EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 4/5/2008

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Men News

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ARGENTINA

Sartorelli to Libertad -by Facundo Iatzky
Juan Sartorelli (190-G-83) was signed by Libertad Sunchales. He will replace Martin Muller, who will miss the rest of the season. Sartorelli played early this season in Boca jrs and had agreed terms with La union Formosa but could not play any game. The team is training hard for the quarterfinals which starts the next week. Laron Profit returned to train and he would return to play in the playoffs. Meanwhile Mariano Ceruti is injured and would be out for a month.

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AUSTRIA

Round 34 -by Stefan Heinrich
Oberwart Gunners - Gmunden Swans 75:64

Oberwart almost clinched the first place with the victory against Gmunden. They did a very good job on defending Deteri Mayes and Jay Jay Youngblood (196-G-84, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Kent St.) led the Gunners with 21 points.

Scorer: Jay Youngblood 21, Johnson 16, Boone 13, Ochsenhofer 11 ; Ian Boylan (198-G/F-83, college: Cal.St. Northridge) 25, Johnson 13, Mayes 10


WBC Wels - Kapfenberg Bulls 80:71

The Bulls still missed 3 important player and did a great job in keeping the game close but Wels managed to qualfy for the playoffs with this win.

Scorer: Kendrick Davis (193-G-84, agency: Hart Sports Mngm, college: N.Texas) 26, Klette 13, Palmer 12 ; Ivan Grgat (210-F/C-74, agency: Court Side) 28, Zeleznik 14, Nelson


Klosterneuburg Dukes - UBC St. Polten 83:93

Klosterneuburg lost the important game and with this defeat they lost all their chances to qualify for the Play-Offs and they will finish this season on the 7th spot.

Scorer: Calvin Watson (196-G-85, college: N.Texas) 26, Martin 21, Nagler 17 ; Thomas Schreiner (195-G-87) 24, Kohlmaier 21, Kollik 16, Speiser 11


Traiskirchen Lions - Furstenfeld Panthers 107:84

The Lions had an incredible shooting night as they hit 17 of 27 3 point shots in this game and the Panthers were without a chance in this game, which means that they need one more win to finish the season second.

Scorer: Dragan Zekovic (210-F-87, agency: Interperformances) 22, Danek 16, Lamesic 14, Paliahchuk 13, Bjelica 13, Vickery ; Mike Fraser (203-C, agency: Hart Sports Mngm, college: Oklahoma Baptist) 17, Goljovic 16, Dale 15, Grum 15


Standings - A Bundesliga
A Bundesliga Standings
1. Oberwart 25-9
2. Furstenfeld 24-10
3. Gmunden 23-11
4. Arkadia 22-12
5. Kapfenberg 21-13
6. Wels 19-15
7. Klosterneub. 17-17
8. St.Polten 12-22
9. Worthersee 6-2
10. Gussing 5-3
11. Vienna 3-5
12. UBSC Graz 2-6


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BAHRAIN

AHLI CLUB READY FOR GCC CHAMPIONSHIPS -by Yousef Ahmed
AL AHLI kicked off their preparations for the GCC Clubs Basketball Championship to be held in Doha from April 24 to 30.

Eight teams from the six GCC countries are taking part in this year's competition, to be organised by Qatari champions Al Rayyan Club.

The participants also include two clubs from Qatar, defending champions Al Rayyan and compatriots Al Arabi, two from Kuwait, Al Qadsia and Al Arabi, Saudi Arabia's Al Ansar, Nazwa of Oman and Al Wasl of the UAE.

The draw was held on Thursday in Doha. The teams were divided into two groups of four teams each.

The Bahrainis, who will be looking to regain the title for the third time, were placed in Group 'A' along with Al Arabi of Qatar, Kuwait's Al Arabi and Al Wasl.

In Group 'B', Al Rayyan will battle it out with Al Qadsia, Al Ansar, and Nazwa.

Al Rayyan will play in the opening match against Nazwa right after the opening ceremony at 8pm.

The winners and runners-up in each group qualify for the semi-finals to be held on knock-out basis.

Al Rayyan won last year's championship held in Bahrain after defeating Al Qadsia in the final.

The draw was chaired by GCC Basketball Organising Committee general secretary Sulaiman Al Belooshi in presence of Technial Committee chairman Younis Al Zedjali and Qatari Basketball Association vice-president Saqer Al Muftah.

It was also attended by GCC associations officials - Mansoor Al Ahmari of Saudi Arabia, Abdulla Jassim of the UAE, Kuwait's Khalil Ibrahim, Ali Ahmed of Bahrain and Qatar's Salah Ateeq, Mohammed Al Kuwari and Abdulrahman Abu Faisal.

Meanwhile, Al Ahli team manager and former club player Khalid Kanoo said the team will have a short local training camp prior to the tournament.

During training programme, Al Ahli Club officials will set up friendly matches with teams from the GCC who will be camping in Bahrain to prepare for the Arab Championship to be held in Jordan this month. Manama will represent Bahrain in the event.

Kanoo expressed disappointment for not having Muharraq's ace Mohammed Hassan for the championship.

Instead, the player preferred to sign for Al Arabi of Qatar.

Kanoo said that US professional Jamal Holden (206-C-80, college: UALR), who suffered an ankle injury in first best-of-three match against Muharraq during the league Golden Square last week, is likely to return to the team.


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COSTA RICA

Last LSB results -by Gianni Pascucci
Ferreterias Brenes Barva is yet at the top undefeated (2-0), and the surprise is newcomer team San Luis Gonzaga, that is at the top with a 2-0 record too, thanks to the win 66-58 over UCR. San Luis Gonzaga had 15 points each from Alberto Beckford (190-F-81) and Alejandro Grijalba (187-F-82), but Pablo Alvarado (193-F/C-87) was the game top scorer at 24. Liceo de Costa Rica made his debut in the league destroying Santa Ana 105-35 (!!) with Alonso Sanchez (174-G-85) leading all the scorers at 22. Universidad de Costa Rica is the only team so far to to have played three games, but the third one was another loss, 78-99 to Santa Cecilia, led by Delio Brenes (182-F-71), who scored 29 pts.

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CROATIA

Standings - Ozujsko A1 League
A1 Standings
Group 1-8
1. KK Split 0-0
2. KK Zagreb 0-0
3. Cibona 0-0
4. Zadar 0-0
5. Dubrava 0-0
6. Slavonski Brod 0-0
7. Cedevita 0-0
8. Sibenka 0-0
Group 9-13
1. Zabok 9-9
2. Borik 8-10
3. Alkar Sinj 7-11
4. Kvarner NR 7-11
5. Dubrovnik 6-12
6. Osijek 2006 3-15


A-1 Championship Stage has started -by Eurobasket News
A-1 Championship Stage with 8 teams in it has already started in Croatia.
Zagreb had a 76:88 road victory over Cedevita. Dundovic and Simon led the winners with 21 points. Jurica Zuza top-scored in defeat with 14 points. Slaven Rimac added 13 while Pero Dujmovic and Ryan Forehan-Kelly (197-F/G-80, college: California) contributed 11 apiece.
Split beat Dubrava 100:93 at home. Ivanov led the hosts with 19 points while Tony Akins (180-G-80, college: Georgia Tech) dished out 8 assists. Zeljko Sakic (203-F-88) led all scorers of the game with 24 points, followed by Jurica Smiljanic who contributed 19 points.
Sibenik downed Svjetlost 103:87 to take 1-0 record. Luka Drezga (194-G-87) paced Sibenik with 28 points while Zoran Vrkic (203-G/F-87) added 21 points plus ten rebounds. Spahija top-scored in the losing effort with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Cibona and Zadar showed a real Croatian battle and needed an overtime to solve the winner. Zadar won 106:96 and was dominant throughout the game. Corey Brewer (188-G-75, college: Oklahoma) was a hero with 28 points and six rebounds. Chris Warren (196-F-81, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: S.Carolina) had 28 points, six rebounds and four assists for Cibona.


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DENMARK

BK Amager ties the series at 3-3 -by Eurobasket News

BK Amager - Svendborg 91 - 89

Unbelievable and interesting series is shown by BK Amager and Svendborg in the semis of Danish league. Six games are played, but the score is 3-3 now. BK Amager tied the series last night with 91:89 at home. Peter Johansen (204-F/C-80, agency: Arik Krayn Services) led the winners with 26 points. Mads Vaegter nailed 18 points, while Matt Cooper (201-F-85, college: Le Moyne) scored 16 points. Jarrett Howell (188-G-84, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: Texas Arlington) ended up with 33 points in the losing clause.
BK Amager had nothing to lose and went on a lead from the first minutes. The hosts built 12-3 advantage, but had 23:20 after the first 10 minutes. Svendborg with the help of Jarrett Howell grabbed 35:43 lead, however BK Amager remained in front with 48:46 at the halftime.
It was the time for the hosts to increase the lead in the third period and they reached 9 points deficit. Who could think that a 2-15 run in the last quarter could be fatal for the hosts. They did however survived. With 89:89 in the final stanza BK Amager scored two more points to tie the never ending story.

Game 7 is scheduled for April 7th.

BK Amager: Peter Johansen 26 points, Mads Vaegter 18 points, Matt Cooper 16 points.
Svendborg Rabbits: Jarrett Howell 33 points, Brayden Billbe (208-C-85, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: American) 19 points, Danilo Fatic (191-G-77) 13 points.



Standings - Basketligaen
Basketligaen Standings
1. Bakken 21-3
2. Svendborg 19-5
3. Amager BK 15-9
4. Horsholm 11-13
5. Randers 11-13
6. Horsens IC 10-14
7. Naestved 9-15
8. SISU 6-18
9. Aabyhoj 6-18


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D-LEAGUE

Standings
D-League Standings
Central Division
1. Dakota W. 27-20
2. Sioux Falls S. 27-20
3. Iowa E. 19-27
4. Ft.Wayne MA 16-29
Southwest Division
1. Austin T. 29-17
2. Tulsa 66ers 25-21
3. Colorado 14ers 25-21
4. Albuquerque T. 21-26
5. Rio Grande VV 20-29
West Division
1. LA D-Fenders 32-14
2. Idaho S. 31-14
3. Utah 21-24
4. Anaheim A. 20-26
5. Bakersfield J. 10-35


Stats Leaders
D-League Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1.M. Almond, UTA 25.0
2.D. Farmer, RGV 24.6
3.K. Powell, SIF 22.3
4.C. Powell, DAK 22.3
4.S. Banks, LAD 22.1
Rebounds Per Game
1.R. Benson, DAK 12.1
2.C. Alexander, SIF 11.2
3.L. Allred, IDA 10.0
4.M. Campbell, IDA 8.2
5.I. Mahinmi, AUS 8.2
Assists Per Game
1.R. Livingston, IDA 10.5
2.A. Barrett, AUS 8.6
3.E. Gill, COL 8.5
4.K. Kruger, UTA 6.9
5.J. Horner, IOW 6.0


Last Transactions -by Surujh Roopnarine

NBA --> D-League Player Assignments
The Chicago Bulls have re-called second year players Shannon Brown (6'3''-G-85, college: Michigan St.) and Cedric Simmons (6'9''-F/C-86, college: N.Carolina St.) from the Iowa Energy.
In six games with the Energy, Brown averaged 25.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.3 apg and 2.00 spg in 35.0 mpg.
Simmons also played in six games with the Energy and posted averages of 15.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 2.20 bpg in 29.3 mpg.

The Seattle SuperSonics re-assigned developmental center Mouhamed Saer Sene (7'0''-C-86) to the Idaho Stampede. Sene was previously assigned to Idaho between Dec. 23, 2007 to March 14, 2008.
During the 27 games of his first assignment, he averaged 12.4 points and 9.0 rebounds. In 13 total games with the Sonics this season, Sene is averaging 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 4.8 minutes.

NBA Call-Ups
Ronald DuPree (6'7''-F/G-81, college: LSU) Signed to 10-day contract by Seattle
NBA and D-League veteran swingman Ronald DuPree has been called-up by the Seattle SuperSonics from the Tulsa 66ers. Dupree is the 25th D-League call-up this season.
Dupree has appeared in nine games with the 66ers since being acquired on Feb. 29, and leads the team with 17.2 points, to go with 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.0 minutes.
The former LSU Tiger owns NBA career averages of 3.7 points and 1.4 rebounds in 150 games split between Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota.

Player Movement
Tulsa: Signed veteran guard Derrick Dial (6'4''-G-75, college: E.Michigan). Dial appeared in five games earlier this year with Anaheim, averaging 4.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in just under 22 minutes per game.
Dakota: Signed Michael Peeples (6'7''-G/F-85, college: Fairleigh Dickinson)
Colorado: Re-Acquired Eddie Gill (6'0''-G-78, college: Weber St.) after his assignment with Seattle. Gill returned in top form, as he scored 17 points and dished out 12 assists in Colorado's 86-81 victory last night over Tulsa.



Marcus Campbell Earns Deal with Italian Club Air Avellino -by Surujh Roopnarine
Anaheim Arsenal center Marcus Campbell (7'0''-C-82, college: Mississippi St.) has signed with Air Avellino of Italy's SerieA league. Currently sitting in a tie for third at 19-10, Avellino will look to the former Mississippi State Bulldog big man for interior reinforcement. On the season Campbell is averaging 12.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 39 games between Idaho and Anaheim. March was Campbell's best month of the season as her averaged career highs of 17.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in 32 minutes per contest (12 games). After posting modest numbers in his four years at Mississippi State (2001 - 2005 where he teamed with former D-League stars such as Lawrence Roberts, Derrick Zimmerman and Timmy Bowers), Campbell worked the circuit of the US minor leagues, working his way up the ranks from the WBA, CBA, USBL and finally the D-League. A USBL Champion in 2007 with the Kansas Cagerz, Campbell is now making his first appearance overseas, and it comes in a very tough and highly competitive Italian league.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

DOMINICANS ABROAD: Santos Maritnez = PERFECT!!!! -by Ozell Wells
BULGARIA: Some will say surprise but for others a win for Rilski Sportist against CSKA is now a normal thing. The team from Samokov defeated The Reds for second straight time in Sofia and third straight time this season. Today the visitors won by a single points, 92-91. Led by Santos Martinez (198-G/F-81, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Livingstone) who shot 100% from the floor and finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds. He was 5-5 from the field, 2-2 form 3pt range & 6-6 from the FT line. His averages of 16.7 ppg & 7.1 rbg put him in the TOP 10 of Bulgarias A1 in both categories.
CSKA was once considered one of the ELITE teams in all of Europe... are 'the winds of change' blowing?

We at Eurobasket Dominican Page want to wish Santos felicidades & good luck with the rest of the season!


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EL SALVADOR

ExSal and San Marcos win in LSB -by Jaime Arevalo
In last round of Liga Superior, Denver felt again, this time to ExSal 95-101, despite the addition of new import player Marcus Robinson (198-F, college: N.Georgia). Carlos Espinal (175-G-76) scored 20 points in losing effort, Miguel Banos (186-F/C-84) was the game best scorer with 27 points for ExSal, that managed to come back in the last minutes, after that Denver had taken the lead. In teh scond game of teh round, San Marcos defeated UTEC 81-71 at the end of a very battled game. UTEC stayed ahead in the score till the end of the third quarter, then Jorge Taton (200-F/C-81) made his 5th foul and San Marcos took the lead, with Michael Pierrot (208-C-84) dominating inside. Pierrot ended the game at 29 points, but the game top scorer was young Panamanian Ernesto Oglivie (-F-88), who pured in 30 poins in losing effort.

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EUROLEAGUE

Partizan Igokea blasts TAU Ceramica in Belgrade 76-55 !! -by Dragan Jankovski

Partizan Igokea continues with another fantastic performance and more amazing results this season. It seams no one can beat them in Serbian temple of basketball - Pionir! The black and white team buried Spanish giant TAU Ceramica 76-55 and tied the score in the Euroleague quarterfinals on 1-1. The fact that Partizan had plus 24 just 13 seconds before the end says everything. Hall Pionir once again was filled to the last seat (almost 7.123 spectators!) while more than 1.000 fans had to stay out of it.

Partizan opened the game in style. Tripkovic, Pekovic and Tepic took care to make plus 13 points which was Partizan's maximum advantage in the first half. After 15 minutes coach Spahija introduced Rakocevic and Teletovic. TAU succeeded to come on at 36-31 at half time thanks to great assists by Prigioni and a 3-pointer by Jasaitis. Partizan's big guys didn't let Splitter score any points in the first half. TAU opened the third quarter with Rakocevic's jump shot for 36-33 and later came on minus 1, again after Jasaitis 3-pointer. But the last period totally belonged to reining Serbian and Adriatic league champion. Pekovic was unstoppable in the paint while Velickovic and Tripkovic made a couple of very important offensive rebounds. Minute after minute Partizan kept extending the lead and after a 10-0 run it was plus to 24 (last quarter 22-7). Planinic scored a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final score 76-55.

