers. Sussie Kruuse (192-C-83) answered with 16 points for Amager. Tine Freil (180-G-70, college: Pacific) dropped 11 in defeat.

Amager: Sussie Kruuse 16, Tine Freil 11
Horsholm: Anne Thorius 15, Kristine Dalgaard 13


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GABON - Women

Dates of the cup of Gabon are known -by Tim Ndjiki
Dates of the cup of Gabon are known: the final phases of cups of the masculine and feminine senior Gabon named Albertine OWONO and David NZOUBOU ' will take place of the 7 to May 11, 2008.
The Maritime Ogoou League of the marked its agreement for the organization of this competition to Port-Gentil.
This Cup is qualifying for the next African deadlines; The controlled federal office of master hand by her chairwoman Mrs. Sylvie KOTHA, announced that the date limits deposit of files is fixed to April 30, 2008.
Ten teams are qualified for this final phase at boys and four at ladies.
We will come back there


TOURNAMENT OF THE INDEPENDENCE AT LADIES -by Tim Ndjiki
Players of 'les DECROCHEES' (ladies) celebrated in beauty, the 47 years of the accession of our country to the national sovereignty, while beating electricians of Ndella, 34-25, to the exit of the 2nd edition of the tournament of the independence organized jointly by Gabon Independence ' and the Gabonese Federation of basketball (FEGABAB).
I feel a feeling of joy, of as much more that one celebrates the 47 years of our Independence . Legitimize satisfaction, in first hour, of Aime Engone, the coach of teams 'les DECROCHEES'. Who, in spite of the weight of age on average 35 years ', the precariousness of the physical condition, added to an incomplete strength, took the over on girls of Ndella, driven by the captain L.Elingui.
The enthusiasm of fillies of the D.Gondjout, mingled to the precipitation, prevented not at all Marie-France Yeno, Sylvie Kotha ( the chairwoman of the FEGABAB), KAMINE Achka, Berengre Minang, Clarisse Sylla and other Bertille Bilogue to get in evidence: 6-4 (10th minute)et 12-9 (20th minute).
A light advance that reflects the good application of orders of the trainer Engone (President of the league of basketball of the estuary).Les Decrochees had of very good fundamental in their youth. Not having complicated the system of attack, I asked them to keep the ball a long time possible so that our adversaries make mistakes on my players. It is what happened since one essentially won to launch them francs, specified the coach ofLes Decrochees
Team mates of A.M Ntoe, astonishing, more or less, to the defensive rebound and in transmissions of bullets then of counter, appear nevertheless generous under the racket of electricians, certainly combative, but disorganized in the construction of the game and the finish. It is only logical that they bend the spine, 14-23 (30th Minute) and 25-34 (40th minute).
'les DECROCHEES': S.Kotha, A.M Ntoe, M.F Yeno, C.Sylla, Essone, B.Billogue (captain), B.Minang, Kamine Achka. Coach: Aime Engone
NDELLA:L.Ogniane,J.Boussamba,M.HAssontia,A.Obone, C.Massounga,A.Itsiembou,G.Maroundou,L.Elingui(captain),M.Nzaou,J.Tchoua.nang,G.Obone Coach: Didier Gondjout.


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GERMANY - Women

Halle Lions looking for new Head Coach -by Moritz Korff
The SV Halle Lions, who reached the Play-Offs in their first season in the DBBL, are going to part with Head Coach Thomas Roijakkers. The Dutch also led the Lions to the Top Four of the German Cup.
Halle is now looking for a new coach. According to the teams' website (http://www.sv-lions.de), coaches who are interested in the job can get in touch with the club through e-mail: cornelia.demuth@sv-lions.de


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GREECE - Women

Standings - Women
A1 Standings
1. Esperides 22-4
2. Panionios 21-5
3. Athinaikos 17-9
4. ArisH. 17-9
5. Apollon 17-9
6. Panathin. 15-11
7. Kastoria 14-12
8. Siemens 12-14
9. M.Aleksandros 12-14
10.Paghiakos 11-15
11. Sporting 11-15
12. Asteras 7-19
13. Iraklis 3-23
14. Aias Evosmou 3-23


