EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 5/20/2008

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Men News

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ABA

Camps in the ABA informations -by Bruno Baltazar
The Nashville Broncs will be hosting the Zhejiang Guangsha Basketball Club of the Chinese Basketball Association in an exhibition game at 7pm on Friday, May 23rd at Fisk University. Admission will be $5 per person and a portion of the proceeds will be given to the Athletic Department of Fish University.

Zhejiang Guangsha will be visiting for a total of 8 days (May 16-24) and will be welcomed by local companies such as NovaCopy and All-Access Coach just to name a couple. NovaCopy will be hosting a reception at 4pm on Monday, May 19th at their corporate office at 15 Lindsley Avenue, Nashville, TN 37210. All members of Zhejiang Guangsha will be in attendance as well as representatives of the Nashville Broncs.

The visiting team will be coming all the way from Shen Yang City, China and are coached by Wang Fei. They will be bringing a total of 19 people, including team management, coaches and players. Along with the exhibition game on the 23rd, Zhejiang Guangsha will also be involved in team training session as well as general tourist activities in the Nashville area.

For more information please contact Hart Harrison at (615) 823-1086, email hart@nashvillebroncs.com, or visit www.nashvillebroncs.com.

AND

The West Texas Whirlwinds have announced that their first tryout camp will be held June 19-21 at Odessa College.

According to Cleveland Phelps, team owner, 'This will be an unusual tryout camp. Each player will participate in three games as well as slam dunk and three point shooting contest with cash prizes. We will get a chance to see the players in action as the tryout will be in front of team sponsors and Whirlwinds fans. We are looking for 30 players to take to veterans camp.'

The cost of the tryout will be $100. It is a great opportunity.

For complete details, contact the Whirlwinds' new GM, Ira Cross at (432) 212-9036 or email phelpscleveland@yahoo.com.

AND

Burrel Lee III, General Manager of the ABA Maywood Buzz, today announced that the team will conduct open player tryouts in its search for local and non-local basketball talent. Coach Lee and his staff will be in charge of conducting the camp and can be reached at (323) 562-5570 or email at buzzbasketball@gmail.com.

The camp will be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 12th and 13th, 2008 and the all players will be assigned teams and play in the 3rd Annual Maywood Buzz ABA Summer Pro League July 14th-19th, 2008, both at the Home of the Buzz, The Maywood Activity Center, located at 4801 East 58th Street, Maywood CA 90270. (Interested parties are reminded NOT to call the facility for directions or information). Special accommodation rates ($58 per night) are available at the Ramada Inn Hotel, located in The City of Commerce (and just minutes from the gym). The telephone number is (562) 806-4777 - ask for Toti and tell him you are with the Maywood Buzz).

Lee stated, 'The registration for the camp will begin promptly at 10 am. The fee for participating in each camp is $150.00. Walk-up registration fee on the day of the tryout is $175.00 and cash only.'

'We had a really bad season on the court after finishing 4-28, but we had some great moments as well and with 2007-2007 Buzz Captain Darwin 'DC' Carter being named to the 2008 ABA All-Star Game, being named Buzz MVP and you add in there John 'Smitty' Smith being named an alternate to the ABA All-Star Game and getting the Coaches Hustle Award possibly returning next season, we would like to find a few players to put around them as we look to be a force during the 2008-2009 season,' Lee added.

To register, you can visit the Buzz Web site at www.buzzbasketball.com and click on the registration link and sign up there. Participants are required to bring their own gym shoes, towels, refreshments/beverages. The tryout camp will last approximately six hours. Participants will be required to sign a waiver and complete a registration form before being permitted to participate. This tryout camp is for players looking to become professional basketball players and players trying out should come in shape ready to play as if the season started the next day.

Players looking to tryout for the Maywood Buzz should be ready to be committed to basketball and earning a spot on the team for a total of seven days. More info on the Maywood Buzz ABA Summer Pro League will be announced in the coming weeks, but the Japan Gym-Rats will be returning again this coming season to compete again.


ABA INTRODUCES NEW SLOGAN, BRANDING CAMPAIGN -by Bruno Baltazar
The American Basketball Association announced a new slogan and branding campaign: ABA - MORE THAN JUST A GAME.

According to Quentin Townsend, ABA President/COO, 'We spent considerable time and effort coming up with just the right slogan for our incredible league and recognized that the ABA was truly much more than just a game of basketball. There are so many components on and off the court that make the ABA the most unique, most exciting professional sports league anywhere. And the slogan we've selected is designed to incorporate these components.'

'The ABA represents fan-friendly and affordable professional basketball. Our players play for the love of the game and always give 100% of themselves on and off the court. The ABA is the most diversified professional sports league ever with over 70% of its ownership group being African-American, Hispanic, Asian and women. We are so very proud of that. We play in large and small cities and recognize that good quality basketball is enjoyed everywhere,' added Townsend.

'And we are expanding worldwide to bring the excitement and meaning of ABA basketball to the growing worldwide audience as well as providing tremendous opportunities for players, coaches and referees to do what they do best,' stated Joe Newman, ABA CEO. 'We offer huge sports management employment opportunities as well as opportunities for college and high school interns. The ABA's rules are original and combine the best of the NBA, international and college with our own unique rules like 3-D and 3-10-and Out.'

'Character development is emphasized and we have a no tolerance drug policy that is enforced. We are deeply involved with our communities working closely with youth groups, schools, churches and not-for-profit organizations with strong off-the-court programs that involve players and management. We have an entertainment division that will bring concerts and special events to our fans,' concluded Townsend. 'So, as our new slogan says, ABA - MORE THAN JUST A GAME. And it is true.'

For more information contact Quentin Townsend at qtownsend@atlvision.com, visit www.atlvision.com, or contact Joe Newman at conniejoenewman@aol.com.


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ASIAN CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

Asia Champions Cup. Semifinals -by Eurobasket News
Rayyan - Wasl 81:57
Qatari Rayyan entered the Asia Champions Cup Final yesterday after beating previously undefeated Wasl in the semifinal. The Qatari outfit reached their 5th final in the last 8 editions of the competition. Wasl started the game without their charismatic leader Courtney Fields who was sidelined with a knee injury. It paid off immediately as Rayyan used the dominance in height to full advantage. Wasl managed to stay close in the starting frame due to heroics from Ayoub Albaloushi as they trailed by 2 points after 10 minutes of action. However Rayyan stepped on the gas in the second quarter and Wasl immediately started to lag behind. Qatari outfit ignited a massive 29:9 rally in the second stanza to accumulate a 22-point buffer at halftime. Herve Lamizana (208-F/C-81, college: Rutgers) was obviously out of rhythm on the night and Wasl simple ran out of options to change the complexion of the game. Rayyan notched a 23:13 third frame to pile up an insurmountable 32-point margin before the fourth term. Brian Lester introduced his bench players into action in the final period with the outcome pretty vivid. Wasl used the fact to cut the deficit a bit but it did not matter as Rayyan headed into the tournament finale. Yaseen Ismail (204-F-80) came up with 16 points to lead Rayyan. Dalron Johnson (206-F-81, college: UNLV) scored 15 points, while Saad Abdulrahman Ali (194-F-85) had 10 for the winners. Ayoub Albaloushi answered with game-high 21 points for Wasl. Herve Lamizana knocked down 13 points in a loss.

Rayyan: Yaseen Ismail 16, Dalron Johnson 15, Saad Abdulrahman Ali 10
Wasl: Ayoub Albaloushi 21, Herve Lamizana 13


SABA Battery - Al Riyadi 70:68
The Asia Champions Cup defending champions SABA Battery left ups and downs of the preliminary round behind them and now look ready to claim the second straight title. Yesterday the Iranian outfit snatched a dramatic 70:68 win over Lebanese Riyadi to reach the championship game. Riyadi entered the game undefeated and hoped to stretch their spotless run. But SABA Battery put on a strong performance to steal a narrow win at the dying minutes. Riyadi suffered a major setback early in the encounter as their captain Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) got injured and struggled to return to action in the latter stages. The injury was later rumored to be a season-ending one for Ahmad. Riyadi looked a bit bewildered by the absence of the key player and SABA Battery used to their advantage. The Iranian side ran away to a 42:39 lead at halftime. The spark for Lebanese team came in the third stanza as Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) scored a couple of impressive baskets and Omar Turk provided back up as Al Riyadi spurred ahead to an 8-point distance. SABA Battery trimmed the gap to 3 points heading into the fourth period 51:54. But three back-to-back trebles from Battery put the Iranian squad back on top early in the fourth quarter. SABA Battery kept it cool throughout the fourth frame and entered the crunch time in front. They had a 3-point advantage with seconds left in regulation when Fadi El Khatib was put to charity stripe. He nailed his first attempt and then purposely missed the second one, while Ali Fakhreddine (202-C-83) pulled down a rebound for a chance to force overtime. But his attempt went off target sealing the win for SABA Battery. SABA Battery will now face Qatari Al Rayyan in the Final today.

SABA Battery: Gabe Muoneke 17, Hamed Hadadi 14, Samad Nikkah 13
Riyadi: Fadi El Khatib 20, Joe Vogel 17


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AUSTRALIA

Gold from Susnjara and silver from Nielsen -by Eurobasket News
Zalgiris became LKL Champions by defeating Lietuvos Rytas 81:75 in the 5th Superfinal game. Zalgiris won the series 4:1 as Matt Nielsen (208-F/C-78) had a great season finishing it with silver.
After Rytas won the opener 76:73 Zalgiris won its first Final home game and tied the series against Lietuvos Rytas at 1-1. The winner of Baltic league overcame its rivals 87:80 with a perfect start in the early beginning. DeJuan Collins led the winners with 18 points. Damir Markota collected 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Brown netted 15 and Jonas Maciulis had 11. Kenan Bajramovic finished the night with 18 points in the losing clause. Matt Nielsen produced 10 points in defeat.
Zalgiris grabbed the lead from the very beginning and Jankunas closed a 8-0 run. Zukauskas made it 20:6 as the hosts dominated the court. Still Lietuvos Rytas reduced their deficit to 9 points as the first period ended at 27:18. Hollis Price brought the guests to 28:22 as the latter were coming back to the game. Kenan Bajramovic's three saw 35:30 and that was the 'battle time' on the court. Chuck Eidson's shot from the arc closed the first half at 48:42 for Zalgiris.
DeJuan Collins brought back 10 points advantage making it 58:48. Damir Markota was the last to score in the quarter as the teams were getting ready for the last period with 75:64. Last quarter started with guests points 10:1 as the margin was reduced to 76:74. Zalgiris deserved the win probably a bit more and held the score for good. Jurak scored two free throws for the winners in the end for 87:80 victory.
Game 3 of the Lithuanian Finals saw Zalgiris stealing 90:91 win from Lietuvos Rytas and 11000 spectators that came to support the team. Marcus Brown paced all the winners with 27 points. Jonas Maciulis netted 16, whilst Paulius Jankunas and Damir Markota posted 11 points apiece. Kenan Bajramovic ended up with 24 points in the losing effort. Matt Nielsen ended up with 8 points and 3 rebounds.
Zukauskas opened the game for the guests as Zalgiris stayed in front for the majority of the opening quarter. Kalnietis from the arc gave the visitors 23:22 lead after first 10 minutes of the game. Kenan Bajramovic gave his team the only advantage in the second period for 37:35 making a lay-up. Marcus Brown closed the half at 43:47 for the guests.
Jonas Maciulis brought Zalgiris to 13 points for 56:43. Lietuvos Rytas reduced the gap as Hollis Price was the last to score in the third period for 57:63. It was however the home team that had 81:80 with 15 seconds remaining but DeJuan Collins sent the game into overtime, where Paulius Jankunas's free throw set up the final, 90:91 for Zalgiris.
Zalgiris stepped closer to the LKL title after beating Lietuvos Rytas in Kaunas in Game 4. Zalgiris thus picked up a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and look to close out the clash on Saturday in Vilnius. The Kaunas outfit snatched a narrow dramatic win away from home in Game 3. But this time there were no need for last second heroics as Zalgiris prevailed throughout the action. The hosts got to a better start and quickly accumulated a 10:5 lead on 4 points from Marcus Brown. Chuck Eidson and Nielsen teamed up to keep Lietuvos Rytas close. However Popovic and Kalnietis scored the final 4 points of the period and Zalgiris led 27:23 after the starting frame. Dainius Salenga and Damir Markota knocked down three-pointers early in the second period and Zalgiris stretched the gap to as many as 10 points. Hollis Price replied with 4 points and trimmed the gap however Damir Markota, Maciulis and Paulius Jankunas put the home side up by 14 points late in the frame. Hollis Price capped the half with 4 straight free throws and the teams went into the dressing room with Zalgiris leading by 10. The third stanza changed little as Zalgiris maintained the gap and headed into the fourth quarter ahead by 11 points. Dainius Salenga scored 7 quick consecutive points for the hosts early in the final period as the margin grew to 15 points. Gecevicius and then Petravicius closed it to 10 points but it was not enough to spark the intrigue. Zukauskas and Damir Markota posted two more successful attempts from the field to ice the visitors. Damir Markota finished with 20 points for Zalgiris. Marcus Brown added 15 points, while Paulius Jankunas had 11 in a winning clause and Matt Nielsen posted 10 points in defeat.
Anthony Susnjara (205-F/C-81, college: Co.Carolina) won the trophy in Iceland with his Keflavik. The team swept the Finals over Snaefell 98:74 and won the series 3-0. With very aggressive defense and many players stepping up on offense Snaefell did not have the dept to stop them.Keflavik played good team basketball on both end of the floor. Anthony Susnjara scored 6 points for the winners in the last game.


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BALTIC LEAGUE

Alex Trifunovic is close to leave Lietuvos Rytas -by Eurobasket News
It is almost sure that Serbian coach Aleksandar Trifunovic will leave Lietuvos Rytas. Chances that two sides extend contract are not so good, despite strong wish by team's fans.

Since the final game of Baltic league Trifunovic has an offer for contract extension. Both sides will negotiate during the next 10 days and will try to reach an agreement. But it is already certain that Trifunovic and Lietuvos won't cooperate next season. Those rumors provoked some of team's fans and they wanted to give a support to Trifunovic with flags and boards 'Alex stay!' showed on game of play-off final series against Zalgiris..

According to the Lithuanian media Rymas Curtinaitis is already seen on the bench of Lietuvos next season. Epilogue of this situation waits couple of European teams who showed serious interest for Trifunovic's service.