The best Euroleague center Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) again was the central figure of the game leading his team to win. For the 25 minutes, which he spent on the court, Pekovic collected 19 points, 5 rebounds and 7 fouls were made on him. He and Vranes stopped very good Splitter, who scored just 3 points. PF Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) also had a great night and was MVP of the game with index value 24. He registered a double-double, 17 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Uros Tripkovic (197-G-86) netted 14 points while Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) had 11 points including a couple of very important lay-ups with a foul. Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78) was the only one with double digits for TAU as he scored 15 points.

The black and whites finished the game with 37 rebounds and 17 assists with 8/20 from behind the arc. Partizan's head coach Dusko Vujosevic gave a chance to Borovnjak and Milosevic at the very end while Pekovic and Velickovic, who were substituted, got unbelievable ovation from the fans.

The decisive game will be played on April 10th in Vitoria.


Partizan Igokea - TAU Ceramica 76-55
(25-15,11-16,18-17,22-7)

Partizan:
Pekovic 19 (5 rebs), Velickovic 17 (12 rebs, 4 as), Tripkovic 14, Tepic 11
TAU: Rakocevic 15, Teletovic 9, Jasaitis 8, Mickael 8



Playoffs, Games 1-2, co-MVPs: Basile, Smodis -by Eurobasket
Two players who led their teams to series-tying Game 2 wins can also celebrate some individual honors. Gianluca Basile (192-G-75) of AXA FC Barcelona and Matjaz Smodis (205-F-79) of CSKA Moscow are the co-MVPs of the first games of Quarterfinal Playoffs after each amassed an average index rating of 22. Basile averaged 25.5 points, shooting 52.4% from downtown and 80% from the fouil line and adding 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.5 steals and even his first blocked shot of the season as Barcelona split a pair of games with Maccabi Elite. Smodis averaged 19 points on 58.2% two-point and 85.7% three-point shooting plus 4.5 rebounds and 4 fouls drawn as CSKA evened its series with Olympiacos at 1-1. Qyntel Woods (204-F/G-81, college: N.Mississippi JC) of Olympiacos is third with an average index of 21.5 after recording 19.5 points per game on 53.3% two- and 75% three-point shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals. Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) of Montepaschi Siena, the only team that swept its Quarterfinal Playoffs series, posted an average index of 20.5 - fourth best after two games. Lavrinovic, who came off the bench in Game 1, finished with 17 points on 62.5% two-point and 87.5% three-point shooting plus 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 4.5 fouls drawn per game. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) of CSKA completed the top individual performances for the week with an average index of 20, coming from 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

Individual highs: Basile matches quarterfinal scoring record

Basile was not only the top average scorer in Games 1 and 2 with a total of 51 points, but his output in Game 2 was a feat for the record books. Basile scored 34 in Barcelona's home win, marking the most in the shooting guard's 157 Euroleague games and tying Luis Scola (206-F/C-80), then of Tau Ceramica, for the best quarterfinal scoring performance. Scola scored 34 against Benetton Treviso three seasons ago. Basile is now averaging 10 points per game for the season. Woods had the second-most points in the two games with 19.5 points per game. Terence Morris (206-F-79, college: Maryland) of Maccabi Elite is the playoffs top rebounder with 10.5 per game. Morris is now ahead of Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.) of Aris TT Bank for the best rebounding average by a fraction, though both are officially listed at 8.45 rebounds per game. Two opponents from the same series, Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) of CSKA and Lynn Greer (186-G-79, college: Temple) of Olympiacos top the playoffs assists charts with 5.5 per game. Papaloukas remains second in the season-long standings with 4.9, trailing Zalgiris's DeJuan Collins (188-G-76, college: Tuskegee) with 5.4 assists per game. Greer is ninth at 3.6. Montepaschi's Shaun Stonerook (203-F/C-77, college: Ohio), who had 8 steals in Game 1, averaged 5 per game to top the quarterfinal charts. He now has 2.6 steals per game for the season, which is second altogether trailing only teammate Terrel McIntyre by a fraction. Morris, with 2.5 blocks per game in the playoffs, is now the full season leader in that category as well with 1.9 per game.

Courtesy of Euroleague


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FINLAND

KORISLIIGA: YMCA LPR Head Coach Mika Turunen fired! -by Rauno Hurmalainen
Mika Turunen , 43, The Chairman and Head Coach of YMCA Lappeenranta has been fired today! The vice chairman Kari Melto informed this kind of
news to Mr Turunen and the media this afternoon. The new board will make a special financial inspection asap. There is certain kind of crisis of
confidence going on between the board and Mr Turunen. Turunen has been coaching YMCA LPR the last 19 seasons and has been involved with
the actions of the sport club for 33 years. The new Head Coach of YMCA LPR will be Jyri Lehtonen. Lehtonen is the Head Coach of Korihait
(Uusikaupunki) and rebuilding right now the new roster for Korihait. However this kind of 'loan' is possible in Finnish basketball for the rest of
this season. Team YMCA LPR has already made the semi-finals.


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GEORGIA

Interview with Rachel Dawn Hickman -by Levan Mikeladze
Eurobasket Georgia did an interview with Ms. Rachel Hickman (girlfriend of the most popular Georgian NCAA player Lasha Parghalava (190-G-87, college: Pensacola JC))...

Q. Please, shortly introduce yourself to us, in spite of the fact that there are a lot of stories on you and Lasha in our yellow pages.
A. Thank you for interest about me. My name is Rachel Dawn Hickman, I was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida in the United States of America.

Q. Where, how, and when did you meet Lasha?
A.Lasha and I meet at Pensacola Jr. College. He approached me numerous times between classes inviting me to his basketball games. I was really shy about talking to him at first, when i built up enough courage, i finally approched him asking for his number that day was November 17, 2007.

Q. Was he acting pretty shy in the first dates?
A. Lasha has never been shy around me, he is one of the strongest, out going people i have ever met in my life.

Q. Do you attend his games regularly? Please give me a scouting report on him?
A. I went to almost every home game after we started talking. One night they had an away game and my sister and I drove about an hour to cheer him on, that was one of the best games because my sister and I were the only fans in the stands from P.J.C. Lasha always shined on the court, he is unstoppable, he plays to win and you can tell he loves the sport of basketball from the expessions and the drive and motivation within himself.

Q. Are you worried that he might get LOST in Hawaii? (Oceanic Flight 815 out of Sydney)
A.Im not worried about Lasha getting lost, his heart will show him the right way to go, he is a very smart young man!

Q. Did you know that he is TOP 5 tango dancer in Tbilisi, Georgia?
A. I didn't know he was ranked top 5 in tango dancing back in his home town, he is a really good dancer. Lasha took me dancing for our first date, I will never forget that night he lit up the dance floor.
Q. If Georgian Basketball Federation makes a new rule: say girls have to pay for each Georgian player compensation fee. How much would you pay for Lasha?
A. About the compensation fee, he is on his own.


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GERMANY

Germans who played college-basketball in 2007-2008 -by Moritz Korff
Check out the stats of the Germans who played college-basketball during the 2007-2008 season:

Sergej Baskow (203-F/C-86) - Bemidji State (NCAA2): 25 games: 7.4ppg, 3.8rpg
Bjorn Bohley (206-F/C-84, college: Highland CC) - Savannah State (NCAA1): 21 games: 1.0ppg, 1.0rpg
Andy Buechert (206-C, college: Tallahasse CC) - Winthrop (NCAA1): 32 games: 3.0ppg, 3.5rpg
Mike Dejworek (211-C-87) - Belmont (NCAA1): 24 games: 1.6ppg
Cem Dinc (211-F-85, college: Marshalltown CC) - Harvard (NCAA1): 10 games: 1.4ppg, 1.1rpg
Martin Esters (196-F-88) - Ripon (NCAA3): 23 games: 7.2ppg, 3.4rpg
Vadim Fedotov (206-F/C-85) - Buffalo (NCAA1): 14 games: 5.9ppg, 4.6rpg
Richard Froehlich (205-F-86) - Citrus College (JUCO): 36 games: 6.9ppg, 4.4rpg
Wolfgang Gieler (206-C-86) - Allan Hancock College (JUCO): 30 games: 17.5ppg, 13.1rpg
Max Gotzler (201-F-84) - Boston University (NCAA1): 26 games: 2.5ppg, 2.1rpg
Sebastian Greene (203-F) - Fordham (NCAA1): 29 games: 8.5ppg, 5.5rpg
Maximilian Groebe (193-F-88) - Massachusetts (NCAA1): 19 games: 2.1ppg
Kai Haenig (205-C) - Missouri Valley (NAIA): 12 games: 1.6ppg
Rouven Haenig (198-F) - Missouri Valley (NAIA): 27 games: 8.0ppg, 6.6rpg
Tobias Jahn (206-F-86) - Cal Poly Pomona (NCAA2): 28 games: 2.3ppg, 2.0rpg
Dorian McDaniel (198-F-87) - Prairie View A&M (NCAA1): 29 games: 5.5ppg, 3.0rpg
Max Pink (195-F) - Convenant (NAIA): 17 games: 4.4ppg, 2.8rpg
Vincent Polakovic (203-F-84) - USF (NCAA1): 8 games: 15.1ppg, 4.1rpg
Ante Samodol (200-F/C-86) - Wiliston State (JUCO): 25 games: 6.2ppg, 3.3rpg
Christian Schmidt (203-F-83) - Buffalo (NCAA1): 4 games: 0.8ppg, 1.3rpg
Nick Schneiders (218-C-84) - USC Upstate (NCAA2): 30 games: 4.9ppg, 4.8rpg
Torben Seikowsky (186-G) - William Jessup (NAIA): 30 games: 10.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.3apg
Patrick Taubert (197-G-87) - Dawson CC (JUCO): 28 games: 11.7ppg, 3.8rpg
Lukas Varga (183-G-85) - Coker (NCAA2): 26 games: 8.1ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.8 apg
Ronny Weihmann (186-G) - Emmanuel (NAIA): 34 games: 4.7ppg, 1.4rpg
Viktor Wronowski (188-G) - Tenn. Temple (NAIA): 15 games: 0.7ppg
Jannik Zimmer (192-G-86) - St. Edward's (NCAA2): 29 games: 6.0ppg, 1.2rpg

Other Germans who played college-basketball in 2007-2008 (stats are not available):
Enrico Ahlendorf (200-C-88) - Missouri Valley (Junior Varsity Roster)
Alfred Dankwa (190-G/F-85) - Meridian CC (JUCO)
Hagen Hohlfeld (200-F) - Missouri Valley (Junior Varsity Roster)
Kristian Kuhn (208-C-87) - Trinity Valley (JUCO)
Sidiki Straub (205-F-86) - Cabrillo CC (JUCO)

Germans who played college-basketball in Canada during the 2007-2008 season:
Norbert Kanyo (202-F-88) - Grant MacEwan (CCAA): 22 games: 1.6ppg, 2.7rpg
Bjoern Munte (194-F) - Quest (BCCAA): stats n.a.
Patrick Unger (197-F-83) - Alberta (CIS): 20 games: 2.9ppg, 1.8rpg


*****************************************************
GUATEMALA

Sat-Cybertech and Leones de Marte debut in Liga Metro with wins -by Victor Padilla

In a strong demonstration of their current fitness as a team, Sat-Cybertech overpowered Zencas with a 109 to 63 win that clearly communicated its intention to reach the finals of Torneo de Apertura in Liga Metropolitana 2008. Pablo Cano (176-G-88) and Diego Berreondo (177-G-88) led the offensive for the winners with 21 pts and 15 points each, most of them produced from the 3-point line. On the second scheduled game of the evening, Leones de Marte also performed as expected with a comfortable 101-62 win over Millonarios.



Sat-Cybertech wins Game 2 and steals First Place of Group B from Icevic -by Victor Padilla
In a solid team performance at Tegucigalpa and after leading by 11 points since the 2nd Quarter of Game 2, Sat-Cybertech delivered an 86-68 victory over Icevic and ended Round 1 of Liga Centroamericana 2008 at the top position of Group B. The scorers for the winners, Henry Martinez (186-G/F-75, agency: Interperformances) 25, Thomas Gillespie 16, Oscar Rivera 14, Ricardo Amaya 11 and Victor Padilla 9, outran the locals with an effective game that exploted both the paint and the outside perimeter play, while holding scorers Pedro Salazar and James Parker from Icevic to 10 points each, well under their usual production and numbers. Coach Ernesto Rodriguez from Sat-Cybertech shared: -'This proves that we can do things well when we do our homework for this kind of games. Our goal is to reach the final stage of this competition, with confidence in the quality of players and the gameplay that we have'. With this win, Sat-Cybertech shows a strong candidate to represent Group B in the Final Four of this League, which is presumed to take place in Cancun, Mexico, later this year.

Favorite teams Elite Sport and Sat-Cybertech add wins at Liga Metro 2008 -by Victor Padilla
In a comfortable 114-76 win over Creaciones RL, Elite Sport added a second victory in their road to what may be a retake of the championship obtained last year for Torneo de Apertura. The top scorers for Elite Sport were Hector Vandeveire with 25 pts, Juan Jose Rosales 21 and Alejandro Carrillo 18, while for the losing side Jaime Hercules led his team with 16 points. On the other hand, Sat-Cybertech encountered a fierce resistance with Compusys in a game that was not defined until the last seconds with a spectacular 3-point shot made by Diego Berreondo (177-G-88) and an under-the-board shot made by Thomas Gillespie (204-F/C-74, college: Regis). The final score of 77 to 76 demonstrated that all teams in Liga Metro will fight every inch at the court during the present tournament. Top scorers for Sat-Cybertech were Diego Berreondo 18 and Victor Padilla 14, and for Compusys, veteran player Rudy Rosales led his team with 18 points.

Icevic wins at home over Sat-Cybertech in Game 1 of their series -by Victor Padilla
With a missed 3-point shot attempt from Joaquin Ortiz (180-G-78) when only 4 seconds were remaining in the game, Sat-Cybertech failed to seal a 18-pts deficit comeback that could have given Icevic a sure headache in their opening game at home for Liga Centroamericana 2008, in a 67-64 game that favoured the Honduran team at the end but could have ended the other way around. In the last minute of the game. Veteran players Pedro Salazar (204-C-72) and Jose Lopez (-73) of Icevic made key baskets in a 5-0 run that erased the 2-point advantage that the visiting team had secured with good defense and fast-break transition over the now leaders of Group B. Both teams face themselves again for Game 2 tonight.

Liga Metro releases calendar for the coming games of Torneo de Apertura -by Victor Padilla

After 5 dates, Liga Metro updated its calendar for Torneo de Apertura 2008, to be played at two venues during the month of April (Gimnasio Teodoro Palacios Flores and Parque La Democracia).

Thursday, April 3
19:00 (F) SAGRADO CORAZON vs. DE LA PENA SAGRADO
20:30 (M) ESTUDIANTES vs. U.R.L.

Saturday, April 5
20:00 (M) ELITE SPORT B.C. vs. LEMANS

Sunday, April 6
10:00 (F) GELATINAS CASTILLA vs. U.R.L.
11:30 (M) LEONES DE MARTE vs. ZENCA
13:00 (M) CORPOEVISA vs. CREACIONES R.L.
14:30 (M) MILLONARIOS vs. COMPUSYS

Tuesday, April 8
19:00 (F) DE LA PENA SAGRADO vs. MYSTICS
20:30 (M) SAT-CYBERTECH vs. U.R.L.

Thursday, April 10
19:00 (F) U.R.L. vs. SAGRADO CORAZON
20:30 (M) U.S.A.C. vs. CREACIONES R.L.

Sunday, April 13
10:00 (F) U.S.A.C. vs. MYSTICS
11:30 (M) U.S.A.C. vs. LEMANS
13:00 (M) MILLONARIOS vs. U.R.L.
14:30 (M) ESTUDIANTES vs. ELITE SPORT B.C.

* Favorite teams in black




Guatemala is candidate to host the Final Four Round of Liga Centroamericana -by Victor Padilla
Fibaamericas (www.fibaamericas.com) has invited Liga Premier 2007 Champions, SAT-Cybertech, and the National Basketball Federation of Guatemala to host the Final Four Round of Liga Centroamericana de Clubes 2008, scheduled tentatively for the end of April. Although the Second Round of the classification phase is still under way, having Sat-Cybertech at the top of Group B of the tournament has ignited the process to evaluate the feasibility of this event, which will include an International Satellite TV Broadcast under FIBA requirements for the six final games of the competition. -'It will be very interesting to organize this event in Guatemala, as our people would have the chance to see at home a high level of professional basketball, because the leading teams in the competition are including former NBA players in their rosters', meditated Mr. Everardo Berreondo, owner of SAT-Cybertech. Preliminary talks have concluded that Gimnasio Nacional Teodoro Palacios Flores, with a 5000 seats capacity, would be used as the main venue for the event, and discussions are under way with TV stations and sponsors to define key details for the project. 1st and 2nd places of the Final Four of Liga Centroamericana will capture two spots to participate in the Second Edition of Liga de las Americas, a tournament that is also organized by Fibaamericas and is scheduled for later this year.