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MALTA - Women

Depiro set up Hibs showdown -by Eurobasket News
In the final match from Phase Two of the women's basketball championship, Depiro had the better of Luxol to book a place in the final play-off where they face rivals and current champions Hibs Medsea. In other championship matches, Sliema Wanderers went top of the Relegation Pool following their win over St James Hospital as Kerygma left SN Suns still searching for their first victory.
Depiro relied on their experience to overcome a tense Luxol who, in the most crucial part of the season, failed to produce their best form. Depiro had the better start to open an 8-2 lead before Luxol recovered to reduce the gap to one point, 13-12, but faltered in the last minutes before half-time to trail 30-19. Both teams were erratic in their shooting but in the last minutes of the third quarter Depiro surged to a 42-24 lead with Luxol's Francesca Psaila Savona being fouled out. Luxol lost their way and committed unnecessary fouls that led to four other players, Mandy Sciortino, Emma Moore, Beverlee Zammit and Justine Mangion, being fouled out. At this stage Depiro were in a position to administer their lead and cruise to victory.
Sliema Wanderers finished their commitments with a good victory over St James Hospital. After potting the opening 11 points, Sliema were never troubled by their opponents and led 38-19 at half-time. With St James failing to improve, Sliema went on to finish 75-57 winners. As expected, Kerygma disposed of lowly SN Suns, winning 50-23.
Courtesy of: www.timesofmalta.com


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SERBIA - Women

Stevan Cupic in Vojvodina -by Dragana Vukovic
The third time in this season the management of Vojvodina Nis Gas Novi Sad Nis Gas Novi Sad decided to change the coach.They replaced Dragan Ognjenovic by Stevan Cupic ,who was a coach in Kanizsai Vadmacskk in Hungary this seasaon,till the end of season.Stevan Cupic had debut against ZKK Partizan Beograd,his team showed very god performance and agressive playing,but they lost the game.Vojvodina Nis Gas Novi Sad will try to catch the 4th position in SuperLeague.

Standings - Women
A Standings
Superleague
 1. Hemofarm 24-0 
 2. Crvena Zv. 19-5 
 3. Partizan 18-6 
 4. Spartak 17-7 
 5. Vojvodina 14-10 
 6. Proleter 11-13 
Others in Stage One
 1. Kraljevo 9-13 
 2. Kovin 7-15 
 3. Loznica 7-15 
 4. Usce 5-17 
 5. Radnicki NB 4-18 
 6. Stara Pazova 3-19 


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SLOVENIA - Women

Standings - Women
1A Standings
Places 1-6
 1. Hit Kr.Gora 8-1 
 2. Celje 7-2 
 3. AJM Maribor 5-4 
 4. Odeja 3-6 
 5. Jezica 3-6 
 6. Neso Ihke 1-8 
Places 7-12
 1. Konjice 9-0 
 2. Domzale 6-2 
 3. Triglav 3-6 
 4. NT U16 2-1 
 5. City Center 2-6 
 6. Crnomelj 1-8 


Hit Kranjska Gora leads in the qualifying round in A1 -by Eurobasket News
Hit Kransjka Gora stretched their impressive winning run at the qualifying stage of the Slovenian A1 league. They thumped AJM Maribor 91:57 in round 9 to improve to 8-1 record at the top of the ladder. AJM Maribor stayed close to the opponents in the first half and trailed by just 3 points at halftime. But Hit Kr. Gora raised the tempo in the second part of the game and breezed to a 21-point advantage heading into the fourth period. AJM Maribor never recovered suffering their 4th loss at this stage of the championship. Mojca Markovic (177-G-79) paced the hosts with 21 points. Sabina Felc (-G-69) scored 15 points, while Simona Jurse (171-G-71) and Lidija Becanovic (188-F/C-80) nailed 14 points apiece for the winners. Alma Pehadzic (173-G-82) answered with 19 points and 7 rebounds for Maribor.
Celje remained at the second spot after they dismantled Neso Ihke 107:51 away from home. Celje were way too good for the hosts throughout the action and easily built a 27-point cushion at the interval. Neso Ihke never seriously threatened the gap and Celje recorded the 7th win at the stage. Nika Baric (168-G-92) led all scorers with 21 points, 11 boards and 8 assists for Celje. Kristina Verbole (193-F/C-88) delivered 20 points, while Milijana Evtoukhovitch (190-C-81) had 18 points and 13 rebounds in a winning effort. Staci Humphrey (-G, college: Greensboro) drained 18 points for Neso Ihke.
Jezica closed the gap on Odeja in the ladder after edging those 87:83 on the road. Jezica got to a better start to the game and were up by 6 after 10 minutes of action. Odeja trimmed the deficit by 4 points in the second period but then slowed down again allowing the visitors to enter the fourth term ahead by 8 points. It was just enough for Jezica to keep the hosts at bay as they posted an important victory. Tina Trebec (189-F/C-90) scored 24 points for Jezica. Rosana Berdajs (173-G-85) nailed another 20 points in a win. Ana Ljubenovic (180-F-88) canned 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds for Odeja in a loss.