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BERMUDAS

Bermudas enjoy the PBL All-Star Game -by Eurobasket News
Basketball becomes a part and parcel of life on Bermudas as the different competitions are going on around with lots of talented basketballers taking part. Recently the first ever annual PBL All-Star weekend took place. The All-Star game was traditionally preceded by all kinds of entertaining skills contests. The events were held at the MSA Stadium attracting dozen of basketball fans. Adam Correia of the Southampton Titans celebrated the title in the Skills contest. Later Chris Crumpler from the Paget Bear Cats won the three-point shootout contest. The All-Star Weekend action continued with the All-Star Game itself and the spectators had a chance to watch a spectacular performance. East All-Stars prevailed in a sizzling basketball show beating West team 99:94. Steven Simons (-82) of the Smiths Wild Cats was trumped the Games MVP. He topscored for the winners with 30 points. Jason Simons contributed 17 points for the Eastern team. Chris Crumpler came up with game-high 34 points for West.
Meanwhile the action in the Bermuda Basketball Premier Division resumed shortly after an All-Star Game pause. St. Georges International defeated Hamilton Parish Chargers 74:42. Charjuan Knights and Dean Jones (198-F-83) contributed 19 points apiece to lead the victors. Calvert Lee answered with 15 points for the Chargers.
The Devonshire Dragons outgunned the Southampton Titans 60:40 behind 25 points from Ian Lim.


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BOSNIA

Stats Leaders - D1
CENTROTRANS LIGA ZA PRVAKA BIH Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1. Williams (BOS) 19,45
2. A. Damja. (SLA) 18,80
3. Milosevic (SLO) 17,18
4. Vuckovic (ZRI) 16,73
5. Zitko (GRU) 15,82
Rebounds Per Game
1. Matic (SLO) 7,6
2. Fajardo (SIR) 7,2
3. Williams (BOS) 6,9
4. Spralja (SIR) 6,4
5. Milosevic (SLO) 6,0
Assists Per Game
1. Vujcic (GRU) 6,0
2. Gvozdenovic (SLA) 4,4
3. Jovanovic (BOR) 4,0
4. Allen (IGO) 3,4
5. Bailey (BOS) 3,4
Steals Per Game
1. Franklin (BOR) 1,8
2. Stemberger (SIR) 1,7
3. Dzidic (ZRI) 1,7
Blocks Per Game
1. Rothbart (BOR) 1,3
2. Lydeka (IGO) 1,1
3. Patterson (IGO) 0,9
2FGP
1. Williams (BOS) 8,14
2. Damjanov (SLA) 7,00
3. Matic (SLO) 5,22
3FGP
1. Jovanovic (BOR) 2,67
2. Vuckovic (ZRI) 2,43
3. Grays (SIR) 2,33
Free Throws
1. Stemberger (SIR) 5,78
2. Zitko (GRU) 5,00
3. Fajardo (SIR) 4,89
Ranking
1. Lance Williams (BOS)
2. Z. Jovanovic (BOR)
3. A. Damjanovic (SLA)
4. Fajardo (SIR)
5. M. Milosevic (SLO)


Lot of news from Bosnian National Team -by Eurobasket News
Head coach of Bosnian National Team Mensur Bajramovic chosen two coaches, Marko Trbic and Alen Abaz, to assists him in NT project in the future. Trbic currently works as a head coach of Celik from Zenica. Alen Abaz is former professional player who is member of coaching team in Bosna ASA. Abaz started his playing career in Bosna ASA and before 6 years he joined them again but this time as a coach.

New head coach of Bosnian junior National team probably will be Nedeljko Zelenika, current head coach of Zrinjski from Mostar.

Bajramovic is an optimist regarding qualifications for European Championship 2009 in Poland. He will count on center of Crvena Zvezda Elmedin Kikanovic (210-C-88, agency: Beo Basket), who is showing great performance in red-and-white jersey this season. Bajramovic also showed happiness because he did not get any negative response from any player which he called to join NT. Bajramovic also counts on Jasmin Hukic (204-G/F-79, agency: Beo Basket), Elvir Ovcina (212-F/C-76, agency: Beo Basket, college: Syracuse), Nedzad Sinanovic (221-C-83) and Sasa Vasiljevic (183-G-79, agency: Beo Basket). Good news for Bosnians is that MVP of the ULEB cup 07/08 Henry Domercant (192-G-80, college: E.Illinois) also accepted to play for Bosnian NT once again. Namely, Bajramovic and Domercant had a meeting after quarterfinal game of ULEB Cup where Dynamo Moscow beat Turow 78-63. Bajamovic announced that 28-year old Domercant told him that he would be glad to play again for Bosnian NT. He made debut for Bosnians on European Championship in Belgrade on 2005, when Bajramovic was a head coach. Later he played on EC 2007 when the team was led by Nenad Markovic. Domercant netted 126 points in 9 games how much he played for Bosnians.


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BRAZIL

Flamengo and Minas won on Semis in Nacional Masculino 2008.- -by Ed Goodman
Flamengo Petrobras and Pitagoras Minas started winning their games against Ciser/Univille/ Joinville and Universo BRB.In the the 1st game ended Flamengo Petrobras won over Ciser/Univille/ Joinville
94-72 the best again was Marcelinho 39 Points and Duda 20 Points by Flamengo and Williams 22 Points and Gustavo 13 Points by Joinville. In the 2nd game Pitagoras Minas defeated Universo/BRB 98-78 with Johnson 20 Points and L. Felipe 18 Points by Minas and Valtinho 2i Points and Cipriano 19 Points. Both Semis are to winner of 3 of 5 games to advance to the Finals 2008.-


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BULGARIA

Lukoil triumphs in the Bulgarian League Championship -by Aglika Atanasova

The champs from Lukoil Academik defeated with 90:68 the team of Balkan and took the final series with 3-0. The regular season finished without a single loss for the team of Lukoil, who made a series of 40 victories in the regular season. The game started with very strong performances from Willie Deane III , who impressed with a spectacular dunk, followed by a successful three-pointer. After the end of the first quarter Willie Deane III had 18 from the 26 points scored by his team. The first part finished with 13 points ahead for Lukoil, 26:18.



The hosts started the second part very well and almost convinced their fans that they could turn the game. Balkan pulled out the margin to 4 points after the first three for the team, scored by Ivan Lilov (196-F-88, agency: FCM). Minutes later the spectacular dunk through two man, performed again by Ivan Lilov 29.5 seconds before the end brought the margin to only 6 points lead for Lukoil. The second quarter finished by a three-pointer from Deane, which brought the final result at the half time to 42:33 for Lukoil.

At the beginning of the third part the hosts led the margin to 6 points for Lukoil again, but Deane, Todor Stoykov (198-G/F-77, agency: Interperformances) and company didn't allow Balkan to turn the game. After 30 minutes on the court the result was 68:47 for the guests.

The last quarter the guests dominated in the game. 8.52 minutes before the end Borisov scored the second three for Balkan and led the result to 70:52. The three was immediately returned by Pero Antic (210-F-82, agency: Interperformances). In the last minutes of the game there were 9 Bulgarians on the court, which is a rare event in Bulgarian basketball. The young talent of Lukoil Chavdar Kostov (195-G-88, agency: Interperformances) scored two three-pointers in the last part.

The man of the game was without any doubt Willie Deane III , who finished with 39 points, followed by Pero Antic And Todor Todor Stoykov, who added 11 points each. Ivan Lilov was the hero of his team with his 24 points and 4 rebounds.



Lukoil Akademik wins 6th consecutive title ! -by Eurobasket News
Lukoil Akademik kept its domination in Bulgaria. The team became a national champion for the sixth time in the row. In the 3rd game of final series Lukoil totally smashed Balkan on the road 90-68. It was a 40th consecutive win of Bulgarian giant. They won 18 games in the first phase, 14 at the second stage and 8 games in play-off.

Lukoil took control on Balkan from the beginning. The main reason for this comfortable 13-26 lead is Willie Deane III (186-G-80, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: Purdue) who trashed Balkan at the opening quarter. He started 22-9 run for Lukoil scoring first 18 of team's 22 points for just 8 minutes. Deane drained his first 4 attempts from behind the arc. Balkan woke up in the second quarter coming closer on minus six 39 seconds before the end of the period. But Deane once again hit a long distance 3-poiner for 33-42. Lukoil intensified defense in the third quarter and thanks to couple of fast breaks by Todor Stoykov (198-G/F-77, agency: Interperformances), Willie Deane and Larry O'Bannon (191-F-83, college: Louisville) extended lead to 21. After that moment it was clear that Lukoil will celebrate its 6th consecutive title.

Willie Deane III was key player for his team netting fantastic 39 points for 33 minutes. Pero Antic (210-F-82, agency: Interperformances) also demonstrated good performance collecting 11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Ivan Lilov (196-F-88, agency: FCM) had 24 points and 4 rebounds in Balkan.


Balkan - Lukoil Akademik 68-90
(13-26,20-16,14-26,21-22)

Balkan:
Lilov 24 (4 rebs), Morton 10, Radev 8 (7 rebounds)
Lukoil: Deane 39, Antic 11 (7 rebs, 4 as), Stoykov 11 (4 as)


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CAMEROON

Nana hopes for the win -by Eurobasket News

Cirill Makanda-Etogo (190-G-80, agency: Arik Krayn Services)'s Samara finished 9th in Russian Superleague and won the Play-outs for 9-13 places. Cirill Makanda-Etogo scored 15 points and 6 games having 2.5 points per game.

Harding Nana (203-F-81, college: Delaware) and his PGE Turow Zgorzelec becomes closer to win the Polish Finals after the second home win. Taking the control of the second from the early beginning Turow led the game to 89:71 over Prokom Trefl Sopot. Thomas Kelati led the winners with 30 points. David Logan nailed 18, whilst Robert Witka posted 12. Harding Nana scored 2 points and made 1 rebound. Mustafa Shakur ended up with 17 points in the losing effort.
In comparison with Game 1 Turow dominated Game 2 from the early beginning. In the second quarter, following a Thomas Kelati triple, Turow escaped for a double-digit lead and never looked back. The hosts won the opening quarter 23:16 and increased the margin later in the second. Both teams left the court for the break when the board showed 41:28. The home side continued to push the tempo, but the third quarter was the one when the guests could struggle in the game. Prokom Trefl Sopot tied the quarter at 22:22 and as a result the margin remained at 13 points for the hosts. Turow held the score for good and made a huge step toward the Triumph in Poland.
In Game 1 Turow, having a home-court advantage used the first game as a must for 82:79 win. Trailing 11 points at the half time the home side benefit from the game. David Logan paced all the winners with 26 points, Robert Witka and Thomas Kelati followed him with 12 points each. Donatas Slanina finished the night with 17 points in defeat, while Jovo Stanojevic scored 13.
Prokom Trefl did not feel discomfort playing away from home and grabbed the lead from the very beginning. The visitors ended up the opening quarter with 17:14 and started the second better as well. Prokom used a 25:17 in the period and took 11-point lead after the first half.
PGE Turow Zgorzelec had more power left after the semifinal series and that was probably the best time to come back into the game. A 21;16 in the third quarter closed the gap to 6 points for the guests. In the last period Turow played a very balanced offensive game and reached an important first win. David Logan made it 80:79 in the end of the game and Andres Rodriguez posted two free throws in a 82:79 win.




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CHILE

Chilean National team tours Mexico -by Eurobasket News
Chilean National team arrived to Mexico in order to play a number of friendlies with the local teams. Chilean National team opened their tour with in Naucalpan playing against University del Valle de Mexico. Chile faced little problems en route to an impressive 107:74 victory. In two days Chilean team moved to Cancun to take on Pioneros. The teams tipped off their two-game series on Saturday. Pioneros celebrated a tough 85:81 victory handling Chile the first loss in their Mexican tour. Robby Collum (185-G-81, college: W.Michigan) scored 14 points to lead the hosts. Calvin Morris (203-F/C-74, college: Tennessee St.) and Jorge Serrano (186-G-76) nailed 11 points apiece for the winners. Patricio Briones (213-C-72, college: Dade CC) answered with 23 points for Chile. Emilio Paris (196-F/C-74) had 14 points, while Rodrigo Espinoza (183-G-81, agency: Players Group) knocked down 12 in defeat.
Chilean National squad however struck back in the second encounter on Sunday. Chile bruised the locals 87:82 for the second win on the tour. Patricio Briones once again topscored for Chile with 23 points. Emilio Paris secured 12 points and Evandro Arteaga (178-G-83) notched 9 in a win. Roy Fisher (202-F/C-68, college: California) answered with 21 points for Pioneros. Jorge Serrano dropped 12 in a losing effort.
Chile will next move to Lazaro Cardenas where the team will be opposed by the Lazaro Cardenas All-Stars on May 20 and 21. Chile is scheduled to play in Nuevo Laredo on May 22. And then they will complete their tour against Panteras in Aguascalientes on May 23 and 24.


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CHINA

New Player signed CBA -by Robert Wang
We just got the info. from CBA today and knew that former NBA player Priest Lauderdale signed with a chinese team for a summer league last week. He is the tallest imports in China ever from the starting of CBA from 10 years ago. He has good experince in Euro. and team wish him to help them to go to d-1 this year. Many CBA teams in China wants to sign big guys now and all teams are looking for big guys for their new season. good luck Mr. Priest!

National Team Continues to Prepare for Olympics -by Arthur Volbert
My condolences to the victims of China's earthquake.

The National team is continuing to practice with its next game scheduled on May 28 against the NCAA runner-up University of Memphis. However most of the Memphis top players have opted to enter the NBA draft so I do not know the strength of the team that China will be facing.

I am still seeing reports that Xu Yong has cancer and other reports that he does not. I saw a May 9 report on www.nbadraft.net reporting he had cancer and a May 12 article in the Detroit News. The Detroit News article stated he had been diagnosed the week before, but did not cite a source, and the www.nbadraft.net article did not cite a source either.

A contributor to Interbasket.net linked to a picture of Xu Yong, citing his good health, but it appears to be an old photo from the past CBA season. A contributor to www.yaomingmania.com cited hoopschina in stating that Xu was well. The only official comment appeared in the Beijing Times and on www.fiba.com and said Xu had a cyst, not cancer. But the FIBA article was from April 16. There is something strange going on or these cancer reports would not persist. I am trying to find out Xu Yong's true condition.

Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) completed his first season in the NBA averaging 8.6 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game and 0.8 assists. He faded toward the end of the season and went out injured on April 2. He averaged 24:53 minutes per game he played so he was given the amount of playing time that he was promised.

Yi did not make either first team or second team all-rookie, likely because he faded toward the end of the season. He only averaged 5.6 points and 4.3 rebounds and 21 minutes in his 8 games in March. He averaged 19 minutes, 6.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 9 games in February.

The NBA players began to figure out Yi's weaknessess and this, combined with injuries, hindered his late season play. Yi needs to get stronger to play NBA power forward and his need to play in the Olympics this summer will hinder his ability to focus on improving his strength.

So next year will likely be another season where he will not be fully developed. But Yi still has shown flashes of his high potential and could still be a star in the NBA in the future. It always figured that he would take time to develop.


