EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 5/13/2008

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Men News

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ARGENTINA

De La Fuente coach -by Facundo Iatzky
Despite this league has not finished yet, some teams are thinking in the next league. One of these is Quilmes Mar del Plata who announced that they have agreed in terms with Esteban De La Fuente (196-G-68, agency: CDM Basketball) as head coach for the 2008/2009 season. Esteban who played in Independiente the last season decided to finish his carreer as a player. He had a great career with lot of titles and mentions and he will have now the chance to show all his knowlodge as a coach.

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ASIAN CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

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


Asia Champions Cup. Day 4 -by Eurobasket News

Al Riyadi - Al Rayyan 88:79
Al Riyadi registered their fourth straight victory beating Al Rayyan yesterday. Thus Lebanese powerhouse booked the top spot in Pool A and qualified for the quarterfinal stage. There they will take on Al Qadsia from Kuwait as the hosts have already slated their 4th place finish in Group B. Al Rayyan meanwhile suffered their first loss at the tournament and remained at the second spot just behind Al Riyadi. The teams were well matched in the starting minutes as neither side was able to spur ahead. The things were all tied at 20 after one quarter of action. However Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) fueled Al Riyadi fierce rally in the second quarter as Lebanese team cleared off to a 12-point distance. However Al Rayyan were not taken aback. Eric Chatfield (191-G-79, college: N.Mexico) and Dalron Johnson (206-F-81, college: UNLV) kept on delivering points and the gap was eventually narrowed to 6 points after three quarters. But it was Fadi El Khatib who had the last laugh in this game as he came up with some vital baskets in the fourth term to propel Al Riyadi to a difficult victory at the end. He finished with game-high 27 points to lead Al Riyadi. Ali Mahmoud (182-G-83) launched 23 points, while Ismail Ahmad dropped 21 for the winners. Eric Chatfield provided 23 points for Al Rayyan. Dalron Johnson had 16 points in a losing effort. Al Rayyan will play against BK Almaty in the last preliminary round today.

Al Riyadi: Fadi El Khatib 27, Ali Mahmoud 23, Ismail Ahmad 21
Al Rayyan: Eric Chatfield 23, Dalron Johnson 16

BK Almaty - Zain 76:60
Kazakhstan sensation BK Almaty posted their second win at the Asia Champions Cup yesterday. This time they quite easily handled Zain Club from Jordan to improve to 2-1 record in Group A ladder. Zain meanwhile suffered their third straight defeat and put themselves on the edge of missing the playoffs. They now must beat Muba Hangtuah today to make it to the quarterfinals. BK Almaty started the game playing an aggressive defense while Zain Club looked sloppy at the early stages. BK Almaty jumped to a 24:15 lead after the starting frame and kept mounting the pressure. They held Zain Club to 11 points in the second quarter and stretched the gap to 14 points at halftime. BK Almaty never looked back in the second half and rolled to a confident victory. Vsevolod Fadeykin (206-G-85) topscored with 21 points for BK Almaty. Anton Kataev provided 19 points in a winning case. Mohammad Hadrab nailed 22 points for Zain Club. Mosa Bashir dropped 13 points in a losing effort. Zain Club head coach Maz Trakh did not draw too much attention to the loss. He underlined the importance of the experience gained by his bench players in the game of such level and pointed out that one win would suit his team to reach quarterfinal. Zain play against Indonesian Muba Hangtuah for the last ticket to the playoffs from Pool A. BK Almaty will take on Al Rayyan later tonight.

BK Almaty: Vsevolod Fadeykin 21, Anton Kataev 19
Zain: Mohammad Hadrab 22, Moussa Basheer (208-C-78) 13

SABA Battery - ONGC Dehradoon 130:76
The Asia Champions Cup title holders Iranian SABA Battery is back in the winning track. They entered the tournament as one of the biggest favorites but the status received a major blow on Friday. SABA Battery were surprisingly beaten by Al Wasl and the result had arisen some questions about the Iranian champs form. ONGC from India had the last chance to stay in the title race and they needed a victory. But their hopes went astray in the opening stanza. SABA jumped to an early 35:10 lead and looked too good for ONGC at the moment. The game evened in the second and third stanzas with ONGC keeping a steady offensive income. However Iranian team exploded once again in the fourth period knocking down 38 points and finalizing a massive win. DaJuan Tate (196-G/F-81, college: Mountain St.) came up with 42 points and 6 boards for SABA Battery. Kamran Jamshidvand (187-F-80) scored 26 points and Mahdi Kamrani had 12 for the winners. Desraj (189-F) nailed 23 points for ONGC. Muraleekrishnan dropped 15 points in a losing case. SABA Battery will take on AL Muharraq in the final game of the preliminary round today. ONGC will wait for the result of the final round in Pool A to get to know their opponents in the game for the 9th spot.

SABA Battery: DaJuan Tate 42, Kamran Jamshidvand 26, Mahdi Kamrani 12
ONGC: Desraj 23, Muraleekrishnan 15

Al Wasl - Al Muharraq 116:88
The Emirates Al Wasl extended their winning streak to 3 games toping Al Muharraq yesterday. Both sides entered the game undefeated and hoped to stretch their winning run. The teams traded buckets early on but gradually Al Wasl took over. They used a tough defense to limit Al Muharraq offensive options and keeping them away from the paint. It worked pretty well as Al Wasl accumulated a 31:18 lead after the starting frame. Al Muharraq however stayed contestant in the second period as Donald Little (211-C-78, agency: EM-PA, college: Cincinnati) was on fire for Bahrain side. Al Wasl enjoyed a 12-point advantage at halftime but went on a run right after the break. Courtney Fields (206-F-82, college: Iona) and Herve Lamizana teamed up to ignite a 33:16 rally from the Emirates outfit as Al Wasl cleared off to an insurmountable distance. Al Muharraq never threatened the lead in the fourth period and suffered their first loss at the tournament. Courtney Fields led Al Wasl with 25 points and 12 boards. Herve Lamizana had 19 points and 11 boards in a win. Donald Little answered with game-high 32 points and 10 boards in defeat. Al Wasl will now play against Al Qadsia in the final round of preliminary action. Al Muharraq will try to secure the second spot in the clash with the defending champions SABA Battery. Al Wasl win also meant that Al Qadsia will finish fourth in Pool B.

Al Wasl: Courtney Fields 25+12 boards, Herve Lamizana 19+11 boards, Ibrahim Ahmad 17
Al Muharraq: Donald Little 32+10 boards, Mohammad Mohammad 21



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AUSTRIA

Alvin Sims in Furstenfeld -by Stefan Heinrich

Alvin Sims (193-G/F-74, agency: ACMT, college: Louisville) joined the Panthers during the Play-Off series against the Gmunden Swans. He earned minutes during the 4th game in Gmunden and was responsible for 5 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists. During his outstand career Sims played in a lot of different countries on a very high level and was also played 4 games in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns, which makes him the first former NBA player who played in an Austrian team. While he played in Italy he was on the same roster with his new Head-Coach Aaron Mitchell and he also knows his new teammate Milan Goljovic (203-F-71, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents) from this team, as he was on the same roster too.




Oberwart takes the lead! -by Stefan Heinrich
Oberwart stared great in the Final series with a 113:98 victory at home. They dominated the game from the first second and they led arealdy 36:14 after one quarter. At halftime they were ahead with 61:36 and they had no problems to win game one of the Best of 5 series.

Oberwart Gunners: Marko Moric (207-F-81, agency: World Sport Agency) 27, Adam Boone (190-G-81, college: Minnesota) 22, Youngblood 22, Johnson 16, Crawford 13, Ochsenhofer 10, Artner 3
Furstenfeld Panthers: Samo Grum (194-G/F-79, agency: VTBM/SRBM) 24, Mike Dale (196-G-84, college: S.Illinois) 16, Fraser 14, Shavies 12, Goljovic 10, Colwell 8, Ocokoljic 7, Sims 4, Dragsic 3


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BAHRAIN

Al Wasl outlasts Al Muharraq to stay on top of Pool B -by Eurobasket News
Al Wasl - Al Muharraq 116:88

The Emirates Al Wasl extended their winning streak to 3 games toping Al Muharraq yesterday. Both sides entered the game undefeated and hoped to stretch their winning run. The teams traded buckets early on but gradually Al Wasl took over. They used a tough defense to limit Al Muharraq offensive options and keeping them away from the paint. It worked pretty well as Al Wasl accumulated a 31:18 lead after the starting frame. Al Muharraq however stayed contestant in the second period as Donald Little (211-C-78, agency: EM-PA, college: Cincinnati) was on fire for Bahrain side. Al Wasl enjoyed a 12-point advantage at halftime but went on a run right after the break. Courtney Fields (206-F-82, college: Iona) and Herve Lamizana (208-F/C-81, college: Rutgers) teamed up to ignite a 33:16 rally from the Emirates outfit as Al Wasl cleared off to an insurmountable distance. Al Muharraq never threatened the lead in the fourth period and suffered their first loss at the tournament. Courtney Fields led Al Wasl with 25 points and 12 boards. Herve Lamizana had 19 points and 11 boards in a win. Donald Little answered with game-high 32 points and 10 boards in defeat. Al Wasl will now play against Al Qadsia in the final round of preliminary action. Al Muharraq will try to secure the second spot in the clash with the defending champions SABA Battery. Al Wasl win also meant that Al Qadsia will finish fourth in Pool B.

Al Wasl: Courtney Fields 25+12 boards, Herve Lamizana 19+11 boards, Ibrahim Ahmad 17
Al Muharraq: Donald Little 32+10 boards, Mohammad Mohammad 21


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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Retiro 23 Are The Champions -by Herubey Grassals

San Pedro de Macoris

Andy Williams (195-G/F-80, agency: Court Side) (195-G/F-80, agency: Court Side) lead 5 players in double digits with 22 points to help Retiro 23 beat Ingenio Consuelo 90-77 to get the championship of torneo superior of San Pedro de Macoris. Retiro 23 win the final series 4-2 also they won the regular series after they lost their first 3 games, Franklin Gomez and Juan Pablo Montas (198-F-85) made 19 points each one, Juan Carlos Eusebio (203-C/F-73) 15 and Elvis Lora (183-G-85, college: Florida Intern.) finish with 13; for Ingenio Consuelo Ramon Paulino (178-G-76) made 19 points, Abdia Pache 17 and Omar Hernandez (187-G-66) finish with 11.


Distrito Nacional

In the openning day of Distrito Nacional torneo superior San Lazaro beat the current champions Los Minas 81-74 with Juan Bautista Araujo (206-F/C-83) lead all players with 22 points and 10 boards, Joel Ramirez (191-G-81) made 20 and Josue Abreu (188-G-66) finish with 17, for Los Minas Manuel Fortuna (187-G) scored 29 points, Dillon Sneed made 15 points, Ray Cunnighan and Edwin Carela (-F) finish with 12 points each one.


Hansel Salvador (186-G-80) made a good return to Distrito Nacional torneo superior when he helps Villa Duarte de Calero defeated San Carlos 88-67, Hansel Salvador finish with 22 points, Wilkin Bonilla made 12, Elvis Lora and Luis Martinez (196-F, college: William Paterson) finish with 10 points each one, for San Carlos was lead by Jorge Almanzar (193-G/F-76) with 28 points, Cesar Rosario (180-G) 12, Otto Clemente (190-G) and Michael Harper (206-C-81, college: Florida A&M) finish with 9 points each one.





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ESTONIA

Fausto goes ahead in bronze series -by Janar Filippov
BC Fausto beat BC Pirita 113:96 in an opening game of the SEB KML bronze series that are playe din best-of-three format. Fausto used only 6 players - four of them scored more than 20 points. Tanel Kaljula (191-G-81) 28, Ardo Armpalu (207-F/C-80, college: Marshall) 25, Ando Tagamets (200-F-79) and Osvaldas Macernis (197-F-82) - 21. Johnny Gray (186-G-83, college: Pacific) led Pirita with 19, five other players had double digit figures. The most intriguing fact - Fausto earned 59 free throws (making 43) that is a huge season-high in KML. Former season-high was 45.