SAT-Cybertech geared up for Liga Metropolitana 2008 -by Victor Padilla
Sat-Cybertech early started its preparation for the 2008 Liga Metropolitana season, which launches March 25th at Gimnasio Nacional Teodoro Palacios Flores. With the added motivation of playing in the First Edition of Liga Centroamericana, and a renovated roster that now includes Enrique Samayoa (193-F-82), Ricardo Amaya (191-G-84, agency: Tank Sports) and Gerson Duarte (202-C-83), the Liga Premier 2007 Champions seek this year to capture nothing less than the first places in both official competitions of Liga Metro. -'It was time for Guatemala to have a reference, all star team that could really make a difference in how our Basketball is perceived by our fans and sponsors', veteran player Victor Padilla (196-G/F-70) meditated while working out in court with the rest of players. -'We want a disciplined, organized team and club', shared Otto Larios , Head Coach, 'so we can seize the new opportunities that are opening up internationally for those who love this game. And we want our people to come back to our sport venues to see their team competing successfully in our region'. Sat-Cybertech opens up this year's tournament against Zenca, a squad that has not presented any modification to their roster since 2007.

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

FEB Results: West-Brabant Giants Top Matrixx Magixx In OT; Rotterdam Challengers Cruise To Win Over Den Helder Seals -by Sanders Jackson


Thursday night in FEB action, both West-Brabant Giants and Rotterdam Challengers came up with big wins to help themselves in the FEB playoff race, with West-Brabant Giants winning an 108-100 overtime thriller over Matrixx Magixx, and the Rotterdammers having no problem vs. Den Heler Seals and cruising to an 86-64 blowout win.

In the Horstacker, the guests took a 69-60 lead heading into the 4th quarter, but Matrixx's three-point shots began falling in crunch time, forcing the game into overtime, in which the Giants gained the advantage and seizing the win. Five West-Brabant Giants players scored in double figures, with
Andre Harris (203-F-85, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: Fairleigh Dickinson) leading with 23 pts. Arvin Slagter (190-G-85) added 19 pts., and Devonne Giles (203-F-83, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: Texas Tech) added a double-double of 18 pts. and 13 rebounds. Alhaji Mohammed (192-G-81, agency: Beo Basket, college: Louisville) led Matrixx with 23 pts. West-Brabant Giants had 29 assists on 40 total baskets. Poor free throw shooting really hurt Matrixx, with Mohammed making only 4 of 11 total. With the win, West-Brabant Giants assure themselves of at least 2nd place in the FEB standings.


In the Topsportcentrum, Rotterdam Challengers jumped out to big leads of 46-27 at the half, and 65-42 at the end of the 3rd quarter, taking over 5th place ahead of Hanzevast Capitals. Sullivan Sykes (193-G/F-81, college: St.Joseph, IN) was unstoppable, scoring a game-high 31 pts. with 10 rebounds. The Rotterdammers shot 67.5% FG and forced 25 turnovers. It was Rotterdam's 3rd straight win.



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

Hungarian Cup, Day one -by Tamas Deri
In the first semifinal the team ASE played against Kormend. The team was tied after 30 minutes, but with a very good last quarter ASE decided it.
Kormend had a 10-0 run in the first four minutes, buti in the second part of the first quarter Gulyas started to score as well and his team got closer. In the second quarter they were already up by 7 (34-27), but than Komend could tie the halftime (40-40).
In the third quarter happened not normal things on the courts. In the 25th minute Marton Fodor got a technical and fouled out. Coach Dragoljub did not agree with this decision and got in a conflict with the referees too, so he got a technical even. That was the point when the fans of Kormend could not focus on the game anymore, the game got broken up for 15 minutes.
ASE started better the last quarter and with this great start they decided the game and got into the Final of the Cup, which will be played today at 3:15pm in the Arena Savaria in Szombathely.

ATOMERŐMŰ SE-POLAROID-LAMI-VED KÖRMEND 91-75
(21-21, 19-19, 26-23, 25-12)
Szombathely, Att.: 1500, Referees: Papp, Cziffra, Adam
Paks: Meszaros 7, Cedric Brooks (185-G-80, agency: Rasmussen Services, college: Pittsburg St.) 22/6, Toroman 7/3, Horvath Z. 11/3, Robert Gulyas (213-C-74) 28, Stevenson 2, Nile Murry (193-G-83, college: TCU) 14/6, Csaplar-Nagy E., Panta, Kiss Zs., Coach: Sabali Balazs
Kormend: Thomas 11, Gergely Fodor (193-G-77, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents) 16/12, Ferencz 10/6, Peter Vavra (203-F/C-80) 22/9, Ocitti 6/3, Henderson 4, Fodor M., Trummer 2, Toth G. 2, McCants 2, Coach: Dragoljub Krivacevic


Falco ruled the game from the beginning, the first points were made by the team captain Laszlo Kalman. Falco has not ever win the Hungarian Cup yet, the pressure on the players was well to see.
The home team lead by 9 points after ten minutes, Albacomp missed Zoltan Bencze a lot, who could not play because of his sickness.
The second half started with a great run of the guests, who tied the game in the 24th minunte. Albacomp could make a lot of fastbreaks and finished with those with easy layups.
In the last quarter the guest got really tired, on the other side Bam Doyne found his rhythm and made nice baskets.
Today Falco will play against ASE in the final of the Hungarian Cup.

FALCO-SZOVA KC-SZOMBATHELY-ALBACOMP 83-70
(20-11, 19-20, 27-21, 17-18)
Szombathely, Att.: 2000, Referees: Vigh, Benczur, Hegedűs
SZOMBATHELY: Laszlo Kalman (186-G-72, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 22/6, Bam Doyne (193-G-84, college: Mississippi) 25/9, Edwin Draughan (196-G/F-82, college: Yale) 13/3, Kazlauskas 9/3, Nikola Aliakseyeu (212-C-78, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents, college: Buffalo) 11, Varadi 3/3, Feigl, Borszeki, Will, Pankar, Coach: Srecko Sekulovic
ALBACOMP: Simon B. 6, Cory Bradford (191-G-78, agency: Edge Sports, college: Illinois) 24/12, Radovic 6/3, Chad McClendon (199-F-73, college: Appalachian St.) 21, Boozer 5, David 6, Soos, Antal 2, Coach: Peresztegi-Nagy Akos


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

Chill to open training camp with two events -by Trask Frost
Edmonton, Alberta - The Edmonton Chill will open their first ever training camp on Wednesday April 9th at several locations throughout the city. The camp will run through Sunday April 13th and be highlighted by two big events.

On Friday April 11th the Chill will play an exhibition game against the Alberta All-Stars. The game will be held at Grant MacEwan's Center for Sport and Wellness, the Chill's home court, and will begin at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $5 and available at the door, or at the Chill office starting next week.

On Sunday, April 13, the team will hold an open house from 5-8pm, also at the Grant MacEwan gym. Fans are invited to come and purchase tickets for the upcoming season and will be able to see exactly where they will sit and their view as the team finishes training camp with a full team workout that will open to the public. The Edmonton Chill Dance Team will also be holding practice that evening in the gym.

The Chill kick off the season on Saturday, April 26 with a home game against the Bellingham Slam. For ticket information, or general team questions, please contact Assistant GM Nick Padow at nick@edmontonchill.com or (780) 438-7283.


*****************************************************
IRAN

Schedule for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men -by Houman Bagheri
GENEVA, Switzerland/4th April 2008 - FIBA and the Hellenic Basketball Federation are happy to announce the competition schedule for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men that will be played in Athens (Greece), in the 18.000 OAKA Sports Arena, located in Maroussi, from 14th to 20th July 2008.

The following nine teams have already booked their tickets for the Olympic Basketball Tournament for Men that will take place in Beijing, China, from 10th to 24th August 2008: China (host), Spain (World Champion), Angola (African Champion), USA (Champion of the Americas), Argentina (Americas runner-up), Iran (Asian Champion), Russia (European Champion), Lithuania (European Bronze medallist) and Australia (Oceanian Champion)

The remaining three men's berths for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be decided in this 12-team FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament that will feature the following participants: Cameroon and Cape Verde (Africa), Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada (Americas), Lebanon and Korea (Asia), Greece, Germany, Croatia and Slovenia (Europe) and New Zealand (Oceania).

Listed below are the composition of the four groups, as well as the complete tournament schedule. Please note that all tip-off hours are local time in Athens, Greece.

1. Composition of groups:
Group A: Brazil, Greece and Lebanon
Group B: Cape Verde, Germany and New Zealand
Group C: Canada, Korea and Slovenia
Group D: Cameroon, Croatia and Puerto Rico

2. Preliminary Round:
14th July 2008:
13:00 hours: New Zealand vs. Cape Verde
15:30 hours: Korea vs. Slovenia
19:30 hours: Croatia vs. Cameroon
22:00 hours: Greece vs. Lebanon

15th July 2008:
13:00 hours: Slovenia vs. Canada
15:30 hours: Cape Verde vs. Germany
19:30 hours: Cameroon vs. Puerto Rico
22:00 hours: Lebanon vs. Brazil

16th July 2008:
13:00 hours: Canada vs. Korea
15:30 hours: Puerto Rico vs. Croatia
19:30 hours: Germany vs. New Zealand
22:00 hours: Brazil vs. Greece

The teams placed 1st and 2nd in each group will advance to the Quarter-Finals; the teams placed 3rd in each group will be eliminated and may return home.
17th July 2008: Rest Day

3. Quarter-Finals:
18th July 2008:
Game 13: A1 vs. B2
Game 14: B1 vs. A2
Game 15: C1 vs. D2
Game 16: D1 vs. C2

The games of the Quarter-Finals will be played at 13:00 hours, 15:30 hours, 19:30 hours and 22:00 hours. The order of games will be confirmed after the end of the Preliminary Round.

4. Semi-Finals:
19th July 2008:
Game 17: Winner 13 vs. Winner 15
Game 18: Winner 14 vs. Winner 16

The Semi-Final games will be played at 19:00 hours and 21:30 hours. The order of games will be confirmed after the end of the Quarter-Finals.

The two winners of the Semi-Finals will qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The two losers will play the game for the 3rd place (Game 19 below) for one remaining Olympic spot.


5. Finals:
20th July 2008:
Game 19 (20:00 hours): Loser 17 vs. Loser 18
The winner will qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.


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

Last transactions -by Gianni Pascucci
Air Avellino added to the roster Marcus Campbell (214-C-82, college: Mississippi St.), from Anaheim Arsenal (D-League) and young Greek Evangelos Sakellariou (199-F-89, agency: FCM). This last played inked a three year contract. Benetton Treviso inked Bosnian veteran Haris Mujezinovic (205-F-74, agency: Beo Basket, college: Indiana), who will replace Angelo Gigli (209-F/C-83), out till teh end of teh season for an injury at his right hand.

Lega2-26th Day -by Gabriele Fioretti
Ferrara goes to serie A winning at Imola (Tim Pickett (193-G/F-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida St.) at 23 scored) with six players in double figures. Caserta (Randolph Childress (190-G-72, college: Wake Forest) at 17 pts) lost at Pistoia (Janis Porzingis (201-F-82, agency: Stanley International) 16 pts), the team coached by Giorgio Valli got the ticket to play in Serie A next season. 31 pts by Alvin Young (191-F-75, agency: SportsTalent, college: Niagara) led Reggio Emilia to success at Fabriano (Luis Flores (188-G-81, college: Manhattan) 23 pts). It was an easy victory for Soresina (J.R. Reynolds (188-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Virginia) at 29, with 7 on 9 by 3pt) In Livorno (Marco Giuri (192-G-88) ended his season with an injury at the ankle). 27 by Guido Meini (188-G-79) weren't enough for Veroli lost at home against Pavia (BJ McKie (188-G-77, college: S.Carolina) at 32 pts). The great defense of Rimini allowed only 59 pts to the Jesi offense and got the victory. Six players went in double figures for Sassari to defeat Montecatini (Shawnta Rogers (162-G-76, college: Otis George (205-C-81, agency: Beo Basket, college: Louisville) Washington) at 20 pts). Without Otis George (injury at his back in the previous game) Casale defeated Novara (Brandon Bowman (204-F-84, college: Georgetown) 23+11) that is closer and closer to relegation in serie B1.
Indesit Fab-Trenkwalder RE 79-87
Vanoli Soresina-TDShop.it LI 99-67
Prima Veroli-Edimes PV 79-93
Coopsette RN-Fileni Jesi 83-59
Carmatic PT-Pepsi Caserta 77-69
BancoSardegna-Agr.Glo.Mont. 105-84
Fastweb Casale-Ignis Novara 84-77
Aget Imola-Carife FE 77-84
See complete boxscores at www.legaduebasket.it


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


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

Round 1 of Excellent League's Finals -by Mohammed Malas

* First place Game 1 - Friday 4th of April:

Zain 96 - Orthodox 89
Stats will be posted soon...


* Third place Game 1 - Friday 4th of April:

Arena Amman 117 - Al Riyadi/Aramex Amman 108 (Qs: 25-22, 58-50, 85-78 & 117-108)

# Best performance:
- Arena Amman:
Mark Strickland (208-F/C-70, college: Temple) (43 pts, 13 reb!!)
Zeid Abbas (203-C-83) (26 pts, 9 reb)
Josh Cooperwood (193-G-80, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Tennessee St.) (20 pts, 8 ast)
- Al Riyadi/Aramex Amman:
Rob Anderson (196-G/F-79, college: George Mason) (32 pts, 9 reb)
Wesam Sous (181-G-83) (22 pts, 6 ast)
Hussam Lutfi (198-F/C-73) (20 pts, 11 reb)



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

Almaty will participate in Asian Championship -by Eurobasket News
The Asian basketball championship is supposed to take place on May, 9-16 in Kuwait. Kazahstan will be represented by today's leading playing-off team of the National League - Almaty.The director of the basketball team stated above, Sergey Shmakov was interviewed and asked some FAQs. In his opinion, all the champions from different countries have to be the participants of the Asian club championship. He was surprised by the unexcused refusal to participate of the present-day Kazahstan champion Astana Tigers. That's, actually, how Almaty got a chance to play this time. Right after Astana Tigers' refusal became public, the team received a letter from the basketball Federation with a suggestion to participate. The opponents of the Kazahstan club are to be defined by the draw. The last one is to be held in April in the capital of Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, the final fifth part of a National League competition among the male teams is taking place as well. It was dated for April, 4 - 9 in Kostanai. On the first day two matches are scheduled. Astana Tigers are intended to take a revenge for their 4th part of the competition - which means to beat TSM. And the championship outsiders Barsy Atyrau will be playing with the leaders from Almata. The main match is scheduled for April, 9. It's also possible that the final's rehearsal will take place at the same time. As soon as the final is done, the half-final games will start. Kustanai still remains the battle place.