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SWITZERLAND - Women

Sdent Sierre Basket makes it to LNA -by Eurobasket News
Sdent Sierre won the LNB season and booked their ticket to the LNA for the next year. It was a tremendous season for the team. Sdent Sierre finished the LNB regular season with a perfect 20-0 record and never slowed down in the playoffs. They thrashed Riva Ceresio II in the quarterfinal. Later Sdent Sierre breezed past BBC Cossonay in the semis before taking on Nyon in the Final best-of-three series. The first game was once again an easy trip for Sierre. They overwhelmed Nyon and celebrated a stunning 96:35 victory. Maria Villarroel (174-G-78, college: Oklahoma) paced the hosts with game-high 32 points. Katrien Vercauteren (170-G-84, agency: LBM Management) added 23 points for the winners. Nyon answered with 8 points from Sakellie Daniels (170-G-84, college: Charlotte). However in the next game Nyon turned the game into a real battle. Playing at home Nyon managed to build a 32:30 lead at halftime. But a sizzling performance from Maria Villarroel allowed Sierre to come from behind and posted a vital 70:56 claiming the title. Villarroel finished with 30 points. Rhona McKenzie (183-F/C-76, agency: LBM Management) added 16 points in a winning case. Sakellie Daniels answered with 22 points for Nyon. Ndack Gueye (186-F/C-73) netted 11 points in a losing effort.
Maria Villarroel completed the season as the leagues top scorer nailing 25.4 points per game. Sierre will now try to forget all the pain from 2006-2007 season in LNA when they were eliminated and will fight for possible higher spots in the ladder next year.


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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.


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VENEZUELA - Women

Villarroel completed the season as the LNB leagues top scorer nailing 25.4 points per game -by Eurobasket News
Maria Villarroel, the top player of the country and her Sdent Sierre won the LNB season in Switzerland and booked their ticket to the LNA for the next year. It was a tremendous season for the team. Sdent Sierre finished the LNB regular season with a perfect 20-0 record and never slowed down in the playoffs. They thrashed Riva Ceresio II in the quarterfinal. Later Sdent Sierre breezed past BBC Cossonay in the semis before taking on Nyon in the Final best-of-three series. The first game was once again an easy trip for Sierre. They overwhelmed Nyon and celebrated a stunning 96:35 victory. Maria Villarroel (174-G-78, college: Oklahoma) paced the hosts with game-high 32 points. Katrien Vercauteren added 23 points for the winners. Nyon answered with 8 points from Sakellie Daniels. However in the next game Nyon turned the game into a real battle. Playing at home Nyon managed to build a 32:30 lead at halftime. But a sizzling performance from Maria Villarroel allowed Sierre to come from behind and posted a vital 70:56 claiming the title. Villarroel finished with 30 points. Rhona McKenzie added 16 points in a winning case. Sakellie Daniels answered with 22 points for Nyon. Ndack Gueye netted 11 points in a losing effort. Maria Villarroel completed the season as the leagues top scorer nailing 25.4 points per game. Sierre will now try to forget all the pain from 2006-2007 season in LNA when they were eliminated and will fight for possible higher spots in the ladder next year.