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GERMANY

BUNDESLIGA PLAYOFF PREVIEW! -by Michael Taylor

Bundesliga playoffs tip off later this week and the 8 teams in the post season have high hopes. Each of the 4 first round series offers basketball fans fantastic matchups and will showcase the Bundesliga's best players and teams. With outstanding games expected between each of the teams, the difference between seed one through eight is small and playing styles should provide basketball fans tremendous entertainment. Below is a Playoff Preview for Bundesliga Basketball fans across the world!

(1) ALBA BERLIN vs (8) EISBAREN BREMERHAVEN
Matchup: Playing three close games this season, ALBA Berlin and Eisbaren Bremerhaven provide Bundesliga fans an outstanding first round playoff series. Finishing with the leagues best record for the second straight season, ALBA Berlin looks for motivation from last seasons first place finish and first round sweep against 8th seeded Artland. Head Coach Luka Pavicevic and his Albatross have recently parted ways with talented forward Dijon Thompson but the depth remains a plus for ALBA as former Koln AllStars Aleksandar Nadjfeji and Immanuel McElroy have proven to be a big boost for Berlin. Meanwhile, Bremerhaven won their way into the playoffs claiming the 8th playoff spot with a strong stretch run. Head Coach Dr Sarunas Sakalauskas and his Eisbaren won the most recent meeting against ALBA 74-70 in the German Cup Top4 3rd place game in Hamburg at Colorline Arena and will take confidence from this win. Even though ALBA leads the season head to head meetings 2-1, the November 11th meeting in Bremerhaven was settled with an amazing buzzerbeating layin as Bobby Brown raced coast to coast to beat the horn with the final basket of the game. Even though the matchup is 1seed vs 8seed, this playoff series is much closer than that. Without question these two talented, well-coached teams will make this first round series interesting to watch.

Keys for Berlin: ALBA Berlin backcourt of Bundesliga MVP Julius Jenkins (18ppg 44%three) and All Star PG Bobby Brown (13ppg 33%three) must produce to drive the team. Although ALBA pressures the defense with talented one on one players and effective ballscreens, the team is at its best when inside players establish the post scoring to compliment their perimeter game. When ALBA is at its best, their team defense triggers offensive opportunities. Now that it is playoff time, the mid-season addition of Immanuel McElroy (8.3ppg 4.5reb) and Aleksandar Nadjfeji (12.8ppg 4.2reb 68%fg) should surface as a key point in the Berlin season --- both were key parts in bringing the Championship to Koln a few seasons ago. Another underrated player for ALBA is Goran Nikolic (9.7ppg 4.5reb 49%three) For ALBA Berlin, playoffs are what counts. Many times, teams who work through issues and adversity strengthen themselves. Look for Head Coach Luka Pavicevic and his team to draw extra motivation from recent Berlin post season experience.

Keys for Bremerhaven: Bremerhaven's inside game around Matt Haryasz (13.9ppg 8reb 53%fg) and Anthony Tolliver (14ppg 7.7reb 37%three) proved to be a tremendous combination down the stretch. Sharpshooting wings Nate Funk (12.3ppg 48%three)and Zygimantas Jonusas (10.7ppg 39%three) can catch fire from the perimeter and the inside-outside combination and fundamental attack has found its rhythm for Head Coach Dr Sarunas Sakalauskas. A key for the Eisbaren will be their point guard play of both Brian Brown (10.5ppg 3.7ast 18%three) and Tony Bobbitt (8.7ppg 36%three). Ivars Timermanis (9.5ppg 3.6reb 37.6%three) can make an impact from the bench with explosive scoring. When Bremerhaven finds a way to establish the post through Haryasz and Tolliver and wings make shots, these Eisbaren could make a similar run like Artland last season.

Quick stat comparison:
ALBA 81.4ppg 31.3reb 14.8ast 12.7turnovers 52.0%fg 38.6%3pt 73.4%ft
Bremerhaven 79.2ppg 34.6reb 12.8ast 15.2turnovers 45.7%fg 35.9%3pt 71.2%ft

season series (ALBA 2-1)
ALBA 70 Bremerhaven 69 November 11, 2007 in Bremerhaven
ALBA 73 Bremerhaven 64 March 23, 2008 in Berlin
Bremerhaven 74 ALBA 70 Sunday May 4, 2008 in Hamburg German Cup 3rd place game

series schedule
Thursday May 15 Bremerhaven @ Berlin 730pm tip
Sunday May 18 Berlin @ Bremerhaven 5pm tip (BBL.TV)
Tuesday May 20 Bremerhaven @ Berlin 730pm tip (BBL.TV)
*Thursday May 22 Berlin @ Bremerhaven 845pm tip (BBL.TV)
*Saturday May 24 Bremerhaven @ Berlin 630pn tip


Prediction: ALBA in 5

(2) ARTLAND DRAGONS vs (7) TELEKOM BASKETS BONN
Matchup: After a magical post season run last summer rising from the 8th seed to the Bundesliga finals, Head coach Chris Fleming and his Dragon team are hungry for more success this year. With a deep, talented and battle-tested team, Artland is poised for another terrific run. After winning their way deep into the ULEB Cup this winter, Artland hopes that experience will push them forward now. Last weekends German Cup championship provides Artland excellent momentum and confidence heading into their first round series with Bonn. The Dragons won both meetings this season in solid, well-played games. The loss in last seasons championship series to Bamberg should inspire the Dragons to play with even more fire. Artland is poised for another exciting playoff run.

Keys for Artland: Artlands depth, team defense and balanced offense make them a strong contender for the title. Last season, Artland shot ridiculous percentages from three point land in the playoffs and they must not fall into the trap of shooting too many threes. The inside presence of Adam Chubb (13.9ppg 4.7reb) and Darius Hall (7.9ppg 3.4reb) strengthen the frontcourt while Chad Prewitt (9ppg 4.6reb 50%threes) provides a big man 3pt threat and key pickup Leon Rodgers (13.8ppg 5reb 45%threes) gives the team offensive punch. PG John Goldsberry (7.7ppg 4ast 39%threes) has playoff experience from Leverkusen and the talented wings of Lamont McIntosh (11.2ppg 37%threes), Terrance Thomas (9.1ppg 4.4reb 45%threes) and key role players like Jan Rhodewald (36%threes) and EJ Rowland (7.4ppg 3.2reb 35%threes) can be difference-makers. Artland must play their trademark strong defense and keep their balance on offense.

Keys for Bonn: While the loss of All star wing and team captain Jason Conley was a major blow to the Bonn team this season, talented veterans such as Ronnie Burrell (13.4ppg 5.2reb) and John Bowler (12ppg 5.6reb 53%fg) raised their game to new heights this season. Bonn features a balanced, athletic team and makes opponents pay for mistakes by converting extremely well in transition. Keys to success will include consistent play from backcourt players Miah Davis (7.7ppg 2.4ast 31%three) and Winsome Frazier (11.5ppg 4reb 27%three) while Bonn's role players must play well including PG JJ Strasser (6.7ppg 41%three), Artur Kolodziejski (5.4ppg 37%threes) and Moussa Diagne (5.5ppg 2.5reb 29%three). Head coach Michael Koch also counts on Eddie Basden (8.5ppg 3.4reb 25%three) to be productive in the attack. One interesting decision facing Bonn, where to play their home games? The new Arena is ready but not fully furnished giving the organization the option to play at the new Telekom Dome or at traditional, rowdy Hardtberghalle. (note to Bonn: play in Hardtberghalle for home court advantage, tradition and fans!)

Quick stat comparison:
Artland 79.4ppg 30.9reb 13.2ast 14.9turnovers 49.3%fg 40.7%3pt 72.6%ft
Bonn 76ppg 30.4reb 11.4ast 13.7turnovers 46.4%fg 32.0%3pt 72.7%ft

season series (Artland 2-0)
Artland 77 Bonn 73 December 1, 2007 in Artland
Artland 80 Bonn 71 April 6, 2008 in Bonn

series schedule
Wednesday May 14 Bonn @ Artland 730pm tip
Saturday May 17 Artland @ Bonn 730pm tip
Tuesday May 20 Bonn @ Artland 630pm tip (BBL.TV)
*Thursday May 22 Artland @ Bonn 4pm tip
*Saturday May 24 Bonn @ Artland 530pm (BBL.TV)

Prediction: Artland in 4

(3) BAYER LEVERKUSEN vs (6) DEUTSCHE BANK SKYLINERS
Matchup: In what could be the most offensive-minded series of the first round, Bayer Leverkusen takes on Deutsche Bank Skyliners. If Leverkusen has a mental advantage over Frankfurt from the two regular season meetings is not clear. However, the playoff roster for Leverkusen is significantly different from the team that enjoyed such fantastic regular season success. Both teams excel in transition. Leverkusen's outstanding perimeter shooting ability from all positions has been their strength all year.

Keys for Leverkusen: The loss of MVP candidate Nate Fox and fellow veteran Eric Taylor puts a negative on such a positive Leverkusen season, however sharpshooting wing Brendan Winters (14ppg 4.2reb 41%three), crafty veteran Tyron McCoy (10.1ppg 3.7reb 36%three) and energy player Brant Bailey (12.1ppg 3.1reb 44%three) have had time to adjust to their new roles. Depth could be a factor in the Leverkusen front court. Leverkusen's ability to defend Skyliner ballscreens and limit Derrick Allen in the post will be critical. Head coach Achim Kuczmann should know Allen better than anyone after coaching him last season. Look for an uptempo attack and excellent shooting percentages from the Leverkusen team. With the end of basketball in Leverkusen this first round playoff series at historic Wilhelm Dopatka Halle will certainly be special. Look for Leverkusen to play with extra inspiration for their history and fans.

Keys for Frankfurt: Terrific German PG Pascal Roller (12.4ppg 4.1ast 42%three) runs the show for the Skyliners and does a tremendous job breaking down defenses with penetration and playmaking. In the post, Derrick Allen (19.7ppg 7.4reb) has the ability to carry his team and without Fox or Taylor, the Leverkusen front line is thin. The play of Frankfurt perimeter players like Koko Archinbong (8.8ppg 5.6reb 43%three) and Jimmy McKinney (8.8ppg 3.3reb 36%three) is often overlooked, but these two talented players have been critical to Head Coach Murat Didin's team. Another barometer for Skyliner success is Ilian Evtimov (13.5ppg 5reb 34%three). As the perimeter skilled post man has played well, Frankfurt has been difficult to beat. If Frankfurt can upset Leverkusen, their team defense and offensive efficiency will be why.

Quick stat comparison:
Leverkusen 83.1ppg 35.9reb 15.3ast 14.3turnovers 45.4%fg 38.2%3pt 71.8%ft
Frankfurt 75.3ppg 32.4reb 13.6ast 12.9turnovers 44.9%fg 36.4%3pt 72.5%ft

season series (Leverkusen 2-0)
Leverkusen 93 Frankfurt 71 October 21, 2007 in Frankfurt
Leverkusen 86 Frankfurt 79 March 2, 2008 in Leverkusen

series schedule
Thursday May 15 Frankfurt @ Leverkusen 630pm tip (BBL.TV)
Saturday May 17 Leverkusen @ Frankfurt 630pm tip
Monday May 19 Frankfurt @ Leverkusen 815pm tip (BBL.TV)
*Thursday May 22 Leverkusen @ Frankfurt 630pm tip (BBL.TV)
*Saturday May 24 Frankfurt @ Leverkusen 3pm tip (BBL.TV)


Prediction: Frankfurt in 5


(4) BROSE BASKETS BAMBERG vs (5) EWE BASKETS OLDENBURG
Matchup: Two well-coached teams with similar styles collide in the 4 v 5 series. Usually one of the most competitive matchups, Bamberg and Oldenburg should prove to be a terrific playoff pairing. Bamberg's experience and depth will be a factor, but both teams play solid defense and organized offense. This exciting series could come down to a decisive 5th game at JAKO Arena and home court advantage for Bamberg.