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CROATIA

Popovic wins the trophy with Zalgiris -by Eurobasket News
Zalgiris became LKL Champions by defeating Lietuvos Rytas 81:75 in the 5th Superfinal game. Zalgiris won the series 4:1. Marko Popovic (185-G-82, college: S.Idaho JC) nailed 10 points in the Final game and celebrated the win in Lithuania.
After Rytas won the opener 76:73 Zalgiris won its first Final home game and tied the series against Lietuvos Rytas at 1-1. The winner of Baltic league overcame its rivals 87:80 with a perfect start in the early beginning. DeJuan Collins led the winners with 18 points. Damir Markota collected 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Brown netted 15 and Jonas Maciulis had 11. Kenan Bajramovic finished the night with 18 points in the losing clause.
Zalgiris grabbed the lead from the very beginning and Jankunas closed a 8-0 run. Zukauskas made it 20:6 as the hosts dominated the court. Still Lietuvos Rytas reduced their deficit to 9 points as the first period ended at 27:18. Hollis Price brought the guests to 28:22 as the latter were coming back to the game. Kenan Bajramovic's three saw 35:30 and that was the 'battle time' on the court. Chuck Eidson's shot from the arc closed the first half at 48:42 for Zalgiris.
DeJuan Collins brought back 10 points advantage making it 58:48. Damir Markota was the last to score in the quarter as the teams were getting ready for the last period with 75:64. Last quarter started with guests points 10:1 as the margin was reduced to 76:74. Zalgiris deserved the win probably a bit more and held the score for good. Jurak scored two free throws for the winners in the end for 87:80 victory.
Game 3 of the Lithuanian Finals saw Zalgiris stealing 90:91 win from Lietuvos Rytas and 11000 spectators that came to support the team. Marcus Brown paced all the winners with 27 points. Jonas Maciulis netted 16, whilst Paulius Jankunas and Damir Markota posted 11 points apiece. Kenan Bajramovic ended up with 24 points in the losing effort. Marko Popovic missed the game because of the injury.
Zukauskas opened the game for the guests as Zalgiris stayed in front for the majority of the opening quarter. Kalnietis from the arc gave the visitors 23:22 lead after first 10 minutes of the game. Kenan Bajramovic gave his team the only advantage in the second period for 37:35 making a lay-up. Marcus Brown closed the half at 43:47 for the guests.
Jonas Maciulis brought Zalgiris to 13 points for 56:43. Lietuvos Rytas reduced the gap as Hollis Price was the last to score in the third period for 57:63. It was however the home team that had 81:80 with 15 seconds remaining but DeJuan Collins sent the game into overtime, where Paulius Jankunas's free throw set up the final, 90:91 for Zalgiris.
Zalgiris stepped closer to the LKL title after beating Lietuvos Rytas in Kaunas in Game 4. Zalgiris thus picked up a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and look to close out the clash on Saturday in Vilnius. The Kaunas outfit snatched a narrow dramatic win away from home in Game 3. But this time there were no need for last second heroics as Zalgiris prevailed throughout the action. The hosts got to a better start and quickly accumulated a 10:5 lead on 4 points from Marcus Brown. Chuck Eidson and Nielsen teamed up to keep Lietuvos Rytas close. However Popovic and Kalnietis scored the final 4 points of the period and Zalgiris led 27:23 after the starting frame. Dainius Salenga and Damir Markota knocked down three-pointers early in the second period and Zalgiris stretched the gap to as many as 10 points. Hollis Price replied with 4 points and trimmed the gap however Damir Markota, Maciulis and Paulius Jankunas put the home side up by 14 points late in the frame. Hollis Price capped the half with 4 straight free throws and the teams went into the dressing room with Zalgiris leading by 10. The third stanza changed little as Zalgiris maintained the gap and headed into the fourth quarter ahead by 11 points. Dainius Salenga scored 7 quick consecutive points for the hosts early in the final period as the margin grew to 15 points. Gecevicius and then Petravicius closed it to 10 points but it was not enough to spark the intrigue. Zukauskas and Damir Markota posted two more successful attempts from the field to ice the visitors. Damir Markota finished with 20 points for Zalgiris. Marcus Brown added 15 points, while Paulius Jankunas had 11 in a winning clause and Marko Popovic scored 5.


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CYPRUS

First call for the new Cyprus National Team -by Chris Mammides

Head Coach Christos Stulianidis and his assistant coach Linos Gavriel have announced the first 31 names to be able to decide upon the final 16 players.
It is worth mentioned that 9 players are coming from foreign leagues (Greek, Swiss and American leagues) while there are 3 free agents and six players U20 and 3 players from teh second division of the Cyprus league.
The 31 players are:
Giorgos Anastasiadis (194-G/F-77) Free agent
Michalis Kounounis (194-F-81) Free agent

Aristides Koronides (188-G-82) Free agent
Andreas Pilavas (194-G-83) of Keravnos Strovolou
Panagiotis Giannas of Keravnos Strovolou
Panagiotis Trisokkas (206-C-80) of Keravnos Strovolou
Christopher Razis (193-F-89) of Keravnos Strovolou U21 team
Sokratis Sokratous of Apoel
Antreas Iacovou (191-F-89) of Apoel
Alexis Liatsos (200-F-80, college: Ohio) of AEL
Marios Palalas (189-G-91) of AEL
Christos Loizidis of AEL U21 team
Grigoris Pantouris (190-G/F-82) of AEL
Nikolas Papadopoulos (182-G-79) of Etha Engomis
Chris Kaskiris (206-C/F-79) of Apollon Limasol
Antonis Kazoulis (176-G-88) of Apollon Limassol
Giorgos Theocharides (202-F-85) of Achilleas Kaimakli
Dimitris Mouchtaris (198-F-83) of Omonoia Nicosia
Panikos Sofokleous (192-G-86) of Omonoia Nicosia
Athos Demetriou (202-F-89) of APOP Pafou
Kupros Koutsokoumnis (180-G-88) of ENAD
Konstantinos Kakas (205-C-88) of Philips College
Andreas Tsiatinis (199-G/F-85) of Philips College
Giannis Ioannides (182-G-84) of Anagennisi Yermasogeias
Andreas Sizopoulos (189-G-83) of Near East
Giorgos Neofitou (193-G-83) of Near East
Iraklis Pittakas (194-F-84) of Anagennisi/Floga
Stamatis Makris (186-G-89) of Auburn Univercity (NCAA)

Joseph Garcia (206-C-75, college: UTEP) of BC Lugano Tigers
Nikos Stylianou (198-F-88) of NAVARRO
Petros Stylianou (188-G-87) of COLIN COUNTY



*****************************************************
EL SALVADOR

Denver defeats UTEC in Game 3 -by Jaime Arevalo
Second seeded Denver advanced to the Final Series - Apertura prevailing over UTEC in Game 3 of Semifinals. The final score was 90-87, but it was a true fight and were needed two overtimes to find a winner. Pedro Salazar (204-C-72) and Ernesto Oglivie (-F-88) tried to lead UTEC, but were limited by the fouls. An immense Marcus Robinson (198-F, college: N.Georgia) led Denver with 24 points, while Jose Antonio Orellana (189-F-87) was the top scorer in UTEC. The Finals start on thursday, May 22, at 7:00 pm

*****************************************************
ERITREA

Thomas Kelati nailed 30 for Turow in Game 2 -by Eurobasket News
Thomas Kelati (195-G/F-82, college: Washington St.) and PGE Turow Zgorzelec becomes closer to win the Polish Finals after the second home win. Taking the control of the second from the early beginning Turow led the game to 89:71 over Prokom Trefl Sopot. Thomas Kelati led the winners with 30 points. David Logan nailed 18, whilst Robert Witka posted 12. Mustafa Shakur ended up with 17 points in the losing effort.
In comparison with Game 1 Turow dominated Game 2 from the early beginning. In the second quarter, following a Thomas Kelati triple, Turow escaped for a double-digit lead and never looked back. The hosts won the opening quarter 23:16 and increased the margin later in the second. Both teams left the court for the break when the board showed 41:28. The home side continued to push the tempo, but the third quarter was the one when the guests could struggle in the game. Prokom Trefl Sopot tied the quarter at 22:22 and as a result the margin remained at 13 points for the hosts. Turow held the score for good and made a huge step toward the Triumph in Poland.
In Game 1 Turow, having a home-court advantage used the first game as a must for 82:79 win. Trailing 11 points at the half time the home side benefit from the game. David Logan paced all the winners with 26 points, Robert Witka and Thomas Kelati followed him with 12 points each. Donatas Slanina finished the night with 17 points in defeat, while Jovo Stanojevic scored 13.
Prokom Trefl did not feel discomfort playing away from home and grabbed the lead from the very beginning. The visitors ended up the opening quarter with 17:14 and started the second better as well. Prokom used a 25:17 in the period and took 11-point lead after the first half.
PGE Turow Zgorzelec had more power left after the semifinal series and that was probably the best time to come back into the game. A 21;16 in the third quarter closed the gap to 6 points for the guests. In the last period Turow played a very balanced offensive game and reached an important first win. David Logan made it 80:79 in the end of the game and Andres Rodriguez posted two free throws in a 82:79 win.


*****************************************************
ESTONIA

TU/Rock is on the way to sweep the Finals -by Eurobasket News
Tallinna BC Kalev/Cramo - TU/Rock 63:73

The Estonian Finals that were expected as a battle of two best teams might have only 4 games as Rock grabbed 3-0 in the series. With 22:15 in the opening quarter the guests opened their third-series victory for 73:63 over Tallinna BC Kalev/Cramo. Giorgi Tsintsadze (192-G-86) paced the winners with 21 points. Brian Cusworth (213-C-84, college: Harvard) collected 20 points and 9 rebounds, whilst Silver Leppik (185-G-83) netted 16. Gregor Arbet (195-F/G-83) top-scored in defeat with 19 points and 7 rebounds and Kristjan Kangur (202-F-82) collected 14 points and 9 rebounds.

More then 3500 spectators came to support Tallinna BC Kalev/Cramo and hoped for their first win in the Finals. TU/Rock did not mind playing abroad and started with 22:15. Giorgi Tsintsadze and Brian Cusworth were on top for the teams, but in the second period even their record were not enough. Tallinna BC Kalev/Cramo bounced back with 21:14 to tie the game at 36 points for both teams.
In a game where you need more than the other team you try to risk and that was what the hosts tried to do. They missed however some important baskets as the margin reached minus 6 for them. Right from that time Rock paid more attention to defense and celebrated the win. The visitors won the last quarter 14:10 and the game 73:63.
Game 4 is scheduled for May 21st.

Tallinna BC Kalev/Cramo:Gregor Arbet 19+7 rebs, Kristjan Kangur 14+9 rebs
TU/Rock:Giorgi Tsintsadze 21, Brian Cusworth 20+9 rebs, Silver Leppik 16


*****************************************************
FRANCE

NM1 Day 34: Longwy and a week of expectations -by Chris Spiesser
The last NM1 day will take place next week-end but 2 games have already been played. The CFBB welcomed St-Chamond while Boulogne hosted Longwy.

Boulogne 80-97 Longwy
Tremendous result for the lorrains which condemns Mulhouse to an improbable win in Antibes. To overcome the maritims, Longwy put the final touch to its win in the final QT where Godin (18pts, 7rbs, 3stl, 11ass) and his partners scored 33 pts (vs 22). The PG found some help with Traore (18pts 7/11, 12rbs, 4ass) or Coombs who ends as best scorer with 21pts (9/13). So the situation is clear, if Mulhouse loses, the alsatians will be relegated for the second time in two seasons according to Longwy's best direct point-average (+9). If Mulhouse wins in Antibes, in a former ProA blockbuster game, coach Gonsalves boys will save their NM1 spot.

CFBB 60-84 St-Chamond
This game was more important as an exercice for next season then for the standings of this year. The CFBB being for a while sure to end at place 18. St-Chamond, on the other side, is fermely rooted in the middle of the league. On court, David Denave took advantage of this last game to shine with 30pts (8/11 3pts) and 5 steals.


Pro A : Frederic Sarre will coach Strasbourg the next 2 seasons. -by Aurelien Hipp
*After having released Eric Girard in March, replaced him by Oliver Weissler to end the season, Strasbourg has found the new coach of the professionnal team for the next 2 seasons. Frederic Sarre , released from Gravelines during this season, has coached 4 teams in ProA after having been an assistant in Pau , Antibes or Limoges. He reached the Semaine des As final with Bourg in 2006 and was named coach of the year in 2003 and 2006. He also won 3 french competitions with Pau in 2003 (Championship,Semaine des As, French Cup).

Standings - N1
N1 Standings
 1. Antibes 26-7 
 2. Charleville 25-8 
 3. Blois 24-9 
 4. Get Vosges 24-9 
 5. Fos Ouest 23-10 
 6. Angers 21-12 
 7. St Chamond 20-14 
 8. Challans 19-14 
 9. Lille 18-15 
 10. Bordeaux 17-16 
 11. Boulogne 17-17 
 12. Lievin 16-17 
 13. Mulhouse 14-19 
 14. Longwy 14-20 
 15. Feurs 8-25 
 16. Andrezieux 7-26 
 17. Toulouges 5-28 
 18. Centre Feder. 1-33 


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

Standings
Elite League Standings
1. Stade Mandji 6-1
2. Somo B 6-1
3. Manga Basket 5-2
4. Toungui 3-4
5. AO BB 2-4
6. Atomick 2-5
7. ASSCTG 1-5
8. CAS 1987 0-7

Gabon Cup 2008 'David NZOUBOU Trophy'

Standings

1. Manga Basket 6-0
2. Stade Mandji 5-1
3. Atomick 4-2
4. Assctg 3-3
5. Iz BB 2-4
6. Engong 1-5
7. Air Ball 1-5
8. Cas 1987 1-5