*****************************************************
KOSOVO

Weekend schedule for 05/06.04.2008 -by Edona Shabani

MABETEX SUPERLEAGUE A WEEK -VIII-

KOSOVA - TREPCA , Sunday at 19,00
Referees: Agim Halili, Xhelal Mumini, Isa Prebreza
Monitors: Muhamet Ahma

SIGAL PRISHTINA - PEJA, Saturday at 19,00
Referees: Hajredin Zeka, Faton Kurshumliu, Daut Mehmeti
Monitors: Agim Visoka


MABETEX SUPER LEAGUE B

WEEK -V-

BASHKIMI - SHB'12' Sunday at 18,00
Referees: Faton Kurshumliu, Daut Mehmeti, Xhavit Beqiri
Monitors: Bajrush Ademi

KASTRIOTI - RC COLA DRITA, Saturday at 18,00
Referees: Arbnor Rifati, Alban Vula, Fisnik Ramadani
Monitors: Tajar Rifati

FIRST LEAGUE

WEEK -VII-

EUROSPORTI - FUSHË KOSOVA Sunday at 11,00
Referees: Mehdi Gashi, Atdhe Gocaj
Monitors: Alban Lumi

VERTIKALI - LLAPI, Sunday at 20,00
Referees: Mehdi Gashi, Fitim Gashi
Monitors: Remzi Ramadani

MALISHEVA rests

JUNIOR'S LEAGUE A

WEEK IX

PEJA- ISTOGU, Saturday at 10,00
Referees: Dren Pudarolli, Drin Veselaj
Monitors: Bekim Agusholli

JUNIOR'S LEAGUE B

WEEK XIII

SIGAL PRISHTINA - KOSOVA, Saturday at 10,30
Referees: Fitim Gashi, Glauk Qollaku
Monitors: Alban Lumi

PRISHTINA PROBASKET - VERTIKALI,Saturday at 16,00
Referees: Burim Berisha, Bashkim Berbatovci
Monitors: Hasim Jashanica

TREPCA - RC COLA DRITA,Sunday at 13,30
Referees: Ilhan Xhaka, Albert Verbiqi
Monitors: Bajrush Ademi

CADET'S LEAGUE A

WEEK XIII

RC COLA DRITA - KALAJA, Sunday at 13,00
Referees: Burim Berisha, Bashkim Berbatovci
Monitors: Nuri Selman

YLLI - TUSHI&GRUDA, Sunday at 16,00
Referees: Hysen Hasani, Hazir Haxha
Monitors: Fatmir Berisha

PEJA AG - BASHKIMI,Saturday at 12,00
Referees: Labinot Belegu, Egzon Gashi
Monitors: Mahir Spahija

Rest: 'ABS VËLLAZNIMI'

CADET'S LEAGUE B

WEEK XIII-

VUSHTRIA BASKET - EUROBASKET, Saturday at 11,00
Referees: Zaim Zenuni, Ardian Rrustemi
Monitors: Muhamet Munishi

PRISHTINA PROBASKET - MITROVICA, Sunday at 16,00
Referees: Fisnik Ramadani,Atdhe Gocaj
Monitors: Sejdi Mehmeti

TREPCA - BONUSI, Saturday at 10,00
Referees: Ilhan Xhaka, Burim Beqiri
Monitors: Mehmet Xhemaili

SIGAL PRISHTINA - VERTIKALI, Saturday at 09,00
Referees: Glauk Qollaku, Flamur Ajeti
Monitors: Alban Lumi

PIONEER'S LEAGUE STOBI FLIPS A

WEEK XIII

RC COLA DRITA - PEJA AG, Sunday at 12,00
Referees: Burim Berisha, Bashkim Berbatovci
Monitors: Nuri Selmani

KALAJA - YLLI, Saturday at
11,00
Referees: Urim Hasani, Kushtrim Cocaj
Monitors: Tafil Hoxha

ABS VËLLAZNIMI - BASHKIMI, Saturday at 10,00
Referees: Vellaznim Rraci, Amir Mamusha
Monitors: Burim Koshi

NBA 23 - SHB '12',Sunday at 13,00
Referees: Labinot Belegu, Nol Spahija
Monitors: Gazmend Pupovci

PIONEER'S LEAGUE STOBI FLIPS B

WEEK XIII-

EUROBASKET - VERTIKALI, Sunday at 09,00
Referees: Flamur Ajeti, Kushtrim Gashi
Monitors: Hasim Jashanica

BONUSI - PRISHTINA PROBASKET, Sunday at 12,30
Referees: Atdhe Gocaj, Kushtrim Gashi
Monitors: Remzi Ramadani

TREPCA - VUSHTRIA BASKET,Saturday at 11,30
Referees: Armend Sejdiu, Burim Beqiri
Monitors: Mehmet Xhemaili

Rests: 'MEGABASKET'

source: www.basketbolli.com



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

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


LBL standings
LBL Standings
Division I
1. BK Ventsp. 12-2
2. Valmiera 12-8
3. Barons/LMT 11-2
4. VEF Riga 10-9
5. Liep.Lauvas 10-10
6. ASK Riga 9-3
7. Bum./ASK 3-18
8. Keizarmezs 2-17
Division II
1. Zemgale 27-5
2. Ventspils au. 25-7
3. RNS-D/Livani 20-12
4. ASK/Juniors 20-12
5. Jurmala 14-18
6. LU/Ridzene 13-19
7. Roja 12-20
8. Saldus 7-25
9. Cesis/Remarks 6-26


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

Market News -by Mohammed Malas
- Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut club head coach Nenad Krdzic confirmed to Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut fans forum that the Sierra Leonean player Alpha Bangura (197-F/G-80, college: St.John's) will join the team for Arab Clubs Championship which will be held in Amman, Jordan from 23th of April until the 6th of May.

Bangura has just finished from playing in Japan with the 2008 Superleague Champions Aishin Sea Horses, He has experience in playing in Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Spain, Adding to some leagues in the USA....

- Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut fans are waiting for the arrival of the american forward Ace Custis (202-F-74, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: Virginia Tech) to Beirut tomorrow to play with the lebanese champions in Arab and Asian clubs championships, Tony Madison (190-G-71, agency: China-Hoop, college: New Orleans) will arrive later this month to have the chance to be with his old team in ACC....

Custis is already a well known guy in the middle east as he played with two of the most popular teams in this area (Al Riyadi and Syrians Al Jalaa Aleppo), Ace's career is full of country he played in such as Japan, Philippines and NBA in the USA...


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

Standings - LKL
LKL Standings
1. Lietuvos 17-0
2. Zalgiris 15-2
3. Siauliai 12-6
4. Alita 11-7
5. Neptunas 7-11
6. Nevezis 7-11
7. Sakalai 6-12
8. Atletas 5-13
9. Panevezys 5-13
10. Suduva 4-14


*****************************************************
MALAWI

TESSAM HAS SELECTED CUCSA REPRESENTATIVES -by Blena Chisenga
Tertiary Students Sports Association of Malawi (TESSAM) has finaly come up with a final squad which will represent
Malawi in CUCSA Zone VI games which will be hosted by Malawi in July.

The exercise took place at Chancellor College in Zomba where 300 students from different colleges attended. These students
were selected during the identification exercise which took place in October last year.

According to Bob Kandulu (coach), he said that their aim is to equip the final squad with skills before the CUCSA games.
He further said that to accomplish their aim, they will be camping with the final squad frequently and exposing them to international
friendly games. The selected squad is expected to go back into camp on 20 april 2008.

The following are the countries likely to participate in CUCSA games: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South africa, Swaziland, Zambia
and Zimbabwe.


*****************************************************
MEXICO

Minor Leagues in Mexico. -by Charles Elwes

We have seen the boost of Mexican basketball this past years
all ready with the LNBP cosidered one of the top leagues in
latin america. And increasing attendence in the several arenas in
the LNBP, more tv games seen on cable or satelite tv.
Players like Omar Quintero, Victor Avila, Rommel Beck, Jamario Moon, etc
have made there jump to more important leagues or come back to play in the summer to the LNBP and
in off season they make there way to other countries to play.
Well we have considered the LNBP Mexico's first division in pro basketball
but there several leagues around the country that are considered the
minor leagues of basketball in Mexico
Like CIBACOPA a league who has 10 teams and its played in the pacific coast of Mexico. In the CIBACOPA
the cities that have team are Cd Obregon, Cananea, Agua Prieta, Navojoa,Guaymas and Nogales all of theme in the state of Sonora
Culiacan, Los Mochis, Guasave and Mazatlan in the state of Sinaloa. These two states have CIBACOPA action in the course of the
off season of the LNBP.
Another league is the LBS ( Liga de Baloncesto del Sur este) its played in the the south of Mexico
and last year had 6 teams and these year it seems there will be more additions to the LBS.
The LICOMUBA and LIMEBA leagues that are played in the state of Chihuahua the richest basketball state in the
country , where Chihuahua native
Eduardo Najera (202-F-76, college: Oklahoma) it's now playing in the NBA.

Well talking about the two leagues, the LICOMUBA( Liga de Comites Municipales de Baloncesto) has these years 8 teams, and its now in Playoff action.

Having Choriceros Camargo and Faraones Nuevo Casas Grandes there most improtant teams.

And just to start the season these April 4 of 2008 its the LIMEBA (Liga Mayor Estatal de Baloncesto) the other Professional league in the state having 8 more teams

Gallos De Pelea CD.Juarez, Soles Ojinaga and Pioneros Delicias,are the candidates these season to the Championship.

These two leagues from the state of Chihuahua have good quality players in the league and add another chance for imports, top mexican players and young players to show there talent in these leagues.

And finally a brand new league in the the occidental part of Mexico, called LIMEBA (Liga Mexicana de Baloncesto de Occidente)

wich its a new minor league in the country. Teams like Estribadores Manzanillo, Tiburones Lazaro Cardenas, Tarascos Morelia, Puerto Vallarta and

some four more are in these semi professional league.


All of these leagues in Mexico we are talking in the LNBP 24 teams, CIBACOPA 10 teams, LICOMUBA and LIMEBA 8 each one, LBS 6 and

more to comfirm these year and LIMEBA Occidental having brand new teams. These equals more local talent having more opportunities to play pro basketball

and grow Mexican basketball each year.



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

Brand played his first game this season -by Eurobasket News
Three games of the regular season were played last night in NBA. They will give way to eleven more that are scheduled for tonight.
Chicago Bulls overcame Cleveland Cavaliers 101:98. Larry Hughes (6'5''-G-79, college: St.Louis) led the winners with 25 points, whilst Ben Gordon nailed 24. James top-scored in the losing effort with 33 points.The Bulls overcame a 17-point deficit in the second half and snapped a six-game road losing streak.
Sacramento stole a victory from Los Angeles Clippers 98:110 as Francisco Garcia scored 17 points and Mikki Moore (6'11''-C-75, agency: Priority Sports, college: Nebraska) added 16 for the Kings. Corey Maggette (6'6''-G-79, college: Duke) nailed 28 points for the losing team.Elton Elton Brand (6'8''-F-79, college: Duke) who missed the entire season played 27 minutes off the bench. Elton Brand played his first game this season and scored 19 points and grabbed five rebounds.
McGrady posted 35 points for Houston over Portland Trail Blazers 95:86.The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Houston. Brooks produced 12 points for Houston and Bobby Jackson, Dikembe Mutombo (7'2''-C-66, college: Georgetown) and Luther Head each had 11. LaMarcus Aldridge (6'11''-C-85, college: Texas) nailed 23 points and Jarrett Jack scored 19 for the Blazers.


Standings
NBA Standings
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Div.
1. Boston C. 60-15
2. Philadelphia 39-37
3. Toronto R. 38-38
4. New Jersey N. 31-45
5. New York K. 20-56
Central Div.
1. Detroit P. 54-21
2. Cleveland C. 42-34
3. Indiana P. 32-44
4. Chicago B. 30-45
5. Milwaukee B. 26-49
Southeast Div.
1. Orlando M. 47-28
2. Washington W. 39-37
3. Atlanta H. 35-41
4. Charlotte B. 29-47
5. Miami H. 13-63
Western Conference
Northwest Div.
1. Utah J. 51-26
2. Denver N. 46-29
3. Portland T.B. 38-38
4. Minnesota T. 19-56
5. Seattle S. 17-59
Pacific Div.
1. Los Angeles L. 52-24
2. Phoenix S. 51-25
3. Golden St. 46-30
4. Sacramento K. 35-40
5. Los Angeles C. 23-53
Southwest Div.
1. N.Orleans H. 53-22
2. San Antonio S. 52-24
3. Houston R. 51-25
4. Dallas M. 47-29
5. Memphis G. 20-56


*****************************************************
NCAA1

Kansas Breakout Room Quotes -by Eurobasket

Darnell Jackson (6'8''-F-85), Senior, Forward

Q. Coach Self admitted he was relieved for you guys after winning Sunday. How relieved were you for him?
It was very relaxing after the Davidson game for Coach Self because he has wanted to get here for so long. Now that he is here, I don‘t think the relief is up yet because we have such a big challenge ahead of us. North Carolina is a great team. As long as we stay focused and keep doing what we‘ve been doing and play at the level that we know we can play at, we can be a great team come Saturday.

Q. What impresses you about North Carolina?
They like to get out in transition and score real early. It‘s like they score in transition all the time. They throw the ball down to Hansbrough a lot and even if he‘s double teamed, he throws the ball up somehow and gets guys in foul trouble so he can get points. Our biggest job as bigs is to try and contain him down low. We know he‘s going to score because he‘s a great offensive scorer. We just have to do a great job on him and make him earn his points.

Q. Do you have any special memories of the Final Four from when you were growing up?
Not really. I was playing football when I was growing up. I hated basketball because there wasn‘t enough contact for me. I was a contact guy. I didn‘t start liking basketball until I was a freshman. Once I got used to playing and started catching the elbows and falling to the ground, I started to love the game. I‘d say my first memory came my freshman year when I first got here. Watching Wayne Simien and Keith Langford and all those guys make it when they first got here. I started to think we may make it one day and now we‘re here.

Q. Both teams have tremendous rebound margins. Is it safe to say that will be a big part of Saturday's game?
I think it‘s going to be a big key for the bigs and the guards. If you look at North Carolina, all their guards hit the glass except Lawson and he‘s always getting back on defense. They all have big size. I think (Danny) Green is 6-5 or 6-6 and he has a great body. He has good height and can hurt our guards down low, so we have to do a good job of blocking out.

Q. How much does this weekend mean to Brandon Rush?
It means a lot. Brandon has been showing a lot of emotion the last couple days. I've never known Brandon to do that, but one day he snapped at practice on a couple of guys. It shocked me because he's one of the guys who's always calm and collected. He wants it. He wants it more than everybody. He wants the same thing Coach Self wants and he wants the same thing that the fans want, so we‘ll follow. He‘s going to lead this team to a victory as long as he plays well and we follow. When he‘s out there just making plays and getting other guys involved, he brings a lot of confidence out of us.

Q. How much are you looking forward to the challenge of playing against Tyler Hansbrough?
It's a big challenge because he's such a great player. You can't really do anything about keeping him from scoring because he is a big part of North Carolina's offense. He does so much for his team — rebounding, taking charges, getting steals and extra possessions — so our bigs have to make sure they keep up with his momentum and energy that he brings to the court. You just have to play principles. You have to know what he likes to do on the court and play him. I think all our bigs are looking forward to the challenge. He‘s a great player.

Q. How do you keep from getting into foul trouble? Is it something you're specifically are keying in on?
We really haven't talked about foul trouble at all. All the guys on the team know their roles. We just need to play with our heads and feet and not our hands. When guys shoot the ball, we need to contest, block out and rebound.

Q. Can you talk about the progression of Darrell Arthur the last two years, both on and off the court?
When Darrell first got here, I don't think that guy wanted to anything. He never wanted to leave his room, he always wanted to sleep. He's come a long way. He's become a go-to guy for us. He's helped me out a lot, even my confidence. There's a lot of things I sit there and watch him do on the court and it makes me want to become a better player.

Sasha Kaun (6'11''-C-85), Senior, Center


On Tyler Hansbrough

We've watched a lot of tape. How good a player he is, how hard he works. We just have to match his energy out because he never takes a possession off. He always goes after balls, he shoots and go gets it. We have to keep that in mind and try not to get in foul trouble. 'He's a really good player, he knows how to get his shot up using his body and as a kind of blocking you off. He's definitely going to score some points. You just have to match his energy up and try to eliminate some easy points that he always gets, like dunks off offensive rebounds. Try to always box him out and put a body on him and kind of wear him down that way. 'I don't think we should focus on taking him out of the game. We will focus on containing him and limiting him. He has a way of keeping himself in the game. He's a phenomenal worker, we need to put a body on him.

On whether it's possible to 'wear down' Hansbrough
We just have to try our hardest. We have four big guys we can throw at him and kind of try to rotate and cut our minutes down and try to go harder than we've been and substitute a lot more and hopefully that will help us a little bit.

On his energy level last weekend in Detroit
There is a sense of urgency of knowing any of these games could be your last game of the career. Not wanting to lose and end the career. Trying to fight for it for the last battle.

Is this it? Is this the reason you came to Kansas?
Oh definitely. There are so many great schools out there but so little schools that make it this far and definitely Kansas as my choice would be one of the reasons I would want to come here.

On being prepared for the Final Four atmosphere
The past couple of weeks, the last four weeks and the Big 12 Tournament have prepared us. The Texas game was a big game. Those have prepared us to be in this position.

Russell Robinson (6'1''-G-86), Senior, Guard

On playing an up-tempo style and defending North Carolina's guards
I see it as us playing our game. There's going to be some defense played, and hopefully we're the ones playing it. We need to pressure and think about our coverage zone and play the way we've played all year. They've got some good guys, and we've got some good guys. We've just got to go out there and play a defensive minded game, and good things will happen.

On North Carolina
They're excellent. They get scoring from a lot of different places and have an inside-outside game. They're a real tough challenge. We've been watching them all year and waiting for this moment to play against the best of the best. It's going to take us coming out and playing with a lot of energy, running with them and playing really hard.

On Roy Williams coaching against his former team
He did give Kansas a good 15 years, so I hope fans appreciate that. Everyone has decisions to make in life, and Coach Williams made one that was in his best interests. The main thing I see in his teams is that they always run. At Kansas they ran and now at North Carolina they run a lot, so one of his big things is getting his team out in transition.

On being the underdog
I'm excited about it. The past two times I've been an underdog, I've gone 2-0. It's kind of a different aspect of looking at the games, but we've been successful. My sophomore year we played Texas in the Big 12 Championship and they were heavily favored, and last season against Florida we were underdogs then. We won both of those games, and there's just something about it in those games that's different than others where we came out really aggressive.