Keys for Bamberg: Bamberg returns to the playoffs to defend their title and their veteran team will be surprised by nothing. After winning the championship last season, Head coach Dirk Bauermann has signed experienced players who have been successful in the Bundesliga, the Euroleague and with German National team. Bamberg's big boost came in March with the arrival of athletic wing Dwayne Mitchell (10.3ppg 3.4reb 38%three) and skilled post man Jared Reiner (10.6ppg 7.8reb 53%fg). PG Stefen Hamann (10ppg 3.6ast 32%three) remains the emotional leader of the team and his experience makes him a big plus for Bamberg. Darren Fenn (11.3ppg 5.9reb 42%three) is a clutch shooting big man and will hit big shots while Predrag Suput (9.8ppg 4.1reb 42%three) is also a key to Bamberg's attack. What makes Bamberg so tough is that at any moment Ademola Okulaja (10.6ppg 5.7reb 26%three), Demond Greene (10.7ppg 42%three), Robert Garrett (8.2ppg 2.8reb 34%three) and Mithat Demirel (4.6ppg 32%three) can win the game. Bamberg's style is built for post season success with the tough team defense and skilled deliberate offense.

Keys for Oldenburg: After starting the season slow, Oldenburg rolled to an outstanding 10 game win streak as they found their rhythm together. As Oldenburg found their consistency, their team rose up the standings. PG Jason Gardner (12.9ppg 4.4ast 29%three) is among the leagues best and wing Rickey Paulding (12.5ppg 3.5reb 38%three) can be an impact player. As Branimir Longin (11.8ppg 3.1reb 39%three) picked up his game, so did Oldenburg. The teams size in the front court was deepened mid-season with the return of Dan McKlintock (5.3ppg 2.3reb 90%ft) and Head coach Predrag Krunic's Thunderbirds will be at full strength for the playoffs. Although injured, Jasmin Perkovic (12.1ppg 5.7reb 28%three) will play. Oldenburg's style helps them matchup well against Bamberg making the first round series that much more interesting. Oldenburg's defense will be the key against Bamberg.

Quick stat comparison:
Bamberg 75ppg 34reb 14.4ast 13.9turnovers 47.6%fg 36.7%3pt 67.9%ft
Oldenburg 76.6ppg 32.5reb 12.9ast 14.6turnovers 44.8fg% 34.2%3pt 71.6%ft

season series
Bamberg 57 Oldenburg 55 October 7th, 2007 in Bamberg
Bamberg 71 Oldenburg 67 March 2, 2008 in Oldenburg

series schedule
Thursday May 15 Oldenburg @ Bamberg 845pm tip (BBL.TV)
Sunday May 18 Bamberg @ Oldenburg 530pm tip (BBL.TV)
Wednesday May 21 Oldenburg @ Bamberg 845pm tip (BBL.TV)
*Friday May 23 Bamberg @ Oldenburg 845pm tip (BBL.TV)
*Sunday May 25 Oldenburg @ Bamberg 530pm tip (BBL.TV)


Prediction: Bamberg in 5



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GREECE

A1: 2007-08 regular season tickets -by Serafim Karaiskakis
Esake announced that we had a 14.4% increase in the tickets this year. For the 2007-08 regular season the 14 teams had the sum of 223.549 tickets when last year we had 195.360.


Team name

Total tickets for regular season (2007-08)

Panathinaikos

56.685

Paok

32.509

Olympiakos

31.932

Aris

22.120

Olimpiada

13.968

Kolossos

12.131

Aek

10.979

Olympia

10.513

Ael

7.961

Panionios

6.565

Maroussi

5.138

Panellinios

4.735

Rethimno

4.390

Aigaleo

3.923

Total: 223.549



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HOLLAND

Aris Friesland extend contract with Merlijn van der Meulen -by Fred Roggen
Merlijn van der Meulen (197-F-86) has extended his contract with Aris Friesland with a year, Aris Friesland and forward van der Meulen agreed with the contractterms today.
With the signing of Merlijn van der Meulen , the current selection for the season 2008-2009 comes on four players. Earlier the Dutch players Rein van der Kamp, Bob van den Enden and Patrick Frimpong already signing an agreement.


FEB Semifinals: MyGuide Amsterdam, Eiffel Towers March On To Finals -by Sanders Jackson


Saturday night in the Dutch FEB semifinals, both MyGuide Amsterdam and defending Dutch champions Eiffel Towers both got the job done, with MyGuide disposing of last season's finalist Matrixx Magixx by the score of 92-73, and Eiffel eliminating West-Brabant Giants 95-86.

MyGuide took control of the game from the 2nd quarter on, at one point leading by as much as 79-50, with strong bench scoring (34-14 difference) and on the backboards (49-37 difference). Five MyGuide players scored in double figures, led by
Sergerio Gipson (193-G/F-80, agency: 540 Sports, college: Arkansas) with 17 pts.


In Bergen-op-Zoom, Eiffel Towers caused a 2nd quarter West-Brabant meltdown, took a big lead heading into the final quarter (72-50), but averted a Giants comeback thanks to Dutch international and sharpshooter Kees Akerboom (199-F-83, agency: Court Side), and 'old reliable' Travis Young (184-G-79, agency: Interperformances, college: Marshall), helping Eiffel reach its 3rd straight trip to the Dutch FEB finals and fourth in five years. Young led Eiffel in scoring with 20 pts., Akerboom added 18, and Robert Owens (201-F-82, college: Ball St.) scored 15. Both MyGuide and Eiffel will have their Game #1 showdown Sunday in Amsterdam.



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

Szolnok and Albacomp qualify into the semifinal -by Balazs Radics
PVSK-EXPO CENTER PECS-SZOLNOKI OLAJ KK 73-78 (16-20, 21-15, 19-21, 17-22)
Pecs, 4000 att. Ref: Foldhazi, Papp P., Kiraly
PECS: S. Jovanovics 6, Williams 15/3, Denes 2, Grebenar 18, Lapov 13/9. Sub: Alekszics 17/9, Toth N. 2, Kutasi. Head Coach: Sztojan Ivkovics
SZOLNOK: Thomas Kelley (188-G-76, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: Michigan St.) 21/9, Cziczas, Vernard Hollins (192-G-80, agency: Warren Sports, college: Wright St.) 20/6, Sabaliauskas 14/12, Jurkunas 9/3. Sub.: Molnar A. 5/3, Harazin 9, Gobi. Head Coach: Por Peter
Szolnok won series 3-2.

ALBACOMP-ATOMERŐMŰ SE 81-73 (27-16, 16-23, 14-15, 24-19)
Szekesfehervar, 2800 att. Ref: Cziffra, Palla, Torok R.
ALBACOMP: Balazs Simon (188-G-80, agency: Court Side) 15/6, Bradford 10/6, RADOVICS 18/6, MCCLENDON 13, Zoltan Bencze (213-C-81) 17. Sub: Boozer 1, Sos 1, Hanga 6, David G. Head Coach: Peresztegi Nagy Akos
ATOMERŐMŰ: MESZROS Z. 7/3, Murry 4, Stevenson 8, Zoltan Horvath (207-F/C-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services). 18, Robert Gulyas (213-C-74) 15. Sub: Ce. Brooks 3, Csaplar-Nagy E., KISS ZS. 13/9, Toroman 5/3. Head Coach: Sabali Balazs
Albacomp won series 3-2.


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

Las Vegas Stars set for first homestand of 2008 season -by Trask Frost
Las Vegas, NV - The Las Vegas Stars, a second-year team in the International Basketball League, kick off their home slate this week with two games against the West Coast High Flyers. The Stars will host the High Flyers at the Centennial Hills YMCA Community Center (6601 N. Buffalo Dr., Las Vegas) on Tuesday, May 13 and Wednesday, May 14. Both games tip off at 7:15pm, and admission is $5.

Las Vegas Stars 2008 season recap:

The Stars kicked off their 2008 campaign with a brutal road trip to the midwest. The Stars got off to a 0-4 start, but showed that they will be a team to reckon with as the season progresses. On April 25, the Stars gave the Elkhart Express all they could handle, taking the two-time defending champs to overtime before ultimately losing by two points. The Stars have won their last two, and will look to keep rolling with their first home games of the season on deck. Eddie Shelby (6'3''-G-82, college: CSU Bakersfield) is having a breakout season for the Stars, leading the team in scoring and rebounding at 25.2 points and 8.0 boards per game. Demario Butler is adding 24.7 points per contest for the Stars.

Head Coach Dan Savage returns to the sideline:

Stars Head Coach Dan Savage is back to coach the team in 2008. Savage has served under Joe Jelly Bean Bryant as an assistant coach, and has worked with former NBA players Anthony Peeler, Tyrone Nesby and Dennis Rodman in the past. Savage helped lead the Stars to a .706 winning percentage in their inaugural season, and should help the Stars contend in the West again in 2008.

Las Vegas Stars General Manager Alexis Levi Dan is the best man for the job, he brought us sincerity and the discipline that led the Las Vegas Stars to the playoffs in 07. We are looking for great things to come out of this season.


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

SABA Battery leaves ONGC without playoffs -by Eurobasket News
SABA Battery - ONGC Dehradoon 130:76

The Asia Champions Cup title holders Iranian SABA Battery is back in the winning track. They entered the tournament as one of the biggest favorites but the status received a major blow on Friday. SABA Battery were surprisingly beaten by Al Wasl and the result had arisen some questions about the Iranian champs form. ONGC from India had the last chance to stay in the title race and they needed a victory. But their hopes went astray in the opening stanza. SABA jumped to an early 35:10 lead and looked too good for ONGC at the moment. The game evened in the second and third stanzas with ONGC keeping a steady offensive income. However Iranian team exploded once again in the fourth period knocking down 38 points and finalizing a massive win. DaJuan Tate (196-G/F-81, college: Mountain St.) came up with 42 points and 6 boards for SABA Battery. Kamran Jamshidvand (187-F-80) scored 26 points and Mahdi Kamrani had 12 for the winners. Desraj (189-F) nailed 23 points for ONGC. Muraleekrishnan dropped 15 points in a losing case. SABA Battery will take on AL Muharraq in the final game of the preliminary round today. ONGC will wait for the result of the final round in Pool A to get to know their opponents in the game for the 9th spot.

SABA Battery: DaJuan Tate 42, Kamran Jamshidvand 26, Mahdi Kamrani 12
ONGC: Desraj 23, Muraleekrishnan 15


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

SABA Battery leaves ONGC without playoffs -by Eurobasket News
SABA Battery - ONGC Dehradoon 130:76

The Asia Champions Cup title holders Iranian SABA Battery is back in the winning track. They entered the tournament as one of the biggest favorites but the status received a major blow on Friday. SABA Battery were surprisingly beaten by Al Wasl and the result had arisen some questions about the Iranian champs form. ONGC from India had the last chance to stay in the title race and they needed a victory. But their hopes went astray in the opening stanza. SABA jumped to an early 35:10 lead and looked too good for ONGC at the moment. The game evened in the second and third stanzas with ONGC keeping a steady offensive income. However Iranian team exploded once again in the fourth period knocking down 38 points and finalizing a massive win. DaJuan Tate (196-G/F-81, college: Mountain St.) came up with 42 points and 6 boards for SABA Battery. Kamran Jamshidvand (187-F-80) scored 26 points and Mahdi Kamrani had 12 for the winners. Desraj (189-F) nailed 23 points for ONGC. Muraleekrishnan dropped 15 points in a losing case. SABA Battery will take on AL Muharraq in the final game of the preliminary round today. ONGC will wait for the result of the final round in Pool A to get to know their opponents in the game for the 9th spot.

SABA Battery: DaJuan Tate 42, Kamran Jamshidvand 26, Mahdi Kamrani 12
ONGC: Desraj 23, Muraleekrishnan 15


*****************************************************
IRELAND

Isaac Westbrooks "I feel like the Irish Superleague is becoming a more and more prestigious league" -by Mariano Galindo
In 2007 Isaac Westbrooks (190-G-85, agency: IceBasket) won Irish Superleague and after tried to play in Spain but he couldnt do it and then arrived in Iceland to sign with Thor Thorl.

1- Why did you start play basketball?

I was born into a basketball family so naturally i began playing at a very young age. I fell in love with the game and never looked back. My dad told me that I could dribble with both my left and right hand at the age of two and that I always had a basketball with me.

2- What do you think about Irish Superleague?

I feel like the Irish Superleague is becoming a more and more prestigious league. The level of skill and strength needed to play in the superleague has increased immensely in the last number of years. I would have to say that it is a good league with plenty of competition.

