EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 5/10/2008

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Men News

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ABA

Could this be the end for the ABA? -by Chris Munson
The Premier Basketball League announced today that the Vermont Frost Heaves and Manchester Millrats have left the American Basketball Association and will join the PBL for the 2008-2009 season. Reliable sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity have said Quebec City Kebekwa and Montreal Royals will also leave the ABA with that announcement to be made on Monday. Other sources are reporting the mass exodus will continue as the Texas Tycoons are set to leave the ABA with Tycoons owner Charles Key taking over operations of the Dallas Defenders.
These are moves that have been anticipated for many weeks as the solid ABA teams have grown weary of the leagues instability. Last year, 36 percent of the leagues games were played with 17 teams folding over the course of the season, including Halifax Rainmen who folded despite the fact they had qualified for the playoffs.
PBL President and CEO Thomas E. Doyle said in a news release, We receive a tremendous number of inquires and applications and are excited to welcome these solid organizations which will be great compliments to our current ownership groups,'
Just about everyone I have spoken with has said the instability of the ABA is going to be the reason for its downfall. Frost Heaves owner Alex Wolff said about his decision, When the season ended, we started to look at other opportunities, those being the CBA and the PBL. We needed to be with a league we could count on, and our loyal fans deserve better. Wolff also cited the Blizzard game and said he expects the level of competition to be much stronger in the PBL and there will be the revival of some old rivalries. Wolff said, We had a great run in the ABA with two titles, and we loved the tradition of the ABA, but we will also be able to continue some great rivalries with Rochester, Maryland and Wilmington.
Manchester Millrats GM Ian McCarthy said of the Millrats move to the PBL, We know what the ABA has not been able to deliver and we see this as a great opportunity for the franchise and our fans. McCarthy also responded to rumors that the PBL actively recruited the Millrats by saying, The PBL did not recruit us. At the end of the season we went to them (PBL) and the CBA because we needed to find a place that was more stable and has a better business model. The PBL has quite a few financial incentives as well where they pay for travel and officials.
In response to the departure of Vermont and Manchester, CEO Joe Newman said, We respect their decision and wish them well. Today, the ABA is bigger, stronger and more focused on the tremendous opportunity ahead. The 2008-2009 season will be a remarkable sign of growth for the ABA.
When asked how the defections of Vermont, et al will affect the ABA, in an e-mail message, ABA President and Chief Operating Officer Quinton Townsend said, The ABA is now entering its seventh year since its return. The ABA is bigger, stronger, and more focused on the tremendous opportunity ahead. The 2008-2009 season will be a remarkable sign of growth for the ABA as key adjustments are being made to solidify and secure a proper foundation that is both marketable and profitable. There will be several announcements over the next few weeks regarding new expansion teams, ABA regulations, and league scheduling.
I think the big question is whether or not the ABA can survive. The ABA has seen 185 teams (Including Manchester, Vermont, Montreal Royals and Quebec) depart the league since its rebirth in 2000-2001. There have been scandals where coaches have been fired during a timeout; the mysterious case of the Hawaii owner who sold season tickets and took off with the deposits, and who can forget the eight teams who left the league during the playoffs? Did I mention these teams had qualified for the playoffs?
The ABA needs to become more stable and they need to do it quickly. CEO Newman has previously stated new teams will be required to post a $30,000 entrance fee and prove a line of credit. On paper this is a good step, but according to sources, Newman is not collecting any of those fees and is allowing teams into the league at no cost. There have also been allegations Newman is intentionally putting teams into PBL and CBA markets to try and taint their respective leagues. These are things that have helped in ruining the reputation of the ABA.
Overall, this is a coup for the PBL and a blow to the ABA. The PBL has been able to secure four solid franchises with solid and reputable ownership and management. The PBL is making a strong case as being one of, if not the top league in minor league basketball and I only see that case being enhanced. The ABA on the other hand is going downhill fast.

Chris Munson is a freelance writer and broadcaster based in Burlington, Vermont. (Soon to be Jacksonville, Florida) Chris is the former Sports Director for ESPN Radio Vermont and has written for Our Sports Central, US Basket, Varsity Magazine, the Vermont Guardian and the Vermont Times.


FORT WAYNE'S BEST STARTS AGAIN, ANNOUNCES DRAFT and SOUTH CHICAGO TO HOLD WEEKEND TRYOUTS -by Bruno Baltazar
Best Leagues, an ABA affiliate, launches Fort Wayne's Best Prep League. The league drafted 80 players in a pro style draft with players from all area high schools and northeast Indiana. The PREP league will play with a modified version of the unique ABA rules. The high school league will play twelve games through May before the AAU season begins.

In other league news, Best Leagues announced its draft night dates for its men's league. This high profile men's league plays through the summer and is for men 18-28 Five of Best Leagues players will receive a free tryout to any ABA team, courtesy of the ABA. Draft night is on June 6th at 6 pm at the Fellowship Missionary Church location. Cost is $50 per player and each paid registration will receive a team uniform compliments of Brand40 Athletics.

Check out www.bestleagues.org or call (260) 447-3578 for more information.

and

The new South Chicago expansion team that begins play next season will hold its first tryout camp on Saturday, May 10th at South Suburban College, 15800 S. State Street, in South Holland, IL 60473. The tryouts will be from 9 am - 12 pm and the cost will be $100.

According to Coach Ron Hicks, 'We think some of the best players in the US are right here in Chicagoland and that we can put together a great nucleus of a team from here. And it all starts Saturday.'

For more information call (877) 661-0076, email chicagosouthaba@yahoo.com, or hicksron9@aol.com.


Manchester and Vermont join Premier Basketball League -by Gianni Pascucci
Two of the top ABA teams in 2007-08 season, the Manchester Millrats and the Vermont Frost Heaves, have officially joined the Premier Basketball League (PBL) for the upcoming 2008-09 season. 'We receive a tremendous number of inquires and applications and are excited to welcome these solid organizations which will be great compliments to our current ownership groups,' stated Premier Basketball League President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas E. Doyle. The Vermont Frost Heaves were two time ABA Champions, and the Millrats were responsible for Vermont's four losses this season. As a first consequence of this move, the rivalry that was established between Vermont and Manchester will continue in the PBL. Other regional teams of interest currently in the PBL include the reigning league champions Rochester Razorsharks, the Maryland Nighthawks, the Reading (Pa) Railers, the Wilmington (NC) Sea Dawgs, and expansion teams in Buffalo and Toronto, Canada.

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ASIAN CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

Standings
Asian Club Championships Standings
Group A
 1. Al Riyadi 1-0 
 2. Al Rayyan 1-0 
 3. Zain 0-0 
 4. MubaHang 0-1 
 5. BK Almaty 0-1 
Group B
 1. Muharraq 1-0 
 2. Saba 1-0 
 3. Al Wasl 0-0 
 4. Al Qadsia 0-1 
 5. ONGC 0-1 


Asia Champions Cup. Day 1 -by Eurobasket News
Al Rayyan - MABU Hangtuah 92:48
Al Rayyan looked too good for Indonesian MABU Hangtuah in the opening game of the Asia Champions Cup for both sides. They got into preliminary Group A of the 19th edition of the prestigious tournament held this year in Kuwait. The teams looked pretty well matched in the starting frame however Al Rayyan still managed to clear off to a 12-point distance. The things started to brighten up for Qatar side in the second period. American point guard Eric Chatfield (191-G-79, college: N.Mexico) orchestrated Al Rayyan offense well and Qatar team gradually went ahead. Chatfield just returned to the team from Turkey and joined the ranks smoothly. The former Asia Champions Cup title holders ran away to a 23-point distance at halftime and controlled the tempo afterwards. They held MABU Hangtuah to only 4 points in the third stanza and never looked in the final term. Daoud Musa (193-G-82) knocked down 25 points for Al Rayyan to be trumped the games MVP. Eric Chatfield compiled 18 points and 9 assists, while Khalid Abdi scored 12 points for the winners. Hapsak Putra (183-G/F-83) nailed 20 points for MABU Hangtuah in a losing effort.

Al Rayyan: Daoud Musa 25, Eric Chatfield 18+9 assists, Khalid Abdi 12
MABU: Hapsak Putra 20
`
Al Riyadi - BK Almaty 100:52
Lebanese Al Riyadi got to an impressive start of their Asia Champions Cup campaign in Kuwait. They routed Kazakhstan BK Almaty to gain their first win at the competition. Both teams were assigned into the preliminary Group A together with Zain Club from Jordan, Al Rayyan from Qatar and Indonesian MABU Hangtuah. Lebanese powerhouse opened the game in a high-flying manner doing perfect defensive job limiting their opponents to 7 points. Al Riyadi held to a 21:7 lead after the first frame and stretched the gap to as many as 31 points at halftime. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) and Joseph Joe Vogel (211-C-73, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Colorado St.) looked too good for Almaty defense at the moment and paced the Beirut outfit to a confident success. BK Almaty never threatened the margin after the long intermission. Moreover Lebanese team piled up an insurmountable 51-point buffer before the fourth team. They eased past hapless BK Almaty in the fourth term to celebrate an impressive victory. Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) scored 21 points and was named the games MVP. Fadi El Khatib provided 17 points and 6 boards for the winners. Anton Kataev (201-F-84) and Vladimir Gellert (202-F-81) answered with 12 points apiece for Kazakhstan team in defeat. Al Riyadi will take on MABU Hangtuah tomorrow. BK Almaty will have a bye round tomorrow.

Al Riyadi: Ahmad Ismail 21, Fadi El Khatib 17
BK Almaty: Anton Kataev 12, Vladimir Gellert 12
`
Al Qadsia - SABA Battery 60:92
SABA Battery opened the Asia Champions Cup in Kuwait with a confident victory 92:60 over the hosting Al Qadsia. Both teams got into preliminary Group B for the 19th edition of Asia Champion Cup together with Al Muharrak from Bahrain, Al Wasl of UAE, Dehradoon from India. SABA Battery got to a confident start thrashing the local favorites Al Qadsia. The hosts got to an energetic start driven by a loud supportive crowd. They tried to keep it aggressive defensively and were well steered by their American import James Williams. However SABA Batterys defense also adjusted pretty quickly and held Al Qadsia in the box. The Iranian team jumped to a 22:6 lead after the starting frame. The gap kept on growing as Hamed Hadadi (218-C-85, agency: Huss Sport Agency) dominated the paint for SABA. This 217cm centre is one of the most exciting players to watch around Asia at the moment. The Iranian National team leader pulled down rebounds, made steals and distribute the ball well. He finished with 16 points, 10 boards and 5 assists and his impact was well felt throughout the encounter. SABA Battery cleared off to a 22-point distance at halftime. Al Qadsia fought bravely but it was just not enough to surprise the experienced Iranian team. SABA Battery coasted to an overall victory in the second half and posted their first win at the tournament. Nigerian import Enniyin Mounike led all scorers with 21 points for SABA Battery. Samad Nikkah contributed 17 points for the winners. James Williams answered with 17 points for Al Qadsia.

Al Qadsia: James Williams 17
SABA Battery: Gabe Muoneke (200-F-78, college: Texas) 21, Samad Nikkah 17, Hamed Hadadi 16+10 boards
`
Al Muharraq - Dehradoon 109:58
Bahrain powerhouse Al Muharraq won their opening game at the Asia Champions Cup in Kuwait. They overwhelmed Indias Dehradun in the preliminary Group B of the tournament. Al Muharraq relied mainly on import duo of Donald Little (211-C-78, agency: EM-PA, college: Cincinnati) and Rah-Shun Roberts (202-F-75, college: California (PA)) in their race for the win. The Bahrains outfit went on a 14:0 run and took over the control. They rolled to a 29:8 lead after the starting quarter and kept on mounting the pressure on their counterparts. Al Muharraq built a 36-point advantage at halftime and breezed past their opponents in the second half. Al Muharraq fired 29 points in the third stanza with the outcome pretty vivid as the gap grew to 51 points. The Austrian specialist John Wojtak allowed the reserves to log some more minutes in the final period. Rah-Shun Roberts led all scorers with 23 points for Al Muharraq. Donald Little provided 18 points and 19 boards, while Mohamed Al Thaqafi contributed 12 points for the winning side. Mukkanniyil Anoop (198-C-86) answered with 15 points for Dehradoon. Mukesh Bhandari scored 12 points in a loss. Dehradoon will next take on the hosting Al Qadsia today. Al Muharraq will take on Al Qadsia on Saturday following a bye-round today.