CUP OF THE GABON 2007: SOMO B takes back its first National trophy named " DAVID NZOUBOU TROPHY " at men. -by Tim Ndjiki
The president NGALIBIKA JB club has just had another national trophy; indeed after ladies the 27/05/2007, boys of SOMO B dominated STADE MANDJI ( 88 to 76.) yesterday (the holder of the retiring trophy), 17/06/2007, at the time of the final of the national cup named ' DAVID NZOUBOU Trophy '; STADE MANDJI having taken back the semi final the Saturday 16/06/07 against MANGA BASKET by forfeit, this last doesn't spread presented.
Gymnasium Omni-sport President BONGO was not full as at the time of the big derbies; but actors of this meeting presented us of a pleasant spectacle. The coach ALLOGHO Servais and her colts of SOMO B were extensively to the over of their adversary of the day.
The meeting was directed by the best referees of Gabon, the first referee nominee by the CFAMC was the referee FIBA MAVOUNGOU BAYONNE; the meeting was played without incidents; of the first period at fourth, STADE MANDJI never rejoined SOMO B, the MVP of the final Cedric BEKALE atomized six shootings to three points what destabilized the team of the city of Port-Gentil; The young Roland OWOULA, NYOUNDOU Edwin and Cedric BEKALE not marked more than 80% of the of the team of SOMO B ; In spite of the offensive retorts and defensives of Francis KOBANGOYE and MASRABE, the MVP of the season last OTOMO OSOKONDA Doudou passed completely next to the meeting. The result during all quarters time explains the debacle of STADE MANDJI ;
Score 1st quarter times SOMO B 18 STADE MANDJI 17; 2nd quarter times SOMO B 19 STADE MANDJI 18; 3rd quarter times SOMO B 32 STADE MANDJI 17 and 4th quarter times SOMO B 19 STADE MANDJI 24; SOMO B of Libreville takes back the meeting on the score of 88 to 76.
INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE DISTINCTIONS AT MEN
Better defender: CAMPAGNI (TOUNGUI BB) 28 rebounds; 5 counter
Better scorer : GANAZOUI Apollinaire (TOUNGUI BB) 21,25 pts /game
Better player: BEKALE Cedric (SOMO B) 24 Pts, 5 assists
SOMO B TEAM :
4-BEKALE Cedric; 5-MYTOULOU Dennis; 6-OWOULA Roland; 7-ADEMBA Stephane; 8-KWELLENG Samuel; 9-EYENET Davies; 10 - MBADINGA Ulrich; 11-MASSOUSSA Roland; 12-OBAME DIAWARA; 13-EYO'O ABESSOLO; 14-NYOUNDOU Edwin; 15 - MUTOMBO Bebina
Coach: ALLOGHO Servais; Associate Coach: ONIANE Jean Christophe
STADE MANDJI TEAM :
4-ENGONE NZET Rodrigue; 5 - OTOMO OSOKONDA Doudou; 6-OMBOULA J; 7-MBOUROU William; 8-IBANGO Daddy SAMBA; 9-ABESSOLO Silver; 10 - MOUANDZA Max; 11-MASRABE Johd; 12-KOBANGOYE Francis; 13-NZE NOMENGOYE Ulrich; 14-NGONTSI J; 15 - OLAGO OMBANGO Darlyse.
Coach: ONANGA MBOUROU Martial; Associate Coach: BOUANGA Thierry
Commissioner: TIM NDJIKI
1st referee: M. MAVOUNGOU BAYONNE Guy Roger
2nd referee: M. BANZOUZI
3rd referee: M. GONDJOUT Didier Michel
Scorer: Mrs ESSIA Sandra


MANGA BASKET takes back the Cup of the Gabon 2008 to Port-Gentil -by Tim Ndjiki

The Cup of Gabon named 'Cup David NZOUBOU', whose trophy has been taken back by MANGA BB of MOANDA, in finale against his rival of the previous edition, STADE MANDJI of Port-Gentil, on the score of 82 to 71.
The whole of participants appreciated the elevated level of the competition and the quality of organization of the League of the Maritime Ogoou.
The only regret is the absence of clubs of the League of the estuary to this competition. We recall that at the time of the edition 2007, the two finalists had found again in half final to Moanda and STADE MANDJI had taken back it after the report to Libreville. MANGA BB follows to SOMO BB winner of the edition 2007.
MANGA BB will be the representative of Gabon this year, in African continental competition.
Final ordering after the Cup of the Gabon 2008.
- 1st MANGA BB
- 2nd STADE MANDJI
Francis Kobangoye (-90)
- 3rd ATOMICK BB
- 4th ASSCTG BB
- 5th IZO BB
- 6th ENGONG
- 7th AIRBALL
- 8th CAS 1987



*****************************************************
GEORGIA

Tbilaviamsheni takes the lead in the Finals -by Eurobasket News
Energy Invest -Tbilaviamsheni 80:82 (16:26, 21:25, 19:13, 24:18)

Tbilaviamsheni opened the Finals with a road win over Energy Invest 80:82. The latter being the winner of the regular season is still the favorite, but had nothing to do in the opening game. Trailing 14 points at the half time Energy Invest came back to the game but could not reach the opponent.
Konstantine Tugushi (193-G-84) led the winners with 25 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Vakhtang Minashvili (202-C-79) collected 22 points and 6 rebounds, while Buba Kvimsadze (195-G-84) provided 14 points. Lezhava Besik top-scored for the hosts with 20 points and 4 rebounds.
Tbilaviamsheni started the game with massive 26:16 in the opening quarter to take control of the game. They dominated the court and did not mind playing away from home. The second quarter saw another loss of the hosts that trailed 14 points at the half.
Energy Invest improved its defense in the third quarter and trimmed the deficit to single digits. They won the third quarter 19:13 and closed the gap to 8 points. A 24:18 provided by the hosts in the last period were not enough for the total success. Tbilaviamsheni wins the opener of the Finals and is ready to prove the ambitions in Game 2. The second game is scheduled for tonight.

Energy Invest:
Lezhava Besik (20 pts. 4 rbs), Giorgi Gamqrelidze (183-G-86) (19 pts. 10 asts. 3 stls), Jovan Stefanov (208-F-83, college: Ill.-Chicago) (14 pts. 12 rbs), Lasha Babiashvili (200-F-82) (12 pts. 5 rbs).
Tbilaviamsheni:
Konstantine Tugushi (25 pts. 5 asts. 4 rbs. 2 stls), Vakhtang Minashvili (22 pts. 6 rbs), Buba Kvimsadze (14 pts. 5 rbs. 5 asts).


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

Bundesliga: Play-Off Quarterfinals, Gameday 2 -by Moritz Korff

Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt - Bayer Giants Leverkusen 74:66
Frankfurt won the second game of the quarterfinal-series against Leverkusen and made it 1:1. 4080 fans in Frankfurt saw the hosts starting the match 22:12 in the first period. However, the Giants replied with a 22:13-run in the second quarter and were behind with only one point at the half. Frankfurt answered after the break and increased the lead to 10 in the third period. Jimmy McKinney (192-G-83, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Missouri) led the Skyliners with 20 points, Derrick Allen (203-F-80, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Mississippi) had 15 points and 8 rebounds, Koko Archibong (202-F-81, college: Pennsylvania) and Pascal Roller (180-G-76) each netted 14 points in the game. On the other end Brant Bailey (202-F-77, college: Wisc.-Stevens Point) posted a game-high 27 points, the other Leverkusen-player in double figures was Brendan Winters (195-G/F-83, college: Davidson), who nailed 5 out of 8 shots from beyond the arc and scored 18 points totally.

Telekom Baskets Bonn - Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck 86:82
Though being defeated 15:24 in the last quarter, the hosting Telekom Baskets managed to overcome the Artland Dragons to tie the series. Winsome Frazier (193-G/F-82, agency: Interperformances, college: Mississippi St.) was impressive and had 25 points, 5 boards, 4 steals and 3 assists for Bonn, his teammate Eddie Basden (196-G/F-83, college: Charlotte) added 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. John Bowler (206-F-84, agency: LimeLight, college: E.Michigan) netted 11 points. The Dragons were paced by John Goldsberry (191-G-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: NC-Wilmington) who scored 19 points and dished out 6 assists. Terrance Thomas (198-F-80, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Baylor) finished the game with 13 points, Chad Prewitt (206-F/C-80, agency: Priority Sports, college: Arizona St.) and Leon Rodgers (199-F-80, college: N.Illinois) had 11 points apiece, while Adam Chubb (207-F/C-81, college: Pennsylvania) produced 10 points.


Eisbaeren Bremerhaven - ALBA Berlin 78:83
ALBA Berlin is ahead 2:0 after two games played of the series against Bremerhaven. The team of Coach Luka Pavicevic overcame the Eisbaeren-team 83:78 on the road though being behind 45:49 at the half and 58:65 after 30 minutes. In the last quarter the visitors turned things around and outscored the host 25:13. Julius Jenkins (187-G-81, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Georgia Southern) was one of three ALBA-players who finished the game in double-figure scoring. He shot 5/10 from three-point territory and was perfect (7/7) from the foul-line. Jenkins had 28 points totally. Aleksandar Nadjfeji (203-F-76) added 25 points in the win and pulled down 9 boards, as did Goran Nikolic (205-C-76, agency: Beo Basket) and Immanuel McElroy (193-G-80, college: Cincinnati), who also scored 13 points. The Bremerhaven-attack was led by Anthony Tolliver (206-C-85, college: Creighton) with 23 points, Brian Brown (191-G-79, agency: Passing Lane, college: Ohio St.) netted 15 points, Jan Lipke (193-G-83, agency: Court Side) and Ivars Timermanis (202-F-82) had 12 apiece.


EWE Baskets Oldenburg - Brose Baskets Bamberg 64:63
Oldenburg also won the second game in the quarterfinal-series against the defending champ from Bamberg. In the third period the team of Coach Dirk Bauermann made a great comeback after being behind 30:44 at the half and outscored the hosting Thunderbirds 20:6. But Oldenburg recovered in the final quarter and was lucky that Bamberg's Darren Fenn (208-C-80, college: Canisius) couldn't convert from the foul-line in the end. Jason Gardner (178-G-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) led the EWE Baskets with 18 points and 6 assists, Miladin Pekovic (196-G/F-83) added 12 points, while Bamberg got 16 points from Fenn. Steffen Hamann (194-G-81) followed with 14 points, Tim Ohlbrecht (211-C/F-88) had 12 points plus 9 rebounds.



Marco Grimaldi signs with Goettingen again -by Manuel Schust
24-year-old Marco Grimaldi (188-G-83) stays with BG 74 Goettingen and signed a one-year deal with the Violets.

According to the press release, Grimaldi, who already played for Goettingen's youth teams, had other offers from several BBL teams, but decided to stay with coach Patrick's team.
John Patrick is very happy about Grimaldi's stay and honored his defensive effort, calling him a true Point Guard stopper.
Local hero Grimaldi finished his first BBL season, averaging 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.
After signing Jason Miller (208-F/C-80, college: Oklahoma St.), Robert Kulawick (191-G-86) and Peer Wente (203-F/C-77), 'local hero' Grimaldi is the first player of last year's roster, who gets a contract extension. Jason Boone (198-F/C-85, college: New York U.) and Ben Jacobson (188-G-83, agency: Octagon, college: N.Iowa) are already confirmed for the next season.


Bundesliga: Play-Off Quarterfinals, Gameday 3 -by Moritz Korff
Bayer Giants Leverkusen - Skyliners Frankfurt 82:79
Leverkusen and Frankfurt met for the third time in the quarterfinal-series of the Bundesliga-playoffs and once again the clash of these two teams turned into a dramatic affair with Leverkusen coming out victorious to take the 2:1-lead in the series. The Giants now need only one more win to advance to the next round.
The visitors from Frankfurt were leading 28:20 after 10 minutes played, but the Giants would trim the lead to seven until halftime. However, the Giants did not back down and went on a run in the final 10 minutes of the game to make it a thriller. Leverkusen's Gordon Geib (180-G-83, agency: LimeLight) nailed a jumper with 14 seconds left to give his side the lead at 80:79. Pascal Roller (180-G-76) wanted to hit back, but missed his shot with 7 seconds on the game-clock, Rans Brempong (203-F-81, college: W.Carolina) got the rebound for the host and was fouled. He made both free throws to give the Giants a 82:79 lead. The Skyliners had one chance left: Dominik Bahiense de Mello (190-G-85) tried to beat the buzzer with a three, but his final attempt was off the mark.
For Leverkusen, Brant Bailey (202-F-77, college: Wisc.-Stevens Point) hit 8 shots from beyond the arc and had a game-high 25 points. Geib followed with 15 points and 5 assists, Tyron McCoy (195-F/G-72, college: Va Commonwealth) tallied 12 points, 4 assists and 4 steals, while Brendan Winters (195-G/F-83, college: Davidson) finished the encounter with 10 points. On the other end, Derrick Allen (203-F-80, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Mississippi) shot 9-for-16 from the floor to finish with 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Jimmy McKinney (192-G-83, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Missouri) and Ilian Evtimov (201-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: N.Carolina St.) added 12 points apiece in a losing effort.
Gameday 3 will be continued on Thuesday.


Nikagbatse tested positive and fired! -by Manuel Schust
After Nate Fox, Ermen Reyes-Napoles and probably Eric Taylor, BBL has to face another positive doping test: Dr. Norbert Heimann, the insolvency administrator of Cologne 99ers, announced today that Misan Nikagbatse (193-G-82) was already tested positive on the 20th of March during an out-of-competition test.

Nikagbatse, a member of the german national team, was fired immediately after the incident. Just because he was caught at an out-of-competition test, he will not have to fear a ban, and will be eligible to play again next season.
After playing in Italy last season, Nikagbatse averaged 8.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 15 games for Cologne this season.
He also played Uleb Cup for Cologne, starting all 8 games he played, and produced 7.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.


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GREECE

Maroussi - Olympiakos 86-75 (series: 2-2) -by Kostas Papadopoulos
Maroussi equalized the series at the semifinals of the A1 Greek championship after winning Olympiakos yesterday night with 86-75. Now, the opponent of Panathinaikos at the finals will be decided on Wednesday, at the fifth and last semifinal going to be held at Peace and Friendship stadium.
Olympiakos started the game with an early 0-5 but Maroussi took the lead with 9-8 quickly. The first period ended at 23-22 for Maroussi, at a game with no team taking a big lead and with Jarod Stevenson (200-F-75, college: Richmond) having 9 points for Maroussi while Lynn Greer (186-G-79, college: Temple) scored the same for the Reds.
At the second period, Maroussi proved that it wanted to equalize the series, hitting from inside the paint [Dimitris Mavroeidis (208-C-85) and Kostas Kaimakoglou (206-C/F-83)], leading with 32-29, 6 minutes before the end, while Olympiakos seemed to face serious problems at its defense. These problems for the Reds got even bigger when Maroussi led with 6 (40-34), 2:37 minutes before the end, but Lynn Greer, with a 3-point shot, and Roderick Blakney (181-G-76, college: S.Carolina St.) responded quickly to reduce the difference at the score (40-38). The first half ended at 45-39 for Maroussi, with Jarod Stevenson having scored 9 points, Kostas Kaimakoglou 9 (serving also 4 assists), Dimitris Mavroeidis 8 and Branko Milisavljevic (193-G-76, agency: Beo Basket) 9. On the other side, for Olympiakos, Lynn Greer scored 15 points (with an impressive ranking, almost excellent) and Roderick Blakney 9. The difference at the score could be due to the problems not only at the Reds defense, where it lacked of concentration, but also at the offence where most players seemed very anxious and nervous, making mistakes and having many unsuccessful shots in the field (12/29).
Maroussi extended its leading at 10 points (52-42) early at the third period and then at 14 (64-50), 2:30 minutes before the end, since the problems referred previously for Olympiakos at both sides of the court were even bigger. This difference got its maximum, 17 points (69-52) for Maroussi, before Loukas Mavrokefalidis (207-C-84) scored a 3-point for 69-55, for the end of the third period. Jarod Stevenson (16 points) mostly distinguished for Maroussi, while its difference mostly due to its players passion for the win and their very good defense.
At the last period, the Reds played very good defense at the first two minutes, to reduce the difference at 6 (69-63) with a partial 0-8 serie and a total 0-11. However, Branko Milisavljevic and Jarod Stevenson answered with their 10-0 serie to recover the difference at 16 (79-63), with 4:30 minutes to the end. It was, then, to late for Olympiakos, whose attempt succeeded only in reducing the difference at 11 points, at the final 86-75.