3-Last season, you won it and after you signed a contract with Spanish team (Hartizza Almendralejo -EBA Division) but left it in october why?

4- I went to spain and was very excited to go to spain and start my basketball career in Spain which is known for its basketball. Unfortunately it did not work out while I was there. It had nothing to do with the club it just was not the right situation for me at that point in my life.

5- Then, you arrived to Iceland to play in ISL -D-1 with Thor-Thorl how has been the experiencie?

My experience in Iceland was fantastic and I met some truly wonderful people whom I have alot of respect for, this was my foirst time to Iceland and so I had no idea what to expect going there. Luckily for me it worked out perfectly. The basketball could have been a lil better wins wise but the experience of iceland was well worth it.

6-Could you develop your basketball qualities in Iceland?

I think that you can develop your basketball skills, quality and know how wherever you go, it is just a matter of how much effort one decides to put in. The first division was not exactly the standard of basketball that I was looking to play but saying that it taught me alot about my own game and how I need to play. So to answer your question....yes I think that you can develop your skills in Iceland.

7- What is your opinion about basketball in Iceland?

I think that basketball in Iceland has a big future, I think that it is handled very professionally. I had alot of fun playing in Iceland.

8- Next summer, are you going to play with Ireland in Eurobasket Division B?

Unfortunately this summer I will not be playing for the irish national team this summer. This is one of my biggest disappointments of the year but I have some other things going on in my life at the moment that take priority. I was really looking forward to playing for the team as last year was a great experience and I feel that this year I could have played a bigger part in the team. I guess I will have to just hold on another year to prove myself again.

9- Do you like James Larraaga as new Irish National Team Coach?

I have not had alot of experience with James at all so it would be unfair of me to comment.

10-Next season...are you going to come back Ireland, maybe Spain or another place?

That is the biggest question in my life at the moment so you will have to wait for the answer just like me.


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

Serie A Playoff - 1/4 Game 1 -by Stefano Pini
Air AV-Pierrel C. d'Orlando 103-92 (aggregate 1-0)
Air Avellino is a 4th quarter team and confirmed it in game one against Capo D'Orlando. It was a balanced game until the 30' (73-73), then Air reached to win the game thanks to his frontline. Eric Williams (206-C-84, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wake Forest) had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Nikola Radulovic (207-F-73) 18 points and 6 steals, Devin Smith (196-G/F-81, college: Virginia) 20 points and 9 rebounds. Top scorer for Capo D'Orlando was Sammy Mejia (198-G-83, college: De Paul) that added 20 points and 7 rebounds.
Lottomatica RM-Tisettanta Cant 85-59 (aggregate 1-0)
Lottomatica Roma played a game as top teamp and routed Cant in the second half. Lottomatica built his success on steals (20), and offensive rebounds (20). Lottomatica had 5 players in double digit. Cant 4. Mvp of the game was Gregor Fucka (214-C-71, agency: Interperformances) (16+8)


Lega2-Playoff QF Game 4 -by Gabriele Fioretti
No series need game-5. With the second win on the road, Soresina will face Caserta in the semifinal after defeating Casale (Taquan Dean (193-G-83, college: Louisville) 33 pts), thanks to a great game by Quadre Lollis (200-F/C-73, college: Montana St.) (18+8) and J.R. Reynolds (188-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Virginia) (22 pts in 26 minutes). Also Reggio Emilia won on the road at Pistoia (Elton Tyler (205-F/C-79, agency: Interperformances, college: Miami, FL) at 21 scored), led by Paul Marigney (192-G-82, college: St.Mary's, CA) at 19 scored and thanks to great 20 minutes by Fabio Avanzini (190-G-86).
Now the semifinal wil be Caserta-Soresina and Reggio Emilia-Jesi. Game-1 will be played on sunday respectivly at Caserta and Reggio Emilia.
Casale M.to-Soresina 84-89 (Soresina won the serie 3-1)
Pistoia-Reggio Emilia 62-73 (Reggio Emilia won the serie 3-1)
See complete boxscores at www.legaduebasket.it


Mike D'Antoni and the Big Apple/An Italian Legend -by Glenn Wiley


Mike is on the move again and this time he has his work cut out for him. Mike D'Antoni, the NBA's Coach of the Year for the 2004-05 season and the man credited with reinvigorating fast-break basketball in a league that needed a jolt, will not be back to coach the Phoenix Suns after just recently agreeing in principle to a huge contract for the New York Knicks. Mike DAntoni has been successful just about everywhere hes been and hes sure to defy expectations in New York. He won 5 championships in 13 seasons as a player with Milan and coached Benetton Treviso to a championship in 2001-2 .Heres a look at the resume he brings to the Garden as he takes over the Knicks.

NBA COACHING RECORD
Season Team W-L Pct. Finish
1998-99 Nuggets 14-36 .280 6th in Midwest
2003-04 Suns 21-40 .344 6th in Pacific
2004-05 Suns 62-20 .756 1st in Pacific
2005-06 Suns 54-28 .659 1st in Pacific
2006-07 Suns 61-21 .744 1st in Pacific
2007-08 Suns 55-27 .671 2nd in Pacific
Totals 267-172 .608


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

National team player Daiji Yamada signs with Rera Kamuy Hokkaido -by Kenny
Daiji Yamada (200-C-81), a member of the Japanese national team, has left the Panasonic Trians after only 1 season to sign with Rera Kamuy Hokkaido. The soon-to-be 27-year old F/C first entered the JBL in 2004 with the Toyota Alvark where he played 3 seasons. After leaving Toyota in 2007, he signed with Panasonic only to stay with them for 1 disappointing season. The 200-cm tall Yamada, a versatile player who can shoot from outside in addition to banging inside, can really score when given an opportunity, and he'll look to make an impact in Sapporo with RK Hokkaido-something he failed to do with Panasonic.

Yamada is now the 3rd prominent player on the Hokkaido roster with Toyota ties. Hokkaido, an expansion team last season, made a huge splash last summer by signing former Alvark players Takehiko Orimo and Ryota Sakurai. Hokkaido will need depth as the lack of depth on their roster last season ruined their chances of competing and subsequently led to their last place finish in the JBL 2007-08 season.

In other Hokkaido news, the team is reportedly bringing back their import center Tyler Newton for another season while parting ways with F Jawad Wiliams.


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

BK Almaty keeps Zain winless -by Eurobasket News
BK Almaty - Zain 76:60

Kazakhstan sensation BK Almaty posted their second win at the Asia Champions Cup yesterday. This time they quite easily handled Zain Club from Jordan to improve to 2-1 record in Group A ladder. Zain meanwhile suffered their third straight defeat and put themselves on the edge of missing the playoffs. They now must beat Muba Hangtuah today to make it to the quarterfinals. BK Almaty started the game playing an aggressive defense while Zain Club looked sloppy at the early stages. BK Almaty jumped to a 24:15 lead after the starting frame and kept mounting the pressure. They held Zain Club to 11 points in the second quarter and stretched the gap to 14 points at halftime. BK Almaty never looked back in the second half and rolled to a confident victory. Vsevolod Fadeykin (206-G-85) topscored with 21 points for BK Almaty. Anton Kataev (201-F-84) provided 19 points in a winning case. Mohammad Hadrab nailed 22 points for Zain Club. Mosa Bashir dropped 13 points in a losing effort. Zain Club head coach Maz Trakh did not draw too much attention to the loss. He underlined the importance of the experience gained by his bench players in the game of such level and pointed out that one win would suit his team to reach quarterfinal. Zain play against Indonesian Muba Hangtuah for the last ticket to the playoffs from Pool A. BK Almaty will take on Al Rayyan later tonight.

BK Almaty: Vsevolod Fadeykin 21, Anton Kataev 19
Zain: Mohammad Hadrab 22, Moussa Basheer (208-C-78) 13


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

BK Almaty keeps Zain winless -by Eurobasket News
BK Almaty - Zain 76:60

Kazakhstan sensation BK Almaty posted their second win at the Asia Champions Cup yesterday. This time they quite easily handled Zain Club from Jordan to improve to 2-1 record in Group A ladder. Zain meanwhile suffered their third straight defeat and put themselves on the edge of missing the playoffs. They now must beat Muba Hangtuah today to make it to the quarterfinals. BK Almaty started the game playing an aggressive defense while Zain Club looked sloppy at the early stages. BK Almaty jumped to a 24:15 lead after the starting frame and kept mounting the pressure. They held Zain Club to 11 points in the second quarter and stretched the gap to 14 points at halftime. BK Almaty never looked back in the second half and rolled to a confident victory. Vsevolod Fadeykin (206-G-85) topscored with 21 points for BK Almaty. Anton Kataev (201-F-84) provided 19 points in a winning case. Mohammad Hadrab nailed 22 points for Zain Club. Mosa Bashir dropped 13 points in a losing effort. Zain Club head coach Maz Trakh did not draw too much attention to the loss. He underlined the importance of the experience gained by his bench players in the game of such level and pointed out that one win would suit his team to reach quarterfinal. Zain play against Indonesian Muba Hangtuah for the last ticket to the playoffs from Pool A. BK Almaty will take on Al Rayyan later tonight.

BK Almaty: Vsevolod Fadeykin 21, Anton Kataev 19
Zain: Mohammad Hadrab 22, Moussa Basheer (208-C-78) 13


*****************************************************
KBDL

Standings
KBDL Standings
 1. Express 2-1 
 2. Thunder 2-1 
 3. Lancers 2-3 
 4. Thoroughbreds 1-1 
 5. Generals 1-1 
 6. Gamblers 1-2 


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

Fadi El Khatib leads Al Riyadi past Al Rayyan -by Eurobasket News
Al Riyadi - Al Rayyan 88:79

Al Riyadi registered their fourth straight victory beating Al Rayyan yesterday. Thus Lebanese powerhouse booked the top spot in Pool A and qualified for the quarterfinal stage. There they will take on Al Qadsia from Kuwait as the hosts have already slated their 4th place finish in Group B. Al Rayyan meanwhile suffered their first loss at the tournament and remained at the second spot just behind Al Riyadi. The teams were well matched in the starting minutes as neither side was able to spur ahead. The things were all tied at 20 after one quarter of action. However Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) fueled Al Riyadi fierce rally in the second quarter as Lebanese team cleared off to a 12-point distance. However Al Rayyan were not taken aback. Eric Chatfield (191-G-79, college: N.Mexico) and Dalron Johnson (206-F-81, college: UNLV) kept on delivering points and the gap was eventually narrowed to 6 points after three quarters. But it was Fadi El Khatib who had the last laugh in this game as he came up with some vital baskets in the fourth term to propel Al Riyadi to a difficult victory at the end. He finished with game-high 27 points to lead Al Riyadi. Ali Mahmoud (182-G-83) launched 23 points, while Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) dropped 21 for the winners. Eric Chatfield provided 23 points for Al Rayyan. Dalron Johnson had 16 points in a losing effort. Al Rayyan will play against BK Almaty in the last preliminary round today.

Al Riyadi: Fadi El Khatib 27, Ali Mahmoud 23, Ahmad Ismail 21
Al Rayyan: Eric Chatfield 23, Dalron Johnson 16


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

Rockets Alston and Battier get Minor Surgeries Done. -by Bryan Floyd
Houston Rockets forward Shane Battier and point guard Rafer Alston had minor surgical procedures to repair injuries that occurred late in the season.Battier underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in his left ankle. Alston's surgery repaired ligament and tendon damage in his right ankle. Both procedures were performed Friday. Team doctor Tom Clanton said both players will be ready to play when the Rockets open training camp in the fall.

Turiaf Ejected in Game Four. -by Bryan Floyd
Lakers forward Ronny Turiaf was ejected early in the second quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Jazz on Sunday for a flagrant foul. Turiaf knocked Utah's Ronnie Price hard to the floor as Price drove for a layup, leaving the Jazz guard with a bloody gash over his right eye.Turiaf came down hard with his left arm and Price went straight down and banged his head on the court. Price leaped straight up as his teammates swarmed the officials and pushed for the flagrant call. Utah coach Jerry Sloan also came off the bench immediately after the play.The officials conferred and kicked out Turiaf.Price, who finished with four points, two assists and a block in Utah's 123-115 overtime victory, said he didn't think Turiaf was trying to hurt him.
'Those kind of plays happen in the playoffs,' said Price, who needed four stitches to close the cut.Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said it shouldn't have been a flagrant foul and was surprised to see Turiaf ejected.Turiaf is 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds, eight inches taller and 60 pounds heavier than Price.'In no way shape or form was I trying to hurt anybody,' Turiaf said. 'I was going for a blocked shot and unfortunately, Ronnie Price is a point guard and I am a big guy.' The replay clearly showed Turiaf making a play on the ball. Personally I think the refs made the wrong decision. I think they saw the blood and since the game was in Utah they ejected him.