Al Muharraq: Rah-Shun Roberts 23, Donald Little 18+19 boards, Mohamed Al Thaqafi 12
Dehradoon: Mukkanniyil Anoop 15, Mukesh Bhandari 12


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BAHRAIN

Al Muharraq handles Dehradoon in Kuwait -by Eurobasket News
Al Muharraq - Dehradoon 109:58

Bahrain powerhouse Al Muharraq won their opening game at the Asia Champions Cup in Kuwait. They overwhelmed Indias Dehradun in the preliminary Group B of the tournament. Al Muharraq relied mainly on import duo of Donald Little (211-C-78, agency: EM-PA, college: Cincinnati) and Rah-Shun Roberts (202-F-75, college: California (PA)) in their race for the win. The Bahrains outfit went on a 14:0 run and took over the control. They rolled to a 29:8 lead after the starting quarter and kept on mounting the pressure on their counterparts. Al Muharraq built a 36-point advantage at halftime and breezed past their opponents in the second half. Al Muharraq fired 29 points in the third stanza with the outcome pretty vivid as the gap grew to 51 points. The Austrian specialist John Wojtak allowed the reserves to log some more minutes in the final period. Rah-Shun Roberts led all scorers with 23 points for Al Muharraq. Donald Little provided 18 points and 19 boards, while Mohamed Al Thaqafi contributed 12 points for the winning side. Mukkanniyil Anoop (198-C-86) answered with 15 points for Dehradoon. Mukesh Bhandari scored 12 points in a loss. Dehradoon will next take on the hosting Al Qadsia today. Al Muharraq will take on Al Qadsia on Saturday following a bye-round today.

Al Muharraq: Rah-Shun Roberts 23, Donald Little 18+19 boards, Mohamed Al Thaqafi 12
Dehradoon: Mukkanniyil Anoop 15, Mukesh Bhandari 12


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BELARUS

Expecting Game 3 -by Eurobasket News
Game 3 between OZAA and Vitalyur is scheduled for May 10, but after the first two it might be the last game the spectatoiors will see. A thrilling development discussed closer to the male basketball play-off championship was no longer special in an inappropriate time. Hardly had the final series started on, the Vitalur team was but a few steps from the fourth championship. OZAA was a horrible but bearable opponent during the weekend match.
On Friday the OZAA team looked up to the mark just in the first quarter. The team won with the score 18:12 wounded only by Sharko and Kuchinskiy with their 6 points each. Right after Vitalur displayed the zone defense blocking the ring. Meanwhile the hosts took a shield advantage with
Uladzimir Charko (200-F-74) , Kuchinskiy, Zaitsev Dmitry, Yeremenko Konstantin at the lead. Those four got 65 points out of total 74, and thus met the first series victory. OZAA confronted that victory more and more persistently though suffered a staff loss not long ago. Uladzimir Charko blocked the ring access of Poderachev A. away too harsh and he hit the ground. Even the medical personnel of the opposing team rushed to help him but that was still in vain. An injured elbow of Poderachev A. did not fall under the operative recovery. The quests, however, found themselves in a desperate situation on Saturday right in the beginning of the second quarter 23:14. So, the certain measures were taken, and with Olbrehts inspiration the team ended up 30:30 by the interval. Then Vitalur showed who was who after four intensive attacks 10:0. OZAA fought to the uttermost and received a chance 2 minutes prior to the siren when Uladzimir Charko hit the bench overloaded with fouls. Anyways, that did not prevent Vitalur from the victory for Shustov turned out to be a pretty good leader.


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CAMEROON

Cameroon seeks for financial support through the internet -by Kristian Santiago
The preparation phase and the participation of African silver-medalist Cameroon in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July this year is still in doubt as there are still no news if there will be a financial backing from the government, according to head-coach Lazare Lazare Adingono who mailed me some days ago.

He also urged me to let all supporters and fans of the national team know, that there is a website he and other supporters created for any financial contribution for a possible trip to Athens:http://camerounbasket.chipin.com/olympic-games

'All these young talented patriots are ready to go represent not only our country but the entire continent'', tells Lazare Adingono from his home in the United States.

Hopefully, Lazare Adingono can use the deep pool of talented players in Athens; it would be a shame not to have such a highly motivated national team at the qualifiers.


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CHILE

Libsur 2008 round 8 results -by Cristian Quiroga
ZONE A
D. Lautaro 93
Ronald Cruces 26 pts., Josef Krause 17 pts.
Asoc. Ancud 81
Fernando Campos 32 pts., Kurt Kruger 15 pts.

Prov. Osorno 83
Emilio Paris 21pts., Cristian Prez 18 pts.
Dep. Ancud 58
Gonzalo Velsquez 20 pts., Pedro Sandoval 10 pts.

D. Valdivia 89
Ramiro Vera 21 pts., Esteban Toledo 18 pts.
Prov. Llanquihue 72
Matas Seplveda 27 pts., Alberto Toledo 22 pts.

ZONE B
Dep. Pto. Varas 96

Felipe Valenzuela 25 pts., Nicles Ulloa 17 pts.
Dep. Carahue 71
Renato Torres 16 pts., Alberto Soto 15 pts.

Unap Victoria 76
Gustavo Contreras y Oscar Salgado 17 pts.
Dep. Las Animas 89
Francisco Vergara 27 pts., Roberto Gatica 17 pts.

Dep. Imperial 81
Cristian Zamorano 21 pts.
D. U. Lagos 97
Leonel Mndez 24 pts., Andres Torres 13 pts.


NT tour Mexico -by Cristian Quiroga
Head Coach Daniel Allende delivered during this week NT roster to travel to Mexico in preparation for the next Southamerican that will be played in Puerto Montt. NT will play against Mexican NT and some teams of the National League.
Players named are:
1.- Erik Carrasco (181-G-83), Boston College
2.- Marcelo Hernandez (188-G-79), CD UdeConce
3.- Claus Prutzmann (204-C-79), Deportivo Valdivia
4.- Emilio Paris (196-F/C-74), Provincial Osorno
5.- Patrick Saez (191-G/F-71), Liceo Mixto
6.- Leonel Mendez (184-G-75), Universidad de Los Lagos
7.- Evandro Arteaga (178-G-83), CD UdeConce
8.- Lino Saez (195-F-77), Liceo Mixto
9.- Patricio Briones (213-C-72, college: Dade CC), Liceo Mixto
10.- Jorge Valencia (206-C-77), Boston College
11.- Oliver Hermosilla (201-C-80), Liceo Mixto
12.- Jose Luis Campos (189-G-80), Deportivo Aleman
13.- Rodrigo Espinoza (183-G-81, agency: Players Group), Liceo Mixto
14.- Boris Varela (200-F-85), Randolph Macon College (USA)


Dimayor Centro-Sur last results -by Cristian Quiroga
Round 7 April 26th
Centro Zone

Villa Moderna 71 - Liceo Mixto 89
Puente Alto C.D. 92 - USACH 43
C.D. Everton 55 - Sagrados Corazones 65
Universidad Catlica 89 - U. de Las Americas 81

Sur Zone
Deportivo Aleman 79 - CD UdeConce 86
Arabe Rancagua 76 - Union Los Andes 82
Estadio Espanol 109 - Cefiro Puente Alto 80
Boston College 90 - Espanol de Talca 60

Round 8 April 27th
Centro Zone

Liceo Mixto 86 - Villa Moderna 78
USACH 35 - Puente Alto C.D. 65
Sagrados Corazones 81 - C.D. Everton 68
U. de Las Americas 73 - Universidad Catlica 85

Sur Zone
CD UdeConce 79 - Deportivo Aleman 69
Union Los Andes 76 - Arabe Rancagua 98
Cefiro Puente Alto 81 - Estadio Espanol 91
Espanol de Talca 62 - Boston College 83

Round 8 May 3rd
Centro Zone

Villa Moderna 57 - Puente Alto C.D. 86
Liceo Mixto 82 - USACH 63
U. de Las Americas 84 - Sagrados Corazones 96
Universidad Catlica 87 - C.D. Everton 71

Sur Zone
Deportivo Aleman 93 - Arabe Rancagua 66
CD UdeConce 109 - Union Los Andes 55
Espanol de Talca 65 - Cefiro Puente Alto 47
Boston College 94 - Estadio Espanol 83

Round 9 May 4th
Centro Zone

Liceo Mixto 93 - Puente Alto C.D. 75
Villa Moderna 66 - USACH 62
Universidad Catlica 72 - Sagrados Corazones 59
U. de Las Americas 81 - C.D. Everton 72

Sur Zone
CD UdeConce 101 - Arabe Rancagua 44
Deportivo Aleman 116 - Union Los Andes 66
Boston College 108 - Cefiro Puente Alto 72


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COSTA RICA

Standings - D1
NL Standings
 1. Barva 9-1 
 2. Santa Cecilia 8-2 
 3. Limon 8-3 
 4. Liceo 6-2 
 5. San Luis Gonzaga 5-5 
 6. Escazu 5-5 
 7. Perez Zeledon 4-6 
 8. UCR 2-6 
 9. Goicoechea 1-10 
 10. Santa Ana 0-9 


Barva defeats Liceo -by Gianni Pascucci
In the first showdown between the two favourite teams in Torneo Apertura 'Copa BCR', Ferretera Brenes Barva destroyed Coopenae Liceo de Costa Rica, 97-75, showing clearly who is in best form. Barva was led by Amir Alvarado (198-G/F-84, college: Marshalltown CC) and Andres Barrantes (183-G/F-80), who scored 23 points each, and was very effective under the boards and in shooting percentages. The best in Liceo was Alonso Sanchez (174-G-85), who scored 24 pts, while Kendrick Jones (190-G-83, college: Columbus St.) added 22 points. In the other games of the round, San Luis Gonzaga defeated Goicoeachea 62-59, Limon prevailed on the road over Escazu 77-67 and Santa Cecilia defeated 75-60. Henry Martinez (186-G/F-75, agency: Interperformances) was the round top scorer with 27 points for Limon.

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CYPRUS

Pantouris in AEL Limassol -by Chris Mammides

The first transaction of the season took place earlier on this week, the cup winners, team of Proteas EKA AEL Limassol Limassol agreed financial terms with one of the best local performers on the guard position, Grigoris Pantouris (190-G/F-82) after two years in Nicosia with the team of Apoel decided to go back and join the best team in Lemassol, team of Proteas EKA AEL Limassol. Grigoris Pantouris was from the very first beginning a target for the Limassol management, after less than three weeks the talented guard is joining the team of Proteas EKA AEL Limassol. This is the fourth local player which Proteas EKA AEL Limassol is adding in its roster after the renewals of Perentos, Palalas and Liatsos. The team of Proteas EKA AEL Limassol Limassol is very close to sign a head Coach too, as it is more than obvious that the American/Swedish Head Coach Charles Barton will not coach any longer the team of Proteas EKA AEL Limassol. Among the names which came to the horizon is the one of the most successful Head Coach, Proteas EKA AEL Limassol ever had, the Serbian/Cypriot Head Coach Dragan Raca , is among the names for the Head coach spot together with some Greek quite familiar head coaches such us Lafteris Kakiousis, Giannis Christopoulos and Skourthopoulos, witht he second one being the closest decision. The final decision will take place in a couple of weeks



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GERMANY

Stahnsdorf keeps Krajewski - Engelken won't return -by Moritz Korff
RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf is planning the next season in the 2. Bundesliga Pro B. Today the club announced that Steve Krajewski (205-C-81) is the first player who decided to extend his contract with RSV for the 2008-2009 campaign. The 27-year-old Center appeared in all 30 league-games of this past season and averaged 12.9 points, 6.4 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, the team's most effective player of the 2007-2008 season is not going to return to Stahnsdorf after the summer break. The club-officials came to the conclusion not to sign a Forward for one of their two import-spots. Seth Engelken (203-F-85, college: Texas A&M - C.C.) scored 17.2 points per contest in his first season in Europe, grabbed 6.5 boards, dished out 2.8 assists and snagged 2.6 steals (#5 in the league) per game. The 23-year-old Wing was 17th in Efficiency Rating per game in the league.