Memphis Locker Room Quotes -by Eurobasket

Robert Dozier (6'9''-F-85), Junior, Forward

Feeling of being at the Final Four
We are here and we are looking forward to this. People are saying it is us against the world, but we are just focusing on ourselves. We are starting to get a little respect, but we are not focusing on that. We are just concerning ourselves with what we do.

On the pressure of the Final Four
We are having fun. There is no point in coming here and being all up tight. Guys have been having fun all year. That is what we do. That is what makes up who we are. We really aren't doing anything different for this game.

Thoughts on how defending Kevin Love
We are going to be comboing on everybody. No one person is going to draw a certain player. We are going to go out and just play great, no matter who we are guarding. We may have times where Derrick (Rose) is guarding him. There will not be one set guy guarding him.

Willie Kemp (6'2''-G-87), Sophomore, Guard

On keys to winning the game
We have to go out there and play great defense. We know UCLA has great players. They have great inside players, and they have great outside players. We just have to go in and have great team defense.

On Andre Allen not being here
Andre (Allen) is a great player and a great teammate. We are going to miss him, but we still have to go out and play tomorrow.

On he and Doneal (Mack) being ready for the challenge to step up
I know Doneal (Mack) is ready, even though he hasn't been playing as much. Coach (Calipari) always tells us to just be ready because you never know what's going to happen. I know Doneal and I are ready.

Derrick Rose (6'4''-G-88), Freshman, Guard

On the style of the game
From what we have seen, they are going to get out and run and they will be pushing the ball as well. We know (Darren) Collison will attack the basket and (Kevin) Love is a great player inside. They are a good team and we look forward to the challenge.

On not having Andre Allen with the team
We really feel bad for Andre. We wish he cold be here with us, but we are trying not to focus on that. We are not going to look at any of the negatives. We just want to concentrate on all of the positive things about being at the Final Four.

Shawn Taggart (6'10''-F-85), Sophomore, Forward

On Kevin Love match-up
He works off angles and positions. He is a big guy. He is like 6' 7, 270, so as soon as gets the ball, he is so used to turning and shooting the hook shot. We just have to push him off the block and make it hard for him to turn and shot the hook shot.

On having an edge against UCLA
We are more athletic, run faster, we have a better bench, and we are long and more aggressive than them.

Keys to winning the game
We have to shut down Kevin Love and we have to shut down (Darren) Collison. We do that and we will win the game.



UCLA Breakout Room Quotes -by Eurobasket
Darren Collison (6'0''-G-87), Senior, Guard

Q. How are you feeling to be back in the Final Four and what is going through your mind?
We are not too high for the highs and not too low for the lows. We are just here for business. The last couple of years we were happy to make it to the Final Four, but this year we are just trying to take it one game at a time. We have played in a lot of NCAA Tournament games so we can say that we know how to win tournament games.

Q. You have so much experience since this is your third year here.Can you talk about the differences between your first two years and this year?
My first year, I wasn't expecting to make it to the Final Four. We didn't have the caliber of team to make it there but we went on to the championship game that year. Everyone didn't expect us to make it that far, so we were real excited. This year is a business trip for us and we are trying not to get too excited.

Q. Can you talk about what Russell Westbrook brings to your team's defense?
Russell has been our guy on the defensive end from day one. He has taken on the role of shutting down the other team's best offensive player. Russell takes it personally. He is real competitive person and he doesn't care who he has to play against.

Q. How different is this year's Memphis team compared to the one you faced two years ago?
This year they have a lot of very talented players and we will have our hands full on both ends of the court.

Q. Can you offer your thoughts about Derrick Rose?
For what he has done as a freshman, it has been phenomenal. To be a point guard and lead your team to the Final Four in your first year is a real accomplishment.

Q. What kind of problems do you think their guards cause you?
I don't think their guards will cause us problems. It's just us doing what we have to do. If we don't do what we are supposed to then they will capitalize on that. We have to take on that challenge.

Q. You have been the serious one on this team and Kevin (Love) and Josh (Shipp) have been in a joking mood. How are you feeling?
This is a business trip. It is not about the Final Four, it is about the Final One. We want to be the final one.

Q. What was your first impression of Kevin Love (6'10''-C-88)?
He has everything you could ask for in a big man. He has great basketball IQ, great shot, screens well, and rebounds. He does so many things well.

Kevin Love, Freshman, Center

On Memphis
They are the best team we have seen this year. They are 18-2 against ranked opponents. They have a number of great players. Derrick Rose is a great friend of mine, one I have known since the 7th grade as we played against each other for a number of years. He is very explosive as are all their players. We will have to rebound and defend and do all the things Tennessee did to beat them.

On his matchup with Joey Dorsey
He is a big, physical player who works hard and gets a lot of rebounds and blocked shots. He also runs the floor well. He will play me tough.

On this week
This is a big deal to me. My personality is such that I am laid back and stay low key most of the time, but this is my first trip to the Final Four, my first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The media are the biggest part of this being a big week. It's a bigger stage with so many people wanting your time. And, I have different people coming around, people I have not seen since I was a freshman or sophomore in high school. I will take it all though because I am so glad to be here.

On his 'old school' way of playing
My dad has had a great influence on me and the way I play. He was the one who brought me old tapes of players and I used to watch them all. I like to be a breath of fresh air and play the 'old school' way because I like it so much. My middle name is Wesley, named after Wes Unseld.

Q. Is there pressure on UCLA and Coach Howland?
Yes, because this is our third trip to the Final Four in a row and while we have 11 banners, there are none since 1995. Going for our 12th puts a bulls-eye on us. We are trying not to think about it, but it's there.

Josh Shipp (6'5''-G/F-86), Junior, Guard

Q. What have you done to get out of your shooting slump?
Get in the Gym and shooting. The shot feels good.

Q. Have you gotten a lot of advice about getting out of your slump?
Man it is ridiculous. It has been crazy.

Q. What is the weirdest advice that you have received?
Nothing that is real crazy. Most of the advice I have received is to shoot more and stay confident.

Q. How do you keep a smile on your face when people keep asking about your shooting slump?
I am having fun. It is just basketball. It is a slump. I am a very confident person. I am not taking as many shots as I should. I just need to knock them down.

Q. How has your early childhood trauma affected you?
I have had two hip surgeries. I have had the game taking away from me twice. It is a blessing for me to be out there. I rehabbed hard to get back to playing.

Q. What does Russell Westbrook's defense meant to the team?
It has been huge for us. For him, it is fun to stop the opponent's best wing player. Going against him every day in practice can only make you better.

Q. Do you buy into the theory that as you go, the team goes?
It makes the game a lot easier. It is huge advantage when I am playing my best basketball.

Q. What are the keys to the game (against Memphis)?
We have to play good transition defense, control the tempo, and limit their fast break points. They (Memphis) go for the gamble on defense so we need to stay in control of the tempo and not let them speed us up.

Q. What would it mean to be in the one shinning moment video?
It would be a special thing to be in the video.

Q. Did you watch the tournament when you were younger?
I did not watch it much. My brother's teams did not make very far in the tournament.


UCLA the day before FF -by Eurobasket

We'll go ahead and get started with Coach Howland.

Q. A little bit about the familiarity between UCLA and Memphis. You played a really ugly game a couple years ago that was a defensive battle. A little bit about this matchup this time around.
COACH Ben Howland : They're a great team. I think both teams are probably better than the last time we met two years ago, primarily because so many of the players in tomorrow's game played in that game and have had a couple years' experience. Then each team has added a great freshman, in our case obviously Kevin Love, and on their side Rose. So it's gonna be a very tough game for us. We know that. When I look at their lineup, they're just loaded with so many guys who can score in different ways. They have a great perimeter game. They have a good inside game. They really push the ball. They create a lot of havoc with their defense and a lot of offense from forcing turnovers and blocking shots.

Q. Aside from the obvious talent, do you see anything that Love and Rose have in common?
COACH Ben Howland : I think the thing they have in common is all the hype and expectation surrounding them coming into college. These were two of the top five players coming out of high school last year, for sure. Kevin won just about every award, national Player of the Year. But yet when you have that much expectation, hype for each kid, to be able to handle all the incredible scrutiny, everybody trying to interview them. I remember when we first started psychological, it was incredible how much demand there was for Kevin with all the different magazines. To be able to handle that all and still perform so well and lead their respective teams to Final Fours, which I think they've both been obviously key drivers behind both teams, has been really special.

Q. Obviously Memphis and you have gotten here. At this stage of the season, is your steady diet of PAC-10 basketball given you -- any relevance over Memphis' steady diet of Conference USA?
COACH Ben Howland : I would say we played now 20 games against the NCAA tournament field this year. So we've had a very difficult schedule. I think that's the most of any of the four teams. And 10 games against the teams that were in the Sweet 16, not including tomorrow. So we've had, you know, a lot of tough games from start to finish, and especially when we started PAC-10 play, it just seems to never end. April 4, 2008 2 You know, they've had -- I think that John was really, really smart the way he staggers in some really tough games during the middle of their conference. I don't think they're -- the fact that the PAC-10 is such a tough conference gives us any advantage over them. They play -- they're playing SC, they played Arizona, they played UConn, they played Tennessee, they've played Gonzaga. I mean, their schedule is star-studded as ever. In their conference, they're always a team that everybody is doing their very best to try to beat. They're getting everybody's best effort every night. And we experience that same thing in our conference. So that always makes it doubly difficult when you're playing against somebody.

Q. If I remember correctly, you were Weber State's defensive player two times. That is correct?
COACH Ben Howland : Uh-huh.

Q. Do you have any idea where those trophies are?
COACH Ben Howland : Probably in my garage somewhere. I think it was really a token award two years in a row. I think Neil McCarthy felt bad for me so he wanted to take care of me in some way. I appreciate that from Coach McCarthy.

Q. Why defense? What is it about defense for you?
COACH Ben Howland : In terms of what? What's the question?

Q. In terms of what you've always gravitated to, your coaching style.
COACH Ben Howland : I actually was a shooter (smiling). I got credit for being a good defender because I tried hard and played with a lot of enthusiasm and passion. But as a coach, I understand that's what wins. And it's true in any sport. When you look at the best teams in football, where it be the Giants this year, the Patriots, who made the longest runs, you look at LSU's defense this year in college football, look at baseball, always comes down to pitching and defense, that's always going to give you a chance. The same is true in basketball. You look at how good the Spurs are year in and year out defensively, how Phil Jackson's teams, all nine championships were great defensive teams. It's really clear defense is a constant that you have the most control over as a team because it's effort and preparation every day. Some nights that shot's going to be going and you're going to be knocking things down without even looking at the basket. But on those days where it may be rough, you know, like that game, for example, you alluded to two years ago, I watched that game just the other night, and it was a game where we turned the ball over many times, really struggled to score, largely due to their good defense. They had a tough time scoring because we played good defense. At the end, it -- there's no way this will be one of those games where it's 50 to 45. Both teams are better. There's just no way you can hold a team like them down like we did last time. They're just so much more experienced and better. Then when you add Jason Kidd to the lineup, it makes it even doubly difficult.

Q. I know Kevin Love took it upon himself to reach out to Coach Wooden, sought his advice. Can you talk about that relationship, what that says about Kevin and his character.
COACH Ben Howland : Well, when we recruited Kevin, we arranged for Coach Wooden to come on campus to meet with Kevin and his family. Coach is retained as an employee of the university, which allows him to be able to do that, not only with basketball recruits, but other recruits. Now he's cut back on that in the last couple years. It's pretty rare that he does that, come to the campus. We used to have breakfast with him once in a while. The great thing for Kevin, his parents and his father really instilled in him, because his dad Stan played against Coach Wooden's teams, you know, when at the University of Oregon. So Kevin, and I really appreciate this, because I love the history of the game, he has great appreciation for the history of basketball, of college basketball, knowing all the players, being exposed to film at an early age. So what I really love about that is that he has a true appreciation for it and really, really cares 3 about it. You know, he gets how great it is for him to be able to know and to be able to have a relationship with Coach John R. Wooden, who is the greatest coach in the history of all sport, in my opinion.

Q. Can you talk a minute about the big-man matchup, Kevin, I don't know if it will be solely against Joey Dorsey, might be Dozier, they have two or three different bigs that can rotate on Kevin. Can you talk about that matchup?
COACH Ben Howland : Well, Dorsey we played against. Remember, the first time we played Memphis, we played him twice two years ago in the same year. They crushed us at Madison Square Garden, November, the pre-season of the NIT, I think it was. They had a great team that year. I think their team this year's much better because of all the experience, Roberts returns from that team, Dozier returns from that team, Dorsey was on that team, so on and so forth. A lot of their key guys. Anderson, their four other starters played significant minutes with them two years ago. But Dorsey is just so strong and so physical and so tough, I remember when he was coming out of Baltimore, I was still the head coach at Pitt. But Kevin will probably see a multitude of bigs rotating at him, including Taggart, as well. They're big, they're strong, they're tough, they pressure the ball, they switch a lot on the perimeter. They're switching one through four. All ball screens, sometimes one through five. They're also very athletic. They make every pass hard to complete. What's amazing is that, okay, we played Michigan State in November. In November, Darren wasn't playing in that game, so that was a disadvantage. But we were lucky to beat Michigan State. We were down 13, I think, early in the second half and came back and took a one-point lead with 30 seconds to go and ended up winning by three. They had them down 50 to 20 at the half last week. That just is incredible to me. Then we got beat by Texas at home in a tough game. We played 'em tough. But they ended up beating us on our home floor. They had them down 17. We understand how good Memphis is as a team and have unbelievable respect for not only how good they are, but what they've accomplished. 37-1, close to being 38-0. They were up one in that game against Tennessee with three minutes to go. With all that pressure of trying to be 'undefeated' all that, they have just been incredible. You have to commend their coach, Coach Calipari, and their players.

Q. You talked about the big-men matchup. What about out front with the guards?
COACH Ben Howland : Rose and Roberts are their guards. I think they have 98 points last weekend between the two of them. They each averaged about 25 a game in their last two games. Rose and Roberts are their two leading scorers on the year. They're a very difficult matchup. Rose because he's so strong, he can get wherever he wants to go. He is so quick. You know, I saw one play against I believe it was Texas where he went up and grabbed the ball on a rebound on defense, two hands, way above the rim. You know, it looked like Jason Kidd or Sidney Moncrief or something. Went coast-to-coast like a bull at the time, about three seconds, if that, the other end, laid it in. Then you look at Roberts how he finishes, left hand, right hand, floaters, jumpers, post-up, face-up. I mean, these guys are great players. They're both future NBA players obviously. That's why they're hard to match up with anybody, much less up.

Q. I understand you've been listening to a lot of Ribbon in the Sky when you've been breaking down film. Any significance to that song? Any reason for that?
COACH Ben Howland : I actually saw Stevie Wonder in concert this year at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. I've always loved Stevie. He actually sang that song this summer. He's improvising. He sang it for about, I don't know, 10 minutes. It was actually incredible. The recording I have, I listen to it when I'm watching film once in a while, does it no justice. But no significance other than I really liked how he sang it this summer. I was so impressed with him. Hope he's on tour again this summer.

Q. Kevin and the bigs, how much of an advantage is it for him to be able to take those guys outside and shoot from the outside?
COACH Ben Howland : That's always more difficult to guard a player who can face-up, post-up, bounce it, pass it. And Kevin is a tough matchup. He's really improved as the season's progressed at 4 knocking down those perimeter shots. I remember I think it was against - who was it - Oregon State maybe, somebody, he hit three threes in a row late in the year right from the top of the key to start the second half. You know, Kevin can really, really shoot the basketball. I've been working with him on that halfcourt and full-court shot all year, and it's starting to play dividends. We're really excited about that.

Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Darren, Kevin said when he first started trying to be a leader, people just kind of shrugged him off. How did he convince you guys and when that he was okay like that?
Darren Collison (6'0''-G-87): Uhm, you know, personally for myself, you know, I always listen to Kevin. Kevin's IQ of basketball is phenomenal. Just as a freshman, he doesn't think as a freshman, he thinks, you know, probably as a senior for this game. From high school to college is a big transition. And you can see that he's already made for this game, if not better. The thing I wanted to do with this team is just make everybody feel comfortable so everybody could play at they best. I thought we did a good job of that this year. Kevin probably had his times, but for the most part, you know, when Kevin says something, everybody listen. It was all meaningful to us.

Q. Kevin, I know coach talked about you reaching out to Coach Wooden and talking to him. Why did you feel the reason to do that and your appreciation of history to take that step on your own?
Kevin Love (6'10''-C-88): I would say mostly because my dad and myself, I would have it no other way. I've always tried to be a historian for the game. You know, in my situation, coming into UCLA, being a big recruit, you know, I felt it was only the right thing to do to reach out to Coach Wooden. I feel like anybody in the same situation would do the same thing as well because I feel like, not only is he one of the greatest human beings I've ever met, he's also the best coach I've ever met as well. He's probably the best coach in college basketball ever. Has 10 national championships, coached two of the greatest NCAA players of all time, and some of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Q. Were you surprised he reached out and called him?
Darren Collison: Definitely, I was real surprised. I can't remember the last time a player has done that. Just proved to my last point I made about him, his maturity level. He just wants to learn so much about the game, he's gonna do whatever it takes and ask whoever to learn about the game.