Utah Jazz ties the series against LA Lakers -by Eurobasket News
The Utah Jazz wasted a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, headed into overtime but still snatched a 123:115 win over the LA Lakers to tie the series at 2-2. Deron Williams (6'3''-G-84, college: Illinois) came up with 29 points and 14 assists to lead the Jazz. Carlos Boozer scored 12 out of his 14 points in the second half and collected 12 boards, while Mehmet Okur provided 18 points and 11 boards for the winners. Kobe Bryant (6'6''-G-78) answered with 33 points and 10 assists despite playing with back spasms. The Jazz were leading for the bigger part of the encounter but saw their lead vanish at the end of regulation. But the hosts rehabilitated well early in the extra period. Andrei Kirilenko (6'9''-F-81) completed a three-point play and blocked Kobe Bryant twice to pace the Jazz to the victory. The home side was deadly from charity stripe in the overtime and sealed the winning outcome in the dying seconds. Lamar Odom (6'10''-F-79, college: Rhode Island) had 26 points and 13 boards for the Lakers. Pau Gasol had 23 points and 10 boards in defeat. The Jazz now need to prove they can win away from home when they take on the Lakers at the Staples Center on Wednesday.
Meanwhile San Antonio toppled New Orleans 100:80 to square things up at 2-2 in the series. The Spurs never looked like the team that lost Game 1 and 2 by average of nearly 20 points. There were back in Texas and there was no country for young men. The experienced Spurs adjusted their game well and roll over the surprisingly hapless Hornets yesterday. Tim Duncan (6'10''-F-76, college: Wake Forest) led the action with 22 points, 15 boards and 4 blocks. Tony Parker (6'0''-G-80) scored 21 points, while Emanuel Ginobili and Ime Udoka nailed 15 points apiece in a winning case. Chris Paul (6'0''-G-85, college: Wake Forest) paced the visitors with 23 points, 6 boards and 5 assists. But he had little help coming around. Pargo dropped 11 points and David West posted 10 in one-way traffic affair at the AT&T Center.


Carlisle to Coach Mavs. -by Bryan Floyd
Rick Carlisle reached a verbal agreement on a four-year coaching contract Friday night that seals his hiring as Avery Johnson's successor.Although a news conference to introduce Carlisle as the Mavericks' new coach won't happen until Wednesday. The guaranteed deal is worth $17.5 million. Owner Mark Cuban said 'His coaching record speaks for itself. He has a unique ability to coach multiple styles of play, which we think makes him a great fit for the Mavs.'Carlisle arrived in Dallas on Thursday with his family, as both he and the Mavericks were anticipating a Friday news conference after sorting out the final details face-to-face. Carlisle was joined in town by the two former NBA head coaches -- Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts -- who will be hired as assistants on his new staff. Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations, said in a statement Saturday that Carlisle was 'our top choice from the onset.''His integrity, exceptional basketball IQ and balanced approach are exactly what we were looking for,' Nelson said. 'Rick's playoff experience and success make him a great fit for our team and its future.'

*****************************************************
NPBL

Week 9 results -by Gianni Pascucci
The Alexandra Avengers confirmed their good form defeating the Hudson Valley Hawks. The game was very close, and had many lead changes ending in regulation time 109 each. The home team escaped with a win after an overtime, 123-120. The night after, the Hawks felt again, this time to the Strikeforce 124-112. Prince Jackson (6'6''-F-84, college: Dominican, NY) of the NY Strikeforce led all scorers with 24 points, followed by Carl Lee (6'6''-F-82, college: Utah Valley St.) with 23 points and Brandon Weldon (6'0''-G-84, college: Mt.St.Mary) with 17. Hawks leading contributors for the game were Willie Coleman (6'0''-G-84) with 22 points and 5 assists, Amseshem Foluke-Henderson (6'6''-G/F-84, college: New Paltz St.) with 19 pts and 5 rebs, and Tay Fisher (5'9''-G-86, college: Siena) with 17 ps 4 asts and 2 stls. The night before, the Stikeforce had prevailed over the Westchester Monarchs in another close game, with a final score of 132-130. The best players were Terrell Taylor (6'3''-G-81, college: Bridgeport) with 22 pts 4 rebs, 4 asst, and 1 stl, and Richard Pollack (6'6''-F/C-84, college: Bellevue) with 22 pts 5 rebs. The fourth game scheduled for the weekend should have been Alexandria-Elmira, but the game was forfeited by the Alexandria Avengers, who had some issues with their venue for Mothers day and were forced to this move. The Bulldogs were awarded of another forfeit win and are now at the top of the league table.

Standings
NPBL Standings
 1. Elmira B. 7-3 
 2. NY Strikeforce 6-2 
 3. MD Bayraiders 6-2 
 4. Alexandria A. 4-4 
 5. HV Hawks 3-8 
 6. NY Monarchs 1-4 
 7. Delaware D. 0-3 


*****************************************************
PANAMA

Lawson called at the first place -by Gianni Pascucci
Forward Akbar Lawson (196-G/F-81), currently performing in El Salvador league, was the first played called in the 2008 CBS Draft. He will play the season with Canguros de Parque Lefevre. The Draft run for 2 hours and a half and at the end all the six teams involved had completed their rosters. The seventh team of the league, Navieros de Colon, will release its squad today, at the beginning of its preseason camp.

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

Group A: the final verdicts are out -by Gianni Pascucci
Sol de Amrica, Sacachispas and Flix Prez Cardozo will continue their race to the National league title. These teams ended the Group A in the first three places and advance to the second leg of the competition. The complete results of the last weekend were as follows:
Sol de America - Estrellas del Este 109-60
Sacachispas Encarnacion - Felix Perez Cardozo 98-80
Estrellas 74 - Flix Prez 91
Sol de America - Sacachispas 93-79
Sol de Amrica - Flix Prez 69-57
Estrellas del Este - Sacachispas 79-77
The best performers of the last rounds were Jonathan Hopkins (208-F/C-78, college: Tex.A&M-Comm.), who scored 20 points in losing effort yesterday for Felix Perez, Amoroso Tiago (215-C), who scored 32 poins in Estrellas in the loss to Felix Perez, and Brandon Lee (188-G, agency: ProSportsCareers, college: Tarleton St.), who, scoring 23 points was the main factori in the decisive win of Felix Perez over Estrellas on Saturday night.


National League Standings
National Standings
GroupA
 1. Sol de Am. 9-0 
 2. Sacachispas 4-5 
 3. Felix Perez 3-6 
 4. Estrella 2-7 
GroupB
 1. America 6-0 
 2. D.San Jose 3-3 
 3. Libertad 3-3 
 4. Gigantes 0-6 


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

Prokom Trefl Sopot crawls into Finals -by Eurobasket News
Prokom Trefl Sopot survived against Polpak to win the semifinal series 4-2. In the series that could go on and on Prokom Trefl Sopot used 13:11 victory in overtime to seal the win. Milan Gurovic (207-F-76, agency: Beo Basket) top-scored for the winners with 23 points and 8 rebounds. Mustafa Shakur (190-G-84, college: Arizona) collected 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Filip Dylewicz (202-F-80, agency: Beo Basket) netted 17. Bobby Dixon (178-G-83, college: Troy) poured in 31 points in defeat and Pawel Kikowski (190-G-86, agency: LimeLight) posted 15.

An outstanding and unexpected series suggested Polpak to the Euroleague representative in the semifinals of Poland. Polpak made everything they could for another step, but Prokom was a bit more experienced. The latter opened the game with 28:24 lead and used some runs in the second period. After 21:13 for the guests in the period the board showed 37:49. Polpak did not fall down and replied with 27:14 in the third to grab 1-point lead. Prokom Trefl Sopot escaped with 20:19 in the last period for overtime. It was another battle in the last five minutes but the nerves were stronger in the visitor's side. Prokom Trefl Sopot books the ticket in the Finals and will meet Turow there.

Polpak - Prokom Trefl Sopot 94:96 OT (24:28, 13:21, 27:14, 19:20,11:13)
Polpak: Bobby Dixon 31, Pawel Kikowski 15
Prokom Trefl Sopot: Milan Gurovic 23+8 rebs, Mustafa Shakur 17+8 rebs, Filip Dylewicz 17


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PORTUGAL

Liga UZO finals game 2 -by Luis Rocha
Ovarense tied the series by winning the second game at home 74-72. It was a good game although Ovarense stood in front most of the game, Porto could have won. In fact Porto took the last shot of the game just before the buzzard and if it goes in they`d won. Cordell Henry (178-G-80, agency: N.E.T., college: Marquette) played after his injury and the game of Ovarense clearly benefit on that. Porto saw another great performance of Nuno Marcal (205-F-75), the guy was the game MVP, very motivated, very alert (5 steals), took his shots with great accuracy and finish with 29 points, and still helped on the boards (5 rebounds). the inside game of Ovarense was a bit stronger than the one from Porto, that was the main reason for the win, a slight diference but eficient. Now games 3 and 4 will be played at the ground of Porto, time to see if the win conquered abroad can be taken as profit, Ovarenses coach Manuel Povea , said that its a thing of no importance, they can also win on the road.

PROLIGA semi finals games 1 and 2 -by Bruno Baltazar
The Semi finals of PROLIGA just started this weekend with games 1 and 2,surprises happened as seems the first games of the playoffs series always have surprises.
Game 1
Benfica 56- Fisica 61
Fisica always led the game and deserved their win with a fast game.
Vitoria 63 - Academica 65
Seems Vitoria lose always the 1st game this season and Academica after their surprise win against Queluz is trying to show it was no luck what they did in the previously series,close game that both teams could win the game but Academica showed a better game in the last seconds to grab the win.

Game 2
Benfica
76 - Fisica 66
One day was enaugh to the coach teach their players their destiny is to be in the finals and resolved quickly the game making a even series to the games 3 and 4.
Vitoria71 - Academica 59
Same about Vitoria we can say about Benfica.

Now the next week will take place the decive games to decide which team make to the finals.


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QATAR

Fadi El Khatib leads Al Riyadi past Al Rayyan -by Eurobasket News
Al Riyadi - Al Rayyan 88:79

Al Riyadi registered their fourth straight victory beating Al Rayyan yesterday. Thus Lebanese powerhouse booked the top spot in Pool A and qualified for the quarterfinal stage. There they will take on Al Qadsia from Kuwait as the hosts have already slated their 4th place finish in Group B. Al Rayyan meanwhile suffered their first loss at the tournament and remained at the second spot just behind Al Riyadi. The teams were well matched in the starting minutes as neither side was able to spur ahead. The things were all tied at 20 after one quarter of action. However Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) fueled Al Riyadi fierce rally in the second quarter as Lebanese team cleared off to a 12-point distance. However Al Rayyan were not taken aback. Eric Chatfield (191-G-79, college: N.Mexico) and Dalron Johnson (206-F-81, college: UNLV) kept on delivering points and the gap was eventually narrowed to 6 points after three quarters. But it was Fadi El Khatib who had the last laugh in this game as he came up with some vital baskets in the fourth term to propel Al Riyadi to a difficult victory at the end. He finished with game-high 27 points to lead Al Riyadi. Ali Mahmoud (182-G-83) launched 23 points, while Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) dropped 21 for the winners. Eric Chatfield provided 23 points for Al Rayyan. Dalron Johnson had 16 points in a losing effort. Al Rayyan will play against BK Almaty in the last preliminary round today.