Ty Shaw stays with Noerdlingen -by Daniel Poerschke
Ty Shaw (202-F/C-79, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: Albertson) remains with the VPV Giants Noerdlingen for the next two seasons, as he signed a contract extension this week. The US Forward helped the Giants win the Championship of the new German Pro A league and is now looking forward to playing his first season in the German Top League BBL with Noerdlingen. Shaw is Mr-All-Around in Noerdlingen. He averaged 9.4ppg and 9.5rpg during all 30 games. He recorded 9 double-doubles and one triple-double (12 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists) in a triple-overtime win at Phoenix Hagen.

Trier: Coach Defraigne receives two year contract extension -by Moritz Korff
TBB Trier and Head Coach Yves Defraigne have agreed to a new two-year contract extension, it was announced by the club today. The new deal also includes an option for another year. Defraigne took over the head coaching position in December 07. His assistant Frank De Meulemeester is going to stay in Trier as well. He inked a new contract for one season. Trier will finish the season in a relegation spot, but may have a chance to stay in the league by means of applying for a wildcard, which will be awarded to one team, because the runner-up of the 2. Bundesliga Pro A, the Cuxhaven BasCats, have decided not to go to the start in the 1. Bundesliga in the 2008-2009 campaign.

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HOLLAND

FEB Semifinals: Matrixx Magixx Remain Alive, Blow Out MyGuide Amsterdam; Eiffel Towers One Win From Finals -by Sanders Jackson


Thursday night in the FEB semifinals, Matrixx Magixx avoided a sweep by blowing out MyGuide Amsterdam on the road, while defending Dutch champions Eiffel Towers put themselves one win away from a third straight trip to the FEB finals.

In the Sporthallen-Zuid, Matrixx jumped out to an early lead, leading 40-30 at halftime, not letting up and going on to a 91-69 blowout win. Matrixx outscored MyGuide every quarter, finally shooting the ball well, making 57.5% FG, and outrebounded MyGuide 41-32. .
Chris Copeland (203-F-84, agency: 540 Sports, college: Colorado) finally got going, scoring a game-high 26 pts. Game #4 will be played on Saturday in Nijmegen.


In the Maaspoort, Eiffel Towers overcame a hot shooting West-Brabant Giants team in the 1st half, then got good quality minutes from Marcel Aarts (212-C-83, agency: R.H.Consultancy) and Brandon Griffin (203-F-82, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: SE Missouri St.), going on to win 93-86. Aarts and Griffin provided Eiffel with a big boost, combining for 27 inside points. Eiffel's depth difference payed dividends, paving the way for starters Robert Owens (201-F-82, college: Ball St.) and Darrell Tucker (206-F-80, agency: Hart Sports Mngm, college: USF) to remain fresh and continue to take advantage of scoring opportunities while not playing a huge abundance of minutes. Owens led all scorers with 25 pts. Eiffel will look to close out the series on Saturday night in Bergen-op-Zoom.



Djoenie Steenvoorde from Rotterdam to Eiffel Towers Den Bosch -by Fred Roggen
Djoenie Steenvoorde (195-G/F-81, agency: R.H.Consultancy) will play as of the coming season for the Dutch Champion of 2007 EiffelTowers Den Bosch. This season he averaged 14 points for Rotterdam.
Steenvoorde made his debut in the eredivisie at Omniworld Almere on the age of 18. After 7 seasons to have played in Almere, Steenvoorde signed in 2006 a contract
with the Rotterdam Challengers.
The Dutch NT-player (16 caps) has signed an agreement with Eiffel Towers Den Bosch up to and including 2012.


Two new players for Aris Friesland -by Fred Roggen
Aris friesland have added two new players to the selection for 2008-2009 season: Bob van den Enden (192-G/F-89) and Patrick Frimpong (202-C-87).
Both players came over from Eiffel Towers Den Bosch within the framework of cooperation between Aris Friesland en Eiffel Towers Den Bosch.
Bob van den Enden is a forward and is known as one of the biggest talents of the Netherlands.
Patrick Frimpong, 20 years old, is attracted to reinforce the inside at Aris Friesland.


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HUNGARY

Albacomp tied the series! -by Tamas Deri
The first game in Szekesfehervar the home team lost against ASE 86-77 and the security guards had to help the referees to get out from the gym .
The 4th place team Albacomp lost even the second game in Paks and got a punishment of 730.000 HUF from the Hungarian Basketball Federation.

But Albacomp did not give up and won the second home game by 18 points and the surprising victory in Paks they could tie the series.
Cory Bradford was unstoppable and scored 23 points (7 three pointers!) last night. ASE was leading 8-3 after three minutes but than the guests tied the game and started the rule the game.

Bradford, Simon, McClendon and Radovic had a great game, on the other side only Gulyas and Murry played as expected. Albacomp could win 80-63, so the decision will be made on sunday in Szekesfehervar in the game 5 of the first round.


Atomeromu SE - Albacomp 63-80
Paks, Att.: 1200, Referees: Foldhazi T., Benczur T., Hegedus
Paks: Meszaros 10/3, Nile Murry (193-G-83, college: TCU) 12, Stevenson 7/3, Horvath Z. 5, Robert Gulyas (213-C-74) 21, Csaplr-Nagy E. 3/3, Kiss Zs., Brooks 5/3, Toroman, Coach: Balazs Sabali
Albacomp: Balazs Simon (188-G-80, agency: Court Side) 15/6, Cory Bradford (191-G-78, agency: Edge Sports, college: Illinois) 23/21, Velibor RADOVIC 13 , Chad McClendon (199-F-73, college: Appalachian St.) 20, Bencze 4, Dvid G. , Boozer 2, Hanga 3/3, Sos, Keller, Coach: Peresztegi-Nagy Akos


*****************************************************
INDIA

Timir Patel: "I am still hungry to improve!" -by Kristian Santiago

Timir Patel (208-F/C) is may not known to many basketball enthusiasts in Asian basketball but should be making his mark on the basketball map once he is invited to play for India internationally.
Although he is still improving his game after transferring around the Midwest from college to college, the Houston-born forward is eager to represent India and the country of his parents who are hailing from Lambhel a small village near Ahmadabad in the state of Gujarat.
Patel first suited up for Cinco Ranch HS in Katy, Texas before getting the chance to play for Prairie View A&M&M a NCAA D1-programm who was coached back then by Jerome Francis who saw some potential in the 6-10 center.
But after a loosing season, Francis resigned and Patel took his steadily improving game to Blinn JC so he had not sit out a year due to transfer rules.
There, he was recruited by Texas St.-San Marcos and Alcorn St. but chose to attend Nebraska-Omaha for his junior-year after talking to his former-coach Francis who is an assistant at University of Nebraska. 'Once I got there last year I had trouble adjusting as far as playing inside because they tried to make me a back to the basket player', mentions Timir about the time in Omaha.' I am more of a finesse big man that likes to face up when I post up; play the pick and pop and even shoot the three', but coaches there must have had other plans with the tall Indian kid, so he packed once again his belongings and moved back home to be near his family who also needed him most during that period.
Now back in Houston, Timir got the chance to play some D1-ball again for Houston Baptist who are in the transition-phase moving from the NAIA to the NCAA right now and completed their first year in the highest collegiate basketball system around.
But for Timir, that doesn't matter much , what matters most is his game which is still raw and he has still a long way to go in his young career,
but what would be more helpful for this aspiring young man then being called up to the national team to learn and play against bigger and better opponents like China, Korea, Lebanon or Iran in the Asian tournaments?
Maybe we are hearing more from this uprising player soon, as he is going to visit India in the end of May and if someone at the Indian Basketball Federation is taking a look at his game, Timir might continue his career in the country he wants to represent proudly on the basketball courts out there.

Here is a picture of Timir in action:

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0gIt2X39595jN/340x.jpg



Al Muharraq handles Dehradoon in Kuwait -by Eurobasket News
Al Muharraq - Dehradoon 109:58

Bahrain powerhouse Al Muharraq won their opening game at the Asia Champions Cup in Kuwait. They overwhelmed Indias Dehradun in the preliminary Group B of the tournament. Al Muharraq relied mainly on import duo of Donald Little (211-C-78, agency: EM-PA, college: Cincinnati) and Rah-Shun Roberts (202-F-75, college: California (PA)) in their race for the win. The Bahrains outfit went on a 14:0 run and took over the control. They rolled to a 29:8 lead after the starting quarter and kept on mounting the pressure on their counterparts. Al Muharraq built a 36-point advantage at halftime and breezed past their opponents in the second half. Al Muharraq fired 29 points in the third stanza with the outcome pretty vivid as the gap grew to 51 points. The Austrian specialist John Wojtak allowed the reserves to log some more minutes in the final period. Rah-Shun Roberts led all scorers with 23 points for Al Muharraq. Donald Little provided 18 points and 19 boards, while Mohamed Al Thaqafi contributed 12 points for the winning side. Mukkanniyil Anoop (198-C-86) answered with 15 points for Dehradoon. Mukesh Bhandari scored 12 points in a loss. Dehradoon will next take on the hosting Al Qadsia today. Al Muharraq will take on Al Qadsia on Saturday following a bye-round today.

Al Muharraq: Rah-Shun Roberts 23, Donald Little 18+19 boards, Mohamed Al Thaqafi 12
Dehradoon: Mukkanniyil Anoop 15, Mukesh Bhandari 12


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

SABA Battery begin the title defense with win -by Eurobasket News
Al Qadsia - SABA Battery 60:92

SABA Battery opened the Asia Champions Cup in Kuwait with a confident victory 92:60 over the hosting Al Qadsia. Both teams got into preliminary Group B for the 19th edition of Asia Champion Cup together with Al Muharrak from Bahrain, Al Wasl of UAE, Dehradoon from India. SABA Battery got to a confident start thrashing the local favorites Al Qadsia. The hosts got to an energetic start driven by a loud supportive crowd. They tried to keep it aggressive defensively and were well steered by their American import James Williams. However SABA Batterys defense also adjusted pretty quickly and held Al Qadsia in the box. The Iranian team jumped to a 22:6 lead after the starting frame. The gap kept on growing as Hamed Hadadi (218-C-85, agency: Huss Sport Agency) dominated the paint for SABA. This 217cm centre is one of the most exciting players to watch around Asia at the moment. The Iranian National team leader pulled down rebounds, made steals and distribute the ball well. He finished with 16 points, 10 boards and 5 assists and his impact was well felt throughout the encounter. SABA Battery cleared off to a 22-point distance at halftime. Al Qadsia fought bravely but it was just not enough to surprise the experienced Iranian team. SABA Battery coasted to an overall victory in the second half and posted their first win at the tournament. Nigerian import Enniyin Mounike led all scorers with 21 points for SABA Battery. Samad Nikkah contributed 17 points for the winners. James Williams answered with 17 points for Al Qadsia.