Q. Kevin, the crowd seemed to enjoy your full-court shots quite a bit. If you have to point to one single thing you did growing up to help you prepare for that shot, working out, what was it? Darren, how is your full-court shot coming along?
Kevin Love: I always keep stating my dad Stan, but he really helped me with that as well. He always had me doing the curl bars with the weights, doing push-ups. But mostly it was fingertip push-ups as well. Wes Unseld doing them all the time, which is actually my middle name. I'm sure all of you know by now, I'm named after Wes Unseld after how many times I've mentioned it. No, I've worked on that shot since I was about, you know, a freshman, doing it on the smaller court, my sophomore and junior year where I moved to a bigger court. Now I'm pretty consistent on hitting the rim or the backboard.
Darren Collison: My full-court shot is coming along as well, too (laughter).

Q. After you made the one out there, did you consider just going out and leaving the court at that point?
Kevin Love: I wanted to make two in a row actually. That's what I was trying to do. I hit the rim a couple more times after that. Coach Howland, along with a couple of the trainers, pulled me off the court after I sat down and tried to start making them from halfcourt as well. It's all fun and games. We're going out there trying to dunk, trying to make halfcourt shots, everything like that. But come game time tomorrow, we'll be focused and ready. 5

Q. Jordan Farmar related a story a couple years ago that in his recruitment, Ben talked about defense, defense and more defense. Has he changed the picture at all? Do you ever at times wonder if he's ever going to mention offense?
Darren Collison: I mean, it's the reason why we're here, 'cause of his defense philosophy. You know, he really does talk about offense in practice, and practice is nothing like the games. It's real physical. You know, guys are hurt every day. Knicks and nags every day. Practice against Kevin, guys really get after him in practice. It mainly started with the defensive end. I always felt we were a defensive team because when we really started, you know, playing as hard on the defensive end, that really starts our offense. We do a good job of not worrying about offense because we're good enough to score whenever we want. But, again, you know, Coach Howland, he's done a good job of emphasizing that throughout my whole years at UCLA.
Kevin Love: Just like Darren mentioned, Coach Howland emphasized defense all throughout the year. Every practice, that's what we start out with. Our main focus is always the defensive end, knowing if we take care of it on the defensive end, we're hyped up, getting steals, deflections, doing everything we need to do on the defensive end, that the offensive end will take care of itself and we feel pretty confident that we can score every possession down.

Q. I know last night y'all got to preview One Shining Moment. Did that inspire you?
Kevin Love: That gave me chills, I don't know about you. But you've been here how many times now, three times?
Darren Collison: The video itself was cool. But personally I'm kind of tired of the music. I'm not just trying to be mean. It's just like, you know, you hear it so many times.
Kevin Love: 'The ball is tipped and there you are' (singing and laughing).
Darren Collison: Third year, right now it's just about winning. You can hear the music all you want, but if you don't win it, you're not going to be a fan of it. Maybe when we win it, I'm going to love that music. I'm going to play it a lot.
Kevin Love: I feel the same way. As you can see, I didn't get the singing gene from my Uncle Mike. That sent chills up and down my spine, even though, like Darren said, the song is a little cheesy. When it says, Will you be next, that was pretty cool.
Darren Collison: How long have they had that music? Anybody know? Can they change it? Have a little hip-hop?
Kevin Love: What are they going to throw in there, though?
Darren Collison: A little Jay Z.
Kevin Love: You want me to give you a beat? Darren is a little camera shy. Trying to help my counterpart out here. You want the beat?
Darren Collison: Go ahead and sing.
Kevin Love: I can't rap, man (smiling). Back to business. Sorry about that.

Q. Can you both address what Lorenzo has meant to the team and how he accepted and embraced his role this year?
Darren Collison: Lorenzo's probably that piece that we really need to symbolize us: hard, tough, going through adversity. That's Lorenzo himself right there. Anybody can speak in college basketball. When you're a player, you know, your whole goal is to start on the team. If another player comes in, he starts over you, that's one of the toughest things ever. Lorenzo, he didn't look at it as a bad way, he looked at it for the team. We all know Kevin is good. Lorenzo has worked on his game in the off-season. He does some good things, some really good things for us. The way he sacrificed himself for the team explains a lot about his character. That's what I love about Lorenzo. He's a people first, before the team. Lorenzo is always going to fight through adversity. I hope he has a good future ahead of him.
Kevin Love: Pretty much Darren said everything. The thing about Lorenzo, not only is he a family-oriented person off the court, but he is on the court as well. He really took into the family. Being a newcomer, being one of the lone freshman on the team, myself and Chace Stanback and myself, it was a little different. Anybody in his situation could have been a jerk to me, could have kind of blown me off. 6 But he embraced me, he really brought me in and made me part of the family as well. For him to take a little bit of a backseat to me for part of the team, for the team aspect, that was huge and it showed a lot of maturity.

Q. After watching tape of Memphis, what impresses you about those guys most?
Kevin Love: Definitely their speed, their athleticism, the way they get out on the break. For us to win this game, we're going to have to win the battle of the boards, like Coach Howland always mentions in our pregame. Also, we're going to have to get back into transition, try to play our tempo, because they're a fast team, to get up and down the court.
Darren Collison: Again, like Kevin said, one thing that does impress me is their athleticism. I thought their athleticism was a big part in that Texas game. It was the reason why they overcome that victory. We're ready to play tough. We're going to go out there and play tough. A little physical battle, like Ben has always taught us. That should do it for us right there.

Q. Kevin, with all the attention you've gotten, all the media scrutiny, interviews, how were you able to stay grounded this season?
Kevin Love: That's easy. I mean, I got this guy sitting right next to me right here that wouldn't let me get a big head. I also have a good family. Even in my immediate family, but also my Bruin family as well keep me grounded. I never feed into any of that stuff. I always feel like I have something to prove. I always feel like I'm fighting from behind. So I go out there and give it my all every game. They're something inside of me, that killer instinct, that's really the driving force in the back of me that really keeps me going.

Q. Is there a most Memphis-like team in the PAC-10? If not, how is Memphis different?
Darren Collison: If I had to pick a team that was like them, it would probably be Oregon.
Kevin Love: Yeah.
Darren Collison: Because of the guard play. One through four, you know, they can shoot the ball really well. We really got a big load on our hands on the perimeter. We're on our own. We got to contain them on the D end. It's not going to be easy, but it's something we have to do to win the ballgame. Just like Oregon, you know, we're going to be ready to switch, we're going to be ready to contest shots. You never can relax. There's possessions where you can't relax, but not against Memphis because they'll penalize you for that.
Kevin Love: Yeah, I agree. They're kind of like Oregon on steroids a little bit. They go out there, they defend. Each player can shoot the three ball. Dorsey is a beast inside. Rose, he runs that team very well. We're all going to have our hands full, whether it's on the offensive or defensive end. I think we're poised enough to get the job done if we just play our style of basketball.

Q. What sort of things have you learned or liked about sports and masculinity?
Kevin Love: That's funny that you ask. He's over here asking me about school right now and I'm trying to focus on the Final Four. But I've had a great run at UCLA thus far. It's been a lot of fun. I have over a 3.0 GPA. I made the honor roll my first quarter. I know I'm bragging about academics when we're here at the Final Four when we're here trying to win basketball game, but it's been a lot of fun and a good ride for me as well.

Courtesy of ASAP Sports



North Carolina Breakout Room Quotes -by Eurobasket
Marcus Ginyard (6'5''-G/F-87), Junior, Guard

On making the Final Four
We are not downplaying this accomplishment at all. We have arrived in San Antonio with a great attitude and mindset. Our goal is to win this two-game tournament. We looked at every couple of rounds as a two-game tournament and that has helped us focus.

On Kansas' offensive balance
We have talked a lot about that leading up to now. They have guys contributing from players one through eight. You just have to know that at this level you are going to be challenged.

On being the No. 1 overall seed
There is no added pressure on us. At this point, that stuff doesn't matter. You have the top four teams in the country here and that is all that is important.

Q. How do you as a player not allow the 'Final Four Experience' to suffocate you?
You just have to enjoy it and take all of it in. This is what all the players here work for and dream about growing up.

Q. Is the 'Psycho T' nickname an accurate description of Tyler (Hansbrough) on and off the court?
On the court, the Psycho T nickname is accurate. He is in another world when playing. Off of the court, he is just like any other student-athlete.

Q. How much better is this team with Ty (Lawson) in the lineup?
I think we did a great job of growing in his absence because it was a great challenge for this team and everybody rose to that challenge. Now that we are adding Ty back into the mix, it is real plus for us. He creates a lot of opportunities for us when he is on the floor.

Q. Has Tyler (Hansbrough) taken his game to another level in the NCAA Tournament?
It is interesting to see Tyler take it to another level. He is extremely focused. After this weekend, there is nothing that he will feel he should have done better, because he puts it all out on the court. We are trying to give the same effort that Tyler gives every game.

Q. What are your thoughts on Kansas' perimeter players?
They are all big-time players. We know it is going to be challenge. They are tough and we have to do everything we can to slow them down.

Q. Can you give any examples of Coach Williams getting emotional?
He puts everything into this team. When you do that, it is hard to not get emotional about anything involving the team.

Danny Green (6'5''-G/F-87), Junior, Forward-Guard

Q. Does team feel any extra pressure playing Kansas?
We don't feel any added pressure. It is just the pressure we put on ourselves. We don't have any added pressure just because Coach (Williams) is playing KU.

On playing with Tyler Hansbrough
He is not much of a vocal leader. He is a leader by actions. He has done what we need him to do to win games.

Q. Have you seen a player with more focus (than Tyler Hansbrough)?
There are a lot of players that have great focus. Tyler is in a league of his own when it comes to that (focus). When it comes to taking care of business and his body, Tyler is on another level.

On his sideline dance at the end of games:
It is something I have done my whole career at North Carolina.

Q. On playing away from home (State of North Carolina) in the Tournament
It is not anything new for us. We have a winning record on the road. We had great support from our fans. There are only four teams left, so hopefully we will be a lot fans here.

Q. Do you feel the team plays better when you are shooting well?
It definitely makes it easier on the team when Wayne (Ellington) and I are hitting shots. We feel no pressure at all. Shooters are going to shoot.

Deon Thompson (6'8''-F-88), Sophomore, Forward

Q. How has this week been?
This week has been really exciting with all we've heard about what to expect and just about being here. We have been able to take everything in stride and enjoy it to an extent. You have to be prepared and that is what is being stressed. The other day at practice, I was caught up in the moment and forgot my shoes and had to borrow someone else's.

Q. Talk about the team?
What's good is that we have a mature team, helping each other. Last year, we lost in the Elite Eight and no one wanted to let that happen again. No one wants to win more than Tyler Hansbrough. When he gets serious we all get serious. Tyler is a beast on the floor and draws so much attention. It's hard to hold him down but when people focus on him too much, we have a number of other options. We have the best point guard in the country and have a number of guys who can knock down shots. We have a lot of weapons.

Q. How has Coach Williams handled all the talk of playing his former team, Kansas?
He has handled it well. His focus is on the game with his team playing Kansas. It's not Coach Williams vs. Kansas. He is more focused on the game and on his team playing well. He is not letting us lose our focus. 'He has had a lot of questions through the week but that is what he expected.

Q. How do you two teams match up?
We match up well. They have good guards and we have quality guards. Their bigs are good and so are ours. It is a good match up one through five on the floor. Kansas is a well-balanced team. I expect them to play fast and push the ball and try and pick up guards early to slow us down. Both teams work the ball inside-out and have great guard penetration. We are equal is so many ways. (KU's) Rush shoots over 40 percent from three-point range and that's tough, plus he has the ability to get to the basket. He is hard to contain. I do not know that we have played anyone who has KU's balance one through eight.

Q. Can you explain your success on the road?
Coach Williams talks to us all the time about how we can win on the road. We like to go on the road and see the crowd leave early. You notice it when you are playing and get up on the home team and the crowd begins to leave before the game is over. That's fun.


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NEW ZEALAND

Wellington and Auckland survive overtimes today -by Eurobasket News
The Wellington Saints gained their fifth win in the season as they prevailed against the Harbour Heat in overtime today. The Saints dominated in the first half and drove to a 49:43 lead. But the Heat bounced back after the break and jumped ahead. But a buzzer-beating trey from Troy McLean (194-G-79) forced extra period. Harbour got a 6-point advantage early in overtime but just to see Troy McLean scoring 7 points and igniting a 9:0 rally that put the hosts up for good. Ernest Scott (200-F-82, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: Valdosta St.) marked his debut for the Saints with game-high 27 points. Scott arrived to Wellington to replace another import Marquis Webb. Troy McLean added 22 points, while Leon Henry (193-F-88) secured 17 for the winners. Hayden Allen (187-G-79) notched 26 points and Oscar Forman (205-G/F-82) chipped in 21 in the 4th defeat for Harbour.
The Auckland Stars got into a driving seat in the fourth stanza to overcame a three-quarter deficit and celebrate a tough victory over Taranaki at the end. Casey Frank (203-F-77, college: N.Arizona) scored 26 points and grabbed 14 boards to propel the surging Stars to 5-2 record. Tyrone Davey (188-G-86) and Larry Bratcher (197-G-75, college: Fayetteville St.) nailed 16 points apiece for the winners. The visitors capitalized on 4 straight turnovers from the Dynamos in the extra period to clear off for good. Link Abrams (198-F-73) finished with 23 points for the hosts. Tony Rampton (213-C-76, college: Iowa St.) added 21 points in a losing effort.
The Waikato Pistons extended their perfect run to 5 games as they took care of the Hawkes Bay Hawks 86:82 in Napier yesterday. Ben Hill (196-F-79, agency: IceBasket) scored 4 free throws in the dying seconds of the encounter and brought the Pistons to a thrilling win. He put the guest up by 4 with two free throw but Paora Winitana answered with two converted attempts from charity stripe to keep the intrigue burning. Brian Wethers (194-F/G-80, college: California) missed a trey but Ben Hill collected an offensive rebound and sank two free throw to take the game. Brian Wethers dropped 23 points to pace the Pistons. Jason Crowe (193-G-76, agency: Court Side, college: Cal.St. Northridge) added 19 points and 6 assists, while Ben Hill had 15 points and 5 boards in a win. Kevin Smith (198-F-79, college: Lee) responded with 18 points and 10 boards in a loss.


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


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NORWAY

Sommerfeldt to 2008 Nike World Hoop Summit -by Kaare Vangen
The Norwegian Basketball Federation reports on their web that Torgrim Sommerfeldt (196-G-89) has been selected as a reserve to the 2008 Nike World Hoop Summit taking place in Portland next weekend. The interest from Nike was sparked when NTG (Norges Toppidrettsgymnas), Sommerfeldts school, visited Spain in the fall of 2007. Sommerfeldt was a real force on Kongsberg Penguins in BLNO at the age of 17 and is a very promising player. He is the son of former top Norwegian player Harald Sommerfeldt.

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PORTUGAL

Taca de Portugal day 2 (preview) -by Luis Rocha
Second day of competition, first game Porto-Barreirense, two teams of LIGA UZO, a nice game ahead, Barreirense comes as the underdogs, but if they get the right motivation, and play consistently all the game they can cause a surprikse. In Liga UZO they beat Porto when nobody expected, Porto surely got that in mind today, and they will be cautious not to do the same mistakes again, nevertheless a nice game to watch. Barreirense has to control positions 1 and 3 from Porto, because it's from Joao Figueiredo (183-G-79) and Nuno Marcal (205-F-75) that the deanger can appear, Porto need to be warn against complacency specially when it comes to defend Deforrest Smith and Darrell Harris. the second game seems to be only a warm up game for Ginasio. They will play a very unfortunate Benfica wich will play without Miguel Minhava (197-G-83), Leroy Watkins (202-C-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Illinois St.) and (as it seems...) Karlton Mims (189-G-80, college: Washburn), 3 of the most important players of the roster, all out because of injuries. Benfica will be out on the court with a bunch of youngsters, but certainly with a lot of energy, Ginasio is the favourite but they need to find the way to score easy baskets, if they fail that, Benfica will make then pay hard on the fastbreak. Antonio Tavares (183-G-75) in Benfica and Brandon Voorhees (201-F-84, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Park) in Ginasio will certainly be the guys to decide on both teams. All things account Porto and Ginasio should step trough the semi- finals, time to wait and see.