Al Riyadi: Fadi El Khatib 27, Ali Mahmoud 23, Ahmad Ismail 21
Al Rayyan: Eric Chatfield 23, Dalron Johnson 16


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RUSSIA

Let the series go on -by Eurobasket News
Ural Great-Khimky 87:71

Ural Great closed the gap in the semifinal series against Khimky after a home win. The team from Perm is now 1-2 after 87:71 victory in Game 3. For two quarters both sides stayed nose to nose and only in the second one the hosts benefit from the game. Andrew Wisniewski (191-G-81, college: Centenary) led the winners with 21 points. Brent Wright (203-F/C-78, college: Florida) nailed 19, while Aleksei Zozulin (199-G/F-83) posted 12. Maciej Lampe (210-C-85, agency: Edge Sports) top-scored in the losing clause with 14 points.
It was a game of nerves and the first minutes were a proof for it. Both squads did not let each other to go on a big lead. With less than a minute Ralph Biggs (199-F-76, agency: Court Side, college: Towson) tied the score and the teams finished the first quarter at 20:20. In the similar second period Ural Great tried to take control, but the guests did not allow them to do so and as a result 39:39 at the half.
The second half was a glory for the hosts as they dominated the court. Again Ralph Biggs and Andrew Wisniewski led the team to 66:61 after 30 minutes of the game. Brent Wright made it 71:63 and then the margin increased to 10 points. Khimky did not recover and expect a win in Game 4 to go back to Moscow Region with a relief.

Ural Great:Andrew Wisniewski 21, Brent Wright 19, Aleksei Zozulin 12
Khimky:Maciej Lampe 14, Kelly McCarty (201-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: S.Mississippi) 13, Anton Ponkrashov (200-G-86) 13


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SERBIA

Superleague - Summary of round 10 -by Dragan Jankovski
There was no surprise in round 10 of Serbian Superleague. Hemofarm STADA totally destroyed Crvena Zvezda at home 98-68 improving its score to 7-3 while Zvezda dropped on 6-4. After furious first quarter, which Hemofarm finished 30-10, it was clear that the team of head coach Vlada Vukoicic was already seen as a winner of this game. Until the half time Hemofarm extended lead to fantastic plus 32 points. Rawle Marshall (201-G-82, college: Oakland) added 25 points and 4 rebounds for the winners. Center Vladan Vukosavljevic (206-F/C-84, agency: Beo Basket) followed him with 14 points and 4 rebounds. Zvezda got 15 points from Mladen Sljivancanin (200-G/F-85).

Partizan Igokea was better than Vojvodina Srbijagas in Pionir 89-68. The Tulips opened the game much better having constant lead in the first half. The maximum advantage was plus 7 for Vojvodina but Partizan succeeded to equalize until the half time. Later, step by step current Serbian champion extended lead to 89-64 in 39th minute. Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) paced the winners with 14 points and 4 assists while Milton Palacio (190-G-78, college: Colorado St.) also was good adding 13 points and 6 assists. On the other side Istvan Nemeth (190-G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) scored 18 points.

Borac beat Vizura at home 83-75 thanks to 23 points and 8 rebounds by Rastko Dramicanin (207-C-86) and 16 points and 11 rebounds from Nikola Ilic (207-C/F-85).

After two great wins against Partizan Igokea and Crvena Zvezda, FMP registered 8th win in Serbian Superleague beating Swisslions Takovo in Zeleznik 79-73. Thus, Panthers remains on top of Superleague with 8 wins and only one defeat so far. The biggest lead FMP had in 19th minute when it was 41-22. Zoran Erceg (211-C/F-85) netted 14 points including 6 rebounds while Mladen Jeremic (197-G-88, agency: CAA Sports) and Dragan Labovic (207-C/F-87) scored 12 points each for the winners. Ex member of Serbian NT Branko Jorovic (205-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) collected 18 points and 4 rebounds in Swisslions.


Hemofarm STADA - Crvena Zvezda 98-68
(30-10,27-15,27-19,14-24)

Hemofarm:
Marshall 25 (4 rebs), Vukosavljevic 14 (4 rebs), Bozovic 13 (8 rebs)
Zvezda: Sljivancanin 15, Kikanovic 8, Dragicevic 8, Lekic 8


Partizan Igokea - Vojvodina Srbijagas 89-68
(14-20,23-17,30-20,22-11)

Partizan:
Tepic 14 (4 as), Tripkovic 13, Palacio 13 (6 as), Pekovic 11 (5 rebs)
Vojvodina: Nemeth 18, Bojovic 15, Bajic 8


Borac - Vizura 83-75
(23-20,20-16,20-16,20-23)

Borac:
Dramicanin 23 (8 rebs), Markovic 17, Ilic 16 (11 rebs)
Vizura: Sinovec 17, Radovanovic 15, Lucic 14, Glintic 10


FMP - Swisslions Takovo 79-73
(21-15,24-20,18-23,16-15)

FMP:
Erceg 14 (6 rebs), Labovic 12, Jeremic 12, Samardziski 10
Swisslions: Jorovic 18 (4 rebs), Markovic 17 (4 rebs), Dragojlovic 15


Standings - A Liga
A Standings
Superleague
 1. FMP 8-1 
 2. Partizan 7-1 
 3. Hemofarm 7-3 
 4. Crvena Zv. 6-4 
 5. Vojvodina 5-5 
 6. Swisslion Tak. 2-7 
 7. Borac 2-8 
 8. Vizura 1-9 
Others in Stage One
 1. Radnicki 034 13-9 
 2. Mega AM 12-10 
 3. Sloga 12-10 
 4. Novi Sad 11-11 
 5. Masinac 10-12 
 6. Zdravlje 9-13 
 7. Radnicki NS 9-13 
 8. Napredak 9-13 
 9. Ergonom 2-12 


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SPAIN

Marc Gasol MVP -by Robert Mayor
Akasvayu Girona star, Marc Gasol (212-C-85, agency: Interperformances) is the new ACB league Regular Season MVP. Center was named Most Valuable Player thanks to the press, players and coaches votes.

Eleven times MVP of the week (league record), young player has completed a sensational season with his club reaching a spot in the Copa del Rey, the ULEB Cup Final and guiding his teammates to the ACB Playoff, averaging 27 points and grabbing more than 8 rebounds per game.


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TANZANIA

Dar to field four in regional tourney -by Carlos Pereira
Hosts Dar es Salaam will be represented by four teams in the East and Central Africa Inter-Cities Basketball Championship to be held from June 24- 28 at Indoor Stadium and TCC Chang`ombe.

One of the Dar es Salaam coaches Manase Zablon said yesterday that there would be two men`s teams and two women`s teams.
He said two teams - men and women - had been already named and it would be called Kilimanjaro One.
``The name of the other teams will be known later,`` he said.
Tanzania One will start training today at Zanaki under Manase.
Players who form men\'s teams are George Tarimo, Filbert Matungi, Gilbert Batungi, Mohamed Ally and Edmund Pastory.
Others are Francis Mlewa, Abdallah Ramadhani, Alex John, Tumsifu Apolo, Francis Kisiga, Lucas Nyaga, Alphonce Kisoky, Francis Agustino and Juma Kisoky.
Some of the women\'s players are Khadija Kalambo, Amina Ahmed, Faraji Malachi and Penina Igwe.``Every team will be formed by 17 players before being reduced to 12,`` Manase said.
Other teams which have so far confirmed are Mwanza, Arusha, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kampala, Addis Ababa and Kigali.

By Renatha Msungu


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U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS

PRO REPORT -by David Edole
Cuffy, Zaragoza advances to ACB
St. Croix native Cuthbert Victor (196-G-83, college: Murray St.) and CAI Zaragoza overwhelmed CB Lhospitalet, 91-64, Friday night in Spains Basketball League (LEB) Gold Division. The win assured Zaragozas promotion to Spains premiere ACB league. Victor had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in limited duty. Zaragoza (27-6) put the game away in the third period outscoring Lhospitalet, 24-4 in the frame. Zaragoza plays Plus Pujol Lleida on Friday to close out the regular season.
The second team that will be promoted to ACB will be determined by playoff format. The quarter final series will be played between teams placed in the second position to the ninth in the regular season standings. The four winners will advance to the Final Four which will take place in Caceres from May 30 to June 1, 2008.
Raja Bell was the last Virgin Islander to play in the ACB, when he signed with Tau Ceramica of the ACB but never played in an actual game . The Utah Jazz gave him an opportunity to play in the NBA.

PUERTO RICO
The Puerto Rico Superior Basketball League regular season came to an end last week with only four teams qualified to Super Six. Kevin Sheppard (182-G-79, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Jacksonville) and Guaynabo (19-13) was on of the teams that qualify which include Arecibo, Caguas, and Santurce.
The final two spots are up for grabs and the officials of the BSN have come up with a very interesting way of filling those spots.
The Island Division is likened to Eastern Division of the NBA has two teams under .500 batting for the third spot. Jameel Heywood (198-F-77, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Oklahoma) and the Ponce Lions (15-17) will meet the Fajardo Cariduros (15-17) in a best out of three. Heywood joined Ponce with three quarters of the season remaining after a successful stint in Argentina.
The last team to join the other five will be a complex process. The Metro Division is filled with quality teams, like the Western Conference of the NBA with four teams .500 or better. Carolina (18-14), Fajardo (18-14), Bayamon (16-16), and Humacao (16-16) are the teams that will battle each other to fill the final spot. Ja Ja Richards (207-C-75, agency: EM-PA, college: Loyola, IL) and Humacao Grises will have to play several sudden death games if they are to reach the final six. Humacao plays San German tonight. If Humacao survives, it will then face the Bayamon Cowboys. If they survive that, then it is on to Carolina Giants. Schedule below:

Itinerario Reto y Series Seccionales:
Monday, 12 of May (Reto):
Humacao en San Germn

Tuesday, 13 of May:
Winner (San Germn en Humacao) en Bayamn
Ponce en Fajardo (Serie Seccional)

Wednesday, 14 of May:
Fajardo en Ponce (Serie Seccional)

Thursday, 15 of May:
Winner (Humacao, San Germn o Bayamn) en Carolina

Dominicana Republica
Darnell Miller (195-G-82, college: W.Georgia) and Cupes lost to Club Gregorio Urbano Gilbert (GUG), 88-89, in the deciding game of the XVIII Superior Basketball Tournament in Santiago. GUG won the series four games to one in spite of Millers best efforts.
The Cupes activated Miller for the game in replacement of Antoine Broxsie and were in the game until the last second. Miller finished with 18 points and eight assists.
Felipe Lpez showed his NBA pedigree, with five ticks left on the clock he drove the lane and was fouled with the score tied at 88 each. He proceeded to miss the first free throw attempt but nailed the second which sent the gymnasium into frenzy. Cupes had their chance to win but Jamaal Thomas missed a three point attempt.

Building off his success in Santiago, Miller signed with San Sebastian the following day. He teamed with Amauri Filion to humiliate La Cancha, 114-97, in XV Superior Basketball Tourney in Moca Sunday night. Miller also got a bit of revenge as Felipe Lopez played with La Cancha.
Fillion scored a game high 41 points and Miller tallied 24 points and six assists.

In the first game of the night, Carl Thomas (200-F-76, college: Charleston) knocked down a three pointer with two seconds left to lift Jose Horacio over Don Bosco, 72-71.
Thomas received a screen from Reggie Charles, and rained a three pointer. Thomas finished with a double double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jose Horacio record improves to 7-5 while Don Bosco fell to 6-5 in the four team tourney.


Germany
Jason Edwin (196-G/F-81, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: Kent St.) and Digibu Baskets Paderborn season came to an end Sunday night. Paderborn came from behind to defeat Science City Jena, 78-75, on the road. Paderborn opened with a 29-18 first period lead but Jena battled back with a 21-16 second period. Perborn held a 45-39 halftime lead. Jena countered in the third taking a 60-59 lead into the 4th before Paderborn made their run late to earn the win. Edwin had six points in the win. Paderborn ends the season at 16-18 in the German Bond League.


Spurs' Duncan finds his comfort zone at home -by David Edole
SAN ANTONIO -- What a difference a change of scenery can make.

Defense, rebounds, scoring -- Spurs forward Tim Duncan (208-F-76, college: Wake Forest) was back to his typical All-Star self after a nightmarish two-game slump in New Orleans. With 20 points and 15 rebounds through three quarters, he essentially matched in 34 minutes his total output (23 points, 11 boards) in Games 1 and 2.