Near East, KAOD and Ermis Lagkada have been promoted in the A2 -by Chris Mammides

After Near East, two teams from North Hellas, KAO Dramas and DROP Ermis Lagkada have been promoted in the A2 after their successfull results last night. The dramatic way of closing the seazon and the promotion of the two teams, especially after the road win of Amyntas in Alimos proved once more that this seazon's league was among the top and more competitive leagues ever.
Near East succeeded a home win over Doukas with 80-73 with Nikos Michalos (192-G-77) and Andreas Sizopoulos (189-G-83) being the top performers and top scorers of the champions while from the team of Doukas only Apollonas Tsohlas (187-G-83) tried for the best of his team and with his 27 personal points helped his team to loose with the minimum feasible deficit.
In the derby took place in Lagkadas, DROP Ermis Lagkada beat Ikaros Kallitheas, its rival for a position which would have lead to the A2. Coach Coastas Haritatos team was not ready enough to succeed the most vital road win for the visitors as his top scorers were in not so good psychological position, top scorers for the two teams were: Tasos Dimitriadis (201-C-82) and Vasilis Gamouras (196-F) with 18 and 15 points respectively from Ermis while from Ikaros Emmanouilidis was all alone with his 19 points, 13 were added from the top scorer of Ikaros, Sotiris Katoufas (206-F-79).
Lastly, the team of Drama, KAOD beat Makedonikos 85- 73 with the veteran Arguris Daliaris (207-C-71) (probably last gaem in career) scoring once more 21 points (Daliaris scored the last 5 games over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game) and Dimitris Maslarinos (195-G-82) scoring 20 points, on behalf of Makedonikos which will be playing in the third division next seazon, the Greek American Pete Kathopoulis (180-G, college: St.Joseph's) scored 25 points while Kostas Dalpas (200-F-84) added 13.


There are already some rumors that KAOD has agreed financial terms with the duet of Xanthi, Vassilis Moulakis (180-G-77) and Giorgos Loupos (208-C-78) (they were both playing in KAOD 2 years ago)



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HOLLAND

FEB Finals: MyGuide Amsterdam Wins Game #1 -by Sanders Jackson

On Sunday in Game #1 of the FEB finals in Amsterdam, MyGuide moved one step closer to detroning 2-time defending Dutch champions Eiffel Towers and its sixth Dutch championship, taking control of the game from the 2nd quarter on, going on to cruise to a 78-63 win. After a tight 1st quarter, MyGuide broke the game open in the 2nd quarter leading at halftime 39-30 and led at one point by as much as 21 pts. (72-51). MyGuide's vaulted defense forced Eiffel to shoot poorly in both halves, limiting Eiffel to only 36.7% FG and 7 for 26 from the three-point line.
Sergerio Gipson (193-G/F-80, agency: 540 Sports, college: Arkansas) led MyGuide with 16 pts. Game #2 will be played in Den Bosch on Tuesday night.


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IRAN

Boomers face literally huge threat -by Houman Bagheri
The Boomers are big but even they don't measure up to their latest opponents, writes David Sygall.

Brian Goorjian calls him a beast. People who've seen him talk about his eight-foot wingspan and ability to grab the rim while standing flat-footed and dunk the ball standing on his toes.

But ask Chris Anstey whether he's excited about marking up on seven-foot-five (226 centimetre) Iranian behemoth Jaber Rouzbahani and the response comes up, well, a bit short.

'There's plenty of tall guys around,' says Anstey who, at a mere seven-foot nothin', will look up to the 22-year-old.

'It's no different. You work to your strengths and put them in a situation where they're not comfortable playing defensively and make sure you stop them before they get to where they want to be.

'You come up against these big guys every day of the season. We're a tiny league compared to Europe. You're playing with guys who are seven-three or seven-four all the time.'

Boomers coach Goorjian believes the Australian front line of Anstey, Andrew Bogut, David Andersen and Matt Nielsen will be the key to their chances of winning Australia's first Olympic basketball medal.

However, it appears only Anstey will be available for the Boomers' three-match series next month against Asian champions Iran, who are also drawn in the Boomers' group at the Olympics. It will test the ability of the team to adapt to what will literally be a huge threat.

'I was told that this seven foot-five or six guy was very dominant when they won the Asia Championship,' Goorjian said. 'It's good that we'll get a chance to play against him because he'll probably be the biggest guy at the Olympics. Yao Ming's seven-five and this guy's taller than that. He's a beast.

'Having a guy like this, they're going to give a real challenge to us working out how we're going to deal with the bigs at the Games. There's going to be a lot of guys we're going to have to double-team. It's great for us to get a first-hand look at a guy and a team we're going to come up against at the Olympics.

'They beat Lebanon big and beat China. They came out of nowhere, they're in the Games and they're in our pool.'

Iran have not finalised their touring squad but Goorjian expects Rouzbahani to feature in the series, which will be contested in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

'If he gets the ball around the basket, with a guy that big, it's going to take more than one guy to stop him,' Goorjian said. 'We'll be looking at doubling and rotating out of there.'

Anstey said playing Iran was just one part of what should be a dream lead-up to Beijing for the Boomers.

'This is step one, then we've got a series against New Zealand, a European trip and a tournament in Hong Kong,' he said. 'We want to be peaking when we get closer to Beijing. It's a great lead-in, absolutely perfect.'

Courtesy The Sun-Herald


SABA Battery marches towards consecutive title -by Eurobasket News

SABA Battery - Al Riyadi 70:68

The Asia Champions Cup defending champions SABA Battery left ups and downs of the preliminary round behind them and now look ready to claim the second straight title. Yesterday the Iranian outfit snatched a dramatic 70:68 win over Lebanese Riyadi to reach the championship game. Riyadi entered the game undefeated and hoped to stretch their spotless run. But SABA Battery put on a strong performance to steal a narrow win at the dying minutes. Riyadi suffered a major setback early in the encounter as their captain Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) got injured and struggled to return to action in the latter stages. The injury was later rumored to be a season-ending one for Ahmad. Riyadi looked a bit bewildered by the absence of the key player and SABA Battery used to their advantage. The Iranian side ran away to a 42:39 lead at halftime. The spark for Lebanese team came in the third stanza as Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) scored a couple of impressive baskets and Omar Turk (186-G-81, college: Dawson Coll.) provided back up as Al Riyadi spurred ahead to an 8-point distance. SABA Battery trimmed the gap to 3 points heading into the fourth period 51:54. But three back-to-back trebles from Battery put the Iranian squad back on top early in the fourth quarter. SABA Battery kept it cool throughout the fourth frame and entered the crunch time in front. They had a 3-point advantage with seconds left in regulation when Fadi El Khatib was put to charity stripe. He nailed his first attempt and then purposely missed the second one, while Ali Fakhreddine (202-C-83) pulled down a rebound for a chance to force overtime. But his attempt went off target sealing the win for SABA Battery. SABA Battery will now face Qatari Al Rayyan in the Final today.


SABA Battery: Gabe Muoneke 17, Hamed Hadadi 14, Samad Nikkah 13

Riyadi: Fadi El Khatib 20, Joe Vogel 17



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ITALY

Lega2-Playoff SF Game 1 -by Gabriele Fioretti
Caserta won the first game at home of the semifinals, leading the match for the whole 40 minutes, also being up by 16 pts, but Soresina (J.R. Reynolds (188-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Virginia) at 26 scored) came back, and the team coached by Fabrizio Frates need an effort by Raymond Tutt (194-G-75, agency: World Sport Agency, college: UCSB) (19+7) and David Brkic (210-F-82, agency: Interperformances) (16+8).
In the other semifinal, point-to-point game but Jesi got success on the road at Reggio Emilia, where 24 scored by Alvin Young (191-F-75, agency: SportsTalent, college: Niagara) weren't enough because Michele Maggioli (212-C-77) (19 scored) and David Moss (196-F-83, agency: SportsTalent, college: Indiana St.) (16 scored) led the team coached by Andrea Capobianco to victory.
Game-2 will be played on Tuesday May the 20th.
Caserta-Soresina 82-78 (Caserta leads 1-0)
Reggio Emilia-JEsi 68-69 (Jesi leads 1-0)
See complete boxscores at www.legaduebasket.it


Armani Jeans to semifinals -by Stefano Pini
Premiata Montegranaro -Armani J. MI 61-78 (aggregate 2-3)
Milano made the difference in the second quarter leaded by Danilo Gallinari (206-G/F-88, agency: Players Group). The italian talent scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds staying on the court for 40'. Also Dusan Vukcevic (201-F-75, agency: Interperformances) didn't take a minute of rest and helped his team with 12 points and 3 assists. Premiata Montegranaro played with brave for all the game. Wasn't enough the double by Sharrod Ford (206-F-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Clemson) (13+12). Armani Jeans qualified for Euroleague for the 2nd year in a row, the 3rd in the last 4th season. In the semifinals Milano will face Montepaschi Siena, maybe a team too deep for them. But Milano, with Attilio Caja , found an identity and can be really proud for what expressed in this 2008.


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LEBANON

SABA Battery marches towards consecutive title -by Eurobasket News

SABA Battery - Al Riyadi 70:68

The Asia Champions Cup defending champions SABA Battery left ups and downs of the preliminary round behind them and now look ready to claim the second straight title. Yesterday the Iranian outfit snatched a dramatic 70:68 win over Lebanese Riyadi to reach the championship game. Riyadi entered the game undefeated and hoped to stretch their spotless run. But SABA Battery put on a strong performance to steal a narrow win at the dying minutes. Riyadi suffered a major setback early in the encounter as their captain Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) got injured and struggled to return to action in the latter stages. The injury was later rumored to be a season-ending one for Ahmad. Riyadi looked a bit bewildered by the absence of the key player and SABA Battery used to their advantage. The Iranian side ran away to a 42:39 lead at halftime. The spark for Lebanese team came in the third stanza as Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) scored a couple of impressive baskets and Omar Turk (186-G-81, college: Dawson Coll.) provided back up as Al Riyadi spurred ahead to an 8-point distance. SABA Battery trimmed the gap to 3 points heading into the fourth period 51:54. But three back-to-back trebles from Battery put the Iranian squad back on top early in the fourth quarter. SABA Battery kept it cool throughout the fourth frame and entered the crunch time in front. They had a 3-point advantage with seconds left in regulation when Fadi El Khatib was put to charity stripe. He nailed his first attempt and then purposely missed the second one, while Ali Fakhreddine (202-C-83) pulled down a rebound for a chance to force overtime. But his attempt went off target sealing the win for SABA Battery. SABA Battery will now face Qatari Al Rayyan in the Final today.


SABA Battery: Gabe Muoneke 17, Hamed Hadadi 14, Samad Nikkah 13

Riyadi: Fadi El Khatib 20, Joe Vogel 17



The Champion of Asia, Saba Battery, takes advantage of Ismail Ahmads severe injury and beats Riyadi by 2 pts -by Wael Yaman
Sunday night was not Riyadis night as the team suffered from a huge blow when their captain and key player Ismail Ahmad got severely injured (he will be out for the rest of the season), giving the opportunity to Saba Battery, the current Asian Champion, to steal a win in the semi final game of the Asian Championship by 2 points (68-70), in a very thrilling game, where for sure, if it was not for Ismails injury, the end result could have been completely different. Riyadi was able to beat Saba previously in the West Asia Championship that took place couple of months ago (83-82). With that win, Saba will face AL Rayyan from Qatar in the final game (Al Rayyan lost to Riyadi couple of days ago), while Riyadi will face Al Wasl from UAE for the 3rd place. Going back to the game, Riyadi fans filled the court and represented Lebanon in the best way ever, cheering for their favorite team and supporting their beloved country. Everything was going great for Riyadi who was showing off some high caliber plays, until Riyadis captain and MVP Ismail Ahmad got severely injured and required Fouad Abou Chakra to put him on the bench.

Riyadi suffered heavily from Ismails absence in the second quarter, but remained close (42-39). The third quarter kicked off with Riyadi very determined to finish this game early. Great defense, excellent offense, Khatib on fire, Ali Mahmoud fighting, Omar Turk scoring, Joe Vogel shining and the team was in its best shape, in the lead again by 8 pts (52-44). Coach Fouad Abou Chakra decided at that moment to send in Ismail again hoping to seal the game Ismails injury was worse than expected, the Egyptian Pharaoh did his best, biting on his wound, and trying to help the team but his injury affected his performance negatively and the third quarter ended (54-51) for Riyadi.

Saba Battery entered in the fourth quarter with the hope to catch up and they got what they wanted scoring 3 three pointers back to back, while Riyadi on the other hand was taken by surprise, and Ismails injury was affecting the team further who before they knew it, where trailing behind (59-64). Riyadi lost its control of the game, and just 2 minutes before the end of the game, Abou Chakra sends in Rami Akiki who was by all means the new blood the team needed in those critical moments Akiki scored 2 three pointers and 2 free throws, closing a gap of 8 pts to 2 pts only. Akiki was on the free throw with an end-one, 5 seconds remaining, he needed to throw the ball out and let one of Riyadi grab the rebound and score to equalize the score Akiki did what he was supposed to do, the rebound was in the hands of Ali Fakhreddine who was not fortunate to score and Saba got the ball and a foul, while Riyadi got the technical foul with 1 second remaining.. Saba scored one of two (67-70), and Khatib scored the first free throw (68-70) and missed the second. The ball was with Riyadi with 1 second left, which was not enough for the Yellow team to score and the game ended with Saba ahead by 2 points (68-70).

Sources close to Riyadifans.com informed us that Ismails injury is pretty severe and our Captain will miss the playoff and finals of the Lebanese Championship. Riyadis admin is negotiating with a replacement.. in the mean time, we wish Ismail a speedy recovery and hope to see him leading our team again soon!