Taca de Portugal day 2 (results) -by Luis Rocha
Another day without no surprises. In the first game of the day Porto stood always in control well aware that Barreirense could harm them if they let. By the half time things were already decided with Porto leading by 17 points, the second half was played by Porto in a secure mode in order to keep everybody healthy to the semis. Barreirense could done something else than what they did, but today was a day devoted to their usual inconsistency. Best man in the game was Toree Morris (209-C-82) (Porto) with 16 points and 13 rebounds. The next game showed a great Benfica at the start, so great that even get Ginasio to become nearly numb. In the first quarter Benfica score 21 points, but in the rest of the game they only scored another 23. Ginasio made a slow but consistent comeback, and finish winning 61-44. Benfica couldn't keep the pace they showed at the entrance, and after the awakening of Ginasio their vitory was just a matter of time. Nice effort though, from a very young team who played only with a naturalized player, against 4 foreign players of Ginasio, the willing power was not enough to get a win, experience today was still a decisive factor. Man of the match was Marco Goncalves (208-C-84) (Benfica), he scored 9 points and get 14 rebounds.

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PUERTO RICO

BSN Boxscores and Boricuas Abroad -by Alessandro Fontana
BSN Time in Puerto Rico.
Caguas defeated Carolina 113-103 with a great game from Peter John Ramos. 'Snoop Dogg' Ramos played his best game of this BSN season. He scored 34 points (14/20 2pts- an incredible 70%- and 6/6 FT) and he caught 21 rebounds. He was 'The Man' of the game. It was also worth mentioning the game of Shawn Redhage, 30 points for the 'Australian' of Caguas.
BSN BOXSCORES
FAJARDO-SAN GERMAN= 72-66
F=Rivera 15, Agbai 13, Mojica 13, Hamilton 8, Gonzalez 6, Morales 5, Quintero 4, Salgado 4, Collazo 2, Vazquez 2, Arroyo 0, Pellot Rosa 0
SG= Lugo 19, Caro 16, Alvarado 14, Avila 13, Lazor 11, S. Villegas 7, J. Villegas 3, Andino 2, Dyer 1, Acosta 0, J. Andino 0, Torres 0, De Jesus 0, Mendez 0
BAYAMON-GUAYAMA= 74-83
B= Ferguson 20, Vega 18, Lopez 10, Anderson 9, Guevara 8, Valenzuela 4, Hinson 3, Valencia 2, Salgado 0
G= Perez 23, Frejie 20, Parillon 15, Beard 12, Rivera 4, Melendez 3, Solano 2, Oliver 2, Herrera 2, N. Rivera 0, A. Rivera 0, Aponte 0
PONCE-GUAYNABO=93-85
P= Pagan 21, Thompson 21, Martinez 16, Aubry 11, Colon 10, Padilla 7, Pagan 6, Orta 1
G= Sheppard 22, Wilson 20, Escalera 19, Langhi 8, Lee 8, Ortiz 6, Sanchez 2
CAROLINA-CAGUAS= 103-113
C= Ere 36, Carmona 16, Edwards 16 (10 rebs), Hiraldo 11, Reyes 10, Rivera 9 (8 asts), Cruz 5, Brown 0, Villafane 0
C= Ramos 34 (21 rebs), Redhage 30, Melendez 25, Bryant 11, Alamo 5, Martinez 5, Rosas 2, Ortiz 1, Casablanca 0
BORICUAS ABROAD
In Italy, Caserta was defeated by Pistoia 77-69. For Guillermo Diaz only 7 minutes with 0 points and 1 steal.
A. Fontana


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SERBIA

Darko Milicic of Memphis Grizzlies got shoulder injury -by Dragan Jankovski
Memphis Grizzlies beat New York Knicks 130-114 but Serbian center Darko Milicic (212-C-85), who is playing one of the best seasons in his basketball career, bruised left shoulder in the first quarter and did not return. It is still not known how serious injury is and how long he will have to be out of the court.

Milicic played 66 games for Grizzlies this season in NBA averaging 7.2 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game.


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SPAIN

Martin Rancik will miss the remainder of the season -by Natxo Mendaza
iurbentia Bilbao Basket will have to face the remainder of the season without one of its key players in the paint, Martin Rancik (204-F/C-78, college: Iowa St.), who will undergo surgery on Friday morning in Vitoria to repair his knee injury. Rancik tore his cross ligament in his left knee in his team's triumph against Unicaja Malaga at the weekend. Bilbao head coach Txus Vidorreta was very upset after knowing the extent of the injury, but he recognized that they wouldn't sign any new player to replace him: 'It's the worst new we could receive, Martin has made a huge effort to help the team in difficult situations. We hope that Weis will join back practices next week, and that with the last arrival of Mile Ilic will be able to face the remainder of the season.

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SWEDEN

Standings - Basketligan
Basketligan Standings
1. Sundsvall 24-9
2. Solna 23-10
3. Plannja 23-10
4. Sodertalje 19-14
5. 08 19-14
6. Uppsala 17-16
7. Oresundskraft 16-17
8. Norrkoping 15-18
9. Boras/Marbo 14-19
10. Jamtland 11-22
11. Akropol 9-24
12. Gothia Basket 8-25


Standings - BasketEttan
Basketettan Standings
North
1. Blackeberg 17-5
2. Talje 16-6
3. Umea 16-6
4. Lulea Steel 14-8
5. Lidingo 14-8
6. Hallsta 11-11
7. Lulea BG 10-12
8. Polisen 10-12
9. Alvik Basket 9-13
10. Haga Haninge 8-14
11. Tensta 7-15
12. Eskilstuna 0-22
South
1. Orebro 19-3
2. Nassjo 18-4
3. Srbija 16-6
4. Kvarnby 15-7
5. Hoganas 13-9
6. Norrkoping BK 12-10
7. S:t Helena 12-10
8. Sanda 10-12
9. Kalmar 7-15
10. NUBF 5-17
11. Malbas 4-18
12. Eos 1-21


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TURKEY

Turkish Players Abroad , Memo Stops Spurs -by Onur Decani
Utah Jazz beat San Antonio Spurs 90-64 in Energy Solutions Arena , while Mehmet Okur (210-C/F-79) was the man of the match , scoring double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds. San Antonio Spurs scored the least points in the team history in a match. Also Jazz stopped the 8 winning streak of Spurs. In the first period Spurs were better and closed the 1st period 24-18 ahead . But in the 2nd period Jazz had a better defence and let Spurs scoring only 14 points and in the end of the 1st half they were 2 points ahead. In the 3rd period Jazz had a 6-0 streak to take the advantage to 9 points at the end of the period. In the last period Jazz scored a 13-0 streak , they took the advantage once to 29 points and won the match 90-64. Mehmet Okur made double0double with 17 points and 16 rebounds , he also had a great defence against Tim Duncan (208-F-76, college: Wake Forest). Deron Williams (191-G-84, college: Illinois) made his 50st double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 assists , while Carlos Boozer (207-F/C-80, college: Duke) played with 16 points , 7 rebounds , 2 steals and 1 assist. In the Spurs side Tony Parker (183-G-80) scored 17 points - 4 assists - 4 rebounds , while Tim Duncan made double-double with 15 points - 10 rebounds - 3 blocks and 1 assist.

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U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS

Rick Lewis playing in NPBL -by David Edole
Rick Lewis (201-F, college: Benedict) played on the disastrous 2004 Virgin Islands national team is presently suiting up for Maryland BayRaiders of the National Professional Basketball League (NPBL). The NPBL league consists of seven teams on the eastern sea board and runs from April to June, 2008. The teams are Wild, New York Strike Force, Hudson Valley Hawks, Elmira Bulldogs, WC Monarchs, Avengers and Bay Riders.
Lewis, a graduate of Benedict College, was the starting power forward on the men's senior national team that finished in sixth place in the Caribbean Basketball Championships which were held in Havanna, Cuba.
The BayRaiders are 3-0 on the young season.


College coach molded Duncan into great player -by David Edole

David Flores
San Antonio Express-News

A week after returning from Los Angeles, where he had attended the 1996 Wooden Award ceremonies, Wake Forest junior Tim Duncan (208-F-76, college: Wake Forest) called his coach to tell him of a decision that would change Spurs history.


Duncan, whose poker face is as big a part of his game as his bank shot, was characteristically succinct when he told Dave Odom he planned to return for his senior season.

Or, put another way, forgo the NBA draft that summer and postpone signing a contract that would pay him big bucks.

Odom, in San Antonio to coach in a college all-star game being played in conjunction with the Final Four, recalled that phone call Thursday.

'When he told me he was staying, I told him, 'OK, tell me why,'' Odom said. 'Then he told me, 'I got to thinking about it last night, and I asked myself why should I try to do today what I'll be better prepared to do next year?''

To hear Odom tell the story 12 years later, he was hardly surprised by Duncan's decision.

'I expected him to stay because I knew the kind of young man he was,' Odom said.

A year later, Duncan won every major individual award after playing in the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive season.

The Spurs fell into the NBA lottery that spring and got the No. 1 pick.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Duncan, arguably the best power forward in NBA history, is so consistently good in all phases of his game that many San Antonio fans may be guilty of taking him for granted.

From his footwork, soft shooting touch and defensive skills, Duncan is the rarest of basketball players and pro athletes. He doesn't get caught up in stats and eschews the spotlight.

'Tim just wants to be himself,' said Odom, who left Wake Forest in 2001 to take the basketball job at South Carolina. He stayed with the Gamecocks until retiring this season. 'Tim is not a self-promoter, and that's absolutely amazing in this day and age. He is very much about the game and his team.'

Odom said Duncan was an 'unpolished diamond' as a freshman.

'He had skills, but not the knowledge on how to get better,' Odom said. 'He came up to me and said, 'I'm a ball of clay, coach, and I want you to mold me.' He never, ever resisted our coaching. He was like a sponge.'

Wake Forest's best finish in the NCAA tournament during Duncan's career was in his junior year, when the Demon Deacons made the Elite Eight.

Odom said Duncan's unselfish play reflects his upbringing in Christiansted, St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

'It began at home,' Odom said. 'Tim had two wonderful parents who taught him human virtues as a young boy. He did the right thing for the right reasons, not for attention. That's what makes him the man he is today, and the player he is for the Spurs.'

Odom forever will be remembered as the college coach who 'discovered' Duncan. Actually, he went to St. Croix after getting a tip from Chris King, a former Wake Forest player, who had toured some of the Caribbean Islands with a team of NBA rookies in the summer of 1992.

'Chris came through the office when he got back, and I rhetorically asked him, 'Well, did you see any kid I might want to take a look at?'' Odom said. 'He said the only one he could think of was this kid who had held his own against Alonzo Mourning.'

The player King was referring to was Timothy Theodore Duncan, who was only 16 then and preparing for his senior season in high school.

Odom went to St. Croix in September 1992 to meet Duncan, and was impressed enough to stay in touch with him in the ensuing months.

Duncan committed to Wake Forest in January and signed with the Demon Deacons in April. Some trivia: The only other schools he considered were Georgetown, Delaware State, Hartford and Providence.

'Of course, no one knew much about him because of where he was from,' Odom said. 'When we signed Tim, a guy with a recruiting service wrote, and I quote, 'Duncan could be the world's best player and nobody would know it.' I've often thought about how prophetic that guy was.'

Indeed.



Bell's shooting, defense vital in Suns title hopes -by David Edole
Jerry Brown, Tribune

Steve Nash is the playmaker. Amare Stoudemire is the scorer. Shaquille O'Neal is the presence. Leandro Barbosa is the speed.

But when it comes to whether the Suns finally can break through in the Western Conference this season, is Raja Bell (196-F/G-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Intern.) the difference?

Coach Mike D'Antoni frequently calls Bell the heart and soul of the Suns. But more than any other player, he is also their pulse and rhythm. When Phoenix is running and the ball is dancing from hand to hand, Bell winds up shooting more and scoring more while the Suns go from formidable to almost unbeatable.

When Bell reaches 20 points, the Suns are 11-0 this year. And during the last 13 games — as Phoenix has regained its mojo while working O'Neal into the offense — Bell is shooting 49.3 percent from 3-point range (compared with 37.2 percent over the first 50 games). The Suns are 10-3 during that span and are edging up to Golden State in the race for the league scoring lead (110.5-110.3 points per game).

'When he's shooting the ball, it's so good for our team,' Nash said. 'We need him on the floor for his defense, we always make money on that deal. But when he's hitting his shots, he's a different player and we're a different team.

'When he's physically healthy and feeling good, we're hard to beat.'

But keeping Bell healthy hasn't been easy. He went down in the 2006 Western Conference finals with a calf injury, then limped through last year's playoffs on a right knee that required surgery in the offseason.

He's played in 68 of Phoenix's 75 games this season, but a series of ankle sprains and accompanying back problems have had him gutting through more than a third of the games. The last sprain, two weeks ago in Seattle, looked at first like it might be the worst, but Bell missed only one game.

'We don't play well because I'm scoring, I score because we're playing well,' Bell said. 'We also win games when I score three points. We can do it. But those nights when defenses can't lock in on one or two guys and the outside shots are there in rhythm — that's when things start to come for me.'

Bell also admits that he's such a perfectionist that a few bad moments can snowball into a bad game — two bad shots can lead to poor defense, and vice-versa — and that his own personal rhythm is as important as the team's vibe.

'The better we're playing, the more I look to shoot. I'm not the kind of guy who can shoot us out of trouble,' he said.

Even if he never made a shot, the Suns couldn't survive without their best defender. They certainly wouldn't have even considered trading Shawn Marion for O'Neal without the confidence that Bell could step up against the league's toughest small forwards as well as shooting guards. It was a task Bell wasn't pleased with or excited about at first, but one he's accepted and excelled at — while making new friends.

After holding Denver's Carmelo Anthony to six second-half points Monday while the Suns rallied from 22 points down to win, Anthony induced a scuffle in the rematch Tuesday, leading to double technical fouls and, seconds later, Bell's ejection.

'Carmelo came up to me and told me he was going to knock my teeth out of my mouth and I told him it wasn't going to happen,' Bell said. 'That's where the (double technicals) came from. Then they threw the ball in and he posted me up again and I wanted to let him know I was still there, so I gave him a stiff arm (to the back) and took a foul.

'I looked at Amare and we both started laughing. Ejection was the last thing from my mind. I know the games when I have had a dialogue with the referees and I'm teetering on the danger zone, but I didn't say two words to the refs all night.'

Bell said the Suns have to get away from engaging the officials, which has led to 11 technical fouls in the last three games and 26 in the 23 games since O'Neal joined the team.

'We have to get back to playing ball,' he said. 'Sometimes it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. You think you're not going to get a call and when you don't get it, you start crying about it and the refs don't want to hear that. They have a hard-enough job to do. We have to be more professional, stop crying and play ball.

'You're not going to be able to avoid it sometimes — if someone tells me they're going to knock my teeth out, I'll take the ‘T' 100 out of 100 times — but the complaining stuff has to stop.'


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

New import players for the Metropolitan League -by Hector Lopez
Goes announced Howard Wilkerson (198-F-84, college: Wofford) will join the team to play the Metropolitan League, the team announced last night. At the same time officials from Yale said Tarrie Monroe (202-F-77, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: Lewis) will be inked by the team. Wilkersonb will be arriving Saturday the 5th and Monroe Tuesday the 8th. The Metropolitan tournament will begin April 11, with 13 teams playing for two spots in the Uruguayan League 2009. The teams are authorized to sign only one import player.

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USBL

Marcus Campbell Earns Deal with Italian Club Air Avellino -by Surujh Roopnarine
Anaheim Arsenal center Marcus Campbell (7'0''-C-82, college: Mississippi St.) has signed with Air Avellino of Italy's SerieA league. Currently sitting in a tie for third at 19-10, Avellino will look to the former Mississippi State Bulldog big man for interior reinforcement. On the season Campbell is averaging 12.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 39 games between Idaho and Anaheim. March was Campbell's best month of the season as her averaged career highs of 17.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in 32 minutes per contest (12 games). After posting modest numbers in his four years at Mississippi State (2001 - 2005 where he teamed with former D-League stars such as Lawrence Roberts, Derrick Zimmerman and Timmy Bowers), Campbell worked the circuit of the US minor leagues, working his way up the ranks from the WBA, CBA, USBL and finally the D-League. A USBL Champion in 2007 with the Kansas Cagerz, Campbell is now making his first appearance overseas, and it comes in a very tough and highly competitive Italian league.

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VENEZUELA

Guaros returns Guevara to Marinos, asks Ramirez back -by Francisco Vega
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- Guaros de Lara and Marinos de Anzoategui agreed to leave without effect a part of a one year trade/loan they had arranged earlier in the year. Guaros returned shooting guard Rafael Guevara (194-F-79) to Marinos and asked back Kervis Ramirez (190-G-78). However, the other players involved in the original transaction, Erick Herrera and Sonny Reyes, will remain playing for Guaros and Marinos, respectively, for the remainder of the 2008 season.

'I always assume this kind of things with the proper seriousness. I'm above all a professional basketball player and I've always proven that on court defending the colors of the teams I've played for' said Ramirez in a phone conversation from Puerto La Cruz. He was about to make the trip back to Barquisimeto with a stop in his native Caracas.