Al Qadsia: James Williams 17
SABA Battery: Gabe Muoneke (200-F-78, college: Texas) 21, Samad Nikkah 17, Hamed Hadadi 16+10 boards


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

Round 24:First and second teams -by Netanel Dahan
Round 24 MVP: Omar Sneed (203-F/C-76, college: Memphis)

First team
Omar Sneed, Omar was great, he lead Rishon to important win when he scored 31 points, grabed 9 rebounds, and 2 steals
Brian Tolbert (188-G-74, agency: Ronsport, college: E.Michigan), Brian scored 28 points in just 30 minutes, and 9-of-11 from the 2 points
Michael Kubler.
Elishay Kadir (203-F-87, agency: Avi Zilberman), Kadir scored 17 points, took 8 rebounds, and draw 6 fouls
Malik Dixon (187-G-75, college: UALR), Malik scored 18 points in 18 minutes! he grabed 3 rebounds, and also passed 3 assists
Yogev Ohayon (189-G-87, agency: Interperformances), Yogev organize Galil's offense and lead Galil to amazing win over Maccabi, Yogev scored 8 points took 6 rebounds, draw 4 fouls dishing 5 assists and kidnap 6 steals

Second team
Adam Hall (196-F/G-80, college: Virginia), Adam scored 20 points, took 5 rebounds and aslo draw 5 fouls
Rod Grizzard (203-G-80, college: Alabama), Rod scored 24 points points and go with 12 rebounds
Guy Pniny (201-F-83, agency: Avi Zilberman), Guy scored 19 points took 6 rebounds and go with 7 steals!
Lior Eliyahu (205-F-85, agency: ZAG Advocates), Lior scored 17 points took 3 rebounds and go with 2 steals
Terence Morris (206-F-79, college: Maryland), Terence scored 9 points grabed 15 rebounds! dishing 4 assists draw 4 fouls and go with 3 steals


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

Tochigi snatches experienced Ito -by J.D. Greene
Showing more preparations for moving up to the top league in Japan, the Tochigi Brex have lured another experienced player to their roster, signing 28-year old Shunsuke Ito (203-C/F-79). Ito has been a member of the Japanese National Team for the past seven years and JBL Superleague team Toshiba Brave Thunders for the last six seasons. He will undoubtedly be a major contributor to the expanding Brex who recently announced the acquisitions of JBL-experienced Takuya Kawamura and Hiromasa Omiya, as well as new head coach Mitsuhiko Kato. With the addition of the National Team powerhouse, Ito, the Brex are showing signs of a more experienced and different-looking team. It will be interesting to see how well the new players and coach mesh come next season.

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

Al Riyadi storms past BK Almaty in the Asia Champions Cup opener -by Eurobasket News
Al Riyadi - BK Almaty 100:52

Lebanese Al Riyadi got to an impressive start of their Asia Champions Cup campaign in Kuwait. They routed Kazakhstan BK Almaty to gain their first win at the competition. Both teams were assigned into the preliminary Group A together with Zain Club from Jordan, Al Rayyan from Qatar and Indonesian MABU Hangtuah. Lebanese powerhouse opened the game in a high-flying manner doing perfect defensive job limiting their opponents to 7 points. Al Riyadi held to a 21:7 lead after the first frame and stretched the gap to as many as 31 points at halftime. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) and Joseph Joe Vogel (211-C-73, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Colorado St.) looked too good for Almaty defense at the moment and paced the Beirut outfit to a confident success. BK Almaty never threatened the margin after the long intermission. Moreover Lebanese team piled up an insurmountable 51-point buffer before the fourth team. They eased past hapless BK Almaty in the fourth term to celebrate an impressive victory. Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) scored 21 points and was named the games MVP. Fadi El Khatib provided 17 points and 6 boards for the winners. Anton Kataev (201-F-84) and Vladimir Gellert (202-F-81) answered with 12 points apiece for Kazakhstan team in defeat. Al Riyadi will take on MABU Hangtuah tomorrow. BK Almaty will have a bye round tomorrow.

Al Riyadi: Ahmad Ismail 21, Fadi El Khatib 17
BK Almaty: Anton Kataev 12, Vladimir Gellert 12


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

Weekend schedule for 10/11 2008 -by Edona Shabani

MABETX SUPER LEAGUE
Second final match


PEJA SIGAL PRISHTINA 1:2 , Sunday at 19,00


TOYOTA WOMEN LEAGUE
Second final match


BASHKIMI SIGAL PRISHTINA 1:0, Saturday at 13,00
Referees: Hajredin Zeka, Agim Halili
Monitors: Tafil Hoxha


STOBI FLIPS PIONEERS LEAGUE
Third semi final match


SHB 12 MEGABASKET 1:1 ,Sunday at 12,00
Referees: Agim Halili, Labninot Belegu
Monitors: Bekim Agusholli


TREPA YLLI 1:1, Saturday at 11,00
Referees: Daut Mehmeti, Isa Prebreza
Monitors: Bajrush Ademi

Source: www.basketbolli.com



*****************************************************
KUWAIT

Williams Al Qadsia for Asia Champions -by Ali Ahmed
Al Qadsia basketball team management agreed terms with the American forward James Williams (204-F-79, college: Brown Mackie) to play for them the Asia Champions in Kuwait.


James is a tremendous forward quick and athletic . He has good ball handling skills and good moves under the basket.


Awards/Achievements:
JUCO 1st Team All-American -05
MVP of Junior College Championships voted by coaches and newspapers -05
Swedish Basketligan All-Star Game -06 (Slam Dunk Contest Winner)
Eurobasket.com All-Swedish Basketligan Entertainer of the Year -06
Estonian League Regular Season Champion -06
Estonian League Champion -06
Eurobasket.com All-Estonian League 2nd Team -06
USBL Semifinals -06


Bangura signs for Al Qadsia -by Ali Ahmed

Al Qadsia basketball team management agreed terms with the American guard Alpha Bangura (197-F/G-80, college: St.John's) to play for them the Asian Clubs Championship (Kuwait May 8-16) .


hes very athletic forward, with great leaping ability, who plays hard at the two sides of the court; can further improve and become a very good international level forward .




Awards/Achievements:
Northeast Conference Newcomer of the Week - 3 times (Monmouth College) -98
Northeast Conference Freshman of the year -98
NBDL Semifinals -03
All-NBDL Honorable Mention -04
NBDL Regular Season Runner-Up -04
NBDL Semifinals -04
CBA All-Stars Game -05, 06 (Slam Dunk Contest Winner)
Japanese JBL Challenge Cup Winner -07
Japanese JBL Superleague Regular Season Champion -08
Japanese JBL Superleague Champion -08
Asia-Basket.com All-Japanese JBL Superleague 1st Team -08
Asia-Basket.com Japanese JBL Superleague All-Imports Team -08
Lebanese Cup Semifinals -08
Arab Club Championships Finalist -08



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

Zalgiris ties the Final series -by Eurobasket News

Zalgiris-Lietuvos Rytas 87:80

Zalgiris won its first Final home game and tied the series against Lietuvos Rytas at 1-1. The winner of Baltic league overcame its rivals 87:80 with a perfect start in the early beginning. DeJuan Collins (188-G-76, college: Tuskegee) led the winners with 18 points. Damir Markota (209-C/F-85) collected 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Brown netted 15 and Jonas Maciulis (200-G/F-85, agency: Interperformances) had 11. Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) finished the night with 18 points in the losing clause.
Zalgiris grabbed the lead from the very beginning and Jankunas closed a 8-0 run. Zukauskas made it 20:6 as the hosts dominated the court. Still Lietuvos Rytas reduced their deficit to 9 points as the first period ended at 27:18. Hollis Price (186-G-79, college: Oklahoma) brought the guests to 28:22 as the latter were coming back to the game. Kenan Bajramovic's three saw 35:30 and that was the 'battle time' on the court. Chuck Eidson (202-F-80, college: S.Carolina)'s shot from the arc closed the first half at 48:42 for Zalgiris.
DeJuan Collins brought back 10 points advantage making it 58:48. Damir Markota was the last to score in the quarter as the teams were getting ready for the last period with 75:64. Last quarter started with guests points 10:1 as the margin was reduced to 76:74. Zalgiris deserved the win probably a bit more and held the score for good. Jurak scored two free throws for the winners in the end for 87:80 victory.


Zalgiris: DeJuan Collins 18, Damir Markota 15+7 rebs, Brown 15, Jonas Maciulis 11
Lietuvos Rytas: Kenan Bajramovic 18, Chuck Eidson 16, Hollis Price 14, Matt Nielsen (208-F/C-78) 10



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

Emanuel Ginobili, Tony Parker score 31 points each in a win -by Eurobasket News
The San Antonio Spurs relied on their offense as Tony Parker (6'0''-G-80) and Emanuel Ginobili (6'6''-G-77, agency: Interperformances) teamed up for 62 points to carry the Spurs to a 110:99 win over New Orleans. Trailing 0-2 in the semifinal series against the Hornets the defending champions were not about to give New Orleans a chance to get away with it in Texas. They allowed Chris Paul (6'0''-G-85, college: Wake Forest) to post impressive figures but still outpaced the visitors for the first win in the matchup. The hosts entered the final term with 5-point buffer. Ginobili converted a three-pointer plus foul early in the period to keep the Spurs ahead. The Hornets would not surrender as they trimmed the gap to 2 points but the Spurs went on an 11:0 run to clear off for good. Tim Duncan came up with 16 points and 13 boards for the winners. Chris Paul had 35 points and 9 assists for the Hornets. David West (6'8''-F-80, agency: Octagon, college: Xavier) nailed 23 points and pulled down 12 boards in a losing effort.
LeBron James (6'8''-F-84) shooting misery continued in the second game of the series against Boston which resulted in the Celtics bagging an easy 89:73 victory. Paul Pierce (6'7''-F-77, college: Kansas) scored 19 points and Ray Allen (6'6''-G-75, college: Connecticut) added 16 as the Celtics as they accumulated a 2-0 lead in the series. LeBron James once again failed to put on a game-winning performance going for 6/24 from the field. He shot 1/11 in the second and third frames while Boston went on a 36:10 run to leave the visitors far behind. The hosts never looked back afterwards leading by as many as 20 points in the fourth term. Kevin Garnett (6'10''-F-76) provided 13 points and 12 boards for the winners. LeBron James secured 21 points, 6 assists and 5 boards for the Cavs. Zydrunas Ilgauskas (7'2''-C-75, agency: Interperformances) had 19 points in defeat. The third game is scheduled for Saturday in Cleveland.


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

Roller coaster week for Nelson -by Eurobasket News
The Nelson Giants opened Round 11 in style beating the Auckland Stars 105:91 on the road. Veteran Tall Black Phill Jones (196-G-74) notched 33 points 21 of them in the first half to propel the defending champions to an impressive win at the ASB Stadium. Jones knocked down 14 points in the starting frame and the Giants ran away to a 35:20 distance. The Stars recovered late in the second period answering with an 11:0 run to close the gap. But Nelson stood up to the challenge finalizing the first half with a 12-point cushion. Auckland improved in almost every category in the second half but it was a bit too late. Nelson confidently roll to victory and sealed it in the dying stages. Michael Harrison (206-F-84, agency: Interperformances) provided 18 points, 6 boards and 6 assists, while Chris Reay added 15 points and 11 boards for the winners. Casey Frank (203-F-77, college: N.Arizona) scored 25 points and collected 11 boards in a losing effort. Auckland were without Adrian Majstrovich who missed the game because of an injury.
The Hawkes Bay Hawks thumped the Dynamos Taranaki 88:67 in New Plymouth. Kevin Smith (198-F-79, college: Lee) led all scorers with 28 points for the Hawks. Paora Winitana contributed 18 points for the winners. Keith Salscheider (196-G/F-82, agency: Sports Plus International, college: San Diego Chr.) had 24 points for the Dynamos as they slipped to 5-6 record.
The league leaders Waikato Pistons prevailed against the Canterbury Rams 83:77. Brian Wethers scored 35 points to pace the Pistons to a difficult victory. The Pistons trailed by 7 points midway through the fourth term but Jason Crowe (193-G-76, agency: Court Side, college: Cal.St. Northridge) stepped on the stage at the moment. He scored the last 8 points of the Pistons and made two crucial steals in the dying minutes to propel the Pistons to their 10th win. Jason Crowe finished with 20 points, 8 boards and 7 assists in a winning case. Jeremy Kench (184-G-84) and John Whorton accounted for 17 points apiece for the Rams.
The Harbour Heat overcame the absence of leading scorers Oscar Forman and Hayden Allen to doom the Nelson Giants. The Heat led by Tim Behrendorff (211-C-81, college: Gardner-Webb) with 19 points and 9 boards held off Nelson 75:64 for the 8th win in the season. Daryl Cartwright provided 18 points, while Mika Vukona secured 14 points and 9 boards for the winning side. Michael Harrison replied with 18 points and 6 boards for the Giants. Phill Jones was limited to only 13 points on the occasion.