By Mohamad Ali Yatim


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MEXICO

Team Chile Steals One from the LNBP's Pioneros -by Justin Brink


Team Chile Steals One from the Pioneros -by Justin Brink


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NBA

Adventurous journey ends in Massachusetts -by Eurobasket News
Boston - Cleveland 97:92

The Truth owned the night. Paul Pierce (6'7''-F-77, college: Kansas) exploded with 41 points to eclipse the LeBron James (6'8''-F-84) heroics and propelled the Celtics to the Eastern conference Final. Boston held off the pesky Cavaliers in the seventh game to remain unbeaten at home in the playoffs. Paul Pierces effort was just enough to overshadow a 45-point night from LeBron James as the Cavs superstar tally went in vain. The hosts looked dominant in the first half and grabbed a 50:40 lead at halftime. But the Cavs quickly cut it to 49:52 early in the third stanza. The Cavs stayed close and trailed by just 5 points heading into the fourth period. But the Celtics prevailed in the final term. Leading by a single point with just over a minute left in regulation P.J. Brown (6'11''-F-69, agency: Priority Sports, college: Louisiana Tech) came up with a jumper, while Ray Allen and Eddie House teamed up for 4 free throws to give the home side a 95:89 cushion with 16 seconds remaining. Alexander Pavlovic drained a three-pointer for the visitors but Paul Pierce was deadly from charity stripe to accumulate an unassailable 5-point lead for the Celtics with 7 seconds on the clock. LeBron James missed his three-point attempt sealing it all. Kevin Garnett (6'10''-F-76) produced 13 points and 13 boards for Boston. P.J. Brown added 10 points off the bench for the winners. Delonte West (6'4''-G-83, college: St.Joseph's) scored 15 points in a loss. The hosts outrebounded their opponents 39:29 and converted 44% from the field.
Boston will have one day of rest before taking on Detroit in the conference Final tomorrow.

Boston: Paul Pierce 41, Kevin Garnett 13+13 boards, P.J. Brown 10
Cleveland: LeBron James 45, Delonte West 15


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NCAA1

Market movements -by Eurobasket News
Oklahoma State agreed terms with two assistant coaches. The first is Steve Middleton while the second one is Butch Pierre. Middleton used to work in Massachusetts as an assistant coach during the previous 3 seasons. Before Massachusetts, Middleton spent two seasons in Eastern Kentucky.

North Carolina officially announced leaving of its junior forward Alex Stepheson (6'9''-F). It is not known yet where Stepheson will continue his career.

Drake University announced that its assistant athletic director Dr. Tom Davis is retiring.


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NIGERIA

Pillars shock Union Bank, as Islanders beat Comets -by Olusegun Ikuesan
Kano Pillars basketball club last weekend rounded off its road trip games to the Atlantic Conference of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF organized premier league with a sweet victory over Star-Studded Union Bank basketball club of Lagos.

Pillars victory over Union Bank was described by its coach, Sani Ahmed as a Sweet Victory and commended his players for a job well-done.

The Kano-based Savannah conference strong side won the hard earned battle by 71-67 points to take its road wining to two after defeating Islanders in its first game in Lagos by 72-67 points while its await the decision of the League and Technical Committee of the Nigeria federation on the May 12 abandoned match in Asaba against Delta Force basketball club.

Who will not feet great beating a side as strong and studded as Union Bank, look I feel on top of the world, its as if we won all our road games and I must commend my players for a job well-done and we are going back to Kano fulfilled, said the Nigeria team head coach to the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

And on Sunday in a Lagos City League pairing new look Islanders basketball club for the second time this season defeated Ebun Comets basketball by 72-68 points.

The victory for the Islanders came after losing two straight games to Kano Pillars (72-67) and Delta Force (71-79) basketball clubs, so Coach Ogoh Odaudu and his players knows what it feel to taste defeat a third time.

The road to victory for the Islanders was anchored by Rasheed Bello a former Ebun Comets player who was tireless throughout the pulsating encounter which brought the best from both sides.

Bello an off-guard provided the tonic the Islanders needed to curtail the foray of Dennis Ebikoro charged Comets and at the end of the match says he is happy his side won.

... Union Bank battles Dodan Warriors in City league

Jolted by the spate of defeat in recent time the management of Union Bank basketball club Saturday read out a riot act to its players to either buckled up or face the music.

The players have been told to win Tuesday Lagos City League game against city rival, Dodan Warriors basketball club which makes the match an interesting one to watch.

The last time both sides met in the premier league, Union Bank basketball club ran away with a 61-52 points victory, but with recent happening as both teams are faced with series of loses in both leagues.

The atmosphere is different this time and Coaches Adeka Dauda and Peter Ahmedu of the Dodan Warriors will not want to lose a second time to the Stallion Boy as the bankers are as known.

Union Bank parades a crop of tested players most of whom have played in the green-white-green jersey of the Nigeria national team either at junior or senior levels but the Dodan Warriors boast of some never-say-die players who are capable of giving the Gboyega Vidal coached Union Bank a run for their money.
Chris Okoh (199-F-85)


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PARAGUAY

America de Pilar wins Group B -by Gianni Pascucci
In the last day of the first leg of the competition, America de Pilar came back to the win defeating Libertad 99-87. This success grants to America the first place and an additional point in the table of the next phase of the National League. Import Marcus Watts (204-F/C-83, college: Florida Gulf Coast) was the game MVP with 32 points, helped by Ricardo Ozuna (185-G/F-82), who added 16. Daniel Perez (190-G/F-84) was the best scorer in Libertad with 23 points. In the other game of the night, Gigantes felt to Deportivo San Jose 60-82. Roberto Farina (186-G/F-82) and Alvaro Cardozo (181-G) scored 15 and 18 pts, respectively, but it wasn' t enough to beat the 'Saints', led by Carlos Jorge Riveros (190-G-85), who scored 22 points, and Miguel Isola (198-F-83), who added 19 pts.

Second leg ready to start -by Gianni Pascucci
The National League restarts on thursday. The six teams yet in the race have been divided into two groups of three teams each and will meet themselves in round-robin format. The two winners of the forst leg have an additional point in the table. the Groups are:
GROUP A (in Asuncion): Sol de America (1 point), Deportivo San Jose and Libertad.
GROUP B (in Pilar): America de Pilar (1 point), Sacachispas Encarnacion and Felix Perez Cardozo.
To strengthen the roster as best as possible, Sol de America inked domestic player Eduardo Acosta (204-C-78), from Spain.


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 7-2 
 2. D.San Jose 6-3 
 3. Libertad 4-5 
 4. Gigantes 1-8 


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POLAND

Turow dominates second game as well -by Eurobasket News
PGE Turow Zgorzelec becomes closer to win the Polish Finals after the second home win. Taking the control of the second from the early beginning Turow led the game to 89:71 over Prokom Trefl Sopot. Thomas Kelati (195-G/F-82, college: Washington St.) led the winners with 30 points. David Logan (184-G-82, college: Indianapolis) nailed 18, whilst Robert Witka (205-F-81) posted 12. Mustafa Shakur (190-G-84, college: Arizona) ended up with 17 points in the losing effort.
In comparison with Game 1 Turow dominated Game 2 from the early beginning. In the second quarter, following a Thomas Kelati triple, Turow escaped for a double-digit lead and never looked back. The hosts won the opening quarter 23:16 and increased the margin later in the second. Both teams left the court for the break when the board showed 41:28. The home side continued to push the tempo, but the third quarter was the one when the guests could struggle in the game. Prokom Trefl Sopot tied the quarter at 22:22 and as a result the margin remained at 13 points for the hosts. Turow held the score for good and made a huge step toward the Triumph in Poland.
Game 3 is scheduled for May 24 and Prokom hopes to remain alive. Game 4 will follow it on May 25 with Prokom being the home side.

PGE Turow Zgorzelec - Prokom Trefl Sopot 89:71 (23:16, 18:12, 22:22, 26:21)
PGE Turow Zgorzelec:Thomas Kelati 30, David Logan 18, Robert Witka 12
Prokom Trefl Sopot:Mustafa Shakur 17, Jovo Stanojevic (207-C-77, agency: Beo Basket) 10, Sow 10


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PORTUGAL

Proliga semi finals -by Luis Rocha
Fisica solve the series against Benfica after beating them at home two times this weekend. Saturday in game 3 they won 80-72, and sunday in game 4 new win this time 87-74. Great job the one made from Fisica in this playoffs, they already left Illiabum behind and now step easily over Benfica. Benfica never solve the many injuries in their roster. Theyre still without Miguel Minhava (197-G-83) (their best point guard) and Leroy Watkins (202-C-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Illinois St.) (best center), and the other players of the roster have still a long way to go before setting theirselves as solid senior players. Good weekend for Marcel Momplaisir (205-C-81, college: Rhode Island) and Miguel Barroca (182-G-84) in Fisica. Vitria and Acadmica (the other series) are fighting for their lives. The score is 2-2. Saturday at home Acadmica pull up the level and beat its opponent 88-83, but the day after it was time for Vitria to strike back and won 92-65, taking the series to the 5th game that will be held next thursday in Guimaes. playing the last game at home Vitria can be placed as favourite, but Acadmica can win there and already did it. To me it seems that when playing two times in a weekend Acadmica always win the first and always loose the second. The roster of the Coimbra team isnt so deep as the one from Vitria, but the crowd in Guimares will certainly be a motivation factor now that all comes to a 5th game. Good weekend for Cori Spencer (201-F/C-80, college: Stony Brook) and Alexandre Gama (184-G-76) in Acadmica, as well as Tommie Eddie (201-F/C-82, college: Mississippi) and Carlos Fechas (180-G-81) in Vitoria.

Moncho Lopez pick first players to Portuguese team -by Bruno Baltazar
After some months of scouting the portuguese players Moncho Lopez ,the national head coach ,the first pre selection of players is here and the coach wanted to explain why he picked the players he picked,to remember the fact that the final chose of players will take place in September where Portugal will play to qualifie to EUROBASKET 2009.
June the 2nd is the start of Moncho Lopez era in Rio Maior and ends in Torneio das Naoes in 6th and 7th of June in Barcelona playing against teams of Catalunya,Galiza and Basq country.

Heres why Moncho Lopez picked the fallowing players:
Elvis vora and Jorge Coelho-Keep the inside position players that competed in Eurobasket 07,wanted to be in touch since day 1.Vital positions where Portugal always struggle.
Jaime Silva, Joao Reveles, Nuno Cortez and Joao Manuel -Young players but with experience that had good years in their teams.

He also added I decided to play in this tournament because for example Catalunya team might have stronger players than the national spanish team-Gasol brothers, Ricky Rubio, Juan Carlos Navarro or Jordi Tras.

Complete list of players:

Joao Reveles (Ginsio Figueirense), Mario Fernandes (Plasencia Espanha), Fabio Lima (Pamesa Valencia Espanha), Jaime Silva (Vigo Espanha), Joao Gomes (199-F-85) (Breogan Espanha), Joao Manuel (CAB Madeira), Jos Silva (Barreirense), Cluadio Fonseca (Pamesa Valncia-Espanha), Elvis Evora (A.D. Ovarense), Jorge Coelho (Palencia Espanha), Manuel Sico (F.C. Barreirense), Nuno Cortez (AD Ovarense). In Stand By 4 players - Miguel Graa (Fc Barreirense), Daniel Flix (Iliabum), Pedro Silva (Vitoria), Marco Gonalves (Benfica).


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QATAR

Rayyan holds off Wasl to reach title game -by Eurobasket News
Rayyan - Wasl 81:57

Qatari Rayyan entered the Asia Champions Cup Final yesterday after beating previously undefeated Wasl in the semifinal. The Qatari outfit reached their 5th final in the last 8 editions of the competition. Wasl started the game without their charismatic leader Courtney Fields (206-F-82, college: Iona) who was sidelined with a knee injury. It paid off immediately as Rayyan used the dominance in height to full advantage. Wasl managed to stay close in the starting frame due to heroics from Ayoub Albaloushi as they trailed by 2 points after 10 minutes of action. However Rayyan stepped on the gas in the second quarter and Wasl immediately started to lag behind. Qatari outfit ignited a massive 29:9 rally in the second stanza to accumulate a 22-point buffer at halftime. Herve Lamizana (208-F/C-81, college: Rutgers) was obviously out of rhythm on the night and Wasl simple ran out of options to change the complexion of the game. Rayyan notched a 23:13 third frame to pile up an insurmountable 32-point margin before the fourth term. Brian Lester introduced his bench players into action in the final period with the outcome pretty vivid. Wasl used the fact to cut the deficit a bit but it did not matter as Rayyan headed into the tournament finale. Yaseen Ismail (204-F-80) came up with 16 points to lead Rayyan. Dalron Johnson (206-F-81, college: UNLV) scored 15 points, while Saad Ali Abdulrahman had 10 for the winners. Ayoub Albaloushi answered with game-high 21 points for Wasl. Herve Lamizana knocked down 13 points in a loss.

Rayyan: Yaseen Ismail 16, Dalron Johnson 15, Saad Abdulrahman Ali (194-F-85) 10
Wasl: Ayoub Albaloushi 21, Herve Lamizana 13


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SERBIA

Juniors of Crvena Zvezda are the new Serbian champions -by Dragan Jankovski
Junior team of Crvena Zvezda from Belgrade made a great success celebrating on the final tournament of Serbian championship. The tournament was held in Belgrades sports hall Pinki. Zvezda's juniors beat host team Zemun 84-68 (18:14, 27:21, 20:15, 19:18) in the final game. From the beginning Zvezda took control on Zemun. Minute after minute the team of head coach Aleksandar Nikitovic keeps extending its lead. Zemun was unable even to come closer so it was a totally deserved victory for Zvezda.

Four players of Crvena Zvezda finished the game with double digits. Lazar Radosavljevic (203-F-91) netted 16, Nemanja Nedovic (191-G-91) had 15 points, Dusan Milosevic (199-G-91) scored 12 while Aleksandar Stevovic (191-G-90) stopped on 11 points. Zvezda started the competition in Group A where they celebrated against Ergonom, Hemofarm STADA and Zdravlje Actavis. On the other side in Group B Zemun outplayed Euroleague champions FMP from Zeleznik.

At the end FMP finished this tournament on third position while Hemofarm STADA is on the fourth place. After winning a Euroleague title, the third place for sure is a big disappointment for FMP. On the other hand, despite some problems in BC Crvena Zvezda and not so good results of their senior team in Superleague, its youngsters showed that the club will have a nice future.

Below are the results of the final tournament.

Group A:
1. Crvena zvezda 3-0
2. Hemofarm 2-1
3. Ergonom 1-2
4. Zdravlje 0-3

Group B:
1. Zemun 3-0
2. FMP 2-1
3. Vojvodina 1-2
4. Borac 0-3

Third place game:
FMP - Hemofarm 88:87

Finale game:
Crvena zvezda - Zemun 84:68


Alex Trifunovic is close to leave Lietuvos Rytas -by Eurobasket News
It is almost sure that Serbian coach Aleksandar Trifunovic will leave Lietuvos Rytas. Chances that two sides extend contract are not so good, despite strong wish by team's fans.

Since the final game of Baltic league Trifunovic has an offer for contract extension. Both sides will negotiate during the next 10 days and will try to reach an agreement. But it is already certain that Trifunovic and Lietuvos won't cooperate next season. Those rumors provoked some of team's fans and they wanted to give a support to Trifunovic with flags and boards 'Alex stay!' showed on game of play-off final series against Zalgiris..