'It makes me laugh to hear Timmy's struggling,' teammate Tony Parker said. 'He's getting doubled every time. He's doing what he's supposed to do by finding his teammates. I just think he had more opportunities and he made more shots tonight.'

Duncan was particularly improved on the offensive end, where he used his entire bag of tricks. With 3 seconds on the shot clock, Duncan flipped in an 18-foot bank shot with virtually no angle midway through the first quarter. In the third quarter, he made consecutive running bank shots, the second with his left hand while absorbing a foul from Hornets center Tyson Chandler.

Chandler, the focal point of the Hornets' plan to double-team Duncan with impunity, was hampered by foul trouble and had little impact.

Duncan's performance -- he finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots -- was in stark contrast to his Game 1 debacle, in which illness and aggressive Hornets defense conspired to limit him to playoff career-lows of five points and three rebounds.

Told he looked as if he was starting to find his comfort zone, Duncan agreed.

'A bit of it, a bit of it,' he said. 'We've known what they're trying to do for a while now. It was just a night where some shots went down for me.'

Duncan's teammates appear to be making similar adjustments. The Spurs' ball-movement has noticeably improved, resulting in 28 and 27 assists during the past two games. Duncan had three in each.

'I thought he was very aggressive,' Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich said. 'With all the doubling, they're forcing him to be a quarterback in this series. He's making great choices.'

Duncan now has two double-doubles in the series and 110 in his playoff career. Only five players in NBA history have more with points and rebounds -- Wilt Chamberlain (143), Shaquille O'Neal (142), Bill Russell (136) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (119).

By Dan McCarney


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UBL

Wranglers, Soul Class of the League -by Mac Claire
The Texas Wranglers are 6-2 this season and continue to play solid basketball. Oklahoma City and San Antonio are the only teams to beat the Dallas based club.
Former All-American Reggie Grifin and forward Dwayne McDonald are the Wranglers' standout players.
The Wranglers will seek revenge when they play the On-Point Hoopsters this Sunday.

The San Antonio Soul are truly a team. Guard Brandon Springs is shooting a rediculous 60% from beyond the three point line. Backcourt mate Leonard Brown is averaging 22ppg and 8 assists.
Center Ben Conwell is scoring at a 17point clip, and collecting 10 rebounds per contest. Big Ben inhaled 21 rebounds vs. the Stars earlier this season. Because the contributions come from all over the roster, the Soul stand at an impressive 4-1, including a 100-90 win on Mothers' Day.

The Arkansas Wariors and the Central Texas Stars also have played well this season. Despite a Mothers' Day loss to the Soul, the Stars are above .500 with a 4-3 record.

The San Marcos Knights for currently are playing their home schedule in the shadows of the Soul in the Alamo City. They have no home, no wins, and until recently, no clear identity. But when they played two weeks ago at home vs. the Wranglers, they came back from a huge hole and pulled to within two before losing by eight. What they found out was that their identity is that of a team that is patient offensively. Now the Knights will try to build from that game and look for their first win.
Former ABA player Damont Jones scored only one field goal vs. the Wranglers, but he converted on 11 of 13 free throws. Jones is without question the leader on the court.
Newcomer Richard Pinson has played in the last two games and has played well in both. He brings a certain toughness defensively along with an aggressive attitude offensively.
Lefty point guard Brandon Gatlin continues to get better with each possession. He was a major factor in the comeback attempt vs. the Wranglers. He took care of the ball and limited his turnovers, and he continued driving to the basket fearlessly. His decision making has also improved in the last couple of games.


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UKRAINE

Market rumours -by Alexander Muzyka
- The Higher League champion and the Superleague newcomer BC Donetsk is looking for a strength. As it became known, BC Donetsk headquarters wants to see Rostyslav Kryvych (198-F-78), Ihor Kryvych (199-F-78), Artem Butskyi (185-G-81), Dmytro Zabirchenko (191-G-84), Anatoli Dubniuk (202-F-76), Oleg Kojenets (208-C-77) and Yevhen Annenkov (187-G-77) as its players, Bolelschik informed. But rumours said Butskyi has been inked by Sumykhimprom for a year already and Annenkov wants to stay in Lvivska Politekhnika this season, too.

- UNICS (RUS) is interested in Azovmash's Tomas Delininkaitis (192-G-82), krepsinis.net informed


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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Al Wasl outlasts Al Muharraq to stay on top of Pool B -by Eurobasket News
Al Wasl - Al Muharraq 116:88

The Emirates Al Wasl extended their winning streak to 3 games toping Al Muharraq yesterday. Both sides entered the game undefeated and hoped to stretch their winning run. The teams traded buckets early on but gradually Al Wasl took over. They used a tough defense to limit Al Muharraq offensive options and keeping them away from the paint. It worked pretty well as Al Wasl accumulated a 31:18 lead after the starting frame. Al Muharraq however stayed contestant in the second period as Donald Little (211-C-78, agency: EM-PA, college: Cincinnati) was on fire for Bahrain side. Al Wasl enjoyed a 12-point advantage at halftime but went on a run right after the break. Courtney Fields (206-F-82, college: Iona) and Herve Lamizana (208-F/C-81, college: Rutgers) teamed up to ignite a 33:16 rally from the Emirates outfit as Al Wasl cleared off to an insurmountable distance. Al Muharraq never threatened the lead in the fourth period and suffered their first loss at the tournament. Courtney Fields led Al Wasl with 25 points and 12 boards. Herve Lamizana had 19 points and 11 boards in a win. Donald Little answered with game-high 32 points and 10 boards in defeat. Al Wasl will now play against Al Qadsia in the final round of preliminary action. Al Muharraq will try to secure the second spot in the clash with the defending champions SABA Battery. Al Wasl win also meant that Al Qadsia will finish fourth in Pool B.

Al Wasl: Courtney Fields 25+12 boards, Herve Lamizana 19+11 boards, Ibrahim Ahmad 17
Al Muharraq: Donald Little 32+10 boards, Mohammad Mohammad 21


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VENEZUELA

Standings - LPB
LPB Standings
 1. Trotamundos 27-5 
 2. Guaiqueries 19-10 
 3. Gatos 18-11 
 4. Gaiteros 18-12 
 5. Cocodrilos 17-12 
 6. Marinos 17-14 
 7. Guaros 12-20 
 8. Dep.Tachira 10-19 
 9. Panteras 8-24 
 10. Gigantes 6-25 


Oscar Torres lost first game of Italy's Quarter Finals and Hector Romero didn't play -by Francisco Vega
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- Venezuelan forward Oscar Torres (195-F/G-76) scored 13 points, stole a ball and performed a couple of assists, but his team, UPIM Bologna, lost 91-72 in the first game of their Quarter Finals series against Montepaschi Siena, the leader of Italy's Lega A first division basketball.

Toirres played 21 minutes and went 3-3 from the two-point zone, 2-2 from the long distance and 1-2 from the free-throw line. However, Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) led Siena with 15 points and got help from Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77) with 14 points, Romain Sato (194-G-81) with 13 points, Shaun Stonerook (203-F/C-77) with 12 points and Bootsy Thornton (194-G-77) with 10. For Bologna, Kristaps Janicenoks (196-F-83) netted 16 points to help Torres, Joseph Forte (193-G-81) added 12 points and Dante Calabria (194-G-73) ended up with 11.

Siena did not include Venezuelan forward and power forward Hector Romero (202-F-80) in their 12-man squad for this match. Romero has not had any luck since he moved to Siena from Legea Scafati, as he hasn't had too many chances to proove his skills on court ever since that transaction took place. Both Torres and Romero are expected to join Marinos de Anzoategui in Venezuela's LPB as soon as they finish their season in Italy.


Pablo Machado and Domo Oviedo to fight for spot in Spain's LEB Bronze -by Francisco Vega
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- Venezuelan center Pablo Machado (207-C-77) and his team, Domo Residencial Oviedo (25-5), ended the first round of Spain's EBA basketball as leaders of group A and advanced to the playoff league, after earning a victory in their last game against CB Sarria Rio Calcio (9-21), 75-66, with a 17-point effort by Machado.

Machado played 23 minutes, netted eight out of eleven two-point shots and one of two free-throws attempted, grabbed four rebounds, gave one assists, commited a couple of fouls and lost one ball as a member of the starting five squad.

Javier Rodriguez (201-F-81) led the way for Oviedo with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Adrian Macia (-76) and Javier Candas (194-F-85) contributed with 11 points each. For Rio Calcio, Adrian Rodriguez (202-F-85) scored 14 points, Esteban Peppe and Jimmy James (196-F-82) followed him with 11 points each and Cesar Pineiro (-80) finished up with 10 points. Oviedo will now play in Group 4 during the playoffs and will do so against Salmeron Ciudad Guadix, Nexus CB Olesa and CB Navalcarnero.


Richard Lugo wins in Puerto Rico's All-Star game -by Francisco Vega
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- Venezuelan center Richard Lugo (209-C-73) took part in Puerto Rico's BSN All-Star Game as a member of the winning team, Estrellas Isla, who defeated Estrellas Metro, 98-84, in a match in which Lugo scored 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.

Lugo participated during 20 minutes and scored 4 out of 10 two point shots, while adding 4 out of 5 free-throws attempted. Two of his six rebounds were in the offensive end and he also performed and assist and a block, though he also commited one turnover during his time on court.

Another Venezuelan, Luis Rivas (200-F-80), played for the Metro team and finished up with 4 points and 5 rebounds. Unlike Lugo, who is an imported reinforcement player for Atleticos de San German, Rivas has double nationality and plays as a local player in Puerto Rico's BSN and so does Rafael Perez (185-G-82) with Vaqueros de Bayamon.


*****************************************************
ZIMBABWE

Standings
HBA Standings
 1. Stars 0-0 
 2. Jammers 0-0 
 3. Sigauke 0-0 
 4. South Central 0-0 
 5. Black Rhinos 0-0 
 6. Raiderz 0-0 
 7. Blazers 0-0 
 8. Leopards 0-0 
 9. Bulls 0-0 
 10. Hawks 0-0 
 11. Gentelmen 0-0 
 12. NABA Pross 0-0 
 13. Wolves 0-0 
 14. Spares 0-0 
 15. Golden Spurs 0-0 
 16. Cavaliers 0-0 
 17. U.Z. Stars 0-0 
 18. Jewels 0-0 




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Women News

*****************************************************
BULGARIA - Women

Another victories of the favorites -by Eurobasket News
Dunav Econt and Lukoil Neftochimic reached the second wins in the semifinal series over the opponents and made another step to the Finals. Both teams were victorious at home in Games 2.
Dunav Econt edged Rilski Sportist 85:64 with a defensive beginning. The hosts opened the game with 25:9 and increased to 50:23 due to 25:14 in the second period. In the second half Rilski Sportist scored more than the hosts, but reduced only to 85:64. Anna Rimpova (183-F-82) led the winners with 20 points. Petya Djambazka nailed 16 and Diana Naydenova (171-G-73, agency: Global Sports Plaza) scored 12. Agnesa Doychinova and Hristina Ivanova (185-F-89) ended up with 15 points in defeat.
Lukoil Neftochimic stun Beroe 07 74:61 with an offensive basketball from the early beginning. The hosts flew with 27:15 and never looked behind in the game. Beroe 07 could win the third period 16:15 and could use it as a tool in the next game. Zornitza Kostova (176-G-82) produced 19 points to lead all the scorers. Radostina Slavova (186-F-86) posted 18, while Natalia Topalova collected 14 points and 14 rebounds. Ralitsa Naneva (178-F-86) finished the game with 18 points in the losing clause. Games 3 are scheduled for May 14th.