Standings Men
NBL Standings
 1. Waikato 10-2 
 2. Wellington 8-4 
 3. Harbour Heat 8-5 
 4. Nelson 8-5 
 5. G&H Hawks 7-4 
 6. Auckland 6-6 
 7. Taranaki 5-6 
 8. Manawatu 3-7 
 9. Canterbury 3-10 
 10. Otago 2-11 


*****************************************************
PARAGUAY

Metro has restarted -by Gianni Pascucci
Metropolitan League restarted yesterday night, with two games, Universidad Catlica (UCA) - Ciudad Nueva and Olimpia - Sportivo San Lorenzo. The second leg of the competition is a round robin in which all the teams will meet themselves only one time on a neutral court. The four best teams will advance to the third leg, when they will play a Quadrangolar. Then will be played the playoffs, and the Metro winner will advance to the so-named 'Top 5 Tournment', made of the four teams from Asuncion currently playing in National League (San Jos, Libertad, Felix Perez Cardozo ans Sol de America). This tournment will probably start on next July, and its winner team will cjallenge the champion of the National League in the so-named 'Super Cup' at the end of the year.

Ruiz tops the NL scorers -by Gianni Pascucci
Young Argentinean forward Enzo Ruiz (193-F-88) is the current best scorer of Paraguayan National League. Ruiz, who plays in Sacachispas, is scoring 25,6 ppg, and is also the best 3 points shooter of the tournment. At the scond place there is Daniel Perez (190-G/F-84), of Libertad, with 24,1 ppg, followed by two players from America de Pilar, Jose Fabio (198-F-77), at 21,6 ppg and Marcus Watts (204-F/C-83, college: Florida Gulf Coast) at 20,3 ppg

*****************************************************
PBL

Manchester and Vermont join Premier Basketball League -by Gianni Pascucci
Two of the top ABA teams in 2007-08 season, the Manchester Millrats and the Vermont Frost Heaves, have officially joined the Premier Basketball League (PBL) for the upcoming 2008-09 season. 'We receive a tremendous number of inquires and applications and are excited to welcome these solid organizations which will be great compliments to our current ownership groups,' stated Premier Basketball League President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas E. Doyle. The Vermont Frost Heaves were two time ABA Champions, and the Millrats were responsible for Vermont's four losses this season. As a first consequence of this move, the rivalry that was established between Vermont and Manchester will continue in the PBL. Other regional teams of interest currently in the PBL include the reigning league champions Rochester Razorsharks, the Maryland Nighthawks, the Reading (Pa) Railers, the Wilmington (NC) Sea Dawgs, and expansion teams in Buffalo and Toronto, Canada.

Could this be the end for the ABA? -by Eurobasket
The Premier Basketball League announced today that the Vermont Frost Heaves and Manchester Millrats have left the American Basketball Association and will join the PBL for the 2008-2009 season. Reliable sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity have said Quebec City Kebekwa and Montreal Royals will also leave the ABA with that announcement to be made on Monday. Other sources are reporting the mass exodus will continue as the Texas Tycoons are set to leave the ABA with Tycoons owner Charles Key taking over operations of the Dallas Defenders.
These are moves that have been anticipated for many weeks as the solid ABA teams have grown weary of the leagues instability. Last year, 36 percent of the leagues games were played with 17 teams folding over the course of the season, including Halifax Rainmen who folded despite the fact they had qualified for the playoffs.
PBL President and CEO Thomas E. Doyle said in a news release, We receive a tremendous number of inquires and applications and are excited to welcome these solid organizations which will be great compliments to our current ownership groups,'
Just about everyone I have spoken with has said the instability of the ABA is going to be the reason for its downfall. Frost Heaves owner Alex Wolff said about his decision, When the season ended, we started to look at other opportunities, those being the CBA and the PBL. We needed to be with a league we could count on, and our loyal fans deserve better. Wolff also cited the Blizzard game and said he expects the level of competition to be much stronger in the PBL and there will be the revival of some old rivalries. Wolff said, We had a great run in the ABA with two titles, and we loved the tradition of the ABA, but we will also be able to continue some great rivalries with Rochester, Maryland and Wilmington.
Manchester Millrats GM Ian McCarthy said of the Millrats move to the PBL, We know what the ABA has not been able to deliver and we see this as a great opportunity for the franchise and our fans. McCarthy also responded to rumors that the PBL actively recruited the Millrats by saying, The PBL did not recruit us. At the end of the season we went to them (PBL) and the CBA because we needed to find a place that was more stable and has a better business model. The PBL has quite a few financial incentives as well where they pay for travel and officials.
In response to the departure of Vermont and Manchester, CEO Joe Newman said, We respect their decision and wish them well. Today, the ABA is bigger, stronger and more focused on the tremendous opportunity ahead. The 2008-2009 season will be a remarkable sign of growth for the ABA.
When asked how the defections of Vermont, et al will affect the ABA, in an e-mail message, ABA President and Chief Operating Officer Quinton Townsend said, The ABA is now entering its seventh year since its return. The ABA is bigger, stronger, and more focused on the tremendous opportunity ahead. The 2008-2009 season will be a remarkable sign of growth for the ABA as key adjustments are being made to solidify and secure a proper foundation that is both marketable and profitable. There will be several announcements over the next few weeks regarding new expansion teams, ABA regulations, and league scheduling.
I think the big question is whether or not the ABA can survive. The ABA has seen 185 teams (Including Manchester, Vermont, Montreal Royals and Quebec) depart the league since its rebirth in 2000-2001. There have been scandals where coaches have been fired during a timeout; the mysterious case of the Hawaii owner who sold season tickets and took off with the deposits, and who can forget the eight teams who left the league during the playoffs? Did I mention these teams had qualified for the playoffs?
The ABA needs to become more stable and they need to do it quickly. CEO Newman has previously stated new teams will be required to post a $30,000 entrance fee and prove a line of credit. On paper this is a good step, but according to sources, Newman is not collecting any of those fees and is allowing teams into the league at no cost. There have also been allegations Newman is intentionally putting teams into PBL and CBA markets to try and taint their respective leagues. These are things that have helped in ruining the reputation of the ABA.
Overall, this is a coup for the PBL and a blow to the ABA. The PBL has been able to secure four solid franchises with solid and reputable ownership and management. The PBL is making a strong case as being one of, if not the top league in minor league basketball and I only see that case being enhanced. The ABA on the other hand is going downhill fast.

Chris Munson is a freelance writer and broadcaster based in Burlington, Vermont. (Soon to be Jacksonville, Florida) Chris is the former Sports Director for ESPN Radio Vermont and has written for Our Sports Central, US Basket, Varsity Magazine, the Vermont Guardian and the Vermont Times.


*****************************************************
POLAND

Turow awaits in the Final -by Eurobasket News
PGE Turow Zgorzelec became the first finalist of the Polish Play-offs. In Game 5 the team overcame ASCO Slssk Wroclaw 83:70 mostly due to the last quarter. The latter opened the campaign with 18:16 win after the first quarter. Both teams remained close to each other after the first half when the board showed 33:32 for the hosts. A 22:16 in the third and 28:22 in the last sent Turow to the Final of Poland. David Logan (184-G-82, college: Indianapolis) paced all the winners with 26 points. Dragisa Drobnjak (200-F-77, agency: VTBM/SRBM) nailed 17 and Iwo Kitzinger (188-G-85) scored 14. Torrell Martin (196-G-85, agency: 540 Sports, college: Winthrop) ended up with 16 points in the losing effort. Turow won the series 4-1 and awaits in the Final for the winner of the other semifinal.
Last night Prokom became closer to join Turow in the Final after a 88:67 win over Polpak. The hosts opened the game with 26:17 and then increased the lead in the second half. Milan Gurovic (207-F-76, agency: Beo Basket) led the winners with 28 points. Filip Dylewicz (202-F-80, agency: Beo Basket) netted 22,whilst Pape Sow (208-F-81, college: Cal.St. Fullerton) chipped in 19. Bobby Dixon (178-G-83, college: Troy) struggled with 18 points in the losing clause. Game 6 is scheduled for May 11.

PGE Turow Zgorzelec - ASCO Slssk Wroclaw 83:70 (16:18, 17:14, 22:16, 28:22)
PGE Turow Zgorzelec:David Logan 26, Dragisa Drobnjak 17, Iwo Kitzinger 14
ASCO Slssk Wroclaw:Torrell Martin 16, Chanas 14

Prokom Trefl Sopot - Polpak 88:67(26:17, 17:17, 24:18, 21:15)
Prokom Trefl Sopot: Milan Gurovic 28, Filip Dylewicz 22, Pape Sow 19
Polpak: Bobby Dixon 18, Lepojevic 12


*****************************************************
PORTUGAL

Liga UZO finals game 1 -by Luis Rocha
porto went to Ovar and leave with a very important win (61-59). Porto lead untill the break , but in the third quarter Ovarense played greatly and after a strong come back took the lead by 5 points. When many thought that it was time to wrap things up, Porto speed up the pace, and managed to finish with 2 points ahead. It was tremendous the work made on defense by Porto in this quarter, they only suffered 11 points. Ovarense once again felt too harsly the wrong shots taken, they need to be strong mentally otherwise they will loose other games, Porto was more healthy mentally and pull up their minds quicker, still in time to won. Toree Morris (209-C-82) was the game MVP with 14 points and 12 rebounds, he dominate in an area where Ovarense has good players, Toree and Julian Terrell (206-F-84, college: Vanderbilt) (12 points and 9 rebounds) were too much work for Graham Brown (205-C-84, college: Michigan), the worfull season that Elvis Evora (205-C-78, agency: Global Sports Plaza) is doing leaves the Ovar team with less solutions to fight in the inside game.

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

Standings - BSN
BSN Standings
Island
 1. Arecibo 22-10 
 2. Caguas 20-12 
 3. Ponce 15-17 
 4. San German 15-17 
 5. Mayaguez 7-25 
 6. Guayama 6-26 
Metro
 1. Santurce 20-12 
 2. Guaynabo 19-13 
 3. Fajardo 18-14 
 4. Carolina 18-14 
 5. Bayamon 16-16 
 6. Humacao 16-16 


Regular Season over Final 6 Still up in the Air -by Luis Ramirez
With the final regular season games played last night, the only thing certain is that Arecibo, Caguas, Santurce and Guaynabo have made the final six, the last two teams to join the final six are still to be determined. The Ponce Lions will meet the Fajardo Cariduros in a best out of three. The last team to join the other five will be a complex process where the San German Athletics will have to play a couple of sudden death games if they are to reach the final six. Facing San German will first be Humacao. If San German survives this, it will then face the Bayamon Cowboys. Details on how the final 6 teams will match up are still pending.