According to the Lithuanian media Rymas Curtinaitis is already seen on the bench of Lietuvos next season. Epilogue of this situation waits couple of European teams who showed serious interest for Trifunovic's service.


Coach Zeljko Lukajic and Nenad Canak won Bulgarian championship with Lukoil -by Dragan Jankovski

After winning of Bulgarian National Cup, well respected Serbian coach Zeljko Lukajic captured another title with Lukoil Akademik. The team from Sophia outplayed Balkan like visitors with plus 22 points ending the final series 3-0. It is a big success for Lukajic but not the only one today. Lukoil made a kind of record finishing Bulgarian championship undefeated with 40 consecutive wins. They won 18 games at the first phase, 14 at the second stage and 8 games in play-off.

Lukoil totally deserved this win as they were better from the early beginning. Willie Deane shined scoring 18 points for the first 8 minutes. Later Balkan replied coming a bit closer but Deane of Lukoil scored a triple and his team went on the half time with promising advantage of 9 points. Third quarter totally belonged to reining Bulgarian champion. After three quarters it was already plus 21 what was the end of final story, Lukoil defended championship title.

Lukajic agreed terms with Lukoil previous summer. The team's main target was to once again become champion of Bulgaria which they succeeded with perfect score. Before Lukoil, Lukajic spent one season in Bosnian team Igokea Partizan winning National Cup of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the past he also had 7 very successful seasons with Hemofarm Vrsac. On season 04/05 he brought to Hemofarm first title in Adriatic league. It seems that all highlights of Hemofarm happened when Lukajic was on its bench as on season 00/01 the team reached the final of European Cup Radivoj Korac losing it against Unicaja Malaga. It was a historical success for, until that time, not so respected club.


Ex power forward of Partizan Belgrade and ALBA Berlin, Nenad Canak (204-F-76, agency: Beo Basket), played 46 games for Lukoil in Bulgarian championship and National Cup averaging 11.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 1.7 apg.



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SPAIN

Market news -by Eurobasket News
Eleventh ranked team of Spanish ACB league Ricoh Manresa started with signings for the new season. The team extended contract with its starting power forward / center Josh Asselin (211-C/F-78, agency: Duran International, college: Michigan). The player had 32 appearances in ACB this season averaging 14.5 ppg and 4.9 rpg for 26 minutes per game. He won LEB championship last season with Manresa, who had a solid score in ACB this year - 14 wins and 20 defeats. In the past Asselin was a member of Caceres and Alerta Cantabria Lobos. As a member of Caceres he was the fifht scorer of LEB1 on season 04/05.
Manresa had couple of very good games this season. They made a big surprise at the beggining of the championsip beating TAU on the road 82-83. Manresa also beat twice Unicaja at home 89-81 and once again was better that participant of Euroleague Final 4, TAU Ceramica 85-83.

Participant of LEB Bronze championship Salsas Musa Ciudad de Cordoba and center Damien Griffin (203-C/F-80, agency: Hart Sports Mngm, college: Mountain St.) parted ways. Before Cordoba Griffin played for Sevilla, Aveiro Basket and Gandia. Cordoba is currently on the 10th place of LEB Bronze with score 10-16.

Ex member of Harlem Globetrotters and University Western Kentucky, Elgrace Wilborn (203-F-83, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: W.Kentucky), terminated the contract with Beirasar Rosalia. The team currently competes in LEB Gold having 17 wins and 16 defeats.


ACB Play-off quarter finals - second legs -by Paul Nilsen
Unicaja made history over the weekend after they became the first eighth placed team in the modern ACB era to beat the regular season league title winners in the quarter finals.

Having taken that shock lead with an impressive win at Vistalegre, Unicaja brought Real back to the Martin Carpena with what everyone considered to be one opportunity of delivering a killer blow to Joan Plaza and his team.

In front of 10,000 ecstatic fans who have suffered an inconsistent season, especially at home, their team delivered in thrilling fashion with a last gasp basket by Berni Rodriguez helping secure an 88-86 win to book a semi-final spot.

The home team had a good start to the contest with a solid first quarter giving them a 20-12 lead but the visitors fought back in the second half to tie at 36 a piece during the half-time break.

Malaga again took the initiative in the third quarter to take a slender five point advantage into the last ten minutes and were able to cling on thanks mainly to stunning efforts by Carlos Cabezas, Berni Rodriguez and Boniface NDong. Cabezas pulled the strings scoring 22 points while Rodriguez recorded the same as NDong dominated in the paint with 18 points and 8 rebounds.

It was a magnificent effort by Unicaja who took full advantage of Real and the fact that they have found the Carpena to be something of a graveyard in recent times.

So where does this leave Real for whom Luis Bullock scored 28 points but ending up as a loser in another big game? Well, after failing in the Euroleague, Copa Del Rey and also the play-offs, is a regular league title enough? Probably not.

Another team whose play-off post season ended quickly is Bilbao who slumped perhaps also surprisingly to a 2-0 series loss against Barcelona. Having beaten the Catalan giants in the last round of the regular season, Bilbao hoped for more of the same again but it wasnt to be.

Xavier Pascual and his side went to the Basque country and this time sealed their place in the last four of the competition with an 83-92 victory. The home side lost out in each of the first three quarters as Barcelona retained some control with a truly stellar performance from Alex Acker.

He scored a season high 31 points and ended up with a valuation of 37 while young Turkish star Ersan Ilyasova hit 14 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. The loss was tough to take for Marcelo Huertas who has been the heartbeat of this Bilbao team who have had a good season despite injuries and he bowed out with a typically impressive 16 points and 9 assists.

The other two quarter finals will go the a decisive third game after Pamesa Valencia overcame visiting Tau Ceramica by 100-95 with the winners of the third game facing Unicaja in the semi-finals. It was a tale of two halfs in this one with the home team coming back from a seven point deficit at the midway point of the game to put in a strong second half display.

Just when they needed it, both Ruben Douglas and Shammond Williams turned on the style with the former scoring 25 points but the latter showing why he has played in the NBA with a terrific 29 points and 9 assists. Tiago Splitter was the other real star of the day, despite ending up on the losing side after he claimed a double-double for Tau with 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Its going to be an all Catalan affair in the other semi-final but who will face Barcelona? Well Badalona will be favourites with the third leg at home for Rudy and Co but Gasol and Akasvayu Girona will be heartened after they turned their rivals over by 91-83 to square the series at 1-1.

The Girona fans took the opportunity to taunt Rudy with chants of MVP in support of their talisman Marc Gasol (212-C-85, agency: Interperformances) and it worked with Fernandez losing his cool along with his team-mates who had led in the game at half-time before succumbing to a fired up home team in the third and fourth quarters.

That fire came inevitably from Gasol who underlined his importance and class with yet another simply phenomenal display. He went and recorded a valuation of 44, yes, 44 after he nailed 25 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists and two blocks. A line worthy of any MVP - and a little more.


Bustamante won't continue in Cajasol -by Robert Mayor
After center Antonio Bueno (208-F/C-80, agency: Interperformances) and guard Jesus Cilla (196-F-77, agency: Interperformances), Antonio Bustamante (182-G-84, agency: Court Side) is the next player that won't be in 2008/09 Cajasol project. Guard, loaned to Huelva on February won't be part of the new team that Manel Comas is preparing for the next season in order to try to enter Playoff.

24 years old guard, formed in Cajasol young teams, didn't convince Sevilla team coaches in the past that decided to loan him to Dranc Inca, Ourense and Caja Rioja before include him in this season roster. After 4 months in team, club decided to give him more minutes playing for Huelva (LEB Gold).


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SWITZERLAND

Fribourg goes 2-0 against Lugano -by Eurobasket News
Lugano - Fribourg 56:70

Fribourg made a huge step towards defending their LNA title yesterday when they held off brave Lugano away from home. The win marked a 2-0 lead for Fribourg in the best-of-five series. The Tigers now have their backs against the wall prior to could-be decisive road game with Fribourg on May 24. Lugano had little to test the visitors with in the second game. The reigning champions quickly jumped to a lead and wisely kept the hosts at bay in the first period. Well-balanced offense from Fribourg often confounded their opponents and Lugano found themselves trailing by 10 after the starting frame. The things slightly changed in the second quarter as Lugano fixed their defensive redoubts and managed to outscore the visitors 17:16 to remain down by 9 points at halftime. Fribourg however quickly responded with their own defensive excellence as they limited the hosts to 10 points in the third stanza for a 13-point buffer heading into the final part of the game. The Tigers were not ready to come up with some breakthrough and failed to cut the gap. Fribourg kept it cool throughout the dying minutes and sealed the winning outcome from free throw line. Tresor Quidome (192-G-80, agency: Interperformances) led the action with 16 points and 7 assists. Pascal Perrier-David (184-G-75) notched 16 points, while Marcus Sloan (205-F-82, agency: Octagon, college: TCU) and Erroyl Bing (198-F-82, college: E.Carolina) dropped 10 points apiece in a win. Bing added game-high 15 boards to his tally. The third game is scheduled for Saturday in Fribourg.


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TANZANIA

BD sets deadline for regional tourney -by Carlos Pereira
By Renatha Msungu

The Basketball Dar es Salaam (BD) has set May 31 as the last date for teams to confirm their participation in the East and Central Africa Inter-Cities Basketball championship.
The event will be staged in Dar es Salaam from June 24-28 at the Indoor Stadium.
BD president Simon Msofe said over the weekend that the teams which would not meet the deadline would be kept at bay.
He said 10 cities had so far confirmed their participation including defending champions Nairobi of Kenya.
He named others as hosts Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha (Tanzania), Mombasa (Kenya), Kampala (Uganda), Kigali (Rwanda), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Lusaka (Zambia).
Lusaka and Addis Ababa will compete for the first time.


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U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS

2008 Sunstroke Game on Google Videos -by David Edole
The 2008 Sunstroke All Virgin Islands High School Hoops Classic which was held in April is finally posted on google videos. Special thanks to Dale Mock and International Hoops for posting it. In the Boys game St. Croix (GREY) won the game over their St. Thomas (RED) counterpart behind the MVP performance of Rashawn 'Rooster' Williams. The Boys game was submitted in three parts and the first installment is HERE.
On the girls side, Cherise Joseph put on a show to lead the St. Croix (GREY) team over St. Thomas (RED). As like the boys, the girls are in three installments with the first part HERE.
Enjoy the sunstroke experience.


Buck Harvey: On schedule, Duncan gets another redo -by David Edole
San Antonio Express-News

NEW ORLEANS If they ever build a statue of Tim Duncan outside of the AT&T Center, they should take their time.

They should draw up some concepts, sculpt a few ideas and then step back to look for cracks. There should be a few.

Then they should build more statues, turning the worst into rubble as they go along, until they get it right.

Duncan should be honored the way he played. The best player of the best franchise of this era has required some trial and error to become who he is, and sometimes the error part has been startling for such a Hall of Fame player. He hasn't always figured out everything the first time, and that's where tonight comes in.

After playing three games in New Orleans that rank among his worst, after playing at times like a statue, he comes back with reason to think he's ready.

It's his schedule, after all.

His schedule didn't concur with the Olympics, with unfamiliar refs, rules and teammates. And nothing was the same in college, either. His Wake Forest never made a Final Four

That's no disgrace. Chris Paul's Wake never made one, either. But Duncan was in school for four years, not two as Paul was, and in Duncan's last three years he was college basketball's best player.

Every March, however, he ran into an NCAA format with short games and one-and-done madness. Duncan isn't built for an 11 a.m. tip in Provo, especially given only five fouls to burn. That's a reason the same Duncan who has lost one of the first two playoffs games of every NBA championship run went back to class early.

Duncan proved to be a quick study in the pros. Whereas it took Hakeem Olajuwon about half of his career to learn how to pass out of double teams, for example, Duncan got it down by his second season.

He would become an MVP quickly enough, too. But when met with tough playoff tests, such as the Shaq-Kobe Lakers, Duncan needed time. He needed the arrival of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, too.

The 2005 Finals against the Pistons offers the best analogy. Against a sturdy Detroit defense, with a Wallace for every angle, Duncan suffered.

Duncan missed 6 of 7 free throws and a tip at the end of regulation in Game 5 in Detroit. After failing to score in overtime, after the Spurs still won, Duncan hugged Robert Horry harder than anyone; Horry had saved him.

Then Duncan barely touched the ball in the fourth quarter of a Game 6 loss in San Antonio, and the media theme then was about the odd glitch inside of this superstar.

Spurs' big star now more like Tiny Tim, a headline from a Chicago newspaper read then before that Game 7. The story went on to say, It has been unsettling, if not spooky, to see an immovable rock of sport reduced to a soft, unassertive disappearing act.

Duncan can get this way, and he was in New Orleans in the first three games. He was 12 of 38. He wasn't invisible, getting 23 rebounds in one game, and there were excuses, with both a virus and Joey Crawford inside of his head. But the superstar of the previous decade seemingly always overcame such details.

Didn't Michael Jordan overcome mere human sickness? Did he ever let a referee get to him? The statue of Jordan outside of the United Center was probably done in one try, too.

But Duncan, as gifted as he is, never had anything close to Jordan's athletic ability. Duncan couldn't leap past obstacles. He needed all the data. He needed to see what was happening and why, and that came together in Game 7 against Detroit.

A soft, unassertive disappearing act became the Finals MVP.

That's Duncan, and this plays into what Gregg Popovich has said this series. The better team wins in a seven-game series.

Over two weeks, there is no Final Four fluke. There is time to find the creases in the defense, to move over to defend David West, to even overcome three routs in New Orleans.

As for the statue.

They should build one no matter what happens tonight.


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UKRAINE

Cakic, Khimik Escape Politekhnika Lviv -by Alexei Naumov
Goran Cakic's (207-C/F-80, agency: Beo Basket) three-pointer during the last seconds of the Khimik Politekhnika-Galychyna game 2 saved his teams season, giving it an 89:88 (click for stats) win and tying the series at 1 win each.

Lviv had a better start to the contest, getting into an early 13:3 lead and holding on to the 10-point margin till the end of the first frame to close it out at 26:16.

A 15:5 second quarter run by Khimik, capped by Wykeen Kellys steal and an and one, made it 32:34 (still in favor of the visitors) midway through the stretch as the first half concluded at 42:46.

The leader changed for the first time since the score was 3:2 after Andriy Agafonov nailed a three with under 8 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, but it was Politekhnika that remained on top at the end of it 68:70.

The home side went up by 5 after Kelly hit a triple midway through the last frame, but Vladimir Golubevs shot once again deadlocked the score, this time at 84.

Both teams exchanged free throws to tie the game at 86, Wykeen Kelly missed a three and Lvivs Pavel Ulianko was put on the line, scoring both shots and putting his team up by 2.

Luckily for Khimik, Cakic, who scored 20 in the contest, drained the game-winner from beyond the ark.