Lukoil Neftochimic - Beroe 07 74:61
Lukoil Neftochimic:Zornitza Kostova 19, Radostina Slavova 18, Natalia Topalova 14+14 rebs
Beroe 07:Ralitsa Naneva 18, Albena Bachkova 16, Zhaneta Zhelyova (182-F-75) 12

Dunav Econt-Rilski Sportist 85:64
Dunav Econt: Anna Rimpova 20, Petya Djambazka 16, Diana Naydenova 12
Rilski Sportist:Agnesa Doychinova 15, Hristina Ivanova 15, Galina Stancheva 12


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CROATIA - Women

Jolly JBS Sibenik wins another Gold medals! -by Eurobasket News
Gospic CO Jolly JBS Sibenik 45:62 (14:16, 10:19, 11:12, 10:15)

Jolly JBS Sibenik celebrated the victory in Croatian Play-offs beating Gospic 3-1 in the Final series. The last game the Champion played away from home where it took Gold medals. Jolly JBS Sibenik outscored Gospic 62:45 and lifted the trophy for the second straight year. Anda Jelavic (173-G-80) paced all the winners with 19 points. Terglav nailed 14 and Luca Ivankovic (201-C-87) scored 8. Sandra Popovic-Mandir (177-G-77) was the best in the losing effort with 14 points.
It was another game of the best teams in Croatia and another triumph for Sibenik. In March Jolly Sibenik also triumphed in Adriatic League and it was again Gospic that tried to grab a title. With a dominance in the first half, Jolly led the game to the glory. Tihana Juric (194-C-76) paced all the winners with 23 points to 72:66 win. Luca Ivankovic nailed 13, while Anda Anda Jelavic scored 11. Marina Mazic (190-C-80) was the best in the losing effort with 20 points.
This time Jolly JBS Sibenik used 16:14 in the opening quarter to take a control of the game. Another 19:10 in the second quarter gave more confidence for the guests in the game. Thanks to Gospic, the team played until the end proving one more time that it is the only challenging team to play for the winner.

Gospic CO: Sandra Popovic-Mandir 14, Englert 2, Stilinovic, Pinto, Enghusen, Elena Yolovska (183-F-74) 9, Tabak 5, Luketic, Mazic 7, Salopek 8, Ragu 9
Jolly JBS: Anda Jelavic 19, Zubak, Peria, Lokas, Guneva 5, Juric 5, Miura, Jurcevic 6, Dickson 5, Male, Luca Ivankovic 8, Terglav 14


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CUBA - Women

Standings
D1 Standings
 1. Occidentales 0-0 
 2. Ciego de Avila 0-0 
 3. Orientales 0-0 
 4. Centrales 0-0 
 5. Venezuela 0-0 


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ROMANIA - Women

Arad with a hard but a win -by Eurobasket News
ICIM Arad - Sfantu Gheorghe 63:57

Arad is 2-0 in the series after two home thrillers over Sfantu Gheorghe. The second game saw the hosts improving to another victory after 63:57. Sfantu Gheorghe dominated the first half taking 33:35 lead and even had 41:47. Arad stayed calm and pushed the tempo in the end. Sheena Moore (170-G-84, college: UNLV) led the winners with 18 points. Alicia Gladden (180-F-85, college: Florida St.) nailed 15 and Suzana Milovanovic (185-F-79, agency: LBM Management) posted 14. Ildiko Vass (178-G-78) top-scored with 22 points in the losing clause.

Arad: Sheena Moore 18, Alicia Gladden 15, Suzana Milovanovic 14, Meszaros 8, Zoric 6, Kovacic 2.
Sfantu Gheorghe:Ildiko Vass 22, Ambrus 9, Toma 9, Diatta 8, Cazac 4, Brosovszky 3, Dinca 2.


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WNBA - Women

Sky Signs Erin Grant to Training Camp Contract -by Tamiim Kamali
The Chicago Sky has signed Erin Grant (5'8''-G-84, college: Texas Tech) to a training camp contract, Head Coach and General Manager Steven Key announced. Terms of the contract were not released. Grant, a 5'8 guard, was selected by the Seattle Storm (39th overall) in the 2006 WNBA Draft. She played in 17 games for the Houston Comets in the 2007 season, averaging 1.5 points and 2.2 assists in 12 minutes played. A 2006 graduate of Texas Tech, Grant finished her college career receiving All-Big 12 First Team honors two consecutive seasons, averaging 12 points and 6.3 assists in her final season.

Chicago Sky Releases Three Players -by Tamiim Kamali
The Chicago Sky announced the releases of Claire Claire Coggins (5'11''-G/F-85, college: Kansas St.), Nina Stone (5'7''-G-83, agency: Merit Sports) (5'7''-G-83, agency: Merit Sports) and Angela Tisdale (5'7''-G-85, college: Baylor) (5'7''-G-85, college: Baylor).

Claire Coggins was waived after playing in 20 games in the 2007 season and in two 2008 pre-season games. She joined the team as a free agent out of Kansas State in the Skys 2007 training camp. She averaged 2.5 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.4 assists per game in 2007. She scored a career-high 10 points against the Phoenix Mercury on June 7, 2007.

Nina Stone played in two pre-season games. She is an assistant coach at Oral Roberts University and played two seasons for Team Guaynabo in Puerto Rico. She was named to the 2006 All-Big 12 Team and averaged 14.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game in two years at Oklahoma State University.

Angela Tisdale was selected by the Sky in the third round (33rd overall) of the 2008 WNBA Draft. She played in two pre-season games, scoring 10 against Indiana on May 3. She was a Baylor University stand-out, earned first-team All-Big 12 honors, was a 2008 Wooden Award finalist, and was ranked sixth in the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game.


Storm Announces Training Camp Roster, Re-Signs Robinson -by Tamiim Kamali
Seattle Storm Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Brian Agler announced the re-signing of 6-4 forward/center Ashley Robinson. The terms of the contract were not disclosed. Acquired on June 29, 2006 in a trade with the Chicago Sky, Robinson has played a total of 50 regular season games with the Storm the past two seasons. She started two games during the 2007 postseason, averaging of 4.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.

Three former WNBA MVPs, five All-Stars, and two draft picks highlight the 2008 Seattle Storm Training Camp roster, announced today by team officials. The Storm is also heading into the 2008 season under new leadership, from local owners Force 10 Hoops L.L.C. and from the new coaching staff, led by head coach Brian Agler.

Seattles 2008 training camp roster features eight returning players - including 2007 WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson, All-Star Sue Bird, Janell Burse, Shyra Ely, Katie Gearlds, Robinson, Doneeka Lewis and Tanisha Wright the addition of three free agents in former WNBA MVPs Sheryl Swoopes and Yolanda Griffith, along with All-Star Swin Cash, two draft picks and four training camp invitees.
Ashley Robinson (5'9''-G-79, college: Miss.Valley St.)Ashley Robinson (6'4''-C-82, college: Tennessee)


Seattle Storms Sheryl Swoopes -by Tamiim Kamali
The name Sheryl Swoopes is synonymous with women's basketball. Over the course of her career, Swoopes has achieved virtually every honor possible for a player, winning a National Championship at Texas Tech, four WNBA championships with the Houston Comets and gold medals in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics. Allocated to the Comets as the WNBA's first player, Swoopes missed the first half of the 1997 season while giving birth to son Jordan but returned in time to help lead the team to the WNBA's first championship - and the next three. In 2000, she won the first of three WNBA MVP awards, the most won by any player. Swoopes recorded the first regular-season and playoff triple-doubles in league history and is one of five players to score 4,000 points in their WNBA careers. After spending the first 12 years of her career in Houston, Swoopes signed with the Storm as a free agent on March 3, 2008. Sheryl Swoopes (6'0''-F-71, college: Texas Tech)

Sky Fall in Preseason Tune-Up -by Tamiim Kamali
The game against the L.A. Sparks was the Skys third pre-season game, and first loss. The Sky won their first two pre-season games against Seattle on April 30 at the UIC Pavilion and Indiana on May 3 at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee. The Sparks were coming off an 86-80 win over the expansion Atlanta Dream. This was the Skys first game at Sears Centre Arena.

Several key players on both teams missed tonights game due to overseas commitments. Sky players who were not at the game: Dominique Canty, Candice Dupree, Cathy Joens, and Bernadette Ngoyisa. The Skys Kayte Christensen did not dress due to a lower back injury. Missing for the Sparks were Shannon Bobbitt, Liron Cohen, Marta Fernandez, Raffaella Masciadri, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Muriel Page, and Candace Parker were not present for tonights game.


Kimberly Beck Fighting for Backup Point Guard Spot in Seattle -by Tamiim Kamali
During the regular season, the Seattle Storm's likely starting lineup will be a who's who of WNBA history. But the late arrivals in training camp of Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, still in action overseas, have opened up opportunities for other players. So it was that in the team's preseason opener, the Storm started former WNBA MVPs Yolanda Griffith and Sheryl Swoopes - and also rookie Kimberly Beck, a little more than a month removed from finishing her career at George Washington.

In her role as point guard, she has been responsible for leading the Storm on the court and making sure the team executes new Head Coach Brian Agler's offense and defense. Beck is no stranger to leading more experienced players. At George Washington, she stepped in as a starter from the moment she arrived on campus, starting 31 of the 32 games she played as a freshman and 128 out of 129 in her career for the Colonials. The Atlantic 10 Conference's Rookie of the Year, Beck led the conference in assists as a freshman and went on to do so all four years of her career, becoming the 11th player in NCAA Division I history to accomplish that feat. She capped her career by winning A-10 Player of the Year as a senior.

That impressive college resume made Beck attractive to the Storm in the third round of last month's WNBA Draft.

Early in camp, Beck established herself atop the group of young point guards in camp, putting her with the first unit during many of the team's early practices. And while that role is inevitably temporary, given Bird's impending return to Seattle, Agler has thrown the backup spot behind Bird open to competition. Since arriving in camp, veteran Doneeka Lewis has also worked with the first unit at the point, while incumbent backup Tanisha Wright is due into camp later this week. But Beck remains very much in the mix and was mentioned prominently by Agler when he was asked about the position on Sunday.

Working in Beck's favor is that she is a natural point guard who has played the position throughout her career, while the Storm's other options behind Bird converted to the position at the WNBA level. Beck knows her role will be to distribute the ball and set up her teammates, and she's comfortable with that. Beck will have to overcome her inexperience at the WNBA level. Agler would still like to see her improve her composure. It's inevitable for rookies to rush and lose their focus as they adjust to everything new going on around them. The Storm's veterans are doing what they can to help Beck get comfortable.
Kimberly Beck (5'8''-G-85, college: George Washington)


Stacey Dales Retires -by Tamiim Kamali
After two seasons with the Chicago Sky and three seasons playing for the Washington Mystics, Stacey is hanging up her basketball uniform to concentrate on her promising career in sports broadcasting.

As a member of the teams first-ever starting lineup in 2006, Stacey scored the Skys first franchise field goal. In the 2007 season, she averaged 10.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. She shot .338 from beyond the three-point line and set the franchise record for most three-pointers in a game (7). She finished the season ranked 4th in the league in three-point field goals made (68). She finishes her career with an average of 9.2 points per game and a 35% three-point shooting average. She started in 131 of the 150 games she played in the WNBA.

Stacey will continue working for ESPN as a studio analyst for NCAAW basketball and a sideline reporter for the NBA, NCAA basketball, and NCAA football. She began working for ESPN in 2002 and that same year, USA Today's television columnist Rudy Martzke named her 'Rookie Analyst of the Year' and 'Best New Face' in 2004.

Stacey was Washingtons first pick (third overall) in the 2002 WNBA Draft out of Oklahoma. She averaged 9.3 points per game in three seasons with the Mystics, and named as a replacement to the 2002 WNBA All-Start Team. She retired at the end of the 2004 season, but decided to come back in 2006 and was a surprise and welcome addition to the Sky roster when Washington did not protect her in the 2006 Expansion Draft.

A standout at the University of Oklahoma, Stacey led her team to the 2002 NCAA Championship game. She was Oklahoma's first consensus All-American and was named to the Kodak, Associated Press and Women's Basketball Journal first teams. She represented Canada at the 1999 Pan American Games, the 2000 Summer Olympics, the 2001 FIBA Americas World Championship Qualification Tournament and the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualification Tournament.
Stacey Dales (6'0''-F-79, college: Oklahoma)


SEATTLE STORM CENTER JANELL BURSE TO SIT OUT 2008 SEASON -by Tamiim Kamali
Seattle Storm center Janell Burse will miss the entire 2008 season, team officials announced today.

Burse averaged 8.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during the 2007 season. She set a WNBA record for rebounds in a half with 16 in the first half, and rebounds in a quarter with 10 against the Phoenix Mercury on May 23, 2007. The 2006 runner-up for the WNBA's Most Improved Player award has averaged 8.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game over four seasons with the Storm.