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QATAR

Al Rayyan edges MABU Hangtuah -by Eurobasket News
Al Rayyan - MABU Hangtuah 92:48

Al Rayyan looked too good for Indonesian MABU Hangtuah in the opening game of the Asia Champions Cup for both sides. They got into preliminary Group A of the 19th edition of the prestigious tournament held this year in Kuwait. The teams looked pretty well matched in the starting frame however Al Rayyan still managed to clear off to a 12-point distance. The things started to brighten up for Qatar side in the second period. American point guard Eric Chatfield (191-G-79, college: N.Mexico) orchestrated Al Rayyan offense well and Qatar team gradually went ahead. Chatfield just returned to the team from Turkey and joined the ranks smoothly. The former Asia Champions Cup title holders ran away to a 23-point distance at halftime and controlled the tempo afterwards. They held MABU Hangtuah to only 4 points in the third stanza and never looked in the final term. Daoud Musa (193-G-82) knocked down 25 points for Al Rayyan to be trumped the games MVP. Eric Chatfield compiled 18 points and 9 assists, while Khalid Abdi scored 12 points for the winners. Hapsak Putra (183-G/F-83) nailed 20 points for MABU Hangtuah in a losing effort.

Al Rayyan: Daoud Musa 25, Eric Chatfield 18+9 assists, Khalid Abdi 12
MABU: Hapsak Putra 20


Chatfield sigs for Al Rayyan -by Ali Ahmed
Al Rayyan basketball team management agreed terms with the American guard Eric Chatfield (191-G-79, college: N.Mexico) to play for them the Asian Clubs Championship (Kuwait May 8-16) .



A prolific scorer with deep range and a blinding first step... a pure point guard in the truest sense... Plays with reckless abandon. Sees the floor well and has an excellent feel for the game. Possesses the ability to take over a game during crunch time.




Awards/Achievements:
First team junior college All-America -99
Mountain West Conf. Finalist -01
All-MWC 3rd Team -02
Lebanese Cup Winner -03
Lebanese League Champion -03, 04
Lebanese Cup Finalist -04
Asian Club Championships -04(winner)
Lebanese League Regular Season Runner-Up -04
Asia-Basket.com All-Lebanese League 2nd Team -04
CBA Eastern Conference Champion -06
CBA Finalist -06
Asian Club Championships Semifinals -06


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ROMANIA

U Mobitelco and CSU Ploiesti enter the Final -by Eurobasket News
The winner of the regular season and the third team of the league will face each other in the Final of Romanian Play-offs. Both teams advanced to it after the third victories last night.
CSU Ploiesti beat Rapid Bucuresti 84:87 away from home to win the series 3-1 in the semifinals. CSU Ploiesti had difficulties throughout the whole game but will play in the Final of the Play-offs. The team will play with U Mobitelco Cluj-Napoca that created a small sensation leaving CSU Atlassib Sibiu out of Final.
U Mobitelco Cluj-Napoca edged CSU Atlassib Sibiu 87:74 to win the series also 3-1. The second team of the regular season tried to steal the second win over the opponent and started with 23:18 lead. The hosts opened the second period much better and finished it with 31:17 that really shocked the visitors. CSU Atlassib Sibiu were still in the game after 19:18 victory in the third period, but then realized that they could not stay closer. U Mobitelco Cluj-Napoca ended up the last quarter at 20:15 and advanced to the Final. LeVar Seals (194-G-82, agency: N.E.T., college: De Paul) led the winners with 17 points. Milan Medvedj (183-G-79) nailed 16 and Branko Cuic (196-G-78) collected 14 points and 10 rebounds. William Hatcher (188-G-84, agency: LimeLight, college: Miami, OH) resisted with 22 points in the losing effort. Menelik Barbary (208-C-83, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: San Jose St.) nailed 19 and Keith Triplett (191-G-80, college: Toledo) scored 14.


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RUSSIA

Khimky reaches 2-0 in the semis -by Eurobasket News
Khimky-Ural Great 99:90

Another victory from Khimky in the semifinal game against Ural Great lifted them to 2-0 in the series. Trailing after the first half the second team of the regular season spurt in the third quarter to win 99:90. Maciej Lampe (210-C-85, agency: Edge Sports) led the winners with 29 points. Daniel Ewing (191-G-83, college: Duke) nailed 21, while Kelly McCarty (201-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: S.Mississippi) posted 18 in the winning effort. Ralph Biggs (199-F-76, agency: Court Side, college: Towson) top-scored for the team from Perm with 27 points.
After a confident win in the opener Khimky expected another game from the guests. Ural Great left Unics out of play-offs and knows the way to play with favorites. After 28:26 in the opening quarter Ural Great answered with 18:25 to take control of the game. Both teams left the court with 46:51 for the visitors.
In the third quarter Khimky and 3000 spectators flew back on top. The hosts played a wonderful offensive game scoring 33 points per quarter. It left the guests with 19 in the period and the boards showed 9 points advantage before the last quarter. Khimky stayed cool and led the game to the second win. Now, it will be another series as the teams move to Perm. Ural Great, being very strong at home will try to recover and remain on ladder for the Final. Game 3 is scheduled for May 11th.

Khimky: Maciej Lampe 29, Daniel Ewing 21, Kelly McCarty 18
Ural Great: Ralph Biggs 27, Aleksei Zozulin (199-G/F-83) 20


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SAINT VINCENT

Foyle and his Magic -by Eurobasket News
Adonal Foyle (207-F-75, college: Colgate) together with Orlando narrowed the distance to Detroit beating them 111:86 at the Amway Arena. The Pistons received a major setback early in the game as Chauncey Billups fell awkwardly after the collision with Jameer Nelson and left the game with a strained right hamstring. He never returned to action and the absence of their leader influenced the game of the Pistons. Rashard Lewis nailed 12 points out of the last 14 points in the first half as the Magic grabbed a 54:42 lead at halftime. Lewis knocked down 33 points, collected 6 boards and issued 5 assists to lead the Magic as they coasted to an overall win in the second half. Dwight Howard provided 20 points and 12 boards for the winners. Richard Hamilton scored 24 points for Detroit. Tayshaun Prince secured 22 points and 7 rebounds in defeat. The Pistons remained hopeful Chauncey Billups would take part in Game 4 on Saturday.
Before that Detroit rushed to a 2-0 lead in the series against Orlando. The Pistons got 28 points from Chauncey Billups to knock the Magic down 100:93 for the second straight win in Motown. The hosts led comfortably by 14 points in the first half but Orlando cut the margin to 2 late in regulation. However Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard both missed attempts. Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups scored three free throws then to put the hosts up by 5 and Orlando never threatened the lead. Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace had 17 points apiece for the winners. Dwight Howard scored 22 points and grabbed 18 boards for the Magic. For only 3 minutes played Adonal Foyle could make 2 shots and collected 1 rebound.


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SERBIA

Balkan basketball league is ready to be established -by Dragan Jankovski
After couple of months of preparations, it seems that Balkan basketball league is ready to be established. The representatives of Basketball federations of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Macedonia and Serbia will meet in Sofia this weekend in order to make a decisions about the rules and regulations as well as to agree terms about competition schedule. One thing is sure and it is that Balkan regional league will have 10 participants (2 from each above mentioned countries) and they will be placed into 2 groups. When regular season finish 4 best teams from each group will meet in quarterfinals after what the winners will go to the Final 4. It is not known yet officially which teams will participate in Balkan league but most probably Serbian represents at the opening year will be Swisslions Takovo from Vrsac and Mega Aqua Monta from Belgrade.

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SLOVENIA

Union Olimpija wins by 58 points -by Zeljko Zule
Union Olimpija led as many as 40 points at half and crushed TCG Mercator by 106-48. Sasa Doncic (201-G-74, agency: VTBM/SRBM) lead seven scorers in double figures with 15 points. Mirza Begic posted 14, Goran Dragic and Miha Zupan 12 apiece and Chris Booker, Hasan Rizvic and Maurice Bailey while Jure Erzen had 15 points for Mercator and Ljek Nicaj posted 13.
. .


Standings - 1A
1A Standings
Places 1-8
 1. Olimpija 12-0 
 2. Helios 9-3 
 3. Zlatorog 7-5 
 4. Krka 6-6 
 5. Slovan 6-6 
 6. Luka Koper 4-8 
 7. TCG Mercator 2-10 
 8. Elektra 2-10 
Places 9-13
 1. Alpos S. 12-18 
 2. Polzela 12-18 
 3. Zagorje 11-19 
 4. Kraski Zidar 9-21 
 5. Rogla 6-24 


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SWEDEN

Mroz finishes in the semis -by Eurobasket News
Pawel Mroz (216-C-84) together with Slask in Poland could not advance to the Finals, even being the top-scorer in the semifinal. PGE Turow Zgorzelec became the first finalist of the Polish Play-offs. In Game 5 the team overcame ASCO Slssk Wroclaw 83:70 mostly due to the last quarter. The latter opened the campaign with 18:16 win after the first quarter. Both teams remained close to each other after the first half when the board showed 33:32 for the hosts. A 22:16 in the third and 28:22 in the last sent Turow to the Final of Poland. David Logan paced all the winners with 26 points. Dragisa Drobnjak nailed 17 and Iwo Kitzinger scored 14. Torrell Martin ended up with 16 points in the losing effort. Turow won the series 4-1 and awaits in the Final for the winner of the other semifinal.
Before that Turow was an inch away from the PLK Final after routing Slask 73:57 in Wroclaw in Game 4. Turow once again stressed on their well-orchestrated defense to overwhelm the hosts. Turow led from the start till the final moments prevailing in every other component of the game. They held Slask to 36% accuracy from the field converting 41% themselves. Dragisa Drobnjak scored 22 points to lead Turow. Robert Witka (205-F-81) provided 11 points, while Thomas Kelati added 10 points in a winning case. Pawel Mroz (216-C-84) paced the hosts with 12 points. Rashid Atkins nailed 9 points and dished out 5 assists as the Wroclaw are now down 1-3 in the series and must win in Turow today to stay hopeful.
Maciej Lampe (210-C-85, agency: Edge Sports) top-scored for Khimky in Russia in both semifinal games. The second-ranked Khimky dispatched Ural Great in the semifinal opener to grab the lead. Ural Great appeared the least expected contestant of this stage of the tournament. The Perm outfit knocked out Unics in the quarterfinal but could not match Khimky away from home in the first game of the semis. Ural Great kept it close in the first period as they trailed by 4 points. But Khimky ran away in the second period. They rolled to a comfortable 52:40 lead at halftime and never looked back again. Kelly McCarty and Maciej Lampe scored 22 points apiece to lead the hosts. Mike Wilkinson provided 13 points for the winners. Roman Khamitov launched 17 points and 7 boards for Ural Great in a loss. Brent Wright scored 15 points in a losing effort.
Another victory from Khimky in the semifinal game against Ural Great lifted them to 2-0 in the series. Trailing after the first half the second team of the regular season spurt in the third quarter to win 99:90. Maciej Lampe led the winners with 29 points. Daniel Ewing nailed 21, while Kelly McCarty posted 18 in the winning effort. Ralph Biggs top-scored for the team from Perm with 27 points.
After a confident win in the opener Khimky expected another game from the guests. Ural Great left Unics out of play-offs and knows the way to play with favorites. After 28:26 in the opening quarter Ural Great answered with 18:25 to take control of the game. Both teams left the court with 46:51 for the visitors. In the third quarter Khimky and 3000 spectators flew back on top. The hosts played a wonderful offensive game scoring 33 points per quarter. It left the guests with 19 in the period and the boards showed 9 points advantage before the last quarter. Khimky stayed cool and led the game to the second win. Now, it will be another series as the teams move to Perm. Ural Great, being very strong at home will try to recover and remain on ladder for the Final. Game 3 is scheduled for May 11th.


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TAIWAN

Random shots -by Chris Wang
-- The CTBA said it will announce the preliminary roster of Taiwan NT for the 2008 William Jones Cup tournament in mid-May. However, chances are a number of big name players are considering to sit out the annual festivity.