Ramirez will play his sixth straight season for Guaros, as he has been a team member of the franchise from back when it was founded, in 2003. 'Both teams shared the idea that we needed to get our players back and we even told them about our conversations. They agreed. Guevara said he felt the need to go back to Marinos and we wanted to have Ramirez back with us', said the president of Guaros, Carlos Garcia, through the official press release.

Guevara is sorry
Rafael Guevara went back to Puerto La Cruz and appeared at a press conference held at Luis Ramos Gymnasium. He said he was sorry and explained the origin of this situation that got him temporarily traded.

'I'm here cause I want to explain why I left the team. First of all, I want to apologize cause the fans of Marinos deserve respect. I had a bad attitude last year while we were playing the first semifinals against Guaiqueries de Margarita, when I showed lack of respect to former head coach Miguel da Luz, to my teammates and the fans', said Guevara.

'I talked to Mr. Carlos Garcia and explained that I didn't feel ok in Guaros, that I wanted to go back to Marinos if the doors were open here for me. I want to apologize cause I dream about retiring as a member of this team. After playing for other organizations, I've realized that Marinos is the first team in the league, a pro franchise, very demmanding but also a team that has a treat to the players that has no comparison. I want to improve my behavior and this is a chance for me to get better. I've even talked to psychiatrists about this', added Guevara.

'I know it's been hard for the fans to understand why I forced the team to make some choices. However, I rather the fans to claim this situation and not damage the career of a player that made some mistakes. That has never been the policy of Marinos', said the team owner, Domingo Cirigliano .

Teammate Axier Sucre (198-F-78) welcomed back Guevara and also said he was sorry about the way the team played last Wednesday, in a game they lost against Trotamundos de Carabobo, 87-67. 'I've never seen the team play like that in six years. We had no game plan, we were not focused, we couldn't go back in defense, but that's all behind us now and has helped us work better and more. I'm sure that with the arrival of new imported players and the addition of Guevara, we'll be much faster and that's gonna be shown on court'


Ludwing Irazabal: "I work as hard as a rookie" -by Francisco Vega
Caracas, Venezuela.- (LPB Press Department) Veteran power forward and center Ludwing Irazabal (201-C/F-73) was interviewed by the LPB Press Department after reaching the 700 games played as a pro in Venezuela. He's now playing for Guaiqueries de Margarita after a few seasons wearing the uniform of Trotamundos de Carabobo. Known as 'The Elevator', he shares his thoughts on the milestone, his team and other subjects of Venezuelan basketball in this interview.

LPB: How do you feel about reaching 700 games played in LPB?
LI: 'It's been a satisfaction, without any injuries. I feel physically in shape, thank God, and what I ask Him is for me to stay healthy so I can continue working. Alex Quiroz (185-G-75) also reached that number of games this season and for me is a great satisfaction to be sharing this achievement with him, cause we played together back when we were kids'

LPB: The team hasn't had a good start. How do you see Guaiqueries?
LI: 'We're the most defensive team in the league. The goal is to allow the least points we can. Even though we've lost games, it's been by little margin and we've made the necessary adjustments to improve. In Guaiqueries, we're a humble and hard working team and that's why we'll pass through this inconveniences'

LPB: What is the weakness and the strength of Guaiqueries?
LI: 'Our weakness is that we're still just a team with good defense and our attacking side hasn't exploded yet. Our strength is the union and humble approach to the game that all the players have in this team'

LPB: What's the environment like inside Guaiqueries?
LI: 'It's great, we all share together. We treat each other as equals both on court and outside of it. The rookies hang out with the imported players and we also do. There are no distinctions'

LPB: What do you think about the expansion in LPB?
LI: 'It's a fact that the league needed it from a long time ago, cause there a lot of young talents out there. Gigantes and Deportivo, the new expansion teams, are beginning their way in the tournament and as the campaign advances, they'll improve and become better teams.

LPB: What's your opinnion on head coach Julio Toro?
LI: 'He's a great coach. I was with him back when I was in the Senior National Team. He never falls asleep and he studies every player so that they can give the best of themselves on court'

LPB: Do you think Guaiqueries has what it takes to win back to back championships in the LPB?
LI: 'Yes, we're working on it. The championship is very tight right now, but we're a hard working team. The key is to be humble and think day by day. We can't imagine who's gonna be our rival in the next round cause we gotta go game by game first'

LPB: What's your responsability in this club?
LI: 'It's a big one. I'm an example to be followed. Several of the rookies tell me that they admired me long before they became pros. I always try to do what's best for them to come out and follow my way to practice, cause after 700 games, I still work as hard as a rookie does. The message I say to the younger players is that work never ends. There's always something new to learn every single day'


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




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Women News

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

Standings - AWBL
AWBL Standings
Hauptrunde 1
1. Herzogenb. 14-2
2. Fl.Foxes 13-3
3. Wels 9-7
4. Klosterneub. 4-12
5. Vienna 87 0-16
Hauptrunde 2
1. Wien 5-2
2. Graz 2-3
3. Baden 2-4


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ICELAND - Women

Keflavik is Iceland Express league Champion 2008 -by Siggi Hjorleifsson
Keflavik is Icelandic Champions 2008. Beat KR tonight 91-90 and the serie 3-0 as they did against Haukar in first round of play-offs.
Even KR did shoot better in all area of the game and took more rebounds 48-41 they lost. More turnovers 25-17 and less steals 20-7 was hurting KR a lot in this game.
Keflavik team has been playing very well lately with good shooters and agressive pressure defense.
KR can be proud of what they did this year. Rookie team in the league but still play for the title. Both teams are young and tallented.
Top scorers for Keflavik. TaKesha Watson (170-G-82, college: Oklahoma City) 36. Suzanne Susanne Biemer (176-G/F-78) 12. Rannveig Randversdottir 11. Ingibjorg Vilbergsdottir (176-G-88) 10.
For KR. Candaca Futrell (178-G-82, college: Duquesne) 38 + 14 rebs. Sigrun Amundadottir (183-C/F-88) 13 + 11 rebs.Hildur Sigurdardottir (170-G-81, agency: IceBasket) 11. Gudrun Amundadottir (176-F/G-87) 10


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KAZAKHSTAN - Women

Irtysh is in the SuperLeague B Final -by Eurobasket News
The basketball-club Irtysh Pavlodar-PNHZ from Pavlodar got into the Super League B final of Russian Championship. The team got that place due to its beating the Chelyabinsk team Slavyanka with a 2-point gap. These two points quaranteed Irtysh Pavlodar-PNHZ at least the 4th place in their zone and a possibility to play in the final. On April 11 and 12 there will be held two more matches provided by Kazahstan club. Serikov's team is supposed to play with the Omsk team Neftyanik. Irtysh Pavlodar-PNHZ has to overcome in points Nadezhda-2 from Orenburg in a double-match opposition with Slovyanka. Only in this case it'll get into a final holding the 3rd place.In quarter-final of the female Super League 'B' of Russian Championship Irtysh Pavlodar-PNHZ is playing either with Spartak from Noginsk or Moscow Spartak. Having provided the final membership, the Pavlodar club will move forward to the next championship stage. The stage definitely depends on the results of the last elimination games with Neftyanik. Hence, in quarter-final Irtysh Pavlodar-PNHZ is supposed to have the 2nd or the 1st team of the western zone. So far two opposing teams can be defined- Spartak from Noginsk and Moscow Spartak, that have 47 points each.
The main coach Sergey Serikov was interviewed on this occasion. He reported that it's quite possible for him to give the leaders of the team some rest during the last games in his zone. And the reason for that is for sure the fact that any of the Spartak teams can play against their team. They both have an equal amount of points. And it doesn't matter if they beat Neftyanik or not - Irtysh Pavlodar-PNHZ have to confront either of those teams with dignity and strength.


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KOSOVO - Women

Standings - Women
A1 Standings
1. Sigal 12-1
2. Bashkimi 10-3
3. Trepca 7-3
4. Penza 7-5
5. Vellaznimi 6-6
6. Drita 4-7
7. Kastrioti 1-10
8. Probasket 0-12


Weekend schedule for 05/06.04.2008 -by Edona Shabani
TOYOTA WOMEN LEAGUE

WEEK XIII

KASTRIOTI - DRITA, Saturday on 11,00
Referees: Alban Vula, Fisnik Ramadani,
Monitors: Isak Jashari

VËLLAZNIMI - PRISHTINA PROBASKET, Saturday on 14,00
Referees: Dren Pudarolli, Amir Mamusha
Monitors: Nexhdet Hoxha

TREPCA - BASHKIMI, Sunday on 11,30
Referees: Zaim Zenuni, Xhavit Beqiri,
Monitors: Mehmet Xhemaili

SIGAL PRISHTINA - PENZA, Saturday on 17,00
Referees: Xhelal Mumini, Isa Prebreza
Monitors: Sejdi Mehmeti


Source: www.basketbolli.com


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MOLDOVA - Women

Krasnoshchek finishes the regular season in Ukraine -by Eurobasket News
Irina Krasnoshchek (190-F-81, agency: LBM Management) and her Tim-Skuf finished the regular season of the Ukrainian league on the second place. Two games between Tim-Skuf and Dnipro closed the regular season of the Ukrainian league. Both teams exchanged the wins at home.
Tim-Skuf won the first game in Kiev 79:73. That victory brought the hosts the second place and the court advantage against the third team. The game however was tough for the Kiev team as they trailed 35:43 at the halftime. The last quarter was decisive for them and they could take an advantage of it. Savina top-scored for the winners with 27 points. Egorova followed her with 15 points and 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Lisdevi top-scored with 16 points and 8 rebounds in defeat.
In the second game Dnipro revenged with 70:66 victory. Tim-Skuf opened the game with 16:23, but the hosts bounced back with 27:9 in the second period. Dnipro won the game and the regular season as well. Yahina top-scored for the winners with 27 points. Lyashkova nailed 12, whilst Lisdeivi collected 10 points and 14 rebounds. Irina Krasnoshchek resisted for the guests with 13 points.


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PORTUGAL - Women

Liga Feminina Playoff Quarter-Finals (preview) -by Luis Rocha
This weekend will be the openning round of the playoff. Olivais the regular season winner will face Uniao, it seems a quiet round for Olivais, Uniao lost one of their foreign players with an injurie and that made all the diference in their appearences. Olivais in the last rounds of the regular season has taken the foot from the gas, but they are undoubtly the better side and if they watch closely against complacency they will step forward to the semis. Alges faces CPN, Alges is better, but sometimes they lost track on the court. It seems like they can't keep their good work aprt from several lacks of concentration. Cpn has a good and experienced roster, that can turn to it's favour every failure of their oponnents, Alges has to be consistent and competitive all game long all the serie, otherwise CPN can make a surprise. ESSa-CAB, last year both teams played the finals, this year with low budgets one of them will leave at the quarters. ESSA has a better roster, but CAB has many young players who want to start making their way to sucess. I think that the stronger roster of ESSA will made the difference, that and the possibility of playing with 2 foreign players, when CAB can only play with one (if she's already healthy...). Finally Vagos-Boa Viagem, this will be (for me...) the most leveled serie. Vagos has a better and Profund roster, but B:Viagem has a very good starting five, if they manage to maintain their best players in the game the most part of it, Vagos will have many problems to beat them. For his turn Vagos will certainly 'attack' strongly the lacks of comtetivness that B:Viagem show one time to many. The team that can get to it's best sooner will take profit because the other may feel a bit down in the game, time for both coaches to work hard not only tactily, but also psichologicly. Pauline Nsimbo in Olivais, Maxann Reese (176-G-78, college: Michigan St.) in Alges, Crista Ricketts (185-F, college: La Salle) in ESSA, Millene Machado (183-F/C-79) in Vagos, Joi Scott (183-F-84, college: Murray St.) in B.Viagem, Gilda Correia (178-F-80) in CAB, Alison Mann (-C-86) in CPN and Rachel Maenpaa (185-C-84, college: Indiana St.) in UNiao can be the ones that push their teams up, good players with many solutions to help and lead in tough moments.

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SWEDEN - Women

Solna Vikings steps closer to the Final -by Eurobasket News
Solna Vikings had a road win over Norrkopings Dolphins in the semifinal of Swedish League. The winner of Group A took 2-0 record over the opponent. 08 Stockholm HR beat Telge to tie the series at 1-1. Solna Vikings trailed 19:16 in the opening quarter against Norrkopings Dolphins. However after the second quarter the things became better for the favorites. Solna Vikings produced 18:25 in the second and 9:18 in the third. Jurgita Kausaite (178-G/F-70, college: Emporia St.) led the winners with 20 points. Elisabeth Egnell (185-F-87, college: Boston Coll.) and Michaela Livijn followed her with 14 points each. Fatima Maddox (168-G, agency: 540 Sports) had a very good game for the hosts providing 30 points.
08 Stockholm HR stun Telge 80:73 with the decisive last quarter. Both squads stayed together in the majority of the game and only in the last period the hosts exploded. 08 Stockholm HR created 23:15 to tie the series in the semifinal. Jocelyn Penn (186-F-79, agency: Merit Sports, college: USC) paced the winners with 22 points. Jennie Thingwall nailed 20, while Amber Petillon had 12. Louice Halvarsson (189-C-89) ended up with 26 points in defeat.

08 Stockholm HR - Telge 80-73
08 Stockholm HR:Jocelyn Penn 22, Jennie Thingwall 20, Amber Petillon 12, Anette Johansen 9, Malin Gernandt 6, Danielle Hamilton Carter 6, Martina Stålvandt 3, Nina Barlin 2, Malin Edlund 0, Jasmina Pacariz 0
Telge: Louice Halvarsson 26, Shelley Hammonds (188-F-83, agency: LBM Management) 20, Frida Eldebrink 8, Elin Eldebrink 8, Erica Blomgren 4, Josefin Olheim 3, Cleopatra Forsman 2, Camilla Östh 2, Stefanie Yderstrom 0, Linda Ståhlberg 0

Norrkopings Dolphins - Solna Vikings 64-74
Norrkopings Dolphins:Fatima Maddox 30, Malin Belfrage 11, Petra Jacob 9, Tanya Massamba 7, Sara Saks 3, Ifeanyichukwa Nnamaka 2, Hayet Neffati 2, Helen Thorold 0, Jenny Kruger 0, Sofie Lundberg 0
Solna Vikings:Jurgita Kausaite 20, Elisabeth Egnell 14, Michaela Livijn 14, Christy Bacon 12, Jennifer Harris 4, Katarina Andersson 4, Helena Klackenberg 3, Anna Hoglund 3


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U.KINGDOM - Women

Standings - Women
EBL Standings
1. Sheffield H. 16-1
2. Rh.Rebels 15-2
3. Northumbria 12-6
4. Manchester M. 11-7
5. Nottingham W. 10-8
6. Solent S. 9-9
7. UWIC Archers 8-10
8. London HA 5-13
9. Sevenoaks S. 3-15
10. London T. 0-18


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UKRAINE - Women

Tim-Skuf and Dnipro exchange the victories in the end of the season -by Eurobasket News
Two games between Tim-Skuf and Dnipro closed the regular season of the Ukrainian league. Both teams exchanged the wins at home.
Tim-Skuf won the first game in Kiev 79:73. That victory brought the hosts the second place and the court advantage against the third team. The game however was tough for the Kiev team as they trailed 35:43 at the halftime. The last quarter was decisive for them and they could take an advantage of it. Yelena Savina (186-F-84) top-scored for the winners with 27 points. Inna Yegorova (173-G-82) followed her with 15 points and 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Lisdevi top-scored with 16 points and 8 rebounds in defeat.
In the second game Dnipro revenged with 70:66 victory. Tim-Skuf opened the game with 16:23, but the hosts bounced back with 27:9 in the second period. Dnipro won the game and the regular season as well. Yuliya Yakhina (187-C-80) top-scored for the winners with 27 points. Olga Lyashkova (185-G-80, agency: LBM Management) nailed 12, whilst Lisdeivi collected 10 points and 14 rebounds. Krasnoschek resisted for the guests with 13 points.
Meanwhile Olesya Malashenko (188-F-91) scored 10 points in Final of Belgian league, Game 1. The Final of two best teams of Belgian League proved to be emotional and interesting after the first game. IMC Dames Waregem grabbed 1-0 lead in the series upsetting the representative from Euroleague Dexia Namur 54:52. The latter looked better in the first half taking 8-points lead. With 17:6 in the last period IMC Dames Waregem triumphed in the opener. Op De Beeck Inge led the winners with 14 points. Alke Dietel produced 11, while Deyaert scored 9. Marjorie Carpreaux resisted for the defending champions with 14 points. Ukrainian Oksana Agabalova (186-F-73) netted 4 points in the losing effort.


Standings (Women)
Higher League Standings
1. Dnipro 15-3
2. Tim-Scuf 11-7
3. Kozachka 10-8
4. Ol.-NAEK 6-8
5. Chaika 6-8
6. Dynamo-NPU 0-14