The series now moves to Lviv where the matches will resume on May 21.

Meanwhile, BC Kyiv will try to put Azovmash Mariupol on the verge of elimination in game 2 on Monday. Live stats will be available on the Official Website of the Ukrainian Basketball Federation from 18:00 (Local time).

Superleagues updated playoff leaders stats are available here.


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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Rayyan holds off Wasl to reach title game -by Eurobasket News
Rayyan - Wasl 81:57

Qatari Rayyan entered the Asia Champions Cup Final yesterday after beating previously undefeated Wasl in the semifinal. The Qatari outfit reached their 5th final in the last 8 editions of the competition. Wasl started the game without their charismatic leader Courtney Fields (206-F-82, college: Iona) who was sidelined with a knee injury. It paid off immediately as Rayyan used the dominance in height to full advantage. Wasl managed to stay close in the starting frame due to heroics from Ayoub Albaloushi as they trailed by 2 points after 10 minutes of action. However Rayyan stepped on the gas in the second quarter and Wasl immediately started to lag behind. Qatari outfit ignited a massive 29:9 rally in the second stanza to accumulate a 22-point buffer at halftime. Herve Lamizana (208-F/C-81, college: Rutgers) was obviously out of rhythm on the night and Wasl simple ran out of options to change the complexion of the game. Rayyan notched a 23:13 third frame to pile up an insurmountable 32-point margin before the fourth term. Brian Lester introduced his bench players into action in the final period with the outcome pretty vivid. Wasl used the fact to cut the deficit a bit but it did not matter as Rayyan headed into the tournament finale. Yaseen Ismail (204-F-80) came up with 16 points to lead Rayyan. Dalron Johnson (206-F-81, college: UNLV) scored 15 points, while Saad Ali Abdulrahman had 10 for the winners. Ayoub Albaloushi answered with game-high 21 points for Wasl. Herve Lamizana knocked down 13 points in a loss.

Rayyan: Yaseen Ismail 16, Dalron Johnson 15, Saad Abdulrahman Ali (194-F-85) 10
Wasl: Ayoub Albaloushi 21, Herve Lamizana 13


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URUGUAY

Wendell Gibson will join Aguada -by Hector Lopez
Wendell Gibson (201-F/C-83, college: Hofstra) will join Aguada, playing the Metropolitan League, replacing Dave Holmes, it was confirmed bi his new team. Gibson will finish playing the promotion tournament in Argentina, with Lanus, on Tuesday 20 and immediately will travel to Montevideo to play during the week end, against the leader Capurro. Aguada. one of the most popular Uruguayan teams, is one point behind Capurro. Two teams will be promoted to the Uruguayan League 2009-10.



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Women News

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HOLLAND - Women

Amazone steals the first win in the Final -by Eurobasket News
Yellow Bike-Amazone 69:72 (16-17, 34-38, 54-53)

Amazone remains on track and surprised the winner of the regular season in the first final game. With 69:69 in the last minute
Sharon Bos (181-F-79) and Van de Bovenkamp brought the guests 69:72 victory and 1-0 in the series. Tyler McIlwraith (185-G-85, college: St.Louis) led the winners with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Judy Wright (172-G-84) ended up with 13 points and 6 rebounds, whilst Sharon Bos had 10 points. Laura Kooij (183-F-82) produced 18 points in the losing effort. Roetgerink Marloes scored 13 points and Kooij Leonie had 12 in defeat.
Sharon Bos and Tyler McIlwraith opened the game for the visitors as the latter had 9:12 on the board. Even after Yellow Bike tied the score at 12:12 Amazone finished the opening quarter with 17:16.
With 25:22 the hosts increased to 32:24 as
Leonie Kooij (187-F-86) shot from the line. Right after that Amazone created 14-0 run and Marloes Roetgerink (189-C-77) puts the halftime score at 34:38.
Judy Wright brought Amazone for 58:63. Yellow Bike came back to the game and tied the score at 65:65. In the last minute the board showed 69:69 and then Sharon Bos turned in into 69:71. Van de Bovenkamp set up the Final 69:72 for Amazone first Final victory.


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LUXEMBOURG - Women

Basket Esch jumps to 1-0 lead -by Eurobasket News
Musel Pikes - Basket Esch 51:69

Musel Pikes could not capitalize on the home-court advantage in the DBBL Final opener yesterday. Basket Esch toppled the hosts to go 1-0 up in the best-of-three series. The regular season champions now have a chance to claim the crown as soon as Friday when they host Musel Pikes in Esch-Lallange for Game 2. The teams kept it close in the opening minutes as the game slowly turned into a seesaw battle. But Basket Esch found the way to take control as they built a 21:17 advantage at the end of the first frame. The visitors kept distance throughout the second quarter and enjoyed a 6-point cushion at the end of the first half. Toni Ostojic seemed to have an emotional talk with his players at the long break as Musel Pikes went off the dressing room hitting on all cylinders. They rapidly knotted things up at 41 scoring 6 straight points. But the spark died out as quickly as it started and Basket Esch picked up from where they left in the first half. Leah Metcalf (173-G-83, college: N.Carolina) orchestrated the offense well, while the visitors defense held the hosts to just 10 point in the third period to accumulate a 10-point advantage at three quarter time. Musel Pikes schemes collapsed in the final stanza as they were able to account for just 6 points. Basket Esch cruised to an overall win and grabbed the lead in the championship series. Leah Metcalf came up with game-high 35 points and 8 boards for Basket Esch. Krisztina Bernath (189-C-78) contributed 10 points and 11 boards for the winners. Carine Cigrang (175-F-85) nailed 16 points for Musel Pikes. Amanda Stowe (186-F/C-79, agency: Next Level, college: Wisc.-Green Bay) scored 14 points and collected 9 caroms in a losing effort. The visitors outrebounded Musel Pikes 37:29 and sank 42% from the field. Musel Pikes were able to post 34% of field goals and committed 16 turnovers down the stretch.

Musel Pikes: Carine Cigrang 16, Amanda Stowe 14
Basket Esch: Leah Metcalf 35, Krisztina Bernath 10+11 boards, Dana Kovacova (178-F/C-65) 8, Gaelle Pousseur (182-F/C-82) 8


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MONTENEGRO - Women

Buducnost new-old champion -by Dragan Scepanovic

Basketball Club Buducnost from Podgorica are new-old champion after win in 4 Round of FINAL series in city of B.Polje against Basketball Club Jedinstvo 75-65 (3-1).

FINAL SERIES GAME No. 4 : JEDINSTVO-BUDUCNOST 65-75 (23:12, 16:25, 17:14, 9:24)
BIJELO POLJE - Sport center 'Nikoljac'.Spect 1.500. Reff: Vojinovic (Niksic), Dragojevic i Jokic (Podgorica)
JEDINSTVO: Knezevic 6, Bigovic 13 (2-2), Burdzovic, Vucinic 15 (2-2), Markovic, Kojovic, Jeknic 11, Zivana Jankovic (175-G-83) 4, Velickovic, Lazovic,Maksimovic 16 (6-3).
BUDUCNOST: Rasel 10 (2-1),Maja Milutinovic (176-G-87) 8 (2-2), Culafic 2 (2-2), Ana Baletic (185-G/F-85) 3 (2-1), Aleksic 11, Mihailovic,Popovic 12 (4-2), Perovanovic 21(5-3), Draganic, Jovanovic, Perovic 8 (4-4)



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SERBIA - Women

Superleague, round 8 - Hemofarm too strong for Crvena Zvezda in derby game -by Dragan Jankovski
Hemofarm outplayed Crvena Zvezda 71-61 at home in derby game of the 8th round of Serbian Superleague. Thus Hemofarm remains on top with almost perfect score so far, 29 wins and only 1 defeat. On the other side Zvezda dropped on 23-7 but despite this defeat they kept the second position. Hemofarm grabbed 29th win thanks to well played second half of the game. Hosts had advantage of 6 points in the first half but until half time their lead melted and the teams went into the second half leveled. With 11-2 run in third quarter Hemofarm made plus 8. In the last period Zvezda tried to close the gap with couple of shots from behind the arc and a bit aggressive defense but the orange team did not let them to come closer.
Dajana Butulija (175-G-86) was the best for the winners scoring 23 points. Point guard Biljana Stankovic (176-G-74) netted 15 points while Tamara Radocaj (168-G-87) posted 14 points. Red-and-white team got 22 points from Veselinovic. It seems that Hemofarm is on the right way to defend title in National championship.

In other two games of round eight Spartak suffered home defeat vs Partizan 75-83. Vojvodina NIS smashed Proleter in Novi Sad 99-78. The most interesting battle until the end of Superleague regular season for sure will be between Crvena Zvezda and Partizan. Those two teams will try to finish it on the second place as later the second ranked team will have a home court advantage in the play-off semifinals.


Standings - Women
A Standings
Superleague
 1. Hemofarm 29-1 
 2. Crvena Zv. 23-7 
 3. Partizan 22-8 
 4. Spartak 19-11 
 5. Vojvodina 16-14 
 6. Proleter 12-18 
Others in Stage One
 1. Kraljevo 9-13 
 2. Kovin 7-15 
 3. Loznica 7-15 
 4. Usce 5-17 
 5. Radnicki NB 4-18 
 6. Stara Pazova 3-19 


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SLOVENIA - Women

Merkur makes it 2-0 in the series -by Eurobasket News

HIT Kranjska Gora-Merkur 60:62

Merkur grabbed an important road victory from HIT Kranjska Gora in Game 2 of the Slovenian Finals. A 9:16 in the last period was the decisive in the game as the guests stole 60:62 win. Monique Blake (188-F-85, agency: Merit Sports, college: Seton Hall) top-scored for the winners with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Lucie Conkova (186-F-83) posted 12, while Milijana Evtoukhovitch (190-C-81) collected 9 points and 9 rebounds.
Markovic opened the game for the hosts making a jump shot in the very beginning. The hosts were in front in the whole quarter and finished it with 21:15 as Spela Erzen (190-C/F-80) made a lay-up. It was her again to give HIT Kranjska Gora 9 points deficit for 27:18. Baric reduced the gap for the visitors as the teams went to the lockers with 34:30. Lucie Conkova was the one who gave Merkur the first lead, 39:40. Simona Jurse (171-G-71) 's three in the end of the third quarter lifted the hosts up to 51:46. The last period was the most interesting and both squads stayed close to each other. With 29 seconds to go Spela Erzen tied the game at 60:60. Milijana Evtoukhovitch's lay up in the last seconds of the game saw the board showing 60:62 for Merkur that is now 2-0 in the Finals.

HIT Kranjska Gora: Lidija Becanovic (188-F/C-80) 24+7 rebs, Spela Erzen 16
Merkur:Monique Blake 19+16 rebs, Lucie Conkova 12, Milijana Evtoukhovitch 9+9 rebs



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WNBA - Women

Rookies stay in the limelight -by Eurobasket News
Rookies dominated the scene on the second day of the WNBA action as they played a pivotal role in the initial win for the Minnesota Lynx. Charde Houston (6'1''-F-86, college: Connecticut) scored 21 points and Candice Wiggins (5'11''-G-87, college: Stanford) came up with 15 to lead the Lynx past Detroit 84:70 in the season opener for Minnesota. Charde Houston was deep in rotation but she still managed to appear on the court and spark a decisive 20:4 run for the Lynx as they grabbed a substantial lead early in the fourth stanza. Nicky Anosike (6'4''-C-86, college: Tennessee) who was picked under No. 16 in the Draft started for the Lynx and provided 11 points and 11 boards in a winning effort. Katie Smith (5'11''-G-74, college: Ohio St.) led the Shock with 17 points. Plenette Pierson (6'2''-F/C-81, college: Texas Tech) added 15 points in a losing case. Detroit committed 23 turnovers and were held to 41% from the field. The Lynx leading scorer Seimone Augustus (6'1''-G-84, college: LSU) struggled in accuracy throughout the night and finished with 14 points on a 6/14 FG shooting.
Meanwhile the Connecticut Sun posted their second straight win at the start of the season. They dealt with the New York Liberty 77:63 at the Madison Square Garden. The Suns were well in control in the first half and claimed a 10-point lead at halftime. The visitors kept on taking off as they enjoyed an 18-point cushion in the third stanza. But the Liberty playing the first game of the season refused to give it up that easily in front of the home crowd. The hosts exploded with an 18:4 run to bridge the third and fourth terms and pulled within 3 points. However Tamika Whitmore (6'2''-C/F-77, college: Memphis) connected from downtown and Asjha Jones (6'2''-F-80, college: Connecticut) scored a jumper to give some breathing space for the Sun. The visitors never turned back again and coasted to an overall win at the end. Tamika Whitmore nailed 17 points to lead the winners. Asjha Jones and Lindsay Whalen (5'8''-G-82, college: Minnesota) had 16 points apiece for Connecticut. Shameka Christon (6'1''-G/F-82, college: Arkansas) paced the Liberty with 14 points. Janel McCarville (6'2''-C-82, college: Minnesota) added 10 points in defeat.


Jackson Lead Storm Rally to Beat Sky -by T.Saadiq Kamali
Lauren Jackson scored 14 points and Sue Bird added 13 points and seven assists and the Seattle Storm beat the Chicago Sky 67-61 in the teams' season opener on Saturday night.

The Storm (1-0) overcame cold shooting in the first half and went on a 23-1 scoring run -- including 12-0 to end the third quarter -- to pull ahead.

The Storm, playing their first game under a new ownership group and new coach Brian Agler, featured a significantly revamped lineup that includes reigning league MVP Jackson and past MVPs Sheryl Swoopes and Yolanda Griffith.

Swoopes finished with eight points, four rebounds and two assists. Griffith had eight points and seven rebounds.

The Storm struggled to score in the first half. Seattle shot 29.4 percent (10-for-34) during the first 20 minutes and trailed 35-29 at halftime.

The third-year Sky, who were looking for their first regular-season victory against the Storm in five tries, extended the lead to 38-29 early in the third quarter as Seattle missed its first seven shots after halftime.

The Storm hit 13 of their last 18 shots in the third quarter to get back into the game. They tied it at 47-47 on Jackson's turnaround 10-footer, and went in front for good when Swoopes stole the ball and hit Bird for a fast-break lay-in.

Seattle extended the lead to 17 points during the fourth when Jackson hit a short shot and the ensuing free throw to cap the 23-1 run.

Chicago was led by Chasity Melvin, who came off the bench for 15 points. Jia Perkins added 12. Candice Dupree had seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Sky, who were kept without a field goal for nearly 11 minutes -- from 2:47 left in the third quarter to 1:44 left in the game.

The Sky out-rebounded Seattle, 40-34.

Swoopes, formerly of Houston, and Griffith, from Sacramento, signed during the offseason as free agents. Swin Cash, another league All-Star acquired from Detroit in an offseason trade, also had 13 points for Seattle.
Lauren Jackson (6'5''-F/C-81)