Tien Lei, Chen Hsin-an, Lin Chih-chieh, Tseng Wen-ting, Ho Shou-cheng and Lee Hsueh-lin are all possible to miss the tournament due to injuries. Think about it. Those are about half of the national team.

Anyway, in the Olympic year the Jones Cup will be the only basketball game in town for Taiwanese fans as there have been no international games to be played this year.

Taiwan NT will be once again led by Korean head coach Chung Kwon Suk, who guided Taiwan NT to the sixth place in the Asian Championship last year. The Jones Cup training camp is scheduled to start June 1 in Beitou, Taipei.

According to local media reports, invited guests included the national teams of Qatar, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Egypt and club teams from the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

-- Word is that Jon Sanders, the only import in the SBL, will be playing for his third team in three years next season. And I was told that new team for Sanders will be Dacin Tigers.

Due to a special SBL rule, the top four teams are not allowed to hire import players. Which is why Sanders, who helped Videoland and Dmedia to the playoffs in the past two seasons, will not be able to play for Dmedia and need to either find a new SBL team or play elsewhere.

The rule, like I have said many times here, is ridiculous. The import players have to play well to keep their jobs, obviously. But when they do play well and take their teams to the playoffs, they will lose their jobs.


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TURKEY

Banvit closes to 2-1 after overtime thriller -by Eurobasket News
Two more Quarterfinal games had been played in Turkish Play-offs. Banvit did not allow Besiktas Cola Turka to advance to the semis, cutting the series to 2-1 for the latter. Banvit trailed 88:89, but won the game Besiktas Cola Turka 90:89. The game was tough from the beginning until the end and proved the class of both teams in this stage. Four quarters were not enough for the teams and only 10-9 in the extra time remained Banvit alive. Joe Crispin (186-G-79, agency: Interperformances, college: Penn St.) led the winners with 29 points. Yunus Cankaya (199-F-85, agency: Prosportman) nailed 20 and Kenny Adeleke (205-C-83, college: Hartford) posted 13. Peker ended up with 20 points in the losing effort.

Turk Telekom overcame Galatasaray Cafe Crown 73:68 for 2-0 record. Galatasaray Cafe Crown was in front of the game for the first three quarters and only in the last minutes lost the encounter. The guests had 9 points advantage at the half time and remained with 6 points after 30 minutes played. Right after 67:67 Turk Telekom took a control and led the game to the happy end. Tutku Acik (193-G-80, agency: Interperformances) paced all the winners with 18 points. Erwin Dudley (204-F/C-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Alabama) collected 15 points and 11 rebounds, whilst El Amin had 14. Cenk Akyol (200-G-87) top-scored with 15 points in defeat.


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U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS

KFC, NBA to tip off new campaign in Tim Duncan's native U.S. Virgin Islands -by David Edole
KFC International and the NBA have teamed up on a new promotional partnership targeting 22 countries and territories in Central and South American and the Caribbean.

The Taste the Game program coincides with the 2008 NBA Playoffs.

The promotion will incorporate NBA-themed packaging for KFC's Big Box Meal in more than 450 restaurants from May 15 to June 31. The specially boxed meals will include a free NBA cell phone strap in select markets.

'Latin America and the Caribbean are vibrant basketball markets with a strong and growing NBA fan base,' says Emilio Collins, vice president of international development for the NBA.

'With this promotion, KFC will bring the excitement of the 2008 NBA Playoffs and The Finals directly to those fans throughout the region,' Collins adds.

At the end of the 2007-08 regular season, the NBA featured 76 international players on team rosters. Eight of those players were from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The most popular player from that region: San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands).

KFC previously served as an official partner in 2006 and 2007 of NBA Europe Live Presented by EA SPORTS -- which is the league's comprehensive tour of Europe.

The 22 countries and territories participating in the Taste the Game promotion include: Antigua, Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Bahamas, Peru, Panama, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Puerto Rico.


Newton GM candidtate with Atlanta Hawks -by David Edole
By SEKOU SMITH
The Atlanta Journal-Constitutio

Published on: 05/08/08

Six potential replacements for outgoing Hawks general manager Billy Knight, who resigned Tuesday after six years on the job (in alphabetical order):

Chris Grant
Billy Knight's former assistant who began his career under Pete Babcock, Grant bolted for the same position in Cleveland two years ago and has since helped the Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals. Played a huge role in the Hawks' tear down and rebuild but wasn't around for the playoff triumph this season.

Billy King
King, the former general manager and architect of the Philadelphia team that made the playoff this season, spent 10 years in Philadelphia, including their 2001 run to the NBA Finals, before being fired earlier this season. Currently doing analyst work for NBA TV, he could start immediately.

Milt Newton
Newton has spent the past five years in Washington, he's currently the Wizards' vice-president of player personnel. He oversees the franchise's global scouting operation. A former player and scout, Newton is considered one of the league's finest talent evaluators.

Scott Perry
Perry is a rising star in basketball circles who played a key role in the Pistons' eight-year run as the Eastern Conference's top dog. An assistant general manager in Seattle during the regular season, he recently returned to Detroit in the same capacity after John Hammond left for Milwaukee.

Tommy Sheppard
The Wizards' vice president of basketball administration, Sheppard has spent nearly two decades working in the league in various capacities. Has spent the five seasons with the Wizards working under Ernie Grunfeld.

Steve Smith
The former Hawks great is widely regarded as one of the brightest players of his generation. Respected both on and off the floor, Smith has spent his time in the business sector as well as broadcasting (Hawks TV analyst) since his playing days ended. Knows this team inside and out.


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UKRAINE

Khimik Force Game 5 -by Alexei Naumov
BC Khimik Yuzhne forced their semifinal series decider in Mariupol on May 12 with a 79:70 home win in game 4.

Khimik had a 1-point advantage at the end of the 1st quarter, extending it to 3 by the halftime break.

The game was evenly matched for the first six minutes of the third quarter, up until the Yuzhne side organized a run which allowed them to finish the timeframe up by 8.

Khimik led by 10 with 7 minutes to go in the 4th, but a 5:0 run by the visitors brought them back in the game. Thats when Olexandr Kolchenko hit back to back triples to extinguish the fire and restore the 10-point margin with 5 minutes on the clock.

The home side held on to the lead in the remainder of the game. Wykeen Kelly (186-G-79, agency: Court Side, college: Salem Intern.) scored 18 point in the win. Three more Khimiks players added 13 point each.

Three Mariupols players had 12 in the losing effort.

Click here for game stats.


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VENEZUELA

Venezuela All-stars -by Wolfgang Lucena

Everything is ready for the 31st Venezuela's All-stars Basketball game.
The All-stars game will be held in the Bolivarian Dome of Barquisimeto on May 18, 2008.
The head coach for the local stars is, Nelson 'Kako' Solorzano (Gigantes de Guayana, 6 wins / 23 defeat), and for the foreign stars, the head coach is the Argentinean Guillermo Navarte (Trotamundos de Carabobo, 25 wins and 5 defeat).

Local roster:

1
Carlos Cedeno (193-G/F-85, college: Frank Phillips JC), 2 Ernesto Mijares (190-G-76, college: Mc Clennan CC), 3 Jose Vargas (196-G/F-82),4 Rafael Guevara (194-F-79), 5 Eduardo Torres (195-F-81), 6 Heissler Guillent, 7 Luis Bethelmi (200-C-86), 8 Victor David Diaz (195-F-68, college: Houston), 9 Hernan Salcedo (198-F-80), 10 Tomas Aguilera (198-F-77), 11 Axiers Sucre (198-F-78), 12 Miguel Angel Marriaga (207-C-84)

Foreign roster:

1 Alejandro Flores (203-F-81,college: E.Oklahoma St. JC) 2 Marlon Dumont (206-F-77, college: TCU), 3 Scooter McFadgon (198-G-82,college: Tennessee), 4 Kevin Freeman (201-F-78, college: Connecticut), 5 Evan Brock (204-F-84,college:Alabama) 6 Lawrence Wallace, 7 Marcus Fleming (204-F-78, college: Alcorn St.), 8 Kevin Sowell (190-G-81) 9 Kenya Capers (194-F-73, college: Houston), 10 Ruben Nembhard (191-G-72,college: Weber St.), 11 Carl Krauser (188-G-81, college: Pittsburgh)

Barquisimeto is the Musician city of Venezuela, and now became the Milky Way.



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WCBPL

Hollywood add three players to roster -by Gianni Pascucci
The Hollywood Shooting Stars have played only one game till now in the WCBL, ane they will meet again the Santa Barbara Breakers tonight. To strengthen their roster, they have added former CBA forward Derek Gregory (6'7''-F-79, college: Wisc.-Milwaukee) from the Yakima Sun Kings, along with former IBL guard Harry Lum (6'2''-F-80, college: Florida Intern.). Hollywood has also attained Johnnie Parker (6'8''-F-78, college: Missouri) from the same Breakers, who was traded for a player to be named by coach Pickering. Parker averaged six points and five rebounds in two games this season in a Santa Barbara uniform. The Stars will undoubtedly need contributions from all of their players in support of team scoring leader Tawaris Gilbert if they wish to compete with a Breakers team that dominated them in a 106-87 victory some weeks ago.



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Women News

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FRANCE - Women

Eurobasket.com All-French LFB Awards 2007-08 -by Eurobasket
#s#
#e#6


Luptakova


Sharp


Mosch


Stansbury


Thomas
Player of the Year - Martina Luptakova (184-F-77) of Challes-les-Eaux Basket
Point Guard of the Year - Kristen Sharp (175-G-81) of Pays d'Aix Basket 13 Provence
Shooting Guard of the Year - Sheana Mosch (177-G-81) of ASPTT Arras
Small Forward of the Year - Martina Luptakova of Challes-les-Eaux Basket
Power Forward of the Year - Tiffany Stansbury (191-F/C-83) of Union Saint-Amand Porte du Hainaut
Center of the Year - Carla Thomas (191-F/C-85) of ASPTT Arras
Newcomer of the Year - Mame-Marie Sy (184-F-85) of Saint Jacques Sport Reims
Most Improved Player of the Year - Gunta Basko (181-F-80) of Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration Basket
Bosman Player of the Year - Gunta Basko of Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration Basket
Import Player of the Year - Belinda Snell (182-F-81) of Cercle Jean Mace Bourges
Domestic Player of the Year - Geraldine Robert (184-F-80) of Villeneuve D'Asco ESB Lille Metropole
Defensive Player of the Year - Sandra Dijon (195-C-79) of Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration Basket
Coach of the Year - Pierre Vincent of Cercle Jean Mace Bourges

1st Team
Kristen Sharp (175-G-81) of Pays d'Aix Basket 13 Provence
Sheana Mosch (177-G-81) of ASPTT Arras
Martina Luptakova of Challes-les-Eaux Basket
Tiffany Stansbury (191-F/C-83) of Union Saint-Amand Porte du Hainaut
Carla Thomas of ASPTT Arras

2nd Team
Celine Dumerc (169-G-82) of Cercle Jean Mace Bourges
Belinda Snell of Cercle Jean Mace Bourges
Geraldine Robert of Villeneuve D'Asco ESB Lille Metropole
Mame-Marie Sy of Saint Jacques Sport Reims
Sandra Dijon of Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration Basket

All-Domestic Players Team
Celine Dumerc of Cercle Jean Mace Bourges
Paoline Salagnac (173-G-84) of USO Mondeville
Geraldine Robert of Villeneuve D'Asco ESB Lille Metropole
Aurelie Bonnan (187-F-83) of Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration Basket
Sandra Dijon of Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration Basket

All-Imports Team
Kristen Sharp of Pays d'Aix Basket 13 Provence
Belinda Snell of Cercle Jean Mace Bourges
Sheana Mosch of ASPTT Arras
Tiffany Stansbury of Union Saint-Amand Porte du Hainaut
Carla Thomas of ASPTT Arras

All-Bosmans Team
Kathy Wambe (174-G-81) of Villeneuve D'Asco ESB Lille Metropole
Gunta Basko of Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration Basket
Martina Luptakova of Challes-les-Eaux Basket
Zuzana Klimesova (188-C-79) of Saint Jacques Sport Reims
Sonja Kireta (198-C-76) of Cercle Jean Mace Bourges

All-Defensive Team
Tamara Moore (180-G-80) of Union Saint-Amand Porte du Hainaut
Martina Luptakova of Challes-les-Eaux Basket
Jennifer Butler (190-C-81) of Stade Clermontois Auvergne Basket 63
Gunta Basko of Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration Basket
Sheana Mosch (177-G-81) of ASPTT Arras


*****************************************************
HUNGARY - Women

PLAY-OFF 2008 - Quarterfinals: 2:0 everywhere -by Adam Patonay
The quarter-finals finished, Pecs, Sopron, Szeged and BSE also won by 2:0. The biggest surprise was BSE. The capital city's team could win at Zalaegerszeg on the first game and after won at home court. They will play against Pecs, Sopron will play against Szeged for the final.

First games:
Mizo Pecs 2010 - Atomeromu Szekszard 108:65
Pecs: Somogyi A. 19/3, Podrug E. 18, Vajda A. 26/6 (13 reb), Coelho G. 10, Krivacevic T. 16.
Szekszard: Maksimovic M. 20/6, Bukovszki M. 10/3, Tams R. 10, Balint R. 10/6.

MKB Euroleasing Sopron - SEAT Foton Gyor 87:49
Sopron: Gorbunova O. 16, Nmeth B. 12, Honti K. 13/3, Karolyi A. 11/6, Eordogh E. 12/6.
Gyor: Horvath Zs. 11/3.

Szeviep Szeged - Szolnoki NKK 71:57
Szeged: Furesz E. 12/3, Zherzherunova O. 12/6, Torok Sz. 17/3, Kovacs K. 14/6.
Szolnok: Djelmis A. 12/3, Kozdron M. 11/3.

Zala Volan ZTE - BSE 75:81
Zala Volan: Pungor K. 16/6, Milkova L. 18, Hersics A. 12/6
BSE: Iglesias C. 23/3 (8 ass), Aties Z. 19, Furesz 15/3.

Second games:
Atomeromu Szekszard - Mizo Pecs 2010 58: 108
Szekszard: Varda D. 17, Maksimovic M. 21/6
Pecs: Anna Vajda 31/9, fegyverneky Zs. 10/3, Ivanyi D. 14/6, Coelho G. 17, Podrug E. 11, Krivacevic T.15.

SEAT Foton Gyor - MKB Euroleasing Sopron 38:90
Gyor: Borovickova B. 10/6
Sopron: Karolyi A. 10/6, Branzova A. 12/3, Horvath Zs. 14/6, Sliskovic I. 11

Szolnoki NKK - Szeviep Szeged 57:58
Szolnok: Hegedus R. 18/3, Boskovic 16/12
Szeged: Furesz E. 15/6, Zherzherunova 17

BSE - Zala Volan ZTE 79:77
BSE: Iglesias C. 23/6, Furesz D. 12/3, Imbergerova 13/9, Vida A. 13/6.
Zala Volan: Milkova L. 10, Creamer M. 26/9.
Anna Vajda (191-F/C-84)


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ISRAEL - Women

Eurobasket.com All-Israeli League Awards 2007-08 -by Eurobasket
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Wright


Doron


McWilliams


Walker


Perkins
Player of the Year - Tanisha Wright (180-G-83) of Bnot Hasharon
Guard of the Year - Shay Doron (175-G-85) of Elizur Ramla
Forward of the Year - Tay McWilliams (189-F/C-70) of Maccabi Ramat Hen
Center of the Year - Ayana Walker (191-F/C-79) of Maccabi Ashdod
Newcomer of the Year - Katia Abramzon (186-F/C-87) of Elizur Ramla
Most Improved Player of the Year - Katia Abramzon (186-F/C-87) of Elizur Ramla
Bosman Player of the Year - Daliborka Vilipic (196-C-75) of Ramat Hasharon
Import Player of the Year - Tanisha Wright (180-G-83) of Bnot Hasharon
Domestic Player of the Year - Shay Doron (175-G-85) of Elizur Ramla
Defensive Player of the Year - Armintie Price (175-G-85) of Maccabi Ramat Hen
Coach of the Year - Shiki Falah of Bnot Hasharon

1st Team
Tanisha Wright (180-G-83) of Bnot Hasharon
Shay Doron (175-G-85) of Elizur Ramla
Tay McWilliams (189-F/C-70) of Maccabi Ramat Hen
Ayana Walker (191-F/C-79) of Maccabi Ashdod
Jia Perkins (173-G-82) of Ramat Hasharon

2nd Team
Laine Selwyn (170-G-81) of Elizur Ramla
Ivory Latta (168-G-84) of Elitzur Maclaren Holon
La'Tangela Atkinson (188-G/F-84) of Elitzur Maclaren Holon
Mistie Williams (191-C-83) of Bnot Hasharon
Armintie Price (175-G-85) of Maccabi Ramat Hen

Honorable Mention
Daliborka Vilipic (196-C-75) of Ramat Hasharon
Michal Epstein (180-G-81) of Maccabi Ashdod
Deanna Jackson (188-F-79) of Ramat Hasharon
Shira Haelion (170-G-80) of Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Shaun Gortman (179-G-79) of Maccabi Tel Kabir Tel Aviv
Chasity Melvin (191-C/F-76) of Ramat Hasharon
Sherill Baker (174-G-82) of Elizur Ramla
Michelle Snow (196-C-80) of Elizur Ramla

All-Domestic Players Team
Shay Doron (175-G-85) of Elizur Ramla
Laine Selwyn (170-G-81) of Elizur Ramla
Shira Haelion (170-G-80) of Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Michal Epstein (180-G-81) of Maccabi Ashdod
Rivi Grinboym (178-G-78) of Bnei Yehuda

All-Imports Team
Tanisha Wright (180-G-83) of Bnot Hasharon
Tay McWilliams (189-F/C-70) of Maccabi Ramat Hen
Ayana Walker (191-F/C-79) of Maccabi Ashdod
Jia Perkins (173-G-82) of Ramat Hasharon
Armintie Price (175-G-85) of Maccabi Ramat Hen

All-Bosmans Team
Daliborka Vilipic (196-C-75) of Ramat Hasharon
Tatyana Troina (187-C-81) of Ramat Hasharon
Neda Djuric (173-G-80) of Bnot Hasharon
Olena Mustafina (172-G-70) of Maccabi Ramat Hen
Ina Gourevitch (180-G-68) of Elizur Ramla

All-Defensive Team
Armintie Price (175-G-85) of Maccabi Ramat Hen
Edwina Brown (175-G-78) of Maccabi Ramat Hen
Tanisha Wright (180-G-83) of Bnot Hasharon
DeTrina White (180-F-80) of Elitzur Maclaren Holon
Ayana Walker (191-F/C-79) of Maccabi Ashdod

All-Newcomers Team
Katia Abramzon (186-F/C-87) of Elizur Ramla
Chen Segal (155-G-87) of Bnei Yehuda
Shiri Porat (172-G-84) of Maccabi Tel Kabir Tel Aviv
Liran Buchris (167-G-85) of Hapoel Tel-Aviv


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NEW ZEALAND - Women

Fit to tour -by Eurobasket News
Christchurch Sirens captain Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe (173-G-79, college: Buffalo) has passed a fitness test on an injured knee and will rejoin the NZ Tall Ferns on their upcoming tour of Europe. The shooting guard was sidelined by the complaint at the teams camp in Canberra last month and subsequently missed the Good Luck Beijing Olympic test event. She replaces fellow guard Suzie Bates on the roster that will face Angola, Spain, Japan and the Czech Republic from May 28-June 5.
Continuing to build on the exceptional team chemistry and ongoing refinement of our systems are prime objectives on this tour, says coach Mike McHugh . But there are also decisions around final team selections that will be assessed. Kate gets a chance to cement her position, as do others who did not quite nail it in the Good Luck Beijing tournament.
All four of New Zealands opponents will be preparing for the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in Spain and are thus candidates to fill two remaining spots in the Ferns pool at Beijing. McHugh and assistant coach Leigh Gooding will attend the qualifying event to scout possible Olympic opponents.
A successful tour to Europe is imperative for two reasons, says McHugh. Firstly, we want to continue our excellent progress towards the Olympics. Secondly, we need to measure ourselves against top-calibre European teams, who we may face in Beijing. Both Spain and the Czech Republic are considered strong prospects in the qualifying tournament. The games against Angola will also provide important and rare experience of the African game style, which will assist against Mali in our Olympic pool.
The full touring squad, captained by forward Aneka Kerr (183-F-81), is
Clare Bodensteiner (175-G), Micaela Cocks (173-G-86), Toni Edmondson, Jillian Harmon (185-F-87), Aneka Kerr, Karlene Kingi, Angela Marino (166-G-86), Jessica McCormack (196-F-89), Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe, Natalie Purcell (183-F-82, college: SE Missouri St.), Lisa Wallbutton (183-F-86), Noni Wharemate (171-G-82, college: UTEP).
Courtesy of: www.basketball.org.nz


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PORTUGAL - Women

Portugal 1st phase of preparation -by Bruno Baltazar
Portugal this week(11-18th May)will work to prepare the European champ division B that they will play in August-September next.
In this week players will practise togheter to also compete in a tournament in Spain against teams such as Galiza,Basc country and Catalunya.
Due to some injuries the Portugal team roster suffer some updates making the team even younger and some changes were made at the positions 4 and 5 were Portugal has some problems..

Here's the complete list of players:
1. Sara Filipe - Boa Viagem
2. Carla Freitas - Cop Crespi
3. Ana Fonseca - Olivais
4. Carla Nascimento - Boa Viagem
5. Catia Lirio - Desportivo Pvoa
6. Nadia Tavares - CAB Madeira
7. Veronica Arajo - AD Vagos
8. Susan Foreid - Algs
9. Joana Lopes - Boa Viagem
10. Mariana Alves - Maquinaria Ensino
11. Sofia Silva - Acadmica Coimbra
12. Luiana Livulo - GDESSA
13. Aicha Anne (188-C-90) - AD Ovarense


Vice-President: Jos Tolentino
Head-Coach: Carlos Portugal
Assistant coach: Humberto Carvalho


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SPAIN - Women

Montanana leads Perfumerias in the opener against the defending champs -by Eurobasket News
Ros Casares-Perfumerias 71:78

The Finals in Spain are opened! The opener of the two best teams in Spain was held in Valencia and saw a loss of Ros Casares. The defending champions could not start the home campaign with a positive result and lost to Perfumerias 71:78. The latter being second after the regular season survived the series over EBE Promoc and now remains on track. Ana Montanana (186-F-80, college: George Washington) led the winners with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Ivanka Matic (195-F/C-79) netted 19 and Mondt posted 10. Evanthia Maltsi (180-F-78) and Delisha Milton-Jones (186-F-74, college: Florida) top-scored with 20 points each for the hosts.
Perfumerias did not feel homesick taking 20:14 win after the opening quarter. Ana Montanana and Ivanka Matic kept the lead for her team in the second quarter as the team even increased to 9 points lead. The squads left the court for the break at 29:40.
A third quarter was a real defensive battle and Ros Casares was able to reduce to 7 points after 15:13 in it. In an opposite to the third quarter last period was 27:25 win for the hosts, but that was not enough for Ros Casares to tie the game. Perfumerias takes 1-0 in the series and is looking forward to triumph at home on May 11. The series are until two wins in Spanish Play-offs and that is why the series might be over next time.

Ros Casares: Evanthia Maltsi 20, Delisha Milton-Jones 20, Elena Tornikidou (185-F-65) 8
Perfumerias: Ana Montanana 20+8 rebs, Ivanka Matic 19, Mondt 10